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  • spain joined the axis

    !939, spain joins the axis and there first step is to take gibralter, what happens
    Sealion would have failed..............runs,

  • #2
    Taking Gibraltar would not be that easy. It unlike Singapore really was a fortress.

    FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

    Comment


    • #3
      Operation Felix planned for November 1940

      http://www.gibnet.com/texts/hitler.htm

      Section II:
      a) Directed by observation near Algeciras, Luftwaffe units at a favorable moment will conduct an aerial attack from French soil against the units of the English fleet lying in the harbor of Gibraltar and after the attack they will land on Spanish airports.
      b) Shortly thereafter the units designated for commitment in Spain will cross the Franco-Spanish border by land or by air.
      Section III:
      a) The attack for the seizure of Gibraltar is to be by German troops.
      b) Troops are to be assembled to march into Portugal in case the English should gain a foothold there. The units designated for this will march into Spain immediately after the forces designated for Gibraltar.
      Section IV:
      Support of the Spaniards in closing the Strait after seizure of the Rock, if necessary, from the Spanish-Moroccan side as well.
      The following will apply regarding the strength of the units to be committed for Operation Felix:
      Army:
      The units designated for Gibraltar must be strong enough to take the Rock even without Spanish help. Along with this a smaller group must be available to support the Spaniards in the unlikely event of an English attempt at a landing on another part of the coast.
      For the possible march into Portugal mobile units are mainly to be designated.
      Luftwaffe:
      For the aerial attack on the harbor of Gibraltar forces are to be designated which will guarantee abundant success.
      For the subsequent operations against naval objectives and for support of the attack on tlie Rock mainly dive bomber units are to be transferred to Spain.
      Sufficient anti-aircraft artillery is to be allocated to the army units including its use against ground targets.
      Navy:
      U-boats are to be provided for combating the English Gibraltar squadron, and particularly in its evacuation of the harbor which is to be expected after the aerial attack.
      For support of the Spaniards in closing the Strait the transfer of individual coastal batteries is to be prepared in cooperation with the Army.
      Italian participation is not envisaged.
      The Atlantic islands (particularly the Canaries and the Cape Verde Islands) will, as a result of the Gibraltar operation, gain increased importance for the English conduct of the war at sea as well as for our own naval operations. The Commanders in Chief of the Navy and of the Luftwaffe are to study how the Spanish defense of the Canaries can be supported and how the Cape Verde Islands can be occupied.
      I likewise request examination of the question of occupation of Madeira and of the Azores as well as of the question of the advantages and disadvantages which would ensue for the naval and for the aerial conduct of the war.
      The results of this examination are to be presented to me as soon as possible.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PatBC View Post
        Taking Gibraltar would not be that easy. It unlike Singapore really was a fortress.
        Trying to find out what the defenses were at Gibraltar in late 1940.

        AA Defenses seem to have been rather weak in time for Operation Felix

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/s...a2683073.shtml

        The anti-aircraft defences of Gibraltar were slowly built up during the early years of the war. In June 1940 there were twenty 3.7-inch guns, four 3-inch guns, ten 40-mm Bofors and two Pom-poms, plus thirteen searchlights. By March the following year this had all been doubled.
        Sounds like the primary defenses at Gibraltar at the time consisted of Force H
        The Royal Navy and the Mediterranean: November 1940-December 1941 - Google Books Result

        Battlecruiser Renown
        Battleship Barham
        A/C Ark Royal
        Cruiser Sheffield
        14 Destroyers
        10 Armed boarding vessels
        Some anti-submarine trawlers

        Anyone have any information on land defenses at Gibraltar in time for Operation Felix?

        Comment


        • #5
          Gibraltar?

          Originally posted by Longshanks View Post
          !939, spain joins the axis and there first step is to take gibralter, what happens
          Under what conditions does Franco join? If he's got Wehrmacht support (Artillery, Tac Air/Air Superority, a couple of Batallions of Assault Engineers), then Gibraltar is gone...

          And before somebody comes back with a blah, blah, fields of fire, blah, minefields, blah...yes, I've examined the situation. It would be nasty getting through the first mile of the fortified zone but once they're through, it's game over for the UK.

          The "Cauldillo" on his own?...not a chance.

          Far more important than the prestige of kicking Churchill out of Gibraltar is the pressure that can now be brought to bear upon Portugal with regard to her supplies of Wolfram ore (Tungsten). Securing this resource has the potential to dramatically alter the course of events. With an unimpeded supply of tungsten comes an unrestricted supply of the high-tech AT ammunition; this was always a problem. Tunngsten is also the secret to curing the problems with the compressor blades in the first generation axial-flow turbojets...

          Disregarding this one benefit, what does Hitler offer up to make the deal?

          Do you understand the economic constraints which Spain was operating under in the year 1939?

          While it all sounds like wine and roses...would it happen?

          Cheers, Ron
          48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
          __________________________________________________ __________________

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by iron View Post
            Disregarding this one benefit, what does Hitler offer up to make the deal?

            Do you understand the economic constraints which Spain was operating under in the year 1939?

            While it all sounds like wine and roses...would it happen?

            Cheers, Ron
            Good point...other than Gibraltar....not much could Hitler offer. French territory in North Africa? Not without angering the Vichy French. Accession of Portugal and unity of the Iberian peninsula? That would be about it I think...

            Spanish accession to the Axis would very likely lead to the British takeover of the Azores and possibly an invasion of Portugal. The British would have to replace Gibraltar somehow as a naval base somehow....

            Agree...with German military support, Gibraltar would not last long. Luftwaffe would drive Force H away pretty quickly, leaving the fortress cut off. But after this....what benefit does Spain provide except more coastline for the Germans to help defend...Portugal, however, would give the Germans another Atlantic base with Lisbon.

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            • #7
              31 miles of tunnels existed at the end of WW2 no idea how many at start.
              FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by PatBC View Post
                31 miles of tunnels existed at the end of WW2 no idea how many at start.
                You're thinking "little war" here Pat; if Franco declared alliegence and Hitler came on board? Gib had a formidible defense network, it's been gone over from stem to stern on many of these discussion boards. Heavy artillery surpression followed by a "creeping barage" would be required if the flat land defenses were to be overcome. It would not be pretty...but it would be done. Like I previously stated, probably two Batallions of highly motivated (i.e. full of "pervitan") assault troops would be sufficient to win the day.
                If "pervitan" makes no sense to you, google that word and "wehrmacht" together...A whole different side of the German soldier here...

                Cheers, Ron
                48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
                __________________________________________________ __________________

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by iron View Post
                  You're thinking "little war" here Pat; if Franco declared allegience and Hitler came on board? Gib had a formidable defense network, it's been gone over from stem to stern on many of these discussion boards. Heavy artillery suppression followed by a "creeping barrage" would be required if the flat land defenses were to be overcome. It would not be pretty...but it would be done. Like I previously stated, probably two Battalions of highly motivated (i.e. full of "pervitan") assault troops would be sufficient to win the day.
                  If "pervitan" makes no sense to you, google that word and "wehrmacht" together...A whole different side of the German soldier here...

                  Cheers, Ron
                  Pervitan...huh...pervitan and wehrmacht don't show up together on google. No matter..I don't think the Germans would have required doped up soldiers to take Gibraltar. A small garrison cut off from supplies would eventually succumb to siege. May be a tougher nut than the Germans may have thought with Operation Felix, but the long term prognosis would still be negative. Do the British attempt re-supply with Force H? Major risks involved with a large complement of German bombers and dive-bombers using nearby Spanish airfields. Utltimately, I think the British would not make the attempt and focus instead on Azores and Lisbon and defending Malta.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I know spain was not exactly a military power but given the help franco recieved from the germans in the civil war and such etc.

                    I know spains military would not be good for too much, but i dare say with effort, the could take gibralter, and perhaps offer the german ships and planes a temporary home in spanish ports and airfeilds.
                    Given the effect it would have on entry to the med etc
                    Sealion would have failed..............runs,

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      To me it would depend on when the attack was made. There was already man made tunnels before world war two.

                      The Great Siege Tunnels were hollowed out during the longest siege of Gibraltar in history, lasting from 1779 to 1783.
                      http://www.gibraltarinfo.gi/gibralta...e-tunnels.aspx

                      In addition there is 150 natural caves including the St. Michaels cave 700 feet deep.

                      An attack from the land side is overlooked by defender atop the 411 meter tall cliff face. Monte Cassino anybody?

                      By 1942 there were over 30,000 British soldiers, sailors, and airmen on the Rock.
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_of_Gibraltar

                      Not exactly a small garrison by 1942. What was the size earlier in the war?

                      As to a siege, I think resupply by sea including submarines would be possible and extremely difficult for german or spanish to prevent.

                      Given enough resources it could fall sure but not easy.
                      FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PatBC View Post
                        To me it would depend on when the attack was made. There was already man made tunnels before world war two. ...

                        Quote:
                        By 1942 there were over 30,000 British soldiers, sailors, and airmen on the Rock.
                        Not exactly a small garrison by 1942. What was the size earlier in the war?

                        As to a siege, I think resupply by sea including submarines would be possible and extremely difficult for german or spanish to prevent.

                        Given enough resources it could fall sure but not easy.
                        I think Longshanks timeline was that Spain joins in 1939. A little too far-fetched for my tastes. Summer of 1940 sounds a little more plausible, as I think Franco would have been too wily to join the axis until he saw the outcome of the battle of France. That given, we should maybe work with a timeline of a German-Spanish attack on Gibraltar in late 1940 as per Operation Felix.

                        Still have not found any information on the complement of Gibraltar's defenses in 1940 compared to 1942. Perhaps a comparison of Malta's land forces in 1940 may provide a template approximation for how men may have been at Gibraltar in 1940. This site lists land defenses at Malta in June 1940 at 4,000 men with a limited amount of supplies.

                        http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Siege-of-Malta-(1940)

                        Perhaps less than that at Gibraltar at the time makes sense.
                        Last edited by Skoblin; 10 Aug 08, 11:10.

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                        • #13
                          Gibraltar?

                          Originally posted by skoblin View Post
                          Pervitan...huh...pervitan
                          My bad...I broke cardinal rule #1...never post on the internet when one is "in one's cups"...

                          I was sure that was the "grey" name for the amphetamines they gave their guys...obviously not.


                          Longshanks said:
                          I know spain was not exactly a military power but given the help franco recieved from the germans in the civil war and such etc.

                          I know spains military would not be good for too much, but i dare say with effort, the could take gibralter, and perhaps offer the german ships and planes a temporary home in spanish ports and airfeilds.
                          Given the effect it would have on entry to the med etc
                          Agreed, it would definately give the UK a good "tweak on the nose"; they would not be amused...

                          As PatBC mentioned, the defenses at Gibraltar were formidible; defeating them would require commando type operations against the command and control network of the interlocking artillery, mortar and HMG positions (and the key positions themselves), followed by a well coordinated combined arms assault with highly trained soldiers (artillery/demolitions/assault infantry tactics). The were only two armies with the means and training to carrying out such an operation in 1939 , the other one will be defending at Gibraltar. Uncoordinated frontal assault by massed infantry with artillery support (which is how Franco's troops would likely approach the situation) will be a bloodbath of epic proportions. Surpressive bombardment will not work against the fortified emplacements and counterbattery tactics have been practiced; the fields of fire are all mapped out...
                          ...Ouch!!

                          I'm sure this whole Gibraltar thing has likely been covered here in the past...it's one of the more popular "what-if's"...

                          Cheers, Ron
                          48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
                          __________________________________________________ __________________

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Malta had limited supplies because of the large civilian population. That was not an issue in Gibraltar because they were all evacuated by June 1940. Malta in peacetime was a very small British base. Gibraltar was always more important. It was the transit point not only for the Med but also important for the Atlantic and to and from the British isles. Royal navy ships sailing to India, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean would go by the Rock.
                            FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

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                            • #15
                              skoblin, i can concede that point, after the fall of france would seem a better time
                              Sealion would have failed..............runs,

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