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Tags alternate history , Nazi Germany history , World War II history

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Old 24th October 2012, 11:39 AM   #121
Hubert Cumberdale
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Originally Posted by Nick Terry View Post
There were only two battles which were seriously affected by "disastrous logistics", Moscow and Stalingrad. They're not even campaigns.

The Wehrmacht sustained itself in the field until 1944 when every single part of it fell apart. It was more than capable of shifting an ever increasing tonnage of ammunition to be dropped onto the heads of its enemies.
Oh come now.

Everyone with a basic understanding of the eastern front knows that it was more than just Moscow and Stalingrad that were affected by Nazi logistical idiocy in 1941/42 and 1942/43 respectively.

In each case the Nazi's had failed to make adequate provision for the Russian winter and in each case they paid an appalling price for it.

The Wehrmacht didnt "fall apart" in 1944. It was still capable of delivering nasty shocks to the allies right up to the Seelow Heights.

The reason for this is the same reason for the early successes.

That the Wehrmacht was derived from the supreme military tradition with the finest officer corps in the world. Their initial success and later resilience was down to the tactical and operational brilliance of the German field army in spite of the Nazi's catastrophic strategic and logistical incompetence.
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Old 24th October 2012, 11:51 AM   #122
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As to disastrous logistics, can we include the German fuel shortage in N Africa under this head? It has been argued that the Axis powers could have protected their Mediterranean convoys more effectively. If only they'd known about the Libyan oil deposits!
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Old 24th October 2012, 01:01 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
Second, Germany should have kept researching, developing, and deploying advanced weapons. Like its jets, rockets, and nuclear programs ...

Advanced technology on its own does not necessarily mean victory. Sometimes there are countermeasures available that offset a technological advantage. Take the Me 262 for example. First, to make the most of the aircraft you need skilled pilots (something the Luftwaffe was desperately short of by mid-1944). Second, it had a critical weakness: it was slow to accelerate, which made it vulnerable when landing. So what do the Allies do? They prowl around Me 262 bases, waiting for jets to return, and then when the 262s are in their landing approach, low and slow and unable to get away, the Allied fighters shoot them down with ease.

There is also the old Russian saying: quantity has a quality all its own. If your less advanced equipment can eliminate the enemy's more advanced stuff faster than the enemy can replace it while you are able to make up your own losses, in the end that attrition will win. It'll be an expensive, costly victory to be sure, but victory just the same.


Originally Posted by DDWW View Post
That is why I wrote +/- after 1944. The 4 engine bomber is developed as a passenger/transport plane as they did with the previous 2 engine HE111.

As the USAAF found out in 1943, heavy bombers operating in daylight without fighter escort are subject to enormous loss rates. So you'd need long-range fighters in addition to the heavy bombers if you intend to operate during the daytime. If you operate at night, you won't need fighter escort, but as Bomber Command found out, flying at night could be just as costly in terms of losses as flying in the daytime. Nighttime operations require much in the way of electronic equipment and development.
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Old 24th October 2012, 01:07 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
Sorry, but I doubt that.

After all, Stalin was hoping that Hitler would get terribly bogged down in a war with Western Europe so that both sides would be so exhausted that Stalin could easily move in and take the whole pie for himself.

So, Germany would still loose the war, just in a different way.
There may have been high ranking communists and ideologists in Moscow planning to spread red revolution over the borders but not the way and with the means you suggest here. Stain otoh was nothing of the sort.
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Old 24th October 2012, 01:21 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
The German economy was well into the hole before the start of the war. Capital works like the famed autobahns were virtually built with slave labor with over a 1000 construction and transport companies going bankrupt because they could not get paid for their work
Starving labor was picked up from the depression. They didn't want much and offered a lot. This is how Hitler put economy to work. Companies and the resources that went bankrupt were put on national grid. Deficit was in billions but under control. It would have ended with some kind of advanced socialism but no collapse was in the making. It's a myth.
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Old 24th October 2012, 01:30 PM   #126
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I disagree, how were they going to pay the 6 million unemployed that had either been put to work by the state building up the war machine or put into concentration camps? The state was not in good enough shape to just perpetuate the status quo forever. They were going into horrible debt. The only way Hitler's plan works is to invade Poland.
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Old 24th October 2012, 02:00 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Mikeys View Post
Starving labor was picked up from the depression. They didn't want much and offered a lot. This is how Hitler put economy to work. Companies and the resources that went bankrupt were put on national grid. Deficit was in billions but under control. It would have ended with some kind of advanced socialism but no collapse was in the making. It's a myth.
Sorry but the German economy was in such a parlous state in 1939 that they had to invade Czechoslovakia or virtually shut down their arms industry. As it was they reduced the Wehrmacht's allocations of steel and rubber by 30%, copper 20%, aluminium 47%, and concrete by anything from 25% to 45%.

Which is Nazi grand strategy in a nutshell. "Hmm... we are in difficulty. Who shall we invade next?"
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Old 24th October 2012, 03:44 PM   #128
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What I am wondering is what would have happened if Hitler would have managed something like goading Stalin to invade Poland first. I doubt the tired old argument that "Hitler started WWII by invading Poland" is worth a nickel as I doubt Britain would have declared war on the USSR. If Hitler invaded three weeks after Stalin, it would have made Britain look just a tad hypocrite to still declare war on Hitler.

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Old 24th October 2012, 03:58 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by Simon666 View Post
What I am wondering is what would have happened if Hitler would have managed something like goading Stalin to invade Poland first. I doubt the tired old argument that "Hitler started WWII by invading Poland" is worth a nickel as I doubt Britain would have declared war on the USSR. If Hitler invaded three weeks after Stalin, it would have made Britain look just a tad hypocrite to still declare war on Hitler.
Your doubt is inaccurate, Britain came close to declaring war on the USSR over Finland, and that was after they were at war with Germany. Up until Barbarossa the USSR was an ally of Nazi Germany, the British had little reason not to take action against the USSR. On the other hand Stalin wasn't dumb enough to move first against Poland, he was quite content for Germany to take the lead and I doubt Hitler would have wanted things any different.
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Old 24th October 2012, 03:59 PM   #130
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I think Stalin loved the fact that Hitler invaded Poland.

Now maybe I'm giving them too much credit, but it seems that one of the smart guys on his staff of generals and advisors would have known that:

A) it would be very near impossible for Hitler to win a world war

B) if A is true that the spoils would be divided amongst the winners

C) the allies are most likely to BE said victors

so D) we should just join up with the allied powers, crush the Germans and have most of these places handed to us after the war rather than risk the ire of the rest of the world by doing the invading directly
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Old 24th October 2012, 04:07 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
I think Stalin loved the fact that Hitler invaded Poland.

Now maybe I'm giving them too much credit, but it seems that one of the smart guys on his staff of generals and advisors would have known that:

A) it would be very near impossible for Hitler to win a world war

B) if A is true that the spoils would be divided amongst the winners

C) the allies are most likely to BE said victors

so D) we should just join up with the allied powers, crush the Germans and have most of these places handed to us after the war rather than risk the ire of the rest of the world by doing the invading directly
That is probably overstating it. More likely that Stalin expected Germany to get bogged down in a long protracted war in the west that would neutralize it as a threat to the USSR. The Soviets were as surprised as anyone else by the scale and speed of the Nazi victories in France and the Low Countries.
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Old 24th October 2012, 05:32 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by Simon666 View Post
What I am wondering is what would have happened if Hitler would have managed something like goading Stalin to invade Poland first. I doubt the tired old argument that "Hitler started WWII by invading Poland" is worth a nickel as I doubt Britain would have declared war on the USSR. If Hitler invaded three weeks after Stalin, it would have made Britain look just a tad hypocrite to still declare war on Hitler.
Lots of tired old arguments: the Nazis wanted to make people speak German; Hitler started the war by invading Poland. And you say it can't be so, because if somebody else had invaded Poland that other person would have started the war. I'll think about all this. What if somebody else had murdered the Jews? Then Hitler wouldn't have been responsible, so it is a tired old argument to suggest that he was, the poor maligned and persecuted man!
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Old 24th October 2012, 06:57 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Advanced technology on its own does not necessarily mean victory. Sometimes there are countermeasures available that offset a technological advantage. Take the Me 262 for example. First, to make the most of the aircraft you need skilled pilots (something the Luftwaffe was desperately short of by mid-1944). Second, it had a critical weakness: it was slow to accelerate, which made it vulnerable when landing. So what do the Allies do? They prowl around Me 262 bases, waiting for jets to return, and then when the 262s are in their landing approach, low and slow and unable to get away, the Allied fighters shoot them down with ease.

There is also the old Russian saying: quantity has a quality all its own. If your less advanced equipment can eliminate the enemy's more advanced stuff faster than the enemy can replace it while you are able to make up your own losses, in the end that attrition will win. It'll be an expensive, costly victory to be sure, but victory just the same.





As the USAAF found out in 1943, heavy bombers operating in daylight without fighter escort are subject to enormous loss rates. So you'd need long-range fighters in addition to the heavy bombers if you intend to operate during the daytime. If you operate at night, you won't need fighter escort, but as Bomber Command found out, flying at night could be just as costly in terms of losses as flying in the daytime. Nighttime operations require much in the way of electronic equipment and development.
OK, Add long range fighters. What is range of 262 and/or FW190's?

Also; V Rockets to deliver atom bomb, not bombers. The next generation(s) rockets, by 1944+, should be longer range, heavier loads. My not need as many 4 engine bombers by then.


Another thougt, if Germany, at sometime, early or late, can invade GB to thier surrender...Germany gets a big fleet. Could be usefull.
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Old 24th October 2012, 07:22 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by DDWW View Post
Another thougt, if Germany, at sometime, early or late, can invade GB to thier surrender...Germany gets a big fleet. Could be usefull.
Problem is a Catch 22. Germany can't invade GB because GB has the big fleet.
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Old 24th October 2012, 08:20 PM   #135
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What if Germany had been the one to develop radar technology first.
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Old 24th October 2012, 08:27 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by h.g.Whiz View Post
What if Germany had been the one to develop radar technology first.
The Germans had many technological advantages later in the war and squandered them all. Fortunately. Radar was most useful in defence, at the beginning of the war. The Germans were intending to be aggressors, and developed mainly weapons suited to short wars of aggression, the only kind they were capable of winning.
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Old 24th October 2012, 09:10 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by DDWW View Post
What is range of 262 and/or FW190's?

Short compared to what the P-51 and P-38 were capable of with drop tanks. For defence one doesn't need long-range fighters, but for offensive operations one does.


Originally Posted by DDWW View Post
Also; V Rockets to deliver atom bomb, not bombers.

The trouble there is that it would take considerable foresight to know just what advantages the V-2 rocket offered and accelerate its development. As it was the program consumed an enormous amount of resources for a weapon that was of little military use. The V-2 historically was also far short of the payload capacity that would have been needed to carry an atomic bomb (it carried a warhead of 1,000 kg/2,200 lbs; the first atomic bombs weighed about 4,500 kg/10,000 lbs).
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Old 24th October 2012, 11:49 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Your doubt is inaccurate, Britain came close to declaring war on the USSR over Finland, and that was after they were at war with Germany.
So the USSR invaded Poland - supposedly protected by Britain - AND Finland and Britain did nothing. Way to make a point.
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Old 25th October 2012, 12:35 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
That the Wehrmacht was derived from the supreme military tradition with the finest officer corps in the world. Their initial success and later resilience was down to the tactical and operational brilliance of the German field army in spite of the Nazi's catastrophic strategic and logistical incompetence.
Why are you putting the responsibility for the Wehrmacht's strategy and logistics with the Nazi party? Yes, there's a grain of truth to the idea of Hitler meddling detrimentally with strategy, but I think it's been overstated and exaggerated. The General Staff and Wehrmacht in general had plenty of responsibility themselves, both for the military failures and the atrocities that were committed.
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Old 25th October 2012, 01:08 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Korren View Post
Why are you putting the responsibility for the Wehrmacht's strategy and logistics with the Nazi party? Yes, there's a grain of truth to the idea of Hitler meddling detrimentally with strategy, but I think it's been overstated and exaggerated. The General Staff and Wehrmacht in general had plenty of responsibility themselves, both for the military failures and the atrocities that were committed.
Because Hitler didnt 'meddle' with grand strategy, he dictated it. Also because the Nazi courtiers had more of a say in events the higher up the strategic (and therefore logistic) chain you go. Production and industry were often an omnishambles saved only by the brilliance of Speer. The Luftwaffe, being a Nazi arm in itself, suffered particularly badly from this type of thing because... well... Goering.

Hitler's meddling is not to be underestimated. As his mania and paranoia grew, so did his interference, to the stage where he demanded that even battalion sized operations had to be authorised by him personally. Of course, this meant signals had to be sent to one of his HQ's, reviewed in a situation meeting the next morning, then signalled back to the front. It was a neat reversal of roles from the 1940 Blitzkreigs.

I accept that the General Staff bears some responsibilities and the Generals in particular bear responsibility for their moral cowardice in allowing themselves, and their country, to be ruined by Hitler.

I do also note that the German officer corps rarely if ever objected to atrocities and that many atrocities were carried out by ordinary Wehrmacht units. The more so with the casual plundering and burning of peasant villages in the east which would have almost certainly resulted in the deaths by starvation and exposure of the residents. There were no SS units in the 6th Army, but they nevertheless behaved in the most appalling manner towards enemy civilians. Then again, they had form for this kind of thing in the last war in Belgium.

Being a very good soldier does not necessarily make you a very good person.
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Old 25th October 2012, 02:07 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Simon666 View Post
So the USSR invaded Poland - supposedly protected by Britain - AND Finland and Britain did nothing. Way to make a point.
And does this mean, as you appear to be suggesting, that Hitler's invasion of Poland was not the cause of the start of the war?
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Old 25th October 2012, 03:01 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by h.g.Whiz View Post
What if Germany had been the one to develop radar technology first.
Arguably at the beginning of WW2 German RADAR technology was more advanced than British, just not used well. They fell behind quickly, especially after the development of the cavity magnetron.
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Old 25th October 2012, 03:05 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by catsmate1 View Post
Arguably at the beginning of WW2 German RADAR technology was more advanced than British, just not used well. They fell behind quickly, especially after the development of the cavity magnetron.


I shall be stealing this (bolded)in my next cartoon about the evils of tooth decay!
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Old 25th October 2012, 04:00 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by catsmate1 View Post
Arguably at the beginning of WW2 German RADAR technology was more advanced than British, just not used well. They fell behind quickly, especially after the development of the cavity magnetron.
The Wizard War by R. V. Jones addresses this.
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Old 25th October 2012, 05:14 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
And does this mean, as you appear to be suggesting, that Hitler's invasion of Poland was not the cause of the start of the war?
Yes and no. It was the cause as in "cause and effect" but not the cause as in "reason for human motive" as the invasion of Poland was merely an excuse. Britain didn't give a damn about the Polish or it would have declared war on the USSR too.
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Old 25th October 2012, 05:38 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Simon666 View Post
Yes and no. It was the cause as in "cause and effect" but not the cause as in "reason for human motive" as the invasion of Poland was merely an excuse. Britain didn't give a damn about the Polish or it would have declared war on the USSR too.
Nor about the Czechs either. But once the Nazis had occupied Bohemia-Moravia after fooling the Entente Powers into believing they wished only to recover ethnic German inhabited lands, the UK and France had to draw a line. They didn't declare war on the USSR because they didn't have to. Declaring war on the USSR when you didn't have to was a bad idea, as poor old Adolf was soon to discover.
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Old 25th October 2012, 05:51 AM   #147
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Why "draw a line"? At least there were ethnic Germans in Poland and Polish irregulars DID attack along the German border. What business were the Poles to Britain? Britain had colonies like India and various other places where there were previously no ethnic British living. Germany could have easily won the war with Poland if Britain minded its own business. That's how. The USSR is a different issue.
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Old 25th October 2012, 05:56 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by Simon666 View Post
Yes and no. It was the cause as in "cause and effect" but not the cause as in "reason for human motive" as the invasion of Poland was merely an excuse. Britain didn't give a damn about the Polish or it would have declared war on the USSR too.
German invasion of Poland - September 1, 1939
British declaration of war against Germany - September 3, 1939
Soviet invasion of Poland - September 17, 1939
End of effective resistance in Poland - October 6, 1939

The British declaration of war against Germany was able to be followed up on with some effect. Operations against the USSR - not so much
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Old 25th October 2012, 06:03 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by Simon666 View Post
Why "draw a line"? At least there were ethnic Germans in Poland and Polish irregulars DID attack along the German border. What business were the Poles to Britain? Britain had colonies like India and various other places where there were previously no ethnic British living. Germany could have easily won the war with Poland if Britain minded its own business. That's how. The USSR is a different issue.
Jews in Poland too, 666. So the Poles attacked Germany eh? Took a radio station, I believe.
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Old 25th October 2012, 06:12 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by Simon666 View Post
Why "draw a line"?
Those crazy Poms thought Hitler and Nazi Germany were a threat to Europe. I have no idea where they got such silly notions from?

I'm sure your buddies at Stormfront would be much more amenable to your revisionism.
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Old 25th October 2012, 06:23 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Simon666 View Post
Yes and no. It was the cause as in "cause and effect" but not the cause as in "reason for human motive" as the invasion of Poland was merely an excuse. Britain didn't give a damn about the Polish or it would have declared war on the USSR too.
A ridiculously narrow take on things. Bordering on ignorance.
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Old 25th October 2012, 06:27 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by Simon666 View Post
Why "draw a line"? At least there were ethnic Germans in Poland and Polish irregulars DID attack along the German border. What business were the Poles to Britain? Britain had colonies like India and various other places where there were previously no ethnic British living. Germany could have easily won the war with Poland if Britain minded its own business. That's how. The USSR is a different issue.
They drew a line because after the final occupation of Czechoslovakia the British finally woke to the fact that the talk of reuniting German peoples was a smokescreen for conquest and that Hitler would not be stopped except by force or the threat of force. Unfortunately by the time of the attack on Poland Hitler had convinced himself that the British and French would never act and were in fact bluffing.

As for the USSR the British, probably wisely, decided they couldn't really win a war against the USSR. Besides they knew that the arrangement between Stalin and Hitler was purely temporary and that Germany and the USSR would turn on each other sooner rather than later. Finland very nearly drew the British in regardless but luckily the Winter war ended before the British could do anything rash. The British never really liked or trusted the USSR but as Churchill said:

"If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons."

Now I know you're a holocaust denier so the above is unlikely to sway you but Hitler was the prime mover in starting WWII and all the neo-nazi tantrums in the world won't change that.
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Old 25th October 2012, 06:29 AM   #153
angrysoba
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Originally Posted by Simon666 View Post
Why "draw a line"? At least there were ethnic Germans in Poland and Polish irregulars DID attack along the German border. What business were the Poles to Britain? Britain had colonies like India and various other places where there were previously no ethnic British living. Germany could have easily won the war with Poland if Britain minded its own business. That's how. The USSR is a different issue.
Are you still sore about that?

Well, tough titties. If Hitler had maybe minded his own business then things would have been much nicer all round but he couldn't help himself and he plunged Europe into war and ended up doused in petrol and set alight after firing a bullet into his brain. Pretty ignominious for him but better than he deserved.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 25th October 2012, 06:55 AM   #154
Krikkiter
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Problem is a Catch 22. Germany can't invade GB because GB has the big fleet.
And from what I've read, Hitler's desire to invade Britain was lukewarm at best. He needed air superiority over the Channel (like the Allies had on D-Day), and despite Goering's insistence Hitler had little faith in the overweight primadonna. His glory days were flying biplanes 25 years ago. Sealion was never going to happen.

Plus, Hitler's ultimate goal was always to take Russia. It's all laid out in Mein Kampf. Agricultural land, natural resources, slave labour etc.
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Old 25th October 2012, 07:01 AM   #155
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Pardon my ignorance... but can we define "win"?

What if Germany had annexed Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and a piece of France and stopped? Or even left France alone? Would that have been considered a win? Would the Allies have persecuted the war to the extent that we did?
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Old 25th October 2012, 07:08 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by RatBoy View Post
Pardon my ignorance... but can we define "win"?

What if Germany had annexed Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and a piece of France and stopped? Or even left France alone? Would that have been considered a win? Would the Allies have persecuted the war to the extent that we did?
I think you mean "prosecuted."

But I don't think Hitler's idea of a win was that narrow. Like I said, he wanted France first (after Versailles), and Russia second because that gave Germany lots of land that came with natural resources, slave labour and lebensraum (the latter I think was just a front for the desire for Russian oil and food).

After that he didn't really have a plan though.
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Old 25th October 2012, 07:09 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by Krikkiter View Post
And from what I've read, Hitler's desire to invade Britain was lukewarm at best. He needed air superiority over the Channel (like the Allies had on D-Day), and despite Goering's insistence Hitler had little faith in the overweight primadonna. His glory days were flying biplanes 25 years ago. Sealion was never going to happen.

Plus, Hitler's ultimate goal was always to take Russia. It's all laid out in Mein Kampf. Agricultural land, natural resources, slave labour etc.
It's amazing how many people ignore this and come up with clever schemes for Hitler to invade Britain; ignoring the fact that it was never part of his plans until well after the war started and even then as you say it was never a serious option; more an attempt to squeeze the British into coming to terms.
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Old 25th October 2012, 07:17 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
It's amazing how many people ignore this and come up with clever schemes for Hitler to invade Britain; ignoring the fact that it was never part of his plans until well after the war started and even then as you say it was never a serious option; more an attempt to squeeze the British into coming to terms.
I've read some stuff about Sealion and although I'm a self confessed arm-chair strategist, I'm pretty sure most of it would make for some pretty good comedy amongst the people who actually know stuff about the logistics of this kind of an undertaking at that stage of the war.
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Old 25th October 2012, 07:35 AM   #159
Eddie Dane
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Originally Posted by Krikkiter View Post
I think you mean "prosecuted."

But I don't think Hitler's idea of a win was that narrow. Like I said, he wanted France first (after Versailles), and Russia second because that gave Germany lots of land that came with natural resources, slave labour and lebensraum (the latter I think was just a front for the desire for Russian oil and food).

After that he didn't really have a plan though.
I think agricultural yields were far lower in the thirties, so farmland was much more of an strategic asset. Note Stalin starving whole populations to sell grain.

And Germany didn't have oil.

But I wonder if controlling Russia would have gotten Germany out of it's economic problems.
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Old 25th October 2012, 07:43 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by Eddie Dane View Post
Note Stalin starving whole populations to sell grain.
The extent to which "Holodomor" was "engineered" by Stalin is still up for discussion by historians. But this will probably make me a revisionist commie, a Stalin lover ...
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