Okays, I think we'll never reach an agreement that Turkey had to be occupied, especially in conjunction with the SU. I simply do not see clearly why do you think that Germany / Axis actually had the power to do that. They couldn't even accomplish to finish off the BE, they couldn't accomplish to finish off the SU - but now they can do both AND Turkey? How?TheMarcksPlan wrote: ↑07 Sep 2020 09:50While the German move against Turkey means war, maybe not in '41. Stalin might have been better-served merely renounce the M-R Pact, accelerate ongoing mobilization, and extract from Britain/US the technological help formerly given by Germany. Then invade in '42 or maybe wait a bit longer, let the W.Allies bleed in the Mideast. Either way it's a fiasco for Germany and the ATL outcome might be Soviet victory on the relative cheap, plus the long-sought concessions in Turkey.
The W.Allies can't do both Overlord and a big Anatolian campaign so either Greece/Turkey fall to SU or Western Europe. W.Allies choose to save the West of course but SU gets more of Germany than OTL. Maybe most of Germany becomes Communist post-war, SU is much stronger, as are the Eastern European members of Warsaw Pact. Greece and Turkey are communist, the Mid-East aligns with SU markedly (the Baathist parts - everything north of Arabia). That'd be a big swerve of history.
As you pointed out correctly, the Barbarossa was ill-conceived, but even if the Germans prepare for a 2 years campaign, even if they are able to beat the Soviets (whom - as you pointed out correctly again - were preparing for war at a terrifying pace), and knock them out of the war we are already in the year of 1943, they've lost the war economically.
Also, "the attack of Europe by the Soviets" is highly unlikely before the Germans had to finish off the BE (+keep the US out of the war).
However, to finish off the BE before the US entry into the war or before the hypothetical Soviet attack was possible, especially with the correct strategy (including cooperating with Japan and Italy).
Robert Lyman: Iraq 1941: The battles for Basra, Habbaniya, Fallujah and Baghdad, p. 90.In a matter of 30 days, the British had, under threat of attack by Iraqi
forces at RAF Habbaniya, initiated and won a war that was nevertheless
forced on them by a nationalist political clique determined to remove
British influence from Iraq and to replace it with that of Germany, at
a time when Iraq was critical to Great Britain's survival. That Britain
needed to fight to preserve its rights in Iraq was understood clearly by
the Prime Minister who saw that to lose control of Iraq would not just
deny Britain her precious oil, but allow Germany to dominate the whole of
the Middle East, Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, threaten Palestine and
Egypt from the east, cut off the aerial line of communication to India
and menace India itself. The loss of Iraq would have made the retention
of the Suez Canal impossible, especially if Rommel had managed to force
his way in from the west.
These threats, at a time when Germany had yet to commit itself to Barbarossa,
were very real at the the time and justified all the pressure Churchill
and the Chiefs of Staff, who unanimously supported the Prime Minister,
brought to bear on a reluctant Wavell. Churchill's instinct, mirroring
that of both Linlighgow and Auchinleck in India, that a deicisive blow
against Iraq was necessary despite the paucity of resources available
to Wavell for the task, was undoubtedly the correct one.
But as the OTL timeline shows, the Germans could have landed their troops embarked for the Battle of Crete (7th Fliegerdivision, 5th Mountain Division) + at least the crack 22nd Air Landing Division in Iraq, as they were able to fly in their Luftwaffe units with virtually no losses, and operate them on local fuel (although the quality of that fuel was substandard). They could have done it on a much bigger scale and repel the hodgepodge units that the British could throw at them (and train & equip the Iraqi forces as they tried to do in OTL).
Also, if the Japanese attack the colonial empires and leave the US be in a formally neutral state, the push to the Indian Ocean, Burma and India - not to mention the isolation of Australia - in 1942 could have resulted the collapse of the BE.
But back to the original topic, my point here is that the invasion of Turkey was unnecessary for the Axis - either for defeating the BE or the SU. The Barbarossa didn't fail because there wasn't a Caucasus front, and the actions against the BE didn't fail because the Axis didn't invade Turkey.
The Germans could have very easily establish a brigehead in the ME, they just didn't care, because they wanted to invade the SU.
Under the same protocols the Germans were granted to use the ports of the Vichy France as well - the highpoint of the German-Vichy relations, but it also meant that the Axis does not need Turkey to deploy troops in the ME.On 6 May, in accordance with the Paris Protocols, Germany concluded a deal with the Vichy French government to
release war materials, including aircraft, from sealed stockpiles in Syria and transport them to the Iraqis. The French
also agreed to allow passage of other weapons and material as well as loaning several airbases in northern Syria, to
Germany, for the transport of German aircraft to Iraq. Between 9 May and the end of the month, about
one-hundred German and about twenty Italian aircraft landed on Syrian airfields.
Also, the Reza Shah government, that was pro-German, could have invited German troops in order to prevent the Operation Countenance (which was to be conducted by the British forces anyway, even without Soviet help), thus bypassing the Turks once more, and providing an excellent springboard against an invasion of the Soviet oilfields, if deemed necessary for a 1942 campaign against the SU, or mutual exposure (the Soviets did the same with the Romanian oil fields).
For all I know, it was much more sensible to attack Portugal and / or Spain than Turkey.