War between Germany and Czechoslovakia in 1938

  • Czechoslovakia had 25 divisions, a sizeable medium tanks force, good defensive postions. Here are some stats;

    1 500 000 soldiers
    469 tanks
    2175 field cannons - probably he best cannons in Europe of those days
    780 antitank cannons
    950 aircrafts (350 fighters, 150 bombers)
    500 antiaircrafts weapons
    43 000 machine guns

    I don’t know if the Czechs could have beaten the Germans, the Luftwaffe would own the skies over the Czechs bi-planes. But the German Panzers would have been mauled in such an encounter. I think Germany would have won, but the losses would have been high.

  • '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17

    This scenario, known as Fall Grün, is described in some detail on Alternative History. Czechoslovakia’s trouble would be not only that they were facing a much more powerful opponent that held a large strategic advantage in being able to attack from several directions at the same time, but also that there was very little help coming their way. The Germans were also helped by Hungary, which grasped the opportunity to invade from the south.
    I generally believe the version presented on Alternative History to be rather credible, so my vote went to the “prolonged war” option.

  • @Herr:

    I generally believe the version presented on Alternative History to be rather credible, so my vote went to the “prolonged war” option.

    I dont agree. Germany got all its oil from the Ploesti oilfield in Romania, and from trade with Russia. So if Germany went to war against Romania, Russia, Yugoslavia and France, from exactely where would Germany then get fuel to its tanks and aircrafts ?
    Or do you think they could pull a successful attack with horses ?

    And do mind that mountain terrain usually favours the defender. Just look at the battle of Monte Cassino or the Gallipoly Campaign. The Germans would need better odds than 1:1 when attacking uphill and short of fuel. The Germans wasn’t even ready to start a war. When they attacked Poland in 1939, they had to use tanks taken from  Czechoslovakia in 1938, because their own tank production was still low.

    The reason the attack on Poland was successful was because Hitler and Stalin made a treaty and split Poland. It would be hard to split Czechoslovakia in the same way since Russia dont border it. And why would Hungary and Poland join Germany in 1938 ? They both were anti-Germany. Hungary joined the Axis because Italy did, but I doubt they would do it in 1938 if that put them in war against Russia, France, Yugoslavia and Rumenia.
    Hungarians aint retards.

  • Hitler had a meeting with Blomberg and Fritsch in november 5 1937 to plan the invasion of Czechoslovakia, but they were against it so he replaced Blomberg with himself and Fritsch with Brauchitsch. Still most of the generals was against the war because they figured Germany was not ready.

    September 14 the Leader of Abwher, Wilhelm Canaris, made Task Force Z with order to arrest Hitler for war mongering. He got support from Franz Halder, Beck, von Weizsacker, Goerdeler, von Witzleben, von Helldorf, Nebe and a lot of other generals.

    The man who saved Hitler from jail, was Chamberlain that suddenly showed up in Germany with his “Peace in our Time- BS” and told Hitler he could have Czechoslovakia. If Chamberlain had stayed home, then Hitler would have been arrested again, and went to Landsberger Prison for a second time, and there would not be any attack on Czechoslovakia.

    But for the fun of discussion, lets pretend Hitler did attack.
    At that time, 51 % of the population was Czechs, 23 % was Germans, 15 % Slovaks, 6 % Hungarians, 4 % Ukrainians and 2 % Polish.
    At the election in 1935, 16 % voted on the Czech Nazy Party with Konrad Henlein as Fhurer.

    Based on this facts, I figure that an German attack against strong mountain positions would soon have been bugged down into a stalemate. Germany would run out of fuel, and soon be overrun by French and Russian troops in a doubble pincer move. The minor states like Poland, Hungary, Romania etc would never join Germany since that would be suicide. They would rather join Russia.

    So Germany would again be occupied, propably early 1939, and Czechoslovakia would be likely to see a Civil War between the different ethnic groups, just like Yugoslavia did, but Russia would most likely make peace in all Eastern Europe like they did from 1945 to 1990.

  • '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17

    You may well be right. It’s all highly speculative, of course. But the Czechoslovakians themselves apparently weren’t too optimistic - they chose not to resist.

    But I’d say it would be highly uncertain whether those allies would really have come to the aid of Czechoslovakia. France, for sure, wouldn’t: they had just concluded the Munich agreements, so would they change their position just because Czechoslovakia would decide to fight when Germany took the Sudetenland, which it didn’t do in reality?

    Romania’s position would be crucial. Would they live up to the treaty to the point where they would indeed go to war with Germany to defend Czechoslovakia? And also, would they allow the Soviet Union to send in their troops across Romanian territory? All of that is very uncertain.

    Those 23% Germans…. well, they did live in the area that would be the primary target of a German invasion. And later on, NSDAP membership was high in the Sudetenland, so the local population could well have been supportive of the German effort.

  • I would think that a German invasion would have been slow to sart, but would eventually girnd the Czechs down. The only country willing to back the Czechs after the Munich agreement was the Soviet Union, So while I could see the Western powers maybe embargoing trade with the Germans, I highly doubt they’d get involved militarily.

    In a scenario where the Soviets are backing the Czech’s I could definitly see the Hungarians, Rumanians and the Poles siding with the Germans. While its true these nations were anit-German the one thing that could (and I feel in this scenario would) unite these nations is there fear and hatred of Soviet communism.

    While it is very doubtful that the Poles wold join the active invasion of Czechoslovakia, they would continue to trade with the Germans, allowing the Germans to expand and strenghten their econmic block in eastern Europe.

    Hungary, however, had an axe to grind with Czechoslovakia, as the Slovak part of that union had tradationaly been part of the Kingdom of Hungary. It was stripped from Hungary after the First World War and that 4% Hungarian population was located in Slovakia, and the Hungarians wanted it back. With a promise from Germany that the Hungarian parts of Slovakia(if not the whole region) would be turned over to them it is conceviable that the Hungarians would become directly involved in the conflict.

    Rumania is a bit of a wild card as there are any number of ways they could go. At that time the Rumanian goverment was on very friendly terms with the French and they could follow the French example and embargo trade with the Germans. However, given the Western powers unwillingness to support small eastern European countries, as shown by their throwing of the Czechs to the Germans, the Rumanians may choose to continue trading with Germany. Also, the Hungarians had territorial claims on Rumania as well and would be looking for any pretext to start a conflict with them. With their only other neighbors being the Soviets and Bulgarians (both laid claim to Rumanian territory) they would find themselves short on friends and isolated, so would likely support the Germans with continued acess to ploesti oil.

  • russia didn’t border Czechoslovakia so direct support would have been through air power or invasion of someone else most likely        This was prior to the winter war with finland    I wonder how effective russian help would have been?

  • @morrel:

    russia didn’t border Czechoslovakia so direct support would have been through air power or invasion of someone else most likely         This was prior to the winter war with finland    I wonder how effective russian help would have been?

    Russia didn’t border Spain either, but that didn’t stop them from sending a lot of tanks and planes to support the Republicans. But as in Finland, the russian help was not very effective. The russian “political officers” spent more time in purging western commies that had joined the International Brigade, than to fight the fascists. And unlike the Germans, the russian officers never learned any lesson in Spain.

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