TMP Overall; German Options

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C.Z.A.R.
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TMP Overall; German Options

Post by C.Z.A.R. » 25 May 2022 22:35

Hyello,

From the recent history of the 'What If' part of the forum, you can see that a user named TheMarcksPlan has had a significant impact on the discussions.
To name of few, he has created the 'Germany Mobilizes Earlier,' 'Kiev/Moscow 1941: The Gornostaipol Option', 'Taking Gozo as a siege warfare alternative to C3/Herkules', 'One more panzer group in Barbarossa, plans for a two-year campaign,' 'What if: Hitler wins the war due to slightly stronger Barbarossa forces' and others. These discussions are at least a dozen pages each on average and filled with either toxicity or irrelevant conversation.

So, I've created this topic as a 'German Sanity Option' thread, centered around German decision-making during the early war. This will be based around the German early-war economy and army, correlating with TheMarcksPlan's topics. It should include all 'Sanity Options,' meaning things Germany could've done (with hindsight, should've) in the '1MPG' timeline. All options and tweaks should be sourced, explained, and (most of the time) detailed to avoid needless arguments. Please, no clutter unless it is a meaningful discussion.

CZAR.

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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 May 2022 00:18

Thanks CZAR.
C.Z.A.R. wrote:It should include all 'Sanity Options,' meaning things Germany could've done (with hindsight, should've) in the '1MPG' timeline.
So basically a summation of overall recommendations? That's how I'll view it.

Note that my "Germany mobilizes earlier" thread was intended as a summary/restatement of some - but not all - TMP ideas so far. That thread OP links most of my "best" thoughts on issues directly bearing on ATL Barbarossa - not all, as I've learned/thought more since then.

Broad outline. Let's do it this way - I will post this outline and then revise it via editing. As editing a post is time-limited, I will quote this one with added edits in the text. So anyone reading this OP after May 25, 2022: search the thread for "Revised TMP outline" to find the latest version, this post is incomplete/outdated.


EDIT: this post (as further refined) will become a way to summatize/link my arguments for anyone who wants to find them without wading through 500 pages of people calling me a Wehraboo and while I (with varying success) try to stay substantive.


  • 1. Germany must take the Soviet Union seriously: she must not assume the the SU will collapse politically, implying (OTL expectation) a quick full-Ostheer campaign followed by an indeterminate period of "mopping up" or "railway advance."
    .
  • 2. The primary implication of (1) is that the Heer should be stronger. This implies two modes of analysis: How strong could the Heer have been? How strong a Heer was necessary to defeat the SU?
    • How strong the Heer could have been remains open for discussion. Another member (KDF33) convincingly argues that it could have fielded 800,000 more men in 1941. That seems a reasonable estimate of the ceiling for ATL Heer strength.
      .
    • What delta to Heer strength was necessary to defeat the SU? First, let's clarify that "strength" encompasses men, material, and logistics (and whatever else would have made Ostheer "stronger"). In my first big ATL, I argued that +20 fast divisions was sufficient. It's clearly sufficient but probably not necessary. Next I argued that +10 fast divisions and better logistics is sufficient. This also is clearly sufficient but perhaps not necessary. I have begun to ponder the notion that better planning in the AGS sector alone, combined with giving Ostheer more of total Heer resources, could have been sufficient. Any minimal delta to Ostheer manpower numbers probably needs better logistical planning, however (a maximal delta may not so need, as initial damage to RKKA may rule out recovery even with OTL German logistics).
    .
  • 3. Needing a stronger Heer doesn't give you a stronger Heer, so what does? Two historically feasible routes:
    • Shift production/manpower priorities towards the Heer from LW/KM. I explored these possibilities in "One more panzer group" and "Slightly stronger Barbarossa" with a 1938 PoD. While I continue to believe this is sufficient for German victory and, with hindsight, would have been wise, I no longer consider them necessary for German victory.
      .
    • Increased war-time mobilization. As discussed in my threads in the Economy section [insert links later], Germany was under-mobilized until 1942. There is a vulgar/outdated version of this thesis ("Blitzkrieg Economy") that one still finds in the historiography. I don't hold that view, nonetheless Germany could have mobilized more resources than it did historically. AFAIK my view is unique in the WW2 economic literature, though some intelligent folks on AHF find it sympatico. If you are a budding scholar trolling the web for new ideas - please don't use mine without attribution.
      .
    • Causal link between taking SU seriously and economic mobilization: In case it isn't obvious, Hitler orders maximal mobilization measures because he recognizes Soviet strength and wants to ensure it is destroyed as quickly as possible to enable a production/manpower/campaigning pivot back to the West. Reaching the Urals by Fall 1942 therefore seems a difficult, albeit feasible, task. An eastern campaign lasting much longer than that risks large-scale intervention in Europe by a mobilizing US.
      .
    • Why Hitler perceives the SU more accurately: Here I don't have a set answer. I am willing to say merely that this is the reason he lost, and to prove that analysis by demonstrating (a) that Germany could have defeated the SU and (b) that having defeated the SU, Germany would have been invulnerable in Europe. Note that Hitler expressed deep misgivings about Soviet strength several times prior to Barbarossa, while his generals (especially Halder) were completely unconcerned and confident in victory.
  • 4. Eastern Front "Sanity Options" below the broad strategic level
    • Gornostaipol Option - AGS encircles Kiev via its own drive north of the city (Gornostaipol-Oster bridgehead)
      .
    • PzGr4 support AGC or AGS, creating more encirclements
      .
    • maintain ammo production at level of mid-1940, giving Ostheer >2x OTL shell expenditure
      .
    • up-gun Pz 3&4, PaK arm based on the "giant Soviet tanks" known to the Germans (probably not T-34 specifically but Hitler mentioned these prior to Barbarossa, probably from Finnish intelligence - RKKA used KV's and maybe T-35 against them)
  • 5. Aspects of the war against the West.
    • The West definitely lack the appetite, and might have lacked the ability, to create an army capable of defeating Germany's (absent RKKA).
      .
    • The West's (conventional) bombing campaign would have failed because Germany could defend its skies much more cheaply than the West could bomb Germany.
      .
    • Whether the war might end in nuclear obliteration of Germany and much of Europe is at least debatable and depends on (1) Western - especially American - appetite for continuing a war when political/military leaders considered Europe's reconquest infeasible. Populaces would eventually realize the truth, making negotiated peace before 1945 likely. (2) Western willingness to incinerate German men, women, and children on the scale of millions because a Nazi Germany winning the war in August 1945 won't go down easy. (3) Western willingness to incinerate millions of non-German men and women working in German cities.
  • 6. "Sanity options" related to the West specifically. In no particular order...
    • End the Battle of Britain earlier. A Hitler expecting a tough Eastern campaign doesn't waste so many pilots/planes in this battle, on which he never placed much reliance.
      .
    • Prioritize the resource delta from earlier mobilization (after satisfying Heer requirements) on Uboats.
      .
    • Invade the Balkans earlier. OTL Hitler dithered on this because he wasn't overly concerned having sufficient time or forces divisions for Barbarossa. Earlier Balkans invasion allows full participation of all units in a weeks-earlier Barbarossa. It also improves German logistics.
      .
    • Take Malta. A Hitler expecting the Eastern Front to stretch well into 1942 will know that Rommel must be supplied in Libya for at least two years while Germany focuses on the East. He should therefore be more willing to take Malta and, given greater mobilization, more able. First step should be a landing on Gozo. This step may make a landing on Malta unnecessary, as shelling her harbors/airfields will make resupply and air defense immensely more difficult than OTL. If a landing becomes necessary, having Gozo as a fire support and logistics base will make that task much easier.
      .
    • Use increased grain supply from better Barbarossa, increased production from earlier mobilization, and better overall war position to induce Spain to join the Axis during 1942. Send Spain weapons and grain, implicitly threaten invasion as the alternative by building up the Heer near her borders.
      .
    • Treat Turkey similarly to Spain, albeit with perhaps less hope of positive result. Induce her at least to allow passage towards Palestine, Mosul, and Abadan. If rebuffed, invade during latter 1942 (probably).
      .
    • Begin building up fighter defenses (including training of more pilots) from 1942. OTL Luftwaffe had the attitude "we'll worry about training after Russia is defeated." ATL they can do so earlier because SU is sufficiently weakened by 1942.
    7. Moral Sanity options
    • Hitler and the Nazis reveal their crimes shortly after coming to power and, to atone, tie themselves to polls for execution. Before doing so, they announce that European Jewry is part of the German cultural Volk, with Yiddish being just another German dialect. They amend the constitution and pass laws granting equal rights in perpetuity, with preferential treatment of Jews fleeing persecution elsewhere. They denounce the German General Staff and militarism, revealing the military's complicity with Nazism and warning Germany never to travel that path.
I don't know if that's what you had in mind, CZAR? As I said, brief outline for now - off to IRL duties.
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
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Aber
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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by Aber » 26 May 2022 07:21

C.Z.A.R. wrote:
25 May 2022 22:35
So, I've created this topic as a 'German Sanity Option' thread, centered around German decision-making during the early war. This will be based around the German early-war economy and army
Just to point out the obvious:

Decision-making up to the middle of 1940 should have been focussed on how to defeat France, because there will be no war against the Soviet Union until France has been defeated.

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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by Peter89 » 26 May 2022 09:01

Aber wrote:
26 May 2022 07:21
C.Z.A.R. wrote:
25 May 2022 22:35
So, I've created this topic as a 'German Sanity Option' thread, centered around German decision-making during the early war. This will be based around the German early-war economy and army
Just to point out the obvious:

Decision-making up to the middle of 1940 should have been focussed on how to defeat France, because there will be no war against the Soviet Union until France has been defeated.
The defeat of the Soviet Union required much similar tools as the defeat of France (unlike the defeat of let's say, Britain).
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Aber
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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by Aber » 26 May 2022 19:09

Peter89 wrote:
26 May 2022 09:01
The defeat of the Soviet Union required much similar tools as the defeat of France (unlike the defeat of let's say, Britain).
Agree up to a point; neither need much of a navy, but during WW1 the balance between firepower and mobility was different on the Western and Eastern Fronts.

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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by marshallplan » 27 May 2022 16:35

Re: "Sanity options" related to the West specifically - End the Battle of Britain earlier

An idea for a good cut-off point. Perhaps right after phase 1, the fight over the channel. To deny Brits use of the channel for convoys was a valuable strategic objective. It created logistical problems inside of Britain. It also reduced the value of Britain's channel shipyards, i.e. Portsmouth. After the channel fight, the Germans lack the range and capacity to accomplish another strategic objective.

Re: "Sanity options" related to the West specifically - Invade the Balkans earlier - "It also improves German logistics."

How does an earlier Balkan invasion improve German logistics? I'm sincerely curious.

Additional ideas:

A pre-1933 change to German agricultural.

According to Tooze, one success of Third Reich agriculture planning was the near universal adoption of fermentation silos. It allowed agricultural by-products such as sugar beet leaves and heads to be converted into animal feed. The result was a significant cut in the importation of animal feed. Wages of Destruction, at 191. As a result, the Germans spent less foreign currency on animal feed imports. If this change was adopted pre-1933, under Weimar, it would have either meant larger foreign currency reserves at the commencement of rearmament or alternatively a slightly stronger economy benefiting from the imports of other raw resources.

Standardization of weaponry -

An example: I appreciated the following thread: Panzer IV standard chassis in 1938. The argument is that a standard chassis, in this case the Panzer IV chassis, creates economies of scale and more production. The Panzer IV chassis is selected on the premise that it's more versatile than the Panzer III chassis. I'd like to emphasize that a standard chassis does not mean a standard armament or standard turrets. You could still have differing armaments, matching those of OTL. The sole change is to the chassis. A Panzer IV was more expensive than a Panzer III (money and resources) but that seems to mostly be because the Panzer IV turret was electric and the Panzer III turret was hand-crank. Again, this what if assumes only a change to the chassis, not the turrets and armament. I'd add that a standardized chassis may improve operations, if it mean a shorter turn-around time for repairs. Any other ideas for the standardization of weaponry?

A pre-December 9th, Afrika Korps (even if 1 panzer division).

My idea comes from "Afrika Korps: 6 Months Early! - Alternate History" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnKDgC9aNu0). Even a single division + air support would have blunted operation Compass. Brits fought with just 36,000 men, 275 tanks, and 142 aircraft. The British are unlikely able to counter the ATL Axis buildup. The results: Italians avoid significant personnel and material losses, Italians avoid a morale loss, and the Brits are denied an important morale boost. Also, the Axis hold onto the airfields of Eastern Libya and maintain expanded air coverage over the Central Mediterranean. If the Luftwaffe is in Western Libya by late 1940 the British may not have attempted Taranto (November 11, 1940) and may not have one at Cape Matapan (March 1941). It would also make any pre-Barbarossa siege of Malta all the more effective (expanded air cover over the central Mediterranean). The question arises if the Germans would have had time to move a panzer division to Western Libya after the fall of France. I think so. Within 3 to 4 months of operation Compass (December 9, 1940) the Germans had the 5th Light Division in Western Libya and conducted an offensive operation (March/April 1941). I understand that it'd take more time to move forces from Italy to Western Egypt than to Western Libya, but the Germans would have had 5 months after the fall of France. Two key departures: (1) Before the invasion of France, Germans anticipate the possibility of having to fight the British after the conquest of France; and (2) Germans and Italians learn to coordinate.

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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by PunctuationHorror » 27 May 2022 19:58

marshallplan wrote:
27 May 2022 16:35
Re: "Sanity options" related to the West specifically - End the Battle of Britain earlier

An idea for a good cut-off point. Perhaps right after phase 1, the fight over the channel. To deny Brits use of the channel for convoys was a valuable strategic objective. It created logistical problems inside of Britain. It also reduced the value of Britain's channel shipyards, i.e. Portsmouth. After the channel fight, the Germans lack the range and capacity to accomplish another strategic objective.
Add air raids on British ports to reduce cargo capacities and abstain from a OTL Battle of Britain because conditions that would ensure a successfull invasion were not easily attainable in July-Sept 1940 anyways - German naval forces, means of transportation, river barges, etc. Instead start massive air raids on ports. Sink ships there to block them and render them useless until the debris and wrecks are cleared.
marshallplan wrote:
27 May 2022 16:35

Re: "Sanity options" related to the West specifically - Invade the Balkans earlier - "It also improves German logistics."

How does an earlier Balkan invasion improve German logistics? I'm sincerely curious.

Additional ideas:

A pre-1933 change to German agricultural.

According to Tooze, one success of Third Reich agriculture planning was the near universal adoption of fermentation silos. It allowed agricultural by-products such as sugar beet leaves and heads to be converted into animal feed. The result was a significant cut in the importation of animal feed. Wages of Destruction, at 191. As a result, the Germans spent less foreign currency on animal feed imports. If this change was adopted pre-1933, under Weimar, it would have either meant larger foreign currency reserves at the commencement of rearmament or alternatively a slightly stronger economy benefiting from the imports of other raw resources.
Were these reserves of currency needed? Rearmament and industry expenses (e.g. IG Farben) seemed to be rooted in money printing/creative accounting (MEFO system), and they established a system of barter exchange.
marshallplan wrote:
27 May 2022 16:35

Standardization of weaponry -

An example: I appreciated the following thread: Panzer IV standard chassis in 1938. The argument is that a standard chassis, in this case the Panzer IV chassis, creates economies of scale and more production. The Panzer IV chassis is selected on the premise that it's more versatile than the Panzer III chassis. I'd like to emphasize that a standard chassis does not mean a standard armament or standard turrets. You could still have differing armaments, matching those of OTL. The sole change is to the chassis. A Panzer IV was more expensive than a Panzer III (money and resources) but that seems to mostly be because the Panzer IV turret was electric and the Panzer III turret was hand-crank. Again, this what if assumes only a change to the chassis, not the turrets and armament. I'd add that a standardized chassis may improve operations, if it mean a shorter turn-around time for repairs. Any other ideas for the standardization of weaponry?
Thats too much tank details. Just ONE common chassis for everything, maybe a III/IV combination.There seem to be many different types of aircraft, maybe a bit more rationalization in this field? Maybe more 8cm mortars. Not weaponry but nontheless very important: trucks, cars, and even uniforms.
marshallplan wrote:
27 May 2022 16:35

A pre-December 9th, Afrika Korps (even if 1 panzer division).

My idea comes from "Afrika Korps: 6 Months Early! - Alternate History" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnKDgC9aNu0). Even a single division + air support would have blunted operation Compass. Brits fought with just 36,000 men, 275 tanks, and 142 aircraft. The British are unlikely able to counter the ATL Axis buildup. The results: Italians avoid significant personnel and material losses, Italians avoid a morale loss, and the Brits are denied an important morale boost. Also, the Axis hold onto the airfields of Eastern Libya and maintain expanded air coverage over the Central Mediterranean. If the Luftwaffe is in Western Libya by late 1940 the British may not have attempted Taranto (November 11, 1940) and may not have one at Cape Matapan (March 1941). It would also make any pre-Barbarossa siege of Malta all the more effective (expanded air cover over the central Mediterranean). The question arises if the Germans would have had time to move a panzer division to Western Libya after the fall of France. I think so. Within 3 to 4 months of operation Compass (December 9, 1940) the Germans had the 5th Light Division in Western Libya and conducted an offensive operation (March/April 1941). I understand that it'd take more time to move forces from Italy to Western Egypt than to Western Libya, but the Germans would have had 5 months after the fall of France. Two key departures: (1) Before the invasion of France, Germans anticipate the possibility of having to fight the British after the conquest of France; and (2) Germans and Italians learn to coordinate.
I would suggest to send German forces even earlier to North Africa, preferably as soon as (late) August 1940. Use the fresh shock of the fall of France.

Another point: Without Spain, Strait of Gibraltar can't be interdicted. What about Strait of Sicily? It is ~90mi wide. Deploy aircraft both to Sicily and Tunisia. Italy has submarines. This interdicts British reinforcements to Malta, Egypt, Eastern Med.

And another: Constant peace offerings. Hitler and the Germ. gov. propose peace once a week on official channels. No convert Hess nonsense. Instead of bombing London and blitz England, drop leaflets and flyers and candy. Make the position of the British gov untenable in the public opinion.
Last edited by PunctuationHorror on 27 May 2022 20:11, edited 1 time in total.

Peter89
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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by Peter89 » 27 May 2022 20:07

PunctuationHorror wrote:
27 May 2022 19:58
marshallplan wrote:
27 May 2022 16:35

A pre-December 9th, Afrika Korps (even if 1 panzer division).

My idea comes from "Afrika Korps: 6 Months Early! - Alternate History" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnKDgC9aNu0). Even a single division + air support would have blunted operation Compass. Brits fought with just 36,000 men, 275 tanks, and 142 aircraft. The British are unlikely able to counter the ATL Axis buildup. The results: Italians avoid significant personnel and material losses, Italians avoid a morale loss, and the Brits are denied an important morale boost. Also, the Axis hold onto the airfields of Eastern Libya and maintain expanded air coverage over the Central Mediterranean. If the Luftwaffe is in Western Libya by late 1940 the British may not have attempted Taranto (November 11, 1940) and may not have one at Cape Matapan (March 1941). It would also make any pre-Barbarossa siege of Malta all the more effective (expanded air cover over the central Mediterranean). The question arises if the Germans would have had time to move a panzer division to Western Libya after the fall of France. I think so. Within 3 to 4 months of operation Compass (December 9, 1940) the Germans had the 5th Light Division in Western Libya and conducted an offensive operation (March/April 1941). I understand that it'd take more time to move forces from Italy to Western Egypt than to Western Libya, but the Germans would have had 5 months after the fall of France. Two key departures: (1) Before the invasion of France, Germans anticipate the possibility of having to fight the British after the conquest of France; and (2) Germans and Italians learn to coordinate.
I would suggest to send German forces even earlier to North Africa, preferably as soon as (late) August 1940. Use the fresh shock of the fall of France.
The Germans proposed exactly that, but the Italians rebuffed the offer. Italy didn't want to cooperate with Germany before they got defeated. What would Italy do if the Germans controlled the Suez and Gibraltar? That would be the exact same thing as they've been into with the British, just their overlords would be different.
PunctuationHorror wrote:
27 May 2022 19:58
Another point: Without Spain, Strait of Gibraltar can't be interdicted. What about Strait of Sicily? It is ~90mi wide. Deploy aircraft both to Sicily and Tunisia. Italy has submarines. This interdicts British reinforcements to Malta, Egypt, Eastern Med.
I suggest to read Vincent O'Hara's book about the MTO and you'll realize that the Italians themselves could not prevent the British to reinforce Malta. Besides: The British could and did deliver supplies around Africa, the Gibraltar-Malta-Alexandria route was very rarely used.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by Huszar666 » 01 Jun 2022 18:52

Morning,

Just a few thoughts.
1, (I know, I will kick another discussion with this off, but I do think this was the true turning point in the war) Land in the UK in September 1940.
In the OTL no one above Division-Level really wanted anything to do with Seelöwe, after they were denied the broad-front landing, OKH thought about the whole issue as a coup-de-grace against a defeated foe, OKM did think it was unfeasible to begin with and OKL just wanted to fight in the skies and be done with it. Hitler dithered the whole time. It would be funny, if Churchill's famous quote was aimed at Hitler&Co, not RAF FC. The former were less in number, after all.
What to do in order to make Seelöwe feasible?
a, don't lose 1-2 month with dithering, wether the UK would sue for peace, start everything 1-2 month earlier
b, that means, start BoB around 1 month earlier (ie. Adlertag already at the beginning of July, not August)
c, give those poor Bf 109s droptanks. The short range was known already for some time, no need to wait for the E-7 in October (?), outfit most of the fighters with droptanks beginning with August
d, let someone intelligent direct BoB with clear intentions and directions known. That is everyone besides Reichsmarschall Müller.
e, let someone make the loading plan for the barges that is NOT a bored subaltern, and let them know, the landing is not a walk in a park but an actual operation against a defended coast (OTL someone thought it wise to load horses and carts and vehicles IN THE BARGES OF THE VERY FIRST WAVE and not fighting troops. Coup-de-grace against a defeated enemy, yeah?. Germany had ample experiance with forcefully crossing major rivers, you don't send Trosse over first...)
f, plan the very first landing with powered barges only. There were enough such in the harbours. No need for all those Stossboote and stuff and whatnot.
g, make an intelligent operational plan. What the General Staff came up for Seelöwe was underwhelming and should be studied in military schools how NOT to plan an operation.
h, substitute motor transport for the 1st wave divisions for horsed transport. The three horsed 30-t and three 15t-columns and the few company-based Trosse do not need an impressive amount of motor transport (certainly less than rising 10 motorised divisions :wink: ). You can even swap the horsed columns for motorised columns of not-participating divisions. You would cut the neccessary transport room for "vehicles" to (NOT "by"!) only... 25% of that with horsed transport.
I'm quite confident that with about one month more time (including an earlier Adlertag) the landing would be possible around or a few days before the 10th September. With an intelligent planning, MORE troops could be loaded in LESS barges.
Points a-h could be made with exactly (or near to) ZERO extra effort.
What would you gain with the UK? 20-30 free East-Front-capable division. Free and secure backyard for the next... decades. Most probably the alliance of: Spain, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Irak, Persia, Saudi-Arabia, Vichy-France. Industrial capabilities. A LOT of war booty, stuff, this-and-that and whatnot. You wanna invade the SU? You would have ALL the time in the world.

2, IF you can't or won't take the UK, concentrate in the Mediterrean. Take Malta in January 1941 (it was possible), supply Rommel with all three fast divisions (and heavy equipment and stuff) already in the first half of 1941, take Egypt (and Northern Sudan - link up with the Italians in IEA) in the second half of 1941, and open a new front in Persia/Caucasus in 1942. It would still need less extra effort than rasing around 10+ fast divisions.

3, IF Hitler does see the SU as a serious threat, it would be as feasible (and more cynical) to outfit "Eastern" troops to fight for Germany, as rising 10+ fast divisions. There was an endless amount of discarded military equipment laying around in the East post-Barbarossa. Shoot the communists, put fight-weary into POW-camps, let the others gather their (just discarded) stuff, and "there is the front". Promise them their own country, and let them fight and bleed for the Reich. Hitler was a politician after all. Could you help me remember when was the last time a politician kept their word?

(ok, these were points I worked on for my what-if-universe for a decade or so)

Point on the TMP-universe:
1, the Eastern Campaign will not be a two-years-affair even in the best circumstances. Germany would need to reach the Ob or so to "defeat" the soviet war-making potential for the forseeable future. Even than, a thrust over the Ob to create a no-mans-land of a few hunderd kilometers across would be "good to have". Even in the most favorable circumstance, that could be acomplished in Summer 1943, not one year earlier.

2, you indeed need a stonger Heer. But not primarly fast divisions early on, but "slow" divisions later on. Say, around autumn 1941 and later. Parts of the front WAS (too) lightly held as it was (with the known consequences), the more East you march, the weaker your flanks will be. Reaching Gorkiy with only the OTL InfDiv was out of question. Be it the TMP-universe, or some ideas floating about the 'net to leave HGr S to its own devises and attack Moscow in August 1941. OTL the flank protection for the Moscow thrust was weak - in every ATL i've read there was no flank protection at all. Even in my ATL reaching Gorkij in March 1942 or so, and protecting the flanks (and I had the UK crushed and 24 or so extra InfDiv) was not easy. Earlier and with less foot troops, you will have an open flank of about... a few hundred kilometres.

3, maintaing ammo production of an earlier level does help you with... nothing. You will need railheads to unload the supply for the front troops. The singular most damaging failure of the Ostheer was its inabilty to take Tula (probably the largest railhead in the general area) and to open the rail lines to Kalinin/Torschok (the first was the largest railhead in the general area, the latter had around the capacity of Rschew but much closer to the front). There's a book around about the battle of Kalinin/Torschok Road, the author laughs about attacking North-West, while Moscow lay to the East/South-East. Actually, the thrust up on the Torschok-Road was and would have been the right choice, since that would have opened the railway line to Kalinin and eased to supply situation of HGr M by... an order of magnitude.

4, to get Spain into the war, you would need a few clearly defined pre-requisites:
a, secure coal supply. Easiest, THAT Germany could have done without (much) of a problem
b, secure food supply. Not so easy, OTL it was done by plundering France and American imports.
c, secure oil supply. Very hard. The most convinient source would be... Iraq. For that, Germany would have to take the Middle East (technically possible).
d, the Axis clearly on their way to win the war.
Spain would only enter the war, if ALL of points a-d were completed (in my ATL, around late 1941)

5, to get Turkey into the war, you would need:
a, German-Italian troops in the Middle East
b, the axis clearly in their way to win the war.
In my rather conservative OTL that would be in late summer 1942 (and with Spain AND Turkey in the war, that would also mean an active participation of Vichy-France)

In my opinion, early wins do not translate neccessarily into a faster or easier Eastern Campaign. It was all about who could sustain the fighting longer in the endless space of the SU. My constructive critique on the TMP-universe is that it sacrafices every last possible reserve for a short-term gain in hope of a long-term advantage. With that plan, the Ostheer would have actually LESS foot infantry in the long term (when it counts) than OTL, while OTL there was a serious lack of Infantry to begin with.

6, Moral Sanity.
I would leave morality out of historical discussions. We, now in 2022 are horrified about the morality of everything, pre... 2000 or so, and our kids or grandkids will be horrified about the morarailty of 2022 in a few decades. You should not judge ancient people (or people in other countries right now) for and about their moral compass, since they will judge you back. Countless millions have died in the last... couple of millenia because someone though their ideology is better than those of everyone else. (Thinking of) Having a moral high ground in 2022 in Western Europe/US does not translate to the situation and morality of decades... centuries... milllennia ago in a far away galaxy. Or country.

EDIT:
The whole TMP-plan hinges on one point: Hitler takes the SU more serious.
Why should he?
The RKKA gave no strong impression anywhere pre-Berbarossa, and EVERYONE, including the UK and US was waiting for the SU to collapse till Mid-December 1941. In my opinion, the impression EVERYONE got on the soviet capabilities pre-Barbarossa and up to Mid-December 1941 was wholly justified. What did the RKKA accomplich pre-Barbarossa that was noteworthy? They crushed the Japanese in Mongolia. That is it. And the Japanese were held in even lower esteem back than then the soviets, so not much of an accomplishement...

Richard Anderson
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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by Richard Anderson » 01 Jun 2022 21:04

Huszar666 wrote:
01 Jun 2022 18:52
Morning,

Just a few thoughts.
1, (I know, I will kick another discussion with this off, but I do think this was the true turning point in the war) Land in the UK in September 1940.
In the OTL no one above Division-Level really wanted anything to do with Seelöwe, after they were denied the broad-front landing, OKH thought about the whole issue as a coup-de-grace against a defeated foe, OKM did think it was unfeasible to begin with and OKL just wanted to fight in the skies and be done with it. Hitler dithered the whole time. It would be funny, if Churchill's famous quote was aimed at Hitler&Co, not RAF FC. The former were less in number, after all.
What to do in order to make Seelöwe feasible?
a, don't lose 1-2 month with dithering, wether the UK would sue for peace, start everything 1-2 month earlier
The decision to pursue SEELÖWE was made by 2 July, but the first surveys of possible landing vessels began even earlier and was reported on 13 June. Testing conversions began on 11 July. I don't think they can make those decisions "1-2 month earlier"? The idea there was a lot of dithering doesn't seem to fit the actual timeline.
b, that means, start BoB around 1 month earlier (ie. Adlertag already at the beginning of July, not August)
I doubt that had much to do with dithering and was unlikely to be possible without wrecking the already parlous state of the Luftwaffe. In preparation for the French Campaign, Luftwaffe serviceable combat aircraft strength was 3,444, which was about the same as it was prior to the opening of the Danish-Norwegian Campaign when it was 3,406. By 8 June though it was down to 2,679, dropping by over 22 percent. By 6 July it improved to 3,047, but the average through 28 September was just 2,937. Beginning earlier could make it even worse.
c, give those poor Bf 109s droptanks. The short range was known already for some time, no need to wait for the E-7 in October (?), outfit most of the fighters with droptanks beginning with August
This has been discussed a number of times...and of course now I can't track down my notes on it. IIRC, the first Bf 109E-7 plumbed for drop tanks began appearing in late August and arrived in Staffel service in September. The modified E-4 used by Erprobungsgrüppe 210 I believe were also plumbed, but there were only a few dozen of those so modified in June and July. It wasn't just a matter of shackles and drop tanks, they also had to have the internal plumbing.
d, let someone intelligent direct BoB with clear intentions and directions known. That is everyone besides Reichsmarschall Müller.
Dicke Hermann was intelligent, but he was also lazy. The real problem was the Germans had created a unified armed forces that had no interest in being unified.
e, let someone make the loading plan for the barges that is NOT a bored subaltern, and let them know, the landing is not a walk in a park but an actual operation against a defended coast (OTL someone thought it wise to load horses and carts and vehicles IN THE BARGES OF THE VERY FIRST WAVE and not fighting troops. Coup-de-grace against a defeated enemy, yeah?. Germany had ample experiance with forcefully crossing major rivers, you don't send Trosse over first...)
Given that the loading plans and the modifications done to the barges was very centrally controlled, I seriously doubt that it was a subaltern, bored or not, who was doing the planning.

Oh, and no, the "VERY FIRST WAVE" were not barges, they were assault boats. The first barges landed as the tail end of the Vorausabteilungen, so technically were around the fourth wave. Anyway, they did try to replace as much of the horse-drawn artillery as possible with mechanized, utilizing captured French Lorraine 37L as possible for hauling the 3.7cm and 7.5cm guns of the first echelon, but the use of horse transport was deeply engraved in the design of the Heer. AFAICT the Troß did not begin landing in any numbers until the 2. Staffel.
f, plan the very first landing with powered barges only. There were enough such in the harbours. No need for all those Stossboote and stuff and whatnot.
The follow-on of the Vorausabteilungen were all in powered barges, the leading one of which was even "armored". However, there simply weren't enough of that combination to carry the entire Vorausabteilung and I suspect the planners, viewing it as something of a forcing of a really large river, simply followed that planning where the leading troops in assault boats cover the arrival of larger vessels, which can be viewed in one sense as a case of too many eggs in a single basket.
g, make an intelligent operational plan. What the General Staff came up for Seelöwe was underwhelming and should be studied in military schools how NOT to plan an operation.
It was an intelligent operational plan as far as the Generalstab des Heeres was concerned, which was part of the problem. The OKM and ObdL thought it was a stupid plan and wanted to substitute their own. None of them played well with each other.
h, substitute motor transport for the 1st wave divisions for horsed transport. The three horsed 30-t and three 15t-columns and the few company-based Trosse do not need an impressive amount of motor transport (certainly less than rising 10 motorised divisions :wink: ). You can even swap the horsed columns for motorised columns of not-participating divisions. You would cut the neccessary transport room for "vehicles" to (NOT "by"!) only... 25% of that with horsed transport.
They did. The gliederung of 8. Infanterie-Division and others clearly shows that. The Vorausabteilungen arrive with detachments of the Sanitats, Ordungs, and Nachschub Dienste, all except the medical of which were motorized. A similar fraction of those services were with the 1. Staffel A and 1. Staffel B, while the supporting motorized division and army pionier supply columns arrive with the 2. Staffel, while most of the divisional and army supply columns, motorized and horse drawn, were in the 3. Staffel.

Anyway, ammunition, food, fuel, and fodder was pretty tight without the Troß, since so little was physically carried by the troops.
I'm quite confident that with about one month more time (including an earlier Adlertag) the landing would be possible around or a few days before the 10th September. With an intelligent planning, MORE troops could be loaded in LESS barges.
Given the haste the conversions were done in I'm unsure that more haste might have become problematic. Certainly going by 10 September eliminates any participation of the sS and Herbert ferries, but it also affects how many other barges are available.
Points a-h could be made with exactly (or near to) ZERO extra effort.
Yes, only prescience is required. :D
snip...2, IF you can't or won't take the UK, concentrate in the Mediterrean. Take Malta in January 1941 (it was possible), supply Rommel with all three fast divisions (and heavy equipment and stuff) already in the first half of 1941, take Egypt (and Northern Sudan - link up with the Italians in IEA) in the second half of 1941, and open a new front in Persia/Caucasus in 1942. It would still need less extra effort than rasing around 10+ fast divisions.
What makes it possible to take Malta in January 1941? The Italians are more concerned with the disaster in North Africa and the Germans don't have the means or the interest.

Rommel was supplied with what the Italians agreed to and what could be transported in a reasonable time. Sonnenwind managed to get what was essentially a division and three-quarters to Tripoli in three months. How long to double that (given the additional motor transport required that wouldn't be supplied by stealing Italian vehicles and buying French ones in Tunisia).
3, IF Hitler does see the SU as a serious threat, it would be as feasible (and more cynical) to outfit "Eastern" troops to fight for Germany, as rising 10+ fast divisions. There was an endless amount of discarded military equipment laying around in the East post-Barbarossa. Shoot the communists, put fight-weary into POW-camps, let the others gather their (just discarded) stuff, and "there is the front". Promise them their own country, and let them fight and bleed for the Reich. Hitler was a politician after all. Could you help me remember when was the last time a politician kept their word?
It took months and years to get from Untermensch to Ostarbeiter/HiWi to Ostlegionen to Ostruppen to Vlasov. I don't see how that accelerates and becomes Freiwilligen-Schnell-Divisionen in 1942, no matter how serious Herr Hitler sees the Soviet threat.
(ok, these were points I worked on for my what-if-universe for a decade or so)
Ah, misspent youth! :D
Point on the TMP-universe:
Given they cannot reply, having finally fallen once too often on their sword, there doesn't seem much point to that now.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

historygeek2021
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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by historygeek2021 » 01 Jun 2022 21:10

I don't see how Hitler underestimated the Soviet Union in the OTL. The German economy was at full employment. Raw materials were scarce and production had to be carefully managed so that Germany didn't run out. Civilian consumption had already been severely limited. There was no slack in the German economy to produce more weapons for the Heer. And even if they could have, it wouldn't have mattered since Germany couldn't get enough trains through to keep their OTL forces supplied.

What Germany really needed to win Barbarossa was to construct a fleet of trains capable of operating on the Soviet rail system (not just the gauge but slow and light enough for the poor quality Soviet rails and rail beds, long distances between water stations, pipes not on the outside for winter, etc). They needed to have this fleet completed before the invasion so that the armies could be constantly supplied from the beginning of the campaign before their momentum stalled out in July.

But knowing that such a fleet was necessary is pure hindsight. The Russians heard rumors before the invasion that Germany was constructing Soviet style trains, but no one in Germany seems to have actually considered this. And no one in Germany would have had the technical knowledge of what specifications were necessary for trains to operate in the Soviet rail system. And something would have to be given up to make these trains ... fewer U-boats and tanks probably.

paulrward
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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by paulrward » 02 Jun 2022 07:19

Hello All :

In the interest of this discussion, the following points might be made:
Huszar666 wrote:The whole TMP-plan hinges on one point: Hitler takes the SU more serious. Why should he?


TMP was always clear that the point of his analysis is to show WHY Germany lost the war. His ATL shows that German victory was likely, had Hitler taken the SU seriously.

That's enough for TMP to argue that dominant interpretations of WW2 are wrong and his is correct.
historygeek2021 wrote:
01 Jun 2022 21:10
I don't see how Hitler underestimated the Soviet Union in the OTL.
Do you think he overestimated it?

You conceded TMP’s core argument in the past:
historygeek2021 wrote:
27 Jul 2021 22:13
I'm not denying that Germany could have raised army production by the amount needed to create an extra panzer group for Barbarossa in your ATL.
You’ve also basically conceded the specific "underestimation" point. Here, for example, you remark that it’s “interesting” how little ammo went to the army during Barbarossa.

Image

What have you learned to overturn your past agreement with TMP, or are you just saying this now because he can't respond?

As TMP repeatedly pointed out to everyone, Germany slashed army production during Barbarossa because it assumed the Soviet Union would collapse. Here he is again pointing out how much stronger the Ostheer’s equipment would have been, had Germany maintained army production at its 1940 peak.

You will probably say that Germany could not have maintained 1940 army production during 1941 because it didn't have the resources. That is a different topic, and one on which TMP has the better argument (see below). Even if TMP were wrong on the total resources argument, however, it would remain true that German army production was higher in 1941 than 1940 (except tanks - small portion of armaments). A Hitler who took the SU seriously would have preferred defeating the SU to losing the war, even if it meant less effort against Britain. The British could not defeat Germany – certainly not in 1940-42.
historygeek2021 wrote:
The German economy was at full employment.

First and obviously: German full employment is only half the picture. TMP shows that earlier mobilization of European labor could alone have resulted in German victory. Germany didn't need to give generous unemployment benefits to Western Europe - which had millions of unemployed who could have been "nudged" into working for Germany during 1940-41, as they were later.

As TMP emphasized in his threads in the economy section, it is extremely superficial to equate full employment with full mobilization. Here, for instance, TMP cites Germany and the Second World War, vol 5/1 pointing out that “armaments” manufacturers were mis-allocating workers from war to civilian production, and that the German government was aware of this:
In a sample study of 3,027 firms devoted either
wholly or in at least one department of their factories to armaments products,
the Reich ministry for weapons and ammunition established in March 1941
that, of the 2.2 million employees in these concerns, 680,000 (34.5 per cent)
were working for the special stage and a further 730,000 (37.2 per cent) for
stage Ia. However, more than half a million workers (28.3 per cent) were still
employed, even at this point, in other production, including civilian consumer
goods and a few export orders.192 It is not surprising that the General Army
Office, to which these and similar earlier surveys were also known, introduced
its own measures to check the reserved occupation positions. p.912

In one of TMP’s last threads, he posted a new article discussing even further that the German government did not trust private firms to use resources (labor, raw materials) efficiently. Quoting from that article:
Generally, the companies’ information advantage
over the state stemmed from the fact that it was difficult for the authorities to correctly assess the quantities of raw materials, machinery and workforce needed by a specific firm for producing a commodity demanded by the state.117 Especially in the case of complex products like armaments which consisted often of thousands of different parts, the authorities never managed to fully resolve this problem. The only way to contain, if never to eliminate, the attempts of the companies to exaggerate their requirments was to monitor the firms and threaten them with fines.
TMP established here that, after the Winter Crisis of 1941-42, the German government stepped up its crackdown on resource misallocation by private firms.
historygeek2021 wrote:
01 Jun 2022 21:10
Raw materials were scarce and production had to be carefully managed so that Germany didn't run out.
You and TMP already had this discussion, he had the far better of it. His main points:
  • ”Raw Materials” don’t come from some magic fairy – they’re largely endogenous not exogenous. They’re the product of inputs, of which labor is the most important. TMP’s ATL puts more labor behind the German war effort (from occupied countries and tighter penalties on private firms for misallocation). Some of additional labor that is used for raw materials production (mining, metals industry, transport).
  • Between 1941 and 1944, armaments output increased >3x while steel production increased only ~10%. Total raw materials supply obviously wasn't the problem, usage was. As outlined above, TMP shows convincingly that Germany could have implemented the firm-penalty/supervision measures required to economize on raw materials usage. It did after Soviet strength was known, would have done it earlier had it known Soviet strength.
  • Germany's raw material supply is greatly misunderstood and underestimated. TMP posted a thread on new research establishing this. The link is viewtopic.php?f=66&t=264232
One of TMP's essential points was perhaps too subtle for this board:

The dichotomy between MOBILIZATION and RATIONALIZATION is false.

Each phenomena required the German government to create/overcome internal resistance. Mobilization cracked down on civilian supplies; rationalization required cracking down on powerful industrial interests. In each case, Hitler faced a tradeoff between the internal and external threats to his regime. Mobilization/rationalization addressed external threats but increased internal threats. Before he knew Soviet strength and stood "supreme" over Europe, Hitler had little motivation to antagonize potential internal resistance to his regime through mobilization/rationalization. Once the USSR emerged as a potentially existential threat to him, he was more willing to force domestic mobilization/rationalization. Had he apprehended the Soviet threat earlier than late 1941, he would have acted as he did in late 1941.

According to TMP, the false mobilization/rationalization dichotomy is where WW2 German economic scholarship goes. You may be disagree with TMP on this, but anyone who does so must at least dig into his well-researched arguments.
historygeek2021 wrote:
01 Jun 2022 21:10
What Germany really needed to win Barbarossa was to construct a fleet of trains capable of operating on the Soviet rail system (not just the gauge but slow and light enough for the poor quality Soviet rails and rail beds, long distances between water stations, pipes not on the outside for winter, etc). They needed to have this fleet completed before the invasion so that the armies could be constantly supplied from the beginning of the campaign before their momentum stalled out in July.

But knowing that such a fleet was necessary is pure hindsight. The Russians heard rumors before the invasion that Germany was constructing Soviet style trains, but no one in Germany seems to have actually considered this. And no one in Germany would have had the technical knowledge of what specifications were necessary for trains to operate in the Soviet rail system. And something would have to be given up to make these trains ... fewer U-boats and tanks probably.
You've previously made these arguments to TMP and he addressed them. You called his response "incredibly detailed" and you give no arguments against his points.

As TMP proves in that post, it is simply wrong that Barbarossa's rail problems weren't foreseeable. Indeed German railway authorities (DRB) predicted those problems immediately when Barbarossa stalled during September. Had the DRB been consulted seriously about Barbarossa, the problems get addressed. The DRB actually built/designed many of the Soviet trains, so they knew exactly the conditions that needed to be addressed. The DRB was consulted only for the initial breakthrough period of Barbarossa, however.


This limited DRB consultation reflected German expectations of quick victory. As Halder said in his diary, Ostheer wasn't expecting a good rail system. Why waste all that effort on a quick campaign? Obviously if the campaign isn't assumed to be quick, there's overriding concern to have good railway support. Therefore OKW/H consults the DRB regarding more than the initial breakthrough.

This limited DRB consultation reflected German expectations of quick victory. As Halder said in his diary, Ostheer wasn't expecting a good rail system. Why waste all that effort on a quick campaign? Obviously if the campaign isn't assumed to be quick, there's overriding concern to have good railway support. Therefore OKW/H consults the DRB regarding more than the initial breakthrough.




See TMP's linked post (an excellent one, as HistoryGeek2021 rightly said) for citations/details.
Last edited by paulrward on 02 Jun 2022 18:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Peter89
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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by Peter89 » 02 Jun 2022 09:19

Huszar666 wrote:
01 Jun 2022 18:52
2, IF you can't or won't take the UK, concentrate in the Mediterrean. Take Malta in January 1941 (it was possible), supply Rommel with all three fast divisions (and heavy equipment and stuff) already in the first half of 1941, take Egypt (and Northern Sudan - link up with the Italians in IEA) in the second half of 1941, and open a new front in Persia/Caucasus in 1942. It would still need less extra effort than rasing around 10+ fast divisions.
If the Germans decided to focus on the Mediterranean, it would naturally exclude any amphibious attack on Malta (and other islands like Cyprus). First of all, it didn't make sense, because if Suez and Gibraltar fall, these islands would capitulate. Second, it would require Italian cooperation, which wasn't quite the best at any point in the war.

The timeline is not correct here. If the British opt to protect the Suez they could divert the forces sent to conquer IEA (two divisions plus a brigade) and that would compensate to defend Cyreneica or Egypt. An attack like that would be stalled far short of its objective, and the IEA would be dealt with later (by the way they didn't do much as they lacked the strength and supplies in all regards).

There was practically no chance to maintain 10+ motorized divisions in march and combat in the Middle East in this time period. The only way to do that was to build up supplies in the south Balkans, take Turkey and then move those supplies forward. The railway of the Balkans peninsula - which is one, single-track, limited capacity line - could not handle more than 10-12 trains per day, limited to some 300 tons instead of the normal 450 tons. And that would completely end all other movements on the line, including the better part of Bulgaria's domestic economy.

Southern ports could not help as they were fed by the railways, and supplies from northern ports would further stretch the shipping capacities. Not to mention the Turkish ports, which were of very low capacity (maybe one thousand tons per day combined, with completely faulty infrastructure).
Huszar666 wrote:
01 Jun 2022 18:52
4, to get Spain into the war, you would need a few clearly defined pre-requisites:
a, secure coal supply. Easiest, THAT Germany could have done without (much) of a problem
b, secure food supply. Not so easy, OTL it was done by plundering France and American imports.
c, secure oil supply. Very hard. The most convinient source would be... Iraq. For that, Germany would have to take the Middle East (technically possible).
d, the Axis clearly on their way to win the war.
Spain would only enter the war, if ALL of points a-d were completed (in my ATL, around late 1941)
The only way to get Spain into the war was under direct military threat or even by invasion: Franco wanted to consolidate his power and not to embark on another war in which he could only lose. The economic issues (food and oil) were real and every ton of food and oil that did not have to be provided by the continent, was a win for Hitler as well. Franco might be overthrown if the food and oil situation worsened, but he would be definately overthrown if the Germans marched into Madrid; and the British and Americans would not reinstall him and his companions after the Germans got defeated. But nothing less would suffice.
Huszar666 wrote:
01 Jun 2022 18:52
5, to get Turkey into the war, you would need:
a, German-Italian troops in the Middle East
b, the axis clearly in their way to win the war.
In my rather conservative OTL that would be in late summer 1942 (and with Spain AND Turkey in the war, that would also mean an active participation of Vichy-France)
On the contrary, actually. Turkey's foreign policy was markedly different from the other neutrals: they always supported the losing side and excused themselves to the winning side for the lack of cooperation; and in the very end they joined the winners. Until the Germans came into striking distance, they signed treaties with the British and French, then the Germans came to their doorstep and deflected almost all their demands. Then the tables have turned again and they began to increase trade with Germany, supported them well beyond the level of 1941 and 1942, while they did not really help the Allies.

There would be exactly no chance to "convince" them to join the Axis; besides: they wanted the same resources and bases as the Germans, while their army was a territorial defence force and a coastal navy (save the old but gold Goeben).

What you get wrong as well is Vichy France' reaction. They were interested in to protect their own interests, and not to fight for German ones. Thus, they managed to lower the occupation costs and a series of mitigations in exchange for port and airfield useage on the colonies. Vichy France' cooperation was more important than the rest of them combined. And of course they knew and exploited this; increased participation by Spain (Morocco), Turkey (Levant), Italy (Tunis, etc) would only antagonize them. And if the Germans antagonize them and the Vichy navy change sides, that would be the end of the Axis positions in Africa.

Huszar666 wrote:
01 Jun 2022 18:52
The whole TMP-plan hinges on one point: Hitler takes the SU more serious.
Why should he?
The RKKA gave no strong impression anywhere pre-Berbarossa, and EVERYONE, including the UK and US was waiting for the SU to collapse till Mid-December 1941. In my opinion, the impression EVERYONE got on the soviet capabilities pre-Barbarossa and up to Mid-December 1941 was wholly justified. What did the RKKA accomplich pre-Barbarossa that was noteworthy? They crushed the Japanese in Mongolia. That is it. And the Japanese were held in even lower esteem back than then the soviets, so not much of an accomplishement...
The German planning of Barbarossa was a mishmash of wishful thinking and military bias. Half of the German success was based on the Soviets' ineptitude and wrong choices, and 100% of the German chances to win the war in the East was dependent on Soviet failures. What TMP explores is the possibility of a more successful border battle, which was kinda possible. I remember him writing once that the removal of all the German units from North Africa could be helpful. Also the Germans gave the Hungarians a Pz regiment's worth of tanks, and there were serious mismanagement of the captured French stock as well. Not to mention the air force which was actually weaker in June 1941 than June 1940. There were some plausible options to make that initial idea of an extra motorized formation somewhat possible. But of course, the notions for the POD taking place in 1938 and other wild things are very-very far from me...
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

historygeek2021
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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by historygeek2021 » 02 Jun 2022 18:22

paulrward wrote:
02 Jun 2022 07:19

. Had the DRB been consulted seriously about Barbarossa, the problems get addressed. The DRB actually built/designed many of the Soviet trains, so they knew exactly the conditions that needed to be addressed. The DRB was consulted only for the initial breakthrough period of Barbarossa, however.
According to TMP's own source, the Reichsbahn had no clue how the Soviet railways worked:

In 1940 the Heer (German Army) planners asked the Reichsbahn liaison for information on Russian railways and was told that it did not possess such information, as they had never been told that the Soviet Union was a target, so local information had to be gathered by the FED in Poland, and there was a total lack of knowledge of the network, even which stations existed and none about operating procedures, facilities, or timetables.
https://www.hgwdavie.com/blog/2018/3/9/ ... r-19411945

Re-reading the other posts linked by Paul Ward, it's clear that TMP's increased production depends entirely on (1) mobilizing foreign workers and (2) blowing through raw material stocks with no regard for future needs. It's not clear where these foreign workers would come from. There were already over 1 million Polish laborers in Germany by the time Barbarossa started, so that leaves western Europe. Obviously there were important political reasons for not immediately enslaving western Europe's population in the summer of 1940 (US election in November, cooperation of Vichy regime, cooperation of locals generally, general propaganda purposes).

I conceded that it is theoretically possible to produce the tanks necessary for this ATL, but something would have to give, namely the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe labor force would have to be sent to work triple shifts in the panzer factories. I don't think I ever conceded that truck production could be increased (given the shortage of rubber identified in the main thread), only that the civilian economy could be purged of more trucks. But those civilian trucks would probably be worthless on the poor roads of Ukraine where this ATL takes place, and taking trucks from the civilian economy would weaken it further.

There is also the issue of fuel, discussed earlier. Germany blew through its stock of fuel early in Barbarossa. Would it really have had enough fuel to support another 10 motorized divisions, plus their Grosstransportraum supply trucks? The numbers don't look good.

Another point occurred to me: Did Hitler not take France and Britain seriously in 1939? Why then did Germany invade in May 1940 with only 10 panzer divisions made up mainly of Panzer I's and II's and Czech tanks? Why didn't Germany flip the same switch to increase production in 1939 that it could supposedly flip in 1940 according to this ATL?

Edit: Fixed link
Last edited by historygeek2021 on 03 Jun 2022 03:14, edited 1 time in total.

Richard Anderson
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Re: TMP Overall; German Options

Post by Richard Anderson » 02 Jun 2022 21:44

It's simple. TMP was just going to violate the French Armistice and put the 1+ million French PW into forced labor. No Problem. :roll:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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