Sixes and Snake eyes Rommel's luck in an alternate 1942 desert war

Oops. Copied wrong line

I gave a general notice to this entire thread to cut out the carfighting and Play the Ball.

This is not Playing the Ball, and it sure looks like trying to pick a fights.
Calbear, its good you started with official sanctions now. I know you can’t read everything that’s posted on the forum, but I really encourage you to read this TL. While it is still short.
Cardcarrier’s work is dead center on what AH is and it is absurd that he should take this kind of beating. The people doing it are usual suspects taking turns seeing where the line goes and the effect is to derail an excellent TL and some very serious work made for our enjoyment. It’s just not fair.
Please do something about it so we don’t se quality work derailed again and again by the same people. I may be wrong, but I would think it’s not just me.
Thanks for all the efforts in advance. I know you have a difficult job without enough thanks in return.
 
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CalBear

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Calbear, its good you started with official sanctions now. I know you can’t read everything that’s posted on the forum, but I really encourage you to read this TL. While it is still short.
Cardcarrier’s work is dead center on what AH is and it is absurd that he should take this kind of beating. The people doing it are usual suspects taking turns seeing where the line goes and the effect is to derail an excellent TL and some very serious work made for our enjoyment. It’s just not fair.
Please do something about it so we don’t se quality work derailed again and again by the same people. I may be wrong, but I would think it’s not just me.
Thanks for all the efforts in advance. I know you have a difficult job without enough thanks in return.
Can you PLEASE let the Mods moderate the thread?

Next time I come into a thread and try to calm things down and you post something that will get folks jacked up again, you will be unhappy.
 
No, they were not miraculous, they were who they were. And their combat record speaks for itself.


Yes but you have not shown any attached to Italian units, which was my question, and considering what the Germans thought of the Italians, you need to prove this

Per the map you posted and every source I can find Trento is part of XXI corps and is physically too far to the north to be present. Trieste has 4 infantry battalions and per your map is 'lost' during the relevant period. In one of your post you had Trento having four regiments. This is bullshit, Italian Infantry divisions only have two. Scholarly research to prove this isn't true required.

So you've got nothing about Italian stuka units being able to bomb Bir Hirkeim.

So you admit you have no idea of the French force composure or equipment and you're happy to correct 'mistakes' with a simple autocorrect....

Corps and Army artillery would have been allocated to the two Italian infantry Corps in the north, how do they teleport to where you need them? If you don't like the OOB of Trieste I posted , feel free to post your own referenced source.

You've ignored several of my questions. I've tried to requote them but that seems to beyond the measure of my skill.

I'm not saying Bir Hakeim couldn't have fallen on 27/5/1942 (with my limited knowledge, I've been looking for a decent book on Gazala for years. Everything I have is the opening chapter(s) of books on Alamein). But it would have taken 15th and 21st Panzer to unite and ride over the top of them . The losses to mine fields, the 75s and the die hard defenders would have considerable. Not to mention that these formations would not be available to do what they did OTL, Rommel didn't have the stones to do it.


Doing so basic reading, even the Wikipedia article describes the French HQ as some what rather different that what you do, and to quote "Stuka dive bombers raided Bir Hakeim more than twenty times but the French positions were so well built as to be almost invulnerable."

I get what you're trying to do. But your fall of Bir Harkeim isn't plausible. Reads like a Nazi wank. Sure has attracted flies like shit.
Not to pile on, but your criticisms are sort of hyperbolic. It's AH, so some units can be moved around, it wasn't like it was impossible to get them there. The Italian Stuka's could've been there, if they had been diverted from Malta. Air units were easily transferred between NA, and Sicily. Almost no structure can survive a direct hit from a 500kg bomb, so virtually any HQ could be plausible destroyed. Losing their top leadership, and being subjected to a greater initial air, and heavy artillery bombardment might well have ended the effective resistance of the French Brigade Box in 24-48 hours. That they resisted so long was what was extraordinary.

If I wrote an AH of Fredericksburg, and said Burnside realizing the vital importance of his pontoon bridges, personally supervised their construction, so only when they were ready did he start his move to the Rappahannock. Reaching Fredericksburg he was able to swiftly cross the river, and secure the heights south, and west of the town, before Lee was able to react. The Army of the Potomac was then able to push south, and fight the Army of Northern Virginia on more favorable ground, and won a victory near Spotsylvania, forcing Lee to retreat to the south bank of the North Anna River.

So would you say that's all ridiculous, because Burnside didn't do that, or he can't do that, because he didn't think of it in the OTL? No it can't happen because the bridges weren't ready in time, so the battle would have to start after December 11, and that would change everything, and Lee was in position by then? Well if you change things at one point events can start moving in strange directions, so I think what I wrote is plausible.

What your trying to do is find anything you can that's out of place, and make it into a major issue. A mistake in the caliber of guns, a map from a fictional account, discounting Luftwaffe observers working directly with Italian units. Pointing out an Italian division doesn't have 4 regiments, is fine, but he might have meant 4 Battalions, and making that a reason for personal insults is very rude. I have criticized many TL's myself, but I usually try not to be personally insulting about it. Having to account for the location, and actions of every battalion in this very large battle, and calling the whole story BS if you find a discrepancy is very unfair. Calling this TL a Nazi wank is also unfair, we're still just at the beginning of the story. Your whole tone has been very negative, and personal from the start, and it's not very nice.
 
They held out, surrounded at first by 3 times and eventually by 6+ times their number under heavy bomardment for 16 days, it was miraculous

No I do not admit that, I have advised I don't have a source on which units where there, not that units where not available at all. There are sources in english which state Italian stukas helped in the bombing/capture of Tobruk; which was part of the battle of Gazala, which stands to reason that there where units available at the beginning of the battle. AFAIK a stuka with full bombload cannot fly round trip from Sicily to Tobruk, so I would stand by my more generalized statement of Italian Stukas being available. If there is a source that says the bombers came later or where based in Sicily and could fly that far, I would retract

I explained that I used the recovered items from the box without making the next step consider that the British 7th motorized had entered the battlefield to evacuate the French. The point was conceded and reconsidered for the timeline

Elements of the DAK did attack the box later in the siege historically and took heavy losses I am trying to entirely remove that for the purposes of the timeline

In re-reading my first post I carried a typo which reads poorly; please consider for the purposes of the timeline that Trento is relocated to Trieste left flank, 2 battalions augment Trieste and their remaining forces work in between the French and the 150th Brigade box. For the purposes of the timeline the fire missions of the artillery are semi displaced from historical to disrupt Bir Hakeim, with their historical ranges

The map is original timeline, just so the readers could see the general placement of formations in the first 48 hours without all the cauldron markings; Trieste is obviously not lost in the minefields in this timeline

I would kindly ask that the implication that I am a Nazi fan boy or apologist please be dropped by you and the others in the thread whom have done so. I was advised and double checked the forum rules; purely military related axis alternate histories are not forbidden, and from my browsing seem a common topic

please bear in mind I have never written an alternate history timeline before, so even if I am making mistakes which you might find glaring, they are not coming from a position of malice, or intended heavy handed ness
thanx
cardcarrier there has been nothing pro Nazi in anything you've written. So far your story has been completely about a military campaign, with nothing about ideology. You've been discussing the personalities, and interactions between military leaders, and the only political leader I can recall you mentioning is Churchill. Don't let these kinds of nasty comments upset you, there totally uncalled for. I like what you writing, and want to read more, and I think a lot of others feel the same way. Take care, and keep going.
 
Warning
Not to pile on, but your criticisms are sort of hyperbolic. It's AH, so some units can be moved around, it wasn't like it was impossible to get them there. The Italian Stuka's could've been there, if they had been diverted from Malta. Air units were easily transferred between NA, and Sicily. Almost no structure can survive a direct hit from a 500kg bomb, so virtually any HQ could be plausible destroyed. Losing their top leadership, and being subjected to a greater initial air, and heavy artillery bombardment might well have ended the effective resistance of the French Brigade Box in 24-48 hours. That they resisted so long was what was extraordinary.

If I wrote an AH of Fredericksburg, and said Burnside realizing the vital importance of his pontoon bridges, personally supervised their construction, so only when they were ready did he start his move to the Rappahannock. Reaching Fredericksburg he was able to swiftly cross the river, and secure the heights south, and west of the town, before Lee was able to react. The Army of the Potomac was then able to push south, and fight the Army of Northern Virginia on more favorable ground, and won a victory near Spotsylvania, forcing Lee to retreat to the south bank of the North Anna River.

So would you say that's all ridiculous, because Burnside didn't do that, or he can't do that, because he didn't think of it in the OTL? No it can't happen because the bridges weren't ready in time, so the battle would have to start after December 11, and that would change everything, and Lee was in position by then? Well if you change things at one point events can start moving in strange directions, so I think what I wrote is plausible.

What your trying to do is find anything you can that's out of place, and make it into a major issue. A mistake in the caliber of guns, a map from a fictional account, discounting Luftwaffe observers working directly with Italian units. Pointing out an Italian division doesn't have 4 regiments, is fine, but he might have meant 4 Battalions, and making that a reason for personal insults is very rude. I have criticized many TL's myself, but I usually try not to be personally insulting about it. Having to account for the location, and actions of every battalion in this very large battle, and calling the whole story BS if you find a discrepancy is very unfair. Calling this TL a Nazi wank is also unfair, we're still just at the beginning of the story. Your whole tone has been very negative, and personal from the start, and it's not very nice.
I have to take issue with this. The whole point of post-1900 is to provide a forum for plausible alternative history scenarios and to allow other posters to comment/criticise. If you don't want the criticism , then either don't post, or stick it in the writer's forum. Aside from his last (ill-judged) comment, everything that @Purity of Violence has posted fits very well with achademic analysis/criticism in the best traditions of the board.

All of the changes in this TL go in one direction. Everything is intended to create a scenario whereby Rommel reaches the Suez canal while the Allies look on passively. From the basic premise (which has been rightfully questioned) to the various butterflies on the ground (the Fascists routing, capturing and looting everything in their path). We can also add in the the OP's comment that the size of Rommel's force is the one glaring weakness in the timeline and needs to be addressed, Indeed. It needs to be addressed to achieve the OP's goal of a Nazi victory. It's even in the title. A balanced timeline that is not. Historical onanism is far more likely
 
please bear in mind I have never written an alternate history timeline before, so even if I am making mistakes which you might find glaring, they are not coming from a position of malice, or intended heavy handed ness
thanx
There are posters with a lot of historical knowledge and understanding on this site - use the suggestions. However a decisive German victory in North Africa is difficult (especially starting from Gazala) as the British have strategic depth and can feed in units from Syria, Iraq and India.

It's your timeline, and you can change the starting conditions. Have the French garrison be moved back to the Delta to be fully re-equipped with British weapons and replaced by a more fragile or inexperienced unit; have the British armour further north because Ritchie accepted Auchinleck's advice; have the British armour in the middle of being reorganised into 4-squadron regiments as Auchinleck demanded a month or 2 later; have other developments in the war which push North Africa down the priority list...
 
I have to take issue with this. The whole point of post-1900 is to provide a forum for plausible alternative history scenarios and to allow other posters to comment/criticise. If you don't want the criticism , then either don't post, or stick it in the writer's forum. Aside from his last (ill-judged) comment, everything that @Purity of Violence has posted fits very well with achademic analysis/criticism in the best traditions of the board.

All of the changes in this TL go in one direction. Everything is intended to create a scenario whereby Rommel reaches the Suez canal while the Allies look on passively. From the basic premise (which has been rightfully questioned) to the various butterflies on the ground (the Fascists routing, capturing and looting everything in their path). We can also add in the the OP's comment that the size of Rommel's force is the one glaring weakness in the timeline and needs to be addressed, Indeed. It needs to be addressed to achieve the OP's goal of a Nazi victory. It's even in the title. A balanced timeline that is not. Historical onanism is far more likely
All of this stems from the point of departure of taking out General Koenig's HQ. If you think that's implausible, and no matter what happened the French were going to resist for 2 weeks then your not going to accept what follows. Rommel did capture supply dumps, but couldn't hold them, because he had to send forces doubling back to deal with the French, who unexpectedly held out so long. Barring that most of the DAK would be available to drive into the British rear area, which would put them in a much worse situation then in the OTL. In the historical battle the Axis forces outfought the British, broke all the Brigade Boxes, and won a massive victory, so the basic premise isn't that far fetched. What he's talking about is concentrating greater firepower, and disrupting the CCC of the Free French Brigade, which is not implausible.

What I really object to is the harsh tone of the criticism. Your use of loaded terms like "The Fascists routing, capturing, and looting everything in their path." Or a "Nazi victory." The thread is called German victory in North Africa, and he calls them Italians, not Fascists. Those are political terms, not military, or national, and are being used to call this a Nazi wank, which I think is unfair. Calling this TL historical onanism may be clever, but it's not very civil, and is personally insulting. Being balanced means that luck, or probabilities tend to even out over time, that doesn't always mean the same results would happen, as in the OTL, that's what AH is all about.

Your suggesting that there was no realistic possibility that the Axis could've reached Alexandria, or Cairo, and I don't think that's true. As it was the situation in May/June 1942 was a near run thing. The aftermath of Gazala could've gone differently, as others have pointed out. Allied victory in NA was probable, but not inevitable.
 
There are posters with a lot of historical knowledge and understanding on this site - use the suggestions. However a decisive German victory in North Africa is difficult (especially starting from Gazala) as the British have strategic depth and can feed in units from Syria, Iraq and India.

It's your timeline, and you can change the starting conditions. Have the French garrison be moved back to the Delta to be fully re-equipped with British weapons and replaced by a more fragile or inexperienced unit; have the British armour further north because Ritchie accepted Auchinleck's advice; have the British armour in the middle of being reorganised into 4-squadron regiments as Auchinleck demanded a month or 2 later; have other developments in the war which push North Africa down the priority list...
You make a good point about British strategic depth, and that there were units in Syria, Iraq, and India. However not many of those forces were immediately available. Indian forces were struggling to defend their own borders, and Ceylon, from the Japanese, so had nothing to spare to send to Egypt. Middle East Command had to occupy Palestine, and Iraq, and protect them from indigenous hostile forces. The Free French had to keep some of their forces in Syria. 8th Army was pretty much on it's own, and was depending on the pipeline of replacements, and reinforcements of men, and equipment already scheduled to come out from Britain, and the USA.

In the OTL it took till October for the build up of forces to make going on the offensive possible again, and then only after new leadership came in. If Rommel had reached El Alamein in late June, with stronger forces then in the OTL their weren't any forces from those other commands that could have gotten there in time to stop him. This is all assuming that 8th Army is beaten even more badly then it was, and fewer units got away to fight another day. Now getting to Alexandria, is one thing, but just crossing the Nile would be another major hurdle, before getting to the Suez Canal, so the story has a long way to go.
 
You make a good point about British strategic depth, and that there were units in Syria, Iraq, and India. However not many of those forces were immediately available
9th Australian and 2nd New Zealand divisions from Syria and an Indian brigade from Iraq were critical to First Alamein. There were further divisions that could have been moved, and 44th Division arrived in Egypt in July.

If Rommel had reached El Alamein in late June, with stronger forces then in the OTL their weren't any forces from those other commands that could have gotten there in time to stop him
He did reach El Alamein in late June, but got stopped by the forces in place, including those from Syria and Iraq. Rommel would need to be much stronger and much better supplied to take the coastal box.

In the OTL it took till October for the build up of forces to make going on the offensive possible again
First Alamein took 4 weeks; Rommel called off his offensive after 5 days, the rest was Auchinleck counterattacking because he thought Rommel was near breaking point. The battle ended when both sides were exhausted and would resume a month later because Rommel built up his supplies faster than the British.
 
All of this stems from the point of departure of taking out General Koenig's HQ. If you think that's implausible, and no matter what happened the French were going to resist for 2 weeks then your not going to accept what follows. Rommel did capture supply dumps, but couldn't hold them, because he had to send forces doubling back to deal with the French, who unexpectedly held out so long. Barring that most of the DAK would be available to drive into the British rear area, which would put them in a much worse situation then in the OTL. In the historical battle the Axis forces outfought the British, broke all the Brigade Boxes, and won a massive victory, so the basic premise isn't that far fetched. What he's talking about is concentrating greater firepower, and disrupting the CCC of the Free French Brigade, which is not implausible.

What I really object to is the harsh tone of the criticism. Your use of loaded terms like "The Fascists routing, capturing, and looting everything in their path." Or a "Nazi victory." The thread is called German victory in North Africa, and he calls them Italians, not Fascists. Those are political terms, not military, or national, and are being used to call this a Nazi wank, which I think is unfair. Calling this TL historical onanism may be clever, but it's not very civil, and is personally insulting. Being balanced means that luck, or probabilities tend to even out over time, that doesn't always mean the same results would happen, as in the OTL, that's what AH is all about.

Your suggesting that there was no realistic possibility that the Axis could've reached Alexandria, or Cairo, and I don't think that's true. As it was the situation in May/June 1942 was a near run thing. The aftermath of Gazala could've gone differently, as others have pointed out. Allied victory in NA was probable, but not inevitable.
@Purity of Violence has already dealt with the question of Stukas destroying Koenig's HQ, and pointed out that they were so well built as to be almost invulnerable. If the OP wants this timeline to be plausible, he needs to deal with this. Pointing out the flaw in his reasoning is what good posters do. Other posters have also pointed out that even with a bigger victory at Gazala, Rommel does not have a clear road to Suez, and that the logistical problems are only part of them.

You describe terms like "fascist" and "Nazi" as loaded. I describe them as historically accurate labels for criminal regimes and the military forces thereof. The allegience of the Afrika Korps is made clear by that palm tree emblem of theirs. I don't think there's too much doubt as to who and what they were fighting for. Opinon about Rommel himself varies from considering him to be a supporter and friend of Hitler, to being an ambivalent chancer who was willing to go along with him as long as there was some overlap of agendas. That, in my opinion, makes him at best an accessory to the crimes of the regime. As for the Italians, I will simply point out that the aircraft of the Regia Aeronautica carried no fewer than three separate fascist emblems. Again, not much doubt as to where their loyalty lay.

The term "wank" is quite normal and uncontroversial on this board. I have, for example, seen many Britwanks, as well as a large number of Britscrews. The main difference is that the authors of Britwanks tend to acknowledge what they are, rather than innocently suggesting we see where the butterflies take us, even though the destination is already clear. If you think I am being personally insulting by using the word "onanism", then I suggest you report me to a moderator.

My position remains the same. The limit of Rommel's advance was dictated as much by supply and reinforcement issues as by the enemy. I don't doubt he could have got further than he did. How far is a matter for debate. However, my problem with this timeline is that it simply gives Rommel all the breaks and, from the title onwards, is clearly designed to bend the facts to create a specific outcome..
 
@Purity of Violence has already dealt with the question of Stukas destroying Koenig's HQ, and pointed out that they were so well built as to be almost invulnerable. If the OP wants this timeline to be plausible, he needs to deal with this. Pointing out the flaw in his reasoning is what good posters do. Other posters have also pointed out that even with a bigger victory at Gazala, Rommel does not have a clear road to Suez, and that the logistical problems are only part of them.

You describe terms like "fascist" and "Nazi" as loaded. I describe them as historically accurate labels for criminal regimes and the military forces thereof. The allegience of the Afrika Korps is made clear by that palm tree emblem of theirs. I don't think there's too much doubt as to who and what they were fighting for. Opinon about Rommel himself varies from considering him to be a supporter and friend of Hitler, to being an ambivalent chancer who was willing to go along with him as long as there was some overlap of agendas. That, in my opinion, makes him at best an accessory to the crimes of the regime. As for the Italians, I will simply point out that the aircraft of the Regia Aeronautica carried no fewer than three separate fascist emblems. Again, not much doubt as to where their loyalty lay.

The term "wank" is quite normal and uncontroversial on this board. I have, for example, seen many Britwanks, as well as a large number of Britscrews. The main difference is that the authors of Britwanks tend to acknowledge what they are, rather than innocently suggesting we see where the butterflies take us, even though the destination is already clear. If you think I am being personally insulting by using the word "onanism", then I suggest you report me to a moderator.

My position remains the same. The limit of Rommel's advance was dictated as much by supply and reinforcement issues as by the enemy. I don't doubt he could have got further than he did. How far is a matter for debate. However, my problem with this timeline is that it simply gives Rommel all the breaks and, from the title onwards, is clearly designed to bend the facts to create a specific outcome..
You see, I don't think the title means quite what you think..or at least to interpret it differently from me

To me, the title asks the question "What if the DAK was more succesful, giving them the only (afaik) plausible extra lucky break in addition to the luck they had OTL?" That doesn't hint a total Nazi victory to me...realistically speaking, I highly doubt this changes the fact that Germany loses in the end...at most, it'll delay the Allies in being able to take the fight to Germany itself

The question of the Stukas is something I wold like to hear the author about, so let's at least wait for them to answer on that

However, keep in mind that (to my knowledge) the author hasn't inserted any further lucky breaks that aren't OTL besides the POD...so saying Rommel "gets all the breaks" is a little unfair, unless you wish to challenge the plausability of OTL?
 
i appreciate purity of violence points and revision to tone :)

regarding Keonig's HQ and french field works at Bir Hakeim. The field works where constructed by Jewish engineer companies and rated good by the axis. They where not maginot fortifications, but were good at by desert standards. In terms of Stuka. heavy artillery vulnerability, this is one of those things where history can let us speculate in the gaps, I doubt there was a building in Libya no matter who built it that could take a 500kg air delivered bomb direct hit without serious consequences for those inside. In my opinion, ultimately beyond the quality of the French infantry itself, and that they had been marked for death by the Vichy and German governments, a lot of the defense boiled down to their 75mm field guns being great for the desert with high velocity and flat trajectories.

Historically the desert air force maintained a vigorous and stubborn defense above Bir Hakeim, shooting down dozens of Stukas; generating their highest sortie tempos of the war to that point, despite brutal summer desert heat and their landing fields off and on coming under axis artillery fire and raids by their armored car companies;

Much of that air defense wasn't organized until a couple of days after the battle started; this timeline has the axis air force decapitate the French brigade right at the start of the battle; and brings about a critical point of departure by having the 90th light division capture Gambut. The British had build several good concrete all weather runways at Gambut and it was considerably responsible for their historical vigorous defense during the opening stages of the Gazala offensive; the desert airforce in this phase historically inflicted heavy damage on the DAK and killed/wounded several divisional/regimental commanders

90th light capturing Gambut has the strategic implication of costing the desert air force a large number of sorties over the immediate battlefield on the Gazala line, and is linchpin to the timeline in terms of allowing Rommel to better hold his bag with less losses

regarding the Italian Stukas being in Africa; again there are English language books which say they took part in the final siege of Tobruk. I am admittedly using basic deduction to say that means they where based in Libya to launch those sorties. In my opinion that is the most plausible condition vs them being launched from Sicily or Crete or Rhodes; but I would retract the concept if there is information out there that confirms otherwise

update dropping today :)
 
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regarding Keonig's HQ and french field works at Bir Hakeim. The field works where constructed by Jewish engineer companies and rated good by the axis. They where not maginot fortifications, but were good at by desert standards.
What does that actually mean? I have seen Maginot line fortifications close up and they are incredibly impressive from an engineering point of view. You would need something not far short of a Tallboy to destroy the forts I've seen. Even something 50% as good would be invulnerable to 250kg or even 500kg blast bombs..
 
6.1
Chapter 6.1 - Trial by air

05-29-1942 23:59 Approx 25 KM west of Sidi Muftah
Temporary HQ OB Sud Temporary command all formations except DAK and Ariete, Commander Field Marshal "Smiling" Albert Kesslring, Chief of Staff Oberst Wilhelm Speidel briefing

Dark, deep rings circled Kesselring's eyes, it had been the 84th hour of very high tempo operations, today being the most high tempo for his command. The smile and optimism where still there even if the exhaustion presented the most

Flying himself, as was his way and style of command, into Gambut just as the sun head peaked over the horizon, he toured the conditions of the 90th light division and watched the fruits of his command's last 24 hours of work.

Although 90th light had avoided fighting the combat elements of any major British formations, they where still down 20 percent from their starting points, and their infantry strength was critical to the DAK and PAA order of battle. On Westphal and Kleeman's request Kesselrings staff had been steadily airlifting in troops from Crete, nearly 1300 so far. Not Kleeman's veteran warriors but German troops none the less, with captured British trucks and artillery pieces waiting for them at Gambut. His staff was making further arrangements in Rome, Athens and Berlin for fresh infantry to continue to be flown in to Gambut and Bengazi to replenish the PAA ranks


This had initially been controversial inside of Kesselring's own staff who wanted to preserve that infantry strength for his planned operation Herkules, rather than feed it to Rommel in Libya. Kesselring himself had felt much the same way until Kleeman reported capturing Gambut and reaching the coast. In the field Marshal's eyes this instantly changed the equation before him as it turned Rommel's deep raid behind the lines, into an encirclement; and he had plenty of experience in those, failed and successful, be it Dunkirk in 1940 or Army Group Center's initial drive into Russia in 1941. When Kesselring had called it an encirclement, Speidel had laughed and said it was a tissue paper encirclement or more aptly a badger getting to a bees nest the size of a panzer 3; but Kesselring replied that all encirclements are tissue paper when they first form, and that maximum support had to be given to ensure the bag could be held. "There is a powerful difference between defeating a division which withdraws to rebuild itself and capturing them wholesale, we learned this over and over in Russia"

That would have been more than enough to keep the field marshal busy; but Rommel's deputy, GeneralderPanzerTruppen Ludwig Cruwell's pilot had gotten lost flying over the Gazala line and accidently landed amongst the 50th British division and had gotten their party captured. Kesselring as the senior officer on scene took command of all elements in the North, despite not being a Heer officer.

He had been busy making a difference on the ground anyway, the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica had launched in excess of 400 sorties on the exposed 22nd armored brigade during the day. 21st Panzer and the 132nd Ariete had launched concentric attacks, most powerfully by 21st panzer earlier in the day with the sun at their backs, and Ariete later in the day. Corps level artillery, AAA and 21st Panzer's anti tank guns took a large toll on the formation, which had already lost its commander and most of the command staff the previous 36 hours, and was mostly without orders until it was far too late. Weakened by airstrikes and attacks in their rear (the Luftwaffe proving especially formidable with the disruption inflicted on the Desert Air Force) 21st panzer was able to break the brigade and over-run them, linking hands late in the day with Ariete and taking most of the formation prisoner, and leaving the battlefield to be scavenged by tireless DAK tank repair crews

This created significant security and operational risks to the British/Scottish Guards brigades and the 32nd armored brigade whom where marshaling for their attack on El Adem; which Kesselring and Rommel had been briefed about via leaks in British GHQ in Cairo. It also increased the Panzer Army Africa's grip on the 150th British Brigade box from something that could be withdrawn from with loss of equipment, to an iron grasp of tanks, infantry, artillery and airpower; such that their destruction or surrender was all but certain. Immediate armored support for them had been defeated, and the 8th army's reserves where headed in the opposite direction, and as had occurred the previous 2 days, the huge garrisons at Gazala and Tobruk showed no signs of moving to relieve their distressed comrades to the south

Will edit in Author's note and perspective later today
 

CalBear

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I have to take issue with this. The whole point of post-1900 is to provide a forum for plausible alternative history scenarios and to allow other posters to comment/criticise. If you don't want the criticism , then either don't post, or stick it in the writer's forum. Aside from his last (ill-judged) comment, everything that @Purity of Violence has posted fits very well with achademic analysis/criticism in the best traditions of the board.

All of the changes in this TL go in one direction. Everything is intended to create a scenario whereby Rommel reaches the Suez canal while the Allies look on passively. From the basic premise (which has been rightfully questioned) to the various butterflies on the ground (the Fascists routing, capturing and looting everything in their path). We can also add in the the OP's comment that the size of Rommel's force is the one glaring weakness in the timeline and needs to be addressed, Indeed. It needs to be addressed to achieve the OP's goal of a Nazi victory. It's even in the title. A balanced timeline that is not. Historical onanism is far more likely
And you were doing so well, right until the last sentence.

PLAY THE BALL.
 
Gott being captured prevents him being appointed to 8th Army command when Churchill cans Auchinleck. Would Monty automatically be the next up or would someone else be considered?
There will be a couple engagements before it becomes an issue I'm sure.
 
Gott being captured prevents him being appointed to 8th Army command when Churchill cans Auchinleck. Would Monty automatically be the next up or would someone else be considered?
There will be a couple engagements before it becomes an issue I'm sure.
Good question, could go either way I'd think. Monty could get the job earlier or be butterflied from taking command completely.
Maybe Montgomery gets sent to the far East instead?
 
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