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How Germany could have won World War II

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#1    Collateral Damage

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 10:52 AM

Please note:
Although there may have been past threads of similar topic, I am attempting to have somewhat of a different discussion, one that mainly consists of another's opinion, and not so much of my own.



In this thread I welcome anyone and everyone to share their thoughts on what crucial decision(s) Nazi Germany made that ended badly, what may have been a more strategic idea, and how they could have went about doing it. I would appreciate it if every one of you could get along and keep an open mind when it comes to someone else's opinion, thank you. Well, I'm ready to hear everyone's thoughts!

Edited by Collateral Damage, 14 January 2014 - 11:00 AM.

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#2    dazdillinjah

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:34 AM

View PostCollateral Damage, on 14 January 2014 - 10:52 AM, said:

Please note:
Although there may have been past threads of similar topic, I am attempting to have somewhat of a different discussion, one that mainly consists of another's opinion, and not so much of my own.



In this thread I welcome anyone and everyone to share their thoughts on what crucial decision(s) Nazi Germany made that ended badly, what may have been a more strategic idea, and how they could have went about doing it. I would appreciate it if every one of you could get along and keep an open mind when it comes to someone else's opinion, thank you. Well, I'm ready to hear everyone's thoughts!

They should have cleaned up at Dunqerk ..needed to win Battle of Britain and El Alamein -> failed ..declared war on US too early ..Op. Barbarosa also mistimed ..needed to hold Stalingrad ..failed ..should have put the Jets into the war sooner


#3    Leonardo

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:35 AM

I would reply in terms of the Axis group of nations, as Germany was not alone in this conflict.

The first major error the Axis powers made in WWII was in not conquering Malta. This would have given them the Mediterranean, denying the Allied forces in North Africa their resupply route and probably meant they would have prevailed in their North Africa campaign.

This in turn would not only have provided the Axis powers with the huge oil resources of the Middle East, but would have boosted their morale and allowed more of the forces from the North Africa theatre to be redeployed to the East.

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#4    Harry_Dresden

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:40 AM

By having the Italians as allies for starters... apart from the fact that they were poorly lead with inferior weapons...the Italians dragged Germany into invading Greece, after attempting the same only to be driven outta Greece, diverting precious troops and materials and setting Hitler's invasion plans of the Soviet Union back by nearly two months, forcing the German army to fight a winter campaign, which they lost, mostly due to the elements and over stretched supply lines. So if Mussolini had done nothing but march his troops up and down Rome, Hitler would be marching his in Moscow, instead his troops froze and broke under Soviet superior numbers, negating Hitler's, surprise invasion plans... all thanks to Mussolini's unnecessary war in Greece.

Edited by Harry_Dresden, 14 January 2014 - 12:06 PM.


#5    Kaa-Tzik

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:43 AM

Going on your premise that war has already begun, then they made surprisingly few errors, imo. Putting aside the moral rights and wrongs, it was logical for them to invade Denmark and Norway, and those actions did not have any bearing on them loosing the war. Their actions in North Africa, in conjunction with Italy, were also logical, and had they been sucessfull in defeating the British and their allies in the Western Desert, then this would have had a major impact in their favor. They came close, but were defeated on the battle field. I do not think that they made any significant errors in that theatre of war, simply lost to ultimately a stronger enemy. Now, the attack on Soviet Union. They attacked at the correct time and places, they could not have made any retrospective "what if" changes to improve on what happened in the early stages of Barbarrosa. Though we are told that Stalin was shocked and surprised by the attack, and this is true to an extent, we can see, even without him keeping a diary, or doing much confiding with his subordinates to write about it afterwards, that Stalin was in the process of moving the Red Army from a defensive to an offensive position. We can see this, not by any clear orders to Stavka to do so, but by the orders to move armies from point A to point B etc. There was a clear intent to attack Germany at some stage, probably in summer 1942. That Germany attacked while these changes of army dispositions was underway, was a major cause of the intial collapse of the Red Army, so that decision to lauch Babarossa needs not be changed in any alternate scenario. We all know of the fateful decision to move troops south away from the direction Moscow, and towards the strategically important Black Sea and Caucasus areas. Hitler was correct in indentifying this as a very important strategic objective, but he was no general and made the cardinal error of not first destroying the Red Army, if he could have anyway. Up until his descision to send a large part of his forces south, I see no great errors on the part of Germany. However, it is not at all a certainty that had all the German forces continued on to envelope the bulk of the Red Army around Moscow, that they would have had success. But as this is an alternate excercise, I think that had Moscow been taken, then Stalin would have been arrested and shot, he did actually think this was to happen when he had his strange week of silence and "wobbling". The Red Army would have had to withdraw to the Urals, maybe, but would not have been crushed. Hitler had, I believe, no intention of taking all the Soviet Union, only the European part as a rump Soviet Union, essentially now only Siberia, would have difficulties in producing sufficient food and a total collapse may have occured. So, the decision to move considerable forces south before the battle for Moscow was a fateful error. After that decision I believe that they could have done nothing to save themselves from defeat. I think that no matter how differently they handled the U boat war, or made some changes here or there, after defeat at Moscow they were doomed no matter what they did. And anyway, in 1945 America would still have the atom bomb, and Germany not.

No matter about all the above, that Germany lost at El Alamein and then Stalingrad, were held at Leningrad, Voronezh and along the Caucasus, sealed their fate anyway in the normal timeline of events

Edited by Kaa-Tzik, 14 January 2014 - 12:07 PM.


#6    Taun

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:48 AM

Several items IMO...

1. If they had not attacked Russia (with whom they had an uneasy alliance in the partitioning of Poland), the troops and materials used on the Eastern Front (3,933,000 troops at the height) could have been much
more than the Western Allies could have faced even with full American Participation...

2. The Germans had a great many "super weapons" and many of them were really ground breaking for the day... But it really only served to dilute their resources, as parts and ammunition for one could not be
used in another (tanks in particular) if they had focused on just a few of these they would have been more effective...  For example The PZKw V (Panther tank), the Type XXI Submarine (The "electric Boat"), The FW190
and ME 262 and the 88mm Flak cannon....

3. Not being in position to follow up the Air Blitz of England with a ground invasion... The blitz failed due to three reasons... The Luftwaffe being split between three major fronts (Africa, Western and Eastern Europe),
Switching from bombing air fields to bombing cities (they had the RAF on the ropes when they switched - giving them a respite) and British tenacity...

4. Not having a ready supply of assault transports for the troops needed to invade England... Germany never really had an amphibious assault force and so any ground attacks on England, would either be airborne
or by "passenger" type transport ships... Not the best way to do it...

5. Oppressing the conquered peoples, making the "resistance" more attractive... If they had gone in, taken the government - then left the people to their own (subject) government and not terrorized them, they would not
have needed nearly as many security forces to hold what they took and to prevent sabotage...

These items just off the top of my head...

Edited by Taun, 14 January 2014 - 11:52 AM.


#7    Taun

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:50 AM

View PostKaa-Tzik, on 14 January 2014 - 11:43 AM, said:

Going on your premise that war has already begun, then they made surprisingly few errors, imo. Putting aside the moral rights and wrongs, it was logical for them to invade Denmark and Norway, and those actions did not have any bearing on them loosing the war. Their actions in North Africa, in conjunction with Italy, were also logical, and had they been sucessfull in defeating the British and their allies in the Western Desert, then this would have had a major impact in their favor. They came close, but were defeated on the battle field. I do not think that they made any significant errors in that theatre of war, simply lost to ultimately a stronger enemy. Now, the attack on Soviet Union. They attacked at the correct time and places, they could not have made any retrospective "what if" changes to improve on what happened in the early stages of Barbarrosa. Though we are told that Stalin was shocked and surprised by the attack, and this is true to an extent, we can see, even without him keeping a diary, or doing much confiding with his subordinates to write about it afterwards, that Stalin was in the process of moving the Red Army from a defensive to an offensive position. We can see this, not by any clear orders to Stavka to do so, but by the orders to move armies from point A to point B etc. There was a clear intent to attack Germany at some stage, probably in summer 1942. That Germany attacked while these changes of army dispositions was underway, was a major cause of the intial collapse of the Red Army, so that decision to lauch Babarossa needs not be changed in any alternate scenario. We all know of the fateful decision to move troops south away from the direction Moscow, and towards the strategically important Black Sea and Caucasus areas. Hitler was correct in indentifying this as a very important strategic objective, but he was no general and made the cardinal error of not first destroying the Red Army, if he could have anyway. Up until his descision to send a large part of his forces south, I see no great errors on the part of Germany. However, it is not at all a certainty that had all the German forces continued on to envelope the bulk of the Red Army around Moscow, that they would have had success. But as this is an alternate excercise, I think that had Moscow been taken, then Stalin would have been arrested and shot, he did actually think this was to happen when he had his strange week of silence and "wobbling". The Red Army would have had to withdraw to the Urals, maybe, but would not have been crushed. Hitler had, I believe, no intention of taking all the Soviet Union, only the European part as a rump Soviet Union, essentially now only Siberia, would have difficulties in producing sufficient food and a total collapse may have occured. So, the decision to move considerable forces south before the battle for Moscow was a fateful error. After that decision I believe that they could have done nothing to save themselves from defeat. I think that no matter how differently they handled the U boat war, or made some changes here or there, after defeat at Moscow they were doomed no matter what they did. And anyway, in 1945 America would still have the atom bomb, and Germany not.

The primary reason they lost in North Africa was Logistical... The Allies (British primarily) controlled the sky along the German/Italian supply corridor, from Malta mainly... Had they taken Malta that would have greatly helped their war effort in Africa...
although see item #4 of my post, as to why they did not...


#8    Kaa-Tzik

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:01 PM

View PostTaun, on 14 January 2014 - 11:50 AM, said:

The primary reason they lost in North Africa was Logistical... The Allies (British primarily) controlled the sky along the German/Italian supply corridor, from Malta mainly... Had they taken Malta that would have greatly helped their war effort in Africa...
although see item #4 of my post, as to why they did not...
Yes, agreed, I simply wrote "A stronger enemy" to cover all aspects. I did an edit after you quoted me to emphasise the critical importance of El Alamein. I think a German victory there would have brought Turkey into the war on the Axis side, and the Levant, Iraq, Persia and all the Caucasus taken. Some populations, Iraq in particular, would have seen the Germans as liberators, for a little while, only a little while, as did the population of parts of Ukraine....

Edited by Kaa-Tzik, 14 January 2014 - 12:02 PM.


#9    Q-C

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:06 PM

What if Germany had just had a bit more time before the allies hit their factories and supply lines?
As daz said about Germany using jets sooner and Taun said about their advanced weaponry. They had the equip, but time wasn't on their side.

Edited by QuiteContrary, 14 January 2014 - 12:07 PM.

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#10    questionmark

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:12 PM

A country run by nincompoops and corporals cannot win a war, they might land a few surprise victories but ultimately will fail in the large picture, best example Dunkirk.

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#11    Kaa-Tzik

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:12 PM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 14 January 2014 - 12:06 PM, said:

What if Germany had just had a bit more time before the allies hit their factories and supply lines?
As daz said about Germany using jets sooner and Taun said about their advanced weaponry. They had the equip, but time wasn't on their side.
This is correct, but if you give Germany in 1939 or 1941, weapons that it did not have until 1943 and onwards, then should not the other combatants have their late war weapons at an earlier stage as well?  If Germany had type XXI U-boats and a fleet of only Panther tanks with IR sights, and jet fighters in 1939 or 1941, and the allies only what they had in reality, then Germany would have won rather quickly.


#12    Taun

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:18 PM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 14 January 2014 - 12:06 PM, said:

What if Germany had just had a bit more time before the allies hit their factories and supply lines?
As daz said about Germany using jets sooner and Taun said about their advanced weaponry. They had the equip, but time wasn't on their side.

German factory output was actually higher later in the war despite the bombing... Remember that they did not really have precision bombing back then, they just levelled entire
cities and hoped that they got the factories...  Where they were hurt the worst by the bombing was in transportation (Coupled with the loss of the Eastern European Oil fields)...


#13    Taun

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:20 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 14 January 2014 - 12:12 PM, said:

A country run by nincompoops and corporals cannot win a war, they might land a few surprise victories but ultimately will fail in the large picture, best example Dunkirk.

I agree about the nincompoops... but if they'd have had a competent Corporal in charge, they would have been a lot more effective...


#14    Taun

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:22 PM

The thing we should really be thankful for is that Germany did not stop just after the annexation of Austria... If they had - then the NAZI's could conceivably still be in charge of Germany
and potentially have achieved an economic conquest of Europe...

Edited by Taun, 14 January 2014 - 12:22 PM.


#15    questionmark

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:27 PM

View PostTaun, on 14 January 2014 - 12:22 PM, said:

The thing we should really be thankful for is that Germany did not stop just after the annexation of Austria... If they had - then the NAZI's could conceivably still be in charge of Germany
and potentially have achieved an economic conquest of Europe...

That has a problem, because if you look at Germany past '34 all that was done is re-arm and and execute the plans the previous democratic regimes had drafted. By '37 they ran out of ideas and is was beginning to show. They had to come up with something. They came up with the only thing they knew: war.

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