Poland 1939 Was Hitler Right

I guess pretty much everyone, including Hitler and the German general staff, was expecting a re-run of WW1; the boche sitting on much the same ground they'd occupied in WW1, and the allies back to the same entrenched attrition as WW1 - Hitler intending to avoid the whole 5 year rematch by cutting straight to an advantageous Armistice.

Whats interesting is that the allies may have had the advantage a second time around, Britain and France had both optimised heavy armour for breaching trench fortifications. Today people laugh at the Tog 2 and other bizarre tracked monstrosities, but I don't think the Germans would have been laughing if they'd been used.
Funnily enough I’ve just been reading about the uses of TOG. I tend to agree
 
Worth remembering the RAFs heavy bombers that would smash the Ruhr came from a 1936 Staff Requitement.
 
Fwiw (views welcome) I think the war is a case of the wrong ally; though timing was of course significant.
In the recent - since 1989 - trend to acknowledge the contribution to the defeat of Nazism of the USSR, the wholly negative consequences for Germany of being allied to Italy have been sidelined. It is the Italian angle which, in my view, de-rails Hitler's plans.

In short, Italy becoming involved in WW2 (against Hitler's wishes) creates for Germany an un-sought front in the Med, Balkans, Aegean and North Africa. It creates a route for the Allies into Europe (Sicily and Italy) which need not have been there. If you assume Italian neutrality, there is possibly no German involvement in Greece and Albania. There is almost certainly no German force in North Africa - and German losses in North Africa eventually total 200,000 high quality soldiers and much equipment.

With no need for Germany to support Italy in Greece and without the Balkan adventure, Barbarossa might be launched some weeks earlier. I accept the argument that, after Operation Typhoon, Germany cannot win [apparently this was Hitler's private view] but a successful Typhoon changes a lot - not least the German control of the rail hub of Moscow and of the majority of 'productive and industrial' Russia. Stalin's reaction to that happening cannot be known (though it apparently the case that he intended to stay in Moscow to fight it out).

Going back to Italy - no Italian involvement in the War also means no German garrisons in Greece; no Italian campaign; no wasting of the German paratrooper arm at Crete; no need possibly for Germany to occupy Vichy France as that was a consequence of Operation Torch (though of course there was Allied vs Vichy conflict in other areas, so that cannot be ruled out). Would that Op have happened however if there had hitherto been no fighting in North Africa, and if the Vichy forces there were passive? In that scenario, hundreds of thousands of German men are available for use elsewhere.

The above does not rule out the possibility of Britain attempting to establish a foothold in Yugoslavia or Greece, but a neutral Greece (which was possible without Italian belligerency) leaves only Yugoslavia, and it may be argued that - with all surrounding states either pro-Axis or neutral, and with Britain being alone at that time - such an effort could not have been sustained.

There are a lot of 'what abouts' to the above but I know arrsers are well-read and spelling them all out would make this post even more of a pain to read.
Oddly enough, not mentioned as frequently as it should be. Ironically, one of the few authors to give it extensive coverage was David Irving in Hitler's War, which I actually thought was fairly good.

But, we also have to factor in that a neutral Italy would have enabled Britain to preserve resources as well, making us an even tougher nut for Hitler to crack. I suspect, that had Italy remained neutral, Germany would have conquered European Russia in 1941 and then made a separate peace with the Western Allies, which would have involved withdrawal from metropolitan France and the Low Countries, probably in exchange for strategic concessions. One of these may have been bringing the idea of Madagascar as the Jewish homeland to fruition; and possibly no holocaust (or at least a much reduced one).

Again, Irving argued with some supporting evidence that Hitler was not a fan of the Final Solution, rather saw it as a grim necessity, and had he been able to find a third way, he would have probably taken it.
 
Oddly enough, not mentioned as frequently as it should be. Ironically, one of the few authors to give it extensive coverage was David Irving in Hitler's War, which I actually thought was fairly good.

But, we also have to factor in that a neutral Italy would have enabled Britain to preserve resources as well, making us an even tougher nut for Hitler to crack. I suspect, that had Italy remained neutral, Germany would have conquered European Russia in 1941 and then made a separate peace with the Western Allies, which would have involved withdrawal from metropolitan France and the Low Countries, probably in exchange for strategic concessions. One of these may have been bringing the idea of Madagascar as the Jewish homeland to fruition; and possibly no holocaust (or at least a much reduced one).

Again, Irving argued with some supporting evidence that Hitler was not a fan of the Final Solution, rather saw it as a grim necessity, and had he been able to find a third way, he would have probably taken it.
I agree with your points.
The issue with the current mainstream historical narrative of the war is that, as Hitler lost, and because he is so beyond the pale, most historians are unwilling to credit him with having made any rational decisions.
I'm sure you are aware of this already, but if you listen to Hitler's recorded chat with Mannerheim, he (AH) comes across as a realist, albeit one with aims different to our own.
Re. your last point, there is a huge debate (I am sure you are aware) about whether Nazi AS was exclusionary or elimanatory. I think it began as the former and became the latter when - in late '41/early' 42, AH recognised that Germany might lose, and decided to take the Jews and others with him.
 
I agree with your points.
The issue with the current mainstream historical narrative of the war is that, as Hitler lost, and because he is so beyond the pale, most historians are unwilling to credit him with having made any rational decisions.
I'm sure you are aware of this already, but if you listen to Hitler's recorded chat with Mannerheim, he (AH) comes across as a realist, albeit one with aims different to our own.
Re. your last point, there is a huge debate (I am sure you are aware) about whether Nazi AS was exclusionary or elimanatory. I think it began as the former and became the latter when - in late '41/early' 42, AH recognised that Germany might lose, and decided to take the Jews and others with him.
Hitler's projected animal welfare ideas for after the war have been adopted by many counties including the UK.
Hitler's projected anti-smoking ideas for after the war have been adopted by many countries including the UK.
Hitler's identification and legislation against 'Anti-Social' people has been implemented by the UK even to the extent of using the same Anti-Social designation and description.

Reductio ad Hitlerum is pretty much a result of the above.
 
Its resemblance to the M4 is striking, interesting vehicle did any actually get used anywhere. The germans did relocate french kit to other regions under their influence.

With regard to the Char B, i know tis a comic book, commando comic did a great story about 30 years ago where enough french tanks were hidden in North Africa to knock out the allies...

In reality though if you look at british and american tanks that were designed then fielded up to 1942/43 comparing them with the later Pz iv v vi the calibre was one of the main features,
No, there was no time for large scale production of the SAU 40 but the assault gun idea, just like the tracked APC, were there and ready to be produced.
 
Again, Irving argued with some supporting evidence that Hitler was not a fan of the Final Solution, rather saw it as a grim necessity, and had he been able to find a third way, he would have probably taken it.
I thought that had been comprehensively debunked; and that in order to achieve his conclusions, Irving had been caught lying, distorting, and generally being a weaselly little Fascist?

He tried to sue someone for calling him a Holocaust denier, and lost. In glorious detail. The Judge's summary went as follows:
"Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that for the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility for the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-Semitic and racist, and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism... therefore the defence of justification succeeds... It follows that there must be judgment for the Defendants. "
 
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I agree with your points.
The issue with the current mainstream historical narrative of the war is that, as Hitler lost, and because he is so beyond the pale, most historians are unwilling to credit him with having made any rational decisions.
I'm sure you are aware of this already, but if you listen to Hitler's recorded chat with Mannerheim, he (AH) comes across as a realist, albeit one with aims different to our own.
Re. your last point, there is a huge debate (I am sure you are aware) about whether Nazi AS was exclusionary or elimanatory. I think it began as the former and became the latter when - in late '41/early' 42, AH recognised that Germany might lose, and decided to take the Jews and others with him.
Indeed, a fascinating argument, and again one I've not seen explored much, is what would have happened had Germany taken control of the whole of European Russia in 1941.

My own view is that with Russia's riches at their disposal, Nazi Germany would probably have taken a more benign trajectory over the succeeding decades. With lebensraum achieved, I also suspect that Hitler's strategic priority would have been to regain international standing for Germany...
 
I thought that had been comprehensively debunked; and that in order to achieve his conclusions, Irving had been caught lying, distorting, and generally being a weaselly little Fascist?

He tried to sue someone for calling him a Holocaust denier, and lost. In glorious detail. The Judge's summary went as follows:
"Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that for the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility for the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-Semitic and racist, and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism... therefore the defence of justification succeeds... It follows that there must be judgment for the Defendants. "
That is true and Irving certainly became unacceptably extreme in his views as time went on, but his earlier research for Hitler's War, was largely supported by solid evidence.

I think the evidence suggests that whilst Hitler's earlier attitudes did tend to the exclusionary, he certainly sanctioned the Holocaust, even if he kept away from the detail.....
 

W21A

LE
Book Reviewer
Lebensraum for some people would have been ethnic cleansing for other people. So much for benign.
 
Not read whole thread (still on page 1)

But two thoughts occur to me

1. 15th Sep 1940 was the day the Luftwaffe switched from bombing RAF airfields to bombing civilian population centers. From what I recall from long ago lessons, the RAF were quite open that had the Luftwaffe continued targeting the airfields for one more day, the RAF would have collapsed.

2. The Wehrmacht reached the outskirts of Moscow... and stopped. Also failed to seize the Caucasus oil fields, and the doenitz basin. Also, wholly alienated the local Eastern European population.

Had the Luftwaffe continued to attack the RAF airfields, and the RAF collapsed, Hitler would have been clear to launch Operation SeaLion, quite possibly defeating Great Britain. Had that been the case, regardless of whether Japan attacked America, it is highly unlikely the US would have declared war on Germany with any meaningful result. Germany then free to attack the USSR without worry from a Western Front.

Could Germany could have succeeded in an campaign against the USSR? I think 'yes', provided:
a. They took Moscow, causing Stalin to flee east
b. They took the oil fields. Germany was short of oil, desperately so. Without oil, tanks and planes are worthless immobile objects.
c. They did not alienate the population; initially the Germans were seen as liberators. Had they maintained that, they would have access to volunteer labour, a larger military pool, local resources and a vastly shorter logistics chain, and reduced the partisan threat.

But failure of all three are directly attributable to Adolf. Its arguable that capturing Moscow could have caused the Soviet Union to disintegrate, possibly leading to civil war and/or the mass desertion of Soviet Army units to the Wehrmacht.
 

W21A

LE
Book Reviewer
It has been wargamed that Sealion would have been defeated by the RN, albeit with heavy losses, and those managed to land defeated by the British army.
 
Not read whole thread (still on page 1)

But two thoughts occur to me

1. 15th Sep 1940 was the day the Luftwaffe switched from bombing RAF airfields to bombing civilian population centers. From what I recall from long ago lessons, the RAF were quite open that had the Luftwaffe continued targeting the airfields for one more day, the RAF would have collapsed.

2. The Wehrmacht reached the outskirts of Moscow... and stopped. Also failed to seize the Caucasus oil fields, and the doenitz basin. Also, wholly alienated the local Eastern European population.

Had the Luftwaffe continued to attack the RAF airfields, and the RAF collapsed, Hitler would have been clear to launch Operation SeaLion, quite possibly defeating Great Britain. Had that been the case, regardless of whether Japan attacked America, it is highly unlikely the US would have declared war on Germany with any meaningful result. Germany then free to attack the USSR without worry from a Western Front.

Could Germany could have succeeded in an campaign against the USSR? I think 'yes', provided:
a. They took Moscow, causing Stalin to flee east
b. They took the oil fields. Germany was short of oil, desperately so. Without oil, tanks and planes are worthless immobile objects.
c. They did not alienate the population; initially the Germans were seen as liberators. Had they maintained that, they would have access to volunteer labour, a larger military pool, local resources and a vastly shorter logistics chain, and reduced the partisan threat.

But failure of all three are directly attributable to Adolf. Its arguable that capturing Moscow could have caused the Soviet Union to disintegrate, possibly leading to civil war and/or the mass desertion of Soviet Army units to the Wehrmacht.
I'll cover point two they were stopped due to a defence that they were unable to breach. Battle for Moscow is a good debate worth having
 
It has been wargamed that Sealion would have been defeated by the RN, albeit with heavy losses, and those managed to land defeated by the British army.
Albeit with some suspect assumptions, and give-a-way intel to the Allied forces :) of course, thankfully we will never know!
 
On Land, things could have been better by 41. Consider agaisnt what Germany was fielding. We'd have had a 16-20 ton Medium tank, with a V-12 engine chucking out about 450hp with 50mm basis and a 2-pounder gun if the Germans had waited a year.
Meanwhile the Panzerwaffe was already using to a High Velocity 50mm Kwk39 and Pak38 that could penetrate a T34 front glacis with APCR and developing a 75mm HV Gun the Pak 40, Kwk40 that would see use by early 42
 
Albeit with some suspect assumptions, and give-a-way intel to the Allied forces :) of course, thankfully we will never know!
The suspect assumptions are all yours; we've done this one before (link). The UK was never at serious risk.

First, their transport; repurposed river barges, under tow. Barely able to cross the Channel, and dangerously close to swamping. A couple of hundred Ju-52. Consider how well the Fallschirmjager did in Crete; massacred on landing (some sub-units took 90% losses; it broke them). They can't even resupply their forces once landed, unless they capture several ports intact and keep them open (they were rigged with dems). FFS, their plans involved transporting 4,500 horses across the channel in the first echelon - because that was how they shifted logistics.

Second, their navy. At this point in the war, the available and tasked German Navy is six (yes, 6) destroyers, a light cruiser, and some armed trawlers; the rest is either in a shipyard getting repaired, or sitting at the bottom of a fjord (the RN really f***ed them up at Narvik). No U-boats even attempted to run the Channel after they lost a couple at the start of the war.

Thirdly, their air cover. When you look at how the RN did at Crete without any air cover, or how well the RAF managed to cover Op DYNAMO, consider that the Germans are going to get hammered flat; they won't manage to sink the RN before the RN f**ks up their transports. Just, no.

Fourthly, UK forces. We had over a hundred destroyers just itching for the chance to close with the enemy and destroy them; and the Home Fleet a day away in Scapa Flow; all those battleships and cruisers. Now consider the Home Guard and Auxiliary Units; these weren't the young inexperienced lads, they were the 40-year-olds who'd done the First Big Mistake; the bad b**tards who had destroyed the German Army in the field in 1918, and knew what needed to be done. And that's before the invaders hit the various Stop Lines and mobile forces. We were even ready to use chemical weapons against the landing beaches...

Basically, if SEELOWE goes ahead, the Germans lose everyone involved, for no gain. Killed or captured after landing, or drowned in the Channel. No-one has ever managed to wargame it successfully.
 
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I wonder if Japan had gone early and concentrated on the British, Dutch and French colonies would uncle sam had stayed at home and would our reinforcements got there in time and been of sufficient quality to sort out Tojo's battle proven Army and air forces.
Indeed what affect would that have had on Itler.
Well US did embargo Japan which forced their hand in 41, and by then we were commited to lend lease. We had taken over in Iceland from 49th UK div and the US Navy was in all aspects in a shooting war with the Kriegesmarine 2 months before the Pearl Harbor attack

JMO but an attack on the UK forces in the pacific would have been answered by the US even if ineffectively
 
A couple of hundred Ju-52. Consider how well the Fallschirmjager did in Crete; massacred on landing (some sub-units took 90% losses; it broke them).
Not so sure the comparison is good.

at Crete they were trying for one airhead surrounded by AA guns a landing in the UK presumably would have been on open ground unringed by Bofors and 3.7
 

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