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Hitler decides to finish Britain

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

  1. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    The 3:! Allied economic superiority over the Axis existed in 1937, when as Kennedy states, the Axis' combined share of the world's war-making potential was 20.4% to the Allies combined share of 70.1%. The relative disparity changed little during the next six years, the major difference being the subtraction of France's share (4.2%) of war-making potential from the Allied column. Even if you added the entire 4.2% of France's share to the Axis column, which would be an exaggeration, you still have an Allied to Axis ratio of 65.9% to 24.6%.

    An earlier German economic mobilization would not have solved the fundamental economic problems the Axis nations faced. It would not have provided more raw materials, more industrial capacity, better logistics, a larger pool of labor, or a larger scale of economic activity. It would have provided more weapons earlier, but that was not the reason Hitler lost his gamble on Blitzkrieg. Hitler lost in Britain's case, because he simply could not inflict sufficient damage on Britain to force it's surrender, and he lost in the USSR because the size of the country allowed the Soviet leadership to trade territory for time. The simple fact was that the Allied economies dwarfed the Axis economies in terms of industrial capacity, labor pools, access to raw materials, and capital reserves, not to mention territorial size.

    Not only did the Germans fail to plan for a timely and rational mobilization of their economy, but they wasted resources on non-essential programs; for example, rounding up, moving, and incarcerating millions of people merely to kill them and dispose of the bodies added nothing to the furtherance of their war effort, but tied up significant resources. The V-weapons were built long after it was clear they had no military value and were merely used to terrify civilian populations. Huge numbers of U-boats continued to be built long after it was obvious they had lost the Battle of the Atlantic and could do nothing to defend the Reich.

    The Allies held an unassailable advantage in that two of it's three largest industrial centers were beyond any hope of sustained Axis attack. This allowed long-term planning for logistics and raw materials allocations without having to contend with the effects of enemy bombing of plants, transportation facilities, and materials stockpiles, a luxury denied the Axis planners. One can postulate better economic planning earlier in the game, but this yields only a transitory advantage in numbers of weapons early in the war. It's extremely unlikely that this advantage would have been enough to convince either the British or Soviet leadershaip that surrender was the only option, particularly since it was a given that the US, which alone ould out produce not only Germany, but the entire Axis and rest of Europe combined, intended to insure Germany's eventual defeat, whatever the cost.
     
  2. DarkIce

    DarkIce Dishonorably Discharged

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    true, if only Hitler had taken a trip to the USA and saw how large we are and understood how fast we could become a military super-power. Then again if he did this forum might not exist.
     
  3. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

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    Hitler wasnt some crazed stupid maniac like many would like to believe. He had a big map in his Bunker for crying out loud. My reasons for for him declaring war on the U.S.:

    I wouldnt want to lose my ally on the other side of the world! If I could make it that far I would want somebody waiting there to meet me. Them being located between two of my enemies would also be an advantage. Countries as big as USSR and USA would be an amazing land to conquor. Hitler over-estimated himself while understimating his enemies.
     
  4. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    I'm not sure having a big map in one's bunker is a strong indicator of one's sanity.

    The Japanese were hardly faithful allies of Nazi Germany and had no plans for cooperating with the Germans in the unlikely event that German forces should ever get far enough east to meet Japanese forces. The only military conference held between the two "allies" simply set operating boundaries in the Mid-east. Japan had no more intention of allowing Germany into the Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere, than it did of permitting Britain or the US to stay in the Philippines or Singapore.

    As for Japan being between the US and the USSR, it was a singularly ineffectual barrier to communications between the two countries. From October, 1941, to August, 1945, Japan allowed the USSR to freely navigate the La Perouse Strait between the islands of Sakhalin and Hokkaido, while transporting military aid from the US. Over half of all the Lend-lease aid given to the USSR by the US was shipped via this route with little or no interference by the Japanese.
     
  5. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

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    Arrrgggg I was responding to the poster above me.
     
  6. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    No he hadn't. He had a separate set of maps for the East Front and a separate set for the West Front. When in '45 when the two fronts were in spitting distance someone (I can't remember who but this comes from Kershaw) tried to show the general situation in a single map he was fired (in more than one sense?) as a defeatist.

    If this doesn't put him pretty much in the 'crazed stupid maniac' class I don't know what will. At least he sure hated bad news.
     
  7. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello Devilsadvocate,

    I would say that our point of view towards the acceptance and willingness to go into an "if" issue is too different and I therefore rest my case.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  8. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    No, I do not think so,

    Hitler tried to push/encourage Japan into the war against the USA in order to redirect the US war-effort away from Britain and Russia towards Japan. He also felt assured that Japan would attack Russia if he would follow suit with a declaration of war against the USA upon Japans attack on the USA.

    The Japanese were propably thinking about their advantage - the war-effort of the USA would be directed rather towards Germany then against them. And the Colonies of France, Holland and Britain lay wide open to them due to Hitlers war in Europe.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  9. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    Hitler already considered that the USA was in a state of 'undeclared' war against Germany, as the US was already supplying Britain and the Soviet Union with war supplies through Lend-Lease, and the US Navy was escorting convoys nearly all the way to Britain.
    To Hitler it wasn't a case of 'if' the USA went to war with Germany it was merely a case of 'when'.
    So he decided that in declaring war against the USA just after the devastating attack on the US Pacific fleet, he would both gain a valuable ally, and it would enable him to launch an unrestricted submarine campaign against US shipping in the Atlantic, which he hoped with the war against Japan in the far East, would keep the USA fully occupied until he had enough time to finally defeat the Soviet Union.
    It was a big gamble, but that was a major part of Hitlers successes in the 39-41 period, he took risks no sane nation would consider.

    But like nearly all gamblers he eventually took too many and lost the lot ;)
     
  10. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello redcoat,

    The US (its banks and industry) was making tons of money through these "supplies, lend lease" so why go into war if the $$ come in anyway? If Russia had been beaten, would the US try to make money by trade and cooporation with Hitler, or would they risk a war that might end with total control of the western hemisphere and thus money comming back in the 70's?

    Well Japans unwillingness to attack Russia and Hitlers insane declaration of war solved this upcomming dilemma for the US anyway ;)

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  11. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    Hitler's view was that the hoped for distruption in supplies in lend lease to Britain and the Soviet Union in the short term, would enable him to defeat the Soviet Union before the US military could get involved in the war in Europe. After which, he viewed that Germany would be secure from any attack from Britain or the USA.
     
  12. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    No, you simply fail to realize that as long as Hitler and the Nazi's were in power in Germany, the US would oppose them. There's no way you can posit a Nazi regime and keep the US out of the equation. Sooner or later Germany has to fight the Us and when that happens Germany loses. The fall of the Soviet Union would just make it more urgent for the US to militarily engage Germany.

    Hitler had managed to alarm the Roosevelt administration by 1935 and that alarm became serious concern by 1936 when Hitler began rattling his sword in Europe. It's simply not true that the US wasn't in the European equation at that time and to ignore the economic power of the US is not only historically incorrect, it would be foolish to think any minor change in history would eliminate the US from consideration.

    You're dreaming if you think simply ignoring the US would change the economic factors in favor of the Axis.



    Actually, the combined GDP's of Britain and The Soviet Union did exceed that of the German GDP, but that's not the point. And you simply refuse to accept that it was the war-making potential of the Axis that was dwarfed by the Allies war-making potential, so here's not much point in trying to argue to point with you.

    As for Britain being "beaten". no Britain was never "beaten", although it lost some battles which is not the same thing at all. In fact, Germany couldn't decisively beat Britain because Germany didn't have the necessary forces, i.e. a navy and an air force strong enough to inflict a decisive defeat. As long as Britain kept fighting, Germany couldn't win the war. As long as the US kept supplying war material, Britain was going to keep fighting. The longer Germany fought, the weaker it became relative to the USSR, Britain and the US. Neither the original, nor your, "what-if" in any way changes those facts.



    And I'm telling you that mobilization in 1936 instead of 1940 or 1941, isn't going to change the fundamental scale and staying power of the German economy. It's the same economy whether it's turned over to a war footing in 1941, or in 1936; it has a finite amount of war-making capacity and that share of war-making potential is far too small to successfully fight the US, Britain, and the USSR combined. What you can't seem to accept is that mobilization doesn't make an economy bigger, more powerful, or more survivable, it merely makes it more efficient at producing war material and equipment.



    I bring it up to point out that even had the Germans mobilized their economy in 1936, they still didn't subordinate their strategy to achievable war-winning objectives, and thus wasted their resources. It doesn't matter that the Jews were apprehended by "non-combat" units, it was still wasted effort that contributed nothing to winning the war, as was the construction of the camps and everything else associated with the "final solution" program. So was the effort put into the V-weapons programs and the building of U-boats after April, 1943. So even the enhanced numbers of weapons which might have been made available by an earlier mobilization of the economy would have been at least partially frittered away on non-sense.



    Better to resort to actual facts than to wallow in fantasy. In fact, neither your "what-if", nor the original "what-if", changes anything significantly. The original what-if merely states that Hitler decides, after the Fall of France, to "finish" Britain before taking on the The USSR. But, in reality, Hitler never had the capability of "finishing" Britain. Even if, as in your "what-if", Hitler had decided to fully mobilize the German economy in 1936, he still can't decisively beat Britain. In order to do that Hitler has to successfully invade Britain and no matter what Hitler does he isn't going to be able to do that. He will need a much larger air force and a huge navy with specialized landing vessels plus logistical ships. At the same time he will need the same large army with large tank formations that he actually had. The Germany economy, even if mobilized in 1936, can't sustain the kinds of building programs required to create the requisite navy and air force. In any case, mobilization if the economy and the initiation of the building programs would undoubted trigger off similar rearmament programs in other European countries including Britain, so in the end, Germany achieves very little.
     
  13. german mauser k98k man

    german mauser k98k man Member

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    just the opposite of that statement and it could have been true you see, part of D-day was to take the pressure off of of the Russians and make the Germans fight a new front, if Britain would have been taken over then they could put all there forces on Stalin and his red army.
     
  14. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    The US was not making money on Lend-lease aid to either Britain or the Soviet Union, almost all of the aid was either bought on credit or paid for through the barter of base leases or other services. if Germany had managed to knock the Soviets out of the war, Germany immediately becomes an even bigger threat to the US and it becomes even more urgent to counter Hitler's ambitions. I'm surprised that you don't realize this. Roosevelt had been trying since at least 1938 to warn the American public that Hitler represented the most dangerous threat ever to face the Republic. By 1940, that effort was beginning to bear fruit and there was never any chance of an accommodation between the US and the Nazis. The Fall of France in 1940 broke the back of isolationist power in the US and resulted in massive rearmament programs being enacted by Congress. These programs were on a scale unimaginable to Hitler and his advisers. A similar collapse of the Soviet Union in 1941 or 1942 would have pushed the US into an even more massive effort focused on the complete destruction of Fascism. The US, in fact anticipated having to fight the entire Axis by itself and made concrete plans to do so. One manifestation of this resolve was the B-36 bomber program.

    There was no dilemma for the US after Pearl Harbor, the only question was which member of the Axis do we crush first? Because of the nature of the Pearl Harbor attack, there was a great deal of sentiment in the American public that the Japanese deserved to have their necks wrung first. But Roosevelt recognized that Hitler represented the more dangerous of the two, and therefore resolved to remove him from the face of the earth before dealing with Japan. In a way, this was fortunate for Germany, because, had the US given equal weight to both Axis partners, Germany might still have been in the war when the atomic bombs became available in 1945.
     
  15. german mauser k98k man

    german mauser k98k man Member

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    not as bad as devilsadvocate by a long shot, he trys to correct you about every small detail.
     
  16. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Do tell? Why do you think that? You do realize that the Germans were fighting the Allies and others in a few other places right? They could not pull all thier forces. The British would just carry the fight on from somewhere else in the Commonwealth as planned in just such a scenario.
     
  17. german mauser k98k man

    german mauser k98k man Member

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    i admit, i forgot about that good point
     
  18. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

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    Canada was next in line as the British Base of operations, with all the troops of the commonwealth, British Navy, as well as if they could be carried; the majority of the RAF. Heck no Britain wouldnt be out of the War by a long shot. Also the fact that a vast portion of Canada's Economy was ready for war as she had declared war right after UK did.
     
  19. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    More then just Great Britain was involved. It was the whole Commonwealth. One of the things that "What If'"ers tend to ignore. The war would be carried on from another part of the Commonwealth specifcally Canada.
     
  20. Firefoxy

    Firefoxy Dishonorably Discharged

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    Sir, If Hitler used Kriegsmarine navy,Luffwaffe and the German Army the right way and providing Hitler lissoned to his Generals and had not invaded Russia ,and providing Japan did not attack USA, and thats' if England had Chambelin as P/M, yes German could of finshed England off.
    With winston at the helm though England would of stand more of a chance.
    If Chamblin was PM though, Hitler dream would of came true.
     

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