Why Germany couldn't have won the war

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:36 pm

Good post and I agree with you re: that YouTube, the guy did a god job
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:20 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
So, after the Battle of Britain and the poor results of the Blitz what other choices did Hitler have?

To regroup, re-arm, build up: do it again if required.
So, the option you give is to run right back into the fighter wall protecting Great Britain. Germany faced resource shortages throughout the war.
As opposed to attacking USSR?==>Yes. And I did not say "run right back": I said "regroup, re-arm, build up: do it again if required. In fact, other than attacking the Middle East, if there was no attack on USSR, this would have been the situation. The whole point in not attacking the USSR was to have PEACEFUL access to USSR resources. How would the second battle of britain go against an all jet German attack force? You know: in the counterfactual world of fantasy?
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote: Another option: resources into quarantining UK with a submarine net. No reason to "conquer" UK if you can isolate them to a nullity.
Except that you run the risk of accidentally sinking American ships which risks a repeat of WW I. Germany also lacked the resources to build the submarines and naval vessels required to enforce a blockade.
I agree. thing is, why would there be a flow of USA goods if USA not at war with Germany and Germany and Britain are at stalemate? Or....without the pressure of that two front war...let all the supply ships pass and just focus on the Warships.

/////I got lost in all the quotes. So, I'll stop here. Counterfactuals....all come down to how much you assume other than what really happened. Not a function of knowledge or history, but imagination.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Denying-History » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:57 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
So, after the Battle of Britain and the poor results of the Blitz what other choices did Hitler have?

To regroup, re-arm, build up: do it again if required.
So, the option you give is to run right back into the fighter wall protecting Great Britain. Germany faced resource shortages throughout the war.
As opposed to attacking USSR?==>Yes. And I did not say "run right back": I said "regroup, re-arm, build up: do it again if required. In fact, other than attacking the Middle East, if there was no attack on USSR, this would have been the situation. The whole point in not attacking the USSR was to have PEACEFUL access to USSR resources. How would the second battle of britain go against an all jet German attack force? You know: in the counterfactual world of fantasy?
1) Those both mean the same things. It still misses the fact that Germany didn’t have the resources to “regroup, rebuild, etc.”

2) There is nothing the Germans could have done. They couldn’t invade England. The North African campaign was failing/failed. This would have only ate up more resources and only ensured a more prolonged war. The reason for invading the USSR was to get the resources for that to begin with.
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote: Another option: resources into quarantining UK with a submarine net. No reason to "conquer" UK if you can isolate them to a nullity.
Except that you run the risk of accidentally sinking American ships which risks a repeat of WW I. Germany also lacked the resources to build the submarines and naval vessels required to enforce a blockade.
I agree. thing is, why would there be a flow of USA goods if USA not at war with Germany and Germany and Britain are at stalemate? Or....without the pressure of that two front war...let all the supply ships pass and just focus on the Warships.

/////I got lost in all the quotes. So, I'll stop here. Counterfactuals....all come down to how much you assume other than what really happened. Not a function of knowledge or history, but imagination.
1) You can always avoid unrestricted submarine warfare.

2) This is still acting like they had the resources to pull this off.

3) So your avoiding a long chain of criticism that you created.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:04 am

DH: I don't understand why you are stuck in Reality, when a counterfactual is about fantasy. My assumption is: if Germany and USSR had a peace pact that would lead to some kind of cooperation. Why wouldn't USSR sell its oil to Germany in order to make $$ and get ready to fight whoever came next/who they chose to oppress.

Germany lost the war and needed to role multiple snake eyes on command right from the start to have it come out any other way than the way it did. Wars: not about the superior tech the Germans had (except for da bomb) but rather the basic positions of land, materials, resources, man power, and so forth.

To answer a counterfactual with what really happened is to miss the fantasy.

Or do I have it or you wrong?
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Denying-History » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:28 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:DH: I don't understand why you are stuck in Reality, when a counterfactual is about fantasy. My assumption is: if Germany and USSR had a peace pact that would lead to some kind of cooperation. Why wouldn't USSR sell its oil to Germany in order to make $$ and get ready to fight whoever came next/who they chose to oppress.

Germany lost the war and needed to role multiple snake eyes on command right from the start to have it come out any other way than the way it did. Wars: not about the superior tech the Germans had (except for da bomb) but rather the basic positions of land, materials, resources, man power, and so forth.

To answer a counterfactual with what really happened is to miss the fantasy.

Or do I have it or you wrong?
The videos about using “reality” to prove hypothetical options that Germany could have won the war wrong. How your unable to pick this up is amazing.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:37 am

DH: counterfactuals are fantasy. Right and Wrong have little to do with it. You are stuck in reality. That is not all bad.....there are pros and cons to everything.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Denying-History » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:32 am

Yes they are hypotheticals, but as the video maker states: « [A] lot of these arguments only hold water on the surface - but upon reflection mostly miss the point or do not make a segnificant enough change to sway anything. »
« The Terror here is a horrifying fact. There is a fear that reaches down and haunts all sections of the community. No household, however humble, apparently but what lives in constant fear of nocturnal raid by the secret police. . .This particular purge is undoubtedly political. . . It is deliberately projected by the party leaders, who themselves regretted the necessity for it. »
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:35 am

Yes...thats the issue so our mission/task/fun was to find changes that would be segnificant enough. And for that....we enter fantasy land. A different context than reality.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Balsamo » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:04 pm

bobo:
My assumption is: if Germany and USSR had a peace pact that would lead to some kind of cooperation. Why wouldn't USSR sell its oil to Germany in order to make $$ and get ready to fight whoever came next/who they chose to oppress.
This is not an assumption. It is exactly the situation that existed between the two dictator up to June 41, except there was no "peace pact" as such things do not exist, but a non aggression pact. The USSR did sell oil and food and many other materials Germany did not have. But this situation put Germany completely dependent on Stalin and quite far from the situation of self sufficiency Hitler wanted for Germany.
Oh and a second battle of Britain was unthinkable. The Luftwaffe just lost half of its forces (more than 2000 aircraft). It will never fully recover by the way. This disaster would be determinant in the later success of the strategic bombing campaign on Germany and decisive on the Eastern front.

Bobo:
I agree. thing is, why would there be a flow of USA goods if USA not at war with Germany and Germany and Britain are at stalemate? Or....without the pressure of that two front war...let all the supply ships pass and just focus on the Warships.
Now you understand what others means when mentioning "lack of knowledge".
There actually was a flow of US goods toward Great Britain, along with a flow of British convoys bringing goods from the Empire. That a few submarines could defeat the Royal Navy is not worth being a supposition. Their natural targets are precisely the convoys, the point of hitting convoys being to starve the British Island and force surrender.

Another point, Nazis Germany did not enjoy tech superiority at all. Its aircraft were inferior to the British ones, its best tanks could not match the T-34

Since we are there, he is a thing really annoying when discussing with you, and as you asked for copy/paste here they are:
To answer a counterfactual with what really happened is to miss the fantasy.
counterfactuals are fantasy. Right and Wrong have little to do with it. You are stuck in reality. That is not all bad.....there are pros and cons to everything.
Yes...thats the issue so our mission/task/fun was to find changes that would be segnificant enough. And for that....we enter fantasy land. A different context than reality.
Bobo, you did not wrote the OP, therefore it is not your thread.
Since we are dealing with pure hypothesis, we are dealing with fantasy, but fantasy does not mean that those hypothesis should not at least stand on possibilities, based on historical realities otherwise the topic loses all its interests, except, it seems for you.
Of course one could envision a Himmler's plan to create an army of Zombies or to create cyborgs.
Anyway, you keep wanting to have it your way which is What exactly?

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:09 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:DH: I don't understand why you are stuck in Reality, when a counterfactual is about fantasy. My assumption is: if Germany and USSR had a peace pact that would lead to some kind of cooperation. Why wouldn't USSR sell its oil to Germany in order to make $$ and get ready to fight whoever came next/who they chose to oppress.
Bobbo, even counterfactuals need some basis in reality. Balsamo is right. We can spin outrageous tales like the Germans win if they make an alliance with space aliens or resurrect Cthulhu. Harry Turtledove wrote whole series on alternative history that make for fun reading but the video maker specifically looked at how things worked in the real world. When I thought of ways Germany could’ve won I looked at their capabilities and what they actually did.


For example, I know that Student’s paratroopers actually took the Greek Island of Crete. They succeeded but Hitler grounded them because of the high casualties they took. Student kept after Hitler for the remainder of the war but Hitler never used them in that fashion. So, my thinking was if they took Crete they could take Malta in the same fashion and Malta was a better strategic target.

I know that Hitler poured men and material into North Africa in 1943. It did no good and more Germans wound up in POW camps in North Africa than Germans after the Battle of Stalingrad. It was an exercise in futility but what if Hitler did it two or three years earlier? I think a German Army could’ve taken Cairo and the Suez Canal. I know the British feared this possibility. I also know that Churchill faced a vote of “No Confidence” in the Summer of 1942 due to Rommel’s successes. It failed but what if the bigger disaster occurred? I thought that his government could fall and his place taken by someone more willing to negotiate. Halifax came to mind because I think he showed some willingness to at least listen to Hitler’s terms.

I know that America was isolationist before Pearl Harbor. I also know that Roosevelt lacked the votes for a declaration of war against Germany after Pearl Harbor. Hitler took Roosevelt off the hook. Without Britain there would be no impetus towards a war with Germany when it was Japan that attacked a U.S. territory.

And so on....

I know that Hitler’s ideology allowed him to make a temporary agreement with Stalin that benefitted both parties but in the long term he wanted that clash. It didn’t matter to Hitler if Stalin was being helpful or not.

I put some thought into this. I looked at German capabilities based upon what they actually managed to accomplish. It would benefit you to do the same.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:18 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote: Bobbo, even counterfactuals need some basis in reality.
I agree. Is it your position then that it was impossible for the peace pact between Hitler and Stalin to have continued if Hitler got it into his head to "win the War" then go after Stalin?. I don't think so.

How many men, machines, aircraft, artillery etc would have been available for Battle of Britain 2 or backing up the Coastal Defenses from invasion? Substantial.

How to put any numbers on what supplies Stalin could have provided Hitler? How much oil, ore, who knows...even men?

I further agree that I used "fantasy" as a push to get off the use of phrases like "I looked at their capabilities and what they actually did." A counterfactual is about what they DID NOT DO. Perhaps, "what they were actually capable of" would be a better way to merge our two positions? How accurate can predictions be about the capabilities of Germany with the FULL support of Uncle Joe? The question is: how COULD Germany have won the war? Its really a different mind set from Germany could NOT have won the War.

Shake it off, start fresh.

How could Hitler have won the war? How about: give his first Rank Generals more authority to act on their own and require them to pass that leadership quality down the ranks? You know: act like GI's. Now....kinda like "Don't persecute Jews and other minorities (until after the war) would have gone a long way to helping a win, stalemate, not losing.....but, I'd agree we ought to stick within some degrees of reality. Those just weren't Hitler. but Hitler did have a pact with Stalin and the benefits of a one front war is pretty well established.

Tempest in a Tea Pot. Seems to me discussion of counterfactuals are best used to identify strengths and weaknesses to INFORM OURSELVES on what to do today......not to take flights of fantasy. Its more pragmatic.

How could the Roman Empire have continued in the West? ///// Stop initiating foreign wars with no benefit to Rome other than the Pride of old men? There is a lesson.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:37 pm

Did you even read what I wrote after “Bobbo, even counterfactuals need some basis in reality?”
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
Benjamin Ferencz in a letter to Telford Taylor, December 1951

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:39 pm

Yes....thought I responded directly. Can you give me an example of what you posted and what kind of response you wanted?

Likewise, any notion of responding to anything I posted. Note: I quoted you twice. Made multiple responses to the points you made.

Pro Tip: When I want something specifically answered, I ASK A QUESTION. Often numbered.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:45 pm

This:
For example, I know that Student’s paratroopers actually took the Greek Island of Crete. They succeeded but Hitler grounded them because of the high casualties they took. Student kept after Hitler for the remainder of the war but Hitler never used them in that fashion. So, my thinking was if they took Crete they could take Malta in the same fashion and Malta was a better strategic target.

I know that Hitler poured men and material into North Africa in 1943. It did no good and more Germans wound up in POW camps in North Africa than Germans after the Battle of Stalingrad. It was an exercise in futility but what if Hitler did it two or three years earlier? I think a German Army could’ve taken Cairo and the Suez Canal. I know the British feared this possibility. I also know that Churchill faced a vote of “No Confidence” in the Summer of 1942 due to Rommel’s successes. It failed but what if the bigger disaster occurred? I thought that his government could fall and his place taken by someone more willing to negotiate. Halifax came to mind because I think he showed some willingness to at least listen to Hitler’s terms.

I know that America was isolationist before Pearl Harbor. I also know that Roosevelt lacked the votes for a declaration of war against Germany after Pearl Harbor. Hitler took Roosevelt off the hook. Without Britain there would be no impetus towards a war with Germany when it was Japan that attacked a U.S. territory.
I was very specific. I even gave examples on how I came up with my conclusions.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
Benjamin Ferencz in a letter to Telford Taylor, December 1951

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:47 pm

...and what is your question?
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:55 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:...and what is your question?

Why are you here?
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
Benjamin Ferencz in a letter to Telford Taylor, December 1951

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:59 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:If the criterion was "capitulation/ceasefire/peace with everyone after occupying most of Europe", then, maybe, Germany could have won.
But for a decade, tops, before the occupations would have become unsustainable.
Missed this, somehow. I agree that occupying such a vast territory would’ve proved unsustainable over the long haul.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
Benjamin Ferencz in a letter to Telford Taylor, December 1951

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:02 pm

You aren't making any sense.

" Is it your position then that it was impossible for the peace pact between Hitler and Stalin to have continued if Hitler got it into his head to "win the War" then go after Stalin?." //// Totally subsumes whatever it is you can't verbalize.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:27 pm

Sorry Balsamo I missed your excellent response.
by Balsamo » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:04 am
bobo:

My assumption is: if Germany and USSR had a peace pact that would lead to some kind of cooperation. Why wouldn't USSR sell its oil to Germany in order to make $$ and get ready to fight whoever came next/who they chose to oppress.

This is not an assumption. It is exactly the situation that existed between the two dictator up to June 41, except there was no "peace pact" as such things do not exist, but a non aggression pact. The USSR did sell oil and food and many other materials Germany did not have. But this situation put Germany completely dependent on Stalin and quite far from the situation of self sufficiency Hitler wanted for Germany.
Yes...I was using Hitlers attack on USSR as the starting point. Peace Pact same thing. Hitler lost the war when he invaded USSR. the only option then in a counterfactual is NOT TO INVADE USSR. Seems rather simple and direct.
Oh and a second battle of Britain was unthinkable. The Luftwaffe just lost half of its forces (more than 2000 aircraft). It will never fully recover by the way. This disaster would be determinant in the later success of the strategic bombing campaign on Germany and decisive on the Eastern front.
I make no recommendation to have an air war, invasion of Britain. Thats why I went to submarines. The counterfactual though is to rest and rearm after major activities in Europe are concluded.....with no war with USSR.
Bobo:

I agree. thing is, why would there be a flow of USA goods if USA not at war with Germany and Germany and Britain are at stalemate? Or....without the pressure of that two front war...let all the supply ships pass and just focus on the Warships.


Now you understand what others means when mentioning "lack of knowledge".
No.
There actually was a flow of US goods toward Great Britain, along with a flow of British convoys bringing goods from the Empire.
Everyone knows that.
That a few submarines could defeat the Royal Navy is not worth being a supposition.
How about more than a few? I SAID: "regroup, re-arm, build up." What capability such a process could produce should dictate the next steps taken.
Their natural targets are precisely the convoys, the point of hitting convoys being to starve the British Island and force surrender.
I disagree. The natural target of a war ship is other war ships. Without war ships to protect the convoys, they become sitting ducks. Its the very error Hitler made: to switch the Luftwaffe from attacking the Royal Air Force and moving to civilian targets. Seems like many generals have to relearn this lesson. As when Fifth Air Force initially denied the fighter pilots the authority to go after the Luftwaffe fighter and to stay with the bombers instead. Wrong choice.
Another point, Nazis Germany did not enjoy tech superiority at all. Its aircraft were inferior to the British ones, its best tanks could not match the T-34
"at all?" that goes too far. I SAID: "regroup, re-arm, build up." Re-arm would include designing and building what they learned would do a better job. T-34? Hitler is at peace with Uncle Jo...who is busy building T-34's for Hitlers use. Counterfactual....remember?
Bobo, you did not wrote the OP, therefore it is not your thread.
Get off your high horse. You aren't the boss of anybody. Threads go where they go.
Since we are dealing with pure hypothesis, we are dealing with fantasy, but fantasy does not mean that those hypothesis should not at least stand on possibilities, based on historical realities otherwise the topic loses all its interests, except, it seems for you.
I agree. Is it your position then that it was impossible for the peace pact between Hitler and Stalin to have continued if Hitler got it into his head to "win the War" then go after Stalin?.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:29 pm

Good post, Balsamo. I just wanted to hit a few points.
Balsamo wrote:
For example he could have forced Spain into submission by massing troops at the border and forcing Franco to let German troops in and seize Gibraltar.
I need to drag out one of my old books on this if you want specifics but the Wehrmacht actually did a study on taking Gibraltar. It turns out that Spanish infrastructure was too poorly developed to handle large numbers of German troops. Spain couldn’t support those troops with the needed supplies due to their civil war. It was also impossible to keep such an operation secret so the land linking Gibraltar to Spain was essentially a death trap.

This is why I thought of Malta instead of Gibraltar.
The same way he could have done the same after the campaign in the Balkan to obtain the cooperation of Turkey, at least the authorization to let troops getting across this counrty to strike the middel East and then reach Egypt.
I thought of Libya instead, my thought was attacking from the West, taking Cairo and then Suez. Now, I think that if Germany succeeded in driving the British out they could’ve pressured Turkey into allowing German troops and supplies through to form a fourth prong for Operation Barbarossa. Offer the Turks territory and threaten them into compliance.
Without Gibraltar and the Suez canal, the british would have been unable to control the Mediterranean see, and would have been unable to protect its possession in Afrika...India would have been way too far to supply London. And as an opposite would have let India defenseless against the Japanese.
The Japanese kept bugging Hitler into taking this route the entire war. They wanted Hitler to make peace with Stalin and join them against Britain.
On a purely theoretical view, the oil fields of Arabia and Irak were much closer than those of the Soviet Caucasus. One could add that the Antisemitism of the Nazi Regimes would have been welcomed in the middle east region.
Absolutely.
This situation coupled with the successes in the battle of the Atlantic COULD have eventually forced Great Britain into negotiation.
Then "Da Bomb" would not have had been an issue as the USA would have stayed out of the war, with or without FDR...
My thoughts exactly.

Once he had a peace treaty with Britain, well then maybe...but just maybe...would have had Barbarossa a chance, if and that is a big if, the Nazis had been pragmatic and realistic, which they were fortunately not.
The video is right in the sense that Russia going from Smolensk to the Pacific could and still cannot be invaded. But, the Bolshevist regime could be overthrown. And in this perspective, the fall of Moscow would have proven decisive, and this is the only fault i see in this video. Had the Nazis REALLY liberated the UKRAINE, the UKRAINE would have joined (at least the western part), The white Russians would have taken their revenge and i think there would have been a possibility for the Regime to collapse and the signature of a new Brest Litosvk treaty...Other treaties would have given Turkey their empire back in exchange of an easy access to the soviet caucasus, etc...
I agree with all of the above. Let’s say during the course of the campaign the Germans take Moscow and either kill or capture Stalin. Stalin left no one strong enough to take his place. Does this cause collapse?

Maybe they come to agreement with a potential successor....maybe Beria? Stalin reached out through Beria and his contacts in the Summer of 1941. Maybe he is the one.

The problem is that Hitler is the wild card. Would he even accept a surrender from the USSR at that point or keep pushing? In any normal situation I see where Germany would accept the surrender, after all, the Kaiser did. But Hitler was not the Kaiser. He wanted to treat the USSR as a colony and exploit it. So he might refuse and keep the invasion going to thoroughly beat Soviets down.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Denying-History » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:46 pm

It seems reality has left this man a long-time ago...
« The Terror here is a horrifying fact. There is a fear that reaches down and haunts all sections of the community. No household, however humble, apparently but what lives in constant fear of nocturnal raid by the secret police. . .This particular purge is undoubtedly political. . . It is deliberately projected by the party leaders, who themselves regretted the necessity for it. »
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Balsamo » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:44 pm

Bobo:
I agree. Is it your position then that it was impossible for the peace pact between Hitler and Stalin to have continued if Hitler got it into his head to "win the War" then go after Stalin?. I don't think so.
Could you stop using this non existent thing that you call "peace pact"? There is a peace treaty which has to follow a war. The Molotov pact was a non aggression pact, with secret clauses. The same kind of pact Hitler signed with Poland by 1936. Hence it offers little protection. Both Stalin and Hitler knew it.
How many men, machines, aircraft, artillery etc would have been available for Battle of Britain 2 or backing up the Coastal Defenses from invasion? Substantial.
What do you mean? I just told you the luftwaffe lost half his planes during Battle of Britain 1?
Coastal defense in a British perspective is quite irrelevant as the Nazis had not the navy to carry out such an invasion and even less to supply whatever troops it would have managed to land in Great Britain. It was just unfeasible. The Royal Navy had nearly
1000 large ships under command... The Kriegsmarine after the loses in Norway had maybe 30 ships (mostly destroyers) to oppose among them 4 battleships (the Bismark will be sunk later, leaving 3)...

Anyway, a Battle of Britain 2 would have made no sense for the German as one of the reason of the defeat was the disadvantage for the Luftwaffe of the distance to cover, with means that each fighter had a fighting time capacity of about less than 1 hour (sometime less depending on where they were fighting)... The flaw was the underestimation of the strength of the RAF...still present due to the legend and the propaganda...actually the RAF had plenty of fighters (around 900 at the start of the battle) and a production of about 300 a week...It also enjoyed of good pool of pilots...
Of course, these numbers have never been too much put forward in movies like the Battle of Britain in which heroism is why it ended in victory, In reality, given the strength in presence, the battle was unwinnable for Germany whatever the legend says.
Improvement in Fuel tank capacity will only come later.
How to put any numbers on what supplies Stalin could have provided Hitler? How much oil, ore, who knows...even men?
There is a litterature on that, Bobo.
The 1940 trade agreement mentions about 1.000.000 tons of grain (food), 900.000 of oil, and around 500.000 tons of metals... Nice but nothing decisive given the German deficits. It was no for free, in exchange, Germany had to provide coal, machinery, technologies, worth a equal amount of what they were given. Nothing to build a long term plan on it, really.
A counterfactual is about what they DID NOT DO. Perhaps, "what they were actually capable of"
And this is exactly what posters, including Jeffk and myself, did. We told what eventually could be done that has not been done, but based on real options, on realistic possibilities.
The question is: how COULD Germany have won the war? Its really a different mind set from Germany could NOT have won the War.
As if we did not understood the topic, lol. This is precisely what we did, again. Now fact is, given that it is not a new subject, many of us who have a good understanding of WW2, have long concluded that the chances for Germany to win the war were minimal as soon as it started. Which is exactly what the video tries to explain, by the way. It is not a matter of mindset, it is a matter of conclusions...
Same goes with Japan...Even the strongest Japan lovers can only conclude that Japan had no chance to win a war against the USA...no matter how much they would have liked it...It is not about mindset but about strategic possibilities.

Jeffk and myself gave some of the rare options that would have led to a potential success. But then you don't seem to read those posts, then...well...not our problem.
Shake it off, start fresh.
The question is why you want us to repeat ourselves?
How about: give his first Rank Generals more authority to act on their own and require them to pass that leadership quality down the ranks? You know: act like GI's. Now....kinda like "Don't persecute Jews and other minorities (until after the war) would have gone a long way to helping a win, stalemate, not losing....
Actually, this video, to which i gave a good grade, address this point. There are plenty of very good reading among the former Generals memoirs...Some of their critics toward Hitler are acceptable, but they never address the main issue...the resources...For example, Guderian blames Hitler along with other general for not having let him take Moscow...he also blames them for not bringing the supplies, the spare parts to repair the tanks, but until late in the books (as he will become in charge of those matters) never does it occur to him that there just was no spare parts available, nor sufficient fuel...which is exactly what motivated this silly invasion. Manstein speaks in the same tone when he write about his "lost victories"...
But the disastrous battle of KURSK was 100% the general staff idea, Hitler did not feel it at all...this time he chose to listen his officers, and that was it...the road to Berlin was open.

Now, as for the "act like GI's" for whatever that mean, you could also read some of the soldier's memoirs...Von Kageneck is really good, and probably one of the best known...You'll see that most of the times those chaps were on their own, given the lack of communication and the distance, the absence of reliable maps of the territories...Each regiment within each division held a collective diary so to speak...those who survived are conserved in the Archives and open to historians...
A good and easy first read would be "Anthony Beevor Stalingrad"...
but Hitler did have a pact with Stalin and the benefits of a one front war is pretty well established.
And this why Jeffk and I saw to finish off Great Britain as soon as 1940 as the sole options for Germany to have a slight chance of winning the war. I proposed Gibraltar and the Middel East through the North, he proposed Malta which is an evident choice, and a sooner attack from Lybia to Cairo...the result would have been the same.
But thank God, none of us were born at the time and even less would have worked for the Nazis... :D

Nevertheless it also what is proposed by Skorzeny in his memoirs...
How could the Roman Empire have continued in the West? ///// Stop initiating foreign wars with no benefit to Rome other than the Pride of old men? There is a lesson.
Well i see that the history of the Roman empire is not one of your strength neither. Dare to support your assertion? You are welcome to open a new thread about the fall of the Roman empire in the History subforum...that could be fun...

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:56 pm

I am enjoying thinking about this. I haven’t thought about it in awhile.

I’m sure Aaron is enjoying the movement on his thread.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
Benjamin Ferencz in a letter to Telford Taylor, December 1951

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Balsamo » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:13 pm

Oups i did not realize that i was addressing a post to Jeffk...sorry...so here it is, and i will try not repeating myself.
Yes...I was using Hitlers attack on USSR as the starting point. Peace Pact same thing. Hitler lost the war when he invaded USSR. the only option then in a counterfactual is NOT TO INVADE USSR. Seems rather simple and direct.
Yes but you did not really SUPPORT your choice.
This is the core of our disagreement. I personally do not agree with your starting point. And you have not anything substantial to defend it. You just mentioned " regroup`rebuilt and ?" something like this...great...or to launch a couple of hundreds of submarine with the order to sink the Royal Navy.
Sad thing that you were actually not in charge back then, the world war would have ended much sooner.

NOT TO INVADE USSR as the ONLY option that is counterfactual only exists in your mind. You are welcome to defend it, but why would we all have to take this silly assertion as a common premise?
This is a good example of what i meant when i wrote that you wanted to appropriate all the topics to yourself. Anyone with a basic knowledge of the relations between the third Reich and the USSR knows that the pact was not based on friendship or special relations between the two dictators.
There is a thread on this forum about that, by the way...use the search button...You'll find out a lot of disagreement among us.
I make no recommendation to have an air war, invasion of Britain. Thats why I went to submarines. The counterfactual though is to rest and rearm after major activities in Europe are concluded.....with no war with USSR.
Great, then explain your strategy to base your invasion of Great Britain using submarines.
And as you are at it, please explain in plain words how a bunch of submarines can defeat a fleet composed of air carrier, battleship, cruiser and destroyers supported by torpedoes bombers.
No.
You should.
Depending on how you answer the question above, and explain to us the potential use of submarines in annihilating the Royal Navy, it will become pretty clear why you should.
But you can also pick the fall of the Roman Empire and defend you assertion that it is due to useless war "to please old men", it should do the trick.
Balsamo wrote
There actually was a flow of US goods toward Great Britain, along with a flow of British convoys bringing goods from the Empire.
Everyone knows that.
Then why did you wrote:
why would there be a flow of USA goods if USA not at war with Germany and Germany and Britain are at stalemate?
As it is obvious that by the end of 1940, the situation between the two was just that: a stalemate.
And yet the flow of convoy from the USA was higher than ever.
How about more than a few? I SAID: "regroup, re-arm, build up."
Well we are not talking about some new strategic computer games here. There is no such thing as "regroup, re-arm, build up" as even if you do, your opponent with way more resources will do the same. In reality, it takes resources, means, money, manpower, in order to do that. And then what? To retry what had already failed?
In fact, Germany just did that...although they were stupid enough not to realize the gravity of the situation until early 1942. Great Britain was already in a full war production while Nazi Germany still refused German women to work in factories.

There is another things. Once a country is fully mobilized militarily, status quo is out of question. No country can afford an army of over 4 million soldiers just to wait for a solution to the stalemate.
As Jeffk and i explained, there only solution was in choosing the right option when faced with this Stalemate. We seems to agree that an attack against the USSR was not the best one, but it would probably have been worse later, as Germany could not have followed the industrial output of the Soviet Union. Again, by the end of 1941, the Red Army had already thousands of T-34 on the field, and was producing more tanks in a month than Germany in a year.
Under these circumstances, Barbarossa was maybe not the worst idea, as letting the Red Army get stronger and then attack would have crushed Germany within months.
This is the reason why i wrote that the tiny chance was to act NOW (i wrote THEN) that is right after the defeat of France, in June 40. This was the time where the tiny window of a German victorious conclusion of the war would have existed. That is not to engage the battle of Britain (then it would have been the RAF which would have had to face the distance factor) but to strike militarily and diplomatically to the soft belly of the British Empire. And to consolidate if possible the Mediterranean sea.
As Jeffk explained, had the German supported Italy right away, and not until it was too late, with adequate strength, the Axis could have cut the Suez Canal, and the shortest supply lines with the British Empire. After Cairo, nothing would have stopped this army to continue eastward, capture Jerusalem (imagine the symbol) and the whole middle East (and yes there were already very lucrative oil fields in the region as the first ones were digged by 1850 or so).
What capability such a process could produce should dictate the next steps taken.
Well Germany managed to produce about 1000 submarines during the whole war. But the problem is that they did not have them in 1940. Germany actually had around 9 or 10 submarines functioning when the war started in september 39. And Hilter made actually one of his good choice when he decided to go "full submarines"...but the target had never been the destruction of the Royal Navy, of course.
This choice actually dictate that the next step was to starve Great Britain, to break its war efforts by depriving it from its supplies of commodities needed to build up. Would he have chosen to build up this fleet and send them to be destroyed by the Royal Navy destroyers (and it had a load of them), then yes, the war would have ended sooner.
I disagree. The natural target of a war ship is other war ships. Without war ships to protect the convoys, they become sitting ducks. Its the very error Hitler made: to switch the Luftwaffe from attacking the Royal Air Force and moving to civilian targets.
Is this one of your specialty? Stating one absurdity supported by an unrelated argument?
What you say is like "a natural target of a weapon is another weapon"...but there is this little detail, each guns, weapons, ships has its own purpose: tanks are great against infantry, but quite useless against air forces, machine guns won't save you from a tank attack, anti tanks guns are great against tanks but quite useless against infantry, etc...

I do not deny that Hilter fell into the trap of changing his target from airfields to cities (although it would not have changed the outcome of the Battle), but he would have made an even more stupid mistake in misusing his submarines by sending them in an attempt to challenge the Royal Navy Home fleet.

You see, "basic knowledge" does matter.
As when Fifth Air Force initially denied the fighter pilots the authority to go after the Luftwaffe fighter and to stay with the bombers instead. Wrong choice.
Says who? Bobo the strategic expert?
Another stupid assertion, sorry.
Maybe, the Figther command was aware that those fighters could only stay less than one hour in the British skies, while the bombers had enough fuel to reach London and Coventry? Just maybe...
Hitler is at peace with Uncle Jo...who is busy building T-34's for Hitlers use
Well that is what i call fantasy...Stalin so in love with Dolfy that he would give him his secret weapon for free, just because of friendship. That is really a great premise for further discussion.
Get off your high horse. You aren't the boss of anybody. Threads go where they go.
I am well aware of that, why would i be the boss? This is why i do not try to manipulate thread and orient them where i want, except when i am the author of the OP, of course. ;)
Is it your position then that it was impossible for the peace pact between Hitler and Stalin to have continued if Hitler got it into his head to "win the War" then go after Stalin?.
It is not only MY position. It is the historical conclusion.
Again, if you want a "Sunday afternoon chat" based on "fantastic What if", then i will not participate.

Now if you want to propose an alternative to what Jeffk and I (as well as others) have proposed, let it go but please support it with realistic possibilities. As this is actually the TOPIC, do you agree or not with this youtube video, YES or NO? If NO, tell us why, supporting your post with realistic arguments, not only silly statements like "regroup, rebuild, build up"...

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:43 am

I tried in another context, but it's worth another go: mercy rule?
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:01 am

I like the topic but Bobbo kinda sucked the fun out of it.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:45 am

The replies have been fun to read.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Balmoral95 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:43 am

Agree with Balsamo that should the discussion turn into a "what if" fest, it's game over.

If anyone is inclined to do "what if", AHF has had for many years a subforum specifically dedicated to that type of discussion.

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:26 am

I give up........No one wants to engage the "what if" question, on the terms of it being what if, and that is fair enough. To me, the "what if" and the "why Germany could not" while not the same question do have a lot of overlap. Both have value, seems to me both should be addressed.

I don't know the history, as well as you folks, just like I don't know guns as well as the gun nuts do. It always amuses me they think if you don't know or incorporate the difference between a clip and a magazine that you have no business commenting on any gun issue.

In the main, if you change the what if, you don't ground your analysis in what did.
Yes...I was using Hitlers attack on USSR as the starting point. Peace Pact same thing. Hitler lost the war when he invaded USSR. the only option then in a counterfactual is NOT TO INVADE USSR. Seems rather simple and direct.



Yes but you did not really SUPPORT your choice.
This is the core of our disagreement. I personally do not agree with your starting point. And you have not anything substantial to defend it.
The core huh? Thats always good to identify. There is no disagreeing with any of the 1000's what ifs/starting points that can be chosen. No need to defend it either. Its after you choose it and then identifying the variables that apply. To negate some variable because "thats not what happened" misses the whole point.

Reminds me of "minimal information problem solving." Some people can't do it. Everyone gets better with practice.

A point of personal reference:
As when Fifth Air Force initially denied the fighter pilots the authority to go after the Luftwaffe fighter and to stay with the bombers instead. Wrong choice.

Says who? Bobo the strategic expert?
Another stupid assertion, sorry.
Maybe, the Fighter command was aware that those fighters could only stay less than one hour in the British skies, while the bombers had enough fuel to reach London and Coventry? Just maybe...
USAF made the same bone headed policy decision in Vietnam. Pissed us all off. We wanted to Fight the enemy....not see them on the ground as we flew out and meet them on the way back. The Policy determination and changes thereto of the Fifth AF in WW2 is well known by combat pilots. I was not a combat pilot. I flew into Vietnam but not in Vietnam. In line to go and thankfully the war ended before my number was called. Had a lot of friends who were. McNamara "Limited War." Contra: I suppose not going Nuclear against Russia was a good thing to avoid?

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:09 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I give up........No one wants to engage the "what if" question, on the terms of it being what if
That makes no sense, both Balsamo and I did so.
I don't know the history, as well as you folks
And that is what keeps tripping you up.
Yes...I was using Hitlers attack on USSR as the starting point. Peace Pact same thing. Hitler lost the war when he invaded USSR. the only option then in a counterfactual is NOT TO INVADE USSR. Seems rather simple and direct.
Except that choice is not grounded in reality.

Bobbo, the problem is due to your lack of knowledge. Hitler always focused on the USSR, he considered them to be an enormous threat plus he wanted access to their land and resources. He considered this the only way Germany could ever be self-sustaining with the added bonus of eradicating the Judeo-Bolshevik threat. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was nothing more than a convenience, a pragmatic way of keeping the Soviets out of the war while he dealt with the West.

I think Balsamo and I agree, there was a window where the conditions set up in Hitler’s favor. Germany never could successfully prosecute a long war so they needed to capitalize on their strengths ASAP. We both looked at North Africa as a place to exploit British weaknesses to the point where the British would bow out. With Britain out of the way the U.S. becomes less of a threat. Without Britain and the U.S. there was no air war to worry about, no U.S. troops in North Africa or in France. This frees up German resources for an invasion of the USSR.

This is where it gets hazy. The distances involved, the stubbornness of the Red Army, the fact that Soviet industry moved East where Germany couldn’t exploit or destroy it, Stalin’s sheer willpower, all of this worked against Germany. The only chance I think Germany had was to take Moscow. Doing this would enable the Germans to command the central rail lines with the added bonus of maybe capturing or killing Stalin. I also think this would destabilize the conditions to the North making it easier to capture Leningrad. It would be a massive blow to Soviet morale and the sheer shock value of that might just cause the Soviet Government to topple. Beyond that I just can’t say. Maybe none of that happens and the Soviets continue to fight under someone else. Something else to consider, in that circumstance would the British and/or U.S. assist the Soviets? My assumption is that everything else stays the same, the Japanese eventually attack Pearl Harbor along with the British and American bases in the Pacific causing war to break out. If that happened would the U.S. and/or Britain provide the Soviets with supplies or leave them?

It’s hard to say. It is interesting to consider.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:50 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I give up.......
So there is a Santa Claus?
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:54 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:The only chance I think Germany had was to take Moscow. Doing this would enable the Germans to command the central rail lines with the added bonus of maybe capturing or killing Stalin. I also think this would destabilize the conditions to the North making it easier to capture Leningrad. It would be a massive blow to Soviet morale and the sheer shock value of that might just cause the Soviet Government to topple.
I don't see the Germans’ taking or not taking Moscow as having such a significant role in the overall course of the war - certainly not toppling the government. Soviet industrial capacity was already moving east, and would move east in any event, and many governmental functions, too, with plans for a full evacuation, if need be, readied. Erickson details all this.

IMO the "knockout blow" suffered by Germany was the failure to knock the Soviet Union out of the war in the fall, Moscow somehow coming to symbolize this failure whilst in reality Moscow wasn't the critical point in the failure. In your post, many of the other aspects of Soviet strength you describe support this view, that the Soviet Union's strengths vs Germany didn’t really involve holding Moscow. And would be present if Moscow had been taken. Yes, losing Moscow would have been a psychological blow - but the USSR showed a steely ability to overcome psychological blow after psychological blow, on account of the other factors you mention.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:43 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote: I don't see the Germans’ taking or not taking Moscow as having such a significant role in the overall course of the war - certainly not toppling the government. Soviet industrial capacity was already moving east, and would move east in any event, and many governmental functions, too, with plans for a full evacuation, if need be, readied. Erickson details all this.
I looked at Moscow being the major railway hub for the USSR. Controlling that hub meant making it much harder for the Red Army to move troops and supplies to areas where they needed to be. I also think the loss of Moscow meant the loss of Leningrad due to above reasons. If Leningrad falls that immediately puts Murmansk in danger.

I looked at the possibility of perhaps capturing or killing Stalin as being a major factor. Stalin decided to stay in Moscow in the Fall of 1941 in spite of Beria urging him to evacuate. I think he stays in my scenario as well.

Stalin is the linchpin, even after everything he did the government depended on him. If something happens to him then the government is headless.

I realized that some of this is far-fetched but I tried to figure ways where Germany could win within the capabilities it possessed.

IMO the "knockout blow" suffered by Germany was the failure to knock the Soviet Union out of the war in the fall, Moscow somehow coming to symbolize this failure whilst in reality Moscow wasn't the critical point in the failure. In your post, many of the other aspects of Soviet strength you describe support this view, that the Soviet Union's strengths vs Germany didn’t really involve holding Moscow. And would be present if Moscow had been taken. Yes, losing Moscow would have been a psychological blow - but the USSR showed a steely ability to overcome psychological blow after psychological blow, on account of the other factors you mention.
I agree. Once the Red Army counterattacked and drove the Germans back the war was essentially lost. Germany couldn’t win a protracted war, in my scenario I think the only way was to complete the offensive before Fall hit.

BTW, Hitler agreed with you....Moscow was only a point on the map.

:D

Where Hitler messed up was suddenly deciding late in the season that Moscow was vital.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
Benjamin Ferencz in a letter to Telford Taylor, December 1951

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:45 pm

One interesting offshoot of this is how the Holocaust would’ve happened with some of the differences we went over.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
Benjamin Ferencz in a letter to Telford Taylor, December 1951

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:10 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:I looked at Moscow being the major railway hub for the USSR. Controlling that hub meant making it much harder for the Red Army to move troops and supplies to areas where they needed to be. I also think the loss of Moscow meant the loss of Leningrad due to above reasons. If Leningrad falls that immediately puts Murmansk in danger.

I looked at the possibility of perhaps capturing or killing Stalin as being a major factor. Stalin decided to stay in Moscow in the Fall of 1941 in spite of Beria urging him to evacuate. I think he stays in my scenario as well.

Stalin is the linchpin, even after everything he did the government depended on him. If something happens to him then the government is headless.
But I don't think that there were serious signs of this: he remained in control of the security agencies, etc. Bellamy goes through Stalin's "panic"/"MIA" period and shows that he quickly showed himself in control - and reacted/learned productively during the early part of the war. And the security agencies continued their repressive work that fall, where it was needed, timely and effectively.

Just to add: I'm traveling and without access to Erickson, but he argues that Stalin had plans to evacuate if needed, which Bellamy also details, and clearly, the German forces reached very close to Moscow and its infrastructure.

Stalin ordered the evacuation of NKGB personnel as early as August, mostly to Kuybyshev, which was, in Bellamy’s words, “earmarked . . . as the reserve capital if Moscow fell. It was the destination of key government agencies and foreign diplomatic missions when the evacuation order was given on 15 October.” Around that time, in mid October, Stalin met with a large number of senior officials (among them Molotov, Beria, and Malenkov) and the decision was reached to evacuate Moscow; this was at the time of the collapse of the Vyazma pocket, 120 miles from the city with the Germans advancing to much closer. Beria left the capital, Stalin didn’t. Bellamy says that Stalin struggled with whether to leave at this time. He stayed - and major repression came down on those remaining in the city, to nip panic, rumors, etc in the bud. Major commissariats were evacuated including the commissariat for foreign affairs; key infrastructure was mined, as well as factories. Even “the fire service had disappeared in its entirety” (Shadrin) from the NKVD building during the evacuation. The foreign diplomats remained in the “frontier” city of Kuybyshev until after Stalingrad. Bellamy has a nice description of Kuybyshev during this period, where the security agencies were effective in repression and control.

As my memory sucks, and my notes aren't great, I will look for more when I return home from this Third World infested shithole. To my home, another Third World infested shithole. :)
Jeffk 1970 wrote:I agree. Once the Red Army counterattacked and drove the Germans back the war was essentially lost. Germany couldn’t win a protracted war, in my scenario I think the only way was to complete the offensive before Fall hit.

BTW, Hitler agreed with you....Moscow was only a point on the map.
I always try finding a way toward agreement with the Führer: it's called "convergence" or a "consilience of inductons."
Jeffk 1970 wrote:Where Hitler messed up was suddenly deciding late in the season that Moscow was vital.
How dare you criticize the Führer!?! This will be reported.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Balsamo » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:41 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:The only chance I think Germany had was to take Moscow. Doing this would enable the Germans to command the central rail lines with the added bonus of maybe capturing or killing Stalin. I also think this would destabilize the conditions to the North making it easier to capture Leningrad. It would be a massive blow to Soviet morale and the sheer shock value of that might just cause the Soviet Government to topple.
I don't see the Germans’ taking or not taking Moscow as having such a significant role in the overall course of the war - certainly not toppling the government. Soviet industrial capacity was already moving east, and would move east in any event, and many governmental functions, too, with plans for a full evacuation, if need be, readied. Erickson details all this.

IMO the "knockout blow" suffered by Germany was the failure to knock the Soviet Union out of the war in the fall, Moscow somehow coming to symbolize this failure whilst in reality Moscow wasn't the critical point in the failure. In your post, many of the other aspects of Soviet strength you describe support this view, that the Soviet Union's strengths vs Germany didn’t really involve holding Moscow. And would be present if Moscow had been taken. Yes, losing Moscow would have been a psychological blow - but the USSR showed a steely ability to overcome psychological blow after psychological blow, on account of the other factors you mention.
I agree with Jeff on this one...Moscow was not just a point on a map, it was THE center of the poor communication network of the Soviet Union. This is where the Transiberian led to... Without Moscow, the Red Army would have been in a dramatic position regarding its mobility.
Then, there is indeed the political aspect of this loss. The Bolshevik regime was not as strong as it looked like and it could have collapsed, even if only because the loss of Moscow would have fragmented the Soviet State.

One should also not forget the massive material support provided by the western Allies, especially trucks and fuel. In Jeff scenario, there would not be any. So it is really hard to say. The USA provided 45% of the trucks used by the Red Army or 410.000 pieces, which will be essential for the speed of the Soviet's "Blitzkrieg", along with no less than 2.6 million tons of fuel.

Actually, the key in our hypothesis relies on the neutralization of Great Britain, and in consequence, on the neutrality of the USA in the European conflict. If the Mediterranean sea is controlled by the Axis then it could have exploited a naval superiority (with the combined navy of Italy, Romania, in the Black sea and pose a thread to the Caucasus as well as shorting the supply route using Odessa or Sevastopol or even Rostov as supply hubs. This would have solved the supply nightmare the Nazis were facing.

That is a lot of IF of course, right Bobo?

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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:55 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote: But I don't think that there were serious signs of this: he remained in control of the security agencies, etc. Bellamy goes through Stalin's "panic"/"MIA" period and shows that he quickly showed himself in control - and reacted/learned productively during the early part of the war. And the security agencies continued their repressive work that fall, where it was needed, timely and effectively.
My argument is what if you suddenly eliminate Stalin from the equation. The purges stripped the government of capable, independent men. Men like Nikita Khrushchev and Georgy Zhukov grew up during the war and afterwards but was anyone capable of taking control if Stalin was gone? It’s possible but the shock of losing Stalin on top of Moscow (and other losses) might have caused the government to disintegrate. Or put men in power that would’ve tried to negotiate and settle. The question then becomes would Hitler have taken that way out or continue. I say he continues.

Stalin ordered the evacuation of NKGB personnel as early as August, mostly to Kuybyshev, which was, in Bellamy’s words, “earmarked . . . as the reserve capital if Moscow fell. It was the destination of key government agencies and foreign diplomatic missions when the evacuation order was given on 15 October.” Around that time, in mid October, Stalin met with a large number of senior officials (among them Molotov, Beria, and Malenkov) and the decision was reached to evacuate Moscow; this was at the time of the collapse of the Vyazma pocket, 120 miles from the city with the Germans advancing to much closer. Beria left the capital, Stalin didn’t. Bellamy says that Stalin struggled with whether to leave at this time. He stayed - and major repression came down on those remaining in the city, to nip panic, rumors, etc in the bud. Major commissariats were evacuated including the commissariat for foreign affairs; key infrastructure was mined, as well as factories. Even “the fire service had disappeared in its entirety” (Shadrin) from the NKVD building during the evacuation. The foreign diplomats remained in the “frontier” city of Kuybyshev until after Stalingrad. Bellamy has a nice description of Kuybyshev during this period, where the security agencies were effective in repression and control.
That was something I wasn’t aware of. Maybe Beria is the man to take control if Stalin was eliminated? I knew about the repressive measures taken in Moscow itself.

I think Beria would be the man to succeed Stalin. The question then becomes what he does in the event of Stalin disappearing and the loss of Moscow.
As my memory sucks, and my notes aren't great, I will look for more when I return home from this Third World infested shithole. To my home, another Third World infested shithole. :)
LOL, at least you have the beach and nice weather. That always makes shitholes look better.
I always try finding a way toward agreement with the Führer: it's called "convergence" or a "consilience of inductons."
Absolutely. Hitler knows best.
Where Hitler messed up was suddenly deciding late in the season that Moscow was vital.
How dare you criticize the Führer!?! This will be reported.
No!!!! Been-there will berate me for that!!!!!!!!

BTW, I really agree the whole thing was a lost cause. I think initial German successes in the West and Southeastern Europe masked a bunch of internal issues that made this rather futile. I think these successes set up conditions that if things went a little differently Hitler might have forced the Soviets to surrender but that’s pure conjecture. I think the most Germany could’ve gotten was fighting the Soviets to exhaustion and getting a favorable settlement.

When I looked at this I tried to think of ways to push Britain out and keep the U.S. away from Europe. I thought those gave Germany the best chance of success against the USSR.

I also couldn’t discount the sheer quality of the German Army. Even with deficiencies in equipment and supply they proved very formidable.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:56 pm

Balsamo wrote:I agree with Jeff on this one...Moscow was not just a point on a map, it was THE center of the poor communication network of the Soviet Union. This is where the Transiberian led to... Without Moscow, the Red Army would have been in a dramatic position regarding its mobility.
Then, there is indeed the political aspect of this loss. The Bolshevik regime was not as strong as it looked like and it could have collapsed, even if only because the loss of Moscow would have fragmented the Soviet State.

One should also not forget the massive material support provided by the western Allies, especially trucks and fuel. In Jeff scenario, there would not be any. So it is really hard to say. The USA provided 45% of the trucks used by the Red Army or 410.000 pieces, which will be essential for the speed of the Soviet's "Blitzkrieg", along with no less than 2.6 million tons of fuel.

Actually, the key in our hypothesis relies on the neutralization of Great Britain, and in consequence, on the neutrality of the USA in the European conflict. If the Mediterranean sea is controlled by the Axis then it could have exploited a naval superiority (with the combined navy of Italy, Romania, in the Black sea and pose a thread to the Caucasus as well as shorting the supply route using Odessa or Sevastopol or even Rostov as supply hubs. This would have solved the supply nightmare the Nazis were facing.

That is a lot of IF of course, right Bobo?
But the Allies supply effort wasn't tied up with the defense of Moscow? I would have agreed with Jeff and you until reading Erickson and Bellamy . . . their arguments convinced me otherwise.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:04 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:My argument is what if you suddenly eliminate Stalin from the equation.
My argument is that this is unlikely - and not tied to the defense of Moscow in any event. Erickson is very convincing on the countermoves Stalin made during 1941 and 1942 - another case where he knocked down one of my thoughts (mentioned above) being "the Rosenberg line," which I think Stalin had covered.
Jeffk 1970 wrote:It’s possible but the shock of losing Stalin on top of Moscow (and other losses) might have caused the government to disintegrate. Or put men in power . . .
But Moscow was in significant ways already evacuated and plans existed for further evacuation. I get what you and Balsamo are saying but don't see it happening in the real world. I just think that by fall '41 Stalin was recovering balance and had options/risks fairly well covered, at least in plans.
Jeffk 1970 wrote:It’s The question then becomes what he does in the event of Stalin disappearing and the loss of Moscow.
Maybe Bellamy and Erickson are misleading me (or I've misread them) but, yes, there were risks to Stalin, but also, yes, Stalin was pretty damned clever and would continue to be even if "he" lost Moscow.
Jeffk 1970 wrote:LOL, at least you have the beach and nice weather. That always makes shitholes look better.
Even at the beach there are little protests about Trump's family-separations: yesterday I came across a group of kids and their parents selling lemonade to fundraise to help refugee support organizations right at the entry to a large beach.
Jeffk 1970 wrote:BTW, I really agree the whole thing was a lost cause. I think initial German successes in the West and Southeastern Europe masked a bunch of internal issues that made this rather futile. I think these successes set up conditions that if things went a little differently Hitler might have forced the Soviets to surrender but that’s pure conjecture. I think the most Germany could’ve gotten was fighting the Soviets to exhaustion and getting a favorable settlement.

When I looked at this I tried to think of ways to push Britain out and keep the U.S. away from Europe. I thought those gave Germany the best chance of success against the USSR.

I also couldn’t discount the sheer quality of the German Army. Even with deficiencies in equipment and supply they proved very formidable.
One thing that can be overlooked, I think, is how good the Red Army got the longer the war progressed: the Soviets were smarter than the Germans in some ways on military production, the Red Army learned to fight better and did not simply throw bodies at the Germans (though they did that, too). But the Wehrmacht was until the very end a dangerous military antagonist. Bagration and beyond were not easy slogs.
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Re: Why Germany couldn't have won the war

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:59 pm

Balsamo wrote: That is a lot of IF of course, right Bobo?
Well said..... thank you.

I've also realized where Jeff was going with the Malta vs Crete thing. Playing the game above my level.

More nuanced: How SMALL a change could have changed the outcome?.......I'm even less qualified on that.

Heh, heh,.
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