German occupation of Tunisia, how was it possible?




 
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January 28th, 2011  
perseus
 
 

Topic: German occupation of Tunisia, how was it possible?


It seems that Rommel was critically short of supplies in Egypt at El Alamein but the Germans could still quickly move supplies across the Mediterranean to occupy and defend Tunisia at this time. Also why did the Vichy French forces not oppose them. Perhaps they were more interested in opposing the Allies in the Torch landings than the Axis?

Note: Malta had only limited offensive capability to block axis supplies between Italy and North Africa at that time due to air attacks on Royal Navy supply convoys.

It's almost as if Hitler had a reserve ready, but how? To make matters more puzzling this was around the time of Stalingrad when this should have attracted any spare reserves.
January 29th, 2011  
lljadw
 
these few divisions were stationed in France,and thus available .
Btw :Stalingrad was later .
The fact that the Germans could send men to Tunesia,does not mean they could send them to Alamein ,that was depending from the railwaysystem in Lybia,which was very bad .
January 30th, 2011  
perseus
 
 
Indeed these events were separated by 10 days, altough I think some sort of a desperate defence on the Stalingrad front was inevitable at that time

Quote:
On 9 November Axis forces started to build up in Tunisia unopposed by the local French forces under General Barré. Wracked with indecision, Barré moved his troops into the hills and formed a defensive line from Teboursouk through Medjez el Bab and ordered that anyone trying to pass through the line would be shot. On 19 November the German commander, Walter Nehring, demanded passage for his troops across the bridge at Medjez and was refused. The Germans attacked the poorly equipped French units twice and were driven back. However, the French had taken heavy casualties and, lacking artillery and armour, Barré was forced to withdraw

At 07:20 (Moscow time) on 19 November Soviet forces on the northern flank of the Axis forces at Stalingrad began their offensive; forces in the south began on 20 November.
Perhaps the allies were not ambitious enough and should have additionally landed a small force at Tunis instead of Morocco? Would this been out of range of axis fighter air cover?

I'm not sure what the point was of invading Morocco at all.

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January 30th, 2011  
lljadw
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
Indeed these events were separated by 10 days, altough I think some sort of a desperate defence on the Stalingrad front was inevitable at that time



Perhaps the allies were not ambitious enough and should have additionally landed a small force at Tunis instead of Morocco? Would this been out of range of axis fighter air cover?

I'm not sure what the point was of invading Morocco at all.

I presume that Tunis was out,because it was considered as to risky .
January 30th, 2011  
LeEnfield
 
 
The idea of invading Morocco was to give the Americans a chance to gain battlefield experience against an enemy that had problems. The French did actively oppose the Allied landings in North Africa. Then there was the problem of who would lead the French Forces now DeGualle was to obvious choice but was disliked by the Americans and there was then a power struggle in the French Camp and a assassination before that got sorted. Then the French had to be rearmed and reequipped before they could enter the field on our side, as they would not been able to be supplied with ammunition or spare parts for their own equipment.
 


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