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  • North Africa falls 1941?

    In the (extremely) unlikely event that North Afrika had fallen to the Axis in 1941, would Germany be better positioned to take on the Soviets in 42?

    Would Britains military position be worse, or actually better, without this 'sideshow'?
    Would they have sought a conditional peace? Would the British public 'force' one upon its government?

    Could Italy have been better able to support Germany on the Eastern front? Could they have helped disrupt Atlantic shipping enough to count? Could have Italian aircraft helped with the defence against Allied heavy bombers?

    If N Africa had fallen in 41 to the Axis, would have the war against Nazi Germany been longer or shorter in your view?
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  • #2
    Do we also assume that Rommel is receiving a warm welcome from the Islamofacists in the Middle East? Does Turkey join the Axis Powers too?
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Destroyer25 View Post
      Do we also assume that Rommel is receiving a warm welcome from the Islamofacists in the Middle East? Does Turkey join the Axis Powers too?
      Perhaps the Haganah and Stern Gang too. Obviously those who favoured the Germans in Iraq aren't around any more.
      Signing out.

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      • #4
        Depends which month of 1941 NA falls. One presumes Operation Battleaxe is a complete b*lls-up resulting in an unseemly retreat. Mid September for the rout?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
          Depends which month of 1941 NA falls. One presumes Operation Battleaxe is a complete b*lls-up resulting in an unseemly retreat. Mid September for the rout?
          Your choice .

          Given the nature of the fighting in N Africa, I suspect the only way would to have the CW believe to have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams during Battleaxe, as against the Italians, and advance far beyond their means to support their lines of Comms. The Rommel strikes and defeats the British July- Aug 41. Game over by Sept 41. Extremely unlikely, but not toyally impossible. What then happens?
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
            Your choice .

            Given the nature of the fighting in N Africa, I suspect the only way would to have the CW believe to have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams during Battleaxe, as against the Italians, and advance far beyond their means to support their lines of Comms. The Rommel strikes and defeats the British July- Aug 41. Game over by Sept 41. Extremely unlikely, but not toyally impossible. What then happens?
            Well, the Axis forces are going to have to drive like mad to get to Cairo before CW reinforcements arrive from India. Admittedly it will be a scratch force will naff all armour. A rapid redeployment from East Africa would be in the offing too, perhaps saving the Italians for a later date. As to who would command - Auchinleck?

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            • #7
              If elements of 9th Army are rushed into Egypt they won't try and defend Cairo, More likely they'll dig in on the East bank of the Suez Canal. Rommel will then have a problem - there will be CW troops to his east and to his south. If he moves east he risks losing his LoC back to Libya, and if south he risks everything!
              Signing out.

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              • #8
                True. By mid summer the infantry units sent to Greece were also largely rebuilt and 22nd Armoure bde has arrived to reinforce 4th and 7th brigades of 7th Armoured division. as it rereat to Sinai. 1st Army Tank Bde, soon available, could deploy on Africa side. Since East Africa is winding down the 4th and 5th Indian divisions could be released to come north.

                8th Army to the south, 9th Army to east. The axis have some distasteful choices ahead of them.
                The Purist

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                • #9
                  Germany gets to the Suez in 1941. Would Winston remain in power? If not would Britain consider suing for peace?

                  If not, would this disaster prevent troops being sent to Singapore? Would Singapore then be able to hold out due to fewer troops needing to be fed?

                  Later, would the US decide that landing in Europe 1943 be possible as no conflict to support in the Med?
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                    Germany gets to the Suez in 1941. Would Winston remain in power? If not would Britain consider suing for peace?
                    Imho the war had been going on for too long by then. Malcontents might oust WSC due to his conduct of the war but there was no 'peace movement' to feed on as such.
                    If not, would this disaster prevent troops being sent to Singapore? Would Singapore then be able to hold out due to fewer troops needing to be fed?
                    Iirc the population of Singapore vastly outnumbered its oversized garrison come 1942 so one could assume that food and water will run out at roughly the same point as historically. A smaller garrison *might* result in a more sensible strategy being put in place and, depending on when the North African disaster took place, the naval fiasco involving 'Prince of Wales' and 'Repulse' might not occur.

                    Later, would the US decide that landing in Europe 1943 be possible as no conflict to support in the Med?
                    I think the conflict would continue. Unless Axis strategy changes considerably Rommel won't be going very far. British and Commonwealth forces control the exits from Egypt and the best Rommel can do is dig in and hope that the war against the USSR goes favourably. If not, and the 'Torch' landings happen on cue, his force might get evacuated to Italy or be forced into a long retreat to help out in Tunisia.
                    Signing out.

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                    • #11
                      One aspect is that with the defeat of the British in North and Eastern Africa, means that effectively the Germans can seal off the Red Sea, this means that the British and CW forces will have to deploy along the Read Sea Coast and probably in depth.

                      Another angle is that Hitler secretly comes to an agreement with Turkey and is allowed transit rights through Turkey to strike south though Syria and then south into Palestine, while Rommel begins an assault through the Sinai, the British will get caught in a pincer, at this stage Al-Rashid in Iraq declares his allegiance to the Axis this means that British forces not only are facing Rommel in the south, ? in the north but revolt in Iraq, the British will find themselves in many situations all at once that they can not deal with. Turkey gains all land lost from the Ottoman Empire.

                      Finally the British have to evacuate towards India, then the Axis can lay claim to Saudi Arabia and other minor kingdoms. Once this is achieved then then the Germans have a solid jump off point to effect a quick capture of the Baku oilfields and advance up the Caucasus Causeway to the River Don, the Soviets by 1942 loses a major source of its oil production.

                      However this alone would not force Britian into either an armistice nor surrender, Britain will carry on the fight, the only way Hitler can force Britian's hand is an outright invasion of Metropolitan Britain.

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                      • #12
                        Rod, to achieve what you suggest the Axis army has to cross the canal. Assuming the British do the sensible thing and wreck the harbour at Alexandria it will take months before a serious assault can be mounted. In the meantime Rommel is pinned for all the reasons given above. I'm not saying it won't happen, only that it will be a very tough task.
                        Signing out.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                          Rod, to achieve what you suggest the Axis army has to cross the canal. Assuming the British do the sensible thing and wreck the harbour at Alexandria it will take months before a serious assault can be mounted. In the meantime Rommel is pinned for all the reasons given above. I'm not saying it won't happen, only that it will be a very tough task.
                          Somewhere I read that PAA had no bridging equipment at all. The Suez canal and or the Nile then become impassable barriers until that is rectified. With the harbour at Alexandria wrecked and PAA stalled at the Nile for a few months while the necessary engineering equipment is brought up, the Commonwealth forces will be able to recover.

                          All that happens is that the Alamein battles get fought somewhere else deeper into Egypt and eventually PAA is destroyed.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                            Somewhere I read that PAA had no bridging equipment at all. The Suez canal and or the Nile then become impassable barriers until that is rectified. With the harbour at Alexandria wrecked and PAA stalled at the Nile for a few months while the necessary engineering equipment is brought up, the Commonwealth forces will be able to recover.

                            All that happens is that the Alamein battles get fought somewhere else deeper into Egypt and eventually PAA is destroyed.
                            PGA, but yes, the lack of bridging equipment is problematic, but so is reinforcing the British when Rommel controls the west bank of Suez.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                              In the (extremely) unlikely event that North Afrika had fallen to the Axis in 1941, would Germany be better positioned to take on the Soviets in 42?

                              Would Britains military position be worse, or actually better, without this 'sideshow'?
                              It really wouldn't have changed. The Commonwealth would have continued to fight in the ME even after Egypt fell. Germany and Italy would have to occupy everything they took to some degree.
                              The RN would have fallen back on Massawa as their new base.
                              With the lack of transportation lines to most parts of the ME the Germans would have likely contented themselves with the victory they had and tried to hand the whole theater over to the Italians.

                              Would they have sought a conditional peace? Would the British public 'force' one upon its government?
                              Singapore's fall did nothing in this sense, I doubt that the loss of Egypt would either. The British were focused on a long term coallition war just as they had for over 200 years previous.

                              Could Italy have been better able to support Germany on the Eastern front? Could they have helped disrupt Atlantic shipping enough to count? Could have Italian aircraft helped with the defence against Allied heavy bombers?
                              Italy was not prepared for an intense industrial war of the sort WW 2 turned into. In the East their army was ill-prepared for fighting the Soviets. Their sub force proved marginal as it was and this really doesn't change anything.
                              Italy's main fighter force was made up of a combination of obsolesent (like the Macchi 200 and Fiat G50) and underarmed (the Macchi 202) aircraft. Against US or RAF bomber formations they were pretty much outmatched badly.


                              If N Africa had fallen in 41 to the Axis, would have the war against Nazi Germany been longer or shorter in your view?
                              About the same, maybe a year longer in which case the Germans get the joy of experiancing a 'mushroom trip.'

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