Author Topic: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes  (Read 5229 times)

Offline stevegallacci

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There are all kinds of scenarios to conjure up rationales for Luft'46 stuff, but most are massively implausable or worse.
However, there are all kinds of things that could swing things radically for better or worse, depending on your point of view/desired outcome.

My simplest suggestion and personal fav is the "get Russia out of the war early". And the quickest/simplest way to do that is get Stalin killed. Especially if earlier in the war, when countering the Germans was still in doubt. Stalin dying then would likely leave the Soviet Union without the focused and ruthless leadership needed for the times, and it is entirely possible that Soviet resistance to the Germans might collapse with internal fighting. Later, as the counter-offenses catch on, Stalin may not be as vital to continued efforts, but the threat of power politics behind the lines could jepordize the front. All kinds of things to play with.

What that would do for Germany is refocus all that war effort to the west and south. "Fortress Europe" could become a reality rather than a slogan. The massed resources now NOT on the eastern front would make North Africa (if done early) more "interesting" or the invasion of Italy a much nastier affair and Normandy impossible, again depending on timing.

Depending on timing again, lessons learned, or not learned, may well skew German and Allied war thinking. The gun and armor race in the east might not have been fully appreciated or acted on in the same way, for example. That could alter how much of what kind of gun and armor would develop thereafter.
If Russia falls too early, Germany might well get too cocky and de-emphasis advanced tech even more than they did in RL. Similarly, they would likely not get into a proper total war economy any sooner than in RL. On the other hand, the Allies would have all that much more motivation to  go all out to make up for the loss of the Soviets who had been doing all the heavy lifting heretofore.

Anyway, this is all just a first toss out for fun and frolic.

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2011, 03:12:40 PM »
With russia out of the war, it would give more motivation to the scientists who were building the first atomic bombs to develop them faster, if it is possible.

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2011, 04:40:33 PM »
Agreed, getting Russia out of the war certainly would help.  Apart from allowing Germany to avoid splitting of forces/focus, it would potential go en up a great deal of resources.

An interesting book that looks into this is called "Hitler's Panzers East: World War II Reinterpreted", by Russell H.S. Stolfi.  This isn't so much an alt history but rather a study into whether Germany could have successfully concluded Operation Barbarossa and thus have defeated the USSR in late 1941.  Despite not being the most well written book I've read, the author puts forward a very convincing case that this was indeed very possible and goes through many aspects and in doing so, discounts many of the typical counterarguments put up (e.g. the Germans left the attack too late due to Greece etc; the Germans underestimated the Soviets and didn't stockpile enough supplies etc.).

Regards,

Greg
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Offline stevegallacci

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 11:10:41 PM »
For Luft'46 types, having Russia out later, end of '43, early '44, would also mean that commitment to advanced designs would happen. And with massed divisions now available to the west, the RL invasions would not be possible, giving Germany time to get more mature hardware up and running for '45 and possibly beyond.

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2011, 12:55:01 AM »
Realistically, I've always been convinced that any "Germany wins" alternate WWII storyline has to being no later than December of 1941, maybe as early as June of 1941, because there's nothing Germany could do but delay the inevitable after that point.

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Logan

Offline stevegallacci

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2011, 01:20:58 AM »
No argument there. The only thing I was working for in my scenario options was a protracted war through 1945. Even without the continued war in the east, Greater Germany still didn't have the resource in depth to counter the long-term war of production against the US.
I just realized that, in removing Russia from the war in Europe, it would, by extension, remove it from the Asian war. Japan was deathly afraid of the Communist threat and that colored her war planning from day one. The collapse of the Soviet Union, or at least it's inability to project power, would be a great relief to Japan. That also means that there would be no Soviet declairation of war in combination with the atomic bombings, to give Japan the face-saving cover to surrender. So the Pacific long war would also follow.

And taking that further, would alter Allied overall war planning too. The RL naval blockade and bombing of Japan could keep her contained while the German war gets worked out through '45 and likely into '46. Atomics against Germany would have to be one of numbers and real tactical/strategic value, so it would need the spring of '46 for enough weapons to be available.

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2011, 02:16:52 AM »
I just realized that, in removing Russia from the war in Europe, it would, by extension, remove it from the Asian war.

Removing Russia from the equation would also significantly alter post war scenarios:

  • Potentially no Communist China
  • No Korean War
  • No Vietnamese War

Regards,

Greg
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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2011, 03:22:20 AM »
Here a timeline I put together to link in with the scenario of Germany defeating Russia in 1941:

1941:

June 22: Germany attacks Soviet Union as Operation Barbarossa begins.
June 26: Hungary and Slovakia declare war on the Soviet Union.
June 26: The Soviet Union bombs Helsinki. Finland pronounces a state of war between Finland and Soviet Union. Continuation war is started.
June 28: Albania declares war on the Soviet Union.
June 28: Huge German encirclement of 300,000 Red Army troops near Minsk and Bialystok.

July 1: German troops occupy Latvia's capital, Riga, on the way to Leningrad.
July 5: German troops reach the Dnieper River.
July 8: The German armies isolate Leningrad from the rest of Soviet Union.
July 9: Vitebsk is captured; this opens the battle of Smolensk, an important communications centre, considered by the German high command to be "the gateway to Moscow."
July 10: Guderian's Panzers take Minsk; the Germans advance farther into the Ukraine.
July 16: German Panzers under Guderian reach Smolensk, increasing the risk to Moscow.
July 21: The Luftwaffe strikes heavily at Moscow.
July 25: Neutral Iran occupied by Britain and the Soviet Union.
July 28: The Germans push against Smolensk, and in the meantime solidify their presence in the Baltic states.

August 5: German armies trap Red Army forces in Smolensk pocket and take 300,000 soldiers; Orel is taken.
August 6: Germans take Smolensk.
August 12:  Despite wavering, Hitler follows the advice of his Generals and orders a continuation of the original Barbarossa plan of Army Group Centre to seize Moscow. (*Point of departure from real world history*)
August 22: German forces close in on Leningrad; the citizens continue improvising fortifications.
August 25: British and Soviet troops invade Persia (Iran) to save the Abadan oilfields and the important railways and routes to Soviet Union for the supply of war material.
August 29: 3 Panzer Groups (under Generals Hoth, Guderian and Hoepner) converge on Moscow. Citizens panic as hastily arranged defences are prepared. Stalin and top Communist Party members evacuate to Saratov.
August 31:  Moscow falls despite last ditch defence attempts.

September 6:  Last remaining pockets of Soviet troops in Moscow region captured/eliminated.  With key logistics/communications node of Moscow under German control, Soviet fronts in Kiev and Leningrad thrown into disarray. Killing of Commissars and subsequent surrenders to German forces becomes more common amongst Soviet troops.
September 8: Panzer Group Hoepner advance South aiming to link up with Army Group South
September 9: Now completely cut off from all support Leningrad surrenders.
September 10: Panzer Group Guderian continues advance in SE direction towards Saratov. Panzer Group Hoth advances east towards Gorki and Kazan.
September 12: Gorki falls. Krasnoye Sormovo Factory No. 112 captured intact with T-34s on assembly line.
September 12 – 19:  Large battle east of Kursk between remaining Soviet Ukranian front forces and Army Group South.
September 17: Kazan falls
September 23:  Army Group South eliminates Kursk pocket and continues eastward advance.
September 24 – October 10: German forces consolidate positions.  By October 10, German and allied forces command most Soviet territory up to the Volga river including the five most populous cities in the Soviet state (Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Gorki and Kharkov).

December 5:  Remaining Soviet forces (including divisions from Siberia) launch winter offensive to retake Moscow.
December 5 – 8:  German forces operating from well prepared positions absorb Soviet attacks and then cut off attacking forces.  Panic ensues in Soviet ranks.
December 7: Japan launches aerial attacks on Pearl Harbor, Guam and Wake Island; they invade Thailand and Malaya; Japan declares war on the United States and the United Kingdom.
December 8: Japan invades Malaya; the United States and the United Kingdom declare war on Japan;
December 10:  General Georgi Zhukov sends message to German forces asking for ceasefire and talks on ending conflict.  Stalin and aides arrested.  They are executed by the end of the day.
December 11: Germany and Italy declare war on the United States. The United States reciprocates and declares war on Germany and Italy.
December 13:  Remaining Soviet forces surrender unconditionally to Germany.  Communist party declared outlaw.
December 14: Civil war breaks out between forces loyal to General Zhukov and remaining Communist forces.
December 15: Allied troops push Rommel back at the Gazala line.
December 16: Rommel orders a withdrawal all the way to El Agheila, where he had begun in March. He awaits reinforcements of men and tanks.
December 20 - 24:  Large numbers of German troops return “home for Christmas”.

1942:

January 2:  With a war with the USA now at hand, and impressed by British action at Taranto and Japanese action at Pearl Harbour Hitler, at the behest of Grossadmiral Erich Raeder, orders acceleration of Kriegsmarine’s Plan Z with especial emphasis to be given to the new battleships, and aircraft carriers to counter the USN and RN.  Resources now available in Russia allow for this to occur.
January 6: In his State of the Union speech, President Roosevelt promises more aid to Britain, including planes and troops, however also declares that this must be measured to ensure American forces aren’t compromised.
January 19: Japanese forces take prisoner large numbers of British troops north of Singapore.
January 21: Rommel begins a surprising counter-offensive at El Agheila; his troops, with new reinforcements and tanks, capture Agedabia, then push north to Beda Fomm.
January 27: The British withdraw all troops back into Singapore.
January 29: Rommel enters Benghazi, Libya in his drive east. For the next few months, the two sides will rest and rearm.
January 31: The last organised Allied forces leave Malaya, ending the 54-day battle.

February 1: Rommel's forces reach El Gazala, Libya, near the border with Libya; during a "Winter lull" he will remain there.
February 9: British troops are now in full retreat into Singapore for a final defence;  Top United States military leaders hold their first formal meeting to discuss American military strategy in the war – although not made public, their recommendation is to focus on the Pacific war against Japan and to simply contain the War in Europe if possible (privately, many believe the war is already decided there);
February 15: Singapore surrenders to Japanese forces; this is arguably the most devastating loss in British military history.
February 20: Japanese troops cross the important Salween River in Burma; Japanese also invade Bali and Timor by a combined use of paratroops and amphibious troops.

March 6: Rangoon falls to the Japanese.
March 8; The Japanese land at Lae and Salamaua, on Huon Bay, New Guinea, beginning their move toward Port Moresby, New Guinea, and then Australia. Reports of German troops in Turkey.

April 5: The Japanese Navy attacks Colombo in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Royal Navy cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire are sunk southwest of the island.
April 6: Japanese naval forces are observed on the Indian Ocean; they put troops ashore in the Solomon Islands.
April 7:  Turkey officially joins the Axis and welcomes German troops (these have been already entering the country since early March).
April 9:  Royal Navy Carrier HMS Hermes, along with Australian destroyer HMAS Vampire, RN corvette HMS Hollyhock, tanker HMS Athelstone and RFA oiler SS British Sergeant sunk by Japanese carrier aircraft from the aircraft carriers HIJMS Akagi, Hiryu and Soryu.
April 10:  Turkey acquires first modern combat aircraft from Germany: Bf-109Fs and Bf-110s along with Ju-88As.

May 1: Rommel readies for a new offensive.  New reinforcements fresh from the War in the East are sent to strengthen Panzerarmee Afrika.  Luftflotte 2 is also strengthened.
May 26: Operation Aida launched – this involves Rommel attacking at the Gazala line (west of Tobruk), whilst Generals Guderian (Fifth Panzer Army), Hoth (Fourth Panzer Army) and Paulus (Sixth Army) and supported by Luftflotte 4 & 6 begin concurrent operations from Southern Russia and Turkey.  Turkish troops also involved.
May 30: British and Commonwealth forces in Africa and Middle East in general retreat on all fronts against massive German/Axis offensive; Churchill orders preparation to evacuate forces in Egypt and to mine the Suez;

June 4:  Egyptian officers under Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat launch uprising against British forces in Egypt;
June 5:  German and Turkish forces capture Jerusalem.
June 6: German, Italian enter Cairo.
June 10:  Historic meeting up of Rommel and Guderian at Beersheba – Axis forces now control entire Mediterranean except for Gibraltar and Malta.
June 14:  Germany offers Great Britain a possible ceasefire - following losses in Middle East and Pacific/Asia this is now considered seriously.
June 16:  Following days of debate, British Parliament agrees to German offer of Ceasefire.  Winston Churchill immediately tenders resignation.
June 17:  War in Europe officially declared over.

Of course this scenario results in none of your typical '46 designs such as jets and in fact the war would end with the likes of your Bf-109E/Fs (and similar era/technology level) still being the key weapons
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 04:45:23 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2011, 04:42:52 AM »
Looking at the other side, Hitler took a lot of gambles in the early war.   If the French/British had been able to launch proper attacks in '39/'40 things could have very quickly ended with WWII being a short war ending in 1940 at the latest.

Alternatively, what if the Germans and French/British got bogged down in the west in 1940 and then the USSR invaded from the East?  Would the Allies have joined with Germany to fight the USSR?

Regards,

Greg
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Offline stevegallacci

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2011, 06:30:01 AM »
The alternate early ending doesn't sound too bad, except that it seems massively unlikely for the Brits to seek a ceasefire nor the Axis to give one. With the US gearing up for fuller participation in the conflict, and the rest of the Commonwealth intact, the Brits have nothing to gain (and likely lots to lose in any ceasefire terms) by stopping then. More likely they would establish a fighting retreat back into Iran or even India, delaying the Axis until US fighting strength could join the battle. And for the Axis, they ought to (but you never know, they were amazing for underestimating things based on ideology instead of sound strategic thinking) know that the US could win the long term numbers game, so getting as much territory as possible as fast as possible would seem a more likely action. Especially as further success and advances further east would fuel the air of invincibility/inevitability as well as anti-colonial sentiments in India, perhaps to the point of undermining if not collapsing support for the Commonwealth, taking or at least neutralizing India without actually stepping foot or firing a shot.

However, if the US doesn't get entangled with the European war(no declairations of war back and forth), Britain would be screwed and some kind of ceasefire might be more plausable, at least for them.

Offline stevegallacci

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2011, 02:23:59 PM »
Here's a war altering change in hardware - no long range P-51 bomber escorts. It almost happened in RL.
The bomber generals did not think well of escort fighters, as they didn't seem to be able to do their job as hoped. Of course, instead of looking at the technical limits of the planes and the various constraints of tactical doctrine of the time, they assumed it just that the fighter jocks were cowards (no shit! Similarly, USN submariners reporting on the awful problems with their torpedoes were regarded as too timid to press attacks and blaming their weapons for their lack of success)
Anyway, the P-51 didn't have many friends in the War Department, being originally designed for the Brits and all, as well as it's limited operational ceiling with the Allison V1710, and the general disregard for the escort mission (at the time, as everyone knows, the bombers always get though) So it was entirely possible that the P-51 would be terminated with the completion of the P-51A and A-36 production run. Even with the addition of the RR Merlin engine and additional fuel tankage that then gave the Mustang the kind of range for escort it would later be famous for, there was still a considerable lack of love for it and only the efforts of a rather small but forward thinking minority kept the program going long enough for the obvious to sink in.

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2011, 03:40:50 PM »
Here's a war altering change in hardware - no long range P-51 bomber escorts.

Could have easily happened if the British Purchasing Commission had rejected North American Aviation's (NAA) "Dutch" Kindelberger's ascertain that NAA could have a better aircraft with the same engine in the air in less time than it would take to set up a production line for the P-40.  If they instead stuck to their guns and only accepted NAA manufacturing the Tomahawk under license from Curtiss then things might have been very different.

Mind you, I don't think it would have been totally war altering.  Instead you might have seen greater use of P-38s in the ETO in the same escort role fulfilled by the P-51s...Red Tailed P-38 anyone?

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Offline upnorth

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2012, 02:31:39 AM »
Looking at the other side, Hitler took a lot of gambles in the early war.   If the French/British had been able to launch proper attacks in '39/'40 things could have very quickly ended with WWII being a short war ending in 1940 at the latest.

Alternatively, what if the Germans and French/British got bogged down in the west in 1940 and then the USSR invaded from the East?  Would the Allies have joined with Germany to fight the USSR?

Regards,

Greg

Wasn't one of Hitler's biggest gambles early on related to how much favour he showed to building the Luftwaffe at the expense of the land and sea forces?  I've often heard it said that if he had spent a bit less on the Luftwaffe early on and more on the other two services, that things might have gone much differently on the ground and on the sea early on in the conflict.

As for France not being able to launch a "proper attack"; it's always been my understading that they did have the manpower and resources to do so, but it was more a matter that they were poorly deployed and suffered though questionable command decisions.

I'm by no means a WWII expert, and these are just things I've read and heard.

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Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2012, 04:02:41 AM »
With no Mustang, Merlin-engined versions of the Lightning, and maybe P-40, become far more likely.  :)
 
Of course if you want to end the war early...
 
By July of 1940 the Deutsches Kreigsmarine had realized that Allied escort forces for the vital convoy routes were overtaxed. A new directive was published which would change the course of the war, priority was to be given to attacks on escorts. The new strategy was to be enacted by simple measures. Eastern wolfpacks would attack escorts of west-bound convoys, leaving the merchantmen to be attacked by western wolfpacks. Western wolfpacks would reverse this, thinning the escorts of eastbound convoys.
 
The surface raiders were also re-tasked. Instead of the 'lone-wolf'' attacks on stragglers and unescorted vessels, the raiders were now tasked to patrol the mid-Atlantic and hunt for convoys. Once a convoy had been detected the raiders would evade contact, or use a ruse to avoid being detected as a German warship. Information of convoy locations and makeup would then be passed to the waiting wolfpacks.
 
By January of 1941 the results were telling, several consecutive convoys had been mauled almost to destruction and two convoys from Canada had to be delayed due to a lack of escorts. In February of 1941 convoy HX 106 saw the escorting battleship HMS Ramillies sunk by a western wolfpack. The convoy was subsequently attacked and destroyed on 8th February by the Kreigmarine Schiffs Gneisenau and Scharnhorst. Only 5 ships escaped the pocket-battleships, the last of these was sunk by U-99 on 10 February.
 
March of 1941 saw convoy HX 112 attacked and virtually destroyed in mid-Atlantic. The scattered survivors raced back to protection in the harbours of Newfoundland and Halifax, Canada. Among the survivors to race into Halifax's Bedford Basin was the German raider Atlantis. Under cover of darkness Atlantis attacked, destroying several wharfs, 6 docked ships and the vital fuel bunkers. As Atlantis raced back out of the harbour she engaged a docked ammunition collier, setting it ablaze. 14 minutes later the collier exploded, devasting Halifax harbour. Atlantis came under heavy air attack over the next two days, her own damage making it impossible for her to effectively camoflague herself. Atlantis survived the attacks with heavy damage and made her way to Brest 2 weeks later.
 
The crew of Atlantis was greeted in Brest with astounding news... there had been no British convoys sighted for the last 4 days. By the 1st of April it was official, the Battle of the Atlantic was over, England had lost her vital lifeline. The war continued for almost two more months, but by mid-June the outcome was clear. When Luftwaffe bombers operated umolested over London on 18 June the end was near. On 23 June the British sued for peace, and on 29 June the German High Command accepted England`s unconditional surrender.

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2012, 04:51:32 AM »
Hmmm...interesting!  If ok with you, I might borrow some ideas from this for a new story that is in it's infancy.
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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2012, 06:09:12 AM »
Of course if you want to end the war early...

Wow, that is a scary scenario  :o
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Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2012, 06:41:36 AM »
apophenia, scary?
 
Perhaps, but...
 
HX 106 was escorted by HMS Ramillies, and stalked by Gneisenau and Scharnhorst. HMS Ramillies' presence was enough to disuade the pocket-battleships and HX 106 didn't face the guns of the two powerful raiders. The battle surrounding HX 112 would be a turning point, the escorts prevailed and the Kreigsmarine would lose two U-boat aces including Otto von Kretschmeer of U-99. During the critical period of late 1940 to early 1941 the U-boats were winning... they very nearly closed the Atlantic. There is disagreement on that point, but the Germans several times exceeded 300,000 tons of shipping sunk in a month, the critical level that saw losses exceed build capacity. If the Germans had gone after the escorts before the permanent escort groups form? Well... who knows?
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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2012, 06:44:26 AM »
GTX, if your question was directed at me... feel free. :)

Yes it was.  Thanks!
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Realistic alternate WWII, emphasis on German better/worse outcomes
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2012, 10:10:04 AM »
Looking at the other side, Hitler took a lot of gambles in the early war.   If the French/British had been able to launch proper attacks in '39/'40 things could have very quickly ended with WWII being a short war ending in 1940 at the latest.

Alternatively, what if the Germans and French/British got bogged down in the west in 1940 and then the USSR invaded from the East?  Would the Allies have joined with Germany to fight the USSR?

Regards,

Greg

Wasn't one of Hitler's biggest gambles early on related to how much favour he showed to building the Luftwaffe at the expense of the land and sea forces?  I've often heard it said that if he had spent a bit less on the Luftwaffe early on and more on the other two services, that things might have gone much differently on the ground and on the sea early on in the conflict.

As for France not being able to launch a "proper attack"; it's always been my understading that they did have the manpower and resources to do so, but it was more a matter that they were poorly deployed and suffered though questionable command decisions.

I'm by no means a WWII expert, and these are just things I've read and heard.
My understanding is that France had the men and the equipment but they didn't have an updated tactical and strategic doctrine to take into account the enhanced capabilities the new equipment gave; a prime example being their piecemeal use of tanks to support the infantry rather than as active formations of their own like the Germans did.