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

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Old 9th November 2012, 03:51 AM   #481
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Germany wasn't a 'leader' in High Technology at the time

Radar, Engines, Jet Engines, Radio, Aircraft, Sonar, and a host of other things were equal to or ahead of German development. They had a lead in Rocketry but what practical use did they put it to that had a material effect on the war?

Arguably the 60lb HE Rockets fitted to Typhoon and tempest fighters for Anti Tank attacks had a bigger effect on the war than any of the rockets the Germans launched.
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Old 9th November 2012, 03:55 AM   #482
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
You're overlooking that movie with Kirk Douglas in Norway blowing up a heavy water plant. Lots of snow, mountains and attractive sweaters. And Richard Harris.

WTF is heavy water anyway?
Well the attacks on the Norwegian heavy water plant (the Norsk Hydro complex at Vermok)were quite real. Link. In reality the plant, even without the attacks, wasn't particularly useful to the German nuclear programme.

Heavy water is water where the common form of hydrogen (containing one proton and no neutrons) is replaced by 'heavy hydrogen' or Deuterium (containing one proton and one neutron). Heavy water is used as a 'moderator' in nuclear reactors, i.e. to slow down neutrons produced naturally by decaying Uranium so they're more likely to interact with other Uranium nuclei. Link.
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:05 AM   #483
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
We all know that when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour in December 1941, that act brought the USA into WW2. However, it does not seem as straightforward as that.

So, given that the alliance between Italy, Germany and Japan ended in Aug 1939, why was it that the Dec 1941 attacks on Pearl Harbour brought the USA into WW2? Surely, all Germany had to do was NOT declare war on the USA, and the limit of Americas involvement would be materiel.

Would America have declared war on Germany anyway? If so, with what justification, given that their agreement with Japan was void.
Hitler. He was an idiot, plus the US was effectively at war with Germany anyway, supplying Britain and the SU, attacking Germans subs in the Atlantic. There's a good AH starting here on the basis of Hitler not declaring war on the US.

Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Heisenberg used that line in his defence, that he deliberately pursued an unfruitful approach to building a bomb. Has it ever been thoroughly assessed whether that was true or that he only said that to (help) save his butt?
Based on the Farm Hall recordings it was more arrogance.

Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
It's a 'what if'. No need to get sick of it. The Nazi's were working on nukes themselves. If they had been able to do their work unimpeded by bombing attacks, maybe they could have created one. Germany was the leader in high technology at that time.
Germany didn't have the resources available for a successful nuclear weapons programme; people, Uranium, heavy water, graphite..............

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Germany wasn't a 'leader' in High Technology at the time

Radar, Engines, Jet Engines, Radio, Aircraft, Sonar, and a host of other things were equal to or ahead of German development. They had a lead in Rocketry but what practical use did they put it to that had a material effect on the war?

Arguably the 60lb HE Rockets fitted to Typhoon and tempest fighters for Anti Tank attacks had a bigger effect on the war than any of the rockets the Germans launched.
Indeed. Most of the advanced German technology was pretty useless and wasted resources that could be better used for other purposes. For example the V rockets caused <2 Allies casualties each, on average.
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Old 9th November 2012, 05:01 AM   #484
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Germany wasn't a 'leader' in High Technology at the time

Radar, Engines, Jet Engines, Radio, Aircraft, Sonar, and a host of other things were equal to or ahead of German development. They had a lead in Rocketry but what practical use did they put it to that had a material effect on the war?

Arguably the 60lb HE Rockets fitted to Typhoon and tempest fighters for Anti Tank attacks had a bigger effect on the war than any of the rockets the Germans launched.
Indeed.
At the start of the war they had a lead in modern fighter aircraft. Not technology-wise, but in numbers. Britain and France were a couple of years behind them on re-equipping their air forces, with fighters that were arguably better than the German ones.

During the war they flailed really, often between one madcap idea and another.
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Old 9th November 2012, 05:53 AM   #485
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
German A Bomb test hahaha!
The evidence and eyewitnesses prove it.

Quote:
They had a base on the moon as well.
There is no evidence for this, nor that it was even technically feasable at the time...unlike the A-bomb.

Quote:
Why have you not commented on my post that lists some of the British technology being developed and actually put into use alongside your list of German paper wonders?
I don't deny that there was some technological development underway in Britain. It would not have had the impetus for rapid development that it did if Germany were not considered an active threat.

And Germany's weapons development programs were far from being "paper wonders", including jet fighters, rocket fighters, the V-series rockets, etc. All developed during the active phase of the war, and all very effective within the constraints of their level of development.

If Germany could do those project to that level of quality while in active combat, how much further would the programs have been in terms of development if they'd had an additional 3-5 years of peacetime development first?

ETA I forgot to mention the development, production, and deployment of guided missiles, a field where there was NO US or British research.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categor...les_of_Germany
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Last edited by Muldur; 9th November 2012 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 9th November 2012, 06:14 AM   #486
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Except Germany would have been bankrupt long before then.
They knew (as did the French and British) that there was a window of opportunity with the forces they had, specifically the Luftwaffe, where their technical superiority would hold before the rearmament programs of the British and French would completely negate it. That window would have closed in early 1941.
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:09 AM   #487
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Define "very effective" for the V projects or the Me-262. They were build & used but what they provided to the german war effort was actually not that important, didn't they? Either because of limitations that would still have applied even for a latter war (various technical & ressources issues for the Me-262) or because the technology was too rough. Maybe you could argue the V's tied up some Allied assets for their destruction.

Again, just consider that in the Battle of France -supposedly the Blitzkrieg finest hour-, 1/8th of the tank force was made up of Czech models (considered superior to the Pz.I and Pz.II which made up more than half said force), judging by numbers attributed to Guderian. This raises some doubts on the industrial capacity of Germany without the added resources of the land grabs leading to the war.
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Last edited by Laeke; 9th November 2012 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:37 AM   #488
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Originally Posted by Muldur View Post
The evidence and eyewitnesses prove it.
Sorry, no they don't.

Originally Posted by Muldur View Post
And Germany's weapons development programs were far from being "paper wonders", including jet fighters, rocket fighters, the V-series rockets, etc. All developed during the active phase of the war, and all very effective within the constraints of their level of development.
Actually they were ineffective, wasted resources and had little impact.

Originally Posted by Muldur View Post
If Germany could do those project to that level of quality while in active combat, how much further would the programs have been in terms of development if they'd had an additional 3-5 years of peacetime development first?
You're making the mistake of assuming the German peacetime economy could have managed this.

Originally Posted by Muldur View Post
ETA I forgot to mention the development, production, and deployment of guided missiles, a field where there was NO US or British research.
Utterly wrong. For example the USA deployed the TDR and TBM drones (and used them in more than 150 operations), the BAT homing glide bomb and the AZON/RAZON series of guided bombs.
If this is an example of you knowledge of the subject perhaps it's no wonder you've been taken in my the German nuclear bomb nonsense.
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:40 AM   #489
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Originally Posted by Laeke View Post
Again, just consider that in the Battle of France -supposedly the Blitzkrieg finest hour-, 1/8th of the tank force was made up of Czech models (considered superior to the Pz.I and Pz.II which made up more than half said force), judging by numbers attributed to Guderian. This raises some doubts on the industrial capacity of Germany without the added resources of the land grabs leading to the war.
Well the Pz. I and II carried machine guns only, and a 20mm cannon respectively so the 37mm cannon armed Vz. 35/38 were preferred.
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Old 9th November 2012, 08:16 AM   #490
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So it is well known Germany did not have a navy capable of pulling off Operation Sealion. So what if they had dedicated themselves to creating such a navy? When would they have had to start doing this? What ships would they have needed? What would this have meant to other areas of the war effort considering Germany had fairly limited access to many resources?
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Old 9th November 2012, 08:25 AM   #491
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They would have had to match the Home Fleet at least. They would need more Battleships, a couple of Aircraft carriers, lots more destroyers and cruisers.
There were plans for a bigger navy but it was all scrapped.
Germany never realy understood naval warfare or it's importance to the British.

Germany is an almost land locked state, Britain is an Island depending on the sea lanes .

In WW1 the main Geramn 'High Seas' fleet only came out once. There was a battle at Jutland that was interupted by darkness and the German fleet broke off action and sailed away under cover of darkness. They had been quite badly handled and left the RN in charge of the North Sea.
They only ventured out once more, that was at the end of the war to sail into captivity at Scapa Flow where they scuttled themselves.

Germany only had a big fleet because that's what the 'FGreat Powers' were expecrted to have and if Britain and France had them then so would they.
Same in WW2 Hitler never saw the need for a big fleet and what big units he did have were used as lone commerce raiders, they were never intended to take on the RN in a fleet action. In the end the surface fleet was disbanded, the crews sent to the front and more U-boats built.
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Old 9th November 2012, 08:35 AM   #492
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On the technology, Don't forget that the British knew exactly the state of German Radar technology. A Commando raid captured the key parts of a Wurzburg radar station and one of the technicians.
The raiders drooped by parachute onto the radar Station and were extracted by sea.
See the Bruneval Raid or 'Operation Biting'.
At the start of the war the Germans only had 8 stations in operation leaving huge gaps in their cover. Britain developed several countermeasures, 8 Aircraft circling over the North Sea could completely jam the entire German radar grid.
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Old 9th November 2012, 09:42 AM   #493
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Originally Posted by Muldur View Post
The evidence and eyewitnesses prove it.
Just like they prove Roswell !
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Old 9th November 2012, 10:21 AM   #494
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Originally Posted by Laeke View Post
<snip> This raises some doubts on the industrial capacity of Germany without the added resources of the land grabs leading to the war.
Napoleon invaded Russia with a "Grande Armée" of 650,000 men. Hitler's Russia invasion force included, in addition to men and motor vehicles, some 750,000 horses! This in 1941. By that time in Germany the typical civilian motor car was fuelled by gas derived from smouldering wood.
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Old 9th November 2012, 11:08 AM   #495
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Napoleon invaded Russia with a "Grande Armée" of 650,000 men. Hitler's Russia invasion force included, in addition to men and motor vehicles, some 750,000 horses! This in 1941. By that time in Germany the typical civilian motor car was fuelled by gas derived from smouldering wood.
Considering how things went, those horses made for some fine dining towards the end.
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Old 9th November 2012, 12:21 PM   #496
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Originally Posted by Muldur View Post
That's the popular perception, but as the link to the article about finding the enrichment wastes shows, the program was far more advanced than the "conventional wisdom" believed. That adds credence to Karlsch's thesis.

The real problem in determining with any assurance of absolute accuracy is how much of the paperwork from and about the Germans disappeared after the War, either destroyed by Nazi sympathizers or seized and sealed away in protected archives by the Allied Powers..

Lots and lots of skull-duggery in and around the end of WWII, what with Operation Paperclip, ODESSA, etc.

And its because of that skullduggery that we know this is nonsense. And when are you going to apologize for the Allied Countries = The Americans idiocy?
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Old 9th November 2012, 12:25 PM   #497
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Heisenberg used that line in his defence, that he deliberately pursued an unfruitful approach to building a bomb. Has it ever been thoroughly assessed whether that was true or that he only said that to (help) save his butt?
There doesn't seem to be a conclusive answer. Heisenberg certainly was adamant about it but then he had every reason to be, didn't he?
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:23 PM   #498
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
The consensus view seems to be that Germany was unable to deploy its full might against the UK, because it could not secure air supremacy, and had no fleet sufficient to confront the might of the Royal Navy. Thus an invasion of Britain would probably have failed, the ocean trade routes could not be effectively cut, and the UK was able to secure the resources of the colonial empire and the Dominions. Canada has been very rightly referred to in this context.
It is also the consensus that the German werhmacht diverted huge amounts of resources to fight the Russians on the eastern front, granted it was a largely a ground war. A large portion of Germany's air fleet went to eastern Europe to deal with the large aggregations of Soviet aircraft, so it is conceivable that if they had not created a second front, that the might of Nazi Germany could've gained air supremacy, at albeit a terrible price in casualties due to the lack of simple technologies such as radar, and reliable long range fighters.

The issue of building an adequate navy is somewhat unclear. Although it is clear that the Germans built a reasonably large submersible fleet, it is not clear that the Germans could've built a large enough infrastructure necessary to deliver more than a couple thousand troops. Perhaps they could've repurposed ships captured from French ports? Maybe not, but it is clear that 1 million German soldiers on British soil would've been more than enough to put down any substantial British counteroffensives. All 5 million German ground forces in Britain would've certainly quelled any issue of German supremacy in the British Isles, though I will tip my hat to the issue of naval supremacy. That seems to be a key issue that the German's could not have overcome.

Yet again, it seems that Germany’s premature deployment of army groups to the eastern front could’ve also caused the issue above. If some of those troops had been sent to North Africa to reinforce preexisting units, it is doubtful that the British could’ve stopped an assault of German units which were superior in both manpower and firepower. And although there were significant air sorties which occurred in North Africa, it was a largely ground combat war. It is very conceivable that an army group sent to British North Africa, and the Middle East could’ve greatly reduced the war capabilities of the British, and in turn could’ve given the Germans significant reserves of strategic resources. All roads lead to the Germans eliminating the British before they had tried to wage war against a determined Soviet Union.

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Old 9th November 2012, 02:04 PM   #499
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Originally Posted by Muldur View Post
The Americans didn't give a flying crap about Germany until it declared war on the US in support of Japan, so Hitler's research projects in years prior wouldn't've even resulted in a lifted eyebrow.

The U.S. was far ahead of Germany in the development of heavy bombers, to name one example. The military specifications which eventually led to the B-29 were issued in December of 1939, and the specifications which eventually led to the (post-war) B-36 were first issued in April 1941. The Manhattan Project was sparked by Einstein's letter to the President in 1939 (though in fairness serious development doesn't begin until after U.S. entry into the war).

The idea that the U.S. didn't care about Germany before it declared war is disproved by its decision to get ever more involved in the battle of the Atlantic, in spite of nominal American neutrality.


Originally Posted by Muldur View Post
No one here cared, I'm sorry to say.

Gawdzilla has posted numerous Gallup polls taken from the time which paint an opinion of the wider American public that was considerably less isolationist than is popularly considered to be the case today.


Originally Posted by Muldur View Post
Not being at war for an additional several years would have allowed research to advance that much farther before the weapons were needed.

But one needs to know which weapons to develop. That may well be obvious in hindsight, but at the time it was far less clear. In many cases it took combat experience to reveal what actually worked and what was actually needed. Case in point: long-range escort fighters. The U.S. felt that large formations of heavy bombers, bristling with heavy machine guns, would be able to defend themselves. So developing a long-range fighter was not a high priority. It took painful experience to show that bombers, no matter how well armed, could not successfully defend themselves from enemy fighters. Which in turned spurred the development of long-range fighters.

If one is going to use hindsight to gift the German regime with ability to pick the weapon winners from the losers prior to or early in the war, then it is only appropriate to grant the Allies the same ability.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:27 PM   #500
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Originally Posted by Muldur View Post
And Germany's weapons development programs were far from being "paper wonders", including jet fighters, rocket fighters, the V-series rockets, etc.

Jet fighters in themselves are not a war winner. The Allies were developing jets as well. And, as I pointed out, they had weaknesses. One of the ways the Allies countered the Me 262 was to take advantage of its poor acceleration. Long-range Allied fighters would prowl around German airfields, waiting for Me 262s coming in to land. Low and slow, unable to get away, the jets were easy targets.

The Me 163 rocket fighter was a fascinating bit of tech, but as a weapon it was virtually useless. Its incredibly volatile fuel load meant that a great many of its pilots were killed in accidents. It only had enough fuel for about seven minutes of flight, after which it was helpless. Its high rate of climb and speed meant it had to have a skilled pilot at the controls in order for it to hit anything.

The key to aerial fighting was pilot quality. In a one-on-one encounter, a superior pilot in an inferior machine will almost always beat an inferior pilot in a superior machine. That's because the superior pilot knows how to wring every last ounce of performance out of his mount, and knows the best tactics to take at each stage of the fight. The inferior pilot won't get the best out of his aircraft, and is more prone to making a fatal tactical mistake.


Originally Posted by Muldur View Post
If Germany could do those project to that level of quality while in active combat, how much further would the programs have been in terms of development if they'd had an additional 3-5 years of peacetime development first?

Peacetime development is not the same as wartime development. Look no further than the torpedoes of the U.S. Navy and the Kriegsmarine at the start of the war as an example. Developed in peacetime, when the torpedoes were used under actual combat conditions all manner of problems were discovered. Problems which plagued the torpedoes of both navies for a number of years before finally being corrected.


Originally Posted by Muldur View Post
ETA I forgot to mention the development, production, and deployment of guided missiles, a field where there was NO US or British research.

Much of which was developed as a counter to the threat of Allied heavy bombers during the war. Neither the USAAF nor the RAF had large fleets of heavy bombers prior to the war, and everyone underestimated just how large a force of bombers were needed to conduct a successful strategic bombing campaign.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:44 PM   #501
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Originally Posted by Chris L View Post
Considering how things went, those horses made for some fine dining towards the end.
Yes. The unfortunate panzer grenadiers had to dine on lubricating grease washed down with diesel fuel when things went wrong.
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Old 9th November 2012, 03:56 PM   #502
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
If one is going to use hindsight to gift the German regime with ability to pick the weapon winners from the losers prior to or early in the war, then it is only appropriate to grant the Allies the same ability.
This is one of the more persistent and annoying traits of the fetishist Nazi supremacy alternate histories. It's assumed that everyone but the Axis are brainless idiots who do not adapt to the situation at all and simply rigidly continue their historical course of action, letting the Nazis do whatever they want to do.
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:33 PM   #503
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Originally Posted by Normal Dude View Post
This is one of the more persistent and annoying traits of the fetishist Nazi supremacy alternate histories. It's assumed that everyone but the Axis are brainless idiots who do not adapt to the situation at all and simply rigidly continue their historical course of action, letting the Nazis do whatever they want to do.
Hardly a fetish. I haven't read the whole thread, but I doubt that anyone posting that I have read wanted the Nazis to win. Hitler was a vicious, nasty psychopath.

The Germans (not the nazis) were leaders in much of Science and Technology historically. For many years even after the war, it was a good idea to learn German to get access to good text books and research. The start of the war was a real real shock to everyone, including the Nazis.

However, they finished the war using horses and carts for basic transport still. This was shown in "Band of Brothers". As much as the advanced technology race was being won by them, they never even managed to build enough trucks.
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:33 PM   #504
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Originally Posted by Normal Dude View Post
This is one of the more persistent and annoying traits of the fetishist Nazi supremacy alternate histories. It's assumed that everyone but the Axis are brainless idiots who do not adapt to the situation at all and simply rigidly continue their historical course of action, letting the Nazis do whatever they want to do.

And that Germany has unlimited resources to build everything it might want to and the money to pay for it all.
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:45 PM   #505
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Hardly a fetish. I haven't read the whole thread, but I doubt that anyone posting that I have read wanted the Nazis to win. Hitler was a vicious, nasty psychopath.
The fetish isn't with Hitler, it's with the German military. And yes, for some it is a fetish. I'm deeply involved in the wargaming community and see it often. I'm not referring to the people who are simply fascinated with the German military along with other WW2 militaries, but instead those who have bought hook-line-and-sinker into the post-war legends and elevate the German military to the level of war gods who could do no wrong against those stoopid Allies (a variation of this is that the Germans were awesome and The Best At Everything, except for one or two areas which cost them the war).

Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The start of the war was a real real shock to everyone, including the Nazis.
I'm sorry, what?
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:46 PM   #506
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Originally Posted by L.Y.S. View Post
It is also the consensus that the German werhmacht diverted huge amounts of resources to fight the Russians on the eastern front, granted it was a largely a ground war. A large portion of Germany's air fleet went to eastern Europe to deal with the large aggregations of Soviet aircraft, so it is conceivable that if they had not created a second front, that the might of Nazi Germany could've gained air supremacy, at albeit a terrible price in casualties due to the lack of simple technologies such as radar, and reliable long range fighters.
Germany ended the Battle of Britain with fewer aircraft and pilots than when they started, the RAF ended with more aircraft and pilots. German losses outstripped their building capacity. how would they have gained supremacy?
Quote:
The issue of building an adequate navy is somewhat unclear. Although it is clear that the Germans built a reasonably large submersible fleet, it is not clear that the Germans could've built a large enough infrastructure necessary to deliver more than a couple thousand troops. Perhaps they could've repurposed ships captured from French ports? Maybe not, but it is clear that 1 million German soldiers on British soil would've been more than enough to put down any substantial British counteroffensives. All 5 million German ground forces in Britain would've certainly quelled any issue of German supremacy in the British Isles, though I will tip my hat to the issue of naval supremacy. That seems to be a key issue that the German's could not have overcome.
How would they have got a million men ashore when their plans involved towing barges and capturing major sea ports intact to land their main forces?
Ships captured in French ports were stuck in French ports and bombed to the bottom along with the various barges the Germans tried to assemble for the planned invasion.

When Overlord was planned it was assumed that there would be no port captured and everything would have to go in over the beaches. Three prefabricated floating harbours the 'Mullberries' were towed across to the beaches and used to land men and equipment. Landing SHips could beach themselves at high tide and unload vehicles directly onto the beaches, a pipeline was laid under the Channel from England to France to pump fuel direct to the beach. That is the kind of thinking you need.

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Yet again, it seems that Germany’s premature deployment of army groups to the eastern front could’ve also caused the issue above. If some of those troops had been sent to North Africa to reinforce preexisting units, it is doubtful that the British could’ve stopped an assault of German units which were superior in both manpower and firepower. And although there were significant air sorties which occurred in North Africa, it was a largely ground combat war. It is very conceivable that an army group sent to British North Africa, and the Middle East could’ve greatly reduced the war capabilities of the British, and in turn could’ve given the Germans significant reserves of strategic resources. All roads lead to the Germans eliminating the British before they had tried to wage war against a determined Soviet Union.
Again you come to the Air Force and the Navy. Look at the problems the Germans had just supplying and re-enforcing what they already had in Africa.
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:46 PM   #507
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Hardly a fetish. I haven't read the whole thread, but I doubt that anyone posting that I have read wanted the Nazis to win. Hitler was a vicious, nasty psychopath.
But if you look at AH.com you will see that threads on the subject of how the Nazi's could have done better far outweigh those on how the Allies could have done better. There is a something perverse about it.

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The Germans (not the nazis) were leaders in much of Science and Technology historically. For many years even after the war, it was a good idea to learn German to get access to good text books and research. The start of the war was a real real shock to everyone, including the Nazis.
They made significant contributions but then so did the British, and the French, I would hardly call the Germans leaders.



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However, they finished the war using horses and carts for basic transport still. This was shown in "Band of Brothers". As much as the advanced technology race was being won by them, they never even managed to build enough trucks.
They were ahead in rocketry, and had better data on the advantages of the swept wing, how does that translate to they were; 'winning the technology race'?
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:00 PM   #508
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
But if you look at AH.com you will see that threads on the subject of how the Nazi's could have done better far outweigh those on how the Allies could have done better. There is a something perverse about it.
The Allies did do better, they won.
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Old 10th November 2012, 03:52 AM   #509
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The Allies did do better, they won.
I'm just going to assume you're being deliberately obtuse, the alternative is too depressing.
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Old 10th November 2012, 05:24 AM   #510
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Originally Posted by Normal Dude View Post
I'm sorry, what?
I guess he means that the quick victories were mostly unexpected.
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Old 10th November 2012, 07:04 AM   #511
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Originally Posted by L.Y.S. View Post
The issue of building an adequate navy is somewhat unclear. Although it is clear that the Germans built a reasonably large submersible fleet, it is not clear that the Germans could've built a large enough infrastructure necessary to deliver more than a couple thousand troops. Perhaps they could've repurposed ships captured from French ports?
Their plans included French, Dutch and other captured shipping, as well as German.
Originally Posted by L.Y.S. View Post
Maybe not, but it is clear that 1 million German soldiers on British soil would've been more than enough to put down any substantial British counteroffensives.
How in the name of all that's holy, unholy or atheistic could the Germans have landed a million troops in Britain in 1940/1?
Overlord involved ~155,000 troops and that required years of planning, experience and construction of specialised vehicles and equipment.
Germany could have landed troops, with a fair amount of luck, in Britain. They'd promptly be cut off from reinforcement and resupply, be shelled by heavy naval guns, be under constant aerial attack and be held at the Stop Lines until mobile forces eliminated them.
And probably be gassed as well. Churchill was very enthusiastic about chemical weapons.

Originally Posted by L.Y.S. View Post
Yet again, it seems that Germany’s premature deployment of army groups to the eastern front could’ve also caused the issue above.
The eastern front was the main concern of Hitler, all else was a side show.

Originally Posted by L.Y.S. View Post
If some of those troops had been sent to North Africa to reinforce preexisting units, it is doubtful that the British could’ve stopped an assault of German units which were superior in both manpower and firepower.
Logistics. Germany couldn't deploy or support large forces in NA because of British naval strength,bases like Malta and Gibraltar.

Originally Posted by L.Y.S. View Post
And although there were significant air sorties which occurred in North Africa, it was a largely ground combat war. It is very conceivable that an army group sent to British North Africa, and the Middle East could’ve greatly reduced the war capabilities of the British, and in turn could’ve given the Germans significant reserves of strategic resources. All roads lead to the Germans eliminating the British before they had tried to wage war against a determined Soviet Union.
There are vast number of more logical or potentially more successful strategies for Germany in WW2, most of them don't account for Hitler.

Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
The U.S. was far ahead of Germany in the development of heavy bombers, to name one example. The military specifications which eventually led to the B-29 were issued in December of 1939, and the specifications which eventually led to the (post-war) B-36 were first issued in April 1941. The Manhattan Project was sparked by Einstein's letter to the President in 1939 (though in fairness serious development doesn't begin until after U.S. entry into the war).

The idea that the U.S. didn't care about Germany before it declared war is disproved by its decision to get ever more involved in the battle of the Atlantic, in spite of nominal American neutrality.
Indeed.

Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
But one needs to know which weapons to develop. That may well be obvious in hindsight, but at the time it was far less clear. In many cases it took combat experience to reveal what actually worked and what was actually needed. Case in point: long-range escort fighters. The U.S. felt that large formations of heavy bombers, bristling with heavy machine guns, would be able to defend themselves. So developing a long-range fighter was not a high priority. It took painful experience to show that bombers, no matter how well armed, could not successfully defend themselves from enemy fighters. Which in turned spurred the development of long-range fighters.
The US obsession with tank destroyers is another case in point.
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Old 10th November 2012, 07:05 AM   #512
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Originally Posted by Muldur View Post
The Americans didn't give a flying crap about Germany until it declared war on the US in support of Japan, so Hitler's research projects in years prior wouldn't've even resulted in a lifted eyebrow.

No one here cared, I'm sorry to say. Ok, FDR cared, but he couldn't muster the support for any active intervention, which is one reason many suspect he may have done something to quash intelligence that warned that the Japanese were about to attack.




Not being at war for an additional several years would have allowed research to advance that much farther before the weapons were needed.
Again I see folks parroting the anti-war activist line developed in the '60s and '70s. In point of fact the US citizen of the '30s and '40s were much better informed about the world situation than we are today, in this sound-bite driven news environment. They knew the Axis was a danger to them and they knew we'd have to do something about that threat sooner or later.
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Old 10th November 2012, 09:17 AM   #513
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To get back on topic, I'm sure it has been mentioned, but could the failure of Operation Dynamo/Dunkirk have a big effect on Britain?

Because honestly I don't see any other later not too farfetched "nodes" which would have had an effect. Maybe a better african strategy? Or freak of nature events...
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Old 10th November 2012, 10:21 AM   #514
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla View Post
Again I see folks parroting the anti-war activist line developed in the '60s and '70s. In point of fact the US citizen of the '30s and '40s were much better informed about the world situation than we are today, in this sound-bite driven news environment. They knew the Axis was a danger to them and they knew we'd have to do something about that threat sooner or later.

People do tend to forget that things like Lend-Lease had to be approved by Congress and Congress had to worry about the voters and yet Lend-Lease was approved. Isolationism seems to be a word thrown around with little comprehension of the complexities behind it.
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Old 10th November 2012, 12:09 PM   #515
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
When Overlord was planned it was assumed that there would be no port captured and everything would have to go in over the beaches. Three prefabricated floating harbours the 'Mullberries' were towed across to the beaches and used to land men and equipment. Landing SHips could beach themselves at high tide and unload vehicles directly onto the beaches, a pipeline was laid under the Channel from England to France to pump fuel direct to the beach. That is the kind of thinking you need.

Not only that, but in the skies above Normandy the Allies had complete air supremacy. The railway network all over France had been pounded for months prior to D-Day, to reduce the ability of the Germans to move both forces and supplies to where they would be needed. The Allies dominated at sea as well.


Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The Allies did do better, they won.

The Allies made their share of tactical, strategic, and technological mistakes. The war might well have been ended months earlier had, for example, the strategic bombing campaign been waged better. Certain critical targets were either not attacked at all (the German electrical supply) or were not prioritized until later in the war (German oil production).
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Old 10th November 2012, 05:44 PM   #516
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
The Allies made their share of tactical, strategic, and technological mistakes. The war might well have been ended months earlier had, for example, the strategic bombing campaign been waged better. Certain critical targets were either not attacked at all (the German electrical supply) or were not prioritized until later in the war (German oil production).
Making Nimitz release some of his Long Range Liberators for use over the Atlantic would have closed the Air Gap and made a big difference as well.
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Old 10th November 2012, 08:02 PM   #517
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
I'm just going to assume you're being deliberately obtuse, the alternative is too depressing.
I think I'm relating this topic to it's title. The Allies won, not could they have done better. There are lots of ways they could have done better, same for Germany. But could they have won.
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Old 10th November 2012, 09:27 PM   #518
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Did the German bombing effort suffer through the lack of a reliable four-engined heavy bomber like the Lancaster, and from not having a cheap, easily built, medium bomber like the Wellington?

The only two four-engined German bombers that I can recall reading about were the Condor, a converted airliner which was used mainly in a Maritime role, and the Heinkel Grieff (technically a 2 + 2 engine arrangement)
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Old 10th November 2012, 09:52 PM   #519
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Did the German bombing effort suffer through the lack of a reliable four-engined heavy bomber like the Lancaster, and from not having a cheap, easily built, medium bomber like the Wellington?

The only two four-engined German bombers that I can recall reading about were the Condor, a converted airliner which was used mainly in a Maritime role, and the Heinkel Grieff (technically a 2 + 2 engine arrangement)
Fortunately Hitler decided he wanted a heavy dive bomber, and wrecked the heavy bomber program by putting impossible constraints and requirements on the manufacturers.
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Old 10th November 2012, 11:16 PM   #520
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Did the German bombing effort suffer through the lack of a reliable four-engined heavy bomber like the Lancaster, and from not having a cheap, easily built, medium bomber like the Wellington?

Prior to the war here were two main proponents of German developing a heavy bomber: Gen. Wever and Lt.-Col. Wimmer. Wever was killed in an aircraft crash in 1936, and Wimmer was subsequently transferred to another department. That left the heavy bomber program without its key supporters, so it basically fell by the wayside. The air force was seen mostly as a tactical adjunct to the army, and not a strategic service in its own right. So bombers were largely thought of as "flying artillery" to support the army, thus the focus on dive bombers and twin-engined medium bombers.

Heavy bombers are also rather resource intensive to develop, produce, and operate. If I recall correctly, about one-third of the British war effort went to its heavy bomber force and 10% of the total U.S. war effort was devoted to its heavy bombers.

In order to have a meaningful strategic impact on an enemy's economy, one needed long-ranged four-engined heavy bombers. And lots of them.
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