German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
User avatar
MarkF617
Member
Posts: 193
Joined: 16 Jun 2014 21:11
Location: United Kingdom

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by MarkF617 » 28 Feb 2022 23:20

So the Germans will capture Gibraltar, send a few dozen divisions, including elite forces, to North Africa along with a massive chunk of the Luftwaffe and march across the whole of North Africa to conquer Egypt and the British will do nothing? Not a single spitfire sent out? These scenarios always go the same way the Germans can massively change strategy but the stupid Allies wouldn't change a thing.
Admiral Raeder only suggested this ridiculous plan as he could see his branch of the military being pushed adide as there would be little need for a navy in Barbarossa.

Thanks

Mark.
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1704
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 28 Feb 2022 23:58

MarkF617 wrote:
28 Feb 2022 23:20
So the Germans will capture Gibraltar, send a few dozen divisions, including elite forces, to North Africa along with a massive chunk of the Luftwaffe and march across the whole of North Africa to conquer Egypt and the British will do nothing? Not a single spitfire sent out? These scenarios always go the same way the Germans can massively change strategy but the stupid Allies wouldn't change a thing.
Admiral Raeder only suggested this ridiculous plan as he could see his branch of the military being pushed adide as there would be little need for a navy in Barbarossa.

Thanks

Mark.
It would be not the British, but the French, who would answer that shift in earnest. A change from passive resistance to active FFR support would free up a number of British divisions, thus creating a strategic depth in the defense of the ME oil fields. An invasion of Iberia would also cause the withdrawal of Madrid and Lisbon to the Canaries and the Azores, respectively.
“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 » 01 Mar 2022 07:52

MarkF617 wrote:So the Germans will capture Gibraltar, send a few dozen divisions, including elite forces, to North Africa along with a massive chunk of the Luftwaffe and march across the whole of North Africa to conquer Egypt and the British will do nothing? Not a single spitfire sent out?
Remember that if the strategy of Raeder was accepted that would happen at the time of the Blitz over England -January 1941- and that UK would be fighting alone. Of course, they would do something... Norway or Denmark did some things... Polland did much... But overwhelming superiority of the enemy is a factor to ponder, I think...
Peter89 wrote:You truly believe that German troops "advanced" in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria "unopposed"? So you think that they did not have the right and the cooperation to be in those countries?
Sure the germans negotiated some questions with other countries in Central Europe, but the valuable fact is that realistic history in war has to do with strategical necessities and, of course, the power to force (or not) other people to do what you need. Between june 1940 and june 1941 (at least) Hitler was the winner and got practically everything what he wanted from other european countries. If someone resisted could be forced to accept, obviously.

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1704
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 01 Mar 2022 09:50

Counter wrote:
01 Mar 2022 07:52
Peter89 wrote:You truly believe that German troops "advanced" in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria "unopposed"? So you think that they did not have the right and the cooperation to be in those countries?
Sure the germans negotiated some questions with other countries in Central Europe, but the valuable fact is that realistic history in war has to do with strategical necessities and, of course, the power to force (or not) other people to do what you need. Between june 1940 and june 1941 (at least) Hitler was the winner and got practically everything what he wanted from other european countries. If someone resisted could be forced to accept, obviously.
The Germans did not "negotiate some questions with other countries in Central Europe"... these countries joined the Axis, making them allies.

Hitler did NOT get everything from other countries he wanted. Search for the Hendaye meeting. The Yugoslavs stood up against him, the Spaniards never joined him, and the Vichy French dislocated most of their fleet to the colonies, to name a few.

Also Germany could not "force" the whole continent into obedience. There was a reason why they installed puppet governments like Pétain or Quisling. No nation could rule Europe alone. For example, if Spain and by that extension Portugal would not join the Axis, Hitler should attack through the Pyrenees and he should occupy 600,000 km2 of rough terrain just to get to Gibraltar. Yes the Wehrmacht could probably do that in 1941, and with hindsight it would probably be a better choice than to attack the Soviet Union, but then how will the Spanish people be fed? How the economy will be ran? A country that was recently ruined by a devastating civil war, could not be run efficiently by a German occupation. Also it would mean that the Wehrmacht had to keep substantial forces there, covering a land that was larger than Occupied France and Poland, combined. Not to mention the immediate loss of the Canaries, Azores and the Cape Verde islands to the British that could easily outweigh the gain that Gibraltar could offer to the Axis.
“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 » 01 Mar 2022 11:53

Peter89 wrote:For example, if Spain and by that extension Portugal would not join the Axis, Hitler should attack through the Pyrenees and he should occupy 600,000 km2 of rough terrain just to get to Gibraltar. Yes the Wehrmacht could probably do that in 1941, and with hindsight it would probably be a better choice than to attack the Soviet Union
No only "with hindsight" invading Spain to get Gibraltar and the Mediterranean (supposing the invasion was necessary, and 90% it wasn´t) was better than the dangerous invasion of the enormous Russia... At that time too, the Admiral Raeder´s proposal was extremely sensible, maybe reminding what happened in Crimean War https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_War as the "Entente cordiale" demonstrated that defeating Russia is possible... particularly if you don´t run the risk of getting inside the vast and nearly infinite lands of Russia, as Napoleon did.

Precisely because in January 1941 the III Reich was the winner they were able to impose many things to the rest of Europe. No need to get every European country a german province (why bother?). In every country there were ambitious pro-nazi politicians available to become a Quisling, a Petain, even a Horthy. In Spain, specially. There were in Spain many pronazi generals that could have replaced Franco, even the suitor of the spanish Crown (Juan Carlos´father) was eager to be the king of the spanish fascists (Falange) as Vittorio was the king of the italian ones.

Anyway, if Hitler invading Spain in January 1941, the lesson would have been useful for the nazis not to need invading Yugoslavia in March...

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1704
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 01 Mar 2022 13:11

Counter wrote:
01 Mar 2022 11:53
No only "with hindsight" invading Spain to get Gibraltar and the Mediterranean (supposing the invasion was necessary, and 90% it wasn´t)
The Spanish did not want to join the Axis by themselves. Period. We don't need to alter facts here, for that, go to the what if section. But I would like to know how do you actually imagine it? That Hitler didn't ask them to join, or what?
Counter wrote:
01 Mar 2022 11:53
At that time too, the Admiral Raeder´s proposal was extremely sensible, maybe reminding what happened in Crimean War https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_War
Why do you link me wikipedia articles?
Counter wrote:
01 Mar 2022 11:53
as the "Entente cordiale" demonstrated that defeating Russia is possible... particularly if you don´t run the risk of getting inside the vast and nearly infinite lands of Russia, as Napoleon did.
A defeat meant a different thing during the Crimean war and during the totalitarian, autarchic state of the Soviets.
Counter wrote:
01 Mar 2022 11:53
Precisely because in January 1941 the III Reich was the winner
No, they were not. They lost the Battle of Britain. Italy got beaten badly on all fronts.
Counter wrote:
01 Mar 2022 11:53
they were able to impose many things to the rest of Europe.
If and when the rest of Europe was interested in it. If they were not, the Germans had to use force.
Counter wrote:
01 Mar 2022 11:53
No need to get every European country a german province (why bother?). In every country there were ambitious pro-nazi politicians available to become a Quisling, a Petain, even a Horthy. In Spain, specially.
In every country there has been a pro-British faction. Besides, Germany could offer little the European countries as long as the British ruled the seas. Germany would use these countries to exploit them, and not to make them prosper. Btw Horthy was never pro-German, and the pro-German sentiments in Spain were not enough to push that country to Axis arms.
Counter wrote:
01 Mar 2022 11:53
There were in Spain many pronazi generals that could have replaced Franco, even the suitor of the spanish Crown (Juan Carlos´father) was eager to be the king of the spanish fascists (Falange) as Vittorio was the king of the italian ones.
Still, that did not happen. What do you think, why is that?
Counter wrote:
01 Mar 2022 11:53
Anyway, if Hitler invading Spain in January 1941, the lesson would have been useful for the nazis not to need invading Yugoslavia in March...
Not at all. Yugoslavia was vital for German interests while Iberia was not. Also Yugoslavia was in a political turmoil and they wanted to shift to a pro-British stance.
“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

User avatar
MarkF617
Member
Posts: 193
Joined: 16 Jun 2014 21:11
Location: United Kingdom

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by MarkF617 » 01 Mar 2022 14:50

Counter wrote:
[Remember that if the strategy of Raeder was accepted that would happen at the time of the Blitz over England -January 1941- and that UK would be fighting alone. Of course, they would do something... Norway or Denmark did some things... Polland did much... But overwhelming superiority of the enemy is a factor to ponder, I think...]

What superiority? The British had defeated the Luftwaffe over Britain forcing them to hide during the night and Brittania ruled the waves. Only on land was Germany superior. What would blocking the entrance to the Mediterranean do? British shipping was already going the long way round the Cape.
You have alsonot explained how an attack by 30 divisions along the length would be supplied other than handwavium. Do you know what shipping the Axis had in the Mediterranean? Do you know port or road capacity? Did Raeder, or was he just desperately trying to save some glory for the Kreigsmarine as there would be none in Barbarossa? The kriegsmarine was about to become an insignificance with resources going to the other services he needed to do something fast.
You have also stated that 30 divisions could be easily supplied because that's how many were supplied in Tunisia. You do realise that that they never went anywhere. It"s a long way from Tunisia to Cairo and its only half way from Morocco, how much fuel would be used? How many spare parts/replacement vehicles would be needed just to drive that far let alone fighting the Spanish, French and Commonwealth forces in North Africa. Vehicles and people also need water, lots of it. Can you explain whete this all comes from.
Until you can provide solid data proving it could be done this has become just another Germany would gave won if Hitler had listened to "insert General/Admiral here" thread.
To answer rhe original question I believe the Kriegsmarine could have been better utalised in the Baltic. Imagine Bismarck sat off Leningrad giving fire support, much better use than the actual use she was put to.

Thanks

Mark.
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1704
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 01 Mar 2022 17:11

MarkF617 wrote:
01 Mar 2022 14:50
Counter wrote:
[Remember that if the strategy of Raeder was accepted that would happen at the time of the Blitz over England -January 1941- and that UK would be fighting alone. Of course, they would do something... Norway or Denmark did some things... Polland did much... But overwhelming superiority of the enemy is a factor to ponder, I think...]


What superiority? The British had defeated the Luftwaffe over Britain forcing them to hide during the night and Brittania ruled the waves. Only on land was Germany superior.
Not really because Britain had to keep most of its air forces, land forces and naval forces around Britain in 1941. So what is true to the Germans is also true to the British: 100 Spitfires in England does not equal 100 Spitfires in Alexandria; and to keep 100 Spitfires in the air in Alexandria is not the same as to keep 100 Spitfires in the air in Kent.
MarkF617 wrote:
01 Mar 2022 14:50
What would blocking the entrance to the Mediterranean do? British shipping was already going the long way round the Cape.
It would make it possible to join the naval forces of the Axis, thus they could build up a local superiority in the MTO, or threaten to shift forces against Britian. Also it could trap the Royal Navy in the Mediterraneum, because the Suez Canal was considered to be unreliable because of the mines.
MarkF617 wrote:
01 Mar 2022 14:50
Did Raeder, or was he just desperately trying to save some glory for the Kreigsmarine as there would be none in Barbarossa? The kriegsmarine was about to become an insignificance with resources going to the other services he needed to do something fast.
This notion is, I think, a falsehood or a myth rather. Of course there was a competition for resources between the three services, but Hitler, as well as the Heer anticipated a quick victory over the Soviets, and Hitler "only" wanted to secure raw materials for a long struggle against Britain. He ordered already before the Barbarossa that the resources allocation priority should go to the KM & LW, because the Heer was already "too strong". Of course Barbarossa did not end well for the Germans, but Raeder couldn't know that, nor could Hitler. And in the end, the Heer could not defeat Britain, so Raeder should not worry that "he will have no glory in the victory".
MarkF617 wrote:
01 Mar 2022 14:50
To answer rhe original question I believe the Kriegsmarine could have been better utalised in the Baltic. Imagine Bismarck sat off Leningrad giving fire support, much better use than the actual use she was put to.
To use battleships for NGFS, where there were land-based options was a bad idea; they were very expensive, very low on barrels and ammunition and it was much, much harder to hit something from a ship than from a fixed location. Besides, one torpedo or one mine could finish off even the mighty Bismarck, so no sane officier would risk it. Besides, the British could sink Bismarck then and there only with some extreme luck on their side, but I doubt that it could do anything useful from a French port, constantly bombed, torpedoed and whatnot, like the rest of her colleagues. Raeder's plan made sense only if he could move his ships much further south, outside of the range of the RAF, where South Atlantic trade could be threatened and blockade runners could be received.
“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

User avatar
MarkF617
Member
Posts: 193
Joined: 16 Jun 2014 21:11
Location: United Kingdom

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by MarkF617 » 01 Mar 2022 18:44

Peter 89,

I am busy so I will answer your posts one at a time when I can.

You wrote:

[Not really because Britain had to keep most of its air forces, land forces and naval forces around Britain in 1941. So what is true to the Germans is also true to the British: 100 Spitfires in England does not equal 100 Spitfires in Alexandria; and to keep 100 Spitfires in the air in Alexandria is not the same as to keep 100 Spitfires in the air in Kent.]

Obviously much of the RAF must stay home but the dame is true for the Luftwaffe who have to have units in France, Norway, the low countries, Poland as well as at home. Also although 100 spitfires at home doesn't equal 100 in Egypt but due to the facilities in the Delta area a larger proportion could be maintained than the Luftwaffe could in the Desert.

Thanks

Mark.
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

User avatar
MarkF617
Member
Posts: 193
Joined: 16 Jun 2014 21:11
Location: United Kingdom

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by MarkF617 » 01 Mar 2022 19:02

Peter 89 ssid:

[It would make it possible to join the naval forces of the Axis, thus they could build up a local superiority in the MTO, or threaten to shift forces against Britian. Also it could trap the Royal Navy in the Mediterraneum, because the Suez Canal was considered to be unreliable because of the mines.]

The Suez Canal was frequently used during this period. The British could easily re-enforce the Mediterranean. I believe there was always 2 battleships and a carrier in northern waters to watch Tirpitz. If the German big ships move to the Mediterranean the Royal Navy would follow. Also with the Soviets not in the war there will be more equipment and shipping available and more escorts as no north cape convoys

Thanks

Mark.
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1704
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 01 Mar 2022 20:18

MarkF617 wrote:
01 Mar 2022 18:44
Peter 89,

I am busy so I will answer your posts one at a time when I can.

You wrote:

[Not really because Britain had to keep most of its air forces, land forces and naval forces around Britain in 1941. So what is true to the Germans is also true to the British: 100 Spitfires in England does not equal 100 Spitfires in Alexandria; and to keep 100 Spitfires in the air in Alexandria is not the same as to keep 100 Spitfires in the air in Kent.]

Obviously much of the RAF must stay home but the dame is true for the Luftwaffe who have to have units in France, Norway, the low countries, Poland as well as at home. Also although 100 spitfires at home doesn't equal 100 in Egypt but due to the facilities in the Delta area a larger proportion could be maintained than the Luftwaffe could in the Desert.

Thanks

Mark.
To repeat myself, yes, what is true to the Germans is also true to the British and vica versa. :lol:

But do not forget that the RAF had to defend its population centers, industry, airfields and navy - unlike the Germans, who could pick battles over important targets in France and the Low Countries. Effective deep penetrations did not exist in 1940/1941, while Britain was in constant danger from Coventry to Liverpool. So it was impossible for the British to relocate their air arm to the MTO the same way as the Germans relocated their Luftwaffe to the Eastern Front. It was also impossible for the Germans to relocate the entire Luftwaffe to the MTO the same way as they relocated their Luftwaffe to the Eastern Front. But the Germans had bases, and thus units on Rhodes, Crete, etc. so not exclusively in Africa (unlike the British).

The maintenance was pretty abysmal at both sides, for example at any given moment, 50% of the British tanks were in repair, and operational readiness sank pretty quickly. For example, the Germans rarely had the opportunity to carry out major repairs in the field in 1940/1941, for example the units that were involved in the Foggia-Tirana airlift had to fly back to the German interior for a major overhaul before Crete. They tended to rely on cannibalizing damaged planes instead of carrying out repairs, so my bet is that the combat readiness rate would be higher on the German side, although it doesn't make a very great impression, because this also means that the damaged aircrafts are more frequently written off on the German side.
MarkF617 wrote:
01 Mar 2022 19:02
Peter 89 ssid:

[It would make it possible to join the naval forces of the Axis, thus they could build up a local superiority in the MTO, or threaten to shift forces against Britian. Also it could trap the Royal Navy in the Mediterraneum, because the Suez Canal was considered to be unreliable because of the mines.]

The Suez Canal was frequently used during this period. The British could easily re-enforce the Mediterranean. I believe there was always 2 battleships and a carrier in northern waters to watch Tirpitz. If the German big ships move to the Mediterranean the Royal Navy would follow. Also with the Soviets not in the war there will be more equipment and shipping available and more escorts as no north cape convoys

Thanks

Mark.
The question was not whether the Suez Canal could be used at any given moment or not, but whether it could be blocked via air for a few weeks, and the answer is yes, because it also happened in real life. I bet Cunningham would muster his forces and meet the enemy in battle instead of running the high risk of hitting a mine and end up sinking hopelessly in the Canal.

If Operation Felix was carried out as planned, the Germans could move the Hipper, Scheer, the Prinz Eugen, the Scharnhorst and Gnisenau to the MTO.
This could be offset easily by the choice of Sommerville's Force H, which would have to decide whether they sail to home or join Cunningham in Alexandria.
In any case, if the British would choose to maintain a naval presence in the MTO and not retreat in time, it could be the worst defeat ever of the Royal Navy. I have no doubt that this was Raeder's plan, and not to threaten the Caucasus with Göring's aircrafts, which, in itself, is a joke.
“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

User avatar
MarkF617
Member
Posts: 193
Joined: 16 Jun 2014 21:11
Location: United Kingdom

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by MarkF617 » 01 Mar 2022 22:08

Why would Cunningham retreat down the canal, it would be used to re-enforce in the opposite direction. To make a realistic assessment we need to know the disposition of both navies of which I am unsure but that does seem a weak fleet.
The points I was originally making were not to start a silly what if (there is a separate section for that) but to point out that you cannot change what one side does without the other side reacting.,

Thanks

Mark.
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

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 » 02 Mar 2022 10:36

Hi!
Peter89 wrote:The Spanish did not want to join the Axis by themselves. Period.
That is not exact. Not yet seized Paris by the nazis, Franco sent a general to meet Hitler near the frontline to offer spanish support to Germany. Obviously, Franco, like Mussolini, wanted to get booty. As a matter of fact, they got the city of Tangiers. Spanish did not advance further into Morocco because they feared the strenght of the french colonial army.

Franco was an imperialist dictator and personally wanted to consolidate his power in Spain becoming a comrade of the great Führer. But he felt despised by Hitler, as he did not offer any booty for Spain in order to join Axis (only Gibraltar). Franco and Hitler were bargaining and finally Hitler got uninterested for the "Operation Felix"... anyway, at December 1940 he expected to get it all by executing "Barbarrosa".
Peter89 wrote:
Counter wrote:as the "Entente cordiale" demonstrated that defeating Russia is possible... particularly if you don´t run the risk of getting inside the vast and nearly infinite lands of Russia, as Napoleon did.
A defeat meant a different thing during the Crimean war and during the totalitarian, autarchic state of the Soviets.
But anyway, Raeder was correct as pointing at the vulnerability of Russia if the area of Turkey and the Straits would be in the Axis power. Once dominating the Mediterranean, Germany had motorized forces enough to reach all the area of Levant (there were roads and railways there)... This way the USSR would be controlled by the Axis threat and, at least, they should keep providing raw materials to Germany. And if an invasion to Russia was decided, the advantages would be enormous to succeed. And, sure, the British Empire would have disappeared and London would have demanded armistice. It was a winning strategy.
Peter89 wrote:They lost the Battle of Britain.
RAF was superior only in english skies. If Luftwaffe, instead of the stupid Blitz over London or Liverpool moved to the Mediterranean area (southern Spain, Sicily, Lybia...) they would have got overwhelming superiority by January or February 1941.
Peter89 wrote: Horthy was never pro-German, and the pro-German sentiments in Spain were not enough to push that country to Axis arms.
Horthy was not pro-German. Mannerheim either not... But both they sent whole armies on the nazi side in the Eastern Front...

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1704
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 02 Mar 2022 12:02

MarkF617 wrote:
01 Mar 2022 22:08
Why would Cunningham retreat down the canal, it would be used to re-enforce in the opposite direction. To make a realistic assessment we need to know the disposition of both navies of which I am unsure but that does seem a weak fleet.
The points I was originally making were not to start a silly what if (there is a separate section for that) but to point out that you cannot change what one side does without the other side reacting.,

Thanks

Mark.
Mark, in case Gibraltar has fallen, which was really only depending on Spain, the British naval forces in the MTO would face a question. Do they risk to be bagged up in the Mediterraneum, or do they go for the world seas.

The nature of the MTO meant that naval forces were not operating in an empty space, but in conjunction with ground and air forces. Thus, the disposition of the Axis fleet was not decisive on its own, because if the Axis ground forces reach the Canal, it was game over for the ships.

I very seriously doubt that the British would decide to reinforce the MTO if Gibraltar has fallen.

Also, the Canal was mined many times (between March 1941 and July 1941), but the lack of airplanes was the only reason why they Germans could not repeat these operations over and over again. Given the fact that even a few mines caused several days of impassability and huge marine traffic jams at supply ports, if the Germans would allocate more resources for this task, like one Gruppe flying a mining sortie per week, the Suez would be closed.

This is the reason why I think Cunningham might consider to use the Canal southwards (but I believe personally he would try to dash through the Gibraltar straits or meet the Axis in battle).
“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

Peter89
Member
Posts: 1704
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Spain

Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 02 Mar 2022 12:20

Counter wrote:
02 Mar 2022 10:36
Hi!
Peter89 wrote:The Spanish did not want to join the Axis by themselves. Period.
That is not exact.
This is exact. The Spanish were offered to join the Axis, it was negotiated, and it did not happen. If they wanted to join, they would.
Counter wrote:
02 Mar 2022 10:36
Franco was an imperialist dictator and personally wanted to consolidate his power in Spain becoming a comrade of the great Führer. But he felt despised by Hitler, as he did not offer any booty for Spain in order to join Axis (only Gibraltar).
Could you please name your sources about Franco?
Counter wrote:
02 Mar 2022 10:36
Peter89 wrote:
Counter wrote:as the "Entente cordiale" demonstrated that defeating Russia is possible... particularly if you don´t run the risk of getting inside the vast and nearly infinite lands of Russia, as Napoleon did.
A defeat meant a different thing during the Crimean war and during the totalitarian, autarchic state of the Soviets.
But anyway, Raeder was correct as pointing at the vulnerability of Russia if the area of Turkey and the Straits would be in the Axis power. Once dominating the Mediterranean, Germany had motorized forces enough to reach all the area of Levant (there were roads and railways there)... This way the USSR would be controlled by the Axis threat and, at least, they should keep providing raw materials to Germany. And if an invasion to Russia was decided, the advantages would be enormous to succeed. And, sure, the British Empire would have disappeared and London would have demanded armistice. It was a winning strategy.
Not anyway, because this idea that a defeat on the European peripheries, watching over no significant raw material or population center would force the Soviets to the negotiation table was tried, and it didn't work. The Soviet state was a stable, highly organized totalitarian state, and a defeat in the Caucasus could not collapse it. Besides such an attack would drain German power, thus: a potential Barbarossa would be weaker on the main front. Moreover, it would offer the Soviets a chance to defeat German armies in detail, with no way to reinforce from one section of the front to another.

And no, Raeder was wrong. He did not realize that the Soviets would not let Germany to advance on their southern flank and cut them off from the Indian Ocean (and the Mediterraneum as well).
Counter wrote:
02 Mar 2022 10:36
Peter89 wrote:They lost the Battle of Britain.
RAF was superior only in english skies. If Luftwaffe, instead of the stupid Blitz over London or Liverpool moved to the Mediterranean area (southern Spain, Sicily, Lybia...) they would have got overwhelming superiority by January or February 1941.
What is overwhelming superiority in your mind? And how the Germans would be able to achieve if their fighters could not reach the operational zone that their bombers was supposed to bomb? Not to mention other trivialities such as where would these fighters be based?
Counter wrote:
02 Mar 2022 10:36
Peter89 wrote: Horthy was never pro-German, and the pro-German sentiments in Spain were not enough to push that country to Axis arms.
Horthy was not pro-German. Mannerheim either not... But both they sent whole armies on the nazi side in the Eastern Front...
And Spain did not. What does that fact tell you?
“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”