panzertruppe2001 wrote:. The goal for invading Spain was not occupy a friend country otherwise take Gibraltar. So an invasion of Spain would be a mean to conquer Gibraltar, in other words attack the British. The capture of Gibraltar would be a serious defeat for the Great Britain.
German Forces taking Gibraltar immediately after the Fall of France, I believe is a major extrapolation of an alternate German Strategy that would change the course of the war.
First I would say after the Fall of France. Hitler was aware the major part of the dilemna of a two front war on Germany was solved and possibly permanently.If Hitler played his cards carefully at this point; therefore Hitler could take his time, as the Panzer Force, Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht built up for the invasion of Russia; and to use his time to try and convince Franco to join the Axis first rather than invade..
the Nazi-Soviet Pact was also giving Hitler the time to build up after the defeat of France; as 15,000 to 20,000 Soviet tanks were not overunning into the German side of the Polish border or into Romania to control the Polesti oilfields.
Hitler now started the Battle of Britain to see if Luftwaffe Air superiority over England could lead to an invasion of England. German troops from the victorious French campaign needed to held to some extent for the possibility of Sea Lion and also transferred to the Eastern Polish border.
Thus it can be deduced ,if Hitler didn't say it, that Hitler worried that an invasion of Spain might trigger a premature entry into the war by the United States.while his forces are in three or four places.--in my assessment
After the Spanish Civil War there were still many Communist / Republican/(and non-facist Franco supporters, not a contradiction I beleive) elements in Spain that held a grudge,( EDIT
: or would start a grudge If the stakes were high enough) that would be attracted to a prolonged guerilla war against the German conquerors;with US and British support; these anti Facist partisans might cause some damage; in turn spurring on the French in N Africa to rebell. Southern Vichy France could be the base of operations with British support. Spanish pro allied partisans would be at first in a state of non movement, this author speculates, except for very small bands of raiders and sabatours, but the majority of potential partisans would be waiting to see the outcome of US entry.(and a debate about Spanish partisans here is posible)
And If all of these partisan factions did well in fighting or waiting; the Russian Communists would again in interested in giving support ; But with the US in the war early the Russian Communists would realise they no longer needed to respect the Nazi Soviet pact and Germany can fall to a two front war in late 1940 and early 1941 with a Red army armored attack.Although it would be a hard battle with the victorious German Army of the French Campaign
Although the US at the time of 1940 was a bluff in its US armored force the Russian Communists, I speculate, would believe rapid factory output in the US was possible because they the Russian communist were capable of big production in a short time ; the Communists may attack Germany on this premise; even to the point of lending Russian light tanks to the US to give them a head start along with fighter aircraft, I believe..(and a debate on whether getting tanks from Russia for the US is can do;)
Hitler winning time after time so far from Sept 1939 to May '40 did not want to risk reversal by triggering forces in the Med and also of the US , USSR, and Vichy France that the Germans and Italians would not be able to predict or control easily.
The luftwaffe in 1940 was to small to handle the battle of Britain, Malta, the Red Army tank force on the move and US entry because of Spain and the assaults on Gibraltar all at the same time.
the Germans were also aware in June 1940 that the hundreds of Panzer I and II were light and inferior; replacement with more Pz III and IV was the next project.and a not to soon attrition against Russian light tanks in attack if the Communist doubled crossed the Pact because of US joining the war. a WWI. repeat was Hitlers worry here most likely.
Greece was not yet conquered and so not Yugoslavia, the Axis minor allies of Hungary Romania and Bulgaria were set to join the Axis in Spring 1941. Early US entry might scare these Allies from joining the Axis.
Greece would most likely seek US help against the Italians. Hitlers confidence in Italian infantry to settle all matters that might blow up in the Med from a chain reaction to German troops invading Spain was weak. With the US in the war, Italy might remember they fought on the Allied side in WWI and hesitate to react in unified force as the crises might develop--in my opinion.
The US in 1940 was an bluff in terms of an armored force and Air Force, but its Navy could join the British in the Med and more importantly Hitler needed time to build up has submarine force in 1940. US entry would add US destroyers and technology in terms of more SONAR units. to sink German submarines. The battle of the Atlantic was the higher priority to the German high command and Hitler than a possible successful invasion of the Spain that would possibly prematurely trigger a US entry into the European war. Hitler didn't need to gamble with a invasion of Spain in 1940 as they believed the german submarines would choke Britain out the picture while Germany invaded Russia; if the British did not recieve a maximun assistance in naval/ASW help from the US at the time.
If the US did not enter the war when the German army invaded Spain in 1940, my answer would be Yes the Germans would gain a tremendous advantage. But as barbarrossa started in june 1941, with Spain and France Conquered the US might panic to join the war to save Britain and democracy as the total committment of the German army in Russia left the West front wide open and the US did not consider Italy a major war machine threat..
So too many unknowns in the gamble of a potentially disasterous kind for Hitler in a invasion of Spain in late 1940; which if successful ironically had many rewards to the eventual victory of the German war effort.