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What was Hitlers greatest mistake of world war 2?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Scott Fraser View Post
    It's too late to add a choice, but I'd like to vote for:

    He thought he could get away with it.

    Regards
    Scott Fraser
    +1 when I get another chance. Brilliant

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    • #32
      Hitler didn't have to force Franco into the war - Franco offered to join the war but Admiral Canaris told him not to. Canaris didn't want the Nazis to win but he was in control of all the negotiations, so he got Franco to set impossible conditions for Spain to join the war. So if Canaris had been killed/disabled in an assassination attempt in 1916 then the Spanish might have joined.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
        Other: starting it in the first place
        I voted for this and the reason is the same.
        Michele

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        • #34
          Originally posted by FMAlanbrooke View Post
          Hitler didn't have to force Franco into the war - Franco offered to join the war but Admiral Canaris told him not to. Canaris didn't want the Nazis to win but he was in control of all the negotiations, so he got Franco to set impossible conditions for Spain to join the war. So if Canaris had been killed/disabled in an assassination attempt in 1916 then the Spanish might have joined.
          Welcome to the forum.

          I'm not convinced that the information provided by Canaris was the key. Spain was ruined by its civil war and heavily dependent on imports from the likes of the USA and Britain for its survival. Germany could not match them even with all of the resources of Western Europe at its disposal. Saying that, in the event that 'Barbarossa' succeeds one might have seen the Spanish getting involved just to get a share of the spoils.
          Signing out.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Tascosa View Post
            The 109s could only stay a few minutes over London.
            An old red herring, I'm afraid.
            Suppose the Bf 109s had longer range. So that they could stay 120 minutes over London, or reach much further North.

            So what?

            The British EW system was the best in the world, really having no equals for years to come. That guaranteed that any German raid would be attacked way South of London. The longer-ranged Bf 109 is immediately engaged. If it fires, it will eat up its large-bore ammo in a matter of seconds. After which, it might be able to remain in action, as far as fuel goes, but the pilot will be exhausted (high-G combat was a real physical effort back then, and even more so in the crappy ergonomics of the Bf 109), thus becoming less effective in a possible second engagement; and the fighter will be outgunned 1:4 by either a Spitfire or Hurricane, in that second engagement.

            The long, long-ranged Mustangs were useful for the Allies in 1944 because they had a long, long, mostly uneventful way to go before the first engagement.
            The Bf 109s in 1940 would be engaged over the coast or right beyond it. And in any case, the valuable targets weren't North of Edinburgh.
            Michele

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            • #36
              Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
              +1 when I get another chance. Brilliant
              +1 similarly when I'm permitted.

              Hitler was the complete opportunist.

              After some reflection, I opted for the failure to capture Gibraltar. This would have effectively sealed-off the Mediterranean to allied movements except around Africa. It's doubtful if Franco would have objected to the passage of German troops through hitherto neutral Spain (unlike Belgium in 1914). Indeed, such a decisive move might well have brought Fascist Spain into the war on Hitler's side. (option 5)

              That would have caused problems.
              Last edited by BELGRAVE; 12 Nov 13, 07:07.
              "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
              Samuel Johnson.

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              • #37
                Well, even with Gibraltar in British hands, the Mediterranean was sealed off and Allied shipping had to go around Africa. So I don't see how taking it changes much.

                As for bringing Franco on the German side, I don't see what significant difficulties it would have caused to the Allies.

                Regards,

                KDF

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by KDF33 View Post
                  Well, even with Gibraltar in British hands, the Mediterranean was sealed off and Allied shipping had to go around Africa. So I don't see how taking it changes much.



                  Regards,

                  KDF
                  shipping yes, but the RN had a big presence in the Med. I've always seen control of Gibraltar as a means to allow the axis naval resources which are otherwise "locked" up in the Med, to have access to the atlantic and western European shorelines.
                  "In the absence of orders...find something and kill it!" Lt. General Erwin Rommel, 1942

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by FMAlanbrooke View Post
                    Hitler didn't have to force Franco into the war - Franco offered to join the war but Admiral Canaris told him not to. Canaris didn't want the Nazis to win but he was in control of all the negotiations, so he got Franco to set impossible conditions for Spain to join the war. So if Canaris had been killed/disabled in an assassination attempt in 1916 then the Spanish might have joined.
                    Canaris just supplied Franco with the arguments he needed to stay out of the war. Franco wanted no part of the war at all.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by KDF33 View Post
                      As for bringing Franco on the German side, I don't see what significant difficulties it would have caused to the Allies.
                      Agree. However it would have created massive problems for the Axis. The 40,000 tons a month of motor fuel the Spanish required (or claimed to have required) would have obliterated the German stocks in about 1 year, resulting in the imboliszation of the heer.

                      Finding the required food and grain stocks would have also created massive shortages in a year to 18 months depending on start date.

                      The likely siezure and confiscation of 1/3 to 1/2 of the Spanish tanker fleet would have also mitigated a serious Allied shortage.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by KDF33 View Post
                        Well, even with Gibraltar in British hands, the Mediterranean was sealed off and Allied shipping had to go around Africa. So I don't see how taking it changes much.

                        As for bringing Franco on the German side, I don't see what significant difficulties it would have caused to the Allies.

                        Regards,

                        KDF
                        Well how about - No force H so no Operation Pedestal and the Bismark gets back to France OK; No Operation Torch except for the Atlantic shores part. Also Spain had a reasonable navy that would have helped make the Med more secure and the Atlantic more problematic. Free use of Spanish bases for U-boats would definitely have helped (especially the Spanish islands until the Allies took them). Also Portugal might have followed (despite its friendship with Britain it had a fascist dictator) and Yugoslavia might have been more pro-German. Well I have seen the Spain enters the war timelines that say it would be a disaster for the Germans but they seem to ignore the difficult terrain (easily defensible and much further away from Berlin) and the political effects of Spain's entry into the war (eg Vichy might become even more like an ally). Spain also had some strategic materials that Germany needed, so the resources weren't all going in one direction. I don't see Hitler keeping any promises to fulfil inflated demands once Spain is in the war.

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                        • #42
                          Spanish demands would have likely driven the Vichy officers ins French Africa into the allied camp. The US, already moving to enage the Germans an considering the occupation of the Azores might go ahead and do it (similar to Iceland). The Canary Islands are also gone. The US is a big question in a Spanish entry into the war. The US recognised the German threat to US interests and such a move, besides being a disaster for Spain may have given the Roosevelt administration more excuses to get inviolved in a shooting war even without a declaration of war.

                          There is nothing good for Spain getting involved when it got everything it needed by staying neutral.
                          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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                          • #43
                            Hitler knew when he attacked Poland the BEF would be obligated to fight. Why he did not throw everything into if not destroying, to at least to capture the British forces at Dunkirk is unbelievable.
                            Finish the task at hand before starting another one..
                            Last edited by Urban hermit; 12 Nov 13, 22:57.
                            Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by KDF33 View Post
                              Well, even with Gibraltar in British hands, the Mediterranean was sealed off and Allied shipping had to go around Africa. So I don't see how taking it changes much.

                              As for bringing Franco on the German side, I don't see what significant difficulties it would have caused to the Allies.

                              Regards,

                              KDF
                              But Gibraltar was in British hands:- had its ownership passed to Germany then the results would have been crucial.

                              With Spain joining the Axis the Western Approaches to the U.K, with German naval bases in (say) Corunna and Cadiz even more hazardous, not to mention those in the Mediterranean. Besides, of course, adding Spain's Armed forces to Axis strength.

                              That's not significant ?
                              "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                              Samuel Johnson.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
                                But Gibraltar was in British hands:- had its ownership passed to Germany then the results would have been crucial.

                                With Spain joining the Axis the Western Approaches to the U.K, with German naval bases in (say) Corunna and Cadiz even more hazardous, not to mention those in the Mediterranean. Besides, of course, adding Spain's Armed forces to Axis strength.

                                That's not significant ?
                                As to the Med, Gibraltar was of course most significant to Torch. If it's in German hands, then that operaton needs to be redesigned (but more below). As to Malta and cross-Med things, the British managed some nifty joint operations, but most of the resupply efforts came from Egypt anyway.

                                As to the Atlantic part, surely German assets in Cadiz and Corunna are bad news, but German assets are not infinite. What goes there (aircraft, submarines) has to come from Lorient or Brest or Norway.
                                On top of that, the British had standing plans and, at some time, even a standing force set aside, for taking the Canary Islands, if Spain goes Axis. That replaces Gibraltar as ASW base in that area. It also inflicts a blow on Spain's morale. And, going back to the issue of Torch, it's an ideal staging area.

                                As to the troops, after the Civil War Spain has a core of battle-hardened, very experienced infantry - in tatters. Again, German resources are not infinite, and we know how they had to muster French trucks, Dutch armored cars, Czech tanks and artillery, Belgian oil and whatnot in order to carry out Barbarossa with the troops they did it with. Add say ten Spanish divisions, fine, you'll have to field them as SS anti-guerrilla divisions - because you can't give them trucks and artillery and engineering and signals equipment. And you still need to feed them.
                                On top of that, the entry of Spain adds a few hundreds of kilometers of Axis coast to the British list of targets for the Royal Navy and Commandos. A sizable part of the Spanish armed forces will be needed to garrison that.

                                And now for the sticker: how are you going to feed Spain? It was not self-sufficient. Stuff came from across the Ocean, i.e. the preserve of the Royal Navy.
                                Michele

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