This strat has many angles to look at (a lot of if’s). Much would depend on the order and success of the German G1 attacks, and the UK counter punches. If UK lost any planes on G1 (or UK1) they aren’t looking to stack Paris (would be too weak). Keep in mind that as the allies you don’t know if this is on the table or not, but we’ve seen it once or twice so would be aware of the possibility.
I have to say that Whitshadw’s Atlantic attacks against the UK are more risky then I would normally do, maybe he wants UK to scramble to lose a couple planes so they can’t stack Paris (I personally don’t like risking German air power). With that said, he would also be in control of which battles are fought first, keeping his intent to weaken France for the Italians under wrap (a strat that could also be aborted, if it doesn’t feel right the Germans take Paris G1). I would also point out that the Germans would most defiantly be attacking at least one (maybe both) French coastal IC territories on G1. Germany needs the income, and you don’t want those French units to screw you (so please stop arguing that point). If (big IF) the allies don’t stack Paris, Italy would still get the 19 IPC bankroll for taking it It1 (would obviously be much less on G2 or It2). Another thing to point out is that normally the Paris assault takes two rounds, so it is very possible that the Germans won’t be able to strafe it for the Italians because the French folded to easy. It is also possible that the French fight hard, and the Germans have no choice but to leave it for Italy (it happens once in a blue moon).
From UK’s perspective:
It has been established that the UK could still attack Italian sz 97, and 96, but can’t use all her air power if she wants to land all available planes in Paris. Most planes can’t make the sea battles, and land in Paris (1-2 fewer UK planes change the odds rather dramatically in Paris). This would make the Italian sea battles more risky, but UK also knows that the Italians need those planes to sack Paris so would they scramble? At this point Italy may not know it is the UK’s intent to stack Paris, so it works both ways. If Italy can’t take Paris on It2, they would surly want to soften it up for a G2 attack
More to think about,
Did the UK 91 cruiser survive G1 to hit sz 96 w/air (didn’t see that as part of the German Atlantic campaign). If the UK loses a couple planes in either the G1 (scramble), or UK1 battles I don’t think the RAF lands in Paris (too weak) leaving it for the Italians. Either way the UK would probably still hit the bulk of the Ita navy though, so Italy would still be left in a pickle IMO, with a lot on their plate when their turn comes up (unless UK forgoes a naval attack and retreats to the Red Sea?). If the UK stacks Paris with air, and has a couple ships left in the Italian harbor after Taranto, Italy would need to chose attack ships (Brits & French), or attack Paris (for the Germans). I know the Italians can surround Egypt (with German air support), and have a chance to push through, but I also know the UK can bulk up to defend it by pulling units from India and S Africa, build an IC turn 1, or trade it. And yes the US can make a major impact in the Med, and very well may be parked off Gib on US3 (axis generally attack before or on turn 3), some variables there too. There are some games where UK attacks in the Pac and the US can’t leave DC until turn 4 (so they may go Pac where they can move). Also when the US is at Gib, they could also be going north to Norway, but the possibility of US in the Med will generally stall Italy.
Anyway, I don’t think this was ever meant to be a sure fire way for the axis to win a game. It is another possible strat to throw the other side off their game, or do something they may not be real comfortable with (like risking the RAF in Paris). You guys could play 10 games via AAA, but he wouldn’t attempt this in every game (maybe 2-3 times if things fell right). Under the right circumstances it could work out giving Italy some extra income (we have seen it). A strong Italy can be an aid to the Germans defensively, and could help to distract the allies. I know that giving Paris to Italy could also stall a Barbarossa for lack of units at the front. Depends on what round you plan on sacking Moscow. Maybe you just want them to collapse back to Moscow to make them irrelevant for some time, build up and then sack em using their own IC’s to produce units, or by building a minor in say western Ukraine or Ros for a few more good men.
Just thinking out loud that if the UK lost every ship and plane on the Atlantic side by round 2 either through attacks, or counter attacks, that has to be a major set back for the allies. Even if Italy doesn’t get Paris (Germany takes it round G2) and is partially neutered in the process the UK is nothing w/o the RAF, plus their is less allied air going to Moscow. Yea India and US could send some help, but Japan will be licking its chops.