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#41 KingSargent

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 1030 AM

What is the purpose of all this?  "Meet up with Tito?"Why? To collide with the Soviet advance on the East Front?

Strategy and grand strategy. The goal of strategy was to push into Austria. With an allied force in the Balkans Hitler would have to decide whether to send divisions to Italy or to Yugoslavia. Or even if he could deploy as many divisions to the eastern front. He could not do all of those deployments. Whichever he chooses would result in fewer somewhere else. That someplace else is where the allied force pushes through.

Grand strategy was about being able to dictate to Stalin and avoid the debacle of Yalta. The goal here was to liberate Poland. That was probably out of reach. Ivan would have gotten there first. But certainly Hungary and probably Czechoslovakia was reachable.

A: Strategy = taking something valuable to the enemy. Like Hitler would give a rat's ass about Albania. He wouldn't have had to even reinforce, there was no infrastructure to sustain an offensive in Albania.
B: The goal in 1943 was to beat Germany, not dictate to Stalin. Yalta was far away both in time and attitude. You are really grappling with hindsight here.

"Building a port at Vlore" in 1943 would have been much more difficult than the MULBERRIES at Normandy.

Not quite that difficult. CBs built ports all over the Pacific in the same fashion.

NO, they did not. CBs built temporary bases, someplace to collect stuff. A port is someplace sheltered where you can unload large ships full of heavy equipment quickly. Ports need wharves and large cranes. The reason the Axis was always strapped logistically in the Western Desert was that Tripoli could not not handle enough shipping to sustain the Axis forces. The Italians shipped in little convoys because three ships at a time was all Tripoli's facilities could handle, and Tripoli's cranes were not large enough for really heavy loads. That is why the Allies met Tiger tanks in Tunisia instead of Libya - Tunis was the only port in the theater that could unload Tigers.

And supplying an army in Albania by air was not on in 1943, there simply weren't enough transport assets.

Not an entire field army that would be 500,000 men. Initially a toe hold would be made with only two divisions of mountain and elite infantry.

Uh... just WHO had Mountain divisions in 1943? The US and CW certainly didn't.

  That could be supplied with air transport. The locals would friendly and helpfull.

They would? They never were in the past. Why would they start in 1943?

To delay going to France?

No delay. If as you claim the allies can push 6 division up beaches then 2 would go to Albania 3 to Bordeaux and 1 held in reserve in the Med for use in Italy or Albania as the situation presents itself.

The AXIS forces in Albania were largely poor quality and overextended even for anti-partisan operations.They would have been unable to drive 2 US divisions into the Adriatic. After several weeks the ports would have been built and divisions would start deploying.

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A: How did Bordeaux get into the picture?
B: "After several weeks." Aside from the fact that building a port and roads would take longer than 'several weeks,' you are getting into winter after that time. Fighting in winter in Italy was bad enough, the Balkans would have been much worse.
C: Two US divisions" Send me whatever you are ingesting that makes you think the US JCS would countenance sending US units to Albania. They were PO'd enough about going to Italy.

Going to Albania just makes no sense. There is nothing there that would make it vital in a global war and the effort of getting anywhere vital from Albania is nowhere near commensurate to any reasonable objective.

Go to France and you have nice campaigning country with a transport infrastructure in place, even if we had shot it up a bit, and/or the Germans demo'ed it. Repairing damaged infrastructure is a lot quicker and easier than building it from scratch, as would have to be done in Albania.
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#42 cdnsigop

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 1058 AM

Albania, how do you think that Allies that could supply both Albania and France and then also supply troop around Italy. It just won't work and is a waste of resources. What works is going to France and pushing though France to get to germany. the quicker you in Germany the fast you stop stalin. ( which was not the goal of allies to begin with).

As it was the Allies were cut of combat troops in the fall of 44. Canada had to pull all of their troops from Italy to con't their advance in Northern France and Holland. Having troops in Albania does nothing to shorten the war or to give the allies a better out come.
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#43 Colin Williams

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 1611 PM

Although the German panzer forces of 1943 lacked the technologicaly edge of 1944, it's worth remembering that the Germans left a lot of tanks, guns and veteran soldiers in Russia between the summer of 1943 and the summer of 1944. An Allied invasion in 1943 pits less experienced Allied soldiers against more experienced German soldiers. If I'm in a Sherman I would rather face a Panther manned by Hitler Youth than two PzIIIs manned by crews who had been touring Europe by tank since 1939.
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#44 JWB

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 2237 PM

[/B]A: Strategy = taking something valuable to the enemy.

Strategy: The employment of military forces or national power for the acheivement of goals or objectives.

B: The goal in 1943 was to beat Germany, not dictate to Stalin. Yalta was far away both in time and attitude. You are really grappling with hindsight here.

Not for Churchill. On page 132 of William Casey's book The secret war against Hitler the author explains and justifies Winnie's strategy for conquering the Balkans. Churchill deeply distrusted Stalin and knew a crisis was going to come up after the war. But the Balkan campiagn was canceled by short sighted US army general officers who wanted to "Hey fiddle diddle let's attack up the middle". Churchill's "soft underbelly" strategy was about taking enough of Italy so that the Dalmation coast could be invaded. That invasion was to happen sometime in early to mid 1944. My strategy was to go in just before winter 1943 with the advance force acting as a combined cadre/partisanadvisor/observers/etc. These soldiers would be protected from AXIS attacks by the winter and grateful partisans.

They would? They never were in the past. Why would they start in 1943?

The Albanians as well as most of the other ethnic groups wanted Western forces to drive the AXIS out of the Balkans and then have the Westerners leave the region themselves.

How did Bordeaux get into the picture?

Because Bordeaux in mid to late 1943 was the right time and place for the invasion. That city does have a proper port inside of a large estuary which could be easily upgraded. Bordeaux is connected to Paris by a wide paved road. That road branches off in several directions allowing a force to threaten going East into Germany. Or West to take another harbor at Nantes or the beaches of Normandy. The German forces available to halt an invasion were some of Hitler's worst combat units.

Send me whatever you are ingesting that makes you think the US JCS would countenance sending US units to Albania. They were PO'd enough about going to Italy.[B]

Tango Sierra for them.
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#45 KingSargent

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 2321 PM

[/B]A: Strategy = taking something valuable to the enemy.

Strategy: The employment of military forces or national power for the acheivement of goals or objectives.

B: The goal in 1943 was to beat Germany, not dictate to Stalin. Yalta was far away both in time and attitude. You are really grappling with hindsight here.

Not for Churchill. On page 132 of William Casey's book The secret war against Hitler the author explains and justifies Winnie's strategy for conquering the Balkans. Churchill deeply distrusted Stalin and knew a crisis was going to come up after the war. But the Balkan campiagn was canceled by short sighted US army general officers who wanted to "Hey fiddle diddle let's attack up the middle". Churchill's "soft underbelly" strategy was about taking enough of Italy so that the Dalmation coast could be invaded. That invasion was to happen sometime in early to mid 1944. My strategy was to go in just before winter 1943 with the advance force acting as a combined cadre/partisanadvisor/observers/etc. These soldiers would be protected from AXIS attacks by the winter and grateful partisans.


Winnie had also sent troops to Greece in 1941, left Malaya out on a limb, and invaded Gallipoli in 1914. He sent troops into the Aegean in 1943 and they got their butts whipped by German "inferior garrison and anti-partisan forces."

Winnie had lots of ideas that his own people thought insane, and very few of his schemes worked out.

  They would? They never were in the past. Why would they start in 1943?

The Albanians as well as most of the other ethnic groups wanted Western forces to drive the AXIS out of the Balkans and then have the Westerners leave the region themselves.

Assuming we DO go to the Balkans and throw our weight behind one partisan group their rivals would probably fight us. They certainly wouldn't be "grateful."

How did Bordeaux get into the picture?

Because Bordeaux in mid to late 1943 was the right time and place for the invasion. That city does have a proper port inside of a large estuary which could be easily upgraded. Bordeaux is connected to Paris by a wide paved road. That road branches off in several directions allowing a force to threaten going East into Germany. Or West to take another harbor at Nantes or the beaches of Normandy.

It is also out of range of air cover from the UK, wide open to U-Boats in near-by bases, and the Bay of Biscay is renowned for storms. An invasion in the Channel in 1943 could be covered; one in the Bay of Biscay couldn't.

The German forces available to halt an invasion were some of Hitler's worst combat units.

Gee, there were sure a lot of "Hitler's worst combat units." The "worst combat units" garrisoning Greece kicked the crap out of Brits trying to take the Dodecanese, including mounting successful amphibious counter-attacks with next to no warning and lead time.

Send me whatever you are ingesting that makes you think the US JCS would countenance sending US units to Albania. They were PO'd enough about going to Italy.

Tango Sierra for them.

That's just words; I want the RECREATIONAL CHEMICALS!!!
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#46 cdnsigop

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 2343 PM

JWB, so the Allies go Ablania, they take the port. where do they go from there????
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#47 JWB

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 0228 AM

Winnie had also sent troops to Greece in 1941, left Malaya out on a limb, and invaded Gallipoli in 1914. He sent troops into the Aegean in 1943 and they got their butts whipped by German "inferior garrison and anti-partisan forces."

Gallipoli failed because the generals in charge didn't want go there and were very slow in deploying forces. At the outset the Turks had only 2 divisions available to stop the invasion. By the time Hamilton was enabled to launch the invasion the turks had 6 division and the Brits only 4 plus a french division. When the Mr Georges' government finally decided to go at it with by increasing the force to 12 divisions the Turks had 15.Even then victory was in sight with a push through a sector held by only 12/2 turk battalions. But the British commanders on the scene weren't convinced and wouldn't push.

Winnie had lots of ideas that his own people thought insane, and very few of his schemes worked out.

His Balkan strategy [COLOR=red]was[COLOR=red] favored by the staff.


Assuming we DO go to the Balkans and throw our weight behind one partisan group their rivals would probably fight us. They certainly wouldn't be "grateful."

Not ONE group but all of the groups battling the AXIS forces.

It is also out of range of air cover from the UK,

The US navy would bring CVs from Pacific as was mentioned earlier.

wide open to U-Boats in near-by bases,

The U-Boat offensive was halted in May.

and the Bay of Biscay is renowned for storms. An invasion in the Channel in 1943 could be covered; one in the Bay of Biscay couldn't.

The Channel is renowned for storms.

Gee, there were sure a lot of "Hitler's worst combat units." The "worst combat units" garrisoning Greece kicked the crap out of Brits trying to take the Dodecanese, including mounting successful amphibious counter-attacks with next to no warning and lead time.

The AXIS units in the Balkans were worse than the ones in Greece. More importantly the indigenous population in Greece was docile. In the Balkans they were extremely violent. Same for Italy. Germans in Italy didn't have to watch their backsides constantly for ambushes. In the Balkans the AXIS forces had become physically and psychologically exhausted.

That's just words; I want the RECREATIONAL CHEMICALS!!!

If the generals don't like the plan they can stuff it. Just like Stormin' Norman in December 1990
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#48 JWB

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 0234 AM

JWB, so the Allies go Ablania, they take the port.  where do they go from there????

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As far North and East as possible. Again the point of all this is to put a thorn into Stalin's foot. That would happen even if the allies never made it past Hungary or Bulgaria. Stalin would still have been forced to make concessions.
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#49 Jim Martin

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 0329 AM

And with the road network of 1943 Albania, that would have been about 5 miles from the beach....

As far North and East as possible.

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#50 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 0738 AM

Albania?? Back in 1999, during the Kosovo crisis, all of the US liberals were screaming for immediate US invasion of Kosovo (to make up for their cowardice in Vietnam?). I was in a chat room where the libs were whooping it up for such an action and the few realists there and I began to look at just how it could be done. Looking at pretty good maps of the area, the best way would have been to come up through Salonika as in WWI (not too successful). Getting into Albania was easy. Going anywhere from Albania was extremely difficult (and this was in 1999-imagine 1943). No rail lines and execrable highways over very forbidding terrain.
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#51 KingSargent

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 1756 PM

Winnie had also sent troops to Greece in 1941, left Malaya out on a limb, and invaded Gallipoli in 1914. He sent troops into the Aegean in 1943 and they got their butts whipped by German "inferior garrison and anti-partisan forces."

Gallipoli failed because the generals in charge didn't want go there and were very slow in deploying forces. At the outset the Turks had only 2 divisions available to stop the invasion. By the time Hamilton was enabled to launch the invasion the turks had 6 division and the Brits only 4 plus a french division. When the Mr Georges' government finally decided to go at it with by increasing the force to 12 divisions the Turks had 15.Even then victory was in sight with a push through a sector held by only 12/2 turk battalions. But the British commanders on the scene weren't convinced and wouldn't push.

I only mentioned Gallipoli because some people I have read say that Winnie (consciously or subconsciously) was trying to "prove" that he had been correct in strategy in WW1. I don't want to go deeper here, it's too OT. If you want a Gallipoli thread we can have one.

I notice you did not reply to the 'boo-boos' from WW2 I mentioned.

Winnie had lots of ideas that his own people thought insane, and very few of his schemes worked out.

His Balkan strategy [COLOR=red]was[COLOR=red] favored by the staff.

Of course it was, it would have kept them out of NWE, where they were afraid they'd get their butts kicked.

Assuming we DO go to the Balkans and throw our weight behind one partisan group their rivals would probably fight us. They certainly wouldn't be "grateful."

Not  ONE group but all of the groups battling the AXIS forces.

Impossible. Handing out arms and equipment in the Balkans would be worse that handing out candy to a Kindergarten class - "Tito got all the good stuff! The Chetniks got more than me! {tons of snivelling from all sides}" And if we DID give them all weapons, they'd used them on each other, just like after Tito died.

It is also out of range of air cover from the UK,

The US navy would bring CVs from Pacific as was mentioned earlier.

It woudn't be a question of bringing CVs east rather than not sending them to the Pacific. In any event the whole USN air arm at that date would not have been able to provide the support that the air power in the UK could. (in 1943, that is. In 1945 the USN could fly more a/c off decks than had existed ten years earlier.)

There's another factor against Bordeaux - it is close to Spain. In 1943 the Allies were very paranoid about Spain. They were wrong, but that's what they thought at the time. To the planners the Bay of Biscay looked like an open trap (Brittany to the north, Iberia to the south) just waiting to snap shut. Again, I don't want to do more than mention that it was a factor in planning, any serious discussion should have another thred.

wide open to U-Boats in near-by bases,

The U-Boat offensive was halted in May.

Au contraire, mein Herr, the U-boats operated until 1945. May 1943 is the date given by historical hindsight as to when the Allies got the upper hand in the ASW war. Planners in January 1943 didn't have a timetable saying, 'May, 1943, U-boat war over."

One of the reasons I put for a 1943 cross-channel operation is that it would turn the Channel into a U-boat trap - confined waters where short-range ASW from the UK could be effective. In the Bay of Biscay the trap would be the other way around.

and the Bay of Biscay is renowned for storms. An invasion in the Channel in 1943 could be covered; one in the Bay of Biscay couldn't.

The Channel is renowned for storms.

There's storms and then there's STORMS. The Channel is sheltered water compared to the Bay of Biscay, where the long 'reach' across the Atlantic makes for huige waves.

Gee, there were sure a lot of "Hitler's worst combat units." The "worst combat units" garrisoning Greece kicked the crap out of Brits trying to take the Dodecanese, including mounting successful amphibious counter-attacks with next to no warning and lead time.

The AXIS units in the Balkans were worse than the ones in Greece. More importantly the indigenous population in Greece was docile. In the Balkans they were extremely violent. Same for Italy. Germans in Italy didn't have to watch their backsides constantly for ambushes. In the Balkans the AXIS forces had become physically and psychologically exhausted.

I see, the Germans are always weakest where you say they are. Could it possibly be that the 'indigenous Greek population' was docile BECAUSE the Axis forces in Greece were better than the ones in the Balkans? Huh? Could it?

That's just words; I want the RECREATIONAL CHEMICALS!!!

If the generals don't like the plan they can stuff it. Just like Stormin' Norman in December 1990

You still haven't come up with my drugs.....
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#52 JWB

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 0239 AM

I notice you did not reply to the 'boo-boos' from WW2 I mentioned.

Those other "boo boos" didn't have near total agreement of the Admiralty.

Of course it was, it would have kept them out of NWE, where they were afraid they'd get their butts kicked.

Monty in early 1944 was doing everything he could to get more amphibious ships for Overlord. He wasn't 'fraid of nuthin'.

Impossible. Handing out arms and equipment in the Balkans would be worse that handing out candy to a Kindergarten class - "Tito got all the good stuff! The Chetniks got more than me! {tons of snivelling from all sides}" And if we DID give them all weapons, they'd used them on each other, just like after Tito died.

Yes [U]after Tito died. During the war the various groups would be more intent upon killing AXIS and worry about the power struggle after.


It woudn't be a question of bringing CVs east rather than not sending them to the Pacific. In any event the whole USN air arm at that date would not have been able to provide the support that the air power in the UK could. (in 1943, that is. In 1945 the USN could fly more a/c off decks than had existed ten years earlier.)

The USN and the RN combined could bring enough CVs to get the job done. The real problem was domestic politics. Official policy was to attack the Germans first but Joe Voter wanted to get after the Japs.

There's another factor against Bordeaux - it is close to Spain. In 1943 the Allies were very paranoid about Spain. They were wrong, but that's what they thought at the time. To the planners the Bay of Biscay looked like an open trap (Brittany to the north, Iberia to the south) just waiting to snap shut. Again, I don't want to do more than mention that it was a factor in planning, any serious discussion should have another thred.

Yes I know they were wrong. Spain wasn't in any position to march any real force north.

Au contraire, mein Herr, the U-boats operated until 1945. May 1943 is the date given by historical hindsight as to when the Allies got the upper hand in the ASW war. Planners in January 1943 didn't have a timetable saying, 'May, 1943, U-boat war over."

In May of 1943 Hitler ordered the U-Boat offensive halted because they were being lost at a rate faster then they could be built. Later he turned the campaign on again because he had no choice. And exactly what are a few U-Boats going to do when the Allies have such a huge fleet moving in? U-Boats might be able to sink a few screening ships before they are sunk themselves.

I see, the Germans are always weakest where you say they are. Could it possibly be that the 'indigenous Greek population' was docile BECAUSE the Axis forces in Greece were better than the ones in the Balkans? Huh? Could it?

I know where the Germans were weak because I know what unit were deployed where. The Greeks were docile because the Germans didn't treat them nearly as brutally. The average Landser considered Greek duty to be a vacation. They considered the Balkans to be a rat infested slum.

There's storms and then there's STORMS. The Channel is sheltered water compared to the Bay of Biscay, where the long 'reach' across the Atlantic makes for huige waves.[B]

Yes but Bordeaux has a sheltered harbor that is protected from waves. The stuff at Normandy was washed away by one of the biggest storms in history and the invasion force held the beach against a far stronger force than the Germans were able to bring at Bordeaux. Do you know how much force the Germans had there?

And before we go any further I want you to inform us of the German forces in the Balkans and in the vicinity of Bordeaux.
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#53 JWB

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 0253 AM

I know all of this Balkan campaign stuff sounds impossible. But the UK had campaigned under more difficult circumstances than this. In 1982 the Pentagon told Reagan that the lo0oming British defeat in the South Atlantic could destroy NATO. The India campaign and Burma would make the Balkans look like tip toe through the tulips.
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#54 JWB

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 0302 AM

Albania??  Back in 1999, during the Kosovo crisis, all of the US liberals were screaming for immediate US invasion of Kosovo (to make up for their cowardice in Vietnam?).  I was in a chat room where the libs were whooping it up for such an action and the few realists there and I began to look at just how it could be done.  Looking at pretty good maps of the area, the best way would have been to come up through Salonika as in WWI (not too successful).  Getting into Albania was easy.  Going anywhere from Albania was extremely difficult (and this was in 1999-imagine 1943).  No rail lines and execrable highways over very forbidding terrain.

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The left wants US foreign policy to be based upon social justice instead of national interests.
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#55 KingSargent

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 0457 AM

Ratz. I can't get the formatting to work. I'm going to put initials in front of each part to keep track of who's saying what.


K I notice you did not reply to the 'boo-boos' from WW2 I mentioned.

J Those other "boo boos" didn't have near total agreement of the Admiralty.


K Of course not. Staying in the Med gave them an excuse not to go out and confront the IJN again.

Of course it was, it would have kept them out of NWE, where they were afraid they'd get their butts kicked.

J Monty in early 1944 was doing everything he could to get more amphibious ships for Overlord. He wasn't 'fraid of nuthin'.


K Monty wasn't on the General Staff, either. Of course Monty wanted all he could get for OVERLORD - he wasn't afraid of anything except losing his reputation.

K Impossible. Handing out arms and equipment in the Balkans would be worse that handing out candy to a Kindergarten class - "Tito got all the good stuff! The Chetniks got more than me! {tons of snivelling from all sides}" And if we DID give them all weapons, they'd used them on each other, just like after Tito died.

J Yes after Tito died. During the war the various groups would be more intent upon killing AXIS and worry about the power struggle after.


K "Would be" you say? They certainly weren't during the war, the gangs killed each other every chance they got. They'd been doing it for thousands of years, they did it recently, they'll do it tomorrow if we let them.

K [/b]It woudn't be a question of bringing CVs east rather than not sending them to the Pacific. In any event the whole USN air arm at that date would not have been able to provide the support that the air power in the UK could. (in 1943, that is. In 1945 the USN could fly more a/c off decks than had existed ten years earlier.)

J The USN and the RN combined could bring enough CVs to get the job done.


K Ballz. The RN and USN together together couldn't have put up the sustained effort required for a seriously resisted comtinental invasion. It's one thing to hang around a few days or a week while groundhogs capture some atoll, but both navies found out during and after Okinawa what happened when the carrier groups stayed too long in one place.

J The real problem was domestic politics. Official policy was to attack the Germans first but Joe Voter wanted to get after the Japs.

K I say again, ballz. Joe public didn't have much to do with it. The press (especially Hearst) was constantly trying to influence the way the war was fought, and didn't manage (well, they did more or less force FDR to hang onto MacArthur :( ). King and Marshall may have wanted to do the Pacific bit, but they were a lot more inclined to push for a quick defeat of Germany than the Brits were - until, must I reiterate, Casablanca.

K There's another factor against Bordeaux - it is close to Spain. In 1943 the Allies were very paranoid about Spain. They were wrong, but that's what they thought at the time. To the planners the Bay of Biscay looked like an open trap (Brittany to the north, Iberia to the south) just waiting to snap shut. Again, I don't want to do more than mention that it was a factor in planning, any serious discussion should have another thread.



J Yes I know they were wrong. Spain wasn't in any position to march any real force north.

K They weren't worried about the Spanish so much as they worried about Germany using Spanish bases. They even worried about Germany going through Spain and across the Strait to Spanish Morocco and falling ravenously on the rear of the Allied forces in North Africa. It seems ludicrous now, but it a big factor in planning at the time.

K Au contraire, mein Herr, the U-boats operated until 1945. May 1943 is the date given by historical hindsight as to when the Allies got the upper hand in the ASW war. Planners in January 1943 didn't have a timetable saying, 'May, 1943, U-boat war over."

J In May of 1943 Hitler ordered the U-Boat offensive halted because they were being lost at a rate faster then they could be built.

K Yes and the Allies would have had to have a might good crystal ball to know that when they were making the decisions, wouldn't they?
J

Later he turned the campaign on again because he had no choice. And exactly what are a few U-Boats going to do when the Allies have such a huge fleet moving in? U-Boats might be able to sink a few screening ships before they are sunk themselves.

K U-boats got in among the TORCH invasion convoys, which were heavily escorted and fairly far away from their bases in Biscay. Fortunately they didn't sink any transports until after they unloaded, but they got in because they had a lot of water to work with - something they wouldn't have in the Channel.

K [/b]I see, the Germans are always weakest where you say they are. Could it possibly be that the 'indigenous Greek population' was docile BECAUSE the Axis forces in Greece were better than the ones in the Balkans? Huh? Could it?

J I know where the Germans were weak because I know what unit were deployed where. The Greeks were docile because the Germans didn't treat them nearly as brutally. The average Landser considered Greek duty to be a vacation. They considered the Balkans to be a rat infested slum.

K Then the conclusion to be drawn is that the troops in Greece were better at their job of keeping control over an occupied country.

K There's storms and then there's STORMS. The Channel is sheltered water compared to the Bay of Biscay, where the long 'reach' across the Atlantic makes for huige waves.[B]

J Yes but Bordeaux has a sheltered harbor that is protected from waves. The  stuff at Normandy was washed away by one of the biggest storms in history and the invasion force held the beach against a far stronger force than the Germans were able to bring at Bordeaux. Do you know how much force the Germans had there?


K Sigh... :rolleyes: The fact that Bordeaux is sheltered (as are all ports on the Bay of Biscay) doesn't do a whole lot for ships trying reach the port, does it. Or do you think the ships and supplies teleport in?

J And before we go any further I want you to inform us of the German forces in the Balkans and in the vicinity of Bordeaux.

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K Want away. I still don't have my drugs, nor do I have an answer regarding your feelings about Winnie's other bloopers.
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#56 Ken Estes

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 0817 AM

I think that Bordeaux was always rejected in the 42-44 versions of the invasion [Sledgehammer, Bolero to Overlord] because it was simply too far for the logistical support to keep any army landed in action, including the port-port and port-frontline distances. Might as well just do So. France and grind it out north from Marseilles. Consider the time to ship/truck a round of ammo from Portsmouth-Bordeaux-Paris, for instance...months? Do not count ofn rail with the air picture undecided inland. Now that I mention it, air cover also made Bordeaux a no-no.

There was no soft underbelly, witness the Italian campaign; and it gets less soft the further east one goes. A Balkan campaign also greatly simplifies the German defense problems of 43 or 44.

Let's stick to 1943 conditions. The viability of carrier air in the shadow of land based air power was yet to be proved. Nor is the Victory Fleet yet ready. The USN at one point has only Enterprise in action, with Sara in the Indian Ocean. What CVs come to Europe in 1943 to support the Med? With what fleet train? Is the IJN no longer respected???

Remember it is more important what the soldiers, sailors and airmen thought, than what had happened, frequently missed at the time. The Allies did not know the U-boat had been beaten in the Atlantic until too late in 1943 to set new strategies in motion. The planning cycle for Overlord must be on the order of 12-18 months, depending on the variables. One does not just plop the troops down on some [soon-to-be forlorn] beach...unless it is Guadalcanal.....


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Part of the problem in all these what-if thingies is that Allied strategy commits few errors after 1942. No so nice for the Axis....
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#57 Tony Williams

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 0927 AM

I think that Bordeaux was always rejected in the 42-44 versions of the invasion [Sledgehammer, Bolero to Overlord] because it was simply too far for the logistical support to keep any army landed in action, including the port-port and port-frontline distances.


I understand that an essential criterion in the choice of landing was that it had to be within the range of fighter cover from England. This placed the westernmost limit as the Cotentin Peninsula.

I don't think that a couple of aircraft carriers could have maintained sufficient cover over an extended period of time - which in the event of a hotly opposed landing could have run into weeks.

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#58 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 1515 PM

I know all of this Balkan campaign stuff sounds impossible. But the UK had  campaigned under more difficult circumstances than this. In 1982 the Pentagon told Reagan that the lo0oming British defeat in the South Atlantic could destroy NATO. The India campaign and Burma would make the Balkans look like tip toe through the tulips.

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Burma was a truly rotten place in which to fight. The Brits (and US) didn't make much headway there either until the Nips were virtually on the edge of collapse. Slim then was able to pull off a mini-blitzkreig in the closing months (not his fault, he was a super-soldier, but terain ruled against anything decisive there).
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#59 cdnsigop

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 2117 PM

"Nips"

Your post was great, but that is a totally racist term. Waas racist even back in WW2 when they used it. You post loses most of its meaning when you fill it with racism. I think term you looking for here is Japanese... I know it might seem PC but that is really the correct word to use when talking about the Japan and its people.
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#60 seahawk

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 0122 AM

And a BAy of Biscaya invasion would have been risky, when looking towards Spain. Spain had no real intentions of power to join the war, but some unfortunate allied attacks on spanish fishers or even bombing of a spanish city could have made a difference. And the question is if Franco could have felt threatened by an invasion so close to Spain. Surely not an ideal option and surely not in 1943, when most of the combat proven troops were in North Africa.
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