Falklands! 1939

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Jellicoe
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Falklands! 1939

Post by Jellicoe » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:09 am

The Scenario: Falklands! 1939.


Dateline, Argentina, November 2, 1939. Military forces under the leadership of fascist general Carlos Aleixandre have taken control of the country. Protests and threats of sanctions from the United States and other nations in the Western Hemisphere have been ignored.

Dateline, November 11, 1939. Diplomatic relations between Argentinian dictator Aleixandre and the democracies of Europe and the Americas seem to be straining daily. The military of Argentina is on the move. Threats have been levelled at neighboring Chile and Uruguay. RUmors of High-level talks between Buenos Aires and Berlin have been reported.

Dateline, November 30, 1939. The sinking of several merchant ships in the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic, attributed to the pocket battleship Graf Spee has caused great concern in London. Rumors of increased movements of Argentinian ships and planes in the South Atlantic has also not gone unnoticed.

December 10, 1939. Force G, South Atlantic. Wireless messages received from the admiralty have confirmed a declaration of war by Argentina upon Great Britain. Also confirmed a great fleet of ships has left Puerto Belgrano and other Argentine ports. The Falkland Islands must be considered as their main target.


As the Argentine Naval Commander: You have been given the mission to take the Malvinas Islands, called
the Falklands by the British occupiers, and towards this goal have been given control of powerful forces.

Forces under your command:
BB Rivadavia 27,940t 12x12in 50cal (6x2) 22.5kts
BB Moreno 27,940t 12x12in 50cal (6x2) 22.5kts

CA Veinticinco De Mayo 6,800t 6x7.5in (3x2) 32 kts
CA Almirante Brown 6,800t 6x7.5in (3x2) 32 kts
CL La Argentina 6,500t 9x6 in (3x3) 30 kts

6 DD Buenos Aires class 1375t 4x4.7in 8x21inTT 35.5kts
2 DD Churucca class 1522t 5x4.7in 6x21inTT 36kts
2 DD Mendoza class 1570t 5x4.7in 6x21inTT 36kts

3 SS Santa Fe class 8x21 in TT 17.5/9kts

troop carriers ... 2 Garibaldi class armored cruisers, stripped for use as troop carriers

AC Pueyrredon 6,000t minor AA weapons 18kts 400 troops
AC General Belgrano 6,000t minor AA weopons 18kts 400 troops
in addition:
merchantman 4,000t none 20kts 300 troops
merchantman 8,000t none 15kts 600 troops

in addition, an additional 50 troops can be carried on any 6 DDs for 300 troops
These 2000 troops of the initial invasion are to be considered among the best
Argentine troops.

An additional 14,000 Argentine army regulars are available only after the
Malvinas Is. are secured.

Land-based Air.
airbases at Trelew (580 nm from Port Stanley), Commodoro Rivadavia (480 nm),
San Julian (425 nm), Rio Gallegos (435 nm), Rio Grande (380 nm)

6 p2y-3A flying boats. forerunners of the Catalina. perhaps a dozen more flying boats and floatplanes of various make.
12 Martin B-10 bombers range: 1240 mi. 213mph 2260 lb bombload 20 Curtis P-36 fighters range: 748 nm @ 200 kts
These p36s should be considered as "stripped down" flying out of Rio Grande and having no more than 2 minutes over the target, unarmored and with less ammunition.

If Argentina takes the Malvinas, then they would have available to transfer to the islands 20 Dewoitine D21 monoplane fighers. and any of the other available land-based planes. But an airfield would need to be built first.

ARGENTINE ALLY
AC Admiral Graf Spee 11,700t 6x11 in 54cal (2x3) 28 kts
commanded by her own German captain, but under overarching command of the Argentine admiral.


ALLIED FORCES
Under command of Brit Admiral.

Mission: Prevent capture of Falklands. Retake Falklands if captured. Inflict max damage upon enemy at minimum loss.

As Allied Commander, forces under your command:
At Falkland Islands: Force G

CA Cumberland 9,750 t 8x8 in (4x2) 31.5 kts
CA Exeter 8,390 t 6x8 in (3x2) 32 kts.
CL Ajax 7,270 t 8x6 in (4x2) 32.5 kts
CL Achilles 7,270 t 8x6 in (4x2) 32.5 kts

At Cape Town: Force H

CA Sussex 9,750 t 8x8 in (4x2) 32 kts
CA Shropshire 9,750 t 8x8 in (4x2) 32 kts
2 destroyers

At Pernambuco, Brazil: Force Y

BC Strasbourg 26,500 t 8x13 in (2x4) 31 kts
CL Neptune 7,270 t 8x6 in (4x2) 32.5 kts

At Dakar: Forces M and N

CV Hermes 12,000 t 20 aircraft 25 kts
CA Dupleix 10,000 t 8x8 in (4x2) 32 kts
CA Foch 10,000 t 8x8 in (4x2) 32 kts

En Route to Freetown:
Force Lion Rampant and Force K
CV Ark Royal 22,000 t 60 AC 30 kts
BC Renown 27,200 t 6x15 in (3x2) 31.5 kts
2 Light Cruisers
4 destroyers
4 transports with 4000 total Brit troops.
(These forces should be considered as not available for any attempt to prevent an occupation of the Falklands by Argentina, but can respond several days after an initial occupation.

I would say, give the UK commander a few days to begin moving his forces even before the Argentinian fleet sets sail. Intelligence would most likely guess that something was up.

There it is. Anyone who wants to play with this scenario, feel free. Love to see comments.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:29 pm

Were all those units fully operational by then?
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by paul.mercer » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:36 pm

Gentlemen,
An interesting senario, I would say goodbye Argentinian navy!

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19kilo
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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by 19kilo » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:24 pm

Had never thought of this. If Argentina could get and keep most of its ships operational, I think she could very well have taken the Falklands. Keeping them, however, would have proved impossible. If the British didnt retake them by themselves, then they surely would have fallen after dec 41. Also, IF Argentina became too closely associated with the Germans, I dont think the resulting peace would have been to Argentina's liking. Fascinating scenario tho.......

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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by Keith Enge » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:33 pm

I plugged your forces into the battle evaluation functionality of my naval database. You didn't specify what two destroyers were with Sussex and Shropshire so I used two F class DDs. Since you said that the Ark Royal group would arrive later, I ignored them. I don't know what you used to decide how many Argentinian aircraft would be available. You said twelve B-10 (actually Martin 139WA) and twenty P-36 (Hawk 75O). They had bought 39 and 49, respectively, but I don't know how many were operational in December 1939 although they were only recently purchased. You ignored the thirty A-17 that they bought. The planes don't matter, anyway. According to the evaluation calculation, they only change the result by about 2% even if I add fifteen of the thirty A-17. The battle is remarkably even. The four French and British forces (ignoring the fifth) combined are about 4% stronger than the Argentinian and German force. As I said, it drops to about 2% if the planes are added.

The battle between the capital ships is interesting because of the immune zones. The Argentinian BBs don't have the gun elevation to penetrate Strasbourg's deck at any range but Strasbourg can only penetrate theirs beyond about 32,000 yards, a range at which she will get few if any hits. The battle, therefore, comes down to belt penetrations and, here, they are almost exactly matched. Each will penetrate the other at about 16,000 yards. Strasbourg probably shouldn't slug it out inside that range at a two to one disadvantage. Instead, she should probably use her range advantage to fulfill her design intentions and be a cruiser killer. If she can decimate the smaller enemy ships, her own smaller ships might be able to close enough to torpedo the enemy BBs, especially given their slow speed, mediocre secondary armament, and suspect torpedo defense system. That's how I would fight the battle but it would be a close run thing. I think my battle evaluator has it right; it's a toss up. That result, of course, would change if the four Allied forces didn't arrive simultaneously and were so able to be defeated in detail.

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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by Jellicoe » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:47 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Were all those units fully operational by then?
Most of the naval, yes. Argentina had embarked on a healthy rebuilding/upgrading program for her naval forces during the 30s. They were ranked at the beginning of hostilities as the 8th most powerful navy in the world, more than likely because of the two BBs.
Keith Enge wrote:I dont know what you used to decide how many Argentine aircraft would be available.

I have some book sources at home that alluded to types of aircraft, but mostly I relied on the very fine assessment of Argentine aircraft types listed at http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aircra ... 28750.html
My chief concern was the listing of available airbases for which the Argentine forces could have flown from. I was using airbases that were available to them in the 1980s for the Falklands War then. I am aware that some of those bases might not have been available, and agree with you that because of ranges, most of their planes would not have been a factor, or a minimum one at best. Immediate inclusion of Ark Royal and Renown would have tipped the scale dramatically I think, so I held them back.




19kilo wrote:Had never thought of this. If Argentina could get and keep most of its ships operational, I think she could very well have taken the Falklands. Keeping them, however, would have proved impossible. If the British didnt retake them by themselves, then they surely would have fallen after dec 41. Also, IF Argentina became too closely associated with the Germans, I dont think the resulting peace would have been to Argentina's liking. Fascinating scenario tho.......
[/quote]
I agree that they would not have held them, if they were able to take them at all, unless of course you allow a possible Axis victory. I think far more important would have been the immediate availability to Nazi surface raiders and uboats for port maintenence. I think the US would most likely have been outraged and would likely have gone to war before Pearl Harbor. Nazis in France are one thing. Having them poking around in our hemisphere would have raised a few more hackles.

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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by José M. Rico » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:55 am

Why don't delay the attack on the Falklands until May 1940 when the UK and France are busy trying to stop the German assault in Western Europe and naval forces busy in Norway?

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Jellicoe
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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by Jellicoe » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:21 am

José M. Rico wrote:Why don't delay the attack on the Falklands until May 1940 when the UK and France are busy trying to stop the German assault in Western Europe and naval forces busy in Norway?
Agreed. That would be a much more favorable time for the Argentine chances.

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RF
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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by RF » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:51 pm

An interesting scenario but November 1939 is lousy timing.

Britain has its RN plus also the French Navy to help out. Germany has no forces anywhere near the South Atlantic except for Graf Spee. Argentina would be almost entirely on its own.

August 1940 might be a better time, however once the Battle of Britain is out of the way the British would go all out to retake the Falklands if they were captured simply in order to stop the Germans using it as a base for U-boats and surface raiders.

And if the KM did use the Falklands - consider the US reaction
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by RF » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:56 pm

Jellicoe wrote:
ARGENTINE ALLY
AC Admiral Graf Spee 11,700t 6x11 in 54cal (2x3) 28 kts
commanded by her own German captain, but under overarching command of the Argentine admiral.
Raeder, let alone Hitler, would never have placed Graf Spee under Argentine command. AGS was due to return to Germany in January 1940 and after then would have been needed for the invasion of Norway.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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19kilo
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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by 19kilo » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:37 am

José M. Rico wrote:Why don't delay the attack on the Falklands until May 1940 when the UK and France are busy trying to stop the German assault in Western Europe and naval forces busy in Norway?
I'm not sure Argentina expected the Allies to collapse as rapidly as was the case.

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RF
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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by RF » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:48 am

Neither did the Soviet Union. Stalin changed his strategy accordingly and eventually came up trumps even though he sailed pretty close to the wind in 1941.

The Argentines could have done the same - Franco for example intended to keep Spain neutral until a German invasion of Britain was well under way. Of course it didn't happen but a comparatively weak military country like Argentina has to play a very careful strategy.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by José M. Rico » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:24 pm

I was wondering, is there any chance this invasion of the Falklands could remain a local conflict like in 1982, without Argentina entering the world war on the Axis side?
The idea is to recover the sovereignty over the Falklands and not helping Hitler at all. :think:

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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by RF » Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:54 pm

If it is taking place within the context of a European or a World War then by defintion it is difficult to keep it localised when the invasion is against a major combatent in that war and the territory involved is of strategic importance.

I presume the original question posed was of an invasion that could take place precisely because of the wider conflict - without that conflict the invasion would not be launched.

Obviously the focus here is from the standpoint of Argentina and not Hitler. But the same argument applies equally to Japan - they didn't attack Pearl Harbor or capture Singapore to help Hitler but to achieve Japan's own war agenda. They used Nazi Germany for their own ends in an alliance that was entered into for opposite reasons, the Germans signed up Japan as an ally to keep the USA out of the war, the Japanese signed up to rope Hitler in as their ally when they attacked the USA.

Now during WW2 there was a local war that was brief and stayed local. The territory involved was in a continent where there was no direct WW2 military action, the territory fought over was of absolutely no use to either side in WW2. So neither side got involved in the 1942 border conflict between Ecuador and Peru.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Falklands! 1939

Post by lwd » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:24 pm

If the object is to secure the Falklands what happens if the Argentines try a diplomatic solution? I.e. agree to join the allies in return for the Falklands and imply that they might join the axis if they don't get them?

If we are looking at alternate dates January of 42 would also look good at least on the surface.

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