Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

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pugsville
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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by pugsville » 27 Jul 2021 10:26

T. A. Gardner wrote:
27 Jul 2021 06:21
mezsat2 wrote:
26 Jul 2021 18:04
Agreed. Impossible for GB to establish airfields on Crete to bomb Ploesti in the face of the Luftwaffe in Greece, just like it was impossible
for Stalin to launch raids from the Crimea with no effective strategic air capability. Malta captured, Crete and the Crimea bypassed, possible success of Barbarossa.
Actually, the British likely could establish airfields on Crete and at least carry out a few raids on Greece, Ploesti, etc. That would force the Luftwaffe to move aircraft to Greece and elsewhere in that region to counter the British. All the British have to do really is keep the pressure on the Luftwaffe to deploy planes there and keep a war of attrition going.

Once the US enters the war, the US can move aircraft to Crete, pave the island over if necessary, and then start launching much more frequent raids on that region.

Of course, this assumes that Germany invades Greece at all in this scenario.

If Germany doesn't and Greece remains neutral, then the real issue becomes can the British transit the Bosporus with ships?
Zero chance the Turks would llet anyone transit the Bosporus. The one thing the Turks learnt form ww1 is do NOT get involved in other people's wars. It was pretty much universal belief that getting involved in any fashion would lead to disaster for Turkey.

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by ljadw » 27 Jul 2021 12:41

The Compass forces were already exhausted before they received the halt order on 9 February ,otherwise they would have been in Tripoli at the end of January 1941 .In 10 weeks they had advanced 800 km,against ( following the traditional propaganda ) a totally defeated Italian army .And they were still 1000 km away from Tripoli .
Two years later, its successor ( Eight Army ) advanced 1800 km in 10 weeks, occupying Tripoli on 11 January 1941 .
Why could the Compass forces not do what Eight Army did ?
The reasons were
1 The Italian forces were still stronger in 1941 than the Italian-German forces in 1943 .
2 The Compass forces were weaker in February 1941 than Eight Army in 1943 .
And the new trucks and tanks,etc, were at Alexandria and it was impossible to send them to Benghazi 800 km away .
If the Italians were on the run in 1941, nothing would have stopped the Compass forces in their advance to Tripoli .
And ,that Brevity and Exporter happened in June ONLY proves that these operations could not happen in February .
Last edited by ljadw on 27 Jul 2021 13:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by ljadw » 27 Jul 2021 13:11

On 10 February, Wavell told Whitehall :'' It seems possible that Tripoli might yield to a small force .''
Translation : the opinion of Wavell was that the Compass forces could not capture Tripoli .
And, Field Marshall Carver said that a small force of armoured cars could have made it to Tripoli but could not be maintained for logistical reasons .
Translation : for Carver also the Compass Forces could not capture Tripoli .
Everything depended on the Italians :
if they collapsed, only a small force could go to Tripoli, not the Compass forces .
If they did not collapse the Compass forces,nor a small force could capture Tripoli .
And,we know that they did not collapse,as a few weeks later, the Italians started their counter offensive : there were only 14500 Germans in March .
Conclusion
1 An advance to Tripoli was out of the question
2 It is questionable that Lustre was a correct decision : one can argue that it was better to maintain the Compass forces in NA .

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by ljadw » 27 Jul 2021 15:45

T. A. Gardner wrote:
27 Jul 2021 06:21
mezsat2 wrote:
26 Jul 2021 18:04
Agreed. Impossible for GB to establish airfields on Crete to bomb Ploesti in the face of the Luftwaffe in Greece, just like it was impossible
for Stalin to launch raids from the Crimea with no effective strategic air capability. Malta captured, Crete and the Crimea bypassed, possible success of Barbarossa.
Actually, the British likely could establish airfields on Crete and at least carry out a few raids on Greece, Ploesti, etc. That would force the Luftwaffe to move aircraft to Greece and elsewhere in that region to counter the British. All the British have to do really is keep the pressure on the Luftwaffe to deploy planes there and keep a war of attrition going.

Once the US enters the war, the US can move aircraft to Crete, pave the island over if necessary, and then start launching much more frequent raids on that region.

Of course, this assumes that Germany invades Greece at all in this scenario.

If Germany doesn't and Greece remains neutral, then the real issue becomes can the British transit the Bosporus with ships?
The problem is that additional airfields on Crete would demand additional ground personnel,additional aircraft and additional aircraft crew and it is questionable hat these could be available before 1943.

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by T. A. Gardner » 27 Jul 2021 18:23

pugsville wrote:
27 Jul 2021 10:26
Zero chance the Turks would llet anyone transit the Bosporus. The one thing the Turks learnt form ww1 is do NOT get involved in other people's wars. It was pretty much universal belief that getting involved in any fashion would lead to disaster for Turkey.
If the British tried sending merchant ships through coordinating with the Russians for escort on the Black Sea side, I don't think the Turks could really do much about it. Sure, they could say "No" but that runs the risk of Britain and the US cutting off military and economic aid to them. If they say "Yes," the Germans would be annoyed, but at the same time they need resources like chromium, and opening another large front on the fly would hold serious risks for them.

So, it is possible the Turks might let unarmed merchants pass through the straight, even if they barred warships.

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by T. A. Gardner » 27 Jul 2021 18:27

ljadw wrote:
27 Jul 2021 15:45
The problem is that additional airfields on Crete would demand additional ground personnel,additional aircraft and additional aircraft crew and it is questionable hat these could be available before 1943.
Since there is no N. African campaign, building on Crete would be an easy proposition. There'd be no need to defend Malta heavily, and the RN would have essentially free reign in the Med. Sure, the Germans might put a few U-boats there but that would mean violating the Vichy treaty with France in all likelihood as Vichy territory would be the only place they could dock in this scenario.

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by Kingfish » 27 Jul 2021 23:59

ljadw wrote:
27 Jul 2021 12:41
The Compass forces were already exhausted before they received the halt order on 9 February ,otherwise they would have been in Tripoli at the end of January 1941 .
Avoiding the obvious fact that 4th Indian and 6th Australian fought well into the summer of '41 does not make it go away. At some point you will have to realize your assertion simply does not hold water. A cursory read of both unit's history proves that.
In 10 weeks they had advanced 800 km,against ( following the traditional propaganda ) a totally defeated Italian army .And they were still 1000 km away from Tripoli .
Two years later, its successor ( Eight Army ) advanced 1800 km in 10 weeks, occupying Tripoli on 11 January 1941 .
Why could the Compass forces not do what Eight Army did ?
No one told 8th army to go on the defensive at El Aghelia and send half its strength to another theater.
And the new trucks and tanks,etc, were at Alexandria and it was impossible to send them to Benghazi 800 km away .
Right, because the British, in planning for a major operation involving multiple divisions advancing to Tripoli, would never have the foresight to have the new trucks and tanks pre-positioned in forward depots -or worse - actually assigned to the divisions.
And ,that Brevity and Exporter happened in June ONLY proves that these operations could not happen in February .

Strange how you seem to ignore the fighting that occurred in Greece, Crete, Sudan and Eritrea, especially when I've mentioned multiple times.
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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by pugsville » 28 Jul 2021 03:30

T. A. Gardner wrote:
27 Jul 2021 18:23


If the British tried sending merchant ships through coordinating with the Russians for escort on the Black Sea side, I don't think the Turks could really do much about it. Sure, they could say "No" but that runs the risk of Britain and the US cutting off military and economic aid to them. If they say "Yes," the Germans would be annoyed, but at the same time they need resources like chromium, and opening another large front on the fly would hold serious risks for them.

So, it is possible the Turks might let unarmed merchants pass through the straight, even if they barred warships.
No it is not. The Turks were really really stubborn and adamant of much of the same mind. They did bot sgow any signs of a\ll at being cpable of being bullied. The Germans tried in mid late 1941 when everything was going their way, the Turks yes they woudl sell chromium in return for German equipment they wanted but only after the existing British contract ran out. The Turks were extremely tough minded. And extremely adverse to taking anything approaching taking sides or actual involvement,.

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by MarkF617 » 28 Jul 2021 12:41

The way I see this topic there are 2 possibilities.
1. The Italians declare war and act as OTL but the Germans refuse to help.
2. The Germans persuade the Itallians to stay out altogether (can't see that happening but it is a what if).

1. The Italians follow the OTL invading Egypt and Greece. They are defeated in Compass but the British advancebis halted to re-supply with the historic forces being sent to Greece. The Greeks defeat the Itallian invasion as in the OTL and are re-enforced by the British and commowealth troops. East Africa also goes as OTL. This is where the Germans must make a choice. They want to stay out but want to keep Britain out of the Balkans. I cannot see any way the Germans don't intervene. They compromise and do Marita as OTL but stay out of North Africa. They will also assault Crete not Malta in this case.
In North Africa I see the British building up it's strength to the levels it had in Crusader. The Itallians will also re-enforce but will have supply issues due to Malta. In this case I see the capture of Tripoli in mid 1942. Again at this point Hitler has to decide whether to get involved to protect his Southern flank ot trust the Italians to defend their country. I think he will get involved at this point.

2. I can't see what Hitler would offer Italy to stay out. When Mussolini sees the Germans getting easy conquesrs I think he will attack Greece while there is something left to grab. At this point Britain delares war on Italy and you end up with something like scenario 1.

Just a note, if Italy stays out completely then Britain will not have use of Crete.

Thanks

Mark
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by ljadw » 28 Jul 2021 16:21

Kingfish wrote:
27 Jul 2021 23:59
ljadw wrote:
27 Jul 2021 12:41
The Compass forces were already exhausted before they received the halt order on 9 February ,otherwise they would have been in Tripoli at the end of January 1941 .
Avoiding the obvious fact that 4th Indian and 6th Australian fought well into the summer of '41 does not make it go away. At some point you will have to realize your assertion simply does not hold water. A cursory read of both unit's history proves that.
In 10 weeks they had advanced 800 km,against ( following the traditional propaganda ) a totally defeated Italian army .And they were still 1000 km away from Tripoli .
Two years later, its successor ( Eight Army ) advanced 1800 km in 10 weeks, occupying Tripoli on 11 January 1941 .
Why could the Compass forces not do what Eight Army did ?
No one told 8th army to go on the defensive at El Aghelia and send half its strength to another theater.
And the new trucks and tanks,etc, were at Alexandria and it was impossible to send them to Benghazi 800 km away .
Right, because the British, in planning for a major operation involving multiple divisions advancing to Tripoli, would never have the foresight to have the new trucks and tanks pre-positioned in forward depots -or worse - actually assigned to the divisions.
And ,that Brevity and Exporter happened in June ONLY proves that these operations could not happen in February .

Strange how you seem to ignore the fighting that occurred in Greece, Crete, Sudan and Eritrea, especially when I've mentioned multiple times.
That 4 Indian and 6 Australian fought ''well '' in the Summer of 1941, has nothing to do with what happened in February 1941 .February is not June .
The fighting in Greece,Crete, Sudan and Eritrea did not influence what happened in Cyrenaica in January and February 1941 .
The fighting in Ethiopia did not prevent the initial success of Compass , thus it can not be used as excuse for the failure of Compass in the second phase .
And this fighting continued during the first phase of Sonnenblume (which was a success ) and in the second phase ( which was a failure ) :if the fighting in East Africa was the reason for the initial Axis success, why was this Axis success resulting in a failure ?
If Sonnenblume I was a success because British forces were fighting elsewhere ( East Africa ) ,why was Sonnenblume II a failure when British forces continued to fight in East Africa ?

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by Kingfish » 29 Jul 2021 00:02

ljadw wrote:
28 Jul 2021 16:21
That 4 Indian and 6 Australian fought ''well '' in the Summer of 1941, has nothing to do with what happened in February 1941 .February is not June .
It does have something to do with your repeated claim that the Compass divisions were "exhausted".
The fighting in Greece,Crete, Sudan and Eritrea did not influence what happened in Cyrenaica in January and February 1941
.
Obviously not since Greece, Crete Sudan and Eritrea happened after February. Events generally influence future events, not the other way around.
The fighting in Ethiopia did not prevent the initial success of Compass , thus it can not be used as excuse for the failure of Compass in the second phase
.
Wow, where to start with that sentence.

First, you seem to have a problem understanding sequence of events. I'll reiterate, events influence future events, so what occurred in late January will obviously have no influence on what occurred the previous December. Time flows in only one direction.

Second, "failure of Compass"? Who suggested that? Compass achieved far more than anyone could have imagined.
If Sonnenblume I was a success because British forces were fighting elsewhere ( East Africa ) ,why was Sonnenblume II a failure when British forces continued to fight in East Africa ?
The British forces defending Cyrenaica were under strength and equipped with worn out equipment. In addition, the British high command seriously underestimated the German offensive capability. As a result the initial stages of Sonnenblume met with great success, but that wore off once the British brought up more forces and the Germans began to feel the effect of out running their supplies. Tobruk also prevented any possibility of an Axis advance into Egypt.
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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by ljadw » 29 Jul 2021 05:57

The British forces in Cyrenaica were already under strength before Winston's halt order .
For the rest, there are only two possibilities :
Compass was stopped by the Italians or
Compass was stopped by Winston .
In both cases it was a failure ,as you are saying that Compass would have resulted in the capture of Tripoli without the halt order of Churchill .
The truth is that Compass could,except for a miracle, not result in the capture of Tripoli,as it was already stopped BEFORE the halt order,at THOUSAND km from Tripoli .
It took Compass two months to advance 800 km,it would take Compass much more than two months to advance 1800 km,and meanwhile much more Italian reinforcements would have arrived and were arriving in NA .
That on 12 February there was nothing between Benghazi and Tobruk to stop the Western Desert Force,is a total invention .
Last point : the importance of the German offensive capacity is a myth : there were in March 14500 Germans ,a small minority of the Axis forces .And they had in that month 67 combat losses and 635 NC losses .
It were the Italians who captured the British generals Gambier- Parry and Vaughan in April 1941 ,something which is wisely hidden by the anti -Italian lobby in Britain and the US .

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by pugsville » 29 Jul 2021 06:26

ljadw wrote:
29 Jul 2021 05:57
The British forces in Cyrenaica were already under strength before Winston's halt order .
For the rest, there are only two possibilities :
Compass was stopped by the Italians or
Compass was stopped by Winston .
In both cases it was a failure ,as you are saying that Compass would have resulted in the capture of Tripoli without the halt order of Churchill .
The truth is that Compass could,except for a miracle, not result in the capture of Tripoli,as it was already stopped BEFORE the halt order,at THOUSAND km from Tripoli .
It took Compass two months to advance 800 km,it would take Compass much more than two months to advance 1800 km,and meanwhile much more Italian reinforcements would have arrived and were arriving in NA .
That on 12 February there was nothing between Benghazi and Tobruk to stop the Western Desert Force,is a total invention .
Last point : the importance of the German offensive capacity is a myth : there were in March 14500 Germans ,a small minority of the Axis forces .And they had in that month 67 combat losses and 635 NC losses .
It were the Italians who captured the British generals Gambier- Parry and Vaughan in April 1941 ,something which is wisely hidden by the anti -Italian lobby in Britain and the US .
Compass had wildly exceeded it initial goals. Calling it failure is pretty inaccurate.

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by ljadw » 29 Jul 2021 09:53

Those who said that Compass could result in the capture of Tripoli,must admit that this means that Compass was a failure .
The situation of the Compass forces in February 1941 was the same of the situation of the Ostheer in August 1941 :
the Compass forces had advanced 500 km and eliminated considerable Italian forces,and its generals said later that they could have advanced to Tripoli but were stopped by Churchill .
the Ostheer had advanced 700 km and eliminated considerable Soviet forces ,and its generals said later that they could have advanced to Moscow but were stopped by Hitler .
There is ZERO evidence for both claims as both forces were already stopped (by the ENEMY )before the halt orders and that shortly after Churchill's halt order the enemy pushed back the Compass forces and,as a second advance to Moscow ( Typhoon ) resulted in the same failure as the first one ( Barbarossa ) .
The truth is that both forces were stopped by the enemy : the Italians sent 50000 men to NA between December and January,the Soviets millions of soldiers .
If the Italians had collapsed, the Compass forces would be at/ beyond the gates of Tripoli before Churchill's stop order.
If the Soviets had collapsed, the Ostheer would be at the A-A line before the Winter .
In both cases,the British and German generals and media lied that they were stopped by their politicians, because they refused to admit that they were stopped by opponents they claimed ( and still claim ) to be inferior :
for the German lobby the Russians are Untermenschen .
for the British lobby the Italians are opera singers ,correctly described as such in Allo Allo.
You can say in a pub in London that the Italians were as good as the British, but you would do at your own risk .

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by Kingfish » 29 Jul 2021 09:56

ljadw wrote:
29 Jul 2021 05:57
The British forces in Cyrenaica were already under strength before Winston's halt order .
So now you finally get around to acknowledging Compass was halted by British high command rather than the Italians as you claimed. Good job.

And why the British were under strength had much to do with sending 2/3 of the Compass forces to other theaters, taking much of the transport with them. They did not leave them at Alexandria as you claim.
In both cases it was a failure ,as you are saying that Compass would have resulted in the capture of Tripoli without the halt order of Churchill
.

You missed one very important point: In a hypothetical where Op Lustre does not occur, and Compass is planned as a long range exploitation - instead of merely a spoiling attack - there is nothing the Italians could have done to prevent the British from reaching the gates of Tripoli.

You don't call an operation a failure because it fails to achieve an objective it was never intended to obtain.
The truth is that Compass could,except for a miracle, not result in the capture of Tripoli,as it was already stopped BEFORE the halt order,at THOUSAND km from Tripoli
.

The truth is Compass, as it was planned, was never intended to reach Tripoli.
It took Compass two months to advance 800 km,it would take Compass much more than two months to advance 1800 km,and meanwhile much more Italian reinforcements would have arrived and were arriving in NA .
800 km in two months for what was meant to be a spoiling attack is a resounding success by any measure. Getting a properly organized force to Tripoli, even with the Italian reinforcements taken into account, is well within the realm of possibility.
That on 12 February there was nothing between Benghazi and Tobruk to stop the Western Desert Force,is a total invention .
It certainly is a total invention so the obvious question is why did you just invent it?
Not once did I claim there was nothing between Benghazi and Tobruk.
Last point : the importance of the German offensive capacity is a myth : there were in March 14500 Germans ,a small minority of the Axis forces .And they had in that month 67 combat losses and 635 NC losses .
Citing the ratio of German to Italian forces is irrelevant and misleading. The German panzer forces in Fall Gelb and Barbarossa were also a small minority when compared to the total involved, yet no one would argue it wasn't their exploits that determined the success of those campaigns.

And I would invite you to read the official history of Sonnenblume to see who, German or Italian, was at the tip of the spear.
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