The traffic of the Suez Canal :Sid Guttridge wrote: ↑13 Aug 2020 17:54Hi ljadw,
You disagree with the proposition that, "The battle for NA was a struggle for the control of the Suez Canal and access to oil from the ME and raw materials from Asia ''.
You write, "1 The battle for NA was limited to Libya, a small part of Egypt and at the end,a part of Tunis ."
Yes, but that wasn't either the Italian or German intention. They repeatedly tried to push to the Suez Canal.
You write, ".2 The Suez Canal was from 1940 to 1943 almost NOT used." It was, but mostly by the navy. The main British naval base in the Mediterranean was Alexandria, which could only be supplied via the Suez Canal. Convoys to Malta and Tobruk were also run from there.
You write, "3 No one needed the oil of the ME." The British certainly did. Apart from Trindad, the Gulf was the only significant source of oil controlled by the British Empire. And the Italians badly needed oil at all times. Both the UK and Italy also needed the oil to avoid being totally beholden to their allies. Given that the Germans attacked into the Caucasus for oil in 1942, they would probably have been delighted to have Middle Eastern oil as well.
You write, "4 The capture of the Suez Canal would not give the Axis access to raw materials (which ones? ) from Asia.". Well, it would certainly give immediate control of Egyptian rice, which was a vital import to India even before the loss of Burma. Doubtless Italian consumption of risotto would have benefitted as a result!
However, more importantly, it would bring the Gulf oil fields within reach. Their loss would cripple independent British operations East of Suez.
P.S. If you don't like the shipping statistics I used, you will have to take it up with Urmel. They come from a site he frequents (runs?) And includes the name of each ship concerned and the circumstances of its loss. I seem to have relationship problems with Urmel here, but his site is definitely worth a look.
1938 "(North -South and South North ) :
GRT 34,418,187 tons
1941 :ships 1804
Passengers : 14,124
Not all ships were British,not all ships were coming from/going to Britain .A lot of these ships never left the Mediterranean.
Egyptian rice : Egypt is not Asia and how could these rice go to Italy ?And why would Italy need these rice ?
About the oil for Italy : Italy's oil came mainly from Romania and besides, why, after the conquest of the ME should Italy need more oil ?
About the oil of the Caucasus : Germany attacked in the Caucasus not to have this oil,but to deprive the USSR of this oil,in the false assumption that the Soviets would be forced to give up without this oil .
About Alexandria :it is not so that Alexandria could be supplied only via the canal .
Oil production in 1940 :
KSA : 0,7 million ton
Iran : 8,8 million ton
Iraq : 2,5 million ton
Bahrein : 1 million ton
That's all for the ME : 13 million
US :182,9 million
Venezuela : 27,5 million
Trinidad : 3,2 million
SU : 30,5
Romania :5.8 million
The production of Venezuela only was already more than the double of that of the ME.