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HAWK21M
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WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:51 pm

During WW2 if Germany had not Invaded Russia.How much Area would the Japanese had captured.
Would the fate of WW2 be different.
regds
MEL
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NKP S2
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:15 pm

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.........

[Edited 2005-01-06 14:16:39]
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:57 pm

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.

Jan.
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ly7e7
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:25 pm

If Germany had not invaded Russia .... then Russia would have invaded Germany  Smile
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DIJKKIJK
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:29 pm

If Germany had not invaded Russia .... then Russia would have invaded Germany

My thoughts exactly. I doubt Stalin the opportunistic git would have let that one go.
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Foxy
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Fri Jan 07, 2005 1:41 am

Russia would have invaded Germany about 18-24 months later
 
gkirk
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:25 am

Never to worry, the Brits and Yanks will still have saved your Yellow European behinds  Wink/being sarcastic
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andrej
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:37 am



...than German would be official language of Europe.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:39 am

No, because Ethiopia would have beaten Italy.
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GDB
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:19 am

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
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:27 am

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.
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LY744
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:57 am

"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.  Sad


LY744.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:01 am

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.


Jan

[Edited 2005-01-06 23:02:13]
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FACT
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:21 am

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.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:54 am

FACT,

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.

Jan
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Falcon84
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Fri Jan 07, 2005 12:25 pm

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.
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BN747
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:09 pm

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'...

BN747

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GDB
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Fri Jan 07, 2005 9:22 pm

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
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:04 am

GDB,

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.

Jan
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dl021
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:19 am

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.
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iakobos
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:27 am

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
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:37 am

Iakobos,

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.

Jan
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tristarenvy
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:39 am

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.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:49 am

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.

Jan
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Falcon84
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:57 am

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.
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StarAC17
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 1:25 am

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 heard by war historians that D-day would have been a failure if Germany wasn't fighting two fronts and well I don't have enough knowledge of the war but I think it would have gone well into the 50's.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 1:59 am

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 landing operation in Dieppe in 1942, but didn´t have the correct equipment. As a result the British and Canadian forces had to retreat. Between 1942 ( repulsion of the Afrika Korps and the Italian Army at El Alamein in Egypt, followed by Operation Torch, American and British landings in Morrocco and subsequent capture of Northern Africa in 1943) and Summer 1944, the only ways the British could strike back at the occupied continent were commando raids (the biggest the Campelltown raid to destruct the Normandie lock in Le Havre) and aereal bombings.
The technology use in the 1944 Normandie landings was develpoed out of the failed attempts by the Germans (Operation Sea Lion (Seelöwe) and the Dieppe raid, as well as the American experiences in the South Pacific) the biggest invention purpose build landing craft.
Operation Sea lion was a) a amateurish attempt, using concerted engineless river barges as landing craft, very vulnerable and b) the German Navy needed aereal superiority (they said, that they could handle the Royal Navy in the Channel approaches, but needed their backs covered from air attacks), which Göring promised and never gained (at first the German Luftwaffe bombarded and attacked British fighter bases to destroy the RAF, a tactically sound move. But after the RAF flew some successfull raids on Germany (Göring from then on called Meier), Hitler turned to revenge and ordered the Luftwaffe to attack British cities, leaving the RAF bases alone to recuperate.
When by end of July, the RAF was not yet beaten, and the bad weather season started, Operation Sea Lion was cancelled.

Jan
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TWFirst
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 2:05 am

>>The US was untouched, in regard to the home front, no bombing, no rationing or other shortages, no threat of invasion.<<

Not entirely true... German submarines were right off our shores.... Miami Beach, for example, had barbed wire and other barricades all along it, and black-out restrictions were required after dark.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 2:13 am

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 read an account of a German U-Boot commander, who sailed straight up the Hudson river into New York harbour and described that everything was brightly illuminated, even though there were already American ships, including war ships, sunk by German submarines BEFORE December 7th 1941 (e.g. the destroyer Ruben James).
There were also American ships torpedoed right outside New Orleans. Hemmingway organised a private inofficial Navy operating from Cuba to search for German submarines, to the displeasure of the American government.

Jan
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iakobos
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 2:17 am

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 tanks (47mm gun).

On May 10, the Army had an impressive force of 12 tanks (Renault chassis w/Belgian made turret and gun), at the hands of the Guides and Lancers regiments. (they were not antiquated, they were actually very good)
Parliament had indeed refused approval, considering them as an offensive weapon, unfit for a neutral country. That's where honesty reaches absurdity.

The surrendering of the Army (not armistice) was known by the Allies, actually the King notified them on the 23rd, upon which they insisted on pursuing the fight to give the BEF a chance to reach and reembark in Dunkerque. It lasted another 4 days. By then the Army was completely surrounded and without ammu for the artillery was pretty useless.

ps 7th Fr Army in NL was Giraud not Girard.
 
TWFirst
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 2:21 am

MD11 Engineer...

Yes, I have heard of these accounts too. Interessant!

Danke.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 2:37 am

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 they suffer from the same setback the French tanks had? One man turrets, with the commander loading and aiming the gun, observing the battle field, communicating with other tanks and infantry and at the same time directing his driver? Maybe doing radio traffic in Morse code at the same time as well?
And were those tanks infantry tanks or cavalry tanks? Anyway, even though the majority of German tanks at this time were still lightly armed Pzkw I (two machine guns) and Pzkw 2 (one machine gun, one 20mm gun), with some heavier Pzkw 3 and Pzkw 4 thrown in, the German attacking force had hundreds of tanks.

Jan

BTW, if operation Sea Lion had succeeded to bring German forces on British beaches, they were supposed to be held up by the Home Guard (earlier called LDV, Local Defence Volunters, or Look, Duck and Vanish) until regular army could be brought in. From 1939 on the British built pill boxes and fortifications at crossroads all over the country. There was also a secret partisan force recruited out of the Home Guard, who were supposed to go into hiding afterr the German frontline had passed (literally, there were many secret underground bunkers all over the country, filled with food, weapons and explosives, the so called home guard horrors, like the Sticky Bomb, a glass bottle filled with nitroglycerine and covered with a sticky glue, except for a handle, to be thrown at tanks, or lemonade bottles filled with a mix of white phosphorous, benzene and rubber solution, also generous supplies of Nobel´s 808 plastic explosive were stored. these stores still turn up from time to time). The secret guerilla force also had well camouflaged observation posts all over the country with wireless communications, to observe German troop movements. More information under : http://www.auxunit.org.uk/

Also, the British were prepared to use massive amounts of chemical weapons on the Germans inSouthern England in case of an invasion.

Jan
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Banco
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 3:20 am

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 much to stop them. Hence the chemical weapons scenario. Had there been German landings anything and everything would have been used to kill them all.

Incidentally, on the matter of sinkings within sight of the American coast, this was almost entirely down to Admiral King of the US Navy. A brilliant administrator, he nevertheless let his dislike of the British colour his judgement, refusing to recognise that having been engaged in the Battle of the Atlantic for two and a half years, the British might just have an idea or two about how to protect shipping. When US coastal units took responsibility for shipping on the western side of the Atlantic, the result for U Boat crews was the second "Happy Time"; King refused to accept the British credo that any escort was better than none, and happily allowed the diversion of escort units to the Pacific. Even the official US naval historian termed it "a merry massacre".
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iakobos
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 3:28 am

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 designed)47mm ATK. (reused by the Wehrmacht as PaK181.

http://users.swing.be/tanks.tanks/complet/765.html#1119

 
MD11Engineer
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 3:31 am

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, on which almost all British infantry tasctics on section and platoon level were based), out of 30.000 got lost.
If you study British Army equipment, you can also see a difference from before and after: Before the British Army used home made equipment, like the Bedford lorries, but after Dunkirk the Lend-Lease seriously kicked in and most vehicles became Americvan made, like jeeps, Ford, GMC and Dodge trucks.

Also, much equipment was later made in the US and Canada to British specifications, in some cases, because it was better than the American version, e.g. the 17 pdr gun on a Sherman Firefly chassis, was capable of kiling a Tiger, which the original American 76 mm gun was not.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
GDB
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 4:01 am

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 they must have known they could not.

Hitler's navy in 1940 was modern, but small, compared to the RN.
They might have been able to hold off the RN for enough time in the Channel, if not for the Norway campaign a few months earlier.
Though seen as a defeat for the Allies, and a blot on the copybook of the First Sea Lord, then a certain Winston Churchill, the seeds of the impracticality of Operation Sealion might have been planted there, for the German Navy took heavy losses in Norway, making them unable to even attempt to screen an invasion force in the Channel.

Norwegian coastal artillery sank a brand new Heavy Cruiser (a sister ship to Prinz Eugen), another was damaged badly by an attack by a Fleet Air Arm Skua dive bomber (first airborne attack on a ship by an aircraft in WW2), then in two battles off Narvik, a bunch of German Destroyers were either sunk or badly damaged, worse for the Germans, in the second battle, RN Destroyers were joined by the modernized Battleship HMS Warspite, literally steaming in and dishing it out.

As a result, the marginal capability of the German surface fleet to fully mobilise to screen an invasion, was lost months before Sealion was even considered.
So even if the Luftwaffe had got enough of a command of the air to allow heavy sustained attacks on an approaching RN fleet, the RN would have kept coming in their most important battle since Trafalgar, or even the Spanish Armada of the 16th Century.

It would not have taken many units, even just some Light Cruisers and Destroyers, getting within range of the invasion fleet and utterly decimating the motley collection of converted barges, post the losses of the Norway campaign, the German Navy did not have the operational assets in sufficient numbers to protect the invasion, even some minor RN units having survived air attacks, could have ended the invasion there and then, which the German Army High Command were well aware of, never mind Goering's boastful blustering and the defensiveness of a Naval Command anxious to keep in Hitler's favour, they were doubtless secretly elated that the invasion was never ordered.

Imagine how determined the RN would have been in this situation, lose and those ships that survived would have to be scuttled or deployed across the Empire, to prevent them falling into Nazi hands if the UK had lost.

For the Royal Navy, in 1940 still the most powerful in the world, a battle of the English Channel would be a matter of life or death, this was a Navy who had a Destroyer, hopelessly outgunned by a German Pocket Battleship, blasted by gunfire damage, charge at and ram it's much larger aggressor, (this was in the Norway campaign, so another major German surface unit needing repair).
Or was ruthless enough to destroy the French Fleet, in port at a Mediterranean base, when they could not be sure these modern French units would not fall into German hands, which would provide a much needed boost to the credibility of a German Invasion of the UK, which is why the RN, despite feeling terrible about turning their guns on people who had been just weeks before an ally, were resolute to do it, the stakes were just too high.

Churchill, who reluctantly ordered this action, was probably well aware on the signal this would send to Hitler.
Like 'don't expect an easy ride, or a capitulation', the rousing speeches Churchill gave in this desperate period, were not as the Germans claimed, the result of too much brandy, the RN proved that in spades by neutralizing the fleet of an ally.


 
Banco
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 4:07 am

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 made it abundantly clear that Britain really meant it when it said it wouldn't surrender. Destroying your ally's naval forces to prevent them falling into German hands was as big a statement of intent as there could be.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Arrow
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 4:12 am

"A brilliant administrator, he nevertheless let his dislike of the British colour his judgement, refusing to recognise that having been engaged in the Battle of the Atlantic for two and a half years, the British might just have an idea or two about how to protect shipping."

Apparently it was worse than that. King also ignored the regular Enigma intercepts provided by the Royal Navy giving accurate locations for U-boats, His somewhat puzzling hatred and distrust of the British cost thousands of American lives in that first year after Pearl Harbour.

And an additional irony; Admiral Kimmel got court martialed for being unlucky enough to be in command at Pearl Harbour in 1941, and it took his family years to get his reputation restored. King's performance was never challenged, and it's only recently that historians have indicated how badly he managed the Atlantic operations in the early days of the US entry into the war.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 4:24 am

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 the narrow strait at Dover and Flokestone, while the Army insisted to land on the whole southern coast, from the Severn in the West to the Thames estuary in the East. The Navy said clearly that they could never protect such an area, especially since the barges intended for moving the troops had to be towed by tugs. The Navy plan suggested concentrating the German Navy close to a very narrow invasion corridor, they could never have blocked to whole bay of Biscay.
Also, the Army was not happy with the invasion either. At this time a lot of the German Army was still relying on horses for transport, it was not yet fully mechanised. They were seriously worried about the supply train acroos the channel. I think, both, Army and Navy, were happy when the project got cancelled and both were secretly happy about the humiliation Göring had to go through by the RAF.
Their ideas was more of containing Britain in their islands and slowly trying to convince the British government to join the fight on their side against the "godless reds".

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Banco
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 4:25 am

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 of responsibility, the western Atlantic, a huge rise over the previous quarter. Those merchant seaman came from every nation. Quite frequently, Royal Navy escorts arrived at their rendezvous, mid-Atlantic to find no merchantmen left to escort.

Eisenhower, not the most vindictive of men, noted in his diary that the war effort would have gone much better had King been taken out and shot.

She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
GDB
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 5:23 am

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 outstanding commanders.
 
iakobos
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 5:41 am

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 to something on paper, that at some stage a rag tag "invasion" flotilla was gathered in a few ports, but really does it seem serious ?

 
MD11Engineer
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 5:49 am

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 discover new details, which destroy clichees.
To me, it looks as if an invasion of Britain was ordered by Hitler, but both Army and Navy were not really behind it. Only Göring wanted to show off the Luftwaffe (and failed). After the Battle of Britain, it seems that Hitler very soon lost his interest in Britain, and turned to his main objective, the conquest, occupation and colonisation of the central and eastern European countries and the enslavment of their population under the "Blut und Boden" ideology. Else, the German military might have learned from the mistakes made during operation Sea Lion and would hva used the 9 months up to the next good weather season to develop more practical plans.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
tristarenvy
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 5:52 am

Why even bother to invade? Germany probably could have just starved GB into submission thru a more effective blockade.

Suppose they NOT elected to fight the USA, and thru some form of negotiation perhaps, that the US was made to understand that "Lend-Lease" was a breech of this agreement. Then most of their capital ships could have just sat around and challenged any blockade runners. One wonders how long that US public support for GB might have stayed strong if many American lives started being lost on convoy ships headed for British ports?

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 think.



If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.
 
GDB
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 5:53 am

Despite the unlikely prospect of an actual invasion, Sealion planning did include everything from what armoured thrusts would go where, to a list of people to be rounded up post surrender, everyone from senior military and political figures to Noel Coward!

A full report was prepared on what UK customs and traditions to keep, along with what to destroy.
The exiled Duke Of Winsdor was seen as maybe a compliant Royal figurehead, with likely British Fascist leader, interned since early 1940, Oswald Mosely, as PM, though likely if invasion had happened, Mosely and his ilk would probably have been executed long before the Germans could get to him.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 6:06 am

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 Berlin. The only thing ever built of it can be seen where Kolonnenstrasse crosses the railway freight yard in Schöneberg. It is a huge mushroom cast of concrete with the purpose of checking if the ground would carry the weight of Hitler´s and Speer´s triumph arc. Since the thing has some underground rooms used for measuring instruments back in the 40s, and the walls are about 5 metres thick, it was also used as an air raid shelter by the engineering staff and their families.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
GDB
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:01 am

The British public did suffer a heavy bombing campaign, largely against cities, for many months, at night, throughout 1940-41, there was not any significant push from them for peace.

The same was true during the much bigger Allied campaign against Germany, though the German public had no way of demanding peace, no political class representing them to force a vote of no confidence in a democratic parliament, which is how Neville Chamberlin was unseated in 1940.
Short of a successful assassination against Hitler, as well as really much of the Nazi leadership, they could not pressure for a change in the way that the British public, even with elections suspended and a 'National government', could still potentially do.

The U-Boats could yet starve the UK, maybe, but there was not only human, military and industrial mobilislation in wartime Britain, there was also an agricultural one, from the much larger mass cultivation of crops, by many women, mostly from cities, the 'Land Girls', to the massive expansion of urban allotments, to the smallest urban garden being turned over to grow food.
No garden? Cannot get an allotment? Then keep chickens and/or Rabbits, my Grandparents did just that.

So the 'starve the British out' window of opportunity might have been diminished by the time the U-Boat force was strong enough to try it.
But the Battle Of The Atlantic was vital, unlike the shameful recent Hollywood version, the RN got an Enigma machine in early 1941, adding to the machines captured and smuggled out of Poland along with Polish codebreaking experts, this provided a breathing space allowing more escorts, more experience, better technology, the U-Boats would stage some recovery, but finally, their losses became too great.
Liberty ships replaced lost tonnage and more, not only the RN either, the huge commitment to this battle made the Canadian Navy, by 1943, the third largest in the world.

Germany started WW2 with too few U-Boats, they hugely expanded this force, but it was just too late for them, as the Allied advantage in building capacity, even before the US was formally in WW2, was too much.


 
karan69
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sat Jan 08, 2005 7:54 pm

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 his personal grudges etc. that he continuoed and concentrated all his tasks on Stalingrad which atleast resource wise was of no use.
Anyway what is history is history
 
pera
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sun Jan 09, 2005 12:01 am

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 of many big mistakes Hitler did during the war, if he had let his generals take the decisions I think Germany actually could have a chance to win the war. The german wehrmacht was much better than the allied soldiers (A good example is war in Africa (1940-1941) With great tactical skills, great soldiers and great artillery Hitler thought Germany would have no problem with invading Russia. In the start, he was right. I think the wonder of Dunkerque was one of the biggest mistakes in the war, if the germans wouldn't had let all those soldiers cross the canal I think they would have a bigger chance with invading Great Britain. But the RAF did a great job stopping Luftwaffe's pilots during the autumn 1940.
 
FDXmech
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RE: WW2 - If Germany Had Not Invaded Russia

Sun Jan 09, 2005 12:28 am

>>>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 think.<<<

The Luftwaffe's switch from attacking RAF installations to the strategic bombing of population centers was instrumental in the British victory in the Battle of Britain.

Interesting how this switch came about. The Luftwaffe was forbidden to bomb London. Yet a navigation error by a couple of Luftwaffe pilots caused an unintentional bombing of a London outskirt. Churchill responded by bombing Berlin which in turn escalated to the full scale strategic bombing British cities. This of course was the desired effect Churchill wanted. Though the Blitz was horrendous to British cities, it took the heat off the RAF to repair their bases and regroup their equipment. The "Few" went on to their "Finest Hour" and won the Battle of Britain.

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