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spain joined the axis

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  • #16
    If Spain joined the Axis in 1939, is it possible that France would've been less eager for war with Germany, seeing as how the French would've faced a war on two fronts (not that it would matter, I'm just saying that maybe France... wouldn't 'notice' the German invasion of Poland?).


    If Germany and Britain were already at war when Spain decided to join with the Axis, then Gibraltar would fall, but the only effect on the war I see is that Germany would stretch their forces even further. Besides, if and when Gibraltar falls, wouldn't Germany just move most of their forces from Spain to invade the U.S.S.R, thus leaving it open to Anglo-American invasion later on in the war?

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    • #17
      1. There is often the assumption that the loss of Gibraltar is catastrophic for the British. True they do lose a naval base, but the Azores, Canaries, ect.. are adaquate subsitutes for operations in the Atlantic. Losing Gibraltar would not "cut" Britians route to Suez. That occured when Italy entered the war. The Italian navy and airforces made it impractical for Britian to send cargo via the Gibraltar route after June 1940. They thought to force the issue and the fate of the Pedestal Convoy is as good a example as any of what aircraft and speed boats can do vs a large convoy, even with aircraft carriers and battleships escourting. So from June 1940 to August 1943 virtually all British ships to the East went by the long South African route. By using a combination of mines, aircraft, torpedo boats and submarines the Axis can close the straits to British ships. This prevents British naval sorties into the Western Med, but is not stratigically or economically catastrophic.

      2. Economically this is a problem for Germany. First off Spain served Germany as critcal nuetral conduit for raw materiasl from outside Europe. As the war spun out Germany first lost Scadanavia & then quickly Italy as a route for stratigic materials from South America and Asia. A year later the USSR was shut out as a route or source for many necessary imports. Spain remained as a route until British/ US pressure restricted it in late 1943. If Spain becomes a German ally in 1940 imports via that route are closed down imeadiately. Second, Spain itself was dependant on imports. Germany could not make up for the items Spain would not longer have acess to. This was the source of Francos 'To High a Price' for becoming a German ally. Franco unlike Hitler seems to have had a understanding of basic economics and saw what would be needed were Britian to extend a complete blockade to Spain.

      3. Now look at how much more shore line there is to defend. Germany was hard pressed to cover everything north of the Franco Spainish border. Adding another 1000 kilometers of Atlantic coast and ports to the problem does Germany no good. True Spain had a army, badly armed, with little transport, poor communications, trained for trench warfare, and led by officers choosen for loyalty to the government rather than military skill. Germany already had difficulty arming and supplying the men it had. Adding another half million Spainards & rifles does not seem to help much.

      My bet is sometime in 1942 or early 1943 the Allies land and sieze several Atlantic ports. The Portuguse would regard them hopefully, as would the Basque and perhaps the Catalonians. The OSS would find other hopefulls amoung the remnants of the Republican supporters, and anyone else who hated the Nationalists. A Second Front in Spain accomplishes much of what was hoped for from the Italian campaign and requires Germany to either commit more resources to fighting in Spain or abandoning it.

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      • #18
        OK we lose Gibralter, the Axis get bases in the Canary Islands. The Germans set up a FOB there for Uboats threatening the Panama UK, SA/Australia UK Convoys and the SA UK convoys . In the Med the Germans now have the Spanish ports to use. And if the alliance doesn't occur until after the fall of France then the French ports are added and the Luftwaffe has bases in both Spaanis & French Morocco. Malta is cut off, unless resupply runs fron Alexandria. This would make eeverything just that much more difficult.

        "To all who serve , have or will serve , Thank You"

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
          .
          My bet is sometime in 1942 or early 1943 the Allies land and sieze several Atlantic ports. The Portuguse would regard them hopefully, as would the Basque and perhaps the Catalonians. The OSS would find other hopefulls amoung the remnants of the Republican supporters, and anyone else who hated the Nationalists. A Second Front in Spain accomplishes much of what was hoped for from the Italian campaign and requires Germany to either commit more resources to fighting in Spain or abandoning it.
          Peninsular War Mark II

          Which British general fancies himself as Arthur Wellesley?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by strathnaver View Post
            OK we lose Gibralter, the Axis get bases in the Canary Islands. The Germans set up a FOB there for Uboats threatening the Panama UK, SA/Australia UK Convoys and the SA UK convoys . In the Med the Germans now have the Spanish ports to use. And if the alliance doesn't occur until after the fall of France then the French ports are added and the Luftwaffe has bases in both Spaanis & French Morocco. Malta is cut off, unless resupply runs fron Alexandria. This would make eeverything just that much more difficult.
            Yup, it makes things just that much more difficult. For the Allies thru 1941, for the Axis sometime after that. I'm skeptical the Axis would hang onto any Atlantic islands for very long. The Brits proved able at amphibious warfare, continuing their tradition at it. But securing those islands is yet another resource draining task for Britian. The only way the Allies gain much from this is if Germany over commits the Luftwaffe and reduces strength for the Barbarosa campaign, or elsewhere.

            A quick look at the economic contribution of nuetral Spain to the Axis shows a important net loss from 1940. The import of critical items via Spain was a major consideration in Britians economic warfare strategy. It took several years, until 1942-43 to gain anything significanton that front. With Spain a enemy the blockade can imeadiatly be streatched to cover the entire Atlantic coast.

            Originally posted by aber View Post
            Peninsular War Mark II

            Which British general fancies himself as Arthur Wellesley?
            I'm sure many Brit Generals and Marshalls would want to fill the Dukes shoes. Who would actually be qualified is another matter. Wellesley understood the tactics Moore developed and adapted the very well for fighting the French. He also a had a operational and stratigic sense that complemented his tactics. Can we identify many British Generals of the early war with the same ability? I know that British artillery tactisc became superior to the German circa 1942, but can the same be said for the overall tactical ability of the British during 1940-41? Or later? Maybe Brooke or Ironside had the proper balance in skill early on. Who of the next level would serve best in 1942 or 1943?

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