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Franco loses in Spain.

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  • Porty
    replied
    Not trying to change the scenariol, but I think that a descent into civil war (again) would be likely as socialists, anarchists, communists, regionalists (Basques, etc.) et al. fought one another for control.

    You might even see the disintegration of Spain into a series of smaller entities.

    If any of the above occurred I suspect that Hitler would just have left Spain alone as I doubt they would have posed much of a risk to Germany.

    Even as an intact Communist political entity I suspect that Spain's military wouldn't have posed much of a threat without substantial foreign aid. A strong defensive line in the Pyrenees would probably serve as a substantial defence against any Spanish/Allied attack in the short term.

    Cheers

    Porty

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  • Porty
    replied
    Not trying to change the scenariol, but I think that a descent into civil war (again) would be likely as socialists, anarchists, communists, regionalists (Basques, etc.) et al. fought one another for control.

    You might even see the disintegration of Spain into a series of smaller entities.

    If any of the above occurred I suspect that Hitler would just have left Spain alone as I doubt they would have posed much of a risk to Germany.

    Even as an intact Communist political entity I suspect that Spain's military wouldn't have posed much of a threat without substantial foreign aid. A strong defensive line in the Pyrenees would probably serve as a substantial defence against any Spanish/Allied attack in the short term.

    Cheers

    Porty

    Leave a comment:


  • Lee-Sensei
    replied
    Originally posted by Gooner View Post
    If Stalin was smart, which he was, he would order the Spanish government to help the French anyway they could after Dunkirk without actually entering the fighting.
    If that means the French army could retreat into Spain, Reynauds hand in 'discussions' with Petain would be strengthened. Perhaps the French fight on.
    The Germans were still several hundred miles from the Spanish border when the Armistice negotiations started.
    Would Russia be able to order Spain to join the war?

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  • AdrianE
    replied
    Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
    I don't see much difference to RL after say 1941 if Franco gets Spain in hand. Otherwise the area will be a massive manpower drain.

    As mentioned above there will some real resources benefits.
    There would have been some massive resource penalties: Spain was importing fuel and food. Nazi Germany was critically short of both.

    IIRC the Spanish required 40,000 tons a month of fuel (or at least that is what they demanded at Hendeye). If you look at the US Strategic Bombing survey's number on German fuel stockpiles and subtract 40k tons/month you'll see that Germany depletes its oil stockpile by early/mid 1944 if it is supporting Spain. That is a very good way to lose a war quickly.

    Its a similar thing for food. Spain needs more food than Germany can provide. Germany had some poor harvests in 1941 and had to cut rations in 1942 (IIRC).

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  • Gooner
    replied
    If Stalin was smart, which he was, he would order the Spanish government to help the French anyway they could after Dunkirk without actually entering the fighting.
    If that means the French army could retreat into Spain, Reynauds hand in 'discussions' with Petain would be strengthened. Perhaps the French fight on.
    The Germans were still several hundred miles from the Spanish border when the Armistice negotiations started.

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  • Arnold J Rimmer
    replied
    Hitler would go into Spain-he has no other choice. He's planning all along to hit Russia, and the danger of the Allies coming through Spain is too great to allow. Its much the same situation as Norway was.

    Since he knows this before the war starts, the invasion of the west will be a two-stage effort, stage I the Battle of France as in RL, followed by a rest period and then Phase II, the invasion of Spain.

    As noted, the Battle of Britain would be muted if at all. Sealion would never be considered.

    Even with the Miracle at Dunkirk the Brits are in no shape to assist Spain significantly. Gibraltar will fall.

    Now, if Hitler puts Franco into power, things might be OK. If not, the partisan issue may really create massive headaches for the Germans.

    Land-based aircraft will create problems for Allied convoys. The U boats will benefit from not having to deploy boats to the Med and Gibraltar area.

    I don't see much difference to RL after say 1941 if Franco gets Spain in hand. Otherwise the area will be a massive manpower drain.

    As mentioned above there will some real resources benefits.

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  • The Exorcist
    replied
    Um.... wasn't Tangiers part of Spanish Morocco at the time?

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  • Mifletz
    replied
    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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  • Pruitt
    replied
    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

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  • Tsar
    replied
    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.

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  • The Exorcist
    replied
    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...

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  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    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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  • grishnak
    replied
    Malta falls and Axis have easier time supplying North Africa.

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  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    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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  • Pruitt
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:

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