The transports north of Germany? If you mean the North Altantic ships, the battleship and transport in SZ 2, than I think you should avoid it. The Russian player will usually have moved its submarine there R1, and Germany can only bring 1 sub, 1 bomber, and 1 fighter, and with the British battleship taking 2 hits to kill, there is too much of a chance for Germany to lose both planes and maybe not even sink it! Now if Russia hasn’t added its sub, sounds intriguing…
But as for clearing the Med, it is Absolutely Necessary for the German player. The battleship off Gibralter, the destroyer of Egypt, and Egypt itself are primary targets for Germany Turn 1. Usually the Altantic sub and 2-4 fighters go aftern the BB (you kinda of want to bring enough here to get two hits on the first round, don’t want to lose more than the sub here). The German med fleet loads land units from Southern (what you bring depends on the bid–i.e. if any “extra” units were placed in Libya by the Axis player as a result of a bid to play that side. Most players feel the game is slightly weighted to the Allies, and therefore in competition often spot the Axis a few units and/or IPCs to even it out. In our tourney that average bid has dropped to 4-8 IPCs, though I feel it shoudl be closer to 9-12 IPCs at least). This med fleet encounters the destroyer, usually with a fighter from Ukraine if it was not attacked Russia Turn 1, and then offloads into Egypt, with a bomber from Germany and maybe another fighter from Balkans.
Leaving the battleship alive is crazy for obvious reasons–UK would be a wicked force early in the game if it was not sunk G1. The destroyer is rarely left unattacked as it will always* be attacked when Egypt is invaded, and often in the rare times Egypt is not. I have seen quality opponents leave Egypt alone G1, which I considered myself for a bit. However, left alone Egypt has WAY too many options in the African/Indian theater. Force him to retake Egpyt on UK1, in which case India is weakened for Japan. If Egypt is taken strong (2 INF, 1 ART, 1 ARM in one game recently), and UK cannot attacke, well then Germany can gain very much income for several turns in Africa, a perilous situation for the Allies.
You will find many threads going back on German first turn strategy. I believe it is the most important purchase and combat move of the game, and the most inflexible for me in play (thought I have totally flip-flopped on naval buys). It may seem too rigid, I would love to find a way to something new as Germany, but clearing the MED is IMO more important than threatening Russia on G1. Once those first turn dice come out, the game becomes very volatile and I believe things open up considerably starting as early as USA 1. I have played two games lately against some seriously skilled players, and in both had the same overall strategy as the Allies. YET they are very different games. The tides have turned for me and Switch so many times in the last three turns (and we are only on FIVE) that I cannot tell who’s winning but is is FLUID!
Sounds like you have the right idea as Germany. Stick to wiping out the Brits in Africa and don’t overreach on the Eastern Front and then after you can get creative with Germany.
*I once, and only once, dabbled with an 8 bid for Axis, with an ART in Libya, and bring fighters from Ukraine and Balkans, and the bomber from Germany, and sending the battleship and transport into SZ 13 with the sub and 2 fighters. Thus having a good chance of killing Egypt in one round without troops from Southern Europe, and killing the British battleship without losing anything (absorbing its hit with the German BB), taking Gibralter so UK cannot send fighters from England in a counter-attack. I thought combined with an AC purchase in the Baltic would threaten a merge in G2 that would screw with the Allies. I got massacred in a LowLuck game trying this out, which is a different beast but still the memory of that has changed my game, I think for the better.