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Operation Granite

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  • #46
    So, assuming the British somehow fumble this one and D +1 dawns with the italians in control, or perhaps the Spainards. What happens then?

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    • #47
      Well, the Italians either try to hold the spit, in which case the British promptly use every battleship they can fit within firing range and plaster the Rock somewhere close to oblivion.

      The Italins try to hold the spit, and they're able to get enough naval firepower there to mean something, which would mean that there is a rather archaic battleship and cruiser fight in the Straights. If the Italians can draw or beat the Brits at that, then they can probably close the Straights near permanently. If the Italians lose, the Brits can starve the garrison out.

      The Italians turn it over to the Spanish, which promptly declare it an open Rock and it doesn't effect long-term shipping by either side.
      Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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      • #48
        Did Britain have any minefields placed in the strait in June 1940?

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        • #49
          D+1

          HM Battleship RESOLUTION arrives. Her and her destroyer escort may attempt the same plan as WARSPITE did at Narvik (i.e. sail into the harbour and sink everything in sight.

          The Italian battleships will have to move to intercept.

          I had thought about turning the rock over to the Spanish (lots of good will there!). However this is only worth doing if the Spanish agree to declare war on the UK in order to get it. A neutral Gibraltar doesn't help the cause of sealing off the western Med.

          However, the Spanish weren't keen historically on letting the Germans have a go at the Rock. I'm not sure the Italians can provide a better inducement.

          So likely the Italians will have to hold the place themselves, although getting supplies from Spain shouldn't be a problem.

          Don't know about the minefields, still reading about paratroops and Corregidor
          Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

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          • #50
            I still dont know if the Brits had a minefield deployed in the strait in 1940. It would be prudent for the Italians to have couple minesweepers closely following the assualt group. Also in the follow up force I'd have a couple tenders for MAS boats and submarines. The subs may be able to deploy ahead of Assualt day, but in any case the and the torpedo boats can try for ambushes to the west of the strait.

            The third echlon would have a group of minelayers. Once a multiple layered defense of subs, torpedo boats, and mines are in place the Brits are going to have to mount a major operation to retake the strait. Even if they do they are then faced with the historical situation of another Axis defense zone based on Sardinia and Sicilly. With the Axis defense forward at the strait things like the Tiger Convoy become less practical. Operation Gymnast or Torch would be confined to Morroco's Atlantic coast, & so less practical as well.

            The Brits might feel forced to establish strong naval/airbases in the Azores, Maderia, & Canary islands, putting some very bad choices before Spain & Portugal.

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