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Posted: 4/11/2002 7:38:33 PM EDT
I was thinking today (always a dangerous proposition) about World War II and what things might have been like if Hitler had been assassinated early on. What if he had been killed in 1940, and someone who was [b]not insane[/b] had taken his place as der Fuhrer? Would Operation Barbarossa still have happened, forcing the Nazis to fight a two front war? I mean, everyone since Napoleon knew that you couldn't fight a land war in Russia in winter.
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 9:02:56 PM EDT
Possible scenario: If Hitler was killed in 1940, he would be remembered as the savior of his country. He threw off the hated Versailles treaty and restored Germany to a first rate power. Naziism had a lot of admirers throughout Europe (gotta remember the times) and here too. As far as Mein Kamph goes, it was just the ravings of a 25 year old politician? As far as the Jews go, really there was no country in Europe that was even ambivalent towards them. Jews were about as safe in Germany in the 1930's as in France today. The closest times that Russia came to losing the war was in winter. Winter, 1941 with the advance on Moscow. The capture of Moscow would probably finish off the Russians unlike in 1812(?). The closest the Russians came to losing was in the first quarter, 1943, ironically just after winning at Stalingrad. The Russkies on [url]http://www.onwar.com/[/url] could elaborate a great deal, and flame any non-russafile to a cinder.
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 10:51:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/12/2002 10:52:21 AM EDT by DScottHewitt]
Most definately Hitler was the strongest ALLY. He tried to micro-manage a totally different kind of war based on his own military experience as a CORPORAL in WWI. HE did things like try and block the SturmGewehr, as just the most glaring problem. He also insisted on bigger was always better in tank designs. Some of the worst German tank/tank destroyer designs of WWII were the huge ones that would flounder easily.... He simply had too much power for his ego. And it finished Germany as a world power.... Scott
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 11:48:47 AM EDT
Oh-oh! A new best tanks thread. Those Elephant tank destroyers were pretty feared by the Russians - not really a white elephant. They may not have had machineguns till redeployed in Italy, but they could destroy anything at any range. At Kurst, they ran into a minefield. This accounts for most of their losses at Kursk. Artillery and Aircraft account for many of them. They inflicted a good deal of damage in the months following Kursk. It seems to me that the bigger ones were deployed in too small numbers to stand a chance in battle. Many were lost or abandoned as well due to a lack of spares or fuel. Just a symptom of the German collapse.
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 11:54:55 AM EDT
Saw some beautiful B/W footage of a Stormavik (sp?) SMOKIN' a Panzer the other day. Dropping cannon shots right through the top of the Kraut tank and opening it up like a beer can. Beautiful.
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 12:08:46 PM EDT
hitler was a tool. if rommel was the fuhrer we would be speaking german now. rommel knew when to get out of africa, hitler didn't let him. could have stop us on the beaches of normandy, people were afarid to wake hitler. just think what would happen if hitler used the jews to help fight instead of killing them. figure 6 million were murdered, say half were men, and another half were able to fight, thats 1.5 million more people we would have to face off with
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 3:12:08 PM EDT
When speaking of the huge tanks, I was more speaking to the Maus family, by Porsche. For the first Maus: 180 tons total weight 50 TONS turret weight main gun 128mm coax gun 75mm Other prototypes were made, as well: 1) 110 tons total weight 2) 130 tons total weight 3) 150 tons total weight 4) 170 tons total weight There was also preliminary layouts for a 1500 TON behemoth, with a 800mm main gun and two 150mm auxillary guns in rear mounted turrets. Frontal armor would have been 250MM at 45 degrees slant, and four submarine deisels would have been used for the power plant... Scott
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 4:16:19 PM EDT
I would say, Yes, he was. But he didn't know it. As stated, Hitler tried to do too many things, making decisions that baffeled his own people. It's those 'mistakes' that helped us.... on many occations.... On the point of we would be speaking German today if someone else was head of German then.... hard to say. A direct landing on the US Eastern coast would have been difficult. Personally, I would send troops to Central America to land and head north through Texas. If German got the bomb before we did, and transported it here via ship.... Lots of what if's here....
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 4:44:54 PM EDT
If the Generals had been running the war it would have been far different. The Geramn High Command didn't want to fight on 2 fronts. Their army tatics were based upon mobility & concentrated firepower & when Hitler ordered them to stop & slug it out around Stalingrad they really lost their advantages.
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 5:40:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By pogo: Possible scenario: If Hitler was killed in 1940, he would be remembered as the savior of his country.
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Pogo, Most probably right on that, if the follow-on leaders had been real leaders. Hopefully, in that alternative timeline, the scramble for power saved our alter-ego Allies..... Scott
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 4:02:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/13/2002 4:05:04 AM EDT by ursus]
Long story short....yes. If you look at the leadership at the time of the German military, most were old school Prussian officers who were very disciplined and experienced. Hitler was at best emotional and impulsive on his descision making. Hitler did not allow full testing and research on the V2 and jet Messerschmidt and other technologies. He was very short sighted on troop deployments. If you look at the German military early on in WW II, very impressive, well trained, well disciplined, well armed, good leadership, high morale and fighting spirit. Even later on in the war, when supplies and replacements were short,they were still a strong opponent. The outcome might have been the same, but perhaps may have taken longer.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 1:38:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Grin_N_Barrett: If the Generals had been running the war it would have been far different. The Geramn High Command didn't want to fight on 2 fronts. Their army tatics were based upon mobility & concentrated firepower & when Hitler ordered them to stop & slug it out around Stalingrad they really lost their advantages.
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See, I thought to myself, "Self, what if the Nazis only had to fight a one-front war? They sweep west, taking all of Europe including Britain, then they can deal with the Soviets from a secure position of strength." Also, Hitler refused to allow the Wehrmacht to reinforce Normandy because he was [b]sure[/b] the allies were coming ashore at Calais. Even as Operation Overlord developed, he believed it was a feint and that Patton would be bringing his ghost army to Calais. Thank God he was nuttier than a fruitcake.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 7:35:30 PM EDT
Getting sidetracked into tanks again. Who did that? :) The 100+ ton tank designs are not illogical: the protective requirement against modern guns drive up weight to ridiculous extremes. The 1500 ton paper design is perhaps necessary to gain a perspective on fundamental limits to growth. It also gives modelers of the future a neat plastic model! The Brits had their 100+ ton tortoise, and we had the 100+ ton T-26. Tank designers had given up stopping tank gun penetration of the hull by the 1960's - the Leopard 1 and AMX-30 were designed to stop 20 mm at best. This trend was reversed with the Chobham type armors, at least over the front. The same goes with battleships. The US had paper designs of battleships in hand armored against the old 16"/50 (in the days before the heavyweight 2700 lb shell) in the 1920's that weighed 90,000+ tons. These were not unsinkable designs, either. They expressed what was needed to adequately armor the ship against its own weapons. The much derided H-44 German paper studies came about a generation later. Same line of thinking.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 10:21:05 PM EDT
1. I will avoid the "land monitor debate." Repeat after me... 2. If Hitler had croaked early, who would have replaced him? Goering? Goebbels? Replace the fanatic post card painting Jew-hater with a Goering, who looted art troves, surrounded himself with rare treasures and generally showed absolutely no ability for self-discipline. Doesn't sound like a recipe for success. 3. Had Hitler followed the Generalstaffe's advice, he would not have attacked Poland in 1939. This might have given the French enough time to get their Dewotaine and Bloch 150 series fighters into front-line and experienced service. They might have replaced some of those pathetic Amiot bombers with SNCASOs. Great Britain might have been able to ramp up production and the US was already supplying the French with Curtis Hawk and Douglas Havocs, both of which were effective against the Germans. Lend-lease aid would likely have increased. In otherwords, I think Hitler gambled right early on, attacking his victims when they were gearing up for war, but still not prepared. 4) A long time ago, I dug up some unconfirmed fuel production figures for Germany compared to the US. The US enjoyed a 15:1 ratio in oil production. I don't think that the Japanese would have been able to do much better than the Germans, but let's figure that at worst the US would have had a 2:1 advantage in oil production, not great, but probably good enough. 5) Yes the Germans had great tactics and some premier weapons that were technologically stunning. But they were not close to a deployable fission weapon. They were unwilling or unable to devote sufficient resources to create effective offensive weapons such as strategic bombing commands and carrier battle groups. The lynchpin of their airlift capability was the Ju152 for god's sake. Their airlift capability was so bad that they had to commandeer Savoia Marchetti Kanguru aircraft, whose rate of climb has been described as "pathetic and near-zero." In summary, the Germans were always optimized for tactical and local operations rather than global operations. And WWII was a global war. 6) Re: topic of superior weapons (ala Me 262). They were not without drawbacks. and I think that both Americans and British had the technical ability to respond to individual German weapons. It's true that our post war aircraft were greatly influenced by German work, but the P-80 shooting star was developed independently from German work. I don't know enough about Rommel, apart from the fact that he had tremendous strength of will, courage and excellent work ethic, hallmarks of a good leader. Superguys sometimes run into brick walls just like the rest of us schlubs, and in Rommel's case his brick wall was broken code and a bankrupt resupply system. I also seem to remember that Rommel was all in favor of suing for peace in 1943, but I am probably wrong. My synopsis: If Hitler kicks bucket, then America still wins in round 9. But the Germans make it 9 rounds, and that's pretty damn good for a country that had precious little besides coal.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 10:31:51 PM EDT
Maybe some French bastard will come up and tell you what a tremendous differance the oral French army made, but it was the Russians that beat the Nazi's, not America. 1 million American soldiers gave their lives in that war. 20 million Russian soldiers gave their lives. In the words of the reticent FDR, "Let the two dictators fight it out". We stepped in in June of 1944. The Russians cried out for help in 1942 when the push was on, but did we help? Ever wonder why after Russia went Democratic in 1992(official)and we still don't want to be ïàðòíèð?
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 10:39:59 PM EDT
I see GB has still not uploaded a language package. The Russian word for friend is not "comrade" as most propagandistic media has led you to believe. Its "partner". The Russian pronunciation is "partner". Komrade was a creepy word that Joe McCarthy or some other Red scare dude chose. Three legged sack race World. Me first?
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 11:26:09 PM EDT
"You can not invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." --Admiral Yamamoto I love that quote. I do not think that the Germans would have had any success with an invasion of mainland U.S.A., no matter who their leader was. I don't even think Hitler would've been dumb enough to try that, but who knows where he would've stopped, given the opportunity and resources. Right now I am watching the 26 hour documentary on WWII produced in the 70's called "The World at War." It is really well done.
Link Posted: 4/13/2002 11:34:34 PM EDT
Morpheus. Suppose that Hitler waited. Suppose that Russia crumbled against the German attack as it did in WW1. Suppose that Hitler then invaded England and stayed for five years. Hitler has the bomb, we have the bomb. You never know who meant you no ill, until no ill came. Grimshaw
Link Posted: 4/14/2002 9:03:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By pogo: Getting sidetracked into tanks again. Who did that? :) The 100+ ton tank designs are not illogical: the protective requirement against modern guns drive up weight to ridiculous extremes. The 1500 ton paper design is perhaps necessary to gain a perspective on fundamental limits to growth. It also gives modelers of the future a neat plastic model! The Brits had their 100+ ton tortoise, and we had the 100+ ton T-26. Tank designers had given up stopping tank gun penetration of the hull by the 1960's - the Leopard 1 and AMX-30 were designed to stop 20 mm at best. This trend was reversed with the Chobham type armors, at least over the front. The same goes with battleships. The US had paper designs of battleships in hand armored against the old 16"/50 (in the days before the heavyweight 2700 lb shell) in the 1920's that weighed 90,000+ tons. These were not unsinkable designs, either. They expressed what was needed to adequately armor the ship against its own weapons. The much derided H-44 German paper studies came about a generation later. Same line of thinking.
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Pogo, My bad. i mentioned the Porsche "Maus" line as an example of design gone wrong. For the standard German Blitzkrieg principle (Hit them hard and fast all over, then prosecute advantage of weaknesses) the Maus family (and its competitors were WAY too big. I shudder to think of the 1500 monstrosity trying to keep up with a lightning strike. It probably would have been well suited for a static (mostly) heavy defense punch. Anyone play Emporer: Battle for Dune? If you are playing Harkonnen, or you capture a Harkonnen factory, Devistator tanks are great for point defense around a key building. But they will ALWAYS fall way behind in the attack. (They locomote by "walking" on tripodal "legs".) They are slow and lumbering. I think that that is a reasonable parallel to what would have happened to the "super" Maus in battle. Too easily falling behind. I used the tanks (Porsche especially) as an example of poor decisions on Hitler's part. He was basically throwing Porsche a bone, because there were no Porsche designs in use by GErmany in tank (IIRC)... Scott
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 4:36:32 AM EDT
Who was more incompetent: Hitler or Mussolini?
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 2:05:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/17/2002 2:21:54 PM EDT by Atencio]
Originally Posted By grimshaw: Morpheus. Suppose that Hitler waited. Suppose that Russia crumbled against the German attack as it did in WW1. Suppose that Hitler then invaded England and stayed for five years. Hitler has the bomb, we have the bomb.
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If Russia crumbled the that would take care of the natural resource problem Germany had. With England gone we have no jump point to Europe. Hitler has the bomb, we have the bomb...We would have a hard time getting bombers into Germany, Germany has a great lead in rocket technology. More time could have made the V-2 a global weapon. I think Germany invading the U.S. would be a logistical nitemare. The most logical way to invade the U.S. would be ala "Red dawn", split it down the middle attacking from above and below. Back to the original question. If Hitler was knocked out of the war, I think whoever took over would have tried to make some kind of peace with the U.S. and England while continuing to fight against the Soviet Union. I am still of the opinion that Operation Barbarossa would have succeeded had not Army Groupe Centre not stopped in their advance to Moscow to help out in the south. Regarding aircraft it was the German military mindset that aircraft supported the land troops which is why they didnt have the bombers like the U.S. and England were using. Also one wonders if Germany would have been as hell bent about its extermination policies. Had they not used the Einsatzgruppen so aggressively in the Ukraine would the people have stayed more pro-German?
Link Posted: 4/18/2002 2:33:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Renamed: Who was more incompetent: Hitler or Mussolini?
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Mussolini Hitler bailed him out how many times?
Link Posted: 4/19/2002 1:39:56 PM EDT
jarhead 22 very interesting question: had one of the attempts of the 'widerstand' completed in 1940 i think the outcome could of been very very different. whenever there is a removal of such a enigmatic figure - the resulting power vacuum would be emormous. the assasination more than likely would of been tied to a greater imagined zionist conspiracy.... the major players that would try to fill the vacuum would be goring, himmler, hess. other possibles would of been hydrich. my hunch would be that hess would the provisional fuhrer. operation barbarossa would of been delayed and possibly cancelled altogether. the territories conquered would have been strengthened and more attention would of been placed on the afrika campaigns. i think with hess at the helm, things would of been very different..... my guess is the greater reich would still be in existence, the final solution never implemented, and war with the soviets never reached. however some of the countries annexed would of been turned back over in a post war anti-colonial sentiment. vietnam and korea may have never happened - the united states would exist perhaps with only the lower 48 states.... canada would be french and no longer part of the commonwealth as england would of capitulated or peace reached. steve
Link Posted: 4/20/2002 6:00:45 PM EDT
Good point about the power vaccum Steve. I tend to feel Heydritch would have had a little more pull than Himmler. My feeling would be that Goering over Hess would have taken over if the political machine had stayed intact. A lot would depend if Hitler was killed via a coup or not and who was involved.
Link Posted: 4/20/2002 6:33:15 PM EDT
These scenario's are always interesting. I Germany without Hitler is interesting Idea. I don't know what the Nations Total Capacity was industrial and Human. It is far less then the US's. So the End is always ours. However in a detailed account of the minutae of a war without Hitler??? You would probably have to go all the way back to 1930 before you could get to a point in time where success would have been assured the Germans. Talking about Handling the Hungarians and their embryonic Nuclear Physics program totally differently. Hitler by his treatment of Hungary and Jews actually sowed his own defeat and put some of the Most Brilliant Scientists in the world into America's bosum. The Repercusions of this event alone sealed Germanies eventual defeat even if they had done everything else right.
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 6:14:12 PM EDT
No matter what, we would have won by pure attrition. Even if the Soviet Union fell early in the war the US could have out produced the entire Axis. They didn't build the bomb because they couldn't, just like later the Soviets didn't go to the moon because they couldn't. There was no way they could have won that war. Hitler was a total moron, although before 1939 he was able to accomplish quite a bit. I guess he didn't know his limitations. Germany couldn't even invade England. Germany was a potent enemy but there just wasn't enough of it to have a prayer. The thought that any of us would ever be speaking german is laughable.
Link Posted: 4/22/2002 9:34:12 AM EDT
No matter what, we would have won by pure attrition.
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This assumes that the US would still have entered the war and that total defeat for one side or the other would have been the only possible outcomes. But what if Germany, in 1940, had convinced Japan not to attack the United States? And what if Britain were conquered, leaving the US no forward base for bombing or invading Europe and giving the Germans a one front war with the USSR? If the WWI allies had already been defeated by 1942 and the Japanese hadn't attacked Pearl Harbor, could FDR have convinced the American people to go to war to save Stalin?
Link Posted: 4/22/2002 9:33:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Renamed:
No matter what, we would have won by pure attrition.
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This assumes that the US would still have entered the war and that total defeat for one side or the other would have been the only possible outcomes. But what if Germany, in 1940, had convinced Japan not to attack the United States? And what if Britain were conquered, leaving the US no forward base for bombing or invading Europe and giving the Germans a one front war with the USSR? If the WWI allies had already been defeated by 1942 and the Japanese hadn't attacked Pearl Harbor, could FDR have convinced the American people to go to war to save Stalin?
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Hard to say. Pearl Harbor was a catalyst in building public support for a war. Without it we might have decided to say screw it.
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