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Subject: Anzio survey rss

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Perry Rowe
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Hi

I'm interested in the question of whether Anzio was a missed opportunity and wondered whether the gaming experience could help. There are many games on Anzio or on the Italian campaign including Anzio, and gamers will have played these various games many times each. So, does your gaming experience support the belief that an opportunity was lost because Lucas was overly cautious, or that his caution gave the Allies a solid base to prevent total disaster when the German counter-attacks finally materialised?

The more info in your answers the more useful they will be. What Anzio games have you played? How realistic do you feel they were (in other words how much can be concluded from the outcomes of the games you played)? What were the outcomes? What did you conclude from this? etc.

TFYT
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Jon M
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The problem is that the games will have been designed with some idea of the designers as to question posed. i.e. a certain level of design for effect will have taken place within the structure of the game. Therefore no real conclusion could be drawn from playing the game other than the designers opinion on the matter.
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Perry Rowe
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Jon, this will be true to various extents I agree. I think there can still be something to learn if there is great enough range of games surveyed. Even if the bias was recognised and analysed the discussion could be interesting.

Have you played any relevant games to start the ball rolling?
 
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Robert Stuart
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Does A Raging Storm give any insight?
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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ropey wrote:
I'm interested in the question of whether Anzio was a missed opportunity...


I'm not much interested in games with limited scope that put the Allied player in the same historical "straightjacket". IMHO Lucas wasn't given sufficient forces, nor support from other forces already in Italy in terms of driving to link up, to be overly aggressive. If he had been extremely aggressive it is theoretically possible that he could have pulled off a coup de main, it is also possible that his entire force might have been cut off and forced to surrender and the landing a complete failure / disaster.

The wider question might be asked, whether or not the entire Italian campaign was a "missed opportunity". Basically the British wanted to pursue 'opportunities' in the Med, and the Americans refused anything to compromise the preparations for the landings in France. There was no commitment to continue an Italian Campaign after the previously agreed invasion of Sicily. However, Il Duce had been forced to resign after the invasion of Sicily, and the British exploited the Italian desire to leave the war entirely to get the Americans to reluctantly agree to further ops against Italy. Given that Italy is a peninsula, and the Allies had clear naval superiority, the Germans were presented with something of a dilemma as to where to defend in Italy. Obviously the further south one defends in that situation, the greater the risk of being cut off by an Allied landing further north. But how far does one want to let the Allies advance without making a serious effort to stop them? As it turned out the Allies "solved" the dilemma for the Germans by their major landing at Salerno.

This leads back to the original question regarding Anzio. While Churchill successfully pushed for the landing, the Americans starved it of the resources necessary for a real success (i.e. cutting off German forces to the south). In terms of a higher level game which presents the players with strategic options, it would be better to make a stronger effort so as to have a realistic chance to cut off the Germans, or not land at all.
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Robert Stuart
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deadkenny wrote:
ropey wrote:
I'm interested in the question of whether Anzio was a missed opportunity...


I'm not much interested in games with limited scope that put the Allied player in the same historical "straightjacket". IMHO Lucas wasn't given sufficient forces, nor support from other forces already in Italy in terms of driving to link up, to be overly aggressive. If he had been extremely aggressive it is theoretically possible that he could have pulled off a coup de main, it is also possible that his entire force might have been cut off and forced to surrender and the landing a complete failure / disaster.

The wider question might be asked, whether or not the entire Italian campaign was a "missed opportunity". Basically the British wanted to pursue 'opportunities' in the Med, and the Americans refused anything to compromise the preparations for the landings in France. There was no commitment to continue an Italian Campaign after the previously agreed invasion of Sicily. However, Il Duce had been forced to resign after the invasion of Sicily, and the British exploited the Italian desire to leave the war entirely to get the Americans to reluctantly agree to further ops against Italy. Given that Italy is a peninsula, and the Allies had clear naval superiority, the Germans were presented with something of a dilemma as to where to defend in Italy. Obviously the further south one defends in that situation, the greater the risk of being cut off by an Allied landing further north. But how far does one want to let the Allies advance without making a serious effort to stop them? As it turned out the Allies "solved" the dilemma for the Germans by their major landing at Salerno.

This leads back to the original question regarding Anzio. While Churchill successfully pushed for the landing, the Americans starved it of the resources necessary for a real success (i.e. cutting off German forces to the south). In terms of a higher level game which presents the players with strategic options, it would be better to make a stronger effort so as to have a realistic chance to cut off the Germans, or not land at all.


What puzzles me is why, with Allied control of Corsica, they didn't land at a place like Livorno -- and then begin a major transfer of forces to the new front.
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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bob_santafe wrote:
What puzzles me is why, with Allied control of Corsica, they didn't land at a place like Livorno -- and then begin a major transfer of forces to the new front.


An excellent point, and an alternate approach that appears clearly superior to me as well. In fact, the Allies could potentially have occupied much more of Italy without even making a major landing. They had already made a smaller landing at Calabria (Baytown) and would later land at Taranto (Slapstick) against very light opposition. Rather than 'shooting their bolt' at Salerno (Avalanche) and allowing the Germans to concentrate against them so far south, they could have "pinned" the Germans by maintaining the threat of a landing further north, and simply exploited their practically unopposed landings in the south.

Part of the problem was that the post-Husky Italian Campaign was not part of longer term Allied planning. It just sort of "happened" as they went along.
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