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Med & Middle East instead of Barbarossa?

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  • Originally posted by oberst63 View Post
    Stating that no improvement was possible is very daring and not credible.
    Improve your reading comprehension: I did not say no improvement was possible. I contradicted your assertion that wastage could be reduced to nil. That is an assertion that is not credible.

    I forgot another area of wastage: theft by staff.

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    • Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
      Improve your reading comprehension: I did not say no improvement was possible. I contradicted your assertion that wastage could be reduced to nil. That is an assertion that is not credible.

      I forgot another area of wastage: theft by staff.
      I never stated that wastage would be nil.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by smallvillekalel View Post
        That's the closest I've seen it put. Just to elaborate...You've got it nearly correct. The final analogy you give with the distance being 2000 miles total, will still deliver one load to the front, therefore no diminishing return. At 2500 miles total(1250 miles from depot to the front)the trucks will no longer be able to supply the fighting forces at the front. If the saying is a relative term meaning "compared to 250 miles from the depot, we will have diminishing returns at 1000 miles from the depot". IOW, the returns diminish as the front gets stretched from supply source. Most of the time, we quote VC or Latimer or whomever, and say "50% of the fuel in Africa is being used by the trucks". Followed by the term, diminishing returns. When in reality, the trucks can still do their jobs until the threshold reaches 100%. At 100% fuel in Africa being used by trucks, the returns are indeed diminishing. Until that point, it is a head-spinning, mathematical, unquantifiable world of "narrow possibilities".

        If I remember correctly, you have "out-Englished" me on a number of occasions. Why I stick my neck out here is beyond me! But in fact I am agreeing with you, just tweaking the definition some.
        To 'out-English' you once more (kind of) what Gerry was referring to is the trucks consuming more than they deliver which in my highly abstract example occurs beyond 625 miles (assuming the loads are infinitely divisible).

        That's by-the-by, I've agreed that a Mediterranean strategy is feasible given enough effort, at least to the point of capturing Cairo, Alexandria and the Suez Canal. Beyond that the logistical problems become insurmountable assuming the British/Commonwealth forces destroy the infrastructure and block the Canal, which they surely will. Caveat: Given enough time and resources this infrastructure can be rebuilt and the canal cleared but in the context of this war we can ignore that.

        The real question thus isn't 'can it be done?' but 'is it worth it?'! The Axis, including occupied Western Europe, doesn't have enough food and fuel to maintain its domestic economy at pre-war levels. The German economy is a basket case where domestic demand is only kept in check by increasingly desperate short-term measures and the ongoing promises of 'jam tomorrow' ..... which a lengthy campaign to help prop-up an ally's colonial empire (as it surely will be seen) will do nothing to help. Then there's the elephant (or, in this case, the 'bear') in the room - what happens with regards to the USSR to maintain economic relations and keep the continent quiescent? We know that the Germans managed to procrastinate over signing/negotiating agreements with, and delay payments to, the USSR between the end of the Berlin talks and incepting 'Barbarossa' but it seems improbable that they could have done this for an additional year. Add to that problem the high cost of waging war in the Mediterranean and one has to question why the Germans put as much effort into it as they did let alone increase it to the levels this ATL requires.
        Signing out.

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        • That bear in the corner was not likely to remain quiet for long if the British are forced to yield the Nile delta and Suez. Seeing his southern flank potentially exposed Stalin was bound to take action as he had already done in the west to deepen his defensive zone facing Finland, in the Baltic States, Poland and Romania . Besides the economic hammer he could wield he had the exapnding strength of the Red Army to do with as he saw fit. If the Axis are committed to the Mediterranean, no Barbarossa in '41 and threatening to cross into Sinai, the Soviets also have options.
          The Purist

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

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          • Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
            The real question thus isn't 'can it be done?' but 'is it worth it?'! The Axis, including occupied Western Europe, doesn't have enough food and fuel to maintain its domestic economy at pre-war levels. The German economy is a basket case where domestic demand is only kept in check by increasingly desperate short-term measures and the ongoing promises of 'jam tomorrow' ..... which a lengthy campaign to help prop-up an ally's colonial empire (as it surely will be seen) will do nothing to help.
            IIRC Egypt was a major source of grain and wheat. The Egyptian crop surplus was enough to feed all commonwealth units in the mid and far east (from Edgerton IIRC). If the Axis control Egypt it would be their only food positive acquistion and would help the overall Axis food situation.

            The RN Med Fleet can easily retire through the canal and blockade the Red Sea. IIRC there is a major naval base in Aden. By the time the Axis clear the canal, the Red Sea will be thoughly mined so there is no real gain there for the Axis.

            8th Army will retreat down the coast to the Sudan and eventually the Axis will be beyond their logistical limit again.

            However the Italian Navy can drastically scale down operations and save 1 million tons of fuel oil per year.

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            • Originally posted by oberst63 View Post
              I never stated that wastage would be nil.
              Really?
              Originally posted by oberst63 View Post
              No, as whatever arrives in North Africa will eventually reach the front. What is sunk, will not.
              Sure looks like it...

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              • Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                IIRC Egypt was a major source of grain and wheat. The Egyptian crop surplus was enough to feed all commonwealth units in the mid and far east (from Edgerton IIRC). If the Axis control Egypt it would be their only food positive acquistion and would help the overall Axis food situation.
                Hmmmm, a very short Google search brought up an interesting factlet, namely that in 1941 Egypt was asking for imports of wheat and maize to cover a shortfall in the harvest.

                However the Italian Navy can drastically scale down operations and save 1 million tons of fuel oil per year.
                Indeed, although comparing OTL with this ATL they didn't use that much in 1942 iirc from the 'Black Sea' thread. Since I know you provided several links regarding this could you confirm?
                Signing out.

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                • Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                  Really?Sure looks like it...
                  You give a meaning to something that was never intended.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                    Indeed, although comparing OTL with this ATL they didn't use that much in 1942 iirc from the 'Black Sea' thread. Since I know you provided several links regarding this could you confirm?
                    From this post : http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...14#post2638014

                    They consumed 1,123,148 tons in 1941 and 715,059 tons in 1942. Although they would have used more in 1942 had it been available.

                    I'll revise my estimate and say the Italian Navy would likely save 500,000 tons of fuel per year after securing the Med.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                      IIRC Egypt was a major source of grain and wheat. The Egyptian crop surplus was enough to feed all commonwealth units in the mid and far east (from Edgerton IIRC). If the Axis control Egypt it would be their only food positive acquistion and would help the overall Axis food situation.
                      Wasn't food imported to the Middle East from Australia and India? Unless I am gravely mistaken, I don't believe it was possible to feed the Commonwealth forces in the Middle East from Eygptian sources alone. I am certain that outside assistance was required.
                      Last edited by ossian; 11 Oct 13, 13:09.

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                      • Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                        Hmmmm, a very short Google search brought up an interesting factlet, namely that in 1941 Egypt was asking for imports of wheat and maize to cover a shortfall in the harvest.
                        Interesting link. It confirms in 1940/1941 that Egyptian food exports were going to the British army (27,800 tons). It goes on to say that the Egyptian shortfall in 1941 was because the import of nitrates (fertilizer) had fallen so crop yields had fallen. Given the Axis shortages of nitrates (they were all going into ammunition), it is very unlikely that the Axis could ever get Egypt to be a net food exporter. Conquering Egypt would have put the Axis further into a food shortage situation.

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                        • The problem was lack of phosphates ...

                          Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                          Interesting link. It confirms in 1940/1941 that Egyptian food exports were going to the British army (27,800 tons). It goes on to say that the Egyptian shortfall in 1941 was because the import of nitrates (fertilizer) had fallen so crop yields had fallen. Given the Axis shortages of nitrates (they were all going into ammunition), it is very unlikely that the Axis could ever get Egypt to be a net food exporter. Conquering Egypt would have put the Axis further into a food shortage situation.

                          ... and was Europe wide. Nitrogen can be re-introduced into soil simply by rotating legumes. Tunisia, and French Morocco accounted for virtually all of Europe's supply of phosphates i.e. fertilizer, some 25% of the world's supply, equivalent in total to the other major world supplier, the US. French Africa was lost to European i.e. largely German trade & agriculture, largely due to Axis lack of shipping, and British control of the Western Med.
                          "I am Groot"
                          - Groot

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                          • Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                            Imho such a strategy needs to be decided upon immediately after the fall of France.
                            Absolutely. Planning and execution in this ATL would have had to follow the Fall of France. But i wonder why everybody is focused on Cyprus and everything. IMO there could have been 2 alternative Med options:

                            (1) A Blitzkrieg through Spain to Gibraltar, to lock the Med from the West followed by an Invasion of Malta. Then placing a real Africa Corps or even Army that aimes for Egypt and the Suez Canal. That locks the Meed from the East as well. I don't think the UK would have had the means to stop such an advance. After that all those islands (Cyprus, Crete) don't matter any longer.

                            Next stage would be from Egypt to Syria and Iraq. Turkey now surrounded by Axis Forces just has to open its Railways. Or become an Ally...

                            Big question remaing in this scenario would be Uncle Joseph... which brings me to option:

                            (2) Hitler and Stalin were sort of "allied", weren't they? Why not offer Stalin a piece of the cake (maybe Iran and the promise of more on the Indian Subcontinent). How that war would look like and which side cheats the other first... i don't know. This option would probably imply the build up of a huge and modern Sub-Fleet to starve the Brits once and for all out of the War.
                            One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                              Interesting link. It confirms in 1940/1941 that Egyptian food exports were going to the British army (27,800 tons). It goes on to say that the Egyptian shortfall in 1941 was because the import of nitrates (fertilizer) had fallen so crop yields had fallen. Given the Axis shortages of nitrates (they were all going into ammunition), it is very unlikely that the Axis could ever get Egypt to be a net food exporter. Conquering Egypt would have put the Axis further into a food shortage situation.
                              Oh i disagree, the Germans were Masters in letting other people starve!
                              One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.

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