What would you do differently if you were a smarter version of Adolf Hitler starting from 1933?

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
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wm
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Re: What would you do differently if you were a smarter version of Adolf Hitler starting from 1933?

Post by wm » 13 Nov 2021 22:02

The idea of isolating Britain, to come to an understanding with the British is quite good.
But not by invading Britain, it was something that could have only gone wrong.
The best bet was to invade Czechoslovakia in 1938 (to protect the Sudeten German's right to self-determination) and force France to declare war on Germany.
The woke British elites (and the entire world) would have found it hard to support war with Germany (because the Germans would be able to occupy the high moral ground) and would make them more supportive of a peace with Germany. Especially if Germany was able to defeat France.
Last edited by wm on 14 Nov 2021 01:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What would you do differently if you were a smarter version of Adolf Hitler starting from 1933?

Post by Futurist » 13 Nov 2021 22:56

wm wrote:
13 Nov 2021 22:02
The idea of isolating Britain, to come to understand with the British is quite good.
But not by invading Britain, it was something that could have only gone wrong.
The best bet was to invade Czechoslovakia in 1938 (to protect the Sudeten German's right to self-determination) and force France to declare war on Germany.
The woke British elites (and the entire world) would have found it hard to support war with Germany (because the Germans would be able to occupy the high moral ground) and would make them more supportive of a peace with Germany. Especially if Germany was able to defeat France.
But can Germany actually inflict a decisive defeat on France in 1939 the same way that it could in 1940?

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wm
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Re: What would you do differently if you were a smarter version of Adolf Hitler starting from 1933?

Post by wm » 13 Nov 2021 23:10

Who knows, they have no other choice. It's Russian roulette time for them.

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Re: What would you do differently if you were a smarter version of Adolf Hitler starting from 1933?

Post by KDF33 » 13 Nov 2021 23:38

Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 21:50
4. Aim for a Brest-Litovsk-style peace settlement in the East in 1941 as opposed to aiming for the conquest of the entire European part of the Soviet Union.
A settlement along the Brest-Litovsk lines would have given the Soviets time to recover and thus would have been a disaster for Germany. Germany's main advantage in the East was that heavy attritional fighting generally favored it, whereas quiet periods allowed the Soviets to benefit from their greater force generation.

Look at the Soviet build-up in the April - June 1943 timeframe, and the resultant balance of forces at the onset of Zitadelle. A negotiated settlement would be akin to that, but worse.
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 21:50
5. Build this defensive line as early as possible if an early peace with the Soviet Union cannot be made in the hopes of bleeding the Soviet Union dry:
Passive defense was not the way to bleed the Soviets dry. Encircling Soviet armies was.

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Re: What would you do differently if you were a smarter version of Adolf Hitler starting from 1933?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 13 Nov 2021 23:51

From 1933?

* Limit the size and scope of public works projects. There's time for grandiose buildings later. That frees up huge amounts of cash for other purposes. Don't waste cash on the Ost and West walls beyond experimentation on fortress weapons and designs.

* This one's a stretch from historical Hitler, but what the hey... In a visionary move, demand the KM build a carrier-centric navy. Do some of this on the sly by having ships like ocean liners or large freighters that are designed to be quickly converted along with building say 6 carriers by 1939. Get the Japanese to help. Make Göring shut up and let the KM have the several hundred aircraft necessary to operate from them. Do this by in a similar way to the US or Britain where a manufacturer that isn't building stuff for the Luftwaffe builds the planes for the KM. Say, Henkel builds the necessary fighter (something like a He 112), Henschel and Fieslier build other planes like a dive bomber and torpedo plane. And make the carriers operated their air wing more like everybody else does forgoing the insane trolley - catapult system.
A Luftwaffe sop is Göring is given control of most land based maritime patrol planes and has a number of mostly extant seaplane tenders to help extend their range.

Image

Complement the carriers with cruisers and destroyers while not going forward with battleships. Talk to the British to get them to by into allowing rough parity on carriers while leaving them with a clear superiority in battleships.

* Go further in strengthening relations with the Soviet Union.

* Take some of the cash that isn't used in the first item above and put it into more mechanization of the military along with a push to greatly increase the fuel efficiency of motor vehicles.

The objective of everything is planning for an eventual war with Poland and taking over much of Eastern Europe along with having the means to deal with France and deal Britain a major blow at sea they will take years to recover from. This includes possibilities like the carriers pulling a Pearl Harbor on Scapa Flow, carriers operating like merchant raiders at sea supported by Luftwaffe maritime patrol planes, and of course the same sort of U-boat war early on.
Once France falls, Hitler has only Britain to deal with and does so with a far more violent and successful war against merchant shipping than occurred originally.

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Re: What would you do differently if you were a smarter version of Adolf Hitler starting from 1933?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 14 Nov 2021 00:52

Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 21:50
7. Portray the war in the East as a liberation crusade against Bolshevism rather than as a quest for Lebensraum.
They did this.
Futurist wrote: 8. Avoid bringing the US into the war for as long as possible.
Hitler basically did this, ordered strenuous avoidance of conflict in the Atlantic over the KM's howls. Via Pearl Harbor, US was mobilizing fully anyway so there's no balance of power benefit to further delaying US-Germany war unless you think US would sit out past OTL Torch, which seems extremely unlikely.

The only benefit would come at the end of a successful German ground war in Europe, as waiting a few months to have the US declare war would have decreased political support for the US continuing to besiege Europe.

But to get to that potential benefit you need a credible story for a German victory in Europe - you don't have that.
What else would work for this?
You don't have a credible story because, as KDF33 has already pointed out, you don't have a viable plan for beating Russia.

What you and most commentators are missing is that most Soviet losses in WW2 - even/especially in Barbarossa - were not battlefield losses but losses of territory/population/resources. SU lost ~5mil men on the battlefields in 1941 and ~60mil to German occupation.

Your proposed withdrawal to the river line exactly reverses this dynamic by leaving Soviet resources intact, even if it were to help you "bleed Russia white" (it absolutely would not - as already stated encirclements are the best way to do that, not defensive attritional battles).

The way Germany wins WW2 is simple but hidden beneath layers of propaganda from both sides of the Cold War: take Barbarossa seriously instead of half-assing a war against the world's largest country and army.
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Re: What would you do differently if you were a smarter version of Adolf Hitler starting from 1933?

Post by Peter89 » 15 Nov 2021 17:52

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Nov 2021 00:52
Futurist wrote:
12 Nov 2021 21:50
7. Portray the war in the East as a liberation crusade against Bolshevism rather than as a quest for Lebensraum.
They did this.
Futurist wrote: 8. Avoid bringing the US into the war for as long as possible.
Hitler basically did this, ordered strenuous avoidance of conflict in the Atlantic over the KM's howls. Via Pearl Harbor, US was mobilizing fully anyway so there's no balance of power benefit to further delaying US-Germany war unless you think US would sit out past OTL Torch, which seems extremely unlikely.

The only benefit would come at the end of a successful German ground war in Europe, as waiting a few months to have the US declare war would have decreased political support for the US continuing to besiege Europe.

But to get to that potential benefit you need a credible story for a German victory in Europe - you don't have that.
What else would work for this?
You don't have a credible story because, as KDF33 has already pointed out, you don't have a viable plan for beating Russia.

What you and most commentators are missing is that most Soviet losses in WW2 - even/especially in Barbarossa - were not battlefield losses but losses of territory/population/resources. SU lost ~5mil men on the battlefields in 1941 and ~60mil to German occupation.

Your proposed withdrawal to the river line exactly reverses this dynamic by leaving Soviet resources intact, even if it were to help you "bleed Russia white" (it absolutely would not - as already stated encirclements are the best way to do that, not defensive attritional battles).

The way Germany wins WW2 is simple but hidden beneath layers of propaganda from both sides of the Cold War: take Barbarossa seriously instead of half-assing a war against the world's largest country and army.
To be fair, any realistic plan against the SU would incorporate an advance to a north-south river line (because there were very few better natural barriers in the SU) going on the defensive, improving logistics and combat readiness, then resume the offensive with some of the offensive capabilities intact. But I agree with you that the D-D line was simply not enough.
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Re: What would you do differently if you were a smarter version of Adolf Hitler starting from 1933?

Post by Terry Duncan » 18 Nov 2021 12:40

I think this rather dubious 'What If' has already run its course. Please try to make any future scenarios fit within the guidelines.

Terry

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