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


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2 hours ago, R011 said:

Japan also has nothing to trade for that oil, and when it came to foreign trade, Stalin seems to have understood the basic concept of buying and selling very well.

Japan has 6600 tons of gold, acquired from the vaults of China's national gold reserve in Nanking, that Stalin may find acceptable as payment.

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1 hour ago, RichTO90 said:

Given that the Heer already was over 180 divisions before the decision to invade the USSR its unlikely to reduce. Furthermore, given that over 7-million forced laborers were incorporated into the Reich and the Heer at peak was 1 July 1943 at 10,133,898 it is unlikely it can be shrunk enough to solve the labor problem and simultaneously defend the land borders of the Reich.

As I recall, decision to proceed with invasion to USSR cancelled a huge demobilization which was otherwise planned, plus mandated creating new divisions. And of course once the actual invasion commenced, a flow of replacements which got gradually bigger and bigger.

Really interesting 'what-if' is that Stalin was apparently serious in his request for negotiations about Soviet joining the Axis.

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On 1/13/2021 at 11:32 AM, Stuart Galbraith said:

We already established, the Soviet Union cannot keep Germany supplied in the important fuels they need. Sweden can barely keep them up in metals. And nobody is really offering a supply for food. The Soviet Union can barely feed itself.

USSR was a net exporter of grain through the '30s. After German-Soviet trade agreements, nearly all of this trade went to Germany.

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29 minutes ago, Yama said:

1. In WW1, France was never defeated, also US entered the war and forced German hand. In WW2, yes they won...with USA and USSR on their side. It does not follow from that they would have won it alone.

2. "Hitler favoured production of bombers". Actual production numbers tell a different story. As soon as Germany was forced into defensive, fighter production took over. In 1943, Germany produced twice the number of fighters compared to bombers, and next year over 10 times more.

So, the idea that Germany would helplessly watch Bomber Command to wreck their heartlands and would not produce a single fighter more because Hitler forbade it, is completely fantastical.

And what about production bottlenecks? Sure enough, they existed. How do you resolve them? Well, you build new capacity. Which they did. For example, synthetic fuel production something like doubled during the war. But a major problem was that so much of the workforce was solving issues at the Eastern Front, instead of resolving problems in the Home front.

Also, I don't understand why you write of Window like it won the bombing war, when in actual reality Bomber Command suffered its worst losses AFTER the Window was introduced.

About jets - I agree that the often-circulated fantasies about masses of He-280's sweeping the skies in 1943 if only for those stupid Nazis are nonsense. I do think that realistically, they could have sped up things by about six months without rare material shortage. That is, limited service for Me-262 using Jumo 004A engines circa start of 1944, and large-scale introduction in summer 1944. It's true Allied had their own jet projects so it would have been temporary advantage.

1. Let's put this another way, in which way can the Germans defeat the CW? a very long war will favor the CW winning it, in the conditions as they were on June 22nd 1941. The only places where the Germans were ahead at that point was in the Atlantic and in North Africa.  In both places the battle was turned around without the US or the Soviets (but with Lend lease, of course)

2. Sure, the Germans will try to turn the situation around, which what they did historically, and it didn't work. What new resources freed by not invading the USSR can be used against the British bomber offensive? the answer is none. They were already building as many flak guns, radar and night fighters as they could - building new factories takes time, if they are not bombed in the process. All technologica advances could be countered with time and resources (radar, windows, etc.) but the Germans lacked the resources and time runs out with the A bomb. Bomber Command suffered more losses after the introduction of windows in numerical terms but not in losses per sortie. By 1944 they were certainly gaining the upper hand through the use of multiple techniques.

3. Jets - the problems were not only the critical material shortages, but also the quality of construction and the inmaturity of the technology. Plus, of course, the short range.

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On 1/14/2021 at 3:03 PM, wendist said:

IF the British ever decided to cross the Swedish-Finnish border that is. Chanses are they would not since at the moment the Allies land in Norway the Germans would have to react, most probably by invading Sweden. The British forces then occupying northern Sweden would soon be fully involved in fighting the Germans somewhere in Sweden the way they did in Norway, Belgium and Greece in the real war.

Think it's more likely that Sweden is 'persuaded' into joining Axis (which is what initially happened in Yugoslavia). Churchill's hare-brained scenes would have certainly helped here.

I don't think Germany was in position to very quickly invade Sweden in Spring 1940.

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On 1/15/2021 at 2:46 PM, wendist said:

But were the Germans really able to exploit the SU during the war? I would imagine that much of the infrastructure of western SU would have been damaged in the fighting, the Soviets tried to take as much with them as they could and sabotage the rest and then throughout this period the Germans were busy fighting a war there. From 41-44 how much raw materials/products did the Germans manage to extract from their portion of the SU? If not much then how do we explain that they could keep on fighting for four years?

Hitler led WW2 like someone playing Hearts of Iron: he looked at the map, saw all those delicious industrial resources and raw materials and thought "Why should we pay for those, since we can just conquer them and take them for free?" Many of his advisors warned him before Barbarossa that those dastardly Soviets would just destroy the resources when they withdraw and it would take much effort to get them back in production. Hitler refused to listen such doomcasting, however. Surprisingly enough, it turned out his advisors were correct.

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12 minutes ago, Yama said:

Hitler led WW2 like someone playing Hearts of Iron: he looked at the map, saw all those delicious industrial resources and raw materials and thought "Why should we pay for those, since we can just conquer them and take them for free?" Many of his advisors warned him before Barbarossa that those dastardly Soviets would just destroy the resources when they withdraw and it would take much effort to get them back in production. Hitler refused to listen such doomcasting, however. Surprisingly enough, it turned out his advisors were correct.

Yes, we tend to think eschewing would political, military or scientific advice is a modern discovery...

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Churchill had experience from his time as First Sea Lord (if I got the title right) and FDR had some kind of similar position in the US (although in peace time) while Hitler had been a Gefreiter in WWI. Maybe if he had attended a six month general staff officer course in 1938 Nazi-Germany would have done better. Now that's one hell of a what if, the ultimate Hitler not being Hitler.😂

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1 hour ago, RETAC21 said:

1. Let's put this another way, in which way can the Germans defeat the CW? a very long war will favor the CW winning it, in the conditions as they were on June 22nd 1941. The only places where the Germans were ahead at that point was in the Atlantic and in North Africa.  In both places the battle was turned around without the US or the Soviets (but with Lend lease, of course)

 

Germany does not need to win, the price for the UK to win must just be high enough to agree to a settlement that is favourable to Germany.

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9 minutes ago, seahawk said:

Germany does not need to win, the price for the UK to win must just be high enough to agree to a settlement that is favourable to Germany.

True, but Germany lacks the ability to exact such a price before the CW exacts such a loss that Germany must ask for terms.

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1 hour ago, Yama said:

As I recall, decision to proceed with invasion to USSR cancelled a huge demobilization which was otherwise planned, plus mandated creating new divisions. And of course once the actual invasion commenced, a flow of replacements which got gradually bigger and bigger.

Nope. In the aftermath of the sudden French collapse, the four non-Welle divisions forming from Landesschützen, nine divisions of the 9. Welle forming from Landesschützen, and the nine divisions forming from Ersatztruppen were cancelled. The major reorganization was in the fall and winter of 1940-1941. A large number of reservists were furloughed to industry and then were re-inducted in the spring.

The German "flow of replacements" did not get "gradually bigger and bigger", it got smaller and smaller. The replacement problem was critical before BARBAROSSA began. As of 1 June 1941, the replacement pool for the Heer consisted of 80,000 personnel in the divisional FEB and 320,000 trained replacements in the Ersatzheer. Otherwise, the only manpower pool available was Jahrgänge 1922, whose call up had been delayed in order to ease the civilian employment situation. Thus, of 565,060 men registered as fit for service (in what was assessed as an uncommonly large year group), 117,565 already volunteered and were in the Wehrmacht, 72,435 were deferred as critical civilian workers (UK-gestellte), and 375,062 were classed as Reserve I personnel available for service. Of those, 170,125 were already doing RAD service (pre-military work training), so 200,000 were available for call up. Under existing plans, 72.5% would go to the Heer, 22% to the Luftwaffe, 4.1% to the Kriegsmarine, and 1.4% to the SS; manpower was always prioritized to the Heer. From JG 1922 it was downhill as the replacement pool continued to shrink, falling below 500,000 each year of whom only about 400,000 a year could be expected to be suitable for military service.

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52 minutes ago, wendist said:

Churchill had experience from his time as First Sea Lord (if I got the title right)...

True. Much of that experience was screwing things up, however.

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1 hour ago, Yama said:

Think it's more likely that Sweden is 'persuaded' into joining Axis (which is what initially happened in Yugoslavia). Churchill's hare-brained scenes would have certainly helped here.

I don't think Germany was in position to very quickly invade Sweden in Spring 1940.

This was probably the number one worst case scenario for the swedish PM at the time, to have the country dragged into a war we did not want to participate in and on the wrong side as well. With allied troops already in Narvik and possibly Trondheim any German response would have to go through Denmark-Sweden, a sort of Weserübung-Ost. Swedish resistance would initially be very weak, if we would fight the Germans at all, since 99,8% of our forces were up north.

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6 hours ago, R011 said:

IN 1941, the Americans barely have a presence in Asia and the rest of the West's interests and forces are in South and Sout east Asia well away from Soviet interests in the north east.  Japan, on the other hand, shares a border with the USSR, is occupying the same parts of Asia in which Russia and the Soviet Union have been interested since the 19th century.  Japan also has noth9ing to trade for that oil, and when it came to foreign trade, Stalin seems to have understood the basic concept of buying and selling very well.

Yeah, I was conceding that point because it was the closest thing to a reason Glen could come up with.  The Soviets were on the hook to deliver 900,000 metric tons of oil to Germany, in return for actual goods.  I suspect that, that is as much as Stalin figured he could spare so the odds of the Soviets diverting oil to Japan in anticipation of making it marginally harder for the US to fight in the future seems pretty far fetched.

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21 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Yes. At the time it made sense, to get as much foreign support (American or otherwise) to back us up in what was a relatively stable, yet undeniably sticky situation. We were in trouble in 1940. But not nearly as much trouble as was presented then or subsequently. British politicians have emphasised it since, partly because it reflects on the heroic nature of Churchill (im not sure he really needs building up) and our military strength compared to other European nations (which they have done their best to emasculate at every given opportunity).

Interestingly, I can also see the "Britain Stands Alone" narrative having a certain amount of appeal in the United States, both at the time and postwar, as it somewhat ennobles America's entry into the war the same way an act of rescue would, and papers over the somewhat uncomfortable question of what took it so long to do so.

This appeal may be another reason why the Alone narrative lingers on to this day. 

21 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

I remember when Derek Robinson made some of these observations back in the late 1980's in 'A Piece of Cake'. He was hauled over the coals for it, both over that and his depiction of less than perfect RAF pilots. OTOH, it was undeniably a national myth and someone had to smash it.

Now that is a name I have not heard in a seriously long time. It aired in the U.S. on PBS many years ago (early 90s?), and the first memory that comes to mind of the few episodes I caught is "this is not what I was expecting". AFAIK, the fallout from it in Britain, which I did not even know existed, did not make it across the Atlantic.

To depict the RAF in France the way Robinson did is worthy of respect for both the creator and the message itself.

Edited by Nobu
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On 1/16/2021 at 2:53 AM, Nobu said:

The impression given by the Maisky diaries is that the British were furious at the news of Finland's armistice with the USSR, and that had the Finns held out until May, war was imminent. The diaries reflect a Soviet interpretation of conversations and events, however.

If the British and French decide not to cross the neutral zone, there is another option: to land in Finland directly, or in the USSR itself. 

I do not doubt that his impression was correct but what right did the British have to be angry? If they wanted war with the USSR they could start one whenever they wanted, just bomb the Baku oilfields, surely that should count as an act of war. Perhaps the sudden lack of war in the region deprived the Allies of a political fig leaf to hide behind when they wanted to send troops to northern Scandinavia.

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