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gunnut
13 Jun 12,, 22:40
The other thread talking about U-boat vs surface combatant drifted into the discussion of Operation Sea Lion. The consensus was that Germany did not have the logistic capability to pull it off.

Hitler was not a mere mortal to be detered by reason, on many occassions.

What if he ordered the invasion of England and actually landed a couple of divisions in Dover?

Those troops would probably be wiped out, but not before a bloody battle against the remnants of the British Expeditionary Force and the Home Guard. Germany would do what it could to supply the troops for as long as possible. In the end, Germany would lose Operation Sea Lion.

That's not the important thing though, in my opinion.

The important thing is what followed the cancelled Operation Sea Lion...Operation Barbarossa.

I am an optimist when others are pessimistic. I am a pessimist when others are optimistic. Losing Operation Sea Lion could have been the best thing that ever happened to the Third Reich.

Had Hitler gone ahead with the invasion of Britain, and suffered a humiliating defeat, he may not have had the prestige or resources to invade the Soviet Union. It may have been more politically expedient for Hitler to sit back and consolidate his gains in Europe, and settle for a peace treaty with the United Kingdom.

Both UK and Germany needed to re-arm and recuperate after the big battle.

Soviet Union, fresh off the Purge, needed to reconstitude its officer corp, and develop a new doctrine to fight Blitzkrieg.

If Europe settled on an uneasy peace in 1940 and 1941, Japan may not have attacked the US at Pearl Harbor.

China would be supplied by both USSR and the US to fight the Japanese to a standstill.

The world could be a very different place...

Parihaka
13 Jun 12,, 23:45
How many fully equipped Canadian divisions were in Britain at the time?

zraver
14 Jun 12,, 02:50
What happens when Stalin goes west in 42 or 43? Specially as Romania and Bulgaria are unlikely to join Germany after Sea Lion fails.

Officer of Engineers
14 Jun 12,, 03:17
I was thinking that you once theorized that Churchill might have allied with Hitler against Stalin ... and I need an aspirin.

Mihais
14 Jun 12,, 07:52
A.There is no way Romania does not becomes a German ally against the Soviet Union.USSR was a mortal threat and only Germany was available and willing to fight them.
B.There is also no way Churchill turns into one of Hitler's allies.But there are plenty of ways for the British Empire to become neutral.
C.Seelowe failure or not,war with USSR was coming.If Germany did not attacked in June '41 it would have been forced to a war under much less favourable conditions in Fall '41 or in 1942.

Doktor
14 Jun 12,, 08:32
I don't see Bulgaria not aligning, too. They allied with the Germans only to be occupying force in the neighboring countries in the territories they consider Bulgarian.

They never sent troops vs USSR, nor they had a real fight during WWII.

1979
14 Jun 12,, 12:18
The other thread talking about U-boat vs surface combatant drifted into the discussion of Operation Sea Lion. The consensus was that Germany did not have the logistic capability to pull it off.

Hitler was not a mere mortal to be detered by reason, on many occassions.

What if he ordered the invasion of England and actually landed a couple of divisions in Dover?

Those troops would probably be wiped out, but not before a bloody battle against the remnants of the British Expeditionary Force and the Home Guard. Germany would do what it could to supply the troops for as long as possible. In the end, Germany would lose Operation Sea Lion.

That's not the important thing though, in my opinion.

The important thing is what followed the cancelled Operation Sea Lion...Operation Barbarossa.

I am an optimist when others are pessimistic. I am a pessimist when others are optimistic. Losing Operation Sea Lion could have been the best thing that ever happened to the Third Reich.

Had Hitler gone ahead with the invasion of Britain, and suffered a humiliating defeat, he may not have had the prestige or resources to invade the Soviet Union. It may have been more politically expedient for Hitler to sit back and consolidate his gains in Europe, and settle for a peace treaty with the United Kingdom.

Both UK and Germany needed to re-arm and recuperate after the big battle.

Soviet Union, fresh off the Purge, needed to reconstitude its officer corp, and develop a new doctrine to fight Blitzkrieg.

If Europe settled on an uneasy peace in 1940 and 1941, Japan may not have attacked the US at Pearl Harbor.

China would be supplied by both USSR and the US to fight the Japanese to a standstill.

The world could be a very different place...

The general consensus is IMHO wrong , germany did have the logistic capability, what it did lacked, was the ability to protect and
maintain that capability in the face of enemy interference.
As ilustrated by the tunisian campaign , germany deployed a army size formation on a foreign shore only to be encircled and destroyed,
without the means of protecting its LOC.
As for the chance of peace in 1940, the ocupation of southern france and a more agresive policy in the Med are just as likely.

1979
14 Jun 12,, 12:23
How many fully equipped Canadian divisions were in Britain at the time?
at least one, it was place in reserve and commited in case of a german landing in the kent area afaik.

1979
14 Jun 12,, 12:26
C.Seelowe failure or not,war with USSR was coming.If Germany did not attacked in June '41 it would have been forced to a war under much less favourable conditions in Fall '41 or in 1942.

c mon Mihais
you are usually more optimistic than that ,
No second Tannenberg ? :tongue:

Doktor
14 Jun 12,, 12:47
c mon Mihais
you are usually more optimistic than that ,
No second Tannenberg ? :tongue:

The later history doesn't give a reason for optimism.
Unless the whole war turns into Axis vs USSR, with the rest of the world watching the fireworks.

1979
14 Jun 12,, 12:52
It one thing to die for motherland and another to die trying to bring the benefits of comunism to the german proletariat.

Doktor
14 Jun 12,, 13:07
Who said anything about the proletariat?

If Germany and GB arranged peace, Hitler was going to attack USSR anyway.

1979
14 Jun 12,, 14:01
Who said anything about the proletariat?

If Germany and GB arranged peace, Hitler was going to attack USSR anyway.

well that is my understanding of : .If Germany did not attacked in June '41 it would have been forced to a war under much less favourable conditions in Fall '41 or in 1942
you did read my previous replies ?

WRT other topic merlin production began in 1941.

Mihais
14 Jun 12,, 14:43
A pistol to the head and/or to the heads of one's family is known to produce a lot of enthusiasm for a fight.There's one thing to turn against the Soviets when their power seems to be crumbling and quite another to face the risks when they're in control.There may be Tannenbergs,but there are also plenty of Brusilovs in the Red Army :biggrin:

Doktor
14 Jun 12,, 14:44
I have problems with the version of USSR attacking Germany first.

Stalin was so confident in the NAP he had with Hitler he never bothered to react on the reports from Berlin about Barbarossa.

Moreover, in 1940 Ribbentrop and Hitler were proposed by Molotov USSR to be an Axis power.

Bigfella
15 Jun 12,, 05:50
The other thread talking about U-boat vs surface combatant drifted into the discussion of Operation Sea Lion. The consensus was that Germany did not have the logistic capability to pull it off.

Hitler was not a mere mortal to be detered by reason, on many occassions.

What if he ordered the invasion of England and actually landed a couple of divisions in Dover?

Those troops would probably be wiped out, but not before a bloody battle against the remnants of the British Expeditionary Force and the Home Guard. Germany would do what it could to supply the troops for as long as possible. In the end, Germany would lose Operation Sea Lion.

So far so good. Going ahead with Sealion would have resulted in the death or capture of tens of thousands of German troops - perhaps 50,000-60,000. It would also have destroyed most of what was left of the Navy & done severe damage to parts of the Luftwaffe. The Fallschirmjager would have effectively ceased to exist wiht most of their troops & manyh officers & transports gone. There would also have been a dent (probably a large one) in the availablilty of barges and some classes of commercial shipping in France, the Low Countries & parts of Germany & the Baltic. There is also the possibility that some talented officers are lost.



That's not the important thing though, in my opinion.

The important thing is what followed the cancelled Operation Sea Lion...Operation Barbarossa.

I am an optimist when others are pessimistic. I am a pessimist when others are optimistic. Losing Operation Sea Lion could have been the best thing that ever happened to the Third Reich.

Had Hitler gone ahead with the invasion of Britain, and suffered a humiliating defeat, he may not have had the prestige or resources to invade the Soviet Union. It may have been more politically expedient for Hitler to sit back and consolidate his gains in Europe, and settle for a peace treaty with the United Kingdom.

This is where I think you are wrong. As you said, Hitler wasn't one to be put off by such setbacks. The invasion of Russia would have gone ahead. You need to keep in mind that this wasn't just a matter of changing lines on a map or winning a war for Hitelr. he saw the conquest of Russia in existential terms - it was necessary for the survival of germany. Not simply to defeat 'judeo-bolshevism', but because without 'Lebensraum' Germany would die. The material losses from Sealion could be repalced to a point. Over 3.5 million Axis troops were involved in Barbarossa. The loss of 50-60,000 a year earlier wouldn't stop this.

That isn't to say there would be no impact, its just that the impact would be less easy to see, less immediate & more focussed on the periphery. here's some thoughts.

* The Luftwaffe would have lost heavily in Sealion. Much more heavily than in the BoB. The issue here isn't aircraft. It would have been possible to produce or re-deploy enough to cover roughly the same numbers for Barbarossa, but not exactly the same. Where there might be a shortfall is in other operations. Will as many aircraft be available for the Mediterranean & Nth Africa in 1942? The real hit, however, will be in trained & experienced pilots. Some of the best & brightest will have been committed to Sealion & many of them will be dead or in British POW camps. Not just fighter pilots, but bomber & dive bomber pilots, navigators & crew. The differences won't play out on a huge scale, but perhaps a few more Russian troops escape here, a few more german units don't get adequate support there, a few less Russian planes get shot down elsewhere.

* It is a similar story for ground forces. Does Hitler feel as able to commit as many to Greece & Yugoslavia. Does he send as much to Nth Africa? Do a few more British troops escape Greece or Rommel? Do the German/italian advances in Nth Africa stop shorter? One large impact will be Crete. The devastation of the paras in 1940 will most likely lead to their end as an airborne force. Historically this did happen after Crete - and that was a win. Without them Crete won't be taken. Instead it will become a base for British air & naval attacks aimed at Italy, Greece & the Balkans. By 1942/43 British bombers may be trying to bomb Ploesti. Even if they have only minmal success, it is going to force the diversion of aircraft from Russia. British possession of Crete is also going to force the Italian Navy into combat it would rather avoid in order to try to supply the Dodecanese.

* Not sure about the impact of the naval losses. Probably not that much, though it may lead Hitler to the decision not to use the surface fleet any further. No Bismarck breakout, no ships in Norwegian fjords trying to raid convoys etc. Impacts? Again, incremental.

* Perhaps the least obvious but no less important impact will be shipping. Even the gathering of barges for Sealion in 1940 caused temporary disruptions to agriculture & industry in parts of France, Germany & the Low countries. Apparently there were also some problems with some cargo movement in the Baltic. I have no idea what sort concrete impact the loss a hefty proportion of that shipping would have. Again, incremental - a few less of this & that, a more restless population in parts of occupied Europe.

* There would be a huge boost to British morale & that of the Commonwealth. Inflicting such a large defeat on germany so early in the war would mean the 'dark days' don't seem as dark or as long. Hard to say what impact it might have had on public opinion in the US - probably more sympathy.

The overall impact? Things go just that bit worse for Germany. Not dramatically so at first, but with a sting in the tail. Perhaps Nth Africa falls a bit sooner & Italy is attacked a bit sooner - taking it out of the war sooner. Once the US enters the war Crete becomes an extremely busy place. Oil production is not crippled, but it is dented and sooner than in OTL. All sorts of knock on effects. Perhaps in the end it shaves some months of the end of the war, but it is hard to polt the precise impact of a lot of small changes.

astralis
15 Jun 12,, 15:01
here's some thinking outside the box (perhaps too much).

think after a stinging defeat in sealion, hitler MAY have waited up to a year or so to recapitalize. he was by no means stupid, and he had earlier (and later in the war) shown capacity to wait when things would be advantageous. this quality slowly disappeared over time, but in 1940-41, not yet.

there's also some evidence that stalin was thinking about fighting hitler, but this was something for 1944-1945, when he felt he would be ready. 1943 at the earliest.

it'd be interesting if there was a confluence where hitler sits and rebuilds while stalin decides to move on the offensive. ironically in such a scenario, there's a good chance that hitler destroys stalin.

Albany Rifles
15 Jun 12,, 16:26
And here is another wild supposition.

If Germany does invade Great Britain, would the US get in the war sooner? It was one thing to remain neutral when the battles were on the Continent. It was a totally different mind set when it came to the Mother Country.

zraver
15 Jun 12,, 17:32
I have problems with the version of USSR attacking Germany first.

Stalin was so confident in the NAP he had with Hitler he never bothered to react on the reports from Berlin about Barbarossa.

Moreover, in 1940 Ribbentrop and Hitler were proposed by Molotov USSR to be an Axis power.

1. The T-34 like the earlier BT series tanks is an offensive design
2. The KV-2 fortress bustign tank is offensive
3. The reformation of mechanized corps is an offensive move
5. new 122 and 152mm guns deisgned to pout range the German 105 and 150mm guns.
6. several new classes of tactical bombers based on observations of German blitzkrieg ops in Poland.
7, formation and expansion of the paratroops forces

The list goes on and on, Stalin was going West in 42 or 43.

astralis
15 Jun 12,, 18:13
z,


The list goes on and on, Stalin was going West in 42 or 43.

think i read '43 at earliest, he was in the middle of some massive re-org and rebuild in '41.

the big issue for the germans was that they could never find and finish soviet reserves in operation barbarossa. in a soviet offensive in 1943-44, without all the lessons learned in fighting germans in 1941 and 1942 and american lend-lease, it would have been a utter clusterf*ck for the soviets.

Mihais
15 Jun 12,, 20:01
The problem with this line of thinking is that is not consistent with what the Soviets thought of themselves and the German capabilities.What could have been if it had happened is not the same with what the Soviets thought it would happen.

Worse f..k ups than occured historically is a small chance.

zraver
15 Jun 12,, 21:36
z,



think i read '43 at earliest, he was in the middle of some massive re-org and rebuild in '41.

the big issue for the germans was that they could never find and finish soviet reserves in operation barbarossa. in a soviet offensive in 1943-44, without all the lessons learned in fighting germans in 1941 and 1942 and american lend-lease, it would have been a utter clusterf*ck for the soviets.

Very likely, but depending of German defensive preparations and the German economy it might not matter. Without Barbarossa driving German technology (assuming German win in North Africa by the end of 41) the pz IIIJ may still be the leadign tank of the panzerwaffe, there wont be any Tigers, Marders, panthers... The artillery branch will be understrength in tube artillery, the newblewerfer will still be just a smoke generator... The German armed forces might be significantly weaker than in real history. Soviet officers of the time may not have been able to fight their way out of a wet paper sack for under a 100,000 casualties but Soviet designers were top notch.

Another important question is who is in charge. Its too much to hope that Timoshenko is out, Stalin remained loyal to him for his entire life. However if Vatutin, Zhukov and a few others can get noticed and promoted to the right levels the operational planning ability of the Soviets goes way up even if execution lags. As has been said, quantity has a quality all its own and 7-10,000 T-34's swarming west against 2-3000 Pz-III's....not pretty.

1979
15 Jun 12,, 21:38
5. new 122 and 152mm guns deisgned to pout range the German 105 and 150mm guns.


the soviets were by 1942 equipt with a modern artilery force but in 1941
50 % of the 76MM pieces were 1902 designs.
80 % of the 122mm pieces were 1909 1910 designs.
70 % of the 152mm pieces were 1909 1910 designs.

It could be argued that the modernisation begun in 1937 had little to do with the germans and was in fact needed.

zraver
15 Jun 12,, 21:38
And here is another wild supposition.

If Germany does invade Great Britain, would the US get in the war sooner? It was one thing to remain neutral when the battles were on the Continent. It was a totally different mind set when it came to the Mother Country.

If the Germans got ashore and managed to stay there, maybe. But this thread postulates a landing and massive defeat, likely before the US could act in any case. But a rapid English win might lead to a Japan first plan in the Pacific since Germany would look tamed.

Stitch
15 Jun 12,, 22:16
z,



think i read '43 at earliest, he was in the middle of some massive re-org and rebuild in '41.

I seem to remember reading the same thing somewhere and, as astralis said, Stalin was actually planning on later than that, somewhere in the 1944-45 timeframe, so that he would have materiel superiority over the Germans.

Hitler & Stalin signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact for more or less the same reasons: to buy themselves more time in order to build up their armaments vis-a-vis their opponent (in this case, each other). Hitler, apparently, felt more confident in his military than Stalin in his, since Hitler launched his invasion 1-2 years earlier than Stalin was planning on doing.

zraver
15 Jun 12,, 23:51
I seem to remember reading the same thing somewhere and, as astralis said, Stalin was actually planning on later than that, somewhere in the 1944-45 timeframe, so that he would have materiel superiority over the Germans.

Hitler & Stalin signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact for more or less the same reasons: to buy themselves more time in order to build up their armaments vis-a-vis their opponent (in this case, each other). Hitler, apparently, felt more confident in his military than Stalin in his, since Hitler launched his invasion 1-2 years earlier than Stalin was planning on doing.

As WWII went forward, Soviet penetrations of all levels of the German government grew. This can only result from previous operations beginning to bear fruit which means in 42/43 the Soviets are reading the German mail as effectively as the British. Combine this with the pace of Soviet modernization and the lack of German modernization because of economic constraints, the various other factors and 43 is the ideal year. 44-45 is past the designed obsolescent of the Pz-III and would risk Soviet T-34's running into equally capable tanks.

Doktor
15 Jun 12,, 23:59
Can someone point a reliable source for these 1943 plans?

Also can someone point a source that is not heavily opposed, nor based on circumstantial "evidence", showing that the Soviets were preparing to attack Germany? Don't come with Suvorov or alikes, nor with alleged Zhukov May 15th plan.

zraver
16 Jun 12,, 00:06
Can someone point a reliable source for these 1943 plans?

Also can someone point a source that is not heavily opposed, nor based on circumstantial "evidence", showing that the Soviets were preparing to attack Germany? Don't come with Suvorov or alikes, nor with alleged Zhukov May 15th plan.

AFAIK there are none, its all circumstantial, but lack of evidence is not evidence of lack. The circumstantial evidence is compelling and if it was a murder case would lead to a conviction.

Doktor
16 Jun 12,, 00:16
This is like claiming USA was going to attack certain countries, on a certain dates, based on rainbow war plans.

Every major army has what if scenarios. Si vis pacem, para bellum, right?

Blademaster
16 Jun 12,, 00:29
I was thinking that you once theorized that Churchill might have allied with Hitler against Stalin ... and I need an aspirin.

He would have if Germany hadn't been the first to invade Poland. If Hitler was smart, he could have let Soviet take Poland and force Britain and France to concede to Germany's terms for getting into the fight against Russia. Britain and France would have conceded although they would have demand that Germany put a stop to the concentration camps once they found out about it.

zraver
16 Jun 12,, 01:18
I am assuming that 1. the US enters the war about the same time, and Operation Torch occurs on schedule even though there are no British to the East pushing West. Plus a for real bombing campaign out of England that is picking up steam forcing Germany to both fortify France and contest the fight in North Africa because if the Germans lose in Tunisia and the Americans can take Scicily, Libya, Egypt and Palestine fall to the allies by default. 2. Hitler ignores logistics and focuses on paper numbers as he did in real history so the anemic pace of AFV and other production means the German army has more panzer divisions but only has about half of them equipped with modern Pz-IIIJ+ tanks the rest being equipped with older versions, Pz38's or captured French tanks. German infantry divisions do have full compliments or either Stug III or Pz IV AFV's. Very few pak 40 L43 guns have been made or are in service though the exposure to the US Sherman has sped up production but will take awhile. 43 or whe ever Germany begins large scale production of 75mm gun tanks is a use it or lose it moment for Stalin


Barbarossa in reverse in 1943 Soviet OOB (June 41 OOB with 43 equipment)

Not pulling any units from the South or east just using The Western military districts and stavka reserves Soviet strength they could ahve funneled through Poland would be 43 mobile divisions and 96 leg divisions. Of the mobile divisions 28 of them are tank divisions with a TOE of 8400 battle tanks and 2800 armored cars or light tanks. Also by 43 the shortage in radios is less pronounced, the new junior commanders (regiment and below) would be fully trained.

Western Special Military Dist- 20 mobile divisions, 23 leg divisions
WSMD reserves- 4 TD, 2 MRD, 3RD, 3 para div, 2 motorcycle reg, AT bgd, cav reg, 9 art reg, 3 hvy art reg, siege art reg, 4 eng reg, 2 bridging reg

3rd Army- 2 TD, 1 MRD, 7RD, hvy tank bgd, AT reg, AA Bgd, 7 art reg, motorcycle regiment.

4th Army- 2TD, 1MRD, 4 RD, 3 art reg, hvy art teg, AA bn.

10th Army- 4TD, 2MRD, 6RD, 2CD, 2 motorcycle reg, 7 art reg, 2 AA bn, AT bgd

13th Army- 4 RD

PVO- 7 AA reg, 34 AA bn, 3 search light Bn, 2 barrage balloon bn, 4 signals bn, 1 fighter regiment

VVS- 21 fighter regiments, 14 bomber regiments, 2 fighter bomber regiments, 2 transport regiments

Baltic Military District 6 mobile divisions, 23 leg divisions

BMD reserves- 3 para div, spetsnaz reg, art reg, 2 bridging reg AA bn

8th Army- 2 TD, 1MRD, 5RD, motorcycle reg, 3 art reg, AT bgd, eng bgd, 2 AA bn

11th Army- 2 TD, 1 MRD, 8 RD, motorcycle reg, 4 art reg, hvy art reg, AT bgd, eng bn, 2 AA bn

27th Army- 7 RD, 2 art reg 2 AA bn

PVO- 3 AAA reg, 11 AA bn, 5 signals bn, 1 searchlight bn, 5 barrage ballon bn, 1 fighter regiment

VVS- 11 fighter regiments, 8 bomber regiments, 2 fighter-bomber regiments, 1 transport regiment

Leningrad Military District 6 mobile divisions, 16 leg divisions

LMD reserves 1 TD, 1 MRD, 3 RD, motor cycle reg, spetnaz reg, 2 art reg, bridging reg, 2 eng reg

7th Army- 4RD, AA bn, eng bn

14th Army- 1 TD, 4 RD, art reg, eng bn

23rd Army- 2TD, 1 MRD, 5RD, motorcycle reg, 5 art reg, 2 hvy art reg, siege art reg, 2 AA bn, motor eng bn, eng bn

PVO- 7 AA reg, 16 AA bn, 6 signals bn, 1 search light bn, 2 barrage ballon bn, 9 fighter regiment

VVS- 12 fighter regiments, 10 bomber regiments, 2 fighter bomber regiments, 1 transport regiment

Stavka Reserves 11 mobile divisions, 34 leg divisions

Stavka direct reserves- 2 TD, 1 MRD, 8RD, motor cycle reg, 2 art reg

16th Army- 2 TD, MRD, 2 RD, motorcycle reg, art reg AA bn

19th Army- 6 RD, 2 art reg, 3 eng bn

20th Army-2 TD, 1 motorized Div, 6 RD, motorcycle reg, 2 art reg, hvy art reg, bridging reg

21st Army- 2 TD, 1 MRD, 6 RD, motorcycle reg, 3 art reg, 2 eng bn

22nd Army- 6 RD, 2 art reg

24th Army- 6 RD, 3 art reg, hvy art reg

VVS long range aviation- 10 fighter regiments 37 bomber regiments

zraver
16 Jun 12,, 01:24
This is like claiming USA was going to attack certain countries, on a certain dates, based on rainbow war plans.

Every major army has what if scenarios. Si vis pacem, para bellum, right?

The Soviets were farther than planning defensive action. They planned and designed for offensive war. You don't need the KV-2 to defend the Soviet Union, its designed to bust up fortified lines. You don't need siege artillery to fight a defensive war, the Soviets had multiple regiments of it, paratroopers are not defensive troops the Soviets had 6 divisions. The T-34 was designed to drive from Moscow to Berlin on 4 fuel loads, each mechanized corps had an attached motorcycle regiment for offensive scouting... the list of offensive preparations is exhaustive.

Doktor
16 Jun 12,, 01:33
My main puzzle trying to figure out is what would have happened if USSR became an Axis power in 1940?

You don't propose alliance to someone you plan to attack.

Moreover, Soviet preps began in 1939 :confused:

Doktor
16 Jun 12,, 01:34
The Soviets were farther than planning defensive action. They planned and designed for offensive war. You don't need the KV-2 to defend the Soviet Union, its designed to bust up fortified lines. You don't need siege artillery to fight a defensive war, the Soviets had multiple regiments of it, paratroopers are not defensive troops the Soviets had 6 divisions. The T-34 was designed to drive from Moscow to Berlin on 4 fuel loads, each mechanized corps had an attached motorcycle regiment for offensive scouting... the list of offensive preparations is exhaustive.

Look at the US inventory at the moment. Who is on the list, Canada or Mexico?

zraver
16 Jun 12,, 01:38
Look at the US inventory at the moment. Who is on the list?

Yes lets look at the US inventory- 2 airborne/air mobile divisions and a couple of marine formations to meet global treaty commitments. US heavy units are by and large (excepting military installations in Texas and Washington) well back from any international border and those close to said borders date back to WWII or even the Spanish American-War.

zraver
16 Jun 12,, 01:40
My main puzzle trying to figure out is what would have happened if USSR became an Axis power in 1940?

You don't propose alliance to someone you plan to attack.

Moreover, Soviet preps began in 1939 :confused:

Soviet preparations began well before 39. The Soviet deep battle doctrine developed in the 30's is offensive in nature. They built tanks, first the BT series and then the T-34 to make use of this doctrine.

Doktor
16 Jun 12,, 01:41
Then you have missiles, carriers, subs, planes that can reach any spot on earth refueling.., but we are going waaay OT.

Doktor
16 Jun 12,, 01:45
Soviet preparations began well before 39. The Soviet deep battle doctrine developed in the 30's is offensive in nature. They built tanks, first the BT series and then the T-34 to make use of this doctrine.

So, if they became an Axis power... where would those go?

Parihaka
16 Jun 12,, 01:58
He would have if Germany hadn't been the first to invade Poland. If Hitler was smart, he could have let Soviet take Poland and force Britain and France to concede to Germany's terms for getting into the fight against Russia. Britain and France would have conceded although they would have demand that Germany put a stop to the concentration camps once they found out about it.

They were already well aware of the concentration camps pre-war, as they were of the eugenics campaign and the various forced sterilization and murder of 'sub humans'. There were reasons beyond the obvious political ones as to why Britain certainly was opposed to the Nazi regime.

astralis
16 Jun 12,, 02:26
BM,

i doubt the french and british would have done much about it. that type of moralizing is a distinctly american trait, and even then it was only until incontrovertible evidence was right in front of the public that they demanded something be done quick.

Doktor
16 Jun 12,, 02:35
Wiki says:


Concentration camp
The Random House Dictionary defines the term "concentration camp" as: "a guarded compound for the detention or imprisonment of aliens, members of ethnic minorities, political opponents, etc.", and, the American Heritage Dictionary defines it as: "A camp where civilians, enemy aliens, political prisoners, and sometimes prisoners of war are detained and confined, typically under harsh conditions."

Earliest usage and origins of the term

Polish historian Władysław Konopczyński has suggested the first concentration camps were created in Poland in the 18th century, during the Bar Confederation rebellion, when the Russian Empire established three concentration camps for Polish rebel captives awaiting deportation to Siberia.[5]

The earliest of these camps may have been those set up in the United States for Cherokee and other Native Americans in the 1830s; however, the term originated in the reconcentrados (reconcentration camps) set up by the Spanish military in Cuba during the Ten Years' War (1868–1878) and by the United States during the Philippine–American War (1899–1902).[6]

The English term "concentration camp" grew in prominence during the Second Boer War (1899–1902), when they were operated by the British in South Africa.[6][7]

There were a total of 45 tented camps built for Boer internees and 64 for black Africans. Of the 28,000 Boer men captured as prisoners of war, 25,630 were sent overseas. The vast majority of Boers remaining in the local camps were women and children.

Concentration camps were used in German South-West Africa during the Herero genocide between 1904 and 1907. The camp at Shark Island, Namibia was of the nature of an extermination camp, arguably the world's first.[8]

To put it short, nothing unseen before. Or so they thought.

astralis
16 Jun 12,, 02:37
z,


Very likely, but depending of German defensive preparations and the German economy it might not matter. Without Barbarossa driving German technology (assuming German win in North Africa by the end of 41) the pz IIIJ may still be the leadign tank of the panzerwaffe, there wont be any Tigers, Marders, panthers... The artillery branch will be understrength in tube artillery, the newblewerfer will still be just a smoke generator... The German armed forces might be significantly weaker than in real history. Soviet officers of the time may not have been able to fight their way out of a wet paper sack for under a 100,000 casualties but Soviet designers were top notch.

Another important question is who is in charge. Its too much to hope that Timoshenko is out, Stalin remained loyal to him for his entire life. However if Vatutin, Zhukov and a few others can get noticed and promoted to the right levels the operational planning ability of the Soviets goes way up even if execution lags. As has been said, quantity has a quality all its own and 7-10,000 T-34's swarming west against 2-3000 Pz-III's....not pretty.

one extra year of the german economy not going into full wartime economy means Germany is also considerably stronger once the war does start. if the soviets invade in 1943, you're talking significantly more panzer IVs, at a minimum. also, the assumption is that if sea lion goes through it's because Germany WON the Battle of Britain. which means RAF is probably wrecked, and as a result will not carry out much in the way of bombings.

also, it's far harder to carry out an offense than a defense...especially given the number of incompetent sycophants in the red army of 1941-2 (likely to be unchanged in this scenario). yes, the red army has a great upper echelon stable, but below sucked. it took the huge battles of 1941 and 1942 to really eliminate the incompetents, and even then it was never very good.

defense also means no general winter fighting for the soviets, and interior lines for the germans. far fewer partisans. less experience for russians in Deep Battle, and no american trucks.

i see initial russian breakthroughs, followed by massive "kettle" battles where the germans rip the heart out of the Red Army. casualty rates even worse than barbarossa, as the russians would have to concentrate even more. germans lose more than in 1941 too, but they don't suffer half as much the grinding attrition they did the next 3-4 years.

there's a lot of unknowns here though. a lot depends on if the US gets in the war, and if the UK stays in. even that's a toss-up-- yeah, a german defeat would be a morale booster but the actual invasion itself would have scared the crap out of a lot of British. hitler offers a white peace, who knows what happens.

zraver
16 Jun 12,, 02:38
So, if they became an Axis power... where would those go?

Finland, Baltics, Nordic states, Balkans, Germany, Italy, Western Europe, Turkey, Persia, Asia...

Officer of Engineers
16 Jun 12,, 04:27
He would have if Germany hadn't been the first to invade Poland. If Hitler was smart, he could have let Soviet take Poland and force Britain and France to concede to Germany's terms for getting into the fight against Russia. Britain and France would have conceded although they would have demand that Germany put a stop to the concentration camps once they found out about it.Would not have been Churchill and frankly, I strongly doubt a UK-German alliance. The Sudetenland was the go for war. The UK most likely would have sat out between the USSR and Nazi Germany and getting ready to fight the much weakened victor.

Parihaka
16 Jun 12,, 04:31
Wiki says:



To put it short, nothing unseen before. Or so they thought.
Semantics over what to call them is one thing: using those semantics to claim the allies, certainly Britain would tolerate them is another.
Since it's fashionable to equate Churchill with british resistance to the Nazi's as though he were the rock on which it were based, I'll limit myself to some quotes from him.

BBC - History - World Wars: Churchill and the Holocaust (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/genocide/churchill_holocaust_01.shtml)
Winston Churchill The Threat of Nazi Germany 1934 - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzY4toFNkng)

France, as proved by history were willing to work with the Nazis. Britain was not.

Bigfella
16 Jun 12,, 05:29
He would have if Germany hadn't been the first to invade Poland. If Hitler was smart, he could have let Soviet take Poland and force Britain and France to concede to Germany's terms for getting into the fight against Russia. Britain and France would have conceded although they would have demand that Germany put a stop to the concentration camps once they found out about it.

Britain & France fighting Russia ain't gonna happen. First, Churchill wasn't in charge when the treaty to protect Poland was negotiated nor when it was put in place. he only got the top job after the Norway fiasco in may 1940. So, not his decision to make. Second, the guarantee given to Poland was only against Nazi germany, not Russia. In reality it had little to do wiht Poland. The Polish government had done little to endear itself to Britain & France in the preceding years, and France had actually been prepared to let Stalin occupy Eastern Poland in exchange for an anti-Nazi alliance. If Stalin had invaded first Britain & France would have done what they did historically - make a few vague plans that amounted to nothing.

Put simply, the aim of Franco-British policy in the late 30s was to try to contain Nazi expansion. Worries about Russia were very much a second order concern. Russia was not trying to build a navy or an airforce that could reach Britain & Russia didn't have a large army sitting on a French border & deep resentments to match. An alliance with Stalin against Hitler was very possible. An alliance with Hitler against Stalin was not.

zraver
16 Jun 12,, 05:33
The scenario

September 1940, the string of German victories comes to a crashing halt in Southern England. Unwilling to listen to his military commanders, and believing Georing that the RAF while not out of the fight was now too weak to stop an invasion or protect the Royal navy Hitler forced the invasion of England in Operation Sea Lion. By the end of September the Germans had lost 6 divisions worth of men, 10 divisions worth of equipment, 1200 air crews, 1300+ aircraft, 4000 small craft, 37 transports, 9 destroyers, 2 cruisers and 15 torpedo boats. The loss of barges had severely disrupted the German economy, obliterated the navy and left the Luftwaffe with less than a thousand serviceable combat planes. It also left Hitler feeling vulnerable as least temporarily, never one to enjoy stay down, he made Goering pay the price-pushing the Luftwaffe chief out and stripping him of his titles awards and privileges in what was widely considered a show trial.

Regardless the defeat left him weak enough that he was open to listening to a rare united front by the Luftwaffe, Heer and industry and agreed to curtail future plans until the German economy and military had recovered to at least 1939 levels. This meant that industry and the Luftwaffe got the bulk of the resources and several HEER divisions were either demobilized or moved to reserve status. Though as a sop, the number of motorized divisions the Heer would have was increased by five plus 2 more panzer divisions.

As it turns out, the failure of Italy in North Africa and Greece meant the army did not get much of a break, as a result it did not expand, the resources for expansion being used up in the Balkans and the sinking of two panzer divisions worth of equipment on their way to Libya. Yet as effective as British submarines were, they could not stop the arrival of the DAK, rapidly increased to a full panzer armee. In a hard fought campaign, Rommel would enter Cairo on January 5th 1942. One reason the fighting took over a year is a huge amount of supplies shipped to England by the United States. With little hope of an immediate return to Europe, allied leaders had decided on a Japan first strategy to save Singapore and the Philippines, but this meant the British had to hold Gibraltar and the Suez. This was something they could only attempt to do with the US's prodigious production.

The result was still an eventual allied defeat, US tanks like the M3 Stuart and M3 Grant and planes like the P-40 Warhawk flooded in but were not enough. With no other distractions the German's were closer and could more easily support Rommel. At the cost of the trucks promised to the army to add five motorized divisions Rommel was able to keep his divisions supplied. The fighting also slowed the recovery of the Luftwaffe.

With the situation in North Africa resolved, Hitler decided to avoid crossing into Palestine, In a public speech at the Sportspalast in May, 42 Hitler said, "what need do we have of a land infested with Jews? Better we arm the the Arabs and let them take of it." Privately, he was worried that further adventures to the south would delay his attack into Russia. With a semi peace on the ground OKH said they could be ready to invade Russia by July 1943 depending on the rains.

Then in November 1942 the Allies struck back, a British operation along the Suez and an American British landing in French North Africa. The invasion and offensive required Germany to redeploy a number of units as the allied offensives gained strength. Also pressuring the Germans were increasing allied bomber activity and persistent reports the allies were planning a spring invasion of Norway. The result was to keep Germany focused West not East. Even though most of the German army had been moved east, many of the best equipped and most capable units were in Africa or Norway and this created an opportunity for Stalin.

Stalin's next move after splitting Poland with Hitler and occupying the Baltic and parts of the Balkans was revenge on Finland. In what has been called the Continuation War, Soviet troops re-invaded Finland in June 1941 and had forced Finland to submit by March 1943. Yet performance was poor, the effects of the purge and aging equipment were still evident. However, he was interrupted in one of his well known tirades by a united front presented by Timoshenko and Zhukov. They argued successfully, that performance while poor was better than previous as new officers learned their roles. They also pointed out that much of the new equipment coming on line had not been used and this led to higher losses, while largely preserving the secrecy of new items like the T-34 and Sturmovick. In fact the Germans had learned of the KV-2 but mistakenly thought it a Russian version of the Char-2B concept that had failed to stop the panzer divisions. They argued that by the beginning of 1943 the Red Army and Red Air force would be largely re-equipped and ready to face the Germans if they betrayed the Soviet Union.

With the arrival of 1943 the German army was worried. Wastage in combat since France had limited the expansion of the army and had prevented almost half the panzer divisions equipped with old tanks like the Pz 38, 37mm armed Pz III or captured French tanks. This had only begun to change with the arrival of the M4 Sherman in combat. The American tank armed with a 75mm duel purpose gun had proven superior to the pzIIIL the newest version of the German battle tank. New AFV's like the Stug IIIG and Pz IV G were being rushed into service, but the numbers were low and German production continued to lag. Then the fall of Tunisia in May and the looming battle to defend Sicily meant the invasion of Russia would need to be postponed again, and Germany would need to go to a war time footing. Forcing Hitler to put germany on a war time footing would be the army's last political victory. The series of defeats had weakened them and as much as they dreaded it, they began gearing up for the invasion of Russia code named Operation Barbarossa. The target date was June 1944- but the Soviets struck first.

June 22, 1943, beginning at 4 AM ten thousand guns began pounding the forward German lines and German radar sites began to see swarms of Soviet aircraft winging their way West. behind them came the advance of the Special Western and Baltic Military districts- 12 tank divisions, 6 mechanized infantry divisions, 2 cavalry divisions. Supporting the advance was an air drop of 4 airborne divisions and 2 spetsnaz regiments. Behidn the lead elements came the infantry- 42 rifle infantry divisions. All told the lead echelon and immediate follow on forces numbered 68 divisions with another 6 tank, 4 mechanized, 2 airborne and 10 rifle divisions in Stavka's reserve. The Soviet forces attacked along three main axis of advance. In the north an offensive was aimed at Konigsbeg and East Prussia, in the South towards Slovenia to cut Germany off from her Axis partners and the main effort aimed at Warsaw and points west in the Center.

With the fall of Warsaw, phase 2 was planned. The second phase of the invasion had 10 tank divisions and 5 mechanized divisions for its offensive punch with 45 rifle divisions. Phase 2 goals was to finish the encirclement of the German army and beachheads across the Oder river on the outskirts of Berlin. In the South the Romania and Hungary were going to be hit be a combined force of 18 tank divisions, 7 mechanized divisions, 3 cavalry divisions, 9 airborne divisions, 8 mountain divisions and 41 rifle divisions. In total the Soviet offensive totaled 223 divisions: 42 tank divisions, 20 mechanized divisions, 15 airborne, 5 cavalry, 8 mountain and 132 rifle. The force included over 14000 tanks, 6000 aircraft, 15,000 artillery pieces 76mm or larger and almost 4 million men.

Against the force pushing into Poland the Germans have 75 divisions, the rest being in the Balkans, Norway, or Italy. All German infantry divisions have a full complement of pz-IV or stug III shorts.

Germany OOB- 18 panzer, 12 motorized, 4 mountain, 1 cavalry, 4 paratrooper and 142 infantry divisions

Army Group Norway- 8 inf, 2 mountain divisions

Army group south- (split between Romania and Hungary) 3 panzer, 2 motorized, 1 mountain, 27 infantry divisions

Army Group Poland- (Center and North) 10 panzer, 9 motorized, 1 cavalry and 49 infantry infantry divisions

Army Group Italy- 3 panzer 8 infantry, 2 mountain

Army Group West- 32 infantry divisions

OKH reserves- 2 panzer, 1 mountain, 1 motorized and 26 infantry divisions

Bigfella
16 Jun 12,, 05:34
Since it's fashionable to equate Churchill with british resistance to the Nazi's as though he were the rock on which it were based.

An odd belief that I continue to encounter. it is hard to imagone a more profound insult to Britons to insist that Churchill was the sole or even dominant reason they resisted nazism.

Parihaka
16 Jun 12,, 05:53
An odd belief that I continue to encounter. it is hard to imagone a more profound insult to Britons to insist that Churchill was the sole or even dominant reason they resisted nazism.

I guess it's just the standard 'simplification' of history that always happens, with Churchill as the stock charismatic character on which to base it. Seems to have happened awfully fast though, much like the BoB with the "so much by so few" speech.

Bigfella
16 Jun 12,, 06:08
I guess it's just the standard 'simplification' of history that always happens, with Churchill as the stock charismatic character on which to base it. Seems to have happened awfully fast though, much like the BoB with the "so much by so few" speech.

It doesn't help that the 'cult of Churchill' has fallen on such fertile ground among our American cousins. They still seem not to have grasped what the British people knew in 1945 - Churchill was a great man with equally great flaws. The converse seems to be the demonization of Chamberlain - an equally flawed man, but nowhere near the craven pacifist people treat him as. I'm afraid the 'great man' school of history seems to have deep roots. Pity, the British people & the many others who contributed mightily in WW2 deserve more than the eternal shadow of Winston.

Stitch
16 Jun 12,, 06:27
It doesn't help that the 'cult of Churchill' has fallen on such fertile ground among our American cousins. They still seem not to have grasped what the British people knew in 1945 - Churchill was a great man with equally great flaws. The converse seems to be the demonization of Chamberlain - an equally flawed man, but nowhere near the craven pacifist people treat him as. I'm afraid the 'great man' school of history seems to have deep roots. Pity, the British people & the many others who contributed mightily in WW2 deserve more than the eternal shadow of Winston.

There's a reason that Churchill was NOT the PM in '39, and an equally good reason for him being out of office by '45; a great wartime PM, maybe, but not necessarily a great PM in general. He was what the Empire needed during the War but, once the War was over, his faults became a liability; I agree with BF that a "cult of personality" has been built up around Winston.

Bigfella
16 Jun 12,, 07:01
There's a reason that Churchill was NOT the PM in '39, and an equally good reason for him being out of office by '45; a great wartime PM, maybe, but not necessarily a great PM in general. He was what the Empire needed during the War but, once the War was over, his faults became a liability; I agree with BF that a "cult of personality" has been built up around Winston.

Even as a wartime PM he was deeply flawed. There was an ill-advised expedition to Greece that let Italy off the hook in Nth Africa & then the debacle in the Far East - Britain's greatest military defeat. Then there was the way he treated Australia. Having sent our military forces half way around the world to deend the 'mothre country' and its empire, we were lied to by Churchill about British preparedness to deend us in the event of Japanese attack. Worse, when we were eventually able to prise some of our own troops from Egypt in order to defend out nation he diverted them to Burma without even consulting us. Only by turning to Roosevelt for leverage did we get them back.

That isn't to say he wasn't an inspiring leader whose judgements were sometimes spot on, but even in his finest hour he still made some unforgivably bad errors. I doubt anyone else could have done as well as Winston in that moment of great need, but that greatness came at a price.

zraver
16 Jun 12,, 08:22
Even as a wartime PM he was deeply flawed. There was an ill-advised expedition to Greece that let Italy off the hook in Nth Africa & then the debacle in the Far East - Britain's greatest military defeat. Then there was the way he treated Australia. Having sent our military forces half way around the world to deend the 'mothre country' and its empire, we were lied to by Churchill about British preparedness to deend us in the event of Japanese attack. Worse, when we were eventually able to prise some of our own troops from Egypt in order to defend out nation he diverted them to Burma without even consulting us. Only by turning to Roosevelt for leverage did we get them back.

That isn't to say he wasn't an inspiring leader whose judgements were sometimes spot on, but even in his finest hour he still made some unforgivably bad errors. I doubt anyone else could have done as well as Winston in that moment of great need, but that greatness came at a price.

Churchill had an absolute fetish for poorly thought out military adventures. WWI- Antwerp and Gallipolli. WWII- Deipe, Force Z, Greece, Norway, Hong King (force C), Singapore, Mers-el-Kebir...

Bigfella
16 Jun 12,, 09:14
Churchill had an absolute fetish for poorly thought out military adventures. WWI- Antwerp and Gallipolli. WWII- Deipe, Force Z, Greece, Norway, Hong King (force C), Singapore, Mers-el-Kebir...

Perhaps it was a combination of self-confidence & force of personality - he could not only convince himself these things would work, he could convince others too.

It is fortunate he was unable to convince John Curtin to give him those two Australian divisions to send to Burma. They would have arrived just in time for the long retreat toward the Indian border. No doubt the numbers of Australian POWs under japanese control would also have grown.

zraver
16 Jun 12,, 11:02
Perhaps it was a combination of self-confidence & force of personality - he could not only convince himself these things would work, he could convince others too.

It is fortunate he was unable to convince John Curtin to give him those two Australian divisions to send to Burma. They would have arrived just in time for the long retreat toward the Indian border. No doubt the numbers of Australian POWs under japanese control would also have grown.

Come on, bayoneting the prisoners would have slowed their advance for a day or two...

Bigfella
16 Jun 12,, 14:03
Come on, bayoneting the prisoners would have slowed their advance for a day or two...

Didn't seem to in Malaya. The guys who bayonetted 140 men from my uncle's battalion barely semed to break stride.

astralis
16 Jun 12,, 15:15
BF,


An odd belief that I continue to encounter. it is hard to imagone a more profound insult to Britons to insist that Churchill was the sole or even dominant reason they resisted nazism.

british will to fight only solidified during/after the Battle of Britain. up until then there was a significant portion of the british populace that was deeply anti-war; not as bad as the french, but bad enough.

i have a sneaking suspicion that had dunkirk gone badly and hitler immediately offered white peace, churchill would have been ousted and britain would be out of the war.

Officer of Engineers
16 Jun 12,, 21:08
i have a sneaking suspicion that had dunkirk gone badly and hitler immediately offered white peace, churchill would have been ousted and britain would be out of the war.Had Dunkirk gone badly? There was no where for Dunkirk to go but up. Dunkirk was the tail end of a military disaster for the BEF. The entire force was already lost and most people were expecting it to be so. The expectations for the Dunkirk evac was extremely low.

zraver
16 Jun 12,, 21:19
BF,



british will to fight only solidified during/after the Battle of Britain. up until then there was a significant portion of the british populace that was deeply anti-war; not as bad as the french, but bad enough.

i have a sneaking suspicion that had dunkirk gone badly and hitler immediately offered white peace, churchill would have been ousted and britain would be out of the war.

I've been saying that for years, get ready to be laughed at.

zraver
16 Jun 12,, 21:20
Didn't seem to in Malaya. The guys who bayonetted 140 men from my uncle's battalion barely semed to break stride.

Ya but with 20 odd thousand people to bayonet....

Talk about gallows humor...

astralis
16 Jun 12,, 22:07
col yu,


Had Dunkirk gone badly? There was no where for Dunkirk to go but up. Dunkirk was the tail end of a military disaster for the BEF. The entire force was already lost and most people were expecting it to be so. The expectations for the Dunkirk evac was extremely low.

the disaster could have been significantly worse. a few more bad decisions/people with worse morale on the Allied side, and few more good decisions on the German side, and the 330K men who did make it could have been lost.

yes, people were expecting the entire force to be lost but expecting and actually having a major disaster happen are two different things. instead of the huge morale boost, it would have been another crushing defeat, one that would have taken away the veteran core of the british army.

Parihaka
16 Jun 12,, 22:11
BF,



british will to fight only solidified during/after the Battle of Britain. up until then there was a significant portion of the british populace that was deeply anti-war; not as bad as the french, but bad enough.

i have a sneaking suspicion that had dunkirk gone badly and hitler immediately offered white peace, churchill would have been ousted and britain would be out of the war.
The British had plenty of opportunity to go belly up and avoid war but somehow failed to do so, and Dunkirk DID go badly in the context as OoE says that it was the tail end of a disaster.
Following that though, they knew they had the channel, they had the upper hand in control of the seas, and they had Canada and the other nations of the BE as supply of both men and materials. If you ignore the propaganda associated with the BoB, you can see they won it comprehensively. I don't see why the British should have thought of caving unless they lost the battle of the Mediterranean.
A significant portion of the population wanted peace: show what country didn't and doesn't.

Parihaka
16 Jun 12,, 22:21
yes, people were expecting the entire force to be lost but expecting and actually having a major disaster happen are two different things. instead of the huge morale boost, it would have been another crushing defeat, one that would have taken away the veteran core of the british army.
It wasn't the British Army that was required for the next phase of battle: it was the RN and RAF. The Germans had to get across the channel, and/or had to win the battle of the skies, of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. None worked out for them, Malta was the closest run thing but even then the Germans had no chance of taking it, merely suppressing it.

zraver
16 Jun 12,, 22:37
It wasn't the British Army that was required for the next phase of battle: it was the RN and RAF. The Germans had to get across the channel, and/or had to win the battle of the skies, of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. None worked out for them, Malta was the closest run thing but even then the Germans had no chance of taking it, merely suppressing it.

Disagree f Hitler had been willing to risk the paras, Malta would have fallen.

astralis
16 Jun 12,, 23:27
pari,


The British had plenty of opportunity to go belly up and avoid war but somehow failed to do so, and Dunkirk DID go badly in the context as OoE says that it was the tail end of a disaster.
Following that though, they knew they had the channel, they had the upper hand in control of the seas, and they had Canada and the other nations of the BE as supply of both men and materials. If you ignore the propaganda associated with the BoB, you can see they won it comprehensively. I don't see why the British should have thought of caving unless they lost the battle of the Mediterranean.

the danger time was a relatively short period, roughly from may-september 1940. the period of the most danger was even shorter; may-june 1940.

without churchill it was very, very likely the UK would have taken a white peace in may 1940 with the fall of france. even with churchill, had dunkirk gone badly-- or to be more accurate, even worse-- there was a good chance churchill would have been ousted and the UK would have taken a white peace. frankly, a coldly rational british leader WOULD have taken a white peace; churchill pinned all of his hopes on staying in the fight until the americans got in the war, which at that time no one could have known exactly if or when that would happen.

afterwards, hitler's decision to initiate the BoB, and later to lose it, proved to be the anchor to british nationalism and morale.


It wasn't the British Army that was required for the next phase of battle: it was the RN and RAF. The Germans had to get across the channel, and/or had to win the battle of the skies, of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. None worked out for them, Malta was the closest run thing but even then the Germans had no chance of taking it, merely suppressing it.

what was required for the next phase of battle was the british public wanting to stay in. from a military standpoint, yes, the RN and RAF was the real defense of britain, but the morale shock of losing the BEF at one blow would have been very great indeed.

even with the successful evacuation, the british public was seriously worried about the specter of a german landing. the fright would have been considerably worse without the veterans back home.

Bigfella
17 Jun 12,, 00:51
I don't know enough in detail about the mood before & during Dunkirk to make an accurate assessment. Perhaps if only a handful of soldiers had escaped moreale might have collapsed. Given that Chamberlain was removed after the mess in Norway I can imagine Churchill going after most of the British standing army is captured. Could peace follow? on the right terms. The point, however, is that this isn't down to Winston. It is down to events over which he had limited control. He was a factor, but a long way from the only or even most important one.

Blademaster
17 Jun 12,, 06:24
Would not have been Churchill and frankly, I strongly doubt a UK-German alliance. The Sudetenland was the go for war. The UK most likely would have sat out between the USSR and Nazi Germany and getting ready to fight the much weakened victor.

No they feared Stalin's brand of communism more than fascism. They may not even had a choice if US steps into the conflict and starts supporting Germany against Russia based on US's well known virulent anti-communism stance/streak and its historical large descendants of German population.

Bigfella
17 Jun 12,, 06:43
No they feared Stalin's brand of communism more than fascism. They may not even had a choice if US steps into the conflict and starts supporting Germany against Russia based on US's well known virulent anti-communism stance/streak and its historical large descendants of German population.

You are wide of the mark BM. Fascism was very clearly seen as a bigger threat. Germany was a threat to France & Britain proper while Mussolini was building a navy that might ultimately challenge both nations in the Med. Italy was also expanding its colonies in a way that posed a threat to parts of the British Empire. Franco, while not strictly Fascist, had just won a civil war on France's other border with the active assistance of the two Fascist powers. So, France had Fascists on 3 sides. They were clear on where the threat lay, as was the UK. Japanese militarism (which was viewed as a similar phenomenon to Facsism) was a threat to the US and the European powers in Asia.

Communism was undoubtedly seen as a potential threat, but of a very different sort. Stalin posed no direct threat to any Western power. The notion that the US might ally with Nazi germany to attack Russia is even more fanciful. Roosevelt was clear on the threat posed by Nazi germany as were the American people. The fact that the US was anti-communist and had some citizens of German descent does not even come close to equalling an alliance with Hitler. America would cheerfully have sat on the sidelines while Germany & Russia slugged it out, but helping is entirely another matter.

Parihaka
17 Jun 12,, 09:11
Disagree f Hitler had been willing to risk the paras, Malta would have fallen.

Considering the kicking they got on Crete he had every reason to be unwilling to risk them, plus faced the time necessary to rebuild them. Unless he choose Malta over Crete to first deploy them, I don't really see how he could have used them.

Parihaka
17 Jun 12,, 09:12
pari,



the danger time was a relatively short period, roughly from may-september 1940. the period of the most danger was even shorter; may-june 1940.

without churchill it was very, very likely the UK would have taken a white peace in may 1940 with the fall of france. even with churchill, had dunkirk gone badly-- or to be more accurate, even worse-- there was a good chance churchill would have been ousted and the UK would have taken a white peace. frankly, a coldly rational british leader WOULD have taken a white peace; churchill pinned all of his hopes on staying in the fight until the americans got in the war, which at that time no one could have known exactly if or when that would happen.

afterwards, hitler's decision to initiate the BoB, and later to lose it, proved to be the anchor to british nationalism and morale.



what was required for the next phase of battle was the british public wanting to stay in. from a military standpoint, yes, the RN and RAF was the real defense of britain, but the morale shock of losing the BEF at one blow would have been very great indeed.

even with the successful evacuation, the british public was seriously worried about the specter of a german landing. the fright would have been considerably worse without the veterans back home.
Okay. Who would Churchill have been replaced by, and what support would they have had, given the support in parliament Churchill had?

zraver
17 Jun 12,, 09:21
You are wide of the mark BM. Fascism was very clearly seen as a bigger threat. Germany was a threat to France & Britain proper while Mussolini was building a navy that might ultimately challenge both nations in the Med. Italy was also expanding its colonies in a way that posed a threat to parts of the British Empire. Franco, while not strictly Fascist, had just won a civil war on France's other border with the active assistance of the two Fascist powers. So, France had Fascists on 3 sides. They were clear on where the threat lay, as was the UK. Japanese militarism (which was viewed as a similar phenomenon to Facsism) was a threat to the US and the European powers in Asia.

Communism was undoubtedly seen as a potential threat, but of a very different sort. Stalin posed no direct threat to any Western power. The notion that the US might ally with Nazi germany to attack Russia is even more fanciful. Roosevelt was clear on the threat posed by Nazi germany as were the American people. The fact that the US was anti-communist and had some citizens of German descent does not even come close to equalling an alliance with Hitler. America would cheerfully have sat on the sidelines while Germany & Russia slugged it out, but helping is entirely another matter.

Your wide of the mark there BF, German re-armament was made possible because the UK, and to a lesser extent France wanted Germany as a bulwark against the USSR. Fascism in Italy was widely hailed throughout the English speaking world as well. The British were not threatened by the Italian Navy after all, Italy was a presumptive British ally into the 1930's. Italian naval building in particular its light cruisers were built in response to the French le Fantasque class super destroyers. Italian naval building overall was pretty spaced out, within treaty limits and aimed at the French not the British; 4 battleships, 7 heavy cruisers and 15 light cruisers.

Its also important to remember that in the beginning Mussolini was the loudest voice in Europe against Hitler, and the Italian Army was the mailed fist that prevented the anschluss with Austria. The Italian Army in turn was armed with license built versions of British tanks and tankettes. Until Ethiopia, Fascist Italy was the poster boy for the west's resistance to communism. To the British, and lasting until Hitler, Mussolini was more reliable than the ever pinker and politically unstable French.

This changed with the rise of Hitler and the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. In another example of British, "do as I say not as I do", the UK refused to support Italy's moves. This was taken as a betrayal in Italy and she already felt slighted by what she was given in WWI (not nearly what she was promised) and is recounted in Silone's book" Bread and Wine". Only one European power supported Italy- Germany. That act was the key to unlock the door and to try and form an Italian-German-Hungarian alliance, which lead to the German-Italian rapprochement and the Axis Alliance. The Alliance was in fact built on the foundation principles of a nationalist, UK supported anti-communist governments.

The UK also concluded a naval treaty with Nazi Germany in 1935 where the UK agreed to German re-armament at sea fixing the German fleet tonnage at 35% of the Royal Navy's, looked the other way with the re-occupation of the Rhur, anschluss and of course Munich. The Me109 took its first flight using Rolls Royce Kestrel Engines, the UK didn't force the debt issue etc....

The political missteps in the 20's and early 30's principally by the UK but including others had at least as much bearing on priming the stage for WWII as anything else. Nazi evil also leaves Mussolini as a tragic figure in history. He remains probably the best leader Italy has ever had. Because of the absolute evil of the Nazi regime (discovered in 44-45) in how it treated subject peoples and those it was ideologically at war with, its easy to forget that Italian and early Nazi policies in dealing with political dissidents were neither unusual or very different from policies pursued by the countries that would become the Western allies- both before and after WWII.

Bigfella
17 Jun 12,, 09:54
This changed with the rise of Hitler and the Italian invasion of Ethiopia.

And since the period under discussion is marked by precisely those events then I am very much on the mark Z. Once it became clear that Fascism was expansionist it became much more of a concern than Stalin, especially in the form of Hitler. You prove my point. I notice you haven't tried to argue the likelihood of a US-Nazi alliance. probably for the best.

As for the 'tragic figure' of Mussolini, give me a break. He took his nation into a war he could have chosen to avoid. He cost his nation 450,000 dead & a great deal of destruction. He cost his nation its military strength & its empire. He also got a bunch of other people killed in his desire to expand italy (a few stray Greeks, Albanians & Yugoslavs and rather a lot of Ethiopians). He precipitated a civil war and occupation of his nation. He could have chosen a different path and seen his nation emerge from the war among the strongest in Europe. Oh, and he would have been alive to see it too. That he was not as vile a creature as Stalin, Pavelic or even Franco is the faintest imaginable praise. The notion that someone who so damaged his own nation is not only its best leader, but 'tragic' to boot borders on funny. I like a good bit of contrarianism as much as the next man Z, but this is pretty silly stuff.

Doktor
17 Jun 12,, 11:36
If Duce took Franco's way, would Hitler be so bold opening two fronts?

zraver
17 Jun 12,, 11:41
And since the period under discussion is marked by precisely those events then I am very much on the mark Z. Once it became clear that Fascism was expansionist it became much more of a concern than Stalin, especially in the form of Hitler. You prove my point. I notice you haven't tried to argue the likelihood of a US-Nazi alliance. probably for the best.

As for the 'tragic figure' of Mussolini, give me a break. He took his nation into a war he could have chosen to avoid. He cost his nation 450,000 dead & a great deal of destruction. He cost his nation its military strength & its empire. He also got a bunch of other people killed in his desire to expand italy (a few stray Greeks, Albanians & Yugoslavs and rather a lot of Ethiopians). He precipitated a civil war and occupation of his nation. He could have chosen a different path and seen his nation emerge from the war among the strongest in Europe. Oh, and he would have been alive to see it too. That he was not as vile a creature as Stalin, Pavelic or even Franco is the faintest imaginable praise. The notion that someone who so damaged his own nation is not only its best leader, but 'tragic' to boot borders on funny. I like a good bit of contrarianism as much as the next man Z, but this is pretty silly stuff.

Of the countries that joined the war by choice or treaty rather than by being attacked. Did Italy suffer more or less than France, UK, Germany? Yes he is a tragic figure, deeply flawed like most leaders and he made some very bad decisions that cost his country a terrible price. But what Italian political figure has achieved as much?

zraver
17 Jun 12,, 11:44
If Duce took Franco's way, would Hitler be so bold opening two fronts?

Possibly more bold, with Italy sitting quiet there is no distraction is Africa, 2 extra panzer divisions, a motorized divisions, an extra air fleet, and a half million tons of fuel and munitions.

Officer of Engineers
17 Jun 12,, 12:05
the disaster could have been significantly worse. a few more bad decisions/people with worse morale on the Allied side, and few more good decisions on the German side, and the 330K men who did make it could have been lost.

yes, people were expecting the entire force to be lost but expecting and actually having a major disaster happen are two different things. instead of the huge morale boost, it would have been another crushing defeat, one that would have taken away the veteran core of the british army.I can't wrap my head around your argument, mainly because you killed it right after.



the danger time was a relatively short period, roughly from may-september 1940. the period of the most danger was even shorter; may-june 1940.Two months is not a lot of time for the magnitude of the disaster to sink in and the Royal Navy and especially the Admiralty was still highly confident that they could defend the island nation.

Also, unless something changes that miraclessly changes the Kreigsmarine into the USN of 1945, your entire point is bunk. The Wehrmacht could not stop Dunkirk once they were given the go and we have one general, Montgomery, who was dead confident that he could and did smash every German formation in front of him.

The confidence was there to stop the Germans. The Germans were good but not that good. And this white peace requires a destroyed RN, not the BEF.

Doktor
17 Jun 12,, 12:06
But what Italian political figure has achieved as much?
Garibaldi, Cavour, Emmanuel II, Mazzini...

Officer of Engineers
17 Jun 12,, 12:06
Possibly more bold, with Italy sitting quiet there is no distraction is Africa, 2 extra panzer divisions, a motorized divisions, an extra air fleet, and a half million tons of fuel and munitions.And Eighth Army in Egypt poised to invade Southern Europe.

Officer of Engineers
17 Jun 12,, 12:08
No they feared Stalin's brand of communism more than fascism. They may not even had a choice if US steps into the conflict and starts supporting Germany against Russia based on US's well known virulent anti-communism stance/streak and its historical large descendants of German population.You're ignoring the Sudetenland as the decision point for war.

Mihais
17 Jun 12,, 12:17
Sir,with Italy out,the 8th Army is likely to sail to Malaya.Egypt was more important than Singapore,but with no treat to Egypt there's no excuse to ignore the Japanese peril.Same with a good bunch of the RAF and RN in the Med. Also,even if the 8th army was up to the task of invading europe(which it was not),there's no enemy to attack.

Doktor
17 Jun 12,, 12:17
And Eighth Army in Egypt poised to invade Southern Europe.

That would happen only via Greece, right? Maybe that way the Germans with their allies on the Balkans wouldn't be in such an unfavorable position like in N. Africa and would have better and less interrupted LOC.

Doktor
17 Jun 12,, 12:19
Sir,with Italy out,the 8th Army is likely to sail to Malaya.Egypt was more important than Singapore,but with no treat to Egypt there's no excuse to ignore the Japanese peril.Same with a good bunch of the RAF and RN in the Med. Also,even if the 8th army was up to the task of invading europe(which it was not),there's no enemy to attack.

How sure were the Brits that the Turks won't get greedy to exploit the new situation?

Officer of Engineers
17 Jun 12,, 12:35
Sir,with Italy out,the 8th Army is likely to sail to Malaya.Egypt was more important than Singapore,but with no treat to Egypt there's no excuse to ignore the Japanese peril.Same with a good bunch of the RAF and RN in the Med. Also,even if the 8th army was up to the task of invading europe(which it was not),there's no enemy to attack.The British Indian Army was far larger than anything 8th Army could be brought to bear. I would agree with RAF and RN assets though but the point is that without Italy tying down keeping Eighth Army in Africa, the Brits had another army in the field within reach.

Blademaster
17 Jun 12,, 14:04
Instead of diverting its resources against Russia and breaking the treaty but encouraging Stalin to honor its treaty such as making sure that Stalin understood that going against Germany would result in massive casualties that Stalin couldn't afford as the aggressor because of politics back home, Germany focus more on securing the Med sea such as taking over Gibraltar and Malta as well as Crete which it already did and making sure that Britain and France is kicked out of North Africa, thereby securing oil fields and and keeping the 8th and BIA out of the conflict by locking up the Suez canal. Would that change the ballgame?

And one more thing, instead of going after Britain directly, go after Ireland and Iceland and do raids on every British port with strike forces whose main mission is to search and destroy any shipbuilding facilities and isolate Britain from the outside world. Iceland and Ireland can serve as the base to keep Canadian Navy from reaching Britain.

Doktor
17 Jun 12,, 14:12
Instead of diverting its resources against Russia and breaking the treaty but encouraging Stalin to honor its treaty such as making sure that Stalin understood that going against Germany would result in massive casualties that Stalin couldn't afford as the aggressor because of politics back home, Germany focus more on securing the Med sea such as taking over Gibraltar and Malta as well as Crete which it already did and making sure that Britain and France is kicked out of North Africa, thereby securing oil fields and and keeping the 8th and BIA out of the conflict by locking up the Suez canal. Would that change the ballgame?
:confused: Care to explain?

Blademaster
17 Jun 12,, 14:14
:confused: Care to explain?

Its one thing to be the defender because then your own citizens won't blame you for the massive casualties such as the Russian people did. They blamed Hitler and the Nazis for the massive losses, not Stalin when it was actually the truth. But when you are the aggressor, it is very hard to pin the losses on your enemy when your own populace very well know that you were directly responsible for the massive losses in the first place. And there is precedent for this. In WWI, the Russians overthrew the Czar when it became paramount and apparent that the losses were too high and they blamed the Czar in the first place, not Germany.

Doktor
17 Jun 12,, 14:18
Its one thing to be the defender because then your own citizens won't blame you for the massive casualties such as the Russian people did. They blamed Hitler and the Nazis for the massive losses, not Stalin when it was actually the truth. But when you are the aggressor, it is very hard to pin the losses on your enemy when your own populace very well know that you were directly responsible for the massive losses in the first place. And there is precedent for this. In WWI, the Russians overthrew the Czar when it became paramount and apparent that the losses were too high and they blamed the Czar in the first place, not Germany.
30 years later (better communications), SU was aggressor in a country with no significant importance, for 9 years. They came back home somewhat humiliated, but the rulers were not compromised.

Blademaster
17 Jun 12,, 14:18
The British Indian Army was far larger than anything 8th Army could be brought to bear. I would agree with RAF and RN assets though but the point is that without Italy tying down keeping Eighth Army in Africa, the Brits had another army in the field within reach.

Not if Hitler had dropped its anti-semetic streak and started supporting the Indian national movement with materials and weapons and money. Bose would have been a much bigger headache than he was back at that time. And I am sure that Gandhi would have nullify the British Raj's goverment's claim to speak for the entire Indian populace when it supported Britain against Germany.

I think if Hitler had some machievelli thinking in his pea size brain, he could have imbroiled the BIA into conflict in the subcontinent and therefore negating BIA.

Blademaster
17 Jun 12,, 14:20
30 years later (better communications), SU was aggressor in a country with no significant importance, for 9 years. They came back home somewhat humiliated, but the rulers were not compromised.


If you are talking about Finland, that was different because it was considered as a breakaway land from Russia and Stalin was right to attempt to recover it. But going on an invasion against Poland and Germany when they had no claims would be a tall order.

Doktor
17 Jun 12,, 14:20
Not if Hitler had dropped its anti-semetic streak and started supporting the Indian national movement with materials and weapons and money. Bose would have been a much bigger headache than he was back at that time. And I am sure that Gandhi would have nullify the British Raj's goverment's claim to speak for the entire Indian populace when it supported Britain against Germany.

I think if Hitler had some machievelli thinking in his pea size brain, he could have imbroiled the BIA into conflict in the subcontinent and therefore negating BIA.

I was under impression Hitler was short in resources.

Doktor
17 Jun 12,, 14:21
If you are talking about Finland, that was different because it was considered as a breakaway land from Russia and Stalin was right to attempt to recover it. But going on an invasion against Poland and Germany when they had no claims would be a tall order.

Finland was before. I am talking Afghanistan.

Blademaster
17 Jun 12,, 14:26
13,310 dead and 35,000 wounded is not a lot and it was considerably less than what America lost in Vietnam 58,209 dead and 153,303 wounded.

Officer of Engineers
17 Jun 12,, 15:01
Not if Hitler had dropped its anti-semetic streakThen, Hitler would not be Hitler.


and started supporting the Indian national movement with materials and weapons and money.Hitler could not supply his ally Japan and he had an open ocean to ship supplies. Hell, Japan could not supply Bose. Bose had to rely on capture stock.


Bose would have been a much bigger headache than he was back at that time. And I am sure that Gandhi would have nullify the British Raj's goverment's claim to speak for the entire Indian populace when it supported Britain against Germany.

I think if Hitler had some machievelli thinking in his pea size brain, he could have imbroiled the BIA into conflict in the subcontinent and therefore negating BIA.Maybe Guderian or Von Mainstien could have done it but it would not be Hitler.

astralis
17 Jun 12,, 18:22
col yu,


Two months is not a lot of time for the magnitude of the disaster to sink in and the Royal Navy and especially the Admiralty was still highly confident that they could defend the island nation.

the issue is the british public, not the british armed forces. british public opinion and the british elite were already freaking out at the shocking defeat of france; the elimination of the BEF would have brought panic. it was bad enough even WITH an intact BEF, and of course the REF and RN.

astralis
17 Jun 12,, 18:27
pari,


Okay. Who would Churchill have been replaced by, and what support would they have had, given the support in parliament Churchill had?

halifax or a re-instated chamberlain. churchill was not very popular at the may 1940 juncture-- that's why there was the May 1940 War Cabinet crisis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_1940_War_Cabinet_Crisis). one of the key factors behind churchill's outmaneuvering of halifax was because of the initial reports of good news from dunkirk, as the evacuation had been underway by two days at this point-- and was clearly accelerating.

churchill then clearly cemented british morale-- and his own position-- with his famous "we shall fight on the beaches" speech of 4 june.

Officer of Engineers
17 Jun 12,, 18:58
the issue is the british public, not the british armed forces. british public opinion and the british elite were already freaking out at the shocking defeat of france; the elimination of the BEF would have brought panic. it was bad enough even WITH an intact BEF, and of course the REF and RN.But the shock already set in. The BEF was expected to be lost. Dunkirk could only raise moral, not sink it any further. If the Brits were not panicking before Dunkirk to negotiate a surrender and save the BEF, they sure as hell not going to surrender after Dunkirk.

Bigfella
17 Jun 12,, 22:15
Of the countries that joined the war by choice or treaty rather than by being attacked. Did Italy suffer more or less than France, UK, Germany?

Utterly irrelevant. He could have chosen to sit this one out. he wasn't stuck between dictators like some in E.Europe. He wasn't threatened by an expansionist neighbour. He wasn't a small nation needing a great & powerful friend or a large one protecting its interests. he wanted to expand his Empire & thought he saw an easy opportunity. He took his country to death, destruction and defeat. That others suffered more matters not a whit.


Yes he is a tragic figure, deeply flawed like most leaders and he made some very bad decisions that cost his country a terrible price.

he was a fool who cost his nation dramatically more than he achieved in order to expand its borders a bit. If you choose to define such behavior as 'tragic' then have at it. I don't plan to waste any further effort arguing against such a ridiculous statement. it falls under the weight of its own absurdity.


But what Italian political figure has achieved as much?

Any italian leader who didn't get his nation into a massive war, cost it almost half a million dead, cause a civil war, lose the empire & the military & get the nation occupied comes out ahead of Benito. I don't even need to dig back into the C19th as Doc has done. A corrupt old lech like Berluscini comes out ahead of Il Duce. He only ruined the economy.

zraver
17 Jun 12,, 23:22
Garibaldi, Cavour, Emmanuel II, Mazzini...

Might as well be a single person as they are the ones who established the Kingdom of Italy.

Mazzini achieved exactly nothing...

Garibaldi was a general and Emanuel was King leaving Cavour who I will concede did more than Benito.

BF, by your standards then was Chamberlain or Asquith the worst PM in British history?

Parihaka
17 Jun 12,, 23:41
pari,



halifax or a re-instated chamberlain. churchill was not very popular at the may 1940 juncture-- that's why there was the May 1940 War Cabinet crisis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_1940_War_Cabinet_Crisis). one of the key factors behind churchill's outmaneuvering of halifax was because of the initial reports of good news from dunkirk, as the evacuation had been underway by two days at this point-- and was clearly accelerating.

churchill then clearly cemented british morale-- and his own position-- with his famous "we shall fight on the beaches" speech of 4 june.

Actually he cemented his position and outmanouvered both Halifax (who was unlikely to attain power by his own admission) and Chamberlain (who in turn was, true to form, only interested in negotiations to gain time), with his speech to his outer cabinet on the 28th May. During that speech he made no bones about the perilous nature of the BEF.


Churchill began his remarks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_1940_War_Cabinet_Crisis) by making no attempt to mitigate the seriousness of the situation Britain had found herself in.
The French had failed to make a push northwards from the Somme. They had too few Divisions between the sea and Amiens and their communications had been badly bombed. Therefore, though we had done our best from the north, it had been impossible to close the gap, and we were in grave danger of being surrounded. Now, therefore, it was necessary to fight our way through to the Channel Ports and get away all we could... We should certainly be able to get 50,000 away. If we could get 100,000 away, that would be a magnificent performance... I have thought carefully in these last days whether it was part of my duty to consider entering into negotiations with That Man [Hitler]. But it was idle to think that, if we tried to make peace now, we should get better terms than if we fought it out. The Germans would demand our – that would be called disarmament – our naval bases, and much else. We should become a slave state, though a British Government which would be Hitler’s puppet would be set up – under Mosley or some such person. And where should we be at the end of all that? On the other side we have immense reserves and advantages. And I am convinced that every one of you would rise up and tear me down from my place if I were for one moment to contemplate parley or surrender. If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground.

Churchill would later write of the response he received at the conclusion of his remarks. There occurred a demonstration which considered the character of the gathering – twenty-five experienced politicians and Parliament men, who represented all the different points of view, whether right or wrong, before the war – surprised me. Quite a number seemed to jump up from the table and come running to my chair, shouting and patting me on the back. There is no doubt that had I at this juncture faltered at all in the leading of the nation I should have been hurled out of office. I was sure that every Minister was ready to be killed quite soon, and have all his family and possessions destroyed, rather than give in. In this they represented the House of Commons and almost all the people. It fell to me in these coming days and months to express their sentiments on suitable occasions. This I was able to do because they were mine also. There was a white glow, overpowering, sublime, which ran though our Island from end to end.


Dalton joined the other Ministers in offering his congratulations to Churchill. He said: ‘Well done, Prime Minister! You ought to get that cartoon of Low, showing us all rolling up our sleeves and falling in behind you, and frame it and stick it up there.’ He [Churchill] answered with a broad grin, ‘Yes, that was a good one, wasn’t it?’
At that moment and with that speech Winston S. Churchill had saved Britain and perhaps Western Civilization from threat of Nazi domination. At that meeting he had won the Second World War. By the time the War Cabinet reconvened at 7:00PM Churchill’s position was secure. He told the War Cabinet of his earlier meeting.
They [the Outer Cabinet] had not expressed alarm at the position in France, but had expressed the greatest satisfaction when [I] had told them that there was no chance of our giving up the struggle. [I] did not remember having ever before heard a gathering of persons occupying high places in political life express themselves so emphatically. Churchill then told the War Cabinet that there would no negotiated peace. Halifax had lost. Several days later Churchill would be rewarded for his defiance. The British and French Navies, assisted by the Royal Air Force, managed to evacuate between 26 May – 4 June 1940, 338,226 Allied soldiers.

At the time he was making this speech, only 25,000 men had been pulled off.
None of the arguments within the inner cabinet prior to this concerned the outcome of the BEF withdrawl, but simply how best to deal with Germany in the context of keeping the Empire and rescuing something of France. Churchill comprehensively won that game by winning the support of the commons, regardless of the outcome of Dunkirk.

1979
17 Jun 12,, 23:51
Germany focus more on securing the Med sea such as taking over Gibraltar and Malta as well as Crete which it already did and making sure that Britain and France is kicked out of North Africa, thereby securing oil fields and and keeping the 8th and BIA out of the conflict by locking up the Suez canal. Would that change the ballgame?


There is no need for that, the oil bombing campaign was a american enterprise and the americans only came to the rescue after Tobruk had fallen.

astralis
18 Jun 12,, 02:43
pari,


Actually he cemented his position and outmanouvered both Halifax (who was unlikely to attain power by his own admission) and Chamberlain (who in turn was, true to form, only interested in negotiations to gain time), with his speech to his outer cabinet on the 28th May. During that speech he made no bones about the perilous nature of the BEF.

no bones indeed, but note that he was sure that 50K would get away and hopeful that 100K would.

big morale difference if there were no hope at all. a bad disaster a day or two earlier would have been influential, i'd imagine.

either way, i think we both agree that churchill did a magnificent job in keeping british morale both before and after dunkirk. it's hard to imagine another contemporary of churchill doing the "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" speech, which was one of the three speeches instrumental in keeping up UK morale during this difficult period.

astralis
18 Jun 12,, 02:45
But the shock already set in. The BEF was expected to be lost. Dunkirk could only raise moral, not sink it any further. If the Brits were not panicking before Dunkirk to negotiate a surrender and save the BEF, they sure as hell not going to surrender after Dunkirk.

i could very well be wrong, but i really, really think there's a big difference in expecting the loss of the BEF and actually experiencing the loss of the BEF.

Officer of Engineers
18 Jun 12,, 02:56
i could very well be wrong, but i really, really think there's a big difference in expecting the loss of the BEF and actually experiencing the loss of the BEF.Eric,

You're not reading me. There was no British public demand for a surrender instead of fighting to the last man. Had Dunkirk not occurred, the Wehrmacht would have had to steamrolled Dunkirk and that was going to be a bloody fight on both sides. There was no room for blitzkrieg and it came down to a slugfest. As it was, 2 French divisions held off the Germans long enough for the evac to occur.

astralis
18 Jun 12,, 03:44
col yu,


You're not reading me. There was no British public demand for a surrender instead of fighting to the last man. Had Dunkirk not occurred, the Wehrmacht would have had to steamrolled Dunkirk and that was going to be a bloody fight on both sides. There was no room for blitzkrieg and it came down to a slugfest. As it was, 2 French divisions held off the Germans long enough for the evac to occur.

but the scenario i'm discussing posits that dunkirk, for whatever reason, ended with the surrender of the BEF.

of course it's another thing altogether as to whether the surrender of the BEF was likely, vice a bloody fight.

i think we are getting away from my original assertion. i say that british morale in may 1940 was very shaky due to the loss of france. two things prevented a collapse in british morale: #1-- and most important-- winston churchill; #2-- the evac at dunkirk.

if the BEF been destroyed/surrendered at Dunkirk (yes, a big if), i believe the effect on civilian morale back home may have been enough to force Churchill out of power...especially if hitler had offered a white peace.

churchill's refusal to surrender (which was rather irrational, because even with the resources of the Empire the best the British could hope was a stalemate, and because britain's war strategy rested on getting the americans into the fight..which was very uncertain in may 1940) kept british morale going until hitler did something-- fight the battle of britain-- that finally galvanized the brits to fight for the long-term.

Officer of Engineers
18 Jun 12,, 04:12
but the scenario i'm discussing posits that dunkirk, for whatever reason, ended with the surrender of the BEF.Well, that is the thing. Dunkirk was very defensible. So, an immediate surrender is out of the question. Which would knock your timeline out of whack.

zraver
18 Jun 12,, 04:15
col yu,



but the scenario i'm discussing posits that dunkirk, for whatever reason, ended with the surrender of the BEF.

Springs storms like those that delayed Operation Overlord would have spelled the end of the BEF. They would have both prevented the wading lines to the small craft from forming and muzzled Goering. The Panzer's would have driven in and it would not have been much of a slug fest. Unit cohesion was breaking down, equipment was being wrecked and the BEF felt defeated.

Officer of Engineers
18 Jun 12,, 04:33
As I stated, there was one general who was confident that he could smashed the Germans. Montgomery brought 3rd division to Dunkirk fully intact.

zraver
18 Jun 12,, 07:44
As I stated, there was one general who was confident that he could smashed the Germans. Montgomery brought 3rd division to Dunkirk fully intact.

And how would her perform when Rommel or Guderian smashed in to him followed by several other panzer divisions? In Africa Germans on the attack most often resulted in a British defeat. The UK's best tank the Maltida II was all but used up after Arras. If the panzer's had not stopped the BEF would have gone into the bag.

Bigfella
18 Jun 12,, 10:14
Might as well be a single person as they are the ones who established the Kingdom of Italy.

Mazzini achieved exactly nothing...

Garibaldi was a general and Emanuel was King leaving Cavour who I will concede did more than Benito.

BF, by your standards then was Chamberlain or Asquith the worst PM in British history?

Not chasing you down that rabbit hole Z. Mussolini was a disaster for Italy. Anything he achieved in his first 18 or so years was ruined by the destruction he brought upon his nation in the last 4 or so. Didn't have to go down that way.

Officer of Engineers
18 Jun 12,, 12:21
And how would her perform when Rommel or Guderian smashed in to him followed by several other panzer divisions? In Africa Germans on the attack most often resulted in a British defeat. The UK's best tank the Maltida II was all but used up after Arras. If the panzer's had not stopped the BEF would have gone into the bag.You're missing the point here. There will be a fight and the prep work was done. The panzers can't take on a trench.

As it was, the evac was organized, disciplined, and it was a fighting withdraw with 2 French divisions actively keeping the Germans at bay. The force did not collapse. There is absolutely no reason to expect anything else just because the evac would not happen.

zraver
18 Jun 12,, 12:43
You're missing the point here. There will be a fight and the prep work was done. The panzers can't take on a trench.

As it was, the evac was organized, disciplined, and it was a fighting withdraw with 2 French divisions actively keeping the Germans at bay. The force did not collapse. There is absolutely no reason to expect anything else just because the evac would not happen.

Those two divisions would not last long with the full might of the panzers thrown at them. I also think the Panzers could take trenches- they did so in Poland in 39, Ardennes in 40, and the USSR in 41. Built up defenses could blunt the panzers if it was properly set up such as at Tobruck. But in France the BEF doesn't have AT mines, barbed wire or a lot of AT guns. They also lack an organized plan to defend the beachhead. The BEF had spent the sitzkrieg training to advance not retreat, with the obvious exception of the 3rd which trained to retreat not assault.

Officer of Engineers
18 Jun 12,, 13:16
Those two divisions would not last long with the full might of the panzers thrown at them.Historically, those divisions held them back long enough for the evac to occur and then, they surrendered, not destroyed.


I also think the Panzers could take trenches- they did so in Poland in 39, Ardennes in 40, and the USSR in 41.With proper engineering support which needed to be built up.


Built up defenses could blunt the panzers if it was properly set up such as at Tobruck. But in France the BEF doesn't have AT mines, barbed wire or a lot of AT guns. They also lack an organized plan to defend the beachhead. The BEF had spent the sitzkrieg training to advance not retreat, with the obvious exception of the 3rd which trained to retreat not assault.Nothing you wrote would lead me to believe that it would be anything like a cake walk.

zraver
18 Jun 12,, 16:35
Historically, those divisions held them back long enough for the evac to occur and then, they surrendered, not destroyed.

With proper engineering support which needed to be built up.

Nothing you wrote would lead me to believe that it would be anything like a cake walk.

The BEf was faced by the 15th Panzer group (2pz 1 inf div) which was part of Army group A with a total of 7 panzer and 45 infantry divisions. With the failure of the allied armored counter attack at Arras there was nothing between the Germans and the channel but a retreating army that was already destroying its equipment. There were no prepared lines. It had 1 intact British division that would be rotated East to cover the flank of the BEF when Belgium through in the towel.

Those French divisions were not pressed with the full weight of what could ahve been brought to bear when allied lines collapsed.

Officer of Engineers
18 Jun 12,, 17:24
A retreating army with Operation DYNAMO already being initiated. Of course they were going to destroy their own equipment. But your premise is that the BEF was already beat. There was discipline, order, and will. Given an able general (Montgomery) and the lack of room for maneuver (there was no rear for a German blitzkreig to attack, the rear being the English Channel), I can't see anything but a slugfest.

Mihais
18 Jun 12,, 20:41
Sir,I see your point,but IF the BEF waits too much on the continent,there won't be a BEF.French troops performed a great defensive operation and the BEF could have done equally good.But the time needed to prepare the defenses is needed for the Germans to catch up.Instead of LW trying to sink RN ships and bombing beaches,you'll have a combined operation that eventually will breach the defense in one place.Then it's over.

About tanks capturing trenches it's a bit more than that.Soviet tanks alone passed over the trenches then died between AT guns,swarming infantry and engineer defensive works.German and Soviet combined arms operations managed to break defensive lines.

Officer of Engineers
18 Jun 12,, 20:44
Of course the BEF was going to die. That's not my point. My point is that it was going to be bloody, long, and hard fought.

Gun Boat
19 Jun 12,, 01:52
Of course the BEF was going to die. That's not my point. My point is that it was going to be bloody, long, and hard fought.

Do you think that the British would have been interested in fighting said bloody battle? I get the impression that they just would have surrended if pushed to the point where they couldn't evac.

Officer of Engineers
19 Jun 12,, 19:03
Do you think that the British would have been interested in fighting said bloody battle? I get the impression that they just would have surrended if pushed to the point where they couldn't evac.You don't surrender until your position becomes unattainable. Even if you're going to lose, your duty is to make the enemy pay for their victory.

Albany Rifles
19 Jun 12,, 21:24
If they could not evacuate they would have hunkered down and tried like hell to hold on until they could be evacuated, relieved or reinforced. It would not have been like Singapore. They were just across the Channel with the full might of the RAF and RN fighting to keeping them going.

Any decision to do otherwise would have been a political decision made at Downing Street not a military decision made in Whitehall.