What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

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KonTim
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What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by KonTim » 08 Jul 2021 13:56

Greece was a interesting example of how a fascist like regime decided to join the Allies against its basic prinicpals.

But let's play a different scenario here:let's say that Greece under Metaxas regime decided to join the Axis instead. What would be the impact in the total course of war?

Greece managed to mobilized no less than 21 Divisions in ww2(19 of them were Infantry Division, One Cavalry Division and one Mechanized Division).

Greek generals of that period believed that "at least 100 more battalions(the equilavement of 9-10 Divisions)could be formed with external help in terms of arms acquisition".

I could provide full data of greek military expansions plans under General Papagos leadership.

The same for RHN and RHAF.

What is your opinion???

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by Peter89 » 08 Jul 2021 15:45

Greeks would never join the Germans against Britain.

In any case, they could only guard their coastline. Germany did not develop a habit to arm its minor allies. If the merchant ships would serve the Germans, it would also make a small difference; there wasn't anyone to trade with and the seas were controlled by the Royal Navy.

Also the Germans rarely profited from their allies; at first they treated them as suitable for guard duty and auxiliary moves only, then pushed them on the front line in key military actions.

I also doubt that Germany would profit from paying for the natural resources they did not pay for OTL, and that they would profit from weapon deliveries to yet another ally. Compared to the costs of the invasion and the occupation (which was mainly done by Italians and Bulgarians anyway), an unreliable ally might probably be a liability instead of a great help.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

nuyt
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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by nuyt » 08 Jul 2021 20:17

Interesting, but what would the Greeks hope to achieve besides extra weapons? Cyprus, parts of Turkey (Smyrna, Constantinople, Thrace, etc), southern Albania, historic Greek areas of the Black sea? The Germans might get themselves into problems with other allies or neutrals there....

And when do they join? If they join early they can occupy (southern) Albania together with the Italians, but how would Mussolini feel about that? And they can also prevent Bulgaria from taking Thrace...

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wm
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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by wm » 08 Jul 2021 20:29

Why it was against its basic principles? Countries cooperate because of common political/military goals not because of similarities of their ideologies.
For example, the inherently hostile against everybody Soviets cooperated with the Nazis first, later with the Allies.
The Italians were afraid of German dominance and didn't especially enjoy their victories.

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by glenn239 » 08 Jul 2021 20:31

KonTim wrote:
08 Jul 2021 13:56
But let's play a different scenario here:let's say that Greece under Metaxas regime decided to join the Axis instead. What would be the impact in the total course of war?
Two big impacts come to mind offhand. First, there is no Italian invasion of Greece, which in turn might impact Barbarossa. Second, the Germans will occupy Crete without a battle, meaning that the German parachute forces will still be jump-capable after May 1941. (What the Germans do with the paratroopers is another question. One possibility is Barbarossa. Another is Cyprus).

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by nuyt » 08 Jul 2021 20:52

glenn239 wrote:
08 Jul 2021 20:31

Two big impacts come to mind offhand. First, there is no Italian invasion of Greece, which in turn might impact Barbarossa. Second, the Germans will occupy Crete without a battle, meaning that the German parachute forces will still be jump-capable after May 1941. (What the Germans do with the paratroopers is another question. One possibility is Barbarossa. Another is Cyprus).
Good points, the paras could be used on Cyprus, come to the aid of the Iraqis or fly in from Crete to an Egypt where the Army has risen against the Brits...

Greeks can also send troops north to help subdue Yugoslavia, in their case they will take care of Macedonia no doubt.

As far as arming the Greeks is concerned: no need to equip several tank divisions, but AA guns, planes and some heavy guns for coastal defense.

Addition: Cyprus may be a replay of the OTL Crete affair, as the Brits would do everything to prevent its capture, a bloody battle will take place there and with a longer supply line the Axis may not win...

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by glenn239 » 08 Jul 2021 21:26

nuyt wrote:
08 Jul 2021 20:52
Addition: Cyprus may be a replay of the OTL Crete affair, as the Brits would do everything to prevent its capture, a bloody battle will take place there and with a longer supply line the Axis may not win...
There's been no British debacle in Greece, so the British might have some options themselves, perhaps in North Africa, perhaps with the defense of Cyprus as you suggest.

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by KonTim » 08 Jul 2021 21:31

During German, Italian and Bulgarian occupation of Greece, the entire 11st Italian Army, 9-11 German(depending on time period) Divisions and a Bulgarian Army Corp were inolved in Greece in both anti-partisan and guarding duties.

If Greece joined the Axis, all the forces-with the exception of Bulgarian ones which could served as reinforcements in Southern Serbia occupation forces- could be get free to action p.e in Northern Africa, defeating the British or, at least, preveding the British and the Americans of winning Northern Africa and invading Italy.

Of course Greece would ask for prizes in Cyprus and Northern Epirus(southern Albania) or even Northern Macedonia.

IMHO Greece could mobilize at least 30 Infantry Divisions, an Cavalry Corp(consisting by one Horse Cavalry, one partially motorized Cavalry and a Mechanized Cavalry Divisions), One Armored Division and a Mechanized Division plus a number of smaller formations, groups and units.

My question is what kind of equipment could Axis provide to all these? Don't forget RHN and RHAF.

Also an Armored Division of Waffen-SS by the name "Sparta" consisting by Greek vollunteers could be formed to act in Eastern Front.

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by Kingfish » 09 Jul 2021 01:44

glenn239 wrote:
08 Jul 2021 20:31
Second, the Germans will occupy Crete without a battle, meaning that the German parachute forces will still be jump-capable after May 1941.
But would they?
With Greece in the Axis camp the Germans have a secure southern flank and plenty of opposition to keep the Commonwealth occupied in North Africa and the Levant.
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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by History Learner » 09 Jul 2021 05:00

No Greek campaign probably means a successful Barbarossa in my opinion.

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by historygeek2021 » 09 Jul 2021 05:05

The plausibility of this ATL depends on Greece and Italy getting along. Why would Mussolini curb his ambitions in this ATL? In the OTL, Metaxas was so alarmed by Mussolini's invasion of Albania, he asked for British assistance and accepted a joint British-French guarantee.

So what is the point of departure that causes Metaxas and Mussolini to become friends in this ATL?

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by Peter89 » 09 Jul 2021 09:08

KonTim wrote:
08 Jul 2021 21:31
During German, Italian and Bulgarian occupation of Greece, the entire 11st Italian Army, 9-11 German(depending on time period) Divisions and a Bulgarian Army Corp were inolved in Greece in both anti-partisan and guarding duties.
Hardly.

The actual German units were (1941):
- 5th GJD (Athens)
- 6th GJD (Crete)
- 124th ID (Thessaloniki, Agean Islands)
- 125 IR (Thessaloniki)

Given that these divisions were recently bloodied this force is no more than 3 divisions, thus, no more than 3 divisions' worth was committed to guard Greece.

The "entire 11st Italian Army" (1941) was 11 underequipped divisions (which sank to 8 by 1943).

These forces meant a marginal drain on the Germans' and Italians' strength.
KonTim wrote:
08 Jul 2021 21:31
If Greece joined the Axis, all the forces-with the exception of Bulgarian ones which could served as reinforcements in Southern Serbia occupation forces- could be get free to action p.e in Northern Africa, defeating the British or, at least, preveding the British and the Americans of winning Northern Africa and invading Italy.
Not really; in case the Greeks would join the Axis, these troops would either go to the Barbarossa effort or to Italy. The reason for this is simple: the Axis couldn't even properly supply their troops in North Africa.
KonTim wrote:
08 Jul 2021 21:31
Of course Greece would ask for prizes in Cyprus and Northern Epirus(southern Albania) or even Northern Macedonia.
I feel Adolf's strategical pain with the MTO. Why would the Germans fight for a prize that the Greeks had no chance to take on their own? Greece was overrun in days, even to consider that they might demand a strategic position like Cyprus borders a diplomatic insult.
KonTim wrote:
08 Jul 2021 21:31
IMHO Greece could mobilize at least 30 Infantry Divisions, an Cavalry Corp(consisting by one Horse Cavalry, one partially motorized Cavalry and a Mechanized Cavalry Divisions), One Armored Division and a Mechanized Division plus a number of smaller formations, groups and units.
My question is what kind of equipment could Axis provide to all these? Don't forget RHN and RHAF.
These divisions could not be used anywhere else except in the defense of Greece. Besides; with the Bulgarians opting out of the Eastern Front fighting, the Greeks would insist to keep the best troops at home. What we are talking about here is a corps strength at maximum, which has to be equipped with German weaponry. The problem was that they lacked weapons for themselves. Then they had to deliver weapons for their major allies like Romania and Hungary, then to neutrals to pay for the imports. To arm Greece would be a very low priority which could easily result that no Greek units would ever leave the country (like Bulgaria).
KonTim wrote:
08 Jul 2021 21:31
Also an Armored Division of Waffen-SS by the name "Sparta" consisting by Greek vollunteers could be formed to act in Eastern Front.
Where do you think the equipment for a Panzer Division would come from? The Germans, perhaps? Then why would they sacrifice their best equipment to give it to the Greeks? This doesn't make any sense; what Germany's allies tried to do was to keep 1 armoured division on the field, but the majority of their equipment was either obsolete or captured.

Besides; the Greeks are hardly a fit into the Aryan narrative, and the Germans didn't really make an effort to conscript such people into the Waffen-SS before late 1943.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by Peter89 » 09 Jul 2021 09:28

nuyt wrote:
08 Jul 2021 20:52

Good points, the paras could be used on Cyprus,
We don't know what would have happened.

The British placed a single battalion on Cyprus because their defenses were stretched thin. But absent the Greek and Cretan debacles, they might fortify that island, too. Besides: Cyprus had only 1 airfield suitable for airlifting troops in. If someone is familiar with the 1941 German airborne operations, then it is obvious that they would try to take the airfield first. I believe that the Germans had a better chance to take Cyprus OTL than in this ATL.
nuyt wrote:
08 Jul 2021 20:52
come to the aid of the Iraqis
The Iraqis' leadership was terrible.

1.) They did not have any strategic touch. Proclaimed their anti-British sentiments without consulting with the Germans. Also, the Germans were nowhere near Iraq at that time.
2.) They were indecisive. They couldn't overrun the Habbaniya airfield, even though they had crushing superiority in just about everything.
3.) They were very bad soldiers. I don't know any battalion-sized clashes in World War 2, where a side doesn't lose a single men in an infantry assault. Numerically superior forces got beaten badly by the British all the time.

On top of all this, the Germans could not move faster into Iraq because of Greek assistence: the stepping stones has to be Rhodos and the French Levant. The former was under Axis control regardless of Greek cooperation, and the latter was only available after the Paris Protocols was signed in May; by that time the Iraqi cause was all but lost.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by glenn239 » 09 Jul 2021 18:32

Kingfish wrote:
09 Jul 2021 01:44
But would they?
With Greece in the Axis camp the Germans have a secure southern flank and plenty of opposition to keep the Commonwealth occupied in North Africa and the Levant.
I'm guessing the most likely targets for Student's unblown parachute army would be Cyprus and Malta, or maybe something in Russia in the fall?

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by Kingfish » 10 Jul 2021 10:58

glenn239 wrote:
09 Jul 2021 18:32
Kingfish wrote:
09 Jul 2021 01:44
But would they?
With Greece in the Axis camp the Germans have a secure southern flank and plenty of opposition to keep the Commonwealth occupied in North Africa and the Levant.
I'm guessing the most likely targets for Student's unblown parachute army would be Cyprus and Malta, or maybe something in Russia in the fall?
My guess would be Russia.
Hitler considered the Med as a useless distraction, as evidenced by the paltry resources Rommel had to work with.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
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