historygeek2021 wrote: ↑
14 Mar 2021 03:03
Germany and Turkey signed an agreement in October 1941 to resume chrome shipments in 1943. Thus, the Allies would have until then to apply diplomatic pressure, backed up by the threat of blockade and invasion, to convince Turkey not to ship ore to Germany.
Indeed, and the wartime shipments began sometime after 23 October 1943, so late in fact that it appears the Germans counted them as arriving in 1944. Thus, we are looking at Allied planning for late 1943 and early 1944, when the Allies were firmly ensconced in Italy and priorities were on SHINGLE and AVALANCHE. Is the idea if diplomatic pressure doesn't work, which did eventually IRL, then the Allies will simply abandon operations in Italy, SHINGLE, and NEPTUNE in favor of invading Turkey in order to prevent chromium from there reaching Germany in 1944?
The Allied force in Narvik numbered 24,500 in early June.
Sorry, but no. The Allies had roughly 24,500 personnel in northern Sweden, covering an area from Ballangen to Tromos, scattered at 13 different embarkation points. By 24 May, the French were already committed to a withdrawal
The Germans landed in Narvik with 4,500, received an additional 1,050 reinforcements (by air, not through Sweden, per DRZW Volume II), and had a relief force of 2,800 troops from southern Norway marching north through barren terrain with no road.
Yes, my fault for going from memory. The Germans airlifted in 1,050 combatants by air, the Swedes only allowed "noncombatant specialists" through by train, mostly medical personnel. Of course, the Allies did not know that and estimated the Germans were capable of airlifting thousands more, mostly because they were observing nearly daily resupply flights that they were unable to do anything about, since, well, again, air superiority. The main allied ground-based air was Bardufoss, 50-odd miles away and they had no effective early warning or intercept capability. The main German base at Trondheim was 400 miles away, although the occupied the Allied base at Bodo on 1 June, just 112 miles away.
BTW, only the last 85 miles to Narvik were without roads, the roads north from Trondheim were poor and not always contiguous, but they were there. It may also have been barren, but the Gebirgsjäger were designed for barren terrain. The advance guard marched over 800 kilometers to there in nine days.
That's 24,500 Allied soldiers vs 8,350 Germans. Five of the seventeen Allied battalions were French who may have left regardless of a British/Polish/Norwegian decision to fight on, but that still leaves the Allies with numerical superiority.
Are you unaware that the four battalions comprising 4,778 Polish troops were French? They were French armed, organized, equipped, and commanded. They did not like the idea of retreating, but they did, because they were under French command. Nine of the seventeen battalions committed were French. Three were British. The remaining five were Norwegian, two of which were very weak, one partially surrendered to the Germans initially at Narvik and the other badly used up in the first Norwegian counterattacks. Once the French departed, there were three British battalions and three effective Norwegian battalions.
Narvik was well out of fighter range from the nearest Luftwaffe bases near Trondheim, so Germany did not have air superiority at Narvik. Per DRZW, the food and medical supplies and specialists that Sweden allowed through were "very limited". The Allies could be supplied by sea, the Germans only by air.
Counting only those vessels sunk or damaged requiring yard repair, the Luftwaffe did the following in the Norwegian Campaign.
17 April - CA Suffolk badly damaged by Ju 88
24 April - CLAA Curacoa badly damaged by bombs
3 May - DD Afridi and Bison sunk by Ju 87
4 May - DD Grom sunk by Ju 87
7 May - CL Aurora and DD Blyskawica damaged by bombs
16 May - BB Resolution, Sloop Fleetwood, and Tanker Broomdale damaged by bombs
21 May - two ASW trawlers sunk by bombs
23 May - DD Milan, Fame, and Firedrake damaged by bombs
25 May - three ASW trawlers sunk by bombs
26 May - CLAA Curlew sunk by bombs
28 May - CLAA Cairo and DD Walker damaged by bombs
Note that the loss of escorts to sinking and damage off Norway and Dunkirk meant that the two groups of troop and supply transports used for the evacuation sailed from Norway without escort as a calculated risk. They rendezvoused with an escort group mid-ocean for the trip back to England and Scotland.