A Blunted Sickle - Thread II

Italy is also currently heavily involved in the Balkans as a safeguard against the soviets no?
Yes, with various degrees of happiness by those it is involved in. Romania would rather have Italian Troops than Soviet troops, but I think would rather have French than either.

I *think* that at this point, the line of connected countries goes Switzerland, Austrian part of 3R, Hungary, Slovakia, USSR. So none of the Italian troops in the Balkans can do anything *but* even if they were *all* in Northern Italy,... (See PDF's previous comments)

And once the French cross over into Northern Austria from Bavaria, the Italians would just look petty.
 
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Yes, with various degrees of happiness by those it is involved in. Romania would rather have Italian Troops than Soviet troops, but I think would rather have French than either.

I *think* that at this point, the line of connected countries goes Switzerland, Austrian part of 3R, Hungary, Slovakia, USSR. So none of the Italian troops in the Balkans can do anything *but* even if they were *all* in Northern Italy,... (See PDF's previous comments)

And once the French cross over into Northern Austria from Bavaria, the Italians would just look petty.
I don't think the Slovaks have Transruthenian Carpathia, it's Hungarian at the time.
And the Hungarians are invading Austria, so if they give access...
 
I don't think the Slovaks have Transruthenian Carpathia, it's Hungarian at the time.
And the Hungarians are invading Austria, so if they give access...
I know that Slovakia at this point has more area to the east than the current nation of Slovakia does. And Hungary's ambitions are apparently so limited that they don't need Italian help.
 
I know that Slovakia at this point has more area to the east than the current nation of Slovakia does. And Hungary's ambitions are apparently so limited that they don't need Italian help.
I would not really like being Hungary as soon as the resurrected Czechoslovakia gets their act together...
 
Sorry, just thought of something. In the earliest posts, the author mentioned Blanchard being posted Marshall to limit the influence of Pétain, who the author said was the only other living Marshall. That is actually incorrect; Franchet d'Esperey was still alive in 1940. He didn't do much but keep his head down until he died in 1942, but he might have something to say in this timeline
 
Too slow to react - this collapse has come extraordinarily fast, and of what warning there was none reached Italy. In real time (rather than writing-time!) we're only about 2 weeks after the Entente attack started - and before that everybody expected things to be quiet until the spring.

One other thing to note - the terrain they would have to attack over is absolutely hideous, and the Italian army has some very bad corporate memories of attacking over it. Indeed, Mussolini fought in the second and third battles of Isonzo (there were eventually twelve) which was on vastly less difficult terrain than they would need to cross to attack into Austria.
One additional note, for the Battles of Isonzo, none of them were *real* winter battles. The latest in the year that any of them went were the fourth battle of Isonzo which more or less ended in a an unofficial Truce due to cold on December 2nd 1915 and the earliest in the year for any of these battles was the fifth following Spring which started on March 9.

While Mussolini was not in either of these battles, he was in both the second and third battles of Isonzo, so he knew the terrain pretty well (at least as well as a private/corporal can know it) and I'd expect a good number of his generals were involved in some number of the battles there as well.
 
One additional note, for the Battles of Isonzo, none of them were *real* winter battles. The latest in the year that any of them went were the fourth battle of Isonzo which more or less ended in a an unofficial Truce due to cold on December 2nd 1915 and the earliest in the year for any of these battles was the fifth following Spring which started on March 9.

While Mussolini was not in either of these battles, he was in both the second and third battles of Isonzo, so he knew the terrain pretty well (at least as well as a private/corporal can know it) and I'd expect a good number of his generals were involved in some number of the battles there as well
One thing not really mentioned is that IRL just before the fall of France, Mussolini had signed deals to sell planes to the RAF via Portugal (he ev3en asked for and got permission from Hitler to do this) as up until the Battle of Sedan where the French were broken he was kinda playing both sides. In this world, with France not falling and Germany looking too weak to actually do anything to punish them there is a good chance that a significant amount of Italian military production has been bought by the French especially as there is a much higher level of compatibility than equipment from many other nations. While this equipment may be of variable quality the Western allies weren't really that picky about what they bought especially with France needing to re-equip quickly after the 1940 campaign and although captured German equipment is good it suffers from logistics issues especially a lack of spare parts Italian equipment is also a very attractive option as the Italian Industrial heartland is only just over the border from France so supply trains from Milan and Turin and ships from Genoa can be in France in only a few hours The French airforce was in an especially bad state in 1940 and considering the RAF had made deals to buy Re 2000s (order for 300 made irl) as well as several types of Italian bombers it is very likely the French would also put in orders. Italy may end up playing a similar role in WW2 as Spain did in WW1 where they were neutral but were France's single largest external supplier of weapons. This investment would do wonders for the Italian economy as they would have large armament orders it's not their money and they are not suffering wartime losses. and could end up being a very useful boost, while on a smaller scale it could end up performing the same role as the early war cash and carry purchases the UK made from the US in boosting the US economy after the great depression. Thus with a booming economy, high employment rates, lots of infrastructure development programs, etc the Italian people are probably very happy, so the pressure on Mussolini to intervene is a lot smaller as he doesn't have to unify the people to distract them from a failing economy caused by the spending burdens of Abyssinia and the Spanish Civil War.
 
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One thing not really mentioned is that IRL just before the fall of France Mussolini had signed deals to sell planes to the RAF via Portugal as up until the Battle of Sedan where the French were broken he was kinda playing both sides. In this world, with France not falling and Germany looking too weak to actually do anything there is a good chance that a significant amount of Italian military production has been bought by the French especially as there is a much higher level of compatibility while this equipment may be of variable quality the Western allies weren't really that picky and Italy may end up playing a similar role in WW2 as Spain did in WW1 where they were neutral but were France's single largest external supplier of weapons. This investment would do wonders for the Italian economy as they would have large armament orders it's not their money and they are not suffering wartime losses. and could end up being very useful being on a smaller scale performing the same role as the early war cash and carry purchases the UK made from the US in boosting the US economy after the great depression.
That's a very interesting thought, that I don't believe I've ever seen mentioned on this board! Interesting, plausible, and novel after all these years. Kudos!
 
That's a very interesting thought, that I don't believe I've ever seen mentioned on this board! Interesting, plausible, and novel after all these years. Kudos!
I could very easily see the French Airforce making orders of G50s, Re. 2000, SM.79s and Breda Ba.88 all of which the RAF did order and while not the best aircraft in the world considering the state of the French Airforce in 1940 they would be a qualitative improvement over many of the existing French models. IRL the RAF did order 300 Re.2000s (a much bigger order than the contemporary orders from US suppliers) as in December 1939 a British purchasing commission was sent to Italy.
 
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I could very easily see the French Airforce making orders of G50s, Re. 2000, SM.79s and Breda Ba.88 all of which the RAF did order and while not the best aircraft in the world considering the state of the French Airforce in 1940 they would be a qualitative improvement over many of the existing French models. IRL the RAF did order 300 Re.2000s (a much bigger order than the contemporary orders from US suppliers) as in December 1939 a British purchasing commission was sent to Italy.
Only one mentioned so far in the story is the SM.79 - a couple of squadrons worth have been ordered, fitted with ASV radar by the British and transferred to Indochina.
 
That would be an interesting TL - a delayed WW2 or one where France does not fall or falls later results in Italy supplying Britain with aircraft and ships and this results in Italy making the only winning move!
 
Only one mentioned so far in the story is the SM.79 - a couple of squadrons worth have been ordered, fitted with ASV radar by the British and transferred to Indochina.
considering some of the beautiful planes they made with licensed versions of the DB601 and 605s like the Re. 2001, Mc 202 that first flew in late 1940 and entered service in 41 and the later series 5 fighters. It would be interesting to see what the same engineers could do with a licensed Rolls-Royce Merlin or a Hispano Suiza 12Z or a Gnome-Rhone 14R or if they could license some of the latest Bristol or Napier Engines. Plus outside of the desert and the devastating effect the desert conditions can have tanks like the M13-40 or the M14-41 are not actually that bad and are capable of getting the job done. They might not be quite as good as some of the latest Frech designs but they are better than the M2 Medium and can kill early war Pz III and IVs and if they do get engines from the UK and France as well as industrial assistance programs we probably see some reasonable designs, Often overlooked the Semovente's had an ok combat record and the closest thing in the Western-allied armory at the time is the ARL V39 and the Somua Sau 40.
 
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One thing not really mentioned is that IRL just before the fall of France, Mussolini had signed deals to sell planes to the RAF via Portugal (he ev3en asked for and got permission from Hitler to do this) as up until the Battle of Sedan where the French were broken he was kinda playing both sides. In this world, with France not falling and Germany looking too weak to actually do anything to punish them there is a good chance that a significant amount of Italian military production has been bought by the French especially as there is a much higher level of compatibility than equipment from many other nations. While this equipment may be of variable quality the Western allies weren't really that picky about what they bought especially with France needing to re-equip quickly after the 1940 campaign and although captured German equipment is good it suffers from logistics issues especially a lack of spare parts Italian equipment is also a very attractive option as the Italian Industrial heartland is only just over the border from France so supply trains from Milan and Turin and ships from Genoa can be in France in only a few hours The French airforce was in an especially bad state in 1940 and considering the RAF had made deals to buy Re 2000s (order for 300 made irl) as well as several types of Italian bombers it is very likely the French would also put in orders. Italy may end up playing a similar role in WW2 as Spain did in WW1 where they were neutral but were France's single largest external supplier of weapons. This investment would do wonders for the Italian economy as they would have large armament orders it's not their money and they are not suffering wartime losses. and could end up being a very useful boost, while on a smaller scale it could end up performing the same role as the early war cash and carry purchases the UK made from the US in boosting the US economy after the great depression. Thus with a booming economy, high employment rates, lots of infrastructure development programs, etc the Italian people are probably very happy, so the pressure on Mussolini to intervene is a lot smaller as he doesn't have to unify the people to distract them from a failing economy caused by the spending burdens of Abyssinia and the Spanish Civil War.

France reconnaissance squadrons before WWII were split between the Army tactical / cooperation units (GAOs) and the Armée de l'Air full blown strategic reconnaissance squadrons - Saint Exupéry II/33, for example.
The AdA reco squadrons had Potez 63 and MB-174s.
But the GAOs only had a plethora of obsolete death traps (Les Mureaux 115, MB-131s... giant targets for the LW, right from 09/1939 losses were crippling).
From 1937 a massive atempt was made to get a T-3 tactical / 3-seat / Army cooperation aircraft program: up and running.
The T-3 ended two years later as one of the most dismal failures in AdA history: an expensive one with that. Plethora of project, three prototypes, awful aircraft, insane requirements... all wrong.

Whatever, in the end to fill the role, guess which aircraft were bought ?

Caproni Ca-313s. Some dozens if not hundred of them.

Benny the Moose exactly delivered 5 of them up to early June 1940... and then declared war to France on the tenth.

Can you believe that ?
 
France reconnaissance squadrons before WWII were split between the Army tactical / cooperation units (GAOs) and the Armée de l'Air full blown strategic reconnaissance squadrons - Saint Exupéry II/33, for example.
The AdA reco squadrons had Potez 63 and MB-174s.
But the GAOs only had a plethora of obsolete death traps (Les Mureaux 115, MB-131s... giant targets for the LW, right from 09/1939 losses were crippling).
From 1937 a massive atempt was made to get a T-3 tactical / 3-seat / Army cooperation aircraft program: up and running.
The T-3 ended two years later as one of the most dismal failures in AdA history: an expensive one with that. Plethora of project, three prototypes, awful aircraft, insane requirements... all wrong.

Whatever, in the end to fill the role, guess which aircraft were bought ?

Caproni Ca-313s. Some dozens if not hundred of them.

Benny the Moose exactly delivered 5 of them up to early June 1940... and then declared war to France on the tenth.

Can you believe that ?
Benny was playing both sides and was actively negotiating on joining the Allies as the French were offering territorial concessions in Djibouti as he expected the Western Allies to win but when the French were broken at Sedan he was shocked and basically jumped into the war as he thought that if he didn't he'd lose out. Benny had no love for Hitler after all he considered that Hitler had broken the treaty they had when he invaded Poland especially when he found out about Molotov Ribbontrop
 
In June 2020, as the Pandemic was settling in and updates were getting slower, I decided to go back to the very beginning of the first thread. For the last year and a half, Blunted Sickle has been my comfort reading. The premise has always been near and dear to my heart having played France (with several other comrades) in TWO play by email WW2 games. Both times we lost even though we shouldn't have (the first game, in particular, we were poised to do exactly as happened ITTL -- but the GM wanted the game to last longer, so he had us lose...)

I have FINALLY caught up. :)

It's a brilliant timeline, and I'm looking forward to reading about the end of the war and all the lovely postwar stuff PDF has written! It will be interesting to compare it to Fire in the Ashes, the rather beautiful book by Theodore H. White about Europe's first decade since the war.

Thank you, PDF!
 
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It's a brilliant timeline, and I'm looking forward to reading about the end of the war and all the lovely postwar stuff PDF has written! It will be interesting to compare it to Fire in the Ashes, the rather beautiful book by Theodore H. White about Europe's first decade since the war.

Thank you, PDF!
Very kind of you, thanks. The timeline isn't dead, I'm just a bit overwhelmed by life at the moment so can't face writing. Promise!
 
Perfectly understandable to be overwhelmed by life. Especially considering what's been happening over the last two years. Take your time, mental health and personal lives take priority.
 
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