Another again. . . What if



  • Another again. . . What if
    What if Spain took out the port and Airdrome in Gibraltar during the Summer of 42 and smashed the U.S and U.K. fleets bound for N Africa
    Have fun and enjoy
    S.A.



  • We sink the Spanish fleets and then proceed to invade Spain to by pass the Atlantic Wall.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Spain was an economic basketcase after the Spanish Civil War, as a result of the damage caused by the war itself and of Spain’s postwar isolation from the world economy (the latter being caused both by Franco’s trade – or rather anti-trade – policies and by hostility towards Spain by the foreign countries which had supported the side that lost).  Francoist Spain had grandiose plans to built itself some modern battleships, and may similarly have had plans to build up other parts of its armed forces, but it simply didn’t have the cash to function as a major military power and perhaps not even as a middle-level military power.  All of this has a two-part impact on Surprise Attack’s hypothetical scenario.  The first impact is that Spain wasn’t in much of a position to conquer Gibraltar, which was an important British naval base and which was no doubt heavily defended by the UK; even a failed attack against Gibraltar would probably have plunged Spain into a war with Britain, something that would not have been in Spain’s interest.  The second impact is that Spanish control of Gibraltar, in and of itself, would not have allowed Spain to “smash” the 1942 Operation Torch Anglo-American landings in North Africa; to do that, Spain would have needed a large modern airforce and a large modern navy, neither of which it had.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Spain would have just been a speed bump on the road to victory, and probably a better/earlier doorway to Europe than Normandy.  Had they joined the war I would have suspected a late 42 landing in Spain by the allies.

    Fighting would have been like it was up the boot of Italy.  Brutal but consistent.  It would then be considered a liberation of spain, and the allies would have turned the spanish people against themselves, propping up a new spanish regime.  This spanish beachhead would then have allowed massive allied armies to arrive and organize, supported by naval and air assets to rolling up the coast.  Franco and his men likely would retreat to central spain.  Cut off and surrounded it would only be a matter of time before total collapse.

    Allies would have reached Berlin in 44.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13

    Ok. So your saying with Franco getting total support (Army, supplies etc) from Hitler to attack Gibraltar  then the Allies would of just been delayed in taking Spain and Gibraltar ?

    And then Mussolini doesnt go the route he went and helped Germany more for Gibraltar Med and the axis not take Yugo and Greece maybe that would of made up his troop lost in Spain and Gib support.
    I do know Hitler wanted Franco to take Gibraltar hoping to cut off UK supply route and demoralize there navy. Now would there have been
    300,000 Troops ( always seems to be a different number) left in Dunkirk then ? War is war I wouldnt of let them go.
    But  Francos demands to do it were crazy according to Hitler. He was quoted in saying that Franco guy was crazy!


  • 2019 2018 2017

    @SS:

    {snip}
    But  Francos demands to do it were crazy according to Hitler. He was quoted in saying that Franco guy was crazy!

    Crazy like a fox. He didn’t want to join the War and so made demands he knew wouldn’t be met so that he could play both sides.

    Franco and Hitler met on several occasions, but an alliance never materialized due to reservations on the part of Franco. Although Franco did not allow Spain to join the Axis, Spain continued to aid the Axis powers as the “neutral” United States had [helped the Allied powers] before she joined the war.

    Source:https://ww2db.com/person_bio.php?person_id=243

    -Midnight_Reaper



  • I should have added that France turns into a belligerent and side with the Axis



  • Summer of 42 would not have favored Spain. That “what if” question happening in 1941 is very intriguing.



  • Thanks and yes it is.
    I love the “what ifs”
    I thought of one today
    What if the Island of Peenemunde was never bombed would it have made a difference in their Technology development


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @suprise:

    What if the Island of Peenemunde was never bombed would it have made a difference in their Technology development

    It would possibly have made some sort of difference, but I doubt it would have made a significant difference; by “significant”, I mean “having the potential to alter the course of WWII in a major way.”

    Consider a variation of the question: did the V1 and V2 programs, which actually did produce weapons which were used in combat, cause WWII to turn out differently than would have been the case if those programs hadn’t existed?  I don’t think they did.  The V1s and V2s did kill an appreciable number of people in Britain, did cause an appreciable amount of damage there, and did require the Allies to devote resources (such as reconnaissance and bombing campaigns against Peenemunde) that otherwise could otherwise have been used elsewhere, but the V1s and V2s came nowhere near to having the war-winning effect that Hitler hoped they would.

    If Germany’s A-bomb program had started five to ten years earlier and had had major resources (roughly on the scale of the Manhattan project) allocated to it, then the V2 project would have had the potential to alter the course of WWII, depending on how many A-bombs Germany managed to manufacture.  Which leads to a question that’s hard to answer: while a single German A-bomb, used as a V-2 warhead, could have destroyed the centre of London at one blow, how many A-bombs would Germany have needed to persuade the Allies, i.e. the US, the UK and the USSR and everyone else who was fighting the Axis, to surrender?  Remember that the US, for all of its massive efforts, had only produced three A-bombs by the war’s end…and the first one of those was expended in the Alamagordo test rather than being used in combat.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '12

    The Pyrenees would have proven a formidable defensive obstacle to the Allies pushing up through the Iberian Peninsula. So even if they could conquer Spain, I think the long term strategic value would have been questionable.  Much like Italy, as others have said.

    But I agree, otherwise Spain would have been toast.  Sure maybe some of the fanatical fascist units fight on.  Sure, the Germans roll in to provide support.  But fighting in central Spain probably would have been a war of attrition that would obviously favor the Allies.  Imagine the battle of Madrid being a massive siege costing hundreds of thousands of lives…. on both sides.  Not the kind of fight the Germans would want to be in.

    Also note, that the US Army was pretty dysfunctional in 1942. Read “Army at Dawn” about Operation Torch and it is clear that dedicating a larger force to a much more ambitious operation like invading Spain in 1942 would have cost the US a lot more casualties.  Operation Torch was really a debugging campaign where the US army started to get its act together after many successive screw ups.  Indeed, if the resistance in North Africa had been more than token in the initial landings, things would have gone differently, I think.



  • @Karl7:

    The Pyrenees would have proven a formidable defensive obstacle to the Allies pushing up through the Iberian Peninsula. So even if they could conquer Spain, I think the long term strategic value would have been questionable.  Much like Italy, as others have said.

    But I agree, otherwise Spain would have been toast.  Sure maybe some of the fanatical fascist units fight on.  Sure, the Germans roll in to provide support.  But fighting in central Spain probably would have been a war of attrition that would obviously favor the Allies.   Imagine the battle of Madrid being a massive siege costing hundreds of thousands of lives…. on both sides.  Not the kind of fight the Germans would want to be in.

    Also note, that the US Army was pretty dysfunctional in 1942. Read “Army at Dawn” about Operation Torch and it is clear that dedicating a larger force to a much more ambitious operation like invading Spain in 1942 would have cost the US a lot more casualties.  Operation Torch was really a debugging campaign where the US army started to get its act together after many successive screw ups.  Indeed, if the resistance in North Africa had been more than token in the initial landings, things would have gone differently, I think.

    Well of course the Army was A$$ in 42, we haven’t seen war since 1918 which tactics were different. I think the actual eye opening was Kasserine Pass that sweet little defeat for us.



  • @Gargantua:

    Spain would have just been a speed bump on the road to victory, and probably a better/earlier doorway to Europe than Normandy.  Had they joined the war I would have suspected a late 42 landing in Spain by the allies.

    Fighting would have been like it was up the boot of Italy.  Brutal but consistent.  It would then be considered a liberation of spain, and the allies would have turned the spanish people against themselves, propping up a new spanish regime.  This spanish beachhead would then have allowed massive allied armies to arrive and organize, supported by naval and air assets to rolling up the coast.  Franco and his men likely would retreat to central spain.   Cut off and surrounded it would only be a matter of time before total collapse.

    Allies would have reached Berlin in 44.

    With the rich history of the Duke of Wellington’s Peninsula War the British would not doubt  brought the War to Spain. If Italy was the soft underbelly of Europe, Spain would be the shriveled lifeless arm of “Fortress Europe.”



  • @ABWorsham:

    @Gargantua:

    Spain would have just been a speed bump on the road to victory, and probably a better/earlier doorway to Europe than Normandy.  Had they joined the war I would have suspected a late 42 landing in Spain by the allies.

    Fighting would have been like it was up the boot of Italy.  Brutal but consistent.  It would then be considered a liberation of spain, and the allies would have turned the spanish people against themselves, propping up a new spanish regime.  This spanish beachhead would then have allowed massive allied armies to arrive and organize, supported by naval and air assets to rolling up the coast.  Franco and his men likely would retreat to central spain.   Cut off and surrounded it would only be a matter of time before total collapse.

    Allies would have reached Berlin in 44.

    With the rich history of the Duke of Wellington’s Peninsula War the British would not doubt  brought the War to Spain. If Italy was the soft underbelly of Europe, Spain would be the shriveled lifeless arm of “Fortress Europe.”

    I’d argue that Spain would put up more of a fight than Italy and it would be easier for Germany to reinforce it vs what they did in Italy.



  • I am not sure whether or not Germany would reinforce Spain, or rather get in the same situation that they did with Italy. It would be very draining to fight throughout Spain. I think they would likely just hold the line in the Pyrenees over the mountain passes similar to the way they did in Northern Italy. Maybe supply some resistance groups in hopes that it drains the allies of more resources



  • History argues against that as Germany committed to the full defense of Italy and Franco was on better terms with Hitler so I can easily see German units in Spain.



  • That may be true. I think it would have been another situation where Hitler and his generals disagreed on what was most strategically beneficial. But we saw who generally made the decisions despite disagreement, so you may be right.



  • More than likely German High Command would argue against it as defending France is more important and Hitler kicks a door and says yes and the Wehrmacht rolls out the next day.


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