What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

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What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by WW2 Buff on Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:17 am

What if Nationalist Spain under Franco joined the axis prior to ww2 and proceeded to invade France and have a campaign in Africa. Could they be the tipping factor in the war in my mind it would starve French Africa and the resource supplies and connect with Italy and in Africa. Meanwhile in Europe it could prevent a invasion of Italy and starve Malta because Spain would easily seize Gibraltar which was one of the only things keeping Malta alive this would do destroy British Air and Sea superiority in the Mediterranean. Which could allow a seizure of the Suez Canal which would effectively cut off Britain from most of her Allies.

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Anyway i would like other peoples opinions on this scenario.

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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by TheSaxonKnight on Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:13 am

I think that this would be a stupid move because they just finished fighting a civil war and what do you do, join in a much larger war?!
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by Cynical Fish on Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:48 am

TheSaxonKnight wrote:I think that this would be a stupid move because they just finished fighting a civil war and what do you do, join in a much larger war?!

I agree. Spain was still recovering from their recent civil war and really didn't have the resources to fight in the largest conflict in human history.
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by Visigoth on Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:14 am

Spain was destroyed and exhausted by the Civil War. Anyway Franco collaborated and sent a group of volunteers (Blue Division) and they had some victories in the Eastern Front.
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by Sol Invictus XVI on Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:42 am

I think the only real change is that Spain would have been invaded and occupied by the allies who would probably arrest or exile Franco
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by Retro on Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:03 am

Spain would become a gateway for the Allies to enter Europe. Even after cutting off Africa and Italy, their border with the Atlantic would be at stake and if I were to plan a naval invasion, Normandy would be way out there compared to Galicia, Spain. However, the Mountains cutting the spanish off from the French would act as a barrier against the allies. Instead of steamrolling towards Germany, they would be further away and steam roll towards France, eventually stopped. After they control the Iberian Peninsula, the Allies would naval invade the Italians just like they did in WW2 and swiftly cause that civil war in Italy. The Germans would still be able to hold off the Allies. By the time this happened though, The Soviets would be on the back door of the Germans and advancing quickly everyday. We could see a completely communist Germany instead of the Split Germany like in our timeline. The Soviets could even force the Germans to surrender before the Italians and French territory were captured by the Allies. The Soviet Union would turn out stronger in our timeline. Only due to it having Germany. With Germany the Warsaw pact may not dissolve. the USSR may not collapse. Who knows, but what is known is that the Spanish would basically sacrifice themselves to keep the western front from pushing into West Germany.

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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by Sol Invictus XVI on Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:17 am

Retro wrote:Spain would become a gateway for the Allies to enter Europe. Even after cutting off Africa and Italy, their border with the Atlantic would be at stake and if I were to plan a naval invasion, Normandy would be way out there compared to Galicia, Spain. However, the Mountains cutting the spanish off from the French would act as a barrier against the allies. Instead of steamrolling towards Germany, they would be further away and steam roll towards France, eventually stopped. After they control the Iberian Peninsula, the Allies would naval invade the Italians just like they did in WW2 and swiftly cause that civil war in Italy. The Germans would still be able to hold off the Allies. By the time this happened though, The Soviets would be on the back door of the Germans and advancing quickly everyday. We could see a completely communist Germany instead of the Split Germany like in our timeline. The Soviets could even force the Germans to surrender before the Italians and French territory were captured by the Allies. The Soviet Union would turn out stronger in our timeline. Only due to it having Germany. With Germany the Warsaw pact may not dissolve. the USSR may not collapse. Who knows, but what is known is that the Spanish would basically sacrifice themselves to keep the western front from pushing into West Germany.

I don't think so because the reason why the UK was so important during the war was that it was an island that functioned as one giant aircraft carrier (I think one of the allies' leaders said that). That being said, the reason why the invasion took place at Normandy was because it was close enough to the UK that any beachhead could be supplied much easier. A landing in Spain would not only be much harder to supply especially when supplies got spread out as the allies advanced across Iberia but it would also not make sense because of the mountain barrier that you mentioned. It would have made much better sense to take the hard hit on the Normandy beaches, bypass the Pyrenees, and be better supplied than to take the roundabout way. Also one last thing to keep in mind was the Soviets. While the US, UK, and Soviet Union were allies the US wanted to limit Soviet influence in Europe even during the war. That is why the Western allies moved fast through Germany. They wanted to take as much land as they could before the Soviets got there. If the allies landed in Spain they would be bogged down by the Pyrenees and, if the Soviets achieved a breakthrough, they would have been in Paris by the time the allies got over the mountains
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by Gnat_Bacon on Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:31 pm

I think that the Spaniards would help the axis, but not to an extent that they would win ww2. Once ww2 starts, the Spanish would target the French African territory along with italy, allowing a much quicker North African campaign, but split between italy and Spain rather than just italy. The mainland French would fall quicker, and Vichy would have less coast because of Spaniard gains. Eventually, there might be a D-day esque invasion in Galicia, and they would fall similar how the Italians did in our timeline. This means that the Italians might be able to stay around for a few more months, but they would still fall.

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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by CptCrape on Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:43 pm

Here's what I could see, In 1939 they would join the axis and invade Portugal, they would help fight France in 1940 and most likely retake Pyrénées-Orientales, after they wouldn't do much in the war besides providing expeditionary units and limited material support. They would probably capitulate before the other Axis powers so they could retain their government.
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by Napoleon Bonaparte on Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:12 pm

CptCrape wrote:Here's what I could see, In 1939 they would join the axis and invade Portugal, they would help fight France in 1940 and most likely retake Pyrénées-Orientales, after they wouldn't do much in the war besides providing expeditionary units and limited material support. They would probably capitulate before the other Axis powers so they could retain their government.

I don't think they would have invaded Portugal which under the Estado Novo regime assisted them in the civil war
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by CptCrape on Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:16 pm

Napoleon Bonaparte wrote:
CptCrape wrote:Here's what I could see, In 1939 they would join the axis and invade Portugal, they would help fight France in 1940 and most likely retake Pyrénées-Orientales, after they wouldn't do much in the war besides providing expeditionary units and limited material support. They would probably capitulate before the other Axis powers so they could retain their government.

I don't think they would have invaded Portugal which under the Estado Novo regime assisted them in the civil war
True. Maybe they would have politically taken the over though.
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by Onward Painter X on Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:17 pm

It wouldn't change the outcome that much with the civil war and all.
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by Cold War Communist on Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:18 pm

Well, it would make British efforts in North Africa that much more difficult. Spanish neutrality in WWII allowed the British to supply Malta and their North African troops to battle.

It's not about what Spain could do, but what the threat of Spanish action could do to alter allied actions in the Mediterranean.
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by CptCrape on Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:52 pm

Cold War Communist wrote:Well, it would make British efforts in North Africa that much more difficult. Spanish neutrality in WWII allowed the British to supply Malta and their North African troops to battle.

It's not about what Spain could do, but what the threat of Spanish action could do to alter allied actions in the Mediterranean.
Britain could've quite easily taken Southern Spain and their colony in Northern Morocco, Spain was absolutely destroyed by the war and even if their was no war, Spain was not the superpower it once was.
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by Sir_Drex on Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:38 am

Spain was absolutely destroyed by the war and barely had any offensive cappabilities. Should Spain actively join the war, they'd close the strait of Gibraltar for British shipping, forcing them to surround the whole of Africa during the early stages of the war. Spain would play a defensive role from then on.

Then the US comes in, they attack the Canary Islands (expect a stubborn resistance there and guerrillas in the inlands) and then hop into Morocco, taking it after some weeks. In order to finally open the sraits, the Allies would need to invade southern Spain, probably landing at Cádiz, Huelva, Barbate or Algeciras.

Taking over Andalusia would be a pain in the ass, except for the valley of the Guadalquivir, most of the region is a hilly, relatively arid terrain, perfect place for guerrillas to slow down the Allied advance until the point of stopping, but probably wouldn't push them back to the sea. After several months the Allies could cross the mountain ranges until the plains of Castile and resistance would be pretty much gone, in that flat land the Spanish army stoodwould stand no chance to resist an invasion. Probably taking the Balearic Islands and doing auxiliary landings in Valencia and Catalonia would help the job get done quick. By Spring 1944 Spain would be defeated.

Also, Franco stated that he wanted to annex Portugal. Should German forces intervene in the attack, Portugal would fall to Spain and be annexed, but the outcome wouldn't be very different apart from getting another excellent landing point in Iberia.
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by EmperorTigerstar on Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:22 am

Firstly, the war began in 1939, not 1938. Secondly, they'd be too exhausted to do so. Thirdly, the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939 so it'd be difficult for them to worry about a world war at the same time as the civil war.
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by King of Wurrtemburg on Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:45 am

I think people naturally assume allies=help. This isn't always the case, especially in large global conflicts where you've got an alliance whose members are each plotting their own imperial adventures. Mussolini entering the war by invading France to take some territory(something the Spanish also could have done)might have actually cost the Axis the war.

The North African Front started because Mussolini invaded British Egypt and did such a terrible job the Germans needed to bail him out or risk losing all of French North Africa(which otherwise would have been buffered by neutral Italian Libya). The Balkan front started when Mussolini invaded Greece which also went poorly and needed German intervention. That one probably prolonged Barbarossa at least a few weeks. Then there was the whole Italian front where the Allies invaded Italy who folded right away requiring the Germans to invest a ton of troops desperately needed elsewhere to prevent the Allies from taking Italy and invading Germany from the south.

Even if Spain didn't go on any misguided imperial adventures(and why would Franco join the Axis and take that risk if he wasn't going to get territory out of it) and simply sent troops to existing fronts, it would have just been an easier beachhead for the Allied invasion of Europe.

Spain wasn't only not a superpower as cptcrape pointed out but it wasn't a great power either and hadn't been for centuries IMO. While the "great powers" had populations of at least 40 million going into the war, Spain had a little over 20 million(wikipedia) and as others have pointed out were totally exhausted from the civil war. Spain entering the war wouldn't have done the Spanish or the Axis any good and Franco sending help to the Eastern front without joining the Axis was probably a smart move hedging his bets.

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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by Bowtie on Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:55 pm

If the Allies had to invade Spain it would have delayed the ending of the war but not changed it.

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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

Post by NearWolf58 on Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:33 pm

EmperorTigerstar wrote:Firstly, the war began in 1939, not 1938. Secondly, they'd be too exhausted to do so. Thirdly, the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939 so it'd be difficult for them to worry about a world war at the same time as the civil war.
After recovering from a civil war their economy was in shambles, and the Spanish military would not be able to hold against the allies. This would be another point of attack for Britain and Her allies.
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Re: What if Spain joined the axis in 1938

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