Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

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thaddeus_c
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by thaddeus_c » 22 Dec 2022 14:55

Peter89 wrote:
22 Dec 2022 07:46
thaddeus_c wrote:
21 Dec 2022 20:30
Peter89 wrote:
21 Dec 2022 20:06
thaddeus_c wrote:
21 Dec 2022 15:20
something the size of the prior Narvik operation, they learned some bitter lessons there. the WWI-era ships could be used for transport, some were coal-fired so a ready fuel supply available, and there were 50 or 60 flying boats with long range also (excluding the BV-138 as it proved lacluster during Narvik airlift (attempt))
Really?

Which aircrafts do you mean?

No offense, I'm simply curious. I thought I am familiar with German airlift capabilities in early war, but this is a number I have never encountered before.
https://www.airhistory.net/text/misc/na ... twaffe.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_Do_18 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_Do_24

and my speculating use of any French and Dutch DO-24s, OR they would have to use the BV-138
Thanks for the links, I guess we have a misunderstanding here. The Do 18 was not a transport plane by any stretch of imagination; they needed catapult ships for a takeoff with mails. Thus the 50-60 on hand doesn't really count.

The Do 24 is okay, albeit not too effective, because it carried some 600 kg bombs and was usually employed in maritime patrol and sea rescue operations.

Interestingly, you left out the BV 222, which actually flew missions in the Arctic, and had a payload that probably exceeded the payload of the handful of Do 24s' payload combined.
yeah , a misunderstanding

calculated the Germans transporting troops and materials by ships (ideally at least some coal-fired), but given their disaster(s) at Narvik they would want/need some airlift capability organized too? (and I was not including a usable airfield thus flying boats)

if we are prohibited from speculating they could build more Dornier aircraft based on wartime experience then include BV-138s (they did install more powerful diesels in 1940)

(IDK about the BV-222 and its development cycle, or whether they could have used the HE-115 and attach materials? thus I did not mention them.)

Orwell1984
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Orwell1984 » 22 Dec 2022 15:49

Stoat Coat wrote:
22 Dec 2022 05:28
3. There were a total of 5-6 submarines I can account for under the Brits/Free Norwegians in the North Sea in mid 1941, when I propose this alternate operation take place. The rest would have to be brought from the Med and decrease the pressure on Rommels supplies.
Not sure what your source for this is but it undercounts the number of submarines available.

You'd be better looking at this source for Allied submarine capabilities.

https://www.rnsubmusfriends.org.uk/hezl ... apter8.htm

Orwell1984
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Orwell1984 » 22 Dec 2022 15:58

thaddeus_c wrote:
22 Dec 2022 14:55
Peter89 wrote:
22 Dec 2022 07:46
thaddeus_c wrote:
21 Dec 2022 20:30
Peter89 wrote:
21 Dec 2022 20:06
thaddeus_c wrote:
21 Dec 2022 15:20
something the size of the prior Narvik operation, they learned some bitter lessons there. the WWI-era ships could be used for transport, some were coal-fired so a ready fuel supply available, and there were 50 or 60 flying boats with long range also (excluding the BV-138 as it proved lacluster during Narvik airlift (attempt))
Really?

Which aircrafts do you mean?

No offense, I'm simply curious. I thought I am familiar with German airlift capabilities in early war, but this is a number I have never encountered before.
https://www.airhistory.net/text/misc/na ... twaffe.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_Do_18 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_Do_24

and my speculating use of any French and Dutch DO-24s, OR they would have to use the BV-138
Thanks for the links, I guess we have a misunderstanding here. The Do 18 was not a transport plane by any stretch of imagination; they needed catapult ships for a takeoff with mails. Thus the 50-60 on hand doesn't really count.

The Do 24 is okay, albeit not too effective, because it carried some 600 kg bombs and was usually employed in maritime patrol and sea rescue operations.

Interestingly, you left out the BV 222, which actually flew missions in the Arctic, and had a payload that probably exceeded the payload of the handful of Do 24s' payload combined.
yeah , a misunderstanding

calculated the Germans transporting troops and materials by ships (ideally at least some coal-fired), but given their disaster(s) at Narvik they would want/need some airlift capability organized too? (and I was not including a usable airfield thus flying boats)

if we are prohibited from speculating they could build more Dornier aircraft based on wartime experience then include BV-138s (they did install more powerful diesels in 1940)

(IDK about the BV-222 and its development cycle, or whether they could have used the HE-115 and attach materials? thus I did not mention them.)
The challenge of using flying boats/float planes is that they are even more weather dependent than regular aircraft. They cannot safely land in anything but the calmest waters. An examination of units from all sides of the war show numerous losses due to bad weather, rough seas or even heavy swells (He 115's, Sunderlands, Bv138's, Catalinas, Do 24s).

Heavily loaded aircraft of these types are even more at risk so the wastage rate will not be low.

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Dec 2022 16:08

Stoat Coat wrote:
22 Dec 2022 05:28
1. Since you are using the same source as Nigel Askey, you’ll notice that when he says the official TOE “1,500 horses, 4,300 pack animals (largely mules) 550 mountain horses” or ponies as you put it, you are only accounting for the 550, and not the 4,300.
1. It would be so much easier replying and reading your replies if you could learn to use the quote function. :)

1. a. I don't know if I am using the same sources as Askey but doubt it since his figures vary so widely from the actual KSTN/KAN totals. However, that is not the point. Whether they are using "1,500 horses, 4,300 animals (largely mules) 550 mountain horses" or 5,350 pack reindeer they all need to be fed. There is no appreciable difference whether they are horses, mules, ponies, panje horses, or donkeys. The idea that substituting mountain ponies in the Gebirgsjäger will make them "leaner" is nonsense.

1. b. So no "circular argument" at all but the same argument that your notion of Gebirgsjäger being "leaner" and so more appropriate for such operations from a logistical standpoint is simply wrong.
2. An initial invasion could use the Moltkefels sure.
Sure, but for this operation you want fast transports - slow is death. And there simply aren't many available.
3. There were a total of 5-6 submarines I can account for under the Brits/Free Norwegians in the North Sea in mid 1941, when I propose this alternate operation take place.
Um, no, try about four times that many submarines. To intercept a convoy taking probably five days transit one way. At probably under 10 knots. With essentially zero escort that will be ready to run the moment the Royal Navy says "boo!" Seriously, a British cruiser force can probably move at least twice the speed, it will be difficult to hide such preparations - the Heer and Luftwaffe will be chattering a lot - and so interception is highly likely by submarines or surface ships...and with limited ships available the loss of any one will cripple this expedition.
4. “ The air bases on Malta are c. 97 kilometers from the Sicilian coast and 352 kilometers from the Tripolitan coast. The air bases on Malta were permanent.” Not sure whats you’re saying by pointing out the distance of Maltese airbases to enemy controlled coastlines, other than yes, the proposed German airfield(s) wouldn’t be under constant air attack.
What is the nearest German "airbase: to Svalbard? I measured to the closest point of land. You "compared" your notion to Malta, which sat smack in the middle of the sea lanes from Sicily to Tripoli. Svalbard will be 400-odd kilometers to the sea lanes threading the needle, while the Norwegian bases would be about the same. It is not "like" Malta at all.
5. Not much need for “fortifications” as such if the airfield(s) is(/are) closer to the interior (and yes there is enough space in some of those mountain basins for an airstrip), other than TNT and sandbags to blow up artificial caves and fortify those mountains, Alpine Front WWI style, other than some reinforcement materials for any tunnels. The Gebirgsjagers with the mountain guns and equipment to haul to material up into these positions. But if they need pillboxes, I don’t know German wwii requirements but for the British in wwi it was 90 tons for a full sized MG pill box, and 5 tons for a “moir” type pill box. For two dozen, that’s easily manageable for a smaller concrete-carrying ship accompanying the initial forces.
You realize that all that has to be hauled there and then unloaded. By hand? And if you are going to execute strike operations from there all the fuel and bombs have to be hauled there as well and unloaded. By hand. Do you have any idea how long it would take to haul the concrete and other materials necessary for an all-weather landing field, which is the only thing that could make this idea worth it? How long it would take for the German engineers to construct it? A dirt landing strip, which is what the Luftwaffe actually "developed" there, will not work for the purposes you intend.
Btw, why can’t the Germans use merchants historically used to support Silver Fox? The point of occupying Spitsbergen is more effectively fighting the convoys than Silver Fox did, with a much smaller force than needed for that operation diverted instead to this effort.
:D
Because IIRC they were mostly coasters and slower than dirt with limited capacity and speed. Again, for a hare-brained idea like this you will need speed.
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Dec 2022 16:11

Peter89 wrote:
22 Dec 2022 07:46
Even out of that 9 (or 8) aircrafts of 9./KGzbV 108 3 were BV 138, disqualified earlier plus 3 (or 4) Do 26s were destroyed (V2 on 8 May 1940, V1 & V3 on 28 May 1940) before the ATL airlift begins. The V5 was lost in November 1940.
Indeed but I was just trying to figure out where they came up with "50 to 60"?
The Ju 52s are interesting. I am not sure they'd be able to reach the Spitsbergen with any sensible payload. It is also questionable from where would they fly.
For sure. But apparently all "flying boats" are the same in fantasies.
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Urmel
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Urmel » 22 Dec 2022 16:59

Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2022 16:08
3. There were a total of 5-6 submarines I can account for under the Brits/Free Norwegians in the North Sea in mid 1941, when I propose this alternate operation take place.
Um, no, try about four times that many submarines.
I get to 31 submarines in four flotillas, 3, 5, 7 and 9, based on this:

https://www.naval-history.net/xDKWW2-4107-34aRNHome.htm
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Dec 2022 17:07

Urmel wrote:
22 Dec 2022 16:59
Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2022 16:08
3. There were a total of 5-6 submarines I can account for under the Brits/Free Norwegians in the North Sea in mid 1941, when I propose this alternate operation take place.
Um, no, try about four times that many submarines.
I get to 31 submarines in four flotillas, 3, 5, 7 and 9, based on this:

https://www.naval-history.net/xDKWW2-4107-34aRNHome.htm
Only Germans used submarines in World War II. Right?
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Urmel
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Urmel » 22 Dec 2022 17:16

Yeah. Totally forgot about that. Sorry.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

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Peter89
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Peter89 » 22 Dec 2022 22:48

thaddeus_c wrote:
22 Dec 2022 14:55
Peter89 wrote:
22 Dec 2022 07:46
thaddeus_c wrote:
21 Dec 2022 20:30
Peter89 wrote:
21 Dec 2022 20:06


Really?

Which aircrafts do you mean?

No offense, I'm simply curious. I thought I am familiar with German airlift capabilities in early war, but this is a number I have never encountered before.
https://www.airhistory.net/text/misc/na ... twaffe.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_Do_18 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_Do_24

and my speculating use of any French and Dutch DO-24s, OR they would have to use the BV-138
Thanks for the links, I guess we have a misunderstanding here. The Do 18 was not a transport plane by any stretch of imagination; they needed catapult ships for a takeoff with mails. Thus the 50-60 on hand doesn't really count.

The Do 24 is okay, albeit not too effective, because it carried some 600 kg bombs and was usually employed in maritime patrol and sea rescue operations.

Interestingly, you left out the BV 222, which actually flew missions in the Arctic, and had a payload that probably exceeded the payload of the handful of Do 24s' payload combined.
yeah , a misunderstanding

calculated the Germans transporting troops and materials by ships (ideally at least some coal-fired), but given their disaster(s) at Narvik they would want/need some airlift capability organized too? (and I was not including a usable airfield thus flying boats)

if we are prohibited from speculating they could build more Dornier aircraft based on wartime experience then include BV-138s (they did install more powerful diesels in 1940)

(IDK about the BV-222 and its development cycle, or whether they could have used the HE-115 and attach materials? thus I did not mention them.)
The He-115 was the same dead end as the Do 24; it could carry about 1200 kg, but outside of the fuselage. I think we all know what that means beyond the polar circle.

The airstrip is necessary for your idea, no? I mean how would the Germans attack the convoys?
Orwell1984 wrote:
22 Dec 2022 15:58
The challenge of using flying boats/float planes is that they are even more weather dependent than regular aircraft. They cannot safely land in anything but the calmest waters. An examination of units from all sides of the war show numerous losses due to bad weather, rough seas or even heavy swells (He 115's, Sunderlands, Bv138's, Catalinas, Do 24s).

Heavily loaded aircraft of these types are even more at risk so the wastage rate will not be low.
Not all flyboats were the same in this regard. The Do 24 was famous for being super stable and once I've read it was authorized to land on sea state 6 waters.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Peter89 » 22 Dec 2022 22:56

Urmel wrote:
22 Dec 2022 10:37
Peter89 wrote:
22 Dec 2022 07:46
The Ju 52s are interesting. I am not sure they'd be able to reach the Spitsbergen with any sensible payload. It is also questionable from where would they fly.
I suspect they might get there with almost zero payload, but it would be a one-way journey.

viewtopic.php?t=182771
Yes, the question was rather theoretical :)
I am familiar with that thread and with the original documents as well. I think the Ju 52 / See versions even have a much worse fuel economy.
Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2022 16:11
Peter89 wrote:
22 Dec 2022 07:46
Even out of that 9 (or 8) aircrafts of 9./KGzbV 108 3 were BV 138, disqualified earlier plus 3 (or 4) Do 26s were destroyed (V2 on 8 May 1940, V1 & V3 on 28 May 1940) before the ATL airlift begins. The V5 was lost in November 1940.
Indeed but I was just trying to figure out where they came up with "50 to 60"?
The Ju 52s are interesting. I am not sure they'd be able to reach the Spitsbergen with any sensible payload. It is also questionable from where would they fly.
For sure. But apparently all "flying boats" are the same in fantasies.
..and we haven't even began my favourite topic of "how many aircrafts would be operational after a few missions?" :/
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 23 Dec 2022 00:35

Peter89 wrote:
22 Dec 2022 22:56


..and we haven't even began my favourite topic of "how many aircrafts would be operational after a few missions?" :/

If weather conditions, minimal acceptable ground support, navigation problems, on top of normal operating losses contributes to a 10% loss per sortie average then:

50 aircraft = -5 on the first sortie = 45 remaining

Second sortie of all -4.5 aircraft = 40.5 remaining

Third sortie of all -4 = 36 remaining

Thats in the abstract & does not differentiate between temp loss & permanent loss. Not a good idea to make a maximum effort every day, so losses will be less, but fewer daily sorties for the group & you have less reconissance coverage or strike power. Under these conditions you might expect to reach that 71.2% mark in a couple weeks. Then there's possible combat losses.

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Peter89 » 23 Dec 2022 11:41

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
23 Dec 2022 00:35
Peter89 wrote:
22 Dec 2022 22:56


..and we haven't even began my favourite topic of "how many aircrafts would be operational after a few missions?" :/

If weather conditions, minimal acceptable ground support, navigation problems, on top of normal operating losses contributes to a 10% loss per sortie average then:

50 aircraft = -5 on the first sortie = 45 remaining

Second sortie of all -4.5 aircraft = 40.5 remaining

Third sortie of all -4 = 36 remaining

Thats in the abstract & does not differentiate between temp loss & permanent loss. Not a good idea to make a maximum effort every day, so losses will be less, but fewer daily sorties for the group & you have less reconissance coverage or strike power. Under these conditions you might expect to reach that 71.2% mark in a couple weeks. Then there's possible combat losses.
This is all very optimistic. In my estimation, based on various airlift deployments, real operational availability would sink to 20-30% in 5 sorties for the sensitive types and about 50% for the non-sensitive types. For the bombers, it would highly depend on supplies and the maintenance company's specialization. There were instances when out of 45 bombers only 2 were able to take off after no more than 2 sorties.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Richard Anderson » 23 Dec 2022 15:34

Peter89 wrote:
23 Dec 2022 11:41
This is all very optimistic. In my estimation, based on various airlift deployments, real operational availability would sink to 20-30% in 5 sorties for the sensitive types and about 50% for the non-sensitive types. For the bombers, it would highly depend on supplies and the maintenance company's specialization. There were instances when out of 45 bombers only 2 were able to take off after no more than 2 sorties.
Absolutely. Just look at KGzbV 108 going from 22 aircraft to 8 aircraft operational in 30 days.
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Peter89 » 23 Dec 2022 17:18

Richard Anderson wrote:
23 Dec 2022 15:34
Peter89 wrote:
23 Dec 2022 11:41
This is all very optimistic. In my estimation, based on various airlift deployments, real operational availability would sink to 20-30% in 5 sorties for the sensitive types and about 50% for the non-sensitive types. For the bombers, it would highly depend on supplies and the maintenance company's specialization. There were instances when out of 45 bombers only 2 were able to take off after no more than 2 sorties.
Absolutely. Just look at KGzbV 108 going from 22 aircraft to 8 aircraft operational in 30 days.
Yep. That is a real scenario, although I am not 100% familiar with the entire story of that unit.

In reality, all of us are still guilty of a "continental mindset". The German-French-Soviet/Russian way of thinking can not differentiate between a continental war and a war on distant shores, and the Anglo-Saxon way of thinking counts with a logistical tail that provides endless possibilities.

In reality, no European power - including Britain and Soviet/Russia - has ever won a war on a distant shore against a comparable enemy, and the Americans have never fought a war on a distant shore with compromised logistics. We can't really grasp what it was like for the Germans in WW2. Even their high command didn't understand it back then. When I was in Freiburg, I read the original papers expecting >70% operational availability under any circumstances in 1938. I read late war reports which pretty accurately quantified the effect of lackluster maintenance on operational availability, and it was well-known how often a Ju 88 Gruppe was transferred to a Werft proficient in maintaining He 111s. All these things had an immediate, dire and palpable effect, not to mention the misdirection of spare part supplies, which was a direct result of organizational deficiencies at the Luftwaffe HQ.

The problem is that we - especially the only-English speakers - still use the Stärke und Einsatzbereitschaft der fliegenden Verbände, the Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen and the Iststärke der Luftwaffe as sources. All of these are based on a faulty reporting system, which showed the aircrafts en route from the factories to the units and aircrafts "repairable" in 48 hours on the "Haben-Seite". All the German aircraft numbers we have been working with are seriously inflated.

In the German High Command's and in our defense, we all think of a war with reasonable logistics. Like the war against Poland. Or the war against France and the BeNeLux. Like the border battles against the SU. The worst case scenario we can think of was the Weserübung and the Balkanfeldzug; but in reality, these were all well within Germany's ability to pull off, provided the operations would not last too long. But large-scale, continous operations based on those logistical lines...?

Of course no one can give a proper quantification on the subject, but I think even under the most favourable circumstances (which were not present in the Spitsbergen), 1-2 Gruppe of bombers could operate from an improvised airfield (out of the reach of naval gunfire), defended by a maximum of one battalion of light infantry. But of course the whole hassle to relocate these units from Norway to there doesn't worth it.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Geoffrey Cooke » 24 Dec 2022 08:30

Urmel wrote:
22 Dec 2022 09:10
Texas Jäger wrote:
22 Dec 2022 03:03
Urmel wrote:
21 Dec 2022 08:27
Texas Jäger wrote:
18 Dec 2022 02:56
Not sure what you're on about. The entire point of devoting two German corps (including three mountain divisions) to Silberfuchs, otherwise launched in a strategic backwater that could have easily been defended by the Finns, was to occupy Murmansk and prevent any open route to the Soviet Union for resupply by the UK.
As I think I have demonstrated conclusively, that was not the objective of Silberfuchs, and Halder notes it as having no military purpose whatsoever within the larger scheme of Barbarossa.
Even if we accept that an Allied landing was the chief concern rather than supplies for the Soviet army, how would an allied expeditionary force get to Murmansk?
'Even if'? So even if we accept the historical evidence, you would like to continue to ignore the historical evidence? That's not really the making of a reasonable WI. At least, unlike the other two advocates of this WI you seem to be willing to contemplate that the historical evidence matters, and not focus on the rather inane (to use his own terms) discussion of how many angels can fit on a pin, sorry, whether a bodenständige or a Gebirgsregiment is the better tool for a non-job.
Texas Jäger wrote:
22 Dec 2022 03:03
How would it be supplied? That’s right…Arctic convoys.
You seem to overlook that Murmansk would be in the hands of the Germans, under their own planning. That was the purpose of the operation. They did not plan for failure (not taking Murmansk), they planned for success (taking Murmansk). So nobody would be able to land there.
Texas Jäger wrote:
22 Dec 2022 03:03
…"the the double mission of keeping the British from establishing a foothold in Murmansk, and of closing the White. Sea Canal." This comment from Halder does not preclude the idea the Germans were concerned or planned for supplies flowing through Murmansk to the Red Army, one of the things that could flow through said canal. Whether the concerns were ships carrying troops (and their supplies) or ships carrying lend lease, it amounts to the same goal of preventing shipping from reaching the Soviet Union anyways.
This neatly shows the dangers of partial quotation and ignoring context. The quote is correct. What is missing is that it discusses the closure of the canal (and the railway) not in terms of getting stuff from Murmansk to the rest of the Soviet Union, but that the purpose of the closure is to prevent stuff from the rest of the Soviet Union getting to Murmansk to reinforce the garrison there.

More generally, a good WI has to consider the context under which the ATL is posited. Useless WIs get bogged down in technical detail that is irrelevant, such as mule vs. horse feeding requirements, or whether the Afrika-Korps could have won if they had been fully motorised with 4x6 trucks, or if the Blitz could have been successful if the He 177 would have been available. Etc.pp. Because if you don't get the context, it is impossible to understand the OTL decision-making process, and that means the ATL is likely to end up being a GIGO exercise.

Such as the one here, which cannot even agree with itself when it would like Svalbard to be occupied, randomly chooses dates, ignores real historical constraints, and gets bogged down in the KStN of a Gebirgsjägerregiment, while people who don't understand why context matters get all high-and-mighty when challenged, but all upset when people reply in kind. Or where the example of a failed airlift (Narvik 1940) is being used to argue that an airlift to a place even further away would have been feasible. All backed up by Wikipedia entries of indifferent quality and a resolute ignorance of documentary evidence.
Hi Urmel. I think you are misinterpreting this, and also conflating Stoat Coat and Texas Jäger, the latter never mentioned Narvik. He’s not taking what Halder said out of context given you only posted a few sentences from him and he quoted about half anyways, just he needs to read the diaries. But his point is that Hitler’s concern about the use of Murmansk for allied invasion forces is still a effect of British convoy traffic through the Arctic, and also what Halder said still doesn’t mean convoys carrying resupplies weren’t a concern. One the of the US Army Department German report series publications, on talking about the forces employed in Barbarossa June 1941, mentioned explicitly that one of the tasks of 5. Luftflotte/Airforce was to target convoys heading to Murmansk https://history.army.mil/html/books/104 ... 104-21.pdf (pg 40) Why would the Germans be assigned missions like this to their air fleet if they didn’t expect convoys?

I’m sorry but all evidence points to convoys in any and all forms being exactly why they wanted to capture Murmansk. It goes without saying that they planned to deal with this by capturing the city, but the “What-if” here is if they tried to solve the problem a different way, but that doesn’t mean a 180-degree turn in their goals, just a difference in method.

As for Narvik, I think the airlift failed because it crossed over hundreds of miles of allied controlled territory riddled with RAF, no Allied airbases between the North Cape and Bear Island. Btw Trømso airfield to Spitsbergen is about the same distance as Oslo to Narvik (airlift route). We also have the successful German landings at Trondheim to consider. You are taking an awful lot of things out of context yourself. We can argue Weserübung as a whole shouldn’t have succeeded simply because it was an overseas territory and the much larger and sea dominating Royal Navy was right next door, thereby meaning there was a potential of German forces getting “cut off” on a large scale, plus France was helping Britain at that time, but it did work.
Urmel wrote:
22 Dec 2022 10:37
Peter89 wrote:
22 Dec 2022 07:46
The Ju 52s are interesting. I am not sure they'd be able to reach the Spitsbergen with any sensible payload. It is also questionable from where would they fly.
I suspect they might get there with almost zero payload, but it would be a one-way journey.

viewtopic.php?t=182771
According to that very thread it’s between 1100 kilometers and 1500 kilometers at full payload, distance between Tromsø airfield and Spitzbergen is 940 kilometers, much less for Bear Island.

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