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Thread: WWII what-ifs

  1. #31
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    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.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    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?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

  4. #34
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    British Gold Reserve was already in Canada.

  5. #35
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    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.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  6. #36
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    On the whole, I think you're correct in your assessments except:

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

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    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.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    colonial forces weren't going to stop them.
    The British Indian Army under Will Slim? More than the equal of any German General.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.
    Chimo

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

  10. #40
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    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.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  11. #41
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    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.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.
    Chimo

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    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/2011/12...-to-the-attack
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    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.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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