So a what if thread: What if the Allies had not attacked Sicily and instead maintained their forces for Normandy

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,610
Dispargum
1,500,000 Axis casualties might be true for the whole Mediterranean Theater 1940-45, but after Sept '43 Allied and Axis casualties in Italy were about 330,000 each.




.
These last two cite 434,000 German casualties but are probably counting those who surrendered in May '45 while wiki doesn't count those.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kubis Gabcik

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,610
Dispargum
There were 26 Italian divisions occupying the Balkans and Aegean Islands, and five more in Southern France. The allied planners figured an Italian surrender would require they be replaced by German troops from Russia or Northern France, and that 8-10 more German divisions would be required to occupy Italy.
Would the Germans have sent fewer troops to these places if the Allies had not invaded Italy at all? Or if the Allies had stopped the Italian Campaign before Monte Casino? It was the Italian surrender that tied down all of these German divisions, not the ongoing Italian Campaign.
 
Feb 2014
328
Miami
Mussolini always played for the winner. He would have offered for some sort of negotiated peace once he saw the writing was on the wall with the invasion of normandy. He was already defeated from Africa and his navy was in ruins .
 
Oct 2015
932
Virginia
Would the Germans have sent fewer troops to these places if the Allies had not invaded Italy at all? Or if the Allies had stopped the Italian Campaign before Monte Casino? It was the Italian surrender that tied down all of these German divisions, not the ongoing Italian Campaign.
I was apparently ambiguous.
Drawing German troops away from Russia and Northern France to replace Italian occupation troops clearly were advantages of the Italian surrender. Landing on the mainland is what forced the surrender. The German decision to hold south of Rome, and defend the whole peninsula was the "tar baby" that sucked the Allies into an extended campaign.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chlodio

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,864
Stockport Cheshire UK
1,500,000 Axis casualties might be true for the whole Mediterranean Theater 1940-45, but after Sept '43 Allied and Axis casualties in Italy were about 330,000 each.




.
These last two cite 434,000 German casualties but are probably counting those who surrendered in May '45 while wiki doesn't count those.
The number for the Axis surrender in May 1945 is around 1,000,000.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,864
Stockport Cheshire UK
The German decision to hold south of Rome, and defend the whole peninsula was the "tar baby" that sucked the Allies into an extended campaign.
It also sucked the Germans themselves into an extended campaign and they were less able to cope with the diversion of troops and resources than the Allies.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,610
Dispargum
The number for the Axis surrender in May 1945 is around 1,000,000.
Interesting. You're right. A further google search on the Axis surrender in May '45 does say that nearly one million Axis troops surrendered in Italy and Austria.

How many troops do you think the Germans committed to the historic Italian Campaign that they would have committed elsewhere if the Allies had stopped fighting in Italy before Casino circa October '43?

It's my position that most of the German troops in Italy would still be there even if the Allies had not advanced beyond Oct '43.
 
Oct 2015
932
Virginia
[QUOTE="Chlodio, post: 3213599, member: 44820"
It's my position that most of the German troops in Italy would still be there even if the Allies had not advanced beyond Oct '43.
[/QUOTE]

Maybe not too far off.

Near as I can tell, when Hitler chose Kesselring's solution (hold south of Rome) over Rommel's (retire to Pisa-Rimini) in early November '43 there were 11 German divisions in contact with the Allies and 12 in North Italy (about half of which were rebuilding and not ready for combat).

In May '44 when the Allies finally broke thru the Winter Line and out of Anzio (Operation DIADEM) there were apparently 19 German divisions in line or reserve and 5-6 guarding Liguria, the Adriatic or the Po valley.

During the Gothic Line campaign in August-September '44 (Operation OLIVE) the Germans had ~19 divisions in line or reserve, 2 in Liguria, 2 on the Adriatic, 3 on the French border and ~3 in occupation duties or rebuilding.

Blumenson says ("Salerno to Cassino") in October '43 Rommel figured he'd need 13-20 divisions to hold the line of the Northern Appenines.
 
Last edited:
May 2019
149
Northern and Western hemispheres
1,500,000 Axis casualties might be true for the whole Mediterranean Theater 1940-45, but after Sept '43 Allied and Axis casualties in Italy were about 330,000 each.




.
These last two cite 434,000 German casualties but are probably counting those who surrendered in May '45 while wiki doesn't count those.
Are the casualty figures simply representing Axis troops who were KIA? Or do they included ones who were WIA and captured?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,610
Dispargum
Are the casualty figures simply representing Axis troops who were KIA? Or do they included ones who were WIA and captured?
The 300,000 or 400,000 I cited in post 11 are counting all Axis casualties (KIA, WIA, MIA, and captured) prior to the May '45 surrender, but do not include the 1,000,000 who surrendered at the end of the war.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kubis Gabcik