Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

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maltesefalcon
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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by maltesefalcon » 18 Jul 2014 14:27

I will make my final points on this thread and move on to let others contribute.

I would agree that Monty took some time to get his troops westward after Alamein. But to be fair, he is not a shining example of a hard charging commander. It took him 2 months to get from Normandy to Falaise as well.

If the Brits could build a railway then the possibility exists the Germans could do so to if the were so inclined. This is the crux of the argument. Hitler was never invested in Africa IRL because he had bigger fish to fry at the time.

My thinking is that instead of treating the Mediterranean as a distraction he could invest the resources to actually win it because if Barbarossa was postponed the army had nothing else to do until 1942.

It would be difficult and costly to be sure. But measure this against the cost of fighting UK for another 4 years.

If Churchill could be forced to the bargaining table by the fall of 1941 it would be well worth it IMHO.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by ChrisDR68 » 18 Jul 2014 17:40

I've also wondered whether Rommel and the Italians could have built a railway line along the north African coast to ease their supply problems during 1941/42. Doing that plus invading and occupying Malta would have the helped the Axis cause immensely in this theatre of operations during this period of the war.

Having said that I still don't see Churchill venturing to the negotiating table with Hitler even in the event of the British losing their middle eastern base. Only a cross channel invasion of the British home islands is likely to have done that. In my opinion the Germans lacked the military means to achieve that successfully.

Better to leave the British Isles relatively alone in military terms. As long as the US doesn't come in on the side of the Allies Hitler could have devoted eighty per cent plus of the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe to the invasion of Soviet Russia in 1942 in the knowledge his western flank was fairly safe from a British invasion of the continent in any immediate foreseeable future.

maltesefalcon
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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by maltesefalcon » 18 Jul 2014 20:34

Thanks for coming to my aid on some points.

On one issue, suppose Germany/Italy defeated Britain in North Africa? They would have many thousands of British prisoners as hostages and all their remaining equipment. In addition, the Axis could now threaten British colonies deeper inside the continent.

I would agree that any actual cross channel invasion would be problematic. But we are using post-war knowledge that Hitler had no stomach for it. The threat at least in 1940 seemed very real at the time. Suppose Germany ramped up their bombing campaign to shipping channels and major port facilities once more? Combined with naval actions, they could interfere with the UK lifeline in a significant fashion.

Churchill was in a democratic government and some pretty powerful individuals wanted to sue for peace. After a loss of this magnitude, if Hitler offered reasonable terms on the second summer of war with Britain I think they would have a good chance of ending hostilities.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by ljadw » 18 Jul 2014 21:41

maltesefalcon wrote: They would have many thousands of British prisoners as hostages and all their remaining equipment.




In addition, the Axis could now threaten British colonies deeper inside the continent.
.
1)The Germans had already thousands of British POW,captured in France and Greece/Crete

2)I like to see how the Axis could threaten British colonies deeper inside Africa with 2 German and some 8 Italian divisions in NA in 1941

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by maltesefalcon » 19 Jul 2014 03:39

ljadw wrote:
maltesefalcon wrote: They would have many thousands of British prisoners as hostages and all their remaining equipment.




In addition, the Axis could now threaten British colonies deeper inside the continent.
.
1)The Germans had already thousands of British POW,captured in France and Greece/Crete

2)I like to see how the Axis could threaten British colonies deeper inside Africa with 2 German and some 8 Italian divisions in NA in 1941

Of course they couldn't do it with that force. They couldn't even take Egypt. If you had read any of my previous posts I have been suggesting a portion of the now idle Barbarossa force be used to supplement.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by ljadw » 19 Jul 2014 07:14

If you knew anything about logistics,you would not suggest that after victory in NA, the Germans would send additional and even stronger forces to NA and from there would attack the British colonies in Africa :


1)It would be impossible to send and supply more forces to NA (distance Ruhr-Alexandria is some 4000 km)


2)If these additional forces still arrived in NA,they would remain there and they could not threaten British colonies in Africa (distance Alexandria-Khartoum :2160 km)

How could the Germans supply an expeditionary force that was 6160 km away from its supply base? It would take more than 3 months to send ONE ton of supplies from the Ruhr to Khartoum .

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by ChrisDR68 » 19 Jul 2014 14:06

maltesefalcon wrote:I would agree that any actual cross channel invasion would be problematic. But we are using post-war knowledge that Hitler had no stomach for it. The threat at least in 1940 seemed very real at the time. Suppose Germany ramped up their bombing campaign to shipping channels and major port facilities once more? Combined with naval actions, they could interfere with the UK lifeline in a significant fashion.

Churchill was in a democratic government and some pretty powerful individuals wanted to sue for peace. After a loss of this magnitude, if Hitler offered reasonable terms on the second summer of war with Britain I think they would have a good chance of ending hostilities.
In the OTL Germany did interfere with the UK's lifeline in a significant fashion but I think it would need much of the population to begin to starve to death before the British government would seriously consider negotiating peace terms with Hitler. Britain was vulnerable from a successful blockade (a population of 48 million people and only capable of feeding 30 million of them through domestic farming) but the u-boat war and bombing campaign were far from being truly successful in terms of forcing Britain out of the war.

On the contrary the u-boat war was strategically disastrous for Nazi Germany as it made the United States' entry into the war a virtual certainty sooner or later. I've read enough about Admiral Raeder to conclude that he was an overly aggressive idiot who had little grasp of grand strategy. All he wanted to do was sink as many enemy ships as possible (including neutral American ones) and damn the long term consequences for his country.

America had shown a marked reluctance to get involved in WW1 as an active belligerent on the side of the Allies (only declaring war on Germany when that war was almost two thirds of the way through it's course). In WW2 much of that same reluctance was still present until Raeder ramped up the u-boat campaign during 1941.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by Baltasar » 20 Jul 2014 07:26

On the contrary the u-boat war was strategically disastrous for Nazi Germany as it made the United States' entry into the war a virtual certainty sooner or later.
I do have my doubts that the USA would've stayed out of the war in any case. They had much money to lose and from what we know, money is a major motivation for war.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by ChrisDR68 » 01 Aug 2014 17:29

Baltasar wrote:
On the contrary the u-boat war was strategically disastrous for Nazi Germany as it made the United States' entry into the war a virtual certainty sooner or later.
I do have my doubts that the USA would've stayed out of the war in any case. They had much money to lose and from what we know, money is a major motivation for war.
If Hitler had made it known to the Americans through diplomatic channels that the u-boat campaign would either cease completely or decline to minor spoiling attacks and that American shipping would under no circumstances be attacked by the German navy that could well have ensured ongoing American neutrality.

President Roosevelt certainly thought it was in America's interests to fight and defeat Nazi Germany and free continental Europe from occupation but in late 1940/early 1941 the isolationist lobby in Congress and the Senate (as well as among the general American population) was still pretty strong.

If Hitler went even further and decided to allow free trade between the States and Britain plus some trade to the continent that would have made the UK's position very tricky because they would have been put in a position where the Royal Navy would be interfering with American economic interests militarily.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by Baltasar » 02 Aug 2014 11:20

ChrisDR68 wrote:
Baltasar wrote:
On the contrary the u-boat war was strategically disastrous for Nazi Germany as it made the United States' entry into the war a virtual certainty sooner or later.
I do have my doubts that the USA would've stayed out of the war in any case. They had much money to lose and from what we know, money is a major motivation for war.
If Hitler had made it known to the Americans through diplomatic channels that the u-boat campaign would either cease completely or decline to minor spoiling attacks and that American shipping would under no circumstances be attacked by the German navy that could well have ensured ongoing American neutrality.
And considering the reliability of Hitler regarding his trustworthiness, would the Americans believe him? Call me a sceptic, but I do have some doubts.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by ChrisDR68 » 04 Aug 2014 19:23

Yes I agree that Hitler's word couldn't be trusted by this point in the war (late 1940/early 1941).

The only way around that would be to actually act on what their diplomats said they were going to do (in my scenario) ie withdraw the Kriegsmarine's u-boats from the Atlantic and let the United States and Great Britain trade freely.

Hitler and his henchmen always thought they could solve Germany's strategic problems by force of arms. In reality they needed to be much smarter than that.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by alltoes » 04 Aug 2014 20:04

But wasn't the "free trade" really a means of arming the U.K.? Besides one of the goals of the kreigsmarine was to strangle the U.K. Limited supplies serves many purposes.
1. Reduce raw materials reduces production of arms and military goods.
2. Reduction of food creates possible uprising of the people.
3. Reduction of military imports. Yes this is a tricky one. The lend/lease act was a main contributor.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by BDV » 05 Aug 2014 14:48

ljadw wrote:How could the Germans supply an expeditionary force that was 6160 km away from its supply base? It would take more than 3 months to send ONE ton of supplies from the Ruhr to Khartoum .
I disagree. :lol:
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by JAG13 » 06 Aug 2014 18:30

BDV wrote:
maltesefalcon wrote:... But the British had two choices to move their own supplies. Either thread the needle into the perilous waters of the Western Med, which was a long journey itself. Failing that they needed to circumnavigate the entire continent of Africa.
It's not THAT far from Haifa to Alexandria, and freshwater can be decanted from the Nile. Until they reach the Nile, Axis would be in a severe bind, having to truck absolutely EVERYTHING from Tripoli and Bizerta, or fly it in from Crete.
No, from Crete, Tobruk and Marsa Matruh, and maybe, maybe Benghazi, not the cities you mention.

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Re: Operation Barbarossa Launched In May 1942

Post by JAG13 » 06 Aug 2014 18:33

ChrisDR68 wrote:
maltesefalcon wrote:
On the contrary the u-boat war was strategically disastrous for Nazi Germany as it made the United States' entry into the war a virtual certainty sooner or later. I've read enough about Admiral Raeder to conclude that he was an overly aggressive idiot who had little grasp of grand strategy. All he wanted to do was sink as many enemy ships as possible (including neutral American ones) and damn the long term consequences for his country.

America had shown a marked reluctance to get involved in WW1 as an active belligerent on the side of the Allies (only declaring war on Germany when that war was almost two thirds of the way through it's course). In WW2 much of that same reluctance was still present until Raeder ramped up the u-boat campaign during 1941.
The US wasnt "reluctant", its government maneuvered to enter the war in both occasions, no German action would change their intent.

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