At what point did Germany lose WW2?

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 27 Aug 2023 20:02

ljadw wrote:
24 May 2023 13:50
dgfred wrote:
23 May 2023 21:40
Hope at least up to Stalingrad. Little to no hope afterwards.
Little to no hope after the British refusal to give up .
More like when they shifted attention to attacking Russia. So long as it was just Britain v. Germany and it stayed that way, Germany could have eventually brought the British to the negotiating table. Germany, without a war in Russia, would have crushed the British in N. Africa. They could have sustained an air war against Britain, albeit at a much lower rate of operations, and they could have focused on the U-boat war supported by Luftwaffe long-range maritime strike aircraft.

All of that was doable for the Germans with no involvement in Russia.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by ljadw » 28 Aug 2023 15:54

1 The LW : it failed in 1940 to force Britain to surrender .
2 It failed also to force Britain to surrender in the first half of 1941.
3 It would also fail to do it in the second half of 1941
4 It was the same for the KM : British controlled tonnage was greater in December 1941 than in June 1940 .
5 Britain was stronger in all aspects in December 1941 than in June 1940 .
6 About NA :NO : the number of Axis divisions operating in NA was limited, but not by Barbarossa, but by the distances and the absence of decent trasport means .
Besides :NA was not very important in WW2 :the Suez Canal was almost not used although it was not captured by the Axis .
Traffic through the Canal (entering and leaving ) :1939 :30 M tons and 6000 ships,1942 : 7 million tons and 1900 ships ,which means that every day some 5/6 ships and 20000 GRT were leaving/entering the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal .This was the lowest traffic since 1880 .
And for the Axis the Suez Canal/NA was not important at all,as Germany and Italy had not the means to extract,refine and transport the oil of the ME to Europe .
Another thing about the U Boats who sank in 1941 less British GRT than in 1940 : the extension of the U Boat war hastened the entry of the US in the war :already in the Summer of 1941 the Atlantic Fleet escorted the US exports to Britain.
Germany could not afford a long war of attrition, Britain could do it .

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Globalization41 » 29 Aug 2023 22:59

Hitler had his eyes on the Ukraine from WWI onward. During the '30s he worried about Stalin's rearmament. He pulled his punches at Dunkirk, which would have taken a couple of months to clear, an early preview of Stalingrad if you will. He would have had to put Paris on hold by taking Dunkirk. Sea Lion was a bluff. The British Isles would have been a costly invasion, but Hitler wanted the Ukraine. He could have bottled up the Med. at Gibraltar, Suez, and the Dardanelles. U-boats were keeping the British hungry. With all those options available to Hitler, the British were skeptical that Hitler would start a war with Stalin. ... Before December 11, 1941, Germany was in a better position than Britian.

Globalization41.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by john2 » 30 Aug 2023 04:17

143 pages! Wow! That Germany "almost" won if not for a few stupid mistakes by Hitler is a myth. Yes Hitler made mistakes but the military odds were against Germany from the start.

1 As many have pointed out Germany couldn't invade Britain - they didn't have the ships to do it.
2 Germany did not have the manpower to defeat Russia militarily. Both a British or Russian defeat could only happen if they lost the will to fight.

While Germany might not have been able to win they might have been able to negotiate a truce - particularly with Russia though after Stalingrad a peace deal seems less likely.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by john2 » 30 Aug 2023 04:30

Hitler had his eyes on the Ukraine from WWI onward. During the '30s he worried about Stalin's rearmament. He pulled his punches at Dunkirk, which would have taken a couple of months to clear, an early preview of Stalingrad if you will. He would have had to put Paris on hold by taking Dunkirk. Sea Lion was a bluff. The British Isles would have been a costly invasion, but Hitler wanted the Ukraine. He could have bottled up the Med. at Gibraltar, Suez, and the Dardanelles. U-boats were keeping the British hungry. With all those options available to Hitler, the British were skeptical that Hitler would start a war with Stalin. ... Before December 11, 1941, Germany was in a better position than Britain.

Globalization41.
If it was just Germany and Britain maybe but there was Russia and the US. Could Germany organize an effective blockade with the US sending aide - especially after lend/lease? No one ever seems to take this into account. And what was Russia going to do? These countries were not just sitting around waiting for their turn.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 30 Aug 2023 06:41

john2 wrote:
30 Aug 2023 04:30
Hitler had his eyes on the Ukraine from WWI onward. During the '30s he worried about Stalin's rearmament. He pulled his punches at Dunkirk, which would have taken a couple of months to clear, an early preview of Stalingrad if you will. He would have had to put Paris on hold by taking Dunkirk. Sea Lion was a bluff. The British Isles would have been a costly invasion, but Hitler wanted the Ukraine. He could have bottled up the Med. at Gibraltar, Suez, and the Dardanelles. U-boats were keeping the British hungry. With all those options available to Hitler, the British were skeptical that Hitler would start a war with Stalin. ... Before December 11, 1941, Germany was in a better position than Britain.

Globalization41.
If it was just Germany and Britain maybe but there was Russia and the US. Could Germany organize an effective blockade with the US sending aide - especially after lend/lease? No one ever seems to take this into account. And what was Russia going to do? These countries were not just sitting around waiting for their turn.
Yes. Germany could have limited their U-boat campaign to the Eastern Atlantic and lessened tensions with the US. At the same time, without a war in Russia, the Germans could have shoved enough troops and supplies into N. Africa to crush the British and take Egypt. The British army was not doing all that well versus the Wehrmacht with a war going in Russia.
Toss in that Japan still attacks the US (highly likely), and Germany stays out of that mess, means Britain is now even more on the ropes as FDR has a dilemma on his hands. Does he still sent lots of support to Britain or cut them off except for aid in the Pacific? The US public likely wouldn't go for him supplying lots of stuff to fight Germany who is neutral to the US while the US was at war with Japan.
All Germany needs to do is turn the screws some on Britain to force a negotiated peace and end that war. There's always time later for Germany to turn East and do Russia.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by john2 » 30 Aug 2023 07:44

There's always time later for Germany to turn East and do Russia.
Was there? Stalin was steadily rearming. I don't believe that he intended an all out invasion but was trying to embroil Germany in a long war with Britain and the US. He was trying to salvage his "laughing third party" strategy that had failed after the fall of France. Weaken Germany in a war with the west then move in when morale was low. He hoped to conquer Europe on the cheap. Hitler's generals agreed with him that Russia was up to no good.

In conferences held in the summer of 1940 there was talk of Russia trying to take the Romanian oilfields and wreaking havoc on Germany's economy. But whether or not an invasion by Germany was correct is debatable. Halder at the time in his diary said that even though there was danger Stalin could betray them "It was better to stay friends with Russia." Who knows what would have happened had Hitler listened to him.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 30 Aug 2023 16:40

john2 wrote:
30 Aug 2023 07:44
There's always time later for Germany to turn East and do Russia.
Was there? Stalin was steadily rearming. I don't believe that he intended an all out invasion but was trying to embroil Germany in a long war with Britain and the US. He was trying to salvage his "laughing third party" strategy that had failed after the fall of France. Weaken Germany in a war with the west then move in when morale was low. He hoped to conquer Europe on the cheap. Hitler's generals agreed with him that Russia was up to no good.

In conferences held in the summer of 1940 there was talk of Russia trying to take the Romanian oilfields and wreaking havoc on Germany's economy. But whether or not an invasion by Germany was correct is debatable. Halder at the time in his diary said that even though there was danger Stalin could betray them "It was better to stay friends with Russia." Who knows what would have happened had Hitler listened to him.
I would say Stalin was far more concerned with creating a buffer around Russia than anything else. So long as Germany remained friendly, Stalin could have rearmed--not that it would have made much difference in performance of the Red Army--and could have begun construction of a new version of the Stalin line on their new frontier with Germany.

I think that would be the expected move on his part.

While I suppose it is possible that Stalin might at some point try an invasion or more likely, limited incursion to test the waters, all it would take as it did in Finland was getting a severe bloody nose in return for it to convince him to stay on the defensive and improve those defenses.

Keeping Germany tied up with fighting in the West was a net bonus for the Russians. For the Germans, getting Britain to negotiate a peace was at least possible if not in the short term. As I pointed out, without a war in Russia, the Germans would have taken Egypt at a minimum. A war in the Pacific would have distracted the US and could easily have been the final straw that got the British to negotiate a peace with Germany to get out of that war now that they had one to fight against Japan.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by ewest89 » 30 Aug 2023 18:14


ljadw
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by ljadw » 30 Aug 2023 21:02

Globalization41 wrote:
29 Aug 2023 22:59
Hitler had his eyes on the Ukraine from WWI onward. During the '30s he worried about Stalin's rearmament. He pulled his punches at Dunkirk, which would have taken a couple of months to clear, an early preview of Stalingrad if you will. He would have had to put Paris on hold by taking Dunkirk. Sea Lion was a bluff. The British Isles would have been a costly invasion, but Hitler wanted the Ukraine. He could have bottled up the Med. at Gibraltar, Suez, and the Dardanelles. U-boats were keeping the British hungry. With all those options available to Hitler, the British were skeptical that Hitler would start a war with Stalin. ... Before December 11, 1941, Germany was in a better position than Britian.

Globalization41.
1 The Soviet rearmament started only in September 1939 .
2 Hitler said several times to his generals that the only way to force Britain to give up,was the elimination of the USSR .
3 Already before PH Britain was in a better position than Germany .
There were more U Boats in 1941 than in 1940 and ..they sank less supplies .Besides :Britain was less dependent on the import of food than is claimed .

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by ljadw » 30 Aug 2023 21:05


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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 30 Aug 2023 21:56

[quote=ljadw post_id=2490111 time=1693425776 user_id=37428


1 The Soviet rearmament started only in September 1939 .[/quote]

Doesn't make a wit of difference. Had that been entirely completed, the Red Army would have still been faced with technical and tactical incompetence on a massive scale that wouldn't be apparent until it went to war. The Germans would have upped their equipment game as well, so the impact would diminish over time as well.
2 Hitler said several times to his generals that the only way to force Britain to give up,was the elimination of the USSR .
Clearly, a strategic blunder. Germany could have likely forced the British to the table by a combination of using the Luftwaffe for maritime strike on an increasing basis and fighting Britain in Africa and the Middle East. The former is clearly something that could be implemented very quickly and without great cost. For Britain, defending against airstrikes on merchant shipping would have been a very costly exercise to undertake. Even improvised merchant carriers aren't cheap to build. They'd need a significant number of them, along with far more pilots and aircraft, to deal with strikes effectively. Once the Germans get things like Hs 293 ASM's, this becomes even harder.
Combined with U-boats, convoys would be under extreme danger and pressure, something they really weren't given the Luftwaffe's historical reluctance to make maritime strikes and reconnaissance a priority.
3 Already before PH Britain was in a better position than Germany .
Only because Germany refocused on Russia. Without an Eastern Front, Britian in N. Africa was doomed. Germany could have easily put say 3 or 4 more fully motorized / panzer divisions there and focused on getting shipping to back that up. They could have at a minimum, bombed Malta into impotence, or at whatever cost taken the island.
There were more U Boats in 1941 than in 1940 and ..they sank less supplies .Besides :Britain was less dependent on the import of food than is claimed.
While Britain might not have starved, its industry might well have. Keeping up some level of air strikes against Britain was doable. Jamming their radar network was easily doable. Look at how effectively the British were able to jam German radar and radio systems. That wasn't hugely costly, but rather an acceptance by their leadership of the importance of technology and electronics to warfare, something the German leadership had a seeming lack of appreciation of.

If anything, Germany let the British get the upper hand. They gave up on trying to win when it stopped being an easy, quick victory.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by john2 » 31 Aug 2023 00:39

I understand Germany had to do something different if they were to win but leaving Russia alone seems to benefit Russia more then Germany. Didn't the Russians have like 12,000 tanks when the Germans attacked? I don't remember the exact number offhand but the Germans underestimated them. How would letting them build even more tanks help Germany? Btw when do you think Britain would be defeated in your timeline? 1941? So earliest Germany could invade Russia is 1942. Yes Germany would only have to fight on one front but would it be enough to make up for Russia's increased mobilization? And this is assuming British surrender/deal in 1941.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by john2 » 31 Aug 2023 00:48

Ok I looked it up. It was 35,000!

Hitler quote -
"If someone had told me that a country could start with 35,000 tanks, then I'd have said, 'You are crazy!'," the German dictator told Mannerheim in the 1942 recording. "If one of my generals had stated that any nation had 35,000 tanks, I'd have said: 'You, my good sir, you see everything twice or ten times.You are crazy, you are seeing ghosts.'"

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by ewest89 » 31 Aug 2023 16:18

I will note that speculation is speculation. Just looking up the occasional number, like tanks, obscures the whole picture. This is certainly not the proper function involved when doing a comprehensive history. It's more like a conversation overheard at the local pub. Let's go back to 1939 London.

"The Germans are rearming you know. They've annexed Austria and the Sudetenland."

"Yes, well what was that business in Spain in '37?"

"It was '36 actually. The Russian want to take over the continent I tell you.

"Yes, quite."

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