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

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  • Glenn239
    replied
    Originally posted by NoPref View Post
    I was trying to point out that creating a secure shipping lane did not mean that more stuff would actually get shipped.
    The big logistics questions I see are dispatch port capacity, shipping capacity, available escorts, available fuel for the ships, destination port capacity, distance from the supply head, NA supply network. In order to take Alexandria, all these problems had to be resolved, and the evident solution was Vichy territory - both Tunisia, (which solves destination port capacity) and Marseilles (which solves dispatch port capacity and shipping capacity, as well as finishes the Gibraltar route). In terms of Barbarossa, I see no chance to resolving the ship fuel problem or the NA supply network problem with the German army in Russia.

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  • Glenn239
    replied
    Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
    I did. I suggest you adjust you optical prescription as the port of Tripoli appears to be the size of Bizerte and Tunis combined. That Port de plaisance in Bizerte is a marina.
    Flip to satellite view and look again - the port facilities in Bizerte extend far into Lake Bizerte. They dwarf Tripoli. Now, if you're saying that Bizerte was not as developed in 1941, I'm all ears.

    10 mpg out of a 5T truck? I budgeted on that from my '47 Buick car. Let's quarter it.
    I used 10 mpg for the planning factor.

    Next, the average speed of a convoy...<snip>
    1 trip per truck every six days is the planning factor.

    What other theatres could the British fight in in 1941? In terms of grand strategy it sucks in British resources that may have been available to the USSR or a cross-channel attack as well as maintaining an ally (very important).
    For Great Britain the only relevant question was the addition of other allies; the USSR and USA. Should the USA join the war, the Allies did not need the ME and it was irrelevant whether Germany took Egypt or not; the USAAF did not require Egypt to bomb Germany.

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  • Glenn239
    replied
    Originally posted by dutched View Post
    How about the elephant in the front room? Keep mining the Strait of Gibraltar like was done with the German Bight and the same with Port Alexandria? It would not be a war winning strategy, but could it provide much needed relief to the Axis in the Med.?

    Ed.
    If the Axis had seized Vichy NA, Axis airpower would dominate Gibraltar and shut down the Atlantic route.

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  • lcm1
    replied
    Originally posted by tigersqn View Post
    True, but I never said it was.
    I know you didn't Tiger, but it was still worth pointing out even by you, something else too, they also did it by night! Must say one thing they knew which side of their bread was buttered!! lcm1

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  • tigersqn
    replied
    Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
    Currents were not the only reason they shut their engines down when going through the straits
    True, but I never said it was.

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  • Desiree Clary
    replied
    Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
    Currents were not the only reason they shut their engines down when going through the straits
    True. See the final scene of "Das Boot."

    Susie

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  • lcm1
    replied
    Originally posted by tigersqn View Post
    Probably more difficult to achieve than the others mentioned.
    Currents in the straits of Gibraltar are VERY strong and very complex, with differing vectors for different depths.

    http://www.tidetech.org/news/NEW_Str...dal_model.html

    http://www.windtarifa.com/eng/anaveg...s/currents.htm

    In fact, German subs used to shut their engines down and allow the currents to carry them through the straits.

    http://formontana.net/uboats.html
    Currents were not the only reason they shut their engines down when going through the straits

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  • NoPref
    replied
    Originally posted by Glenn239 View Post
    They didn't need to take Malta - dissolving Vichy North Africa would make the supply lines more secure by way of Tunis, and the (roughly) 600,000 tons of shipping captured in southern France would give the shipping means to exploit the port capacity - both in terms of the shipping as well as dispatch port capacity (Marseilles).
    True.

    I was trying to point out that creating a secure shipping lane did not mean that more stuff would actually get shipped.

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  • Scott Fraser
    replied
    Originally posted by WarMachine View Post
    The perception I recieve of the Mediterranean and North African theatres is that they were for the Axis Powers seemingly impossible to win in or bring successfully to a conclution. This is particularly evident from the launching of Operation Barbarossa onwards.
    The question I can't get past is WHY? There was nothing in North Africa for Germany. Hitler had grand dreams of reaching Iraq through through Palestine and Syria, but these were never practical and any possibility of Germany acquiring oil from the Iraqis evaporated in the spring of 1941. As I see it, the North African campaign was a sideshow started by the Italians but largely driven by British determination to be a nuisance wherever possible. In saying that, I do not mean to belittle the courage and dedication of the Allied troops that fought there --- I merely point to how unimportant the theatre was relative to Hitler's war aims.

    That said, if Hitler had called off Barbarossa and gone after a southern thrust, assuming the logistics could be put in place, I'm sure the Afrika Corps coulod have trundled across Egypt and on to Baghdad without too much resistance. The British really had very little available that could be brought to bear.

    However, Hitler was never going to call off Barbarossa. There was a clock running against him and any success became increasingly problematic the longer he delayed. The Red Army was rearming at a frantic pace and the Americans would sooner or later join in the war against Germany.

    Regards
    Scott Fraser
    Last edited by Scott Fraser; 21 Sep 14, 03:15.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    People lets keep it simple. The only way the Axis could have won in the Med or in North Africa is if they were fighting each other..

    Pruitt

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  • broderickwells
    replied
    Originally posted by Glenn239 View Post
    Open Bizerte, Tunis and Tripoli in Google, side by side in Windows, at the 1km scale. The Tunisian ports dwarf Tripoli in size. Bizerte is huge.
    I did. I suggest you adjust you optical prescription as the port of Tripoli appears to be the size of Bizerte and Tunis combined. That Port de plaisance in Bizerte is a marina.
    The distance by road between Tunis and Tripoli I googled is 480 miles. Assuming 10 miles per gallon for a 5 ton truck, that's about 100 gallons per round trip - let's round up to a full ton for supplies consumed per trip to maintain the supply line. Let's also assume the average rate of advance for any given truck is 6mph (includes maintainence). That's on trip per every six days per truck. So, at 5,000 tons per day and 5 tons per truck, that's 1,000 trucks times six days transit = 6,000 trucks = 4,000 tons per day delivered in Tripoli.
    10 mpg out of a 5T truck? I budgeted on that from my '47 Buick car. Let's quarter it. Next, the average speed of a convoy - shall we agree at a very optimistic 30mph (unless you can suggest a better figure for a 1940s non-tarmac colonial road)? Which makes the best round trip 32 hours and probably much worse, factoring in food, rest and refueling. And that's only getting to Tripoli.
    The strategic intention was diversionary and defensive - to secure Italy's frontiers and divert the British in a secondary theatre. The global question is, what does NA accomplish for Germany in terms of grand strategy? The answer is that it boils down to the question of avoiding two front war - would a strong campaign in NA secure Germany from two front war, or provoke the USSR into giving it?
    What other theatres could the British fight in in 1941? In terms of grand strategy it sucks in British resources that may have been available to the USSR or a cross-channel attack as well as maintaining an ally (very important).
    The partition of Turkey, with the USSR getting the Straights, was the means to slam Germany's back door and prevent a two front war. If a German drive into Egypt destabilized the British position in the ME, and brought on a Russian occupation in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf that lead to war between Britain and the USSR, even better for Germany.
    If the USSR gets the Straits then Germany is in a poor position to exploit Turkish chrome and almost guarantees that Germany gets no petroleum. Nazi Germany wanted autarky, feuding neighbours it could take or leave. Btw, in 1941 Britain and the USSR jointly invaded Persia/Iran...

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  • tigersqn
    replied
    Originally posted by dutched View Post
    How about the elephant in the front room? Keep mining the Strait of Gibraltar like was done with the German Bight and the same with Port Alexandria? It would not be a war winning strategy, but could it provide much needed relief to the Axis in the Med.?

    Ed.
    Probably more difficult to achieve than the others mentioned.
    Currents in the straits of Gibraltar are VERY strong and very complex, with differing vectors for different depths.

    http://www.tidetech.org/news/NEW_Str...dal_model.html

    http://www.windtarifa.com/eng/anaveg...s/currents.htm

    In fact, German subs used to shut their engines down and allow the currents to carry them through the straits.

    http://formontana.net/uboats.html

    Leave a comment:


  • dutched
    replied
    How about the elephant in the front room? Keep mining the Strait of Gibraltar like was done with the German Bight and the same with Port Alexandria? It would not be a war winning strategy, but could it provide much needed relief to the Axis in the Med.?

    Ed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Glenn239
    replied
    Originally posted by NoPref View Post

    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.
    They didn't need to take Malta - dissolving Vichy North Africa would make the supply lines more secure by way of Tunis, and the (roughly) 600,000 tons of shipping captured in southern France would give the shipping means to exploit the port capacity - both in terms of the shipping as well as dispatch port capacity (Marseilles).

    Leave a comment:


  • Glenn239
    replied
    Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
    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.
    Open Bizerte, Tunis and Tripoli in Google, side by side in Windows, at the 1km scale. The Tunisian ports dwarf Tripoli in size. Bizerte is huge.

    The distance by road between Tunis and Tripoli I googled is 480 miles. Assuming 10 miles per gallon for a 5 ton truck, that's about 100 gallons per round trip - let's round up to a full ton for supplies consumed per trip to maintain the supply line. Let's also assume the average rate of advance for any given truck is 6mph (includes maintainence). That's on trip per every six days per truck. So, at 5,000 tons per day and 5 tons per truck, that's 1,000 trucks times six days transit = 6,000 trucks = 4,000 tons per day delivered in Tripoli.

    As to why Germany went into NA - it's called backing an ally.
    The strategic intention was diversionary and defensive - to secure Italy's frontiers and divert the British in a secondary theatre. The global question is, what does NA accomplish for Germany in terms of grand strategy? The answer is that it boils down to the question of avoiding two front war - would a strong campaign in NA secure Germany from two front war, or provoke the USSR into giving it?

    The partition of Turkey, with the USSR getting the Straights, was the means to slam Germany's back door and prevent a two front war. If a German drive into Egypt destabilized the British position in the ME, and brought on a Russian occupation in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf that lead to war between Britain and the USSR, even better for Germany.
    Last edited by Glenn239; 20 Sep 14, 10:51.

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