Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

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Von Bock
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Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by Von Bock » 24 Oct 2022 18:39

A simple scenario it seems. If the Allies capture (and keep) the Arnhem bridge the road to Western Germany is open. They will almost certainly be the first to arrive in Berlin, possibly already during the 1944/1945 winter. But as we know, the Germans were able to hold the bridge and prevent an earlier Allied breakthrough.

An even simpler scenario is that the Germans in early 45 'open the gates' for the Allies. A quick view on the map of 15 January 1945 shows that the Russians did not even enter German soil at the time. So why didn't the Germans make a deal or simply surrendered to the Allies in early 1945?

In both scenario's it would almost certainly have prevented the Polish/Soviet annexation of more than 100.000 km2 of German territory since the Russians wouldn't have captured any territory. Any thoughts on this?

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by Destroyer500 » 25 Oct 2022 16:24

I think the allies wouldnt accept a peace offer and if they did who knows how Stalin will react.Also a peace offer of that kind requires a dead Hitler and a completely different high command

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by Sheldrake » 25 Oct 2022 18:03

If the allies had captured the Arnhem bridge two weeks earlier there may have been a fatal blow to German morale provoking a collapse in resistance. This is the only scenario that makes sense to me. 30th British Corps on its own did not have the fighting power to reach Berlin.

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 25 Oct 2022 20:50

I doubt it would change anything. The British push would still grind to a halt. Antwerp would still need to be opened. The open flanks of the advance would need to be secured. So, everything would end up being virtually the same as it was historically.

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by Von Bock » 26 Oct 2022 10:03

T. A. Gardner wrote:
25 Oct 2022 20:50
I doubt it would change anything. The British push would still grind to a halt. Antwerp would still need to be opened. The open flanks of the advance would need to be secured. So, everything would end up being virtually the same as it was historically.
Destroyer500 wrote:
25 Oct 2022 16:24
I think the allies wouldnt accept a peace offer and if they did who knows how Stalin will react.Also a peace offer of that kind requires a dead Hitler and a completely different high command
Well, the final decision to move Poland's boundary westward was made by the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union at the Yalta Conference in February 1945. The precise location of the border was left open, and the western Allies also accepted in general the principles of the Oder River being the future western border of Poland and of population transfer being the way to prevent future border disputes. The open questions were whether the border should follow the Eastern or Lusatian Neisse rivers and whether Stettin, the traditional seaport of Berlin, should remain in Germany or be included in Poland. (Source: Wiki)

So basically the deal was made in February 1945. Of course the Germans didn't know this at the time but I still wonder if it would have been possible to unconditionally surrender to the Western Allies at an earlier moment. (Winter 44/45) This would mean that the Allies could have walked all the way to Konigsberg, which was still under German control at the time. Or was that simply not accepted by Stalin?

About September '44, a bridgehead over the Rine would have been a crippling blow to the Germans. There is no defense line possible when you've crossed that river.

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 27 Oct 2022 08:05

This:
T. A. Gardner wrote:
25 Oct 2022 20:50
I doubt it would change anything. The British push would still grind to a halt. Antwerp would still need to be opened. The open flanks of the advance would need to be secured. So, everything would end up being virtually the same as it was historically.

As it was the Brit & US could not keep 20 divisions supplied well enough to maintain the offense during September. Not only were the divisions specifically undersupplied, but the mass of corps and army level support was grounded. Heavy artillery engineer groups, signals intel companies, aviation battalions with the light observation aircraft. The list goes on and on. Both 21 and 12 Army Groups were missing near half their combat power as it was stalled along the French highways for shortages of fuel. Much of the heavy artillery of US 1st and 3rd Armies was stripped of its five ton transporters during September to supply the motor transport of the infantry and armored divisions supplies. Only the 6th Army Group had sufficient supplies & they were forwarding a portion of that to 3rd Army.

In August shortly before 21 AG crossed the Seine river Monty told Eisenhower that with 40 divisions he could roll across France, the Rhine and northern Germany to Berlin. In September both the 12 & 21 AG could not keep 20 operational at offensive levels. It was November before all three Allied Army groups came close to 40.

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by Von Bock » 27 Oct 2022 08:46

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
27 Oct 2022 08:05
This:
T. A. Gardner wrote:
25 Oct 2022 20:50
I doubt it would change anything. The British push would still grind to a halt. Antwerp would still need to be opened. The open flanks of the advance would need to be secured. So, everything would end up being virtually the same as it was historically.

As it was the Brit & US could not keep 20 divisions supplied well enough to maintain the offense during September. Not only were the divisions specifically undersupplied, but the mass of corps and army level support was grounded. Heavy artillery engineer groups, signals intel companies, aviation battalions with the light observation aircraft. The list goes on and on. Both 21 and 12 Army Groups were missing near half their combat power as it was stalled along the French highways for shortages of fuel. Much of the heavy artillery of US 1st and 3rd Armies was stripped of its five ton transporters during September to supply the motor transport of the infantry and armored divisions supplies. Only the 6th Army Group had sufficient supplies & they were forwarding a portion of that to 3rd Army.

In August shortly before 21 AG crossed the Seine river Monty told Eisenhower that with 40 divisions he could roll across France, the Rhine and northern Germany to Berlin. In September both the 12 & 21 AG could not keep 20 operational at offensive levels. It was November before all three Allied Army groups came close to 40.
November indeed. That is still 3 months before the 'borderdeal' with Stalin was basically made. Everything was possible by then. If the Allies had liberated Holland already and progressed towards the Elbe, that would give them an advantage over Stalin in the negotiations. Remember that the US and UK didn't want Germany to lose that much territory.

Remember also that in the original timeline, the breakout from the bridgehead at Remagen was exceptionally late. (March the 7th, 1945)

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 27 Oct 2022 17:07

All that area on the map with white arrows was low lying polder that the Germans broke the dikes on. It would have been a slog taking it, just as it was historically. Between mud, water, and winter, the British were not going to just walk through it to the Elbe.

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by Von Bock » 28 Oct 2022 09:22

T. A. Gardner wrote:
27 Oct 2022 17:07
All that area on the map with white arrows was low lying polder that the Germans broke the dikes on. It would have been a slog taking it, just as it was historically. Between mud, water, and winter, the British were not going to just walk through it to the Elbe.
Well, being a Dutchman I know something about the terrain in the Netherlands. There are dikes, but only in the west of the country. Certainly not around the Dutch/German border in the east. Everything is above sea level.

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In fact, in 1940 the Germans had a free ride through the east of the Netherlands because it is almost indefensible.

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Oct 2022 09:28

Von Bock wrote:
27 Oct 2022 08:46

November indeed. That is still 3 months before the 'borderdeal' with Stalin was basically made. Everything was possible by then. If the Allies had liberated Holland already and progressed towards the Elbe, that would give them an advantage over Stalin in the negotiations. Remember that the US and UK didn't want Germany to lose that much territory.
Which circles back around to why the 21st & 12th AG did not carry on across the Rhine in November as the supply problem began to recede.

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by Von Bock » 28 Oct 2022 12:28

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
28 Oct 2022 09:28
Von Bock wrote:
27 Oct 2022 08:46

November indeed. That is still 3 months before the 'borderdeal' with Stalin was basically made. Everything was possible by then. If the Allies had liberated Holland already and progressed towards the Elbe, that would give them an advantage over Stalin in the negotiations. Remember that the US and UK didn't want Germany to lose that much territory.
Which circles back around to why the 21st & 12th AG did not carry on across the Rhine in November as the supply problem began to recede.
I don't get it. We both agree that the supply problem was pretty much over in November, right?

We also agree that the Western Allies were not enthusiastic about Russian/Polish annexations. So why wait until March 1945? A simple avoidance of casualties?

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by Kingfish » 28 Oct 2022 21:07

So...

Stalin is just going to meekly acquiesce to this new agreement - one that he would be kept from knowing - and everyone goes home?
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by Von Bock » 28 Oct 2022 21:52

Kingfish wrote:
28 Oct 2022 21:07
So...

Stalin is just going to meekly acquiesce to this new agreement - one that he would be kept from knowing - and everyone goes home?
Again. The original 'deal' was made in February 1945, when the Soviets were already close to Berlin. The fact that they already occupied some of the Ostgebiete gave them great negotiation opportunities.

What else could the Allies do when the Soviets already occupied parts of Germany? It was quite obvious that the Allies wouldn't be the first in Berlin.

So the agreement would have been different had the Allies been closer to Berlin in February 1945.

It's not that hard to understand. ;)

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by LineDoggie » 28 Oct 2022 23:30

Von Bock wrote:
28 Oct 2022 21:52
Kingfish wrote:
28 Oct 2022 21:07
So...

Stalin is just going to meekly acquiesce to this new agreement - one that he would be kept from knowing - and everyone goes home?
Again. The original 'deal' was made in February 1945, when the Soviets were already close to Berlin. The fact that they already occupied some of the Ostgebiete gave them great negotiation opportunities.

What else could the Allies do when the Soviets already occupied parts of Germany? It was quite obvious that the Allies wouldn't be the first in Berlin.

So the agreement would have been different had the Allies been closer to Berlin in February 1945.

It's not that hard to understand. ;)
A conscious decision on Ike's part he didnt want the casualty lists inherent, where Stalin couldnt care less about his men then or before
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Re: Will Germany keep the Ostgebiete if the Allies capture the Arnhem bridge?

Post by Kingfish » 29 Oct 2022 01:21

Von Bock wrote:
28 Oct 2022 21:52
So the agreement would have been different had the Allies been closer to Berlin in February 1945.
Let me get this straight.

The Germans and WA agree to a deal that has the former cease all military activity on the western and southern fronts, but to continue fighting on the Ostfront.

In exchange the WA will drive as far east as possible so as to deny the Russians as much of Germany as possible.

And all this was to kept secret from the Russians.

And Stalin would agree to this.

Right?
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