Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Hitler decides to finish Britain

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by T. A. Gardner, May 26, 2008.

  1. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    266
    Mate, many of the member on this forum will gladly agree with your statment. Probable scenarios not what if the Germans had a cheat code that gave them what ever they wanted.

    The thing is with these what if's is that no matter what the what if is, they all generally come down to the same conclusion. Germany loses, maybe the war takes a little longer, maybe the war is brought to Germany not by the Russians and the Normandy landings but by the Russians alone, or maybe the Invasion of Germany directly through the North. Either way almost all plausable scenarios end up the same.

    Although it is good to think of what could have come, and I for one do enjoy a good what if.:)
     
  2. Joe

    Joe Ace

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,948
    Likes Received:
    124
    And I enjoy watching a bad what if go to hell, but we are all different! :D
     
  3. Kruska

    Kruska Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    190
    Hello Tomcat,

    Exactly, fully agree on that mate :)

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  4. Miguel B.

    Miguel B. Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    67
    well, but if the what if is about a specific battle or campaign then I think that would be entertaining.


    Cheers...
     
  5. Kruska

    Kruska Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    190
    Alright what about the following “if”

    "IF” Hitler would have ordered full scale military production in 1936 (instead of 1944), placed Krupp instead of Goering in charge for industrial planning and opened up the war against Poland and the Western allies in Spring 1940 (having his Hitler-Stalin Pact in his pocket) who could have stopped the madmen and his war machine?

    Regards
    Kruska
     
    Miguel B. likes this.
  6. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    266
    All of this still comes to the same conclusion, simply because Germany did not have the industrial power for a lengthy war, ever. They would still be reliant on horse drawn supplies and troop transport. Perhaps a new design of an aircraft could win the BoB, but that is another what if which has been discussed to death.

    What if Germany built there navy up and not there navy? They would never be able to take France.

    What if they built there airforce? They would never be able to keep up with the allies in terms of military productions.

    I like what ifs personaly, but realistic ones.

    The question is, Do you really think that changing single men in one country will effect the desicisions of another country? Would the USA still be kept out of this war, No, therefore the Germans lose again.
     
  7. Kruska

    Kruska Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    190
    Hello Tomcat,

    I do not think that this "if" is unrealistic at all. One has to take Hitler into the equation which makes an alteration in history extremly difficult.

    However you do seem to underestimate the German industrial power. Until 1943 the German industry was still manufacturing private commodities, fridges, bicycles, motorbikes, cars etc.etc. for the privat consumer, it was even paying money to the producers at their cost calculation, a authocratic Hitler could have forced the industry to produce at what ever price.
    He simply didn't do it for two main reasons; it was them "the industry" that financed Hitlers rise to power and he needed to pay them back, which he did.
    He simply underestimated the sub-human Russians in regards to industrial output and military potential, and as such never persued a rigid production policy.
    However this does not outrule the possibility that Germany could have easily taken it up with Russia and England in regards to industrial output, especially after a sucessfull 1942.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  8. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    266

    Hitler even with more tanks and planes, could have won the war, there was also a shortage of man power, so even if he could produce all these military weapons he would never being able to find the men needed to operate and continously suppy them in the field for a lenghty amount of time, and since you cant win a two front war, again the war is lost just due to the fact that the Germans are caught in a giant pincer movement between the British\USA and the Russians, all of who have one front to tend with, while the Germans have the probelms of not only dealing with all there immediate fronts but also all the islands and other countries taken over during the beginning of the war such as Norway, Denmark, Greece, and Italy. Where are these men coming from?

    Do you really think that Germany could keep up with the industiral might of the Russians and the British combined? Especially after the Bombing campaigns from the western allies on the German industry and continous amount of men and materials that would have to had been produced to keep the front lines intact.
     
  9. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    346
    Kruska,

    The economist Paul Kennedy wrote a book about the economics of WW II called "The Rise and Fall of The Great Powers". In the book he combined many measures of economics, demographics, and industrial capability to calculate the relative "war-making" potential of the main belligerents as of 1937. This was before countries like the US and Britain had begun to gear up for war; I'm not sure about the USSR since that was a "command economy" more like Germany and Japan's, but let's, for the sake of argument say it had no extra capacity and was at full war-time mobilization in that year.

    Kennedy calculated that the US possessed fully 41.7% of the world's war-making potential in 1937, Britain 10.2%, and the USSR 14%, for a total of 65.9% of the world's war making potential. The Axis allies possessed the following potentialities in 1937; Germany - 14.4%, Japan 3.5%, Italy 2.5% for a total of 20.4%.

    Anyway you slice it, if the war continued long enough, the Axis was bound to lose. Even if Germany managed to keep the US out of it, they still faced an overwhelming 24.2% (Britain and USSR combined) with only 16.9% (Germany and Italy combined). The only way Germany had a chance of winning was to keep the US and USSR out of the war. By 1940, that was clearly impossible, at least in the case of the US with it's aid to Britain. The only fairly evenly matched single opponents were Germany and the USSR; the "900 pound gorilla" was, of course, the US, it alone, and before rearmament, had over twice the war-making potential of the entire Axis combined.

    So, no, Germany would have been squashed had Hitler "taken it up" with both Britain and the USSR....wait a minute, wasn't that exactly what happened?
     
  10. Kruska

    Kruska Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    190
    Hello Tomcat and Devilsadvocate,

    Guy’s please hold your horses for a while. I did state in my post that “if” Hitler would have set on full military industrial output in 1936 and the war would have started in 1940.
    Kennedy’s figures merely reflect on the historic facts not on an “if” equation in regards to increasing Germany’s output by 400-500% by 1936 to 1940
    Bombing raids from England do not fit into this equation since the “increased” Luftwaffe would have made it impossible for the RAF to undertake any large-scale attacks on Germany.
    Regarding US shipments in 1941-1942 to England or Russia: I do not recall the exact figure forwarded by Doenitz in regards to U-boots (maybe someone can help out on this one) IIRC he stated that he would need 150 U-boots to cordon of the British Isles effectively but only possessed about 40? in 1940.
    Now think about US supplies or the freedom of movement regarding the British merchant fleet and navy “if” Doenitz would actually have commandeered 150 U-boots.

    Germany with its 80 million plus the same millions in reserve in regards to the occupied western countries – not to mention Italy and the eastern allies (fully equipped with Teutonic hardware :)) and “liberated Russian areas” would not have had any problem even to match the US in terms of manpower.
    You would be correct in saying that Hitler did not look upon the occupied countries as a resource pool for soldiers, but he could have done so.

    The problem with the “if” is IMO, that once you bring in an “if” you cause a continuous change of things – it’s like this time tunnel movie – you step on this mosquito and everything changes.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  11. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    Too True, but that "if" won't put iron ore in German soil, nor bauxite, nor wolfram (tungsten), nor chromium, nor nickle, nor magnesium, nor manganese.

    One cannot ignore that in order to produce high quality steels with out the alloys, the output cannot be increased. Germany had major deposits of low grade coal, little else to feed their industry, let alone their internal populace food-wise.

    Killing a mosquito isn't going to put deposits of ores inside of the German land-mass, even if you do it sometime before the Cretaceous era when most of the deposits began to form and the land masses hadn't started to shift around on the tectonic plates. Don't think the 'skeeter or the chaos favorite of the "butterfly" would change much of the twentieth century ore deposits.

    If you don't have the raw material (in reality), you cannot imply it in a "what if". Unless you are willing to include Klingons hiding on a base on the far side of the moon. Also unlikely.
     
  12. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    346
    Kruska,

    The original "what-if" consisted of a simple change of a decision by Hitler in the summer of 1940; "What if Hitler following the fall of France decides that finishing Britain needs to be done before proceeding in the East against Russia? Now, this means either conquest or getting a negotiated surrender / peace. Either will suffice." There is absolutely nothing about Hitlermaking any changes in Germany's economy or the allocation of resources between military and civilian production, but even if he did so in 1933, not much would change.
    As for Kennedy's figures, Hitler can't affect them much, especially by starting just one or two years earlier to optimize military industrial output. You notice Kennedy chose the term "war-making potential". This implies many things such as the obvious industrial capacity, and military and industrial manpower, but also the less obvious such as coal reserves, hydroelectric potential, pools of educated workers, educational techniques tp produce trained soldiers and technicians, monetary policy, industrial methodologies, transportation systems, civilian and military infrastructure, access to raw materials and a whole slew of other factors. Just switching from making refridgerators to radar sets doesn't change a country's "war-making potential" all that much.

    Obviously, to effect such change you have to start decades before and change hundreds of factors, and even then you are subject to the law of unintnded consequences, a the Japanese found out when they tried to enhance their militry-industrial capabilities.

    The relative war-making potentialities of the countries listed will remain in pretty much the same relationship no matter what Hitler decides to do economically or industrially because they result from factors beyond the easy control of the leadership of those countries; Hitler may decide that Germany needs more tanks, but barring really stupid decisions, Germany will never be able to manufacture thjat many more tanks than say, Britain without having to cut back somewhere else.

    You say, think what would have happened if Doenitz actually had 150 U-boats. OK, Doenitz attacks with 150 U-boats, meaning he can keep about 50 constantly on patrol. The British reply by allocating 200 more VLR (B-24's from the US, most likley) patrol planes to the convoy routres. The sinkings by subs go up for a period, but the planes are effective and Doenitz can't force a decisive rate of sinkings on the British. In the meantime, however, Germany is unable to invade Norway and assure it's Sedish Iron Ore route because the KM doesn't have enough warships to transport the troops because it has been concentrating on building DSoenitz subs. The 200 VLR planes are a drop in the bucket to the US and Britain, but the 150 subs have cost Germany a crucial strategy option; that's the difference between having 41.7% or the world's war-making potential and having 14.4%
    So, no, making more hand grenades in 1939, and fewer lipsticks doesn't change the relative economic positions of the belligerents. Germany and the Axis still gets crushed eventually, and the Allies still win.
     
  13. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    Once again. LOGISTICS and ECONOMICS are the bane of the "What Ifers?".
     
  14. Kruska

    Kruska Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    190
    Hello Devilsadvocate,

    Again too many time lines are colliding in this what “if”, B-24 in 1940? and 200 of them?
    Taking a start of the war in spring of 1940 would have ended in the occupation of Western Europe just as in real-time history. Hitler knowing about the resource situation would have taken Norway as he did in history, Sweden and Finland would have supplied just as in history.
    And just to mention, with 150 U-boots around there wouldn’t have been a Narvik operation by the Allies, and as such the Germans could have taken any trawler in order to occupy Norway.
    And a reciprocal 400% means 4 times more U-boots and four times more of everything and not more U-boots = less ships or what ever.
    There would have been no gap in regards to minerals, ores etc. etc. Russia would have fallen by the end of 1941 – summer 1942 just due to the masses of weaponry of the axis forces.
    Even with the limited number of U-boots England in history was almost done with. I do not hold it for likely that they could they have survived with 3 times that number against them.

    Again in regards to Kennedy; a totally bombed out Germany was able to increase its output by 400% in 1944, imagine the output of a non-bombed Germany in 1944 that had already increased its output by 400% from 1936 to 1940.

    With Russia fallen or armistice, I could even imagine that the US might have reconsidered their approach in regards to Germany, since Hitler would not have declared war against the US due to him not needing to set up a second front via Japan against the US.

    If it makes sense to follow this thread, then let’s assume that the general picture of Western Europe would have stayed the same, exception being England – either starved to death or negotiating a peace treaty with Hitler – or staying in the war just as they did.
    The Wehrmachts potential against Russia would have been 400% higher in regards to weaponry and Stalin would have been forced to relocate his HQ behind the Ural, which he had already prepared in 1941.

    Hitler did not attack Moscow but chose to go south, in view of the industrial Donez area – which would not have sprung into his mind if the German industry had been prepared for the material losses that occurred in Russia. - Germany would have been able to source its minerals from Russia and other countries before getting into a war. Therefore IMO, the chance to take Moscow in 1941 would have been a very realistic one and as such would have sealed Stalin’s fate.

    We should/could discuss this “if” possibility from 1940 to 1941/42 first, taking Stalin’s defeat into account and then continue with the factor USA. If we would come to the conclusion that Stalin would not have been defeated, well then history would prevail.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  15. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    266
    As I said, they lose virtually every way look look at it:rolleyes:
     
  16. Kruska

    Kruska Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    190
    It is possibly your mindset, which simply doesn't wan't Hitler to win, so everthing is brushed asside (BTW I also do not want Hitler to win) - but I would still be interested to see "if" he could have.

    Right now I do not look upon this thread as deciding whether Hitler would have won the war or not, but "if" he could have beaten Russia taking the above possibility of changing the industrial planing into account.

    I think yes he could have, and then it could be discussed how the situation would have further developed. As I said, who knows the US might not have even gotten into this war due to a change in regards to Russia.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  17. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    139
    The question was
    "What if Hitler following the fall of France decides that finishing Britain needs to be done before proceeding in the East against Russia? Now, this means either conquest or getting a negotiated surrender / peace"
    This means that in 1940 there are no extra U-boats, only the ones that existed in reality.
    Hitler did order an increase in U-boat production in the summer of 1940, but it took time for these boats and crews to become operational.
    So even if Hitler doesn't order an attack on the Soviet Union the level of operational U-boats is not going to increase at a much greater rate than in did in reality
     
  18. Kruska

    Kruska Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    190
    Hello redcoat,

    Sorry, the topic Hitler decides to fin...... was already outruled by me, because this "if' would mean to change Hitlers political/racial viewpoint, which as such could never happen or would change anything we know about ww2.

    Therfore I suggested the following:

    Originally Posted by Kruska [​IMG]
    Alright what about the following “if”

    "IF” Hitler would have ordered full scale military production in 1936 (instead of 1944), placed Krupp instead of Goering in charge for industrial planning and opened up the war against Poland and the Western allies in Spring 1940 (having his Hitler-Stalin Pact in his pocket) who could have stopped the madmen and his war machine?

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  19. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    346
    Why Not? The XB-24 first flew in 1939 and both Britain and France had orders for large numbers of B-24's on the books before France fell. When France fell in June, 1940, the French order was diverted to Britain. British Coastal Command begged to be allocated some of the B-24's for ASW patrol duties, but the RAF refused claiming they could win the war by strategic bombing alone. However, if the Germans had suddenly conjured up 150 U-boats, the decision might have been different.



    No, historically, the KM damn near failed to take Norway against minimal resistence and lost a significant number of their larger warships in the bargain. If they had built 150 subs instead of those cruisers and destroyers they're not even going to attempt the Norway operation because they can't lift the troops. If they do try, they get squashed. Subs, BTW, make lousy troop transports. The KM was operating on a razor thin margin as it was; by the end of 1940 they didn't have a single fleet destroyer in commission.



    The stuff dreams are made of. Germany didn't increase it's war-making potential by a single percentage point during WW II; it went down instead of up. Germany might have produced more of some weapons, but they were useless because Germany didn't have the men, fuel or logistics to get them where they made a difference.



    Historically, there was a "gap" (shortage) in almost every kind of strategic material Germany used by 1940. Hitler deciding to deal with Britain before invading the USSR isn't going to change that. and 150 more U-boats means 150 more trained U-boat crews which Donitz didn't have. Britain wasn't that close to losing the Battle of the Atlantic at any time. Check out Clay Blair's "The U-Boat War". It would have taken a lot of time for Hitler to find out he couldn't beat Britain no matter what he did; By the end of 1941, he would still be embrolied in the war with the British and the Soviet Union would still be waiting (maybe) for Germany to make it's move.

    You may not hold it likely that Britain could survive 150 extra U-boats, but recent scholarship shows that the U-boats were not effective enough in the face of British ASW tactics and that additional airborne ASW assets would have defeated almost any number of U-boats.



    Your numbers mean nothing. Germany had a finite war-making potential that amounted to about 14.4% of the total world war-making potential. Increasing production means nothing unless the output can be utilized effectively. The "what-if" does not include any economic enhancement, just a different strategic decision which Germany would be no more capable of carrying out than it was historically. You are ascribing to Germany and the Axis far more in terms of war-fighting capability than it ever accomplished. If you want to pretend there is some sort of magic through which this might have been accomplished, fine, but it has no place on a serious discussion board.



    Ok, let's cut to the chase on this. Let's assume that Hitler does decide to "finish with Britain" before attacking the Soviet Union. What happens is that Hitler finds he has no way to force Britain out of the war, either by military defeat or by enticing Britain into a peace treaty. We know this happened in 1940-41. By the summer of 1941, Hitler is getting tired of waiting for something that just isn't going to happen. What can he do? The actual answer is, not a damned thing, he just doesn't have the military or economic power to make things happen the way he wants. He might realize at that point that he is being outproduced where it counts by Britain, and might even try to increase Germany's war production by cutting civilian goods, but that takes time and it's certainly not going to increase German production across the board by any 400%. What Hitler ends up doing is deciding he can't "finish" Britain, especially with a country like the US backing it, and attacks the USSR anyway. Germany still gets it's ass kicked in the end.

    What I don't understand is why so many what-if'ers think the Axis can be made to win by simply changing one small decision or event; The Axis lost because it was in the numbers that it lose, and those numbers had been in the making for over a century. As one of my college professors once said, "History happens the way it does for damn good reasons."
     
  20. Kruska

    Kruska Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    190
    Hello Devilsadvocate,

    For some reason you prefer to ignore facts or you simply don’t bother to look it up.

    Your statement that Germany didn't increase its war-making potential by a single percentage point during WW II; it went down instead of up is absolutely absurd.
    Also Germany had no problems in supplying manpower and oil till 1944.

    Germany started the war under the concept of Blitzkrieg. It did not accept that it was in a total war until Joseph Goebbels' Sportpalast speech of 18 February 1943. For example, women were not conscripted into the armed forces or allowed to work in factories. The Nazi party adhered to the policy that a woman's place was in the home, and did not change this even as its opponents began moving women into important roles in production.
    The commitment to the doctrine of the short war was a continuing handicap for the Germans; neither plans nor state of mind were adjusted to the idea of a long war until it was too late to help win the war.
    Germany's armament minister Albert Speer, who assumed office in early 1942, nationalized German war production and eliminated the worst inefficiencies. Under his direction a threefold increase in armament production occurred and did not reach its peak until late 1944. To do this during the damage caused by the growing strategic Allied bomber offensive is an indication of the degree of industrial under-mobilization in the earlier years.

    So Speer was able to increase the armament production by 300% within three years despite massive allied bombing raids. Now imagine the increase that could have occurred from 1936-1940 without any allied interference.

    The Allied commission in regards to the examination of Germany’s industry in 1945 concluded:

    Im Bereich der Panzer kam es von 1941 bis 1944 unter Mitwirkung von Ferdinand Porsche auf eine Steigerung von 660 Prozent.

    In reference to tanks, the increase under the assistance of Ferdinand Porsche reached 660% from 1941 to 1944.

    Again I will repeat that my “if” forwarding has nothing to do with defeating/conquering Britain before attacking Russia.
    But:
    "IF” Hitler would have ordered full scale military production in 1936 (instead of 1944), placed Krupp instead of Goering in charge for industrial planning and opened up the war against Poland and the Western allies in Spring 1940 (having his Hitler-Stalin Pact in his pocket) who could have stopped the madmen and his war machine?

    Regards
    Kruska
     

Share This Page