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Victor
12-21-2004, 09:49 PM
Watching a show about Rommel. They put up a map of the Med and it really hit me how harebrained the German strategy was to go at Russia the way they did. How much easier it would have been logistically to go directly into the Ukraine and the Caucasus from Bulgaria or Romania, or through the Dardenalles. All the countries in that area were Axis allies, the supply lines would have short, the weather was much milder, and the oil fields were right there. They could have closed the Mediterranean off from the Allies completely with U-boats, aircraft, and Italian ships, and about all we could have done was run supplies into Murmansk. We should consider ourselves lucky he was so crazy - or stupid. Look at a map, you'll see what I mean. He went out of his way to make the Russian campaign about as costly as it could possibly be to Germany.

This is why I have a - not a fascination, but an interest in war. What would our lives be like today if he had done this? He could never have been defeated, except maybe with an A-bomb.

[ 12-22-2004, 09:05 AM: Message edited by: Victor ]

yorgie
12-21-2004, 10:12 PM
Victor,concerning the Mediterranian,I think you are overestimating the potential of the Italians and underestimating the accomplishments of the Royal Navy.The Italians repeatedly squandered any advantages they had and the Royal Navy's desperate hold on the Med saved the war for the Soviets.

I personally know the radar officer from the AJAX.He and other very capable sailors used advanced technology and daring tactics to win victories over numerically superior and better supplied adversaries.

J. Dillon
12-21-2004, 10:36 PM
Speaking of Med. war or battles , how about this one involving over 800 ships? The smaller force won through superior tactics.

The battle of Salamis.

http://go.hrw.com/hrw.nd/gohrw_rls1/pKeywordResults?keyword=st9%20salamis

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-22-2004, 05:08 AM
The Battle of Salamis was the first sea battle that we know of where a democracy, inferior in numbers but superior in skills, saw off an invader. We would not be here now if the Athenians had lost...

Yorgie is quite right about the Mediterranean. It was not available to the Axis as a supply route because the Royal Navy controlled it. To do so the RN had to incapacitate the French fleet at Oran, destroy the Italian fleet, at Taranto (the prototype for Pearl Harbor - but the Italians knew were were at war...) and Matapan, keep Malta supplied through convoys, interrupt Rommel's supplies with submarines, evacuate Crete, supply Tobruk...and arrange the landings in Sicily and Italy.

carioca1232001
12-22-2004, 05:29 AM
yorgie originally posted :


and underestimating the accomplishments of the Royal Navy.... Should you ask a Brazilian Naval Officer who has the finest Navy in the world, you are most likely to hear:

"A Marinha Britânica.......os verdadeiros lôbos do mar !"

meant to convey the only, true sea wolves.

Victor
12-22-2004, 09:12 AM
Control of the Med would not have been essential to the Axis if they'd launched from the west banks of the Black Sea. Rommel started where the supply lines from Italy were shortest, but it was a long way to Cairo or anywhere else.

George.
12-23-2004, 06:06 AM
The problem with going straight for the Caspian oil fields was leaving a LOOONG left flank exposed to Soviet armies attacking south from Moscow. The German dillema was: secure the fuel supplies first, or destroy the Red Army first in a climactic battle for Moscow? Hitler decided to do both, and accomplished neither.

Boomkin Joe
12-23-2004, 06:42 AM
Originally posted by George.:
The problem with going straight for the Caspian oil fields was leaving a LOOONG left flank exposed to Soviet armies attacking south from Moscow.That's just the point, George.

Funny is, the General who stopped the Germans before Moscow got no praise from Stalin and feeling outraged, deserted to the enemy.
The Vlassov Army enrolled Ukrainians and fought all the war on the German side, and rather fanatically at that if I'm correct.