Peter89 wrote:The more important bottleneck was in the shipping capacity. You have to prove that shipments from Triest could arrive in sufficient quantities to the Agean coast to support your invasion. I gave you a tons of details, including lost shipments via this route and the state of affairs in naval and aerial warfare in the MTO.
...and I have addressed each of your arguments.
Just for example, my last post included detailed discussion of Axis shipping losses in the Med in '42, pointing out these losses occurred predominantly on Axis attempts to ship to forward Libyan ports such as Tobruk. This shipping effort was vulnerable to Allied air interdiction, while the sea routes to Corinth and Tripoli were safe at that time from all but submarines (Malta had limited air strike capacity then and zero surface ships). Here's another quote from Strangling the Axis
Efficiency in strike operations was very important, as shipping sent to Tobruk first went through the Corinth Canal, keeping it largely out of range of Beaufort and Beaufighter aircraft. It could only easily be attacked between Crete and Tobruk, which offered a window of opportunity of around one and half days.
As I said in a previous post, interdiction of Adriatic/Aegean shipping would have been entirely a matter of submarines and mines. I conceded that they'd sink ~30k a day as in OTL but even that's generous to your position. Why?
Because the combined-arms tactics that you rightly tout consisted partly of Wellingtons carrying direction-finding beams (ASV) to help subs home on targets. That works fine over the open Med but over an Aegean reinforced by a few hundred LW fighters? The Wellingtons can't operate there; the subs would be less efffective.
To repeat: Using Axis ships on relatively secure routes to Tripoli and the Aegean instead of Tobruk means those ships
provide more shipping
. Instead of sitting ports waiting for escorts, and instead of repeated abortive sailings due to RN/RAF interference, they conduct regular runs to Tripoli and the Aegean.
Axis still has ~1.5mil tons of ships at this point; to achieve 5,000t/day throughput to the Aegean at 30 day ship TRT requires only 10% of the merchant fleet.
In addition, Italian warships can be used for running troops. This was done OTL some but the need for heavy escorts limited it. ATL there's little need for heavy convoy escort. To repeat, the Tripoli sea line is now >1,000mi from British bases while the Brindisi-Corinth and Aegean sea lines are immune to surface and air interdiction.
All the Wallies can do is submarine warfare and mines. There's no reason to think that'd go better than OTL and plenty of reasons to think it goes worse in the Aegean than in the OTL open Med. (btw - dropping mines by air is also far more difficult over a reinforced Aegean).
Peter89 wrote:Besides, you never really addressed the issue of the smaller DAK - they are most likely could have been crushed before the OTL date.
What smaller DAK? I haven't said that. I've said ship to Tripoli instead of Tobruk, forcing Rommel onto the defensive at El Alamein from July. If you send all the British subs into the Aegean, Axis coastal shipping can bring up the supplies anyway. If not, Rommel (his replacement actually) cools his jets and doesn't launch his stupid Alam Halfa battle.
Peter89 wrote:That's correct. So you actually agree that these lines are not eligible for supplies. I am flabbergasted.
I can't see why you're surprised that I'm willing to adjust my views...
And keep in mind my broader view: I don't see Turkey fighting Germany in '42. At worst I see them allowing the Germans to pass through. Most likely they join the Axis for Cyprus, Lesbos, Aleppo, Mosul, Karabakh, etc. The alternative is national immolation for the Allied cause - not something they particularly cared about. Remember that the Turkish leadership, while not fascist, had no sincere moral commitment to Western-style democracy (Inonu would hold power without free elections for years after the war, all the Turkish leaders had been complicit in the Armenian genocide). Hitler could credibly have threatened that he'd take Georgia, Armenia, and the Kurds as allies (post-SU) if the Turks didn't let him pass.
Having seen what happened when Greece allowed Britain to make her a pawn in the game, the Turks would have made a narrowly-rational choice. [Greece belatedly responded to German mediation efforts in March '41, by which time it was too late for them. Inonu and Saracoglu were intimately familiar with all this. See van Creveld's article "Prelude to a Disaster" for good narrative.]
Peter89 wrote:The war wasn't clearly lost
I mean only Turkey's war, not the broader war. Again - why does Turkey care about anything else but Turkey?
This is the fundamental dynamic of all WW2: it would have been easy to stop Hitler in '39 or earlier had everyone acted with the global good in mind.
Peter89 wrote:Who can say that a blown up bridge could bring logistical shipments to a halt for, let's say, a month? What happens if it's two? We don't know that for 100% certainty as in the case of a single railway with known capacity, where we count with the theoretical maximum.
Having looked at the landscape of Western Anatolia - its small rivers, the flat valleys through which the railways run - I find this unlikely. Here's a bridge over the river Gediz, for example:
The Germans could replace that in a day; the river is small enough to ford until then.
There's nothing in Western Anatolia that seems more challenging than France or Belarus. More mountains but plenty of routes around them. No rivers as big as the Bug or Dniestr, which the Ostheer crossed/bridged with ease.
Peter89 wrote:I seriously doubt that the US would consider to make peace with Japan in 1942 October
Once again, that's exactly my point: The U.S. would never make peace with Japan after PH, yet a credible defense of the MidEast - if at all possible - requires at least the diversion of all Army-controlled shipping from the OTL reinforcement of the Pacific. And that only gets you a division or so a month.
So the U.S. would have to choose between (1) strongest possible defense of the MidEast with an extremely passive stance in the Pacific and (2) functional abandonment of the MidEast - at least Syria, Suez, Basra/Abadan, and Iran - and an aggressive posture in the Pacific.
Given historical political realities and OTL choices (the U.S. was Pacific-heavy in OTL '42), I can't see the U.S. making the Pacific sacrifices necessary to get even 5 divisions to the MidEast.
Furthermore, I would expect Marshall et. al. to have opinions closer to British military opinion than to the opinions of your typical AHF member. I.e. they would also evaluate a defense of Anatolia as unfeasible.
What we know for sure is that the Wallies controlled the world politically and they wanted to go on the offensive in the second half of 1942, at the ends of the Axis' logistical lines, to gradually wear down their best frontline troops and units an an unequal battle.
That the battle would be unequal for the Axis is one of the premises you're trying to prove. Again, it was not prevailing military opinion at the time and our debate is primarily about whose logistics would support the stronger MidEast force.
it's the exact battleground that the Wallies wanted: they could supply it better than the Axis
Please address the Allied shipping issues. If you disagree with my analysis that all OTL U.S. Army-controlled shipping would, if redirected to the MidEast, get you only ~1 division/month deployed, please say why.
I hope you'll recognize that I'm willing to recognize good analysis - including yours - when I see it and even when it's opposed to my position. So don't take this personally but I get the impression you aren't up on the fundamentals of shipping logistics. Your comment on shipping requirements for Torch being the same as hypothetical shipments to MidEast supports that impression. You're plenty smart to grok the basics with a quick study.
The FM-101-10 manual that Richard Anderson mentioned upthread is actually a good place to start even though, unsurprisingly, it contains nothing to support Richard's claims and is 100% consistent with my analysis of Allied shipping. https://www.google.com/search?q=%22FM+1 ... e&ie=UTF-8
Page 446 of the pdf begins the section on ocean shipping and contains data for cargo volume/weight and loading considerations.
Global Logistics and Strategy
is really the best source for the strategic view of Allied shipping resources and its impact on the war. Shipping continued to constrain Allied strategy well into 1944.
What really happened was that the Axis lost all of its resupply battles.
OTL not ATL. As discussed up-post, you're ignoring the reasons they lost those battles and failing to consider whether any of that changes ATL.
When I take a look at Turkey in late 1942, I see a country where the Germans have no interest in in your ATL
Not true. From Halder's diary on July 3, 1941:
As an initial move for the operations through Anatolia against Syria, possibly supported by a secondary drive from the Caucasus, we shall have to initiate concentration of the necessary forces in Bulgaria, which at the same time may serve as a means of political pressure to compel Turkey to grant transit for our forces.
It's true that Hitler didn't want Turkey in itself, but he was absolutely willing to crush Turkey to reach Syria if necessary.
but it's the exact battleground that the Wallies wanted: they could supply it better than the Axis, they could count on local support (which mattered a lot, especially to Churchill) and the Germans have to overstretch their lines to take a battle they can't win.
Again, whose logistics allowed the stronger force is the subject being debated and - as I showed in my last couple posts - British opinion was that no defense of Anatolia was possible. In case you missed it, here's the head of the Foreign Office's Southern Department reacting to the military analysis:
Britain, Turkey, and the Soviet Union, 1940-45
‘I have been innocently under the
impression that every hope was held of being able to defend the Taurus
line; but not at all, and not even the Turkish frontier (I wonder in this
case what line in the Middle East can be held).’
, p. 66
That's why I said that a sustained Axis effort in the ME is not realistic in 1943.
Your impression is based partly on uncritical analogy to OTL and failure to dig into the details of shipping logistics. It contradicts contemporary military analysis of the military/logistical situation and is flatly wrong on historical German plans/strategy.
Let me suggest something: you've intellectually hobbled yourself by beginning this discussion with the view that my opinion is a fantasy, which has prevented you from critically examining your priors in light of new evidence.
I like and respect you enough to point this out; some others in this thread I consider lost causes who operate in bad faith. Regardless of one's mental capacity, it's impossible to do your best analysis if you don't take the opposing position seriously. The only times I got my ass handed to me in court were when I was overconfident and didn't put enough thought into opposing arguments.
I hope that doesn't come across the wrong way. I've enjoyed our discussion and learned quite a bit.