Decisive German Victory In North Africa 1942 - Timeline

The distances in NA are fucking huge. Progress over a division over a single road will be slow, even without opposition. And there will be at least some opposition, even if everything goes wrong or the British and everything right for the Germans. At El Alamein there's no outmanoevring possible, there won't be much left of their 500 armoured vehicles, and their supplies will be depleted. And the British will have set up some kind of defence, benefit from shorter supply lines from Alexandria, while the Germans need to get everything from their harbours in Libya and needs to be shipped by truck, taking truckloads of supplies to get the supplies at the front. NA is a logistical black hole for the Germans. And logistics weren't exactly their strong suit, to put it mildly.

All this was mentioned in your recent thread: https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/decisive-german-victory-in-north-africa-1942.511338/

I haven't allotted the Axis so far in the timeline any faster movement speed than historically occurred in the battles first three days.

Everything you said above about the distances and the conditions at Alamein are completely correct which is why the Axis lost the battle and their final initiative in Africa

The reason the British where able to ultimately resist at Alamein stem from the forces that escaped the bag from Rommel at the northern end of the Gazala line, and those that ran away from him at Matruh faster than he could catch them. Also, the 90th light division, historically couldn't hold on to the El Adem dumps after the third day because the problems with the French box stopped the rest of the DAK from moving up to support them.

This timeline alters those conditions, considerably, the 15th panzer now has an iron grip on El Adem, and 90th light has captured Belhamed and Gambut; that represents the entire supply node system and main rail head of the 8th army. The XIII corps HQ has been captured which will present an even more difficult command situation than the British already faced in the historical battle when 90th light and 21st panzer captured most of the brigade and regimental HQ in the first 48 hours
 
Possible. A couple of Jewish brigades, along with the Free French will be helping 9th Army hold the Suez Cannel. Rommel taking Egypt doesn't necessarily mean they will occupy Palestine.
True, I'm not saying it will turn WW2 around, more it kill a lot more innocents people and ironically might even usher in the end of empires even quicker if the Arabs become free and like Burma then side with the allies.

Though I doubt their will be a clean Rommel in this timeline.
 
You got that from the title didn’t you?
It does say "Decisive German Victory" for the title.

Seriously, anything unreasonable so far?
It's hard to imagine Rommel's luck holding to the point of the complete collapse of the North African theatre. The British know that if they lose Suez, that's a body blow they'd be hard-pressed to recover from. IE, they are not going to let that happen. And the more it seems like it's going to get that bad, the more the British will strive to prevent it.
 
You got that from the title didn’t you?
Seriously, anything unreasonable so far?
It does say "Decisive German Victory" for the title.


It's hard to imagine Rommel's luck holding to the point of the complete collapse of the North African theatre. The British know that if they lose Suez, that's a body blow they'd be hard-pressed to recover from. IE, they are not going to let that happen. And the more it seems like it's going to get that bad, the more the British will strive to prevent it.

Maybe my choice in title wasn't wise. Would what if Super Gazala? or Gazalagrad have been better?
 
As an aside... don't be too discouraged. Just be aware that WWII is well-trodden ground on this site and some people can be a little impatient with new posters doing an Axis victory timeline.

In the end, it's your story. The important thing is you enjoy doing it, and you clearly have a receptive audience. There will always be naysayers... keep at it. :)
 
True, but it's a very plausible change. That the French held out so long, bogging down the whole Axis advance was the improbable event. Rommel may well still be stopped at El Alamein, but with his forces fresher, and better supplied he would have a much better chance of pushing through to Alexandra. Beyond that, crossing the Nile, and capturing Cairo would present no easy task. A lot would depend on the reaction of the Egyptian Army. Many officers were Arab Nationalists, that saw an Axis victory as a way of liberating Egypt from British dominance. They could go ether way, and decide the fate of Egypt. If they join the Axis Rommel's way to Suez would be eased, and what was left of 8th Army would retreat south between the Red Sea, and the Nile. The 9th Army would move to form a line at the Suez Cannel.
I would like to quote this because it is very pertinent to this history, Keonig's 3700 frenchmen holding out against 5 axis divisions and their entire air force for 16 days was miraculous, and if judged outside the true history, it wouldnt be considered plausible at all
 
Maybe my choice in title wasn't wise. Would what if Super Gazala? or Gazalagrad have been better?
I’m not sure everyone would get the point. That aside. It’s really amazing with so many titles that one choses to log on this one and criticize it. Way before any follow on events tilted to far right or left from reasonable. It really proves it’s the very subject they are after and that they have no integrity as evaluators of content.
Don’t spend your time on it and can we please have some more…?

PS. Super Gazala would have been hilarious, Gazalagrad would draw a lot of heat when the posters discussed above logged on hoping and feeling entitled to read a story of a decisive German defeat.
 
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British El Adem supply dump:

This region had been built up over the previous several months to nourish General Ritchie's long planned and forever delayed attack against the PAA at Gazala, and his men where upon the greatest shopping spree of their lives, hundreds of thousands of gallons of petrol, water, hundreds of thousands of rations, cigarettes, millions of rounds of ammunition, 4 dozen running tanks under repair, and 26 British aircraft of the Desert airforce (which his unit destroyed on the ground)

They of course stirred up a furious response from panicked and surprised British rear security and logistic forces, but 90th light outnumbered them 8 to 1 and was reinforced right after lunch by the panzer regiment of the 15th Panzer division (butterfly from their eastward displacement) which gave them complete control of the area

Security was turned over to the 15th and Kleeman drove his half tracks and trucks full speed to the North East, vectored on by two of their divisions attached Fiesler storch aircraft and the 621st radio interception company which had identified the HQ of the XIII corps less than 10km away

I would like to quote this because it is very pertinent to this history, Keonig's 3700 frenchmen holding out against 5 axis divisions and their entire air force for 16 days was miraculous, and if judged outside the true history, it wouldnt be considered plausible at all
There's a fair bit of ASB in OTL, as in events that would be laughed off or called "Mary Sue' were they to occur in fiction.
 
Maybe my choice in title wasn't wise. Would what if Super Gazala? or Gazalagrad have been better?

I think what got peoples backs up is that the title combined with bits like

"The vastly oversimplified answer is command competence, namely the gross disparity in the high tactical competence of the Panzer Army Africa staff, radiated right down to its company commanders vs large scale criminal level command incompetence exercised by the British 8th army staff, from Auchinlek/Ritchie's staff right down to their company commanders."

Made people go "Oh look, its time for a well researched round of werhabingo." And yeah the language of that bit above basically goes "the 'clean' Nazi general is a god among men, the british were paint thinner sniffing morons.' And when something is usually praising the usual suspects of the German military (Manstein, Guduerian, Rommel etc) beyond what they were really like and to an unhealthy degree like above, it is a case of breaking out the bingo cards to see what gets checked off the list.

The problem with your de-rigure Nazi victory stuff is that really, it was damn damn damn hard, not just like 'well if this bridge was captured then...' or 'If only X piece of gucchi nazi kit came into service then....' but 'If this happens, then that happens, then America goes communist some time in the 1920s and the British and French general staff officers drink lead paint from the age of 2 and still get into position whilst Churchill gets struck by a car and everyone else in the UK govermnent after the fall of france goes 'that hitler fellow might be trustworthy this time' whilst Yellowstone erupts in America and the Norse Gods appear due to Himmler's pagan rituals and are bound to serve the Nazi's then yes. Sealion could work.' Levels of handwavium, and there's been LOTS of stories here like that, or ones where you get idealized super nazis who are clean and friendly because hitler gets better and they give the jews flowers instead of zyclon b. Or in one aggregious case where The Nazis did amazingly, and the Allies were beyond incompetent, and the author spent barely a sentence on the Final Solution, punctuating it with the words 'done humanely'....

So yeah, the title and Saint Rommel of the Panzer did result in

SaZW0Vn.png


Getting brought out.

You've done a ton of research, but Rommel wasn't a god and Nazi logistics were hugely stretched getting as far as he did, and the UK literally cannot afford to lose the Suez, it literally cannot, i'll see where this goes but i'm sure you've telegraphed it in the title.
 
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The distances in NA are fucking huge. Progress over a division over a single road will be slow, even without opposition. And there will be at least some opposition, even if everything goes wrong or the British and everything right for the Germans. At El Alamein there's no outmanoevring possible, there won't be much left of their 500 armoured vehicles, and their supplies will be depleted. And the British will have set up some kind of defence, benefit from shorter supply lines from Alexandria, while the Germans need to get everything from their harbours in Libya and needs to be shipped by truck, taking truckloads of supplies to get the supplies at the front. NA is a logistical black hole for the Germans. And logistics weren't exactly their strong suit, to put it mildly.

All this was mentioned in your recent thread: https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/decisive-german-victory-in-north-africa-1942.511338/
True, but in this situation Rommel has captured massive supply dumps only a few hundred miles from Alexandra, along with hundreds of British trucks, to ease the logistical problems. With the battle being finished up so much quicker loses of armored vehicles would be much lower then in the OTL. Rommel could get to El Alamein with 200 tanks, instead of 21. In the OTL Rommel's forces got to El Alamein in an exhausted state, in this TL they wouldn't be, while the British would have less time to set up defenses. With the more complete encirclement of 8th Army, and the lose of Corps HQ's the delaying action at Mersa Matruh might never happen, giving the British even less time to prepare.

Once the Axis capture Alexandra they can make it their major supply base. The British Mediterranean Fleet would have to redeploy to Suez, and Haifa, which would probably end any chance of resupplying Malta from the east. Axis aircraft in Egypt could effectively close the Suez Cannel by air attack, and mining. However with a longer shipping route British submarines based in Haifa, and Beirut would have more opportunities to intercept convoys. The RN also had the advantage of having broken the Italian convoy codes, so shipping loses may actually rise.

Losing Egypt would cause a huge crisis for the Allies, setting back their plans, but it would not win the war for the Axis, just make the ultimate victory harder, and maybe longer to achieve.
 
The constant references to the glorious "Sickle cut" as a blue print for a glorious Axis advance are also rather misplaced. Yes, it was a bold, daring plan but it needed a mountain of luck for it to come off. Take 100 different dimensions and it probably worked as per OTL in one.

Here at Gazala, German logistics were stretched to breaking point and even with the great victory they actually won, they still lost 70% of their tanks - tanks that were extremely difficult to replace. At the first Alamein they were reduced to 70 operational tanks, while the Allies had over a hundred more. By a Herculean effort, the Axis had 500 ready for the second Alamein, but were still outnumbered 2:1.

I don't doubt that TTL the Axis will race to the Suez Canal with virtually no opposition and probably win the war in the process.
 
It does say "Decisive German Victory" for the title.


It's hard to imagine Rommel's luck holding to the point of the complete collapse of the North African theatre. The British know that if they lose Suez, that's a body blow they'd be hard-pressed to recover from. IE, they are not going to let that happen. And the more it seems like it's going to get that bad, the more the British will strive to prevent it.
Yes but the Free French brigade box holding out so long was a piece of major bad luck. In fact it was an improbable event, that almost unhinged Rommel's whole plan, and allowed the British forces in the coastal area to avoid encirclement, and escape, making the later victory at El Alamein possible. In early 1942 the German Army was vastly superior to the British, in leadership, doctrine, and in most weapons systems. In the air they had superior fighters, and provided better CAS. Given anything close to comparable numbers the Germans would trash the British.

The British would certainly do everything in their power to save Egypt, but with the problems of time, and distance there would be little chance of deploying sufficient forces in time to reverse the situation. Historically it took the Allies till October to amass, train, and acclimatize the forces needed to defeat the Axis army at El Alamein. It also took an almost complete change in leadership. For all his faults Montgomery, with his methodical methods was what was needed to deal with Rommel's dash, and unconventional thinking. The Germans were just more tactically brilliant at combined arms operations, and almost always acted faster then the British, enabling them to take advantage of a rapidly changing situation, turning crisis into opportunities.
 
I think what got peoples backs up is that the title combined with bits like



Made people go "Oh look, its time for a well researched round of werhabingo." And yeah the language of that bit above basically goes "the 'clean' Nazi general is a god among men, the british were paint thinner sniffing morons.' And when something is usually praising the usual suspects of the German military (Manstein, Guduerian, Rommel etc) beyond what they were really like and to an unhealthy degree like above, it is a case of breaking out the bingo cards to see what gets checked off the list.

The problem with your de-rigure Nazi victory stuff is that really, it was damn damn damn hard, not just like 'well if this bridge was captured then...' or 'If only X piece of gucchi nazi kit came into service then....' but 'If this happens, then that happens, then America goes communist some time in the 1920s and the British and French general staff officers drink lead paint from the age of 2 and still get into position whilst Churchill gets struck by a car and everyone else in the UK govermnent after the fall of france goes 'that hitler fellow might be trustworthy this time' whilst Yellowstone erupts in America and the Norse Gods appear due to Himmler's pagan rituals and are bound to serve the Nazi's then yes. Sealion could work.' Levels of handwavium, and there's been LOTS of stories here like that, or ones where you get idealized super nazis who are clean and friendly because hitler gets better and they give the jews flowers instead of zyclon b. Or in one aggregious case where The Nazis did amazingly, and the Allies were beyond incompetent, and the author spent barely a sentence on the Final Solution, punctuating it with the words 'done humanely'....

So yeah, the title and Saint Rommel of the Panzer did result in

SaZW0Vn.png


Getting brought out.

You've done a ton of research, but Rommel wasn't a god and Nazi logistics were hugely stretched getting as far as he did, and the UK literally cannot afford to lose the Suez, it literally cannot, i'll see where this goes but i'm sure you've telegraphed it in the title.
I think your being very unfair to cardcarrier, he's not saying any of those things. So far nothing he's written is unlikely, and you don't know how this TL will turn out. It seems your reaction is highly emotional, based on a well justified contempt for the Nazis. I share your contempt for the Nazis, but the simple fact is at this time the Germans were tactically far superior to the British. Capturing massive British supply dumps would go a long way to easing Rommel's logistical problems, and it almost happened in the OTL. The title of the TL askes the question what would be the result of an Axis victory in North Africa. In my opinion capturing Egypt would not led to Axis victory in WWII. Let's see what cardcarrier does with it, before we condemn him.
 
I think your being very unfair to cardcarrier, he's not saying any of those things. So far nothing he's written is unlikely, and you don't know how this TL will turn out. It seems your reaction is highly emotional, based on a well justified contempt for the Nazis. I share your contempt for the Nazis, but the simple fact is at this time the Germans were tactically far superior to the British. Capturing massive British supply dumps would go a long way to easing Rommel's logistical problems, and it almost happened in the OTL. The title of the TL askes the question what would be the result of an Axis victory in North Africa. In my opinion capturing Egypt would not led to Axis victory in WWII. Let's see what cardcarrier does with it, before we condemn him.
Firstly, you are ignoring the fact that this supposed German brilliance was based on excellent intelligence via Bonner Fellers and the 621st. Fellers was outed as the leak on June 12 1942, the US confirmed the leak on June 14th 1942 and Fellers switched codes on June 29th, presumably being told nothing by the British in the fortnight between the second and third of those dates. Fellers was transferred out of Egypt on July 7th. Oddly enough Rommel's amazing string of victories ended at about the same time and he was beaten to a draw at First Alamein in July.
Secondly those massive British supply dumps will not get replenished, only exhausted, especially when Rommel uses British trucks that he has no source of spare parts for - other than to cannibalise other captured British trucks. Gazala was a great success for Rommel, yes I am not denying that. It also was at the upper limit of his luck and logistics. Once his intelligence is cut off and his logistics become hopelessly over-stretched again he has to stop advancing, because the distances are too great and the Alamein line is ahead. Ritchie has been fired and Auckinleck is now in charge.
Having Rommel continue to roll sixes after June 12th is unlikely to say the least.
 
Firstly, you are ignoring the fact that this supposed German brilliance was based on excellent intelligence via Bonner Fellers and the 621st. Fellers was outed as the leak on June 12 1942, the US confirmed the leak on June 14th 1942 and Fellers switched codes on June 29th, presumably being told nothing by the British in the fortnight between the second and third of those dates. Fellers was transferred out of Egypt on July 7th. Oddly enough Rommel's amazing string of victories ended at about the same time and he was beaten to a draw at First Alamein in July.
Secondly those massive British supply dumps will not get replenished, only exhausted, especially when Rommel uses British trucks that he has no source of spare parts for - other than to cannibalise other captured British trucks. Gazala was a great success for Rommel, yes I am not denying that. It also was at the upper limit of his luck and logistics. Once his intelligence is cut off and his logistics become hopelessly over-stretched again he has to stop advancing, because the distances are too great and the Alamein line is ahead. Ritchie has been fired and Auckinleck is now in charge.
Having Rommel continue to roll sixes after June 12th is unlikely to say the least.
Intelligence of that kind is a great asset, and losing it was a serious blow to Rommel, but German tactical superiority was based on many factors. Their combined arms doctrine was far better then British doctrine, and their leadership was generally better at all levels. The stocks at the supply dumps would be more then enough to get the Axis to Alexandra, since they far exceeded what Rommel had in the OTL, and the trucks don't have to do anymore then they'd doing, just in the other direction. The logistical wear & tear your talking about would take sometime to breakdown the captured truck fleet, and Rommel was already dependent of British trucks anyway. Just what troops would be holding the Alamein position if the XIII Corps had been encircled, and destroyed along with the troops defending Tobruk? The Axis would be far stronger, and the British far weaker at this alternate 1st Battle of El Alamein.
 
@steamboy, in this particular context Gazala May 1942, the British 8th field army command structure was incompetent. This was remarked by none other than their own CIGS Sir Alan Brook who sacked everyone after the battle. Bonner Fellers regarded the 8th army command structure as completely incompetent, and his views where affirmed by Roosevelt and Marshal

Montgomery for all his ego and maybe being a little too conservative, ran a tight well organized ship, and crushed the Germans with much more modest losses to his own forces, and won the war. Every book I have ever read on Gazala including Alan Brook's own published Diary says the 8th army command staff in that battle failed at every level

In regards to ~clean Rommel~ Rommel was a child of Wilhelm's second Reich and had no particular problems killing people and overly violent military control of civilian areas. He had no particular problem with Nazis since they offered rapid military promotion, it's not like he resigned from the army after being Hitler's personal military adviser during the invasion of Poland which meant he saw that box on the map that was the Einsatzgruppen and knew exactly what they where doing. I am sure if he was sent to Russia his troops would have slaughtered Jews and Russian civilians and burned villages just like every other German formation

In Africa/Italy/France he committed war crimes, but by the standards applied to Western commanders he would probably have only gotten a moderate prison sentence if any at all, people with far more blood on their hands received no punishment and even became high level Bundswehr and NATO officers
 
Since Sickle Cut/Stroke keeps getting invoked as a symbol of German tactical/strategic superiority lets break it down.

1-Contrary to myth there was nothing ground breaking in the strategy of Sickle Cut, it relied on the well established concept of concentration of force at a weak point in the enemy line. In the case of Sickle Cut the weak point was created by drawing the best of the French forces forward into Belgium and leaving the Ardennes lightly defended. As to the concentration of force the Heer could only achieve this by committing every panzer available to the first phase of the attack, there was no armoured reserve to come to the rescue if things went wrong, making Sickle Cut an enormous gamble.

2-Next is luck, not the myriad bits of good fortune during the fighting, such as Rommel not getting his head shot off at Arras, but the larger strategic luck that helped create the weak point the Germans exploited. Up until spring 1940 the French plan to meet the German forces in Belgium was, as again people tend to ignore, the right one. The German battle plan put together in 1939 was a mechanized rerun of the Schlieffen Plan and had Hitler gotten his way and attacked France in November 1939 or January 1940, this lacklustre piece of strategic thinking would have been put into effect. As it was what initially seemed like a disaster for the Germans turned into a massive advantage. In the Mechelen incident the French captured a copy of the German battle plan and with this confirmation of their expectations the French added more weight to the planned advance into Belgium, drawing elite divisions from the reserves that had been assigned to the Ardennes region. The extent to which the loss of the plans affected German thinking is up for debate, there was still resistance to Manstein’s plan after the Mechelen incident, but once they did change plans the French forces in the Ardennes were far weaker and of lower quality than they would have been without Mechelen.

3-Geography, that is the way that the landscape of France played in the success of Sickle Cut. In the simplest terms Wehrmacht logistics could support an advance of about 500km, beyond which things became vey sketchy as the supply lines consumed more supplies than they delivered. In France obviously this wasn’t really an issue and of course water and food were easily available from the benevolent French country side, which was also of course quite temperate. Few, and on occasion none, of the above would apply in the Middle East and Russia. When the Germans tried to codify the tactical improvisation of Sickle Cut into the strategic dogma of Blitzkrieg ignoring these facts would come back to haunt them, as would one last geographical contribution to the success in France. Sickle Cut essentially depended on drawing the cream of the French armies forward and then sweeping round to cut their lines of supply and trap them in a pocket. The pocket required a natural barrier to pin the French against and the English Channel provided that. The heroics of the RN/RAF/BEF aside the plan achieved its primary goal. When the Heer tried to repeat the same tactics under the banner of Blitzkrieg in the Middle East and USSR, where the enemy could retreat and trade space for time, they almost inevitably failed.

4-Infrastrucutre. It should go almost without saying but the dense road and rail networks of France were a massive boon to the fast moving Panzers and their supply lines. However it should also be noted that even in these benign conditions after a fortnight many Panzer formations were down to 50% strength, largely through breakdowns and accidents. In the far harsher conditions of the desert and step the attrition was worse.

The TL-DR version. Sickle cut was a tactically improvised gamble that worked and persuaded the Wehrmacht they had come up with some radical new form of warfare that they called Blitzkrieg, and they clung to the concept even as it repeatedly failed them after the Battle of France.
 
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