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Mussolini's adventures in Greece

 
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Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/22/2019 10:05:50 AM   
Mind

 

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Do you agree with opinion that B.Mussolini's adventures in Greece (1940-1941) were disaster for A.Hitler, because the Wehrmacht lost at least 2 weeks for invasion to Soviet Union?
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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/22/2019 1:50:34 PM   
Lobster


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Because of heavy spring rains Barbarossa would have been launched into a quagmire if it went on time. It would have stalled out as soon as the roads turned to mud. What Yugoslavia and Greece did cost was equipment. Also a neutral Greece would have been nice. Hitler had already botched things with Yugoslavia. All he had to do there was make a treaty of peace with them, the same as Hungary, a Tripartite member, had already done. No coup, no problems.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/22/2019 2:23:39 PM   
balto

 

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Lobster, whoa! I am not smarter, in fact, no way I am, but I 100% disagree with what you just said. If Greece was left alone (which means Yugo would be left alone), Russia would have been defeated.., Moscow taken, Gov't collapse, rail system collapse., etc.., And as we all know, you knock Russia out.., its game over for Allies.

There are several events in WW 2 for both allies and axis had went "a different way" it would have likely changed the outcome of the war. I think the "Greece thing" was certainly one of those events.



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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/22/2019 2:37:52 PM   
Lecivius


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I don't think Russia would have been defeated that easily. The Germans may have taken Moscow (may), but by that time a lot of industry had been moved east. The Russians were in fact planning on falling further back. They just didn't have to. And the Russian people have a history of being invaded, and then beating the heck out of said invaders. A month would have made a difference, but no where near enough to give Germany enough time to do the job.

I may not have a lot of respect to the current political situation in Russia. But I have a LOT of respect for Russian soldiers, and people.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/22/2019 4:55:45 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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Napoleon took Moscow and I seem to recall that did not work so well for him. Hitler was at war with the greatest Soviet State, The largest Empire and the richest Democracy in the world. He never stood a chance. If he had eventually forced Stalin to sign some kind of an armistice, then on 6 August 1945, Berlin would have been flat, black, burnt, dead and glowing in the dark.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/22/2019 5:02:58 PM   
Capitaine

 

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Hitler was irate about Mussolini's invasion of Greece for one, glaring reason: It gave the British a casus belli to enter Greece themselves, against an Italian Army that couldn't accomplish the mission, and gave the British an opportunity to threaten the Romanian oil fields which were vital to everything. Mussolini's military incompetence compelled Germany to intervene in Greece to clean up "the mess" and resecure the oil resources, prior to a campaign in Russia. They had no choice. Mussolini was a dummkopf.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/22/2019 5:08:29 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mind

Do you agree with opinion that B.Mussolini's adventures in Greece (1940-1941) were disaster for A.Hitler, because the Wehrmacht lost at least 2 weeks for invasion to Soviet Union?
warspite1

No. From what I've read I agree with Lobster. The time saved in not going to Greece, wear and tear on vehicles, Hitler's subsequent ban on using paratroopers in their intended role etc. probably wasn't enough to make a difference to the outcome in the east.

I disagree with the comment on Yugoslavia though. "All he had to do there was make a treaty of peace".... well that wasn't just down to Hitler, the Yugoslavs had a say in that too

Of course if Italy didn't go into Greece there would have been more men and equipment available to bolster North Africa - as a counter, the CW forces would not have lost some of their best units to the Greek debacle nor the Royal Navy lost so many ships (both sunk and badly damaged) and men.

All in all I can't see a massive war altering difference.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/22/2019 5:28:49 PM   
altipueri

 

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Is Hearts of Iron the only game you can play these political what if scenarios with? Most of the Matrix games are battle and operation oriented.



< Message edited by altipueri -- 3/22/2019 5:29:39 PM >

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/22/2019 6:18:53 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mind
Do you agree with opinion that B.Mussolini's adventures in Greece (1940-1941) were disaster for A.Hitler, because the Wehrmacht lost at least 2 weeks for invasion to Soviet Union?


No.

The key issue here is not the counteroffensive per se (launched the 5 december). The key (conveniently ignored by the west during the cold war: they did not trust the Soviet sources so they relied on er... German sources rofl ) was what happened before the 5 december. Errr, 700k losses inflicted on the Wehrmacht... Barbarossa derailed, beaten.

The loss of Moscow (a major transport hub) would have indeed complicated the deployment of the strategic reserves. I suspect they would have attacked from SE and NE Moscow, as per the initial pincer Soviet plan (later extended, big mistake). Target unchanged: Army Group Centre.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/22/2019 7:22:14 PM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: altipueri

Is Hearts of Iron the only game you can play these political what if scenarios with? Most of the Matrix games are battle and operation oriented.




Just run a TOAW FitE2 scenario from May and throw in some weeks of mud at the start. Germany probably could have started mid June without the mud but I don't see it going away much sooner. The entire year of 1941 was one of weirdness. It was like the gods of war conspired against Hitler and his whole conquer the world thing.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/22/2019 8:40:41 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster


quote:

ORIGINAL: altipueri

Is Hearts of Iron the only game you can play these political what if scenarios with? Most of the Matrix games are battle and operation oriented.




..... It was like the gods of war conspired against Hitler and his whole conquer the world thing.
warspite1

About time. The events of 1939/1940 were like the Gods of War conspiring with Hitler to win the war; Fuhrer weather, inexplicable Allied decisions, dumb arse German moves not going ahead through sheer luck.....


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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/22/2019 9:37:33 PM   
RFalvo69


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If anyone is interested in the actual "adventures" I can recommend this excellent book:

The hollow legions;: Mussolini's blunder in Greece, 1940-1941
https://www.amazon.com/hollow-legions-Mussolinis-blunder-1940-1941/dp/B0006CKCQE/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=hollow+legions&qid=1553290352&s=gateway&sr=8-1

It covers both the political and military blunders that characterised the campaign in Greece, and it offers a wonderful insight of how Italy waged her "parallel war". Many events and decisions would be comical if they weren't tragic. It is one of my favourite history books ever.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/22/2019 9:44:40 PM   
warspite1


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The Hollow Legions is an excellent book.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/23/2019 10:34:13 AM   
wodin


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I never understand why Britain went to War with Germany over invasion of Poland but turned a blind eye to Russia's invasion.

As for delay due to Greece..Not sure. At some Point Stalin was going to try take West Europe and Hitler knew had to get in first. If wait till Stalin attacked would be game over quickly.

A major mistake was to not finish off UK at Dunkirk.

Also maybe if he had concentrated o n Africa that might have made a huge difference. He had to keep his nerve over Russia attacking first.

Plus maybe if Japan has attacked Russia aswell instead of USA again things may have gone very differently.

Total underestimation of Russian capability was one of the bigger issues leading to disaster. I'm not sure that through conventional WarRussia could ever really be beaten.

One other thing if the Germans had treated the Russians well again I imagine that would have been the end of Stalin and Russian Communism. We'd probably have had a similar situation as today. A unified Europe with Germany as top dog. Two Wars showed a different course was needed for Germany's dream of a United Europe with them as No1. So they went about it through diplomacy and industry.

< Message edited by wodin -- 3/23/2019 10:43:02 AM >


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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/23/2019 10:40:24 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

I never understand why Britain went to War with Germany over invasion of Poland but turned a blind eye to Russia's invasion.

warspite1

I assume you are referring to the Soviet Union's attack on Poland.

I think the British and French realised they had enough on their plate facing the Germans without making an enemy of the Soviet Union at the same time. The British always feared an attack by the Russians against India, and French and British possessions in the Middle East would also be under threat from a Russian move south.

The reality of the situation makes the Norwegian fiasco (and the 'aid to Finland' cobblers) and Gamelin's 'plan' to bomb the Caucasus airfields all the more difficult to understand.....


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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/23/2019 11:48:04 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin
At some Point Stalin was going to try take West Europe and Hitler knew had to get in first. If wait till Stalin attacked would be game over quickly.


I never understood this weird theory. If you know the Soviet Union history and the revolutionary theories and struggles (Lubianka and gulag) of the time it's even strangest.

After the death of Lenin, there were two principal candidates. Trotsky and Stalin. Minors like Zinoniev, Kamenev and Bukharin (the theorist) supported one and then the other.

The ideological divide line was clear: Trotsky the internationalist aka let's spread the revolution; Stalin on the other hand would coin and adopt when he won the "socialism in one country" theory, which meant coexistence with the capitalist world.

The struggle was of course to death and all you need to know is that the worst insult ever in the USSR was being called a "trotskyist"

And now this [unproven] theory is telling me that Stalin was going to become suddenly a trotskyist aka spread the revolution Comrade Beria, you've got a job to do! The biggest trotskyist made it to the top

Sorry, but it does not make any sense.

Not to mention the prosaic reality. The Finnish War [remember the Red Army had been purged, even regiment commanders were targeted; divisions, armies, fronts commanders were basically annihilated] showed the pathetic state of that arm. Stalin was indeed a murderous thug but he was not an idiot.

But I still think the main obstacle would have been the trotskyist thing. Stalin patiently built his ruthless machine, a machine made to catch and kill -among others- trotskyists. And now he would tell them "look, I was kidding, we're gunna advance towards the Atlantic, I'm gunna call comrade Trotsky -in Mexico- to make sure his sound advice is listened"...*

A bit like FDR re the war. Just because you want to initiate a war does not mean you can. Stalin is no exception.

*he sent an assassin

< Message edited by TulliusDetritus -- 3/23/2019 11:50:20 PM >


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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/24/2019 2:54:09 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster
Hitler had already botched things with Yugoslavia. All he had to do there was make a treaty of peace with them, the same as Hungary, a Tripartite member, had already done. No coup, no problems.


But, he did. Yugoslavia signed the Tripartite Pact on 3/25/1941, so should have been on track to become an Axis minor ally. But then there was a Coup d'état on 3/27/1941. Germany then declared war on the now Allied-aligned Yugoslavia on 4/4/1941.

Historically, this begs some questions. If Yugoslavia did not sign the Tripartite Pact and remained neutral, would German have ignored it? Would Italy have ignored it? There could have come a coup and Allied alignment at any later time, which would have been a threat in the heart of the Axis rear. How long might that threat be ignored?


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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/24/2019 3:12:43 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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Tullius, so when Stalin sent communists to Spain that was because he was a "peacenik"? They organized the resistance to Franco by seizing the passports of foreigners who came. These people were then under the thumb of Stalin's stooges when they were allowed to return to their countries. I suppose his support for Mao in China was because of the coexistence thing? His armies occupied the Baltic States, part of Poland, Finland and Romania prior to Hitler's invasion. Apologists will claim that this was necessary to protect the Motherland. Then why did Stalin occupy part of Iran? Stalin was just a big, cuddly Bear that would never have moved west. Riiight!

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/24/2019 3:34:15 PM   
UP844


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quote:

At some Point Stalin was going to try take West Europe and Hitler knew had to get in first.


He knew this fact since he wrote Mein Kampf (one of the most boring - and enlightening - books I ever read in my life).

Besides that, the Germans were able to conduct a defensive campaign from the late 1942 to May 1945 against an increasingly improving Red Army.
Do you really believe the Red Army of 1940/41 would have been able to mount successful offensive operations against the Wehrmacht at its peak efficiency?

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/24/2019 5:39:38 PM   
rico21

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mind

Do you agree with opinion that B.Mussolini's adventures in Greece (1940-1941) were disaster for A.Hitler, because the Wehrmacht lost at least 2 weeks for invasion to Soviet Union?


I made it easy, took my chrystal ball and asked Manstein what he thought.
He replied that the three initial objectives are to take Leningrad, Moscow and Baku. The adventure in Greece wasted two weeks that would have taken Moscow before the Russian winter and especially would not have sacrificed the fallschirmjagers in Crete, they would have been dropped on Leningrad and took the city by surprise. When in Baku, the terrible Romanian army would have taken care of it.
Manstein will make a spielkrieg on this hypothesis but he confirmed to me that Hitler was a moron, Mussolini a drag and he a genius.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/24/2019 5:44:22 PM   
Capitaine

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: UP844

Besides that, the Germans were able to conduct a defensive campaign from the late 1942 to May 1945 against an increasingly improving Red Army.
Do you really believe the Red Army of 1940/41 would have been able to mount successful offensive operations against the Wehrmacht at its peak efficiency?

Totally wrong question.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/24/2019 6:24:00 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Poopyhead
Apologists will claim that this was necessary to protect the Motherland. Then why did Stalin occupy part of Iran? Stalin was just a big, cuddly Bear that would never have moved west. Riiight!


I don't need to prove that he did not intent to move towards the west. It's those who air this theory, from my experience, panzer fetishist lunatics (and Wodin is certainly not one of them), who have to prove it.

What I wrote here is the mere context. You are free to ignore it if that makes you happy.

Almost every single serious historian understands Soviet land grab was purely defensive: buffer territories that should strengthen the state. I guess you know the new defensive positions in Poland proved to be a nightmare. The Red Army abandoned their well fortified original positions and were utterly slaughtered during the first days of Barbarossa. Compare this with the quite successful defence and counterattacks in the Southwestern Front, where the mighty Werhmacht was momentarily trashed. And that was an incompetent, mutilated Red Army army, never forget it.

Coexistence does not mean the country should stop from more or less helping here and there. Every single state does / did the same.

And besides, accusing the USSR of land grab is quite hypocritical when you consider the Europeans (age of colonialism and then imperialism) had grabbed almost every single territory of the planet

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/24/2019 10:12:40 PM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rico21


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mind

Do you agree with opinion that B.Mussolini's adventures in Greece (1940-1941) were disaster for A.Hitler, because the Wehrmacht lost at least 2 weeks for invasion to Soviet Union?


I made it easy, took my chrystal ball and asked Manstein what he thought.
He replied that the three initial objectives are to take Leningrad, Moscow and Baku. The adventure in Greece wasted two weeks that would have taken Moscow before the Russian winter and especially would not have sacrificed the fallschirmjagers in Crete, they would have been dropped on Leningrad and took the city by surprise. When in Baku, the terrible Romanian army would have taken care of it.
Manstein will make a spielkrieg on this hypothesis but he confirmed to me that Hitler was a moron, Mussolini a drag and he a genius.


Okay, one more time. In May 1941 the rivers in Poland were flooding. Unless Manstein was a German Moses no one was going anywhere.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/25/2019 1:13:04 AM   
UP844


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capitaine

Totally wrong question.



Why?

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/25/2019 11:01:46 AM   
rico21

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster


quote:

ORIGINAL: rico21


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mind

Do you agree with opinion that B.Mussolini's adventures in Greece (1940-1941) were disaster for A.Hitler, because the Wehrmacht lost at least 2 weeks for invasion to Soviet Union?


I made it easy, took my chrystal ball and asked Manstein what he thought.
He replied that the three initial objectives are to take Leningrad, Moscow and Baku. The adventure in Greece wasted two weeks that would have taken Moscow before the Russian winter and especially would not have sacrificed the fallschirmjagers in Crete, they would have been dropped on Leningrad and took the city by surprise. When in Baku, the terrible Romanian army would have taken care of it.
Manstein will make a spielkrieg on this hypothesis but he confirmed to me that Hitler was a moron, Mussolini a drag and he a genius.


Okay, one more time. In May 1941 the rivers in Poland were flooding. Unless Manstein was a German Moses no one was going anywhere.

22(june 1941)-15(two weeks) == 07(june 1941)
Manstein knew how to count and and it's not a bit of water that would dissuade the invincible Whermacht at this time.
Not to mention the kriegsmarine.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/25/2019 11:52:06 AM   
TulliusDetritus


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Like one year ago, a mysterious poster created a thread, in which he said that soon (few months time) the proof of such decision, order would be revealed. That was a cryptic statement Well, that would have made it to the news. Necessarily. And I mean more or less regular news, not lunatics' conspiracies stuff.

I am open minded. What would prove it exactly? That's what I'd like to know. A Central Committee executive decision? A document signed by the Clown-in-Chief (Stalin)? A war plan surely not. If war plans were a proof then I affirm (pre WW2) the US were going to attack the UK. Yes, that plan existed

That's how the military earn their salary: planning *every* eventuality. So good luck about that.

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/25/2019 1:05:01 PM   
Capitaine

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: UP844


quote:

ORIGINAL: Capitaine

Totally wrong question.



Why?

Because you're presuming Stalin had a wargame with assigned accurate values to all his units and those of the Germans. Ask yourself this: Why did the Austrians, Russians, and Prussians take on Napoleon in 1805 and 1806 when they were hopelessly outmatched? Hadn't they played the most popular wargames on the subject?

< Message edited by Capitaine -- 3/25/2019 2:25:22 PM >

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/25/2019 2:04:27 PM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rico21


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mind

Do you agree with opinion that B.Mussolini's adventures in Greece (1940-1941) were disaster for A.Hitler, because the Wehrmacht lost at least 2 weeks for invasion to Soviet Union?


I made it easy, took my chrystal ball and asked Manstein what he thought.
He replied that the three initial objectives are to take Leningrad, Moscow and Baku. The adventure in Greece wasted two weeks that would have taken Moscow before the Russian winter and especially would not have sacrificed the fallschirmjagers in Crete, they would have been dropped on Leningrad and took the city by surprise. When in Baku, the terrible Romanian army would have taken care of it.
Manstein will make a spielkrieg on this hypothesis but he confirmed to me that Hitler was a moron, Mussolini a drag and he a genius.


Excuses, which the German generals were very good at blaming someone else rather than admitting their own mistakes.

The first month of Barbarossa smashed the Soviet armies which stood directly between Army Group B and Moscow. If the Germans had really placed such a high value on capturing Moscow they would not have diverted the Panzers to pocket Kiev and instead would have driven straight to Moscow from Smolensk. Probably would have arrived there by mid August. Instead they diverted south and the combination of time and wear and tear meant they could not resume their drive to Moscow until October.

Alfred

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/25/2019 2:16:26 PM   
rico21

 

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Apologies, which the German generals were very good at blaming someone else rather than admitting their own mistakes.
True, true also that the Germans underestimate their opponents, their repeated victories comfort them in the idea that they can try everything and succeed.
How could they imagine that soldiers from the cold with the worst winter of the century would inflict their first setbacks.
Siberians, Siberians ...

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RE: Mussolini's adventures in Greece - 3/25/2019 2:29:34 PM   
Capitaine

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred


quote:

ORIGINAL: rico21


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mind

Do you agree with opinion that B.Mussolini's adventures in Greece (1940-1941) were disaster for A.Hitler, because the Wehrmacht lost at least 2 weeks for invasion to Soviet Union?


I made it easy, took my chrystal ball and asked Manstein what he thought.
He replied that the three initial objectives are to take Leningrad, Moscow and Baku. The adventure in Greece wasted two weeks that would have taken Moscow before the Russian winter and especially would not have sacrificed the fallschirmjagers in Crete, they would have been dropped on Leningrad and took the city by surprise. When in Baku, the terrible Romanian army would have taken care of it.
Manstein will make a spielkrieg on this hypothesis but he confirmed to me that Hitler was a moron, Mussolini a drag and he a genius.


Excuses, which the German generals were very good at blaming someone else rather than admitting their own mistakes.

The first month of Barbarossa smashed the Soviet armies which stood directly between Army Group B and Moscow. If the Germans had really placed such a high value on capturing Moscow they would not have diverted the Panzers to pocket Kiev and instead would have driven straight to Moscow from Smolensk. Probably would have arrived there by mid August. Instead they diverted south and the combination of time and wear and tear meant they could not resume their drive to Moscow until October.

Alfred

Yes, there was a dispute between Hitler and the General Staff about strategy. Hitler was not keen on Moscow because of Napoleon's debacle there, fearing a repeat of that experience. Hitler favored a southern strategy which was half-heartedly implemented by the General Staff in 1942 -- Fall Blau. Too many cooks, really. Perhaps either approach could've come close or succeeded, but not with the split visions on the campaigns.

(in reply to Alfred)
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