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How Germany could've won?

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

  1. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    Hitler did declare war on the U.S. with almost no thought and no advanced planning. Hell, the German war economy wasn't even fully moblilized until 1942 - anybody with a brain would've have known that Germany could not compete with the United State's manufacturing capabilities and industrial output. It was a mistake that guarenteed Germany's defeat. What I don't understand, is why Hitler felt loyalty to Japan and declared war on the US to back them up, when Japan wasn't loyal enough to invade the Soviet Union from the eastern side and help Germany out! Weren't Stalin's Siberian divisions, which played such a vital role in blunting operation Typhoon, transfered to the Moscow area to fight the Germans after it was clear that the Japanese weren't a threat to Russia's eastern flank? What was the point on an alliance with Japan, then? Some help that ally was - they expediated the United States entry into the war by bombing Pearl Harbor! We all know Chruchill was putting a lot of presure on Roosevelt to help him fight the Germans, but the American people saw Japan on their only immediate enemy. Hitler declaring war on the U.S. gave Roosevelt the perfect excuse to draw the American people into the war in Europe to assist his ally Churchill. Thoughts?
     
  2. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    After Placentia (the Churchill/Roosevelt meeting in New Foundland in august 1941),it was obvious,that the US were no more neutral :a war with the US was imminent .Hitler had the choice of declaring war to the US,or doing nothing while the US was defeating Japan .
     
  3. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Declaring war on the US may have been Hitler's biggest mistake. He had a perfect opportunity to divert our war effort to the far side of the world. I've often posed the question - and never had it answered - what could Roosevelt have said to Congress or the American people to convince them to declare war on Germany while the Japanese were running wild all over the Pacific (slight hyperbole, but it's how it appeared to a lot of Americans, people on the West Coast were waiting for the Jap invasion armada). His Day of Infamy speech avoided any mention of Germany or how her actions might have emboldened Japan to attack. Even if we did come into the war, Hitler gained nothing by taking the step himself; it took them over a month to deploy a mere five U-boats against the US East Coast. They could have reacted just as effectively if and when the US declared war. Declaring war first wouldn't cause us to deploy any more combat power against Germany; if there was any change from the historical course of events it would be a bit more emphasis on the Pacific.

    It's a common misconception that the Soviets denuded the Far East to send troops to Moscow. Here's a little something I got from brndirt1 another time it came up:

    Soviet troops in the far east on 22 June 1941:

    17 rifle divisions, 1 cavalry division, 3 rifle brigades, 1 airborne brigade, and 12 fortified regions organized into five rifle corps and four rifle armies.

    Soviet troops in the far east on 1 January 1942:

    19 rifle divisions, 1 cavalry division, 2 rifle brigades, 1 airborne brigade, 2 cavalry regiments, 1 rifle regiment, and 12 fortified regions organized into four rifle corps and five rifle armies.

    Apparently, units sent west were replaced by new formations, so the Soviets didn't really let down their guard vis-a-vis
    Japan. There are also artillery and tank units listed in the order of battle, what is listed above are the major combat formations, and does not include units assigned to the Trans-Baikal Front.

    Source for the data is:

    http:/
    /www.tashv.nm.ru/BoevojSostavSA/The Japanese couldn't afford to engage this Far East portion of the Red Army, especially as it was supplimented by those 80,000 Mongolian regulars.

    The Japanese also unhelpfully allowed Lend-Lease supplies for the war against their 'ally' to be shipped through their waters; almost half of LL to Russia went via Vladivostok. Ironically the greatest hazard to this LL route was American submarines, which inadvertently sank five Russian-flagged merchant ships in Japanese waters.
     
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Point 6 of the Atlantic Charter (august 1941) was a DOW :it started with "AFTER THE FINAL DESTRUCTION OF THE NAZI TYRANNY...." and was signed by the president of the US (a neutral country),thus it was the official policy of the US,and ,I doubt that congress was protesting .
    No one would expect that Hitler would wait,while the US were rearming,and were aiding Germany's enemies .Not only was (from Hitler's POV)war with the US ineluctable,it also was nearing .
     
  5. scipio

    scipio Member

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    Well I am pleased I have re-started this thread (better not crow too early!).

    After acknowledging Von Poop's contention that Germany could not have developed the Bomb due to Hitler's anti-semitism, it is clear that if he had detained (or more probably spend $20 on a few bullets in the head of every Jewish nuclear scientist) in 1939, he would have stopped or least seriously delayed the Bomb.

    BTW I think Heisenberg is real enigma in all this. I can't make my mind up if he was not fooling the German High Command or not!?
     
  6. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    This will sound counter-intuitive, but do we have any firm basis for the belief that had Germany possessed an Atomic bomb, with the ability to deliver it to say a target his conventional forces could not reach (London?), that Hitler would in fact use it? He had other WMD's at his disposal and yet, even when losing to the Russian army after 1943, never used them. Why? Fear of reprisal? For a utterly ruthless warlord, with little concern how many people he had to kill (including his own) to achive his goals, he showed remarkable restraint for a "madman"
     
  7. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    Carronade, that's interesting about the number of Soviet division stationed in the Far-East. There is this runmor that Stalin's top spy in Japanese told him that a Japanese threat to his eastern flank didn't have any merit, and therefore allowed the Soviets to "free up" whole divisions of well-trained troops to defend Moscow.
    In my opinion, however inevitable war with the United States might have been, Hitler made a mistake by jumping the gun. There was not a lot of support in congress (or with a majority of American citizens) in the late 30s/early 40s based on what I've read. But maybe there was a rising tide of public opinion against German aggression? I just feel that Hitler did Roosevelt a favor by declaring war - that way Roosevelt didn't have to sell intervention to the American people, who were staunchly anti-interventionist in the early 1930s, led by the likes of Charles Linburgh.
     
  8. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I've considered this question before and based upon actions taken by the US, when using it's newfound weapon. Plus a few assumptions I'd say yes he would.
    Reasoning:
    1.) Hitler would not see the atomic weapon as we do today. He would view it, very much like a super conventional weapon, unaware or not fully comprehending the long term effects.
    2.) If by other WMD's you mean chemical agents, that's a whole 'nother story. Hitler saw first hand the problems inherent in using chemical weapons during WWI. Chemical weapons while quite effective against your opponent also provide a challenging environment for friendly troops to operate in. He also was aware of the logistical problems of equipping a force to fight in a chemical environment.
    3.) The US, Britain and the Soviet Union were all capable of and considered using chemical weapons in WWII. The problems associated with their employment and/or the potential for their enemies to retaliate in kind, kept that kitty in the bag.
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I see where you are going here, but let us say he dropped mythical A-bomb on London, nothing would prevent the RAF from dropping Chemical or Bacterialogical bombs on Berlin or the Ruhr. (I believe England had to Quarentine some Scottish Island for decades after WMD experiments during WWII) Japan gave the US a very unique condition, an isolated target who could not respond in kind to the continental US. If the US were at war with say Canada, would we risk them stiking back on Washington?
     
  10. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    The America First group had been loosing traction all through the late thirties, and by 1940 was really a very minor group with the American public supporting war with both the Japanese and European Axis powers if they continued to invade and subjugate their neighbors. As to Roosevelt not including Germany in his request of a declaration of war, he had full access to the Japanese Diplomatic transcripts and knew full well that Hitler had already committed his nation to war with America prior to his "official" declaration of war with the USA on the eleventh of December. FDR didn't have to include Germany in the request for a declaration of war, he knew full well that Hitler would relieve him of that obligation within a day or two.

    And while this documentary makes us look fully "weak" in material, it ignores the fact that America had been shipping arms and those "things" show in short supply to Britain/France and other non-Axis nations in the Cash and Carry policy. As you watch this documentary pay particular attention to the shift of public opinion toward war, and internationalism not isolationism.

    Goto:

    usnationalarchives's Channel - YouTube\
     
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  11. scipio

    scipio Member

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    Actually there is a specific instance where some IG Farben scientists are sent to Hitler with a new chemical WMD which could be a world beater.


    Hitler asks the simple question - could the Opposition copy it?


    Yes - easily. Hitlers reply in so many words was "forget it".
     
  12. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    Great link! Thanks - I have always presumed that the United States wouldn't have gone to war with Germany had Hitler not pushed them passed the point of no return. Looks like the bigger picture must be taken into consideration.
     
  13. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    For Hitler,Roosevelt was the flunkey of the Jews,who's final objective was the destruction of national socialism,thus,PH or no,the policy of Roosevelt would remain the same .
    Was Hitler totally wrong (not about the flunkey of the Jews) ? The" Germany first" policy was no secret .To actualize it :Germany was the big Satan,Japan the little Satan .
    Churchill also was convinced that PH would have as result that the US would join the war against Germany .
     
  14. Jager

    Jager Member

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    Other nations had access to chemical weapons but did any of them have zyklon B? I heard that France had produced some Zyklon B but only as a pest control. I have read numerous things that say that the Germans could have used Zyklon B without its odorant (methyl 2- bromoacetate) and by the time the allies had figured out what was killing them the damage could of been immense. Of course it said Hitler who was a victim of gas attacks in world war I retaliation and did not use Zyklon B.
     
  15. Jager

    Jager Member

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    From what I am aware. Hitler's actual decision to declare war on the US was for 2 major reasons.
    1) The opportunity was at its highest since the US would have to fight Japan.
    2) Hitler had become aware of LL to russia and needed to attack american assets resulting to a position similar to the first world war that would eventually cause the US to enter against him regardless.
    Also to my knowledge the biggest problem was that Japan and Germany did not communicate their planned actions well. Japan did not foresee a German invasion against Russia in 1941 and Germany did not foresee an attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The allies on the other hand were in communication often and were very coordinated in their efforts.
     
  16. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Hitler's decision to declare war on the US always seemed to me to have a 'what the hell, why not, what have we got to lose' quality to it, rather that a reasoned motovation.
     
  17. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Part of Germany's supply of Zyklon B actually came from a French factory... frankreich [QUOTE]I have read numerous thin... easily and stabilised in absorbent surfaces.
     
  18. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

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    The opinion polls I've seen did have American public supporting a 'tougher stance' with both the Japanese and European Axis powers 'at the risk of war'
    but the bottom line was still overwhelmingly against getting directly involved in war in either the ETO, or the Pacific, unless 'the US or it's possessions are attacked.'

    Here's a few sample polls......

    Interviewing Date 6/26-7/1/41

    Survey #240-K Question #2

    If you were asked to vote today on the question of the United States entering

    the war now against Germany and Italy, how would you vote—to go into the war

    now or to stay out of the war?

    Go in.............................. 21%

    Stay out............................79%



    Interviewing Date 11/7-12/41
    Survey #252-K Question #11

    It has been suggested that Congress pass a resolution declaring that a state of war exists between the United States and Germany. Would you favor or oppose such a resolution at this time?

    Favor.............................. 26%
    Oppose............................. 63%
    No opinion......................... 11%



    Aug 5 '41 should the US go to war against Japan... yes 22% no 78%

    Oct. '41... yes 13% no 74% no opinion 13%


    Iv'e seen questions in polls about the war couched different ways, but these would probably be the bottom line.


    Roosevelt was still stymied as he was at the Placentia Bay Conference in August 1941, in answer to Churchills urging that the US commit to war with Japan if the Japanese moved against British possessions, Roosevelt stated that –'I shall never declare war,' – he could not without Congressional consent – 'If I were to ask Congress to declare war they might argue about it for months.'

    Churchill eventually settled for... 'Any further encroachment by Japan in the South-West Pacific would produce situation in which the United States government would be compelled to take counter-measures, even though these might lead to war between the United States and Japan.'.... be inserted in a note Roosevelt intended to hand to the Japanese ambassador in Washington. Roosevelt agreed to append these phrases to the note.

    A serious disappointment for the British followed. The statement
    which Roosevelt had prepared merely announced that they had met at sea to discuss the workings of Lend–Lease, and that the accompanying naval and military discussions had in no way involved any future commitments other than as authorized by Act of Congress. Churchill was deeply shocked at this proof of how far Roosevelt was in fact shackled by Congress and the law.

    & Aussie delegations to Washington got ditto.


    Having access to the Japanese Diplomatic [& military] transcripts was a huge advantage to the Allies, & I guess it answers the question by posters who say why would the US risk starting a war with Japan, [as a conduit to Germany, Europe first] when nobody knew if Hitler would support the Japanese.
     
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  19. efestos

    efestos Member

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    May be somewhere in his hill brain he knew he would finally lose the war so it was better to provoque the US intervention. This is not an innocent joke, in fact Göreing said something similar to an american reporter . Here, in this forum:
    [h=1]A Goering interview...[/h]
     
  20. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Spy Richard Sorge did inform his superiors that Japan's aggressive intentions were not directed against the USSR, but the ever-practical Stalin did not base the security of the Far East entirely on that assurance.

    Here's the complete Article 6 of the Atlantic Charter:

    Sixth, after the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want;

    The Charter was a statement of hopes and principles which did not even address specific actions, let alone commit either of the signatories to any action. It certainly wasn't anything that Roosevelt could present to Congress as a fait accompli: "I signed this back in August so now you have to enact an actual, legal declaration of war". Roosevelt made no attempt to so characterize the Charter when he signed it; indeed he was at pains to avoid doing so.

    Public opinion polls from 1941 show a growing acceptance that America would probably be in the war at some and that that was better than allowing German or Japanese aggression to go unchecked, but there remained a reluctance to take the step ourselves. FDR didn't even try to get a declaration of war when U-boats torpedoed and sank several of our ships, nor do there seem have been cries of "Remember the Reuben James!" in the mode of the Maine or Pearl Harbor.

    The American people were unwilling to initiate war with Germany before Pearl Harbor - did a massive Japanese onslaught in the Pacific somehow make war with Germany a more viable proposition?

    Roosevelt and Churchill both expected that the Japanese attacks would bring America into the war against Germany as well - all the more reason for Hitler to try to confound their expectations.

    Here's where we need a little more rigorous logic. Anticipating that Hitler would declare war on the US does not prove that Roosevelt could have gotten a declaration of war if he didn't.

    Similarly, backdating Hitler's decision to before Pearl Harbor simply means that he made a bad decision earlier. It doesn't make it any less the wrong decision. Hitler was under no obligation to support the Japanese in their war, any more than they were to support him against the USSR. He was already doing more than enough to help the Japanese: defeating France and the Netherlands, engaging most of the armed forces of the British Empire, tying down the Soviets, and even drawing much of the US Navy into the Atlantic.

    Can anyone cite any benefit to Hitler from declaring war other than the ability to operate U-boats in the western Atlantic - which they could have done just as effectively if the US had taken the first step? Or any harm to his cause if the US was the first to declare war?
     

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