Greetings fellow historians, a bit of an intermission from Gunnulf at SHAEF here. I have been saving down a few screenshots with a mind to doing a bit of a parallel AAR if I had time, but Loki suggested maybe this would be a good moment to break into this AAR with a bit of an Allied perspective on the initial Op Husky phase. I'll then disappear until after Op Avalanche and the initial mainland campaign, and maybe jump in again at the end of winter or whenever Loki invites me back. We are already several turns ahead so nothing really confidential on either side I think at this point.
SO, as you will have seen I went pretty much historical with the initial landings in Sicily for a number of reasons. While I did consider holding back a couple of TFs for Sardinia I decided that:
A) Loki is an experienced player and the possibility of getting ashore on 2 islands and getting bogged down on both was high.
2) My principle mission is to get ashore on the mainland, secondary to kick Italy out of the war. Landing on Sardinia can achieve this but doesn't offer as good a platform to get phase 2 done. The airfields are mostly south of Sardinia, and the options to support a mainland landing are more limited allowing Loki to concentrate more. Sicily is better positioned to cover more second invasions, and also has the backup bonus of the ferry hop across the straights to secure the toe of Italy in case the main invasion stalls. The main upside of strategy focused on Sardinia would seem to be a smaller Axis garrison, and more chance of trapping Germans who try to fight there without the Messina ferry to escape.
iii) By concentrating my forces on Sicily I hoped to finish Husky as quickly as possible, and get on to phase 2 as soon as possible and avoid getting bogged down on the mainland when the weather turned. I felt that 100% control of one whole island was going to be better than even 90% of two islands to achieve this, not least as there is a slight chance of Italian surrender at this point.
Finally) I was planning to somewhat practice what I mumbled about on my Qball AAR and try to achieve all this without committing troops that were not historically earmarked for the Mediterranean theatre, such as the Polish Arm Div and several US & Br infantry divs. They would carry on training in the UK for Overlord. Air power I was a bit more hazy about, but again tried not to kick the arse out of it and limit what I brought down to be half the Typhoon squadrons, some extra 2E bomber squadrons, and a few squadrons from RAF coastal, but only to do naval patrol off North Africa.
So that said you can see from the screenshot we came ashore on Sicily as per Alexanders plan. By the 2nd turn we have pushed VIII & XXX Corps up the the first line of German resistance at Catania. We make sure we move in force to avoid Axis counterattacks against overextended divisions and we are glad we do as across the river Schmalz PzGn Bde and HG Pz Div are digging-in in force, while our recce confirms the rest of the mobile forces are screening to the NW. Otherwise so far 7 US Army has had an easy landing and is pushing ashore in the face of light resistance...
"Stay low, move fast"