I love when stupid gets doubled down on.
The specific planning factor might be something along the lines ...
Of course, the problem is we don't actually need to guess what the "planning factor might be", we know what it was from the pre-GYMNAST/SUPERGYMNAST/TORCH planning documents. It says nothing about five Frenchmen equalling one German or anything else as asinine as that. Instead, with regards to the quality of the troops:
"Moroccan units are considered best for shock troops. They are composed of Berbers, who the French consider the best soldier material to be found in their entire empire. They are natural fighters like the Senegalese, but without the complete dependence on the white officers that marks the latter. Their value as a whole is high, but they have had little or no experience with or against armored units. This is an important factor and must be considered so.
Senegalese or colored troops: These men are noted for their bravery, fidelity and natural soldierly qualities. They are extremely willing, fairly intelligent, and get on well with other types of native regiments. Their weak points appear to be inability to grasp or master anything intricate, a natural addiction to drink, which if indulged in- makes them highly dangerous > and the usual weakness of negro troops a pathetic dependence on the white officer in action. They shoot well, learn French fairly easily, and in a few cases, become able to read and write. [Note this is the usual calumny written by American officers advising against the use of "coloreds" as combat troops and in fact was nowhere close to the truth; the French had zero real problems with their Senegalese in North Africa, Italy, or France.0
The Foreign Legion is famous for its combat efficiency and bravery in the face of the enemy. Their discipline is excellent and the small amount of punishment necessary to maintain it is in marked contrast with the popular views on the subject.
French troops are also to be given good ratings as to combat efficiency and value. They are intelligent, brave and make excellent fighters when well led. However, their personal initiative is not as high as American troops."
The report also notes the problems with morale and divided loyalties to Vichy and anger at the Germans, but noted that "However, it is felt that if ordered "by Vichy to defend North Africa, they would do so against all attackers." Why it would be any different when defending Metropolitan France is anyone's guess. The final, overall assessment of the situation was:
"Any marked weakening of the German military situation would undoubtedly have considerable effect on the attitude and morale of tho Northwest African garrisons, as they would then consider that the Vichy Government, being held prisoner by Germany, would not be in a position to make decisions and that Northwest Africa would be loyally trying to shake off the German yoke if they took up arms and received help from the Anglo-Saxon peoples."
That is more or less what happened, of course with some of the French command in North Africa partly forewarned that the Allies were coming...somehow I doubt in this scenario Mark Clark would be dispatched to Toulon a month ahead of the invasion of Southern France.
Of course the Germans would react, but between El Alamein, Mars, and Stalingrad/Caucus, they had some pretty big fires distracting them around this period.
Magical thinking. Fall ANTON took two days of planning and was executed in a single day when French resistance n North Africa collapsed. German forces reached the Mediterranean coast of France and the Italian 4th Army occupied the Riviera, by nightfall on 11 November. 4th Army began its movement at 2155 10 November.
The Italians had the 4th Army in the vicinity of the objective, but I do not know its dispositions.
Then look. The three corps and nine division of the Italian 4th Army were mostly disposed along the demilitarized zone from the coast to the Swiss border. I CA with 104 Auto.Div.”Mantova” and 105 Auto.Div.”Rovigo”,\ was furthest north and led with the 20 Alpini Sciatori (Alpine skiers), occupying Savoy to the Hautes-Alpes, mainly through the valleys of the Modane and Bourg St-Maurice. XXII CA with 2 Celere Div.”E.F.T.d’Ferro”, 103 Auto.Div.”Piacenza”, 48 (Ital) Inf.Div.”Taro”, and 5 Alp.Div.”Pusteria” was in the center and occupied the Basses-Alpes and upper Alpes-Maritimes. XII CA with 10 Auto.Div.”Piave”, 7 Inf.Div.”Lupi di Tosccana”, and 58 Inf.Div.”Legnano” occupied the coast.
The Axis will be led to the conclusion...
More magical thinking.
In terms of rail communications, most of the German army in France in 1942 was horse drawn infantry, was it not?
In other words, you don't know and are too lazy to find out, since this is yet another one of your trolling exercises.
Direct air support is from the carriers. Tac air staging to airfields in Southern France would be from the UK and the aircraft carriers. The distance by air from London to Toulon is 550nm. The Allies had tactical single and twin engine aircraft capable of staging to captured bases at this distance. The strategic bombers are operating from the UK
All of them. There is no Watchtower. The war with Japan is on ice after Midway. Hornet, Enterprise, Saratoga, Wasp, Ranger, (any overalls required are scheduled to be completed before the operation). All available British fleet carriers. All available escort carriers. If the operation captures the Southern French ports intact and the German army fails to retake them in a counterattack, Germany is in serious trouble. Now formations could debark directly into French ports from embarkation in the UK and United States.
More magical thinking. Not even a smidgen of an attempt at answering Ken's simple observation a few days ago. Instead, like all war gamers it just is counter moving and rolling high dice.
In Normandy the 15th Army was on the invasion beaches in fortified positions with armored reserves. In Southern France there is no Axis beach defense or local reserves. The bulk of the German army in France is horse drawn and cannot arrive anywhere near Toulon in a reasonable timeframe except by rail. German mechanized elements are fewer than for Overlord, and much further away, and are operating alone, not bolstering an existing fortified line of a dozen fortified divisions. Axis rail communications in Vichy are unsecured at the outset, so vulnerable to seizure by the Allies,before the Axis can secure them.
1. 15. AOK was NOT IN Normandy. Try getting simple facts straight before you begin bloviating.
2. You have zero idea what Axis forces actually deployed to occupy Southern France, so you have zero idea what the condition of beach defenses or local reserves would be. Try getting simple facts straight before you begin bloviating.
3. You have zero idea what the motorization level of the forces assembled for ANTON were. Try getting simple facts straight before you begin bloviating.
4. Axis forces did not occupy Vichy France by rail and German forces did not initially occupy Toulon. Try getting simple facts straight before you begin bloviating.
5. Very evidently you have zero idea what German mechanized elements were available for either "Overlord" [sic] or Anton. Try getting simple facts straight before you begin bloviating.
6. You have zero notion if the "Axis rail communications in Vichy were secure or insecure. Try getting simple facts straight before you begin bloviating.
Let’s say it's June 10th 1942 and King is interested in this idea from a preliminary feasibility perspective. He knows the French have a fleet in Toulon asked you to come up with a way to safeguard against this possibility of the French fleet in Toulon. What would you suggest?
Anything other than a lunatic plan relying on magical thinking for execution.
Spain is an extremely serious calculation mostly because of Gibraltar and the Straights. There are two scenarios; (a) direct landing in Vichy Southern France sometime in late 1942 or early 1943 or; (b accepting the Axis occupation of Vichy France while securing Algeria, Morrocco, Corsica and Sardinia, then making a direct landings in France in early to mid-1943. Landings in Sicily and Italy do not occur in this timeframe. The British 8th Army is left to clean up Libya. The conquest of Tunisia is left off until the ground conditions are suitable.
British 8th Army was subject to the same real-world logistical limitations as Rommel...and as a result "cleaned up" Cyrenaica and Tripolitania with the three divisions of 30 Corps (7th Armoured, 51st Highland, and 2d New Zealand) they could keep well-supplied. The German-Italian Panzerarmee and later Armeegruppe were forced to retreat from Tripoli 69 days after the end of the 2d Battle of El Alamein due to the threat posed by TORCH and the loss of 21. Panzer to 5. PzAOK, not because of the pursuing British.
In terms of getting into detailes of force structure, don't you think it better to file the idea and drop it instead?
That would certainly help, given you have demonstrated zero knowledge of the actual force structure and have instead substituted magical thinking as your panacea.
Edited by Rich, Yesterday, 04:50 PM.