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Why didn`t Franco come into the war on the Axis side ? And what would have happened had he done so ?

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by Justin Smith, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    There is no indication at all that Hitler wanted Franco to enter the war in june 1940,because after the fall of France (22-25 june) Hitler was waiting on Britain giving up .
    The fact that Franco owed Germany a debt,did not influence Franco' policy.
    Franco wanted Gibraltar,without fighting .
    About Gibraltar :it is to easily assumed that the Germans could capture Gibraltar (the Spanish role would be negligible):IMHO,a quick capture is most uncertain ,and,also IMHO:cool:,the effects of the fall of Gibraltar would be negligible (but,this has already been discussed ,see :"yes or no,Germans take Gibraltar)
     
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  2. leccy1

    leccy1 Member

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    I would consider it a defeat if they failed to complete their aims. At the end of the BoB the RAF was stronger than before it started while the Luftwaffe was weaker. The Luftwaffe failed in their aim to defeat the RAF and win air superiority.
     
  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    The only way Spain joining the Axis in a active manner makes sense for Germany short term and Spain long term (maybe) is if Germany has a clear and unambibuous western centric "England First' strategy. This would mean of course, no Russian invasion until England was either defeated (tough one) or forced to the peace table (not much easier). This would entail a reverse Overlord by Germany, or a 'southern strategy' aimed at hurting the British Empire, or both. Hitler sitting behind his Atlantic Wall would not impress Franco about Germany's desire for complete victory in the west.

    Short term Franco as a ally makes an attack on Gibralter feasable, and the chance to close off the western Med a realistic possibility. This inturn, gives Itaky a better chance to survive longer in the war, and possibly effect a successfull 'southern strategy'. As for Spain, the possible long term gain in a western centric German strategy, could be the annexation of Portugal and French North Africa (if they had any desire for them) and the knowledge that they kept the big dog in the kennel (Germany) from concluding that if your not with us, then your against us, and so we might as well send the Panzers over the Spainish-Franco border for a little old style regium change.

    But of course this only works if the bulk of the Hitler's Legions are uncommitted, and his gaze is firmly facing the west.

    So in short Franco's Spain remains nuetral.
     
  4. efestos

    efestos Member

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    I pray cite your sources. There are no Jewish ancestors in the Biography "Franco" (Paul Preston) I 've in my bookcase . I'm spaniard, I've never heard about Franco's Jewish ancestry.

    In the 60,000 Jews are included who crossed through Spain with Portuguese passport issued by Aristides de Sousa? Ángel Sanz Brizdid not receive instructions to turn in "Sephardic" the Jews of Prague.
    He did it on his own initiative
     
  5. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The Spanish army and economy were still recovering from the civil war and its doubtful that Spain could have done anything as far as military. This would require yet more German units to defend Spain adding yet another weak defender. At least Italy could pretend it had armed forces.
     
  6. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    Don't forget about the Spanish "Blue Division" that fought with the Wehrmacht against the Soviets. This tells us that Franco tried to help Germany as much as a neutral country could without upsetting the other side. The Blue division was composed entirely of volunteers, therefore Franco could always say that he didn't have a hand in it - some of his people simply wanted to fight with the Germans. In reality, Franco signed off on the Division's creation. They were probably Spanish Fascists with some experience in the Spanish Civil War, and were idealogically against Communism and, like someone else here already mentioned, devout Catholics (and therefore against Communist Atheism). Francisco Franco was smart not to get involved, in my opinion. As a result of this wisdom, he stayed in power as a Fascist dictator well into the 1970s, and his country was never ravaged by war!
     
  7. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    The Blue Division was mentioned at the beginning of the thread, and they were made up of the more radical of the Spanish Fascists, and were a sort of problem for Francom himself. Franco was a pragmatist politically, and instead of having them arrested or fighting them at the ballot box, he awarded them a parade and medals and sent them off to fight with Hitler. The few who survived that experience were never again a serious threat to Franco.
     
  8. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    To echo Clint's comment, both Hitler and Franco faced similar hazards, to be the leader of a 'revolutionary' movement that now had senior members who thought the leader had gone soft and abandoned the principles of the movement Hitler solved his problem with the "Night of the Long Knives' where he arrested and shot Rohm, senior SA leaders and just about anybody who offended him. A practicle solution that both eliminated his problem and solidified his support from the Army and industrialist's.

    Franco's solution was far more elegant. He rid himself of the 'radical' element of his movement, turned them into hero's of the state (as opposed to traitor's as Hitler did), earned credit with Germany and showed those radicals that remained in Spain that he was a true believer.

    As for the Blue Division, we should not oversell them. From accounts I have read the German commanders gave the credit for being willing to accept heavy casualties, but low marks for combat smarts. Or in other words they took far too heavy casualties to achive thier mission than a normal German division would.
     
  9. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith Member

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    Surely that depends on your definition of the term air superiority. The Germans didn`t have air superiority over the whole of the UK, or even over the whole of the SE of England.
    But if you define air superiority as the ability to have more planes in any area of the sky at any particular time then the position is arguable either way.
    Having said that, since the Luftwaffe never stood any chance of completely destroying the RAF, and even more significantly due to the English Channel and the overwhelming power of the Royal Navy, the exact definition of air superiority and whether the Germans ever had it, is really rather irrelevant.
     
  10. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    One must certainly be careful as to the definitions, but what the LW needed wasn't air "superiority", they needed air "supremacy" in order to launch the SeaLion operation with any hope of success. Superiority is the state of affairs where you air force is most likely to win a combat between aircraft in the same theater/combat level, supremacy is when your air force flies over enemy territory with NO credible challenge.

    The LW had supremacy in Poland, and the first of the western nations they attacked, but never over the British Isles, they never even managed "superiority" in British airspace.
     
  11. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    What about Franco not having the material to arm and supply his armed forces should they join the war effort? Franco knew he could not and told Hitler as much. He did state that inorder for him to join, Germany would have to supply arms to the Spaniards. Franco knew the Germans could not do this but his display to Hitler that he was willing to join but just could not did keep relations warm. In the end, it worked out for Germany having Spain as a neutral. Some needed material was received via Spain. Plus, that was less coastline Hitler had to worry in defending against an invasion. Franco was too busy trying to bring Spain back up from the civil war.
     
  12. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Franco gave Hitler a shopping list of materials that was at least a years worth of all of Germany's production and resources as a start to make the Spanish forces ready. He knew Hitler could not come up with the amount requested, but it gave him an out as to why Spain would not join in.
     
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  13. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    "Never ravaged after 1939" is closer to the mark-there was no shortage of devastation from 1936-1938. The Spanish Civil War had left the place an economic basket case dependent on food shipments from the West. Francisco Franco gets grudging respect from his detractors for keeping Spain out of the hostilities while at the same time assuring Western food shipments. The Spanish Blue Legion was disbanded in 1943 though some of it's members stayed on with the German forces. A common reason for joining the Blues was to get revenge on the Soviets for the devastation they had caused in the SCW where the NKVD had set up a Stalinist Police State. The Blue Legion was equipped by the Wehrmacht and used as a line division in the North. They seem to have fought with distinction and it is speculated that one reason Hitler did not invade Spain was that he would have faced a whole country of such men. THere are some good books on the subject; http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=0300122829 http://kunikovsreviews.blogspot.com/2007/02/hitlers-spanish-legion-blue-division-in.html A related thread; http://www.ww2f.com/prelude-war-poland-1939/40676-franco-canaris.html What would have happened if Franco would have jumped into Hitler's war with both feet? Well Gibralter would have likely fallen. A related THread http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=72074 Could have Spain's entry into the hostilities made a difference in the outcome? Given the poverty of the Iberian Peninsula of the time I am doutbtfull. More on Canaris and his good friend Franco and what part the German Spymaster might have played in keeping Spain neutral; http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=76&t=137566
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    While I agree with most of your statement I'd argue that they did indeed have air superiority at times in British airspace but they held it for only minutes or 10's of minutes.
     
  15. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith Member

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    I personally don`t think the Germans could have had a hope in hell of successfully invading Britain even with air supremacy, as in no significant opposition in the air.
    But, as it happens, they`d never have achieved air supremacy over the UK because the RAF could just have moved its planes to airfields out of range of the German fighters.
    As far as air superiority goes the Germans could have it for a period should they have chosen to. The only arguement is how long that period would have been.
     
  16. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    THere would also have been the Royal Navy to deal with. It seems certain that Hitler was preparing for Barbarossa later in the Battle of Britain and with the Red Army slowly recovering from the purges (Purges that Heyrich played a role in https://www.cia.gov/library/center-...nce/kent-csi/vol14no1/html/v14i1a08p_0009.htm ) Hitler probably felt that the time to deal with "THe Bolshevik Hordes" has fast approaching. Stalin seemed to have no clue as to what was coming his way. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-...es/studies/vol50no1/9_BK_What_Stalin_Knew.htm Interesting that Hitler claimed to Stalin the Eastward depoyments were to get the troops slated for the invasion out of the way of Allied bombers. Hitler was apparently one persuasive SOB.
     
  17. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    the role of Heydrich in the purges,is an invention by sensation journalist(which is a tautology)
     
  18. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    "What Stalin knew" is very questionable,and its review,is worthless,because,someone,who is using Suvurow as a proof,has deconsidered himself.
     
  19. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Wikpedia seems to accept as fact this allegation of Heydrich in framing Tuhkachevsky-though in the murky world of espionage it's possibly a yarn. It is also possible that the Marshall really was plotting against Stalin.
     
  20. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    In 1937,there was atmosphere of paranoia reigning in the SU :the higher one's position,the more he was suspected .And,meanwhile,Toekhatchevsky was doing unwise things:he was meeting with the British and French military leadership,pleading an alliance and a common preventive war against Germany .At the Soviet "parliament",Toekhatchevsky did the same :pleading for an alliance with the West against Germany .A chief of the armed forces expressing publicly opinions about the foreign policy of the SU,which were opposing those of Stalin ....,I can imagine wiser things to do .
    At the same time,Trotzky was writing :"If there is a war,someone as Toekhatchevsky could easily eliminate the regime ." (the spectre of Bonaparte was looming)
    About the role of Heydrich :Himmler became chief of the German police in 1936 only,and the SD Ausland (Heydrich's foreign intelligence service) was created at the same period,and ,only was a bunch of amateurs .
    The German general Spalcke(working in the Fremde Heere Ost,the military intelligence) considered the whole story as an invention by journalists (Angst vor einem Russischen Napoleon,Hintergrunde der Toekhatchevsky -Affaere,Deutsche Zeitung ,2-3 march 1963,P 22-Source :J.Benoist-Méchin:Histoire de l'Armée allemande,T IV P 264)
    People as I.Deutsch and W.Duranty (correspondant of the NY Times) were convinced of a possible coup d'état :IMHO,this was unlikely,but it is proving the atmosphere of paranoia reigning in the SU .
     

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