About Why did Germany lose WW2? Page 54
|September 3rd, 2011||#531|
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|September 3rd, 2011||#532|
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|October 27th, 2011||#533|
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Germany's failure to crush Great Britain before even attempting to defeat the Soviet Union was it's greatest reason for losing the war. But, it is the way in which the Nazi state should have attempted this defeat of Great Britain which should be discussed. Germany could have strangled Britain, simply by making the Mediteranean an Axis lake. Hitler saw North Africa as a side show. But if he would have put the full weight of the Wehrmacht into North Africa he would have destroyed the best forces Britain had. But more importantly, Germany would have had a never ending supply of oil and command of the Suez canal. With the Suez firmly in Nazi control the beginning of Britain's starvation would begin.
Of course, the Atlantic would have to be patrolled by a greater portion of the Kriegsmarine and production of U-boats would need to be trebled. But Britain would eventually sue for peace. Churchill would have been driven from office and those who saw Herr Hitler as a great European force would be ruling the isle. Hitler's impatience, questionable military decisions and rabid racism were the main reasons for Germany's defeat.
|October 27th, 2011||#534|
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1) Once British troops were off the continent Britain was never going to be a threat to Germany therefore the need to take Britain out of the war was really secondary, the mistake was allowing the weight of the USA into the war to use Britain as staging point had the US stayed in the Pacific or neutral Overlord was never a likelihood.
Of course there was Bomber Command but at best it could have only been a thorn in the Germans side and had the war in the East gone well German armaments and production would have been out of range of the RAF and lets be honest how long could the RAF have carried on by itself over enemy territory I think it would have suffered the same fate as the Luftwaffe over Britain in 1940.
2) North Africa wasn't a side show but it was "a bridge too far" lets assume Rommel had captured Egypt then what?
Britain and the Commonwealth would have set up on the other side of the Suez and would have had even shorter supply lines from India while the German supply lines grew ever longer and without securing Gibraltar and Malta the Mediterranean was never going to be a secure supply route.
Britain still would have had major supply bases in South Africa and India so supplies to Britain may have taken a bit longer but they would not have been in any more peril than they were passing through the Med.
Further to this the German front line in Africa/Middle East would have been huge and untenable.
We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld
Last edited by MontyB; October 27th, 2011 at 04:01..
|October 27th, 2011||#535|
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Of course you are right Monty. I forgot to mention the need to take Malta and Gibralter. So, let us assume all of North Africa, Palestine and Syria are taken along with Malta and Gibralter. If the U-boat production is trebled at least and the bulk of the German navy is patrolling the Atlantic, Britain could be squeezed. If this had happened, Turkey may have joined the Axis. And truly what excuse would would Roosevelt have for supplying Britain if the war was contained within Western and central Europe?
|October 27th, 2011||#536|
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As for triple the number of Uboats in my opinion they needed that at the beginning of the war to gain the upper hand, but as the air gap between Britain and the USA grew ever shorter so did the life expectancy of Uboats, add to this the ever improving ASW capabilities of the Royal Navy and the fact that the Allies were being given Uboat positions in real time by the Uboats themselves once Enigma was broken, I think it was a forlorn hope that German ever had a chance in the Atlantic.
Now on to North Africa, Even had Rommel managed to take it all he still had no oil because at that stage no one knew what was below Libya and as one Afrika Korps veteran pointed out had they known what they were driving over Germany would have done all it could to keep Italy out of the war as Libya was an Italian possession.
But the problem remains that even with North Africa in German hands the oil producing parts of it (at that stage) were all still in British hands and they were falling back onto even larger reserves of men and materials in India and while the Germans were advancing they were exposing an even bigger flank to attack from South African supplied men and material.
Basically it is my view that the manpower and material requirements of the German army to take and secure Middle Eastern oil would have been greater than those required for Operation Barbarossa.
Last edited by MontyB; October 28th, 2011 at 16:44..
|October 28th, 2011||#538|
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Apart from that, Malta provided a safe harbour for Allied shipping en-route to India and the Far East via the Suez Canal.
Adversus solem ne loquitor
|October 28th, 2011||#539|
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1)Since june 1940,the shipping route to India was not going via the Mediterranean and Suez,but along Africa :in 1939,5277 ships with a tonnage of 29.573.000 and 410.500 passengers were crossing the Canal .In 1942,1646 ships (tonnage 7.027.000 with 6OO passengers),most of them not going to India .
2)The importance of Malta :another myth:Malta or no Malta ,Rommel would receive not more supplies :the problem of Rommel was NOT that not enough supplies were arriving at Tripolis,but that not enough supplies were going from Tripolis to the front .
3)If the transport ships were sunk by the RAF or by Enigma, is irrelevant(see point 2)
4)If Gibraltar was captured,resulting in the fall of Malta (what is questionable),this would not have a decisive importance (see point 2)
Rommel got enough supplies,but,these were blocked at Tripolis,because the Libyan railroads could not transport them to the front .
|October 28th, 2011||#540|
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The outcome of land fighting was determined by a supply war, in which the main front was the Mediterranean Sea. Control of the convey routes over the sea, the three main ports and the supply lines linking the ports to the front were crucial for success in North Africa. Control of these channels required air supremacy; this demanded the island of Malta.
Malta was a significant military and naval fortress, being the only Allied base between Gibraltar and Alexandria, Egypt. It was a linchpin in the British Empire overseas—a vital way station along Britain’s lifeline, through Egypt and the Suez Canal to India and the Far East. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, in command of Axis forces in North Africa, recognised its importance quickly. In May 1941, he warned that “Without Malta the Axis will end by losing control of North Africa.”
The Axis resolved to bomb, or starve Malta into submission by attacking its ports, towns, cities and Allied shipping supplying the island. It was one of the most intensively bombed areas during the war. The Luftwaffe and the Italian Regia Aeronautica flew a total of 3,000 bombing raids over a period of two years in an effort to destroy RAF defences and the ports. Success would have made possible a combined German—Italian amphibious landing (Operation Herkules). Despite strong urgings from Rommel, it was never carried out. In the end, Allied convoys were able to supply and reinforce Malta, while the RAF defended its airspace, though at great cost in material and lives.
Keith Park arrived in Malta in July 1942 as AOC. He brought his Battle of Britain experience to bear and within weeks he was able to turn the tide for the besieged island. With plenty of Spitfires to operate, Park sought to intercept the enemy and break up his formations before the bombers reached the island. Up until this point, the Spitfires had fought defensively. They scrambled and headed south to gain height, then turned around to engage the enemy over the island. . Using three squadrons, Park asked the first to engage the escorting fighters by ‘bouncing them’ out of the sun. The second would strike at the close escort, or, if unescorted, the bombers themselves. The third was to attack the bombers head-on.
The impact of Park’s methods was instant. His Forward Interception Plan, issued officially on 25 July 1942, forced the Axis to abandon daylight raids within six days.
However, without adequate aviation fuel, ammunition and other vital supplies, the might of the Spitfires would soon be silenced. Operation Pedestal took place in August 1942; this epic attempt to run some 80 ships past bombers, minefields and u-boats has gone down in military history as one of the most important British victories of the Second World War – though at a cost of more than 400 lives.
Many of the attacks were against the SS Ohio, an American oil tanker essential to the mission’s success. Waves of bombers targeted her and the Ohio was finally torpedoed on 12 August before then being caught by two more bombs the following day. Although crippled, she did not sink immediately, giving the forces one last chance to bring her in. HMS Ledbury, working with other warships, came alongside. With sheer determination, the ships succeeded in propping up the Ohio and towing her into port before she could be hit again. Her vital cargo was offloaded and the Allies defense of Malta continued.
Rommel’s position became critical. He was starved of his supplies while the British reinforced their lines in Egypt, prior to the Second Battle of El Alamein.
In December 1942, air and sea forces operating from Malta went over to the offensive. By May 1943, they had sunk 230 Axis ships in 164 days, the highest Allied sinking rate of the war. The Allied victory in Malta opened the door for the the eventual Allied success in North Africa.
Both Malta and Gibraltar, were vital not only during WW2, but after WW2 during the cold war. I was on Malta when a radio op came into the billet and mentioned that the Royal Navy had rammed a Soviet ship during a major NATO exercise in 1970.
But then again I'd take a guess that you know more then the British Admiralty, the Air Ministry as well as the War Office. Just think of the billions of pounds that could have been saved taking your advice.
Last edited by BritinAfrica; October 28th, 2011 at 18:17..
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