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Subject: Rommel with 2 panzer Divisions.
Ghostrider    1/3/2006 3:16:08 PM
The North African Campaign has always been filled with what if scenerios. My thoughts on this is that Germany should have stalled on the Russian Theatre until it had more inteligence, however with the purges and the battle against the Finns, the Germans were way over confident. So what if the Germans assisted the Italians in the Balkans, and provided Rommel with 2 Panzer Divisions, and 1 Korps of Infantry (2-4 Inf Div.) along with the Italian 10th Army they might have succeeded in taking the Brits in N. Africa, or at least getting to Alexandria. Then perhaps the Turks might have sided with Germany with certain trade agreements and such.... then the Italians and Germans could have dominated the Meditereanean Sea. This would have allowed maybe a more in depth look at Russia in Strength, or at least changed the Time table to 1942. The Soviets would have more T-34's and such, and maybe Germany would have never went to War with the Soviets. Hitler said if he knew of the Russian tank strength of 14000 in 1941 he would have reconsidered... who knows?
 
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ProDemocracy    RE:Rommel with 2 panzer Divisions.   1/4/2006 10:53:03 PM
There is considerable documentation that Stalin planned to strike Germany in 1942. Also, the North African campaign was not so much who had the most tanks as much as who could get their needed supplies...as the Brits advanced, their supply lines lengthened and their strength was depleted. Same with the Germans. Once the Allies landed in North Africa, it squeezed the Germans enough - even though they staged some considerable offensive success against the Americans in Tunisia. The only time when a significant victory (prior to 1943) would have been possible in Africa is when the British nearly swept the Italians out in 1940.
 
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AlbanyRifles    RE:Rommel with 2 panzer Divisions.   1/5/2006 9:23:59 AM
He would have just run out of gas sooner. As long as Malta existed, DAK's position was untenable. Rommel always ignored the warnings of his logisticians...that is what finally did him in.
 
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Ghostrider    RE:Rommel with 2 panzer Divisions.   1/5/2006 11:48:39 AM
Correct, and had the Germans finnished the Meditereanean campaign...ie capture of the Balkans, Greece, and attacked Crete a little different, Malta could have been captured thus leaving the Axis forces capable of supplying their forces in Africa. My point was technicaly they could have captured all of Africa and the Med before the spring of 1942.
 
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Ghostrider    RE:Rommel with 2 panzer Divisions.   1/5/2006 2:21:17 PM
And again this is a hypothetical question, and I know the History of WWII well, this series of what if Rommel had 2 PZ divisions in the begining, aided with a Korp of Infantry, and assisted by Italian 10th Army. This operation could have happened if Germany saw into the future...ie.. planned ahead, they could have postponed Barbarossa until they crippled the Allied forces in North Africa. So this is a question of better strategic planning. My thought are, is that if they secured the Balkans, Crete and Malta...the later by using Raiders, or special purpose commandoes.. like the Brandenburgers and Italian midget submarines in coordinated attacks, and then covered by surface and u-boats they could have taken Crete and Malta more easily, along with the Luftwaffe of course. Then landing in North Africa and re-supplying their forces would have come easy, as the Luftwaffe could have patroled the Med with ease, and the U-boats and midget submaries could easily defend either side of the Med, near Gibralter and the Suez...ie.. two points of entry. Thus they could have possibly captured Alexandria, Cairo in a year is my thoughts. Then Turkey may have decided to join the Axis powers? who knows but I like punching buttons! hehe
 
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8486cofe    RE:Rommel with 2 panzer Divisions.   4/21/2006 8:37:15 PM
When Paulus(of Stalingrad fame) was sent by OKH to assess the situation in North Africa his recommendation was that a panzer group(4 Pz +2 PzGren divs) was required.
 
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Seeker    RE:Rommel with 2 panzer Divisions.   4/21/2006 9:25:39 PM
If Rommel had the sence to use the existing rail network in Libia , atleast 50% more fuel would have reached the forward troops allowing for both panzer divisions to operate alot more than the historical one even did. if you track the supplies sent and arrive you will see that 90-95% of the supplies sent reached N Africa.
 
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S-2    RE:Rommel with 2 panzer Divisions./Seeker Reply   4/22/2006 1:31:54 PM
" if you track the supplies sent and arrive you will see that 90-95% of the supplies sent reached N Africa." It sounds as though you may already have. I'd sure like to see the links. Is it possible that you could post your sources? Thanks.(;-)
 
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Seeker    RE:Rommel with 2 panzer Divisions./Seeker Reply   4/22/2006 5:35:22 PM
In Ellis "Brute Force" table 45 [index]Embarkation and disembarkation of supplies [fuel] to North Africa by Axis Merchant shipping June 1940-May 1943. It tracks the figures through out this period.Through July 1941 the amount is at most 1% rising to ~ 9% losses during that period.From July 41-April 1942 the allies do better with 9%-35% losses , while the period from April 1942-Oct 42 the figures are more like 5-15%. With the collapse after El Alamine the losses mount steadly from 15% to 44% [April 1943]. In Nofi "The War Against Hitler"pp 89 he notes "The Regia Marina ran 1210 convoys to Africa between June 1940 and December 1942. These loaded roughly 2,500,000 tons of supplies of which roughly 1,930,000 tons actually arrieved at their destination. " Roughly 14% of the material never arrived. Here are more detailed breakdown Jan-Sep-1940 0% losses [148,817 tons landed] Oct'40-Jan'41 losses 4% [197,792 tons landed] Feb-Jun'41 6.6% losses [447,815 tons landed] Jul-Dec '41 26.8% losses [356,294 tons landed] Jan-Jun '42 6.2% losses [441,878 tons landed] Jul-Dec'42 35.5% losses [337,409 tons landed] Its of interest to note that Africa Korps daily requirement of logistics was 1500 tons at full strength, while the above figures range from 1000 tons a day to 2200 tons a day. By the end of 1942 the force being supplied was double but Ellis points out that the amount of supplies reaching front units was often only 1/4 to 1/3 of what was needed. The fact that the land transport route invovled upto 1000 km of which at most 1/3 was by rail, while upto 1/3 could be moved along using coastal shipping [Coastal steamers/MPF/Sieble Ferries etc]. It looks like maybe 1/2 of the 'landed supplies' were actually reaching forward forces.
 
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S-2    RE:Rommel with 2 panzer Divisions./Seeker Reply   4/22/2006 9:11:25 PM
Thanks. Nofi keeps popping up with you guys. I'm going to have to check him out. Doesn't look like that there was much tonnage left over for the Italians. Plus matters were undoubtably complicated by Allied landings in Northwest Africa. I imagine that did untold wonders for the health of Malta.
 
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Seeker    RE:Rommel with 2 panzer Divisions./Seeker Reply   4/23/2006 1:03:16 AM
To the old hats around here Nofi should come as no surprise since he edited Strategy & Tactics Magazine through out the 1970s...infact the book is a compilation of some of the best of those articles.The book is from "Combined books" publishing which also published "Hitler's Army", which is a compilation of the best WW-I articles from the "Command Magazine", which came out in the 1990s.
 
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