What was the last point where Hitler could realistically have been pressured into backing down?

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,524
USA
#11
Do you think that was the last time? I think it was when the German forces marched into the Rhineland. Had France countered, with naval backing from GB, Hitler would have backed down.
Germany had been rearming for three years before having the confidence to march into Rhineland. Germany would have fought, and kept the Rhineland, even if France &GB countered. Rhineland was the first domino to fall for Germany after it started rearmament.
 
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Oct 2009
3,416
San Diego
#12
nothing would have caused Hitler to back down.
He was dead set on eventually invading france as retribution for Versailles.

The only thing any political threat would have done is gotten him to postpone until he had even more armaments.
At the point he Did attack- the French and British were still paralyzed with fear that another war would be another Trench warfare stalemate.
They had ZERO comprehension of how fast new mechanized armies could move- which is why they put up such a flimsy defense.

And if Hitler HAD postponed- if he had started the war with the 400 Uboats that Doenitz told him he needed to effectively blockade England.
If he Had waited until he had more long range bombers- then his chances of wonning would have been improved... because there is zero chance either France or Britain would have invested in newer armaments and tactics as was Germany.


In 38- Britain, France and Czechoslovakia Might have been able to stop Hitler- if THEY had preemptively attacked Germany with full military force- but even that scenario is iffy, because in 38 Germany still had a vastly superior tank, artillery, and air force than all three of those nations combined.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,334
#13
nothing would have caused Hitler to back down.
He was dead set on eventually invading france as retribution for Versailles.

The only thing any political threat would have done is gotten him to postpone until he had even more armaments.
At the point he Did attack- the French and British were still paralyzed with fear that another war would be another Trench warfare stalemate.
They had ZERO comprehension of how fast new mechanized armies could move- which is why they put up such a flimsy defense.
The failure in 1940 was mostly strageic planning. Where they allied forces meant the Gemrans head on tehy mostly gave a very good account of themselves. There were large problems with command and control , particualry the French which greatly hindered their ability to react to unfolding events. But the absence of decnt reserves was a more cirtical failure, reacting slowly is one thing, having nothing much to react with a greater probelm.


And if Hitler HAD postponed- if he had started the war with the 400 Uboats that Doenitz told him he needed to effectively blockade England.
If he Had waited until he had more long range bombers- then his chances of wonning would have been improved... because there is zero chance either France or Britain would have invested in newer armaments and tactics as was Germany.
The British developed integrated air defense system , radar, and new aircraft, Spitfire and Hurricane, newer armaments and tactics.


In 38- Britain, France and Czechoslovakia Might have been able to stop Hitler- if THEY had preemptively attacked Germany with full military force- but even that scenario is iffy, because in 38 Germany still had a vastly superior tank, artillery, and air force than all three of those nations combined.
The Germans did not have superior artillery even in 1940. There was no real difference or advantage in Artillery,

In !938 the Germans had soem advanced aircraft in service but iun extremely small numbers, with huge servicibility problems, and the lufwaffe has enormous problems in their mobilizations. And the Germans had very very actual decent tanks in 1938 (less than 300 Pz IIIs and IVs) . These arms while prsent in 1938 just were not present in enough numbers, to support large scale mechanized warfare effectively
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,367
US
#14
Germany had been rearming for three years before having the confidence to march into Rhineland. Germany would have fought, and kept the Rhineland, even if France &GB countered. Rhineland was the first domino to fall for Germany after it started rearmament.
I don’t believe Germany would have started a war in 1936 and, if they did, they would not have had the military strength to win, if France and Great Britain committed themselves to the effort.
 
Oct 2009
3,416
San Diego
#15
The failure in 1940 was mostly strageic planning. Where they allied forces meant the Gemrans head on tehy mostly gave a very good account of themselves. There were large problems with command and control , particualry the French which greatly hindered their ability to react to unfolding events. But the absence of decnt reserves was a more cirtical failure, reacting slowly is one thing, having nothing much to react with a greater probelm.
So what? Not investing enough in tanks is poor strategic planning. Investing heavily in a maginot line that never fired a single shot was poor strategic planning. Britain having nearly no mechanized forces in France was largely because Britain did not possess large mechanized forces, because they simply had not anticipated that Trench warfare was no longer tenable with modern mechinzation.
What it comes down to is neither Britain nor France were really PLANNING for the next evolution in warfare. They certainly spent SOME money, but mostly in the wrong places.


The British developed integrated air defense system , radar, and new aircraft, Spitfire and Hurricane, newer armaments and tactics.
Um... yeah- they had radar. but they had not nearly enough aircraft to go toe to toe with Germany. The Original spitfire was an underpowered plane whose engine sputtered in a dive or when inverted, and was shooting mere 30 caliber rounds at 109s that had fuel injection and cannons.
Germany was steadily winning the Battle of Britain... Shooting down Spitfires and hurricanes faster than Britain could build them... and Churchill only bought the RAF the time to bring newer, better spitfires on line by ordering the bombing of Berlin. He hope Hitler would retaliate by diverting aircraft to attacking London, rather than concentrating on the Home Chain system and his forward air defense bases. It worked.
It was that mistake on Hitler's part, and the fact that Britain was far enough away that the luftwaffe only had a limited time for engagement over enemy territory that won the battle of Britain.

But all that was well after Poland. in 39 Britain had NOTHING on the continent that could stand up to German armaments.



The Germans did not have superior artillery even in 1940. There was no real difference or advantage in Artillery,
Germany had railroad guns. It had the 88- its tanks had larger bore cannon firing faster rounds and they had self propelled artillery. All in much greater numbers than anything Britain or france had available.

In !938 the Germans had soem advanced aircraft in service but iun extremely small numbers, with huge servicibility problems, and the lufwaffe has enormous problems in their mobilizations. And the Germans had very very actual decent tanks in 1938 (less than 300 Pz IIIs and IVs) . These arms while present in 1938 just were not present in enough numbers, to support large scale mechanized warfare effectively
Actually - Practically every plane the luftwaffe had was a full generation superior to everything the French had- and better than every plane Britain had with the exception of heavy bombers.

Britain was still flying fabric covered biplanes off its carriers.

300 panzer 3s and 4s is still 300 BETTER tanks than the germans faced in opposition. And you can SAY they could not support mechanized warfare effectively- but that flies in the face of the fact that they DID very effectively work in Spain, and in Poland, and in France- shoving the British right off the continent in mere weeks.

The Germans INVENTED modern mechanized warfare. The British came up with the Tank... but it was the germans who really learned from that experience.

The fact is that Hitler was arming KNOWING he was going to start a war.
And Britain and France were arming like they wanted to dissuade germany from starting a war.

They formed a LINE. Like it was WWII- and were dumbfounded when the Germans just drove thru or around those lines under superior air cover.


Sure- compared to LATER in the war- Germany in 38 was not THAT heavily armed... But everyone else was even less so, and had no clear idea what mechanized warfare would look like in terms of speed.
In 38- Britain and France had Nothing that could stop the luftwaffe.

The tried Appeasement because they KNEW their arms were not up to the challenge.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,334
#16
So what? Not investing enough in tanks is poor strategic planning. Investing heavily in a maginot line that never fired a single shot was poor strategic planning. Britain having nearly no mechanized forces in France was largely because Britain did not possess large mechanized forces, because they simply had not anticipated that Trench warfare was no longer tenable with modern mechinzation.
What it comes down to is neither Britain nor France were really PLANNING for the next evolution in warfare. They certainly spent SOME money, but mostly in the wrong places.
.
The Maginot line did what it was supposed tto do.
Britian chose air forces and navy over army in termsof investmenrt,

Britan and France were behind in operational concepts and doctrine. ot nesscarily investment,

Um... yeah- they had radar. but they had not nearly enough aircraft to go toe to toe with Germany. The Original spitfire was an underpowered plane whose engine sputtered in a dive or when inverted, and was shooting mere 30 caliber rounds at 109s that had fuel injection and cannons.
Germany was steadily winning the Battle of Britain... Shooting down Spitfires and hurricanes faster than Britain could build them... and Churchill only bought the RAF the time to bring newer, better spitfires on line by ordering the bombing of Berlin. He hope Hitler would retaliate by diverting aircraft to attacking London, rather than concentrating on the Home Chain system and his forward air defense bases. It worked.
It was that mistake on Hitler's part, and the fact that Britain was far enough away that the luftwaffe only had a limited time for engagement over enemy territory that won the battle of Britain.
.
German lost the baattle of britian and was always loosing teh battle of Britian. The RAF was gaining strnegth through out the battle the luftwaffe losing,. bB ritian was out building germany signicant in aircraft in 1940, britian made invetsments in aircraft production facilities and pilot trianing, RAF was built for the long haul, the Lufwaffe short term, teh RAF was a much more robust organization. Yes teh Spitfire was not perfect would first produced, it was afornt line fighter through out the war. one of teh greta designs of teh war, powered hy great engine. Britian had probelms developing their 20mm cannon reliably so they were behind it it's introduction.

The Bombing Berlin etc is mostly a trope.


Germany had railroad guns. It had the 88- its tanks had larger bore cannon firing faster rounds and they had self propelled artillery. All in much greater numbers than anything Britain or france had available.
Railway guns are of no importance what so ever, really not important in terms of numbers and impact. 88 was excellant gun. Yes the Germ,ans had more self propelled artillery. they also had most of their artillery being pulled by horses. There was not much difference in Tank numbers in 1940. organization, training, doctrine were the main differences.

Actually - Practically every plane the luftwaffe had was a full generation superior to everything the French had- and better than every plane Britain had with the exception of heavy bombers.
I would not say a full genertaion, some of the French designs were OK, (not as good, but same generation) the problem was the length of time form design, approval, manufacture, delivery was all ever so slow and numbers not great. Teh main probeklms was the sheer delay and slowness of getting aircraft into servic ein numbers which was manly organizational.

Britain was still flying fabric covered biplanes off its carriers.
Agianst the nothing the Germans were flying off their non-existent carriers. FAA was poorly resourced with aircraft, but if the opertaional enviroment they operated in they performed well. You cannot have everything, better planes for FAA means less something elsewhere.

300 panzer 3s and 4s is still 300 BETTER tanks than the germans faced in opposition. And you can SAY they could not support mechanized warfare effectively- but that flies in the face of the fact that they DID very effectively work in Spain, and in Poland, and in France- shoving the British right off the continent in mere weeks.
Only panzer I went to spain.The German learnt some lessons in spain. But armoured warfare really was not one of them.

French armor would have have substainal advanatge in 1938 French armor was reaonable the one man turrent, lack of radios and poor doctrine were teh problems. Armor/gun stuff was not.

The Germans INVENTED modern mechanized warfare. The British came up with the Tank... but it was the germans who really learned from that experience.
Mostly yes. Opertaional coonceptions were way ahead. Though there were large flaws in the German way of subordinating everything to operations. lack of logistical and strategic appreication. Teh Lufwaffe was not a very robust organization, it' s poor training , repair, reserves mad e it a much more fragile organization than the RAF, whioh is why it fell apart quicker than the RAF,


The fact is that Hitler was arming KNOWING he was going to start a war.
And Britain and France were arming like they wanted to dissuade germany from starting a war.
Democracy is slow and messy. The Leadership had to work within that context. Not the only factor, for sure. Hitler had the advanatge of near total control. Dictatorships also have a tendency to appiont idiots.

They formed a LINE. Like it was WWII- and were dumbfounded when the Germans just drove thru or around those lines under superior air cover.
Not quite as simple as that. the revised Dyle plan was a bad plan. The Disounting of intelligence was bad. Command and control problems, two competing HQ talking by dispatch rider, that was bad by 1914 standards,. But the German plan could have been much worse against a plan that retianed a large mobile reserve which oculd have conceivable cut off and destroyed the German armoured spearhead. The germans got a perfect storm in may 1940. Made them look a little better than what they were. Where fighting was between equivlant forces the allied forces performed reasonably. The Lufwaffe substained heavy losses in France 1940.


Sure- compared to LATER in the war- Germany in 38 was not THAT heavily armed... But everyone else was even less so, and had no clear idea what mechanized warfare would look like in terms of speed.
In 38- Britain and France had Nothing that could stop the luftwaffe.
The lufwaffe simply was not that impressigve in 1938. What was there to stop?


The tried Appeasement because they KNEW their arms were not up to the challenge.
Appeasement was driven mainly from a Horror of the cost of war in the main, and belief that Germans were not hell bent on starting a war.
 
Aug 2015
2,359
uk
#17
As has been mentioned, Hitler would never have backed down. He was still fighting WW1 and was determined to 'win' this time around. The fact that he used the same railway car to take France's surrender shows that the loss meant a great deal to him.

He may have been delayed, but this could only come about by aggressive foreign policy of the Allies; but they were unlikely to start a war against Germany. A build up of troops and military equipment was very costly and hard to justify to the public of a Democratic state for an extended period of time. Eventually things would die down , except Germany would now be even more prepared to start a war, and Hitler would declare himself as justified in doing so because of the aggressiveness of the other major military powers against him.
 

rvsakhadeo

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
8,846
India
#18
I don’t believe Germany would have started a war in 1936 and, if they did, they would not have had the military strength to win, if France and Great Britain committed themselves to the effort.
I fully agree with you. Germany would have been defeated easily in 1936. But an important point is when was the French ( and possibly the British will ) will to fight yet another war with the Germans fluttered and then died out? Was that also in 1936? If so, Hitler would go on gobbling up pieces of Europe.
 
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Likes: Rodger

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
4,950
#19
Hitler commented that his most anxious period was when Germany remilitarised the Rhineland. He did not know how the french, or the british, were going to react. He was encouaged by the lack of an effective response.
 
Likes: Rodger
May 2015
1,009
The Netherlands
#20
If Britain, France, and Czechoslovakia had presented a credible threat of war at Munich, Hitler would have backed down, but it would by no means be a permanent end to his ambition. He would have tried something else in the future. Restoring German greatness was Hitler's only reason to exist, and in Hitler's mind German greatness had not yet been achieved in 1938.

Considering the actual timeline, Czechoslovakia probably was the last time that Hitler could have been pressured into backing down. By the time Hitler's sights were set on Poland he was committed. I believe he went into the Polish invasion fairly certain that Britain and France would declare war but by that time he didn't care.

Transitioning back into alternate history, if Hitler had threatened Poland without the Non-Agression Pact with the USSR, he probably would have backed down then, too, but with the pact he didn't have to back down.
I agree with your first paragraph, but I'm pretty sure Hitler didn't want to go to war with Britain and France in 1939. He attacked Poland believing that Britain and France would stand down after issuing their protests, just like they hadn't acted over the German invasion of the Czech rump state. As far as Hitler was concerned a big war was inevitable, but he and his allies needed a few more years to prepare for it.
 
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