Could the Germans have won WW2?

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.
With regards to Germany they did sit on their arse for 4 days after pearl harbour until Adolf got fed up with waiting.
 
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.
Do you think the UK would have put up with 6 years of continued bombing and u boat activity while the rest of the world got on with its life?
The UK could have been invaded, possibly just not in 1940. The Maginot line was going to delay the boxheads until the French Army could fully mobilise. That was true right up until the Germans just ent around the side of it.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
In my view, the only thing which could’ve won Hitler the War was the bomb.

Regards,
MM
I agree. If Hitler hadn't been so intent in slaughtering the Jews and stamping all over Poland he might have got nuclear weapons through the expertise of their scientists and mathematicians. The UK - and the US later - held all the cards by having Einstein, Oppenheimer, Fermi and all the rest of them, willing to continue the pre-war studies to fruition.
 
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.
You're thinking like an Englishman. The vision described in Mein Kampf was that the "east" was to be a homeland for Germans. Imposing a small ruling class on a colony is how the British might have done things, but this was to have the pyramid sitting on its point, which Hitler was very clear he didn't want. He wanted a pyramid which sat on its base, which meant the Germans were to be the population of the new territory, not just the ruling class.

His stated model was to be the US, a US which by the way settled it's newly conquered western territories in less than two generations. I suspect that German farmers could have filled up the better farming areas of the east fairly quickly, abandoning their small holdings in old Germany for expansive mechanised farms in new Germany. Large areas of the eastern US went back to forest when American farmers there abandoned their small farms for new larger ones in the west. This would have been repeated by the Germans going east after the war.

If total agricultural production in the new eastern territories fell overall as a result of this it didn't really matter as there were going to be a lot fewer mouths to feed anyway once the Slavs were liquidated. It would be enough for Germany to be self-sufficient in food, and with grain and much livestock production having moved eastwards this was quite possible.

The same by the way applied to Slavic territories closer to Germany. Bohemia (the Czech territory) was to have its population categorized into Aryans and Slavs. The Slavs were to be liquidated and a new population brought in to replace them.

I suspect that part of Hitler's view of the world arose from his origins in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, where a multi-national, multi-ethnic empire crumbled and then shattered into pieces. The new German homeland was to be one nation, and thus stick together come what may in his view.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
What if... if Hitler had drawn back from invading Poland at the last hour. has placed all the troops from that planned invasion back to Germany and sent them all on block leave after wiping down their Panzers and cleaning and returning their MP40s and Mausers to the arms cote, then when everyone was in a bit of a spin, asks calmly for a conference with Wenher Von Braun, lebensraum, and not on earth, where would Germany be now, where would be world be now?
Hmmm. Don't really understand your point.
 
Do you think the UK would have put up with 6 years of continued bombing and u boat activity while the rest of the world got on with its life?
The UK could have been invaded, possibly just not in 1940. The Maginot line was going to delay the boxheads until the French Army could fully mobilise. That was true right up until the Germans just ent around the side of it.
You make it sound like Britain would be a battered wife.

Germany couldn't invade - its navy was immolated in Norway and they literally didn't have the capacity to rebuild it.

Air raids go both ways, and the easiest targets to find are coastal ones, which is where the U-boats are built.

It wouldn't have been easy, nor pretty, but in the end it would have ended badly for the Germans.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Plus it has been postulated that Churchill would have authorised the release chemical weapons to be used on the beacheads, mainly mustard gas.
There was a good thread a year or so ago, that explored Sea Lion in depth, and ended in the general agreement that Germany would have failed given what is known now.
 
  1. Over-engineered equipment against the cheap and cheerful / mass producible approach of the Allies (Tiger / King Tiger / Panther v Sherman / T34, for instance).
  2. The failure to close the shipping lanes across the North Atlantic.
  3. The strategic decision to not destroy the BEF around Dunkirk / Calais in 1940.
  4. The strategic decision to not allow armour to be deployed forward immediately post the D-Day landings.
  5. The strategic decision to not redeploy forces from the Pas de Calais to Normandy in Jun 44 until it was too late to make a difference.
 
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.
Contrast the aftermath of the European war with that in Korea, where the 'preferred' (i.e. chosen) post-war government south of 38 was made up of Japanese collaborators and headed up by a man who'd spent most of his adult life in the US and whose sole touchstone for competence was an unquenchable thirst for left-wing blood.
 
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.

As Nathan Bedford Forrest said…

'You win by getting there firstest with the mostest'… and you were always that.


And your industrial mobization was a work of genius. General Marshalls admonition that all GI equipment should be capable of being operated and fixed by 'a farmboy from Kansas' was war winning.


Change the transmission on a Sherman - three guys, a wrecker with an A frame, a set of wrenches and a couple of hours.


Sherman-transmission.jpg

Change the transmission on a Tiger, a fully equipped workshop, a special crane to remove the turret, dozens of guys and 3 days

72700028_195445821484353_8967154116605367906_n.jpg
 
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.
Here's an extract off an article in the recent Air and Space Power review on the potential use of British 'atomic' weapons during World War 2:

1575379027362.png
 
As Nathan Bedford Forrest said…

'You win by getting there firstest with the mostest'… and you were always that.


And your industrial mobization was a work of genius. General Marshalls admonition that all GI equipment should be capable of being operated and fixed by 'a farmboy from Kansas' was war winning.


Change the transmission on a Sherman - three guys, a wrecker with an A frame, a set of wrenches and a couple of hours.


View attachment 434604
Change the transmission on a Tiger, a fully equipped workshop, a special crane to remove the turret, dozens of guys and 3 days

View attachment 434606
Same crane, it seems, used to lift V-2 rockets from their trailers and on the the Mielewagon (TEL).
 
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.
I may have mentioned this before but the Dads army stereotype of the home guard is miles away from the reality. From very early after their inception they were well armed, organised and motivated. They also numbered many experienced veterans of previous conflicts including numerous highly decorated WW1 soldiers in their ranks, some of whom were young enough to be eventually recalled to regular service. Jimmy Perry’s (co-creator of Dads army) biography mentions that his home guard unit’s first CO was a rotund building society manager who was very quickly replaced by a fit, athletic Spanish civil war veteran who’d designed his own quick draw revolver holster.
 
Its conveniently forgotten in all these revisions of WWII that Little Boys Big Day Out was never meant to be downtown Hiroshima… it was meant to be a big surprise for a German city


Both the Atomic Bomb Programme, and the B-29 were pre Dec 7 1941 WWII programmes directed at Germany

B-29 - Dec 1939 USAAF requirement issued
A Bomb - Aug 1939 Einstein–Szilárd letter
 
Last edited:

Chef

LE
And the U Boats?

Ah yes goes the revisionism… if the Germans had an extra <insert any number you fancy> extra U boats in 1939, they could have cut off Britain and starved it into submission.

Really?

Even in the darkest days of the U Boat war, May 1943, when Germany had some 240 operational U boats compared with the 26 ocean going U boats they started the war with…

Allied losses to U Boats never exceed 2%
Whilst my view is that we won and the Germans lost and that was probably going to happen sooner or later I did set out some points that may have made a difference:

I doubt any set of circumstances would enable the Germans to win WWII and sustain the victory.

Things that might have helped would be keeping the occupied countries friendly by avoiding atrocities, the manpower freed up if the USSR had been less partisan ridden would have been sizeable.

A more realistic approach to a war time economy. Get the women mobilised, no domestic staff, thousands of women were employed as domestics even at the end of the war.

A more streamlined R&D system. Lots of stuff was lovely to look at but hardly worth the effort needed to develop them. V1? Lovely bit of kit compared to the V2 which wasted resources. Me 262 again the idea is nice but would the effort have been better spent on producing more FW Ta 152?

Politically none of this was going to happen.

As another thought Doenitz wanted to start the war with 300 U-boats, a third on station, two thirds going to and returning from action. He didn't get them but considering the damage done with a start number of 56 it may have done irreversible damage to the UK's war effort.
As I say politically none of the points were likely to occur due to the political landscape and I would further suggest that if the political will was conducive to these points then the nazis may well have become a historical footnote.

As for the U-boats, considering that Churchill said it was the only thing that really worried him. Unlike the usual what ifs? Which require large amounts of coincidences to get them even vaguely underway, V-weapons, jets, super tanks and the like the U-boats could have been built with existing technology and in place for 1938-9.

Given the state of the Atlantic campaign when the war started starting with six times the number of U-boats (during 'The happy time' 1940-41 that would have meant wolfpacks of 36 rather than half a dozen) would have had a considerable effect on the early days of the war, possibly changing strategy if not tactics.

Bottom line for me is that we won (again) and swarms of Me 262s with dodgy engines and lacking fuel or even all the other V-weapons including nerve gas* would have delayed rather than stopped the inevitable loss of the war by the axis.

*Interesting to think that Hitler's personal experience and fear that the allies might have similar or worse played a part in nerve gas not being deployed. Unilateral nuclear disarmament anyone?
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
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.

The Battle of the Hurtgen Forest was a shambles for the US Forces because they elected to sent their troops and armour through forests and on mountain tracks, rather than the lower ground on decent roads. It was a classical error of the war which is now recognised as such. As for supplies, the US troops had plenty of food and adequate fuel, but were lacking badly in warm and waterproof clothing and footwear. Another lesson learned.
 
You make it sound like Britain would be a battered wife.

Germany couldn't invade - its navy was immolated in Norway and they literally didn't have the capacity to rebuild it.

Air raids go both ways, and the easiest targets to find are coastal ones, which is where the U-boats are built.

It wouldn't have been easy, nor pretty, but in the end it would have ended badly for the Germans.
If they didnt invade Russia, they would have a massive amount of spare capability lying around. The war effort could concentrate on their Navy.

The Germans could move most of their factories further away from the UK, the UK was limited how far it could move its industry before it got wet.

Years of bombing/rockets, years of losses at sea, most of the world still trading with Germany, the German military suffering only losses against the British, certain parts of the empire wanting independence etc

You dont think the UK would have sued for peace?
 

Chef

LE
Its conveniently forgotten in all these revisions of WWII that Little Boys Big Day Out was never meant to be downtown Hiroshima… it was meant to be a big surprise for a German city


Both the Atomic Bomb Programme, and the B-29 were pre Dec 7 1941 WWII programmes directed at Germany

B-29 - Dec 1939 USAAF requirement issued
A Bomb - Aug 1939 Einstein–Szilárd letter
Amaze your friends at parties by pointing out that the B-29 programme was the most expensive single development project of the war: $3 billion compared to $1.9 billion for the Manhattan project.
 

Nato123

War Hero
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.

...and yet they often treated the indigs with utter contempt and barbarism.

Some of their worst massacres were carried out against non Jews in Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Greece, Italy.France... pretty much wherever they went.

Heart and minds it wasn't, which says something about how not to build and rule an Empire
 

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