What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 20 Dec 2019 18:41

pugsville wrote:
20 Dec 2019 13:45
"The British beaches were closed on 3 September 1944. By this time 221,421 tonnes (217,924 long tons) had been discharged through small ports, 615,347 tonnes (605,629 long tons) over open beaches, and 458,578 tonnes (451,335 long tons) through Mulberry B.[47] This meant that 25 per cent of the total tonnage had been landed through Cherbourg and the small ports, 12.5 per cent through Mulberry B, and 62.5 per cent over the beaches. The tonnage handled over the beaches greatly exceeded the expectations of the planners; but it is unlikely that the invasion would have been launched in the first place without the reassurance provided by the Mulberry"
that's about 7,000 tons over the beach per day. Are those British figures, British and Canadian, or British, US, and Canadian?

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by ljadw » 20 Dec 2019 21:58

pugsville wrote:
20 Dec 2019 08:51
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
20 Dec 2019 08:00


I agree insofar as this pertains to the influence of Malta. Re increasing port capacity in general, I'm more suspicious but perfectly willing to admit lack of depth on the topic. Expanding ports would seem to require dredging and building breakwalls, both of which are years-long projects in peacetime. And then there's a "second-order" logistics problem: what are the logistics of the logistics-enhancers (e.g. dredgers and breakwall-builders) and how to supply them without fatally compromising DAK's logistics in the short-term? Again, not a firm conclusion just a first-pass analysis.

OTOH the Wallies supplied ~80 divisions divisions in France over beaches; Germany had MFP/Siebel and needed to supply only half-dozen of so divisions to get Rommel through Egypt. Why not just use the beaches and build more amphibious craft (especially if Malta is out of the picture)?

Any stats on how much of DAK's supplies offloaded on the beaches OTL, btw?
0 %. While some was ferried up and down the coast , arrival in North Africa was not by beach.

The Allies had put a lot of effort in and had an oil pipeline , artificial harbors, and lots of specially constructed ships, and were trucking their supplies a much smaller difference.

And where do you 80 Divisions from?, how about 28 and nowhere near enough supplies for full offensive operations, in fact supplies were something like supply for half of that required for all divisions to be fully supplied offensively.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Ball_Express
"After the Allied breakout and the race to the Seine River, some 28 Allied divisions needed constant resupply. During offensive operations, each division consumed about 750 tons of supplies per day, totaling about 21,000 tons in all. The only way to deliver them was by truck – thereby giving birth to the Red Ball Express.

At its peak, it operated 5,958 vehicles and carried about 12,500 tons of supplies per day"
But,there is no proof at all that these 12,500 daily tons of supplies went to the 28 divisions .
On September 20 1944 the routes of the Red Ball Express stopped at Soissons and Chateau Thierry, both west of Reims, while OTOH there was a lot of fighting at Arnhem ( MG ) ,And the railway situation was not better : at mid-September the double track railway who started at Paris stopped at Mons and Verdun, farther to the east ,one had to use single track railways .
Some supplies were transported by air, but their importance was meaningless .
Source : Ruppenthal .

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Dec 2019 22:44

pugsville wrote:
20 Dec 2019 12:10
A number of minor ports where used before the capture of major ports. The first three main ports captured and put into service. They are much larger than teh ports on North Africa and dealt in much larger tonnages.

Cherboug was oeprtaing 6 weeks after capture and by November averaging 14,300 a day.
Le Harve the End of December 9.500 tons a day,
Rouen - 4,000 tons day first week November
Isigny opened 14 June, but the first ship unloaded 24 June.
Port-en-Bessin opened 15 June as the designated POL port for the assault phase, was planned for 700 tons per day, but achieved 2,000.
Grandchamp opened 23 June.
As of 30 June (D+24) Omaha landed around 181,691 long tons of cargo, 48,026 vehicles and 285,621 men, Utah landed 108,136 long tons of cargo, 22,884 vehicles and 166,839 men. The planned landings were 578,971 men, 109,921 vehicles and 359,950 long tons of supplies.

Cherbourg opened 16 July, using DUKW to unload "over the beach" (they built a beach by opening a gap in the seawall and building hardstands}.
Carentan opened 25 July.
Barfluer opened 26 July.
Cargo landed in July excluding bulk POL and vehicles in Long Tons, Omaha 356,219, Utah 193,154, Cherbourg 31,658, Minor Ports in Normandy 40,291, total 621,322.

Marseille opened c. 18 August.
Cargo landed in August excluding bulk POL and vehicles in Long Tons, Omaha 348,820, Utah 187,955, Cherbourg 266,644 Minor Ports in Normandy 125,353, Brittany Ports 9,499, South France Ports 174,500 total 1,112,771. From D-Day to 31 August, Commonwealth forces landed 829,640 men, 202,789 vehicles and 1,245,625 long tons of stores including 181,000 tons of POL. Half the supplies have been landed across the beaches, 35% via the Mulberry and 15% via smaller ports.

Morlaix - Roscoff opened 5 September.
Granville opened 15 September.
Port-de-Bouc opened c. 20 September.
Cargo landed in September excluding bulk POL and vehicles in Long Tons, Omaha 243,564, Utah 150,158, Cherbourg 314,431 Minor Ports in Normandy 100,126, Brittany Ports 75,198, South France Ports 326,813 total 1,210,290.
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by pugsville » 20 Dec 2019 23:08

glenn239 wrote:
20 Dec 2019 18:41
pugsville wrote:
20 Dec 2019 13:45
"The British beaches were closed on 3 September 1944. By this time 221,421 tonnes (217,924 long tons) had been discharged through small ports, 615,347 tonnes (605,629 long tons) over open beaches, and 458,578 tonnes (451,335 long tons) through Mulberry B.[47] This meant that 25 per cent of the total tonnage had been landed through Cherbourg and the small ports, 12.5 per cent through Mulberry B, and 62.5 per cent over the beaches. The tonnage handled over the beaches greatly exceeded the expectations of the planners; but it is unlikely that the invasion would have been launched in the first place without the reassurance provided by the Mulberry"
that's about 7,000 tons over the beach per day. Are those British figures, British and Canadian, or British, US, and Canadian?
But the Allies had a large number specialized of ships like the LST designed for this role, though when operating over the beach they were beached and had to wait for the tides to unbeach them. On a mulberry an LST could be unlosed in something less than an hour (they often were just vechiles already loaded)

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Dec 2019 02:31

pugsville wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_l ... y_Campaign

"In addition to the Mulberry, small ports were used
I stand corrected re 80 divisions. Still, 28 divisions is a big beach-supply movement and the Wallies' divisional slice was bigger than Germany's.

Had Germany focused on the Med in 40/41, how many more divisions does Rommel need to reach Sinai? 3 more seems like a good answer. Can't see the British stopping that. That's about 1/10th of what the Wallies supplied from beaches, which is doable given that Axis resources far exceeded 1/10th of Wallies. By the time Rommel gets to Sinai he's added Alexandria and Port Suez to his logistics. Next move would be from Sinai to Palestine and Lebanon/Syria, depending on whether the British are there first or Vichy still holds the latter. Similar logistical issues as the push to Sinai. From the Levant it's a push east from the ports of the Eastern Med, which is now an Axis lake so logistics aren't an issue (Cyprus won't hold out so far from any supply lines).

I don't see what this achieves for Germany - certainly not knocking Britain out of the war. If Hitler tries to move against Turkey - now almost surrounded - it'll be war with Russia anyway (and a significantly harder war if it's pushed back to 42).

So IMO it isn't a logistical issue - not obviously - but rather a strategic one. Strategies based on hoping the SU stays neutral are IMO implausible but also not very interesting: WW2 is a small regional conflict absent the Eastern Front.
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by pugsville » 21 Dec 2019 04:50

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2019 02:31
I stand corrected re 80 divisions. Still, 28 divisions is a big beach-supply movement and the Wallies' divisional slice was bigger than Germany's.
Only 2/3s was coming over beaches and teh wallies had immense amount fo specially constructed ships.

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2019 02:31
Had Germany focused on the Med in 40/41, how many more divisions does Rommel need to reach Sinai? 3 more seems like a good answer. Can't see the British stopping that. That's about 1/10th of what the Wallies supplied from beaches, which is doable given that Axis resources far exceeded 1/10th of Wallies.
Based on what?

The Allies had LST specifically designed to be beached and towed off. Designed so the trucks could just drive off fully loaded.
the allies just had immense more ships, specially designed ships, experience of doing this stuff and the Germans and plantains have none of that. they would have to load lighters by ships crane and then manually unload on the beach. A massively time consuming and labor intensive operations.

the Allies on floating pipeline to carry much of their Oil. Which I do not think would be doable over the longer distance.

resources are not interchangeable. I doubt the Germans and Italians had 10% of the Allied shipping. And certainly none of the experience the alliess shad by 1944.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Avalancheon » 21 Dec 2019 10:47

pugsville wrote:
20 Dec 2019 07:05
Avalancheon wrote:
20 Dec 2019 04:26
You make a valid point here. The type of reasoning you diagnose can be observed in this very thread. Certain posters tend to dismiss the possibility of the Afrika Korps achieving more than they historically did, by lazily referring to the limited port capacity in Libya. They rarely go into detail about the exact numbers, and if they do, the figures are treated as if they are immutable. The suggestion that port capacitys can be increased by certain expedients is viewed with suspicion.
The laziness is with those who propose operations without saying how they will be logistically supported. If someonbe is proposed alternative operations it's really incumbent of them to show how they are possible.
I already went into detail about this, pugsville. I don't think the capacity of the Libyan ports was the issue. I think the real problem was their distance from the front lines, especially Tripoli. In order for the logistical problems to be solved, Malta has to be taken out of the equation. Afterwards, the Axis can start unloading more ships at Benghazi, and keep a regular flow of supplys coming. It is easier for the ports to steadily unload 2 or 3 ships per day, rather than scrambling to unload a convoy of 10 ships that suddenly arrived. I also think it would be useful to extend the railroad from Benghazi to Derna. Trains are more efficient than trucks, after all.

viewtopic.php?p=2238998#p2238998
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
20 Dec 2019 08:00
I agree insofar as this pertains to the influence of Malta. Re increasing port capacity in general, I'm more suspicious but perfectly willing to admit lack of depth on the topic. Expanding ports would seem to require dredging and building breakwalls, both of which are years-long projects in peacetime. And then there's a "second-order" logistics problem: what are the logistics of the logistics-enhancers (e.g. dredgers and breakwall-builders) and how to supply them without fatally compromising DAK's logistics in the short-term? Again, not a firm conclusion just a first-pass analysis.
When I said that 'port capacitys can be increased by certain expedients', I was talking about simply unloading more supplys. Not adding extra wharfs, breakwalls, moles, docks, etc. There is a difference between real capacity and achieved capacity. The fact is, both Tripoli and Benghazi had more than enough capacity to supply the Axis forces in Libya. They just weren't achieving that capacity in practise, for a variety of reasons. This fact would come as a surprise to many people, who have been swayed by misleading figures about the ports.

In the book 'Supplying War', Martin Van Crevelds gives inaccurate estimates on the unloading capacitys of Tripoli and Benghazi. He states that the figure was 46,000 tons/month for Tripoli and 82,000 tons/month for Benghazi. This is a very surprising claim, because it is known that Tripoli was a larger port than Benghazi. If you are interested in learning more, you can read this article which explains his errors in detail:

https://rommelsriposte.com/2011/06/01/c ... ours-1941/
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
20 Dec 2019 08:00
OTOH the Wallies supplied ~80 divisions divisions in France over beaches; Germany had MFP/Siebel and needed to supply only half-dozen of so divisions to get Rommel through Egypt. Why not just use the beaches and build more amphibious craft (especially if Malta is out of the picture)?

Any stats on how much of DAK's supplies offloaded on the beaches OTL, btw?
Apparently, the Germans didn't consider unloading supplys directly on the beachs until after they had seen the Allys doing it.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by ljadw » 21 Dec 2019 11:22

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2019 02:31
pugsville wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_l ... y_Campaign

"In addition to the Mulberry, small ports were used
I stand corrected re 80 divisions. Still, 28 divisions is a big beach-supply movement and the Wallies' divisional slice was bigger than Germany's.

Had Germany focused on the Med in 40/41, how many more divisions does Rommel need to reach Sinai? 3 more seems like a good answer. Can't see the British stopping that. That's about 1/10th of what the Wallies supplied from beaches, which is doable given that Axis resources far exceeded 1/10th of Wallies. By the time Rommel gets to Sinai he's added Alexandria and Port Suez to his logistics. Next move would be from Sinai to Palestine and Lebanon/Syria, depending on whether the British are there first or Vichy still holds the latter. Similar logistical issues as the push to Sinai. From the Levant it's a push east from the ports of the Eastern Med, which is now an Axis lake so logistics aren't an issue (Cyprus won't hold out so far from any supply lines).

I don't see what this achieves for Germany - certainly not knocking Britain out of the war. If Hitler tries to move against Turkey - now almost surrounded - it'll be war with Russia anyway (and a significantly harder war if it's pushed back to 42).

So IMO it isn't a logistical issue - not obviously - but rather a strategic one. Strategies based on hoping the SU stays neutral are IMO implausible but also not very interesting: WW2 is a small regional conflict absent the Eastern Front.
How many more divisions would need Rommel to reach Sinai?
WRONG question : Rommel was stopped at Tobruk in 1941 and the distance Tobruk -Alexandria is 570 km ,Alexandria is not Sinai.Add to this the distance Tripoli -Alexandria and the distance Ruhr -Tripoli : the simple conclusion is that it would be impossible to supply 5 mobile divisions from the Ruhr to Sinai .
Adding Alexandria to the needs of the Axis ( mostly Italians,and not Germans ) is an illusion, unless one expects that Britain would give the port installations intact to the Axis .
Next move would NOT be from Sinai to Palestine/Libanon,Syria , but would be from Alexandria to Sinai, which implies that the Axis could cross the Canal ,and when they would have crossed the Canal, they would be in Sinai where it was impossible for mobile divisions to operate .
The Mediterranean becoming an Italian lake would not help Germany ,Germany attacking Turkey would not result in war with the USSR ,but would make Barbarossa impossible .

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by ljadw » 21 Dec 2019 11:46

Avalancheon wrote:
21 Dec 2019 10:47
pugsville wrote:
20 Dec 2019 07:05
Avalancheon wrote:
20 Dec 2019 04:26
You make a valid point here. The type of reasoning you diagnose can be observed in this very thread. Certain posters tend to dismiss the possibility of the Afrika Korps achieving more than they historically did, by lazily referring to the limited port capacity in Libya. They rarely go into detail about the exact numbers, and if they do, the figures are treated as if they are immutable. The suggestion that port capacitys can be increased by certain expedients is viewed with suspicion.
The laziness is with those who propose operations without saying how they will be logistically supported. If someonbe is proposed alternative operations it's really incumbent of them to show how they are possible.
I already went into detail about this, pugsville. I don't think the capacity of the Libyan ports was the issue. I think the real problem was their distance from the front lines, especially Tripoli. In order for the logistical problems to be solved, Malta has to be taken out of the equation. Afterwards, the Axis can start unloading more ships at Benghazi, and keep a regular flow of supplys coming. It is easier for the ports to steadily unload 2 or 3 ships per day, rather than scrambling to unload a convoy of 10 ships that suddenly arrived. I also think it would be useful to extend the railroad from Benghazi to Derna. Trains are more efficient than trucks, after all.

viewtopic.php?p=2238998#p2238998
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
20 Dec 2019 08:00
I agree insofar as this pertains to the influence of Malta. Re increasing port capacity in general, I'm more suspicious but perfectly willing to admit lack of depth on the topic. Expanding ports would seem to require dredging and building breakwalls, both of which are years-long projects in peacetime. And then there's a "second-order" logistics problem: what are the logistics of the logistics-enhancers (e.g. dredgers and breakwall-builders) and how to supply them without fatally compromising DAK's logistics in the short-term? Again, not a firm conclusion just a first-pass analysis.
When I said that 'port capacitys can be increased by certain expedients', I was talking about simply unloading more supplys. Not adding extra wharfs, breakwalls, moles, docks, etc. There is a difference between real capacity and achieved capacity. The fact is, both Tripoli and Benghazi had more than enough capacity to supply the Axis forces in Libya. They just weren't achieving that capacity in practise, for a variety of reasons. This fact would come as a surprise to many people, who have been swayed by misleading figures about the ports.

In the book 'Supplying War', Martin Van Crevelds gives inaccurate estimates on the unloading capacitys of Tripoli and Benghazi. He states that the figure was 46,000 tons/month for Tripoli and 82,000 tons/month for Benghazi. This is a very surprising claim, because it is known that Tripoli was a larger port than Benghazi. If you are interested in learning more, you can read this article which explains his errors in detail:

https://rommelsriposte.com/2011/06/01/c ... ours-1941/
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
20 Dec 2019 08:00
OTOH the Wallies supplied ~80 divisions divisions in France over beaches; Germany had MFP/Siebel and needed to supply only half-dozen of so divisions to get Rommel through Egypt. Why not just use the beaches and build more amphibious craft (especially if Malta is out of the picture)?

Any stats on how much of DAK's supplies offloaded on the beaches OTL, btw?
Apparently, the Germans didn't consider unloading supplys directly on the beachs until after they had seen the Allys doing it.
The problem was not the distance from the Libyan ports to the front, but
a the distance from the Ruhr to the front: distance = time
b the capacity of the German and Italian railways to carry supplies from the Ruhr to Tobruk
c the strage and loading capacity of the Italian ports
d the storage and unloading capacity of the libyan ports
e (finally ) the possibility to transport supplies who arrived in NA to the front .
What arrived in NA was determined by points a,b,c,d.
And do not forget that all trains, all MV,all trucks that carried supplies to the front had to return,which doubles the distances : it would take months.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by pugsville » 21 Dec 2019 11:59

Avalancheon wrote:
21 Dec 2019 10:47

I already went into detail about this, pugsville. I don't think the capacity of the Libyan ports was the issue. I think the real problem was their distance from the front lines, especially Tripoli. In order for the logistical problems to be solved, Malta has to be taken out of the equation. Afterwards, the Axis can start unloading more ships at Benghazi, and keep a regular flow of supplys coming. It is easier for the ports to steadily unload 2 or 3 ships per day, rather than scrambling to unload a convoy of 10 ships that suddenly arrived. I also think it would be useful to extend the railroad from Benghazi to Derna. Trains are more efficient than trucks, after all.


viewtopic.php?p=2238998#p2238998
The Railway was pitiful, it's non factor. Any railway would of significant capacity have to built from scratch. Which requires shipping in Engineering resources and not Africa corps stuff.,

Malta only accounting for some 60% of axis shipping to Libya being sunk. As some resources form Malta would still be redeployed and still have some effect , it may half losses, but losses would still happen and require convoys. Removing Malta does not remove the problem entirely.

The British often knew the Italian shipping movements in advance.
Avalancheon wrote:
21 Dec 2019 10:47
In the book 'Supplying War', Martin Van Crevelds gives inaccurate estimates on the unloading capacities of Tripoli and Benghazi. He states that the figure was 46,000 tons/month for Tripoli and 82,000 tons/month for Benghazi. This is a very surprising claim, because it is known that Tripoli was a larger port than Benghazi. If you are interested in learning more, you can read this article which explains his errors in detail:

https://rommelsriposte.com/2011/06/01/c ... ours-1941/
I agree that Martin Van Creveld's book is not authoritative about numbers. the book asks a lot of the right questions but provides few answers (some of the statements about Napoleon in Russia are plain wrong too)

However the web article makes an assumption that is not necessarily true (not saying definitely wrong)

"I would presume that in many cases this transfer would be done while the ships involved are not necessarily moored, but are somewhat offshore, and that it is done directly from ship to ship, or by barge from ship to ship, and therefore does not necessarily constitute a direct impact on the port facilities beyond requiring barges."

depends on the availability of cranes on the ships. It' snot just a matter of tonnage but exactly what sort of tonnage of ships the were available. And the Axis were not swimming in large numbers of merchant shipping that they could be all that choosy.

and the web article goes on to say this.

"Berthing space in Benghazi was given as two large (max. 3,500 GRT, 7 m draft), one small vessel, and one tanker. Only eight Italian and four German merchants fitted that bill in September 1941. "

again critically underlining the poor shipping resources available to the axis that made optimum unloading of ports var dependent on other factors,


Avalancheon wrote:
21 Dec 2019 10:47
Apparently, the Germans didn't consider unloading supplys directly on the beachs until after they had seen the Allys doing it.
The Allies had purpose built specialty ships. the Axis did not. Unloading on to lighters (which have to be available at your beach) whch means the Cargo should must have it;s own cranes, and you you have large numbers of personsl for the large amount of manual handling involved.

In 1944 the LST was designed to be beached and towed off, the allies ould just ship struck after truck, so the the land just drove off through the open bow doors.

Beach loading between the 2 systems is not comparable.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by ljadw » 21 Dec 2019 12:40

Distance Düsseldorf-Milan : 865 km
Distance Milan-Naples : 765 km
How long would it take for a train carrying 400 tons of supplies to go from Düsseldorf to Milan ?
10 days would be a minimum . And the train had to return = another 10 days
It took a MV 2 days and 15 hours to sail from Naples to Tripoli ( source : Richard Hammond ), not counting the waiting period in Naples when the MV had to wait on the availability of 4000 + tons ,and on the possibility to be unloaded in Tripoli : if the MV had to wait 2 days to be unloaded in Tripoli, it was better to remain two days in Naples.
Truck distance between Tripoli-Tobruk : 1240 km , another 10 days, not counting the time the trucks had to wait on the arrival of the supplies and the supplies waiting on the availability of the trucks :if fuel arrived in Tripoli ,but there were no trucks available to transport them to the front,what would be the benefit ?
That's why the complaints and jeremiades from the Rommel lobby that everything was the fault of the Regia Marina who could not escort the convoys,are only hypocrisy with the aim to blame the Italians for Rommel's defeat .
Whatever, it would take more than a month for supplies to go from the Ruhr to Tobruk, and the trains,MVs and trucks who transported them, needed also a month to return and to be ready .
Given that there was a shortage of trains, MVs and trucks, one can definitely debunk and bury the theory that with 3 more mobile divisions,the Germans could have advanced to the border of Turkey .

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Avalancheon » 21 Dec 2019 14:28

pugsville wrote:
21 Dec 2019 11:59
The Railway was pitiful, it's non factor. Any railway would of significant capacity have to built from scratch. Which requires shipping in Engineering resources and not Africa corps stuff.,
Wrong. The port of Benghazi had a railway extending 107 km to Marj (which was called Barce back then). The Italians didn't need to use trucks on this part of the supply route, since the deliverys were of consistent high volume. If they could extend the railway another 201 km from Marj to Derna, then that would represent a considerable logistical surplus.
pugsville wrote:
21 Dec 2019 11:59
Malta only accounting for some 60% of axis shipping to Libya being sunk. As some resources form Malta would still be redeployed and still have some effect , it may half losses, but losses would still happen and require convoys. Removing Malta does not remove the problem entirely.

The British often knew the Italian shipping movements in advance.
If the British lose Malta, they can't sail through the central Mediterranean. They can send subs through that part of the sea, but surface ships will be at extreme risk. To restate what TheMarcksPlan said before:

''Anybody who analyzes Malta simply by the number of ships its garrison sunk is walking blind. Malta forced shipping into convoys that had to sail far afield of direct Italy-Libya routes, decreasing Italian practical lift capacity by an order of magnitude. By concentrating cargo-offloading into convoy arrival dates, it likewise reduced the monthly/seasonal capacity of the Libyan and Italian ports: instead of being able to use their full capacity round the clock, they'd face a wave of offloading requirements followed by periods of dormancy. Likewise for the truck and coastal shipping resources emanating from the ports.''
pugsville wrote:
21 Dec 2019 11:59
I agree that Martin Van Creveld's book is not authoritative about numbers. the book asks a lot of the right questions but provides few answers (some of the statements about Napoleon in Russia are plain wrong too)

However the web article makes an assumption that is not necessarily true (not saying definitely wrong)

"I would presume that in many cases this transfer would be done while the ships involved are not necessarily moored, but are somewhat offshore, and that it is done directly from ship to ship, or by barge from ship to ship, and therefore does not necessarily constitute a direct impact on the port facilities beyond requiring barges."

depends on the availability of cranes on the ships. It' snot just a matter of tonnage but exactly what sort of tonnage of ships the were available. And the Axis were not swimming in large numbers of merchant shipping that they could be all that choosy.

and the web article goes on to say this.

"Berthing space in Benghazi was given as two large (max. 3,500 GRT, 7 m draft), one small vessel, and one tanker. Only eight Italian and four German merchants fitted that bill in September 1941. "

again critically underlining the poor shipping resources available to the axis that made optimum unloading of ports var dependent on other factors,
Fair enough. Although this would be remediable with the greater resources which would be available if the Germans made the Mediterranean their main theater.
pugsville wrote:
21 Dec 2019 11:59
The Allies had purpose built specialty ships. the Axis did not. Unloading on to lighters (which have to be available at your beach) whch means the Cargo should must have it;s own cranes, and you you have large numbers of personsl for the large amount of manual handling involved.

In 1944 the LST was designed to be beached and towed off, the allies ould just ship struck after truck, so the the land just drove off through the open bow doors.

Beach loading between the 2 systems is not comparable.
This is true. The Germans never put any thought into beach loading of supplys.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 21 Dec 2019 15:59

pugsville wrote:
20 Dec 2019 23:08
But the Allies had a large number specialized of ships like the LST designed for this role, though when operating over the beach they were beached and had to wait for the tides to unbeach them. On a mulberry an LST could be unlosed in something less than an hour (they often were just vechiles already loaded)
Right, but if the Allies could unload 7,000 tons per day on British beaches, 7,500 tons per day on Omaha, 4,500 tons per day on Utah, plus the Canadians, that's over 20,000 tons per day over the beach even allowing for tidal conditions. How many specialised LST type ships did they need to deliver this 20,000 tons per day? (Might be impossible to calculate since as you suggest, they were also unloading at Mulberrys and in ports too).

glenn239
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 21 Dec 2019 16:03

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2019 02:31
I don't see what this achieves for Germany - certainly not knocking Britain out of the war. If Hitler tries to move against Turkey - now almost surrounded - it'll be war with Russia anyway (and a significantly harder war if it's pushed back to 42).
If the Germans take the Middle East, what prevents the Germans and the Russians from partitioning the Middle East between them?

glenn239
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 21 Dec 2019 16:14

Avalancheon wrote:
21 Dec 2019 10:47
I already went into detail about this, pugsville. I don't think the capacity of the Libyan ports was the issue. I think the real problem was their distance from the front lines, especially Tripoli. In order for the logistical problems to be solved, Malta has to be taken out of the equation. Afterwards, the Axis can start unloading more ships at Benghazi, and keep a regular flow of supplys coming. It is easier for the ports to steadily unload 2 or 3 ships per day, rather than scrambling to unload a convoy of 10 ships that suddenly arrived. I also think it would be useful to extend the railroad from Benghazi to Derna. Trains are more efficient than trucks, after all.
Agreed, but don't underestimate the importance of Crete and Salonika. With Cyrenaica in Axis hands, airpower on Crete and in Eastern Libya secures the route from Salonika to Tobruk and Benghazi via Crete. It's about 180nm across the Med from Crete to North Africa. If the RN seeks to interdict this route under Axis airpower from both sides, it would be constant and brutal because the ability of the RN to slip in at night would be limited, and they'd be under air attack for long periods of time coming and going from Egypt.
When I said that 'port capacitys can be increased by certain expedients', I was talking about simply unloading more supplys. Not adding extra wharfs, breakwalls, moles, docks, etc. There is a difference between real capacity and achieved capacity. The fact is, both Tripoli and Benghazi had more than enough capacity to supply the Axis forces in Libya. They just weren't achieving that capacity in practise, for a variety of reasons. This fact would come as a surprise to many people, who have been swayed by misleading figures about the ports.
The port capacity argument is specious. The fact is that mass production of MFP's and Siebel ferries in 1940/1941 would have decided the war in North Africa, because they could operate independent of port capacity.
Apparently, the Germans didn't consider unloading supplys directly on the beachs until after they had seen the Allys doing it.
The German army in Northern France in September 1940 looking at England would be quite surprised to discover that it did not consider unloading supplies over the beach.

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