Could the Germans have won WW2?

The only Allied General of WWII the Germans took much note of and viscerally feared was Ivan Konev.
Utterly ruthless bastard - failure was never his option.
 
If Jerry had the audacity to try and invade the UK they wouldn't have stood a chance. Forget the use of mustard gas or flamethrowers, these lads would have settled Jerries hash without a doubt.







Dad's Army.jpg


They don't like it up em.
 
so they capture the oilfields and then what?

they still had no trucks, but 2.5 million gee gees.

in 1942 - @ half the Germans logistics on The a eastern Front was devoted to shuttling replacement gees Gees and thousands of tonnes of feed and hay each week to the Front.
the British Army didn’t need to train a single horse wagoneer in WWII, the Germans needed a hundred skilled men for each and every battalion to drive the carts and tend the horses..

one of the things that really bemused the Landsers as they slogged forward on foot to Moscow and Stalingrad following their horse drawn carts was the seemingly endless numbers of dead GAZ trucks they passed on the way.

the Heers horse breeding programme was a huge enterprise requiring hundreds of of huge stud farms, thousands of farms producing feed, and hundred of thousands men in the farriery trades making tack and wagons.
There are several potential turning points for Germany winning WW2 (for various values of 'winning' and 'WW2').

I think this particular subthread is Hitler vs Stalin, without the pesky Brits and Yanks interfering. So let's assume that the UK peacemongery types had won the day and sued for peace in June 1940. Britain's out of the war, Germany has fewer concerns about keeping troops and naval forces in Western Europe and can devote itself pretty much full time to the old Slavic racism. Moscow was a close call at the time and the extra resources may have made the difference, even if only by securing Army Group Centre's flanks and permitting the advance on Moscow to continue.

The secondary aspect under discussion is the ability of the Soviets to continue the fight without Allied logistical support.

So, let's assume that the German's had pushed on beyond Moscow and set up a defensive line ...

so they (the Germans) capture the oilfields and then what?
What else would the Germans need to do at this point and why? What resources did the Russians to the east of the "Hitler" line? What would German plans be for making use of such resources as they had captured? What lessons, if any, would the Germans (and the Russians) have learned from their experiences? (eg, would the Russians have put more effort into strategic bombing? would the Germans finally have seen the strategic and logistic light?)

Almost as an aside, would an Anglo-German peace treaty have included the Italians? If so, what effect would this have had upon our involvement in North Africa?
 
Quite long but worth the read
But the Germans were also a bit uppity and always viewed us Americans as inferior to them in all aspects. But they still lost, and one can't compare the horde tactics of the Red Army to the way the US Army fought.
 
But the Germans were also a bit uppity and always viewed us Americans as inferior to them in all aspects.
they viewed the slav's as goat molesting, cousin shagging, malnourished sun humans.....

The Yanks where just fatter ;)
 
There are several potential turning points for Germany winning WW2 (for various values of 'winning' and 'WW2').

I think this particular subthread is Hitler vs Stalin, without the pesky Brits and Yanks interfering. So let's assume that the UK peacemongery types had won the day and sued for peace in June 1940. Britain's out of the war, Germany has fewer concerns about keeping troops and naval forces in Western Europe and can devote itself pretty much full time to the old Slavic racism. Moscow was a close call at the time and the extra resources may have made the difference, even if only by securing Army Group Centre's flanks and permitting the advance on Moscow to continue.

The secondary aspect under discussion is the ability of the Soviets to continue the fight without Allied logistical support.

So, let's assume that the German's had pushed on beyond Moscow and set up a defensive line ...



What else would the Germans need to do at this point and why? What resources did the Russians to the east of the "Hitler" line? What would German plans be for making use of such resources as they had captured? What lessons, if any, would the Germans (and the Russians) have learned from their experiences? (eg, would the Russians have put more effort into strategic bombing? would the Germans finally have seen the strategic and logistic light?)

Almost as an aside, would an Anglo-German peace treaty have included the Italians? If so, what effect would this have had upon our involvement in North Africa?
german vehicle logistics were an utter shambles.

quartermaster British Batallion - 6 sizes of tyre to keep on hand.
quartermaster of a German Battalion? Just German produced trucks, over 40. If you were outfitted with captured or impressed civilian trucks, over 140 different sizes, many of them unobtanium.

amateurs talk tactics,
professionals talk logistics

the Germans never ‘got’ logistics.
And Russia was big, unimaginably big.

So the Germans take Moscow and push the Russians back...

well, the Russians are now close to their major arsenals and production in the Urals, the Germans even further from home.
the Russians could and would always trade terrighty for time, and they had thousands of miles of territory..... and their priceless Allie, General Winter.
 
But the Germans were also a bit uppity and always viewed us Americans as inferior to them in all aspects. But they still lost, and one can't compare the horde tactics of the Red Army to the way the US Army fought.
I think they thought quite highly of your logistics and ability to use artillery in place of rifles.

However, as with all of the Armies, there were good, mediocre and bad commanders, and their attitudes often travelled downwards.

As for Soviet horde tactics, I haven't read much good about the Hürtgen Forest operation. It would seem to be a classic case of distant HQs not understanding what was going on at the front and just feeding fodder into the grinder.

 
But the Germans were also a bit uppity and always viewed us Americans as inferior to them in all aspects. But they still lost, and one can't compare the horde tactics of the Red Army to the way the US Army fought.
The Russian ‘horde tactics’ are much over reported.
Operation Bagration - that totally destroyed Army Group Centre, the cream of the Weremacht, and drove the Germans clear out of Russia, was fought with parity in numbers.
by 1945, the Russians were mastars of manouvere warfare - see August Storm.


 
If Jerry had the audacity to try and invade the UK they wouldn't have stood a chance. Forget the use of mustard gas or flamethrowers, these lads would have settled Jerries hash without a doubt.







View attachment 434484

They don't like it up em.
An old soldier who was utterly fearless (and mental). A sailor with the Polar Medal. A Military Medal recipient. A former officer with experience of Gallipoli, the Somme and Paschendale. A trained soldier who just missed out on seeing action on WWI and dearly wants to prove himself. A fit young lad to do the running. Oh, and a spiv. All of whom know the area that they will be fighting in like the back of their hands and some of whom have already beaten the Germans. And they're defending their homes.

They'd probably take out a fair few Germans before succumbing. And there were thousands like them.
 
(...) 1. Keeping out of Russia.
A two front war with such a gargantuan enemy would stretch anyone, let alone an army who had been told they'd not be needing or getting winter kit. (...)
Then the whole war would have been pointless. Read Mein Kampf. Skip the tedious bits where he talks about party organisation and culture and read the parts where he talks about territorial expansion.

The whole point of the war was to invade Russia, dispossess the Russians of their land, and repopulate the territory with Germanic people. He's a little vague on what happens to the Russian people after that as there was clearly no place for them in this new Greater Germany, but it's not difficult to imagine what his intentions were in that regards.

Keep in mind that in the world of the 1920s and 1930s there were a few large empires and continental states with the majority of the rest of the world being colonies of them. Conquest of weaker states was par for the course in those days.

Hitler analysed the collapse of Germany and Austria-Hungary in WWI, and came up with a plan which would result in making the Germans as a people being an enduring dominant race. In this he wasn't necessarily talking about the continuity of the state, but rather the continuity of the Germans as a race or ethnic group. His conclusion was that for this to happen the German people needed a large contiguous self sufficient homeland in which they constituted the overwhelming majority of the population.

He looked at the alternatives, including "England" (by which he meant the British Empire), France (the French Empire), "Russia" (the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union), China, and the US.

Of these he singled out the British Empire and the USA for particular attention. In his view, the British Empire was the diametrical opposite to what he wanted to achieve. Hitler talked about "pyramids", and in this analogy the British Empire was a pyramid which stood on its point. It was inherently unstable, such that when subjected to sufficient stress the pyramid would topple over and Britain would lose its multi-ethnic empire and thus the foundation of its strength irretrievably. In this he was perhaps prescient, as this is what happened to Britain after the war.

The US however Hitler saw as the model for Germany. In this he wasn't talking about bad food and second amendment gun rights. None of that mattered on the historical scale that he was looking at. Rather he saw that they taken a vast territory from an "inferior" race and populated it with a homogenous race of Americans, giving them a racial bastion in which it would be nearly impossible to defeat them regardless of how many wars they might lose on the margins. The American pyramid stood on its base and so was stable and enduring.

In order for Germany to emulate the US, they needed a large contiguous territory with rich natural resources to expand into. This could only be found in "Russia". The German people must therefore invade Russia, dispossess the Russian people of their country, and replace their population with Germans.

This was the point of the war. A war which did not achieve it would not have accomplished any of the objectives which he set out. The reason that the Germans fought France and Britain was to prevent them from interfering with Hitlers plans for Russia. You might recall that it was the French and the British who declared war on Germany, not the other way around. The Germans would have known that they would have to deal with France and Britain at some point, but they weren't the objective of the war.

So, avoiding invading the Soviet Union would have in effect amounted to losing the war the Germans intended, as they would never have set out for their ultimate objective to begin with. You may look at the war from the perspective of someone who lives in Britain, but you have to keep in mind that Britain was an obstruction in the way of the Germans achieving their objective, not the actual objective in itself.

3. More effort into the Battle of the Atlantic.
Particularly when combined with the above. Churchill said "The only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril. " Could Doenitz have done anything better? If the Uk had been starved into submission, there would have been no need for Sealion and the US would not have its unsinkable aircraft carrier from which to land close to occupied Europe. (...)
To have prepared ahead of the war for a U-boat war would have been to plan for a war of attrition, and the Germans knew they couldn't win such a war. They needed quick knock-out blows. Hitler's plans for dealing with Britain mainly revolved around using diplomacy to get Britain to drop out of the war. His misjudgements and lack of planning in this regards were among his biggest mistakes in the war.

5. Realising that perfect is the enemy of good enough.
Not developing supposed wonder weapons such as the King Tiger, with all the resource that tied up - get a good enough weapon, don't strive for the perfect one. A corollary of attitude this would see, for example, the Me 262 come into service as an exceptional fighter, not a delayed, flawed fighter bomber ( thanks for that, Corporal H).
I often read this argument about the Germans wasting R&D effort on developing too many different weapons. Then when you look at how many impractical R&D projects that the UK and the US pursued themselves, it puts things in perspective.

The Germans didn't have the oil to fuel mass fleets of tanks and aircraft. They were desperately short of oil as it was. The best they could do was to try to field fewer but better tanks in order to make optimum use of scarce energy resources. Their best of course, would prove to be not good enough.
 
(...) However, the Soviets enjoyed enormous strategic depth in terms of both geography and manpower which - quite literally - ate the Wehrmach. It would’ve taken many more years, but Germany could never have matched Soviet numbers, even if the Red Army had needed to manoeuvre on horses. (...)
By the time the Germans reached Stalingrad the Soviets had run out of strategic depth and had a smaller population under their governance than the population of the Axis powers. The Soviets were outnumbered and out of space in which to retreat and it was do or die time.
 
If Jerry had the audacity to try and invade the UK they wouldn't have stood a chance. Forget the use of mustard gas or flamethrowers, these lads would have settled Jerries hash without a doubt.







View attachment 434484

They don't like it up em.
An old soldier who was utterly fearless (and mental). A sailor with the Polar Medal. A Military Medal recipient. A former officer with experience of Gallipoli, the Somme and Paschendale. A trained soldier who just missed out on seeing action on WWI and dearly wants to prove himself. A fit young lad to do the running. Oh, and a spiv. All of whom know the area that they will be fighting in like the back of their hands and some of whom have already beaten the Germans. And they're defending their homes.

They'd probably take out a fair few Germans before succumbing. And there were thousands like them.
Captain Mainwaring: If the Germans invade men, we'll fight to the last man and the last bullet.And that we'll keep for ourselves. How many rounds issued per man Sgt Wilson?
Sgt Wilson: One Sir.
Pvt Walker: So if the Germans invade, We shoot ourselves?
;)
 
Personally speaking, they might have, if not for:
- Their allies, the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor and dragging the U.S. into the war
- The Brits gettting access to the enigma, and more vitally inventing RADAR.
- Them being drawn on two fronts, as everyone here agrees too
- The sheer scale and manufacturing capabilities of the U.S - even if they entered the war a tad later.
- The volunteering from other nationalities who wanted to fight against the whole thing
- Sheer lack of long term resources.

Etc...etc...etc.....

-
British early RADAR, compared to German, was crude.
 
85% of GE logistics was horse drawn. (...)
This whole topic has been flogged to death on previous identical threads. On one of those occasions I posted a link to an article on the German use of railways in war. To make a long story short, the Germans had very little oil available to them so their logistic operations were inherently mainly focused on railways. The usual suspect here who keeps banging on about the Germans being too stupid to build trucks ignores that salient fact. The Germans could have built loads of trucks, but they couldn't have driven them anywhere as they didn't have the oil to fuel them.

Equally important, the highways to sustain a truck based logistical operation simply didn't exist in eastern Europe either. Trucks in those days were also rather small and feeble, meaning that any long distance movement of serious amounts of goods or people would depend upon rail.

This limited the German axes of advance to where they had rail lines. Horse transport was used to get from the rail head out to the field units.

The author of the article that I referred to noted that the Russians had extensive experience of using rail logistics over long distances in war dating back to the days of the Russian Empire, and were experts at it. The German experience however was largely gained from fighting short decisive wars close to their own borders.

The Soviets being familiar with logistics destroyed the rail infrastructure behind them as they retreated. In the days of steam locomotives, this wasn't just track. Equally important were depots with coal bunkers, water supplies, and repair shops. These were surprisingly numerous, something like every 25 km, or some number like that. With these depots destroyed they had to be painfully rebuilt by the Germans to support each phase of the advance. The Soviets had also taken the repair and maintenance equipment with them as they retreated, and the Germans didn't have the stockpiles to replace them. This is why the German advance kept stalling out when they outran their logistics. The Germans couldn't sustain an advance long enough to destroy the retreating Soviet armies.

As I said above, the axes of advance were defined by rail capacity. Any armchair generals who want to say that the Germans should have done 'x' instead of what they actually did needs to take this into account. There is no point in saying that the Germans should have focused on reaching Moscow if the logistical capacity to support that didn't exist.

Prior to the war the German logistical experts in the German army ran their calculations and came to the conclusion that the German advance into the Soviet Union would stall out roughly where it ended up doing so in reality. However, they weren't listened to as shelf stackers weren't considered to be real soldiers and the war was supposed to be won by dash and daring.

When the German advance turned into retreat the Soviets had more motor vehicles, and far more important, they had the oil to fuel them. They were still critically dependent upon rail transport, but they could go further from their rail heads and so sustain the advance for longer, allowing them to pursue the retreating Germans harder and so destroy them more thoroughly.
 

Mike Barton

War Hero
IF, they actually managed to cross the channel.
IF, they managed to secure a beach head.
IF, they then managed to keep the beach head re-supplied.

The Kriegsmarine being outnumbered 10:1 by the Royal Navy in destroyers alone might have resulted in a rather unhappy outcome for them had they tried.
Here's a crazy what if...

What if instead of attacking Britain at its most heavily defended, logistically accessible and tightly controlled point, southeastern England, as Phillip of Spain attempted, and Napoleon and Hitler threatened, the Nazis had walked in through England's undefended back door, the way the British always feared and their enemies never did properly.

Late August, early September 1940, make it look like the invasion is coming, all out air attacks on SE England, launch flotillas a few miles into the Channel, before pulling back. Do that a couple of nights running, get the British defences heightened to fever pitch, everything and everyone keyed up to defend the Channel and the Channel ports.

Meanwhile in all the chaos quietly launch a couple of seized French liners full of troops out of the Loire, and amid an air raid on Cardiff or Bristol, send a few transport planes full of paratroops (not sure about the range of German transport planes) to veer off to seize Cobh harbour and Gormanstown airbase in Ireland. Maybe send commandos by U-boat to take the transatlantic airport at Shannon.

You have five days, maybe a week to seize control of southern Ireland, the British don't know if it's a feint or diversion from the main event. Long enough to land captured French light tanks, long enough to get troops dug in. You hold a line Galway-Dublin before moving on Ulster. You swamp the Irish Sea with every U-boat you have waiting off Liverpool and Glasgow for British reinforcements.

A bold, daring move. Now Britain is surrounded by Nazi occupied Norway, France and Ireland, the U-boat bases are on the Irish west coast and the British have no bases in Northern Ireland. With the convoy routes cut off and no access to Ireland's huge food surplus, just sit tight, Britain is going to wither on the vine.

Crazy? No more crazy than the capture of Norway or Crete, both operations that happened in supposedly inviolate British-controlled waters. It's October 1940. Britain is truly cut off, from Europe and the Atlantic, where is the war going?
 

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