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What if Spain had joined the Axis?

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#1 PzJgr

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Posted 04 January 2001 - 04:47 AM

Granted, they would need some serious military aid but they would be an excellent partner because of their strategic location and potential manpower. Gibralter would have been easier to take over. Access to the Med would have been closed on that side to the Allies. There were many Spanish volunteers. My grandfather was one of them. Would Spain make a difference?

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#2 C.Evans

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Posted 05 January 2001 - 08:40 PM

The Spanish were excellent soldiers and they had high moral. I don't think they would have been allowed to make much a difference because the Allies would have kept on making threats, and Spain would not have been able to withstand an all out Allied attack for very long. That would have resulted in needless death and destruction. I do believe that they would have put on a very admirable fight anyway.

#3 J.Mahoney

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Posted 05 January 2001 - 08:49 PM

I think that the spanish soldiers would mostly be used in Russia. I dont think they would have been able to change the situation much-who knows?

#4 Otto

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Posted 05 January 2001 - 08:51 PM

I think the entrance of Spain into the war would have made things much easier for the Axis, and should, (i repeat should), have shifted focus from a European war to a Mediterranean War. It is more likeley that this extra frredom would have just made Hitler all the more reckless in his campaigns. Eg, attacking Russia sooner, or sending forces into the Black Sea.

#5 PzJgr

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Posted 05 January 2001 - 08:58 PM

That is a good point Otto. One can only go so far without stretching resources to thin. I also agree the Spanish had a different outlook on Facism. Their version was more nationalistic, less fanatical and racist. But their entry would have made the war more interesting.

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#6 J.Mahoney

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Posted 05 January 2001 - 09:18 PM

Great posting Otto, I had not thought about it that way, very interesting...............

#7 C.Evans

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Posted 06 January 2001 - 08:37 PM

Um, actually, many of the Blue Division soldiers were fanatics. Even after their goverment called it quits with the Germans. There were still many volunteers that stayed to fight in Russia, and were also fighting in the streets of Berlin at wars end.

#8 PzJgr

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Posted 08 January 2001 - 08:44 PM

I can vouche for that since my grandfather joined the Waffen SS before Spain sent any volunteers and he stayed there until the very end. That is why he had to leave Spain after his release from Dachau. Franco did not want any Nazi Facists. Apparently there was a difference between the Nazis and the Falange. Nonetheless, Spain did contribute indirect support to Germany. She is luck it was not overt and who knows how that would have turned out. Thanks for the replies.

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#9 Yankee

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Posted 08 January 2001 - 11:21 PM

I think we all recocnize the potentiol strategic importance of Spain and unused resources but we also have to realize that the Germans would have most likely had control of the Spanish armies and pissed them away on the eastern fron prefering to stretch their own lines even thinner with German soldiers garrisoning Spain. It would have turned from a springboard to England and victroy to another potentiol landing area for the allies from France to Spain is too much for the Germans to defend but that doesnt mean that still wouldnt have tried to do so anyway.

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#10 Desert Journeyman

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Posted 12 May 2001 - 04:04 PM

I'm not sure the theory that Spain would have made a large contribution is correct.

In the words of a friend of mine who has studied the issue, Spain was "reluctant to leave the fence." Many biographies of Franco recount the many demands he made of Hitler, in order that Spain "sign on" with the Axis powers. These included foodstuffs of impossible amounts, economic aid astronomical in all respects, and generally, contradicted Franco's ultimate goal - the reconstruction of Spain independant of outside interference.

The Spanish Blue Division fought consistently well on the Russian Front, but was demobilized in 1941, having been depeleted in manpower and supplies almost to the point of utter annihilation. The Spanish Fascists could never have been adequately supplied. Despite excellent morale and capable leaders, the Spanish would falter in the same mire that the Rumanians, Hungarians, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Lituhanians, and Finns found themselves. None were ever well-supplied or given the capability to counter Russian armor once Barbarossa had gotten underway.

Perhaps, given sufficient strength, the Spanish might have siezed Gibraltar, but that would be with the aid of Italian and German bombers reducing the port and strongpoints, while Hitler's airborne and infantry arm arrive to sieze the mountain fortress. Would Gibraltar's fall have aided German in the least? I'm not sure, after the U.S. embargo.
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#11 Miro

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Posted 12 May 2001 - 04:43 PM

One also has to remember, that Spain was not a 'unified' society, there was still a deep rift between the remains and symathizers of the Leftist Republicans and the Falangistas. Certainly the entry of Spain might have closed down ibraltar to the Allies, and certainly it would have made the U-Boat campaign easier, providing proper bases, instead of just neutral ports to the Wolfpacks. But on the other hand, Spain was weakened after the Civil War, it needed a lot of military and economic aid, and it might have turned into another Italy for the Germans, drawing away valuable resources and divisions from the main war effort in the East. It may have swung both ways, but I believe my second option would have been more likely.

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#12 Wittmann

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Posted 25 May 2001 - 12:51 PM

If the Spanish had joined the axis, I think they would have taken gibraltar. With or without german help. If that had happened, would the germans been able to control the mediterenian sea. The british troops supplied malta with plains, based in gibraltar so malta would have been lost. Another advantage is the distance between europe and africa. it would have been decreased a lot, that would have made the movements of troops safer and easier and maybe would have stopped the torch landings

#13 C.Evans

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Posted 25 May 2001 - 11:03 PM

I believe that Spains reluctance of "leaving the fence" stems from all the allied threats they were getting. Threats like: when the allise eventually won the war, that Spaine would be divided just like Germany was, four ways.

The Spaniards really could not stand the Russians, and did NOT want the communists there. Let alone the other powers. I think the Spaniards were smart enough to only "lean a bit" to one side but not completely get off the fence.

The Spaniards were also trying to repay their debts to the Germans for their help during the Spanish Civil War.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#14 COMET

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Posted 08 June 2001 - 05:15 PM

Just few words of a spanish one...

Spain in 1940 - 1945 was quiet destroy by the civil war. internally, the dictature were struggling against republican "maquis".

All the main industry (in catalonia and basc country) was complety destroy ans Spain needed steel, coal and other basic things...You should know that UK have granted all this things to Spain under one condition... not to be active on the AXIS side. And thats what Franco did...he did not allow the german army to cross Spain to attack Gibraltar (even if Portugal agreed this operation) but on the maintime it was good for spain to let the "volunteers" joint the Blue Division fighting the soviet army...

"Let me bite the "reds" but not bite me"..that was more or less the spanish policy during the WWII

#15 nowotny

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Posted 25 June 2001 - 06:57 PM

I think spanish wouldn't change the war because although spanish army was hard and his infantrymen were consider as formidable, they hadn´t any armour and modern weapons. Spanish industry was virtually destroyed during Civil War and couldn´t support a new war. Allied embargo would have been a disaster for Spain (thousands tonds of food and material was sent from South America to Spain). Finally an allied invasion could have been expected.

#16 Chris Ray

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Posted 22 July 2001 - 07:09 PM

According to Franco's foreign minister, Suner, Franco was keen to join the Axis forces but Hitler deliberately prevented this. Suner said that, when Franco made his demands for territory in North Africa at the expense of France, Hitler yawned in his face. After leaving the train Franco said; "This is intolerable. The Germans want everything and give nothing."
One can only wonder why Hitler did what he did. Surely it was not beyond his ability to give Franco what he wanted in return for a Spanish assault on Gibralter. He was supposedly negotiating with Marshal Petain at the same time, but it is difficult to believe that Hitler believed Vichy France would join the Axis. Given his high-profile approach to the meeting with Franco at Hendaye, the impression is that Hitler was deliberately using diplomacy to hide his intention of invading Russia by making it look as if he was trying to create a European alliance against England.

#17 C.Evans

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Posted 22 July 2001 - 09:27 PM

Dear Chris, great posting and welcome aboard smile.gif
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
:snoopy: :ww1ace:
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#18 C.Evans

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Posted 22 July 2001 - 09:27 PM

Dear Chris, great posting and welcome aboard smile.gif
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
:snoopy: :ww1ace:
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#19 C.Evans

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Posted 22 July 2001 - 09:27 PM



[ 22 July 2001: Message edited by: C.Evans ]
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
:snoopy: :ww1ace:
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#20 Chris Ray

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Posted 22 July 2001 - 10:22 PM

Thank you - I have written an article about the Battle of Britain and Hitler's so-called "peripheral campaign" if you are interested. I'm not quite sure how I could download it - perhaps you could advise.

Chris Ray

#21 Kai-Petri

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 02:01 PM

As mentioned in earlier replies here...

On June 14th 1940, Spanish troops occupied the city of TANGIER in Morocco, hitherto a free city under international control. Franco offered Hitler a Spanish entry into the war, if he would agree to an expansion of the Spanish colonial holdings in Africa (Spain demanded all of French Morocco, parts of Algeria and an expansion of Spanish Guinea). Hitler did not accept these terms..

http://www.zum.de/wh...ain/spwwii.html
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#22 Black Cat

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 09:34 PM

Having only relatively recently won a very difficult civil war with German assistance, would Franco have wanted to risk engaging in a war not of his making or interest which may reopen a civil war in which support and supplies would be forthcoming to his enemies from Britain as with France, Greece, Yugoslavia etc?

Franco was probably very surprised at his meeting with Hitler to find no compelling benefit to him being offered. This was the simple reason for his big wish list - unless there was real and significant offering to Spain and Franco, why risk reopening a civil war and the lives of his countrymen? I agree with the point that this was a little bit of a bluff from Hitler to steer attention away from the coming eastern front. Perhaps Hitler was hoping Spain may attack Gibraltar and that this may give Britain pause to reconsider accepting German peace overtures being offered in 1940?

On the Gibraltar issue, I would imagine the Spanish would not find attacking this stronghold very easy, far from it. If Franco lost this battle he may also risk being overthrown in anger. Also, if Gibraltar was attacked, the Brtiish were unlikely to sit by and accept it. Attracting the full wrath of Britain and other allies was not an objective of Spain.

For Hitler, it is difficult to see any strategic benefit of Spain entering the war. He had ports in France to use for the naval war. Hitler never really was interested in the Mediterranean other than to secure Greater
germany's southern flank. Had Italy never entered the war and remained neutral I doubt Hitler would have wanted to expand the war in this direction. North Africa, though it offered the opportunity for oil, was really about distracting considerable British focus and resources whilst assisting his Italian ally at relatively small cost with a small and poorly supported Afrika Corps, though a Corps brilliantly led by Rommel.

If Mussolini had been a little more of a realist as was
Franco than an opportunist perhaps he may also have lived to a ripe old age.

#23 TheRedBaron

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 12:01 AM

Spain would have been of little use. After the civil war the country was devastated. The ability of spanish troop sis difficult to judge but during the civil war was generally poor, but the efforts of the Blue division have askewed the view of their fighting abilities.

After the civil war Spain was not in a position to offer anything.

As an aside my stepfathers grandparents both fought during the Spainish civil war, my stepfather is spanish, both grandfathers were killed during the war fighting on the republican side.
"Watch that Fu*ker, he'll 'ave someones eye out!" King Harold at Hastings 1066.

#24 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 12:26 AM

On the whole Spain would have been a terrible liability for Germany had Franco openly joined Germany in the war.
Yes, Gibralter would have almost certainly fallen to Spain. But, this buys Germany little. It doesn't preclude a US invasion of North Africa. It doesn't stop the British from supplying their troops there either.
On the other hand, Spain's coast line adds hundreds of miles to the length of the Atlantic wall. Spain at most would have contributed only a handful of divisions no better equipped (and likely worse off) than those of Italy, Hungary or, Romaina. Spain would also have to keep a large home defense force stood up to protect against invasion. While the Pyrrnes (sp) would present an obstacle they certainly would not have proved as formidable a one as slogging up Italy did.
Spain could offer no large motorized or armored formations and, really didn't have a large up-to-date airforce.
Basically, Spain really doesn't bring anything to the table for Germany other than liabilities.

#25 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 12:28 AM

On the whole Spain would have been a terrible liability for Germany had Franco openly joined Germany in the war.
Yes, Gibralter would have almost certainly fallen to Spain. But, this buys Germany little. It doesn't preclude a US invasion of North Africa. It doesn't stop the British from supplying their troops there either.
On the other hand, Spain's coast line adds hundreds of miles to the length of the Atlantic wall. Spain at most would have contributed only a handful of divisions no better equipped (and likely worse off) than those of Italy, Hungary or, Romaina. Spain would also have to keep a large home defense force stood up to protect against invasion. While the Pyrrnes (sp) would present an obstacle they certainly would not have proved as formidable a one as slogging up Italy did.
Spain could offer no large motorized or armored formations and, really didn't have a large up-to-date airforce.
Basically, Spain really doesn't bring anything to the table for Germany other than liabilities.




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