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Complete change in 1943

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by Muad'Dib, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Muad'Dib

    Muad'Dib recruit

    Aug 20, 2010
    Likes Received:

    I would be interested in opinions of my alternate history. I appreciate that it also covers the Eastern Front, but it is difficult to discuss this without including this theatre.

    1. Following the failure of Operation Zitadelle in July 1943 Hitler agrees with his generals and German forces withdraw to reduce the length of their front line. They fall back to the River Dnepr line with a fallback position of the River Dniester. Tactics used included defensive withdrawal and local counterattacks instead of grand offensives. This caused a great deal more Russian casualties than had occurred.
    2. In the Mediterranean, the German Navy was using its new revolutionary Type XXII and XXIII U-Boats. A new secure coding system had prevented the Allies from reading German Naval signals. When Operation Husky was launched, the U-Boats were waiting a delivered a devastating barrage of torpedoes to the Allied capital ships causing a large number to be destroyed. Pre-occupied with the submarines, the Allied naval forces were unable to deal effectively with the whirlwind of E-Boats and other coastal craft which swept through the landing areas causing massive losses in Landing Craft. Although the invasion was successful, the naval losses were later to impact upon Normandy and beyond.
    3. Developed successfully, earlier than schedule, the Me 262 flew in late 1942. This allowed the Germans to pump resources into the Luftwaffe and get a large number of these fighters in the air to counter the Allied daytime bombers. The wholesale destruction of the daytime bombing campaign led to its suspension, with the emphasis shifting to night time bombing, which was far less successful. The Germans recognised that their lack of an effective heavy bomber fleet was allowing their enemies to build up their resources without disruption. As a result they developed a heavy bomber by late 1943. This bomber was then unleashed upon both the Eastern and Western fronts with excellent results when coupled with the Me 262.
    4. The Russians were suffering heavy losses and were demanding that the Allies open a second front as the Italian Campaign was stalling and there was a need to get the Germans back under a successful offensive. The Normandy invasion was chosen as the second front with all its bells and whistles. However, the fact that the Germans still had air supremacy over mainland Europe and were able to deal with any large scale daytime bombing offensive meant that less damage was inflicted upon German defences and industry. The new German Type XXI, XXIV and XXVI U-Boats systematically targeted the shipping travelling across the Atlantic using the revolutionary acoustic torpedoes. The effect of this was that the invasion was not as strong as it should have been when it left the British ports, and neither were the German defences as systematically destroyed as thought.
    5. As the US continued to conquer the Far East back from the Japanese they suffered increased losses, in both manpower and shipping. General Marshall demanded that more naval resources be diverted from Europe to the Pacific, which resulted in less Landing Craft, Support Craft and Fighting Ships being available for Normandy.
    6. When D-Day came the Allied naval forces were again struck by a powerful force of coastal U-Boats causing devastating effects for the Allied Navies. The invasion was a success due to the local superiority in numbers, but at great cost especially for the follow up forces. Luftwaffe units were able to attack the naval forces waiting to offload troops and equipment. Heavy bombers also targeted British airbases in order to reduce the numbers of fighters and bombers available over the battlefield. After a period of months the Allied troops were forced off the continent and a stalemate was established, whereby neither side had the strength to defeat the other.
    7. The failure of the Normandy invasion led to the Russians delaying their summer offensive. This delay allowed the Germans to move large numbers of troops and equipment to the Eastern Front to bolster the defences. Allied inability to destroy German munitions factories allowed them to continue producing armoured vehicles, aircraft and naval forces. The successful defensive action after Zitadelle allowed the Germans to retain the Romanian oil fields and have access to all the benefits of oil production running alongside their synthetic oil production.
    8. In the triangle where the Barents, Norwegian and Greenland Seas meet, German Naval forces were deployed in strength against the Lend Lease convoys. The increase in U-Boat production combined with the ability to protect the bases from the air, gave the Germans the edge. Convoy after convoy was battered or destroyed causing great losses that the Russians were unable to make up by themselves.
    9. On the US side, they became pre-occupied with the Pacific campaign. The Manhattan Project was not producing the expected results and as a consequence more troops were needed from somewhere to support the campaigns in the Mediterranean, North West Europe and PAcific. The failure of the Normandy campaign coupled with the increasingly problematic Italian campaign alongside increasingly successful convoy attacks led some politicians in the US, especially those who were very non-interventionalist , to advocate pulling out of Europe and throwing all resources into the Pacific. This was something further supported by General Marshall who did not like the amount of resources being diverted away from the Pacific into a theatre that did not directly threaten the USA, unlike the Japanese.
    Although this is not an indepth synopsis of an alternative scenario, and there are clearly holes in the arguement. I would be interested in comments by members of this forum having read some excellent suggestions.



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