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VIII Army defeated in El Alamein, Rommel takes Aexandria!

Discussion in 'What If - Mediterranean & North Africa' started by Friedrich, Jun 14, 2002.

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  1. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    New York Times:

    "30th November 1942. Marshall Rommel has crossed the Suez Channel after the defeat of British VIII Army in the battle of El Alamein, the fall of Alexandria and El Cairo in a run of more than a thousand miles. His troops are preparing to reach Palestine and the German troops in the Caucasus entered Iran... Stalingrad: LX, LXII and LXIV armies surrendered to marshall Von Paulus..."

    Can you imagine that landscape? It means that the Soviet Union and Great Britain are going to fall at least in December! India would go next, etc.

    What do you think?

    [ 14 June 2002, 07:09 PM: Message edited by: General der Infanterie Friedrich H ]
     
  2. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I think England would still have held out and would have still been a tough nut to crack. At that time--there were already Hundreds of thousands of G.I's in England, and they would certainly have been used to help keep the Axis at bay.

    On the otherhand--Russia might have cracked had that happened and Paulus forced them into surrender. Paulus's status would have certainly gained him an "Honorable" promotion to Field Marshall, and possibly command of Army Group Center.
     
  3. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Of course, Karl.

    Friedrich von Paulus would have been surely promoted to field marshall after taking Stalingrad and put on charge of a larger number of troops. Perhaps Hermann Hoth would have become a field marshall also, advancing succesfully through the Caucasus and Ewald von Kleist would have been a field marshall a year earlier...

    GB would have not resisted too much longer, because they would have been expeled from Central and Eastern Mediterranean with the fall of Alexandria, Malta and the Middle East. The Suez Channel, all the comunications and all the PETROL of the Middle East in German hands... Then, a Japanesse-German strike on India... The British Isles would have remained under British control of course (the time for an invasion was ONLY during summer 1940), but without the aid of its empire... Very dark landscape.

    But a darker landscape is the Germans in Palestine. Rommel was a very good man, but he could not have avoided Allgemeine SS men in Palestine and its consecuences...

    The world would be very different now.
     
  4. gregm

    gregm Member

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    Rommel remember was stopped at Tobruch by the Australians
     
  5. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Wilkommen, Gregm!

    Yes, Rommel wasted his very few troops in the siege of Tobrouk in 1941, in a 250 plus-day siege, including the famous "Ponath batallion". The Australian who defended Tobrouk fought awesomely, but a year later Rommel captured the port within two days, capturing 20.000 Australians. Therefore he could advance easily until Egypt. He was promoted to field marshall the very same day.

    [ 19 June 2002, 04:50 PM: Message edited by: General der Infanterie Friedrich H ]
     
  6. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Ah yessss, nobody can forget the tough Aussie stand at Tobruk. These men were as good as any ANZAC at Gallapoli.
     
  7. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Hallo!

    I have relised something very interesting about Rommel's tactics. They were not new! They had a lot of typical old Prussian methods but they were inspired in Alexander the Great's tactics.

    What my beloved Alexander did was that he rapidly surrounded the enemy with his "Hetairoi" (cavalry) and pushed them against the lethal speirs of the "Pezetairoi" (heavy infantry) to get absolutely destroyed.

    So, horses become tanks and heavy infantry becomes 88 cannons. Does it sound familiar?
     
  8. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Also a sad thing is that Rommels tactics would not work in Russia--meaning the same ones he used in the desert. This is because of the vast differences in land features.
     
  9. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Highly agree with you Carl.
     
  10. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Thank you my friend and glad to see your almost at 400. Takl to you when I get back from my little trip out of town--Carl.
     
  11. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Wilkommen und 2,800 to go :D
     
  12. Otto

    Otto Rested & Resupplied with MREs. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    A note on Rommel, I don't think his tactics would have worked in Russia either, but I also don't think he would have used them if he was in command there.

    For example, we are all familiar with Rommel maneuvering in the African desert, but when he was in command of the defences of the Atlantic wall, his doctrine was to stop the enemy at the shore.

    Other commanders wanted to defeat the enemy in set battles on land. The material advanteges of the Allies proved that this type of manuevering would be fatal to the Germans.

    In short, Rommel had a phenomenal grasp of the tactical aspect of warfare, and he would have come up with something to suit the Russian campaign. Although based on history, he probably would have ultimately failed there anyway, again due to the enemy's advantage in supply.
     
  13. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    I do not think Rommel was an addecuate commander for the Eastern Front as I do not think there woud have been an equal or better commander for Africa than him.

    Beside, Rommel always attacked with incomplete units (The best time 21st Panzer division had only 75% of its men). But Africa units most of the time faced an enemy like themselves. We must remember that the British, Australians, Indians and Neozelanders fought very differently to the Soviets. And actually, Rommel was not a commander witha 100 qualification, perhaps a 93... when he commanded very large group of men he did not act very well.

    He would have obviously used different tactics in the Eastern Front. He had his own movements: the Southern sorrounding as Von Bock and Von Runstedt had their Pincers tactic and Von Leeb had his deffensive tactics...

    But all of those movements and strategies were the final product of thousands of years of warfare experiments. Thanks to Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Wellington, Von Moltke, Guderian and many others WWII had those extraordinary manouvers, sorroundings and siegs.
     
  14. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Good points mein General. I totally agree. Rommel would have been smart enough to alter his tactics. He would have to. But I still think he is better at a divisional or Korps level rather than at the Army or Army Group level.
     
  15. Yitzak Meidner

    Yitzak Meidner recruit

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    I am glad the bestards lost! If they had enytered Palestine we would kick their big fat asses off!
     
  16. Otto

    Otto Rested & Resupplied with MREs. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Many good points made here all around. I agree with you that Rommel was better on a smaller scale than a larger one. In my previous post I said that Rommel "had a phenomenal grasp of the tactical aspect of warfare". On a larger, more strategic level he was a little weaker. I think other German commanders were better over all, but no one I can think of even comes close in a purely tactical sense.
     
  17. Peppy

    Peppy Idi Admin

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    What an impressively educated post.
     
  18. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    MMMMMMMrrrrrrr... He is back here... Actually I am thinking with his vocabulary. But I will not show myself here as I really am: a vulgar and stupid person. That would mean to bring down a peg or two to his level.

    He has not considered that his country is murdering innocent people in the way they were murdered. You make your people seem like if they deserved it...

    But changing the disgusting subject.

    Rommel would have changed his Alexander the Great's tactics if he had been in Russia. But as PzJgr says and I also think that he was not a man to command large numbers of troops... I do not imagine him controlling the million men in Heeresgruppe Mitte. What a disaster...

    Perhaps it is a bad comparisson because of the bad conditions, but Rommel did not do his job excellently in 1943 commanding Panzerarmee "Afrika" and 5. Armee, along with all the Italian forces... He did better when he just had two divisions and a half in 1941... :cool:
     
  19. Andreas Seidel

    Andreas Seidel Member

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    Rommel was the perfect division commander. And no more.
     
  20. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Yes. Rommel proved himself as an excellent attacking corps commander. Not more. Defensively he was not very good and neither commanding large number of troops.

    In the other hand we have excellent commanders, experts in moving a lot of men, like Von Manstein, Von Runstedt or Von Bock. They moved armies on a map like if they were chess pieces and see what they did! But Rommel is still being the favourite commanders of many men and they are right, because of his temper, his carisma, intelligence and own tactics which he developed himself. He did not learn tactics on a desk or a classroom, he invented his own strategies, not like Montgomery did!
     
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