Hitler: Why move into Africa

One thing left out from this discussion is that Italy already _owned_ Libya. It was an Italian colony at the time.
Italy wanted to be seen as an equal partner to the germans so despite doing next to nothing in europe,the italians decided to attack british somaliland while britain was preoccupied with defending herself.The whole offensive though was a disaster and the italians were routed and asked for german help to stop the british taking italian land
To help their Italian Allies and to Control the Suez Canal and thus put a strangle hold on the UK.
Because Hitler wanted to get back the colonies he lost in world war 1 in the treaty of versails. Also because mussalini faild to take Africa so hitler had to send Rommel
Well the German colonies weren't in North Africa so that didn't play a roll. But the spreading of fascism and inability to maintain power in that region didn't go well together. So it was more for the pr that Hitler sent the Afrika Corps (with that delightfull emblem of a palmtree with swastika... very touristic).
Secondly Englands hold of Malta could be undone with naval and air force power. They hoped to gain power of the Mediterranean Sea by removing the Brits from Malta and Tobruk. The first failed and the second succeeded and was seen as a major disaster in England.
There are a number of reasons why Hitler invaded Africa or at least supported the italians.

1, Germany decided to use the U boat camapign to defeat England, knocking out the Russians the last major possible european ally later in the year. But was not in a position to deliver a knock out blow to the British on land at that time. Sealion had been cancelled and Russia was the main target.
2, The Italians where on the verge of total defeat and decided to support their ally.
3, By invading they tied british forces up, although they did tie their own forces too. But '41 numbers of german troops where not excessive. Given the resources allocated to Rommel it doesnt seem that the germans had the intention of completely defeating britain in egypt.
4, Kept the british away from german oil interests.

Just a few thoughts for discussion. Need to get out the desert books again.:smile:
If I were Hitler, I shouldn't invade England, Russia, and Africa at SAME TIME. It is TOO MUCH to do.
Fox said:
If I were Hitler, I shouldn't invade England, Russia, and Africa at SAME TIME. It is TOO MUCH to do.

Not without having three wheatabix for breakfast first. Mind you he did put a towell on the sun lounger first.

German military policy was always against a war on two fronts. Declaring war on America was crazy. Dont think America would have declared war on him, well not for sometime.
Redneck said:

:lol: Aries is some astrological sign that bored people use as a reason to hook up.

:drill: Aries also was Greek God of War (Greek Mythology) also called
Mars (Roman)
The North African campaign is interesting in that there were several important concenquences that came about from this so called side show.

Hitler sent in Rommel to pull Mussolini out of the mess he got himself into when the Italians attacked the Brits in North Africa. One Australian infantry division [the 9th] and one British armoured division [the 7th] under General O'Connor, a total of 30,000 men had routed up to 300,000 Italians.

When it was over, it was a complete British triumph. The Brits and Aussies had lost 500 men, with 55 missing and 1373 wounded. They had advanced 500 miles in two months, destroying an army of ten divisions and taking a total of 130,000 POWs.

It was a classic campaign.

Then Churchill and Hitler each made big mistakes.

O'Connor wanted to continue the advance on Tunis, and secure North Africa, Churchill instead wanted troops in Greece.

The British had to abandon the initiative in the Libyan desert.
This decision, made by Churchill, to drain off scarce British strength to aid the Greeks, was one of the worst of the war.

On the other hand Hitler went one better.

If Hitler had given Rommel the several more divisions he wanted, he probably would have crushed the 8th army and could have pushed as far as he liked, capturing the mid east oil fields, and perhaps could have gone even as far as to attack Russia in the Caucasus which has been mentioned.
At the very least there would be no North African spring board for the Italian invasion.

But I suppose if you have a half mad Corporal running the show, what else could you expect?

Plus, Hitler delaying Barbarossa for 5 weeks to take care of of the Greeks and Brits on his flank, have often been said, cost him dearly in his attack east, although i'm doubtfull about this.

So, all in all, it had repercussions on the war as a whole.