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Thread: WWII what-ifs

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    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    WWII what-ifs

    OK, so I was googling some info on WW2 when I saw an entry about it on WAB....and this was it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    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
    Last edited by YellowFever; 05 Nov 15, at 21:56.

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by YellowFever View Post
    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
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility

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    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    There will be consequences.
    http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/sho...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....
    Last edited by YellowFever; 06 Nov 15, at 03:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YellowFever View Post
    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.
    Chimo

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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    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.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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    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.
    Chimo

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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    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.
    Chimo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    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.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    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.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    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.

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    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    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?
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    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.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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    Quote Originally Posted by YellowFever View Post
    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?
    Chimo

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    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.
    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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