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HPL
01-19-2004, 05:16 PM
I've been having this dicussion with a friend of mine and would like to throw this out there.

Simply put: Is it possible for Nazi Germany to win World War 2 by knocking the USA out of the war(presumably after having done the same to the USSR and UK)? How?

To facilitate this arguement, I will list a couple of things that I feel should be listed as givens.

1. That, no matter what Germany does, Japan will bomb Pearl Harbor in late 1941, bringing the US into the war.

2. That Hitler, being Hitler, will at some point attack Poland(bringing the Western Europeon powers into the war), and later invade Russia.

3. That sometime in 1945, the US will have a functional Atomic Bomb.

I was operating off the idea that the Pacific war would not change, and under that assumption, it would be signifacantly difficult for Germany to win no matter what they did assuming those givens existed. However, for the sake of making it more interesting, I'll say that anything goes in any theater.

Exapno Mapcase
01-19-2004, 05:27 PM
Well, my opinion is...

Wait, this is GQ. No opinions allowed.

And since this question can't possibly have a factual answer, it needs to be moved over to Great Debates now, before the war starts here.

HPL
01-19-2004, 08:10 PM
Well, my opinion is...

Wait, this is GQ. No opinions allowed.

And since this question can't possibly have a factual answer, it needs to be moved over to Great Debates now, before the war starts here.

Crap. You're right.

Moderator, please send this to "Great Debates" or IMHO, whereever you feel it needs to go.

Ringo
01-19-2004, 08:13 PM
I agree with Exapno, there is no factual answer. You know the drill - if you could change one thing in history, it quickly becomes impossible to say with certainty how subsequent events would've played out.

So many ifs. What if Polish intelligence had not picked up on the Enigma? What if Hitler had not declared war on the U.S. after Pearl Harbor? What if the Brits had fallen apart and failed to preserve some command of the air during and after the Battle of Britain (I, IMHO, still don't think Hitler could have pulled off Sea Lion successfully)?

What if the U.S. found itself at war with Nazi Germany and we did lose the "unsinkable aircraft carrier (Britain)?"

Could Hitler maintain control over a Europe with an undoubtably growing partisan effort against his troops? Would we have developed intercontinental strategic bombers earlier?

Gahhh! The possibilities for variations in the record are endless. But in the end I still think Hitler's ambitions were a fool's quest, and would have ultimately failed, one way or another. IMHO, of course.

John Kentzel-Griffin
01-19-2004, 08:22 PM
General Questions is for questions with factual answers. Great Debates is for debates. I'll move this to Great Debates for you.

DrMatrix - GQ Moderator

Ranchoth
01-19-2004, 10:29 PM
Well, it's only speculation...but Albert Speer later said that if Germany had used it's resources to build early SAMs, (http://www.luft46.com/missile/wasserfl.html) instead of offensive weapons like the V2, they might have had a good chance of fighting back allied bombers.

Fortunately for the rest of us, and unfortunately for the third reich, Hitler's ego wouldn't have allowed it...he was obsessed with "taking the war back to Britain" with V2 attacks. Although Speer later (?) calculated that Germany would have needed something like 4000 V2s to deliver the same amount of ordinance that a single wave of B-17's could. On top of that, the V2s couldn't be aimed very precisely at a specific target (they had a CEP of about 11 miles (http://www.cdiss.org/v2.htm))...and they could only be used once.

HPL
01-19-2004, 10:37 PM
What if the U.S. found itself at war with Nazi Germany and we did lose the "unsinkable aircraft carrier (Britain)?"

Could Hitler maintain control over a Europe with an undoubtably growing partisan effort against his troops? Would we have developed intercontinental strategic bombers earlier?


Losing the British Isles requires a massive defeat of both the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

Well, we had the B-36 operational in 1945-1946, and it was likely perfectly capable of carrying an atomic bomb. The atomic bomb would have been ready in 1945 no matter what(unless the Germans get really good at either Sabotage or manage to turn the tide so much that they control the oceans/air around the US.)

Hell, likely in 1946, even without the Atomic Bomb, Half the US Navy is going to be heading towards Europeon waters because Japan will likely be defeated or unable to mount any significant resistance outside the Home Islands. If the Kreigsmarine/Luftwaffe hasen't taken care of the Royal Navy by then, it seems like it will only be a matter of time before the Kreigsmarine ceases to exist as a Functioning Entity.

HPL
01-19-2004, 10:41 PM
Fortunately for the rest of us, and unfortunately for the third reich, Hitler's ego wouldn't have allowed it...he was obsessed with "taking the war back to Britain" with V2 attacks. Although Speer later (?) calculated that Germany would have needed something like 4000 V2s to deliver the same amount of ordinance that a single wave of B-17's could. On top of that, the V2s couldn't be aimed very precisely at a specific target (they had a CEP of about 11 miles (http://www.cdiss.org/v2.htm))...and they could only be used once.

Wasn't there also the annoying little problem Hitler had with the stupid "Terror Bombing" of Britain, instead of Focusing his resources on establishing Air Superority by destory the British Radars, Air Strips and perhaps(in preperation for Sea Lion) Port Facilities?

Rob4
01-19-2004, 11:02 PM
Fortunately the British had turned the German spies and had them tell the Germans that they were overshooting the city and were thus able to cause a number of V2s to hit short of the city.
If everything in the Pacific war stayed the same I don't think the US would have had trouble stopping the Germans (they would probably reinforce the Brits while developing the atomic bomb). The Germans could not have mounted an invasion of the US and thus could not take the US out.

sqweels
01-20-2004, 12:44 AM
The Nazis were miserably ill-prepared for operations Sealion and the Soviets mght have beaten them by themselves, but it's not entirely out of the question for Hitler to have prevaled and conquered all of Europe. But an invasion of North America--even if coordinated with the Japanese on both coasts--was out of the question. Both Axis powers would had to have mounted several Normandy-size landings without any unsinkable aircraft carriers handy. While crossing the beach at any given point would have been easy, first getting sufficient forces to the beach in the teeth of uncoquered US air power, then striking deep into the heartland, would not have been. They might have ravaged coastal cities (at great cost) but much of the US population and industrial base is well inland, behind mountain ranges at either end. The Germans had relatively few surface ships, while the Japanese would have to cross the formidable Sierra Nevada range only to be swallowed up by the Western interior. There would also be tremendous potential for guerilla activity as well as the vastness of Canada to fall back on, as the Soviets had their vast interior to fall back on.

In short, it would have been nearly impossible for the Nazis to have taken our freedom or taken over the World.

Paul in Qatar
01-20-2004, 06:18 AM
A Nazi victory in the one of the greatest "What ifs" in history. In hindsight the defeat of the corrupt Nazis seem to be a given. In truth it was not.

What if the United States elected a Fascist government in (pick a year)? Fascism was the great counter-action to the rise of Communism in the 1920s. Wracked by the Depression, a charismatic demigod (like Huey Long) could have been elected.

(Ever read "It can't Happen Here?")

Ditto for a right-wing government coming to power in Russia, the UK, or France. It would have changed everything. Why fight for a Europe that decided to throw itself into a proto-EU run from Berlin?

What if the Americans were distracted by a series of uprisings in Latin America?

What if the Japanese landed a few divisions and managed to drag America into a long slog for the Hawaiian Islands?

It could have happened. In fact it is remarkable Liberal Democracies prevailed in the last century. That was a most unlikely outcome.

SenorBeef
01-20-2004, 06:26 AM
Well, it's only speculation...but Albert Speer later said that if Germany had used it's resources to build early SAMs, (http://www.luft46.com/missile/wasserfl.html) instead of offensive weapons like the V2, they might have had a good chance of fighting back allied bombers.


Yes, and it would've made no significant difference in the war whatsoever. Strategic bombing by the western powers was almost entirely ineffective except for certain specific campaigns like the rail campaign in France and the later oil campaign in Eastern Europe.

Certainly wouldn't have been a war changing difference, romantic ideas to the contrary.

Marley23
01-20-2004, 06:26 AM
I lack the military knowledge of many posters here, but there's also this question: Even if the Nazis could have conquered all of Europe (I think more than that is out of the question), would they have been able to maintain control? I think the answer, at least over any extended period, is no. That's because of the amount of territory in question to Germany's strength, the damage it would've taken in the process, and the Nazi organization, which was (unsurprisingly) not very sane in many aspects.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
01-20-2004, 07:03 AM
People in the West choose to forget the enormous sacrifices the Russians made during the War.

No. Hitler just didn't have the manpower to control the vast Russian landmass.

No Nazi victory was ever possible.

nicky2
01-20-2004, 07:20 AM
No, I dont think that the Nazis could have knocked the US out of the war.

But, they could have defeated Britain and the Soviets, and I think that a Nazi Empire controlling all of Eurasia could ultimately outproduce the US, and if not able to invade, at least confine US power to the Western hemisphere.

I do think the Nazis could have controlled Europe: you cant extrapalate the actual resistance to a situation where they control all of Europe. Its one thing to risk your life in, say, the French resistance when theres hope of liberation, quite another when the only hope is thousands of miles away across the Atlantic.

Possibly the Axis were "defeated" at Pearl Harbour: what if the Japanese had confined their operations to seizing European Far Esatern territory, and/or attacking the Soviet Union in the Far East? (didnt the Siberian divisions save Moscow in 1941?)

Evil Captor
01-20-2004, 07:37 AM
It could have happened. In fact it is remarkable Liberal Democracies prevailed in the last century. That was a most unlikely outcome.

Agreed. I remember when I first started reading histories of WWII, it was DAMN SCARY how easily things could have changed. Suppose, for example, the Nazi general succeeded in killing Hitler in their first assassination attempt and were able to engineer a coup, then fight the war with all the generalship at their command, doing things like NOT invading the Soviet Union until they were damn good and ready?

What if they'd figured out how useful jets could be for defense and mass-produced them?

The outcome of WWII was about the best possible outcome we could have hoped for, with Germany and Japan totally in ruins and the Soviet Union deeply wounded. Didn't HAVE to have happened that way, but I'm damn glad it did.

JThunder
01-20-2004, 11:10 AM
I'm pretty sure that the Nazis would have won if Edith Keeler had survived.

Or if John Gill had been more successful.

Shodan
01-20-2004, 11:20 AM
I love these kinds of debates - iron-clad, air-tight arguments irrefutably presented - on both sides.

My understanding is that the three main blunders committed by Herr Schicklegruber were
Not continuing to push at Dunkirk. He paused to regroup, rather uncharacteristically. If he had continued, he had a good chance to capture or kill some hundreds of thousands of British troops.
Not concentrating on military targets in the Battle of Britain. If he had been able to knock out or significantly down-grade the RAF capabilities...
Attacking the Soviet Union before he was ready.
So I will assume Hitler didn't do any of these things. If he was able to refrain from these blunders, and didn't make any other new ones, I think he had a rather good chance of conquering Great Britain.

So there he is, in control of most of Europe. The US and Japan are at war. I seriously doubt if Hitler could have stopped himself from attacking the USSR then. He was as anti-Slavic and anti-Marxist as he was anti-Semitic, and he wanted the Soviets as slave labor after he wiped out all the Jews.

So Hitler would still have gotten bogged down in the Soviet mud. He still was going to treat the Slavs in the parts of the USSR he conquered like shit, instead of treating them decently and hoping they would join him in fighting the Bolsheviks. The US would still have formed the alliance with Stalin, supplied them with arms and weapons and assisted them in fighting the Eastern front, and I can't imagine the USA would have been unable to defeat Japan in the Pacific while helping the Soviets keep the pressure on from the East.

It would not have made the war last appreciably longer, but it would have meant that a lot more people would have died. The minute the US developed the atom bomb, the chance for victory by the Nazis was over. Taking out Berlin and/or Hamburg would have decapitated the Nazi war effort as effectively as taking out Tokyo, and if the Nazis were not as obviously going to be defeated as the Japanese were in August 1945, there would have been even more pressure to use the bomb on Germany as there was to use it on the Japanese.

There just wasn't any opportunity for the Nazis to take out the American industrial capability, which was the decisive factor in WWII. Germany had no strategic bombers capable of crossing the Atlantic, or bases near enough to North America to be able to downgrade our production capabilities. Even if Hitler refrained from declaring war on the US after Dec. 7, 1941, Roosevelt would have kept trying to provoke the Nazis into declaring war, or simply done so himself.

Hitler's only chance of long-term success ended when he invaded Poland. He was a politician of evil genius, but as a strategic thinker, he was an excellent paper-hanger.

Regards,
Shodan

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
01-20-2004, 01:01 PM
I love these kinds of debates - iron-clad, air-tight arguments irrefutably presented - on both sides.

My understanding is that the three main blunders committed by Herr Schicklegruber were
Not continuing to push at Dunkirk. He paused to regroup, rather uncharacteristically. If he had continued, he had a good chance to capture or kill some hundreds of thousands of British troops.
Not concentrating on military targets in the Battle of Britain. If he had been able to knock out or significantly down-grade the RAF capabilities...
Attacking the Soviet Union before he was ready.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


There just wasn't any opportunity for the Nazis to take out the American industrial capability, which was the decisive factor in WWII. Germany had no strategic bombers capable of crossing the Atlantic, or bases near enough to North America to be able to downgrade our production capabilities.

Regards,
Shodan

edited by Bosda

Oddly, you didn't add the lack of a 4-engined bomber to the list. Odd, because various Air War Historians attribute his loss to the lack of such a bomber. German military thinkers of the time called it the "Ural Bomber", as it was regarded as necessary to attack Stalin's factories beyond the Ural Mountains.

But it was never built.

Hitler didn't even need to build it. The Italians had created the Piaggio P.108 B, a perfectly servicable heavy bomber. But they had no strategic bombing doctrine, so the Eye-Ties never used it for much, beyond Naval patrols.

Here's a link to the Piaggio P 108B, in Italian. (http://digilander.libero.it/avantisavoiait/Regia%20Aeronautica.htm)

Hitler could have bought all he needed. But he didn't. :confused:

Eveready
01-20-2004, 01:54 PM
I think that having the atomic bomb in 1945 ment that Nazi Germany would not win WW II. Americans could have struck Berlin from Britian (if Sea Lion was unsucessful), Russia, or perhaps Italy or southern France (if those operations were sucesful).

nicky 2 said

Possibly the Axis were "defeated" at Pearl Harbour: what if the Japanese had confined their operations to seizing European Far Esatern territory, and/or attacking the Soviet Union in the Far East? (didnt the Siberian divisions save Moscow in 1941?)

I read somewhere (Dirty Little Secrets of WW II?) that japanese forces had there asses kicked in Siberia in border conflicts in the Sino-Japanese war. Many in the Japanese military thought conflict with the US was inevitable. The plan was to attack Pearl Harbor to cripple the Pacific fleet, consolidate their gains then sue for peace.

Guinastasia
01-20-2004, 04:39 PM
One interesting point I once saw on a History Channel show was that essentially, the Nazi party was all about embracing mediocrity. Because they didn't want any changes, everything had to conform, that Germans were superior, etc, it didn't foster growth, or imagination, and thus Nazi culture was largely stagnant.

So, perhaps, wouldn't they have just withered away?

HPL
01-20-2004, 06:03 PM
Agreed. I remember when I first started reading histories of WWII, it was DAMN SCARY how easily things could have changed. Suppose, for example, the Nazi general succeeded in killing Hitler in their first assassination attempt and were able to engineer a coup, then fight the war with all the generalship at their command, doing things like NOT invading the Soviet Union until they were damn good and ready?


If you mean the 1944 assination plot, it wouldn't have mattered much if it had suceeded or not in the Grand Scheme of things. Soviet troops were already rolling West, the British and Americans had a Beachhead at Normandy. His generals probably would have begged for a conditional truce that allowed them to continue fighting Russia while leaving the Western Allies in peace, which would have been rejected.

I had a rather long discuession about this with a friend and he mentioned something about a lack of unity among the German military leaders because Hitler would play them off each other to keep power. I don't know if it's true or not, but if so, it would definatly Hinder their ability to effectly wage war.


What if they'd figured out how useful jets could be for defense and mass-produced them?


I believe that Hitler, for the longest time, objected to building pure fighters. He even wanted the Me-262 produced as a bomber(which delayed it's introduction). But he would have had to have died early in the war to make any sort of a difference.

HPL
01-20-2004, 06:12 PM
Oddly, you didn't add the lack of a 4-engined bomber to the list. Odd, because various Air War Historians attribute his loss to the lack of such a bomber. German military thinkers of the time called it the "Ural Bomber", as it was regarded as necessary to attack Stalin's factories beyond the Ural Mountains.

But it was never built.

Hitler didn't even need to build it. The Italians had created the Piaggio P.108 B, a perfectly servicable heavy bomber. But they had no strategic bombing doctrine, so the Eye-Ties never used it for much, beyond Naval patrols.

Here's a link to the Piaggio P 108B, in Italian. (http://digilander.libero.it/avantisavoiait/Regia%20Aeronautica.htm)

Hitler could have bought all he needed. But he didn't. :confused:

Apparently the first 4 engine bomber the Germans produced, the He177, had to be capable of dive bombing, which hurt the project badly.

Sam Stone
01-20-2004, 09:08 PM
Nazi Germany never had a prayer in an all-out war against the United States. Even if Britain had been lost, Germany could not beat the United States.

Many people don't realize just how big a military collossus the U.S. was, even during the WWII era. While other countries were spending huge fractions of their GDP on the war, the U.S. hardly broke a sweat. While other nations lost tens of millions of soldiers and were drafting young boys to replace them, America's army was largely unscathed (250,000 casualties in terms of 40 million dead in WWII). While other countries were having their infrastructures pounded into rubble, the United States' productive capacity was still growing and untouched.

At the end of the war, the U.S. arsenal was producing massive amounts of arms. The U.S. was the only major combatant to go through the war without a single quarter of recession. And while other nations had diverted their industrial output into making weaponry, the U.S. was still building new factories and expanding its capability to make even more weapons.

If everything had gone Hitler's way, and if he had taken Britain or repelled the D-Day invasion, the war would have lasted maybe another couple of years, at most.

Now, you might speculate that Hitler could have 'won' had he stopped before invading France and negotiated a peace. If Japan hadn't attacked Pearl Harbor perhaps the U.S. would have stayed out of Europe if Hitler stopped his aggressions. That might have given the Nazis time to build the Bomb, which could have led to a cold war between the U.S. and Germany. One that would no doubt have ended in nuclear war at some point.

HPL
01-20-2004, 09:53 PM
Now, you might speculate that Hitler could have 'won' had he stopped before invading France and negotiated a peace. If Japan hadn't attacked Pearl Harbor perhaps the U.S. would have stayed out of Europe if Hitler stopped his aggressions. That might have given the Nazis time to build the Bomb, which could have led to a cold war between the U.S. and Germany. One that would no doubt have ended in nuclear war at some point.

The only problem is that it assumes that Japan will not attack Pearl Harbor, which is the best way they see to keep the US fleet off their ass while they build a Pacific Empire. In the same way, Hitler is never going to give up his plans to conquer Russia. He was obessessed with the whole Lebenraum thing.

Magiver
01-20-2004, 10:22 PM
Well, it's only speculation...but Albert Speer later said that if Germany had used it's resources to build early SAMs, (http://www.luft46.com/missile/wasserfl.html) instead of offensive weapons like the V2, they might have had a good chance of fighting back allied bombers.

Fortunately for the rest of us, and unfortunately for the third reich, Hitler's ego wouldn't have allowed it...he was obsessed with "taking the war back to Britain" with V2 attacks. Although Speer later (?) calculated that Germany would have needed something like 4000 V2s to deliver the same amount of ordinance that a single wave of B-17's could. On top of that, the V2s couldn't be aimed very precisely at a specific target (they had a CEP of about 11 miles (http://www.cdiss.org/v2.htm))...and they could only be used once.

Germany developed an air to air TOW missle that had a range of 2 miles. It was steerable by the pilot and it would detonate at the sound of a B-17's engines. Launched off an ME 262 it would have been unstoppable if it was used earlier in the war.

There are a number of significant events that could have changed the war drastically. German long-gun technology was years ahead of everyone else. They had built and operated long guns in France that could shoot continuously at England. One of the Kennedyís died in a secret mission to destroy them (unfortunately they had already been destroyed by conventional bombing). If they had succeeded with this then all of Coastal England would have been wiped out, which may have resulted in defeat.

Germany had 2 other ships like the Bismark in production. Without England to hold the tide, Hitler could have launched these ships and destroyed the US Navy, including any shipyard within striking distance.

If England had not held Germany off, then the United States would not have had the TIME needed to build up a fighting force. If Hitler had formed a non-aggression pack with Russia (instead of attacking), then Japan and Germany could have attacked the United States and Canada from both sides of the ocean. Russian colluded with Germany to build a tank prior to the war so an alliance was not out of the question.. If the United States was prevented from tooling up for war then Germany could have perfected the Atomic Bomb first. The hard part would be predicting if they could destroy the Manhattan project. I think it would take express knowledge of all the locations to destroy it.

History is nothing but a series of ďifsĒ. However, from a purely statistical point of view, I would say it was very possible that Nazi Germany could have succeeded.

HPL
01-20-2004, 11:17 PM
There are a number of significant events that could have changed the war drastically. German long-gun technology was years ahead of everyone else. They had built and operated long guns in France that could shoot continuously at England. One of the Kennedyís died in a secret mission to destroy them (unfortunately they had already been destroyed by conventional bombing). If they had succeeded with this then all of Coastal England would have been wiped out, which may have resulted in defeat.


You mean the Famous "Dora" rail gun? From what I know, the guns were siege guns only. At extreme range they weren't particulary accurate, and their slow reload and relativly insufficent shell isn't going to do much more then annoy the British(and Bombers can do it more effectivly). Maybe if they had 1000 railguns, they might have been able to pull off the effect you describe, but 2 aren't going to do much. Plus you have to worry about bombers trying to knock them out.


Germany had 2 other ships like the Bismark in production. Without England to hold the tide, Hitler could have launched these ships and destroyed the US Navy, including any shipyard within striking distance.


See "IJN Yamato" and get back to me. WW2 showed that even the most powerful surface ship is Vunerable to Air Power. So the Kreigsmarine either has to build a couple carriers to escort the Battleships, or the Battleships will have to stay withen the air coverage of the Luftwaffe(and aside from hitting England, they aren't going to do much damage to Allied Installations).

Besides, you're putting an awful lot of faith into two battleships, even big ones.


If the United States was prevented from tooling up for war then Germany could have perfected the Atomic Bomb first. The hard part would be predicting if they could destroy the Manhattan project. I think it would take express knowledge of all the locations to destroy it.


My question is, how do you stop one of the biggest industrial powers in the World at the time from tooling up assuming they decide to?

It would also take a hell of a lot of force projection over the North American Continent, which the Germans don't have in any realistic scenario. THat's assuming they knew about it.

Hell, if nothing else, you have the fact that the Germany never came close to having a working atomic bomb and no way to deliver it.

Ringo
01-20-2004, 11:53 PM
So, we're war-gaming here, folks. Fine with me.

Let's throw another what-if in the mix.

Besides the Battle of Britain, what really curled Winston's toes was the Battle of the Atlantic. For a long time, the Allies dealt with the gap in the middle that couldn't be covered by shore-based air patrol, and they were short on military ships to guard the convoys through that dangerous middle ground.

While the Nazis did have the FW-200s (four engine long range bombers based on a civilian airliner, and not truly up to the task), they had to rely on subs alone, pretty much.

But what if the sentiment that had initiated the construction of the Graf Zeppelin had prevailed, and it had been finished and deployed to the Atlantic before hostilities made getting out to sea a problem for Nazi capital ships? As long as we're supposing that the necessary sentiment could have prevailed, let's throw in a sister ship deployed as well.

Nazi Navair in the Atlantic in 1942. While I stick to my initial assessment of the eventual outcome, articulated best by Sam Stone, what would that have done to the mix?

Sam Stone
01-21-2004, 12:23 AM
Germany developed an air to air TOW missle that had a range of 2 miles. It was steerable by the pilot and it would detonate at the sound of a B-17's engines. Launched off an ME 262 it would have been unstoppable if it was used earlier in the war.


There have been lots of 'superweapons' that were supposed to alter the face of war. A pilot-controlled missile that detonates on the sound of a bomber's engine wasn't about to end bombing raids. First, the Germans would have needed them in big enough quantities, and they would have had to be effective, and you're assuming the allies would be unable to develop countermeasures, etc.


There are a number of significant events that could have changed the war drastically. German long-gun technology was years ahead of everyone else. They had built and operated long guns in France that could shoot continuously at England. One of the Kennedyís died in a secret mission to destroy them (unfortunately they had already been destroyed by conventional bombing). If they had succeeded with this then all of Coastal England would have been wiped out, which may have resulted in defeat.


As far as I know, those guns were not nearly as effective as you are portraying.


Germany had 2 other ships like the Bismark in production. Without England to hold the tide, Hitler could have launched these ships and destroyed the US Navy, including any shipyard within striking distance.


Three Battleships were going to destroy the U.S. Navy? Ridiculous. They sank the Bismark, didn't they?

The battleship was obsolete. For Germany to attack the United States Navy, it would have had to sail its battleships across an ocean, avoiding all submarines, American air defenses, and the carrier groups. Not a chance.


If England had not held Germany off, then the United States would not have had the TIME needed to build up a fighting force.


They would have had plenty of time. The U.S. and Canada were untouchable by the Germans. You greatly underestimate the difficulty of launching any kind of major attack across an ocean. In addition, the U.S. was producing arms at a tremendous rate. Remember lend-lease? Wartime production was already ramping up big time by the time Britain was attacked. In 1942 alone, the United States produced more tanks than had been produced by all other combatants combined in both WWI and WWII. The U.S. was floating more ships every month than the size of some allied country's entire navys. The U.S. also had SEVEN Battleships under construction by this time, all of which were cancelled by 1943 as it became clear that they were not necessary. The U.S. also built 43 aircraft carriers between 1941 and 1945, and cancelled ten more in various stages of construction.

Seriously, if the Germans had tried to take on the U.S. on U.S. soil, its invading armies would have been demolished. The U.S. wasn't even breaking a sweat in WWII. Only 243,000 casualties out of a population of what, 170 million or something? Wartime spending as a percentage of GDP was far, far lower than Germany's. The U.S. could have stepped up its already immense production by a factor of two or three if it had to, and could have massed standing armies of millions of men. Against what, the number of Germans that could be landed by boat?


If Hitler had formed a non-aggression pack with Russia (instead of attacking), then Japan and Germany could have attacked the United States and Canada from both sides of the ocean.


And been completely destroyed. The idea of attacking the U.S. mainland was simply not remotely possible. The logistics were impossible. The Germans and Japanese would have had to establish a beachhead somewhere in South America, but it would have been destroyed in short order.


If the United States was prevented from tooling up for war then Germany could have perfected the Atomic Bomb first. The hard part would be predicting if they could destroy the Manhattan project. I think it would take express knowledge of all the locations to destroy it.


Germans are going to destroy Los Alamos? Not gonna happen. And if Germany and Russia had taken Britain, the U.S. would not only have started wartime production, it would have increased it dramatically over what it did produce.


History is nothing but a series of ďifsĒ. However, from a purely statistical point of view, I would say it was very possible that Nazi Germany could have succeeded.


The only chance Nazi Germany had was to sue for peace and hope the U.S. would accept an agreement. Then we'd have had a cold war with Germany.

XT
01-21-2004, 12:53 AM
Here's my 'what if' scenerio for all this. It hinges on Hitler getting taken out early (say sometime around '35-'36) as well as most of the loonier Nazi leadership. I'm picturing a military coup, with one of the generals gaining power as a right-wing military dictatorship but still quasi-Nazi (but without most of the stupider baggage, and with someone at the helm that isn't a complete wack job...leave the jews the hell alone you boneheads!).

I don't think an absolute Nazi victory was in the cards reguardless of how you play it out, especially early on...later I think a Greater German Riche would have the chance to knock Russia out of the game (more on that later). I'd say the best possible senario for Nazi Germany would have been to play things exactly like they did early on. Conquest of western Europe, expansion into the Balkins, Greece and Africia, with a concentration of forcing Britian to either sue for peace or outright invasion.

At that point Nazi Germany should consolidate....definitely no invasion of Russia. It will take time to integrate the captured territories and exploit their resources and industries. TAKE the time. This was the worst mistake they made (i.e. invading Russia), followed by a declaration of war against the US without first getting an iron clad commitment from the Japanese to declare war on Russia and invade (which Japan had no intention of doing).

So, Germany instead continues to honor their non agression pack with Russia (Stalin is fat, dumb and happy, content to wack his own citizens and pose a few of his military officers for some gun fire). When Japan attacks America (as they planned too all along...that much was probably inevatible) Germany basically says so sorry....you didn't check with us, you are on your own as far as this one goes, and stays the hell out of it.

Eventually Britian is either defeated or sues for peace (probably the later) as they are basically alone, except for US aid. Germany should back off the US and make sure they stay neutral...no sinking of US flag ships, no harrassment, etc. ALLOW the US to play the neutral game and supply the UK...in the end it won't matter as they are all alone over there...eventually they will sue for peace. If not, use Germany's vast resources to invade. If Germany concentrated on this and nothing else they could have done it...it would have cost them big time, but in the end they could have taken England out of the game.

So, a new Greater Germany is created from the ashes of Western Europe. North Africa is also a German/Italian possession (including of course the oil fields) and the Mediteranian is a German lake. Germany can now sit back and watch the US and Japan go at it hammer and tongs. The US will eventually win and emerge as a great power.

At some point, maybe by the '50's, the inevitable clash will come between the USSR and Germany. But I don't think the USSR will be any better prepared for that conflict than they were in '40....Stalin ALSO is a complete wack job (assuming no one manages to put a nice ice pick into his thick skull of course).

A fully prepared Greater Germany with time to build all those various toys (both a stategic as well as tactical airforce, a fully capable navy, and what they do best...an integrated and superbly trained army) and with secure strategic resources (especially oil) would give the Soviets a run for their money especially if the US is occupied with rebuilding Japan and if Germany can let America play the neutral game.

(I'm assuming the US did NOT use an atomic bomb against Japan but chose instead to keep it secret...however Germany would have observed things like strategic bombing and the use of aircraft carriers, etc, in the conflict between the US and Japan. Lessons learned and at no cost to them.)

LET the US send supplies to Russia if they want too. Hell, ask the Americans to send stuff to German too ('are you neutral or what??'). In the end, if Germany can pack a sufficient knock out blow to take Moscow relatively quickly (which I think is possible) and if they don't treat the Russians like sub-human trash but actually come in as liberators not conquerors, I think that they can knock the Soviets out of the game (IMO, without WWII, the Soviets would have been teetering on the brink of collapse by the '50's anyway). After that, we'd either have a cold war between the US and the newly expanded Greater Germany, or a huge trading partner.

So, no Nazi flag over the world...but definitely a Greater German superpower stretching consisting of Western Europe, North Africa, through a large part of Western Russia.

-XT

furt
01-21-2004, 01:39 AM
To facilitate this arguement, I will list a couple of things that I feel should be listed as givens.

1. That, no matter what Germany does, Japan will bomb Pearl Harbor in late 1941, bringing the US into the war.

2. That Hitler, being Hitler, will at some point attack Poland(bringing the Western Europeon powers into the war), and later invade Russia.

3. That sometime in 1945, the US will have a functional Atomic Bomb.
With these as givens, no way. As Churchill said, the industrial might of the US tipped the balance. Russia probably could have held out by themselves anyway.

Even if England had fallen, it would have been years before they could have considered crossing the pond to the US. In the meantime a dozen A-bombs slipped in via carrier, or submarine could decimate the German industrial base and reawakened resistance ("If we don't throw these guys off the Americans may nuke us"). Germany could agree to peace terms, but the OP asked about a "Nazi world."

To get a Reich win, you have to start changing facts in the 30s, as xtisme has done.

nicky2
01-21-2004, 06:30 AM
The idea that the US could liberate Europe across the Atlantic is simply ridiculous.
Its almost as farfetched as the Nazi Empire invading the US.

Eveready
01-21-2004, 07:50 AM
The idea that the US could liberate Europe across the Atlantic is simply ridiculous.

Why is it ridiculous?

The US could have made Torch like landings in north Africa with vetran troops from the Pacific campaign who had experince invading hostile beaches. The US had alot more amphibious capacity (and after or near the end of the Pacific campaign more amphibious experince) than the Germans. The US then could have invaded Sicily and from there southern France and/or Italy.

For Nazi Germany to have had any chance in WW II they would have needed to not invade the USSR.

Balle_M
01-21-2004, 01:49 PM
Apparently the first 4 engine bomber the Germans produced, the He177, had to be capable of dive bombing, which hurt the project badly.

Also, the coupled engines had a tendency to catch fire.

They possibly could have had a 4-engine bomber by the beginning of the war, the Dornier 19.

http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/gustin_military/db/ger/DO19DORN.html

Even if the Do 19 wasn't itself successful it could have lead to a effective design, like the Manchester lead to the Lancaster.

XT
01-21-2004, 02:50 PM
I think you guys are getting too much into the technical details. Reguardless of whatever toys the Nazi's had, they could not possibly have won if the political/military situation remained unchanged, i.e. Germany both attacked Russia AND declared war on the US (without first getting a real commitment from Japan to invade Russia). In the end Germany would STILL have been ground down...it might have just taken longer and cost more lives first. They simply didn't have the manpower to A) Hold down all of Western Europe, B) Continue the fight against the UK, C) Secure vital resources like oil (especially in North Africa/ME), D) Fight a huge war of attrition in Russia, and hold down THAT territory (presuming they actually managed to capture Moscow and force the government back behind the Urals) and E) Fight an industrial giant like the US.

IMO it was the stategic mistakes that Germany made that doomed them. Big picture things like attacking Russia and declaring war on the US. Like not focusing on securing their vital resources first, and consolidating their conquests. Stupidity in not forcing Japan to open up a second front against Russia that would have diverted THEM from being able to focus solely on Germany. Like not focusing on taking out England however they could (conquest or settlement, whatever it took). Finally their ridiculous obsession with the jews diverted manpower not only to do the dirty work, but deprived them of a vast manpower pool in the form of the jews themselves, many who had fought for Germany in WWI. Idiots!

On the logistics side, sure, a 4 engine long range bomber was important. Focusing on a few innovative weapons systems also would have been nice, instead of myriad projects that diluted their efforts. PRODUCTIONS of standard weapons systems also would have been nice. However, in the end, it was their stategic stupidity that doomed them IMO...and the only valid 'what if' hinges on them NOT making those stupid mistakes.

-XT

BrainGlutton
01-21-2004, 06:38 PM
The best fictional treatment I've yet seen of the "what if Hitler had won?" question is Fatherland, by Thomas Harris (HarperTorch, 1993). In that book, Hitler succeeded in taking the Caucasus, with its oilfields, and after that the Soviet war machine simply ground to a halt for lack of fuel. The defeat of the USSR put the Third Reich in a position to make a separate peace with the UK and the US (the latter being busy with the war against Japan, which it won). The book opens in 1963: The German Reich has annexed, and colonized with ethnic Germans, all of Poland, and Russia up to the Urals, and is fighting an interminable (and conventional) war with the Soviet rump state in Siberia. The rest of Europe is ruled by pro-German puppet governments, except for Switzerland and Britain, which remain completely independent.

For other treatments, see Uchronia: The Alternate History List, at www.uchronia.net.

Magiver
01-21-2004, 07:57 PM
You mean the Famous "Dora" rail gun? From what I know, the guns were siege guns only. At extreme range they weren't particulary accurate, and their slow reload and relativly insufficent shell isn't going to do much more then annoy the British(and Bombers can do it more effectivly). Maybe if they had 1000 railguns, they might have been able to pull off the effect you describe, but 2 aren't going to do much. Plus you have to worry about bombers trying to knock them out.

No, I'm talking about the V-3 supergun(s). The "Dora" guns were a refined relic of WWI. And I mis-spoke when I said they operated them because they were never used. If they had, London would have been leveled. They were built in 2 locations and consisted of 25 guns. They were designed to fire continuously. They were not perfected before they were destroyed.

http://www.aviationmuseum.net/Joe_Kennedy.htm

If you remember, the Israelis killed Canadian astrophysicist Gerald Bull to stop him from building one for Saddam. Which didnít stop him from trying again before the 1st Gulf War.

http://debka.com/article.php?aid=123

See "IJN Yamato" and get back to me. WW2 showed that even the most powerful surface ship is Vunerable to Air Power. So the Kreigsmarine either has to build a couple carriers to escort the Battleships, or the Battleships will have to stay withen the air coverage of the Luftwaffe(and aside from hitting England, they aren't going to do much damage to Allied Installations).

Besides, you're putting an awful lot of faith into two battleships, even big ones.

Yes and no. It took 3 British battleships, 2 battlecruisers, 2 aircraft carriers and 9 cruisers to bring down the Bismarck and that was precipitated by a but of luck. The Brits were using Swordfish torpedo planes which were flying antiques. They flew so low that the Bismarckís guns couldnít hit them. They managed to damage the rudder. If 3 Bismarck class ships were unleashed in wolf-pack form, they would have ruled the seas in a manner similar to todayís aircraft carrier groups.

Iíd like to add another ďifĒ into the mix. If Japan had bothered to verify the location of US carriers at Pearl Harbor the attack would have crippled the Navy for years.

My question is, how do you stop one of the biggest industrial powers in the World at the time from tooling up assuming they decide to?

It would also take a hell of a lot of force projection over the North American Continent, which the Germans don't have in any realistic scenario. THat's assuming they knew about it. . And that is the million dollar question. Germany and Japan did not have to destroy North America, just castrate it financially. Look at what 9/11 did. The United States was highly vulnerable to financial attack. 1929 was a wakeup call that wasnít fully addressed by 1940. A weakened economy makes it difficult to recover from an attack against the only method of projecting power at the time and that is the Navy.

Hell, if nothing else, you have the fact that the Germany never came close to having a working atomic bomb and no way to deliver it. And where did most of those Manhattan scientists come from? Itís a whoís who of German and Italian scientists?

My point was not to prove it should of happened, just that it could have happened. It took all the resources of the United States and England to turn the tide of the Axis nationís technology. And I donít mean to leave out the contributions of other countries, I just donít want to list them all.

Magiver
01-21-2004, 09:41 PM
There have been lots of 'superweapons' that were supposed to alter the face of war. A pilot-controlled missile that detonates on the sound of a bomber's engine wasn't about to end bombing raids. First, the Germans would have needed them in big enough quantities, and they would have had to be effective, and you're assuming the allies would be unable to develop countermeasures, etc.

A wire guided missile launched from an airplane 2 miles away that was 100 miles an hour faster than any fighter the allies had was a formidable weapon. You arenít going to see the plane coming and you wonít be able to see the missile because of the small cross section and speed it is traveling. Even today we canít fly low level missions without losing aircraft to shoulder fired rockets.

Three Battleships were going to destroy the U.S. Navy? Ridiculous. They sank the Bismark, didn't they?

See my post above. It took a tremendous amount of hardware to sink 1 ship which was on a proving run so it didnít have a full complement of support ships. Thatís why England threw everything they had at it. This ship sunk the newest and best ship England could build in 8 minutes of battle.

The battleship was obsolete. For Germany to attack the United States Navy, it would have had to sail its battleships across an ocean, avoiding all submarines, American air defenses, and the carrier groups. Not a chance.

I strongly disagree that the battleship was obsolete in WW-II. Aircraft carriers were the wave of the future but they were very vulnerable. If Japan had caught them at Pearl Harbor it would have been a different war.

They would have had plenty of time. The U.S. and Canada were untouchable by the Germans. You greatly underestimate the difficulty of launching any kind of major attack across an ocean. In addition, the U.S. was producing arms at a tremendous rate. Remember lend-lease? Wartime production was already ramping up big time by the time Britain was attacked. In 1942 alone, the United States produced more tanks than had been produced by all other combatants combined in both WWI and WWII. The U.S. was floating more ships every month than the size of some allied country's entire navys. The U.S. also had SEVEN Battleships under construction by this time, all of which were cancelled by 1943 as it became clear that they were not necessary. The U.S. also built 43 aircraft carriers between 1941 and 1945, and cancelled ten more in various stages of construction.

Seriously, if the Germans had tried to take on the U.S. on U.S. soil, its invading armies would have been demolished. The U.S. wasn't even breaking a sweat in WWII. Only 243,000 casualties out of a population of what, 170 million or something? Wartime spending as a percentage of GDP was far, far lower than Germany's. The U.S. could have stepped up its already immense production by a factor of two or three if it had to, and could have massed standing armies of millions of men. Against what, the number of Germans that could be landed by boat?


And been completely destroyed. The idea of attacking the U.S. mainland was simply not remotely possible. The logistics were impossible. The Germans and Japanese would have had to establish a beachhead somewhere in South America, but it would have been destroyed in short order.

Germany and Japan did not have to fight a war on US soil. They only had to neutralize the Navy. Germany was doing a dam good job of sinking lend/lease material without using a single battle ship. They could have easily blockaded Europe with 3 Bismarck class battle groups. The submarine wolf pack tactic was working but they never changed their strategy when counter measures were perfected. If they had regrouped the subs with aircraft carriers and a battle group it would have been completely impenetrable.

Germans are going to destroy Los Alamos? Not gonna happen. And if Germany and Russia had taken Britain, the U.S. would not only have started wartime production, it would have increased it dramatically over what it did produce.

There was no requirement to destroy Los Alamos. They only had to kill the brains behind it. 6 scientists, 6 bullets. The Israelis did it against Bull to stop him from building a super gun.


The only chance Nazi Germany had was to sue for peace and hope the U.S. would accept an agreement. Then we'd have had a cold war with Germany.

Germany just needed to keep the US out of the war long enough to perfect their advanced weapons. V2 rockets with nukes was within the capabilities of German scientists and would have come to pass had Hitler not mismanaged virtually everything he touched. If Germany had a different ruler then I believe WW-II would have been a lot bloodier.

I really donít think this belongs in a debate forum because it is pure speculation on everyoneís part. I post for the challenge of thinking what could have happened if certain events had not occurred.

Ranchoth
01-21-2004, 09:59 PM
[/b]

Germany just needed to keep the US out of the war long enough to perfect their advanced weapons. V2 rockets with nukes was within the capabilities of German scientists and would have come to pass had Hitler not mismanaged virtually everything he touched.

They could have done a bit better than V2's...Von Braun had a design for an two stage ICBM, the A9/A10. (http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/a9a10.htm)

If the Germans had gotten these working, along with a nuke (http://www.luft46.com/armament/abomb.html), they might have been able to rain down atomic fire over most of the western hemisphere, from Europe.


Ranchoth
("If" and "Might"...the twin monarchs of WWII alternate history threads.)

HPL
01-21-2004, 10:08 PM
They could have done a bit better than V2's...Von Braun had a design for an two stage ICBM, the A9/A10. (http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/a9a10.htm)

If the Germans had gotten these working, along with a nuke (http://www.luft46.com/armament/abomb.html), they might have been able to rain down atomic fire over most of the western hemisphere, from Europe.



Hypthecially, but they have two daunting technical challanges, assuming they manage to build a nuke and an A9.

1. Make the A9 accurate enough to hit something worthwhile from 3000 miles away.

2. Make a nuke small enough to fit on top of it. Remember, the first US Atomic Bomb was pretty damn big.

Dissonance
01-21-2004, 10:22 PM
Three Battleships were going to destroy the U.S. Navy? Ridiculous. They sank the Bismark, didn't they?

The battleship was obsolete. For Germany to attack the United States Navy, it would have had to sail its battleships across an ocean, avoiding all submarines, American air defenses, and the carrier groups. Not a chance.Two more Bismark class battleships werenít going to turn the tide even against the Royal Navy, which had 15 battleships and battle cruisers in service at the start of the war and another 6 were commissioned during the war. Constructing them would also have been an enormous waste of steel and man-hours for Germany, diverting production from much more useful items such as tanks and submarines.

I must object to the use of the word Ďobsoleteí to describe battleships during World War II, however. They lost their place as the queens of the seas to the aircraft carrier, but they were far from obsolete and were still capital ships. In the Atlantic, bad weather and long nights further north could severely restrict the usefulness of aircraft carriers. The aircraft carrier HMS Glorious fell to the German battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in just such a situation. The Scharnhorst herself met her fate at the guns of a British battleship off of Norway. In the Pacific, night surface actions were very common, happening more frequently than the rare carrier duels. On those occasions when battleships were risked, they could be decisive. Three Japanese battleships were sunk by naval gunfire and torpedoes, and a fourth was so badly crippled that it could not escape from land based airpower come the morning. Battleships also provided a sturdy platform upon which to mount enormous numbers of anti-aircraft guns. They were also undisputed when it came to providing bombardment of shore targets. US forces on Guadalcanal were subjected to a number of bombardments at night by cruisers and destroyers, but the one occasion when Japan was able to run two battleships down The Slot to shell Henderson Field unmolested at night, it was known to the marines and soldiers ashore simply as ďThe Bombardment.Ē

Regarding the OP, these two givens alone virtually doom Germany:

1. That, no matter what Germany does, Japan will bomb Pearl Harbor in late 1941, bringing the US into the war.

2. That Hitler, being Hitler, will at some point attack Poland(bringing the Western Europeon powers into the war), and later invade Russia.

Germanyís only hope for shutting down the Western Front would be a negotiated peace with the British, which wasnít likely to happen. The invasion of Russia as it was historically carried out was extremely successful, but even if it was more successful and Moscow and Leningrad fell, a capitulation by the USSR isnít a given as a result. On its own the invasion of Russia almost certainly doomed Germany to its eventual defeat. The idea of getting Japan to start up a second front against the USSR as mentioned by xtisme has a couple of problems with it. Japan turned south to attack the Dutch East Indies in 1941 in order to secure the oil it needed to continue its ongoing war on China after being cut off by embargo. Turning instead against the USSR would have left Japan with a major oil crisis looming on the horizon. The other problem is that Japan came off very badly in border fighting with the USSR in1939; the conclusion of a US Army college study on it and Japanís mistakes and deficiencies in the fighting is located here (http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/drea2/drea2.asp#86a).

Sam Stone
01-21-2004, 10:32 PM
Yes and no. It took 3 British battleships, 2 battlecruisers, 2 aircraft carriers and 9 cruisers to bring down the Bismarck and that was precipitated by a but of luck. The Brits were using Swordfish torpedo planes which were flying antiques. They flew so low that the Bismarckís guns couldnít hit them. They managed to damage the rudder. If 3 Bismarck class ships were unleashed in wolf-pack form, they would have ruled the seas in a manner similar to todayís aircraft carrier groups.


You can't believe this. Today's aircraft carrier groups are supremely protected from attacks underwater, on the water, and above the water. Battleships were sitting ducks. The Yamato? Gone. The Bismark? Gone. The Bismark was crippled by some old Fairy Swordfish. Let's see how one of those Battleships hangs together after a few waves of dive bombers get through with it. Or hell, if we've got to do it the hard way we'll just wait until they get near any U.S. coastal areas, then hit 'em with a few waves of heavy bombers. In the meantime, submarines would be plinking at them.

And as I said in my other message, the U.S. had SEVEN battleships under construction at this point. The Iowa class battleships were no slouches either. I'm not sure if the Bismark could even go toe-to-toe with an Iowa. The American Battleships had better armor, more guns, were faster, and had better fire control. And had the war gone on, the U.S. could have produced, say, a dozen of them. Or more.

Here's an interesting link about the relative power of the various WWII Battleships: http://www.peachmountain.com/5star/Other_TheBest.asp



Iíd like to add another ďifĒ into the mix. If Japan had bothered to verify the location of US carriers at Pearl Harbor the attack would have crippled the Navy for years.


No, it would have crippled the carrier fleet for a few months. The U.S. launched FORTY THREE carriers between 1942 and 1945, and cancelled 10 more because they weren't needed. The rate at which the U.S. was putting ships in the water, aircraft in the skies, and tanks and vehicles on the ground was simply astounding. And the U.S. could have produced more - production was already being scaled back by 1943 because the outcome of the war was already clear, and even at production peak the U.S. was only expending a small percentage of GDP on the military, while Japan and Germany were spending huge amounts (Japan devoted a whopping 65% of its productive capacity to the military). In addition, the economies of both Japan and Germany were in recession during the war, while the U.S. economy was expanding.

Sam Stone
01-21-2004, 10:44 PM
Dissonance said:


I must object to the use of the word Ďobsoleteí to describe battleships during World War II, however.


You're right. I chose poor language. Battleships weren't obsolete for a long time after WII. The Missouri did a bang-up job in Gulf I. But the idea that a Bismark-class Battleship could roam the oceans at will destroying everything the U.S. put in its path is not realistic. The suggestion that three Bismark battle groups could lay waste to the entire U.S. Navy even less so.

My feeling is that if a Bismark class battleship attempted to engage a carrier group, it would be destroyed or crippled by air in fairly short order. Look what happened to the Yamato - A carrier group spotted it, launched wave after wave of aircraft against it, and they put 10 torpedos and five bombs into it. Yamato was toast. The same fate would have awaited a Bismark-class battleship group that was foolish enough to try to take on a carrier group.

Aeschines
01-21-2004, 10:49 PM
1938. Hitler gets the Sudentenland, and Chamberlain says that there will be "Peace in our time." The Jews are abused, but not massacred, and Hitler has not yet really started up his killing machine (had the killing of the Japan holds Korea, Taiwan, and goodly chunk of mainland China in its grip, a year after its bloody Rape of Nanjing.

Tensions in Europe and East Asia are high, very high. But did a World War necessarily have to follow? No.

So, with due respect to the OP, I think the far more likelier thing was Hitler and Tojo behaving a little better and not getting their asses handed to them.

We always associate, rightly, Hitler with the worst of his depredations (The Holocaust and starting WWII), but the fact remains that, in 1938, he was an evil dictator (Night of Long Knives in 1934, Nuremburg Laws in 1935, etc.), but not really yet a world-class evildoer as Stalin already had become.

Had he woken up on a different side of the bed one morning, he might have stopped with the Anschluss and called it a day. Then he could have continued to tinker with the economy (rather successfully, as it happened), gradually reduced his Juden rhetoric, and ended as a Franco, rather than as Satan himself.

So with Tojo. Japan was a great military success in 1938, and, despite the Massacre of recent years, the Tokyo Olympics were scheduled for 1940 (cancelled because of the War in Europe). Japan probably could have partitioned the Pacific with the US and continued to build its economy, which was getting stronger all the time. Having lived for 7 years in Japan, I wonder what the country would be like today, had it not been totally destroyed in the War.

But Hitler and Tojo were stupid, evil idiots. A little less stupid, or a little less evil, and the world today might be very different.

SenorBeef
01-22-2004, 12:58 AM
I realize this post has been mostly covered, but some of this stuff is ridiculous.



There are a number of significant events that could have changed the war drastically. German long-gun technology was years ahead of everyone else. They had built and operated long guns in France that could shoot continuously at England. One of the Kennedy’s died in a secret mission to destroy them (unfortunately they had already been destroyed by conventional bombing). If they had succeeded with this then all of Coastal England would have been wiped out, which may have resulted in defeat.

[/b]

Wiped out? Do you think these are some sort of 1920's style death rays? Those types of arms fired once an hour and didn't have especially detonating shells because the speed of the launch required a lot of fortification of the shells where high explosive filler was normally used.

Those guns were irrelevant, even if they were put into use. The worst that could happen would be that they'd be able to blow random chunks of dirt around in random fields.


Germany had 2 other ships like the Bismark in production. Without England to hold the tide, Hitler could have launched these ships and destroyed the US Navy, including any shipyard within striking distance.


Now this is just absurd. What do you think the Bismark was, some sort of super ship? Any US Iowa class battleship would be a favorite to win head to head with a Bismark class ship - and considering the US Navy had quite a few of them, totally ignoring carriers and such, this statement is just absurd.


If England had not held Germany off, then the United States would not have had the TIME needed to build up a fighting force. If Hitler had formed a non-aggression pack with Russia (instead of attacking), then Japan and Germany could have attacked the United States and Canada from both sides of the ocean.


What? Do you think war is like the board game risk where you can attack across oceans if you own adjacent land masses? A cross atlantic and pacific major attack like that would've easily been the greatest undertaking in the history of warfare - it's not some minor challenge. Neither Germany or Japan had any chance whatsoever of landing on the continental US in force.


Russian colluded with Germany to build a tank prior to the war so an alliance was not out of the question.. If the United States was prevented from tooling up for war then Germany could have perfected the Atomic Bomb first. The hard part would be predicting if they could destroy the Manhattan project. I think it would take express knowledge of all the locations to destroy it.


They're not going to know where it is, or have the tools required to destroy it if they did.

[b]
History is nothing but a series of “ifs”. However, from a purely statistical point of view, I would say it was very possible that Nazi Germany could have succeeded.

Purely statistical, eh? Hmm.

SenorBeef
01-22-2004, 01:01 AM
In 1942 alone, the United States produced more tanks than had been produced by all other combatants combined in both WWI and WWII.

The rest of your post is good, Sam, but this part simply isn't true. Not even close. The US wasn't even the leading producer of tanks in WW2 - USSR edged them out by a bit.. a little more than a bit if you classify assault guns and other vehicles as tanks. But 1942 was a low production year for the US, so it certainly wasn't the case for that year.

SenorBeef
01-22-2004, 01:07 AM
Also, all posts regarding German missile or jet defenses are pretty much irrelevant. The strategic air campaign didn't have all that much of an impact on the war - certainly not enough to change the war fundamentally.

Really, the effect of drawing more fighters to the western front where they couldn't be used to the east was more productive than the actual damage caused by the bombers.

The reason why the common perception of WW2 was that strategic bombing was a war winner was because that's all the west did for a few years, essentially. And so we play up the role it played in the war.

Check out the US strategic bombing survey (http://www.anesi.com/ussbs02.htm) for starters.

This is also why ideas of using German strategic bombers to change the outcome of the war are pretty irrelevant.

SenorBeef
01-22-2004, 01:14 AM
Woops, forgot to add - the Germans were years and years behind where we thought they were on the development of the atomic bomb - I don't know the technical details, but I've heard they were going in complete the wrong direction in some regard. So it's not likely they're going to get it anywhere near 1945.

Sam Stone
01-22-2004, 01:21 AM
I'll check the tank thing again. This may be one of those memes stuck in my head from some reading somewhere.

As for the nuclear bomb, the Germans didn't even have a reactor yet, and I don't think they were that close to one. After the U.S. got a reactor running, it was three years before they could build a bomb. So Germany was probably at least five years or maybe more from getting the Bomb.

Ranchoth
01-22-2004, 03:25 AM
Hypthecially, but they have two daunting technical challanges, assuming they manage to build a nuke and an A9.

1. Make the A9 accurate enough to hit something worthwhile from 3000 miles away.

2. Make a nuke small enough to fit on top of it. Remember, the first US Atomic Bomb was pretty damn big.

1. They had a partial answer to the guidance problem...the A9 was to be piloted.

Ostensibly, it wasn't a suicide craft, as it would have had an ejection seat. However, this would mean the pilot would be ejecting at around Mach 1+, at low altitude, over an area that you just droped a nuke on. If you're lucky, and the bailout alone didn't kill you, you might land in the Atlantic.

2. The German A-Bomb designs I've seen were kind of lightóabout 2200 lbs, total. Mostly because they were damned crude...no explosives, designed to reach supercritical mass as it was crushed by impact with the ground. I kind of doubt that the thing would have worked at all. Maybe it would have "fizzled." Maybe.

Eveready
01-22-2004, 06:50 AM
SenorBeef said

Russian colluded with Germany to build a tank prior to the war so an alliance was not out of the question.. If the United States was prevented from tooling up for war then Germany could have perfected the Atomic Bomb first. The hard part would be predicting if they could destroy the Manhattan project. I think it would take express knowledge of all the locations to destroy it.


They're not going to know where it is, or have the tools required to destroy it if they did.


It seems like I read somewhere that Russian intelligence knew a lot about the Manhattan Project. I don't remember if they knew the spacifics or just general details like the US is working on a "superweapon". The German foreign intelligence service was pretty ineffective though.

But would a neutral USSR share this intelligence with a foreign power?

The problem with all the scenarios that say don't attack Russia is that attacking Russia was the entire point to the damn war. France and Britian just got in the way.

ralph124c
01-22-2004, 08:07 AM
Would the Nazi regime have survived Hitler? I get the impression that being a member of the Nazi hierarchy was like being a senior member of the Mafia-you always had to be on your guard, as somebody was always trying to whack you. According to the late Albert Speer (see "INSIDE THE THIRD REICH") being a top Nazi wasn't fun..Hitler had a habit of going off the deep end periodically. But supposing that Nazi Germany had forced Great Britain's surrender, it is entirely possible that Germany would have dominated Europe for years. However, once Hitler became old and feeble, there would have been a massive power struggle..and who knows what might have emerged. I think the German Army brass would have put an end to the Nazi party-they had every reason to be in fear of their lives, and most of them (the old Prussian aristocracy) despised the Nazis.

Dissonance
01-22-2004, 03:27 PM
I'll check the tank thing again. This may be one of those memes stuck in my head from some reading somewhere.I can confirm SenorBeef on this. The Oxford Companion to World War II lists 1942 tank production as 24,997 for the US and 24,446 for the USSR. Something to note is that the USSR was able to ramp production up this high the year after having to abandon or evacuate a large part of its industry east of the Urals. More ominous for Germanyís chances of success in World War II is that their 1942 tank production only came to 9,200, which barely edged out the UKís production that year of 8,611. For Japan, itís even worse Ė 1942 was the peak war year for their tank production, and it only amounted to 1,191. Further, except or a few low production run late war models, Japanís tanks were hopelessly outclassed by those of other combatants, having poor armament and paper thin armor.

Magiver
01-22-2004, 06:56 PM
You can't believe this. Today's aircraft carrier groups are supremely protected from attacks underwater, on the water, and above the water. Battleships were sitting ducks. The Yamato? Gone. The Bismark? Gone. The Bismark was crippled by some old Fairy Swordfish. Let's see how one of those Battleships hangs together after a few waves of dive bombers get through with it. Or hell, if we've got to do it the hard way we'll just wait until they get near any U.S. coastal areas, then hit 'em with a few waves of heavy bombers. In the meantime, submarines would be plinking at them.

And as I said in my other message, the U.S. had SEVEN battleships under construction at this point. The Iowa class battleships were no slouches either. I'm not sure if the Bismark could even go toe-to-toe with an Iowa. The American Battleships had better armor, more guns, were faster, and had better fire control. And had the war gone on, the U.S. could have produced, say, a dozen of them. Or more.

Here's an interesting link about the relative power of the various WWII Battleships: http://www.peachmountain.com/5star/Other_TheBest.asp




No, it would have crippled the carrier fleet for a few months. The U.S. launched FORTY THREE carriers between 1942 and 1945, and cancelled 10 more because they weren't needed. The rate at which the U.S. was putting ships in the water, aircraft in the skies, and tanks and vehicles on the ground was simply astounding. And the U.S. could have produced more - production was already being scaled back by 1943 because the outcome of the war was already clear, and even at production peak the U.S. was only expending a small percentage of GDP on the military, while Japan and Germany were spending huge amounts (Japan devoted a whopping 65% of its productive capacity to the military). In addition, the economies of both Japan and Germany were in recession during the war, while the U.S. economy was expanding.

Youíre not listening to my argument. The Iowa class ships didnít exist at the beginning of the war. The Yamato and Bismarck DID. In 1941 the US Navy was a shadow of itís future self. It was built after the fact to compete in a war that could not be waged on day 1. The United States could not project itís Armed Forces in Japan in 1941. It required a massive build up and that meant a larger Navy and a Merchant Marine fleet. If Japan and Germany had combined their Navies they would have wiped out the US Navy .in a sucker punch. That would leave deep-water ports unprotected and vulnerable to attack. Unlike tanks and planes, battle ships, aircraft carriers, and merchant ships need to be built in deep-water ports. My scenario doesnít require an immediate land war on North American soil. The Axis powers only needed to forestall the US from entering the war. They didnít need to stop ship production, just delay it. Without ships, the lend/lease act would have been useless in the short term, when England needed it most. There wasnít a single cargo plane capable of lifting a tank in WW-II.

If you trade the resources and time wasted on invading Russia and use that to perfect an Atomic weapon then the massive manufacturing capacity of the United States would have been rendered useless.

Was that possible. Yes. The same scientists that fled Axis nations to build an Atomic bomb could have been used to create the ultimate WMD of itís day on behalf of Germany.

SenorBeef
01-22-2004, 11:06 PM
You’re not listening to my argument. The Iowa class ships didn’t exist at the beginning of the war. The Yamato and Bismarck DID. In 1941 the US Navy was a shadow of it’s future self.

I think you underestimate the size of the US Navy and the vulnerability of major ports across the US. First cite (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWusaN.htm) I pulled up said the pre-war (1939) strength of the US Navy was 15 battleships, 5 carriers, 18 heavy cruisers, and 19 light cruisers. Not nearly what it was at the end of the war - but enough surely to contest the naval power of a handful of German ships run amok.

Even if the navy were neutralized, the axis powers didn't have the forward bases to effective launch attacks on US ports. When the IJN attacked Pearl Harbor they were at the edge of the carrier group's range. They could launch a few longer ranged vehicles (some of their larger subs, as they did) to reach the coast - but those weren't capable of causing any real damage.

Even if they were able to reach the ports, though, land based defenses including shore batteries and lots and lots of land based aircraft would've made damaging those ports quite a difficult task.

Dissonance
01-22-2004, 11:21 PM
Youíre not listening to my argument. The Iowa class ships didnít exist at the beginning of the war. The Yamato and Bismarck DID. In 1941 the US Navy was a shadow of itís future self. It was built after the fact to compete in a war that could not be waged on day 1.The Iowaís didnít exist at the start of WWII, but their younger sisters of the North Carolina and South Dakota classes did. The US navy in 1941 was only a shadow when compared to the massive size it had grown to by 1945. The US Navy slightly outnumbered the Imperial Japanese Navy at the start of the war, and the German Kriegsmarineís only ability to seriously threaten even the Royal Navy came though U-boats. It was hopelessly outclassed by the Royal Navy on the surface.
The United States could not project itís Armed Forces in Japan in 1941. It required a massive build up and that meant a larger Navy and a Merchant Marine fleet. If Japan and Germany had combined their Navies they would have wiped out the US Navy .in a sucker punch. That would leave deep-water ports unprotected and vulnerable to attack.Even if the Kriegsmarine had 2 additional Bismarck class battleships and a pair of aircraft carriers thrown in for good measure, they still would have been hopelessly outnumbered by just the Royal Navy on its own. Japan did attempt a sucker punch at Pearl Harbor, and put most of the Pacific fleetís battleships in dry dock for years. The US was able to go on the counteroffensive at Guadalcanal 8 months later. Thereís a link here (http://www.combinedfleet.com/economic.htm) positing the outcome of a reverse Battle of Midway where Japan loses no carriers and the US loses all of theirs. Even with that outcome, the results are that: In other words, even if it had lost catastrophically at the Battle of Midway, the United States Navy still would have broken even with Japan in carriers and naval air power by about September 1943. Nine months later, by the middle of 1944, the U.S. Navy would have enjoyed a nearly two-to-one superiority in carrier aircraft capacity! Not only that, but with her newer, better aircraft designs, the U.S. Navy would have enjoyed not only a substantial numeric, but also a critical qualitative advantage as well, starting in late 1943.

Unlike tanks and planes, battle ships, aircraft carriers, and merchant ships need to be built in deep-water ports. My scenario doesnít require an immediate land war on North American soil. The Axis powers only needed to forestall the US from entering the war. They didnít need to stop ship production, just delay it. Without ships, the lend/lease act would have been useless in the short term, when England needed it most. There wasnít a single cargo plane capable of lifting a tank in WW-II.Japan lacked the ability to project power at the US West coast in WWII, it simply didnít have the lift capacity in its own merchant fleet. Its historical opening moves in the war stretched its cargo and long range refueling capacity to the limit. One major lesson of strategic bombing in WWII was that it was extremely hard to do long term damage to economic infrastructure with the technology of the day. German production in all armament categories continued to rise up until the last year of the war despite massive bombing by strategic bombers on a scale that Germany and Japan were never capable of. Destroying the US ability to launch naval vessels in enormous quantities would have required invading and capturing the ports in the US themselves, something Japan was flatly incapable of doing, much less Germany.
If you trade the resources and time wasted on invading Russia and use that to perfect an Atomic weapon then the massive manufacturing capacity of the United States would have been rendered useless.

Was that possible. Yes. The same scientists that fled Axis nations to build an Atomic bomb could have been used to create the ultimate WMD of itís day on behalf of Germany.A few problems here: one is that it assumes that Russia will sit on its hands while Germany denudes itself by pouring resources into an unproven technology in favor of conventional forces. Another is that Hitler was obsessed with defeating Russian in order to secure Lebensraum in the east for the Aryan people. Yet another is that it was that it was the same obsession with racial superiority that drove scientist to flee Germany that drove Hitler to launch the war in the first place.

The Long Road
01-22-2004, 11:58 PM
I'm annoyed that I was not able to post last night and let Sam know his figures were faulty about tank production. Anyway, Soviet (http://www.usefulreference.com/s/so/soviet_tank_production_during_world_war_ii.html) tank prduction in 1942 was larger than American (http://www.usefulreference.com/a/am/american_tank_production_during_world_war_ii.html) tank prodcution or very close to it. Note that the bulk of Soviet tank production in 1942 was the T-34 which was much better than most other tanks in the world at the time.

As for battleships, the comment about three german battleships destroying the United States Navy is simply stupid. Ask the British or Japanese navies what happens when you send capital ships into enemy territory without air cover. Not to mention that if battleships did for some reason become dominant again, the US would have started producing Montana class (http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Montana-class-battleship) battleships which would have made short work of the Bismarck (http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/German-battleship-Bismarck).

Being from the United States, I was raised on the "rah rah, US production won the war "rhetoric and believed it until I started studying it in depth. Realize that 75% (http://www.ww2n.com/archives/art-20010426.shtml) of German casualties were suffered on the Eastern Front. While Russie paid a massive price for that victory, they literally destroyed the German Army. Between Stalingrad and Kursk, the German army died. While American supply of all wheel drive trucks helped keep the Soviet offensives moving in 44-45, I believe the Red Army would have won the war regardless.

People have commented about Germany waiting longer to invade Russia in order to strengthen their forces and/or supply system. I think this has a few serious faults, mainly that the Red Army was also building up during this time and with additional time might have kept the Germans from penetrating as deeply as they originally did. Perhaps, but its just speculation and really based on nothing more than production figures. Stalin certainly wasn't a fool and realized that eventually Germany and Russia would be at war.

When discussing Sealion, I'm not convinced that the Germans would have had to defeat the RAF and Royal Navy before invading. Perhaps by concentrating air power on a small area of the English Channel to gain air superiority and allow an invasion to take place, Germany could have defeated Britian.

Dissonance
01-23-2004, 01:29 AM
When discussing Sealion, I'm not convinced that the Germans would have had to defeat the RAF and Royal Navy before invading. Perhaps by concentrating air power on a small area of the English Channel to gain air superiority and allow an invasion to take place, Germany could have defeated Britian.The system being what it is currently, I havenít been able to find it in a search now, but I recall a thread many months ago where Eolbo linked to a post-war study that fairly well laid to rest the notion that Sealion (the German invasion of the UK in 1940) was even remotely possible. Perhaps if he sees this he could fid the link, but suffice it to say that the UKís position in airpower during the Battle of Britain was not nearly as desperate as it is sometimes portrayed, and Germanyís ability to provide sealift amounted largely to Rhine-ferries which were barely seaworthy in the English Channel, and would have been easily devastated by the British fleet, even if they lacked air superiority by daylight.

SenorBeef
01-23-2004, 01:36 AM
Sorry, another few random points I forgot to address:

Sea Lion wouldn't have worked. Germany did not have the naval lift capacity to invade Britain, simple as that. Even if the entire Royal Navy and RAF were destroyed, Germany still couldn't lift enough troops to make a succesful invasion. Sure, there was a plan to do so - but it involved lots of *river barges* to land a small amount of troops at a time - which would've been easily quashed.

Regarding Germany waiting to invade Russia - 1941 was a great time to attack Russia. They were suffering the effects of the 30s purges and just very recently started to adapt better, modern tactics, and come up with quite competant equipment designs. A few more years and they'd be up in production, and officers would've become competant, trained in modern warfare.

The real problem with the invasion was that it started way too late, in late June. Had it started in May, as planned, it's quite likely Germany would've forced a Russian surrender. They were very, very close as it is - another month or two and it would've been almost certain. But Germany had to bail the Italians out in Greece. Launching on time in 1941 would've been much more succesful than waiting a few years.

The Long Road
01-23-2004, 02:20 AM
<snip>
Regarding Germany waiting to invade Russia - 1941 was a great time to attack Russia. They were suffering the effects of the 30s purges and just very recently started to adapt better, modern tactics, and come up with quite competant equipment designs. A few more years and they'd be up in production, and officers would've become competant, trained in modern warfare.

The real problem with the invasion was that it started way too late, in late June. Had it started in May, as planned, it's quite likely Germany would've forced a Russian surrender. They were very, very close as it is - another month or two and it would've been almost certain. But Germany had to bail the Italians out in Greece. Launching on time in 1941 would've been much more succesful than waiting a few years.

If it had started in May it also might have resulted in the total destruction of the German forces on the Eastern Front. The winter would have been just as bad but German forces would have been even futher from their supply bases. The Germans supply system can't be overlooked when discussing the Eastern Front. Figthing for Moscow might have resulted in a Stalingrad type defeat in 41 instead of 42.

As it was, the Germans barely held the front together at the end of 1941. The Russian offensive in December came close to breaking Army Group Center.
Even if you change some variables like the invasion date, some things remain the same such as the difference in rail gauges, the lack of roads, the autumn rains and the blizzards.

nicky2
01-23-2004, 06:27 AM
Invading the Soviet Union to win Lebensraum is the cornerstone of Nazi ideology.
If the Nazis dont invade the USSR, then they aint Nazis.

As Ive already said, an amphibous liberation of Europe across the Atlantic is basically impossible.

So IF the Nazis did win against Britain and the USSR, it comes down to a race between a Nazi Empire and The USA to develop intercontinental atomic weapons, and the political will to fight a nuclear war.

I cant imagine a US govt in the mid-to-late 40's declaring war on the Nazi empire and hoping to win through nuclear bombardment.

SenorBeef
01-23-2004, 07:17 AM
If it had started in May it also might have resulted in the total destruction of the German forces on the Eastern Front. The winter would have been just as bad but German forces would have been even futher from their supply bases. The Germans supply system can't be overlooked when discussing the Eastern Front. Figthing for Moscow might have resulted in a Stalingrad type defeat in 41 instead of 42.

As it was, the Germans barely held the front together at the end of 1941. The Russian offensive in December came close to breaking Army Group Center.
Even if you change some variables like the invasion date, some things remain the same such as the difference in rail gauges, the lack of roads, the autumn rains and the blizzards.

I agree with most of what you said, but it's taken in the wrong perspective.

Russia was supposed to be like France - a quick war that'd be ended in months, because the opening advance was so overwhelming that surrender and negotiation was preferable to fighting it out in a terrible position.

What you're saying requires strategic planning for a several years long total war - Germany had never entered the war with that mindset. If they knew that's what it would require, it wouldn't have been done.

So when people say "the Germans were stupid for not bringing enough winter gear", and such, they don't understand that fundamentally it's a war that needs to end before the winter or it's over anyway.

Regarding what you said - you don't realize just how close Stalin was to surrendering to the Germans. The opening months of the war were absolutely catastrophic for the Russians. As it was, Russia was on the brink of surrender - add another month's worth of penetration to the German advance and it seems unlikely there wouldn't have been a negotiated surrender.

So, yes, if the Germans were caught, in the winter, deeper in Russian territory, supply problems would've been compounded. But the very fact that they'd reached that far in the opening campaign most likely would've forced an early surrender, like in France.

The Long Road
01-23-2004, 03:59 PM
I agree with most of what you said, but it's taken in the wrong perspective.

Russia was supposed to be like France - a quick war that'd be ended in months, because the opening advance was so overwhelming that surrender and negotiation was preferable to fighting it out in a terrible position.

What you're saying requires strategic planning for a several years long total war - Germany had never entered the war with that mindset. If they knew that's what it would require, it wouldn't have been done.

So when people say "the Germans were stupid for not bringing enough winter gear", and such, they don't understand that fundamentally it's a war that needs to end before the winter or it's over anyway.

Regarding what you said - you don't realize just how close Stalin was to surrendering to the Germans. The opening months of the war were absolutely catastrophic for the Russians. As it was, Russia was on the brink of surrender - add another month's worth of penetration to the German advance and it seems unlikely there wouldn't have been a negotiated surrender.

So, yes, if the Germans were caught, in the winter, deeper in Russian territory, supply problems would've been compounded. But the very fact that they'd reached that far in the opening campaign most likely would've forced an early surrender, like in France.

Question: How do you know what I do and do not realize? You quoted me and then added a lot of implications that I never said. I know that the invasion was supposed to be a short term affair and that the Germans did not expect to fight into the winter. That does nothing to change the fact that their supply system could not keep up, the troops fell too far behind due to lack of transportation and the Germans could not replace their losses.

SenorBeef
01-23-2004, 05:44 PM
Question: How do you know what I do and do not realize? You quoted me and then added a lot of implications that I never said

Because you said:


If it had started in May it also might have resulted in the total destruction of the German forces on the Eastern Front. The winter would have been just as bad but German forces would have been even futher from their supply bases.


And my point was that if it ever came to that point, to establishing a line in the winter against counteroffensives in their supply situations, they'd already lost.

The supply situation didn't become dire until they'd settled in after the initial offensive was over. The offensive itself could've been maintained better if not for the atrociously wet and difficult to travel in Russian autumns. If they started a month or two earlier, they'd have that much more "campaigning season". So, had it started in May, as planned, the initial advance would've reached deeper - to Moscow, at least - and a forced surrender, given the situation, was pretty likely.

So, yes, IF the russians held out despite an even deeper advance, then it would've created even more supply problems for the German army. That, I believe, was your point. My counter point was that a deeper advance probably would've ended the war.

Magiver
01-23-2004, 08:08 PM
The system being what it is currently, I havenít been able to find it in a search now, but I recall a thread many months ago where Eolbo linked to a post-war study that fairly well laid to rest the notion that Sealion (the German invasion of the UK in 1940) was even remotely possible. Perhaps if he sees this he could fid the link, but suffice it to say that the UKís position in airpower during the Battle of Britain was not nearly as desperate as it is sometimes portrayed, and Germanyís ability to provide sealift amounted largely to Rhine-ferries which were barely seaworthy in the English Channel, and would have been easily devastated by the British fleet, even if they lacked air superiority by daylight.

When comparing the English fleet to the German fleet you need to add in the French fleet. This was not pulled back in time (yet another mistake by Hitler) and the Brits destroyed it. I mention this because Germany absorbed infrastructure as they conquered. They started the war with virtually no tanks of any worth. Czechoslovakia became a major manufacturing point for early tank production. Hitler planned to do the same thing with Russia by capturing and holding the oil fields. Iím assuming the T-34 facilities were viewed as a nice trophy but the Russians packed up shop and moved. That is probably what kept them in the game long enough to drive the Germans back.

Iíve always been in awe of the blitzkrieg. Not because it was brilliant, or new, (it was neither) but because someone had the balls to do it. IMO, the consequences of failure were greater than the rewards of success. Hitler never fully grasped the ability of Canada and the United States to produce battlefield material faster than it could be sunk. He never adapted to the changing tactics that turned the hunter subs into the hunted.

I agree that the infrastructure of the US was invulnerable to attack with the exception of shipyards. A shipyard capable of building battleships and aircraft carriers is something that canít be duplicated overnight. I believe you could lose between 6 months and 2 years of construction in a naval sucker punch. In retrospect it would be tough to repeat the process but it would not be impossible. I would give heavy odds in favor of defending the shipyards with air defense (after the fact). However, the ability to sink a ship that comes out of the yards reduces those odds.