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  • combatlogo
    replied
    the bomber offensive could have been fought smarter and with better results, however.
    The strategic bombing campaign was seriously overrated at the time - it had minimal impact on war production until well into 44 when the war was lost.

    As for gas, I seem to recall reading that Churchill was an enthusiastic proponent of the use of chem weapons, had to be disuaded by Alanbrooke among others.

    i think the only way germany could have competed with the industrail resources of teh usa (and, to a lesser extent, the uk),
    The USSR was the main industrial rival to Germany as well as the main military one - the industrial evacuation east of the Urals was a monumental achievement as was Soviet industrial output, which, like their military performance, eventually subsumed Nazi Germany.

    on the question of the concentration camps, yes, the allies did know about them (and indeed they were even photographed by aerial recce planes, people being seen in queues for the gas chambers).
    You're confusing "concentration camp" with "death camp" -there is a significant difference. I don't know the figures but I wd doubt if the Endlosung really distracted that much from Germany's operational and strategic performances...use of rail transport wd probably be the most glaring example.

    huge amounts of ammunition was wasted executing the unfortunate inmates etc
    Inmates of camps were not murdered in large quantities by shooting - this was mainly done by Einsatzgruppen following on the heals of the Wehrmacht (and sometimes by Wehrmacht soldiers)in 1941 & early 42.

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  • Steamy Window
    replied
    [sorry, computer here in the web cafe acting up]
    was a colossal waste of resources, troops that were guarding the camps could have been sent to the front, huge amounts of ammunition was wasted executing the unfortunate inmates etc.

    on the question of gas warfare (i dont think this has been dealt with yet), germany was the world leader. "a higher form of killing" (jeremy whatshisname from bbc co-wrote it) has a major chapter on german capabilities.if hitler had been mad enough, he could have had the UK in serious trouble, having had major quantities of sarin, tabun etc which the allies only found about after the war.


    i think the only way germany could have competed with the industrail resources of teh usa (and, to a lesser extent, the uk), would have been to keep on taking over nations (and their attendant industries) while at the same time having been geared up for "total war" from the beginning. "total war" did not kick in for the german economy until late 1943. the problem with trying to take over as much as possible to keepo their economy going is- what if they were delayed in their timetable for taking various places over?that probably would have screwed them up badly.


    my 2c for now

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  • Steamy Window
    replied
    Elevate.


    The technical dead end that was talked about earlier on re the german a-bomb was to do with their use of heavy water, something that was dealt with by a british commando raid on telemark- thew heroes of telemark (film) has a account of this.

    i think something has to be said on the role of airpower. the shifting of attacks from the airfields to the cities by the luftwaffe during the battle of britain wasa fatal error, allowing the RAF to recover and eventually take the offensive with (admittedly tactically doubtful) rhubarb sweeps.
    bomber command's attacks on german towns and cities, combined with the eforts of the 8th and 15th USAAF, had a noticeable effect in that 88mm flak guns , instaed of being sent off to the eastern front to ward off teh soviet tanks, were used to defend germany. technology which could have been used in developing offensive weapons further instead went on defensive weapons (eg devices used for homing in on "monica" transmissions etc. i think it would be fair to say that these attacks forced the luftwaffe into becoming a more defensively orientated force than it was intended to be. production in german factorieswas affected to the value of 6% overall, though this would have varied after various "spectaculars" eg dambusters raid and the firestorm at hamburg. the bomber offensive could have been fought smarter and with better results, however.

    on the question of the concentration camps, yes, the allies did know about them (and indeed they were even photographed by aerial recce planes, people being seen in queues for the gas chambers). it

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    exactly

    I read a book where it says that Germany could have won by going for the middle east not russia through Iraq and Iran and into British controlled India, then they'd have had all the oil they would want to continue their objectives and later could strike the Caucasus oil fields instead of going the hard way
    this is true. not only could they have attacked the caucasus from the south as well as eastern europe Germany would also have been able to eleviate (is that spelled right) the pressure the Brits were outting on the Japenese out in the direction of Burma. not just that no more staging point for the allies to hit Italy.:D

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  • Bam Bam
    replied
    well if Hitler is still to be considered.

    I read a book where it says that Germany could have won by going for the middle east not russia through Iraq and Iran and into British controlled India, then they'd have had all the oil they would want to continue their objectives and later could strike the Caucasus oil fields instead of going the hard way.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    oki day

    Goldie, you overstate the importance of the BEF...it lived to fight on in N. Africa, hardly the decisive theater of the war
    no not necessarily the most decisive but control of north africa is what allowed the British and American forces to invade Italy and Sicily and thus force Italy out of the war and tie down some pretty good German troops in the Italian conflict.
    persecution of the Jews, which hadn't exactly won friends and influenced people.
    If I recall correctly the other countries that noticed didnt realy care very much about the Jews. they were more worried about their own safety. As for Germany itself well Hitler had already turned them into a scapegoat.
    The only way germany could win is if in 1941 Hitler and his pets were killed and could no longer influence events
    I know what you meant but the whole point of this is WHAT IF THINGS HAD BEEN DONE DIFFERENTLY. As in not attacking one place or invading somewhere sooner or later. the point is that if things were done different it would mean Hitler had done things different.
    there is no doubt in my mind that hitler was an incompetent but that is not the point of the thread.:D

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  • Bam Bam
    replied
    I'm sorry let me be more specific.

    The only way germany could win is if in 1941 Hitler and his pets were killed and could no longer influence events.

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  • combatlogo
    replied
    very true goldie, had he not attacked poland russia would have eventually attacked Germany and then the world would have been united behind Germany rather than against it.
    Tripe - ill-founded conjecture....which ignores the fact that eastward expansion was the central tenet of German grand strategy. It also ignores German expansion up until 1939 and persecution of the Jews, which hadn't exactly won friends and influenced people.

    Goldie, you overstate the importance of the BEF...it lived to fight on in N. Africa, hardly the decisive theater of the war.

    Alos, if the Kriegmarine had "been put to bed" after the Graf Spee was sunk, why did they launch the Bismarck?

    Alternatively,they may have been willing to use the A Bomb sooner,and more often.
    Hardly - the A-bomb wasn't successfully tested until Alamagardo (sp?) in, I believe, July 1945 so using it prior to that wasn't really an option.

    If the USN had not been so decisively destroyed at Pearl Harbour, would carriers have been considered the future of Naval warfare,or would the Battleship/Battlecruiser have remained the capital ship?
    The US Navy was not destroyed at PH, elements of the Pacific fleet were....and there are those who claim FDR knew all about it beforehand.

    Interesting speculation about the carrier.

    Hitler dissapearing in 1941 was hardly likely, given that Germany was at the zenith of its success.

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  • Bam Bam
    replied
    In my mind the only way germany could have won the war was if in 1941 Hitler misteriously vanished and his little dogs himmler and goering. Then .....maybe they would have had a chance...maybe.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    ah yes

    very true goldie, had he not attacked poland russia would have eventually attacked Germany and then the world would have been united behind Germany rather than against it. And Germany would very likely have remained the most advanced nation (hmm scary if hitler decided to go for everyone else once russia was out of the way.:D

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  • Goldie fish
    replied
    Proof if ever it was required that corporals do not make good Military genius

    There are so many what ifs to the entire 1939-1945 period,that the possible outcomes are endless. Luck was on the side of the allies(though not on the side of the european Jew).

    The entire BEF in europe were more or les permitted to return to the relative safety of the UK,with some exceptions. Once at sea the flotilla of "little ships" made their escape,and the British forces were given a chance to regroup. Had the Reich more faith in the Kriegsmarine,the German navy copuld have prevented this escape,and forced the british,french,and other forces associated with the BEF to fight,or be captures along the atlantic wall.
    The Kriegsmarine as a surface force was put to bed in the Battle of the Rio Plata(river plate) Where the Captain of Graf Spee scuttled his lightly damaged ship, in the face of sustained attack from inferior warships,some of whom were already severely damaged. After that Tirpitz, Prinz Eugen, Bismark and the rest of the surface fleet were never permitted to make any impact on the enemy. Hitler distrusted the Kriegsmarine,many of whom refused to accept the Nazi salute,preferring to retain the Traditional Naval salute,in deference to the once Powerful German Navy,which had preformed proudly in the service of Germany in the pre Reich days.
    Meanwhile elswhere....
    The British army spent most of the remainder of 39 wondering what to do next. The RAF sat around smoking their pipes wondering the same,while boffins everywhere sought the ultimate secret weapon which could prove an antidote to Blitzkrieg.
    As already mentioned,the RAF was on its knees,with about 40 pilots surviving,when The Luftwaffe decided to attack the cities instead,causing considerable collateral damage,but allowing the Air force to regroup,rearm,and strengthen the resolve of the ordinary citizen to defeat hitler.
    If Japan had sent the Third wave into Pearl harbour they would have removed the US Navy from the pacific. If the US Carriers had been in Pearl that day,the US would have been in no position to do anything about Japan for a long time.
    Alternatively,they may have been willing to use the A Bomb sooner,and more often.
    If the USN had not been so decisively destroyed at Pearl Harbour, would carriers have been considered the future of Naval warfare,or would the Battleship/Battlecruiser have remained the capital ship?
    How could Hitler Have forgotten how easily the Maginot line was defeated,and put all his hopes in Rommels atlantic wall? Why was the Normandy command structure so complicated? Could the tanks have repelled the Allies on the beaches,if they had been given the chance?
    The allies almost made the same mistake as Hitler in the Battle of the bulge,having spread its supply lines to far. The same mistake had been made by the romans almost two thousand years before...And maybe Napoleon too some time later...
    Putting an army of those you previously defeated,defending your front line is probably a bad idea too,no matter what uniform they happen to be wearing....
    These troops would have been better employed in the rear protecting the Prisoner of war camps,which were in some cased guarded by Luftwaffe.
    Basically Hitlers mistake was invading poland. If he had stopped at Austria,nobody would have been that bothered really,and he would have been considered a worthwhile ally against Stalins imperialism.

    Then again...what if I had accepted a fitters apprenticeship with Irish refining back in 1990 instead of going to sea......

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    i know

    true he was quite inept. but the purpose of my thread was could it have been won had things been done different. like for example if he had listened to his generals and not gone to Stalingrad (we all know what happened there).
    I hope thats clarified what i meant for you.

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  • Bam Bam
    replied
    This is all wrong, granted the germans were the best troops of the war with the best technology and most experience but that counts for nothing if they aren't used effectively and because of Hitlers ineptitude and his generals fear of him they were doomed from the start.

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  • combatlogo
    replied
    The uncertain variable in this is the USA, by mid 1941, officially neutral US warships were escorting allied convoys in the Western half of the Atlantic. Whether the potential starvation of the UK would enable Roosevelt to get a declaration of war out of Congress is hard to assess.
    Spot on - The UK was no threat to "Festung Europa" without the US...

    FDR was a wily old fox - I'm sure he cd have manoeuvered the US into war with Germany without Hitler's declaration of war. Let's not forget he managed to implement the "Germany first" strategy, despite widespread opposition both from the US public and the Navy.

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  • combatlogo
    replied
    Re: i am a bit confused

    Originally posted by Nikolai
    was he oh so he was, just checked the panzer ace website and it agrees. still you know what im gettin at and i have got the general idea right have i not. :D
    Not really- isolated tactical successes were not going to defeat the invasion - to do that, as Rommel correctly saw, the invasion would have had to have been thrown back into the sea. (The alternate viewpoint on the Germans' part was to have mobile reserves ready to go to the point of invasion, which wd have taken to long and permitted the Allies to build a foothold).

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