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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's biggest tank battle

 
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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 3:31:28 AM   
Zorch

 

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I think the Germans shuttled planes to Iraq, via Syria, in 1941. Which may have prompted the British/Free French invasion of Syria.

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 3:36:05 AM   
KurtC


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Which proves my point - Germans love David Hasselhoff.

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 4:33:07 AM   
RangerJoe


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The Ju-52s could also have landed at any airfield there much like the Japanese did with troops. The Ju-52s could have landed in Spain and been interred. Not to mention the possibility of refueling stops in North Afrika. But paradrop at night when enemy day fighters are sleeping. There weren't many British night fighters at the time, if any.

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 7:13:15 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

I am sure that the Focke Wolf Condor had the range as well as flying boats, not to mention Italian aircraft.
warspite1

How many of those aircraft did they have and how many paratroops could they hold. Not nearly enough is the answer to the first question and that makes the second question moot.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch
I think the Germans shuttled planes to Iraq, via Syria, in 1941. Which may have prompted the British/Free French invasion of Syria.


quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe
The Ju-52s could also have landed at any airfield there much like the Japanese did with troops. The Ju-52s could have landed in Spain and been interred.

Not to mention the possibility of refueling stops in North Afrika. But paradrop at night when enemy day fighters are sleeping. There weren't many British night fighters at the time, if any.


warspite1
Are you suggesting they use Algeria to attack Gibraltar? If so then how does that work? Are Vichy really going to allow this? I wonder what the US will say.... If the Vichy Government do take this dangerous step, what will they seek to extract from Germany in return?

But forget the political picture, what about the operational plan? Does Algeria have big enough airfields close enough with adequate supplies of oil? Think of the number of aircraft that are needed for the initial wave and then follow-up troops and supplies. How long is the round trip Sardinia-Algeria (I suspect this would need two stops in Algeria)-Gibraltar-Algeria-(possibly Algeria for a second time)-Sardinia? The Germans lost a ton of Ju-52 over Holland and Belgium - how many do they have for this operation? Forget losses from AA for the moment, the losses from wear and tear alone will be high and where and how are all the spares to be transported to Sardinia in the first place? The Algerian airfields are likely to be on the coast - because of the length of time this unwieldy, complex (and to my mind impossible) operation takes place over, they would make a great target for Force H's 15-inch gunned battleships too. With no Littorios (depending on the timescale for this operation) the Italian fleet aren't going to come out and play.

I'd love to see some detail on this, but intuitively I think this is an absolute non-starter right from the outset.

The aircraft can't be simply landed in Spain. They will be needed for follow-up up drops. Even if this was a possibility are you suggesting the Germans are simply prepared to lose their entire precious and very limited Ju-52 fleet?

A long distance, night paradrop over an area as small as the Rock having flown over the sea on the way? Think how scattered airborne forces were on D-Day, if paras get scattered over Gib then many will land in the drink... There wouldn't need to be many British fighters - with what you are proposing the Luftwaffe have enough problems from weather, night flying, time, distance.....


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 7/14/2019 7:17:02 AM >


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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 8:07:04 AM   
warspite1


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Ju-52 in summer of 1940

250 of these aircraft were lost fighting in the Low Countries. In August 1940 there were just 313 left of which 193 were operational. There were only a few dozen gliders too (but I don't know if gliders would have been practicable on The Rock (probably not).

Production priority was low and about 30 replacements were being received per month. With the wear and tear such an operation would induce, I'd be surprised if that rate of replacement were possible as spares would be needed to be built up.

So assuming all aircraft could fly at once (doubtful) they all get to the destination reasonably together (doubtful - particularly if they are coming from different airstrips) and they all drop their load on target (doubtful and even more so in a night drop) then perhaps 4 battalions would be dropped. Less if aircraft are held back for dropping supplies. The round trip - I've no idea how long that would take but these troops aren't being supplied anytime soon and heavy weapons are likely out of the question.

And the chances of the Allies not getting wind of such a massive operation?

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 7/14/2019 8:29:39 AM >


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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 12:55:23 PM   
Lobster


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Hitler had plans for Gibraltar, Turkey, Middle East, possibly a move through Afghanistan and India for a link up with the Japanese. I'm sure he also had plans for Leprechauns, Unicorns and a Nazi Fairy invasion of New York City.

I forgot. Somewhere in all of his delusions he planned on invading England. But all of this was after he conquered European Russia.

< Message edited by Lobster -- 7/14/2019 12:56:14 PM >


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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 1:54:31 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

Hitler had plans for Gibraltar, Turkey, Middle East, possibly a move through Afghanistan and India for a link up with the Japanese. I'm sure he also had plans for Leprechauns, Unicorns and a Nazi Fairy invasion of New York City.

I forgot. Somewhere in all of his delusions he planned on invading England. But all of this was after he conquered European Russia.


What he didn't have plans for was using the one truly devastating secret weapon he possessed: Sarin - presumably because he hated gas, due to being gassed in WWI. Had he done so, God only knows how WWII would have tumbled out.

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 5:42:13 PM   
RangerJoe


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After Operation Catapult, the Vichy French bombed Gibraltar. If they could do so, then there were French airfields in range with aviation fuel. Don't you think that the Germans might have put pressure on the Vichy French? The aircraft could have loaded up in Italy, flown to French North Africa, refueled, then headed to Gibraltar. Some reinforcements and supplies could have been flown in on other aircraft. Italian subs could have been used, even fast Italian DDs much like how the Japanese used them.

Without getting into much detailed research, from wikipedia:

quote:

The British garrison: Spring 1941

2nd Battalion, The King's Regiment
2nd Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry
4th Battalion, The Black Watch (from July 1940)
4th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment (from July 1940)
3rd Heavy Regiment, Royal Artillery, with 8 x 9.2 inch, 7 x 6 inch and 6 x twin 6 pounder coast artillery guns
10th Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, with 4 x 3 inch, 4 x 3.7 inch, and 2 x 2 pounder anti-aircraft guns
82nd Heavy AA Regiment, Royal Artillery, (from July 1940), with 16 x 3.7 inch guns, 8 x 40mm 40mm Bofors AA guns and radar
3rd Searchlight Battery, Royal Artillery.[11]
"Special Detachment" of No. 1 Tunnelling Company, Royal Canadian Engineers (from November 1940)
No. 2 Tunnelling Company, Royal Canadian Engineers (from March 1941)[12]
Royal Engineers, Royal Signals and supporting arms.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Felix

Until the reinforcements arrived in July 1940, there was not much anti-aircraft artillery available. Those could have suppressed along with the coastal artillery by the Luftwaffe. I do not know exactly when those reinforcements arrived in July of 1940 but after the debacle in France, how well were they equipped?

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 6:18:34 PM   
Zorch

 

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Assuming Hitler could get his minions on board, Gibraltar would still have taken a long siege before it surrendered. The British would have been denied use of its port before that, which would force the Sierra Leone convoys to go direct to Britain. Unless the British occupied the Azores, which they might well have done regardless of Portugal's attitude.

Spain, I think, would have been forced to enter the war eventually.

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 7:24:04 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

After Operation Catapult, the Vichy French bombed Gibraltar. If they could do so, then there were French airfields in range with aviation fuel. Don't you think that the Germans might have put pressure on the Vichy French? The aircraft could have loaded up in Italy, flown to French North Africa, refueled, then headed to Gibraltar. Some reinforcements and supplies could have been flown in on other aircraft. Italian subs could have been used, even fast Italian DDs much like how the Japanese used them.

warspite1

I think you are making light of the logistics involved in the air, at sea and on land.

And the relationship between Vichy/Germany/CW and the US was complex.




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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 8:17:31 PM   
RangerJoe


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Yes, it would have been difficult and complex. That does not mean that it could not have been done.

BTW, on 19 June 1940 Franco offered to have Spain join the Axis . . .

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 8:56:18 PM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

Yes, it would have been difficult and complex. That does not mean that it could not have been done.

BTW, on 19 June 1940 Franco offered to have Spain join the Axis . . .

Franco was smart - he did not want to enter the war. He made conditions that he knew Hitler would find difficult.
Spain depended on imports for food and oil - these would have to be replaced by German resources. Britain negotiated a annual quota with Spain, if I remember correctly.

Franco also knew that his country was in no shape for war, after 3 years of destructive fratricide. How many thousands were dead, in exile, or in labor camps?

Franco would have become less independent if German troops entered Spain, and more subject to direct pressure. All this for the postwar gain of Gibraltar.

None the less, I feel Hitler could have forced Franco's hand and made a mistake by not doing so. Hitler was strategically unprepared when Churchill refused to make peace.



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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 10:28:06 PM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch


quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

Yes, it would have been difficult and complex. That does not mean that it could not have been done.

BTW, on 19 June 1940 Franco offered to have Spain join the Axis . . .

Franco was smart - he did not want to enter the war. He made conditions that he knew Hitler would find difficult.
Spain depended on imports for food and oil - these would have to be replaced by German resources. Britain negotiated a annual quota with Spain, if I remember correctly.

Franco also knew that his country was in no shape for war, after 3 years of destructive fratricide. How many thousands were dead, in exile, or in labor camps?

Franco would have become less independent if German troops entered Spain, and more subject to direct pressure. All this for the postwar gain of Gibraltar.

None the less, I feel Hitler could have forced Franco's hand and made a mistake by not doing so. Hitler was strategically unprepared when Churchill refused to make peace.


After the fall of France Franco did offer to join the Axis. But he knew he would lose the Canary Islands and Morocco by doing so. He was like a flag in the wind. One moment offering to join the Axis, the next moment leaning towards the Allies. Just depended on who was doing what. Any volunteers had to fight on the East Front. Not against the Allies. Which was a good thing since Spanish volunteers also fought for the Allies. It was fortunate for Spain that there was no official alliance with the Axis.

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/14/2019 10:44:06 PM   
RangerJoe


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Yes, Franco did what was best for Spain. He played both sides for Spain's benefit.

But if Germany could have captured Gibraltar, then pushed to the Suez the British would not have been able to reinforce Egypt in time. Malta would have been untenable for major elements of the Royal Navy and would have been captured sooner or later. Malta would not have been able to interdict the supplies and reinforcements to North Afrika as much. Egypt would have been taken and the Royal Navy would have fled the Mediterranean. Then push East and South from there.

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/15/2019 5:48:47 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

Yes, it would have been difficult and complex. That does not mean that it could not have been done.

BTW, on 19 June 1940 Franco offered to have Spain join the Axis . . .
warspite1

Sardinia to Gibraltar as the crow flies is over 700 miles. That is not possible for a paradrop using Ju-52.

So the Germans need to make a much longer journey using stop offs in North Africa. Let's ignore the political ramifications (but not inconsiderable) of using French territory. By the time they've flown from Germany to North Africa they done about 3/4 times that distance.

You are assuming there are large enough air bases, with fuel, within sensible range of Gibraltar for the 200 or so aircraft that can deliver about 4 battalions of lightly armed paratroopers.

You then assume that a night time landing on The Rock would be possible. Having landed, there are no reserves reaching Gibraltar anytime soon. There are no heavy weapons and - given the round trip - there are no supplies either. You mentioned submarines and destroyers - but where do they offload? Italian surface ships operating deep into the western Mediterranean is likely going to have one outcome.

I think as what-if operations go, yes this is in the could not have been done category.

As for Spain joining the Axis - this opens a whole new can of worms that Adolf just isn't going to touch because if he does......

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/15/2019 6:40:22 AM   
Zorch

 

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I think Germany had more to gain than lose by getting Spain into the war. Lots of cons, but on the whole a plus.
Gibraltar wasn't going to fall easily; but then the real value is in denying Britain the use of its harbor...and access to the Med. Hitler already had turned his focus eastward.

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/15/2019 12:16:51 PM   
Zovs


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And just think, this all started at Kursk, and we end up in hypothetical land of Nazi's enjoying the Spanish countryside, landing a Parachute Corps on Gibraltar, driving to the Suez, and taking over the world...

The Soviets lost a lot at Kursk, and most likely it did take 10 or more T-34's to take out a Tiger, but the problem is there were just not that many Tigers and never were, same with the Panthers, the bulk of the German Armor even up to '44 was the Panzer IIIs. In '44 the workhorse was the Panzer IV's and not the Panthers or Tigers.

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/15/2019 1:51:40 PM   
Lobster


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"Quantity has a quality all it's own": supposedly said by Stalin

Also some German officer supposedly said about the Western Allies: "For every tank we lose they lose nine. Unfortunately they have ten tanks for our one."

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/15/2019 2:39:31 PM   
RangerJoe


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I still say it was possible. The Vichy French was upset about the British attack on their fleet. Who says that if the Germans would have put pressure on the Vichy government to use the already built and supplied airbases in French Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco to bomb Gibraltar that the Vichy French government would have said no?

The French had airfields at Marrakech, Meknčs, Agadir, Casablanca and Rabat, which between them could muster some 86 fighters and 78 bombers on 10 November 1942. P-40s took off from aircraft carriers and landed at Port Lyautey (an airfield with concrete runways and hangars) on November 10. Since I don't think that the Vichy French government built those, those airfields were pre-war. Port Lyautey is now known as Kenitra, where there used to be air and naval bases there for the US which it shared with Morocco.

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/15/2019 4:47:49 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

I still say it was possible. The Vichy French was upset about the British attack on their fleet. Who says that if the Germans would have put pressure on the Vichy government to use the already built and supplied airbases in French Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco to bomb Gibraltar that the Vichy French government would have said no?

The French had airfields at Marrakech, Meknčs, Agadir, Casablanca and Rabat, which between them could muster some 86 fighters and 78 bombers on 10 November 1942. P-40s took off from aircraft carriers and landed at Port Lyautey (an airfield with concrete runways and hangars) on November 10. Since I don't think that the Vichy French government built those, those airfields were pre-war. Port Lyautey is now known as Kenitra, where there used to be air and naval bases there for the US which it shared with Morocco.
warspite1

Yes the Vichy regime were upset about Catapult - and about many things besides as the war progressed - Menace, Exporter, Ironclad/Jane and all the British attempts to make life difficult. But despite this, the Vichy French never declared war on the British did they? You have to ask yourself why? You also have to ask yourself about what the Americans were whispering in their ear and how much of a factor that was in their thinking.....

Vichy demanded concessions for helping the Pro-German rebels in Iraq. But this was one thing. Helping the Germans to take Gibraltar from the British would have raised alarm bells in Washington and I suspect have the Americans siding with the British over imports to Vichy. Not a clever move Petain... not a clever move.

You also have to ask about German intentions. Hitler would have likes Spain in the war on the German side. But the payment for getting Spain in the war was simply too great - and would have alienated the Vichy regime because of Morocco. Hitler knew that Spain would be a drain on their resources and their military. But Vichy had proved (Menace) that they were able to defend their own territory without the need for German assistance - assistance Germany couldn't afford to give militarily given the fact Hitler was, by this time, looking east (and this ignores the economic demands which Germany simply couldn't pay).

Without Spain in the war, Gibraltar was off the table and the last thing Hitler needed were 'Allies' that, like Hungary and Romania, were more intent on kicking lumps out of each other than they were in fighting the British. Hitler thought that Franco might show a little gratitude and provide assistance to Germany. What he got was a load of unrealistic demands and a headache over Vichy and Italy. Imagine Mussolini's 'delight' if Franco were given French Morocco in October 1940....

But these are what-ifs and if you are happy with your view then knock yourself out and we shall agree to disagree.

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/15/2019 6:25:23 PM   
RangerJoe


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I still say that paratroopers could have taken the base. It need not have taken place at night either considering the state of the defenses. The Luftwaffe could have keep the Royal Navy manageable for the Italian Navy. Pressure on Vichy France could have allowed the bases in North Afrika to be used for the Luftwaffe and who needs to tell them that most of the JU-52s' passengers were paratroopers?

Then Malta had only Faith, Hope, and Charity for air defences for awhile.

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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/18/2019 5:53:12 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Franco was smart - he did not want to enter the war. He made conditions that he knew Hitler would find difficult.
Spain depended on imports for food and oil - these would have to be replaced by German resources. Britain negotiated a annual quota with Spain, if I remember correctly.

Franco also knew that his country was in no shape for war, after 3 years of destructive fratricide. How many thousands were dead, in exile, or in labor camps?

warspite1

Opinion seems divided on Franco's motivations. Some say he played a clever game, not wanting to join the Axis, but making conditions to appear that he would if only.....

Personally I'm not so sure. Rather than making conditions that Hitler would find difficult, I think the conditions simply reflected reality. Germany simply could not afford the economic and military demands placed on him by Franco - but these demands were not unrealistic given Spain's dire position post the civil war. Germany did not have the foodstuffs to spare - but without these, the Spanish would face a potentially disastrous situation.

Rather than Franco playing a clever game, I think he was simply being realistic - but make no mistake, the taking of Gibraltar and the expansion of his empire south was tempting.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Franco would have become less independent if German troops entered Spain, and more subject to direct pressure. All this for the postwar gain of Gibraltar.

None the less, I feel Hitler could have forced Franco's hand and made a mistake by not doing so.

warspite1

Certainly Franco feared the Germans would simply walk into Spain uninvited. But equally, Hitler knew the way the Spanish population reacted to the last little corporal that stabbed them in the back. Vicious, guerilla warfare brought on by Germany invading a fellow fascist state. The reaction to the signing of the NS pact was a shock to Germans. Betraying a fellow fascist regime that Germany had shed blood to install would be no less acceptable. All this was a headache Hitler could do without.

But this is not just about Gibraltar for Spain. This was also about Morocco and part of Mauritania.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

I think Germany had more to gain than lose by getting Spain into the war. Lots of cons, but on the whole a plus.

warspite1

Germany had far, far more to lose. A massive plus of course in taking Gibraltar (and there are many, many what-ifs that follow from this (not all bad for British ironically)) but the cost to Germany as said was something that they simply couldn't afford. If something is unaffordable then the benefits don't come into the equation. Apart from the dire food situation discussed, there was also the need for German garrison troops in Spain, Morocco and the Canaries. And the Vichy position/Italians haven't even been brought into the equation yet....

Moreover Franco was insistent that the attack on Gibraltar would have to be carried out by Spanish troops - albeit Germany would supply all the equipment (of course).....

This was not something Germany would allow - they wanted the attack carried out and completed by February/March (latest) 1941.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

Gibraltar wasn't going to fall easily; but then the real value is in denying Britain the use of its harbor...and access to the Med. Hitler already had turned his focus eastward.

warspite1

I think Gibraltar would have fallen quite easily if attacked by German forces from mainland Spain. Air and submarines would make the fleet's position untenable and air and artillery would be used to smash the defenders. The equivalent of roughly a division was envisaged for the attack.

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 7/18/2019 6:00:36 AM >


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RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/19/2019 8:38:31 PM   
Zorch

 

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You're entitled to your opinion.

Wikipedia has the following interesting article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Tracer

Excerpts below:

Operation Tracer was a secret Second World War military operation in Gibraltar, a British colony and military base. The impetus for the plan was the 1940 scheme by Germany to capture Gibraltar, code-named Operation Felix. Operation Tracer was the brainchild of Rear Admiral John Henry Godfrey, the Director of the Naval Intelligence Division of the Admiralty.

In 1941, he decided to establish a covert observation post at Gibraltar, that would remain operational even if Gibraltar fell to the Axis powers. Movements of enemy vessels would be reported to the United Kingdom. Godfrey requested the assistance of several distinguished consultants to bring the plan to fruition. The plan was so secret that Godfrey held meetings with his consultants at his private residence rather than at Whitehall.

The decision was made to construct the post using the tunnel system for Lord Airey's Shelter, the underground military headquarters just north of Lord Airey's Battery. The artillery battery was located at the upper ridge of the Rock of Gibraltar, near the southern end of what is now the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.

Construction began in late 1941 and was complete by the late summer 1942. The chambers served as a dual observation post, with an observation slit overlooking the Bay of Gibraltar and a larger aperture over the Mediterranean Sea. Six men were selected for the operation, an executive officer as leader, two physicians and three wireless operators. The men had volunteered to be sealed inside the cave should Gibraltar fall to the Axis.

The men understood that they would remain sealed in the cave for about a year, although it could be much longer and provisions for a seven-year stay were stored. The plan was aborted and the Director of Naval Intelligence ordered that the provisions in the complex be distributed and the cave sealed. Rumours of a secret complex, eventually dubbed Stay Behind Cave, circulated for decades in Gibraltar, until discovery of the chambers in 1997 by the Gibraltar Caving Group. The authenticity of the site was confirmed by one of the builders in 1998 and a decade later by one of the physicians, the last surviving member of the Tracer team, who died in 2010.


They should have consulted Dr. Strangelove.




Attachment (1)

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 53
RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/19/2019 9:34:16 PM   
Chickenboy


Posts: 25340
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From: San Antonio, TX
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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Whether the Soviets lost more men, more armour in doing so is entirely moot.


You'd think so, but I think there's a move afoot to rewrite history to be as favorable to the victors (e.g., Russians/Soviets) as possible during the Great Patriotic War. Even if it means exaggerating the capabilities of the Russians upwards or exaggerating their casualties downwards (or the enemy casualties upwards). To the point that no one can question the official [revised] historical word of the Soviets...erm...Russians without engendering their anger. Also put 'downplaying the role of other Russian Allies' in here too.

I've heard of this in a handful of other reports. Most recently, "Tik" relied very heavily on 'official and newly released' Soviet archives provided just for him (and a Russian author's book from 2017) to dispute the Wehrmacht casualty figures and push an argument that the Russians lost many fewer men than originally thought. And that the Germans lost many more. So the military victory wasn't really just numerical superiority. Oh-and Stalin's purges really weren't all that bad for the Red Army before the war either. According to "Tik". You can't make this stuff up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7BE8CsM9ds

I agree with the others that say it doesn't make a whit of difference about the outcome of the war. The post-war historical records (particularly of casualties) were deliberately and willfully falsified and distorted in accordance with the Kremlin's political orders. Rewriting of history to suit the current autocratic government in power is a tried-and-true revisionist technique that has been done time and time again.

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(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 54
RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/19/2019 10:07:09 PM   
Lobster


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Joined: 8/8/2013
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy
According to "Tik". You can't make this stuff up.




Except for the fact that it was made up once and it seems now again. If you control everything then you can make up anything you want. Only a fool would think otherwise. History is full of doctored history. Even in the 'free' world.

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(in reply to Chickenboy)
Post #: 55
RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/20/2019 12:11:57 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 40089
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: online
quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

You're entitled to your opinion.

warspite1

These are fun what-ifs - we are all entitled to our opinion. None of us are right and none of us are wrong - we just do the best we can with what we've read, what we've seen and how we interpret what could have happened.

My view that Gibraltar would fall relatively easily (and as said, with the caveat: to German forces operating from a friendly Spain) is based on the geography of the area, the chances of reinforcement/re-supply, the performance of British and German forces up to that point in the war - and also looking at sieges such as Sevastopol that came later.

But who knows? It is possible that Gibraltar 1941 would have been one of the epic sieges in the annals of military history - it's possible.

The two most obvious examples of how difficult it is to predict 'what would have happened if' are:

France 1940 and the Soviet Union 1942-45 and what people would imagine possible if real life had turned out differently:

Say the British and French decided to go along with Adolf's plans in 1939. "Yeah Adolf, so long as you guarantee the British and French empires then you can knock yourself out in the East". Germany then wins the war against the Soviet Union. I guarantee that 99% of historians would say that if the French and British had stood up to Hitler in 1939 then there would have been no attack in the East because the superior numbers and economic powers of the Western Allies would have defeated Germany. Simply, no one (but a few 'out there' people trying to make a name for themselves) would have predicted what happened in May/June 1940. I mean it was crazy, a perfect storm that, according to military strategists, should not have been possible given the even numbers involved.

Same with the USSR. So in panic, in November 1941 Stalin throws in the towel. He would rather remain boss of something small than the head of nothing - and dead. So he agrees he will move east of the Urals with what is left of the USSR and leave everything west - including the oil of the Caucasus, the wheat of the Ukraine and the other resource rich areas - to the New German Empire.

Now, given what the German Army had done in Poland, Norway, The Low Countries, France, The Balkans and in the Soviet Union up to November 1941; given the losses of men suffered by the Soviets in the early months of the campaign, given the material losses in that period, very few people would then predict that had Stalin remained in the fight, that the Soviets would be in Berlin in less than 4 years.

Sometimes life takes us all by surprise

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 7/20/2019 12:17:57 AM >


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(in reply to Zorch)
Post #: 56
RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/20/2019 12:44:13 AM   
Zorch

 

Posts: 6571
Joined: 3/7/2010
Status: online
Interesting.

Actually taking Gibraltar is not as important as denying Britain the use of its harbo(u)r and airfield, which would have been relatively easy. I could see the siege dragging on until the Germans brought up enough Stukas and heavy artillery to be decisive. Like Tobruk on a smaller scale. Spain would have become another speed bump that the Allies would have to resolve before getting to Germany proper.

I agree that *no one* would have expected Germany's 1940 offensive to be so successful. The invisible factors were the experience gained in 3 weeks of real combat in Poland, and incompetent French leadership.

In the East, the underrated factors were Hitler's incompetence, Lend Lease (to feed people; remember the Czar resigned because of food riots), and Russian willingness to suffer.

The surprising thing (to me) is the 'dog that didn't bark in the night' - no Soviet leader had the guts to shoot Stalin and replace him in June/July 1941.

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 57
RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/20/2019 1:18:44 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 40089
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

I agree that *no one* would have expected Germany's 1940 offensive to be so successful. The invisible factors were the experience gained in 3 weeks of real combat in Poland, and incompetent French leadership.

warspite1

I think its even more than that - it really was a perfect storm and had to be for a German victory such as was achieved. So yes, combat experience was important (a lot of problems were uncovered during the fighting in Poland) and incompetent (that's polite ) French leadership. But there was also Hitler wanting to attack through Belgium in the autumn/winter of 1939. The Germany army hadn't recovered from Poland, the weather was appalling and this would have been a frontal slog. The weather saved Germany. Leading on from the poor French leadership there was the Breda Variant - which of course took the French reserves (that would have been available to plug the gap at Sedan) being unavailable, there was the World War I timetable the French were working to and the World War I communication system. There was also the huge lucky breaks the Germans benefited from - the air attack that should have been cancelled, the sacking of Guderian etc. etc. You really couldn't make it up.


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



(in reply to Zorch)
Post #: 58
RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/20/2019 1:24:52 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 40089
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Whether the Soviets lost more men, more armour in doing so is entirely moot.


You'd think so, but I think there's a move afoot to rewrite history to be as favorable to the victors (e.g., Russians/Soviets) as possible during the Great Patriotic War. Even if it means exaggerating the capabilities of the Russians upwards or exaggerating their casualties downwards (or the enemy casualties upwards). To the point that no one can question the official [revised] historical word of the Soviets...erm...Russians without engendering their anger. Also put 'downplaying the role of other Russian Allies' in here too.

I've heard of this in a handful of other reports. Most recently, "Tik" relied very heavily on 'official and newly released' Soviet archives provided just for him (and a Russian author's book from 2017) to dispute the Wehrmacht casualty figures and push an argument that the Russians lost many fewer men than originally thought. And that the Germans lost many more. So the military victory wasn't really just numerical superiority. Oh-and Stalin's purges really weren't all that bad for the Red Army before the war either. According to "Tik". You can't make this stuff up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7BE8CsM9ds

I agree with the others that say it doesn't make a whit of difference about the outcome of the war. The post-war historical records (particularly of casualties) were deliberately and willfully falsified and distorted in accordance with the Kremlin's political orders. Rewriting of history to suit the current autocratic government in power is a tried-and-true revisionist technique that has been done time and time again.
warspite1

Well I've just watched this. As a wise man once said, there are lies, damned lies and statistics. The guy had one or two interesting things to say but really? To break down the fighting on the Eastern Front to simply a numbers game? That's ridiculously simplistic. "The Germans had 53 more tanks than the Soviets in the battle of whenever, so how could they lose? It doesn't make sense" - Er well there are many, many factors that go into fighting a battle - you know, unimportant things like logistics, quality and experience of the troops, terrain, weather etc. etc. So no, playing a simple numbers game on its own is what makes no sense.


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



(in reply to Chickenboy)
Post #: 59
RE: Kursk WW2: Why Russia is still fighting world's big... - 7/20/2019 1:40:40 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 40089
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

The post-war historical records (particularly of casualties) were deliberately and willfully falsified and distorted in accordance with the Kremlin's political orders. Rewriting of history to suit the current autocratic government in power is a tried-and-true revisionist technique that has been done time and time again.
warspite1

As a wise man once said, History is written by the victors - and when the Cold War is added in - history is written by the victors in the east and another version by their one time Allies in the west in collaboration with the losers


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



(in reply to Chickenboy)
Post #: 60
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