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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. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Scroll down to may '41 and you will find Tiger.
    all of the convoys mentioned (Hats, excess, halberd, substance, collar etc) either flew aircraft to Malta and/or ships to Malta. There were basically no shipments from Gibraltar to Egypt in 1941 or 1942, with the exception of "Tiger". so all other material for Egypt & the MidEast had to go around the Cape .


    Because in history it was a safe passage for the supply ships with French Algeria & Morocco captured, and with Spain neutral.

    If Spain is on the Axis side then the better plan would be to supply the operation via atlantic Morocco ports and then by rail to Tunisia, at the beginning.
    A strain on the NW Africa rail, but no alternative.

    I didn't overlook Casablanca. :)
    I meant the supply ports would be Casablanca, rabat & Tangier instead of Casablanca, Algiers & Oran.
     
  2. efestos

    efestos Member

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    Not enough to support an invasion, It was only one railway an it was really poor. (From Rick Atckinson´s "Army at dawn")
    In the other hand, the allies launch "Husky" because they wanted to secure the traffic in the Med in the Strait of Sicily ( 90 milles wide) . The Strait of Gibraltar is only 9 milles wide.

    My apologies, English is not my native lenguage, so I miss many details. Well, I was thinking in Malta and the security of the Afrika Korps' supplies.

    Do you really believe that? There is a huge discussion about it, any where in this forum.

    Do you agree that this "what if" is really about the Medium Orient Oil?
     
  3. Mark4

    Mark4 Ace

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    About Spain the only thing i can see Spain giving useful was man power which they did the Blue division.
    The Germans would have had a longer cost line to defend against d-day which German troops already were stretched thin and only make the war longer.

    O and think about how Italy worked as a axis ally not very good huh?
     
  4. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    What Spain needed, Germany couldn't provide in exchange for a joining together in a common cause. Even the Blue Division had to be equipped by the Germans, the volunteers of Spain didn't have anything but their bodies in reality when they showed up.

    The Franco government was importing grains and fuels from the west, and without them his people would starve. Germany couldn't replace them, nor do more than it did. Franco wasn't a fool, he wasn't going to join in at the expense of his own country for Hitler's glory.

    You folks do remember it was today, July 18th, that the Spanish Civil War was initiated?
     
  5. efestos

    efestos Member

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    In fact it started the 17 july in the spanish Morocco, the men there thought they were uncovered. But the date is correct.

    A) No one disputes that. After 3 years of brutal war there were a lot of skilled men.

    Would you please take a look up there? This is a claim that has been done in this thread. More: Gibraltar - west Med - Torch. La Coruña - U boat/LW bases. Tungsten.

    I guess the spanish troops of thouse days could work indefinitely with a half ration of the germans. :D Those guys were able to hunt without a gun, chased the partridges until exhausted.

    B) In the SCW, the Italians showed their lack of effectiveness: Guadalajara Battle. The republic's victory was also celebrated in the nationalist camp.

    The same for the soviet advisors of the Republic. It doesn´t matter, Stalin shot such a good part of them.
     
  6. Mark4

    Mark4 Ace

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    I'm telling it would made the war worst for Germany the Germans could barley keep their troops properly supplied and fed.
     
  7. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Yep, it really was a crappy railway. At least it was standard gauge. The Americans did wonders to fix that railway, they can handle it. :cool:

    No problem. :)

    Meltyukhov thinks so, and presents some evidence that the Soviet buildup wasn't for defensive purposes, but for a future offensive

    Stalin's Missed Chance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I don't even see that. With spain as a belligerent they would need all available manpower just to defend Spanish territory.

    In addition, the rail shipments of Tungsten, Spanish harbours & all rail movements would now be subject to bombing by the RAF, so large numbers of fighter & AA personnel would be needed in spain too.
     
  8. freebird

    freebird Member

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    That's my opinion of the idea too. :cool:
     
  9. efestos

    efestos Member

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    When the RAF was able to do it, the tugsten was actually shipped to the allies.

    Sure, I agree with you, in fact I wrote something similar before your posts. Göring even Hitler didn´t think it. The fat guy said it in the interview that Mr brndirt1n posted: The villain was sorry that Hitler did not opt for the Southern strategy, instead of the assault on Russia.

    B) If you read the the previous posts you would see a theory of the successive concatenation of misfortunes that might have led Spain into the war. Not the Franco's willing, but the madness of Prime Minister Mr Negrín (Socialist) and his will to extend the SCW until the outbreak of war in Europe.

    Sure, in fact they did it, but from Algeria, 400 milles closer. What happened in the NW Europe two years later? :rolleyes: You know Patton stopped without supplies... Is this any kind of joke?
     
  10. USMC

    USMC Member

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    Of course in the context in which I was writing was the Spanish being used on the Russian front. Spain's primitive military of the time would be supplied by the German army and possible armored units the Spanish did have although obselete could be transported by the vast RR's connecting Europe. This is all hypothetical of course
     
  11. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Much depends on WHEN the Spanish would have joined the Axis.

    Imagine Franco joining the Axis before the invasion of Poland! Consider the prepositioning on U-Boats to Spain, and Luftwaffe assets with paratroops to Spanish airfields under Lufthansa cover. As soon as Poland is taken, the Germans launch an invasion of Gibraltar, which the British cannot reinforce. U-Boat lines interdict any Royal Navy support from Alexandria, and of course the Italian Navy was still a factor the British had to reckon with. If the Axis take Gibraltar, the Germans built U-Boat pens on the coast of Spain for the Atlantic and the Med. Going through the straights would almost be suicide for the Allies. In having the Med sewn up, Hitler might then take a different strategic route, securing the eastern Med and the Middle East. Iraq was almost theirs but for a small revolution that didn't work. Would it have worked with the Brits impotent in the Med? Now Hitler has two invasion routs into the USSR.

    Barbarossa now becomes a two pronged attack from Poland and the Middle East. The Axis now also threatens India more directly with their proximity.

    Germany now quite probably has a fairly secure oil supply. The war takes an entirely new twist.
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    How do they get their army units to Spain at that point? And what's to prevent the British and French from invading Spain as soon as the Germans go into Poland? Certainlly they'll take the Canaries.
     
  13. Wiley Hyena

    Wiley Hyena Member

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    Best for Franco to wait until France has fallen. In any event, I'm not as dubious about Spain's potential to help the Axis as most people here seem to be. Surely, Gibralter and Spanish airbases would have been used by the Axis to close off the western med to the allies, probably prohibiting Torch et. In spite of all their faults, this contribution by the Spanish could only help Germany. Of course, it opens the Spanish coastline to an amphibious attempt by the allies, maybe as an alternative site to the historical Overlord. But then again, the allies could have invaded neutral Spain to do this anyway. Either way, the allies come up against hostile Spanish forces.
     
  14. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    The biggest problem for the Spanish was that they were a fuel and food importer, and for many products still are. Germany couldn't replace the goods as they too were historically importers of food, fuel, and fiber after the industrial revolution and unification. Spain had deals in place with America, Britain, and (if I'm not mistaken) Argentina. Germany was powerless to replace those losses, it was a simple matter of "cost v. benefit comparison" for Franco and Spain.
     
  15. Wiley Hyena

    Wiley Hyena Member

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    Agreed. But, if Franco ever came to the conclusion that the Axis would win the war, he would have joined to get in on the spoils. Free food had nothing to do with it. It was about Franco's belief that Britain could not be beaten.
     
  16. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    It is very difficult to keep hungry people enthused about engaging in external war, or aiding a nation their own "spokesman" (Admiral Canaris) is telling Franco to NOT DO.

    Hitler always sent Canaris to talk to Franco since he was not only fluent in three languages, including Spanish, he had great rapport with Franco. He told Franco that there was no way that the Nazis would come out of this war on top. There would be no "spoils" to get, and Franco got that notion about Britain from Canaris.

    The Franco family had also been one of naval tradition until the Spanish-American war which changed which military college Franco went into. If there had been a navy of any worth he would have followed his family tradition into it. He took the Army since it was all that was left reallly.

    It is a non-starter for getting Spain involved with the Axis in more than a symbolic way. They had been devastated by their Civil War, the land was not yet getting back into produciton, and even when it did grain output was woefully poor in times of low rainfall ('39,'40,'41). Their main crops which they could use for export were grapes (wine), olives (oil), and citrus fruits. Hard to keep people full and happy with those as staples. Franco knew he needed grain imports from abroad, Germany couldn't fill the needs.
     
  17. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Maybe in my post, it wasn't clear. The Germans preposition their paratroop and Ju-52's as Lufthansa aircraft and personnel, spread out over different Spanish airfields. Timed to take off and form up to drop on Gibraltar at the end of the Polish war when Britain and France are looking the other way.

    The U-Boats could be at various Spanish ports on goodwill visits, or even surge from Italy on the appointed time.

    The Germans were not above trickery.
     
  18. Wiley Hyena

    Wiley Hyena Member

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    Wasn't Canaris executed as a traitor? In any event, Franco had to be convinced Britain was going to lose before he committed to the Axis. And the spoils had to do with Gibralter and Northwest Africa.

    But, it is fairly apparent that Spanish intervention may not have been as patheticly effective as some may argue and it had to do with closing off Western Med to the RN. That's a strategic boone to the Axis.

    But, all in all, while i disagree with the assertion that Spain would never have joined the Axis under any circumstances, Franco was the smartest of the fascist dictators precisely because he never lost sight of the big picture. He was wily.
     
  19. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    There are too many good reasons why Spain would stay nuetral and not enough to join the Axis, still what might happen next is facinating!

    Germany is able to take Gibralter and seal off the western Med, a plus, but it starts to go south from there.

    Germany would need to send at least an army ( 6 to 8 Divisions ) to help Franco hold Spain from any Allied assault. Realisticly they could only come from the Barbarossa order of battle, thus weakening his attack there.

    An Allied attack is surely coming. The Allies, especially Britain, will wish to reopen the Med from the west. There will also be a severe temptation to begin a '2nd Front' in Spain either in late 1942 or early 1943. The Americans wanted the 2nd Front to go earlier, and the Soviets wanted them to go now so it would be difficult for Britain to resist the idea.

    The Pyrannes would both help and hinder each side. For the Allies they would provide good choke points to attack German supplies, for Germany it provides a good stop point to block the Allied advance.

    Now the fun really begins! The entire French coastline becomes a viable point for 'Overlord' in 1944. Allied fighter cover from northern Spain makes the Bay of Biscay a realistic option, and from eastern Spain the French Riviera looks more inviting.

    Germany must now deploy forces from Russia or Calais to reinforce these now more vunerable areas.

    One of the more intriging aspects is that there might never be much fighting in Italy at all till the end of the war!
     
  20. Wiley Hyena

    Wiley Hyena Member

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    The capture of the little Spanish airbase of Bilbao on the inland northern Spanish side of the Bay of Biscay does not compensate for the terrain difficulties involved in moving thru Spain against hostile forces. It's simply not worth getting into Spain for an airbase from which to support an amphibious invasion of the the Bordeaux region of France. Furthermore, you assume that the allies would want to try to establish another amphibious toe-hold after the Spanish coast (or Portugal) had been invaded. I doubt that because once they are in, the allies will need to enlarge their current bridgehead and forces without all the risks attendant with another amphib. In any event, coming thru the Pyrannes (or Spain in general) was not something the allies would want to do, regardless of whether or not Spain was in the war against them (refer to Napoleonic history). The northern coast of France was the preferred choice for the big strike, simply because of the topography, distance from Paris, and the number of and quality of Britain's airbases that could base fighters to reach there.

    Assuming Spain is in with the Axis and Gibralter has been taken, there is no doubt Britain will want to retake Gibralter. Thus, Cadiz on the Atlantic/Med side of Spain would be the logical choice for an allied landing in Spain. But, it would be hairy because of Axis airbases in that sector including Gibralter, and assuming an invasion was successful and Gibralter retaken, it will be a long and very bumpy road to Paris. Thus, only in this respect could I see an amphib of Spain followed by an amphib of France.

    Spain is not as easy as it may first appear. :)
     

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