Italian gambit. In 1943, Germany could be left without a major ally.

Gambit is the debut of a chess game when
one of the pawns or pieces is sacrificed.

In the 1943 year, when the Red Army victories at Stalingrad and Kursk broke the back of the Nazi hordes, the Allies preferred the opening of the Second Front to the invasion of Sicily, and then on the peninsula. Roosevelt and Churchill, in correspondence with Stalin, explained this by the desire to quickly withdraw Italy, Hitler’s main European ally, from the war. If we evaluate the results of the invasion formally, this is exactly what happened: the Mussolini regime fell surprisingly easily and quickly.

Duce, who has long been unpopular with the people, has lost support even among his associates. Not the masses and not the king Victor Emmanuel III, but the Great Council of the Fascist Party led by Dino Grandi by a majority of votes (12 against 7) demanded his resignation. After an audience with the king, the dictator was unexpectedly arrested for him, sending him first to the island of Ponza, and then to the mountain hotel Campo Emperor.

But at that time the Anglo-American troops had not yet managed to clear Sicily from the enemy and could not even take Naples.

The real strategic gain for the coalition from the invasion turned out to be very doubtful, even taking into account the fact that official Italy finally capitulated. There was no question that the Italians immediately sided with the Allies, especially after the most severe Anglo-American bombing of Rome and other cities of the country. With great difficulty and at the cost of losing a number of ships, including the ultramodern battleship Roma, the Allies achieved only the main strength of the Italian fleet.

At the same time, most of the aircraft of the Italian Air Force continued to fight against the Anglo-American forces until the spring of 45.

In addition, soon the Germans, as a result of a special operation under the command of Otto Skorzeny, who is now promoted in films and books, found and fished Mussolini out of custody. Having announced the restoration of legal authority in Italy, they immediately quickly occupied the entire central and northern part of the country. With all its very solid industrial and raw materials potential. Army Group “South-West” consisting of first eight, and then sixteen and even twenty-six insufficiently staffed, but combat-ready divisions aviation Field Marshal Kesselring.

Duce after meeting with Hitler in Munich settled in the resort town of Salo on the shores of Lake Garda, making it the temporary capital of Italy. From there, he announced the overthrow of the Savoy dynasty and the convening of a neo-fascist party congress in Verona. He himself, frightened by the assassination attempts, did not go to the congress, and confined himself to a greeting message.

King Victor Emmanuel III with the whole family managed to hide in Egypt.

Italian gambit. In 1943, Germany could be left without a major ally.

And the government, which, after the resignation and arrest of Mussolini, headed the 71-year-old disgraced marshal Pietro Badoglio, who was nearly killed by the fascists, was forced to flee south to the allies in Brindisi, completely losing any influence on his own country. However, Britain and the United States were not going to abandon the bet already made. In Italy, only they should dispose of everything, the government is nothing more than decoration, and the masters of the Savoy dynasty have enough of their “ceremonial prestige”.

Churchill continued to insist in his letters to Roosevelt that "it is very important to maintain the authority of the king and the authorities of Brindisi as a government and to achieve unity of command throughout Italy." By agreeing to the capitulation of Italy, not only with the United States, but for decency and with the Soviet Union, the British Prime Minister, considering that on October 13, the government of Badoglio declared war on Germany, seriously expected to give him "co-belligerent status." But at the same time, almost immediately and unexpectedly, he easily obtained the consent of Stalin and Roosevelt to create some kind of special commission from representatives of England, the USA and the USSR, which was supposed to actually rule Italy.

The USSR in this Allied Council was supposed to represent the notorious Andrei Vyshinsky, at that time Deputy Commissar for Foreign Affairs. However, on his arrival in Italy, the allies suggested not to introduce the Soviet representative to the commission at all, and leave Vyshinsky the function of “liaison officer”. Moscow was clearly not expecting such insolence, and from there Vyshinsky immediately gave the go-ahead for direct contacts with representatives of the Badoglio Cabinet, although under the terms of the truce any diplomatic initiative to the Italians was forbidden. Or, at a minimum, was to be controlled by the allies.

Vyshinsky met with Italian Foreign Minister Renato Prunas on several occasions, making it clear that the USSR was ready to accept the direct recognition of the Badoglio government, which had moved from Brindisi to Salerno in the spring of 1944. But on one condition - the new authorities of Italy will go to direct cooperation with the left forces, above all with the Communists, whose leader Palmiro Togliatti will not only return from emigration, but will also enter the government.

Such a gift the cabinet, which for one and a half months not only pulled back with capitulation, but continued backstage negotiations with the Nazis, reassuring the Fuhrer's associates of “loyalty to the ideas of the anti-Comintern Pact” simply could not accept. The “red” threat for Badoglio and his subordinates, as well as for the king, was almost a greater bugaboo than for Churchill himself.

Indeed, despite all the repressions of the Mussolini regime and mass emigration, many guerrilla groups, most of which, of course, were “red,” had already been operating long before the Allies landed in Sicily. And let no one be mislead by the fact that for the most part they were formed from runaway prisoners, among whom were several thousand Russians. The Italians themselves, for all their sentimentality and peacefulness, could hardly have lost their revolutionary spirit, and could well have acted not only against the accursed “Bosch”, but also against the government, because of which they invaded Italy.

However, P. Tolyatti himself did not overestimate the prospects for Italy’s left turn, insisting that the time for its real “Bolshevization” had not yet come. He suggested that Stalin limit himself to the mere entry of the Communists into the government. The Soviet leader, such an approach, oddly enough, completely satisfied. And both from the point of view of what made it possible not to repeat the sad experience of the civil war in Spain, but also to save face in relations with the allies, firmly following the agreements reached with them earlier.

Moscow listened to the opinion of the Italian Communists, realizing that the Apennines of the Red Army was still very far away, and even the idea of ​​exporting the revolution to Italy from Yugoslavia is hardly realistic. And they preferred to start knocking out the Germans from the Soviet land, and begin to deal with the post-war structure of Europe later, and begin, for example, with Romania and Bulgaria.

Recognition of the new, although seven-month-old Italian government from the Soviet Union, was held on March 11. By that time, the Red Army was just completing the liberation of the Crimea, and the Anglo-American troops were firmly bogged down opposite the German defensive "Gustav Line", unsuccessfully storming the monastery of Monte Cassino, turned into an impregnable fortress.

Mussolini, inspired by the successes of Field Marshal Kesselring, who repelled the Allied offensive against Rome, organized a tough showdown in his party. He ordered the execution of five fascists from those 12 members of the Grand Council who voted against him last summer. Among those executed was even his son-in-law, the brilliant Count Galeazzo Ciano, who for many years had been the Minister of Foreign Affairs during the duce. The dictator was not at all embarrassed that in his home country the hated were literally ruled by all Germans, and one of the Hitlerite military leaders was really ruling there.

For England and the United States, the establishment of diplomatic relations between Soviet Russia and the new Italy came as a surprise, although it seemed to give them a complete carte blanche in the Apennines. Roosevelt, only after Churchill, realized what a mistake the Allies had committed, making a sort of diplomatic embargo with respect to Soviet-Italian contacts.

After crushing Italy, England and the United States created a precedent that the modern historian Jacques R. Powells, who was not seen in special sympathy for either London or Washington, called it “fatal.” It was with him, in fact, that the division of Europe into future zones of occupation began, when one who enters a country dictates politics and economics. It seems that those researchers who think that it is from him, and not from Churchill's Fulton speech, that the countdown can be started in the calendar of the Cold War are right.

Churchill in his memoirs, apparently trying in vain to disguise one of his own mistakes, does not hide his irritation at the recognition by the Soviet Union of the government of Badoglio. The leaders of the United States and England did not immediately realize that Italy could almost guarantee that in the future it would blush so much that it would be very difficult to steer it as it is at the moment.

After the Allies, having promised democracy to the Italians, replaced it with a “decoration,” the sympathy of the population for the Russians, who promise no one and do not impose anything, was secured. Moreover, the USSR almost immediately set about solving the problems of tens of thousands of Italian prisoners who remained there. At the same time, the highest circles of Italy were grateful to Stalin not so much for the recognition, but for the fact that he “made happy” them in fact only with one serious politician-communist - the peace-loving Palmiro Togliatti. The Soviet leader thus confirmed that it was not by chance that he once refused to support the Comintern, which continued to propagandize the ideas of the “world revolution”.

Palmiro Togliatti returned home at the end of March 1944 — after 18 years after he left it. And already on March 31 in Naples, under his chairmanship, met the National Council of the Communist Party of Italy, which put forward a program to unite all democratic forces to complete the struggle against fascism and German occupation. In response to the resolution of the IKP, adopted at the request of Togliatti, on support for the government of Badoglio, the cabinet obtained from the king actual legalization of the Communist Party. But this did not prevent the Allied forces from systematically disarming the Italian pro-communist partisan detachments.

Tolyatti himself soon became part of the Italian government, and on that, by all indications, calmed down. Apparently, for the sake of this, the Italian Communists did not even become overly indignant at the very fact of the recognition of the government of Badoglio by the Russians, although under other conditions it could have horrified them. In addition, a whole series of measures followed to virtually eliminate any Soviet influence in Italy, right up to the change of prime minister - instead of Marshal Badoglio they were “appointed” by the moderate socialist Ivaneo Bonomi, who was quietly sitting in opposition with Mussolini.

However, the Soviet leadership in relation to Italy had other, much more pragmatic calculations, besides the desire to introduce “his own person” into the Italian government. The battles in Italy did not lead the Germans to seriously weaken their forces on the Eastern Front, where they had to reap the fruits of their powerful but unsuccessful offensive on the Kursk Bulge. However, the now much more specific prospect of an Allied invasion of France made inevitable the transfer of German divisions there, and the mere fact of a hanging threat bound the German command of the arm.

And most importantly, in the case of the rapid liberation of the Apennine Peninsula, the Allies were able to release the amphibious means, so necessary for crossing the English Channel. Finally! Moreover, despite the fact that Churchill once again remembered his “Balkan plans” and ran with the idea of ​​disembarking from Italy on the Istrian peninsula, ostensibly to help Yugoslav partisans Tito, the Soviet troops were now clearly to liberate southeastern Europe.

The provision of the Russian (and not the allies, but the Italians) airfield in the Italian Bari, which made it possible to significantly improve the supply of the National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia, turned out to be very helpful. In response to the excessive self-activity of the Allies, Moscow skillfully played the gambit, in fact sacrificing positions in Italy in order to untie its hands in Eastern Europe.
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  1. +6
    19 May 2018 06: 01
    In 1943, when the Red Army won victories near Stalingrad and Kursk broke the ridge of the Nazi hordes, the Allies preferred the discovery Second Front Invasion of Sicily, and then to the Apennine Peninsula.
    Where is the logic? What is the difference (for the name of the front) in where it opened Second front in Europe — in its south or north?
    The main thing is that it actually opened in 1943, and we remember that during the Battle of Kursk some tank divisions were withdrawn and sent to Italy. Although this took place after a turning point in the battle, it nonetheless facilitated our counterattack there.
    making it clear that the USSR is ready to go straight recognition Badollo government, which in the spring of 1944 moved from Brindisi to Salerno.

    Thank God that at least one more France (Italy) did not become a "winner in WWII ....
    26 German divisions fought in Italy And they did not appear on the Eastern Front. "With a lousy dog ​​though ...."
    1. +5
      19 May 2018 08: 19
      Quote: Olgovich
      Where is the logic? What is the difference (for the name of the front) in where the Second Front opened in Europe, in its south or north?

      Do not look for logic in propaganda. The propagandists are always whining that the allies supposedly delayed the opening of the second front, although they hold back the fact that Comrade Stalin himself dragged on this issue.
      After landing in Italy and capturing half of it, it was logical to advance not through the impregnable Alps, but to land in the Balkans. It was the allies who planned, by the second half of 1943 the Yugoslav partisans liberated the coast of Yugoslavia and even organized their fleet, land freely without any losses, without losses on Omaha beach ... Moreover, the Germans did not have forces and means to repel the blow, in the Balkans of them, the ground there really burned underfoot, the Yugoslav partisans are not imaginary French resistance to you. The consequences of the landing were predictable, the isolation of a group of German troops in Greece, the withdrawal from the war of Bulgaria and Romania, the withdrawal of the Allied forces to the rear of the Army Group South. The Wehrmacht would have had to withdraw troops to Hungary and Germany without a fight, the war would end in May, only in 1944. But Uncle Joseph needed eastern Europe and the Balkans, so at the Tehran Conference he forced the Allies to change plans and land in France. Therefore, the war ended in 1945, and not in 1944 ...
      1. +4
        19 May 2018 09: 26
        Quote: Puncher
        The consequences of the landing were predictable, the isolation of a group of German troops in Greece, the withdrawal from the war of Bulgaria and Romania, the withdrawal of the Allied forces to the rear of the Army Group South.

        This is so, but Churchill needed the Balkans not only to beat the Germans, but also to withstand the influence of the USSR there.
        1. +4
          19 May 2018 10: 08
          Quote: Olgovich
          Churchill needed the Balkans not only to beat the Germans, but also to withstand the influence of the USSR there.

          In the days of the USSR, "the vileness of Churchill's Balkan strategy" was a favorite topic of propaganda propagandists, you repeat their word for word. Behind these high-profile phrases lies the main question, why the second front was not opened in 1943 and the war did not end in 1944. The answer is simple, Stalin (and accordingly the entire Soviet power) did not care about hundreds of thousands of young men and he easily sacrificed them in exchange for the Sovietization of the Balkans. How did this help the USSR? Yes, nothing. Worth it hundreds of thousands of dead? Absolutely not. Already in 1947, troops had to withdraw from Bulgaria and Romania, and in 1949 Tito was declared a fascist. In 1952, Greece became a member of NATO.
          1. +1
            19 May 2018 16: 17
            Quote: Puncher
            In the days of the USSR, "the vileness of Churchill's Balkan strategy" was a favorite topic of propaganda propagandists, you repeat their word for word.

            In politics, the words "meanness", "honesty" are generally unacceptable.
            Churchill He needed to cut off Europe from the USSR, for this the Balkans are needed.
            At the same time, and push the Germans in the South. WHAT is so illogical here?
            Quote: Puncher
            why the second front was not opened in 1943

            The second front of Europe was opened in Italy. But actually existed before, in Africa
            Quote: Puncher
            . The answer is simple, Stalin (and accordingly the entire Soviet power) did not care about hundreds of thousands of young guys and he easily sacrificed them in exchange for the Sovietization of the Balkans. How did this help the USSR? Yes, nothing. Worth it hundreds of thousands of dead? Absolutely not. Already in 1947, troops had to be withdrawn from Bulgaria and Romania, and in 1949 Tito was declared a fascist. In 1952, Greece became a member of NATO.

            1. We don’t know, and we only suppose how much more profitable it would be to advance from the Balkans.
            2. The Sovietization of not only the Balkans, but the whole East of Europe, was not needed for a thousand years — some expenses, forgiveness of reparations, pre-adversaries. shouldering on the shoulders of the Soviet Union’s destroyed eastern containment ...
            1. +2
              19 May 2018 18: 41
              Quote: Olgovich
              We don’t know, and we only suppose how much more profitable it would be to advance from the Balkans.

              Why don’t you know that? The USSR as it came to the border with Romania, so those paws to the top, and with it Bulgaria, the Germans fled from Greece themselves, from Yugoslavia too.
              When the “elites” of Romania and Bulgaria squeezed Italy, they immediately understood everything and the landing in Yugoslavia would only hasten what happened later in 1944.
              As of October 1, 1943, the Luftwaffe had 305 aircraft in the eastern Mediterranean region, of which 45 were single-engine fighters, 10 twin-engine fighters, 70 dive bombers, and 70 long-range bombers. Based in Greece and Romania. And do you think these forces are enough to repel a landing?
              I propose to compare the landing options in Normandy and Yugoslavia.
              Normandy - the presence of long-term defensive structures occupied by German troops, German submarines at sea, an extensive network of airfields on land, most of the Luftwaffe is located here and nearby in Germany, an extensive road network is convenient for maneuvering with reserves. Passive local population.
              Yugoslavia - the coast is free, no fortifications, no Germans with artillery and machine guns, the Germans have few aircraft, there are few airfields, half of the country is controlled by partisans who received weapons from surrendered Italians turned into a real force.
              Well, where is it preferable to land?
              1. +1
                20 May 2018 06: 00
                Quote: Puncher
                The USSR as it came to the border with Romania, so those paws to the top, and with it Bulgaria

                No, I needed ChisinauYASSKAYA operation, not "access to the Romanian border." And very fierce and bloody.
                Quote: Puncher
                and with her and Bulgar

                And what about Bulgaria? She didn’t fight the USSR.
                Quote: Puncher
                Germans fled from Greece themselves, from Yugoslavia too.

                Is it not obvious that if there were a landing in the Balkans, then in Italy the actions would be smaller and the Hitler divisions that fought in Italy would fight the Balkans? request
                Quote: Puncher
                Normandy. Well, and where is it preferable to land?

                Of course, in Normandy, since such choice: there the path to the enemy is three dozen kilometers from the base, to Yugoslavia it is several HUNDRED km, and even in the area of ​​the fleet and enemy aviation. And how much time and MEANS would it take to deliver?
                1. 0
                  21 May 2018 01: 16
                  "And what about Bulgaria? She didn’t fight with the USSR."
                  In fairness, it should be noted that the USSR declared war on Bulgaria on September 5, 1944. September 8, Bulgaria declared war on Germany. In general, on September 8, 1944, Bulgaria was at war with the USSR, Great Britain, the USA and Germany. :-)
              2. +1
                21 May 2018 01: 12
                "Well, where is it preferable to land?"
                In Normandy ...
                1. 0
                  21 May 2018 01: 15
                  It was too fast
                  in Denmark by the way it would be even faster
          2. +1
            19 May 2018 23: 09
            Our troops were withdrawn from Romania, sort of in 1958.
        2. +4
          19 May 2018 12: 32
          Churchill was a rare hypocrite and a liar. . He wanted to get the Balkans into his sphere of influence. Make these countries your satellites.
          But Stalin was not like that. He wanted to bring peace and freedom to the peoples of the Balkans. Hold free elections on a multi-party basis there, stop any pressure on the opposition, give freedom of the media, economic freedom ....
          In short, provide an opportunity to manage their own fate. And for violations of the law, Lavrenty Pavlovich would severely punish (but fairly, by court order).
          1. +3
            19 May 2018 14: 16
            sooo thin!
          2. +1
            19 May 2018 16: 18
            Quote: Tomatoes
            But Stalin was not like that. He wanted to bring peace and freedom to the peoples of the Balkans. Hold free elections on a multi-party basis there, stop any pressure on the opposition, give freedom of the media, economic freedom ....
            In short, provide an opportunity to manage their own fate. And for violations of the law, Lavrenty Pavlovich would severely punish (but fairly, by court order).

            Everything is so, everything is so Yes
          3. 0
            21 May 2018 01: 17
            even wanted Poland, all the Greeks of the Communists who themselves drove the Germans, the Annals disarmed and shot
            1. 0
              21 May 2018 08: 34
              Churchill, such cattle, and in Poland left a bloody trail. Members of the Craiova Army that fought against the Germans, shot. I no longer recall the fate of captured Polish officers. I read how Stalin cried when he learned about these crimes of the English.
              1. 0
                21 May 2018 08: 50
                yes, he took in front of the advancing army of the USSR and arranged a palace coup in one particular city, and after that he served all the poland with Russian blood Yes and then the coups survivors of the Germans when this coup was blown away scattered and began to shoot according to the advice instead of retreating to the eastern bank of the Vistula and helping to liberate their country from the Germans as part of the Polish Army
                really cattle rare
                such is the fate of the officers that civilized Germans destroyed the best Poles without exception from November 1939, what they did not believe in and did not evacuate from the camp to the east, then for the wrong year on their monument to the Polish president, the birch that Stalin personally planted, and other rare looking for lol
                1. 0
                  21 May 2018 15: 47
                  I just don’t understand what the emoticon has to do with it. This is a very stupid comment, striking ignorance, ignorance of history, but there is no funny thing.
                  1. 0
                    21 May 2018 16: 15
                    Do you all understand how much they pay now to the Einsatzgrupp? smiley could call someone else.
      2. 0
        20 May 2018 00: 01
        The propagandists are always whining that the allies supposedly delayed the opening of the second front, although they hold back the fact that Comrade Stalin himself dragged on this issue.
        1. 0
          20 May 2018 00: 28
          comments are displayed crookedly
      3. 0
        20 May 2018 00: 14
        "Do not look for logic in propaganda. Propaganda is always whining that the Allies supposedly delayed the opening of a second front, although they are silent about the fact that Comrade Stalin himself dragged on this issue."
        Exclusive, seer, are you familiar with the history of the matter?
      4. +1
        21 May 2018 00: 08
        What wonderful arrows you drew on the map ....
        A couple of amateur questions to such a large specialist.
        First - How many divisions could the Allies deploy in the Balkans?
        Second - What is the terrain during the offensive in Southeast Europe?
        Third - How to supply troops advancing through the Balkans? What is the transportation network there?
        The answer is simple. The war would end anyway in the 45th. But not in May, but closer to the fall. Air forces would be diverted to the Balkans, Germany could still stamp tanks and planes. And most likely the allies would be stuck in the Balkans just as they were stuck in Italy.
    2. 0
      19 May 2018 23: 57
      "What is the difference (for the name of the front) in where the Second Front opened in Europe, in its south or north?"
      What is the second front? The front in Italy was not full, the main allied forces were in the WB, the allies advanced extremely sluggishly. Did Stalin interfere with them? This is a secondary front. On which Pts acted limited forces on both sides. Obviously not pulling on the Second. And didn’t stand close
      1. 0
        20 May 2018 06: 08
        Quote: 135lm
        What is the second front?

        The same one.
        Quote: 135lm
        The front in Italy was not full, the main forces of the allies were in the WB, the allies advanced extremely sluggishly.

        And what should it be? WHAT existed then definition “full” Second Front? Give (your definition is not interesting).
        Quote: 135lm
        were in WB

        Can we talk in Russian ?
        Quote: 135lm
        On which Pts acted limited forces on both sides. Obviously not pulling on the Second. And didn’t stand close

        Repeat ...
  2. +2
    19 May 2018 09: 11
    Uncle Joseph needed Eastern Europe and the Balkans, so at the Tehran Conference he forced the Allies to change plans and land in France.

    ,,, the time and place of the operation for the opening of the second front was adopted at the Quebec Conference, which lasted from 14 to 24 of August, was a series of meetings between the British and American military advisers, foreign ministers, whose results were considered in plenary sessions with the participation of the President and the Prime Minister .
    1. +6
      19 May 2018 09: 25
      If the allies did not want France, and after it - the industrial Ruhr, they would not have got into Normandy. And no permission from Uncle Joe (and not "Joseph", sorry) would not have asked ...
    2. +4
      19 May 2018 09: 27
      In terms of landing in Yugoslavia. This is only on the maps more precisely - on the globe, it seems that from there it is so easy to hit the “soft underbelly of Europe”. In fact, World War I showed how difficult it is to get out of there. And from Normandy to Berlin - how many "Suvorov crossings" are there?
      1. +3
        19 May 2018 10: 12
        Quote: podymych
        In terms of landing in Yugoslavia. This is only on the maps more precisely - on the globe, it seems that from there it is so easy to hit the “soft underbelly of Europe”. In fact, World War I showed how difficult it is to get out of there. And from Normandy to Berlin - how many "Suvorov crossings" are there?

        That's why you write any heresy? Read about Churchill's Balkan strategy and how at the Tehran Conference Stalin fought with it and then there will be no room for speculation.
      2. +1
        21 May 2018 00: 13
        Normandy-Germany is the shortest way. But even in this case, after the Falez bag, when the allies simply rolled across France in camp columns, they had to stop. The maximum depth of operations of that time was 500 km. Fans of the "soft underbelly" are highly recommended the memoirs of Eisenhower, Montgomery, Churchill ... Patton tore up metal and demanded to give him all the fuel and he would famously go to Berlin on his tanks. But for some reason, the wise Ike gave Montgomery fuel. Without the capture of Antwerp, it was impossible to ensure the supply of the masses of the troops.
    3. +2
      19 May 2018 09: 50
      Why did you write this?
  3. +4
    19 May 2018 09: 28
    Miserable little article. The logic gap is already in the first paragraph. This is mistake. The author, it is necessary to approach the propaganda more subtly, intrigue the reader, use the 70:30 method. Tell the truth, and gently slip the "rotten herring".
    There is such a historical joke:
    Germans - to win we need 100 divisions.
    - but the Italians will be our allies.
    - ........ then 120 divisions.
    The author was to say that with the withdrawal from the war of Italy, the Germans freed 20 divisions.
    Sculpt, so sculpt!
    1. +5
      19 May 2018 18: 38
      Quote: Tomatoes
      Then 120 divisions.

      I heard this option:
      “My Fuhrer, Italy has entered the war!”
      - Well, send 3 divisions against them!
      “My Fuhrer, but Italy entered the war on our side!”
      - Oh damn! Send them 3 armies to help!
  4. +2
    19 May 2018 16: 06
    In fact, the strategy for a future war with the Axis was formulated back in 1941. If we take the American pre-war plans for a future war, they directly say that in accordance with the decisions of the ABC-1 conference, Europe will be the main theater of the future war, Germany is the main opponent , but first of all the weakest link will be knocked out - Italy.
    Here is the Navy Basic War Plan-Rainbow No. 5 (WPL-46) dated May 26, 1941:
    12. The strategic concept includes the following as the principal offensive policies against the Axis Powers:
    (c) The early elimination of Italy as an active partner in the Axis.

    13. Plans for the Military operations of the Associated Powers will likewise be governed by the following:
    (a) Since Germany is the predominant member of the Axis Powers the Atlantic and European area is considered to be the decisive theater. The principal United States Military effort will be exerted in that theater and operations of United States forces in other theaters will be conducted in such a manner as to facilitate that effort.

    That is, first of all it is necessary to eliminate Italy; and since Germany is the main member of the Axis, the Atlantic and Europe will be the main theater of operations. All US military efforts will be concentrated on these military operations, and operations on the remaining military operations will be conducted in such a way as to facilitate efforts on the main military theater.
    1. +2
      20 May 2018 19: 38
      An unexpected factor was the landing of Rommel in Africa. Therefore, at first the Americans had to land in Morocco, then it was not easy to butt with Rommel until he was defeated at the end of 1942. Only after that it became possible to land in Italy and surrender it
  5. +2
    19 May 2018 19: 14
    An impressive photo of the eruption of Vesuvius in 1944 year. By the way, what prevents signatures for illustrations, the perception of the material would improve if there were signatures. Is this the cant of the author or the features of the site?
    1. 0
      21 May 2018 09: 54
      Right! In the heat of war, this powerful eruption has passed
      completely unnoticed. The guide on Vesuvius told us about this.
      And I had to evacuate towns and villages.
  6. +15
    20 May 2018 06: 31
    Germany and was left without an ally
    The king with most of Italy was on the side of the anti-Hitler coalition. Well, in the north - the puppet republic of Salo, led by Mussolini. What happened to the old leader of fascism from a submarine?
    Thanks O. Skorzeny
  7. +2
    21 May 2018 00: 22
    It is ridiculous to read forecasts on the development of the possible actions of the allies.
    Before landing on Sicily, General Eisenhower sent a letter to Churchill, where he expressed concern about the success of the landing. The letter said that, according to the common opinion of Eisenhower, Montgomery and Alexander, if two German movements were in Sicily, this casts doubt on the success of the operation.
    Churchill’s response “If two German divisions are an obstacle to the landing of a million people gathered in North Africa, it becomes impossible to talk about the further conduct of the war. It will be difficult for me to explain this to Stalin, on the front of which there are 200 German divisions”
    Allies nevertheless landed in Sicily and (oh, a miracle) on the island were exactly two German tank divisions. Thank God, the Germans did not find a third. Otherwise, we would not have to discuss the opening of the Second Front.
    1. +1
      21 May 2018 09: 59
      It was about a sea landing, but not about land
      actions need to be clarified. With landings from the sea, even
      relatively minor but active forces
      may disrupt the operation. While the bridgehead is small,
      it is easy to destroy.
      1. +1
        21 May 2018 10: 04
        It was about the landing operation. Indicate the source where it says about the amphibious assault. If it was a question of a sea landing, then it looks even funnier.
        If it was about that. Since small forces can disrupt the landing operation, I don’t remember such examples. The raid on Dieppe was a raid. What other examples can you give?
        Joint planning

        On April 8, 1943, Churchill received a telegram from the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in North Africa, General Dwight Eisenhower, in which doubts were expressed about the Husky operation regarding the invasion of Sicily. According to the American general, two enemy divisions created a serious obstacle to the successful landing of the allied forces. Eisenhower noted that "Alexander and Montgomery share the point of view." Churchill's personal assistant to President Roosevelt, Harry Hopkins, admitted that "this is the saddest telegram" he has ever received from Ike.
        Churchill was not only upset, but also a little surprised by this message. "A similar statement by General Eisenhower strongly at odds with the confidence that he demonstrates in connection with the upcoming invasion of the continent through the English Channel, where much more than two German divisions will be waiting for him- he wrote to the committee of chiefs of staff. - If the presence of two divisions is a decisive factor against the landing of the million people who are now gathered in North Africa, then it is generally difficult to talk about further methods of warfare. Months of preparation military superiority at sea and in the air - and all this is swept away because of two divisions. I believe that we should not condone such doctrines. ”
        Equally surprising was the British Prime Minister's support for the position of Eisenhower by Generals Alexander and Montgomery.
        “After the proceedings, it turned out that only General Alexander now shares the point of view of General Eisenhower,” Churchill continues in his note. “I hope Harold can answer for himself.” I do not believe that he could behave in such a clumsy way. I believe the chiefs of staff will not accept these cowardly and defeatist theorieswhoever they come from. I suggest writing a telegram to the president, since our military leaders endorse such plans will make us laugh in front of the whole world. In addition, I would like to know what General Eisenhower means by “two German divisions”. One German division consists of about twenty thousand people. Currently, divisions are fighting in North Africa, the number of which does not exceed four to five thousand people. General Eisenhower should be asked what options he offers and what he is going to do if he meets two German divisions (the number is uncertain) in any other place. What will Stalin think of this, with 185 German divisions on the front? It’s even hard for me to imagine! ”
        According to Churchill, the reason for such indecision was the negative consequences of joint planning:
        «This is an example of the idiocy of joint headquarters, which play on their own fears.. Everyone - both Americans and British - vied with each other to bring various difficulties and difficulties in the operation. As a result, there is a complete absence of one determining position and directing volitional energy. "
        1. +2
          21 May 2018 10: 12
          Of course, marine. What, tanks dropped from planes? Examples?
          Almost all Red Sea amphibious assaults on the Black Sea ended
          a failure. Even the usual crossing of a wide river requires
          complex logistics and thorough preparation. Forcing losses
          Dnieper recall?
          Did Hitler give up naval landing in England for no reason? Just a strait
          it would seem. They calculated the costs and possible losses - they shed a tear.
          And they moved the land east.
          1. 0
            21 May 2018 10: 19
            What do you mean by "sea landing"?
            By the way, the British still carried out the landings in the "soft underbelly of Europe". Take an interest in the fate of landings in the Eastern Mediterranean in 1943. The Germans crushed them all to one with one division. And the Italian garrisons just shot. And how did the British plan to land in the Balkans?
          2. +1
            21 May 2018 10: 21
            Tactical landings - yes. Two landing in Kerch ended successfully. With great casualties and losses, but successfully. And these were strategic landings.
          3. +1
            21 May 2018 10: 23
            A little off topic. Operation Sea Lion. That's where you have to laugh, but I want to cry. That is, they calculated the losses during the landing and refused. Moved to the East where the losses ... were it really less? Do you happen to confuse politics with war?
            Lose the army, state and life was preferable to losing a couple of divisions?
      2. +1
        21 May 2018 10: 16
        There is another example of the defense of a small bridgehead in the same Italy. Landing in Salerno. The German Panzer Division pressed the Allies to the sea and almost reached the coast. Naval artillery saved the situation. The heavy guns simply swept the Tigers off the surface of the earth. The landing was held on the edge of the coast, using the support of artillery ships.
        There is an example of a small landing defense on the Black Sea. "Small Earth" stayed on a piece of land measuring 4,5 by 2,5 km. But this is in "wild Russia."
        1. 0
          21 May 2018 10: 53
          "Moved to the East where the loss ... is it really less?" ////

          It turned out much, much more. But at that time Hitler imagined this
          did not represent. He had idle victorious tank armies. A ferry
          through the English Channel he could not (without dominance in the air and at sea).
          From here, the USSR found itself in the nearest sight. Adventure...

          "" Small Earth "stayed on a piece of land measuring 4,5 by 2,5 km." ////

          Remember the Nevsky Dubrovka sad . Where are the losses of the defending bridgehead at 1000
          times roughly exceeded the German ... Not all bridgeheads it makes sense to keep.
          The allies also failed in the allies, of course, you are right.
          This confirms my thesis that amphibious assault is a much more complicated operation than land (without forcing wide rivers).
          1. +2
            21 May 2018 11: 29
            Operation Sea Lion was no more difficult than forcing a water barrier. About this with Halder. The success of the operation was ensured by the superiority of German aviation. Yes, yes ... I'm not mistaken. At the landing site, the Germans had tactical superiority. Remember how they provided crossings across the Meuse. British naval superiority in a narrow strait did not matter. What the Germans clearly demonstrated in Crete. And then they repeated it in 1943. Roskill’s book, The Flag of St. George.
            What is it all about? Landing in the Balkans instead of Italy? There would be a meat grinder and no progress. France, Belgium everything remains with the Germans, new submarines use French ports. 15-20 German diysies from France go to the Eastern Front and a couple of divisions to the Balkans. The landing in the Balkans would prolong the war and lead to unnecessary friction between the allies.
            Landing in Italy instead of France? With a big stretch, you can call the Second Front. The purpose of the Second Front was to defeat Germany (not Italy) and to pull German divisions from the Eastern Front. Not performed. The 2nd CC SS was transferred from the East to Italy without armored vehicles. Only shtaby. Guderin's book "Memoirs of a Soldier"
            Difficulty landing? In addition to several unsuccessful tactical landings, all (ALL) landing operations completed successfully. Salerno’s example is generally indicative. There, the Tigers swept Warspite and Valiant. For the 381 mm guns, the Tigers armor did not represent any obstacle. Even close gaps caused damage to the tanks. "The enemy reports show that it was the artillery fire of the ships that served as the main cause of the failure of the counterattack."
            Incidentally, in connection with this, it leads to the distinction that in May 1942 the battleship Paris Commune was not used. Can the Germans drown him? But the cost of the battleship is no higher than the cost of the Crimean Front. But the Germans broke precisely along the Black Sea coast.
            All in all, we can practice knowledge of facts and history for a long time. But .... my opinion has not changed. The landing in Italy is a faint resemblance to the Second Front; the landing in the Balkans yielded nothing but trouble.
            The difficulties of landing operations are of course significant, but they have always been overcome.
            1. +1
              21 May 2018 11: 51
              "The success of the operation was ensured by the superiority of German aviation." ////

              belay belay Then you hit me: the Luftwaffe was defeated in the "Battle of England"
              The Germans lost 1/3 of all bombers and 1/4 of all fighters.
              The production of military aircraft since 1940 in England was MORE than in Germany.
              And so - until the end of the war. England from 1940 bombed Germany, including the capital - Berlin.
              What the hell is a Sea Lion? laughing
              1. 0
                21 May 2018 12: 29
                You struck me with ignorance of the Battle of England. Who was defeated? Do you know the state of the British Air Force on September 15, 1940?
                All of the Park's English squadrons engaged in a fierce battle. Churchill noticed the alarm on the vice marshal's face and asked:
                “What other reserves do we have?”
                “There are no more reserves, (Churchill W. Op. Cit., Vol. II, p. 296.)” he answered quietly. The position of the British Air Force was desperate.

                Errors made by Goering in planning the operation saved England. In late August and early September, the British Air Force was defeated.
                1. +1
                  21 May 2018 13: 41
                  If you look at Wiki in Russian, “Battle for England”, then there is a line of summing up the battle.
                  This line says in black and white:
                  "The decisive victory of Great Britain and the Allies"
                  Of course, there are alternative history sites. You may be their fan. But then I can not discuss with you. hi
                  1. 0
                    21 May 2018 14: 35
                    If you study history on Wiki, then it is also difficult for me to discuss. Do you know the number of aircraft in the Luftwaffe and in the Royal Forces? You know that the Battle of England was divided into three different stages. And that Goering’s mistake led to this result. Subtracted by English authors (well, at least Churchill). Quote not from wiki
                    However, not only losses in the fighters bothered the British command. Even more threatening were the low training and overfatigue of the flight crew. So, for example, in two weeks of fighting in August, the 616th squadron lost four pilots killed, five wounded, one pilot was captured and two were expelled for refusing to take off. Entire squadrons refused to carry out combat orders
                    For the same two weeks, the British lost 466 fighters, and the replenishment amounted to only 269 aircraft. Of the thousands of pilots, 231 were lost killed, wounded and missing. Six of the seven airfields of the 11th fighter group were disabled.

                    In the following days, German aviation continued to strike at airfields. On September 2, a group of Dornier-17 bombers, accompanied by Me-109 fighters, bombed airfields in South England. Only one squadron flew to intercept from the last remaining aerodrome. Air supremacy over Southern England was almost achieved. What has come to be called the “critical period” has come. If the Luftwaffe command continued to strike at the airfields until they were completely destroyed, it would achieve complete air supremacy in the area. However, this was not done. The flights were given the task of destroying the aviation industry, which made it possible for the British to begin the restoration of fighter airfields.
                    1. +1
                      21 May 2018 15: 04
                      “You know that the Battle of England was divided into three different stages.” ///

                      What is the difference in how many stages? At least ten. The battle has a result.
                      And he is the victory of England. Moreover, strategic: after it the Nazis abandoned the invasion of England. Not a single German soldier set foot on English soil.

                      About any battle, we can say that it is divided into stages.
                      Do you agree that the Battle of Kursk is a strategic one, decisive and crucial in the 2 World War? After it, the Nazis could no longer win the war. I - agree with this point of view.
                      And this despite the fact that General Rotmistrov lost the battle near Prokhorovka to smithereens (the Red Army lost the entire strategic reserve of tanks).
                      That the losses of the Red Army far exceeded the German.
                      What the Germans took during the battle tens of thousands of prisoners of war (and taken to camps in Germany).
                      All of the above does not negate the stubborn fact that the Battle of Kursk was won by the Red Army and is a watershed in the 2nd World War.

                      You palm off on me nonsense; "Ah, the pilots overworked," trying to refute the obvious:
                      "The decisive victory of Great Britain and the Allies"
                      I see no reason in further discussions with you on this topic. It was interesting, thanks for the attention to my posts. hi
                      1. +2
                        21 May 2018 15: 31
                        You misinterpret events and inattentively read. From here misunderstandings and superfluous disputes arise. Want one more time?
                        How did the discussion begin? From my assertion that over the landing site the Luftwaffe achieved superiority. And you are fixated on the end result. Did I refute that the battle for England was won by the British? We talked about local superiority over South England.
                        Sea Lion's planning clearly states that an operation is possible when air supremacy over South England is achieved. By the end of August 1940, the Germans had solved this problem. Another voluminous quote
                        But all the same, the losses of the RAF were extremely large. According to the staffing table, it was expected that fighter squadrons had 26 pilots for 18 aircraft, that is, 12 crews were supposed to participate in combat missions, which allowed them to operate in two shifts and thereby maintain the combat effectiveness of their units.
                        However, in early September, an average of 16 pilots read in the squadrons. Almost 80 percent of all squadron commanders dropped out of service, and officers were appointed in their place, many of whom did not even have combat experience. The same situation was observed with the flight crew - for most pilots, the flight time was no more than 10 hours.
                        In order to improve the situation a little, the command of fighter aviation organized accelerated pilot courses, to which pilots of auxiliary aviation and graduates of flight schools were sent; the training course was only two weeks. It is easy to imagine what such a pilot had real chances to win in aerial combat.
                        Since August 19, the command of the RAF has sharply changed the tactics of fighter aircraft: the main task was to protect their airfields. To the extent possible, the pilots were encouraged to avoid engaging in escort with German escort fighters, at any cost to distract them from the covered bombers, and to destroy the bombers in the first place. Squadrons on duty began to stand out at British airfields in order to immediately take off on alert and intercept German aircraft as early as possible, preventing them from rebuilding into battle formation.
                        And still, the forces of the British Air Force were running out: the Luftwaffe was able to gain complete dominance in the air over southern England, most of the airfields were badly damaged by bombing, and the flight crew, which without its bulk was well prepared, was completely exhausted sorties.

                        Operation Sea Lion was quite possible. Air supremacy has been achieved. The refusal of the operation was caused not by possible losses, but by political motives. That’s all you need to know. As you can see, I don’t use Vicki.
                      2. +1
                        21 May 2018 16: 39
                        Quote: voyaka uh
                        Do you agree that the Battle of Kursk is a strategic one, decisive and crucial in the 2 World War? After it, the Nazis could no longer win the war. I - agree with this point of view.

                        And why not the battle of Stalingrad? After Stalingrad, the Germans were mostly defending and retreating. The Kursk battle is the last attempt of the Germans during the offensive to regain strategic initiative. After the summer of 1943, the Germans only defended themselves and at the same time delivered sometimes sensitive counterattacks, but the Germans no longer had the strength for an offensive operation comparable to Kursk.
                    2. 0
                      21 May 2018 16: 29
                      Quote: Bakht
                      political motives

                      which ones?
                      the moment would most likely be one - the USSR would have prevented this not to be left completely alone, or the Rockefellers would stop supplying the Nazis with varnish for rubber and rubber, cocoa beans for pansher chocolate with pervitin on which the Luftwaffe also sat, too, could unexpectedly be in short supply
                      1. +1
                        21 May 2018 17: 19
                        Hitler did not intend to conquer England. He didn’t want to fight her at all ... What did Germany gain from the victory over England? His constant idea was to make peace with England. But he did not study well at school and did not know the main idea of ​​English politics over the past 200 years - to prevent the diminution of one state in Europe. Therefore, it was impossible for England to make peace with Germany.
                        Manstein has a lot of discussion about the invasion of England. Conclusion - the operation is risky, but possible. But what is the purpose of this operation? No. Guderian is the same. He, too, was an opponent of the landing. But he suggested going south - to land in Malta and capture North. Africa To force England to peace.
                        The landing in England, in addition to risk, did not give Germany peace. Although it improved its strategic position. And after the victorious year of 1940, oddly enough as it sounds, Germany wanted to make peace. But on their own terms.
                        No one read Halder's diary? "England’s hope is Russia. If Russia is defeated, England will lose its last hope." This is a quote from Hitler at a meeting in Berchhoff. July 1940 Among other things, the defeat of Russia means the strengthening of Japan and then the United States will not be able to intervene in European affairs: "Russia is the East Asian sword of England and America against Japan."
                        That is, an attack on the USSR is not Hitler's momentary whim, but a well-informed program of action.
                        On the contrary, conquering the metropolis of England means strengthening the United States, since all dominions and colonies will fall into the hands of the Americans.
                        Solution: the defeat of Russia in 1941.
                        History has shown that the decision was wrong. Hitler did not listen to Haushofer and went along the path that Napoleon walked before him. The result is the same in both cases.
                      2. +1
                        21 May 2018 17: 27
                        I can not say for sure, because this phrase has no documentary evidence. But, according to rumors, after the war, Stalin said in his hearts, "Fool Hitler. He didn’t understand anything."
                        Geopolitics is an interesting thing. Hitler could spit on any Rockefeller with Morgan. It was supplied by Japan from Southeast Asia with all the necessary gadgets. Through the territory of the USSR. Having attacked the USSR, Hitler definitely received a complete blockade.
                        Long write. Yes, I'm not a writer. The idea of ​​Haushofer - the prosperity of the Heartland lies through the axis of Berlin-Moscow-Tokyo. When his ideas were rejected, he lost all influence. His students were Hess and Ribbentrop. Committed suicide in 1946 He was not judged. He just lost the meaning of life.
                        It is interesting that Primakov believed that the power of Eurasia (the same Hartland) lies in the axis of Berlin-Moscow-Beijing. So to speak, the modernized Haushofer axis. And it seems to me that Primakov was right.
                    3. 0
                      22 May 2018 00: 22
                      I didn’t want to fight, but I started the air battle for England and prepared for the landing
                      1. 0
                        22 May 2018 15: 21
                        Right. As Al Capone said, “With a kind word and a gun, you can achieve more than just a kind word”
                    4. 0
                      22 May 2018 21: 37
                      well, he wasn’t just waving it in front of the English, but he still didn’t say anything
  8. +1
    21 May 2018 23: 03
    You yourself explained by your post why the Battle of Kursk, and not Stalingrad, became the turning point of the 2nd World War. Stalingrad did not hit the Germans with the number of soldiers killed, but with their terrible death from the cold surrounded.
    But by the summer of 1943, Germany again managed to assemble a carefully trained, well-equipped shock fist of the troops. Everything favored them: summer is a mild climate, the terrain is ideal for maneuvering tank warfare. Enough ammo and shells. But the offensive was stifled, despite tactical successes.
    And this was clear evidence that the Third Reich had failed. Further there were continuous retreats, although every now and then - tactical shots and counterattacks.
  9. +2
    21 May 2018 23: 36
    "Hitler was not going to conquer England. He did not want to fight it at all." ////

    And so on the FIRST day of World War II drowned an English passenger airliner?
    England was the main and principal adversary of Hitler in Europe. Churchill publicly mocked Hitler, ridiculed him in his speeches in Parliament (and Stalin, by the way, did not allow a single impolite word regarding Hitler. And vice versa).
    Hitler studied at school so poorly that he did not understand that the US economy is more powerful than the German and English combined. With all natural resources, seas of oil and gasoline.
    And that the community of English-speaking countries is about 10 times stronger economically and demographically of the Axis countries. Stalin chose good allies for himself: the two largest military powers in the world, plus Canada, Australia, India and others — the entire globe.
    And whom did Hitler choose as allies? Italy...
    Such is geopolitics.
    1. 0
      22 May 2018 15: 18
      This is all at the level of reasoning. Germany twice in the 20th century fought against almost the whole world. And the most surprising - in both cases, almost won. In any case, the victory over the 2nd and 3rd Reichs cost the world innumerable victims. These are the facts. And it would be nice to think about them.
      And something else to think carefully about now. In both cases, the ridge of Germany was broken by Russia and the USSR. Even in World War I, Russia's role in the victory over Germany is beyond doubt.
      Do you pay attention to the words? Commendable, but fraught with errors. We must look at the facts, not the words. For it is said, "The tongue is given to the diplomat, in order to hide his thoughts."
      Drowned the liner? Athenia seems .... So what? And after a couple of weeks, and an aircraft carrier. In war as in war. But here are the goals of the war .... Let’s say such a small touch. In the summer of 1940 (preparation for the Sea Lion is just in progress) in Germany demobilization. 100 thousand people are leaving the Wehrmacht and returning to peaceful life. Have you heard about this? How does this fit into your picture of the world?
      1. 0
        22 May 2018 21: 39
        especially the second time she fought almost exclusively against the USSR

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