The ideal Axis strategy

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glenn239
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 16 Dec 2019 16:09

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
16 Dec 2019 02:06
I also reject the premise that Stalin and Hitler could peacefully coexist in the long run.
I reject the premise that war between Hitler and Stalin was inevitable because of Stalin's agenda. It was Hitler's attitudes, Hitler's aggression that made war inevitable. Nothing on the Soviet side of the equation dictated that the SU and Germany must go to war. Everything was solvable diplomatically in Moscow. It was in Berlin that the power elite had completely lost their minds.
Glenn239 wrote:
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?
Soviet bases in Turkey and Bulgaria would have zero impact on Romanian supply to Germany. In fact, a Soviet occupation of Rumania would be necessary by 1944 or 1945 in order to prevent the USAAF bombing Romania's oil production flat. (Allied bombers could not cross Soviet areas such as Turkey or Bulgaria to reach targets Romania, but by 1945 B-29's should be able to reach Ploesti directly from bases in Southern England?)
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.
Yugoslavia's impact on Germany's war effort was negligible. OTOH, if Yugoslavia was allied to the Soviet Union, then Allied bombers crossing its air space would be shot down by Soviet fighters.
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.
By November 1939, through to June or July 1940, the Reich was practically defenseless against the Soviets. I would not have considered Stalin's failure to exploit this potentially fatal German vulnerability as evidence of Stalin's intentions to attack Hitler.

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JAG13
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by JAG13 » 16 Dec 2019 18:05

glenn239 wrote:
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.
Yeah, but for that very reason what is very lacking is places to set up airfields, and the allies would begin with an airfield in the Narvik area that would allow them to strike at any German troops trying to build and airfield.
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.
Well, they were overly ambitious there, but if any change is made they would have used them at Sedan to secure a bridgehead there, a far more important and immediate target on which everything rested.
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.
Image
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.
True, but they did have some Canadian troops there to fight a handful of light regiments low on supplies, in addition to the allied troops that did bring their small weapons with them.

glenn239
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 16 Dec 2019 18:53

JAG13 wrote:
16 Dec 2019 18:05
Yeah, but for that very reason what is very lacking is places to set up airfields, and the allies would begin with an airfield in the Narvik area that would allow them to strike at any German troops trying to build and airfield.
The more effort that the Allies put into Narvik, the bigger their eventual defeat under pressure from the direction of Trondheim. That's why they abandoned the place after capturing it; the idea that the RN could stop coastal movements hugging the Norwegian shores from across the North Sea being infeasible.
Well, they were overly ambitious there, but if any change is made they would have used them at Sedan to secure a bridgehead there, a far more important and immediate target on which everything rested.
The German army repeated the error of WW1 in their WW2 campaign. In both cases, the center of gravity of operations was deemed to be the French while the British BEF escaped. In both cases, the strategic center of gravity was not the French, but rather, the British. So, you are correct. Given that in both wars the same mistake was made, it may well be that the paratroopers would have been blown at Sedan instead.
True, but they did have some Canadian troops there to fight a handful of light regiments low on supplies, in addition to the allied troops that did bring their small weapons with them.
Poorly trained troops with inadequate equipment are not the key to collapsing a bridgehead so much as they are the precursor to a disastrous collapse and breakout from the bridgehead. There was no substitute in 1940 for the defense of England to getting the BEF back to England!

In terms of the supply battle, I'm not so sure the RN would find it as easy to seal off a landing from supply as is commonly assumed. If the UK were 100 miles from Europe instead of 20 at the closest, I'd be considerably more optimistic at the chances.

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JAG13
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by JAG13 » 16 Dec 2019 20:48

glenn239 wrote:
16 Dec 2019 18:53
JAG13 wrote:
16 Dec 2019 18:05
Yeah, but for that very reason what is very lacking is places to set up airfields, and the allies would begin with an airfield in the Narvik area that would allow them to strike at any German troops trying to build and airfield.
The more effort that the Allies put into Narvik, the bigger their eventual defeat under pressure from the direction of Trondheim. That's why they abandoned the place after capturing it; the idea that the RN could stop coastal movements hugging the Norwegian shores from across the North Sea being infeasible.
By the time the allies took Narvik they had already lost in France, so they took the town for Churchill's PR and then the mainly French and Polish force bolted...
True, but they did have some Canadian troops there to fight a handful of light regiments low on supplies, in addition to the allied troops that did bring their small weapons with them.
Poorly trained troops with inadequate equipment are not the key to collapsing a bridgehead so much as they are the precursor to a disastrous collapse and breakout from the bridgehead.
Yeah, but all they need for the time being is being able to contain.
There was no substitute in 1940 for the defense of England to getting the BEF back to England!
True, for many reasons.
In terms of the supply battle, I'm not so sure the RN would find it as easy to seal off a landing from supply as is commonly assumed. If the UK were 100 miles from Europe instead of 20 at the closest, I'd be considerably more optimistic at the chances.
Some supplies will get in, but at a high cost and with no reinforcements, meaning they are stranded and isolated.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by thaddeus_c » 17 Dec 2019 03:24

glenn239 wrote:
14 Dec 2019 15:25
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.

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.
not sure I'm understanding the "pivot back to the west?" are you referring to economic relations or some alliance directed against the USSR?

my speculation is always that poor initial German-Soviet deal harmed extended cooperation, since Nazis dealt away their little trading bloc of Poland, Finland, and the Baltics.

they probably could have struck a deal over just Poland and Romania?

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 17 Dec 2019 04:02

@JAG13

Churchill's position on peace, in the event the BEF surrenders, seemed dependent on what Germany wanted. What would Hitler have demanded at that point?

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by pugsville » 17 Dec 2019 04:39

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
17 Dec 2019 04:02
@JAG13

Churchill's position on peace, in the event the BEF surrenders, seemed dependent on what Germany wanted. What would Hitler have demanded at that point?
It wasn;t.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 17 Dec 2019 05:56

pugsville wrote:
17 Dec 2019 04:39
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
17 Dec 2019 04:02
@JAG13

Churchill's position on peace, in the event the BEF surrenders, seemed dependent on what Germany wanted. What would Hitler have demanded at that point?
It wasn;t.
Per the reports of attendees at the War Cabinet meeting, Churchill expressed willingness to make peace for X,Y,Z. Either you doubt the accounts or you didn't read the excerpted text.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by pugsville » 17 Dec 2019 06:36

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
17 Dec 2019 05:56
pugsville wrote:
17 Dec 2019 04:39
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
17 Dec 2019 04:02
@JAG13

Churchill's position on peace, in the event the BEF surrenders, seemed dependent on what Germany wanted. What would Hitler have demanded at that point?
It wasn;t.
Per the reports of attendees at the War Cabinet meeting, Churchill expressed willingness to make peace for X,Y,Z. Either you doubt the accounts or you didn't read the excerpted text.
What is the actual source?. Wish people would quite things properly.

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JAG13
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by JAG13 » 17 Dec 2019 19:45

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
17 Dec 2019 04:02
@JAG13

Churchill's position on peace, in the event the BEF surrenders, seemed dependent on what Germany wanted. What would Hitler have demanded at that point?
No idea, I havent been able to find anything on it, but since Hitler wanted to work with the UK and secure its rear before turning on the SU, I would expect very generous conditions to prevent the UK from jumping back in once Barbarossa started. He remembered Napoleon...

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 17 Dec 2019 22:26

thaddeus_c wrote:
17 Dec 2019 03:24
not sure I'm understanding the "pivot back to the west?" are you referring to economic relations or some alliance directed against the USSR?
In 1940 Germany had to reach a deal with the Soviet Union in order to balance the Anglo-Americans. Assuming the failure of Sealion, only intact Soviet military power in alliance with Germany stood any chance of counterbalancing the United States or forcing the British to make peace. (This is the actual context of an Axis Med strategy). But, in the long term, there is also no doubt but that Germany needed to veer back towards normalized relations with the United States - impossible while Hitler lived. At no point would war with the Soviet Union ever serve Germany's interests, just like at no point would war with the US be a good idea. The most available western power to reach out to in June 1940 was France. So, for 1940 Germany's best diplomatic prospects were the Soviet Union and France. Japan - its actual ally - its harder to see the value in on account of its hostility to the Soviet Union and weakness WRT to USA.

Once the Soviet Union had embarked down this course into the Axis camp, its Cold War with the United States was inevitable, (indeed, the SU would be in a much stronger position than historical). Germany - assuming Hitler was dead so that relations with the US could improve - could then pivot back towards neutrality, equidistant between both camps. Hitler was temperamentally unsuited for the subtle balancing act that needed to follow. Instead, he went on a genocidal orgy of destruction that by destroying any chance of an alliance with the Soviet Union, destroyed the one thing that even the Americans must have feared. It was literally the worst possible thing Germany could do for its own interests and that of Europe - hence the Peter principle, Hitler had risen to the level of his incompetence with the fall of France; every strategic decision he made after that was wrong.
my speculation is always that poor initial German-Soviet deal harmed extended cooperation, since Nazis dealt away their little trading bloc of Poland, Finland, and the Baltics.
Interesting. My take is kind of the same thing without having realised anything about the trading bloc you outline - that Hitler's decision to attack Poland in 1939 was rash.
they probably could have struck a deal over just Poland and Romania?
Possibly. Hitler was in a rush though, with his arbitrary deadline of 1 September.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 17 Dec 2019 23:02

glenn239 wrote:
17 Dec 2019 22:26
hence the Peter principle, Hitler had risen to the level of his incompetence with the fall of France; every strategic decision he made after that was wrong.
The problem is that it wasn't just Hitler. All of Germany's senior leadership believed they were a world power after the Fall of France. Unless Konrad Adenauer pulls a move from the Man in the High Castle and kills them all, Germany is going to embark on a self-destructive path of conquest no matter which wannabe warlord is in charge.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by thaddeus_c » 18 Dec 2019 01:50

glenn239 wrote:
17 Dec 2019 22:26
thaddeus_c wrote:
17 Dec 2019 03:24
not sure I'm understanding the "pivot back to the west?" are you referring to economic relations or some alliance directed against the USSR?
In 1940 Germany had to reach a deal with the Soviet Union in order to balance the Anglo-Americans. Assuming the failure of Sealion, only intact Soviet military power in alliance with Germany stood any chance of counterbalancing the United States or forcing the British to make peace. (This is the actual context of an Axis Med strategy). But, in the long term, there is also no doubt but that Germany needed to veer back towards normalized relations with the United States - impossible while Hitler lived. At no point would war with the Soviet Union ever serve Germany's interests, just like at no point would war with the US be a good idea. The most available western power to reach out to in June 1940 was France. So, for 1940 Germany's best diplomatic prospects were the Soviet Union and France. Japan - its actual ally - its harder to see the value in on account of its hostility to the Soviet Union and weakness WRT to USA.

Once the Soviet Union had embarked down this course into the Axis camp, its Cold War with the United States was inevitable, (indeed, the SU would be in a much stronger position than historical). Germany could then pivot back towards neutrality, equidistant between both camps.
my speculation is always that poor initial German-Soviet deal harmed extended cooperation, since Nazis dealt away their little trading bloc of Poland, Finland, and the Baltics.
Interesting. My take is kind of the same thing without having realised anything about the trading bloc you outline - that Hitler's decision to attack Poland in 1939 was rash.
they probably could have struck a deal over just Poland and Romania?
Possibly. Hitler was in a rush though, with his arbitrary deadline of 1 September.
thanks, that is hard for most to accept that cold reality could have governed Germany's course.

two immediate items (just my view) spoiled their cooperation, the initial deal and their oil situation.

mentioned their unofficial trading bloc, there is a good graph on Wiki that shows the growth of trade with the nations around the Baltic https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi%E2%8 ... _relations

the oil situation could have been solved somewhat by finishing some of the synthetic program earlier, as it was they had the worst of both worlds, they expended the resources but only by 1943, just in time to be bombed!

continued dealings with the USSR would have allowed for trade with Iran, as well as time to develop the oilfields in Austria.

do not know about a deal over Poland and Romania, it makes sense to me as the two were in defensive pact and Polish troops could be expected to retreat thru Romania?

what was the line drawn over Bulgaria for? under this scenario if the Soviets spill out into the Med so much the better?

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by ljadw » 18 Dec 2019 14:36

I like to see the proofs that Germany could have finished some of the synthetic program earlier.
The Germans expended these resources already before 1943
Synthetic oil production :
1940 :3,1 million ton
1941: 3,9 million ton
1942 :4,6 million ton
1943 : 5,6 million ton .
And it is not so that a bigger synthetic oil production would help Germany, as oil produced in the synthetic oil plants is NOT oil at the frontline in the SU or elsewhere .
The biggest problem was not the production,but the transport .
It was only after May 1944 that the air attacks on the oil plants and on the railways had serious results ( which are still exaggerated ) for the WM.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by ljadw » 18 Dec 2019 14:39

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
17 Dec 2019 23:02
glenn239 wrote:
17 Dec 2019 22:26
hence the Peter principle, Hitler had risen to the level of his incompetence with the fall of France; every strategic decision he made after that was wrong.
The problem is that it wasn't just Hitler. All of Germany's senior leadership believed they were a world power after the Fall of France. Unless Konrad Adenauer pulls a move from the Man in the High Castle and kills them all, Germany is going to embark on a self-destructive path of conquest no matter which wannabe warlord is in charge.
Hitler's strategic decisions after the fall of France were not wrong: they were dictated by the military situation ,reality was that in the late Summer of 1940 Germany's situation was hopeless ,desperate .

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