Distance is decisive : how do you supply a motorised army over a distance of 158o km , not counting the distance from the Rurh/northern Italy to Cairo via Libya ?Peter89 wrote: ↑30 Jan 2020 17:45The distance doesn't matter because there was no major army formations in Africa at that time. East Africa Command was created in September 1941, by that time, the Axis could have taken control of the vital parts of Africa, thus strengthening the alliance with the Vichy and the French, and whatnot. The whole British garrison in Africa wasn't even the size of HGN in the SU. Conquering it would mean the possible exploitation of its resources. The pro-German Barry Hertzog was recently removed from office in South Africa, and the Vichy administration was in place. Why do you think the British bothered to take all these colonies from Axis rule as their first step against the Axis? Because it meant that the Axis can only lose without them, and because they were easy to conquer.ljadw wrote: ↑30 Jan 2020 16:04Sudan : the distance between Cairo and Khartoum is 1580 km,1580 km of desert and tropical jungle. Impossible to traverse by a mechanized army .Peter89 wrote: ↑30 Jan 2020 09:20Why exactly?
How could Britain give up? Either if the Germans invade the Isles or if they cut off the imports.
The RAF and the air defense system was an impossibly hard nut to crack. The isles couldn't be invaded.
Cutting off the imports and control of the seas had to start somewhere; the Mediterraneum was a nice prize and its loss would be a major blow to the British morale. Unlike SU, Germany didn't need to occupy and fight millions of soldiers in the British colonies. It was a war that they could afford. Japan launched its offensive against European colonial possessions - with great effect. Had Germany done the same, instead of attacking its partner the SU, they clearly stood a better chance against the BE.
How to force Britain to give up ?
Invasion was impossible
Cutting off its imports was also impossible, besides it would risk to hasten US intervention .Besides,it would take too long .
There was no reason to dominate the Mediterranean,as the Italian DOW had already as result that the Mediterranean was no longer used for convoys to and from the east ,the convoys were going via Africa .
Japan launched its offensive against European colonies,because it had a big fleet and because this big fleet could operate in the Pacific .Germany had no big fleet and no Pacific .
What would have been the benefit for the Axis,if their forces were at the end of 1941 in Khartoum ?
The only ( very very small ) chance for the Germans was to eliminate the USSR, because Britain needed a lot of cannon fodder and only the SU could give this .
The only chance for a palace revolution in Whitehall and the replacement of Churchill by Hoare,was the arrival of the WM at the Volga in the Autumn of 1941 .
As for the ME, the British had to fight actual wars against freedom movements in Iraq, and later they invaded Syria and Lebanon. The outlook on the Indian ocean meant a wide range of strategical possibilities too. If you believe that taking the ME was impossible, you are clearly wrong. To occupy it could be costly, but to control it could be easy.
As for India, the Indian National Army fought against the British and the US supported them, that colony was on the verge of independence (which they achieved soon after the war).
As for the control of the Mediterran sea, it was a preliminary requisite for any invasions / trade in the direction of ME or Africa.
I bet that the British would not give up because a German unit saw some river in Eastern Europe. It is such a fantasy as taking Moscow = victory over the Soviets.
It could not be done .It would take several months for a ton of supplies to go from Germany/Italy to Khartum and several months for the trucks/trains/ships who transported the supplies to Khartum,to arrive back in Italy/Germany .
The British 'bothered '' to take (NOT the Axis ) but the Italian colonies (Libya and Ethiopia ) because it was the only place where they could fight the Axis ( better :Italy ) in 1940,and because they had in 1940 not the forces to invade southern Europe .
There was no freedom movement in Iraq,and the revolt was immediately crushed .
Britain invaded Syria and Libanon because it feared,wrongly, that these territories would join the Axis .
What strategic possibilities would give the outlook on the Indian Ocean ?
The Indian National Army was formed in August 1942, thus irrelevant for the period we discuss, and its military value was very marginal .
The Axis had not the forces, not the resources to conquer the ME ,to conquer Turkey,the Levant, Iraq, Iran, Jordan and Palestine, KSA, Yemen, Aden, the Gulf States. Besides, there was nothing of any valy in the ME for the Axis .
To conquer the ME the Axis would need more than 70 divisions and thousands of aircraft, but these divisions could not operate in the ME, neither could they be supplied .