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How Germany could've won?

Discussion in 'Alternate History' started by Jborgen, May 5, 2011.

  1. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

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    Good arguments have been made by USMCPrice & others for a German Mediterranean strategy instead of trying for an unlikely invasion of Britain with perhaps a reinforced Rommel heading for the Suez & the vital oil of Iraq [seeing that oil was always supposed to be a high priority for Hitler] & perhaps Iran.


    At the start of the Italian push into Egypt from Bardia in Sept. '40, the Brits had a total of just 36,0000 men in just two divisions to take on the 250,000 Italians & in a classic campaign the British 7th Armoured Division & the Aussie 6th division routed ten Italian divisions & chased them back 550 miles from the Egyptian border to El Agheila & captured 130,000 prisoners in just over two months, while between the end of June '40 & Feb.'41, [when Rommel finally arrived in NA] most of the German army was sitting on it's hands, with some divisions training for a invasion of Britain that had next to no chance of succeeding.
    Operation Compass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    [In fact from the end of June '40, until June 22 '41, the most potent army in the worlds only operation was the brief Balkans campaign & Rommels meager forces in NA.]

    When Rommel finally went into action he chased the Brits back to where they started in just three weeks, that's 550 miles, could a reinforced Rommel have possibly started at the Italian base of Bardia on the Egyptian border in September or soon after?

    From Bardia to Alexandria it's 290 miles, going by the above figures he might have been in Cairo in a few weeks.


    And if that strategy was combined with severing the British Atlantic lifeline starting with a determined U- boat effort in '39, the Germans 'might' have been in business.


    As Tooze says in Wages of Destruction, Dönitz argued that with 300 U-boats he could achieve decisive success against British shipping, but Germany started the war with just 32 U-boats capable of operating in the North Atlantic, falling to 25 by the summer of 1940.

    In '42, when Dönitz eventually had 90 boats the Germans sank just under 8,000,000 tons of shipping, & Churchill wrote that the Atlantic battle was the only time he was worried in the war, the Germans for a time, were sinking more boats then were being built.

    The 'what if' is, what if Navy convinced Hitler that major Navy funding should go to a U-boat program & by '39' they had 300 boats?

    If 57 boats can sink 4 million tons of shipping in '41 & 90 boats can sink 8 million tons in '42, what could 300 boats do?

    Britain could build more escorts, but going by the figures, they might have been in a bit of strife, would they get to the point of looking to mediate a truce as Halifax argued for in May 1940?


    For arguments sake 'if' Britain decided on a truce, how much could it help Germany in defeating the SU?
     
  2. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    After Rommel repelled in three weeks the British to where they started,...he was blocked,and,in the winter,HE was repelled to where he started .
    Why should the same not happen if Rommel arrived in september 1940.
    And,of course,he could not start at Bardia ;Bardia was nothing.
    In 1941,the Germans disembarked at Tripoli,in 1940,the Germans would disembark at Tripoli ,and,as the distance Tripoli Bardia is (from memory) 800 miles ....
    In 1941,the following tonnage was delivered (for the whole axis)
    january:49000
    february:79000
    march:48000
    april:150000
    may:86000
    june:32000
    july:92000
    augustus:52000
    september:78000
    october:47000
    november:64000
    december :6000
    It is excluded that these could be disembarked at Bardia .
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    To put it otherwise,the Germans were able to disembark at Tripoli (capacity 50000 ton a month) the followong
    11/25 february 1941:7232 men,2366 vehicles,4000 tons of supplies
    25 february /10 march:5688 men,1708 vehicles,650 ton of supplies
    10 march/1 may:19629 men,6256 vehicles,25772 ton of supplies .
    It is excluded that they could disembark more (a reinforced Rommel) at Bardia(which was,BTW,very near to the front)
    At 13 april (=after 2 months) the Panzerstrength of the AK only was 105 tanks(losses not included)why could the Germans (disemberking at Bardia) have more ?
    Other point :IMHO,the Germans landing in Lybia in september 1940 was out of the question :it would take several weeks to bring back the PzD to Germany,idem for repair and rebuilding,idem for the transport to Naples,for the crossing of the Med .(it took the Germans 5 months to commit 2 +5 PzD in the SU,after the end of the fighting in the Balkans)
     
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    If I am not wrong, you are wrong:cool:
    57 boats did not sink 4 million tons of shipping in 1941 (4 million would be losses due to all causes):some 2.1 million was lost in 1941 because of UBoats,and,this was not caused by 57 UBoats:while,on 1 january 1942,there were 55 UBoats operational in the Atlantic,37 were lost in 1941,thus,the number of UBoats committed in 1941 was at least 92,and,this is without those transferred to other areas .
    The same for 1942:some 6.2 million was lost by UBoats,in march 1943,182 UBoats were stationed in the Atlantic and 84 were lost in 1942,thus the number committed in 1942 would be at least 266.
    300 UBoats could do of course more than 92 /266,but,to have 300 operational UBoats,the Germans would need (a guess ) 700 UBoats .
    In march 1943,the Germans had 400 UBoats,and .......182 (=less than 50 %) were stationed in the Atlantic and in 1943,some 2.5 million ton was lost,while the Germans lost 228 UBoats,one could argue that 410 UBoats did sink 2.5 million ton (I have no figure for 1 january 1943/1944)
     
  5. leccy1

    leccy1 Member

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  6. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Some of these "how Germany could've won" scenarios seem to involve changing the definition of "win" to something achievable for Germany. Knowing how things turned out, it's easy to call a "win" any outcome that allows the Nazi regime to survive and Germany to avoid dismemberment; if they can retain a sphere of influence in Western Europe, even better. Fundamentally though, that means abandoning the objective they went to war for - expansion to the east.

    I'm also inclined to think a full-fledged effort in the Mediterranean could have allowed the Axis to conquer North Africa, but would that compel Britain to make peace? What would prevent the Empire carrying on the fight wherever the front lines happened to be? If the Germans did advance deep into the Middle East, they increase the chance of conflict with the Russians. The hope for Germany would be that the British people would simply tire of a war dragging on without resolution.
     
  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    In reading recent posts I am struck by the repeated comments like 'Germany had to fight the US' or 'the US must enter the european war' or 'Germany must invade Russia' or 'Russia must attack Germany, even if Germany does not' and 'england would never settle for less than total victory against an evil emmpire'. With respect is this dogma or debate?

    Forgive me but where was Britain's indomitable will at Munich?. 750.000 Chzecks lost thier home and nation to become the unwanted subjects of a evil state. Months later the remainder found themselves also doomed to same fate. When Italy invaded Ethiopia, no resolve to stop evil then either. Or to halt Japan in China, or Russia in Finland or the Baltics. Did England mis-place her never give up to the end will? I do not solely condemn Britain, the US showed even less willingness to stop these acts.

    We in the US call our people who served during this period The Greatest Generation. We do so without irony or shame. Thier praise is well earned, but sometimes we forget that they were human too. We sometimes place our hero's so high on a pedastel, that we forget that they are no different then ourselves and the generations that preceeded them.

    Britain and the US have accepted half victories in the past, as well as less than honorable peace's like Korea and Vietnam. To say otherwise is disproven by our own history.

    Sorry guys,
    Rants over :)

     
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Total victory or destruction are the realistic potentialities being suggested, not just the former.
    (And the events of Czechoslovakia were under a different UK regime, and before full scale warfare had even broken out - a 'diplomatic crisis' is very different from when the enemy's Bombers are actually over one's capital city. Czechoslovakia can also be described as the point when the wider world learnt Appeasement would actually get you nowhere in the long run with Adolf's boys. A hardening of attitude sprang from it with the observers that eventually held the reins of power, and their populaces. There are always crises before war)

    Anyway, these themes above come up, because without them there is no 'WW2' in any recognisable fashion for Germany to win.
    Without those main aspects of the war, and an attempt to anchor things to them, there is little sensible basis of discussion.

    And so like all what-if threads it inevitably becomes pointless.
    A collection of hypotheses where any attempt to link to historical fact that disagrees with one hypothesis or another can be dismissed as Dogma, and any conjured hypotheses becomes as worthwhile as any historical actuality.

    So far: We've had the US conveniently removed from the fight to stave off the Nuclear/Materiel/manpower/cash elements.
    The UK/Commonwealth/Empire taken out of the equation by whatever means.
    Next maybe a fascist France in 1930, or WW1 being won by the Kaiser's boys, Hitler not being Anti-semitic, etc. & peering round the corner at that, naturally, would be the old UFOs and Rocket-powered Icelands.

    Q: How Germany Could've won?
    A: By engaging in a completely different war to the one that actually happened.
    Job done.

    Maybe a better question that excludes the circular what-iffery is; 'Why exactly did Germany lose. and was the potential for a more limited War?' That way the discussion is at least anchored in some sort of objective historical truth rather than the wide open spaces of what-if.

    ~A
     
  9. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About munich:Britain never had guarenteed the frontiers of CZ,thus,if 750000 Czechs (that many ?) became German citizens,no problem ,not the business of Britain(as long there was no war):why should one British soldier be killed to secure the frontiers of Eastern Europe .
    About Ethiopia :most people did not think there was an evil,a lot (even Churchill were convinced that Italy only was bringing the European civilisation (of course,using poison gas,but,this was no problem)in a barbarian country,and,Italy was arguing that it was doing what Britain and France had done :the conquest of colonies.
    The same for China:a lot of Europeans (and Americans) were convinced that Japan was restoring law and order in China ,and,China was far away,and Britain could not do anything .
    Already before Munich,Britain had said to Hitler that he could have Eastern Europe,as long legal forms (=no British loss of face) were saved and no war :thus,Slovakia could become a German satellite,the same for Czechia (which it was between Munich and march 1939),but,the occupation of Czechia was for a lot of British to far :this was destroying the comfortable self-deceit and hypocrisy of a lot of people :those damned Germans,not subtle at all,why using the 19th century methods of annexations,while there were a lot of other (hypocritical) methods,who allowed B+F to condone the German actions towards the electors who were believing in things as democracy,morality,selfdetermination of the people (things,which,from the POV of the governments of B+F,were seriously hindering their work)
     
  10. leccy1

    leccy1 Member

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    Britain was caught with her pants down and needed time to re-equip, it had no European Army, the RAF was lacking modern aircraft and sufficient numbers for home defence never mind an expeditionary force, the RN had got the lions share of the defence budget such as it was. Appeasement was a way to gain time.
    Not to forget Germany was not the only country to annex Czechoslovakia.




    Ethiopia and Italy were members of the League of Nations, this finally proved the lack of power it actually had. Britain imposed sanctions on Italy which was about all it could do. Likewise with Japan in China.
    Britain provided weapons to Finland as did the French, both countries did condemn the Soviet Union and had a joint task force readied to go to Finland to help out (rather thinly veiled but was also possibly to be used to 'help' Norway side with the allies).
    War had already been declared on Germany by Britain before the Soviet Union invaded Poland and the Baltic States, there was no way on earth it could declare on the Soviet Union as well despite the fact that Hitler and Stalin had made a pact.

    FDR set in motion a series of events that led to the US finally entering the war as an active participant due to Japanese activities in China.

     
  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    The most striking example of "dogma" is the endless insistence that the US would be in the war regardless. I find it a bit hard to imagine us sitting it out indefinitely myself, but I've posed the question many times in various forums - how and when might it happen, what would Roosevelt say to convince Congress and the American people to declare war? No one's ever answered, not even speculatively, just the endless chant of "of course we would!!!"

    Question's still on the table - anyone? Imagine you're FDR's speechwriter, and give us a draft of his message to Congress or a fireside chat explaining why this is the moment to declare war on Germany.
     
  12. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Well, I am a bad speech writter but let me try with this borrowed sentence:

    There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction
    John F. Kennedy

    The rest you can pick from Kennedy's Cuban Missile Crisis speech.

    Without English and American involvement, the post-war continent would have been dominated either by Soviets or Nazis. Then, first, Britain would have to face them and then, the next victim would have been USA. Inevitably.

    USA had to respond adequately, rather sooner than later. IMHO

    Instead of the word »dogma« I would rather use an »axiom« (an established rule or principle or a self-evident truth, widely accepted on its intrinsic merit). To make valid assertions we must accept some reasonable framework within which we may place our discussion on the rational basis. Assumptions like »Should Germans have 200% more soldiers ...« or »If Italians were more courageous ...« do not contribute to the substance of this debate. again: IMHO
     
  13. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    No offense, Tamino, but Kennedy was speaking of carefully calculated measures to protect our national security without going to war - the same thing Roosevelt was doing in 1941. The blockade is analagous to measures like Lend-Lease or the "neutrality" zone. JFK, like FDR, was willing to risk a confrontation, but both he and the American people hoped to avoid outright war.
     
  14. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The fact is that there were vital differences berween march 1917 and november 1941
    In march 1917,US were not mobilizing,there was no LL,no chasing of the Geman UBoats on the Atlantic,Wilson was not meeting Lloyd George and was not saying that the aim of the US was to eliminate the ruling class of Germany .
    While in 1941,every one was convinced that the US would join the war :Hitler was convinced,Churchill was convinced that PH would result in an US intervention in the war against Germany .
    While in march 1917,the US still were neutral,they had ceased to be neutral in november 1941,and such a situation (=a non declared war) could not last,it would result(sooner or later,and,every one was convinced it would be sooner) in a formal war .
    There also is the fact that Britain and the US allies against Japan and the US not joining the war against Germay was impossible :the former would exclude the latter .
    There also were things as Rainbow 5 and Dog War Plan (which does not existed in 1914/1917)
     
  15. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    After reading the both your posts I agree; you're right. USA had freedom of choice when to enter the war, but in my opinion entering the war sooner was better for USA because of long-range political implications. It is, however, quite different question how to convince your own nation to enter a distant, other people's war just to achieve some strategic and/or economic benefits. Ordinary citizen needs a bit more reasons to approve and join war efforts. Fortunately, however, both Japan and Germany were silly enough to challenge Americans.

    Regards, T :cool:
     
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  16. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    I happened to look back at this topic and noticed the following from brndirt1; I've underlined the part I'd like to address here:

    I see possibly two justifications for Hitler's declaration of war on the US (the only time he did so BTW). First, not only could his U-boats start torpedoing US flagged ships with impunity, which he ordered on Dec. 9th, but by doing so he might get the Japanese to return that favor and break their own non-aggression pact with the USSR.

    That would be a tangible benefit to Hitler, but it would seem to be something he should have arranged ahead of time. He and Ribbentropp had discussed with the Japanese - I hesitate to say "promised" with regard to Hitler - Germany declaring war on America if/when Japan became embroiled with us. If they wanted a quid pro quo, that would have been the time to bring it up. Declaring war and hoping the Japanese will reciprocate is poor strategy.

    As Clint also noted, immediately after Dec 7 the Japanese expressed their expectation that Germany would declare war on America. They gave no indication that they would reciprocate with regard to the USSR. That would have been a strong encouragement to Hitler, so if they were willing to do it, they probably would have said so.

    It's been pointed out that the Soviets retained adequate forces in the Far East while shifting individual units to help defend Moscow and what was for them the western front. Actual hostilities however would impose attrition of troops and equipment and consume supplies, which should have some beneficial effect on the German front, though probably not as profound as sometimes suggested. Cutting off Lend-Lease via Vladivostok would be valuable and would require hardly any additional effort from the Japanese; it would take time to have an impact, and of course matters logistical were of minimal interest to der Fuhrer.
     
  17. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    Okay, let's assume the best possible screenplay for the Axis in November 1942:

    1. Japan has not attacked Pearl Harbour
    2. Instead, Japan attacks Russia from the east and reaches Sebiria with minimum losses
    3. USA remains permanently neutral
    4. England prepares for Overlord alone
    5. Germans were exactly where they were in reality.

    That is rather good starting for the Axis but there is a paradox in conquest of Russia: the more territories you win, less chances you have to win a war. Despite of all shattering losses, Russia has constantly hardened by retreating while her enemies have weakened and have lost morale. During 1941 Russian army has learned how to stop the blitz-krieg and to win against German army.

    Now, let us consider the Japanese position somewhere in Sebiria with refference to German position at the eastern front. Neither Manstein nor Göring could help the 6th army. Now imagine Japaneze soldiers somewhere in Sebiria waiting for their rice and warmer uniforms to be brought to them either by air or rail. None of them would have lived long enough to get back home.

    Even in the best case scenario for the Axis, Russia wins. By all means, without American involvement in the war Russia would have sustained even more losses but Russia would have won the war in the end and would have reached the beaches of Normandy, instead of just Berlin.

    Germans were lucky that Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbour.
     
  18. efestos

    efestos Member

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    The first logical step is to knock GB out of the war. If you got it you might avoid go to war with the USA. How do you try it to be possible?

    LW
    : Ju 89 instead of Heinkel 111 .. Me 109 E6 (with droppable tanks) instead of Me 110 ... Henshel 127 instead of Ju-88 .. Ju-52 was already outdated in 1934 ...
    The idea is to have a long range bomber for air-sea attacks... a plane that could do the a similar job that the mosquito actually did, faster than the hurricane and even the spitfire, 400 Me 109 more, with droppable tanks, to fight against the RAF (800) and a better air transport capacity to serve the Wermacht in the first Bulge offensive. Walther Wever shouldn´t have die in an accident. Göreing should have done.


    U-Boot: The Baltic is just a big frozen lake and the pre-war Germany tested submarine warfare there ... the type VII was insufficient for the work it had to do. What would have happened if the Germans had reached a similar agreement with Japan that they had with the USSR? The Anglo-British pact broke down shortly after WW I ... so to put date in 1925 would be reasonable.
    The huge and perfectly discreet Japanese facilities would have allowed testing mass production of submarines in sections (the traditional sector of the Navy did not think that was possible) probably they would have concluded that the search of convoys in the ocean was a very hard and difficult work ... perhaps they would have developed tactics of air-sea reconnaissance and attack... and would have assumed the need for long-range air capacity... JU 89.
    More trained crews ... and the idea of to produce sections far away from the shipyards waiting for the war to assemble the sections. The money would be designed for large ships in the budget ... It would have fooled the inspectors?


    Maybe they had promoted Heino von Heimburg: I read hisr ideas about the submarine warfare were really modern... He claimed that the U-boot should have sail underwater most of the time to prevent the air attacks ... he advocated silent submarines, to trust the hydrophones to detect enemy merchant...near the ports ... these claims should be checked, I don´t find my sources... more ... Herr Walter proposed in 1931 something like a snorkel ... the Japanese tried something similar before WWI ... the result was an accident, all hands lost. They could tried again... with German design.

    The magnetic mines were deployed too early and with poor imagination. If you throw your secret mine in shallow waters, it’s almost sure that someone will find one. As actually happened. Maybe they should have thrown the mines in deeper waters, with chain, a ballast at the end of it and other mine with contact fuze to let the British find her.

    JOJOJO more than history fiction this post is History-Science-fiction.


    POLITICS:
    Do not spend too many resources on the Siegfried Line, if you run into a stalemate that makes it necessary Germany has already lost the war.

    No Munich agreement, you couldn´t violate a treaty, few months after to sign it and ask for an other two years later.

    No Norway invasion, the idea is to reserve forces for the fight in the North of France, the Norway invasion gave GB more than a million tons of good merchant ships an thousands of brave sailors.

    To keep Italy out of war and clandestinely supplying the long range U-boot in the Indian Ocean...

    And give the Japanese the technologies to produce synthetic oil with the coal of Manchuria.


    But I still have no idea about how to beat the USSR or keep the USA out of war.
     
  19. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    As the LW could bomb Aberdeen and Belfast,they had a long range bomber .
     
  20. efestos

    efestos Member

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    with what payload? In fact I was thinking in the JU 89 to bomb the convoys in the North Atlantic. 27 FW 200 Condor made a considerable damage (till the rocket catapult arrived ) and this plane wasn´t a real bomber... and till the USA entered the war the scort carriers were "too expensive" for the allies, Especially if the Germans have a considerable number of Bombers and Me 109 E-6 for Frei Jagd missions in the North of France.
     

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