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If hitler had concentrated on britain....


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#1 leetree

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 09:57 PM

Its probably been discussed before,frequently i should imagine,but if Hitler had really wanted to smash the RAF could he have?would the inevitable invasion and its permutations re ,ultimately,d-day etc just drag out the war or end it in the nazis favour?Would it have led to the cold war between the U.S and germany as imagined in Robert Harris excellent "Fatherland"novel?Or was it just the Soviets who eventually wore the Wermacht down?

#2 No.9

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 12:49 AM

Have to say lee, your post appears a bit naive and scatty in it’s train of thought. Many of the events after the BoB were consequential to the BoB. If Britain lost and Germany invaded, how on earth could there have been a D-Day?

In respect of the BoB, Hitler did really want to crush the RAF. There were 3 Luftflottes lined up for the job with planes that outnumbered the RAF between 3 or 4 to 1. Hitler was free to chose time, place and tactics – which he did.

The invasion of Britain on the other hand, was not seriously built-up and there is nothing to suggest anything more than it would have been a nice aside to the war if it was relatively easy to achieve. 160’000 Men and a couple of thousand barges would never even get close, look at what was needed for D-Day!

If Hitler had left the Soviets alone and concentrated on invading Britain, planning and logistics would have had to have been very different to have stood any chance of succeeding.

If that had been the case, why do you imagine the US would have become involved – what for?

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#3 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 01:19 AM

I'd say the best Hitler could do in 1940 was win air superiority over Southern England and, temporarily at that. Had the RAF's losses reached a point where they were unsustainable the RAF could have simply pulled their units out of Me 109 range and refused to fight except on their own terms. Unescorted (or escorted by Me 110's alone) bombers would have been shot to pieces in a sustained campaign outside 109 escort range.
Without a navy to speak of, the Germans were looking at a pipe dream in terms of invasion. Air cover alone would not have prevented the disruption and heavy losses among any invasion fleet they launched.
The German air campaign against Britain also had little real effect on the capabilities of Bomber Command. The British would have been able to continue offensive operations even with the loss of air superiority over Southern England.
Realistically, the Germans should have come up with a plan pre-war to deal with England since it should have been obvious to anyone but a complete fool that a campaign in the West would include war against England. As it was, German plans to deal with England were largely short sighted improvisations.

#4 lght1

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 05:42 AM

Hi

ALthough I am new to these forums, I just wanted to point out that the USA was far from being tapped out for manpower. Infact, in 1944, US induction of men was slowing as it was decided there was no need for additional manpower for the armed forces.

It seems that we could do much better than the mere 16 million we actually had...and far more than the 12 million of the USSR.

As for the Soviets continuing the war, this time against the Allies. It would be a poor choice. They would face a devastating onslaught of massed airpower, the likes of which they had never seen, and could not survive.

The massed Soviet armor would face relentless attack from the air. Their supply lines would be smashed by the tactical and strategic bomber forces of the RAF and USAAF, thus rendering the Soviet Red Army immobile.

While the massed bomber formations were continuing their professions for which they were so well trained for, the combined RAF and USAAF fighters would have engaged the Red Airforce and dispatched it, rendering the Red Army without aircover.

Once the Red Army was incapable of movement, the real ground war would begin. The now static Red Army, isolated and without its aircover, would likely be the victim of encirclement and massive artillary barrages. At that point, mass desertion and surrender would be the order of the day for much of the former victorious reds.

One could theorize that much of the Soviet infantry would retreat to the cities of Europe in hopes of urban defensive combat. I would hope that the Allies would rather conduct seige warfare and starve the Soviets into submission at this point.

As for additional manpower for this seige warfare, its not hard to discover a huge, available cache of trained soldiers, eager for such duty. One would merely need to re-equip the Wehrmacht, and you would have a well motivated source to assist in these activities.

The Soviet homeland would be the subject of intense strategic bombing which would specifically target the industrial complexes east of the Urals, which the Luftwaffe was incapable of hitting.

Soviet rail hubs, transportation systems, supply lines and even cities would fall under scrutiny. The Soviet armed forces couldnt hope to be resupplied, and then it becomes a war of attrition after all.

With this in mind, the Soviets now discover themselves trapped in a contest with the most formidible industial machine the world has ever known. A power that not only has superiour technology, but can resupply at will with numbers they can not match even in the best of times, and these are not the best of times.

It is conceivable, that with the passing of Soviet forces into captivity in the west, Stalin , himself may have been over thrown.

Who knows...perhaps with just such a scenario, the real winners would have been the German people as they would have been rid not only of Hitler, but of Stalin as well.

#5 lght1

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 05:43 AM

Hi

ALthough I am new to these forums, I just wanted to point out that the USA was far from being tapped out for manpower. Infact, in 1944, US induction of men was slowing as it was decided there was no need for additional manpower for the armed forces.

It seems that we could do much better than the mere 16 million we actually had...and far more than the 12 million of the USSR.

As for the Soviets continuing the war, this time against the Allies. It would be a poor choice. They would face a devastating onslaught of massed airpower, the likes of which they had never seen, and could not survive.

The massed Soviet armor would face relentless attack from the air. Their supply lines would be smashed by the tactical and strategic bomber forces of the RAF and USAAF, thus rendering the Soviet Red Army immobile.

While the massed bomber formations were continuing their professions for which they were so well trained for, the combined RAF and USAAF fighters would have engaged the Red Airforce and dispatched it, rendering the Red Army without aircover.

Once the Red Army was incapable of movement, the real ground war would begin. The now static Red Army, isolated and without its aircover, would likely be the victim of encirclement and massive artillary barrages. At that point, mass desertion and surrender would be the order of the day for much of the former victorious reds.

One could theorize that much of the Soviet infantry would retreat to the cities of Europe in hopes of urban defensive combat. I would hope that the Allies would rather conduct seige warfare and starve the Soviets into submission at this point.

As for additional manpower for this seige warfare, its not hard to discover a huge, available cache of trained soldiers, eager for such duty. One would merely need to re-equip the Wehrmacht, and you would have a well motivated source to assist in these activities.

The Soviet homeland would be the subject of intense strategic bombing which would specifically target the industrial complexes east of the Urals, which the Luftwaffe was incapable of hitting.

Soviet rail hubs, transportation systems, supply lines and even cities would fall under scrutiny. The Soviet armed forces couldnt hope to be resupplied, and then it becomes a war of attrition after all.

With this in mind, the Soviets now discover themselves trapped in a contest with the most formidible industial machine the world has ever known. A power that not only has superiour technology, but can resupply at will with numbers they can not match even in the best of times, and these are not the best of times.

It is conceivable, that with the passing of Soviet forces into captivity in the west, Stalin , himself may have been over thrown.

Who knows...perhaps with just such a scenario, the real winners would have been the German people as they would have been rid not only of Hitler, but of Stalin as well.

#6 leetree

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 10:51 PM

Was a genuine question...number9...your a arrogant geezer....too many far more emminent men than you have discussed these permutations in the last 64 years for it not to be "scatty "

#7 leetree

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 10:52 PM

Was a genuine question...number9...your a arrogant geezer....too many far more emminent men than you have discussed these permutations in the last 64 years for it not to be "scatty " :cool:

#8 No.9

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 03:23 AM

"too many far more emminent men than you have discussed these permutations in the last 64 years for it not to be "scatty " "

OK, name one! ;)

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#9 Vermillion

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 09:16 PM

Originally posted by T. A. Gardner:
[QB] I'd say the best Hitler could do in 1940 was win air superiority over Southern England and, temporarily at that. Had the RAF's losses reached a point where they were unsustainable the RAF could have simply pulled their units out of Me 109 range and refused to fight except on their own terms.

This is an oft used comment by those who are proponents of a resisting Britain, but I am afraid it is somewhat realistic.

Dowding himself knew that pulling the RAF away from its front line bases would have been the end of Britain. It sounds easy, simply withdraw the RAF fighter command to bases outside the Luftwaffe's easy range, but that would have been catastrophic.

Firstly, pulling back would have in one stroke eliminated the best strength of the RAF which was rapid deployment and concentration. They could no longer have easily defended the shoreline, which would have meant the loss of the chain home system. Interception would now take place well over the UK, as opposed to over the channel due to the addition of almost an hour of flying time for the defenders, and more time added due to lack of logistics and infrastucure at these rear bases. There were no rear radar stations, and with this lost, the RAF could not have hoped to survive.

Now the Luftwaffe owns the Channel, and can make its approaches to the shores of the UK unmolested. That means more bombs being dropped on industrial targets and shore defences. With the RAF rallying well behind London, they would be further from the channel than their German counterparts in France.

The stage for invasion would be set, with the Luftwaffe destroying both radar and allied shipping in the channel, the Allies would have had limited warning of the first stages of invasion, and it would have been difficult for them to oppose a landing from the air. They could still oppose if from the sea, but now the allies have to know the invasion is coming, then move their ships into waters with german air control.

That is not to say that Germany could have invaded or would have won, but the argument of pulling aircraft to a rear line of defence as if there were no consequences is not realistic. The Me-109 had drop tanks which, if not engaged gave it much longer range, the problem wa they had to drop them if engaged rom the air. With fighters pulled back, the german escorts could advance much farther before being engaged...

#10 Fredd

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 02:01 PM

Maybe you would be able to buy this:
Posted Image

#11 Fredd

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 02:02 PM

Maybe you would be able to buy this:
Posted Image

#12 Fredd

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 02:03 PM

Maybe you would be able to buy this:
Posted Image

#13 Fredd

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 02:03 PM

Posted Image

#14 Fredd

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 02:04 PM

Posted Image

#15 chromeboomerang

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 01:31 AM

Germany did invade Crete successfully, lost a bunch of transport planes I know. What was the Brit air strength in Crete relative to BOB? If they had a hard time in Crete with minimal Brit air power, then logic suggests with much larger air power, an invasion of england with would have been disatrous for the Germans. Another question of importance is; how many antiaircraft guns did the Britain have summer 1940 as these were a major factor in Crete.

#16 Martin Bull

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 04:57 AM

RAF 'airpower' in Crete consisted of a few worn-out Hurricanes at Maleme airfield. German losses in that battle were mainly due to lightly-equipped paratroops landing in a very hostile environment ( rocky, little water ) and immediately encountering well-trained and dug-in troops. The very slow Ju52s had to fly very low to drop their paratroops and were vulnerable to light AA and even small-arms fire from ground forces and naval craft.

British AA in the BofB was a relatively minor factor ; much equipment had ben lost at Dunkirk. What there was did not have effective radar gunlaying. On the other hand, Crete did not have anything like the 'Chain Home' radar warning system that existed in Britain.

IMHO, BofB and Crete cannot really be fairly compared as the two theatres were totally different in every way.
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#17 chromeboomerang

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 12:10 AM

So the Germans would get slaughtered in other words. Yes Crete was very different, & as you pointed out, Crete had no radar chain etc. Without Lsts, the germans would be hard pressed to get the hardware across.

#18 TheRedBaron

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 09:30 PM

Invading Crete and invading Britain are totally different.

For a start, Crete had no British air cover, it was forced to rely on AA and the Navy for defence.

Although well defended the troops had poor communications and a rather faltering command.

Also the British knew of the coming invasion due to ULTRA decrypts, hence the heavy losses during the initial landings.

Invading the British Isles noy only requires the destruction of the RAF but also the Royal Navy. The chances of an invasion being successful are slight, and thats being generous! Just on the equipment being used, barges etc, the Germans would have had a tough time just getting it across the channel. Airbourne landings would also have been of limited use as they had such limited numbers after the losses in Norway, Holland and Belgium, plus the damage down in these operations to a transport fleet. To have any chance of success, several airfields would need to be captured intact to recieve airborne and air-landing formations. But then the Luftwaffe have bombed them out of existence to bugger the RAF...
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#19 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 10:40 PM

Crete was a very near run thing for the Germans. They lost about 40% of the transport aircraft involved. The seaborne portion of the invasion (a hastily improvised operation using marginally suitable craft....much like seelöwe) was crushed completely by the Royal Navy. Not one German soldier landed on Crete by sea.
I would suspect the same result would have occured in an invasion of Britian. The Royal Navy had about 50 destroyers alone stationed in home waters. These could have transited to the channel, spent several hours wreaking havoc among the virtually defenseless invasion fleet and, then retreated out of air strike range almost completely under cover of darkness. Given that the German plan called for a 48 to 96 hour crossing time, the invasion fleet would have reached the far shore half sunk, completely disorganized (both by enemy action and by the almost total lack of skilled crews in naval navigation) and, facing a resolute enemy that knew full well they were coming and where they were likely to land.
Without a Navy, Germany had absolutely no hope of successfully invading England.

#20 chromeboomerang

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 04:31 AM

Well that makes sense. I just read an article about Crete. The barges & captured Greek ships were pummeled. However, the Luftwaffe did succeed in the following days to scare the brit navy out of the area. Some commanders pointed out a crossing could then have taken place after the navy had vamoosed after the pummeling it had taken, but after the shipping disaster, the Germans were too shaken to try it again, so the article goes. Of course this would not be the case in the channel.

#21 Friedrich

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 03:19 PM

Very good thread, gentlemen! ;) Time to go back to old times!

I do think that leaving the front line airfields and radar positions in southern England could have been a major strategical setback for the RAF. If the Germans could have occupied this base, then the Me-109s could have swept the rest of fighter groups in specific areas and Ju-87s could have been deployed there to smash the Royal Navy's ports.

But air superiority is one thing and crossing the Channel with improvised barges, plans and ill-trained forces for amphibious operations is another... The Royal Navy's losses would have been big against a dominant Luftwaffe —as happened in Crete, Malta and Dunkirk— but the losses of the invasion 'fleet' would have been much worse. Also, we are forgetting the merciless Channel weather and that even if some two or three German divisions could have made it ashore, how were they going to be kept supplied?

Without a Navy Germany could not invade Great Britain, regardless of an air victory.

Churchill knew, Dönitz knew, now we know that the only real posibility of defeating Great Britain was under the Atlantic.
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#22 chromeboomerang

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Posted 05 June 2004 - 07:28 PM

Well, OK then, we seem to concur for the most part on this topic. I once wondered about an alternative plan to land in Scotland from bases in Norway, & once established there, move south. Scapa flow is of course near by. Anyway just thought I'd pitch that out for conversations sake.

#23 Martin Bull

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 05:57 AM

Scotland I think would be a non-starter. Too far by sea and air from anywhere, Lowlands too well-defended and Highland impossible terrain plus poor road network.

Also, it was always Hitler's intention to achive a collapse of morale ( 'regime change' ;) ) than pure military conquest and so Scotland would have been too far from London.
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#24 Friedrich

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 06:10 PM

Martin, and what do you think about the frontline airfields being abandoned? Would it have affected operations as some have stated?

I'm most interested in listening to what you have to say about that because I remember that I posted some time ago something about those air fields and you just yelled at me because it wasn't true... :(
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#25 Martin Bull

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 07:07 PM

Manston came close to being put out of use, but was never abandoned ; neither were North Weald, Biggin Hill, Kenley or Middle Wallop which were heavily damaged but remained in action. Several other large airfields were left almost untouched eg Northolt, Duxford, Coltishall.

There were, even at that early stage of the war, a lot of good, operational airfields in England. The Luftwaffe did not possess enough bombers to 'blitz' the airfields effectively, quickly enough. Sure, a battle of attrition could have seen the Luftwaffe trying to demolish airfield after airfield, all the while taking heavier losses of both bombers and fighters. And yes, the RAF would have been taking losses as well.

But at that time, Britain had nothing else to lose ! Hitler, however, had his eyes set on other conquests and needed a strong Luftwaffe 'in being'. The argument comes back again and again to the fact that a SWIFT victory was needed ; the Luftwaffe ( although a fearsome fighting force ) did not have sufficient strength to deliver the fast, knockout blow needed. Once the fight developed into an attrition battle, losses became high for both sides - but unacceptable for the Luftwaffe.

And all this is without arguing whether airfields would have been 'abandoned' as such ; even when North Weald was hard-hit, some of the Hurricanes simply moved just two miles down the road to Stapleford Abbotts which the Luftwaffe never attacked at all...... ;)

[ 07. June 2004, 02:09 PM: Message edited by: Martin Bull ]
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