Would Germany have been capable of winning the eastern theatre of wwII had it done the following?

May 2019
14
greece
#1
Note: by capable i simply mean having a reasonable chance of victory. Also by victory i mean any treaty that would have given a lot of land to Germany. Not the wehrmacht's (let alone Hitler's) ridiculously ambitious plans.
1) don't declare war on the United states. Words alone can not describe the stupidity of this action.
2) Don't treat Slavs like vermin. It simply made them consider surrender worse than death.
3) Don't do the holocaust. The resources used for it could have been put to much better use (In case it needs to be said: i'm not saying that inefficiency was the only thing wrong with it. It's just that in this thread i am merely talking about war effectiveness) Not to mention that Germany needed labor badly. Killing workers(especially educated ones") is just insane
4) maybe Germany could have prepared it's economy for total war earlier? though i know very little about this subject
 
Aug 2009
5,434
Londinium
#2
Note: by capable i simply mean having a reasonable chance of victory. Also by victory i mean any treaty that would have given a lot of land to Germany. Not the wehrmacht's (let alone Hitler's) ridiculously ambitious plans.
1) don't declare war on the United states. Words alone can not describe the stupidity of this action.
2) Don't treat Slavs like vermin. It simply made them consider surrender worse than death.
3) Don't do the holocaust. The resources used for it could have been put to much better use (In case it needs to be said: i'm not saying that inefficiency was the only thing wrong with it. It's just that in this thread i am merely talking about war effectiveness) Not to mention that Germany needed labor badly. Killing workers(especially educated ones") is just insane
4) maybe Germany could have prepared it's economy for total war earlier? though i know very little about this subject
Points 1,2 and 3 would go against the core Nazi doctrine and ideology; the US was corrupt democracy, the Slavs were vermin, the holocaust/removing the untermensch was necessary. Regarding point 4, IIRC, the Germans expected a short war in the west, with the UK joining them or at least not opposing them, followed by all forces and resources being directed east (and likely beyond).
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,340
#3
maybe Germany could have prepared it's economy for total war earlier? though i know very little about this subject
Germany always had more resources, manpower and %GDP devoted to the war efoort than the Allies. Germnay had been on a war footing from 1936 or so, this is one of the enduring myths of ww2.
Mr Speer he tell lies.

The Nazis may not have had a smart or efficient war economy, but it was a war economy.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,276
#4
3. probably didn't effect the war effort that much, regardless of the moral issues.

2. was Nazi ideology, but was a huge mistake.

1. is more complex, as the US was close to being at war with Germany, firing on German ships, occupying Iceland etc. Hitler was expecting the US to declare war as in WWI. It was still a huge mistake to declare war. German diplomacy was very poor as in WWI. They made too many enemies.
 
Likes: Adrian3
May 2019
14
greece
#5
2. I meant don't mistreat them until the war was over(again i'm not endorsing said mistreatment, only debating efficiency etc) During the war they could have differentiated between,say, ussr sympathisers and those who hated Stalin (most of Ukraine for instance)
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,782
Stockport Cheshire UK
#6
2. I meant don't mistreat them until the war was over(again i'm not endorsing said mistreatment, only debating efficiency etc) During the war they could have differentiated between,say, ussr sympathisers and those who hated Stalin (most of Ukraine for instance)
For the invasion to succeed, it was a requirement that the Germans treat the locals brutally, because logistic weaknesses required that all available food and foodstuffs be stripped from the local population to supply the invading forces.
 
Oct 2013
14,533
Europix
#7
For the invasion to succeed, it was a requirement that the Germans treat the locals brutally, because logistic weaknesses required that all available food and foodstuffs be stripped from the local population to supply the invading forces.
Their brutality exceeded the logistical needs.

If Germany would have treated the same way say France, or Belgium, the collaboration would have been almost inexistent and resistance would have been multiplied, for example.
 

Port

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
2,087
portland maine
#8
Their brutality exceeded the logistical needs.

If Germany would have treated the same way say France, or Belgium, the collaboration would have been almost inexistent and resistance would have been multiplied, for example.
Note: by capable i simply mean having a reasonable chance of victory. Also by victory i mean any treaty that would have given a lot of land to Germany. Not the wehrmacht's (let alone Hitler's) ridiculously ambitious plans.
1) don't declare war on the United states. Words alone can not describe the stupidity of this action.
2) Don't treat Slavs like vermin. It simply made them consider surrender worse than death.
3) Don't do the holocaust. The resources used for it could have been put to much better use (In case it needs to be said: i'm not saying that inefficiency was the only thing wrong with it. It's just that in this thread i am merely talking about war effectiveness) Not to mention that Germany needed labor badly. Killing workers(especially educated ones") is just insane
4) maybe Germany could have prepared it's economy for total war earlier? though i know very little about this subject
Germany attacked with a front that was to long to defend. If they had attacked with a more controlled front with better logistics. they may not have had so many forces, covering so wide a territory" fighting behind them.
 
Jan 2015
3,358
Front Lines of the Pig War
#9
Note: by capable i simply mean having a reasonable chance of victory.
Germany cannot beat the Soviets while half or more of Axis war effort is against the British (& later the Americans)

This is the single largest factor



Welcome to the forum BTW!
 
Last edited:
Sep 2013
619
Ontario, Canada
#10
Germany could never win the Eastern front, never mind the war. No amount of careful planning or resource management would've changed the outcome. Russia was going to crush Germany like a bug sooner or later. If not Russia, then America. Their industrial capacities, endless manpower, and access to ample amounts of resources (most importantly oil), all ensured that they would be a victor in any long term conflict.

So Hitler decided that he would try to make it a short term conflict by invading first and knocking one of them quickly out of the war. A gamble was made that Russia, like France and Poland before the blitzkrieg, would crumble and fold like a bad hand of cards. Except Stalin was holding them, and decided to double down, so Hitler lost. The whole invasion through two brutal winters was an incredibly botched effort which fatally sapped the strength of the German Army; something like 80% of all deaths in WWII came from the Eastern front alone.

When Britain refused to treat with Germany after Dunkirk, then knocking them out should have remained the German priority. Despite the Channel it would've still been an easier target compared to all Russia. Not only would taking the island deny a landing for the Americans, but it would also cut off Russia from any supplies. Even Stalin himself admitted in 1943 that the Eastern war could not have been won without American production.