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Thread: what if -- no Afrika Korps

  1. #16
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Oh let him grovel. People here kiss your ass all the time. It's rare someone is kissing your feet.
    I'm way behind a certain Canadian officer on that score.
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  2. #17
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    in the context of fall-winter 1940, it was just to keep mussolini in the fight and hold the british. ideally, kicking them out of egypt, which would have been nice but was not vital to the Reich (or to the british for that matter).

    remember that hitler fully expected the USSR to be a done deal within four months.
    One reads the whole history of it and comes away with the sense that it was just a big sand box for Rommel to play in, and if he ran out of tanks and fuel...oh well. Does anyone else get that sense?
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    It was so obvious and in front of my nose.

    JAD put it is so little words. Oh well... me standing - - - >
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    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    You are still at war with Britain; cutting the Suez canal supply line from India, Singapore etc helps close the Med.
    The Med was allready closed, due to british reluctance to use it, except in extreme circumstances .
    J'ai en marre.

  5. #20
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    not really. in this time period, the british had no issue putting troops in to assist greece against the germans, although given the correlation of forces it wasn't a surprise when the british were bounced out. moreover, the british sank the french fleet to keep it out of german hands, and also had no issue resupplying the forces that would beat the italians like a dirty rug, and fight rommel to a standstill.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  6. #21
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Success in Africa would in theory have given the Germans control of the Lebanon and from there a base for a push into Iraq and Mosul which did have that most precious of substances for Hitler - oil. And there would have been little or nothing that Britain could have done about it in the short term, to committed elsewhere. But the big thing for the England was always the Canal. Hence the resources put into making sure the African Corps did not succeed. (Of course the Aussies with a little help from the Kiwis made sure that! )

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    not really. in this time period, the british had no issue putting troops in to assist greece against the germans, although given the correlation of forces it wasn't a surprise when the british were bounced out. moreover, the british sank the french fleet to keep it out of german hands, and also had no issue resupplying the forces that would beat the italians like a dirty rug, and fight rommel to a standstill.

    Sir, the sunked french fleet consisted of the ww1 battleship Bretagne and some gunboats .
    The french navy made it to Toulon .

    And for the original question , merchants convoys traveled around africa , not trough the med, with some notable exceptions .
    J'ai en marre.

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    Did the axis ever bomb the canal to deny allied use?

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    germans wanted to capture the suez for their own use.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by rogerwilko View Post
    Did the axis ever bomb the canal to deny allied use?
    Approximately 34 night attacks between the period of July-October 1941 were made against the Suez Canal, mainly by Ju88's based in Greece. Damage was minimal.

  11. #26
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    From what I understand it was to open a route to the Middle East which was vital in oil, and destroy the British grip on the Mediterranean. Keep in mind, the Brits controlled three extremely important locations-the Suez and Gibraltar, the gateway into the Med, and Malta which is at the very center of the Mediterranean. The DAK (I'm referring it to a name for all Deutsche units in Africa. There were many other Deutsche units besides the DAK in Africa, though many use the DAK to denote all Deutsche units) was also created to aid the Italians fight the Brits in Africa.

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    It seems to me like Italy was just dead weight for the Germans and they would've been better off without them. But perhaps inept Italy has some function as a placeholder - better than having another enemy there. Although wouldn't been easier for the Germans to just seal off the Alps to secure the south? Or what if Hitler limited his support to the Italian mainland? Or the Gothic line?
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    The British lost a lot of equipment when they ran with their tail between their legs to Dunkirk. Germans would of had an idea just how much they had prior to removing the allies off their border. British lost a lot of equipment in Greece. Germany felt with its wolf packs and offenses elsewhere it could do enough to stop Brittan getting in her way with the ideological war with the east.

    Rommel was sent to have a look around, to see whats left and why those Italians were inept against Australians. He told high command he could close Suez.

    Those men and supplies lost were well worth their effort, Brittan lost a lot of friends defending Nth Africa, had to sell more of her soul to Americans. Lost a bit or Persia.

    Lets say the Africa core was in the east, I can see they would of been useful trying to reach Paulus when he got surrounded. But what about those convoys to Russia from Brittan?How strong would they of been if England was aloud to go about its business however it pleased (like America)

    Anyway, how many men the Germans lose at Kursk? about the size of the Africa core? chicken feed really. Russians lot 750 thousand over those 4 days.

  14. #29
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Answering the original question, from my reading on the topic there was never really meant to be an 'Africa Korp', that continent being outside of Germany's immediate strategic objectives. Down the track, assuming the war went favorably there was the possibility of a push on into the oil fields of Persia vi southern Russia and the Caucuses but that was a long term objective at best. Everything I have read suggests that the Rommel and his famous Korp were a hasty solution to an unexpected/unwanted problem.

    At the start of the war everyone including Britain assumed that Italy was in a strong position in Africa and would take the offensive. After all there were almost 200,000 (on paper well equipped) Italian troops in Libya and another quarter of a million or so in Somalia and Ethiopia. What no-one counted on was the virtual rout of Mussolini's Army in Libya in the face of O'Connell's brilliant first offensive. Hitler was virtually forced to commit troops into North Africa in order to save his erstwhile ally from disaster. If the Germans hadn't arrived Britain would have swept on through Libya and into Vichy French occupied Tunisia & Algeria.

    Firstly, there would have been the very real prospect of Mussolini being deposed from power in the face of such a complete military and political disaster - he personalty ordered the initial Italian offensive on the assumption that Britain would surrender in short order. Secondly the loss of Africa by pro Nazi regimes would have opened the entire southern Med up to British shipping and exposed southern France and Italy itself to a (at that stage of course purely hypothetical) British counterattack.

    Of course Rommel did arrive and rest as they say is history. But he was only sent in because Mussolini got his nuts caught in the proverbial ringer and needed someone competent to extricate them. If he hadn't shown up - the course of the war would have been dramatically changed.
    Last edited by Monash; 25 Jul 14, at 09:16.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    Answering the original question, from my reading on the topic there was never really meant to be an 'Africa Korp', that continent being outside of Germany's immediate strategic objectives. Down the track, assuming the war went favorably there was the possibility of a push on into the oil fields of Persia vi southern Russia and the Caucuses but that was a long term objective at best. Everything I have read suggests that the Rommel and his famous Korp were a hasty solution to an unexpected/unwanted problem.

    At the start of the war everyone including Britain assumed that Italy was in a strong position in Africa and would take the offensive. After all there were almost 200,000 (on paper well equipped) Italian troops in Libya and another quarter of a million or so in Somalia and Ethiopia. What no-one counted on was the virtual rout of Mussolini's Army in Libya in the face of O'Connell's brilliant first offensive. Hitler was virtually forced to commit troops into North Africa in order to save his erstwhile ally from disaster. If the Germans hadn't arrived Britain would have swept on through Libya and into Vichy French occupied Tunisia & Algeria.

    Firstly, there would have been the very real prospect of Mussolini being deposed from power in the face of such a complete military and political disaster - he personalty ordered the initial Italian offensive on the assumption that Britain would surrender in short order. Secondly the loss of Africa by pro Nazi regimes would have opened the entire southern Med up to British shipping and exposed southern France and Italy itself to a (at that stage of course purely hypothetical) British counterattack.

    Of course Rommel did arrive and rest as they say is history. But he was only sent in because Mussolini got his nuts caught in the proverbial ringer and needed someone competent to extricate them. If he hadn't shown up - the course of the war would have been dramatically changed.
    I believe that the alliance with Italy and Hitler's commitment to Mussolini was the worse error he ever did. When the Kursk offensive happened, almost the entire Red Army was around Kursk and Germany sent a pincer movement to isolate and destroy them. The north of the pincer movement was led by Walther von Model and the South part by Erich von Manstein. The von Model wing of the attack advanced very, very slowly, because the Soviets were trowing absolutely everything they got to defend there. Nevertheless von Manstein's attack was almost finishing encircling the entirety of the Soviet's force by doing a 360° degree turn and meeting up with Model. Then Sicily was invaded and Hitler called for everyone to back off to their original positions and then sent troops to aid Italy. Erich von Manstein said the complete truth when he wrote that Germany trowed her victory away at this move.

    Remember that this was 1943, that the Soviets were already so desperate they were mobilizing anyone from ages 14 to 70, including invalids and sick people, and there were already entire regiments of women. They had 90% of their force around Kursk at the time and there wasn't any possible way of mobilizing any more people without completely collapsing the country.

    Now, about the Afrikakorps itself, I believe that if they only had did an elastic defense instead of going frequently into the offensive, they would still loose that land, but it would take a year longer than they did for the British Empire and later Americans to amass enough people to beat the Desert Fox up. The Afrikakorps probably would have never achieved the star status that they achieved during their offensives, but overall they would have been much more effective for the war overall.

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