Stoat Coat wrote: ↑
22 Dec 2022 05:28
1. Since you are using the same source as Nigel Askey, you’ll notice that when he says the official TOE “1,500 horses, 4,300 pack animals (largely mules) 550 mountain horses” or ponies as you put it, you are only accounting for the 550, and not the 4,300.
1. It would be so much easier replying and reading your replies if you could learn to use the quote function.
1. a. I don't know if I am using the same sources as Askey but doubt it since his figures vary so widely from the actual KSTN/KAN totals. However, that is not the point. Whether they are using "1,500 horses, 4,300 animals (largely mules) 550 mountain horses" or 5,350 pack reindeer they all need to be fed. There is no appreciable difference whether they are horses, mules, ponies, panje horses, or donkeys. The idea that substituting mountain ponies in the Gebirgsjäger will make them "leaner" is nonsense.
1. b. So no "circular argument" at all but the same argument that your notion of Gebirgsjäger being "leaner" and so more appropriate for such operations from a logistical standpoint is simply wrong.
2. An initial invasion could use the Moltkefels sure.
Sure, but for this operation you want fast transports - slow is death. And there simply aren't many available.
3. There were a total of 5-6 submarines I can account for under the Brits/Free Norwegians in the North Sea in mid 1941, when I propose this alternate operation take place.
Um, no, try about four times that many submarines. To intercept a convoy taking probably five days transit one way. At probably under 10 knots. With essentially zero escort that will be ready to run the moment the Royal Navy says "boo!" Seriously, a British cruiser force can probably move at least twice the speed, it will be difficult to hide such preparations - the Heer and Luftwaffe will be chattering a lot - and so interception is highly likely by submarines or surface ships...and with limited ships available the loss of any one will cripple this expedition.
4. “ The air bases on Malta are c. 97 kilometers from the Sicilian coast and 352 kilometers from the Tripolitan coast. The air bases on Malta were permanent.” Not sure whats you’re saying by pointing out the distance of Maltese airbases to enemy controlled coastlines, other than yes, the proposed German airfield(s) wouldn’t be under constant air attack.
What is the nearest German "airbase: to Svalbard? I measured to the closest point of land. You "compared" your notion to Malta, which sat smack in the middle of the sea lanes from Sicily to Tripoli. Svalbard will be 400-odd kilometers to the sea lanes threading the needle, while the Norwegian bases would be about the same. It is not "like" Malta at all.
5. Not much need for “fortifications” as such if the airfield(s) is(/are) closer to the interior (and yes there is enough space in some of those mountain basins for an airstrip), other than TNT and sandbags to blow up artificial caves and fortify those mountains, Alpine Front WWI style, other than some reinforcement materials for any tunnels. The Gebirgsjagers with the mountain guns and equipment to haul to material up into these positions. But if they need pillboxes, I don’t know German wwii requirements but for the British in wwi it was 90 tons for a full sized MG pill box, and 5 tons for a “moir” type pill box. For two dozen, that’s easily manageable for a smaller concrete-carrying ship accompanying the initial forces.
You realize that all that has to be hauled there and then unloaded. By hand? And if you are going to execute strike operations from there all the fuel and bombs have to be hauled there as well and unloaded. By hand. Do you have any idea how long it would take to haul the concrete and other materials necessary for an all-weather landing field, which is the only thing that could make this idea worth it? How long it would take for the German engineers to construct it? A dirt landing strip, which is what the Luftwaffe actually "developed" there, will not work for the purposes you intend.
Btw, why can’t the Germans use merchants historically used to support Silver Fox? The point of occupying Spitsbergen is more effectively fighting the convoys than Silver Fox did, with a much smaller force than needed for that operation diverted instead to this effort.
Because IIRC they were mostly coasters and slower than dirt with limited capacity and speed. Again, for a hare-brained idea like this you will need speed.