North Africa

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Petho
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North Africa

Post by Petho » 04 Jul 2002 21:20

Had Rommel had his way in North Africa, and was supplied with a number of divisions to help his affairs towards Egypt, the Suez and into the Middle East... which Divisions would have been sent as reinforcements?

Any help would be appreciated.

Take care and good luck
Jason Petho

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Re: North Africa

Post by Rasputin17 » 06 Jul 2002 12:55

Hello Petho

That is an interesting question of yours. It has often been debated what would have happened if Rommel had these divisions.
But now 'bout your question - Reinforcements would most likely have been Italian troops, for example the 131. Armoured Division Centauro, which was sent, but in late '42/early '43.

The Germans might have sent the 6. or 7. Armoured Division, because they were stationed in France from early 42 on (both were messed up badly when trying to reach Moscow). It is unlikely, since the situation at the Eastern front was very delicate, that Panzer (or Motorized) Divisions would have been recalled from there and sent on to North Africa.
Besides after the Anglo-American Invasion in Marocco and Oran the Germans sent the 10. Panzer Division as reinforcement, which had also been stationed in South France (took part in the taking over of the Vichy Government in '42). Hope this helps you

Regards

Martin
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Petho
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Hello!

Post by Petho » 06 Jul 2002 18:34

Hello!

Thank you for the reply. Very helpful!! :)

Although I was actually thinking of Rommels plan of July 1941. Even though Barbarossa had recently just started, generally things were going well in Russia and the attitude overall of success was still a 'reality'.

Had the OKH recognized the potential of striking through to the middle east, which, if any reinforcements would have been available during the summer of 1941, or even fall. AS you stated, I can see most of the reinforcement being supplied by the Italians, but did the Germans have any motorized or panzer divisions being formed, or stationed in France at the time in reserve?

Thanks for your help!!
Take care and good luck
Jason Petho

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 06 Jul 2002 21:19

As the war progressed in N.Africa the lack of Luftwaffe assets proved more and more vital, in both supporting Rommels attacks and then defending the Afrika Korp against growing allied air assets.

:D Andy from the Shire

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Petho
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Post by Petho » 06 Jul 2002 22:25

Well then Andy...

Any suggestions on reinforcements in the form of air support?

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Re: North Africa

Post by Rasputin17 » 07 Jul 2002 10:19

Retho, Andy

In June 1941 when Operation Barbarossa was launched, the Germans had 20 Armoured Divisions, of which 17 were on the Eastern front (1,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,16,17,18,19 and 20). As you might know the 15. Armoured Division was in North Africa togehter with the 5. Light Armoured Division (which was reformed into the 21. Armoured Division in 12/41). The 2. and 5. Armoured Divisions were being reequipped and refresing due to their losses in the Balkans and Greece Campaign. They dind't have much tanks left, and therefore dind't take part in Barbarossa. So these 2 divisions would be candidates for reinforcments for North Africa.
As for other Motorized Divisions, they took all part in Barbarossa (3, 10, 14, 16, 18, 20, 25, 29, 36and 60. Motorized Divisions). same for the Waffen SS forces (1, 2, 3 and 5. Division). These Divisions mentioned above were the bulk of the Mobile forces of the Wehrmacht. Ther ealso is the Infanterie Regiment (mot.) Großdeutschland, but I don't think the Germans would have sent their most elite force to Africa, because to them it was only a secondary area of operations. Ther was also the 900. Lehr Brigade (900. Demonstrations Brigade) which was also quite elite and also took part in Barbarossa.
One thing you also have to consider is that of the 17 Armoured Divisions in the east 6 were equipped with Czech tanks (either PzKpfw. 35(t) or PzKpfw 38(t)) and it is unlikely that one of these Divisions would have been sent as reinforcement because that would enlarge the problem of resuppling.
But as Andy already said, the air-support was sometimes more important than the ground troops especially when the Allied air power came to bear.
But this is not my area of expertise.

Regards

Martin
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Victor
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Post by Victor » 07 Jul 2002 14:21

Even if Rommel received more divisions, could these be supplied? It is my impression that the Axis forces in NA already had supply problems. Additional troops would mean more troops to feed, more ammo for the guns and, of course, more fuel for the tanks and trucks.

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Post by Dan » 07 Jul 2002 14:54

What should have happened was a South African force of 100,000 men with supplies bursting up the east coast of Africa. Then the Italians, Germans and South Africans could have linked up, cut the Empire in half, emboldened the Spanish to take back Gibralter with German and Vichy help, and ended the bloody war by 43.

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Post by Victor » 07 Jul 2002 17:26

Dan wrote:...and ended the bloody war by 43.
:?
What about the Red Army and the British and US forces in Britain?

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Post by Dan » 07 Jul 2002 17:41

With France and Spain and all of Africa with Germany can you imagine the increased industrial base, troop numbers, resources etc.. As well as a smaller area that had to be guarded :D

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Post by Lord Gort » 07 Jul 2002 20:35

Although the British admired the Italian general the Duke of Acosta in Ethiopia the truth the titallians were pitiful. They had upwards of 300k men in Libya and if had not been for Greeces defence then britian might have swept the italians out of africa in 41.


The truth is that at the end of the battle of Britian there was Hitler vision of war with Russia. But Raeder the german high admiral devised a bluewater scheme of sorts, centering German forces in the medditerranean. He argued taionally that Germnay if she devoted all her strength could break the Imperial line to India, take the persian gulf and threaten India or Russia then from a postion of greater natural resources, greater strategical postion and with the British over extension and now soviet watching in caucas aswell. He said that with Africa the gulf and asia minor Germnay would have resources and trade control over markets america wanted and so over all militarily and economically could be stronger. He urged Germany focus on sea power, U-boats etc,


A good plan and a good man, but like Napoleon before Russia beckoned Hitler.

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Post by Abel Ravasz » 07 Jul 2002 21:22

With France and Spain and all of Africa with Germany can you imagine the increased industrial base, troop numbers, resources etc.. As well as a smaller area that had to be guarded
I think that the quality of the troops would decrease very much with the addition of the above mentioned territories. Aso, i don't think that the NSDAP would have liked the idea of black troops, and without them, Africa would only have turned into a wast battlefield of partizane combat. Also, the main goal of the African front for the germans was not to gain Africa, but indeed to break through to the Caucase and open a "second front" in Russia, cutting off the Soviets in the Caucase, and, later maybe reaching India and joining with the Japs thus making a huge axis in South Asia.

Abel

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Post by Lord Gort » 08 Jul 2002 16:36

True, but that didnt stop the SS having russian soldiers aswell as muslims fighting with them. They wanted Turkey with them. Also the spanish civil war may have decimated the country but it meant spain had lots of experienced modern warfare veterans. The spanish blue division later proved itself on the eastern front.

Just a thought

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 09 Jul 2002 07:43

I wouldn't call the Spanish Civil War a really modern war. It sure didn't compare to WWII. The Azul Division fared very well, because it was a volunteer formation, not a regular army unit.
But you are right about the Germans having no problem with non-European soldiers (remember the Central-Asian soldiers on the beaches on D-Day). I don't see why they would not use African soldiers.

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