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How Germany could've won?

Discussion in 'Alternate History' started by Jborgen, May 5, 2011.

  1. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    As this thread is 'How could Germany win WWII?' rather than why Japan was going to lose I will offer my money back garranteed blueprint for victory. I will employ Germany's original Order of Battle and Industrial capacity. No Superweapons, underground secret factories built prewar and no superhuman SS Doomtrooper's.

    Ground war fall 1939-spring 1940

    The war begins on Sept.1 1939 as scheduled, Poland is invaded and defeated. Denmark and Norway re seized. The atack in the west begins as scheduled. Here I depart somewhat. The BEF is a priority for destruction or capture once the allied line is breached. Since I cannot invade England I must hurt her army while it is reach of my forces. A b couple hundred thousand prisoner's as a bargaining chip would be nice, but to simply deprive Britain of so many ground troops early in the war will pay dividends for years to come. The Allied armies are defeated as historicly they were.

    Diplomatic Interlude

    Once all allied armies are defeated and scattered I will make a diplomatic push. I will offer to withdraw all Geman forces from France, Belguim, Norway,Denmark and Holland except for some minor territorial concessions ( Alsace-Lorraine, The Ardenne, Luxumbourg, Schleswig and parts of eastern Holland for a comprehensive peace with all nations at war with the Reich. I see no reason why the bulk of them would not agree, but England will almost surely hold out despite pressure by the governments whos country's is now occupied. I will do everything to encourage them to pester England to agree.

    When it becomes clear Britain will hold out, I will still offer the same terms to France, Belguim and Holland. Sorry Denmark and Norway I will retain you until Britain becomes reasonable. I will demonstrate That Germany is reasoable and mercifull victor, unlike the western Allies of 1919. France may keep her navy ( its no threat to the Reich) An army of 500.000 men (plus another 150,000 in her colonies). She may have a modest force of say 500 tanks and a Air force of say 800 combat aircraft.Belguim and Holland would be allowed forces of the same type propotional to their size. Large enough to assuage their pride, and small enought to be no threat to the Reich.

    The defeated nations could not enter into any foriegn aggreements without the approval of the Reich for a period of 10 years. Germany would require modest payments of food, natural reasorces and finnished products for the same 10 year period or until Britain came to terms. Lastly there would be a secret protocal that allows the Reich to run false flag purchasing company's to aquire materials overseas thru their ports.

    Naval Strategy (Surface) 1939 on

    The Reich must accept that it could never hope to effectively blockade Britain. While my surface units could sink a fair number of merchantmen, they will be eventually sunk one by one in cheap eay victories for the Royal Navy. So I will order all surface units (except Q-ships) home before the start of hostilities. My pre-war fleet will be joined by Bismark and Tirpitz. I will complete the Graff Zepplin and convert a port bound Liner to a auxillery Carrier. Once Bismark joins the fleet I will put Sharnhorst in to be upgraded with 15 inch guns as planned. Her sister will follow after Sharnhorst returns to the fleet.

    I have no intention of fighting with them unless a highly favorable or despairte occasion arises. They cost far too many reichsmars to throw away. They will train in the Baltic as a powerfull 'Fleet in being' A force of two large battleships, 2 small ones, three panzershieffes, and crusiers, eventually to be joind by 2 carriers would be a force that gives the Admiralty many a sleepless night. Forcing Britain too keep stong forces in home waters. The possibility that the French fleet might join with Germany's intact fleet would be a nightmare not worth considering.

    Naval Strategy (Subsurface) 1939 on

    Since I have concluded that I cannot blockade England effectively, I am not going to try too hard. I will build enough boats to force Britain to employ convoys and divert resources for convoy protection, but fewer than historicly. The resources saved on fewer boats and highly trained crew can be used elsewhere in the reich.

    The U-boats will not operate in the western Atlantic. They will be ordered to avoid American flag vessels, specially painted Liners on selected headings, and eventually flag vessels of France, Belguim and Holland. They will be ordered to take any oppertunity to sink RN warships, with particular attention to cruisers and above.

    This Battle of the Atlantic will not fatally hurt Britain, but will force her to spend asset's to win it. While not costing the Reich too greatly and giving the US less reason to join Britain.

    Air Strategy 1939 on.

    Germany has the best tactical airforce in existance, The Reich must build upon that. The Luftwaffe will deploy in Poland and west as historicly done. But starting in late 1939 the Reich will begin to develop a 4 engine Heavy bomber. A modest force of say 400 to 500 aicraft would be sought, with most of them ready by 1942-43. The losses not taken in the Battle of Britain (4,000 trained aircrew and some 1,900 aircraft) will help to make this target feasable. Other economies such as fewer U-boats and a smaller Heer will make this possible as well. The inclusion of a 'Strategic' bomber will make the Luftwaffe a more balanced force and give the nations of europe something to ponder.

    Germany must plan for English air raids, but with French/Belgain/Dutch nuetrality after a German withdrawl the British now have a new problem. They cannot overfly these areas without having their aircraft intered, or risk pushing these nations into the German camp actively. Further, British aircrews, either wounded or in damaged planes would have a strong inducement to 'opt out' of the war by landing at nuetral runways. The Reich now has a much narrower corridor of sky to defend. All to the good.

    No Battle of Britain will mean more fighters available for air defence, and will place the onus of 'Terror bombing' on Britain, adding to the difficulty of swaying US opinion.

    The Heer after the Battle of France

    Germay has about 150 divisions at the start of the invasion of France, but perhaps a third are not combat ready and many of her tanks need to be replaced with heavier types. The Ground forces will be capped at about 165 divsions, with the goal of mechanizing/motorizing perhaps a third of this force. 16 Panzer divisions and 32 Pzr Grenadier/Motorized divisions. The rest of the army will remain straitleg infantry, still relying on horse transport until enough trucks can be produced to replace the horses. Pzkw 38t's will be phased out after the battle of France with the factories retooled to produce Pz III's and IV's.

    The Waffen-SS will be limited to two corps sized formations of 3 divisions each. One a Panzer Corps with 1 Panzer and 2 Pnzr Grndr divisions. The other corps will be a 'Security' force with say 2 mountain and one cavalry divisions. This will ensure thier "elite" status and not overdraw resources needed to fill out the Heer and supply Germany's smaller allies.

    The Luftwaffe would be limited to a maximum of 3 divisions with 2 trained to jump or glider assault and the third as an 'Air transportable' formation. Fat Herman can have a Beglieght Battalion to drive around with, but no more! If either the Luftwaffe or Kreigsmarine find themselves with an excess of bodies, they will be transfered to the army as relpacements. No Marine brigades, no Luft Field divisions. Period.

    If the Heer is kept to a manageable number of divisions then a practicle and realistic program to feed replacement's to units in combat can be maintained, while maintaining combat efficentcy of deployed units. No half-trained cannon fodder with short TOE's.

    The 800 pound Gorrila, America

    American entry into the war against the Reich would be a disaster. Germany cannot defeat or even effectively attack the US. So all must be done to prevent a full US-UK alliance. Some materials and supplies will be sent, but US combat forces must stay on the otherside of the Atlantic. England will make emotional appeals to the American public to sway opinion. Every effort must be used to puncture England's 'heroic' image and portray them as stubbon and unreasonable.

    The offer of peace on generous terms is a good fist start. The withdrawl from France, Belgium and Holland will counter the English argument that the Reich only desires to conquer ALL of europe. No Battle of Britain and no threat of invasion of England will also counter the image of England 'Standing alone against impossible odds'.
    Limiting the U-boat war will also dispell the image of heroic Britain. No boasts of crushing England, but rather continuous appeals to stop the pointless bloodshead and return europe to peace must issue from the propaganda Ministry.

    While there is no way to completely garrantee no US involvement in europe, there is also no reason to make it easy for FDR and Churchill to pull America into the war.

    The Balkan Allies

    Hungary and Rumania are not ready for war. They lack Heavy artillery, good Anti-tank guns, AA guns and Tanks. This can only be provided by Germany. If Germany limits her army to about 165 divisions a greater number of good weapons could be sent to them. As the Pz 38t's are phased out, they should go to the Balkan Allies. As the PZ III's are overtaken by PZ IV's they too should find thier way to the allies. Germany must see thier allied army the way Russia did its Warsaw Pact allies. This is doable so long as Germany is not in its Russian Quagmire and wearing out as much as they lose in combat. The goal should be to have divisions at or about 60-75% of their German equivelents by 1942.

    What the Bleep to do about Italy

    Since sawing the boot of Italy off the continent of europe and allowing it to sink into the Mediterranean Sea is not a practicle solution :( Germany is stuck with them. Germany will try diplomaticly to keep Italy out of the war, but Il Duce will likely frustrate those hopes so I must plan on fighting in the Mediterranian area.

    The Materials used on French ports for U-boat pens and construction of the 'Atlantic Wall' would be deployed in Italy instead. Expanding ports, roads, rail and airfields. Ports in North Africa and transportaion networks would also be expanded as much as practicle. An effort by Britain in the Middle-east must be expected and countered. Malta will have to be taken to ease supply problems and as a base for Axis ASW units.

    The expansion of North African ports and Transportaion net should allow Germany to eventually deploy a larger force in theate, say 6 to 10 divisions. Combined with the Italian army there are enough forces to make the capture of Egypt at least possible. In any event too strong for Britain to defeat easily without US troops. Germany must give the impression that Egland cannot prevail so that political pressure from home, pressure from european capitals and hopefully, American indifference will force England to the peace table. Democracy's do not long suffer interminable wars with no prospect of victory and with Japan directly threatening thier empire, Germany has its best chance to 'end' the war in europe.

    With a european peace Germany can now plan a new war aimed at Russia. How Germany does that is a whole 'nother thread.
     
  2. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Clint has already addressed this point. It did occur. If Goering's comments are based on events that actually occurred, were the result of wishful thinking, the result of 20/20 hindsight, I do not know, but then neither do you. You can have your supposition but that proves nothing, and it is no more "proveable" than the supposition that what he states is factual.

    Which again is your theory on the matter, which does not prove that it would be impossible. If Germany had, immediately after the fall of France, focused it's military assets on securing the Med and eliminating British power in the theater and securing their supply lines across the Med to North Africa it might have been possible.

    When Germany invaded France in 1940 they had 135 divisions (out of the 157 that exsisted) assigned to the French Campaign (95 assigned to the three Army Groups and 42 as reserves). Once Italy declares war on 10 June, Hitler insists that Mussolini start shifting units into France to relieve German units from occupation duties. Then he'd need to insist that Italy form a strong defensive line facing the British in North Africa and under no circumstances undertake offensive operations. Have Von Leeb's troops (18 divisions) shift to the French coast and prepare to defend the coast. Von Bock's 29 plus divisions, return to Germany and in combination with the 42 reserve divisions take up position to keep Stalin honest. There they can rest, refit, train and the reserve divisions can be brought up to a combat ready status. So you have 71 divisions plus the 22 divisions not assigned to the France campaign (93 divisions). Von Rundstedt's 45 and a half divisions move to Italy and prepare for a campaign in the Med.

    In The Sky Suspended: When von Rundstedt was asked in 1945 by the Soviets, which battle of the war he considered to be most decisive. Expecting him to say "Stalingrad", he said "The Battle of Britain". During the Battle of Britain the Germans were fighting at long range over British home soil and lost about 3/4's of the aircraft they deployed for the battle. Since the Luftwaffe deployed about 82% of their 29 June 1940 strength for the campaign these losses were crippling. Say instead that the Luftwaffe deploys sufficient fighters and bombers along the French coast to counter British incursions and deploys the balance to Italy for a Med campaign. British incursions would be over friendly German territory and aircraft and aircrews when lost are lost for the duration, they are fighting at long range instead of the Germans and just the reverse of the historical situation would occur. Damaged aircraft, wounded pilots and mechanical problems because of the range would add additional attrition to British not German airpower.

    The first step, I would think would be to use the combined German/Italian aircraft to achieve air supremecy over the eastern Med. and German/Italian bombers begin bombing Malta. German infantry, airborne troops in conjunction with the Regia Marina would reduce, assault and seize Malta. Instead of operating against British supply lines in the North Atlantic, the majority of the U-boats assigned that mission would temporarily be redirected to blockading the Straits of Gibralter while the Malta operation was in progress. Historically, Germany because of other commitments didn't have the aircraft to deploy overwhelming air power against Malta. Using the BoB assets against Malta would likely change the end result of that campaign and the intendant Axis shipping losses incurred wouldn't occur. At this time Von Rundstedt's troops would start being moved to Tunisia, the bulk to be composed of his 7 armored divisions. Once the first several armored divisions are in place Hitler would insist that the Vichy French allow transit through Algeria and Morroco, and maybe even give them Gibralter once it was seized, for their troubles. Infantry units, backed by the historical Italian north African units could be positioned to "entice" the French. Instead of two Pz Divisions Rommel would be given 4 (Von Rundstedt's other 3 being retained in Italy as theater reserve) and the Italian XX and XXI Corps (3 infantry divisions, 2 motorized divisions, 1 Armored division) replaced by 2 mechanized and 2 motorized German Infantry divisions. Luftwaffe assets would be divided 2/3's to Gibralter, 1/3 to support Rommel, until Gibralter is seized then all assets support Rommel. With these assets Rommel should be able to seize the Egypt and the Suez Canal.

    Goering: "Even if Gibraltar had not been taken, we could have Algeciras [as a base of operations], and with 800mm siege mortars could have smashed the soft stone of Gibraltar and taken the base. There was only one unprotected airfield on the Rock. In 24 hours the Royal Air Force would have been forced off the Rock, and we could have battered it to pieces. This was a real task and we were eager to accomplish it. Ships would have been sunk by mines and no mine sweepers could have operated."
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    This is the typical operationalist argument,but,it is totally ignoring logistics (you could look at :Logistics and the Desert Fox,written by an officer of the USMC):eek:nce they were in Egypt,the Germans could no more supply their troops.An other point :the capture of Malta was IRRELEVANT for the war in NA:the problem was that it was impossible to move enough supplies from Tripoli to Egypt .
    Last point :the capture of the Suez canal also was irrelevant for the war in NA,because,since june 1940 (more than 6 months BEFORE one German was setting foot on Lybia .The number of passengers going through the canal was in 1939 410500,in 1942,600 ! .The british reinforcements for the 8 Army were not going through the canal,but were disembarked before and travelled by railway .
    About Goering :he said "10 divisions in NA (=Libya) and 20 divisions before the canal " .For me ,this is nonsens:it has been proved that the infrastructure of Libia could not transport and supply 20 divisions .
     
  4. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I've read his paper, have you sat down and analyzed the issues he raises?
    Also the good Major never said, Malta was irrelevant, what he said was it's importance was exaggerated. Furthermore, the capture of Malta would addresses or mitigate a number of other factors that effected Rommel's logistical capacity.

    "The role of Malta—the British-held island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea—in disrupting Axis lines of communication and thus defeating German designs in North Africa traditionally has been exaggerated."

    "While the critical role of Malta as a base for British interdiction of the Axis strategic lines of communication is undeniable.."

    The author of the paper, Major Jay Hatton, USMC, was looking at and explaining the historical impact that logistical considerations had on the North Africa campaign. He did not address alternate Axis strategy's. His opinion on the role of Malta, was it's historical significance in relation to other logistical factors. If as I suggested, Malta were eliminated as a British base it would allow for logistical options that were not historically available. If you eliminate Malta as an Allied base, you also remove the air assets and naval assets that eventually caused the loss of 2304 Axis ships for a total of over 3 million long tons. You also allow for well positioned, Axis airbases that could deny the Royal Navy freedom of movement in the eastern Med.

    I would disagree, in that it would make an excellent defensive line against British forces in Palestine, Iraq, etc. I never said I would seize it to use it's transportation capabilities. Also, I suggested sending German troops to North Africa at an earlier date than occurred historically. I envision a pre-emptive assault on the British not a reaction to save the Italians from defeat.

    I believe I suggested a different number of divisions than Herr Goering. In my scenario Rommel would recieve 2 additional Panzer Divisions for a total of four. This is what I proposed:

    So historically Rommel had 8 divisions including the Italians. In my scenario Rommel still has eight divisions, just more effective divisions. Also, if you read the Major's paper it was not as much what could be shipped to Libya, that was the problem, it was lacking the infrastructure and transportation capabilities for pushing the supplies forward to the operational units. I suggest that the Italians be faced west towards the French, backed up by German's, initially in static positions. Their proximity to the port of Tripoli would alleviate their supply issue.

    More on the Major's points:
    "Dependence on sea lines of communication, in turn, required adequate port facilities to receive materiel, as well as ground lines of communication (road or rail) to distribute it from the ports to the fighting forces."
    Once again he is referring to the historical situation. Tripoli had a port with a thru put capacity of 1500t per day, it could handle 5 cargo ships and 4 transports simultaneously. The next significant port heading eastward towards Egypt is Benghazi (2700t per day) then Tobruk (1500t per day). Per Maj. Hatton the actual thru put was 750t out of 2700 for Benghazi and 600t out of 1500 for Tobruk. The decreased capacity was due to poor administration and allied air attacks. Both these issues could be addressed if Germany focused on operations in North Africa and simply by establishing air superiority and addressing organizational issues you could achieve a 68% increase in logistical capacity. The main MSR for pushing supplies forward to operational units from Axis held ports was the Via Balbia. It was under developed but it's greatest weakness was that it was easily interdicted by Allied air. Once again air superiority was possible if assets were redirected as I suggested.

    "...one factor responsible for the failure of German operational logistics in North Africa was the substantial disconnect between German strategic objectives in the theater and those held by Rommel, the operational commander on the scene. Hitler's principal strategic objective for the North African theater was to bolster the waning political and military fortunes of his Italian ally by helping her sustain a viable presence in North Africa. Hitler sought to maintain North Africa as an economy-of-force theater while massing the Wehrmacht for the decisive campaign in the east against the Soviet Union. So the situation in North Africa called for an essentially defensive approach."

    This is the greatest factor. Germany was concentrated on building up for the invasion of the Soviet Union. Hitler viewed North Africa as a holding action, resources were allocated towards this operation (Russian Invasion) and less men, equipment and material were sent to support Rommel.

    Erwin Rommel is quoted: "
    With the entire Mediterranean coastline in our hands, supplies could have been shipped to North Africa unmolested."

    So here's another option, you could use coastal shipping and barges to transport supplies along the coast to support a German advance but this would require neutralizing the RN and RAF. Operations against Malta and Gibralter would address this.

    "...the logistics support needed to achieve the objectives he (Rommel) envisioned was not forthcoming from a political regime that viewed his theater as peripheral to the overall war effort. For Germany, the unexpected logistics requirements generated by Rommel's offensive operations resulted in a diversion of critical men and materiel from the Russian front—a circumstance that neither the Wehrmacht nor the Luftwaffe [the German Air Force] could afford."
    "Particularly crippling for the Afrika Korps was the severe shortage of trucks needed to move supplies over the vast distances of the area of operations. In his work, Panzer Battles, German Major General F. W. von Mellenthin pointed to this problem—
    Even when our supplies did reach Africa, it was no easy matter to move them to the front, because of the great distances involved. It was 700 miles from Tripoli to Benghazi, 300 from Benghazi to Tobruk, yet another 350 from Tobruk to Alamein. When we were at Alamein, many of our supplies had to be hauled 1,400 miles from Tripoli [emphasis added.
    Without Barbarossa these vehicles would have been available.Transport of supplies along the coast in barges or small coastal vessels could easily and efficiently add additional capacity, if the RN and RAF threat were neutralized.
     
    A-58 and belasar like this.
  5. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Well I disagree
    1) on the importance of the canal :it COULD make a defensive line,IF the Germans had enough men,etc to defend it .
    2)Saying thay without Barbarossa,these vehicles would be available,is questionable:Rommel asked for 8000 trucks,how could these be transported to Tripoli,and how could they do the coming and going to and from the front ?(Tripoli-Alamein was 1400 miles)And,the problems of POL,tyres,...?
    3)If Malta was neutralized,the threat of the RAF and RN would not disappear,they still could operate from Egypt .
    4)About what was transported to Tripoli (and arrived),the followinf figures are from "Germany conquers Middle East Oil"
    Tonnage sent/delivered in NA ,in thousand tons
    1941:
    jan 51/49
    feb 80/79
    march102/93
    april89/81
    may 75/69
    june133/125
    july77/62
    aug96/84
    sep96/68
    oc 93/74
    nov79/30
    dec48/39
    Now,I am asking the following question :would the capture of Malta change the amount that was sent,that arrived ?
    For the amount that was sent ,of course not,because,this depended from what was available,what the Italian railways could transport,what the Italian ports could disembark .
    You could argue that the capture of Malta would increase the amount that would arrive,but,IMHO,that's irrelevant,because,more would be stockpiled at Tripoli,and NOT more would reach the front .
    Not Malta was the problem,not the Italian merchant navy was the problem,not the port capacity in NA was the problem:the problem was that the railways in Libya could not transport to the front,what arrived at Tripoli .
    If you were doubling or tripling the amount of supplies that were sent and arrived,you only would make worse the German situation,and,if you would sent more divisions,the result would be the same .
    Tripoli had a capacity of 50000 tons a month,Benghazi,theoretically 80000,in reality,20000,Tobruk 20000(Tobruk and Benghazi would require coastal shipping,and there was a big shortage of this)
    And ,about Tobruk and Benghazi,let"s see when they were used by the Axis.
    February 1941 :eek:ne Axis port :Tripoli,thus :port capacity :50000
    April 1941 :Tripoli and Benghazi,port capacity :70000
    December 1941:Tripoli:50000
    January 1942:Tripoli and Benghazi :70000
    June 1942:Tripoli,Benghazi,Tobruk:90000
    November 1942:Tripoli,Benghazi :70000
    Only between june and november 1942 had the Axis a port capacity of 90000
    And,one musi consider that the months the ports wer captured,they were at half capacity.
    In 1944/1945,the US Army concluded that 175 miles was the maximum efficient operating distance for truck borne supply.In NA,when Rommel was at Alamein,Tobruk was 400 miles in the rear,Benghazi 800,Tripoli 1300.While the Red Ball express was delivering (on a short route and on good roads)6250ton a day(during 10 days),the Tobruk supplies(20000) had to be transported from 400 miles,those from Benghazi,from 800 miles and those from Tripoli from 1300 miles.
    The Red Ball was burning 30000 ton of fuel to transport 175000 ton during 10 days.
    What would need the Germans to transport (between june/november 1942) 50000 ton from 1300 miles+20000 ton from 800 miles + 20000 ton from 400 miles ?
    The poster on "Germany conquers the ME Oil" is finishing with the following :
    in order of importance for the axis to build the supply system in NA
    1)Railways from Tripoli to Alexandria
    2)More coastal shipping to maximize the use of Benghazi,Tobruk and the smaller ports,and help the trucks.
    3)more fuel for the Italian navy
    4)Italy waits until more of its ships are back before declaring war (it lost 30% of its tonnage in june 1940)
    5)the capacity of the ports in Libya are boosted .
    I could not say it better .
    PS
    1) you will notice that Malta is not mentioned
    2)all was depending from the railways (you can't supply and transport an army by road on a long distance)
    3)If these 5 points were accomplished this would not mean that Rommel could advance to the canal
    4)I still not see why the Axis should commit all these supplies and manpower to NA,because the war in NA never could have a decisive result,in contrast with Barbarossa .
     
  6. efestos

    efestos Member

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    1) Well I read that Franco was near to accept to join the AXIS , but Hitler didn´t wanted to promise him the French colonies.

    2) La Coruña could have been a good U-boat base against the NW Atlantic traffic: As far as Brest from the "Atlantic gap" a too far for the Beaufighters even the Southerlands. I assume they wouldn´t have invaded Portugal, if not:

    What about the Azores, Canary Islands ... Fernando Poo as RN bases?
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Are they? What happens if as a result of you concentrating on the BEF the French are able to rally and for a solid defensive line? The losses they take trying to take out the BEF could also be significant.
    This would probably work but I'm not sure that a government that could think this clearly would have gotten into this mess in the first place. Better not to attack Poland at least right away.
     
  8. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    While I coceed that German army losses would be higher by ensureing the destruction/capture of the BEF, they are acceptable. The best french forces are also north of the breach. German air supiority, plus French demoralization makes a successfull stand unlikely. It perhaps takes Germany a couple weeks more, but the result is still a French defeat.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    But the real key to this isn't Malta it's Alexandria.

    But it wouldn't help with the fact that there was one very marginal railroad and a very poor road network and that the German truck park was a hodge podge of vehicles non of them particularly well supported.
    [quote If you eliminate Malta as an Allied base, you also remove the air assets and naval assets that eventually caused the loss of 2304 Axis ships for a total of over 3 million long tons. You also allow for well positioned, Axis airbases that could deny the Royal Navy freedom of movement in the eastern Med.[/quote]
    I'm not at all sure how this all follows. Alexandria was the major British base in the Med and certainly subs operating out of there would have been just as deadly in the Eastern Med. Nor does the fall of Malta secure Axis airbases in the Eastern med and it still leaves them in a logistically constrained position.
    That requires a very different Italian leadership though
    In the discussions on this topic over on the axis history forum it's been mentioned that the supplies were stacking up at the ports. Just unloading the ships wasn't the real choke point it was getting the supplies from the ports to the front.
    But the ports in the Eastern med are even worse until you get to Alexandria. And again Alexandria was the major British naval base. There was typically more force there than there was a Gibralter at least early in the war. Furthermore these would come into even more play as the Germans moved east.
     
  10. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About the possibility for the Germans of supplying the AK with trucks :
    1)Van Crefeld calculated that Rommel needed half of his fuel to deliver the other half (and the other supplies)to the front
    2)The Red Ball Express transported in 10 days 62500 tons(=an average of 6250 ton a day) on a distance of 250 miles (there and back =500 miles) on good roads,consuming 850 ton fuel a day.While I don't know the number of trucks used,it must be considerable
    3)One Geman division needed 10000 tons supplies a month,(=350 ton a day),4 divisions would need 1400 ton a day,and there is also the LW and the Italians,let's say 2500 tons a day .
    4)How many trucks would be needed to transport every day 2500 tons from Tripoli to Benghazi (there and back 1000 miles) and how many fuel ? The voyage T/B and back would take 14 days,thus,every day would be needed 1500 trucks transporting each 1.5 tons consuming each 300 liter.In 14 days,the Germans would need 21000 trucks and almost 8000 ton fuel.The wear and tear would result in considerable losses:a guess :eek:ne percent of the trucks would be lost every day .
     
  11. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    There also is the problem of the "road space":1500 trucks would need 150 km(at least) and,as it is dubious that the first truck could do 150 km a day,when,after 7/8 hours,the last truck could start,the whole column would be immobilized.
    The same problem would happen with the trucks returning to Tripoli .
     
  12. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I wouldn't disagree Lwd, but the capture of Alexandria would be the end result of the ground campaign. It would not be a suitable target for airborne troops, Germany lacked an amphibious capability, the best you could really do, initially would to be to cut it off. Axis control of Malta would keep the British bottled up and cut off from the rest of the Med. If you doubt Malta's importance, look at the extreme measures Britain went to, in order to keep it in the fight. On a map Malta falls in a dirct line between southern Sicily and Tripoli. Major Jay Hatton wrote: "While the critical role of Malta as a base for British interdiction of the Axis strategic lines of communication is undeniable.."
    Next I would like you to consider, that these operations would be undertaken immediately after the fall of France and instead of the Battle of Britain and the build up for Barbarossa. Again, in his paper, Major Hatton identified the most important logistical constraint on Rommel as being the national strategic focus of Germany. Sufficient assets were not directed at North Africa because it was viewed as a holding action against British forces.

    Describing the railroad system as marginal is giving it more credit than it was due. It was basically of no use militarily. I don't know enough about German engineer units to know if they were capable of improving or expanding it so I've left it out of the discussion. As for the road system, it basically consisted of Via Balbia and primative desert tracks, so it was poor as you stated. You'd need more trucks and you would have them if you re-directed assets being used to build up for Barbarossa. You'd have to run the Via Balbia like a railroad, sending trucks forward in convoys, trucks going forward having the right of way, returning trucks pulling off the road, onto the hard pack like a railroad siding. The theater commander would first have to strike east from Tripoli to seize Benghazi, this will be the toughest part logistically for the Axis North African forces. On the plus side, British forces here would be at the extreme end of their logistics network and would be facing the same constraints the Axis are. Once you have Benghazi you have a port with 80% greater potential than Tripoli. You move your base of operations forward from Tripoli to Benghazi. Your truck convoys move out of Benghazi not Tripoli. The operational forces would hold up at Benghazi, rest and refit, build defenses, improve port facilities, and build up supplies for the next offensive. You'd run reconnaissance and raiding operations forward towards Tobruk and begin shaping the battlefield for your next phase.

    Yes but look at the map, without Malta to base subs, ships and aircraft at, you move the British base of operations almost 1000 miles east to Alexandria. Luftwaffe and Italian aircraft operating out of southern Italy, Sicily and Malta would restrict Britain's ability to conduct naval operations.


    Agreed, Germany's biggest problem would be to keep Mussolini on a leash.

    Yes additional trucks and logistical expertise would be required. They would be available if strategic focus was directed at this theater. The great distances involved and primative infrastucture would require out of the box thinking from German logisticians. This would need to be along the lines of US logistical efforts in the Pacific. Coastal shipping and barges could be used and this allows for unloading across the beach. This would alleviate much of the infrastructure problems but would require air and sea supremacy, to avoid British interdiction.

    Benghazi has 80 percent greater port potential than Tripoli. Tobruk was comparable to Tripoli.

    Another reason seizing Malta is important, to isolate Alexandria. Alexandria will have to be taken by land operations. Think of it in terms of how the US conducted operations against Japan. The great distances involved lend themselves to this type strategy. Seize advanced bases, build up combat power, acquire air superiority, use air superiority to isolate your next target and attrit opposing forces, repeat. Instead of island hopping you'd be port hopping. Historically, the Luftwaffe committed 82% of their 29 June 1940 strength to the Battle of Britain. How much would these increased assets have effected the Med? They lost about 3/4's of their strength during the Battle of Britain. How much would reducing these losses have effected other later German campaigns?
    Historically, operations against Malta began in June 1940, by the Italians. The Luftwaffe didn't begin to deploy to the area until January 1941. They immediately made themselves felt. What if they'd made the move in July 1940, six months earlier, in greater strength? Britain didn't start reinforcing Malta until after Italy attacked in June and really didn't put a lot of effort into it until 1941 into 1942. If Britain was forced to attempt these operations earlier, in the face of stronger Luftwaffe assets, their naval losses would have been huge. Quickly achieveing air superiority over Malta (historically Germany achieved it quickly with less assets and against a reinforced Malta) airborne units could have quickly seized it without the losses that later characterized the Crete operation. Italian forces could be landed from shipping to reinforce German airborne units and to take over occupation duties. While Italy's troops weren't of great use in North Africa they would be capable of undertaking these operations and a few light armored vehicles would be very useful here.
     
  13. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About the assumption that airborne units could have quickly seized (in the late summer of 1940?)Malta,without the losses of Creta,from what I have read (but I am still looking for the thread on AHF),the truth is that (to put it bluntly) there were NO airborne units remaing in the late summer of 1940:the losses (especially at Rotterdam) were catastrophic in men and in transport aircraft .
     
  14. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    That could very well be true, I do not know but will research also. I tend to think it is incorrect though. My reasoning is that the high losses sustained during the Crete operation caused Hitler to forbid further mass airborne attacks. However, reason and Hitler probably shouldn't be used in conjunction.:D
     
  15. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Meanwhile,I have found the threat on AHF :Intended FJ role in Sea Lion
    At the end of september 1940,the German airborne strength (the 7 Flieger Division) was some 4000 men,but,due to the enormous Ju52 and Glider losses(580 Ju 52 were lost in Norway and the West),it would be impossible (IMHO) to drop more than 400 men at one go .
     
  16. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Meanwhile,I have found the threat on AHF :Intended FJ role in Sea Lion<br>At the end of september 1940,the German airborne strength (the 7 Flieger Division) was some 4000 men,but,due to the enormous Ju52 and Glider losses(580 Ju 52 were lost in Norway and the West),it would be impossible (IMHO) to drop more than 400 men at one go .
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    It's also worth remembering that the supply line for Alexandria ran through the Indian Ocean and not the med. Malta also has more impact on the Western Med than the Eastern from what I can see.

    Thought I copies the google map url and had the url of one of the torpedo documents ... time for bed.
     
  18. Oktam

    Oktam Member

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    My take on what Germany should've done is the following:

    After the Battle of Britain don't start Operation Barbarossa. Instead over Turkey invade the Middle East and go all the way to Saudi Arabia. With the pro-Nazi sentiment and the anti-British feelings of then's Arabs, I don't see much resistance. With a controlled Middle East, now you have enormous oil reserves for invading the Soviet Union. Go after the Suez Canal, and after conquering it persuade Spain to get Gibraltar, or with the assistance of Italy, conquer it yourself. You now have complete control over the Mediterranean sea.

    Use the Middle East as the primary springboard for Barbarossa. One part of the Wehrmacht goes between the Black and Caspian Sea straight for Moscow while the other goes the conventional Barbarossa route. Immediately start forming the Russian Liberation Army to assist you. With a sustained, Arabian oil fueled, pressure from two fronts you easily reach the planned Arkhangelsk-Astrakhan line. The Soviets are pushed to the other side of the Ural and forced to surrender.
     
  19. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Although this has been debunked,and debunked
    1)An invasion of the ME through Turkey was out of the question
    2)It also was out of the question to go to SA,and why should anyone willing to go to SA?
    3)It is wrong to talk about enormous reserves of oil in the ME,what was relevant,was the production,and this was insignifiant:the Iraqi production was less than 1% of the world production
    4)To invade Spain would be a big drain on the German reserves,and,why would they ? Gibraltar was irrelevant for a German victory
    5)To say that the Germans could invade the SU from the South(between the Black and Caspian Sea)is ignoring that there was something as the Caucasus,that would block any German advance .
     
  20. Oktam

    Oktam Member

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    Why? What Turkey does is only permitting transport across her territory.

    Where were the main oil supplies during that time? Even without oil, Germany can conquer the Sinai Peninsula more easily by going from the Middle East.

    Spain assists Germany; Germany doesn't waste its reserves. The goal of conquering Gibraltar is to disallow naval entrance to the Mediterranean Sea by non-Axis forces.

    Then either transport the troops over the Black and Caspian Sea with barges, or move them over the Caucasus Mountains with airplanes.
     

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