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Does Normandy invasion on D-Day necessary to defeat Germany?


  • 2017 2016

    @Cpt.:

    Lets not all forget that the true implications to landing on Normandy that day were to secure Western Europe from falling under communistic or anti western governments. The outcome of the war was long decided by this point. As to the theory’s of German cooperation with western allies, it would make sense as the looming threat from the east was in process of advancing the greatest force of manpower ever assembled in history of all wars. Following Kursk the Russians were well on their way to reaching Berlin first, which worried not only the Germans but also the western powers.

    I have this question since D-Day 70th Anniversary:
    Since Italy was invaded by Western’s Allies, was it necessary to invade northern France to win war against Germany?
    Was it, in fact, for fear of communism spreading across continental Europe, that Normandy invasion was a must and the first and foremost “untold” goal, hence saving France and Belgium from communism, or protecting capitalism in western Europe?

    In other terms, did D-Day was the first prelude to Cold War?


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    The Russians alone after Autumn 1943 would defeat the Axis. Sorry but it’s true.

    Second front was just to save Russian lives and to save Western Europe from Russia.

    However if you landed Labron James, he alone could defeat Germany.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Baron:

    Since Italy was invaded by Western’s Allies, was it necessary to invade northern France to win war against Germany?

    In terms of the Italy part of your question, yes.  Churchill had advocated the invasion of Italy on the grounds that it was the “soft underbelly of the crocodile”, but anyone who could read a topographic map could have told him that he was fantasizing.  Italy’s central portion consists almost entirely of mountains; only the narrow coastal areas on each side of the country are reasonably flat.  This is ideal terrain for a defender, particularly a skilled one like Kesselring.  And just assuming that the Anglo-Americans could have fought all the way to the top of the Italian boot (and as far as I know, they never got further than the river Po before the 1945 surrender), what would they have found there, standing between them and Germany?  The Alps.  So much for soft underbellies.



  • @Imperious:

    The Russians alone after Autumn 1943 would defeat the Axis. Sorry but it’s true.

    No need to apologize, it’s the truth. The Red Army had the weapons and manpower to push to the English Channel.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    According to the US, Yes!



  • @CWO:

    what would they have found there, standing between them and Germany?  The Alps.  So much for soft underbellies.

    That aint true for the G40 map, there you can blitz an Army group from Italy to Denmark in one move, aint no mountains stopping you there, man  😄


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Narvik:

    @CWO:

    what would they have found there, standing between them and Germany?�  The Alps.�  So much for soft underbellies.

    That aint true for the G40 map, there you can blitz an Army group from Italy to Denmark in one move, aint no mountains stopping you there, man  😄

    This would be an interesting revisionist theory for why Churchill thought Italy would be a pushover: he was doing his strategic planning on a very early conceptual prototype of the A&A map board.  And an explanation for why his plan didn’t work: Kesselring was using a real map.  🙂


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    I keep coming back to this thread and not posting.
    I think we agree the Allies had to land in France, politically and symbolically. I am not convinced that if they did not, that Russia would have taken Berlin and overrun all of Western Germany and more.
    I admit they were getting stronger each summer and they were learning how to win campaigns. But, if the Germans did not need to garrison the West(Italy accepted and that could be held with a scratch force), they would have freed up good units and commanders for the only  front.
    If the Allies had not landed, the Ardennes offensive with all the resources(the last real resources), would have been put to good use in the East. There would have not been a Bagration and utter collapse and rush to Warsaw. The satellite nations would have remained with Germany and the situation held.
    Fighting a two front war(I do not consider Italy a Front) was what finished off Germany.
    I believe, therefore, the landings were necessary to expedite Germany’s collapse.



  • @CWO:

    @Narvik:

    @CWO:

    what would they have found there, standing between them and Germany?��  The Alps.��  So much for soft underbellies.

    That aint true for the G40 map, there you can blitz an Army group from Italy to Denmark in one move, aint no mountains stopping you there, man�  😄

    This would be an interesting revisionist theory for why Churchill thought Italy would be a pushover: he was doing his strategic planning on a very early conceptual prototype of the A&A map board.  And an explanation for why his plan didn’t work: Kesselring was using a real map.   🙂

    Churchill also wanted a large invasion of Greece. How would a 1943 invasion of the Balkans have effected the War?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @ABWorsham:

    Churchill also wanted a large invasion of Greece. How would a 1943 invasion of the Balkans have effected the War?

    Negatively: it would have dispersed the Allied war effort even further for no obvious gain.  Greece’s terrain is as bad as Italy’s from a military point of view, and I can’t think of any strategically critical targets in the Balkans.  The oil fields at Ploesti were important, but Germany was actually producing a lot of its oil synthetically at home, so an Allied capture of Romania would have hurt but wouldn’t have been fatal.  Churchill should have learned his lesson in 1941 when he stripped a good deal of strength from his Egypt-based army (which had driven the Italians westward a considerable distance) and sent those forces to help Greece.  The outcome?  The British forces in Greece ended up being driven into the sea in a Mediterranean version of Dunkirk, and the Axis forces in North Africa pushed the weakened British forces there back into Egypt.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Nice post Marc.
    Invading the Balkans, where the Axis had German, Italian and Bulgarian troops would have played into their hands. Those troops, admittedly poor quality for  the most part, were sitting idly. To have an enemy, other than Partisans, would have galvanised them. I think only a few good German Divisions as reinforcements, would have sufficed to hold the invaders down(like Anzio) or push them  Into the sea.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    Invading the Balkans, where the Axis had German, Italian and Bulgarian troops would have played into their hands. Those troops, admittedly poor quality for  the most part, were sitting idly. To have an enemy, other than Partisans, would have galvanised them. I think only a few good German Divisions as reinforcements, would have sufficed to hold the invaders down(like Anzio) or push them  Into the sea.

    Good points.  Another problem with invading Greece is that, in the run-up to the invasion of Sicily, the Allies had conducted a deception operation aimed at making the Germans think that the Allies would invade Greece, in the hope that the Germans would transfer some of their defending forces from Sicily to Greece.  So it would have been idiotic for the Allies to invade a territory which they themselves had persuaded the Germans to reinforce, since this would have contradicted the whole point of running such a deception in the first place.  Churchill was fully aware of the deception, since he’d personally approve its Operation Mincemeat component, so I can’t fathom why he’d be so keen on invading Greece, other than perhaps because of his overall eagerness to fight the Germans on all kinds of peripheral fronts and to avoid fighting them head-on in northwestern France.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    I had forgotten that.
    The Germans had a powerful Panzer Division in Greece(I think). It would have been better used at Kursk.
    I am sorry, I have forgotten which one.



  • The Allied invasion of Italy began in early September, 1943. By early October '43, the southern 1/3 of Italy was in Allied hands. At that point the Allied advance became bogged down due to a variety of factors:

    1. They encountered a series of German defensive lines. Once one line fell, the Germans would retreat to the next. These lines took advantage of mountainous terrain.
    2. Hitler committed additional forces to stopping the Allied advance.
    3. Some Allied generals were overly timid; even to the point of disobeying orders.
    4. FDR opposed the commitment of D-Day-scale resources to the Italian campaign.

    Despite the above, Rome fell in June of '44. Churchill had hoped that the Italian Campaign could be a springboard into Eastern Europe.


    Churchill had hoped that a major advance in the autumn of 1944 would open the way for the Allied armies to advance north eastwards through the ‘Ljubljana Gap’ (the area between Venice and Vienna, modern Slovenia) to Vienna and Hungary to forestall the Russians advancing into Eastern Europe. Churchill’s proposal had been strongly opposed by the US Chiefs of Staff.


    Stalin was also aware of postwar considerations. He strongly felt the Western democracies’ main advance should be in Northern France, not Italy.

    Suppose FDR had sided with Churchill and against Stalin on this issue. No Normandy invasion, no landings in Southern France. Instead, an overwhelming commitment of invasion resources to Italy starting in ‘43. With such a massive commitment of resources, it’s likely Italy would have fallen much faster. This would not have been achieved by head-on attacks against prepared German mountain defenses. Instead, the Allies would have used a series of “peninsula hopping” operations; outflanking each successive German line by landing to the north. Had the Allies’ best general–Patton–been put in charge of these operations, and had they committed massive military resources, there is little doubt they would have succeeded.

    Postwar Europe would have looked very different. There would have been a large-scale Western democratic presence in Central and even parts of Eastern Europe. Tens of millions of Europeans would have been spared the horror of Soviet occupation and Soviet rule.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @KurtGodel7:

    Suppose FDR had sided with Churchill and against Stalin on this issue. No Normandy invasion, no landings in Southern France. Instead, an overwhelming commitment of invasion resources to Italy starting in ‘43. With such a massive commitment of resources, it’s likely Italy would have fallen much faster. This would not have been achieved by head-on attacks against prepared German mountain defenses. Instead, the Allies would have used a series of “peninsula hopping” operations; outflanking each successive German line by landing to the north. Had the Allies’ best general–Patton–been put in charge of these operations, and had they committed massive military resources, there is little doubt they would have succeeded.

    Postwar Europe would have looked very different. There would have been a large-scale Western democratic presence in Central and even parts of Eastern Europe. Tens of millions of Europeans would have been spared the horror of Soviet occupation and Soviet rule.

    A question: if the Allies had concentrated their efforts and resources on conquering the southern part of Europe, and had not invaded France, isn’t it possible that the Russians would have driven westward through Germany in 1945 and would have kept going through France (which Germany would still be occupying in this scenario) until they got to the English Channel?  In other words, doesn’t a scenario in which the Anglo-Americans end up controlling the southern and eastern parts of Europe create a situation in which the Soviets end up controlling the northern and western parts of Europe, with France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark and possibly Norway being switched from Nazi occupation to Soviet occupation?



  • I was thinking the same thing CWO Marc. I’ve come to the conclusion that it depended on what the Germans did in response to a full scale allied invasion of Italy. I think it’s a given that many of the divisions defending against an invasion of France would have been put to use against either the Soviets or the Allies. If the defenses were sufficiently stripped, it’s possible the allies could have landed a small invasion force in France (especially S. France) and done a variant of the Champagne Campaign writ large. It just depends on how many soldiers Germany had in the western countries and what quality they were.

    To help the allied cause, whichever forces Germany had in France, Belgium, etc would likely have faced severe supply shortage due to an aggressive allied bombing campaign. Allied bombers started running out of targets later in the war and probably would have targeted logistic’s infrastructure such as bridges, trains, and such with greater frequency as the war progressed.



  • @CWO:

    A question: if the Allies had concentrated their efforts and resources on conquering the southern part of Europe, and had not invaded France, isn’t it possible that the Russians would have driven westward through Germany in 1945 and would have kept going through France (which Germany would still be occupying in this scenario) until they got to the English Channel?  In other words, doesn’t a scenario in which the Anglo-Americans end up controlling the southern and eastern parts of Europe create a situation in which the Soviets end up controlling the northern and western parts of Europe, with France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark and possibly Norway being switched from Nazi occupation to Soviet occupation?

    You’ve raised a very good question.

    In the scenario I outlined, one possible Allied objective would have been to reach the Baltic before the Red Army arrived. Had this been achieved, all of Europe west of this Anglo-American line would presumably have been protected from the Red terror. Whether that was achievable goal is difficult to say.


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