In my opinion, Germany actually had a chance to win the war (against all Allies) had they not made some crucial mistakes. Of course, the Allies made even more mistakes than the Germans, so you could look at this both ways.
First off, Germany’s first BIG mistake was allowing the Allies to retreat from Dunkirk. The French were already beat. If the Germans would have used their ground forces to cut off the English and French troops at Dunkirk instead of just using the Luftwaffe, moral would have been completely wiped away. Instead, the Allies saw this evacuation as a victory and that gave their people hope. To compound the problem, the same soldier who evacuated at Dunkirk ended up forcing the Germans to allocate more resources to Africa and eventually those same soldiers invaded Normandy. Furthermore, I don’t think it’s completely unreasonable to think England may have surrendured had they suffered a catastrophe at Dunkirk.
Second, the Germans had no business helping Italy in the Balkans or in Africa. Those resources should have been directed towards Russia.
Third, if Barborossa had been launched earlier as planned, Russia would have collapsed. The Red Army crumbled when Germany advanved. The only problem was that the Germans couldn’t capitalize on their efforts because of the bad weather. With the extra weeks available from an earlier invasion date, the Germans could have continued encircling massive pockets of Russians. Moscow would have been reached. Once the capital was captured and Stalin fleed, Russia would have collapsed just as it did in WW1. In this case, no Stalingrad, no Kursk.
Of course, if things did go bad (as they did in history), Hitler should have never intervened in the operations of the war. Erich von Manstien and other brilliant planners were more than capable of conducting the war.
Lastly, I wanted to note the Nazi ideology. Many people on here think had they “liberated” Russia instead of “conquered” Russia, more Ukrainians and Soviets would have helped. Well, the German war machine was made possible by de-humanizing their enemies. The German army was the best trained in the world and they thought they were figthing to save their master race. The believed this so much, that they were also the most motivated soldier in the army.
I don’t want to sound like Im supporting their ideology, but it surely helped their military (and doomed their country).
By the way… when playing Axis and Allies, am I the only one that likes to pretend they are actually conducting the real war?
One game with my roommate, I baited him to send his armor into Caucus because it was lightly defended. He took it but my counterattack was vicious and he lost all his armor and I told him, “dont worry, that happened to Paulus too!”