Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What if the Axis had captured Africa

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What if the Axis had captured Africa

    What if the Axis had captured Africa. Would the allies have lost the war instead of conquering?
    In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes
    - Benjamin Franklin, U.S. statesman, author, and scientist

  • #2
    Originally posted by Johnny_Reb View Post
    What if the Axis had captured Africa. Would the allies have lost the war instead of conquering?
    Well, the chances of the Axis capturing Africa are remote .... but let's entertain the thought.

    Firstly, the resources the Axis powers need to prolong the war are scarce in 1942.

    Secondly, the Axis forces, already running low on men and resources, would be vulnerable to low level operations.

    Thirdly, the USN proved very capable of 'projecting power' over the Pacific.


    Two counterpoints:-
    Firstly, the collapse of 8th Army would have serious poitical consequences in the UK.

    Secondly, the Germans would be able to transfer assets to other theatres
    Signing out.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Johnny_Reb View Post
      What if the Axis had captured Africa. Would the allies have lost the war instead of conquering?

      I dont think it would make a blind bit of difference to the end result.

      Having conquered it they then have to hold it, assuming that they just stay in Egypt, that means that they have to provide garrisons to prevent any future rebellions. So they cant just pull the Afrika Korps out to use it elsewhere, in fact they might end up having to send more troops to hold something that at the end of the day they dont really need.

      if they advance further then they are knocking on the borders of Palestine Which presumably is where the troops driven out of Egypt end up. While the jewish portion of the population was semi neutral during the war, at least while they saw the British as a sheild against the Germans, the odds are they arent going to form orderly queues waiting for deportation to poland once the Germans arrive. So any advance is goingto be at the expense of more troops needed to defend their lines of communication.

      Even if they take Palestine they then are up against the French mandate in lebanon any attack on that is in breach of the armistice agreed with the Vichy government and restarts the war in Europe.

      A German victory in Africa will IMO probably make a German defeat more likley and possibly bring it on more quickly.
      "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DARKPLACE View Post
        A German victory in Africa will IMO probably make a German defeat more likley and possibly bring it on more quickly.
        That I highly doubt. Flushing the 8th out of Egypt does a lot of really nasty things. It close the Suez Canal to British shipping, it make Malta is not unreachable for resupply, then much less important in stemming the flow of supplies to Rommel (particularly when Alexandria is even partially up and ready), it closes hope of a practical anvil on which the Americans can smash the Korps after Torch. There's also the nasty fact that there's nothing really that can stop the Axis from taking Basra. There are no effective military units in the Middle East.

        This WILL hurt British oil supply but it will not particularly help the Axis UNLESS:
        Germany can use it's surrounding of Turkey to force alliance or military access. If that happens, A LOT of oil can be transported to Europe. Germany in the early war might have the refining capacity to make use of it. This could make the Germans on the Ostfront a LOT more dangerous because their ability to maneuver. And despite what you may have heard, Stalin was far more interested in surviving politically than in German blood.

        Of course, the real war is the air war. Neither the Red Army nor the Allies will advance very far at acceptable political cost against a properly supplied Wehrmacht. This scenario does not change the fact that from early 44 on, the Luftwaffe was the RAF's and USAAC's bitch. And one way or another, that will kill the Reich eventually.
        How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
        275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Wolery View Post
          . There's also the nasty fact that there's nothing really that can stop the Axis from taking Basra. There are no effective military units in the Middle East.
          Except logistics and the British 10th army. The British 8th army will be retreating down the coast and still provide a threat to the flanks of the africa corps.

          Even if by some miracle, the Axis had forced the commonwealth out of Egypt it wouldn't have gained them much militarily.

          Comment


          • #6
            If we're going with the theory that the Germans thrust the Allies out of Egypt (presumably owing to some botched order that let Rommel kick the 8th Army off the ridges at El Alamein before they had a chance to dig in) and 'own' Northern Africa - not sure that they could or even wanted to seize South Africa:

            As has been previously noted, this closes the Suez Canal to the Allies, opens it to the Axis and... possibly puts the Kriegsmarine in position to fight for the Med. Even if Turkey doesn't allow military access I can see them being encouraged to 'accept' a cooperative neutrality that lets the Germans pipe oil through from the Levant, particularly if Germany in Egypt allows the coup in Iraq to succeed.

            This at least fuels the Axis war machine further and lets the Regia Marina actually put to sea - something they frequently hadn't the fuel to do.

            Possibly it might let Hitler meddle a little less with the Ostfront - at least in insisting on a drive into the Caucasus? If he was drawing oil from elsewhere, he might not have pushed 6th Army into the hellhole that Stalingrad became... and potentially kept the war in the East going for many years more.

            My take on it is that with Torch now lacking a backstop it's not a simple matter of securing a base and meeting up with the British, then heading north - I suspect they're stalled just east of Tripoli, and then are fighting at the end of a LONG supply line for a few months at least.

            Ultimately the Luftwaffe was toast however, and I don't see another year or two as changing this. If things grew bloody enough however, (as they would have in the East as well with all Royal Navy shipping having to go via the Arctic or around the Cape of Good Hope to confront the Japanese) I think the Allies might have wound up with a larger grasp on Europe, possibly forstalling the Cold War.
            Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh that's what they called it. In most of the counter factuals I've seen on this subject there's only glorified colonial police. One I recall in particular mentions a armored Indian division that as of El-Alemian had not a single AFV. Before Torch there is nothing that is adequate to stopping the Afrika Corps except the 8th. Historically that proved sufficient. This Question assumes it was not. The Allies would probably reclaim Africa, but from the west alone.
              Last edited by Wolery; 01 Jun 10, 10:05.
              How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
              275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Wolery View Post
                Oh that's what they called it. In most of the counter factuals I've seen on this subject there's only glorified colonial police.
                http://www.iranmilitary.net/forum/sh...95&postcount=3

                A lot of information to digest there.
                Signing out.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                  http://www.iranmilitary.net/forum/sh...95&postcount=3

                  A lot of information to digest there.
                  While interesting (as I didn't know anything about the securing of Iraq, the amphibious capture of Basra sounds cool), and I won't question the actual order of battle, in 42 you're still looking at 10 divisions scattered around 1000 miles. In terms of the terrain, the only obstacles that can be fortified between Tobruk and Tehran are El-Alamein, the Nile, the Suez Canal, the Tigris-Euphrates River system and maybe the mountain passes between Iran and Iraq. The ones in Egypt are the only ones that can't be flanked (and two of the three can if one is intelligent). Rommel lost El-Alamein only because he had to attack fortified positions. Except for Torch he was gonna be right back there in 1943.

                  Rommel will have full maneuver once he gets past the Suez Canal. He'd have to take ports in Palestine, but there are a number of possibilities there. If he were attacking Saudi Arabia, that would be a nightmare due to the desert and supply venues, but the fertile crescent will be wide open. And he will enjoy full support of the Arabs who live there as long as the SS doesn't come down and ruin it. This is doubtful given Hitler's relationship to the Grand Mufti. Rommel will be dragging along a rather large Italian Army which if nothing else is capable of garrisoning his advances and guarding his flanks. Rommel can be stopped but it would mean redeploying Torch forces to Basra, and the logistics may not be there to do it.
                  How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                  275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Logistics will play a major part in any campaign through the ME and they will strongly favour the Allies, especially once Rommel presses on towards The Gulf.
                    Signing out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                      Logistics will play a major part in any campaign through the ME and they will strongly favour the Allies, especially once Rommel presses on towards The Gulf.
                      You could say the same for the Turks against Lawrance of Arabia. They held the rail lines. However, never doubt the importance of innovation, logistical discipline and having the support of the locals. Nonetheless, I concde Rommel may have trouble...on paper at least.
                      How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                      275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I do know that Rommel very badly wanted to attack up into the Caucausus.but such thoughts were really just dreams.He couldn't even get the supply he needed for N.Africa.According to Von Luck,Rommel declared to him in 1942 that the war was lost.
                        ALL LIVES SPLATTER!

                        BLACK JEEPS MATTER!

                        BLACK MOTORCYCLES MATTER!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wolery View Post
                          While interesting (as I didn't know anything about the securing of Iraq, the amphibious capture of Basra sounds cool), and I won't question the actual order of battle, in 42 you're still looking at 10 divisions scattered around 1000 miles.
                          The British and Commonwealth wouldn't need 10 divisions. Five or six combined arms brigades, supported by the Desert Air Force and the Royal Navy would suffice. The Navy and Air Force would prevent the Italian Navy from using the Red Sea - not that the Germans would move towards Arabia in force anyway. The army brigades would simply hit and run and slow the Axis, supported by air strikes on the German's LOC. I think that would have been enough.

                          In terms of the terrain, the only obstacles that can be fortified between Tobruk and Tehran are El-Alamein, the Nile, the Suez Canal, the Tigris-Euphrates River system and maybe the mountain passes between Iran and Iraq. The ones in Egypt are the only ones that can't be flanked (and two of the three can if one is intelligent). Rommel lost El-Alamein only because he had to attack fortified positions. Except for Torch he was gonna be right back there in 1943.

                          Rommel will have full maneuver once he gets past the Suez Canal. He'd have to take ports in Palestine, but there are a number of possibilities there. If he were attacking Saudi Arabia, that would be a nightmare due to the desert and supply venues, but the fertile crescent will be wide open.
                          I think you're forgetting the most significant obstacles - distance and transport.



                          Its roughly 550 miles between Jerusalem and Baghdad and then another 440 miles to Tehran. And thats a straight line which runs across the Jordanian desert. If the Axis went north towards Turkey to try and follow the Euphrates south, the distance grows markedly.

                          AG Africa was not Lawrence's band of cavalry. 15th and 21st armored divisions needed food, gas, artillery shells, sunscreen googles and all the accoutrements of a modern army. But the only supplies AG Africa would have would be those they carried along or supplied by air (which in turn were supplied by sea). There are no ports of any capacity beyond Alexandria, Haifa and Tripoli (assuming the Axis went north before east). The road network was rudimentary. Viewed in this light, the Germans would effectively be invading Russia again, only this time further to the South and without the logistical support afforded to the German armies in Russia.

                          Therefore, IMO, attacking towards Iraq or Persia is a non-starter. A few brigades to harrass the enemy, supported by an air campaign against the enemy's LOC would halt Rommel's small force as if he ran into quicksand.

                          And he will enjoy full support of the Arabs who live there as long as the SS doesn't come down and ruin it. This is doubtful given Hitler's relationship to the Grand Mufti.
                          If this was to be the case, the Germans and Italians become responsible for roughly 20 million Egyptians, not to mention the population of the Levant. The Germans could barely feed themselves.

                          Rommel will be dragging along a rather large Italian Army which if nothing else is capable of garrisoning his advances and guarding his flanks. Rommel can be stopped but it would mean redeploying Torch forces to Basra, and the logistics may not be there to do it.
                          If the Germans leave the Italians behind, the British and Commonwealth forces would have less prisoners to round up when the Germans eventually outrun their supply lines, which, in my estimation would occur somewhere in what is today Syria.
                          Last edited by The Ibis; 01 Jun 10, 18:30.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ibis,

                            While I respect your argument, it is another example of why I hate talking logistics. I actually have an interest in the stuff, but it's like talking about God with a traditional Orthodox clergyman: he will only talk about what God isn't. I'm only interested what God IS. Impossible is a very dirty word, it's best to use it like the f-word: rarely and then never in polite company. This is because there is VERY little that is impossible. There are exceptions to every rule, probably including human mortality. If Rommel needed to I'm sure he coulda got 10,000 human mules walking through Syria and into Iraq, each with a 55 gallon drum strapped to his back. Not efficient, but never discount human ingenuity (or stupidity for that matter).

                            Plus there are a couple of things you aren't thinking about:

                            1. Food
                            Yes, people lived in the ME, not a lot then, but how to feed them? In modern times this is a problem because the urban poor out-eat whatever the locals can grow. In 1943 and thereabouts, the economy of the middle east was based on dirt farming. There was no vast swaths of urban poor with no jobs waiting for government bought food. It was literally pre-industrial, and besides, the Nile region, before the Aswan Dam was some of the most fertile lands on earth. Now backwards methods probably kept Egypt from being a cash cow, but there's not a food problem as such. People will go hungry, but they won't starve.

                            2. Supply
                            The single most important thing the Africa Corps can do is take the Suez Canal. This flushes the RN from the Eastern Med probably makes the only secure harbor for them in the Med the Rock of Gibraltar. Cyprus and Malta are too vulnerable. Even if part of the American sub fleet is diverted to the Med from the Pacific, they won't make a dent in Axis shipping until 1944. Cause you, know, they need to be built first. Axis convoys can run unmolested from Sicily to Alexandria and there's not a damn thing the British could do about it. That helps Rommel IMMENSELY.

                            3. Friendly ports
                            Except possibly for some Irgun terrorism, which Jewish authorities will help squelch immediately to keep the SS out, those three ports are a BOON. I don't believe for a second the capacity of Tripoli (Libya) precluded Axis takeover of Egypt, it certainly caused problems. Here you have three big ports with friendly populations. The middle of Syria? You honestly believe that with Tripoli (Lebanon) in Axis hands Rommel's supply line snaps in Syria? Without being disrespectful: have you checked what the Africa Corps did historically? Impossible's a dirty word.

                            3. Turkey in the Time of the Mud
                            If the Axis take Syria, they may not get Turkey to join, but they will get access. Supplies and reinforcements come in, oil goes out, more so after the conquest of Iraq. This is not needed to conquer Iraq, but it will help. Furthermore there are several key factors in why attacking the ME is NOT like invading Russia. First, and already mentioned is the friendly populace. Second, the British probably fight better pound for pound, but they are not anywhere as numerous as the Russians. Three, there is no guerrilla campaign here. German logistics were hampered by the distance in the beginning of the Ostfront. It was the constant partisan operations that made their logistics a nightmare. At any point from Germany to the front, supplies were liable to attack; this is something Rommel will not have to face. Four, there is no time of the mud, nor any winter. As long as they hold the initiative, the Germans can advance. They will defeat the British (and Americans) anytime they fight in open battle without decisive air superiority. Which brings me to the next point:

                            4. Winged Rats
                            The only way the Allies can stave off Rommel is to have a highly effective tactical air force and beat the Germans to death with it. This is the only reason the Western Campaign lasted past Operation Cobra. The British do not have this. They have tactical planes, but lack the numbers, designs and perhaps the doctrine to make them effective killers. And even if they do, will Winnie order them to Iraq knowing full well they cannot be replaced? Perhaps. But it's also likely that the Axis will receive reinforcements as well. Italy had a good air force in 1940, and more of it may give the Brits a run for their money. And there's always the possibility the Luftwaffe contingent of the DAK could be expanded as well. Given the potential war win in the ME I would bet on it.

                            5. Persia
                            I'm willing to concede it is possible Persia may be out of Rommel's grasp. It doesn't need to be. Just having the Germans on the way may be enough to incite Muslim radicals and Persian nationalist to stage a major revolt, like what happened in Iraq. I cannot imagine the Persians were happy being invaded despite their neutrality. It wouldn't work, but in the short run it would divert a goodly amount of troops, British and Red, to subdue it and shitcan a great deal of Lend-Lease, most of which ran from Persia on north. Even if the Red Army takes it upon itself to dislodge Rommel from Iraq, the net is a BIG German win.

                            As I said, I do not think this makes Axis win inevitable, but it will be a bloodbath regaining the Med. No British anvil will make the operation run and gun from Tripoli to Baghdad. But it is entirely possible for Rommel to succeed beyond your imagination and catapult this scenario into a decisive Axis victory. It's all in how the cards play out. History is built on impossibles.
                            How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                            275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              How?

                              Comment

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X