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What if Operation Case Blue (Fall Blau) had succeeded?

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  • What if Operation Case Blue (Fall Blau) had succeeded?

    What if Operation Case Blue (Fall Blau) had succeeded?

    Would it have put the European Axis Powers (that predominantly being Germany and Italy) in a war-winning position? Or would it have merely prolonged their defeat?

  • #2
    The world would be a sadder place.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by WarMachine View Post
      What if Operation Case Blue (Fall Blau) had succeeded?

      Would it have put the European Axis Powers (that predominantly being Germany and Italy) in a war-winning position? Or would it have merely prolonged their defeat?
      To confirm, do you mean the original three-phase plan or the modified version implemented several weeks into the campaign? Not that it makes a big difference, Caucuses oil would not have made it back to Germany in meaningful quantities until the facilities had been repaired and a method of bulk transportation had been set up. This would have taken several years of hard work even if uninterrupted by Allied operations. The damage to Soviet operational capabilities would have been considerable but temporary as aid increased through 1943. Some changes to Allied strategy might have proved necessary with US and UK bombers operating out of Iran and Iraq to disrupt Axis logistics in the southern USSR, maybe even some limited ground offensives from there to stretch Axis forces still further. All in all the Axis armed forces do not possess the manpower or the logistical capacity to hold their gains. The Allies, on the other hand, are far more capable of supporting multiple operations in several theatres. Southern and Western Europe may get a few extra months of relative peace but that's it. The war in Europe ends in the late Summer or early Autumn of 1945. Japan surrenders in November.
      Signing out.

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      • #4
        To confirm, do you mean the original three-phase plan or the modified version implemented several weeks into the campaign?
        I mean the original three-phase plan as I believe when it was modified several weeks into the offensive whatever chance of success was lost.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by WarMachine View Post
          I mean the original three-phase plan as I believe when it was modified several weeks into the offensive whatever chance of success was lost.
          At least that heads off the otherwise inevitable 'Stalingrad' aspect (hopefully) that otherwise dominates these debates.
          Signing out.

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          • #6
            In the unlikely event that the Germans could have held their gains for any appreciable amount of time, it may have interfered with Lend-Lease deliveries to the Soviet Union via the Persian Gulf.
            Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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            • #7
              This has already been discussed to death.

              Fall Blau was doomed from the onset. The objective of the 1942 campaign was a follow-up to the 1941 campaign. In each case, the goal was Caucasian oil.

              There were several major problems with the whole concept:

              1.) Success hinged upon seizing the Caucasian oilfields INTACT, which was not going to happen. All the exploration equipment and personnel had been removed before the Germans got past Rostov. Most of the production machinery had also been removed and the wells capped.

              2.) Success also depended upon seizing the Caucasian oil REFINERIES intact, which was not going to happen. Some of the refineries had been dismantled and the whole place was rigged for demolition.

              3.) Finally success depended upon being able to get the oil from the Caucasus to Germany, which was not going to happen. The pipeline to Batumi had already been removed. The rail line was inadequate for the task AND there were no tank cars or locomotives left to handle that traffic.

              4.) The Germans, confronted with an oilfield that was in flames, refineries that were in ruins and a lack of equipment and infrastructure would be looking at 1944, soonest, before the first drop of Caucasian oil was available to them --- assuming the Soviets, British and Americans did nothing to hinder them. That's a very large assumption...

              Nope. There was no oil for Germany in the Caucasus except in Hitler's fantasies. They could seize Stalingrad AND Baku for all the difference it would make. It would not help Germany.

              The loss of Caucasian production would have been a shock to the Soviet war economy, but there was ample fuel in Iran, Iraq and North America, enough to feed the Red Army as well as the Western Allies.

              A "victory" in the Caucasus in 1942 would not have changed much at all. Germany would still lose the war, probably still in 1945.

              Regards
              Scott Fraser
              Last edited by Scott Fraser; 16 Feb 14, 11:28.
              Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

              A contentedly cantankerous old fart

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tigersqn View Post
                In the unlikely event that the Germans could have held their gains for any appreciable amount of time, it may have interfered with Lend-Lease deliveries to the Soviet Union via the Persian Gulf.
                My question is.... if the Germans had eliminted the Caucasus Oil for the Soviets and interrupted the Persian Gulf oil, wouldn't they have been comparatively rich in oil, compared to the Allies after the Dutch East-Indies oil had been taken by Japan?
                "Why is the Rum gone?"

                -Captain Jack

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                  My question is.... if the Germans had eliminted the Caucasus Oil for the Soviets and interrupted the Persian Gulf oil, wouldn't they have been comparatively rich in oil, compared to the Allies after the Dutch East-Indies oil had been taken by Japan?
                  I can't see how the Germans could have interrupted the flow of PG oil without attacking the Persian Gulf, and there was no chance of that (though there was no chance of them winning Fall Blau either).

                  Lend-Lease that was shipped to the Persian Gulf, as far as I know, went by way of the Caucasus to the Soviet Union.
                  Had the Germans, through some miracle, been able to hold the Caucasus region, LL supplies from the PG would most likely have been unable to reach it's intended end-user.
                  Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tigersqn View Post
                    I can't see how the Germans could have interrupted the flow of PG oil without attacking the Persian Gulf, and there was no chance of that (though there was no chance of them winning Fall Blau either).
                    One wonders why anyone was worried about the outcome of the war at all, given that.

                    And we had a thread about that, I'll try and locate it for you.

                    Originally posted by tigersqn View Post
                    Lend-Lease that was shipped to the Persian Gulf, as far as I know, went by way of the Caucasus to the Soviet Union.
                    Had the Germans, through some miracle, been able to hold the Caucasus region, LL supplies from the PG would most likely have been unable to reach it's intended end-user.
                    Right, but that's not what I was talking about.

                    Outside of North America, what major source of oil was not threatened by the operational thrust we are talking about here?
                    That was operational in 1942, I mean.
                    "Why is the Rum gone?"

                    -Captain Jack

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                      One wonders why anyone was worried about the outcome of the war at all, given that.
                      Maybe because the war, at its core, wasn't about oil; although it's supply to the various belligerents had a huge role to play in its outcome.



                      Right, but that's not what I was talking about.
                      You responded to my thread about the LL aspect with comments about oil supplies and that's not what I was talking about.


                      Outside of North America, what major source of oil was not threatened by the operational thrust we are talking about here?
                      That was operational in 1942, I mean.
                      IMO, the only time Allied access to PG oil was threatened was in May 1941, during the Iraqi coup.
                      Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                        One wonders why anyone was worried about the outcome of the war at all, given that.
                        If they knew back then what we know right now ......
                        Signing out.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We also don't know how much the SU was depending on oil,and how much on the oil of the Caucasus

                          1940 : oil production : 32.2 million ton Caucasus : 27 million: the rest : 5.2 million

                          1945: oil production :19.5 million: Caucasus : 13 million ton:the rest : 6.5 million

                          1945 : Soviet flag on the Reichstag

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                            My question is.... if the Germans had eliminated the Caucasus Oil for the Soviets and interrupted the Persian Gulf oil, wouldn't they have been comparatively rich in oil, compared to the Allies after the Dutch East-Indies oil had been taken by Japan?
                            No. As pointed out above, if the Germans had reached Baku they would have found nothing intact, with most of the wreckage in flames. Multiply the conflagrations of Kuwait after Desert Storm and then put amateurs in charge. The Germans had neither the equipment nor the expertise to deal with such a catastrophe. They would be busy for years and spend huge amounts of money before they ever got a drop of gasoline.

                            There is something about oil that is unique. Having a barrel of crude is one thing. Using it is another. It must be discovered, extracted, transported, refined, and then transported to market, in that order. Every step is a possible point of failure and any failure shuts down supply. Germany was weak in all of those areas.

                            Germany's plans demanded capturing the Caucasian refineries intact. There was surplus capacity in Romania, but then the problem of getting the crude there, across Trans-Caucasia and then the Black Sea. The rail network couldn't support the traffic and the pipeline to Batumi had been dismantled and carted away. Without those refineries, Caucasian oil was useless. Replacing those refineries, after they got the fires out, would take more years.

                            The Iranian oilfields were another thousand kilometers farther through mountains. Iraq is even farther away. German attempts to woo the Arabs collapsed early in 1942, so they were thwarted there until Rommel arrived.

                            As far as the Allies, there was more than enough oil around the Caribbean. East Texas, Mexico, Venezuela were producing in volume. There were lesser oilfields fields in West Texas, Oklahoma, and parts of Colombia. The British actually relied on oil imports from North America much more than they did from their supply in Iran or Iraq. Transport was the easier from North America, as well as the oil cartel's own "As-Is" system of accounting.

                            Anyway, the Allies had lots of oil, even without the East Indies and the Middle East.

                            Search "Eichholtz" and you'll find several threads about Germany, oil and empire.

                            Regards
                            Scott Fraser
                            Last edited by Scott Fraser; 16 Feb 14, 11:30.
                            Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                            A contentedly cantankerous old fart

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Lets take a different tack on this. lets assume Germany is able to achieve the aims of this particular plan in terms of territory gained, but ends up with a less than useful oil producing area. What does this mean for the ware in Russia?

                              Allied supply routes through the Caucases are obviously going to be disrupted, though I imagine these will just switch to the Caspian sea & Central Asia. German air power might be able to disrupt this in some way, but probably not very much. They will have bigger problems.

                              What sort of resources are the Germans & Russians going to have to strip from other areas for this fight? That German flank is going to be awfully long. Might the Russians decide that with all the German forces committed to this that Operation Mars actually isn't so important. Perhaps greater attempts are made to attack that flank at multiple points & cut off German forces. While there might not be a Stalingrad, the potential for hefty German losses of men or at the very least equipment are substantial.

                              Some interesting possibilities.
                              Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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