SECOND FRONT : The Allied Invasion of France, 1942-43 (An Alternative History)
One of the great arguments of World War II took place among Allied military leaders over when and where to launch a second front against Germany in Europe. Stalin, holding on by his teeth in Russia, urged a major invasion from the west as soon as possible. The Americans, led by Marshall and Wedemeyer, argued likewise. It was Churchill who got his way, however, with his Mediterranean strategy, including a campaign on the Italian peninsula, which he mistakenly called the “soft underbelly of Europe.”
This realistic, fact-based work posits what would have happened had Churchill been overruled, and that rather than invading North Africa in the fall of 1942, then Sicily and Italy, the Allies had hit the coast of southern France instead. The key element that enables the alternative scenario is the cooperation of Vichy, which was negotiated at the time but refused. If the Allies had promised sufficient force to support the French, however, the entire southern coastline of France would have been undefended against a surprise invasion.
In this book, once the Allied armies are ashore, Germans stream toward the front, albeit through a gauntlet of Maquis, Allied paratroopers, and airpower. Meantime the Allied forces push up the Rhône Valley and titanic armored clashes take place near Lyons. Already in desperate straits at Stalingrad, where they had committed their air and armored reserves, the Germans had also yet to switch to a full total-war economy, with tanks like the Panther and Tiger not yet deployed.
This fascinating alternative history comes close to informing us exactly what might have happened had D-Day in Europe come as early as some had wished.
In this book the author takes was through what he thinks might have happened if we invaded France when Eisenhower wanted to at the very beginning of our enrollment into the war. Though I found it interesting at least with the invasion of France. The loss of life might not be as high. I am not so sure with other parts of the story. The Germans at the beginning and still at the end had some very good weapons, and though he mentions the tiger, and Panzer tanks would not have been around. We would not have had some of are better weapons, planes and such as we did towards the last year of the war. What people miss is that it took some time for our factories to change into fighting production, and our troops for example on Guadalcanal were using world war one weapons. For me this was the part of the story that would not work now knowing what we know now. Other than that it was an interesting read and a good look at what might have been. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 3 stars.
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