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 Avalancheon » 22 Dec 2019 13:00

Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2019 03:24
Sorry Carl, but that is utter nonsense. Don't you know "logistics" is one of the watchwords of anti-wehrabooism? Along with "economics" and "war of attrition". And since they are usually uttered by folks with no economic training and not the slightest idea of logistics, then that means you have no idea what you are talking about...and neither does Ruppenthal, Leighton, Smith, Fairchild and Grossman, Hancock and Gowing, Postan, and et al, nor the anonymous authors of Administrative History of 21 Army Group. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Thats not fair, Richard. You are throwing shade at TheMarcksPlan, but your context is entirely wrong.

He wasn't saying that logistics and economics are a copout. He was saying on certain forums like ShitWehraboosSay, they are used as a copout by people who don't know anything about them. There is a huge difference.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Dec 2019 13:04

pugsville wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_Ship,_Tank
"18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph) laden to beaching draught"
"Capacity: 13 Churchill tanks or 20 medium tanks, 27 vehicles on upper deck, 193 men"
The relevant comparison is with typical Italian merchant vessels - you claimed MFP's were slower and more vulnerable than them. I'm not arguing that a German Med effort would have been more logistically sophisticated or substantial than the '44 Wallies - that'd be absurd and unnecessary given the relatively minor scale of fighting in North Africa. This about whether a Med-focused Germany could have supported a bigger DAK; not whether it could have launched the largest-ever amphibious campaign.
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by pugsville » 22 Dec 2019 13:07

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Dec 2019 12:56
pugsville wrote: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,
You missed the blog author's point- reversed it actually.

Italy started the war with several million tons of shipping (3.5mil GRT iirc); the point is that only a few of the ships in Italy's substantial fleet were large enough to block out harbor access with a couple ships. Aside from those few ships, a stream of smaller ships could continuously use the harbor if freed from the constraints imposed by Malta.
A lot of Italian ships were ost at the start of the war,


http://www.regiamarina.net/detail_text_ ... d=53&lid=1

"As of June 1940, the Italian merchant fleet comprised 786 ships with a gross tonnage exceeding 500 tons, for a total of 3,318,129 tons, and about 200 ships between 100 and 500 tons. As many as 212 ships, amounting to 1,216,637 tons, were stranded out of the Mediterranean when Italy declared war, and almost all of them were consequently captured or sunk by the enemy. "

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Dec 2019 13:08

Avalancheon wrote:
Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2019 03:24
Sorry Carl, but that is utter nonsense. Don't you know "logistics" is one of the watchwords of anti-wehrabooism? Along with "economics" and "war of attrition". And since they are usually uttered by folks with no economic training and not the slightest idea of logistics, then that means you have no idea what you are talking about...and neither does Ruppenthal, Leighton, Smith, Fairchild and Grossman, Hancock and Gowing, Postan, and et al, nor the anonymous authors of Administrative History of 21 Army Group. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Thats not fair, Richard. You are throwing shade at TheMarcksPlan, but your context is entirely wrong.

He wasn't saying that logistics and economics are a copout. He was saying on certain forums like ShitWehraboosSay, they are used as a copout by people who don't know anything about them. There is a huge difference.
Thanks but save your effort. Richard knows the sense of what you're saying - he's obviously decently intelligent. He knew what I meant when I wrote it as well. He's just not arguing in good faith so it's a waste to take this seriously from him.

In Richard's defense, I have made some scathing comments about him and some of them were rude, a few of which may even have been unjustified (thus my one-month ban).
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Dec 2019 13:13

pugsville wrote:"As of June 1940, the Italian merchant fleet comprised 786 ships with a gross tonnage exceeding 500 tons, for a total of 3,318,129 tons, and about 200 ships between 100 and 500 tons. As many as 212 ships, amounting to 1,216,637 tons, were stranded out of the Mediterranean when Italy declared war, and almost all of them were consequently captured or sunk by the enemy.
I am aware of this and it changes basically nothing. It means that the port-size restriction applies to 8 out of ~800 ships instead 8 out of ~1,000 ships.

This is why I have to emphasize a focus on at least some quantitative analysis rather than just accepting conventional wisdom. If you weren't so committed to the conventional wisdom you probably wouldn't spent time finding and quoting figures that make no practical difference to the point at issue.
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by pugsville » 22 Dec 2019 13:21

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Dec 2019 13:04
pugsville wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_Ship,_Tank
"18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph) laden to beaching draught"
"Capacity: 13 Churchill tanks or 20 medium tanks, 27 vehicles on upper deck, 193 men"
The relevant comparison is with typical Italian merchant vessels - you claimed MFP's were slower and more vulnerable than them. I'm not arguing that a German Med effort would have been more logistically sophisticated or substantial than the '44 Wallies - that'd be absurd and unnecessary given the relatively minor scale of fighting in North Africa. This about whether a Med-focused Germany could have supported a bigger DAK; not whether it could have launched the largest-ever amphibious campaign.
It wae in response to saying MFPs could be used for beach landings. They could . But if they did not do the entire trip then at some time the Merchant ships need to be unloaded onto the MFP then to the bench and unloaded again. Double handling which slows things down.

The LST were relative quick and could beach and often the load was simply driven off, the unloaded could be awfully quick. If there was no port facilities they could be beached. Though in that case they had to wait for tides and the turn around was much extended. But tehir abilityto do so meant other ships could use dock facilities that there were.

A larger could be supported but not without difficult, great effort and time. And British counter moves are possible,

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

Post by pugsville » 22 Dec 2019 13:26

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
22 Dec 2019 13:13
pugsville wrote:"As of June 1940, the Italian merchant fleet comprised 786 ships with a gross tonnage exceeding 500 tons, for a total of 3,318,129 tons, and about 200 ships between 100 and 500 tons. As many as 212 ships, amounting to 1,216,637 tons, were stranded out of the Mediterranean when Italy declared war, and almost all of them were consequently captured or sunk by the enemy.
I am aware of this and it changes basically nothing. It means that the port-size restriction applies to 8 out of ~800 ships instead 8 out of ~1,000 ships.

This is why I have to emphasize a focus on at least some quantitative analysis rather than just accepting conventional wisdom. If you weren't so committed to the conventional wisdom you probably wouldn't spent time finding and quoting figures that make no practical difference to the point at issue.
Ahem accurate numbers are always important, The rest is just emotional fluff attacking the man.. Address arguments not people.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Dec 2019 13:34

pugsville wrote:Ahem accurate numbers are always important, The rest is just emotional fluff attacking the man.. Address arguments not people.
Fine fine fine. Sorry.
Same analytical point, which you've ignored. The issue is that 8 Italian boats, if used together at Tripoli, block out the harbor. So don't use those boats! There's another >2mil tons shipping even after the early losses! - losses hich might have included the big boats anyways, which solves the "problem." (Consider how much a "problem" for the Italians this really is if having their biggest MV's sunk is the "solution")
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Avalancheon » 22 Dec 2019 13:41

pugsville wrote:
21 Dec 2019 22:37
I disagree strongly here.it was a very low capacity railway,

See old thread
viewtopic.php?t=99035

here's a nice map of railways in Libya in ww2
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Libya_Railways
I'm curious, what makes you think the Benghazi railway was of very low capacity? The thread confirms that the Axis were moving significant quantitys of supplys by rail, even though they only had three locomotives and a shortage of railway workers (not to mention the damage to the lines themselves).

''On 16 April the first shipment of 140 tons of ammunition was transported, with each train having a capacity of up to 150 tons. In twenty working days during April 1,306 tons of goods and 114 passengers were carried, an average of about 65 tons per day, in spite of the primitive conditions.''

''The special advantage of the railway was its proximity to Benghazi harbour, so that fewer trucks had to be used to transfer goods from ship to train.''

''During June 1942 1638 tons of ammunition, 1744 tons of fuel, 95 tons of provisions, 35 tons of other goods, 986 tons of Italian goods and 638 passengers were carried by the Benghazi-Barce railway.''

This was a respectable achievement considering the circumstances at play. The Benghazi railway was a useful asset that could be expanded considerably.
pugsville wrote:
21 Dec 2019 22:37
Well he has his opinion and i have mine. The Removal of Malta would at best remove only 50% of Shipping losses.

Malta only did 60% of the damage and more than half the Malta damage in early 1941 was submarines.

The Royal Navy was not that risk averse. Supplying Malta cost the Royal, Navy quite a bit, the same resources put into raiding is gong produce SOME result.
Again, you keep coming back to the number of ships sunk by Malta. Thats losing sight of the big picture.

Anyway, what do you think the Royal navy will do after Malta falls? What kind of activitys can they do in the central Mediterranean?
pugsville wrote:
21 Dec 2019 22:37
Resources are not instantly transformable one thing to another.

How? Designing and building specialty ships is years.
Running merchant ships through the channel around Spain is not exactly super easy either,
I wasn't specifically talking about merchant ships. I was thinking the Axis could build more storage facilitys at the ports, get more lighters and barges to unload ships, more dock workers and equipment, etc. These issues were mentioned in the article I linked to.

https://rommelsriposte.com/2011/06/01/c ... ours-1941/
pugsville wrote:
21 Dec 2019 22:37
Well the Germans were not a major naval power experienced in Naval landing operations. The Germans also had a real blind spot in logistics, they simply did not make logistics central to their operational planning process the way the allies did.
No argument there. The Germans have always had a 'land bound' mindset. They fought very well on the ground, but not so much at sea.
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 22 Dec 2019 13:50

pugsville wrote:A larger could be supported but not without difficult, great effort and time.
Then we agree!
The Germans could have done the Med strategy but despite the great quantities of sand added to their resources it still wouldn't have been worth it.

Where we disagreed earlier (my understanding) is whether (your view I think) this was not a strategic option because of Holy Logistics or whether (my view) there was a logistical solution but pursuing it would have been bad strategy.
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Dec 2019 14:17

Avalancheon wrote:
22 Dec 2019 13:00
Thats not fair, Richard. You are throwing shade at TheMarcksPlan, but your context is entirely wrong.

He wasn't saying that logistics and economics are a copout. He was saying on certain forums like ShitWehraboosSay, they are used as a copout by people who don't know anything about them. There is a huge difference.
Really? The context was "On this forum, anti-wehrabooism is a stance ... I read that as "on this forum". How do you read it?

BTW, there seems to be confusion regarding the "ignore function" and how I and doubtless others use it. I use it to bypass most of the endless nonsense and ignorance-fueled posts spewed by certain posters, but still occasionally check what misinformation they may attempt to foist on others. However, I reply to the other poster subject to the misinformation, not the one on ignore, since they are obviously driven by their own agenda.
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Avalancheon » 22 Dec 2019 14:21

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.
I could potentially see the Afrika korps reaching the Sinai with the exact same forces they used in OTL, provided that they are properly supplied. They came to a halt at Sollum for a variety of reasons: Tobruk was a thorn in their side, and so were the logistical issues. The only extra forces they needed in mid-1941 was the 90th division, to liquidate the pocket at Tobruk.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2019 02:31
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).
If the German and Italian forces were to secure all of Egypt up to the Suez canal and the Sinai, thats when they would need extra forces. Mainly occupation troops to guard Alexandria and Cairo. The Afrika korps would still be adequate for the combat task.
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).
It depends on what happens. If the British lose Gibraltar and Malta, then they will be in a weakened position. Public morale will be shaky. But if they lose most of Egypt in 1941, then there will be an uproar. Churchill would be facing a vote of no confidence from Parliament. They don't take the loss of crown colonys lightly. Remember, Britain is still a democracy. If their empire is put directly at risk, they might settle for an armistice.

I'd say there is maybe a 50% chance of them dropping out of the war before America can come to the rescue. In that case, Germanys strategic position looks alot more secure. At any rate, Turkey can be easily coerced or conquered.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2019 02:31
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.
Thats exactly the point. Germanys victory against France and the low countrys was a game changer. It immediately put Britain into a much more difficult position than the First World War. It forced them to fight small, pitched battles in peripheral theaters.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Dec 2019 14:27

glenn239 wrote:
10 Dec 2019 16:13
But with the previously cited case of ABDA, the joint fleet that went into battle in 1942 was not formed after an extended period of training, developing communications, and liaison linkages and only then attempting operations. Rather, it was formed by four nations throwing ships into a joint command somewhat haphazardly. Subsequent operations were hindered by the lack of preparation in the areas you mention, but the fleet itself existed and was sent into action; so too with an Axis fleet.
So ABDA is a great example of how to get excellent results from hastily forming a joint and combined headquarters? :lol: :lol: :lol:
Now, you suggest that the Axis force structure and logistic characteristics of the Italian fleet in particular were inadequate to the task. But I’d never said that the Axis navies were numerically or logistically optimal to the task. I said that with access to Iberia that the Axis navies could unify and conduct operations against British SLOC in the Atlantic.
Access to ports in Iberia do not facilitate a campaign directed against the principal SLOC in the Atlantic Halifax-Liverpool. Nor do I suspect there was anything near the Bunker C in Iberia required for fleet operations, especially by fuel-hungry military vessels.

At best, it gives a few more ports for the few German commerce raiders to work out of, but commerce raiding was a dead-end.

BTW, sorry for the late replies, I am still catching up after being on holiday and out of contact for a while.
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 23 Dec 2019 00:45

Avalancheon wrote:It depends on what happens. If the British lose Gibraltar and Malta, then they will be in a weakened position. Public morale will be shaky. But if they lose most of Egypt in 1941, then there will be an uproar. Churchill would be facing a vote of no confidence from Parliament. They don't take the loss of crown colonys lightly. Remember, Britain is still a democracy. If their empire is put directly at risk, they might settle for an armistice.

I'd say there is maybe a 50% chance of them dropping out of the war before America can come to the rescue. In that case, Germanys strategic position looks alot more secure. At any rate, Turkey can be easily coerced or conquered.
Seems like Churchill was never seriously endangered even after the Greece debacle. I can see losses in the Med being the last straw but I can see arguments the other way. Who's Churchill's likely successor in this scenario? Eden would show himself to be an adventurism (Egypt) while Attlee was resolutely anti-Hitler. Both were renowned opponents of appeasement and opposed peace during the May 1940 debates. Looking at it from a "national interest" perspective, I don't see why Britain is better off surrendering colonies in 1941 than holding out hope for American and Russian help.
If the German and Italian forces were to secure all of Egypt up to the Suez canal and the Sinai, thats when they would need extra forces. Mainly occupation troops to guard Alexandria and Cairo. The Afrika korps would still be adequate for the combat task
You're probably right about just needing one more division for DAK to reach Sinai in 41. I was thinking of 42 for some reason. Occupation wouldn't require more than a battalion IMO - it's just not that hard for a modern army to control a population if the occupier is ruthless.

On the whole I still make the same point. Maybe you're right about the politics but this approach gambles German security on British domestic dynamics, which were inscrutable to Hitler. It gives Stalin another year to build the Red Army, which could easily be 50% stronger in 42 than in OTL Barbarossa. That would likely preclude the operational freedom to conduct deep encirclements if/when war came.
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 23 Dec 2019 18:42

Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2019 03:24
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Dec 2019 01:54
pugsville wrote:
20 Dec 2019 11:16
... I;'m interesting in logistics generally so I'll dig aorund and see what i can turn up maybe CARL might have some papers of France 1944 logistics.
You'd want Ruppenthals 'Logistics in Overlord' For your primer, tho it covers just the US Army/AAF/Service Forces. But, it will serve you as a good basis for getting into the weeds as we used to say in the Old Corps. It does make clear the basis for planning for the Commonwealth-21Army Group, but lacks information on the post invasion execution for 21AG. Theres some other histories that serve for 21 Army Group if you want a complete primer. But I'll leave others with more complete knowledge to recommend those.
Sorry Carl, but that is utter nonsense. Don't you know "logistics" is one of the watchwords of anti-wehrabooism? Along with "economics" and "war of attrition". And since they are usually uttered by folks with no economic training and not the slightest idea of logistics, then that means you have no idea what you are talking about...and neither does Ruppenthal, Leighton, Smith, Fairchild and Grossman, Hancock and Gowing, Postan, and et al, nor the anonymous authors of Administrative History of 21 Army Group. :lol: :lol: :lol:
You are right, & I keep trying to cite complete sources rather than cherry picking factoids. I'm just completely out of sync here.

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