Poland 1939 Was Hitler Right

The French rearmament program was to peak in 1941; the face of the French Army and Air Force in particular would have been very different with many foreign orders (mostly to the USA, for a wide variety of planes) and local productions reaching the front lines.

French-designed and produced tracked APCs, semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazine, assault guns and medium tanks were for example all in the final stages of development when the defeat of 1940 intervened.
AND STILL crippled by tanks with one man turrets no matter how heavy the armor and how big the gun

the French tank Commander had to
Command his tank telling the driver where to go
Command other tanks if a unit leader
Scan for enemy targets
Train the gun on targets
engage targets
reload the gun and co-ax
all at the same timeby himself
 
The French rearmament program was to peak in 1941; the face of the French Army and Air Force in particular would have been very different with many foreign orders (mostly to the USA, for a wide variety of planes) and local productions reaching the front lines.

French-designed and produced tracked APCs, semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazine, assault guns and medium tanks were for example all in the final stages of development when the defeat of 1940 intervened.
But you still would have been steamrollered by Blitzkrieg.
 
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
And by 1940 we had the 6-pounder ready to go, but decided to hold off due to rearming after Dunkirk. Oh, no Dunkirk now... Whoops.
Equally on the APCR, that used Tungsten, a substance that Germany was in critically short supply. As soon as the war starts that supply vanishes due to Germany's strategic situation. It got so bad that I've read on here that the APCR rounds were all recalled to factory to be disassembled to reclaim the tungsten for machine tools.

Britain, at the same time Germany can't build conventional rounds: "APDS sounds like fun."

To give you a indication of the scale of how badly Germany were outclassed. In late 1944 the there were 700 US flamethrower kits to convert Sherman tanks stored in the UK. The UK authorities asked if the US Army in the ETO wanted them, and were told "nope, don't give a damn, Scrap them."
Thus 700 brand new, never taken out of the packaging, conversion kits were just scrapped. That's 700 items that had been shipped over from the US. That's at least 3x (possibly more) the total number of flame tanks the Germans built, just scrapped.
 
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.
Something of a misquote - The RAF in that sector would have been defeated - but the RAF were never going to be entirely destroyed if they lost the battle of Britain - it was going to Withdraw and concede air superiority to the Germans over the South East. Something Goerring didn't appreciate and assumed BoB win for him meant Sealion unopposed from the air.


2. The Wehrmacht reached the outskirts of Moscow... and stopped.
Myth says stopped by weather - the reality is the Red Army - you can add in Dolfy diluting forces by increasing objectives.

Should Moscow even have been a target - The original Barbarossa plan didn't plan to strike it - It was Hitler who later (post kick off ) insisted

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. .
See above Defeat of RAF in BoB was never defeat of the entire fighter command - they refused to be drawn into that

Sealions been done to death and I dare say as I read further some one will have covered it but in short
Unpowered river barges that would sink in sea state 3 (or 4) or a fast moving destroyers wake.
No real escort capability
RN dominance of the channel meant the invasion fleet was never crossing unopposed (see destroyer wake)
Engineers had to build ramps to disembark equipment from barges
The RAF would put in a very unwelcome appearance over the beaches.
Assuming they get ashore - how do you supply them
 
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 fear that you've read the myth version of World War Two.

On Operation Sealion, some quick and dirty numbers:

Destroyers:
Germany: 10

UK:
In home waters alone: 104 (which includes 4-6 of foreign national ships who escaped from their over run countries.) That number could be reinforced daily at need.
In the invasion area there were 40 permanently based, which the Luftwaffe was unable to do anything about.

Small Craft (Anything smaller than a Corvette).
Germany: 217.
UK In the invasion area alone: 2,000+

I can't see how being out numbered 10-1 is anything other than an utter disaster.
 

Chef

LE
AND STILL crippled by tanks with one man turrets no matter how heavy the armor and how big the gun

the French tank Commander had to
Command his tank telling the driver where to go
Command other tanks if a unit leader
Scan for enemy targets
Train the gun on targets
engage targets
reload the gun and co-ax
all at the same time by himself
I was thinking much the same but I believe the s40 was designed to have a 2/3 man crew, which is good. However the proposed gun is a 47mm item at a time when the 50mm German offering is already in production and the British 57mm 6lb a/tk gun.

Also production was to start June/July 1940. Perhaps in those halcyon days of yore start dates were spot on and never delayed. So the first tanks may arrive late 1940, early 1941. Will the French have their units up to speed when the Germans a re cutting about the field in 50mm equipped Pz IIIs? Possibly but they'll still be wedded to the same strategic doctrine that lost them the real war.

Throw in the usual caveats of budgets, politics and would the French morale and command structure be that much improved* in the intervening 24 months and I don't think much will change in the final outcome.

*Not a dig by the way just a reflection of the attitude of the military in 39-40.
 
Lebensraum for some people would have been ethnic cleansing for other people. So much for benign.
Essentially, Hitler's long-term strategy was to create an unassailable Germany at the political, economic and cultural heart of Europe. Elimination of Communism, conquest of European Russia and exclusion of the Jews from European Society were respective means to these ends.

None of these ideas were Hitler's own; the fusion of them was. All of them were shared to some extent by the European elites of the era and reflected existing Germanic paranoia. Had Hitler been able to achieve these aims without bringing Germany into conflict with the Western World (something he initially wanted to avoid), he would almost certainly have succeeded.

The problem was that he couldn't. Where I believe Irving added real value with Hitler's War, was in illustrating this. He chronicles the way in which obstacles to the achievement of Hitler's master plan resulted in catastrophic deviations that systematically led to the horrors that unfolded.

In essence, Hitler originally aspired to be the saviour of Germany, a respected international figure and a key shaper of the international order. The decisions he made to try and achieve this turned him into the polar opposite....
 
I fear that you've read the myth version of World War Two.

On Operation Sealion, some quick and dirty numbers:

Destroyers:
Germany: 10

UK:
In home waters alone: 104 (which includes 4-6 of foreign national ships who escaped from their over run countries.) That number could be reinforced daily at need.
In the invasion area there were 40 permanently based, which the Luftwaffe was unable to do anything about.

Small Craft (Anything smaller than a Corvette).
Germany: 217.
UK In the invasion area alone: 2,000+

I can't see how being out numbered 10-1 is anything other than an utter disaster.
My bold, why not?
 
Worth remembering, the Russian Army was already advocating a preemptive attack on the Germans at the start of 1941. It was coming, Stalin was going to have it out with the Germans, and once the Red Army restructured after the Purges, it had the measure if the German
.
Worth also noting, Barbarossa relied for a high percentage of its limited vehicles on captured BEF trucks, some 50% Of the German establishment.

No Dunkik? The Germans would have being invading Russian on foot and hoof.
 
My bold, why not?
because they had no pilots trained in anti shipping strikes, no torpedo planes, and the RN could operate freely at night completely Immune to air interference.
 
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My bold, why not?
Pretty much what @PhotEx said. Equally there's the horrible trouble of hitting a moving target from a plane. There's footage of the Luftwaffe making an attack at those well know monsters of air defence, a convoy of transport ships off Dover. They completely **** it up.
There's also the whole Operation Dynamo thing. All those ships stationary or moving at under 5 knots, and the Luftwaffe managed to bag, what 1, 2 Destroyers?

The Royal navy were happy to base destroyers in the Channel, the two commands with the invasion in held 40 of them. The Luftwaffe apparently were unable to do didly squat to them.

Most of the problems the British were encountering were from strafing attacks and shrapnel killing and injuring seamen. It was getting so bad that were were facing a collapse of morale in the coastal merchantman simply because of their casualties, not from ships suck, of which there were comparatively few.
 
Essentially, Hitler's long-term strategy was to create an unassailable Germany at the political, economic and cultural heart of Europe. Elimination of Communism, conquest of European Russia and exclusion of the Jews from European Society were respective means to these ends.

None of these ideas were Hitler's own; the fusion of them was. All of them were shared to some extent by the European elites of the era and reflected existing Germanic paranoia. Had Hitler been able to achieve these aims without bringing Germany into conflict with the Western World (something he initially wanted to avoid), he would almost certainly have succeeded.

The problem was that he couldn't. Where I believe Irving added real value with Hitler's War, was in illustrating this. He chronicles the way in which obstacles to the achievement of Hitler's master plan resulted in catastrophic deviations that systematically led to the horrors that unfolded.

In essence, Hitler originally aspired to be the saviour of Germany, a respected international figure and a key shaper of the international order. The decisions he made to try and achieve this turned him into the polar opposite....
All based on a fundamentally unsound, warped, inhumane and abhorrent ideology on which his flawed decision making process was formed.

Granted, Hitler and the Nazis we’re not the originators of most of the tenets of this ideology, but they refined, rationalised and made them acceptable and appealing to the German nation. The origins of this ideology stretch a long way back in history and the first German manifestation of it was the wiping out (genocide before it had that name) of the original Baltic Prussians by the Teutonic Knights ostensibly for paganism, but actually a land grab leading to the formation of the Germanic Prussian State.

Granted also, the concept of racial superiority (completely antithetical to the fundamental teaching of Christianity) was much in vogue across Europe and European colonised lands around the world in the 19th century, but as the facts of it became known, the vast majority of peoples began moving away from it.

However, as can be seen as an example in the extremely polarised attitudes in America, this is still an ongoing process.
 
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goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Snip...

FFS, their plans involved transporting 4,500 horses across the channel in the first echelon - because that was how they shifted logistics.

Snip...
Yes, Sea Lion has been done to death although I've never heard anyone mention how the Germans would have fed those thousands of horses once they got to England. So, add thousands of tons of horse food to the column of reasons why Sea Lion wouldn't have worked.
 

ches

LE
Postulating a 1941 kick off & associating the real developments at that time in the war is a bit finger in the air stuff. If there was no war 39-41 the building & design of newer kit would have been far less in quantity & far less in quality.
While the RN were ruling the waves, the RAF wouldn't have been in anywhere near the shape it actually reached in 41. Development of the later Spit marks either would have been much slowed or nowhere near the MkIV. Why would we be pushing the MkIV through the process when in 'real' terms, the Spit MkIIa's haven't been rested against anything? Corrrespondigly, its likely that the FW190 may not have seen its development move at the same pace. Front line fighter squadrons may have still be using a number of Hurricanes that in real terms were outdated & mismatched against the Me's even in 1939.
The kit aside, the key area is RAF tactics, there was still a lot of holding onto squadron formation flying & the regimented attack tactics through the BoB & into the early part of 41. Despite every experienced pilot saying they were useless & dangerous. If we assume (& no reason not to) that war kicks off in 41, our fighter squadrons are using those tactics & if the RAF has expanded from its 39 orbat then those tactics are deeply embedded as gospel across the groups. In 40 during the May & June battles those squadrons with or attached to the BEF were learning the Vic was the way to fight & succeed. That key cadre of commanders & pilots were able to pass that exp & recommendations along into a flexible & understanding top brass - Park & Dowding. While there was intransigence esp within other groups about the tactics, those groups whose squadrons faced the LW in France were those who started to make the tactical changes.
Dowding. He'd been about to retire twice prior to 39, by 41 he would have gone. Sholto-Douglas replaced him in late 40, but if that had occurred in 39 as originally planned then would the integration of what became a fine air defence capability have taken place to the extent that it did under Dowding. Dowding was key to that particular part of our defence plan.

The Army. AFV development. Would we have started to replace the Vickers, the Lloyd etc if they hadn't been battle tested & their failings addressed?

There are thousand questions to ask, interesting topic, but each of those thousand questions likely have a thousand answers.
 
To give you a indication of the scale of how badly Germany were outclassed. In late 1944 the there were 700 US flamethrower kits to convert Sherman tanks stored in the UK. The UK authorities asked if the US Army in the ETO wanted them, and were told "nope, don't give a damn, Scrap them."
Thus 700 brand new, never taken out of the packaging, conversion kits were just scrapped. That's 700 items that had been shipped over from the US. That's at least 3x (possibly more) the total number of flame tanks the Germans built, just scrapped.
The flamethrower kits werent used by US tankers were loathe to have something highly flammable of questionable reliability in their vehicles. Typically it took the place of the hull machinegun taking the firepower down a notch. only very late was a combination Browning/Flamethrower mount standardized.
 
All based on a fundamentally unsound, warped, inhumane and abhorrent ideology on which his flawed decision making process was formed.

Granted, Hitler and the Nazis we’re not the originators of most of the tenets of this ideology, but they refined, rationalised and made them acceptable and appealing to the German nation. The origins of this ideology stretch a long way back in history and the first German manifestation of it was the wiping out (genocide before it had that name) of the original Baltic Prussians by the Teutonic Knights ostensibly for paganism, but actually a land grab leading to the formation of the Germanic Prussian State.

Granted also, the concept of racial superiority (completely antithetical to the fundamental teaching of Christianity) was much in vogue across Europe and European colonised lands around the world in the 19th century, but as the facts of it became known, the vast majority of peoples began moving away from it.

However, as can be seen as an example in the extremely polarised attitudes in America, this is still an ongoing process.
...and added to the flawed ideology was Hitler's other significant character flaw: a pathological aversion to compromise.

Again and again, he eschewed opportunities to dial-down in favour of doubling down. Perhaps (in the context of this thread) the worst missed opportunity was in 1939. Having taken Poland, there was the potential to try and reverse relations with France and Britain, both of whom had gone to war half-heartedly. Instead, he decided to invade Norway, France and the Low Countries, which were not on his strategic main effort, but greatly increased his chances of ultimate failure (as happened).

Here, my theory is that had Britain and France agreed to an Armistice in Early 1940, Hitler would have won his war with the Soviet Union and the Cold War would have been with Nazi Germany and not Russia (with the "wall" coming down in the 80's but along the French Border). Robert Harris creates a similar scenario in "Fatherland"...
 

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