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Old February 3rd, 2017, 03:52 AM   #11

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Originally Posted by macon View Post
3b without losing time for Yugoslavia and Greece would have ment a victory for nazi Germany. There has been no way for Russians to stop them without weather's help which has of course helped defense.

How retarded must someone be to attack Russia in middle of a summer, I will never understand it.
The delay caused by Yugoslavia is a myth, there was no delay: roads were muddy in May, weather was inclement and forage was scarce.
Germans, had they wanted, could have launched Barbarossa on June 1 or May 1, all operational vehicles deemed necessary were ready at both dates.
As for thread:
a) Taking Suez may be both useless and impossible: useless because supplies, aside from rare exceptions were already going around Africa, and impossible because without expanding Libyan harbours before, then there can't be more supplies and troops for the Axis.
Excluding the expansion of harbours (which would requires years and planning beforehand), if Italian forces had been more motorised (although this would requires more fuel), then perhaps (combined with the Afrika Korps) then Suez may have fallen.
Yet, the only chance the Axis had to really oust British forces from the area (North Africa and the Middle East) was to have Turkey (and possibly Iran before Operation Countenance) side with them, in addition to local Arabs' support.
As you can see it's a huge stretch of "ifs".
b) In my opinion, Germany could have defeated the UK only by starving them but this would require more uboats, better doctrines and an emphasis on the submarine weapon (Unterseebootwaffe) that Germany did not have at that time.
Germany went close to starve Britain but with their historical plans, numbers and doctrines, their chance were very slim.
c) Landing in Spain would have been a nightmare for the Allies as there would be little air cover, rough terrain, a limited choice of landing (only the area between Portugal and Gibraltar) and huge enemy numbers.
The best chance the Allies had to quickly knock Spain (assuming its entrance in war of course) was to bet on political turmoil and unrest but this also presumes huge "ifs" and no guarantee of success.
d) In my opinion ( so take it with a "little" grain of salt, considering that even Glantz has not reached a definitive conclusion on the argument), taking Moscow would end the war because the Soviet Union would have no supply line to fuel its logistical needs and the political blow would be huge, in addition to the loss of many factories.
Said this, there is no way to know whether the USSR would collapse or not, nor if Germans could realistically take Moscow.
It is often cited that Germans lost that chance when they diverted their forces to Kiev (which resulted in the largest encirclement in human history with over 600,000 prisoners captured) but this ignores that if Germans decided to push forward in late August 1941 this would have meant:
> over 800,000 Russian soldiers on their right flank
> attacking the unknown as the German intelligence (which failed repeatedly throughout Barbarossa) had literally no idea of what they had ahead of them
> the risk of being boggled down nonetheless and suffering massive casualties
So it's a huge if as well.
An addition I took the liberty to add, is that Germans could have improved their situation on the Eastern front by conquering Leningrad (which was much more feasible), a conquest that would have greatly eased the supplies to the Northern Army Group and freed a large number of forces.

All in all, my bets would be:
1) Try to starve Britain out of the war
2) Conquer Moscow

The feasibility of both is very debatable.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 04:21 AM   #12

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Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post

Option Two: The Mediterranean Plan

1) Would secure the Mediterranean Sea to the Axis and would have the potential to bring in both Spain and France as full Axis partners. And while neither force would be able to stand on their own, they would put Britain in a tougher position. And this was possible after the British raid on Mers-el-Kebir (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack...-el-K%C3%A9bir).

1) An operation of this scale would take time to organize and would chiefly have to depend on the Italian Navy to do it. Even if Petain could be convinced to bring the French in wholeheartedly, after the raid on Mers-el-Kebir, the French Navy wasn't going to be strong enough handle much of a workload. And while the Italian Navy performed remarkably well in the Mediterranean in history, it still wasn't good enough to chase the British Mediterranean Fleet out of the Mediterranean Sea.

2) . It would mean the Germans would have to devote a large portion of their economy to help arm and build up Spain.


4) and while Spanish volunteers on the Eastern Front fought well, Spain had been so badly damaged by its own civil war that the Germans might have to send troops just to deter the British from landing somewhere in Spain and thus weaken their gains elsewhere. And then there were the French... While Petain and the Vichy leadership were Fascists in how they acted and collaborated with Germany at every opportunity, France was in a quasi state of civil war between the Vichy supporters who followed Petain, French Communists getting their communiques from Stalin, and the Free French serving with the Allies in exile. And while De Gaulle's forces wouldn't grow in size until after the liberation of France in 1944, the Vichy troops that fought against the Allies in Operation Torch generally gave only "half-hearted" resistance to the Allies and many also defected to the Allies and fought harder against the Germans than they did against the Allies... In that, Germany would be saddled with allies that either couldn't stand on their own in the same way Germany could or couldn't be fully trusted to stay on Germany's side.

..
Spain would never, ever be a full axis partner. Hitler wouldn't be able to 'build up Spain'. And a few Fascist Spanish volunteers (Division Azul?) means nothing in a German army of millions.

When 'in history did the Italian navy perform remarkably well'?

I think you've misunderstood the positions both of Spain and of Vichy forces.

Franco brilliantly played Hitler to keep Spain away from war. He was not ideologically equivalent to Axis countries, had no imperial desires and certainly didn't want to get involved in any more war - ever!

And as for the position of Vichy forces - there wasn't a lot 'half hearted' at times. They were serving France, serving the French government, which worked for Hitler. Their families lived in France. How on earth would they know that the 'good guys would win in the end'? It certainly didn't look like it in 1940. Hence Mers-el-Kebir. The French Admiral may be painted as a 'baddie' but what on earth was he to do? His country was now at war with Britain. And as for Churchill being another 'baddie' at Mers-el-Kebir, as Doctor Meade says in Gone With The Wind - "this is war......not a garden party"

And Petain wasn't a fascist to my knowledge.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 04:47 AM   #13

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Not invade the USSR under any pretences.

Form joint operations with the Japanese in the East, invade Ireland (to get more control over the Channel and keep the British occupied in the British Isles and the continent), invade Iceland (same reason), grind down the UK in a war of attrition.

Capture some British and French colonies, get their resources (timber, fossil fuels) build ships, and once the British and Chinese are sufficiently ground down, invade the USSR. but launch bombs on their major cities industrial areas first, don't go in for a full-scale invasion.

The key for the Axis to win at that point was sound strategy. The USA, British Empire, and USSR all had superior troop number, more GDP/industrial capacity, and as good if not better innovation as they did. Hitler wasn't a fool (well not totally or all the time), and his top brass and he knew this, but f-ed up due to bad planning.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 04:57 AM   #14
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1. Invading Britain was never an option - you say it lacked the full support of the German military - in fact it lacked ANY support
Hitler ordered plans to be drawn up so they drew up some plans but it was never a serious plan

The Germans never had the capacity to land an invasion force (Btw I'm not sure RADAR would pick up those river barges at that time)


2. The so-called Mediterranean Strategy was flawed too...getting enough forces to North Africa was a problem - even more so was supplying them

Even if Malta rather than Crete was the target of German's airborne attack, it still present massive problems...taking Egypt would hurt the British and deny them the Suez canal but it wouldn't be a fatal blow...where do the Germans go then ?

Asia is a big continent - I just don't see how Germany can go overland to the Persian Gulf, let alone India - it would make the logistics tail to Moscow look like an autobahn

Spain would be more of a hindrance then a benefit as an ally as it was in such a weak state and France would never ally with Nazi Germany

If the Suez cabal is taken, there is no British in the Mediterranean for the U-Boats to attack

3. Invading the USSR could be done but Germany was not quite ready in Summer 1941...moreover the heavy Spring rain delayed the invasion several crucial weeks


IMO Hitler's best option was to seek a peace in the West and build up his panzer arm and fuel supplies...invading the USSR was always his main objective so everything must support this

Place a Nazi sympathetic government in charge of France - it doesn't make France an ally but it makes France a buffer zone
Foster anti-British feeling - not hard to do after Dunkirk and Oran

Then do nothing militarily...let Italy get their asses kicked in North Africa
Do not build and deploy U-boats
Do not attack the UK from the air

Re-tool factories in Czechoslovakia and other occupied areas like Poland and Netherlands/Belgium to make German designed weapons/vehicles/aircraft
Persuade the French to build even more ...

Declare a De Facto end to the war and return all British/French POWs

Mount a diplomatic Charm offensive in the USA to ensure as much as possible that the USA stays out of Europe...again should be not too difficult


What does Britain do ?
She can't attack German ground troops anywhere
There is no naval war

Bomb Germany ? Very hard with no provocation - but if the RAF did try this, treat captured airmen as criminals not POWs

Britain abandons its war economy after a year ... and the assault on the USSR can begin in earnest.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 05:10 AM   #15

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Hmm i am no strategist so feel free to tear this apart!

After the fall of France i would help the italians in the Desert war along with building up a armed force on the border of the USSR.

I would have gone full force into Plan Z to put the Royal navy into the bottom of the channel.

Norway would still be taken along with Greece and the balkans.

I would NOT declare war on the USA
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 05:18 AM   #16

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Barbarossa would have been a big blunder to start anytime then. In 1940, Germany was in no position to attack the USSR. Neither was it in any position in 1941 either. Barbarossa was a mistake in any case or at any time.Why kill a goose laying golden eggs ?
What Germany could have done was to build up the submarine arm, build more ocean going submarines. This would have necessitated going easy on the build up pf the Army. And it was also necessary to go in for technology developement. Rockets, better planes , for example, the jet fighters needed to be developed urgently. Also the 4 engined strategic bomber should have been developed urgently. Nuclear weapon developement needed to be encouraged.
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 05:57 AM   #17
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Preferred option is..... do (almost) nothing

i.e prosecute a cheap air and sub war against the UK naval trade to weaken it waiting till they come to some arrangement....in the meantime use diplomacy to strenghten the axis

contrary to popular opinion there was no rush to do anything rash

With Germany as master of the continent, continuation of the war could be blamed on the british.....
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 07:31 AM   #18

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Hmm i am no strategist so feel free to tear this apart!

I would have gone full force into Plan Z to put the Royal navy into the bottom of the channel.
Plan Z would take something like 10 - 12 years at a minimum to build even half of the 1941 British fleet, not even counting additional British construction through the 1940's.

It takes 5 years to build a battleship, and about the same for a carrier, and at least 2 - 3 years to build & work up a cruiser.
What other production would Germany cancel to push forward with Plan Z?

Cancel U-boat construction?
Cancel some Panzer production?
Remember that the British blockade is creating shortages of some strategic materials, so Germany doesn't have unlimited steel, oil, metals, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pugsville View Post
the crops are unripe and can cause serious difficulties with the horses. The Rasputitsa was late and longer in 1941. They just picked a bad year.
yet they did manage to deploy a large part of their army in March/April in the Balkans, so they must have had fodder for this no?
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 07:40 AM   #19

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Originally Posted by notgivenaway View Post
Not invade the USSR under any pretences.

Form joint operations with the Japanese in the East, invade Ireland (to get more control over the Channel and keep the British occupied in the British Isles and the continent), invade Iceland (same reason), grind down the UK in a war of attrition.
Invade Ireland/Iceland with what?
Those channel barges were barely seaworthy for a short hop across the channel, nevermind several days trip to Iceland/Ireland.

Then how would this troop landing be supplied?

Quote:
Originally Posted by notgivenaway View Post
Capture some British and French colonies, get their resources (timber, fossil fuels) build ships, and once the British and Chinese are sufficiently ground down, invade the USSR. but launch bombs on their major cities industrial areas first, don't go in for a full-scale invasion.
\.
The Axis (& pro-Axis elements) did capture some British colonies in 1940-41, Somaliland, Mesopotamia, and attacks against British forces in Sudan and Kenya.
They lacked the naval power to consolidate these gains, and lost them all in 1941
]
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 08:09 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TotalAaron View Post
Hmm i am no strategist so feel free to tear this apart!

After the fall of France i would help the italians in the Desert war along with building up a armed force on the border of the USSR.

I would have gone full force into Plan Z to put the Royal navy into the bottom of the channel.

Norway would still be taken along with Greece and the balkans.

I would NOT declare war on the USA
Fleets are damn expensive..... and btw in WW1 the german high seas fleet was mostly useless.... As a continental power Germany could not afford a strong army AND a strong fleet AND a strong air force
To top it off a super ship like the Bismarck or the Yamato can be sunk by one puny plane or even a diver with a mine

It is estimated that the cost of the Bismarck or Yamato in today's dollars is around $3 billion....It uses the steel of some 500 heavy tanks

Then you've got the oil problem.. Germany did not have the resource to produce and operate heavy bombers, much less so to operate a large fleet
The Bismarck consumed 1 ton of fuel per mile ! (and that's cruise speed, consumption can be up to double at top speed) ......
So a day of cruising would be around 400 tons.... which could fuel a whole panzer division
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