A Nazi Earth-was it ever possible?

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.

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.

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.

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

Well, it’s only speculation…but Albert Speer later said that if Germany had used it’s resources to build early SAMs, 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)…and they could only be used once.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?)

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.

I’m pretty sure that the Nazis would have won if Edith Keeler had survived.

Or if John Gill had been more successful.

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
[ul][li]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.[/li][li]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…[/li][li]Attacking the Soviet Union before he was ready. [/ul][/li]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.


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.

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

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

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.