Author Topic: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start  (Read 4745 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« on: January 31, 2015, 05:25:28 AM »
In WWI, Italy entered the war on the side of the Allies.  Whatif in WWII the same occurred?  Maybe Benito Mussolini gets toppled or perhaps has a falling out with Hitler.

Either way, what outcomes might we see in the scenario?  I'm thinking the obvious is that the entire Mediterranean/African war doesn't occur or else takes an entirely different flavour.  Potential for Italian platforms operating with Allies?
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Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2015, 06:50:24 AM »
Italian Navy as Atlantic escorts. No invasion of North Africa. Italian Air Force attacking north.

The biggest change it makes... the Fall of France is much harder to achieve. With the southern flank secure the French as secure in facing only the Wehrmacht.

I'd say that the war lasts until 1943, and ends with the overthrow of Hitler and the fall of the National Socialist Party. Post war the world is very different, Russia has had no impetus to develop their military from it's pre-war levels. The Royal Navy is free to join the USN in the Pacific and the Japanese are in much greater trouble. If the RAF can get into action with Lancs in the Pacific... the Japanese are basically screwed.

1000 plane raids over Japanese cities and day and night bombing raids. How long can the Japanese hold out? I'd hazard a guess that the Manhattan Project is never used, Japan surrenders before the bombs get dropped.

Interesting. :)

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2015, 07:42:50 AM »
It could be rather interesting to see what the Italian aircraft industry could create with ready access to Allied engines isntead of being dependent on imported or license-built German engines.  Depending on when the change-over occurred, you might also have Italy not going into Ethiopia and having a much better reputation with the rest of the world and the advantages that would bring.

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2015, 08:09:56 AM »
Hmmm...

If you are looking at the break point between our history and this revised version... might I suggest the Austrian Anschluss?

Fascist Italy object to the Anschluss in real life, so if the amalgamation of Austria into Germany actually starts the ball rolling for WWII, then Italy might be on the side of the Allies.

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2015, 10:09:33 AM »
Is Mussolini to still be in power?

Without Mussolini Italian military modernisation would more than likely have been delayed considerably, particularly WRT the naval side of things.   Without him, there would have been no Ethiopian expedition.

Anschlus is a good departure point with him in power.  Mussolini was not happy with the way in which Hitler essentially left him out of the loop with that and Munich.   It could have been possible for him to have decided to have remained neutral in 1940 in reaction.

If the Italians had not attacked France however, I still believe France would have fallen, perhaps a month at most later but not much more.  French morale was shot, once the breakthrough at Sedan happened, the French military and government essentially fell apart.  They just didn't have the stomach for it, after the massive losses of WWI (not one French family it is said had not suffered at least one loss in WWI).    Nor were they really equipped for a fast moving manoeuvre battle after they had invested so much political and financial capital and will into the myth of the Maginot line.

If Italy had at least remained neutral or come in on the Allied side, that would have freed up the Mediterranean and North Africa.  It would have allowed the RN to concentrate on the Atlantic much more and that in turn would have more than likely seen the U-Boats defeated perhaps a year earlier.    I can't see the RN being able to divert all that much more resources to the Indian Ocean but perhaps at least one or two fleet carriers?   Whether this would have made them simply more targets for the Japanese or would it have deterred them from their Indian Ocean expedition is debatable IMO.  I suspect they would still have attacked Ceylon and we'd have seen more RN ships sunk.

 

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2015, 11:17:19 AM »
A Neutral Italy leaves France unsure of it's southern flank, it can't know if Italy will decide to be opportunistic. If Italy comes in on the side of England and France, Germany is facing Italian forces on the Austrian (German) border. It's Germany that is distracted by a possible second front.

Strangely enough, the best planes available to the Italian Air Force at the start of the war... are all German. Stukas, Messerschmitts and Ju-88s.

Makes thing kind of odd. :)

Offline arkon

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2015, 12:04:03 PM »
Without North Africa and invasion of Italy would that loss of knowledge gained during those campaigns affected the eventual invasion of France ?
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2015, 09:57:37 PM »
I like it!

Maybe Mussolini could have stayed in power until late 1939, early 1940 but was forced out before joining the war on Germany's side. Perhaps Mussolini died in an accident, was assassinated, or was even removed by a popular uprising, the Italian military has still benefited from the modernisation under fascism but moves on before joining the Germans becomes inevitable.

Italy was a member of the Central Powers before WWI but was persuaded (bribed) to join the allies instead. Interestingly Turkey also could quite easily have joined the allies as the pro British sentiment in government was quite high and some in Britain tried very hard to bring them on board but unfortunately others were doing things such as taking over Turkish battleships which tipped them the other way.

Without Italy joining the war there would have been no Balkans campaign as well as no African campaign, this may have facilitated an earlier, more successful attack on the USSR.

Assuming France still falls, would we have seen the 2nd AIF in Italy instead, or perhaps even in Eastern Europe supporting the Soviets.

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2015, 03:27:39 AM »
Getting down to platforms (thus able to be modelled... ;))  What about a Fiat G.55 or Macchi C.205 or Reggiane Re.2005 with something such as a RR Griffon instead of license built DB 605?  Maybe also operating with "invasion stripes"... ;)
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2015, 07:59:56 AM »
Getting down to platforms (thus able to be modelled... ;))  What about a Fiat G.55 or Macchi C.205 or Reggiane Re.2005 with something such as a RR Griffon instead of license built DB 605?  Maybe also operating with "invasion stripes"... ;)
And with Italian roundels, similar to the Co-Belligerent Air Force ones (the previous fasces having disappeared with the fall of the Fascists) but with the Cross of Savoy still on the vertical tails.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2015, 08:27:56 AM »
RAAF & RNZAF (& SAAF?) squadrons flying Italian aircraft against the Luftwaffe over Italy & Austria? ???
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Offline Alvis 3.1

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2015, 01:11:14 PM »
If the German attacks on the USSR still happened, you'd wind up with some seriously screwy situations if Tito was able to rise into a position of power in Yugoslavia. Given the territorial problems between Italy and Yugoslavia, you might wind up with some seriously messed up alliances being formed.

Actually, my head hurts trying to figure exactly where things would have gone without an expansionist Italy. No North African front, Greece being left alone, but without those distractions, Germany may have had stronger forces in Europe itself. Italy might have been the front the Allies used to hang onto after the fall of France, but given the less than stellar state of the Italian military, how well would it have held out against a determined German assault? Would Germany have switched to attacking Italy instead of the USSR? Would Stalin have seized the opportunity to "assist" the Nazis in "liberating" the bordering countries next to Italy? Most of that would have been ground force dominant, something the UK was sorely lacking in the early war phases.

Determining when Italy dropped away from the Germanic influences would actually be a major factor in the Spanish Civil War as well. Without Italy siding with the Republicans, Franco might very well have not achieved victory. Would a communist dominated Spain may have sided with Germany in an invasion of France? Could you switch in Spain instead of Italy? Gibraltar would most likely have been taken had that been the case, but without needing to bolster the Med, would it have really been important in the long run?

Given the state of affairs in Italy at the end of WW 2, I'd suspect the anti-fascists would not look too favourably at their former leadership. The ensuing chaos and disruptions might effectively knock Italy out of the war, if you follow a Mussolini ouster around 1940.

What if wise, however, there's loads of great things, giving reliable British engines to Italy would be one right away. Italian navy units in RN markings would also be nice to see.

Alvis 3.1

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2015, 09:00:41 PM »
RAAF flying SM79s in the Pacific against Japan

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2015, 12:02:17 PM »
RAAF flying SM79s in the Pacific against Japan

How many young Aussie airmen  are you trying to kill here, mate? :o
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Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2015, 12:11:31 PM »
Hey, the SM.79 was a fine aircraft. I think that it would have been as good as the Beaufort in many ways.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Italy fights on Allied side in WWII…from the start
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2015, 09:09:42 PM »
An SM79 in late war RAAF Beaufighter scheme, Foliage Green, white tail and leading edges, I can picture it now.  I wonder if my old old old Airfix kit is salvageable, not sure how many bits I lost, very tempted.

Back to the original topic though, imagine the Italian fleet in the pacific, perhaps even with Aquila.  Plenty of kits of the Littorios out there and a few of Italian heavy cruisers too.  Italian Hellcats, Avengers and Helldivers? Or marinised Fiats and Macchis in allied colours?  How would the CR42 have done against the Zero?