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How Germany could've won?

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

  1. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    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. Hitler had been withholding the order to fire on American shipping until then, there were a few "mistakes" of course and American ships had been sunk in the Atlantic, but not all that many really. Now they were ALL fair game no matter where they were sighted.

    He was asked to declare war on the US by the Japanese immediately after Pearl Harbor, but he was "too busy" to do so immediately. I suspect he was attempting to come up with some excuse that could be trumpeted to the German people as justification for the declaration. He might (MIGHT) have felt that the Japanese were as feckless as he as to recognition and honoring of pacts and treaties, and getting the Japanese to attack would provide the Soviets with a second front to defend in the far east, and now sinking "neutral" shipping was a non-argument for interdicting the supplies getting to Great Britain.

    There are the two "reasons" I can think of, just my opinion of course. Here is a link to the Japanese diplomatic message (Dec 8th Berlin time) asking Hitler to follow suit and declare war on the US. Since America had broken the Purple code, FDR knew that Hitler had been asked to declare war, all he had to do was wait. If Hitler hadn't done so, getting the American public to allow him to declare war on Germany was going to be problematic to say the least.

    Goto:

    [Secret]
     
  2. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    From Hitler's;) POV,on december 7,he had 2 options :
    1)declare war on a "weak" America (=an America that was not mobilised)
    2)declare war on a "strong" America(=an America that was mobilised),somewhere in the summer of 1942.
    the third option(to do nothing) was out of the question:this meaned,to do nothing,while the US eliminated Japan,with the result a strong hostile US,that would attack him on the first occasion .
    As he was convinced that war with the US was ineluctable,he chose the first option .
    For Hitler,december 7 did not change,essentially,anything .
    Roosevelt would remain his main enemy,there was :the meeting in New FoundLand(where Churchill and Roosevelt agreed that national socialism had to disapear),Lend Lease,the US Navy chasing the UBoats,Rainbow 5(US army landing in France in 1943):all this would not disappear because of PH.
    That it would be problematic to get the American public to allow Roosevelt to declare war on Germany ? Maybe ,but,NOT for Hitler :for Hitler ,Roosevelt and the Jews dominated the East Coast,and the East Coast dominated the US .Was this true?
    Of course,the first point was wrong,but,was it not so that in 1940,the East Coast was dominating the US? Politically,financially,by the population,the media ?
    I know that there was (already before PH)a lot of hostility against Japan,in California,but,what was the influence of California?

    Whatever,this was the picture Hitler and a lot of Europeans,had from the US .And,I am certain that a lot of people still are thinking that the East Coast is the US,for a lot of people,all that is west of the Appalachian,is terra incognita .
     
  3. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    You said it, that's exactly how I see it. There wasn't any real benefit, since Germany wasn't obligated to support the Japanese. Hitler took on a massive new enemy with his declaration of war, and an industrial giant far outmatching German production. I honestly have no idea what he was thinking, and I've never read or seen anything on the subject that justified it in any reasonable way.
     
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    2 objections
    1) you are arguing with hindsight
    2) you are starting from the POV of Churchill /Roosevelt,while to know why Hitler declared war on the US,one must look on how he was reasoning:it was that PH did ,essentially,not change anything :before PH,the US were hostile,after PH,the US still were hostile .
     
  5. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    For Hitler,that industrial giant was de facto already at war with Germany,and,his DOW,only was making the war officialy
     
  6. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    The weakening grasp of the isolationist group is displayed if one follows the Gallup Polling farther into the year of 1941, where public opinion is shifting away from staying out of war at all costs.

    November 14 (publishing date)
    Japan
    Interviewing Dates 10/24-29/41
    Survey #251-K
    Question 9


    "Should the United States takes steps now to prevent Japan from becoming
    more powerful, even if this means risking a war with Japan?" (bold mine)


    Yes.............64%
    No..............25%
    No Opinion......11%


    "The Gallup Poll, 1941" Page 307


    December 17 (publishing date)
    European War
    Interviewing dates 11/15-20/41
    Survey #253-K
    Question 13


    "Which of these two things do you think is the more important--that this
    country keep out of war or that Germany be defeated?"


    Keep out of War....32%
    Defeat Germany.....68% (underline mine)


    "The Gallup Poll, 1941" Page 309


    Goto:


    Index of /pha/Gallup

    Link supplied by OpanaPointer, and pay particular attention to the fact that these later polls were taken just BEFORE Pearl Harbor was attacked.
     
  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    With respect, while I will conceed that Hitler may have felt as Clint suggests, they are more justifcations after the fact, not logical reasons to go to war with the US. Hitler has a clear record with reguard to his belief that democracy's lacked the backbone to fight effectively. Giving the US a valid reason to fight was not logical or well reasoned.

    Logical? Consider:

    He invaded Russia in part with the hope that by destroying her, England would lose heart and come to the peace table. Or at least once he gobbled up the USSR he would then have the means to turn on the UK and finish them. Yet by the time of his DoW the Russian invasion was not going to plan anymore. Instead of hurting England he had given her two powerfull allies, one too big to swallow, the other too distant to harm effectively.

    As mentioned above, he declared war on the US with no reason to expect that Japan would recipricate with a DoW on Russia. His 'generousitcy' gave him bupkis, and no reason to expect otherwise.

    The US had been mobilizing for a year now, and nothing Germany could do politicly or militarily could prevent this. If he could defeat the US pre-emptively before they were strong enough to affect the war it would make sense, but Hitler could not harm the US in any meaningfull way.

    Germany was aleady beginning to lose the tonnage war in the Atlantic. The U-boats were not ready to fight off the US shore at the time of his DoW. He could have achieved the same results without a DoW and perhaps gained weeks, maybe months before the cumulative effect stimulated the Congress to declare war on the Reich. There was even the slight (very) chance that the US Congress might decide to follow Lincoln's example and decide on one war at a time.

    The DoW garrunteed that at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the newly mobilized US war machine would be turned directly upon the Reich, a far cry from a few skirmishes between U-Boats and DD's.

    The Pearl Harbor attack could have been a godsend to Germany also. With England's and now Russia's untouchable arsenal now in its own war of survival, on the other side of the world, Germany might see some of this lend lease and merchant men moved out of the Atlantic and aimed at the Japanese. Yes a fully focused US might defeat the Japanese Empire in late 1943 or early 1944, and then turn its attention to the Reich, but by then Hitler expected to have his pesky Russian problem solved and be able to meet the combined western allies with the bulk of his strength.

    There was and is no logic to Hitler's decision to declare war on the US. It was his greatest mistake,yes worse than attacking Russia, for with Russia there was the slight chance that that the USSR would crumble as he hoped. At least he could wound it seriously. He could never defeat the US, or England now, The best he could hope for was a stalemate.

    The fact that Hitler did something he did to no other enemy, formally declare war, should have been enough to convince him he was making a mistake.
     
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  8. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    these later polls were taken just BEFORE Pearl Harbor was attacked.

    Indeed they were. Roosevelt read them and did not, repeat not, think they gave him the basis to ask Congress for a declaration of war.

    As many times as we go round and round, the fundamental truth is still the same. People accepted that we would probably get dragged in somehow, but they were not willing that we take the step ourselves. They accepted the risk that measures like Lend-Lease or the embargo might lead Germany or Japan to initiate war, though I doubt the administration ever said publicly "this is virtually certain to make the Japanese attack us."

    There were strong arguments for entering the war against Germany, but none of them were any stronger on December 8 or 10 than they had been on December 6. On the 8th, Roosevelt had a perfect opportunity to link Japan's actions to her partnership with Germany and to point out that our new allies against Japan were already our partners against the Nazi tyranny. Not a word about it.

    No doubt it will be mentioned that Roosevelt expected Hitler to do his work for him, but that just confirms that he didn't think he could make his case without the Fuhrer's "help".

    The topic here is How Germany could've won, which by definition means something other than what happened historically. We all know what Hitler actually thought and did, no need to endlessly rehash that, the question is whether his judgement was sound.
     
  9. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    This is an excellent point "Carronade", as the original post has been ignored as to the premise. Just my opinion here, but I can see no possible way that Nazi Germany could have "won". There were a couple of moments before the invasion of the USSR where Hitler may have been able to create a "stalemate" and negotiated a short peace, but that would be short-lived.

    Germany had too many shortcomings in modern warfare for it to dominate and "win" a mechanized war in the twentieth century. They were a food, fuel, and fiber importing nation. They needed imported alloys for their impressive Krupp steel, and for their aluminum production, and rubber needs. A short term armistice might have been possible pre-June of 1941, but after that time the conclusion was almost foreordained.
     
  10. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Without digging through tons of old posts and threads, but how long does anyone thing Uncle Joe would have honored his part of the 1939 non-aggression pact with Adolph? How would that change things?
     
  11. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    That is a decent question as well, but since the Soviet Union didn't need any real "stuff" from Germany, Stalin had few if any reasons to invade to the west. All he was getting out of the deal was Germany's technical "expertise" and advice in industrial production, he was sending them grain, POL, and alloys. He needed nothing in the material sense from Germany. He did have a need of nickel deposits in Finland, but that was an exception which Germany didn't control anyway. Stalin "honored" his part of the bargain as long as Hitler honored his, but the industrialists who backed Hitler were getting kind of "hinky" and cutting off their aid to both Hitler (in his part), and Stalin (as the recipient).

    Few of the alloy material needed by the Krupp works, or I.G.Farben could be obtained from other nations; tungsten from Spain was one, and chromium from Turkey was another.

    Stalin might have been very content with things as they stood, before June of 1941. As the ruler of the largest land-mass nation in the world, it isn't inconceivable that he would rather see the "west" and Germany fight each other to exhaustion and then step into the void. Many politicians in the west held the same view when Hitler invaded the USSR; "let them bleed themselves to death" and then exploit the weakness.
     
  12. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

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    I've seen those polls & they make interesting reading, such as Germany was certainly the main threat.


    Interviewing Date 12/12-17/41

    Survey #255 Question #6

    Which country is the greater threat to America's future — Germany or Japan?

    Germany........................... 64%

    Japan.............................. 15

    Equal threats...................... 15

    No opinion......................... 6


    And the 88% of voters against entering the war by Region....


    go in stay out

    New England........ 13% 87%

    Middle Atlantic...... 13 87

    East Central......... 10 90

    West Central......... 9 91

    South............... 17 83

    West................ 14 86


    Looks like South was a bit more adventurous.



    So it seems that the American public were willing for the Government to help a beleaguered Britain 'at the risk' of war, but under no circumstances go as far as declaring war on Germany 'unless attacked.'

    Carronade summed it up in a nut shell saying the American people were not willing to take the step themselves.

    But there was more then one way to skin a cat, & Hulls ultimatum worked a treat with the Japanese, & as you say access to the Japanese diplomatic transcripts knew full well that the US would be at war with their biggest threat in a few days.

    The tragic part is that apart from a few very astute Americans, not many believed the Japanese had the ability to flatten Pearl.

    Question, 'if' the Japanese, instead of hitting PH or the Philippines, instead took the risk of going straight for the British & Dutch possessions, what would/could Roosevelt do?

    Or approximately how long would it take the US to engineer a way into the war, short of declaring it?

    It's easy with the benefit of hind site, but the Japanese might have missed a reasonably good chance of getting away with it, at least in the short to medium term.


    Apologies for off topic.
     
  13. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    We are getting pretty far off the topic, but in answer to you last question there was already a standing offer to any of the colonial powers in the SWP, that if they were attacked by the Japanese and forced our of their areas, American bases for aircraft and ships would be put at their disposal. Mostly those would be in the Philippines, but that included all the other ones as well if they were needed. So if the Japanese wished to attack the British/Australian warships or merchant shipping, their aircraft etc., they might then have to do so on American protectorate territory. Tah-dah, instant act of war.
     
  14. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Are you saying that FDR would allow Dutch-British Commonwealth forces to attack from US bases, or just retreat to?
     
  15. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Here is the entire thing I posted in the past on this, it doesn't say which or what would be allowed, but one must assume that they would be for "use" means exactly that. Not for a 'hiding place', but a base of operations.

    In 1940, when Japan occupied French Indochina (Vietnam area) upon agreement with the French Vichy government, and joined the Axis powers Germany and Italy in The Three Power Pact (in Sept), these actions intensified Japan's conflict with the United States, and the other powers which were to evolve into the western allies. With Japan’s European partners over-running the Low Countries, the Dutch government in exile in London became a de facto partner with the British, and Secretary of State Hull said; "...it was certain that Japan would assume that, whether or not the United States and Great Britain had definite agreements in regard to naval and air bases in the Pacific including Singapore, the special relations between these two countries were such that they could overnight easily establish cooperative relations for the mutual use of all these bases."; this was an open secret, and well understood by the Imperial Japanese. Sec. of State Hull then publicly stated in 1940 that American bases for both ships and planes would be made available to either UK or Netherlands forces if needed.

    This would/could put both British and Dutch sea and air power in the Philippines, Guam, Midway, and other American bases which could be of any assistance. Even then the Imperial Japanese knew that the USN Pacific fleet would need to be "neutralized" before they could fully expand into their "Co-prosperity Sphere". So trying to keep the US out of the Pacific problem and attacking the either the Dutch or British Royal Navy alone, was more than unlikely.

    With that position stated, and it must be remembered that the following month (October, 1940), Hull re-enforced this point with; "nothing could be more dangerous for our nation than for us to assume that the avalanche of conquest could under no circumstances reach any vital portion of this hemisphere. (He added that)… "oceans gave the nations of this hemisphere no guaranty against the possibility of economic, political, or military attack from abroad; that oceans are barriers but they are also highways; that barriers of distance are merely barriers of time." (emphasis mine)

    Should the would-be conquerors gain control of other continents (the Secretary said), they would next concentrate on perfecting their control of the seas, of the air over the seas, and of the world's economy. They might then be able with ships and with planes to strike at the communication lines, the commerce, and the life of this hemisphere, and ultimately we might find ourselves compelled to fight on our own soil, under our own skies, in defense of our independence and our very lives".


    (Source: U.S., Department of State, Publication 1983, Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941 [Washington, D.C.: U.S., Government Printing Office, 1943], pp.79-86)
     
  16. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

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    If the Japanese were trying to avoid going head to head with the US I think they'd probably give any British ships using American bases a wide berth, but
    the problem was that there was very few British ships to head for those bases, the Prince of Wales & Repulse were the only capital ships sent East, as the RN was stretched to the limit, & Australian & Dutch firepower wasn't much to worry about.

    Max Hastings in 'Nemesis' thinks that under that scenario it would have been a major problem for Roosevelt to convince congress or the American public to send their boys to war to save European colonies, so it would have been a very tricky situation all round, especially in my neck of the woods.

    Anyway I think I'd better cease this line of thought & get back on the topic of how Germany could've won, before I get into trouble.

    P.S, is there any way you can think of that would have enabled the Germans to have some chance of winning the war?
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    British subs operating out of the Phillipines could have been a real problem for the Japanese.
     
  18. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    If Hitler had followed the plan Goering mentions, in the interview Clint posted, http://www.historynet.com/lost-pris...n-goring-the-reichsmarschalls-revelations.htm, and also not have undertaken the Battle of Britain. Maybe.

    Göring: In 1940 we had a plan to seize all North Africa from Dakar to Alexandria, and with it the Atlantic islands for U-boat bases. This would have cut off many of Britain's shipping lanes. At the same time, any resistance movement in North Africa could be crushed. Then, taking Gibraltar and Suez would merely be a question of time, and nobody could have interfered in the Mediterranean. But Hitler would not make concessions to Spain in Morocco, on account of France. Spain had no objections to the campaign; in fact, the Spaniards were ready for it.

    After the fall of France, Germany bases most of the fighters used in the Battle of Britain along the French coast to counter any English aerial incursions. Most of the bombers used in the Battle of Britain could be used to support the North Africa plan.

    "...before the difficulties with Russia, we could have carried out the Gibraltar Plan, with 20 divisions in West Africa, 10 in North Africa and 20 against the Suez Canal, still leaving 100 divisions in France. The entire Italian army, which was unfit for a major war, could have been used for occupation forces. The loss of Gibraltar might have induced England to sue for peace. Failure to carry out the plan was one of the major mistakes of the war."

    Germany could have used her commerce raiders and submarines to keep the bulk of the Royal Navy tied up with it's supply lines. The Luftwaffe neutralizes the RAF on Gibralter and then uses aircraft and submarines to isolate the Med from the Atlantic.

    Also under no circumstances should they declare war on the U.S., if that happens the war ends in 1945 when the A-bombs are ready.
     
  19. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The whole interview is a lot of nonsens,and,I even doubt that Goering was saying these strange things .
    1)That Spain was ready for it,has been proved to be wrong
    2)It was impossible to deploy and supply 50 divisions in West and North Africa
    3)The numbers of raiders and UBoats was that small,that transfer them southwards,would result in having no UBoats on the French and Norwegian coasts .Btw :Gibraltar was no good UB base:it was to far from the traffic between the US and Britain
    4)It has already been proved that it was impossible for the Germand to supply 20 divisions in the desert of Libya;besides,the use of the Suez canal as route of communication to the East,was already discontinued in june 1940.
     
  20. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    This interview is documented and audio recorded, don't doubt it. It can be found at/in the National Archives. There are many flaws in Goering's "plan", but it was post-war and he was looking at how the outcome could have been altered.
     

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