The ideal Axis strategy

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HistoryGeek2019
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 12 Dec 2019 03:56

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Dec 2019 03:34

Forgive me for not reading through the entire thread...
Can you point me to your posts explaining how and when Germany conquers the British Isles?
I didn't get into too much detail, other than a little back and forth with Richard about the feasibility of magnetic mines to screen off the Royal Navy. When I wrote this I had recently read Robert Forczyk's We March Against England, which paints a very optimistic appraisal of Germany's chances of a cross-channel invasion in the OTL, but since then the more I've read indicates that this is a bit pie-in-the-sky. Britain knew about magnetic mines even without capturing the ones Germany dropped on land, so obviously that alone won't ensure a successful invasion. So then it comes down to whether Germany can build enough small escort vessels and anti-shipping bombers to beat the Royal Navy straight up in the Channel. The more I think about it, the more it seems far-fetched. Germany was never anywhere close to Britain in naval strength, and even if Germany had started planning this in 1919, I doubt they could have built up a large enough force without the British knowing.

So maybe your Russia strategy is the ideal one. Have you considered an earlier date for Barbarossa, like August or September 1940? Or Germany invades Poland in May 1939, France in September 1939, and the Soviet Union in May 1940? It seems time is the critical factor in any invasion of the Soviet Union. Germany needs to get the job done before the USA starts attacking in the Mediterranean and the West.

TheMarcksPlan
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Dec 2019 04:14

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:When I wrote this I had recently read Robert Forczyk's We March Against England, which paints a very optimistic appraisal of Germany's chances of a cross-channel invasion in the OTL, but since then the more I've read indicates that this is a bit pie-in-the-sky.
Just read that too! (Well, listened on audiobook). I agree it's pie-in-the-sky but it pointed me to a lot of other great lines of inquiry. The book is actually like a good "what if" thread disguised not to be so (due to the ridiculous and intellectually incoherent prejudice against alternate history within academic history departments. No other field views counterfactuals as anything other than one of the most important analytical tools available; luckily this is beginning to change in other areas of history due to cross-disciplinary scholarship).
Have you considered an earlier date for Barbarossa, like August or September 1940? Or Germany invades Poland in May 1939, France in September 1939, and the Soviet Union in May 1940? It seems time is the critical factor in any invasion of the Soviet Union. Germany needs to get the job done before the USA starts attacking in the Mediterranean and the West.
Time is indeed critical.
My currently-gestating ATL covers the whole war and moves Barbarossa up to May 1941, ending with the Wehrmacht in London, Dublin, and Glasgow. If I really stretched I could maybe see the outlines of 1940 Barbarossa ATL but it's a real stretch. IMO Germany was close enough to a truly terrifying victory that more stretching is unnecessary - it already literally makes me a bit nauseous to contemplate the end of my ATL. Would be interested to read someone else give 1940 a try though.

ljadw
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by ljadw » 13 Dec 2019 12:34

If the WM was in London,Dublin and Glasgow, there would be no Barbarossa,because Barbarossa would be impossible and because Barbarossa would not be needed .
Besides,Barbarossa was impossible before June 22 .

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 13 Dec 2019 14:54

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Dec 2019 01:44
Meanwhile a giant storm would be gathering in the East; you're gambling everything on the idea that Stalin could be bought.
Fixed it for you.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 13 Dec 2019 15:04

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
12 Dec 2019 03:34
The biggest flaw I see in my strategy is that it requires Germany to build a Channel crossing force without the British knowing and building a counter-force. Where would Germany build and hide all these troop transports and escorts? Secrecy would be everything, since Britain was a superior naval power and could counter any naval force they were aware of.
Germany could probably have designed and built hundreds of Siebel ferries for the 1940 campaign without the British noticing or much caring. In terms of an invasion, the best moment was probably around Dunkirk for the initial attack. Rather than knock the French out, cross the Channel. No need for secret armadas, just the following -

1. Build and deploy a few hundred Siebel ferries by 1940.
2. A less aggressive, (ie, risky) invasion of Norway. Forget Narvik, it will fall later.
3. Keep the paratroopers in reserve in the Battle of France. Do not commit them to attacking The Netherlands.
4. Do not squander the surprise of magnetic mines in 1939. Keep them husbanded in reserve for the invasion of Britain.

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JAG13
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by JAG13 » 14 Dec 2019 00:44

glenn239 wrote:
13 Dec 2019 15:04
2. A less aggressive, (ie, risky) invasion of Norway. Forget Narvik, it will fall later.
3. Keep the paratroopers in reserve in the Battle of France. Do not commit them to attacking The Netherlands.
Cant make it to Narvik overland, that means the Brits block iron ore deliveries over the winter and might even force Sweden to reduce or stop deliveries.

The Netherlands plan was to play turtle behind rivers and flooding, the paras were needed to secure the bridges at the very least.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 14 Dec 2019 03:52

glenn239 wrote:
13 Dec 2019 14:54
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Dec 2019 01:44
Meanwhile a giant storm would be gathering in the East; you're gambling everything on the idea that Stalin could be bought.
Fixed it for you.
Well like I said in another thread, you're asking Hitler to play Chamerlain to Stalin's Hitler. Aside from our disagreement over whether appeasing Stalin would have worked there's a possibly serious issue regarding support for the regime internally. The Reichstag garden was littered with Nazi paraphernalia discarded there by former supporters upon announcement of the Pact; if Hitler betrays the "Race allies" like the Finns to Bolshevism and looks like Stalin's little b<#&÷% in surrendering the Balkans then there could be real internal opposition. And whether the foregoing is true or not, Hitler would have feared it to be true.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 14 Dec 2019 15:00

JAG13 wrote:
14 Dec 2019 00:44
Cant make it to Narvik overland, that means the Brits block iron ore deliveries over the winter and might even force Sweden to reduce or stop deliveries.
Don't need to go overland. Take Trondheim and then advance up the coast by sea to Bodo under land based air cover, then from Bodo to Narvik under land based air cover from Bodo.
The Netherlands plan was to play turtle behind rivers and flooding, the paras were needed to secure the bridges at the very least.
With 20/20 hindsight, the strategic moment was when the BEF was pocketed at Dunkirk. That was the moment to commit the paratroopers. But, they'd been blown on a secondary front securing secondary objectives.
Last edited by glenn239 on 14 Dec 2019 15:26, edited 1 time in total.

glenn239
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 14 Dec 2019 15:25

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Dec 2019 03:52
Well like I said in another thread, you're asking Hitler to play Chamerlain to Stalin's Hitler. Aside from our disagreement over whether appeasing Stalin would have worked there's a possibly serious issue regarding support for the regime internally.
As before, I find it not feasible to argue that the chances for Barbarossa were better than the chances for diplomacy. Germany had a less than 10% chance of neutralizing the Soviet Union militarily. Germany had a greater than 50% chance of neutralizing the Soviet Union diplomatically. There is no merit to the case that a 10% chance was better than a 50% chance. That's all there is to it.
The Reichstag garden was littered with Nazi paraphernalia discarded there by former supporters upon announcement of the Pact; if Hitler betrays the "Race allies" like the Finns to Bolshevism and looks like Stalin's little b<#&÷% in surrendering the Balkans then there could be real internal opposition. And whether the foregoing is true or not, Hitler would have feared it to be true.
You're seeking reasons to say why Germany could not do what Germany obviously could have done. The fact of the matter was that Stalin had carefully picked immediate objectives, (Finland, Bulgaria, Turkey) that did not impact Germany's vital interests. He did not make demands in the direction of things that would threaten Germany's vital interests. For example, Stalin did not demand Germany remove itself from its half of Poland. Hitler did not care. Hitler was violent racist sociopath that had convinced himself that one good kick would collapse the Soviet Union. But, even Hitler himself admitted on occasion later that had he known how strong the Soviets were, he'd have thought twice about attacking.

Germany's correct strategy in 1940 was to align itself with the Soviet Cold War strategy in order to leverage the British to make peace before they lost India and the rest of their empire to communism. Then, Germany had to pivot back to the west and reach out to Britain and France. That is the overarching strategic context of an Axis med strategy in 1940/41. The political conditions created by the fall of France meant that Germany needed a statesmen, a Bismarck. Hitler was no Bismarck. Hitler had achieved the Peter principle in June 1940 with the fall of France; he had risen to the level of his incompetence. Whereas prior to the fall of France, Hitler's tactics and instincts were successful, after the fall of France they were a formula for certain defeat. This is the core of Napoleon's failure as well; the type of individual that can battering ram a military victory is not the individual to finesse the delicate political threads created by their military victory.

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JAG13
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by JAG13 » 14 Dec 2019 16:10

glenn239 wrote:
14 Dec 2019 15:00
JAG13 wrote:
14 Dec 2019 00:44
Cant make it to Narvik overland, that means the Brits block iron ore deliveries over the winter and might even force Sweden to reduce or stop deliveries.
Don't need to go overland. Take Trondheim and then advance up the coast by sea to Bodo under land based air cover, then from Bodo to Narvik under land based air cover from Bodo.
Not really, the Germans tried to send troops overland, it was a small number over mountain country... it was hopeless, you cant mount an attack over such terrain.

There is more than 600Km between Trondheim and Narvik, straight line, with no roads, just endless mountains and snow.
The Netherlands plan was to play turtle behind rivers and flooding, the paras were needed to secure the bridges at the very least.
With 20/20 hindsight, the strategic moment was when the BEF was pocketed at Dunkirk. That was the moment to commit the paratroopers. But, they'd been blown on a secondary front securing secondary objectives.
All you need actually is to keep the 9th Panzer on Army Group B and rush it through once the Belgians collapse to take Dunkirk, done.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 14 Dec 2019 17:46

JAG13 wrote:
14 Dec 2019 16:10
There is more than 600Km between Trondheim and Narvik, straight line, with no roads, just endless mountains and snow.
Take Trondheim and set up land based air power there. Then move along the coast by sea up to Bodo under the cover of airpower from Trondheim. Then, move from Bodo to Narvik by sea under the cover of land based airpower at Bodo.
All you need actually is to keep the 9th Panzer on Army Group B and rush it through once the Belgians collapse to take Dunkirk, done.
Try to take Dover, Folkstone and Ramsgate by airborne assault during Dunkirk with a panzer division?

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by JAG13 » 14 Dec 2019 19:17

glenn239 wrote:
14 Dec 2019 17:46
JAG13 wrote:
14 Dec 2019 16:10
There is more than 600Km between Trondheim and Narvik, straight line, with no roads, just endless mountains and snow.
Take Trondheim and set up land based air power there. Then move along the coast by sea up to Bodo under the cover of airpower from Trondheim. Then, move from Bodo to Narvik by sea under the cover of land based airpower at Bodo.
Bodo is 450Km, air line, from Trondheim, out of Stuka range and anything else is useless against ships due to lack of TBs. All supplies would have to go through ship and vulnerable to interdiction, it is simply unfeasible, specially with the allies already settled in and developing Narvik as a base.
All you need actually is to keep the 9th Panzer on Army Group B and rush it through once the Belgians collapse to take Dunkirk, done.
Try to take Dover, Folkstone and Ramsgate by airborne assault during Dunkirk with a panzer division?
What?

Bag the BEF, Churchill was by then declaring he would be happy to hand over Gibraltar, Malta and the old German colonies in exchange for peace...

Gaining a foothold in the islands is nice, supplying the troops there is another matter and you need ships for that, a bit of an issue.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 16 Dec 2019 02:06

glenn239 wrote:As before, I find it not feasible to argue that the chances for Barbarossa were better than the chances for diplomacy. Germany had a less than 10% chance of neutralizing the Soviet Union militarily...There is no merit to the case that a 10% chance was better than a 50% chance. That's all there is to it.
Fine, Barbarossa's futility is certainly the majority opinion. I'm just saying there's no point to trying to convince me of stuff that follows from Barbarossa's futility if I reject that premise. (I also reject the premise that Stalin and Hitler could peacefully coexist in the long run).
Glenn239 wrote:The fact of the matter was that Stalin had carefully picked immediate objectives, (Finland, Bulgaria, Turkey) that did not impact Germany's vital interests
How does surrounding Romania on three sides and demanding the withdrawal of German troops there not impact vital interests? Is oil optional in modern war?

Stalin's demand for free movement on the Danube was aimed at strengthening Yugoslavia against Germany as well, a country you're ignoring despite my mentioning it a couple times now.

And despite your italicizing of obviously etc., it doesn't change the fact that Stalin delivered a proposal to wage war on Hitler with England, France, and Poland in 1939. Somebody scrupulously careful not threaten Germany would not have done so.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by ljadw » 16 Dec 2019 08:37

The oil of Romania was not essential for Germany in 1940/1941 .The main oil source for Germany was Germany itself .And Stalin could easily have occupied the Romanian oil fields in May/June 1940 .
And Stalin did NOT propose to wage war on Hitler in 1939 .Because in 1939 Hitler was not a danger for Stalin .

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 16 Dec 2019 15:47

JAG13 wrote:
14 Dec 2019 19:17
Bodo is 450Km, air line, from Trondheim, out of Stuka range and anything else is useless against ships due to lack of TBs. All supplies would have to go through ship and vulnerable to interdiction, it is simply unfeasible, specially with the allies already settled in and developing Narvik as a base.
The Allied didn't stand a chance of holding Narvik once Trondheim was secured, IMO. The RN could not prevent the KM from crawling up the coast, establishing air bases and fortified anchorages as it went. Look at a map of the Norwegian coast. There are ample bays, coves, fiords, inlets, suitable for coastal artillery and minefields. There must be numerous places between Trondheim and Narvik suitable for Stuka satellite fields.
What?
If the German paratrooper forces had not been blown in Netherlands, what exactly is defending the BEF's port SLOC on the English side on May 25th, 1940? The BEF is in Belgium.
Bag the BEF, Churchill was by then declaring he would be happy to hand over Gibraltar, Malta and the old German colonies in exchange for peace...
IMO, there's not a chance Churchill makes peace if the BEF is forced to surrender in Belgium. He will continue on as before - hope to hold in England, try to bring the Americans in to regain the initiative.
Gaining a foothold in the islands is nice, supplying the troops there is another matter and you need ships for that, a bit of an issue.
Indeed, but to counterattack a bridgehead you need large numbers of well trained troops, heavy armor, and heavy artillery, and if you just lost most of it in Belgium, also a bit of an issue.

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