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Alternate History

Allied invasion of Italy (WDTRG)

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Allied Invasion of Italy
Beginning:

1st July

End:

8th August

Place:

Italy

Outcome:

Allied Victory

Combatants

British Empire Greece Yugoslavia

Kingdom of Italy

Commanders

Archibald Wavell Alexander Papagos Dusan Simovic

Benito Mussolini

Strength

350,000

400,000

Casualties and Losses

15,000 dead or wounded

56,000 dead or wounded the rest captured

On the 1st July 1942 an Italian army crossed the Yugoslavian border. Mussolini assures Hitler that he can stop them at the Alps and Hitler while not sure is reluctant to move troops away from Case Blue he agrees as Mussolini refuses to have troops deployed in Italy and Hitler doesn't want to try and launch an offensive into Yugoslavia which would need armour support.

After the fall of Albania, Italy had lost a large bulk of it's best troops and so they now needed to raise a new army and prepare to defend the Italian border. The Italian generals assured Mussolini that they could surprise the Allies on the border and drive them back. So Mussolini approved a limited plan to take Slovenia with a new army raised. Mussolini and his generals pushed for an early attack and so they found that many of the preparations were rushed.

This new army lacked air and armoured support and most of the troops had very limited training or motivation. The RAF had established a total dominance of the skies with almost every active air field and any units stationed there having been destroyed. They had also targeted large standing formations of artillery and tanks The marshalling for the attack was seen by Allied spotter aircraft and reconnaissance units. The Allies planned to allow the Italian to launch their attack and then after they repelled the Italian offensive they would launch a counter attack into Italy.

Both sides prepared their forces with Allied forces placed opposite to the assembling Italian troops. Desertion was high among the Italian troops who were beginning to grow weary of the war and didn't want to go on a major counter-attack with limited faith in their own abilities.

The initial attack was launched on 1st July. It was started off by a dawn artillery raid but it was weak due to a lack of guns and not being aware of the enemy positions up to half of the shells fired weren't even pointed at an allied position. The Italian army then launched their attack. The initial attack was comprised of 3 parts with one force going out from Jelraji, Sezana and Šempeter pri Gorici. The attack was repulsed easily when Allied forces held their ground and the Italian forces were reluctant to on the ground follow orders and attack combined with the large amounts of sustained fire keeping them back. As the Italian force withdrew from their small sortie into Allied lines an Allied Armoured division counter-attacked and caused the Italian forces their to panic and scatter as they lack anti- armour weaponry. The Allied forces drive through Gorizia as the Italian army breaks down. By the end of the day the Allies were on the outskirts of Palmanova. It fell the next day.

Having crossed the initial rivers blocking their advance as the Italians had not been ready to blow the bridges which the Allies feared would have been a major obstacle. They then started a coastal drive towards Venice.

They kept advancing down the coast and fought another major action against the Italians at Portogruao on the 6th July. The battle was brief though when due to repeated air attacks by the RAF on the Italian force before the battle as the concentrated Italian troops were easy to hit from the air. When the actual 2 sides met the Italians broke down and collapsed leading to them being driven through as they couldn't take down the tanks and many lacked ammunition and working guns. On the 11th July the Allies halted outside of Venice and surrounded the peninsula as they didn't want to risk taking it but believed that they could starve it out.

The Italians launch a major counter attack on the 15th July to relieve the siege as the fall of Venice was feared by many to cause public opinion to turn against the war. The counter attack while large in numbers failed to make ground as the Allies saw the force coming and launched their own attack at the force during the night. The Italian sentries were while placed on bridges they placed insufficient guards on the river. A battalions crossed the river and another two were dropped at night and so worked their way around to the rear of the Italians inside Padua then surprised the Italian force and caused panic as organization was exceedingly slow and many units occupying the eastern sector of Padua moved to the west to help fight the surprise attack while led to the bulk of the Allied army to seize the 2 bridges over the Brenta and attack Padua from both sides.

At this point the Italian command had given up trying to organize their men and they simply tried to get out of the town themselves leaving the men leaderless. Many of the men took to hauling up in individual buildings and trying to resist but they were generally left alone and isolated or other units tried to simply escape in the chaos. As dawn broke the battle had been a shambles for Italy with very few forces still under the command of their generals. Many of the isolated troops were either flushed out or surrendered on their own accord. The few Italian forces fell back to Mantua while the Allies continued to besiege Venice. It surrendered at the end of the war when new government representatives ended and ordered it to surrender.

With news of the failure to relieve the siege and the subsequent collapse of the army. Mussolini is ousted on the 18th July (WDTRG). This signals the end of the war between Italy and the Allies as the new government wanted to end the war quickly. The new government signs a treaty and ends the war on the 8th August. The new treaty makes all Italian colonies a British mandate gives Albania to Yugoslavia and Greece to split as well as Trieste to Yugoslavia.

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