The codename for the planned operation to capture Gibraltar to deny the naval facilities to the Royal Navy and close the straits checkpoint into the Mediterranean. This would then have isolated the British bases in Malta and Egypt and set the conditions for success in North Africa. The reluctance of General Franco of Spain to enter the war precluded its execution and it remained a general staff study only.
"The plan called for two German army corps to enter Spain across the Pyrenees. One corps was to cross Spain and assault Gibraltar, while the other was to secure its flanks. Air support would need one fighter and two dive-bomber wings...The Plan also made provisions for occupying Spanish possessions in North Africa and the Canary Islands, who's reports could then be used for German U-Boats."
The German staff estimates of casualties were also very high due to the defensive nature of the British positions at "The Rock"
|Gibraltar during a night air raid|
Expected German OOB
Expeditionary Corps (forming the covering force); General Rudolf Schmidt
- 16th Motorized Infantry Division (to concentrate at Valladolid)
- 16th Panzer Division (Cáceres)
- SS Division Totenkopf SS Division Totenkopf]] (Seville)
49 Gebirgsarmeekorps or Army Mountain Corps (forming the assault force); General Ludwig Kübler
- Grossdeutschland Infantry Regiment
- 98th Regiment of the 1st Mountain Division
- 26 medium and heavy artillery battalions
- 3 observation battalions
- 3 engineer battalions, which would use up to 150 "Goliath" remotely controlled mine clearing vehicles
- 2 Nebelwerfer battalions
- Brandenburg Regiment detachment of 150 men
Another source gives a slightly different projected strength for the Sturmdivision:
Stab/1. Gebirgsdivision: Lanz Hubert, Gen. Maj. (RDA: 01.11.1940)
Ia: Degen Hans, Obstlt. i. G.
x Gebirgsjägerregiment 98: Picker Egbert, Obst.
x (vst.) Infanterieregiment (mot.) "Großdeutschland": Stockhausen v Wilhelm, Obst.
x Kdr. d. Pion. XVIII. (Geb.) Armeekorps: Geiger Franz, Obst.
xx 3 Pionierbataillone
x Gebirgsartillerieregiment 79: Winkler Max, Obst.
xx 4 Abteilungen
x 1-2 Nebelwerferabteilungen
Strength: 460 Offiziere, 16.000 Mann. The troops were prepared near Besancon and Le Valdahon. Kaltenegger gives the following attack date: 10.01.1941, as well as a detailed plan for the operations. Air support should have come from Richthofen.
Source: Kaltenegger, Roland (1998): Die deutsche Gebirgstruppe 1935-1945, p. 179 ff.
|Italian chart of Gibraltar Bay and harbour|
British Defences, 1941
- 2nd Battalion, The King's Regiment
- 2nd Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry
- 4th Battalion, The Black Watch (from July 1940)
- 4th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment (from July 1940)
- 3rd Heavy Regiment, Royal Artillery, with 8 x 9.2 inch, 7 x 6 inch and 6 x twin 6 pounder coast artillery guns
- 10th Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, with 4 x 3 inch, 4 x 3.7 inch, and 2 x 2 pounder anti-aircraft guns
- 82nd Heavy AA Regiment, Royal Artillery, (from July 1940), with 16 x 3.7 inch guns, 8 x 40mm 40mm Bofors AA guns and radar
- 3rd Searchlight Battery, Royal Artillery.
- "Special Detachment" of No. 1 Tunnelling Company, Royal Canadian Engineers (from November 1940)
- No. 2 Tunnelling Company, Royal Canadian Engineers (from March 1941)
- Royal Engineers, Royal Signals and supporting arms.