metzger76 wrote:malta was like Midway in a sense...an unsinkable aircraft carrier that could always harass and interdict Axis shipping.
Except that Midway was not astraddle an Axis shipping lane of major importance. The closest comparison to Malta in the Pacific would have been the Phillipines, Formosa, or Okinawa.
What if a German held Malta had resulted in success at El Alamain?
Odds of that are virtually nil. Capturing Malta does not mean that the floodgates of supply suddenly open for the Axis at el Alamein. It means that a trickle becomes a somewhat larger trickle. The critical difference would have been during the period June 1941-June 1942 when the fighting was still going on in Libya.
What if the Axis had siezed the Suez? That would have restricted Allied shipping to the Straights of Gibraltar as the only entry into the Mediterranean.
So what? The only reason to press Allied shipping beyond Gibraltar was to supply Malta.
If you are proposing that as a list of Axis victories, you have a lot
of work ahead of you to show its plausibility.
Had the Mediterranean been a safe Axis "Lake", the war would have had a different outcome. The removal of Gibraltar and closing off of the Med. to the Allies would safeguarded many the Axis countries "soft underbelly".
You have not shown how Gibraltar can plausibly be "removed".
Perhaps increase shipbuilding in the Med. could have led to more Axis subs and shipping being allowed into the North Atlantic to take out convoys.
What??? I can't make any sense of that statement from any angle. How is shipbuilding in the Med (presumably by Italy?) to come about? How much time is it going to take? Where are the materials coming from? There's a war on, you know.
Perhaps Franco would have no longer felt threatened by the Royal Navy and decided to join the Axis?
Not likely. The essential conditions that led him to reject that course originally would still be more or less in force, the chief one being that the Axis cannot feed his country on anything like the same scale that the Allies already were.
Perhaps Axis campaigns into Syria/Iraq would have secured even more oil for the Axis?
Bollocks. The British liquidated that threat in the summer of 1941. The attack on Malta that we are discussing in this thread was scheduled in June 1942, a year later. Even had the Axis taken Malta in 1941 instead of Crete, the effects of its loss would not have had time to register on the situation in Syria/Iraq/Iran. And if Crete is not taken, the Axis' strategic situation in the Eastern Med is actually weakened.
Finally, even if by some miracle the Axis had captured the Mideast oilfields, they did not have the means to return them to production and move the oil where it was needed. And in any event, not all that much was being produced there at the time.
Perhaps Turkey would have been "persuaded" to join the Axis.
On an outside chance, maybe. The thing is, if Turkey does not join the Axis—or at least cooperate with it—by the beginning of summer 1941, it loses most of its importance anyway. The war simply moved on.
I realize these are all whopping "what ifs" but Malta could have been one part in strategic plan to gain control of the entire Mediterranean for the Axis.
It seems to me that your thinking has fallen into the trap that Full Monty warned of earlier in this thread. Though Malta was of some importance, it was not anything so pivotal as you are trying to make out here.
Go back a bit. The Axis plan was for Rommel to halt as soon as Tobruk was taken and then to take Malta. This means that the next big battle in NA would probably have been fought on the Libya/Egypt border more or less where the summer battles the previous year had been fought, except that this time Rommel now has Tobruk.
Okay, so suppose the fighting goes badly for the British (and this is not at all a given, but for the sake of argument let's say it does). Suppose they fall back once more on el Alamein and dig in as they did historically.
Then in the early autumn of 1942 the situation is not too different from what it was historically except that Rommel has marginally better supply. That is, bad instead of truly awful. I don't think you can posit that that means an Axis victory there. At best, the situation is stalemated until Torch occurs as it historically did, and then the game is over in NA. Rommel is now not only confronted with an army to his front that is at least as big as his own, but he now has one at least equally as big to his rear. Even with Malta in Axis hands, the end is just a matter of time. It might take more time that way, but probably not a whole lot more time.