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Alternate History- What if Hitler had not invaded Russia, would Germany still control Western Europe today?


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I tried to do a search for this topic. And the information and theories is rather sparse on it. I know you guys are some of the most informed military historians and experts on the planet. What do you think would have been a likely outcome today? Would German be the national language of France, Holland, etc.? Hitler of course would be dead by now, but his successors and his National Socialist party would still be around. Would they wait for the Communism to dissolve like it did 40 years after WW2?

If Barbarossa was not launched, and the troops and resources diverted to the Mediterranean TO and the capture of the Suez Canal, Gibraltar, and the oil fields, I don't see how the Brits could have continued in the fight. I think the Russians were still selling resources to the Germans under the German Russo Pact as part of the division of Poland. So, they could have enlarged their U-Boat fleet and strangled the Brits. Of course, not declaring war against the US would help too. They would not need to divert resources to an Atlantic Wall, nor to the defence of the Germany from air attacks by the RAF and the USAAF. The issue of the concentration camps is problematic and the prospects of any one being rescued in those camps would be zero, as no camps would be liberated. Not only that, we can be assured that more people would be marched to their deaths post 1945.

If the Germans had been diplomatically able to keep the US out of the war, I think they would still be running Western Europe today. I don't see any critical impediment to this. The National Socialist ideology in what ever form, would still exist today.

 

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Such a Germany might still need Italy to not fall so as to be a buffer from below. If Italy still falls, then ally airpower would still cause a lot of havoc on Germany industry. But maybe a Germany not occupied with the eastern front would be able to summon enough air defense. Initially, the B-17s took a heavy toll. Would have been worse if the allies were still willing to try strategic bombing. But the Soviet Union might have an ear open to the ally desire in opening an eastern front at some later date.

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12 minutes ago, Rick said:

Eventually invade England?

My impression from the bajillion blah blahs by others is that that would have been very difficult. GB should still have the RN to stop such an amphib operation.

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3 hours ago, On the way said:

I tried to do a search for this topic. And the information and theories is rather sparse on it. I know you guys are some of the most informed military historians and experts on the planet. What do you think would have been a likely outcome today? Would German be the national language of France, Holland, etc.? Hitler of course would be dead by now, but his successors and his National Socialist party would still be around. Would they wait for the Communism to dissolve like it did 40 years after WW2?

If Barbarossa was not launched, and the troops and resources diverted to the Mediterranean TO and the capture of the Suez Canal, Gibraltar, and the oil fields, I don't see how the Brits could have continued in the fight. I think the Russians were still selling resources to the Germans under the German Russo Pact as part of the division of Poland. So, they could have enlarged their U-Boat fleet and strangled the Brits. Of course, not declaring war against the US would help too. They would not need to divert resources to an Atlantic Wall, nor to the defence of the Germany from air attacks by the RAF and the USAAF. The issue of the concentration camps is problematic and the prospects of any one being rescued in those camps would be zero, as no camps would be liberated. Not only that, we can be assured that more people would be marched to their deaths post 1945.

If the Germans had been diplomatically able to keep the US out of the war, I think they would still be running Western Europe today. I don't see any critical impediment to this. The National Socialist ideology in what ever form, would still exist today.

 

Well, no, me thinks, for one, either Germany is bombed into oblivion by that pesky atomic bomb or they are defeated in Africa and then Italy and France. Problem is, the British Empire by itself was strong enough to defeat Germany if there are no distractions, as it controls resources and industrial means superior to Germany. No Barbarossa likely means no Pacific War.

More U boars means Bomber Command gets to use it s big bombers in the Battle of the Atlantic instead of squandering them and their crews over Germany.

Lend Lease was a given after the fall of France, so the UK can always rely on US resources and this may lead to, for example, Mustangs making an earlier appearance.

Re. the Med, the Axis had no way to overcome the logistical limitations of Lybia, so they were always going to be fighting at the end of a very tenous supply line while the Commonwealth already had developed Egypt to sustain substantial forces. Monty capitalised on the work done by his predecesors but pretty much any general would eventually defeat the Axis in North Africa due to said limitations.

There may not be an Overlord, but operations in the Balkans and Italy will open a second front (and remember that Italy was practically defenceless from aerial attack) so Italy surrendering/switching sides would still happen, and that will put Hungarian/Romanian oild fields within reach of Bomber Command.

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If Germany did not invaded Soviet Union it is possible that discussions about Soviet Union entering Axis would be successful. That pact implied that Soviet area of expansion will be to Iran, Iraq. So that will be a double threat for UK. Now it is also possible that Soviet Union would attack Germany or Germany attack Soviet Union later.

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West was unfortunate sideshow for Hitler. He was surprised that UK and France declared war because of Poland.

His manifesto Mein Kampf was all about East and "lebensraum". 

Besides, Soviets would have attacked in 1942, at least it was thought to be Stalin's plan.

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1 hour ago, JasonJ said:

Such a Germany might still need Italy to not fall so as to be a buffer from below. If Italy still falls, then ally airpower would still cause a lot of havoc on Germany industry. But maybe a Germany not occupied with the eastern front would be able to summon enough air defense. Initially, the B-17s took a heavy toll. Would have been worse if the allies were still willing to try strategic bombing. But the Soviet Union might have an ear open to the ally desire in opening an eastern front at some later date.

I see what you are saying. It might have taken 2 non events for the Germans to potentially remain in Western Europe till today. 1) No invasion of Russia 2) No declaration of war on the US. Then u would avoid the US bomber raids and perhaps have to content with only the US supplied convoys. But by Dec 1941, the US attentions would have turned to Asia anyway.

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1 hour ago, sunday said:

There is always the possibility of the Soviet Union attacking an allied/neutral Germany, making a reverse Barbarossa.

 

I think their army was so disorganized due to Stalin's purges that if it were to happen, it would have been at least 5 years in the making. Even then, on the face of it, Germany had a lot of relationship with the Russians, eg training, trade, etc. Plus seeing the effectiveness of the German army in the invasion of western europe, I am not sure what enthusiasm they would have had to attack Germany.

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13 minutes ago, Sardaukar said:

West was unfortunate sideshow for Hitler. He was surprised that UK and France declared war because of Poland.

His manifesto Mein Kampf was all about East and "lebensraum". 

Besides, Soviets would have attacked in 1942, at least it was thought to be Stalin's plan.

I see. But given the state of the Russian army vis a vis equipment and leadership, I don't think it would have gone well for the Russian if they had attacked in 1942. Plus they would have to go through Western Poland, which was in effect a buffer between the 2 countries. I always thought there was a revenge factor for the invasion of France, and war with the UK due to the post WW1 reparations and humiliation after the loss of WW1.

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1 hour ago, Rick said:

Eventually invade England?

Not necessarily. They can leave England to rot on the vine a little while. Even the support for convoy supplies from the US to the UK would have waned when the US entered the war against Japan in Dec 1941. The major thing is that Germany also refrain from declaring war on the US.

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1 hour ago, RETAC21 said:

Well, no, me thinks, for one, either Germany is bombed into oblivion by that pesky atomic bomb or they are defeated in Africa and then Italy and France. Problem is, the British Empire by itself was strong enough to defeat Germany if there are no distractions, as it controls resources and industrial means superior to Germany. No Barbarossa likely means no Pacific War.

More U boars means Bomber Command gets to use it s big bombers in the Battle of the Atlantic instead of squandering them and their crews over Germany.

Lend Lease was a given after the fall of France, so the UK can always rely on US resources and this may lead to, for example, Mustangs making an earlier appearance.

Re. the Med, the Axis had no way to overcome the logistical limitations of Lybia, so they were always going to be fighting at the end of a very tenous supply line while the Commonwealth already had developed Egypt to sustain substantial forces. Monty capitalised on the work done by his predecesors but pretty much any general would eventually defeat the Axis in North Africa due to said limitations.

There may not be an Overlord, but operations in the Balkans and Italy will open a second front (and remember that Italy was practically defenceless from aerial attack) so Italy surrendering/switching sides would still happen, and that will put Hungarian/Romanian oild fields within reach of Bomber Command.

Yes, I see your point. The non invasion of Russia must be couple with the non declaration of war against the US, hence keeping out 2 key combatants against the Germans. Leaving England as the sole major antagonist against them. That way, they don't get bombed daily, and nor do they have the threat of atomic bomb on them (unless the US sells England a Tall Boy in 1945. But by then, the Germans themselves might have developed an atomic weapon if left unmolested  by aerial bombing. Land lease would still exist for England, but perhaps scaled down due to commitment to Asia?

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32 minutes ago, BansheeOne said:

So we are assuming the Nazis to not act like Nazis again? 😁 

Hhahahaha, yes A. Its a mental exercise at this point for me.😜

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Just now, On the way said:

Yes, I see your point. The non invasion of Russia must be couple with the non declaration of war against the US, hence keeping out 2 key combatants against the Germans. Leaving England as the sole major antagonist against them. That way, they don't get bombed daily, and nor do they have the threat of atomic bomb on them (unless the US sells England a Tall Boy in 1945. But by then, the Germans themselves might have developed an atomic weapon if left unmolested  by aerial bombing. Land lease would still exist for England, but perhaps scaled down due to commitment to Asia?

The issue around the atomic bomb was one of industrial capacity to get the enriched uranium or plutonium, investing in vast amounts in an untried technology. Conventional wisdom says only the US could do it, but the truth is that only the US could pursue all the enrichment techniques at the same time. This doesn't mean the British Empire couldn't or wouldn't develop its own bomb if the US is neutral, it would just take longer (and all the pieces were there by 1945, just not integrated). Given the lack of focus of German nuclear research, it's conceivable that a war lasting into 1946 or 1947 would end up with a Lancaster dropping a A-bomb on Berlin (not that Harris would have minded either...).

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45 minutes ago, On the way said:

I see what you are saying. It might have taken 2 non events for the Germans to potentially remain in Western Europe till today. 1) No invasion of Russia 2) No declaration of war on the US. Then u would avoid the US bomber raids and perhaps have to content with only the US supplied convoys. But by Dec 1941, the US attentions would have turned to Asia anyway.

Of course, Dec 41 was 6 months after Barbarossa. So No Barbarossa is wheeling back the time clock. GB was actively trying to get the US in the war as was FDR. Even if it could be said that it be highly unlikely that Germany could launch a successful invasion of the British isles, GB still really wanted the US in the war. Stuart is always putting up podcasts. ISTR one about British efforts to steer the US towards GB and away from Germany. Even without the German declaration of war following PH, had PH not happened via a defusing of US-Japan tensions, the US administration may still find a way to get the US more and more involved. Japan was willing to leave the axis. Afterall, Germany was going back and fourth with the anti-Comintern and Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Japan wouldn't necessarily have to be committed to the axis. But the FDR administration did seem quite dead set on escalations with Japan. Japan wanted to bring the Nationalists Chinese to surrender. A big factor in helping that would be if the British had closed the Burma supply road. Closing that road rather than just the temporary 3 months probably could have helped Japan distance itself from Germany as well. Well there's a lot of what-if marry-go-round with these geopolitical posturing. Probably why Hull just wanted to make the UN and end the multi-power international order.

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Germany not going to war with Britain was Hitler's dream, it just wasn't going to happen after betraying Britain one more time after Munich. Maybe, just maybe, if the Tories had not picked Churchill as their next PM, and peace negotiations had started before the Battle of Britain, it might have been possible. But I don't see who else they could have picked as PM while still finding the consent of Labour. Lord Halifax may have dreamt of the office, but I think he was delusional (or at least, Labour wasn't ready to accept him).

With Britain still in the game, Germany could never concentrate fully on the East, it had to contend with supporting the North African side show, the Mediterranean could never be brought under control, had to devote more ressources and energy on the Uboat war rather than just sealing off Murmansk. Britain alone might not have been capable to rid the continent of the Nazi pest. But it diverted just the needed amount from the general war effort that victory in the East was impossible for the Nazis, unless they had been even less obsessed with their racist ideology.

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4 hours ago, BansheeOne said:

So we are assuming the Nazis to not act like Nazis again? 😁 

If France would have resisted 1 more month - not inconceivable with another French commander - what would be the path? Would have Italy entered the war for example?

For example Georges.  What if is if he is not gravely hurt in assassination of Yugoslav King in 1934 he would have precedence over Gamelin.

Also would the French-British  air attack against  USSR Bakou oilfields be accomplished?

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4 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Germany not going to war with Britain was Hitler's dream, it just wasn't going to happen after betraying Britain one more time after Munich. Maybe, just maybe, if the Tories had not picked Churchill as their next PM, and peace negotiations had started before the Battle of Britain, it might have been possible. But I don't see who else they could have picked as PM while still finding the consent of Labour. Lord Halifax may have dreamt of the office, but I think he was delusional (or at least, Labour wasn't ready to accept him).

With Britain still in the game, Germany could never concentrate fully on the East, it had to contend with supporting the North African side show, the Mediterranean could never be brought under control, had to devote more ressources and energy on the Uboat war rather than just sealing off Murmansk. Britain alone might not have been capable to rid the continent of the Nazi pest. But it diverted just the needed amount from the general war effort that victory in the East was impossible for the Nazis, unless they had been even less obsessed with their racist ideology.

I'm told there was one day between the battle of France and the BOB, when Churchill nearly gave in to peace feelers. It's the scene referred to in distorted fashion in Darkest Hour. Somehow he talked Halifax around to stay in the cabinet. Other than that, no, there was no possibility of our not remaining in the war.

As for not joining the war, the novel Munich gives plausible reasons why we wouldn't in 38,and why Munich made it inevitable we would in 1939. The Dominions not coming on board in a war for a peace agreement seemingly all but made. But for all the flaws of the 'piece of paper', it put Hitler on notice of what would happen if he went further. He was clearly too stupid to realise that.

 

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1 hour ago, lucklucky said:

If France would have resisted 1 more month - not inconceivable with another French commander - what would be the path? Would have Italy entered the war for example?

For example Georges.  What if is if he is not gravely hurt in assassination of Yugoslav King in 1934 he would have precedence over Gamelin.

Also would the French-British  air attack against  USSR Bakou oilfields be accomplished?

Supposedly they fought really well when it no longer mattered, so yes, it's plausible they would have done better with better leadership. Let's imagine the entire French General staff expiring in a brothel fire in 1938. I could see them lasting another month. I still can't see them winning though, politically they were too divided.

So Germany has its Army knackered in France, the Luftwaffe is in bits, and Stalin sees his chance and invades Germany in 1941. And suddenly it all gets a bit complicated.

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The fast French defeat was due to the best army going Belgium,Netherlands. Gamelin made a mad gamble with no return possible, it put him with no strategic reserve. Not much different to Hitler mad bets he keep wining until he didn't. Gamelin lost in his first.

Georges for example did not agreed with that strategy.

----

I can not seem them wining either, that is why i said 1 more month. But could have been more.

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46 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Supposedly they fought really well when it no longer mattered, so yes, it's plausible they would have done better with better leadership. Let's imagine the entire French General staff expiring in a brothel fire in 1938. I could see them lasting another month. I still can't see them winning though, politically they were too divided.

So Germany has its Army knackered in France, the Luftwaffe is in bits, and Stalin sees his chance and invades Germany in 1941. And suddenly it all gets a bit complicated.

The French were politically divided??? which was the party that was asking for surrender to the Germans before the battlefield defeat? Ken Estes has made the point several times, before 1942 the Germans could carry all before them unless they ran out of supplies.

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