Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

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Carney
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Carney » 24 Nov 2020 23:20

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Nov 2020 19:04

Thanks for bringing this my attention; I find TIK insufferable but occasionally check in on his ramblings. I didn't - constitutionally can't - watch the whole video but around 10:50 he talks about the Soviet and British fleets blowing up bridges in the Bosporus.

There were no bridges over the Bosporus until 1973.
Yep, that's a major oops all right. The comment pointing this out is the top-rated comment for the video, and for what it's worth, has a "Like" from TIK. No excuse for that, but you could at least say that an Anglo / Soviet fleet in place could have had the same effect by preventing ferries from being able to cross.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Nov 2020 19:04

The idea of using a "fleet" for this work is equally stupid. Just park valuable fleet assets in range of the bridge? Have them fire all their shells over hours, while exposed to numerous threats?
Depends on the threats. If you're facing serious coastal defense guns like what Norway had to fight the Germans in 1940, that would or should give an attacker pause. If not, not so much. Did the Turks still have fortresses with serious modern (for the time) guns?

If there's one thing big guns are good at, it's smashing nearby things that can't move.

I remember reading in some detail about how, by Vietnam, the US Navy was in the opposite situation of many world navies in World War 2: dominated by carrier admirals who for emotional or ideological reasons disdained battleships. Such that countless futile air strikes were launched against North Vietnamese targets, resulting in ultra valuable pilots being killed or captured, when a single cheap battleship salvo could have flattened the target - a salvo that no amount of AAA or SAMs could do a thing to stop.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Nov 2020 19:04
Where is the British fleet and how is it preserved after Germans take Thrace? If you're firing naval shells at a (non-existent) bridge instead of placing demo charges that means the Germans have already conquered Thrace, which means any British fleet would be sailing past a hostile shore into Marmara, which was a disaster even in 1915.
Why assume the Germans, even if they had taken the rest of Thrace, would have been able to go into Gallipoli from the north? A peninsula is inherently a narrow land choke point, and this one has an even narrower one connecting it to the European mainland to the north, and is likely just as, if not more, easily defensible by the Turks from that direction as it was for them to defend it from the south and east in WW1.

And even if the Germans had taken Gallipoli, why assume they'd have had time to set up defenses such as forts, guns, and minefields the way the Turks had been able to in WW1, particularly such formidable defenses as would have destroyed the entirety of the Allied navies in the Med? If the Turks had had such defenses, and been defeated by the Germans, would they not have spiked the guns, etc., before surrendering?

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Nov 2020 00:21

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Nov 2020 23:18
Might it be just a tad self-important to consider identifying error as "feeling [Richard's] pain"?
No, but it might be a joke. Always with the negative waves.
I've had the general feeling before. Upthread some guy told me that a Liberty Ship could carry a whole infantry division:
Yep, dropped a decimal point or two, my bad.
As the larger Wilhelm Gustloff could "only" fit 10,582 refugees when packed to the gills for a short evacuation trip, putting an ID's 14,000+ in a Liberty Ship would require stacking bodies.
Yeah, but she was a liner, like the Queen's, which did move the better part of a division of personnel on each trip.
People make errors, the key is not to be an obnoxious idiot - something TIK has trouble with.

Agreed. There are some good channels though.
I have a hard time following up references on videos, mostly because they are typically non-existent.
BTW - the best way to "watch" Youtube is to convert videos into MP3 and listen to them while doing dishes, walking the dog, etc.
If I was listening to something interesting enough to be worth while I would probably be washing the cat and walking the dishes, which would likely irritate both the cat and my girl. :D
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Erwinn » 16 Dec 2020 09:14

As a Turk,

Turkish situation at the time was:

- Railways were not up to the standarts and very few of them was there.
- Even worse than the railways was the roads. Basically, you go Kocaeli(City next to Istanbul) and you'll face major road problems. You can't supply your army with trucks.

Also Turkey were ran by a centralized government at the time, drop 2 FJ Divisions on Ankara and the war would have ended swiftly, since most of the Turks at the time were Pro-German.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 16 Dec 2020 21:36

So the Turks capitulate quickly. The Germans now have thousands of km or worn railways, bad bridges, and roads for oxen & donkeys.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 16 Dec 2020 22:18

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
16 Dec 2020 21:36
So the Turks capitulate quickly. The Germans now have thousands of km or worn railways, bad bridges, and roads for oxen & donkeys.
Reminds me of, say, Greece or Belarus.

As the Germans supplied, through Belarus, forces sufficient to defeat the Red Army in a couple battles, the Wallies are safe beyond Turkey so long as they can field in Syria/Iraq an army stronger than the summer/fall '41 RKKA.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Avalancheon » 23 Dec 2020 13:19

This is a response to some comments that were made much earlier in this thread.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
19 Sep 2020 02:53
Peter89 wrote: 1 German Infantry Division
Inactive: 80t/d
Average: 150t/d
Fighting: 1100t/d

1 German Panzer Division
Inactive: 30t/d
Average: 300t/d
Fighting: 700t/d
Let's take your average for now and do a simple calculation from them and from, initialy, your characterization* of Turkish railways:
Peter89s claims about the supply requirements of a German division seem to check out. According to this site: http://www.mnstarfire.com/ww2/history/l ... ision.html

''A typical full strength infantry division would consist of roughly 17,000 men. Prior to 1944 a German infantry division would include over 5,000 horses and almost 950 motor vehicles. A division of this size would need 53 tons of hay and oats, 54 tons of food, 20 tons of petrol, one ton of lubricants, ten tons of ordinance and another 12 tons of miscellaneous supplies plus ammunition and baggage (approx 150 tons total per day).''

''A Panzer or Armored Division would be roughly 14,000 men. Usually there would be over 3,000 vehicles... The supply requirement for an average of motorized, mechanized and panzer divisions has been stated as approximately 300 tons per day.''


However, this figure does not include ammunition consumption. For some idea of what their ammo needs are, we can look to the Eastern front. In August of 1941, Franz Halder noted that the Ostheer had expended 340 trainloads of ammunition during a 15 day period. This means they were consuming an average of 8220 tons ammunition per day on the Eastern front. Spread out across 150 divisions, that works out to about 55 tons per division, per day.

So when adding in ammunition requirements on top of their regular needs, the infantry divisions would each need 205 tons of supplys a day, and the panzer divisions would need 355 tons a day.

Thus, a force of 10 infantry and 10 panzer divisions would need 5600 tons of supplys a day.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
19 Sep 2020 02:53
Peter89 wrote:As for the railways in Turkey, they were singles, expected to handle 10 trains per day, loaded with 450-800t - and the railways that connected Istambul with the rest of the network, was not even the best (able to handle 17t axle weight). This 4500-8000t/d capacity was simply not enough, and the deeper the forces go into Turkey, the less enough it will become.
Let's take your average for now and do a simple calculation from them and from, initialy, your characterization* of Turkish railways:

*As I hope is clearer from my map, I'll be using two railways: one from Marmara Sea and one from Aegean, likely starting from Izmir and running via Aydin to the Anatolian Plateau.

Two railways gives us 9-16,000 t/day. If Germany deploys 10 ID's and 10 panzer/mobile divs, that's 4,500 t/day required. Then let's double it 9,000 t/day for Grosstransportraum, army/corps-level assets, and LW. Where's the problem? We haven't even addressed truck column capacity from the ports/beaches yet.
Peter89s estimate on the capacity of a single track railway are unrealistically low. He says 10 train (pairs) per day, but in fact it was 12. More importantly, it was possible to greatly improve the capacity of a single track line, to the point where they could handle 72 train (pairs) per day. (Thats an increase of 6 times) This is explained in the article, The Influence of Railways on Military Operations in the Russo-German War 1941–1945, by H.G.W. Davie.

''The capacity of a particular line was the number of trains that could run down its length both up and down, usually given as 12 pairs of trains a day for single lines or 24 pairs of trains for double track lines for restored military railways. However, double-track lines run by the Reichsbahn in Germany might achieve 72 or 144 train pairs a day; the difference was due to the number of sidings that allowed trains to pass one another and the complexity of the signaling equipment.''

The article also explains that a typical German supply train would be 90 axles, with a weight of 850 tons and carrying 450 tons of cargo. Thus, 12 trains per day down a single track line will yield about 5400 tons of supplys at their destination. The Germans will undoubtedly upgrade the capacity of this line, although to what extent is debatable. They probably won't be able to increase it to 72 trains per day, but they could manage 36 trains per day. That would yield 16,200 tons of supply per day on one single track line.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 23 Dec 2020 20:16

Avalancheon wrote:
23 Dec 2020 13:19
This is a response to some comments that were made much earlier in this thread.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
19 Sep 2020 02:53
Peter89 wrote: 1 German Infantry Division
Inactive: 80t/d
Average: 150t/d
Fighting: 1100t/d

1 German Panzer Division
Inactive: 30t/d
Average: 300t/d
Fighting: 700t/d
Let's take your average for now and do a simple calculation from them and from, initialy, your characterization* of Turkish railways:
Peter89s claims about the supply requirements of a German division seem to check out. According to this site: http://www.mnstarfire.com/ww2/history/l ... ision.html

''A typical full strength infantry division would consist of roughly 17,000 men. Prior to 1944 a German infantry division would include over 5,000 horses and almost 950 motor vehicles. A division of this size would need 53 tons of hay and oats, 54 tons of food, 20 tons of petrol, one ton of lubricants, ten tons of ordinance and another 12 tons of miscellaneous supplies plus ammunition and baggage (approx 150 tons total per day).''

''A Panzer or Armored Division would be roughly 14,000 men. Usually there would be over 3,000 vehicles... The supply requirement for an average of motorized, mechanized and panzer divisions has been stated as approximately 300 tons per day.''


However, this figure does not include ammunition consumption. For some idea of what their ammo needs are, we can look to the Eastern front. In August of 1941, Franz Halder noted that the Ostheer had expended 340 trainloads of ammunition during a 15 day period. This means they were consuming an average of 8220 tons ammunition per day on the Eastern front. Spread out across 150 divisions, that works out to about 55 tons per division, per day.

So when adding in ammunition requirements on top of their regular needs, the infantry divisions would each need 205 tons of supplys a day, and the panzer divisions would need 355 tons a day.

Thus, a force of 10 infantry and 10 panzer divisions would need 5600 tons of supplys a day.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
19 Sep 2020 02:53
Peter89 wrote:As for the railways in Turkey, they were singles, expected to handle 10 trains per day, loaded with 450-800t - and the railways that connected Istambul with the rest of the network, was not even the best (able to handle 17t axle weight). This 4500-8000t/d capacity was simply not enough, and the deeper the forces go into Turkey, the less enough it will become.
Let's take your average for now and do a simple calculation from them and from, initialy, your characterization* of Turkish railways:

*As I hope is clearer from my map, I'll be using two railways: one from Marmara Sea and one from Aegean, likely starting from Izmir and running via Aydin to the Anatolian Plateau.

Two railways gives us 9-16,000 t/day. If Germany deploys 10 ID's and 10 panzer/mobile divs, that's 4,500 t/day required. Then let's double it 9,000 t/day for Grosstransportraum, army/corps-level assets, and LW. Where's the problem? We haven't even addressed truck column capacity from the ports/beaches yet.
Peter89s estimate on the capacity of a single track railway are unrealistically low. He says 10 train (pairs) per day, but in fact it was 12. More importantly, it was possible to greatly improve the capacity of a single track line, to the point where they could handle 72 train (pairs) per day. (Thats an increase of 6 times) This is explained in the article, The Influence of Railways on Military Operations in the Russo-German War 1941–1945, by H.G.W. Davie.

''The capacity of a particular line was the number of trains that could run down its length both up and down, usually given as 12 pairs of trains a day for single lines or 24 pairs of trains for double track lines for restored military railways. However, double-track lines run by the Reichsbahn in Germany might achieve 72 or 144 train pairs a day; the difference was due to the number of sidings that allowed trains to pass one another and the complexity of the signaling equipment.''

The article also explains that a typical German supply train would be 90 axles, with a weight of 850 tons and carrying 450 tons of cargo. Thus, 12 trains per day down a single track line will yield about 5400 tons of supplys at their destination. The Germans will undoubtedly upgrade the capacity of this line, although to what extent is debatable. They probably won't be able to increase it to 72 trains per day, but they could manage 36 trains per day. That would yield 16,200 tons of supply per day on one single track line.
IIIRC my numbers came from here: https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/Germany/HB/HB-6.html
RAILROAD SUPPLY TRAINS
(1) Standard supply trains. German logistical manuals outline the use of standard rations, ammunition, and fuel supply trains with a maximum net load of 450 metric tons (or approximately 500 short tons)
(2) Rations supply trains (Verpflegungszüge), with an average of 40 cars per train may be composed as follows:

(a) Iron rations: 300,000 full and 300,000 half iron rations, totalling 442 metric tons.

(b) Full rations with fodder: 180.000 human and 40,000 animal rations, amounting to 454 metric tons. These may be loaded into three parts, each containing 3 days' supplies for 20,000 men and 4,000 animals.

STANDARD TROOP TRAINS.
The Germans have found it desirable to use troop trains of a reasonably constant composition. The standard trains found in the Balkans, Italy, and Norway are composed of fewer cars than the base types in Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands which are described below. All types are designed as far as possible to carry a self-contained unit such as a company or a battalion. Nonstandard trains also may be used for troop movements.

K-trains (Kraftfahrzüge or motor vehicle trains) average 51 cars per train and carry approximately 250 soldiers, 20 heavy vehicles (weighing up to 22 short tons per vehicle), and 20 light vehicles, plus other equipment. If lighter equipment is carried, the number of soldiers can be increased.

S-trains (Sonderzüge, or special trains) are made up for the movement of very heavy tanks and self-propelled guns. The number of men carried per train averages 125; the number of cars forming the train is between 30 and 35. An S-train usually carries from four to six Tiger tanks or from six to eight Panther tanks, interspersed with lighter equipment.

Sp-trains (Sonderpanzerzüge, or special tank trains) carry approximately 20 medium tanks together with personnel arid other equipment. The standard Sp-train is composed of about 33 cars.

I-trains (Infanteriezüge or infantry trains) of about 55 cars per train hold some 350 officers and men, 10 light vehicles, 10 heavy vehicles of a maximum weight of 22 short tons per vehicle, and 70 horses, together with other equipment. If a minimum of equipment is carried, up to 800 troops can be moved. It is possible that the I-trains seldom are used by the Germans at present.

Replacement troop trains with 50 to 60 cars per train can hold over 2,000 replacements. The Use of this type of train probably has been discontinued.
(c) Full human rations with no bread but only baking materials: 300,000 rations, totaling 450 metric tons.

(d) Flour train (Mehlzug): 833,000 rations, amounting to 450 metric tons.

(e) Oat train (Hafersug): 90,000 rations, totaling 450 metric tons.

(f) Animal trains (Viekzüge): 360 cattle weighing 180 metric tons, 1200 pigs weighing 120 metric tons, or 1800 sheep weighing 72 metric tons.

(3) Ammunition supply trains (Munitionszüge), with an average of 30 cars per train, are of three types:

(a) Unit-loaded trains, loaded according to the proportion of different types of ammunition needed by a particular division.

(b) Caliber unit trains, in which each car is loaded with approximately 15 metric tons (161/2 short tons) of ammunition of a specific caliber.

(c) Single caliber unit trains, in which all cars are loaded with ammunition of the same caliber.

(4) Fuel supply trains (Betriehstoffzüge) of two types are used:

(a) 20 gasoline tank cars, holding between 340 cubic meters (around 89,800 gallons) and 440 cubic meters (around 116,200 gallons) of fuel.

(b) 25 cars, holding gasoline in 200-liter (53-gallon) and 20-liter (5-gallon) cans and carrying 400 cubic meters (105,600 gallons) of gasoline, and five cars with oil, engine oil, gear oil, paraffin, and (in winter) anti-freeze barrels and cans.

(5) Horse supply trains (Pferdersatzzüge) consist of 55 cars, each holding eight riding or light draft horses per car or 440 horses per train; six heavy draft horses per car or 330 horses per train; or four very heavy horses per car or 220 horses per train.

(6) Signals and engineer construction materials trains (Baustoffzüge) average 40 cars, of which 39 are open cars, with a net tonnage of about 820 metric tons (900 short tons).

(7) Tank trains carrying up to 25 medium tanks or up to 8 heavy tanks have also been reported. The average number of cars per tank train is about 33, with widely varying net loads.

(8) Mixed equipment trains are very frequent and may contain from 25 to 60 cars with a total net tonnage of up to 850 metric tons.
Please check again on the ammunition consumption.

Also, the Bulgarian railway, the only way where you could transport stuff was good for 2/3 cargo only.

36 trains per day in this direction is an illusion. The Germans might rebuild the whole railway on the Balkans, making it double track and everything, but it's not gonna happen soon, and by this standard, they could have built a railway anywhere, anytime.

You see, "one train" can be translated into many, very different types of supply and troops, my numbers are representing a theoretical maximum, without the "Balkan load" limit.

Obviously, the economic exploitation of the Balkans cannot stop forever, and the Bulgarian domestic economy can't be stopped forever.

If you plan a short-term offensive, then you might build up and load forward supply depots, but to operate 5+5 divisions fighting heavily on the offense using this railway line is a daydreaming.

I quoted exactly S.H. Beaver that he estimated 12-20 trains per day for a single standard gauge track railway; I used 10 trains per day as a very optimistic number, because in order to achieve that, a lot of things must happen right, which they usually didn't.

I don't really understand you; you say that my numbers are "unrealistically low", because I used 10 trains per day and you used 12.
Did you check the numbers of the Bulgarian domestic economy? Their typical cargo and train types? Did you substracted it from the 12?
b. The line Passau-Ried-Leoben had a carrying capacity of eighteen trains.
c. The line Salzburg-Spittal-Klagenfurt could also carry eighteen trains daily, but only with half the normal load because of the steep gradients across the Alps.
The daily detraining capacity of the Bruck-Graz-Klagenfurt area was seventy-eight trains, or the equivalent of the combat elements of two infantry divisions. Consequently, all of the rear echelon elements of these divisions had to detrain in the Vienna area, capable of handling 144 trains a day, and in Salzburg, where forty-eight additional trains could be unloaded. The divisional service units then had to reach the assembly areas by marching overland. However, since road conditions were poor at this time of the year, snow-clearing detachments had to be provided to keep the Salzburg-Liezen-Bruck and Vienna-Bruck-Graz roads clear. The same roads also had to be used by those divisions that moved solely by motor transportation. Since rigid traffic control was enforced and traffic regulations were strictly adhered to, the execution of these movements did not entail any undue delay.

2. The area around Nagykanizsa was selected for the assembly of the one motorized infantry and two panzer divisions subordinated to XLVI Panzer Corps headquarters. Some of the tracked vehicles moved upon the Vienna-Sopron-Nagykanizsa railroad line, whose feeder capacity was twelve trains a day. Other elements detrained in the Budapest-Szekesfehervar area and continued on to Nagykanizsa by road. Some of the motorized columns moved directly from Vienna by road since the Hungarian highways were clear of snow.


The above-mentioned capacity figures of railroads and highways were eventually reached, but not before many difficulties had been overcome.
The main problem was that no preparatory work had been started until the evening of 27 March. The system of classifying all major railroad lines according to their capacity, introduced at the beginning of the war, and the method applied in processing military rail movements both proved efficient during this emergency. The maximum performance schedule, which required the almost complete stoppage of all nonmilitary traffic, had to be resorted to only on the Austrian railroads. Aside from conserving personnel and materiel, the adherence to normal train schedules whenever possible permitted the Germans to camouflage the movements to the assembly areas right up to the time when the first contingents arrived at the detraining points.
THE GERMAN CAMPAIGNS IN THE BALKANS (SPRING 1941)

These numbers were used in emergency situations. The realistic number is way, way lower. 10 2/3 loaded military trains EVERY day on this line would be a logistical miracle.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Erwinn » 06 Jan 2021 07:13

Let's say the Germans capture Turkey.

There is a new front in the South cause UK will exploit it. Iran also has a big border with Turkey, that means much more UK divisions&Russian divisions will pour into the area. Since Iran was a big Supply Center because of all the LL going there, they can support their divisions.

On the other hand, Germans now having another big frontline-needs to place an entire Army there. How are they going to supply that army because of bad Turkish railroads?

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 06 Jan 2021 17:12

:cry:
Erwinn wrote:
06 Jan 2021 07:13
Let's say the Germans capture Turkey.

There is a new front in the South cause UK will exploit it. Iran also has a big border with Turkey, that means much more UK divisions&Russian divisions will pour into the area. Since Iran was a big Supply Center because of all the LL going there, they can support their divisions.

On the other hand, Germans now having another big frontline-needs to place an entire Army there. How are they going to supply that army because of bad Turkish railroads?
It depends on how much fight they face with how many units. Also on the other fronts.
The Turkish railroads were not bad per se; they were bad in the direction of the Reich. The problemis that the Western Allies had a pretty good railroad network towards Turkey by late 1942, with multiple ports, airfields and whatnot. If the Germans wanted to thrust into this direction, they'd either have to improve the existing infrastructure substantially (a bridge on the Bosphorus, at least one new bridge on the Danube, double-tracking thousands of kms of railroad), or freeing up logistical assets (eg. evacuate North Africa and use the Italian merchant marine to ship stuff from Italy to Turkey), or local cooperation, or the combination of all.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by glenn239 » 06 Jan 2021 19:32

Erwinn wrote:
06 Jan 2021 07:13
Let's say the Germans capture Turkey.

There is a new front in the South cause UK will exploit it. Iran also has a big border with Turkey, that means much more UK divisions&Russian divisions will pour into the area. Since Iran was a big Supply Center because of all the LL going there, they can support their divisions.

On the other hand, Germans now having another big frontline-needs to place an entire Army there. How are they going to supply that army because of bad Turkish railroads?
I think you might be asking the wrong question.

If Germany has occupied Turkey in, let's say, 1942 even while at war with the Soviet Union, then the Allies are going to counterattack as you suggest. If so, then the bulk of the forces earmarked to kick the Germans out of Turkey will come from Russia, not Britain, and certainly not the USA, (which considered any force commitment east of Italy to be a useless distraction).

So the actual question is, if the Soviet Union invades Turkey (and thereby preordains that the entire Balkans and much of the Middle East will fall to its sphere), how badly will this rupture Anglo-Soviet relations?

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 07 Jan 2021 03:59

Avalancheon - I remember reading this reply before Christmas, meaning to respond, and only seeing it again now. Hope you had a good holiday season.
Avalancheon wrote:Thus, a force of 10 infantry and 10 panzer divisions would need 5600 tons of supplys a day.
There's a range of variance about what would be needed but I'm fine with that figure as well for ATL purposes. The very concept of "needed" has some ambiguity - it could range from "average ideal" through "minimum for success" to "minimum for survival." German mechanized units at the bleeding edge of deep operations in Barbarossa seem to have operated on far less against strong Soviet reserves; probably a German unit facing a quantum of poorly-equipped Turks needs less supply than one facing an equal quantum of Soviets.
Avalancheon wrote:Peter89s estimate on the capacity of a single track railway are unrealistically low. He says 10 train (pairs) per day, but in fact it was 12. More importantly, it was possible to greatly improve the capacity of a single track line, to the point where they could handle 72 train (pairs) per day. (Thats an increase of 6 times) This is explained in the article, The Influence of Railways on Military Operations in the Russo-German War 1941–1945, by H.G.W. Davie.
Don't you know the Germans are not allowed to act rationally in any respect whatsoever?

Seriously it's a point I made upthread (loooong thread though) and whose logic is just unavoidable. As Davie's article discusses, Germany carried off probably the largest pre-operation rail program in history ahead of Barbarossa (Operation Otto), laying 300,000 tons of steel. That's probably on the order of total track weight in the Balkans at that time. To pretend they can't upgrade Turkey-bound railways is pure fantasy. Germany upgraded rail connections to the French frontier ahead of Fall Gelb as well. Nonetheless there's a fad about Germans and logistics; it's impervious to evidence.
Erwinn wrote:Let's say the Germans capture Turkey.
When and with/against whom matter enormously here.
Erwinn wrote:Iran also has a big border with Turkey, that means much more UK divisions&Russian divisions will pour into the area.
There's no viable logistical route for large Allied armies in that area, which difers from the LL rail/road lines through central Iran. Iran is a big country and not flat.
Erwinn wrote:Since Iran was a big Supply Center because of all the LL going there, they can support their divisions.
Depends how many divisions. Upthread there's discussion; I estimate the shipping devoted to Persian Corridor LL as being able to support (but not deploy) 4 divisions. viewtopic.php?p=2293129#p2293117

4 divisions might be useful if the Germans have taken Turkey during/before Barbarossa but if Eastern Front is over or never happened it's a finger in the dyke.
Peter89 wrote:The problemis that the Western Allies had a pretty good railroad network towards Turkey by late 1942, with multiple ports, airfields and whatnot.
The problem for the Allies is shipping more than rails and ports (which were worse than in Turkey anyway, btw - one decent line from Basra that needed upgrading and one incomplete line in Palestine/Levant). Peter89 upthread admits to being unable to quantify the shipping factor (hope I don't have to find that post but will do so if challenged); his faith that the W.Allies could fight extensively in the ME lacks analytical grounding.

In fact, that faith is explicitly rejected by Harry Hopkins, whom FDR dispatched to the MidEast explicitly to consider Allied prospects there. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=252647&p=2296993&h ... y#p2296993 Hopkins stated:
"The sea lines of communication are long and vulnerable, presenting an impractical proposition for military operations against strong enemy movement out of the Mediterranean."
Had Germany operated from Turkey after beating the SU, there is no remotely reasonable argument that the W.Allies could have held Syria/Palestine/Iraq.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 07 Jan 2021 06:44, edited 2 times in total.
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Erwinn
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Erwinn » 07 Jan 2021 05:18

glenn239 wrote:
06 Jan 2021 19:32
Erwinn wrote:
06 Jan 2021 07:13
Let's say the Germans capture Turkey.

There is a new front in the South cause UK will exploit it. Iran also has a big border with Turkey, that means much more UK divisions&Russian divisions will pour into the area. Since Iran was a big Supply Center because of all the LL going there, they can support their divisions.

On the other hand, Germans now having another big frontline-needs to place an entire Army there. How are they going to supply that army because of bad Turkish railroads?
I think you might be asking the wrong question.

If Germany has occupied Turkey in, let's say, 1942 even while at war with the Soviet Union, then the Allies are going to counterattack as you suggest. If so, then the bulk of the forces earmarked to kick the Germans out of Turkey will come from Russia, not Britain, and certainly not the USA, (which considered any force commitment east of Italy to be a useless distraction).

So the actual question is, if the Soviet Union invades Turkey (and thereby preordains that the entire Balkans and much of the Middle East will fall to its sphere), how badly will this rupture Anglo-Soviet relations?
Churchill will never allow that to happen. UK intervenes before Soviets do. Churchill greatly valued Balkans and even wanted the Invasion start from there.

Peter89
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 07 Jan 2021 18:19

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Jan 2021 03:59
Avalancheon wrote:Peter89s estimate on the capacity of a single track railway are unrealistically low. He says 10 train (pairs) per day, but in fact it was 12. More importantly, it was possible to greatly improve the capacity of a single track line, to the point where they could handle 72 train (pairs) per day. (Thats an increase of 6 times) This is explained in the article, The Influence of Railways on Military Operations in the Russo-German War 1941–1945, by H.G.W. Davie.
Don't you know the Germans are not allowed to act rationally in any respect whatsoever?

Seriously it's a point I made upthread (loooong thread though) and whose logic is just unavoidable. As Davie's article discusses, Germany carried off probably the largest pre-operation rail program in history ahead of Barbarossa (Operation Otto), laying 300,000 tons of steel. That's probably on the order of total track weight in the Balkans at that time. To pretend they can't upgrade Turkey-bound railways is pure fantasy. Germany upgraded rail connections to the French frontier ahead of Fall Gelb as well. Nonetheless there's a fad about Germans and logistics; it's impervious to evidence.
TMP, you know very well that nobody has said that the Germans can't upgrade railways at all. On the contrary, I quoted how remarkably fast the Germans improved the logistical system for operation 25 and Marita. But the OTL numbers are the theoretical maximums and only viable for a limited time.

How long would it take to remove bottlenecks (ie. building bridges and laying new lines) and improve cca. 2000 kms of railway?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Jan 2021 03:59

There's no viable logistical route for large Allied armies in that area, which difers from the LL rail/road lines through central Iran. Iran is a big country and not flat.
What the Wallies did in this region is really spectacular. If you'd like to, I can summarize their infrastructure building projects from Iran to Suez. By late 1942, they had better access to Turkey and the Caucasus than the Germans to the Bosphorus.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Jan 2021 03:59
Peter89 wrote:The problemis that the Western Allies had a pretty good railroad network towards Turkey by late 1942, with multiple ports, airfields and whatnot.
The problem for the Allies is shipping more than rails and ports (which were worse than in Turkey anyway, btw - one decent line from Basra that needed upgrading and one incomplete line in Palestine/Levant). Peter89 upthread admits to being unable to quantify the shipping factor (hope I don't have to find that post but will do so if challenged); his faith that the W.Allies could fight extensively in the ME lacks analytical grounding.

In fact, that faith is explicitly rejected by Harry Hopkins, whom FDR dispatched to the MidEast explicitly to consider Allied prospects there. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=252647&p=2296993&h ... y#p2296993 Hopkins stated:
"The sea lines of communication are long and vulnerable, presenting an impractical proposition for military operations against strong enemy movement out of the Mediterranean."
Had Germany operated from Turkey after beating the SU, there is no remotely reasonable argument that the W.Allies could have held Syria/Palestine/Iraq.
What I "admitted" upthread is that I am not familiar with the Wallied shipping options in detail at late 1942. It doesn't mean I have no clue about the Allies' shipping whatsoever.

Also, I am very much familiar with the OTL logistics in the region, from 1939 to 1943. I also know what kind of shipping, rail and airlift options the Axis had here, and having seen what you did with the numbers and assets I am familiar with, I tend to doubt / double check your calculations with the things you claim to be familiar with.
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glenn239
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by glenn239 » 08 Jan 2021 18:44

Erwinn wrote:
07 Jan 2021 05:18
Churchill will never allow that to happen. UK intervenes before Soviets do. Churchill greatly valued Balkans and even wanted the Invasion start from there.
The British couldn't even eject the Germans from some Aegean islands in 1943, and they're going to throw the Germans out of Turkey?

I think not. The Soviets will advance into Turkey and now the British have two choices - watch Turkey go communist or start to threaten a breach with the Soviets. Which do they pick? I'm thinking the former.

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 09 Jan 2021 07:51

Peter89 wrote:What the Wallies did in this region is really spectacular. If you'd like to, I can summarize their infrastructure building projects from Iran to Suez.
I've read the U.S. Army histories; if you have anything else to share please do.
Peter89 wrote:By late 1942, they had better access to Turkey and the Caucasus than the Germans to the Bosphorus.
That's a ridiculous statement that ignores the little issue of shipping capacity.

And it doesn't even address the nature of my reply to which you are responding: to be able to move supplies through central Iran to the SU is different than being able to move supplies to the Turkey-Iran frontier. Iran is a big country; to pretend that supplies at one place in Iran are the same as in any other place is just folly. Just look at a map:

Image

The railroad ends at Miyana (Mianeh), ~200 miles from the Turkey-Iran border by land around Lake Urmia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mianeh,_East_Azerbaijan

The Turkey-Iran border area is mountainous and there's still snow in June: https://goo.gl/maps/55uutgcbUM42GGuRA
Peter89 wrote:How long would it take to remove bottlenecks (ie. building bridges and laying new lines) and improve cca. 2000 kms of railway?
Obviously you think it would involve a timeline incommensurable with WW2, so why don't you make that argument?

Here's a lazily simplified version of my argument: Germany laid 300,000 tons of rails prior to Barbarossa to enable a 150-division invasion. What prevents them from laying sufficient rails to support the ~20 divisions needed to conquer Turkey?
Peter89 wrote:What I "admitted" upthread is that I am not familiar with the Wallied shipping options in detail at late 1942. It doesn't mean I have no clue about the Allies' shipping whatsoever.
Ok so then surely you're able to describe the outlines of a feasible W.Allied path to supporting >30 divisions in the Middle East. I frequently object to unnecessary quibbles over details on AHF, so long as the main thrust of an argument has the support of fundamentals. Nonetheless, your ideas don't even gesture at economic fundamentals.

Why did Harry Hopkins, who led American economic efforts in the early war years and who was FDR's emissary to the region in 1942, find large-scale deployments to the MidEast impractical? Is there something about WW2 logistics that you know and that Hopkins was too incompetent to understand? Maybe he forgot about 1,000 Liberty Ships lying around uselessly somewhere?
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