Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

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Peter89
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 18 Sep 2020 19:53

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
18 Sep 2020 17:35
btw- your source contains this on the Corinth Canal:
By using this canal, the Italians were able to cut the distance from their supply bases along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas to Piraeus and Athens by some 130 miles, avoiding the open sea and British aircraft based in Egypt.
The British got lucky with a single mine-laying operation in May 41 but, as the source explains, the Germans only ran blindly into a minefield because the "partners" were in a dispute at the time and Regia Marina didn't bother to tell the Germans about the new danger after the Italians had recently sailed through the area. I haven't seen any evidence that Italian shipping via Corinth was ever meaningfully restricted.
This is the evidence... Corinthian Gulf was safe from British AIR attacks. Not naval attacks.

And if you've ever spent a day around the Canal you'll know that there was no way to take out spies: all the surrounding mountains have an excellent view of the water. With a simple binocular you can keep a log of the in-and-out going traffic.

(I recommend you all to take a proper bath in it when you happen to spend some time around it.)

Besides: the most important cargo on this route has been lost in a time when the RN was not supposed to be in control of it. What do you think they were capable of in late 1942?

Italian convoys were attacked where it mattered :) and not so much, where it didn't.

As for the Operation Gertrude 1942, I see the spirit in your plans (landing at multiple locations, also from islands) please do work around them a bit, and we'll see. I am very much supportive, but I just don't see how is it going to be a cakewalk as you paint it.

For the Allied logistics for fall 1942, I have no solid datas at hand, so I can be convinced.

So why is Turkey is so important in late 1942? :)
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 19 Sep 2020 00:08

Peter89 wrote:This is the evidence... Corinthian Gulf was safe from British AIR attacks. Not naval attacks.
Can we please take a step back and look at what you're saying? You're telling me that because two German ships hit mines once, the Corinth Canal is not a viable logistics route. Really? I could spend a few minutes looking up stats but surely you're aware that W.Allied ships continued to hit mines and otherwise get sunk in the Atlantic until nearly VE-day. Yet we rightly consider the Atlantic secure in the strategic sense from no later than mid-'43.
I recommend you all to take a proper bath in it when you happen to spend some time around it.
Will do! As a traveler I take immersion in the local environment literally. :)
For the Allied logistics for fall 1942, I have no solid datas at hand, so I can be convinced.
I discuss some of the logistical issues of W.allies fighting in another thread:
To defend all axes in the MidEast-India theater, W.Allies would need easily another 50 divisions or 1.5mil men. As each in-theater soldier required 67lbs/day, that's 1.35mil long tons per month, 16mil per year - 60-80% of British import demand per year. As India/ME are 4x as DISTANT from U.S. as Britain, the shipping logistics are simply impossible.
The source is the U.S. Army's two-volume Global Logistics and Strategy, Appendix A to v.2. The book is a great compendium of high-level stats/analysis.

https://history.army.mil/html/books/001 ... ub_1-6.pdf
https://history.army.mil/html/books/001 ... ub_1-5.pdf

Appendix A to v1 gives ship turnaround times from the U.S. to various destinations. New York-UK was 60 days in 1943; to "Near East" prior to Italy's capitulation was 210 days (p.725). So sending forces to the Near East cost 3.5x as much shipping capacity per unit. This is for the U.S. only. For Britain to send units to the Near East the relative price vs. shipping to Britain/Algeria was much higher (obviously).

One thing to note against my case: Russia's fall frees up significant capacity from OTL Lend Lease routes. In fall 42 this is mostly a story of the Persian Corridor as the Arctic was suspended. The Soviet Far East traffic was carried in American-built but Soviet-flagged and staffed bottoms. The W.Allies probably impound Soviet ships in their ports upon a separate Soviet peace but most ships would be either at sea or in Vladivostok at that moment.

In late '42 and early '43 the W.Allies were sending 150k long tons/months to USSR via the Persian Corridor. https://history.army.mil/books/wwii/per ... x-b.htm#c8

At a divisional slice of 30k men and the maintenance requirements cited above, 150k long tons/month is sufficient to support ~6 divisions operating in Anatolia (assuming you can forward the cargoes from the ports onto the Plateau, which is no small assumption). If Monty assumes the defensive against Rommel he can probably spare 3-4 divisions as well.

But you need to get the 6 divisions to the Near East somehow. Appendix A-3 of GLS (p.823) contains initial shipping requirements. It's in "measurement tons" (MT) which, confusingly, is a volume measure (40ft2). An infantry division needs 3.15 MT/man or 45,000 MT, an armored division requires twice that. Assuming the non-div slice has similar requirements per man similar to the infantry division, that's ~90k MT per infantry division and ~120k MT per armored division. As the non-divisional portions of American divisional slices included shipping-intensive units like gun battalions and engineering units (bridges, bulldozers), this is almost certainly an underestimate of shipping requirements.

A Liberty Ship's hold volume is 4,000 GRT which equals 10,000 MT: 9 Liberty Ships to deploy an infantry division and 12 for an armored division. A Liberty Ship's deadweight tonnage is also ~10,000 long tons in case you want to convert the volume-measured shipping burden back into weight. Probably the MT metric was related to typical volume-weight ratios for ease of mental math.

So if the W.Allies want to put 10 divisions into Turkey, and we only consider the initial deployment cost (taking the support burden from Lend Lease to Russia), the marginal shipping cost is a convoy equivalent to 60 Liberty Ships on a 210-day turnaround to the Near East. Converting into long tons and shipments to UK, that'd cost 2.1mil long tons (approximately the same in MT) shipped to Britain. How significant is that?

Appendix E-1 of GSL vol.1 (p.733) has a chart of American shipments to Europe. It's in MT but as a Liberty Ship's capacity is around 10,000 for long tons and MT let's use it for now:

Image

As you can see, all American army shipments peaked at 1.56mil MT in July '42 and averaged ~1.2mil in the second half of '42. 2.1mil MT not shipped to Britain (as calculated above), would exceed all shipping deliveries to Europe in second-half of '42 and would equal shipments to North Africa in the first 5 months of Torch.

Most of this analysis would apply to deploying tactical air forces to Turkey as well. Army Air Forces manpower requirements were substantial at ~40% of the entire army. So far we haven't sent any planes with our 6-10 divisions but that's obviously not a good idea.

I hope it's clear that any remotely-credible W.Allied assistance to Turkey in '42 would impose shipping burdens that would at least preclude Torch and Alamein. Probably Guadalcanal and any Bolero buildup as well.

The W.allies shipping quandary is one of the least understood aspects of the war. The boring math involved in this post is probably a main reason why. But the math is clear if one has the stomach for it: strong W.allied intervention in the Near East would be limited by shipping logistics.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 19 Sep 2020 02:53

Peter89 wrote:the continous flow of supplies from the Reich has to be made via 2 channels: 1. River Danube, 2. Railways
Again you're ignoring the Adriatic-Aegean route via Corinth. I'll hold off for now on saying more and give you the opportunity to show more than 2 ship losses on the route over the >2 years that Italy supported its Greek forces via Corinth.

Just briefly, I'll add that the Thracian forces can be built up and supplied via Alexandropouli's port - 15 miles from the Turkish border.

So let's focus for now on logistics from Thrace and Aegean Isles into Turkey's interior.
Peter89 wrote:
1 German Infantry Division
Inactive: 80t/d
Average: 150t/d
Fighting: 1100t/d

1 German Panzer Division
Inactive: 30t/d
Average: 300t/d
Fighting: 700t/d
Let's take your average for now and do a simple calculation from them and from, initialy, your characterization* of Turkish railways:

*As I hope is clearer from my map, I'll be using two railways: one from Marmara Sea and one from Aegean, likely starting from Izmir and running via Aydin to the Anatolian Plateau.
As for the railways in Turkey, they were singles, expected to handle 10 trains per day, loaded with 450-800t - and the railways that connected Istambul with the rest of the network, was not even the best (able to handle 17t axle weight). This 4500-8000t/d capacity was simply not enough, and the deeper the forces go into Turkey, the less enough it will become.
Two railways gives us 9-16,000 t/day. If Germany deploys 10 ID's and 10 panzer/mobile divs, that's 4,500 t/day required. Then let's double it 9,000 t/day for Grosstransportraum, army/corps-level assets, and LW. Where's the problem? We haven't even addressed truck column capacity from the ports/beaches yet.

From the Caucasus Germany's 6 divisions need 900 t/d. That can come via rail all the way from Germany or, more likely, comes to Varna/Constanta/Odessa thence to Sochi/Poti/Batumi. Turkey doesn't have an air force or navy capable of stopping Black Sea traffic. As alluded to in my preceding shipping post, for W.Allied air forces to intervene will require a massive shipping effort to Basra, and inland logistics up to the Caucasus. If somehow necessary, Axis shipping hugs the northern Black Sea Coast until reaching Sochi and then goes by rail to the Caucasus front.

----------------------------------------------------

So far I've been taking your characterization of the Turkish and Balkan railways for granted - I don't have much knowledge there other than the observation that they supported 680,000 Germans in a successful Operation Marita. If further research turns up a need for more rail capacity in either the Balkans or Turkey, however, that can be easily addressed by the Germans.

In advance of Barbarossa, Germany put 300k tons of steel and RM 307mn into the Polish railway network. viewtopic.php?f=66&t=203286&start=75#p1849754

During the war in the East, Germany invested RM 1.5-2bn in railways (viewtopic.php?f=66&t=203286&start=75#p1849754) and built the following physical infrastructure:

Image

Compared to Otto and Ostbau programs, a "Turkbau" to support a larger Mittelostheer would be table scraps. Not imputing this to you but there is a faux-knowledgable stance common in WW2 discussions that the Germans ignored logistics. The record of German rail investments - save for the 6 months of '41 when those investments mattered most - show that stance to be a-historical.

---------------------------------------

To sum up:
  • Internal Turkish railways appear more than adequate to support 20 German divisions plus supporting elements in Thrace and Western Anatolia.
  • In Eastern Anatolia the smallish German thrust would use the Black Sea and, if necessary, the massive German rail investments during 1942 in Russia.
  • Supply lines to the jumping off points run through Corinth and via Balkan railways/rivers. Re Corinth, we need to specify that the '42 Italians actually tell the Germans about newly-laid minefields and sweep them. Also if the Italians don't sweep for mines, we specify that the Germans sweep for mines instead of blindly steaming around as on one day in May 41. We may also need to specify additional rail investment towards Thrace, though this would be a small fraction of the investment laid up for and after Barbarossa.
  • If there's just no fixing the Balkan railways for some reason then German railroads built up in Russia are used, then shipment from Odessa to Varna and the Thracian front.
Btw- thank you for the links in your last couple posts and for your detailed comments.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 19 Sep 2020 04:58

Peter89 wrote:So why is Turkey is so important in late 1942?
This will get into my overall view of why/how the Axis should have won at least a conventional WW2, which is an ongoing project. As with your ongoing project of Germany's no-Barbarossa '40-'4? Med strategy, it's - well - ongoing in its articulation.

Turkey is the key to the to whole region between Gibraltar and Calcutta, Djibouti and Tehran (your disagreement noted of course).

From the Syria-Turkish border the Heer can (1) strike rapidly towards Suez, (2) strike somewhat less rapidly towards Basra/Abadan, and (3) can strike eastwards along the Turkish railway from Lake Van into the rear of any W.Allied force opposing the German drive from the Caucasus into Iran.

Image

The fundamental dynamic here is that the W.Allies would face insuperable logistical difficulties defending any of these critical axes, let alone all of them (shipping scarcity, as discussed above).

Axis possession of Suez has important consequences in the Western Med: with the RN lacking a base in the Eastern Med, Axis shipping can't be challenged there except by submarines (and these would face increasing problems as well). Torch therefore has no chance of inflicting a Tunisgrad, only of pushing the Axis east across useless deserts. But each step east exposes the rear of a W.Allied North African army to being cut off when/if Spain joins an ascendant post-SU Axis (They almost certainly would have joined, or Hitler would have swallowed Iberia as well).

The Axis drive towards Basra faces bigger logistical challenges than towards Suez but the Germans have hundreds of thousands of trucks not used by the Ostheer to support it and can build up the Berlin-Baghdad railroad. They don't need to advance much to take Mosul and its oil fields (tabling for now whether they need to or can transport its oil)

The German drive through Iran and eventually towards India has a Turkish component as stated above. In the event the W.Allies try to force a retired SU from its territory under the '41 Anglo-Soviet agreement on Iran, they're already outflanked by the German presence in Eastern Anatolia. The main German drive south from Azerbaijan has a logistics route of Black Sea - Batumi/Poti - Georgia railways as well as Russian railways (built up by Germany) - Volga - Caspian Sea - Azerbaijan/Bandar Anzali.

Here's a sketch of how the ~2 years after the fall of SU/Turkey would go:

Image

Green arrows are late 42 and early 43, red arrows are latter 43, orange arrows are ~44. (very rough for now)

Japan's 1.1mil-man Kwantung Army, freed by SU's defeat and bolstered by German material via the humbled SU, conquers China in '43 (red arrow). Then Japan moves on India during 44 - strengthened by overland logistics from China - to meet up with the Germans there and/or waive goodbye to the British as they evacuate. I've given 2 years for the Germans to advance through Iran to India because there's a logistical wasteland in Eastern Iran and it'd be a matter of pushing forward air bases along the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea towards Karachi.

During 43 the Axis keep moving south in Arabia from Palestine and Mesopotamia, taking Yemen by year-end. The Red Sea is now closed to W.Allied surface ships and only 20 miles separate Yemen from Djibouti. Once the Axis take that hop and push into the Horn, the Axis can steam directly between Gibraltar and Tokyo.

What would the W.Allies be doing all this time? Well they've got to commit at least some forces between Alexandria and Tehran or else the Germans can simply stroll into the whole region. Given the shipping and other logistical burdens of mounting this inevitably-losing fight, that'll occupy them through 1943 probably.

Of course they'll also be implementing their enormously-expensive bombing campaign against Germany. The fall of the SU doesn't change that strategy because the industrial momentum behind the bombing campaign was well under way when the W.Allies believed Russia would probably collapse. The bombing strategy won't work because Germany will have at least twice the plane production and plenty of fuel with which to keep its pilots on par with the W.Allies. The LW not fighting the VVS helps a little too.

The W.Allies could try to build up for a big invasion of France in 44 but OTL America maxed out at 91 divisions and it would take at least 200 to fight an undistracted Germany+allies. To build up a massive W.Allied army by mid-44 would require slashing bomber production and/or naval production in by early 43, which is implausible before the bomber strategy is tested. So the W.Allies mostly sit around in the West, maybe losing an army in North Africa, maybe losing an army in Norway, maybe pushing harder against Japan.

Japan, however, now has land and sea connections to Germany and Hitler was appropriately conscious of the need to keep Japan in the war. The three Axis powers have, between them, enough aircraft carriers to form a credible Fleet-in-Being that ties up W.Allied naval strength in the Atlantic. Because the combined Axis force can steam between Gibraltar and Aden much faster than can the W.Allies go around the Cape, the W.Allies have to abandon the Indian Ocean to Axis control. These carriers are mostly conversions of older battleships, cruisers, and liners - as was considered by Hitler but postponed OTL for good non-ATL reasons. They're not capable of defeating the USN/RN straight up but they're strong enough to force it to concentrate somewhere (Pacific and Atlantic). The orange line across the Indian Ocean is the Japanese Navy sailing to the Med, not an invasion force. With the Indian Ocean dominated by the Axis, the Axis rear is secure and their full forces can meet any invasion of their homelands.

By early '45 at the latest the Axis controls the entire Eurasian landmass and North Africa. V1's are raining down on England by the tens of thousands, the Type XXI (undelayed by crushing W.Allied bombing due to better German defenses) is biting into Transatlantic logistics, and Britain is probably ready to talk peace. With enough time for Type XXI to cut the Transatlantic supply lines, Germany can invade Britain if she's intransigent.

A-bomb aside, there's no way for the W.Allies to return to Eurasia any time soon. A-bomb included, either the parties hammer out a peace or hundreds of millions die when Japan and Germany respond to A-bombs with sarin gas and other weapons of mass destruction against their entire hemisphere.

-------------------------

If Turkey immolates itself rather than joining the Axis in 42 then that timeline gets pushed back a few months, which doesn't change the situation in early '45 or the strategic situation generally. It would be incongruous for a Turkish leadership class who - at best - smiled upon the Armenian genocide to prefer on moral grounds a national destruction over alliance with Hitler. The Turks would swallow the rest of Armenia, a few Greek isles, and/or a chunk of Iraq and Syria and let Hitler march on.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 19 Sep 2020 09:21

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
19 Sep 2020 04:58
Peter89 wrote:So why is Turkey is so important in late 1942?
This will get into my overall view of why/how the Axis should have won at least a conventional WW2, which is an ongoing project. As with your ongoing project of Germany's no-Barbarossa '40-'4? Med strategy, it's - well - ongoing in its articulation.

Turkey is the key to the to whole region between Gibraltar and Calcutta, Djibouti and Tehran (your disagreement noted of course).

From the Syria-Turkish border the Heer can (1) strike rapidly towards Suez, (2) strike somewhat less rapidly towards Basra/Abadan, and (3) can strike eastwards along the Turkish railway from Lake Van into the rear of any W.Allied force opposing the German drive from the Caucasus into Iran.

Image

The fundamental dynamic here is that the W.Allies would face insuperable logistical difficulties defending any of these critical axes, let alone all of them (shipping scarcity, as discussed above).

Axis possession of Suez has important consequences in the Western Med: with the RN lacking a base in the Eastern Med, Axis shipping can't be challenged there except by submarines (and these would face increasing problems as well). Torch therefore has no chance of inflicting a Tunisgrad, only of pushing the Axis east across useless deserts. But each step east exposes the rear of a W.Allied North African army to being cut off when/if Spain joins an ascendant post-SU Axis (They almost certainly would have joined, or Hitler would have swallowed Iberia as well).

The Axis drive towards Basra faces bigger logistical challenges than towards Suez but the Germans have hundreds of thousands of trucks not used by the Ostheer to support it and can build up the Berlin-Baghdad railroad. They don't need to advance much to take Mosul and its oil fields (tabling for now whether they need to or can transport its oil)

The German drive through Iran and eventually towards India has a Turkish component as stated above. In the event the W.Allies try to force a retired SU from its territory under the '41 Anglo-Soviet agreement on Iran, they're already outflanked by the German presence in Eastern Anatolia. The main German drive south from Azerbaijan has a logistics route of Black Sea - Batumi/Poti - Georgia railways as well as Russian railways (built up by Germany) - Volga - Caspian Sea - Azerbaijan/Bandar Anzali.

Here's a sketch of how the ~2 years after the fall of SU/Turkey would go:

Image

Green arrows are late 42 and early 43, red arrows are latter 43, orange arrows are ~44. (very rough for now)

Japan's 1.1mil-man Kwantung Army, freed by SU's defeat and bolstered by German material via the humbled SU, conquers China in '43 (red arrow). Then Japan moves on India during 44 - strengthened by overland logistics from China - to meet up with the Germans there and/or waive goodbye to the British as they evacuate. I've given 2 years for the Germans to advance through Iran to India because there's a logistical wasteland in Eastern Iran and it'd be a matter of pushing forward air bases along the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea towards Karachi.

During 43 the Axis keep moving south in Arabia from Palestine and Mesopotamia, taking Yemen by year-end. The Red Sea is now closed to W.Allied surface ships and only 20 miles separate Yemen from Djibouti. Once the Axis take that hop and push into the Horn, the Axis can steam directly between Gibraltar and Tokyo.

What would the W.Allies be doing all this time? Well they've got to commit at least some forces between Alexandria and Tehran or else the Germans can simply stroll into the whole region. Given the shipping and other logistical burdens of mounting this inevitably-losing fight, that'll occupy them through 1943 probably.

Of course they'll also be implementing their enormously-expensive bombing campaign against Germany. The fall of the SU doesn't change that strategy because the industrial momentum behind the bombing campaign was well under way when the W.Allies believed Russia would probably collapse. The bombing strategy won't work because Germany will have at least twice the plane production and plenty of fuel with which to keep its pilots on par with the W.Allies. The LW not fighting the VVS helps a little too.

The W.Allies could try to build up for a big invasion of France in 44 but OTL America maxed out at 91 divisions and it would take at least 200 to fight an undistracted Germany+allies. To build up a massive W.Allied army by mid-44 would require slashing bomber production and/or naval production in by early 43, which is implausible before the bomber strategy is tested. So the W.Allies mostly sit around in the West, maybe losing an army in North Africa, maybe losing an army in Norway, maybe pushing harder against Japan.

Japan, however, now has land and sea connections to Germany and Hitler was appropriately conscious of the need to keep Japan in the war. The three Axis powers have, between them, enough aircraft carriers to form a credible Fleet-in-Being that ties up W.Allied naval strength in the Atlantic. Because the combined Axis force can steam between Gibraltar and Aden much faster than can the W.Allies go around the Cape, the W.Allies have to abandon the Indian Ocean to Axis control. These carriers are mostly conversions of older battleships, cruisers, and liners - as was considered by Hitler but postponed OTL for good non-ATL reasons. They're not capable of defeating the USN/RN straight up but they're strong enough to force it to concentrate somewhere (Pacific and Atlantic). The orange line across the Indian Ocean is the Japanese Navy sailing to the Med, not an invasion force. With the Indian Ocean dominated by the Axis, the Axis rear is secure and their full forces can meet any invasion of their homelands.

By early '45 at the latest the Axis controls the entire Eurasian landmass and North Africa. V1's are raining down on England by the tens of thousands, the Type XXI (undelayed by crushing W.Allied bombing due to better German defenses) is biting into Transatlantic logistics, and Britain is probably ready to talk peace. With enough time for Type XXI to cut the Transatlantic supply lines, Germany can invade Britain if she's intransigent.

A-bomb aside, there's no way for the W.Allies to return to Eurasia any time soon. A-bomb included, either the parties hammer out a peace or hundreds of millions die when Japan and Germany respond to A-bombs with sarin gas and other weapons of mass destruction against their entire hemisphere.

-------------------------

If Turkey immolates itself rather than joining the Axis in 42 then that timeline gets pushed back a few months, which doesn't change the situation in early '45 or the strategic situation generally. It would be incongruous for a Turkish leadership class who - at best - smiled upon the Armenian genocide to prefer on moral grounds a national destruction over alliance with Hitler. The Turks would swallow the rest of Armenia, a few Greek isles, and/or a chunk of Iraq and Syria and let Hitler march on.
This sounds nice and all, but how would you address the tiny bit of a problem with complete wallied naval and air superiority?

By 1944 the air and naval war has been all but lost, Japan was cut off from its colonies and Germany was pounded like hell.

The technological and numerical war has been lost for the Axis as well - almost every equipment, training quality and doctrines were better for the Allies in 1944.

LW was not even capable of protecting France by mid-1944. Even if we do not count all the planes lost in the SU OTL, the Germans would be inferior big time. Without air superiority, the V-1s stand no chance, etc.

There was simply no opportunity for the Axis by 1944. The invasion via the Indian Ocean is like okay...

What your scenario suggests is like 2-3 consecutive, decisive, strategic victory for the Axis in the SU, China and NA/ME, without taking substantial losses in the process.

We can calculate with these events on their own (ie. miracle), but without a joint Axis strategy, they had no way exploit it. It would be a miracle on square, and it's more like fantasy than a what if scenario.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 19 Sep 2020 09:29

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
19 Sep 2020 00:08
Peter89 wrote:This is the evidence... Corinthian Gulf was safe from British AIR attacks. Not naval attacks.
Can we please take a step back and look at what you're saying? You're telling me that because two German ships hit mines once, the Corinth Canal is not a viable logistics route. Really? I could spend a few minutes looking up stats but surely you're aware that W.Allied ships continued to hit mines and otherwise get sunk in the Atlantic until nearly VE-day. Yet we rightly consider the Atlantic secure in the strategic sense from no later than mid-'43.
The problem is that it wasn't a lucky hit.

Yes, I say that the British have broken the Italian and German naval code, and by fall 1942 they were sinking Axis merchant ships like crazy. If there was a big upcoming operation in Turkey, you must calculate with the following:
- the Brits know about it
- the Turks know about it
- the Allies can attack the ships with irreplaceable cargo
- the Axis had not enough escort vessels to protect them
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 19 Sep 2020 10:11

Peter89 wrote:The invasion via the Indian Ocean is like okay...
As I explicitly stated:
The orange line across the Indian Ocean is the Japanese Navy sailing to the Med, not an invasion force.
Peter89 wrote:By 1944 the air and naval war has been all but lost, Japan was cut off from its colonies and Germany was pounded like hell.
That's OTL not ATL.

I understand that you're responding to a low-detail post by me (one that followed very detailed posts)... but I've provided multiple reasons why ATL would be different from OTL on many of the factors you list. Most critically is German plane production delta for ATL over OTL. Nearly as important is the German fuel situation in ATL versus OTL: with Caucasus oil the LW maintains pilot quality with the W.Allies. The Wallies couldn't reliably bomb Germany by daylight until 1944; in an ATL with >2x LW production it's at least questionable whether W.allies can establish air superiority over Germany. Lack of AS over Germany doesn't mean LW has beaten RAF/AAF, just means the central W.Allied strategic goal has been defeated.
Peter89 wrote:but without a joint Axis strategy
OTL not ATL. There was simply no avenue for German-Japanese collaboration OTL; all exchanges passed on 90 submarines during the war. That all changes if Germany is pushing through the MidEast and can force a prostrate SU to resume German-Japanese trade. From Basic Order 24 of March 5, 1941:
2. To prepare the way for the collaboration it is essential to strengthen the Japanese military potential with all means available. For this purpose the High Commands of the branches of the Armed Forces will comply in a comprehensive and generous manner with Japanese desires for information regarding German war and combat experience, and for assistance in military economics and in technical matters. Reciprocity is desirable, but this factor should not stand in the way of negotiations. Priority should naturally be given to those Japanese requests which would have the most immediate application in waging war. In special cases the Führer reserves the decisions for himself.
That Germany and Japan didn't work together much is true; that they had no desire to do so and no conception of the strategic value of doing so is absolutely false. I could give many more examples but a huge one is the IJA's desire to strike at Russia in '42 if she looked to be going down. Here she is going down; Japan strikes. This has many broader consequences on Japanese strategy. OTL the IJN got to dictate strategy and blunder into a Midway fiasco that IJA vociferously opposed. Same for the campaign in the Solomons.

If Japan plans to attack Russia in '42 then Midway doesn't happen, the Pacific perimeter is probably set around Rabaul in the South and IJN assumes the defensive in the Pacific. Japan directly proposed the India strategy I sketched to Germany in '42 but Hitler couldn't agree because of the whole Eastern Front thing. In this ATL Hitler agrees to work towards India, Japan defends in the Pacific and advances in the Indian Ocean. A counterpunching IJN would be the favorite over USN in a carrier battle until early '43. If the US gets antsy and moves in '42 they might suffer their own Midway in the Carolinas/Gilberts.

Anyway, I have many more responses to your points but let's try to stick to Turkey. I was just responding to your question about why Turkey matters and then providing a sketch of how unhinging the W.Allies in position in the MidEast plays out globally.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 19 Sep 2020 14:35

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
19 Sep 2020 10:11
Peter89 wrote:The invasion via the Indian Ocean is like okay...
As I explicitly stated:
The orange line across the Indian Ocean is the Japanese Navy sailing to the Med, not an invasion force.
Peter89 wrote:By 1944 the air and naval war has been all but lost, Japan was cut off from its colonies and Germany was pounded like hell.
That's OTL not ATL.

I understand that you're responding to a low-detail post by me (one that followed very detailed posts)... but I've provided multiple reasons why ATL would be different from OTL on many of the factors you list. Most critically is German plane production delta for ATL over OTL. Nearly as important is the German fuel situation in ATL versus OTL: with Caucasus oil the LW maintains pilot quality with the W.Allies. The Wallies couldn't reliably bomb Germany by daylight until 1944; in an ATL with >2x LW production it's at least questionable whether W.allies can establish air superiority over Germany. Lack of AS over Germany doesn't mean LW has beaten RAF/AAF, just means the central W.Allied strategic goal has been defeated.
Peter89 wrote:but without a joint Axis strategy
OTL not ATL. There was simply no avenue for German-Japanese collaboration OTL; all exchanges passed on 90 submarines during the war. That all changes if Germany is pushing through the MidEast and can force a prostrate SU to resume German-Japanese trade. From Basic Order 24 of March 5, 1941:
2. To prepare the way for the collaboration it is essential to strengthen the Japanese military potential with all means available. For this purpose the High Commands of the branches of the Armed Forces will comply in a comprehensive and generous manner with Japanese desires for information regarding German war and combat experience, and for assistance in military economics and in technical matters. Reciprocity is desirable, but this factor should not stand in the way of negotiations. Priority should naturally be given to those Japanese requests which would have the most immediate application in waging war. In special cases the Führer reserves the decisions for himself.
That Germany and Japan didn't work together much is true; that they had no desire to do so and no conception of the strategic value of doing so is absolutely false. I could give many more examples but a huge one is the IJA's desire to strike at Russia in '42 if she looked to be going down. Here she is going down; Japan strikes. This has many broader consequences on Japanese strategy. OTL the IJN got to dictate strategy and blunder into a Midway fiasco that IJA vociferously opposed. Same for the campaign in the Solomons.

If Japan plans to attack Russia in '42 then Midway doesn't happen, the Pacific perimeter is probably set around Rabaul in the South and IJN assumes the defensive in the Pacific. Japan directly proposed the India strategy I sketched to Germany in '42 but Hitler couldn't agree because of the whole Eastern Front thing. In this ATL Hitler agrees to work towards India, Japan defends in the Pacific and advances in the Indian Ocean. A counterpunching IJN would be the favorite over USN in a carrier battle until early '43. If the US gets antsy and moves in '42 they might suffer their own Midway in the Carolinas/Gilberts.

Anyway, I have many more responses to your points but let's try to stick to Turkey. I was just responding to your question about why Turkey matters and then providing a sketch of how unhinging the W.Allies in position in the MidEast plays out globally.
No, not at all...

if the Germans and the Japanese were able to defeat Russia in 1942, they still have no means to control the seas, and the Americans and Brits still outproduce them by a substantial margin.

How can you assume that the LW can produce twice as many planes? How can you assume that the German training programs, equipment, tactical doctrines and fuel reserves are enough to have a competitive edge against the Wallies?

By 1944 the technological and training gap was so big between both the Japanese and German aviation units that it resulted battles like the Marianas Turkey Shoot...

Besides, the Japs had no means to counter the Wallies' anti-merchant shipping campaign. And that was independent of whether they win or not against the SU AND China (with no losses, ofc).

Not to mention that exploitation of SU resources was one thing, and making them useful for the war effort was another.

The gap between the intelligence (Allied vs Axis) was so big that Midway-like debacles were doomed to happen (especially because Nagumo was keen to do those exact same mistakes in the Indian Ocean Raid as well).

What you say about the SU invasion or the Turkey invasion MIGHT stand a small chance on their own, but all of them happening one after another...? Without losses or Allied interference... come on.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Sep 2020 17:10

The big arrows on the maps look... Churchillian.

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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 Sep 2020 06:10

Peter89 wrote:How can you assume that the LW can produce twice as many planes?
I don't assume; I have posted several long discussions of the impact on German production of victory over SU.

How can you assume that the LW wouldn't produce significantly more if Germany is no longer fighting history's largest-ever land war and has conquered the SU?

I can guess how you assume so: nobody you have ever read or had a discussion with has suggested to you that W.Allied resources could be anything less than crushing. You therefore are smugly secure in your dismissal of any pushback against that narrative.

If you're unwilling to question that narrative that's fine - there are things that I believe because they seem reasonable and I'm not interested in questioning them. But I don't go on Flat-Earther forums and argue with those folks. If you're going to engage with me on these topics you have to recognize that I don't operate on uncritical assumptions. I read and analyze; the proof is all over this forum. If you don't want to engage on those topics, let's stick to Turkey.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 Sep 2020 07:20

TheMarcksPlan wrote:Here's a sketch of how the ~2 years after the fall of SU/Turkey would go:
One of the good things about putting ideas to "paper" is you have something outside your own head to analyze. Simple cognition is always easier than meta-cognition.

Having put this sketch on paper (and published it here), I saw some weaknesses in it immediately.

Most importantly, I too cavalierly moved from a sketch of ATL '42 events to ATL '44 events. In '42 shipping scarcity severely constrained the W.Allies' ability to respond on a global scale to potential Axis moves. So I think at least the green arrows are valid - if anything should be extended farther. Axis control over Suez, Basra, Tehran, and Gibraltar is all but assured if the SU falls in '42; these gains ensure Axis control over the whole Mediterranean.

By '44, however, W.Allied shipping capacity greatly increased. In an ATL '44, the W.Allies could have chosen not to reduce their shipbuilding programs in latter '43, as happened once W.Allied victory in the Battle of the Atlantic became apparent. The W.Allies could, therefore, have had significantly more shipping in ATL '44 than I give them credit for in my sketch. This increased shipping capacity would not, however, be free. We'd need to specify cuts in some other W.Allied programs were the W.Allies intent on fielding a massive army to defend India, for example. To make even a rough sketch of the likely outcomes would require further analysis of the logistical burdens on both sides of fielding strong forces in India, Arabia, and elsewhere during '44.

No doubt many will see the foregoing as proof of the futility of ATL's. I don't think that's so. While describing the logistical constraints in possible ATL campaigns would require a bit more work, it's susceptible to high-level analysis based on the cost of shipping on the W.Allied side and the costs of railroads etc. on the Axis side. The W.Allies can't win a conventional war if they can't stop the Axis from conquering the entire Eurasian landmass and can't re-enter Europe from Britain. Whether the W.Allies can satisfy those victory conditions depends on the strength of their armed forces and logistical capabilities, all of which can be reasonably estimated from economic/demographic fundamentals (modified where appropriate for relative combat effectiveness). viewtopic.php?f=76&t=251476

------------------------------

Some have/will see other supposed weaknesses. IMO many weaknesses supposedly inherent to the Axis were path-dependent outcomes stemming from historical contingencies such as Germany self-sabotaging its winnable campaign against the SU:
  • German and Japanese leaders understood the global nature of their war and the importance of collaboration. Their failure to collaborate was contingent on their inability materially to collaborate. The defeat of Russia removes this contingency by freeing Germany to pursue other strategic objectives with Japan and by enabling communication over the Trans-Siberian railroad.
  • The qualitative decline in Axis air forces is forestalled by acquiring additional fuel resources that enable pilot training parity with the Allies and predictably would result in pilot quality parity.
  • W.Allied material superiority OTL is dramatically decreased or eliminated by SU's fall. Two main dynamics: (1) W.Allies need more men in uniform meaning fewer in the factories and (2) Axis acquires more resources and can use their existing resources more efficiently for reasons whose full explication will require another long thread.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by Peter89 » 20 Sep 2020 08:21

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
20 Sep 2020 07:20
TheMarcksPlan wrote:Here's a sketch of how the ~2 years after the fall of SU/Turkey would go:
One of the good things about putting ideas to "paper" is you have something outside your own head to analyze. Simple cognition is always easier than meta-cognition.

Having put this sketch on paper (and published it here), I saw some weaknesses in it immediately.

Most importantly, I too cavalierly moved from a sketch of ATL '42 events to ATL '44 events. In '42 shipping scarcity severely constrained the W.Allies' ability to respond on a global scale to potential Axis moves. So I think at least the green arrows are valid - if anything should be extended farther. Axis control over Suez, Basra, Tehran, and Gibraltar is all but assured if the SU falls in '42; these gains ensure Axis control over the whole Mediterranean.

By '44, however, W.Allied shipping capacity greatly increased. In an ATL '44, the W.Allies could have chosen not to reduce their shipbuilding programs in latter '43, as happened once W.Allied victory in the Battle of the Atlantic became apparent. The W.Allies could, therefore, have had significantly more shipping in ATL '44 than I give them credit for in my sketch. This increased shipping capacity would not, however, be free. We'd need to specify cuts in some other W.Allied programs were the W.Allies intent on fielding a massive army to defend India, for example. To make even a rough sketch of the likely outcomes would require further analysis of the logistical burdens on both sides of fielding strong forces in India, Arabia, and elsewhere during '44.

No doubt many will see the foregoing as proof of the futility of ATL's. I don't think that's so. While describing the logistical constraints in possible ATL campaigns would require a bit more work, it's susceptible to high-level analysis based on the cost of shipping on the W.Allied side and the costs of railroads etc. on the Axis side. The W.Allies can't win a conventional war if they can't stop the Axis from conquering the entire Eurasian landmass and can't re-enter Europe from Britain. Whether the W.Allies can satisfy those victory conditions depends on the strength of their armed forces and logistical capabilities, all of which can be reasonably estimated from economic/demographic fundamentals (modified where appropriate for relative combat effectiveness). viewtopic.php?f=76&t=251476

------------------------------

Some have/will see other supposed weaknesses. IMO many weaknesses supposedly inherent to the Axis were path-dependent outcomes stemming from historical contingencies such as Germany self-sabotaging its winnable campaign against the SU:
  • German and Japanese leaders understood the global nature of their war and the importance of collaboration. Their failure to collaborate was contingent on their inability materially to collaborate. The defeat of Russia removes this contingency by freeing Germany to pursue other strategic objectives with Japan and by enabling communication over the Trans-Siberian railroad.
  • The qualitative decline in Axis air forces is forestalled by acquiring additional fuel resources that enable pilot training parity with the Allies and predictably would result in pilot quality parity.
  • W.Allied material superiority OTL is dramatically decreased or eliminated by SU's fall. Two main dynamics: (1) W.Allies need more men in uniform meaning fewer in the factories and (2) Axis acquires more resources and can use their existing resources more efficiently for reasons whose full explication will require another long thread.
As far as I know, the German aircraft output skyrocketed OTL from 1942 to 1944:
Me109
- 1942: 2657
- 1943: 6013
- 1944: 12807

Fw190
- 1942: 1850
- 1943: 2171
- 1944: 7488

And you're saying that these numbers could increase by 100%, just because the SU falls?

Why do you assume that the Wallies do not change their production focus from strategic bombers to fighters if they are still fighting for the air super superiority in 1943 / 1944?

Besides, if you want more planes, the resources have to come from somewhere, the logistics has to be in place, the factories have to be built and the workers have to be trained. It takes time and I'm still curious how much of the LW/Heer would be lost during the successful war against the SU. Long story short you can't just snap your fingers and say "the Germans captured resources in the SU, so they can fully protect their airspace, so the production doubles".

And what? The Wallies do nothing just sit back and wait?

The situation is even worse for the Japanese, because they were losing the war as an island nation. I started another thread about their initial strategy (could it work at all?), but bottom line their decision making was fundamentally flawed, Midway or no Midway. The Wallied campaign against their merchant shipping was so successful that a lot of distant resources couldn't even be exploited, and they used warships for transport.

Back to the training, fuel was one problem, the lack of instructors and personnel was another, but we could continue the list. You might argue that if the emergency solutions of 1941/1942/1943 didn't happen, then there would be no shortage of instructors and mechanics. First of all, I seriously doubt that the Germans could double their aircrew output, second, I seriously doubt that they could do it during a super-successful, all-out attack on the SU.

As for the fuel problem, I have a limited hope that the Soviet oil could be used by the Germans on the other side of the continent to such extent that it would be felt even in training operations.
I can guess how you assume so: nobody you have ever read or had a discussion with has suggested to you that W.Allied resources could be anything less than crushing. You therefore are smugly secure in your dismissal of any pushback against that narrative.
I am not "smugly secure", I presented you facts.

The war economy of the Axis was nowhere near the Allied one, and that's not because of the SU. First of all, they had the capacity and the control of the seas to trade with the rest of the world, and the Axis didn't. So even if they were to face an economic bottleneck, they could import the necessary resource, outsource some works, etc.

By 1944, the very minimum even in your scenario is the following:
- the Wallies have control of the seas
- the Wallies have an enormous edge in intelligence
- the Wallies produce more and better aircraft
- the Wallies produce more AFVs
- the Wallies produce more guns and mortars
- the Wallies produce more trucks and vehicles
- the Wallies produce more POL
- the Wallies have more men
+ they do KNOW, that the A-bomb project is producing results
+ the Axis has no means to defeat them, so the Wallies have no reason to stop fighting and give them a break (and maybe allow them to compete on equal terms)

You see, I wouldn't go into too much details, and I'd really like to adress an 1941 invasion of Turkey, but my only problem with your Operatrion Gertrude (late 1942) is that it has a wild range of preconditions, all of them unlikely on their own (quasi impossible if we add them up together) and so we always need to get back to why-s and how-s, because in your scenario, we have a defeated SU, a shining Japan, a passive Wallied force...
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 Sep 2020 09:00

Peter89 wrote:And you're saying that these numbers could increase by 100%, just because the SU falls?
I've written extensively regarding why elsewhere. If you're interested, I can find the previous posts. I again have to ask for a bit of comradely spirit and minimal intellectual generosity in not assuming that my thesis is as simple as LW production skyrockets "just because" the SU falls.

Isn't it sort of obvious that Germany shifts at least some of OTL '44 production from Soviet-aimed guns/tanks to W.Allies-aimed planes if Russia falls?

Isn't it obvious that demobilizing much/most of the Ostheer - and preventing millions of dead/disabled/PoW in '43-'44 - results in greater manpower for German industry?

A less obvious - but demonstrably true - fact is that the German army's draft disproportionately removed the young men who formed the backbone of Germany's aviation industrial workforce. I'll provide cites for that if you want to discuss this substantively.
As far as I know, the German aircraft output skyrocketed OTL from 1942 to 1944:
It did. But why increased production imply maximum theoretical production?
Peter89 wrote:Why do you assume that the Wallies do not change their production focus from strategic bombers to fighters if they are still fighting for the air super superiority in 1943 / 1944?
Where did I assume that? They can do so but whether W.Allied bombers are shot down by the LW or never produced due to a focus on fighters, the outcome is the same: greatly reduced bomb damage to Germany.
Peter89 wrote:I'm still curious how much of the LW/Heer would be lost during the successful war against the SU.
I have long threads on these topics. Short answer is total permanent losses of 500-700k or ~2% of Germany's labor force. That's based on ~30% lower Eastern casualties in '41 and '42, negligible thereafter. If I give up the '41-'42 lower casualties it's still only 3% of German labor force.
I am not "smugly secure", I presented you facts.

The war economy of the Axis was nowhere near the Allied one, and that's not because of the SU. First of all, they had the capacity and the control of the seas to trade with the rest of the world, and the Axis didn't. So even if they were to face an economic bottleneck, they could import the necessary resource, outsource some works, etc.
The point about economic bottlenecks and seapower, for example, would be valid if tied to a factually-supported statement that Germany needed seapower to redress a bottleneck. What did Germany need that wasn't present in Eurasia?
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 20 Sep 2020 09:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 Sep 2020 09:14

Peter89 wrote:The Wallies do nothing just sit back and wait?
Pretty much. The American Joint Chiefs of Staff and Eisenhower stated in 1942 that they would assume the defensive against Germany if Russia fell that year, pivoting to Japan instead.

What else can they do besides try to hold the line in the Mideast? Can they invade France? The U.S. max'd at 91 divisions OTL. If they try to match Germany and Japan with a 300-division army, they need to move >10mil men from factories into the army. Or shrink the navy or air forces.

As discussed in my other thread, those 10mil men remove over a quarter of American war production. Now you have to build ~twice the ground weapons from a production budget that is ~25% smaller. You also need to build more ships to move/supply millions of men. What do you get rid of? Heavy bombers? Ok now the German economy isn't missing the 30% it lost to bombing OTL. Even after stopping the heavy-bomber program you probably need more cuts elsewhere. USN could probably use fewer ships but then is America willing to risk losing its lead at sea?

Are 300 divisions sufficient to guarantee success in Europe? Not clear to me.

I mean really - what could the W.Allies do except wait for the A-bomb? If you can think of something I'm all ears.

And how much patience do W.Allied publics have for a seemingly endless war?
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Re: Could a German invasion of Turkey succeed?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 20 Sep 2020 09:30

Peter89 wrote:The situation is even worse for the Japanese, because they were losing the war as an island nation. I started another thread about their initial strategy (could it work at all?), but bottom line their decision making was fundamentally flawed, Midway or no Midway. The Wallied campaign against their merchant shipping was so successful that a lot of distant resources couldn't even be exploited, and they used warships for transport.
Japan is probably F'd in the end. While I don't think the W.Allies can invade Japan while still at war with Germany, the war probably ends with German-W.Allies peace and Japan sold up the river.

In the meantime, however, there are other things to consider. As I said upthread, these points are irreconcilable with the notion that Germany and Japan didn't understand the benefits of strategic cooperation but that notion is flatly wrong.
  • Japan's Kwantung Army of 1.1mil men in '42 can triple the IJA in China after Russia falls. This alone is probably decisive against China. If KA has lost half its strength against a collapsing SU (seems unlikely but let's say) then it "only" doubles IJA strength in China.
  • Germany supports Japan with cheap ground weapons via the Trans-Siberian to end its war in China. MG34's, obsolete tanks, etc. In Kwantung Army's hands these are decisive against the poorly-equipped Chinese.
  • With China defeated, Japan's enormous industrial complexes in Manchuria/Korea are safe from bombing and Japanese production can be moved there to protect it. The Japanese planned to do this OTL but that plan was ruined when B-29's were deployed to China.
  • Germany can send Japan cheap fighters like Me-109's later in the war. This at least prevents domination of Japan by carrier air forces.
  • Japan was improving its ASW towards the end of the war; Germany can help with that as well.
  • Japanese victory in China improves its land-based communications with Southeast Asia (e.g. Burma railroad).
None of the foregoing make Japan's war a happy affair for it. They're still losing, it's just that finishing them off requires invading a stronger-than-OTL Japan backed up by production from at least Manchuria and from Germany. The W.Allies can't mount that kind of effort while trying to stop Germany from taking India and/or invading Britain.
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