As I learned from reading Diana West’s opus, American Betrayal, General Dwight D. Eisenhower extolled the suitability of both the Italian Po Valley, and the Aegean Sea “Second Front” approaches during the late November, 1943 Cairo Conference. Specifically, Ike opined the following at Cairo on November 26, 1943, as reported in United States Department of State, Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, (1943), pp. 359-60:
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.
The next best method of harrying the enemy was to undertake operations in the Aegean…From here the Balkans could be kept aflame, Ploesti [Rumanian; a significant source of oil for Nazi Germany ] would be threatened and the Dardanelles [a Turkish strait, connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara] might be opened.