Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

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MarkF617
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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by MarkF617 » 29 Jul 2021 10:15

I don't understand why Compass would be planned as a full scale offensive and no troops sent to Greece. The way I see this scenario is that the point of departure is no German support sent to help the Italians. In this case Compass, and any withdrawal of troops to other fronts would be as OTL. The changes to History would happen after this as there would be no German help sent to Libya.

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Mark.
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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by thaddeus_c » 29 Jul 2021 12:23

MarkF617 wrote:
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.
my understanding Hitler suggested a "lightning strike" on Crete by Italy? (cannot find that quote) IDK if that was for Crete exclusively and not an invasion of the mainland or not? (or the timeframe either, if it was after their initial stumble into Greece?)

agree with your assessment, there is no way Germany does not become involved in Greece, then the question becomes how much does North Africa save them?

my vote would be not enough for Barbarossa to succeed but maybe enough for major changes in 1942? based on where could the Allies make landings to demonstrate to the Soviets they were in the fight?

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by MarkF617 » 29 Jul 2021 13:09

The handful of Germans available for Barbarossa if not sent to Africa is a drop in the ocean compared to the 3 million already commited. They will make no difference.

This is the big question. With no Americans in North Africa could the British persuade them to attack Sicily and Italy or would they demand Roundup in 1943?

Thanks

Mark.
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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by ljadw » 29 Jul 2021 13:40

Kingfish wrote:
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.
1 The Compass forces were already weak before Winston intervened AND were already stopped by the Italians and this had NOTHING to do wit the decision to transfer the majority of the forces of the WDF to other theaters of war, but by the advance of 500 km and by the Italian resistance .It is a well-known fact that a force that is advancing is becoming weakened : see Dunkirk, Bagration, Patton in September 1944, Barbarossa .
2 In a ATL without Lustre,and Compass '' planned '' ( haha: plans do not decide operations ) as a long range exploitation, there was nothing that Britain could have done to reach Tripoli, as the Italians were able to reinforce their army faster than Britain could do : after an advance of 800 km the WDF was only the shadow of the forces that attacked in December, while the Italians were stronger .
3 The only way to go in February to Tripoli was if the Italians had collapsed ,and they did not : a few months later,they were at the gates of Tobruk .
4 The British/US ''historians '' said implicitly that there was nothing that could prevent Britain to capture Tripoli in January 1941,with as hidden reason the refusal to admit that British forces could have been defeated by the Italians ,because this would hurt the prestige of HM forces and would destroy the myth of the invincible Rommel .
5 The German panzer units did not decide the success of Fall Gelb/Barbarossa : panzers were only motorized and armoured cavalry that exploited the successes, do not believe the blah blah of Guderian ,who always blamed the infantry of von Kluge .
The first Germans arrived on 14 February,they were 7,232 on 25 February and 3345 on 1 April .
On 13 April 5th Panzer regiment had only 37 tanks left,normally it should have 161 tanks.
And the ''invincible '' tanks failed 3 times to take Tobruk :
10/11 April, 14/18 April,30/April / 3 May .
They failed also before Warsaw and Dunkirk .
Source : Battistelli : Rommel's Afrika Korps .
6 Who writes the official history ?
Answer : biased people who claim the victories for themselves and attribute the defeats to the dead ones .
Look at the official history of the Marne : it was all the fault of Moltke ( who died in 1916 ,thus the ideal scapegoat, as would be later the dead Hitler and the dead Stalin . )
Manstein's Lost Victories is also official history .

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by Kingfish » 29 Jul 2021 23:04

MarkF617 wrote:
29 Jul 2021 10:15
I don't understand why Compass would be planned as a full scale offensive and no troops sent to Greece.
This was in response to Ijadw's claim that the Italians stopped Compass, and that back and forth took on a life of it's own. It was not meant as a POD for the entire thread.
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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by ljadw » 30 Jul 2021 05:50

MarkF617 wrote:
29 Jul 2021 13:09
The handful of Germans available for Barbarossa if not sent to Africa is a drop in the ocean compared to the 3 million already commited. They will make no difference.

This is the big question. With no Americans in North Africa could the British persuade them to attack Sicily and Italy or would they demand Roundup in 1943?

Thanks

Mark.
Roundup in 1943 was not possible as the US neither the UK were ready .The Torch forces were not sufficient for Roundup .

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by MarkF617 » 30 Jul 2021 08:55

I agree but the US Chiefs of Staff were determined to do it. There would be more buildup than torch but I agree not enough. I think it would come down to how desperate Roosevelt was to get involved in 1942. He wanted American troops in action against the European Axis before years end which was why he approved torch. Maybe Churchill could persuade him to help with an invasion of Sicily? If Sicily is invaded I could see the Germans moving troops to Italy to keep the Allies as far away as possible.

Thanks

Mark.
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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by Kingfish » 30 Jul 2021 23:41

ljadw wrote:
29 Jul 2021 13:40
1 The Compass forces were already weak before Winston intervened AND were already stopped by the Italians and this had NOTHING to do wit the decision to transfer the majority of the forces of the WDF to other theaters of war
Stopped in what way? Do you mean like they did at Sidi Barrani, Tobruk and Beda Fomm?
It is a well-known fact that a force that is advancing is becoming weakened


What about an advance that not only retains the original OOB but is also provided fresh forces to maintain the momentum and keep the enemy off balance?
Care to opine on what effect that might have on an operation?
( haha: plans do not decide operations )
Right, this explains why Overlord was such a resounding success - it was literally thrown together on the fly.
after an advance of 800 km the WDF was only the shadow of the forces that attacked in December,
Hmm, I wonder what effect sending most of original force to other theaters had on that.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned it thus far.
The only way to go in February to Tripoli was if the Italians had collapsed
Or defeated in battle in the same manner as the previous Italians. You seem to be basing your argument on the belief that the second batch of Italians were better fighters than the first. On what evidence you base that argument, who knows?
a few months later,they were at the gates of Tobruk .
Thanks in large part to the contribution of a European nation known for it's beer and sense of humor.
The German panzer units did not decide the success of Fall Gelb/Barbarossa : panzers were only motorized and armoured cavalry that exploited the successes, do not believe the blah blah of Guderian ,who always blamed the infantry of von Kluge .
Of course, it was the marching infantry that surrounded hundred of thousands of Dutch, Belgian, French, British and Russian troops. This explains why decades after the end of WW2 the modern armies have gotten rid of all their tanks and instead went with foot soldiers.
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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by ljadw » 31 Jul 2021 05:22

Kingfish wrote:
30 Jul 2021 23:41


Of course, it was the marching infantry that surrounded hundred of thousands of Dutch, Belgian, French, British and Russian troops. This explains why decades after the end of WW2 the modern armies have gotten rid of all their tanks and instead went with foot soldiers.
Tanks can not surround infantry, besides this is not their mission : hundred of thousands of Russians escaped from the encirclments by German tanks, because German infantry was absent . The same for the Germans during Bagration .
The WDF advanced 800 km in 2 months = 13 km per day .
Tanks advanced at the speed of the infantry, because they need the protection of the infantry and the artillery, something that Guderian refused to admit .He preferred to blame the infantry .Tanks that advance without artillery and infantry are doomed .It is very easy to stop/to eliminate a tank .
And, the infantry who protected the German tanks was Italian .And the Italians had more tanks than the Germans .
DAK on 13 April 1941 : 19000 men and 119 tanks ( not all operational ).
Italian front strength in June 1941 ( including logistical support ) : 98000 men with 280 tanks ( not all operational )
DAK at the start of Crusader ( combat strength )
15 PzD : 7500 men
21 PzD : 7000 men
It is obvious (except for the fanatical supporters of the DAK ) that the Germans needed the support of the Italians .

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by ljadw » 31 Jul 2021 05:42

Kingfish wrote:
30 Jul 2021 23:41



Or defeated in battle in the same manner as the previous Italians. You seem to be basing your argument on the belief that the second batch of Italians were better fighters than the first. On what evidence you base that argument, who knows?

2 British generals were taken POW by the Italian Ariete division,which was highly praised by .....Rommel,who normally despised the Italians .
In March the Axis forces ( overwhelmingly Italian ) started an offensive that in two months brought them back to the border with Egypt .

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by Kingfish » 31 Jul 2021 10:22

ljadw wrote:
31 Jul 2021 05:22
Tanks can not surround infantry, besides this is not their mission :
Yet history has proven you wrong. Tanks (along with their supporting mechanized infantry) did in fact surround infantry, and artillery, and HQs, and everything else behind the front lines. That is how the Germans bagged entire armies during the early years of WW2.

Why am I pointing out the most blindingly obvious fact of mechanized warfare to you?
hundred of thousands of Russians escaped from the encirclments by German tanks, because German infantry was absent . The same for the Germans during Bagration .
The simple fact that the Russians had to escape encirclement - i.e, abandon their defensive positions and fall back without a shot being fired, means that the panzer forces accomplished their mission, because that is their mission. Breakthrough into the enemy rear, disrupt LOCs and threaten encirclement. Again, I am pointing out the obvious.
The WDF advanced 800 km in 2 months = 13 km per day .
Irrelevant and misleading. It wasn't a continuous slog at a walking pace across the desert. You had days of rapid advances punctuated by days of little to no movement. Case in point: After crossing the Egyptian/Cyrenacian border the 7th armored had to wait for the 6th Australian to arrive and attack Bardia.
Tanks advanced at the speed of the infantry, because they need the protection of the infantry and the artillery,
Don't get hung up on the word "tank" because no one is arguing that tanks could operate alone. This is a strawman argument.
And, the infantry who protected the German tanks was Italian
I am not sure where you came up with that nugget but aside from a few rare instances it is flat out wrong. German tanks were supported by and large with German infantry.
.And the Italians had more tanks than the Germans .
Again, irrelevant and misleading. Russia had far more tanks than the Germans at the start of Barbarossa and look how well they did. Numbers don't mean a thing if the opposing side can counter it effectively.
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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by Kingfish » 31 Jul 2021 10:39

ljadw wrote:
31 Jul 2021 05:42
2 British generals were taken POW by the Italian Ariete division,which was highly praised by .....Rommel,who normally despised the Italians .
And what were the circumstances that allowed the 2 British generals to be captured?
I'll give you a clue: it was brought about by a rapid advance from an force other than the highly praised Italians.
In March the Axis forces ( overwhelmingly Italian ) started an offensive that in two months brought them back to the border with Egypt .
Yes, the forces leading this offensive were overwhelmingly German.
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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by ljadw » 31 Jul 2021 11:33

In November 1942,the Axis forces (mainly Italian ) were at Alamein, 100 km from the Canal .They did not go farther .NO ONE said that the reason was a stupid order from Hitler and that without this order,they would be in a few days at the Canal .
In February 1941, the WDF were at Benghazi,1000 km from Tripoli and went no farther .The official Anglo-Saxon history is claiming that the reason was a stupid order from Churchill,AFTER the WDF was stopped ( probably by the Martians, as it is inconceivable for these historians that Italians could stop British forces ) and that without this order,the WDF would defeat the Martians and capture in a week Tripoli.
The anti-Italian bias is striking :these ''historians'' are looking too much at Allo Allo .
If Rommel could not advance from Alamein to the Canal ( 100 km ) ,why could O' Çonnor advance from Benghazi to Tripoli ( 1000 km ) ?

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by ljadw » 31 Jul 2021 11:50

Kingfish wrote:
31 Jul 2021 10:39
ljadw wrote:
31 Jul 2021 05:42
2 British generals were taken POW by the Italian Ariete division,which was highly praised by .....Rommel,who normally despised the Italians .
And what were the circumstances that allowed the 2 British generals to be captured?
I'll give you a clue: it was brought about by a rapid advance from an force other than the highly praised Italians.
In March the Axis forces ( overwhelmingly Italian ) started an offensive that in two months brought them back to the border with Egypt .
Yes, the forces leading this offensive were overwhelmingly German.
Thus , you are claiming that 15000 German Übermenschen with a few tanks,were defeating 38000 British soldiers ,advanced 800 km in 2 months, and gave the Italians (100000 ) as consolation price the opportunity to capture 2 British generals ?
At the end of April, Tobruk was attacked for the third time by ONE German and two Italian divisions (Brescia and Ariete ) .
This proves that without the Italians,the Axis forces could not have reached Tobruk .

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Re: Germany could win Barbarossa by suppressing Italy

Post by ljadw » 31 Jul 2021 12:13

Kingfish wrote:
31 Jul 2021 10:22
ljadw wrote:
31 Jul 2021 05:22
Tanks can not surround infantry, besides this is not their mission :
Yet history has proven you wrong. Tanks (along with their supporting mechanized infantry) did in fact surround infantry, and artillery, and HQs, and everything else behind the front lines. That is how the Germans bagged entire armies during the early years of WW2.

Why am I pointing out the most blindingly obvious fact of mechanized warfare to you?
hundred of thousands of Russians escaped from the encirclments by German tanks, because German infantry was absent . The same for the Germans during Bagration .
The simple fact that the Russians had to escape encirclement - i.e, abandon their defensive positions and fall back without a shot being fired, means that the panzer forces accomplished their mission, because that is their mission. Breakthrough into the enemy rear, disrupt LOCs and threaten encirclement. Again, I am pointing out the obvious.
The WDF advanced 800 km in 2 months = 13 km per day .
Irrelevant and misleading. It wasn't a continuous slog at a walking pace across the desert. You had days of rapid advances punctuated by days of little to no movement. Case in point: After crossing the Egyptian/Cyrenacian border the 7th armored had to wait for the 6th Australian to arrive and attack Bardia.
Tanks advanced at the speed of the infantry, because they need the protection of the infantry and the artillery,
Don't get hung up on the word "tank" because no one is arguing that tanks could operate alone. This is a strawman argument.
And, the infantry who protected the German tanks was Italian
I am not sure where you came up with that nugget but aside from a few rare instances it is flat out wrong. German tanks were supported by and large with German infantry.
.And the Italians had more tanks than the Germans .
Again, irrelevant and misleading. Russia had far more tanks than the Germans at the start of Barbarossa and look how well they did. Numbers don't mean a thing if the opposing side can counter it effectively.
1 Mechanized infantry / or non mechanized infantry ,with the support of the tanks and artillery surrounded enemy forces ,not the opposite .
2 Guderian was unable to prevent the escape of more than hundred of thousands of Soviets in the Briansk-Viazma battles and as usual blamed the infantry of von Kluge .
To encircle and to prevent escapes, you need manpower, boots on the ground, and the PzD had not enough manpower .
3 Why could 7 AD not attack Bardia (which was defended by,using the anti-Italian stereotypes , by singing and coward Italians ) and had it to wait on the Australians ?
A hint : it was not because an order from Churchill .
3 About the infantry supporting the German tanks : there were 100000 Italians with almost 400 tanks and 15000 Germans with 109 tanks and with few infantry :who protected these German tanks ?
5 Not only did the Italians have more tanks than the Germans ( I concede the fact that they had also more bottles of wine ) but the Italian tanks advanced as far and as fast as the German ones .The same for the Italian infantry ,otherwise the 15000 Germans could not encircle and attack the 30000 British forces in Tobruk .

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