Could Germany have won WWII?



  • @Narvik:

    Yes, its easy to agree with Manstein and Rendulic. But AH,s grand mistake IMHO was too many fronts. If its true that Sovjet Union was the main threat to the security of Germany, then the Eastern Front would be decisive, and it would be rational to allocate all resources to that decisive front. But only 60 % of Germanys military force was used there, and this was unnecessary, because Germany had good flank protection both to north and south. It was no need to use half a million men in Norway and Finland, because Sweden was pro-Germany and would protect the iron ore mines against the Allies. And there were no need to use a million men in Balkans neither, because Greece would never allow UK to bomb the Ploesti oil fields from Greek territory, but AH did not trust the Swedes nor the Greeks. After the Vichy government was installed, it was no need to have a million men in France either. And to declare war against neutral USA and use so many resources in the Atlantic was plain stupid, and would only serve to strengthen an obvious defeat. On top of that, AH even made a domestic front, against the Jews.

    To wrap it up, Germanys best bet to win would be to ignore Norway, the Balkans, North Africa, the Atlantic and the Jews, and commit all 5 million men of the Army and Airforce, together with the one million allied soldiers, and go straight for Moscow. That would be a cut-throat victory, making everything else irrelevant. But then, AH would not be AH.

    But only 60 % of Germanys military force was used there, and this was unnecessary,
    because Germany had good flank protection both to north and south.

    This seems true, and supports one of the main themes of von Manstein’s book. Von Manstein wrote that Hitler shouldn’t have been in charge of the Army as a whole.

    To wrap it up, Germanys best bet to win would be to ignore Norway, the Balkans,
    North Africa, the Atlantic and the Jews, and commit all 5 million men of the Army
    and Airforce, together with the one million allied soldiers, and go straight for Moscow.

    I agree that Hitler wasn’t going to win any decisive victories on any of the “distraction fronts” you described. But I’m not willing to go so far as to say he could have gotten away with ignoring those fronts completely. Britain was at war; and the British government had no interest in a negotiated peace. That meant Germany needed to pay at least some attention to the “distraction fronts” you mentioned, if only to prevent a small problem from growing into a big one.

    Shortly after hostilities started, Britain and France imposed a food blockade against Germany. That blockade was so successful in creating a European food crisis that in 1940, Herbert Hoover wrote the following:


    The food situation in the present war is already more desperate than at the same stage in the [First] World War. … If this war is long continued, there is but one implacable end… the greatest famine in history.


    To cope with these famine conditions, the German government decided to feed its own people first, other Nordic people second, Slavs third, and Jews not at all. The situation became so desperate that Germany was unable to provide more than starvation-level rations to Soviet POWs forced to work in German weapons manufacturing plants. Hitler had ordered these POWs to be fed–not because of sentimental reasons, but because their labor was absolutely essential to the German war effort. However, the government official tasked with carrying out the order lacked the food with which to feed them. Millions of Soviet POWs starved to death as a result.

    And to declare war against neutral USA and use so many resources in the Atlantic was plain stupid,

    About two weeks before the Pearl Harbor attack, a confidential U.S. government document was leaked. The document made the following seem true:
    1. The U.S. was too weak for a two ocean war.
    2. In the event of a Japanese attack, the U.S. would be tied down in the Pacific for the time being.
    3. Whether the U.S. was or wasn’t attacked, it would get around to going to war eventually. When it did so, its primary target would be Germany.

    There is evidence to suggest that FDR himself leaked this document, to bait Germany into declaring war against the U.S. Even while the U.S. was still technically neutral, massive quantities of Lend-Lease Aid had flowed to Britain and the Soviet Union. If the U.S. was too weak to protect its shipping–as was claimed in the document–a declaration of war would represent a golden opportunity to prevent Britain from receiving its warplanes, or the U.S.S.R. from receiving its planes, tanks, and artillery pieces. If the U.S. was going to declare war on Germany sooner or later anyway, why not speed up the process by a year or two in order to take advantage of the sub war opportunities which then existed? Germany needed decisive victories against the U.S.S.R. in 1942. Getting rid of a lot of that Lend Lease Aid might make the difference between decisive victories on the Soviet front and stagnation.

    That, at least, was Hitler’s logic when he made the decision to declare war on the U.S. It probably wasn’t the best decision he ever made. On the other hand, the pro-war faction eventually succeeded in getting the U.S. into WWI. Hitler felt they could achieve the same thing in WWII, given sufficient time.

    To wrap it up, Germanys best bet to win would be to . . . go straight for Moscow.

    Von Manstein expressed the same thing in his book. He wrote that the Soviets had to defend Moscow. Moscow therefore represented an opportunity to encircle and destroy a very large portion of the Red Army. He also wrote that after Moscow fell, it would be exceedingly difficult for the Soviets to mount concentrated offensives, due to the loss of so much of their transportation system. With the Red Army crippled, the areas Hitler wanted for economic reasons–such as the Baku oilfields–would become much easier to take.



  • OK, so lets agree on the strategy so far.

    Another decisive issue, that AH was only partly responsible to, was the failure in production. Germany was out-produced by everybody.

    Look at the labor and production charts in this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Front_(World_War_II)

    From -42 the Sovjet Union had a labor force of 8 000 000 men compared to a labor force of 16 000 000 in Germany.
    But the Russian out-produced Germany.
    Russia made 24 000 Tanks compared to 9000 German.
    Russia made 25 000 Planes compared to 15 000 German.
    And the numbers compared to USA is even more skewed.

    The reason is that every German Tank was handmade, while the T-34 and Sherman,s were made on assembly line like the old T-Fords.
    Yes, the German Tanks were superior in quality, but it was impossible to get spare parts when they broke down.
    The Allies won the production war by quantity and efficiency.

    On top of that, AH ordered stuff that was not necessary to win the war. The two big surface ships Bismarck and Tirpitz used as much steel as ten Panzer Divisions. When you play Germany in a game of A&A, what do you buy before you attack Russia ? 2 Battleships or 10 Mechanized infantry ? What do you imagine is the best purchase, and why should this be different from a real world scenario ?



  • @Narvik:

    OK, so lets agree on the strategy so far.

    Another decisive issue, that AH was only partly responsible to, was the failure in production. Germany was out-produced by everybody.

    Look at the labor and production charts in this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Front_(World_War_II)

    From -42 the Sovjet Union had a labor force of 8 000 000 men compared to a labor force of 16 000 000 in Germany.
    But the Russian out-produced Germany.
    Russia made 24 000 Tanks compared to 9000 German.
    Russia made 25 000 Planes compared to 15 000 German.
    And the numbers compared to USA is even more skewed.

    The reason is that every German Tank was handmade, while the T-34 and Sherman,s were made on assembly line like the old T-Fords.
    Yes, the German Tanks were superior in quality, but it was impossible to get spare parts when they broke down.
    The Allies won the production war by quantity and efficiency.

    On top of that, AH ordered stuff that was not necessary to win the war. The two big surface ships Bismarck and Tirpitz used as much steel as ten Panzer Divisions. When you play Germany in a game of A&A, what do you buy before you attack Russia ? 2 Battleships or 10 Mechanized infantry ? What do you imagine is the best purchase, and why should this be different from a real world scenario ?

    Another decisive issue, that AH was only partly responsible to, was the failure in production.

    The production failure was due to three factors:

    1. Failure to sufficiently expand German industrial capacity during the Weimar Republic.
    2. Lack of a good tank design.
    3. Insufficient sense of urgency. This last was Hitler’s fault.

    During the Weimar Republic, the German economy was stagnant. This was largely due to the repressive Versailles Treaty, and also due to the fact that during the '20s, the British and French governments had closed their empires to German trade. Things were so bad that a large percentage of Germany’s population suffered prolonged and severe hunger. In that environment, it didn’t make economic sense for German industrial firms to invest in the machinery absolutely necessary to maximize industrial output.

    When Hitler came to power, one of his first objectives was to raise the German workforce up to what he considered an acceptable standard of living. Initial productivity gains were largely used to increase wages, reduce the workweek to 40 hours, and increase paid vacation time. By around 1935 or '36, Hitler’s goals for improving the lot of the German workforce had mostly been met. The time had come to rapidly increase industrial output. To effect this, most additional increases in productivity were diverted into corporate profits, not additional benefits for German workers. However, sharp restrictions were placed on the amount of profits which could be paid out in dividends. Most of these profits had to be retained by the companies which earned them. At that point, the companies only had one way they could spend their profits: to purchase expensive new machinery to increase productivity. The consequent increase in German industrial capacity would prepare the nation for war. However, the full effect of these efforts was not felt until 1944.

    During the Weimar Republic, the German military had been forbidden from having tanks or an air force. When Hitler came to power, there was no good tank design or airplane design in existence. To rectify this problem, Germany encouraged the creation of multiple designs, hoping that at least one would prove to be effective. They arrived at designs which were combat-effective, but did not have time to create a design which was both combat-effective and easily mass-produced.

    Late in the war they were in the process of fixing this problem. The E-Series tanks would have been even more combat-effective than existing Panther and Tiger designs, while being much easier to mass produce.


    The E-50 Standardpanzer was intended as a standard medium tank, replacing the Panther and Tiger I. . . . Compared to these earlier designs however, the amount of drilling and machining involved in producing these standardpanzers was reduced drastically, which would have made them quicker, easier and cheaper to produce, as would the proposed conical spring system, replacing their predecessors’ complex and costly dual torsion bar system.


    Both the E-50 and E-75 would have had infrared lighting and sights for night combat. The E-75 would have had armor 185 mm - 80 mm. The Soviet Union continued producing T-55s until 1981. The armor on the T-55 is 100mm - 60 mm. The E-Series tanks would almost certainly have solved Germany’s tank design problems.

    In 1942, Germany produced 9,000 tanks. In '44 it produced 27,000. It produced 16,000 military aircraft in '42, and 40,000 military aircraft in '44. In '42, 1.4% of German tank production consisted of heavy tanks (50 tons or more). By '44 heavy tank production was 26% of the total. These massive increases were achieved before the crucial E-Series could be put into production. The E-series would undoubtedly have caused additional dramatic production increases.



  • Germany was doomed after they invaded the Sovit Union . When they could of just keep going for England and I’m not talking about main land England but in Africa and then to the Middle East for oil and bring them closer to japan an Asia. People say Russia was preparing for war with Germany but would not be ready till 1943. My point is if Germany kicked UK out of North Africa and Middle East England would of been done . That would of been there best option . But still not a sure thing. The other peoblem was calling the USA out after Japan attack Pearl Harbor cause even let’s just say Germany beat England and knocked the USSR out of the war America had the power to beat Germany and japan on its own cause the atomic bomb who ever got the bomb would win period


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    If Russia had attacked an entrenched Nazi Europe, the social optics alone would change the outcome in my opinion.

    Suddenly the reds are the big fear, and the Nazi’s would probably garner more support.  As for the Russia people, they would blame their leadership, and revolution would be in the air, as opposed to the desire to kill the “invader”


Log in to reply
 

20th Anniversary Give Away

In January 2000 this site came to life and now we're celebrating our 20th Anniversary with a prize giveaway of 30+ prizes. See this link for the list of prizes and winners.
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys
T-shirts, Hats, and More

Suggested Topics

  • 1
  • 3
  • 8
  • 12
  • 3
  • 7
  • 24
  • 28
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

55
Online

14.8k
Users

35.5k
Topics

1.4m
Posts