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Madagascar 1940. Axis triple venture.

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  • Madagascar 1940. Axis triple venture.

    In the real war Germany was a land based strategic venture by & large. Landings on Azores & Iceland were discussed, but not pursued with much dilligence. They did however have an interest in the Indian ocean evidenced by their U-boat bases in Penang & one or 2 others,( Jakarta, Singapore?). & the sending of raiders & Pocket Battleship Admiral Scheer. & as well the blockade runners to & fro France & Japan.

    Control of Madagascar offers interesting advantages for particularly Japan & Germany. Big aircraft carrier in the Indian ocean for one, & safe ports for shipping etc for another.

    Italy had control of Somaliland until late 40 or early 41. & had Destroyers & Subs there.

    So the topic is about a triple coordinated landing on this island, it's possibility, it's feasiblilty, holdability & so on.

    Is it too early for Japanese participation? Germany would be on the move just after the fall of France & Norway & would have much better shipping situation with those ports in tow. Cargo ships & such could venture out much easier.

    But Germany had hands full with Bob, so to what degree their participation would & could be is another question to explore.

    Would the Japanese & Italian navies be able to send large enough force to put off the British? BoB would certainly tie down major hunk of British heavy units. Japanese subs had rather impressive range...

    "Japanese submarines had the longest ranges of any at the time — more than 10,000 miles (16,000km) in some cases."

    Some may think this unlikely, but the Japanese did communicate with Vichy French on the island.

    Lastly, would coordination between all 3 be too difficult to manage? This likely a major sticking point, control of Morrocco, ( had it been invaded), proved to be major administrative mess. Italians argued with Germans over who would get & control what.


    Hopefully this will be a gentlemenly chat will not degrade into personal flak that has gone down in past discussions.
    Last edited by Purple fang; 19 Apr 07, 19:15.

  • #2
    I think the Japanese had the range, but there wouldn't be that much reason for them to deploy a force capable of defending that island. There's no oil anywhere near Madagascar, so holding it would only seal off the Horn of Africa from being a shipping route for British and American supplies. I think I would have detailed this one to the Italians. If they could have avoided getting their fleet raped at Taranto they might have been able to project enough power to this region to make a fight of it.

    But in the end, Madagascar without The Middle East is worthless. Now if you had the Middle East and Gibraltar, Madagascar could form an outer defense against British incursions back into Arabia.
    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
      I think the Japanese had the range, but there wouldn't be that much reason for them to deploy a force capable of defending that island. There's no oil anywhere near Madagascar, so holding it would only seal off the Horn of Africa from being a shipping route for British and American supplies. I think I would have detailed this one to the Italians. If they could have avoided getting their fleet raped at Taranto they might have been able to project enough power to this region to make a fight of it.

      But in the end, Madagascar without The Middle East is worthless. Now if you had the Middle East and Gibraltar, Madagascar could form an outer defense against British incursions back into Arabia.
      Even if their fleet had been intact getting it out of the Med. Past the Royal Navy then around Africa while escorting whatever shipping would be needed to launch an invasion as well as hold the island after would have been problematic at best.
      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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      • #4
        Japan did gain control of French Indochina august/Sept 1940. That puts them a whole lot closer than from the home islands.

        & Japan also had interest in east coast of Africa, occupying Madagascar would make this much more feasible.


        Found this, it is circa 42, but is interesting nonetheless.

        "it was known they had their eyes on Diego Suarez, the third largest natural harbour in the world. Had they taken control there would have been no El Alamein as we could not have supported the 8th Army in N. Africa or the 14th Army in Burma... "



        On March 23 1942 No.5 Commando sailed from Glasgow in the Winchester Castle in one of the largest military convoys to leave Britain at that stage of the war. We totalled 365 men, part of a force which included the 29th Independent Brigade and the 13th Brigade. The convoy consisted of more than 50 Royal Navy Ships and on reaching the Indian Ocean the total force included 3 Battleships, 3 N Aircraft Carriers, frigates, destroyers and corvettes.

        We carried French Intelligence Officers on board and guessed our destination was a Vichy French administrated colony. Our briefing eventually explained the absolute necessity of stopping the Japanese from taking the Island of Madagascar... it was known they had their eyes on Diego Suarez, the third largest natural harbour in the world. Had they taken control there would have been no El Alamein as we could not have supported the 8th Army in N. Africa or the 14th Army in Burma... and S. Africa would have been under threat.

        www.combinedops.com/MADAGASCAR.htm
        Last edited by Purple fang; 20 Apr 07, 01:33.

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        • #5
          I think it would have overstretched Japan that much quicker. Now if they could avoid sneak attacking Pearl, it could turn out in their favor, especially if the Germans and Italians could capture the entrances into the Med and create interior lines for the entire Axis. But the Axis actually cooperating on anything is yet another what if.
          Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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          • #6
            Agree on coordination. Capturing suez an interesting jump off project from Madagascar. Avoiding Pearl would have been wise.

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            • #7
              Didn't Hitler want to send the Jews to Madagascar first, but then decided later on the 'Final Solution'?

              I heard that somewhere.

              DoD made it up.

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              • #8
                The Poles also considered this.


                The Commission
                In 1937, Poland sent a commission to Madagascar to determine the feasibility of forcing Jews to emigrate there. Members of the commission had very different conclusions. The leader of the commission, Major Mieczyslaw Lepecki, believed that it would be possible to settle 40,000 to 60,000 people in Madagascar. Two Jewish members of the commission didn't agree with this assessment. Leon Alter, the director of the Jewish Emigration Association (JEAS) in Warsaw, believed only 2,000 people could be settled there. Shlomo Dyk, an agricultural engineer from Tel Aviv, estimated even fewer.
                Even though the Polish government thought Lepecki's estimate was too high and even though the local population of Madagascar demonstrated against an influx of immigrants, Poland continued its discussions with France (Madagascar was a French colony) over this issue.

                It wasn't until 1938, a year after the Polish commission, that the Nazis began to suggest the Madagascar Plan.


                Nazi Preparations

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                • #9
                  Could I advise some caution on the 'Madagascan Jewish plan' as the story has been siezed upon and much manipulated as a piece of apologist propaganda by anti-semitic and neo-nazi groups in the intervening years. There's a nugget of truth there but it's to be approached very carefully.
                  Cheers,
                  abc

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                  • #10
                    I would agree with ABC on this. A softly softly approach is the best to take with this
                    "The Eastern front is like a house of cards. If the front is broken through at one point all the rest will collapse."- General Heinz Guderian


                    "Oakland Raiders: Committed to Excellence"

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                    • #11
                      I think the Japanese had the range, but there wouldn't be that much reason for them to deploy a force capable of defending that island. There's no oil anywhere near Madagascar, so holding it would only seal off the Horn of Africa from being a shipping route for British and American supplies. I think I would have detailed this one to the Italians. If they could have avoided getting their fleet raped at Taranto they might have been able to project enough power to this region to make a fight of it.
                      I agree to a point. Madagascar can only be interesting IF the US doesn't enter the war. Once that happens Japan has it's hands full in Central and South West Pacific.

                      Following some of PF earlier threads the Japanese would have to gain some control over waters to the west of Singapore and Australia. The question remains, What benefit would this give Japan, their aims were on control of Asian lands, not Africa.

                      HP
                      "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                      Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                      you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                      • #12
                        As stated above, Japan also had interest in Africa. & British would be doomed in Egypt with Madgascar in axis hands. Which gives Germans opportunity to run into northern Iran & grab the oil.

                        Japan did get to within 450 miles of Australia with the capture of Timor in Feb 42.

                        http://www.geocities.com/dutcheastin...mor_dutch.html

                        Dili, the capital of the Portuguese half, is 450 miles from Darwin, had an airfield a mile west of town and ship and seaplane anchorages.


                        www.defencejournal.com/2001/feb/ethnicity.htm

                        The Japanese intention in capturing Burma had three major objectives; the first was to secure their Western flank against a likely British future attack against Japanese held Malaya Indo China and East Indies, and to secure a base using which they could later dominate the Bay of Bengal.


                        The first strategic objective of the British was not to defend the Indian provinces of Assam or Bengal which the Japanese could have threatened via Burma, but the strategic port of Colombo by capturing which the Japanese navy could dominate the Indian Ocean.


                        Certainly Japan bit off more than it could chew, but there is no doubt that their interests were not limited to China/Manchuria & SE Asia. The Pacific & Indian ocean & even Africa were also on the list, as was Australia, or parts of it perhaps. Dunno exactly how high a priority Australia was to the Japanese.
                        Last edited by Purple fang; 20 Apr 07, 12:57.

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                        • #13
                          Of course what we see what happened in real world that many/most of the plans that the IJN made in regards to a defensive ring they forgot to tell the Americans. They attacked through the Central Pacific and did not follow Japanese preplanning. Aahh soooo sorry about that.

                          The question remains, what had Japan to gain by ventureing so far from it's bases, noted you use the date of 1940. Japan never forgot to enter the USN in to it's equation. With that any prolonged attack into the Indian Ocean could not be maintained

                          HP
                          Last edited by Half Pint John; 20 Apr 07, 17:14.
                          "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                          Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                          you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I dunno, Japan seemed to have an interest in controlling the Indian ocean. Ask them perhaps. Now Britain was the enemy of Japan, so perhaps they figured the British would have a hard time getting supplies to Burma if Madagascar was in their posession. Japan also wanted to defeat China & allied presence & material was a real wrench in the works for them.


                            "Japan never forgot to enter the USN in to it's equation."

                            We sort of covered that above.

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                            • #15
                              & if one looks at the attacks that Japan launched at British shipping at Madagascar, one can see their motivations pretty clear.

                              On another side alley, one might think German participation minimal on a Madagascar venture for the obvious reasons their surface fleet was small. True enough, on the subject of airpower, again one might think their input minimal, however they did have some longrange aircraft/seaboats etc. & what most miss is that a/c can easily be shipped by ship. Allies aften loaded bombers into cargo ships & sent em to Africa. Germans could easily do the same thing by loading 109's by crane, ( wings to be bolted on later), into cargo ships & wa la, the carrier of Madagascar becomes operational.

                              Now the above link does mention South Africa as being vulnerable if Madagascar falls, to really do the job right on the axis side, this would have to be considered. Yes I know, defense/logistics etc all have to be weighed in & fleshed out on that possibility.



                              http://www.sonic.net/~bstone/history/mozam.shtml

                              Japanese Submarines at Madagascar and the Mozambique Channel

                              Background

                              Although between December 1941 and January 1942 Axis negotiations set longitude 70 degrees east as the boundary between German and Japanese naval operations in the Indian Ocean, exceptions were to be allowed as circumstances warranted. On 14 March Admiral Raeder informed Hitler -- not altogether accurately -- that Japan planned to occupy Ceylon and then establish bases on Madagascar. For that latter island the Japanese would require approval from their German allies (for Madagascar lay on the German side of the boundary line) and from Vichy (who controlled and defended the colony). Hitler, seldom interested in naval affairs, was unenthusiastic and did not expect Vichy to permit Japan to establish bases on the island.

                              Despite Hitler's lack of interest there were others who took more notice of such strategic possibilities.

                              Churchill telegraphed to Roosevelt: "A Japanese air, submarine, and/or cruiser base at Diego Suarez [on the northern tip of Madagascar, halfway between Cape Town and Colombo] would paralyse our whole convoy route both to the Middle East and to the Far East...."

                              Field Marshal Smuts cabled Churchill that Madagascar is "...the key to the safety of the Indian Ocean" and feared that the Japanese might use bases on the island in an advance against the African mainland in the same manner that they had recently used bases in Indo-China in their advance against Burma, Malaya, Singapore, British Borneo, and the Netherlands East Indies.



                              The Mozambique Channel

                              Allied vessels rounding the Cape of Good Hope and heading northward along the eastern coast of Africa toward the Middle East passed through the Mozambique channel between Madagascar and the African mainland. By the summer of 1942 this shipping remained almost invariably without escort and without air cover, and it was to prove a happy hunting ground for Ishizaki's boats.

                              The two supply ships entered the fray by sinking the Elysia 370 miles ENE of Durban on 5 June. On the same date the subs went into action in the Mozambique channel and sank three Allied merchantmen. Two more were accounted for the following day and an additional five vessels went down in the next few days.

                              By 10 June, the local Allied naval commander ordered convoys and fast unescorted shipping to detour to the east of Madagascar to avoid the Mozambique channel. The only advice he could give to other shipping was to hug the shoreline.

                              Shortly thereafter the Japanese submarines sailed to rendezvous with their supply ships southeast of Madagascar for refueling and replenishing. By the end of the month they were back in the channel and had resumed operations against Allied shipping: one vessel sunk on each of the last three days of the month, and three on the first day of July 1942.

                              In mid-July the Japanese force, having damaged a British battleship and accounted for some 25 ships totaling over 120,000 tons, began withdrawing from African shores and returned to Penang in August. Admiral Ishizaki suffered no loss other than his midget sub at Diego Suarez.
                              Last edited by Purple fang; 21 Apr 07, 01:50.

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