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Nazi's Invade South America

Discussion in 'What If - Other' started by Biak, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    I've wondered what would have happened (after reading some of the alternate History topics)
    What If: Hitler had decided to "conquer" South America instead. There was already a large German influence in Brazil, Columbia etc:. Rather than invade Europe, he would begin preparing bases and shipyards, consolidating "friendships" within neighboring countries in preparation for bigger things to come. Once established in South America, with his flamboyant rhetoric raising masses of indigenous people to his side with promises never to be kept, he then sets sights Northward. Below is one small paragraph I 'lifted' from this link. The site has some interesting information and brings up more questions when you think about it.
    Imperial Germany and Latin America

    By 1913 there were, by one estimate, half a million Germans in southern Brazil, a large colony in southern Chile, and some 25,000 connected with commercial enterprises in Argentina. Their influence in Central America before the World War was seen everywhere. Not only had they built up solid communit ies, which represent little Germanics, transplant ed root and branch, but in every colony in South America their separate schools were to be found, conducted entirely in German and subsidized directly by the Kaiser.
     
  2. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    A lot of the Germans in South America were like my ancestors, they left Germany to get away from a..oles like Hitler. Some German immigrants liked the nazis and supported them. Others worked against them. My ancestors constituted a large population of 'Germans' in the US, but few saw any future in favoring Germany in either World War.

    The facist and pro Germangovernments in South America are another matter. A economic & spy war did occur in South America as part of WWII. The British and US governments slow took apart the nazi network of influence there. They were not 100% sucessfull and pro German or pro nazi groups still held power in several areas.

    If you search back though the US Naval Institute Proceedings magazine in the past decade you will find a artical describing a 1942 plan Admiral King had ordered up for invading and occupying Brazils north eastern coast. He feared the Axis would be able to establish long range air reconissance on Brazilian air bases there, and protect them with airbourne battalions flown in from Africa. The large amphibious exercise of March 1942 made on the Carolina coast was suposedly a rehearsal for Adm Kings plan to counter this.

    Maybe the Allies could have been induced into diverting more of their attention to South America? They are likely to win in the end, but it would be a distraction.
     
  3. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    As CWS has pointed out, a great many of those Germans had fled Europe for the very reason of Hitler and the Nationalists. While Peron in Argentina was pro-fascist, he wasn't in power (really) until post-war, and had even been arrested for treason at one time. It isn't out of the realm of possibility there were many sympathizers in South and Central America, but unlikely they were more than a minority and unlikely to be ignored if the Nazis made overt moves into the western Hemisphere. Getting troops there is another real thorn in the butt in this. While the pre-war German merchant marine was something like fifth or sixth largest globally, many were quickly interred or sunk post-1939. They were only safe "hugging" the shores, even in the Baltic and Med.. When they went into "deep water" they went down. Italy had an even smaller merchant fleet than Germany, and lost it very rapidly when war broke out. Much faster than they could replace them.

    Neither the Germans or the Italians had the shipbuilding capacity to match a "Liberty ship" style of construction effort. Ships of that nature took years, not weeks and months to produce outside of America.

    Not only would they have a serious problem with their reception in the South American nations, they probably couldn't get there anyway.
     
  4. sniper1946

    sniper1946 Expert

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  5. sniper1946

    sniper1946 Expert

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  6. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    My thought was what could have happened had Hitler spent his years preparing for an invasion of South America and not overly antagonizing Europe. As Germany already had a foothold, albeit a rather small footprint, a slow progression into one or two countries such as happen in 1939. Time spent increasing the Navy, transport ability, logistics and strategic efforts.
    In the early 1900’s Germany had a large contingent of Germanic people in South America and with the acquisition of 1,600,000 acres of land in Columbia room to grow. Many of the other South American countries had been either indifferent to the World War or leaning toward alliances with Nazi Germany. It would not have been too much of a stretch had Hitler started his World domination desires with Countries such as Brazil, Columbia, Chile, Argentina or the ‘rim‘ countries of the Northern coast. Foregoing the European area completely and instead concentrating in the Southern Hemisphere. He would have been watched very closely for sure but by moving slowly and ‘winning’ the hearts and minds of the people, as he did in Germany, establish an impressive ground base for eventual expansion.
    Below is a map purportedly showing a German desire for just such a campaign. The map shows the aftermath and division of South America but is left to conjecture as to it’s authenticity. I place it here to show the thought was there.
    Another map used by FDR to show actions believed to be Hitler’s intention for South America allowing persuasive arguments for an American involvement, intervention during WW2.

    Imperial German Territorial Aspirations
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello Biak,

    interesting thought!

    It would surely have been possible for Hitler to anex or occupy/conquer one or two South American states such as Argentina and Chile for example. However what benefit would it have been to him?

    The Germans would need a huge navy in order to support and protect its "new aquisitions" in South America in case of a war with the US and Britain. Argentina or even Brazil would have still been too far away from the US to pose any threat towards the US. Their industrial capabilities were way beyond any significance as to be of support in a future war with the US.

    As such Europe was Hitlers logical target - if he had taken Britain realistically into account, Western Europe would have been his by 1940 or latest by 1941.

    Besides Hitler was totally against the idea of overseas colonies.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
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  8. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Hitler had an aversion to the sea, I think his own comment was something to the effect that: "I'm a hero on land, but a coward at sea."

    With that as a mindset, I doubt he would consider invading what were literally "agrarian" non-industiral, non-fuel producing states full of more "untermensch".
     
  9. Anderan

    Anderan Member

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    I doubt Hitler would have invaded South America. Doing so probably would have antagonized the US into war. The US population seeing an invasion from across the sea of their neighbor would have probably spooked enough people to at least knock a good number of people out of the Neutral state. Or maybe not.
     
  10. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Agreed that Germany would need a larger Reichsmarine but considering Admiral Erich Raeder touted building 3 aircraft carriers (Hitler agreed?), along with expanding the Navy to much higher tonnage (comparable to France but still less than Great Britain), it would follow that by setting sights on South America other ships for transport and re-supply would also follow. I'm basing my line of thought on what was going on in the 1930's. The Treaty of Versailles was being ignored to an extent and there was growing sympathy toward Germany at the time. The attitude of the day could have been parlayed into a much larger Reichsmarine.There was outrage over the invasion of Poland but no repercussions until much later during WW2. Had Hitler avoided the European/Scandinavian aspect I believe he could have had many years to put in place an Imperial German presence in S. America. That would be key. Placating Europe.
    The "untermensch" (thanks Clint, I'm slowly learning German, I had to look it up:)) was also applied to the Russians and nearly every other race/ethnic group not of pure Germanic descent. The thinking during the 30's was one of indifference but cautious observation. No one had heard of V-2's at the time and being the unscrupulous cad he was, with a hidden base/factory in Columbia the range to America was only 400 miles further than the German to England distance. (If he had ideas of invading America which I agree he'd be a Madman to consider such action). But then again he was just that. Time and patience would have to be his forte', for a long range vision of a New Germany. As for fuel and food, the various countries could supply large quantities of beef, vegetables, fruits and iron ores and oil.
    As mentioned the US would most likely not sit idly by, but as also has been noted the thinking of the times was one of "Isolationism". Just an interesting premise.
     
  11. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Biak, America was still (even if isolationist in the mid thirties) quite fond of the Monroe Doctrine premise which allowed existing colonial powers to remain where established until overthrown from within.

    We frowned quite desparately on any NEW European power attempting to establish itself in the western hemisphere. The isolationists had peaked by 1939, and were on the constant shrink in their true influence from mid-1940 and the fall of France on.

    As to the "untermensch" of the New World, they were completely a different deal than those in the case of the Slavs and Jews which Hitler was so adamant in his elimination of. In the case of the Jews they were the true minority of the German population, and in the case of the "Russians" some were considered "Slavs" and some weren't. Cossacks weren't considered "untermensch", many Ukrainians weren't, and many of those in the Baltic states were looked upon as of "nordic" decent, and being protected from the encroachment of Slav blood.

    In South and Central America the opposite was the case, the "white" or Caucasian populatio was the true minority, and even the Spanish and Portuguese were on the lower rungs of Hitler's racial ladder. The Germans who had immigrated to that area, had done so (more often than not) to escape the Germany of Hitler, not to support him. Those who did were the minority of the minority.

    And there is a good reason France and other nations made South America a place they sent their prisoners, it is and was inhospitable and very difficult to travel in, across, or through. When France fell in 1940, FDR increased the American military in the Canal Zone (including Air Corps), and put the Special Improvement Project #7 into the play. SIP7 closed the canal down to a one-way traffic and put improved "fast close" hydro-electric steel doors in place starting at Gato Lake and proceeding down both canals both ways until they all had quick closure steel doors, fast raise torpedo nets on the floors, and anti-air cables strung over the canal tracks themselves.

    I just don't see the Nazis being able to build a merchant navy, let alone a Kreigsmarine surface fleet without the "democracies" becoming very alarmed. Many thought the territorial losses by the German nation were "incorrect" and needed adjustment. They did NOT by and large wish to see a larger German navy though.
     
  12. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Thanks Clint, I was thinking about the desire to stay out of getting into a War without having a direct confrontation such as Pearl Harbor. Until the United States was actually attacked we were as a whole detached, other than the material support. The "what if" depends on : With no war in Europe to raise concerns to the degree we faced preceding WW2. Would this have allowed an surreptitious invasion of S.America to take place? Expanding from there in the years to follow.
     
  13. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    On the no war in Europe, I don't think so. And it is pretty tough to pull of a "sureptitious invasion". Especially with the telegraph communications between North and South America already established with undersea cables by the time. And one must remember just how America looked at the establishment of an Austrian as "Emperor Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph" by Napoleon III in Mexico just as our own Civil War was raging.

    While we couldn’t give the legitimate government of Benito Juárez military aid or support due to our own internal needs, we gave he and his cabinet sanctuary. Then post-war, while Andrew Johnson couldn’t get Congress to provide arms or training to the Juárez people outright, he did manage to get General Philip Sheridan to "misplace" about 30,000 Union rifled muskets near the Mexican border in 1866 to be used to overthrow the foreign Emperor.

    I don't think we (America) would be any less opposed to, or tolerant of new "European footprints" in the western hemisphere in the middle of 20th Century than we were in all of the 19th.


     
  14. John Dudek

    John Dudek Member

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    I believe that Germany would have been much better served had she instead, invested large sums of money in the late 1930's to guarentee the elections of Axis-friendly governments in several South American countries. Once this was carried out, the Germans could lie low and allow things to progress from there.
     
  15. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    John;
    The war of influence in SA was pretty much won by the USA-with the possible exception of Argentina. The only military actions there were U-BOAT sinkings-which made the Axis cause quite unpopular in Brazil. uboat.net - Fighting the U-boats - Aircraft - The Brazilian Air Force So unpopular in fact that Brazil sent soldiers to fight in Italy.
    What crippled the Axis propaganda efforts in the Americas was the inherent racism in the message-something which did not sit well with the mostly multiethnic North and South Americans. Even the German communities in Brazil were put off by Hitler's ideological pitch.
    JeffinMNUSA
    PS. My Uncle Frank was said to have been a spook in SA at the time; http://travel.webshots.com/album/65602408CbIGFR
     
  16. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    Via the Reichsbank & other business efforts Germany did attempt large scale investment in South America. The efforts did not go as far as hoped for many reasons, but there was some progress. There are claims the Davis Oil Company was entirely underwritten by the Reichsbank. IG Farben & DuPont had some growing ventures in South America through their jointly owned subsidiary 'Analine Dye'. chase Bank, controled by the Rockefellers finances some German business ventures in Mexico, Brazil, Parguay, & Argentine, amoung others.
     

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