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YellowFever
05 Nov 15,, 21:51
OK, so I was googling some info on WW2 when I saw an entry about it on WAB....and this was it.



The problem with your scenario is that you assume Operation Sealion would have succeeded. As been shown in this thread and others, Sealion was a disaster waiting to happen.


The problem with your scenarios are that they are schoolboy fantasies. The best possible version of Sea Lion ie the invasion of England was the ONLY oportunity for Nazi germany to succeed: by taking England America would be denied a base from which to launch an air campaign against Europe: it would have been fighting on both coastlines and have no opportunity to access the strategically critical middle-east.
I realise that the past 50 years of cold war has coloured your view of things and the strong theme behind this thread is how best to attack the Soviet Union but try reading a little ACTUAL history for once and wean yourself off hollywood fantasies.


:D

Must be the first time Pari talked to the Colonel if I got my dates correct.

No reason why I posted it.....just felt like stirring up some trouble. :P

Parihaka
05 Nov 15,, 22:54
OK, so I was googling some info on WW2 when I saw an entry about it on WAB....and this was it.






:D

Must be the first time Pari talked to the Colonel if I got my dates correct.

No reason why I posted it.....just felt like stirring up some trouble. :P

Troublemaker :)) I still believe the invasion and conquest of Britain was the only way Germany could have avoided their eventual defeat. Winston believed that too, as did British high command if you read the quotes I referenced. I do now recognise Sealion as planned could not have succeeded, the British couldn't believe the Germans were so stupid.

Oh, and my vengeance will be terrible, though thanks for digging that thread up again, fun days :)

YellowFever
06 Nov 15,, 03:34
Troublemaker :)) I still believe the invasion and conquest of Britain was the only way Germany could have avoided their eventual defeat. Winston believed that too, as did British high command if you read the quotes I referenced. I do now recognise Sealion as planned could not have succeeded, the British couldn't believe the Germans were so stupid.

Oh, and my vengeance will be terrible, though thanks for digging that thread up again, fun days :)


Pffftt....

I'm not falling for that again.

I mean I'm still waiting for your "consequences" from this thread


There will be consequences.

http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/showthread.php?t=66087&page=3 :P


Seriously though, I'm beginning to agree with you that the successful completion of Operation Sea Lion was the only way Germany could have won that fuzzy little war.

But I also agree with the Colonel that it was almost impossible to achieve that victory if Germany went ahead with the operation.

Another thought that entered my mind was IF Germany somehow broke through at Stalingrad and eventually took Moscow, how effective would those Soviet armies sitting in Siberia be in getting them back?

If I recall, Hitler put pressure on Japan to continue making noises in China to tie up those Soviet armies....

Officer of Engineers
06 Nov 15,, 05:06
Another thought that entered my mind was IF Germany somehow broke through at Stalingrad and eventually took Moscow, how effective would those Soviet armies sitting in Siberia be in getting them back?

If I recall, Hitler put pressure on Japan to continue making noises in China to tie up those Soviet armies....Read the last of the thread. Japan dies that much faster, followed by Germany. Hitler chases Stalin to the Urals where he would be stopped. Stalin turned his attention to Tojo to grab all those nice Korean, Chinese, and Japanese soldiers (penal battalions) and rape the lands for all it got. Without Manchuria and Korean, the IJE ceases to exists, making the USN winning the Pacific War that much faster and shifting all their attention to the Atlantic. Double the American forces facing Germany and tripple Stalin's forces (all those nice Chinese, Korean, and Japanese penal battalions) against Hitler.

Stitch
06 Nov 15,, 06:41
Troublemaker :)) I still believe the invasion and conquest of Britain was the only way Germany could have avoided their eventual defeat. Winston believed that too, as did British high command if you read the quotes I referenced. I do now recognise Sealion as planned could not have succeeded, the British couldn't believe the Germans were so stupid.

I have to agree with you there; NOT conquering Britain meant Germany left a "back door" open on their Western flank. They had ALL of the European territory bordering the Atlantic (well, Spain was helpfully "neutral") EXCEPT Britain. If they had conquered Britain, the US would've had thousands of miles to cross to threaten Germany, instead of just a few hundred. I'm sure it would've sped up the development of the B-36, but we still would've had to put boots on the ground at some point, and that would not have been easy.

Officer of Engineers
06 Nov 15,, 06:59
The Germans couldn't invade. They didn't have the logistics. The Germans at their best could not even do a Dieppe, let alone a D-Day. They did the next best thing. They tried to blockade with their U-Boat campaigns and that was doomed once Allied ASW, especially aircraft and aircraft carriers came onto the scene.

DOR
06 Nov 15,, 10:42
Read the last of the thread. Japan dies that much faster, followed by Germany. Hitler chases Stalin to the Urals where he would be stopped. Stalin turned his attention to Tojo to grab all those nice Korean, Chinese, and Japanese soldiers (penal battalions) and rape the lands for all it got. Without Manchuria and Korean, the IJE ceases to exists, making the USN winning the Pacific War that much faster and shifting all their attention to the Atlantic. Double the American forces facing Germany and tripple Stalin's forces (all those nice Chinese, Korean, and Japanese penal battalions) against Hitler.

Odd thought: what's the estimated value of a penal battalion, vis-a-vis, say, a green infantry unit?

Officer of Engineers
06 Nov 15,, 14:35
Odd thought: what's the estimated value of a penal battalion, vis-a-vis, say, a green infantry unit?Let me rephrase this in a historic context. What is the value of a WWII Soviet penal battalion vs an American-British (including the British Empire) green infantry unit. I would say on par with each other. The American-British unit would be well trained and well officered but Soviet penal battalions were all made up of combat veterans (they're in penal battalions because of desertion or any other crimes both real and imagined. The Soviets had an entire penal army). However, the penal battalions are always under guard and never issued enough weapons that could challenge the guards.

The Japanese and the Chinese had entire armies that Stalin could use before he needed to raise new armies.

New recruits don't go direct to penal battalions. They join "willingly" or their family suffers. The same practice that allowed Stalin to raise Central Asian armies from territories he controlled.

Albany Rifles
06 Nov 15,, 15:23
The Germans couldn't invade. They didn't have the logistics. The Germans at their best could not even do a Dieppe, let alone a D-Day. They did the next best thing. They tried to blockade with their U-Boat campaigns and that was doomed once Allied ASW, especially aircraft and aircraft carriers came onto the scene.


I am smiling big time with this.

SOOOO many people refuse to look at this when discussing "plans".

IF the Germans made it through to east of Moscow the tyranny of distance would have finally stopped them.

Keep in mind so much of the German logistics system was still tied to the horse and cart...there was still a limit to how far a horse can pull a cart without taking up too much room on the cart with fodder.

The bottom line was the Wehrmacht was a continental army...and that continent was Europe. Eurasia was beyond its grasp.

Stitch
06 Nov 15,, 18:45
The bottom line was the Wehrmacht was a continental army...and that continent was Europe. Eurasia was beyond its grasp.

Something that Hitler never grasped; as I think I mentioned in an earlier post, Hitler simply did not have any idea what a HUGE amount of territory he was trying to conquer. Having fought on the Western Front in WW I, he was used to thinking in terms of hundreds of kilometers, not thousands. And logistics (or lack thereof) is what ultimately defeated the German Wehrmacht: not enough fuel, not enough ammunition, not enough supplies to sustain the drive to Moscow, or survive a brutal winter on the Eastern Front. There was a reason the Russians were able to trade space for time: they had a lot of space to trade with; fall back to the Urals, and let Germany waste fuel, time and energy pursuing them.

I'm sure a few of the Generals in the OKW knew it would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to conquer Russia, even only the western half that Hitler wanted to claim for his Lebensraum; but they weren't about to argue with Hitler this early in the War.

YellowFever
06 Nov 15,, 18:59
Read the last of the thread. Japan dies that much faster, followed by Germany. Hitler chases Stalin to the Urals where he would be stopped. Stalin turned his attention to Tojo to grab all those nice Korean, Chinese, and Japanese soldiers (penal battalions) and rape the lands for all it got. Without Manchuria and Korean, the IJE ceases to exists, making the USN winning the Pacific War that much faster and shifting all their attention to the Atlantic. Double the American forces facing Germany and tripple Stalin's forces (all those nice Chinese, Korean, and Japanese penal battalions) against Hitler.

Thanks Colonel!

I stopped part way through that thread because of the flaming but the last parts of that thread was interesting as hell.

There is no way we'll know but taking of Stalingrad and maybe even Moscow was a possibility for Hitler.

Do you agree with this?

And if that happened, and let's just say Hitler suddenly becomes a genious and says "Enough...let's just fortify our conquered land and not chase Stalin all the way to the Urals..."

What would the Soviets do?

I know this is a wacky "what if" scenario but it's stuck in my head somehow and I'm just interested in how the professionals would war game it.

GVChamp
06 Nov 15,, 20:23
In hindsight, where's the best place for the Reich to stop? Supposing you actually want a Reich, so provisionally adopt that mindset. Say you've gotten Sudetenland. Do you stop:
1. There and never invade Czechoslovakia
2. Poland
3. France
4. USSR
5. Somewhere else?

My thought was always that the Reich would be best off not trying to close Atlantic traffic at all, not bothering with Greece, and not bothering with the USSR. It's not something they'd ever believe in the real world (expelling the damn Slavs is the whole point), but that would presumably keep the US out of the war.

They at least have 500 miles of breathing room East.

Does the USSR really just clean their clocks anyways?

Stitch
06 Nov 15,, 23:38
In hindsight, where's the best place for the Reich to stop? Supposing you actually want a Reich, so provisionally adopt that mindset. Say you've gotten Sudetenland. Do you stop:
1. There and never invade Czechoslovakia
2. Poland
3. France
4. USSR
5. Somewhere else?

My thought was always that the Reich would be best off not trying to close Atlantic traffic at all, not bothering with Greece, and not bothering with the USSR. It's not something they'd ever believe in the real world (expelling the damn Slavs is the whole point), but that would presumably keep the US out of the war.

They at least have 500 miles of breathing room East.

Does the USSR really just clean their clocks anyways?

I'd say "yes" to the first three, "no" to USSR (they already had a non-aggression pact), and I'd concentrate on subduing/conquering/occupying Britain.

Pretty sure the only reason Germany got involved with Greece (and Crete and Malta) at all was because Italy dragged them into it; I think if it had been up to Hitler (without prodding from Mussolini) they never would've gotten involved in anything south of the Caucasus/Ukraine.

However, you also need to understand that, pretty much from day one, Hitlers goal was ALWAYS the subjugation of the East, particularly Russia. His whole twisted racial superiority dogma dictated that you subjugate the "inferior" races for the greater good of Germany and the Aryan race; he would've been going against all of his own stated racial philosophies if he HADN'T attempted to invade and occupy the East, so I suppose defeat was inevitable if you attempt to go up against the largest land power in the world.

Officer of Engineers
07 Nov 15,, 01:21
There is no way we'll know but taking of Stalingrad and maybe even Moscow was a possibility for Hitler.Based on the personalities involved, ie Hitler still needs to be Hitler, and Stalin still needs to be Stalin, and down to the Generals all need to be themselves, then no, it was not probable for Hitler to take BOTH Stalingrad and Moscow. He didn't have the forces to do both and in fact, he didn't have the forces to do either one.

About the only time that he could have done it was in the early stages of BARBAROSSA if he drove straight for Moscow and even then, it was less than even odds that he could take the city. Blitzkrieg came a grinding halt in urban warfare and secured lines of communications. Sewers are a wonderful LOCs.

Now, let's supposed that he did do that, what is Hitler going to do about those armies Stalin built up for Operations MARS and URANUS? Just because you've lost Stalingrad does not mean those armies just magically disappeared.

Going further, there were 45 divisions in Siberia watching the Japanese and you, Stalin, just lost European USSR and you want it back. Strategically speaking, you have to get that Japanese monkey off your back before you can use those 45 divisions ... and you've just clobberred them before all this crap began and the Kwantang Army has gotten worst, not better ... and all those nice factories, resources, and money sitting in Manchuria and Korea - what would you do?

astralis
10 Nov 15,, 05:30
thinking through this some more,


and all those nice factories, resources, and money sitting in Manchuria and Korea - what would you do?

well, those factories weren't very big; certainly they wouldn't have been able to replace the losses in European Russia. most of the heavy Japanese industry was still on the Home Islands IIRC.

Stalin -could- have gotten more penal battalions, true, but on the other hand he wasn't hurting for manpower in 1942-1943; his main issue was arming them.

most likely given Stalin's relatively conservative nature, I think he would have just mucked through even assuming some pretty big gains for Hitler. Stalin was ready to lose Moscow AND Stalingrad. losing Moscow as a logistical hub/factory center/political prestige point would have been bad but not impossibly bad; on the other hand, Germans would have bled pretty bad trying to take Moscow too, and pushed their logistics to almost the breaking point.

war progress is delayed by six months, Stalin probably loses another half a million to a million troops (which he can spare). that would sure make Casablanca Conference interesting, assuming Stalin can actually get out there.

Officer of Engineers
10 Nov 15,, 06:01
Stalin -could- have gotten more penal battalions, true, but on the other hand he wasn't hurting for manpower in 1942-1943; his main issue was arming them.All the more to knock Japan right out of the war and have unimpeded LL from the US.

astralis
10 Nov 15,, 16:55
seeing how crazy Japan was, it would have needed an invasion of the Home Islands for Japan to sue for peace.

the interesting scenario is if the US doesn't get involved past LL, or if Hitler had merely delayed his invasion of Russia. say Hitler opts for the "Mideast gambit" in 1941 instead of Operation Barbarossa; he cuts his way through Turkey and the Levant, and seizes the Suez.

the British Empire could fight off Rommel given his sideshow status but not if the full might of the Wehrmacht is bearing down on them. most likely after the fall of Suez, the Churchill government would fall.

which in turn would free up a LOT of antiaircraft guns, prevent a bombing campaign, and allow a one-front war...with a potential German starting point at the Caucasus Mountains.

Doktor
10 Nov 15,, 21:18
When was Stalin set to hit the Nazis?

Make no mistake that he would hit them.

Officer of Engineers
10 Nov 15,, 21:22
seeing how crazy Japan was, it would have needed an invasion of the Home Islands for Japan to sue for peace.Without Manchuria and Korea, the IJE would run out of bullets and gunpowder extremely fast.


the interesting scenario is if the US doesn't get involved past LL, or if Hitler had merely delayed his invasion of Russia. say Hitler opts for the "Mideast gambit" in 1941 instead of Operation Barbarossa; he cuts his way through Turkey and the Levant, and seizes the Suez.And give Stalin the chance to hit Hitler while German armies are in Africa. Or at the very least, six more months Soviet build up while the Whermacht is bleeding white in Eygpt.

astralis
10 Nov 15,, 21:53
Without Manchuria and Korea, the IJE would run out of bullets and gunpowder extremely fast.

that's assuming the Soviets could actually mount a sea invasion of Japan during the 1942-1943 timeframe. especially if Japan's not fighting the US, then there's no way the Soviets would cross over.


And give Stalin the chance to hit Hitler while German armies are in Africa. Or at the very least, six more months Soviet build up while the Whermacht is bleeding white in Eygpt.

don't think the Wehrmacht would bleed white against what the British had in the area. it was dicey enough in OTL until Nov 1942 against Germany's sideshow operation; Germany could easily triple the resources while holding a defensive line in Europe.

and I think Germany would have LOVED for Russia to attack in 1942 or 1943-- they'd have interior lines, be fighting on the defensive, against a green army. Germany's problem in Operation Barbarossa was that they couldn't get at all the Soviet formations, and now here comes the Soviets delivering it to them on a platter. and without LL, the Soviets weren't going to be the mechanized Deep Battle monster they were in our timeframe.

Germany on the defensive with roughly 1-1.5 million more freed-up anti-aircraft troops, entire western industry un-bombed. for that matter, the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine is freed up. the initial fight would not have been like Operation Bagration.

astralis
10 Nov 15,, 21:56
doktor,


When was Stalin set to hit the Nazis?

Make no mistake that he would hit them.

I think I read somewhere that he didn't want a fight until 1943 at the earliest, and wouldn't have been comfortable until 1944.

Officer of Engineers
10 Nov 15,, 22:04
that's assuming the Soviets could actually mount a sea invasion of Japan during the 1942-1943 timeframe. especially if Japan's not fighting the US, then there's no way the Soviets would cross over.The point is that without Manchuria and Korea, Japan would be forced to surrender or at the very least, negotiate a peace, freeing up both the USN and a secured and unhindered LL line through Siberia ... and at least 45 more divisions.


don't think the Wehrmacht would bleed white against what the British had in the area. it was dicey enough in OTL until Nov 1942 against Germany's sideshow operation; Germany could easily triple the resources while holding a defensive line in Europe.The Kreigsmarine was not the RN. The Afrikakorps represented the limits of their brown water expeditionary capabilities. With the Kreigsmarine tied up supporting Afrika and Japan knocked out of the war, you've just bought a 2 million man British Indian Army into the fight.

Not to mention, you've just freed up the entire Atlantic for the RN.


and I think Germany would have LOVED for Russia to attack in 1942 or 1943-- they'd have interior lines, be fighting on the defensive, against a green army. Germany's problem in Operation Barbarossa was that they couldn't get at all the Soviet formations, and now here comes the Soviets delivering it to them on a platter. and without LL, the Soviets weren't going to be the mechanized Deep Battle monster they were in our timeframe.

Germany on the defensive with roughly 1-1.5 million more freed-up anti-aircraft troops, entire western industry un-bombed. for that matter, the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine is freed up. the initial fight would not have been like Operation Bagration.And German expansion stops dead in its tracks. They would have been bled so white that any dreams of marching to Moscow is out the window ... and that means Hitler stopped being Hitler.

Doktor
10 Nov 15,, 22:20
doktor,



I think I read somewhere that he didn't want a fight until 1943 at the earliest, and wouldn't have been comfortable until 1944.

Well he wanted the pesky capitalists killing each other as long as possible. Possility of kicking GB out of the fight would trigger a reaction, don't you think?

snapper
10 Nov 15,, 22:29
If I may add a consideration to this discussion I would argue that war is also a psychological contest in which vast expanses of desolate territory matter nothing. If you can break the enemy's will to resist quickly you have won and can dictate terms as you please.

Stitch
10 Nov 15,, 23:52
If I may add a consideration to this discussion I would argue that war is also a psychological contest in which vast expanses of desolate territory matter nothing. If you can break the enemy's will to resist quickly you have won and can dictate terms as you please.

Sounds like Sun Tzu to me . . .

YellowFever
11 Nov 15,, 01:06
Yellowfever >>>>>>>>>>Gunnut (Because I managed to hijack the Random Thread and keep it at one subject for over a page) :D

No, seriously, while the Colonel and Asty are (masterfully) debating the East, I'm also wondering if Overlord couldn't have been attempted through Spain or Morocco had England not been available (had the battle for Britain has been somehow lost..yeah I know Germany didn't have a chance but indulge me here).

I'm sure US and Canadian (and "free Britain") forces had no qualms about invading supposedly "neutral" Spain.

Sure the campaign against the Reich would have been much more dragged out but couldn't it eventually have been doable?

Monash
11 Nov 15,, 06:32
Yellowfever >>>>>>>>>>Gunnut (Because I managed to hijack the Random Thread and keep it at one subject for over a page) :D

No, seriously, while the Colonel and Asty are (masterfully) debating the East, I'm also wondering if Overlord couldn't have been attempted through Spain or Morocco had England not been available (had the battle for Britain has been somehow lost..yeah I know Germany didn't have a chance but indulge me here).

I'm sure US and Canadian (and "free Britain") forces had no qualms about invading supposedly 'neutral' Spain.

Sure the campaign against the Reich would have been much more dragged out but couldn't it eventually have been doable?

I would have thought the correct order of advance would be :

The Canaries, Morocco, Gibraltar (assuming it was not still in loyalist hands).

Then Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt (to secure the Canal - again if not still held by loyalist forces) and thus the southern Med.

Then Sicily, Sardinia, Italy and Southern France (plus the north east corner of Spain around Barcelona if you wanted to extend you landing options).

A successful Operation Anvil followed by a rapid advances into central France would by default I think also force a hurried withdrawal of occupying forces from the British Isles lest the (presumably significant) military forces stationed there ran the risk of being cut off and isolated.

All in all a much more complicated series of Ops than the one big hop across the channel that actually occurred in reality!

Officer of Engineers
11 Nov 15,, 15:31
If I may add a consideration to this discussion I would argue that war is also a psychological contest in which vast expanses of desolate territory matter nothing. If you can break the enemy's will to resist quickly you have won and can dictate terms as you please.Yeah, what happened in Soviet occupied Afghanistan? NATO Afghanistan? Iraq? Algiers? Cambodia? WWII Ukraine? WWII Poland? Chechnya?

Mihais
11 Nov 15,, 15:44
Bloodbaths.But men can live in their children.Freedom lost is more difficult to be recovered.

astralis
12 Nov 15,, 17:22
col,


The point is that without Manchuria and Korea, Japan would be forced to surrender or at the very least, negotiate a peace, freeing up both the USN and a secured and unhindered LL line through Siberia ... and at least 45 more divisions.

true. on the other hand, that would have likely taken anywhere from three-six months to execute (the Red Army of 1942 was not the Red Army of 1945, especially not after the shattering defeats of Barbarossa). more so for significant LL to get in, which the US public might be wary of if they perceived the Russians as having run through all of Northeast Asia.

giving the Germans that breathing space to improve their own logistics as well, which hamstrung them throughout 1943-1944. and in this case if the Russians lose Moscow, then they've lost a major logistics/production hub, which will set them back.

I'm not arguing that the Germans would WIN (other than if the Russians completely lose their nerve), but it's likely that the war is delayed six months-- with or without a defeated Japan in the mix.


The Kreigsmarine was not the RN. The Afrikakorps represented the limits of their brown water expeditionary capabilities. With the Kreigsmarine tied up supporting Afrika and Japan knocked out of the war, you've just bought a 2 million man British Indian Army into the fight.

different scenario here, by the way, this is one where there's an invasion of the ME and no Operation Barbarossa (so no reason why Japan would be knocked out here). I don't see why Hitler couldn't have invaded Turkey and then straight down the Levant. colonial forces weren't going to stop them.


And German expansion stops dead in its tracks. They would have been bled so white that any dreams of marching to Moscow is out the window ... and that means Hitler stopped being Hitler.

no, Hitler could be patient -when he wanted to be-. after all, he pretty much mentioned off-hand that America would be the next target after he achieved Eurasia domination, but that it would have to wait for a generation or two after him.

in this case one of his advisors persuades him to hit the Middle East and drive the UK out of the war (hitler was always prone to agreeing to whomever spoke to him last, and most forcefully) BEFORE invading the USSR. I see nothing that would prevent him, with a fraction of the resources he used for Barbarossa, to pretty much take Turkey, the Levant, and Egypt.

he could have probably taken Iran if he really wanted, as well, which is why the Brits were so nervous about the prospect. (that'd stretch their logistics to a breaking point though.)

most likely though the UK government collapses after Suez falls and Churchill is forced out. Hitler was willing to offer UK status quo antebellum to get the UK out of the war (first because he actually had sympathetic feelings to the Empire, second because he viewed the UK as natural partners against the Red Threat).

I really can't see how Germany would be bled white by taking Suez. they got close enough in OTL and the entire area of the war was just a minor sideshow to them back then.

if the UK goes, I can't see the US intervening in Europe at all.

astralis
12 Nov 15,, 17:28
YF,

if UK gives up the ghost, think the attitude to the US would be that Europe is a lost cause. why should the Americans bleed for European freedom when Europeans can't even do it themselves.

on the other hand, if there WAS a successful invasion of the UK, then Her Majesty's Government had contingency plans to flee to Canada and carry on the fight from there (they even scouted out and picked out the appropriate living spaces in Canada, lol). and certainly an invasion would have meant that the UK would fight on regardless of cost.

it'd be sorta like pearl harbor-- if it's a colonial squabble, fine, we lost, we'll get over it; you attack our mainland and the fight's on.

snapper
12 Nov 15,, 18:24
I would have thought the correct order of advance would be :

The Canaries, Morocco, Gibraltar (assuming it was not still in loyalist hands).

Malta first surely?

YellowFever
12 Nov 15,, 18:42
YF,

if UK gives up the ghost, think the attitude to the US would be that Europe is a lost cause. why should the Americans bleed for European freedom when Europeans can't even do it themselves.

on the other hand, if there WAS a successful invasion of the UK, then Her Majesty's Government had contingency plans to flee to Canada and carry on the fight from there (they even scouted out and picked out the appropriate living spaces in Canada, lol). and certainly an invasion would have meant that the UK would fight on regardless of cost.

it'd be sorta like pearl harbor-- if it's a colonial squabble, fine, we lost, we'll get over it; you attack our mainland and the fight's on.

Not sure of that, Asty.

Firstly, if Britain falls to the Reich, I'm pretty sure Hitler would have postponed the invasion of the USSR...maybe to the point where Stalin attacks first?

But more importantly, I don't see Japan not atracking Pearl regardless of whether the Brits fall or not so America would have been involved anyway. Hitler being Hitler, he would have declared war on the US as soon as we declared war on Japan.

Maybe Japan would have been the first priority under this scenario and Europe second.

If that were to occur, Japan would have been destroyed sooner and the Russian army in Siberia would be free to move West.

Holy shit, I just realized there was no way Germany wins even if they managed to capture England.

snapper
12 Nov 15,, 19:09
British Gold Reserve was already in Canada.

astralis
12 Nov 15,, 20:30
YF,


Firstly, if Britain falls to the Reich, I'm pretty sure Hitler would have postponed the invasion of the USSR...maybe to the point where Stalin attacks first?


it depends how Britain falls. if it's just a collapse of government (say, Dunkirk fails and the entire BEF is wiped out), then there's no delay.

can't see a delay out until 1943-1944.


But more importantly, I don't see Japan not atracking Pearl regardless of whether the Brits fall or not so America would have been involved anyway. Hitler being Hitler, he would have declared war on the US as soon as we declared war on Japan.

the decision for Japan to undertake Pearl was a close one in OTL. the Army faction wanted to try at the USSR again, for instance. it was the US sanctions that tipped it in favor of the Navy; that and the British/French being so distracted closer to home.

if the UK is beaten early then Japan might not have tried it because then the RN would be freed up for Asia.

re: Hitler declaring war on the US, that was out of both a sense of solidarity with the Japanese and because Germany was also annoyed at LL and the 50-destroyer loan between the US/UK. without the latter, I don't know if Hitler would have done the same. maybe?

but either way, without the urgent need to save the UK, the Japan-first crowd in the US would have surely won out. certainly there would be no incentive to wage a continental war.


Japan would have been destroyed sooner

not very much sooner. island-hopping is attrition warfare and pretty much at just about every fight the US had huge firepower superiority and air dominance anyway.


the Russian army in Siberia would be free to move West.

they did anyways to save Moscow in OTL. anyhow as I mentioned, if UK's out of the war, then suddenly things get a LOT hairier for the USSR once war is declared. for instance, the amount of infrastructure that went into the Atlantic Wall alone would have made a not insignificant difference in the war. all those 88s that were suddenly free to move East...the Luftwaffe freed up to do air missions...


Holy shit, I just realized there was no way Germany wins even if they managed to capture England.

basically any scenario where the UK fights it out and persuades the US to fight with them, the Germans are done. but if the UK throws in the towel in 1940 or 1941 things become a lot different. Churchill's will to fight changed the world.

YellowFever
12 Nov 15,, 21:22
On the whole, I think you're correct in your assessments except:



re: Hitler declaring war on the US, that was out of both a sense of solidarity with the Japanese and because Germany was also annoyed at LL and the 50-destroyer loan between the US/UK. without the latter, I don't know if Hitler would have done the same. maybe?


I don't think Hitler had any choice in the matter.

He HAD to declare war on the US if for no other reason than to placate Japan.

Those Japanese troops in China were necessary to fix those Soviet armies in Siberia (at least in the 1941-1942 time period).

LL was burr under Hitler's ass but at the same time but I don't think he imagined America would commit the material and manpower we did so fast in the European theater of war once he declared war on us.

astralis
12 Nov 15,, 22:28
YF,


I don't think Hitler had any choice in the matter.

He HAD to declare war on the US if for no other reason than to placate Japan.


I don't think so. he and his staff didn't even know where Pearl Harbor was when the news came in. he didn't need to placate Japan because there was nothing that Japan offered him, lol. the Japanese weren't going to leave China just because Hitler decided not to join in the fun.

he did have visions of turning the Axis into something more than an alliance-in-name-only, but this was long-term; he envisioned splitting the world between himself and the Japanese. (and probably meant to deal with the Japanese later...)

during the war, though, Asia just didn't really come up on their radar. he viewed Japan as a useful ersatz Navy to occupy the British/Americans, that was about it.

the Germans never viewed the war as a global one, more as a set of regional wars. the US and the UK was much more comfortable with the idea of a global strategy, as a result of their navies and colonies.


LL was burr under Hitler's ass but at the same time but I don't think he imagined America would commit the material and manpower we did so fast in the European theater of war once he declared war on us.

yeah, he thought the US was a jewish-led mongrel race and pretty much fell for his own propaganda. OTOH he thought the same of the Soviets, too.

Officer of Engineers
12 Nov 15,, 22:52
true. on the other hand, that would have likely taken anywhere from three-six months to execute (the Red Army of 1942 was not the Red Army of 1945, especially not after the shattering defeats of Barbarossa).Completely disagree. The Red Army of 1945 was borned in November of 1942. Operations MARS and URANUS made AUGUST STORM look like a child's sandbox. Over 2 million men, 20,000+ artillery, 2000+ tanks in two simultaneous operations aimed at relieving both Moscow and Stalingrad. You actually think the IJA could have lasted more than a week against those odds?

Even MARS which was an operational disaster forced a German retreat because the salient that they held was too exposed in the flanks. Even in defeat, the Soviets forced a German retreat. That kind of military brilliance just did not exist in Japan.

What's more, say the Soviets lost Moscow and Stalingrad. Even if the Germans did managed to destroy MARS and URANUS, they have nothing left. The Soviets rebuilt their MARS losses inside of 6 months while keeping the Germans at bay and at points forcing a retreat. You actually think the IJA could even dream of having a chance against the Red Army of Nov, 1942?

How about the fact that realistically, the only way for Hitler to win Stalingrad and/or Moscow is BEFORE MARS and URANUS hit him. So, where would those armies go? How about just shifting one of those operations East? The Japanese in NO WAY ever put up the ferocity, determination, tactical brilliance, and operational finesse needed to fight the Red Army of Nov, 1942. The Germans barely able to do it against MARS.

And all of this BEFORE LL came into play.


more so for significant LL to get in, which the US public might be wary of if they perceived the Russians as having run through all of Northeast Asia.After Pearl, the US public would be cheering the Soviets.


giving the Germans that breathing space to improve their own logistics as well, which hamstrung them throughout 1943-1944. and in this case if the Russians lose Moscow, then they've lost a major logistics/production hub, which will set them back.The Germans couldn't raise fresh Ukrainian armies even though volunteers abound. Winning Moscow ain't going to change that.


different scenario here, by the way, this is one where there's an invasion of the ME and no Operation Barbarossa (so no reason why Japan would be knocked out here). I don't see why Hitler couldn't have invaded Turkey and then straight down the Levant.Then Hitler stopped being Hitler.


colonial forces weren't going to stop them.The British Indian Army under Will Slim? More than the equal of any German General.


no, Hitler could be patient -when he wanted to be-. after all, he pretty much mentioned off-hand that America would be the next target after he achieved Eurasia domination, but that it would have to wait for a generation or two after him.

in this case one of his advisors persuades him to hit the Middle East and drive the UK out of the war (hitler was always prone to agreeing to whomever spoke to him last, and most forcefully) BEFORE invading the USSR. I see nothing that would prevent him, with a fraction of the resources he used for Barbarossa, to pretty much take Turkey, the Levant, and Egypt.Then Hitler stopped being Hitler. The man listens to no one but his own ego.


he could have probably taken Iran if he really wanted, as well, which is why the Brits were so nervous about the prospect. (that'd stretch their logistics to a breaking point though.)Without Japan in the fight, Slim could march through Iran overland.

YellowFever
12 Nov 15,, 23:37
YF,



I don't think so. he and his staff didn't even know where Pearl Harbor was when the news came in. he didn't need to placate Japan because there was nothing that Japan offered him, lol. the Japanese weren't going to leave China just because Hitler decided not to join in the fun.


Something about that post bothers me, Asty.

If Hitler and his staff did not know where Pearl was and if they really thought there was nothing Japan could cotribute to the Reich....why did they declared war on the USA.

They had no reason to.

I wouldn't classify Hitler as a military genius......but he wasn't a total dunce either.

astralis
12 Nov 15,, 23:51
Over 2 million men, 20,000+ artillery, 2000+ tanks in two simultaneous operations aimed at relieving both Moscow and Stalingrad. You actually think the IJA could have lasted more than a week against those odds?

not the battle, the transport. operations Mars and Uranus occurred in areas where the Soviets had built up a pretty good logistics capacity, in the middle of a relatively dense urban district.

that wouldn't be the case for this early August Storm. recall the entire area of operations in Manchuria/Korea exceeded the entire Western European theater. the Soviets could do it in Aug 1945 because they were prepping for it for months beforehand, including depots and railstock and transport down the Trans-Siberian Railway.

and by then they had plenty of trucks and aircraft thanks to Lend-Lease.

i have no doubt that the Russians would have shattered the Japanese when it came down to combat but it would have been messier than in 1945 when the Soviets had a free hand to swing as hard as they could on a single front. hell, the US/British were getting ready to throw SIX MILLION men with pretty much complete air/naval dominance in Operation Downfall but estimated the campaign would have taken anywhere from six-eighteen months. i know that Manchuria/Korea/China isn't as built up but hell, it would take time just to transport.


Winning Moscow ain't going to change that.

hurts the Russians pretty bad, and three-six months of the Russians being on the defensive instead of actively counter-attacking means refit, rest, and a lot of restock.

OK, on to the other scenario.

===


Then Hitler stopped being Hitler. The man listens to no one but his own ego.

as i said, he was capable of waiting and being flexible now and then. after all, he struck France before he took on the USSR, and for that matter even signed a pact with the Soviets.


The British Indian Army under Will Slim? More than the equal of any German General.

true, he slaughtered Japanese like no other. on the other hand, the Japanese didn't have anything close to what the Soviets or Germans did, either.

moreover, the BIA was a largely infantry force, short on aircraft and modern artillery and tanks. the fight was locked up in Burma for quite a while; I don't see how he had the logistical capability to move his way all the way to the Levant, especially if the Suez was cut and he was dependent on just the supplies/industry available to him in India.

astralis
13 Nov 15,, 00:00
YF,


Something about that post bothers me, Asty.

If Hitler and his staff did not know where Pearl was and if they really thought there was nothing Japan could cotribute to the Reich....why did they declared war on the USA.



hubris, they figured Japan was going to take down the US for them. also, by military standards of the day, past the Navy the US was not even a second-class power-- it was ranked as a third-class power, with the US Army having about as many troops as say, Romania.



They had no reason to.

very true. but from their standpoint, they figured no reason NOT to, either. recall in Dec 7, 1941, it looked like the Soviets were about to give up the ghost (they had evacuated Moscow back in October). Hitler thought that it was likely that he'd finish up the USSR in 1942 and meet with the Japanese somewhere in India or Iran by 1943.

YellowFever
13 Nov 15,, 00:27
hubris, they figured Japan was going to take down the US for them. also, by military standards of the day, past the Navy the US was not even a second-class power-- it was ranked as a third-class power, with the US Army having about as many troops as say, Romania.

I don't buy it.

Even Japan had no illusions of taking down the US.

At best they had just hoped to delay the full entry of the US into their sphere of influence and hoped for a political solution somewhere down the lines in their favor.

And I find it difficult to believe that Hitler's staff would discount the Americans to that degree.

There are enough quotes by Churchill prior to December 7 to realize that he thought the Americans entry into WW2 will propel the allies to victory. I'm not sure if the Reich thad similar thoughts but I don't think they thought the US as a third rate power either.

Officer of Engineers
13 Nov 15,, 01:52
not the battle, the transport. operations Mars and Uranus occurred in areas where the Soviets had built up a pretty good logistics capacity, in the middle of a relatively dense urban district.

that wouldn't be the case for this early August Storm. recall the entire area of operations in Manchuria/Korea exceeded the entire Western European theater. the Soviets could do it in Aug 1945 because they were prepping for it for months beforehand, including depots and railstock and transport down the Trans-Siberian Railway.June and July, not six months.


i have no doubt that the Russians would have shattered the Japanese when it came down to combat but it would have been messier than in 1945 when the Soviets had a free hand to swing as hard as they could on a single front.Are you serious? The best WWII tank army of WWII are going to be messy against the best WWI infantry army in WWII?


hell, the US/British were getting ready to throw SIX MILLION men with pretty much complete air/naval dominance in Operation Downfall but estimated the campaign would have taken anywhere from six-eighteen months. i know that Manchuria/Korea/China isn't as built up but hell, it would take time just to transport.And the Soviets took Korea and Manchuria in less than a month.


hurts the Russians pretty bad, and three-six months of the Russians being on the defensive instead of actively counter-attacking means refit, rest, and a lot of restock.Again, what about the armies of MARS and URANUS? Do they magically disappeared without the Wehrmacht suffering a single scratch? I remind you. The Germans were outmanned and out positioned in both.


as i said, he was capable of waiting and being flexible now and then. after all, he struck France before he took on the USSR, and for that matter even signed a pact with the Soviets. But he was the one who made the decision. He gambled and he won. He most certainly did not listen to anyone else.


true, he slaughtered Japanese like no other. on the other hand, the Japanese didn't have anything close to what the Soviets or Germans did, either.He slaughtered two entire Japanese armies with a hasty defence and resupplied by air. He understood logistics few inside Germany could even begin to imagine.


moreover, the BIA was a largely infantry force, short on aircraft and modern artillery and tanks. the fight was locked up in Burma for quite a while; I don't see how he had the logistical capability to move his way all the way to the Levant, especially if the Suez was cut and he was dependent on just the supplies/industry available to him in India.Canada was still the British Empire's arms factory and the world's 3rd largest navy at the time. I have not even mention Australia. Either way, Germany was outmanned, outgunned, and outpositioned. There's a reason why the Kreigsmarine never challenged the RN in the Med.

astralis
13 Nov 15,, 01:59
YF,


Even Japan had no illusions of taking down the US.

actually, it was only Yamamoto and select naval attaches whom had -been- to the US whom had "no illusions". the rest thought the US to be an effete democratic pushover. it's hard to underestimate the self-delusion of Imperial Japan, because it was literally dangerous to your health to suggest that the war would not be in Japan's favor.


At best they had just hoped to delay the full entry of the US into their sphere of influence and hoped for a political solution somewhere down the lines in their favor.

no, they wanted to shock the US into surrender, by which they meant free reign over their sphere of influence. they were fully intended to push the Americans out of the Philippines, for instance.


And I find it difficult to believe that Hitler's staff would discount the Americans to that degree.

https://books.google.com/books?id=tdYkMPfUSUAC&pg=PA136

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/1207/Pearl-Harbor-Day-How-did-Adolf-Hitler-react-to-the-attack

astralis
13 Nov 15,, 02:17
col,


June and July, not six months.

oh, i didn't say six months. it did take three (that was the agreement made at Yalta).

it would be a different kettle of fish with Moscow, the prime logistics hub, taken...with little LL having gone in...and ensuring enough troops remained so that the Germans didn't just stroll up and capture Stalin.


Are you serious? The best WWII tank army of WWII are going to be messy against the best WWI infantry army in WWII?

it wasn't the best WWII tank army in 1942 ;-) it became that AFTER Kursk.

it would have been bloody enough; they didn't have the mobility nor the air support they did in 1945. even then they suffered 40K casualties in three weeks of fighting.

the combined forces of Mars and Uranus would be about the same as August Storm, only the campaigns in 1942 featured half the artillery, less than half the aircraft, less than half the tanks, and almost none of the trucks.

similarly the Kwantung Army hadn't been completely hollowed out by the IJA desperately transferring troops to the mainland for the expected US invasion, and wore-down by years of fighting with China.

i'm not saying that the Japanese wouldn't have been beaten to a pulp, but it would have taken longer.

let's put it in another way, if it was going to be so easy for Stalin to reach out and take over all of Manchuria, China, and Korea...why -didn't- he?

basically, your scenario is if that Stalin suffers major defeats at Moscow and Stalingrad the end result would be "Hitler loses even faster".


Canada was still the British Empire's arms factory and the world's 3rd largest navy at the time. I have not even mention Australia. Either way, Germany was outmanned, outgunned, and outpositioned. There's a reason why the Kreigsmarine never challenged the RN in the Med.

the Empire simply could not challenge Germany on an one-for-one basis. they could barely do it with the USSR in the fight, beating but not finishing Rommel in a sideshow. the Empire could keep alive, pretty much bankrupting itself in the process. Germany was only outmanned, outgunned, and outpositioned when the -US- showed up to fight, both in terms of the 8th Air Force and later on, Operation Overlord.

i know it's a very America-centric view I'm taking, but the reason why everyone owes a debt of gratitude towards Churchill for fighting on isn't because the British Empire was going to beat Germany by itself, but for hanging on until the -Americans- finally got involved.

Officer of Engineers
13 Nov 15,, 03:16
oh, i didn't say six months. it did take three (that was the agreement made at Yalta).In other words, a hell of a lot easier than what the Soviets did for MARS and URANUS.


it would be a different kettle of fish with Moscow, the prime logistics hub, taken...with little LL having gone in...and ensuring enough troops remained so that the Germans didn't just stroll up and capture Stalin.Again, the armies of MARS and URANUS do not magically disappeared with zero costs to the Wehrmacht. In real life, URANUS cost the Germans the 6th Army and the Germans lost.


it wasn't the best WWII tank army in 1942 ;-) it became that AFTER Kursk.Zero difference vis-a-vi the Japanese.


it would have been bloody enough; they didn't have the mobility nor the air support they did in 1945.Yes, they did. They surrounded 6th Army and repulsed all German attempts at relief.


even then they suffered 40K casualties in three weeks of fighting.And the Japanese suffered 61,000 casualties out of a force of 75,000.


the combined forces of Mars and Uranus would be about the same as August Storm, only the campaigns in 1942 featured half the artillery, less than half the aircraft, less than half the tanks, and almost none of the trucks.And they overcame a tougher entrenched opponent.


similarly the Kwantung Army hadn't been completely hollowed out by the IJA desperately transferring troops to the mainland for the expected US invasion, and wore-down by years of fighting with China.No, they would be just desperately trying to stay alive.


i'm not saying that the Japanese wouldn't have been beaten to a pulp, but it would have taken longer.Not that much longer.


let's put it in another way, if it was going to be so easy for Stalin to reach out and take over all of Manchuria, China, and Korea...why -didn't- he?He did.


basically, your scenario is if that Stalin suffers major defeats at Moscow and Stalingrad the end result would be "Hitler loses even faster". The full might of the Allies, including the USN.


the Empire simply could not challenge Germany on an one-for-one basis. they could barely do it with the USSR in the fight, beating but not finishing Rommel in a sideshow. the Empire could keep alive, pretty much bankrupting itself in the process. Germany was only outmanned, outgunned, and outpositioned when the -US- showed up to fight, both in terms of the 8th Air Force and later on, Operation Overlord.

i know it's a very America-centric view I'm taking, but the reason why everyone owes a debt of gratitude towards Churchill for fighting on isn't because the British Empire was going to beat Germany by itself, but for hanging on until the -Americans- finally got involved.That wasn't your point. Your point was that Hitler could have marched to India. I'm saying that the end result would have been the Germans still being kicked out of Africa.

astralis
13 Nov 15,, 05:11
In other words, a hell of a lot easier than what the Soviets did for MARS and URANUS.

the scale would be closer to Bagration than Mars/Uranus. moreover, it's one thing to do Deep Battle in environs where your logistics is great and your enemies is overstretched; it's another when it's flipped around. the Russians could do it in 1945 because they had US LL.


Again, the armies of MARS and URANUS do not magically disappeared with zero costs to the Wehrmacht.

they'd have to use those armies to do both defense and to carry out the operation against the Japanese. as i said, the numbers used in August Storm was about the same as the numbers used in Mars/Uranus -combined-.


Not that much longer.

we're actually not that far apart, despite all this debate. you say what, a month? i say three to six.


The full might of the Allies, including the USN.

which is sort of strange, because the implication of this is that a Japan-first strategy would have ended the European War early. i just can't see it.


That wasn't your point. Your point was that Hitler could have marched to India.

Iran, at best, not India. my guess is that the Brits would have thrown in the towel a lot earlier though.


I'm saying that the end result would have been the Germans still being kicked out of Africa.

without direct US support/troops i can't see this at all. Germany fighting the British Empire alone in 1941 is not a fight the British are going to win. the Brits simply didn't have the industry/manpower pool the Russians did-- the Brits were a naval power, not a continental power.

astralis
13 Nov 15,, 05:38
also, on the last point, as money are the sinews of war-- the Brits were on the verge of going bankrupt when the US entered the war in Dec 1941. they were kept afloat by a huge amount of LL and loans made possible by the US.

by the time the war was over the economy was in such shambles that there was a huge migration of Brits out of the island, and the threat of famine became a possibility.

no US entry into the war means the british economy is on the ropes no later than summer of 1942. and that's without talking about the absolutely immense sums that would be required (if it was even technically possible) to arm the British Indian Army to the point where it could credibly take on the Wehrmacht. (Canadian/Australian factory output to India!) and that's assuming the BIA didn't just mutiny at the prospect of leaving India defenseless while they were out as an expeditionary force...

the British Empire essentially sacrificed itself to buy time for the Americans to enter the war and ultimately wreck Germany. Churchill's gamble was a HUGE risk because he KNEW the Brits couldn't beat the Germans alone, or even in concert with the USSR. he had no idea when, or even if, the Americans would join in the fight. but he held on regardless, hope against hope.

Officer of Engineers
13 Nov 15,, 05:45
the scale would be closer to Bagration than Mars/Uranus. moreover, it's one thing to do Deep Battle in environs where your logistics is great and your enemies is overstretched; it's another when it's flipped around. the Russians could do it in 1945 because they had US LL.Vis-a-vi the Japanese? I think you overstated their prowess. They were a foot army and their logistics were human mules. AUGUST-STORM was nowhere near the intensity nor the ferocity of MARS, URANUS, let alone BAGRATION. The Japanese lost the battle after first contact when Russian divisions were already in their rear area.


they'd have to use those armies to do both defense and to carry out the operation against the Japanese. as i said, the numbers used in August Storm was about the same as the numbers used in Mars/Uranus -combined-.Hitler was going nowhere near the Urals and he couldn't even if he wanted to.


we're actually not that far apart, despite all this debate. you say what, a month? i say three to six.I'm going by historic evidence. If you want to give the Russians six months, then the battle would have been shorter. Do recall how the Soviets managed to hide two massive operational build ups from German intelligence. And Japanese intel is not even in the same book. Give the Russians six months and they would have the Japanese guarding passes against mythical unicorns.


which is sort of strange, because the implication of this is that a Japan-first strategy would have ended the European War early. i just can't see it.If and when Stalin got chased to the Urals, he has to get that Japanese monkey off his back. He has to throw everything he got and everything he could get against Hitler ... and that means pulverizing the Japanese monkey to a pulp and taking his Manchurian and Korean fruit trees.


Iran, at best, not India. my guess is that the Brits would have thrown in the towel a lot earlier though.The Brits were winning.


without direct US support/troops i can't see this at all. Germany fighting the British Empire alone in 1941 is not a fight the British are going to win. the Brits simply didn't have the industry/manpower pool the Russians did-- the Brits were a naval power, not a continental power.Africa is not Europe and again, there's a reason why the Kreigsmarine did not challenge the RN in the Med. The Brits would not be able to take Europe but no way in hell would Hitler take the Empire, not even British Africa.

astralis
13 Nov 15,, 15:00
this may need to be split later on due to the enormous number of possible scenarios, but for now...

gunnut
15 Nov 15,, 17:42
Iran, at best, not India. my guess is that the Brits would have thrown in the towel a lot earlier though.

without direct US support/troops i can't see this at all. Germany fighting the British Empire alone in 1941 is not a fight the British are going to win. the Brits simply didn't have the industry/manpower pool the Russians did-- the Brits were a naval power, not a continental power.

I don't think Germany could knock UK out of WW2 even if US never entered the war. UK would fight on. Churchill said it in his speech:

"and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."

UK would fight on even if the British Isles were lost, which was actually not gonna happen. Germany simply did not have the capability of landing enough men and equipment, and supply them, to take over England. Not in the 20th century. Operation Sea Lion was planned around landing barges. Barges! Germans had no idea what landing a modern army on the English coast would take. Any Wehrmacht units landed in England would have been destroyed. It would have been Dieppe, but worse.

Without the US entering WW2, the best Germans could hope for was to keep the British forces off the European continent and keep the Red Army in check. I don't believe Wehrmacht had the spare capacity to take over the middle east. Royal Navy would still enforce what essentially was a blockade of Germany.

astralis
15 Nov 15,, 20:12
gunnut,


Without the US entering WW2, the best Germans could hope for was to keep the British forces off the European continent and keep the Red Army in check. I don't believe Wehrmacht had the spare capacity to take over the middle east.

in this scenario Germany doesn't attack the USSR, so plenty of spare capacity. instead, in june 1941 it heads to turkey and the Levant while staying on a defensive posture in 1939 borders. can't see turkey stopping them, nor colonial forces in the region. (hell, germany could probably offer Turkey to just allow it free transit in return for a non-aggression pact, with the alternative being that Hitler overruns Turkey. pretty sure Ataturk would take it.)

the UK would of course never back down if Germany actually tried going for the jugular. (hitler had given up on that anyway by october 1940 with the end of the Battle of Britain.)

but what happens when the UK loses Suez? politically the Churchill government would be -very- hard pressed to continue the war if Suez is cut, UK is on the verge of bankruptcy, and no sign that the US was going to join in. British morale was kept up in OTL in the fall of 1941 by beating back Rommel and the Italians in the North African campaign; in a scenario where you suddenly have, say, a million German troops (only about 25-30% of the troops dedicated to Barbarossa, btw) going overland via Turkey to the Levant in a huge pincer, don't think British morale is going to hold.

the period of May 1940-Jul 1941 was probably the high point of the Axis powers, and the period of maximum danger. fortunately Hitler, whom had succeeded in insanely risky gambles over and over again, went on a very bad losing streak of gambles just then that would seal his fate.

but churchill couldn't have known this. he himself was gambling on US intervention.

gunnut
15 Nov 15,, 21:11
I don't think it's possible for Germany to NOT attack Soviet Union. If it didn't, then Stalin would have attacked Germany anyways. A German defensive posture on the eastern front benefits the Red Army. It had just been through the Purge and was re-arming. Mid ranking officers were getting their feet wet after promoted to lead large formations. T-34s were coming online. Stalin was preparing to march west. The only problem was Hitler beat him to the punch and invaded first.

Turkey would not allow the Wehrmacht safe passage. That's inviting the wrath of Stalin. If not immediately, then at some point in the future. Germany could attack Turkey, but then the Red Army would intervene either by attacking Germany or helping Turkey. My bet is attacking Germany directly. Wehrmacht could go around Turkey by sea to reach the middle east, but the sea lift capacity would not be enough to sustain an entire army group. Germany had a tough time trying to keep Rommel supplied in North Africa, and he had only a large division or a small corps, depending on how you look at it.

The only logical choice for Germany was to attack Soviet Union. The longer it waited, the worse off it would be.

Of course Germany could sue for peace after France, before Barbarossa. But would UK and France allow Germany to keep Vichy France? Would French allow Vichy to stay in power?

The best possible outcome for Germany could have been after Chamberlain waved that piece of paper and declared "there will be peace in our time." Call it a day and consolidate the gains. Let's not pick on the largest army in the world, the largest industrial power in the world, and the largest empire in the world, at the same time no less.

astralis
15 Nov 15,, 21:54
gunnut,


I don't think it's possible for Germany to NOT attack Soviet Union. If it didn't, then Stalin would have attacked Germany anyways

Stalin himself noted that the USSR wasn't ready for war until 1943 at the earliest.

if he did attack it would have been very bad for the USSR, because Germany had the defender's advantage of interior lines and better logistics. as I mentioned to Col Yu earlier, the main issue with Barbarossa was that Germany couldn't get at all the Soviet formations fast enough, and a Soviet attack would just present it to them.

as i said, Hitler could easily leave 2 million men on the 1939 border and take the other 1-1.5 million down to Turkey and the Levant.


Turkey would not allow the Wehrmacht safe passage. That's inviting the wrath of Stalin. If not immediately, then at some point in the future. Germany could attack Turkey, but then the Red Army would intervene either by attacking Germany or helping Turkey. My bet is attacking Germany directly. Wehrmacht could go around Turkey by sea to reach the middle east, but the sea lift capacity would not be enough to sustain an entire army group. Germany had a tough time trying to keep Rommel supplied in North Africa, and he had only a large division or a small corps, depending on how you look at it.

Romania was a German puppet-state, Greece had been conquered. not too hard to get across the Aegean. the Turks had all of 175K men, almost all of it light infantry and poorly armed. they were begging the UK in 1940 to supply them with -rifles-. if Turkey fought it would have been a slaughter.

in any case Germany and the USSR had the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, too.


The only logical choice for Germany was to attack Soviet Union. The longer it waited, the worse off it would be.

get the UK out of the game first. taking UK out means a LOT less chance the US intervenes, plus Germany's western flank/skies are now secure. frankly the UK was approximately six months away from bankruptcy, and New York banks were starting to get leery of lending to the UK when Germany decided to declare war on the US in dec 1941. if Suez falls then it's likely lending would have dried up altogether, and there's also huge domestic political upheaval in the UK.

that was the strategy Hitler WAS pursuing up to Dec 1940, when he then decided that he would invade the USSR out of a fit of hubris ("We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.")

Doktor
15 Nov 15,, 23:27
Asty,

You can't have troops on two places in the same time. Stalin said 1943, but Germans were home, not on another continent.

astralis
16 Nov 15,, 01:29
Doktor,


You can't have troops on two places in the same time. Stalin said 1943, but Germans were home, not on another continent.

i don't get it. what would be so hard about standing on the defensive in poland with 2 million men in 1941 while the other 1.5 million simply head south to turkey? hitler massed 3.8 million men for barbarossa.

Doktor
16 Nov 15,, 06:36
Nothing, you just wait for 1943, give Stalin a brewthing space, ovestretch, maybe even lost an ally due to all this...

Officer of Engineers
16 Nov 15,, 06:52
if he did attack it would have been very bad for the USSR, because Germany had the defender's advantage of interior lines and better logistics. as I mentioned to Col Yu earlier, the main issue with Barbarossa was that Germany couldn't get at all the Soviet formations fast enough, and a Soviet attack would just present it to them.No, the Soviets would not. The battle space would not allow any more Soviet armies to be lost than they actually did in BARBAROSA.

Doktor
16 Nov 15,, 07:24
Col,

What's your take on Soviet offensive in 1942 vs half Barbarossa? Or even in 1941.

Mihais
16 Nov 15,, 07:58
Both end at Calais.

Officer of Engineers
16 Nov 15,, 13:04
Col,

What's your take on Soviet offensive in 1942 vs half Barbarossa? Or even in 1941.What do you mean by half BARABAROSA? Any Soviet offensive that early in the war would be interesting. The Winter War showed that at least intellectually the Soviets had the concepts down but execution remained illusory. I strongly suspect success would depend on who would be in charge. If it were the Soviet Generals of BARBAROSA, they would be met with disaster. If they were the Generals of MARS and URANUS, the Germans would received a pounding that they would be not able to recover.

Doktor
16 Nov 15,, 13:10
Asty suggested half or so would go Turkey and Suez. So, weakened German defenses vs Soviets on offensive in 1941/42 was my question.

astralis
16 Nov 15,, 16:29
col,


No, the Soviets would not. The battle space would not allow any more Soviet armies to be lost than they actually did in BARBAROSA.

yes. but to put it another way, it was going to be a -lot- easier for Germans to resupply/reinforce from '39 borders than it would be just outside of Moscow and Stalingrad.



If they were the Generals of MARS and URANUS, the Germans would received a pounding that they would be not able to recover.

considering how long it took for the Soviets to eject the Germans just from their home territory, I have my doubts. they had good commanders by 1942-1943 because the incompetents were all killed off or shipped off to the gulag or captured in 1941. they'd be attacking in a battle of maneuver with green troops, far harder than defending in an urban fight, where Soviet troops gained a lot of battle experience.

and they'd be doing this all without LL because up until they declare war, they have a pact going with hitler.

Officer of Engineers
16 Nov 15,, 16:42
yes. but to put it another way, it was going to be a -lot- easier for Germans to resupply/reinforce from '39 borders than it would be just outside of Moscow and Stalingrad.Not disputing probable German victory. Just saying the losses would not be any greater and in fact would be less than what actually happened during BARBAROSA. Attacking Soviets have the luxury of not being surrounded by attacking Germans.


considering how long it took for the Soviets to eject the Germans just from their home territory, I have my doubts. they had good commanders by 1942-1943 because the incompetents were all killed off or shipped off to the gulag or captured in 1941. they'd be attacking in a battle of maneuver with green troops, far harder than defending in an urban fight, where Soviet troops gained a lot of battle experience.They were all green troops. Stalingrad were seeing losses at a 1000 per day and there were over 11 million military dead. Combat veterans were a minority in all their campaigns.


and they'd be doing this all without LL because up until they declare war, they have a pact going with hitler.Inconsequential. The Soviets did MARS and URANUS without LL. They may need a longer prep time but they would not jump off until they're ready. The hallmark of the Soviet Army. They fight when they wanted to fight.

astralis
16 Nov 15,, 19:32
col,


Not disputing probable German victory. Just saying the losses would not be any greater and in fact would be less than what actually happened during BARBAROSA. Attacking Soviets have the luxury of not being surrounded by attacking Germans.

very true. OTOH the Germans wouldn't have the issue of being overextended and ready to get badly cut off, too.


They were all green troops. Stalingrad were seeing losses at a 1000 per day and there were over 11 million military dead. Combat veterans were a minority in all their campaigns.

also applies to the commanders as well. more than half the reason why the Red Army did so bad during Barbarossa was because most of their officers with experience and initiative had been purged; the rest kept on calling back to Moscow for instructions. and Stalin was paralyzed with shock for the longest time.


Inconsequential. The Soviets did MARS and URANUS without LL. They may need a longer prep time but they would not jump off until they're ready. The hallmark of the Soviet Army. They fight when they wanted to fight.

I can see an operation the size of Mars/Uranus without LL; but something like Bagration would have needed LL just for the truck mobility alone. I do agree with you that the Soviets fought when they wanted to fight, so they almost certainly wouldn't have attacked in 1941 or 1942, and probably not in 1943 either.

and I can't see the UK being able to fight off the Germans by themselves until 1943. the British would have been bankrupted some time ago, even if they could fight off the Germans in the Middle East.

gunnut
16 Nov 15,, 21:29
gunnut,

Stalin himself noted that the USSR wasn't ready for war until 1943 at the earliest.

Right, that's the whole point of Barbarossa, to catch the Red Army before it would be ready for war. The longer Germany sits on the eastern front, the worse off it would be.



if he did attack it would have been very bad for the USSR, because Germany had the defender's advantage of interior lines and better logistics. as I mentioned to Col Yu earlier, the main issue with Barbarossa was that Germany couldn't get at all the Soviet formations fast enough, and a Soviet attack would just present it to them.

Worse than Barbarossa? Wehrmacht might have the defensive advantage but it would lose the offensive initiative. The Red Army would be able to choose, when and where, and how many people to throw at the German line. Soviet losses would be horrendous but a Germany victory would be a pyrrhic victory.



as i said, Hitler could easily leave 2 million men on the 1939 border and take the other 1-1.5 million down to Turkey and the Levant.

But that's a 3 front war we're talking about. Holding off the Red Army, supply an army group in the middle east, and keep UK occupied.



Romania was a German puppet-state, Greece had been conquered. not too hard to get across the Aegean. the Turks had all of 175K men, almost all of it light infantry and poorly armed. they were begging the UK in 1940 to supply them with -rifles-. if Turkey fought it would have been a slaughter.

I didn't say Turkey would win or even offer any kind of meaningful resistance. But this action would definitely draw the Soviets into the war.

And again, if Germany decided to go around Turkey instead of going through it, then that army group is as good as dead because Germany did not have the sea lift capability to supply it. There was no ifs, ands, or buts. Germany could not conjure up a massive merchant fleet out of thin air without giving up on making guns and tanks.



in any case Germany and the USSR had the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, too.

I have full faith in Stalin to not give a flying rat's ass about a piece of paper.



get the UK out of the game first. taking UK out means a LOT less chance the US intervenes, plus Germany's western flank/skies are now secure. frankly the UK was approximately six months away from bankruptcy, and New York banks were starting to get leery of lending to the UK when Germany decided to declare war on the US in dec 1941. if Suez falls then it's likely lending would have dried up altogether, and there's also huge domestic political upheaval in the UK.

French fought from oversea colonies. UK was fully prepared to do so. Remember, Germany could not physically invade UK. Wehrmacht could not physically occupy England. British would fight on, bankruptcy or not.



that was the strategy Hitler WAS pursuing up to Dec 1940, when he then decided that he would invade the USSR out of a fit of hubris ("We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.")

It's tough to knock someone out of the war. Stalin was prepared to fight from beyond the Urals. French fought from the colonies. I'm sure the Brits would have fought from Canada for as long as they drew breath, or until Hitler stopped drawing breath.

astralis
16 Nov 15,, 22:23
gunnut,


Right, that's the whole point of Barbarossa, to catch the Red Army before it would be ready for war. The longer Germany sits on the eastern front, the worse off it would be.

actually the whole point of Barbarossa was to destroy the USSR...:-)

there was no particular reason why Hitler -had- to strike in 1941, other than the thought that he was pretty much done with the UK, had enough raw materials (from the USSR, ironically), and had waited long enough.

remember at this point in time the ENTIRE German chain of command, of course including Hitler, thought of the Red Army as a bunch of bumbling fools whom was embarrassed by a third-rate army during the Winter War.


Worse than Barbarossa? Wehrmacht might have the defensive advantage but it would lose the offensive initiative. The Red Army would be able to choose, when and where, and how many people to throw at the German line. Soviet losses would be horrendous but a Germany victory would be a pyrrhic victory.

no, I don't think the Russian casualties would be worse than Barbarossa, but the Germans would not be vulnerable to the disasters that befell them from overstretch.

the Russians lose less in the short-term but would lose more in the middle/long-term.


But that's a 3 front war we're talking about. Holding off the Red Army

i don't think the Russians would attack in 1941-1942-- they simply weren't ready, not even for a defensive war. an army group in the ME -would- keep the UK occupied; the UK wasn't going to invade continental Europe by herself.


But this action would definitely draw the Soviets into the war.

-really- doubt this. at the time, Stalin was talking an alliance with Hitler against the Western democracies. he wasn't going to go out on a limb to declare war on Hitler over long-hated enemy Turkey.

most likely if he did complain, there's nothing to prevent Germany and Russia dividing up Turkey between themselves like they did with Poland. Germany wasn't interested in Turkey for itself; Germany would be interested in cutting the Suez and driving the British from the war...and gaining access to the oilfields.


I have full faith in Stalin to not give a flying rat's ass about a piece of paper.

of course not about the paper; but about his interests. Stalin told his generals in Dec 1940 that frankly the Red Army was not ready for a showdown and that he would do his best to delay any war for at least two years.


French fought from oversea colonies. UK was fully prepared to do so. Remember, Germany could not physically invade UK. Wehrmacht could not physically occupy England. British would fight on, bankruptcy or not.

you can't fight without money. UK needed large sums just to keep up her merchant marine and the anti-U boat patrols, otherwise she would starve. the UK would not back down if she was faced with an existential threat; but if you kept it at the level of a colonial war then it would be much harder for the British public to tolerate bankruptcy and potential famine.

Churchill was taking an enormous risk, both politically and militarily, by holding against hope for US intervention. he knew full well that the UK alone would not be able to take down the German continental empire-- hell, he was wary of a direct confrontation when the -US- joined in, thus he pushed for Italy/Balkans instead of a France invasion in late 1942-1943.

Hitler desperately wanted a peace with the UK-- he didn't view the UK as his "real" enemy. he had his eyes set on a to-the-death confrontation with the USSR. Stalin and the Russians knew this-- or if they didn't, they found out real quick when Ukrainians/Russian defectors whom were trying to volunteer for the Nazis were brushed aside (at least before things got desperate for the Nazis).


French fought from the colonies.

a bit of a quibble but not really true. the "free French" was a joke up until the US started actually arming them in 1944. IIRC more French served the Vichy or as direct collaborationists in the Waffen-SS than the free French. that was why the British took it upon themselves to sink a significant portion of the French fleet after news of the armistice came out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Mers-el-K%C3%A9bir

gunnut
18 Nov 15,, 20:51
gunnut,

actually the whole point of Barbarossa was to destroy the USSR...:-)

there was no particular reason why Hitler -had- to strike in 1941, other than the thought that he was pretty much done with the UK, had enough raw materials (from the USSR, ironically), and had waited long enough.

remember at this point in time the ENTIRE German chain of command, of course including Hitler, thought of the Red Army as a bunch of bumbling fools whom was embarrassed by a third-rate army during the Winter War.

Barbarossa was launched at that time to catch the Red Army off guard. The longer Hitler waits, the stronger Soviet Union would become. He had to hit Stalin after they split the Poland buffer.



no, I don't think the Russian casualties would be worse than Barbarossa, but the Germans would not be vulnerable to the disasters that befell them from overstretch.

the Russians lose less in the short-term but would lose more in the middle/long-term.

Maybe, maybe not. Regardless of how many men the Red Army loses, 2 million Wehrmacht on the eastern front was not enough to counter attack deep into Russia. It would have been at most a stand-off, with borders pushed eastward a bit. Germany simply did not have enough men.



i don't think the Russians would attack in 1941-1942-- they simply weren't ready, not even for a defensive war. an army group in the ME -would- keep the UK occupied; the UK wasn't going to invade continental Europe by herself.

I agree that the Red Army would not attack in 41-42, unless Germany attacked Turkey to gain entry into the middle east. Stalin would not sit by and watch his southern flank buffer disappear without doing anything.



-really- doubt this. at the time, Stalin was talking an alliance with Hitler against the Western democracies. he wasn't going to go out on a limb to declare war on Hitler over long-hated enemy Turkey.

most likely if he did complain, there's nothing to prevent Germany and Russia dividing up Turkey between themselves like they did with Poland. Germany wasn't interested in Turkey for itself; Germany would be interested in cutting the Suez and driving the British from the war...and gaining access to the oilfields.

I hadn't considered that possibility, Germany and Soviet Union splitting Turkey. The problem I see is another removal of the buffer state between the 2 armies. First Poland, now Turkey, the Red Army and the Wehrmacht staring at each other on 2 separate fronts. That's not gonna last for long before someone makes a move.



of course not about the paper; but about his interests. Stalin told his generals in Dec 1940 that frankly the Red Army was not ready for a showdown and that he would do his best to delay any war for at least two years.

Right, and Germany's invasion of Turkey would change his calculus.



you can't fight without money. UK needed large sums just to keep up her merchant marine and the anti-U boat patrols, otherwise she would starve. the UK would not back down if she was faced with an existential threat; but if you kept it at the level of a colonial war then it would be much harder for the British public to tolerate bankruptcy and potential famine.

Right, the best Germany could do was to settle with UK. Germany did not have the ability to invade and occupy England. There was no way. If the brits were as stubborn as history made them to be, then they would fight despite being bankrupt. If the brits didn't want to starve, they would settle with Germany on mutually beneficial terms. French would be the one screwed here. UK would most likely not pursue the occupation of France in exchange for open sea lanes.



Churchill was taking an enormous risk, both politically and militarily, by holding against hope for US intervention. he knew full well that the UK alone would not be able to take down the German continental empire-- hell, he was wary of a direct confrontation when the -US- joined in, thus he pushed for Italy/Balkans instead of a France invasion in late 1942-1943.

I agree. Churchill desperately hoped his personal friendship with FDR would pay off, and it did, with some help from Japan.



Hitler desperately wanted a peace with the UK-- he didn't view the UK as his "real" enemy. he had his eyes set on a to-the-death confrontation with the USSR. Stalin and the Russians knew this-- or if they didn't, they found out real quick when Ukrainians/Russian defectors whom were trying to volunteer for the Nazis were brushed aside (at least before things got desperate for the Nazis).

I don't know about that. Blitz of London sort of told the brits Hitler was playing for keeps.



a bit of a quibble but not really true. the "free French" was a joke up until the US started actually arming them in 1944. IIRC more French served the Vichy or as direct collaborationists in the Waffen-SS than the free French. that was why the British took it upon themselves to sink a significant portion of the French fleet after news of the armistice came out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Mers-el-K%C3%A9bir

I agree, Free French force was not really much of a threat without American help. However, you have to admire them for not rolling over and give up all the colonial holdings to the Germans when the central government gave up. Imagine the Third Reich with all of French colonial holdings...

astralis
18 Nov 15,, 23:28
gunnut,


Barbarossa was launched at that time to catch the Red Army off guard. The longer Hitler waits, the stronger Soviet Union would become. He had to hit Stalin after they split the Poland buffer.

Hitler didn't "have" to invade in 1941, though. he first fought a costly air war with britain, and for that matter, invaded greece before hitting the USSR in OTL.

what i'm arguing here is that relatively speaking, if Hitler secured the Middle East prior to fighting the USSR, Germany would be in a stronger position for a fight with the USSR than otherwise.


Regardless of how many men the Red Army loses, 2 million Wehrmacht on the eastern front was not enough to counter attack deep into Russia. It would have been at most a stand-off, with borders pushed eastward a bit. Germany simply did not have enough men.

that's assuming an attack on Germany if Germany goes for the Mideast gambit.

OTOH if the British (and by default then the Americans) are knocked out of the war, then it wouldn't be very hard for Germany to take the men she used for the Mideast back up to deal with the Russians. for that matter, all the troops tied up in things like anti-artillery and building the Atlantic Wall, etc, are now all freed up. hitler probably doesn't run into the horrible production problems he had in 1943-1944.

the point of fighting in the ME isn't for the territory (at first), the point is to cut the Suez and take the British out. even if the British -aren't- knocked out, taking the Suez suddenly means it becomes a lot harder for the British to shuttle men and supplies from India, etc.


I agree that the Red Army would not attack in 41-42, unless Germany attacked Turkey to gain entry into the middle east. Stalin would not sit by and watch his southern flank buffer disappear without doing anything.

as OoE pointed out, the Red Army wouldn't fight unless Stalin thought it was prepared. Stalin himself said it wasn't prepared in that time period. i think the idea of a "buffer state" is much more of a Cold War thing than an interwar concern. remember, Stalin WORKED with Hitler to eliminate his European buffer, lol. he didn't threaten Hitler with war over Poland, he shared it.

in this case, what Germany would want from Turkey wouldn't be Turkey itself but transit rights. if Ataturk was dumb enough to resist (which I don't think he would have), and if Stalin decided he wanted to make a stink about it (which I don't think he would have), don't see why Hitler wouldn't just make a deal with Stalin then as he did before.

remember, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact didn't just split Poland, Hitler and Stalin also agreed to split Romania, parts of Lithuania, Hungary, and Bulgaria. nothing new.


There was no way. If the brits were as stubborn as history made them to be, then they would fight despite being bankrupt. If the brits didn't want to starve, they would settle with Germany on mutually beneficial terms.

if you're facing annihilation, yeah, fight to the end. Hitler was willing to offer status quo antebellum to the British, and was pretty astonished when Churchill told him to stuff it. but IIRC that was just after the miracle of Dunkirk and the formation of the wartime coalition government, so everyone was on a relative high.

fast forward a year or so, and if it looks like there's no hope for salvation (especially if the USSR and Germany wasn't fighting each other), the Brits getting kicked out of Suez, things would probably be a bit different. especially if what you're effectively doing is a huge costly colonial war. for instance, if Suez falls, how would the British be able to fight Germany? OoE says the British Indian Army, but I can't see a mostly light infantry army first being reformed to be able to fight the Wehrmacht on even terms, and then marching west to do battle while leaving India undefended.

the sums involved in doing THAT would be enormous, for starters.


I agree. Churchill desperately hoped his personal friendship with FDR would pay off, and it did, with some help from Japan.

Pearl Harbor saved Europe. even with numerous German provocations in 1941, the last polling before the actual declaration of war by Germany showed 90%+ Americans wanted no part of the war in Europe.


However, you have to admire them for not rolling over and give up all the colonial holdings to the Germans when the central government gave up. Imagine the Third Reich with all of French colonial holdings...

don't think the Third Reich had manpower for even lax administration/policing. they relied on the Vichy to do it for them. the first American casualties in Operation Torch were from the Vichy French troops resisting the landings.

Officer of Engineers
19 Nov 15,, 04:19
fast forward a year or so, and if it looks like there's no hope for salvation (especially if the USSR and Germany wasn't fighting each other), the Brits getting kicked out of Suez, things would probably be a bit different. especially if what you're effectively doing is a huge costly colonial war. for instance, if Suez falls, how would the British be able to fight Germany? OoE says the British Indian Army, but I can't see a mostly light infantry army first being reformed to be able to fight the Wehrmacht on even terms, and then marching west to do battle while leaving India undefended.Again, they have to get through the RN first and that was an impossible task. The Kreigsmarine commits to Africa. That leaves the Atlantic wide open. GB does not fall and re-enforced and re-armed by Canada up the ying yang.

S2
19 Nov 15,, 06:45
This started for me back in Strategypage days before 2006 but I've long postulated that Germany needed absolutely to knock Britain out of the war-either directly by invasion or indirectly by removing them as the key Med opponent prior to Nov. 1942. Securing the Suez while eliminating Alexandria (and by extension, the British Mediterranean fleet) might have eliminated England as any threat to German ambitions.

Conquest certainly would have done so.

I've tried arguing a re-considered German focus and approach to Malta as critical to German overall Med success. The pyrrhic victory at Crete, in this regard, was catastrophic.

For Germany to achieve their strategic ambitions it was critical that Great Britain be eliminated from the direct fight while also eliminating or neutralizing the British Isles as an assembly area for invasion. The Soviet Union could not be otherwise defeated.

Monash
19 Nov 15,, 11:43
Still, assuming Japan attacks the United States on schedule on Dec 7 1941 Germany only has a limited window of opportunity to take the Med and North Africa before the US enters the war and the game changes. The question is could they deal with that theater of operations before then given their other commitments in 1940 - France and the Scandinavian Countries etc.

GB had significant British and Commonwealth Forces in that theater, control of the canal and a much larger fleet so the problem is getting enough military resources on the ground in North Africa in time to win the campaign.

astralis
19 Nov 15,, 14:42
col,


Again, they have to get through the RN first and that was an impossible task

if Turkey falls/offers transit, then Hitler would have an overland route without needing to deal with the RN.

astralis
19 Nov 15,, 14:49
monash,


Still, assuming Japan attacks the United States on schedule on Dec 7 1941 Germany only has a limited window of opportunity to take the Med and North Africa before the US enters the war and the game changes. The question is could they deal with that theater of operations before then given their other commitments in 1940 - France and the Scandinavian Countries etc.

the period from june 1940 - dec 1941 (well, maybe not so much as butterfly effects would SERIOUSLY change things) was the era of maximum danger for the Allies-- hitler had huge freedom of movement to do as he wanted. he chose...poorly.

well, perhaps even worse for the Allies would have been if the UK/France chose to carry out their seriously-considered bombing attacks on the USSR while the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was on-- THAT would have been very interesting, in a very double-plus ungood way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Pike

Officer of Engineers
19 Nov 15,, 15:07
if Turkey falls/offers transit, then Hitler would have an overland route without needing to deal with the RN.Going through the Turkish mountain ranges? There's a reason why the Russian Empire did not conquer the Ottoman Empire and not because the Ottoman Turks were better archers than Russian musketeers.

Officer of Engineers
19 Nov 15,, 15:15
well, perhaps even worse for the Allies would have been if the UK/France chose to carry out their seriously-considered bombing attacks on the USSR while the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was on-- THAT would have been very interesting, in a very double-plus ungood way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_PikeThat assumes that the British/French would go on the attack against both Germany and the USSR. Don't know about the USSR but a French attack would knock Blitzkreig on its ass. Blitzkreig relies on attacking a known centre of mass. If that mass is moving, you're SOL.

astralis
19 Nov 15,, 19:39
Going through the Turkish mountain ranges? There's a reason why the Russian Empire did not conquer the Ottoman Empire and not because the Ottoman Turks were better archers than Russian musketeers.

Germans wouldn't need to go thru the Caucasus Mountains to reach the Middle East, just advance through the coastal areas and the flat Anatolian central plateau.

if you're talking about advancing into Russia thru the mountains, probably do an opposite of what the Russians did in the Georgian War. BTW a freed up Kriegsmarine would be very useful here, landings in Crimea while advancing through the Caucasus to keep the Russians off balance.

astralis
19 Nov 15,, 19:43
col,


That assumes that the British/French would go on the attack against both Germany and the USSR. Don't know about the USSR but a French attack would knock Blitzkreig on its ass.

sorry, I don't follow. French attack on Germany? Operation Pike was an Anglo-French plan to bomb the USSR. you mean if France goes on the offensive in the West?

Officer of Engineers
19 Nov 15,, 19:49
Germans wouldn't need to go thru the Caucasus Mountains to reach the Middle East, just advance through the coastal areas and the flat Anatolian central plateau.The entire LOC within range of RN 15+ inch guns. Yeah, good choice.


sorry, I don't follow. French attack on Germany? Operation Pike was an Anglo-French plan to bomb the USSR. you mean if France goes on the offensive in the West?You're not going to attack the weaker member of the M-R Pact while leaving the stronger one unopposed.

astralis
19 Nov 15,, 20:23
The entire LOC within range of RN 15+ inch guns. Yeah, good choice.

which would leave the RN vulnerable to land-based air.

this is what happens then:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodecanese_Campaign


You're not going to attack the weaker member of the M-R Pact while leaving the stronger one unopposed.

gotcha. hm, haven't seen any plans for a French offensive, though. that would be...interesting, say a French offensive into Germany in Mar/Apr 1940, spoiling the German attack.

don't think it'll end well, especially if USSR/Germany actually become a real alliance.

Officer of Engineers
19 Nov 15,, 22:42
which would leave the RN vulnerable to land-based air.

this is what happens then:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodecanese_CampaignMore like Dunkirk. This is not a prepared defence but a meeting engagement between Naval Artillery and supply convoys.


gotcha. hm, haven't seen any plans for a French offensive, though. that would be...interesting, say a French offensive into Germany in Mar/Apr 1940, spoiling the German attack.

don't think it'll end well, especially if USSR/Germany actually become a real alliance.Win or lose, France would not have fallen. A superpower put Germany on notice and put a stop to Hitler's expansion dreams.

astralis
20 Nov 15,, 00:16
More like Dunkirk. This is not a prepared defence but a meeting engagement between Naval Artillery and supply convoys.

for the sake of argument, in that case how hard would it be to move supply chains 100 miles inland?


A superpower put Germany on notice and put a stop to Hitler's expansion dreams.

but French doctrine simply did not have an adequate response to Blitzkrieg. nothing that would prevent a counterattack. moreover in this scenario now the German -eastern- front is safe, and you might even see the prospect of at least Red Army pilots now also doing combat missions on the western front.

Officer of Engineers
20 Nov 15,, 05:04
for the sake of argument, in that case how hard would it be to move supply chains 100 miles inland?Without rail and dependent on horse and cart? I'll bet on Turk horsemen.


but French doctrine simply did not have an adequate response to Blitzkrieg. nothing that would prevent a counterattack. moreover in this scenario now the German -eastern- front is safe, and you might even see the prospect of at least Red Army pilots now also doing combat missions on the western front.Blitzkreig requires extremely good intelligence and a fixed enemy. The MAGINOT LINE did 90% of the work for the Wehrmacht. For the French units that did maneuver, the Luftwaffe could concentrate their limited resources on the very few units and even then, it was by no means shaping the battlefield as we understood the term today.

For initial contact, the Germans would also rely on fortifications and it will be an artillery duel, in which case, the French were the superior force. They preached artillery.

astralis
20 Nov 15,, 14:41
col,

first I have to say this thread is great because it allows me to think through a lot of the decisions that were made in OTL.


Without rail and dependent on horse and cart? I'll bet on Turk horsemen.


how hard would it be for even the German logistics chain to build up rail? hell, even the Union could do it back in 1864. plus there were existing networks even across the Anatolian plateau.

for that matter the Germans/Italians had already captured all the major Greek islands surrounding Turkey save Cyprus. can't be too hard to establish air patrol bases or even a U-boat station to make life that much more fun-- just a relatively small expansion of the concurrent U-boat campaign in the Mediterranean.


The MAGINOT LINE did 90% of the work for the Wehrmacht. For the French units that did maneuver, the Luftwaffe could concentrate their limited resources on the very few units and even then, it was by no means shaping the battlefield as we understood the term today.

For initial contact, the Germans would also rely on fortifications and it will be an artillery duel, in which case, the French were the superior force. They preached artillery.

correct me if I'm wrong, but in this case the French would -still- need to man the Maginot line, right? in fact they'd probably have to thin it out to support an offensive across Belgium going the other way.

what prevents a counterpunch through the Maginot Line/Ardennes forest like what the Germans actually did?

Mihais
20 Nov 15,, 15:07
More like Dunkirk. This is not a prepared defence but a meeting engagement between Naval Artillery and supply convoys.

.

Prince of Wales and Repulse.

Officer of Engineers
20 Nov 15,, 22:38
how hard would it be for even the German logistics chain to build up rail? hell, even the Union could do it back in 1864. plus there were existing networks even across the Anatolian plateau.The RN can ship the BIA in faster than the Wehrmacht can build tracks.


for that matter the Germans/Italians had already captured all the major Greek islands surrounding Turkey save Cyprus. can't be too hard to establish air patrol bases or even a U-boat station to make life that much more fun-- just a relatively small expansion of the concurrent U-boat campaign in the Mediterranean.1 - The Luftwaffe sucks at anti-ship operations.

2) - Leaving again the Atlantic wide open.


correct me if I'm wrong, but in this case the French would -still- need to man the Maginot line, right? in fact they'd probably have to thin it out to support an offensive across Belgium going the other way.Man what? The French would have to strip the line of their guns. A reserve would be kept in place but the majority of the forces would be marching towards Germany.


what prevents a counterpunch through the Maginot Line/Ardennes forest like what the Germans actually did?Without halting the French offensive first, there would be no counter-punch. What? You're going to allow a superior artillery force to keep pushing deep into Germany and cutting your LOCs?


Prince of Wales and Repulse.That adds to the point. Despite the RN losses, the Kreigsmarine still wouldn't come out to play.

astralis
20 Nov 15,, 23:12
col,


The RN can ship the BIA in faster than the Wehrmacht can build tracks.

again, a light infantry force vs a mechanized one. and one that would leave India open to Japan.

thinking about it too, what about the other way? what if Hitler carries out his plan to take Gibraltar? it'd cost him an arm and a leg but no more than, say, the battle of France. suddenly RN's position in the Mediterranean becomes very difficult-- they'd have to move ships around the Cape to Suez to play a role.

Germans could then replay Operation Torch from the other way around.


1 - The Luftwaffe sucks at anti-ship operations.

2) - Leaving again the Atlantic wide open.

the U-boats were concurrently fighting the Atlantic and the Mediterranean at the same time. again, thinking this through, if the Schwerpunkt/decisive battle here is the Mediterranean and seizing Suez, what does it matter if the Atlantic is left wide open while supporting a land operation that would likely last for no more than six months?


Man what? The French would have to strip the line of their guns. A reserve would be kept in place but the majority of the forces would be marching towards Germany.

if the Germans are standing on the defensive in the north, wouldn't they be able to use interior lines to strike at the weakened Maginot line in the south? it's a lot shorter offensive needed to get from the Maginot Line to Paris than it would be from Paris through Belgium through northern Germany to Berlin.

seems to me that it would be easier for Germany to cut France's LOCs than the other way around. that's why in WW1 the initial French offensive was in the south. Germany sucker punched France with the Schlieffen Plan but given how the French generals fought in WWII, I really doubt they would be able to pull off the equivalent here.


That adds to the point. Despite the RN losses, the Kreigsmarine still wouldn't come out to play.

think Mihais means how Japanese land-based air made short work of a Royal Navy detachment.

Mihais
20 Nov 15,, 23:42
That adds to the point. Despite the RN losses, the Kreigsmarine still wouldn't come out to play.

No need to.The Italian Navy has German air cover over the entire Eastern Med.Malta was nearly strangled by a single German airfleet flying for a limited period.
RN capital ships were sunk or dissabled by Italian frogmen.

The Axis has enough means to keep the RN at bay or even crush it in Med in this scenario.

WRT Turkey,its neutrality wasn't set in stone.A strong German effort can see Turkey join the Axis.Or at least allow the passage of German troops to the Levant.
As for the BIA,by 1942 it had,IIRC,about 15 divisions.That can't halt the Germans,neither in Lybia nor in Levant.

I'm not ,though,a believer in the feasability of a German offensive in the Med,due the USSR.
As for an attack via Turkey,the Soviets were too great a risk.Assuming a third of the Wehrmacht goes tthrough the Balkans into Turkey and Levant,it leaves several thousands soviet tanks 150 miles from Ploiesti.And then a third of the Germans would be surrounded in the ME.

astralis
21 Nov 15,, 01:54
mihais,


I'm not ,though,a believer in the feasability of a German offensive in the Med,due the USSR.
As for an attack via Turkey,the Soviets were too great a risk.Assuming a third of the Wehrmacht goes tthrough the Balkans into Turkey and Levant,it leaves several thousands soviet tanks 150 miles from Ploiesti.And then a third of the Germans would be surrounded in the ME.

don't think the Russians had the mobility to cross the Caucasus and spring down on the Germans in 1941. given their wretched leadership in the Winter War and in Barbarossa, their initial attacks in Europe would most likely be an utter disaster. Stalin at this time WANTED to see the imperialist capitalists taken down a peg, otherwise he wouldn't have been merrily shipping hitler crucial war material and food stuffs up to the very invasion.

Bigfella
21 Nov 15,, 04:17
Asty,

The problem I see with your Turkish offensive is the L word - logistics. Too much stuff travelling down too few routes that are vulnerable to interdiction. Rail can be hit by the RAF, and anything travelling on the sea will have to deal with the RN. Cyprus is a mighty big aircraft carrier & naval base. After Crete it will be armed to the teeth at the slightest hint of Turkey changing sides or of Germany trying to force its way through (the latter would be a real disaster). The Brits had good enough contacts in Turkey to sniff the wind.

The RN badly mauled the RM when it ventured east, and the Italians weren't going any farther than Rhodes. Anything moving on the Eastern Med or along the littoral at night would be fair game. Remember that the RN raided every port along the channel coast as the Germans prepared for Sealion, even getting into Calais. I don't think they lost anything bigger than a torpedo boat. The Turkish coast would be peppered and anything in port at night would be at risk. The day time would be a different matter, but the airspace would be contested and with a bit of co-ordination the RN would be relatively safe under RAF cover. Even under ideal conditions the Luftwaffe was crap at sinking ships. Moving targets certainly weren't its thing.

Personally I'm not convinced Ataturk could be strong armed by Hitler. Sure, European Turkey would be under threat, but the rest would be safe from everything but bombing. There is no way Germany was going to get an army into and across Anatolia under those circumstances. Ataturk remembered the mistake made by the government in 1914 and the terrible, terrible cost for Turkey. Millions dead, occupation, humiliation & loss of empire. I don't think he would have considered a re-run on the chance that Germany might get him back some territory. He would have called Hitler's bluff.

Officer of Engineers
21 Nov 15,, 06:53
again, a light infantry force vs a mechanized one. and one that would leave India open to Japan.The biggest recruiter against the Japanese were the Japanese.


thinking about it too, what about the other way? what if Hitler carries out his plan to take Gibraltar? it'd cost him an arm and a leg but no more than, say, the battle of France. suddenly RN's position in the Mediterranean becomes very difficult-- they'd have to move ships around the Cape to Suez to play a role.Then Hitler would not be Hitler. He would not have gone for the Sudetenland. He would not gone for Poland. He would not gone for Greater Germany and instead would have concentrated on non-continental German power which frankly was a lot easier.


Germans could then replay Operation Torch from the other way around.And go against the very core of Hitler himself.


the U-boats were concurrently fighting the Atlantic and the Mediterranean at the same time. again, thinking this through, if the Schwerpunkt/decisive battle here is the Mediterranean and seizing Suez, what does it matter if the Atlantic is left wide open while supporting a land operation that would likely last for no more than six months?So, you're relying on a British Election to win the war? Who in their right mind would count on that? Hitler had an English King in his pocket and he still got war with Great Britain. To the point where the Dominions demanded Edward's removal. The Empire wanted war.


if the Germans are standing on the defensive in the north, wouldn't they be able to use interior lines to strike at the weakened Maginot line in the south? it's a lot shorter offensive needed to get from the Maginot Line to Paris than it would be from Paris through Belgium through northern Germany to Berlin.

seems to me that it would be easier for Germany to cut France's LOCs than the other way around. that's why in WW1 the initial French offensive was in the south. Germany sucker punched France with the Schlieffen Plan but given how the French generals fought in WWII, I really doubt they would be able to pull off the equivalent here.With what? You're forgetting that France was viewed as the superior military power, even in Germany. They wouldn't be planning to strike into France, not unless the French offensive is stopped cold and that was by no means certain at the time. The amount of artillery the French, at least on paper, is stagerring.


think Mihais means how Japanese land-based air made short work of a Royal Navy detachment.The point stands. The RN was not taken out.


No need to.The Italian Navy has German air cover over the entire Eastern Med.Malta was nearly strangled by a single German airfleet flying for a limited period.
RN capital ships were sunk or dissabled by Italian frogmen.

The Axis has enough means to keep the RN at bay or even crush it in Med in this scenario.Could have, would have, should have. They didn't. For whatever reason. Least of which is Hitler was Hitler


WRT Turkey,its neutrality wasn't set in stone.A strong German effort can see Turkey join the Axis.Or at least allow the passage of German troops to the Levant.
As for the BIA,by 1942 it had,IIRC,about 15 divisions.That can't halt the Germans,neither in Lybia nor in Levant.More than the Germans could bring to the table.

Mihais
21 Nov 15,, 06:54
Too bad that Ataturk was dead by 1938.

Asty,the Soviets don't need to cross the Caucasus.They only need to reach Belgrade.
No matter how you turn it,even if the entire first wave of Soviets,200+ divisions is destroyed by autumn-winter 41,they still get the expertise,they keep their industrial base intact,their population base intact and at the very least cause some damage to Ploiesti,thus hampering Axis mobility.
Keep in mid that the limiting factor to soviet offensives up until 1943 was not really the lack of trucks and tanks,it was the lack of artillery.That is no problem in this what-if.By 1943 in the best case scenario for civilization you have the Reds in Berlin.

Mihais
21 Nov 15,, 07:10
The point stands. The RN was not taken out.

Could have, would have, should have. They didn't. For whatever reason. Least of which is Hitler was Hitler

More than the Germans could bring to the table.

The Axis supported somehow an Army Group in the Caucasus.They can support a similar force in Syria well enough.And the best of the BIA was trashed by an inferior Japanese force.The 8th Army was historically superior to Rommel,yet it got pounded.It's victory came when the Germans had to fuel their vehicles with oil somehow salvaged from an oil spill.
15 BIA divisions vs 20 of the WH in 1941.With the Krauts having most of the Luftwaffe above their heads.That ends pretty much like the rest of the encounters.

Monash
21 Nov 15,, 13:44
Sans Turkey entering the war in 1940 on the Axis side there's no realistic way for Hitler to get strategically dominate forces into the Near East or Africa by the end of 1942. Historically the Axis were simply unable to transport and sustain large numbers of German troops in North Africa. Rommel was crippled from the get-go by the inability of Germany to transport significant numbers of troops, Panzers, ammunition and that most precious of resources (from his point of view) fuel across the Med to North Africa. The British recognized from the onset the frailty of his supply lines and went all out to disrupt Axis sea links with Libya, just as the German tried to do the same in return with less success.

As I see it is the problem is the political and social inertia the Nazis have to counter in order to get Turkey on board. Frankly I don't see any way on Earth a National Socialist (and Aryan) Germany is going to convince a Turkmen and deeply conservative Muslim nation to side with the 'master race'. The main problem is that the Germans can't promise the Turks anything in exchange for their co-operation that the Turkish Government of the day will realistically believe they can come through with. They will know Germany is supporting Italy's claims on North African and new 'Roman' Empire. They also know a British backed administration is already entrenched in Egypt and Iraq, not to mention their very clear memories of how much they lost in terms of territory in the last war - far more than any of the other nation aligned with the central powers. They also don't have a strong industrial base of their own to support a war effort and are not in position to make a strong 'push' into the Near East by themselves even with a 'rump' of German support. A few German divisions thrown in as support on a 'flying the flag' exercise simply won't cut it. So from their perspective the best alternative is to do exactly what they did do - pull their heads in and wait for the shooting to stop. I mean look at the problems Europe has had in trying to integrate Turkey into the EU now after decades of trying, what hope did Nazi Germany have of pulling off a similar trick in a mere 2 years or so?

Officer of Engineers
21 Nov 15,, 14:38
The Axis supported somehow an Army Group in the Caucasus.They can support a similar force in Syria well enough.That army group did not see the combat intensity that is expected here.


And the best of the BIA was trashed by an inferior Japanese force.The 8th Army was historically superior to Rommel,yet it got pounded.It's victory came when the Germans had to fuel their vehicles with oil somehow salvaged from an oil spill.Wrong. Both 8th Army and the BIA started winning when they got Generals who knew what they were doing. Further more, the very fact that the Afrika Korps had to salvage an oil spill states unequivocally that the Germans knew squat all about extended logistics. That was also seen on the Russian Front when no one had planned for winter clothing. British Generals, I might add, Montgomery and Slim who understood logistics better than Rommel.


15 BIA divisions vs 20 of the WH in 1941.With the Krauts having most of the Luftwaffe above their heads.That ends pretty much like the rest of the encounters.And the rest of the Empire somehow magically disappeared? 8th Army Gone? 1st and 2nd Canadian Armies gone? Australian Desert Rats gone? RAF gone? RN gone?

Bigfella
21 Nov 15,, 15:32
It is also worth pointing out here that in this scenario North Africa pretty much grinds to a halt. A major German push through Turkey is going to suck up every hull bigger than a motor launch that the Germans can get their mits on. Given that they are supplying the naval cover, the Italians will be able to keep enough shipping to supply their troops in Nth Africa, but not for them to be storming toward Cairo. Of course, absent the Afrika Corps, which is now going to be the Anatolia Corps, there won't be much storming going on anyway. My recollection of Italian offensives during that period was that they only tended to work with overwhelming superiority of numbers against a retreating or barely trained enemy. Even then they were patchy.

The upshot is that virtually all the British forces that would have been committed to NA are going to end up in Syria or Turkey. Those are some handy units and provide a strong 'backbone'. Because Britain can ship units rapidly across the Eastern Med to Egypt if required it is possible to strip out most of what was there. Britain may also move good stuff from the Far East or simply not send it - which might actually save some quality troops spending the war in Japanese POW camps. It should be remembered that there were some pretty handy units fighting in East Africa in 1941 (that is where Slim first saw combat - got shrapnel in his arse). Combat conditioned and used to a war of rapid movement, if not massed armour. The BIA troops that stormed Keren were as tough as anything Germany faced up to that point. Rather than send some of them east they go north.

Mihais
21 Nov 15,, 16:17
That army group did not see the combat intensity that is expected here.

Wrong. Both 8th Army and the BIA started winning when they got Generals who knew what they were doing. Further more, the very fact that the Afrika Korps had to salvage an oil spill states unequivocally that the Germans knew squat all about extended logistics. That was also seen on the Russian Front when no one had planned for winter clothing. British Generals, I might add, Montgomery and Slim who understood logistics better than Rommel.

And the rest of the Empire somehow magically disappeared? 8th Army Gone? 1st and 2nd Canadian Armies gone? Australian Desert Rats gone? RAF gone? RN gone?

The only thing that doomed the Germans in Africa was the lack of railroads.It hurt losing ships,it hurt to be interdicted from the air,but what hurt them the most was spending for each liter of fuel that reached the front several times the amount.
A German Army Group in Levant suffers from none of the issues above.There is no naval or air interdiction of the LOC,enough rail can be laid,as was done in Russia,and additional forces can be brought to bear .
The only question is about the scale of the British evacuation.

Officer of Engineers
21 Nov 15,, 17:05
The RN can ship faster than Germans can laid rail.

Mihais
21 Nov 15,, 17:27
Yes Sir,but ship what?In the 1940-41 timeframe.

Officer of Engineers
21 Nov 15,, 17:34
There were two fresh Canadian divisions sitting in the UK. And since this scenario requires the Kreigsmarine to challenge RN Med dominance, that meant the Atlantic is weakened and more supplies and troops arriving from Canada. Just imagine all the convoys getting through with zero casualties.

Mihais
21 Nov 15,, 17:48
Ok,if we add the BIA,the 8th Army,the CA we get what?25 divisions,30 at most,that need to be shipped,supplied etc...
A quarter of the Wehrmacht is 45-50.It was done in S Russia in 41-42.The Axis somehow managed to keep such a force in the field.It wasn't in the best condition,but in Levant they won't face the huge Red Army,but a paltry force by comparison.
And the British force still has to fight.The 8th Army got trashed by a Panzer Corp,repeteadly.In Levant there won't be 3 mobile divisions,but at least 10.

Also,the KM has no need to challenge the RN in Eastern Med.Only to secure it.The Italian Navy and the land based German AF are more than enough.

Officer of Engineers
21 Nov 15,, 17:51
However, this all assumes that Hitler stops being Hitler. For all practical purposes, the Brits were knocked out of the war. Rommel and the Afrika Korps were sent to rescue the Italians, not any specific designs on British holdings. So what if the Brits lost Egypt? Hitler was counting on a British election to have a pro-German London? He had that before in a King and did him squat all.

Winning Egypt requires a massive undertaking that would take Hitler's eyes off his main prize - the USSR. I mean, really, from the 1941 perspective, what does winning Egypt helped him with? The Brits can't do crap all to stop him and he is fighting a war, losing men and material, that would gain him nothing in conquering Russia.

Even if he wins Egypt, does that mean a German army is going to march through the streets of London? Not a chance in hell.

In fact, I can't get my head around this. In hindsight, yeah, winning Egypt before taking on the USSR made sense but from the viewpoint of the period in question? Win Egypt, Churchill loses a non-confidence vote and a new election that may or may not get the Brits out of the war. In the mean time, supplies and re-enforcements are rushing to the British Isles making an already impossible invasion more impossible.

In the mean time, I've just spent an entire army group taking Egypt for nothing and that army group is not going to help me to take Moscow. In the meantime, Stalin is getting stronger and stronger and we both know that war is coming. I just got weaker and Stalin is stronger. Do I wait to rebuild my army group or go without it, bearing in mind that Stalin is also using the same time to get stronger.

From the standpoint of 1941, taking North Africa makes zero sense. Not when my goal is to take the USSR.

Officer of Engineers
21 Nov 15,, 17:53
Ok,if we add the BIA,the 8th Army,the CA we get what?25 divisions,30 at most,that need to be shipped,supplied etc...He who gets there the firstest with the mostest wins. And that would be the Brits.

astralis
21 Nov 15,, 19:04
col,


Winning Egypt requires a massive undertaking that would take Hitler's eyes off his main prize - the USSR. I mean, really, from the 1941 perspective, what does winning Egypt helped him with? The Brits can't do crap all to stop him and he is fighting a war, losing men and material, that would gain him nothing in conquering Russia.

the RAF bombing campaign also hurt, and Hitler was willing to spend quite a bit to cow the UK into a treaty. i mean, he fought the Battle of Britain after all, and was fighting the Battle of the Atlantic.

eliminating the Brits would mean he's safe on the Western European flank from all bombing, and now you can retask U-boats and the Luftwaffe to mass against the USSR. eliminate the threat from the southern flank.


Even if he wins Egypt, does that mean a German army is going to march through the streets of London? Not a chance in hell.

he didn't need the UK, he just needed the UK out of the war. he was willing to offer status quo antebellum after the battle of france and he hinted it again after the battle of britain.


In fact, I can't get my head around this. In hindsight, yeah, winning Egypt before taking on the USSR made sense but from the viewpoint of the period in question? Win Egypt, Churchill loses a non-confidence vote and a new election that may or may not get the Brits out of the war. In the mean time, supplies and re-enforcements are rushing to the British Isles making an already impossible invasion more impossible.

In the mean time, I've just spent an entire army group taking Egypt for nothing and that army group is not going to help me to take Moscow. In the meantime, Stalin is getting stronger and stronger and we both know that war is coming. I just got weaker and Stalin is stronger. Do I wait to rebuild my army group or go without it, bearing in mind that Stalin is also using the same time to get stronger.

all the men manning anti-aircraft guns, unbombed factories, no need for an atlantic wall, freeing up the entire Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe surely isn't nothing. hell, Rommel and his 250,000 men at least would be freed up, along with whatever italian odds and sods. no huge 1943 diversion to rescue mussolini.


From the standpoint of 1941, taking North Africa makes zero sense. Not when my goal is to take the USSR.

eliminate the two front war. basically, the way i see it, Hitler loses what, one year taking North Africa and Egypt, knocks Britain out of the war. even if Hitler DOES take higher than expected casualties, surely it wouldn't equal all the men lost to the Allied bombing campaigns, the 1943 diversion to italy, and the entire western front from 1944 on.

the funny angle of your argument is that you seem to be arguing that Hitler timed his attack on the USSR perfectly, and that it was a -good- strategic decision to attack.

astralis
21 Nov 15,, 19:10
on the other gibraltar gambit (man, there are a lot of scenarios floating around here).


Then Hitler would not be Hitler. He would not have gone for the Sudetenland. He would not gone for Poland. He would not gone for Greater Germany and instead would have concentrated on non-continental German power which frankly was a lot easier.

why not? Hitler himself pushed for it multiple times. in fact, the entire operation was scuttled because of one man, Admiral Canaris, whom actively advised Franco to oppose Hitler and deceived Hitler.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Felix

On 24 August, Hitler approved a general plan for seizing Gibraltar. On 23 October, he personally met with Franco at Hendaye, France, and proposed that Spain enter the war on the Axis side as early as January 1941; Gibraltar would be taken by special Wehrmacht units and turned over to Spain. Franco however refused the offer, emphasizing Spain's need for large-scale military and economic assistance. Hitler took offence when Franco expressed doubts about the possibility of a German victory in fighting the UK on its home territory. Franco also pointed out that even if the British Isles were invaded and conquered, the British government, as well as most of the British Army and vastly powerful Royal Navy, would probably retreat to Canada and continue the Battle of the Atlantic, with U.S. support.

On 12 November, Hitler issued Führer Directive No. 18,[6] which stated that "political measures to induce the prompt entry of Spain into the war have been initiated" and that "The aim of German intervention in the Iberian Peninsula (code name Felix) will be to drive the English out of the Western Mediterranean." It also mentioned the potential invasion of Portugal if the British gained a foothold and requested that the occupation of Madeira and of the Azores be investigated.[7]

Officer of Engineers
21 Nov 15,, 19:52
the RAF bombing campaign also hurt, and Hitler was willing to spend quite a bit to cow the UK into a treaty. i mean, he fought the Battle of Britain after all, and was fighting the Battle of the Atlantic.It was a good old fashion siege with zero intent of taking the castle, not after BARBAROSSA.


eliminating the Brits would mean he's safe on the Western European flank from all bombing, and now you can retask U-boats and the Luftwaffe to mass against the USSR. eliminate the threat from the southern flank.He did eliminate the threat. The U-Boat campaign, while expensive, was nowhere near the commitment needed to militarily defeating the Brits.


he didn't need the UK, he just needed the UK out of the war. he was willing to offer status quo antebellum after the battle of france and he hinted it again after the battle of britain.He did knock Britain out of the war. A few harassment raids here and there does not equal a relief army for the continent.


all the men manning anti-aircraft guns, unbombed factories, no need for an atlantic wall, freeing up the entire Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe surely isn't nothing. hell, Rommel and his 250,000 men at least would be freed up, along with whatever italian odds and sods. no huge 1943 diversion to rescue mussolini.You're looking at this post 1941. Hell, you're looking at this post WWII. There's no way in hell did anyone knew any of this in 1941. Not even the Brits, nor the Americans.


eliminate the two front war. basically, the way i see it, Hitler loses what, one year taking North Africa and Egypt, knocks Britain out of the war. even if Hitler DOES take higher than expected casualties, surely it wouldn't equal all the men lost to the Allied bombing campaigns, the 1943 diversion to italy, and the entire western front from 1944 on.If that were the case, I can argue Chamberlain should have gone to war over Sudetenland. Hitler never envisioned the US entering the war and most certainly did not envision the Allies (both Soviet and the Anglo-Americans) retaking and keeping the offensive.


the funny angle of your argument is that you seem to be arguing that Hitler timed his attack on the USSR perfectly, and that it was a -good- strategic decision to attack.Based on his objectives. Yeah, it was. It was the best chance he had - based on the information he had and not a crystal ball into the future.

astralis
22 Nov 15,, 17:31
col,


It was a good old fashion siege with zero intent of taking the castle, not after BARBAROSSA.

of course. -after- barbarossa. Hitler experienced a setback when Churchill didn't surrender. he figured if the UK didn't surrender now, it sure would after the USSR collapsed.

but the entire premise of this what-if is Hitler thinking to himself, OK, maybe opening up a two-front war right now isn't the best of ideas.


He did knock Britain out of the war. A few harassment raids here and there does not equal a relief army for the continent.

well, Rommel and his 250,000 men is not quite nothing, in addition to the tens of thousands (in 1941) assigned to anti-aircraft batteries along with those 88s. and the kriegsmarine, and the luftwaffe bombing raids. these were costs that hitler ate in 1941.

true, hitler couldn't have known that -he- would declare war on the Americans in Dec 1941, nor the fall of italy. but the above costs alone, while they wouldn't win the war for the UK, were fairly significant to the German war machine.


Based on his objectives. Yeah, it was. It was the best chance he had - based on the information he had and not a crystal ball into the future.

basically, hitler's germany grew at an exponential pace between 1939 and 1941, because he first absorbed the industries of Czechoslovakia, then Poland, then France. he also seized huge amounts of war booty from occupied Europe. in each year (1939, 1940, 1941) his capabilities grew faster than that of the USSR.

it wasn't until AFTER the Soviets eliminated all of their many, many incompetent generals, spun up their wartime economy, and had critical LL assistance that they were able to match a multiple-front Germany in 1943 and then decisively beat Germany in 1944-1945.

seems to me that an extra year of peace between the USSR and Germany would be in -Germany's- favor, simply because the German military machine was operating a higher level of effectiveness at the time, and by finishing up one existing front, could free up a lot more combat power for a 1942 invasion. hell, if not Turkey then Gibraltar, as Hitler originally wanted.

well, we're repeating arguments at this point in time so i'll likely stop here. i've got some other scenarios that come to mind that i'd like to explore...:-)

Mihais
22 Nov 15,, 17:56
Soviet economy was on war footing since 1940,if not earlier.
Growth in capabilities?Red Army had ~120 divisions in 1939.In June 41 it had 300 + with another 200 forming.

Officer of Engineers
22 Nov 15,, 19:43
of course. -after- barbarossa. Hitler experienced a setback when Churchill didn't surrender. he figured if the UK didn't surrender now, it sure would after the USSR collapsed.

but the entire premise of this what-if is Hitler thinking to himself, OK, maybe opening up a two-front war right now isn't the best of ideas.But then, Hitler would not be Hitler. He had the victory disease up the ying-yang and most certainly, the early days of BARBAROSSA did nothing to suede him otherwise. Great Britain and France were the superpowers of the day and he took them with great guild, cunning, and determination. The USSR was not even ranked. To ask him to give up these in favour of intelligent decision making ... again, Hitler would not be Hitler.


well, Rommel and his 250,000 men is not quite nothing, in addition to the tens of thousands (in 1941) assigned to anti-aircraft batteries along with those 88s. and the kriegsmarine, and the luftwaffe bombing raids. these were costs that hitler ate in 1941.These were extremely light compare to what you're asking - the destruction of the British Empire ... and again, the loss of North Africa would not collapse the British Empire. Your best case scenario is an election that would bring in a Hitler friendly government but here's the catch, Hitler understands crap all about electoral moods. He couldn't even fathom a popular vote. So, it would not even be in his thinking.

His thinking would be. Taking the British holdings in Africa would increase the war, not decrease it and he is at a great disadvantage. The British can re-enforce a hell of a lot faster than he can. Montgomery rebuilt 8th Army in theatre. Rommel was begging for scraps.

All of this while Stalin is getting stronger. Yes, Stalin was not ready to attack but Hitler didn't know that. But what Hitler did know, the Soviet war machine was getting bigger and bigger and you're asking him to give Stalin a year to increase the Red Army?

What's more, the foundation of Soviet military might was there from the beginning. It was incompetence, not incapability that gave Hitler his early victories. That changed within a single year. Without looking into a crystal ball, Hitler could not have known just how incompetent the Russians were. He would have expected their best.

I just cannot see how Hitler would decide to try to force a British election in favor of attacking the USSR early.

zraver
25 Nov 15,, 01:53
Soviet economy was on war footing since 1940,if not earlier.
Growth in capabilities?Red Army had ~120 divisions in 1939.In June 41 it had 300 + with another 200 forming.

Thats not linear growth though, much of it was from bigger units that were broken up. The Germans did this as well. Many more were just cadres.

zraver
25 Nov 15,, 02:03
But then, Hitler would not be Hitler. He had the victory disease up the ying-yang and most certainly, the early days of BARBAROSSA did nothing to suede him otherwise. Great Britain and France were the superpowers of the day and he took them with great guild, cunning, and determination. The USSR was not even ranked. To ask him to give up these in favour of intelligent decision making ... again, Hitler would not be Hitler.

These were extremely light compare to what you're asking - the destruction of the British Empire ... and again, the loss of North Africa would not collapse the British Empire. Your best case scenario is an election that would bring in a Hitler friendly government but here's the catch, Hitler understands crap all about electoral moods. He couldn't even fathom a popular vote. So, it would not even be in his thinking.

His thinking would be. Taking the British holdings in Africa would increase the war, not decrease it and he is at a great disadvantage. The British can re-enforce a hell of a lot faster than he can. Montgomery rebuilt 8th Army in theatre. Rommel was begging for scraps.

All of this while Stalin is getting stronger. Yes, Stalin was not ready to attack but Hitler didn't know that. But what Hitler did know, the Soviet war machine was getting bigger and bigger and you're asking him to give Stalin a year to increase the Red Army?

What's more, the foundation of Soviet military might was there from the beginning. It was incompetence, not incapability that gave Hitler his early victories. That changed within a single year. Without looking into a crystal ball, Hitler could not have known just how incompetent the Russians were. He would have expected their best.

I just cannot see how Hitler would decide to try to force a British election in favor of attacking the USSR early.

Its not unreasonable to assume that German tanks parading in Alexandria while German paratroopers enjoyed the beaches of Malta might cause a crisis of confidence in Parliament and collapse of Churchill. It would have been a critically important strategic defeat that radically changed the threats the British would perceive to Palestine and Iraq.

Also I know you think Stalin would just use Asian troops, but I still disagree. Losing Moscow and Stalingrad doesn't leave the USSR any sort of viable transport net west of the Urals. Meanhile as we see opposite Armygroup Mitte, once the lines stabilized, rail lines would spread rapidly along the German front giving them the advantage of interior lines.

Officer of Engineers
25 Nov 15,, 02:58
Its not unreasonable to assume that German tanks parading in Alexandria while German paratroopers enjoyed the beaches of Malta might cause a crisis of confidence in Parliament and collapse of Churchill.But there is absolutely zero evidence that Hitler had such an insight or any desire to pursue this course of action vis-a-vi doing BARBAROSSA.

Officer of Engineers
25 Nov 15,, 04:03
The problem is that forcing a British election through military means is beyond Hitler's thinking. Hell, it's even beyond my thinking. In fact, this would be the exact same kind of revisionism that we accused Hanoi and Vo Ngyen Giap of. There was no way in hell that Hanoi and Giap could have predicted the hippie movement and the backlash from the American public against the Vietnam War.

The exact same kind of thing here. There is no way in hell Hitler and his staff could have predicted a British Government collapse. Yes, this maybe the case from hindsight. I'm sorry but this kind of thinking is beyond any human being without the benefit of a crystal ball. Losing North Africa does not destroy the British Empire and the British was well capable of carrying on the war without North Africa. It did not reduce Canadian, Australian, and Indian military combat power by one single iota. There was a reason why North Africa was never offerred Dominion Status. They weren't good enough nor important enough.

That was the ONLY way Hitler and the German High Command could have looked at it. That is the ONLY way any HQ Staff, even today could have looked at it.

astralis
25 Nov 15,, 05:01
North Africa wasn't important for North Africa, though.

it was important because of the canal-- it's effectively a LOC from the Home islands to India/Australia/South Africa, and as such was an important location, from both a strategic and prestige standpoint. Rommel's goal was to drive to Suez and kick the British out, right? same thing with Hitler's attempt to take Stalingrad for the political/prestige factor, even though Stalingrad by itself was unimportant.

ultimately Hitler chose to attack Russia first, i suspect because he viewed the conquest of Russia as easier than forcing out the obstinate Churchill...and also because he hated the Russians much much more than the British, and had a bad case of victory disease.

it'd be interesting to play through a scenario where Hitler was just a bit more leery of the Russians and had less of a case of that disease. it certainly wasn't impossible, as I mentioned earlier, Hitler was actively excited about the prospect of taking Gibraltar and closing off the west Mediterranean to the Brits.

Maeda Toshiie
25 Nov 15,, 14:33
North Africa wasn't important for North Africa, though.

it was important because of the canal-- it's effectively a LOC from the Home islands to India/Australia/South Africa, and as such was an important location, from both a strategic and prestige standpoint. Rommel's goal was to drive to Suez and kick the British out, right? same thing with Hitler's attempt to take Stalingrad for the political/prestige factor, even though Stalingrad by itself was unimportant.

ultimately Hitler chose to attack Russia first, i suspect because he viewed the conquest of Russia as easier than forcing out the obstinate Churchill...and also because he hated the Russians much much more than the British, and had a bad case of victory disease.

it'd be interesting to play through a scenario where Hitler was just a bit more leery of the Russians and had less of a case of that disease. it certainly wasn't impossible, as I mentioned earlier, Hitler was actively excited about the prospect of taking Gibraltar and closing off the west Mediterranean to the Brits.

Let me get my geography correct. By taking Gibraltar and shutting off the straits, doesn't that cut the LOC just as much as taking the Suez?

Officer of Engineers
25 Nov 15,, 16:32
it'd be interesting to play through a scenario where Hitler was just a bit more leery of the Russians and had less of a case of that disease. it certainly wasn't impossible, as I mentioned earlier, Hitler was actively excited about the prospect of taking Gibraltar and closing off the west Mediterranean to the Brits.Gibraltar, I can see but only if the Spanish jump full bore on side but that leads to another Waterloo.

astralis
25 Nov 15,, 21:43
Gibraltar, I can see but only if the Spanish jump full bore on side but that leads to another Waterloo

what do you mean by Waterloo? for the Spanish?

Mihais
25 Nov 15,, 22:19
I wonder why?For the Spanish to allow German troops means they'll still be perfectly safe and fine.Spain and the French/Spanish bases in Africa can cause a huge headache to any allied shipping toward the FE.
It also gives them a comfortable way towards Africa to counter Allied actions there.

Officer of Engineers
25 Nov 15,, 23:13
Waterloo as in the British used Spanish discontent to create a rift within the Continental Empire (France in the original sense, and Germany in this sense).

The problem with Spain is that Franco won the Civil War but has yet to win the peace. Franco was very well aware that his Civil War could re-ignite at any time and jumping into war with Germany did not give him the respite to keep the peace. Note what Hitler actually asked, passage of German divisions, not involvement of the Spanish Army, meaning that even Hitler could not trust the Spanish.

And then there were competing allied demands. Spain wants parts of Vichy France but Vichy France was suppplying armed divisions while Spain was not even trusted to supply her own armies. Yeah, Hitler was going to punish Vichy France for that.

zraver
25 Nov 15,, 23:55
But there is absolutely zero evidence that Hitler had such an insight or any desire to pursue this course of action vis-a-vi doing BARBAROSSA.

Hitler may not, but his generals had the right insights. At this point in the war they were still occasionally listened to. Sadly, He and OKW/OKH did not listen to Rommel or Kesselring.

I'm not sure I follow since the whole point of Sea Lion as planned and Vichy France and Denmark as applied was to force a former belligerent to adopt a government that was at least permissive of German ambitions.

Officer of Engineers
26 Nov 15,, 02:50
Hitler may not, but his generals had the right insights. At this point in the war they were still occasionally listened to. Sadly, He and OKW/OKH did not listen to Rommel or Kesselring.Hitler was not about to listen to non-yes men.


I'm not sure I follow since the whole point of Sea Lion as planned and Vichy France and Denmark as applied was to force a former belligerent to adopt a government that was at least permissive of German ambitions.France and Denmark were occupied. The loss of North Africa would not result in a German Army marching down the streets of London.

And if SEA LION occurred, Churchill would remain in victorious power.

zraver
26 Nov 15,, 05:00
Hitler was not about to listen to non-yes men.

He did listen, just with decreasing frequency after his stand fast order outside Moscow saved the German Army.


France and Denmark were occupied.

Vichy France wasn't until 1943.


The loss of North Africa would not result in a German Army marching down the streets of London.

And if SEA LION occurred, Churchill would remain in victorious power.

No but Germans marching through the streets of Alexandria while paratroopers sunned themselves on the shores of Malta would likely have precipated a political crisis in the UK. Without Malta and Alexandria the Med more than a fighters flight from Gibraltar now belongs to the Axis which means Syria and Palestine are naked and ripe for the picking and after them Iraq and its oil. The last line of defense is Cairo and the Suez, but if the IJN is in the Indian ocean thats a non-starter.

Hitler was always looking for the big win that would gain him a Clauswitizian decisive victory and a way out of a total war Germany could not win. Even late 1944 with Wacht am Rhein he was looking for the 1 win that would win it all.

Officer of Engineers
26 Nov 15,, 05:16
He did listen, just with decreasing frequency after his stand fast order outside Moscow saved the German Army.Within context, Rommel was not going to convince Hitler to give up BARBAROSSA.


Vichy France wasn't until 1943.It was 1940 but the point was that Hitler was not going to reward Franco with French territory for efforts that was less than a quarter of what Vichy France was giving him.


No but Germans marching through the streets of Alexandria while paratroopers sunned themselves on the shores of Malta would likely have precipated a political crisis in the UK.Which again is outside Hitler's thinking and frankly outside of any regular human being's thinking. No one plans a battle with an objective of making a politician lose an election.


Without Malta and Alexandria the Med more than a fighters flight from Gibraltar now belongs to the Axis which means Syria and Palestine are naked and ripe for the picking and after them Iraq and its oil. The last line of defense is Cairo and the Suez, but if the IJN is in the Indian ocean thats a non-starter.Gibraltar is another scenario and one that is fraught with butterfly effects. Franco didn't side with Hitler simply because it was too easy for London to re-ignite the Spanish Civil War. Franco made outrageous demands, including French territory while only offering safe passage for German troops to Gibraltar. No Spanish troops to storm the British garrison.


Hitler was always looking for the big win that would gain him a Clauswitizian decisive victory and a way out of a total war Germany could not win. Even late 1944 with Wacht am Rhein he was looking for the 1 win that would win it all.That is Hitler being Hitler.

Doktor
26 Nov 15,, 07:44
Thinking about what's on the table here, Reich is not Rome to raise local armies. Gibraltar, Suez, Tehran, France, Yugoslavia, Greece, North Africa, Malta, defenses on the East...This is a nightmare for the logistics, just to keep the troops supplied and rotated.

astralis
26 Nov 15,, 17:00
Doktor,


Thinking about what's on the table here, Reich is not Rome to raise local armies.

not to the level of Rome, certainly, but the Reich did recruit quite heavily from disaffected Russians (1-2 million!), and of course there were several hundred thousand Waffen-SS foreign volunteers.

plus the slave labor.

German logistics never matched that of the Russians let alone the Americans, but considering they were using top notch (well, relatively speaking and for the time) internal European rail networks, they did alright until the end.

Officer of Engineers
26 Nov 15,, 17:20
Actually, considering how long Op CITADEL was delayed and with years of constructing a proper LOC, Syria and Egypt was not going to be any easier. Absent Franco taking Gibraltar, my bet goes to the Montgomery's Eighth Army.

Doktor
26 Nov 15,, 17:45
Doktor,



not to the level of Rome, certainly, but the Reich did recruit quite heavily from disaffected Russians (1-2 million!), and of course there were several hundred thousand Waffen-SS foreign volunteers.

plus the slave labor.

German logistics never matched that of the Russians let alone the Americans, but considering they were using top notch (well, relatively speaking and for the time) internal European rail networks, they did alright until the end.

Most of the places aren't in Europe.

You should see our rail today, vastly revitalized after WW2 to think again.

Doktor
26 Nov 15,, 17:50
Actually, considering how long Op CITADEL was delayed and with years of constructing a proper LOC, Syria and Egypt was not going to be any easier. Absent Franco taking Gibraltar, my bet goes to the Montgomery's Eighth Army.

Col,

Wasn't Monty a last minute replacement for accidentally killed MG, IIRC name was Alexander? What do we know for this guy? Say his plane didn't crash? (again IIRC, from my mobile)

Officer of Engineers
26 Nov 15,, 18:21
Wiki's entry for 8th Army

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Army_%28United_Kingdom%29

British Generals were not all incompetents.

Doktor
26 Nov 15,, 20:29
Far from it. Was just curious how much a personal change would affect the outcome.

Mihais
26 Nov 15,, 20:34
Decisevely.But at the same time it can't be quantified.

zraver
26 Nov 15,, 20:38
Thinking about what's on the table here, Reich is not Rome to raise local armies. Gibraltar, Suez, Tehran, France, Yugoslavia, Greece, North Africa, Malta, defenses on the East...This is a nightmare for the logistics, just to keep the troops supplied and rotated.

Thats what the Bulgarians are for... Bulgaria joined the Axis but refused to declare war on Russia and so used her troops to police interior lines of the Axis conquests. In addition the Heer and SS each had security divisions used for anti-partisan and occupation duties.

OOE,


Which again is outside Hitler's thinking and frankly outside of any regular human being's thinking. No one plans a battle with an objective of making a politician lose an election.

North Vietnam's entire strategy against both France and the US was to last 1 day longer than the enemy was willing to fight. They always saw ultimate victory decided by a political crisis of confidence in whatever western nation they were fighting.

Officer of Engineers
26 Nov 15,, 20:58
North Vietnam's entire strategy against both France and the US was to last 1 day longer than the enemy was willing to fight. They always saw ultimate victory decided by a political crisis of confidence in whatever western nation they were fighting.But their entire battle plans, DBP, Khe Sanh, and Tet were based on operational objectives, ie seizing of towns, control points, government positions, not to force a vote.

That strategy also backfired against the Chinese.

zraver
26 Nov 15,, 21:18
But their entire battle plans, DBP, Khe Sanh, and Tet were based on operational objectives, ie seizing of towns, control points, government positions, not to force a vote.

That strategy also backfired against the Chinese.

Those battles were fought to force a political resolution. A strategy that only works when a government is responsive to public pressure. The UK is such a government.

Officer of Engineers
26 Nov 15,, 21:29
Those battles were fought to force a political resolution.Their political resolution was a march straight into Saigon. In fact, Tet was fought in Saigon. That's a military conquest. There's no way in hell that Vo and cohorts could have predicted the anti-war movement.

zraver
26 Nov 15,, 22:42
Their political resolution was a march straight into Saigon. In fact, Tet was fought in Saigon. That's a military conquest. There's no way in hell that Vo and cohorts could have predicted the anti-war movement.

They didn't have to predict it, they just had to ride it. It was fairly obvious that the counter-culture in the US and the reluctance of the US to really throw in and its handicapping ROE's was undermining American resolve in the long term.

Officer of Engineers
26 Nov 15,, 22:52
They didn't have to predict it, they just had to ride it. It was fairly obvious that the counter-culture in the US and the reluctance of the US to really throw in and its handicapping ROE's was undermining American resolve in the long term.So were they. They were on the verge of collapse as well. Up until LB I and II, North Vietnamese families were seeing their sons off never to return again. LB I and II brought the war home to them but up until then, they had no more resolve to see the war through than the Americans.

In fact, Tet was a disaster for Hanoi in more ways than one. The uprising they predicted didn't happened and North Vietnamese families lost their sons for nothing and no amount of propaganda was going to sway them that South Vietnam was going to welcome them with opened arms.

Within context, a German victory in North Africa is not a given and their loss could also have ripple effects in Berlin.

zraver
27 Nov 15,, 00:09
So were they. They were on the verge of collapse as well. Up until LB I and II, North Vietnamese families were seeing their sons off never to return again. LB I and II brought the war home to them but up until then, they had no more resolve to see the war through than the Americans.

In fact, Tet was a disaster for Hanoi in more ways than one. The uprising they predicted didn't happened and North Vietnamese families lost their sons for nothing and no amount of propaganda was going to sway them that South Vietnam was going to welcome them with opened arms.

Tactically it was a defeat, but strategically they crushed LBJ who had been loudly proclaiming that victory was in sight.. LBJ's presidency never recovered and he said he would not seek a second term.


Within context, a German victory in North Africa is not a given and their loss could also have ripple effects in Berlin.

Hitler is already playing that game... until Feb 43 he kept civillian production artificially high to try and keep the home front calm. He lived in fear of a stab in the back... remember he blamed the German defeat in WWI on politicians losing their will.

Officer of Engineers
27 Nov 15,, 00:15
Tactically it was a defeat, but strategically they crushed LBJ who had been loudly proclaiming that victory was in sight.. LBJ's presidency never recovered and he said he would not seek a second term.That's just it. It was a strategic disaster for Hanoi. The VC, wiped out. Two entire North Vietnamese Army gone. Home front discontent. North Vietnamese families were exhausted of sons.

LBJ handed them their propaganda victory but by all accounts, Hanoi lost the war at Tet.


Hitler is already playing that game... until Feb 43 he kept civillian production artificially high to try and keep the home front calm. He lived in fear of a stab in the back... remember he blamed the German defeat in WWI on politicians losing their will.And a British victory in North Africa would have delayed BARBAROSSA to the point that Hitler could not penetrate Soviet defences.

zraver
27 Nov 15,, 03:00
That's just it. It was a strategic disaster for Hanoi. The VC, wiped out. Two entire North Vietnamese Army gone. Home front discontent. North Vietnamese families were exhausted of sons.

LBJ handed them their propaganda victory but by all accounts, Hanoi lost the war at Tet.

And a British victory in North Africa would have delayed BARBAROSSA to the point that Hitler could not penetrate Soviet defences.

Hitler had the troops to both, he even had the fuel if Malta was taken but his fear of losing more fallschrimjagers ended up costing him the war.

Officer of Engineers
27 Nov 15,, 03:53
Hitler had the troops to both, he even had the fuel if Malta was taken but his fear of losing more fallschrimjagers ended up costing him the war.You're saying that Hitler had the forces to do a 2 front war.

Bigfella
27 Nov 15,, 03:58
That's just it. It was a strategic disaster for Hanoi. The VC, wiped out. Two entire North Vietnamese Army gone. Home front discontent. North Vietnamese families were exhausted of sons.

LBJ handed them their propaganda victory but by all accounts, Hanoi lost the war at Tet.

Sir,

I'm going to have to disagree with this. Tet was much more than a 'propaganda victory'. It was a victory on a number of levels.

Every nation has a limit on how much it is prepared to commit to win a war. In Vietnam America's limit was about 4 years & 30,000 dead. Korea wasn't much different. That isn't because America was weak or divided, but because Vietnam (and Korea) simply didn't matter enough to commit more or risk more. No US President was ever committed enough to do more than was done because that was as important as Vietnam was. When LBJ asked his people what the plan was after Tet they just said 'give us more men' - like every General does. It was 'more of the same', and that simply wasn't worth doing more of. Every day after Tet & every death after Tet were about finding a way out.

North Vietnam, on the other hand, was FAR from defeated. This is the nation that was able to raise another army after Tet, lose it in 1972, and then raise yet one more to push for victory in 1975. While the local VC were indeed wrecked, many were replaced & continued to harass US & ARVN troops, if less effectively. Further, the much vaunted 'Linebacker' campaigns were designed to cover a US withdrawal. The most they would have 'won' is a treaty that saw the US leave & the North promise not to invade. That was achieved in 1973, but it left the Nth in possession of 10% of Sth Vietnam & with 200,000 personnel on its soil. Hanoi was certainly strained, but not to the point where it was ready to quit. As was pointed out earlier, all the Nth had to do was wait out the US & make the price for staying too high. It reached that point at Tet. Sth Vietnam proved more resilient than they expected, but without the US it was never enough.

Officer of Engineers
27 Nov 15,, 04:15
North Vietnam, on the other hand, was FAR from defeated.It was defeated at every level except one. The US was not willing to pay the butcher's bill with North Vietnamese blood. Had it been any other conqueror, Mongols or the Japanese, Hanoi would have been put to the knife and there was nothing to stop them. North Vietnamese families had no sons of fighting age left. It took three years for them to wait for boys to become men.

Bigfella
27 Nov 15,, 04:28
It was defeated at every level except one. The US was not willing to pay the butcher's bill with North Vietnamese blood. Had it been any other conqueror, Mongols or the Japanese, Hanoi would have been put to the knife and there was nothing to stop them. North Vietnamese families had no sons of fighting age left. It took three years for them to wait for boys to become men.

As they say in sport - you can only play the opposition that is provided. North Vietnam fought the war it needed to fight and held on for as long as it needed to. It is worth remembering that they also outlasted the Mongols & Japanese (and Chinese and French). Different strategies for different enemies. The US wasn't fighting this war in isolation & it wasn't fighting it for existential reasons. Vietnam was doing both. The US wasn't prepared to kill more Americans or Vietnamese (though several million were killed, which is still a lot) because the war was never really about Vietnam for America. That is ALL it was about for Nth Vietnam

Officer of Engineers
27 Nov 15,, 04:34
As they say in sport - you can only play the opposition that is provided. North Vietnam fought the war it needed to fight and held on for as long as it needed to. It is worth remembering that they also outlasted the Mongols & Japanese (and Chinese and French).They did not outlast the Chinese and had to go begging to Beijing for peace.


Different strategies for different enemies. The US wasn't fighting this war in isolation & it wasn't fighting it for existential reasons. Vietnam was doing both. The US wasn't prepared to kill more Americans or Vietnamese (though several million were killed, which is still a lot) because the war was never really about Vietnam for America. That is ALL it was about for Nth VietnamYou're missing the point. North Vietnam was beaten twice and threw back twice. The fact that they re-started round 3 does not change the fact that they effectively lost the war on those two occasions. Militarily and economically, they had nothing left and had to rely on China and Russia to build a 3rd army.

zraver
27 Nov 15,, 04:51
You're saying that Hitler had the forces to do a 2 front war.

In the short term yes, he ended up fighting a 3 front war. He was pennywise but pound foolish.

Officer of Engineers
27 Nov 15,, 04:55
BF,

Before we go any further, Vo didn't start Tet to force LBJ out of office. He started Tet so he could do machine gun the Saigon government. The fact that LBJ did leave office does not change the fact that Vo had absolutely zero clue that this would happen or he planned for it.

And he most certainly did not plan Tet to lose the VC or his armies.

Bigfella
27 Nov 15,, 06:05
They did not outlast the Chinese and had to go begging to Beijing for peace.

I was going back a bit farther than that.


You're missing the point. North Vietnam was beaten twice and threw back twice. The fact that they re-started round 3 does not change the fact that they effectively lost the war on those two occasions. Militarily and economically, they had nothing left and had to rely on China and Russia to build a 3rd army.

I understand that. My point is that you cut your coat according to your cloth. Had those resources not been available or had it been a different enemy they would have adopted a different strategy. They lost some big battles, but stayed in the fight long enough to claim the win.



BF,

Before we go any further, Vo didn't start Tet to force LBJ out of office. He started Tet so he could do machine gun the Saigon government. The fact that LBJ did leave office does not change the fact that Vo had absolutely zero clue that this would happen or he planned for it.

And he most certainly did not plan Tet to lose the VC or his armies.

Oh, I agree entirely. Tet was a massive miscalculation and it wasn't Vo's first. He tried the same thing in 1951 & butchered the cream of his army. I don't see him as the military genius some do. However, Tet worked on several levels. While there was a major and expensive miscalculation about the state of the RVN & the ARVN, there was also an understanding that the US could be pressured into withdrawal as the French were. That wasn't the immediate aim of Tet and could probably have been achieved at lower cost, but it was part of the broader strategy.

LBJ offered the North a way out of the war more or less immediately & it didn't take it. Clearly the belief was that even in a badly weakened state the North could just wait the US out and rebuild. Also keep in mind that but for a few votes in a few states Nixon would have lost to Hubert Humphrey, who was committed to ending the war quite quickly. Had that happened Tet would seem like a master stroke. It should tell us something about the strength of the North's strategic position that it could find itself in an improved position after Tet despite the damage done.

Think of it a bit like Zhukov's failed offensives in 1942. He butchered his armies, but he still left his enemy in a relatively worse position than it was before. Sure, he could have used those forces more judiciously and achieved more, but Germany was further from winning after than it was before. Likewise the US & by extension RVN after Tet.

Doktor
27 Nov 15,, 07:46
Thats what the Bulgarians are for... Bulgaria joined the Axis but refused to declare war on Russia and so used her troops to police interior lines of the Axis conquests. In addition the Heer and SS each had security divisions used for anti-partisan and occupation duties.
They were only interested to occupy Macedonia, Thrakia and some small part of Serbia. Germans were in control. They were not included in any military op. Hungary and Romania is a better argument.

zraver
27 Nov 15,, 12:56
They were only interested to occupy Macedonia, Thrakia and some small part of Serbia. Germans were in control. They were not included in any military op. Hungary and Romania is a better argument.

The Hungarians and Romanians were fully engaged on the Eastern Front, regardless finding security troops was never a problem.

Officer of Engineers
27 Nov 15,, 16:53
I was going back a bit farther than that.The war you fought 200 years ago would have little bearing on an enemy who overcame your strategy.


I understand that. My point is that you cut your coat according to your cloth. Had those resources not been available or had it been a different enemy they would have adopted a different strategy. They lost some big battles, but stayed in the fight long enough to claim the win.They've lost the war - twice. They've won their 3rd war.


Oh, I agree entirely. Tet was a massive miscalculation and it wasn't Vo's first. He tried the same thing in 1951 & butchered the cream of his army. I don't see him as the military genius some do. However, Tet worked on several levels. While there was a major and expensive miscalculation about the state of the RVN & the ARVN, there was also an understanding that the US could be pressured into withdrawal as the French were. That wasn't the immediate aim of Tet and could probably have been achieved at lower cost, but it was part of the broader strategy.It could have easily gone the other way. Pissed off the Americans so much that they decide to invade and indeed this strategy backfired against the Chinese. They invaded -twice.


LBJ offered the North a way out of the war more or less immediately & it didn't take it. Clearly the belief was that even in a badly weakened state the North could just wait the US out and rebuild. Also keep in mind that but for a few votes in a few states Nixon would have lost to Hubert Humphrey, who was committed to ending the war quite quickly. Had that happened Tet would seem like a master stroke. It should tell us something about the strength of the North's strategic position that it could find itself in an improved position after Tet despite the damage done.What improved strategic situation? Hanoi was left wide. The Chinese were leaving to face their own upcoming war with the USSR? Zero defences against the upcoming LB I and II? Let's be clear about this, right after Tet, Hanoi was shitting in their pants with fear.


Think of it a bit like Zhukov's failed offensives in 1942. He butchered his armies, but he still left his enemy in a relatively worse position than it was before. Sure, he could have used those forces more judiciously and achieved more, but Germany was further from winning after than it was before. Likewise the US & by extension RVN after Tet.Zhukov did not leave Moscow wide open for the taking.

Officer of Engineers
27 Nov 15,, 16:58
In the short term yes, he ended up fighting a 3 front war. He was pennywise but pound foolish.Ok, let's work this through. The odds were the British could re-enforce North Africa faster than the Germans can build a rail into Syria. British Generals had learned how to deal with Blitzkreig by this time. So, again absent Franco taking Gibraltar (and even that was not a given since the Brits could easily restart the Spanish Civil War), odds were the Brits were going to win.

So, therefore, you're going to repeat WWII Russian Front with a weakened German force?

Mihais
27 Nov 15,, 20:01
Sir,''this time'' being when? The British learned at El Alamein,but that was against a few German infantry btn's and a couple of tank companies.Yes,in theory there were armored divisions,but in practice...
There is roughly 1000 miles of rail from Marmara Sea to Syria.Rail capacity to supply ~40 divisions is needed,because the British don't have more than 30.
6 months buildup,3 months of campaigning.It's doable in 1941.Even if the Brits keep Sinai,German airpower in the Arabian Peninsula pretty much interdicts any traffic in the Red Sea.

The Germans will break somewhere and after that it's Gazala and Tobruk on a bigger scale.
And there is a problem.What the Empire will do without BIA?Because the BIA is critical in this scenario,but given the track rcord of the period,it's very likely it gets smashed.

Officer of Engineers
27 Nov 15,, 20:13
That really wasn't the thrust of my argument. My argument is what does Hitler gain from taking out the Brits vis-a-vi the Soviets and I mean from Hitler's perspectives at the time without the usage of the crystal ball. Taking out North Africa does zero to the Battle of the Atlantic and LL would still be going full force. And now, he's short an army group to do or to support BARBAROSSA.

Mihais
27 Nov 15,, 20:24
In that regard I concur.Still,taking Malta in 1940 would have been a good thing to do for them.

zraver
28 Nov 15,, 02:47
Ok, let's work this through. The odds were the British could re-enforce North Africa faster than the Germans can build a rail into Syria.

Not really, not until late 1942 anyway. They were still rebuilding from the loss of the BEF's equipment and having toshift at least some forces east as Japan first made noises then war.


British Generals had learned how to deal with Blitzkreig by this time. So, again absent Franco taking Gibraltar (and even that was not a given since the Brits could easily restart the Spanish Civil War), odds were the Brits were going to win.

Disagree, in 1941 the Desert Fox was the bane of British generals, they only halted him when his supplies ran out. Had the Germans taken Malta, the bonus fuel material and men he lost in real history from forces based in Malta would have tipped the scales in Egypt.


So, therefore, you're going to repeat WWII Russian Front with a weakened German force?

Not really, just taking Malta gives Rommel a big boost in men, material and fuel without impacting Barbarossa more than it did historically.

Parihaka
28 Nov 15,, 04:32
I know this has been discussed before but damned if I can find it, what happens if Britain reinforces the BEF with the two? Canadian divisions and goes all out with the RAF, say 12 group, rather than withdrawing through Dunkirk?

zraver
28 Nov 15,, 05:24
I know this has been discussed before but damned if I can find it, what happens if Britain reinforces the BEF with the two? Canadian divisions and goes all out with the RAF, say 12 group, rather than withdrawing through Dunkirk?

They die... 2 divisions wasn't enough to turn the tide, not by the time they could be committed. The addition of the Canadians would only add 20% to the combat power of the English speakers and only about 5% overall. Plus command was disjointed with the UK, Fr and Bl all having their own objectives and goals. Adding 40,000 troops won't really change any of this, they will still be outnumbered about 2-1. Not to mention they will be out fought at the tactical and strategic level. They were facing 4 panzer, 2 motorized 1 SS division, 3 infantry divisions plus 2 heavy infantry regiments (Grossduetchsland and SSLAH). The Canadians might have forced the Germans to pause as OKW wanted to do but... That just means when Panzergroup Kleist (XIV and XVI armies) does attack its rested.

The RAF would have fared even worse. In the BoB fighter command just about held its own thanks to the advantage of more fuel, radar and the fat that the Germans had to fight to defend the bombers. In 1941/42 when it was the RAF flying over the channel they got routinely trounced because the defenders advantages shifted to the Germans. The lack of plane production would still have hurt Germany long term (see the drop in Luftwaffe strength by June 1941), but the losses in pilots would not have been anywhere close to what it was fighting over Britain. Hell the pilot losses might just force the RAF into the same ruinous situation the Germans faced.

What the reinforced BEF's and RAF's sacrifice might have done is buy the rest of the French army some time. So the real question is could France have built a counter to Blitzkrieg with her remnant army given an extra 2 weeks?

Parihaka
28 Nov 15,, 05:54
What the reinforced BEF's and RAF's sacrifice might have done is buy the rest of the French army some time. So the real question is could France have built a counter to Blitzkrieg with her remnant army given an extra 2 weeks?That's what I'm wondering. Ignoring the RAF except 12 group giving cover over British held territory (they played little role in the BoB) could the British with the Canadians held some sort of defensive posture in the lowlands long enough to give the French a chance to rally? And would they have?

Bigfella
28 Nov 15,, 06:37
They've lost the war - twice. They've won their 3rd war.

They lost campaigns & won the war. The families may grieve for the losses, but the nation gets the win. Same wiht Hitler, he won a lot of campaigns, but lost the war.


It could have easily gone the other way. Pissed off the Americans so much that they decide to invade and indeed this strategy backfired against the Chinese. They invaded -twice.

America isn't China. It is half a world away and people get to vote Presidents out of power. The chances of America getting pissed off and sending more troops to the Sth & expanding the war were very small, and Hanoi was prepared for that possibility. That 'very small' chance was that the US might occupy parts of the DRV, not send the First Armoured toward Hanoi. Sending more than another 20,000 troops after Tet would have forced LBJ to call up the reserves. Invading the DRV would have involved stripping quality troops out of Europe. That just wasn't going to happen.


What improved strategic situation? Hanoi was left wide.

No, it wasn't. The Communists lost 30,000 over about two months. The majority were local forces, not PAVN regulars. The PAVN was damaged but sufficiently intact to fight an invading army. There wasn't an American army waiting coiled to attack Hanoi & Hanoi knew it - they probably knew more about US troop dispositions than the ARVN did. Any US buildup for an invasion would take time & be very obvious.


The Chinese were leaving to face their own upcoming war with the USSR?

At this point in the war America was unclear about the exact nature of that conflict & China's commitment to Hanoi. After Korea no President was going to roll those dice without 100% certainty the war would not expand. China was bluffing (by this point, if not before), but it was too big a bluff to call.


Zero defences against the upcoming LB I and II?

LB 1 started four and a half years and one US President after the Tet Offensive ended - October 1972. Hanoi had built up and lost an entire army in the Ester Offensive by that time.


Let's be clear about this, right after Tet, Hanoi was shitting in their pants with fear.

No, they weren't. Look at the timeline. Tet was launched at the very start of Feb. That was 'Phase 1' of three proposed phases. In mid-March, after heavy losses, COSVN - the DRV's southern command centre - was sufficiently pleased with the results to announce that Phases 2 & 3 would go ahead. At the end of March Johnson announced the bombing halt and his decision not to run again. He also started up the Paris Peace talks. At this point the remote chance the US might escalate was dead. Hanoi remained optimistic, sent another 50,000 men South & launched Phase 2 - the 'May Offensive'. Phase 3 was launched in mid-August.

The last 2 phases hurt the PAVN, but the fact that Hanoi was still committing large numbers of men in mid-August should tell you that they didn't fear invasion. There were questions asked during the offensive and severe recriminations in the aftermath, but Hanoi wasn't in danger & didn't think it was.


Zhukov did not leave Moscow wide open for the taking.

Zhukov fought the war he needed to fight and he won. Hanoi did the same.

zraver
28 Nov 15,, 07:20
That's what I'm wondering. Ignoring the RAF except 12 group giving cover over British held territory (they played little role in the BoB) could the British with the Canadians held some sort of defensive posture in the lowlands long enough to give the French a chance to rally?

I'd give them 2 weeks, they still didn't understand the enemy they were facing.


And would they have?

I don't think so, the French government was shell shocked. Waygand lost hope on June 10, and on a June 11 meeting with Churchill Weygand and Petain both dismissed the idea of a Breton Redoubt and all but said the war was lost.

Bigfella
28 Nov 15,, 07:51
I'd give them 2 weeks, they still didn't understand the enemy they were facing.



I don't think so, the French government was shell shocked. Waygand lost hope on June 10, and on a June 11 meeting with Churchill Weygand and Petain both dismissed the idea of a Breton Redoubt and all but said the war was lost.

A more interesting scenario is if France decides to fight on from the colonies. So some of those forces get deployed to delay the German advance as long as possible while the French government evacuates as many men & as much equipment as it can. French troops in the UK after Dunkirk reform & get rearmed as best as possible. The French navy & RN cover the evacuation by sea. Atlantic & Med ports can be used, though most will be Med. French air units either fly to the UK or Corsica/Nth Africa (I think some did in OTL). It would certainly have been possible to create salients in Normandy & Brittany for the evacuation & slow the German advance down the Rhone valley & through the Massif Central in order to evacuate via Marseilles.

With the French navy still in the war and some sort of credible armed force in Tunisia the complexion of the war in the Med changes immediately. Interesting possibilities.

Mihais
28 Nov 15,, 08:00
Yes,it means an even quicker and more decisive Soviet victory.

zraver
28 Nov 15,, 08:02
A more interesting scenario is if France decides to fight on from the colonies. So some of those forces get deployed to delay the German advance as long as possible while the French government evacuates as many men & as much equipment as it can. French troops in the UK after Dunkirk reform & get rearmed as best as possible. The French navy & RN cover the evacuation by sea. Atlantic & Med ports can be used, though most will be Med. French air units either fly to the UK or Corsica/Nth Africa (I think some did in OTL). It would certainly have been possible to create salients in Normandy & Brittany for the evacuation & slow the German advance down the Rhone valley & through the Massif Central in order to evacuate via Marseilles.

With the French navy still in the war and some sort of credible armed force in Tunisia the complexion of the war in the Med changes immediately. Interesting possibilities.

It would bugger Mussolini's dreams, the French may have looked like Keystone Cops vs the Germans but they were more than a match for the Italians. With no real prospect of a war in North Africa, what would an extra panzer corps mean in Russia? Does Moscow fall?

zraver
28 Nov 15,, 08:05
Italy didn't jump in until June 10, if France was already making moves to continue the fight from the overseas pats of Metropolitan France and the colonies she likely would not jump in at all.

Bigfella
28 Nov 15,, 08:28
It would bugger Mussolini's dreams, the French may have looked like Keystone Cops vs the Germans but they were more than a match for the Italians. With no real prospect of a war in North Africa, what would an extra panzer corps mean in Russia? Does Moscow fall?

The problem for Hitler is that Mussolini might have been screaming for Hitler to send troops to stop France invading. I don't think France would have been in any shape to do that, but Il Duce doesn't know that. he also has the British on the other side. Hitler may send something less impressive than the Afrika Corps, but he may still send troops.

However, the question then arises as to what Mussolini does and does not do. he wasn't exactly rational. A sane man would reinforce Nth Africa & abandon hopes of conquering Greece. This, in turn, might mean no Axis invasion of the Balkans with whatever impacts that has...or it might not. Good luck getting inside Il Duce's head. ;-)


Italy didn't jump in until June 10, if France was already making moves to continue the fight from the overseas pats of Metropolitan France and the colonies she likely would not jump in at all.

I'm leaning toward him still doing it. This is a guy who was so convinced Hitler would knock Britain out of the war that he declared war with his largest colony sitting on the other side of the Suez canal with no hope of reinforcement. He wanted some glory & some more territory. He will probably decide Hitler will still do all the heavy lifting.

Mussolini WIs are fun, because any one of a series of diametrically opposed possibilities are equally likely.

Officer of Engineers
28 Nov 15,, 11:04
They lost campaigns & won the war. The families may grieve for the losses, but the nation gets the win. Same wiht Hitler, he won a lot of campaigns, but lost the war.Still does not change the fact that Hanoi ran out of men and needed to wait for their boys to become men.


America isn't China. It is half a world away and people get to vote Presidents out of power. The chances of America getting pissed off and sending more troops to the Sth & expanding the war were very small, and Hanoi was prepared for that possibility. That 'very small' chance was that the US might occupy parts of the DRV, not send the First Armoured toward Hanoi. Sending more than another 20,000 troops after Tet would have forced LBJ to call up the reserves. Invading the DRV would have involved stripping quality troops out of Europe. That just wasn't going to happen.You're forgetting ARVN.


No, it wasn't. The Communists lost 30,000 over about two months. The majority were local forces, not PAVN regulars. The PAVN was damaged but sufficiently intact to fight an invading army. There wasn't an American army waiting coiled to attack Hanoi & Hanoi knew it - they probably knew more about US troop dispositions than the ARVN did. Any US buildup for an invasion would take time & be very obvious.No, Hanoi did not know American forces. Khe Sanh proved it.


At this point in the war America was unclear about the exact nature of that conflict & China's commitment to Hanoi. After Korea no President was going to roll those dice without 100% certainty the war would not expand. China was bluffing (by this point, if not before), but it was too big a bluff to call.It is precisely China that proved Hanoi's fears. They went begging to Mao for increased military aide ASAP.


LB 1 started four and a half years and one US President after the Tet Offensive ended - October 1972. Hanoi had built up and lost an entire army in the Ester Offensive by that time.They have not replaced the losses from ROLLING THUNDER.


No, they weren't. Look at the timeline. Tet was launched at the very start of Feb. That was 'Phase 1' of three proposed phases. In mid-March, after heavy losses, COSVN - the DRV's southern command centre - was sufficiently pleased with the results to announce that Phases 2 & 3 would go ahead. At the end of March Johnson announced the bombing halt and his decision not to run again. He also started up the Paris Peace talks. At this point the remote chance the US might escalate was dead. Hanoi remained optimistic, sent another 50,000 men South & launched Phase 2 - the 'May Offensive'. Phase 3 was launched in mid-August.

The last 2 phases hurt the PAVN, but the fact that Hanoi was still committing large numbers of men in mid-August should tell you that they didn't fear invasion. There were questions asked during the offensive and severe recriminations in the aftermath, but Hanoi wasn't in danger & didn't think it was.I read this as more as desperation to get the victory, to knock the Americans out of the war. Again, you're forgetting ARVN. The numbers were there.


Zhukov fought the war he needed to fight and he won. Hanoi did the same.Hanoi won in spite of her performance. Not because of it.

Officer of Engineers
28 Nov 15,, 11:15
Not really, not until late 1942 anyway. They were still rebuilding from the loss of the BEF's equipment and having toshift at least some forces east as Japan first made noises then war.Again, you're looking at this post WWII. Please start looking at this from Hitler's perspective in the period in question.


Disagree, in 1941 the Desert Fox was the bane of British generals, they only halted him when his supplies ran out. Had the Germans taken Malta, the bonus fuel material and men he lost in real history from forces based in Malta would have tipped the scales in Egypt.Cunningham, Ritchie, Auchinleck, as well as Montgomery, all had successes against Rommel. Eighth Army's failures came when the Generals were forced by Churchill to attack before they were ready.


Not really, just taking Malta gives Rommel a big boost in men, material and fuel without impacting Barbarossa more than it did historically.Would not have changed a thing. The problem with North Africa is the LOC. You have to build up forward supplies before you can attack further. When your tanks ran out of gas, that is the furthest you're going to go until you can move enough gas to that point to start attacking again. And there were no rails, so you're relying on trucks. The same trucks that drink the same gas as your tanks.

The British were better at this, having in Africa a lot longer.

Mihais
28 Nov 15,, 11:22
The invasion of USSR is gone.Germany cannot invade anything.The assumption is that at least half the French Army can be evacuated,the entire Navy and most the airforce.
For a start,that leaves the Germans with the need for a much larger occupation force.It also deprives them of the French industry,because without a submissive government,the industry is destroyed or sabotaged.
BoB goes on much differently,with the remaining French Air Force being of great use.Btw,while the BEF mnaged to lose its equipment,a more orderly French evacuation might result in better armed FRench forces being available in Britain,thus putting the very reason for a BoB out of existence.
The Germans may hope to defeat UK when its army is hardly existent,but they can't hope to defeat a real army on the cliffs of Dover.And that would have been a crazy thing to see.
In NA,Mussolini won't jump the gun.He was after what he perceived as easy pickings.The French and the RN can easily cut NA from Italy and Hitler won't rosk losing an army isolated in Lybia.Not at this stage of the war,when sane minds still existed at top level.The French army of NA can defend easily,but the real detterent is the combined might of the allied navies.

Bigfella
28 Nov 15,, 12:04
Still does not change the fact that Hanoi ran out of men and needed to wait for their boys to become men.

And it was fighting a war where it had time to wait.


You're forgetting ARVN.

No I'm not. The ARVN in 1968 was not a very impressive force. A few good units, a lot of crap. if the US wanted to invade the DRV it was going to have to find more and different soldiers. The 500,000 it had plus the ARVN still wasn't able to properly control Sth Vietnam.


No, Hanoi did not know American forces. Khe Sanh proved it.

How? The people who got fooled at Khe Sanh were MACV, who thought it was the major attack. The PAVN wasted far too many troops in the operation, but that is another story. There is no way to hide preparations for a big invasion from an enemy with eyes everywhere. They would have known it was coming.


It is precisely China that proved Hanoi's fears. They went begging to Mao for increased military aide ASAP.

And? America wasn't going to risk war with China on a hunch, and Nth Vietnam got the arms it needed from one source or another.


They have not replaced the losses from ROLLING THUNDER.

They built up enough resources to carry out Tet and the 1972 invasion before LB1.


I read this as more as desperation to get the victory, to knock the Americans out of the war. Again, you're forgetting ARVN. The numbers were there.

That isn't how Hanoi read it, and they were the ones running the war. They knew by the end of March that no invasion was coming, and they still thought they had 'won' at that point. Hanoi was not 'wide open' or 'shit scared' by the time LBJ quit. They still had 50,000 troops to send for Phase 2 and more again for Phase 3. A major miscalculation, but not desperation at all.


Hanoi won in spite of her performance. Not because of it.

No, Hanoi won because it had a better strategy than its enemy. It wore down the more powerful enemy - America - by staying in a war that was never important enough to America to commit the resources required to save Sth Vietnam. Once that was done it wore the weaker enemy down by continuing to attack until it collapsed. There were some disastrous miscalculations, but no fatal ones.

Officer of Engineers
28 Nov 15,, 15:30
And it was fighting a war where it had time to wait.You can't have it both ways, BF. Either they knew what they were doing militarily or they were lucky. Their performances were far from perfect and there is no way you can convince me that Tet, 72, and finally 76 were not operations designed to kill the enemy in his own home, not to outlast and outbleed the Americans. If it were the latter, there were far better and cheaper ways to do it. Algiers, Afghanistan, and Iraq shown the proper way to outbleed the superior enemy. No big piece set battles in which the cream of your working population gets wiped out.

Yet, 72, and 75 were all designed to do one thing and one thing only. To line the Saigon government against the wall and machine gun them.


No I'm not. The ARVN in 1968 was not a very impressive force. A few good units, a lot of crap. if the US wanted to invade the DRV it was going to have to find more and different soldiers. The 500,000 it had plus the ARVN still wasn't able to properly control Sth Vietnam.There was nothing wrong with ARVN except the leadership and you can replace that with American officers. ARVN companies and battalions were just as good as their NVA counterparts.


How? The people who got fooled at Khe Sanh were MACV, who thought it was the major attack. The PAVN wasted far too many troops in the operation, but that is another story. There is no way to hide preparations for a big invasion from an enemy with eyes everywhere. They would have known it was coming.It was a major attack. Two entire regiments got destroyed and an entire division got gutted. And you're missing the point. The point is not hiding the invasion. The point is you can't do a thing to stop it. And Hanoi was watching and watching extremely nervously.

Unlike your other examples where Zhukov, including the Chinese btw who did not left their northern borders undefended in their 79 War against Vietnam, left nothing to chance. Moscow was well protected by several other armies, not a prayer and luck.


And? America wasn't going to risk war with China on a hunch, and Nth Vietnam got the arms it needed from one source or another.And how did Hanoi knew that?


They built up enough resources to carry out Tet and the 1972 invasion before LB1.And they sacrificed rebuilding their AD net to do it. LB I could not have had happened with the AD net that was in place for ROLLING THUNDER.


That isn't how Hanoi read it, and they were the ones running the war. They knew by the end of March that no invasion was coming, and they still thought they had 'won' at that point. Hanoi was not 'wide open' or 'shit scared' by the time LBJ quit. They still had 50,000 troops to send for Phase 2 and more again for Phase 3. A major miscalculation, but not desperation at all.Victory was gone by that time. They committed to Phase III because it was the only hope they had of knocking the Americans out. One more major push. It failed.


No, Hanoi won because it had a better strategy than its enemy. It wore down the more powerful enemy - America - by staying in a war that was never important enough to America to commit the resources required to save Sth Vietnam. Once that was done it wore the weaker enemy down by continuing to attack until it collapsed. There were some disastrous miscalculations, but no fatal ones.Which again was luck. They wasted two invasion force and had no defences left and had to beg the Chinese to replace the kitchen sink they threw into the fight.

astralis
28 Nov 15,, 17:25
man, for the umpteenth time i love this thread.

===

going to the "what if france fought on from the colonies?" scenario. frankly if France had that much willpower she would have kept on fighting -from France-. in WW1 the French were prepared to lose Paris and keep on fighting, and the Germans knew that as well.

this time around, in May-June 1940 the British offered nothing less than a Franco-British Union to keep France in the fight, which had support from the French PM. his Cabinet, however, thought that being a Nazi puppet was preferable to being a British dominion and refused to sign on, and instead went for the Armistice.

the French armed forces fought well. their political leaders, on the other hand, was rife with cravens. a good portion actively supported Hitler and another good portion actively supported the Comintern.

Mihais
28 Nov 15,, 18:35
The French fought well enough in the second part of the campaign,but they had no major obstacles and not enough forces .A fight in France would have seen the utter destruction of the army.

astralis
28 Nov 15,, 19:07
urban combat in Paris and other cities. guerrilla warfare. evacuation to the colonies to continue the fight there. German Navy couldn't have stopped it, especially if the RN was going to assist the French fleet in doing so.

the French surely didn't have the territory nor the manpower that the Russians did, but they -could- have fought a lot longer if there was the political will.

Mihais
28 Nov 15,, 21:01
Yes,but guerilla warfare wasn't that much of a deal.Urban warfare was tried.That's why the French fared better in the second part of the campaign.But the twist of urban warfare in WW2 is that is not that efective,due to the huge amount of manpower available to an attacker.
Evacuation to the colonies,agreed.It could have altered the course of the war greatly,as I've said above.

But it would only create a lot of European Soviet republics.

Doktor
28 Nov 15,, 21:22
Yes,but guerilla warfare wasn't that much of a deal.Urban warfare was tried.That's why the French fared better in the second part of the campaign.But the twist of urban warfare in WW2 is that is not that efective,due to the huge amount of manpower available to an attacker.
Evacuation to the colonies,agreed.It could have altered the course of the war greatly,as I've said above.

But it would only create a lot of European Soviet republics.

Wy you think the Soviets will come to the Atlantic and USA/UK won't take a part of it?

Mihais
28 Nov 15,, 21:47
Because it gives the Soviets at least an year to better prepare,while eroding German forces to a greater extent.

2000 T-34's and KV's were manageable.15000,massed in the sort of battle rehearsed by the Red Army it's unstopabble in 1942 by the German army with the numbers and gear of 1940.
As for the Allies to intervene in 1942-1943 the question is simple.With what?They don't have the force,they don't have the logistics in place.
History did not took the finest possible course.But it could have turned a lot nastier,but for a few decisions.
The sobering thing is that the same mechanisms apply today.

astralis
28 Nov 15,, 22:59
mihais,


2000 T-34's and KV's were manageable.15000,massed in the sort of battle rehearsed by the Red Army it's unstopabble in 1942 by the German army with the numbers and gear of 1940.

doubt hitler attacks the USSR in 1941 if he had significantly more trouble in france in may 1940.

for that matter i doubt he fights the Battle of Britain either, he wouldn't be thinking of a grand invasion of the UK if France gave him that much trouble.

if the USSR attacks in 1942-1943 then Germany has the defender's advantage. plus USSR doesn't have LL nor the battle experience, although to be sure they wouldn't need it as badly!

===

there's actually another interesting scenario here. there were fairly powerful figures in both France and UK that really didn't mind working with the Germans to keep the Red menace at bay. i wonder if there would be a scenario where Hitler could get the UK/France on board, say in 1938, to instead fight the USSR together. wonder how THAT would play out.

zraver
29 Nov 15,, 00:06
Again, you're looking at this post WWII. Please start looking at this from Hitler's perspective in the period in question.

I am trying to. It was no secret that the BEF left its equipment behind and would take time to re-arm.


Cunningham, Ritchie, Auchinleck, as well as Montgomery, all had successes against Rommel. Eighth Army's failures came when the Generals were forced by Churchill to attack before they were ready.

And when Rommel attacked... lack of fuel stopped him more often than British arms.


Would not have changed a thing. The problem with North Africa is the LOC. You have to build up forward supplies before you can attack further. When your tanks ran out of gas, that is the furthest you're going to go until you can move enough gas to that point to start attacking again. And there were no rails, so you're relying on trucks. The same trucks that drink the same gas as your tanks.

So how to get the spot where the fuel comes off the tankers closer to the tanks... Malta was a huge kink in the Axis supply lines. Take Malta out and Tobruk becomes a worthwhile port at least for some of the ships which lessens the amount of truck miles needed to move PAA 1 mile as a whole.


The British were better at this, having in Africa a lot longer.

The Brits didn't have an unsinkable Axis aircraft carrier sitting astride their supply lines.

zraver
29 Nov 15,, 01:05
there's actually another interesting scenario here. there were fairly powerful figures in both France and UK that really didn't mind working with the Germans to keep the Red menace at bay. i wonder if there would be a scenario where Hitler could get the UK/France on board, say in 1938, to instead fight the USSR together. wonder how THAT would play out.

So France and the UK roll their eyes but do nothing to really condemn Italian actions in Ethiopia. This keeps Mussolini in the western camp and deprives Hitler of a big ally and has him facing the threat of not Franco-British action but now faces the entente of WWI, minus of course the USSR. If France can lean on Poland heavy enough and Soviet action in the Baltics spooks the UK enough he might get neutrality, maybe even a Polish ally.

if he attacks in 1940 he dies... W/o France he wont have the truck fleet to support his invasion. Poland as an ally adds a lot, but getting to Moscow and Stalingrad are both dreams too far logistically. Then again, without the experiance of France 1940, he might go small scale, liberate the Baltics and oops went too far and now we are at Lenningrad to help the Finns, or maybe into the Ukraine... but a war of extermination is beyond his means.

astralis
29 Nov 15,, 01:54
yeah, it'd be a scenario where Germany is the pre-eminent Western European power but NOT completely dominant. but for this scenario:


So France and the UK roll their eyes but do nothing to really condemn Italian actions in Ethiopia. This keeps Mussolini in the western camp and deprives Hitler of a big ally and has him facing the threat of not Franco-British action but now faces the entente of WWI, minus of course the USSR.

i'm actually thinking, let's say in 1938 France and the UK sell out Czechoslovakia like in OTL, but Hitler then goes "one better" and tells France/UK that this not only is this his last territorial demand, he would like to offer non-aggression pacts to both the UK and France as well as the formation of an anti-communist alliance.

given how much the UK and France feared a general Western European conflagration, I don't think it's outlandish for them to discuss this and agree.

the irony is that if Hitler offered this to Poland, the Polish almost-dictator, Marshal Rydz-Śmigly, would probably agree to it.

so what happens when you have pretty much all western Europe against the USSR, with both sides being equipped with much more "interwar" tech than true WWII tech?

zraver
29 Nov 15,, 02:34
yeah, it'd be a scenario where Germany is the pre-eminent Western European power but NOT completely dominant. but for this scenario:



i'm actually thinking, let's say in 1938 France and the UK sell out Czechoslovakia like in OTL, but Hitler then goes "one better" and tells France/UK that this not only is this his last territorial demand, he would like to offer non-aggression pacts to both the UK and France as well as the formation of an anti-communist alliance.

given how much the UK and France feared a general Western European conflagration, I don't think it's outlandish for them to discuss this and agree.

the irony is that if Hitler offered this to Poland, the Polish almost-dictator, Marshal Rydz-Śmigly, would probably agree to it.

so what happens when you have pretty much all western Europe against the USSR, with both sides being equipped with much more "interwar" tech than true WWII tech?

1938 may be too late to change course. Chamberlain for all his desire to avoid war was not going to ally with Hitler. Even if he would, France remains causality averse and the BEF is tiny. The last real chance to change direction is how the great powers react to Italy's invasion of Ethiopia. Prior to that war, Italy was the main antagonist to the Nazis. After the Franco-British stance, Italy began to warm towards Hitler who had supported Italy's ambitions.

Even then France would want Germany to renounce all claim to the Alsace-Lorraine and I'm not sure Hitler could do this.

Assuming that such an anti-comintern pact could be made between UK, France, Italy, Germany and Poland only Italy, Germany and Poland have troops to send east unless they can draw in Hungary (likely) and Romania (doubtful). The forces are light on tanks, light on artillery and mechanized transport but strong in the air vs the VVS as the Spanish Civil war showed.

Doktor
29 Nov 15,, 02:36
But hey, what do you know... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German%E2%80%93Polish_Non-Aggression_Pact

Officer of Engineers
29 Nov 15,, 04:32
And when Rommel attacked... lack of fuel stopped him more often than British arms.That would always be the case. Rommel was often blamed for not turning around and complete his encirclement of Eighth Army but the simple fact was he didn't have the fuel. Either he surround 8th Army or go for his objective but not both.


So how to get the spot where the fuel comes off the tankers closer to the tanks... Malta was a huge kink in the Axis supply lines. Take Malta out and Tobruk becomes a worthwhile port at least for some of the ships which lessens the amount of truck miles needed to move PAA 1 mile as a whole.

The Brits didn't have an unsinkable Axis aircraft carrier sitting astride their supply lines.Question. What is the German experience doing an opposed landing?

zraver
29 Nov 15,, 05:01
That would always be the case. Rommel was often blamed for not turning around and complete his encirclement of Eighth Army but the simple fact was he didn't have the fuel. Either he surround 8th Army or go for his objective but not both.

Taking Malta out of the equation would change the fuel situation dramatically. Tobruk couldn't handle as much freight as the German planned, but it could still handle several thousands tons of fuel.


Question. What is the German experience doing an opposed landing?

Crete, Crimea maybe a couple of other small ones. Crete is the one that counts, Hitler lost his nerve with it. If he had not, Malta would have fallen.

Officer of Engineers
29 Nov 15,, 05:08
Taking Malta out of the equation would change the fuel situation dramatically. Tobruk couldn't handle as much freight as the German planned, but it could still handle several thousands tons of fuel.That depended on the 2nd question.


Crete, Crimea maybe a couple of other small ones. Crete is the one that counts, Hitler lost his nerve with it. If he had not, Malta would have fallen.All Crete showed is what not to do. The Western Allies had the benefit of the US Pacific experience but other than that, the only one that counted was Dieppe and that was a disaster. Without the American experience, hell, even the landing crafts were American designed.

Bigfella
29 Nov 15,, 08:28
man, for the umpteenth time i love this thread.

===

going to the "what if france fought on from the colonies?" scenario. frankly if France had that much willpower she would have kept on fighting -from France-. in WW1 the French were prepared to lose Paris and keep on fighting, and the Germans knew that as well.

this time around, in May-June 1940 the British offered nothing less than a Franco-British Union to keep France in the fight, which had support from the French PM. his Cabinet, however, thought that being a Nazi puppet was preferable to being a British dominion and refused to sign on, and instead went for the Armistice.

the French armed forces fought well. their political leaders, on the other hand, was rife with cravens. a good portion actively supported Hitler and another good portion actively supported the Comintern.

Asty,

Fighting on from France wasn't an option. They did try that and put up a as good an effort as they could, but the front was too long for the troops they had left. There really wasn't anywhere to hole up in France - even the Brittany idea doesn't really work. Even without a concrete plan about 200,000 troops (including the second BEF) were evacuated from the various Atlantic ports. If there is a genuine plan to fight on in place that number probably increases. Even if you only evacuate that many French to Corsica & Tunisia that is the core of an Army

In my scenario the Cabinet backs the PM, who wants to fight on. Maybe not all of them, but a majority. They decide to hold as best they can while the evac takes place. This isn't strictly a 'Hitler stops being Hitler' scenario, as there was certainly support for fighting on. Perhaps it just takes the right person to stand up at that moment. Sometimes history hinges on a few people deciding one way or another. Maybe reject Churchill's 'union' plan but fight on as allies.

There was already some US equipment on its way to the French. They get some more & perhaps get some that went to the UK. Maybe instead of wasting troops in Greece (assuming there is even a war there) Churchill continues to press an Italian army unable to deploy anywhere near as many troops to Cyrenacia as it could in OTL. French forces in Tunisia only need to look threatening to keep a big Italian Army pinned down there. Even without the French fleet the British were very aggressive in the Med. Cunningham sent his fleet surprisingly close to the Italian coast in a attempt to draw the big Italian ships out into combat. With the RM heavily outnumbered it is going to struggle to supply or reinforce a really large army. With German help (lets assume) they can manage it during the day, but that won't get it done, especially with the ability to sortie out of Tunisian ports. Destroyers & torpedo boats & submarines could be deadly in that situation.The RN had radar equipped ships & used them to effect at times.

It makes for an interesting scenario. Germany is going to have to commit air at a minimum and possibly troops. With the ability to base air units in Tunisia and the French navy the Med looks a very different place. Malta also becomes much more important because it is within easy aircraft range of Tunisia.

All it takes is enough French ministers to grow a pair.

Bigfella
29 Nov 15,, 08:34
Taking Malta out of the equation would change the fuel situation dramatically. Tobruk couldn't handle as much freight as the German planned, but it could still handle several thousands tons of fuel.



Crete, Crimea maybe a couple of other small ones. Crete is the one that counts, Hitler lost his nerve with it. If he had not, Malta would have fallen.

Malta is harder than you might think. I once followed a very detailed discussion of this. It is virtually impossible to land troops from the sea, as pretty much the entire coastline is cliffs. That leaves airborne troops. The size of Malta makes it harder because it is easier for the defenders to concentrate and the few airfields can be heavily defended. The place is also covered in stone fences - not great for gliders. if this takes place after Crete defences will have been altered to take account of the possibility of air attack. I don't recall the disposition of forces at different times, though the Allies may have had enough warning to reinforce given Enigma.

It certainly isn't impossible for Germany to do it, but its no slam dunk.

Doktor
29 Nov 15,, 09:16
Even Italy could've done it in 1940, early 1941, but Duces' delusions saved it.

Bigfella
29 Nov 15,, 10:42
Even Italy could've done it in 1940, early 1941, but Duces' delusions saved it.

If Italy had tried a surprise attack from the sea as soon as it declared war then maybe, but Italy had no paras to speak of, so as soon as Malta is taking defence seriously there is not much chance. Also remember the Allies were reading enough Axis communication to get a decent warning.

zraver
29 Nov 15,, 14:57
Malta is harder than you might think. I once followed a very detailed discussion of this. It is virtually impossible to land troops from the sea, as pretty much the entire coastline is cliffs. That leaves airborne troops. The size of Malta makes it harder because it is easier for the defenders to concentrate and the few airfields can be heavily defended. The place is also covered in stone fences - not great for gliders. if this takes place after Crete defences will have been altered to take account of the possibility of air attack. I don't recall the disposition of forces at different times, though the Allies may have had enough warning to reinforce given Enigma.

It certainly isn't impossible for Germany to do it, but its no slam dunk.

Nver said it would be easy, only that not doing it would be harder. Malta does have beaches, perhaps not great ones but they do exist. IIRC one of the main area the allies feared a landing was Melliaha Bay. Malta also has lots of stone buildings which are just as effective as poured concrete when do you don't have artillery.

In 1942 per wiki the British has 26,000 infantry, 6 tanks and 24 howitzers plus 19 heavy guns, 130 light guns and 256 AA guns but no air force to speak of. The Germans and Italians had 70,000 landing troops plus 26,000 paratroops, 700 transport aircraft and the Italian Navy and the Italian and German air forces could pound the island at will. Most importantly, the detailed aerial maps/photos of the Island taken by Italian reccee air craft mean the Germans knew were ever fixed position and glider friendly field was.

It was doable, even if it would have been bloody.

Officer of Engineers
29 Nov 15,, 16:04
Again, what's the point? You're doing all this effort with zero results towards your desired goal - Moscow.

In fact, how about this? Let the Italians crash and burn and commit Rommel and his corps to BARBAROSSA?

zraver
29 Nov 15,, 19:19
Again, what's the point? You're doing all this effort with zero results towards your desired goal - Moscow.

In fact, how about this? Let the Italians crash and burn and commit Rommel and his corps to BARBAROSSA?

Letting the Italians fail could pose all sorts of problems for Germany. That being said, if the Italians had stayed out of the war DAK would have likely been sent east to good effect. Another panzer corps at either Lenningrad or Moscow could have turned the tide.

Officer of Engineers
29 Nov 15,, 19:28
Letting the Italians fail could pose all sorts of problems for Germany.Like what? A British invasion of Italy from North Africa when the bulk of the RN was fighting for Britain's survival in the Atlantic?


That being said, if the Italians had stayed out of the war DAK would have likely been sent east to good effect. Another panzer corps at either Lenningrad or Moscow could have turned the tide.You achieve everything you wanted without wasting a single German life in North Africa and all it cost was Italian failure at their own hands.

zraver
29 Nov 15,, 23:39
Like what? A British invasion of Italy from North Africa when the bulk of the RN was fighting for Britain's survival in the Atlantic?

You achieve everything you wanted without wasting a single German life in North Africa and all it cost was Italian failure at their own hands.

British invasion in Greece/Yugosalvia... More importantly by not contesting the Med you give the UK a huge advantage in the North Atlantic by cutting thousands of miles off of the trip needed to be made by tankers from the Gulf, raw materials from Africa and food from Australia. This would greatly increase the amount of freight that could be moved by a single ship over the course of the year. The goal of the submarine war is to decrease the cargo reaching England and anything that makes cargo getting to England easier is bad for Germany.

Officer of Engineers
30 Nov 15,, 00:13
British invasion in Greece/Yugosalvia...Italy's problem. Your focus is still Moscow.


More importantly by not contesting the Med you give the UK a huge advantage in the North Atlantic by cutting thousands of miles off of the trip needed to be made by tankers from the Gulf, raw materials from Africa and food from Australia. This would greatly increase the amount of freight that could be moved by a single ship over the course of the year. The goal of the submarine war is to decrease the cargo reaching England and anything that makes cargo getting to England easier is bad for Germany.So what? Again, from Hitler's perspective. There was no alliance between the GB and Russia. He certainly could not have foreseen American LL to the USSR. As far as Hitler could see, Churchill would have been happy watching two titans whacking each other. Maybe a snip here and there but certainly nothing that could impede his campaign against Stalin. GB, effectively, was knocked out of the European continent.

zraver
30 Nov 15,, 03:50
You can't starve the British out of the war by making 70% of the UK's shipping routes unreachable by uboat...

Officer of Engineers
30 Nov 15,, 04:43
You can't starve the British out of the war by making 70% of the UK's shipping routes unreachable by uboat...It doesn't matter what the facts are. It matters what Hitler believed. He went to North Africa to rescue Mussolini, not that the Brits represented an intolerable threat from Egypt.

So again, the only reason why you want Egypt is to free up the DAK. Well, don't send it in the first place.

zraver
30 Nov 15,, 05:29
It doesn't matter what the facts are. It matters what Hitler believed. He went to North Africa to rescue Mussolini, not that the Brits represented an intolerable threat from Egypt.

So again, the only reason why you want Egypt is to free up the DAK. Well, don't send it in the first place.

But he had to rescue the Italians or cede the meds to the Brits. He didn't want to, he thought Italy could handle it, until they proved they couldn't.

Gun Grape
30 Nov 15,, 06:21
You can't starve the British out of the war by making 70% of the UK's shipping routes unreachable by uboat...

Donitz hated sending U-Boats to the Med. No U-Boat sent to the Med (62) ever made it out. The water is shallow and clear. Also the currents around Gibraltar were so strong that a U-Boat could not exit the Med while submerged. Those boats that were not sunk by the Allies had to be scuttled

Although they sank 95 allied merchant ships most were small. Total tonnage was 449 thousand.

Those 62 U-Boats could have done a lot more damage around the home islands and the north sea.

Doktor
30 Nov 15,, 06:48
If Italy had tried a surprise attack from the sea as soon as it declared war then maybe, but Italy had no paras to speak of, so as soon as Malta is taking defence seriously there is not much chance. Also remember the Allies were reading enough Axis communication to get a decent warning.

Malta was guven up by the Brits. Maltesians even asked the Brits why they are giving up on them.

There were virtually no defences on the island in 1940, but Il Duce thought there are.

Bigfella
30 Nov 15,, 08:31
Malta was guven up by the Brits. Maltesians even asked the Brits why they are giving up on them.

There were virtually no defences on the island in 1940, but Il Duce thought there are.

It is hard to find a single major decision of WW2 that Mussolini got right, starting with getting involved. Had he stayed an Axis-leaning neutral and been a bit less ambitious he would have made a fortune selling stuff to the combatants, and been in a position to join the winning side late in the war. With Britain & France weakened by war Italy would be the predominant power in the Med during the postwar period.

Moron.

Doktor
30 Nov 15,, 09:04
It is hard to find a single major decision of WW2 that Mussolini got right, starting with getting involved. Had he stayed an Axis-leaning neutral and been a bit less ambitious he would have made a fortune selling stuff to the combatants, and been in a position to join the winning side late in the war. With Britain & France weakened by war Italy would be the predominant power in the Med during the postwar period.

Moron.

Indeed. But, can you really blame him? Looked like Hitler is winning BIG and he wanted the spoils. Too bad (or not) he never had Franco's vision.

Bigfella
30 Nov 15,, 09:37
Indeed. But, can you really blame him? Looked like Hitler is winning BIG and he wanted the spoils. Too bad (or not) he never had Franco's vision.

Sure I can blame him. He deluded himself about his nation's military capabilities at every turn. Had he possessed an understanding of that he would not have dug Italy into so deep a hole. Had he possessed Franco's caution & patience he would have won either war. He could have sent 'volunteers' to help Hitler without joining the war as Franco did - in even larger numbers if he chose. He could have helped in a variety of ways, not least dodging Allied blockades. Had Hitler prevailed Mussolini would have been in a strong position to secure territory in the Balkans & perhaps Africa. He just needed caution, patience and a basic understanding of his nation's capabilities.

zraver
30 Nov 15,, 12:08
Donitz hated sending U-Boats to the Med. No U-Boat sent to the Med (62) ever made it out. The water is shallow and clear. Also the currents around Gibraltar were so strong that a U-Boat could not exit the Med while submerged. Those boats that were not sunk by the Allies had to be scuttled

Although they sank 95 allied merchant ships most were small. Total tonnage was 449 thousand.

Those 62 U-Boats could have done a lot more damage around the home islands and the north sea.

Take Malta and Alexandria and you don't need to keep sending U-boats in cause the whole thing is shut down. Uboat.net says 62 U-boats sent in, they sank 44 warships including 2 carriers and a battleship and 194 merchant vessels for 694,000 tons. The biggest merchant vessel sunk was the Viceroy of India a troop transport at just under 20,000 tons. This against 31 sunk in action inside the straits of Gibraltar and a further 2 sunk attempting to get past The Rock. Their presence there also diverted hundreds of aircraft and dozens of warships from the Atlantic.

Monash
30 Nov 15,, 14:15
[QUOTE=Officer of Engineers;999888]Like what? A British invasion of Italy from North Africa when the bulk of the RN was fighting for Britain's survival in the Atlantic? [QUOTE]

It's ASW forces yes but GB still had a large battle fleet with elements that could be and were assigned to the Mediterranean Theater. It strained British resources to the limit but the Italian Navy never really came close to challenging British surface forces for control of the Med. Credit where credit is due the Italians had some very good CA and BB designs as well as brave and well trained crews but they lacked sufficient fuel reserves even early in the war to sail as often and as aggressively as they needed to and they also lacked radar which hampered their efforts when they did make contact. Axis air and submarine attacks on their supply convoys were the British weak point not surface combatants. So for the Germans shipping large numbers of troops to North African was never going to be practical until the Royal Navy was defeated in the Med.

Officer of Engineers
30 Nov 15,, 14:31
But he had to rescue the Italians or cede the meds to the Brits. He didn't want to, he thought Italy could handle it, until they proved they couldn't.He did cede the Med. He was never determined. He assigned DAK and Rommel to rescue the Italians but never supported him. As you stated, he never took Malta and the BS with Franco not taking Gibraltar. Contrast those with Moscow and Stalingrad where he was determined to stand his ground. Never rescued DAK, never did his version of Dunkirk to save that army.

Given that action, I can see Hitler to say the hell with Italian adventures.


It's ASW forces yes but GB still had a large battle fleet with elements that could be and were assigned to the Mediterranean Theater. It strained British resources to the limit but the Italian Navy never really came close to challenging British surface forces for control of the Med. Credit where credit is due the Italians had some very good CA and BB designs but they lacked sufficient fuel reserves even early in the war to patrol as aggressively as they needed to and also radar which hampered their efforts when they did make contact. Axis air and submarine attacks on their supply convoys were the British weak point not surface combatants. So for the Germans shipping large numbers of troops to North African was never going to be practical until the Royal Navy was defeated in the Med.And it would be a British disaster in the making. This was a force before Dieppe, with all their misconceptions still in their heads. And such a disaster would most certainly boost Italian morale at the least, and more Italian adventures at the worst.

Monash
30 Nov 15,, 14:37
Which brings me to another point. I have never understood why, given the critical importance that Malta was to play in the war the Axis never made better use of Pantelleria's strategic location which if you look at a map pretty much parallels Malta's in terms of its potential as choke point for any mercantile traffic transiting the Med. Unless of course as my earlier post suggests it was because this small island, like Malta was simply too vulnerable to large caliber naval gunfire to risk basing significant air assets on. After all the guns of any (then) modern CA or BB would easily bracket the entirety of both islands, putting at risk any airfields and associated infrastructure placed there. This being the case perhaps placing significant air power at bases in such locations was simply too risky for the Axis to contemplate while British capital ships dominated the Med. The Germans and Italians could bomb Malta but they couldn't shell it at will which is what the British could do to any isolated island garrisons the Axis might have been tempted to install in order to achieve their own 'Malta'.

Monash
30 Nov 15,, 14:51
One last comment, while all this historical speculation is extremely interesting the basic problem remains the same. For Germany to win the war it had to fight and win on not two but three separate and very long, fronts. Given its then available manpower, technology and industrial capacity it could certainly be strong on one of those fronts (and by default 'win' there) but not on all three, not simultaneously. And if it doesn't win on all three it eventually looses the war - even if it takes a year or two longer than it did historically. Concentrate on Britain and Russia gets stronger every month while it holds out - before attacking at a time and place of it's choosing. Take Africa from the British and you cripple them yes but only at the cost of weakening yourself critically elsewhere. And none of the victories the Germans need can be achieved quickly, not while there is the English channel, a Royal Navy and Russia's vast landscapes (and winter). And lets face it speed is of the essence for Germany because the USA is coming and when it gets there in force it's just a matter of how long it takes for Germany to be defeated, not if.

Even the USA, the most industrialized nation on Earth at the time had to choose which of the 'fronts' it faced was its immediate priority - effectively assigning far fewer resources to Japan than it could have if Germany hadn't been the most obvious threat. Sans Germany the US would have rolled over the Japanese in what? 2 years at most, even assuming a successful initial strike by the Japanese. It's asking a hell of a lot of the Germans to pull off all the theoretical victories described here against its equally determined US, Russian and Commonwealth opposition, not with the combined weight of all three powers against them, and certainly not when they are led by an egomaniac like Hitler.

astralis
30 Nov 15,, 16:07
Monash,


Sans Germany the US would have rolled over the Japanese in what? 2 years at most, even assuming a successful initial strike by the Japanese.

i doubt this. despite the talk being "germany first", the war against Japan was largely constrained by space and time up until "break out" when the US retook the Philippines.

Mihais
30 Nov 15,, 17:21
Italy's problem. Your focus is still Moscow.



Ploiesti.That makes it Germany's problem.

Officer of Engineers
30 Nov 15,, 18:28
Ploiesti.That makes it Germany's problem.Are you suggesting the British could march all the way to Ploiesti from a seaborne invasion launched from Egypt?

Doktor
30 Nov 15,, 20:38
From Greece.

snapper
30 Nov 15,, 21:24
He went to North Africa to rescue Mussolini, not that the Brits represented an intolerable threat from Egypt.

So again, the only reason why you want Egypt is to free up the DAK. Well, don't send it in the first place.

That is not how the British Government at the time saw it. I have been re-reading Churchill's wartime speeches recently. In his speech against the "no confidence vote" delivered on January 27th 1942 Churchill is fully aware of the axis threat to what he calls "all those vast lands from the Levant to the Caspian, which in turn give access to India, Persia, the Persian Gulf, the Nile Valley and the Suez Canal." He sees the real threat of the capture of Baku as well as Rommel pressing the 'Nile Valley' and the Suez canal of course and justifies the rather limited resources sent to Malaya and Burma etc effectively by arguing that the defence of the Middle East is important.

I quote one part:


Let us see what has happened on the other flank, the Northern flank, of the Nile Valley. What has happened to Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Persia? There we must thank Russia. There the valour of the Russian Armies has warded off dangers which we saw and which we undoubtedly ran. The Caucasus and the precious oilfields of Baku, the great Anglo-Persian oilfields, are denied to the enemy. Winter has come. Evidently we have the time to strengthen still further our Forces and organisations in those regions. Therefore, Sir, I present to you, in laying the whole field open and bare and surveying it in all its parts, for all are related, a situation in the Nile Valley, both West and East, incomparably easier than anything we have ever seen since we were deserted by the French Bordeaux-Vichy Government and were set upon by Italy. The House will not fail to discern the agate points upon which this vast improvement has turned. It is only by the smallest margin that we have succeeded so far in beating Rommel in Cyrenaica and destroying two-thirds of his forces. Every tank, every aircraft squadron was needed. It is only by the victories on the Russian flank on the Black Sea coast that we have been spared the overrunning of all those vast lands from the Levant to the Caspian, which in turn give access to India, Persia, the Persian Gulf, the Nile Valley and the Suez Canal.

Full speech is here; http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1942/jan/27/war-situation#S5CV0377P0_19420127_HOC_307

Officer of Engineers
30 Nov 15,, 21:27
From Greece.The OTL had a force of 62,000 with zero supplies. Not going anywhere. And couldn't go anywhere until the Italians were driven from the battlefield.


That is not how the British Government at the time saw it.Was talking about Hitler, not Churchill.

snapper
30 Nov 15,, 22:25
Not sure we can know what was in his mind but clearly the British Government saw this as a potential thought of his.

Officer of Engineers
30 Nov 15,, 22:59
Not sure we can know what was in his mind but clearly the British Government saw this as a potential thought of his.It's a contingency and one that the Brits should have been prepared for but the historic evidence was that he was more determined at Kursk than he was at El Alamein.

zraver
01 Dec 15,, 01:32
Monash,



i doubt this. despite the talk being "germany first", the war against Japan was largely constrained by space and time up until "break out" when the US retook the Philippines.

To build on this, the pace of US ship building was already at max speed. Diverting some LL warship production might have sped up the really big US offensives by maybe 6 months. But no matter how many tanks and planes you have, until the Essec class carriers start arriving enmass the offensive power of the US in the Pacific is limited. Big warships take a long time to build.

Bigfella
01 Dec 15,, 02:10
To build on this, the pace of US ship building was already at max speed. Diverting some LL warship production might have sped up the really big US offensives by maybe 6 months. But no matter how many tanks and planes you have, until the Essec class carriers start arriving enmass the offensive power of the US in the Pacific is limited. Big warships take a long time to build.

As it turned out the delay was possibly a blessing in disguise. If the US advance had sped up by much more than it did the A bomb wouldn't have been available & the threat of Russian invasion not credible. Absent both an invasion of Japan might have been attempted with the attendant loss of life on all sides.

zraver
01 Dec 15,, 02:44
As it turned out the delay was possibly a blessing in disguise. If the US advance had sped up by much more than it did the A bomb wouldn't have been available & the threat of Russian invasion not credible. Absent both an invasion of Japan might have been attempted with the attendant loss of life on all sides.

Quite possibly, however we would have just starved them out and traded 10 million famine deaths to avoid 1 million US combat losses. Then again, speeding things up by six months to a year may mean a lot of the pacific islands fall quick and easy before the IJA agrees to release troops from China for duty in the Pacific.

Bigfella
01 Dec 15,, 02:53
Quite possibly, however we would have just starved them out and traded 10 million famine deaths to avoid 1 million US combat losses. Then again, speeding things up by six months to a year may mean a lot of the pacific islands fall quick and easy before the IJA agrees to release troops from China for duty in the Pacific.

History suggests the US was going to invade. Maybe the President would hold off to see how the Manhattan project went, but Japan went out of its way to convince everyone it would never surrender, from individuals on up. I'd like the think the US would have tested that resolve well & truly before invading, but I'm far from convinced.

Officer of Engineers
01 Dec 15,, 04:45
To build on this, the pace of US ship building was already at max speed. Diverting some LL warship production might have sped up the really big US offensives by maybe 6 months. But no matter how many tanks and planes you have, until the Essec class carriers start arriving enmass the offensive power of the US in the Pacific is limited. Big warships take a long time to build.Six months? Soviets were still playing hide-and-seek with Hitler in Berlin.

Follow up question, would the US go after Japan before the Big Three Allies finish with Hitler?

zraver
01 Dec 15,, 04:59
History suggests the US was going to invade. Maybe the President would hold off to see how the Manhattan project went, but Japan went out of its way to convince everyone it would never surrender, from individuals on up. I'd like the think the US would have tested that resolve well & truly before invading, but I'm far from convinced.

History also shows the US was not going to invade until after famine had set in.

zraver
01 Dec 15,, 04:59
Six months? Soviets were still playing hide-and-seek with Hitler in Berlin.

Follow up question, would the US go after Japan before the Big Three Allies finish with Hitler?

If the US was following a Japan First strategy, probably.

Officer of Engineers
01 Dec 15,, 05:04
Butterflies are an annoying pest.

Officer of Engineers
01 Dec 15,, 07:08
i doubt this. despite the talk being "germany first", the war against Japan was largely constrained by space and time up until "break out" when the US retook the Philippines.Would it? Patton's 3rd Army in China through the Burma Road when it was still opened.

I'm really starting to hate butterflies.

Monash
01 Dec 15,, 08:45
Monash, i doubt this. despite the talk being "germany first", the war against Japan was largely constrained by space and time up until "break out" when the US retook the Philippines.

I did a quick check using that most accurate of military history recourses (Wikipedia) and here is what it says about the whole 'Germany First' concept.

"As late as December 1943, the balance was nearly even. Against Japan, the U.S. had deployed 1,873,023 men, 7,857 aircraft, and 713 warships. Against Germany the totals were 1,810,367 men, 8,807 airplanes, and 515 warships". However it goes on to say ..."In early 1944, the military buildup of American forces for the invasion of France shifted the balance of American resources toward the European theater and made Europe First a reality..." Also ..... "according to official U.S. statistics, 70 percent of the U.S. Navy and all the Marine Corps were deployed in the Pacific as well as the 22 percent of the Army... at the time of Germany's surrender in May 1945." (Matloff, Maurice, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare: 1943–1944, Vol. 1, Part 4, The U.S. Army in World War II Washington: GPO, 1955, p. 398)

Which leaves about 80% of the Army and (Army Air) based in the Europe/Mediterranean theaters. So sort of 'Europe First' I guess - in the last two years of the war. Which makes sense I would guess, given the larger (more centralized & concentrated) resources available to Germany including it's industrial capacity, population and scientific resources.

Monash
01 Dec 15,, 09:14
And it would be a British disaster in the making. This was a force before Dieppe, with all their misconceptions still in their heads. And such a disaster would most certainly boost Italian morale at the least, and more Italian adventures at the worst.

Not quite sure I understand your point Sir. As I saw the issue the Germans faced a conundrum. (Assuming of course they really wanted to go all out for an invasion of North Africa instead of mounting the half-hearted effort they did). In the absence of a large surface fleet of their own in the Med (and/or control of Gibraltar) the Germans were reliant on the Italian Navy to defeat/drive out the Royal Navies surface fleet. Yet the fact is the Italian Navy on it's own was not capable of achieving this feat. From the British perspective control of the Suez Canal and Gibraltar was paramount and every effort would be made to protect these two vital assets, via the presence of both strong land and sea forces. You might try to strangle British supply lines in the Med via air and submarine attacks but as long as they hold these two vital bases at either end of the Med and have a large surface fleet present you can't drive them out.

Which would leave the Germans with the very 'unpalatable' option of having to try and run huge numbers of troop transports/supply vessels on a more or less continuous basis across the Med in the face of strong British opposition (for months if not years depending on how long the war lasts). I simply don't see that as a viable option, after all in the end they failed to sustain even the limited forces they did deploy to Africa. A larger effort would just have resulted in larger losses. Absence Spanish involvement in the war on the side of the Axis or an end run round the Russians into Iran and the Levant there's no way for Germany to get there.

I maybe missing your point of course, in fact I probably am.

Officer of Engineers
01 Dec 15,, 16:36
I maybe missing your point of course, in fact I probably am.My point was the Brits was not ready to take the fight to the Axis's front yard. They may had the technology but not the technique.

Officer of Engineers
01 Dec 15,, 21:59
Would it? Patton's 3rd Army in China through the Burma Road when it was still opened.

I'm really starting to hate butterflies.The more I think about this, the more I think how lucky Japan was. The British Eighth Army alone was more than the IJA could handle. Hell, the list of European Generals (both German and Allied) could easily destroy the IJA. A land campaign launched from India or from Siberia. And at the division/corps level and not the battalion level as happened in the OTL.

Shorten the war by 2 years? Try the Japanese won't last 10 months.

gunnut
02 Dec 15,, 07:56
There was really not much Germany could do after the invasion of France. The die was cast. Germany was at war with the British Empire, and soon to be with USSR. There was to be no peace with USSR. Everyone knew that.

Germany would lose simply because it couldn't physically conquer UK. There was no way. Germany's logistics was abysmal. UK would remain in the war for as long as the Royal Navy existed. Conquering the middle east, assuming getting by/through Turkey, served no purpose. Germany would have problem supplying the army group going to the middle east and then Egypt. UK still had Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India.

If Germany concentrated on the British, then the Red Army got stronger with each passing day. Deep Operation wasn't just a battlefield tactic, it was the core of the Red Army and Soviet Union. The Red Army not only would be the largest army on the field, it would be the largest fastest.

Germany probably could have fought either the British Empire or the Soviet Union to a stand still, or even coming out on up with a favorable peace treaty. Not against both. Germany didn't have the industrial base nor the population size to occupy all the lands it conquered.

Monash
02 Dec 15,, 12:43
There was really not much Germany could do after the invasion of France. The die was cast. Germany was at war with the British Empire, and soon to be with USSR. There was to be no peace with USSR. Everyone knew that.

Germany would lose simply because it couldn't physically conquer UK. There was no way. Germany's logistics was abysmal. UK would remain in the war for as long as the Royal Navy existed. Conquering the middle east, assuming getting by/through Turkey, served no purpose. Germany would have problem supplying the army group going to the middle east and then Egypt. UK still had Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India.

If Germany concentrated on the British, then the Red Army got stronger with each passing day. Deep Operation wasn't just a battlefield tactic, it was the core of the Red Army and Soviet Union. The Red Army not only would be the largest army on the field, it would be the largest fastest.

Germany probably could have fought either the British Empire or the Soviet Union to a stand still, or even coming out on up with a favorable peace treaty. Not against both. Germany didn't have the industrial base nor the population size to occupy all the lands it conquered.

I seem to recall from various readings that German industry wasn't even put on a 'total war' footing until 1942! Hitler's thinking being that rapid victories in France and then later in Russia would lead to peace negotiations (on satisfactory terms) with the British and Russians. WTF 1942!!. Compare that to their opponents response - which as of December 1941 suddenly included the USA.

As far as I am aware all three were on a 'total war' footing from day one. Which gives an interesting insight into the deluded thinking driving geopolitical strategy in the NAZI Party at the time.

Officer of Engineers
02 Dec 15,, 15:07
As far as I am aware all three were on a 'total war' footing from day one. Which gives an interesting insight into the deluded thinking driving geopolitical strategy in the NAZI Party at the time.And two of them was fighting a two front war while the 3rd was ready for a 2nd one. And the two former opened a third front (Normandy, Italy, and the Pacific).

gunnut
02 Dec 15,, 18:52
I seem to recall from various readings that German industry wasn't even put on a 'total war' footing until 1942! Hitler's thinking being that rapid victories in France and then later in Russia would lead to peace negotiations (on satisfactory terms) with the British and Russians. WTF 1942!!. Compare that to their opponents response - which as of December 1941 suddenly included the USA.

As far as I am aware all three were on a 'total war' footing from day one. Which gives an interesting insight into the deluded thinking driving geopolitical strategy in the NAZI Party at the time.

Germany's problems went way deeper than that. Germans, for better or worse, are meticulous. The problem with that is weapons are essentially consumables. They have a very short lifespan on the battlefield. There's no point in making them finely crafted pieces of art work when all we need is a tool to work for 3 months. Liberty ships were designed for 10 voyages. They were welded instead of riveted to save on labor. The pin connecting tank track links has a tendency to come out due to the vibration. Germans designed a retention pin to keep that pin in the track. Guess what Russians did? They welded an angled metal plate on the tank hull to "bump" the loose pin back into the track. Guess which method is an engineering solution and which is a practical solution? Every single Tiger tank was hand-fitted by highly trained craftsmen. Sherman tanks were built in car factories, manned by women.

Belton Cooper might be wrong on many things but I agree with him on his assessment of German weapons. He said "we built weapons...Germans built monuments."

Germany also had, literally, 3 branches of army. There was the Heer, Waffen-SS, and Luftwaffe field divisions. All 3 fight for resources and equipment. No one is accountable to anyone other than his own boss.

Stitch
03 Dec 15,, 05:40
Germany's problems went way deeper than that. Germans, for better or worse, are meticulous. The problem with that is weapons are essentially consumables. They have a very short lifespan on the battlefield. There's no point in making them finely crafted pieces of art work when all we need is a tool to work for 3 months. Liberty ships were designed for 10 voyages. They were welded instead of riveted to save on labor. The pin connecting tank track links has a tendency to come out due to the vibration. Germans designed a retention pin to keep that pin in the track. Guess what Russians did? They welded an angled metal plate on the tank hull to "bump" the loose pin back into the track. Guess which method is an engineering solution and which is a practical solution? Every single Tiger tank was hand-fitted by highly trained craftsmen. Sherman tanks were built in car factories, manned by women.

As much as I admire German armor, you're right. If you saw the shop floor of Henschel und Sohn, you'd be amazed (or maybe you wouldn't); everything was machined within an inch of it's life. They actually used a special twin pillar radial drill to bore the holes in the superstructure top plate for the turret ring, and that was just one step in the manufacturing process; there was also a special horizontal six spindle borer to finish the Tiger's suspension holes!

As cool as it sounds having a tank that was precisely machined to exacting tolerances, that's no way to win a war; you just wasted a bunch of time & materiel on a piece of hardware that might last a few months, if you're lucky.

40588

Image courtesy of http://www.alanhamby.com/tiger.html

Officer of Engineers
03 Dec 15,, 06:06
As cool as it sounds having a tank that was precisely machined to exacting tolerances, that's no way to win a war; you just wasted a bunch of time & materiel on a piece of hardware that might last a few months, if you're lucky.*** Looking at our LEO IIs, M1s, F22s, F35s *** Looks like we're counting on luck.

zraver
03 Dec 15,, 07:13
I seem to recall from various readings that German industry wasn't even put on a 'total war' footing until 1942! Hitler's thinking being that rapid victories in France and then later in Russia would lead to peace negotiations (on satisfactory terms) with the British and Russians. WTF 1942!!. Compare that to their opponents response - which as of December 1941 suddenly included the USA.

As far as I am aware all three were on a 'total war' footing from day one. Which gives an interesting insight into the deluded thinking driving geopolitical strategy in the NAZI Party at the time.

Feb 1943 with Goebbel's war to the knife speech.

Officer of Engineers
03 Dec 15,, 15:21
Shorten the war by 2 years? Try the Japanese won't last 10 months.And immediately, the BIA is freed. Australia is freed. The USN and USMC are freed. And 45 more Siberian divisions are freed, Siberian divisions who cut their teeth under Zhukov.

Really, really, hate those butterflies.

gunnut
03 Dec 15,, 18:38
*** Looking at our LEO IIs, M1s, F22s, F35s *** Looks like we're counting on luck.

As long as we can build these faster than the other guy's machines...

Albany Rifles
03 Dec 15,, 22:09
In their landmines, the Germans used machined metal safety pins.

The US, British and Russians used cotter pins.

The US alone produced over 96,000 planes in 1944 alone...that is only 25,000 less than the Germans produced for the entire war (1938-1945).

Stitch
04 Dec 15,, 01:44
*** Looking at our LEO IIs, M1s, F22s, F35s *** Looks like we're counting on luck.

Well, it is a slightly different world these days. If the balloon ever does go up, I doubt the conflict will last more than a few months, anyway; in fact, it'll probably be measured in weeks, if not days.

As I'm sure you are aware, the original assessment of a Soviet invasion of western Europe estimated that our pre-positioned forces in Europe would last about a week, maybe two at most, against the Red tide; short of a preemptive strike of Pershing II's eastbound, there wasn't much to slow down the Soviet forces in the '70's & '80's. Given that scenario, if a tank lasted a week, that was a long time.

Bigfella
04 Dec 15,, 04:41
In their landmines, the Germans used machined metal safety pins.

The US, British and Russians used cotter pins.

The US alone produced over 96,000 planes in 1944 alone...that is only 25,000 less than the Germans produced for the entire war (1938-1945).

I was always floored by the stat that the US produced more shipping tonnage in 1943 than Japan produced for the entire war. I think they began to scale back production in '44 because there was so much capacity in existence. Declaring war on a nation that can do that requires high levels of bravery and stupidity.

Stitch
04 Dec 15,, 06:18
I was always floored by the stat that the US produced more shipping tonnage in 1943 than Japan produced for the entire war. I think they began to scale back production in '44 because there was so much capacity in existence. Declaring war on a nation that can do that requires high levels of bravery and stupidity.

I believe you are correct about the excess capacity; in fact, IIRC, that was true with all aspects of the "arsenal of democracy". Our (US) GDP peaked in 1944 at $1,499,000,000,000, which was more than the total combined output of the other two major Allied nations involved in the conflict (Great Britain and the USSR); whereas the total combined output of all of the Axis countries was only $798,000,000,000 in 1944. The US alone outproduced all Axis countries combined by a factor of 2-to-1.

Officer of Engineers
04 Dec 15,, 07:36
Really, really, hate those butterflies.So, Hitler made the right decision after all, declaring War on the US, forcing the US to divide her efforts and not knock Japan straight out of the war with all her might. Even if the US militarily stayed on the sidelines (can't see it with the 2nd Happy Time and all), the immediate release of those 45 Soviet Divisions meant another immediate Front for the Germans. MARS and URANUS were near simultaneous operations. Imagine a 3rd and just what kind of headaches and heartaches that would mean for the Germans. Or a break out force for either MARS or URANUS. And we're not talking just manpower but the artillery and armour those Siberian divisions had.

Bigfella
04 Dec 15,, 08:36
I believe you are correct about the excess capacity; in fact, IIRC, that was true with all aspects of the "arsenal of democracy". Our (US) GDP peaked in 1944 at $1,499,000,000,000, which was more than the total combined output of the other two major Allied nations involved in the conflict (Great Britain and the USSR); whereas the total combined output of all of the Axis countries was only $798,000,000,000 in 1944. The US alone outproduced all Axis countries combined by a factor of 2-to-1.

The figures are simply astounding. Even if the US had sat out the War in Europe, provided it was prepared to equip the Allied side its role would have been extremely important.

Bigfella
04 Dec 15,, 09:03
So, Hitler made the right decision after all, declaring War on the US, forcing the US to divide her efforts and not knock Japan straight out of the war with all her might. Even if the US militarily stayed on the sidelines (can't see it with the 2nd Happy Time and all), the immediate release of those 45 Soviet Divisions meant another immediate Front for the Germans. MARS and URANUS were near simultaneous operations. Imagine a 3rd and just what kind of headaches and heartaches that would mean for the Germans. Or a break out force for either MARS or URANUS. And we're not talking just manpower but the artillery and armour those Siberian divisions had.

Sir,

Those butterflies are packing a ton of assumptions into their flapping. I'm not sold on Japan being knocked out before mid-1944, if then. In OTL there was to be a 5 month pause between the fall of Okinawa & the first landings in Japan. That was based on what turned out to be badly flawed estimates of Japanese resources & there was already some revision going on when the war ended. They were also based on Japan deploying to counter a Russian invasion that would probably not be in prospect in this reality. I think planners expected fighting to continue for at least 12 months, though I don't know if that assumed post-surrender fighting. let us be generous, however, and assume success in 6 months.

Even if the US takes Okinawa 18 months early that is the start of 1944. The earliest an invasion is likely to start then is mid-1944. Even a best case scenario doesn't see surrender until the end of 1945 (and there is a lot of best casing here). That does little to help Hitler except potentially limit the size of a second front. By the start of 1945 Russia is going to be solidly on top. Those troops in Siberia aren't going to add enough to change the outcome.

Officer of Engineers
04 Dec 15,, 15:28
Why is everyone so focus on the Japanese home islands? The IJE was Manchuria and Korea.

Don't need to take Okinawa or any of the home islands. Patton's 3rd Army in China via India would take Manchuria and Korea inside of 10 months and the IJE would cease to exist. At this point, the bloodlust ain't that high on both sides which would allow Japan to sue for peace. Without Manchuria and Korea, the IJN would not have the materials for bullets nor cannon shells nor bombs, making a defence of her new Empire impossible.

GVChamp
04 Dec 15,, 21:42
Stalin being Stalin, do you think he's going to let Patton take Manchuria, or do you think he's going to take it himself? By this point almost a century of Russian blood has been spilt trying to secure that region.

Officer of Engineers
04 Dec 15,, 21:47
Stalin being Stalin, do you think he's going to let Patton take Manchuria, or do you think he's going to take it himself? By this point almost a century of Russian blood has been spilt trying to secure that region.Hate those butterflies.

I don't know. He would be pre-occupied with Hitler though.

Officer of Engineers
05 Dec 15,, 15:31
Stalin being Stalin, do you think he's going to let Patton take Manchuria, or do you think he's going to take it himself? By this point almost a century of Russian blood has been spilt trying to secure that region.I needed to think about this. My thinking is that Stalin had asked for a 2nd front in Europe and had no objections when the Western Allies opened two, Italy and Normandy. A much bigger and richer prize than mud hut Manchuria and Korea. And Stalin was a racist who couldn't give two shits about the Yellow Peril. Those 45 divisions would have been more important to him than Manchuria which he never really owned.

And there was Mao who sorta was already in his pocket which could make trouble for Chaing in the future.