German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

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Richard Anderson
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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Richard Anderson » 14 May 2022 21:49

Peter89 wrote:
14 May 2022 21:42
In 1938. :D
Or 1939, or 1940, or 1941, or... :lol:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

glenn239
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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by glenn239 » 15 May 2022 14:52

Peter89 wrote:
14 May 2022 17:55
The problem with the Axis is its conflicting interests. I mean imagine an alliance in which Romania and Hungary were both members, and both countries had a sizeable, historical German minority... speaking of which, there was also Tiso's Slovakia. And not to mention the fact that these countries might superficially be interested in a German victory, but on the long term they all belonged to the German Lebensraum, and their role in that bright future might be suboptimal. Italy made a colossal blunder by entering the war, but essentially no nation followed suit.
The strategic question in the fall of 1940 and spring of 1941 was whether the Germans would double down, or renege upon, their non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union. Attacking the Soviet Union ended any possibility of an Axis southern strategy being successful. Doubling down on the non-aggression pact left the possibility for a southern strategy. The danger being faced in London at this time was whether the Germans would attempt the conquest of the Soviet Union or the partition of the British Empire.
The Soviets had exactly zero incentive to enter the war on the German side. If the British Empire collapsed, they could grab Persia/Mesopotamia (with or) without German consent, like Bucovina in 1940. Only a German victory over the British could prompt the Soviets to enter into an agreement with the Germans, but then why would the Germans need Soviet permission?
Had the Germans expanded the non-aggression pact instead of attacking the Soviet Union, the negative impact on the British Empire in the Middle East (and Turkey) would have been profound. The USA was not going to bail the British Empire out of difficulties in these regions, nor go to war with the USSR.

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by ljadw » 15 May 2022 15:14

Why would the negative impact on the British Empire in the ME be profound ?
You take for reality the claim that without Barbarossa Stalin would have invaded the ME and start a war against Britain .
From what we know about Stalin ,this is totally unlikely :
An intervention in the war at the side if Germany was not in the interests of the USSR and given the bad situation of the Red Army, one can doubt if such an intervention was possible .
Stalin was also very paranoid : see the Hess affair .War with Britain could always result in a capitalist coalition between Britain and Germany against the USSR .War with Germany could have the same result .
For an orthodox Marxist Hitler was the puppet of the Ruhrbarone, Churchill the puppet of the City and FDR the puppet of Wall Street and there was more that united these three persons than that was dividing them .
That FDR was not helping the British out of difficulties in these regions nor go to war with the USSR was a claim ,unproved and not likely for Stalin .
After the fall of Poland til the fall of France Germany's eastern borders were almost undefended,but still Stalin did not attack Hitler .The reason was that he was afraid that such an attack would stop the fratricidal war between capitalist Germany and capitalist Britain and unite them against communist Soviet Union .
British and French foreign policy till September 1939 fortified Stalin 's conviction that it was best to remain neutral .
Britain, France, Germany, US,Japan had tried after WW 1 to eliminate communism in Russia ;Stalin did not trust them and he decided that he had to be very careful .

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Counter » 15 May 2022 16:13

Counter wrote:It is again extravagant to consider that Hitler would have behaved that way -"option available"- with an ally. Give me an example of Hitler doing that. Of course, Hitler was usually cruel and vengeful -he was Hitler!- as he felt betrayed by his allies -Yugoslavia, Italy, Hungary...- but claiming that he would starve Spain after promising that Germany could supply Spain of foodstuff is absurd.
Ironmachine wrote:Well, what is evidently absurd is to believe that Hitler, having just promised to supply grain “to as great an extent as possible," is going to be able to do something that his own economic experts believed to be impossible.
The "economic experts" so often quoted (document can be read in this thread, page 6) did not mention specifically which goods specifally were more difficult to obtain in order to deliver to Spain. As a matter of fact, there is only vague references to the spanish demands... which could not be satisfied -totally, but "certain deliveries" could- according to the impossibility of "setting aside importan General Interests". That does not mean that providing the grain required was impossible. If the "General interest" of Germany is winning the war and not -for example- getting the standard of living of Germany high, with generous rations, then the situation would change.

Ironmachine is grasping at straws with this only document of February 1941. I presume that he doesn´t have other of the kind. But the spanish demand of around half a million tons of grain annually -the vital issue- was already known from September 1940 on, as the german-spanish conversations started. The Ironmachine theory is that Hitler knew in advance that Spain would starve by joining the Axis and that Franco knew that too! And he pretends to conciliate that theory with his claim about that -anyway- Franco did want to join the Axis.

It is even possible that, at that date, 12 February 1941, the spanish demands -from the "Spanish General Staff"- were actually a fabrication as pretext not to entry the war, because that decision -Spain not joining the Axis- was finnally asserted by Franco the 7 December 1940 as realizing that he will never got a guarantee from Hitler about the colonial booty the spanish imperialists were expecting by joining the Axis.

Anyway, an unclear document is not enough to change the reality that Germany had resources to send foodstuff enough to Spain at least for the spanish food situation not worsening.

I intervened in this thread because I wanted to read something about the "Raeder proposal" of September 1940 to conquer the Mediterranean, as an alternative to "Barbarrosa". The Raeder proposal, apparently, excluded the war against the USSR, because this so large country would end up surrounded by Axis controlled territories and the russians would become docile to the German demands from that time on.

At September 1940, Raeder and every well-informed observer could realize that the UK was fighting alone, that the best british troops were defeated in Dunkirk and the german army and aviation were far superior... outside the english skies. The italians were advancing in Egypt and Spain was a very weak country that could not stop Germany from seizing the Gibraltar straits.

At the same time, Nazi Navy was the weakest link in the German forces, but Axis counted on the italian navy and the experience of using Luftwaffe for operations of navy support, as it was demonstrated in Norway.

From September to December 1940 the Raeder strategy faded away in spite of negotiations with Spain, plans for Operation Felix, the report of general von Thoma from Egypt in October and the promising -for the nazis- warlike behavior of the Japanese in the Far East.

As an ally, or as an occupied country, Spain could not have stopped Hitler. Instead of invading Yugoslavia in April 1941, he could have invaded Spain in January or February. He never did a straight threat to spanish autorities -in spite, by the way, of the Francoist legend-, simply, for any reason, he considered that Gibraltar was not worth enough, he was not so interested in the matter anymore. At the same time, when the Italians asked help to Hitler after their defeat in North Africa (December 1940), Hitler didn´t take the chance and instead of sending the 4 divisions general von Thoma suggested, he sent only Rommel and his much smaller Afrika Korps.

Probably because he thought that "Barbarrosa" was a better bet. But how he came to think so, it´s what I don´t know.

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by ljadw » 15 May 2022 19:23

Thoma did not propose to send four PzD to Libya : he said that four PzD was the maximum that could operate in NA .

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 16 May 2022 08:46

glenn239 wrote:
15 May 2022 14:52
Peter89 wrote:
14 May 2022 17:55
The problem with the Axis is its conflicting interests. I mean imagine an alliance in which Romania and Hungary were both members, and both countries had a sizeable, historical German minority... speaking of which, there was also Tiso's Slovakia. And not to mention the fact that these countries might superficially be interested in a German victory, but on the long term they all belonged to the German Lebensraum, and their role in that bright future might be suboptimal. Italy made a colossal blunder by entering the war, but essentially no nation followed suit.
The strategic question in the fall of 1940 and spring of 1941 was whether the Germans would double down, or renege upon, their non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union. Attacking the Soviet Union ended any possibility of an Axis southern strategy being successful. Doubling down on the non-aggression pact left the possibility for a southern strategy. The danger being faced in London at this time was whether the Germans would attempt the conquest of the Soviet Union or the partition of the British Empire.
The Germans had no chance to deliver a knock-out blow in the MTO. It would be a serious blow, mostly because the nearest significant British positions would be in Kenya, Aden and India (Pakistan), and it would be really hard to fight their way through vast deserts or mount an amphibious operation so far from the logistical bases. It might easily prompt a too early invasion of France, which might cost the Wallies too much, see Douglas Porch and The Path to Victory.

But the Germans could not take vital resources from the British in the MTO. They had no fleet to capitalize on the newly acquired bases. They had no means to advance into India or into South Africa, which could really shook the British Empire. They didn't really saw that far in their strategies, see more about this is in Schröder's Deutschland und der Mittlere Osten im Zweiten Weltkrieg.The loss of Gibraltar and Suez would be something like the loss of Singapore - a big defeat indeed, but not the end.

I think the real danger the British faced was that the Vichy French really sided with the Axis, providing them bases, deepening the cooperation and eventually might join their fleets - a German - French - Italian navy could challange the Royal Navy, which would be in a very dire situation to keep the sea lanes secure, defend the homeland and counterbalance the growing Japanese threat. This option presented the single most dangerous threat to the British - that's why Churchill personally intervened at Mers-el-Kébir and Iraq.
glenn239 wrote:
15 May 2022 14:52
The Soviets had exactly zero incentive to enter the war on the German side. If the British Empire collapsed, they could grab Persia/Mesopotamia (with or) without German consent, like Bucovina in 1940. Only a German victory over the British could prompt the Soviets to enter into an agreement with the Germans, but then why would the Germans need Soviet permission?
Had the Germans expanded the non-aggression pact instead of attacking the Soviet Union, the negative impact on the British Empire in the Middle East (and Turkey) would have been profound. The USA was not going to bail the British Empire out of difficulties in these regions, nor go to war with the USSR.
The US started to bail out Britain before they entered into the war, and a lasting peace between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union was not realistic, given how both parties overestimated their own strength and their positions in negotiations. Besides, the American interests were on collision course with those of Germany, and they'd be drawn into the war by the Japanese anyway.

The German-Soviet economic negotiations never went smooth. Germany always asked for more, the Soviets hesitated and prolonged the discussions in order to keep the Germans on their toes all the time. Facing an unbreakable blockade on the seas, how long would Hitler tolerate a continental blockade by the Soviets? And why would the Soviets give up that position? I think you believe that the Soviets would join the Axis in order to align themselves with German interests, but they were not stupid, they would never let Germany to make itself independent or clearly stronger than them. That's why they traded raw materials for top tier technologies.

If Germany embarked on a successful southern strategy as you describe it, they would have access to grain, oil, rubber, chrome, tungsten, etc. - at least on the quantity coming from or through the Soviets -, so why would they need the Soviets anymore? Also the straits (Bosporus, Gibraltar, Kattegat) would still be controlled by the Germans. Why is it good for the Soviets, who, like Germany, possessed precious little assets to fight the British or the Americans?
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Ironmachine
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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Ironmachine » 16 May 2022 09:44

Counter wrote:The "economic experts" so often quoted (document can be read in this thread, page 6) did not mention specifically which goods specifally were more difficult to obtain in order to deliver to Spain. As a matter of fact, there is only vague references to the spanish demands... which could not be satisfied -totally, but "certain deliveries" could- according to the impossibility of "setting aside importan General Interests". That does not mean that providing the grain required was impossible.
This is somewhere between selective quoting and plainly lying (more the latter than the former, IMHO). The actual wording of the document is:
Of the most important needs the delivery of rubber, cotton, and jute is impossible. Moreover, fertilizers, mineral oil, grain, trucks, and railroad cars cannot be delivered without setting aside important German interests. If by top-level decision Germany's own requirements for the last-named gods could be deferred to some extent, certain deliveries might be conceivable, but on a secale which would not by a long way approach the Spanish requests and which, because of the transportation difficulties, could furthermore not be brough to Spain in the time requested in the memorandum.
So you are lying when you say the document did not mention which goods specifically were more difficult to obtain, as it certainly says which goods were actually impossible to sent (rubber, cotton and jute) and which goods were more difficult to obtain (fertilizers, mineral oil, grain, trucks and railroad cars). It also directly says that even if some deliveries (and what is some deliveries? One drop of mineral oil and 1 gram of fertilizar are some deliveries, actually) of those last goods could be made, they would have been not enough "by a long way" to satisfy the Spanish demands, nor could they have been delivered in the time requested. So again you are lying, the document indeed says that providing the grain requested was impossible to do.
If the "General interest" of Germany is winning the war and not -for example- getting the standard of living of Germany high, with generous rations, then the situation would change.
The document clearly states that "even setting aside important German interests", Germany could not provide the goods Spain asked for, not could do it in the time required.
By the way, are you implying that in OTL in 1940-1941, Germany's general interest was not winning the war?
Counter wrote:Ironmachine is grasping at straws with this only document of February 1941. I presume that he doesn´t have other of the kind.
That's still one document more than those you have shown to support your arguments.
Counter wrote:But the spanish demand of around half a million tons of grain annually -the vital issue- was already known from September 1940 on, as the german-spanish conversations started. The Ironmachine theory is that Hitler knew in advance that Spain would starve by joining the Axis and that Franco knew that too! And he pretends to conciliate that theory with his claim about that -anyway- Franco did want to join the Axis.
Lying again, Counter? I have never claimed that Hitler knew in advance that Spain would starve by joining the Axis, and that Franco knew that too. I have claimed that the Germans would have been aware by a certain point that Germany could not provide what Spain asked for, but they couldn't have been 100% sure whether the Spanish demands were real needs or just inflated requirements, so they could never be sure about whether Spain would starve or not by joining the Axis. However, they would have had strong indications that it would.
As for Franco, he knew perfectly well that entering the war on the Axis side meant that Atlantic trade was as good as lost. His only supply source would have been continental Europe, that is, Germany. He doesn't need to know that Germany could not provide what he needs, he just has to realize that Germany is not going to send anything to understand that Spain is going to starve.
Counter wrote:It is even possible that, at that date, 12 February 1941, the spanish demands -from the "Spanish General Staff"- were actually a fabrication as pretext not to entry the war, because that decision -Spain not joining the Axis- was finnally asserted by Franco the 7 December 1940 as realizing that he will never got a guarantee from Hitler about the colonial booty the spanish imperialists were expecting by joining the Axis.
That's onlyh possible if the Spanish demands were a pretext not to entry the war from the beginning of the negotiations with Germansy, because it's not as if the Spanish demands were not clear from the start. For example, there is this telegraph from August 1940 (the source is Documents on German foreign policy 1918-1945, Series D (1937-1945), Volume X):
01.jpg
02.jpg
So again, you can't have it both ways. Either the Spanish demands were inflated on purpose to have an excuse to avoid entering the war, in which case is self-evident that Franco never wanted to join the war regardless of the colonial booty, or they were real needs that Germany could not have provided, and then Franco would have not joined the war regardless of the guarantees (if any) that Germany could give about the colonial booty.
Counter wrote:Anyway, an unclear document is not enough to change the reality that Germany had resources to send foodstuff enough to Spain at least for the spanish food situation not worsening.
As that supposed reality has not been proved in any way and the only evidence available for it is your word, an official German document that clearly states that Germany had no chance of providing the resources that Spain demanded while making no statement about the real situation in Spain is enough for anyone with a working brain to see that the reality you see is the reality in your la la land.
Counter wrote:At September 1940, Raeder and every well-informed observer could realize that the UK was fighting alone, that the best british troops were defeated in Dunkirk and the german army and aviation were far superior... outside the english skies. The italians were advancing in Egypt and Spain was a very weak country that could not stop Germany from seizing the Gibraltar straits.
At September 1940, every well-informed observer without an ass-licking atitude towards the Germans and with an analytical mind could realize that the Germans had been unable to prevent the evacuation of the BEF to England, were failing to subdue the British in the Battle of Britain and had failed in their efforts in the Atlantic (Graf Spee anybody?). That same observer could note that the United States was, despite its pretended neutrality, firmly in the British camp and that any further increase of submarine warfare in the Atlantic could have the same result as in WWI. That same observer would have seen the Italians failing in Greece, failing in France, and stopping in Egypt after a ridiculous advance, by no means endangering Alexandria, while Malta is in British hands and the Italian Navy does not have control of the Mediterrenan.
Counter wrote:At the same time, Nazi Navy was the weakest link in the German forces, but Axis counted on the italian navy and the experience of using Luftwaffe for operations of navy support, as it was demonstrated in Norway.
The Spaniards, having far more historical experience in naval warfare than the Germans and the Italians, plus their own experience in the SCW, do not have to count on the Italian Navy or the Luftwaffe.
Counter wrote:From September to December 1940 the Raeder strategy faded away in spite of negotiations with Spain, plans for Operation Felix, the report of general von Thoma from Egypt in October and the promising -for the nazis- warlike behavior of the Japanese in the Far East.
Indeed. And a big part of that time was lost with Spanish demands, delays and refusals. If the demands were just a pretext, then there is no peaceful way for Germany to convince Spain to join the Axis. If the demands were the real Spanish needs, there there is no peaceful way for Germany to convince Spain to join the Axis either, as the Germans could not by far supply the required goods or cede the desired territories.
By the way, that same Raeder that presented the "Mediterranean strategy" to Hitler is frequently mentioned as trying to convince Franco to avoid entering the war (though I have never seen any definitive evidence of that). What kind of motivation could Franco have had to join the Axis if the same person who Hilter sent to convince him is arguing against such a move?
Counter wrote:As an ally, or as an occupied country, Spain could not have stopped Hitler. Instead of invading Yugoslavia in April 1941, he could have invaded Spain in January or February.
And that is something that I have already stated in this thread. However, the relevant point here is that without that kind of action, a definitive threat or an actual invasion, Spain had no good reasons to join the Axis.
Counter wrote:He never did a straight threat to spanish autorities -in spite, by the way, of the Francoist legend-
I have never seen in what you call "Francoist legend" a claim that a direct threat of invasion was made by Hitler if Franco did not agree to enter the war. Can you please provide a source for that or should we conclude that this is just another of your fabrications?
Counter wrote:, simply, for any reason, he considered that Gibraltar was not worth enough, he was not so interested in the matter anymore.
There is a difference (that you appear to ignore) between not worth enough and not interested anymore. Hitler was still interested, as he ordered to make a plan for the capture of Gibraltar to be carried out after the surrender of the Soviet Union. It was just that it was not his priority, even though in February 1941 he was still trying to persuade Franco to enter the war (as seen in Hitler's letter to Franco that you linked). And that change of priorities was made possible, in no small part, by the Spanish attitude.
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Peter89
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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 16 May 2022 10:29

Counter wrote:
15 May 2022 16:13
I intervened in this thread because I wanted to read something about the "Raeder proposal" of September 1940 to conquer the Mediterranean, as an alternative to "Barbarrosa". The Raeder proposal, apparently, excluded the war against the USSR, because this so large country would end up surrounded by Axis controlled territories and the russians would become docile to the German demands from that time on.

At September 1940, Raeder and every well-informed observer could realize that the UK was fighting alone, that the best british troops were defeated in Dunkirk and the german army and aviation were far superior... outside the english skies. The italians were advancing in Egypt and Spain was a very weak country that could not stop Germany from seizing the Gibraltar straits.

At the same time, Nazi Navy was the weakest link in the German forces, but Axis counted on the italian navy and the experience of using Luftwaffe for operations of navy support, as it was demonstrated in Norway.

From September to December 1940 the Raeder strategy faded away in spite of negotiations with Spain, plans for Operation Felix, the report of general von Thoma from Egypt in October and the promising -for the nazis- warlike behavior of the Japanese in the Far East.

As an ally, or as an occupied country, Spain could not have stopped Hitler. Instead of invading Yugoslavia in April 1941, he could have invaded Spain in January or February. He never did a straight threat to spanish autorities -in spite, by the way, of the Francoist legend-, simply, for any reason, he considered that Gibraltar was not worth enough, he was not so interested in the matter anymore. At the same time, when the Italians asked help to Hitler after their defeat in North Africa (December 1940), Hitler didn´t take the chance and instead of sending the 4 divisions general von Thoma suggested, he sent only Rommel and his much smaller Afrika Korps.

Probably because he thought that "Barbarrosa" was a better bet. But how he came to think so, it´s what I don´t know.
I told you already that you should buy and read Erich Raeder: Admiral of the Third Reich by Keith Bird which gives the most detailed and easily readable account of Raeder's policies and strategies. I would even say that only the memo documents about Raeder's meetings and the KTB of the SKL can compete with the detailed descriptions in that book. In that book, which is undoubtedly pro-Raeder, second only to the Mein Leben, but it also arrives to the sour conclusion: although Raeder & co. seem to be brilliant in 1940 in the light of the German defeat in the Soviet Union, working as much against their fellow services as against the enemy, they gradually lost grasp of the reality by 1942.

But let's see what happened between 6 September 1940 and 6 June 1941:
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Between June 6 1941 and February 1942, first he saw his criticism of the Barbarossa justified, he pushed for an insane diversion of resources, then drew the wrong conclusions from the Pearl Harbour attack (Germany needed a dedicated naval aviation arm instead of commerce raider capital ships), and finally after the Channel Dash, when the KM regained some respect as a navy, he came up with the "Great Plan", the most delusional "strategy" that really reflected the Raeder / SKL true capacities of strategy making:
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You should really buy that book.

In my final analysis, although Raeder was right between June 6 1940 and June 6 1941 (that a war with the SU was a mistake before Britain was defeated), he was right for the the wrong reasons. He did not care too much about the actual war at hand, but to regain the power and prestige of the navy. In the time window of opportunities, he used his meager resources to gain political support for a naval buildup which was impossible, especially with his attitude of frittering away irreplaceable resources to prove an empty point. His other good ideas (joint efforts with the French and Italians, and later, the Japanese) were never really consulted with the said militaries, and quickly turned out to be based on entirely false premises. The Italians lost their cutting edge in 9 months, the Japanese in 6, the Vichy French in about 2. Over time, his good ideas came into balance with his bad ideas, and they quickly deteriorated into a numb state where only the bad ones remained.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Counter » 16 May 2022 14:28

ljadw wrote:Thoma did not propose to send four PzD to Libya : he said that four PzD was the maximum that could operate in NA .
I presume that those 4 PzD should be accompanied by some infantry units and aerial support... If not, they could not be operational...

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Counter » 16 May 2022 15:28

Ironmachine wrote:So you are lying when you say the document did not mention which goods specifically were more difficult to obtain, as it certainly says which goods were actually impossible to sent (rubber, cotton and jute) and which goods were more difficult to obtain (fertilizers, mineral oil, grain, trucks and railroad cars).
Again you insulting me... No, I am not lying. The document point to the "impossible goods" and others that are possible -if hardly-, but it is obvious that not each of them would be unavailable -or nearly- at the same extent. The grain was the vital issue because it was mentioned in that sense in other documents, letters, high authorities talks...
Ironmachine wrote:are you implying that in OTL in 1940-1941, Germany's general interest was not winning the war?
If the Mediterranean strategy (Gibraltar included) was considered not anymore the winning strategy, then the Germany´s general interest could be, for example not cutting the german rations -even if minimally- to feed Spain, for example.
Ironmachine wrote:
Counter wrote:Ironmachine is grasping at straws with this only document of February 1941. I presume that he doesn´t have other of the kind.
That's still one document more than those you have shown to support your arguments.
Fallacious. I have the reliable data of food situation in Germany and Europe at that time, that shows, beyond any reasonable doubt, that sending 40 -50,000 tons of grain to Spain monthly was feasible. But maybe that was -for the experts of February 1941, that added in the document claims not only "technical"- against Germany´s general interest (for example, cutting rations= lower morale).
Ironmachine wrote:I have never claimed that Hitler knew in advance that Spain would starve by joining the Axis, and that Franco knew that too. I have claimed that the Germans would have been aware by a certain point that Germany could not provide what Spain asked for, but they couldn't have been 100% sure whether the Spanish demands were real needs or just inflated requirements, so they could never be sure about whether Spain would starve or not by joining the Axis. However, they would have had strong indications that it would.
Again...
Ironmachine wrote:The Spanish authorities were not stupid, and even they could see that there was no point of obtaining some territories in Africa while your population is dying in droves because you can't replace the supplies that are not coming from the Allies because you have joined the Axis
[quote?"Ironmachine"]He [Franco] doesn't need to know that Germany could not provide what he needs, he just has to realize that Germany is not going to send anything to understand that Spain is going to starve. [/quote]

How could Franco having realized that Germany is not going to send anything? 8O

What did everyone know at that time about the spanish problem about grain imports? Everybody knew that in Spain the situation was extremely bad. Everybody knew that Germany situation was better (rations over 2300 calories average). How much did Spain actually require not to starve?, how many thousands of tons should Germany deliver in order to replace the supplies that are not coming from the Allies because you have joined the Axis ? That was what unknown at that time. The germans wanted to send the minimum, the british were afraid of the spanish selling import surplus to the Germans.
Ironmachine wrote: Either the Spanish demands were inflated on purpose to have an excuse to avoid entering the war, in which case is self-evident that Franco never wanted to join the war regardless of the colonial booty, or they were real needs that Germany could not have provided, and then Franco would have not joined the war regardless of the guarantees (if any) that Germany could give about the colonial booty.
If, according to you, the spanish economic demands didn´t change from September to February, then, they were not a pretext not to enter the war (at least, not the half a million grain tons for bread annually). Of course Hitler could have provided that -and german rations data in Germany were a public knowledge... also for the British. The political problem was the colonial booty. I don´t know whether spanish demands changed and after the refusal of Spain joining the Axis at December some impossible demands were included as a pretext. According to what I know, at 7 December 1940, Franco -in his refusal- told admiral Canaris that economic situation in Spain worsened extremely.
Ironmachine wrote:
Counter wrote:He never did a straight threat to spanish autorities -in spite, by the way, of the Francoist legend-
I have never seen in what you call "Francoist legend" a claim that a direct threat of invasion was made by Hitler if Franco did not agree to enter the war. Can you please provide a source for that or should we conclude that this is just another of your fabrications?
Again the insults. And now for the "Francoist legend", which is only a legend, not historical. Well, maybe it is part of the history of the Francoism after 1945...

I never cared about reading the Spanish minister Serrano memories, where I guess it is something written about, but as a legend, it is everywhere (for example, spanish digital press). Easy to find something in Google: here about the supposed Hitler´s threat in Hendaye about the "200 divisions"
https://www.eldebate.com/historia/20211 ... ndial.html

and here, in Berchstegaden, Serrano telling Hitler that Franco and him would go to the mountains as "guerrilleros" if Germany invading Spain, very funny...
https://elcierredigital.com/investigaci ... itler.html
Ironmachine wrote:Hitler was still interested, as he ordered to make a plan for the capture of Gibraltar to be carried out after the surrender of the Soviet Union. It was just that it was not his priority, even though in February 1941 he was still trying to persuade Franco to enter the war (as seen in Hitler's letter to Franco that you linked). And that change of priorities was made possible, in no small part, by the Spanish attitude.
It is obvious. Many factors influenced for Hitler losing interest for the "Raeder´s strategy". Among them, there were the difficulties with Spain. The capital factor was that Hitler thought he had a better strategy, Barbarrosa.

Counter
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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Counter » 16 May 2022 15:51

Peter89 wrote:the Germans could not take vital resources from the British in the MTO. They had no fleet to capitalize on the newly acquired bases. They had no means to advance into India or into South Africa, which could really shook the British Empire. They didn't really saw that far in their strategies, see more about this is in Schröder's Deutschland und der Mittlere Osten im Zweiten Weltkrieg.The loss of Gibraltar and Suez would be something like the loss of Singapore - a big defeat indeed, but not the end.
Closing the Mediterranean would imply controlling the borders of the USSR (Turkey) and there were some resources, as oil and labour force. I presumed that was important And the more threatened the Russians, the more collaborative for the Germans and that means also resources from the USSR.

Advance into India would be probably unnecesary. Loyalty of India to the British depended of the strenght of the Empire. With the nazis in Persia (neutral state, but not pro-british) and the Japanese in Indochina, I doubt that the Raj could have prevailed. You mention Singapore, what happens with the indian prissoners of the British army in Singapore? They deserted to the Japanese, most of them. And South Africa, at the beginning of the war wanted to stay neutral.
Peter89 wrote:I think the real danger the British faced was that the Vichy French really sided with the Axis
Another danger, indeed. If the Mediterranean becomes a nazi lake, France -and their fleet- would be inside. Spain (inevitably an Axis ally) and Italy would be reinforced. For Vichy, the decision would be probably to join Axis too.

ljadw
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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by ljadw » 16 May 2022 16:19

Counter wrote:
16 May 2022 14:28
ljadw wrote:Thoma did not propose to send four PzD to Libya : he said that four PzD was the maximum that could operate in NA .
I presume that those 4 PzD should be accompanied by some infantry units and aerial support... If not, they could not be operational...
It would be impossible to supply 4 PzD and their needed ID ,not because of the small losses during the crossing of the Mediterranean, but because ports,roads and railways were totally insufficient .
It took weeks to send supplies from Germany to Naples, more than a week to send supplies from Naples to Tripoli,and more than a month to send supplies from Tripoli to the front .
The first Germans landed at Tripolion 11 February 1941.The first attack on Tobruk happened on 11 April,2 months later .
If there were 4 PzD and 4 ID in Libya,more than 2 months would be needed to attack Tobruk .
The strength of the DAK was 14500 men in March and 32000 in December . In March they attacked, in December they retreated .
It was already very difficult to supply the 3 existing divisions in Libya (15 and 21 PzD and 90 ID ) ,to supply 8 divisions was impossible .
Thoma totally underestimated the logistical problems .

Peter89
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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 16 May 2022 16:42

Counter wrote:
16 May 2022 15:51
Peter89 wrote:the Germans could not take vital resources from the British in the MTO. They had no fleet to capitalize on the newly acquired bases. They had no means to advance into India or into South Africa, which could really shook the British Empire. They didn't really saw that far in their strategies, see more about this is in Schröder's Deutschland und der Mittlere Osten im Zweiten Weltkrieg.The loss of Gibraltar and Suez would be something like the loss of Singapore - a big defeat indeed, but not the end.
Closing the Mediterranean would imply controlling the borders of the USSR (Turkey) and there were some resources, as oil and labour force. I presumed that was important And the more threatened the Russians, the more collaborative for the Germans and that means also resources from the USSR.
The traditional response from Russia under threats is not backing down and obeying outside dictats. Russian influence can be pushed back behind their borders but not much further. Also that was not Russia but the Soviet Union, the largest nation at the time (China was divided, India was not a nation).

This region had minimal population back then compared to Europe. Besides, drawing from their unwilling manpower pool would wreck the possibilities of exploitation.
Counter wrote:
16 May 2022 15:51
Advance into India would be probably unnecesary. Loyalty of India to the British depended of the strenght of the Empire. With the nazis in Persia (neutral state, but not pro-british) and the Japanese in Indochina, I doubt that the Raj could have prevailed. You mention Singapore, what happens with the indian prissoners of the British army in Singapore? They deserted to the Japanese, most of them. And South Africa, at the beginning of the war wanted to stay neutral.
The Raj would and could not declare independence unless Japanese or German troops stood in Delhi, Bombay and Karachi. What actually happened was that the Brits could form a lot of Indian units for WW2.

Counter wrote:
16 May 2022 15:51
Peter89 wrote:I think the real danger the British faced was that the Vichy French really sided with the Axis
Another danger, indeed. If the Mediterranean becomes a nazi lake, France -and their fleet- would be inside. Spain (inevitably an Axis ally) and Italy would be reinforced. For Vichy, the decision would be probably to join Axis too.
Spain was not inevitable an Axis ally... and most of the French fleet was also in Dakar and Alexandria, outside the Germans' reach
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

glenn239
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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by glenn239 » 16 May 2022 17:05

ljadw wrote:
15 May 2022 15:14
You take for reality the claim that without Barbarossa Stalin would have invaded the ME and start a war against Britain .
Nope, what I take as reality is that -

(a) the chances for the Axis in the Middle East if Barbarossa went forward would be 0%
(b) the chances for the Axis if no Barbarossa to take Egypt would be over 50%.
(b) the chances that Stalin would move into the Persian Gulf region with no Barbarossa would be quite high. The chances of open conflict with the British would be lower, but still a significant risk to the British.

ljadw
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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by ljadw » 16 May 2022 18:25

(a) is correct
(b) must be :Axis changes 0 %
(b) must be :chances that Stalin would move into the Persian Gulf region with no Barbarossa are 0 %,because Stalin did not need the Persian Gulf and had not the means for going to the Persian Gulf AND ,going to the Persian Gulf could recreate a capitalist coalition against the USSR as in 1920 .
And the big question remains : WHY would Stalin mingle in a capitalist civil war where Germany was not winning ?
Germany nor Italy would like Stalin to control the ME. They did not ask for his intervention .
If they were winning, they did not need Stalin .
If they needed Stalin,this proves that they were losing . And, why would Stalin help two losers ?
Stalin refused to join Britain and he refused to join the Axis . Neutrality was ,as always, the best strategy .

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