The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
ljadw
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 06 Mar 2021 07:55

Peter89 wrote:
05 Mar 2021 19:20
ljadw wrote:
05 Mar 2021 18:42
Peter89 wrote:
03 Mar 2021 21:44
ljadw wrote:
03 Mar 2021 21:36
Peter89 wrote:
03 Mar 2021 07:44
Germany and Japan both considered the SU as a threat, but in fact the SU would not attack either in the time frame when the Axis had to defeat the Western Allies, before they could muster their superior resources.

Stalin would join the Axis if certain criteria were met, especially if the Axis was winning.


The joint attack on the SU would mean that both the Japanese and the Germans shot their one bullet on the wrong target.
It is not so that Germany considered the SU as a threat .Hitler said that Stalin would attack Germany only if Germany was losing .
That Stalin WOULD MAYBE join the Axis on the condition that it was winning,was not benefiting Germany: Franco also would have joined the Axis if it was winning .As Turkey,or Sweden..
The point is that Germany was NOT winning .
That Germany was shooting its only bullet on the wrong target, is not correct : it was shooting its only bullet on the only remaining target, which was :the USSR .
The British Empire was the target, not the SU.
Germany was convinced that if the war against Britain lasted, it would be faced by a coalition of Britain and the US ,that it could not win against this coalition ,and that when its cities were destroyed and its armies were running away to the Siegfried Line, the Soviets would invade Eastern Germany .
The whole problem was to force Britain to give up before the US would intervene, but all the attempts to force Britain to give up had failed, thus to continue to focus on Britain was a wast of time .
As Germany had not the means to prevent the US to intervene and as it could not attack the US after a US DOW, only the USSR remained and the Germans convinced themselves that a quick defeat of the USSR would force Britain to give up and that such a defeat was possible .
If in Whitehall one became convinced that the Landser was invincible, one should accept peace at the German condition .
The USSR was the only target remaining at the end of 1940 that could give Germany peace and victory .
The attacks on Britain had failed.
An attack on the US was impossible .
Only the USSR remained .
Why do we keep running in circles over and over again?

I told you many many times that there were multiple options which the Germans could choose from. After years of debate, we seem to agree on many aspects of the decision making process in Germany, except this one. How about to change the angle this time, and we ask basic questions of each other, and the other will answer. Let's say we can ask 3 questions.

1.) Would the Soviets attack the Axis before 1943?
2.) What do you think the net balance of the Eastern front was for Germany and the Axis?
3.) How do you think the loss of the Mediterraneum would affect the British Empire?
1 This is not a correct question: an attack of the USSR on Germany was not time-related/time-bound : it could happen in 1940 ,it could happen in 1950 .Everything was depending on the military situation of Germany .
2 The net balance of the Eastern front was negative , but that does not mean that the Barbarossa decision was wrong .
The net balance of the Submarine War was also negative, but that does not mean that the decision to wage a submarine war was wrong .
3 The Mediterranean was de facto lost for Britain between June 1940 and September 1943 ( during that period there were no British convoys using the Mediterranean to go to the East/to go from the East to Britain ), but this did not prevent Britain from winning the war .
The importance of the Mediterranean is much inflated .The same for the loss of Gibraltar, Malta and Cyprus. The occupation of these islands by the Axis would have been a bad thing ... for the Axis : Axis forces in Malta could not be used in other TOOs .Til 1943 the Suez Canal, presented after the war by the established historiography as the artery of the British Empire, was almost not used by the British Merchant Fleet .

ljadw
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 06 Mar 2021 08:24

Traffic through the Suez Canal ( both directions )
1938 : 6,171 ships
1939 : 5,277 ships
1942 : 1,646 ships
Tonnage of the ships : between 4000 and 8000 tons .

Peter89
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by Peter89 » 06 Mar 2021 08:28

ljadw wrote:
06 Mar 2021 07:55
Peter89 wrote:
05 Mar 2021 19:20
ljadw wrote:
05 Mar 2021 18:42
Peter89 wrote:
03 Mar 2021 21:44
ljadw wrote:
03 Mar 2021 21:36


It is not so that Germany considered the SU as a threat .Hitler said that Stalin would attack Germany only if Germany was losing .
That Stalin WOULD MAYBE join the Axis on the condition that it was winning,was not benefiting Germany: Franco also would have joined the Axis if it was winning .As Turkey,or Sweden..
The point is that Germany was NOT winning .
That Germany was shooting its only bullet on the wrong target, is not correct : it was shooting its only bullet on the only remaining target, which was :the USSR .
The British Empire was the target, not the SU.
Germany was convinced that if the war against Britain lasted, it would be faced by a coalition of Britain and the US ,that it could not win against this coalition ,and that when its cities were destroyed and its armies were running away to the Siegfried Line, the Soviets would invade Eastern Germany .
The whole problem was to force Britain to give up before the US would intervene, but all the attempts to force Britain to give up had failed, thus to continue to focus on Britain was a wast of time .
As Germany had not the means to prevent the US to intervene and as it could not attack the US after a US DOW, only the USSR remained and the Germans convinced themselves that a quick defeat of the USSR would force Britain to give up and that such a defeat was possible .
If in Whitehall one became convinced that the Landser was invincible, one should accept peace at the German condition .
The USSR was the only target remaining at the end of 1940 that could give Germany peace and victory .
The attacks on Britain had failed.
An attack on the US was impossible .
Only the USSR remained .
Why do we keep running in circles over and over again?

I told you many many times that there were multiple options which the Germans could choose from. After years of debate, we seem to agree on many aspects of the decision making process in Germany, except this one. How about to change the angle this time, and we ask basic questions of each other, and the other will answer. Let's say we can ask 3 questions.

1.) Would the Soviets attack the Axis before 1943?
2.) What do you think the net balance of the Eastern front was for Germany and the Axis?
3.) How do you think the loss of the Mediterraneum would affect the British Empire?
1 This is not a correct question: an attack of the USSR on Germany was not time-related/time-bound : it could happen in 1940 ,it could happen in 1950 .Everything was depending on the military situation of Germany .
2 The net balance of the Eastern front was negative , but that does not mean that the Barbarossa decision was wrong .
The net balance of the Submarine War was also negative, but that does not mean that the decision to wage a submarine war was wrong .
3 The Mediterranean was de facto lost for Britain between June 1940 and September 1943 ( during that period there were no British convoys using the Mediterranean to go to the East/to go from the East to Britain ), but this did not prevent Britain from winning the war .
The importance of the Mediterranean is much inflated .The same for the loss of Gibraltar, Malta and Cyprus. The occupation of these islands by the Axis would have been a bad thing ... for the Axis : Axis forces in Malta could not be used in other TOOs .Til 1943 the Suez Canal, presented after the war by the established historiography as the artery of the British Empire, was almost not used by the British Merchant Fleet .
1.) Yes, so the SU would not attack Germany and the Axis before their collapse was obvious, ie. before 1943/1944. Obviously the date does matter because we know how the belligerents built up their forces.
2.) Exactly, so if there was no eastern front, the Axis would be stronger. Nb the submarine war was a net win for Germany.
3.) No, it wasn't, the British have secured the Med / ME gradually. Merchant shipping diversion doesn't mean that the region was lost for Britain.
Also yes these islands on their own were useless, but the whole African operation was stupid if the Axis couldn't make the Med an Axis lake. They could, but they decided to attack the SU instead.
“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

ljadw
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 06 Mar 2021 14:24

NO : Germany would not be stronger without Barbarossa .Before (an d thus without ) Barbarossa, Germany was unable to force Britain to give up : on June 22 1941, Britain was still at war, and the intervention of the US was only a question of time .
And : the submarine war was a net loss for Germany : its aim was to force Britain to give up, but Britain did not give up .
In 1917 the KM told the Kaiser that its submarine war would result in war with the US, but that before the US would be able to intervene, Britain would have capitulated . The KM was wrong .
In 1940/1941 the KM told Hitler the same story and the result was that Britain did not give up ( the UBoats did inflict only pinpricks) and that the US were waging an undeclared war with Germany, hoping that this would result in an official war .
3 The ONLY importance for Britain in 1940/1941 of the ME/MED was that it was giving a shorter way to India and the Far East .As one said before WWII : you find only sand ( a lot ) and Arabs ( a few ) in the ME .
There was NO reason to make the Med an Axis lake . The only reason why Germany intervened was to prevent the loss of Libya,because this loss could have serious results in Italy .
And the only reason why Britain fought in the ME/MED was that there were British soldiers in that region .AND : because Italy declared war on Britain . Otherwise nothing would happen .
Reality is that the MED/ME was unimportant and for Britain and,even more, for the Axis .And :it was a sideshow .
The only thing that Britain had to do (and it did it ) was to refuse to give up and to wait til the Yanks were coming . And then it was over .

Peter89
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by Peter89 » 06 Mar 2021 15:24

ljadw wrote:
06 Mar 2021 14:24
NO : Germany would not be stronger without Barbarossa .Before (an d thus without ) Barbarossa, Germany was unable to force Britain to give up : on June 22 1941, Britain was still at war, and the intervention of the US was only a question of time .
And : the submarine war was a net loss for Germany : its aim was to force Britain to give up, but Britain did not give up .
In 1917 the KM told the Kaiser that its submarine war would result in war with the US, but that before the US would be able to intervene, Britain would have capitulated . The KM was wrong .
In 1940/1941 the KM told Hitler the same story and the result was that Britain did not give up ( the UBoats did inflict only pinpricks) and that the US were waging an undeclared war with Germany, hoping that this would result in an official war .
3 The ONLY importance for Britain in 1940/1941 of the ME/MED was that it was giving a shorter way to India and the Far East .As one said before WWII : you find only sand ( a lot ) and Arabs ( a few ) in the ME .
There was NO reason to make the Med an Axis lake . The only reason why Germany intervened was to prevent the loss of Libya,because this loss could have serious results in Italy .
And the only reason why Britain fought in the ME/MED was that there were British soldiers in that region .AND : because Italy declared war on Britain . Otherwise nothing would happen .
Reality is that the MED/ME was unimportant and for Britain and,even more, for the Axis .And :it was a sideshow .
The only thing that Britain had to do (and it did it ) was to refuse to give up and to wait til the Yanks were coming . And then it was over .
You are factually wrong here.

Barbarossa made Germany and the Axis weaker, it's not a debatable question. Absent the Eastern front, the Germans would not lose those millions of men and thousands of planes and AFVs; which means they'd have them against the Wallies, which means the fight for the continent would be much, much more costly, and the defense of the Reich more stubborn. Thus: Germany would be stronger.

The submarine war was a net profit for the Germans, because they caused much more damage than they've suffered and they forced out very costly countermoves.

To say that X was a net loss because Germany didn't win is senseless; following this logic, everything was a net loss because Germany has lost.

What you say about the Med/ME is completely wrong, about its importance, about its resources, etc.
“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

ljadw
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 06 Mar 2021 21:53

Of course : everything was a net loss because Germany lost .
And, it is factually wrong to say that without Barbarossa,Germany would be stronger,because without Barbarossa Germany would not have all these millions of men ,aircraft and tanks which were lost in the East .On June 22 1941 Germany had 208 divisions,of whom 152 were used for Barbarossa . It is wrong to say that if there was no Barbarossa, Germany would still have 208 divisions on June 22 1941,because the increase of the WM was dictated by the Barbarossa decision .
It is the same for the submarine war : without the U Boats, Britain would need less MV and less imports . Thus the difference for Britain is also much inflated . Without the U Boat attacks, D Day would still happen on June 6 1944 .

glenn239
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by glenn239 » 13 Mar 2021 15:57

ljadw wrote:
06 Mar 2021 21:53
It is the same for the submarine war : without the U Boats, Britain would need less MV and less imports . Thus the difference for Britain is also much inflated . Without the U Boat attacks, D Day would still happen on June 6 1944 .
Without Barbarossa starting a war in the east, there was no way D-Day was happening on June 6th 1944. Or June 6th 1945 for that matter.

ljadw
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 13 Mar 2021 19:18

The Wallies did not need D-Day to defeat Germany .
And, NO : without Barbarossa, Germany would have a much smaller army,thus not more forces in Normandy .
On June 22 1941,Germany had 200 divisions. Why ? Because of Barbarossa. Without Barbarossa, Germany would not have 200 divisions in June 1941,and less divisions three years later.

KDF33
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by KDF33 » 13 Mar 2021 19:48

ljadw wrote:
13 Mar 2021 19:18
And, NO : without Barbarossa, Germany would have a much smaller army,thus not more forces in Normandy .
On June 22 1941,Germany had 200 divisions. Why ? Because of Barbarossa. Without Barbarossa, Germany would not have 200 divisions in June 1941,and less divisions three years later.
That's not how it works.

Without Barbarossa, the Germans would have much more available resources at their disposal. They would allocate these resources according to their perceived requirements, which might or might not include smaller / larger field forces than historically.

IMO, although it is indeed likely that, prior to US entry, Germany would indeed have smaller field forces than in 1941, that would change once the US is an active belligerent. In the expectation of a US build-up of field forces, the Germans would most certainly follow suit.

Thus, it makes little sense to claim that the Germans would not have more forces to counter a landing in this scenario.

ljadw
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 13 Mar 2021 21:31

No : there are 2 situations
the HTL and the ATL and you can't transpose what happen in the ATL to the HTL and vice versa ..There is no proof that Germany would have in the ATL what they had in the HTL and that ,if they had this, they would do in the ATL what they did in the HTL.
The same for the Wallies .
There is no proof that without Barbarossa Germany would have declared war on the US on December 11 1941.
There is also no proof that if there was a war between Germany and the US,this would result in Overlord .
There is also no proof that if there was no German attack in June 1941,that there would still be peace between Germany and the USSR in June 1944 .
There is also no proof that without Barbarossa there would still be a war between Britain and Germany .
There is also no proof that without Barbarossa, but still with a war between Germany and the UK ,the situation would be better for Germany : without Barbarossa,Germany would be faced in the east by a very strong neutral (AND THUS POTENTIALLY HOSTILE ) USSR which would force Germany to concentrate the majority of its forces on the border with the USSR .
There is also no proof that without Barbarossa, Pearl Harbour would still happen .
All we know is that Germany was to weak to dominate Europe ,even ,and especially,if the USSR was defeated ,the occupation of Britain would be already a burden too big ..What Germany needed was peace,at last in 1941,the German economy could not survive a long war : WWI proved this already .
What you are doing is constructing something artificial, a sandcastle, where everything is working perfectly for Germany .
Saying that ''in the expectation of a US build-up of field forces,the Germans would certainly follow suit,'' is to ignore /to hide the fact that the US could afford this build-up much longer than the Germans .
And, again : a landing would not be necessary to defeat Germany : nuclear attacks on the German cities would do the job .
And, US could afford a failed landing, but Germany could not afford a successful landing .
Reality is that even without war with US and the USSR, Germany was doomed .

KDF33
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by KDF33 » 14 Mar 2021 03:01

I must be a masochist, because I'll take the time to answer you.

First, I'll remind you that this specific discussion started when YOU, emphasis on YOU, made the following specific assertion:
ljadw wrote:
13 Mar 2021 19:18
Without Barbarossa, Germany would not have 200 divisions in June 1941,and less divisions three years later.
You can't know that. The only "known" here is that Germany historically fielded 209 divisions in June 1941, rising to 294 in June 1944. This was after suffering a total of 4,471,243 combat losses from 22.6.41 - 31.5.44, of which 1,485,362 were KIA/MIA. 4,176,544 of those casualties (93.4%) had been incurred fighting against the Soviets.

Thus, it is obvious that Germany would have had the ability to field more than 200 divisions in June 1944. Whether or not they would have decided to do so is an open question. A sensible answer is that it would have depended on the evolution of their perceived requirements up until that time.

To peremptorily assert that "NO : without Barbarossa, Germany would have a much smaller army", however, is not in any way sensible, or even serious, commentary.

ljadw
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 14 Mar 2021 09:49

It is not a question of ability ,but a question of needs,and needs determine decisions,ability is secondary .
Without Barbarossa in June 1941, there was no need for an army of 200 divisions .Thus,there would be no army of 200 divisions in June 1941 .

ljadw
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 14 Mar 2021 10:08

KDF33 wrote:
14 Mar 2021 03:01




Thus, it is obvious that Germany would have had the ability to field more than 200 divisions in June 1944.
NO : this is not obvious : you can't transpose facts from the HTL to the ATL.
What you are doing is the same as saying : in August 1914 7 German armies attacked in the West and one was in the east, thus, without war with France and war with Russia only , 7 armies could attack in the east .
And this is wrong ,because there is no proof that Germany could have the same number of armies if there was war with Russia only , and that,if they had these armies,that these could operate in the east .

KDF33
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by KDF33 » 14 Mar 2021 10:21

ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 09:49
Without Barbarossa in June 1941, there was no need for an army of 200 divisions .Thus,there would be no army of 200 divisions in June 1941 .
The discussion is about 1944, not 1941.
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 09:49
It is not a question of ability ,but a question of needs
No shit. That has been my point all along. Did you read my previous post? I wrote: "Whether or not they would have decided to do so is an open question. A sensible answer is that it would have depended on the evolution of their perceived requirements up until that time."
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 10:08
NO : this is not obvious
Actually, yes it is. It is so obvious that if it weren't you claiming this I would assume trolling.
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 10:08
you can't transpose facts from the HTL to the ATL.
Of course I can. Indeed, transposing evidence from the actual course of history is the only way to keep alternate scenarios grounded in plausibility.

ljadw
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 14 Mar 2021 13:59

Alternate scenarios that are founded on assumptions ,wishes,and not on facts,are a wast of time and even very suspect .
There are no facts in an ATL.
The facts are that prior (= without ) war with the USSR ,the strength of the WM was limited to 5,4 million men and 154 divisions ( May 1940 ) ,that a month later it was decided to decrease the manpower and number of divisions, because after the defeat of France,5,4 million men and 154 divisions were no longer needed .
A year later, because and thanks to the decision to attack the USSR,the strength of the WM was increased to 7,23 million men and 208 divisions ,which implies that without the Barbarossa decision the WM strength would be lower not only than 7,23 million and 208 divisions, but even lower than 5,4 million and 154 divisions .
Saying that 208 divisions and 7,23 million men were possible without Barbarossa is the same as saying that without 9/11 Bush would have been able to increase the defense budget and send an army to Iraq and an other to Afghanistan . And this is impossible .It is also the same as saying that without the fall of France in June 1940 FDR would have been able to impose conscription in the US.
It is also the same as saying that without Dallas 1963, JFK would have been able to impose the Great Society on the US .
Every one knows that only Johnson (who had Congress in his pocket ) was able to impose Great Society,and only because JFK was assassinated in 1963 .
War in Iraq and Afghanistan ,without 9/11,was impossible politically and economically .
Conscription without the fall of France was impossible economically and politically .
Great Society without Dallas and LBJ as president was impossible economically and politically
A WM with the strength and the aim to attack the USSR was impossible economically and politically without war with the USSR .
The Manhattan Project was economically and politically impossible without war with Germany.

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