Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 23 Sep 2020 01:32

Peter89 wrote:The whole idea is fundamentally flawed, because to get through with the supplies to Turkey, the Germans could only use one, limited-capacity (14t/axle, about 40km/h, maximum about 12 trains/d) railway.
You continue to insist on a fantasy world in which there's only one route to Turkey from Europe.

We've already discussed the Aegean route; your argument that it doesn't work is based on "one time some German ships hit mines." That logjam is apparently - like Ithaka's gulf - impervious to being cleared. So moving on...

Aegean aside, your argument might have some strictly logical sense if we pretend Germany had zero shipping available in the Black Sea. That's empirically - and obviously - nonsense. I've already mentioned the existence of the Kriegrstransport, many of which were built in Black Sea basin and operated there. That incontrovertible fact alone should dispel the fantasy of Turkey as some unreachable island beyond the Black Sea (you're living in Greece- maybe Strabo's view of Pontas Axeinos as wild and barbarian still prevails there?).

But I guess we need more proof that crossing the Black Sea was possible for Germany. Fine:

Here's what Kroneuburg Shipyard on the Danube built OTL during the war:

6 type N motor tugs, 7 type R motor tugs, 8 Black Sea standard ships type SME, 3 war transport ships type KT, 8 marine ferry boats type MFP, 34 loading flaps for MFP, 60 1,000-t tank barges, 12 1,000-t barges... http://othes.univie.ac.at/1919/1/2008-10-01_9806698.pdf This isn't the only shipyard on the Danube obviously...

Germany also built >200 Siebel Ferries OTL, any of which could be moved by rail to the Danube, thence to Black Sea. Siebel's could carry 169t at ~6kn.

Germany also had 100 MFP's in the Black Sea OTL; each carried 140t at ~10kn.

Germany also had 16 R-Boats, 23 S-Boats, and 26 subchasers in the Black Sea OTL. Yes these are warships but with no fighting in the Black Sea they can used to ferry troops/equipment. Most likely they'd be used to pull some of the dozens of 1,000t barges available to Germany in the Black Sea OTL if motor tugs are lacking.

Wait there's more! Romania and Bulgaria also border the Black Sea and they too had ships! Who would have thought? For Romania alone I count 25 ships that could tow barges, only 5 of which lost during the war (surely some lost after ATL's 1942 peace). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_ ... rld_War_II Romania also had a lot of barges and coastal shipping but I'm not even going to start counting them yet to bolster my analysis. Bulgaria had at least 11 ships of sufficient size to tow large barges (e.g. torpedo boats). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea ... 2%80%9344) (citations in article).

Notice how I keep saying "OTL?" Why is that?

Because anyone who thinks Germany wouldn't build more cheap shipping (e.g. Siebel ferries and towable barges) if doing so were required to conquer the Middle East is living in a fantasy of German blindness. Germany could have quite rapidly built up its improvised Black Sea shipping fleet. Indeed it certainly would have done so in anticipation of Caucasus oil and Donbas coal needing to be shipped by 1943. In the meantime the nascent trade fleet could have been used to move German troops across the Black Sea.

From where would they embark and where unload? Humoring the idea that Germany couldn't improve Balkan rail connections for now, let's pretend they all embark from Black Sea ports like Varna, Burgas, Constanta, Odessa, and Sevastopol. I hope it's obvious that there is no conceivable argument that Germany couldn't have moved supplies for 20 divisions on the rail lines leading to these ports: Germany moved supplies for 180 divisions on these same rail lines during Barbarossa.

Ok so now we have supplies for 10 inf. and 10 panzer divisions in Black Sea ports - 4,500 t/day. Can our OTL Black Sea Fleet move it? Absolutely. First, let's remember to look at DISTANCE when doing logistical analysis. The Black Sea ports are all ~200nm from Zonguldak, which connects to Turkey's heaviest railway:

Image

The distance to Istanbul's Anatolian rail terminus is obviously far less. From Sevastopol to Samsun - terminus of another heavy Turkish railway - is ~270 nm. Let's call the average Trans-Black haul 200nm.

Now let's estimate roundtrip sailing times by ship type, add a day (for Siebels and MFP's) or two (larger ships) for loading/unloading, and calculate each type's monthly Trans-Black capacity per hull.

Round trip steaming times:
  • Siebel ferry at 7kn: 2.38 days RT sailing, 3.38 days turnaround time (TRT), 169t/trip = 1,500 t/month.
  • MFP at 9kn: 1.89 days sailing, 2.89 days TRT, 140t/trip = 1,453/month
  • 1,000t barge towed at 4kn: 4.17 days sailing, 6.17 days TRT, 1,000t/trip = 4,862 t/month.
Our 100 OTL MFP's alone are more than capable of the required Trans-Black shipping: 145k t/month.
With 200 Siebel's and 50 barges we're close to 700k t/month in Trans-Black shipping.
...and I forgot to include the Kriegtransports.
...and we haven't considered that ATL conditions would warrant additional shipping investment if needed. Nor have we considered Romania/Bulgaria/Hungary and their merchant fleets.

The extra shipping capacity gives us room to work with if, say, the partisans destroy ALL railroads in the Balkans, forcing Germany to ship from Odessa or Mikolaev, which are ~twice as far from Turkey. It also allows us to send shipments via the Aegean to ease northern Turkey's burden if necessary (assuming the invincible British sub spotted around Ithaka doesn't enter the Straits).

------------------------------------

Finally - and I can't believe it's come to this - let's join Peter89's fantasy about a Black Sea on which no Axis merchant ship can sail. In that world, there's a technically feasible (and appropriately silly) solution: rail shipment around the Black Sea.

OTL Germany supported ~180 divisions in 1942 (inc. Allies) on rail LoC's stretching at least 1,000km on average (depending on where average cargo originates, much farther. Ruhr-Stalingrad is >2,500km by air). From Berlin to the Turkish-Armenian border and its rail connection is ~2,700km by rail. So in terms of German rail rolling-stock assets, it would cost ~3x as much to support a division in Armenia as on the OTL Eastern Front. Supporting 20 divisions through Armenia would require 1/3rd of the Ostheer's OTL rail logistics burden.

In this silly world where German ships can't cross the Black Sea, can Germany devote 1/3rd of its OTL Barbarossa rail logistics to 20 divisions in Armenia?

Yes, of course - there's no other Ostheer combat going on.

--------------------------------------

In sum, a little numerical logistical analysis - always preferable to unquantified generalities - shows that Germany would have no problem getting supplies for 20 divisions to Turkey. It is a fantasy to pretend otherwise, one that must rely on sea monsters and omnipotent barbarians lurking in the deeps and forests.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 23 Sep 2020 01:54

Peter89 wrote:Had it been in the strategic focus of the Germans, the Wallies - especially the US - could and would have diverted more resources into the area with ease.
Please provide something - anything at all - to support this claim. How many divisions could the US deploy in the MidEast "with ease" in 1942?
Peter89 wrote:Then they have to unload the stuff, load it to barges, unload it from the barges, load it on trains, etc.
On ATL May 1, 1942 the Germans had men unloading/stuffing in the East for 180 divisions in the world's heaviest-ever combat.

On September 1, 1942 those unloaders/stuffers are mostly unemployed.

Unload 85% of those men to Crimean beaches and stuff the rest of them into the Mittelostheer's logistics. Come on, this is easy.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 23 Sep 2020 02:03

Peter89 wrote:Remember this one? : )))
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=207545
I haven't read the whole thread but I'm beginning to see whence comes Pugsville's detailed analysis of Turkish railways as "not good." The rail line to the Armenian border was an Ottoman/Russian line with inconsistent gauge, little economic traffic at the time, and therefore little incentive to upgrade it.

We have to discriminate between that old imperial railway and the modern ore-/coal-hauling railways that the Republic built with foreign technical assistance in the 1930's - i.e. the north-south lines from the Black Sea at Zonguldak and Samsun. Not all Turkish railways are the same. The heavily-trafficked railways of Western Anatolia were likewise built with foreign assistance and upgraded by the Republic.

[this might, btw, reduce validity of my "rail around the Black Sea to avoid monsters" German logistics strategy. I guess the Germans will have to confront their fears after all]

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 23 Sep 2020 15:42

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Sep 2020 01:54
Peter89 wrote:Had it been in the strategic focus of the Germans, the Wallies - especially the US - could and would have diverted more resources into the area with ease.
Please provide something - anything at all - to support this claim. How many divisions could the US deploy in the MidEast "with ease" in 1942?
Okay. You are keep referring the defeated SU as a huge relief for the German and Japanese war efforts, but you keep quoting Wallied logistical saturation OTL as a necessity. It's simply the biggest mistake you can make. Based on your ATL the whole LL stops at the first protocol. Given your other ATL premises, the timeframe of the ME / NA operations would be approximately the same as the second protocol, that is over 3M tons of cargo, including 448,488 motor vehichles, easily suppliable by locally produced oil (the Abadan refinery alone produced 8m tons of oil in 1940).

OTL the British Persia and Iraq Command was tasked with the security of the region, checking the German advances.
It included the British Tenth Army and the reserves, including 9 infantry divisions, 1 armoured division and an armoured brigade. Again, has the strategic focus would be shifted towards this region, the OTL equipment and number of troops would be higher.

See Compton Mackenzie: Eastern Epic. Volume I: September 1939-March 1943. Defence and The Indian Army in Africa and Asia, 1940-42: Implications for the Planning and Execution of Two Nearly-Simultaneous Campaigns by James D. Scudieri.

The Wallied intel from late 1942 was so good that they knew what the Axis was up to, at least major operations did not remain unknown to them. The most likely course of action here is that they divert more equipment and personnel to this area.

Also, if the SU was fallen, who knows whether the Torch is happening or not? Let's assume not, because the Germans had no naval and aerial means to support a large scale invasion into that direction so that flank doesn't need to be covered as long as Gibraltar was safe by Spain.

To answer your questions directly, the XII. Air Force (commanded by Doolittle) was available for redeployment, with air transport units.
Also the US 1st, 3rd, 9th and 34th Infantry Divisions along with the 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions were available.

With the LL shipments redirected to Turkey, the Wallies can obtain air superiority and put up a proper defence if they need to go to defend Turkey.

Bottom line we are talking about 16 divisions, including 3,5 armoured divisions, in addition to the Turkish Army (and the shipments there).

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Sep 2020 01:32
Peter89 wrote:Then they have to unload the stuff, load it to barges, unload it from the barges, load it on trains, etc.
On ATL May 1, 1942 the Germans had men unloading/stuffing in the East for 180 divisions in the world's heaviest-ever combat.

On September 1, 1942 those unloaders/stuffers are mostly unemployed.

Unload 85% of those men to Crimean beaches and stuff the rest of them into the Mittelostheer's logistics. Come on, this is easy.

No, not at all, and you are once again do not understand the basics of the logistics operations. And you seem to lack the proper data.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Sep 2020 01:32
Round trip steaming times:

Siebel ferry at 7kn: 2.38 days RT sailing, 3.38 days turnaround time (TRT), 169t/trip = 1,500 t/month.
MFP at 9kn: 1.89 days sailing, 2.89 days TRT, 140t/trip = 1,453/month
1,000t barge towed at 4kn: 4.17 days sailing, 6.17 days TRT, 1,000t/trip = 4,862 t/month.
Are you kidding me? As soon as these ferries hit ports their cargo is unloaded in an instant? :lol:

Besides, you got the Siebel ferries' technical datas totally wrong:
Siebelfähre 40 and Siebelfähre 41 were
- able to carry a maximum load of 60t - 80t respectively
- at a maximum range of 550km / 350mi, nowhere near the figures you gave, except the port from Sevastopol, where
- the seaworthiness of the Siebel ferries did not allow open sea operations, so they can't cross the Black sea at will

There wasn't 100 Marinefährprahms in the region (only 28), maybe the whole Reich had 100 MFPs... what was there on 31.10.1942:

1. Landungsflottille
F 329
F 470
F 473
F 474
F 322

3. Landungsflottille
F 127
F 135
F 142
F 162
F 168
F 306
F 325
F 326
F 332
F 333
F 336
F 339
F 342
F 469
F 472
F 532
F 533
F 534
F 535
F 536
F 537
F 538
F 539

Also, you get the technical data for the MFPs wrong:
- their carry capacity was 85t/105t for Typ A-C, and 140t for Typ D only (sadly no Typ D is present)
- their speed was 10knts EMPTY, considerably less with cargo
- I don't even go to the details how speed and cargo influenced their range, just a quick notion is that at a theoretical 7knts they had a range of 1340nmi, and at 10knts they had a range of 640nmi, but sadly these speeds were only attainable under ideal conditions, not on the high seas.

And I could continue the list why.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Sep 2020 01:32
Our 100 OTL MFP's alone are more than capable of the required Trans-Black shipping: 145k t/month.
With 200 Siebel's and 50 barges we're close to 700k t/month in Trans-Black shipping.
Pure lol :lol:

700,000 t/month via landing crafts :)))

As if the two ports on the Turkish Black Sea coast were able to handle such traffic... traffic that can't exist at all...

In reality, the Black Sea had a capacity of 2800 GRT on its MFPs, about quarter to third of a single liberty ship.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Sep 2020 01:32
...and I forgot to include the Kriegtransports.
...and we haven't considered that ATL conditions would warrant additional shipping investment if needed. Nor have we considered Romania/Bulgaria/Hungary and their merchant fleets.
Don't forget about them, shall we?

Transporter:
Cordelia (1357 GRT) sunk on 02.12.1941
Salzburg (1742 GRT) sunk on 01.10.1942
Santa Fé (4627 GRT)
Arkadia (1756 GRT)

Stützpunkttanker:
Torcello (3336 GRT) sunk on 05.11.1941
Le Progrés (511 GRT) Stützpunkt Sulina sunk on 21.10.1942
Prodromus (877 GRT) Stützpunkt Konstanza
Grosnyj (4968 GRT) Stützpunkt Mariupol
Elbing ex Claudia ex Celeno (3749 GRT) Stützpunkt Varna

Tanker:
Ossag (2793 GRT)
Friederike ex Firuz (7327 GRT)

The Germans also chartered, bought, captured and used the following vessels during the course of the war:
Alba Julia (5701 GRT) (RO)
Danubius (1489 GRT) (RO)
Oitus (2686 GRT) (RO)

Teja ex Magyar Tengerész (2773 GRT) (HUN)
Totila ex Magyar Vitéz (2773 GRT) (HUN)
Tisza (1022 GRT) (HUN)
Kassa (1022 GRT) (HUN)

Burgas (2941 GRT) (BG)
Varna (2141 GRT) (BG)
Zar Ferdinand (1994 GRT) (BG)

Balkan (3838 GRT) (DE)
Boy Feddersen ex Charkow (6689 GRT) (SU)
Potemkin (1260 GRT) (SU)
Theoderich ex Volochayevka (3409 GRT) (SU)
Helga ex Hadrian (1620 GRT) (NOR)
Johanna ex Johannes Maersk (1899 GRT) (DEN)
Lola (1193 GRT) (SWE)

A sum of 74,394 GRT.

As for warships of the Black sea, the Romanian navy had 4 destroyers, 3 torpedo boats, 4 gunboats, 8 Schnellboat, 3 Minelayers, the Hungarian and Bulgarian contribution to a hypothetical logistical effort could be even less than this. The Italians had 10 Schnellboats and 2 midget submarines in the Black Sea.

If you are interested in the fate of the Landungsfahrzeugen, here's a very detailed search engine: https://www.historisches-marinearchiv.d ... eibung.php
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Sep 2020 01:32
Peter89 wrote:The whole idea is fundamentally flawed, because to get through with the supplies to Turkey, the Germans could only use one, limited-capacity (14t/axle, about 40km/h, maximum about 12 trains/d) railway.
You continue to insist on a fantasy world in which there's only one route to Turkey from Europe.
Who said that there's only on way? I gave you detailed descriptions of rail, naval and aerial ways. Now we are talking about a supply route through occupied Caucasus, I wonder whether the next will be an occupied Iran? :D
Something that nobody - not even you - cared to consider in your scenario. But you can't just conjure up things and say that they are plausible alternatives. I know that debates can be spirited sometimes, but I beg you to don't take it personal. What you are doing here is way beyond the realm of realities. It's a bit funny and I enjoy it, but I expect in almost every human interactions that parties should invest the approximate same effort into them. I point out how and why was it problematic to support a large-scale invasion in Turkey from late 1942.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Sep 2020 01:32
We've already discussed the Aegean route; your argument that it doesn't work is based on "one time some German ships hit mines." That logjam is apparently - like Ithaka's gulf - impervious to being cleared. So moving on...
That wasn't my SINGLE and only argument :D In fact, it was an EXAMPLE, not an ARGUMENT. :)

My argument is that the Wallies were able to sink a huge chunk of the Axis merchant shipping in the Mediterran sea, starting at a month when the Germans / Italians supposed to have control of the sea. The Axis was NOT able to control of the Mediterran sea by late 1942, in fact, they were losing that theatre a big time. In 1941 and the Germans alone, they've lost 91,288 GRT in shipping, in 1942 a further 27,518 GRT until october, and 15,168 GRT in 1940, totalling a loss of 133,974 GRT on the German naval assets alone. These were irreplaceable losses, especially by the time you want to start your offensive.

By October 1942, the logistical war was all but lost for the Axis in NA, Tobruk was deemed unable to receive naval shipments.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Sep 2020 01:32
Finally - and I can't believe it's come to this - let's join Peter89's fantasy about a Black Sea on which no Axis merchant ship can sail. In that world, there's a technically feasible (and appropriately silly) solution: rail shipment around the Black Sea.
Nice strawman :thumbsup: :lol: I never said that. Despite your fundamentally wrong (albeit a bit funny) miscalculations I gave you the actual naval assets what you can work with.

I will not dive deeper into the matter, because we are rapidly closing to a hypothetical campaign in Central Asia. I am no expert of the logistical possibilities there, but I guess this is just becoming desperate in order to find a hypothetical angle of attack where we can't say an outright no. Btw I think this is the only way to conduct your mindgame, because for the Balkans, the Mediterraneum and the Black Sea I can provide you hard facts, but if you make an assumption about the intactly captured Soviet infrastructure in the Caucasus and Iran, what can I say to that, right? :D

I told ya: sooner or later, I want Africa, too!

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 23 Sep 2020 21:08

Peter89 wrote:I know that debates can be spirited sometimes, but I beg you to don't take it personal.
In my day job as a lawyer I routinely assail my colleagues' arguments as poorly-reasoned or lacking evidentiary support. And they do so to mine. In advance of big cases we do moot courts and try to rip our friends to shreds as aggressively as possible. Nobody takes it personally so long as it is grounded in the case. Indeed it is a favor to review a colleague's work and tell her/him where they're wrong. If we don't do it, the opponent will. So never, ever worry about me taking critique of my reasoning or evidence personally, and don't take it personally when I point out holes in yours.

When I get testy on this forum is when folks do things that, in my experience, are not intellectually valid or useful critiques. Such as trading in generalities (Turkish trains were "not good" or the US could "with ease" move armies to the Middle East). I get testy not because I take these things personally as attacks but because I find them so lacking in intellectual validity that they seem a waste of my time (and of the writer's). I suppose that is a personal reaction in that I don't like my time to be wasted...

Your response to my shipping points is exactly the kind of spirited response I'd prefer. You've provided actual data and facts instead of general and un-analyzed assertions that shipping to Turkey won't work. It will take more time to respond than to a generalized statement that shipping won't work (response later - busy day) but it won't be time wasted.
I told ya: sooner or later, I want Africa, too!
And I asked what about Africa you wanted discussed. Like do Torch/Alamein happen? If so, that's intermingled with whether and how intensively the W.Allies are going to contest the Middle East.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 24 Sep 2020 02:23

Pete89 wrote: Given your other ATL premises, the timeframe of the ME / NA operations would be approximately the same as the second protocol,
I've already posted extensive analysis translating LL aid into shipments to the ME. This is largely a matter of the Persian Corridor, as North Russia shipments were minimal in our period. Far East LL went 100% in Russian ships that Stalin isn't giving back (Japan wouldn't let American ships through). If you disagree with the analysis, please say why.
British Tenth Army
What's the OoB in Fall '42? Can you imagine sending Indian divisions that couldn't stop the Japanese (despite outnumbering them) against the Ostheer? The IJA's combat effectiveness was approximately equal to RKKA's. Given Indian performance in '42, we'd have to place them somewhere around early-war Italian combat value.

You're right that I've been ignoring these forces so far, if you want to include them as the screening force in Iran and Iraq, so we can focus on the Turkey-Syria front, that's fine. IMO they won't last long against the Ostheer but the W.Allies can't successfully defend everywhere in the ME (or anywhere, IMO).

We'd also need to add their combat logistics to the calculus, which would far exceed maintenance shipments to an inactive theater. This book on the Persian Corridor has some discussion of British shipments for their troops in the ME: https://history.army.mil/books/wwii/persian/index.htm

Before getting into the details on logistical support of 10th Army, consider that you're supporting 11+ divisions with the anti-Ostheer combat value of maybe 2 or 3. As logistics would be the determining element in a post-SU ME theater, I don't see how this trade works better for W.Allies than pretending the 10th Army doesn't exist. OTOH if 10th Army were rapidly captured by Ostheer, that would ease the W.Allies' logistical burden...
The Wallied intel from late 1942 was so good that they knew what the Axis was up to, at least major operations did not remain unknown to them. The most likely course of action here is that they divert more equipment and personnel to this area.
I've repeatedly conceded the intel point, never pretended to disagree. So the W.Allies know what's coming - what can they do? As discussed upthread, I evaluate the Guadalcanal and Persian Corridor shipping as capable of supporting (not deploying) 6 divisions to Syria. I evaluate the Torch shipping resources as good for ~30% of the OTL Torch forces fighting in Syria instead (support and deployment). If you disagree with that analysis, please say why.

I take your point about the Abadan refinery - my oversight. It's a good detail to add but let's look at what it means in logistical terms. Per Global Logistics and Strategy V.2, App. A-5, "gas, oil, and grease" constituted 17% of Army Ground Forces logistical burden by weight. As shipping liquid fuel is generally more space-efficient (i.e. denser) than shipping men and equipment, the real logistical fraction owing to fuel is even lower. But let's stick with that. Let's also assume that shipping fuel from Abadan to Syria would impose zero logistical burden (something that wouldn't be true the moment any appreciable German advance cuts the pipeline from Abadan to Syria).

Because you have corrected my error in ignoring the Abadan refinery, I must revise upwards my previous analysis from 6 divisions (for Guadalcanal and Persian LL cancelled) - now it's 7 divisions (supported but not deployed). I must also revise my estimate of Torch translation from ~30% of Torch forces to ~36% [ .30 / .83 ].

Torch didn't deploy anything until November, whereas we're discussing a September start to shooting in Turkey. Just noting that for now, the confusion caused by integrating this factor into the analysis is so far not worth the trouble.

As I hope you'll see, I will openly admit any oversights on my part and add them to W.Allied capabilities in the ME.
Also, if the SU was fallen, who knows whether the Torch is happening or not?
It appears you didn't read my long posts responding to Kingfish on translating Torch shipping to Syrian. Understandable, it's a long post. But I've already given credit for Torch moving to Syria - even assumed it happens two months earlier than OTL Torch. Torch started with 105k men, gradually increasing to ~300k by May IIRC (excluding 8th Army). Using 36% percent shipping factor for Syria instead of Algeria, that translates to ~40k men in Syria in September - 1.3 US divs if we assume no air forces.

Adding together Torch and the reassigned Guadalcanal and Persian Corridor resources, I see the W.Allies being able to support 8.3 US divisions to ME by September. You need deployment shipping for two Guadalcanal divisions, however, so let's call it a round 8 divisions.

If Monty can spare 4 of his 10 divisions, that's 12 divisions.

Let's return to 10th Army:
The logistical difference between resting forces and fighting is about a factor 3. We can either give the W.Allies credit for supporting 1/3 of 10th Army or you need to locate shipping for the combat-resting logistics residual.

12 divisions plus 1/3 of 10th Army gives you 16 divisions between Suez and Tehran (I'm being generous and calling 10th Army 12 divisions in that math). And of course we haven't added any air forces yet. A decent tactical air force would need at least 50,000 men with tons of equipment for airfield building/maintenance, plane maintenance, ammo, fuel, etc. In logistical terms we're probably talking 13-14 divisions plus air forces instead of 16 divisions with no air force.

You can't focus all 16 divisions on Syria unless you want to abandon Iraq, Abadan, and Tehran but even if you could, those 16 divisions get chewed up by 20 Ostheer divisions.
the XII. Air Force (commanded by Doolittle) was available for redeployment, with air transport units.
Also the US 1st, 3rd, 9th and 34th Infantry Divisions along with the 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions were available.
Because I've so far focused only on logistics, I haven't analyzed whether logistics or combat resources would be the bottleneck. If there were only 6 U.S. divisions ready to fight that's a big problem for the W.Allies.

Redeploying XII AF would be 99% a matter of shipping, not air transport. The men and materials all go by ship.
Peter89 wrote:Bottom line we are talking about 16 divisions, including 3,5 armoured divisions,
Great minds think alike! You're including all of 10th Army whereas I don't, but the analysis would be similar - you either use shipping to supply all of 10th Army at combat levels or you send only part of 10th Army into combat and use some shipping to deploy better units (IMO the wiser W.Allies course).

You disagree about the strength of German opposition in this ATL (response on Black Sea shipping still coming) but for clarity of our discussion, how do you think these 16 W.Allied divisions would do against 20 Ostheer?

The US Army was clearly not ready for the big leagues in September 42 - not really in February 42 either (e.g. Kasserine). Those Indian divisions are second-rate compared to the few who fought with 8th Army OTL.

IMO the Germans need only 15 Ostheer divisions to win against this force in Syria. I'll stick with 20 to make the combat argument clearer, shifting residual doubt back to the logistics.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 24 Sep 2020 05:23

Peter89 wrote:A sum of 74,394 GRT. [Black Sea shipping in Axis allies' hands or chartered to Germans]
Once again, thank you for this data. We're a far cry from ignoring shipping over the Black Sea now. ;)

Before getting into the weeds, let's remember the point of discussion: Can the Germans get supplies for 20 divisions to Turkey? Assuming 10 ID's at 150t/day average and 10 PzDiv at 300t/day average, this is also phrased as:

Can the Germans get 4,500t/day to Turkey?

The Axis-allied/chartered fleet alone basically gets us there. Why?:
  • First let's convert GRT (a volume measurement) into deadweight tonnes. DWT almost always > GRT, for example a Liberty Ship was ~7,000 GRT and 10,000 DWT (1.42 DWT/GRT). Let's be conservative for my case and say the Black Sea Fleet ("BSF"] averaged 1.209 DWT/GRT because that gives a nice round 90,000 DWT for the BSF.
  • What turnaround time ("TRT") is needed for the BSF to move 4,500t/day? 20 days.

    Is 20 day TRT possible?
  • If the BSF averages 8.3kn on the 400nm average roundtrip, that's 48 hours sailing time or 2 days.
  • To achieve 20-day TRT, we'd need to unload/load in 9 days at each end. Given that our BSF ships are fairly small, 9 days at each end seems excessive.
Short version - the chartered fleet alone is sufficient to move the Turkheer's supplies.

In reality a 10-day TRT seems feasible, allowing the BSF to support a 40-division Turkheer.

Two (?) of these ships were sunk by Sept 42 - I haven't revised my calc to account for it because it's irrelevant to the issue of

Can the Germans get 4,500t/day to Turkey?

---------------------------------------------------
Peter89 wrote:Pure lol :lol:

700,000 t/month via landing crafts
We don't even need the landing craft now but a few points..

The problem with going for lulz in a logistical discussion is it's not conducive to thinking very well. You skipped over the barges included in that figure, for instance.

In your rush to get to the lulz and argue that Siebel's can't cross the open seas (what about Tunisia - 140mi from Trapani to Tunis), you also ignore that routes to Istanbul/Izmir from Varna/Burgas/Constanta are all coastal routes (same point for the ignored barges, btw). As I said, I don't take things personally but I also don't like wasting time. That's an obvious point that you should have seen yourself instead of requiring me to state it.

You point out the Siebels/MFP's might have slightly lower capacity/speed than I suggest but nowhere do you connect it to the actual point in dispute:

Can the Germans get 4,500t/day to Turkey?

I'll take your word on the OTL number of MFP's in the Black Sea and concede your points about the earlier models' capacities but even on your own terms we have 2,800 DWT available. Even if we assume a 7-day TRT (excessive loading times for an open boat, IMO), that enables 400t/day Trans-Black lift or 9% of our goal from MFP's alone.

Btw, why this?
As soon as these ferries hit ports their cargo is unloaded in an instant? :lol:
Where I'm from, something that takes half-a-day isn't instantaneous (Greek life is slower-paced I know ;)). As the acknowledged Black Sea shipping expert between us, what do you see as an appropriate unloading time for an MFP/Siebel? These ships don't have holds... Kroneuburg shipyard built 60 "MFP loading ramps" during the war - presumably these would enable driving vehicular cargo directly onto wharves. I can't see unloading an MFP/Siebel taking more than half a day. Let me know why you disagree.

Back to Siebel's: I don't how how many were in the Black Sea in September '42 but we know they can be disassembled and shipped anywhere there's a rail line. They only need to reach the Danube in Austria to reach the Black Sea. Let's say Germany moves 100 Siebels to the Baltic and uses them only on coastal routes (the BSF plies the Trans-Black routes from Sevastopol/Yalta to Zonguldak and Samsun).

Using 70t for average Siebel and 7-day TRT (seems excessive but allows for shipping to Izmir) gives us 10t/day shipped for each Siebel. 100 Siebels gives us 1,000t/day. More if with quicker unloading/loading than I'm using here.

What about the barges? They're extra, I've already demonstrated more-than-sufficient shipping to prove the issue in my favor. We also haven't analyzed the KT's and the naval forces (used as transports) yet. Doesn't matter, the issue is:

Can the Germans get 4,500t/day to Turkey?

Emphatically yes.

...especially considering that even you recognize it doesn't have to be all-shipping. We have the awful, terrible line to Istanbul which occasionally gets through the partisan gauntlet. Good for 1,500t/day OTL?
Peter89 wrote:That wasn't my SINGLE and only argument :D In fact, it was an EXAMPLE, not an ARGUMENT.
It is the only example of German shipping sunk on the Aegean route. Everything else relates to the difficulties of supplying North Africa.

Factors you ignore:
  • Malta is between Italy and Libya, not Italy and Greece.
  • Italy supplied a 200k garrison in Greece via Corinth for 2 years - if this supply route was so dangerous surely you can point to more than 2 ships lost on it. Can you?
  • The difficulty of RN operations in the Aegean and the impossibility of RAF's (see Dodecanese campaign).
The RN would likely focus more assets on Corinth were the Axis supporting an invasion there but it should be obvious that the tactical situation is far less favorable to RN trying to interdict coastal Adriatic and Aegean shipping, compared to interdicting trans-Med shipping with the help of a fortress island in the middle of the LoC.
make an assumption about the intactly captured Soviet infrastructure in the Caucasus
Where'd I assume that?

You have complained a few times now about me not taking W.Allied ATL response differences into account and I've addressed those supposed failures upthread.

You definitely are ignoring the demonstrated ability of Germany to restore/improve infrastructure in captured territories and the likelihood of her doing so here. A reminder that Germany spent 1.5-2bn RM on Soviet railroads alone, building the following infrastructure:

Image

You are ignoring the likelihood that Germany would have restored/improved rail connections to Thrace and Caucasus in this ATL, just as it restored/improved rail connections before Barbarossa and after it. The Caucasian investments would have been for Baku oil and the Iranian campaign, not for Turkey. But they could be used for Turkey too if necessary.

You are ignoring the likelihood that Germany would have started building more Siebel's, MFP's, and KT's on the Black Sea and Danube early in '42 or even in '41, as the Turkish campaign would be all but certainly the next move after Russia.

--------------------------------

The above should make it clear to any fair reader that the Germans can get 4,500t/day to Turkey in a post-SU ATL. More importantly, 4,500t/day is well below their OTL capacity and the ATL capacity would certainly have been greater.

The extra capacity can support more divisions and/or a very powerful LW contingent in the ME. The LW has 2,500 unemployed frontline aircraft after the SU falls, this is very bad news for the W.Allies. In OTL campaigns in the Med, the LW was heavily outnumbered and, particularly in Tunisia, out-supplied. As a result its losses far exceeded Wallied losses - LW couldn't defend its bases and had such a spare-parts problem that >600 AC were abandoned in Africa. Here the LW has at least numerical parity unless the W.Allies focus all their limited ME shipping capacity on air forces (not a good idea). As a result, the LW would achieve approximate casualty parity with W.Allies, which implies the LW saving ~1,500 AC and their crews versus OTL Med campaigns through Salerno. Combined with the absence of LW losses in the East, this has serious implications for the W.Allied bombing campaign in Europe.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 24 Sep 2020 07:10, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 24 Sep 2020 05:37

Quick note on Africa:

The W.Allied play might arguably be to ignore the ME and launch Alamein and Torch as in OTL. There's a couple problems with that plan.

First, Monty's logistics ran through Suez for all of Torch, as the Sicilian Straits weren't cleared of mines until June or so. viewtopic.php?f=56&t=252063#p2293313. So if the W.Allies go for broke in North Africa while Germany takes Suez against little opposition in, say, a month, then 8th Army is in serious trouble. With most of the Ostheer and LW unnecessary in the ME, Axis can launch Operation Herkules in, say, October '42 (they build many more Siebels/MFP's in this ATL). With 8th Army stranded in the dessert and Axis supply lines better-secured than OTL, it's going to be a lot harder to get to Tunisgrad. If Spain enters the war or Germany takes her (again that mostly-unemployed Ostheer), Tunisgrad is flatly impossible. So I don't think the W.Allies do much in Africa and if they do I think it risks disaster for them.

The most I could see is a Torch limited to Atlantic Morocco ("Torchlite"). Torchlite would have secure communications regardless of Spain and would enable a quick seizure of Spanish Morocco if/when she joins the Axis. Then there'd be a low-intensity front somewhere in Algeria, neither side capable of extending its land-based LoC much until/unless they put in serious rail investments.

Possible W.Allied response: Put every naval asset into an emergency campaign to clear the Sicilian Straits and supply 8th Army after Suez's fall. If the LW has 1,500 more AC operating in Sicily, however, that invites a naval catastrophe of potentially war-ending dimensions.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 24 Sep 2020 06:56

Came across a 1940 article in Foreign Affairs on the recently-opened Berlin-Baghdad railway:

Image
Image

You can read the article here with free registration: https://www.jstor.org/stable/20029098?r ... b_contents

From the article it's clear that we're dealing with a pretty heavy railway line, at least north of the gauge-break between Baghdad and Basra. The Turks were ordering heavy locos and ore cars from Europe so the line must have been good for them. South of Baghdad the line had sleepers dimensioned for standard gauge but, the author opines, the British colonial masters didn't want the line's competition against other colonial interests, as shipments to Turkey would pass through France.

The article also states, "It was recently announced that the 100-mile gap between Dyarbakir and Mardin is to be filled in; construction is said already to have begun. When this segment is finished, the Baghdad line will be able to follow the route originally planned, in this way saving about 150 miles and avoiding the Taurus and Amanus ranges." Were Germany in control of Turkey, we can be certain they'd have completed that line and would therefore have a heavy railway into Mesopotamia. After the campaign, at least some of Iraq's oil could be transported on that line back to Europe via Samsun - Black Sea - Danube.

On the Turkish railway map, you can see Mardin, Diyarkabir, and the planned shortcut just north of Syria:

Image

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 24 Sep 2020 07:28

Peter89 wrote:
23 Sep 2020 15:42
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
23 Sep 2020 01:32
Our 100 OTL MFP's alone are more than capable of the required Trans-Black shipping: 145k t/month.
With 200 Siebel's and 50 barges we're close to 700k t/month in Trans-Black shipping.
Pure lol :lol:

700,000 t/month via landing crafts :)))
I know reality has no place in what ifs, but the "Wallies" managed 3,098,259 long tons of cargo landed across the Normandy beaches 6 June - 31 August, so 1,098,673 tons per month. Of course, they had rather more than 100 MFP, 200 Siebelfähre and 50 barges to do it with...326 Motorized transports, large military store ships, and commodity loaders, 415 coasters and short sea cargo ships, 238 LST, and 814 LCT...and about a quarter of the distance to travel.
"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: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 24 Sep 2020 08:43

Peter89 wrote:
18 Sep 2020 14:19

If we take one step backwards, the railroad capacity on the main railways of the Balkans were the Belgrade-Nis-Sofia and the Belgrade-Nis-Saloniki, the former could be used to transport matériel to the staging grounds.
This argument never sat right with me but I haven't had time to address it fully. Here's a map of Balkan railways in 1941:

Image

You've argued upthread that the lines through Nis were beset by partisans but even if that catastrophically limited throughput to Istanbul there's an easy solution: don't ship through Nis. The lines running north from Bulgaria don't touch Yugoslavia on the way to Germany. It's all friendly Rumania, Hungary, Slovakia, then the Reich. Problem solved.

"Railways in the Balkan Peninsula" is not available to me - what was the average capacity of Balkan line? Even if it's half of a German single-track line (36 trains/day, 450t/train, 16,200t/day), that alone is more than sufficient for 20 divisions. And of course the Germans can upgrade the line, as they did all over Europe when necessary.

------------------------------------------------------------

More about unloading MFP's/Siebels in Turkish ports...

Here's a pic of Zonguldak's harbor - undated but must be pre-WW2.

Image

Not a great image but you can see a beach on the west side of the harbor, it's also present on an aerial Google shot. The Quay is presumably behind those buildings besides the railroad. MFP's/Siebels don't even need to use the quay; they can run onto the beach and quickly unload. Leave the disembarked cargo to make its own way to the railroad. It'd be more manpower-intensive than a normal port operation but would give the MFP/Siebels very quick TRT. Brute manpower (unskilled laborers like PoW's) was abundant for Germany in the East; it'd be easy to wrangle a large crew for this work.

This is not a necessary expedient - we already have enough shipping or 20 divisions. But it's another arrow in the logistical quiver. Similar expedients could be used at Samsun, which has a beach 3 miles from the port. Unload there if you need to and schlep to the port. It's inefficient but if shipping is truly the bottleneck then well worth it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Richard Anderson wrote:I know reality has no place in what ifs
See the problem with going for lulz is you attract folks who don't care about the truth of the matter being discussed, and who don't think "what ifs" have any validity at all (at least he openly admits it now). Richard doesn't care whether the Germans can get 4,500t/day to Turkey or any other matter discussed in this thread, he's just poking in his head over a personal vendetta. Sad.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Gooner1 » 24 Sep 2020 11:52

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Sep 2020 05:37
Quick note on Africa:

The W.Allied play might arguably be to ignore the ME and launch Alamein and Torch as in OTL. There's a couple problems with that plan.

First, Monty's logistics ran through Suez for all of Torch, as the Sicilian Straits weren't cleared of mines until June or so.. So if the W.Allies go for broke in North Africa while Germany takes Suez against little opposition in, say, a month,
Most of the pursuit by Eighth Army through Libya was by only four divisions. Only three divisions, 2 New Zealand, 51 Highland Division, 7 Armoured Division and 22 Armoured Brigade were used for the advance to Tripoli. Most of 8th Army was still back in Egypt.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Gooner1 » 24 Sep 2020 12:04

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Sep 2020 06:56
The article also states, "It was recently announced that the 100-mile gap between Dyarbakir and Mardin is to be filled in; construction is said already to have begun. When this segment is finished, the Baghdad line will be able to follow the route originally planned, in this way saving about 150 miles and avoiding the Taurus and Amanus ranges." Were Germany in control of Turkey, we can be certain they'd have completed that line and would therefore have a heavy railway into Mesopotamia. After the campaign, at least some of Iraq's oil could be transported on that line back to Europe via Samsun - Black Sea - Danube.

On the Turkish railway map, you can see Mardin, Diyarkabir, and the planned shortcut just north of Syria:
Can see why that would be important. If Germany invaded Turkey as far as that it's doubtful the railway line throgh the Taurus and Amanus would be left in a good state of repair

Image

"The last word will be for the engineers that built the crossings of the Taurus and the Amanus Mountains, which are amongst the greatest feats of railway engineering in the world. Through the Cilician Gates, the line goes up from sea level at Yenice from to an altitude of 1400 m at Ulukisla in 108 km. This required 37 tunnels (cumulative length 14,4 km) and the frequent use of 2,5% gradients.
For the Amanus crossing, the steepest gradients near Ayran are 2,4 % and the line required 13 tunnels to reach the 8km Ayran - Fevzipasa tunnel."

http://www.trainsofturkey.com/index.php/History/CIOB

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Richard Anderson » 24 Sep 2020 15:55

I guess if I violated my policy once with one I can violate it once with another of these.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Sep 2020 08:43
Richard Anderson wrote:I know reality has no place in what ifs
See the problem with going for lulz is you attract folks who don't care about the truth of the matter being discussed, and who don't think "what ifs" have any validity at all (at least he openly admits it now). Richard doesn't care whether the Germans can get 4,500t/day to Turkey or any other matter discussed in this thread, he's just poking in his head over a personal vendetta. Sad.
See the problem with this is the deliberate ad hominem, which this poster delights in. Don't address the data, just attack the poster. What exactly is the "untruth" of what was stated? How does what I "care about" have to do with whether or not the Germans can transport anything to Turkey? How do you divine emotions over the internet BTW? Is that method taught in law school and practiced in moot court?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:In my day job as a lawyer I routinely assail my colleagues' arguments as poorly-reasoned or lacking evidentiary support. And they do so to mine. In advance of big cases we do moot courts and try to rip our friends to shreds as aggressively as possible. Nobody takes it personally so long as it is grounded in the case. Indeed it is a favor to review a colleague's work and tell her/him where they're wrong. If we don't do it, the opponent will. So never, ever worry about me taking critique of my reasoning or evidence personally, and don't take it personally when I point out holes in yours.
Hypocrisy much?
"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: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 24 Sep 2020 21:21

Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Sep 2020 15:55
I guess if I violated my policy once with one I can violate it once with another of these.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Sep 2020 08:43
Richard Anderson wrote:I know reality has no place in what ifs
See the problem with going for lulz is you attract folks who don't care about the truth of the matter being discussed, and who don't think "what ifs" have any validity at all (at least he openly admits it now). Richard doesn't care whether the Germans can get 4,500t/day to Turkey or any other matter discussed in this thread, he's just poking in his head over a personal vendetta. Sad.
See the problem with this is the deliberate ad hominem, which this poster delights in. Don't address the data, just attack the poster. What exactly is the "untruth" of what was stated? How does what I "care about" have to do with whether or not the Germans can transport anything to Turkey? How do you divine emotions over the internet BTW? Is that method taught in law school and practiced in moot court?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:In my day job as a lawyer I routinely assail my colleagues' arguments as poorly-reasoned or lacking evidentiary support. And they do so to mine. In advance of big cases we do moot courts and try to rip our friends to shreds as aggressively as possible. Nobody takes it personally so long as it is grounded in the case. Indeed it is a favor to review a colleague's work and tell her/him where they're wrong. If we don't do it, the opponent will. So never, ever worry about me taking critique of my reasoning or evidence personally, and don't take it personally when I point out holes in yours.
Hypocrisy much?
Have anything to contribute on whether the Germans can get at least 4,500t/day to Turkey? Ya know - the actual topic being discussed?

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