German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
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 » 03 Mar 2022 20:06

Counter wrote:This thing about "devised as a way to frustrate the Germans" I read it already in a book about the Vichy France :D . It is easy to say that AFTERWARDS

But according to documents, it seems that Franco and his men were actually eager to get an African Empire.
Well, according to documents they were not adverse to talking about obtaining territories in Africa. But according to documents, it is far from clear that they were ready to join the war in 1940 in exchange for some territories in Africa. Anyway, those territories that they talked about were not under German control, so the Germans could not simply hand them over to Spain.
Counter wrote:Obviously, Spain would require economic help from the Germans. That was part of the negotiations... Finland also got grain from Germany, by the way...
And the negotiations concluded that Germany could not provide what Spain 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 » 03 Mar 2022 20:22

Counter wrote:
03 Mar 2022 19:41

In January 1941, the british were fighting alone (and under the Blitz), the US was neutral, the USSR was a "friend" of the nazis. Who could think at that time that the nazi victory was a "questionable outcome"?
Those who have seen the Luftwaffe defeated, the Italians beaten on all fronts and those who have seen Churchill's move with Sommerville, and those who were informed about the destroyers for bases pact, the Atlantic charta, etc. ie the whole world.
“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

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 » 03 Mar 2022 21:05

Counter wrote:
03 Mar 2022 19:41
I am amazed 8O From January to April 1941, Luftwaffe had, at least, two whole Luftflotten doing the Blitz over England (2 and 3, I think) and the only thing they could do -obviously after calling off the Blitz by shifting to a new strategy- would be to send a KG to the Mediterranean area (not only Malta, of course: Gibraltar, Lybia and so on)?
Why are you amazed? Aircraft have to be based somewhere. :lol:

As I just mentioned, Sicily probably wasn't ideal for basing bombers. For one thing, there were few bases suitable and for another it was difficult to supply them. In August 1940, Luftflotte 2. had 23 Kampfgruppen based out of 21 airfields in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. One base, Lille-Nord, was large enough to base the entire KG 53 and one, Laon, was large enough to base the Stab and two Gruppen of KG 77. Similarly, the 15 Kampfgruppen of Luftflotte 3. were based out of 13 airfields in France. All were large, modern fields with good rail and road access to Germany. In Sicily there were four major airfields, meanwhile there were some 33 in the Netherlands, 18 in Belgium, and hundreds in France...

There simply weren't anything similar as facilities in Sicily and even less in North Africa. By 1942, there were only five airfields in Cyrenaica and seven in Tripolitania. There was no infrastructure for hauling large quantities of fuel and ordnance to them, no usable railroads, a single road, and only rudimentary ports. Gibraltar? Spain? First the Germans have to possess them and their is no clear path for that, short of invading Spain, which would be an idiotic move. So where else? Yugoslavia and Greece require those campaigns, but neither are well placed to attack Malta. Crete? Ditto. Plus, the entire problem of lack of good, well-supported airfields remains.
"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

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 » 03 Mar 2022 23:21

Ironmachine wrote:
Counter wrote:Obviously, Spain would require economic help from the Germans. That was part of the negotiations... Finland also got grain from Germany, by the way...
And the negotiations concluded that Germany could not provide what Spain asked for.
Source, please. First time I learned that there were an impossibility of that kind. I wonder that, if, due to that economic constraint, it was so impossible to make (Spain joining the Axis) how did the negotiations take so long about Empires, territories, guarantees and so on? And why the Allies were so worried about Spain joining the Axis... if that was actually impossible to happen?
Peter89 wrote:
Counter wrote:In January 1941, the british were fighting alone (and under the Blitz), the US was neutral, the USSR was a "friend" of the nazis. Who could think at that time that the nazi victory was a "questionable outcome"?
Those who have seen the Luftwaffe defeated, the Italians beaten on all fronts and those who have seen Churchill's move with Sommerville, and those who were informed about the destroyers for bases pact, the Atlantic charta, etc. ie the whole world.
Source too, please. I don´t remember anyone in Francoist Spain at that time having let any testimony about a "questionable outcome" of the war. Maybe some neutralist spanish authority wrote something... I don´t remember anything. The whole world?
Richard Anderson wrote:In Sicily there were four major airfields, meanwhile there were some 33 in the Netherlands, 18 in Belgium, and hundreds in France...

There simply weren't anything similar as facilities in Sicily and even less in North Africa. By 1942, there were only five airfields in Cyrenaica and seven in Tripolitania. There was no infrastructure for hauling large quantities of fuel and ordnance to them, no usable railroads, a single road, and only rudimentary ports
Thank you again for that complete information. But... although airfields in Sicily and Africa were not as good as those in western Europe, was that an impossibility for reaching aerial dominance? I mean, particularly in the circumstances of, say, March 1941. I don´t know how good were the airports that the Luftwaffe used in the Greek Campaign (April 1941) but Luftwaffe got that superiority against the RAF units, that had months to organize in the national territory of Greece, for example. And the opponent (in Egypt, for example) maybe had no better conditions...

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 » 04 Mar 2022 01:41

Counter wrote:
03 Mar 2022 23:21
Thank you again for that complete information. But... although airfields in Sicily and Africa were not as good as those in western Europe, was that an impossibility for reaching aerial dominance? I mean, particularly in the circumstances of, say, March 1941. I don´t know how good were the airports that the Luftwaffe used in the Greek Campaign (April 1941) but Luftwaffe got that superiority against the RAF units, that had months to organize in the national territory of Greece, for example. And the opponent (in Egypt, for example) maybe had no better conditions...
The Luftwaffe in the Balkans Campaign was based out of Austria, Hungary, and Bulgaria, all of which had reasonable facilities connected by rail to the Reich. The Luftwaffe fielded 836 operational aircraft and the Italians another 557 (on hand, operational was probably much less), against fewer than 200 Greek and Yugoslav aircraft, "reinforced" by nine and a fraction RAF squadrons with 82 operational aircraft.

Four squadrons, No. 30, 84, and 211 (Blenheim), and 80 (Gladiator) went to Greece in November 1940, No. 112 (Gladiator) followed in December, but turned all its aircraft over to the Greek Air Force and was awaiting re-equipping. In February 1941, three more squadrons followed, No. 11 (Blenheim), 112 (Gladiator and Hurricane), and 33 (Hurricane). No. 113 (Blenheim) went in March and No. 208 (Lysander and Hurricane) was on its way when the Axis attack began. So a bit over half had "months" to prepare, the rest weeks, which is not much...II. Fliegerkorps arrived in Sicily in mid December 1941, but it did not begin serious operations against Malta until February 1942 and got into its full operational tempo until March-April. It is not like moving counters about on a game board.

So almost 1,400 aircraft versus fewer than 300.

BTW, no, the RAF in Egypt had considerably better conditions, including extensive airfield complexes - 18 odd of them - and easy supply and maintenance access.
"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

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 » 04 Mar 2022 08:27

Counter wrote:I wonder that, if, due to that economic constraint, it was so impossible to make (Spain joining the Axis) how did the negotiations take so long about Empires, territories, guarantees and so on? And why the Allies were so worried about Spain joining the Axis... if that was actually impossible to happen?
It was not impossible, I never said that. It was only extremely difficult, because both parties had very different interests. That's why the negotiations took so long (after all, nobody had nothing to lose by keeping the negotiations open). And that's why no possitive result was finally achieved.
And that's why the Allies were worried, even if, as Peter89 already explained, Spain joining Hitler is not going to change much. But the Allies did not have the 20/20 hindsight we have now.

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 » 04 Mar 2022 09:51

Counter wrote:
Ironmachine wrote:
Counter wrote:Obviously, Spain would require economic help from the Germans. That was part of the negotiations... Finland also got grain from Germany, by the way...
And the negotiations concluded that Germany could not provide what Spain asked for.
Source, please. First time I learned that there were an impossibility of that kind.
Don't worry, it's never too late to learn something new. :D

From Germany and the Second World War, Volumen 3 , Clarendon Press, 1990:
1.jpg
2.jpg
From Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, from the Archives of the German Foreign Ministry, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1962:
3.jpg
4.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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 » 04 Mar 2022 11:56

Ironmachine wrote:It was not impossible, I never said that.
So, was is the relevance of your intervention :roll: :roll: :roll: ?
Ironmachine wrote:
Counter wrote:Obviously, Spain would require economic help from the Germans. That was part of the negotiations... Finland also got grain from Germany, by the way...
And the negotiations concluded that Germany could not provide what Spain asked for.
I expected something of the kind from you :D

You write "Germany could not provide what Spain asked for"... anyone thinking that we are here to write relevant arguments would understand that Germany could not provide the necessary supplies in order to Spain joining the Axis in the war...

But you wrote "what Spain asked for". Obviously, after accepting to assist Spain economically (point 4 in the Hendaye Protocols... as you know perfectly) it would start the bargaining -I ask, you offer- about what Spain needed and what Germany could provide. The texts you have inserted -I knew them, included that about Goering- show that, of course, there would be economic assistance from Germany to Spain... but according to realistic considerations.
Ironmachine wrote:It was only extremely difficult, because both parties had very different interests. That's why the negotiations took so long (after all, nobody had nothing to lose by keeping the negotiations open). And that's why no possitive result was finally achieved.
The idea about there was no possitive result of the negotiations due to the economic issues I find very personal... There were many factors (included, of course, the bribery of the British to Franco´s generals) but the most decisive were, of course, that

1- Spain did not get a serious german commitment to allocate Spain an African Empire (due to the France position)
2- Hitler was not interested enough in a Mediterranean campaign as he had the expectation of "Barbarrosa".

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 » 04 Mar 2022 12:50

Counter wrote:
04 Mar 2022 11:56

The idea about there was no possitive result of the negotiations due to the economic issues I find very personal... There were many factors (included, of course, the bribery of the British to Franco´s generals) but the most decisive were, of course, that

1- Spain did not get a serious german commitment to allocate Spain an African Empire (due to the France position)
2- Hitler was not interested enough in a Mediterranean campaign as he had the expectation of "Barbarrosa".
1. Hitler could not give Franco what wasn't his. If he "gives" Franco the African Empire (ie. French West Africa) then Franco would say: Great, let's write it in a document with the Vichy government! If they try to do that, the next day the whole Vichy Africa would join De Gaulle, and probably the French ships interned in Alexandria, too.

It was, by the way, Raeder's idea to bring the battle to the South Atlantic, because the German commerce raiders were the most successful there (no Allied air cover, extremely long distances with little escort). That was the reason why he consistently moved his surface raiders from the North Sea to the French Atlantic ports; he wanted to move them to Dakar or to the MTO, depending on the situation. If Hitler seriously commits to help the Spaniards with their "African Empire", then the Axis would be kicked out of Africa before 1942.

2. This is true enough, but not in the context you described. Hitler was not uninterested, but he knew that a lasting, German-dominated peace in Europe could not be created in the MTO. But if he could seize the economic gains from the SU, he would be in a position to supply Spain, etc. with the necessary grain, oil, minerals and industrial products. Also, nothing in the immediate vicinity of the Mediterraneum could really solve German problems with manpower, food and raw materials. There were only two reasonable targets in the area, namely Turkish chrome and the Levantine oil. Taking the former would probably antagonize the Soviets (if it could be carried out at all), and taking the latter was largely impossible because the British held the proper refinery and terminal in Haifa. (The one in Tripoli was an improvisation.) Germany also had no means to protect the source of this oil, especially if the Turks would not let their supplies through; so again, Germany would be at the mercy of another country - something that was not consistent with Hitler's mindset.
“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
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 » 04 Mar 2022 13:24

Counter wrote:So, was is the relevance of your intervention
The relevance is that, regardless of your opinion, Spain was apparently not really interested in joining the war, at least in the situation that existed in 1940-1941. She could be forced to, but that would probably imply at least a credible menace of military intervention by Germany, if not outright invasion, which somehow defeats the purpose of the whole affair, and goes against the real interests of Hitler.
Counter wrote:I expected something of the kind from you :D :D
So you expected reasoned arguments based on actual evidences and reliable sources? Good for you, then.
Counter wrote:You write "Germany could not provide what Spain asked for"... anyone thinking that we are here to write relevant arguments would understand that Germany could not provide the necessary supplies in order to Spain joining the Axis in the war..
Well, I think anyone here (but you, it seems) would understand only what is plainly written. It's not as if what I wrote had any hidden meaning or was difficult to understand. However, as you seem to think that you opinion is the measure of any relevance... :roll:
However, anyone with a functional brain can quickly see the futility of your argument, because what were the necessary supplies in orde to Spain joining the Axis in the war? Nothing, really. Spain could at any moment, without any supply provided by Germany, declare his allegiance to the Axis and enter the war. However, the results would probably be not good. After all, did Italy had the necessary supplies in order to join the war? Yes, but Italy lost the war. Did Germany had the necessary supplies in order to join the war? Yes, and still Germany lost the war.
What's the problem, then? The problem is that the relevant matter was not the necessary supplies in order to Spain joining the war, but the necessary supplies in order to Spain joining the war and winning, or at least having a reasonable chance of winning. And what were those needs? The only indication is what Spain asked for. Even the German document I posted states that:
[...]it must probably be admitted that it would be necessary to satisfy the needs listed in order to stablish the full economic and military striking power of Spain for a war"
And we are just talking about the full economic and military power of a third-rate country in a war of superpowers!
You can either think, as the available evidence implies, that they were more or less the real needs, and Germany was unable to provide them, or that Spain was simply buying time by asking for what Germany could not provide. In any of those cases, Germany could not provide the necessary supplies in order to make Spain join the Axis in the war.
Counter wrote:But you wrote "what Spain asked for". Obviously, after accepting to assist Spain economically (point 4 in the Hendaye Protocols... as you know perfectly) it would start the bargaining -I ask, you offer- about what Spain needed and what Germany could provide. The texts you have inserted -I knew them, included that about Goering- show that, of course, there would be economic assistance from Germany to Spain... but according to realistic considerations.
Oh, you know, but somehow still posted "First time I learned that there were an impossibility of that kind". You are that kind of poster, then! :?
And yes, there could be a bargaining. But what you fail to understand is that Spain has no need, and apparently no desire, to bargain. From September 1940 (the first document I posted) to February 1941 there was no bargaining, Spain did not reduce in any significant measure the quantities of supplies asked for. It is really significant in that sense that no minimum quantities were indicated by the Spanish.
Counter wrote:The idea about there was no possitive result of the negotiations due to the economic issues I find very personal... There were many factors (included, of course, the bribery of the British to Franco´s generals)
I never said that there was no possitive result due to economic issues. I said that in the economic field, Germany could not provide what Spain asked for. The same happened in the political field (territories) and in the military field (massive supply of weapons and equipment). So at the end of the day, there was no positive result because Spain was asking too much in any and all the matters involved. Clearly Franco was (not) dying for joining the Axis in the war!
Counter wrote: but the most decisive were, of course, that
1- Spain did not get a serious german commitment to allocate Spain an African Empire (due to the France position)
That's simply your opinion. Spain asked for three things: territories, economic help and military help. It is almost impossible to determine what was more important in the minds of the Spanish leaders of the time. In fact, probably any one of them was a necessary but not sufficient factor in the Spanish decision. Perhaps, the matter of the territories was the most difficult one to solve, as it would imply nations other than Germany and Spain, but it was by no means the most important. The Spanish authorities were not stupid, and even they could see that there was no point of obtaining some territories in Africa while your population is dying in droves because you can't replace the supplies that are not coming from the Allies because you have joined the Axis, or if some of your territories are going to be occupied by the Allies because you have no significant military power to defend them.
Counter wrote:2- Hitler was not interested enough in a Mediterranean campaign as he had the expectation of "Barbarrosa".
Indeed, I already mentioned that in my previous posts. And that's why if Spain did not want to enter the war, he would not force them at all. So we have a Spain with no real desire to enter the war in 1940-1941 and a Hitler with no real desire to force her to enter the war.

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 » 04 Mar 2022 19:14

Richard Anderson wrote: Four squadrons, No. 30, 84, and 211 (Blenheim), and 80 (Gladiator) went to Greece in November 1940
(...)
So almost 1,400 aircraft versus fewer than 300.
Valuable information about the Greek campaign, which took place at the time that, if Hitler would have decided so, it also could be started a big operation to close the Mediterranean... and to reach Turkey and the Dardanelles strait (a gun to the USSR head).

So, even if the RAF units were coming to Greece in November 1940 and the Germans in April, Allies were unable to stop the Axis onslaught. They did have months to prepare everything. The Germans were in a hurry and did not reach Bulgaria up to March... And they got overwhelming superiority. BTW, as long as I know, at that time (early 1941) there were no Spitfire in the Mediterranean, only Hurricanes.

I think that demonstrates that, if calling off the "Blitz" and moving two Luftflotten to the Mediterranean (Spain, Sicily, Greece, Lybia...), the Germans would have got the Mediterranean 99% Of course, some airfields would not be in the best conditions and they should improvise many things, but they had many aircrafts and were competent enough. At the same time, the british resources were shorter than theirs. That was a winning strategy.

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 » 04 Mar 2022 19:35

Ironmachine wrote:The Spanish authorities were not stupid, and even they could see that there was no point of obtaining some territories in Africa while your population is dying in droves because you can't replace the supplies that are not coming from the Allies because you have joined the Axis, or if some of your territories are going to be occupied by the Allies because you have no significant military power to defend them.
I think all that was part of negotiations with the Germans. The germans were aware of the economic situation in Spain and they demonstrated that they were able to provide the necessary supplies... although not matching the figures the spanish asked. They provided other countries with what they needed to afford the requirements of the war too. Oil and coal to Italy, grain to Finland...

And the Germans were also interested, for example, in defending the Canary Islands (some Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica units would be enough to keep away the Royal Navy from the islands). Anyway, they would expect that the war against the british would not last longtime... if losing Gibraltar, then Malta, then Suez, difficult for Churchill to stay longer as prime minister.

As a matter of fact, why do you think that, after the war, Winston Churchill confronted Roosevelt and Stalin to save Franco´s regime? He was an english gentleman... and willing or not... Franco saved the United Kingdon not joining the Axis.
Ironmachine wrote:there was no positive result because Spain was asking too much in any and all the matters involved. Clearly Franco was (not) dying for joining the Axis in the war!
Franco did not want to join the Axis for nothing... He wanted an Empire. He wanted to humilliate the French in North Africa. Hitler was offering too little.

It is true that the position of other spanish authorities of the spanish Regime was different. Serrano Suner, general Yague... They thought that AFTER winning the war Hitler would not forget his allies... Franco was cautious. Anyway, as I already wrote, at the end, it was Winston Churchill who did not forget his helpful enemy.

But if Hitler would have actually wanted, he could have forced Spain to join the Axis. We agree that Spain was a poor and weak country, so for Hitler to liquidate Franco would not be a problem. He did so in Yugoslavia, later in Italy, in Hungary... Hitler was not dying for Spain to join the Axis either.

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 » 05 Mar 2022 00:52

Counter wrote:
04 Mar 2022 19:14
Valuable information about the Greek campaign, which took place at the time that, if Hitler would have decided so, it also could be started a big operation to close the Mediterranean... and to reach Turkey and the Dardanelles strait (a gun to the USSR head).
I'm sorry, but how is that supposed to make any kind of strategic sense? Instead of building up forces on the Soviet border, the Germans go after "Turkey and the Dardanelles"? Okay then, what happens when Uncle Joe seizes the opportunity to take that gun and put to the German head by seizing Ostprüssen and the Protectorate? Or don't other actors get to act in your what if?
So, even if the RAF units were coming to Greece in November 1940 and the Germans in April, Allies were unable to stop the Axis onslaught.
The disparity of forces and the rather hopeless tactical situation, which took out half the ground forces available to the Allies in a few days, rather outweighed any benefit the British accrued from having four squadrons of aircraft in Greece for four months.
They did have months to prepare everything.
No, they did not. It was unclear what the situation was...the RAF was in Greece to support Greece against the Italians...the situation vis a vis Yugoslavia changed 27 March 1941 when the coup d'état that led to the German invasion took place.
The Germans were in a hurry and did not reach Bulgaria up to March... And they got overwhelming superiority.
The Germans forced Bulgaria into the Tripartite Pact on 1 March 1941 and German forces entered Bulgaria the same day. And, yes, overwhelming superiority and a deteriorated strategic and operational situation is what screwed the British.
BTW, as long as I know, at that time (early 1941) there were no Spitfire in the Mediterranean, only Hurricanes.
That may well be correct, but why is it important?
I think that demonstrates that, if calling off the "Blitz" and moving two Luftflotten to the Mediterranean (Spain, Sicily, Greece, Lybia...), the Germans would have got the Mediterranean 99% Of course, some airfields would not be in the best conditions and they should improvise many things, but they had many aircrafts and were competent enough. At the same time, the british resources were shorter than theirs. That was a winning strategy.
What "demonstrates that"? No Spitfires?

Yet again, "Luftflotten" are headquarters. If you are talking about moving Luftflotte 2. and 3. with all their assigned units and aircraft, then, no, they are not going to magically transpose to Spain - no bases there and no agreement for bases there - Greece - they need to get past the Greek objection first - Sicily - there is only room, after negotiations with the Italians, for perhaps a single Kampfgeschwader - Libya - there is even fewer facilities and less support there. Competence and many aircraft does not replace basing and logistical requirements. The British had similar problems in that virtually all their air strength was, of necessity, in the Delta and Palestine. Meanwhile, British air resources were growing much faster than the German.
"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

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 » 05 Mar 2022 09:20

Counter wrote:I think all that was part of negotiations with the Germans.
What you think has zero significance. And anyway, that doesn't address the question of whether the Spaniards were negotiating in good faith or simply buying time until Hitler loses his interest in the matter
Counter wrote:The germans were aware of the economic situation in Spain and they demonstrated that they were able to provide the necessary supplies... although not matching the figures the spanish asked.
The Germans were aware and they repeatedly said that they could not provide what Spain asked for. That they could provide less than that is of no interest here, because Spain has no need to accept less than what was asked for.
On the other hand, what Germany demonstrated [sic] she was able to provide was by no means the "necessary supplies" as there is no such thing. "Necessary supplies" for what? For joining the Axis? Spain could have entered the war with no additional supplies provided by Germany... and be utterly defeated, its people dying from hunger and cold in little time.
Counter wrote:They provided other countries with what they needed to afford the requirements of the war too. Oil and coal to Italy, grain to Finland...
And Italy lost the war, Finland lost the war... In fact, Germany lost the war so it could be argued Germany didn't have the "necessary supplies" for itself. In fact, oil supplied to Italy was so far from being the "necessary supplies" that for example the Italian Navy sistematically limited its operations to the minimum. It's quite clear that Germany never had enough resources for itself, much more less so for its Allies. And on top of all those needs, you want to add the Spanish needs? What a winning strategy!
Counter wrote:And the Germans were also interested, for example, in defending the Canary Islands (some Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica units would be enough to keep away the Royal Navy from the islands).

Most (if not all) of those planes would have had to be sent by sea, and thus vulnerable to British interception. And once in the island, how are they going to be supplied with oil and munitions? By air?
And are we talking about the same Luftwaffe that was unable to stop the evacuation of the BEF from the continent? The same Luftwaffe and and Regia Aeronautica that were unable to prevent the interception of the first two convoys to Crete?
The Spanish didn't think the Royal Navy could be kept away from the islands. As Carrero Blanco's memorandum shows, they thought that the Canaries were as good as lost as soon as Spain joins the war.
Counter wrote:Anyway, they would expect that the war against the british would not last longtime... if losing Gibraltar, then Malta, then Suez, difficult for Churchill to stay longer as prime minister.
They being the Germans? That 's just their opinion. They were wrong on a number of ocassions during the war, they could be wrong here.
Counter wrote:As a matter of fact, why do you think that, after the war, Winston Churchill confronted Roosevelt and Stalin to save Franco´s regime? He was an english gentleman... and willing or not... Franco saved the United Kingdon not joining the Axis.
"Churchill" and "gentleman" should not be in the same phrase unless a "was not" is included, even if "English" is used. As for the reasons he had to "save" Franco's regime, they are highly questionable.
And Franco saving the United Kingdom not joining the Axis? Again you opinion and nothing more.
Counter wrote:But if Hitler would have actually wanted, he could have forced Spain to join the Axis. We agree that Spain was a poor and weak country, so for Hitler to liquidate Franco would not be a problem. He did so in Yugoslavia, later in Italy, in Hungary... Hitler was not dying for Spain to join the Axis either.
So as Franco was not dying to join the Axis and Hitler was not dying for Spain to join the Axis either, it was extremely difficult that Spain joins the Axis. Q.E.D.

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 » 05 Mar 2022 10:38

From a German perspective in late 1940, the Italians "would handle" the British in the Mediterraneum. When the Germans offered help in a moment when it would really matter, they were rebuffed.

It had absolutely zero chance that the Italians would invite Germany to the MTO before their humiliating collapse, because gaining the straits for themselves was the only remotely logical reason why they joined the war in the first place.

Hitler left the theater be, as it seemed that the Italians will crush the British and Greek positions and the Iberians' neutrality would further thickening the shield that Hitler needed for an eastern war.

Not before the spring of 1941 came any possibility to revise this strategy. It became apparent that the Italians are too weak to achieve their goals and the increasing German commitment in the area would not decrease but increase over time.

When Raeder first spoke about this with Hitler in September 1940, he did not have plans, but vague wishful thinking.

It does not mean that he and his colleagues at the SKL did not have a better grasp of what was happening in the war than those in the OKW and Hitler. (Not to mention the Luftwaffe's top leadership.) Even Hitler was just a tactician and not a strategist, he probably never even left Europe. Raeder expressed long term and grandiose strategic visions well before the war; and he attracted a like-minded staff. But visionaries are either talented or not; Raeder was the latter, as he failed in all his plans and acted impulsively when reality knocked on his door.
“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”