What would help germany more in ww2?


  • Malachichrch suggested that Hitler was more evil but didn’t have the chance to kill as many people.

    Actually, Hitler wasn’t really democratically elected. Hindenberg just gave him the position of Chancellor, and it went downhill from there


  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    Why is 1934 the best year to sac Hitler?

    Just because to make him feel special for a year, then make him cry.


  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    Malachichrch suggested that Hitler was more evil but didn’t have the chance to kill as many people.

    Well I think his point was that Hitler was for flat out extermination whilst Stalin was no-holds-barred domestic security and imposition of communism.  Uncle Joe wouldn’t take it from anybody, or put up with anybody who might even be thinking about speaking out and he’d kick you when you’re down to make sure nobody ever got any wise ideas but he wouldn’t say the “only good X is a dead X”.

    And then that raises the question as to what is more evil.

  • '12

    Well, US public opinion was not against Germany until mid 1941….  I cannot help but think if the Nazi’s had at least hide their ultimate motives until the war was won that things could have been much different.  Capitalism was much more pure in those days and truly lacked nationalism, no doubt western corporations would influence politics to ensure profit.

    Imagine this.  Japan played much nicer in their war of conquest with China and used some PR to convince the US public that they were indeed ‘inferior’ to the ‘white man’ but did need some natural resources so lets do business.  US does not embargo oil exports to Japan, no Japanese attack required to secure the pacific because they can continue to grow in the east while trading with the west.  The Japanese perhaps go after western colonial powers to ‘liberate’ places like the dutch east indies to secure oil and other resources.

    Because Japan does not attack the US, Germany does not declare war on the US after pearl harbor.  Pearl Harbor was a mistake for the Japanese as it motivated the US public in a rabidly strong way.  By Germany declaring war, it lumped them in with the now HATED Japs empire.

    The Germans crank up their PR machine buying ads in US newspapers decrying how the european colonial powers were so unfair in the treaty of versailles.  How Germany was a democracy (remember, Hitler was elected by the people!) and treated their citizen workers really well, something an american worker surviving the great depresion would be envious of!  A plea to US coroporate interests to remind them that Germany was also a capitalist society that shared the american fears of communism.  I wonder how many Americans today would care if Germany invaded France as unlikely as that is never mind France’s nukes…just saying.  I would imagine with a good PR campaign it would be next to impossible for the US to declare war or spend much tax money helping out european colonial powers against a nice democratic, capitalist Germany who is just trying to get back what is theirs and paciify its neighbours to make it safe for all capitalist companies to do business with.

    You get to about August of 1939 and you wonder if maybe you wait 1 more year before attacking Poland.  When you (then the soviets) attack the Fench and English declare war on you.  You advertise to all nations in the world that it is the Anglo/French colonial alliance declaring war on non-colonial, democratic and capitalist Germany.  You have been preparing for a war footing economy but can’t fully sell it to your German people but now you can!  You take out France, concentrate on England before the USSR.  How would rommel have done with 25 of those 100 divisions sent to Russia?  You ‘liberate’ the former territories of the ottoman empire that were to be freed by the British but really were not.  You control the middle-east and make real nice with the Persians to prevent a soviet invasion.  England sues for peace and you don’t have to try to carpet bomb London as this didn’t help militarily and hurt relations with the US.  Maybe you hope a desperate Winston Churchill uses gas on Germany, now maybe the US takes the German side against England maybe not.

    Even with a neutral US, Germany now has puppet regimes in many european countries.  With England pacified but not invaded you really don’t need to invade Norway and a few other countries.  Now with all the oil you need, trading freely with England/commonwealth nations and the US you put your PR campaign to work against communism.  With tacit approval from western industrialists Germany and Japan combine to impliment regime change in the USSR.  Then if you are truly evil you have all the time in the world to develop nuclear bombs for total world control.

  • '12

    As for Hitler being democratically elected….  I think you need to understand how parlimentary systems work and the difference between the position of president and prime-minister (Chancellor) and how the ‘first past the poll’ in multi-party elections can influence things.

    First the argument that Hitler never got 50%+1 votes.  Well neither did Bush in a certain election and this in a two-party system.  I am not saying Canada is awesome but I am most familiar with its political system.  In many cases, each seat in parliment has 4-5 parties vying for it so the votes in that particular riding are split, the seat can be taken with 25% of the votes cast because the other 75% are split 4 or more ways.  Getting 24% when the other guy gets 25% means you get nothing.  you could get 20 % of the popluar vote and get NO seats in a parliment of over 300, no proportional representation.  You could get 35% of the popular vote yet get 65% of the seats in parliment and run the country like a dictator by ramming through bill after bill as long as the senate rubber stamps it.  Since you appoint your buddies to empty seats in senate you just wait a few years before doing anything really drastic.

    In parliments, after an election, the party with the most seats often has first crack to form a majority, if you have a majority simple, if not you have to form a colition.  ugh, screen jump

  • '12

    Hitlers party had the most seats in parliment but not a majority.  Hitler entered into a collition with another large party so had the largest block of seats.  President hindenburghs job is like that of the Canadian governer-general (the queens rep called GG) to declare who is chancellor, if Hitler had a majority its automatic, in a minority like Canada has its not so clear.  In Canada’s case no other parties came together to form a collition greater than that of the conservatives so the GG appointed the leader of the Party to become Prime Minister.  So, Canada has a government that not only does not have a majority of seats, the seats the conservatives did win probably contained more votes agasint them then for never mind the seats they didn’t win.

    Hitler came to power by being head of a large party that won seats democratically.  Formed a collition group and insisted he become the head not co-head ie co-chancellor and did so under the consitution.  Since they still did not have a clear majority it was up to the President to select who would be chancellor.  Due to senility and scare tactics he choose Hitler although personally hindenburgh did not like, again, all legal and under the consitution.


  • @221B:

    Can we get some numbers on the food shortages in the sphere of influence of Nazi Germany? I’ve read about the food shortages in WW1 but never for WW2.

    Below are some quotes from The Wages of Destruction by Adam Tooze. Tooze’s book has been praised by The Times (London), The Boston Globe, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, etc. From p. 168:


    One way or another, virtually everyone alive in Germany in the 1930s had an acute, personal experience of prolonged and insatiable hunger. [Due to the Anglo-French food blockade of WWI and the hunger during the Versailles Treaty.]


    From page 419:


    The rations set for the German population at the outbreak of the war had been relatively generous. But they could be sustained in 1940-41 only by making severe inroads into the large stocks of grain accumulated since 1936. . . . The shortfall in the European harvest of 1940-41 confirmed Herbert Backe’s worst fears. Unless Germany could find additional sources for millions of tons of grain, it would soon need to make serious cuts to food rations . . . And the situation in the urban centers of the occupied territories was, of course, far worse than in Germany. By 1941 there were already signs of mounting discontent due to the inadequate food supply. In Belgium and France, the official food ration allocated to ‘normal consumers’ of as little as 1,300 calories per day, was an open invitation to the black market. Daily allocations in Norway and the Czech protectorate hovered around 1,600 calories.


    From page 477:


    The second programme, which openly envisioned the killing of millions of people within the first twelve months of the German occupation, was agreed between the Wehrmacht, all the key civilian Ministries and the Nazi political leadership as early as the spring of 1941. Nor can the so-called ‘Hunger Plan’ be described as secret. It was referred to in official instructions issued to thousands of subordinates. And, perhaps most importantly, no effort was made to hide the wider rationale of the individual acts of brutality that the programme required. On the contrary, all German soldiers and occupation administrators were enjoined to understand and to commit themselves to its strategic logic. This genocidal plan commanded such wide-ranging support because it concerned a practical issue, the importance of which, following Germany’s experience in World War I, was obvious to all: the need to secure the food supply of the German population, if necessary at the expense of the population of the Soviet Union.

    As we have discussed, the ‘bread basket of the Ukraine’ played a key role in all the various military-economic assessments of the Barbarossa campaign prepared over the winter of 1940-41. For Hitler it was the key priority, to be achieved prior to any other military consideration, the importance of which was only reinforced by the alarming decline in German grain stocks. By December 1940 the entire military and political leadership of the Third Reich was convinced that this was the last year in which they could approach the food question with any confidence. Nor was this simply a German problem. All of the Western European territories which had fallen under German domination in 1940 had substantial net grain deficits.


    From page 539:


    Backe had not been bluffing in 1941. In light of the extension of the war into the indefinite future, Germany was facing a severe food problem. The German grain harvest of 1940 and 1941 had been well below average and imports from the occupied territories had not made up the difference. For lack of feed the swine herd had been reduced by 25 per cent since the start of the war, triggering a cut in meat rations as of June 1941. Bread rations had only been sustained by making severe inroads into grain stocks. By the end of 1941 these were nearing exhaustion. When the order to ship large numbers of Eastern workers to Germany for work was first given by Goering in November 1941, Backe protested vigorously. The 400,000 Soviet prisoners of war already in Germany were more than he could provide for. Goering had spoken casually of feeding the Eastern workers on cats and horse-meat. Backe had consulted the statistics and reported glumly that there were not enough cats to provide a ration for the Eastern workers and horse-meat was already being used to supplement the rations of the German population. If the Russians were to be given meat, they would have to be supplied at the expense of the German population.


    From page 541:


    Backe was in an impossible position. The Fuehrer had demanded more workers. Gauleiter Sauckel was dedicated to delivering them. Hitler and Sauckel now demanded that the workers be fed, which was clearly a necessity if they were to be productive. And yet, given the level of grain stocks, Backe was unable to meet this demand. What was called for was a reduction in consumption, not additional provisions for millions of new workers. The seriousness of the situation became apparent to the wider public in the spring of 1942 when the Food Ministry announced cuts to the food rations of the German population. Given the regime’s mortal fear of damaging morale, the ration cuts of April 1942 are incontrovertible evidence that the food crisis was real. Lowering the rations was a political step of the first order, which Backe would never have suggested if the situation had not absolutely required it. The Wehrmacht had prepared the way in 1942, by decreeing a ration cut for the fighting troops. When the reduction in the civilian ration was announced it produced a response which justified every anxiety on the part of the Nazi leadership. . . . [The morale effect of the cut] was, reported the SD’s informants, ‘devastating’ like ‘virtually no other event during the war.’ Studies by nutritional experts added to the leadership’s concerns.


    From page 549:


    The overriding need to improve the food situation actually created a perverse functional connection between the extermination of the Jewish population of the General Government [of occupied Poland] and the improvement in food rations that was necessary to sustain the labor force in the mines and factories of the Reich. . . . . In the summer of 1942 it was the concerted extermination of Polish Jewry that provided the most immediate and fail-safe means of freeing up food for delivery to Germany.


    Elsewhere, Tooze describe near-starvation conditions among the people of occupied Poland. He also described Germany’s inability to prevent starvation among the millions of Soviet POWs in German factories, despite the clear necessity of feeding Germany’s factory workers. The food situation in Germany and German-held territories was abysmal during WWII. Allied propagandists were able to persuade the general public that the suffering, starvation, and death which occurred in Nazi Germany were due solely to Hitler’s cruelty and racism; as opposed to being natural, inevitable consequences of the Anglo-American food blockade and the Soviets’ scorched earth policy.


  • @KurtGodel7:

    @221B:

    Can we get some numbers on the food shortages in the sphere of influence of Nazi Germany? I’ve read about the food shortages in WW1 but never for WW2.

    Below are some quotes from The Wages of Destruction by Adam Tooze. Tooze’s book has been praised by The Times (London), The Boston Globe, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, etc. From p. 168:


    One way or another, virtually everyone alive in Germany in the 1930s had an acute, personal experience of prolonged and insatiable hunger. [Due to the Anglo-French food blockade of WWI and the hunger during the Versailles Treaty.]


    From page 419:


    The rations set for the German population at the outbreak of the war had been relatively generous. But they could be sustained in 1940-41 only by making severe inroads into the large stocks of grain accumulated since 1936. . . . The shortfall in the European harvest of 1940-41 confirmed Herbert Backe’s worst fears. Unless Germany could find additional sources for millions of tons of grain, it would soon need to make serious cuts to food rations . . . And the situation in the urban centers of the occupied territories was, of course, far worse than in Germany. By 1941 there were already signs of mounting discontent due to the inadequate food supply. In Belgium and France, the official food ration allocated to ‘normal consumers’ of as little as 1,300 calories per day, was an open invitation to the black market. Daily allocations in Norway and the Czech protectorate hovered around 1,600 calories.


    From page 477:


    The second programme, which openly envisioned the killing of millions of people within the first twelve months of the German occupation, was agreed between the Wehrmacht, all the key civilian Ministries and the Nazi political leadership as early as the spring of 1941. Nor can the so-called ‘Hunger Plan’ be described as secret. It was referred to in official instructions issued to thousands of subordinates. And, perhaps most importantly, no effort was made to hide the wider rationale of the individual acts of brutality that the programme required. On the contrary, all German soldiers and occupation administrators were enjoined to understand and to commit themselves to its strategic logic. This genocidal plan commanded such wide-ranging support because it concerned a practical issue, the importance of which, following Germany’s experience in World War I, was obvious to all: the need to secure the food supply of the German population, if necessary at the expense of the population of the Soviet Union.

    As we have discussed, the ‘bread basket of the Ukraine’ played a key role in all the various military-economic assessments of the Barbarossa campaign prepared over the winter of 1940-41. For Hitler it was the key priority, to be achieved prior to any other military consideration, the importance of which was only reinforced by the alarming decline in German grain stocks. By December 1940 the entire military and political leadership of the Third Reich was convinced that this was the last year in which they could approach the food question with any confidence. Nor was this simply a German problem. All of the Western European territories which had fallen under German domination in 1940 had substantial net grain deficits.


    From page 539:


    Backe had not been bluffing in 1941. In light of the extension of the war into the indefinite future, Germany was facing a severe food problem. The German grain harvest of 1940 and 1941 had been well below average and imports from the occupied territories had not made up the difference. For lack of feed the swine herd had been reduced by 25 per cent since the start of the war, triggering a cut in meat rations as of June 1941. Bread rations had only been sustained by making severe inroads into grain stocks. By the end of 1941 these were nearing exhaustion. When the order to ship large numbers of Eastern workers to Germany for work was first given by Goering in November 1941, Backe protested vigorously. The 400,000 Soviet prisoners of war already in Germany were more than he could provide for. Goering had spoken casually of feeding the Eastern workers on cats and horse-meat. Backe had consulted the statistics and reported glumly that there were not enough cats to provide a ration for the Eastern workers and horse-meat was already being used to supplement the rations of the German population. If the Russians were to be given meat, they would have to be supplied at the expense of the German population.


    From page 541:


    Backe was in an impossible position. The Fuehrer had demanded more workers. Gauleiter Sauckel was dedicated to delivering them. Hitler and Sauckel now demanded that the workers be fed, which was clearly a necessity if they were to be productive. And yet, given the level of grain stocks, Backe was unable to meet this demand. What was called for was a reduction in consumption, not additional provisions for millions of new workers. The seriousness of the situation became apparent to the wider public in the spring of 1942 when the Food Ministry announced cuts to the food rations of the German population. Given the regime’s mortal fear of damaging morale, the ration cuts of April 1942 are incontrovertible evidence that the food crisis was real. Lowering the rations was a political step of the first order, which Backe would never have suggested if the situation had not absolutely required it. The Wehrmacht had prepared the way in 1942, by decreeing a ration cut for the fighting troops. When the reduction in the civilian ration was announced it produced a response which justified every anxiety on the part of the Nazi leadership. . . . [The morale effect of the cut] was, reported the SD’s informants, ‘devastating’ like ‘virtually no other event during the war.’ Studies by nutritional experts added to the leadership’s concerns.


    From page 549:


    The overriding need to improve the food situation actually created a perverse functional connection between the extermination of the Jewish population of the General Government [of occupied Poland] and the improvement in food rations that was necessary to sustain the labor force in the mines and factories of the Reich. . . . . In the summer of 1942 it was the concerted extermination of Polish Jewry that provided the most immediate and fail-safe means of freeing up food for delivery to Germany.


    Elsewhere, Tooze describe near-starvation conditions among the people of occupied Poland. He also described Germany’s inability to prevent starvation among the millions of Soviet POWs in German factories, despite the clear necessity of feeding Germany’s factory workers. The food situation in Germany and German-held territories was abysmal during WWII. Allied propagandists were able to persuade the general public that the suffering, starvation, and death which occurred in Nazi Germany were due solely to Hitler’s cruelty and racism; as opposed to being natural, inevitable consequences of the Anglo-American food blockade and the Soviets’ scorched earth policy.

    Thanks for the info. This is one area of WW2 i’ve never really heard much about or read about for that matter. I did hear from a former German soldier that at one point they actually ate their leather belts for food it was so scarce, I figured this was an exception not the norm, but it appears that is probably not the case. I will have to see if they have Tooze’s book at the library and have a good read.

    So judging by that info it seems that final solution wasnt the intended idea when it all began, I read sometime ago that Hitler planned on deporting all the Jews and “undesirables” to Madagascar using the remains of the British navy after the successful invasion of Britain. It doesnt make Hitlers and the Nazi’s actions less monstrous but it does make you understand why they did it, they felt within the confines of their belief system that they had no choice.


  • Between 1933 (upon taking power) and 1939 (going to war), Hitler’s government executed a few hundred people in non-judicial proceedings. Those executions occurred in 1934, at a time when the German Army consisted of rough,y 100,000 soldiers, and the (armed) SA had 500,000 members. The SA in general, and its head in particular, had become disillusioned with the moderate nature of Hitler’s then-government, and there was concern that the SA would rebel. The non-judicial executions were performed because Hitler believed an SA rebellion was imminent; and because he wanted to forestall the possibility of a civil war between the Army and the SA.

    In contrast, Stalin murdered tens of millions of innocent people before the Soviet Union went to war. While millions of the victims were Ukrainians (including 3 million Ukrainian children), millions of others were simply people who’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time; and were murdered to instill terror in the remainder of the population. From http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/MEGA.HTM


    I handled hundreds of signals to all parts of the Soviet Union which were couched in the following form:
    “To N.K.V.D., Frunze. You are charged with the task of exterminating 10,000 enemies of the people. Report results by signal.–Yezhov.”

    And in due course the reply would come back:

    “In reply to yours of such-and-such date, the following enemies of the Soviet people have been shot.”

    ----Former Soviet Spy-Chief Vladimir Petrov


    Assigning murder quotas to local authorities resulted in the deaths of people who thought differently or who seemed different than normal, people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and (on occasion) people who really were enemies of the Soviet communist government. This kind of terror killing appears unique to the Soviet Union, at least on that kind of scale. There is simply no comparison between mass murder on that scale and anything that occurred in Nazi Germany before the war began.

    During the war, the British and American governments imposed a food blockade on Germany; which in turn caused the starvation of millions of innocent people. Some people have used the deaths that occurred during that period to draw comparisons between the Nazi and the Soviet regimes. However, the food situation during the war was severe enough that the German government could not possibly feed everyone; so the only question was which people the Nazis would choose to starve.

    To fairly compare the Nazi and Soviet governments, one must look at what the Nazis did or attempted to do before the food blockade was imposed; as well as the actions they planned to take after Germany’s food crisis had been resolved. In 1938, Hitler had suggested relocating Germany’s Jewish population to a British or French colony. He suggested French Madagascar, but made it clear he didn’t care where the Jews were shipped as long as it was someplace far from Germany. Both the British and French leaders rebuffed this suggestion.

    During the war, German bureaucrats devised plans to relocate between 30 - 50 million Poles eastward into conquered Soviet territory. The lands vacated by these displaced Poles would be occupied by Germans. It was clear that if Germany and its conquered territories were still being starved by the food blockade, the deaths of large numbers of dislocated Poles along the way would be an acceptable way of reducing the number of mouths that needed to be fed. But there was not (so far as I am aware) any plan to starve or otherwise murder those Poles if the food blockade had been lifted.

    There is always the chance that the Nazis would have chosen to murder millions of innocent people even in the absence of a food crisis. However, I have not been able to uncover any actual evidence that they had planned to do so. Conversely, the Soviet government murdered tens of millions of its own citizens at a time when no food blockade had been imposed, and when it was actually exporting millions of tons of grain to fund Stalin’s industrialization program. Absent any evidence that the Nazis would have engaged in Soviet-style mass murder (except when forced to do so by a food crisis), there is no basis for concluding that the moral failings of the Nazi regime were comparable to the pure evil of the Soviet regime.


  • OK so aside from genocide, to get back to the thread topic: you chose waiting until 1945 as the option that would’ve helped Germany more in WW2?

    #603


  • @allboxcars:

    OK so aside from genocide, to get back to the thread topic: you chose waiting until 1945 as the option that would’ve helped Germany more in WW2?

    #603

    Yes. Early in his administration, Hitler had used various government policies to dramatically improve conditions for the German working class, while simultaneously increasing employment. But after the working class had reached a reasonable standard of living, Hitler arranged things such that additional economic gains went largely into corporate profits. He then placed sharp restrictions on the amount of those profits that could be paid out as dividends. Lacking anything else to do with all those profits, German firms invested them in upgrading their production facilities and equipment. This was exactly the result Hitler had intended when enacting these measures.

    However, those efforts did not fully pay off until 1944. In 1942, Germany produced 15,000 military aircraft; as compared to 41,000 in 1944. Granted, Allied nations also experienced dramatic gains in their military aircraft production during that time span. But the gain in German production was especially dramatic.

    It is also worth noting that by 1944, the Germans had developed or were in the process of developing potentially war-changing technologies; including the following:

    • Jets: obtained a 4:1 kill ratio against enemy aircraft.

    • Wasserfall: a guided surface-to-air missile capable of helping defend Germany’s skies

    • Type XXI U-boat (in development in '44): a very quiet, stealthy, highly advanced submarine difficult to track or kill. It had advanced electronics, allowing it to hunt and kill enemy ships without being detected. It used electrically powered torpedoes that did not leave telltale bubble trails.

    • Panzerfaust: a shoulder-launched rocket used to destroy enemy tanks. Easily produced and effective.

    • Panther tanks: significantly better than their Allied counterparts.

    If in 1945 Germany had gone to war with a mostly jet air force, with a tank force consisting largely of Panthers, with infantry equipped with Panzerfausts and other advanced weapons, and with production capacity at or above the level it had historically obtained in '44, it would have been very difficult to stop.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @KurtGodel7:

    @allboxcars:

    OK so aside from genocide, to get back to the thread topic: you chose waiting until 1945 as the option that would’ve helped Germany more in WW2?

    #603

    It is also worth noting that by 1944, the Germans had developed or were in the process of developing potentially war-changing technologies; including the following:

    • Jets: obtained a 4:1 kill ratio against enemy aircraft.

    • Wasserfall: a guided surface-to-air missile capable of helping defend Germany’s skies

    • Type XXI U-boat (in development in '44): a very quiet, stealthy, highly advanced submarine difficult to track or kill. It had advanced electronics, allowing it to hunt and kill enemy ships without being detected. It used electrically powered torpedoes that did not leave telltale bubble trails.

    • Panzerfaust: a shoulder-launched rocket used to destroy enemy tanks. Easily produced and effective.

    • Panther tanks: significantly better than their Allied counterparts.

    If in 1945 Germany had gone to war with a mostly jet air force, with a tank force consisting largely of Panthers, with infantry equipped with Panzerfausts and other advanced weapons, and with production capacity at or above the level it had historically obtained in '44, it would have been very difficult to stop.

    those developments were made according to the need of front troops…what you’re saying is, Guderian is allready somehow  Inspekteur der Panzertruppen, Doenitz in Charge as BdU or Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine?..In the end it would not matcch up since it was the very need who drove German technologies and engineering to the most high of inventions…

  • '12

    While it’s true many specific technologies have accelerated development during war as well as needs for systems not thought of to counter threats not realized.  That being said, the foundations of the russian t-34 tank occured pre-war and the chassis design was from an american christie I believe.

    Early jet design and theory started in the 20s and 30s.  The first jet plane to fly was the German Heinkel He 178, which first flew on August 27, 1939.  So, before the war started Germany was already ahead in jet planes and would probably be fielding something like the 262 in a short period of time war or no war.

    British Radar was developed before the war and lots and lots of base technologies were being discovered that would easily be militarised.

    The German military science advantage accelerated during the period 1933-1939 as Hitler was planning for war and the west was in Pacifist mode.  When the war began, Hitler slowed down weapons research as he as sure it would be won in 18 months.  The west now awake did the opposite.  So if anything, it was the start of the war that signaled the closing in military science gap.  It was only toward the end of the war that massive research into new weapons occured, but at the cost of mass production.

    The worlds first never gases were German Tabun (1936), Sarin (1938) and developed before the war.  Synthetic fuel was also a german innovation and occured before the war in anticipation of the war…so yeah, waiting 6 more years for industrial policy and science to pay off would have won the war for the Germans I think.


  • @KurtGodel7:

    It is also worth noting that by 1944, the Germans had developed or were in the process of developing potentially war-changing technologies; including the following:

    • Jets: obtained a 4:1 kill ratio against enemy aircraft.

    • Wasserfall: a guided surface-to-air missile capable of helping defend Germany’s skies

    • Type XXI U-boat (in development in '44): a very quiet, stealthy, highly advanced submarine difficult to track or kill. It had advanced electronics, allowing it to hunt and kill enemy ships without being detected. It used electrically powered torpedoes that did not leave telltale bubble trails.

    • Panzerfaust: a shoulder-launched rocket used to destroy enemy tanks. Easily produced and effective.

    • Panther tanks: significantly better than their Allied counterparts.

    If in 1945 Germany had gone to war with a mostly jet air force, with a tank force consisting largely of Panthers, with infantry equipped with Panzerfausts and other advanced weapons, and with production capacity at or above the level it had historically obtained in '44, it would have been very difficult to stop.

    Add that to the very unlikely, but not impossible prospect of Hitler persuading Japan to not attack US in 41, but instead building up, and sending lots of forces to Siberia, not necessarily to fight the Russians directly, but for tying up Russian resources which would be desperately needed on the eastern front.
    There are many ways that the history could go in other directions instead of our known history. Imo, determinism is an illusion.


  • @KurtGodel7:

    It is also worth noting that by 1944, the Germans had developed or were in the process of developing potentially war-changing technologies; including the following:

    • Jets: obtained a 4:1 kill ratio against enemy aircraft.

    • Wasserfall: a guided surface-to-air missile capable of helping defend Germany’s skies

    • Type XXI U-boat (in development in '44): a very quiet, stealthy, highly advanced submarine difficult to track or kill. It had advanced electronics, allowing it to hunt and kill enemy ships without being detected. It used electrically powered torpedoes that did not leave telltale bubble trails.

    • Panzerfaust: a shoulder-launched rocket used to destroy enemy tanks. Easily produced and effective.

    • Panther tanks: significantly better than their Allied counterparts.

    The usual fantasy where every German weapon is assumed to be 100% successful and the Allies stand by and do nothing to counter the threat.
    The truth is Allied Jets were in the wings, proximity fused radar guided guns would deal with any missiles. Millions of Panzerfausts were made and they did not stop the T34 or the Sherman. I could go on but I know someone is going to bring up Nazi Flying Saucers and secret Artic Bases!


  • @MrMalachiCrunch:

    While it’s true many specific technologies have accelerated development during war as well as needs for systems not thought of to counter threats not realized.  That being said, the foundations of the russian t-34 tank occured pre-war and the chassis design was from an american christie I believe.

    Early jet design and theory started in the 20s and 30s.  The first jet plane to fly was the German Heinkel He 178, which first flew on August 27, 1939.  So, before the war started Germany was already ahead in jet planes and would probably be fielding something like the 262 in a short period of time war or no war.

    British Radar was developed before the war and lots and lots of base technologies were being discovered that would easily be militarised.

    The German military science advantage accelerated during the period 1933-1939 as Hitler was planning for war and the west was in Pacifist mode.  When the war began, Hitler slowed down weapons research as he as sure it would be won in 18 months.  The west now awake did the opposite.  So if anything, it was the start of the war that signaled the closing in military science gap.  It was only toward the end of the war that massive research into new weapons occured, but at the cost of mass production.

    The worlds first never gases were German Tabun (1936), Sarin (1938) and developed before the war.  Synthetic fuel was also a german innovation and occured before the war in anticipation of the war…so yeah, waiting 6 more years for industrial policy and science to pay off would have won the war for the Germans I think.

    Excellent points! Just to add to what you’ve written–Germany and the Axis had a significant disadvantage in terms of available manpower, industrial capacity, and access to raw materials. To make up for these things, Hitler felt he had to win the war quickly, or not at all. That was true in 1940; when he sought to avoid a long, drawn-out war with France. It was also true in 1941, when he hoped to quickly beat the Soviet Union.

    The Allied plan for victory, on the other hand, was as follows:

    1. Make false promises to Poland. The idea was to convince the Polish military dictatorship that, if Germany attacked Poland, France would launch a full-scale invasion of Germany. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_betrayal#Phoney_War

    According to the Franco-Polish military convention, the French Army was to start preparations for the major offensive three days after the mobilisation started. . . . On the 15th day of the mobilisation (that is on September 16), the French Army was to start a full scale assault on Germany.


    On paper, the combined French-Polish force was significantly stronger than its German counterpart; causing Polish military planners to conclude that, together with its British and French allies, Poland could win such a war.

    1. Because the Polish leaders believed the French promises, they deliberately provoked a war with Germany. (From pages 566 - 567 of Adolf Hitler by John Toland. Toland’s book was praised by the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Library Journal, etc.)

    That noon Hitler issued the second order for invasion [of Poland], driven to this extremity (according to A. I. Berndt, his liaison man with DNB) by a gross lie. Berndt thought the reported number of German nationals killed by the Poles too small and simply added a nought. At first Hitler refused to believe such a large figure but, when Berndt replied that it may have been somewhat exaggerated but something monstrous must have happened to give rise to such stories, Hitler shouted, “They’ll pay for this! Now no one will stop me from teaching these fellows a lesson they’ll never forget! I will not have my Germans slaughtered like cattle!” At this point the Fuhrer went to the phone and, in Berndt’s presence, ordered Keitel to issue “Directive No 1 for the Conduct of the War.”


    From pages 567-568:


    Lipski never asked to see Hitler’s sixteen point proposal . . . He was following his orders “not to enter into any concrete negotiations.” The Poles were apparently so confident they could whip the Germans (with help from their allies) that they were not interested in discussing Hitler’s offer. Nor were England and France extending themselves to persuade the Poles to negotiate.


    1. After the Polish government had been misled by promises of a full-scale French offensive against Germany, France would instead fight an almost purely defensive war against Germany. The thought was that trenches and fixed defenses would be roughly as effective in WWII as they had been in WWI. In the spring of 1940, the Allied armies arrayed in the west were, at least on paper, stronger than their German counterparts. The Allies had more men, and more and better tanks.

    2. The British and French empires had more industrial capacity and access to raw materials than did Germany. Plus the British and French had the option of purchasing large quantities of weapons from the United States. The Allies had the option of putting that industrial capacity to use on the ground (tanks and artillery) or in the air (a bombing campaign).

    3. The British imposed a food blockade on Germany during WWII, just as they had in WWI. Part of the plan for victory was to starve the Germans into submission, as had been done in the last war.

    4. The British and the French were strongly influenced by the theories of Douhet. Douhet was a strong proponent of strategic bombing. Like most other prewar planners, he significantly overestimated the damage a strategic bombing campaign could do to civilian populations.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terror_bombing#Period_between_the_world_wars


    Douhet’s theories were successfully put into action in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) where RAF bombers used conventional bombs, gas bombs, and strafed civilian populations identified as engaging in guerrilla uprisings. Arthur Harris, a young RAF squadron commander (later nicknamed “Bomber”), reported after a mission in 1924, “The Arab and Kurd now know what real bombing means, in casualties and damage. They know that within 45 minutes a full-sized village can be practically wiped out and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured.”


    Arthur Harris would later play a leading role in employing British bombers in the systematic destruction of the German population; and on a much larger scale than the bombing missions conducted against Arab and Kurdish villages during the '20s. It was felt that the starvation caused by the Allied food blockade, in combination with the death and destruction of the bombing attacks against German cities, would cause the German morale to collapse; and the German population to lose its will to fight.

    Even after the fall of France; the basic Allied strategy of starvation of the people within German-held territory, plus bombing of German cities, proved very difficult to counter. It was the sort of strategy destined to create a long, grinding war well-suited to take advantage of the massive Anglo-American advantage in industrial strength. One of Hitler’s hopes in invading the Soviet Union was to gain access to the industrial capacity, manpower, and access to raw materials he needed to even the odds in this war waged against civilians. However, he would have been better served waiting until 1945 to invade the Soviet Union; even despite the fact that he would have been at a significant disadvantage to the British in the meantime. Germany in 1941 - ‘42 simply lacked the industrial capacity it needed to match the Soviets’ production of land or even air weapons.


  • @Lazarus:

    The usual fantasy where every German weapon is assumed to be 100% successful and the Allies stand by and do nothing to counter the threat.
    The truth is Allied Jets were in the wings, proximity fused radar guided guns would deal with any missiles. Millions of Panzerfausts were made and they did not stop the T34 or the Sherman. I could go on but I know someone is going to bring up Nazi Flying Saucers and secret Artic Bases!

    Probably any scenario for an Axis victory involves at least a small element of fantasy; as the odds were heavily stacked against them.

    It is true there were Allied jets in development. Allied jets used centrifugal flow jet engines. That type of jet engine had the advantage of being relatively well-understood, and was a relatively simple design that was comparatively easy to engineer and to build. However, the kind of centrifugal flow jet engines used by the Allies were associated with severe technical limitations; which is why late in the war Allied jet were not better than the best available piston-driven craft.

    German engineers avoided the limitations associated with centrifugal flow jet engines by replacing the centrifugal compressor with the axial compressor. This was a radical change; and entailed years of engineering headaches before the problems could be ironed out. But once they were, Germany had a jet engine that was significantly better than anything the Allies had. M2 262s shot down 500 Allied aircraft to only 100 losses (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Me_262 ); an exchange ratio which demonstrates the Germans had obtained a commanding qualitative advantage. From the same article:


    Willy Messerschmitt regarded the Me 262 as only an interim type when it went into production.

    Swept wings had been proposed as early as 1935 by Adolf Busemann, and Messerschmitt had researched the topic from 1940. In April 1941, he proposed fitting a 35° swept wing (Pfeilflügel II, literally “arrow wing II”) to the Me 262,[30] the same wing sweep angle that would later be used on both the American F-86 Sabre and Soviet MiG-15 fighter jets. Though this was not implemented, he continued with the projected HG II and HG III (Hochgeschwindigkeit, “high speed”) derivatives in 1944, which were designed with a 35° and 45° wing sweep, respectively.[31]

    Interest in high-speed flight, which led him to initiate work on swept wings starting in 1940, is evident from the advanced developments Messerschmitt had on his drawing board in 1944. While the Me 262 HG I actually flight tested in 1944 had only small changes compared to combat aircraft, most notably a low-profile canopy (tried as the Rennkabine (literally “racing cabin”) on the Me 262 V9 prototype for a short time) to reduce drag, the HG II and HG III designs were far more radical. The projected HG II combined the low-drag canopy with a 35° wing sweep and a butterfly tail. The HG III had a conventional tail, but a 45° wing sweep and turbines embedded in the wing roots.[32]


    Given the above plans, and the aerodynamics research being conducted at the Göttingen laboratory, it is likely the Luftwaffe would have maintained or increased its qualitative advantage for the next several years. As for the Panzerfaust–the early versions had a disappointing range of only 30 m. However, the widely-produced Panzerfaust 60 had a range of 60 meters. Toward the end of the war, Germany began producing the Panzerfaust 100 (range of 100 m). Near the end of the war, it deployed limited numbers of the Panzerfaust 150; and was in the process of developing the Panzerfaust 250. Each version of the Panzerfaust–from the Panzerfaust 30 on–could penetrate 200 mm of enemy armor; with later versions having improved armor penetration.

    In Normandy, 6% of British tank losses were because of Panzerfausts. The proportion later rose to 34%; due partially to the lack of other German anti-tank measures, and partially to the improvement of the Panzerfaust.

    Edit: the purpose of the Panzerfaust wouldn’t necessarily have been to destroy the enemy tank force outright. Rather, widespread deployment of the Panzerfaust would have made it far more difficult for enemy tanks (unprotected by infantry) to obtain breakthroughs or offensive advances against German infantry. The fact that German infantry would have been able to hold their own against enemy tanks would also have had the added benefit of freeing up other German forces for other purposes (as opposed to being confined to anti-tank duties). The Panzerfaust was not a miracle weapon; but it did have the potential to exert significant influence on the outcome of a land war given a rough degree of parity.

  • '12

    Proximity fused radar guided guns might be good against airplanes but in now way would they be the least effective at knocking out V2s.  A scud missle is basically a V2 and the patriot missle had a dubious record against the Scud nevermind technology that is 50 years older.  It’s very difficult to time out the explosion when the combinded speed is Mach 4+.  There was ZERO defense against the V2 but as a military weapon, the V2 was lacking.  Unless of course you mate it with nerve gas or a nuclear warhead.

    The only real counter to the Me-262 was to hang around the airports and wait until they came in for fuel and shoot 'em down when they try to land.  There were lots of 262s but they lacked fuel and trained pilots.  With sufficient numbers you get air superiority which there Germans never really had at any point during the war.

    The bottom line is that Germany was heavily investing in technology both basic as in materials research and specific as in jet engines and synthetic fuels.  The allies were not to any great extent.


  • How did Poland provoke the Germans into attacking?

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @calvinhobbesliker:

    How did Poland provoke the Germans into attacking?

    they didn’t, they just were in between…

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