It was a "let's do something for a couple of years until we dare to attack the germans proper, and also to prevent Stalin from getting pissed off with us for not doing nothing relevant at all while he engages alone 90% of the german forces + axis and anti-soviet legions from all over Europe".
I would point out that the number of troops moved to Italy itself, as well as ancillary theaters like Yugoslavia and Greece to prevent further Allied springboarding, totaled to about 23% of what was in the Eastern Front in 1943 alone.
Don't get me wrong, the Soviets did the lion's share of defeating the Heer, but this whole "Everything the Western Allies did was irrelevant, it was all USSR" isn't really supportable.
So how do you react to the overall theater kill:loss ratio being being about 5:3 in the Allies favor? As well as forcing the collapse of the Italian government, the Germans taking over previously held Italian occupation and administration areas, as well as the higher German presence in Italy alone, let alone all the places that more troops were moved to to prevent further Allied landings?
And lastly, what else would you have done in 1943 instead?
>Let Hitler and Stalin bleed each other to death, Cold War never happens.
It probably wouldn't have happened with what we know now, but a lot of policymakers were worried about Stalin forming a separate peace, or at least truce with Hitler if the Western Allies weren't meaningfully participating.
>Why not Southern France? Try to deliver a killing blow before the Soviets get back on their feet.
If you're going to go into France, northern France makes a much better target than trying to hop all the way across the Med to go to Marseilles or somewhere, the distances are less and the terrain is friendlier.
>Were the Allies not yet ready for the invasion of the mainland proper yet?
That is the 64 million dollar question. It was debated in the lead up to Husky, and it's still being debated by academics now. I could make arguments for either side, really.
And yet they thought that Italy would be a cakewalk?
do you even the choke points those mountains create? kek
Also, why is Northern France somehow better than Southern France for landings? I get that the total distance to the Rhine and German soil is shorter and that the liberation of the whole of France is made easier by cutting the supply lines, but it's stormy as fuck across the channel and hedgerows suck.
I would have committed the forces used in Italy to the liberation of France sooner. imo it was a huge waste of time.
>And yet they thought that Italy would be a cakewalk?
Not at all, but Italy is narrower: In June of 1943, the Germans have 283 divisions on the active rolls. Now, granted, a lot of them are spread out and committed to other theaters, so the strategic reserve is a hell of a lot less than that force, but in 1943, Germany can afford to send a lot more manpower to any invasion site than the Western Allies can, and that's even completely discounting anything Italy does.
If you land in southern France, and try to break out of your beachhead, you can be surrounded, or counterattacked from several different directions. In Italy, it's harder, you just can't pack as many troops in because Italy is geographically narrow; which means the western advantages in fire support (naval bombardment, air power, etc.) mean more.
>Also, why is Northern France somehow better than Southern France for landings?
The landings itself, mostly distance. It's really the breakout after you land. From Normandy, you can proceed in several different directions, or if you have a big enough force advantage, slash in every which way simultaneously, and the Germans more or less have to guard against thrusts into Brittany, deeper south, or directly towards the Rhine. If you land in southern France, the mountains constrain where you're likely able to go, and the longer sea supply route means more of a chance for German and Italian forces based out of Italy to disrupt your communications.
I don't think the idea was ever seriously floated, but even if Stalin did go for it somehow, it would have been very, very difficult to actually coordinate between the Western forces and the Red Army. If you read up on the Italian campaign, you had enough trouble just between the Americans and the British, and those are two countries who mostly see eye to eye in the cultural and strategic sense, as well as having a common language. Trying to integrate British or American troops with Russians is going to be a hell of a job.
Also, you're going to have some trouble with the logistics. One of the biggest constraints to Lend-Lease was port space and unloading times. If you're going to ship troops to Russia, now you've got a bunch of extra troops competing for those same supplies, which will be difficult to impossible to increase overall tonnage to in order to both keep them going and keep up what you're giving to the Russians.
>To Vladivostok/Pacific Russia? Japs would probably mind >To Leningrad/Baltic states? In German hands. Also, the Skagerrak is mined and perfectly defendable by air and naval german forces >To Black Sea Russia Half of it in German hands too. Also you'd have to get through the Bosphorus and I don't think Turkey would have allowed it. >To Murmansk/Northern Russia Technically feasible except for the weather half of the year.
Not him, but OP is asking "was it a good strategic move", which seems to be asking was it a good move based on the information available at the time. Note how he draws a distinction between the strategic level distinction and operational level problems.
I mean, if you're going to use hindsight, why not use the hindsight that Clark was a dimwit, Alexander couldn't rein his subordinates in, you'd have bickering between the two Allied forces, and a shit-ton of bad decisionmaking which would inevitably lead to catastrophe and judge that because of the imbeciles you have wearing brass in the theater, it's a fool's errand?
>>574033 What was bad about it? It removed Italy and the Italian navy from the equation. Allied forces now had another vector for strategic bombing and easy access to Romanian oil fields. They fucked it up by being too tentative.
The main counterargument against it is that the forces used in Italy advanced slowly and bloodily, and could have been more effectively deployed elswhere; the usual candidate location being northern France.
The Italian navy was already pretty much out of action by 1943 in any event, and strategic bombing never really did a lot of damage to Ploesti anyway. If you want to argue for it, you'd probably get more mileage out of the deployment of German land troops, not only to Italy itself, but to places like Yugoslavia, Albania, and Greece, which now needed to be guarded against successive landings.
>>574620 Your argument would make a lot more sense if you didn't get your facts wrong. The Italian navy was very much a threat in 1943. Strategic bombing put Romanian oil out of action, just not in 1943. It's hilarious also that you think going straight to France wouldn't have been bloody, in fact that the allies would've been effective despite not having any operational/strategic/tactical experience of note.
In may of 1943, the Italian fleet was down to 3 battleships, the Giulio Cesare, the Caio Duilio, and the Andrea Doria. They were all finished during WW1. None of them had sailed since 1942. They were not a threat.
>Strategic bombing put Romanian oil out of action, just not in 1943.
Soviet troops capturing it put it out of action. Tidal wave was a disaster. None of the other raids did significant damage.
>It's hilarious also that you think going straight to France wouldn't have been bloody, in fact that the allies would've been effective despite not having any operational/strategic/tactical experience of note.
And that didn't apply in Italy as well? And in Normandy, you could argue, the American advantages in logistics would be felt in a more mobile front.
>>575953 >In may of 1943, the Italian fleet was down to 3 battleships, the Giulio Cesare, the Caio Duilio, and the Andrea Doria. What the fuck are you smoking? They still had the three Vittorio Veneto class, one of which was sunk by *the Germans* en route to Malta to surrender, and two others survived the war.
>>575953 >Soviet troops capturing it put it out of action. Tidal wave was a disaster. None of the other raids did significant damage. No, you are factually wrong. Not that I find that surprising.
>And that didn't apply in Italy as well? And in Normandy, you could argue, the American advantages in logistics would be felt in a more mobile front. No, it wouldn't apply in the same way, because there was fuckload less defense in Italy. The landings weren't even opposed.
All three of the Littorio class were undergoing pretty serious repairs, since every time they went out, the British were beating them up. They were not on the active rolls in May. Not to mention that even at the best of times, fuel shortages meant that they could sail only sporadically.
>>577199 >All three of the Littorio class were undergoing pretty serious repairs, since every time they went out, the British were beating them up. I'm mostly going to ignore this backtracking and goalpost-moving.
>Tidal wave was a flop. Tidal wave was one of hundreds of missions sent against oil targets, which successfully reduced Germany's petrol fuel production by a 3rd from 1943 to 1944 at a time when they were desperately trying to increase fuel production.
>http://www.historynet.com/avalanche-how-both-sides-lost-at-salerno.htm Allies landed 4 divisions without any bombardment or air strikes to soften up the enemy. The American divisions landed with practically no resistance, whatsoever, as did American Rangers and British Commandos. Only the 2 British infantry divisions met any resistance, and even that was mild. They were able to land and advance regardless. It's hilarious that you are trying to use Avalanche as proof that Italy was heavily defended. But then again you are the moron who started out by claiming the three Vittorio Veneto BBs did not exist in 1943.
Its simple, Italy is full of fuckhuge mountains and hills. The South is like 45 degrees in the summer and -5 in the Winter. Incompetent generals always left the germans with enough time to set up good positions and choose the battlefield. Rivers god dam everywhere.
>>579336 Italy is also basically coastlines, the country. The allies could've made use of their massive naval edge to flank and block huge parts of the country, bagging whatever army is cut off. Instead they decided to land on the edge and slowly creep up.
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