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  • Franco loses in Spain.

    Pick a reason. That part really doesn't matter and it is possible the Republicans might have won that civil war. In this case, they did.

    Franco and many of his supporters flee the country as the Communists take control in short order followed by a purge of "undesirables." A Communist government also gets "elected" in Portugal.

    With the Iberian peninsula now firmly in Communist hands and friendly to Moscow, they begin to rebuild the country.

    In 1939 Hitler still moves against Poland and the R-M treaty is still in place. In the next year, Hitler takes Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and of course, France.

    What would he do next? Invade Spain as it represents a potential threat to his plans with Russia? Set up a defensive line? Would Spain / Portugal enter the war on the Allied side once the Soviet Union is attacked?

    Lots of possibilities here.

  • #2
    I would say the chances are Hitler would want to take Spain and Portugal out first. Stalin would have no problem sacrificing them so he can buy more time to rearm. An invasion of Spain and Portugal would be difficult as there are few railroads crossing the Pyrenees. German troops rely on rails to transport their supply.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #3
      A Republican victory would not necessarily have led to a Communist takeover ,but if it did Spain would have remained neutral,as was Comintern policy, until Barbarossa and then have joined the allied side.Hitler would have been unlikely to move against Spain until his pact with Russia was broken.June 41 becomes interesting though,simultaneous invasions would considerably weaken Barbarossa and be ill afforded.Perhapse he might leave the southern front to develop on its own in the hope that a Spanish incursion would bring Vichy in on the German side,with Rommel waiting in the wings.
      Wack tac mac hey.
      Regards.
      Grishnak.

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      • #4
        Or, the Germans begin early on arming, training, and equipping a Spanish force (from ex pats who left with Franco) and maybe adding in Italian Blackshirts for numbers in anticipation of taking back Spain. (Spanish SS for example)
        Add in possibly equipping some units post fall of France with French equipment...

        It would be interesting. Would the British try to send support? Another "Peninsular campaign" like Napoleon had?

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        • #5
          Britain would be bound to intervene,an Axis Iberian peninsula and North African holdings would have been a disaster for the UK war effort.The Med sealed and greater range into the Atlantic for subs and aircraft would have been very hard to bear.
          Wack tac mac hey.
          Regards.
          Grishnak.

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          • #6
            If you look at the rail network you'd see the difficulty in invading spain...


            There's only two lines and I'd bet they could be blown up with not much of a problem...
            Credo quia absurdum.


            Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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            • #7
              Worse than that, they are along the coast! The first crosses at where the Spanish/French borders hit the Atlantic. The other one goes along the coast of the Mediterranean where the two borders meet. The main problem is how much traffic can they bear? I don't see many divisions being supported until more lines are laid. One might be able to send ships to Barcelona without Royal Navy interference. The trouble is Germany would have to run this campaign on Soviet oil! The stocks captured in France may not last long enough if the campaign draws out.

              Pruitt
              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

              Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

              by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by grishnak View Post
                Britain would be bound to intervene,an Axis Iberian peninsula and North African holdings would have been a disaster for the UK war effort.The Med sealed and greater range into the Atlantic for subs and aircraft would have been very hard to bear.
                The Mediterranean was effectively sealed to the Brits in June 1940 when the Italians declared war & close the Sicilian Straits. From then to May 1943 only one significant convoy and a few cargo ships snuck through. Less than 1% of the material the Brits sent to Egypt got though on those ships. the other 99% + went around Africa. A few more loads snuck through to Malta, but the eastern route to Malta was a bit less bloody & events like operation Pedistal suggest the Brits would have been better off not even trying.

                Bottom line is Britain loses little of nothing if the Gibraltar Strait is closed to them.

                Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                Worse than that, they are along the coast! The first crosses at where the Spanish/French borders hit the Atlantic. The other one goes along the coast of the Mediterranean where the two borders meet. The main problem is how much traffic can they bear?
                As a rough rule a single track high capacity line can support approx 100,000 men with partial motor/mechanization as in the German, Italian, or Red Armies.

                I don't see many divisions being supported until more lines are laid. One might be able to send ships to Barcelona without Royal Navy interference.
                Delivering by ship is more efficient anyway. The Italian cargo fleet can load in any number of major French & west Italian ports and land at any of several on the Iberian Levant coast. The internal Spanish railroads should be enough for Axis operations from there. The down side is the Axis leaders may hve to choose between supporting their African front & the Iberian front.

                The trouble is Germany would have to run this campaign on Soviet oil! The stocks captured in France may not last long enough if the campaign draws out.

                Pruitt
                Cant depend much on Spanish vehicles. Spain obtained near 100% of its petroleum fuels from North & South America. The Axis wont be seeing much of that.

                The larger dowside for the Axis is Spain & Portugal imported a significant amount of grain from the Americas. Whatever population they take control of would be short bread & neither the Germans or Italians have anything to make it up with. Food shortages reduce sympathy with any Axis occupiers or Axis Allied Spanish government.

                Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                Or, the Germans begin early on arming, training, and equipping a Spanish force (from ex pats who left with Franco) and maybe adding in Italian Blackshirts for numbers in anticipation of taking back Spain. (Spanish SS for example)
                Add in possibly equipping some units post fall of France with French equipment...

                It would be interesting. Would the British try to send support? Another "Peninsular campaign" like Napoleon had?
                The Brits did do some planning/research for SOE ops in Portugal were it necessary. I am guessing there was some planning for the same in Spain. Francos victory did not vaporize every leftist in Spain. The leaders fled, but a fair portion of population was ready to resume the cause if the prospects were good. The SOE & OSS would have had fertile recruiting there.

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                • #9
                  Malta falls and Axis have easier time supplying North Africa.
                  Wack tac mac hey.
                  Regards.
                  Grishnak.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wish I had bookmarked or taken notes from the several other discussions of this subject. A few other bits from my memory:

                    The Atlantic islands become instant targets for the British. The Cape Verde, Canaries, Maderia, & Azores would be occupied by Commonwealth forces as fast as possible. It is also possible the nuetral US would step in as well, assisting nuetral Portugal in defending its Azores & Maderia.

                    After a few months the RN would have built up a start of a constantly growing air and surface ASW base system on these islands. That complicates life for the submarines stalking the mid Atlantic and routes to the South Atlantic.

                    The islands also serve as well as Gibraltar for operating against any attempts to use the Italian navy in the Atlantic.

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                    • #11
                      No Battle of Britain, the Wehrmacht goes straight into Spain in July of 1940 citing the (inevitable) brutality of the Communist regime during it's consolidation of power phase. Franco is hailed as a liberator at the head of his puppet army.

                      The Italian fleet lands troops while the RN is busy shooting up the French fleets in North Africa, causing enough chaos for the 350,000-man German invasion army to have an easy time of it. Portugal is cowed into total neutrality and Gibraltar is ringed with artillery that makes it worthless as a base long before it falls.

                      Luftwaffe bases in Spain close off the Med well before the fall of Gibraltar, and RN ships in the area have the choice of running the gauntlet to Egypt or pulling back to England.

                      Yugoslavia is not persuaded to become friendly to the Allies and remains neutral, and Greece cannot be invaded by Italy due to its commitments in Spain.

                      All in all, a huge bonus for the Axis, but they can't even start to look across the Channel at Britain until the later part of August.
                      Later-day historians will point at Spain and say that THIS was what saved the UK from invasion...
                      "Why is the Rum gone?"

                      -Captain Jack

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                        Later-day historians will point at Spain and say that THIS was what saved the UK from invasion...

                        And there will be generations of gamers that will play out Operation Walrus. The great could have been of WWII.
                        Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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                        • #13
                          The Germans will secure their shipments of wolframite from Portugal with this campaign. This will allow the Germans to keep using lots of tungsten.

                          Pruitt
                          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Rommel, instead of heading east, sets out west.

                            His goal: to seal the Straits of Gibraltar.

                            If he reaches Tangiers quickly enough, and seals the Mediterranean, the over-extended 8th Army, RN, Gibraltar and Malta are soon going to be having resupply problems of their own.

                            Daring and succesful Italian navy ops, unlike in OTL, would be required for this to work. Axis supply would be no more difficult than when they were heading the otherway, as NW Africa is within Luftwaffe range from France.

                            Use of PE & Bismarck to intercept a Gibraltar relief convoy, and using Student's paras against Gibraltar instead of Crete, would put the Brits on the ropes in the Med.

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                            • #15
                              Um.... wasn't Tangiers part of Spanish Morocco at the time?
                              "Why is the Rum gone?"

                              -Captain Jack

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