What could Germany have done differently to win WW2?

one of the things the German troops marveled at as the went east with their horse drawn artillery and logistics in 1941, (90% horse drawn), was the huge numbers of abandoned Russian army trucks they passed, more trucks than the entire German army possessed.
They also became very concerned at the utterly fanatical and stubborn resistance Russian soldiers were putting up - and that didn’t required any NKVD threatening to shoot them.

very quickly, the average German soldier began to realise the Russian Army were not the ‘rotten edifice’ Hitler had promised, and then they ran into the T-34…….

And you can be extremely proud of your Grandfather, they were true heroes. I trust you honour him at the annual parade.

There was always a flaw in German Strategic planning...

 
Had the Germans been a bit more precise on their Zeppelin bombing raids and hit the Camm and Mitchell households, events may have been different.
The concentration of resources on Seelowe may have made German warm water ports a more attractive prospect for the Russians though, ending with Germany having the Red Army at their backs and some rather miffed folks with pitchfork to the front.
If Germany had just settled for occupying France, apologised to Belgium for driving their tanks across their gardens and put their fences back up, Europe would probably be a fine place now.

To summarise my comment upthread, Hitler's strategic conundrum was always that he couldn't make his omelette (Lebensraum in the Soviet Union) without breaking too many eggs (all the other nations he had to make war on to shape a viable start line)...
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
There was always a flaw in German Strategic planning...


The other problem is, that the German General Staff didn't read their GEOINT reports concerning the USSR.

"The USSR is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to the USSR."
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
The other problem is, that the German General Staff didn't read their GEOINT reports concerning the USSR.

"The USSR is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to the USSR."

oh it gets better!

Despite a lot of Heer going back and by to Kazan in the 20’s, no one noticed the total lack of infrastructure and the mind boggling distances between even one village and the next one.
whats that, no water supplies for the half million horses? We’ll carry it!

But it gets even better!

Maps! We need maps for the invasion. no Russian equivalent of ordnance survey maps, so in a move of true German genious , they took a page out of a school atlas, added some bits, and used that to plan their war against the untermensch.

and then the Germanic Emperor, PBUH lent a hand

See those lines on those map between the towns and cities? Yes Heer Oberst? Surely they must be main roads! Indeed Mein General. And so, the Germans planned their magical advance along a network of Soviet ‘Autobahns’, that were in actualite dirt roads.
 
oh it gets better!

Despite a lot of Heer going back and by to Kazan in the 20’s, no one noticed the total lack of infrastructure and the mind boggling distances between even one village and the next one.
whats that, no water supplies for the half million horses? We’ll carry it!

But it gets even better!

Maps! We need maps for the invasion. no Russian equivalent of ordnance survey maps, so in a move of true German genious , they took a page out of a school atlas, added some bits, and used that to plan their war against the untermensch.

and then the Germanic Emperor, PBUH lent a hand

See those lines on those map between the towns and cities? Yes Heer Oberst? Surely they must be main roads! Indeed Mein General. And so, the Germans planned their magical advance along a network of Soviet ‘Autobahns’, that were in actualite dirt roads.

So yes, arrogance, hubris, over confidence, ignorance, and gambling on un-estimated risk...

So winding back upthread... For the Nazis to have done better they needed not to be the Nazis....
 
WITHOUT invading Spain?

Sicily to Gibraltar- 1,740km
Corsica to Gib- 1,441km
Tolouse to Gib- 920 km

JU 52/53 range 998km

''Ju 52 rolling down the strip, Fall-schirm-ja-ger on a one way trip...''


AGAIN FJ didnt jump like the US/UK Paras tooled up from the moment they hit the door.

Even If you land concentrated you have to secure the drop canisters for your small arms while under fire the entire time on what would be a mostly wide open area with little cover or concealment AND after an ungodly long approach with defences alerted thanks to Radar. Likely everything that the RAF could fly with a gun would be going after the Tante ju's.

the Garrison-

British garrison: spring 1941​


Custer had a better chance against the Sioux
I was going to answer @Maalox direct, but a rather more obvious problem for a para formation would be the lack of a suitable DZ on Gib. The only real flat bit being the airport - which would quickly be turned into a shooting gallery (and the only concern for the Brits being that Spain would be the backstop for their fire).
Land anywhere other than the airport and it is utter chaos - the only other bits that are not VERY steep are built upon. And landing in a conurbation for a parachute formation is a way to guarantee cock-ups.
 
Agreed. I would add to that, perhaps set a more modest target in the USSR, in terms of territory to be kept. Manpower was a crucial issue for Germany and, for all the technical/resource issues facing Germany, it had too few men after the Winter of 1942/3 to defend conquered territory. One one reads of, for example, the Crimean campaign, you realise just how short of men Germany was even in 1942. And there are reports from German sources from 1942 onwards of a decline in the quality of German infantry, particularly in the East.
I was going to post it in another thread - but this seems a suitable place.

One of my ex’s came for lunch yesterday - I knew she is of Ukrainian descent but not the detail (she is not sure where her family came from - mum being a bit cagey but might have been part of Poland).

Any way I asked her how her mum came to the UK - during the war the Germans required that the eldest born of each family go to work in Germany.

Her mum was the eldest but managed to wrangle it that she went to work for a relative and that counted. After the war and her experiences she decided not to return home but managed to head to the UK.

(bold for the only bit that is pertinent to your point)
 
one of the things the German troops marveled at as the went east with their horse drawn artillery and logistics in 1941, (90% horse drawn), was the huge numbers of abandoned Russian army trucks they passed, more trucks than the entire German army possessed.
They also became very concerned at the utterly fanatical and stubborn resistance Russian soldiers were putting up - and that didn’t required any NKVD threatening to shoot them.

very quickly, the average German soldier began to realise the Russian Army were not the ‘rotten edifice’ Hitler had promised, and then they ran into the T-34…….

And you can be extremely proud of your Grandfather, they were true heroes. I trust you honour him at the annual parade.
Many my relatives died during the war. Brother of my Grandmother died in Poland, in Sandomir bridgehead. Only 1/4 men returned from the war to the native village of my parents in Siberia. One of them was brother of my (ethnically) Polish Grandmother. He fought in Poland and East Prussia, was wounded and decorated by medals and order.
 
In 1941 the US became concerned that the Germans might actually establish airbases on the Moroccan Atlantic coast, or even as far south as Dakkar. Then they became concerned that the pro Axis Brazilian government would allow German airbases on the northeast coast of Brazil. In early 1942 a plan for forestalling this Axis threat was made up and a amphibious exercise on the Carolina coast rehearsed a preemptive strike on the Brazilian airfields.
Pro-Axis Brazilian government ?
They had a large division in Italy under command of US 5th Army, and played a useful part in the Battle of the Atlantic.
 
Pro-Axis Brazilian government ?
They had a large division in Italy under command of US 5th Army, and played a useful part in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Yep, definitely pro-Axis.

Sort of...

Fortuitously this has just been uploaded today. Basically Brazil, a fascist dictatorship, played both sides until it worked out who was going to win. Can't really blame them under the circumstances.

 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
If Germany had set up its very own ARRSE site they would have won the world by teatime !!
 

Maalox

On ROPS
On ROPs
I was going to answer @Maalox direct, but a rather more obvious problem for a para formation would be the lack of a suitable DZ on Gib. The only real flat bit being the airport - which would quickly be turned into a shooting gallery (and the only concern for the Brits being that Spain would be the backstop for their fire).
Land anywhere other than the airport and it is utter chaos - the only other bits that are not VERY steep are built upon. And landing in a conurbation for a parachute formation is a way to guarantee cock-ups.

James Bond and his team parachuted on to Gibraltar jus' fine!

 
James Bond and his team parachuted on to Gibraltar jus' fine!

If anyone else had posted that id have given it a funny.

As its you I cant decide if youre being funny or just applying your usual intellectual rigour to the debate.
 
Yep, definitely pro-Axis.

Sort of...

Fortuitously this has just been uploaded today. Basically Brazil, a fascist dictatorship, played both sides until it worked out who was going to win. Can't really blame them under the circumstances.

Didn't help the Reich that they sank 36 Brazilian ships (including IIRC a troopship with heavy casualties). A few years ago met an old boy at work wearing his old US field jacket with the smoking snake patch, he was ancient but spoke well and was thrilled some of us knew about the Brazilians in Italy.
 
After the withdrawal from Dunkirk, Britain was all but defeated. If Hitler had stopped there and not bombed/threatened invasion, then we would, I remain convinced, have sued for peace.

That was mistake one

Mistake two was Barbarossa. Had the Germans sat back and consolidated, had they waited for a Soviet assault, then the Russian army of 1941/1942 or even 1943 would have collapsed on the attack, both logistically and tactically - likely something the Russians would have been unlikely to ever pull back from.
Hardly. Stalin knew that their Treaty with Hitler wouldn't last too long but it bought him time to strengthen his army. So had Germany waited longer they would have encountered a stronger enemy. Operation Barbarossa was a surprise to Stalin since Britain had not been subdued so he felt it unlikely that Germany would want to have had two theatres open at the same time plus it was too late in the year by his reckoning.
So one could say that not that Barbarossa was a mistake but that Hitler left it too late in the year. Stalingrad would surely have fallen had the German army arrived a couple of months earlier and doubtless Moscow would have fallen also. Could The Russian war machine have absorbed that sort of punishment so early in their reformation of the army. Sure they could have raised another couple of armies in the East but they would have seen millions of the army of 1941 virtually wiped out.
I doubt that Britain would have sued for peace as the English Channel was still there and though the army had been badly mauled at Dunkirk our Air force and Navy were still strong. Where Hitler did make a mistake was to try and beat the RAF. He lost hundreds of planes and experienced pilots there that he could have used to greater advantage to invade Russia.
It didn't help that he had Goering in charge of the Luftwaffe. A total buffoon. We saw that with the way he handled the Luftwaffe over Britain holding his fighters in the air till he got his bombers in place.Had the Germans an air force commander with the kind of ability as Guderian had with tank warfare the war in Russia might have ended differently. Especially as they would have had the aerodrome in Stalingrad available though heaven knows how far advanced the German army would have been beyond Stalingrad when winter set in had they begun in early April say.
 
had Germany waited longer they would have encountered a stronger enemy.

On the other hand they would have ended up fighting a defensive battle with a million more troops and thousands more tanks, artillery pieces and anti-tank guns. And most likely against a largely unreformed soviet army leadership.
 
So one could say that not that Barbarossa was a mistake but that Hitler left it too late in the year.

Hitler's playing around with the strategic objectives of Barbarossa and the 1942 offensive whilst they were underway meant that neither could put the strongest force where it was needed at the right time. Both were doomed to failure when he started doing it.
 

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