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Could the Axis Powers have won in the Mediterranean and North Africa?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by The Purist View Post
    As for the Germans, they had pulled just about every serviceable truck from the civilian economy for France and these badly needed to be returned.
    Halder must have not got that memo when he invaded Russia in June 1941 with 600,000 vehicles.

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    • #17
      Logistical challenges were to great. The fact is they tried and they failed. When the Nazis had concentrated all of their forces into a single mission they looked invincible. But as their sphere of occupation increased so too did their mission and the demand on man power and logistics.
      They should have never reached past the low hanging fruit.
      Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
      Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
        Logistical challenges were to great. The fact is they tried and they failed.
        The invasion of Russia drained the necessary resources by hogging most of the fuel and most of the trucks that would be needed for the supply chain. Within the context of an invasion of Russia, NA was simply second fiddle. But to jump from that to assuming the outcome if the German army took Tunisia and went for Egypt without invading Russia does not follow, much in the same way it does not follow to suppose that being hit over the head with a whiffle bat is the same thing as being hit over the head with a sledge hammer.

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        • #19
          Wrong : the invasion of the SU was irrelevant for the outcome of the war in NA : no Barbarossa does not mean :10 German mobile divisions in NA.The number of German divisions was limited by nature .

          All the rest is the usual : if the stupid Hitler had not attacked the SU,Rommel the Great would have conqured the ME (as Alexander) and Germany would have won the war .

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          • #20
            Originally posted by ljadw View Post
            Wrong : the invasion of the SU was irrelevant for the outcome of the war in NA : no Barbarossa does not mean :10 German mobile divisions in NA.The number of German divisions was limited by nature .

            All the rest is the usual : if the stupid Hitler had not attacked the SU,Rommel the Great would have conqured the ME (as Alexander) and Germany would have won the war .
            I am glad you put in your comments, what a load of c**p!! lcm1
            'By Horse by Tram'.


            I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
            " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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            • #21
              Originally posted by ljadw View Post
              Wrong : the invasion of the SU was irrelevant for the outcome of the war in NA : no Barbarossa does not mean :10 German mobile divisions in NA.The number of German divisions was limited by nature .

              All the rest is the usual : if the stupid Hitler had not attacked the SU,Rommel the Great would have conqured the ME (as Alexander) and Germany would have won the war .
              Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
              Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                Wrong : the invasion of the SU was irrelevant for the outcome of the war in NA : no Barbarossa does not mean :10 German mobile divisions in NA.The number of German divisions was limited by nature .
                As just stated, by taking the deep water ports in Tunis and using them for supply to Libya, the logistic bottleneck in Libya would be relieved. As an additional benefiet, the SLOC to Tunisia are more secure, and shorter, than those to Libya, which ran past Malta.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Glenn239 View Post
                  As just stated, by taking the deep water ports in Tunis and using them for supply to Libya, the logistic bottleneck in Libya would be relieved. As an additional benefiet, the SLOC to Tunisia are more secure, and shorter, than those to Libya, which ran past Malta.
                  Actually no, it would not clear the bottleneck, it moves it 600 miles northwest (rough road miles along the coast). The Germans looked at the possibility of forcing the Vichy regime to give up Bizerte (larger than Tunis) and Tunis but after examining the requirements and costs recommended against it.

                  While it would remove some threat from Malta it increased the threat from Gibraltar and submarine attacks. There was no appraciable advantage to be gained from the small capacity rail net in northern Tunisia. Trucks running from T/B would add another 1200 miles to the round trip to Tobruk and back again. The increase in the number of trucks to maintain a constant flow (a pipeline) of supplies was prohibitive and simply not available.

                  They also worried greatly about pushing the French fleet, army and mercant fleets in Africa into the allied camp. The Germans were well aware of the way the French felt about the Italians and any moves that would increase Italian position in the Mediterranean at their expense.

                  Despite Mussolini calling for such action on a number of occassions the Germans simply vetoed the idea. It was, correctly as it turns out, not seen as presenting enough potential benefits that countered potential costs.
                  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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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by WarMachine View Post
                    Do you know when and why this opportunity became unachievable?
                    The moment it became apparent the fuel necessary to fund this venture exceeded the fuel available for the venture. We make a great deal about the German fuel shortages, but Italy suffered them too and was more reliant on imported oil than Germany ever was.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Glenn239 View Post
                      As just stated, by taking the deep water ports in Tunis and using them for supply to Libya, the logistic bottleneck in Libya would be relieved. As an additional benefiet, the SLOC to Tunisia are more secure, and shorter, than those to Libya, which ran past Malta.
                      Check the map - Tunisia is in the wrong direction to threaten Suez. It is also not connected to any railway system capable of getting supplies to any war front in Egypt. And you overlook the Axis lines of supply, which if you moved the ports to Tunisia would now run past Malta: the German supplies for NA came from Greece, as did some Italian supplies.

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                      • #26
                        It is also worth noting that German tanks and vehicles could not use Italian fuel as it was of such a poor grade. I beileve the LW had similar issues with Italian aviation fuel (but am not sure). This required the Germans to run their own shipping pipeline to Africa alongside the Italian. Add in the difference in equipment, spare parts, weapons, ammunition, etc. and the supply situation becomes even more complicated.
                        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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                        • #27
                          IMHO the Axis campaign in the Med/Middle East was entirely there for the taking and was more a matter of politics and working with allies than a military question. If the Nazis had workout out the issues with the Soviets they could have carved up the Middle East on a large scale similiar to what they did to Poland in 1939. Instead of Barbarossa in June 1941 the Germans and Soviets could have coerced Turkey through threat of invasion and dismemberment to sign necessary treaties so as to allow Axis passage of troops. The Germans, Italians, Romanians and Soviets would have dominated the Middle East while the Germans/italians moved along the coast. In the end the Russians finally get the Straits, parts of Iraq and no British or French interference. The Germans get future oil assets and the key to Africa (a German goal prior to 1914). In hindsight for all its political difficulties, this was an Axis war winner IMHO.
                          "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

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                          • #28
                            That would've been a big sell, considering Stalin was only after the lost parts of the tsarist empire. And while offering to split the pie a certain way is entertaining, actually getting the pie needs to be accomplished, followed by ensuring there is no falling out among the thieves. Btw, I can't see what is in it for the Romanians, considering what they had lost to the Bulgarians, Hungarians and Soviets.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                              That would've been a big sell, considering Stalin was only after the lost parts of the tsarist empire. And while offering to split the pie a certain way is entertaining, actually getting the pie needs to be accomplished, followed by ensuring there is no falling out among the thieves. .
                              True, but still in the realm of possibility even if hindsight appears to be a requirement

                              Btw, I can't see what is in it for the Romanians, considering what they had lost to the Bulgarians, Hungarians and Soviets
                              Slice of Poland from Germany, slice of Yugoslavia and a share of oil rights in Iraq/Iran proportinate to their role in the campaign?

                              Seems feasible if Germany makes the right sacrifices to make it happen. Ultimately the biggest loser is the UK (and the Free French), Vichy would likely comply in order to maintain its Middle East/North African holdings.
                              "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


                              • #30
                                Java, ...

                                ... much of what you've posted here, did in fact occur historically. When Molotov visited Berlin in Nov 1940, joining the Axis Pact as a full alliance member with acknowledged Sphere of Influence was on the table. Reflecting Stalin's wishes, Molotov was said to be "difficult", soon after when Stalin sent his own proposals in response, Hitler was so incensed he refused to reply, until June 22nd, 1941 - Why?

                                Ribbentrop, had proposed that the Soviets would be free to expand southwards towards the Indian Ocean etc. Stalin maintained his hard line, beyond Finland, Sakhalin, and the Bosporus, specifically as applied to the area concerned, Clause 3) of the Secret Protocol "Provided that the area south of Batum and Baku in the general direction of the Persian Gulf is recognized as the centre of the aspirations of the Soviet Union."

                                In part, this was a test of Hitlerís good will by Stalin, who it should be said was also being influenced by the British, and Hitler was aware of this also. Stalin called for complete Soviet control of Iraqi and Persian oil assets, in the light of continued German action against the British, which Stalin too was counting on. Stalin was willing to share his largess only as far as increasing his grain and oil exports to Germany, in their time of need.

                                Hitler on the other hand envisioned at the very minimum, a sharing of the area, and referred to Stalin as ďnothing but a cold-hearted blackmailerĒ, and for his part, he wasnít willing to continue placing himself on Stalinís goodwill, even as a neutral, for the supplies of oil and foodstuffs that he needed to defeat the British. Barbarossa, already in the works, gained further impetus, plus Hitler was aware that even if he were to defeat the British to acquire the oil assets in question, he still had to get it back across the Med., and it was still much closer to the USSR than Germany, and subject to Stalinís whims. If Hitler was able to quickly defeat the Soviets, as most expected, Britain lacking any ally of consequence willing to fight Germany, would have no recourse but to sue for peace.

                                Originally posted by Javaman View Post
                                True, but still in the realm of possibility even if hindsight appears to be a requirement



                                Slice of Poland from Germany, slice of Yugoslavia and a share of oil rights in Iraq/Iran proportinate to their role in the campaign?

                                Seems feasible if Germany makes the right sacrifices to make it happen. Ultimately the biggest loser is the UK (and the Free French), Vichy would likely comply in order to maintain its Middle East/North African holdings.
                                "I am Groot"
                                - Groot

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