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If Operation Barbarossa was delayed (opinion)

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Eastern Front & Balka' started by JZResearch, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    At the time of Barbarossa, everything that Germany could muster was sent to the east. All that was left in Western Europe was a skeleton force. You can not simply leave a country like France without a garrison. GB would definitely need one. Even if you take a few divisions from France and transfer them to GB it doesn't solve Germany's dilemma in the East. Italy could have sent an additional 30 divisions and it wouldn't have made a difference in Russia. The Greeks beat them and so did the outnumbered British troops, Russia was a different animal.

    Capitulation of GB for example also didn't guarantee all of British forces surrendering. France is a good example. Small group of pilots volunteered to fight alongside the Russians in Leningrad for example.... Why should it be any different with the British lads?
     
  2. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    Unless Germany adopted a total Mediterranean/North Africa/Middle East push to take Egypt, the Suez, and cut the British off from its troops and Middle East oil supplies and tried to draw Turkey in on the Axis side, I don't see England capitulating because Germany didn't have the navy and at the end of the day they had a tactical air force and not a strategic air force capable of fighting its own war.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    From what I've read it was not a disagreement on the ultimate objective it was a matter of timing and priorities. Trotsky wanted to aggressively spread Communism in the immediate future, where Stalin wanted to make sure the USSR was stable and safe first. That doesn't mean that he didn't see world domination as the ultimate prize.

    Or not. They were parts of Europe and invaded for conquest. Arguably necessary precursors to the rest of Europe.

    Well you are half right in your first sentence. The Soviets most certainly did not "liberate" Finland in any sense of the word. Stalin unlike Hitler had a much lower risk threshold. He seams to have believed that the West had a chance during that period to defeat and destroy the USSR. Thus he lived up to the letter of most if not all of his agreements with the West (that he and his diplomatic staff went to some considerable care in the wording of them helped).
     
  4. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    The disagreement caused a rift. A power struggle followed. Trotsky fled. There is just no evidence of Stalin ever wanting conquer the West. While Yes, not liberating Finland, Stalin made no attempt at converting it either (when he could have in 44)... As for him believing that the West had a chance of defeating the USSR? First time I'm hearing this. Stalin had no intention of betraying his allies.
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Well he did make an attempt to conquer and "convert" it during the Winter War did he not? As for conquering the West Communist doctrine was that eventually there would be a Communist world government. Stalin never refuted this that I've heard of and based on his activities it's pretty clear that he wouldn't have objected to it if it could be done with an acceptable level of risk. So the proposition that he had no intention of conquering Europe is quite a bit more questionable than the proposition that he did.
     
  6. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    No! Both had powerful air forces, we had the more powerful army but they had an even more powerful navy.


    The USSR was a multi national empire held together by nothing but sheer terror. If the Nazis had pretended to come to liberate everybody from Communism the USSR could have collapsed very quickly.


    Absolutely yes! From a legal POV Germany declared war on the USA. Militarily it was the other way round. FDR had started an undeclared shooting war in the North Atlantic long before that.

    He understood Germany had to be stopped as soon as everybody else and increased his efforts to do this as fast as public support permitted. And that one increased a lot after the Fall of France.
     
  7. BFBSM

    BFBSM Member

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  8. green slime

    green slime Member

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    No, this is another myth. Many of the Soviets themselves actually believed in the Utopian Workers Paradise they were building, prior to the German invasion. Had they not, there was no way any remote terror would've kept people from just disappearing into the vast emptiness. You can't pull off conscripting 1 million men each of the three first months of the war, if they don't want to fight the thrice accursed invaders. By 1940, the average USSR citizen had seen such a huge boost in their quality of life in the past 6-10 years (and, as an aside, far and above that of the average German), there really was no great disaffection with Communism.

    Besides the fact that you can't really pretend that well while you have a Hunger Plan, shoot thousands of Jews, and have such a fantastic, top knotch group of homicidal maniacs rampaging across the countryside, all high on panzerchoklad, stories of untermensch, and waving the Barbarossa Decree.
     
  9. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    Utopian Workers Paradise? It was Oligarch Collectivism with all the power in Stalin's bureaucratic circle and whatever living comfort went up it was a natural evolution from the industrialization that took place that Russia lagged so far behind in that was ramped up by Stalin. There was still a class hierarchy and Stalin and his clique were the top, they lived like kings. He was no proletarian dictator. He was a totalitarian with way less free enterprise than Nazi Germany. While Hitler believed in free enterprise and competition to be the best method for development as he was a social Darwinist, the Nazi government still could control the direction of the economy so it was the opposite of "hands off" much of the same way the New Deal and its programs were orchestrated. Stalin was a communist in name only much like people refer to RINOs in the US.
     
  10. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    Stalin allowed western businesses to operate in the western fashion while he was building up the USSR in the late 20s/early 30s, they made their profits and then Stalin did what he did. He was state capitalism.
     
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What many of the Soviets believed in and what it was aren't required to be the same thing. I think that was kind of Green slimes point. Problem is there is the theoretical "Communism" and then there's the ones that exist in reality. Two different beast but both are legitimately called "Communism".
     
  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Not to my knowledge...

    Usually it went like this...The Soviet Union would buy X number of units(automobiles, machines, engines, etc.) plus spares/replacement parts for Y number of years for Z million dollars. In return the Western business would construct a manufacturing plant capable of producing said product and bring in their employees to train Soviet citizens to perform the jobs necessary to run the factory. But, the Soviet Union would own the factory lock, stock, and barrel.
    Short term gain for the Western businesses, long term gain for the Soviet Union.

    State Capitalism was when the Bolsheviks nationalized the all the businesses in Russia circa 1920-21. Which was before Stalin really came to power.
     
  13. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Lenin with his New Economic Policy was amenable to cooperation with western businesses; Armand Hammer has a couple of interesting chapters in his autobiography about this. That all ended around 1928 when Stalin consolidated power and imposed strict state control and collectivization.
     
  14. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Lenin was amenable to Armand Hammer...Western businesses, less so.

    Within the first 5 years of Lenin's NEP(1923-27), the were some 2,211 foreign applications for concessions, of these, only 163 were granted, and by 1927, 113 were still in operation. This number would continue to dwindle until the early 1930's. Still, they only ever made up a fraction of 1% of the total Soviet production output(according to the Soviets anyway). Both West and East see this policy as a failure, but differ on the reasons why it failed. Still, it was only ever intended to be a temporary fix, band-aid if you will, until the Soviet Union was strong enough to stand on it's own two feet.

    Stalin took a different course, contracting western businesses, rather than granting concessions. Which, in turn, was far more successful in meeting the needs of Stalin and the Soviet Union. Technology came into the Soviet Union and stayed there.
     
  15. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    By Soviet Union, you mean Stalin and his hierarchy clique. "The workers," "the people" didn't own a thing nor have a say. In that sense, Stalin was more of a totalitarian than Hitler.
     
  16. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    Communist in name only. Oligarchical Totalitarianism yes.
     
  17. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    Stalin operates no differently in an economical sense than Putin and the billionaires who consolidated the money and power he surrounds himself with now operate in regards to the class hierarchy aspect that Communism was supposed to destroy. Stalin if anything amplified it.
     
  18. green slime

    green slime Member

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    You have utterly missed the point. You can whinge and moan about ownership as much as you like. You can waffle about comparisons to Putin, and come up with all sorts of conspiracy theories regarding capital, on some perch.

    The point being, however, (and in the context of Markus Becker's original comment #26 of the 28th of February, 2017) was that living standards had vastly improved for the majority of Soviet citizens in the 6-8 years preceding the war. So much so, that the European Soviet workers' living standards exceeded those of the average German worker in 1941. The Nazis were more exploitative of their own workers. This change, this improvement of the ordinary worker's lot, meant that for many people, they really believed in their leadership: because it was not some slow incremental change. The changes were real. Soviet's people's lives were significantly better in 1940, than they had been only 5 years earlier. It is a illusory, common myth, that the Russians would've collapsed if only the Germans had of pretended to be nice.

    Under the Soviet system, millions of lives were damaged or destroyed by periodic famines, episodes of mass killing, and continual, pervasive repression. Meanwhile, under the same system, millions of other lives were advanced. The beneficiaries are identified most easily in demographic terms.​

    One group that gained was young women. The Bolsheviks, who aimed to promote national capabilities, saw women as a potential resource, but shackled by illiteracy and lack of education. Mass education opened the world of office work to women, released them from drudgery in fields and factories and enabled them to live respectable lives.​

    A second group of beneficiaries was children. Before the revolution, one in six children died before the age of five years. After worsening in the troubled early years of Soviet rule, this proportion improved dramatically. The main factors were simple but forceful measures for public sanitation, infection control, and antisepsis in childbirth and surgery.
    The Soviet economy, 1917-1991: Its life and afterlife | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal

    So, please, a little more nuance.

    Most Soviet citizens believed in their path, because they saw the improvements. Life under the tsar's was worse for most. Those that fled the revolution, were not the underprivileged.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  19. Aristo8089

    Aristo8089 New Member

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    The Germans very stupidly ignored the indirect route that could have made a huge impact in the eastern front.

    Focusing on strengthening the Axis soft underbelly earlier by taking Egypt in 1941 instead of greece which was the base of operation in the Med for the allies would have been will worth it even if causes a delay Barbarossa for a few weeks. The British were weaker in egypt in 1941 and would retreat from greece and crete back to egypt and then be forced back into Palestine and other locations. The torch landings would probably be forced to shift for Egypt instead where Allies would have a much harder time.
     

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