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Germans succeed in preventing a Dunkirk evacuation

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  • #61
    Originally posted by TacCovert4
    ...
    Loss of Malta handicaps British Logistical efforts by opening up a perfect Airbase for the Luftwaffe to shut down the Med...Luftwaffe and Italian Air Forces succeed in cutting Med Supply routes, resulting in an undersupplied British Force.
    Except for convoys running to Malta very few convoys attempted to run the Med. They simply sailed around Africa.

    Originally posted by TacCovert4
    ...Rommel gets better supplied, which results in him pushing the Brits clean out of Tobruk, opening the port and giving him a better shot at making it to the Nile....
    No he doesn't. Tripoli and Benghazi were fairly stacked to the rafters with supplies of all sorts. The axis difficulties with supply at the front stemmed their not having enough trucks to move those supplies forward. Furthermore, the further east Rommel advanced the more fuel the trucks used in moving supplies and the less got delivered (they were using the fuel needed by the tanks, troop carriers and gun tractors) . The axis war-machine was eating its own tail.

    Originally posted by TacCovert4
    ...Without the extra tanks brought directly from Britain in 41, Wavell is forced to make his attack even less mobile than he was, resulting in a complete rout by the PanzerArmee. Rommel surrounds Wavells forces and many of them march into captivity.
    The only attack made by Wavell was "Battleaxe" in June ("Brevity" could hardly be called an attack). If these tanks were not rushed to Africa via the Med the attack could not have taken place and would have had to be delayed until the came around Africa. At the time Rommel had only about 200 tanks and little supply of his own and had failed miserably in his attempts to take Tobruk so he would have had little choice but to sit in the desert until November (as he did historically).

    Originally posted by TacCovert4
    ...Those selfsame Paratroops, so useless in Russia, drop behind enemy lines and capture supply dumps as Rommel unleashes a late 41 campaign, pushing the British to El Alamein.
    Unfortunately, in early '41 during Rommel's first drive, the British position collapsed, in part, because they had very little supplies of their own. Only one Australian brigade could be supplied at Benghazi and the 2nd Arm'd Dv was critically short of fuel, ammunition and spares for the same reasons. One of the reasons the British failed to counterattack when Rommel was most vulnerable near Al Agheila was because of fuel shortages.

    You guys are stretching the capabilities and effect of German paras waaaayyyy off into "cloud-cuckooland".

    Very entertaining.
    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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    • #62
      Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
      Thank you for the info. I hadn't studied the possibility of a Gibraltar assault before, so I admit to being a bit naive about it. How about a back door deal allowing Light troops to land in Spain by night and move to attack Gibraltar from the rear.
      The Rock is literally just a big rock, it's land link to Spain is only 3/4 of a mile wide totally dominated by the higher ground of the rock itself. The whole territory is only about 2.5 sq miles (about twice the size of central park in Manhattan) & it reaches a height of nearly 1400 ft.
      Capturing it by any means would be the sort of job you gave to somebody you really didn't like.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
        ..... if Malta was assaulted early, and strongly, you wouldn't have your major Mediterranean airbase. With Me109s and Ju88s staging from Malta, how would the Brits assemble enough firepower to keep the Eye-Ties from sortieing their fleet?
        Taranto was a night attack using a couple of dozen carrier based aircraft (Swordfish biplanes). It was incidentally the first all aircraft naval battle in history. Remember we basically destroyed the Italian fleet before the end of 1940 which was before the Germans started their Med or Balkan campaigns properly. To invade Malta before this would mean taking aircraft away from the battle of Britain and would be a major rewriting of how the whole of WW2 played out.

        I'd never underestimate the Me109 and JU88 but the Italian aircraft like the Machi C202 were nearly as good as the Me109 (as were the Italian pilots) but were unable to protect their fleet. Malta only became important relatively later on in the war. During 'the battle for Malta' is only had a few fighters that could barely defend Malta itself. The Navy was operating without RAF cover.

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        • #64
          To expand on the Gibraltar thing- read this first:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_of_Gibraltar

          Basically the Rock of Gibraltar is effectively NORADS base at Cheyenne Mountain with gun emplacements in the sheer cliff face. You have a large harbour and small airstrip but its basically a tiny rocky finger surrounded by water. You could maybe get 60-odd guys onto the runway by pretending to be a damaged RAF plane but no more than that and they'd be blown to as soon as we woke up.

          Realistically the only way to take it is from the land and that means Spain. From a purely military point of view you'd need at least a brigade and ideally a division of elite infantry (and Germany's paras proved themselves very good at taking forts so we'll use those) supported with Stukas and StugIIIs/short 75 equipped PzIII/IV to take the defences covering the causeway. Fighting to the rock is relatively straight forward although you'll lose A LOT of guys and many of your tanks.

          After that you need to start blowing in doors on the rock itself probably with those little 75mm guns the Paras had but in many places you'll need plastic explosive carefully positioned and you'll be doing this under very heavy fire. It would make Monte Casino look easy. It COULD be done, but at a horrible price.

          A Seige won't work- Gibraltar is a major store depot for the navy. The defenders will die of old age before they starve or run out of ammo.

          To even get to this stage you need Spanish help. Franco was a Spanish nationalist first and a Fascist second. He was happy to let the odd U-boat resupply at night in Vigo but was very reluctant to support Hitler militarily. The reason for this is simple... Spain after the Civil war was bankrupt, huge numbers of Spaniards hated his guts and Spain was dependent on imports of most major raw materials and food. The Royal Navy maintained a tight blockade and impounded anything that may be of use to the German war effort. Had we wished we could have stopped ALL shipping getting to Spain. This doesn't need battleships- its a frigate job and could be done quite far off the Spanish coast so air attack isn't a major worry.

          To get Spain to come in on his side Hitler would have to guarantee to provide all Spains food, oil etc and he quite simply didn't have it to supply.

          Basically there's a reason why us Brits have a saying 'as safe as the rock of Gibraltar'!

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          • #65
            Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
            ..... if Malta was assaulted early, and strongly, you wouldn't have your major Mediterranean airbase. With Me109s and Ju88s staging from Malta, how would the Brits assemble enough firepower to keep the Eye-Ties from sortieing their fleet?
            Originally posted by peter_sym View Post
            Taranto was a night attack using a couple of dozen carrier based aircraft (Swordfish biplanes). It was incidentally the first all aircraft naval battle in history. Remember we basically destroyed the Italian fleet before the end of 1940 which was before the Germans started their Med or Balkan campaigns properly.

            I'd never underestimate the Me109 and JU88 but the Italian aircraft like the Machi C202 were nearly as good as the Me109 (as were the Italian pilots) but were unable to protect their fleet. Malta only became important relatively later on in the war. During 'the battle for Malta' is only had a few fighters that could barely defend Malta itself. The Navy was operating without RAF cover.
            To amplify Peters point, the Brit air attacks in the Cape Matapan battles were flown from aircraft carriers; Later the invasion of Algeria was covered by aircraft carriers. A larger portion of Italian cargo ships were sunk by aircraft flying out of Egypt or Cyrinacia than Malta. A larger portion of British submarines operating the Med were based in Egypt than in Malta. When the airfields were operable Malta was very usefull as a reconissance base, but that was a minority of the time. Its most valuable unit present was a signals intel station, which had better reception of Italian transmitters than those in Egypt or Gibraltar.

            Later in March-April 1943 Allied aircraft based on the Tebessa airfield complex and in Algeria completely cut the Axis sea lanes to Africa. Malta played only a small role in that battle.

            On the Axis side there were few locations a Axis aircraft could not cover better from Lybian, Sardanian, Sicillian, Italian, or Balkan airfields than from Malta.

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            • #66
              good day,everyone.If the germans took prisonnor the bef at dunkirk(i havent seen yet no proof,only allegations) uk would continue the war,because sealion was imposible.the luftwaffe had towin the bob,the germans had to transport the invasion force(they had no transport vessels),they had no surface vessels,they needed 3 weeks of good weather(in september!) you know d-day was in june, not in september,not in april

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                I had been expecting someone to post numbers for British army strength in 1940. This general question haas come up before & I dimly recall the group which escaped from Dunkirk were not the entire BEF, or British strength available in Europe. Sorry I did not keep track of these numbers myself
                Carl,my figures for the BEF are 400000 50% escaped at Dunkirk Losses:60000,the others escaped from the French Westports

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