US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
ljadw
Member
Posts: 15412
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by ljadw » 03 Nov 2021 07:10

State did not determine US foreign policy .

Peter89
Member
Posts: 2369
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Europe

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Peter89 » 06 Nov 2021 15:24

ljadw wrote:
30 Jul 2021 11:25
Air distance London-Berlin : 950 km,Stockholm-Berlin : 810 km ,which is not brutally close.
Normally Swedish iron ore was going to Germany through Sweden and the East Sea. In the Winter it was transported to Narvik,which was ice free,and from Narvik to Germany .
And, what excuse would US give for an attack on Sweden, attack,which would make Sweden a German ally ?
Besides, it is very questionable that the weak US Torch forces could have invaded Sweden in the Winter .Distance Kiruma Mine- Stockholm : 1240 km .
Other point : Germany had other sources for its iron ore imports .
The Swedish share of Germany's iron ore consumption was between 1933 and 1943 between 40/43 per cent . While this is important, one should not exaggerate it .
Source : Swedish iron ore exports to Germany 1933-1944 (by Rolf Karlbom ) .
I think your conclusions are right, but you are misinterpreting some data.

1.) Air distance in kms did not matter as much as the land beneath them, ie. navigation and landing opportunities. The Stockholm-Berlin route is magnitudes more easily navigable than the one between Berlin and London (assuming a long flight over the North Sea).
2.) The iron ore was / could be indeed transported via Lulea and not so much through Narvik. See the 1939/1940 period. However, Swedish share in German iron ore consumption between 1933 and 1943 is not really relevant; what was relevant is the Swedish iron ore's share after the Allied naval blockade. And that is not even 40% after the fall of France, although producing iron from Swedish iron ore was about twice as cost-effective than producing it from other sources. Not to mention that the most effective way to improve Germany's production was not the extension of the production basis, but to cut the waste and uneconomical practices.
3.) Although the Allied forces would have a hard time to invade the Scandinavian peninsula in late 1942 (besides, a stupid undertaking, given that the daylight hours are extremely short or even nonexistent around the end of the year in northern Norway), the distance and Sweden's diplomatic disposition was not as much important as the terrain and the poor infrastructure. An Allied invasion via Norway to Sweden could easily start an anti-German uprising just as it happened in Italy. I doubt that anyone would bet on the Germans in late 1942, or better, in 1943.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

ljadw
Member
Posts: 15412
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by ljadw » 06 Nov 2021 17:34

I am still doubting that it could be done and that ,if it was done successfully, it would benefit the Allies .
I have to disagree about point 1 :The Stockholm-Berlin route implies a London-Stockholm route over the North Sea .The aircraft that would start from Stockholm to attack Berlin,had to be supplied from London .
That's why in September 1944 the air attacks on Germany still started mainly from Britain and not from the closer airfield in Belgium and France .It was easier to supply aircraft in Kent than in France or in Sweden .And if the attacks were still starting from Sweden ,that would mean less attacks from Britain and even in total less attacks.
I also doubt the need for the invasion of Sweden,as German dependence on Swedish iron ore was much less than is told . Germany got a lot of its iron ore from France and other countries and when Sweden stopped its deliveries , Germany did not collapse.
One should also not forget that an invasion of Sweden in late 1942 would make Torch,Husky and Avalanche impossible .

I don't see why air attacks starting from Stockholm would be better than air attacks starting from South England .
And I don't see why Germany would collapse without the iron ore from Sweden .
a good source for the iron ore is Alan Milward :Could Sweden have stopped the Second World War ?

Peter89
Member
Posts: 2369
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Europe

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Peter89 » 06 Nov 2021 19:32

ljadw wrote:
06 Nov 2021 17:34
I also doubt the need for the invasion of Sweden,as German dependence on Swedish iron ore was much less than is told . Germany got a lot of its iron ore from France and other countries and when Sweden stopped its deliveries , Germany did not collapse.
One should also not forget that an invasion of Sweden in late 1942 would make Torch,Husky and Avalanche impossible .
It's not a doubt, it's a fact. You are right on this one.
ljadw wrote:
06 Nov 2021 17:34
I am still doubting that it could be done and that ,if it was done successfully, it would benefit the Allies .
I have to disagree about point 1 :The Stockholm-Berlin route implies a London-Stockholm route over the North Sea .The aircraft that would start from Stockholm to attack Berlin,had to be supplied from London .
That's why in September 1944 the air attacks on Germany still started mainly from Britain and not from the closer airfield in Belgium and France .It was easier to supply aircraft in Kent than in France or in Sweden .And if the attacks were still starting from Sweden ,that would mean less attacks from Britain and even in total less attacks.
Indeed, an Allied buildup in Sweden would require a series of prerequisites. Of course, aerial supply of a bomber offensive was not possible: only naval means could do that. But, in September 1944, was it really the bomber offensive that crushed Germany? The air war was lost for Germany in 1940/1942: the events unfolded in 1944/1945, and there was no chance of coming back.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

User avatar
T. A. Gardner
Member
Posts: 3510
Joined: 02 Feb 2006 00:23
Location: Arizona

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by T. A. Gardner » 07 Nov 2021 04:32

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
02 Nov 2021 15:39
Upthread I mentioned Stephen Wertheim's book Tomorrow, the World, which inter alia documents the Council on Foreign Relations' long term vision after the Fall of France. CFR was, at that time, a functional planning shop for the State Department, which lacked personnel for CFR-style analysis. After/during the war CFR personnel were folded formally into State.

Anyway, I posted this map in another forum, thought I'd add it here:

Image

The dark is the postwar German sphere of influence.

For those who can't stomach the patriotically-incorrect notion of America accepting Nazi hegemony over Europe, perhaps this visual image will be more impactful than my previous text excerpts.
It also shows the long term vulnerability of the Reich to being obliterated in a nuclear war. It also shows the vulnerability of the Reich to economic pressure.
Basically, even if the Germans won per the map (sans invading and taking the UK), they are still screwed economically and militarily in the long run against a US led coalition of nations.
I would further say that the Reich taking the whole of the Middle East and Turkey is a complete fantasy.

History Learner
Member
Posts: 433
Joined: 19 Jan 2019 09:39
Location: United States

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by History Learner » 07 Nov 2021 06:56

T. A. Gardner wrote:
07 Nov 2021 04:32
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
02 Nov 2021 15:39
Upthread I mentioned Stephen Wertheim's book Tomorrow, the World, which inter alia documents the Council on Foreign Relations' long term vision after the Fall of France. CFR was, at that time, a functional planning shop for the State Department, which lacked personnel for CFR-style analysis. After/during the war CFR personnel were folded formally into State.

Anyway, I posted this map in another forum, thought I'd add it here:

Image

The dark is the postwar German sphere of influence.

For those who can't stomach the patriotically-incorrect notion of America accepting Nazi hegemony over Europe, perhaps this visual image will be more impactful than my previous text excerpts.
It also shows the long term vulnerability of the Reich to being obliterated in a nuclear war. It also shows the vulnerability of the Reich to economic pressure.
Basically, even if the Germans won per the map (sans invading and taking the UK), they are still screwed economically and militarily in the long run against a US led coalition of nations.
I would further say that the Reich taking the whole of the Middle East and Turkey is a complete fantasy.
How does any of that follow? The area contained with the German sphere is of equal economic size as the United States and contains most of Global oil supplies.

ljadw
Member
Posts: 15412
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by ljadw » 07 Nov 2021 09:24

This area does not contain most Global oil supplies in 1940 .
Besides, not oil supplies are important, but oil production .
Other point : Germany, 80 million people, did not have the resources to occupy and protect these territories .

Peter89
Member
Posts: 2369
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Europe

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Peter89 » 07 Nov 2021 20:17

T. A. Gardner wrote:
07 Nov 2021 04:32

It also shows the long term vulnerability of the Reich to being obliterated in a nuclear war. It also shows the vulnerability of the Reich to economic pressure.
Basically, even if the Germans won per the map (sans invading and taking the UK), they are still screwed economically and militarily in the long run against a US led coalition of nations.
I would further say that the Reich taking the whole of the Middle East and Turkey is a complete fantasy.
These maps of a Reich that never was are wrong for one reason: the Axis was not quite an alliance, and the Germans never had the power to economically police Europe and much more. Also, the British Empire would not be a thing on the long run. While the ANZAC troops and parts of South Africa might stay loyal to the cause, the rest would be lost to Britain in 5-10 years, again, with no power to economically police India and much more.

This map, however, presumes a neutral SU, which benefited from a corridor opened to the Indian Ocean, thus a US led coalition of nations is probably US and the British Empire, and that is not a glorious start, because this coalition should start to grind its way from equatorial Africa up to Berlin, as the mainland European beaches would be defended by an undistracted Wehrmacht.

Furthermore, the Axis-controlled NA-ME-Turkey is not so much of a fantasy if we take into account that before Barbarossa, the Axis held most of these territories already. I see no indication why a Wehrmacht that did not engage in Barbarossa, could not establish this defensive perimeter.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 2760
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Gooner1 » 08 Nov 2021 12:24

Peter89 wrote:
07 Nov 2021 20:17
Furthermore, the Axis-controlled NA-ME-Turkey is not so much of a fantasy if we take into account that before Barbarossa, the Axis held most of these territories already. I see no indication why a Wehrmacht that did not engage in Barbarossa, could not establish this defensive perimeter.
Lack of shipping, oil, motor transport, resistance by Spain, Vichy France, Turkey and of course Britain & Empire, the choke-point at El Alamein and finally the fact that even if not at war with the Soviet Union the bulk of German forces would have to be pretty much permanently based near the borders with them.

Peter89
Member
Posts: 2369
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Europe

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Peter89 » 08 Nov 2021 13:31

Gooner1 wrote:
08 Nov 2021 12:24
Peter89 wrote:
07 Nov 2021 20:17
Furthermore, the Axis-controlled NA-ME-Turkey is not so much of a fantasy if we take into account that before Barbarossa, the Axis held most of these territories already. I see no indication why a Wehrmacht that did not engage in Barbarossa, could not establish this defensive perimeter.
Lack of shipping, oil, motor transport, resistance by Spain, Vichy France, Turkey and of course Britain & Empire, the choke-point at El Alamein and finally the fact that even if not at war with the Soviet Union the bulk of German forces would have to be pretty much permanently based near the borders with them.
1.) Lack of shipping: this was not really so. The Germans could have transported a meaningful force to aid the Iraqi rebellion and the Vichy Levant via air. Besides, the Vichy French could get some of their ships through to the Levant without German air cover.
2.) Oil: See the stocks / consumption of oil during Barbarossa and tell me that an operation in the NA / ME would exceed that. Not to mention that NA /ME actually had an intact oil infrastructure.
3.) Motor transport: again, this is very much questionable. What do you mean by it? That the Germans, without Barbarossa, could not deploy more motor transports to the NA / ME?
4.) Resistance by Spain could have been obliterated in a relatively short military campaign, meaning the end of Gibraltar. Vichy France resisted indeed, but not against the Germans whom they refuelled and serviced, but against the British, whom they shot at. Turkey knew that its existence is depending on the goodwill of the Soviets, Germans and the British. They would resist open arms deliveries only as far as the British could guarantee them access to the world markets and protection from the Germans and the Soviets. Besides, when the time came, they let through the trains loaded with arms from Syria to Iraq.
5.) Choke-point at El Alamein: it wasn't a natural obstacle that couldn't be overcome. The Allies did not win in Egypt because of a natural obstacle: they've won because of logistical superiority, and because of bad choices by the German military leadership.
6.) The bulk of the German forces could stay on the Eastern border: the Axis had no way to supply much more divisions in Egypt. What they could do was to improve the deliveries, increase the air cover and secure a foothold in the Levant / Iraq.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

ljadw
Member
Posts: 15412
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by ljadw » 08 Nov 2021 14:22

The occupation of Spain would tie that many resources that every other military operation ( not only Barbarossa ) would be impossible .Think on Napoleon .

Boby
Member
Posts: 2760
Joined: 19 Nov 2004 17:22
Location: Spain

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Boby » 08 Nov 2021 14:56

ljadw wrote:
08 Nov 2021 14:22
The occupation of Spain would tie that many resources that every other military operation ( not only Barbarossa ) would be impossible .Think on Napoleon .
Hallo ljadw

Why would the occupation of Spain demand more resources than the occupation of Yugoslavia+Greece?

Peter89
Member
Posts: 2369
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Europe

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Peter89 » 08 Nov 2021 15:27

ljadw wrote:
08 Nov 2021 14:22
The occupation of Spain would tie that many resources that every other military operation ( not only Barbarossa ) would be impossible .Think on Napoleon .
The occupation of Spain (and Portugal) would yield many resources as well. The occupation of Yugoslavia tied down forces, yes, but it yielded critical raw materials to the Reich's war machine. Hitler's diplomatic attitude in 1940 and early 1941 was very casual compared that to the late war. Already in late 1942, he ordered the occupation of southern France, then in 1943 northern Italy and in early 1944 Hungary. Suddenly an insanely overcommitted and outstretched Reich found resources to occupy its allies, yet you say that the occupation of the Iberian peninsula would place too much burden on Germany?

Also I have a hard time to imagine Franco to go to the hills and fight against the Germans. Had hitler pulled the same crap with him at Hendaye as with Horthy at Klessheim, would Franco really go home and fight the Germans or would he declare the passage of German troops as a vis-á-vis measure for the navicert system - ie. the violation of the international laws of neutrals and the deliberate starvation of the Spanish people and its economy?
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 2760
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Gooner1 » 08 Nov 2021 15:45

Peter89 wrote:
08 Nov 2021 13:31

1.) Lack of shipping: this was not really so. The Germans could have transported a meaningful force to aid the Iraqi rebellion and the Vichy Levant via air. Besides, the Vichy French could get some of their ships through to the Levant without German air cover.
2.) Oil: See the stocks / consumption of oil during Barbarossa and tell me that an operation in the NA / ME would exceed that. Not to mention that NA /ME actually had an intact oil infrastructure.
3.) Motor transport: again, this is very much questionable. What do you mean by it? That the Germans, without Barbarossa, could not deploy more motor transports to the NA / ME?
4.) Resistance by Spain could have been obliterated in a relatively short military campaign, meaning the end of Gibraltar. Vichy France resisted indeed, but not against the Germans whom they refuelled and serviced, but against the British, whom they shot at. Turkey knew that its existence is depending on the goodwill of the Soviets, Germans and the British. They would resist open arms deliveries only as far as the British could guarantee them access to the world markets and protection from the Germans and the Soviets. Besides, when the time came, they let through the trains loaded with arms from Syria to Iraq.
5.) Choke-point at El Alamein: it wasn't a natural obstacle that couldn't be overcome. The Allies did not win in Egypt because of a natural obstacle: they've won because of logistical superiority, and because of bad choices by the German military leadership.
6.) The bulk of the German forces could stay on the Eastern border: the Axis had no way to supply much more divisions in Egypt. What they could do was to improve the deliveries, increase the air cover and secure a foothold in the Levant / Iraq.
1. If Germany wants to support a force substantial enough to fight the British & Empire AND the USA in the Middle East and North Africa they will need a lot more shipping than they had.

2. Campaigning in the Middle East and North Africa is more demanding of fuel than in Europe, also see 1. Intact oil infrastructure in the Middle East does not mean Germany can get the oil on credit.

3. Campaigning in the Middle East and North Africa is more demanding on motor transport than in Europe, also see 1.

4. Yes, resistance in Spain would be pretty negliglble (at first, anyway) but with the distances involved and the state of the roads I expect Germany would, at the least, churn through most of their booty transport. The British lose Gibraltar but gain the Canaries and another committment in Spanish North Africa. The rebellion in Iraq was rapidly and rather easily defeated by the British. Vichy Syria was also quite rapidly but less easily defeated by the British shortly after.

5. El Alamein is a choke-point a very long way from a safe harbour for shipping. It's hard to think of more propitious circumstances to force the gap than the Axis had in Summer '42, yet they failed.

6. Any foothold in the Levant-Iraq would probably only last until the first British tanks show up. At best, with no Barbarossa, the Germans are only likely to be able to extend their sojourn in Africa by some months against the Western Allies It will make their eventual defeat there all the greater though.

Peter89
Member
Posts: 2369
Joined: 28 Aug 2018 05:52
Location: Europe

Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Peter89 » 08 Nov 2021 16:43

Gooner1 wrote:
08 Nov 2021 15:45
Peter89 wrote:
08 Nov 2021 13:31

1.) Lack of shipping: this was not really so. The Germans could have transported a meaningful force to aid the Iraqi rebellion and the Vichy Levant via air. Besides, the Vichy French could get some of their ships through to the Levant without German air cover.
2.) Oil: See the stocks / consumption of oil during Barbarossa and tell me that an operation in the NA / ME would exceed that. Not to mention that NA /ME actually had an intact oil infrastructure.
3.) Motor transport: again, this is very much questionable. What do you mean by it? That the Germans, without Barbarossa, could not deploy more motor transports to the NA / ME?
4.) Resistance by Spain could have been obliterated in a relatively short military campaign, meaning the end of Gibraltar. Vichy France resisted indeed, but not against the Germans whom they refuelled and serviced, but against the British, whom they shot at. Turkey knew that its existence is depending on the goodwill of the Soviets, Germans and the British. They would resist open arms deliveries only as far as the British could guarantee them access to the world markets and protection from the Germans and the Soviets. Besides, when the time came, they let through the trains loaded with arms from Syria to Iraq.
5.) Choke-point at El Alamein: it wasn't a natural obstacle that couldn't be overcome. The Allies did not win in Egypt because of a natural obstacle: they've won because of logistical superiority, and because of bad choices by the German military leadership.
6.) The bulk of the German forces could stay on the Eastern border: the Axis had no way to supply much more divisions in Egypt. What they could do was to improve the deliveries, increase the air cover and secure a foothold in the Levant / Iraq.
1. If Germany wants to support a force substantial enough to fight the British & Empire AND the USA in the Middle East and North Africa they will need a lot more shipping than they had.

2. Campaigning in the Middle East and North Africa is more demanding of fuel than in Europe, also see 1. Intact oil infrastructure in the Middle East does not mean Germany can get the oil on credit.

3. Campaigning in the Middle East and North Africa is more demanding on motor transport than in Europe, also see 1.

4. Yes, resistance in Spain would be pretty negliglble (at first, anyway) but with the distances involved and the state of the roads I expect Germany would, at the least, churn through most of their booty transport. The British lose Gibraltar but gain the Canaries and another committment in Spanish North Africa. The rebellion in Iraq was rapidly and rather easily defeated by the British. Vichy Syria was also quite rapidly but less easily defeated by the British shortly after.

5. El Alamein is a choke-point a very long way from a safe harbour for shipping. It's hard to think of more propitious circumstances to force the gap than the Axis had in Summer '42, yet they failed.

6. Any foothold in the Levant-Iraq would probably only last until the first British tanks show up. At best, with no Barbarossa, the Germans are only likely to be able to extend their sojourn in Africa by some months against the Western Allies It will make their eventual defeat there all the greater though.
1. The USA is another matter entirely. The British had to secure their positions in NA / ME with their existing allies, otherwise, an opposed landing in the ME or NA would be a disaster. For the Allies. Indeed the British acted swiftly and decisively, but it doesn't mean they could have done that, had the Germans planned for a ME strategy and abandoned the SU as shown by TMP's map. In that case, they could easily deploy sufficient forces to the ME - well enough to defeat the British.
2. Putting aside the obvious (that local sources were available as well), a hypothetical campaign in the ME cannot sustain 100+ divisions and thousands of aircrafts as in Barbarossa. What we are talking about is a few divisions, mostly because the British themselves had no more.
3. I guess you are familiar with at least Playfair's and Lyman's accounts of the Iraq campaign, and you know what kind of vehicles were possessed by the the Kingcol / Habforce. Not to mention the troops landed in Basra. Now, can you please explain to me, how that couldn't be matched by the Wehrmacht - absent Barbarossa?
4. We are confusing timelines. In OTL, Germany withdrew its forces from the Balkans, Crete, Iraq, etc. and essentially left Vichy France to send help from Thessaloniki to the Levant without air cover. You support the statement that it is a fantasy for the Reich to capture the ME (and Turkey). How is a rapid defeat of the Iraqi rebellion possible, if the Germans can land about a regiment per day, and transfer a sizeable chunck of their air force there?
Also, for Spain, I do not take it granted that Britain can automatically get the Canaries / Madeira / Azores. British amphibious capabilities were anything but excellent in early 1941.
5. I can imagine better circumstances. Say, as per the map shows, there is no war with the largest nation in the world.
6. "Any foothold in the Levant-Iraq would probably only last until the first British tanks show up." - what makes you think so? I suppose you are familiar with the Vichy French tank inventory in the Levant and the German anti-tank capabilities, which could easily be transported via air. Also, let's not forget about the topography of the Levant, which seriously limited the deployment of tanks.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

Return to “What if”