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  • Republican Spain wins

    I will admit that I was playing (yet again) Hearts of Iron 4, this time with the Waking the Dragon expansion, and I encountered this situation.

    And it really $ucked.

    Playing Germany, when I went to war with the USSR I had to watch the Spanish border closely and I lost my land route for tungsten. It really handicapped me. Not that I was going to win as Germany in any case, but it opened an entire new level of trouble.

    Looking at the situation, a Cold War communist Spain would have created real problems for NATO as well.

    How do you think it would have played out in either situation?
    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

  • #2
    This depends in part if Spain decides to go to war with Germany at some point. It also makes a difference if Germany decides to invade Spain.

    If the later, the Iberian peninsula falls to Germany. Spain would not be able to stop a German invasion. Gibraltar falls with Spain giving Germany control of the Med for all intents. It's likely Portugal goes with Spain into German hands.
    If that happens prior to an invasion of the USSR, then the British are once again hit. They will have to route their convoys to the Middle East further out to sea to avoid U-boat and aircraft attacks. That in turn means they take longer to arrive. Without Gibraltar, Malta falls as it cannot be supported.
    The likelihood is that Germany and Italy end up taking Egypt and the Suez canal. Britain only just managed to prevent that loss as it was.

    If Spain stays neutral, on the other hand, it walks a tightrope with Germany in any case. Placing an embargo on exports to Germany might invite an invasion, so they might be forced to still do so. Tungsten alone won't cripple Germany, not even close. This is particularly true when only one company in Germany, the Krupp subsidiary Hartzmetallzentral controls the entire supply and distribution of the metal.

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    • #3
      I can see a republican Spain staying neutral during the first half of ww2.
      Germany would not attack Spain before 1941 because of the non aggression pact with Russia.
      After then, as long as Spain stayed quiet I can't see The Germans wanting to divert resources to invade and occupy Spain if it wasn't necessary. As the war progressed especially with the Allied victory in North Africa Germany would become concerned about an Allied invasion through Spain. This may tempt Germany to preempt but maybe not even then as it would be much easier to defend against an invasion at the Pyrenees rather than trying to hold the whole of Spain.
      So my prediction would be that Spain remains neutral up until D day at which point they declare war on Germany and allow Allied troops to enter France from their territory.
      "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Surrey View Post
        I can see a republican Spain staying neutral during the first half of ww2.
        Germany would not attack Spain before 1941 because of the non aggression pact with Russia.
        After then, as long as Spain stayed quiet I can't see The Germans wanting to divert resources to invade and occupy Spain if it wasn't necessary. As the war progressed especially with the Allied victory in North Africa Germany would become concerned about an Allied invasion through Spain. This may tempt Germany to preempt but maybe not even then as it would be much easier to defend against an invasion at the Pyrenees rather than trying to hold the whole of Spain.
        So my prediction would be that Spain remains neutral up until D day at which point they declare war on Germany and allow Allied troops to enter France from their territory.
        Yup! The Duke would land in Mondego Bay again but this time, kick the **** out of Jerry.







        Paul

        ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
        All human ills he can subdue,
        Or with a bauble or medal
        Can win mans heart for you;
        And many a blessing know to stew
        To make a megloamaniac bright;
        Give honour to the dainty Corse,
        The Pixie is a little shite.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post


          Yup! The Duke would land in Mondego Bay again but this time, kick the **** out of Jerry.







          Paul

          Of the Dukes of Wellington alive during ww2, the 5th would have fought for the Germans given the opportunity, the 6th was killed on a commando raid led by Mad Jake Churchill and the 7th was nicknamed ‘the Duchess of Wellington’ .
          "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Surrey View Post
            Of the Dukes of Wellington alive during ww2, the 5th would have fought for the Germans given the opportunity, the 6th was killed on a commando raid led by Mad Jake Churchill and the 7th was nicknamed ‘the Duchess of Wellington’ .
            Logical result of a dozen generations of inbreeding
            Major Atticus Finch - ACW Rainbow Game.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
              The likelihood is that Germany and Italy end up taking Egypt and the Suez canal. Britain only just managed to prevent that loss as it was.
              You have written some far fetched things but that takes the cake. How is this going to materially impact the axis logistical situation in North Africa? The Axis were never ever going to be able to supply a force capable of taking Alexandria let alone Suez.

              If Germany invades Spain they add more mouths to feed when they are short of food. They'll set up a puppet government but that government will be deeply unpopular and require many German troops to support. They'll also require fuel from Germany to keep their economy going.

              Spain was a net importer of food and fuel from the Allies in WWII. Franco knew he couldn't count on Germany to make up the difference so he stayed out. Those calculations don't change.

              I can see a German invasion of Republican Spain resulting in the following
              1) delay and reduction of the reinforcements for Barbarossa like 2nd Army and several luftwaffe groups
              2) German seizure of Gibraltar but British seizure of the Canaries and Azores
              3) Malta would surrender to Italy with minimal impact to the Egypt/Libya campaign
              4) smaller Kiev encirclement due to the lack of 2nd Army
              5) less successful Typhoon
              6) stronger Red Army winter offensive
              7) strong partisan activity in Spain tieing down more German troops
              8) less fuel for the ostheer as Spain requires fuel
              9) thousands of miles of indefensible coastline added to the Axis

              Overall I see a big net negative for the Axis, a small negative for Britian and a huge gain for the Soviet Union.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                You have written some far fetched things but that takes the cake. How is this going to materially impact the axis logistical situation in North Africa? The Axis were never ever going to be able to supply a force capable of taking Alexandria let alone Suez.
                They almost did it historically. The British thought it could happen. Here, there is no Malta to interfere with Italian and German shipping. Without Gibraltar in British hands, there is no way to supply the island and it loses its ability to operate aircraft and submarines due to lack of fuel. Even untaken it is effectively neutralized. This means the Axis can do things like route convoys further East to some degree.

                If Germany invades Spain they add more mouths to feed when they are short of food. They'll set up a puppet government but that government will be deeply unpopular and require many German troops to support. They'll also require fuel from Germany to keep their economy going.
                More like mouths to starve. Do you really think Germany will care that there are more people to feed there? They might not allow Franco's supporters to, but they won't give a rat's patoot about the rest. Ship them off for slave labor, same as the rest of Europe.

                Spain was a net importer of food and fuel from the Allies in WWII. Franco knew he couldn't count on Germany to make up the difference so he stayed out. Those calculations don't change.
                Except here Franco isn't in charge. A Communist government is. Germany wouldn't care if Spain starved. A Communist government probably wouldn't care too much if most of the population starved either.

                I can see a German invasion of Republican Spain resulting in the following
                1) delay and reduction of the reinforcements for Barbarossa like 2nd Army and several luftwaffe groups
                This would depend on the date of the invasion. It might have no effect at all.

                2) German seizure of Gibraltar but British seizure of the Canaries and Azores
                Seizing Gibraltar has far more impact than the seizure of islands in the Atlantic that Britain in 1940 - 1941 can do little with.

                3) Malta would surrender to Italy with minimal impact to the Egypt/Libya campaign
                This results in about a 20% increase in supplies to North Africa along with a big reduction in Italian shipping losses.


                4) smaller Kiev encirclement due to the lack of 2nd Army
                5) less successful Typhoon
                6) stronger Red Army winter offensive
                Again, this is hard to predict as you can't really say what the Germans would do or not do in Russia and depends in good part on the date of the invasion.


                7) strong partisan activity in Spain tieing down more German troops
                How strong could it be? Spain is hardly Yugoslavia and there is a large portion of the population that sided with the Fascists.

                8) less fuel for the ostheer as Spain requires fuel
                Do you really think the Germans would choose this over the other?

                9) thousands of miles of indefensible coastline added to the Axis
                Indefensible? No. Extra coastline to defend? Yes.

                Overall I see a big net negative for the Axis, a small negative for Britian and a huge gain for the Soviet Union.
                Whereas I see this as more a wash. Britain loses some, Germany gains some liability. It's almost certainly a boost for North Africa. It probably has little or no impact on events in Russia at least through 1943.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                  This results in about a 20% increase in supplies to North Africa along with a big reduction in Italian shipping losses.
                  20% really? Whats your source for that number or are you just making it up? Sadkovich's book on the Italian Navy in WW2 has lots of numbers and tables. I don't recall any that showed that Malta based forces were responsible for stopping 20% of the supplies destined for North Africa.

                  There may be more supplies delivered to Tripoli, but no increase in what gets delivered to the front. This ATL does not increase port capacity in Tobruk, Benghazi or Bardia, nor does it add more transport to the Axis in NA. Thus no more supplies make it to the front and there is no material change to the outcome in NA. There may actually be a negative since the Spanish campaign will eat up stocks of lubricants, oil, fuel, spare parts, transport and other logistical resources.

                  You should really put a date to the invasion of a Republican controlled Spain for a meaningful analysis of the drawbacks and costs.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                    20% really? Whats your source for that number or are you just making it up? Sadkovich's book on the Italian Navy in WW2 has lots of numbers and tables. I don't recall any that showed that Malta based forces were responsible for stopping 20% of the supplies destined for North Africa.

                    There may be more supplies delivered to Tripoli, but no increase in what gets delivered to the front. This ATL does not increase port capacity in Tobruk, Benghazi or Bardia, nor does it add more transport to the Axis in NA. Thus no more supplies make it to the front and there is no material change to the outcome in NA. There may actually be a negative since the Spanish campaign will eat up stocks of lubricants, oil, fuel, spare parts, transport and other logistical resources.

                    You should really put a date to the invasion of a Republican controlled Spain for a meaningful analysis of the drawbacks and costs.

                    ok so who is going to sink Axis supply ships in the Med.

                    and with Malta does not german airpower get increased projection into the med.

                    Making supply ship hunting more dangerous.

                    Not including allowing faster routes.

                    Its not that Malta did x by itself but it part of a system that allowed for serious damage to the Axis.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                      20% really? Whats your source for that number or are you just making it up? Sadkovich's book on the Italian Navy in WW2 has lots of numbers and tables. I don't recall any that showed that Malta based forces were responsible for stopping 20% of the supplies destined for North Africa.

                      There may be more supplies delivered to Tripoli, but no increase in what gets delivered to the front. This ATL does not increase port capacity in Tobruk, Benghazi or Bardia, nor does it add more transport to the Axis in NA. Thus no more supplies make it to the front and there is no material change to the outcome in NA. There may actually be a negative since the Spanish campaign will eat up stocks of lubricants, oil, fuel, spare parts, transport and other logistical resources.
                      I too have a detailed table, somewhere in a file, from the early 70's (can't recall the source I Xeroxed the pages) showing that there were serious reductions in shipping tonnage to N. Africa usually coinciding with major Allied offensives.

                      You should really put a date to the invasion of a Republican controlled Spain for a meaningful analysis of the drawbacks and costs.
                      Can I also speculate on what the British would send to try and defend Spain (and Portugal) with? Meaning that material would be absent from North Africa and likely result in another British withdrawal by sea and the capture of tens of thousands more POWs?

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                      • #12
                        Why would Malta fall without Gibraltar?

                        How would it fall?
                        Wisdom is personal

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Karri View Post
                          Why would Malta fall without Gibraltar?

                          How would it fall?
                          It doesn't necessarily have to fall (ie., be captured). It is neutralized simply because there is no longer a means for the Allies to supply it. Convoys can't be run from Alexandrea as that entails a longer sea voyage and far more time in range of Axis naval and air attack. If we look at the 1941- 42 Malta convoys, they took heavy damage trying to run a much more abbreviated gauntlet.

                          With no fuel for aircraft or submarines, both would have to operate from somewhere else.

                          But, without Gibraltar, the Germans and Italians also stand a much better chance of actual invasion as there would be little air or naval opposition.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                            It doesn't necessarily have to fall (ie., be captured). It is neutralized simply because there is no longer a means for the Allies to supply it. Convoys can't be run from Alexandrea as that entails a longer sea voyage and far more time in range of Axis naval and air attack. If we look at the 1941- 42 Malta convoys, they took heavy damage trying to run a much more abbreviated gauntlet.

                            With no fuel for aircraft or submarines, both would have to operate from somewhere else.

                            But, without Gibraltar, the Germans and Italians also stand a much better chance of actual invasion as there would be little air or naval opposition.
                            what would of been the food situation on Malta without the convoys

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by craven View Post
                              what would of been the food situation on Malta without the convoys
                              Same thing... starvation. There is no way to raise anything close to what the island needs.

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