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Thread: WWII what-ifs

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    it wasn't the best WWII tank army in 1942 ;-) it became that AFTER Kursk.
    Zero difference vis-a-vi the Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.
    Chimo

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    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.
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    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.
    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

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.
    Chimo

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    WWII what-ifs

    this may need to be split later on due to the enormous number of possible scenarios, but for now...
    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. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    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.
    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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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    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.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    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.")
    Last edited by astralis; 15 Nov 15, at 20:57.
    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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    Asty,

    You can't have troops on two places in the same time. Stalin said 1943, but Germans were home, not on another continent.
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    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.
    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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    Nothing, you just wait for 1943, give Stalin a brewthing space, ovestretch, maybe even lost an ally due to all this...
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    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.
    Chimo

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    Col,

    What's your take on Soviet offensive in 1942 vs half Barbarossa? Or even in 1941.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    Both end at Calais.
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