Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
UM-Bot

Could Hitler have won the Battle of Britain ?

26 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

TigerBright19

What if Scenario

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mdbuilder

The only 'what if' scenario that matters is, what if Churchill had stayed a liberal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RoofGardener

This is a famous "what if". 

What if a lancaster bomber hadn't got lost and bombed Berlin, triggering Hitler - in a fit of anger - to order the Luftwaffe to focus on bombing British Cities in retribution ? This gave the airfields a breathing space to reorganise and rebuild. Tough on the residents, to be sure. But it saved the RAF, and THEY then destroyed the Luftwaffe, causing Hitler to abandon his plans for a sea invasion. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cookie Monster
4 hours ago, UM-Bot said:

Mathematicians have used statistical models to calculate how different WW2 strategies would have played out.

https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/333672/could-hitler-have-won-the-battle-of-britain

Hitler decided to stick with the plan of throwing all his forces at Poland, then back at France, then back at Russia.

Should he have built in enough adaptability to alter those war plans if things went unusually well? Or should he have stayed with the plan his armed forces had spent a few years preparing for? One could argue either way. As it was the outcome of Dunkirk and the fall of France was a great success even if they passed on the opportunity to slaughter 200,000 extra men.

If Hitler had listened to his generals he would have adapted his war plans at Dunkirk as thats what they called for. He would have allowed his light panzer divisions to run the cut-off allied army into the sea. Germany could have quite literally come across at that point and conquered the UK in a matter of weeks due to the proximity of London to the English Channel, and due to our very small homeland defence force. His Luftwaffe could have been tasked with singing any interfering ships.

Britain should have been knocked out even before the Battle of Britain but thats where the second blunder happened. The Luftwaffe were within 10 hours of having the RAF defeated when Churchill ordered the firebombing of Dresden. The ego of Hitler couldn't wait for revenge, he had to have it then and there so switched from bombing the last remnants of the RAF into the ground to trying to start a similar firestorm in London.

Then Hitler failed to pressure Spain into joining the Axis so he could knock out Gibraltar which was the third and final chance to defeat Britain. With Gibraltar under Axis control then the British forces in North Africa would have had their supply lines cut causing their collapse, India would have been isolated and vulnerable to invasion by Japan, and mainland Britain would have lost its fuel and rubber imports preventing it making or operating tanks and aircraft.

Hitler continued to meddle during the invasion of Russia delaying the drive to Moscow by diverting units south to try and capture some Russia oil wells. Moscow would have fallen if it wasn't for that but with the drive towards the Russian capital being delayed by a few weeks they only made it to 10km outside of it before being halted.

Then the final mistake when the German southern army was surrounded at Stalingrad was Hitler telling them they couldn't break out and expected the 300,000 soldiers there to do a Sparta and all die for the cause.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RoofGardener

Umm.. Dresden wasn't involved @RabidMongoose. That wasn't until 1945 :) 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spud the mackem

The two biggest mistakes Hitler made was (1) to invade Russia , (2) Bomb London , ( and he started it first before we retaliated ).  Although his Armies were maybe the best in the world in the early part of the war , he was fighting on too many fronts. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Manwon Lender
7 hours ago, UM-Bot said:

Mathematicians have used statistical models to calculate how different WW2 strategies would have played out.

https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/333672/could-hitler-have-won-the-battle-of-britain

I personally believe that the Battle of Britain could have been won by the Germans. I think the biggest mistake the Germans made was restricting their attempt to take Britain to only Air Attacks. If the Germans had used Air, Naval, and ground forces they could have won hands down. First they could have used Naval forces to Blockade the island to stop supplies coming to Britain. In this part of the operation they could have used Submarines to their maximum extent. 

Then they could have used Air Attacks to cover the drops of Airborne Troops used to attack, harass and sabotage Britians Airfields. Then in conjunction with Air attacks and Sea attacks they could have landed fighting forces and siimply over whelmed their opposition. It may appear to be that this method would not have worked but at the time Britain wasn't really prepared for a war, Air or other wise. 

But for some reason, I believe that the Germans didn't really want to occupy the British Islands. I think they were more focused on destroy Britains morale and their ability to project military power outside the British Islands.

Peace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RoofGardener
40 minutes ago, Manwon Lender said:

I personally believe that the Battle of Britain could have been won by the Germans. I think the biggest mistake the Germans made was restricting their attempt to take Britain to only Air Attacks. If the Germans had used Air, Naval, and ground forces they could have won hands down. First they could have used Naval forces to Blockade the island to stop supplies coming to Britain. In this part of the operation they could have used Submarines to their maximum extent. 

Then they could have used Air Attacks to cover the drops of Airborne Troops used to attack, harass and sabotage Britians Airfields. Then in conjunction with Air attacks and Sea attacks they could have landed fighting forces and siimply over whelmed their opposition. It may appear to be that this method would not have worked but at the time Britain wasn't really prepared for a war, Air or other wise. 

But for some reason, I believe that the Germans didn't really want to occupy the British Islands. I think they were more focused on destroy Britains morale and their ability to project military power outside the British Islands.

Peace

I disagree. The German Navy was no match for the Royal Navy. If it attempted to enter the English channel, it would be sunk in short order by the Royal Navy, land-based artillery, and RAF bombers.

The German navy was ALREADY making a maximum effort to block sea supply lanes in the North Atlantic. They had no ability to increase this effort. 

Submarines operating in the shallow and constricted waters of the English Channel would be sitting ducks and would take horrendous casualties from both Frigates, and from land-based anti-submarine aircraft. 

To move troops across the Channel, Hitler needed complete air supremacy in order to neutralise the Royal Navy. 

Hitler had no choice but to defeat the RAF first ! If he hadn't been provoked into switching his attacks from the RAF Airfields to the Cities, he would have succeeded. 

 

Edited by RoofGardener
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cookie Monster
19 minutes ago, RoofGardener said:

I disagree. The German Navy was no match for the Royal Navy. If it attempted to enter the English channel, it would be sunk in short order by the Royal Navy, land-based artillery, and RAF bombers.

The German navy was ALREADY making a maximum effort to block sea supply lanes in the North Atlantic. They had no ability to increase this effort. 

Submarines operating in the shallow and constricted waters of the English Channel would be sitting ducks and would take horrendous casualties from both Frigates, and from land-based anti-submarine aircraft. 

Hitler had no choice but to defeat the RAF first ! If he hadn't been provoked into switching his attacks from the RAF Airfields to the Cities, he would have succeeded. 

 

The Germans sank most of our navy resulting in the Americans giving us their old ships. We lost over 100 vessels including destroyers, cruisers, submarines, and several aircraft carriers. All the Germans would have needed to do is have the Luftwaffe over the English Channel sinking our ships and an invasion would have been pretty easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RoofGardener
4 minutes ago, RabidMongoose said:

The Germans sank most of our navy resulting in the Americans giving us their old ships. We lost over 100 vessels including destroyers, cruisers, submarines, and several aircraft carriers. All the Germans would have needed to do is have the Luftwaffe over the English Channel sinking our ships and an invasion would have been pretty easy.

Indeed @RabidMongoose. But to accomplish THAT, the Luftwaffe would first have to have air supremacy. THAT is what Hitler was aiming for. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Grey Area

Yeah the Royal Navy was precisely why Germany didn’t and couldn’t invade.  

And the Luftwaffe was grossly misused by the idiot in command of it.

The first 2 years of the war were simply a dark comedy of errors.  Hitler hadn’t intended the Blitzkrieg to go as far as it did, and the commander of the mechanised push disobeyed hitlers orders, leaving the infantry dangerously exposed.  At one point the entire German Infantry were stuck on a single stretch of road, if the Allied forces would have just rallied they could have literally stopped the entire occupation of Europe, but that intelligence was ignored by the French Commanders.

When the BEF were on the beaches, Goring managed to convince Hitler his Luftwaffe would be able to take care of it, not the only time he would completely overestimate their capabilities.

Hitler Gave orders not to bomb the cities, but one German bomber got lost and bombed London, causing Churchill to authorise bombing German cities.

It all continues throughout the war.

Then you have the Germans altering their plans in Russia to attack Stalingrad, because of its name.

The Yanks had their own moments as well, the beached Japanese sub being totally ignored before the invasion of Pearl Harbour.  The Japanese thinking the Yorktown was destroyed.

If it wasn’t for the fact that millions were dying it would all make a great Monty Python film.  As for simulations, it’s the human element that you can’t predict.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Troublehalf

This has been done before and it has been largely accepted had Goering stuck to his plan of bombing airfields; he would have won. Originally the British were in the upper-had, but a change in tactics to bomb radar stations followed by airfields lead to a near collapse. But an unfortunately bomb landing on London gave Churchill an excuse to bomb Berlin. Which incited Hitler and he ordered the bombing of British cities, which in turn gave the British a chance to repair the airfields, repair the radar stations and build up more fighter aircraft. Regardless, 'the Blitz' was a night time thing and as such the British were unable to counter it.

Next, there has been three separate war games assuming that the British lost the Battle of Britain. The end result is always the same; the Germans invade and are defeated in short order. They break the first line of defence the British set up but fail at the second, counter-attacked and pushed back into the sea. This is because, using the same plans that Operation Sealion used, the Germans used converted barges; not dedicated amphibious assault craft and the fact the Germans, even had they managed to capture key ports, wouldn't be able to regularly supply their forces in Britain due to the Royal navy. The British Homefleet, in the war games, are in port during the invasion due to poor weather, but then come out and block the channel. Seeing as they outnumbered the entire German navy on their own. This prevents resupply and leaves it purely down to Goering and his aircraft... which as we all know regarding Battle of Stalingrad, was not feasible.

Many historians, tacticians, military strategists and politicians have been involved in a 'what if?' scenario before and already have used the assumption that Goering attacked the airfields earlier (before poor weather) and Hitler didn't order bombing of cities in retaliation. The only way that Britain could have been knocked out of the war was the Germans developing a fleet capable of defeating the Royal Navy, an airforce capable of keeping the Royal Airforce out of action and a supply system to provide his forces in yet more occupied territory enough to fight. Remember, German High Command told Hitler that they had over-stretched in 1940 and needed to consolidate and gather more men. Remember, the British tricked the Germans in keeping hundreds of thousands of troops inside Norway for the ENTIRE war, despite D-Day invasion and a march to Berlin. Having to manage such territory with hostile citizens is bad enough, but having to maintain supplies across a sea to do that? Even worse. Remember also, the Germans didn't use mechanised supply routes; only 10% of their force was mechanised at the start of the war and throughout the war they used millions of horses instead of trucks, lorries and other such conveyances. This massively hampered their effectiveness. It's all well and good using blitzkrieg to sweep all before you, but if you run out of fuel, food, water and ammunition 30km away from the nearest pack-horse, you're in a bit of trouble. I forget how many troops evacuated during Dunkirk but I believe it was around 314,000. Churchill wanted 45,000 I believe. 300,000 men, even only with small arms, is difficult to deal with, combined with crazy 'total war' plans such as setting the sea itself on fire or dumping poison gas onto landing beaches before the Germans arrived (and thus loopholing the Geneva convention 'Well we decided to, you know, bomb the beach. Not OUR fault the Germans landed in it!') or building fire ditches everywhere to set on fire. On top of various partisan and homeguard defences. Remember; the French never had time to prepare for this (or, more specifically, never expected to have to) the British prepared everybody for this possibility. Thus, a much different prospect for the invading Germans (who then have to worry about French resistance erupting, or Scandinavia or Poland), meanwhile the British Dominions and colonies remain fighting.

In short, a fun exercise already done (ignoring the mathematics aspect) and taken further with wargames. I quote:

Quote

Although the first echelon landings were more successful than had been anticipated, the German navy's relative weakness, combined with the Luftwaffe's lack of air supremacy, meant they were not able to prevent the Royal Navy from intercepting the second and third echelon Channel crossings. The Navy's destruction of the follow-up echelon forces prevented resupply and reinforcement of the landed troops. This made the position of the initially successful invasion force untenable; it suffered further casualties during the attempted evacuation. Of the 90,000 German troops who landed only 15,400 returned to France. 33,000 were taken prisoner, 26,000 were killed in the fighting and 15,000 drowned in the English Channel. All six umpires deemed the invasion a resounding failure.

 

Edited by Troublehalf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Habitat

Coulda, shoulda, woulda...…..There are endless permutations of possibilities. I think it fair to say that the Battle of Britain, was not an all-out effort by Germany, but the British defence was. Hitler was already fighting on two fronts, at least in his own head. He was mindful of the need not to totally expend his air arm attempting to neutralize Britain, as it would leave nothing in the way of air assets to use in the looming Russian adventure. Or at least, might have made an invasion in 1941, impossible. A year's delay would not have assisted Germany. As it was, the Luftwaffe took heavy losses in France and over Britain, and those losses may have been felt in the expanses of Russia. Hitler had too many powerful enemies, he really needed to knock all three of the more local ones out quickly, and rely on the USA then staying out, which it very likely would have. He managed just one, France.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TigerBright19

If the Nazis had taken Dunkirk sooner and captured the British armed forces before they had time to escape, would Churchill accept peace with Germany, or stand down and allow his successor to negotiate peace?  Is it true that Rudolf Hess flew to Britain during the war to try and negotiate peace with the Royal family and several aristocrats who had influence in the government?   In 1942 there was a vote of no-confidence called against Churchill, but he won with a clear majority.  If Hess had succeeded, would that majority have been crushed?  Soon after Churchill won that vote the Duke of Kent was killed in a plane crash.  I recall there were rumours that he was involved with the plot to remove Churchill and that he was silenced because he knew too much, or was seen as a potential Nazi-sympathiser.

 

 

Edited by Aaron2016

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hetrodoxly
9 hours ago, Aaron2016 said:

If the Nazis had taken Dunkirk sooner and captured the British armed forces before they had time to escape, would Churchill accept peace with Germany, or stand down and allow his successor to negotiate peace?  Is it true that Rudolf Hess flew to Britain during the war to try and negotiate peace with the Royal family and several aristocrats who had influence in the government?   In 1942 there was a vote of no-confidence called against Churchill, but he won with a clear majority.  If Hess had succeeded, would that majority have been crushed?  Soon after Churchill won that vote the Duke of Kent was killed in a plane crash.  I recall there were rumours that he was involved with the plot to remove Churchill and that he was silenced because he knew too much, or was seen as a potential Nazi-sympathiser.

 

 

'If' there hadn't been a counter attack 'the 2nd battle of Arras' stopping Rommel and causing him to make the decision to wait for his stretched out supply lines to catch up the troops wouldn't have been rescued.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tom1200

If... late July 1888... there'd been something better on Austrian telly that night... Alois and Klara might have stayed up later and then been too tired to make babies.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
South Alabam

Hitler constantly ignored the advice of his Generals, so it is doubtful there could have been a different outcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jon the frog

Japan and Germany were unable top win a long war... and engaged themselves in a long war. The only way for them to win is that others nation throw the towel and turn their head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Habitat
On 1/21/2020 at 9:32 AM, South Alabam said:

Hitler constantly ignored the advice of his Generals, so it is doubtful there could have been a different outcome.

Well, the generals did like to promote that idea, after the war, I think it fair to say Hitler had a lot better military smarts than say, Churchill, for who some senior military people believed it was a matter of "limiting the damage" from being pushed into his schemes. We have been told innumerable times that prioritizing taking Moscow would have won the war for Germany, but given how Stalingrad turned out, that seems rather doubtful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alchopwn

Germany had a lot of little things against it.  For example Wilhelm Carnaris, the German Admiral and head of the Abwehr was a British Agent.  Then there was the fact that German fighters didn't use drop tanks.  And the problem with the allied discovery of an intact German magnetic sea mine.  Then there was the cracking of enigma.  Oh, and of course Hitler's "military genius", especially his insistence that bombers attack civilian targets after the provocative Aug 25th 1940 RAF raid on Berlin.

I have played thru various Operation Sea Lion scenarios in wargames over the years, and it is quite possible for Germany to invade and defeat Britain with the materials both had to hand in 1940.  Germany made too many qualitative mistakes during the Battle of Britain for this to work however, and ultimately I think they expected Britain to surrender.  The British were rightly concerned about Paratroop attack.  This is the best way to break in and capture ports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RoofGardener
On 1/11/2020 at 11:21 PM, hetrodoxly said:

'If' the 'Battle of Britain' had been lost Germany would have won WW2.

Unlikely. It is more likely that the Russians would have won it. Most of Europe - possibly eventually including the UK - would have fallen to Stalin. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Essan
21 minutes ago, RoofGardener said:

Unlikely. It is more likely that the Russians would have won it. Most of Europe - possibly eventually including the UK - would have fallen to Stalin. 

Not sure.  Depends on how/when the US enters the war and how they support Russia.   Without the Arctic convoys, and with Germany fighting only on the one front, they might very well have won in Russia.    And with Britain defeated they would have had a free hand in North Africa and the Middle East as well.

The Battle of Britain was probably the defining moment of WW2 for that reason. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RoofGardener
1 hour ago, Essan said:

Not sure.  Depends on how/when the US enters the war and how they support Russia.   Without the Arctic convoys, and with Germany fighting only on the one front, they might very well have won in Russia.    And with Britain defeated they would have had a free hand in North Africa and the Middle East as well.

The Battle of Britain was probably the defining moment of WW2 for that reason. 

Indeed. If the UK had fallen to Germany, then the USA would not have been able to base its invasion fleet here. So whether Russia or Germany where ultimately victorious (and my betting is on the Russians), then the USA would be relegated to the role of spectator. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.