Were the Germans bad with military strategy in the world wars?

Oct 2013
563
Jyväskylä, Finland
An atomic bomb would have done the trick... How close were the Germans to the Atomic Bomb? if they hadn't attacked Soviet Union and instead focused of their secret programs, then their dreams of exterminating other races would have got easier (With the loss of living space to radiation).

It seems that Atomic project was very hard to accomplish, from start to finish. Germans made the opening strides, splitting the atom, but couldn't keep up in the race. Also I seem to recall that Heisenberg, either purposely misled the Nazis about necessary critical mass for bomb, or he simply was mistaken. And he was more or less the authority on nuclear matters, on German side.

Clearly Heisenberg was a very smart man, smart scientist and an accomplished one at that. Maybe he was still somewhat out of his field of expertise though, at least a little bit? He wasn't an engineer, a bombmaker. He wasn't a chemist either, or a nuclear expert per sé. (Let's not forget that American effort, a wide team effort of phycisists, chemists and engineers, clearly included a clear goal driven, multifaceted approach) Everything was being explored and done at the same time... results would be seen later. This way some mistakenly chosen path towards bombmaking wouldn't interrupt or ruin success.

It seems that the German problem was more on the practical problem of actually separating the Uranium into the correct isotope, and having figured out how to exactly make the bomb. Americans used up quite a bit of electrical power to separate the natural uranium into weapons grade isotope uranium. This could have become a problem for Germany. Although perhaps Germany may have obtained plutonium, and gone towards that route, although I'm not sure what they would have required in that case.

Germans were among the world leaders in the physics and chemistry fields still at this time, although British and Americans were also up there.

Germany did have enough Uranium mines under its control also. They didn't fund properly their own nuclear research and weapon program, though. It appears only America took it really seriously as a feasible short timeframe project, and Americans really did pour lots of cash into the Manhattan project.
 
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Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,770
At present SD, USA
That was not an alliance.
True, but most experts expected both states to be openly antagonistic to each other to push for the "final" conflict... no one expected that they would agree not to attack each other and then give each other "gifts"... the Soviets getting German made goods and the Germans getting raw materials and foodstuffs.
 
Apr 2013
242
Spain
Germans were among the world leaders in the physics and chemistry fields still at this time, although British and Americans were also up there.
Germany was totally eclipsed by anglo-american physics during World War 2. Goebbels received many reports during 1942 and commented it in his diary. He laughed at the work of Rust and his ministry.
 
Sep 2013
108
UK
Huh? The formal name of the Axis was the Anti-Comintern Pact. The Comintern being the Soviet Union. Pretty odd for Stalin to ask to join an alliance whose stated goal was to oppose him, don't you think?
Well he still asked and never got an answer...until Barbarossa.The winter war was what really ruined their chances of joining, as the German saw them as weak and after carrying Italy, they didn't want to carry anyone else.

M-R Pact must have made quite an impression with Stalin, but "Gifts"? it was was a fair trade of what both needed. All this was just for stalling the German attack.
 
Oct 2013
563
Jyväskylä, Finland
For sure, Germans probably only really had Heisenberg as their own "Nobel quality" scientist in this regard.

Americans had several, who would later become to claim Nobel prizes.

Furthermore I would still say, Americans did eclipse British in the nuclear project. Although much of this was artificially kept up (Americans flat out refused to share anything with British, even though British had earlier given them some important nuclear secrets)
 
Jul 2007
9,098
Canada
Well he still asked and never got an answer
Really? And when did this fantasy supposedly happen?

Molotov and Ribbentrop negotiated for spheres of influence, a trade deal, and a nonaggression pact ... I am quite sure they never proposed guaranteeing each other's security.
 
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Sep 2013
108
UK
Really? And when did this fantasy supposedly happen?
German&Soviet Axis talks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Plenty of information about the relations between them and lots of suggested Soviet union entries in the Axis there, of course Hitler had to screw it up by ordering the directive for invasion on Soviet to continue, when the talks were bearing fruit. As I said I did not believe it would happen, but there it is.

Just because you don't know something, it doesn't make it fantasy, unless you are implying you know everything in the world?
 
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Oct 2013
563
Jyväskylä, Finland
Hitler - Stalin alliance, that would have been a truly nightmarish situation for the free world! As much as Hitler and Stalin may have come to hate each other, they both belonged to the "Dictator's club."

Maybe if the above-mentioned dictators had been more true to themselves, they could have realized the implications and benefits of co-operation.

This new angle, of a German-soviet alliance, I have only explored previously in a computer wargame Hearts of Iron- series. But I think it's an interesting even if somewhat remote possibility.

As a sidenote, in that computer game, I feel that it would be very easy to invade Britain, conquer all British posessions in Africa and Asia, and eventually build up forces to invade the American continent. Even if United States was not directly invaded, the German-Soviet power bloc would be so powerful, that it would be impossible for US to defeat it alone (without nukes, and with nukes, they would need substantial number superiority)

One decade of shipbuilding in both USSR and Germany, from 1940 onwards. USSR and Germany jointly invade Britain in 1950.

British would be ousted easily from Middle-East and Mediterranean. Indian continent would soon also lose all their appeal to help their colonial masters the British.

Think about it, the power of the propaganda that held the masses together, there would be a little bit of discontent for sure, but war propaganda on German side would override any doubts to the co-operation.

On Soviet side, they would pump the people with anti-capitalist rethoric, meanwhile playing off on the socialist benefits of Nazi governance.
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,192
It seems that Atomic project was very hard to accomplish, from start to finish. Germans made the opening strides, splitting the atom, but couldn't keep up in the race. Also I seem to recall that Heisenberg, either purposely misled the Nazis about necessary critical mass for bomb, or he simply was mistaken. And he was more or less the authority on nuclear matters, on German side.
The Germans were more concerned about atomic energy than a potential bomb. With vital resources ever more under pressure and allied intervention creating havoc with supply, large scale electrical generation was an attractive idea, and there's no evidence that the Germans seriously pursued the weapon option, especially since they were not developing a purpose built platform to deliver it - this last point might seem a bit over restrictive, but bear in mind that German weapon research and development in WW2 was not a unified process, consisting of a plethora of projects and research teams all vying for official backing and creating a sort of 'patent race' that essentially wasted effort in duplication and diversification.
 

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