German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
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Ironmachine
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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Ironmachine » 12 May 2022 10:03

”Counter” wrote:
”Ironmachine” wrote:So Franco wrote a letter to Hitler and his foreign minister had a meeting with him. That's is very, very far from "asking to Hitler desperately"...
You can choose the adverb and adjectives as you please,
That exactly what you did, even if reality was somewhat different.
”Counter” wrote: but there is a clear continuity from the Hendaye meeting, and then Franco trying to secure "a private guarantee" for the expected colonial booty.
Yes, there was a continuity, but not the one you think. At the Hendaya meeting, Franco rejected Hitler demands, but of course with soft words. After Hendaya, with the German armies still at the Spanish border, Franco went on saying that he was ready to join the Axis “if only”…
”Counter” wrote: At the end, no booty, no Spain joining the Axis.
Yes, at the end, no territories, no supplies, no military equipment, no Spain joining the Axis. That’s pretty obvious. Or did you expect Spain to join the Axis for nothing?
”Counter” wrote: quote=”Ironmachine”] Another lie about what I said. I never claimed that Spain joining the Axis was impossible.
Again insulting me?[/quote]
The truth is never considered an insult by rational people.
”Counter” wrote: The same thing, again? post 85, page 6, this thread
”Ironmachine” wrote:The Spanish authorities were not stupid, and even they could see that there was no point of obtaining some territories in Africa while your population is dying in droves because you can't replace the supplies that are not coming from the Allies because you have joined the Axis
Where is the difference between claiming that Spain would starve if joining the Axis and claiming that Spain joning the Axis was impossible?
The difference, as always, is in the details, details that you seem unable to see.
I will say it again: I don’t think that Spain joining the Axis was impossible, I think that Spain joining the Axis in 1940 simply by negotiation was highly unlikely because Germany can not give what Spain wants and Spain has no need to lower its demands. Still, there are many posible scenarios in which Spain could have joined the Axis: if Germany threatens with invasión, if the British cut the arrival of supplies in retaliation to Spanish acts, if Spanish authorities decide that the war could be short enough as to risk the consequences, if a more pro-Axis Spanish leader stages a coup and takes power in Spain… Can you see the differences?
”Counter” wrote:
”Ironmachine” wrote: we are back where we began. The British were trying to keep Spain neutral( non-belligerant, really). The Germans were trying to make Spain their ally at the minimum possible cost.
No, we moved forward a little bit: British were trying to keep Spain neutral because they knew that Spain joining the Axis was possible -even if the british knew perfectly the serious problem of food supplies in Spain- and the Germans wanted to pay the minimum to get Spain into the Axis... but Franco knew they could have paid more. Hitler didn´t pay for several reasons. Maybe because he didn´t realize how important Gibraltar was ("Raeder proposal"), maybe the german experts in economy -that you quoted- never realized that spanish needs, particularly on grain, were actually realistic and not a fabrication -for british ambassador Hoare, it took some effort to convince the authorities in London of that. Anyway, he desisted. If Hitler tried it later, it was because trying costed nothing and Hitler knew that in Spain there were some authorities (some military, some fascist politicians) also interested.
Yes, the British believed there was some possibility that Spain would join the Axis. So do I, so what?
As for the rest of the paragraph, you spent a lot of words to say what we already knew: that Hitler didn’t give what he was asked for and consequently Spain didn’t join the Axis.
However, there are some incongruencies in your text that you may want to polish, namely:
-If the British knew perfectly the serious problema of food supplies in Spain, why did it take the British ambassador Hoare some effort to convice the authorities in London of that?
-What does it matter that the German experts in economy that I quoted never realized that the Spanish needs were realistic and not a fabrication, considering that those German experts in economy acknowledged the fact that the needs could not be satisfied?
”Counter” wrote:
”Ironmachine” wrote: Let's see if an example (even if certainly remote) can help you to understand the problem. Hitler had weapons, generally better tanks than his allies. Sending Romanian and Italian troops to the Eastern Front without adecuate weapons and putting them on the line is going to cause a problem to Mussolini, Antonescu and, certainly, also Hitler. But still, did Hitler (could he, actually?) reequip those troops with better German weapons?
Interesting reasoning. Hitler didn´t equip italian and romanian infantry probably because he didn´t have enough equipment for everyone -one reason why Axis loosed-.
The same reason would apply to the case of Spain: he didn’t have enough equipment and supplies for everyone. And it could have led to the same result: an Axis defeat.
”Counter” wrote: Anyway, italian and romanian infantry proved to be useful in the Eastern Front.
And they also proved to be a weak link in the Axis military. Just as the Spanish armed forces would have been in the case of a Mediterranean strategy.
”Ironmachine” wrote: But if Hitler wouldn´t send grain enough for Spaniards not to starve (something he did, for example with the Finns) Hitler and Franco would have the same problem: a country (an ally) they can not rule.
It is not the same problem by any measure. Franco can go on ruling Spain without entering the war, but Hitler can not use Spain for his purposes while Spain is neutral. Hitler can always treat Spain as a conquered country and disregard the Spaniards, but Franco does not have that option.
”Counter” wrote:
”Ironmachine” wrote:what do you mean by "keep the country working" exactly? Working as it was already working in 1940?
Like in 1940... and not worse.
Even if the Germans could keep Spain working as the 1940 level (without considering that Spain would be now fighting a war and its needs would be higher than in peace time), and even without discussing if that was possible for the Germans (which is far from proven), there’s a point that you ignore and reveals your shallow thinking: Why on earth would the Spanish authorities agree to enter a world war just to keep the country as they have it as a neutral?
”Counter” wrote:
”Ironmachine” wrote:I never said that Germany could not provide the "minimal" resources needed to keep Spain "working", whatever that may mean.
Again!
Yes, again. By simply keeping your “minimal” as arbitrarily low as you need to fullfil your argument, you could always claim that Germany could have provided the minimal resources needed to keep Spain working. But that’s not going to work in the real world.
”Counter” wrote: Again you mention the document of the "german experts". In the same document the experts say that they think that the spanish demands (particularly on grain) are false, intentionally exaggerated. That turns that document only partially relevant, because now we know that spanish demands on grain were correct, something that logically the germans also would have learned (as british did). It is nonsense -in my view- that Hitler would treat Spain like an occupied country and not an ally.
i can't believe what i just saw! When you write the “now we know that Spanish demands on gain were correct”, are you actually saying that now you believe that Spanish demands on grain were actually the real needs, and that no lesser (i.e. mínimum) amount would have been enough to sustain the Spanish people? And I suppose that if that is what you believe, then Spanish demands in other materials would have been also the real needs, wouldn’t they? And those same German experts acknowledged that Germany could not fulfill them!
Or is it that you are stepping back in that matter because if you don’t accept that Spanish demands were really the Spanish needs and instead keep on saying that they were too much inflated, then you would have to concede that those same German experts were right when they said that the requests “[…]are so obviously unrealizable that they can only be evaluated as an expression of the effort to avoid entering the war under this pretext.” The same Franco that so much wanted to join the Axis, that was "asking to Hitler desperately” (your words!) is the same Franco that is making absurd demands to avoid entering the war?
You can't have it both ways, Either the Spanish demands were the real thing, and then Germany could not fullfil them and Spain would have not joined the Axis by negotiation, or Spanish demands were inflated on purpose to have an excuse to avoid entering the war, in which case is self-evident that Franco did not want to join the war and Spain would have not joined the Axis by negotiation.
”Counter” wrote: Germany, however, has for her part, declared herself ready to deliver to Spain, immediately after undertaking entrance into the war, food, that is-grain-to as great an extent as possible!
And Spain, for her part, could have declared herself ready to deliver to Germany, immediately after undertaking entrance into the war, one thousand jet fighters, one million Tiger tanks, five battleships with 666mm guns, a pair of atomic bombs, the head of Winston Churchill, a British surrender document signed by King George VI, a coupon for a paid vacation in Benidorm for Hitler and all his cronies and two hard boiled eggs (perhaps this last part is going too far, Hitler could have been offended by the Marxist reference :lol: ). At least the Spanish proposal, unlike the German one, is concrete, even if utterly unrealizable.
What in hell is the meaning of “to as great an extent as possible.” Do you seriously believe that Franco and the Spanish authorities (if they really wanted to, which as previously explained is far from certain) are going to enter a wold war with a 1940 Spain just because Hitler says that he is going to send food, well, in fact only grain “to as great an extent as possible” (Hitler forgot to add: “and, you know, the rest of the supplies and territories and the military equipment you also asked for, well, err, we will talk about that in my next letter, after you enter the war…”).

Also, I cannot fail to note that in a previous post (post 98 of this thread) you posted:
”Counter” wrote: Ironmachine added a text with date February 12 1941 stating that Germany could not provide Spain with "rubber, cotton and jute" but about the rest obviously that can be negotiated depending on the "Top-level decision". Anyway, that was two months after Franco decided not to join Axis due to the lack of interest of Hitler (no offer of a considerable colonial booty for Spain... and not a proportionate threat against the Franco´s government either).
So you think that two months before 12 February 1941, Hitler was lacking interest in Spain’s entry in the war… and here we have a letter from him dated 6 February 1941 still trying to convince Franco to enter the war! It seems that Hitler is not lacking in interest, but on bargaining chips.
”Counter” wrote:What Spain asked and Germany didn´t want to provide was not grain to avoid the country to starve, but colonial territories.
No, you can keep repeating that for as long as you want, but it is simply not true. Spain asked for colonial territories, supplies to keep the contry working and the people living and military equipment so that the Spanish forces could fight, and Germany couldn’t provide any of that in the quantities Spain asked for.
As a matter of fact supplies and military equipment were needed for fighting and surviving the war, so they were really necessary, while the territories were not vital, they were just a reward, and as such much more open to negotiation as to what and when.
You should look no further than the letter form Hitler of February 1941 that you linked in your previous post. Hitler makes no promises on territorial concessions, just saying a “we will see” with other words, and keeps talking about economy, food, and supplies. It seems that, unlike you, Hitler considered grain and other supplies a vital Spanish demand, while the matter of territories was somewhat less important.

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

Post by glenn239 » 12 May 2022 21:37

MarkF617 wrote:
11 May 2022 23:27
Glenn,

Why would the Soviets invade Iran for oil when Stalin was practically swimming in the stuff? Iran was only invaded in reality to open a corridor for lend lease. I think Stalin would be more cocerned eith Europe than the middle east.

Thanks

Mark.
The Soviets in November 1940 agreed to moving into lockstep with the Axis Powers under a number of conditions, one of which was,

Provided that the area south of Batum and Baku in the general direction of the Persian Gulf is recognized as the center of the aspirations of the Soviet Union.


That's Iraq and Iran.

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Counter » 12 May 2022 23:07

Ironmachine wrote:there are some incongruencies in your text that you may want to polish, namely:
-If the British knew perfectly the serious problema of food supplies in Spain, why did it take the British ambassador Hoare some effort to convice the authorities in London of that?
-What does it matter that the German experts in economy that I quoted never realized that the Spanish needs were realistic and not a fabrication, considering that those German experts in economy acknowledged the fact that the needs could not be satisfied?
To the first question: the british thought -as the german experts of February 1941 thought- that the spanish demands on food imports were exaggerated -fabricated-. They learned it was not so after they got reliable information from british sources in Spain (Hoare).

To the second question: if the experts would have just reported about actual availability to send goods to Spain, they would have not included that sentence about so obviously unrealizable that they can only be evaluated as an expression of the effort to avoid entering the war under this pretext as -in my view- justifying themselves for the refusal. Yes, the text is there, and also data about Germany, in the period 1940-1941 counting on an average rationing over 2300 calories, which shows that it was possible to send to Spain the grain required (in the next year the food situation in Germany worsened). You know that, when Hitler wanted something from subordinates, the experts, at the end, always changed their mind. Anyway, you claim that document of the experts is extraordinarily exact. Good, but you know also that the sentence about the falsity of the spanish demands is wrong: that was not a pretext, Spain did need, at least, the grain. So the experts were not so accurate.

[quote?="Ironmachine"]As a matter of fact supplies and military equipment were needed for fighting and surviving the war, so they were really necessary, while the territories were not vital[/quote]

Spanish army surely didn´t interest much to Hitler. Gibraltar did interest to Hitler. For Franco, the territories were vital because that would mean an extraordinary political success for him (Spain becoming an Empire again!)
Ironmachine wrote:Hitler makes no promises on territorial concessions, just saying a “we will see” with other words, and keeps talking about economy, food, and supplies. It seems that, unlike you, Hitler considered grain and other supplies a vital Spanish demand, while the matter of territories was somewhat less important.
That is: Hitler could afford the grain -obviously: if not, Spain would be starving and the country could not be ruled- but not concede the territories. So Franco rejected the new offer.

You claim that, if Spain joining the Axis, Hitler would treat Spain not as an ally, but as a conquered country, letting the spanish people to starve... Ok, I think that is an extravagant opinion.

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Counter » 12 May 2022 23:30

Counter wrote:Without particular preparation for infrastructures LW put 150 aircraft to support the first Rommel´s actions by March 1941. Acording to you, that was not possible for 1000 units. So, according to your knowledge, where was the limit? 151? 999? Libya was a desert, but italians were using air force there for many years.
Richard Anderson wrote: Luftwaffe as of 22 March 1941 was nominally 25 aircraft of III./ZG 26, 22 aircraft of I./StG 1, and 33 aircraft of II./StG 2, so a total of 80 supposedly. However, only 8./ZG 26 was actually in Africa, at Sirte, the rest, two-thirds, remained in Sicily at Trapani, so the reality was that about 58 aircraft were actually operationally based in Libya.
Thank you, Richard. I read the wrong data. So, not 150, but only 58. I know that LW units used to trade places between Italy, Libya and sometimes Crete. So, if they would have sent 1000, some of them could stay just in wait for replacement for the others in the fighting area.

You didn´t answer my question anyway (how many they could have put in Libya, if required?). You named five airfields. I know that aircrafts at that time were not like the jets today and infrastrucures could be improved much faster than today. To invade Crete, the germans improvised fast many airstrips. If you don´t answer, don´t worry. I understand.

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 May 2022 23:56

Counter wrote:
12 May 2022 23:30
Thank you, Richard. I read the wrong data. So, not 150, but only 58. I know that LW units used to trade places between Italy, Libya and sometimes Crete. So, if they would have sent 1000, some of them could stay just in wait for replacement for the others in the fighting area.
The problem with only sending forward what the inadequate base infrastructure allowed was that meant it was impossible to gain air superiority for any length of time, since the British basing was more robust. The Luftwaffe gained air parity in North Africa through the skill of its fighter pilots and the temporary superiority of the Bf 109E and F over the Hurricane. However, if the Germans end the Blitz there is nothing to stop the British sending Spitfires to Egypt earlier.
You didn´t answer my question anyway (how many they could have put in Libya, if required?). You named five airfields. I know that aircrafts at that time were not like the jets today and infrastrucures could be improved much faster than today. To invade Crete, the germans improvised fast many airstrips. If you don´t answer, don´t worry. I understand.
A good guide to how many they could put in Libya is how many they actually put in Libya. Keeping aircraft on Sicily and Crete when there was a crying need in North Africa makes no sense. However, there was also a dearth of Tropisch-modified aircraft, so it was likely a combination of things. Otherwise, they have to put a substantial commitment into airfield construction and logistic support. They did so, the expansion of the En Nofilia complex demonstrates that...except that none of them were ever more than sand strips and it took about nine months to open the additional three, even as crude as they were.

No, the Germans could not improve infrastructure much faster than today, because they did not have an equivalent to the dedicated Engineer Aviation Battalion of the US Army, which was dedicated to and designed for rapid airfield construction. Germany relied too much on hand-labor with limited mechanized means of airfield construction.

Yes, the Germans flew many Ju 52 out of unimproved strips in Greece and it caused all sorts of problems. In addition to combat losses, mechanical losses, mostly through dust ingestion, were pretty bad. In just the first week of MERKUR, transport aircraft operational went from 615 to 463 and bottomed at 409 a week later.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by pugsville » 13 May 2022 02:29

Counter wrote:
12 May 2022 23:30
Counter wrote:Without particular preparation for infrastructures LW put 150 aircraft to support the first Rommel´s actions by March 1941. Acording to you, that was not possible for 1000 units. So, according to your knowledge, where was the limit? 151? 999? Libya was a desert, but italians were using air force there for many years.
Richard Anderson wrote: Luftwaffe as of 22 March 1941 was nominally 25 aircraft of III./ZG 26, 22 aircraft of I./StG 1, and 33 aircraft of II./StG 2, so a total of 80 supposedly. However, only 8./ZG 26 was actually in Africa, at Sirte, the rest, two-thirds, remained in Sicily at Trapani, so the reality was that about 58 aircraft were actually operationally based in Libya.
Thank you, Richard. I read the wrong data. So, not 150, but only 58. I know that LW units used to trade places between Italy, Libya and sometimes Crete. So, if they would have sent 1000, some of them could stay just in wait for replacement for the others in the fighting area.

You didn´t answer my question anyway (how many they could have put in Libya, if required?). You named five airfields. I know that aircrafts at that time were not like the jets today and infrastrucures could be improved much faster than today. To invade Crete, the germans improvised fast many airstrips. If you don´t answer, don´t worry. I understand.
the JU-52 was particularly adapt at operating on improvised airfields. It was radically different case from most combat aircraft. Just because the ju-52 could operate from a rough airfield donlt mean other aircraft could. It was a real outlier.

The Me109 would be right up there at the other end of the spectrum of early mid ww2 aircraft, as being very unsuitable.

The Dust caused all sorts of problem with the Crete operations. The desert much more. The RAF Blenheim the air filters lasted 8 operational hours in the desert (its only instance I come across in my reading)

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by ljadw » 13 May 2022 06:59

glenn239 wrote:
12 May 2022 21:37
MarkF617 wrote:
11 May 2022 23:27
Glenn,

Why would the Soviets invade Iran for oil when Stalin was practically swimming in the stuff? Iran was only invaded in reality to open a corridor for lend lease. I think Stalin would be more cocerned eith Europe than the middle east.

Thanks

Mark.
The Soviets in November 1940 agreed to moving into lockstep with the Axis Powers under a number of conditions, one of which was,

Provided that the area south of Batum and Baku in the general direction of the Persian Gulf is recognized as the center of the aspirations of the Soviet Union.


That's Iraq and Iran.
And why did they demand this ,knowing that the Germans could not accept this demand and knowing that they could have the ME only after the defeat of Britain (which ,in November 1940 was totally unlikely )?
Answer : because they had no intention at all to join the Axis .If the Germans had said yes, the Kremlin would have invented other unacceptable conditions .

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MarkF617
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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by MarkF617 » 13 May 2022 07:32

Glenn,

As far as I know the Soviets made zero moves in this direction until they needed a conduit for lend lease. Stalin's worries were the Germans and the Japaneese more than the British and showed no interest in moving ahainst them He possibly made the agreement in order to keep Germany away from his southern border rather than wanting it for himself.

Thanks

Mark.
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Ironmachine » 13 May 2022 08:29

Counter wrote:To the first question: the british thought -as the german experts of February 1941 thought- that the spanish demands on food imports were exaggerated -fabricated-. They learned it was not so after they got reliable information from british sources in Spain (Hoare).
Then, your statement that "the British knew perfectly the serious problema of food supplies in Spain" was actually incorrect, at least for the time period we are talking about.
Counter wrote:To the second question: if the experts would have just reported about actual availability to send goods to Spain, they would have not included that sentence about so obviously unrealizable that they can only be evaluated as an expression of the effort to avoid entering the war under this pretext as -in my view- justifying themselves for the refusal.
No, the Germans were not justifying themselves for the refusal. In another example of shallow thinking, you ignore that this is a German internal document, intended only for German eyes, and the Spaniards would have never seen it (unless the Germans themselves decide to reveal it). So, why on earth would the Germans feel the need to self-justify themselves in a document intended only for themselves?
However, it does not matter at all, because the expert did report about actual availability to send goods to Spain. I don't know if you can't understand plain English or if you are purposely ignoring the part of the report that does not agree with your preconceived ideas, but the report actually says:
Of the most important needs the delivery of rubber, cotton and jute is impossible. Moreover, fertilizers, mineral oil , grain, trucks, and railroads cars cannot be delivered without setting aside important German interests. If by top-level decision Germany's own requirements for the last-anmed goods could be deferred to some extent, certain deliveries might be conceivable, but on a scale which would not by a long way approach the Spanish requests and which, because of the transportation difficulties, could furthermore not be brought to Spain in the time requested in the memorandum.
This is a report of actual capacity to send goods to Spain, in fact it's a report of German inability to provide the goods Spain asked for and that (now you accept the fact) Spain needed.
Counter wrote:You know that, when Hitler wanted something from subordinates, the experts, at the end, always changed their mind.
:lol:
Counter wrote:Anyway, you claim that document of the experts is extraordinarily exact.
I never claimed that the document was extraordinarily exact. I just claimed that it's the only hard data about German ability to supply Spain that has been shown in this thread. However, given the field of expertise of its author and the fact that is a German internal document and thus there is no need to put justifcations or progaganda in it, I consider that it is probably accurate in regard to German capacities.
Counter wrote:Good, but you know also that the sentence about the falsity of the spanish demands is wrong: that was not a pretext, Spain did need, at least, the grain. So the experts were not so accurate.
This sentence is a joke, isn't it? Or are you seriously saying the author of the document knew as much about German economy, his field of expertise, as about the situation in Spain, a foreign country? Are you the kind of person that look up the number of Soviet tanks destroyed in the German kill claims reports?
Funny part the "Spain did need, at least, the grain." So you began thinking that Spain made nonsensical demands on every kind of material, but now you think that the grain part was accurate but the demands on the rest of goods were inflated? Care to think a reason for that?
Counter wrote:[quote?="Ironmachine"]As a matter of fact supplies and military equipment were needed for fighting and surviving the war, so they were really necessary, while the territories were not vital
Spanish army surely didn´t interest much to Hitler. Gibraltar did interest to Hitler. [/quote]
Then, Hitler was stupid (well, we already knew that. The Spanish army surely should have interested him very much, because with the German forces that the Germans planned to send into Spain after Felix, the defense of Spain would have been mostly in the hands of the Spanish armed forces, and they were completely inadequate to that task
Anyway, again you fail to note the important point: Hitler's opinion didn't matter. The Spanish armed forces interested Franco very much, and consequently that part of the Spanish demands was very important to him.
Counter wrote:For Franco, the territories were vital because that would mean an extraordinary political success for him (Spain becoming an Empire again!)
An extraordinary political success was not vital for Franco, because he survived in OTL without it. The territories would have been the motivation for entering the war, but what and when was to be given to Spain was by their proper nature more open to negotiation than the other Spanish demands, unless Franco was using them as an excuse for not entering the war, which seems to be what was happening at the time.
As for those territories being an extraordinary political success, let's remember that Spain had no means to reach or man most of them until the war was won, that as soon as Spain enters the war the Canaries and Guinea are as good as lost, and that IIRC Gibraltar was to be occupied by German troops at least until the end of the war. How's that for an "extraordinary political success"? Yes, propaganda can hide the facts, at least for a time, but propaganda can also win an extraordinary political success without risking a war, which is more or less what happened in OTL.
Counter wrote:That is: Hitler could afford the grain -obviously: if not, Spain would be starving and the country could not be ruled- but not concede the territories. So Franco rejected the new offer.
No. In the letter that you linked, Hitler is as vague about supplies as about territories, even though he is much more verbose about the first question than about the latter one. He promises Spain 100,000 tons of grain that are not his and that he cannot reach at the time the letter was wrote, and then makes some vague promises that mean nothing:
Germany has declared herself prepared to replace the 100,000 tons of grain which was waiting in Portugal destined for Switzerland in order that it might benefit Spain immediately. [...]
Hitler offered only promises about both territories and supplies (and not even that about military equipment) , so Franco rejected the new offer.
Counter wrote:You claim that, if Spain joining the Axis, Hitler would treat Spain not as an ally, but as a conquered country, letting the spanish people to starve... Ok, I think that is an extravagant opinion.
My opinion is that your opinion about my previous opinion being an extravagant opinion is an uninformed opinion. :lol:
I did not claim that if Spain joins the Axis Hitler is going to treat it as a conquered country. I said that Hitler could do that, it's an option available to him. And in any case, Spanish interests would have been always secondary (if anything) for Hitler. If the situation demanded to choose before supplying Spain and supplying Germany, which country do you think is going to be supplied?

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 13 May 2022 13:42

Richard Anderson wrote:
12 May 2022 23:56
You didn´t answer my question anyway (how many they could have put in Libya, if required?). You named five airfields. I know that aircrafts at that time were not like the jets today and infrastrucures could be improved much faster than today. To invade Crete, the germans improvised fast many airstrips. If you don´t answer, don´t worry. I understand.
A good guide to how many they could put in Libya is how many they actually put in Libya. Keeping aircraft on Sicily and Crete when there was a crying need in North Africa makes no sense. However, there was also a dearth of Tropisch-modified aircraft, so it was likely a combination of things. Otherwise, they have to put a substantial commitment into airfield construction and logistic support. They did so, the expansion of the En Nofilia complex demonstrates that...except that none of them were ever more than sand strips and it took about nine months to open the additional three, even as crude as they were.

No, the Germans could not improve infrastructure much faster than today, because they did not have an equivalent to the dedicated Engineer Aviation Battalion of the US Army, which was dedicated to and designed for rapid airfield construction. Germany relied too much on hand-labor with limited mechanized means of airfield construction.
I read this argument quite often, but in my opinion, it is only half-truth. The Germans could, and indeed did enlarge and equipped airfields for example in Iraq, in the matter of days. With local (British) equipment and civilian contractors, because they had nothing on the spot. In my opinion the problem was that Italy did not build enough airfields in Lybia nor did they stockpile resources and machines to build them in time of war.

If they'd have an equivalent of an Engineer Aviation Battalion, what could it do operating under the same lack of resources and same lack of integrated doctrine?

I seriously doubt that the problem was organizational in nature. More like the lack of preparations and shipping capacities (which were Italian anyway) were decisive. The British have started planning and preparations over a year before the Italians even jumped into the war.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: German strategy regarding the maritime flanks of the USSR

Post by Peter89 » 13 May 2022 13:47

pugsville wrote:
13 May 2022 02:29
Counter wrote:
12 May 2022 23:30
Counter wrote:Without particular preparation for infrastructures LW put 150 aircraft to support the first Rommel´s actions by March 1941. Acording to you, that was not possible for 1000 units. So, according to your knowledge, where was the limit? 151? 999? Libya was a desert, but italians were using air force there for many years.
Richard Anderson wrote: Luftwaffe as of 22 March 1941 was nominally 25 aircraft of III./ZG 26, 22 aircraft of I./StG 1, and 33 aircraft of II./StG 2, so a total of 80 supposedly. However, only 8./ZG 26 was actually in Africa, at Sirte, the rest, two-thirds, remained in Sicily at Trapani, so the reality was that about 58 aircraft were actually operationally based in Libya.
Thank you, Richard. I read the wrong data. So, not 150, but only 58. I know that LW units used to trade places between Italy, Libya and sometimes Crete. So, if they would have sent 1000, some of them could stay just in wait for replacement for the others in the fighting area.

You didn´t answer my question anyway (how many they could have put in Libya, if required?). You named five airfields. I know that aircrafts at that time were not like the jets today and infrastrucures could be improved much faster than today. To invade Crete, the germans improvised fast many airstrips. If you don´t answer, don´t worry. I understand.
the JU-52 was particularly adapt at operating on improvised airfields. It was radically different case from most combat aircraft. Just because the ju-52 could operate from a rough airfield donlt mean other aircraft could. It was a real outlier.

The Me109 would be right up there at the other end of the spectrum of early mid ww2 aircraft, as being very unsuitable.

The Dust caused all sorts of problem with the Crete operations. The desert much more. The RAF Blenheim the air filters lasted 8 operational hours in the desert (its only instance I come across in my reading)
The desert operations cut the Wartungszyklen (maintenance cycles) by half, but regardless, engine lives halved all around the mechanized forces.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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

Post by pugsville » 13 May 2022 15:38

Peter89 wrote:
13 May 2022 13:42
Richard Anderson wrote:
12 May 2022 23:56
You didn´t answer my question anyway (how many they could have put in Libya, if required?). You named five airfields. I know that aircrafts at that time were not like the jets today and infrastrucures could be improved much faster than today. To invade Crete, the germans improvised fast many airstrips. If you don´t answer, don´t worry. I understand.
A good guide to how many they could put in Libya is how many they actually put in Libya. Keeping aircraft on Sicily and Crete when there was a crying need in North Africa makes no sense. However, there was also a dearth of Tropisch-modified aircraft, so it was likely a combination of things. Otherwise, they have to put a substantial commitment into airfield construction and logistic support. They did so, the expansion of the En Nofilia complex demonstrates that...except that none of them were ever more than sand strips and it took about nine months to open the additional three, even as crude as they were.

No, the Germans could not improve infrastructure much faster than today, because they did not have an equivalent to the dedicated Engineer Aviation Battalion of the US Army, which was dedicated to and designed for rapid airfield construction. Germany relied too much on hand-labor with limited mechanized means of airfield construction.
I read this argument quite often, but in my opinion, it is only half-truth. The Germans could, and indeed did enlarge and equipped airfields for example in Iraq, in the matter of days. With local (British) equipment and civilian contractors, because they had nothing on the spot. In my opinion the problem was that Italy did not build enough airfields in Lybia nor did they stockpile resources and machines to build them in time of war.

If they'd have an equivalent of an Engineer Aviation Battalion, what could it do operating under the same lack of resources and same lack of integrated doctrine?

I seriously doubt that the problem was organizational in nature. More like the lack of preparations and shipping capacities (which were Italian anyway) were decisive. The British have started planning and preparations over a year before the Italians even jumped into the war.

The Germans were in Iraq for what 14 days operating 20 odd aircraft, based at existing airfield at Mosul. You think they really enlarged that airfield in that time? It sounds pretty dubious,

The force rapidly degraded to near uselessness, It was virtually inoperable after two weeks,

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 13 May 2022 16:59

Peter89 wrote:
13 May 2022 13:42
I read this argument quite often, but in my opinion, it is only half-truth. The Germans could, and indeed did enlarge and equipped airfields for example in Iraq, in the matter of days. With local (British) equipment and civilian contractors, because they had nothing on the spot. In my opinion the problem was that Italy did not build enough airfields in Lybia nor did they stockpile resources and machines to build them in time of war.
I agree, partly. The second half of not having an equivalent to the Engineer Aviation Battalion is not having the means to rapidly lift over large distance by air, sea, or land the mass of material required to construct the fields and their infrastructure.
If they'd have an equivalent of an Engineer Aviation Battalion, what could it do operating under the same lack of resources and same lack of integrated doctrine?
Germany had an excellent and well-supported system of airfields within the Reich, but the further from the Reich the less well they were able to support it, either organizationally or materially. The result was inadequate improvisation. If you survey airfields outside Germany built up for the Luftwaffe during the war, fully-developed, paved airstrips with well-constructed base facilities were the outlier.
I seriously doubt that the problem was organizational in nature. More like the lack of preparations and shipping capacities (which were Italian anyway) were decisive. The British have started planning and preparations over a year before the Italians even jumped into the war.
Yes, but planning is part of organization. Like so much the Germans did in war, hasty improvisation took precedence over long-term organization.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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

Post by glenn239 » 13 May 2022 17:02

MarkF617 wrote:
13 May 2022 07:32
As far as I know the Soviets made zero moves in this direction until they needed a conduit for lend lease. Stalin's worries were the Germans and the Japaneese more than the British and showed no interest in moving ahainst them He possibly made the agreement in order to keep Germany away from his southern border rather than wanting it for himself.
The Soviets sent this in November 1940 and Hitler penned the Barbarossa draft in December. Barbarossa, obviously, ended any possibility of a Soviet move southwards in 1941 or 1942. Had Germany instead responded positively to the Soviet demands rather than selecting Barbarossa, the wave was paved for a viable Axis offensive in 1941 against Egypt, and Russian offensive into Iran and perhaps Iraq.

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

Post by Counter » 13 May 2022 19:07

Counter wrote:To the second question: if the experts would have just reported about actual availability to send goods to Spain, they would have not included that sentence about so obviously unrealizable that they can only be evaluated as an expression of the effort to avoid entering the war under this pretext as -in my view- justifying themselves for the refusal.
Ironmachine wrote:No, the Germans were not justifying themselves for the refusal. In another example of shallow thinking, you ignore that this is a German internal document, intended only for German eyes, and the Spaniards would have never seen it (unless the Germans themselves decide to reveal it). So, why on earth would the Germans feel the need to self-justify themselves in a document intended only for themselves?
I am aware perfectly that was an internal document, written by civil servants that had to reconcile two requests from the higher authorities: -to satisfy the demands of forcing the german people to do as less economic sacrifices as possible and -to send necessary goods to the poor Spain.

As you know well, Hitler didn´t want the german people to suffer the straits of living in a state of war ("total war" began only after Stalingrad). So, the civil servants were eager to show that they cared to give as little as possible to other countries. At the same time, they were requested to give something. The best way to justify themselves -not to give but to give something only if necessary for the interest of the Axis military alliance- is claiming that the demands -impossible to fulfill without probably affecting the German people standard of living- are just a pretext not to join the Axis. This way, nobody -among the higher authorities- could blame them for being prodigal.

You pretend to ignore that the foodstuff situation in Germany in 1940-1941 was not so bad -over 2300 calories/person average-, and that Spain grain demands were just 2% of german consumption. So it was possible... as long as Hitler would have considered Spain joining Axis -that is, Gibraltar- being vital for winning the war. And that is the answer: Hitler was not so interested, particularly from December 1940 on, as "Barbarrosa" was already decided.

The civil servants -experts on economy- didn´t want to endanger the political goal of not worsening the economic situation in Germany -setting aside important German interests, in the document- and, although, they had no way to learn whether the spanish demands were a "pretext" or not, they claimed so. Anyway, it is also possible that, at that time, Spain was not interested in joining the Axis anymore, after realizing that the colonial territories would not be delivered to Spain. I don´t know exactly which is the date of the "Spanish General Staff memorandum" quoted in the document. But both reasonings are possible, anyway for the "experts", the best solution for them, was pretending those demands were "a pretext".
Ironmachine wrote:The territories would have been the motivation for entering the war, but what and when was to be given to Spain was by their proper nature more open to negotiation than the other Spanish demands
On the contrary: Franco needed inmediately the territories or, at least, to announce openly the reward. Not only Franco, not only the spanish fascists, everyone belonging to the spanish military and conservative class -Franco´s political support- was extremely interested in Spain becoming, again, an important political power in Europe, humilliating the British (Gibraltar) and the French (Morocco). But Hitler gave no guarantee, so...
Ironmachine wrote:I did not claim that if Spain joins the Axis Hitler is going to treat it as a conquered country. I said that Hitler could do that, it's an option available to him.
It is again extravagant to consider that Hitler would have behaved that way -"option available"- with an ally. Give me an example of Hitler doing that. Of course, Hitler was usually cruel and vengeful -he was Hitler!- as he felt betrayed by his allies -Yugoslavia, Italy, Hungary...- but claiming that he would starve Spain after promising that Germany could supply Spain of foodstuff is absurd.
Ironmachine wrote:The Spanish authorities were not stupid, and even they could see that there was no point of obtaining some territories in Africa while your population is dying in droves because you can't replace the supplies that are not coming from the Allies because you have joined the Axis
This paragraph of yours is fascinating... According to you, Franco knew that Germany could not replace the supplies coming across the Atlantic... Knowing that, supposedly they would have never joint the Axis...

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