Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

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AnchorSteam
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 22 Dec 2020 10:06

Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2020 07:06
Let me get this straight...in January 1940 the Italians begin planning for a major series of carefully coordinated operations that will coincide with the Germans overrunning France and the Low Countries, leaving Britain alone to contend against them. Is that more or less the premise?

How do they know when and what the Germans will do?
They don't. Read the first post in the thread
Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2020 07:06
I thought it was Bari and Trento?...
Bari OR Trento.
Please read more slowly.
Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2020 07:06
Perfectly feasible? You sure about that? You plan on moving a non-motorized division by poorly developed roads to a pretty tight time schedule...
WHAT Division?!?
No, there is no Division involved in this. As stated, there are two Blackshirt Battalions involved in the Aden operation with a very specific make-up. On the odd chance that not enough men are in the most populated part of Eritrea, then the men (one or two hundred, tops) are making that trip.
These men won't make or break the operation, either.
I'm starting to think you are doing this on purpose.
Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2020 07:06
Not very curious are you?
Weaving these little insults into every post is pointless; I am not going to lose my temper and say something that will get me banned.
Its just not that important.
And yes, the list of airfleds is good, but there is no specific information about them. Why, were the British airfelds in the region all in tip-top shape?

Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2020 07:06
If I hammer at what ifs it is at the inveterate absence of grounding in any actual history they are. Most are pretty clumsy wargaming exercises of the shoving counters around a map ilk that give no thought to what really needs to change. In this case you are following the typical route of shuffling the various assets of the Italian forces about as if they are counters on a game board, then employing hindsight to calculate where, when, and how they can best be deployed against their adversaries, without understanding why they were where they were historically. That isn't "Alt. History" by any stretch of the imagination.
Minus the "clumsy" part and "hindsight", that is exactly what I am doing here and I make no bones about it. Wargame Exercises have a long and honorable history.... and if you had been reading my exchanges with the others here, you will see that I have been diligently and persistently avoiding the use of hindsight/foresight... much to the dismay and incredultity of one of them.

Politics disgust me, and all of the rest of it is entirely subjective. I ain't going down that Rabbit Hole.
a- its boring
b- it cannot be argued to a definitive end.
I am dealing with that which is mechanically possible, and the posts are way too long already.
The topic is what it is, so stick to it or start a thread of your own.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 22 Dec 2020 11:39

Hi anchorstream,

It is "mechanically possible" for Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco or San Marino to have won the war, but it is neither likely nor productive to pursue these unlikely scenarios.

As I said earlier, Italy's deficiencies and limitations preceded Mussolini by decades. Simply having Mussolini reshuffle his already limited resources isn't likely to change outcomes significantly. It is not as if the Italians weren't trying, anyway.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Dec 2020 16:42

AnchorSteam wrote:
22 Dec 2020 10:06
They don't. Read the first post in the thread
Okay, so this is an independent, Italian scheme for Italian domination? This just a year or so after the Italian general staff told Benito even the limited plan he desired for seizing the Suez was infeasible?
Bari OR Trento.
Please read more slowly.
WHAT Division?!?
No, there is no Division involved in this. As stated, there are two Blackshirt Battalions involved in the Aden operation with a very specific make-up. On the odd chance that not enough men are in the most populated part of Eritrea, then the men (one or two hundred, tops) are making that trip.
These men won't make or break the operation, either.
I'm starting to think you are doing this on purpose.
Okay, so then it is just an agglomeration of random battalion-size units and irregulars heading for Aden. Thanks for clarifying.
Weaving these little insults into every post is pointless; I am not going to lose my temper and say something that will get me banned.
Its just not that important.
And yes, the list of airfleds is good, but there is no specific information about them.
They are not meant as insults, but as observations. I have noticed too often that a demand for sources is simply a means of deflection and the sources given are rarely ever consulted once given. That seems to be the case here.
Why, were the British airfelds in the region all in tip-top shape?
Sorry, but where did I say that? You might want to look at the actual air operations and ask why so many missions were under a dozen aircraft at a time.
Minus the "clumsy" part and "hindsight", that is exactly what I am doing here and I make no bones about it. Wargame Exercises have a long and honorable history.... and if you had been reading my exchanges with the others here, you will see that I have been diligently and persistently avoiding the use of hindsight/foresight... much to the dismay and incredultity of one of them.
You've looked at the Italian RE performance in the war and decided to reform its organization into corps tailored to better performance against specific targets and that isn't hindsight? You've calculated the necessary RM requirement to temporarily overwhelm the RN in the Red Sea and moved additional assets to gain it and that isn't hindsight? You've decided the RA needs various aircraft redeployed to do the same versus the RAF and that isn't hindsight?
Politics disgust me, and all of the rest of it is entirely subjective. I ain't going down that Rabbit Hole.
a- its boring
b- it cannot be argued to a definitive end.
I am dealing with that which is mechanically possible, and the posts are way too long already.
The topic is what it is, so stick to it or start a thread of your own.
Really? I thought politics was simply the continuation of war by other means?

As Sid pointed out, tt is "mechanically possible" for Nazi Germany to load Panzer divisions on board ships and land them at the port of New York, in order to conquer the United States. It simply requires a suspension of disbelief.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 22 Dec 2020 23:29

Sid Guttridge wrote:
22 Dec 2020 11:39
Hi anchorstream,

It is "mechanically possible" for Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco or San Marino to have won the war, but it is neither likely nor productive to pursue these unlikely scenarios.
I would strongly dispute that.
They don't have the material, the population or any reason to do so. What could they do, occupy a couple of counties? Help assassinate someone?
I'd really like to know what you base that statement on, exactly.
Sid Guttridge wrote:
22 Dec 2020 11:39
As I said earlier, Italy's deficiencies and limitations preceded Mussolini by decades. Simply having Mussolini reshuffle his already limited resources isn't likely to change outcomes significantly. It is not as if the Italians weren't trying, anyway.

Cheers,

Sid.
I disagree that there is nothing that could have been done to improve Italy's slip-shod planning and allocation of key units in the lead-up to the war. Japan was also held in low regard, until the ballon went up, and things sure changed in a hurry after that despite the odds and their own limitations.

It isn't hindsight. It is looking at the military problems that are right there staring them in the face, and being resourceful with what was actually available.
99% of what I am doing in the IEA is with what was already there. It is called being resourceful and thinking outside the box.
I would have thought that there would be some people here who might be interested in that sort of thing.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 23 Dec 2020 00:42

Hi anchorstream,

You post, "I disagree that there is nothing that could have been done to improve Italy's slip-shod planning and allocation of key units in the lead-up to the war."

I see no no reason to disagree with that. My point is that fundamental problems, such as under industrialisation or lack of natural resources, required extremely long term planning to address, some of them considerably longer than the two decades Mussolini had in power.

I don't think that rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic is likely to do much to change outcomes significantly!

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S. The Andorra, etc., stuff was tongue in cheek. But since you ask, provided the Andorrans, Monacans, Sammarinesi and Liechtensteiners all shoot straight and nobody else does, it is "mechanically possible" that they could win the war. But, as I said, "it is neither likely nor productive to pursue these unlikely scenarios."
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 23 Dec 2020 01:39, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 23 Dec 2020 00:55

AnchorSteam wrote:
22 Dec 2020 23:29
99% of what I am doing in the IEA is with what was already there. It is called being resourceful and thinking outside the box.
I would have thought that there would be some people here who might be interested in that sort of thing.
I think the problem is that you appear to be ignoring the realities of "what was already there" and what it had been doing up to that point. From 1935-1940 about 51% of the Italian state expenditure was for funding the conquest and pacification of Ethiopia (the campaign against the insurgencies there lasted well into 1939), the Spanish expedition, and the conquest of Albania. The armed forces were exhausted from five years of operations, ill-thought out military reforms and reorganizations, and worse thought out strategic direction from Mussolini. Moreover, Mussolini himself was not unaware of the problems, stating in March 1940 "Italy cannot perform a long war, that means she cannot spend hundreds of billions as the other belligerent nations are currently forced to do; our unpreparedness is due to the African and Spanish wars."

On the outbreak of war the Pariani reforms left the RE re-organized into the binary division structure and trying to retrain, while waiting for new weapons and equipment that in general never appeared. Even funding for basic maintenance was missing; in January 1939 the Duke of Aosta, Viceroy of AOI begged for 5-billion lire for his forces in theater to meet the requirements of the planned limited-offensive/defensive strategy the Italian General Staff had already accepted was all they could do...he got 900-million lire in April 1940. The only modern artillery he had was 16 75/46 pieces, but otherwise he had zero AT guns and few AA guns, most of those concentrated at Massawa and Addis. They had an estimated 7 months of POL, 1 to 2 months of vehicle tires, 6 months of rations, and extremely limited supplies of ammunition. Just the operations to seize French Somaliland and to evict the British from their little corner of Somalia exhausted the Italian military resources to such a degree that Aosta ordered a strict defensive posture by early September, long before the Italian reverses in Libya doomed the AOI to isolation.

Thinking outside the box is not a magic bullet. If the Italians somehow manage to seize Aden, how long before the British countermeasures leave the forces there isolated? How long before British forces deployed from South Africa and India shifted the balance of power in the region?
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 23 Dec 2020 03:47

Onwards, to present the full picture, and what it all amounts to in the end.

West and South.

5,000 Colonial Troops from southwest part of Ethiopia advance into the South Sudan as shown. They are plunging into a vacuum, but this move does have two important goals;
1- sever north-south land communications for British Colonial Africa even before the fall of Khartoum.
2- This is a bit nasty, but since we are dealing with a Fascist Government....
Southwest Ethiopia is the least favorable disposed part of the country to Italian rule, and the most likely to rise in rebellion. Therefore any cross-border tribal animosity is to be exploited by the choice of units being sent, and military discipline in regard to the treatment of civilians is not to be enforced. This is to include any British settlers.
It is thought that this will allow the Colonial Troops to enrich themselves while at the same time discourage any British attempts to woe them away from their duty with the Italian Empire. These men are to be rotated home as is practicable, to share their stories of easy conquest and show off their booty. This should also dismay the old men back home and discourage them from reaching out to the enemy.

Jubba is the closest thing to a key location in this front, and the airfeld there opens an interesting possibility. The Duke of Aosta's personal aircraft is a Fokker tri-motor, not an Italian machine. A common sight here is one at Kassala in Sudan;
Mittelholzer-fokker.jpg
Near sunset on the day before the DOW takes effect, this aircraft (repainted of course) can make its approach from the west, loaded with a squad of cutthroat veterans chosen for fighting ability and their ability to appear to be any nationality other than Italian, and armed with concealed wepons. (this will be a miniature version of what the Germans did to Norway).
If (big if, but only a dozen men are being risked) These men can pass themselves off in this sleepy little town, they should be able to take control of the airport's control tower ... probably a shack... and use the radio to guide six Ca.148 and S.73 transports in with close to a Company worth of Infantry aboard for a midnight seizure of the town.
This little band will have to be supported by patrol flights from Ca.133, more for observation than combat. If a substantial British force approaches they will have to be evacuated by air after doing all the damage they possible can to the local infrastructure.
914+fXW10-L._AC_SL1500_.jpg
One more note; A mobile reserve for small actions will be needed, it won't be enough just to turn this area into "Indian Country". Fortunetly there is just such a unit forming; the German Company. They even managed to acquire vehicles and some armor plate for a few of them. They were ready by October, perhaps they could have been ready in September if Berlin could be persuaded to send down a plane-load of gear for them and one tough old NCO to help organize them.
This would be the front for them, and just in case things go bad and all those war-crimes become a problem late on, we can always blame the Germans! :o


And now, in very brief, the South;

40,000 Colonial troops plus the one reinforcement Division from Italy will take part in this operation, which will be receiving the bulk of the air support in the theater after Aden.
This operation is part advance, part retreat, as show;
(sorry, but I had to shrink this one WAY down!)
southernFront.png
The southern tip of Somalia will have to be abandoned (as was the case IRL) and the entire point of this campaign is to shorten the front by half.
That's it.
Even if it is possible or thought to be possible to advance to Mombassa and Nairobi, this is NOT to be done.

Simply put, if the Red Sea can be closed to British Mercantile traffic, yes, the British in the Middle East are cut off except for Basra, and the only rail link to Basra passes through Turkey in 1940. So where are all the British reinforcements headed for that threater going to land?
Kenya, obviously.
There is no point in taking Mombasa becuase if you do there is still Dar as Salam father south. If you could by some miracle take Dar, right offshore is Zanzibar, and there is no chance at all of doing anything about that base.

So, along with Berbera, this is where all of our advances come to an end.

How does this win anything for Italy, then?

That will be revealed in my next post; Endgame.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 23 Dec 2020 04:13

So who is really at Aden? :D

CL HMNZS Leander, 8 6-inch and 4 4-inch
CL HMAS Hobart, 8 6-inch and 4 4-inch
CLAA HMS Carlisle 8 4-inch
DD HMS Kandahar, Khartoum, and Kingston (Kimberley at Bombay for boiler cleaning), 6 4.7-inch
Sloop HMS Auckland (8 4-inch), Flamingo (6 4-inch), Shoreham (2 4-inch), and HMIS Cornwallis (2 4-inch)
MS HMS Derby (1 4-inch and 1 3-inch) and Huntley (1 4-inch and 1 3-inch)
AMC Antenor (6 6-inch and 2 3-inch)
ASW-T Kingston Amber (1 4-inch) and Moonstone (1 4-inch)

Sloops HMS Grimsby (2 4.7-inch and 1 3-inch) and HMIS Clive (2 4-inch) formed Force S off Port Sudan on convoy duty.

Then, about five days easy steaming away, at Alexandria, was the Mediterranean Fleet, 3 BB, 1 CV, 8 CL, and 18 DD, while about the same distance to the east was the East Indies Command at Bombay with 1 CA and 2 CL, 2 AMC, 1 sloop, and 2 MS.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Peter89 » 23 Dec 2020 09:22

AnchorSteam wrote:
23 Dec 2020 03:47
Onwards, to present the full picture, and what it all amounts to in the end.

Simply put, if the Red Sea can be closed to British Mercantile traffic, yes, the British in the Middle East are cut off except for Basra, and the only rail link to Basra passes through Turkey in 1940.
Basra?
With what exactly was Basra connected with via rail in June 1940?

Baghdad.

The final part of the railway line to Turkey was only finished on 15 July. Besides, the Basra-Baghdad line was metre gauge, the rest was standard.

Also, even on 15 July, the railway did end in the Vichy Levant.

I presume you thought that Basra was linked to Suez and the Palestine railways, but in fact that missing piece between Lebanon and Palestine was not even started before the British conquered the Levant in 1941.

AnchorSteam wrote:
23 Dec 2020 03:47

So where are all the British reinforcements headed for that threater going to land?
Kenya, obviously.
Obviously not. The Italian fleet at the Red Sea was never able to stop the British flow of matériel to Suez, and they had 0 chance to do so with their ships and airforce.
AnchorSteam wrote:
23 Dec 2020 03:47
There is no point in taking Mombasa becuase if you do there is still Dar as Salam father south. If you could by some miracle take Dar, right offshore is Zanzibar, and there is no chance at all of doing anything about that base.

So, along with Berbera, this is where all of our advances come to an end.

How does this win anything for Italy, then?

That will be revealed in my next post; Endgame.
So an overwhelming majority of the British colonies is untouched, their control of the sea is not even contested, their bases in the Med are up and running, the troops and naval aviation units are attacking France's local population centres with little forces, and strike a devastating blow against a hulk of a school ship in Toulon.

I hoped you'll come up at least a major naval battle which they win somehow, but like this, it's simply not enough.

In the meanwhile, the Germans actually crippled the BEF and started to sink ships at an alarming rate, lay aerial siege on the British Isles...

I think your moves will barely get noticed in London.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 23 Dec 2020 20:23

Richard Anderson wrote:
23 Dec 2020 04:13
So who is really at Aden? :D
All of that, right there in Aden, on the 12th of June?
Boy oh boy, the Bombers sure are going to have some fun!
How long did it take for those Cruisers to get up steam, 45 mintuers? An hour for the older ones?
And then the Submarines are waiting....
Richard Anderson wrote:
23 Dec 2020 04:13
Then, about five days easy steaming away, at Alexandria, was the Mediterranean Fleet, 3 BB, 1 CV, 8 CL, and 18 DD, while about the same distance to the east was the East Indies Command at Bombay with 1 CA and 2 CL, 2 AMC, 1 sloop, and 2 MS.
All that, coming down the Red Sea? Looks like the Med is now an Italian Lake and Cyprus is back on the table! :thumbsup:

And in those 4 days there will be some nice minefields set up to greet them. Sounds lovely to me.

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 23 Dec 2020 20:29

Peter89 wrote:
23 Dec 2020 09:22
Also, even on 15 July, the railway did end in the Vichy Levant.

I presume you thought that Basra was linked to Suez and the Palestine railways, but in fact that missing piece between Lebanon and Palestine was not even started before the British conquered the Levant in 1941.
So the UK Mid-East command is even more isolated than I had thought it would be. Even better.


quote=Peter89 post_id=2310500 time=1608711753 user_id=79052]Obviously not. The Italian fleet at the Red Sea was never able to stop the British flow of matériel to Suez, and they had 0 chance to do so with their ships and airforce.
[/quote]

They didn't have Aden, or Perim Island, or a squadron of MTBs in running oroder with a nice shallow draft that would allow them to skate above the mines while attacking the minsweepers trying to clear a channel.


quote=Peter89 post_id=2310500 time=1608711753 user_id=79052]I think your moves will barely get noticed in London.
[/quote]

Oh yea of little faith....

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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Peter89 » 23 Dec 2020 21:17

AnchorSteam wrote:
23 Dec 2020 20:29
Peter89 wrote:
23 Dec 2020 09:22
Also, even on 15 July, the railway did end in the Vichy Levant.

I presume you thought that Basra was linked to Suez and the Palestine railways, but in fact that missing piece between Lebanon and Palestine was not even started before the British conquered the Levant in 1941.
So the UK Mid-East command is even more isolated than I had thought it would be. Even better.

Peter89 wrote:
23 Dec 2020 09:22
Obviously not. The Italian fleet at the Red Sea was never able to stop the British flow of matériel to Suez, and they had 0 chance to do so with their ships and airforce.


They didn't have Aden, or Perim Island, or a squadron of MTBs in running oroder with a nice shallow draft that would allow them to skate above the mines while attacking the minsweepers trying to clear a channel.


quote=Peter89 post_id=2310500 time=1608711753 user_id=79052]I think your moves will barely get noticed in London.
Oh yea of little faith....
It's not a question of faith, the Italian Red Sea naval units were not strong enough a force to close the Red Sea. If the Italians try what you said and by some miracle succeed, they'll get destroyed by the next move of the British with no chance to reinforce their positions.

The one and only chance they've got was to attack the British with full force the time they were imbalanced and focused mainly to defend their homeland. The Italians tried it, but ultimately failed, and in the end, they became obliterated by an inferior British force. Such a humiliating defeat is almost without equal in WW2.

What happened on the seas was even more odd, because the British were reckless enough to give the Italians at least one good and one excellent chance to wipe the RN from the Mediterranean. Instead, the RN managed to pull off two inconclusive draws and two humiliating defeats.

The Italians were forced on the defensive by spring 1941, and without German intervention, they'd crumble very soon. You have to take this fact into account, and the causes for it, ie. the Italian units were not capable of doing what they ought to do on paper; and what you claim is that they could do that and much, much more.

Let's not forget the British side. They are not sitting idly by as a lame duck and wait for the Italians to give them a pounding and then simply "give in". They just began to realize that they'll sacrifice everything to win that war against a very much more fearsome foe than the Italians. They went as far as attacking the French in order to eliminate the possibility to use their ships against Britain. Their capitol was bombed frequently, their army was decimated and without much equipment, and they were under siege from the air. They were determined to fight through the war, no matter the cost.

What they did historically was that they eliminated the possible Axis breakout routes from the continent, thus rebuilding the shattered continental blockade.

First, the "French threat" was dealt with from 3 July 1940 to 12 November 1940, forcing the Vichy colonies to choose sides preferably without bloodshed.
Then Egypt was consolidated between 9 December 1940 and 5 February 1941.
Then, Italian East Africa was consolidated between 26 January 1941 and 9 February 1941.
Then the Greek front was stabilized, and by earl April, the Italians were almost kicked out of the Balkans, but the Germans saved their... souls.
Then the Iraqi rebellion was taken care of, then the Levant was secured, then Iran was conquered.
Etc. etc.
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by AnchorSteam » 23 Dec 2020 21:41

-- ENDGAME--

Or; what I was driving at all along.

By August, this is the situation that this Plan aims to create;
situation;August-Sept.1940.png
The red cross-hatched areas are what Italy has gone way out on a limb to occupy. The closing of the Red Sea is of course the big item, but having an army more than halfway across Egypt is also a major problem and sure to be noticed in London.
Keep in mind that there are no Germans involved in the Med., there are also no Italian Air Force unit involved in the Battle of Britain.

However....
There are a handful of Germans arriving at Jubba, just above Uganda, one of the most densely populated and lucrative Colonies in Africa. For propaganda purposes we can call them a Brigade, who's to know?
TheGermnCompany.jpg
But, south of the Rivera, that's all there are.

Now, consider this; The Battle of Britiain is at it's height. Predictably, the Germans are putting tremendous pressure on the UK to back out of the war. That is Germany's war aim at this point; get a peace deal with Britian.... but they are being stubborn, and this is something the Plan did not anticipate. How could it?
However, it did set up a very nice opportunity for a sweet deal for Italy;

Look at the map, that is a bad situation for Britain; they have nothing to send from the Home Isles while the B.O.B. is raging. South Africa ended up sending obsolete Ju-86s that had been sold to them as Airliners to work as bombers... because there was nothing else. A whole theater is being strategically isolated.
Yes, temporarily, but there is a window of opportunity here, thanks to the timing of all this.


Italy's terms;

Look at the map again, the cross-hatched areas are what I am thinking Rome's demands should be limited to.
Malta, of course. No matter if it is taken or not, this should be easily do-able and required for any reasonable settlement. Cyprus and the final disposition of Tunisa are negotiable, but Malta alone would be the one possession in the Mediterranean that must change hands, for the sake of prestige if nothing else.
The Balkans now fall within the Italian sphere of influence, not British. This is to be couched in terms of economic affairs, not military.

Down south, British Somaliland is a given, its not worth much and the Brits tried to give it away to prevent the invasion of Ethiopia a few years back. Aden, yes, we want that, and Port Sudan, more on that in a moment.
Sudan, Kenya? If Italy offers to pull out aside from some very small gains and that annoying salient in N.E. Kenya, I think that will sweeten the pot a great deal, and occupied Egypt is just more sand that isn't any different from Libyan sand.

See that asterix up by Suez? That is the good part.
Italy's final term is 51% ownership of the Suez canal, as a war indemnity.
No doubt, they will try to knock us down to 50%, or less, but this is the kicker; Italy gets half the revenue, and a say in who does or does not get to use that canal.... and this would automatically be revoked in the event of another war between Italy and Britain.

That's the hook; Italy looses much of what it gained if it ever tries a "stab in the back" again.

The end results of less than 100 days of war;
1) Italy's economic situation just took one hell of a turn for the better. :D
2) with 50% control of traffic in the north and a potential stranglehold on the south, the Red Sea just became an Italian Lake.
3) by not reaching for the stars Italy has shown itself to be the reasonable Fascist power, and in an excellent position to be a player in the International geo-political games to come.
4) by going along with this, Britian lost little that it can't afford, and now the Med & Red Sea shipping routes are open to them again just at it's greatest moment of crisis.

Italy can also assume the roll of buddy-boy with a strong right arm in the Balkans, and things will probably be a lot less exciting for Yugoslavia and Greece in the coming years.

But what of Germany?
Yeah, what about them?
The Tripartite Pact has not been sighed yet. Italy did not need Berlin's permission to enter this war, it needs no such permission to exit it. It is a good thing I had a strong army doing it's best to make a good showing agianst the French, and made no move to remove it from that area once the fighting was done there, yes? :milwink:

As for German hostility.... why would they bother to get too huffy about it? Winter is coming, and in the Spring; Russia. Over all, they should be grateful that the plans Admiral Reader was fiddling with won't have to be implemented, and two additional Panzer Divisions are a better boost for Barbarossa than what Mussolini sent .... not to mention the logistic burden Africa posed.

Lastly, the UK has no Mediterranean theater to worry about an no long shipping delays regarding Oil and Troopships from India.
I really don't know what effect this will have, other than to put Sealion on the shelf permanently, but that was never going to work in any case.

It was not easy holding all that back this long, but I think the point is made.
Yes, Italy could not win a long war (what did you think, Italy was supposed to roll up the whole British Empire on it's own? :roll: ) but a limited war with limited objectives was very possible.

Need I remind anyone that Machiavelli was an Italian?
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Peter89
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Peter89 » 23 Dec 2020 21:50

And Leonardo da Vinci was also an Italian, but the painting you made on the map makes no more sense than the political endgame you've described.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Richard Anderson
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Re: Could Italy have won the war in 1940?

Post by Richard Anderson » 24 Dec 2020 01:11

AnchorSteam wrote:
23 Dec 2020 20:23
All of that, right there in Aden, on the 12th of June?
Do you think Aden was a parking lot?
Boy oh boy, the Bombers sure are going to have some fun!
Probably not. In the Italian raid on Aden on 13 June, nine Italian aircraft were claimed by Carlisle and the shore defenses, for no loss.
How long did it take for those Cruisers to get up steam, 45 mintuers? An hour for the older ones?
Why do they need to get up steam? You do think its a car park?
And then the Submarines are waiting....
For what? To be sunk?

Macallé ran aground 15 June 1940 near Port Sudan after its crew was poisoned by gases in the air conditioning system.
Galileo Galilei was captured 19 June 1940 in the Red Sea by ASW-T Moonstone its crew was poisoned by gases in the air conditioning system. Somehow "something seems to be wrong with our air conditioning, engage the enemy more closely, just does not have much of a ring to it... :lol:
Galvani was sunk 26 June 1940 in the Persian Gulf by HMS Falmouth.
Toricelli was scuttled 23 June 1940 after a gun battle with Shoreham, Khartoum, Kandahar, and Kingston.

To flee after the Italian defeat in AOI?

Galileo Ferraris escaped but was sunk 25 October 1941 in the Atlantic east of Madeira.
Perla escaped but was captured 9 July 1942 near Beirut by HMS Hyacinth.
Guglielmotti escaped but was sunk 17 March 1942 by HMS Unbeaten.
Archimede escaped but was sunk 15 April 1943.

The Italian submarines, like the rest of the Italian AOI squadron, did bupkis.
All that, coming down the Red Sea? Looks like the Med is now an Italian Lake and Cyprus is back on the table! :thumbsup:
No, all of that is available.
And in those 4 days there will be some nice minefields set up to greet them. Sounds lovely to me.
How? With what? Wherever did you get the idea that there were 800 mines at Aden? Or that 800 mines would be an effective barrier to anything in the Red Sea.

{Edit to fix date of Italian air raid on Aden]
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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