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rommel and africa

Discussion in 'North Africa and the Mediterranean' started by denny, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. denny

    denny Member

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    Do not know the dates, but the time frame would be.....The Allies/USA had landed troops via Operation Torch. I believe Germany flew in (many thousands.?) troops to bolster Rommel's numbers, but things were going bad for Rommel and he wanted to get out.....is that about right.?
    At this point, what could he have gotten out of Africa.?
    Troops
    Equipment
    Most of both
    Some of both
    Did he really have the resources he needed to get his Army safely over to Italy.?
    Thank You
     
  2. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    NO : he could not :eek:nly the Italian merchant navy ,protected by the RM , could arrange an other Dunkirk;for this, the Italians needed the Libyan harbours,and without the reinforcements that were sent, (5 PzA),the Torch forces would be in Tripoli before Rommel .The Italians could not send and supply 5 PzA AND bring back the Afrikakorps .
     
  3. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Don't think the 5th Army could get anywhere fast enough to "beat to it" anyone. It's "race record" is pretty poor. But a pull out, if it had to happen, would be a lot easier from Tunis than from Tripoli, the reason the Axis lasted to 1943 in NA is that the Sicily to Tunis trip is too short to be interdicted fully.

    Without Tunis, so no 5th PzA, they possibly could have saved most of the troops with air bridge and/or using destroyers and fast cruisers as transports, and possibly pull out some equipment from Tobruk and Bengazi given the probable slow pursuit, but it would require some pretty careful planning, having the fuel for the ships at the right time and ..... no ULTRA to direct the British interdiction efforts.

    A lot depends from how good both sides are with command and control, the Allies are not very good at aggressive attack in 1942, and Rommel's reputation for unexpected comebacks will act as a brake, he is pulling back eating up his rear area depots as he goes along while the 8th Army has to bring forward everything so he can move faster. On the other hand joint planning by the Germans and Italians, as required for such a complex operation, is close to impossible to imagine, just coming to an agreement on the pull back is very unlikely, getting a joint command in place with most of the air assets being German and the naval assets being Italian .... not going to happen, Rommel has possibly the prestige but not the background for such an operation, Kesselring and Ruge might have the skills but not the Italian's trust and the Italians are simply unable to plan anything on short notice.
     
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  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Also I believe the Germans realized that there was a likely leak but thought it was in the Italian Navy rather than Ultra. This would have made them even more reluctant to share planning with the RM.
     
  5. denny

    denny Member

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    Very interesting points.....Thanks Guys. :)
     

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