View Poll Results: Could Germany have won WW II

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  • Yes Germany could have won

    32 0.44%
  • No they were destined to lose

    7,286 99.56%
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Thread: Could Germany have won WWII

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by parihaka
    Seems to me that if Hitler had first conquered Britain, THEN attacked the Soviet Union, he might have got on better. Leaving your flank exposed is never a good idea and it drew off resources which could have been used in Russia.
    His mistake was not persevering with the air war, the brits estimated they had 3 days effective combat left, after that the Royal Navy would be sitting ducks...
    There was no way in hell that Germany could have invaded Britain with the RN patrolling off Germany's water. The Kriegermarine was no match for the RN overall.

    Adolf did make a strategic blunder by attacking USSR. He should have concentrated on getting the strategic oil reserves and other vital materials necessary to keep the war machine going on, meaning, he should have concentrated more on the Africa campaign and trying to secure the oil fields.

    Once he had secured those vital strategic supplies, he could have taken his time and build his navy.

    His other strategic blunder was declaring war on USA. I highly doubt that USA would have stayed out of the war even if Japan had not attacked USA. The war was coming to the point where it started affecting USA's trade overseas. No power in their right mind will allow restrictions on their trade. But still, that was some months or a couple years off. Hitler could have used that time to great effect.

    Many generals who lost battles fail to realize that time is one of the most valuable commodities and need to be spent wisely. Often in studying battles and the outcomes of those, you will inevitably find those who did not use their time wisely usually comes out as the loser.

    If I was in Hitler's shoes. I would have blockaded Britain, not to invade Britain. I certainly would build up an invasion fleet and pretend to use it against the British Isles but instead, use it against Iceland and Bermudas and Azores and Gibraltar and Malta to establish a more effective control over the Atlantic and Mediterrenean Sea. Then I would starve Britain out. Britain has the same problem as Germany, the lack of strategic materials to keep the war machine going. It was only the RN who managed to keep Britain going. If I could not destroyed RN, I would try to bottle the RN up by pretending to prepare invasion fleets and then entrap them between Iceland, Azores, whatever and just basically keep Britain from being resupplied.

    Once Germany had Iceland and Bermuda and Azores in their possession, there was no way in hell that Canada would have a successful campaign in the Battle of North Atlantic Ocean. Canada was smaller than Germany in terms of power, materials, ships, etc.

    As for USSR, I would make sure that we had the nonaggression pact intact until Britain was taken care of and its navy and army neutralized. That means winning the battle of North Atlantic and the North Africa fronts. USSR was in no shape in attacking entrenched German positions not without high costs and before Germany attacked, Stalin lacked the will of the people to fight at all costs. Even though Stalin was one of the most ruthless dictators in the modern history, he would never had the support necessary to win against Germany if he had attacked first.

  2. #47
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    Germanies Balkan campaign

    The forces diverted (from Barbarossa) and used for the Yugoslavian/Greek campaigns were minimal, so it is something of a myth that that delayed Barbarossa. Most of the troops used were not allocated to the invasion of Russia.

    Also, if the campaign had started earlier it would have been bogged down by the weather, affecting not only ground mobility and combat but also air operations. The actual date of commencement uses the best period of clear weather for a Russian campaign.

    I think I have read, apologies cannot recall the source, that Manstein and a few of the other German Generals blamed Hitler for both the 'delay' and the Balkans, [otherwise we would have won] of course. Hitler has also come in for some stick for insisting that the shipment fo winter clothing be delayed/heavily restricted because it would all be over by christmass sort of thing - what fails to be mentioned is that the transport capacity was used for fuel and munitions in order for the troops to defend themselves, exceedingly tough call "freeze or be shot", Hobsons choice either way, could be debated forever. Why wasn't it shipped earlier? Fuel and munitions. There was plenty of winter equipment ready to be shipped.

    cheers
    Phil

  3. #48
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster
    There was no way in hell that Germany could have invaded Britain with the RN patrolling off Germany's water. The Kriegermarine was no match for the RN overall.
    attacked first.
    All of what you say is possible except that if he'd won the air war then the Royal Navy would have been powerless to defend the channel. As the Japanese demonstrated, a Navy is no match for an air force if they don't have air cover. To defend the English channel whilst being bombarded by airplanes would be suicidal.

    http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/phase2.html

    quote: However, just when it seemed that the country and 11 Group in particular couldn't continue for another day, the Germans changed their tactics. Unquote

    http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/phase3.html

    Quote: Hitler was enraged by the attack on Berlin and because it seemed that

    the attacks on airfields were not destroying enough RAF fighters, he ordered a change of targets. By attacking cities and industry, the Germans hoped to break British morale and to destroy the factories that built fighter aircraft. They also hoped that RAF fighters would gather in force round the cities to protect them, which would make it easier for the Luftwaffe to shoot them down in the numbers required to establish air superiority.

    The change of plan was a mistake for a number of reasons. It gave 11 Group a chance to repair their airfields and radar sites, so the defences became fully operational again. The German Me 109 fighter could only carry enough fuel for 20 minutes flight over Britain, so London was on the edge of its limited range. Finally, the German raids now came within the range of 12 Group, and their large formation tactics known as "Big Wings". Unquote

    As is suggested here, (I can find more difinitive stats if you want them)
    the attacks on Britains airfields was seriously degrading their ability to respond, a few more days would have finished them but ironically Hitlers decision to switch to bombing raids on London and the main industrial areas saved Britain.

  4. #49
    Officer of Engineers
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    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.

  5. #50
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    Here's my belated take on this issue.

    Operation Sea Lion was a no-go from the start. There was simply no way to pull that off even with air superiority. The fact is that the RN was the force that was at issue, not the RAF. The Nazi's simply would've been ravaged by the RN before a single Nazi boot hit English soil. Even more, when Hitler ordered his advancing Panzers to stop short of Dunkirk, and allowed the bulk of the BEF to escape back to England he sealed his fate in the West.

    After mid 42' the Brits were ready for any invasion, even a properly supported one- which was far from doable by the Nazi's anyway.

    On the eastern front i'd have done things a hell of a lot differently than Hitler(like for instance not attacking them at all until i'd dealt with the UK), and i can see scenarios where victory was possible, but the nature of Hitler made all those scenarios pretty well impossible.

    For the record, the one true goal of the Nazi's in WWII was the conquest of the East and Russia. The West was only an obstacle to that eventual goal, therefore they had to be dealt with first. If they'd have not interfered it's unlikely they'd have ever been attacked to begin with.

  6. #51
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    Yes I think so, but he spread himself to thin, went after to much. He could have won that war. But would have caused and lost another.

  7. #52
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    On the eastern front i'd have done things a hell of a lot differently than Hitler(like for instance not attacking them at all until i'd dealt with the UK), and i can see scenarios where victory was possible, but the nature of Hitler made all those scenarios pretty well impossible.

    Actually with russia's rapid growth under stalin (five year plans, etc), Hitler felt if he didnt strike now the commies would be too strong to beat in the future and france and uk were already his enemies since the invasion of poland. if he wanted to expand he needed to take his chances and fight on two fronts

  8. #53
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers
    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.

    All extracts from ‘The Second World War’
    by Winston Churchill,
    published by Cassell & Co Ltd 1949

    Vol II, Chap XV, Pg 248 pp 3
    “Evidently if the enemy could dominate the narrow seas, on both sides of the straights of Dover, by superior air-power, the losses of our flotillas would be very heavy and might eventually be fatal.”

    Vol II, Chap. XV pg 255 pp 4
    Report of Admiral Pound to Winston Churchill, July 10
    “It appears probable that a total of some hundred thousand men might reach these shores without being intercepted by naval forces…
    (their italics removed by web site) but the maintenance of their line of supply, Unless the German Air Force had overcome both our Air Force and our Navy, seems practically impossible”

    Vol II Chap. XV pg 268 pp 3
    Hitlers Briefing to the Heads of the three Services July 21
    “ ‘For the Army operation forty divisions will be required. The most difficult part will be the material reinforcement and stores. We cannot count on supplies of any king being available to us in England’ The perequisites were complete mastery of the air, the operational use of powerful artillery in the Dover straits, and protection by minefields”
    and
    Vol II Chap. XV pg 269 pp 1
    “But as air co-operation is decisive it must be regarded as the principle factor in fixing the date”
    Vol II Chap. XV pg 271 pp 5
    “Yet despite delays and damage, the German Navy completed the first part of its task” (assembling the necessary tonnage of shipping for the invasion fleet) “The 10 per cent. margin for accidents and loses it had provided was fully expended. What survived however did not fall short of the minimum it had planned to have for the first stage”

    Vol II Chap. XVI pg 281 pp 1
    “Our fate now depended on victory in the air. The German leaders had recognized that all their plans for the invasion of Britain depended on wining air supremacy above the Channel and the chosen landing-places on our south coast.”
    “For the actual crossing and landings complete mastery of the air over the transports and the beaches was the decisive condition. The result therefore turned upon the destruction of the Royal Air Force and the system of airfields between London and the sea.”

    Vol II Chap. XVI pg 285 pp 1
    “The Fuehrer’s Directive N. 17 authorised the intensified air war against England on August 5. Goering never set much store by ‘Sea Lion’; his heart was in the ‘absolute’ air war.” (victory by air power alone) “His consequent distortion of the arrangements disturbed the German Naval Staff. The destruction of the Royal Air Force and our aircraft industry was to them but a means to an end: when this was accomplished the air war should be turned against the enemy’s warships and shipping.”

    Vol II Chap. XVI pg 291 pp 4
    “In the fighting between August 24 and September 6 the scales had tilted against Fighter Command. During these crucial days the Germans had continuously applied powerful forces against the airfields of south and south-east England. Their object was to break down the day fighter defense of the capital, which they were impatient to attack. Far more important to us than the protection of London from terror-bombing was the functioning and articulation of these airfields and the squadrons working from them. In the life-and-death struggle of the two Air Forces this was the decisive phase. We never thought of the struggle in terms of the defence of London or any other place, but only who won in the air. There was much anxiety at fighter headquarters at Stanmore, and particularly at the headquarters of No. 11 Fighter Group at Uxbridge. Extensive damage had been done to five of the Group’s forward airfields, and also to the six Sector Stations. Manston and Lympne on the Kentish coast were on several occasions and for days unfit for operating fighter aircraft. Biggin Hill Sector Station, to the south of London, was so severely damaged that for a week only one fighter station could operate from it. If the enemy had persisted in heavy attacks against the adjacent sectors and damaged their operations-rooms or telephone communications the whole intricate organisation of fighter command might hve been broken down.”

    Vol II Chap. XVI pg 292 pp 2
    “this same period (August 24-September 6) had seriously drained the strength of Fighter Command as a whole. The Command had lost in this fortnight 103 Pilots killed and 128 seriously wounded, while 466 Spitfires and Hurricanes had been destroyed or seriously damaged. Out of a total Pilot strength of about a thousand nearly a quarter had been lost. Their places could only be filled by 260 new, ardent, but inexperienced pilots drawn from training units, in many cases before their full courses were complete. The night attacks on London for ten days after September 7 struck at the London docks and railway centres, and killed and wounded many civilians, but they were in effect for us a breathing-space of which we had the utmost need.”

    Vol II Chap. XVI pg 293 pp 1

    “We must take September 15 as the culminating date.”

    If you want the history of this event read it for yourself, I’m not typing it out for you, it covers pages 293-297 and there are numerous other accounts from Park, Leigh-Mallory et al. It concludes;

    Vol II Chap. XVI pg 297 pp 2
    “ Although post-war information has shown that the enemy’s losses on this day were only fifty-six, September 15 was the crux of the Battle of Britain. That same night our Bomber Command attacked in strength the shipping in the ports from Boulogne to Antwerp. At Antwerp particularly heavy losses were inflicted. On September 17, as we now know, Hitler decided to postpone ‘Sea Lion’ indefinitely.”

    Now tell me how Germany could have won the war by ignoring Britain but taking the Soviet Union? With Britain and by extension America on it's flank?

  9. #54
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    "The problem with your scenarios are that they are schoolboy fantasies."

    I'm sorry, did you just call the theories of a retired Field Grade NATO officer 'schoolboy fantasies'???


  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    "The problem with your scenarios are that they are schoolboy fantasies."

    I'm sorry, did you just call the theories of a retired Field Grade NATO officer 'schoolboy fantasies'???

    LOL, I was asking myself the same question when i read that.

  11. #56
    Officer of Engineers
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    Quote Originally Posted by parihaka
    The problem with your scenarios are that they are schoolboy fantasies.
    Nice quotes but nothing to do with Sea Lion. Have you studied Sea Lion? I have. This schoolboy studied it while in Command School. What's your fantasy level? Walt Disney?

  12. #57
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers
    Nice quotes but nothing to do with Sea Lion. Have you studied Sea Lion? I have. This schoolboy studied it while in Command School. What's your fantasy level? Walt Disney?
    yes I have, and it's interesting to note that both the German Army and Navy were very much against it for obvious reasons, narrow area of landing, size of force and resupply being the three biggest problems, but this scenario is purely 'what if' and it's still my contention that Sea Lion was the only viable opportunity to win the war. And no, I prefer brothers Grimm to Walt Disney, less revisionist.

  13. #58
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    "The problem with your scenarios are that they are schoolboy fantasies."

    I'm sorry, did you just call the theories of a retired Field Grade NATO officer 'schoolboy fantasies'???

    yep.

  14. #59
    Officer of Engineers
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    Quote Originally Posted by parihaka
    yes I have, and it's interesting to note that both the German Army and Navy were very much against it for obvious reasons, narrow area of landing, size of force and resupply being the three biggest problems, but this scenario is purely 'what if' and it's still my contention that Sea Lion was the only viable opportunity to win the war. And no, I prefer brothers Grimm to Walt Disney, less revisionist.
    Sea Lion was not viable. That's the point. It was not viable from a planning perspective and it certainly ain't viable from a 20/20 hindsight. The Wehrmacht would have to make a force landing against entrenched defences, even right after Dunkirk. They would have been chopped to bits.

    There was a glimmer of hope when Goering promised the impossible but it was the impossible. The combined allied heavy bomber forces did not destroy the defences at Normandy, let alone Calais, the smaller and lighter bomber force of the Luftwaffle would do far, far less.

    Professional soldiers of two eras did not think this would work and you think it would and you're calling us schoolboys.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 16 Nov 04, at 20:25.

  15. #60
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    Wanna play at Recess OOE?

    Hehehe.

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