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Thread: what if -- no Afrika Korps

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    what if -- no Afrika Korps

    When I look at the map of North Afrika, there is really no economic value to be added the Germany's war machine. (no oil there yet) It seems to me that resource can be better use elsewhere. No, I am not saying it will change the outcome of the war as the Wehrmacht will still get their butt kicked by the Red Army but imagine what a 250,000 men strong Afrikakorps lost Tunisia could do to to the Allied Powers' Italian campaign later.

    I am no strategist but I'd like'em ROIs -- what is the economical ROI on investing on North Afrika? besides the political leverage with that Italian dude? I mean North Africa has no man power, no oil, no resources, no wine/women, no industrial base to draw upon.
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    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    Not positive xinhui, but I imagine North Africa was envisioned as an Axis springboard to the oil rich Middle East.

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    What Minnie said.
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    The assumption is it was thought over.It wasn't.OKH was busy planning Barbarossa and the initial mission specifically called for a defense of Tripolitania,while precluding any attack.That Rommel understood it the other way led to the whole show.But it was a mission looking for objectives,not the other way after Rommel took the initiative.Hitler supported it because he liked to attack and the Italians agreed for obvious reasons.
    Btw,if the effort would have been put earlier,Rommel could have visited Suez.As it was, Panzer Armee Afrika was reinforced in due time to lose Africa.And AG B had no reserves at Stalingrad.Which lost the war in the East and thus the whole war.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minskaya View Post
    I imagine North Africa was envisioned as an Axis springboard to the oil rich Middle East.
    The Africa Campaign was meant to ultimately deny the Allies access to the Mediterranean by taking both the Suez channel and ultimately at the other end using Spanish compliance to take Gibraltar (Operation Felix planned for 1941, derailed by Franco). Mussolini's further aim in the East was to take the Sudan (after Egypt), connecting his colonies in Libya and Abessinia. The driving factor in this wasn't the Afrika Korps and Rommel though but Mussolini.

    There are varying interpretations regarding the springboard effect. There are some historians that suggest that, once Suez would be taken Northeast-Africa would be used not so much as a springboard as as a stable base from which to support pro-German local troops in the Middle East (Iraqis, Armenians etc) who'd overthrow British colonial rule and hence transfer the oil supply in the area from Allies to Axis.

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    fair enough, how about this question "imagine what a 250,000 men strong Afrikakorps lost Tunisia could do to to the Allied Powers' Italian campaign later. "
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minskaya View Post
    Not positive xinhui, but I imagine North Africa was envisioned as an Axis springboard to the oil rich Middle East.
    Africa was envisioned to be the other coast of "Mare Nostrum", by Mussolini. After he got overrun in Egypt, Abyssinia, and had little to no prospects in Greece, Hitler had really no option but to help Italians, or would face double front on the south.
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    You are still at war with Britain; cutting the Suez canal supply line from India, Singapore etc helps close the Med.

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    From what I've read, my understanding is that the ultimate goal of the DAK was to eventually link up with Army Group South somewhere around the Caucuses by moving east from Libya through Egypt and up along the east coast of the Meditteranean and through Turkey (which was not yet a member of the Allied Forces) in order to secure the resource-rich Ukraine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xinhui View Post
    No, I am not saying it will change the outcome of the war as the Wehrmacht will still get their butt kicked by the Red Army but imagine what a 250,000 men strong Afrikakorps lost Tunisia could do to to the Allied Powers' Italian campaign later.
    Well, no Afrikakorps means Mussolini comes under pressure domestically. I could, in that case, see Hitler and Mussolini pressure Vichy France into assisting Italian Libya. I know Petain didn't want to have anything to do with that. To get them there both Hitler and Mussolini would need to make concessions - i could see e.g. the Toulon fleet sortieing into the Eastern Mediterranean, possibly (with a good negotiator on the Vichy side) Italy withdrawing from occupied Savoy etc. A more confident and - in external politics - successful Vichy could lead to more domestic support for the regime. Wouldn't change the war, but could change some campaigns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xinhui View Post
    fair enough, how about this question "imagine what a 250,000 men strong Afrikakorps lost Tunisia could do to to the Allied Powers' Italian campaign later. "
    If I get your question right, without Allied control of Tunisia there would have been no Italian campaign as we know it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    If I get your question right, without Allied control of Tunisia there would have been no Italian campaign as we know it.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

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    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
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    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

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    Oh let him grovel. People here kiss your ass all the time. It's rare someone is kissing your feet.

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    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.
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