That is not what I meant, it is well known what Hitler's intentions were (especially when scrolling through "Mein Kampf"), but this was not the only path which Germany could have chosen to contain Bolshevism.Yes, the war was inevitable unless Hitler isn't Hitler. The march east for Lebensraum is at the core of his Weltanschauung.
That sounds like propaganda, a "casus belli". Not to mention that is a popular justification for Neo-Nazis. They would not do such a thing, they would be gladly trading resources for technology (just like they did post war with East Germany). In fact, trade commenced till the very outbreak of the war (this had more of an appeasement character, comparable to Russian gas transfers to China, today). Countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerland are the key for Russia in Europe, Putin knows that even today.Hitler said repeatedly that maintaining the status quo of 1941 while Germany fought the UK and US would enable Russia to blackmail him economically and diplomatically.
Why? The constants for the performance of the armed forces of all belligerents were almost identical in both World Wars.And don't let hindsight trick you into believing that a delayed Russian attack would have been similar to the IRL Red Army effort (i.e. taking years to make progress). Hitler's early successes depended on numerical superiority and/or parity that would not have existed for a Russian steamroller that starts fresh in, say, 1943.
The Wehrmacht did not enjoy numerical superiority (not to mention that the Soviets were in defensive posture), the last time they had a considerable advantage was in 1939 or during the Weserübung, other than that I see no different way of conducting war for the Red Army (WW2 armies were evolved Great War Armies).
Their strength remained low in the 3rd quarter because the attrition rate exceeded their replacement rate, they died faster than they could build up their forces, this changed gradually in October and December respectively. Their initial performance would have been quite similar, since we have both World Wars (as well as the Winter War and the Polish-Bolshevik War) as an example.
As long as Germany does not reach out deep into their territory, the Soviets have a hard time getting into Europe. Should they have attacked first, more nations would have been inclined to join Germany's cause, since the Soviets would have been seen as the aggressor.
By the way, the RKKA of 1941 was tactically superior to that of 1944 (they inflicted higher daily casualties in respect to their frontline capabilities), as quality personnel will always diminish, it were their odds that improved, I see a lot of people making this mistake. The disparity was a result of the different development levels of both systems and the tactical discrepancy remained rather constant throughout the entire war. Only some Russian nationalists and the "official" Russian history perpetuate this concept, "we were unprepared and got better at the end". It reinforces this status of the "clean" Soviet Union, the victim and underdog, acting in self defence, as the heroic liberator and not the totally armed up, genocidal dictatorship, preying for the resources, manpower and technology of other nations.
I did not say such a thing, on the contrary he would have continued cooperation if they were of any benefit, he was simply not interested in armed conflict. Stalin was not the hasardeur Hitler was.You're also incorrect in implying Stalin wanted no more from Hitler - either directly or indirectly.
You claimed that that the Anglo-Americans had something in store, to which I replied that they had nothing to offer. Hitler on the other hand handed over the territory the Soviets desired to obtain and enabled them to get into a position to go for even more. It was his intervention that enabled the Communists to establish a world presence. The defeat of the Axis powers created a power vacuum that was filled by the Communists, with the territories the Soviets obtained in the 40s, they could become a global player, to challenge American supremacy. Their manufacturing output made up like 9% of the world total before the war and went up to over 30% post 49, because they now controlled several European industrial hubs.
If Germany does not start a war in the east, and does not pursue isolationist policies, the Soviets do not succeed. Afterall, that is how the US won the Cold War. Proxy wars would still occur.
See above (and compare with the collapse of the Soviet system), Germany disrupted the natural order in Europe and threw itself into a world war against the USSR that formed an alliance with the US - either he should have chosen a different strategy (e.g. Caesar in Gaul), brought more Allies for the fight, or should not have gone at all.No, Hitler made the only rational move by trying to preempt Russian power accumulation.
A good analogy would be Israel. The IDF has a substantial tactical advantage over their Arabian neighbours, throughout the last decades, they were able to fend off many attacks, but possess overall less warmaking potential, due to insufficient raw materials, manpower and territory. What would happen if Israel decided to siege Damascus and hold Egyptian territory simultanously, while being cut off from US aid? I think everyone knows the answer to that question.
Yes, in 42 they did rethink their strategy, but by that time they already suffered 1,047,302 casualties. They did possess intelligence on Soviet military strength and many estimates were not completely inaccurate either. Perhaps they speculated on a collapse, perhaps they still had WW1 and the Winter War in mind.A plausible alternate history is one in which Hitler has decent intelligence about Soviet military strength and acts accordingly. I.e. he launches Barbarossa with a slightly stronger force that actually achieves the primary goal of Red Army destruction west of Don-Dniepr line. As a result, Germany stays a couple million men ahead of the Russian mobilization curve and conquers all the way to Volga by the end of 42. That effectively ends serious Russian resistance.
I am not speaking about the details of a new plan per se (this would require a dedicated thread), but rather the mechanisms. Either they should have opted for a long war, gradually strangling the USSR into submission, or if we take the historical example (since they already committed to the cause and failed to conclude Barbarossa), they should have kept pressure on the capital and not overextended at all. If the Soviets would have been unable to push AGC away from the capital, they would have lost the war as well. It is the failure of AGS, which forced AGC to abandon their main objective. If the Soviets could not recapture Ukraine and Belorussia, they would have been unable to adequately replace their losses.More fundamentally, you're giving only two historically viable options: take the capital or take the Donbass.
There have been plenty of such (heated) debates in the AHF.This would be an interesting topic. Is there a thread on USSR vs. Germany one-on-one?
That was a product of 5 years of world war and not the constellation in 1941. The Slavic populations (with the exception of Poland) were not confronted with the threat and danger of extermination yet. These odds did not exist before 1944, the Wehrmacht was not in full retreat in 1941 and no effective strategic bomber force existed yet either. The Soviets had an average actual strength of about 6,000,000 during the later stages of the conflict and could raise it above 7 million (which would be 90% of committed forces to the WF), with about half of those in the frontlines. This was the number they could support (fully mobilized) with additional outside assistance. The German strength at peak (ignoring Allies) was about 3,000,000 and slightly above 4 million without the impact of other fronts (we are not even factoring in logistics here). Ratio S was 1.9-2.8 and the range of attacks 1.02-1.43. Average efficiency parameters 0.23 and 0.032 respectively. In 1941, the strength of the Heer amounted to 3,050,000, of which 500,000 were in resereve, 1,5 million equally distributed in Luftwaffe services (3/4 of this available for Barbarossa) while in mid 1943 (taking your example), the Soviets had 6,626,735 men (this is closer to actual strength, with 1,135,991 in STAVKA reserve), with 1,500,000 accumulated for defensive operations. In the summer of 1944 (and the destruction of AGC) the Soviets committed 2,400,000 men to the operations with a strength of 6,750,240 (630,769 in reserve). In your hypothetical example for 1941, we would have 2,5 million soldiers from the Heer or a Kampfstärke of 1,100,000 men, facing the RKKA of 6,100,000 men with a front strength of about 2,200,000 men. I fail to observe an initial ratio of 4:1 here. In 1944 this number shrunk below 700,000 men without adequate replacements, opposed by 2,400,000 men. Historically speaking, (in late June 1941), the RKKA in the Western and South Western Fronts faced 1,381,316 men of Army Group Center and South, with a strength of 1,578,211.Why have you any faith that Stalin - having amassed ~4-1 numerical superiority over a Germany that is being pounded by US/UK bombers and bled at the margins of its overextended Empire - that this Stalin would withhold acting?
This is exactly why hindsight can be a problem. What many people do is, that they only adjust one aspect of the "what if" scenario and ignore elements which would have affected the conflict much sooner. Conclusion: The Soviets needed to grind down the Wehrmacht over years, while relying on replacements from reconquered territories and the diversion of manpower to other fronts to guarantee victory. Other than that I will redirect you to the Winter War or Afghanistan. The Soviets suffered 391,783 casualties (and gained 11% of Finnish soil), Finland survived and was not absorbed. Those were 40% of their initial strength. In 1941 the Soviets suffered 4,394,094 casualties in under 6 months.
There are those who underestimate certain factions, but also those who completely overestimate the Soviet strength. This was usually propagated by Americans during the "we will bury you", Cold War era. If AGC was destroyed in 1941, I would certainly believe so, but it was not before mid 45.
Anyway, this would require a seperate thread, since we are moving too far off-topic.
Obviously.In geopolitics, it's exactly on target. A new shatterbelt was formed in the Central Pacific. Japan sought to become a Pacific power and the US interfered with their plans.