What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

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Rob Stuart
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Rob Stuart » 26 Mar 2020 11:57

glenn239 wrote:
25 Mar 2020 21:27
Rob Stuart And the Germans found it best not to undermine Vichy in any major way.

It is not my position that Vichy would defy a German demand that they be permitted to station forces at Dakar. My position is that the Germans would not make such a demand. (I think this the third time I've stated this.)
There is no need to list the number of times you’ve stated your opinion. My conclusion remains the same – without the war with the Soviet Union, which was the defining feature to Germany’s Vichy policy, there was no political reason to suppose that the exigencies of a war pursued against Britain alone would have hindered Germany.
No, I did not assume the US was already in the war. You seem not to understand what it would take to establish and maintain a Luftwaffe base at Dakar
.

Dakar represents something at about the limit to an Axis advance - via Morocco.
The initial convoy (more likely convoys) would of course have to be followed up with regular re-supply convoys.
I see. Your thinking that the Germans would sail around Vichy Morocco rather than advance through it, establishing a string of air bases down the coast first. Wouldn’t be my guess.
The Germans would have understood how challenging it would have been to maintain an operational air base at Dakar. Since it would have been difficult to support, potentially vulnerable to invasion from Gambia and unlikely to accomplish much (other than forcing Allied convoys to be routed well away from Dakar), it would not have been worth it to them to establish any such base.
All very true – once the US was in the war. But before that I think you may be overestimating the capacity of the British to field sufficient ground and air forces to face so many threats on so many divergent fronts.
Glenn,

Okay, that's enough for me. I'm tired of discussing this. Have a nice fantasy.

glenn239
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 26 Mar 2020 17:39

ljadw wrote:
26 Mar 2020 09:09
Where would the Germans get these 200 divisions ? These 200 divisions existed BECAUSE of Barbarossa, without Barbarossa, they would not exist and Germany would still have 150 divisions, not more.
Without the Eastern Front the German requirement might sketch out to be something like this -

Poland/Rumania - 20 divisions
Norway - 30 divisions
Reserve - 20 divisions
France - 100 divisions
Spain - 20 divisions
Africa/Middle East - 20 divisions.

The Italians might be something like this -

Italy - 20 divisions
Africa/Middle East - 10 divisions
Spain - 10 divisions
France - 20 divisions
Balkans - 20 divisions

Total of 210 German and 80 Italian divisions. So figure somewhere around 300 divisions required for the Axis.

German tank and assault gun production to 1944 was -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_ar ... rld_War_II

So the real question is not the number of divisions, but how many of those 300 divisions would be armored and mechanized because the Eastern Front was not causing massive attrition amongst German vehicles? Maybe 70 with a strong reserve? For the purpose of a general discussion, what point is there for anyone to say that the Allies could land in France in 1944 or 1945 with no Eastern Front? Why not just concede the point? The Allies could consider a push into the Med and/or landings in Norway. But France? Not a chance before 1946, IMO.
No : the Allies were not obliged to win the BoA : the Germans were obliged to do it ,and the day BEFORE PH, the Germans had still not won the BoA : on that day , Britain had gained MORE GRT than it had lost to U Boats . This was the result of the BoA ,after more than 2 years .
With Gibraltar and no war in Russia, the Axis should be competitive in the BoA into the start of 1944, but at that point, American industrial power is going to become increasingly overwhelming and the battle is won. But, the war itself would continue into 1946 at least, meaning that the BoA would continue into 1946. Now, as it happens, in the BoA circa 1945 the KM was making a bit of a comeback based on the introduction of new weapons and submarines. Not enough to overcome massive US industrial output, of course, but probably enough to swing the pendulum operationally back towards the KM to some degree.
The Allies could continue the war when the U Boats attacked the convoys . The presence of the U Boats did not mean that the Allies were losing .
Right, insofar as "Allies" meant the Americans and the British combined and we're talking after 1942.

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Takao
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Takao » 26 Mar 2020 18:17

Germany only had about 140 divisions for France...Given no Eastern Front, why would they add another 70 for no reason?

How long can the German & Italian economies support 300 divisions that are doing nothing, but waiting for Britain to surrender?

Given no Eastern Front...Why would Germany create 70 armored/mechanized divisions that will be doing nothing but rusting away?

How long can the Axis economy support 300 divisions(70 mechanized/armored), while building up a large navy & large air force?

glenn239
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 26 Mar 2020 18:47

Rob Stuart Okay, that's enough for me. I'm tired of discussing this. Have a nice fantasy.
One wonders from this discussion how the Axis were even able to tie their own shoelaces in the morning.
The termination of the Luftwaffe bombing of UK ports would not be dependent on an Allied invasion of France. In any case, there is no way in hell that Russia and Germany would still be at peace.

Please read my posts more carefully. "post-May 1941" does not mean "until 1946". Also, I was speaking only about Luftwaffe bombing of UK ports.
1. Your opinion that the Soviet Union will attack Germany is pure conjecture. Really, to my eye just a jingoistic stage prop. Kissinger once said of the Iran-Iraq war, “I hope they kill each other”. If anything Stalin would have propped up the Axis with equipment and supplies in order to let the Axis fight for as long as possible.
2. The LW could obviously bomb UK cities or ports into 1946 if Germany had held France. Not only were jet bombers being introduced, but air launched V-1’s as well, (these not very accurate, but they still existed). Now, how effective that bombing would be is another question. Once pressure mines were being air dropped, the LW would presumably move back towards more mining and less bombing. Then, at some point the V-1 would be probably be adapted to deliver pressure mines from standoff distances.
So you're now saying that Hitler's aim was to compel the UK to agree to a ceasefire…
…In what universe is compelling the UK to agree to a ceasefire not the same thing as knocking it out of the war?
In the universe where the English language means what the English language actually means, and not what you need it to mean after you’ve checked the backpages of this thread and realised you mischaracterised my conclusions.

A knock out of the UK would mean the total defeat of Britain. Compelling a ceasefire does not mean defeat, only that both sides are hammering each other hard enough they decide to stop. Picture a boxing match where one man knocks the other unconscious. That’s a “knock out”. Now, picture one where they both stagger to the closing bell of the final round. That’s “compelling a ceasefire”.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Michael Kenny » 26 Mar 2020 18:56

glenn239 wrote:
26 Mar 2020 18:47


One wonders from this discussion how the Axis were even able to tie their own shoelaces in the morning.

”.
One wonders (from history) why they acted is if the could not tie their own shoelaces. The seemed to live on their reputation of the invasion of France because their invasion of Russia was a complete failure for them. They were 'smash-and-grab merchants who needed the element of surprise to quickly overwhelm the enemy. After the defeat of The Luftwaffe they could not conquer the UK and then made the stupid decision to turn and attack Russia. This gamble failed in the winter of 1941 and they were them doomed to a long attritional war where they were at a disadvantage. Come December 1941 they proved they could not tie their shoelaces when the idiotically declared war on the USA. Given that track record I would think being unable to tie shoelaces was the least of their self-inflicted problems because they sure did not learn the lesson of WW1.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Michael Kenny » 26 Mar 2020 19:03

Takao wrote:
26 Mar 2020 18:17
Germany only had about 140 divisions for France...Given no Eastern Front, why would they add another 70 for no reason?
As they were reading Hitler's mail the UK had a pretty accurate picture of German manpower and made some 'spot-on' counts of how large they could make the German Army and the effects of the massive over-expansion on industry. It was planned that the Army would shrink back to a more manageable size after victory in the East but the defeat before Moscow ended that dream The UK knew the Army numbers gave a false picture as they intercepted and decoded all the fears of the General Staff.

glenn239
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 26 Mar 2020 19:04

Takao wrote:
26 Mar 2020 18:17
Germany only had about 140 divisions for France...Given no Eastern Front, why would they add another 70 for no reason?
You're asking why the Axis would mobilize enough divisions to protect Western Europe against the United States that was mobilizing 10+ million or 20 million men for war in Europe? That is your question?
How long can the German & Italian economies support 300 divisions that are doing nothing, but waiting for Britain to surrender?
Perhaps by late 1945 or early 1946, the Allied air campaign would be to the extent that the Axis economies would be starting to be unable to sustain themselves.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Michael Kenny » 26 Mar 2020 19:11

glenn239 wrote:
26 Mar 2020 18:47
Now, how effective that bombing would be is another question.
Strange how those who shout the loudest about the 'failure' of the Allied Bombing Campaign completely change their opinions when allowed to bomb the UK in the same manner.
I posit that the Luftwaffe bombing would increase UK production to match that achieved by Germany under Allied bombing.

How will the Germans deal with the massive increase in Allied Jet fighters, AA guns, tanks, destroyers and a huge Army of young and old men?

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 26 Mar 2020 19:13

Michael Kenny wrote:
26 Mar 2020 19:03
Takao wrote:
26 Mar 2020 18:17
Germany only had about 140 divisions for France...Given no Eastern Front, why would they add another 70 for no reason?
As they were reading Hitler's mail the UK had a pretty accurate picture of German manpower and made some 'spot-on' counts of how large they could make the German Army and the effects of the massive over-expansion on industry. It was planned that the Army would shrink back to a more manageable size after victory in the East but the defeat before Moscow ended that dream The UK knew the Army numbers gave a false picture as they intercepted and decoded all the fears of the General Staff.
German army was about 180 division at the time of Barbarossa is my understanding (from memory 120 in the east, maybe 40 in France, 20 elsewhere). The Italian I think peaked around 80 or 90.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by ljadw » 26 Mar 2020 19:15

glenn239 wrote:
26 Mar 2020 19:04
Takao wrote:
26 Mar 2020 18:17
Germany only had about 140 divisions for France...Given no Eastern Front, why would they add another 70 for no reason?
You're asking why the Axis would mobilize enough divisions to protect Western Europe against the United States that was mobilizing 10+ million or 20 million men for war in Europe? That is your question?
How long can the German & Italian economies support 300 divisions that are doing nothing, but waiting for Britain to surrender?
Perhaps by late 1945 or early 1946, the Allied air campaign would be to the extent that the Axis economies would be starting to be unable to sustain themselves.
In the HTL( Barbarossa ) the Germans increased the number of their divisions from 140 in June 1940 to 210 in June 1941, later this number was farther increased .
In the ATL (NO Barbarossa ) the number of 140 divisions would not be increased,as there would be no reason for it .
US mobilised 70 divisions, who were not all used in Western Europe . There was no reason for Germany to increase its ground forces to 210 divisions .Besides, even if this happened, only a small part of them would be available for the fighting in Normandy .
US did NOT mobilize 10 or 20 million men for an invasion in Western Europe : most US soldiers remained at home .

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by ljadw » 26 Mar 2020 19:16

glenn239 wrote:
26 Mar 2020 19:13
Michael Kenny wrote:
26 Mar 2020 19:03
Takao wrote:
26 Mar 2020 18:17
Germany only had about 140 divisions for France...Given no Eastern Front, why would they add another 70 for no reason?
As they were reading Hitler's mail the UK had a pretty accurate picture of German manpower and made some 'spot-on' counts of how large they could make the German Army and the effects of the massive over-expansion on industry. It was planned that the Army would shrink back to a more manageable size after victory in the East but the defeat before Moscow ended that dream The UK knew the Army numbers gave a false picture as they intercepted and decoded all the fears of the General Staff.
German army was about 180 division at the time of Barbarossa is my understanding (from memory 120 in the east, maybe 40 in France, 20 elsewhere). The Italian I think peaked around 80 or 90.
NO : the Ostheer was 150 divisions

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Michael Kenny » 26 Mar 2020 19:21

glenn239 wrote:
26 Mar 2020 19:13


German army was about 180 division at the time of Barbarossa is my understanding (from memory 120 in the east, maybe 40 in France, 20 elsewhere). The Italian I think peaked around 80 or 90.
Yes we know the German Army was expanded for Russia but that was planned to be temporary and a swift demobilization was expected when the Soviets were conquered. That never happened so the Germans were stuck with an Army that was too big to sustain. Without the captured French and Czech tanks and vehicles they could not have equipped the expanded army. Things were so bad tank-wise that the Germans were using BEF tanks in Russia. That Is how dire it was right from day 1.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Michael Kenny » 26 Mar 2020 19:26

The total US Forces committed in Europe in 1945 was c. 3 million with 1 million commonwealth.

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Takao
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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by Takao » 26 Mar 2020 19:27

glenn239 wrote:
26 Mar 2020 18:47
One wonders from this discussion how the Axis were even able to tie their own shoelaces in the morning.
Probably, because, from this discussion & others, every other poster in the What If section thinks they can tie their own shoelaces much better than the Axis could.

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Re: What if Hitler made fighting Britain a serious consideration from the start..

Post by glenn239 » 26 Mar 2020 19:27

Michael Kenny wrote:
26 Mar 2020 19:11
Strange how those who shout the loudest about the 'failure' of the Allied Bombing Campaign completely change their opinions when allowed to bomb the UK in the same manner.
The reason why I said an Allied invasion of France is considered possible by 1946 is because the Allied air campaign is becoming so successful that it allows it. The German air campaign would be falling off in power in comparison to the Allied one ramping up, but would continue for as long as the Germans occupied France.
I posit that the Luftwaffe bombing would increase UK production to match that achieved by Germany under Allied bombing.
Between the US and UK, the Germans would be badly overmatched in basic production.
How will the Germans deal with the massive increase in Allied Jet fighters, AA guns, tanks, destroyers and a huge Army of young and old men?
I think the more accurate question would be how do the Germans deal with the overwhelming power of the Allied air campaign after 1944? It's American firepower in the air that will win the war.

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