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WW2- Malta falls, July 1942

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  • WW2- Malta falls, July 1942

    I like to use little-known true facts, a tweak them just enough to tip the balance.
    In 1942, the Oil Tanker "Ohio" just barely made it to Matla, it collapsed at the dock in two different sections. The fuel was salvaged, but only just...

    Why is this critical? Because Malta was one of the most densly populated places in the Med., and the people needed to cook the millet, shellfish and so on to make it edible. Starvation was always the biggest threat to Malta, and after 2 years of constant attack, they had no reserves left.

    Imagine, no interfearence with Rommel's supply lines just as El Alamien was starting. Panzer Armie Africa breaks through to Cairo, closes the Suez, and threatens Palestine and the Saudi Oil fields. Maybe Turkey would join the Axis while there was still something to gain, and the Soviets would have to cancelle thier counter-offensive at Stalingrad to send Amries south to the new Southern front, while clever propaganda and success in the field causes muslims all over the world to rise in support of fascism.

    Did we really come that close... what say you?

  • #2
    Things, What IF's, such as this have come and gone but are usually fun.

    1. Did the Germans have enough people or strong enough Navy?

    imo NO

    DAK was just Corp strength.

    2. IF the USSR didn't have the German Forces facing them in Russia why would they not attack west instead of southwest. Berlin by Christmas?????

    3. Did the Germans have a strong enough AF? Bomber Command and the 8th USAAF where just starting to ramp up their attacks. Oil fields do not mean gasoline. Would Germany have had the refining resource to use this oil?

    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      When the Germans studied the situation in Africa before they dispatched rommel and German forces, they concluded that they would need 4 divisions to be successful. Even if they took Malta, getting enough supplies to DAK through limited port capacity was a problem. Taking Alexandrai would help, but then the Germans still have a long way to go to reach USSR, and no good logistics set-up to do it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by grognard View Post
        ... but then the Germans still have a long way to go to reach USSR, and no good logistics set-up to do it.
        It took the British & the US over a year to establish modern roads & other infrastructure through Persia suffcient to keep a armys worth of supply (Two corps) moving north to the USSR. People keep susposing Rommel could do the same with some gas tins & ammo crates lashed to the back of a Pz III. A look at the map shows how much farther this is from Alexandria or any other Medterrainian port.

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh, I was not thinking of Rommel getting to the Caucasus in 1942, not by a long shot.
          However, would German occupation of the Suez have tipped Turkey into the Axis camp? Could Turkish troops have cut the persian supply lines?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
            Oh, I was not thinking of Rommel getting to the Caucasus in 1942, not by a long shot.
            However, would German occupation of the Suez have tipped Turkey into the Axis camp? Could Turkish troops have cut the persian supply lines?
            I've heard a lot of claims. But never have seen any solid information on the ability of the Turkish army to supply itself in that direction, or what the British had to defend the area with. Most folks dont even know if there were any paved roads or railroads from Turkey to Persia. Often when the question comes up someone posts some numbers showing how little supply passed over the Persian route in 1941/42, how over the course of the war the majority of the Brit/US supply to the USSR went via the Pacific port and the trans Siberian railroad. This has been posted on ACG at least once.

            Historically armys usually die in the mountains at the jucture of modern Turkey, Iran, & Armenia. The more common route is to march further south into the Kurdish highlands or the Mesopotamian plain which routes a army through the less intimidating mountains along the Iraqi Persian frontier.

            Perhaps with the African campaign at a convient stopping point enough Italian cargo ships would have been available to supply a Axis army through Batum & any other eastern Black Sea ports?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
              I've heard a lot of claims. But never have seen any solid information on the ability of the Turkish army to supply itself in that direction, or what the British had to defend the area with. Most folks dont even know if there were any paved roads or railroads from Turkey to Persia. Often when the question comes up someone posts some numbers showing how little supply passed over the Persian route in 1941/42, how over the course of the war the majority of the Brit/US supply to the USSR went via the Pacific port and the trans Siberian railroad. This has been posted on ACG at least once.

              Historically armys usually die in the mountains at the jucture of modern Turkey, Iran, & Armenia. The more common route is to march further south into the Kurdish highlands or the Mesopotamian plain which routes a army through the less intimidating mountains along the Iraqi Persian frontier.

              Perhaps with the African campaign at a convient stopping point enough Italian cargo ships would have been available to supply a Axis army through Batum & any other eastern Black Sea ports?

              There was a railroad line running from Istanbul to Baghdad, built by Germans(started) prior to WWI. IIRC it was not opened until 1929. When built the Germans insured that it was built outside the range of any RN surface forces of the time. UK considered this a threat to their trade in the Persian Gulf
              "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


              • #8
                The Fall of Malta would have left the RN with only two magor bases in teh Med; Gibraltar and Alexandria. The later could have been over-run by Rommel, leaving only distant Gibrlatar.
                Cyprus could have been left to wither on the vine... because how many ships do yo really think the RN would have left in the Med with the Suez in danger?

                Italy might even send expeditions south along the Nile towards Etheopia, and that would have to be countered with a British force.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Italy might even send expeditions south along the Nile towards Ethiopia, and that would have to be countered with a British force
                  .

                  Really? Why? The Nile, does it even flow into Ethiopia and IF Egypt had fallen to the Axis why would the British be overly concerned about an Italian advance south, away from the major points of interest?

                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Brits had already kicked Italy out of Ethiopia before1942, so the italians would not have gone back.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Why not?
                      We went back to the Phillipeans.

                      If the OKW decided not to go past the Sinai for a while, where else would you send Trieste, or even Ariete?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The loss of Malta would have been less of a blow to the allies than is often considered.
                        A couple of times during the North African campaign Malta was effectively neutralised, and the RAF bombers and naval units normally based there sent to Egypt or Palestine.
                        The real major problem for the Axis forces was not the losses suffered in transport (10%), but the length of the logistical tail,and the fall of Malta wouldn't have helped that, as the ports further up the coast were too small to make a difference, and they were well within the range of the RN base at Alexandria and RAF airfields in Egypt.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                          Why not?
                          We went back to the Phillipeans.

                          If the OKW decided not to go past the Sinai for a while, where else would you send Trieste, or even Ariete?
                          The road up the Nile led to _________________.

                          The road through the Phillipeans(SP) led to__________________.

                          where else would you send Trieste, or even Ariete?
                          Back to Egypt or other points west to combat Operation To rch
                          "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
                            Read the chapter in North Africa in Supplying War by Martin van Creveld.

                            http://books.google.ca/books?id=Pz1K...xtnvP4PcNExNog

                            That decisively rebuts any and all fantasies of the Axis ever taking Egypt.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              About Torch-
                              Given Rommel in Cairo, would Torch still have happened?

                              Would American divisions be diverted to Arabia's defence?

                              Would Marshall insist on his original plan; to invade France in 1943?

                              Comment

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