Germany Winning WWII

AWP

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This morning in the shower I thought about U-boats and the theory they could win WWII “if only.” Clay Blair and a German man whose name escapes me are generally considered to be among the world’s experts on U-boats and the Battle of the Atlantic. Their conclusion, for a list of reasons, is “Nope, nope, and nope.”

That made me consider something Nazi fan boys like to argue: could Germany have won WWII?

Nope. It just isn't realistic.

Knowing this could spark some discussion among the 3 or 4 of us who visit this section, I thought I’d add my own penny or two to the topic. Basically, for Germany to have a chance it needed a few things to fall into place and by “a few” I mean “a ton” and this list is by no means exhaustive.
  • U-boats couldn’t cut off Britain. At one point around the “Happy Time” the UK, despite grievous losses, actually increased her tonnage in tankers. The myth is U-boats had Britain on her knees and that wasn’t the case. This alone could probably spawn an entire thread, but the short version is they couldn’t “seal” Britain from the outside world.
  • The Med.: Germany would have to secure Malta and Gibraltar. Given their losses in taking Crete these would be difficult targets to subdue. Part of the Crete campaign was thanks to Ultra intercepts, but even with those two under the Reich Germany would still have to conquer the whole of the Med. Coastline and drive the English out of Africa (or beat them down to nothing with almost no supply lines).
  • Ultra: It simply couldn’t happen. Once Enigma was broken the Allies could read messages in real time.
  • Russia: Can’t invade it. Period.
  • England: The Isles have to be invaded and occupied. Even then the Royal Navy retreats to Newfoundland or Iceland and minus the U-boats Germany is tremendously outclassed in the naval department. It needs the Isles though to forestall an Allied buildup, breaking Enigma, and forward bases for U-boats. This would also allow the Germans to seriously interdict any lend Lease to Russia…assuming the US cared at that point.
  • The Irish isle has to be conquered or made a member of the Axis.

    With that wrapped up it needs external help.
  • Japan has to destroy the US fleet, take Port Moresby, and pose a real threat to both Australia and India.
  • Brazil needs to boil without boiling over.
  • An Arab uprising in Iraq and the Saudi area would be most beneficial.
  • The Soviets can’t invade. Period.
  • Churchill has to die. By assassination, natural causes, accident…he has to go and go early.
The best part is all of this should happen by the spring of 1942 and even then, the Arsenal of Democracy would outstrip Germany’s productivity. The US would have to fight the war alone and with the few who escaped the UK. The US would have to be boxed into corner, extending the war into 47 or 48.

At any rate, that’s what I think Germany would need to win WWII, hence my conclusion of "Nope."
 

Viper1

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As with Napoleon, invading Russia sealed Germany's fate...or at least put some nails on the top lid of the Third Reich's coffin.
 

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Nope.... Germany could not even fully exploit the needed resources from areas inside their zone of control, by mid war, they were scrambling for food a raw materials for weaponry, and using forced labor to get what they could from the subject nations. A huge revolt was in the works, as seen by the resistance movements in most of the subjugated lands.
 

SpitfireV

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What are we defining as winning here and at which point in the war? If you're talking total capitulation it would never have happened. If you're talking taking and holding Europe...very possible.
 

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What are we defining as winning here and at which point in the war? If you're talking total capitulation it would never have happened. If you're talking taking and holding Europe...very possible.

I should have stated that, but that's where I'm going. Beating the US would only be possible if the war dragged on for many more years AND if Germany wasn't at war with the US. Sure, eventually the US would eventually declare war, but after Pearl Harbor the majority of Americans wanted revenge on Japan. Germany was a distant second, but then it declared war and the Nazis now became a US problem instead of a world problem. That's another reason Churchill would have to die. He wasn't just the spiritual backbone and leader of the Commonwealth, he had a connection with FDR.

Even if the US intervenes in Europe occupying the UK and Med prevents the US from easily possessing a forward base. It would have to invade Norway or the UK before making a run at the mainland. Meanwhile the Navy is pinned in by Japan. While US carrier production in 1943 alone would outpace Japan's, an intact IJN would take longer to overcome. Even with everything going "right" for the Allies, the UK disbanded a division or two in 1944 to make up for losses in Normandy.

Taking the UK would probably galvanize the US population, but even we approached some manpower issues by '45. A protracted and costly war could see Germany hang on to gains in Europe.
 

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Very interesting.
It seems to me that Germany's enemy was time, the longer the war lasted the stronger her enemies became. Not to mention that Hitler started the war before Germany was fully prepared for it.
It is interesting reading accounts from German Soldiers fighting on the eastern front, they state that the Wehrmacht was struggling to best the Soviet military right from the start.
I think that it was absurd of Hitler to declare war on the USA after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.
By my reckoning Germany's biggest blunder of the war was not invading the UK. Losses be damned, they needed to eliminate that threat in order to mitigate the threat from the USA, thus securing their western flank.
 

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Very interesting.
It seems to me that Germany's enemy was time, the longer the war lasted the stronger her enemies became. Not to mention that Hitler started the war before Germany was fully prepared for it.
It is interesting reading accounts from German Soldiers fighting on the eastern front, they state that the Wehrmacht was struggling to best the Soviet military right from the start.
I think that it was absurd of Hitler to declare war on the USA after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.
By my reckoning Germany's biggest blunder of the war was not invading the UK. Losses be damned, they needed to eliminate that threat in order to mitigate the threat from the USA, thus securing their western flank.

Totally agree. If they occupy the English Isles the war becomes a different game altogether. They still lose, but it ending in 1946 becomes doubtful and even '47 may not be enough.
 

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Familiar with the Saint-Nazaire and Keroman submarine bases? I'm sure there are some other ones, but they were impressive as hell for the 40s.

By my reckoning Germany's biggest blunder of the war was not invading the UK. Losses be damned, they needed to eliminate that threat in order to mitigate the threat from the USA, thus securing their western flank.

Was it Dunkirk where Germany had an opportunity to completely wipe out the vast majority of British forces? I believe it's considered one of their worse military disasters.
 

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Hitler lost soldiers in ways no one else did. Both sides gave up soldier power to man POW camps. Hitler expended a lot of time constructing and manning Concentration camps. He also had a huge "Internal German Monitoring system. The Gestapo spying on his own people, took soldiers out of the fight for the bulk of the war. Hitler's Paranoia was so complete, he trusted no one. After his loss on the Eastern Front, his mental status was so clouded, he lived in a world that was pure lunacy, and if you tried to inject the real world, you would be shot. The medicines that his Dr. Morelle gave him further instability. He was on enough AntiCholenergics that made wilder than a March Hare. Both Hitler and his Air Marshal were narcotic addicts. Germany was doomed after they lost Africa, Italy, and huge number of soldiers at the Eastern Front. Too many of his soldiers were gone. He would not listed to his military experts, they just did what Hitler said, and Hitler was a loon.

When the West came to Europe, Hitler lacked the mental ability to lead. The bulk of his Armies were gone. He lost the Air War over Europe, and the Battle of the Atlantic had turned very badly for Germany. If Hitler was a man of clear mind, and understanding, and stayed that way; he may have held Europe for another couple of years, but that's about it. The Allied Forces were just too great to hold off, and defeat.
 

CDG

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After his loss on the Eastern Front, his mental status was so clouded, he lived in a world that was pure lunacy, and if you tried to inject the real world, you would be shot.

His mental status was clouded during the war on the Eastern Front. Multiple times his generals wanted to retreat, retrograde, refit, whatever and he denied it. He ordered soldiers to fight and die needlessly for ground that gained them nothing. A strategic reconsolidation of manpower and defenses, or at least holding in place long enough to work out the non-existent supply train, could have alleviated a lot of issues. They may not have had the manpower of the Soviets, but they were a more professional and proficient force. Albeit one that was highly misused and mismanaged in the east.
 

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His mental status was clouded during the war on the Eastern Front. Multiple times his generals wanted to retreat, retrograde, refit, whatever and he denied it. He ordered soldiers to fight and die needlessly for ground that gained them nothing. A strategic reconsolidation of manpower and defenses, or at least holding in place long enough to work out the non-existent supply train, could have alleviated a lot of issues. They may not have had the manpower of the Soviets, but they were a more professional and proficient force. Albeit one that was highly misused and mismanaged in the east.

Part of his state though is that he was right on a few other occasions. The guy had some serious disdain for the Prussian establishment and their "arrogance" towards him. He proved to be right a few times early in the war and from then on out he was unstoppable in his mind.
 

Red Flag 1

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Part of his state though is that he was right on a few other occasions. The guy had some serious disdain for the Prussian establishment and their "arrogance" towards him. He proved to be right a few times early in the war and from then on out he was unstoppable in his mind.

That is so vey, very true. Hitler was the WW I Corporal, who had Germany's Elite Generals at his beck and call. He so hated the surrender by all the generals at the end of WW I, in his way, he badly over played his hand against the Prussian Elite. The paid the biggest prince in the East, No retreat, no surrender, hold in place. I think he lost any respect nearly all the Generals. Hitlers love of shooting those who disagreed with him placed him well away from his generals. Can you imagine those final days in the bunker, with Hitler bouncing off the walls with such a rage. People would say anything to him so as to not set him off. Yet still the German War machine ran the ovens, and digging mass graves for Jews, and political prisoners. hat an evil person Hitler was.
 

pardus

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His mental status was clouded during the war on the Eastern Front. Multiple times his generals wanted to retreat, retrograde, refit, whatever and he denied it. He ordered soldiers to fight and die needlessly for ground that gained them nothing. A strategic reconsolidation of manpower and defenses, or at least holding in place long enough to work out the non-existent supply train, could have alleviated a lot of issues. They may not have had the manpower of the Soviets, but they were a more professional and proficient force. Albeit one that was highly misused and mismanaged in the east.

I'm not so sure about the mental status charges here. His policies, particularly with regard to his no retreat orders where I think more to do with his political ideology rather than his mental state. He believed deeply that the struggle against the Bolsheviks would be won by will power alone, that any sign of weakness (retreating) would be the death kneel of his Thousand year Reich.

I would be fascinated to know the course of the war if it had been controlled completely by the Wehrmacht.
 

pardus

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micromanagement at it's worse....

Yep.

he was so in the weeds on every level it seemed.

That is not accurate from what I've read.
I've read several books from German Soldiers who stated that he was extremely well informed and sharp, but that his ideology and the misinformation that he was fed lead to bad decisions being made. Now that misinformation was probably/possibly due to Generals lying out of fear.
 

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That is not accurate from what I've read.
I've read several books from German Soldiers who stated that he was extremely well informed and sharp, but that his ideology and the misinformation that he was fed lead to bad decisions being made. Now that misinformation was probably/possibly due to Generals lying out of fear.

Maybe early on, but by '44, particularly after July 20, he was gone. I'm sure some generals reported bogus numbers, but the overwhelming majority did not. He had solid info, but succumbed to reading a map instead of the reports. Divisions down to battalion+ sized formations were viewed as divisions. He couldn't understand why units didn't hold the line, including the SS. He had such a powerful belief in the SS given their track record that when they began falling apart he viewed it as a betrayal or even cowardice. The reality is they were spent, a shell of the units that dug deep in places like Kharkov, Korsun, and Caen.
 

pardus

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I was extremely interested to read that Infantry units were often spaced at about one man every 100m. The Germans simply didn't have to manpower to cover the Eastern front, particularly in the later years of the war.
Can you imagine being alone in a foxhole with a 5 shot bolt action rifle, your nearest comrade 100m away and watching a mass wave of Soviet Infantry charging you?
 

thisisjake

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I feel like it would have been very hard to disagree with Hitler at anytime during his reign as he showed early on. The Night of the Long Knives which was met with mostly approval from the public occurred in 1934 well before WWII had begun. Why would you not agree with what he believed to be true if that disagreement could potentially be viewed as dissidence and would be punished with death.

Night of the Long Knives - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
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