Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Med & Middle East instead of Barbarossa?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Med & Middle East instead of Barbarossa?

    Hi guys,

    This idea came up in a recent discussion I had with a relative, on possible alternatives for the Germans in 1941. The starting point for this 'what if' is 1 June 1941. Germany has just taken Greece, Crete and the Balkans.

    Instead of attacking the Soviet Union, Hitler has already decided to go all-out for the Mediterranean and the Middle East; to secure oil resources and deal as serious blow to the British Empire.

    If he had troops and resources ready to move in a timely fashion (instead of staging them in readiness for the attack on the Soviet Union), could he use Vichy French areas in the ME, such as Syria and Lebanon, pre-empting the historical British invasions of these?

    Would the Germans need to secure Cyprus?

    These and other questions came up in the discussion but in the interests of keeping things simple to start with, and allowing you guys to explore the ins-and-outs as freely as possible, I'll leave it at that.

    Well, what do we think, guys? Is this scenario reasonably doable for Germany in any way, shape or form within this timeline?
    "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

  • #2
    He would have a very difficult time getting through Turkey, even if the Turks were friendly. I would say Cyprus was necessary to stage forces into Syria and Lebanon. There weren't any Airborne troops available after Crete (not sure of the status of the 22nd Airlanding Division).

    I believe the British were allowing the Vichy French to ship stuff to Syria and Lebanon. It probably involved ship inspections at sea by the RN.

    The big problem with invading Cyprus was to get the Italian Navy involved. It could have cost them all of their Capital ships!

    The British did have troops in Palestine, Jordan, Iran and Iraq. They were mostly Indian Army and Australian at this time. They kept a Division HQ in Palestine and Egypt before the war. The one in Egypt was transformed into an Army HQ (or was it a Corps?). I think it was called the Western Desert Force.

    What I don't understand is they allowed the Vichy French units transport back to France after they surrendered! I would have thought Madagascar would have been a fine place to keep them out of harms way.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

    Comment


    • #3
      Would there be any means to achieve the German goal without having to traverse Turkey?
      "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't see the Germans having the means without Cyprus and the Italian Navy. I don't think there was enough sealift available. The RN sank the ones the Germans tried to invade Crete with. Air transport losses on Crete were bad. The Fallschirmjaeger were burnt out. The only available airborne unit was 22nd Airlanding Division.

        As it is the British probably had at least a Division in Garrison on Cyprus.

        Pruitt
        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

        Comment


        • #5
          It all comes down to the port capacity and lift ability. The problem is also timing. By June the British have had long since begun to redirect their reserves and reinforcements to Egypt and the middle-east. With east Africa rounded up the British had three divisions available plus those already in Egypt, Tobruk and fighting in the Levant as well as the Iraqi garrison (finishing up with the rebellion). The British actually had more troops in theatre than they could support on the Egyptian frontier in the OTL.

          By June Rommel's army is immobilized and it is a question whether the shipping could be found to support an invasion of Cyprus as well as continually feed Africa. Then there is the Royal Navy. What does enigma tell the British? How many divisions do they begin shifting before the Germans move? How much equipment do they send the Turks? What about additional warships?

          The questions, options, moves, countermoves goes on and on.
          The Purist

          Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

          Comment


          • #6
            First and foremost that Barbarossa is no longer in the picture, this can be a benefit to the Germans, the Axis could still place a strong defensive force in depth in the east, to prevent the Soviets attacking or at least bleed them white doing so.

            From that stand point Panther i also have discussed this before with those who served in North Africa some years back. We came to the conclusion that Malta was vitally important and so the attack on Crete was ruled out and thus bypassed. The Fallschirmjeager inluding Italian Paratroopers were deployed on Malta, while the Italian Navy ventured out and somehow caught the RN by surprise and bombarded the Island while the Luftwaffe and RA launched bombing raids prior and during the initial attack, then with anything afloat the Italians and Germans begin landings on Malta and within a week Malta surrenders and the Axis uses it as a base of operations, also this splits the Med into two, while this is going on the Kriegsmarine sends two to three wolfpack size units to Malta.

            During the rest of 1941 the Italians and Germans expand port facilities in Lybia while keeping a strong defensive force in the east to prevent the British from launching any sustainable offensive. Finally in early 1942 the Axis after building up it's forces unleash its offensive, also with Hitler approval the Axis is bolstered by the addition of a SS Korp comprising of at least two SS Panzer Divisions, 1 SS Panzer Grenadier and 5 SS Infantrie Divisions, plus a full Luftflotte.

            1st June 1942 Rommel with around 30 divisions (including 5 Panzer and 2 Italian Armoured Divisions) under his command orders the offensive to begin and the British are overwealmed, while the Axis forces attack the British pro Axis Egyptians come in their 10's of thousands and protest defiantly displaying the Swastika, they begin to attack the British in Cairo, Port Alexandria, Port Said and withing the Suez Canal, the British Army is again unable to fight not only the Axis but fight skirmishes within the cities.

            The cancer of anti British feelings spreads, finally the British position in Egypt becomes unviable, the British have no choice but to evacuate and cross into Palestine. The Axis are welcomed into Cairo as Liberators. The Suez Canal is captured, but is damaged which will take months to repair. The worst is to come, by August the British situation is becoming a nightmare as Axis forces almost destroys the British Eighth Army in Palestine, as they withdraw into Iraq the Al-Rashid regime declares itself Axis and orders the Iraqi Army in concert with Rommels Army Group Middle East to attack the British Army, finally the British Eighth Army is finally destroyed.

            By September The Axis cleans out the remaining British forces from the Arabian Peninsula, also the Germans and Soviets extend the non-agression pact. Turkey now commits to the Axis and Crete and Cyprus, the last bastions of the British Army are forced into surrender as they can not escape or be reinforced. On another front the Germans, Italians and Vichy French bolster North Western Africa, and so with that Operation Torch as before with Operation Jubilee was a total failure as the invasion fleet were attacked by Submarines and Land Based Bombers.

            Comment


            • #7
              Rod, where are you going to get the water for all those divisions? The British laid a water pipeline from the Nile to supply their troops. All those German and Italian Infantry Divisions use horse transport. Horses drink more than a man!

              Keep in mind that Mussolini's generals did not like following German orders. The Italians will insist the Germans use Italian construction companies and how hard will these guys work?

              You do know Rommel was under Italian Command, don't you?

              Pruitt
              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

              Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

              by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                Rod, where are you going to get the water for all those divisions? The British laid a water pipeline from the Nile to supply their troops. All those German and Italian Infantry Divisions use horse transport. Horses drink more than a man!

                Keep in mind that Mussolini's generals did not like following German orders. The Italians will insist the Germans use Italian construction companies and how hard will these guys work?

                You do know Rommel was under Italian Command, don't you?

                Pruitt
                North Africa becomes German action while the Italians play a supportive role.
                The Italians have no choice in the matter.

                As for the rest, i have give the Axis more than 15 months in their build up, that is far more time than the OTL, believe me they can do it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Imho such a strategy needs to be decided upon immediately after the fall of France. Thus no Battle of Britain, no build up for 'Sealion' but investment in extra amphibious and airborne capabilities. Forget the Western Desert, there is little chance of decisive action there (it could serve as a distraction for the Allies though). Focus on the Eastern Med, aim to attack Egypt from the north!
                  Signing out.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Apart from all the grand strategic talk, there is the unsexy aspect of industrial production. By the spring of 1941, the Germans were already in arrears in their payments to the Soviet Union for the raw materials they had already received. The Soviets were still shipping lots of useful stuff. And, unsurprisingly, a new round of trade talks was expected to take place by spring 1941 - the Germans postponed it... the first point on the Soviet agenda would have been: when do you start to pay?

                    Once the Germans are all-out committed to a longish ground campaign through Turkey and to a risky sea-landing campaign in the Eastern med, the Soviets can start closing the taps. By September 1941, regardless of whether they are successful in weird places like Anatolia, Cyprus and Lebanon, the Germans' strategic stockpiles of rubber and manganese are over, and they are facing a shortfall of basic foodstuffs in the winter.
                    Michele

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Michele View Post
                      Apart from all the grand strategic talk, there is the unsexy aspect of industrial production. By the spring of 1941, the Germans were already in arrears in their payments to the Soviet Union for the raw materials they had already received. The Soviets were still shipping lots of useful stuff. And, unsurprisingly, a new round of trade talks was expected to take place by spring 1941 - the Germans postponed it... the first point on the Soviet agenda would have been: when do you start to pay?

                      Once the Germans are all-out committed to a longish ground campaign through Turkey and to a risky sea-landing campaign in the Eastern med, the Soviets can start closing the taps. By September 1941, regardless of whether they are successful in weird places like Anatolia, Cyprus and Lebanon, the Germans' strategic stockpiles of rubber and manganese are over, and they are facing a shortfall of basic foodstuffs in the winter.
                      Depends on Stalin. If the Germans are succeeding he might consider turning the screw. But if they and the British/Allies are enmired in heavy combat with little prospect of either side gaining the upper hand he might want to keep Germany going. After all, that was what he thought would happen and it is in the USSR's strategic interests to have Germany and Britain wear themselves out.
                      Signing out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                        Depends on Stalin. If the Germans are succeeding he might consider turning the screw. But if they and the British/Allies are enmired in heavy combat with little prospect of either side gaining the upper hand he might want to keep Germany going. After all, that was what he thought would happen and it is in the USSR's strategic interests to have Germany and Britain wear themselves out.
                        Maybe. We can't read in minds in general, and in particular when it comes to the mind of a paranoid who didn't talk with subordinates as much as, say, Hitler did, and who did not leave an autobiography, etc.

                        But we can see what he did before.

                        For instance, he stopped supporting the Communists in Spain after it was obvious they weren't going to win, and anyway he bagged the Republic's gold reserve for that.

                        And during the Phoney War, the first German-Soviet trade agreement was already in place. All bets were on the most renowned land army of the time, the French one, which would also be fighting with the advantage of the defense. The Germans were the underdogs when it came to bookmaking in the winter of 1939-40. Therefore, one wanting the Westerners and germans be bogged down in a long fight, would have supplied the Germans - which Stalin did not do. The supplies flowed through a very small funnel, until after the German triumph in the West.

                        While it's true that Stalin had come to terms with Hitler through the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, we should not forget that that happened after several years during which his first choice would have been the other side.

                        Add that what the Soviets were buying from the Germans was military stuff, technology, and know-how. Stalin believed he really needed that stuff in order to modernize his forces, see the key role of the Lützow in this for the fleet. Surely the payment structure of the huge German-Soviet deal was a form of "protection money" paid by the Soviets to the Germans; but that doesn't mean that they did not actually need and want the stuff they were paying for.

                        So, in short, Stalin's record shows that while he was willing to supply stuff for political and geostrategic gain, he insisted on making a buck out of it anyway; and that while he saw all capitalists as enemies, he probably did realize that one of them was more dangerous than the others.
                        Michele

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's difficult. Hitler could probably cut a deal with Stalin by acceding to some of the demands made during the talks of November 1940. But that would probably involve territory and influence being handed over from the Balkan and/or Eastern European states. Given that they tied themselves to Germany as a way of fending off the Soviets such a move would seriously damage Germany's position there. However we consider the possibilities I think we'd agree that this would be another campaign that the Germans have to wrap up quickly.
                          Signing out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If the Germans aren't going east for lebensraum, what is the purpose of there even being a war?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                              Hi guys,

                              This idea came up in a recent discussion I had with a relative, on possible alternatives for the Germans in 1941. The starting point for this 'what if' is 1 June 1941. Germany has just taken Greece, Crete and the Balkans.

                              Instead of attacking the Soviet Union, Hitler has already decided to go all-out for the Mediterranean and the Middle East; to secure oil resources and deal as serious blow to the British Empire.

                              If he had troops and resources ready to move in a timely fashion (instead of staging them in readiness for the attack on the Soviet Union), could he use Vichy French areas in the ME, such as Syria and Lebanon, pre-empting the historical British invasions of these?

                              Would the Germans need to secure Cyprus?

                              These and other questions came up in the discussion but in the interests of keeping things simple to start with, and allowing you guys to explore the ins-and-outs as freely as possible, I'll leave it at that.

                              Well, what do we think, guys? Is this scenario reasonably doable for Germany in any way, shape or form within this timeline?

                              Well, as a point of departure from may threads on this working from-
                              Instead of attacking the Soviet Union, Hitler has already decided to go all-out for the Mediterranean and the Middle East; to secure oil resources and deal as serious blow to the British Empire.
                              It seems to me that in order to achieve the desired strategic effect, I would suggest going west in Africa and not East. The Germans could forcibly (if necessary) work out an agreement with Vichy and send major Whermacht elemsnts into Tunisia (Tunis) and proceed unmolested to Algiers and Oran to secure those ports as well. The ultimate aim of this course it to secure Morroco and ultimately use Dakar as a major German naval activity to cut the South Atlantic to British convoys at its narrowest point (VERY large "air gap" here).
                              http://www.history.army.mil/brochure...06-07(map).jpg
                              Historically the UK/CW forces in Africa received their equipment/troops from the UK via the "around the horn" route. By attacking this route directly the UK/Allies will have to address it and pull resources away from the Med. while at the same time being starved of resources there.
                              "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics"
                              -Omar Bradley
                              "Not everyone who studies logistics is a professional logistician, and there is no way to understand when you don't know what you don't know."
                              -Anonymous US Army logistician

                              Comment

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X