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Thread: Grande italia

  1. #101
    Quote Originally Posted by KyrionMyrthar View Post
    Good work down in Africa.
    Cheers, its been a long struggle and it still continues.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    A very detailed and interesting AAR. Subscribed.

    It seems that the French were able to redeploy troops from northern France in order to counter the Italian threat. However, they won't be able to counter-attack as effectively if Germany joins your war against the Allies.
    Thanks Cybvep. Yes, they had to redeploy otherwise I would be steamrolling towards Paris. It really poses the question, what would Germany do in this situation?

    Germany seems a bit pacifist, to me. With France and Britain struggling with Italy, the opportunity is ripe for Germany to bring forward its plans, Austria and remilitarization of the Rhineland.

    Perhaps I can give them a nudge.


    Quote Originally Posted by tommylotto View Post
    Hitler's question: No! Just say no.

    Your position in France is a bit sketchy, as the French will continue to transfer troops from the north. However, you could always fall back to the heavily fortified narrow front in the mountains and hold out forever. Africa is going well. Secure Suez, solidify your positions on the eastern side of the continent, then offer peace from a position of strength. You do not need Hitler's eternal ideological death struggle to do that. Now, on the other hand, if the Brits reject your olive branch...
    I was expecting the entire French military to be hammering away at me in the Alps but they have still left significant forces at their original positions which is good. Their armour is very dangerous to me but they are holding it back for some reason (scared of using it in the hills and mountains?)

    I am beginning to get very ambitious, particularly after I started locking horns with Iraqi troops at the Suez, I dont know whether I will be able to stop if I get the Brits on the run in the Middle East.

  2. #102

    British counterattack at the Suez and the Italians capture Aden

    Recap: After the Italian victory in Ethiopia in May 1936, the large build-up of British forces on the Ethiopian-Sudanese Border unnerved the Italians. Marshal Balbo pitched a “grand plan” for a war against the Allies to Mussolini. It was accepted and a multi-front war began between Italy and the Allies on the 11th May 1936.

    At the start of the war the Italian I and IV armies had easily pushed over the French forces along Little Maginot Line (in the Alps) and expanded into Provence. The front became static with the arrival of two French armour divisions and the French forces also recently counterattacked and retook Marseille and are slowly pushing east. On the 20th May, the Italians were also able to capture Malta from the British and later Corsica from the French, securing the central Mediterranean.

    In North Africa, the Italian 9th Army has captured Tunis and were now heading west to Algiers. The 10th Army and the 6th Army are besieging Alexandria and defending the line of the Suez against a determined British and Iraqi attack. To the south, in East Africa, the Italians were able to capture the strategic locations in the Somaliland, northern Sudan and British East Africa, trapping the British 3rd Army in the Sudan east of Ethiopia and annihilating the French 1st Army in the unforgiving Dankalia.



    Europe
    Venice
    The Venetian tour of Hitler did not go the way he wanted it to. Mussolini refused to join in Hitler's Pact of Steel while only “one blade” was in the fire. He wanted a commitment to war by the German state before any such pact could be agreed to.


    Two grumpy dictator's

    Spain
    The Italian Corps of Volunteer Troops, had arrived in Spain disembarking at La Coruña in Galicia (northwest). The Italian forces consisted of 1st "Dio lo Vuole" Blackshirt Infantry Division (semi motorised) and the Agrupación de carros de asalto y autos blindados (Tanks and Armoured Car Group). Not wanting to be outdone, Germany had also provided ground elements in the form inferior training tanks they called Panzer I's.


    Italian Corps of Volunteer Troops and the ground elements of the Gemany's Condor Legion


    CV-33's of the Agrupación de carros de asalto y autos blindados

    Alpine Front
    13th July: The northern sector of the Alpine front had been quiet for over a week. Late at night on the 13th July, the French forces again launched an attack from Grenoble. This time they attacked with the two divisions in Grenoble, along with two divisions in Ruffieux to the north. The defenders of Chambery, the 3rd ‘Ravenna’ Division were outnumbered 4:1 by their attackers.

    General Guzzoni ordered an immediate counterattack from the Italian lines. The Italian 4th Alpine ‘Cuneenese’ Division at Annecy, to the north was ordered into the fray.


    The third French attack on Chambery – this time the French are serious.

    To the south, after stopping the French advance east on Coglin, the aggressive General Pintor had now manoeuvred his forces into position for a powerful counterattack. Six rested Italian divisions were in place around the French province of Brignoles. The mass assault was launched, with Major General Zincone taking command.


    General Pintor’s mass assault on Brignoles

    14th July: At Chambery, the counterattack by the 4th Alpine Division on Ruffieux was proving ineffectual. Now General Guzzoni ordered another attack, this time on Grenoble by the 4th ‘Livorno’ and the 33rd ‘Acqui’ Infantry Divisions, this time in the hope that the French would break off their attack on Chambery like they had on the 29th June and the 6th July.


    The Italian counterattack works

    Guzzoni’s strategy worked, the French soon gave up their attack on Chambery. The counterattack on Ruffieux was called off and the 3rd Alpine Division pulled back.


    ASI
    Nile Delta
    8th July: reports arrived that a British Division had crossed the Suez at El Suewies to the south of the positions held by the Italians. The British, now identified as the 48th ‘South Midlands’ Division, then continued to advance to the northwest against the 102nd “Trento” Division which was dug in on the high ground east of Cairo.

    The 1st ‘Eugenio di Savoia’ Division at Isma’iliyra continue to battle against two British and one Iraqi Division attacking from the other side of the canal.


    The British counterattack is gaining momentum

    12th July: The 1st ‘Eugenio di Savoia’ Division was now unable to hold out under the pressure of the attack British attack. As evening set in, di Bergolo ordered a withdrawal to the high ground to the west held by the 102nd. The bloody battle of Isma’iliyra was over with a total of 3,000 on both sides.

    The British had now re-established two footholds on the western side of the Suez but the heroic defence by the 1st ‘Eugenio Savoia’ Division had stalled their advance leading to the fall of Alexandria and the Nile Delta.


    The heroic defence of the canal by the 1st ‘Eugenio di Savoia’ Division comes to an end

    13th July: The British pressure continued, this time their allies, the Iraqis, crossed the canal and entered the undefended streets of Port Said and occupied the city.

    14th July: As two brigades of Blackshirts from the 7th ‘Cirene’ had moved into position west of the Iraqi’s, the Italians were able to counterattack against the 2nd Iraqi Infantry Division occupying Port Said.

    Just to the south of these positions, the 27th ‘Sila’ Division had also moved up to the front line and launched into the tired British and Iraqi Division that had recently crossed the Suez at Isma’iliyra.


    MAIN: The mighty the 27th ‘Sila’ Division attacks the allied forces that crossed the canal. INSET: Elements of the ‘Cirene’ Division on the offensive against the 2nd Iraqi Infantry Division



    AOI
    Sudanese Border
    7th July: Messe’s offensive over the Blue Nile was faring poorly even though the 5th ‘Cosseria’ Division was now positioned behind (to the northwest) the British 19th Indian Division. The 1st Eritrean Division had been so badly mauled during its attempted crossing that it had ceased being a factor in the battle. This left the 5th ‘Cosseria’ to lead the attack with the 2nd Eritrean Division only now moving into position to support by an attack from the east. Lt General Messe called off the attack.


    Battle of Ed Damazin

    8th July to 11th July: All had been quiet along the Sudan-Ethiopian border since Messe had called off his attack. The British had been shuffling forces around along the border but Messe was in no hurry to press the advantage. Surely the British were on tenuous supply lines and it was only a matter of time before they were completely at their mercy.

    12th July: The stubborn 19th Indian Division suddenly launched an attack against the weak spot in the Italian lines, against Berti ‘s III Corps HQ unit across the river in Sennar province. Messe immediately counterattacked in force, with four fresh and experienced divisions. The 2nd Italian attack on Ed Damazin had begun.


    LEFT: The British attack an Italian weak spot. RIGHT: The 2nd Battle of Ed Damazin begins

    13th July: The next day the 19th Indian Division pulled out of their attack against the III Corps in Sennar. Just to the south, the British 7th Army launched a new attack in an attempt to relieve the pressure on the 19th Indian Division at Ed Damazin. Out of Malakal the 10th Indian Division attacked the Eritrean Corps in Debre Markos. Once again the Blue Nile would prove a serious barrier to the attackers.


    Indian sappers at work on setting up a more permanent crossing point


    The British 10th Indian Division launches a desperate attack across the Blue Nile against the Eritrean Corps


    Jubaland Offensive (British East Africa (Kenya))
    13th July: After the defeat of the 20th Indian Division at Kisumu a week earlier the British appeared to have lost the war in Uganda. It appeared inevitable that the Italians would advance west, cut off the British 3rd Army and seal their fate. It came as a total surprise to Maj General Frattini, when reports came in that more British troops had been sighted on the western border. Here, Major General Loyd had marched his troops the long way around the western side of Lake Victoria in support of the 3rd Army. Within hours, the Italian 29th ‘Piemonte’ and Ovest Bassacampi ‘Celere’ Divisions found themselves under attack by the British 4th Infantry Division.


    The Italian Divisions at Kisumu find themselves under attack by the British 4th Infantry Division.


    The British 4th Infantry begin to wonder if they have bitten off more than they can chew

    Arabia Felix
    7th July: In 26BC the Roman governor of Egypt, Aelius Gallus, invaded Arabia Felix at the behest of Emperor Augustus. The expedition fell apart in the burning deserts and from the onset of unknown diseases. Gallus lost most of his army and was driven out by the natives. Now after twenty centuries it was time for a new Italian army to invade Arabia Felix. Not part of Balbo's original plan, this was Marshal Graziani's doing. Securing both sides of Bab-el-Mandeb would provide Italy with certain strategic benefits as well as denying the Royal Navy local ports. The British had left Aden undefended, so it was expected to be an easy campaign.

    After several months of inactivity, the Red Sea fleet slipped out of the port facilities at Ed before dawn and headed south through the Gate of Tears (Bab-el-Mandeb).


    Italian movements at the Gate of Tears


    Aden before the Dubat invasion

    11th July: Mid-morning on the 11th July the 1st Dubat Division made an uncontested landing at the port of Aden the capital of the British Aden Protectorate. Before they could get a chance to dig in, the Royal Yemenite Army based out of Sana’a, north of Aden attacked south against the newly established Dubat positions.


    The Royal Yemenite Army on the offensive and the British carrier fleeting attack the Italian Red Sea Fleet

    As the Red Sea fleet was heading north out of the waters around Aden, it was intercepted that night by a British carrier task force lead by the HMS Glorious and Courageous. With the support of a submarine flotilla and the help of the darkness, the small Red Sea fleet was able to slip away relatively unscathed.

    12th July: The fleet had moved north and docked at Ed where it picked up the waiting Est Bassacampi Division. Disembarking from port as soon as possible, the Eritrean troops then began an amphibious landing against the undefended Yemenite port of Al Hudaydah.


    The Est Bassacampi Division begins its landing in Yemen

  3. #103
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    can you amend the first picture to remove the swastika ... thanks
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  4. #104
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    Amphibious attacks with the ascari militia. Can you imagine that? <rotfl>

    It doesn't look too good in North Africa. I mean, the British recaptured Suez. In France, the situation appears to be a slugfest.

  5. #105

  6. #106
    Field Marshal King50000's Avatar
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    Gota agree with mnplastic, great historical and non-historical pictures and great attention to detail. I wonder how Hitler will deal with Italy refusing his Pact.

  7. #107

  8. #108
    Field Marshal King50000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    Heh how does he deal with everything?
    With an invasion Yugoslavia is a prime example

  9. #109
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    Amphibious attacks with the ascari militia. Can you imagine that? <rotfl>

    It doesn't look too good in North Africa. I mean, the British recaptured Suez. In France, the situation appears to be a slugfest.
    Quote Originally Posted by mnplastic View Post
    Brilliant pictures once again The main fighting continues to be in Africa
    I thought I would have won in East Africa by now and been able to redeploy the forces to North Africa. Its slow going. France I am happy with, I haven't had any serious threats. Only the French armour is a worry.


    Quote Originally Posted by King50000 View Post
    Gota agree with mnplastic, great historical and non-historical pictures and great attention to detail. I wonder how Hitler will deal with Italy refusing his Pact.
    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    Heh how does he deal with everything?
    Quote Originally Posted by King50000 View Post
    With an invasion Yugoslavia is a prime example
    The Nazi's are inexperienced boys recently come to power. The PNF has been in power for over 12 years. Bring it on, I have eight million bayonets awaiting them.

  10. #110

    Convoy War (12/05/36 to 21/07/36)

    Recap: After the Italian victory in Ethiopia in May 1936, the large build-up of British forces on the Ethiopian-Sudanese Border unnerved the Italians. Marshal Balbo pitched a “grand plan” for a war against the Allies to Mussolini. It was accepted and a multi-front war began between Italy and the Allies on the 11th May 1936.

    On the 2nd July 1936, Spain erupted into civil war. The Italian Fascist’s and the German Nazi’s both supported the Nationalist side.





    Opening position - May 1936
    At the start of the war against the Allies the Regina Marina had spread its submarine fleet along the full length of the Mediterranean with the aim of inflicting maximum damage on the Allied merchant fleets. Active Allied ports and shipping bottlenecks were specifically targeted by the Italian submariners.


    The opening positions of the Italian convoy hunters

    Far to the south, the Regina Marina had rushed a submarine flotilla through the Suez before the war had begun. Its target was Gate of Tears at the southern end of the Red Sea. Along with the submarines went a flotilla of Dardo-class Destroyers. Their long range allowed them to target the Mozambique Channel.


    Italian destroyers ‘sneaking’ through the Suez before the declaration of war


    Opening convoy patrol zones in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Mozambique Channel


    The Allies were caught off guard with the sudden declaration of war and suffered heavy losses in May. Convoy losses inflicted by the Italians in May were 7:1 and 3:1 in their favour against the British and French respectively.




    A merchantman going down

    Italian naval bombers had little impact on the convoy war, they were either busy on other tasks or refitting and were never strictly applied to convoy raiding. Italian surface fleets were also inactive in relation to convoy hunting. This was through fear of the British RN.

    In East Africa in the month of May, the Italian submarine flotilla stalking the Gate of Tears had good success against the British merchantmen and minor success against the French.

    Far to the south in the Mozambique Channel, no official news was received from Count Galeazzo Ciano. Rumors floated in through Portuguese radio – according to unreliable reports he was inflicting damage at least equivalent to the submarine flotilla at the Gate of Tears.


    June 1936
    June was another successful month for the Italian submariners but not as successful as May. British and French tactics had changed, their merchant fleets were now accompanied more and more by heavily armed escorts which deterred the smaller Italian submarine packs in the eastern Mediterranean from attacking. The fall of Malta in the previous month and then the capture of Tunis on the 11th June also reduced the volume of Allied shipping through the central part of the Mediterranean.

    These developments meant a repositioning of the Mediterranean convoy hunters. Specifically the central Mediterranean zone was left unpatrolled while the European French and Spanish coasts were more heavily patrolled as they were offering the richest pickings. In Africa, with Tunis in Italian hands, the French ports of Algeria and Oran were also covered in the net.


    Convoy hunter patrol zones – middle of June 1936

    In the eastern Mediterranean, additional hunters were sent to the Ionian Sea where any Allied trade convoys heading for Yugoslavia, Greece or Albania could be intercepted.

    Convoy losses inflicted by the Italians in June were 5:1 and 3:1 in their favour against the British and French respectively.



    At the Gate of Tears, the lone submarine flotilla continued it success this time sinking several French supply convoys attempting to relieve the beleaguered French 1st Army in Djibouti.

    Far to the south in the Mozambique Channel, Count Ciano had earned a new nickname, he had been dubbed ‘Jacare. Jacare was Portuguese for crocodile. Ciano and his flotilla of destroyers had become renowned for their ambush tactics of suddenly bursting out of mangrove estuary’s onto unsuspecting British and French convoys. No precise detail of his daring exploits actually reached the Italian naval command.


    A photo of Count ‘Jacare’ Cinao’s destroyer flotilla taken by a Portuguese journalist


    July 1936


    To date the month of July demonstrated a significant reversal of the previous trends. With Italian forces capturing the western side of the Suez and Alexandria, British merchant shipping had all but dried up in the Mediterranean, with only one heavily escort convoy sighted so far. The French however had gone on the offensive. Despite having lost Tunis and then lost and retaken Marseille, they had been very active in the central Mediterranean devastating Italian supply convoys servicing the Libyan ports in early July.

    During the Italian invasion of the Aden Protectorate and Yemen in early July, the Italian Red Sea fleet and the convoy hunters positioned at the Gate of Tears had clashed harshly with a British carrier fleet. The fleet of submarines under the command of the Duke of the Sea, Thaon di Revel were severely mauled and put the docks for repairs and refitting. This left the Gate unpatrolled.


    Unpatrolled Gate of Tears and the repositing of Cinao's destroyer flotilla

    To the south, contact had briefly been re-established with Count ‘Jacare’ Cinao in the Mozambique Channel. He was ordered to reposition further north along the East Africa coast, principally target all British shipping in and out of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam was the only British port left open in East Africa and the principal lifeline of the British 3rd Army which was trapped in the Sudan far to the north.

    Convoy losses inflicted by the Italians in June were 2:3 in the favour of the French.




  11. #111
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    Great update. Plenty of detail and nice pics as always. Your convoy situation looks bad, though. Also, because you started the war in 1936 (which is a bit ridiculous BTW ), your stockpiles are low.

  12. #112
    Field Marshal King50000's Avatar
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    Very interesting. If this destruction of their convoys has been hurting them, the French and British in Africa haven't been showing it.

  13. #113
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    Great stuff! Finally caught up . . . what an interesting game so far! Never even considered going after the allies so early as Italy! Enjoying the AAR... keep up the great work!

  14. #114
    Lt. General tommylotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    Great update. Plenty of detail and nice pics as always. Your convoy situation looks bad, though. Also, because you started the war in 1936 (which is a bit ridiculous BTW ), your stockpiles are low.
    This is not THE war. This is the East African Colonial War of 1936 that has spread, which was plausible IMHO. I think it would have been unlikely that Mussolini would have started the war, as in this AAR, but he was playing a high stakes game of chicken with the Allies with his invasion of Ethiopia. That conflict could have easily spread to include France and the UK. Benito was a lot like Saddam in that he was practically daring the big guys on the block for a fight.
    Check out The Fox And The Lion - An Hoi3 TFH Mod. A full featured mod with many new unit types playable as any nation but with extra emphasis on Italy.

  15. #115
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    It would probably be a limited war, though...

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommylotto View Post
    This is not THE war. This is the East African Colonial War of 1936 that has spread, which was plausible IMHO. I think it would have been unlikely that Mussolini would have started the war, as in this AAR, but he was playing a high stakes game of chicken with the Allies with his invasion of Ethiopia. That conflict could have easily spread to include France and the UK. Benito was a lot like Saddam in that he was practically daring the big guys on the block for a fight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    It would probably be a limited war, though...
    Agreed. Especially after WWI, I think that the powers were trying to avoid another fight in Europe (hence WWII didn't actually start until Hitler invaded Poland, and even then, the Allies really didn't get involved until he invaded France). However, as we saw in the cold war, major powers were willing to risk their troops and clash with each other in 3rd world countries (Central and South America, Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, etc.) rather than in their home territories.

    I think you (Hardradi) have more guts than the Italians would have had in real life, actually attacking the French in France! I think the European powers would have been more than happy fighting each other in and over their colonial possessions rather than go at it on their home soil.

  17. #117
    Lt. General tommylotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mankle30 View Post
    I think you (Hardradi) have more guts than the Italians would have had in real life, actually attacking the French in France! I think the European powers would have been more than happy fighting each other in and over their colonial possessions rather than go at it on their home soil.
    Agreed. I could see the UK intervening in Ethiopia and dragging a reluctant France along. Both sides would fight a hot war over there. Meanwhile Italy would mobilize for a defensive war on the French frontier. Neither side would launch a concerted attack against the other in Europe for fear of escalating the limited colonial war into a broader European conflict that nobody wanted. It would be a phony war along the French border while the real colonial conflict was resolved by facts on the ground in Africa ending with a negotiated peace making territorial adjustments in favor of the victor.

    As a non-Axis Italy, I have tried to fight a limited war with the Allies and negotiate a separate peace with the UK in FtM. It did not work. I added war goals of acquire territory for Malta, Egypt and Gibraltar and managed to take all of these territories. France fell to the Germans and I was kicking the UK's butt. They were on the ropes, and I offered them peace. They should have taken it, but it was "impossible." I eventually had no choice other than invade the home island, take London, and impose conquer on the entire kingdom. I would like to see the option of a successful limited colonial war against the allies where you had the possibility of seizing some of their overseas possessions without the necessity of an ideological struggle to the death.
    Check out The Fox And The Lion - An Hoi3 TFH Mod. A full featured mod with many new unit types playable as any nation but with extra emphasis on Italy.

  18. #118
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    Great update. Plenty of detail and nice pics as always. Your convoy situation looks bad, though. Also, because you started the war in 1936 (which is a bit ridiculous BTW ), your stockpiles are low.
    The convoy losses in early July are a real worry. Stockpiles? I think they are increasing slightly with the new resources I have conquered. I hope I have enough. Both are under AI management.

    Quote Originally Posted by King50000 View Post
    Very interesting. If this destruction of their convoys has been hurting them, the French and British in Africa haven't been showing it.
    Yes, I haven't seen any benefits from their destruction in Africa yet. At least the AI is able to defend its convoys by bulking up the escorts.

    Quote Originally Posted by mankle30 View Post
    Great stuff! Finally caught up . . . what an interesting game so far! Never even considered going after the allies so early as Italy! Enjoying the AAR... keep up the great work!
    Thanks mankle. Your Italian AAR was a strong motivation for me to do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by tommylotto View Post
    This is not THE war. This is the East African Colonial War of 1936 that has spread, which was plausible IMHO. I think it would have been unlikely that Mussolini would have started the war, as in this AAR, but he was playing a high stakes game of chicken with the Allies with his invasion of Ethiopia. That conflict could have easily spread to include France and the UK. Benito was a lot like Saddam in that he was practically daring the big guys on the block for a fight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    It would probably be a limited war, though...
    Quote Originally Posted by mankle30 View Post
    Agreed. Especially after WWI, I think that the powers were trying to avoid another fight in Europe (hence WWII didn't actually start until Hitler invaded Poland, and even then, the Allies really didn't get involved until he invaded France). However, as we saw in the cold war, major powers were willing to risk their troops and clash with each other in 3rd world countries (Central and South America, Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, etc.) rather than in their home territories.

    I think you (Hardradi) have more guts than the Italians would have had in real life, actually attacking the French in France! I think the European powers would have been more than happy fighting each other in and over their colonial possessions rather than go at it on their home soil.
    Quote Originally Posted by tommylotto View Post
    Agreed. I could see the UK intervening in Ethiopia and dragging a reluctant France along. Both sides would fight a hot war over there. Meanwhile Italy would mobilize for a defensive war on the French frontier. Neither side would launch a concerted attack against the other in Europe for fear of escalating the limited colonial war into a broader European conflict that nobody wanted. It would be a phony war along the French border while the real colonial conflict was resolved by facts on the ground in Africa ending with a negotiated peace making territorial adjustments in favor of the victor.
    There is a lot of evidence about the place suggesting that had the British closed the Suez during the Abyssinian Crisis, war would have started. The war would have involved naval operations in the Mediterranean and a drive for the Suez. Both sides had been building up forces to counter the threat. Plans were drawn up for an invasion of Egypt from Libya and East Africa. There was significant tension in the Mediterranean between the British and the Italians up until the Easter Pact in April 1938. Some authors have dubbed this the Mediterranean Crisis.

    In this AAR, I seized on an opportunity to deal significant damage to the British. The AI had foolishly gathered significant forces (3rd Army and various colonical garrisons) in the no-mans land west of Ethiopia and I couldn't resist. I had also left behind a few divisions in Cyrenecia which could be used for a drive to the Suez.

    This cant be a long term war because I cant compete with both the UK and France over a sustained period. I don't think the Germans will join in the war if I join the axis.

    Quote Originally Posted by tommylotto View Post
    As a non-Axis Italy, I have tried to fight a limited war with the Allies and negotiate a separate peace with the UK in FtM. It did not work. I added war goals of acquire territory for Malta, Egypt and Gibraltar and managed to take all of these territories. France fell to the Germans and I was kicking the UK's butt. They were on the ropes, and I offered them peace. They should have taken it, but it was "impossible." I eventually had no choice other than invade the home island, take London, and impose conquer on the entire kingdom. I would like to see the option of a successful limited colonial war against the allies where you had the possibility of seizing some of their overseas possessions without the necessity of an ideological struggle to the death.
    I was hoping FtM would provide these sorts of opportunities - I haven't played it yet. Perhaps your threat was just to high after taking all of that territory. In real life I imagine the Brits would negotiate with concessions and a declaration of war - Italy on Germany.

  19. #119

    Retaking the initiative on the Alpine Front and the Italian attack on Yemen

    Recap: After the Italian victory in Ethiopia in May 1936, the large build-up of British forces on the Ethiopian-Sudanese Border unnerved the Italians. Marshal Balbo pitched a “grand plan” for a war against the Allies to Mussolini. It was accepted and a multi-front war began between Italy and the Allies on the 11th May 1936.
    On the 2nd July 1936, Spain erupted into civil war. The Italian Fascist’s and the German Nazi’s both supported the Nationalist side.



    Europe
    Recap: At the start of the war the Italian I and IV armies had easily pushed over the unprepared French forces along Little Maginot Line (in the Alps) and expanded into the Provence and Rhone regions. The front became static with the arrival of two French armour divisions and the French forces counterattacked and have retaken Marseille. With reinforcements from the II and VIII armies, the Italians have attempted to retake the initiative in the south of the front with an attack on Brignoles.

    On the 20th May, the Italians were also able to capture Malta from the British and later Corsica from the French, securing the central Mediterranean.


    Alpine Front
    15th July: General Pintor’s mass assault on Brignoles had started on the 13th July. The assault was primarily lead by divisions from the IV Army but now that the VIII Army and elements of the II Army had redeployed from the Yugoslavian border. These two armies also added weight to the attack in the form of one division each. After two days of mass pressure, the French 1st and 71st Divisions gave up the battle and began retreating after taking heavy casualties.


    Victory in Brignoles for the Italians

    17th to the 19th July: General Guzzoni’s counterattack had broken the third assault by the French on Chambery. The main part of this counterattack involved the advance of the Italian 4th ‘Livorno’ and the 33rd ‘Acqui’ Infantry Divisions against Grenoble. This advance had been left in place, as the it was progressing well, particularly following the retreat of one of the French divisions guarding the city. Seizing the opportunity, Guzzoni ordered the 3rd ‘Ravenna’ Division, previously the defender of Chambery into the attack.

    After a few days of heavy fighting the French gave up the fight and retreated after suffering heavy losses.


    The inhabitants of Grenoble and French soldiers trying to escape with all their possessions in horse-drawn wagons and on bicycles

    Two major battles had now been won along the Alpine Front, one in the south at Brignoles and one in the north at Grenoble.


    TOP: Battle of Grenoble; BOTTOM: Battle of Manosque

    Now it was time for the French command to launch their own attack on the southern part of the Front. The 1st French Infantry Division advanced against the 49th ‘Parma’ and 12th ‘Sassari’ Division of the VIII and II armies respectively who were holding the province of Manosque.


    French soldier is ready to provide covering fire with his light machinegun while his comrades are searching a deserted house on the outskirts of Manosque.

    21st July: Two more French divisions were now advancing on Manosque, the 71st and the dreaded 1st Armour. In an attempt to relieve the pressure on the two defending Italian divisions, the divisions previously involved in the battle of Brignoles now swung northwest and hit two of the attacking French divisions on the flank. Within the space of five hours the attack on Manosque was over.


    French armour on the move again



    Zincone leads the Italian divisions into the battle of Aix-en-Provence in an attempt to relieve the French pressure on Manosque – it works.


    ASI
    Recap: In North Africa, the Italian IX Army has captured Tunis and were now heading west to Algiers. The X Army and the VI Army advanced east, first taking Cairo and then besieging the British in Alexandria. After a tough battle the British 7th Infantry Division and the Middle East Command were forced to surrender. The Italians were then forced on the defensive along the line of the Suez against a determined British and Iraqi attack. The line was breached in its entirety and the British are pushing on, eager to reclaim the Nile Delta region.


    Bersaglieri reinforcements on the way to the front get a look at prisoners from the British 7th Infantry Division who surrendered in Alexandria.

    Nile Delta
    18th July: The British 48th ‘South Midlands’ Division, which had slipped across the Suez ten days earlier and attacked the 102nd ‘Trento’ Division had now received reinforcements and ratcheted up the pressure on the 102nd. Despite holding the high ground to the west of Cairo, the 102nd lost heart when the exhausted troops of the 1st ‘Eugenio di Savoia’ Division started to flee past them. Casualties started to mount and they soon began to desert their positions. In no time, the Italians lost their position on the high ground.

    The momentum of the British advance continued.


    The 102nd ‘Trento’ Division is routed from the high ground east of Cairo.

    The only bright spot for the Italians in this area was just to the north at Isma’iliyra, where the 27th ‘Sila’ Division was successfully beating the Allied force. The Iraqis had already ceased to be a factor in the battle and it wasn’t long before the tired British 42nd ‘East Lancaster’ could no longer hold their positions. The battle was won and with the Italians inflicting losses of 3:2.


    The 27th ‘Sila’ Division of the X Army is victorious at Isma’iliyra and the retreat south from Port Said of the Iraqi 2nd Division; INSETS: General Zingales command the VI ‘Celere’ Army while Prince Amedeo command the X Army.

    19th July: The victory at Isma’iliyra was ‘framed’ by another victory at Port Said to the north. Here elements of the 7th ‘Cirene’ Blackshirts had been faring poorly in their attack against the 2nd Iraqi Division but then news began to filter through of another Italian victory. With the Italian victory at Isma’iliyra, the Allied command appeared to have become worried about the encirclement of their divisions which had advanced into Zagazig (the high ground east of Cairo). Was this the reason why the 2nd Iraqi Division was now rushing south to Isma’iliyra?

    20th July: On the seizure of Alexandria and Cairo the Italians were a little surprised at the lack of supplies left behind by the defeated British. This issue along with British and French attacks on Italian convoys in the central Mediterranean were beginning to manifest themselves in the form of supply problems for the Italian troops around the Nile Delta. Luckily significant supplies had been captured in Mombassa(Nairobi) far to the south in British East Africa. These supplies were inconsistently ferried and “trained” north along the tenuous route along the Nile.


    An Italian CV-33 from the 'San Marco' brigade chasing down the British South Midlanders

    Now the momentum of the British advance appeared to have changed. Reports indicated the spearhead of the British advance, the 48th ‘South Midlands’ Division was now heading south. Presumably this was an attempt to relieve the British 3rd Army trapped in the Sudan. The bulk of the Italian 2nd ‘Emanuele Filiberto’ Division was headed on a collision course with the British Division at Wadi at Tarfa. The Midlanders arrived first and when the two forces met, the British who were not interested in a fight quickly broke off the battle and continued their rapid advance south.


    LEFT: Supply problems around the Nile Delta region; RIGHT: The brief clash of the 2nd ‘Emanuele Filiberto’ Division of the VI Army and the 48th ‘South Midlands’ Division.


    AOI
    Recap: In East Africa, the strong French 1st Army in Djibouti initially made good advances on the Eritrean capital of Asmara but they were able to be surrounded and eventually annihilated by the Italian forces. The Italians were also able to capture key British strategic locations in the Somaliland, northern Sudan and British East Africa, effectively trapping the British 3rd Army in the Sudan east of Ethiopia. A relief effort is being attempted by the British 4th Infantry Division just north of Lake Victoria. In the meantime the Italians continue to pressure and look to close “pincer” around the 3rd Army.

    Sudanese Border
    17th July: Four days earlier the British 10th Indian Division had begun a desperate attack against the Eritrean Corps across the Blue Nile. Secure behind the river and in the Ethiopian Highlands, the Italian divisions consisted of Eritrean Ascari infantry & cavalry, tankettes, artillery, armoured cars and two brigades of Arab-Somali infantry. The British commanders had sent the Indians to their deaths and the attack was called off after the casualties started to accelerate out of control.


    The massacre of the British 10th Indian Division.

    The Italian attack on Ed Damazin could now continue unopposed.

    20th July: The beleaguered 19th Indian Division continued to be hard pressed on three fronts by the Italian forces. Victory here would put an end to real British resistance on the northern end of the front.


    The battle of Ed Damazin.

    21st July: The attack of the 10th Indian Division had been repelled by the Italian colonial troops a few days earlier. Now it was time for the Italians to go on the offensive. The two uncommitted divisions based in Debre Markos, the 2nd Arab Somali and 2nd Dubats now attempted to force an advance across the Blue Nile.


    Reverberi leads the Arab-Somali and Dubat troops attempting to breach the line of the Blue Nile. The 10th Indian Division appears to be on the retreat south.

    Jubaland Offensive (British East Africa (Kenya))
    20th July: The crucial battle of Kisumu still raged on the northern shore of Lake Victoria. The divisions involved on both sides were feeling the ‘pinch’ of the battle but the British in particular were getting the worst of it.


    Battle of Kisumu – the 4th Infantry Division is the last hope for the British 3rd Army in East Africa.


    Arabia Felix
    Recap: on the 11th July, the Italian colonial troops successfully landed and secured the undefended British port of Aden. Yemeni forces (allies of Britain) immediately attacked the Italian Dubats at Aden and now the Italian Red Sea Fleet is in the process of landing more Italian troops, this time at Al Hudaydah in Yemen.


    Yemeni soldiers firing on Dubats.

    14th July: The Red Sea fleet now disembarked the 1st Est Bassacampi Division, two Eritrean colonial brigades and their artillery brigade, at Al Hudaydah the undefended major port of Yemen. Its goal was to relieve the pressure of the Dubat Division under attack in Aden by attacking the Royal Yemenite Army from the west.

    Once again the Red Sea fleet Rear Admiral Campioni headed out of port as soon as possible, this time heading south to Djibouti to pick up the 19th ‘Venezia’ Division

    17th July: The 19th ‘Venezia’ disembarked at Al Hudaydah after being transported by the Red Sea fleet and then moved to join the advance against San’a, the capital of Yemen. Immediately the Yemnites pulled out of their attack on the Dubats in Aden to defend their capital.


    The Italian attack on Yeman and the Aden Protectorate – known as operation Aelius Gallus.

    20th July: Once again the Red Sea fleet had been busy, this time it had picked up the 3rd Eritrean Division from Asmara, the colonial Blackshirts many of them residents of Asmara were seen off by crowds of their loved ones. After the short journey, across the sea the Blackshirts disembarked at Al Hudaydah. Their mission was to attack the Yemenite forces to the south of the port.


    The Eritrean Blackshirts of the 3rd Division boarding their designated transport ship.

    Now the 19th ‘Venezia’ Division had joined the battle for San’a’ and the Somali Dubats at Aden were able support the attack by begin advancing on San’a’ from their position at Aden.


    The battle of San’a’ continues as Italian reinforcements pile in. The Battle of Ta’izz begins as the 3rd Eritrean Division advances south against the Yemeni positions.

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