How to Refight WW2

Jan 2015
3,190
Rupert's Land ;)
#41
Chapter 3 The French Campaign - first big mistake of the war was letting the BEF escape at Dunkirk.
This is a common misconception, it wasn't a "mistake" as the course of action taken was by far the most sensible.
Unfortunate yes, but not a mistake.
Given that the Luftwaffe and the OKW were assured that the destruction of the port would prevent the British from withdrawing the BEF, there was no need to incur serious casualties on the Panzer forces to storm the defences, for a force that was trapped and doomed anyways. (The British also believed this)
Rommel's erroneous report from Arras gave Rundstedt serious concern, so guarding against a massive Allied counterattack was by far the most sensible option.
 
May 2011
13,735
Navan, Ireland
#42
This is a common misconception, it wasn't a "mistake" as the course of action taken was by far the most sensible.
Unfortunate yes, but not a mistake.
Given that the Luftwaffe and the OKW were assured that the destruction of the port would prevent the British from withdrawing the BEF, there was no need to incur serious casualties on the Panzer forces to storm the defences, for a force that was trapped and doomed anyways. (The British also believed this)
Rommel's erroneous report from Arras gave Rundstedt serious concern, so guarding against a massive Allied counterattack was by far the most sensible option.
Equally is it a mistake because not sure the Germans could stop the BEF escaping.
 
Jan 2015
3,190
Rupert's Land ;)
#44
Yes, but what could Hitler have done differently to increase his oil supply? That's why I didn't mention oil in my original list. I can't think of anything Hitler could have done differently re: oil.
The best outcome would be for the Axis to seize the Kirkuk pipeline in 1941.
Kirkuk–Haifa oil pipeline - Wikipedia

The British might have destroyed the refinery at Haifa before capture, but there was a second refinery in Vichy held Levant. (Lebanon)
Obviously not an easy proposition, as the Axis logistics were already strained.

The British put down the pro-Axis revolt in Mesopotamia (Iraq) in May, Crete campaign ended June 1st, and the British/Australian/Indian invasion of Vichy Levant began June 8th.
Even if the Axis had planned to springboard into Cyprus & Palestine, I doubt the would be ready so quickly after Crete.
330px-Mosul-Haifa_oil_pipeline.svg.png
 
May 2011
13,735
Navan, Ireland
#45
Everything is pointing that Germans simply couldn't stop the BEF escaping.

They were simply "overstretched" plus, the remnants of the French army held their positions as nuts.
I am afraid too many people use 20:20 hindsight when looking at reactions in 1940.

The Germans did not know they had achieved such a complete victory, they were aware that their troops were tired and that Dunkirk wasn't good tank country.

Were the French about to counter attack? the land minded Germans thought the British trapped-- the sea minded British viewed an escape route-- the weak Kriegsmarine unable to stop it and the up to that moment victorious Luftwaffe was matched by the RAF.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,603
Stockport Cheshire UK
#46
The best outcome would be for the Axis to seize the Kirkuk pipeline in 1941.
Kirkuk–Haifa oil pipeline - Wikipedia

The British might have destroyed the refinery at Haifa before capture, but there was a second refinery in Vichy held Levant. (Lebanon)
Obviously not an easy proposition, as the Axis logistics were already strained.

The British put down the pro-Axis revolt in Mesopotamia (Iraq) in May, Crete campaign ended June 1st, and the British/Australian/Indian invasion of Vichy Levant began June 8th.
Even if the Axis had planned to springboard into Cyprus & Palestine, I doubt the would be ready so quickly after Crete.
View attachment 14932
Of course the British could always turn the supply off at Kirkuk and that's another 585 miles the Germans have to find logistics for.
 
Jan 2015
3,190
Rupert's Land ;)
#47
Of course the British could always turn the supply off at Kirkuk and that's another 585 miles the Germans have to find logistics for.
Indeed, and I said it's probably their best option, not a particularly good or likely option. ;)

For this to be viable the Axis would need to land in the Eastern Med before the pro-Axis rebels in Iraq are dispatched. They would also need to do this before the Australians eject the Vichy from the Levant.

Given that the British still control Cyprus, Palestine & Egypt, any attempt at an assault seaborne landing would likely end up as a debacle, as it did on Crete.
 
Likes: redcoat

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
3,902
Connecticut
#48
Nope, the British government had already decided to fight on at a time when at best estimate only around 50,000 would be able to be rescued from Dunkirk.
What could they expect to accomplish if none escaped? It was bad enough facing the Reich alone as it was.

Also Hitler never offered peace, he merely gave a speech where he told the British to seek peace or face total destruction.
Adolf didn’t really have anything against Britain and would’ve preferred peace if only Britain would give him a free hand on the continent.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,603
Stockport Cheshire UK
#49
What could they expect to accomplish if none escaped? It was bad enough facing the Reich alone as it was.
While the men trapped at Dunkirk were important to the war effort they were only in total about 6 divisions in the pocket while in the UK there were another 20 divisions already being raised.
Britain would have lost a lot of its experienced men but they could be replaced


Adolf didn’t really have anything against Britain and would’ve preferred peace if only Britain would give him a free hand on the continent.
That may be true, but it doesn’t alter the fact that Hitler never informed the British what terms he would accept, he was waiting for them to come to him, as he knew that once the British had taken the psychologically important step to seek peace they would find it far harder to refuse the terms he offered them
 
Last edited:
Oct 2016
1,040
Merryland
#50
I would add chapters entitled:

"Japan is not my ally: Self-explanatory."
without the Axis alliance (which, as far as I can tell, did Germany no good) the US would likely have warred against Japan and stayed out of Europe.
no lend-lease. no massive food supplies to Britain and the USSR.

grabbing oil in the Middle East sounds good too. push Barbarossa back a year and put resources in North Africa.
 

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