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

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Javaman View Post
    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.
    Hi Java

    The options for Germany & Russia 'using' Turkey were very slim and near impossible/implausible to enforce. Unless Turkey were to fall into either the German camp or the Russian one, its neutrality was the next best thing for both.
    The last thing Germany or any of the Axis allies wanted was Russian access to the Med, or them gaining territory to the south into Iraq/Iran, as it would strengthen there economy. Potentially at the expense of the Axis.

    Regards
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

    "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Andy H View Post
      Hi Java

      The options for Germany & Russia 'using' Turkey were very slim and near impossible/implausible to enforce. Unless Turkey were to fall into either the German camp or the Russian one, its neutrality was the next best thing for both.
      The last thing Germany or any of the Axis allies wanted was Russian access to the Med, or them gaining territory to the south into Iraq/Iran, as it would strengthen there economy. Potentially at the expense of the Axis.

      Regards
      Like I alluded to earlier, hindsight.... Could the Axis have done worse if they had made a deal with the Soviets?
      "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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      • #33
        Originally posted by Javaman View Post
        True, but still in the realm of possibility even if hindsight appears to be a requirement
        So that's a definite maybe.

        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.
        The part of Poland on offer would be from the USSR, as they got the bit adjacent to Romania, Yugoslavia held few Romanians so that's buying trouble but the oil rights? Nazi Germany wanted autarky, not sharing. Sorry, Javaman, but that last idea has failed to acquire escape velocity. For it to happen in the Axis's favour, Germany has to be able to get sufficient force across the Med before the Red Army hits Mosul.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Andy H View Post
          Hi Java

          The options for Germany & Russia 'using' Turkey were very slim and near impossible/implausible to enforce. Unless Turkey were to fall into either the German camp or the Russian one, its neutrality was the next best thing for both.
          Turkey could no more withstand a partition than could Poland, which is why Java is correct to allude to political difficulties, not logistic, being the primary impediment.

          The last thing Germany or any of the Axis allies wanted was Russian access to the Med, or them gaining territory to the south into Iraq/Iran, as it would strengthen there economy. Potentially at the expense of the Axis.
          Actually, as it turned out, the last thing Germany wanted was to be at war with the USSR and the USA at the same time. The partition of Turkey or division of the ME would be beneficial to, or detrimental to, Germany purely on the basis of whether it would allow it, or force it, to avoid two front war.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
            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.
            The distance Tunisia is from Egypt increases the transportation element necessary to exploit these deep water ports, so decreases their efficiency relative to closer ports like Tripoli. A decrease in efficiency will not save Egypt, if the Axis effort is large enough.

            Note that the Axis will still lose the war should they take Alexandria, so why Germany is taking this exceptional effort in NA, in terms of war strategy, is a big question.

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            • #36
              If the Germans had not wasted the cream of their parachute forces in Crete and seized the island of Malta, the tables in North Africa would have been completley reversed with Rommel fully supplied and Montgomery always short on everything.

              Death bed last words. Always pay the Legions, Septimius Severus.

              http://www.greatmilitarybattles.com/...d_war_two.html

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Glenn239 View Post
                The distance Tunisia is from Egypt increases the transportation element necessary to exploit these deep water ports, so decreases their efficiency relative to closer ports like Tripoli. A decrease in efficiency will not save Egypt, if the Axis effort is large enough.

                Note that the Axis will still lose the war should they take Alexandria, so why Germany is taking this exceptional effort in NA, in terms of war strategy, is a big question.
                There are two ports of a decent size in Tunisia, Tunis and Sousse. Bizerte would be similar to Tobruk. Until someone can provide historical data, I would suggest we're looking at similar carrying capacity to Tripoli and Bengazi, and therefore similar losses with distance travelled.

                As to why Germany went into NA - it's called backing an ally. Just as the Vichy regime keeps France out of the United Nations, backing Italy in NA keeps Italy in the Axis and allows Germany use of Italian equipment and supplies if need be. It also keeps Italy out of the United Nations.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                  Just as the Vichy regime keeps France out of the United Nations,...
                  Uhhh, the UN didn't exist during the time of the Vichy regime.

                  It also keeps Italy out of the United Nations.
                  Same as above.
                  Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by tigersqn View Post
                    Uhhh, the UN didn't exist during the time of the Vichy regime.



                    Same as above.
                    From Wikipedia disabiguation of"United Nations:"

                    "United Nations may also refer to:
                    Allies of World War II"
                    Will no one tell me what she sings?--
                    Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
                    For old, unhappy, far-off things,
                    And battles long ago:
                    -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by ITALICA ONE View Post
                      If the Germans had not wasted the cream of their parachute forces in Crete and seized the island of Malta, the tables in North Africa would have been completley reversed with Rommel fully supplied and Montgomery always short on everything.

                      Death bed last words. Always pay the Legions, Septimius Severus.

                      http://www.greatmilitarybattles.com/...d_war_two.html
                      Malta falling would have had zero effect on Montgomery's supplies, his supplies did not come through Med.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                        Malta falling would have had zero effect on Montgomery's supplies, his supplies did not come through Med.
                        Heh. Malta's supplies most certainly did come through the Med. Of course, Nazis capturing Malta would have made that supply line rather moot.

                        Capturing Malta would have made Nazi supply lines more secure, but that does not guarantee that Rommel would have received a lot more supplies. Hitler and cronies have to decide to send supplies to N.A. in order for them to get there.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by NoPref View Post
                          Heh. Malta's supplies most certainly did come through the Med. Of course, Nazis capturing Malta would have made that supply line rather moot.

                          Capturing Malta would have made Nazi supply lines more secure, but that does not guarantee that Rommel would have received a lot more supplies. Hitler and cronies have to decide to send supplies to N.A. in order for them to get there.
                          I do not know what books some of you guys are reading but the fact remains that Britain DID continue to use the Med: on a more limited scale for certain convoys AND the Royal Navy still patrolled the Med: Both things were done even if it was just to show the Axis Powers that no one was going to shut the door to that 'Little Pond' unless it was with our say so!! lcm1
                          'By Horse by Tram'.


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

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by tigersqn View Post
                            Uhhh, the UN didn't exist during the time of the Vichy regime.



                            Same as above.
                            I thought you were into history guy...












                            Кто там?
                            Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
                            Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
                              I do not know what books some of you guys are reading but the fact remains that Britain DID continue to use the Med: on a more limited scale for certain convoys AND the Royal Navy still patrolled the Med: Both things were done even if it was just to show the Axis Powers that no one was going to shut the door to that 'Little Pond' unless it was with our say so!! lcm1
                              OK then, name a convoy that ran through the Med to supply the forces in North Africa while Monty was in charge.
                              There were a couple of convoys at the beginning of the campaign which went through the Med, but that was before the German's got involved and long before Monty went anywhere near Africa.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                                OK then, name a convoy that ran through the Med to supply the forces in North Africa while Monty was in charge.
                                There were a couple of convoys at the beginning of the campaign which went through the Med, but that was before the German's got involved and long before Monty went anywhere near Africa.
                                You know damned well the answer to that ,anyway did I mention supplies to Monty? There were more interests in the Med area than just North Africa, Malta for one thing, Don't try smart arsing me son. lcm1
                                'By Horse by Tram'.


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

                                Comment

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