• '12

    Actually, the V-1 was probably the better weapon.  With slight improvements in speed but still sub-sonic it would be immune to the wing-tip-over that was often used to disable them.  The resources required for a V-2 were astounding.  That’s why they don’t really use ICBMs for conventional munitions, though they are thinking of this for quick time-of-flight long distance attacks.  I should do some research but I would imagine you could build dozens of V-1 for the resources of a single V-2.  The V-1 is basically an unguided cruise missle and uses a highly efficient pulse engine.  Waves of those launched against the D-day landings would have been a nightmere.


  • @Zooey72:

    It isn’t sexy like jets, rockets, and U-boats, and the atom bomb, BUT I think the real game changer would have been the assault rifle

    Hard to deny it would’ve been a whole new ballgame launching Barbarossa in '41 with assault rifles and SMGs as standard issue…
    I just think of house-clearing with a bolt-action rifle and get the willies.

    #688


  • @allboxcars:

    @Zooey72:

    It isn’t sexy like jets, rockets, and U-boats, and the atom bomb, BUT I think the real game changer would have been the assault rifle

    Hard to deny it would’ve been a whole new ballgame launching Barbarossa in '41 with assault rifles and SMGs as standard issue…
    I just think of house-clearing with a bolt-action rifle and get the willies.

    #688

    I agree with you guys. I voted for the assault rifle; planes, ships, and tanks are great weapons. But any war is won by the blood, sweat and ability of it’s infantry.

    I wonder if Germany had used the assault rifle earlier in the war, how soon would the allies have countered with their own weapon?


  • @ABWorsham:

    I wonder if Germany had used the assault rifle earlier in the war, how soon would the allies have countered with their own weapon?

    Good question.

    Hmmm, higher ammo consumption would’ve been a pain considering the Allies weren’t firing the same round…

    Wonder if the US would’ve just “boosted” production the BAR?
    Or rushed production of the M1 carbine?

    #709

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    A quote attributed to Eisenhower (I’ve seen several different versions of it, but containing the same elements) states that he considered the following four items to be the key war-winning weapons of the Allies: The bazooka, the jeep, the atom bomb and the C-47 Dakota transport plane.  The jeep and the C-47 might seem surprising choices at first glance – and indeed might not even be considered weapons in the strict sense – but they gave the Allies tremendous battlefield mobility and logistical capacity.  Both these things are critical in modern warfare.  Richard Overy, in his book Why The Allies Won, makes the same point.  He notes that during the war, Germany produced highly advanced next-generation weapon systems like cruise missiles (the V1), ballistic missiles (the V2) and jet fighters (the Me262), but neglected to pay much attention to such unglamorous basics as providing its army with enough trucks to break free of its continued large-scale use of horses.

    Another factor Overy mentions is the technical fussiness of the Wehrmacht.  Its weapon specifications and quality-control standards were so exacting that they got in the way of efficient mass production.  The Panther, for example, was an adaptation of (an in some respects an improvement over) the T-34, but it was more complex and time-consuming to build, so the Germans never had enough of them.  The Russians stuck to the philosophy of “make it simple, make it work, and make more of it.”  The British applied the same approach to manufacturing the early versions of the Sten gun, which was intended to be a simple, cheap weapon which could be produced in vast quantities to meet the emergency Britain faced after Dunkirk.  The Sten Mark III, which looked like a piece of scrap iron, was probably the ugliest gun ever used by the British Army, but it got the job done, and the British were sensible enough to realize that the second half of 1940 was not the time to get sentimental about having to give up finely polished walnut rifle stocks and carefully blued gun barrels.

    People interested in this general topic might like to read a sci-fi short story by Arthur C. Clarke called “Superiority,” the inspiration of which he said would be clear to anyone familiar with the Second World War.  It describes how a galactic war takes an unexpected turn when one side becomes obsessed with developing fancy new high-tech weapons, while the other side sticks to producing huge numbers of good old-fashioned “primitive” ones.


  • Crude but effective. Isn’t that what we used to say about Soviet kit?

    And have to agree about the value of that logistics ball and chain keeping up to the sharp end. Good points CWO.

    #725

  • '12

    I look forward to reading that story, I love Arthur C. Clarke.  As a child I read a book about a world scenario where the US did not enter WW II.  In this storyline 100 years has passed since the outbreak of the war and europe had descended technologically to the point where communication with the americas had ended many decades prior to the timeline of the story.  The americas became the Pan-America….empire would be too strong, perhaps a stronger form of the EU for the americas would be right.  It was forbidden to attempt communication or travel beyong certain longitude lines.  The plot revolves around a US destroyer that ventures over to europe to see what went on.  Civilization had crashed, lions roamed the countryside in England.  Was so long ago and I can’t seem to find anything on google with any key words I can come up with.

    Marc, you make excellent points.  I had mentioned somewhere that the Germany army really was not mechanized and relied heavily on horses.  You can make many claims about what wins a battle, but wars are won on logistics.  Boring things like efficient routing algorithms and transports/trucks ensures the army gets its beans and bullets.  Over-engineering…I read somewhere that the engines of a particular German tanks had engines so well machined they didn’t require a rebuild for 24 months.  Of course the average combat lifespan of the tank was about 2 months…  I wish I could find that tidbit on google!

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @MrMalachiCrunch:

    You can make many claims about what wins a battle, but wars are won on logistics.  Boring things like efficient routing algorithms and transports/trucks ensures the army gets its beans and bullets.

    Perhaps even more so than Germany, Japan didn’t pay proper attention to this critical issue.  For example, it made inefficient use of its sea transport capacity.  The Army and the Navy apparently has separate fleets of transport vessels under their control, and did not coordinate their use.  So for instance, a transport vessel belonging to one service might deliver its cargo and then sail back empty in the other direction rather than using its return trip to do a needed transportation job for the other service.

    Another problem along these lines was that the Japanese Navy felt that the correct mission of its warships was to sink enemy combat vessels, and thus that they shouldn’t waste their time or ammunition on anything that wasn’t a fighting ship.  As a result, Japanese submarines encountering American transport ships would tend to save their torpedoes for what they considered to be more important targets like carriers and battleships.  Japan likewise did not give a high priority to providing its own transport ships (including its valuable oil tankers) with enough escort vessels to defend them adequately.  This made the job easier for the American submarines which operated against the Japanese convoy routes.  American subs became so effective in this role that, by the end of the war, they were starting to run out of targets and Japan was facing economic strangulation (the goal which German U-boats tried but failed to achieve against Britain).  Japan’s inadequate handling of maritime logistics is particularly ironic given that the main purpose of its Pacific offensive in 1941 was to secure access to the foreign natural resources (particularly oil) which Japan lacked domestically and which it had to import to sustain its economy.


  • @CWO:

    A quote attributed to Eisenhower (I’ve seen several different versions of it, but containing the same elements) states that he considered the following four items to be the key war-winning weapons of the Allies: The bazooka, the jeep, the atom bomb and the C-47 Dakota transport plane.  The jeep and the C-47 might seem surprising choices at first glance – and indeed might not even be considered weapons in the strict sense – but they gave the Allies tremendous battlefield mobility and logistical capacity.  Both these things are critical in modern warfare.  Richard Overy, in his book Why The Allies Won, makes the same point.  He notes that during the war, Germany produced highly advanced next-generation weapon systems like cruise missiles (the V1), ballistic missiles (the V2) and jet fighters (the Me262), but neglected to pay much attention to such unglamorous basics as providing its army with enough trucks to break free of its continued large-scale use of horses.

    Another factor Overy mentions is the technical fussiness of the Wehrmacht.  Its weapon specifications and quality-control standards were so exacting that they got in the way of efficient mass production.  The Panther, for example, was an adaptation of (an in some respects an improvement over) the T-34, but it was more complex and time-consuming to build, so the Germans never had enough of them.  The Russians stuck to the philosophy of “make it simple, make it work, and make more of it.”  The British applied the same approach to manufacturing the early versions of the Sten gun, which was intended to be a simple, cheap weapon which could be produced in vast quantities to meet the emergency Britain faced after Dunkirk.  The Sten Mark III, which looked like a piece of scrap iron, was probably the ugliest gun ever used by the British Army, but it got the job done, and the British were sensible enough to realize that the second half of 1940 was not the time to get sentimental about having to give up finely polished walnut rifle stocks and carefully blued gun barrels.

    People interested in this general topic might like to read a sci-fi short story by Arthur C. Clarke called “Superiority,” the inspiration of which he said would be clear to anyone familiar with the Second World War.  It describes how a galactic war takes an unexpected turn when one side becomes obsessed with developing fancy new high-tech weapons, while the other side sticks to producing huge numbers of good old-fashioned “primitive” ones.

    This is a very solid post. Just to add to what you’ve written, during WWII Canada produced more military trucks than the entire Axis combined. One reason why Germany didn’t do more to mechanize its supply lines was its lack of oil. You can have all the military trucks in the world, but if you can’t fuel them they are useless. A strong effort was made to gear its logistics system around the resources it did have, which in this case meant coal. Supplies would be shipped by coal-powered trains to drop-off points, and then via horses the rest of the way.

    During the '20s and early ‘30s, Germany had fallen behind the U.S., Britain, and even the Soviet Union when it came to implementing mass production techniques. That was partly the result of the Versailles Treaty, which helped cause economic stagnation in Germany while the Allies moved forward and advanced their own economies. Hitler sought to reverse that stagnation upon taking power. But building up industrial capacity and mass production expertise takes time. Notably, Germany produced nearly three times as many military aircraft in 1944 as it had in 1942. That increase demonstrates that Germany was at last catching up to the Allies in terms of industrialization and the implementation of mass production techniques. However, the Allies’ sheer size and access to raw materials allowed them to significantly outproduce Germany even in 1944.

    Toward the end of the war, efforts were underway to allow Germany to simplify its tank designs to make them more easily mass produced. The goal of the Entwicklung program was to replace all of Germany’s tank designs with simplified yet improved E-series designs. The E-25 was to replace all Mark III and Mark IV designs; the E-50 Standardpanzer was to replace the Panther and Tiger I designs, and the E-75 Standardpanzer was to replace the Tiger II design. The main benefit to this program would have been tanks that were simpler, more mechanically reliable, and more easily produced. Improvements were also made to the tanks’ combat ability. For example, the E-75 had better armor and a more powerful weapon than the Tiger II, as well as better long-range accuracy.

    However, the war ended before the Entwicklung series program had resulted in wide-scale production of new tanks.


  • @KurtGodel7:

    This is a very solid post. Just to add to what you’ve written, during WWII Canada produced more military trucks than the entire Axis combined. One reason why Germany didn’t do more to mechanize its supply lines was its lack of oil. You can have all the military trucks in the world, but if you can’t fuel them they are useless. A strong effort was made to gear its logistics system around the resources it did have, which in this case meant coal. Supplies would be shipped by coal-powered trains to drop-off points, and then via horses the rest of the way.

    During the '20s and early ‘30s, Germany had fallen behind the U.S., Britain, and even the Soviet Union when it came to implementing mass production techniques. That was partly the result of the Versailles Treaty, which helped cause economic stagnation in Germany while the Allies moved forward and advanced their own economies. Hitler sought to reverse that stagnation upon taking power. But building up industrial capacity and mass production expertise takes time. Notably, Germany produced nearly three times as many military aircraft in 1944 as it had in 1942. That increase demonstrates that Germany was at last catching up to the Allies in terms of industrialization and the implementation of mass production techniques. However, the Allies’ sheer size and access to raw materials allowed them to significantly outproduce Germany even in 1944.

    Toward the end of the war, efforts were underway to allow Germany to simplify its tank designs to make them more easily mass produced. The goal of the Entwicklung program was to replace all of Germany’s tank designs with simplified yet improved E-series designs. The E-25 was to replace all Mark III and Mark IV designs; the E-50 Standardpanzer was to replace the Panther and Tiger I designs, and the E-75 Standardpanzer was to replace the Tiger II design. The main benefit to this program would have been tanks that were simpler, more mechanically reliable, and more easily produced. Improvements were also made to the tanks’ combat ability. For example, the E-75 had better armor and a more powerful weapon than the Tiger II, as well as better long-range accuracy.

    However, the war ended before the Entwicklung series program had resulted in wide-scale production of new tanks.

    Your post adds even more to the fact that Germany was not ready for war against Russia in 41.

    Imo, Germany could possibly win anyway, but we see in retrospect that the odds for Germany winning against Russia was very much lower than (i.e.) 40%. At the very least, Germany should go into total war modus from the time Hitler decided to attack Russia, probably a few months before operation Barbarossa (?), this would at least give Germany better odds of winning.
    I think the A-bomb is the only weapon that would help Germany win the war in Europe. But if Germany had invented the A-bomb before the US, the victory would also be certain.


  • Yeah I’m thinking Adolf’s reluctance to use chemical weapons wouldn’t have stopped him from nuking Moscow.
    And London.
    And…

    #716


  • @Subotai:

    Your post adds even more to the fact that Germany was not ready for war against Russia in 41.

    Imo, Germany could possibly win anyway, but we see in retrospect that the odds for Germany winning against Russia was very much lower than (i.e.) 40%. At the very least, Germany should go into total war modus from the time Hitler decided to attack Russia, probably a few months before operation Barbarossa (?), this would at least give Germany better odds of winning.
    I think the A-bomb is the only weapon that would help Germany win the war in Europe. But if Germany had invented the A-bomb before the US, the victory would also be certain.

    I fully agree that Germany was far from ready for war against the Soviet Union in '41. In the key year of 1942, the Soviets outproduced Germany by a 3:1 or 4:1 margin in the major land weapons categories, and even built nearly twice as many military aircraft as did Germany. By '44 Germany had eliminated that production gap. In many ways, '44 or '45 would have been a much better time for Germany to declare war than '41. In the meantime, Germany could have focused its attention on the Middle East; so as to obtain critical oil supplies for the Wehrmacht. Not to mention the potential to recruit Middle Eastern men into Germany’s North Africa/Middle East force–a force which could then have been used to invade the Soviet Union from Persia.

    The main problem with that plan would have been American military production. In 1941, the U.S. produced over 19,000 military aircraft to Germany’s 12,000; even though the U.S. was still technically at peace. Plans had been put in place to expand American aircraft production to a staggering 72,000 planes a year, with half of that production going to Britain to be used against Germany. By 1944 Germany had increased its aircraft production to nearly 41,000 planes a year. The U.S., however, produced over 96,000 planes that year.

    Any plan to postpone invasion of the Soviet Union until 1944 or ‘45 would also have had to address the problem of the tens of thousands of American military aircraft that would have been produced in the meantime. Possibly in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack, Germany should have announced dismay at Japan’s actions, and repudiated its alliance with Japan. While those actions would not have changed FDR’s personal goals of the destruction of Germany and a postwar world dominated by the U.S. and the Soviet Union, it would have altered the political climate he faced. His opponents in Congress would have questioned the need to send large numbers of aircraft to Britain, when the more urgent need would have been to wage war against Japan. This would have been a major gamble on Hitler’s part, in the sense that he would have been relying on political factors in Washington to hamper FDR’s ability to wage an undeclared war against Germany. But isolationist sentiment in the U.S. was still strong–despite institutional elites’ efforts to change it–so these acts on Germany’s part could well have reduced the scale of America’s war effort against it.

    With (fewer) American-made bombers over Germany’s skies raining death on German cities, Hitler would have had time to gear up for war against the Soviet Union. In addition, grabbing large portions of Britain’s empire would have made it more difficult for the British to obtain the raw materials they required to produce large numbers of aircraft; while providing Germany with access to those same raw materials.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16

    ok Kurt Godel, explain please how you would have seen the Invasion against the Soviet Union without the Oil of Ploesti in '44-'45?..I see you would have tried to obtain the oilfields in Mid.east but I think you would be out of gas right then…

    better weapons introduced in early '43 would not have much of an impact to win the war for Germany since it was more likley overkill in the diversity of types of ammo and ammo at all…
    for example Stug III w. 3 -4 diffrent KwK’s and up to 6 diffrent Panzergranaten/Panzer grenades…

    the Wehrmacht was on top in '41, undefeated and fearless. providing the Wehrmacht in '41 w. SturmGewher '44 modells, Panthers and panzerfaust and they would have conquered siberia on foot…lol


  • @aequitas:

    ok Kurt Godel, explain please how you would have seen the Invasion against the Soviet Union without the Oil of Ploesti in '44-'45?..I see you would have tried to obtain the oilfields in Mid.east but I think you would be out of gas right then…

    better weapons introduced in early '43 would not have much of an impact to win the war for Germany since it was more likley overkill in the diversity of types of ammo and ammo at all…
    for example Stug III w. 3 -4 diffrent KwK’s and up to 6 diffrent Panzergranaten/Panzer grenades…

    the Wehrmacht was on top in '41, undefeated and fearless. providing the Wehrmacht in '41 w. SturmGewher '44 modells, Panthers and panzerfaust and they would have conquered siberia on foot…lol

    Far fewer tanks, soldiers, and planes were involved in the Middle Eastern conflict of 1940 than would later participate in the war between Germany and the Soviet Union. All else being equal, a smaller conflict means less need for gas. Also, Germany had access to some fuel supplies, both from its own synthetic fuel production and because of Romania. That fuel would have been perfectly adequate to launch a full-scale invasion of the Middle East in 1940 or 1941; just as that fuel was instead used in the invasion of the Soviet Union. Long-term, of course, the plan would have been for the Middle Eastern invasion to result in the capture of Persia’s oil fields; which at the time were the most abundant and best in the world. Persian oil would have been instrumental in the invasion of the Soviet Union.

    There were several reasons why the Wehrmacht wasn’t provided with Panthers, Panzerfausts, etc. in 1941. One was that those designs were largely the result of Germany’s experience fighting the Red Army, and its resulting insights into the needs of its military. Another reason was that the Wehrmacht was thrown together quickly from 1933 - 1941. In 1939, for example, the German Army’s tank force consisted almost exclusively of obsolete light tanks which could not penetrate the armor of enemy tanks. They added large numbers of medium tanks to their army between the invasion of Poland and the invasion of France. But even during the invasion of France, roughly 70% Germany’s tank force was still obsolete light tanks.

    During the early 1940s Germany could not devote its entire effort to military production, because Hitler wanted to also devote large amounts of resources toward building up Germany’s production capacity. He realized that unless he did so, Germany would fall behind in the air production race against Britain and the U.S., and that its cities would consequently be destroyed. The resources devoted to building up industrial capacity (as opposed to immediate military production) are one of the reasons why the Soviet Union was able, in 1942, to outproduce Germany 3:1 or 4:1 in all major land categories, and nearly 2:1 in military aircraft.

    Well over 80% of Germany’s WWII military deaths were experienced at the hands of the Red Army. The decline in strength the German Army experienced from 1941 - '44 was almost entirely due to the loss of men on the Soviet front. Had Germany postponed its war with the Soviet Union until 1945, that decline in strength could have been postponed. By 1945, Germany would have been in a position to match or exceed Soviet military production. That military production would allow the German Army to be fully armed and ready for war; rather than inadequately prepared as it had been in '41. Germany would also have been in position to use its jet technology to establish long-term dominance over the skies of the Soviet battlefields–not just with jet fighters, but soon enough with jet-powered dive bombers as well. That delay would (potentially) have allowed it to develop simpler, better, more easily produced tank and artillery designs.

    The main reason why the Germans lacked winter uniforms during the winter of '41 - '42 was because of inadequate supply lines. Due to the limited amount of fuel and military trucks, and the fact that so many supplies were shipped by train for most of the way and horses for the rest, there were sharp limits to the amount of supplies that could be delivered to Germany’s rapidly advancing army. Instead of adequate winter clothing and tents, German soldiers were often sent food, medical supplies, and ammunition. There just wasn’t enough logistics capacity to send them everything they had to have. The conquest of the Persian oilfields would have solved the lack of oil problem. The threefold or fourfold increase in military production capacity from '41 - '44 would have solved the problem of lack of military supply trucks. Not only would the German Army of '44 or '45 been fully armed, it would have been fully supplied.

    There was a great deal of anti-British sentiment throughout the Middle East. Middle Easterners were tired of being colonies of Britain and France. Initially, that sentiment would have allowed Hitler to recruit men for war against Britain. Later, those same recruits (and others) could be informed about the Soviet Union’s persecution of all religions (including Islam), and its repression of Muslims in the southern Soviet Union. A large force of Muslim men could invade the Soviet Union from the south, creating an additional front for it to have to deal with; not to mention entire armies that it simply didn’t have to face in WWII. Germany could supply this force with some jets and other modern weapons to improve its morale and military effectiveness.

    One key reason all these things did not happen was because the German military had underestimated the size of the Red Army. German military planners had believed the Soviet Army consisted of 200 divisions, total. Against a force like that, the German Army with its 150 divisions (as it had in 1941) would have been more than enough. The German Army was better on a man-for-man basis than was the Soviet. The plan was to quickly conquer the Soviet Union; thereby eliminating the long-term threat of communist invasion, while obtaining the resources and industrial capacity Germany needed to defend its cities from the Anglo-American bombing effort. However, by the fall of 1941, the Soviet Army consisted of a staggering 600 divisions. German military planners had grossly underestimated the sheer size of the Soviet military; and hence the difficulty of conquering the Soviet Union. It is also worth noting that the Soviets were significantly ahead of the Germans in military production capacity in '41 and '42, but that the Germans had caught up by '44. Had German leaders been aware of these things, it’s quite possible they would have postponed the invasion of the Soviet Union until '44 or '45.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @KurtGodel7:

    There was a great deal of anti-British sentiment throughout the Middle East. Middle Easterners were tired of being colonies of Britain and France. Initially, that sentiment would have allowed Hitler to recruit men for war against Britain. Later, those same recruits (and others) could be informed about the Soviet Union’s persecution of all religions (including Islam), and its repression of Muslims in the southern Soviet Union. A large force of Muslim men could invade the Soviet Union from the south, creating an additional front for it to have to deal with; not to mention entire armies that it simply didn’t have to face in WWII. Germany could supply this force with some jets and other modern weapons to improve its morale and military effectiveness.

    If Germany had occupied the Middle East, I’m not sure Germany would have been able to recruit the local population to its cause (assuming Germany was inclined to try doing so in the first place).  During the early days of Operation Barbarossa, some of the population groups in the western Soviet Union briefly entertained the hope that the Germans might prove to be more agreeable rulers than Joseph Stalin.  The SS and the Gestapo soon came along and dispelled that particular notion.  Germany was able to raise a certain number of troops in the various countries it occupied, but even with the help of collaborationist governments like those of Vichy France the forces asssembled in this manner were relatively small.

    Similarly, the Japanese were never able to capitalize very much on the anti-British (and anti-French and anti-Dutch) sentiments that existed in the Far East.  When Japan marched into one country after another in 1941-1942, it tried to market its conquests as a campaign for the liberation of Asia from white European colonial oppression.  The conquered locals soon realized that they’d simply traded one kind of foreign imperialism for another, and that life under Japanese occupation was no picnic.  Even Thailand, which was nominally an ally of Japan, was squeezed in a way which convinced pretty much everyone except the country’s top leadership that the proper response was to resist rather than collaborate.  Japan also made efforts to cultivate the Indian nationalist movement, but apart from getting some support here and there from people like Subhas Chandra Bose it never got anywhere near to provoking a serious uprising against British rule.


  • @CWO:

    @KurtGodel7:

    There was a great deal of anti-British sentiment throughout the Middle East. Middle Easterners were tired of being colonies of Britain and France. Initially, that sentiment would have allowed Hitler to recruit men for war against Britain. Later, those same recruits (and others) could be informed about the Soviet Union’s persecution of all religions (including Islam), and its repression of Muslims in the southern Soviet Union. A large force of Muslim men could invade the Soviet Union from the south, creating an additional front for it to have to deal with; not to mention entire armies that it simply didn’t have to face in WWII. Germany could supply this force with some jets and other modern weapons to improve its morale and military effectiveness.

    If Germany had occupied the Middle East, I’m not sure Germany would have been able to recruit the local population to its cause (assuming Germany was inclined to try doing so in the first place).  During the early days of Operation Barbarossa, some of the population groups in the western Soviet Union briefly entertained the hope that the Germans might prove to be more agreeable rulers than Joseph Stalin.  The SS and the Gestapo soon came along and dispelled that particular notion.  Germany was able to raise a certain number of troops in the various countries it occupied, but even with the help of collaborationist governments like those of Vichy France the forces asssembled in this manner were relatively small.

    Similarly, the Japanese were never able to capitalize very much on the anti-British (and anti-French and anti-Dutch) sentiments that existed in the Far East.  When Japan marched into one country after another in 1941-1942, it tried to market its conquests as a campaign for the liberation of Asia from white European colonial oppression.  The conquered locals soon realized that they’d simply traded one kind of foreign imperialism for another, and that life under Japanese occupation was no picnic.  Even Thailand, which was nominally an ally of Japan, was squeezed in a way which convinced pretty much everyone except the country’s top leadership that the proper response was to resist rather than collaborate.  Japan also made efforts to cultivate the Indian nationalist movement, but apart from getting some support here and there from people like Subhas Chandra Bose it never got anywhere near to provoking a serious uprising against British rule.

    And yet after the war, when it was safe to do so, most Indians praised Bose


  • @CWO:

    If Germany had occupied the Middle East, I’m not sure Germany would have been able to recruit the local population to its cause (assuming Germany was inclined to try doing so in the first place).  During the early days of Operation Barbarossa, some of the population groups in the western Soviet Union briefly entertained the hope that the Germans might prove to be more agreeable rulers than Joseph Stalin.  The SS and the Gestapo soon came along and dispelled that particular notion.  Germany was able to raise a certain number of troops in the various countries it occupied, but even with the help of collaborationist governments like those of Vichy France the forces asssembled in this manner were relatively small.

    Similarly, the Japanese were never able to capitalize very much on the anti-British (and anti-French and anti-Dutch) sentiments that existed in the Far East.  When Japan marched into one country after another in 1941-1942, it tried to market its conquests as a campaign for the liberation of Asia from white European colonial oppression.  The conquered locals soon realized that they’d simply traded one kind of foreign imperialism for another, and that life under Japanese occupation was no picnic.  Even Thailand, which was nominally an ally of Japan, was squeezed in a way which convinced pretty much everyone except the country’s top leadership that the proper response was to resist rather than collaborate.  Japan also made efforts to cultivate the Indian nationalist movement, but apart from getting some support here and there from people like Subhas Chandra Bose it never got anywhere near to provoking a serious uprising against British rule.

    In the Soviet Union, anti-communist sentiment was strong enough that nearly 1 million Soviet citizens joined Germany’s army. Had Germany actually been in a position to feed the people in the territories it conquered–which it was not–the number of people who joined might have been significantly larger. You also raised a good point about the heavy-handedness of the occupation effort–a heavy handedness which may have been due at least in part to the desire to suppress Soviet partisans and guerrilla warfare.

    In the scenario I have hypothesized, Germany would have ruled its Middle Eastern colonies with a light touch, with an eye toward winning over as large a percentage of the local population as possible. Cooperation with local leaders would have been paramount. Obtaining adequate food supplies would also have been critical–if necessary by advancing southward along the Nile.


  • But is the food surplus of the Middle East enough to offset the food defecit elsewhere?

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @KurtGodel7:

    @CWO:

    If Germany had occupied the Middle East, I’m not sure Germany would have been able to recruit the local population to its cause (assuming Germany was inclined to try doing so in the first place).  During the early days of Operation Barbarossa, some of the population groups in the western Soviet Union briefly entertained the hope that the Germans might prove to be more agreeable rulers than Joseph Stalin.  The SS and the Gestapo soon came along and dispelled that particular notion.  Germany was able to raise a certain number of troops in the various countries it occupied, but even with the help of collaborationist governments like those of Vichy France the forces asssembled in this manner were relatively small.

    Similarly, the Japanese were never able to capitalize very much on the anti-British (and anti-French and anti-Dutch) sentiments that existed in the Far East.  When Japan marched into one country after another in 1941-1942, it tried to market its conquests as a campaign for the liberation of Asia from white European colonial oppression.  The conquered locals soon realized that they’d simply traded one kind of foreign imperialism for another, and that life under Japanese occupation was no picnic.  Even Thailand, which was nominally an ally of Japan, was squeezed in a way which convinced pretty much everyone except the country’s top leadership that the proper response was to resist rather than collaborate.  Japan also made efforts to cultivate the Indian nationalist movement, but apart from getting some support here and there from people like Subhas Chandra Bose it never got anywhere near to provoking a serious uprising against British rule.

    In the Soviet Union, anti-communist sentiment was strong enough that nearly 1 million Soviet citizens joined Germany’s army. Had Germany actually been in a position to feed the people in the territories it conquered–which it was not–the number of people who joined might have been significantly larger. You also raised a good point about the heavy-handedness of the occupation effort–a heavy handedness which may have been due at least in part to the desire to suppress Soviet partisans and guerrilla warfare.

    In the scenario I have hypothesized, Germany would have ruled its Middle Eastern colonies with a light touch, with an eye toward winning over as large a percentage of the local population as possible. Cooperation with local leaders would have been paramount. Obtaining adequate food supplies would also have been critical–if necessary by advancing southward along the Nile.

    wich “nearly 1 million Soviet citizens joined Germany’s army” are you talking about,please?


  • @aequitas:

    @KurtGodel7:

    @CWO:

    If Germany had occupied the Middle East, I’m not sure Germany would have been able to recruit the local population to its cause (assuming Germany was inclined to try doing so in the first place).  During the early days of Operation Barbarossa, some of the population groups in the western Soviet Union briefly entertained the hope that the Germans might prove to be more agreeable rulers than Joseph Stalin.  The SS and the Gestapo soon came along and dispelled that particular notion.  Germany was able to raise a certain number of troops in the various countries it occupied, but even with the help of collaborationist governments like those of Vichy France the forces asssembled in this manner were relatively small.

    Similarly, the Japanese were never able to capitalize very much on the anti-British (and anti-French and anti-Dutch) sentiments that existed in the Far East.  When Japan marched into one country after another in 1941-1942, it tried to market its conquests as a campaign for the liberation of Asia from white European colonial oppression.  The conquered locals soon realized that they’d simply traded one kind of foreign imperialism for another, and that life under Japanese occupation was no picnic.  Even Thailand, which was nominally an ally of Japan, was squeezed in a way which convinced pretty much everyone except the country’s top leadership that the proper response was to resist rather than collaborate.  Japan also made efforts to cultivate the Indian nationalist movement, but apart from getting some support here and there from people like Subhas Chandra Bose it never got anywhere near to provoking a serious uprising against British rule.

    In the Soviet Union, anti-communist sentiment was strong enough that nearly 1 million Soviet citizens joined Germany’s army. Had Germany actually been in a position to feed the people in the territories it conquered–which it was not–the number of people who joined might have been significantly larger. You also raised a good point about the heavy-fronthandedness of the occupation effort–a heavy handedness which may have been due at least in part to the desire to suppress Soviet partisans and guerrilla warfare.

    In the scenario I have hypothesized, Germany would have ruled its Middle Eastern colonies with a light touch, with an eye toward winning over as large a percentage of the local population as possible. Cooperation with local leaders would have been paramount. Obtaining adequate food supplies would also have been critical–if necessary by advancing southward along the Nile.

    wich “nearly 1 million Soviet citizens joined Germany’s army” are you talking about,please?

    They were affectionately called Hiwis by the Germans, and like the other post said they made up a ridiculous amount of manpower for the German army on the Ostfront. They were used a lot for labour duties, better to work a Hiwi to death than a soldier of the Third Reich, their thinking not mine. Another reason for using the Hiwis was already evident by the end of 1941, In 1939, only 19,000 German soldiers had been killed; and in all the campaigns of 1940, German losses had totalled no more than 83,000-serious enough, indeed, but not irreplaceable. In 1941, however, 357,000 German troops were reported killed or missing in action, over 300,000 on the Ostfront. From 22 June 1941 onwards, at least two-thirds of the German Armed Forces were always engaged on the Ostfront.


  • @Krupp:

    From 22 June 1941 onwards, at least two-thirds of the German Armed Forces were always engaged on the Ostfront.

    60% of the German GROUND Army not 60% of the German Armed Forces.

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @KurtGodel7:

    You also raised a good point about the heavy-handedness of the occupation effort–a heavy handedness which may have been due at least in part to the desire to suppress Soviet partisans and guerrilla warfare.

    In the scenario I have hypothesized, Germany would have ruled its Middle Eastern colonies with a light touch, with an eye toward winning over as large a percentage of the local population as possible.

    The heavy-handedness Germany showed in Russia may also have had something to do with Hitler’s view that the conflict in the East was a “war of annihilation” whose ultimate purpose was the extermination, expulsion, Germanisation or enslavement of the Slavic people.

    I quite agree that it would have been in Germany’s strategic interests to win over the population of the countries it conquered.  I’m just wondering about their track record in this regard.  Offhand, I can’t think of any instances of a country occupied by Nazi Germany being treated with a light touch.  It would be interesting to hear of such a case.


  • @aequitas:

    wich “nearly 1 million Soviet citizens joined Germany’s army” are you talking about,please?

    From Feldgrau.com:


    The forerunner of the volunteer formations was a voluntary auxiliary service, of a para- military character, which was started in the autumn of 1941 by the German Commands on the front. On their own initiative, they organized auxiliary units of various services, made up of Soviet deserters, prisoners, and volunteers from among the local population. These so-called “Hilfswillige,” or “Hiwi,” were employed as sentries, drivers, store- keepers, workers in depots, etc. The experiment surpassed all expectations. In the spring of 1942 there were already at least 200,000 of them in the rear of the German armies, and by the end of the same year their number was allegedly near 1,000,000.(2) . . .

    During 1943 the number of volunteers in the eastern formations increased allegedly to some 800,000.(19)


    See http://www.feldgrau.com/rvol.html

    According to Wikipedia, 1,000,000 Soviet residents who joined the German Army were taken prisoner by the USSR; and an additional 215,000 Soviet residents were killed or MIA. That implies a minimum of 1.2 million Soviet citizens or residents took up arms against communism. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Front_(World_War_II)#Casualties

    The source for the Wikipedia quote is Richard Overy–a highly respected historian.


  • @CWO:

    Offhand, I can’t think of any instances of a country occupied by Nazi Germany being treated with a light touch.  It would be interesting to hear of such a case.

    Norway…  😉

  • 2021 '19 '18 '17 '16

    …Ostlegionen!..they way you described it made me wonder…now I know what you were talking about…the “eingliederung” of the HiWis and " Legionen Ost "…to catch the stretch of the Frontlines and German casulties…
    One who I talked with said that his Hiwi was reliable but it was more the issue were some of them came from…Ukraines would more likley fight were a Uzbeke may take a hike…@KurtGodel7:

    @aequitas:

    wich “nearly 1 million Soviet citizens joined Germany’s army” are you talking about,please?

    From Feldgrau.com:


    The forerunner of the volunteer formations was a voluntary auxiliary service, of a para- military character, which was started in the autumn of 1941 by the German Commands on the front. On their own initiative, they organized auxiliary units of various services, made up of Soviet deserters, prisoners, and volunteers from among the local population. These so-called “Hilfswillige,” or “Hiwi,” were employed as sentries, drivers, store- keepers, workers in depots, etc. The experiment surpassed all expectations. In the spring of 1942 there were already at least 200,000 of them in the rear of the German armies, and by the end of the same year their number was allegedly near 1,000,000.(2) . . .

    During 1943 the number of volunteers in the eastern formations increased allegedly to some 800,000.(19)


    See http://www.feldgrau.com/rvol.html

    According to Wikipedia, 1,000,000 Soviet residents who joined the German Army were taken prisoner by the USSR; and an additional 215,000 Soviet residents were killed or MIA. That implies a minimum of 1.2 million Soviet citizens or residents took up arms against communism. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Front_(World_War_II)#Casualties

    The source for the Wikipedia quote is Richard Overy–a highly respected historian.

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