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Russia-Germany conflict was inevitable due to Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, and Finland. Germany had to knock out Russia before Russia gained enough confidence to take more areas in the Balklands. On paper, the gamble looked good but I think they knew if they could not take Moscow quickly then the Eastern Front would be a 50/50 chance. They gambled and lost (Japan also took this gamble against USA). I don't think Russia would be out even it Moscow was occupied. So I think Germany lost the Eastern Front battle the minute they went over the Bug. Now what if Germany greeted the Ukranian peasants with open arms? Who knows, but they were Nazis so that wouldn't happen.

When German could not force the British to the negotiating table quickly, the UK was in it for the long haul until Mussilini abdicted and Germany negoitiate a release of Denmark, Norway, Belgium, and Holland, (France ?)

The US was inevitably involved due to the proximitity of PI and Imperial Japan. Naturally, US and UK would ally to defeat Japan in the Pacific. Due to the alliances Germany would be forced to fight US, or more likely US would help UK fight Germany.

Germany's alliance with Italy was also their undoing. Italy is a very vulnerable country in aspects of modern warfare. Italy would fall without help from Germany. Germany would be in a very bad situation if Italy fell so they had to defend the approach through N. Africa. No matter what, once US resouces and manpower was ashore in N. Africa it was over for Germany.

Remember, most of Germany's war/political stragegy was to capulate oppossing leaderships quickly and force them to negoiate a favorable Nazi peace treaty. I don't think Russia or at least Stalin was going to sign anything. Maybe they hoped that someone like Zhukov would coup Stalin and negoiate with Hitler if Moscow fell. Also remember before the Polish invasion not everyone was sold on the Blitzkrieg most thought it would fail and it was only really used once in full effect (in France). They cut it short in Russia, trying to secure Leningrad and the Caucasus instead.

I think a better "what if" is what if Nazi Germany waited until about 1948-50 to attack? They would really be at a supply and technology advantage to out class everyone. Not to mention their navy and airforce would be more prepared.

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Originally posted by FM Paul Heinrik:

I think a better "what if" is what if Nazi Germany waited until about 1948-50 to attack? They would really be at a supply and technology advantage to out class everyone. Not to mention their navy and airforce would be more prepared.

That seems entirely wrong to me in light of the vast population, raw material, and industrial base advantage that the Anti-Axis Coalition enjoyed over the Axis. The best time for Hitler to start a war was never. The second best was when he did, because that was when he held the maximum relative advantage over his enemies. Germany had jumped out into an early lead in rearming, but the Allies were starting to catch up. By 1942, they would have held the advantage and continued to do so.If he can't defeat three out of four of his major enemies by then, he's sunk. In our time line, he only managed to defeat one.

Michael

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no way Hitler would have beaten russian-the whole essence of the german war machine was blitzkrieg-Hitler's blitzkrieg worked until they tried to apply it to russia. Hitler could not have waited to attack russia either, his whole base of power was conquest-feeding the masses with quick victories, what made him so omnipotent to those masses was that most of his general staff told him that those quick victories would be impossible-victories that were not attained in 1914-1918. Once blitzkrieg was proven to be a failure-(when guderian cried about his pz army being split and sent to moscow, and he had to fly to berlin to personally lobby Hitler in order to keep it intact for the shift and drive on the Ukraine)it was too late for the germans to get out-they were stuck on a 1500 mile front, fighting a population 4 times their size and possessing more natural resources-there was no way they would ever win or even subdue the "nice" part of russia for that "living space" Hitler was forever ranting about.

Also if Hitler waited too long Uncle Joe would have moved on him-take that to the bank. It would have been a massacre, but it would have happened eventually-those 2 could not co exsist at the same time, on the same continent.

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Doesn't sound realistic. I mean, for instance, without the war there wouldn't have been Panther's in 1943. Possibly never. It took the experiences from war, all the theory-meets-practise things, and such levels of investment to military industries that couldn't have been achieved in time of peace, to achieve the kind of military technology that Germany finally had.

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How about this scenario:

In early 1941 Germany forces a peace treaty on France for the return of Alsace and Lorraine. Germany then unilaterally declares peace, claiming that the humiliation of Versailles has been erased. Germany does not declare war on the U.S. with Japan and does not attack Russia. Now Germany has annexed Alsace and Lorraine from France, western Poland, and Czecheslovakia. Germany withdraws troops from all other areas.

Would Russia initiate hostilities?

Would England continue to fight?

Would the U.S. enter the war?

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I dont see how Hitler stops-he cant. His whole stucture of power, his essence of being was centered around that past experiences and histories of war were now moot;that this new, quick, lightning war was NOW and before anyone could counter it, he had to get what he could. Blitzkrieg could work in the small, numerous, countries in Europe but it could not work in the endless steppes of Russia, nor could it bypass the 21 mile wide river. If Hitler stopped after France, then what-the guy was on a roll, momentum was with him... If he stopped, he has very limited raw materials to work with, while RUssia is growing and growing-learning about OPERATIONAL WAR-learning how to trade space for time. Hitler's Germany was designed for quick conquests to secure land (living space) and resources-without the resources of Russia where would Hitler have turned?

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The idea of blitzkrieg is appealing, but like others have said, you need to consider the logistics. Not only is a blitzkrieg, by nature, much faster than other sorts of military operations (and therefore harder to keep properly supplied), but it is also more expensive, in terms of building reliable tanks (panzers) and half-tracks for the Panzergrenadiers. You can only continue to fund this for so long before you have to revert to 'ordinary' combined arms warfare, which the Germans were not as good at as they were at blitzkrieg.

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Planning for Russia,

When OKH first Kreigspeiled a campaign into Russia in 1940, the officer players found that the German Army ran out of steam, supplies, ammo and fuel around Smolinsk. They wrote their after action report and submitted it. The General Staff and AH handed it back and said "Try again". Guess what? The second time they wargamed it they made it to both Leningrad and Moscow!

The "don't tell me what I don't want to hear" syndrome is not limited to our current administration. Once AH set the course of Germany eastwards, nothing short of his assasination would have stopped the invasion of Russia.

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The blitz IS combined arms warfare, at it's finest.

If Hitler didn't split up AG Center, the Germans take Moscow. Now, that doesn't mean the Red army is knocked out nor does it mean they surrender. It probably means that the Soviets fight harder but they would be at a terrible disadvantage.

By saying Germany wouldn't have invented the Panther yet because there was no need to at that time is a very valid point. Mother of invention truely is necessity but that line of thinking takes the fun out of "what if" plots. Like possibly no atomic energy, no USA economic super power, no USSR super power, ect. WW2 put a lot of things in motion that might not have happened or at least jump started them.

Germany wasn't the only country hurting economically at this time, Germany actually saved the economies of the Russia and the USA by bring then into the war.

What would they have lost by waiting? Initiative? They are the aggressor, they have initiative. Strategy? Please, everyone was brushing up on WW1 doctorine. The Soviets Deep Penetration offenses was still a theory and when implemented it still failed. When they went on the offense for good in '44, the war was over. Stalin was terrified of Nazi Germany no way he initiates an attack on German soil. Resources is the only problem Germany has by delaying, and they would have gotten them through normal trade after they sold their peaceful attentions toward the rest of Europe. If Germany delays maybe French and British join Germany into stopping Russian aggression in Poland, Finland, and Romania. Then Germany turns around and strikes France and British forces while they are far from home. Now that IS a little Ian Fleming'ish.

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Originally posted by FM Paul Heinrik:

If Germany waited, Chuchill nor Roosevlt would have been in office...

Churchill was not "in office" at the time that the UK began rearming. Stanley Baldwin was PM and Churchill wasn't even in the Government.

As for Roosevelt, that's closer to the truth, but he was not the only influential person in the US alarmed by Germany's militarism. Yes, the rearming of the US would likely proceeded much more slowly, but if you are intending for Hitler to wait until 1948-50 before starting hostilities, I don't see where that makes much difference.

If you assume Germany spends money at anything like the same rate on armaments, it goes broke before the war starts. Meanwhile the US and other Western Democracies have recovered further from the Depression and thus have even more economic strength to bring to bear.

The equation gets changed, but mostly I think only in detail. The outlines remain the same.

Michael

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If Hitler didn't split up AG Center, the Germans take Moscow.
That is far from being as certain as you make it sound. Try reading Robert Kershaw's War Without Garlands, or almost any of Glantz's books. AGC had outrun its supply lines long before it got to Moscow and was a disaster waiting to happen. If it moves faster to try to get there before the snows, it only outruns its supplies sooner.

Neither Hitler or the Wehrmacht were prepared to carry on serious operations more than about 200 km beyond the border. The Soviet army forced that upon them.

Germany wasn't the only country hurting economically at this time, Germany actually saved the economies of the Russia and the USA by bring then into the war.
I realize you are not the first to claim that, but it still strikes me as a dubious proposition. Massive armament programs and wars are inherently inflationary, since they do little or nothing to put consumer goods in the hands of the populace. All that spending is just going up in smoke. Ergo, a peaceful recovery, while less dramatic, is much more solid.

The Soviets Deep Penetration offenses was still a theory and when implemented it still failed. When they went on the offense for good in '44, the war was over.
Where on earth do you get that from?

If Germany delays maybe French and British join Germany into stopping Russian aggression in Poland, Finland, and Romania.
What Russian aggression? The USSR did not commit armed aggression until Hitler started the war and cut the Soviets in on a piece of Poland and the Baltic states. Also, the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact defined Finland as in the Soviet sphere of interest. So, no war, no Winter War. And Stalin grabbed Moldavia when he realized that Hitler was pretty well stuck into the West. No war and he doesn't do that either.

So you can pretty well lay the blame for nearly all of that at Hitler's door. He may not have filled the powder keg, but he lit the fuse.

Michael

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Originally posted by FM Paul Heinrik:

Now we have to understand first and far most that all "what if" scenerios are hindsight. If anyone could go back in time or see the future it would be very difficult not to accomplish your goals or at least do it better.

But it becomes quite stupid and pointless unless you allow the other side to benefit from that same hindsight as well, doesn't it?
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Originally posted by Tifosi:

And yes, if he hadn´t declared war on America after Pearl Harbour (done in the hope that Japan would reciprocate in kind and got to war with their traditional enemy, Russia) then it´s possible that Germany could have won. Without the USN escorts and the "Liberty Ships", then statistically, the U-boats would have starved us within a few weeks at the rate they were sinking ships in late ´41 to early ´42.

Thats debatable. The fact is that the british surface marine fleet was absalutly huge. The Germans would have had to be sinking ships at the rate they were at their peak (i think that was in late 41, but someone can correct me) for a whole year to seriously disrupt Britans economy and food supply. In simlple terms, there were far more boats than there were torpedos to kill them, even if the U-boats could have found every boat. after that year, yes, Britian could have been starved out, but it would take a while.
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I don't remember the exact reasons on how the situation came about, WW1 or probably even prior to that but Soviets had territorial claims on Romania and Hungry. There were Soviet armed border crossings into Romania (Bessarabia)resulting in combat prior to WW2 (late '20s early '30s?) I think Hilter forced them to cede that land to them (he would get it back later). Soviets wanted Finland, they didn't get "permission" from Hitler to attack it. Treaties and such are just excusses for countries to do what they want.

I don't know how you can think that there would be no Soviet aggression regardless of what Nazi Germany does or doesn't do? It is no secret that the Stalin wanted to expand his influence into Eastern Europe. Soviet aggression can not be excussed by Germany's timely attack on Russia.

I think history proves Soviet aggression. They didn't liberate Poland did they? Now maybe Stalin could make an agruement about occupying the Balklands for a while since they did ally with Germany against Russia. But we know that the Balklands had to choose between Nazi rule or Communist rule.

The biggest mistake of WW2 was the US not declaring war on the USSR and kicking them out of Eastern Europe.

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Originally posted by Sergei:

What's Balklands? Balkans?

Opps! Yes the "Balkans" not Balk-land. I don't mean the Balkans anynow, just referencing Hungry-Romania-Bulgaria. What's that region called if any?

I can't remember right now what role Yugoslavia played in pre or post war politics. Hitler supported the Croats, Italy ruled some parts, Tito took power later was a puppet to Stalin?

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Originally posted by Alexei:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Bushido:

(...) the British pretty much controlled the Mediteranian after the Italian Navy was destroyed.

Actually it was the opposite. I am not sure about the date - I believe it is in beginning of 1942 - the Royal Navy had no more BBs in Mediterranean Sea (Italian minisubs + some diverted to Pacific I guess).

It was the right moment to attack Malta, but Rommel wanted to run for Cairo...

What if Malta had fallen :D;) ? </font>

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Originally posted by PatAWilson:

How about this scenario:

In early 1941 Germany forces a peace treaty on France for the return of Alsace and Lorraine. Germany then unilaterally declares peace, claiming that the humiliation of Versailles has been erased. Germany does not declare war on the U.S. with Japan and does not attack Russia. Now Germany has annexed Alsace and Lorraine from France, western Poland, and Czecheslovakia. Germany withdraws troops from all other areas.

Would Russia initiate hostilities?

Would England continue to fight?

Would the U.S. enter the war?

This is an interesting scenario.

I would guess:

1) Probably not, although its hard to say given the paranoia of Stalin.

2) No, not in the long/medium term. Assuming that the U-boats withdrew.

3) NO

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