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Old March 16th, 2012, 05:37 PM   #31

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Can't add much to rehabnonono's first post here. Sums it up rather nice.

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This view of the war is, I think, prevalent in North America and many Anglophone countries... but represents an unsupportable notion of the way the war was decided. Most historians would say that an Axis defeat was inevitable long before the bombs were dropped. For Germany the defeats at Moscow and Stalingrad in early 1943 and for Japan, it was the battle of Midway, in 1942.
I will contend a little with this about the Eastern front. Moscow '41 did not make defeat inevitable IMO, although it certainly showed Hitler was not going to win the war as he originally hoped. He was not going to conquer the USSR outright, in 1942 fighting the Soviets to a draw was possible if certain operations were carried out right. Stalingrad was a disaster, but the Germans still had some offensive capabilities left(abeit limited). So I often say that Kursk 1943 is the major turning point when the Germans are on the defensive for the rest of the war.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 05:56 PM   #32

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Can't add much to rehab nono's first post here. Sums it up rather nice.


I will contend a little with this about the Eastern front. Moscow '41 did not make defeat inevitable IMO, although it certainly showed Hitler was not going to win the war as he originally hoped. He was not going to conquer the USSR outright, in 1942 fighting the Soviets to a draw was possible if certain operations were carried out right. Stalingrad was a disaster, but the Germans still had some offensive capabilities left(abeit limited). So I often say that Kursk 1943 is the major turning point when the Germans are on the defensive for the rest of the war.
IMO they had a chance of total victory against the SU in 1942 had operation Blue been conducted better. yet even with the defeat at stalingrad they could still get a draw by conducting a fighting retreat to the Dnieper river or even as far as the pre invasion border yet the decision to go on the offensive at kursk and Hitlers refusal to allow commanders operational freedom prevented them from using one of there greatest advantages which was there flexibility and from then on it was down hill.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 06:14 PM   #33

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If Operation Blue was successful, the Germans were still dangerously stretched and would be too exposed to counter-attacks from the Soviets. They certainly would enjoy a momentary advantage with possession of the Caucacus oil-fields, making the Soviets more dependent on Lend-Lease. But with time the Soviets would still counter-attack and retake the oil-fields, and you have a possible stalemate with the iniative moving back and forth between the Axis and Soviets. This might last for a year or two before either a permenant settlement is reached(depending on how the western Allies are doing) or the Germans go on the defensive and are finally defeated around 1947-8.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 06:58 PM   #34
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Britain, France, and the legions of resistance groups, free militaries, spy rings, including Yugoslav Partisans, French Free Forces, Greek Resistance, the Polish Home army (which numbered in the hundreds of thousands), and various other paramilitary and military groups would have been able to defeat the Axis in Europe on their own.

The French, Yugoslavs, and Greeks were giving holy hell to the axis powers when their countries were occupied.

The collective industry of Britain, France, and Canada, provided enough industrial production to fight the European war, and manpower was no problem considering the massive amounts of people across the British and French Empires, the number of Americans that volunteered, and the exiles of conquered nations. The big issue was food rations.

If the British hadn't sunk the French fleet in Algeria, rather than letting Vichy France get it, and simply had stole it away instead, the Allies would have had absolute naval superiority. Food rations coming from America, Brazil, India, etc. and weapons, tanks, trucks, and planes being sailed from Canada would have been securely taken from Canada to Britain and France.

If the British and French had managed to secure themselves in their free territories for long enough, they could have managed to launch a mainland invasion, retake European metropolitan France and Belgium, and use their industry against the Axis, and eventually they and the rest of the allies would have been victorious.

Following a retaking of France, the allies would have retaken Greece, then Yugoslavia, then launched an invasion of Italy (which would be surrounded by the allies on east and west), and liberated Poland from the south. The Germans would then have had to deal with their east-west conundrum, albeit with the Poles, Greeks, and Yugoslavs to the west rather than the Russians.
There is no way the British Empire, the Polish and French forces left and resistance groups could beat Germany alone. Maybe Germany might not be able to defeat them. Think if Germany had put the resources used in invding the Soviet Union into invading Britain, it woudl have been difficult for Britain. The entry into the war of both the Soviet Union and the United States made the Axis defeat close to inevitable.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 07:17 PM   #35

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If Operation Blue was successful, the Germans were still dangerously stretched and would be too exposed to counter-attacks from the Soviets. They certainly would enjoy a momentary advantage with possession of the Caucacus oil-fields, making the Soviets more dependent on Lend-Lease. But with time the Soviets would still counter-attack and retake the oil-fields, and you have a possible stalemate with the iniative moving back and forth between the Axis and Soviets. This might last for a year or two before either a permenant settlement is reached(depending on how the western Allies are doing) or the Germans go on the defensive and are finally defeated around 1947-8.
thats a good speculative analysis. there's no way of being certain that with the cacusses taken that germany would be unable to hold its positions or that it would through back all assaults. the only other place to go after the caucuses is moscow but after that where then?
another idea is that an attack on moscow would probably have drawn in much of the red army's remaining strength and thus provide an opportunity for them to be destroyed.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 07:21 PM   #36

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There is no way the British Empire, the Polish and French forces left and resistance groups could beat Germany alone. Maybe Germany might not be able to defeat them. Think if Germany had put the resources used in invding the Soviet Union into invading Britain, it woudl have been difficult for Britain. The entry into the war of both the Soviet Union and the United States made the Axis defeat close to inevitable.
May I refer you to operation Vegetarian?

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Vegetarian]Operation Vegetarian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

I'm pretty sure this is all of the information you need to prove that, along with the massive amounts of forces operating within occupied Europe, and able to be prepped for an invasion outside of fortress Europa, Germany simply could not have won the war, even if the United States and Soviet Union stayed out of it.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 07:51 PM   #37
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May I refer you to operation Vegetarian?

Operation Vegetarian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'm pretty sure this is all of the information you need to prove that, along with the massive amounts of forces operating within occupied Europe, and able to be prepped for an invasion outside of fortress Europa, Germany simply could not have won the war, even if the United States and Soviet Union stayed out of it.
The British were very clever with that sort of thing, but this Operation Vegetarian seems sort of a desperation move. The British ran rings around the Germans doubling all their agents in Britain and breaking their code. Also, I think Britain and Russia both knew how to operate an empire better than Germany and were both very difficult to conquer, despite German military and technology superiority. However, I see no way Britain could actually defeat Germany though without the new major allies.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 08:01 PM   #38

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thats a good speculative analysis. there's no way of being certain that with the cacusses taken that germany would be unable to hold its positions or that it would through back all assaults. the only other place to go after the caucuses is moscow but after that where then?
another idea is that an attack on moscow would probably have drawn in much of the red army's remaining strength and thus provide an opportunity for them to be destroyed.
Well even with an attack on Moscow, there's the question of how on earth Germany is going to hold onto such vast territorities with a huge population. I suspect something of a Fatherland-like scenario of a drawn-out guerrilla war ensues which tie up Wehrmacht units. Unless the Germans somehow withdraw to something like Brest-Livtosk 2.0, but then that gives back the Soviets precious breathing space. So even with victory, 2/3 or more of the German military is still needed in the East; leaving it lacking manpower to face down increasing American might in the West. So ironically with victory, the Axis have little choice but to adopt a permenant defensive strategy and pass the iniative to the Allies(how well the Allies can capitalize on this without the Soviets is a whole discussion in itself).

So an outright victory in the East was beyond the capabilities of the Axis. Capturing precious territories(like in Ukraine and the Baltic) and holding onto them til a political settlement is reached was probably their best hope.

Last edited by Belloc; March 16th, 2012 at 08:07 PM.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 08:09 PM   #39
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^The vastness of the territory of Russia is really beyond the capacity of the German Army to control besides the fact that they were not properly equipped to cope with the demands of warfare during winter. The Germans were likewise surprised of the soft soil that impede their army to advance further during the occupation. A lot of their tanks and other vehicles were lost during that time. Supply was also limited to airborne delivery.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 08:11 PM   #40

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Well even with an attack on Moscow, there's the question of how on earth Germany is going to hold onto such vast territorities with a huge population. I suspect something of a Fatherland-like scenario of a drawn-out guerrilla war ensues which tie up Wehrmacht units. Unless the Germans somehow withdraw to something like Brest-Livtosk 2.0, but then that gives back the Soviets precious breathing space. So even with victory, 2/3 or more of the German military is still needed in the East; leaving it lacking manpower to face down increasing American might in the West. So ironically with victory, the Axis have little choice but to adopt a permenant defensive strategy and pass the iniative to the Allies(how well the Allies can capitalize on this without the Soviets is a whole discussion in itself).

So an outright victory in the East was beyond the capabilities of the Axis. Capturing precious territories(like in Ukraine and the Baltic) and holding onto them til a political settlement is reached was probably their best hope.
The fatherland like scenario did happen in OTL WW2. The Polish home army, Yugoslav partisans, Greek Resistance, French Free Forces, and many other militias were supported and fed information and supplies by the British. To paraphrase, Winston Churchill's words were something along the lines of setting Europe ablaze. The Germans would eventually have capitulated, especially considering that a Germany too busy dealing with issues on withing the fortress would be susceptible to a British/Free French forces in Algeria invasion of the North French Coast, French Mediterranean coast from Corsica, or an invasion of an already difficult to occupy Greece from Crete.
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