The ideal Axis strategy

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
thaddeus_c
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by thaddeus_c » 21 Dec 2019 14:32

ljadw wrote:
21 Dec 2019 08:30
ljadw wrote:
20 Dec 2019 19:47
The USSR would never ally with Germany to eliminate Britain . Never .Besides, if it did, its help would be meaningless .
1 There was no Cold War in 1940
2 It was impossible for the SU to intervene in the ME with 100 divisions because of logistical reasons : no country could operate in the ME with 100 divisions .
3 There was no reason for Stalin to occupy a big region inhabited by anti communist Muslims : see what happened in Afghanistan ,besides Stalin had already enough troubles with the Muslims in the SU .
4 Stalin had no 100 divisions available in 1940 .
you do recall there were serious talks for USSR to join the Axis? derailed by the German side (maybe with valid reasons but nonetheless) NOT the Soviet side.

and of course you recall the Great Game?

Stalin would have likely supplied the Italians and Japanese as he did Germany, while trying to make opportunistic gains.

ljadw
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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by ljadw » 21 Dec 2019 15:53

thaddeus_c wrote:
21 Dec 2019 14:32
ljadw wrote:
21 Dec 2019 08:30
ljadw wrote:
20 Dec 2019 19:47
The USSR would never ally with Germany to eliminate Britain . Never .Besides, if it did, its help would be meaningless .
1 There was no Cold War in 1940
2 It was impossible for the SU to intervene in the ME with 100 divisions because of logistical reasons : no country could operate in the ME with 100 divisions .
3 There was no reason for Stalin to occupy a big region inhabited by anti communist Muslims : see what happened in Afghanistan ,besides Stalin had already enough troubles with the Muslims in the SU .
4 Stalin had no 100 divisions available in 1940 .
you do recall there were serious talks for USSR to join the Axis? derailed by the German side (maybe with valid reasons but nonetheless) NOT the Soviet side.

and of course you recall the Great Game?

Stalin would have likely supplied the Italians and Japanese as he did Germany, while trying to make opportunistic gains.
Serious talks ? When ?
Stalin could not supply Japan with what it needed, although Stalin was trading with Japan til August 1945 .
Japan needed oil, Stalin could not give oil to Japan .
The Great Game was in another period,it was mostly an invention : reality is that Russia had not the intention,nor the means to invade India and that Britain also had not the intention,nor the means to stop the Russian conquest of Central Asia .
The Great Game was good for the tabloids and for Kipling ,but it remains an invention.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 21 Dec 2019 16:34

Terry Duncan wrote:
20 Dec 2019 23:45
Prior to WWII the USSR mostly looked inwards, Stalin was quite happy(?) killing off potential rivals and securing his position. It was Trotsky who wanted international socialism, Stalin was happy to limit the revolution to Russia. WWII changed that outlook.
Fun to talk about stuff other than WW1. Merry Christmas, BTW.

I believe Stalin's actions in the Cold War are also an exact prediction of Stalin's intentions assuming a Nazi-Soviet alliance in 1940, except that rather than seek an alliance with India as the British leave in the late 1940's, the Soviets will send in a communist revolution there instead. Partition of India between Japan and the Russians? Who knows.

I think that posters that make arguments to the effect that Germany "could not pay for" Soviet supplies and equipment are manufacturing pixie dust in order to avoid facing the brutal reality of the situation that actually existed in 1940 prior to Hitler's insane decision to invade the Soviet Union. Had Hitler listened to the advice of his foreign office, the Soviet Cold War pattern of supplying war materials to any enemy of the United States on easy credit terms would have soon become evident. Look at the Soviet pattern of supply in China, Korea and Vietnam between 1945 and 1975, and then apply those tactics to Germany in 1940-1945. That's the bullet the British dodged in 1941 with Barbarossa.
Last edited by glenn239 on 21 Dec 2019 16:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 21 Dec 2019 16:43

ljadw wrote:
21 Dec 2019 08:30
1 There was no Cold War in 1940
The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the USA was inevitable. You believe that a stronger USSR than historical, (not gutted by invasion) with a German and potentially Japanese ally, would be less inclined to engage in establishing communist regimes throughout the European empires?
2 It was impossible for the SU to intervene in the ME with 100 divisions because of logistical reasons : no country could operate in the ME with 100 divisions .
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Sov ... on_of_Iran

Even reeling from the body blows of Barbarossa, the Soviet Union was able to invade Iran with 3 armies spearheaded by 1,000 tanks. The British, OTOH, managed just 3 divisions and 2.5 brigades. Without Barbarossa I'm assuming the Soviets could have easily doubled their establishment to 6 armies and 2,000 tanks. The idea the British could have stopped an invasion of that magnitude (historical or ahistorical) is patently absurd.
3 There was no reason for Stalin to occupy a big region inhabited by anti communist Muslims : see what happened in Afghanistan ,besides Stalin had already enough troubles with the Muslims in the SU .
Ljadw, the idea that the Soviet Union had no interest in securing the oil fields of Iraq, Iran and Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf has to be the most infeasible suggestion imaginable.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by ljadw » 21 Dec 2019 19:24

glenn239 wrote:
21 Dec 2019 16:43
ljadw wrote:
21 Dec 2019 08:30
1 There was no Cold War in 1940
The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the USA was inevitable. You believe that a stronger USSR than historical, (not gutted by invasion) with a German and potentially Japanese ally, would be less inclined to engage in establishing communist regimes throughout the European empires?
2 It was impossible for the SU to intervene in the ME with 100 divisions because of logistical reasons : no country could operate in the ME with 100 divisions .
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Sov ... on_of_Iran

Even reeling from the body blows of Barbarossa, the Soviet Union was able to invade Iran with 3 armies spearheaded by 1,000 tanks. The British, OTOH, managed just 3 divisions and 2.5 brigades. Without Barbarossa I'm assuming the Soviets could have easily doubled their establishment to 6 armies and 2,000 tanks. The idea the British could have stopped an invasion of that magnitude (historical or ahistorical) is patently absurd.
3 There was no reason for Stalin to occupy a big region inhabited by anti communist Muslims : see what happened in Afghanistan ,besides Stalin had already enough troubles with the Muslims in the SU .
Ljadw, the idea that the Soviet Union had no interest in securing the oil fields of Iraq, Iran and Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf has to be the most infeasible suggestion imaginable.
1 There was no Cold War in 1940 .That there was one in 1948 is no proof that there was one in 1940 : situations were totally different.And if nazi Germany was an ally, the SU would be contained .Here also your argument is flawed : the SU could only occupy Eastern Europe because it was invaded by Germany and because it defeated Germany .
2 Three or 6 armies are not 100 divisions ,and your assumption is wrong : without the German invasion, the SU would not have the needed forces to invade Iran, neither would it invade Iran : it invaded Iran because the Shah was suspected of German sympathies . If there was no war with Germany, the sympathies of the Shah would be irrelevant .Without Barbarossa, no 3 Soviet armies to invade Iran .
That Britain would not be able to stop the Soviet invasion of Iran is irrelevant, as without war with Germany, the oil of Iran would not be important for Britain .
3 There were no oilfields in Kuweit or the Persian Gulf in 1940. Thus another reason for the SU not to invade Iran . Besides, the SU did not need the oil of the ME .
In the OTL,peace before 1939, the SU did not invade the ME . There is no serious reason why the SU would do it in an ATL during a war .
The truth is that Stalin did not invade a capitalist country,did not threaten Western interests before,during and even after WWII .
Reasons : the SU was still to weak,Stalin feared a coalition between Britain and Germany when he attacked ONE of both . He knew that the Wallies, Japan and Germany intervened during the Russian civil war to eliminate communism . The last thing he wanted was to provoke another intervention .
He did not intervene in the ME,he did not intervene in Afghanistan/India, he did not intervene in Eastern Europe : he did not invade Romania in 1940,what he could have done easily. he did not invade Greece in 1945,what he could have done easily .
The motto of Stalin was : socialism in one country . And ,without Barbarossa, he would have remained neutral and made money by selling war materials on both parties, as did Sweden, Switserland, Portugal and Spain .

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by ljadw » 21 Dec 2019 19:41

glenn239 wrote:
21 Dec 2019 16:34
Terry Duncan wrote:
20 Dec 2019 23:45
Prior to WWII the USSR mostly looked inwards, Stalin was quite happy(?) killing off potential rivals and securing his position. It was Trotsky who wanted international socialism, Stalin was happy to limit the revolution to Russia. WWII changed that outlook.
Fun to talk about stuff other than WW1. Merry Christmas, BTW.

I believe Stalin's actions in the Cold War are also an exact prediction of Stalin's intentions assuming a Nazi-Soviet alliance in 1940, except that rather than seek an alliance with India as the British leave in the late 1940's, the Soviets will send in a communist revolution there instead. Partition of India between Japan and the Russians? Who knows.

I think that posters that make arguments to the effect that Germany "could not pay for" Soviet supplies and equipment are manufacturing pixie dust in order to avoid facing the brutal reality of the situation that actually existed in 1940 prior to Hitler's insane decision to invade the Soviet Union. Had Hitler listened to the advice of his foreign office, the Soviet Cold War pattern of supplying war materials to any enemy of the United States on easy credit terms would have soon become evident. Look at the Soviet pattern of supply in China, Korea and Vietnam between 1945 and 1975, and then apply those tactics to Germany in 1940-1945. That's the bullet the British dodged in 1941 with Barbarossa.
A nazi-soviet alliance in 1940 would not result in a successful invasion of India by Japan .And,again ,the Soviet Cold War pattern of supplying war materials to any enemy of the US on easy credit terms ( something questionable ) ,does not mean that in 1940, when there was no Cold War between both countries, the SU would have done the same thing .Before 1941 the SU was selling raw materials on every one ( including Mussolini ) who could pay for it . Not on credit terms .The reason was that the SU needed foreign currency,and this could only happen by exporting .And, during the Cold War AND the SU AND the US were exporting to each other .If Stalin was selling oil to Mussolini before the war, why could he not sell other raw materials to the US /other NATO countries after the war .
Last point : a communist revolution in India in 1942 was out of the question . Stalin tried to remain everyone's friend .

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 23 Dec 2019 19:03

ljadw wrote:
21 Dec 2019 19:41
Stalin tried to remain everyone's friend .
Hitler engaged in endless self-sophistry to avoid making hard conclusions about the strength of the United States. By any account I've read, Stalin never did. I think he knew that the United States was stronger than Germany, Italy and Japan combined. If Hitler had not attacked, Stalin's choices were balance of power against the United States in favor of the weaker side, (ie, Germany), or some sort of subordinate role in an American world order, (ie, the historical outcome). Note that the one does not preclude the other, (that is to say, Stalin could still support Germany against the US, but also invade and occupy Germany after 1945 if it were clear that Germany was going to lose the war despite Soviet support).

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by ljadw » 23 Dec 2019 19:15

If Stalin remained neutral and Germany lost the war, US would have left Europe and would have returned to their old isolationism .And Stain would not invade Easteren Europe but would also remain in his traditional isolationism .
If Stalin had joined the Axis, Russia would have been nuked .
A strong Germany at his border or a strong US on the other side of the Atlantic : what would be better for the SU ?

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by Terry Duncan » 23 Dec 2019 20:02

glenn239 wrote:
21 Dec 2019 16:34
Terry Duncan wrote:
20 Dec 2019 23:45
Prior to WWII the USSR mostly looked inwards, Stalin was quite happy(?) killing off potential rivals and securing his position. It was Trotsky who wanted international socialism, Stalin was happy to limit the revolution to Russia. WWII changed that outlook.
Fun to talk about stuff other than WW1. Merry Christmas, BTW.

I believe Stalin's actions in the Cold War are also an exact prediction of Stalin's intentions assuming a Nazi-Soviet alliance in 1940, except that rather than seek an alliance with India as the British leave in the late 1940's, the Soviets will send in a communist revolution there instead. Partition of India between Japan and the Russians? Who knows.

I think that posters that make arguments to the effect that Germany "could not pay for" Soviet supplies and equipment are manufacturing pixie dust in order to avoid facing the brutal reality of the situation that actually existed in 1940 prior to Hitler's insane decision to invade the Soviet Union. Had Hitler listened to the advice of his foreign office, the Soviet Cold War pattern of supplying war materials to any enemy of the United States on easy credit terms would have soon become evident. Look at the Soviet pattern of supply in China, Korea and Vietnam between 1945 and 1975, and then apply those tactics to Germany in 1940-1945. That's the bullet the British dodged in 1941 with Barbarossa.
Merry Christmas and New Year to you also Glenn.

There is an interesting comment in Bullock's book on Hitler and Stalin where he notes that in later days Stalin used to comment about what they coould have achieved together, so clearly a long term co-operation was something that Stalin had thought about.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 24 Dec 2019 16:07

Terry Duncan wrote:
23 Dec 2019 20:02
There is an interesting comment in Bullock's book on Hitler and Stalin where he notes that in later days Stalin used to comment about what they could have achieved together, so clearly a long term co-operation was something that Stalin had thought about.
I've seen that comment too. It makes chilling perfect sense. I really think that if Stalin had been calling the shots he'd not have attacked Germany at all, and would have instead used Hitler's war with the west as the means to leverage Soviet influence into the 3rd world, supplanting the European empires. I can see an outcome where Stalin winds up with Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, and a communist India....

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 24 Dec 2019 16:20

ljadw wrote:
23 Dec 2019 19:15
If Stalin had joined the Axis, Russia would have been nuked .
Stalin fought the US in a number of proxy wars. How many nukes did the Soviet Union get for that? Zero? What causes us to suppose that if Germany and the SU ally that they take until 1949 to build an atomic bomb? Also, how exactly does Stalin decide not to join the Axis in 1940 on the basis of a weapon that won't exist for another 5 years?
A strong Germany at his border or a strong US on the other side of the Atlantic : what would be better for the SU ?
My impression of Stalin's thinking processes are that he would have had a hard time believing the United States needed a dozen or two dozen Essex Class fleet carriers for the defense of the Panama Canal. What exactly was the point of a two ocean navy of the size the US was building if not to dominate the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans against Soviet influence?

In terms of your question, Stalin's worst case scenario would be a strong American army on his border in alliance with the German army. The surest way for Stalin to get that would be for the US to conquer Germany and then set up a puppet regime aimed east.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 24 Dec 2019 16:31

glenn239 wrote:
24 Dec 2019 16:07
Terry Duncan wrote:
23 Dec 2019 20:02
There is an interesting comment in Bullock's book on Hitler and Stalin where he notes that in later days Stalin used to comment about what they could have achieved together, so clearly a long term co-operation was something that Stalin had thought about.
I've seen that comment too. It makes chilling perfect sense. I really think that if Stalin had been calling the shots he'd not have attacked Germany at all, and would have instead used Hitler's war with the west as the means to leverage Soviet influence into the 3rd world, supplanting the European empires. I can see an outcome where Stalin winds up with Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, and a communist India....
Interesting. I'll have to check that out.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by ljadw » 24 Dec 2019 19:13

glenn239 wrote:
24 Dec 2019 16:20
ljadw wrote:
23 Dec 2019 19:15
If Stalin had joined the Axis, Russia would have been nuked .
Stalin fought the US in a number of proxy wars. How many nukes did the Soviet Union get for that? Zero? What causes us to suppose that if Germany and the SU ally that they take until 1949 to build an atomic bomb? Also, how exactly does Stalin decide not to join the Axis in 1940 on the basis of a weapon that won't exist for another 5 years?
A strong Germany at his border or a strong US on the other side of the Atlantic : what would be better for the SU ?
My impression of Stalin's thinking processes are that he would have had a hard time believing the United States needed a dozen or two dozen Essex Class fleet carriers for the defense of the Panama Canal. What exactly was the point of a two ocean navy of the size the US was building if not to dominate the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans against Soviet influence?

In terms of your question, Stalin's worst case scenario would be a strong American army on his border in alliance with the German army. The surest way for Stalin to get that would be for the US to conquer Germany and then set up a puppet regime aimed east.
An alliance with Germany, thus a formal war with the US ,is not the same as a proxy war .
Besides, I see only one proxy war : Korea.
A coalition of the SU with Germany against the US and Britain would not result in Germany having a nuclear weapon ,neither would the SU have its nuclear weapon before 1949 .Besides, if one of them,or both had a nuclear weapon, this would not be a danger for the US . The SU had no intercontinental missiles til 1957 .
The SU was not nuked because it was not at war with the USA.
And your worst scenario happened : there were in 1960 a strong US and a strong German army in Europe, both aimed at the east .
The US two ocean navy was not to dominate the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans against Soviet influence : the Soviets had no navy that could operate on the Atlantic and the Pacific .

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by ljadw » 24 Dec 2019 20:26

Some people are still living in the Cold War and have no notion about Stalin's Feindbild .
Stalin trusted no one ,especially not Soviet or non Soviet communists .
He also distrusted the capitalists who had tried 20 years before to crush the communist revolution : for Stalin,Hitler was only a valet,a servant of the Junkers and Ruhrbarone, Churchill the servant of the city, FDR the executant of Wall Street .If they were now fighting between each other, why should he help any of them ? Why should Soviet soldiers die to protect the Polish nobles, or the British Lords, or the Junkers ? The longer the capitalist civil war lasted ( a war the communists could not explain,as Marx had always said that it would never happen ) the weaker capitalism would become . Thus he had no interest to join Hitler or the Wallies .
Stalin was realist enough to know that the SU was no industrial world power and that its only chance to survive was isolationism and to sell war material to both sides .
His worst scenario was a capitalist attack against the SU, attack the Soviet propaganda said was inevitable . .And the only chance to prevent this was if the capitalists would fight against each other.

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Re: The ideal Axis strategy

Post by glenn239 » 27 Dec 2019 16:41

ljadw wrote:
24 Dec 2019 19:13
An alliance with Germany, thus a formal war with the US ,is not the same as a proxy war .
It's the same, except instead of shipping hundreds of MIG-15's to China and North Korea in the 1950's, the USSR is shipping millions of tons of oil, and grain, and thousands of AFV's and aircraft to the Axis in the 1940's. In either case, there is no need for the SU to be in a formal state of war with the United States. (If the SU decided to wipe out the British Empire in the Middle East, this would have been done before the US entered the war).
Besides, I see only one proxy war : Korea.
Korea and China during Stalin's time, plus confrontations elsewhere, (Berlin, Eastern Europe, Iran). Soviet support of insurgencies throughout the European empires in Asia and Africa. Just graft all this Cold War stuff onto WW2 and you get the picture of what probably happens if Hitler decides to do the rational thing instead of Barbarossa. (What probably doesn't happen is Stalin attacking Hitler any time before the Allies have retaken most of France).
A coalition of the SU with Germany against the US and Britain would not result in Germany having a nuclear weapon ,neither would the SU have its nuclear weapon before 1949 .Besides, if one of them,or both had a nuclear weapon, this would not be a danger for the US . The SU had no intercontinental missiles til 1957 .
What is the basis of your conclusion that Germany would take until at least 1949 to do so? Also, what is the basis of your conclusion that if Von Braun's team had continued with German missile development into the 1950's rather than being wisked away to the USA, that the first Axis ICBM would be fielded by the Soviets in 1957?
The SU was not nuked because it was not at war with the USA.
The salient point is that Stalin was undeterred by the US atomic bomb under the real Cold War conditions of the SU with no allies to speak of. Why would you suppose otherwise in the case of no Barbarossa, which would be far more advantageous to the SU than in the real conditions by which Stalin played international poker with Truman?
And your worst scenario happened : there were in 1960 a strong US and a strong German army in Europe, both aimed at the east .
The US two ocean navy was not to dominate the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans against Soviet influence : the Soviets had no navy that could operate on the Atlantic and the Pacific .
The fact that NATO came into existence facing east because Germany was defeated and occupied by the USA is hardly an argument for Stalin attacking Germany in 1943 in order to make that exact outcome occur.

The Soviet 10 year building program as set out in August 1939 called for 15 first class battleships and 48 cruisers here,

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... -fyp-3.htm

Amongst a host of smaller craft. That's an awfully big fleet program for a land war with Germany. Looks more like the Soviet Union's Cold War intentions of building a world class fleet, in which Barbarossa interrupted the process, rather than determining it.

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