Counterfactual - UK makes peace in 1940: does Barbarossa succeeed?


Book Reviewer
OK - here's a counterfactual that intrigues me. What would have happened if the UK had made peace with Hitler in 1940? Would the changed circumstances have enabled Nazi Germany to defeat Russia?


Churchill becomes PM after the fall of Chamberlain, but succumbs to a heart attack after the fall of France. After negotiations, Lord Halifax becomes PM and opens peace negotiations with Hitler. Hitler (who didn't particularly want war with the UK anyway) agrees fairly generous peace terms with the UK and an armistice is signed. This leaves Hitler free to concentrate on invading Russia in the spring of 1941.

Resulting Differences

- The Battle of Britain is not fought, so Luftwaffe strength at the start of the Russian campaign is 25% greater than it actually was.
- The Battle of the Atlantic is not fought, so Germany can divert industrial resources from naval production, to the needs of the army. This means more of the Wehrmacht can be mechanised before the attack.
- The War in North Africa is not fought, nor is the 1941 campaign in the Balkans (Greece and Yugoslavia). This further increases the strength of the Wehrmacht which is not tied up in subsidiary theatres.
- The Strategic Bombing campaign does not happen - so more anti-aircraft guns (88's) and their supporting troops can be used in the anti-tank role on the Russian front. In addition, the Luftwaffe does not have to build a nightfighting infrastructure.
- There is a reduced need to garrison Norway and Denmark as there is no threat from the UK.
- The Wehrmacht is thus also about 25% stronger than it actually was, with several extra Panzer and Mechanized divisions.

- There is no American lend lease or UK war materials to send to Russia to bolster Russian production.

- In Russia, Stalin realises that Germany is continuing production of war material at a high level and thus war is likely.
- He releases officers from the 1936 purge from prison and starts to rebuild his army and air force faster.
- Work is accelerated on the defence lines being built to slow any German attack.
- Russian forces are deployed to resist an attack in advance of the German invasion and the Wehrmacht does not achieve tactical surprise.


With the above scenario - the UK making peace in 1940 - does Hitler succeed with Operation Barbarossa?



Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Maybe, but while Hitler is concentrating on Russian, has diverted all his resources to that one aim, Britain can come across and overrun Germany in 1942 with the armies and air forces that she has had time to build up. Iron Curtain therefore starts several hundred miles further west. :)
not a bad little read if your into alt/history, by Tony 'The Canon' Williams.

"What if - you went to sleep as usual in 2004 - and woke up in 1934? What if - you had vital knowledge about the forthcoming Second World War, and could prove that you came from the future?"

the foresight war download ebook in PDF and epub formats.

the master of 'what if?' alt history has to be Harry Turtledove,
There would be no guarantee that GB &/or US would not help the USSR, think how strong Germany would have been if they had defeated Russia and had access to all its resources ?
The idea of Germany getting into a long guerilla campaign in the east would seem more likely.
Also there would be no guarantee that Mussolinin wouldnt have got Germany entagled in the Med, Greece etc even if GB Britain wasnt involved.

as for Stalin, I dont think he coujld release hsi purged officers from prison, he'd had them all shot hadnt he ? And even with proof from Churchill he refused to believe Germany would attack, so not sure why he would have changed anything.
Also Germany even without Britain surrendering, cut back on production and started producing consumer goods again, so, again, no guarantee they would have maintained war production at a high level with Britain out of the picture.
Try the book 'When the Kissing Had to Stop',,,Labour and the Reds take over....


I think most serious historians believe that the Soviets could have defeated Germany on their own, especially after Stalin let his generals run the show. The Soviet Union was just so much bigger than Germany. The iron curtain would then have been the iron beach with the Warsaw pact extending all the way to the North Sea.
Britain making peace in 1940 would have scared FDR shitless and the Americans would have almost certainly pumped huge amounts of aid and supplies through to the Soviets as best they could. It might have made the Americans reach some form of accommodation with the Japanese with the Germans steaming up to the Urals focusing their attention and making let the Japanese have China seem a worthwhile sacrifice to not have to fight a two front war with only a knackered USSR to help out.
I think most serious historians believe that the Soviets could have defeated Germany on their own, especially after Stalin let his generals run the show. The Soviet Union was just so much bigger than Germany. The iron curtain would then have been the iron beach with the Warsaw pact extending all the way to the ATLANTIC OCEAN.
If you read the above book.......
Hitler-Mussolini-Franco all gave us breathing space to stop the Bolshevik/Communist raping hordes sweeping across Europe and England.

To be met by English Traitors-communists-trots-socialists-red trade Unionists-pinkos-fellow travellers, who would have been putting people to the wall, helping their Red Russian friends to eliminate the Royal Family among many others.
One of the best books on the subject.

The Man in the High Castle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Even having won the war the Nazi regime, having run out of people to persecute internaly within the new Reich, would have gone to war with it's self with the different moraly bankrupt factions within the aparatus of the state fighting for control.

No matter how many scenarios you run through the Nazi's still lose in the long run as they were a self destructive death cult.
Well, who knows. In 1983 I fell in with a bar table of rather drunk Berliners, near the bridge at the top end of the Havel, all veterans of the war.

After a couple of beers with them the general consensus was that, 'Russland war zu gross'.

Didn't work that well for Napoleon, either.

Similar threads

Latest Threads