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Conquering\Attacking North America

Discussion in 'Sacred Cows and Dead Horses' started by T. A. Gardner, May 31, 2007.

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  1. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

    Aug 5, 2003
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    Phoenix Arizona
    Impossible?! It is literally beyond that as a "what-if"

    Some of the problems:

    Germany lacks a navy. It will take them at least a decade of concentrated effort to produce a viable one and then, largely at the expense of their army (ie big navy smaller army). Even after producing a navy capable of engaging the US at sea (to ensure their forces make it across the Atlantic) they are then faced with the very real (and certain) threat of a "reverse" U-boat campaign by the US on their shipping. This will require further heavy investment in naval forces and aircraft to counter. The US, alone, spent about $11 billion on stopping German U-boats. The German economy could never, even with the infusion of captured area economic input, take a hit that big.

    Next, the Germans are faced with a nation that has roughly the same population as the Soviet Union. As a land power on the North American continent the US Army could have easily reached 200 to 300 divisions if necessary. The US has internally the resources to make this happen. On the flip side, the Germans are now faced with having to ship their forces and supplies over thousands of miles of ocean to fight. It is doubtful they could put anything close to enough troops ashore to successfully fight the US.

    Then there is simply the size of the US. Again, the Germans are facing a huge problem just in trying to take and secure such a large land mass. Some areas would be exceedingly difficult for the Germans to operate in too. Invading from Mexico for example means primarily trying to cross what is mostly low desert with very few roads and even fewer north - south oriented ones. They would also be faced in Arizona with range and basin terrain, a huge defense advantage. In New Mexico it is Rocky Mountian terrain. West Texas is just as bad. Scrub desert, no roads, no towns to speak of, etc.
    Southern California is a major bastion of the US military, even at the time. It would be resolutely defended no doubt.
    Of course, the US would not have set idly by while the Germans built up an army in Mexico either.

    Major ports? Virtually all are fairly well defended by coastal defenses. The Germans would have virtually no information on beach conditions for amphibious assaults, and very little experiance in performing them.

    Air power would be another problem. The Luftwaffe designed aircraft with ranges suitable for combat in Europe. In the US, as in the Soviet Union, these aircraft are going to be of limited use due to their short ranges.

    Basically, the Germans lack the economy and military competence necessary to wage a truly global war. I doubt they could have managed to do anything against the US of truly worthwhile result to them.

    As for Japan, this is just ridiculious. The Japanese are hopeless in this example.
  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    May 21, 2007
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    I see no way the Axis Powers could have EVER landed troops on the North American continent, much less conquer the US and Canada. They simply did not have the naval power and, more importantly, shipping to accomplish it.

    The Japanese were heavily occupied in China and it was presenting a drain on their manpower. They were fighting a large backward enemy right next door on a large land mass and after nearly 10 years of fighting they could not deliver the knockout punch. I see no way that they could have dug up the necessary men to conduct even a limited North American campaign. They had problems providing men for the Solomons campaign in late 1942, and it was relatively close to established bases, when compared to how far the US and Canada are from useful bases.

    The only successful anti-shipping campaign was conducted by the US Navy against the Japanese. Greater than 70% of Japanese ships sunk during the war, fighting ships included, were sunk by subs. What a field day the sub captains would have had against the Japanese. To transport one US Marine division in 1944 required around 20 transports. I doubt the Japanese would have needed very many fewer, given the smaller size of the average Japanese maru. With the reduced submarine turnaround time presented by an attacking enemy, it would have been a blood bath on the Japanese transports, if not during the assaults, then during the support phases of the operation. Add to this the Japanese’s atrocious ASW tactics and equipment, plus they were in worse shape for ASW ships than the US was in 1942.

    The IJN also had to supply all the far flung island garrisons and they started the war with insufficient transport to do this and conduct island offensive operations adequately. These island operations usually only meant the transport of a division or two at most. I don’t think a two or three divisions would have been adequate to invest North America. At some point, they would have had to move some of their under-strength armor across, eating up even more shipping, only to see it taken out larger gunned and heavily armored US tanks and anti-tank guns. This dilema figured in their decision not land on Australia.

    As for Germany, they essentially had no Navy, other than commerce raiders. The Bismarck and Tirpitz were a bust because they did not have adequate escorts and support ships. Plus, the presence of the British Navy would (and did) present major, major deterrents to blue water activities of the DKM. The Italian Navy was an insular navy that could really play no real part outside of the Med Sea. Their range was simply too short. And imagining a loss of the British Isle, I doubt the Bulldog would have allowed the British fleet to fall into German hands. The Germans also had *NO* naval air arm.

    But wait, but wait, what about the U-boats? While the U-boats were successful in US waters in early 1942, their “Happy Time” was essentially over by late 1942 and by mid 1943, they were losing subs faster than they could build them (Brute Force, Ellis, Table 37). They had major difficulties supplying forces in North Africa and it was practically on their doorstep. I see no way that the Germans could be anything other than a continental force, unable to exert any meaningful power beyond Europe. Which brings us to European Powers. Even without picking a fight with Joe Stalin, Germany would have to maintain large numbers of troops on the border with the Soviet Union. This and inadequate sea transport would have made it difficult to conduct even minor armor operations on the North American continent. You gotta get them first and I see no reason that the US naval forces, not to mention the Air Forces, would not have had as good of a time against the Germans as they did against the Japanese from 1942 on. The German Navy, other than the sub force, was a non-issue by 1941 and the sub force was mostly irrelevant by 1944. Although they did have a few success after 1943, the German sub force did not influence the war in any meaninful way later in the war.

    I could go on and on.
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