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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines

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Alternate Timelines The plausible "what if's" of military history.

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  #1  
Old 24 Jun 17, 20:12
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Defeat of Germany in World War II Was Possible Without U.S. Help, Russians Say

This is what the majority of Russian's think today according to a recent poll taken there. Here is the article on yahoo.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/defeat-ge...160422988.html

The key word is "possible" here but could it have really been done without their Western Allies?..Without our help they already had the Germans reeling by July 1943 after Kursk and from then on until the end of the war the Germans were basically retreating on the eastern front with counter attacks by the Germans mixed in.

The question here,I think, was would the Russians have been in that position of superiority over the Germans without Lend-Lease from the UK and the USA. Troop transport trucks, food, tanks, medical supplies, ect. I know many will argue the case then Lend-Lease did not account for much but every contribution, no matter how small, is aid is it not?

Also, the invasion of Africa, Sicily, and Italy by the Western Allies had Hitler sending many divisions of the Wehrmacht to these fronts, which could have stayed on the Eastern front.

And what of the sacrifices of the bomber units by both the UK and USA on the Germans industrial centers and fuel/oil refineries?

Maybe Russia could have done it without our help but how much longer would the war have lasted and how many more million "Untermensch" during this extra year or even years, depending upon ones opinion, been killed?

A very "sticky" subject I would think.

By the way Putin sure knows how to look good in a suit while in public. Donald Trump could use some "fashion advice" especially in the hair-doo department from Putin.

Regards,Kurt
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  #2  
Old 24 Jun 17, 20:32
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Without having to defend Western Europe from French, British and Americans, the Germans could have held out much better. The Germans were already using the Balkans to fine tune reconstituted divisions before they went back to the Eastern Front. They would still have used France, Belgium and the Netherlands to rebuild shattered divisions. A more leisurely pace would have only been in Germany's favor.

The Red Army got a lot of food and other essentials like Telephone Wire from the US and Canada. The weapons were not always as good as Soviet weapons, but they were used anyway.

Would Stalin have negotiated a peace without Overlord? That is the important question.

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Old 24 Jun 17, 20:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
This is what the majority of Russian's think today according to a recent poll taken there. Here is the article on yahoo.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/defeat-ge...160422988.html

The key word is "possible" here but could it have really been done without their Western Allies?..Without our help they already had the Germans reeling by July 1943 after Kursk and from then on until the end of the war the Germans were basically retreating on the eastern front with counter attacks by the Germans mixed in.

The question here,I think, was would the Russians have been in that position of superiority over the Germans without Lend-Lease from the UK and the USA. Troop transport trucks, food, tanks, medical supplies, ect. I know many will argue the case then Lend-Lease did not account for much but every contribution, no matter how small, is aid is it not?

Also, the invasion of Africa, Sicily, and Italy by the Western Allies had Hitler sending many divisions of the Wehrmacht to these fronts, which could have stayed on the Eastern front.

And what of the sacrifices of the bomber units by both the UK and USA on the Germans industrial centers and fuel/oil refineries?

Maybe Russia could have done it without our help but how much longer would the war have lasted and how many more million "Untermensch" during this extra year or even years, depending upon ones opinion, been killed?

A very "sticky" subject I would think.

By the way Putin sure knows how to look good in a suit while in public. Donald Trump could use some "fashion advice" especially in the hair-doo department from Putin.

Regards,Kurt
If you study economics, Tooze proves that the Nazi's could not win, they would implode.

OTOH, as long as Britain did not cave, its economy would outlast Germany's.

WW2 did not need even the US or USSR to defeat the Nazi's. but hindsight is everything.
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  #4  
Old 24 Jun 17, 21:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
If you study economics, Tooze proves that the Nazi's could not win, they would implode.

OTOH, as long as Britain did not cave, its economy would outlast Germany's.

WW2 did not need even the US or USSR to defeat the Nazi's. but hindsight is everything.
I don't think we can apply those economical principes to totalitarian states.
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Old 24 Jun 17, 23:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
If you study economics, Tooze proves that the Nazi's could not win, they would implode.

OTOH, as long as Britain did not cave, its economy would outlast Germany's.

WW2 did not need even the US or USSR to defeat the Nazi's. but hindsight is everything.
Agree with you, every one of the three major allies could had done it alone. Luckily they didn't have to.
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Old 24 Jun 17, 23:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
This is what the majority of Russian's think today according to a recent poll taken there. Here is the article on yahoo.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/defeat-ge...160422988.html

The key word is "possible" here but could it have really been done without their Western Allies?..Without our help they already had the Germans reeling by July 1943 after Kursk and from then on until the end of the war the Germans were basically retreating on the eastern front with counter attacks by the Germans mixed in.

The question here,I think, was would the Russians have been in that position of superiority over the Germans without Lend-Lease from the UK and the USA. Troop transport trucks, food, tanks, medical supplies, ect. I know many will argue the case then Lend-Lease did not account for much but every contribution, no matter how small, is aid is it not?

Also, the invasion of Africa, Sicily, and Italy by the Western Allies had Hitler sending many divisions of the Wehrmacht to these fronts, which could have stayed on the Eastern front.

And what of the sacrifices of the bomber units by both the UK and USA on the Germans industrial centers and fuel/oil refineries?

Maybe Russia could have done it without our help but how much longer would the war have lasted and how many more million "Untermensch" during this extra year or even years, depending upon ones opinion, been killed?

A very "sticky" subject I would think.

By the way Putin sure knows how to look good in a suit while in public. Donald Trump could use some "fashion advice" especially in the hair-doo department from Putin.

Regards,Kurt
Hullo Kurt, glad to see your mail again always interesting. My opinion as a passenger through those years, this opinion has some curly bits attached to it Yes possibly as far as the physical side was concerned but their supplies would have to continue to come in and it would have taken years longer than what it did. Like it or not, the saviour of that little (?) dispute was the Eastern front which swallowed up thousands of Germanys fighting men which could and most certainly would have been used against us. What else can I say? Yes, but keep us ( And the Russians ) fully supplied for an unknown number of Years ( The main factor of the Triumph over Germany being the two fronts! ) lcm1
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  #7  
Old 25 Jun 17, 00:22
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Yes. The amount of casualties per month taken by the Germans and axis troops in 1941 was staggering. And that was when the Red army was being smashed, encircled, disrupted and out manoeuvred. There was no airforce to speak of. Soviet doctrine was flawed and panicked. The political leadership was panicked. Millions of millions of prisoners had been taken and a little over half of the SU population was under Nazi control after only a few months.

And yet the Nazi war machine was brutally bled, and failed in all of its strategic objectives.

The west certainly lessened the length of the war and the butchers bill the SU would have paid, but not by any huge amount. Over 80% of all German casualties were inflicted on the Eastern Front, and the country they so confidently attacked in 1941 was 4 short years later one of only two superpowers in the world, and who dominated half of Europe and would do so for nearly 45 years.

Help was nice, but they never really needed it.
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Old 25 Jun 17, 06:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
If you study economics, Tooze proves that the Nazi's could not win, they would implode.

OTOH, as long as Britain did not cave, its economy would outlast Germany's.

WW2 did not need even the US or USSR to defeat the Nazi's. but hindsight is everything.
Toozes' The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy, based on Amazon reviews, is a very good book and reading over the reviews I think Tooze backs up his conclusions well. However WWII historian R. A Forczyk, the author of countless books on the subject, while giving it 4 stars he does point out the flaws in Toozes' work.

R.A. Forczyk:
Quote:
By now, nearly a decade after it first appeared, Adam Tooze’s The Wages of Destruction (2006), is considered a classic by many and one cannot address the subject of the Third Reich’s wartime economy without reference to his book. This book is an economist’s interpretation of why the Third Reich failed to achieve its objectives and offers many unique perspectives. Overall, The Wages of Destruction is a landmark work and a very good piece of historical work. However as a military historian, the book appears to only scratch the surface in places and lacks the detail to fully explain Germany’s wartime economy. Essentially, the book is more focused on economic indicators and input variables (e.g. labor, raw materials) than either R&D or output. Furthermore, I found the author to be unduly pessimistic; reading the book, I had the impression that Germany’s economy was extremely weak and near collapse even in the 1930s. Based upon the Third Reich’s wartime output, this seems counter-intuitive. The amount of blood, sweat and high explosive that the Allies had to expend to cripple German industry was prodigious, so I appreciate Prof. Tooze’s analysis, but the numbers seem to fall short of explaining the results. That being said, Prof. Tooze’s book does explain a great deal and should be regarded as the starting point for more in-depth research in how to cripple the economy of aggressive dictators (I think that may come in handy).

The Wages of Destruction is divided into 20 chapters and has 22 supporting tables and 22 additional figures. The first section covers the German economic recovery after Hitler came to power; Hitler wanted to spend 5—10 percent of Germany’s GDP on rearmament, but the economy was wobbly. Tooze makes interesting points in these opening chapters about how Hitler, Goring and friends coerced German businesses to adapt to their rearmament priorities, including forcing the coal industry to capitalize synthetic fuel production in 1934 and the nationalization of aviation companies like Junkers. Indeed, the ramp-up of aircraft production in Germany from 1934 to 1939 was phenomenal, but also expensive and wasteful. The author’s discussion of the Volkswagen program as a disastrous flop – but which was touted by Hitler as a great success – was also very illuminating about how the Third Reich ran industrial programs.

The book’s second part covers the period 1936-1940. Tooze focuses on three levers that inhibited German rearmament in the lead-up to war: the scarcity of foreign currency (which made it difficult to purchase raw materials overseas), the shortage of critical raw materials such as copper and rubber, and the persistent shortage of skilled labor. These are all good points, but Tooze does not always provide the supporting data to fully evaluate these issues. For example, he mentions copper several times as a key material, but fails to provide data on imports or sources. Thus, I could not figure out how badly Germany was short of copper or how this reduced armaments production. A number of the tables that are provided are not well explained and lack x- and y-labels, which makes it hard to understand a graph with ambiguous number values. Another interesting point that Tooze makes is the Nazi failure to invest in railroad development, which led to persistent transport issues during the war as demand greatly exceeded supply. However, Tooze also has a tendency to offer opinions as fact, such as his claim that, “the task [to dominate the British Isles] was simply beyond Germany’s industrial resources.” While the Luftwaffe clearly made operational and tactical mistakes in the Battle of Britain, the idea that Germany industry could not compete with Britain manno I manno is a bit absurd. Britain was on the winning team because it had the US and USSR as allies, not because of its innate industrial superiority over the Reich. Had Hitler delayed Barbarossa a year and focused on defeating England, the British would have been in real trouble in mid-1941. Another opinion is that Allied Lend Lease “did not begin to affect the balance on the Eastern Front until 1943,” which is highly contentious and offered without supporting evidence.

The third and final section covers 1941-1945. This section is the best in the book and has interesting details about how all the weaknesses in Germany’s economy undermined industrial performance. There is some discussion of specific programs, such as tanks and U-Boats, but the evidence presented is less than conclusive. For example, Tooze does not examine German assembly line practices, which were not very efficient, or the tendency to “over-design” weapons until they were too complex to mass produce. One chapter is focused on Albert Speer and the alleged “miracle” of production in 1943-44, which Tooze dismisses as mostly propaganda. Overall, Tooze’s thesis is that Germany’s economy was not ready to wage a global war and was badly mis-managed, which e does a fairly good job of supporting, even though specifics are sometimes insufficient. The fact that Germany was badly out-produced even by the Soviet Union appears ipso facto to support Tooze’s conclusions. However what Tooze fails to do is to show why – if the Third Reich’s economy was such a mess – that it took its enemies so long to defeat it. Somewhere in here, there is an economist’s over-estimation of the economic levers and an under-estimation of the human factors, which the Third Reich actually did an exceedingly good job of organizing.
I'll most certainly end up getting Toozes' book..Thanks Nick

Regards, Kurt
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Old 25 Jun 17, 06:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emtos View Post
I don't think we can apply those economical principes to totalitarian states.
What Kipling called "the gods of the copy book headings" apply equally to totalitarian regimes. Basic economic rules still apply. To suggest otherwise is economic illiteracy. It doesn't matter what the nature of your regime is if you haven't got access to oil you can't sustain a mechanised war, if you have to divert all your nitrate production to explosives food production plummets, the work force starves and industrial out put also crashes and so on
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Old 25 Jun 17, 07:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
The question here,I think, was would the Russians have been in that position of superiority over the Germans without Lend-Lease from the UK and the USA. Troop transport trucks, food, tanks, medical supplies, ect.Troop transport trucks, food, tanks, medical supplies, ect.
Food and tanks were relatively unimportant. Explosives, aviation gasoline and various raw materials (aluminium, chemicals etc) mattered more.
Personally I think Germany/USSR one-to-one war would most likely result in bloody stalemate.
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Old 25 Jun 17, 07:25
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Originally Posted by dmf01 View Post
Agree with you, every one of the three major allies could had done it alone. Luckily they didn't have to.
Yes but your opinion still presents the same problem time and casualties.

Russia could have done it alone but, IMHO,added at least one year at minimum to the war costing Russia many more military and civilian casualties and also allowing the Nazi regime to keep sending innocents to the gas chambers.

UK by itself, maybe...IMO not possible and even if so would have added years to the conflict. Same goes for the U.S.A....Don't forget both of these countries were still dealing with the Japanese in the PTO. Together, IMHO, they would have eventually achieved victory but not standing alone like Russia. Either case would have added years (one could not know how many for a certainty) to the conflict, costing many lives of military and civilians.

Many overlook the cost of civilian lives and the damage associated with it that continues years after the conflict ends. As an example, the 3 month struggle to take Okinawa from the Japanese caused the deaths of approximately 150,000 innocent Okinawan people.

The Western Allies were very fortunate to have Stalin, although a ruthless totalitarian megalomaniac who slaughtered millions of his own people, and his Red Army on its side.

Regards,Kurt
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Old 25 Jun 17, 07:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
Food and tanks were relatively unimportant. Explosives, aviation gasoline and various raw materials (aluminium, chemicals etc) mattered more.
Personally I think Germany/USSR one-to-one war would most likely result in bloody stalemate.
In a long war of attrition Germany was going to loose as she simply did not have the resources over the long term either to make what she needed or to buy it if there was no blockade. Provided that the USSR wasn't defeated militarily she was going to win by simply outlasting Germany, it might be at a terrible cost. One could see a triumphant but ruined Soviet Union collapsing into anarchy once the unifying effect of being at war ceased.
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Old 25 Jun 17, 07:34
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Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
Food and tanks were relatively unimportant. Explosives, aviation gasoline and various raw materials (aluminium, chemicals etc) mattered more.
Personally I think Germany/USSR one-to-one war would most likely result in bloody stalemate.
Thanks for pointing out the most vital of the Lend-Lease supplies. Your conclusion of a bloody stalemate was, in IMHO, also possible but I think you are underestimating the resolve of the Red Army and the Soviet people as a whole in the GPW. Looking at it alternatively, if Russia could have prevailed, what would be your guess as to how many years it would have added to the conflict?

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  #14  
Old 25 Jun 17, 08:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
Thanks for pointing out the most vital of the Lend-Lease supplies. Your conclusion of a bloody stalemate was, in IMHO, also possible but I think you are underestimating the resolve of the Red Army and the Soviet people as a whole in the GPW. Looking at it alternatively, if Russia could have prevailed, what would be your guess as to how many years it would have added to the conflict?

Regards,Kurt
If by 1945 the war had locked into a huge WW1 Western Front style stand off in the East I think Germany could not have maintained an army large enough to man it and block Soviet attacks for more than about two years. Apart from the strain on her industry she would have had serious problems with food production as her agricultural sector had not yet fully recovered from the damage caused by the transfer of man power and the lack of nitrates etc. in WW1 and productivity was still below 1914 levels. The structure of land holdings in the Reich meant many of her farms were too small to benefit from mechanisation and were very labour intensive a problem exacerbated by so many men away in the army. Financially speaking Germany had much less going for her than in WW1 and her ability to raise credit in WW2 was lower so she would not have been able to purchase what she needed from outside for very long.
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Old 25 Jun 17, 08:51
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