What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

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glenn239
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 03 Dec 2019 18:39

Richard Anderson wrote:
03 Dec 2019 06:37
And vice versa. Except neither side truly trusted a "political process" and both anticipated a military process to decide things.
I've seen no credible evidence that Stalin's November 1940 list of demands were not the real Soviet objectives. Therefore, Stalin did not anticipate a "military process" to resolving matters - he would not have presented his real conditions if that were the case.
I will endeavor not to violate the niceties of this fine site, but that is the most amazing bullshit of all bullshit hand-waves you, or any other poster here has ever been guilty of. I will not bother to respond to it.
Actually there was no need to assassinate him, since Franco's army was weak and Spain's military alternatives were non-existent if Germany insisted. Something like Operation Margarethe would probably have been done - Franco is summoned to Berlin and when he returns to Madrid he's greeted at the train station by German troops.

You have just jump-started the concept of RO-RO in military operations, something that actually germinated in December 1943 and saw partial fruition in January-May 1944 in Italy and in June-July in NWE.
The Germans designed and built Siebel ferries starting in 1940 with the beach loading and unloading, built in. I find it unlikely they did that by accident. To unload 50,000 tons a month at Tobruk via Crete/Salonika, I'm thinking a flotilla of about 80 Siebels or MFP's would be required, with another 10 or 20 per month for attrition replacement. This all looks very possible to me, had Germany's military leadership been inclined to a Med strategy instead of Russia.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by JAG13 » 03 Dec 2019 19:06

Avalancheon wrote:
03 Dec 2019 14:41

You assume that they will execute a Mediterranean strategy with the exact same forces they had at their disposal as OTL. Even though a shift in strategy would have needed to happen about six months earlier (giving them plenty of time to tailor their army for the task). Remember, Hitler didn't make the decision to go to war with Russia in June 1941: That decision was made months earlier, in December 1940. He chose this strategy due to the unhappy outcome of his conference with Molotov in the previous month. If Hitler decided not to invade the Soviet Union, then it would be because he managed to get the terms he wanted.
Not exactly:

In this connection the important question arises of whether Hitler really
believed that the Soviet Union would join the continental bloc favoured by
Ribbentrop, which would indeed have 'represented a significant alternative to
a German attack' on that country. Must not Hitler's readiness to conclude
a 'quadripartite pact' in November 1940 be interpreted as a tactical move,
considering his 'programme', his aggressive policy towards Finland and Romania-
a policy violating the agreement of the summer of 1939-and his antiSoviet
remarks shortly before Molotov's visit? Were calls to respect the Soviet
spheres of interest not simply useful demonstrations that Germany and the
Soviet Union were standing 'shoulder to shoulder' rather than 'back to
back'. On 4 November 1940 Hitler, speaking to OKH and OKW top
leaders, observed that the Soviet Union remained the 'great problem of
Europe'. Everything had to be done 'to prepare for when the showdown
comes'. That was why, even before his first talk with Molotov, he signed
Directive No. 18
, which stated: 'Political discussions for the purpose of clarifying
Russia's attitude in the immediate future have already begun. Regardless
of the outcome of these conversations, all preparations for which verbal orders
have already been given will be continued. Further directives will follow on
this subject as soon as the basic operational plan of the army has been
submitted to me and approved.

"Germany and the Second World War", Volume IV, pp 45.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 03 Dec 2019 20:03

Avalancheon wrote:
03 Dec 2019 15:06
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
02 Dec 2019 03:54
Germany spent a far greater proportion of its GDP on its military than the Allies. The Allies had flexibility to expand production where they saw fit, whereas Germany was straining its war industry to its limits.
This is not true, however. For the first few years of WW2, the Germans and British were closely matched in terms of military spending. The proportion of GDP devoted to the war also increased with it year.
It is true. German military spending reached 70% of national income by 1944, while the UK peaked at 55% and the USA peaked at 42% (see: Mark Harrison, the Economics of WW2). There is no reason to limit the time period to the "first few years" of the war. Germany was not in a position to do anything to the UK in the "first few years" other than terror bomb cities and sink merchant ships - and we already know where that got them in the OTL.

And the Germans reached peak aircraft production and deployment in 1944. It didn't create an "impenetrable" air zone over Germany. It just created lots of dead Luftewaffe pilots.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by pugsville » 03 Dec 2019 22:15

glenn239 wrote:
03 Dec 2019 18:39
Richard Anderson wrote:
03 Dec 2019 06:37
And vice versa. Except neither side truly trusted a "political process" and both anticipated a military process to decide things.
I've seen no credible evidence that Stalin's November 1940 list of demands were not the real Soviet objectives. Therefore, Stalin did not anticipate a "military process" to resolving matters - he would not have presented his real conditions if that were the case.
I will endeavor not to violate the niceties of this fine site, but that is the most amazing bullshit of all bullshit hand-waves you, or any other poster here has ever been guilty of. I will not bother to respond to it.
Actually there was no need to assassinate him, since Franco's army was weak and Spain's military alternatives were non-existent if Germany insisted. Something like Operation Margarethe would probably have been done - Franco is summoned to Berlin and when he returns to Madrid he's greeted at the train station by German troops.

You have just jump-started the concept of RO-RO in military operations, something that actually germinated in December 1943 and saw partial fruition in January-May 1944 in Italy and in June-July in NWE.
The Germans designed and built Siebel ferries starting in 1940 with the beach loading and unloading, built in. I find it unlikely they did that by accident. To unload 50,000 tons a month at Tobruk via Crete/Salonika, I'm thinking a flotilla of about 80 Siebels or MFP's would be required, with another 10 or 20 per month for attrition replacement. This all looks very possible to me, had Germany's military leadership been inclined to a Med strategy instead of Russia.
Hitler could summon Franco all he likes , Franco is not going to come.

Spain entering the war (or letting German troops in, effectively the same thing) would destroy the Spanish economy. Spain was totally dependent on imports. Spanish demands were very real they were very necessary for Spain to survive entering the war. The Franco regime might not be able to survive the collapse caused by the Allies cutting imports.

Franco would be tough because compiling with German demands was also lead to the destruction of the regime.

Nations rarely do what is demanded by naked force.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Dec 2019 00:53

glenn239 wrote:
03 Dec 2019 18:39
The Germans designed and built Siebel ferries starting in 1940 with the beach loading and unloading, built in. I find it unlikely they did that by accident. To unload 50,000 tons a month at Tobruk via Crete/Salonika, I'm thinking a flotilla of about 80 Siebels or MFP's would be required, with another 10 or 20 per month for attrition replacement. This all looks very possible to me, had Germany's military leadership been inclined to a Med strategy instead of Russia.
"Beach loading" was actually done by the Germans at a port. I do not believe they ever developed hardstands, which was the method of beach loading used by the Allies. Beach loading across an actual beach was rarely attempted given the propensity for the loads to get stuck in the sand and then washed away when the tide turned. Beach unloading was somewhat less of a problem...if you were only interested in an assault landing or supporting troops in a small beachhead and had the means of getting the stuff unloaded and above the high tide line and to a hard-surface road, like four-wheel drive trucks and lots of bulldozers to haul them free of sandy and clayey patches and the like. For exploitation and active operations from a beach it could be problematic, which is why the Allies wanted to construct the MULBERRIES. It was not until they trialed a primitive RO-RO system in SHINGLE that the possibility of using pre-loaded trucks in LST as a means of supporting an amphibious invasion was perceived...and even then it was the destruction of the American MULBERRY in the great storm that forced SHAEF into attempting to use it on an even larger scale. And that was with four-wheel drive trucks, lots of bulldozers to haul them free of sandy and clayey patches and the like. Worse, it did nothing to solve the supply clearance problem, getting the beach dumps cleared to operating inland depots connected to a road and rail (plus river in some cases) transport system to the pointy end. In fact that was also a problem in ports, getting things unloaded from ships wasn't always the problem, the ships had cargo booms after all if the port did not, but getting the stuff off the quays and to a functional depot was a headache requiring lots of trucks and laborers.
"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

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 04 Dec 2019 15:37

pugsville wrote:
03 Dec 2019 22:15
Hitler could summon Franco all he likes , Franco is not going to come.
If Hitler had decided to occupy Spain then Franco would have no options but to comply. He had no foreign allies, was a brutal war criminal, and the Spanish army would not have fought. It seems probable some ambitious Fascist army officer would have murdered Franco and seized the opportunity to become the new dictator in Spain. A few Roman emperors went that way too, right?
Spain entering the war (or letting German troops in, effectively the same thing) would destroy the Spanish economy. Spain was totally dependent on imports. Spanish demands were very real they were very necessary for Spain to survive entering the war. The Franco regime might not be able to survive the collapse caused by the Allies cutting imports.
I wasn't aware that Nazi Germany made its military strategy decisions based on humanitarian needs.
Nations rarely do what is demanded by naked force.
The idea that Franco is going to die so that Britain can continue to annex Spanish territory in Gibraltar seems like a poor bet for Franco to me. What causes you to suppose that Franco was such a fan of the British as that? One thing for Franco to turn down entering the war voluntarily. Quite another to defy a dictat with the German army already pouring across the Pyrenees!

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 04 Dec 2019 15:46

Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Dec 2019 00:53
"Beach loading" was actually done by the Germans at a port. I do not believe they ever developed hardstands, which was the method of beach loading used by the Allies. Beach loading across an actual beach was rarely attempted given the propensity for the loads to get stuck in the sand and then washed away when the tide turned. Beach unloading was somewhat less of a problem...if you were only interested in an assault landing or supporting troops in a small beachhead and had the means of getting the stuff unloaded and above the high tide line and to a hard-surface road, like four-wheel drive trucks and lots of bulldozers to haul them free of sandy and clayey patches and the like. For exploitation and active operations from a beach it could be problematic, which is why the Allies wanted to construct the MULBERRIES. It was not until they trialed a primitive RO-RO system in SHINGLE that the possibility of using pre-loaded trucks in LST as a means of supporting an amphibious invasion was perceived...and even then it was the destruction of the American MULBERRY in the great storm that forced SHAEF into attempting to use it on an even larger scale. And that was with four-wheel drive trucks, lots of bulldozers to haul them free of sandy and clayey patches and the like. Worse, it did nothing to solve the supply clearance problem, getting the beach dumps cleared to operating inland depots connected to a road and rail (plus river in some cases) transport system to the pointy end. In fact that was also a problem in ports, getting things unloaded from ships wasn't always the problem, the ships had cargo booms after all if the port did not, but getting the stuff off the quays and to a functional depot was a headache requiring lots of trucks and laborers.
Thanks for the detailed reply. I thought beach loading was done for evacuations while under heavy air attack, such as from Sicily to Italy in 1943?

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Dec 2019 16:37

glenn239 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 15:46
Thanks for the detailed reply. I thought beach loading was done for evacuations while under heavy air attack, such as from Sicily to Italy in 1943?
For personnel probably and even possibly for tracked vehicles, but there I suspect most of the traffic was in and out of Messina, including using the passenger and auto ferries and the rail ferries. The major problem for using beach loading in a situation like that is havinbg to wait for the turn of the tide...until you refloat you are a sitting duck, plus it means only two trips per day.
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Terry Duncan » 04 Dec 2019 16:55

glenn239 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 15:37
If Hitler had decided to occupy Spain then Franco would have no options but to comply. He had no foreign allies, was a brutal war criminal, and the Spanish army would not have fought. It seems probable some ambitious Fascist army officer would have murdered Franco and seized the opportunity to become the new dictator in Spain. A few Roman emperors went that way too, right?
I would wager quite a lot on Britain instantly offering Spain an alliance in such a situation, just as they did with Greece. Churchill very much worked with the belief that the enemy of his enemy was his friend. Franco was not really a Fascist, he was an extreme conservative that had found that agreements with the Fascist and Nazi governments rid his nation of Communists and Socialists. Also, if Hitler started sending troops into Spain, there is going to be no Spanish head of government, it will be a German appointee, like Seyss-Inquart.
glenn239 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 15:37
The idea that Franco is going to die so that Britain can continue to annex Spanish territory in Gibraltar seems like a poor bet for Franco to me. What causes you to suppose that Franco was such a fan of the British as that? One thing for Franco to turn down entering the war voluntarily. Quite another to defy a dictat with the German army already pouring across the Pyrenees!
The Germans thought the same thing about Belgium in 1914, they refused to be intimidated and fought, Spain is likely to do the same.

Britain never felt a need to annex any more of Spain, they had certainly had the chances over the years from 1713 onwards, the only interest Britain has is to keep Spain out of Nazi hands. Franco was a pragmatist and a nationalist, he would stay neutral if possible, and if not would side with the alliance not trying to annex Spain.

Then again, an occupation of Spain is not easy, it is a large area and much of it is good country for guerilla warfare as Napoleon found out. All Hitler would gain would be a drain on resourcesand even more coastline to defend against an invasion.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 04 Dec 2019 19:01

For a good examination of the Spanish-German negotiations in 1940, see Norman Goda's Tomorrow the World. According to Goda, the decisive factor that kept Spain from entering the war was not economic supplies - Hitler was prepared to meet Spain's economic demands.

The real deal killer was Hitler's insistence on annexing Spanish territory in North Africa. Franco wanted to enter the war for the purpose of annexing Morocco from France. Hitler wanted a strong Axis military presence in North Africa to keep the United States from entering the region (as it eventually did in 1942). But Hitler didn't trust the Spanish military to keep out the British or the Americans, so he insisted that Spain cede one of the Canary Islands to Germany along with bases on the Moroccan coast. Franco wanted all of Morocco for Spain and had no interest in ceding land or allowing a permanent German military presence in the region.

Where economics comes into play is that Franco was essentially demanding enormous economic aid from Germany in exchange for nothing (other than some mineral rights in North Africa). Hitler was flabbergasted that Franco expected Germany to provide economic and military aid without giving Germany anything worthwhile (i.e., land) in return. The longer the negotiations dragged on, the more military setbacks the Axis encountered (Battle of Britain, Italy in North Africa and Greece), and the less enthusiastic Franco became.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 04 Dec 2019 19:06

Terry Duncan wrote:
04 Dec 2019 16:55
I would wager quite a lot on Britain instantly offering Spain an alliance in such a situation, just as they did with Greece. Churchill very much worked with the belief that the enemy of his enemy was his friend. Franco was not really a Fascist, he was an extreme conservative that had found that agreements with the Fascist and Nazi governments rid his nation of Communists and Socialists. Also, if Hitler started sending troops into Spain, there is going to be no Spanish head of government, it will be a German appointee, like Seyss-Inquart.
It's possible that Churchill would offer an alliance, but even if accepted, it would not help Spain against the German army. Franco's reputation from the Civil War would be a hindering factor, IMO.

The Germans thought the same thing about Belgium in 1914, they refused to be intimidated and fought, Spain is likely to do the same.
There's plenty of examples from the 1938-1944 period of small powers giving up with either no or negligible combat resistance to show for it. Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, the Czechs, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Vichy (1942), Italy (1943) come to mind. To suppose that Spain would automatically not have done the same strikes me as a premature conclusion to make, notwithstanding the severity of the blow to the UK's position were it to have occurred.
Britain never felt a need to annex any more of Spain, they had certainly had the chances over the years from 1713 onwards, the only interest Britain has is to keep Spain out of Nazi hands. Franco was a pragmatist and a nationalist, he would stay neutral if possible, and if not would side with the alliance not trying to annex Spain.
My impression is that the Spanish people did not and do not see Gibraltar as British, but rather, Spanish. So if the Germans had come over the Pyrenees uninvited and with promises to annex Gibraltar to Spain, I doubt that Franco is going to choose to die on that hill, for the British. Protest, sure. Demobilize the Spanish military like the Vichy in order not to be the enemy of the Anglo-Americans? Sure. But actually go to war with Germany for the sake of Britain? I doubt it.
Then again, an occupation of Spain is not easy, it is a large area and much of it is good country for guerilla warfare as Napoleon found out. All Hitler would gain would be a drain on resources and even more coastline to defend against an invasion.
That, and a pennisula for the union of the Axis navies for warfare in the Atlantic from Iberia, a springboard for a coastal crawl southwards in Africa and westwards to Egypt, sealing the Med from the West to make Italy unassailable for the forseeable future, (freeing up maybe a million Italian and German troops for war production) and force Turkey into a settlement in which Britain would have no say.
Last edited by glenn239 on 04 Dec 2019 19:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 04 Dec 2019 19:08

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 19:01
For a good examination of the Spanish-German negotiations in 1940, see Norman Goda's Tomorrow the World. According to Goda, the decisive factor that kept Spain from entering the war was not economic supplies - Hitler was prepared to meet Spain's economic demands.
The decisive factor that kept Spain out of the war was that Hitler was inclined to move east so was willing to allow Franco to remain neutral.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 04 Dec 2019 19:15

glenn239 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 19:08
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 19:01
For a good examination of the Spanish-German negotiations in 1940, see Norman Goda's Tomorrow the World. According to Goda, the decisive factor that kept Spain from entering the war was not economic supplies - Hitler was prepared to meet Spain's economic demands.
The decisive factor that kept Spain out of the war was that Hitler was inclined to move east so was willing to allow Franco to remain neutral.
Source?

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 04 Dec 2019 19:23

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 19:15
Source?
You want a source showing that Hitler was inclined to invade the Soviet Union? Mien Kampf for starters....

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 04 Dec 2019 20:08

glenn239 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 19:23
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
04 Dec 2019 19:15
Source?
You want a source showing that Hitler was inclined to invade the Soviet Union? Mien Kampf for starters....
That's clearly not what I asked. I asked for a source that supports your claim that "the decisive factor that kept Spain out of the war was that Hitler was inclined to move east so was willing to allow Franco to remain neutral."

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