Peter89 wrote:But you must admit that it was foolish by both the Germans and the Japanese that they had no grand strategy and no joint vision of the world after the war.
Of course it was. Hitler and [insert random Japanese decision-maker] made terrible strategic mistakes.
But wasn't it also foolish of the Americans, British, and Soviets to have fundamentally different visions of the post-war world and equally large disagreements over strategy?
Hitler, Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin were all fools to varying degrees.
Peter89 wrote:1. Profit wasn't the primary objective for Germany's war industry.
Maybe? Depends on which industrialist? I don't know but I know this: The head of the German military's War and Economy office said "profit doesn't matter in war" while in America a cabinet member said "If we want to win, we have to let some industrialists get rich." [again I'm paraphrasing but again maybe you know the gist]
The world economy in 1940 was cornered around the colonial empires.
That's what they thought but it just wasn't true. Big topic again but the colonial empires had little economic rationale - they were poor and the world was moving towards an economy based on skills (industrial
at that point but emerging knowledge skills economy as well). That's why the U.S.'s post-colonial (de jure) vision was correct.
Following the above quote is a bunch of things I mostly agree with and would be happy to discuss over a beer but staying on topic...
Well, to the best of my knowledge, the Germans never even considered a 2-3 years campaign in the Soviet Union.
Yeah but it's kinda my whole argument - my reason for being on this forum - to argue that this was a strategic mistake whose rectification could have changed world history.
And it's not far-fetched, IMO, that Hitler would have launched a long(er) eastern war. He planned the French campaign on a multi-year horizon, instructing Todt to plan an army munitions peak in Fall 1941. There were voices in the German state/Wehrmacht who properly gauged Barbarossa's problems and, IMO, had someone like Halder and Canaris properly collated these views and presented them to Hitler, he could have changed his mind.
Finally, if anything in history is contingent is one dude's foibles. Hitler fell flat on his face in judging the SU but lots of evil psychos wouldn't have made that mistake.
I am familiar with a few volumes, but
Indispensable IMO, especially v.5 part 1 on the pre-/early-war German economy. It's dreadfully boring in its discussion of the structure of Nazi bureaucracy though.
Germany had a mobilization plan for the Reich at best. We should not forget how much war materiel and production capabilities the Germans had found when they started to occupy their allies in 1943 / 1944.
Agreed re occupation of former allies but IMO it's not remotely fair to blame German administration for the mobilization levels of non-German lands.
Re the occupied enemies, Germany did decently IMO. Again the more-recent scholarship is showing this (Jonas Scherner again most prominently).
it depends on a lot of factors, not just the soil quality.
I get that there are a lot of factors. The point isn't the variance but the mean. Unless there's some reason to think that poorer Asiatic Soviet lands showed more improvement between '39 and '74 than did good Ukrainian land, then my assumption may actually understate my argument that Asiatic land was less efficient in 1942.
it's quite a complicated thing, and without hard numbers of the regional Soviet agricultural production in 1940/1941/1942, we are poking the mist here.
To a certain extent, yes.
But do you find it likely that evacuating refugee farmers from good Western land to poorer Asiatic land in 1941/2 would have yielded the SU more grain? We can disagree about the magnitude of the effect - if you have a better assumption than parity with '74 ratios then by all means - but is there really a disagreement about the direction of the effect?
If the magnitude of the effect on per-capita food production is at all significant, it's going to have dire implications because the 1942 SU was already starving.
But it is like "assming the Soviets lose everything with little to no damage to the Germans". Aren't you making the same fallacy here as the German planners of Barbarossa? If the Germans were somehow be able to crush-defeat the Soviets in 1942 and push them behind the A-A line, they must have lose some offensive capabilities while doing so, eh?
In my other ATL's I've specifically addressed this point. Short version is that Germany had ~700k dead in '41-'42 and that better Ostheer performance reduces that toll by ~40%. Call it 500k dead to push to/through the Urals. Does that fundamentally change the picture for a country of 80mil?
What do you mean by "can't stop the Germans"? The Soviets launched major offensives
OTL. Again, I've detailed elsewhere why the Soviets could have been made far weaker.
Why would they give peace? They were already allied with the two superpowers of the day; as long as they held out, they could win.
Again, I spelled out the rationale: keep fighting while the Germans pour through the Urals and Japan takes the east or agree a peace. You disagree with the premises underlying the choices presented but try accepting my premises for discussion of this point and attack the premises separately. If that's the Soviet choice then the Germans/Japanese eliminate significant resistance in a year or so. It hurts the Axis some but ends the Soviet regime. How is that a rational choice for the Soviets? Why do they care about the Allied cause so much as to trade their own extirpation for marginal benefit to their allies?
Moreover, they had nothing to lose, so they were a very dangerous enemy to begin with.
Have you heard about Stalin? He cared about nothing more than preservation of his power - he has everything to lose by continuing a losing war.
Besides, they had no means to successfully interdict the American shipping to the SU.
Even if not that, no American ship is sailing through the Kuriles until at least 1944. They need to build a carrier force capable of confronting land-based airpower before that happens.
it only made sense if the Soviets remove a substantial number of their units from Vladivostok - and why would they be so stupid?
Again this is ATL-land where the SU is, say, 50% weaker. To maintain 1mil men in Primorskiye in that situation means weakening anti-German forces by more than 50%:
OTL 1942 SU had ~5.7mil facing Germany and ~1mil facing Japan. Divide by 2 and that's 2.9 against Germany and .5mil against Japan. To keep anti-Japan forces at 1mil means anti-German is now 2.4mil or only 42% of OTL.
And Japan doesn't need to invade SU. They just announce that the Sea of Japan is closed to shipping and dare the SU launch an offensive against them while fighting off Germany. OTL they feared Soviet invasion in '42, ATL they don't.
the Soviets would probably double their efforts to keep the Pacific route open; don't you agree?
I see the sense there but again this ATL-land where the Soviets are struggling to save the Urals, loss of which makes them a true third-rate power. What's worse - losing Urals or Vladivostok? Either is a death-blow.
They didn't let 50% of the Wallies' shipping through their porch because they were so good and honest guys. They did it because they couldn't afford to fight with the SU as well
OTL again. If the SU is weaker in the East then it's a different calculus. If the SU is weaker overall but not weaker in the East (i.e. strips the German front to protect the East), then Germany is strolling across Siberia.
They evacuate the most possible armies, production and people behind the Urals, and destroy production facilities and infrastructure west of the Urals.
Like we agreed before, they could be supplied by themselves and by the Pacific route.
The numbers matter. They could supply how many? I say no more than 60mil while they hold the Urals, but they wouldn't hold it for long.
I think you don't get it... even if the SU and China falls by some miracles by 1943, the A-bomb project produced convincing results already.
I don't think you get my broader point, though I didn't spell it out entirely.
I'm really not that interested in what, arguably, could have happened as a factual matter. I'm interested in the why
of what could have happened.
vary in their level of intellectual interest. It is not very interesting to me that the A-bomb might have saved the world from Nazi Germany. I mean good but what's the point of even discussing strategy if the answer is just "A-bomb"? A German strategic focus on bewegungskrieg or on knitting makes no difference. The A-bomb didn't influence any of Allied European war strategy...
What's more interesting is whether the Allies were strategically correct - on their own terms - in WW2. I don't think they were. I think they lucked out that Germany took the SU so lightly and lost a winnable war. Had Germany won they would have been truly F'd on their own terms, perhaps even so with the A-bomb.
By the start of 1944, the Wallies on their own had the power to finish off both Japan and Germany, and they had no means to stop that happening.
Again OTL. If Germany isn't fighting the biggest-ever land war, the LW is much stronger. The W.Allies weren't even close to being able to confront the German army absent the Eastern Front. Had they refocused on building an army equal to the Heer their aerial/sea production would have dropped significantly.
BTW - commendations on being an elegant writer in a non-native language.