Author Topic: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941  (Read 2998 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« on: May 19, 2013, 04:05:17 AM »
Folks,

A while back, I read an interesting book 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.).  See here for more info on the book.

Anyway to the point of this thread.  What if, this did in fact happen and in fact in perhaps their most stunning vistory to date, Germany successfully concluded Operation Barbarossa in late 1941 (Moscow falling some time around the end of August, Leningrad during September; the Communists virtually wiped out (assumes that the people would have revolted against the Stalin dictatorship sometime after Moscow falls) and the Wehrmacht subsequently securing the majority of European Russia through to the Volga before the Winter of '41/'42 sets in.  What would be the implications, next steps and most importantly, model options?  Remember, that this would see virtually the whole of Mainland Europe under Axis control with resulting huge resources and no need to fight 2 fronts.

I suspect Great Britain would have been forced to reconsider their position and conclude a peace treaty of sorts with the result that WWII (at least as far as Europe was concerned) would have ended in late 1941/early 1942.  I'm interested in your thoughts/additions etc.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2013, 04:22:25 AM »
I have also posted a potential story timeline based upon this scenario here.
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 04:27:22 AM »
I think a lot would depend on whether or not Imperial Japan attacks the US and, if they do, whether Nazi Germany honors their pact and declares war against the US.  If the US is either not officially fighting, as hard as FDR was trying to get the US into the European war, I could see Britain seeking a negotiated peace.  If it's just the US vs. Japan in the Pacific, I can see a watchful US presence in the Atlantic, but the bulk of US forces switching to the Pacific.  If, after defeating the Soviet, Germany decides to declare on the US, you're going to see a very long and very bloody war and the reason for developing the B-36 (striking continental Europe from the US) might just come to pass.  I could see cases where you'd end up with a power block in the Americas and one in the rest of the world and neither able to totally defeat the other.

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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 04:38:02 AM »
I agree - in the story timeline I have posted a link to above I have assumed Japan still attacks Pearl Harbour and Germany still declares war on the USA.

However as an alternative, if Germany essentially defeats the USSR by roughly mid to late November (sure there is some fighting still going on, but the remnants of the Soviet Army are in disarray and the Communist leadership on the run and quickly denouncing that they believed in any such thing), Japan might change its plans and instead of attacking Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941, they instead decide to launch a fresh attack against Russia in the East thus hoping to capitalise on the confusion and gain much needed resources - this maybe happening in early 1942.  Without any coordinated command system or Government still in Moscow, they believe they have a good chance of success.  The result of this is that the USA is not attacked and thus does not enter the War against Germany.  What's more, with Europe fully under Axis control, Britain certainly doesn't look worthy of going to war in support of.

In such a situation, I think the USA would have more or less accepted the new reality (at least for the medium term).  I don't think the emphasis on nuclear weapons would have been necessarily there though, especially if a peace treaty had been signed with Britain and therefore there being no war economy or push.  Maybe the B-36 goes ahead but for conventional bombing/anti-ship patrol into the Atlantic?  Germany develops a more powerful navy to better counter the USA including more capital ships/Carriers with associated aircraft?  Japan has Zeros etc in Winter camouflage?

What else???
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2013, 05:10:57 AM »
Yes, if the timing permitted it, a Japanese push into the "Northern Resource Area" (Siberia et al.) instead of the "Southern Resource Area" (the islands running south east from southeast Asia) could see Japan aborting the attack on Pearl Harbor to conserve resource for the more useful push.  I could see the US adjusting to such a situation and it would be interesting to watch what ensued after that in India and Africa.  Given the area opposed to them, I could see the US making an effort to develop a truly pan-American power block to counter-balance the growing eurasian power block.  Down the timeline, 'twould be interesting to see if/when Japan and Germany clash due to competing interests. 

Are you envisioning a neutral UK or "merely" one that's retired from the field of combat for the nonce?  Either has definite implications for the Commonwealth and for the US.

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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 05:31:21 AM »
Hard to say re the UK.  On one hand, I would imagine many would be glad just to get out of the fight and to ignore the rest of Europe etc.  This group would probably push for neutrality and maybe going so far as adopting a isolationist viewpoint.

On the other hand, you might get a lot of frustration of losing their position of importance/influence as an empire.  As you have pointed out, the UK being seen to be defeated (even if not actually invaded) would certainly put a lot of pressure on the Commonwealth.  Would one see India turning into an area of civil war?  I suppose here a lot would depend upon what Germany decided to do.  Based upon what I have read, I could quite easily see Germany working with the UK to help stabilise the Commonwealth (German/British forces operating side-by-side in places??).
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Offline jcf

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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 05:49:29 AM »
Currently reading Mark Mazower's Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe and it makes clear
that whatever the military results the unplanned, uncoordinated mess of Party rule and ill-conceived
racially motivated relocation plans meant that the area would never be stable. Hitler and his Gauleiters
were only interested in expropriation, exploitation and extermination, much to the frustration of the High Command, the professionals in the government Ministries, and ironically, the young technocrats of the SD.
So even if they had succeeded militarily, it would not have assured the stability necessary to guarantee
security.

BTW the assumption that the fall of Moscow would mean the fall of the USSR is based on the same faulty
analysis used by Hitler. The Soviet government would have moved East of the Urals, just as they moved
their industry, and they would have continued to fight. As to the Japanese, the IJA went head-to-head with the Red Army once and had their asses handed to them, and by the summer of 1941 there had been little
to no change in their equipment and tactics, so it's likely that and second round would have had the same
result.

Hitler fantasised the East as a Nazi Raj and constantly used British rule in India as the model for his own
Empire.
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Must leave successors more corrupted still."
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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2013, 06:02:43 AM »
I agree that Germany (or even more so Europe) under the Nazis would not have been a stable environment.  In many ways the Nazis were a destructive virus that were only able to survive so long as the "host body" survived - they only survived by consuming rather then truly creating.  In fact, if one reads some sources it becomes evident that Germany had to invade when they did (rather then leave it to much later, say 1943 as some have theorised) since they were running out of resources already.  In many respects the "Nazi miracle" of pulling Germany out of the Great Depression was only achieved by "living on credit" - invasions of surrounding counties being a means of extending this (getting new credit cards if you like).  However with such a scenario, sooner or later it had to come to an end...with dire results.

Wrt Moscow, in Stolfi's book/theory, this would have seen the key Communications/Logistics point in German control.  This would then have paralysed the Russian operations in the west. Moreover, if Moscow/Leningrad had fallen and thus the main Communications/Logistics points been captured plus the rump of the military destroyed/captured or in disarray, it was surmised that the Communist Party and Stalin would loose legitimacy and thus be turfed out (if they were lucky).  One can imagine that a coup would take place, maybe led by one of the Generals and Stalin and his cronies would quickly be shot.  Following this a truce would be begged for and probably granted (at least in the short term), though on Germany's terms.
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Offline Alvis 3.1

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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2013, 10:57:18 AM »
Nazis defeat Stalin, check.
Nazis roll into Russian, begin the usual reign of terror.
Partisan warfare begins, quickly becomes brutal and vicious.
Japan attempts to capitalise on this by invading Western Soviet Union.
US tightens economic hold on Japan, builds up more forces in the Phillipines.
German forces redeployed to North Africa to assist there, British forces face a more difficult foe. However, this allows partisans in Russia to be more successful, so there may have been delays in the re-deplyments, or possibly units being sent back into Russia after getting to North Africa.
US naval units repeatedly encountering Kreigsmarine forces, direct action takes place. Eventually, somebody is going to get mad enough to declare war.
US forces in the Phillipines repeatedly encountering IJN forces at sea. If there is any American assistance to the Russian forces via a lend-lease program, there would be epected clashes with IJN units attempting to intercept said supply ships. Expect there to be direct hostile action. Eventually, somebody gets mad enough to declare war.

Roosevelt was very aware that any war with the Axis would have to happen soon, or the UK would be in a lot of trouble. There were several scenarios being floated where the US would be able to declare war on Japan (Like sending in a US Army manned sailing boat to spy on the IJN, and when it would get sunk, that would be a reason for a declaration of war. In reality, they managed to excape alive.

If the Japanese were foolish or arrogant enough to attack an US facility, it would be the justification to declare war, same for the germans. It was a matter of time before it happened, and both countries were arrogant enough to think they could get away with it (well, at least those in charge were).

I think a German victory in the East would definitely prolong the war though. It should have freed up a lot of troops to be used in North Africa, which would have been a serious problem for the UK forces there. Should the US be drawn into the war, it would have been most likely against the Germans alone, so that may have helped the allies in the long run in the North Africa/European scenario. Timing would be key.

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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2013, 12:19:52 PM »
I suppose a possible scenario is that Germany wins in East but gets caught up occupying and consolidating there.  Meanwhile the USA decides to get involved via a Torch landing still.  This brings the USA into a fight with Germany (assuming Japan bides their time and either doesn't attack or attacks Russia inseam) until Late 1942.  What effect would this have?
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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2013, 01:57:39 PM »
OK. I'm going to assume that Hitler listened to his generals & issues sufficient & appropriate supplies, equipment & clothing to pull this off.

Let's say the Soviet Army is broken at Moscow & Stalingrad, especially Stalingrad, where they expend too many resources too quickly & are defeated comprehensively. The Wehrmacht then pushes rapidly to, & through the Urals. Here, Hitler again listening to his generals, they stop to regroup & consolidate.

Stalin, defeated & suffering a crippling loss of prestige, is no longer "supreme" but manages to retain the leadership but with greatly reduced power, with the Army & more moderate Party leaders looking over his shoulder every step of the way.

Hitler, convinced by moderates in the Nazi Party & against his "better" judgement, does not allow attrocities to continue in the Ukraine. Rather, the moderates convince him to "give" the land back to the farmers & people of the collectives & to tell them that Germany will buy their produce - not steal it. This gives the Germans the "bread-basket of Europe" with which to feed themselves, their armies & their allies. This is a mid-term goal & should take 2 to 3 years to realise in full.

Japan, seeing the German victory, drops its plans against the US at the 11th hour & moves against the USSR from the East. Not in a fast-moving assault but low-pressure push, with targetted assaults on critical points.

Isolated & reliant on US aid even Churchill is finally convinced that the UK needs to settle with Germany. A non-aggression pact is signed & the UK declares its neutrality in any up-coming conflict. Following this lead the Empire (not yet the Commonwealth) does likewise.

The US now stands alone.

In India there is a rash of mutinees & revolts, covertly instigated & assisted by the Japanese, resulting in Britains loss of India. Many Indian troops volunteer to serve with the Japanese against the Soviets......

That's as far as I've got down that path.

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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2013, 03:05:25 PM »
Remember that Stalingrad was late 1942 not 1941.  In this scenario it probably wouldn't have occurred at all.
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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2013, 08:34:20 PM »
My thinking was that it just happened earlier, as the Germans moved forward faster, & ended more quickly, as the Germans smashed the less developed, unprepared & already collapsing Red Army. Stalin certainly wouldn't have let them take it unopposed, it was an extension of him, a sign of his greatness, thereby wasting numerous lives & much equipment in the process.

Don't know if anyone would agree but my thinking on the Ukraine issue was that Hitler was convinced by the argument that the Ukraine had suffered badly under Stalin & that the Ukrainians would (possibly) welcome the chance to strike back at their tormentor.

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Offline perttime

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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2013, 09:09:56 PM »
Too bad there doesn't seem to be an English version of http://www.valtakunta.eu/johdanto.shtml

Google Translation doesn't do a great job between English and Finnish.

Introduction

Countries and Nations
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 09:12:41 PM by perttime »

Offline jcf

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Re: Germany successful in conquering Russia in 1941
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2013, 01:04:24 AM »
They were all üntermenschen to Hitler, he didn't care how much they had suffered as he intended to make
them all suffer more. Anyone who suggested supporting local nationalist movements was shut down as Hitler
was waging a war of colonization, not a war of liberation. The conquered lands were all to be German.

The Germany army was not large enough to get to Stalingrad or to and through the Urals in 1941,
it is simply an impossible scenario.

Another thing is that Hitler didn't care if the Soviet state continued to exist to the East of European Russia,
indeed he wanted an enemy on the frontier of Greater Germania to keep his young supermen in fighting
form. In his fantasies it didn't matter as within a century the Volk would conquer all of Asia and Africa,
and the remaining Jew-Bolshevist-Slav subhumans would be dead.

Hitler's racial fantasies cannot be divorced from the prosecution of the Eastern war, neither the why nor the how.
"Evil our grandsires were, our fathers worse;
And we, till now unmatched in ill,
Must leave successors more corrupted still."
Horace, 65BC - 8BC. Marsh translation.