Discussion in 'What If - Mediterranean & North Africa' started by Gromit801, Oct 21, 2011.
True enough, Would be likely that they would be able to sabotage it though not guaranteed.
In the unlikely event that the Gemans were reaching the Iraqi oilfields,what would be the problems they would face?
1)Repairing the destroyed oilfields
2)Protect the repaired oilfields against airattacks and sabotage
3)Repairing the destroyed pipelines
4)Protect these against airattacks and sabotage
5)Repairing the destroyed oilterminals and harbours
6)Protect these against airattacks and sabotage
To do these 6 points would ,the Germans would need at least 5 years,and,meanwhile,the war would be finished (one way or another)
About the oil tankers:in 1942,Italy had 45 tankers with a total tonnage of 242000GRT.Only the half (minus losses,repair,....)could be used to transport the crude oil to Italy(the other half would be needed to transport refined oil to the forces).
As the distance Venice-Damascus is some 2435 km(1513 miles),with a speed of 20 km,a tanker would need 5 days to sail to Damascus.The whole journey(Venice-Damascus,loading oil,returning,unloading)would take 14 days .
Then there is the little problem of transporting the crude oil to a refinery in Germany (was there one in Italy ?)and the return-journey of the refined oil .
The whole thing is a non sequitur .
Ill give you the possibility of sabotage however air attacks? The locations of the oil fields/pipelines are in such a place that to launch an air attack the carrier transporting the aircraft would have to be literally hugging the coast of either Egypt of Iraq so much that they would risk running her aground. So either the allies would hand over a carrier to the Axis after running it aground or the air wing would be wiped out and the carrier severely damaged or sunk.
Just out of curiosity how much of the pipeline would they be able to damage before the axis rolled into the Mid East? From what i can gather there was some 1,856km of oil pipeline going from Kirkuk Iraq to Tripoli and Haifi.
Air attacks could be launched by ground based aircraft,the pipeline could be attacked in Syria,no need to go to Iraq.
If the pipeline was destroyed on a few places,this would be enough:exemple :
the initial injection station
the pump station
the block valve station
the regulation station
the final delivery station
An other point:
I don't know what the capacity was of the Kirkuts-Haifa pipeline,but the speed of the oil in the pipeline was between 1 and 6 metres per second=between 4 and 22 km per hour.That means that the oil would need between 100 and 600 hours to go to Haifa =between 4 and 25 days.
Let's take 2 weeks,+ 1 week to transport the oil to Venice + 1 week to transport the oil to a refinery in Germany + ? time to refine the oil + 2 ? weeks to transport the oil to the front units.
I would not be surprised that it would take 7 weeks (some 50 days) before the front units would receive 5000 tonnes of refined oil.
This is an average of 100 tonnes a day .
That's why I said : a non sequitur
The Axis only could use the Iraqi oil (3 million tonnes a year=60000 a week),to transport this oil,EVERY day,12 tankers would be needed,which was out of the question.
The best that would be possible was an average of ONE tanker a day .And what would be the fuel consumption of a 5000 ton tanker ,going and returning between Venice and Haifa (=2 X 2500 km) at a speed of 20 km per hour ?
That's why I said:a non sequitur .
With the transport fleet the Axis had,they could deliver (in one year) at best 250000 tonnes,compared with their annual consumption,this was neglectable .
There were 2 pipelines, Each with a capacity of 2 million tons a year.
I personally believe they would have found a way to increases the amount of oil transport back. Be it converting civilian vessels, or cargo vessels to carry oil tanks similar to what the Russians did with the Caspian sea and the oil that they continued to drill from Baku I. Or how about using the Baghdad Railway? It linked onto the Turkish railway system which baring a relatively small passage across the Sea of Marmara? connects onto European railway lines.
Now as for the use of land based aircraft to bomb the oil fields/infrastructure.. I believe we are are 2 different pages.. How about skipping to the same page.
In my view, Egypt and the Mid East has fallen into axis hands, with axis forces possibly being as far as Port of Sudan or further down the Red Sea. Being pushed so far back no allied aircraft had the needed range, Not until i think about late '43, Mid '44. And that's assuming axis forces allow such airfields to be built up unhindered.
And what about RAF Bombers attacking from Cyprus ?
There are 6 phases:
1)Production of crude oil in Iraq (between 3 and 4 million tonnes)
2)Transport by pipeline (the Turkish railways can be put away) of these crude oil to the Mediterranean :capacity :4 million ton
3)Transport of the crude oil across the Mediterranean (only 45 tankers were available,divided by two)
4)Transport by rail of the crude oil to the refineries(the refine capacity was 6 million of tons,but how much was unused ?)
5)Refining of the crude oil
6)Transport of the refined oil (by railway/tanker) to the front.
IMHO,it's wrong to start with point 1,continuing with 2,etc...
It's better to start with point 6,because this was determining everything:it would be useless to import (if possible) 3 million ton of oil from Iraq,if the railways/tankers only could transport to the front 300.000 extra tons of oil
Point 5 also was depending on point 6 :why refining (if possible) 3 million ton extra of oil,if this could not be transported to the front
Point 4 was depending on 5 and 6:why transport (if possible) 3 million tons to the refineries ,if these could not be refined?
Point 3 was depending on 4,5 and 6:why transport 3 million tons across the Mediterranean,if these could not be transported to the refineries?(12 trains were needed to transport the content of one small tanker)
Point 2 was depending on 3,4,5,and 6 :why transport 3 million ton by pipeline to the ports on the Mediterranean,if these could not be transported across the Mediterranean ?
Point 1 was depending on 2,3,4,5 and 6 :why increase(if it was possible,and that's very dubious)the Iraqi oil production to more than 4 million tons,if the maximum capacity of the pipelines was 4 million ?
And,I am not mentioning the capacity of the oil terminals of Haifa,and of the Italian harbours :if the oil tanks in Haifa were full,the transport by pipeline had to be stopped .
Only one of the two pipelines lead to Haifa. The other went to Tripoli. See:
Iraq Petroleum Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is makes it a bit more complex as now you have two distinct sets of terminals and stowage. Part of the route oil pipelines were next to each other but they diverged before leaving Iraq (see map in the link above). Both terminus have their own problems. The one in Tripoli is in Vichy French territory so is likely to be undamaged but if they are still neutral may present a problem in that regard. I would expect the terminus, pumps, and pipelines in British territory to be pretty thoroughly demolished if it looked like the axis were going to take them.
The following is an extract from a post by Bronsky on the AHF(thread:Middle East oil production in WWII)
.....Then,there are other problems,take the northern Iraqi oil fields.To extract and refine oil,you need electricity.The power statio was located near the oil fields,and burned oil.If the Axis came near the oil fields,the British will sabotage the oil fields and destroy the power plant.All of a sudden,the Axis get a trickle of oil,but if they want military-useful oil,they need to ship all the components of a power plant and then most of a refinery to Iraq (or Iran and Basrah).
The alternative is to ship the crude oil to Europe,and ship it back refined to the ME.The Axis did not have anywhere the capacity to do this ."
IMHO,shipping a power plant and a refinery also was excluded .
Last question :was there also no electricity needed to transport the oil by pipeline ?
Operating bombers from Cyprus? Would the RAF, or even the British government be willing to leave all those men to certain capture or death? They would be trapped in the worst possible location without hope of relief, evacuation or resupply. There would more likely be a mad dash across to the Mid East or into Turkey, Trying to make there way towards friendly territory.
I'm willing to concede that the Turkish railway system may not be of use to the Axis, But I'm sorry i will need a little more information on it before I put faith in your statement. Because from what i can gather, Converting trains to transport fuel was simple enough, They didn't have to be pretty. They just had to get the job done. And if your argument is that the Allies wouldn't allow it.. Well what allies? By this time in the scenario Turkey would be surrounded by Axis troops. But none the less if you can give me any reason why wasn't an option then I'm happy to concede to you on it.
As for your other arguments, I agree, Without the capacity to ship the refined fuel to the front, Or the ability to refine it then it would be of no use. However, I have never come across any indication that Germany or her allies suffered from a lack of refining ability or lack of ability to transport fuel to the front.
And i agree, Very likely chance the British would sabotage the power station, And yes building a whole new one would take time.. But what about making use of existing power stations? Vichy French Syria is likely to have some as would Turkey, and Iran. The former 2 being unlikely to provide or even negotiate the sale of power from them unless those territories had been attacked by the British. Iran though being very pro German i think would be very keen to work out a deal with, Hell he might just go and straight out sell Iranian oil and ship it by rail/pipeline (Didn't take long to construct them, Biggest problem would be power station which they already had) through Turkey and into Europe. Not like they could sell to the British seeing as the British would at this point be unable to pick it up with put risking heavy losses in shipping due to air attacks
About the Turkish railways:as I already mentioned,in 1952,Turkey had 600 km of railways,of which 61 km double track,and the capacity of a single track railway is very limited .
Other points :there was NO railway bridge acrosse the Bosporus :everything had to be unloaded ,loaded on ships,unloaded again,loaded on railways and transported to Germany .And,have you thought on the distance from Irak to Germany ?
The maximum capacity of a German train (and the German trains were not more primitive than the Turkish ones) was 400 tonnes ,thus,12 trains would be needed to transport the content of ONE small 5000 ton tanker,and,to transport 1 million tonnes of oil ....?
And,I want to see a train with a cargo of 400 ton of oil traverse Anatolia ,besides,where would Turkey/Iraq get all those loc's and waggons?
Fair enough, Transport of large quantities of oil over that distance would be of very little benefit, Doesn't mean they wouldn't attempt it. In any case, It would keep that oil out of the hands of the Allies which is benefit enough for the Axis though Ive hear that a sizable portion of the Mid East oil ended up being used in the SE Asia against Japan.. Is this true? If so might make life easier on the Japanese forces.
However looking at the history of the Turkish railway system, from '35 onwards it was being improved at an impressive rate, Focusing on sectors that would create profits for the Turkish people (transport of mined coal, steel etc). With the opportunity and German investment i don't see it taking them long to produce another railway line beside any of the existing ones. But seeing as I'm not a construction expert for now I'm comfortable to concede the use of the Turkish railway system at that time as being of less then limited use. Unless i come up with information to the contrary of course . I just personally think that Turkey being cut off would have to live with making money from who they could seeing as world trade had pretty much ground to a Halt. With Germans on all sides except for the Russians, And goes with out saying Russian-Turkish relations have never been crash hot, They would have to sell what they could to the Axis to prevent there economy going into a free dive. The allies only ever bought Turkeys mineral resources to prevent Germany getting as much of them as possible but didn't need them, Where as Germany needed them a lot.
Hm,In WWII,Germany was importing most of her chrome ore (some 100000 tons annual) from Turkey,to be able to transport the chrome,Turkey needed loc's and waggons,and Germany did sell Turkey 43 Kriegslocomotive and 1000 waggons(some of these were still used in 1981) .That's why I find it highly doubtfull that the Turkish railways could take the extra burden of transporting hundreds of thousands of tons of crude oil to Germany .
In 1938,Turkey produced 214000 tones of chrome iron (19 % of the world production),almost all was exported .
From january to september 1939,Germany was importing 157000 tonnes of chrome iron ,of which 96000 from Turkey
Source:WWII Allied Economic Warfare :the case of Turkish chrome sales
Appropriately for this discussion, the Istanbul-Baghdad railway was completed and opened for service in July 1940. It was standard gauge, so the rolling stock could interchange with European railroads. I expect the transit of the Bosporus would be accomplished by putting the tank cars on a ferry or car float rather than by unloading and reloading.
However I have to agree that having a rail line does not automatically mean one can transport large volumes of commodities like oil. The United States provides a useful illustration. We had perhaps the best and most extensive railway system in the world, but the primary means of transporting oil from Texas to the Northeast was by coastal tankers. When an alternative was needed in WWII, we built the Big Inch and Little Big Inch pipelines, even though we already had railroads in place.
So with world demand for Turkish chrome iron gone due to them being isolated there would naturally mean there would be less use of the Turkish railway system, would there not?? And on another note, While Germany was willing to pay above the market rate for all of Turkeys mined Chrome, They asked that not all of it be delivered as at the time by there calculations they had enough to last them until 1942 (this discussion between Germany and turkey took place around early to mid '39) So with so much of there rail transport fleet freed up, I see them being able to build a second track next to the first (from earlier years on various WWII related sites i have been informed multiple times that Germany had no issue building railways in a short amount of time, There biggest threat being that of sabotage) and increase the amount sent to Germany.
Quick side note, Found this on Turkey based around WWII, talks about the relations between the powers on all sides, economics, military build up etc.. Really interesting read.
This is getting far afield from the original post, but remaining interesting none the less. On your own link it is more than obvious that even though Germany felt it had sufficient stockpiles of chromite to survive is probably false, and much more complicated than counting “numbers of tons in stockpile”. In the month before war broke out in 1939, and before accelerated war production of high grade steel really ramped up Germany estimated that it had enough to last until 1942 without Turkish imports.
This was however counting on the Soviet Union continuing to supply them (which ended in mid-1941), and supplemented by the low grade ore from the Balkans. When Soviet ore was lost, the Turkish supply became paramount since the low grade ore from the Balkans could NEVER maintain the war production needs of German, and to top it off, until the Nazis took control of the mines in Yugoslavia, they were a British controlled consortium.
On page 77 of this Phd thesis you will see that without imports, the German supply of chrome could last no more than 5 or 6 months. This is far different from the estimated stockpile need pre-war. On page 81 you will also notice that in ’41 and ’42 the Turkish chrome exported to Germany dwindled to nothing. But picked back up in ‘43/44, but never reached the pre-war levels.
When chrome import from Turkey was interrupted, and before the mines in the Balkans were improved, Speer also estimated that there was only about six months of high grade chromite in stockpile. To say that this thesis is an “easy read” would be wildly optimistic, but it is informative as to economic warfare in the era if you can struggle through it.
Has gone far off topic, May have to make a new topic to keep this going.
I was only able to read the first couple dozen pages, Relating mostly to the relations side of things so ill still have to read the rest, Lucky for me i have the time stuck in hospital, Now if only i had the decent food
Being in hospital and having decent food,is like Guaporense giving the US the credit it deserved in WWII:thus very unlikely
But,a consolation (and replacement of the decent food) could be if the nurses are pretty.
You really need to be hospitalized here in Billings for a week or three. There is one (St. Vincent's) in which every room is a single after you get out of ICU, and if you have no dietary restrictions from your physician you can have almost anything delivered to you from 6 in the morning (omelets with any fillings) custom made either with whole eggs or egg whites for low cholesterol, to 8 in the evening with restaurant quality food and menus, made by real chefs and delivered hot. Not your "normal" hospital food by any stretch, and very lovely to consume. You can even have "nightime" snacks held at the desk on your floor in their refrigerator for your own call in the night if you order them put there before the 8 pm cut-off time. I always had a supply of different fruit yogurts and soft drinks stashed in my name.
But we are getting even further away from the original posit. The Kriegsmarine in the med., is a non-starter. How would it help Italy or Germany? Who would fuel it? Who would keep it free of air attack by the land-based RAF? Not counting the sea-based Royal Navy flight wing. I just don't see the advantage to the Axis of increasing the fuel and food requirement by moving it to the med. which interdicts literally NONE of the supply going to the British Isles, which was all it really had as value in the war.
Well the nurses are pretty, Very pretty ^^. They just don't like me racing my wheelchair around against the other patients What else am i supposed to do after 3 months in here?
I think should go back to talking to what relates directly to the Kriegsmarine and Regina Marina. Ill make a new topic to continue our little adventure in, May enquire with some of you guys as to what the parameters of it should be.
Cheers, von_noobie (Matthew)