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  • Republicans defeat Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War

    I've never seen this one addressed, so I thought I would bring it up.

    How would WW2 have been affected by a Republican (Loyalist) victory over Franco's Nationalists ?

    So despite German aid in volunteers and material, the Republicans win. The Republicans were aided by the Soviet Union during the war, and would have strong ties to that nation after a victory.

    Might this affect Germany's invasion of Russia? Would Spain remain neutral as it did under Franco? Or might it be drawn into conflict with Germany, either of it's own will to support the allies or Soviets, or if Germany invades to remove a semi-socialist state from it's borders?



    Unfortunetly it's in Spanish. But red is Republican (funny how that works out) and blue is the Nationalists I take it.

  • #2
    interesting what if.

    let's assume it happens. Republicans win.

    will they start the infighting and simply have spain in chaos, with communists chasing catholics and nationalists thus unable to cope with outside events, that is untill Germany, in 1940 or 1941 invades to "bring stability" with huge support from nationalists "partisans" and falangists

    or would a republic of spain manage to stabilize - i.e. not under a bolchevik or communist government, in which case it would surely be reluctant to enter a war....

    or would a bolchevik government take place, but that is more like scen here above.
    "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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    • #3
      A Republican Spain would likely have a weaker military than the nationalists did because most of the officers and elite units fought for the Nationalists. But a very weak Spain at war with Germany would have spread German forces even thiner than the were. It is likely that British and American troops would end up in Spain before anywhere else if it did not fall completely early on. If Spain is taken, then Gibralter would also be lost creating a bad situation in Egypt for Britian. Spain entering the war on the Allies side could have been a marginaly good to very bad thing for Germany.

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      • #4
        A weak but anti-fascist Spain on the Vichy border would have to be contained, neutered, blocked or otherwise dealt with so it couldn't openly support Allied efforts and leave a hostile border sitting open. A couple threats from Hitler could keep them out from '40 to '43, but after Sicily, they're likely to go Allied indirectly if not directly. In any case, I thnk they would support the Allied effort in some form, the 'openness'; of the support would depend on how threatened Germany and Italy could make them feel.

        I think it would give the Axis pause to consider invading them and driving to Gib... or moving on Gib directly knowing Spain couldn't do anything to stop them if they made a few small border incursions in the process. Franco knew the Allies would go after 'his' Spain if he sided with the Axis, so he didn't help them near as much as they would have liked. A Republican Spain might be coerced to look the other way if the Germans promised they were only after Gib and would leave Spain alone after that if she didn't interfere (admittedly this is far out there, but it's not an impossibility). Even if they didn't 'agree', what can they do about a German-Italian operation cutting across their territory close to Gib to hit it from the land side?

        It opens up quite a few options for both sides depending on who can make the better deals (or threats) and capitalize on them. Taking out Gib would be very aggressive and help the Axis, but would/could it be done just by changing who's in charge in Spain, especially a Spain hostile to fascist Germany at that point... I'm not sure. An Allied-friendly Spain is much more likely and a pro-Allied Spain even more likely after Sicily mkaing things all that more difficult for Germany/Vichy from '43 onward.

        How post-war/NATO would develop would depend entirely on who can take control and how long they hold onto it. A communist Spain would be... interesting, but would a rebuilt England and France (or even the US) 'allow' it to become/stay communist and would the SU intervene to keep it part of the worldwide communist community?
        If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by chrisvalla View Post
          How post-war/NATO would develop would depend entirely on who can take control and how long they hold onto it. A communist Spain would be... interesting, but would a rebuilt England and France (or even the US) 'allow' it to become/stay communist and would the SU intervene to keep it part of the worldwide communist community?
          Grounds for WW3, perhaps?





          Hmmmmm. . .

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          • #6
            Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
            I've never seen this one addressed, so I thought I would bring it up.

            How would WW2 have been affected by a Republican (Loyalist) victory over Franco's Nationalists ?

            So despite German aid in volunteers and material, the Republicans win. The Republicans were aided by the Soviet Union during the war, and would have strong ties to that nation after a victory.

            Might this affect Germany's invasion of Russia? Would Spain remain neutral as it did under Franco? Or might it be drawn into conflict with Germany, either of it's own will to support the allies or Soviets, or if Germany invades to remove a semi-socialist state from it's borders?



            Unfortunetly it's in Spanish. But red is Republican (funny how that works out) and blue is the Nationalists I take it.
            An interesting question Demon.

            Germany may have been tempted to keep going after France '40 and remove Gibralter as was discussed previously. Spain had important but not critical raw material deposits germany would want to secure.

            But the Bigger, and BIGGEST, impact might have been in North Africa. Germany might have gone after the Spanish islands in the North Atlantic and done so down the coast of West Africa (i.e. within air support range)

            Remove Franco from the big picture and the delicate 3 way negotiations between Hitler, Petain and France that failed to bring either power into the war on the Axis side in late 40 might have seen Hitler splitting Spanish possessions in Africa between Italy and France and causing France to become an Axis partner, albeit a junior one....

            There would be no British attack into italian east africa without consequence.... dominos fall from there.

            VM

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            • #7
              Spain not being controled by Franco opens up many different things that could happen.

              Posibility 1 Germany might invade right after taking France but it could leave them with too few troops to invade the Soviet Union. However a Germany in control of Spain and Gibralter creates a different situation in the Mediterrianian. Malta is likely going to be taken over by the Axis.

              Posibility 2 Spain remains neutral until Germany attacks Russia then joins the Allies.

              Posibility 3 The War is still going on when World War 2 starts. Franco's offensives in early 1939 stall as Russian "volunteers" arive in thousands forcing the fighting back into a stalemate.

              The three posibilties are quite different and all present very interesting senarios that could lead to many endings of the war.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Engineer 1888 View Post
                Spain not being controled by Franco opens up many different things that could happen.

                Posibility 1 Germany might invade right after taking France but it could leave them with too few troops to invade the Soviet Union. However a Germany in control of Spain and Gibralter creates a different situation in the Mediterrianian. Malta is likely going to be taken over by the Axis.
                Would Hitler delay Barbarossa then, to wait for his troops in Spain to get back?

                Also, how would a German occupied Spain have impacted a) the U-Boat war (U-boats and planes shut down the Med, and use Spain as base to impact transports further from England) and b) D-Day (Allies invade Spain, perhaps, or invade western coast of France to cut off the German soldiers in Spain).



                And how would a prematurely dead Franco impact Chevy Chases SNL career?

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                • #9
                  A few German divisions would have to stay in Spain after it had been invaded. The Germans would have decide what area gets fewer troops to hold Spain. Perhaps the divisions that went with Rommel to Africa would become part of the garrison. But it is likely that more than 3 divions would be needed in Spain so it is possible that Barbarossa could be delayed maybe never happen at all. It could end up with Germany being invaded by the Soviets.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Engineer 1888 View Post
                    A few German divisions would have to stay in Spain after it had been invaded. The Germans would have decide what area gets fewer troops to hold Spain. Perhaps the divisions that went with Rommel to Africa would become part of the garrison. But it is likely that more than 3 divions would be needed in Spain so it is possible that Barbarossa could be delayed maybe never happen at all. It could end up with Germany being invaded by the Soviets.
                    Well if the Republicans defeated the Nationalists, I bet there would still be a large number of pro-fascist Spaniards who are either still in Spain, or who fled to Germany/Italy after their defeat. I bet if Germany invaded Spain, they could raise a number of Spanish divisions to help the Germans, especially if Hitler gives the Spanish a semi-autonomous fascist government and doesn't treat the Spanish like he did the Dutch, French, or Belgians (never mind the Polish or Russians).

                    In such a case, Germany might come out ahead with more divisions in their control beyond the single 'Blue Legion' they got from Franco in real life. But I bet Hitler, even if he has to send more divisions to Spain, would still invade Russia eventually. He was pretty set on that idea from the begining.



                    And we all know how that turned out for him.

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                    • #11
                      But there would likely be purges of anyone at all connected with the fascist cause. The germans would likely get several divisions but would need to leave a few higher quality divisions to stiffen the Spanish forces who would likely not have many experienced troops as most of best fascist troops would be dead from combat or purges. The Germans might be able to launch Barbarossa but it could be delayed by several weeks depending on the situation in southeastern Europe.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
                        Would Hitler delay Barbarossa then, to wait for his troops in Spain to get back?

                        Also, how would a German occupied Spain have impacted a) the U-Boat war (U-boats and planes shut down the Med, and use Spain as base to impact transports further from England) and b) D-Day (Allies invade Spain, perhaps, or invade western coast of France to cut off the German soldiers in Spain).



                        And how would a prematurely dead Franco impact Chevy Chases SNL career?
                        Why would Barbarossa be delayed? With France falling in early summer 1940, how long would it have realistically taken Germany to keep going and overrun an even weaker Republican Spain?

                        The ultimate fall of Gibralter would have serious long term impacts for the war in North Africa as well. Malta would have become untenable due to supply issues, and that improves Axis supply throughout the theater enough to give Rommel a real chance of rolling up the British back through Cairo and into Palestine.

                        VM

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                        • #13
                          IMO a Republican win would have meant further conflicts, just like the end of WW2 brought Greece into civil war. There where to many groups and unholy alliances during the civil war (as in the resitence in Greece) to make anything work.

                          Since both france and the UK supported the nationalists the political climate in Europe would probably have changed, with even more focus aimed at the communist threats and away from the Nazi party and a strong germany.
                          "The secret of war lies in the communications" - Napoleon Bonaparte

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                          • #14
                            "But the Bigger, and BIGGEST, impact might have been in North Africa. Germany might have gone after the Spanish islands in the North Atlantic and done so down the coast of West Africa (i.e. within air support range)"

                            Something Allied leaders feared in 1941 & 1942 even without Spain in German hands. Had the Spanish Atlantic islands fallen into Axis hands the Brits would have been forced into amphibious operations imeadiatlly, rather than at their convienence. Leaving those islands as bases for the uboats and Luftwaffe would have been anathema to Britian. Blockading them imeadiatelly, then capturing them at the earliest opportunity would be likely.

                            Historically the Spanish resort to irregular warfare when their regular army is defeated. Spain vs Napoleon is the most well know example. A savage guerillia war was waged for several years vs the French with Spain becoming sinkhole for French soldiers. I see no reason to think a large portion of the Spanish population would not do the same again. Certainly the British would have instigated this.

                            The Spainish Nationalists had to brutally suppress the Republicans with a large army between 1937 & 1939. More than three divsions were retained in a standing army to keep order (there were no forigen enemys to repel in 1939 - 1940). So I stronglly suspect the Germans would find their occupation force rivalling that in France & the low countries in 1941. That would definitlly affect events elsewhere.

                            Germany would also lose Spain as a nuetral conduit for trade. The British blockade would extend and the resources brought in from the Americas in 1941 & 1942 would be lost or diverted to the less effcceint & reliable Turkish route.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                              "But the Bigger, and BIGGEST, impact might have been in North Africa. Germany might have gone after the Spanish islands in the North Atlantic and done so down the coast of West Africa (i.e. within air support range)"

                              Something Allied leaders feared in 1941 & 1942 even without Spain in German hands. Had the Spanish Atlantic islands fallen into Axis hands the Brits would have been forced into amphibious operations imeadiatlly, rather than at their convienence. Leaving those islands as bases for the uboats and Luftwaffe would have been anathema to Britian. Blockading them imeadiatelly, then capturing them at the earliest opportunity would be likely.

                              Historically the Spanish resort to irregular warfare when their regular army is defeated. Spain vs Napoleon is the most well know example. A savage guerillia war was waged for several years vs the French with Spain becoming sinkhole for French soldiers. I see no reason to think a large portion of the Spanish population would not do the same again. Certainly the British would have instigated this.

                              The Spainish Nationalists had to brutally suppress the Republicans with a large army between 1937 & 1939. More than three divsions were retained in a standing army to keep order (there were no forigen enemys to repel in 1939 - 1940). So I stronglly suspect the Germans would find their occupation force rivalling that in France & the low countries in 1941. That would definitlly affect events elsewhere.

                              Germany would also lose Spain as a nuetral conduit for trade. The British blockade would extend and the resources brought in from the Americas in 1941 & 1942 would be lost or diverted to the less effcceint & reliable Turkish route.

                              Just a small addition to your nice post: Was Franco in exile or killed beforehand? The Germans would NOT have had problems finding dedicated Fascists in Spain after a conquest of a "Republican State" -- and I really don't think Hitler would have let Franco be killed; instead the Condor legion would have flown him out. So either way -- with Franco more effective of the two -- Germany could have let the Spainards police themselves to a large extent -- maintaining secure garrisons throughout the country.

                              If Germany had marched down the West coast of North Africa -- Britain would have had a VERY hard time with amphib operations. Germany would have had air supremacy -- see similar examples of Norway and Crete. Britain might have taken the islands with heavy naval lost -- but as they were in air range (except for Azores {Portugal}) of NA -- could they even have kept them....

                              VM

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