The US 7th Army is the Operational Center of Gravity of Anglo Allies of 1943.
Shipping and landing craft are essential elements in the Allies freedom of movement but they provide mobility for Allied’ combat power, not the combat power itself. Overall, the shortage of shipping and landing craft represents a vulnerability rather than a source of power.
US Airborne forces play a key role in Operation Husky and represent an important element of Allied combat power, but they are not the primary source of Allied combat power or freedom of movement for the Allied forces.
The British 8th Army is a close runner up for selection as the operational COG. Because of its combat experience, the 8th Army is man-for-man probably a better overall force than the 7th Army initially, but the changing nature of US-British cooperation and operations, makes the US unit a more important element of Allied combat power.
The US 7th Army is currently the primary element of US ground combat power in the theater. The Allies would not conduct Operation Husky without US ground combat forces. The only sure way the Axis forces can be successful is to destroy or cause the withdrawal of the US ground forces from Sicily. Given the US and Allied objectives, the survival and ultimate success of the US 7th Army makes it the primary source of combat power and freedom of movement for the Allies.
4 European Axis 1943
4.1 Strategic goals of European Axis 1943
The ultimate strategic goal of the Axis is world domination. The dominant elements in the Axis, Germany and Japan, feel they have been oppressed and punished by the rest of the world and this is their opportunity to secure their rightful place in the international community. The Germans claim to be making the world safer and better by eliminating communism and “undesirable” races from Europe. The Japanese claim they are freeing Asia from European Colonialism. The primary strategic goal of Germany and Italy in 1943 is to defeat Russia first while delaying against the US and Britain.
The stated objectives of the Axis nations are still fully supported by their leaders and populations in 1943. Much of the “dark side” of Axis’ actions are being kept from the ordinary public. The rest of the world community recognizes the unjust and inhumane aspects of the objectives and actions of the Axis and considers the axis leaders and operators to be ruthless and blood thirsty “ethnic-cleansers.”
4.2 Operational goals of European Axis 1943
The operational goal for the Axis is primarily to buy time to prepare the defense of the Italian mainland. Both Italy and Germany recognize that they are not likely to succeed indefinitely in preventing the Allies from seizing Sicily and the Italian peninsula, but they believe that they can make the Allied assault very costly in both men and material and that they can drag out the fighting for an extremely long time if they have time to prepare their defenses in Sicily.
The people of Sicily and Italy would reject an objective of “buying time.” Their moral and support for the war will not survive the loss of Sicily and mainland Italian territory.
4.3 Relevant factors of European Axis 1943
Italy and Germany are of similar cultures and ethnicity with diverse languages. Minorities have generally been eliminated from Axis territories through ethnic cleansing.
The Axis countries are at their maximum capacity in terms of economic and industrial production. Despite increasing Allied’ strategic bombing, Axis factories are still extremely productive in 1943 and Axis forces have not suffered from severe shortages of material. Strategic resources such as oil is in short supply and is the primary limiting factor in industrial output for the Axis.
The Axis has internal and shorter lines of communications. Axis land based fighters and bombers, as well as coastal naval units, are available to support the operations on Sicily.
German-Italian cooperation and mutual support goes back only to the 1930s. The Germans have had to bail the Italians out in the Balkins and Africa so what recent historical links exist, are all bad ones.
The Allied’ announcement of the unconditional surrender policy is being successfully used by Axis leaders to motivate their forces and populations to fight on. The policy will actually delay the surrender of Italy for several months after the Italian King first considers it. The political links between the European Axis members and the Japanese are very weak.
Hitler considers Mussolini a personal friend and strong ally. He will do what ever he can to keep Mussolini in power.
A great deal of tension exists between German and Italian political and military leaders. The Germans have never considered the Italian military to be competent, and now they consider them unreliable after their defeat in North Africa. Axis military leaders clearly understand that they are now on the defensive. Axis political and military leaders are taken in by the Allied deception plan. Some believe the Allies will land on Sicily, but Hitler and key German Generals believe the Allies will attack through Greece.
Hitler, supported by key Nazi party leaders, the Gestapo and SS, is firmly in control of Germany and the European Axis countries.
4.4 Dominant factors of European axis 1943
4.4.1 Composition of forces of European Axis 1943
The European Axis of 1943 is a multi-state force.
European Axis of 1943 is organized as a dominant partner alliance with the following members:
The dominant partner of the alliance is Germany.
The primary force element that will conduct the campaign for European Axis of 1943 is Axis-Forces-Sicily. In terms of its composition, Axis-Forces-Sicily is a multi-group force. The subgroups of Axis-Forces-Sicily are:
German Air Forces Italy
German Air Forces Sicily
German Ground Forces Sicily
German Naval Forces Italy
Italian 16th Army
Italian Naval Forces
The subgroups of Axis-Forces-Sicily conduct combined and joint operations.
184.108.40.206.1 Strategic goals of Germany-1943
The strategic goals of Germany are to keep Italy in the war, and with or without Italian support to retain control of the Italian main land. The German's do not consider Italian territory as strategically critical, but they recognize that they can tie up a great deal of Allied’ combat power in a protracted defensive campaign on the Italian peninsula. Hitler is personally concerned with keeping Mussolini in power because he considers him a personal friend and firm political ally even though Italy provides the Axis with little combat power.
German leaders and the population support these goals. Ordinary people are unaware of the low moral of the Italians or that Hitler and his senior leaders realize that the Italians are likely to quit soon. Allied leaders are aware that the Germans will pursue these goals. The international community in general is unaware that the Italians are ready to quit, but realize that the Germans will fight on without them.
220.127.116.11.2 Operational goals of Germany-1943
In addition to buying time to prepare a deliberate defense of Italy, a key German operational goal is and to ensure that German troops are not trapped on Sicily. The Germans want to make the Allies pay as high a price as possible for Sicily, but not at the expense of loosing the German troops conducting the defense there. These troops are key to dragging out the campaign in Italy.
18.104.22.168.3 Relevant factors of Germany-1943
Hitler and the Nazi party have attempted to create an ethnically pure society but they have in fact weakened their national potential by eliminating some of their brightest minds (like Einstein), economic and industry leaders, and generally antagonizing the international community.
Germany is dependent on imported strategic industrial resources such as oil, copper, chromium and bauxite from the Balkans. German industry is operating at maximum capacity despite allied strategic bombing attacks. The limiting factor in how much war material the Germans can produce is their access to imported raw materials.
The Germans have internal, but long lines of communication to supply their forces in Italy and Sicily.
Hitler and Nazi policies and actions have made Germany an international outlaw and pariah. Germany has limited support from other Central European nations but Hitler and Nazi actions alienate most of these allies and weaken their support and utility.
German troops in Italy and Sicily are under strength but they are well trained and well led. The moral of German forces remains relatively high despite their losses in Africa. Germany has fallen for the allied deception plan and they believe the allies will attack through Greece and the Balkans. German leaders and troops do not trust the will-to-fight or capability of Italian forces.
Hitler is an absolute dictator and is in firm control of Germany and the European member nations of the Axis. The German people generally still support Hitler in 1943 although few ordinary Germans are aware of German atrocities or current operational situation.
Italian transportation network
The Germans are depending on the good transportation network in Italy to quickly reinforce Sicily and Italy if the allies invade there.
22.214.171.124.4 Dominant factors of Germany-1943
126.96.36.199.4.1 Control and governing elements of Germany-1943
The government of Germany in 1943 is a Police state. This police state is dominated by the political element Nazi Party that has Adolph Hitler as the primary controlling element.
188.8.131.52.4.2 Civilization of Germany-1943
Germany in 1943 has an industrial civilization, where the dominant element is Germany’s need for strategic industrial resources.
184.108.40.206.5 Strategic Center of Gravity Candidates for Germany-1943
Adolph Hitler is the primary controlling element in tj Nazi Party of 1943 which is the dominant decision element in the governing body of Germany-1943, which is a police state. This suggests that Adolph Hitler is a potential center of gravity for Germany-1943.
Adolph Hitler is the key decision-maker for the European Axis and Germany in 1943. Eliminating Hitler at this point in 1943 would at least change the goals of Germany and could actually bring an immediate end to WWII in Europe.
Strategic industrial resources are the dominant element in the industrial civilization of Germany in 1943. This suggests that German strategic industrial resources are a potential Center of Gravity for Germany in 1943.
The limiting factor in Germany's ability to manufacture and distribute war materials in 1943 is their access to key, imported strategic industrial resources such as oil, chromium, copper and bauxite. The Allies attack German industry throughout the war, but it is the lack of raw materials that eventually slows down German industry to the point that the German military is effected in the field. Destroying German supplies and access to key strategic industrial resources will shorten the war.
German strategic industrial resources should not be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
Nazi Party 1943
The Nazi Party of 1943 is the dominant element in the governing body of Germany of 1943, which is a police state. This suggests that the Nazi Party is a potential center of gravity for Germany in 1943.
The leaders and structures of the Nazi party are dominant elements of the governing body of Germany in 1943. Hitler is in complete control at this point and overshadows the rest of the Nazi party. The Nazi party represents a key source of Hitler's strength, but it is not the primary source of German power or freedom of movement.
The Nazi Party of 1943 should be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
German Army 1943
The German Army of 1943 is controlling all of Europe and a great deal of Eurasia. The Army controls over 100 German and allied mechanized and infantry divisions and thousands of combat aircraft. The German General Staff, supported by the Army is the only possible internal threat to Hitler's power in Germany.
The German Army is a massively powerful element of German global power in 1943 and is sustaining the German war effort Europe, Russian and Eurasia.
The German Army of 1943 should not be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
220.127.116.11.6 Operational Center of Gravity Candidates for Germany-1943
German Airborne reinforcements
A German Airborne Division is available for the reinforcement of Axis forces on Sicily.
The German Airborne Division which was on standby for the reinforcement of Sicily and southern Italy was a well led, well trained, powerful combat element. Its entry into the defensive operation would significantly increase the combat power of Axis forces on Sicily.
German Airborne reinforcements should not be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
German Air Support
Axis’ forces on Sicily are supported by significant numbers of German land-based fighters and bombers.
German air support for Sicily is not eliminated because it can have a decisive role in defeating the Allied’ invasion. If enough air power is mustered and effectively attacks the Allied’ invasion fleet the invasion could be thwarted.
German air support should not be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
German Ground Forces on Sicily
The German ground forces on Sicily are the most powerful elements of combat power available to the Axis forces on Sicily and in Italy.
The German ground forces available for the defense of Sicily are the most powerful and potent element of combat power that the Axis has in the theater of operations.
German ground forces on Sicily should not be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
German Naval Forces
Axis’ forces on Sicily are supported by coastal attack vessels, transports and barges.
The naval elements supporting German and Italian forces on Sicily will be critical to their operations initially for reinforcements and resupply, and in the end for the evacuation of German troops and material from the island. These naval forces are important for the support and preservation of German combat power, but they are not themselves a significant element of combat power.
German naval forces should be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
18.104.22.168.1 Strategic goals of Italy-1943
The strategic goals of Italy are to preserve the Italian Empire and preserve Italian sovereignty.
The Italian people support these goals but they have grown tired of the war and are ready to give up the Empire and quit the war if they can preserve their lives, property and independence. Most of the international community is ready to offer the Italians some minor concessions to get them to leave the Axis, but the situation has been made extremely complicated by President Roosevelt's unconditional surrender policy.
22.214.171.124.2 Operational goals of Italy-1943
The Italian operational goal is to preserve their control over Sicily and the Italian mainland. They are prepared to put up a tough fight in Sicily, but they will not risk their best troops, leaders or equipment there.
The people of Sicily do not trust the Italian government and they doubt that Italian soldiers will fight vigorously to defend them.
126.96.36.199.3 Relevant factors of Italy-1943
The people of mainland Italy and Sicily have common ethnicity but they have different dialects and cultures. There is a great deal of mistrust of the Italian government and mainlanders by the Sicilians.
The Italian economy and industry are weak, damaged by the war, and operating at maximum capacity. They provide little combat power to the Axis war machine.
The Italians are operating on their home territory. Although many of the common soldiers defending Sicily are locals, none of the senior leaders are Sicilian so they do not have an advantage in knowledge of the terrain.
Italy has controlled Sicily for centuries, but the people of Sicily have always considered themselves Sicilians first and Italians second.
King Emmanual III and other Italian leaders are actively considering ending the alliance with Germany and getting out of the war. Their situation is very complex and difficult because of the presence of German troops, and the Allied’ unconditional surrender policy.
Italian troops are poorly trained, led and equipped. Control of Italian troops on Sicily is split between the ground forces commander who has control of army units and the naval commander who has control over coastal fortress troops. This split chain of command severely limits the Italians ability to coordinate their defensive efforts.
King Emmanuall III is control of the Italian government. Factions in the Italian government are actively trying to depose Mussolini who has lost the support and respect of the people.
The moral of Italian citizens is very low because of the war. Italian cities have been targeted and heavily damaged by allied bombing. The people of Sicily do not believe the Italians will defend them from the Allies.
188.8.131.52.4 Dominant factors of Italy-1943
184.108.40.206.4.1 Control and governing elements of Italy-1943
The government of Italy-1943 is a Monarchy. The dominant element in this monarchy is King Emmanual III.
220.127.116.11.4.2 Civilization of Italy-1943
Italy in 1943 has an industrial civilization, where the dominant element is the Italian industrial capacity.
18.104.22.168.4.3 Italian Fascist Party leadership
Mussolini and other members of the leadership of the Italian party are favorites of Hitler and still hold much power over Italy.
22.214.171.124.5 Strategic Center of Gravity Candidates for Italy-1943
Italy 1943 industrial capacity
Italian industrial capacity in 1943 is the dominant element in the industrial civilization of Italy in 1943. This suggests that Italian industrial capacity is a potential Center of Gravity for Italy in 1943.
Italy in 1943 is the provider of relatively little of the war material and transports for the Axis efforts in Europe. The generation of combat power by the European Axis in 1943 is dependant on the industrial capacity of Germany. Destroying or neutralizing Italy's industrial capacity in 1943 would have little impact on the combat power of the Axis and little impact on the eventual outcome of the war in Europe.
Italy_1943_industrial_capacity should be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
King Emmanual III
King Emmanual III is the dominant element in the governing body of Italy-1943, which is a Monarchy. Therefore King Emmanual III should be considered as one of the candidates for the strategic center of gravity.
Italy in 1943 is the provider of a relatively small amount of the Axis combat power available for the war in Europe. Loss of Italian combat power may quicken the downfall of Germany, but it will not significantly change the timetable for the successful allied invasion of Europe. King Emmanual III is in control of Italy, but he has very little influence over the eventual outcome of the war.
King Emmanual III should be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
Mussolini has been the leader of the Italian Fascist party in Italy for many years and still holds significant power in the Italian government. He is a personal friend of Hitler who will make significant efforts to keep him in power in Italy.
Mussolini and the Italian Fascists do not have the ultimate control of Italy. They can and will be deposed during 1943.
Mussolini should be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
126.96.36.199.6 Operational Center of Gravity Candidates for Italy-1943
The bulk of the Axis forces on Sicily are units of the Italian 16th Army.
The majority of the soldiers available to the Axis for the defense of Sicily are members of the Italian 16th Army. These troops have competent leaders at the general officer level, but they are poorly trained, poorly equipped and have low moral. They can be eliminated as a candidate operational COG because they represent significantly less combat power than the German troops that are involved in the defense of Sicily.
Italian-16th-Army should be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
Italian Air and Naval Forces
Allied forces are vulnerable to effective air and sea attacks. Italian air and naval forces will be defending their home territory and could be expected to put up a good fight.
Italian air and naval forces are poorly trained, equipped and led. They contribute almost nothing to the Axis combat power available for the defense of Sicily.
Italian air and naval forces should be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
Italian Naval Fortress Forces
Thousands of Italian soldiers, nominally under the control of the Italian Navy, are defending the major coastal cities and ports on Sicily.
Although great in numbers, these Italian forces are very poorly trained, equipped and led. They will do little to defend Sicily and because of poor command and control structures they will fail to coordinate their actions with the Italian 16th Army and thereby hinder their efforts.
Italian naval fortress forces should be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
4.4.2 Control and governing elements of European axis 1943
4.4.3 Civilization of European Axis 1943
4.5 Strategic Center of Gravity Candidates for European Axis 1943
The strategic center of gravity candidates of the members of European Axis of 1943 are also strategic center of gravity candidates for European Axis of 1943.
Cooperation Between Members of Axis Forces on Sicily
Depending on the level of complexity of the combined and joint operations being conducted by Axis-Forces-Sicily, the cooperation among the subgroups of Axis-Forces-Sicily may be a strategic or operational Center of Gravity.
As the dominant partner among the European members of the Axis in 1943, Germany is responsible for the continuation of the war in Europe. The loss of Italy as an ally in 1943 is already anticipated by the Germans. It will hurt, but will not be decisive. Germany can and will fight on alone.
Cooperation between members of Axis-Forces-Sicily should be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
Will of Germany-1943
Germany-1943 is the dominant partner in European Axis of 1943 which is a dominant partner multi-state alliance. This suggests that the will Germany-1943 is a potential center of gravity for European Axis in 1943.
The will of Germany, its leaders and people, hold a major responsibility for the continuation of the war in Europe in 1943. When the German will to fight is finally destroyed in 1945 the war will end. But will alone is not enough to fight and win a global, industrial age war and therefore the will of Germany can be eliminated as a candidate strategic COG for the Axis.
Will_of_Germany-1943 should be eliminated as a candidate center of gravity.
4.6 Strategic Center of Gravity Choice for European Axis 1943