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Originally posted by AzNtoccata:

How would the rest of the war progress? this is assuming that they rout the Soviets, suffering heavy casualties, but still retaining some offensive power.

I do recall (off the top of my head) from Guderian's book that the idea was to inflict a defeat on the Russians to keep them on the defensive and straighten the German line so the Germans could concentrate on the Western Front (though many German generals pointed out they could straighten the line by pulling back from either side of the salient)...

Alternatively, the idea was banded about that it would force the Soviets into some deal with the Germans, and after such a victory, the Germans could dictate from a position of strenght...I don't think Hitler would've gone for that though...

Going for moscow in 43 etc wasn't going to happen...

So the result? The war would've gone on longer...

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The war may have gone on longer, but there are several things that could have changed that. Even if the Germans won the battle, they would have taken heavy losses, maybe more than they did historically, and then what? They may not have been any better off in the long, or even short term situation.

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.hmm i dunno. not an expert on the eastern front. but the russians are not invincible. by the end of the war they were short on man power. i think kursk could of led to a string of voictories. and in my mind it is possible they could of moved on for a win. or atleast spared more troops for normandy. but its a little to vague. who knows how the russians would react. or even the western allies.

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Originally posted by Hinkar:

Alternatively, the idea was banded about that it would force the Soviets into some deal with the Germans, and after such a victory, the Germans could dictate from a position of strenght...I don't think Hitler would've gone for that though...

TIME reported in their VE Day anniversary issue I was just reading that Stalin actually stopped at Poland in order to offer Hitler a deal in late 44. Hitler refused. Is this true? Don't recall reading that before. I know they stopped short of Warsaw to allow the home army there the chance to wipe itself out and ease the Russian takeover.

A Kursk victory would not have mattered in the long run; it may have drawn out the eastern front for a few months, perhaps put the Western Allies in a better position to take Czechoslovakia in 1945 or even force the western Allies to take Berlin at great cost. But it would not have mattered to Germany, they were losers any way you cut it.

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It may have mattered a great deal. A delay of historical events on the eastern front by only a month would probably have given the western Allies the opportunity to take Berlin and most of Germany. Had it been the US and CW who were advancing on Berlin, the odds of a surrender and even Hitler's elimination as leader of Germany become both very possible, perhaps even likely, events.

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The western allies could have easily taken berlin before the russians, maybe even a couple of weeks earlier. The germans were more than happy to surrender to the allies at that point so the allies path to berlin was almost unopposed. The germans were hopeing the allies would take berlin instead of the russians.

If you recall the allies just stoped and went south into bavaria instead of going on to berlin. From what I've read the higher up german officers were hoping the allies would come to berlin.

I honestly believe the only reason the germans put up a fanatical defense of berlin is because they were fighting the russians. They would have probly surrendered the city to the allies.

So I don't believe the allies would have sustained as many casualties as the rusky's and defiently not more. Because there would have been less of a fight. Sure there would still be pockets of fanatical SS fighting to the death, but as a whole I think most of the germans would have surrendered without a big fight.

If you also remeber Isenhower made a deal with the russians. He said that the allies wouldn't advance on berlin because stalin wanted it so bad for a symbolic victory. Numerous western leaders like churhill and patton pleaded with Isenhower to forget the deal and take berlin before the ruskies. But he stayed true to his word right or wrong.

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Originally posted by zmoney:

The western allies could have easily taken berlin before the russians, maybe even a couple of weeks earlier. The germans were more than happy to surrender to the allies at that point so the allies path to berlin was almost unopposed.

You need to read 'No triumphant procession' if you believe that.

All the best

Andreas

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It would have mattered in delaying the Russians by a few months as mentioned above but it would have resualted in large numbers of prisoners for slave labour, which was one of Hitlers' aims, a shortening of the Front line and the creation of German reserves that would not have mattered much in Normandy IMO but would have been consumed dealing with the continued Russian offensive blows across the Eastern Front after Kursk battles which at most would have been stimyed until some great series of winter offensives. The Germans ultimately were loosing the war of production. Recent oppinion on Kursk goes something like this AFAIK the SS led Southern prong had broken the 5th Guards Tank Army at Prokhorovka and could still have continued to achieve an operational break through but that the attack was called off, not lost. IMO Hitler lost his nerve sending the SS and Panzer Divs to other places on the Russian front or to Italy, the reason he gave for calling off Operation Zitadel was the Allied landings on Sicily!

[ August 02, 2005, 11:25 PM: Message edited by: Zalgiris 1410 ]

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Originally posted by Zalgiris 1410:

Recent oppinion on Kursk goes something like this AFAIK the SS led Southern prong had broken the 5th Guards Tank Army at Prokhorovka and could still have continued to achieve an operational break through but that the attack was called off, not lost. IMO Hitler lost his nerve sending the SS and Panzer Divs to other places on the Russian front or to Italy, the reason he gave for calling off Operation Zitadel was the Allied landings on Sicily!

That recent opinion somehow appears to be ignoring that the Soviets had another front standing ready to defend. Also, only one division was sent to Italy (LSSAH), and it is open to question how much of its equipment it took. Finally, the Soviet attack on the Mius was a serious threat that needed to be defeated, and Armeeabteilung Hollidt was not capable of doing so without reinforcement.

At the same time the Soviets were putting serious pressure on the 2nd Army front around Orel.

In these circumstances an operational breakthrough by one pincer would have been meaningless, because it would not have achieved any of the aims which the operation was trying to achieve.

So I think that this recent opinion is somewhat optimistic about the ability to break-through in the first place, and using blinders to studiously ignore what was going on elsewhere, making it less valuable or relevant as it may appear at first.

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With a shortened front line in the East, with several Russians crack armies destroyed (i.e. Russians weakened significiantly) the Germans could create a number of reserves. So, the reserves could have been transfered to the West to meet the forthcomming invasion. So, the Western allies would have been delayed too. Maybe even more than the Russians.

Maybe Overlord could have been a failure in that case?

What if the Normandy was defended by some of the Infanterie division of series 70 (78. Inf Div. for example) instead of division of serie 700 (718, 716 etc.)

What if GD was stationed in Caen of June 06. '44?

And those thing could have happened had the Germans won the Kursk battle resulting the Russian being stripped off their best units, and therefore weakened to such an extent that they pose no serious threat for a time.

The Berlin could have fallen in 1949 or so.

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Even with a major defeat at Kursk, I don't think the war would have gone on more than a year or two at best, so 1949 would be pushing it a bit. As Andreas pointed out, Kursk was not the other part of the Eastern Front where the German armies were in trouble.

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The Berlin could have fallen in 1949 or so. [/QB]
I suspect that it would rather transpire that Hiroshima might not hav been the first city to see an Atomic weapon in that situation.

Or at the very least Hiroshima would have forced a surrender from the Germans as well as the Japanese.

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Originally posted by Code13:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />The Berlin could have fallen in 1949 or so.

I suspect that it would rather transpire that Hiroshima might not hav been the first city to see an Atomic weapon in that situation.

Or at the very least Hiroshima would have forced a surrender from the Germans as well as the Japanese. [/QB]</font>

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Originally posted by von Churov:

I don't think that that there is a lunatic who would have used the atomic bomb in the heart of the Europe.

Why? RAF Bomber Command and the USAAF were busy trashing German cities for a number of years without regard for the civilian population. I see no reason to suppose they would not have used any weapon at their disposal - there was a war to be won.
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Leo Szilard with Albert Einstein's endorsement, was instrumental in 1939 to pursuading the US government of the dangers of a Nazi atomic program. This was taken up by Roosevelt and developed into the Manhatten project which was motivated by the possibilities of a German threat rather than a Japanese one.

The first atomic bombs dropped were airbursts (1800 ft) which were for maximum damage on a city based rather than blowing big radioactive craters and debris all over the place. There was enough knowledge about the dangers of radioactivity as the first people to approach the immediate scene of the Trinity test site did so in a lead lined Sherman. ;)

Compared to the later Hydrogen bombs, the early atomic bombs were firecrackers and I'm sure would have been used if necessary against Germany if it had resisted for whatever reason, against unconditional surrender.

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