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Thread: WWII what-ifs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Deep Battle. Both Hitler and Guderian were dreading the big meat grinder that was about to come. The thought had not occurred to them to attack and disrupt the enemy's rear.

    Because it would be obvious anyway where they're building to attack. You can't concentrate 100,000 men plus without the enemy knowing.

    I see Guderian's point. A Maginot Line. But his message is why do you want to attack "this year?" What do you mean "this year?" Why wouldn't you want to attack "this year?" You're going to sit on your ass while allowing the enemy to build up?

    The "light bulb" moment is Guderian didn't know how to stop the Soviets from building up except the big meat grinder battles that he wasn't prepare to fight this year.
    Agent Smith: You hear that? That is the sound of inevitability!

    Soviet Union had the space and population to build up. It was getting stronger with each passing day.

    Question: Why could the Soviet Union expand at that point yet Germany was not?

    Another What-If: What if Germany were at war only against Soviet Union in 1941? No Lend Lease. No Royal Navy. No North Africa. Just the Reich against the Reds. What would happen?
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    gunnut,

    Question: Why could the Soviet Union expand at that point yet Germany was not?
    USSR population was more than double that of Greater Germany.

    Another What-If: What if Germany were at war only against Soviet Union in 1941? No Lend Lease. No Royal Navy. No North Africa. Just the Reich against the Reds. What would happen?
    biggest difference would be all those anti-aircraft guns and the men operating those AA guns freed up, closely followed by not having to spend on the Atlantic Wall and not getting bombed.

    a lot fewer resources going into the German Navy. probably less of a focus on bombers. if Britain's out of the war, the French resistance dies. (not that it was all that painful for the Germans anyway.)

    probably an extra million men facing the USSR all told, and a lot larger reserve if things go south.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    biggest difference would be all those anti-aircraft guns and the men operating those AA guns freed up, closely followed by not having to spend on the Atlantic Wall and not getting bombed.

    a lot fewer resources going into the German Navy. probably less of a focus on bombers. if Britain's out of the war, the French resistance dies. (not that it was all that painful for the Germans anyway.)

    probably an extra million men facing the USSR all told, and a lot larger reserve if things go south.
    Not so fast. Germany wouldn't be building that many AA guns or have that many men in uniform until things start going south with an impending Soviet invasion of German territory. At best, the USSR would be their Vietnam.
    Chimo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Which is why I was surprised about Guderian questioning why is there a need to attack.
    Perhaps more than any other field commander Germany had other than Von Paulus who was already in a POW camp, Mainstein knew just how hard prepared in depth Soviet defense were to crack. While other commanders were racing across the Ukrainian Steppes, Mainstein was beating his head against fortress Sevastopol. IIRC, The Germans suffered more losses in that one battle as they did in the entire Polish Campaign.

    edit, I had thought Guderian, not Mainstain was in command wheh I wrote the original post. He also opposed the attack.
    Last edited by zraver; 29 Mar 16, at 00:42.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post

    Another What-If: What if Germany were at war only against Soviet Union in 1941? No Lend Lease. No Royal Navy. No North Africa. Just the Reich against the Reds. What would happen?
    The Soviet's lose. Not quickly, but eventually. In 1941 there really wasn't that much more Germany could have thrown in the fight outside of a massive increase in Luftwaffe strength. On the ground, a panzer corps is the only real gain when DAK can be sent east instead. Without LL the Soviet ability to bounce back is halved. Half the explosives and artillery ammunition, significantly fewer tanks in order to make trucks unless they want to be as foot bound or worse than Germany, 1/4 fewer combat aircraft. 41-43 the Soviets used a lot of blood in place of steel, and from 43 onwards increasingly more steel in place of blood. But with such massively reduced industrial resources, they'll have to use even more blood in the place of steel in 42-43 and will never catch up and begin to switch to a material based war. They bleed out before they ever liberate Russia. The losses they do manage to inflict hurt less since Germany is fighting on a single front, not divying up her forces hither and yon. Plus in a one front war Germany has better access to raw materials from overseas. Chromium from Turkey beign the most obvious and biggest addition. Depending on why the UK is not in the war, possibly oil from Arabia, food from Africa and America.

    However, victory would introduce some fatal flaws into the German armed forces if the US and a victorious Germany ever squared off. Germany would have a much smaller less experienced submarine fleet, her fighters would be geared towards low level combat and would not have developed the high altitude technologies they would need. Far fewer AAA guns and radars and a massive not all that useful army. The Abwher was very good at getting our plan designs pre-war, so they might get an inkling of whats coming and begin trying to build up defense sin the West after Stalin is gone, but they will be years behind.

    Depending on what help if any the US got from the UK before the UK became a non-factor, the US would be less advance din jet engines, A-bomb and radar and might lack a long range escort fighter other than the P-38 (does the US fight Japan?). However, the scale of our naval building and push for a truly intercontinental bomber means the US is on a strategic focus path to Germany's tactical focus. By 47-48 with or without the UK, we can put a B-36 over Berlin above its radar range and cut the heart out of the Reich in a flash of nuclear fire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Perhaps more than any other field commander Germany had other than Von Paulus who was already in a POW camp, Mainstein knew just how hard prepared in depth Soviet defense were to crack. While other commanders were racing across the Ukrainian Steppes, Mainstein was beating his head against fortress Sevastopol. IIRC, The Germans suffered more losses in that one battle as they did in the entire Polish Campaign.

    edit, I had thought Guderian, not Mainstain was in command wheh I wrote the original post. He also opposed the attack.
    I was not questioning their revulsion against Kursk. I was questioning Guderian's blanket statement why should they attack in that year at all.
    Chimo

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    The Soviet's lose.
    Can't see Hitler marching past the Urals. And can't see Hitler winning the insurgency with that big of a population that he intends to slaughter.
    Chimo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Can't see Hitler marching past the Urals. And can't see Hitler winning the insurgency with that big of a population that he intends to slaughter.
    He doesn't have to reach the Urals in truth. The Soviets can stalemate him at the gates of Stalingrad or even Kursk. The lack of resources w/o LL means stalemate somewhere deep in the USSR is the best they can do.

    He held 40 million Frenchmen at bay with 60,000 second rate troops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    He doesn't have to reach the Urals in truth. The Soviets can stalemate him at the gates of Stalingrad or even Kursk. The lack of resources w/o LL means stalemate somewhere deep in the USSR is the best they can do.
    I'm lost. So, Hitler and Stalin settles for a negotiated ending of the war?

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    He held 40 million Frenchmen at bay with 60,000 second rate troops.
    Hitler had no intentions of gassing the French. He had no such respects for the Slavs.
    Chimo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    I'm lost. So, Hitler and Stalin settles for a negotiated ending of the war?
    Eventually there comes a point where the Soviets have run out of men and the Germans have run out of trucks and the line stops.

    Hitler had no intentions of gassing the French. He had no such respects for the Slavs.
    Soviet partisans needed at least air range access to the Soviet Union for any type of major threat. They have a limited life span without support and will never liberate an area long term. Several Soviet partisan armies tried, they were all soundly defeated if the Red Army did not arrive in time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Eventually there comes a point where the Soviets have run out of men and the Germans have run out of trucks and the line stops.
    All that means is that the war would be reduced to low-mid level intensity until both sides can build up for another run at it.

    Doesn't mean you're wrong but you have not identify the political conditions needed for both sides to stop the war.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Soviet partisans needed at least air range access to the Soviet Union for any type of major threat. They have a limited life span without support and will never liberate an area long term. Several Soviet partisan armies tried, they were all soundly defeated if the Red Army did not arrive in time.
    Algeria, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Chechnya.
    Chimo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    All that means is that the war would be reduced to low-mid level intensity until both sides can build up for another run at it.

    Doesn't mean you're wrong but you have not identify the political conditions needed for both sides to stop the war.
    Wars peter out all the time from exhaustion. When the Soviets run out of men, they are done for a generation at least likely forever given how many ethnic Russians are on the other side of the line.

    Algeria, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Chechnya.
    Vietnam and Afghanistan had/have significant outside support. Chechnya lasted less than a generation. Less familiar with Algiers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Wars peter out all the time from exhaustion. When the Soviets run out of men, they are done for a generation at least likely forever given how many ethnic Russians are on the other side of the line.
    China and Japan. But you have not answered the question, what would make Hitler offer such a peace and what would make Stalin accept such a peace? Both can just maintain the war at a low level much akin to Vietnam.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Vietnam and Afghanistan had/have significant outside support. Chechnya lasted less than a generation. Less familiar with Algiers.
    There is outside support. Central Asian and Siberian Soviet republics.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 29 Mar 16, at 04:06.
    Chimo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    China and Japan. But you have not answered the question, what would make Hitler offer such a peace and what would make Stalin accept such a peace? Both can just maintain the war at a low level much akin to Vietnam.
    Low level wont change the borders or alter the reality on the ground. At a certain point, Hitler planned to stop anyway along the AAA line, he never planned on German troops wondering if they could, "see Alaska from here".

    There is outside support. Central Asian and Siberian Soviet republics.
    Not for European Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine there isn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Low level wont change the borders or alter the reality on the ground. At a certain point, Hitler planned to stop anyway along the AAA line, he never planned on German troops wondering if they could, "see Alaska from here".
    Then Hitler is giving Stalin breathing room and space to rebuild his armies and he got China and Korea to recruit from.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Not for European Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine there isn't.
    Afghan cocaine made it all the way to Moscow. There is no way for either Germany or Russia to stop the leakage in such a big country.

    All you are saying is that both sides would be exhausted but that isn't the question. The question is what stopping Hitler and Stalin from coming in for round 2?
    Chimo

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