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  • #16
    Originally posted by Major Sennef View Post
    In the original, these 200,000 plus German troops in Tunesia got captured and were taken out of the war.

    Uncaptured they remain available to bolster defence in Sicily or mainland Italy (or Russia), IMO prolonging the war.
    There would have to be some degree of foresight for all the Germans to be in Sicily or indeed the Italian mainland. More likely they would be spread across the Med. and in Russia.

    So if the Allies stuck with their strategy whilst the fighting in Sicily would likely be longer and bloodier, by starting several months earlier they would probably have the entire summer season for campaigning on the Italian mainland. Rome would be in Allied hands before Christmas, IMO.

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    • #17
      Rommel's nasal TB responds to treatment. He stays for Kasserine.

      Frühlingserwachen is a success, Bone & Tebessa falling. US casualties are horrendous.

      More Tigers & even some Panthers reach Tunisa. Shermans, Valentines and Crusaders are torched like fireflies.

      Monty bungles Enfidaville and the 8th Army is held at the Mareth Line and bled white.

      Hitler is resolved to keep a toehold in Africa no matter what. Fw 190s are pulled from the Eastern Front and with aerial convoys under their heavy escort, Hitler raises Axis forces to nearly 1 million men.

      All Fritz X production is sent to the Med and 4 RN battleships and 4 heavy cruisers follow Roma within the month, with heavy loss of life.

      Despite depleting the Atlantic wolfpacks, Dönitz order U boats through the Straits, where they take a toll of US troop freighters.

      Mussolini's overthrow is delayed and the Germans are still present on the African continent in early 1944.

      Net result: war ends one month sooner than in OTL!

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      • #18
        Aren't you cheery. ...

        ... I think all one can really say here is that a great many more Germans & Italians would have died, drowned in the waters between Tunis and Sicily, killed in combat in Italy, France, the Low Countries, the Soviet Ukraine, Belorussia, the Baltics, Poland, Germany etc. ... all men that otherwise had surrendered in Tunisia, were sent to camps out of harms way, and survived the war.


        Originally posted by Mifletz View Post
        Rommel's nasal TB responds to treatment. He stays for Kasserine.

        Frühlingserwachen is a success, Bone & Tebessa falling. US casualties are horrendous.

        More Tigers & even some Panthers reach Tunisa. Shermans, Valentines and Crusaders are torched like fireflies.

        Monty bungles Enfidaville and the 8th Army is held at the Mareth Line and bled white.

        Hitler is resolved to keep a toehold in Africa no matter what. Fw 190s are pulled from the Eastern Front and with aerial convoys under their heavy escort, Hitler raises Axis forces to nearly 1 million men.

        All Fritz X production is sent to the Med and 4 RN battleships and 4 heavy cruisers follow Roma within the month, with heavy loss of life.

        Despite depleting the Atlantic wolfpacks, Dönitz order U boats through the Straits, where they take a toll of US troop freighters.

        Mussolini's overthrow is delayed and the Germans are still present on the African continent in early 1944.

        Net result: war ends one month sooner than in OTL!

        "I am Groot"
        - Groot

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        • #19
          If Marmat is corect, (and i'm sure he is), then hitler's policy doesn't look so mad after all? Postwar Germany thanks him, awards medals on the same scale as some of his generals) and everyone is better off.

          always wondered why hitler didn't do the same as goering, putting lots of showy regalia beside his name, if not directly on his uniform.

          Maybe he wasn't sawyed by that sort of display?

          He always wore his Iron Cross, WW1 wound badge, and gold partei bade, and that was it, and used to appear in simple military smocks or overcoats.

          For all his public displays of the mania, he was quite a simple peasant at heart, and even had table manners reminicient of a Bavarian farmer, liking holding his knife and fork in the fisted palms of his hands, rather than with the thumb and forefingers.

          Sorry, off topic....Matmat's bird's eyes are still following me around the room

          Marmat, that avatar could be a new symbol for a certain brand of fish fingers.
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          • #20
            Germany wasn't going to win North Africa. They couldn't support a winning army there. I severely doubt that the Luftwaffe would have had continued success with the Fritz X or Hs 293 either. These were used at Salerno and at Anzio, as well as against several Allied convoys with making much of a dent in Allied naval power.

            As for success against the US, maybe initially but after that it becomes simply a matter of numbers and those are all on the US side.
            In addition to being able to push in more troops than the Germans possibly could, the US was supplying arms the now Free French forces and would have armed upwards of 6 divisions with another 6 using older French equipment.

            Germany couldn't supply any sizable air force in North Africa and completely lacks the shipping to really supply more forces than they had there. At best, it is a delaying action.

            An old military axiom is "Never reinforce defeat." Sending more troops to North Africa in a vain attempt to keep the Allies at bay was simply reinforcing defeat.

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            • #21
              And yet it worked.

              Between the extended campaign in Tunisia and the painful allied showing in Sicily, what amounts to about to a handful of German divisions kept an allied army group at bay for 8 months.

              Hardly a waste of resources considering the fate of those formations had they been spread across southern or western Europe or sent east during the winter fighting.
              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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              • #22
                Of even greater ...

                Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                And yet it worked.

                Between the extended campaign in Tunisia and the painful allied showing in Sicily, what amounts to about to a handful of German divisions kept an allied army group at bay for 8 months.

                Hardly a waste of resources considering the fate of those formations had they been spread across southern or western Europe or sent east during the winter fighting.
                ... importance, at least to the KM, was maintaining a measure of control over the Central Med. In 1940, with Italy in the war, and France knocked out of it, the RN could still ship and maintain control over the Eastern, and Western basins of the Med., but the RM contested the area in between sufficiently to restrict passage to heavily escorted military convoys and then at high losses, more than enough to take Suez out of the merchant shipping equation to points East. British & Allied shipping were required to hump it around the Cape, an equivalence in time and capacity to the loss of some 2 million tonnes worth of shipping.

                Some 2 1/2 years later, and war in the Far East a year in or so, Axis forces sitting astride the Strait of Sicily still denied the use of Suez. Couple that with TORCH, forces and resupply requiring the redeployment of the premier escort forces away from MOEF and the North Atlantic, allowing Donitz's U-Boats to feast on the substandard & meagrely escorted convoys supplying the UK well into Spring 1943, casting BOLERO into doubt, certainly for anything Cross-Channel, 1943. No, Germany wasn't going to win the war, but it wasn't going to be a walk-over for the Allies either.
                Last edited by Marmat; 25 Sep 15, 20:49.
                "I am Groot"
                - Groot

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                  And yet it worked.

                  Between the extended campaign in Tunisia and the painful allied showing in Sicily, what amounts to about to a handful of German divisions kept an allied army group at bay for 8 months.

                  ....
                  Point to Purist.

                  Lets assume Nerhings November pessimism turns to a few more bad decisions, Kesselring is unable to retrieve the situation, & the Allies gain the critical all weather airfields and the ports of bizarre & Tunis in December or early January. At the Symbol conference in Casablanca Eisenhower can report success & that two large Allied armies are available for operations elsewhere.

                  At the Symbol conference OTL a staff planning group prepared a proposed strategy for the Mediteranean in 1943. First on the list was a invasion of Sardinia in March 1943, Sicilly & Corsica would follow quickly as Allied invasion targets. Since Tunisia was still in Axis hands, and Eisenhower reported Tunisia would not be secured until late spring, perhaps May, Brooke vetoed the plans proposed and argued Tunisia had to be cleared before other operations could continue. With a immensely successful Torch operation concluded in January the Allies & Axis both have a lot of options for deploying defense and choosing offensive ops.

                  This leaves approx 200,000 Axis soldiers & their material for use in the Med, or elsewhere. I'm assuming some 30,000 are lost in Tunisia & the Pz Army Africa/Italian army of Lybia are partially lost with a partial evacuation.

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                  • #24
                    Without 5 Panzer Army going to Tunis in november 1942,the Axis forces in North Africa were lost .Which is more,much more than 30000 men .And an Allied victory in november 1942 gives the Allies 5 months extra to invade Sicily and the Italian mainland .

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                    • #25
                      Exactly. If the Allies gain control of the paced airfields around Tunis & Bizerte in December or January 1942 the Axis forces in Africa are doomed. The Allies had parity in operational aircraft numbers in the Med when Op Torch started. By new years they had a rapidly growing superiority in numbers and a favorable loss vs replacement rate over the Axis. The one hold up for the Allies was the distance from the major airbases they held in Egypt & Algeria to the central Med. They were still limited to heavy VLR bombers for striking at the Axis.

                      Once the Tunisia airfields were for the Allies use the Axis sea forces on the African routes, and the air bases in Sicilly or south Italy were in range of the short and medium range Allies air strike assets. By March the Allies had a 2-1 advantage in numbers in the Med. Whatever claims for Axis tactical superiority or tactical victories they were simply shot out of the sky in strategic and operational terms. The sacrifice of the 5th Pz Army held off the invasions of Sicily, Sardinia & Italy by 4-6 months.

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                      • #26
                        In december 1942,the Axis had to chose to lose the 99000 men of the Italian army (no figures for navy and air force) or to try to save them /time by sending reinforcements (28000 were sent) .

                        They chose the second option and lost 127000 men between december and may .
                        To chose the first option would result in the loss of 99000 men in december .

                        I have to search for the German figures .

                        All in all,the Axis decision was more than defensible .

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                        • #27
                          I would look for a middle way, between abandonment & the historical Axis effort. Between Hitler & Mussolini there was a unrealistic idea Tunisia could be held indefinitely. Perhaps even gains made. Had they considered in Dec 1942, The effort in Africa a delaying action, then fewer reinforcements would be sent, and not so many high quality units. By not planning major offensive ops & fighting a less resource consuming battle the Allies could have been delayed nearly as long as OTL, with fewer losses in ground units and logistics assets. The Allies ability to take Tunis & Bizerte revolved around the air domination & interdiction of the sea routes to Tunisia. Thats not going to be much different than OTL where ever the 8th Army or Pz Army Africa are, or how much extra is added to 5th Pz Army.

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