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What if Britain and Germany sign peace agreement

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by ww2fan, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. LouisXIV

    LouisXIV Member

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    We seem to be bogging down in technical discussions here about whether British equipment made a difference on the eastern front.

    How would a peace treaty make a difference to the war material supply situation? Whether Britain was a belligerent or a neutral, she could still sell this war material to the Soviet Union. More importantly, if Germany is not at war with Britain, presumably ships bearing British flags carrying materials into Soviet ports are much less likely to be sunk.

    How about getting back to the original premise: What if Britain and Germany had signed a peace treaty - or even an armistice - in July of 1940.

    - Germany would presumably still be occupying the low countries and most of France, and have to keep a garrison there;

    - Some but not all of the Luftwaffe might be available for transfer to the east. However IMO they would still be a drop in the bucket in that huge landmass;

    - Would Italy be included in this or a separate agreement, or would they have tried once again to wrest some of Britain's African possessions from her?

    - Given the supposed determination of Stalin to fight on no matter what (about which some experts have disagreed) would it have made any difference in the east, other than perhaps slowing down the Soviet recovery of territory?

    - With Britain not directly involved in the conflict for a while, how would it have affected their rearmament situation? i.e., they kept a lot of "junk" in production until 1942 just to recoup their losses of equipment at Dunkirque; the 6-pdr was ready to go into production in 1940, but did not supplant the 2-pdr in the production lines for a year and a half;

    - With fewer RN ship losses and no overt war duties in the Atlantic, the RN might have had a greater presence in the Pacific and Indian oceans, causing the Japanese to think twice about going to war.

    It is interesting to speculate that the U.S. and Britain may have built up their armed forces, then found a pretext some time after 1942 to declare war on Germany.

    Then with considerably increased forces they might have considered a direct invasion of France.

    With the Soviet Union still doggedly fighting on somewhere near Moscow, it is possible that the West might have liberated all of Europe instead of just half of it.

    Then perhaps turn their undivided attention to a Japan still embroiled in China and dreadfully short of resources.

    Given that scenario, it might have been the smart thing for the British to do to make a peace treaty once France was defeated.

    How viable is this scenario in your opinion?
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If the British and US aren't in the war in 41 Japan is really caught between a rock and a hard place. This situation might well be resolved first.
     
  3. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    Hitler was in no position to impose a point to the head with gun by Germany peace offering. Britain was capable of defending herself, and even people who had lost hope of reversing the course of events on the Continent would feel little need to make humiliating concessions themselves. Nor did Hitler need anything from Britain beyond a simple cessation of hostilities which would allow him to concentrate on his fundamental goal of expansion to the east.

    The French had essentially abandoned their alliance with Britain by making the armistice with Hitler, so it could be argued the Britain had no further obligation.

    If Hitler had a chance of achieving peace in the west, he would be foolish to let Italy muck it up. He could offer to include Italy in peace/armistice negotiations, making clear that he would be obligated to support them in any military adventures. It might serve his interests just as well to have the British tied up in the Mediterranean for a while.

    Greece and the Balkans are an intriguing question. Historically Churchill's insistence on "helping" the Greeks - who were holding their own against the Italians - was aimed at opening up a larger Balkan front against the Axis, hopefully bringing in Yugoslavia and even Turkey as well as getting a few British and Empire divisions into action on the Continent. Meanwhile Germany's concern about British troops or aircraft in Greece was because they were at war; under those circumstances, threats to Romanian oilfields or chromium supplies from Yugoslavia or Turkey were unacceptable. In our scenario, it might have been feasible to let Mussolini's escapades proceed to their demise.
     
  4. efestos

    efestos Member

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    The peace/cease fire between GB and Germany ... would have implied no oil embargo, no naval blcokade vs the nazi Germany. IMHO The "horable surrender" of GB would have implied more than a cease fire. Perhaps the payment of "war reparations".

    It might have implied an improvement of the tail of the Wermacht in Barbarossa. More trucks, spare parts (I read here that one division deployed the british trucks caught in Dunkirk, all them failed when the oil filters broke). More rolling stock, more POL...

    A nightmare.
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Hitler might have been able to get a peace treaty with GB but hardly one imposing reparations. Indeed if he wanted one his offer would have almost certainly have had to include withdrawl from Holland and Belgium and probably Denmark, Norway, and France.
    That could still be achieved. If the agreement included demilitarization of the states on Germany's western borders then minimal forces would be required there. A peace treaty in the summer of say 1940 would allow for Germany to make purchase of both raw materials and finished goods on the world market although coming up with the foreign exchange might be problematic. The Soviets might also be a bit more nervous with Hitler no longer occupied by the war in the West.
     
  6. efestos

    efestos Member

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    The truth is that I assumed that LW had achieved air superiority over GB,(Me 109 with drop tanks instead of the Me 110) Had not built the Bismark and the Tirpitz and instead had thrown about a hundred submarine (type IX) more. But ... That is subject of other "what if."

    What is certain is that Holland would not had been in position to refuse to sell oil to the Nazis. On credit
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That's hardly enough cause for the given effect.
    Not at all clear that this exchange was possible.
    Then why inject it into this thread?
    Since they did historically it's not at all clear to me why you can say in this rather nebulous what if it's certain.
     
  8. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    It's two different scenarios, and it's good to be clear which one you're discussing: a peace settlement, essentially on the basis of respecting each other's spheres of influence, the Continent and the Empire, or an actual defeat of Britain by Germany. A simple peace settlement would leave Germany free to trade with whoever wanted to trade with her. An interesting sub-question - in either variant - would be how governments-in-exile like the Dutch would come to deal with the Nazi regime.

    On the defeat scenario, the ideas thrown out are a bit contradictory. The gaining of air superiority usually implies a fairly quick victory in the Battle of Britain, possibly eventually facilitating an invasion. Indeed a prolonged air and bombing campaign would tie down and attrite air forces crucial to a campaign against Russia. Building up the U-boat fleet would take longer, both to achieve (training crews and commanders took up to a year and depended on some proportion of previously experienced submariners) and to take effect on the British war economy. Meanwhile the British could build and man escorts more rapidly, especially if the cancellation of Bismarck and Tirpitz enabled them to reduce their own battleship construction.
     
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  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I tend to discount the defeat scenario as the only way I can see it happening is some realy wierd political maneuvering within Great Britain prewar. Other than that Germany just can't shift enough resources to the KM and LW to launch a successful invasion and at the same time have the army that can take France and Poland out anywhere near as quickly as they did historically and that's without factoring British reacitons into the mix.
     
  10. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I also discount the defeat of Britain paths, because the Whermacht that delivers Poland, the Low Countries and France with relative ease, cannot deliver Great Britain because of the English Channel. Had it been a large river then it would not have mattered how many Battleships the Royal Navy had, Germany would have crushed England proper.

    To bring Britain to the peace table in fall/winter of 1940 would, in my opinion, require two things a larger loss of the BEF, and a willingness on Germany's part to withdraw from most of her western conquests. Britain might be willing to live with German control of Alsace/Lorraine, the Ardennes/Luxembourg and some other border strips so long as the conquered nations would revert back to the original owners. A swastica flying from the French Atlantic coast to the Vistula and the Artic circle to North Africa was not going to cut it.
     
  11. efestos

    efestos Member

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    A) Well, these were the ways to force GB to a "honorable surrender" ... get air superiority or the hability to get sink the british ships massively in the Atlantic... If it was possible. Historically it wasn't, give thanks to the Lord ... to the few. Both.

    In 1940, were the escorts really effective?

    B) Oil and Holland: IMHO: Just look the map: Germany is a close neighbor of Holland, and all of us assume that in this scenario, the bulk of the Dutch population would have become hostage of the nazis .

    A obvious and brutal "blood for oil" case. Only the blockage avoided that.
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    But that's the point. If it isn't possible historically and the POD can't account for at least a reasonable chance of it happeing then why mention it? Might as well mention that the Martians could have just erased England.
    Against the Uboats the Germans had at the time yes.
    It didn't work that way historically. Would Britain allow it to happen in this what if? No one has made a good case for that yet.
     
  13. efestos

    efestos Member

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    Uff. You start to be a bit rude, right?

    it's obvious: Peace or Cease fire agreement: So no blockade ...The RN is in harbour... would you please say me how would Britain avoid Holland to sell oil to Germany?

    In fact GB wasn´t able to STOP Spain to sell tungsten to Hitler... Actually, USA got it... in 1944... etc. ("La Batalla del wolframio" .. The Battle of tungsten.. Joan Thomàs)

    Eh man it´s only internet. Fortunately, there was no cease-fire between Germany and GB, and now we can discuss what did not happen in this extraordinary American invention.
     
  14. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Even with a German/Englisg peace, the Reich would get oil from Holland for a year at most as Japan was going to put the wells under new management in Dec. 1941.
     
  15. efestos

    efestos Member

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    Sure? Dutch oil (on credit) for rather matirials for the nazis BEFORE Dic 41, plausible?

    Would Japan have gone to war against USA in this scenario?

    Would the USA have restarted the sales of coal to Italy?
     
  16. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Japan will not base their actions on the needs or wishes of Germany. They need resources and will take what they feel they need.
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Plausible, perhaps. Depends a great deal in how and when the ceasefire/treaty comes about and what it says. It's possible for instance that there is still a Dutch government in exile in GB and that they continue to sell the oil to other players. I don't see many likely outcomes that do reslut in the above arrangement but there are some.
    Japan needs more oil. If the US embargo's oil and freezes Japanese assets as historically it did then Japan has to either give up China or go to war. Note that prior to the embargo Japan had asked the Dutch to sell them more oil but it was already spoken for.
    If there is mearly a ceasefire between the axis powers and GB probably not. If a peace treaty is signed then it's likely. Indeed the US might well be selling oil to Germany in this circumstance. Provided that is that they had the foreign exchange available.
     
  18. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Given Roosevelts opinion of Hitler and the possibility of war in the Pacific, it is hard to see the US selling alot of oil to Germany. Then again there is always someone willing to make a profit any where they can. If the US did sell oil I expect Germany would be paying above market value for it.
     
  19. green slime

    green slime Member

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    There really is no way this would have come into effect:
    1) The British were never going to surrender, sue for peace, or even ask for a ceasefire: Why would they do so? They went to war with an Ally (France) for another (Poland). In 1940 the fate of Poland is still very much in the minds of the English. They would have had to suffer far more damage than was inflicted upon them. This inspite of losing almost all heavy equipment at Dunkirk. The mood of the British public, indeed, the entire Empire was different; having had war thrust upon them, they were going to see it through.
    2) Hitler would never, ever voluntarily give up territory he had conquered. To do so would be seen as weakness, and riding high on his victories he wasn't about to that.
    3) Maybe Rudolf Hess may have tried, but just as to his purpose, and the seriousness of it all, there are a lot of questions.
     
  20. efestos

    efestos Member

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    A What if in the What if? ... What if Geroge Elser Had had success in his assassination attempt in november 8 of 1939? :explosion3:
     

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