NKP S2 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1714 posts, RR: 6 Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3990 times:
Good question, though Japan was spread fairly thin as well as it attempted to conquer and hold its far flung empire. Invading the USSR would've taxed them further yet. Also, in the short clash between Japan and the USSR in 1939, Japan basically got the worst of it.
My main thought is the greater threat Nazi Germany would've posed to the west, due to a sharply less encumbered front on the east. They would still have to maintain a force in the east ( Hitler feared an eventual Soviet invasion...and Stalin may have indeed had the 'nads to try eventually ) I wonder if Hitler would have tried a titanic assault on Britain to neutralize its effect as an eventual springboard to an assult on Hitler's Europe.
Only a paralell universe of sorts could tell us.........
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13368 posts, RR: 64 Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3972 times:
The Japanese tried to invade Siberia several times in the 1930s, but got beaten back badly every time. As a result they didn´t feel like joining Hitler´s attack in 1941, an information, which was posted to Moscow by a German diplomat in Tokyo, who was a spy for the Russians. This enabled Stalin to withdraw several divisions of highly trained and motivated soldiers from guard duty on the Soviet-Manchurian border to join the fight for Moscow. Actually these fresh Siberian units, which were very well equiped for the Russian winter, managed to stop the German advance.
The name of the commander of the Siberian forces: General Chuikov, the same one who´se troops finaly took Berlin.
Another point: The conquest and colonialisation of Russia and eastern Europe was an integral part of Nazi ideology. For Hitler, western Europe was a sideline. The reason why he attacked Denmark and Norway was to get unlimited access to Swedish iron ore, the Netherlands and Belgium, for passsage into France and finally France and Britain to get prevent a two front war like in WW1. Actually, the German attack on the Netherlands, Belgium and France followed roughly the WW1 Schlieffen plan, a quick attack on France while violating the neutrality of Belgium and the Netherlands, going through the Ardennes considered impassable to modern mechanised units by the French and therefore only lightly guarded by substandard "B" class divisions (The French general staff still tried to repeat WW1. For them every attack had to be preceeded by a major heavy artillery bombardment. They didn´t recognise the German tactics of using dive bombers as flying artillery and thought they would get enough warning due to the problem of moving heavy guns and masses of infantry through the narrow mountain roads of the Ardennes to move better troops to the attacked sector of the front line. In the end the German attack came from an unexpected direction at Sedan and hit the 52 Infantry division, a French class "B" unit, made mostly up out of older conscripts, who barely passed the rdcruitment standards. Since this unit was also short of armour, artillery and transport and had a bad commander, with bad communications, some soldiers panikced during the German attack. This panic spread, causing a break in the French front line, which was then exploited by the German motorised infantry and tank forces and a) enabled them to split the BEF in the north from the main Allied force and B) enabled them to attack neighbouring French units from the flanks and the rear. The rest of the border, along the river Rhine was guarded by the Maginot line. Another problem was the shaky neutrality of Belgium. Up to the German invasion, the Belgian government refused all talks with the Allies about common defense plans. Actually Allied troops crossing from France into Belgium AFTER the German invasion to help to stop the Germans were stopped by Belgian soldiers).
Stalin believed up to Summer 1941 that Hitler would stay in agreement with the Molotov-Ribbentropp pact. This is why the German attack on Russia was working so well until autumn. Then the Germans got stopped by the above mentioned Siberian units. Their superior mechanised forces got also stuck in the mud on the unpaved Russian roads caused by the autumn rains. When finaly winter came, it was discovered that most German soldiers were still fighting in their summer uniforms and that German equipment was not very usefull inarctic temperatures, while rthe Russians had plenty of experience in their own climate and by then learned a lot from the experiences of the 1939-1940 Winter war against the Finnish.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12735 posts, RR: 80 Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3804 times:
A large part of Hitlers thinking, from writing Mein Kampf many years before WW2, was to secure 'living space' in European Russia, which would also eliminate what he thought was the twin threats, closely related, of Communism and Judaism.
He was always, if he got the chance, going to invade Russia.
The conflict with the West was for Hitler, a mistake, never really intended at that time, the large French army would have to be eliminated at some stage however.
Though Hitler professed admiration for the British Empire, in time, maybe around 1944-45, once the massive and ambitious Naval Z-Plan construction programme was largely complete, he would be in a position to challenge Britannia on the high seas, should he deem it necessary.
Also, going to war with Britain would really need long range, large, strategic bombers, which the Luftwaffe did not have in 1939-40, the Luftwaffe of this time was a tactical force.
Once war did break out, Hitler was handed some lucky breaks, the British Army was a small, professional but largely a colonial policing force.
After years of low budgets, the RAF was struggling to modernize, the Navy a world wide force but with weaknesses in anti submarine operations in the Atlantic.
France was even worse, the army was large and in some ways impressive, plenty of tanks, mostly modern, but with a crippling doctrine borne out of the long terrible slaughter of WW1, based on defence, hence the massive resources of the Maginot Line, artillery was old and too static, morale was low largely due to the severe political upheavals of the 1930's.
This situation with both Britain and France could not be allowed to be resolved in their favour, once war started, production and mobilisation in the UK ramped up, an audacious strike in the West before the forces ranged against Germany became too strong, was essential.
With France out of the war, surely the ever pragmagtic British would sue for peace, but then Hitler had never expected the Western powers to declare war over Poland.
Tristarenvy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2265 posts, RR: 4 Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3798 times:
I love "what if" scenarios like this...
Germany would have probably bled England to death thru blockade, forcing either truce or a surrender of some sort. Some Hitler-philes claim he held England in general high regard and claim he had thought that both Germany and England would "rule" the world side-by-side.
Many believe that Hitler had never taken the USA as any sort of serious threat. Germany's almost total lack of a long range bomber program could be explained by this. Plus the fact they never seriously tried to field an aircraft carrier, could also indicate that. Yes, I believe the keel and some work was done on one, but it was never fully operational. There was a variant of the Me-109 that was supposed to be carrier based, but they ended up being used elsewhere.
I read in a book about Germany History from 1933-1945, that when Germany rolled into the Soviet Union, that the Russian peasants were thrilled that they were invading. Why? Because anything was better than Stalin, according to the author of the book. The Russian's were sick of his purges and such. The author made the point that, had the Germans not started killing civilians and burning towns, that the German army probably could have made it to Moscow in no time at all, probably helped by your average Soviet civilian.
I would think that Japan would be too occupied w/the US to try any invasion of Siberia. If Germany had NOT declared war on the U.S. right after Pearl Harbor, then all of the American war machine would have been concentrated on the Pacific Theater.
If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.
LY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 11 Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3784 times:
"As a result they didn´t feel like joining Hitler´s attack in 1941, an information, which was posted to Moscow by a German diplomat in Tokyo, who was a spy for the Russians. This enabled Stalin to withdraw several divisions of highly trained and motivated soldiers from guard duty on the Soviet-Manchurian border to join the fight for Moscow."
Stalin must have learned his lesson from the German invasion fiasco and decided it would be nice to listen to his intelligence services for a change... We all learn from mistakes I suppose, it's just that most of the average person's mistakes don't cost millions of lives.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13368 posts, RR: 64 Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3775 times:
Well, the German aircraft carrier "Graf Zeppelin" was almost completed, but never left port. It was used for most of the war for storing supplies. Later during war, it was demolished and scrapped.
One reason why it never got finished, was the ongoing internal fight between Göring (Luftwaffe) and the Navy staff about who should control the carrier wings. Göring insisted that everything that flies should belong to him, while the Navy said that only they had the experience and knowledge concerning naval matters.
As a result e.g. important design data, like the take off and landing distances of the fighters and bombers were not given to the Naval ship design staff until very late.
FACT From South Africa, joined Jul 2002, 200 posts, RR: 6 Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3763 times:
The aircraft carrier "Graf Zeppelin" wasn't completed but wasn't scrapped either. The incomplete hulk was scuttled to block some port entrance in the dying days of the war, I forget which one (I think it was Stettin), but the same fate occured to the never-repaired battlecruiser "Gneisenau" and the incomplete "Seydlitz" (which started out as a sister to the Prinz Eugen heavy cruiser, but was changed to be completed as an aircraft carrier).
After the war the Russians raised the hulks of both the Graf Zeppelin and the Seydlitz and towed them off to Leningrad. The Seydlitz made it (although was never put into Russian service) but the Graf Zeppelin, top heavy with war plunder on the flightdeck, capsized and sunk en route.
there are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13368 posts, RR: 64 Reply 14, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3751 times:
Thanks for the correction. Somewhere I´ve read that the "Graf Zeppelin" had some rudimentary machinery on board to provide electric power and heating to the small garrison of troops guarding this floating warehouse. I thought it was scrapped during the final years of the war to provide steel for other weapons.
Falcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 15, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3696 times:
I think it would have taken the western powers much longer to re-take Europe, but I think it would still have been accomplished. I think way too many Americans don't give what the Russians did on the Eastern Front it's due credit. It was huge in allowing the Allies to invade France in 1944. Without it, Hitler places his best troops in the west, instead of the east.
I think Japan still wouldn't have been able to pick off much of Russia, if any. They had their hands full in China, and they still would have faced possible invasion from the US and other western nations.
Overall, I think it would have lengthened the war by maybe 2 years, and US casualties would have skyrocketed. But I believe once the US entered the fray, with it's almost unlimited economic might (an economic base that was and would remain untouched by the war), the outcome was academic.
BN747 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5319 posts, RR: 52 Reply 16, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3664 times:
Many believe that Hitler had never taken the USA as any sort of serious threat.
He may not have taken the US as a serious threat.. but on a recent documentary on the History Channel.. Hitler certainly depised the US (Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics and Joe Louis didn't help much) Hitler called America a bastard nation and it indeed needed to be taught a lesson..'according to him'.
(an economic base that was and would remain untouched by the war)
Falcon, I wouldn't call the sinking of 100s of American ships 'untouched'...
"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12735 posts, RR: 80 Reply 17, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3642 times:
The US was untouched, in regard to the home front, no bombing, no rationing or other shortages, no threat of invasion.
In 1945, despite being on the winning side, the UK was a run down place with severe shortages, a production base almost completely turned over to the war effort, with plenty of bomb damaged major cities, making a shortage of housing stock, quite simply, the demands of the war effort had seriously affected reconstruction during the conflict.
The nation was also totally bankrupt and had suffered huge losses in the merchant fleet, again there was no serious replacement of that asset during the conflict, as shipyards large and small had been dedicated to building naval vessels, this would help to cause long delays in easing the wartime shortages.
After a general election in 1935, with a Tory win, there would have to have been one by 1940, but then, the nation was facing invasion so a 'National Unity' government was formed instead, many who would take the reigns of power in the Labour government of 1945, had cut their teeth running huge wartime departments, people such as Morrison, Bevin, Attlee, Cripps and Bevan, this is why an election was called after Germany had surrendered, but before Japan had, it was 5 years overdue.
So despite being one of the victors, normal life had largely ended between 1939-45 for the UK, I don't think you can say the same about life in the US between 1941-45, few if any shortages, true a big ramping up of war production putting many women into the industrial workplace, but no suspension of politics and no massive need to replace damaged infrastructure, the US had one other big advantage, there was no copy in the UK of the 1930's of FDR's New Deal, which for the US in peacetime, had been like a partial civilian mobilisation, this must have made the move to wartime production easier.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13368 posts, RR: 64 Reply 18, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3622 times:
Ther was rationing in the US as well, especially concerning fuel, clothes and fabrics, though not to the levels experienced in Europe. The infamous Zoot suits were a protest aginst the rationing measures. Also, from 1942 up to the end of 1945 no civilian cars were made in the US.
DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11435 posts, RR: 81 Reply 19, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3619 times:
Falcon is correct in his posit that the war would have been lengthened but we would have won.
I do believe that Germany would have invaded the UK, precipitating the scorching of UK in its defence. We would have come into the war from a more southerly approach and possibly focussed of Japan first then on Europe.
Russia being left alone would have changed the geometry and calculus but not the end results.
Iakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3305 posts, RR: 38 Reply 20, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3610 times:
MD11: Another problem was the shaky neutrality of Belgium. Up to the German invasion, the Belgian government refused all talks with the Allies about common defense plans.
Jan, small point here, but this is incorrect.
There had been talks and there was a plan, but Belgium insisted that the plan would only be applied WHEN its borders would be crossed by German troops.
The pre-conceived "allied" plan also included the crossing of Belgium from S > N by the French Army (Gen. Girard) supposed to defend the S of the Netherlands.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13368 posts, RR: 64 Reply 21, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3606 times:
One thing nobody considered was the way the Germans, and especially Guderian used combined operations of armoured units, mechanised infantry and Air Force to push through weak points of the front, bypassing enemy strong points to let them be cleared up later.
The BEF and the French wanted to prepare defensive postions in Belgium BEFORE a German attack, also, because the French didn´t want to offend their neighbours, the Maginot line defenses were only rudumentary along the Belgian-French border.
I understand that the Belgian POLICE had only a handfull of antiquated tanks, while the parliament refused the Army tanks, because as an "offensive" weapon, they would not fit to a neutral country.
Another thing I understand, which still causes heated discussion in Belgium today, is the unilateral declaration of a cease fire and the surrender to the Germans by the king, without notifying the Allies or even his own military beforehand. I understand that he wanted to avoid having Belgium destroyed like during WW1, which was fought for a big part on Belgian soil.
Tristarenvy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2265 posts, RR: 4 Reply 22, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3606 times:
What would be an interesting topic would also be, say, suppose the Axis Powers had managed to broker a form of peace agreement w/Allies. Leaving Axis in control of most of Europe/Africa/Pacific. How long before Germany and Japan would slug it out? If we assume that Germany would try to mold it's territory along the lines of Aryan population, and the inevitable itch to go farther and get more land, it's obvious that Japan would not meet what Hitler was trying to make the world into. (No offense to anyone, implied here)
GDB is correct. The US had been untouched by the war on the homefront. W/the exception of those balloon bombs from Japan that fell in the Pacific Northwest, and did manage to kill some civilians, we'd had no attack on US soil. Yes, U-boats did get gutsy and come close to US shores. It's a wonder there were no serious acts of terrorism by Axis agents inside the country.
If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13368 posts, RR: 64 Reply 23, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3603 times:
There were a few attempts to send Axis agents into the US for spying and sabotage, but in all cases they were so clumsy and badly trained (probably mostly on American prewar movie clichees), that they were caught very fast, tried and executed.
Almost the same happened in Britain. The British counter intelligence service knew already before the war, who the German agents were. At the beginning of the war they were quickly arrested, some turned into double agents, and the others executed, these were the last executions happening in the Tower of London.
Japan never controlled China. For the whole duration of WW2, especially Mao Zedong´s communist Red Army fought a guerilla war against the Japanese in Northern China, binding several crack Japanese divisions. Chiang Kaichek´s Republican Army tried something similr, and got supported by the Americans and British through Burma, but was too corrupt internally.
Falcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 24, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3599 times:
I do believe that Germany would have invaded the UK, precipitating the scorching of UK in its defence.
Disagree. Hitler hated amphibious warfare. He had his chance, before the US entered the war, during The Blitz, to launch his proposed Operation SeaLion. He didn't do it, and he woudln't have gotten that chance again, even without invading the USSR.
The UK, I believe, would have continued to be the land-based "carrier" for the invasion of Europe.
25 StarAC17: It was huge in allowing the Allies to invade France in 1944. Without it, Hitler places his best troops in the west, instead of the east. I have also h
26 MD11Engineer: Since 1941 did the Russians ask the western Allies to open a second front in the west to relieve pressure. The British and Canadians tried the failed
27 TWFirst: >>The US was untouched, in regard to the home front, no bombing, no rationing or other shortages, no threat of invasion.
28 MD11Engineer: TW, But while at first black out was enforced countrywide, soon the areas away from the coasts started to grumble about the restrictions. BTW, I´ve r
29 Iakobos: Jan, Belgian Police never had tanks nor where they ever asked to participate in combats. The Gendarmerie did, and they had light T13 (.50 MG) and T15
30 TWFirst: MD11 Engineer... Yes, I have heard of these accounts too. Interessant! Danke.
31 MD11Engineer: Iakobos, Sorry, I forggot, that like France, Spain and Italy you´ve got a paramilitary police force under the command of the Army. These tanks, did t
32 Banco: Jan, Virtually all British heavy equipment had been let behind at Dunkirk. The real fear was that if the Germans got a bridgehead, there wasn't too mu
33 Iakobos: Jan, Crew was 3, chassis was Renault (from the French AMC-35 tank), turret was home-made (a little larger) and used the excellent (I think Czech desig
34 MD11Engineer: Banco, I know about the British losses of equipment in Dunkirk. Just alone 27.000 Bren guns (the standard light machine gun of the British Army in WW2
35 GDB: Maybe the German Navy, under Reader, were covering their backs and keeping in Hitler's favour by claiming they could handle the RN in the Channel, as
36 Banco: Interestingly enough, GDB, the most powerful signal the destruction of the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir and Oran sent out was to the Americans. It ma
37 Arrow: "A brilliant administrator, he nevertheless let his dislike of the British colour his judgement, refusing to recognise that having been engaged in the
38 MD11Engineer: GDB, The German Navy was not happy with the whole idea of an invasion in Britain. They stated that they could actually only protect a bridgehead in th
39 Banco: Not just American lives, Arrow. In the first quarter of 1942, U-Boats sank 1.25 million tons in the North Atlantic, the vast majority in King's area o
40 GDB: Surprising that they put up with King for so long, after all the US Navy were not short of Admirals who would, in the Pacific, soon be shown to be out
41 Iakobos: Jan, Was there ever a concrete plan (and determination) to invade (and subsequently occupy) the British Isles ? I don't doubt there was a name given t
42 MD11Engineer: Iakobos, The thing with studying history (even if it is just done as a hobby during spare time), is that nothing ever is as it seems. You always disco
43 Tristarenvy: Why even bother to invade? Germany probably could have just starved GB into submission thru a more effective blockade. Suppose they NOT elected to fig
44 GDB: Despite the unlikely prospect of an actual invasion, Sealion planning did include everything from what armoured thrusts would go where, to a list of p
45 MD11Engineer: Well, the Nazis were always good at DREAMING! Just look at Hitler´s plans for the Reich´s capital "Germania", to be built on the site of torn down B
46 GDB: The British public did suffer a heavy bombing campaign, largely against cities, for many months, at night, throughout 1940-41, there was not any signi
47 Karan69: I think Germany would have definitly won the war if Hitler had not made that mistake. Even when he did invade the soviets it was unfortunatley due to
48 Pera: Hard question, When Germany invaded France in 1940 they let thousands of allied(french, brits) soldiers to go over the canal (Dunkerque). This was one
49 FDXmech: >>>Had the Luftwaffe continued to bomb London, and other major cities, then eventually the British public would have wanted some form of peace, I'd th
50 L-188: My personal suspicion is that the forces that Britain would have withstood an invasion. The german ambibious forces just where not up to job of gettin