German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
Peter89
Member
Posts: 1780
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 08 May 2022 22:09

Counter wrote:
08 May 2022 18:49
Peter89 wrote:Even if a "Mediterranean strategy" would work, it would not knock Britain out of the war. For that, India had to fall.
The Germans thought that the Blitz and the submarine blockade could work.
Both failed miserably.
Counter wrote:
08 May 2022 18:49
And look at the difference with respect to the alternative: if the aerial attacks and the submarine attacks failed, they germans would have to count only high losses (aircrats, ships, men...) and no benefit at all. But if the Mediterranean strategy failed to knock Britain out, then they would have won, anyway a lot of territories, logistic lanes, prestige, allies, strtegic positions against the USSR, raw materials...
They could only lose allies, hardly win any. What raw materials do you think they could win? In order to ship Persian Gulf oil to Germany, the Germans needed to control the Arab peninsula, Báb-el-Mándeb, the Red Sea and the shores of the western Indian Ocean. This was of course impossible, and far from any concept of Mediterranean strategy, so we are talking about one 12 inch pipeline.
Counter wrote:
08 May 2022 18:49
Chamberlain resigned after the Norway fiasco... would have Churchill stayed in power after losing the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf oil?
Yes.
Counter wrote:
08 May 2022 18:49
Peter89 wrote:The oil infrastructure was again problematic, because one needs to capture the infrastructure intact. That is a lesson the Germans learned at Maikop. For that the only chance was the Iraqi coup and even that could not yield more than a pocket refinery, a 12 inch pipeline, storage for 100.000 t bunker fuel and 4-5000 t motor and aviation fuel.

If we put this into the context of the hoped plunder from the Soviet Union, where - at the very least in the border battles - German power could be fully projected, it is understandable why the Germans went there.
"Infrastructure intact" was something that the germans very rarely found in the USSR. But they worked hard to fix everything to exploit the booty. If they did not get benefits from that, it was due to the Red Army freeing the soviet lands later. And if you get the Persian Gulf you get more things apart from ruined infraestructures. You get what the others don´t have anymore, and a very good position to threat the Soviet Union, Turkey and so on... Much to win.
The Brits prepared to destroy Abadan, Haifa and practically everything of value.

Contrary to the popular belief, the Soviets were not dumb. They could not be threatened by Germany, and they'd never let them to control the straits to the Mediterraneum.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

ljadw
Member
Posts: 13463
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by ljadw » 09 May 2022 07:02

Counter wrote:
06 May 2022 19:13




All what I know about this strategy is what I got here and there in some books, just mentioning the "Raeder´s strategy". In the book of Bevin Alexander "How Hitler could have won", I read that this strategy was related to the general Von Thoma´s report, recommending to send four Panzer Division to get the Suez Canal. Apparently, "Operation Felix", to seize Gioption
It seems that a little unclear to me. The Lybian ports allowed the italians to land an army of more than 10 divisions, and along the war -sith the germans- they reached a considerable capacity (over 100,000 tons monthly). Anyway, that should have been a factor pondered by general von Thoma in 1940 as he did his report.


[/quote]
1 To use BA as a source is questionable
2 Did Thoma said this, or did he say that 4 PzD was the maximum that could operate in NA ?
3 The Suez Canal was only exceptionally used by Britain, till September 1943
4 About the Libyan ports : they did not allow the Italians to supply an army of more than 10 divisions, unless these divisions remained idle in Tripoli .

User avatar
Ironmachine
Member
Posts: 5748
Joined: 07 Jul 2005 10:50
Location: Spain

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Ironmachine » 09 May 2022 08:46

Counter wrote:
Ironmachine wrote:if the solution was exploiting even more other countries, one should consider that Germany could simply exploit Spain instead of helping it
Because they needed Spain as an ally, obviously. Of course, they could have also invaded Spain in 1940 (why not? The german army was enormous and the spanish army was meaningless). But the choice was Spain as an ally (in order to get Gibraltar). So the exploited would be others, not the Axis members...
They didn't need Spain as an ally. They only needed to go through Spain to reach Gibraltar, and that could be done either by having an allied Spain or just invading it. The only difference would be some more time needed and some more losses in the case of an invasion, and the Spanish Army, Navy and Air Force not joining the Axis war effort, nothing really important. Anything else that Spain could provide could also be obtained from a defeated and conquered Spain, more and more easily in fact than with Franco in power, and the Germans would have had no need to care for the population of Spain.
An allied Spain was no needed for getting Gibraltar. It made the whole affair somewhat easier, just that. And Axis members were exploited by the Germans. Certainly not as much as conquered countries, but there was never any doubt about who made the final decisions.
Counter wrote:Boring: again the same. You have no proof about the help would have been not enough.
And you have no proof that the help would have been enough. So what.
And enough for what? Winning the war? Being defeated but still with a population not significantly different from 1940? Starving to death and being defeated?
Ironmachine wrote:I have the proof the British were scared of the germans could convince the spanish to join the Axis and british ambassador sir Samuel Hoare was urging London to allocate every "Navicert" for the cargo ships to transport the grain (because the grain was the capital issue) across the Atlantic for Spain.
The British should be scared of the Germans convincing the Spaniards to join the Axis. Why not? That doesn't mean that the Spaniards joining the Axis would mean a British defeat, which is what you seem to imply when you posted "That was the right strategy they missed".
Ambassador Samuel Hoare was urging London to allocate every "Navicert" for the cargo ships to transport the grain. Did London agree?
The grain was not the capital issued, just one of the problems. If the grain was the capital issue, why did the Allies twice imposed restrictions on oil when later they wanted to pressure Spain against cooperation with Germany but did not restrict grain imports?
Counter wrote:He never wrote to London: "don´t care about Spain joining the Axis, because the Germans could never afford to send grain enough to Spain". And I believe mr Hoare, and not you, Ironmachine.
We could discuss Mr. Hoare expertise on warfare, logistics, economics, strategy, and the like, but there's is really no point in doing it. If you believe Mr. Hoare, that's your problem. We could also discuss why you believe Mr. Hoare and but do not believe German experts when they say Germany could not provide what Spain asked for, but there is also no point in doing it. If you are in the realm of "believing", that's a problem of faith; I like to work with reason.
Counter wrote:
Ironmachine wrote:Germany and Spain could, for example, sign a secret protocol to transfer those territories to Spanish control after the end of the war, when a victorious Germany would have no problem forcing Italy, France and anyone else to accept the fait accompli
That was exactly what Franco was asking to Hitler desperately in November 1940, and that was not conceded.
If you mean that in November 1940 Franco was asking for a secret protocol like the one I mentioned, prove it.
If you mean that in November 1940 Franco was asking for the transfer of those territories and it was not conceded, that'a a partial truth. Franco, as I have already told you, was asking for territories, supplies and military equipment, and nothing was conceded.
Anyway, in November 1940 Franco was certainly not asking Hitler "desperately" for anything, as the Hendaya conference of October had shown.
Counter wrote:The germans feared -reasonably- that that "secret" would be disclosed anyway. Hitler was more interested in keeping a good relationship with the French.
That's Hitler's problem, not Franco's.
Counter wrote:I presume that in November 1940, with "Barbarrosa" already decided Hitler losed interest in the Gibraltar operation. At least, not to risk the "colaboration" with the French. That is what I read in not-Francoist historians dealing on the issue.
Maybe, that idea can be found even in "pro-Francoist" historians dealing on the issue. But that's not the problem here. The really important point is when did Franco lost interest in joining the war.
Counter wrote:A "Francoist historian" is not only a person -which profession is to be historian- that has a particular ideology, but also a propagandist writing tendentious and false arguments to cover up some aspects of the reality, ignoring data, adding supositions in the place of facts and so on...
No, that's only your opinion. Writing tendentious or false arguments to cover up some aspects of the reality, ignoring data, adding supositions in the place of facts and so on is just what a bad historian (even if that person really does not deserve being called "historian") does. A certain political bias is not characteristic of that attitude. The actions that you describe can be found in both pro- and anti-Francoist historial studies.
In the case of the Francoist legend (like the very similar Petainist legend) they write that Franco only pretended to join the Axis butactually never wanted to do it because he was very smart -he knew the Axis was going to lose- and very compassionate -he didn´t want his people to starve-.
Just to make clear to you (once more, as it seems you are unable to understand it) what I think about this particular point:
1. I don't think that Franco never wanted to join the Axis. I do think he did not want to do it for free, and I don't think he was particularly interested in doing it in 1940, with Britain not really on the verge of defeat.
2. I don't think he knew the Axis was going to lose, but I do think that he had doubts about Germany's ability to defeat Great Britain.
3. I don't think him being compassionate was a factor here, but I do think he didn't want his people to starve because there is no advantage in ruling over corpses and because starving people may have the idea of fighting against the ruler who is making them starve.
Let's be clear, Franco was far from being the smartest person in the room , but he was not the most stupid person ever born either. One of his main traits, recognized by friends and foes alike, was cautiousness: he never made a decision in haste. In 1940, he could see how bad was the situation in Spain and what were the forces (and friends) available to Germany and Great Britain.
As I wrote in a previous post, those anti-Francoist historians that you seem to cherish so much and you yourself have a basic logical problem. They seem to think that because Franco was a Fascist (sic) and because he was (as we say in Spanish) a "cabrón con pintas", he must have been dying to join the Axis. But there is a single fact that they can not deny: he did not join the Axis. How can you reconcile your ideas with that simple fact?
Well, it may be that Hitler was not interested in Spain joining the Axis. This may have been true by the very end of 1940, after the Hendaya conferece, but it couldn't be before that period, when as we know Hitler was actually pressuring Franco to join the Axis. So before that date, it must have Franco who did not want to join the Axis. There is simply no other option.
Now, I have little doubt that Franco would have joined the Axis as soon as he saw fit. I don't really know if his motivation for not joining the war in 1940 was the "not for free" or the "not in these circunstances" or a combination of both or another, different one. And we can still argue if Franco was ready to join the war as soon as his requirements (colonial territories, supplies and weapons) were fullfiled, or if he made those requirements knowing that Hitler could not satisfy them, or if Franco was ready to ask for more if his first demands were satisfied... All of this is questionable, and as Franco had the final word and he was a very reserved person, we may never know his reasons. But we do know that he did what he wanted, and what he did was not joining the Axis.

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1780
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 09 May 2022 09:46

Counter wrote:
06 May 2022 19:13
It seems that a little unclear to me. The Lybian ports allowed the italians to land an army of more than 10 divisions, and along the war -sith the germans- they reached a considerable capacity (over 100,000 tons monthly). Anyway, that should have been a factor pondered by general von Thoma in 1940 as he did his report.
100,000 tons monthly for 10 divisions is about 330t/d per division, and of course the HQ, the air force and the port-front logistics had to run from that as well; which permitted only short periods of intensive fights. Double the air force, the number of divisions, etc. and you hit the level below subsistence.

Also let's not forget that the British systematically mopped up IEA, Vichy French possessions, reconquered Iraq, occupied Iran, assaulted Madagascar, so basically they spent 1940-1942 with training their troops and honing their doctrines. Douglas Porch argues that the MTO was a pivotal theatre of WW2 but not so much for the Axis as for the Allies. There is no telling, he writes, what could have happened if a premature invasion of France commenced in 1943.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

ljadw
Member
Posts: 13463
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by ljadw » 09 May 2022 10:30

1 It is meaningless to talk about Italian ''divisions ''as most had only a brigade strength
2 The Libyan ports :
In 1941 the Italians sent 1,015,000 tons of supplies to Libya (for the Italian AND German forces and for the Italian civilians ),this is some 85000 a month, NOT 100000.Of these 853000 arrived =71000 a month.
In 1942 it was 925000 of which 780000 arrived = 65000
Only ONCE in 1941 was more than 100000 ton sent and did more than 100000 arrive : June 1941
The same for 1942 : April 1942 .
3 Supplies arriving in the ports are not the same as supplies arriving at the front .

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1780
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 09 May 2022 11:27

Ironmachine wrote:
09 May 2022 08:46
Anything else that Spain could provide could also be obtained from a defeated and conquered Spain, more and more easily in fact than with Franco in power, and the Germans would have had no need to care for the population of Spain.
An allied Spain was no needed for getting Gibraltar. It made the whole affair somewhat easier, just that. And Axis members were exploited by the Germans. Certainly not as much as conquered countries, but there was never any doubt about who made the final decisions.
It is really strange and typical for the Third Reich that in territories which they conquered and subsequently looted and plundered, their economic gains were very limited compared to those countries which they left to manage their own or tried to integrate. Surprise, surprise, slave economy doesn't work :)
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Counter
Member
Posts: 101
Joined: 01 Mar 2019 16:48
Location: Europe

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Counter » 09 May 2022 19:06

Richard Anderson wrote:Um, no. If both sides have 100 aircraft, but one side has a sustained operational capability of 60% and the other 90%, who is superior? The one with 90% aircraft operational, right? Or not. If the side with 90% operational capability can only manage one sortie per day, but the other side with 60% operational capability can manage three sorties per day, then which is superior? I'll do the math for you. 100 X 90% X 1 = 90. 100 X 60% x 3 = 180.
Funny :D Always juggling with figures and data, never being serious. Airfields, operational or not, ground maintenance, air-filters, sorties, no Panzerdivisionen existing... Do you know what?

On discussing possible strategies you can read many things about unfeasible strategies -or failed strategies. For example, the Allies discussed landing in France in 1943 (discussion on feasibility), or the plan to open a new front in Norway (discussion on feasibility).

I read many books about that war, and, on strategy, after the Nazi failure to land in Britain (september 1940) every book say something about the Raeder proposal (opposed to "Barbarrosa"), but no serious book has anything about a supposed unfeasibility of the Axis conquering the Mediterranean in that moment, as UK was fighting alone. Maybe Richard could write one including that "possibility of unfeasibility" telling stories about air-filters, ground maintenance and the like... :D

Counter
Member
Posts: 101
Joined: 01 Mar 2019 16:48
Location: Europe

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Counter » 09 May 2022 20:00

Ironmachine wrote:Germany and Spain could, for example, sign a secret protocol to transfer those territories to Spanish control after the end of the war, when a victorious Germany would have no problem forcing Italy, France and anyone else to accept the fait accompli
Counter wrote:That was exactly what Franco was asking to Hitler desperately in November 1940, and that was not conceded.
Ironmachine wrote:If you mean that in November 1940 Franco was asking for a secret protocol like the one I mentioned, prove it.
Franco wrote a letter to Hitler (and also to Mussolini) at October 30, 1940 insisting on his demands about the african territories (French territories at that time). Hitler never answered that letter. Hitler met -November 18- the Spanish foreign minister -Franco brother in law, Serrano- in Berchtesgaden to reject plainly a written promise of that kind. Minister Serrano again insisted to the german ambassador in Spain November 25 to get a "private letter" from Hitler in that sense. Finally, December 7, Franco refused to get into the war. I presume you know all this.

I don´t know whether in that letter Franco wrote also something about food for the starving spanish people... probably not.
Ironmachine wrote: The British should be scared of the Germans convincing the Spaniards to join the Axis. Why not?
Well, because you claim that Spain joining the Axis was impossible due to the impossibility of providing Spain the resources not to starve the country... If that being true, the british, so well informed about Spain, would be fairly calm, no danger in sight.
Ironmachine wrote:We could also discuss why you believe Mr. Hoare and but do not believe German experts when they say Germany could not provide what Spain asked for, but there is also no point in doing it. If you are in the realm of "believing", that's a problem of faith; I like to work with reason.
"German experts" I presume you mean the german document of February 1941 you inserted in page 6 post 82. That document is valuable, and it makes sense related to what generally you read about germans (british too) judging exaggerated the spanish demands (particularly on food). But British were convinced finally after ambassador Hoare insisted that was vital to allow Spain to buy grain across the Ocean (if not...). London authorities were sensible to distrust because they didn´t want to provide Spain goods that Spain could then re-export to Germany. Germans experts were also distrustful on the matter, that is not surprising, and they didn´t want to pay so much because it was very important for the Nazi regime to avoid shortening of rations. But we know that, anyway, rations were shortened in 1942 and again in 1943... and the german soldiers fought on fiercely and the workers -many of them, slaves- increased productivity. So, the reluctance of the experts is one thing, and what Germany -consuming 2 million tons of grain monthly- could afford is another thing. Particularly if the Führer considered that seizing Gibraltar -part of the Raeder proposal- was vital to win the war, even in a short time. This is reason.
Ironmachine wrote:Franco (...) didn't want his people to starve because there is no advantage in ruling over corpses and because starving people may have the idea of fighting against the ruler who is making them starve.
Ironmachine wrote:I had never claimed that Germany would have not helped Spain if the country joined the Axis, but that the help that Germany could provide would have not been enough to 1) convince Franco to join the war and 2) to allow Spain to fight effectively or even survive in a decent shape.

Ironmachine wrote:it seems that Hitler was not interested enough when he finally decided to invade the Soviet Union, but it does seem that he was was interested enough during the last part of 1940 and very beginning of 1941, as he ordered the Germany military to plan the invasion of Gibraltar and keep pressuring Franco to join the Axis.
I see a contradiction as you write that Franco saw no advantage in "ruling over corpses" and Hitler willing Spain joining the Axis not providing the necessary resources. In such a case -Spain joining the Axis without food enough- Hitler would cope with the same problems that Franco. Of course, other thing would be Hitler invading Spain and treating the Spaniards like the Greeks or the Serbs or the Polish

Sorry, but you are not going to convince me -and few people would get convinced of that- that Hitler would make an exception with Spain as an ally, not providing the minimal resources to keep the country working, not "ruling over corpses".

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4905
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 May 2022 23:36

Counter wrote:
09 May 2022 19:06
Funny :D Always juggling with figures and data, never being serious.
No what is funny is that you seem to believe your unsupported opinions override data. Data are very serious and can tell us quite a bit.
Airfields, operational or not, ground maintenance, air-filters, sorties, no Panzerdivisionen existing... Do you know what?
What? And what is the actually intent of your sentence? If it is a statement, then it makes no sense. If it is a question, then it makes no sense. A complete lack of sense is also known as nonsense. Please stop posting nonsense.
On discussing possible strategies you can read many things about unfeasible strategies -or failed strategies. For example, the Allies discussed landing in France in 1943 (discussion on feasibility), or the plan to open a new front in Norway (discussion on feasibility).
That's fine, if what you are looking for are irrelevant truisms, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the discussion here to date. I could easily rewrite your sentence and it would be just as true, but still as irrelevant to the discussion. On discussing possible outcomes you can read many things about unfeasible outcomes -or failed outcomes. For example, the Allies discussed outcomes in France in 1943 (discussion on feasibility)...it's all the same, fine and dandy, but doesn't actually say anything.

You refuse to actually "discuss" anything - unfeasible strategies, failed strategies, technical limitations, geographic limitations, logistical limitations, which tend to make Raeder's "strategy" unfeasible. Instead you avoid questions and repeat you opinion as if it is fact.
I read many books about that war, and, on strategy,
Really? That's nice. Do you somehow believe you have read many more books that I, Peter, or Ironmachine about that war, or the specific areas of interest that we have pursued? Or are you just trying a rather lame version of an appeal to authority fallacious argument? I suspect that just based on age, length of interest in the subject, and career, you may be following the pack rather than leading it.
after the Nazi failure to land in Britain (september 1940) every book say something about the Raeder proposal (opposed to "Barbarrosa"), but no serious book has anything about a supposed unfeasibility of the Axis conquering the Mediterranean in that moment, as UK was fighting alone.
Every book? So Andreas Hillgruber, Hitler's Strategie, is not a serious book? There he argued that no defeat in the Middle East or Mediterranean could have driven Britain out of the war, so long as Churchill retained the support of Roosevelt. So yes, no serious book addresses the "unfeasibility" [sic] of the Axis conquering the Mediterranean; they simply look at it as a strategic dead end for the Germans, which is true. I'm actually not sure anyone has looked at the problems in basing and logistics in any detail, but the situation is not good for the Germans.
Maybe Richard could write one including that "possibility of unfeasibility" telling stories about air-filters, ground maintenance and the like... :D
Maybe you, whatever your name is, you could actually write an explanation of what the Germans would do in October 1940 that would enable them to seize the Suez Canal? You've been asked before, but you keep falling back on vague and somewhat wild-eyed declarations of opinion you seem to think are fact.

BTW, constantly deriding the Luftwaffe's problems with logistical support isn't clever, it simply demonstrates how little you must know of the subject. Effective engine air filters in North Africa, be they for aircraft, tanks, or trucks, were crucial. For example, Bernd Hartmann in Panzers in the Sand noted that in Panzer-Regiment 5. a primary cause of loss was their air filters were effectively useless in desert conditions, finding in one report (c. November 1941) that of 81 tanks broken down in the regiment, 58 required engine replacement due to ingesting sand into the engine. For the Luftwaffe, if air filters were unimportant, then why were the Bf 109E-4/Trop, Bf 109G-2/Trop, Bf 109G-4/Trop, and Bf 109G-6/Trop produced and why was a separate tropische Rüstsatz kit produced for the F-2? Why was there an Fw 190 A-4/Trop, A-5/Trop, F/Trop, and G/Trop? Why was there a Ju 88A-4/Trop and a D-1/Trop? A Ju 87B-2/Trop? I think you might need to ask why if tropical air filters were unimportant did the Luftwaffe spend so much time and effort in producing them?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

glenn239
Member
Posts: 5586
Joined: 29 Apr 2005 01:20
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by glenn239 » 09 May 2022 23:50

ljadw wrote:
09 May 2022 07:02
4 About the Libyan ports : they did not allow the Italians to supply an army of more than 10 divisions, unless these divisions remained idle in Tripoli .
The Greek war proved a massive diversion of Italian shipping and naval resources.

glenn239
Member
Posts: 5586
Joined: 29 Apr 2005 01:20
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by glenn239 » 10 May 2022 00:03

Counter wrote:
09 May 2022 19:06
Funny :D Always juggling with figures and data, never being serious. Airfields, operational or not, ground maintenance, air-filters, sorties, no Panzerdivisionen existing... Do you know what?
Not sure if you've seen it, but if you google Luftwaffe Airfields 1935-45 Libya (Tripolitania & Cyrenaica) & Egypt there's a good pdf that covers all the Axis airfields in Libya and Egypt in WW2.

glenn239
Member
Posts: 5586
Joined: 29 Apr 2005 01:20
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by glenn239 » 10 May 2022 01:08

Richard Anderson wrote:
09 May 2022 23:36
Every book? So Andreas Hillgruber, Hitler's Strategie, is not a serious book? There he argued that no defeat in the Middle East or Mediterranean could have driven Britain out of the war, so long as Churchill retained the support of Roosevelt. So yes, no serious book addresses the "unfeasibility" [sic] of the Axis conquering the Mediterranean; they simply look at it as a strategic dead end for the Germans, which is true.
The dilemma of German strategy in the fall of 1940 was whether to ally with, or attack, the Soviet Union. The danger to Britain in an Axis Middle East strategy was not so much the Germans themselves as it was what an Axis success in Egypt would do for appetites for expansion into the Middle East in Moscow. It is the context of the Axis-Soviet relationship that makes an Axis ME strategy either futile or dangerous to Great Britain.

ljadw
Member
Posts: 13463
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by ljadw » 10 May 2022 06:26

glenn239 wrote:
09 May 2022 23:50
ljadw wrote:
09 May 2022 07:02
4 About the Libyan ports : they did not allow the Italians to supply an army of more than 10 divisions, unless these divisions remained idle in Tripoli .
The Greek war proved a massive diversion of Italian shipping and naval resources.
Yes
Between 1940-1943 the Italians sent 981000 men and 1,972,000 tons of supplies to the Balkans and 137000 men and 1,590,000 tons of supplies to their forces in Libya.
But one should not make the mistake by arguing that without a war in the Balkans, Libya would have received an additional 918000 men and 1,972,000 tons of supplies ,as this was logistically impossible and as there was no reason and no need for it .

User avatar
Ironmachine
Member
Posts: 5748
Joined: 07 Jul 2005 10:50
Location: Spain

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Ironmachine » 10 May 2022 08:26

Counter wrote:Franco wrote a letter to Hitler (and also to Mussolini) at October 30, 1940 insisting on his demands about the african territories (French territories at that time). Hitler never answered that letter. Hitler met -November 18- the Spanish foreign minister -Franco brother in law, Serrano- in Berchtesgaden to reject plainly a written promise of that kind. Minister Serrano again insisted to the german ambassador in Spain November 25 to get a "private letter" from Hitler in that sense. Finally, December 7, Franco refused to get into the war. I presume you know all this.
So Franco wrote a letter to Hitler and his foreign minister had a meeting with him. That's is very, very far from "asking to Hitler desperately"...
Counter wrote:
Ironmachine wrote:The British should be scared of the Germans convincing the Spaniards to join the Axis. Why not?
Well, because you claim that Spain joining the Axis was impossible due to the impossibility of providing Spain the resources not to starve the country... If that being true, the british, so well informed about Spain, would be fairly calm, no danger in sight.
Another lie about what I said. I never claimed that Spain joining the Axis was impossible. I said that in my opinion it was very difficult in the circumstances present in 1940 but certainly not impossible. Franco could still be forced by the Germans to join the Axis. That's an option the British could not ignore, and even if Spain joining the Axis is far from being a sure-win strategy for the Germans, it would certainly, at least for a short period, worsen the British situations the British should prepare for that possibility. As for the British being "so well informed about Spain", that's simply means nothing.
"German experts" I presume you mean the german document of February 1941 you inserted in page 6 post 82. That document is valuable, and it makes sense related to what generally you read about germans (british too) judging exaggerated the spanish demands (particularly on food). But British were convinced finally after ambassador Hoare insisted that was vital to allow Spain to buy grain across the Ocean (if not...). London authorities were sensible to distrust because they didn´t want to provide Spain goods that Spain could then re-export to Germany. Germans experts were also distrustful on the matter, that is not surprising, and they didn´t want to pay so much because it was very important for the Nazi regime to avoid shortening of rations. But we know that, anyway, rations were shortened in 1942 and again in 1943... and the german soldiers fought on fiercely and the workers -many of them, slaves- increased productivity. So, the reluctance of the experts is one thing, and what Germany -consuming 2 million tons of grain monthly- could afford is another thing. Particularly if the Führer considered that seizing Gibraltar -part of the Raeder proposal- was vital to win the war, even in a short time. This is reason.
Blah, blah, blah. A long text that adds nothing new and explains nothing.
So the British allowed Spain to import food and oil? We already knew that. They had to risk that goods ending in German hands because cutting Spain's imports would have simply put Spain directly in the Axis.
So you think Germany could provide the food and oil that Spain needed if cut off from imports? Well, they didn't agree to provide those goods.
So Germany wanted to supply lesser quantities of food and aoil than those asked by Spain? Well, no surprise here, everybody wants the best possible deal for his interests.
So Germany could supply lesser quantities of food and oil than asked by Spain if Spain joins the Axis? Of course, but that is not going to convince Franco to join the Axis.
So after that long paragraph, we are back where we began. The British were trying to keep Spain neutral( non-belligerant, really). The Germans were trying to make Spain their ally at the minimum possible cost. And Spain? Who knows? Franco may have been trying to buy time by asking the Germans for what he knew he couldn't provide or he may be trying to obtain everything he could before joining the war. But in any of those two possibilites, unless a direct German threat is made, Franco has the final word.
Counter wrote:I see a contradiction as you write that Franco saw no advantage in "ruling over corpses" and Hitler willing Spain joining the Axis not providing the necessary resources.
So you can't see that Franco's and Hitler's interests were not the same? That explains a lot about your ideas.
In such a case -Spain joining the Axis without food enough- Hitler would cope with the same problems that Franco.
It is certainly not the same problem, because Franco was the ruler of Spain and Hitler was the ruler of Germany. Hitler's interest would be obtaining as much as he could for Germany from Spain, Spaniards be damned. Surely even you can see that Franco's interest would be somewhat different.
And even if they were going to cope with the same problem, that not means that Hitler is going to solve it (or even that he could solve it). Let's see if an example (even if certainly remote) can help you to understand the problem. Hitler had weapons, generally better tanks than his allies. Sending Romanian and Italian troops to the Eastern Front without adecuate weapons and putting them on the line is going to cause a problem to Mussolini, Antonescu and, certainly, also Hitler. But still, did Hitler (could he, actually?) reequip those troops with better German weapons?
Counter wrote:Of course, other thing would be Hitler invading Spain and treating the Spaniards like the Greeks or the Serbs or the Polish
Well, with the number of German troops that would enter Spain and Spanish Morocco if Felix is launched, with Spain actually being a war front, with the additional military resources that Germany would put in Spain if a "Great Britain first" strategy is adopted (for example, the Germany submarine fleet operating from Spanish ports would be a great asset for the Germans), etc., I have little doubt about who would have the final word in Spain and whose interests would be served first. A Spanish Quisling would not be difficult to find. Perhaps not as bad as Poland or Greece or Serbia, but...
Counter wrote:Sorry, but you are not going to convince me
That's your problem, really.
Counter wrote:-and few people would get convinced of that-
That's your opinion.
Counter wrote: that Hitler would make an exception with Spain as an ally, not providing the minimal resources to keep the country working, not "ruling over corpses".
And what do you mean by "keep the country working" exactly? Working as it was already working in 1940? Working as an active ally, with operative armed forces and a productive industry? Working as the slave workers of the Third Reich, until they died exhausted?
And, on the other hand, why do you think the Spaniards will be satisfied simply with keeping the country working? They already had that, without the risk of a war. And they wanted far more. Spanish authorities may have been out of touch with reality but, whlie people was actually dying from hunger and cold, they wanted a colonial empire, they planned to build 1,000 tanks, they had plans for a Navy with battleships and aircraft carriers, they wanted an air force with 5,000 aircraft. Can you imagine what those same authorities are going to answer when Hitler offers to keep the country working?
Anyway, none of this is really important, because you are moving the goal posts. I never said that Germany could not provide the "minimal" resources needed to keep Spain "working", whatever that may mean. I said that Germany could not provide what Spain asked for, which was conceded by the Germans themselves, and that Franco had no need to join the Axis if his demands were not fullfiled and nothing else happens, which is a self-evident truth. After many, many posts, you have shown no evidence that contradicts those two points, and rambling about minimal needs, Hitler not making an exception, Great Britain worried about an Axis Spain, etc., it's not going to change that: in 1940, simply by negotiation Hitler was not going to convince Franco to join the Axis, because he can not give what Franco asked for.

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1780
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 10 May 2022 12:09

glenn239 wrote:
10 May 2022 01:08
Richard Anderson wrote:
09 May 2022 23:36
Every book? So Andreas Hillgruber, Hitler's Strategie, is not a serious book? There he argued that no defeat in the Middle East or Mediterranean could have driven Britain out of the war, so long as Churchill retained the support of Roosevelt. So yes, no serious book addresses the "unfeasibility" [sic] of the Axis conquering the Mediterranean; they simply look at it as a strategic dead end for the Germans, which is true.
The dilemma of German strategy in the fall of 1940 was whether to ally with, or attack, the Soviet Union. The danger to Britain in an Axis Middle East strategy was not so much the Germans themselves as it was what an Axis success in Egypt would do for appetites for expansion into the Middle East in Moscow. It is the context of the Axis-Soviet relationship that makes an Axis ME strategy either futile or dangerous to Great Britain.
A dead end in the context of an offensive strategy, because Germany had no way to project power beyond the protected ports and railroads, and for that, they needed Turkey more than Spain. But Turkey was a prime interest of the Soviets as well, so essentially it was impossible to integrate Turkish economy and infrastructure to the Reich's own.

The Soviets were also not in a dire need for joining the Axis (to put it mildly), that's why they overplayed their hand during the 1940 negotiations. They would certainly not agree to a treaty that would lead Germany into a position to control the Soviets in any way. They might not even agree to one which would make Germany markedly less dependant on Soviet imports.

The economic buildup of the conquered lands and allies of Germany was not consistent with the Nazi ideology either, so they put little effort into that. The colonial delusions of Spain and Italy and the actual colonial empire of Vichy France were mutually exclusive, too.

What a Mediterranean Strategy could achive was a large defensive perimeter, mostly built upon cooperation with Vichy France. Over time, the ME/NA oil fields plus the food surplus of Turkey, Mesopotamia and Persia could alleviate some of the logistics needs for an army stationed on the perimeter, potentially gaining an upper hand against an invading British-American army.

A somewhat defensive strategy like this, markedly non-German, could not be a game changer though. The only possible positive outcome out of this would be an Allied strategic blunder on immense scale, like a completely defeated landing in Normandy. Also, this wasn't Raeder's "plan" either. In fact, Raeder didn't have any solid plan in 1940.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Return to “German Strategy & General German Military Discussion”