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Collateral Damage

How Germany could have won World War II

205 posts in this topic

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

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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

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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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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
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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
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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
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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...

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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
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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

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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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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.

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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)...

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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...

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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
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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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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...

Or, if the Spartakists had taken control of Germany in the period of instability following defeat in the Great Imperialist War, then you would have two communist "super states" in Europe. Where would we be today if that had happened, and it could have, proably after a civil war in Germany though.

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Anything 1933-1945 (during Nazi power) is accepted in this thread. A mistake pre-war can be just as devastating as during war in my opinion!

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If Japan had not entered the war Gremany would have won.

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If Japan had not entered the war Gremany would have won.

What is your reasoning for this (just curious - not slamming)... While it might have kept the US out of the war for a longer period - it also would

have freed up Commonwealth forces that were facing the Imperial Japanese forces in the Pacific - for service against Germany/Italy... (~800,000 Austrailian troops alone)...

The Royal Army, RAF and Royal Navy could also have used their Pacific forces to good effect in Europe... (about 80,000 British/Indian and Australian troops were captured at Singapore alone)...

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If Japan had not entered the war Gremany would have won.

I think I know why you say that, for instance, are you saying that if Japan had not attacked the US, then no US entry into the war and therefore no D Day as Britain could not mount such an operation by itself, or at least not with the hope of conducting large scale warfare after a notional successful landing. But, always the buts, the non participation of Japan by itself, or by Japan and the US, would not have affected to any significant degree the war between the Soviet Union and Germany. Even if D Day had never happened, or been a failure, the Red Army would still have been in Berlin in 1945, maybe not in May, but before the end of the year. From top of my head, 10% of German forces were in western Europe fighting allies, and 90% fighting Red Army. Even if that 10% contained elite units, until the Battle of the Bulge debacle, and they had all transfered east before Bagration, there simply was not enough of them to make a significant difference. Even without US 8th Airforce bombers based in UK, I believe that the lesser damage done to German industry, or not, as was often the case, would not have affected the outcome of the war.

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I agree that they could've used a lot of the money they used on tech advancements on other usages in the war. They could've not attacked an uneasy ally.

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I can think of dozens of scenarios where the Axis could have not lost the war, but for each maybe a dozen alternative scenarios where they would have lost anyway. The Allies had huge advantages all across the board -- economies, people, geography, technology, Hollywood.

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Which they did, when they attacked Russia. However, the US involvement had been in the war for awhile covertly though sales of arms & OSS involvement. OSE the British sister project of convert ops, so to say we were not involved already in the war by the time Japan attack is not telling the truth. Or they don't fully understand the history of WW2, Japan attack on pearl just gave us an excuse to enter the war with men on the ground.

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I can think of dozens of scenarios where the Axis could have not lost the war, but for each maybe a dozen alternative scenarios where they would have lost anyway. The Allies had huge advantages all across the board -- economies, people, geography, technology, Hollywood.

I wouldn't say that economy and tech Germany spent 2:1 more than the allies at best outspent them as well in many aspect. They also had better tech than us at the time.

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How much money you spend is not relevant; it's what you discover. Code breaking and radar come to mind.

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