Breitbart ^ | 7 Aug 2013 | Diana West
Posted on Thursday, August 08, 2013 9:40:45 AM by cutty
Churchill famously urged that the advance on Germany continue from already-won bases in Italy and elsewhere in south-central Europe.
Stalin’s demand for the big U.S.-British push in northern France, however, prevailed. According to the tally of one peeved letter to the editor in the New York Times, this would put the Allies on track to open their ninth front.
Of course, in order to gather sufficient forces for the June 1944 D-Day invasion, men and equipment, particularly landing craft, had to be withdrawn from the European continent – in Italy – to reinvade the European continent – in France.
In his memoir, Calculated Risk, Gen. Mark Clark, commander of U.S. forces in Italy, explains how gutting his forces in Italy in the months before D-Day stalled Allied progress against German forces. (Italy had already surrendered.) Meanwhile, the disappearance of Allied men and materiel from the battlefield completely mystified the Germans.
For weeks, Clark writes, Allied counterintelligence “was catching enemy agents who had orders to find out ‘where in hell’ were various Allied divisions that were being sent to France.” They couldn’t believe the Allies weren’t dealing them the death blow they had expected.
Italy… “was the correct place in which to deploy our main forces and the objective should be the Valley of the Po. In no other area could we so well threaten the whole German structure including France, the Balkans and the Reich itself.”
“Here also our air would be closer to vital objectives in Germany,” he explained. The commander went on recommend “operations in the Aegean”: “From here the Balkans could be kept aflame, Ploesti would be threatened and the Dardanelles might be opened.”
That commander’s name was Dwight D. Eisenhower.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com …