A Cold War between the US, Britain and Germany

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Marcelo Jenisch
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A Cold War between the US, Britain and Germany

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 23 Nov 2013 20:51

Hello,

Let's suppose that Germany defeats the USSR in 1941, and subsequentely the Allies realize it's impossible to defeat Germany. Britain remains independent in a peace treaty.

Economically, it's possible to have an idea of how the economies of Britain, the US and Germany would be in a post-war world in this scenario? I'm specially curious if the German colonization of Eastern Europe would make it's economy stronger than the American one.

Note: some may contestate the feasibility of the Allies give up to fight Germany, but let's considerate that the goal of the thread is discuss the economics of this "alternative" Cold War.

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Tim Smith
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Re: A Cold War between the US, Britain and Germany

Post by Tim Smith » 23 Nov 2013 23:11

The Soviet conquest of Eastern Europe didn't make the USSR economically stronger than the USA. Quite the reverse, since maintaining the giant Soviet military machine practically bankrupted the USSR. I can't see the Greater German Reich being any different - their military will cost more than the Soviet one because Siberia will still be a hostile Communist state, so Germany will still be facing enemies on two fronts.

This scenario is similar to that of the Robert Harris novel 'Fatherland' - see link for details.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatherland_%28novel%29

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Re: A Cold War between the US, Britain and Germany

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 24 Nov 2013 00:02

Thanks for the participation, Tim.

Japan would be definately defeated in this scenario. I'm wondering if the Communist Revolution would still happen in China without Soviet support. I would say that if the Anglo-Americans quit hostilities with Germany in 1942, the Americans would trow a lot more military weight against the Japanese, which in turn would help the Kuomintang, as the Japanese would be defeated faster. The Americans also would have more material to provide for the nationalists.

In case the Chinese Revolution didn't happened, Nationalist China could be a valuable economic parner and allied in this post-war world with the US?

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Re: A Cold War between the US, Britain and Germany

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 12 Dec 2013 19:43

Other thing: I know that Britain would be much more vulnerable due to German airbases and missiles in France, but post-war British jet bombers such as the Avro Vulcan carrying nuclear weapons would have a realistic chance of attack the main German urban centers in order to the British secure deterrence? This envolves consideration for new technology that maybe would developed differently in this scenario, but anyway, I let the question. :)
Last edited by Marcelo Jenisch on 12 Dec 2013 20:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Cold War between the US, Britain and Germany

Post by LWD » 12 Dec 2013 20:20

The German economy up to the start of the war was essentially one big Ponzy scheme. If they defeat teh Soviets and a peace treaty with the west ends the way would they change anything? I.e. would you end up with another Ponzy scheme that will cause the German economy to self destruct a few years out? Just who controls what at the end of the war is fairly important as well. How much of what used to be the USSR does Germany control? What exactly is the status of France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, and Norway? I certainly don't see the "Reich" having a food surplus for several years and I'm not sure they'd have the exchange to buy it on the world market.

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Re: A Cold War between the US, Britain and Germany

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 13 Dec 2013 00:29

Thank you for the participation, LWD.

I have the impression that the implementation of GeneralPlan Ost would cause great concern in the world (and consequentely in the trade relations with Germany). Intelligence agencies would detect the slaughter of the Slavic peoples and this would be transmited to the international community. Germany already managed to cause great concern and a world war just because it didn't have limits with it's military conquests. Just imagine the reaction of the international community if it realizes that the Germans also don't have limits in commit genocide against whole countries just to fulfill their interests.

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Re: A Cold War between the US, Britain and Germany

Post by Tim Smith » 21 Dec 2013 21:13

Germany had friends that probably would have been happy to trade with even a genocidal German regime in peacetime. I'm thinking of Argentina, Bulgaria, Spain and Turkey in particular, besides the Axis nations of Italy, Hungary, Rumania and Finland. Even Sweden would probably still be willing to trade with Germany. Also many of the Arab nations would likely be friendly to Germany once they had shaken off British imperialism.

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Re: A Cold War between the US, Britain and Germany

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 22 Dec 2013 00:30

The problem is those countries maintein sovereign if Germany started to exercise too much influence on them.

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Re: A Cold War between the US, Britain and Germany

Post by LWD » 23 Dec 2013 14:01

Tim Smith wrote:Germany had friends that probably would have been happy to trade with even a genocidal German regime in peacetime. I'm thinking of Argentina, Bulgaria, Spain and Turkey in particular, besides the Axis nations of Italy, Hungary, Rumania and Finland. Even Sweden would probably still be willing to trade with Germany. Also many of the Arab nations would likely be friendly to Germany once they had shaken off British imperialism.
Willing to trade probably, indeed even some in the US would have been willing to trade. However trade also requires that both sides have something that they are willing to exchange and that the other side wants. German currency reserves were essentially gone when the war started. Furthermore they owed significant amounts of money to foreign banks and countries. Combine this with a government that has proven itself untrustworthy on numerous occasions and you aren't going to get a whole lot of trade and what you do get won't be bargains.

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Re: A Cold War between the US, Britain and Germany

Post by Guaporense » 22 Jan 2015 01:18

Marcelo Jenisch wrote:Hello,

Let's suppose that Germany defeats the USSR in 1941, and subsequentely the Allies realize it's impossible to defeat Germany. Britain remains independent in a peace treaty.

Economically, it's possible to have an idea of how the economies of Britain, the US and Germany would be in a post-war world in this scenario? I'm specially curious if the German colonization of Eastern Europe would make it's economy stronger than the American one.

Note: some may contestate the feasibility of the Allies give up to fight Germany, but let's considerate that the goal of the thread is discuss the economics of this "alternative" Cold War.
I expect the inverse effect. In 1939, continental Europe's economy was bigger than the US's. After decades of Nazi rule, the expectation is decline of the relative size of European economy, Germany might increase relatively to the rest of continental Europe as the Nazis will destroy economic activity outside of Germany, but even in Germany these poor economic policies will not generate good long run growth.

One should note that only after WW2, with a democratic and modern market economy without the burden of a military industrial complex, German productivity and per capita industrial output surpassed the US's level. By 1980, West Germany's per capita income at market exchange rates was substantially higher, as well as per capita levels of manufacturing output were 5/3 of US's level, dividing by number of workers in industry it was also higher. Before WW2, Germany's per capita income, manufacturing output and productivity were always lower than the US's.

Hourly compensation costs, 2011, dollars (includes health insurance, taxes paid by employees and other costs that don't come directly into the banking account of the employee), in manufacturing, which is a proxy indicator of labor productivity in manufacturing (source: http://www.bls.gov/fls/ichcc.pdf):

Germany --- 45.79
US ----------- 35.67

In 1936, German manufacturing worker earned 2,000 RM, an American in 1935 earned 1,020 dollars, or 2,550 RM at market exchange ratres, and worked about 15% fewer hours, per hour wages were 0.9 RM in Germany and 1.4 RM in the US, and prices of beef, pork, sugar, beer, electricity and tea were lower in the US. Since the 1930's, in per capita terms, Germany grew more than the US.

Germany declined in relative economic size because the population declined relative to the US's: from 60% of the US in 1939 (79/131) to 25% today and number of hours worked declined. But in terms of living standards Germany surpassed the US's level after WW2: considering that hourly wages in Germany went from less than 2/3 of US's level to more than 5/4 of the US's level over the past 75 years. Instead, if Germany won the war, Nazi policies would turn Germany into a third world country like happened to those behind the Soviet iron curtain.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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