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WW2- Malta falls, July 1942

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  • #31
    Originally Posted by piero1971
    "- and let's say that this leads to a rise of Nationalist Egypt, so that the Allies have to retreat to the Suez Canal line."

    Anwar Sadat mentions his involvement in the Nationalist movement in this period. He was a junior officer in the tiny Egyptian army. His description suggests the Nationalist movement was inacapable of advancing past the 'Lets organize something' stage. It took nearly a decade for the Egyptian nationalist movements to achive real strength.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
      Originally Posted by piero1971
      "- and let's say that this leads to a rise of Nationalist Egypt, so that the Allies have to retreat to the Suez Canal line."

      Anwar Sadat mentions his involvement in the Nationalist movement in this period. He was a junior officer in the tiny Egyptian army. His description suggests the Nationalist movement was inacapable of advancing past the 'Lets organize something' stage. It took nearly a decade for the Egyptian nationalist movements to achive real strength.
      That was without major German assistance. How fast would it have gone if the colonial rulers seem to be loosing?
      "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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      • #33
        That was without major German assistance. How fast would it have gone if the colonial rulers seem to be loosing?

        Good point-
        Also; Iraq had a pro-Nazi revolt in April of 1941, and the "Grand Mufti" of Jerusalem had just elevated himself to one of Hitler's flunkies.

        Now, what Arab Leader, of any kind, would have stuck his neck out for the Allied cause?
        I can't think of a single one.
        "Why is the Rum gone?"

        -Captain Jack

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
          That was without major German assistance. How fast would it have gone if the colonial rulers seem to be loosing?
          Judging from Sadats description not far or fast. The Egyptian army was small and trained for little more than riot control and palace security. No reserves and just a handfull of brigades scattered about so as to not be able to support each other. For significant assistance the Axis would first have to solve their own considerable supply problems.

          Reading back thru Sadats paragraph on this its not clear if he & his peers took no action because they were unable to organize any, or because they saw it as simple suicide.

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          • #35
            For significant assistance the Axis would first have to solve their own considerable supply problems.

            Well... not to get nit-picky here... but this thread started off with the premiss Malta had fallen and the Axis supply situation had therefore been resolved.
            "Why is the Rum gone?"

            -Captain Jack

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
              For significant assistance the Axis would first have to solve their own considerable supply problems.

              Well... not to get nit-picky here... but this thread started off with the premiss Malta had fallen and the Axis supply situation had therefore been resolved.
              Which we know would not have happened,...Malta or no Malta. Malta did not scupper Rommel's 1942 campaign,...advancing into Egypt did. As ha been pointed in other threads about the desert war,...Rommel did fine when he stayed close to his supply heads (the ports).

              The elastic band analogy fits best for both sides until the end of 1942. The further either side advanced from their supply bases the tighter became the elastic band. Once it had been stretched *so* far it was forced to recoil back to where it came,...or snap (as it did for the axis at 2nd Alamein).
              Last edited by The Purist; 22 Nov 07, 18:27.
              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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              • #37
                Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                For significant assistance the Axis would first have to solve their own considerable supply problems.

                Well... not to get nit-picky here... but this thread started off with the premiss Malta had fallen and the Axis supply situation had therefore been resolved.
                Malta falling DOES NOT solve the axis supply problems at all. This has been addressed many many times. Its one of those myths that just won't die.

                It has been pointed out the the majority of the losses inflicted on axis logistics were caused by allied forces based in Alexandria and/or Gibraltar. That doesn't change if the Axis take Malta. Remember that the air offensive against Malta had neutralized it for much of 1942.

                Second, even if the supplies do get across the med safely the axis have neither the port capacity nor the trucks required to move the supplies to the combat units that need them. See chapter 5 of Martin Van Creveld's Supplying War.

                Due to the distances involved in North Africa, the number of trucks required is huge. It has been pointed out that the Axis could provide the trucks if they are willing to immobilize an army group in Russia. It has also been pointed out that would mean a massive defeat for that army group.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                  Due to the distances involved in North Africa, the number of trucks required is huge. It has been pointed out that the Axis could provide the trucks if they are willing to immobilize an army group in Russia. It has also been pointed out that would mean a massive defeat for that army group.
                  This is the bottom line of the Axis supply problem. Even if Tripoli is adaquate (& some argue it was) Benghazi is not & neither are Benghazi & Tobruk together. The bulk of the Axis supply must travel by truck all the way to Egypt from the short railroad running east from Tripoli. No matter haow one cuts it there was just not enough automotive transport available to the Axis for carrying the offensive into Egypt.

                  If Malta falls in July 1942 then a few more Italian ships arrive in Lybian ports. More Axis supplys pile up at the end of the rail line, or at the ports. But no more than before can move to the front. There are just not enough trucks.

                  Other effects of Maltas fall: Britian loses a radio signal intercept station and its intel operations are degraded slightly. There are no reconissance and air/naval interdiction operations from Malta for the next twelve months, until the fall of Tunisia makes Malta irrelevant. The Axis score a big propaganda victory. Hitler & Mussolini are encouraged to be overconfident and to overreach in other operations. These are all problems, but not major stratigic setbacks for the Allies.

                  Maltas fall might percipitate a accelration of perperation for invading French North Africa. It might also lead to further focus on the Med theatre with a cut back of operation Bolero and perperation for the attack into France. In other words if the conquest of Malta leads to the Allies concentrating on the Med and pouring resources into that theatre faster then it actually backfires on the Axis.

                  In the long run I doubt loing Malta would even delay the attack into Sicilly a week.

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