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Tags alternate history , Nazi Germany history , World War II history

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Old 15th November 2012, 06:14 AM   #601
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I doubt that it could have turned the tide decisively in Hitler's favour but I do think, given some extra oomph the Nazi's could have taken and held North Africa and the Middle East. They wouldn't have needed Soviet oil then.

Things would have been different but more than likely the outcome would have been the same.
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Old 15th November 2012, 06:20 AM   #602
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Originally Posted by Krikkiter View Post
The SU was a big place.
Covered eleven time zones. The only reason it was so large is that nobody wanted most of it.
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Old 15th November 2012, 06:36 AM   #603
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Covered eleven time zones. The only reason it was so large is that nobody wanted most of it.
When I first read how *********** cold it gets in most of the place during winter I was blown away. How anyone could live there let alone want to live there is beyond me.
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Old 15th November 2012, 06:37 AM   #604
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Originally Posted by Krikkiter View Post
I doubt that it could have turned the tide decisively in Hitler's favour but I do think, given some extra oomph the Nazi's could have taken and held North Africa and the Middle East. They wouldn't have needed Soviet oil then.

Things would have been different but more than likely the outcome would have been the same.
But where do you get that oomph from?
And how do you supply it?

With the forces at his disposal in '41 and '42 Rommel had a hard time keeping them running 200 miles in from the Egyptian/Libyan border. Add a whole load more and you make the supply situation even more entertaining.
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Old 15th November 2012, 06:56 AM   #605
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
But where do you get that oomph from?
And how do you supply it?

With the forces at his disposal in '41 and '42 Rommel had a hard time keeping them running 200 miles in from the Egyptian/Libyan border. Add a whole load more and you make the supply situation even more entertaining.
Yes well this is the conundrum. You would have to take resources away from the Eastern campaign.

I wouldn't think they'd have needed much - a few more armored divisions and some more air support delivered early in the game probably would have done the job.

But to get it there Malta would have had to have been sorted out. That would take some serious shipping tonnage (and something other than the Italian fleet), plus some further air support - no problem there with bases in Italy (but once again, they would have to have been German). I'm not sure there would have been an absolute need for a ground invasion but it could have been done if the above requirements were satisfied.

But (and there's always a but [it could go down to the bloke that failed to take out a machine gun nest in these kinds of "what if" scenarios]), Hitler cared not at all about North Africa and didn't think globally enough to understand how much the Middle East could have given his war machine. His mind was land-locked and his ideology dictated his strategy. The SU was the prize.
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Old 15th November 2012, 02:48 PM   #606
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Covered eleven time zones.
"Eleven"
"That's ridiculous. It's not even funny."
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Old 15th November 2012, 06:37 PM   #607
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Originally Posted by Krikkiter View Post
When I first read how *********** cold it gets in most of the place during winter I was blown away. How anyone could live there let alone want to live there is beyond me.
Either you grew up there, and didn't notice, or you were exiled there "to count trees", and didn't have a choice.

Then they found oil and gold there.
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Old 15th November 2012, 08:32 PM   #608
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
If by 'defeat them' you mean force them to negotiate a peace then fine, but to conquer Britain would have taken years and while that was happening the Soviet Union would be morphing into the super power that emerged during the war. So I can see the sense behind an all out assault on Egypt in late 1940, instead of the Battle of Britain, to bring the Brits to the conference table but I don't really see how Britain could be 'defeated' in the same way France was.
Lack of resources would've convinced the Brits to drop out and remain out. Especially since the Germans wouldn't have done much to them anyway.
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Old 16th November 2012, 02:26 AM   #609
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Originally Posted by L.Y.S. View Post
Lack of resources would've convinced the Brits to drop out and remain out. Especially since the Germans wouldn't have done much to them anyway.
Lack of what resources?
Remember, either Germany is actively trying to strangle Britain, in which case your last sentence is invalid, or they aren't, in which case how will they lack resources?

And if they are trying to strangle Britain, how will they do that in any better way than they attempted in 40 and 41?
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Old 16th November 2012, 05:06 AM   #610
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Lack of what resources?
Remember, either Germany is actively trying to strangle Britain, in which case your last sentence is invalid, or they aren't, in which case how will they lack resources?

And if they are trying to strangle Britain, how will they do that in any better way than they attempted in 40 and 41?
Absolutely right. The only possible kind of British government that might have made peace with Hitler would have been one that approved of or admired him. But even the right wing of the British political class perceived Hitler (correctly) to be an unacceptable threat to the British Empire, are were not well disposed towards him.
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Old 16th November 2012, 05:22 AM   #611
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Absolutely right. The only possible kind of British government that might have made peace with Hitler would have been one that approved of or admired him. But even the right wing of the British political class perceived Hitler (correctly) to be an unacceptable threat to the British Empire, are were not well disposed towards him.
Or perhaps one who wanted a breathing space, created by an armistice, to either prepare for a resumption of hostilities in the future or to save the remains of their empire. Remember the UK was effectively nearing bankruptcy.
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Old 16th November 2012, 11:31 PM   #612
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
Maybe the Germans could have tightened up their air defences though.

Historically, it could have done much better at defending its airspace. For that to happen in an alternate history, we'd probably have to have Göring replaced as head of the Luftwaffe by someone like Adolf Galland. We'd also have to change Hitler's conception of how to deal with a bomber offensive. Rather than regarding the primary objective of such a campaign as the shooting down of enemy bombers, Hitler regarded it retaliatory terms: the enemy bombs your cities, you go and bomb his.


Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
Big heavy bombers operating several hundred miles from base without fighter escort ought to have been vulnerable. Was there no way for the Germans to inflict unacceptably heavy losses on them?

Daytime raids by heavy bombers without fighter escort were prone to heavy losses. That is exactly what the USAAF found out when it tried to do deep penetration daylight raids into Germany unescorted. See in particular the raids on Schweinfurt in August and October of 1943. (Of the 667 heavy bombers dispatched in total over these two raids, 120 were shot down. That's a loss rate of 18%, more than triple what was considered an 'acceptable' rate of losses.)

The British, for their part, had much earlier learned the lesson that unescorted daylight raids were prone to high rates of losses which were unsustainable. That's why it switched to bombing at night. But that posed an entirely new set of problems. (And, in the end, it didn't really prove any safer for bomber crews, especially once the U.S. had won air superiority over Germany in the daytime. The German night-fighter force remained a sometimes formidable foe right through to the end of the war.)
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Old 17th November 2012, 04:37 AM   #613
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Historically, it could have done much better at defending its airspace. For that to happen in an alternate history, we'd probably have to have Göring replaced as head of the Luftwaffe by someone like Adolf Galland. We'd also have to change Hitler's conception of how to deal with a bomber offensive. Rather than regarding the primary objective of such a campaign as the shooting down of enemy bombers, Hitler regarded it retaliatory terms: the enemy bombs your cities, you go and bomb his.





Daytime raids by heavy bombers without fighter escort were prone to heavy losses. That is exactly what the USAAF found out when it tried to do deep penetration daylight raids into Germany unescorted. See in particular the raids on Schweinfurt in August and October of 1943. (Of the 667 heavy bombers dispatched in total over these two raids, 120 were shot down. That's a loss rate of 18%, more than triple what was considered an 'acceptable' rate of losses.)

The British, for their part, had much earlier learned the lesson that unescorted daylight raids were prone to high rates of losses which were unsustainable. That's why it switched to bombing at night. But that posed an entirely new set of problems. (And, in the end, it didn't really prove any safer for bomber crews, especially once the U.S. had won air superiority over Germany in the daytime. The German night-fighter force remained a sometimes formidable foe right through to the end of the war.)
Thanks Corsair. That's interesting and kinda what I thought (minus the details, of which I was unaware). But it means we Brits couldn't really scratch the Fuehrer's paint on our own. It's lucky in a way that Mussolini muscled in to the war, greatly expanding the coastal front so we could use our navy to some effect - except, apart from Dieppe, we pretty much had our hands full with our own supply lines.

Now the poster who mentioned mud in Russia made a good point, but what was the earliest time at which that ceased to be a factor. Even if it were only the first half of May, launching the offensive then would have given more than a month of extra campaigning. Could that have made a difference? Or were the soviets essentially unbeatable due to the vastness of their space and the climate, no matter how disastrous the early stages of the assault?

I have read that the correct target for the offensive should have been the railhead at Saratov, not Moscow. I would bet a detailed discussion of that campaign (at a level that is beyond me) would throw up numerous improvements for the bad guys. Better anticipation of and preparation for winter and palling up with the liberated are two big general ones but there must be more concrete things too. I have also read, for example, that the great encirclement at Kiev in 1941 was also a distraction from more relevant targets.

One wonders whether it was ever possible to know more about soviet capabilities. Weren't the Germans surprised to be continually encountering fresh formations from an enemy they thought they had vanquished?
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Old 17th November 2012, 02:52 PM   #614
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
Thanks Corsair. That's interesting and kinda what I thought (minus the details, of which I was unaware). But it means we Brits couldn't really scratch the Fuehrer's paint on our own.?

Bomber Command by itself could certainly inflict considerable damage. In Adam Tooze's The Wages of Destruction, citing German records from the time, the case is made that in the Battle of the Ruhr from Feb. to July 1943, Bomber Command actually had a significant effect on German war production. Prior to the campaign, it had been increasing at about 6% per month; after the campaign, German war production was largely stagnant for many months afterwards. Steel production was off by 400,000 tons and there was a critical shortage of vital subcomponents, especially for aircraft. But right at the point where the Ruhr campaign might have achieved a possible decisive effect on German war production, it was ended in favour of the ill-fated campaign against Berlin.

Bomber Command was beset by a number of issues which blunted its potential effectiveness. Some of these were operational, some technological, some as a result of Harris' leadership.

Early in the war it was recognized that the heavy bomber was the only weapon with which Britain and its Commonwealth could strike at Germany, and accordingly a plan was drawn up for the creation of a force of some 4,000 heavy bombers. This turned out to be well beyond what was possible with the resources available and the demands upon those resources, so the numbers were scaled back enormously.
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Old 19th January 2013, 03:14 AM   #615
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I have just finished watching a video about Operation Dynamo; the evacuation of Dunkirk. The story was about how unusual weather allowed 340,000 British and French troops to be evacuated. This included unseasonal calm water in the Channel for nine days.

This makes me wonder if the weather had not been so unseasonally favourable, and the British and French had not been able to evacuate these troops, could Hitler have taken that opportunity to invade Britain? How important were those 239,000 British troops to Britain's ability to defend herself against invasion.
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Old 19th January 2013, 03:52 AM   #616
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Well, they might have had a chance against the Soviet Union if they weren't Nazis: at the onset of Barbarossa declaring the restoration of the Baltic Republics, the re-independence of Ukraine, Belarus and the Caucasian republics and restoring freedom of worship and political association in occupied Russia, and we might have ended up with quite a different Eastern front... But the German elites were a bunch of genocidal fanatics, and there was never any chance of this. Instead they made very clear their criminal intentions by terror and famine, and lit such a fire of fanatical resistance which in combination with the Soviet industrial might and Western assistance blew their war machine to pieces in three years. That was a fate richly earned.
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Old 19th January 2013, 06:16 AM   #617
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I have just finished watching a video about Operation Dynamo; the evacuation of Dunkirk. The story was about how unusual weather allowed 340,000 British and French troops to be evacuated. This included unseasonal calm water in the Channel for nine days.

This makes me wonder if the weather had not been so unseasonally favourable, and the British and French had not been able to evacuate these troops, could Hitler have taken that opportunity to invade Britain? How important were those 239,000 British troops to Britain's ability to defend herself against invasion.
There were still troops in the UK and there was still the Royal Navy and AIr Force.

It wouldn't have made any difference in terms of ability on the ground. Maybe the loss of the entire BEF would have changed the mood or resolve of the country.
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Old 19th January 2013, 09:00 AM   #618
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I have just finished watching a video about Operation Dynamo; the evacuation of Dunkirk. The story was about how unusual weather allowed 340,000 British and French troops to be evacuated. This included unseasonal calm water in the Channel for nine days.

This makes me wonder if the weather had not been so unseasonally favourable, and the British and French had not been able to evacuate these troops, could Hitler have taken that opportunity to invade Britain? How important were those 239,000 British troops to Britain's ability to defend herself against invasion.
I suggest you read this article by Dale Cozort, who's a member here, on the possible effects of different weather at the time.
While a failed evacuation wouldn't have doomed Britain it could well have forced a change of government and an armistice.
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