Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

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Kelvin
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Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by Kelvin » 28 Aug 2020 12:06

I guess if invasion of Greece and island of Crete was to protect German right flank during the barbarossa campaign also protected Romanian oilfield from British aerial attack but if RAF and RN used Island of Cyprus, they also can do for that purpose, why they not attempt to capture Cyprus ? thank

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Kingfish
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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by Kingfish » 28 Aug 2020 15:31

A variety of reasons: Axis losses over Crete, distance from available air support, lack of amphibious capability, proximity to allied bases in the Levant, and of course the Royal navy in Alexandria.
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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by Felix C » 28 Aug 2020 18:18

How militarized was Cyprus during the war? MTB, submarines, fighter, bomber airfields? Do not hear much of how it was used or supplied during the war.

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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Aug 2020 18:52

Student proposed a two step operation post Crete. First a similar operation to secure Cyprus, the another to capture a port on the littoral of the eastern Levant. Aleppo might have been the closest, possibly further south in Lebanon. Hitler rejected the concept, supposedly because the airborne forces no longer had the value of surprise. Note that he also rejected their used against the USSR, his priority.

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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Aug 2020 18:57

Felix C wrote:
28 Aug 2020 18:18
How militarized was Cyprus during the war? MTB, submarines, fighter, bomber airfields? Do not hear much of how it was used or supplied during the war.
A local naval facility for a patrol base. A primary airfield and some auxiliary fields. Ground forces varied. In the summer of 1941 there was a mixed brigade of Commonwealth and British regiments, and a Cypriot militia brigade. Reinforcements were organized, but few sent. Signals intelligence which had accurately warned of the attack on Crete detected no preparations for a Cypriot operation.

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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by Dili » 28 Aug 2020 22:39

For what propose Germans would invade Cyprus?

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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by EwenS » 29 Aug 2020 10:20

Look at the geography, it is not a short hop as in the Aegean islands. It is over 300 miles of open water from either Crete or Rhodes to Cyprus with only the semi friendly coast nearby that of neutral Turkey. So it is probably nearer a two day journey at sea with the type of assault shipping available. Open to the predations of the RAF, RN submarines and Med Fleet. Not a recipe for success.

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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by Andy H » 29 Aug 2020 22:52

Kelvin wrote:
28 Aug 2020 12:06
I guess if invasion of Greece and island of Crete was to protect German right flank during the barbarossa campaign also protected Romanian oilfield from British aerial attack but if RAF and RN used Island of Cyprus, they also can do for that purpose, why they not attempt to capture Cyprus ? thank
Hi Kelvin

In addition to all the previous answers, in the summer of 1941, Germany had bigger issues on the horizon and an already fragile logistical framework, wouldn't have welcomed the added strain of a Cypriot adventure and sustainment if successful.

Regards

Andy H

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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by Urmel » 31 Aug 2020 10:50

Because that wasn't the plan - the sole focus was on the Soviet Union and everything else was a distraction. https://rommelsriposte.com/2020/06/11/m ... june-1941/
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by Sid Guttridge » 31 Aug 2020 13:49

I seem to remember that Italy had a series of "C" plans to take over assorted islands in the Mediterranean. Operazione C.2 was for Corsica and Operazione C.3 was for Malta. I suspect Cyprus was C.1, C.4 or C.5 and that Crete may have been in there somewhere as well.

Cheers,

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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by Peter89 » 27 Oct 2020 06:47

Sid Guttridge wrote:
31 Aug 2020 13:49
I seem to remember that Italy had a series of "C" plans to take over assorted islands in the Mediterranean. Operazione C.2 was for Corsica and Operazione C.3 was for Malta. I suspect Cyprus was C.1, C.4 or C.5 and that Crete may have been in there somewhere as well.

Cheers,

Sid.
Can you please help me with any source? I never found any such plan.
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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by Urmel » 30 Oct 2020 17:11

The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by crolick » 31 Oct 2020 08:50


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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by Andy H » 07 Nov 2020 21:24

Kelvin wrote:
28 Aug 2020 12:06
I guess if invasion of Greece and island of Crete was to protect German right flank during the barbarossa campaign also protected Romanian oilfield from British aerial attack but if RAF and RN used Island of Cyprus, they also can do for that purpose, why they not attempt to capture Cyprus ? thank
Hi Kelvin

AFAIK the Germans never had a formal plan to invade Cyprus.
In part that may have been due to the successful deception plan the British ran.
Simply called the Cyprus Defence Plan it was to be a long-term OoB deception. The 4000 troops initially on the island after the fall of Crete, were soon transformed into a dummy force of 20,000 through various rouses, inc planting false information in the hands of a Egyptian women who had known contacts with both Japanese intelligence and a German agent.
In early July'41 through a report from the German attache in Ankara and again 6months later through the interception of a Italian intelligence bulletin, that the various rouses had worked, with the Axis believing the island was defended with over 20thousand troops.
The British continued with the deception for 3yrs and captured documents and ULTRA decrypts showed the Axis took it as gospel.

Info mainly from The Deceivers (Allied Military Deception in WW2) by Thaddeus Holt, Published 2004

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Andy H

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Re: Why German not invade Cyprus 1941

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Nov 2020 15:36

EwenS wrote:
29 Aug 2020 10:20
Look at the geography, it is not a short hop as in the Aegean islands. It is over 300 miles of open water from either Crete or Rhodes to Cyprus with only the semi friendly coast nearby that of neutral Turkey. So it is probably nearer a two day journey at sea with the type of assault shipping available. Open to the predations of the RAF, RN submarines and Med Fleet. Not a recipe for success.
Sea borne reinforcements to Crete suffered badly, despite Axis air dominating the route. Not a good indicator for a Cyprus operation, or Students proposed Levantine operations.

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