U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 Feb 2020 07:34

the Me 262 was a heavy fighter designed to attack Allied bombers rather than a pure fighter, and it suffered from a lot of reliability issues, and the Americans deemed it too dangerous even for their test pilots to fly after the war.
The main problem with Me-262 was the engines. Junkers had a better, more reliable design but it required rare metals like cobalt (wikipedia). I've been trying to research whether Russia had cobalt deposits that could have remedied the problem. Anyone know?

It seems pretty clear that the Germans had no combat efficiency advantage over the Wallies in pilots. That said, aerial defense against conventional bombers is immensely cheaper than offense and IMO if the Wallies relied on (conventional) bombing, they would have wasted years fruitlessly. Conventional bombing only works when the material advantage of one side is so great that it can afford the 1:1 trade of bombers for fighters, and/or can so overwhelm the other other side that air supremacy is established.

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by Avalancheon » 15 Feb 2020 08:04

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Feb 2020 22:41
Avalancheon wrote:More resources would be available for the Atlantic wall
IMO Germany doesn't build the Atlantic Wall except around some strategic points in Norway (Trondheim, Narvik).

Instead they'd station a standing force of ~40 divisions in France, with the Nomandy-Calais beaches heavily defended. Behind these forces would be cadre divisions with maybe a thousand men (rotating in and out) and full divisional equipment in depots. If the Allies are dumb enough to land in France, they take a bleeding on the beaches then are swamped after a couple weeks when the cadre divisions assemble via rail (No air superiority, let alone air supremacy, to slow up German mobilization).
What is your reasoning WRT the Atlantic wall? Hitler ordered its construction in March 1942, and work began in June 1942. So by the time the Soviet Union is defeated in late 1942 or so, the Atlantic wall is already a thing. Why would the Germans scale back (let alone halt) work on it? Fortifications allow them to defend the coast with fewer divisions, there is a solid logic behind this.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Feb 2020 22:41
Not building the wall frees up billions of RM and millions of tons of steel and cement (8 Hoover Dams IIRC). The French portion alone was 3.7bn RM, same cost as ~70,000 Me-109's.

With those resources and others, the Germans could build up for Sealion '44/5, which could involve building a causeway across the Channel followed by a 300-division invasion. The cement/steel of the A-wall alone would yield a fleet of thousands of cement ships, a measure that the U.S. used successfully during the war. U.S. would need to draft at least 10mil more men to defend Britain by land, which tanks the U.S. war economy because we didn't use foreign labor substitues (nor was so much substitute labor readily available).
Honestly, it all depends on the strategic circumstances. If Germany barely squeaks out a victory over the Soviet Union, and then gets forced out of North Africa, they are going to be worried about an invasion of continental Europe. Their thoughts will be on defense, not offense. Someone in the OKW may crunch the numbers and analyse the cost-benefit ratios, but Hitler won't listen to them. He will pull a Trump and demand that the wall gets built, regardless of what other projects could be funded with that money.

As for the U.S. labour situation. Is it not impossible that they could grant temporary VISAs to Mexican workers, just until the war is over? Or would the xenophobia of the American public make this a political impossibility? How significant was foreign labour in the wartime U.S.?
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Feb 2020 22:41
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:when it does lend-lease will rearm the Soviet Union and Germany will be back to needing 150 divisions on its eastern border
I would request that you tie this claim to a feasible narrative about force generation given demographics and economics (here of the post-'45 SU). In this ATL:
  • How does SU raise ~300 divisions from a population of 70mil at the most? (SU would need at least 300 divs to engage 150 German, that's ignoring Axis allies)
  • When the SU begins raising those divisions, and begins quadrupling the Siberian Railway's capacity to move American LL goods, why doesn't Germany just take the Urals and invade Central Asia, immediately provoking the latter to leave the Union? With Urals and Central Asia gone, what does SU have left to fight with? Siberia east of the Urals was ~25mil pre-war.
  • Given the foregoing, why would the SU want to destroy itself again to aid marginally the Wally side of intra-capitalist war?
If the Soviet Union loses all of its territory up to the Ural mountains, that has huge implications for their military capabilitys. They would lose most of their population centers, industry, and arable land. As you say, that is going to seriously limit their ability to field large armys. Another question is about the population size and ethnic composition of the rump Soviet state. If the Germans embark on Generalplan Ost (which they may or may not have the ability to do), then tens of millions of Belarussians, Ukrainians, and Russians will be exiled to the Urals. The USSR would struggle to feed and house all of these people, but it would enable them to continue with their Russophile policys.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Feb 2020 22:41
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:which would be impossible to maintain while simultaneously attempting to defend the entire circumference of continental Europe.
From '42 until at least '45 the Wallies can't stop the Germans on land, which means Iberia/Gibraltar are gone as well as Suez.
Even if the Wallies hold North Africa (i.e. Germans don't want to waste time driving from Suez west after losing North Africa), the absence of a shipping route into Med means Southern Europe faces no serious threat of invasion.

To reopen the Med and mount a serious threat to southern Europe, they'll need to retake Iberia.
To do that, they have to be able to beat at least 150 German divisions at once, probably more.
Wallies had ~140 divisions around the world in '45. If 40 of these are in the Pacific, 20 in Africa/MidEast, 20 in US/UK, they need to >double the historical US Army (91 divs) to have numerical parity with a 150-div Westheer.
Given the need to have probably 50 divisions ashore within a few weeks of D-Day, they'd need multiples of their OTL landing craft production and twice OTL land weapons production. ...which has to come from somewhere.
An invasion concentration in Tangier/Ceuta could not be concealed (thousands of ships); moving so many resources there would remove serious threat to France and allow concentration of defending forces.

Plus to land in Iberia means only the southern coast of Spain: Fighters across the straits could provide air cover for invasion/supply ships but not anywhere else.

Your proposals about peripheral strategies - even were the Med somehow open - tend to ignore the advantages of interior lines.

---------------------------------

...I know this discussion is getting ahead of where we are... Just pointing out problems that I see as obvious for a peripheral strategy in this ATL.

This all sounds weirdly specific. Are we talking about ANY scenario where Germany is victorious on the Eastern front? Or are we referring specifically to your own scenarios about this, which assumes a competent Hitler?

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 Feb 2020 08:26

Avalancheon wrote:What is your reasoning WRT the Atlantic wall? Hitler ordered its construction in March 1942, and work began in June 1942. So by the time the Soviet Union is defeated in late 1942 or so, the Atlantic wall is already a thing. Why would the Germans scale back (let alone halt) work on it? Fortifications allow them to defend the coast with fewer divisions, there is a solid logic behind this.
Someone in the OKW may crunch the numbers and analyse the cost-benefit ratios, but Hitler won't listen to them. He will pull a Trump and demand that the wall gets built, regardless of what other projects could be funded with that money.
Almost everything in this ATL requires better strategic decisions by Hitler, the foundational one being to take the SU seriously.
While some will say that's "Nazis win if not Nazis," I disagree: plenty of stone-cold psycopaths are rational actors. Speer, for instance. Putin, Kissinger, Pete Buttigieg for contemporaries. If anything in history is contingent it's the particular abilities of a dictator.

The logic of "no wall" is that the German would be obviously so much stronger than Wallied armies that Hitler should be welcoming a landing in France. It'd be voluntary internment to send the OTL '44 Normandy armies of ~2.2mil into France against 80% of the Heer.

Aside from that victory, which would probably end the Allied war effort, Hitler gets to spend the resources on other uses (concrete ships in this example but the labor, steel, etc. could be repurposed to other uses).

Re the timing - by March '42 Hitler should be confident the SU is going under that summer. Even if it didn't surrender, pushing it back to the Urals would free up at least half the Ostheer for the demographic/economic reasons you identify, meaning Western Europe is secure.
This all sounds weirdly specific. Are we talking about ANY scenario where Germany is victorious on the Eastern front? Or are we referring specifically to your own scenarios about this, which assumes a competent Hitler?
This specific scenario of a competent Hitler.

Although... I haven't given deep thought but really any Ostheer victory scenario is one in which the Wallies can't stop the Germans on land until at least '44, which almost certainly means Hitler takes Iberia and goes through/with Turkey to Suez via Palestine. In which case the Mediterranean analysis still holds: Allies can't threaten the European Med coasts if the sea is closed to their navies.

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 15 Feb 2020 08:34

Avalancheon wrote:As for the U.S. labour situation. Is it not impossible that they could grant temporary VISAs to Mexican workers, just until the war is over? Or would the xenophobia of the American public make this a political impossibility? How significant was foreign labour in the wartime U.S.?
Per Wikipedia, the primary program for Mexican labor admitted only ~140k during the war years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bracero_program

Yes, I think the racism/xenophobia of the American public would have made large-scale foreign labor (i.e. millions of brown people) completely infeasible. This is a country that put Japanese in interment camps and, while millions of Chinese were dying in alliance with us, was still banning the entry of Chinese (of all "Asiatics") as a matter of law. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Exclusion_Act (OK we showed great generosity by allowing *105* Chinese PER YEAR to enter from 1943). We still had separate units for black soldiers who were dying for our country, didn't allow most of them to vote, and wouldn't let them use the same water fountains as whites when they got home.

One good thing about Hitler is he helped make explicitly racist psychopathy like that unpalatable for much of the country, later on.

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by Aida1 » 15 Feb 2020 10:47

Aida1 wrote:
14 Feb 2020 20:20
Terry Duncan wrote:
13 Feb 2020 12:44
A post from Aida1 was removed by this moderator because it contained remarks that could be seen as derogatory towards another member and their chosen user name. Please avoid this sort of thing in the future.

Terry Duncan
Aida1 , Terry had Said what need to be Said, dont make this bigger for what it's . The rules demands a polite and neat discussion. If you dont agree to ones opinion its OK, respond and give your view but nice.

Georg
There was nothing un nice about it just some appropriate irony. One is allowed a sense of humour.

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by Aida1 » 15 Feb 2020 10:54

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
15 Feb 2020 01:47
Thanks. Can you fill in the gap between Sept 1942 and July 1943 in your ATL? How many divisions does Germany have at the start of Barbarossa in your ATL, and how are they allocated? How does this change by the time of the cease-fire in 1942? How does Germany get from its deployment at the time of the cease-fire to the deployment at July 1943?

For example, if you posit Germany having 150 OstHeer divisions and 50 dispersed elsewhere when the cease-fire is agreed to in Sept 1942, how does Germany redeploy them to threaten Spain, Turkey and Persia, and how do you anticipate this going down?
There are certainly documents from OKH about the planned redistribution of forces after a victory over the USSR.

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Feb 2020 21:45

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
15 Feb 2020 01:47
Thanks. Can you fill in the gap between Sept 1942 and July 1943 in your ATL? How many divisions does Germany have at the start of Barbarossa in your ATL, and how are they allocated? How does this change by the time of the cease-fire in 1942? How does Germany get from its deployment at the time of the cease-fire to the deployment at July 1943?

For example, if you posit Germany having 150 OstHeer divisions and 50 dispersed elsewhere when the cease-fire is agreed to in Sept 1942, how does Germany redeploy them to threaten Spain, Turkey and Persia, and how do you anticipate this going down?
Per one online OoB, Germany had 237 divisions in June '42, of which 10 were security (and more were stationary ID's of the bad welles). Ostheer had 173 non-security German divisions. As my ATL has ~500k fewer German losses during the first year of the war, I'll use those to bring all the Ostheer's divisions up to full strength. https://ww2-weapons.com/german-orders-o ... june-1942/ (thanks for the link).

I'm going to start filling in the gaps as you requested, but one month at a time to give you the opportunity to respond (and due to time shortages for me ATM).

Pre-September '42:

  • After the initial Ostheer May-June offensives, the Red Army will have been fatally weakened and Gorky, Stalingrad, Maikop, and Grozny will be lost. From this point, Hitler transfers 3pz and 3 mot. divisions to Bulgaria to begin the Middle East strategy.
  • The divisions arrive by the end of July and are joined by 2 more panzer divisions from OB West. Italy moves army forces into the Greek Isles as well. Turkey gets the message: join or die, with Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Syria/Vichy, Armenia, Georgia, Kurdistan, Iran, Iraq, and Germany dismembering it. The threat of a revived Armenia allied with Germany is particularly threatening to Turkey, which cannot abide the Armenians and Kurds asserting themselves over Turkish peoples and exacting a predictably bloody revenge.
  • Turkey declares war on the collapsing SU in August. US and Britain declare war on Turkey as expected.
  • Turkey's army receives weapons from Germany - largely captured Soviet equipment - and is able to contain the weak Allied forces in Syria/Iraq/Iran during August.
  • Meanwhile, the 8 German divisions (5 panzer, 3 mot.inf) begin moving into Turkey over its rail network and via ship over the now-pacified Black Sea. By September 1 there are 6 German divs (4 panzer, 2 mot. inf) around Antakya and 2 (1pz, 1 mot.) around Silopi.
  • The Luftwaffe begins moving an entire Fliegerkorps into Southern Anatolia - a mere 50 miles from Cyprus.
  • The Allies move four divisions from 8th Army to Syria; 8th Army will be on the defensive at Alamein indefinitely.

September '42:
  • The German 20th Army advances 300km from railheads around Antakya to Southern Lebanon, savaging the six British/Commonwealth divisions in the area. 20th Army then pauses to wait for rebuilding of its rail supply lines and of the port at Beirut.
  • The German Iraq Korps of two divisions advances 100km from Silopi to Mosul against weak Commonwealth forces. It's reliant on truck columns from Diyarkibir, however, and has to pause there for the moment.
  • Army Group South sends 20 divisions - now renamed Army Group Tehran (AGT) - into Iran. They take Tabriz, Ardabil, and the Caspian coast up to Ramsar by month's end. The Turks advance to Lake Urmia from their border.
  • Fliegerkorps XL begins heavy bombardment of Cyprus, driving all major RN units from the island within days.
  • With the Soviet armistice concluded, Hitler orders 60 divisions transferred to OB West and begins "negotiations" with Vichy for a strip along the entire Spanish border. Intelligence purposely lets word of these moves slip to Franco, who shits his pants and begins planning for how best to join the war after the greatest possible delay.
  • 40 divisions are to remain in the East to supervise Soviet disarmament. The bulk of the rest of the Ostheer - 80 divisions - begins demobilization with priority to skilled workers.
The Allies judge that Germany can send at least 20 divisions into Iran from Azerbaijan and at least another 20 through Turkey. The force required to halt Germany before reaching Gaza, Baghdad, and Tehran is judged to be 40 divisions. Such a force would require practically all Allied shipping apportioned to military operations, and therefore a cancellation of the Torch and Guadalcanal operations, as well as severe weakening of the CBI theatre. The Allied decision is to maintain only the present delaying forces in the Middle East, with ultimate lines of retreat towards Basra/Abadan in Iraq/Iran, and towards Sanaa/Khartoum from Palestine/Egypt. The Allies will go ahead with Torch in November as planned. In the meantime, 8th Army will have to hold its front and hope the Germans don't cut them off from behind via a blitz through Palestine.

Your thoughts are solicited. To be continued.

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 28 Feb 2020 18:16

Thanks. That fills in a lot of the gaps I had questions about. I will think about the strategic situation late 1942 as you have outlined it.

Just so we're clear though - it seems to be implicit in your ATL that Germany is capable of conquering and occupying the entire Soviet Union if it so chooses. Is that your belief?

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 02 Mar 2020 05:21

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
28 Feb 2020 18:16

Just so we're clear though - it seems to be implicit in your ATL that Germany is capable of conquering and occupying the entire Soviet Union if it so chooses. Is that your belief?
Sort of but not in a literal sense. I believe Germany could have advanced along the rail lines as far it wanted. If SU doesn't surrender in Fall '42, for example, an Ostheer advance along the Trans-Siberian in '43 that was as deep as its OTL '41 advance would bring it from the Urals to around Omsk. Then in '44 another 1,000km advance brings it to around Krasnoyarsk, taking Novossibirsk along way. Of course the '43/'44 advances would probably be more rapid than Barbarossa because the morale and cohesion of the Red Army at this point would be abysmal.

Meanwhile, I'd expect all of Central Asia to be lost to the SU during '43 due to a combination of Ostheer advances and internal rebellion by the Turkic Muslim populations against the SU, assisted by Brandenberger covert operations. This is what we saw with the Muslim populations of the North Caucasus and under conditions less dire for the SU than would prevail in my ATL.

North of the Trans-Siberian railroad - and away from its spurs - I wouldn't foresee anything like a permanent occupation with a "Reichskommisariat Siberia" or something analogous. Rather, the sparse populations of those regions would be offered a deal: de facto autonomy and peaceable trade if they don't make trouble, raids that destroy/kill everything if they don't. Absent central infrastructure of the Soviet state, those regions could do little to oppose Germany other than pick up some rifles and run around the forests. The populace would meanwhile rapidly starve.

In Central Asia I wouldn't expect an occupation in the sense of a "Reichskommisariat Kazakhstan" but rather the establishment of a friendly/neutral Turkic/Muslim puppet state kept in line by a couple full-strength divisions deployed around the critical centers of power.

After the Germans have pushed to Omsk and detached Central Asia during '43, the rump Soviet state would be lucky to control a population of 25 million. Japan could probably take the Soviet Far East at that point.

The German advances post-'42 would require no more than 80 divisions, which is the number demobilized after the armistice in my ATL.

A German advance farther east from Krasnoyarsk would require no more than 30 divisions, with that number declining as the remaining pockets of Soviet population and industry disappeared. Theoretically they reach Vladivostok at some point in '45 with something like 10 divisions, but that's long past the point at which there's a meaningful chance of a meaningful Soviet state having endured.

In summary I don't think the issue is whether Germany could conquer and rule all the SU in the strict sense of creating a coherent successor state. Rather, I think the issue is whether Germany could have ended all industrial-scale resistance in Siberia by advancing along the rail lines and taking the remaining industrial centers.

What's more, I think that the foregoing post-'42 path of the war in this ATL would have been obvious to Stalin too: "I can't stop the Germans from taking Omsk and Novossibirsk if I force them to keep fighting in Russia, but it's highly likely the Germans have no interest in marching beyond the Urals. So let's make peace before the SU is totally destroyed even though (or especially because) that peace will strengthen Germany for the intra-capitalist war."

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 02 Mar 2020 05:38

@HistoryGeek2019

One other thing to consider in the grand strategy of this ATL:

You assume that the SU would be willing to rejoin the war after the fall of Japan and an offer Lend Lease's resumption through Vladivostok. As I said elsewhere, I don't find that practical even if the SU had such desire: Germany could occupy the Urals and blitz Central Asia as soon as such arrangements were made and long before they were sufficient to rebuild a powerful Red Army. Stalin would know this and wouldn't want to sacrifice his country entirely for a marginal contribution to one side of intra-capitalist war.

More fundamentally, I don't see the SU wanting to rejoin the Allies even if it could. Hitler could instead offer Stalin Manchuria and Korea, plus a free hand in the Chinese Civil War, once Japan's imminent demise became obvious. Stalin's territorial ambitions closely tracked the Czar's, who were always obsessed with becoming a Pacific power. If the SU takes Manchuria and Korea in '45, then starts standing up Mao's forces (or a more Stalin-friendly communist alternative to Mao), the Cold War is suddenly a very real thing in the midst of WW2. Does the U.S. try to make a Korean War-style stand in Southern Korea? If so, it's going to occupy about as much of Allied warmaking potential as did the Pacific War.

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 03 Mar 2020 05:24

So you believe Germany was capable of conquering and occupying the entire Soviet Union if it wanted to.

Where do you see the limit? Could Germany have conquered and occupied China? India? All of Asia? All of Africa? The entire planet?

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 03 Mar 2020 12:34

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
03 Mar 2020 05:24
So you believe Germany was capable of conquering and occupying the entire Soviet Union if it wanted to.

Where do you see the limit? Could Germany have conquered and occupied China? India? All of Asia? All of Africa? The entire planet?
I was pretty specific that it wouldn't be an occupation in a traditional sense...

Do you agree or disagree with any of my specific assertions about a post-42 campaign in the East?

Anyway, consider a parallel question:

Do you think Britain - a country with half of Germany's population - could have occupied all of South Asia, much of Southeast Asia, half of Africa, half the Middle East, and dozens of smaller territories spanning the globe? The British imperial apparatus in India numbered about 60,000 British people. IMO you consistently over-rate the ability of de-industrialized peoples to resist a determined industrial occupier. This would be all the more true with an occupier even less morally committed than the British Empire.

I almost feel like you're trying to bait me into saying that Germany would have conquered the world or something, so the peanut gallery can guffaw.

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by Aida1 » 03 Mar 2020 14:44

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
03 Mar 2020 05:24
So you believe Germany was capable of conquering and occupying the entire Soviet Union if it wanted to.

Where do you see the limit? Could Germany have conquered and occupied China? India? All of Asia? All of Africa? The entire planet?
He does have a fertile imagination. A far too optimistic scenario from the german viewpoint.

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 03 Mar 2020 19:28

Aida1 wrote:
03 Mar 2020 14:44
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
03 Mar 2020 05:24
So you believe Germany was capable of conquering and occupying the entire Soviet Union if it wanted to.

Where do you see the limit? Could Germany have conquered and occupied China? India? All of Asia? All of Africa? The entire planet?
He does have a fertile imagination. A far too optimistic scenario from the german viewpoint.
...right on cue.

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Re: U.S./UK forced to implement something like the Victory Plan of 1941

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 04 Mar 2020 04:18

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
03 Mar 2020 12:34
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
03 Mar 2020 05:24
So you believe Germany was capable of conquering and occupying the entire Soviet Union if it wanted to.

Where do you see the limit? Could Germany have conquered and occupied China? India? All of Asia? All of Africa? The entire planet?
I was pretty specific that it wouldn't be an occupation in a traditional sense...

Do you agree or disagree with any of my specific assertions about a post-42 campaign in the East?

Anyway, consider a parallel question:

Do you think Britain - a country with half of Germany's population - could have occupied all of South Asia, much of Southeast Asia, half of Africa, half the Middle East, and dozens of smaller territories spanning the globe? The British imperial apparatus in India numbered about 60,000 British people. IMO you consistently over-rate the ability of de-industrialized peoples to resist a determined industrial occupier. This would be all the more true with an occupier even less morally committed than the British Empire.

I almost feel like you're trying to bait me into saying that Germany would have conquered the world or something, so the peanut gallery can guffaw.
It's hard to debate the specifics with you when your overall concept of German strength is far in excess of basically anyone else who has studied WW2. The pattern is repeatedly one where I say, "The Allies could do X" and you respond with "Germany would crush them with overwhelming strength!" So we need to find our real point of disagreement - just how strong do you think Germany was?

In other words, we need to discuss this from the top down, starting with how strong Germany was overall, and then move on to how German strength is allocated among different theaters. It seems like you believe Germany was capable of conquering and occupying all of Asia, Africa and Europe (including even Great Britain) so I'll take that as your proposed point of maximum possible German conquest and work from there.

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