Germany follows the Goering stratgy in 1940 and 1941

temporary relocation of the fleet from Alexandria when Rommel reached Alemein
Facts not in evidence. What concerned the RN was the slight possibility that Alexandria could fall to ground assault if the British army could not stop the Germans at a little railroad station a few dozen kilometers away. Sail a little out of reach (Suez, still in Axis air power range.) and see how the fighting fared at El Alamein. Once that issue was settled, they resumed their berths even though they were STILL well within Axis air power reach.
 
Facts not in evidence. What concerned the RN was the slight possibility that Alexandria could fall to ground assault if the British army could not stop the Germans at a little railroad station a few dozen kilometers away. Sail a little out of reach (Suez, still in Axis air power range.) and see how the fighting fared at El Alamein. Once that issue was settled, they resumed their berths even though they were STILL well within Axis air power reach.
The stated reason was that the anchorage was now within escorted JU-87 range after the debacle at gazalla, that's the fact as put to the fleet, as it was 2 years before, and when they went against their own advice in 1941 they ended up with 2 capital ships being damaged by dive bombing
 
The stated reason was that the anchorage was now within escorted JU-87 range after the debacle at gazalla, that's the fact as put to the fleet, as it was 2 years before, and when they went against their own advice in 1941 they ended up with 2 capital ships being damaged by dive bombing
Is that so? Show me. At this point I need the sources to justify that set of statements, because that is not the narrative I know.

DECEMBER 1941
19th - That morning as Force K struggled to survive, three Italian human torpedoes launched from submarine “Scire” (Cdr Borghese) penetrated Alexandria harbour. Their charges badly damaged battleships “Queen Elizabeth” with Adm Cunningham on board and “Valiant”. They both settled to the bottom and the Mediterranean Fleet battle squadron ceased to exist. News of the sinking was kept from the Italians. .
Checking the chronology, it appears that the fleet did NOT pull out except under the conditions I specified. In fact it appears they fought hard quite close to axis airpower all through 1942 despite the ITALIAN success with their special operations forces. Can you explain this?
 
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Usually the best that is suggested is handwaves along the lines of “Hitler will offer them more” or “the Spanish won’t be able to stop the Germans rolling over the border”. Both of which OTL suggests the actual Germans thought otherwise
my view the Vichy regime validated AH's idea with the defense of Dakar, and they thought territorial issues would be easier to resolve with a defeated USSR and UK brought to the table?
 
The most advanced axis air strips where now 90 miles from Alexandria I'll
Is that so? Show me. At this point I need the sources to justify that set of statements, because that is not the narrative I know.



Checking the chronology, it appears that the fleet did NOT pull out except under the conditions I specified. In fact it appears they fought hard quite close to axis airpower all through 1942 despite the ITALIAN success with their special operations forces. Can you explain this?
The fleet temporarily evacuated Alexandria when Rommel was motoring to Alemein; because Axis air strips where now within less than 100 miles of the anchorage; escorted JU-87 range, it's noted in the imperial war museum's chronology of the campaign which I can post a link to if you'd like, and it makes sense that you wouldn't leave your fleet in escorted Ju-87 range and risk them being damaged or sunk at anchor
 
All this talk of Stukas against battleships is worthless. The RN isn't going to bombard the siege artillery once Gibraltar is besieged, because there is zero chance of lifting the siege by doing so.

Getting back to reality... the suggestion earlier was that Germany should invade Spain to take Gibraltar. Let's run with this.

Obviously Germany would prefer to have Spain join, rather than have to invade. So the POD is after Hendaye, 23rd October. Let's assume that Germany has already made some preparations, and they invade in early November. Spain is now a British co-belligerent, so let's assume that they make a deal for British basing rights in the Canaries. By early December, Gibraltar is under artillery fire and is worthless as a base. How long it can hold out is irrelevant. Force H has moved to the Canaries.

Questions now - how does Portugal react, and what happens with the Spanish protectorate in Morocco? Do we get British troops in Morocco too? If so, then that's another territory for the Axis to waste valuable time clearing out.

For Germany - now what? Taking Gib hasn't actually helped much. The Med was already closed. Convoys round the Cape can be covered from the Canaries. I suppose the next target is Malta, but that's in Italy's sphere of influence and Mussolini was quite keen to keep it Italian. Happily though, Operation Compass happens from December, and by February Italy has rather changed its tune.

Let's assume that a joint Italian-German operation is planned for spring 1941. Along side Greece and the Balkans. Let's also assume they have the capacity for this. Let's further assume that it works and Malta falls in spring 1941, but that Crete is not attacked.

Now what? Well, none of this has helped in itself, but the Axis can now they run coastal convoys along North Africa and start building the railways needed to bring up the supplies needed to break an Alamein position. So by the end of 1941 or early 1942 they may be in a position to start thinking about how to break through there.

So a frontal assault against an entrenched, well-supplied, and now well-equipped (with US material) enemy close to its supply bases?

The Med strategy is a long, hard slog to achieve nothing useful. The Med is a strategic dead end for Germany.
 

nbcman

Donor
The most advanced axis air strips where now 90 miles from Alexandria I'll


The fleet temporarily evacuated Alexandria when Rommel was motoring to Alemein; because Axis air strips where now within less than 100 miles of the anchorage; escorted JU-87 range, it's noted in the imperial war museum's chronology of the campaign which I can post a link to if you'd like, and it makes sense that you wouldn't leave your fleet in escorted Ju-87 range and risk them being damaged or sunk at anchor
That's not mentioned in the Admiralty's War Diaries for the Mediterranean Fleet in late June 1942 through July 1942 although there is a reference to 'possible heavy air attack'; however, there never was heavy air attacks launched on Alexandria:

Saturday, 27th June 1942

Western Desert

Operation DISCRETION (N)


2. A meeting was held at Navy House to discuss this operation, the orderly retirement of the Fleet to Port Said and Haifa, at which all Flag Officers and certain other authorities in the port attended.

3. QUEEN ELIZABETH was successfully undocked at noon and sailed at 1800 from Alexandria for Port Sudan. She had been temporarily repaired after less than three months in the floating dock. The final stage of repairs to allow the ship to be undocked was completed in a greatly reduced time, all efforts being concentrated upon her.

Sunday, 28th June 1942

Alexandria


2. As result of the possible use by the enemy of Mersa Matruh landing grounds and resultant heavy air attack on Alexandria, the Commander in Chief decided to sail non-essential merchant shipping and warships south of the Canal.

3. WOOLWICH and RESOURCE sailed for Port Sudan escorted by JERVIS, JAVELIN, ERIDGE, BEAUFORT, EXMOOR, and ALDENHAM as far as Port Said.

Monday, 29th June 1942
Operation DISCRETION (N)


3. The Flag of the Commander in Chief was transferred to FLAMINGO. At Gabbari preparations were begun for the transfer of the Administrative Staff to Port Said and the Operational Staff to a combined headquarters at Villa Laurens near 201 Naval Cooperation Group.

4. A 117 was sent to Gabbari steps to embark office furniture and records for Port Said.

Tuesday, 30th June 1942
Western Desert


The Eighth Army had withdrawn on to the El Alamein defensive lines. The Naval Liaison Officer, Eighth Army, returned from Headquarters, and reported the situation to the Commander in Chief. He reported that sea bombardments were now of little use due to dispersion and distance from coast. Twelve hours notice of any requirements would be given. Bombardment forces of two cruisers and destroyers were formed and sailed to Port Said and Haifa. C.S. 15 in CLEOPATRA and EURYALUS and destroyers formed Force B at Haifa; Rear Admiral (D) Mediterranean in DIDO with the ARETHUSA formed Force A at Port Said.

Air Raids

2. Minor air activity in the Alexandria area. One land mine was dropped on Dekheila aerodrome and two aircraft being slightly damaged.

Operation DISCRETION (N)

3. The Commander in Chief and Operational Staff were established in Villa Laurens, until recently occupied by the Torpedo Training School, H.M.S. PHAROS. The Operations Room and a few officers were accommodated in 201 Naval Cooperation Group Headquarters. This move to establish a combined Headquarters at 201 Naval Cooperation Group had long been contemplated.

4. The Commander in Chief's Administrative Staff left by rail for Port Said to set up officers in the Marina Savoy Hotel.

5. Early in the day the military situation had somewhat deteriorated and all staff at PHAROS were at short notice to move again. All secret documents and papers not considered essential were destroyed to reduce baggage to a minimum.

6. All ships at Alexandria raised steam and the evacuation of shipping was ordered. This was relaxed to a certain extent by the end of the day as the military situation showed some improvement.

7. W.R.N.S. and official women were evacuated by train to Ismailia where they were embarked in S.S. PRINCESS KATHLEEN who was sailed for Suez.

8. As much shipping as possible was ordered south of the Canal.

9. Naval and Royal Marine personnel were used to assist the military to man the Alexandria defences.

10. Operation HORNBLOWER, State Three was ordered. All hands proceeded to their stations for demolitions.

Events in Alexandria Dockyard

11. The loading of merchant ships with naval, victualling, gunmounting, and armament stores took place throughout the day. Eight merchant ships were retained for the purpose.

12. Owing to the speed with which Operation DISCRETION (N) was brought into force, and Heads of Departments, due to security requirements, not having made the preparations beforehand, there was some dislocation in the Dockyard. Deliberate alarmist reports put out by fifth columnists contributed to the loss of many valuable stores by theft and looting. The rapid departure of many ratings and the staffs of some Departments, left buildings unguarded for a short period. In addition, many stores were taken on board minesweepers and small craft for eventual passage to Port Said; the majority of these were later recovered.

Loss of H.M.S. MEDWAY

13. At 0925 MEDWAY was struck in the engine room by three torpedoes and sank in thirteen minutes. 1105 survivors were picked up by ZULU and HERO and taken into Haifa and Port Said respectively. DIDO continued to Haifa with SIKH, EXMOOR, ALDENHAM, CROOME, and WESTCOTT. MEDWAY had onboard between 80 and 90 torpedoes. 47 of these were later recovered by ALDENHAM and small craft. About thirty ratings were lost; there were no officer casualties.

Wednesday, 1st July 1942

Alexandria


2. Ammunition in the port area was reduced to nine days notice for evacuation.

French Fleet

3. As a result of the German advance in Egypt, the movement of French ships from Alexandria became a question of some urgency.

Air Raids

4. During the night Alexandria was raided by a few aircraft. Some bombs were dropped but no naval damage was caused.

Operation HORNBLOWER

5. Stage three was reverted to four hours' notice.

Operation DISCRETION (N)

6. All staff at 201 Naval Cooperation Group and Villa Laurens remained at short notice to move, and gear was packed into lorries. The Ministry of War Transport, Middle East, and the Principal Sea Transport Officer, (Egypt)'s offices in Alexandria were closed down, being transferred to Suez.
Edit: However, the whole fleet didn't evacuate and light ships were still active in the Med bombarding Axis positions and making a general nuisance of themselves to the Axis forces in the RN tradition.

EDIT2: And the SAS was also making trouble with the Raid on Sidi Haneish Airfield in late July by blowing the snot out of JU-87s on the ground.
 
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The most advanced axis air strips where now 90 miles from Alexandria I'll


The fleet temporarily evacuated Alexandria when Rommel was motoring to Alemein; because Axis air strips where now within less than 100 miles of the anchorage; escorted JU-87 range, it's noted in the imperial war museum's chronology of the campaign which I can post a link to if you'd like, and it makes sense that you wouldn't leave your fleet in escorted Ju-87 range and risk them being damaged or sunk at anchor
How does this prove what you said when the fleet only moved when Rommel's army showed up? You have not proved any of your statements or sourced them. Not one.

But this is getting off topic.

All this talk of Stukas against battleships is worthless. The RN isn't going to bombard the siege artillery once Gibraltar is besieged, because there is zero chance of lifting the siege by doing so.
Properly a job for aircraft carriers.

Getting back to reality... the suggestion earlier was that Germany should invade Spain to take Gibraltar. Let's run with this.
Obstacle 1. Franco.
Obviously Germany would prefer to have Spain join, rather than have to invade. So the POD is after Hendaye, 23rd October. Let's assume that Germany has already made some preparations, and they invade in early November. Spain is now a British co-belligerent, so let's assume that they make a deal for British basing rights in the Canaries. By early December, Gibraltar is under artillery fire and is worthless as a base. How long it can hold out is irrelevant. Force H has moved to the Canaries.
Or to Spanish Africa, which means geographically from a naval point of view, nothing has changed. That is a good point.
Questions now - how does Portugal react, and what happens with the Spanish protectorate in Morocco? Do we get British troops in Morocco too? If so, then that's another territory for the Axis to waste valuable time clearing out.
How? The Axis has ZERO amphibious lift in local access.
For Germany - now what? Taking Gib hasn't actually helped much. The Med was already closed. Convoys round the Cape can be covered from the Canaries. I suppose the next target is Malta, but that's in Italy's sphere of influence and Mussolini was quite keen to keep it Italian. Happily though, Operation Compass happens from December, and by February Italy has rather changed its tune.
The Regia Marina has two Regiments worth of amphib capability. I think the Esercito had maybe 3 battalions of paras. So how does that work again?

Let's assume that a joint Italian-German operation is planned for spring 1941. Along side Greece and the Balkans. Let's also assume they have the capacity for this. Let's further assume that it works and Malta falls in spring 1941, but that Crete is not attacked.
Alexandria is fat dumb and happy.

Now what? Well, none of this has helped in itself, but the Axis can now they run coastal convoys along North Africa and start building the railways needed to bring up the supplies needed to break an Alamein position. So by the end of 1941 or early 1942 they may be in a position to start thinking about how to break through there.
Uhm, what are British subs doing?

So a frontal assault against an entrenched, well-supplied, and now well-equipped (with US material) enemy close to its supply bases?

The Med strategy is a long, hard slog to achieve nothing useful. The Med is a strategic dead end for Germany.
Yup. If the situation requires, stuff shoved MacArthur's way gets sidelined and chopped to Montgomery even more as happened in reality. I think you covered it rather well.
 
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All this talk of Stukas against battleships is worthless. The RN isn't going to bombard the siege artillery once Gibraltar is besieged, because there is zero chance of lifting the siege by doing so.

Getting back to reality... the suggestion earlier was that Germany should invade Spain to take Gibraltar. Let's run with this.

Obviously Germany would prefer to have Spain join, rather than have to invade. So the POD is after Hendaye, 23rd October. Let's assume that Germany has already made some preparations, and they invade in early November. Spain is now a British co-belligerent, so let's assume that they make a deal for British basing rights in the Canaries. By early December, Gibraltar is under artillery fire and is worthless as a base. How long it can hold out is irrelevant. Force H has moved to the Canaries.

Questions now - how does Portugal react, and what happens with the Spanish protectorate in Morocco? Do we get British troops in Morocco too? If so, then that's another territory for the Axis to waste valuable time clearing out.

For Germany - now what? Taking Gib hasn't actually helped much. The Med was already closed. Convoys round the Cape can be covered from the Canaries. I suppose the next target is Malta, but that's in Italy's sphere of influence and Mussolini was quite keen to keep it Italian. Happily though, Operation Compass happens from December, and by February Italy has rather changed its tune.

Let's assume that a joint Italian-German operation is planned for spring 1941. Along side Greece and the Balkans. Let's also assume they have the capacity for this. Let's further assume that it works and Malta falls in spring 1941, but that Crete is not attacked.

Now what? Well, none of this has helped in itself, but the Axis can now they run coastal convoys along North Africa and start building the railways needed to bring up the supplies needed to break an Alamein position. So by the end of 1941 or early 1942 they may be in a position to start thinking about how to break through there.

So a frontal assault against an entrenched, well-supplied, and now well-equipped (with US material) enemy close to its supply bases?

The Med strategy is a long, hard slog to achieve nothing useful. The Med is a strategic dead end for Germany.
Very well put.
 
Mainly because evidence either way is rather scarce, but what evidence exists (MacIntyre’s Operation Mincemeat has quite a bit on the Intelligence war in Spain, for example) suggests the Spanish would resist an invasion and had no intention of joining WWII on either side.

It’s a circle that can’t be squared and so is ignored. Usually the best that is suggested is handwaves along the lines of “Hitler will offer them more” or “the Spanish won’t be able to stop the Germans rolling over the border”. Both of which OTL suggests the actual Germans thought otherwise
This is because Spain is viewed as a natural ally of Nazi Germany and therefore if Hitler had just promised a little bit more Franco would have joined or in the event he doesn't join, a couple of Panzer divisions will roll across the border and the Spanish will be smart enough not to resist or if they do they will just get brushed aside. It's almost 600 miles in a straight line from the French border to Gibraltar and I imagine Spanish road and rail infrastructure at that time wasn't great and first the Germans have to get everything they need into southern France. Could they have done it? Yes they could have if they applied the appropriate level of effort but it will be a substantial effort that will take a lot of time and lengthen supply lines considerably.
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
This is because Spain is viewed as a natural ally of Nazi Germany and therefore if Hitler had just promised a little bit more Franco would have joined or in the event he doesn't join, a couple of Panzer divisions will roll across the border and the Spanish will be smart enough not to resist or if they do they will just get brushed aside.
Problem is, this isn’t reality. Franco’s Spain was Franco’s Spain not a Nazi vassal waiting for the right offer to leap into the conflagration.
 
I will say the wiki page on OP FELIX is pretty good. If somebody wanted to write a TL on this I guess the first POD would be for somebody other than Canaris to lead the German delegation to Spain in late July 1940. Not sure that is enough to cause Franco to go stupid but it is probably a necessary first step:

 
The Regia Marina has two Regiments worth of amphib capability. I think the Esercito had maybe 3 battalions of paras. So how does that work again?
I believe it was less than that they had 2 Battalions of 'marines' in 1940 of the San Marco Regiment

Yup. If the situation requires, stuff shoved MacArthur's way gets sidelined and chopped to Montgomery even more as happened in reality. I think you covered it rather well.
My god sir! Are you suggesting the Allies can actually react intelligently to changes over what happened OTL? ;)
 
My god sir! Are you suggesting the Allies can actually react intelligently to changes over what happened OTL?
Staying strictly on topic about the German Mediterranean option, why would I be surprised if the American 2nd armored division showed up in its entirety to reinforce the British in Egypt in case Monty needed help?^1

^1 Hunnicutt, R. (1978). Sherman. San Rafeal: Taurus Enterprises. p174 Decision whether to send the Shermans with a division or trust the British to figure it all out.

Speculatively; Patton and Montgomery find themselves in the same chicken coop with things going haywire for the British. as the situation did initially during the Second Battle of El Alamein with the British armor hung up in those dense minefields. THAT would have been an interesting ATL situation and maybe someday someone will write a what if about it. My personal opinion is that it was not time for amateur hour.

In that same vein of intelligent decision making, did you know the Americans sent as much equipment to the British as they used to equip their own forces during the Mediterranean campaign?

 
94 ships and craft were lost during the Dunkirk evacuation and 77 damaged. Of those lost, 51 were primarily due to bombing/air attack.

Norway was a rude shock for Naval power vs Air power but the RN would have a month to prepare for an assault on Gibraltar as it would take that long for the Germans to move through Spain. They were on the border by June 29th so the earliest that they could start attacking Gibraltar would be early August if access secured during Case Red.

The Brits were also bribing Spanish officials and Generals. MI6 spent the present-day equivalent of more than $200m bribing senior Spanish military officers, ship owners and other agents to keep Spain out of the war. Money was delivered, mainly via a Swiss bank account in New York, as Sir Samuel Hoare, Britain's ambassador in Madrid, warned London that unless it was paid, there was a real and immediate danger of Spain abandoning its neutrality and of Franco joining forces with Nazi Germany.

In June 1940, Hoare was demanding an initial $1m. "I personally urge authority be granted without delay, and that if you have doubts, the prime minister be consulted," he told the Foreign Office in London. "Yes indeed," Churchill initialled on a copy of Hoare's deciphered telegram in red ink.

In September 1939 the Gibraltar garrison comprised two British battalions: 2nd The Kings Regiment and 2nd Somerset Light Infantry. 4th Devonshire arrived in May 1940 and 4th Black Watch in July 1940, so by January 1941 four infantry battalions were in place.

3rd Heavy Regiment, Royal Artillery controlled 4th, 26th, and 27th Batteries with 8 x 9.2-inch guns, 7 x 6-inch guns, and 6 x twin 6-pounders.

In September 1939 two AA batteries, the 9th and 19th, defended Gibraltar from air attack with 4 x 3-inch, 4 x 3.7-inch, and 2 x 40mm guns. HQ 10th AA Regiment was later formed to control the two batteries. The 82nd Heavy AA Regiment arrived in July 1940 with three batteries (156th, 193rd, and 256th) including 16 3.7-inch guns, 8 x 40mm Bofors guns, and the first radar sets. 3rd Searchlight Battery also arrived in July. Some shuffling of assets and re-numbering of units followed (including departure of HQ 10th AA Regiment, but no batteries); however, this AA strength was not further reinforced until March 1941.

Because there were no fighters based at Gibraltar during this time (and no facilities for supporting them), AA fire was the only defense against the bombing of Gibraltar.

---
WHAT NEXT? THE GERMAN STRATEGY CRISIS
DURING THE SUMMER OF 1940
The growing German interest in Spain and Gibraltar was probably the result of widespread public support in Spain and moves by its dictator, General Francisco Franco,
in June 1940. Following Italy’s entry into the war, Spain, on June 13, changed its status from neutral to “non-belligerency,” suggesting pro-Axis neutrality. 4 The next day, when Franco ordered Spanish troops to seized the international zone of Tangier, the streets of Spain exploded with crowds chanting a slogan which probably caught some German military leaders by surprise: “Gibraltar para España!”—Gibraltar for Spain. 5 During this time, Franco sent his chief of staff, General Juan Vigon, to deliver a personal letter to Hitler glorifying the achievements of Germany. 6 In his letter, Franco made clear that he had no interest in entering the war, but would consider the possibility for the right price, which included military and economic aid along with the return of Gibraltar, and the acquisition of Tangier, French Morocco, and a redrawing of the border of Spanish Guinea.7 Hitler appeared disinterested and brushed Franco’s emissary aside after a short meeting.

4 Wayne H. Bowen, Spaniards and Nazi Germany, p. 81.
5 Heinz Hohne, Canaris, pp. 427-428.
6 Franco’s letter was written on June 3.
7 Bowen, Spaniards and Nazi Germany, pp. 81-82.
 
My god sir! Are you suggesting the Allies can actually react intelligently to changes over what happened OTL? ;)
All these threads come back to the same thing, people buy into the myth of the Wehrmacht as an unstoppable, invincible fighting machine. So on the occasions it was stopped this must have been either bad luck or a misjudgement on their part. I mean what their enemies might do is all but irrelevant. So because the Axis had a little more success in the Middle East than it did with Barbarossa clearly the mistake was not committing full to the Med. Sure Spain had little or nothing to gain from joining the war and the Nazi's could barely sustain the logistics of the Afrika Corps as it existed OTL and Germany can't get the resources it needs from the Middle East but there must be some way the Nazi's can win the war, it can't be that a bunch of lunatics plunged their country into a war with no clear plan how to win it and without the resources to fight it and just got incredibly luck for the first year or so?
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
All these threads come back to the same thing, people buy into the myth of the Wehrmacht as an unstoppable, invincible fighting machine. ... So because the Axis had a little more success in the Middle East than it did with Barbarossa clearly the mistake was not committing full to the Med. ... it can't be that a bunch of lunatics plunged their country into a war with no clear plan how to win it and without the resources to fight it and just got incredibly luck for the first year or so?
I often think the fact that most (all?) of the senior nazis were senior because they were ideologues not the best at their jobs is heavily overlooked.
 
I often think the fact that most (all?) of the senior nazis were senior because they were ideologues not the best at their jobs is heavily overlooked.
There's also a tendency to assume that those who were competent like Rommel and Speer can't really have been Nazi's and thus if they took charge everything would have been different.
 
94 ships and craft were lost during the Dunkirk evacuation and 77 damaged. Of those lost, 51 were primarily due to bombing/air attack.

Norway was a rude shock for Naval power vs Air power but the RN would have a month to prepare for an assault on Gibraltar as it would take that long for the Germans to move through Spain. They were on the border by June 29th so the earliest that they could start attacking Gibraltar would be early August if access secured during Case Red.

The Brits were also bribing Spanish officials and Generals. MI6 spent the present-day equivalent of more than $200m bribing senior Spanish military officers, ship owners and other agents to keep Spain out of the war. Money was delivered, mainly via a Swiss bank account in New York, as Sir Samuel Hoare, Britain's ambassador in Madrid, warned London that unless it was paid, there was a real and immediate danger of Spain abandoning its neutrality and of Franco joining forces with Nazi Germany.

In June 1940, Hoare was demanding an initial $1m. "I personally urge authority be granted without delay, and that if you have doubts, the prime minister be consulted," he told the Foreign Office in London. "Yes indeed," Churchill initialled on a copy of Hoare's deciphered telegram in red ink.

In September 1939 the Gibraltar garrison comprised two British battalions: 2nd The Kings Regiment and 2nd Somerset Light Infantry. 4th Devonshire arrived in May 1940 and 4th Black Watch in July 1940, so by January 1941 four infantry battalions were in place.

3rd Heavy Regiment, Royal Artillery controlled 4th, 26th, and 27th Batteries with 8 x 9.2-inch guns, 7 x 6-inch guns, and 6 x twin 6-pounders.

In September 1939 two AA batteries, the 9th and 19th, defended Gibraltar from air attack with 4 x 3-inch, 4 x 3.7-inch, and 2 x 40mm guns. HQ 10th AA Regiment was later formed to control the two batteries. The 82nd Heavy AA Regiment arrived in July 1940 with three batteries (156th, 193rd, and 256th) including 16 3.7-inch guns, 8 x 40mm Bofors guns, and the first radar sets. 3rd Searchlight Battery also arrived in July. Some shuffling of assets and re-numbering of units followed (including departure of HQ 10th AA Regiment, but no batteries); however, this AA strength was not further reinforced until March 1941.

Because there were no fighters based at Gibraltar during this time (and no facilities for supporting them), AA fire was the only defense against the bombing of Gibraltar.

---
WHAT NEXT? THE GERMAN STRATEGY CRISIS
DURING THE SUMMER OF 1940
The growing German interest in Spain and Gibraltar was probably the result of widespread public support in Spain and moves by its dictator, General Francisco Franco,
in June 1940. Following Italy’s entry into the war, Spain, on June 13, changed its status from neutral to “non-belligerency,” suggesting pro-Axis neutrality. 4 The next day, when Franco ordered Spanish troops to seized the international zone of Tangier, the streets of Spain exploded with crowds chanting a slogan which probably caught some German military leaders by surprise: “Gibraltar para España!”—Gibraltar for Spain. 5 During this time, Franco sent his chief of staff, General Juan Vigon, to deliver a personal letter to Hitler glorifying the achievements of Germany. 6 In his letter, Franco made clear that he had no interest in entering the war, but would consider the possibility for the right price, which included military and economic aid along with the return of Gibraltar, and the acquisition of Tangier, French Morocco, and a redrawing of the border of Spanish Guinea.7 Hitler appeared disinterested and brushed Franco’s emissary aside after a short meeting.

4 Wayne H. Bowen, Spaniards and Nazi Germany, p. 81.
5 Heinz Hohne, Canaris, pp. 427-428.
6 Franco’s letter was written on June 3.
7 Bowen, Spaniards and Nazi Germany, pp. 81-82.
Documented, but against the Axis handicaps and the usual people grabbing for free cash when its offered and then actually doing what makes sense anyway as Franco dictates, how much (^^^) does it change the reality as developed in the case presented so far?

Accounts on the Hitler/Franco meeting do differ, too. Hitler's complaint of "his headache" after meeting with Franco, is historically sourced and verified. BTW, that is the most favorable case for the "pro Axis" Franco and Spain in the cite (Including the usual highly visible at the precise correct moment for Franco's meeting with the Berlin maniac to cut a deal, quite conveniently so the Germans can see it, Falangist rent-a-mob proclaiming "Gibraltar is Spanish!" incident. )and even that author admits, that Franco was one shrewd calculating bastard, despite his own personal proclivities to tilt politically the fascist way.

So again, how much (^^^) does this actually change the realities all parties faced in "the Spanish option."?
 
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