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Gibraltar 1940?


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#381 RETAC21

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 1318 PM

Italians did not send more cargo because they knew Tripoli will not handle it. As it was ships had to wait offshore for days for unloading as far as I know, as the unloading capacity was hypothetical - hence the 1500 to 1700 tons per day in reality, esp. as a lot of stuff unloaded were not bulk goods, but equipment. That adds up quickly...

Which was a bad idea: http://ww2today.com/...ment-of-tripoli



#382 lucklucky

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 1131 AM

Actually there was a month that they sent 5000t day, April 42.

 

Now explain reason all those months were only half, or even less is sent:   http://www.regioeser...ri/battconv.htm

 

Chart: Andamento dei rifornimenti in Libia.   Near bottom of the page.



#383 JWB

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 1258 PM

Actually there was a month that they sent 5000t day, April 42.

 

Now explain reason all those months were only half, or even less is sent:   http://www.regioeser...ri/battconv.htm

 

Chart: Andamento dei rifornimenti in Libia.   Near bottom of the page.

You mean this:

 

fig2.png



#384 lucklucky

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 1317 PM

Yes, thanks.



#385 Marek Tucan

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 1424 PM

Those are easy to explain: Italy was sending generally as much cargo as it was possible to unload. 

 

Which again points to the logistics being main problem of any bigger campaign in North Africa. You can send in twice as many troops and land them pretty quickly, you can keep them fed as long as they stay around port, as food is pretty easy to transport, but they will have to wait a long time for trucks, food, tanks, guns...

 

Of course you can try taking Bizerte with a bayonet charge ;)



#386 lucklucky

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 1437 PM

The big up and down in supply cannot be explained by harbor limitations.

 

That you talk about Bizerte shows you don't understand. Bizerte is at more than 2500km from Alexandria by road. One road, no rail. There were not enough trucks, nor supply to sustain that - one of the big criticism of Mussolini sending a corps and then an army for USSR was the trucks that were sent there instead of Africa.



#387 Ken Estes

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 2352 PM

Can anybody imagine the organization required for the Italo-German army in N Africa to set up, operate, replenish and repair an equivalent of the US Red Ball Express? That's thousands of trucks we are talking about, and in 1941-42!   This would only have been complicated/hobbled more by the plethora of makes and models of the available trucks that were in service.

 

As I recall, the Axis did have thousands of trucks in the theater, but so many were deadlined much of the time for lack of parts, etc., complicated by the mixture of nationalities [not just Ger-It] of manufacture.



#388 Marek Tucan

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 0302 AM

The big up and down in supply cannot be explained by harbor limitations.
 
That you talk about Bizerte shows you don't understand. Bizerte is at more than 2500km from Alexandria by road. One road, no rail. There were not enough trucks, nor supply to sustain that - one of the big criticism of Mussolini sending a corps and then an army for USSR was the trucks that were sent there instead of Africa.


It can. It also likely includes all ports, so incl. Benghazi - if that is the case, it neatly demonstrates even strongest month did not use the ports to their limit.
Bizerte is the closest big port and figured in the late stages of campaign - show me where I thought it would be convenient to support the logistical train to Egypt. It COULD help to get more Axis troops to the area (which seems to be a prerequisite for the alternative scenario), but as noted they would have to sit there :)

The main point is that the African theatre was deeply screwed for Axis because of logistics that would be terrible regardless of taking Gibraltar and Malta. And any available Vichy ports would 1. mean war with Vichy and 2. not solve the Tripoli double whammy of inadequate port capacity and inadequate overland transport capacity (which is also tied to the port issue).

#389 Rich

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 1040 AM

Can anybody imagine the organization required for the Italo-German army in N Africa to set up, operate, replenish and repair an equivalent of the US Red Ball Express? That's thousands of trucks we are talking about, and in 1941-42!   This would only have been complicated/hobbled more by the plethora of makes and models of the available trucks that were in service.

 

As I recall, the Axis did have thousands of trucks in the theater, but so many were deadlined much of the time for lack of parts, etc., complicated by the mixture of nationalities [not just Ger-It] of manufacture.

 

Gliederungs provide data on the organization of the Nachschubtruppen in Africa, but with few exceptions do not provide information on the exact tonnage capacity of the various columns. As of 20 September 1941, Panzergruppe Afrika’s Nachschubtruppen (all of these do not include the divisional columns) included: subordinated directly to OKW-Afrika were two Italian “mixed” supply columns 135 and 207. Directly under Panzergruppe Afrika were two Italian supply battalions (148 and 149), with eight motorized columns: one rated at 30 tons, three at 72 tons each, and four at 132 tons each. There was also one Italian column (909) with six motorized columns and a motorized fuel column, formed in Tunis from vehicles in Africa. There were also four German battalions (529, 533, 686, and 902). 529 had six “light” columns, a fuel column and had three “heavy” columns (534, 535 and 536) attached. 533 and 686 each consisted of six “heavy” columns and a fuel column. 902 consisted of 10 “heavy” columns, but no fuel columns. These were all subordinate to Nachschub Regiment 585.

 

Later organization varied, but this is generally what was in place to begin. A later Gliederung of 6 February 1942 showed the same organizations, but also gave an estimate of the operational status of each. At that time the overall readiness of the Nachschubtruppen was given as 45%, for 529 and 909 it was 60%, for 533 and 686 it was 50%, and for 902 it was 40%. No level was given for 148 and 149, although it was noted that each had one column “no longer subordinated.”

 

As of mid 1941, the Germans reported about 11,000 vehicles in theater, a figure which did not change significantly over time. Of those, 1,980 were obtained from Vichy c. May 1941-May 1942.

 

As of 19 October 1942 the following report on vehicle strengths was made:
German units:
Pkw 1,970
Lkw 4,559
Zgkw 585
Sd.Kfz 135
Kraeder 864
Panzer 273
Pz.Sp.Wg. und M.T.W. (?) 152
Beute Fahrzeug including Tunis-vehicles (purchased and requisitioned from Vichy as well as captured) and vehicles of foreign manufacture 4,081
It was noted that an average of 20-30% of these were in repair.

Italian units:
Pkw 152
Lkw 1,770
Zgkw. 260
Sd.Kfz. 405
Kraeder 439
Panzer 289
Pz.Sp.Wg. 42
Beute 113
It was noted that a large, but unknown percent of these vehicles were known to be in repair.



#390 lucklucky

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 1225 PM

 

The big up and down in supply cannot be explained by harbor limitations.
 
That you talk about Bizerte shows you don't understand. Bizerte is at more than 2500km from Alexandria by road. One road, no rail. There were not enough trucks, nor supply to sustain that - one of the big criticism of Mussolini sending a corps and then an army for USSR was the trucks that were sent there instead of Africa.


It can. It also likely includes all ports, so incl. Benghazi - if that is the case, it neatly demonstrates even strongest month did not use the ports to their limit.
Bizerte is the closest big port and figured in the late stages of campaign - show me where I thought it would be convenient to support the logistical train to Egypt. It COULD help to get more Axis troops to the area (which seems to be a prerequisite for the alternative scenario), but as noted they would have to sit there :)

The main point is that the African theatre was deeply screwed for Axis because of logistics that would be terrible regardless of taking Gibraltar and Malta. And any available Vichy ports would 1. mean war with Vichy and 2. not solve the Tripoli double whammy of inadequate port capacity and inadequate overland transport capacity (which is also tied to the port issue).

 

It can but then demonstrates that it didn't use the ports to their limit which is my point... doesn't make sense.

 

There wasn't anything more to send. Where are the motorized units in Italian army to be sent?



#391 Marek Tucan

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 1443 PM

The basic premise of this thread was that somehow uncle Adolph decided to postpone Russia and direct all forces to North Africa, Gibraltar and all that.

 

So that's where the trucks can come from, but of course that as a result means there is plenty of trucks, but no tanks, or no fuel, or no soldiers. Regardless on how many armies are snoozing in Italy waiting for transport to Africa.

 

Port capacities are important for that, as they kinda tend limit that scenario, as they demonstrate one very solid limit that cannot be handwaved by "just use more trucks" or "just focus more troops there" (or by "just send more ships").



#392 lucklucky

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 1504 PM

Why? ports can be augmented and in Libya  there are no much issues with that. But it wasn't attempted because there was no need.



#393 Rich

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 1030 AM

Apologies, but I haven't had the time to address these properly.

 

Actually there was a month that they sent 5000t day, April 42.

 

Now explain reason all those months were only half, or even less is sent:   http://www.regioeser...ri/battconv.htm

 

Chart: Andamento dei rifornimenti in Libia.   Near bottom of the page.

 

Indeed, but the primary "reason" is that April 1942 was an anomaly. Not only was it the highest month unloaded, at 142,000 tons, it was also the highest month shipped, just over 143,000 tons. How they did that is by doing something they had not attempted since the previous April...unloading at night, which effectively doubled the capacity of the ports. So then, why did they not unload at night for so long after 21 April 1941? Because the results of that one night was chaos, six ships damaged while unloading, blocking quaysides for days, and interrupting schedules.

 

Another factor was that of course the capacities of the ports were improved between the assessments of September 1941 and the spring of 1942. Additional crane capacity was sent - at least one floating crane eventually made it to Tobruk after its capture. Nevertheless, maximum unloading of military cargo from Italy in the North African ports averaged 59,000 tons per month...less than 2,000 tons per day. The 4,700 tons per day achieved in April 1942 was never matched.

 

Nor was it that there wasn't more to send from Italy. The lengthy transport times of units belies that...the DAK/PzAA gliederungen belie that. Simply put, some units waited months in Italy before transiting to North Africa. Even the initial transport of DAK/Sperrverbande Rommel was a slow affair. The German transport required no less than 19 convoys, beginning on 8 March 1941 and not ending until mid April 1941. The second effort to get 15. Panzer to Africa took even longer, beginning in mid April 1941 and extending to late September 1941...and as late as April 1942 corps units originally slated for Sonnenblume were still waiting in Italy for transit to Africa. The first convoy required ten days to get its three ships from Naples to Africa, unloaded, and then returned to Naples.



#394 seahawk

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 1118 AM

And again you will need new troops. equipment and especially transport vehicles to defend Spain and what was Vichy France, as well as the Spanish Sahara.



#395 Rich

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 2308 PM

A -Irrelevant, tell me a month were from Italy departed more than 5000t/day?  Shipping was also no problem - up to late 42 when losses accumulated - but then came Vichy shipping windfall. The fact that several ships were left out of Med only has significance if the cargo to be sent surpasses remaining cargo shipping capacity. Which it didn't.

 

Why do I need to tell you that when I never said they did? However, nearly 4,800 tons on average were shipped in April 1941 with 99% arriving, which proved enough to jump start VENEZIA, leading to the fall of Tobruk and the pursuit to Alamein. It wasn't enough to win though.

 

So shipping was no problem? And yet in one day the Italian merchant marine lost 212 of its 786 vessels. That is rather a significant loss accumulation for one day. And then with 56 German vessels needed 59 days to move 40,532 Italian and German troops with their supplies, weapons, and equipment to Tunis. I would call that a "problem". 

 

Nor was the Vichy shipping acquired in November 1942 a "windfall". It's bulk freight component was elderly, inefficient, and slow. It certainly made up some of the shortfall of the losses incurred, but that was about it. Meanwhile, before the "windfall" it had already been participating in cabotage shipments from Tunisia and Alegeria, which relieved part of the strain by bringing in non-military supplies to Italian North Africa.

 

 

A- You make good  about RN submarines. But then how that denies the major importance of allied air superiority?

 

 

It doesn't...but then again I never denied the major importance of allied air superiority.

 

 

Land based air suppressed Malta in begin of 1942 - and if Italian RA attacked Malta properly (only 9% of their bomb effort) more could be achieved, Land based made heavy RN surface forces losses in Crete - that you have pointed out also - and made important surfaces losses to Italian Navy and merchants. Mediterranean it is a small place where everyone is near each other. If Italian had 200 Stuka equivalents in 1940 they would have shut the Med and sunk several major RN units right from start. Of course if they were willing, for example in whole August 1940 they just made 5 attacks against Malta with a cumulative 40 bombers...just 40t of bombs or less. Mussolini was still expecting a peace conference...
Land based air suppressed Tobruk. No unit at destroyer escort level or over of Italian fleet was ever based in Tobruk after 1940 ( 4 destroyers and 10 submarines) . Only MAS/MS boats. And Tobruk was the main naval base of RM at Libyan colony not Tripoli.

 

Um, no, it did not. Axis shipping losses January-October 1942 averaged 7.7 vessels per month and Malta averaged 3.9 of those. The "suppression" was arguably four months - April, May, June, and July. And was mostly a consequence of the withdrawal of submarines and the loss of Wanklyn in Upholder, as well as Usk and Undaunted.

 

Meanwhile, Germany had 205 "Stuka equivalents" in the Med in April 1942, but did not shut it. They did inflict heavy damage, but mostly due to the circumstances forced on the RN.



#396 Nobu

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 1342 PM

In August 1940, after the shock of Mers el Kebir, Vichy France granted FM Matsuoka's request for permission to transit the experienced 5th infantry Division plus 14th Armored and 2nd Guards Infantry regiments through Indochina for the purpose of the flanking and destruction of Chinese resistance in southern Chinese provinces. Permission for the basing of IJAAF and IJNAF aircraft from Vichy French airbases in northern Indochina for operations against China, and permission for IJN fleet and transport units to enter Vichy French waters in support and delivery of these transiting forces was also granted.

 

Vichy France's appeal to Germany for moderation of these requests was denied by Berlin. If granted, Vichy France may be compelled to provide something in return.

 

With the Mediterranean closed to the Royal Navy from the west, these events set a precedent of opportunity for the topic of the availability of Toulon, Marseilles, and, to a lesser extent, Nice as supplementary transit points for Axis troops and war materials to be placed on FM Ribbentrop's negotiating agenda later in 1940.


Edited by Nobu, 14 December 2017 - 1353 PM.


#397 R011

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 1439 PM

Great.  How does this improve transportation infrastructure from Eastern Libya to Egypt again?



#398 seahawk

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 1554 PM

In August 1940, after the shock of Mers el Kebir, Vichy France granted FM Matsuoka's request for permission to transit the experienced 5th infantry Division plus 14th Armored and 2nd Guards Infantry regiments through Indochina for the purpose of the flanking and destruction of Chinese resistance in southern Chinese provinces. Permission for the basing of IJAAF and IJNAF aircraft from Vichy French airbases in northern Indochina for operations against China, and permission for IJN fleet and transport units to enter Vichy French waters in support and delivery of these transiting forces was also granted.

 

Vichy France's appeal to Germany for moderation of these requests was denied by Berlin. If granted, Vichy France may be compelled to provide something in return.

 

With the Mediterranean closed to the Royal Navy from the west, these events set a precedent of opportunity for the topic of the availability of Toulon, Marseilles, and, to a lesser extent, Nice as supplementary transit points for Axis troops and war materials to be placed on FM Ribbentrop's negotiating agenda later in 1940.

 

How do you shut the Med from the west without using many valuable resources to do so and then hold the controlled territory?



#399 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 0301 AM

Ive just got to say, this has been one of the more interesting debates we have had here in a while. Well done everyone. :)






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