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Britain invades Morrocco & Tunisia 41

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  • Britain invades Morrocco & Tunisia 41

    Possible? Not enough men & materials? If possible, what effect on Axis in north Africa would it have?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Purple fang View Post
    Possible? Not enough men & materials? If possible, what effect on Axis in north Africa would it have?
    I say impossible.

    The same problems that forced the combined Allies to undertake Torch when they did apply even more forcefully in 1941.

    Not enough ships, landing craft, trucks, or troops plagued the invasion planners in 1942. Concerns over the reactin of the Vichy French defenders and whether the Spanish would maintain their neutrality also applied. The opinions of many at the time was that Franco might have gambled against the British alone for a shot at taking Gibraltar, but he wasn't willing or able to fight the Americans and British together.
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Purple fang View Post
      Possible? Not enough men & materials? If possible, what effect on Axis in north Africa would it have?
      Not possible. The British did not have the ability to launch a large scale invasion by sea in 1941. An attack from Libya was also out of the question as the forces used for Compass were exhausted and overstretched - and at the end of a long supply train. Add to that the Greek affair and, no, not possible.

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      • #4
        They did make landings in Norway 1940. Gibralter much closer to Morocco than Norway is to England.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Purple fang View Post
          They did make landings in Norway 1940. Gibralter much closer to Morocco than Norway is to England.
          But the supplies and troops would have to be shipped directly from Britain as Gibralter is far too small to accomodate a force the size needed to successfully invade Morrocco

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Purple fang View Post
            They did make landings in Norway 1940. Gibralter much closer to Morocco than Norway is to England.
            These landings were more of a reinforcing force than an actual invasion. The British would have had a difficult time landing and maintaining the force in Tunisia.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Purple fang View Post
              They did make landings in Norway 1940. Gibralter much closer to Morocco than Norway is to England.
              Apples and oranges.

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              • #8
                Yes I suppose ships & men & supplies being compared to ships & men & supplies would be apples & oranges.

                & the fact that they did landings at Norway & Greece at of before the timeframe in question proves it was impossible at Morocco. It's all clear now. French resistance minimal, yes looks most dangerous.

                The bennies of such a move are intriguing & pretty obvious. More Atlantic bases for 1, & perhaps even more important is the control of the southwest med coastline. It means the convoys to Malta now have some aircover. they can hug the south coastline all the way to Tunisia & have air support along the way. & it would also create a sandwich for Rommel.

                & as well it kills any notions Mussolini & Adolph had about controlling the area & moving Italian heavies into Atlantic.

                Perhaps Egypt & SE Asia kept the Brits occupied shipwise & supplywise, but I'd have to have more data before blankly swallowing that.
                Last edited by Purple fang; 06 Jan 08, 15:03.

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                • #9
                  Here we go again.

                  Please explain for those of us not present in your brain how Morocco and Norway are the same type of operation.

                  You need more data, so go get it and show us how invading Morocco wouldn't be any different than Norway, instead of another round of your drivel.

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                  • #10
                    The Brit & French entry into Norway was done through friendly ports. The Norwegians were not shooting back. As far as I know the Allies did not attack any of the German held ports from the sea. Although I seem to recall one was attacked overland.

                    However the Allies did intend to make a forcible entry into Norway, assuming the Norwegians did not grant permission first. The diplomats were hard at work trying for permission, but the British were reluctant to wait too long. Exactly how the British or French intended to disembark and take control of the ports is unknown to me. The Romans, and Sumerians before them, had been doing forcible landings without modern LST and LCI, so there must have been a way.

                    The Germans certainly managed to sieze several Norwegian ports without a vast armada of ships and specialized landing craft. And, please dont tell me they captured the ports with parachute ops. They didnt. Some Norwegian airfields were captured by airlanding units. Which then sat there and waited for the seabourne forces to relieve them.

                    To progress this discussion in a ratuional manner a close look at the other Allied and Axis amphibious ops from 1940 to Torch might be helpfull.

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                    • #11
                      The problem is fully equipped troops and logistics. Both are lacking in 1941.

                      -Norway and Greece are operation to support a freindly force. The British could just sail up to the docks and unload. Sailing into unfreindly harbours that know you are coming is another story (Oslo is a prime example).

                      -Britain is still under threat of invasion in the first half of 1941 so they could not spare any of the best equipped divisions for French North Africa. Likewise the RAF must be ready for the renewal of the air war once good flying weather returns.

                      -Many divisions in England were fine for defense but not at all suited for mobile operations.

                      -British armoured units are not yet equipped with tanks that can take the field. The A13 Mk II has completed its production run and the bulk of these are with the WDF in Egypt and eastern Libya. The A13 Mk III (Covenanter) was never suitable for the desert and the A15 (Crusader) is only beginning to be received by units in Africa in June. British armour doctrine was still too weak.

                      -Major elements of the RN are still required to watch Bismarck, Scharn., Gneis., the PBBs and the CAs.

                      -The French troops in Africa number about 10 divisions and would most certainly have fought back. Even the older 1940 R35, D1 and D2 tanks are still capable of fighting all comers. German reinforcement would most certainly have been sent, even a corps would have been more than enough.

                      -French resistance would have meant the bulk of the French fleet would have fallen under axis control, especially after the events of the previous year. (except by some miracle). The British would have lost control of the western Mediterranean in short order and, if Spain joins in as well, Gibraltar soon after.

                      -shipping is still too scarce. Considering the potential involvement of the French and Italian navies, maintain contol of the waters around the landings is problematic at best. The Romans may have been able to land by shallow draft trireme and then live off the land or from cattle herds brought along,.. logistics in modern armies is a bit more complex.

                      That's just off the top of my head.
                      Last edited by The Purist; 06 Jan 08, 20:25.
                      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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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg
                        ...However the Allies did intend to make a forcible entry into Norway, assuming the Norwegians did not grant permission first. The diplomats were hard at work trying for permission, but the British were reluctant to wait too long. Exactly how the British or French intended to disembark and take control of the ports is unknown to me. The Romans, and Sumerians before them, had been doing forcible landings without modern LST and LCI, so there must have been a way.
                        The British and French were "planning" on no resistance.

                        Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg
                        ...The Germans certainly managed to sieze several Norwegian ports without a vast armada of ships and specialized landing craft. And, please dont tell me they captured the ports with parachute ops. They didnt. Some Norwegian airfields were captured by airlanding units. Which then sat there and waited for the seabourne forces to relieve them.
                        The German invasion columns blew away the few coast patrol vessels before the Norwegians knew they were at war and the transports and destroyers then docked and offloaded the troops. There was no opposition because there was no warning given and only the odd policeman present.

                        Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg
                        ...To progress this discussion in a ratuional manner a close look at the other Allied and Axis amphibious ops from 1940 to Torch might be helpfull.
                        There were none. Well,...there were a few commando raids on French and Norwegian ports and islands but nothing substantive. One of the largest was the Vaagso raid which was a complete success but again,...that was a raid by less than a battalion.

                        The Free French landings at Dakar were cancelled when the French military units there sided with Vichy. As the landing would now be opposed it was scrubbed in light of the strengty of the opposition and the lack of assets.



                        No troops, no shipping, no air support,....no point.
                        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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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                          The British and French were "planning" on no resistance.

                          The German invasion columns blew away the few coast patrol vessels before the Norwegians knew they were at war and the transports and destroyers then docked and offloaded the troops. There was no opposition because there was no warning given and only the odd policeman present.
                          Well the crusier Blucher was sunk. But you have made my point, thank you. Suprise, planning, and working with the assets at hand did it for the Germans.



                          Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                          There were none. Well,...there were a few commando raids on French and Norwegian ports and islands but nothing substantive. One of the largest was the Vaagso raid which was a complete success but again,...that was a raid by less than a battalion.

                          The Free French landings at Dakar were cancelled when the French military units there sided with Vichy. As the landing would now be opposed it was scrubbed in light of the strengty of the opposition and the lack of assets.

                          No troops, no shipping, no air support,....no point.
                          That period also covers Japanese amphibious operations in Asia and the Pacific. Closer to home there were the Axis operations around Greece and Crete, Soviet ops vs Finland. I was not confining my question to British operations.

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                          • #14
                            Japan made large scale use of the Daihatsu and Shohatsu (sp?), two landing craft based of motor launches and capable of carrying about a platoon (iirc). I don't think they had ramps that dropped but were flat-bottomed and ran up on the beaches. These were used in the Phillipines, Malaya, Java and elsewhere.

                            I am not aware of any amphibious assaults in Greece but the German attempt to send in infantry to Crete was shot to pieces by the the RN. Some troops did land later in ports captured by the paras so here again it would be unopposed.
                            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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                            • #15
                              The Marine invasion of Guadalcanal wasn't exactly noted for it's fine example of "How-To".

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