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Old December 20th, 2017, 11:56 PM   #1
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What if the German military takes control of the war effort in summer of 1943


What if the German military deposed Hitler in a coup in 1943 before Citadel, leaving Hitler as a powerless figurehead? And say von Rundstedt gets appointed as chief of the OKW and Keitel gets a mega estate somewhere in Poland as a retirement gift? What if the Wehrmacht decides to suspend the Holocaust in return for Jewish help with atomic bomb physics which is where the Germans couldn't get their act together, so that the Germans at least get on the right track as far theory went with regards to what is the required critical mass etc. How will these change the course of the war? Basically the Germans decide to hold the entire Jewish population hostage in return for the bomb, the German military also takes operational control in the East so military operations start to make more sense tactically, for example no declaring fortress cities that are to be held to the last man, and outflanked units are given permission to withdraw without unnecessary delay, or Citadel gets canned in favor of a more limited offensive or going in the defensive or all of 1943.
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Old December 21st, 2017, 12:35 AM   #2

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What if the German military deposed Hitler in a coup in 1943 before Citadel, leaving Hitler as a powerless figurehead? And say von Rundstedt gets appointed as chief of the OKW and Keitel gets a mega estate somewhere in Poland as a retirement gift? What if the Wehrmacht decides to suspend the Holocaust in return for Jewish help with atomic bomb physics which is where the Germans couldn't get their act together, so that the Germans at least get on the right track as far theory went with regards to what is the required critical mass etc. How will these change the course of the war? Basically the Germans decide to hold the entire Jewish population hostage in return for the bomb, the German military also takes operational control in the East so military operations start to make more sense tactically, for example no declaring fortress cities that are to be held to the last man, and outflanked units are given permission to withdraw without unnecessary delay, or Citadel gets canned in favor of a more limited offensive or going in the defensive or all of 1943.
Wermacht did as well war crimes , not just nazi party members or SS .
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Old December 21st, 2017, 01:33 AM   #3
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Why is there this obsession with "if Germany had done this or that, would they have won or at least not lost WW2"... there must be dozens of threads with the same intent ?

Are people really so disappointed that Germany lost ?

In fact I think I am gonna start a thread like "German attack on France fails" (which is much more realistic btw) or "could Germany have surrendered in 1942" just for variety

In 1943 the war is lost and no one is going to just hand over nukes (or even the technology to get nukes) to Germany regardless of how many hostages they hold
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Old December 21st, 2017, 02:11 AM   #4

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What if the German military deposed Hitler in a coup in 1943 before Citadel, leaving Hitler as a powerless figurehead?
He wouldn't have stood for that and neither would his most ardent supporters. Knowing this, the conspirators planned to assassinate him.

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What if the Wehrmacht decides to suspend the Holocaust in return for Jewish help with atomic bomb physics...
From whom, specifically, Einstein? By '43 it was way too late for any reconciliation and jewish scientists were firmly committed to helping the allies.

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the German military also takes operational control in the East so military operations start to make more sense tactically, for example no declaring fortress cities that are to be held to the last man, and outflanked units are given permission to withdraw without unnecessary delay, or Citadel gets canned in favor of a more limited offensive or going in the defensive or all of 1943.
Assuming Adolf is dumped in June 1943, the Germans should've withdrawn to the Dneiper, repelled Soviet offensives from a much stronger position and tried to negotiate an end to the eastern war by the end of the year. Had that been achieved a general peace might've been possible a year later, since the western allies probably wouldn't have had the stomach for the higher casualties they'd take fighting the reich without russia.
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Old December 21st, 2017, 03:13 AM   #5

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What if the German military deposed Hitler in a coup in 1943 before Citadel, leaving Hitler as a powerless figurehead? .
I think it's not as simple as that. Go for a triple-whammy and get rid of Himmler and Goering.
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Old December 21st, 2017, 04:16 AM   #6
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Assuming Adolf is dumped in June 1943, the Germans should've withdrawn to the Dneiper, repelled Soviet offensives from a much stronger position and tried to negotiate an end to the eastern war by the end of the year. Had that been achieved a general peace might've been possible a year later, since the western allies probably wouldn't have had the stomach for the higher casualties they'd take fighting the reich without russia.
The Dniepr covers only the southern part of the front for one thing...Then of course its course is very convoluted, which extends the frontline significantly... For another the germans could not even hold behind the channel (which is a much more formidable obstacle than the Dniepr), it is really wishful thinking thinking they could hold the Dniepr line for long.

Even if they manage to delay the soviets for a year behind the Dniepr, in summer 1944, they will not be able to stop both the allied landings and the soviet summer offensive

No one was really in a mood to negotiate anything with Germany after it had basically broken treaties with everyone....
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Old December 21st, 2017, 04:49 AM   #7

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The Dniepr covers only the southern part of the front for one thing...Then of course its course is very convoluted, which extends the frontline significantly...
I realize that. As I posted before, early in '43 Stalin was very concerned the Germans would base their defense on this river. Btw while the area farther north has no dneiper, its terrain is rougher and easier to defend than the Ukraine. The Soviets in '43 made the bulk of their progress in the southern sector.

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For another the germans could not even hold behind the channel (which is a much more formidable obstacle than the Dniepr), it is really wishful thinking thinking they could hold the Dniepr line for long.
In February-March 1943 Manstein was able to smash advancing Soviet armor before it reached the dneiper. Had the Germans pulled back behind the river after that, their defense would've been much more formidable. Btw the allied success relied on a very big advantage in airpower; the USSR had nothing comparable and the Luftwaffe was still able to provide very effective close support e.g. Rudel.

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Even if they manage to delay the soviets for a year behind the Dniepr, in summer 1944,
Had the Germans established a much stronger defense behind the dneiper by about May 1943, the Soviets might've despaired of ever breaking through, or the costs incurred in a failed attempt might've led them to negotiate and reach a deal before 1944.


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they will not be able to stop both the allied landings and the soviet summer offensive
Right. Had the war continued on two fronts to then, I would've concentrated nearly all of the armor in the East, with Manstein in command, to smash or seriously disrupt bagration, before sending troops back west to stop an invasion of the reich. But that's for a different thread.

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No one was really in a mood to negotiate anything with Germany after it had basically broken treaties with everyone....
But at the relevant time of this thread c mid '43, or right after stalingrad but before Kursk--or without it--both sides in the East had excellent reasons to doubt a military solution was possible and hence negotiate. Stalingrad essentially convinced te Germans they couldn't finish off Russia but the 3/'43 Manstein counterattack demonstrated to the Soviets that regaining their turf by force could be a horrendously slow and costly proposition. There have been in fact claims that secret negotiations did in fact occur. Had Adolf been taken out, the reich could've been more flexible and reached a satisfactory settlement. In addition, the Soviets--and later the western allies--might've felt they could better trust a reich without adolf.

Last edited by starman; December 21st, 2017 at 04:53 AM.
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Old December 21st, 2017, 06:14 AM   #8

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What if the German military deposed Hitler in a coup in 1943 before Citadel, leaving Hitler as a powerless figurehead? And say von Rundstedt gets appointed as chief of the OKW
Way too late

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Originally Posted by tomar View Post
Why is there this obsession with "if Germany had done this or that, would they have won or at least not lost WW2"... there must be dozens of threads with the same intent ?

Are people really so disappointed that Germany lost ?

In fact I think I am gonna start a thread like....
What if the Nazis had orbital mind control lasers?
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Old December 21st, 2017, 07:35 AM   #9

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Way too late

Not necessarily, by the spring of '43. Manstein himself, in his Lost Victories opined that even after stalingrad the reich still could have stopped the Russians.
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Old December 21st, 2017, 07:43 AM   #10

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Not necessarily, by the spring of '43. Manstein himself, in his Lost Victories opined that even after stalingrad the reich still could have stopped the Russians.
Mostly wishful thinking by that point.

Do you believe that the massive German losses in Bagration were due to tactical error?
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