The ideal Axis strategy

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HistoryGeek2019
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The ideal Axis strategy

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 20 Nov 2019 17:05

Assuming the Axis powers could perfectly coordinate their actions and plan together sufficiently in advance of WW2, what would their ideal strategy look like?

I think their goal would need to be to create an Axis power bloc with hegemony over Europe and Asia that, together, could defend against US encroachment. To achieve this would require the following:

1. Conquer France: Germany achieved this in WW2
2. Conquer Great Britain: Germany started planning for this far too late in the OTL. But with enough time and the proper planning, Germany could have focused on building a navy and air force that could secure the crossing of the English Channel.
3. Conquer the Mediterranean: Spain would have to join the war and be given French Morocco, then a concerted effort would need to be made to take Malta, secure supply lines to North Africa, and take Suez.
4. Japan takes British and French colonies in the Far East: With the fall of both the British and French homelands, Japan could scoop up French Indochina (which they did in the OTL) and Britain's Pacific colonies. There would be no need for a costly invasion of mainland China. Japan could focus everything on its navy.
5. Link up in the Indian Ocean: The Italian and Japanese navies would link up in the Indian Ocean. From here they could blockade India until a pro-Axis government took over. This would secure an overseas trade route from Japan and the Pacific Islands to Axis Europe.

The Result

Surrounded by the Axis, countries like Turkey, Iraq and Persia would fall into line and trade with the Axis on favorable terms. The USSR would also be surrounded by the Axis and would have to sell natural resources to the Axis on favorable terms or else be blockaded and completely cut off from the rest of the world, which would lead to its quick demise. There would thus be no need for a bloody invasion of Russia or China with this strategy. All countries in Europe and Asia would be forced to cooperate with the Axis due to the Axis control of the seas around Europe and Asia.

The Axis would therefore have access to all the raw materials they need in order to contend with the United States, which would be denied a foothold anywhere close to Europe. The closest point from which it could strike is the Philippines, but without a Pearl Harbor incident, and France and Britain falling quickly, the USA would lack the excuse to go to war before the Axis power bloc was achieved.

The British and French Atlantic fleets would probably survive and try to contain the Axis on the peripheries. The British would probably take the Canary Islands after Spain joined the Axis, creating a limit to the south of Spanish Morocco beyond which the Axis couldn't advance. There would be no need for the Axis to invade Denmark or Norway with this strategy, so the Allies would have to muster the political willpower to occupy Iceland and Greenland against Danish protests.

This would then lead to a global decades long stalemate or Cold War between the United States and the Axis bloc.

Thoughts?

MarkN
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The ideal Axis strategy

Post by MarkN » 20 Nov 2019 23:23

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 17:05
Assuming the Axis powers could perfectly coordinate their actions and plan together sufficiently in advance of WW2, what would their ideal strategy look like?

Thoughts?
First best option: choose not to go to war with anybody.
Second best option (assuming the bloodthirsty desire for war was just too great): choose to go to war with one another instead of making everybody else suffer.

mezsat2
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by mezsat2 » 21 Nov 2019 08:47

MarkN wrote:
20 Nov 2019 23:23
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 17:05
Assuming the Axis powers could perfectly coordinate their actions and plan together sufficiently in advance of WW2, what would their ideal strategy look like?

Thoughts?
Simultaneous invasion of USSR by all Axis powers June 1941. Once USSR is defeated, all other world powers are just gnats buzzing around the back of a giant elephant.

corbulo
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by corbulo » 21 Nov 2019 10:30

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 17:05
Assuming the Axis powers could perfectly coordinate their actions and plan together sufficiently in advance of WW2, what would their ideal strategy look like?

I think their goal would need to be to create an Axis power bloc with hegemony over Europe and Asia that, together, could defend against US encroachment. To achieve this would require the following:

1. Conquer France: Germany achieved this in WW2
2. Conquer Great Britain: Germany started planning for this far too late in the OTL. But with enough time and the proper planning, Germany could have focused on building a navy and air force that could secure the crossing of the English Channel.
3. Conquer the Mediterranean: Spain would have to join the war and be given French Morocco, then a concerted effort would need to be made to take Malta, secure supply lines to North Africa, and take Suez.
4. Japan takes British and French colonies in the Far East: With the fall of both the British and French homelands, Japan could scoop up French Indochina (which they did in the OTL) and Britain's Pacific colonies. There would be no need for a costly invasion of mainland China. Japan could focus everything on its navy.
5. Link up in the Indian Ocean: The Italian and Japanese navies would link up in the Indian Ocean. From here they could blockade India until a pro-Axis government took over. This would secure an overseas trade route from Japan and the Pacific Islands to Axis Europe.

The Result

Surrounded by the Axis, countries like Turkey, Iraq and Persia would fall into line and trade with the Axis on favorable terms. The USSR would also be surrounded by the Axis and would have to sell natural resources to the Axis on favorable terms or else be blockaded and completely cut off from the rest of the world, which would lead to its quick demise. There would thus be no need for a bloody invasion of Russia or China with this strategy. All countries in Europe and Asia would be forced to cooperate with the Axis due to the Axis control of the seas around Europe and Asia.

The Axis would therefore have access to all the raw materials they need in order to contend with the United States, which would be denied a foothold anywhere close to Europe. The closest point from which it could strike is the Philippines, but without a Pearl Harbor incident, and France and Britain falling quickly, the USA would lack the excuse to go to war before the Axis power bloc was achieved.

The British and French Atlantic fleets would probably survive and try to contain the Axis on the peripheries. The British would probably take the Canary Islands after Spain joined the Axis, creating a limit to the south of Spanish Morocco beyond which the Axis couldn't advance. There would be no need for the Axis to invade Denmark or Norway with this strategy, so the Allies would have to muster the political willpower to occupy Iceland and Greenland against Danish protests.

This would then lead to a global decades long stalemate or Cold War between the United States and the Axis bloc.

Thoughts?
Court Turkey first and foremostly. Easy access to the Caucusus. Plus a couple of million extra troops which in any war with the USSR wouldve been priceless. Promise Turkey lost territories in the Caucusus, Syria and Palestine.

pugsville
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by pugsville » 21 Nov 2019 10:53

corbulo wrote:
21 Nov 2019 10:30
Court Turkey first and foremostly. Easy access to the Caucusus. Plus a couple of million extra troops which in any war with the USSR wouldve been priceless. Promise Turkey lost territories in the Caucusus, Syria and Palestine.
Not so easy access to the Caucasus, really poor could only support a relatively small force.

The Axis could not equip the troops they had.

pugsville
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by pugsville » 21 Nov 2019 12:58

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 17:05
Assuming the Axis powers could perfectly coordinate their actions and plan together sufficiently in advance of WW2, what would their ideal strategy look like?
Firstly plans that do not allow for counter actions by the enemy and rely of passive lack of actions are not plans but day dreams. In changed circumstances , other nations will react differently. Any hypothetical what if has to allow for reasonable actions of the opposition.

"Perfectly co-ordinate. Nothing like that exists in real life, Nations have different interests and effective close alliances are very raw, the Axis in ww2 were anything but, they lack of co-ordinate and co-operation was very marked and fundamentally part of the nature of their regimes. The Rivalry and lack of co-operation within the Axis countries was also pretty pronounced, the IJA/IJN rivallry the Lufwaffe empire building under Goring.

Magically making everyone in Axis in reasonable positions of be dedicated and reasonable end perfectly co-ordinate for some Axis greater good is just not in anyway a real situation.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 17:05
1. Conquer France: Germany achieved this in WW2
The German victory in May 1940 was a perfect storm. Just because it rolled out that way in Real Life , in changed circumstances the rapid defeat of France may not happen.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 17:05
2. Conquer Great Britain: Germany started planning for this far too late in the OTL. But with enough time and the proper planning, Germany could have focused on building a navy and air force that could secure the crossing of the English Channel.
It's actually extremely difficult for the German to build a Navy that could really challenge Britain. Germany lacked shipyards, Naval construction and design expertise, and the resources to simultaneously build a large army, navy and air force. You can;t have everything. How big a Navy?

Any attempt to build significantly larger Navy is going to draw a response , nothing would draw British attention more surely. There is no conceivable situation where the German Navy could gain any sort of dominance over the Royal Navy.

The 1940 situation was an outlier. The British army was disorganized and lacking equipment. An organized and well equipped British Army is a difficult. A strong British Army is pretty hard to land enough forces to deal with.

The British were able to out build the Germans in aircraft. They had an integrated air defense system which gave them an immense advantage as well. The RAF was in many ways a much stronger organization than the Luftwaffe, training, repair, spares, and a much better record in aircraft development.

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 17:05
3. Conquer the Mediterranean: Spain would have to join the war and be given French Morocco, then a concerted effort would need to be made to take Malta, secure supply lines to North Africa, and take Suez.
Much easier said than Done. It;s just really hard to deploy much larger land forces to North Africa. The Logsitcial support base just did not exists. The British had immense advantage in their logistical infrastructure. Malta while annoying and led a poor logistical supply at times, removing Malta would not suddenly increase the logistical pipe size to North Africa.

Fundamentally the North African campaign the Axis were gong uphill. A small logistical base compared to a very large one. The Allies could simply deploy a much larger force, The Further the Axis advance the longer and poorer their supply lines get, the shorter and better the Allied ones become. Just driving your tank from Axis ports to Egyptian border means it needs a complete refit,

Vichy France, Italian , Spain all had competing ambitions it's hard to really keep them hall appy. If Vichy France revolts, Italian North Africa is just doomed.

Taking the Suez does very very little for the Axis. It gains no real resources, and does not deny them to the Alliies. The Canal itself is extremely unlikely to captured in working condition. You can expect it to be blocked for years,
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 17:05
4. Japan takes British and French colonies in the Far East: With the fall of both the British and French homelands, Japan could scoop up French Indochina (which they did in the OTL) and Britain's Pacific colonies. There would be no need for a costly invasion of mainland China. Japan could focus everything on its navy.
You have to remember the Navy and Army were competing factions. Cutting off Army fnding leads pretty much to civil war and teh assintaion of those advocating it.

Attacking British Colonies means war with the US.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 17:05
5. Link up in the Indian Ocean: The Italian and Japanese navies would link up in the Indian Ocean. From here they could blockade India until a pro-Axis government took over. This would secure an overseas trade route from Japan and the Pacific Islands to Axis Europe.
How the Suez is almost certain to be trashed. The Italian Navy was extremely short legged, most it could not operate in the Indian ocean no matter what. British bases like Aden and some aircraft is highly likely to made the Red Sea untenable for the Italians anyway.

Blockading India leads directly to War with the USA and immediately blockading India became unrealistic.The Pacific was a core US interest. It;s not going to allow the Japanese to be the dominate power. Increased the Japanese Navy leads to a Naval construction race with the US, that Japan cannot come even remotely close to winning.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 17:05
The Result

Surrounded by the Axis, countries like Turkey, Iraq and Persia would fall into line and trade with the Axis on favorable terms. The USSR would also be surrounded by the Axis and would have to sell natural resources to the Axis on favorable terms or else be blockaded and completely cut off from the rest of the world, which would lead to its quick demise. There would thus be no need for a bloody invasion of Russia or China with this strategy. All countries in Europe and Asia would be forced to cooperate with the Axis due to the Axis control of the seas around Europe and Asia.
Trade requires an exchange you gotta give to get. Dictating to other countries is a way to make enemies. The Axis cannot take on the entire world. They lose. This "all countries would be forced to cooperate an trade on favorable terms" is a fantasy. That sort of control can only be achieved by military force.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 17:05
The Axis would therefore have access to all the raw materials they need in order to contend with the United States, which would be denied a foothold anywhere close to Europe. The closest point from which it could strike is the Philippines, but without a Pearl Harbor incident, and France and Britain falling quickly, the USA would lack the excuse to go to war before the Axis power bloc was achieved.
No they would not.No one is going to give stuff. And trading requires an exchange. Let alone the lack of merchant shipping to do most of it. Just how would any of the Oil get back to Germany?
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 17:05
The British and French Atlantic fleets would probably survive and try to contain the Axis on the peripheries. The British would probably take the Canary Islands after Spain joined the Axis, creating a limit to the south of Spanish Morocco beyond which the Axis couldn't advance. There would be no need for the Axis to invade Denmark or Norway with this strategy, so the Allies would have to muster the political willpower to occupy Iceland and Greenland against Danish protests.
Without Denmark and Norway, German Iron Ore supplies are venerable. And there is a better more secure route to the Soviet Union.With the canaries and perhaps the Azores they would not need Iceland or Greenland.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
20 Nov 2019 17:05
This would then lead to a global decades long stalemate or Cold War between the United States and the Axis bloc.

Thoughts?
Other Nations are not going to set around waiting for absolute Axis dominance. It;s fundamentally why France and the UK went to war, it was not for Poland but to stop German Hegemony. Same for the US and Japan.

Dominance creates push back,

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 21 Nov 2019 17:24

Yeah, I know it's a fantasy. That's why I wrote "ideal" in the title and why we're discussing it on an internet messageboard in 2019 and the real life Axis powers got the snot kicked out of them 75 years ago.

But for anyone interested in a hypothetical discussion of what the Axis powers should have sought to achieve if they had worked together and planned far enough in advance, this will be a fun thread to throw around ideas.

Obviously there will be difficulties with any Axis plan. They were weaker than their opponents. They had less industry, manpower and raw materials. As MarkN points out, the sensible thing was not to fight at all. But if they were going to fight together against the Allies, what would have been the best strategy?

Several users have proposed land oriented strategies around conquering Russia or securing the Caucasus. The fundamental problem with this approach is that land power is weaker than naval power. Even if the Axis conquered the entire Soviet Union, they would incur millions of casualties and have to deploy millions of more soldiers garrisoning the land they conquered. And they would have to spend an enormous amount in order to develop the poor infrastructure of the Soviet Union in order to harvest its resources. And they would be left relying on essentially slave labor from the conquered peoples, which is inherently less efficient than voluntary labor. Meanwhile the UK and USA would surround the Eurasian land bloc, blockade it, and bomb it to smithereens with superior air technology.

A naval strategy is fundamentally superior. It is cheaper and easier to transport cargo over sea than by land. Given the lack of raw materials in Axis home countries, this would be crucial. Naval warfare also incurs fewer casualties than ground warfare, preserving a large labor force that can churn out ships and planes.

The Allies, of course, knew this and made sure to dominate the world's oceans in the decades up to and including WW2. Pugsville is correct that the Axis could never defeat the Allied navies outright on the high seas. The most the Axis could hope for is local naval superiority in particular theaters by relying on a combination of ships and land-based air power. Thus, in the English Channel, the Axis could hypothetically obtain naval superiority by gaining air superiority and developing aircraft capable of sinking British warships. In 1940 the Stukas did not have bombs capable of penetrating a battleship's deck, because the Germans hadn't thought ahead about this scenario - because Hitler was pursuing a land strategy of conquering the Soviet Union while the UK would hopefully ally him. Hitler's strategy was fundamentally nonsensical given the extensive Germanophobia in Great Britain throughout the early 20th Century. This was the same country that blockaded Germany after the armistice in WWI, causing widespread famine. Hoping for an alliance with Great Britain was insane.

Local superiority could also be achieved in the English Channel through magnetic mines. According to Robert Forczyk in "We March Against England", Britain had no counter to German magnetic mines until German aircraft accidentally dropped magnetic mines on British soil. If Germany had simply waited to deploy magnetic mines until its attempted Channel crossing, the Royal Navy would have been sealed off.

Once Britain and France fall, Spain will join the war and Gibraltar and French Morocco will fall. The Commonwealth forces would be substantially weaker without the support of their home country and wouldn't be able to resist a Japanese attack against Singapore and Indochina. Japan can then enter the Indian Ocean and prevent the British from reinforcing the Middle East through the Indian Ocean. The British will no doubt attempt to destroy the Suez Canal, but the Axis can eventually repair it.

It's just a matter of time - can the Axis do all this before the United States intervenes? The United States responded to the Japanese conquest of French Indochina with economic embargoes. The USA did not go to war until it was directly attacked. If the British and French homelands fall in 1940, their colonies in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean might fall before the USA musters the political will to intervene.

MarkN
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by MarkN » 21 Nov 2019 20:52

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 17:24
Yeah, I know it's a fantasy. That's why I wrote "ideal" in the title and why we're discussing it on an internet messageboard in 2019 and the real life Axis powers got the snot kicked out of them 75 years ago.

But for anyone interested in a hypothetical discussion of what the Axis powers should have sought to achieve if they had worked together and planned far enough in advance, this will be a fun thread to throw around ideas.
I'm not sure the vast majority of Europeans and others would consider a Fascist success "ideal". Millions upon millions suffered as it was with the failure.

pugsville
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by pugsville » 21 Nov 2019 22:13

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 17:24
Thus, in the English Channel, the Axis could hypothetically obtain naval superiority by gaining air superiority and developing aircraft capable of sinking British warships. In 1940 the Stukas did not have bombs capable of penetrating a battleship's deck, because the Germans hadn't thought ahead about this scenario
With A German fleet much the same as historically , the Germans need air dominance not air superiority, The Germans were totally incapable of protecting their invasion fleet. Protect the invasion fleet, the landing areas, ground supported, protect and support paratroopers, it's a lot. And whats going to protect the landing fleet and resupply convoys in the poor light/darkness?

Given the British air industry was just as capable as the German and out produced the Germans 1940-1941, the RAF having advantage of fighting in home skies, and an integrated defense system how is such air dominance achievable? It's not feasible for the Germans to have triple the air industry without massive cut backs elsewhere and big changes to other air forces.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 17:24
- because Hitler was pursuing a land strategy of conquering the Soviet Union while the UK would hopefully ally him. Hitler's strategy was fundamentally nonsensical given the extensive Germanophobia in Great Britain throughout the early 20th Century.
Your giving Hitler's strategic thinking more coherence than it actually had.

It was hardly Germanophobia. Britain was opposed to a single power having hegemony in Europe. German, French or otherwise. In 1914 and 1939 German tried to do so. Britain executed a perfectly rational policy driven by German aggression.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 17:24
This was the same country that blockaded Germany after the armistice in WWI, causing widespread famine. Hoping for an alliance with Great Britain was insane.
food was not blockading in the period. It was all the Allied powers involved, UK, France, USA, not just the UK The delay in shipping food was wrangling and ships (the Germans were unwilling to use theirs) and paying for it (the French did not want German gold reserves to be spent before they could get their hands on it) Food shipments started in jan 1919 IIRC. Famine was caused by incredible German bungling of their economy and food during the war. This famine in Germany caused by Britain is a bit of a canard. If they were willing to send their ships and pay for it they wopudl have been allowed to move food through the blockade. Perhaps if things were that bad surrendering a bit sooner woulld have had teh best interests of the German population at heart,.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 17:24
Local superiority could also be achieved in the English Channel through magnetic mines. According to Robert Forczyk in "We March Against England", Britain had no counter to German magnetic mines until German aircraft accidentally dropped magnetic mines on British soil. If Germany had simply waited to deploy magnetic mines until its attempted Channel crossing, the Royal Navy would have been sealed off.
No it could not. The Germans could neither produce nor lay enough mines to do so. If mines work as some 100% effective shield then the British with a vastly greater ability to lay mines and clear mines have the advantage. Like submarines , mines are an weapon of attrition it would inflict some losses, but a impenetrable barrier is just not possible. Laying the mines is a war on attrition in the Channel. Laying big minefields is beyond the German capability.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 17:24
Once Britain and France fall, Spain will join the war and Gibraltar and French Morocco will fall. The Commonwealth forces would be substantially weaker without the support of their home country and wouldn't be able to resist a Japanese attack against Singapore and Indochina. Japan can then enter the Indian Ocean and prevent the British from reinforcing the Middle East through the Indian Ocean. The British will no doubt attempt to destroy the Suez Canal, but the Axis can eventually repair it.
The fall of France is not a given and will take time, as will Spanish entry, and the fall of the Suez is questionable. Gibraltar and Malta does almost nothing to increase Axis logistical base in North Africa. The French will not hand Morocco over, forcing the issue may throw the french navy and colonies into the Free French camp, which would likely lead to the complete loss of Axis North Africa.

Repair it when, A french campaign is months even if it;s just a repeat of 1940, an North Africa campaign months, repair the Suez a year? you could be talking mid late 1941. Things are not achieved in a flash.

Japanese deployment deep into the Indian Ocean is problematic. It's awfully exposed. In early 1940 the Japanese carriers are running completely different aircraft from late 1941, nowhere near as awesome. Th US enters thee war form it's base in the Philippines, There a reasona teh Japanses attacked the USA.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 17:24
It's just a matter of time - can the Axis do all this before the United States intervenes? The United States responded to the Japanese conquest of French Indochina with economic embargoes. The USA did not go to war until it was directly attacked. If the British and French homelands fall in 1940, their colonies in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean might fall before the USA musters the political will to intervene.
The US would not accept Japanese dominance in the pacific. It would fight. While without the attack on the US the massive mobilization on large scale might not have large scale popular support it would not stop a declaration and fighting of a naval war. There woudl be complete political agreement that stopping Japan was fundamental US interest. Japan attacking French, Dutch, British colonies leads directly to war with the USA,

Peter89
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by Peter89 » 21 Nov 2019 22:49

pugsville wrote:
21 Nov 2019 12:58

It's actually extremely difficult for the German to build a Navy that could really challenge Britain. Germany lacked shipyards, Naval construction and design expertise,
Absolutely wrong. See: Hochseeflotte, the Z-Plan and the Anglo-German naval race.

Most of the capital ships (battleships and battlecruisers in this instance) of the RN were WW1 veteran ships, excluding only the Nelson, the Rodney, the Hood and the King George V class.

But truth to be told, the Hood was a WW1 design, and its fate was very similar to those battlecruisers lost in the Battle of Jütland. Rodney and Nelson had quite a flawed design as well.

What the Germans lacked was the air supremacy, which would allow them to keep the RN at bay or sink her ships. Don't forget that almost all the major battleships on both the British and German sides were lost or incapacitated by aircraft (Prince of Wales, Bismarck, Tirpitz, Gnisenau, etc.).


pugsville wrote:
21 Nov 2019 12:58

Any attempt to build significantly larger Navy is going to draw a response , nothing would draw British attention more surely. There is no conceivable situation where the German Navy could gain any sort of dominance over the Royal Navy.
Air supremacy, the integration of the French / Italian fleets, the better coordination of the Atlantikschlacht... options were unlimited before the attack on the SU.

pugsville wrote:
21 Nov 2019 12:58

The 1940 situation was an outlier. The British army was disorganized and lacking equipment. An organized and well equipped British Army is a difficult. A strong British Army is pretty hard to land enough forces to deal with.
This might come from a Battlefield documentary or something? The British Empire was NOT defenseless, disorganized or anything. The lost Battle of France was a huge blow, but not a fatal one. Britain had plans for running a war economy, and they implemented them quite well. Like you said they had an integrated air defense system, a very powerful navy, an international alliance, probably the best military intelligence... they were not disorganized by any means.

pugsville wrote:
21 Nov 2019 12:58
The British were able to out build the Germans in aircraft. They had an integrated air defense system which gave them an immense advantage as well. The RAF was in many ways a much stronger organization than the Luftwaffe, training, repair, spares, and a much better record in aircraft development.
And by 1944 the Germans outbuilt the British in aircrafts, after years of heavy bombardments, millions of dead, etc.

I don't agree, the RAF itself wasn't stronger than the LW, the air strategy and the British infrastructure was stronger.

pugsville
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by pugsville » 21 Nov 2019 23:14

Peter89 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 22:49
pugsville wrote:
21 Nov 2019 12:58

It's actually extremely difficult for the German to build a Navy that could really challenge Britain. Germany lacked shipyards, Naval construction and design expertise,
Absolutely wrong. See: Hochseeflotte, the Z-Plan and the Anglo-German naval race.
Z-Plan was fantasy that did not take into account of actual German ship building capabilities. Ability to produce paper documents about production is not production. The Capabilities of Imperial German ship building are different form Germany in the late 1930s. The no longer had the shipyards or the design and building experience..
Peter89 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 22:49
Most of the capital ships (battleships and battlecruisers in this instance) of the RN were WW1 veteran ships, excluding only the Nelson, the Rodney, the Hood and the King George V class.
But still quite capable battleships, in the context of control of the seas, the Germans could only run.
Peter89 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 22:49
But truth to be told, the Hood was a WW1 design, and its fate was very similar to those battlecruisers lost in the Battle of Jütland. Rodney and Nelson had quite a flawed design as well.
As were the German designs. The Germans lacked design experience. For instance the Bismark fire control systems ran above the Armour, in any substantial combat the fire control was likely to pretty much gone early. Another is the Destroyers huge huge problems with their engines.

Flaws of Jutland had been addressed. Not perfectly but they were not as vulnerable as that. The Hood had not been upgrade for quite some time. If the British had got the Hood into dock some things would have been addressed.

Peter89 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 22:49
Air supremacy, the integration of the French / Italian fleets, the better coordination of the Atlantikschlacht... options were unlimited before the attack on the SU.
The French fleet would have scuttled rather than be handed over. Exactly how does the Germans get the French fleet? Then there are the problems of finding the crew, training and spare parts and ammunition.

The Italian fleet was not designed to operate in the Atlantic. Much of the fleet had short range. And Italian-German co-operation was problematic.

The British had significant advantages at sea, Radar, Aircraft carriers, Intelligence and a very large fleet. The Italian fleet could be mauled before it gets anywhere uniting withe the Germans.

Options are not unlimited. there are constraints of what is possible, while there are infinite number of possible options, it does not mean that everything is possible,
Peter89 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 22:49
This might come from a Battlefield documentary or something? The British Empire was NOT defenseless, disorganized or anything. The lost Battle of France was a huge blow, but not a fatal one. Britain had plans for running a war economy, and they implemented them quite well. Like you said they had an integrated air defense system, a very powerful navy, an international alliance, probably the best military intelligence... they were not disorganized by any means.
DId not say that. The British Army.

The British army post Dunkirk had a lot of heavy equipment. Formations had less than half of the heavy equipment they should have had. tanks, Trucks, AA guns, AT guns, Artillery, Machine guns. This situation was a passing one and by 1941 mostly addressed.

Peter89 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 22:49
And by 1944 the Germans outbuilt the British in aircrafts, after years of heavy bombardments, millions of dead, etc.
By concentrating of single engine fighters while the British were building lots of larger aircraft. Just the raw numbers of Aircraft built is not the whole story. Lies, Dammed Lies.... The Germans also did not build enough spares. After the German Naval building was basically stopped.
Peter89 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 22:49
I don't agree, the RAF itself wasn't stronger than the LW, the air strategy and the British infrastructure was stronger.
It was stronger over Britain. The RAF was a better training, repair, maintenance, development organization that the Luftwaffe which counted in a war of attrition.

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 22 Nov 2019 02:53

MarkN wrote:
21 Nov 2019 20:52
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
21 Nov 2019 17:24
Yeah, I know it's a fantasy. That's why I wrote "ideal" in the title and why we're discussing it on an internet messageboard in 2019 and the real life Axis powers got the snot kicked out of them 75 years ago.

But for anyone interested in a hypothetical discussion of what the Axis powers should have sought to achieve if they had worked together and planned far enough in advance, this will be a fun thread to throw around ideas.
I'm not sure the vast majority of Europeans and others would consider a Fascist success "ideal". Millions upon millions suffered as it was with the failure.
I agree. I mean "ideal" simply as the best strategy that the Axis could come up with from their perspective to wage war against the Allies.

HistoryGeek2019
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 22 Nov 2019 03:17

This thread opens up the possibility of planning for war in advance. Theoretically this could go back to 1919. How could the Axis have best planned for the next war starting in 1919? Thus, we aren't wedded to OTL production figures. With a different set of strategic priorities, the Axis could augment production in certain areas and decrease it in others.

In the OTL, Germany started the war with 1,500 magnetic mines and was producing 100 per month (per Robert Forczyk). They were more expensive than contact mines. Nevertheless, the UK had no counter-measure for magnetic mines until the Luftewaffe dropped one on a British army base in November 1939. Germany could have avoided this by waiting to deploy magnetic mines until the invasion.

I agree with a lot of the criticisms that pugsville makes of my proposed strategy. It most likely would not have worked. It took an incredible stroke of luck for Germany to beat France in May 1940. Nevertheless, the question posed by this thread is, what would have been the best strategy for the Axis powers to pursue, assuming they were going to wage war against the Allies? The way I see it, their top priority had to be denying the United States land bases anywhere near their homelands. This means that knocking out Britain and seizing Gibraltar and Morocco is essential. Their secondary priority has to be securing a trade bloc with transport capabilities through the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean. This would of course be very difficult, but I don't see a better alternative. The only alternative I see is for the Axis to coordinate a land invasion of Russia, but this would incur millions of casualties and couldn't take place fast enough before the United States could establish bases in the UK and North Africa from which to strike Europe.

So let me ask you: What do you think would have been the best strategy for the Axis to pursue for war against the Allies (aside from the obvious answer of not to fight at all).

pugsville
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by pugsville » 22 Nov 2019 06:47

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
22 Nov 2019 03:17
This thread opens up the possibility of planning for war in advance. Theoretically this could go back to 1919. How could the Axis have best planned for the next war starting in 1919? Thus, we aren't wedded to OTL production figures. With a different set of strategic priorities, the Axis could augment production in certain areas and decrease it in others.
Of what 200,00 trucks in 1925? 10,000 aircraft in 1930? 5,00 tanks in 1928?

Firstly stuff but well before the war is mostly just obsolete junk by 1940. About the only thing that's got a reasonable use by date is ships the one they are least able to get around to making without broadcasting their intentions to the world.

Secondly almost everything was banned by the armistice treaty and the commissioners were not withdrawn till about 1930. Building stuff just would not be allowed and ripping up versaillies in 1928 is not as easy as 1936. Germany losses badly in 1930.

Thirdly the German army interwar planning for much expanded army was pretty darn shiny. The planning, the selection of men, the training , it really was one of the great things they did right. They did experiment tanks, aircraft, submarines in a clandestine way.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
22 Nov 2019 03:17
In the OTL, Germany started the war with 1,500 magnetic mines and was producing 100 per month (per Robert Forczyk). They were more expensive than contact mines. Nevertheless, the UK had no counter-measure for magnetic mines until the Luftewaffe dropped one on a British army base in November 1939. Germany could have avoided this by waiting to deploy magnetic mines until the invasion.
Waiting for a situation they did not know was going to occur, we're going to give the German some sort of fortune telling see the future ability? They will not use a weapon in nov 1939 because in sept 1940 they will placed to invade England, giving 100% precognition of the entire course of the war and the french campaign in Nov 1939 they are pulling their punches because they just know?

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
22 Nov 2019 03:17
I agree with a lot of the criticisms that pugsville makes of my proposed strategy. It most likely would not have worked. It took an incredible stroke of luck for Germany to beat France in May 1940. Nevertheless, the question posed by this thread is, what would have been the best strategy for the Axis powers to pursue, assuming they were going to wage war against the Allies? The way I see it, their top priority had to be denying the United States land bases anywhere near their homelands. This means that knocking out Britain and seizing Gibraltar and Morocco is essential. Their secondary priority has to be securing a trade bloc with transport capabilities through the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean. This would of course be very difficult, but I don't see a better alternative. The only alternative I see is for the Axis to coordinate a land invasion of Russia, but this would incur millions of casualties and couldn't take place fast enough before the United States could establish bases in the UK and North Africa from which to strike Europe.

So let me ask you: What do you think would have been the best strategy for the Axis to pursue for war against the Allies (aside from the obvious answer of not to fight at all).
The Southern Mediterranean strategy has large problems.

(1) Conquest of Egypt

(a) it's really hard to logistically support significantly more Axis forces in North Africa than they had.
(b) Every advance in North Africa makes the Axis supply lines longer and harder to maintain the to of the spear the further it gets, and the British supply get shorter and the British can simply support much greater forces than the Axis can deploy.

(2) Then What? Resources acquired to help win the War for the Axis about Zero, Resources lost to the British war effort about zero
(a) slog even further across to the Persian Gulf by land? Supporting these forces how?
(b) Suez canal red sea route, well it's near certain the British would wreck the canal (so time in the length of the French campaign assuming it works, the length of North African campaign assuming it works, then the how long it takes to clear the canal...) then there is British bases like Aden, and mining the red sea. while the seuz is closed

(3) Getting teh Oil Where?
Say the Axis get control of the Persian Gulf Oil how do they get it anywhere useful? There is no railway. The British will blow the pipeline, (and LRDG, SAS, Haganah, the Arab Legion will just blow it up again how do you protect 1,000km pipelines against guerilla operations? Consider the range of British allied organizations to do so...

The Axis don't have the tankers. Have to get it through hostile sea, don't have the escorts, don;t have the bases aorund the Indian ocean but the British do

How long and How many resources and political credit do the Axis have to burn in the southern Mediterranean strategy before it actually delivers anything in concrete terms that strengthens the Axis ability to wage war and reduces the Allied?

It requires doing quite difficult things that teh Axis really are not set up to do and engage the British mostly were the British are string and the Axis are weak, and it;s really really hard to increase the ability of the Axis to be able to get their power to ground in these areas no matter how much is setting around in central Europe.

The Logistics, the Bases, the Strategic topgrahy all make this not an easy strategy for the Axis to do. And the investment is long and the payoff only starts if a large number things have gone very right for a long time.

Conversely how long until the Soviet Union is a threat the German Army cannot deal with? If Germany does not attack and the red Amry recovers form the purges, and requirements with it;s more modern equipment, 300 Divisions, 20,000 T34s in 1943. It's not something the Germans can indefeintely just turn their back on.... surely?

Is there effectively a clock on any non =soviet based Axis strategy that must deliver by some date (1942? 1943?) before it just runs out of time?

Peter89
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by Peter89 » 22 Nov 2019 08:33

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
22 Nov 2019 03:17
This thread opens up the possibility of planning for war in advance. Theoretically this could go back to 1919. How could the Axis have best planned for the next war starting in 1919? Thus, we aren't wedded to OTL production figures. With a different set of strategic priorities, the Axis could augment production in certain areas and decrease it in others.

In the OTL, Germany started the war with 1,500 magnetic mines and was producing 100 per month (per Robert Forczyk). They were more expensive than contact mines. Nevertheless, the UK had no counter-measure for magnetic mines until the Luftewaffe dropped one on a British army base in November 1939. Germany could have avoided this by waiting to deploy magnetic mines until the invasion.

I agree with a lot of the criticisms that pugsville makes of my proposed strategy. It most likely would not have worked. It took an incredible stroke of luck for Germany to beat France in May 1940. Nevertheless, the question posed by this thread is, what would have been the best strategy for the Axis powers to pursue, assuming they were going to wage war against the Allies? The way I see it, their top priority had to be denying the United States land bases anywhere near their homelands. This means that knocking out Britain and seizing Gibraltar and Morocco is essential. Their secondary priority has to be securing a trade bloc with transport capabilities through the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean. This would of course be very difficult, but I don't see a better alternative. The only alternative I see is for the Axis to coordinate a land invasion of Russia, but this would incur millions of casualties and couldn't take place fast enough before the United States could establish bases in the UK and North Africa from which to strike Europe.

So let me ask you: What do you think would have been the best strategy for the Axis to pursue for war against the Allies (aside from the obvious answer of not to fight at all).
Maybe I am biased, but I would have opted for technology, research & development. Only the major technological breakthroughs could even the odds.
Rocket science, the nuclear bomb program, the Elektroboot, etc.

The other thing was to wait, and be on the winning side when the war was over. The colonial empires struggled to keep their system alive, and the US wanted to cement its power by demolishing colonial systems altogether. Japan was very aggressive in Asia. The SU started to become an increasing threat, and its wars angered the Anglo-Saxon powers. The Germans successfully invaded or influenced the remnant states of the former A-H Empire, but it was a bad idea to begin with. Germany had to stay defensive at all costs, because (after the disintegration of the A-H Empire) it served as the tip of the balance of power in Central Europe. The Soviets understood this very well.

But the most important thing was to pursue a social policy where you don't alienate your own people, including some of your best minds against your state. Without them, one cannot hope to achieve success in R&D or international politics.

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