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

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  #16  
Old 12 Sep 17, 15:12
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As for Polish legitimate demands for a seaport they had none, anymore they had any legitimate demands on German land.

Oh, sure, territory may change hands after a war, by nations involved in said war. Not by one that was newly recreated by two other powers. Recreated for the second time, I might add.

But yeah, the treaty of Versailles was a disaster, that we can agree on.

Edit.
If you gonna change borders around you be wise to make sure they make sense in the first place.

Last edited by walle; 12 Sep 17 at 15:23..
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  #17  
Old 12 Sep 17, 15:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nastle View Post
is the military capacity of wehrmacht in 1940 such OTL that they can invade USSR?
And what happens when poland allows germany to roll 100 divisions across its plains to get to its eastern order ?
On paper they had the numbers of men, guns, tanks, etc. The issue is the logistical piece and Intel gathering on the Red Army as well as coordination between the 2 armies. The "Otto Program" would still have to be carried out in order to accommodate the rail traffic required for the build up and deployment of the invasion forces.
My assessment would be that late May 1941 would be better. The LW would be much more capable than the OTL and the KM could be a major played in the Baltic with its surface vessels (Bismarck, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, etc.). The Polish Army could be counted on to field the equivalent of an Army Group minus the armored divisions.

The use of foreign equipment in the OTL would be mitigated by the lack of losses as in the OTL and domestic production. The Germans would still have the Czech equipment which played the largest role of foreign equipment, the French equipment was valuable, but not nearly when considered against the losses the Germans incurred in 1940.
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  #18  
Old 12 Sep 17, 15:39
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Ah, but Poland did ...

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Originally Posted by Emtos View Post
Poland always tried to maintain a status quo between USSR and Germany. Siding with Germany would end his alliance with France and Britain. Poland wouldn't take this risk.
... accept the risk because Poland considered itself a major player and supported Hitler in the endeavours, which led to Munich. Why?

For their part the Poles wanted Teschen (Czech Tesin, Polish Cieszyn) a former Duchy of some 850 sq mi., Teschen was part of Silesia, had been part of Bohemia for hundreds of years but had been part of Austria until 1918. Both Poland and Czechoslovakia claimed Teschen on ethnic grounds. After World War I, Versailles Treaty ramifications divided Teschen, giving the western section, including the coal rich industrial Karviná basin, to Czechoslovakia and the eastern agricultural section to Poland. Poland, feeling that they got the bum end of the steer, continued to claim the Czech section.

In short, both the Poles and Hungarians were more than willing to join Hitler and share in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. The Poles for their part put both France and the USSR in very awkward positions as both also had treaty obligations to the Czechs, in the process relying on the Soviet-Polish Non-Aggression treaty, and straining the treaty with France hugely in Germany’s favour.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 16:04
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
And from whom would they need their rear protected pray?

Most of the captured Western resources were used to replace the supplies cut off by the British blockade which would not exist in this scenario. Germany would have been free to trade and the DM would be higher, they wouldn't be dependent on Swiss bankers for FX. In terms of military preparedness Czechslovakia was more important and they had Skoda etc etc.
From the poles ofcourse , they coveted German territory more than Russian

You really think Britain is just going to allow a superpower to grow on the continent with this polish-german Alliance ? No they will make sure that neither side completely wins and keep them weak and divided that probably means switching sanctions from the Soviets to the Germans as the situation demands
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  #20  
Old 12 Sep 17, 16:07
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Originally Posted by Javaman View Post
On paper they had the numbers of men, guns, tanks, etc. The issue is the logistical piece and Intel gathering on the Red Army as well as coordination between the 2 armies. The "Otto Program" would still have to be carried out in order to accommodate the rail traffic required for the build up and deployment of the invasion forces.
My assessment would be that late May 1941 would be better. The LW would be much more capable than the OTL and the KM could be a major played in the Baltic with its surface vessels (Bismarck, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, etc.). The Polish Army could be counted on to field the equivalent of an Army Group minus the armored divisions.

The use of foreign equipment in the OTL would be mitigated by the lack of losses as in the OTL and domestic production. The Germans would still have the Czech equipment which played the largest role of foreign equipment, the French equipment was valuable, but not nearly when considered against the losses the Germans incurred in 1940.
If we look at purely the military side effect and yes it looks a little more favorable but again even from a tactical standpoint polish and German soldiers are fighting together with what objective in mind ?what is the end goal here conquest of Moscow?
I don't think any of the km major warships would have made any difference in the naval war of the Baltic which was dominated by submarines and Mine Warfare
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  #21  
Old 12 Sep 17, 16:17
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KM role to play vs. Soviets ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nastle View Post
If we look at purely the military side effect and yes it looks a little more favorable but again even from a tactical standpoint polish and German soldiers are fighting together with what objective in mind ?what is the end goal here conquest of Moscow?
I don't think any of the km major warships would have made any difference in the naval war of the Baltic which was dominated by submarines and Mine Warfare
... since this a what-if anyway.



That the KM didn’t figure larger into German plans historically, beyond the fact that Hitler was a dolt when it came to water, is largely due to the fact that the KM’s presence at OKW was very limited, to Puttkamer in the main, fodder for Jodl in these matters, much less Hitler, and OKH could care less. The KM barely figured into the defeat of France and the Low Countries, despite extensive coastlines, for the same reasons, but after the campaign the possibility of the seizure of several Belgian Islands in conjuncture with the land campaign itself could have figured into restricting the Dunkerque evacuation, etc. The KM thought so anyway, could've accomplished despite the losses off Norway - another oversight in planning.

Instead, the picture of the KM that’s projected historically within Barbarossa, is that Raeder remained a critic of any plan to attack the Soviets, in his advocacy of continuing ops. against Britain, the KM remained on the offensive against Britain, the short lived Baltic Fleet built around Tirpitz was only to prevent the expected escape attempt of the Soviet Baltic Fleet to Sweden (which didn’t occur in the volume expected anyway, although some reinforced the Arctic Fleet), otherwise the KM’s role vs. the Soviets in the Baltic, was strictly to mine and extend nets to bottle them up i.e. defensive, the assault on the Soviet Navy itself would come down to the speedy overrunning of most its bases, by the panzers – which didn’t happen.

In brief, the KM contended that IF included into Barbarossa, the KM, with Luftwaffe support and the deliberate targeting of Soviet naval assets in the Baltic, could have provided amphibious assault, and logistics along the shore of the Baltic in order to seize Leningrad ASAP. Why, and for what advantages? Here are various points, in no particular order, some are my own:

- Consider that in OTL terms, “It is some 600 miles from the Polish border to Moscow, another 900 from Leningrad in the north to Rostov-on-Don in the south.”, but this ignores the fact that it is likewise 500 miles from East Prussia to Leningrad, but only 375 miles between Leningrad and Moscow, an area of if not of outstanding roads and rail communications, at least superior ones for the USSR, and arguably within “Handkoffer” range for the panzer forces.
-In short, a 2 prong attack on Moscow is possible, as is envelopment from the rear, along with the industrial and hydro-electric resources of the area.
-While few in the KM did not respect the RN, likewise few who had any experience with the Russian Navy in WWI, had any respect for it at all, fewer still for the stifled Soviet variety.
-Plans only included the KM surface fleet, largely negated (such as Bismarck) when employed against the RN anyway, against the Soviets is another matter – the U-Boat assault on Britain’s commerce remains largely undiminished (if Britain is an adversary).
-The ports of Lubeck, Stettin and Konigsberg had more than enough harbour and cargo loading capacity, the sealanes to Reval and Leningrad well defined and familiar, and likewise as far as cargo handling goes - plus Finland was an ally, and any point along her coast was available as a base, if required. Poland?
-Along the same lines, much of Germany’s sizable bulk merchant fleet, was bottled up in the Baltic or along the Norwegian coast by the RN, just waiting to be employed - the KM returned 200,000 tons of the 1,000,000 tons of requisitioned shipping, back to private shipowners in the spring of 1942 anyway.
- Controlling the Leningrad/Kronstadt/Ladoga/Neva area also prevents the Soviets from the historical transfer of part of their pent up Baltic Fleet, to strengthen the Arctic Fleet, it likewise localizes any possible invasion from the north (by the British, which the KM feared too), and shores up the Arctic Front, one of Hitler's major paranoias throughout the war. Likewise, communications to and from Murmansk/Arkhangelsk are cut, which includes the Arkhangelsk-Volga Railroad – supplies from the West i.e. Lend-Lease, thus becomes limited all along the front, the Persian route’s not even in place yet either.
- Shipping is much, much more efficient than either hauling over rails, or roads. What’s more, in the longer term, the effects of sabotage and partisan attack are largely negated.
-Many of the preps, training and materiel etc., taken for Sea Lion, were even more applicable in the Baltic for Barbarossa, against a substantially weaker naval and air opponent. - By using merchant shipping after the elimination of the Soviet Baltic Fleet and the seizure of its bases, and attacking simultaneously from the north, a much shorter and better supplied route – with the concentration further north, the detour south which occurred historically, becomes much less likely to occur too.
- Want proof? You can add and subtract assets all you want, but who can deny the effectiveness of the much-diminished KM in the supplying and evacuations associated with Courland late in the war?

For what it’s worth, none of this is new, most of it came out post-WW2 from credible KM sources; none other than Adm. Friedrich Ruge, who served pretty much everywhere in WWII, from command of the Seelöwe mining forces, to Italy, to France for D-Day (he played himself in Hollywood’s “The Longest Day”), then CNO of the Post-WWII/Cold War Bundesmarine.
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  #22  
Old 12 Sep 17, 16:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nastle View Post
From the poles ofcourse , they coveted German territory more than Russian

You really think Britain is just going to allow a superpower to grow on the continent with this polish-german Alliance ? No they will make sure that neither side completely wins and keep them weak and divided that probably means switching sanctions from the Soviets to the Germans as the situation demands
How?
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Old 12 Sep 17, 16:44
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Originally Posted by Marmat View Post
... accept the risk because Poland considered itself a major player and supported Hitler in the endeavours, which led to Munich. Why?

For their part the Poles wanted Teschen (Czech Tesin, Polish Cieszyn) a former Duchy of some 850 sq mi., Teschen was part of Silesia, had been part of Bohemia for hundreds of years but had been part of Austria until 1918. Both Poland and Czechoslovakia claimed Teschen on ethnic grounds. After World War I, Versailles Treaty ramifications divided Teschen, giving the western section, including the coal rich industrial Karviná basin, to Czechoslovakia and the eastern agricultural section to Poland. Poland, feeling that they got the bum end of the steer, continued to claim the Czech section.

In short, both the Poles and Hungarians were more than willing to join Hitler and share in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. The Poles for their part put both France and the USSR in very awkward positions as both also had treaty obligations to the Czechs, in the process relying on the Soviet-Polish Non-Aggression treaty, and straining the treaty with France hugely in Germany’s favour.
In case of an alliance with Germany they had to let the German Army use the Polish territory. It xas unacceptable.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 17:19
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How?
britain control a global empire its not a helpless little island

its navy control all the trade routes
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Old 13 Sep 17, 08:43
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If we look at purely the military side effect and yes it looks a little more favorable but again even from a tactical standpoint polish and German soldiers are fighting together with what objective in mind ?what is the end goal here conquest of Moscow?
I don't think any of the km major warships would have made any difference in the naval war of the Baltic which was dominated by submarines and Mine Warfare
Jozef Beck was not likely to strike an accord with the Germans, but he was very right wing and not much liked anywhere to include Poland. Another faction could have agreed that restoring the Baltics, Belarus, Ukraine and the territory the Soviets took from other states was worth fighting over. Poland had ties with the Ukraine in 1919-20 that could be restored if that country were free. Poland had ideas of forming an alliance with Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, etc. that could ensure their future security between Russian and Germany. This is obviously not guaranteed, but if Polands options are Soviet and German invasion with ensured destruction, the gamble on German promises seems more attractive.
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Old 13 Sep 17, 09:01
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Quote:
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britain control a global empire its not a helpless little island

its navy control all the trade routes
You're evading the question - I suspect because you don't have an answer. The Germans could close the Baltic to the RN quite easily and unless France could be persuaded to enter the war (which would be unlikely) Britain would have no land access or means of intervening. Possible invasions of Germany's North Sea coast had been seriously evaluated as far back as 1912 but given the nature of the coast there had been written off. Yes a trade war would have had an effect but would take years to have an effect even if Britain was prepared to take action against all the neutral shipping which the Germans would have utilised (and the USA would have opposed this). Plenty of time to grab the USSR's resources which was the whole point anyway.
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Old 13 Sep 17, 12:42
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So much history ...

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Originally Posted by Emtos View Post
In case of an alliance with Germany they had to let the German Army use the Polish territory. It xas unacceptable.
... has been forgotten when it comes to Poland, given how much Poland lost in WWII. But before the war, the Poles were opportunists and greedy, they had long standing aspirations regarding the Ukraine.

In the German-Polish negotiations that took place starting in the fall of 1938 over Danzig, Polish Ambassador Józef Lipski agreed that a joint policy against the USSR was possible, essentially Poland's joining the Anti-Comintern. Later, Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck in talks with Ribbentrop confirmed Poland's ambitions when it came to the Ukraine. Given Poland's play at Munich, the West already assumed that a joint German-Polish campaign regarding the Ukraine was imminent; Churchill referred to Poland as a "Jackal" nation. As it was the Poles were taken aback by the British guarantee; Edward Benes had stated that it was the Polish Ultimatum that had decided for him that Czechoslovakia could not resist the Munich Agreement.

It comes down to this, after the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, a Polish-German deal is within the realm of possibility, as it was historically; Hitler simply has to be willing to ignore Danzig and the corridor for the time being. German troops on Polish soil isn't even a consideration as Hitler apparently preferred invading the Ukraine from Slovakia, newly in the German pocket; Polish forces could attack from their own common border.
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Old 13 Sep 17, 13:57
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... has been forgotten when it comes to Poland, given how much Poland lost in WWII. But before the war, the Poles were opportunists and greedy, they had long standing aspirations regarding the Ukraine.
Not completely correct. At the beginning of the revival of Poland as a sovereign state a policy aim was established by Jozef Pilsudski to recover all the territory that had been Polish before various partitions and secessions began in the 18th century. The original Poland had been huge taking in part of the Ukraine. This policy ignored the fact that over a a century and more many of these places had had a population shift and were no longer inhabited by a majority of ethnic Poles. This gave rise to a Polish state that was very aggressive towards its new neighbors who resisted and fighting continued in places until the mid 1920s and burst out again 1939 when a Polish armoured column occupied part of Czechoslovakia. However there is no evidence that Polish ambitions went further than restoring the ancient borders.
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Old 13 Sep 17, 14:05
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You're evading the question - I suspect because you don't have an answer. The Germans could close the Baltic to the RN quite easily and unless France could be persuaded to enter the war (which would be unlikely) Britain would have no land access or means of intervening. Possible invasions of Germany's North Sea coast had been seriously evaluated as far back as 1912 but given the nature of the coast there had been written off. Yes a trade war would have had an effect but would take years to have an effect even if Britain was prepared to take action against all the neutral shipping which the Germans would have utilised (and the USA would have opposed this). Plenty of time to grab the USSR's resources which was the whole point anyway.
You making 4 big assumptions

1 red army will just fold
2 polish German alliance will work flawlessly
3 vulnerability of German economy to foreign sanctions
4 France will sit by idly and not try to attack Germany while the bulk of her army is deployed in the East


British don't need to intervene militarily to determine the outcome of this war I never suggested that
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Old 13 Sep 17, 15:05
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Marmat is a glorious beacon of light [700]
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Not completely correct. At the beginning of the revival of Poland as a sovereign state a policy aim was established by Jozef Pilsudski to recover all the territory that had been Polish before various partitions and secessions began in the 18th century. The original Poland had been huge taking in part of the Ukraine. This policy ignored the fact that over a a century and more many of these places had had a population shift and were no longer inhabited by a majority of ethnic Poles. This gave rise to a Polish state that was very aggressive towards its new neighbors who resisted and fighting continued in places until the mid 1920s and burst out again 1939 when a Polish armoured column occupied part of Czechoslovakia. However there is no evidence that Polish ambitions went further than restoring the ancient borders.
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Quote:
1) "Polish Ambassador Józef Lipski agreed that a joint policy against the USSR was possible, essentially Poland's joining the Anti-Comintern."
24 October, 1938, conversation between Lipski and Ribbentrop, the latter recorded, "Poland would accede to the Anti-Comintern Pact",
- "Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945", series D, V, No. 81.

Quote:
2) "But before the war, the Poles were opportunists and greedy, they had long standing aspirations regarding the Ukraine... Later, Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck in talks with Ribbentrop confirmed Poland's ambitions when it came to the Ukraine."
1 February, 1939, conversation between Beck and Ribbentrop, the latter recorded Beck, "made no secret of the fact that Poland had aspirations directed towards the Soviet Ukraine",
- "Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945", series D, V, No. 126.

courtesy of AJP Taylor.
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