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Thread: What if....Rommel beat the Brits at the first battle of Alemein?

  1. #31
    Peacemaker Zorro C9's Avatar
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    Not to mention all zee German forces were in Normandy in 43. IIRC, anyway.

  2. #32
    Bush Lawyer, that's me! TheKiwi's Avatar
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    From my recollection, there were fewer German forces in France at the time, but that was because the allies seemed unlikely to be able to invade (being tied up in Africa). You can note just how fast they poured reinforcements into Italy after Huskey. Although France would be more difficult for them to do that (with the closeness of the UK and hence air power), the transport plan to cripple the French rail network wouldn't have been as easy as the USAAF wasn't nearly as strong as it was in 1944. And the Luftwaffe hadn't been broken like they were in 1944 either.

  3. #33
    Junior sized package member Toddy1's Avatar
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    Speaking of coastal defences, Normandy, 1944 etc wasn't Herr Rommel away in Germany at a crucial time when he should have been inspecting the defences etc?

  4. #34
    Bush Lawyer, that's me! TheKiwi's Avatar
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    Rommell was indeed away in Germany for his wifes birthday. He felt he could get away for a couple of days as the German weather forcecasts were that the weather would remain impossible for an invasion. The allies one of course disagreed (benefits of the efforts put into shutting down German weather reporting stations and ships).

    However since the authority to unleash the panzers rested with Hitler, it's unlikely his presence would have made a difference.

  5. #35
    Peacemaker Zorro C9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKiwi View Post
    From my recollection, there were fewer German forces in France at the time, but that was because the allies seemed unlikely to be able to invade (being tied up in Africa). You can note just how fast they poured reinforcements into Italy after Huskey. Although France would be more difficult for them to do that (with the closeness of the UK and hence air power), the transport plan to cripple the French rail network wouldn't have been as easy as the USAAF wasn't nearly as strong as it was in 1944. And the Luftwaffe hadn't been broken like they were in 1944 either.
    I was under the impression that the majority of the forces were in Normandy before being moved to Calais as a result of the deception operation. I'll have to check on that.

  6. #36
    Bush Lawyer, that's me! TheKiwi's Avatar
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    Regardless of where the Germans were in 1943, they were certainly capable at the time of quite rapidly relocating them as events in Italy showed.

  7. #37
    Junior sized package member Toddy1's Avatar
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    1943 was a really quiet period of the war in the grand scheme of things. Was this down to consolidation of position, conserving of supplies, a lull after almost 5 years of fighting or stockpiling everything for the big 1944 offensives?

  8. #38
    Bush Lawyer, that's me! TheKiwi's Avatar
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    Don't mention it as a "quiet" period to the Soviets. Or to the Marines on Guadacanal. Or to the folks in Tunisia and then Italy.

  9. #39
    Junior sized package member Toddy1's Avatar
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    Sorry I should have clarified, I was specifically talking about the Western Front. As we were talking about this just before.

  10. #40
    Bush Lawyer, that's me! TheKiwi's Avatar
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    Well I guess Italy counts as that for the western allies. Certainly it was where all the action was along with the skies over Germany.

  11. #41
    Junior sized package member Toddy1's Avatar
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    I know that, but in terms of the magnitude of 1944 events, it was significantly "quieter"? No? Even events Italy took off in 1944.

    BTW did you ask permission to use my Osprey Cover for your avatar?

  12. #42
    Bush Lawyer, that's me! TheKiwi's Avatar
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    I dunno, the surrender of Italy counts for a lot.

    I asked the Booobenflippinschtoppinmaschenfuher and she gave me permission to use the avatar.

  13. #43
    Member Kiiski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    With 20/20 hindsight we might have ignored the Italian shenanigans in North Africa entirely and invaded France in the summer of 1943 instead of 1944. The U.S. and UK might have gotten to Berlin while the USSR were still east of Poland. What if?
    The British Army didn't really have much to do in Europe before D-Day. I think it made perfect sense to fight in the Western desert. As has been pointed out, loss of Suez would have had serious consequences. While doing so, they did draw Axis resources from Eastern Front. Although the amount of Axis troops in Africa wasn't all that big, it took Germans and Italians plenty of effort to keep them there.

    As for the American involvement, it did shorten the war in Africa dramatically.

    It is perhaps understandable to 'belittle' the Western war effort in WWII as the Wehrmacht was pretty much 'bled white' in the Eastern Front during 1941-44. However, one major Anglo-American triumph has been largely overlooked:

    British and American forces took [SIZE=3]230 thousand [/SIZE]prisoners at the end of the Tunisian campaign.

    This is certainly comparable with the endgame in Stalingrad a few weeks earlier.
    I find it most surprising that this Western triumph has been all but overlooked while Stalingrad is trumpeted as the decisive moment of the war (which it may well have been).

  14. #44
    Peacemaker Zorro C9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiiski View Post
    The British Army didn't really have much to do in Europe before D-Day.
    Sicily, Greece, the Italian Campaign?

  15. #45
    Senior Member LineDoggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zorro C9 View Post
    Sicily, Greece, the Italian Campaign?
    And the Great Raids, St. Nazaire, Dieppe, Vaagso, Lofoten islands, Spitsbergen Bruneval tied down enormous Wehrmacht resources out of all proportion to damage inflicted. Some 57 Combined Ops raids of various strengths made the Germans itchy at night along Festung Europa

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