Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

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Dili
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Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by Dili » 24 Feb 2018 22:59

Sometimes comes up the argument that Germany wasn't smart entering the Mediterranean theater since it prevented it from spending men and material in the theater that matter: i.e. Soviet Union.

I think one way to help reach a conclusion is to measure the resources spent by either Germany and Allies.
Note this discussion does not include Italian and other Axis resources, material. Also no Yugoslav and Greek either. Just British, Commonwealth, USA vs Germany


How many men Allies and Germans lost:
-casualities
-captured( like in Tobruk for Allies and Tunisia for Germans)

How many vehicles lost by either.
-tanks
-light tanks
-artillery
-trucks

How many aircraft Allies and Germany lost:
-Fighters
-Fighter bombers
-Bombers/Recon
-Dive bombers/CAS
-Transport

For ships it is obviously easy to get the quantities and quality.

gracie4241
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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by gracie4241 » 12 Jun 2019 14:44

"The Path to Victory".the Mediterranean theatre in WW2,by Porch ,as its name implies,deals with this subject.First, and this is difficult,is defining what constitutes the Mediterranean theatre. Porch describes it as geographically an arch running from southern France through North Africa, Italy, islands such as Crete,and the southern Balkans (Greece and Jugoslavia;a considerable area for sure.Seen from that perspective the answer is a lot, depending on the time frame of course.BTW this includes oil, as germany was Italy's primary supplier(and as everyone knows its not as if Germany had a lot of oil hanging around). two critical time frames stand out for me as really important. November 1942 ("Torch") the germans committed 14 divisions( inc 5 panzer) to Operation Anton, the occupation of Vichy France(10) and( 4) to Tunisia, along with HALF germany's air transport fleet, just 2 weeks before the Stalingrad encirclement.Secondly, in July 1943(Kursk) the germans had 12 panzer/panzer grenadier divisions and 15 field divisions, as well as an entire air fleet(1300 planes) in the med.On both occasions the germans REALLY needed these forces, or a large part thereof, in the East.By January 1944 the germans had throughout the previously described arch roughly 50 divisions,and REALLY needed them.I think the Mediterranean was more important than sometimes appreciated.I have no doubt Hitler frequently must have questioned the wisdom of his alliance with Italy that caused so much trouble

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Jun 2019 22:58

I agree its a very complex question. I've been attempting to investigate the cost to the Allies for feeding the Italian population September 1943-May 1945. No clear numbers from any sources yet.

Dili
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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by Dili » 12 Jun 2019 23:42

gracie4241 without numbers to compare and of course like Carl says it complex we can't say if Italy was or not a drag on Germans.

For example without Italy , Britain would not need so many submarines and so much investment into the Navy. Also much less land troop causalities.
The battle of Atlantic would have more carriers and asw vessels turning life much more difficult to the U Boats.
Would also be more aircraft investment with long range to hit Germany.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 13 Jun 2019 10:58

Hi Carl,

A couple of things:

I have read that the provision of food to the Italian population from Australia was sometimes bought at the cost of the population of British India, which was undergoing the Bengal Famine at the time. It appears Churchill made the differential decision that this food should go to occupied European populations such as the Greeks and Italians, rather than the Raj's population. Have you anything on this?

I have recently been looking at the Vatican City State's role in feeding Rome in the year before its liberation. It was reportedly providing 100,000 subsidised meals a day to refugees by late May 1944. This was apparently expanded further after the liberation by the Allies. I have seen an undated photo of a convoy of US-built light trucks assembling outside the Vatican, possibly still during the war.

Rome municipality was also feeding the city, but it appears that Vatican and municipal efforts broke down in early May 1944 (possibly due to Allied air attacks on truck convoys) and in the last weeks of occupation the Germans took over food distribution. I would be most interested if you dig up anything on this.

The Vatican also got some food imported into Italy from Argentina in late 1944 using at least one Spanish ship.

Cheers,

Sid.

P. S. I read somewhere that the British charged at least some of the aid they gave to San Marino in 1944-45 to the Italian Government, on the grounds that pre-war treaties made Italy responsible for allowing San Marino to be supplied.

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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Jun 2019 17:31

Sid
I've seen nothing on those questions. All I've seen are some numberless claims the Italian population cost a lot in terms of cargo shipping.

On the German side of the ledger John Ellis in 'Brute Force' commented on how the quantities of certain raw materials like aluminum, made the French and Italian aircraft industry captured by Germany extremely underused. If its correct it indicates Germany was not gaining the benefit on 'owning' Italian industry 1943-45.

Felix C
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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by Felix C » 05 Jul 2019 22:37

I read the investment in upgrading the North African ports and later Italian ones was extensive and a factor in further delaying Overlord. NA facilities were very primitive and much was involved in new RR lines plus the dock facilities. In Italy it was a case of repairing war damage caused by both Allies and Axis.

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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by Dili » 06 Jul 2019 03:38

While a derivation of my initial post don't think it was that important, Italians did not spend much GDP in war comparatively, they were not at rope ends so to speak like Germany, Japan. Where the Allies contributed more i think was energy : oil, coal, the perennial Italian problem. Nevertheless it also should be remembered that Southern Italy have much more sparse population than North Italy. Things were fluid. There was never an occupation authority like in Germany/Japan defining economic policy etc.

Italian shipyards -albeit not the major ones that were at North- for example repaired several allied ships.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 08 Jul 2019 12:04

Hi Dili,

Have you any more on the repair of Allied ships, or a source we might go to?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by LColombo » 08 Jul 2019 14:24

Sid Guttridge wrote:
08 Jul 2019 12:04
Hi Dili,

Have you any more on the repair of Allied ships, or a source we might go to?

Cheers,

Sid.
The USMM book La Marina dall'8 settembre 1943 alla fine del conflitto mentions that the between 8 September 1943 and 31 July 1945 the Taranto Navy Yard repaired 1,846 ships, including 621 Allied warships (excluding the Italian co-belligerent Navy), 1,022 Allied merchant and auxiliary ships, and 203 Italian merchant ships.

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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by Dili » 09 Jul 2019 04:28

Thanks LColombo.

Sid my knowledge was just general by reading reports of Allied ships being repaired. Also i think at Palermo.

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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 Jul 2019 04:52

Dili wrote:
24 Feb 2018 22:59
Sometimes comes up the argument that Germany wasn't smart entering the Mediterranean theater since it prevented it from spending men and material in the theater that matter: i.e. Soviet Union.

I think one way to help reach a conclusion is to measure the resources spent by either Germany and Allies.
Note this discussion does not include Italian and other Axis resources, material. Also no Yugoslav and Greek either. Just British, Commonwealth, USA vs Germany


How many men Allies and Germans lost:
-casualities
-captured( like in Tobruk for Allies and Tunisia for Germans)
WGF Jackson gives the following numbers for the Italian campaign. Taken from a statement by Alexander post war.
German...536,000
Allied.....312,000

Probably can be refined in post war analysis of the records. But it does show one aspect of the attacking Allies win, they inflicted greater losses on the defender.

How many aircraft Allies and Germany lost:
-Fighters
-Fighter bombers
-Bombers/Recon
-Dive bombers/CAS
-Transport
I don't have numbers for the Allies, but here are the result of a couple different historians trawling through German records. My main take away lesson is the bulk of German aircraft losses in 1943 were in the Mediterranean front. It appears 68% of all losses were in the MTO/ETO combined, and the MTO had the higher portion of the combined loss for 1943. Why is a good question & I suspect it was because of the efforts to support the ground forces in Tunisia, Sicilly, and southern Italy.
German aircraft losses by Theatre.png
LW Loss 1943.jpg
German Fighter Losses 1943.png
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gracie4241
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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by gracie4241 » 15 Jul 2019 13:33

I believe(know) that germany was Italy's main supplier of oil(believe that or not) and although it fluctuated greatly I recall reading it averaged out to 60,000 tons a month/700,00 a year.Sure seems germany could have found better uses for its oil.Italy brought with it a "Mediterranean Front", including the Balkans,which created a "sucking sound" of peeled away resources and it is IMPOSSIBLE to see the corresponding benefits Italy provided as compensation. Hitler did in febuary 1945 tell Bormann that the alliance with Italy was one of his great mistakes, and its hard to argue otherwise

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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by DrG » 15 Jul 2019 18:28

Besides the oil produced in Albania, most of Italian imports came from Romania, not Germany. Germany provided a total of 703,272 tons of fuel to Italy between 1940 and June 1943 (source: Angela Raspin, "The Italian War Economy 1940-1943", appendix 12). Needless to say, this is a fraction both of the minimum needs of the Italian armed forces, Navy in first place, and of the amounts used by Germany for its own forces and economy.

Anyway, I would suggest to avoid both citing from Bormann's so called Hitler's conversation of 1945, given that they are well known forgeries by François Genoud, and hypothesizing "what if" scenarios, given that it's impossibile to know if and where UK and then the USA would have operated in Southern Europe if Italy had stayed neutral (I shouldn't recall that France and UK were planning a landing in Salonicco in spring 1940, or that Greece, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria had very good relations with UK and/or USSR, or that without the Italian Navy Corsica and Mediterranean France were open to any Anglo-American attack, etc.), that the Allied naval and air forces active in the Med would have fought in the Atlantic and on the skies of North-Western Europe, and that there is no little to believe that Italy wouldn't have sided with the USA and UK in 1943, etc.

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Re: Resources spent by Allies and Germany in Mediterranean theatre?

Post by Dili » 16 Jul 2019 00:27

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
15 Jul 2019 04:52
Dili wrote:
24 Feb 2018 22:59
Sometimes comes up the argument that Germany wasn't smart entering the Mediterranean theater since it prevented it from spending men and material in the theater that matter: i.e. Soviet Union.

I think one way to help reach a conclusion is to measure the resources spent by either Germany and Allies.
Note this discussion does not include Italian and other Axis resources, material. Also no Yugoslav and Greek either. Just British, Commonwealth, USA vs Germany


How many men Allies and Germans lost:
-casualities
-captured( like in Tobruk for Allies and Tunisia for Germans)
WGF Jackson gives the following numbers for the Italian campaign. Taken from a statement by Alexander post war.
German...536,000
Allied.....312,000

Probably can be refined in post war analysis of the records. But it does show one aspect of the attacking Allies win, they inflicted greater losses on the defender.

Sorry but that is obfuscation, not saying is intentional tough. "Italian campaign" started in 1940.

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