I was working on the premise that Russia hadn't invaded Germany. I am not sure where Germany would have raised millions of more troops but Russia certainly would have been capable of it since they did it even while battling at Stalingrad.
Of course Germany would have been able to increase there tanks and planes since they would still have been supplied by America.
He only went when he did because he had to bail out Mussolini in Africa, Balkans and Greece.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.
The German chancellor of the exchequer in WW1 believed Germany could meet its strategic aims through influencing its neighbours through economic pressure.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)...
Future German politicians didn’t have the choice post 1945 to use violence so they took over the eu, recently using a Moscow trained stooge….Merkel.The German chancellor of the exchequer in WW1 believed Germany could meet its strategic aims through influencing its neighbours through economic pressure.
I would say that Hitler made the same mistake that the Kaiser did in that case. He had a military and wanted to use it.
Future German politicians took the non violent approach.
An excellent post.Regardless of when Barbarossa was launched, with the Germans almost totally ignoring the operational side of warfare they were always doomed. Ignoring the threat from a partially isolated Britain & the campaign gaining momentum in north Africa, you can't launch a massive assault against such a huge country as the SU & not have already fully geared up your factories output for war materiel - that includes transport aircraft, coastal supply shipping, railway infrastructure (to not immediately begin to replace the larger gauge Russian system with their own to maintain continuous supply lines right up to the front was crazy), strategic bombers & more importantly a streamlining & standardisation of equipment.
What could they have done differently? Not elected a thick egotistical fcukwit into power.
By 1942, Hitler had a war on 5 external fronts and within the bounds of his expansion many minor wars going on internally tieing up thousands of troops he could have used elsewhere undertaking internal security functions.An excellent post.
I’ve never understood economics much, but I fully understand that everything related to war has an economic factor.
ISTR somebody mentioning to me many years ago that Germany had rearmed bu borrowing an awful lot of money from the US. When you owe huge amounts of money, you can either pay it back. Refuse to pay it back or renegotiate the payments. Starting wars and being successful is an effective way to either forego the debt or reinvigorate it.
Germany was in a very precarious position. Nazi German economic policy in the 30s was based on an autarky. That is self sufficient where possible. The plan appears to have been, invade the country’s with the raw materials you need (Norway, Ukraine etc etc) and use the new addition as to the greater German Reich as a new domestic market to sell your goods to. That I think was one of the main reasons why such well known German companies such as Mercedes, BMW, VW, Siemens, Bosch and IG Farben (BASF and AGFA) were such poster boys for the Nazi party. They not only acquired new markets for them, but they also helped put the competition out of business.
The German economic minister warned Hitler before Barbarossa that he had until the middle of 1942 to conquer the Soviet Union. After that there’s be no more money to pay for anything. Since 1939 lines of credit for Germany had dried up and the country was running on financial reserves and anything it could steal from its conquered nations.
At the same time, as well as not being able to fund the economy being switched to full time war production, Germany was still very reliant on imports of raw materials from Russia.
Both Stalin and Hitler knew conflict was inevitable, both sides needed to stall for time. Hitler in order to get the raw materials he needed. Stalin to build up his defences. It would’ve therefore been difficult for Hitler to start to early as he’d lack the raw materials and if he left it too late, the Soviets would’ve been too strong.
Personally, I think the major spanner in the works was us not negotiating a peace with Hitler. The French didn’t seem too bothered they’d been conquered and other than communist resistance fighters, were rather supportive of the German invasion until 1943 when they realised that Germany had lost. Equally, there was huge amounts of key British politicians and social influencers who were very pro Hitler.
People outside of Germany were pro Hitler for many reasons. Some were anti Semites. Some saw Bolshevism as a bigger threat. Some fell under the cult of personality. Some saw facism as a saviour to capitalism.
What’s surprised me however is Oswald Mosley’s main political driving force was a United States of Europe. Vichy French defence after the war for collaboration was ‘we saw a new European order as more important than fighting the Germans.’ Former SS troops associated with HIAG wished to continue their fight for a new European order.
I don’t know whether it’s now got to the stage that the EU is the fourth Reich, but every time somebody strong gets into power on the continent, they try to bring the continent under one banner and always head east. Every time they head east they get humped. The only reason why Germany /Austria Hungarian empire weren’t humped in WW1 was the huge amount of funding that the Germans gave the Bolshevik revolutionaries to overthrow the Czar.
There’s certain things that appear to always be true. If you poke the bear, you’ll end up loosing. And the Bear seems to be annoyed that people don’t seem to learn their lessons .
The only way to come out of that well was to not start it.