I spent some of my military service up there in the 80ties, and cant belive how Churchill in 1940 would think it was even remotely possible to walk 50 000 Brits over the mountain with no skies and no supply and no winter gear.
Churchill had a track record of cooking up grandiose flanking operations that looked impressive on maps but which were of dubious practical value, and a bad habit of giving a completely inadequate amount of thought to their operational and logistical details. Gallipoli in WWI is the most notorious example, and the 1940 British invasion of Norway had many of the same problems: it was planned too quickly and too superficially, and like Gallipoli it was based on the premise that an amphibious invasion can be improvised by basically just loading a bunch of troops onto standard Royal Navy warships and throwing them at an enemy coastline. As the Americans eventually learned in the Pacific, successful amphibious operations require months of careful planning and training, lots of specialized equipment, and close inter-service cooperation. So it doesn’t surprise me that Churchill wouldn’t have bothered considering the practicality of marching several divisions of British troops through Norway’s mountains, in winter, with no special training or equipment. Another place where he made this mistake was Italy, which was another of his pet flanking operation concepts. His argument that Italy was the “soft underbelly of the crocodile” falls apart when you look at a topographical map of the Italian peninsula: it’s ideal country for a defender because it basically consists of narrow coastal plains (defilades in military parlance) flanking a rugged mountainous interior. And to (literally) top it all off: where would the invading Allies have ended up if they had managed to fight all the way up to the top of the Italian boot? In the Alps.
I think you make some very good points.
But the invasion of Africa was to secure Britains fuel links to the middle east.
Also I believe his intention was to invade Greece.
I do believe that in some ways the invasion of Greece would make some sense
as it could help with the Russians more readily once the fronts meet up.
Also a third of Germany’s oil comes from the Romanian town (or city) of Polesti