Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

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Urmel
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Urmel » 11 Dec 2022 16:38

Peter89 wrote:
11 Dec 2022 11:09
Pardon me for saying so, but I seriously doubt that Raeder, an educated naval person would come up with anything like that.
It appears to as if someone is confusing things, in this case Raeder and Wegener?

https://www.jstor.org/stable/26396677
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

thaddeus_c
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by thaddeus_c » 12 Dec 2022 11:00

Urmel wrote:
11 Dec 2022 16:38
Peter89 wrote:
11 Dec 2022 11:09
Pardon me for saying so, but I seriously doubt that Raeder, an educated naval person would come up with anything like that.
It appears to as if someone is confusing things, in this case Raeder and Wegener?

https://www.jstor.org/stable/26396677
explicitly mentioned during Raeder's tenure https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Rae ... _of_empire
though the actual quote I was thinking of lies among the physical books your circle sarcasm has extinguished any interest in researching.

"After Operation Gauntlet (25 August – 3 September 1941) the British had expected the Germans to occupy Svalbard as a base for attacks on Arctic convoys." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Fritham

which would make sense as part of a larger strategy by the KM, a concentration of the surface forces and uboats in Norway and the Baltic to support Operation Barbarossa and the intention by Hitler to avoid an immediate war with the US.

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Urmel
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Urmel » 12 Dec 2022 12:41

The Wikipedia entry (cough) doesn't say what you claim it says. Annexation is not the same as
thaddeus_c wrote:
11 Dec 2022 10:01
Adm. Raeder had already eyed the Faroes as prospective uboat base(s), simply pointing out that Svalbard (which includes Bear Island) a much more likely location.
As for "the British had expected the Germans"... The British expected the Germans to do a lot of things, including attacking the Middle East through Turkey and the Caucasus. It remains the case that "which would make sense" is purely your opinion, with absolutely no demonstrable basis in fact.

Wegener had however proposed the use of the Faeroes as a base. But he very clearly wasn't in charge.

Regardless, after June 1940 Wegener had his wish - submarine bases with access to the Atlantic. So what would the point of occupying exposed locations have been at this point, when it was clear that based on their own planning, the Germans would never need them - the Soviet Union was supposed to collapse in weeks, so the idea of Arctic convoys would never have entered their heads, and the follow-on was supposed to be in the Mediterrranean and against supplies to the UK. So a base on Svalbard or in the Faeroes would emphatically not make sense in 1940, under German strategy.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Takao » 12 Dec 2022 17:48

Urmel wrote:
11 Dec 2022 16:38
Peter89 wrote:
11 Dec 2022 11:09
Pardon me for saying so, but I seriously doubt that Raeder, an educated naval person would come up with anything like that.
It appears to as if someone is confusing things, in this case Raeder and Wegener?

https://www.jstor.org/stable/26396677
Both saw the need for foreign naval bases. The difference is Raeder wanted to use diplomacy to gain bases...Wegener wanted to use conquest.

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Stoat Coat » 13 Dec 2022 04:34

Peter89 wrote:
09 Dec 2022 12:28
thaddeus_c wrote:
09 Dec 2022 11:43
Peter89 wrote:
08 Dec 2022 15:58
thaddeus_c wrote:
08 Dec 2022 15:06
the decision to invade the USSR was made by early 1941, but the KM does not seem to have recalibrated for that endeavor? they seem for lack of a better term "trying to score points" continuing the naval war with GB?

they could have held back the Bismarck and schemed a capture of Svalbard (along with Bear Island), the prospects for the Allied Arctic Convoys would look much different.

the British have the advantage with Iceland (and of course the Faroe Islands) whereas the Germans have the advantage with Svalbard.
The Germans were mostly interested in weather reports. These islands (Jan Mayen, Bear Island, Spitzbergen) were close to complete unusefulness as bases of operation.
the Allies staged Operation Gauntlet to spoil the use of Svalbard but choose not to occupy (in large measure) because the Axis had an advantage in air operations by virtue their position in Norway.

I'll go with their analysis of both the value of Svalbard and the relative strength of the Axis in the area.
I never said a word about the relative strength of the Axis in the area.

But the Germans simply did not have the strength to capitalize on the possession of these islands; Allied perception of the German capabilities in 1942 was exaggerated. They were seriously considering the Germans breaking into the Middle East from the Caucasus - do you go with that assessment, too? Appeal to authority does not really work here.

The Allies (the British in particular) wanted to eliminate the chances of the German victory and thus overestimated the German capability and the will to break out of mainland Europe.
I thought OP made a good case for the benefits of occupying Bear Island and Spitsbergen, and also how it could be I totally captured with ease. It’s wether or not Germany can hold them that is the question.

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Stoat Coat » 13 Dec 2022 04:40

If the Germans unloaded a more substantial force on Spitsbergen during operation Silizien (let’s say a Gebirgs division and some other support), along with a garrison on Bear Island ,which they could have easily done with the force of two Battleship and nine destroyers they used historically, plus they had the Lützow and other destroyers in Arctic waters, would the Allie’s have made a serious effort to capture the islands?

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Urmel » 13 Dec 2022 10:27

Stoat Coat wrote:
13 Dec 2022 04:40
If the Germans unloaded a more substantial force on Spitsbergen during operation Silizien (let’s say a Gebirgs division and some other support), along with a garrison on Bear Island ,which they could have easily done with the force of two Battleship and nine destroyers they used historically, plus they had the Lützow and other destroyers in Arctic waters, would the Allie’s have made a serious effort to capture the islands?
And what exactly would the benefit have been? You occupy Svalbard just before winter comes. By the end of October you don't have a sunrise.

https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/norway/ ... n?month=10
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Takao
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Takao » 13 Dec 2022 13:07

Stoat Coat wrote:
13 Dec 2022 04:34
I thought OP made a good case for the benefits of occupying Bear Island and Spitsbergen, and also how it could be I totally captured with ease. It’s wether or not Germany can hold them that is the question.
Given that German naval and air forces operating from mainland Norway could accomplish the same task, with less of a logistical tail...I don't see any benefit.

It is not like these are far flung islands in the Pacific covering dead ground.

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Peter89 » 13 Dec 2022 19:09

Stoat Coat wrote:
13 Dec 2022 04:40
If the Germans unloaded a more substantial force on Spitsbergen during operation Silizien (let’s say a Gebirgs division and some other support), along with a garrison on Bear Island ,which they could have easily done with the force of two Battleship and nine destroyers they used historically, plus they had the Lützow and other destroyers in Arctic waters, would the Allie’s have made a serious effort to capture the islands?
Just a few quick questions. Are you familiar with the logistical needs of a Gebirgsdivision? Why would Germany place such a specialized unit into the Arctic backwater where it could simply be ignored instead of deploying it with the 2nd and 3rd GJ divisions in Operation Silver Fox?

Taking the Spitsbergen is like taking Malta: if they Axis could take the Suez, it would fall without a fight, but if the Axis couldn't take the Suez, it wouldn't matter if they took Malta.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Urmel » 14 Dec 2022 11:23

Peter89 wrote:
13 Dec 2022 19:09
Taking the Spitsbergen is like taking Malta: if they Axis could take the Suez, it would fall without a fight, but if the Axis couldn't take the Suez, it wouldn't matter if they took Malta.
I think that's rather overemphasising the importance of Svalbard. Taking Malta was a necessary condition to be fulfilled to be able to take Suez (see e.g. Richard Hammond's seminal work on the matter of Axis supplies) - taking Svalbard was a necessary condition for... well nothing really.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Peter89 » 14 Dec 2022 15:59

Urmel wrote:
14 Dec 2022 11:23
Peter89 wrote:
13 Dec 2022 19:09
Taking the Spitsbergen is like taking Malta: if they Axis could take the Suez, it would fall without a fight, but if the Axis couldn't take the Suez, it wouldn't matter if they took Malta.
I think that's rather overemphasising the importance of Svalbard. Taking Malta was a necessary condition to be fulfilled to be able to take Suez (see e.g. Richard Hammond's seminal work on the matter of Axis supplies) - taking Svalbard was a necessary condition for... well nothing really.
The loss of Malta would not result the taking of Suez. I am also not sure if it was necessary at all. It was only possible in 1942, by the time the war was lost, really. I think the best the Axis could do was to evacuate Africa in 1942.

It is also questionable whether the Suez could be taken with a one pronged attack, with the insufficient Axis logistics, poor interservice and German-Italian cooperation. The British logistical network delivered cca. 5000 t/d cargo, the Axis usually about half of that amount. The British had large stockpiles of everything, local production of stuff (POL, food, building materials), railways, etc. Not to mention an uninterrupted logistical network. So if the Axis could optimize the capacity of their logistical network with the taking of Malta, they'd still be the underdogs. The supplies, men and equipment would still be drawn into the SU. In my opinion, the Suez could only be taken by A. great amount of luck or B. with a two pronged attack, when the British were off-balance. Under normal circumstances, the odds heavily favoured the British in every imagineable scenario.

The Germans probably had a chance to take Gibraltar and Suez in 1941 if they decided to do so. And the loss of these chokepoints would immediately result the loss of Malta, Cyprus and Crete without much bloodshed.

I made the analogy based on what we know of the Arctic operations. If Silver Fox was successful, there was no need to take the Spitsbergen; but the loss of Spitsbergen can not result the elimination of the "Northern Russia" LL.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Urmel » 15 Dec 2022 00:38

I agree. My point was that without taking Malta you couldn't take Suez. The reverse isn't correct. But that gave Malta a much more critical role, compared to Svalbard's irrelevance in both cases.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Stoat Coat » 15 Dec 2022 18:39

Urmel wrote:
15 Dec 2022 00:38
I agree. My point was that without taking Malta you couldn't take Suez. The reverse isn't correct. But that gave Malta a much more critical role, compared to Svalbard's irrelevance in both cases.
Well if you ignore the fact a significant German presence on Svalbard precludes any of the 1941-42 summer Arctic convoys that historically occurred…sure.
:roll:
Last edited by Stoat Coat on 15 Dec 2022 18:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Stoat Coat » 15 Dec 2022 18:41

Peter89 wrote:
13 Dec 2022 19:09
Stoat Coat wrote:
13 Dec 2022 04:40
If the Germans unloaded a more substantial force on Spitsbergen during operation Silizien (let’s say a Gebirgs division and some other support), along with a garrison on Bear Island ,which they could have easily done with the force of two Battleship and nine destroyers they used historically, plus they had the Lützow and other destroyers in Arctic waters, would the Allie’s have made a serious effort to capture the islands?
Just a few quick questions. Are you familiar with the logistical needs of a Gebirgsdivision?
They had one of the leanest logistics tails of any German division, that’s for sure, except maybe compared to static divisions.

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Peter89 » 15 Dec 2022 19:12

Stoat Coat wrote:
15 Dec 2022 18:41
Peter89 wrote:
13 Dec 2022 19:09
Stoat Coat wrote:
13 Dec 2022 04:40
If the Germans unloaded a more substantial force on Spitsbergen during operation Silizien (let’s say a Gebirgs division and some other support), along with a garrison on Bear Island ,which they could have easily done with the force of two Battleship and nine destroyers they used historically, plus they had the Lützow and other destroyers in Arctic waters, would the Allie’s have made a serious effort to capture the islands?
Just a few quick questions. Are you familiar with the logistical needs of a Gebirgsdivision?
They had one of the leanest logistics tails of any German division, that’s for sure, except maybe compared to static divisions.
Just give us a number please. You seem to be familiar with it.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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