Britain or U.S.S.R



  • Let the armchair generals begin the debate.



  • Thanks warsham, I will begin the discussion. I think that if Hitler hadnt let so many of the french and english armies escape he could have limited their armies ability to function effectively. I think that if Hitler hadnt let the ball drop, and let his momentum end he could have stimped the UK flat before they had a chance to recover. I dont think he would have won the war but I do think he could have crushed britian before they had a chance to become a landing pad for the massive american army.



  • By far the USSR.

    The German navy was not capable of pulling of Operation Sealion. As it was they came very close to capturing Moscow.



  • This question is irrelevant if not one or several premises are set.

    I assume Germany attacking only one power, if Germany went all out for UK, the Brits would be an easier task than the Russians. This was not possible (in the real WW2) after the Poland attack, b/c UK declared war on Germany.
    I also assume that Stalin would not attack Germany, or German controlled TTs on the eastern front.

    But if Germany was only fighting either UK or Russia, then I’d definitely go for UK instead of Russia.

    Just look at a map of Russia….and 4000 aircraft would seriously hurt the UK navy, land units, etc.

    If there was no “Drang nach Osten” before England falls, Churchill would not live in London by 1945, but in Ottawa or Washington.



  • @idk_iam_swiss:

    I think that if Hitler hadnt let so many of the french and english armies escape he could have limited their armies ability to function effectively.

    The question ask about 1941, so this is already a missed opertunity.

    @a44bigdog:

    By far the USSR.

    The German navy was not capable of pulling of Operation Sealion. As it was they came very close to capturing Moscow.

    agreed



  • The Battle of Britain lasted about 3 months, if Germany “went for broke” with everything they had, bot naval and air units for 12 months during 1941, then UK is an easier task than Russia. Germany was not even close to capture Moscow, they lost about 1.000.000 man in the attack on Moscow. Germany was not ready for a war on Russia in 41.

    Also, Germany did not need a sealion to knock UK out of the war, they could eliminate most of the RAF and the UK navy, then the Brits are neutered and is no longer a threat.



  • @Subotai:

    Also, Germany did not need a sealion to knock UK out of the war, they could eliminate most of the RAF and the UK navy, then the Brits are neutered and is no longer a threat.

    that could be a valid point, but i think we need more data, on the royal navy, RAF, and german air force navy.



  • I chose Britten.
    At the time Hitler had Stalin believing they were allies. Hey bud lets just carve up Eastern Europe and share its wealth. Hitler could have probably got more concession from Stalin in this region through political means. Hitler approved the following spring invasion plans for Barbarossa right after the fall of France. I think Hitler thought England would be out of the picture by then. He even offered a public armistice to England in July of 1940 , which Churchill rejected almost immediately (recent change in Prime minister).  I don’t think in 1940 Hitler was thinking lets start a two front war next spring. He was thinking I have almost a year to finish off England then I’ll turn on The Beast To The East.

    Germany may not have been able to attempt a ligament sea lion at that time but they may have been able to starve them into submission. Germany had already defeated France (their only European ally). If Hitler would have been able to keep his alliance with Franco (Spain) and took control of Gibraltar, then much of the UK fleet would not be able to come to its rescue. It would have been bottled up in the Med. With things being so tight in the UK, Germany/Italy may have been able to lock up North Africa. This would have been the gate way into the Middle East (Suez). Yea now you have the UK starving and its main oil/fuel source is gone for its mighty navy and the RAF.  Who knows if Germany would have been able to keep a successful blockade going through the winter, by spring of 41 with a big blow to its resources and the Middle East just falling into axis hands what England would have done. He took his foot off the throat of the UK and let it breath.
    Hitler also blew it when he switch targets to civilians instead of mostly military in England. I guess he wanted to get public pressure for peace but it backfired, it also allowed the UK to regroup its forces.



  • What always gets lost in a study of Sealion is the Luftwaffe plan for the invasion of England. The day after the Dunkirk evacuation, Field Marshall Milch and other officers developed an aerial paratroop/glider assault on Southern England, it would have required Luftwaffe air superiority over only southern England, (which would have been possible) and had limited German Navy involvement early on. It was similar in scope to the Crete invasion.

    Paratroops and glider forces would attempt to sieze several airfields and once secured regular forces would be brought in by transport escorted by fighters. The paratroop forces were not used much in the Battle of France as it was and were available for such an immediate operation. They had worked out logistics, transport and had the forces available, which would have still allowed operations to go in the Battle of France.

    If all went well the Germans could deploy at least a full division within hours and more within days. Given the condition of the Brits evacuated from Dunkirk (with most of their armor and artillery sitting at Dunkirk) just digging in southern England might have done a great deal of harm.

    The plan was presented to Goering before the fall of France who eventually presented the plan to Hitler. Hitler as usual was not interested as it did not coincide with his plans and beliefs than England would quit the game once France was gone. The Germans did not know that France would fall within two weeks, they assumed a much more lengthy fight. Both the Army and the Navy resisted the Luftwaffe’s plan mostly because of inter service disagreements and they felt it was treading on their turf.

    By the time of the Battle of Britain England had reconstituted and reorganized most of their land forces and airforce and the window of opportunity had slipped away. And the bigger Operation Sealion was now required which of course the Germans would have been hard pressed to have done.

    Would it have worked? Who knows? but I think it should have been tried. And the Brits defending Crete, who slaughtered the German paratroops were prepared, they were not in Southern England in 1940.

    Naturally though, I voted for the USSR,  😉 the opportunity to knock them out of the war or at least to take and hold Moscow, a major road, rail and communication hub with no equal in the Soviet Union, was available in the early fall of 41 had the Germans not been diverted and thus delayed in the turn south into the Ukraine. Another Hitler directive.


  • 2017 '16 '13 '12

    Britain would be easier to knock out, but Germany needed to produce large amounts of fighters (and fighters with extended range) and submarines in 1939-1941


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    Now that’s a pretty old topic to revive, but one worth considering nevertheless.

    I’d say it would depend on precisely when in 1941. My assessment would be:

    January - April 1941: Britain
    May - September 1941: USSR
    October - December 1941: the war was already lost

    Until about April, the German U boats were highly effective against British shipping (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Happy_Time). If Germany had focused on producing them in greater numbers, Britain might have been forced to enter into negotiations to end the war.
    Next, there was a fair chance to defeat the USSR before the autumn rains turned everything to mud. That chance would have been much better if Operation Barbarossa had started some six weeks earlier, as originally planned.
    After those opportunities were missed, I’d say the war was basically lost for the Axis, especially after the US entered the war in December.

    (edit to fix a minor error)



  • Wow, a 2009 poll, but a very good topic. Very worthy question. Thank for digging up some good discussion material.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Re-open the POLL!



  • @Gargantua:

    Re-open the POLL!

    Done


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Hi Worsham. Have tried thinking about this one.
    Think it made sense to finish England after they entered the war. It just wasn’t possible though, as Germany did not have the amphibious capability and necessary air superiority.
    Russia made sense as Germany’s strength lay in its land forces and Hitler hated them!
    But we all know how hard a two front war can become.
    I think Herr KaLeun said it best with his dividing up the year.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I’m very much a “Finish them one at a time” kind of guy.



  • Russia Shall never fall!

    Even if you did conquer Russia, YOU CANT CONTROL IT. Everywhere even in siberia there will be Rebels.



  • Hindsight shows that directly attacking the British Isles would have been futile.

    They should have concentrated on gaining full control of the Mediterranean, Egypt, and eventually India.

    Full on, combined, submarine, night airborne, and amphibious operations on Malta would have succeeded and even give experience for eventual hostile Nazi / Italian landings elsewhere.

    Winning 80% of the Mediterranean, and 50% of Egypt could have opened negotiations w Franco in Spain to take Gibraltar from behind.

    An impoverished UK would eventually outlast FDR’s willingness to lend to them. 
    Hitler would also need to outlast the US public’s willingness to re-elect FDR.

    After German and Japanese forces meet up in India (6-15 yrs) , Japan could transport over virulent disease warheads for the German rockets to finish off the British population.


  • 2017 '16 '15

    yea  and the rest of their own population too



  • @legion3:

    Naturally though, I voted for the USSR,  😉 the opportunity to knock them out of the war or at least to take and hold Moscow, a major road, rail and communication hub with no equal in the Soviet Union, was available in the early fall of 41 had the Germans not been diverted and thus delayed in the turn south into the Ukraine. Another Hitler directive.

    I take a few issues with this, It is VERY common to overestimate the value of moscow. Because moscow was such a hub, it would be very easy to link the railroads behind moscow, they are not that far apart. The russians built ALOT of railroad in WW2, and this would have been a very small challenge for them. They could probably have made Gorky their new capitol. losing moscow would not have been the end of russia by far.

    As long as the russian army is alive and well supplied, russians would win this showdown. What the hitler directive did was to divert the panzers south, to help with the capture of kiev, What this move did was to encircle 700 000 russian soliders and to hasten the capture of Kryvbas and Krivoy Rog, which where the main prodcution of russian steel, dealing another devestating blow to the russian economy. This move severy reduced the resuplyment of the red army and encircled alot of the russian prewar division. This means that the 700k soliders they encircled was among the best equipped and best trained russian divisions. I could very easily argue that if the germans had gone for moscow instead, then these divisions and the increased russian production could have made the summeroffensive of 42 impossible, and the russian winter counterattacks in the winter of 41/42 that much more devestating. It was already devestating because of the of the 18 siberian divisions (guessing about 500K soliders). If you double the number of trained soliders, then the germans would probably have been lucky to even hold moscow, and if they tried, a stalingrad situation might have developed.


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

  • 2
  • 2
  • 17
  • 3
  • 6
  • 24
  • 7
  • 19
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

38
Online

14.9k
Users

35.7k
Topics

1.5m
Posts