Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Discussions on all aspects of the Spanish Civil War including the Condor Legion, the Germans fighting for Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
pugsville
Member
Posts: 846
Joined: 17 Aug 2011 04:40

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by pugsville » 20 Sep 2019 07:37

Ironmachine wrote:
20 Sep 2019 07:22

The real problem is not that Germany did not attempt to negotiate but that that it was impossible for Germany to fulfill all the Spanish needs. As soon as Spain enters the war, its supply lines would be completely cut out. That means that Germany not only would have to completely (and I mean just that, completely) reequip the Spanish Army and the Air Force (and the Navy would just be left out, as there was nothing that could be done about it), which was beyond Germany's capacity, but also provide all the oil, most of the food (Spain was already having a famine problem), medicins, industrial tools, civilian transport (trucks, railways...), etc. if they want Spain to be able to just defend itself, something that Germany couldn't do.
It seems that people here is not aware of the painful state of the Spanish Armed Forces and the Spanish economy in 1939-1940, but Franco was. His list of military and economic demands was in no way disproportionate or ridiculous, it was, if anything, very conservative and reasonable. Franco may have been forced to enter the war if presented with an ultimatum by Hitler, but it is very difficult to believe that any kind of negotiation would have pushed him to war. Simply put, Germany had no way of satisfying Spanish needs and desires.
But the German negotiation method was the repetition of their initial position and meeting the Spanish requirement as enter the war and we'll see. And this is typical of Nazi German foreign relations.

I think Germany could have meet Spanish requirements, though not without very substantial cost such the prudence/viability of the Spanish entry into war is pretty questionable. (may seem splitting hairs but the difference I think matters)

But anyway the Germans never did a cost benefit analysis they just planned on Spain entering the war completely on their terms, there was no attempt at negotiation. And Italian relations are much the same. The Nazis were just very very bad at being allies. Very bad at co-operation, Very bad at strategic planning. And to a large degree it's fundamental problems with fascism as an ideologically. Fascists do not believe in co-operation or alliances.

User avatar
JAG13
Member
Posts: 689
Joined: 23 Mar 2013 01:50

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by JAG13 » 20 Sep 2019 07:53

pugsville wrote:
20 Sep 2019 07:29
JAG13 wrote:
20 Sep 2019 07:20
Oh, by then Canaris had painted a very bleak picture of Spanish capabilities and needs plus, well, the purpose was to free the Italian navy... and the Germans had strong convictions regarding the military value of their Italian allies...

Yes, Spanish needs were vast and so were their demands of French territory, again, designed to disuade Hitler from insisting. They succeeded.

It would have only really worth it if Sea Lion was actually viable and the Germans valued RM support, THEN it would have made sense to try and "pay" the price, but both premises were false.
I just read

Franco and Hitler : Spain, Germany, and World War II (Stanley G Payne)

And from that I would say initially the Spanish were quite genuine in their negotiation , they intended to enter the war. Their demands were NOT designed to put Hitler off. But they thought reasonable needs that would be needed if Spain entered the war. Which they wished to do.

it was not till 1942 that they were in effect putting Germany off.
They did in July, in October however things were a little different already...

Franco asked for Morrocco and Algeria, look at a map and tell me how is that in any way reasonable and commensurate with a hypothetical Spanish participation? Hitler threw a fit.

IIRC Canaris had advised Franco to request large caliber guns in order to sabotage the negotiations too.

pugsville
Member
Posts: 846
Joined: 17 Aug 2011 04:40

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by pugsville » 20 Sep 2019 08:03

JAG13 wrote:
20 Sep 2019 07:53

They did in July, in October however things were a little different already...

Franco asked for Morrocco and Algeria, look at a map and tell me how is that in any way reasonable and commensurate with a hypothetical Spanish participation? Hitler threw a fit.

IIRC Canaris had advised Franco to request large caliber guns in order to sabotage the negotiations too.
Morocco and not even all of it. I had not read Algeria.

The Thing is the Germans were doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result, and made no attempt what so ever to do an analysis f what Spain might need and what could be provided. A complete lack of any strategic planning, and attempt to look at the situation from the Spanish point of view, an insistence that everything be on the exact terms the Germans asked for and anything given to Spain would be after the fact at the behest of the Germans to grant if they willed it.

Absence of strategic analysis and planning, absence of negotiation strategy or any real attempt at co-operation.

Is there any book you would recommend on German-Spanish German-Italian German-Vichy relations in ww2? I'm interested and picking up books I can where I can I have not read much right now and welcome alternative input.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 6878
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 20 Sep 2019 10:14

Hi Jag13,

You post, "Of course the Italians screwed up just like in WW1, stabbed the French on the back when Paris fell and the war appeared to be finished, Musso didnt want to be left without a share of the spoils, the stories around that particular event are, well... pathetic."

In fairness to Mussolini, in 1940 he did not press for any of the claims he had on France (Nice, Corsica, Tunisia, etc.) and settled for Menton, the only town his troops had managed to capture. His pride seems to have prevented him for pressing for more at a time when France was most vulnerable to pressure.

Cheers,

Sid.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 6878
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 20 Sep 2019 10:32

Hi Guys,

Spain was absolutely exhausted after the Civil War. It was heavily dependent on large imports of oil from the Americas, cereals and beef from Argentina, fertiliser from Chile, sugar from Cuba and cod from off Newfoundland, all of which could easily be cut of by the British and which the Germans did nor declare themselves able to replace.

As it was, the UK put strict quotas on imports to Spain to be sure that there was no excess that could be re-exported to Axis Europe. They also insisted that only Spanish vessels could be used to carry the goods. Until 1944 they also restricted Spanish trawlers from working off Newfoundland, as the fishing grounds lay across their most vital convoy routes.

Indeed, even with barter, Spain could not pay Argentina for all the cereals and rationing was harder in some years of WWII than it had been in the civil war. 1944 was the worst year. It was also short of oil tankers, many of which had been lost in the civil war, and sometimes could not fulfil its oil import quota.

Thus the British, later with the Americans, had an economic stranglehold on Spain and used this power very successfully to keep Franco neutral.

The possible prospect of Gibraltar wasn't enough to counterbalance this.

Cheers,

Sid.

User avatar
Ironmachine
Member
Posts: 5365
Joined: 07 Jul 2005 10:50
Location: Spain

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by Ironmachine » 20 Sep 2019 12:51

pugsville wrote:And from that I would say initially the Spanish were quite genuine in their negotiation , they intended to enter the war.
Maybe, but the real question is when they intended to enter the war.
JAG13 wrote:Military and economic needs, yes, logical after such a destructive civil war, the territorial ones were a different matter and way beyond any possible Spanish contribution.
Whether the territorial ones were beyond any possible Spanish contribution is a matter of opinion. Spain may have contributed far more than Vichy France, but Hitler valued more Vichy France satisfaction.
JAG13 wrote:IIRC Franco made preparations in case the Germans tried to enter by force.
Yes, but if the Germans had really wanted to invade, there was nothing that could be done to stop them.
pugsville wrote:But the German negotiation method was the repetition of their initial position and meeting the Spanish requirement as enter the war and we'll see.
Only other option I see was admit that they could not provide what Spain needed and ask for lesser requirements. IMHO, that is not going to work, either.
pugsville wrote:I think Germany could have meet Spanish requirements,
IIRC, there was a thread about the possibility of Germany meeting Spain's requirements, and the conclusion was that it was not possible.
pugsville wrote:But anyway the Germans never did a cost benefit analysis they just planned on Spain entering the war completely on their terms,
If your real interest is the conquest of the Soviet Union, the entry of Spain in the war on your side has a clear cost/benefit analysis: no benefits, very high costs.
pugsville wrote:
JAG13 wrote:Franco asked for Morrocco and Algeria, look at a map and tell me how is that in any way reasonable and commensurate with a hypothetical Spanish participation? Hitler threw a fit.
Morocco and not even all of it. I had not read Algeria.
Neither had I. And it was reasonable from the Spanish point of view.
Anyway, Morocco remained with Vichy France, a measure reasonable and commensurate with Vichy's France participation in the war, no doubt.
JAG13 wrote:IIRC Canaris had advised Franco to request large caliber guns in order to sabotage the negotiations too.
Anyway, the request was completely rational and justified considering the state of the Spanish artillery.
It was also short of oil tankers, many of which had been lost in the civil war, and sometimes could not fulfil its oil import quota.
There was no shortage of tankers. In fact, Spain even chartered some oil tankers for other countries during the war, as I told you in another thread.
Sid Guttride wrote:The possible prospect of Gibraltar wasn't enough to counterbalance this.
Much more so as Spain expected to lose the Canary Islands to the British as soon as they entered the war and Spanish Guinea was completely undefended, so as good as lost too. And then, for Spain it was just a matter of waiting for starvation, really.

User avatar
JAG13
Member
Posts: 689
Joined: 23 Mar 2013 01:50

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by JAG13 » 20 Sep 2019 13:52

pugsville wrote:
20 Sep 2019 07:37

But the German negotiation method was the repetition of their initial position and meeting the Spanish requirement as enter the war and we'll see. And this is typical of Nazi German foreign relations.
Well, there was little they could do beyond offering French weapons, it is not like they withheld resources from Spain.
I think Germany could have meet Spanish requirements, though not without very substantial cost such the prudence/viability of the Spanish entry into war is pretty questionable. (may seem splitting hairs but the difference I think matters)
I think it wasnt worth it from a cost/benefit point of view, Spain was in an understandable bad state.
But anyway the Germans never did a cost benefit analysis they just planned on Spain entering the war completely on their terms, there was no attempt at negotiation. And Italian relations are much the same. The Nazis were just very very bad at being allies. Very bad at co-operation, Very bad at strategic planning. And to a large degree it's fundamental problems with fascism as an ideologically. Fascists do not believe in co-operation or alliances.
They were all fascists, were they not? :wink:

Their demands were too high, in the end Musso rushed in for fear of missing out, while Franco was understandably more cautious.

User avatar
JAG13
Member
Posts: 689
Joined: 23 Mar 2013 01:50

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by JAG13 » 20 Sep 2019 14:01

pugsville wrote:
20 Sep 2019 08:03

Morocco and not even all of it. I had not read Algeria.

The Thing is the Germans were doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result, and made no attempt what so ever to do an analysis f what Spain might need and what could be provided. A complete lack of any strategic planning, and attempt to look at the situation from the Spanish point of view, an insistence that everything be on the exact terms the Germans asked for and anything given to Spain would be after the fact at the behest of the Germans to grant if they willed it.

Absence of strategic analysis and planning, absence of negotiation strategy or any real attempt at co-operation.

Is there any book you would recommend on German-Spanish German-Italian German-Vichy relations in ww2? I'm interested and picking up books I can where I can I have not read much right now and welcome alternative input.
Well, the Germans were importing grain, oil, etc, from the USSR, that is all they needed to know regarding their capability of supplying those to anyone else.

"Hitler & Mussolini", an account of their meetings and their relationship by Santi Corvaja, touches briefly on the other Latin countries and their exchanges, states how much Hitler disliked Franco after meeting him in late 1940. Then there is the excellent Germany and the Second World War.
Last edited by JAG13 on 20 Sep 2019 14:16, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
JAG13
Member
Posts: 689
Joined: 23 Mar 2013 01:50

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by JAG13 » 20 Sep 2019 14:15

Sid Guttridge wrote:
20 Sep 2019 10:14
Hi Jag13,

You post, "Of course the Italians screwed up just like in WW1, stabbed the French on the back when Paris fell and the war appeared to be finished, Musso didnt want to be left without a share of the spoils, the stories around that particular event are, well... pathetic."

In fairness to Mussolini, in 1940 he did not press for any of the claims he had on France (Nice, Corsica, Tunisia, etc.) and settled for Menton, the only town his troops had managed to capture. His pride seems to have prevented him for pressing for more at a time when France was most vulnerable to pressure.

Cheers,

Sid.
Hi Sid.

Hitler blocked Mussolini from asking too much too soon for fear of the French continuing to fight from their colonies with their fleet, however, the shopping list passed to the Germans included:

Nice
Corsica
Malta
Tunez
Algeria(half)
Corfu, Ciamuria...

Protectorates or military bases/occupation over all the French and British possessions in the middle east, too long for a detailed list, plus Egypt, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda.

All that for stabbing France in the back at the last minute...

User avatar
JAG13
Member
Posts: 689
Joined: 23 Mar 2013 01:50

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by JAG13 » 20 Sep 2019 14:50

This is what the Germans thought of Franco's demands:
fgfg.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Berto
Member
Posts: 55
Joined: 06 Oct 2016 14:27
Location: Italy

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by Berto » 20 Sep 2019 15:00

JAG13 wrote:
20 Sep 2019 04:16

Of course the Italians screwed up just like in WW1,
Wut?

Berto
Member
Posts: 55
Joined: 06 Oct 2016 14:27
Location: Italy

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by Berto » 20 Sep 2019 15:05

Personally, cant blame them.
I can. If you think that you are the center of the world and everyone else should just do as you want, don't make alliances...

...but I guess that having allies that you can use as scapegoat for defeats while taking all credit for victories is pretty comfortable.

User avatar
JAG13
Member
Posts: 689
Joined: 23 Mar 2013 01:50

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by JAG13 » 20 Sep 2019 15:07

Berto wrote:
20 Sep 2019 15:00
JAG13 wrote:
20 Sep 2019 04:16

Of course the Italians screwed up just like in WW1,
Wut?
They entered the war in 1915 convinced it was about to end and in order to prey on the "loser".


They entered the war in 1940 convinced it was about to end and in order to prey on the "loser".

User avatar
JAG13
Member
Posts: 689
Joined: 23 Mar 2013 01:50

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by JAG13 » 20 Sep 2019 15:16

Berto wrote:
20 Sep 2019 15:05
Personally, cant blame them.
I can. If you think that you are the center of the world and everyone else should just do as you want, don't make alliances...

...but I guess that having allies that you can use as scapegoat for defeats while taking all credit for victories is pretty comfortable.
When your "ally" is passing information to the other side, well, you act accordingly... and you can only be used as a scapegoat if it is believable, and no one was surprised nor doubted the German claims, didnt they? Most people buy it even today...

pugsville
Member
Posts: 846
Joined: 17 Aug 2011 04:40

Re: Hitler's price: Gibraltar?

Post by pugsville » 20 Sep 2019 15:56

JAG13 wrote:
20 Sep 2019 14:50
This is what the Germans thought of Franco's demands:

fgfg.png
whats the book. If you going to post fragments citing the book would be nice.

Return to “Spanish Civil War & Legion Condor”