If Germany only focused on defeating Britain instead of betraying Russia, would Germany have conquered Britain?

Jan 2015
2,967
Rupert's Land ;)
What discounts that they may have been building for an invasion of their own in 1941-42 is basic proof. There are measures taken, staging, training, shifting of units, orders given, all of which indicate an offensive is planned, even if subordinate unit commanders aren't specifically told. None of this happened. There is absolutely no real proof the Soviets were actively prepping for an invasion of German territory. Were they eventually planning on fighting to the Germans, to include invading them? Absolutely, look at the increase in size of the Red Army from 1940-41 alone, it massively increased in size while they weren't at war, just for preparation. But they weren't planning any operation yet, Stalin's confusion in the lead days were proof that he mentally did not picture the war starting so soon. There was a political plan for the Soviets to attack Germany in 1939, but the UK and French wouldn't agree to ally with the USSR and pre-emptively attack Germany, so in desperation Stalin had Molotov reach out the Germans for a non-aggression agreement that would give them a few years to build their forces. But while there was a political plan, there was no military version, no legitimate actual written plan that told of which forces would be involved, when, where, how, etc. And once the non-aggression treaty was in force there doesn't seem to be any proof that Stalin was enacted any similar type of plan.
Well obviously we don't have a definitive idea what the Soviets might have planned or done between June 1941 and June 1942, so Stalin may well have intended to attack Germany in the summer of 1942, if conditions were right. In any event, what the Soviets could do, might have done or intended to do isn't really the point, the question is what the Germans thought Soviet future intentions were, or might be.

In any event, we are drifting away from the thread's original question.
If the Germans didn't attack East in 1941, they would still probably need to have at least 50 or 60 divisions deployed in Poland to garrison the frontier
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,427
Direct invasion was not an option in 1940 and probably 1941... Assuming neither the US nor the USSR entered the war then Germany would have had enough time to wear Britain down through air and U Boat warfare + some minor land operations in north africa/ the middleast... Even with the CW firmly on Britain's side without the US and/or the USSR attrition warfare favored Germany since Britain had to import a significant part of the resources it needed... With improvements in tech, Lutwaffe fighters would be able to cover a larger portion of the british isles and the approaches to them.... With the luftwaffe able to focus on targetting british shipping, the situation would have been difficult indeed.... Allowing perhaps a landing in 42 or 43....
But to win through attrition of UK , Germany needed several years (and japan needed to keep quiet)....
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
7,790
Direct invasion was not an option in 1940 and probably 1941... Assuming neither the US nor the USSR entered the war then Germany would have had enough time to wear Britain down through air and U Boat warfare + some minor land operations in north africa/ the middleast... Even with the CW firmly on Britain's side without the US and/or the USSR attrition warfare favored Germany since Britain had to import a significant part of the resources it needed... With improvements in tech, Lutwaffe fighters would be able to cover a larger portion of the british isles and the approaches to them.... With the luftwaffe able to focus on targetting british shipping, the situation would have been difficult indeed.... Allowing perhaps a landing in 42 or 43....
But to win through attrition of UK , Germany needed several years (and japan needed to keep quiet)....
britian was significnat;y outproducing Germany in aircraft 1940-43 and had caught up in aircraft tech. Still had the advantages of home ground, and an integrated defence system. teh RAF had far superioir pilot training and repeair systems.
Whaat makes anyone think the :uffwaffe could have done better in 1942, 43,44?

How does Gemany do signifcntly better in the battle of the Atlantic ? Buidling significnatly more submines andtrianing more crews is something that has a very long lead time. The british developed a sweep of counter measuers and tech that would make Signifincat better German performance unlikely. Teh British never really devoted the most resources to teh U boat threat, If threatened the diversion of relatively modest numbers of VLR aircaft would have fhad a significant effect.

There is little to no scope for much Germ,an acitivty in the med or middle east.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,427
britian was significnat;y outproducing Germany in aircraft 1940-43 and had caught up in aircraft tech. Still had the advantages of home ground, and an integrated defence system. teh RAF had far superioir pilot training and repeair systems.
Whaat makes anyone think the :uffwaffe could have done better in 1942, 43,44?

How does Gemany do signifcntly better in the battle of the Atlantic ? Buidling significnatly more submines andtrianing more crews is something that has a very long lead time. The british developed a sweep of counter measuers and tech that would make Signifincat better German performance unlikely. Teh British never really devoted the most resources to teh U boat threat, If threatened the diversion of relatively modest numbers of VLR aircaft would have fhad a significant effect.

There is little to no scope for much Germ,an acitivty in the med or middle east.
The germans were focusing on land warfare and by mid 1941 the eastern front was eating most of their forces, including air.... Without the eastern front, Germany can produce less tanks and guns , more planes..... Even just a few more condors and other long range planes would make a difference in the battle of the Atlantic in 1940/1941..... Luftwaffe fighter scores (if they are to be believed) seem to point to superior german fighter skills in the 1940-1942 time frame

Germany alone had about twice the population of the UK at the time, and superior industrial power..... yes there is the CW to be considered , but then there is also Italy, the axis minors and occupied territories... I dont have the numbers here (will appreciate if you or another poster can supply them), but purely on a GDP basis the axis vs the CW is probably at least 50% if not more, higher.... In a war of attritition , and given similar tech (with perhaps a slight advantage to Germany) this is favorable to the axis..... Plus the vulnerability of the sea lanes is a big issue for the UK....

Yes N/A and the middle east is a side show but well managed it eats up more UK than axis resources...... (or the other way around if poorly -as it was historically- managed)
 
Jan 2015
2,967
Rupert's Land ;)
Germany alone had about twice the population of the UK at the time, and superior industrial power..... yes there is the CW to be considered , but then there is also Italy, the axis minors and occupied territories... I dont have the numbers here (will appreciate if you or another poster can supply them), but purely on a GDP basis the axis vs the CW is probably at least 50% if not more, higher.... In a war of attritition , and given similar tech (with perhaps a slight advantage to Germany) this is favorable to the axis..... Plus the vulnerability of the sea lanes is a big issue for the UK....
Incorrect, as mentioned in my earlier post - Britain (+ CW & European Allies) is about 800 billion (1990 dollars) and Axis (without Japan) is about 750-790 billion, so slight advantage to the allies, however this doesn't take into account Axis shortage of oil & strategic materials, which prevents full utilization of GDP

The problem is, there is no such sole entity as "UK" that goes to war.
Beware dodgy statistics!
Comparing the UKs GDP to Greater Germany is wrong, perhaps we should compare the UKs GDP to that of East Prussia? :smirk:

Between the end of the US war of independence and WWII there is no major war that involves the UK (only) in each case it is the British Empire.

So let's have a comparison of the actual GDP.
Here's a good reference, in 1990 dollars.
Gross Domestic Product 1938

UK- 284.2 billion
British Dominions- 114 billion
British colonies- 284.5 billion.

Total = 683 billion
To this you could add Dutch colonies, Belgian colonies and Free French territory - about 120 billion.

Allied total = about 800 billion.

Compare to:
Germany - 351 billion
Italy - 140 billion
Depending how you add it up the % from all the occupied territories is about 250- 300 billion, so the Axis grand total (without Japan) is in the range of 750-790 billion, slightly to somewhat less than the British & Allied total





Unless of course they are smaller or equal to Allied GDP, in which case their increase naval expenditures will be matched
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,427
Incorrect, as mentioned in my earlier post - Britain (+ CW & European Allies) is about 800 billion (1990 dollars) and Axis (without Japan) is about 750-790 billion, so slight advantage to the allies, however this doesn't take into account Axis shortage of oil & strategic materials, which prevents full utilization of GDP
Thanks

I stand corrected....

However this source you give has some strange figures... I really doubt that dutch colonies had higher GDP than the netherlands (and a higher GDP than the more populous and extensive french colonies) for example or that the UK colonies (I assume this excludes Canada, Anzac and SA) had a GDP equal to that of the UK... (even today a vastly more populous and prosperous India still has a lower GDP than the UK)

Also note that this is 1938 and that Austria (and czech) are listed separately whilst in 1940 they would be part of Germany (at least Austria and part of Czech)

This guy gives other figures (in terms of proportions, the absolute figures are of course different as he uses a different base line)

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=191325

Reconstructing World National Products in 1938

The Nominal National Products of the major powers in 1938, in current dollars:

(1) United States: 84.7 billion
(2) Germany: 46.0 billion*
(3) UK: 27.51 billion
(4) USSR: 23.02 billion
(5) France: 16.18 billion
(6) Italy: 8.68 billion
(7) Japan: 7.49 billion

The per capita figures:

(1) United States: 649
(2) Germany: 590
(3) UK: 579
(4) USSR: 138
(5) France: 385
(6) Italy: 200

(7) Japan: 104
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
7,790
The germans were focusing on land warfare and by mid 1941 the eastern front was eating most of their forces, including air.... Without the eastern front, Germany can produce less tanks and guns , more planes..... Even just a few more condors and other long range planes would make a difference in the battle of the Atlantic in 1940/1941..... Luftwaffe fighter scores (if they are to be believed) seem to point to superior german fighter skills in the 1940-1942 time frame

Germany alone had about twice the population of the UK at the time, and superior industrial power..... yes there is the CW to be considered , but then there is also Italy, the axis minors and occupied territories... I dont have the numbers here (will appreciate if you or another poster can supply them), but purely on a GDP basis the axis vs the CW is probably at least 50% if not more, higher.... In a war of attritition , and given similar tech (with perhaps a slight advantage to Germany) this is favorable to the axis..... Plus the vulnerability of the sea lanes is a big issue for the UK....

Yes N/A and the middle east is a side show but well managed it eats up more UK than axis resources...... (or the other way around if poorly -as it was historically- managed)
But it takes time to build more factories, it takes time to set up a bigger pilot training program. Not all resources are transferable at all, and those that are take time. The Figures I have have Britian alsmot outproducing germany 2:1 in aircrfat in 1941 ( 20,000 odd to 11,000 odd) . Massive changes in production priorities in late 1940 is not going to affect 1941 production much,.

Lufwaffe FIghter aces scores are actually pretty much irrelevant to overall air force performance. The Germans had a ace system that kpet them flying forever and suppported them getting really large scores. RAF pilots were rotated back to train other pilots. The RAF system was far superior in better training new pilots and improving the overall quality of pilots rather than just supportting the aces.

Nothing the Germans could do in the short term in teh North Alanatic is ghoing to have the massive impact that more long range aircraft being deployed by the British is going to do. British counter measures like CAM ships, (putting a seea hurrican eon catapult to provide a fighter to a convoy, may 1941) and MACs (ordinary merchnat ship with flight deck and a few swordfish, still caryying cargo, entered service june 1941) were very cheap and easy things to do, and bot these ideas were around a in 1940.

Condors were terrible aircraft. And what other long range aircraft did the Germans really have? And Goering is not going to be suddenly all nice and co-operative to the Kreigsmarine. Nazi Germany was a horrible confusded organizationally with masisve constnat turf fights and over lapping authorities and resources wars.

CAM ship - Wikipedia
Merchant aircraft carrier - Wikipedia

North Africa. It's pretty much logistically impossible more or less to pout more resources in by the Axis. As it was managed by the Axis, mismanagement is to be expected. Italaisn/german co-opration. Rommel/OKW these conflicts were pretty structural. To make the NA better managed you would need a lot of personal chnages at the top starting with Hitler and Mussolini..
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
7,790
Why ?

As a recon plane it was well served by its long range (apparently it could stay in the air up to 14 hours)
Fragile, civilian design pressed into service required a lot maintaince to keep them flying serviability was low, really not up to air combat stress. Efective early on but really required a poretty threat free enviroment,

278 production.

Then the germans also had this long range duck

Blohm & Voss BV 138 - Wikipedia
297 production.
 
Nov 2015
1,474
Kyiv
Condors were terrible aircraft.
The Germans also have He-177 that was also terrible because the Germans lost more He-177 of the frequent fires of their twin engines than from enemy fire

There also was another problem. Due to limited resources the Germans could not produce heavy planes in the same large series as the British, not to mention the Americans, who launched more than 30 thousand four-engined bombers during WWII.