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Overlord in the Med.

 
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Overlord in the Med. - 10/28/2011 1:29:55 AM   
sPzAbt653


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Churchill always wanted to avoid D-Day in France and lobbied for an Overlord assault in the Balkans. The US apparently never considered it, but it poses an interesting hypothetical. So I'm trying to noodle thru the best plan, and so far have come up with this : The British 6th Airborne land on Crete and the Canadians also land at Juno Beach there. Once Crete is secure the Canadians move on to land at Southern Greece and clear the penninsula there. The British land at Sword and Gold in eastern Greece and clear the are and capture the port of Athens. The US land at Utah and Omaha to cut Greece off from Axis reinforcement with the assistance of the 101st and 82nd Airborne and to establish a firm northern perimeter to the lodgement area.

Throwing it out there in case anyone else wants to offer an opinion/theory.




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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/28/2011 1:32:58 AM   
sPzAbt653


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As an alternate, the green lines indicate moving the British to the western side of Greece, and the Canadians moving on Athens once Crete is cleared. This plan might have been considered in order to prevent shipping conjestion on the east side of Crete and for closer air support from the bases in Italy.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/28/2011 11:49:34 AM   
Telumar


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Hm. If the Allies had decided upon this strategy, wouldn't it have been better if Crete had been liberated in an earlier operation? Then they wouldn't need someone going there on the actual D-Day.
Athen's harbour would be a main objective (like Cherbourg) to be taken asap, so i think the Sword landing should be there - not on the west coast.

Are you thinking about doing a scenario?


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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/28/2011 1:12:24 PM   
Shazman

 

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Right. Crete could act as a huge airbase for the hordes of Allied aircraft. The Soviets wouldn't be happy with all of this. Stepping on their toes and all that.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/28/2011 5:52:19 PM   
sPzAbt653


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quote:

... wouldn't it have been better if Crete had been liberated in an earlier operation?


Jah, I definately had two separate operations at first. Then I considered that might give the whole thing away. Normandy worked because of Fortitude, so let's assume the same for the Med. (Fortitude keeps Adolph guessing if its coming at South France, Yugoslavia, Greece, or with Turkey's assistance at the Bosphorus).

quote:

Athen's harbour would be a main objective (like Cherbourg) to be taken asap, so i think the Sword landing should be there - not on the west coast.


Jah, Athens would be the new Cherbourg (or the new Caen, lol). Good point on Sword being on the east side, nearer Athens.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/28/2011 6:08:14 PM   
sPzAbt653


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quote:

The Soviets wouldn't be happy with all of this.


Very true. And there was a conference were they laid down the East/West boundaries, but I can't remember which one or when it was (but in this hypothetical I can choose to ignore that!). Overall. Stalin and Churchill both considered the Balkans their sphere of operations, while the US was against empire building policies. So there is a slim hypothetical case for a 'first to take, first to keep' situation.

quote:

Are you thinking about doing a scenario?


No, just adding another thorn in the Axis side for Lebensraum. When I test play it, it still seems too easy knowing that Overlord is coming somewhere from Amsterdam to Bordeaux. I can easily garrison the Balkans with Italians, Bulgarians and Hungarians - freeing up the German 12th Army to operate in Turkey or Russia.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/29/2011 6:46:48 PM   
ogar

 

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Hmm, I'm not sure this really makes sense - other than liberating Greece. And then, what ?
Especially as the alternative to Overlord. This area is far from Berlin, and far from the main US supply routes, plus it does not have the major strategic rewards that liberating Paris or opening Antwerp have.

As an alternative to Dragoon or even Avalanche, it is a bit more feasible. Still, what little history I recall leads me to opine that "NFW" is the uniform response from Roosevelt down. Sooo, you could restrict it to Commonwealth only...

And, if you wanted to do this as a stand-alone scenario, then at least you could make the Allied goal to be simply kicking the Germans out.

Just my two cents here. Good luck with the scenario.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/29/2011 7:18:02 PM   
sPzAbt653


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The two cents is appreciated, and I agree with what you have said. It doesn't make sense and that is why the US wouldn't go along. It was something Churchill wanted to do in order to have British influence on the area after the war.

Its not a stand alone scenario, its an add on to an Axis solitaire scenario of the ETO, so its another way of keeping the Axis player on his toes.

So I was more interested in debate/ideas on the operational aspects as I outlined them in posts 1 and 2 (I don't mind doing something silly, but for the integrity of the scenario it should have a thread of reason to stand on). I can forget all the arguements against it and focus on the premise that Eisenhower has been ordered to make it happen.

All other operations would happen as historical, with the exception of Overlord in Normandy. Once Sicily and southern Italy are under Allied control, enough airbases are available to support the operation. Ports and other airbases all over the Mediteranean would be used. Once the 'lodgement area' is established in Greece and the buildup complete, the British would advance thru Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary to piss Stalin off, and then thru eastern Germany. The US would push thru Albania-Yugoslavia to outflank Axis forces in Italy and then join with the Allied forces from Italy to drive into southern Germany via Vienna and Prague. Dragoon would still occur in southern France, with emphasis on driving to Brittany and Cherbourg. Extra forces that could not be supplied thru the Mediteranean-Balkans net would be available to reinforce Dragoon to some extent, while the balance of units would arrive in northern France as ports become available. For example, US V Corp thru Normandy historically grew to eight divisions, but thru the Balkans it can only support three divisions, the other five assisting in Dragoon or waiting in England for ports in northern France to open.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/29/2011 7:44:10 PM   
sPzAbt653


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Revised to keep the British in the eastern zone while the US operate in the western zone. This keeps the air and naval units from getting tangled up. Also the ground units would have cleaner zones of operation this way. The forces from Crete can clear southern Greece after Crete is secure (green line).

It could be a stand alone scenario some day, we'd have to come up with a name. What's Russian for 'I'm really pissed off now' ?




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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/29/2011 10:33:10 PM   
ogar

 

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Well,

I think we'll have to agree to disagree. The premises are just a little too much for me, but it is your scenario.

quote:


What's Russian for 'I'm really pissed off now' ?


Ask Panama. Seriously -- the guy has really gotten dug into research for the East Front. He'll probably tell us the phrase, and then explain it was used as an operational maskirovka in 1944 in the North Ukraine.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/30/2011 3:33:03 AM   
sPzAbt653


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quote:

I think we'll have to agree to disagree.


But ... I already agreed with you.

Its not something that will definately happen though, there is just a % chance of it happening, which is enough to make the player protect the area to some extent, which is the real purpose. That is, if the events work. First I have to play 200 turns to get to that point to see what happens.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/30/2011 12:04:18 PM   
samba_liten


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Would it not make more sense to use bases in Italy and land on the coast of Yugoslavia? There seem to be better chances of avoiding a narrow front with slow progress there. Also, until a certain point, Tito was supplied from London. If Churchill got his way about the landing, would it not be fair to assume that Tito was never forced to go to Stalin for help?

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/31/2011 12:07:07 PM   
sPzAbt653


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quote:

Would it not make more sense to use bases in Italy and land on the coast of Yugoslavia?


I was thinking that would bring the landing areas within range of too many German airbases. I think the farther north the invasion is, the more the vast fleet is put into possible danger. The way it is outlined for Greece and Albania also puts all the invasion areas close enough that early link ups and security of the lodgement area are made easier, which I think was a large part of the Overlord plan.

quote:

If Churchill got his way about the landing, would it not be fair to assume that Tito was never forced to go to Stalin for help
?

I don't know what effect this would have on the situation.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/31/2011 1:46:42 PM   
samba_liten


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sPzAbt653

quote:

Would it not make more sense to use bases in Italy and land on the coast of Yugoslavia?


I was thinking that would bring the landing areas within range of too many German airbases. I think the farther north the invasion is, the more the vast fleet is put into possible danger. The way it is outlined for Greece and Albania also puts all the invasion areas close enough that early link ups and security of the lodgement area are made easier, which I think was a large part of the Overlord plan.

quote:

If Churchill got his way about the landing, would it not be fair to assume that Tito was never forced to go to Stalin for help
?

I don't know what effect this would have on the situation.


More airbases than were available in France? By 1944 the Luftwaffe was not that powerful anyway. Besides, all the bombing directed at France historically would have happened in Yugoslavia.

I mention Tito, because his forces were rather more powerful than the French resistance, and could potentially have made opposed landings unnecessary altogether by seizing the beach heads on their own.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/31/2011 6:54:06 PM   
sPzAbt653


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quote:

More airbases than were available in France?


No, but the Allied airpower in England is much stronger than that in Italy, so the German aircraft in northern Italy and southern Germany might be more effective in the Adriatic Sea than they were in the English Channel.

I didn't provide for Tito's forces in the scenario, but I might have to do something if you think they could have had that much effect, either by holding the beaches or by effectively blocking German movement thru the area.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 10/31/2011 7:27:10 PM   
samba_liten


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sPzAbt653

quote:

More airbases than were available in France?


No, but the Allied airpower in England is much stronger than that in Italy, so the German aircraft in northern Italy and southern Germany might be more effective in the Adriatic Sea than they were in the English Channel.

I didn't provide for Tito's forces in the scenario, but I might have to do something if you think they could have had that much effect, either by holding the beaches or by effectively blocking German movement thru the area.


My point is that if Overlord is planned for the Balkans rather than France, then surely the 15th (?) air force in Italy would be reinforced, as would the corresponding RAF formation. Why leave all those planes and pilots in England when the action is going to happen in the Balkans?

As for Tito, he liberated Yugoslavia more or less on his own. The Red Army formations that went in were not that strong. Having said that, they were needed to provide air cover, and armored support. Whatever the case may be, I'm sure Tito could have blocked a significant part of the German supply net through Yugoslavia, if he had put his mind to it.

Close to the beaches, i think Tito's forces could have taken on the role the Airborne forces played in the Normandy landings, at the very least. By 1944 the Germans held no more than the ground under their feet in Yugoslavia.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 11/1/2011 9:17:22 AM   
sPzAbt653


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Yeah, I had put some thought to moving some of the air assets from England to the Med., but it gave me a headache so I skipped it for the moment.

I checked Wicki for a quicki on Tito's force - by 1944 he had 800,000 men in 80 divisions ?? Holy Wow ! But they were mostly communist, so how would they get along with the Amis and Brits advancing thru their country ? I think that is more complex than the scope of this small part of the scenario, because Ike would have had to do some negotiating.

Back to your point of the Yugo coast as opposed to Greece, I was also thinking that there is no guarantee that Elmer will match the historical advance up the boot, so when the possibility of this occurs, they may not have cleared enough of it to make sailing deep into the Adriatic feasible. Also, the possibility of this happening is small, I just hope it serves to cause the Axis player to keep some sort of viable garrison in the Balkans.

It is also possible to add the Yugo coast as another possible landing area. More options, more events, more units. One day !?!

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 11/2/2011 9:45:13 AM   
samba_liten


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If memory serves, the British were the main source of support for Tito until 1943 at some point. That's when Stalin took over. If Overlord is planned for Yugoslavia, I can't see why Stalin should be allowed to become the main sponsor of the partisans. Then there would be no problem.

Besides, even if they were firmly in the Stalinist camp, i can't see why they would resist the Western Allies, who could probably have been depended on to withdraw from the country after booting the Germans out. Which, amazingly, Stalin's Red Army ended up doing as well!

But i have to agree that it would be rather complicated to fit all this into an already complex scenario.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 11/2/2011 5:40:49 PM   
Panama


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About 500km from Barletta to Thessalonika. Good enough for air support. The Axis has a relatively minor air presence. Why not just push a fleet up the Aegean and land around Thessalonika? Push north through Yugoslavia into Hungary. It would take time for the Axis to move units from France. They couldn't very well pull much out of the East Front. The landings could take place in May since weather wouldn't have been an issue. Leave Crete to the vultures.

Certainly the Germans would have to react very quickly to avoid a complete disaster. Thinking this over you wouldn't only upset the Soviets. You would also have a bunch of nicely stewed Frenchmen. I'm not sure if Ike could smooth that one over. Politically you would have stabbed two of your allies in the back.

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RE: Overlord in the Med. - 11/2/2011 8:37:51 PM   
sPzAbt653


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Politically and Strategically we all agree that this wouldn't have happened.

Operationally, Yugoslavia may have been a better site. Logistically they may have needed the ports in Greece. None of the ports in Yugoslavia were very big, I think.

Currently, Sword Beach is at Thessaloniki, and some of the US reinforcements arrive on the Yugoslav coast later. When I get to turn 200 I'm going to run it repeatedly to make sure it only happens once every 5 turns on average. And as said earlier, the chance of occurance is only possible if southern Italy is Allied occupied. Dragoon still happens and is reinforced in order to take Brittany and Cherbourg.

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