What could Germany have done differently to win WW2?

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.
 
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.

I think you’ve missed what I am saying. In the event of not launching Barbarossa, the much vaunted risk to Germany of the soviets attacking them a year later would have happened under the following conditions:
The Germans would be fighting a defensive war against soviet attack, with a halfway decent logistics system and a rail network.
The Germans wouldn’t have lost best part of a million troops in the first 9 months of Barbarossa
The Russians wouldn’t have had lend-lease in place from the US
Stalins purges of the armed forces would have either have lost the excuse of failure (leaving incompetent generals to lead the attack) or, in the entirely unpredictable manner of his and Beria’s character, continued longer and deeper. It’s entirely impossible to predict the result, other than the fact that the soviet army attacking Germany in 42 would have been far closer to the green and inexperienced army that almost collapsed in 41
 

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
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.
He only went when he did because he had to bail out Mussolini in Africa, Balkans and Greece.
 
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)...
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.
 

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
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.
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.
 

ches

LE
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.
 
They would have never not launched Barbarossa . That was the central point of their war plans - to get back what they had gained from the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and then lost at Versailles . With a bit of revenge against the British and ( especially ) the French thrown in .
 

What could Germany have done differently to win WW2?


Develop the nuclear bomb before the US.

That was the only possible chance they had. Apologies if someone already mentioned it.
 
The only way that Germany could have won WW2 was without Hitler. His most important failures have been mentioned above: Battle of Britain, Russian campaign etc. But with his eternal desire to fiddle with the position of every other platoon there is a list as long as an elephant's trunk of decisions that managed to destroy whole divisions, corps or even armies. And the Krauts have never really understood logistics; in their good old days they were usually fighting on home turf, or quite close, the new-found desire of Kaiser Bill and Adolf to fight away from home was never matched by ability.
 
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.
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 .
 
As others have said Grofaz and his micro management of everything from the pause at Dunkirk to sleeping through D Day which stopped the mobilisation of the reserve Panzers. The war in the east was always going to happen due to the dream of Lebensraum and the diplomatic blind siding of Stalin after Poland which gave them a golden opportunity failed due to the old mistakes of not realising how vast Russia was with still a predominately horse drawn supply chain and need to change rail gauge and the fact Russians were quite tasty at winter warfare. As for us if they’d spent more time building U boats instead of trophy ships that couldn’t leave port we would’ve lost the battle of the Atlantic and the war.
 

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
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 .
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.
 
Regarding Sealion, Peter Fleming's Invasion 1940 written in 1950s when memories were fresher makes the point that Hitler invested in Sealion long after it was clear it was not viable because he was expecting Britain to ask for terms rather than suffer promised frightfulness. The Germans were thoroughly disconcerted when the airdrop of Hitler's 'Last Appeal to Reason' leaflet was treated as a huge joke, with copies being auctioned for the Red Cross and press photos of plucky housewives laughing as they read it. Troops were kept on the Channel coast, until sucked into the Eastern Front, in the expectation of crossing as an occupation force after an armistice. Fleming also considered we would have been under more pressure in BoB if the (effective) attacks on radar stations had been continued. They were stopped in favour of carpet bombing of cities in retaliation for a small RAF raid on Germany so our early warning systems survived.
 
The Navy and RAF would have held off invasion in 1940. TOTAL army equipment holdings on 8 June 1940. 54 X 2pdr a/t guns, about 2300 Bren guns, 37 armoured cars in England, 13 in NI. 395 light tanks, 33 cruiser tanks, 72 infantry tanks, 420 field guns (200rds per gun), 163 med/hvy guns (150rds per gun) 94 coastal bty guns w v little ammo.
Total stock of rifles in UK believed to be about 70000 plus 20000 assorted firearms taken to police stations by the public.
However as pointed out the German Invasion plans assumed landing 4200 horses in the first wave and 7000 in follow-up. At least one infantry division expected to use donkeys requisitioned from Normandy peasants. By August 1st the German navy was planning on transporting the assault wave of 260,000 in 10 days, but not until 1941. Sealion was not cancelled until 13 Feb 1942.
 
The only way to come out of that well was to not start it.
Hindsight.

WOPR

The irony is parts of that film aren't far from reality, a kid in the US was moving around military satellites and breaking into stuff they really shouldn't have been able to, and they thought they were just playing some sort of game

Thank goodness there are so many white hat hackers out there that made a career out of their hobby
 

Latest Threads

Top