Could the Germans have won WW2?

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Been wondering if there was any major issue that they could have changed, leading them to win the last War?

I'd suggest a few possibilities.

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.

2. Better radio discipline
One issue that helped the Allies break ENIGMA / TUNNY etc was lax net discipline - loyal Nazis signing off "HH" gave the teeniest of windows, which helped BH crack the codes ( one of many factors). No ULTRA, and the Allies would have had a much harder time defeating them.

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.

4. Put the economy on a total war footing.
Something we did early on, and AIUI the Germans did too little, too late.

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).

Any others?
The King Tiger tank was too big and lacked the required manoeuvrability to make use of its firepower.
 
Invading Ireland?


I'll see your few thousand Falschirmjeagers and raise you


Counter invasion reinforcing started in May 1940 and the following infantry forces moved to the Province

61st Infantry Division
53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division

and these extra forces over the next 12 months

5th Infantry Division
48th (South Midland) Division
71st Independent Infantry Brigade
72nd Independent Infantry Brigade
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Not declaring War on America might have helped their cause....
America would have entered the European theatre of war anyway, to get their share of the spoils and to face up to the Soviets on non-US territory - central Europe was the ideal place.
 
Seizing and holding are two very different things.
Germany could seize, but ultimately never hold without the co-operation of the locals.
Trouble is, you've bombed their cities, killed their soldiers and civilians, imposed cruel overlords and become that which they hate.
And their are those outside your borders who would manipulate that.
Not a chance of any long term win for Germany.
 
Seizing and holding are two very different things.
Germany could seize, but ultimately never hold without the co-operation of the locals.
Trouble is, you've bombed their cities, killed their soldiers and civilians, imposed cruel overlords and become that which they hate.
And their are those outside your borders who would manipulate that.
Not a chance of any long term win for Germany.
It worked for the USSR.
 
It worked for the USSR.
Only with the co-operation of the local communists.
The USSR did not segregate the locals on racial grounds. They were also careful to ensure that local control was swiftly established by the local communist party ( which of course was in their pocket ). They were able to establish themselves in the aftermath of war and Nazi oppression.
As the lesser of two evils, they had a greater chance of success. Non communist opposition was often tainted with accusations of collaboration with the Nazis and would be unlikely to get western support for fear of upsetting the status quo.
 

Dwarf

LE
Seizing and holding are two very different things.
Germany could seize, but ultimately never hold without the co-operation of the locals.
Trouble is, you've bombed their cities, killed their soldiers and civilians, imposed cruel overlords and become that which they hate.
And their are those outside your borders who would manipulate that.
Not a chance of any long term win for Germany.
That is a point which I hadn't considered and do like. So assuming they had achieved their objective in the East and occupied vast territories. In areas like Ukraine had they acted as liberators they could have easily held that. Bielorussia I think might also have been quite responsive.
But as noted A H wanted to replace the population with Germans so what would that have meant for the locals, deportation or would we have seen more extermination camps built? If there are only those futures facing you surely an uprising would have been inevitable followed by the long and constant fight to retain hostile areas.
Also given the vast areas and a large but limited German population surely the initial concept would have been to impose German landowners and administration with the military to ensure obedience much as the Normans imposed on England. But given the mentality of the Nazis then a benevolent ruling class would seem not to have really been on the cards, and that would be a must to ensure a compliant population.
Also over time would it have involved an inevitable mixing of the population with say a German landlord or bureaucrat marrying a slav? Or as seems likely, they would have maintained themselves as a caste apart thus causing resentment among the untermensch would would see all avenues of advancement reduced to a feudal style limitation? Either way I go along with you in that a military victory does not guarantee a long term victory if the subject population is unhappy. In fact it almost guarantees long term defeat.
 
Seizing and holding are two very different things.
Germany could seize, but ultimately never hold without the co-operation of the locals.
Trouble is, you've bombed their cities, killed their soldiers and civilians, imposed cruel overlords and become that which they hate.
And their are those outside your borders who would manipulate that.
Not a chance of any long term win for Germany.
Alas for the dreams of couldawouldashoulda brigade:

The Germans murdered over 2 million Soviet POW's in the early months of Barbarossa by what they euphemistically termed 'exposure'.
They were simply herded them into barbed wire cages on the steppes without food, water or shelter and left to die, to the amusement of the watching Herren as widely noted in Landsers letters and diaries.

This was quickly reported back to Moscow, and the Politruks made doubly sure the Russian soldiers knew what faced them if they disobeyed Comrade Jo's order to never surrender.
Hmmmm, I surrender, Comrade Jo might shoot me, but the Germans will starve me to death… Kill the Germankis Comrade!

While the invading Germans received noticeable popular support in the Baltics and west of Ukraine, as they moved further East and engaged with the ethic Russian 'Untermensnch', their behaviour was spectacularly counter productive.
Its worth noting that by Summer 1942, 75% of German 'occupied' Russia was actually controlled by Partisans, and 10 German Divisions were tied up full time fighting them.
 
Only with the co-operation of the local communists.
The USSR did not segregate the locals on racial grounds. They were also careful to ensure that local control was swiftly established by the local communist party ( which of course was in their pocket ). They were able to establish themselves in the aftermath of war and Nazi oppression.
As the lesser of two evils, they had a greater chance of success. Non communist opposition was often tainted with accusations of collaboration with the Nazis and would be unlikely to get western support for fear of upsetting the status quo.
It still worked, the Nazis had friends in a lot of occupied countries, some people could wait to stick the boot into Jews.
I wouldn't say the soviets were the lesser of two evils, just a different evil. Stalin was responsible for millions of murders and deportation, but he was an equal opportunities murderer.
 
But you are.:grin:
Joke aside, we should have a realistic view on the Wehrmacht. It never was the impeccable and invincible fighting machine as many see it today. After the big losses and attrition it suffered from 1942 on the quality of the troops and equipment was questionable. There were still some crack units, but your normal Infantry Division consisted too often of to old or young men or soldiers that were discarded in the drafts before because of medical problems. You won because you had a massive amount of equipment and firepower -quantity is a quality in it's own- and because you then had the better troops, manpower and training wise.
Not to belittle your or the other Allies efforts, but the outcome was obvious.
You did have some elite units throughout the war.

I will partially agree with you on the training. Units if given enough time to train up, could be very effective. But many of our divisions were kept continuously on the line, and the repple depple system just ensured a steady flow of fresh meat to the front line.

It was a war of economy, so America did manage it’s industrial mobilization quickly. Germany and Japan could not keep up.
 
America would have entered the European theatre of war anyway, to get their share of the spoils and to face up to the Soviets on non-US territory - central Europe was the ideal place.
I wouldn’t say the ashes of Europe were much in the way of spoils of war. It cost us a pretty penny to rebuild Europe and defend it from the Soviets. It still costs America a chunk of change to keep the Russians out. But it was viewed by many that our presence was required to prevent the old world from engaging in mass slaughter again.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
I wouldn’t say the ashes of Europe were much in the way of spoils of war. It cost us a pretty penny to rebuild Europe and defend it from the Soviets. It still costs America a chunk of change to keep the Russians out. But it was viewed by many that our presence was required to prevent the old world from engaging in mass slaughter again.
Not the EU then?
 
It still worked, the Nazis had friends in a lot of occupied countries, some people could wait to stick the boot into Jews.
I wouldn't say the soviets were the lesser of two evils, just a different evil. Stalin was responsible for millions of murders and deportation, but he was an equal opportunities murderer.
Oh, Stalin was no choirboy, no argument there.
The Jews were ethnic minorities. Any hate for them was not by a majority who planned their extinction prior to the Nazis rocking up . Any actions against Jews would only garner the support of a minority in comparison to those who really don't want the German tanks rolling through. What the Nazis managed to do was disenchant the majorities as well, especially once the reprisals started. The only opposition to the Nazis were, by and large, communist partisans. Once the Nazis left, those they put in charge were simply mopped up by the communists with the backing of the USSR and replaced with communist trusties.
 
Not the EU then?
After two interventions in European dustups, enough was enough. I don’t think Europe would have been allowed to survive a third. The attitude of the French President however is a bit annoying. We want Europe to be prosperous and not at each other’s throats. But we don’t want the Continentals to have any serious military capability of their own.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Not gassing, shooting or starving large portions of their human resources.
Exactly that, not having thousands of people guarding their undesirables instead of being combat troops. This includes the likes of Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Romanians etc who did concentration camp duties after they joined the Germans. Plus the vast amount of able bodied Germans employed on meticulous record keeping when they could have been on the front lines.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Been wondering if there was any major issue that they could have changed, leading them to win the last War?

I'd suggest a few possibilities.

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.
The glittering prize for Hitler aways was Russia. Conquering western Europe was almost a sideshow in his eyes meaning tha his confidence was boosted even further when he reached the North Sea and English Channel in short order.
 
Oh, Stalin was no choirboy, no argument there.
The Jews were ethnic minorities. Any hate for them was not by a majority who planned their extinction prior to the Nazis rocking up . Any actions against Jews would only garner the support of a minority in comparison to those who really don't want the German tanks rolling through.
Jews have been hated by eastern European countries for centuries, they had pograms, the Germans didnt build extermination camps in Germany they built them in the East where hatred of the Jews could rival that of the labour front bench.
Most Eastern European countries hated the Soviets, the Germans mistake was to carry on the brutality before they won the war.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Personally speaking, they might have, if not for:
- Their allies, the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor and dragging the U.S. into the war
The US weren't dragged into the war - what do you think all the battleships were doing at Pearl Harbor in the first place? The Japanese caused the war by attacking the US but the US certainly were not dragged - they were as ready to fight as any peacetime nation has been in modern times.
 
The short answer to the OPs question is no.

Germany lost the war at 11.00am on 3rd September 1939 when Britain declared war. As discussed on other threads, Britain could never be invaded and even if Britain really did stand alone, and the Germans never declared war on America, so no British return to the continent of Europe, then Germany would still have lost.

By 1946 Tube Alloys would have produced the worlds first atomic bomb and it would have been dropped on Berlin. At this point the Germans would have jacked it in and Germany would have been occupied either by the Soviets, if they were still in the war, or by a very rapidly landed British army.

The only way that Germany could have won the war would have been by not invading Poland. Using Poland as an ally and fighting as a liberation army for the Baltics and Ukraine would probably have resulted in the destruction of the Soviet Union, probably with the tacit approval of Britain. Once that has been completed then the Germans could have indulged in their genocidal hobbies at will.
 

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