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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines > Xtreme Alternate History

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  #16  
Old 20 May 15, 16:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
Pantelleria was next to useless. It was small, in range of Axis airfields, and was only invaded in the first place to clear the way for the attack on Sicily. No historians have ever emphasized Pantelleria as some vital link in a grand war-winning strategy. Altogether it would have been an enormous waste of Allied time and resources.
Pretty much. It was a flank security type operation.
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  #17  
Old 20 May 15, 18:40
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Bob,
Small and within range of axis planes sounds just like Malta but in a better location to blockade Rommel and closer to Gibraltar (much easier to fly single engine figters to it than to Malta.
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  #18  
Old 20 May 15, 19:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
Bob,
Small and within range of axis planes sounds just like Malta but in a better location to blockade Rommel and closer to Gibraltar (much easier to fly single engine figters to it than to Malta.
The Allies were already established at Malta. If for whatever reason they decided to invade Pantelleria, they would have had to construct airfields and all the associated facilities virtually from the ground up while under aerial bombardment. Pantelleria for its size and proximity to Axis territory was also useless as an anchorage.

Like I said, no historian has ever stressed its capture as some sort of vital stepping stone to the Allied victory. Indeed, its only role worth noting was as a prelude to the invasion of Sicily.
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  #19  
Old 20 May 15, 19:45
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The USN and US army had to build hundreds of airfields (often in days) in much more difficult conditions (Milne Bay) and in infinitely less valuable areas all over the world.
Defeating Rommel, openning up the Med and saving thousands of pilots and sailors, ships (including CVs) traversing the mine fields and the gauntlet of axis bombers, submarines and torpedo boats (from Pantelleria) in the narrows of tunisia for years and enabling a landing in Sardinia is the best return on investment of WW II.
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  #20  
Old 20 May 15, 19:57
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Doveton,
Another absurd situation, to which You will certainly relate is convoy HX-84, in which 37 invaluable ships were escorted only by a Merchant raider, which was useless against U-boats (15 knots, unmaneuverable and an excellent target for them) and was sunk by Admiral Scheer, along with 5 ships. The British were extremely lucky that most of the ships escaped. God somehow compensates incompetence with luck, prolonging wars.
And this is while Britain still has to pay cash for all American goods (before L-L). There were of course a large number of warships at hand to attack Dakar, etc, that year.
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Old 20 May 15, 20:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
The USN and US army had to build hundreds of airfields (often in days) in much more difficult conditions (Milne Bay) and in infinitely less valuable areas all over the world.
Defeating Rommel, openning up the Med and saving thousands of pilots and sailors, ships (including CVs) traversing the mine fields and the gauntlet of axis bombers, submarines and torpedo boats (from Pantelleria) in the narrows of tunisia for years and enabling a landing in Sardinia is the best return on investment of WW II.
Only you deem Pantelleria 'valuable.'

Do you think you're smarter than the US General Staff and the dozens of historians who have studied this theater of war in detail? Or could it be that this is yet another case of trolling/comic book logic applied to historical circumstances you have little real knowledge of, outside of skimming Wikipedia?
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  #22  
Old 20 May 15, 20:48
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For those who deem Pantelleria useless:

The unfathomable Operation White took place simultaneously with ill escorted HX-84. Incredibly, a BB, 2 cruisers, 7 DDs, a CV and a CVE were misused attempting to ferry 12 Hurricanes and 2 Skuas to Malta!

Although the RN complained that the Italian navy seldom showed up, in this ocassion 2 Italian BBs, 2 CAs and 16 DD showed up, so the ridiculously few planes were launched further from Malta than planned (well within reach of Pantelleria) and the RN fleet turned tail. Most of the desperately needed planes were lost.

If priorities and common sense had been applied. Pantelleria would have been invaded with a small force in October of 1940 (leaving the huge Italian army in Libya isolated and avoiding the need to invade Libya with tanks, planes and 30,000 troops) and 24 Spitfires (the best fighters, not inferior Hurricanes) would have kept the narrows of Tunisia open. The Spitfires themselves would arrive in Pantelleria much more easily than in Malta. 24 Spitfires destined for Malta would refuel in Pantelleria and arrive in Malta with plenty of fuel, so they can defend themselves from bombers before landing, instead of having to refuel immediately after arriving and being destroyed by bombers while they do so.
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  #23  
Old 20 May 15, 20:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
Only you deem Pantelleria 'valuable.'

Do you think you're smarter than the US General Staff and the dozens of historians who have studied this theater of war in detail? Or could it be that this is yet another case of trolling/comic book logic applied to historical circumstances you have little real knowledge of, outside of skimming Wikipedia?
Are we dealing with a series of Game Simulations here? I've always wondered where these long, detailed posts came from...? He posts them. The members shoot him down, different ones depending on their expertise.
Eventually, there appears another lengthy "what if".
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  #24  
Old 20 May 15, 21:21
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Sorry, I had more important things to do today than demolish the OP in this thread. Maybe if I get time...
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  #25  
Old 20 May 15, 22:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holly6 View Post
Are we dealing with a series of Game Simulations here? I've always wondered where these long, detailed posts came from...? He posts them. The members shoot him down, different ones depending on their expertise.
Eventually, there appears another lengthy "what if".
Historians narrate history, know little about strategy and their role is not to interpret it, but simply to describe it.

I definetely think that Keyes knew a lot better than his obtuse British and American contempories in regards to Norway, Pantelleria, etc,

Alluding to general opinion is the worst argument or justification for absurd strategies.
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  #26  
Old 20 May 15, 23:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
Historians narrate history, know little about strategy and their role is not to interpret it, but simply to describe it.
And what do you know of strategy?

Are you a theater-level military strategist or logistician?
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  #27  
Old 20 May 15, 23:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
Historians narrate history, know little about strategy and their role is not to interpret it, but simply to describe it.

I definetely think that Keyes knew a lot better than his obtuse British and American contempories in regards to Norway, Pantelleria, etc,

Alluding to general opinion is the worst argument or justification for absurd strategies.
Thank you for the response, it explains a great deal.
You have joined a forum that includes the classic concept of historians, people of Degrees that have a fondness for their topic. More importantly IMO, is that you have also agreed to post on a "New Historian" concept forum. Some of the people you have argued with are graduates of West Point, retired Veterans, and others that have been trained in logistics and strategies. As you may have found out, your knowledge or perception of history does not outshine the others.
This site isn't a place for measuring our manhood. You have knowledge, share it with us. This is a large pond. You are not the big fish.

Alluding to general opinion is the worst argument or justification for absurd strategies

I'm going to leave your comment of "absurd strategies" to stand alone.

Join us, don't fight us. I have to believe there are many WWII threads on the site to which you can contribute a great deal.
Relax Draco. Good Forum, it may be the site you've been looking for.
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  #28  
Old 21 May 15, 01:24
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Unfortunately it is rather difficult to acquire common sense in West Point, Anapolis, Sand Hurst, etc,

Demosthenes, Sun Tsu, Archytas, Alexander, Spartacus, Herman, Attila, Genghis Khan, Subutai, Tamerlain, Gustavus Adolphus, Suvorov and many other outstanding strategists, tacticians and logisticians (some of whom remained undefeated for life despite inferior numbers) would have probably been thrown out of such academies. While hundreds of rather dull generals, admirals, field marshals, etc, who suffered humiiiating defeats despite having strong forces graduated with honors from famous academies. Lee is among the best examples of an academic luminary, who made every possible basic mistake against common sense in Gettysburg.

The most ironic thing is that many admirals and generals shook their heads at the absurd policies of Churchill, Roosevelt, etc, who had zero strategic ability and little common sense yet consistently dictated absurd strategy against their experts' advice and to this day people defend those absurd and costly strategies.

Last edited by Draco; 21 May 15 at 01:36..
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  #29  
Old 21 May 15, 17:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
Unfortunately it is rather difficult to acquire common sense in West Point, Anapolis, Sand Hurst, etc,

Demosthenes, Sun Tsu, Archytas, Alexander, Spartacus, Herman, Attila, Genghis Khan, Subutai, Tamerlain, Gustavus Adolphus, Suvorov and many other outstanding strategists, tacticians and logisticians (some of whom remained undefeated for life despite inferior numbers) would have probably been thrown out of such academies. While hundreds of rather dull generals, admirals, field marshals, etc, who suffered humiiiating defeats despite having strong forces graduated with honors from famous academies. Lee is among the best examples of an academic luminary, who made every possible basic mistake against common sense in Gettysburg.

The most ironic thing is that many admirals and generals shook their heads at the absurd policies of Churchill, Roosevelt, etc, who had zero strategic ability and little common sense yet consistently dictated absurd strategy against their experts' advice and to this day people defend those absurd and costly strategies.
Interesting. Mr. Draco, in paragraph 2 above, suggests that most Generals and Admirals are, in effect idiots, yet in paragraph 3 he criticizes Churchill and Roosevelt, who are also apparently idiots, for going against the advice of these same idiots.

Presumably, the only conclusion to be drawn is that everyone is an idiot, except Mr. Draco.

However, I doubt that even the dullest Admiral would have claimed HMAS Sydney was a merchant ship, would have sent a river gunboat to escort an Atlantic convoy, or would have claimed that HMS Jervis Bay was a Merchant Raider, all of which charges can be directed at our new Alexander!
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  #30  
Old 21 May 15, 18:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doveton Sturdee View Post
Interesting. Mr. Draco, in paragraph 2 above, suggests that most Generals and Admirals are, in effect idiots, yet in paragraph 3 he criticizes Churchill and Roosevelt, who are also apparently idiots, for going against the advice of these same idiots.

Presumably, the only conclusion to be drawn is that everyone is an idiot, except Mr. Draco.

However, I doubt that even the dullest Admiral would have claimed HMAS Sydney was a merchant ship, would have sent a river gunboat to escort an Atlantic convoy, or would have claimed that HMS Jervis Bay was a Merchant Raider, all of which charges can be directed at our new Alexander!
I would also place a solid bet that Mr. Draco does not realize the strategies and campaigns of all the historical figures he references above (save Demosthenes, who was an orator, not a general, another basic error) are all extensively studied at West Point and similar institutions he so ignorantly derides.

This is, after all, the guy who argued for a twin-engined carrier fighter a few threads ago based on something he saw in a comic book...
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