TheMarcksPlan wrote: ↑
15 Mar 2021 23:04
daveshoup2MD wrote:Don't you:
a) have to explain what those "factors" are?
There are many versions of Germany beating SU, many of them feasible.
The virtue of this ATL setup is one needn't necessarily agree on the particular path.
The counterfactual bears tremendous historical value because during 1941 US planners expected Soviet defeat and continued to make planning contingencies for it in 1942, when not all expected it but most considered it a live strategic possibility. So the ATL squarely addresses something to which American political/military leaders devoted a lot of thought. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=252647
We can, therefore, treat the ATL as evaluating American/Allied strategic planning as a matter of historical interest. WW2 Allied leaders had no more detailed plans for Germany would beat the SU than are presented in this thread, nonetheless considered contingency planning essential and included it in the agendas for inter-Allied strategic conference. To pretend that we're above discussing something that contemporary leaders thought essential is a bit foolish.
For the reasons I've been highlighting here, it's hard to avoid the conclusion reached by nearly every American who considered the issue in 1942: Germany could not realistically have been defeated had the SU collapsed in 1942.
Fair enough. Simple answer - nobody knows, but the closest historical examples are interesting comparisons.
The collapse of the USSR is a large handwave, obviously; it had been tried before, after all, by leaders with far more strategic insight and grasp on reality than Hitler and his minions, and even then the historical record was, to be charitable, 1-1. It's also worth pointing out that even with the Russo-Central Powers armistice in 1917, it took until March of 1918 to get Brest-Litovsk signed, and yet the war was at an end on (more or less) Allied terms eight months later. Even if it hadn't ended in November, 1917-18, the prospects for 1919 were not favorable to the Central Powers; if anything, even with whatever could be squeezed out of the former Russian Empire, the correlation of forces would be even worse for Germany. Give the above model, the Germans still surrender to the Allies in 1945 - perhaps even in 1944.
That being said, the Cold War plans (and, for that matter, the capabilities deployed) for a strategic air campaign against the USSR from bases around the European periphery before the B-52/KC-135 force was operational, much less the ICBM and SLBM forces were deployed, suggests the obvious locations for a counter-value air force to deploy to (and attack from) - Greenland, Iceland, the UK, the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, SW Asia, the Western Pacific, and Alaska.
Notably, most of these were already under Allied control in 1941, much less 1942 or afterwards, and the record of the Axis in expeditionary warfare in 1939-45, along with topography and the abilities of WW II-era armies to fight on the offensive in theaters defined by their terrain does not suggest that control was ever in any jeopardy
A stalemate where the Axis control the continent but the Allies control the periphery, requiring the Axis to try and develop an autarkic economy while still fighting a hot war, however limited in terms of force-on-force theater-level combat, is unlikely to succeed. The Soviets themselves couldn't manage it in (mostly) peacetime in 1945-90, after all.
Given the Allies willingness to use develop and use WMD in WW II, to the extent of two separate operational atomic weapon designs and multiple production lines for the delivery systems, and the follow-ups of both that were in the offing, to suggest Berlin or the Ruhr (or, given their importance and vulnerability to air attack, Ploesti and whatever the Germans planned to rename Baku, if they in fact could take it) would not have disappeared in a flash sometime in 1945 or thereabouts seems questionable.
The results of such strikes would seem to have been obvious, as they were for Japan in 1945, and by example, for the Cold War antagonists from large to small.