From: Uppsala, Sweden
Well, I think we could agree to disagree on this one.
When it comes to books and articles, I have myself written a book about this. During the year I did that, I spent hours on end studying figures regarding Rommel's supply problem. I'm therefore unshakeable when it comes to this. But since I needed about 30 to 40 pages in the book to describe this issue alone, I will not try to re-do it here.
When it comes to home rules, however; you can simply disregard this one and play as you see fit. No problem.
I don't mean to beat a dead horse but is your book still in print and second is it in English? It sounds like something I would love to read.
Just a few more questions if I may? Did you analysis come to the conclusion that there is no way the Axis could have taken Malta in 1941? Second if they did take Malta could they not have supplied Rommel properly with air cover from the Luftwaffe and the Italian Navy?
This has always been a big "what if" for me as I guess it has been for you. I don't know why I'm so fascinated with this idea of Hitler going through the Mideast to back door Russia. Maybe I was an Italian soldier in NA in a past life or something...but wait I'm also fascinated by the P38-Lightning.
No, the book is in Swedish only, and as of now, there's no indication of it ever being otherwise. Casemate has published some of my/our works. If you send them a mail asking if they have plans for a translation, they might take the hint.
There's a little about the creation of the book here: Malta. Use Google translate. Not much about the book's contents, but maybe of some interest. Otherwise I also recommend van Creeveld.
When it comes to your questions, the answers is (1) Yes, they could, and (2) No, they couldn't. Itís really tricky to explain everything about NA, because every answer leads to a new question. But I will take some time here to make a crude example of the entire dilemma.
Letís call in an imaginary mailman to help us. This mailman is supposed to deliver 4 parcels to 4 adresses each day (each adress representing a stretch of distance that the supply units have to travel). The recievers of these parcels has their houses in a such a way that he has to walk in one straight direction to deliver them (NA coastal road), and then head back home in the opposite, straight direction. Therefore, thereís no way he can shorten his path by altering the route.
Above this, he has to eat 10 apples a day (troop supplies), lest he will die. So he buys apples (arms, ammo, vehicles, fuel, food, water and spare parts) from the local grocery (Italy), which in turn have to deliver them to his house (Tripoli).
To make the entire work more difficult, we have a number of angry dogs in the mailmanís neighbourhood (Malta air and naval units), that always chase the grocery delivery boy, causing some of the apples to get lost en route.
Now letís first state some facts that canít be altered:
1. The grocery (Italian outgoing ports) has an upper limit of 40 apples
2. The door at the mailmanís house (recieving ports in NA, foremost Tripoli) has an upper limit of 15 apples
3. The mailman has to eat 2 apples each morning at home (Italian population and Axis service personel in NA) or he will die
4. During his work, the mailman traverse 4 suburban areas, fourth and back, thus he has to traverse all areas, even the last one, twice (areas represent: stretches Tripoli to Sirte/el Agheila; Sirte/el Agheila to Benghazi; Benghazi to Bardia; Bardia to el Alamein)
5. The mailman has to eat 2 apples for each suburban area he traverses, 1 apple in each direction, during his work (supplies to the troops) or he will die
6. The mailmanís carrying bag may only take as many as 5 apples (the Axis road transport capacity in NA; it may not be increased without deflating Barbarossa 1941 or 1942)
7. The angry dogs will take a number of apples each day. Contrary to all six points above, this amount of damage will vary.
So, letís get cracking. First of all, the mailman needs 10 apples a day to survive. The grocery can give him 40, so thereís no problem here. But then he may only recieve 15 at his home. No sweat! This is still 5 more than he can eat. So the grocery sends him 15 apples a day just to make sure.
Now, when trying to deliver, the delivery boy is attacked by the dogs, which takes 3 apples a day from him. This is serious, isnít it? Why, not really. The mailman still needs only ten apples; so his stock will rise with 2 each day, despite the menacing creatures.
Now the mailman gets ready to do his work, and this is where the problem starts. He eats his 2 morning apples, finding them tasty and nutritious. Then he packs 5 apples in his bag and happily goes to work. Regretably, having delivered the 4 parcels and turning back, the mailman finds himself without apples when homebound in area 3, where he falls to the pavement, stone dead. Is this true?
No, it didnít really happen this way. The mailman was of the smarter sort. He realized that he would need apples to his home journey as well, and stopped in the second area, only delivering to the first 2 adresses. This action saves him. But he hasnít been able to fulfill his job. The mailmanís name was Rommel and he never managed to deliver to this fourth adress called el Alamein.
Well, letís use the above dilemma and change some of the settings. The facts, except 7. must remain the same.
1. First we ask the question: did Malta ruin Rommelís campaign in NA. No it didnít. He had his 10 apples and more than that.
2. Could Malta have ruined Rommelís campaign in NA if the loss of apples were higher? Yes, if it had taken more than 5 apples a day, it would have ruined it, regardless of other things.
3. Would Rommelís situation have improved if Malta hadnít been? No, he had his 10 apples and couldnít eat more.
4. Suppose there were 2 mailmen (doubling number of German troops); would that have helped? No, it wouldnít. The door limit alone would have seen one of the mailmen dead.
5. if we donít double them, but increase the first mailman slightly in size; letís say making him 1,2 times of a mailman, could he then had made it? No, he still only had the capacity for 5 apples in his bag, so he could still only reach 2 adresses, and barely that since he now had to eat 2,4 apples for each adress.
This is only a very rough example of the the supply problems facing the Germans, but in essence it was the dilemma of NA. Think it through a number of times.
Thatís for the desert campaign; why you have an interest in P-38s, I can supply you with no psychological explanation.
< Message edited by Uxbridge -- 10/28/2009 11:34:16 AM >