At what point did Germany lose WW2?

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Ovidius
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Re: agree

Post by Ovidius » 23 Sep 2002 19:34

admfisher wrote:Ovidius, this is line with also, Hitler was the reason the war lost. After all one cannont loss what one is not in.


Wrong guess.

~Ovidius

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Post by viriato » 23 Sep 2002 20:07

Ovidius wrote:

But, if we think, like Scott Smith does, the war as a political act, then it was lost, with just a very slim chance to avoid defeat, on March 4, 1933.


July, 1914 perhaps? In fact I would say that at that date Germany could still reach a victory. It eluded her (in part because of her second rating politicians and military turned politicians) only in 1917 (USA entering the war).

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Y Ddraig Goch
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Lack of resources

Post by Y Ddraig Goch » 23 Sep 2002 20:11

Germny did not have the resources, industry or manpower for a war of attrition. For that reason the declaration of war against the United States and the invasion of the Soviet Union was a MAJOR blunder and probably cost Germany the war.

The more I read about Germany's struggle the more I think that Germany had no chance of winning World War II. They just didn't have any direction.
/ Mike

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger"
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 23 Sep 2002 23:18

Ovidius wrote:From the military point of view, there will never be a generally accepted date at which Germany "lost the war" - at any moment in the war there was still a chance.

But, if we think, like Scott Smith does, the war as a political act, then it was lost, with just a very slim chance to avoid defeat, on March 4, 1933.

Guess why.

~Ovidius

This might be the point that Ovidius is making. I agree to the extent that throwing off the Versailles treaty was bound to lead to war but I don't think that German defeat or American intervention were inevitable. And I don't think that Germany was forced to go to war for resources. However, the Nazis were nothing if not dedicated to throwing off Versailles, and that led to world war on September 3, 1939.
:)

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Ovidius
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Post by Ovidius » 23 Sep 2002 23:34

Scott Smith wrote:This might be the point that Ovidius is making. I agree to the extent that throwing off the Versailles treaty was bound to lead to war but I don't think that German defeat or American intervention were inevitable.


Very close but still wrong. :mrgreen:

~Ovidius

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Re: If he had stopped at France

Post by Navy Vet » 24 Sep 2002 06:08

Psycho Mike wrote:I think if Hitler lost... when he incorporated socialism into his philosophy... the first social security system


NAZI Germany started the first national social security system?

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 24 Sep 2002 11:09

My two cents -

I would argue that after the disastrous failure of the 1942 campaign in the East consititutes the fundamental turning point. In May 42, the German army retained the capacity for strategic offensive in the East, and as long as this was the case, there was always the chance of a decisive result in the East, if not a big one. In May 43, that capacity was no longer there, and the relative weight of forces was such that the German Army could no longer wage either offensive or defensive major operations against the Soviets successfully. Additionally, the time was approaching when the Western Allies could bring their full force to bear against Germany in the West.

cheers

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Tim Smith
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Post by Tim Smith » 25 Sep 2002 11:43

I'd say September 1 1939 as well. Hitler was convinced that Britain and France would not honour their commitments to Poland, and was utterly gobsmacked when they declared war.

Germany could handle the French threat, but not the British one as well. Hitler never considered the possibility that Britain might fight on after a French surrender - his strategic planning was atrocious in that he always assumed that things would turn out the way he wanted, without exception.

The German navy had been designed to fight France and Russia, and was almost totally unprepared for war against Britain, Europe's leading seapower. The Kreigsmarine had:

1. Three pocket battleships that could handle any single cruiser but stood little chance against the British and French battlecruisers, which were both faster and more heavily armed.

2. Two battlecruisers (Scharnhorst and Gneisenau) that were in dock for refit and were stupidly armed with 9x11" guns, which were useless against battleships, instead of 6x15" guns which would have made them much more dangerous.

3. Two battleships (Bismarck and Tirpitz) that weren't finished yet, and would be outnumbered three to one by the slower British battleships, making a fleet action out of the question. As raiders they were overkill. Against the French they would have been useful, but against Britain they were a misuse of resources.

4. A mere 50 U-boats, mostly coastal types, with extremely unreliable torpedoes. Since war with Britain was likely, Germany should have built 100 long-range U-boats before the war instead of Bismarck and Tirpitz.

5. A few cruisers and destroyers, and no naval air arm at all.

As a result of this error in naval strategy, by the time there were enough U-boats to have a real chance of sinking enough ships to sever Britain's Atlantic supply line, it was too late - British technological advances had made the old U-boat design obselete. And the superb type XXI class boats only entered service in April 1945.

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 25 Sep 2002 15:44

Another excellent post, Tim.
:)

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 25 Sep 2002 21:39

Scott Smith wrote:However, the Nazis were nothing if not dedicated to throwing off Versailles, and that


That?

Throwing off Versailles required the annihilation of Poland?

Vernichtung Polens im Vordergrund. Ziel ist die Beseitigung der lebendigen Kräfte, nicht die Erreichung einer bestimmten Linie. Auch wenn im Westen Krieg ausbricht, bleibt Vernichtung Polens im Vordergrund. Mit Rücksicht auf Jahreszeit schnelle Entscheidung.
Ich werde propagandistischen Anlass zur Auslösung des Krieges geben, gleichgültig, ob glaubhaft. Der Sieger wird später nicht danach gefragt, ob er die Wahrheit gesagt hat oder nicht. Bei Beginn und Führung des Krieges kommt es nicht auf das Recht an, sondern auf den Sieg.
Herz verschliessen gegen Mitleid. Brutales Vorgehen. 80 Millionen Menschen müssen ihr Recht bekommen. Ihre Existenz muss gesichert werden. Grösste Härte. Schnelligkeit der Entscheidung notwendig. Festen Glauben an den deutschen Soldaten. Krisen nur auf Versagen der Nerven der Führer zurückzuführen.
Erste Forderung: Vordringen bis zur Weichsel und bis zum Narew. Unsere technische Überlegenheit wird die Nerven der Polen zerbrechen. Jede sich neu bildende lebendige polnische Kraft ist sofort zu vernichten. Fortgesetzte Zermürbung. Neue deutsche Grenzführung nach gesunden Gesichtspunkten, evtl. Protektorat als Vorgelände. Militärische Operationen nehmen auf diese Überlegungen keine Rücksicht. Restlose Zertrümmerung Polens ist das militärische Ziel. Schnelligkeit ist die Hauptsache. Verfolgung bis zur völligen Vernichtung.
berzeugung, dass die deutsche Wehrmacht den Anforderungen gewachsen ist. Auslösung wird nocht befohlen ...

Source of quote: Ernst Klee / Willi Dressen, "Gott mit uns”: Der deutsche Vernichtungskrieg im Osten there is yet another summary of Hitler's statements at the afternoon meeting on the Obersalzberg on 22.8.1939. The document referred to is Nuernberg Document 1014-PS, IMT, Volume XXVI.

My translation:

The annihilation of Poland is the priority. The goal is the removal of living forces, not the reaching of a certain line. Even if war should break out in the West, the annihilation of Poland remains the priority. Considering the time of the year, a quick decision is required.
I shall provide for a propagandistic reason to unleash the war, regardless of whether it is credible or not. The victor is not asked at a later stage whether he told the truth or not. In beginning and conducting a war, what matters is not right but victory.
Close heart to pity. Brutal proceeding. 80 million people must get their right, Their existence must be assured. Greatest harshness. Quick decision is necessary. Firm faith in the German soldier. Crises must only be attributed to commanders having lost their nerves.
First requirement: Advance to the Vistula and the Narev. Our technical superiority will break the nerves of the Poles. Every new Polish force forming must be immediately annihilated. Continuous attrition. New German frontier according to healthy criteria, eventually a protectorate as a buffer area. Military operations must not take these thoughts into consideration. The utter shattering of Poland is the military goal. Pursuit until complete annihilation.
Conviction that the German Wehrmacht is up to the task. Unleashing will yet be ordered ...


Scott Smith wrote:led to world war on September 3, 1939.


Why, Germany against Poland, Britain and France (the latter two of which hardly moved a finger) was a world war?

staatsgrenze
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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by staatsgrenze » 30 Oct 2012 20:14

Probably just after Stalingrad and Goebbels Total War speech of 18 February 1943. Had Germany gone over to Total War instead of still producing consumer goods and overly complicated and expensive weapons, and women still not being drafted to war work plus not developing advanced weapons earlier all contributed to a 'too little too late' outcome.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Keith Braidwood » 30 Oct 2012 23:54

Arguably when Hitler decided to fight a war on two fronts. Britain and France had said in 1939 that they would support Poland against Germany, but did nothing. He, as Tim says, did not expect Britain and France to declare war but they did. Germany and Russia divided Poland and there was peace in the east, for a while. Hitler admired Britain and its Empire (or Commonwealth) and wanted something similar for Germany. Russia was, of course, a primitive country with fertile land and down towards the Caucasus a ready supply of oil. He was misinformed. No general would attempt to fight a battle on two fronts over such a distance. Hitler knew better, after all providence was on his side. There was an American, I can't recall if he was a military man or a diplomat, who said that if American had known what Albert Speer was doing for Germany they would have sent their entire forces to destroy him. Said after the war but perhaps proves how much of a hindrance Hitler was in the end.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 31 Oct 2012 02:22

Keith Braidwood wrote:Arguably when Hitler decided to fight a war on two fronts. Britain and France had said in 1939 that they would support Poland against Germany, but did nothing.
Indeed they didn't done nothing in 1939. But they planned to do futurely.
No general would attempt to fight a battle on two fronts over such a distance.
The problem was not in distance. Germany was counting with a Soviet military and political collapse within the first 500 km of penetration.
There was an American, I can't recall if he was a military man or a diplomat, who said that if American had known what Albert Speer was doing for Germany they would have sent their entire forces to destroy him. Said after the war but perhaps proves how much of a hindrance Hitler was in the end.
Ah... the myth of Speer as a superman.

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by ljadw » 31 Oct 2012 10:26

staatsgrenze wrote:Probably just after Stalingrad and Goebbels Total War speech of 18 February 1943. Had Germany gone over to Total War instead of still producing consumer goods and overly complicated and expensive weapons, and women still not being drafted to war work plus not developing advanced weapons earlier all contributed to a 'too little too late' outcome.
Ah:an adept of the old myths:as most people know:women were used for war work since 1 september (and even earlier);maybe you should read "The Wages of Destruction".

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Re: At what point did Germany lose WW2?

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 31 Oct 2012 15:03

staatsgrenze wrote:overly complicated and expensive weapon
The Panther, the Tiger and the Me 262 were such weapons that should not have been produced? If yes, then the M26, the Centurion an the IS should not have been produced, as well as the Meteor and the P-80.

There's a popular myth that Germany that was technologically superior to the Allies. It doesn't correspond the reality.

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