What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

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

Post by thaddeus_c » 25 May 2022 06:19

historygeek2021 wrote:
11 Jul 2021 03:21
So no one's going to address plausibility? Greece just magically decides to join the Axis for no reason, even though Mussolini is threatening to conquer them?
there is a fairly good summation of this on wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ioannis_M ... with_Italy

"In foreign policy Metaxas followed a neutral stance, trying to balance between the UK and Germany. Ever since the Corfu incident of 1923, the Greeks had regarded Italy as the principal enemy, and as long as Italy and Germany were divided by the "Austrian Question", Metaxas saw Germany as a counterweight to Italy. The emergence of the "Rome-Berlin Axis" in 1936 greatly upset Metaxas's calculations and forced him to reevaluate Greece's foreign policy alignments, though he continued to hope for a long time that Germany would restrain Italy in the Balkans. In the late 1930s, as with the other Balkan countries, Germany became Greece's largest trading partner."

cannot imagine a scenario where the Nazi regime chooses Greece over Italy, possibly some alt. Nationalist coup in Spain succeeds, so no German-Italian cooperation, have an Axis Spain and neutral Italy?

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by Huszar666 » 03 Jun 2022 20:36

Actually...

The Westerners still don't understand how to folks between Leitha and Dneister and south of the Crapathians think.

To be short:
They hate each others guts.

Look at Hungary, Slowakia and Rumania (and Bulgaria) in ww2. They hated each others guts, barely tolerated each other (and almost went to war against each other a few times), and had territorial designs on each other. And in case of Rumania, the SU. Because Germany was able to present itslef as the Great Arbiter, they STILL were in the same camp.

As for Greece joining the axis, imagine something like Munich and Vienna the 2nd, sometimes after the Fall of France.
Bulgaria has (and had) designs on Thrace, but if it pushed the claims more seriously (as we did in summer 1940), AND Germany swoops in as the Great Arbiter, there would be a chance that Greece would be looking to Germany to "right the wrongs". As did Rumania OTL. That Greece and Italy (and Bulgaria) hating each others guts would be a sideshow. As it was a bit more to the North. Till, say Summer 1944.

What would Germany gain with Greece as an Axis member?
Not much.
They would need to pay for stuff they (and primary the Italians till 1943) got for free.
I don't see much of a Greek Expeditionary Force on the Eastern Front, at best a division worth and a few squadrons. Even that would complicate the supply (as did the Hungarians, we using the Mannlicher caliber, everyone else the Mauser one).
Same for North Africa.

The only plus point would be no Creta, and instead Malta in May 1941 or so. Even with Malta secured and the same quantity of supply going to Rommel, I don't really see the DAK East of El Al.

The invasion of Yugoslavia was overwhelmingly successfull even without Greek participation.
OK, without the need to take Greece and Malta, maybe Barbarossa coud begin one or two weeks earlier, but that isn't enough with the OTL forces to defeat the soviets in 1941.

Oh, and then comes September 1943! An intact Greek army of 20-30 divisions changing sides and sweeping up the Balkans! Oh, wait, that would actually mean the war would be shorter, without the reds getting a foothold! :D

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by glenn239 » 08 Jun 2022 16:59

Huszar666 wrote:
03 Jun 2022 20:36
Oh, and then comes September 1943! An intact Greek army of 20-30 divisions changing sides and sweeping up the Balkans! Oh, wait, that would actually mean the war would be shorter, without the reds getting a foothold! :D
Why would the Red Army allow Greece to do that?

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by Huszar666 » 08 Jun 2022 19:14

Why would the Red Army allow Greece to do that?
With the soviets being nowhere near the Balkans in September 1943, they could do... nothing?

Bulgrians, Rumanians, Hungarians, SLowakians, Croatians, Serbians and... technically everyone there turning coats as soon as the first soldier stepping foot on the respective soil, when the soviets reach to neighborhood everyone is waving and celebrating western democracy already for half-a-year.

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by glenn239 » 09 Jun 2022 01:40

Huszar666 wrote:
08 Jun 2022 19:14
Bulgrians, Rumanians, Hungarians, SLowakians, Croatians, Serbians and... technically everyone there turning coats as soon as the first soldier stepping foot on the respective soil, when the soviets reach to neighborhood everyone is waving and celebrating western democracy already for half-a-year.
IMO, far fetched and still it would not matter. The Red Army would occupy all the historically occupied regions of the Balkans, but now perhaps also Athens since the Greeks were incompetent enough to get into a war with the Soviet Union. Because this is 1944, the Allies can do nothing for the fact that they need the Soviets to continue pressuring the Germans in the East.

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by thaddeus_c » 11 Jun 2022 02:32

thaddeus_c wrote:
25 May 2022 06:19
historygeek2021 wrote:
11 Jul 2021 03:21
So no one's going to address plausibility? Greece just magically decides to join the Axis for no reason, even though Mussolini is threatening to conquer them?
there is a fairly good summation of this on wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ioannis_M ... with_Italy

"In foreign policy Metaxas followed a neutral stance, trying to balance between the UK and Germany. Ever since the Corfu incident of 1923, the Greeks had regarded Italy as the principal enemy, and as long as Italy and Germany were divided by the "Austrian Question", Metaxas saw Germany as a counterweight to Italy. The emergence of the "Rome-Berlin Axis" in 1936 greatly upset Metaxas's calculations and forced him to reevaluate Greece's foreign policy alignments, though he continued to hope for a long time that Germany would restrain Italy in the Balkans. In the late 1930s, as with the other Balkan countries, Germany became Greece's largest trading partner."

cannot imagine a scenario where the Nazi regime chooses Greece over Italy...
Huszar666 wrote:
03 Jun 2022 20:36
Look at Hungary, Slowakia and Rumania (and Bulgaria) in ww2. They hated each others guts, barely tolerated each other (and almost went to war against each other a few times), and had territorial designs on each other. And in case of Rumania, the SU. Because Germany was able to present itslef as the Great Arbiter, they STILL were in the same camp.

As for Greece joining the axis, imagine something like Munich and Vienna the 2nd, sometimes after the Fall of France.
Bulgaria has (and had) designs on Thrace, but if it pushed the claims more seriously (as we did in summer 1940), AND Germany swoops in as the Great Arbiter, there would be a chance that Greece would be looking to Germany to "right the wrongs". As did Rumania OTL. That Greece and Italy (and Bulgaria) hating each others guts would be a sideshow.

What would Germany gain with Greece as an Axis member?
Not much.
They would need to pay for stuff they (and primary the Italians till 1943) got for free.
I don't see much of a Greek Expeditionary Force on the Eastern Front, at best a division worth and a few squadrons. Even that would complicate the supply (as did the Hungarians, we using the Mannlicher caliber, everyone else the Mauser one).
Same for North Africa.

The only plus point would be no Creta, and instead Malta in May 1941 or so. Even with Malta secured and the same quantity of supply going to Rommel, I don't really see the DAK East of El Al.

The invasion of Yugoslavia was overwhelmingly successfull even without Greek participation.
historically the Nazi regime had the failed coup in Austria in 1934 then it took until 1938 to achieve Anschluss

it's possible that Germany and Italy could have remained at odds over Austria, and Anschluss achieved earlier even over Italian concerns? (possible even that the Nazi regime backs Ethiopia more than historical as leverage?)

with the Nazi regime controlling German and Austrian trade for years prior to war, things might have been sorted out differently in the Balkans, and not all in Nazi hands.

they would not be consulted over an Italian invasion of Yugoslavia for instance.

Greece might look to recover the Dodecanese and gain Cyprus, while the small Greek navy and their merchant fleet would be appealing to Germany.

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by nuyt » 31 Jul 2022 13:10

Huszar666 wrote:
03 Jun 2022 20:36
Oh, and then comes September 1943! An intact Greek army of 20-30 divisions changing sides and sweeping up the Balkans! Oh, wait, that would actually mean the war would be shorter, without the reds getting a foothold! :D
Good post, but the last bit I cannot see happening.
If the Greeks change sides, they do this in response to Italy´s surrender, right? In that case they want the Dodecanese like someone mentions, but what else? They cannot steamroll the Balkans, because they do not have the means. They will have prepared their air and coastal defences for their German overlords against the Allies, but will they have armoured divisions equipped with Panzer 4s? Guess not. They will have limited capacity for moving up north (but enough for disarming Italians in Albania while trying to linger on in north Epirus). Nor do they want this distraction, as Turkey is still arch enemy number one. Getting to the Dodecanese first is top priority and guarding the Aegean islands and Thrace comes next. The Allies will run a tightrope when arming their new Greek friends as they will also be courting the Turks at the same time. So, expect no Sherman tanks, just some old Crusaders or Grants and armoured cars. Little in terms of mechanised capacity will exist on the Greek side and they will focus on a reallocation of coastal artillery and air defences towards the border with Turkey. What mechanised/armoured force there is, will be in Greek Thrace. Moving that into Bulgaria will make the Turks nervous, so the allies wont allow it.
But for the Greeks this would be a perfect chain of events. They walk through WW2 without a scratch, chaging sides at the right moment, keeping relatively strong forces, not to mention a strong defence industry that would work for Germany until 43 and after that for the Allies.

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 31 Jul 2022 18:03

Skimmed through here & missed seeing any mention of the Greek cargo fleet. OTL the Brits gained a bit from control of the Norwegian, Dutch, and Greek cargo fleets via the exile governments. In this alternative a larger portion of the Greek cargo fleet falls under Axis control, and the bulk of the rest is interned in neutral ports & unavailable to Britain. I don't have precise numbers but believe this results in a net reduction of the Gross cargo capacity used by Britain in 1941 by 10- 15 %. Not a decisive number but painful.

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

Post by nuyt » 01 Aug 2022 13:59

Good point, but the shipping sector is notoriously "fluid".
There is the century old phenomenon of the "London Greeks", ie Greek shipowners, who have an office in London. There could be a plethora of companies involved, managing the various ships of one's fleet. And there is the question of flags. Not all Greek owned ships are flying the flag of Greece. A ship's " nationality" could be very exotic or, if using a British or dependent (Isle of Man, etc) flag, it would have the protection of the Royal Navy.
A shipowner is usually not a nationalist nor a patriot, nor does he care much listening to his/her government, especially when taxes are concerned. Only when things are really, really bad, they call for their government's support.
It could be that a substantial part of the Greek merchant navy in 1940 was invisibly or visibly managed from London, just as it is today :)
And the British will get their ships if they pay well.

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by thaddeus_c » 07 Aug 2022 13:07

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
31 Jul 2022 18:03
Skimmed through here & missed seeing any mention of the Greek cargo fleet. OTL the Brits gained a bit from control of the Norwegian, Dutch, and Greek cargo fleets via the exile governments. In this alternative a larger portion of the Greek cargo fleet falls under Axis control, and the bulk of the rest is interned in neutral ports & unavailable to Britain. I don't have precise numbers but believe this results in a net reduction of the Gross cargo capacity used by Britain in 1941 by 10- 15 %. Not a decisive number but painful.
there is an "oil tanker" thread on this forum, but Greece is not broken out viewtopic.php?f=66&t=126299&hilit=oil+tanker+fleet+size

there is a line for Panama and one for "others" totaling approx. 1m tonnes

the size of the Greek tanker fleet would be an interesting fact to know, as that was an extremely critical need for all parties.

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by nuyt » 07 Aug 2022 14:04


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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by nuyt » 07 Aug 2022 14:06

And this from https://www.tovima.gr/2018/06/04/intern ... ld-war-ii/:

In September 1939 Greece had the ninth largest merchant marine in the world. The flags listed were as follows:
• United Kingdom
• USA
• Japan
• Norway
• Germany
• Italy
• The Netherlands
• France
• Greece

Quantitatively, Greek shipping in September 1939 was presented as follows:
Under a Hellenic flag 583 ships total
506 freighters
55 passenger ships
1 ocean liner
21 various others
1,878,403 GRT
Greek ships deployed in China 22 43,992 GRT
Under foreign flag 124 454,318 GRT
Motor sailing boats 713 55,057 GRT
Each was greater than 30 GRT.

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Re: What if Grecce has join the Axis in ww2

Post by thaddeus_c » 08 Aug 2022 19:17

nuyt wrote:
07 Aug 2022 14:06
...
In September 1939 Greece had the ninth largest merchant marine in the world.
thanks for posting all the information!

recall reading O'Hara's book Struggle for the Middle Sea he gave the German KM relatively high marks for pulling together a "scratch fleet" after Italy changed sides.

an outsized Greek commercial fleet would have been a huge help to the Axis side.

it would be an interesting alt.history if Italy had remained neutral or Italy and Greece were in the Axis together (at one another's throats akin to Hungary-Romania)

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