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Hitler uses his huge forces more constantly and efficiently

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by mjölnir, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    OTL the German army did very little between the fall of Czechoslovakia and the invasion of Poland and between Poland and Denmark-Norway and before France, then between France and the Balkans. Moreover, Hitler wasted a large number of invaluable planes over Britain for no return on investment and he allowed Italy and Japan to dictate whom and where Germany had to fight, a rather absurd situation. Hitler also signed a pact with the USSR, whose secrte protocol empowered him to invade Lithuania, but he didn't invade it and when Stalin asked in late September 1939 to trade Lithuania for other parts of Poland he agreed. Hitler signed this secret protocol splittling Poland, but without specifying that the Soviet Union had to attack simultaneously, which allowed Stalin to wait until Poland was practically defeated to take his part of Poland with minimal losses and munitions use, while Germany lost the equivalent of 3 divisions, lots of vehicles, Panzers, etc, and spent millions in munitions,

    This resulted in Germany having to invade Luxemburg, Holland, Belgium and France on May 10, 1940. Then Germany having to fight with a weak force in N Africa and with a strong force simultaneously in Greece and Yugoslavia, then it had to invade Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and the USSR on June 22, 1941.

    Assuming that Hitler is smarter, here is an alternate policy, strategy and sequence of events.

    April 1, 1939 Germany invades Lithuania (11 divisions, 5 of which rapidly advance to western Latvia), western Latvia, Luxemburg (a division), Denmark (a division) and Holland (10 divisions), all of which have extremely weak military and invaluable strategic location.
    The allies and Soviets are shocked, but with Germany already in these countries and with Britain having a very small army and 278 modern fighters and with the USSR having lost many of its officers during the purges, the USSR, Poland, France and Britain cannot afford to declare war yet, so they only accelerate armament production and army expansion and prepare defenses.

    During these invasions, on April 3 Hitler and a few leaders of the WM, LW, etc, travel to Moscow for a summit with Stalin (like the one Chamberlain had with Hitler before Munich) and in order to negotiate personally a mutual, 5 year, non aggression and assistance pact, whose secret protocol specifies that eastern Latvia, Estonia, eastern Finland, eastern Poland, Bessarabia, Iran, etc, are in the Soviet sphere of influence, while Sweden, Norway, western Europe, etc, are in the German sphere of influence. Moreover, German and Soviet military leaders are to determine and specify in the protocol the date of the invasion of Poland and each country agrees to commit at least 50 divisions, 2,000 tanks, 3,000 planes (at least half of them bombers), 6,000 cannon, etc, so that Poland wil have to split its forces and fight on 2 long and strong fronts. 5 Soviet divisions with their supplies will be allowed transit through German Lithuania before the invasion to attack Poland also from that direction on the day of the invasion. The Soviet army's highest priority is to capture the Romanian-Polish border within 2 weeks in order to prevent reinforcements, materiel and supplies from reaching Poland and Polish troops from escaping through Romania.
    The pact is signed on April 6, 1939. The date for the invasion of Poland is set for June 15.
    During the summit Hitler informs Stalin that he pans to invade Norway and Sweden and given the weak RAF and Britain's reluctance to go to war, Hitler urges Stalin to invade Iran soon, before invading Poland, in order to deprive Britain from its oil and disuade it from declaring war when Poland is invaded.

    Italy invades Albania on April 7-12, 1939. On April 15, Hitler proposes to Mussolini to invade western Croatia, while Germany invades eastern Croatia and Slovenia. They do so on April 28. Croatian and Slovenian troops surrender rapidly, some even join the invaders against the remaining Serb troops in Croatia. Yugoslavia is weak and isolated(it faces the axis also in Albania), so it cannot afford to declare war on the invaders.

    On May 1, 1939 Germany invades Sweden and Norway simultaneously. It captures key airports in both countries and moves large numbers of troops and planes to the area. Stalin is surprised by the inaction of the allies and decides to invade Iran on May 10, 1939, which promptly falls, boosting Stalin's confidence and greed. Turkey is alarmed with Soviet forces also in Iran and prepares to resist an invasion.

    In late May, 1939 Germany and the USSR begin to mass troops along their Polish borders.
    On June 1 Hitler leaks a copy of the secret protocol of the pact to Poland, Finland and Romania and offers Poland the chance to join Germany, Finland, Turkey and Romania to fight the USSR. Germany will sell Poland, etc, planes and armament and let Poland keep Belorussia and 1/4 of the Ukraine (including Kiev) if the USSR is defeated. Similarly, it offers Romania the chance to save Bessarabia and if it joins Germany and Poland against the USSR, Romania will receive 1/4 of the Ukraine (including Odessa). Turkey is also offered air and army support to fight the USSR in Iran and to capture Baku in order to deprive the USSR of Iranian and Baku oil. If the USSR is defeated, Turkey can keep the southern Caucasus..Finally, Hitler offers Finland the possibility of saving its eastern territory and acquiring the Kola Peninsula, Estonia, Soviet Karelia and Leningrad if the USSR is defeated by the coalition.
    Poland knows that it cannot fight both giants simultaneously, so its top leaders debate for 3 days whether to fight a suicidal war (without hope of supplies through Romania), surrender to both countries, allow peaceful occupation and disappear as a nation or join the strong, secret coalition against the USSR and expand its borders.
    On June 4 Poland secretly agrees to join Germany. Once Poland is in the game, Romania, Turkey and Finland join within days.

    Throughout the night of June 14 Poland alloes German trooops to advance west by train and German planes to fley west. German troops also advance to the Romanian and Finnish borders with the USSR.
    Early on June 15, 1939 the USSR is preparing to attack. However, just before the attack, the Soviet divisions in Lithuania are disarmed and weapons and prisoners are handed over to the Poles. The Poles have concentrated their forces on their eastern border and receive German air support from Lithuania, so that the invading Soviets take heavy casualties and Polish forces advance into the USSR.
    German forces in Lithuania and west Latvia rapidly advance into east Latvia and Estonia.
    Romanian, Turkish and Finnish forces attack, surprising completely the Soviet forces along their borders and advance rapidly. German forces advance from Norway and Finand and provide air support for the Finnish army.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The German army was hardly inactive during those periods. I suggest you look a little deeper. As for the LW what do you suggest they could have done after the fall of France and before the attack on the Soviets that would have made any real impact?

    As for starting a war with the West Hitler wanted to avoid that (with good reason). Starting in April of 39 he's not likely to take France out of the war or if he does it's going to be a lot longer. With his forces tied up in the West and his advances in the East he's also encouraging the Poles and/or the Soviets to ally with the west and go on the offensive as well.

    Chamberlin isn't going to listen to him in these circumstances.
     
  3. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Hitler stated that armies are meant to fight. Where did the WM fight in the periods I mentioned? More specifically, what did the WM do while Hitler wasted a lot of planes over Britain and the small, decimated KM was heavily engaged and while Italy was trounced in Egypt, Libya, Greece and Albania between July 1940 and March 1941?
    Hitler did not even take full advantage of the fact that Britain treasonously attacked the French fleet without declaring war in Mers el Kebir (causing outrage in Vichy), in order to deploy planes to Tunisia and Sicily to attack the RN and deny it access to the E Med and to secure axis supplies and reinforcements in N Africa through the Tunisian ports and RR.

    The best thing that could happen to Germany already in Holland is for France or Poland to try to invade it in 1939. The French and Polish armies were inadequate for defense and completely useless for offensive operations under German air domination and with Germany in Lithuania and Latvia, even better able to attack Poland than OTL.
    France, Poland and Britain are less likely to declare war on Germany, with the latter already in Holland, Denmark and Lithuania and with a non aggression pact with the USSR in April 1939, than they were OTL with Holland intact and German forces heavily engaged in Poland in Sept, 1939.

    Stalin was not ready for war even in 1941 and he bent over backwards to delay war as long as possible, do you think that with Hitler already in Lithuania and western Latvia in 1939 (when the red army is completely unprepared for war), Stalin is likely to go to war or that he will be even more likely to side with and supply Germany and sign a non aggression pact in April 1939 in order to gain time?
     
  4. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    according to
    https://books.google.com.mx/books?id=16MGCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=lorries+at+the+end+of+1941+in+ussr&source=bl&ots=0KRwi11cM0&sig=7Ni3IqvVSw-hO3Ynp0EIpQHAidE&hl=es&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjPz_6RorzLAhVDmYMKHXhYA3YQ6AEIRDAF#v=onepage&q=lorries%20at%20the%20end%20of%201941%20in%20ussr&f=false

    In January 1938 the red army had 1.5 million men, by Jan 1941 it had 4.2 million, this rapid expansion after the purges resulted in colonels heading divisions or even larger groups.

    ATL At the time of the rapid invasions of Lithuania, W Latvia, Luxemburg, Denmark and Holland on April 1, 1939, the red army probably had about 2.4 million, extremely poorly trained and led men. There are no KV-1 or 2 or T-34 and the thousands of light tanks have not been reorganized into mechanized divisions (they are even worse than OTL on June 22, 1941, after the trouncing in Finland in 1939-40 forced a reorganization and experience was gained). Most importantly, Stalin, Voroshilov, Budyony, Timoshenko, etc, remember the cost of fighting the Germans in WW I, so Stalin is much more likely to sign a non aggression pact with Germany already in Lithuania and Latvia than to declare war on it.
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Hitler is hardly the best reference when it comes to military strategy. The Wehrmacht needed to refit and adopt to combat lessons after both the Polish and the French campaigns. Until Italy asked for help there was little or nothing that Germany could do in Africa or the Med. Just what could he have done to take "full advantage of Mers el Kebir"? The full impact of aviation on naval assets was not well understood at the time and indeed is still not well understood by some likewise the impact of bombing on civilian moral. The French army was hardly inadequate for defense or offence and had they launched an offensive while most of the German army was attacking Poland Germany would have been in a bit of a bind. If Germany occupies Holland France and Great Britain will declare war. Stalin may not be ready in 41 but when the war drags on a bit he'll feel free to pick up any of the other East European countries he feels are worth it and eventually he'll turn on Germany if they don't finish the job quickly which they are unlikely to do in this case.
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The invasion of Denmark and Holland is practically guaranteed to result in a declaration of war by France and Great Britain and Belgium will at the very least go to a wartime footing. This pretty much negates the possibility of the historical French campaign. Stalin will likely go with a non aggression pact which will last as long as he wants it to. In the mean time Germany has even less chance of bringing the western allies to the table and likely increased the ease with which the US gets into the war.
     
  7. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    Your alternative history collapses already on the 1st of April: those invasions trigger WW2.

    There is no way, in any shape or form, the British will accept German possession of the Netherlands.

    The independance of the Low countries have been defended by Britain since Elizabethian times. That land is so incredibly strategically important to Britain. Far more so than Poland. Try to examine the diplomatic relations of those countries (Britain and Holland) leading up to WW2, and you'll understand, that this was indeed the case of an unspoken alliance, that no great power was unaware of.
     
  8. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    OTL, relations (trust) and coordination between Britain, France, Poland, Belgium and Holland were poor in April 1939. Even after Britain and France declared war, they reacted competely inadequately. Britain sent a small expeditionary force and only few and the worst fighters to France, despite Luxemburg and Holland being intact. Precisely because ATL once the WM, LW and KM are in Holland, Luxemburg and Denmark, Britain, Belgium and France (which take longer to mobilize than Germany takes to invade these countries) have been outmaneuvered. Belgium knows that it simply cannot stop a German attack west of the most fortified area (Liege, Eben Emael, etc,) or heavy bombing of its cities with the LW across the border, so it is pointless to declare war, Britain and Poland know that Belgium and France are doomed and that if they declare war, the LW will bomb London, Warsaw, etc, from the beginning of the war [a completely different situation from OTL, when Poland was invaded and bombed (forced to fight) and the LW was engaged in Poland and it had no bases close to London].

    The most likely British reaction would be to delay declaring war (in order to delay bombing of London as long as possible and to continue producing fighters, bombers, tanks, guns, destroyers, etc, for defense), not to send any planes or a BEF (since France is doomed) and to prepare to invade Norway, in order to deprive Germany of iron ore and to force the LW to deploy far from London. However, with Germany in Denmark, Britain would have difficulty laying mine fields off Norway and since Britain took longer to prepare an invasion, Germany rapidly captures the airfields in Norway and Sweden and invades them, before Britain is even ready to invade Norway. Airfields along W Sweden help Germany to deploy troops and planes in NW Norway. The rapid fall of Norway and Sweden make Britain even less likely to declare war and Finland more likely to join Germany in the eventual attack on the USSR.

    Isolationism was quite strong in 1939 and the US army and navy were completely unprepared for war in Europe. The US did not declare war when Poland, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Luxemburg, France, Belgium, Greece and Yugoslavia fell and Britain was bombed or even when the USSR was invaded in 1941, so it certainlky is not going to declare war in 1939, when several neutral countries with small populations are invaded.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Your beliefs as to what the British in particular would do are fundamentally flawed and absent any real fact or logic.

    Indeed the US was isolationist at that point but the invasion of Denmark and Holland would have greater impact there as well as in Great Britain. Probably wouldn't mean an immediate entry into the war but the US would likely amend the neutrality acts sooner as well as come up with ways of supporting the British sooner than they did historically. If France holds out as is likely the US may not actually get into the shooting part of the war as soon as they did historically though. However the US didn't contribute a lot to the combat phase in the first 6 months or so in any case.
     
  10. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    The US did not care about China, Indochina, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, France, Yugoslavia, Greece, USSR, etc, enough to declare war even in 1940 or 41. It only declared war on Japan when it was attacked, but did not declare war on Germany, until Germany did. The idea that it will jumpt into war over Denmark, Holland, Lithuania and Luxemburg in 1939 is beyond absurd. Kennedy, admiral King, etc, thought Britain was lost when it declared war, with Germany in Poland. Imagine what they would have reported with Germany in Holland, etc, before the war.


    It is a fact that Britain facilitated German occupation of the Südeten (Chamberlain dissuaded France, Poland and Czechoslovakia from resisting and starting WW II) which included Czechoslovakia's defensive line and that Britian, Poland, the US, USSR and France did nothing when Hitler acquired the considerable Czech military industry around the time of these ATL invasions.

    Britain and most contries still believed the doctrine that the bomber will always get through and the only real threat to Britain in WW I had come from the U-boats. With German bombers and U-boats in Holland already before declaring war, the idea that Chamberlain will rush into war over Denmark, Holland, etc, which it cannot even hope to liberate or in order to defend France and Belgium (which have not been attacked and which Britian knows to be doomed if they're attacked) and iwithout enough RAF planes even to defend itself is quite preposterious.

    On April 1, 1939 Britain and Poland do not even have a mutual defense pact and they are not likely to ever sign one, with Germany in Lithuania, Holland, etc,
     
  11. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    Your assumption is absolutely false, and is not borne out by the intense Holland-UK interactions that were occurring, and had been doing so since the mid-30's, on this very topic, at the highest levels. Those independent lowland countries were absolutely vital for Britain, in a way you just cannot comprehend, or you wouldn't even make these statements on how small their population was. Their population was irrelevant. Their coastline and ports have since Elizabethan times never been allowed to belong to any great power, either France or Germany.

    In 1914, the UK could've looked the other way, had the Germans not entered the low countries. This fact was pressed home to the German ambassador in 1914, but it was too late; the army had already marched. By invading the low countries, Germany guaranteed UK would enter the fray on the French side. It was simply not acceptable. It would not be acceptable in 1939 either.

    You obviously need to read "Unspoken Allies: Anglo-Dutch Relations Since 1780"

    In it's conclusion, it states:

    "Since the days of Elizabeth I British foreign policy had been founded on the notion that none of the continental great powers should ever be allowed to seize the Netherlands and Belgium. In the eyes of the British military, the events of the Great War and the introduction of new weaponry like the submarine and bomber only served to bear out this long-standing notion."

    Further, it states:

    "...in January 1939, following the 'Holland Scare', did the British government unequivocally acknowledge that Britain could not avoid fighting for the Low Countries."

    ATL: WW2 starts on 1st April, 1939
     
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  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The US wasn't ready for war in 39 or 40 or even 41. They would have been ready by mid 42. That doesn't mean that they couldn't have considerable impact prior to that. Look at the changes in the neutrality laws for instance. Certainly the US hadn't officially declared war on Germany until after PH on the other hand the "shoot on sight order" was awfully close to that.

    The German attack vs France succeeded in part because Belgium wasn't expecting to be attacked. If Holland and Denmark have already been attacked Belgium will certainly be expecting it. Again if you look at history Britain will not stand for a major continental power occupying Holland you continue to ignore that to the detriment of your position. Not sure where you are going with the "bomber will always get through" bit that cuts both ways and the British had probably the best air defense in the world at that point.

    Not sure what your point is about the mutual defense pack either, seems rather irrelevant to me and certainly of minor consequence compared to the flaws in your position.
     
  13. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Unlike Holland, Belgium had spent years and a lot of money preparing and was mobilized long before the invasion and certainly expected an attack from Germany,, expecially after the original plans for the invasion had been captured in a plane. There was more reason to invade Belgium in 1940 (with the Maginot line and Britain already at war) than in 1914, when the invasion brought Britain into the war. The invasion was no surprise at all, just like in Poland. Panzers, etc, were massed along the borders with Luxemburg, Belgium and Holland. Likewise, France and Britain expected an invasion through Belgium (beyond the Maginot), which is where they headed immediately after the attack.

    The surprising fact is that Hitler waited to attack all 4 countries simultaneously, greatly diluting his forces and complicating supplies enormously.and providing more time for Belgium, Holland, Britain and France to react, than if he had invaded Holland and Luxemburg long before invading Belgium and France.

    Even Holland, which had a very small army and air force, was better prepared in May 1940, 8 months into the war than in April, 1939, in peace time.
    Hitler wasted completely the surprise factor, by invading relatively strong Poland (which expected to be invaded) and forcing France and Britain into the war, instead of invading very weak countries with crucial location, which would make France and Britain think twice about declaring war and would make Belgium think twice about refusing passage to German forces, already along a long German-Belgian border.

    OTL Germany lost a lot of planes and paratroopers in Holland and used airborne troops in Blegium,but did not have airborne troops available for France. If Holland is invaded in peace time by a large force (including all airborne troops), the invasion will be faster and losses lower. Germany can then use all the airborne troops again in France.
    Germany lost most of its navy in Norway, because the planes and ships rushed all the way from Germany, through minefields laid by the British and fighting Polish subs and destroyers. If the invasions of Norway and Sweden take place before the invasion of Poland and are prepared with time from Denmark, the LW and KM will arrive in force in Norway earlier and will have airfields in Sweden to supplement the few airfiedls in Norway. Fewer British mines will be laid and more will be cleared, so the KM has better air support, experiences fewer losses and the KM and LW inflict heavier losses on the allied navies.
    Even if Poland chooses to fight Germany and the USSR (instead of joining Germany against the USSR, a less suicidal option), the Polish navy will not make it to Britain with Denmark in German hands.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Ignoring reality does not strengthen your position.
     
  15. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    OMFG....
     
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  16. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    The thought of Germany being able to invade the Low Countries without British intervention and without causing a world war is preposterous. That being said, moving on....

    Holland effectively took 4 days to conquer (add an extra three days if you want to count the extremities on the North Sea). How much faster would it take in your alternative time line? What is the advantage?
     
  17. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    George,
    Half the time and losses, plus having the German armor, supply depots, planes, hospitals, etc, along the Belgian border when the invasion of France begins, having all forces concentrated attacking a small area, instead of spread all over 4 countries simultaneously, having all airborne forces, armor, supply vehicles and air support available to attack France (instead of no airborne forces, because they were engaged in Holland) and most importantly having outmaneuvered France and Britain, so that if they declare war, they will be bombed and start to lose ships immediately and France can be invaded immediately, bypassing the Maginot (its only hope)..

    The thought of Chamberlain flying to meet Hitler and then dissuading France, Poland and Czechoslovakia (with a strong defensive line, poor terrain for Panzers and a good army) from going to war against a weak Germany over the Südeten in 1938 and doing nothing when Hitler ignored Munich completely and occupied Czhecoslovakia in 1939 (around the time of these ATL invasions) seems a lot more farfetched (yet real) than the thought of Chamberlain being reluctant to go to war with German bombers and U-boats already in Holland. Especially after the German-Soviet non aggression pact is signed, while the invasions are taking place.

    Chamberlain and Daladier went reluctantly to war when Poland was invaded in September, only because they had signed pacts, but they knew that Britain & France were not ready (they needed years to prepare) and that they could do nothing for Poland. Yet, you take for granted that Britain and France promptly declare war, despite being even less ready in April and having Germany at the gates.
     
  18. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    History, politics, and military practicalities are none of your strengths, are they? That said, at least you have spelling and grammatical coherence.

    Very few in the 30's believed in Czechoslavakia's right to exist as a sovereign nation. And that made all the difference in the world. The non-existance of Czechoslavakia, does not threaten British interests. Britain does not want to go to war over something as trivial as a minor Eastern European country, which had not existed prior to 1919.

    Germany in possession of Holland, is an immediate, dire, and direct threat to not just the UK, but to England, and London.

    The German-Soviet non-aggression pact was not signed until 23rd August 1939. The timing was crucial for both parties. Trying to extract it and place it in another time-frame causes all sorts of wonky issues. So you can't just hand wave it occurring earlier, you need to adjust a whole other series of events.
     
  19. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Any reason why you say this (other than "they were even less prepared than in 1940")? Surely you consulted literature and primary source documents to make such a specific claim? Please share -- I'd like to know.
     
  20. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Capturing considerable Czech military industry and labor threatens France and Britain much more than capturing Poland (which forces Germany to face the USSR). In what way is Poland more important than Czechoslovakia or how does it make more sense for Britain to declare war on Germany with Czechoslovakia subdued (producing tanks, etc, for Germany) and Poland already being invaded, instead of declaring war together with Czechoslovakia, Poland and France in 1938. The only reason Chamberlain bent over backwards to avoid war was that Britain was not ready. He only did declare war, when he had no choice, because of a pact, much more than because it was necessary to protect British interests or because it made sense. What is the point of declaring war, when you cannot attack the enemy, but he can sink the ships on which you depend for survival? The only damage that Britain could inflict after declaring war was to Blockade Germany, which unlike during WW I, in 1939 it could buy everything it needed from the USSR (including British rubber from Malaya), Italy, Romania, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Greece, etc, and even soy, etc, from Japanese Manchuria (through the USSR).

    ATL the R-M pact is signed in early April, while Germany invades Lithuania (when Stalin defenitely wants to stop a German invasion) and the secret protocol is leaked to Poland, Finland, Romania, etc, in order to induce them to join Germany against the USSR. OTL Stalin approved the pact on the day that Ribbentrop proposed it, he would certainly have done the same in April, had Germany proposed it and especially if Germany is already in Lithuania and W Latvia. Stalin would definitely want to keep Germany out of E Poland and have the right to invade E Latvia, Estonia, Finland, etc, without fearing war with Germany.
     

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