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What if Spain had joined the Axis?

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by PzJgr, Jan 3, 2001.

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  1. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Of course this being an alternate history forum you can postulate anything you want, it's your prerrogative. Have you ever heard of that famous Nazi base in the Antartic? Why not?

    Concerning King Phil, of course an escort is an escort but it could be argued that that shows some lack of confidence in his status as rightful heir to the Portuguese crown (which no one disputes from this side of the border anyway).

    But what can be said about such a rabble of subjects that had the impudence and lack of courtesy in 1640 when proposing the Spanish representative that she left the palace "through the door or through the window, the choice is yours"? After that the Spanish kings sent several thousand soldiers to try and reinstate the legal order for about thirty years, but it appears the locals were a bit hard of hearing to his arguments and we were more or less left alone since then.
     
  2. max62

    max62 Member

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    It would have always depended whether we are talking about a long war or a short one. Some authors said that one third of more of spanish soldiers were "suspectous" of supporting the wrong side (the losers, I mean) during the civil war 1936-39, and that could have been risky for the Axis. But in reality after having won the civil war, and having murdered more than one hundred thousand people (apart from the killing in the war) Franco´s regime was fairly solid. Particularly in case of a short war.

    In a long one, the almost sure capture of the Canary Islands by the Royal Navy, would have meant that the Franco´s enemy (spanish Republic) would have a political and territorial platform for revenge. With the help of the brits and americans, maybe would have been created a new spanish republican army, around 50.000 soldiers (most of them were in exile in Mexico and other latin-american countries, plus new recruits in the islands).

    But, anyway, to think seriously about the consequences of Spain having joined the Axis, it is more important thinking about the political and strategic consequences of the closing of the strait of Gibraltar in January 1941, according to the german plan and according to the circumstances of the time.
     
  3. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I am dredging this old thread up because I just ran across a fascinating article inthe History Net site that I hadn't noticed before. This fellow really takes it apart, with logic, and the outcome is not "pleasant" for either Franco nor the Axis.

    Goto:

    What If Franco's Spain Had Entered the War? » HistoryNet
     
  4. efestos

    efestos Member

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    I totally agree with taht, in fact I wrote something similar in this forum...

    And with this:
    However, the last two paragraphs do not seem too successful:

    A) Franco, less naive than Daladier and Chamberlain requested the supply of 900,000 tonnes of POL in advance.
    And grain and other raw materials.

    B) Hitler never intended to cede the French colonial territories to Spain, he planned to lie to Franco and promise that would give French Morocco and Algeria.

    ("Franco", Paul Preston).

    About the submarine ofensive: The German submarines actually refueled in the Canary Islands and NW of Spain. I've no data about how many U-boote did it, but I guess there weren´t so many: Hitler in his infinite wisdom wanted the payments for the support in the ECW in raw materials ... etc.

    The way that Spain could have enter the war was that the Negrin´s plan to resist till the WWII (he spoke of "European War") started have been succesfull. In fact the Republic army revolted against him and surrendered to Franco the first of april 1939.

    [​IMG]

    It would have meant the 1939 Anglo-French intervention - 1940 German-Italian invasion - 1942 TORCH... and probably more than a million of spaniards killed in the process (The SCW actually killed arround 250.000).

    More: It took from Torch to the landings in the South of France more than 20 months...and the railways in Spain were so better than the only narrow gauge railway in the North of Africa (Rick Atkinson - Army at down)...And the VIII army was doing his work ... so the posibility of launching Torch in the Southern Spain would have been more than only plausible.
     
  5. freebird

    freebird Member

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    What consequences exactly? The British didn't run shipping through the Med in 41 & 42
     
  6. USMC

    USMC Member

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    In my own personal opinion, if Spain had entered the war on the Axis side I see Spanish military personnel fighting in the North African campaigns, Russia, and France in 44'. But, I really would not see them as a major axis power. I don't see Allied troops having to crusade through the countryside to capture Madrid and end the fascist regime. The allied commanders would probably see that as a great diversion of military assets to an enemy who really doesn't have the military capacities to do some "real" harm.
     
  7. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Ahhh, but there were Spanish troops fighting against the Russians. Around 45,000 or so were sent to the outskirts of Leningrad. They were called the Blue division and led my General Agustin Munoz Grandes.

    The division made up of volunteers and fought only against Bolshevism, thus Franco repayed Hitler for his help in the civil war and continued to remain neutral from the Western Allies.
     
  8. USMC

    USMC Member

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    Yes there were. I should have specified. I meant full Spanish armies with supply and support units.
     
  9. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    ;)
     
  10. USMC

    USMC Member

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    AFAIK the Spanish didnt have a strong navy or air force during wwii
     
  11. efestos

    efestos Member

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    This is a matter of fact, if Spain had entered the war on the Axis the famine here would have been "medieval". Do you know what I mean?

    The main contribution for the axis would have been the closure of the Strait of Gibraltar... Bases for submarines off the Gulf of Biscay ...A strategic mineral (tungsten) and excellent infantry but in insufficient number to make any real difference.

    On the other hand: As Gibraltar has been closed, no reinforcements have arrived in Malta ... etc ...

    So the question is: With Gibraltar closed, Would Hitler have choosen the Mediterranean strategy? That guy improvised... In that case, Could have been launched Torch in time to stop the Nazis in the Med? Would them have reached the oil fields of Kirkuk? Kwait's oil had just been discovered ... could the Nazis successfully exploit it? I'm thinking about June - September 1940.

    So you will have to explain why Torch was actually launched. Was The Vichy France a real harm for the allies?
    I read somewhere that the conquest of Sicily was decided to reopen the route of the Med, saving nearly 500 ships or something like that, well that would have been worthless if the Strait of Gibraltar have remained closed ...
    Probably the same leaders who in his infinite wisdom wasted manpower and resources in Italy, a boot, would have wasted manpower and resources in Spain, a bull hide.
     
  12. wlee15

    wlee15 Member

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    Quite a few of the convoys actually originated from Alexandria in Egypt.
     
  13. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Where would they get this supply & support from?
    And in the event of Anglo-Spanish hostilities, Spanish units would likely be fully engaged guarding Spain & Spanish colonies from Allied attack.
     
  14. freebird

    freebird Member

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    As mentioned earlier, supplies for Malta could be shipped in from Alexandria, it's about the same distance as from Gibraltar.

    No. Even if Franco had agreed to Germany's request to attack Gibraltar, it would still take a couple of months to build up, and complete a rail link for the german siege guns. The Axis still have many months of fighting to defeat the British, and they will face problems of supply, with the italian navy on the defensive after Taranto & Matapan, and no railroad from Tripoli to Axis armies attacking into Egypt.

    The Med strategy was launched in 1940 - by Italy. They attacked into Egypt in June/July 1940 and captured Sidi Baradi. With about a 5 to 1 superiority in troops, 10 to 1 superiority in artillery, and at least double the number of tanks & aircraft as the British, it was quite obvious to Hitler that Italy needed no help, Britain's armies in Egypt would be completely wiped out in short order.... :confused::confused::confused:

    No.

    True, but by eliminating the axis from Africa, the Allies also captured a quarter million Axis troops, almost as many as were captured at Stalingrad.

    In addition, by establishing themselves on the north african coast, the Allies forced Hitler to divert tens of thousands of troops from Russia to garrison Greece, Italy, Southern France & the Balkans.
     
  15. Mark4

    Mark4 Ace

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    It really wouldn't help the Germans Spanish economy and Industry was in shambles and came out of a devastating civil war that cost 500,000 lives and you think they will be able to help in a world war?

    I'm going to bed...........
     
  16. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Spain was recovering from a hugely destructive civil war that ended in 1939, they were in no position to help the Axis out to any great extent.

    If Spain joins the Axis in the winter of 40/41:
    Germany is not really in any better position, but probably has disasterous consequences down the road as operations in the Balkans & Barbarossa are negatively affected by an attack on Gibraltar

    The British come out even or ahead...
    ...but the big loser is Spain. Franco was no idiot, that's why he didn't jump into the shark tank.

    Franco had originally discussed an attack on Gibraltar in the summer of '40, with defence in France collapsing like a house of cards, and a complete German victory over the British imminent.
    By the time of the conference in October, Franco has had some sobering second thoughts, the British had thwarted the German invasion of Britain "Sealion", but perhaps more disturbing is that the Royal Navy has run rampant over the Kriegsmarine, and so evaporated any hope of preventing a British invasion/blockade of Spanish territories in the Atlantic.

    (as earlier posted on another thread)
    Germany starts out WWII with 2 Battlecruisers, 3 pocket BB's, 2 CA's & 6 CL's.
    By the Oct 1940 meeting, Germany has 9 of these 13 ships out-of action:

    Both Battlecruisers were torpedoed by RN, out of action until Dec '40.
    1 pocket BB (Graf Spee) sunk, another (Lutzow) damaged by Norweigan shore batteries & then torpedoed by the British, out until Mar '41
    1 CA (Blucher) sunk, the other (Hipper) rammed by the DD Glowworm, out of action as it had 130 feet of it's armoured belt torn off.
    The third CA (Prince Eugen) has only been completed in Aug '40 and is still working up.
    2 of the 6 CL's have been sunk by the British, and a third (Leipzig) has been torpedoed and out of action.

    So by Oct '40 all Germany has available is 1 pocket BB (Adm. Scheer) and 3 CL (light cruisers).

    They face a Royal Navy with 12 Battleships, 3 Battlecruisers, 19 Heavy Cruisers, 56 Light cruisers, and 6 Aircraft Carriers. (with 2 more CV, Victorious & Formidable, completed and soon to be commisioned)
    That doesn't even include Canadian & Australian navies.

    The British have lost a grand total of 5 ships to enemy action:

    BB Royal Oak (Scapa Flow raid)
    CV Glorious
    CV Courageous
    CL Calypso
    CL Curlew

    Ah but what about the Italian Regia Marina?
    In case Franco had any thoughts about the Regia Marina getting the upper hand in the Med, that question was put to rest on 11 Nov 1940, with the Taranto raid knocking out half of Italy's capital ships.

    In addition to the very real possibility of losing the Canary islands, Cape Verde's, Rio Muni, Fernando Po and other spanish Colonies, Spain is dependant on imported oil & food, both of which would be immediately cut off by British blockade.
     
  17. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Oh, but there is another whole dynamic here USMC. :cool:

    Franco was no dummy, he survived in Europe until the 70's, by staying out of WWII.

    Again, what does Spain get from joining the Axis? (besides a moral victory be re-claiming Gibraltar)

    The demands that Franco made to Hitler seemed outrageous to the Germans, but made good sense from franco's point of view.

    1.) Guarantee supplies of food & oil to spain
    2.) protect Spain's colonies
    3.) The attack on Gibraltar should follow a German invasion of Britain

    And as a reward for joining the Axis, Spain also wanted to be given French Moroccan territory.

    It was quite obvious by Oct 1940 that Germany could guarantee none of those 3 demands, and giving french territory to Spain could result in conflict with france, or push it into the Allied side.


    Now the downside:

    A.) Spain is added to the Allied blockade, is cut off from food & oil imports
    B.) The weakly protected colonies (Canaries, Verde's etc) are vulnerable to Allied occupation.

    But in addition, Franco has other concerns.

    Although the Spanish Civil war ended in 1939, Franco is by no means secure in his position. In the event of Anglo-Spanish hostilities, the British may support an anti-fascist movement, similar to their support for an anti-Vichy movement (Free French). A good number of the key players opposed to Franco are in exile in 1940, inlcuding General José Miaja Menant, Colonel Casado López, and Indalecio Prieto, the former Defence Minister.
    In fact, during WWII Indalecio Prieto tried to form an alliance with the monarchists, for an anti-fascist democratic front. Historically, the Allies did not support this, as they didn't wish hostilities with Franco.
    However, in the event of hostilities, the British may well give full support to those supporting Franco, perhaps even establishing them in the Canaries.

    Alternatively, the British may make a move into Spanish Morocco and give support to the Berber resistance. There was a brutal six year war fought there, which ended in 1926, although the leader Abd el-Krim is still alive and in exile. For more details look up the Rif War and the Disaster of Annual. Does Franco really want to risk having the Allies support an insurrection in Spanish Africa?

    In the final analysis, for control of a couple of square miles of the Rock, Franco would risk openening a Pandora's box of other problems.
     
  18. efestos

    efestos Member

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    A) No one disputes that it would have been disastrous for Franco (and Spain)to enter WWII. In fact he did not enter. (See in this thread my previous post)

    B)
    No one disputes that. Actually the SCW costed less lives, including the brutal (BOTH SIDES) repression during the war and Franco's post-war repression.

    C)
    Would you please explain me how you land in Oran and Algeria, from the USA if you don´t take the Strait of Gibraltar first?

    D)
    It doesn´t includes the walk arround the Cape of God Hope Doesn´t it? :D

    E)
    Would you please say me when GB started using , was forced to use the "long run" arround the Cape of God Hope ? In this case I'm not ironic, It's a real question.

    F) Psychologies: If the head of the wise and farsighted Führer had been busy with Gibraltar, North Africa and the Med .. "Would have thought the insane idea of invading the Soviet Union? Would it have been possible that his staff would deter him as he entertained with the "periphery"? I'm being ironic: These questions are as absurd as the mentality of the Führer.

    G) Operation FELIX:
    Uhm the last report I saw of Operation Felix, didn´t included large siege guns.


    If I can be honest, I'm not too interested in this what if? in terms of (nule) influence on the WWII ...If I may, a brief explanation:

    A guy named Negrin (personally I think it was a criminal as evil as Franco, but on the side the "good") extended the SCW unnecessarily with the intention that Spain would have been involved in the war that was about to start (WWII). And many local historians, consider that would have been great. This is true, not a joke.

    It has been said that the intervention in WWII would have been good for Spain in the sense that it would precipitate the fall of Franco. That's for sure, but at what cost?
     
  19. freebird

    freebird Member

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    I think the British would destroy Gibraltar's naval guns before it was captured.
    I would expect Torch to land in Tangier & Rabat instead in Oran & Algiers. Some American heavy bombers may be sent to bomb the Spanish coastal guns to try to neutralize them.

    The British stopped shipments from Gibraltar to Egypt through the Med from late 1940 until Tunisia is captured in 1943. (Other than shipments to Malta) The only exception as far as I know was Operation Tiger in may '41. Malta Convoys - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Soviets planned to attack Germany in 1942, so war between Nazis & soviets was inevitable.
     
  20. efestos

    efestos Member

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    From wiki you posted: HATS convoy september 1940. Operation Collar November 1940. January 1941-Operation Excess . July 1941 July – Operation Substance. August 1941– Operation Style. September 1941 – Operation Halberd.

    GB lost two carriers due to the U -boat in the west Med: Ark Royal Operation Perpetual, 10-12 November 1941 and Eagle convoy WS-21S Pedestal.

    The fighters to reinforce Malta came from the west, across Gibraltar, the same for the torpedo - bombers but them land there.

    Uhmm ... so you don't think the Nazis would send many french railway heavy guns to the conquered Gibraltar? It would be very hard to do. The Iberian gaue was/is wider than the Euro standard. Today the change of the wider is automatic, not thouse days.
    1940 Strait of Gibraltar area: there was coastal artillery thouse days: Wikers 381 mm, Krupp and Skoda 305... add German blockadge. (Tarifa is southern than Gibraltar).

    And Would you please explain me why you would land in French Moroco to arrive to Tunisia ? 1445 Km ... 900 milles. Better took "The long Run" and land in Tunisia... Opps... NO posible it adds a million tonnes to suply the invasion.

    And always under the risk the German finally send siege guns to Gibraltar. More, in 1942 the LW was still able to combat.

    And you forget Casablanca. where actually Patton landed. And Port Laurey:

    Casablanca was an important harbour, Port Laurey had an airport behind a navigable river. The first day of Torch, the Enterpraise launched + 50 P-40 that landed there. Supplies arrived in an Mississippi old boat that crossed the Atlantic and up the river to the airport
     

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