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JerseyJohn

WWII Speculations Thread

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SeaMonkey you raise an interesting question but do you think the Frenchies and the Brits.would trust Hitler in that after or if he beats Russia he wouldnt come back and attack them?Im not so sure they would(i do realise hindsight is 20/20).

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Now what, a234, do you really think the Western Democracies care a rats ass what happens to the Bolsheviks back in say 1939? Maybe you're right and they had enough forsight to bring USSR into the alliance, but I'm doubtful.

My position is they wouldn't, they may have even assisted Germany with trade, and then is there any misgivings here that Germany would eventually control all of Eastern Europe. I'm sure with the Balkans and Greece getting pressured, the UK may have gotten France to present a united front at further German aggression and that may have been the trigger, but no USSR by this time, I'm thinking 1941.

Now where would Italy be at this juncture? And what of Japan, who may well have been an ally of Germany's in the USSR escapade?

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Im thinking they wouldnt care about Russia as much as they would care what Hitler would do AFTER Russia.If Germany did somehow win then he would be very hard to stop.

Italy imho would probably do nothing.With France and Britain not Fighting Germany then Italy would be VERY foolish to try any type of expamsion,especially in Africa.

Japan needed oil so if the Americans didnt care if Japan and Germany ganged up on Russia and kept sending oil and scrap iron then yes maybe the Japs would attack Russia.They might wait though untill Hitler forced Russia to pull troops West.

I guess the biggest question is what would Germany have to attack Russia with.They got a large part of their tank force from taking over the Czechs.Im also wondering how the whole country would feel about attacking Russia.

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SeaMonkey and Arado,

A lot of interesting material here.

To start, the British and French created modern Poland at Versailles in hopes it would replace Czarist Russia as their eastern ally to help contain Germany, when it inevitably managed to rebuild.

Along the way, despite their claims of self-determination for local populations (one of Wilson's ideas, but he didn't bother to follow up on its execution), the victorious allies tried, as much as possible, to cut German populations from both Germany, and their newly created tiny Austria. So Czhechoslovakia wound up with the Sudetanland, Poland wound up with Danzig and its corridor along with several smaller areas containing many Germans -- and some others containing a large Ukranian population, and Lithuania had Mamel, all of which were made up primarily of German populations. In the 1920s the Austrians wanted to be joined with Germany, but the idea became less popular after the Nazis usurped their position in the Weimar Republic and wound up taking over the government.

I'm sure both Hitler, and the majority of the German people of the 1930s, after having the various French areas returned, would have demanded the same for the parts of Central and Eastern Europe with either large German populations, or that had geographically been part of Imperial Germany prior to 1914.

Britain proposed returning the pre-war African colonies to Germany if they'd openly waive any claim to territory outside of the boundaries as they stood after the Anschluss with Austria. Hitler refused.

The stage is set.

I think Hitler's biggest diplomatic blunder was in claiming he would make no further territorial demands after the Sudetanland, and then almost immediately making new ones!

Probably the most sensible thing would have been to call a meeting of the several neighboring nations, with Britain, France and Italy invited to act in an advisory capacity, in which Germany laid out all of its remaining claims simultaneously with offers of compensation being made to the countries that were asked to cede territory. Personally I don't see how this could have had any chance for success, but perhaps it would have served to make the British and French feel better about Hitler as a man trying to find peaceful solutions. And, after diplomacy failed, he could always have gone to more direct means, and at least he'd have been able to claim he'd tried to settle things -- to undo the last wrongs inflicted upon Germany at Versailles -- but his neighbors would not cooperate. This would probably have gotten some sympathy for Germany among the British and French populations, and possibly this would have placed enough pressure on their leaders to not line up with Germany's future targets.

I don't think Hitler could have placed Poland ahead of Czheckoslovakia as (1) the Czhecks were better prepared militarily (2) gaining the Sudetanland also meant depriving potential enemies of the high ground made all the more dangerous by the building of formidable fortifications and, (3), a victory over Poland would probably meant the destruction of Poland and a common border with the USSR while Czechoslovakia, having some diplomatic ties with the Russians, remained in tack to the south with the USSR now facing Germany in the east.

Probably Hitler would have been glad to get the Polish Corridor and Danzig, along with Memel from Lithuania, before going after the Sudetanland. He'd have still had Poland as a buffer with the USSR. Of course there would have been the reverse problem as what happened historically: with Poland taken care of, would the Brits and, especially the French with their existing defensive pact with the Czhechs, have chosen not to go along with a Munich agreement after Germany had seized parts of Poland? Would it have just been Sept 1939 WWII taking place through a different, possibly worse, sequence? -- Possibly part of a deal with Poland might have been its getting part of Czhecoslovakia (as happened historically), but in this case it would have needed to be a large part of that nation, one that would be difficult to tie into a German claim for reunification with Germans who had once been part of the Austrian Empire.

Very notty situation. I think Hitler's chances would have been improved if he had a deal with Stalin where Russia would have been making numerous claims in Eastern Europe, in which case the British and French might well have seen Germany as its bulwark against Bulshevism; but I don't think Hitler ever considered that idea.

-- Getting at least some of this into the game would be incredible! :cool::D

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- Hitler saw the British as nearly equal to the Masterace.

- England & France declared war on Germany.

- Hitler was surprised by the quick success in France.

- Goering screwed up the bombing of England.

- Joining with Italy was a waste of time.

- North Africa was a waste of time.

- Stupid plan in Russia screwed it up.

End of story, else we'd all be speaking Nazi or be a bowl of ashes.

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Gee, and I thought WWII was so complicated.

I guess I'll throw all 2 dozen of my WWII books out into the garbage.

JJR just made it all so simple. Thanks, Rambo! :rolleyes::D

And to think I was learning so much from the earlier posts, silly me. ;)

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Wait just a cotton-pickin minute here! :eek:Rambo....no one liners summarizing the almost 4 years in the Pacific and Asia?

See Snow, we can keep those Pacific campaign references as I'm guessing it was just a little too complicated for Brother JJR.:confused:

Perhaps he'll recite a movie title for us to watch which will certainly unravel the mystery?:rolleyes:

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Snowstorm, don't throw them out till summer; books against walls make excellent insolation.

Thank you, SeaMonkey, glad you enjoyed it. Feels good to be posting these things again.

Speaking of which --

"I see tropical beaches. I see John Wayne and Ronald Reagan and James Cagney. I see a great sage named Rambo building a giant movie screen."

fortune-teller-3.jpg

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Ohhh...all right, JerseyJohn, I'll wait until summer. Maybe I CAN use them for insolation in the meantime. ;)

Just hang in there, Sea Monkey. I'm sure our Great Sage Brother Rambo will have the answer to the Pacific Campaign real soon. :D:D

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Here's another what-if: Operation Overlord.

It is well known that in those critical hours before and during the landings, Hitler refused to believe the Allies were going to land at Normandy, at one point believing the landings might be happening up the coastline further in the Calais region.

Could the Germans have stopped the invasion if some of its divisions had not been held back or even diverted elsewhere until it was too late? On some beaches (such as Omaha Beach), the landings barely survived or were tenuous at best. Perhaps if these divisions had been sent to Normandy in a more timely manner, perhaps the invasion may not have succeeded after all.

Any thoughts?

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Thank you, SeaMonkey, as always appreciated. :cool::)

Snowstorm I think von Rundstedt had the soundest strategy, which was to have inland strongpoints instead of spreading troops along the entire coastline in massive concrete fortifications. The fortifications, instead of being along the beaches, would have been reserved for harbors. Elsewhere allied landings would be lightly opposed, the defenders falling back inland where panzer units could counter-attack beyond the range of naval guns, or at least beyond the range of accurate fire from battleships. This would also have been more flexible as there wouldn't have been an overall defensive line where a breach at one point would compromise all the rest. Rundstedt wasn't under any delussions, he didn't believe Germany could still win the war, but he hoped a hard enough resistence would at least stave off outright defeat. Of course, what he'd really wanted since mid-1943 was peace negotiations. By mid-44 he made no secret of his pessimism. In almost any other German general such an attitude would have been seen as defeatism, and he was put back into retirement, but brought back again because in late 1944 he was Germany's senior, and only undefeated, field marshal.

If the attack on Normandy would have failed I believe a landing in Brittany would have taken place in July during the next favorable tidal period. I don't think the Germans could have stopped that attack from at least getting ashore, though it could have been sealed in, at least for a while, farther up the penninsula.

Landing at the Pas de Calais was never an allied consideration as the English Channel was, incredibly, too narrow to allow the outward and inward ship traffic from Southern England to the invasion point; just not enough sea space for landings on such a massive scale, and the follow up!

Churchill was against the Normandy operation from the start; he felt the Atlantic Wall was too strong and allied troops might well end up being slaughtered on the beach, the way the Canadians had wound up at Dieppe in 1943. I remember reading how he told Field Marshal Allan Brooke his own secret plan before telling it to Eisenhower. He ran a hand along the Portuguese coastline. "Our ancient allies and fellow seafarers, the Portuguese, would welcome us ashore and embrace us in our common cause. We'd tell Franco to prove once and for all that he was with us rather than with the Huns, and together we'd race to Pyranees with our new Ibirian allies and --" and he got no farther because Allan Brooke had already stormed out of the room. :D

Steve Ambrose, interviewed on the History Channel, said, "We'd have dropped the A-bomb on them, that's all." I'm not so sure about that. To begin with we knew we'd only have one or two for use in 1945. One was used in the final desert test, and the other was dropped on Hiroshima. We relied on German refined material to finish the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. And that would have been it for 1945, so if we dropped our bombs on Germany (which wouldn't have been till long after the Soviets had finished over-running the Balkans and Poland and the eastern half of Germany) we wouldn't have had them for Japan. First I think Ambrose's timeline was faulty and he hadn't fully thought about what he was saying. And second, I'll never be convinced that Britain and the U. S. would have consented to dropping a radio active device on Germany. Not that it was any more lethal than our firebombings -- Curtis LeMay actually boasted later that his biggest Tokyo firestorm killed more people in a single night than died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined -- and its irrational to say killing by one means is worse than by another; dead = dead.

But I don't think the western allies would have wanted scenes of radiation poisoned German civilians being shown to their own people. Part of it was outright racism, but to a larger extent it would have been, in the United States, that the Japanese were fair game because we'd made things like the Pearl Harbor and the Bataan Death March, along with the earlier Rape of Nanking, major propaganda campaigns and the feeling had been deliberating nurtured that the Japanese weren't quite civilized; many said not even quite human.

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Continued from above post --

Sorry, I never did give an opinion on what I think would have happened if the Normandy landing, and it would have to be added the second attempt to land in France in July, would both have failed.

I think the United States and Britain would have transferred most of the troops who hadn't been used to Northern Italy, where the Axis lines were cracking. Or, the historical second landing near Marsielles would have been made. In either case, without an Atlantic beachead to worry about, the Germans would have sent enough troops south to contain the allies so they'd never have reached Germany before the Russians had already forced their way in. It's possible that, without the massive losses at Falais and the Bulge, and with several panzer corps freed to face the Soviets, that the Russians might have been stalled at the German/Polish border. The Anglo-American bombing campaign would have continued unabated and, after Russia took everything that was left in the Balkans, including the Hungarian oil fields after already having taken those of Rumania, that Germany, if Hitler were still running it in 1946, would have reached its absolute breaking point. The Western Allies channel landing would have succeeded in the spring of 46, salvaging France and the low countries, but the USSR would have been an even bigger post-war winner than it was historically.

I believe Stalin would have altered prior arrangements with the Russians going to the Rhine instead of the Elbe, the British and Americans accepting that in exchange for the Soviets not moving into Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.

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JJ,

I believe your argument makes very good rational sense. The Germans in all likelihood would still have lost the war, except perhaps a bit later and the Russians would surely have had the time to overrun all of Germany.

My one followup would be, if the Germans had, say, 6-9 months of additional time, would the development of advanced weapons (aircraft and rockets) have been able to make any real difference at that point?

And perhaps another what-if, woould Patton and others like him have made a much more strenuous argument to attack the Russians in that eventuality?

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Terrific follow-up, Snowstorm.

I'm sure Germany would have come up with a lot of great wonder weapons given another six to nine months of existence, but I doubt they'd have been able to manufacture any. They had a small jet fighter, for example, that was flown at the end of the war by the Hitler Youth. It was very deadly even in the hands of outright novice pilots, and even deadlier to its own pilot. A real death trap, not because there was anything wrong with its design, but because Germany no longer had the basic components needed to make decent wood glue!

-- Presumably the Reich would have held Norway, Denmark, most of Germany, Holland, Belgium, France (prior to a successful Allied landing), Austria, parts of Czechoslovakia, and Alpine Italy throughout most of those months.

As for fuel and raw materials of every description, I don't know where they'd have gotten any of those things from after the Soviets had finished taking Poland, Hungary and the outer parts of Germany itself.

I don't believe any wonder weapon, including an A-bomb, would have saved the Nazi cause after the mindboggling losses of 1943 (Stalingrad, El Alemain, Kusrk and Tunesia, with more of the same to come in 1944 -- Army Group Kourland [44 divisions lost in Baltic States], Falaise Pocket and various city garrisons abandoned as fortresses).

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Interesting premise Snow, about D-Day, but just like JJ has iterated, there's no "what if" this late in the War, Axis lose. Timing essentially is the only issue, but of course later starting scenarios would have to reflect that as a victory condition. That's why most of our discussions revolve aroung the earlier war years, when the Axis may have had a chance to make a go of it.

One thing though, that hypothetical Rhine position of the Red Army in 1946 could make for an interesting campaign, perhaps Japan would still be around, however weak, they could be a wildcard of some sort. The only pre-existing condition to make things really competitive would be no A-bomb. Nuclear warfare kind of ruins it for me, I prefer the conventional approach.

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If the Russians had overrun all or most of Germany and if they had refused to withdraw, I don't see that the Western Allies would have had any choice but to attack them. There's just no way Churchill could have accepted that, and I don't think Roosevelt would have either.

So, Russia without all our lend-lease aid (seldom discussed but it made a massive difference) and us with at least one or two A-Bombs to use as a threat if not more (remember the Russians knew about the Bomb), what would have happened?

Who knows? It would have been a bloody mess that's for sure. Given the raw numbers, unless our airforces could have overcome the Russian airforce and then evened up the odds on the ground, I find it hard to see us winning a completely conventional war with the Russians. But you can bet your bottom dollar ol' Patton would have LOVED it!

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AZGungHo

I really don't think so. Britain was already war-weary, as evidenced by its voting Churchill out of office as soon as he started talking about preserving the empire, by force if necessary.

The United States was approaching war-weariness, and also at the end of its economic abilitity. There was massive discontent among the U. S. troops in Europe after VE Day when word began going around that they'd be going back to the USA only to be retrained for a different kind of warfare, and sent off to invade the Japanese Home Islands. I've spoken to many WWII in Europe vets and not a single one ever said he'd fight in Japan. They all had pretty much the same thing to say, [to paraphrase] 'We won our war, let the guys in the Pacific win theirs. We had the A-bomb, if we didn't use it I would have just stayed home; they couldn't arrest God knows how many millions of us!'

None of them would have obeyed orders to fight the Russians, unless the Russians had attacked our troops. Patton's starting point was to create an incident with the USSR; the United States could not have begun a war with them, Congress would never have voted for it.

You can easily imagine American and British morale if either, or both, our attempts to land in France during the summer of 44 had been thrown back into the sea. The sentiment would have been to let the Russians have the whole thing, including France!

-- As far as agreements go, the British were quick enough to forget why they went to war in the first place -- whatever happened to Poland? Surely no one could say she was getting her independence back.

FDR would have been dead and Truman and the British would have cut a quick deal with Russia, who we still wanted as allies in an invasion of Manchuria, Korea, and possibly the Japanese Home Islands, if it came to that.

As far as the atom bomb went, Stalin knew about it before Truman, and he wasn't impressed. The bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki had killed about 100,000 Japanese each; compare that to Russia's losses fighting the Germans. Also, I'm sure Stalin also knew we lacked the nuclear materials needed for more than the two bombs we dropped; no more till many months later, so it comes down to the U. S. and Britain first declaring war on Russia, and then fighting the USSR -- in France, with Japan still in the war. Just can't imagine that happening.

-- Nor can I see Patton being given the green light for any of his "Make it look like they started it" ideas.

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Oh I agree that we were war weary, no doubt about it, and yes promises were forgotten at the wars end. But there's no way from an economic stand point that Russia's dominance of the Continent could have been allowed to stand. If something like that had happened it would have radically changed people's views of the Soviets.

Even if we didn't enter into a hot war with the Soviets, the cold war would have started right then and there, and would certainly been a lot nastier than it was in reality.

I think the economics of a Russian dominated Europe would have driven America and the UK to do something to reverse it. Exactly what of course we'll never know. I'm just happy things turned out the way they did. In the long run they paved the way for a better world.

As far as the Bomb goes, well maybe they would have waited until we had more of them, and then if the Russians didn't withdraw we could have always started hitting their homeland with them. Just idle speculation of course, but it does make you think doesn't it?

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I think you hit it on the head when you said the Cold War would have begun right then and there, and would have been a lot nastier than it was historically.

The Soviets would have come out way ahead in all of this. Assuming the US and UK were able to reach Paris at the point where the Soviets stopped at the Rhine -- a big assumption that they wouldn't have gone across the river but I figure they'd have grabbed Greece instead.

By now Germany would definitely have surrendered; if not -- does Russia continue liberating?

The Western Allies would have had France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway and Italy.

In addition to the additional conquered territory, which includes all of Germany and probably Austria as well (the allies in Italy would probably have had to turn west from the Alps, for France, rather than east, toward Austria) the Soviets have probably bagged all of Germany's technology, including working versions of jet aircraft and stockpiles of V-1s and 2s along with von Braun, Heisenberg and nearly all the other scientists, and engineers such as the Hortan brothers et al.

Russia now has radar too. Unlike the shattered Germany of 1944 and 45, it is able to immediately mass produce German designed jet fighters and other weapons, and uses the near monopoly of captured technology/personnel to begin designing an early MIG in addition to its historical reverse engineering of the B-29s forced to land in Vladivostock.

And it possesses all the oil and raw materials Germany never had.

Russia has bagged maybe a million more German POWs than it did historically.

My guess is the USSR still shifts most of its army east to convieniently honor its earlier agreement to break the Japanese non-aggression pact, grabbing Manchuria and Korea. With the Cold War already started does it just plunder them and pull back, or does it keep all of both?

Definitely a different post war world -- c. mid to late-1946 -- perhaps a USSR and Soviet puppet states extending from a unified Korea in the east, to the Rhine in the west.

I don't think it would have developed into WWIII at any point. In my view it would have gone pretty much historically from that point on, but with the Soviet Union having more than it would ever have dreamt of, including ice free ports on the Baltic and the Sea of Japan.

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If the Germans had somehow guessed correctly that Normandy was the spot then imho they would have had a chance to defeat the Allies.It would all depend on how soon they found out.Of course we would know through Ultra that the Germans were aware of the invasion.Im not sure what the Allies would have done then.

If the Germans had figured the day of the invasion that Normandy was the real thing it would probably be to late.By the time you get those Panzer division mobile(through Ultra we would have probably known they were coming)it would be atleast mid-day.Those poor armoured formations would have been clobbered by the Hords of Allied aircraft.Who knows what shape those units would be in when they reached the fighting,plus all the naval guns would have opened up on them when they got closer.If the Germans reacted during the night of the Para.drops that would be a total different matter.They could have moved the tanks up at night and come just attacking out of the boccage and once they get in to close the Allies would have a REAL tough time using all their naval and airpower for fear of hitting their own troops.

In the end it wouldnt really matter much(the Germans are still going to suffer Huge losses in attempting to defeat any Allied invasion).The German losses after the Soviet destruction of Army Group centre was a HUGE catastrophe.The only reason the Russians stopped outside of Warsaw was so the Germans could crush the uprising.The Russians could have easily just kept on coming.I cant see how the Germans would have been able to form any type of defence anylonger.After Kursk the German panzer armies could never recover.

If by some miracle(i dont know if you could call it that)the Germans did manage to hold on untill the Atomic bomb(s) were ready and the Allies did decide to use them,there may have been an even worse response from Germany with all her Chemical weapons

Xwormwood was right(I do sincerly apologise)in that Germany had some REAL deadly nerve gas(which we knew nothing about) that would have killed MILLIONS of people.Weather Hitler would have done it.who knows.Im just gald we never found out.

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Jersey John,

We agree on the cold war part, but I don't know about it developing along historical lines. Since the Cold War was won economically, at the very least it would have taken several more decades to push the Soviets into bankruptcy.

And I'm still not sure that we and the Brits would have, or could have accepted the Soviets being in charge of that much of Europe. I still think the economics of things might have pushed them into some kind of "hot war" of one kind or another.

Oh, and on the war weariness, not only were the Western Allies and the Germans weary, so were the Russian people, and even the Japanese people were tired of the whole thing as well. Everyone was sick and tired of all the killing and destruction, but whether or not that would have stopped things is and will remain an open question.

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