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

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

Post by Paul Lakowski » 24 Mar 2020 03:31

John T wrote:
23 Mar 2020 22:59
Orwell1984 wrote:
12 Mar 2020 21:03

Um yes it was done stationary. The two ships stopped then a hose was trailed astern to refuel.
No, not according to German sources.


Orwell1984 wrote:
12 Mar 2020 21:03
EDIT:
Went and pulled a copy of a book I forgot i had called Under Three Flags by Geoffrey Jones. It's a history of the Nordmark, Altmark, Ermland and Dithmarschen. It describes the refueling method used and also contains more pictures of KM vessels refueling as well as U-Boats. Again the method used is as shown in the pictures above. The vessels manoeuvre stern to bow, then they hold stationary postion while hoses are connected and fuel exchanged. They do not do as the Allies did and proceed underway to replenish. The method the KM used required near perfect weather conditions as well so there are cases of resupply taking three days in some cases because the seas were too rough.

And what sources did the author use?
I am always a bit skeptical of books about Germany in ww2 written by Anglo-Saxons.
Too much was too biased by wartime propaganda even into the seventies.


What about reading K G Lochners Als das eis brach page 20ff ?
That's a German source from a German author who read the German war diaries and Captain Daus report on refueling at sea.
In short, it confirms Glenns source.
Altmark devised a method to tow Graf Spee and transferred stores and fuel and lowest speed, but still at speed.

So they could do that in more adverse weather than just drifting in dead calm,
How do you expect two very different ships that catch the wind differently, keep at a fixed distance long enough to refuel?

But if you need photographic evidence out of suppression technique, I can't provide it.

Cheers
/John T
This is a common problem in history texts. You got to go to the other side. But I did read this pre WW-II British review of WW-I German Raiders and it makes point that the raiders that held up in some bay/neutral port for provisions were always caught, but those who practice recoiling at sea, stayed on the move and survived!


https://archive.org/stream/ReviewOfGerm ... 1/mode/2up

If they could refuel a raider via coaling, while underway , I don't see why it could not be practiced in WW-II with tankers. KM had access to scores and scores of such tankers through the war and I recall some of the older pre Dithmarschen tankers also conducted refueling at sea.

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

Post by T. A. Gardner » 24 Mar 2020 05:53

Paul Lakowski wrote:
24 Mar 2020 03:31
This is a common problem in history texts. You got to go to the other side. But I did read this pre WW-II British review of WW-I German Raiders and it makes point that the raiders that held up in some bay/neutral port for provisions were always caught, but those who practice recoiling at sea, stayed on the move and survived!


https://archive.org/stream/ReviewOfGerm ... 1/mode/2up

If they could refuel a raider via coaling, while underway , I don't see why it could not be practiced in WW-II with tankers. KM had access to scores and scores of such tankers through the war and I recall some of the older pre Dithmarschen tankers also conducted refueling at sea.
The problem in WW 2 is that now there are maritime patrol aircraft usually with radar on them. These planes can scout millions of square miles of ocean daily. There's nowhere to hide really. You could probably get away with surface raiding for a while, particularly in some odd and remote corner of the ocean, but it is going to be difficult to avoid detection.

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

Post by Paul Lakowski » 24 Mar 2020 06:08

T. A. Gardner wrote:
24 Mar 2020 05:53
Paul Lakowski wrote:
24 Mar 2020 03:31
This is a common problem in history texts. You got to go to the other side. But I did read this pre WW-II British review of WW-I German Raiders and it makes point that the raiders that held up in some bay/neutral port for provisions were always caught, but those who practice recoiling at sea, stayed on the move and survived!


https://archive.org/stream/ReviewOfGerm ... 1/mode/2up

If they could refuel a raider via coaling, while underway , I don't see why it could not be practiced in WW-II with tankers. KM had access to scores and scores of such tankers through the war and I recall some of the older pre Dithmarschen tankers also conducted refueling at sea.
The problem in WW 2 is that now there are maritime patrol aircraft usually with radar on them. These planes can scout millions of square miles of ocean daily. There's nowhere to hide really. You could probably get away with surface raiding for a while, particularly in some odd and remote corner of the ocean, but it is going to be difficult to avoid detection.
Maybe at the end of the war that's the case with combined American Commonwealth forces established for years, but not at the beginning. James Levy book "ROYAL NAVY HOME FLEET in WW-II", reports that in the first year of the war the combined naval and maritime patrols were at best only able to sweep around UK & NORTH SEA and often only detected one ship in seven. O'HARA "The German Fleet at War 1939-1945" reports 3/4 of all KM blockade runners returned to Germany safely during those early years but by 1942/43 the figures reversed and maybe 1/4 of the KM raiders returned home safely.

PS ; If a MV doesn't want to be detected it can hide....even today. Just a couple months ago a MV washed up on the Irish coast after being lost at sea for two years. Friedman makes a observation in NET-WORK-CENTRIC WARFARE, that finding ships at sea in the 1960s was far from guaranteed, as one Portuguese MV avoided detection for days before being found.

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

Post by glenn239 » 24 Mar 2020 18:00

Rob Stuart My argument was that the Germans "were not going to undermine Vichy for the sake of putting aircraft at Dakar or the Cape Verde islands, especially when it would have been a serious logistics problem to support them there.
The problem is twofold. First, Germany did not require the existence of Vichy France for some military reason, whereas Vichy very much required Germany's cooperation for its continued existence. So the question of "undermining Vichy" is strictly Germany's to deliver or withhold, as much or as little as thought useful. Second, that when Vichy did not respond to a series of attacks that collectively were worse than Pearl Harbor in terms of casualties, it seems difficult to imagine a German occupation of Dakar would somehow receive a different reply. Otherwise, the French answer to Mers el Kebir would have been a French declaration of war on Britain and the entire French fleet making a union with the Italian fleet.
They never put any bases in Algeria, and they did not put any forces into Tunisia until TORCH threatened its occupation by the Allies. Why would they seriously consider establishing unsupportable bases in the South Atlantic when they didn't make any move to put bases in Algeria or Tunisia, which would have been a far more realistic thing to do?
To be “unsupportable” bases you presuppose the US is already in the war, because it would be impossible for Britain alone to make such an advance unsupportable. Whereas any move down the African coast on Atlantic shores would have taken place before American intervention.

A second point - Hitler’s purpose in agreeing to Vichy in the first place will have been with an eye to cover while he turned east. Ergo, if Hitler does not have any intention of turning east, the German policy towards Vichy will not be the historical, since the original foundation principle to the historical policy would be lacking.

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

Post by glenn239 » 24 Mar 2020 18:19

Rob Stuart I did not consider any scenario in which Luftwaffe bombing of UK ports lasted into 1946 because that's completely loony.
Well call me a lunatic then, because I think its pretty flaming obvious that if Germany and the USSR do not go to war, there is not a chance in hell the Allies could land in France in 1944 or even 1945 for that matter. That's why I picked 1946.
My conclusion is that while a post-May 1941 Luftwaffe campaign against UK ports (lasting into 1942) would still damage them it would not shut them down, because it would be weaker than the 40-41 effort, which shut no port, and the British defences would get steadily stronger.
And you could be right, but at least we’ve gone from the idea of the LW being unable to participate in the BoA into 1946, to some form of participation.
(1) Hitler would wage air and sea warfare against the UK until 1946 or later without the aim of forcing the UK to stop fighting. So what would his aim be?
This is the first of 5 ideas you say I hold. I will respond to each individually.

The Allied air campaign’s aim would be to compel Germany to surrender either by aerial bombardment, or by crippling the German economy prior to a landing in France. The German air campaign’s aim would be trying to compel the Allies to agree to a cease fire. As time wears on, the scale of the Allied assault increases in relation to the German, but even with the A-bomb it’s tough too see how the war can end before 1946 without the Russians coming in.
(2) By 1946 the Battle of the Atlantic would still not be won by either side.
I said that the BoA would be decided in favor of the Allies not later than 1944 if the US comes in during 1942. But, the fighting would continue until the end of the war. (Historically the Battle of the Atlantic was won by the Allies in 1943, but continued to May 1945. Same idea.)
(3) During a maritime blockade lasting until 1946 there would be no accidental sinkings of US ships or any other incident that would bring the US into the war against Germany.
Without Pearl Harbor, my assumption is that the US most likely enters the war in 1942. Maybe 1943. Call it a 90% chance between those two years. For sake of argument let’s just assume 1942.
(4) The RAF would not defeat the Luftwaffe's night bombing force long before 1946. (Are you not aware of the decimation of the early 1944 Luftwaffe bombing campaign against UK cities?)
Here your sort of making your own opinion, which is of course wrong. The 1944 Baby Blitz 8% loss rate meant that sustained operations might not be possible. It did not mean that operations would be halted completely.
(5) No war between German and Russia would break out.
Not quite. I said that if Germany does not attack the USSR, it was unlikely that Stalin would attack Germany, and even more unlikely that Soviet aims would rise to the level of a war to the finish.
I don't see how you can defend any of these propositions.
Well, the first thing I had to do was correct all the errors you made in summarizing my opinions. :^)

Your point (1) was a question, not a proposition. And not a particularly useful or insightful one, I would add. What do you think the Luftwaffe was going to do with all those V-1’s and jet bombers in France from mid-1944? Fire them at Berlin? Your point (2) doesn’t track the conclusions of the discussion, that the Allies would have decided the BoA in their favor by 1944 at the latest due to US shipping production. (3) was wrong and (4) is if anything even wronger. In (5) you seem to have very different ideas than I do about Stalin’s basic attitudes of Communist ideology in an Imperial world and Soviet interests in the era of a potential US global hegemony.

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

Post by glenn239 » 24 Mar 2020 18:39

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
23 Mar 2020 12:14
In the artillery we marked with chalk, but other wise the procedure was the same.
Your post #1014 was fantastic.

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

Post by glenn239 » 24 Mar 2020 18:40

paulrward wrote:
23 Mar 2020 21:36
Mr. T.A.Gardner wrote :
Measure it with a micrometer. Mark it with a crayon. Cut it with an axe. When things came up short, their solution was to cut it again in hopes they'd get it right the next time.
Actually, the correct quote is:

" Measure with a Micrometer, Mark with a Chalk, Cut with an Axe ! Hammer to Shape, File to Fit, Paint to Match,
Get it Waived by Q.C., and Ship it to the Customer ! "

I was an engineer and chemist in the electronics industry for four decades. Does it show ?

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Paul, good to see you posting!

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

Post by Rob Stuart » 24 Mar 2020 20:18

glenn239 wrote:
24 Mar 2020 18:00
Rob Stuart My argument was that the Germans "were not going to undermine Vichy for the sake of putting aircraft at Dakar or the Cape Verde islands, especially when it would have been a serious logistics problem to support them there.
The problem is twofold. First, Germany did not require the existence of Vichy France for some military reason, whereas Vichy very much required Germany's cooperation for its continued existence. So the question of "undermining Vichy" is strictly Germany's to deliver or withhold, as much or as little as thought useful.
I agree. And the Germans found it best not to undermine Vichy in any major way.

Second, that when Vichy did not respond to a series of attacks that collectively were worse than Pearl Harbor in terms of casualties, it seems difficult to imagine a German occupation of Dakar would somehow receive a different reply. Otherwise, the French answer to Mers el Kebir would have been a French declaration of war on Britain and the entire French fleet making a union with the Italian fleet.
It is not my position that Vichy would defy a German demand that they be permitted to station forces at Dakar. My position is that the Germans would not make such a demand. (I think this the third time I've stated this.)
They never put any bases in Algeria, and they did not put any forces into Tunisia until TORCH threatened its occupation by the Allies. Why would they seriously consider establishing unsupportable bases in the South Atlantic when they didn't make any move to put bases in Algeria or Tunisia, which would have been a far more realistic thing to do?
To be “unsupportable” bases you presuppose the US is already in the war, because it would be impossible for Britain alone to make such an advance unsupportable. Whereas any move down the African coast on Atlantic shores would have taken place before American intervention.
No, I did not assume the US was already in the war. You seem not to understand what it would take to establish and maintain a Luftwaffe base at Dakar. The larger aircraft could presumably have been flown in but everything else would have to come by sea, in merchant ships. A partial list would include:

(1) crated single-engine aircraft, including fighters
(2) AA guns
(3) radar stations
(4) bombs and ammo
(5) spare engines and other spares
(6) ground crew
(7) fuel and lubricants
(8) a German Army force strong enough to repulse an invasion from Gambia. (Dakar is only 160 km from the border with Gambia.)

The initial convoy (more likely convoys) would of course have to be followed up with regular re-supply convoys. They would all have to be heavily escorted - but the Axis powers have no aircraft carrier. The British would love nothing better than to see Axis heavy ships at sea on a predicable course tied to a slow convoy and with no CAP. Ark Royal (and/or other RN carriers) would have a lovely time launching strike after strike from 100 miles out. The British could also have subs stationed off Dakar and they could mine the approaches - maybe not for the first convoy but certainly for all the later ones.

The Germans would have understood how challenging it would have been to maintain an operational air base at Dakar. Since it would have been difficult to support, potentially vulnerable to invasion from Gambia and unlikely to accomplish much (other than forcing Allied convoys to be routed well away from Dakar), it would not have been worth it to them to establish any such base.


A second point - Hitler’s purpose in agreeing to Vichy in the first place will have been with an eye to cover while he turned east. Ergo, if Hitler does not have any intention of turning east, the German policy towards Vichy will not be the historical, since the original foundation principle to the historical policy would be lacking.
I do not accept your premise that Hitler would "not have any intention of turning east." It's plausible that he might have delayed his attack on Russia until he got the British out of the war, in which case he would aim to do that in 1940 or 1941 and to attack Russia the following year, but he would never have abandoned his aim of attacking Russia.

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

Post by ljadw » 24 Mar 2020 21:31

glenn239 wrote:
24 Mar 2020 18:19


Well call me a lunatic then, because I think its pretty flaming obvious that if Germany and the USSR do not go to war, there is not a chance in hell the Allies could land in France in 1944 or even 1945 for that matter. That's why I picked 1946.



I said that the BoA would be decided in favor of the Allies not later than 1944 if the US comes in during 1942. But, the fighting would continue until the end of the war. (Historically the Battle of the Atlantic was won by the Allies in 1943, but continued to May 1945. Same idea.)

1 This is not correct : the war in the East did not determine the German strength in France in 1944 . there was even no corelation between both : no Barbarossa does not mean more German divisions in Normandy .Besides, the Wallies could /would win without Overlord .
2 This is not correct : the BoA was already decided in favor of Britain before Pearl Harbour . I will even go farther : the BOA was already decided in favor of Britain on September 3 1939 : Germany had no chance at all to starve Britain .

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

Post by Rob Stuart » 24 Mar 2020 23:04

glenn239 wrote:
24 Mar 2020 18:19
Rob Stuart I did not consider any scenario in which Luftwaffe bombing of UK ports lasted into 1946 because that's completely loony.
Well call me a lunatic then, because I think its pretty flaming obvious that if Germany and the USSR do not go to war, there is not a chance in hell the Allies could land in France in 1944 or even 1945 for that matter. That's why I picked 1946.
The termination of the Luftwaffe bombing of UK ports would not be dependent on an Allied invasion of France. In any case, there is no way in hell that Russia and Germany would still be at peace.
My conclusion is that while a post-May 1941 Luftwaffe campaign against UK ports (lasting into 1942) would still damage them it would not shut them down, because it would be weaker than the 40-41 effort, which shut no port, and the British defences would get steadily stronger.
And you could be right, but at least we’ve gone from the idea of the LW being unable to participate in the BoA into 1946, to some form of participation.
Please read my posts more carefully. "post-May 1941" does not mean "until 1946". Also, I was speaking only about Luftwaffe bombing of UK ports.
(1) Hitler would wage air and sea warfare against the UK until 1946 or later without the aim of forcing the UK to stop fighting. So what would his aim be?
This is the first of 5 ideas you say I hold. I will respond to each individually.

The Allied air campaign’s aim would be to compel Germany to surrender either by aerial bombardment, or by crippling the German economy prior to a landing in France. The German air campaign’s aim would be trying to compel the Allies to agree to a cease fire. As time wears on, the scale of the Allied assault increases in relation to the German, but even with the A-bomb it’s tough too see how the war can end before 1946 without the Russians coming in.
So you're now saying that Hitler's aim was to compel the UK to agree to a ceasefire. Interesting. On 17 March I commented that "If you want to knock the UK out of the war through blockade then you need to minimize the re-deployment of German twin engine bombers to other theatres, including the Med and/or Spain." Your response to that was "Who said anything about the UK getting, "knocked out of the war?"" In what universe is compelling the UK to agree to a ceasefire not the same thing as knocking it out of the war?

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

Post by glenn239 » 25 Mar 2020 21:03

ljadw wrote:
24 Mar 2020 21:31
1 This is not correct : the war in the East did not determine the German strength in France in 1944 . there was even no corelation between both : no Barbarossa does not mean more German divisions in Normandy .Besides, the Wallies could /would win without Overlord .
The number of Axis divisions in France, Spain and Norway very much would track to there being no Barbarossa. Not only that, but without the drain of combat on the Eastern Front, the Germans will have considerably more mechanized and panzer divisions, and so will the Italians.

In terms of the Allies winning without Overlord, yes, I agree, this could be done with Allied airpower. But not before 1946.
2 This is not correct : the BoA was already decided in favor of Britain before Pearl Harbour . I will even go farther : the BOA was already decided in favor of Britain on September 3 1939 : Germany had no chance at all to starve Britain .
Germany had no chance long term of the BoA forcing the British to make peace once the US was in the war, which for sake of argument let's say is in 1942. The BoA I would rate as decided historically in 1943, ahistorically by 1944.

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

Post by ljadw » 25 Mar 2020 21:18

No : without war with the SU , the strength of the WM would remain what it was in June 1940 : less than 150 divisions,with 10 PzD .Without Barbarossa, half of them would be tied by the Soviets , 25 in the Balkans and Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands, and only 50 would be available for the WHOLE of France, and only as part of these 50 would be available for Overlord .
The BOA : the Boats failed to force Britain to surrender, between September 1939 and December 1941 .
US was already at war before PH : the Atlantic Fleet escorted the convoys to Britain and was going after the U Boats .
The Germans had more U Boats in 1941 and this resulted in less sinkings than in 1940.
The BoA was decided before he started : for the average Britain food situation was better during the war,than before the war . There was never a moment where the Germans were nearing the point that Britain would be forced to give up .

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

Post by glenn239 » 25 Mar 2020 21:27

Rob Stuart And the Germans found it best not to undermine Vichy in any major way.

It is not my position that Vichy would defy a German demand that they be permitted to station forces at Dakar. My position is that the Germans would not make such a demand. (I think this the third time I've stated this.)
There is no need to list the number of times you’ve stated your opinion. My conclusion remains the same – without the war with the Soviet Union, which was the defining feature to Germany’s Vichy policy, there was no political reason to suppose that the exigencies of a war pursued against Britain alone would have hindered Germany.
No, I did not assume the US was already in the war. You seem not to understand what it would take to establish and maintain a Luftwaffe base at Dakar
.

Dakar represents something at about the limit to an Axis advance - via Morocco.
The initial convoy (more likely convoys) would of course have to be followed up with regular re-supply convoys.
I see. Your thinking that the Germans would sail around Vichy Morocco rather than advance through it, establishing a string of air bases down the coast first. Wouldn’t be my guess.
The Germans would have understood how challenging it would have been to maintain an operational air base at Dakar. Since it would have been difficult to support, potentially vulnerable to invasion from Gambia and unlikely to accomplish much (other than forcing Allied convoys to be routed well away from Dakar), it would not have been worth it to them to establish any such base.
All very true – once the US was in the war. But before that I think you may be overestimating the capacity of the British to field sufficient ground and air forces to face so many threats on so many divergent fronts.

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

Post by glenn239 » 25 Mar 2020 21:46

ljadw wrote:
25 Mar 2020 21:18
No : without war with the SU , the strength of the WM would remain what it was in June 1940 : less than 150 divisions,with 10 PzD .Without Barbarossa, half of them would be tied by the Soviets , 25 in the Balkans and Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands, and only 50 would be available for the WHOLE of France, and only as part of these 50 would be available for Overlord .
No, the Axis would have over 200 divisions available for France and Spain, (more elsewhere) with over 20,000 tanks by 1944.

There was never a moment where the Germans were nearing the point that Britain would be forced to give up .
The US entry into the war signalled that the Allies would win the BoA within 2 or 3 years at most.

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

Post by ljadw » 26 Mar 2020 09:09

glenn239 wrote:
25 Mar 2020 21:46
ljadw wrote:
25 Mar 2020 21:18
No : without war with the SU , the strength of the WM would remain what it was in June 1940 : less than 150 divisions,with 10 PzD .Without Barbarossa, half of them would be tied by the Soviets , 25 in the Balkans and Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands, and only 50 would be available for the WHOLE of France, and only as part of these 50 would be available for Overlord .
No, the Axis would have over 200 divisions available for France and Spain, (more elsewhere) with over 20,000 tanks by 1944.

There was never a moment where the Germans were nearing the point that Britain would be forced to give up .
The US entry into the war signalled that the Allies would win the BoA within 2 or 3 years at most.
Where would the Germans get these 200 divisions ? These 200 divisions existed BECAUSE of Barbarossa, without Barbarossa, they would not exist and Germany would still have 150 divisions, not more .
No : the Allies were not obliged to win the BoA : the Germans were obliged to do it ,and the day BEFORE PH, the Germans had still not won the BoA : on that day , Britain had gained MORE GRT than it had lost to U Boats . This was the result of the BoA ,after more than 2 years .
The Allies could continue the war when the U Boats attacked the convoys . The presence of the U Boats did not mean that the Allies were losing .

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