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What if Churchill never undertook the Balkans campaign?

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Eastern Front & Balka' started by SOAR21, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    On the other hand, postwar publications by authors of other nationalities stress that the British intervention in Greece and Crete, and even more the Yugoslav revolt, led to the postponement of Operation BARBAROSSA to 22 June, while they de-emphasize the effect of the spring floods.

    Perhaps an example of being wise after the fact? Once one had the dramatic narrative of the Germans being stopped just short of Moscow by the onset of the Russian winter, one might be tempted to take credit for causing them to lose a few weeks at the beginning of Barbarossa; but in spring 1941, the last thing the British wanted was to delay the outbreak of war between Hitler and Stalin.
     
  2. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    We can rest the case with the words of the man himself.

    "if the Italians hadn't attacked Greece and needed our help, the war would have taken a different course. We could have anticipated the Russian cold by weeks and conquered Leningrad and Moscow. There would have been no Stalingrad".
    Adolf Hitler.



    Riefenstahl (1987) pages 295
     
  3. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    The myth that the weather delayed Barbarossa rather than British intervention into the Balkans was very much started as an anti-Churchill and anti-factual point of view that has been repeated by others without checking long after the event.

    The undeniable fact is Barbarossa was postponed on March 30th 1941 by Hitler to deal with the Balkan situation.
     
  4. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    Proves me point perfectly.

    The last part below is an opinion not a factor for the delay as the above states.

    The rivers where still swollen come the actual invasion and still crossed with ease.
    And as Hitler himself stated the invasion would have gone ahead May 15th with no Balkan Invasion.
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Or not. It looks to me like the "myth" that it was caused by the intervention in the Balkans was started by Germans looking for an excuse to blame someone other than themselves. In previous discusssions no one was able to produce a period document that specified the delay was due to the Balkans. They were able to produce said documents stating it was due to the weather.
    Not really. Indead it is very debateable. I've seen it debated a number of times and didn't have a strong opinion one way or another when the debate started by the end I believed the weather crowd had the stronger argument although both may have had some impact.
     
  6. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    Ive posted three where Hitler gave his reason for postponing Barbarossa on the 30th of March 1941.
    It is a well known historical fact.
    You find me one document or account where Hitler postpones Barbarossa because of the weather.
    Not one exists.
    But ill await you to post it.

    Debated by a few ignorant people on the Axis history forum on had not a single bit of knowledge on Hitler meeting with his General Staff on March 20th
    This isn't some sort of secret mythical meeting just because you have not read about it.
    Just like the Schwin Panzers, Axis troops through Syria and German right for troop movements across French territory they are all fact.
    Any ignorance of them you have or may have had does not make them so.
     
  7. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    Forces used by Germany in the invasion of Yugoslavia.

    337,096 men
    875 tanks
    990 aircraft

    Im sure this little lot had no effect on the delay of Barbarossa did it?

    And the Invasion of Greece.

    680,000 men,
    1,200 tanks
    700 aircraft

    Collier 1971, p. 180
    * "Greek Wars". Encyclopaedia "The Helios".
     
  8. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    1)Nothing would have changed
    2)Hitler undertook the Balkans campaign:not Churchill
    3-What Hitler said was to blame the Italians for the defeat (Adolf was an expert in such things)
     
  9. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Post 47 is very popular on Stormfront :blaming another one for the German defeat
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    It's a well known fact that he said this after the fact. It's also a well known fact that Hitler was a lier and that he made excuses for his and German failures.
    Actually I've a higher opinion of some of those over there than I do of you.
    The question is are they relevant facts. I have known of Schwim Panzers for some time. I've yet to read anything about them crossing rivers in full flood. Nor have you sourced any info on it. As for Axis troop throudh Syria, I asked you when it occured and I should also ask how many. Whether or not it is relevant to our discussion could hang on those details. Likewise I've yet to see you source anything about major troop movements through unoccupied France in 41 or indeed prior to Nov of 42.
     
  11. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    You don't even know that German troops were moved through Occupied France constantly from June 1941 onwards?
    And you really have no knowledge of the Anglo-Iraqi war and German role in Vichy Syria?
     
  12. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    So why did Hitler postpone the invasion of the USSR on March 30th and move this mass South?

    337,096 men
    875 tanks
    990 aircraft

    And the Invasion of Greece.

    680,000 men,
    1,200 tanks
    700 aircraft
     
  13. squidly the octopus

    squidly the octopus New Member

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    Even from early on, Churchill was looking at the post-war picture, and this factored largely into his Greek/Balkan decisions. After NA had been secured in '43, he wanted to go back to the Balkans, so as to establish an Allied zone in Eastern Europe between Stalin and Germany. The Americans wanted to invade France in '43. Italy was the compromise.
     
  14. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    O'Connor was the only British general who delivered a major army victory with great inferiority (an Indian an an Australian divisions and a few Dozen Matildas, against a huge Italain force) and with few losses in WW II. However, Churchill made much less publicity out of him than out of the costly battles won by Monty only thanks to overwhelming wuperiority and lack of German supplies.

    O'Connor was ordered only to expel the Italians from Egypt and he went beyond Benghazi. Monty would not budge, until he had such a force that he could hardly be resisted, much less defeated and after he trounced the axis in el Alamein II with formidable quantities of bombs, shells, tanks, troops, etc, he allowed Rommel to get away with a few tanks. Amazingly, few people know about O'Connor and everbody knows about Monty.

    A few relevant factors in this thread:
    1) Italy had hardly any planes, artillery or tanks left in Libya (they had lost even most of their machine guns) and was short even of water (which had to be transported from Sicily to Tripoli, since the desalination plant in Tobruk had fallen).
    2) Italian generals had proven much more adept at surrendering long before the battle was lost than to opposing stubburn resistance.
    3) The RN had assisted O'Connor considerably with heavy artillery even in the initial attack on the italian forces in Egypt and then with carrier planes, etc, and given the lack of Italian planes in Libya, it could support the final thrust.
    4) Britain was producing tanks and had no other place to use them than in Libya, which ships could easily reach at the time. So after a short rest, a well supplied O'Connor could have easily advanced with air and naval support.
    5) RAF had begun receiving 4 engine Short Stirlings (which were vulnerable bombing Europe, but would have had no problems in Libya and would have been devastating against Italian morale and large numbers of American and British 4 engine planes, which could arrive in Libya.
    6) It was completely absurd to separate efficiently functioning Indian troops from their leader (the only successful one) and redeploy them from central Libya to Greece or all the way to Somalia (near which incoming Indian, Australian, NZ & South African troops had to sail ), instead of simply landing these troops with their leaders there.
    7) Planes, troops and ships, which were badly needed in the Med, were ignominiously wasted by Churchill (against his general's advice) in a hopeless campaign in Greece.
    8) Hitler invaded Greece and Yugoslavia because Churchill sent a few planes to Greece, within range of the oil fields in Ploesti. This caused thousands of deaths and years of suffering in these countries and induced Hitler to send planes to the Med and troops to Africa, which forced the allies to ship everything around South Africa for years at great cost and to waste warships in powerful convoys to transport a few planes and to supply malta with heavy losses.

    Had Churchill reinforced stunning success in Libya, instead of hopeless failure in Greece, used incoming forces from the east to capture Somalia on their way to Europe and then used all these forces (lead by his victorious general) and hish strong navy and air force to invade poorly defended Sardinia, in order to threaten and bomb Italy and the Germans in France, he would have incurred fewer losses, achieved much more and perhaps caused Mussolini's fall earlier.
     

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