If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalemate?

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by stg 44 » 11 Nov 2021 23:15

Futurist wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:04
wm wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:02
The Maginot Line was breached by the Germans in a week during Operation Tiger.
Its role wasn't to stop the enemy forever but to "slow an invasion force long enough for French forces to mobilize and counterattack."
Too bad that it doesn't have a Wikipedia page so I can't read about it. :(
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maginot_L ... rld_War_II

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by wm » 11 Nov 2021 23:22

Entire Belarus? We have a sea-to-sea line to defend here anyway.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 11 Nov 2021 23:29

stg 44 wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:12
Futurist wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:00
stg 44 wrote:
11 Nov 2021 22:55
Futurist wrote:
11 Nov 2021 22:35
The Panther Line is in zigzags on this map, right? :
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... _grand.jpg
Yes.
Futurist wrote:
11 Nov 2021 22:35
Anyway, in such a scenario, if the USSR indeed makes a separate peace in either late 1943 or sometime in 1944, and D-Day and Dragoon both subsequently fail in France, do the Western Allies actually decide to wait for their development of nuclear weapons? Or do they seek some kind of accommodation with Germany?
Politically it would be impossible to continue the war if the Soviets cut a deal and quit. That's why the Soviets entered into negotiations with the Germans in Spring 1943 to pressure the Wallies into opening a second front ASAP. D-day probably wouldn't even happen if the Soviets quit even as late as early 1944. Before D-Day US public opinion was not behind the war in Europe, since Italy was turning into a costly slog as was the strategic air war (the late 1943 nearly saw operations against Germany cancelled entirely due to 2nd Schweinfurt casualties) and the only bright spot was Soviet victories. It was only the success of D-Day that turn US public opinion favorable toward continuing the war to the end. Paris being captured also was arguably the decisive factor to FDR winning his 4th term.
Likely if the Soviets quit FDR doesn't run again and a deal is cut with Germany in 1944.
Any idea as to what such a deal might look like?
Probably a white peace and recognition of German aligned regimes on the continent. Not really much either could do otherwise in that situation.
So, essentially Mitteleuropa happens and also Nazi Germany settles on these annexations (in light brown as opposed to dark brown)? :

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/images/l ... UK8xEs.gif

Image

Does it try going for more than this? Apparently Nazi Germany had plans to restore France's 1648 borders in the west:

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/th ... chy-regime

Image

(See the orange areas on the map right above.)

I wonder what exactly Nazi Germany is going to do with all of the Poles, Balts, Belarusians, and Ukrainians under its control (General Government, Baltic states, western Ukraine, and western Belarus). Compelling them to emigrate might be a "good" idea from a Nazi perspective, but it would have to take decades or even centuries to be fully realized simply because there are so many of them. Of course, the Nazis could engage in things such as forced sterilizations en masse, as they apparently discussed doing for the Poles but didn't actually have the time to implement anything yet:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_ar ... population
Reducing biological growth of Polish population
To reduce the biological growth of the Polish people, a partial ban of marriage was introduced; Polish women were allowed to marry only at the age of 25 and men at the age of 28.[79] Married couples were separated when subjected to forced labour in Germany, and calorie intake was lowered for Poles. The forced labour working hours for both parents often meant that a child or infant was left without care and incidents and infant deaths soared.[79] The supply of dairy and fat products for Polish children were just one-fifth of that for German children.[79] Likewise, the winter brought many deaths, as Germans limited the available heating supplies to 1/4 of that available to Germans.[79] A strict ban on collecting coal left by trucks and supply wagons on the streets by non-Germans was introduced.[79]

Within Germany, OST-Arbeiters could be aborted, even against their will and contrary to the usual Nazi law against abortions.[80] Only if the parents appeared to be of "good blood" was the child to be born, and if deemed satisfactory, was removed to a Lebensborn institution.[80] Children who failed were sent to the Ausländerkinder-Pflegestätte, where they routinely died within a few months for lack of food.[81]

To further reduce the Polish population, a German official Krumey (de) from occupied Łódź demanded that Polish women be kept at work until reaching 8.5 months of pregnancy. The aim was to help in miscarriage and provoke ‘accidents’ that would result in failed birth.[28] Nevertheless, German officials remained extremely worried about Polish birth rate and various other ideas floated among German leadership how to not only reduce pregnancy, but to prevent it.[28] Among the proposals were: garrisoning the population in labour camps, making the age of allowing marriage much higher, creating labour battalions out of the Polish population, introducing a child tax, performing abortions, an extended forced work duty during Polish lifetimes, combined with relocation to work camps, and finally sterilization of Polish women. Doubts about the ability to perform mass sterilization hindered this idea, however, as 55% of available doctors in certain parts of annexed territories were Poles and it was thought they would sabotage the action.[28] The German state organization SD performed its own study on the problem. Among the things it concluded was the fact that the number of Poles was wrongly estimated in initial years; however, both the birth rate and survival of German children was higher than that of the Poles.[28] The proposed solution to Polish problem was mass sterilization of lower classes (named "primitives" by the report), sending married Poles to slave labour in Reich. An original idea was proposed by Karl Zieger, who believed those measures to be futile. Instead, he postulated that whole Polish villages should be moved and scattered into the Reich itself.[28]

The Nazis fell into a trap of perception—the seemingly high birth rate of Poles was a result of expelling all Poles from higher classes into the General Government; as such the Poles who remained were those with high birth rate, while those with few children were no longer present.[28] Stripping Poles of all cultural activity by the Germans and leaving them to spend all time outside of work in homes, led to conditions favourable to sex and a rising birth rate. One practice that had terrible effects on Polish women was the refusal for female slave workers to travel home for birth. Pregnancies by Polish women-workers were subject to abortion, and in case of birth, the children were taken by SS Lebensborn. Polish slave labourers naturally were forbidden to marry.[28] The harsh nature of the German occupation however reduced the birth rate. In Poznań, at the end of the war, the birth rate was near zero; in Łódź and Inowrocław there were more deaths than births.[28] In comparison, the birth rate of Germans rose until the end of the war.[28] From 1939's birth rate survival of 850 live births per 1000 births, the rate fell to 680 per 1000 births in 1944.[28]
Obviously there is likely to be a lot of Western outrage over this, but the Nazis will simply respond--like they did in the pre-war years about the Jews--that if the West is so sympathetic towards Slavs, then it is more than willing to accept them itself by the tens of millions. But Yeah, I fear that at least many of the Slavs under Nazi German rule are going to get forcibly sterilized sooner or later if they don't get out of there. Maybe the West will propose resettling them in some of their colonies and/or perhaps in Latin America? I'm not sure, to my honest. But Latin America could use an influx of additional human capital. Michael Mills previously mentioned somewhere about the Nazis discussing Polish immigration to Brazil at some point in time.
Futurist wrote:
11 Nov 2021 22:35
Futurist wrote:
11 Nov 2021 22:35
And what about anti-Nazis in the German military and elsewhere? Would they still have the courage to launch a coup attempt against Hitler and the Nazis in such a scenario? Or would they decide against it since Germany's military situation won't be anywhere near as bad in the summer of 1944 as it actually was in real life?
They would be neutered given Hitler's victories rendering him too popular to topple. They'll probably act as they did pre- and during the war and leak intel to the Allies as long as they could get away with it. Given that these guys launched repeated failed assassination attempts they'd probably try again eventually when they felt they could capitalize on the assassination, which might mean waiting for public opinion to turn against Hitler in peacetime. I doubt they would try again for a while after the Soviets quit given how much of a boost that would give Hitler and Germany in general in negotiations with the West. They'd lose the resulting civil war quite badly and would know it. Hence why even IOTL they waited until D-Day succeeded before trying again after the failed March 1943 attempt.
Yeah, that makes sense.
Killing Hitler in peacetime would be interesting.

As a side note, what exactly happens to the surviving Jews in Axis Europe in this scenario? In early 1944, Romania and Hungary still had a lot of Jews, for instance, and there were also smaller amounts of Jews in Slovakia and elsewhere (maybe Greece?). Do the Nazis negotiate to deport these Jews to Palestine en masse? Because I suspect that Britain would be strongly against this. But at the same time, these Jews are going to need to have somewhere to go since the Axis won't tolerate them in their own countries indefinitely. But I'm also unsure that the Axis would actually continue the Holocaust in peacetime--though then again, maybe they will considering just how deeply they already got themselves involved in all of this. If they allow the survivors to immigrate to Palestine or elsewhere, the survivors could report their horror stories to the world and make the Nazis look bad--not to mention raise opposition against the Nazis among the international community. This might be an especially scary prospect for the Nazis, who literally believed that the Jews controlled the world!
Unlikely to work though given how hard the resistance had tried repeatedly to get him.
What's unlikely to work?
Romania ran its own separation Holocaust so a strengthened fascist regime in that country would keep running it. The Hungarians were in charge of their own population until March 1944 IOTL when there was an occupation of the country to forestall a separate peace deal between the Soviets and Hungarians, so they're likely safe if the POD heads that off.
But Romania actually stopped its Holocaust in late 1942, which is why the Jewish population of the Romanian Old Kingdom plus southern Transylvania (almost 300,000 people) survived the Holocaust almost unscathed. The reason for this is that Romania began to fear an Allied victory in WWII and thus their leadership began wanting to save their own skins. Here, this won't be an issue. So, will the Romanian Holocaust resume?

And just because Hungary's Jews were safe under Horthy until early 1944 does not mean that they will indefinitely be safe under Horthy. What's to prevent Hitler (who, let's face it, achieved a partial victory in this TL's WWII) from overthrowing Horthy and replacing him with the more obedient Arrow Cross, who then proceeds to deport Hungary's Jewish population en masse to Nazi death camps?
Otherwise I'd imagine Hitler completes the Holocaust underway. Once that taboo had been broken it was going to be carried out to its horrible end, since it was conducted in areas where Nazi officials ran the show and there was no one to stop them. Sadly I think the situation would be much like the althis book "Fatherland" wherein the US can't do anything and just gets on with dealing with Nazi Germany, since it would control Europe and with that the largest economy in the world, which was the major trade partner of the US.
I suspect that the Nazis might be willing to allow some or even many of their surviving Jews to emigrate in exchange for sufficiently large bribes from the West. Might. Not guaranteed by any means, of course. It depends on how badly they want more money vs. killing all of their surviving Jews.
Better question is what happens to Japan if the Allies and Germany cut a deal in 1944.
It would get its butt kicked, presumably. Though without a Soviet entry into the war against the Japanese, might there have to be a US invasion of the Japanese home islands? If so, that's likely to be bloody as Hell!
Futurist wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:01
stg 44 wrote:
11 Nov 2021 22:56
wm wrote:
11 Nov 2021 22:42
In modern war, the linear defense has no chance against a stronger or/and competent enemy. Actually, your linear defense is your enemy a wet dream.
Counterpoint: Narwa
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Narva_(1944)

Also, Lake Naroch in 1916, no?
That too, but I was trying to keep to contemporaneous battles in that region of the war, since it was most similar.
Gotcha!
Last edited by Futurist on 11 Nov 2021 23:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 11 Nov 2021 23:32

stg 44 wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:15
Futurist wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:04
wm wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:02
The Maginot Line was breached by the Germans in a week during Operation Tiger.
Its role wasn't to stop the enemy forever but to "slow an invasion force long enough for French forces to mobilize and counterattack."
Too bad that it doesn't have a Wikipedia page so I can't read about it. :(
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maginot_L ... rld_War_II
Thanks!

BTW, off-topic, but would it be OK for you to respond to this thread of mine as well? :

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=260754

Only if it's OK with you, of course.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 11 Nov 2021 23:33

wm wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:22
Entire Belarus? We have a sea-to-sea line to defend here anyway.
You mean the Atlantic Wall?

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by wm » 11 Nov 2021 23:40

The Daugava-Dnieper Line.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by stg 44 » 11 Nov 2021 23:42

wm wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:22
Entire Belarus? We have a sea-to-sea line to defend here anyway.
Yes, the Panther Line ran from the Black Sea to the Baltic. Terrain funneled attackers in Belarus and river lines enhanced defender positions.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 11 Nov 2021 23:43

wm wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:40
The Daugava-Dnieper Line.
It would have included almost all of Belarus. Not quite all of Belarus, but almost.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 11 Nov 2021 23:44

stg 44 wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:42
wm wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:22
Entire Belarus? We have a sea-to-sea line to defend here anyway.
Yes, the Panther Line ran from the Black Sea to the Baltic. Terrain funneled attackers in Belarus and river lines enhanced defender positions.
Could this line have served an identical useful function in World War I had Germany chosen to expand more in the East in that war? Or were the dynamics in WWII different from the dynamics in WWI in regards to this?

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by stg 44 » 11 Nov 2021 23:49

Futurist wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:44
Or were the dynamics in WWII different from the dynamics in WWI in regards to this?
Yes.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by wm » 11 Nov 2021 23:50

The problem with the linear defense is you are weak everywhere and strong nowhere.
While your enemy could concentrate in a few places and overwhelm you with ease.
During my military training, they hammered this into us: defense is the last resort in war, if have to do it you're probably dead anyway.

The Poles tried that during the Polish-Soviet War (using former German fortifications) and it didn't work, at all.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 11 Nov 2021 23:56

wm wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:50
The problem with the linear defense is you are weak everywhere and strong nowhere.
While your enemy could concentrate in a few places and overwhelm you with ease.
During my military training, they hammered this into us: defense is the last resort in war, if have to do it you're probably dead anyway.

The Poles tried that during the Polish-Soviet War (using former German fortifications) and it didn't work, at all.
But if the enemy attacks at one place, you can simply redirect a lot of resources to that place, no?

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by wm » 12 Nov 2021 00:03

This is why you need to attack in a few (distant) places simultaneously.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by Futurist » 12 Nov 2021 00:07

wm wrote:
12 Nov 2021 00:03
This is why you need to attack in a few (distant) places simultaneously.
If you'll actually have the necessary power to pull this off, of course. And this is true just as much for a force that is on offense as one that is on defense. As in, regardless of whether a force is on offense or on defense, either way, it could still be a target of multi-pronged attacks in different places.

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Re: If the Axis would have retreated to the Daugava-Dnieper Line early enough, would they have had a chance at a stalema

Post by stg 44 » 12 Nov 2021 00:10

wm wrote:
11 Nov 2021 23:50
The problem with the linear defense is you are weak everywhere and strong nowhere.
While your enemy could concentrate in a few places and overwhelm you with ease.
During my military training, they hammered this into us: defense is the last resort in war, if have to do it you're probably dead anyway.

The Poles tried that during the Polish-Soviet War (using former German fortifications) and it didn't work, at all.
That is why pulling back to a shorter line + strong positions allows you to form reserves so once a break-in does occur the reserves clean up the penetration or at least contain it. The value of fortified positions is that they cost a LOT to achieve a break-in and then even more to try to turn that into a breakthrough assuming there aren't sufficient reserves to stop them.

Poland was vastly weaker than the Germans relative to the Soviets, so that is a horrible example. Even the much stronger Poles of 1939 got ROFL stomped vs. the Germans, who then went on to stomp the Soviets in 1941 extremely badly. Were it not for Hitler's mistakes and Soviet strategic depth they would have been defeated. In 1943 especially given that there was no line worth the name on the Dnieper anyway and they still checked Soviet penetration for several months had they really had a prepared line and pulled back in time to avoid units being overrun in the treat of September it would have been reasonable to hold indefinitely.

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