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"Alternate history WW1: Italy on side of Central Powers" Topic

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1,023 hits since 12 Dec 2012
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warren bruhn Inactive Member12 Dec 2012 6:36 p.m. PST

Reading the thread discussing possible loan of the Kongo to Britain during WW1, I was reminded that Brazil offered to loan its two dreadnoughts for use in European waters. They would have needed major overhaul in order to be effective.

But I don't see enough of a strain on the naval resources of Britian and France to justify borrowing Japanese or Braziian ships after Italy came in on their side. Might have been a very different story, though, if Italy came in on the side of the Central Powers.

Has anybody wargamed the naval strategy, operations, and/or tactics that might have resulted from Italy becoming active in the Great War on the side of the Central Powers?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP12 Dec 2012 6:51 p.m. PST

Just think if Austria was not tied up, and France was.

Texas Jack13 Dec 2012 4:27 a.m. PST

This is on my to-do list. A few years ago (yikes!) I bought all eight of the Navwar WWI fleet packs. So far I have managed to paint and base the Royal Navy, but, alas, nothing else.
BUT, when/if I am ready, I plan a nice battle with Austria and Italy on one side, and perhaps the Goeben, going up against France and the RN Mediterranean Fleet. Maybe throw in the pre-dreads as well. Should be great fun!

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2012 1:30 p.m. PST

Look for a copy of the SPI magazine game from the 1970s "Flight of the Goeben". It covered the first couple of weeks of the naval war in the Mediterranean, with various random events covered by "Secret Die Rolls". One of these was Italy either being neutral, or on the side of the Central Powers.

The game is particularly good as a framework for a miniatures campaign.


138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2012 5:26 p.m. PST

Wasn't there a comment on the eve of WWII, between a British and German politicians:

German: "We've got Italy on our side!"

British, "Only fair old boy,we had them last time."

Texas Jack14 Dec 2012 3:23 a.m. PST

That was a good one thumbs up

Generale Lechi14 Dec 2012 6:12 a.m. PST

What a humour ! 750.000 italian dead along side the allies in the WWI…..

CampyF Inactive Member16 Dec 2012 4:57 a.m. PST

The Allied worked very hard to get the Italians on their side. With them in the German/Austrian/Turkish camp, the French/British would have all kinds of trouble.

The Italians fought hard in WWI, and accomplished quite a bit, and suffered enormous losses. I'm sure the sailors and merchantmen who had to fight their way across the Med during WWII failed to see the humor in Churchill's joke.

warren bruhn Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 5:13 p.m. PST

Besides the distraction of having Italian troops attacking the passes leading into France, the Med would have been a crazy place for naval action. I'm guessing that the British would have had to send a dreadnought squadron, some pre-dreadnoughts, some modern light cruisers, and one or more flotillas of destroyers. The French didn't have modern light cruisers, and the French were also short on modern destroyers. The British would have needed to make up the difference.

Just to balance out this hypothetical a little bit, perhaps the Ottoman Empire could be induced to declare war on Italy in order to regain Libya and some Ionian islands. But I suspect that the Serbs would be out of luck if Italy had joined the Central Powers. Can't see how Britain and France could have supported them in the face of the combined Italian and Austro-Hungarian navies.

This certainly would have affected the balance of power in the North Sea!

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