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blakduk
11-21-2005, 08:10 PM
I have been wondering recently, especially after some of the excellent alternate history scenarios debated lately, what would have happened if Hitler had turned east BEFORE he turned west?
One of Hitler's primary motivations prior to WW2 was getting even for the treatment of Germany post ww1, particularly in relation to the treaty of Versaille. It was also apparent that he was gearing up for a confrontation with the USSR but he had a particular grudge against the French.
If that motivation had been tempered for a while and he had instead headed east- what would the outcome have been?
The French were entrenched in the Maginot line, their whole strategy was defensive and their army's command structure was chaotic. They would not have been able to maintain an offensive for long.
The British were ambivalent and at that time few, other than Churchill, had much time for another war with Germany.
The USA was committed to staying out of any European wars and was far more concerned with events in the Pacific that threatened its preeminence there.
If the Germans had instead attacked the USSR after invading Poland, leaving the allies content behind their barricades, the war may have gone very differently. The luftwaffe wouldnt have suffered the losses of the battles of France or Britain, and the antiwar movements in France and Britain would have remained strong. Its important to remember the euphoria that greeted Chamberlain after the Munich conference. With Hitler's overtures to Britain about leaving its empire intact there would have been little for opponents of apeasement to attack.
Also, the Bolsheviks had few strong supporters among the establishments of the USA or the UK. They could have expected as much support from them as the Royalists received in the Spanish civil war.
After the defeat of the USSR, Germany could then have turned west.....

Just an idea to keep me from thinking about work http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

blakduk
11-21-2005, 08:10 PM
I have been wondering recently, especially after some of the excellent alternate history scenarios debated lately, what would have happened if Hitler had turned east BEFORE he turned west?
One of Hitler's primary motivations prior to WW2 was getting even for the treatment of Germany post ww1, particularly in relation to the treaty of Versaille. It was also apparent that he was gearing up for a confrontation with the USSR but he had a particular grudge against the French.
If that motivation had been tempered for a while and he had instead headed east- what would the outcome have been?
The French were entrenched in the Maginot line, their whole strategy was defensive and their army's command structure was chaotic. They would not have been able to maintain an offensive for long.
The British were ambivalent and at that time few, other than Churchill, had much time for another war with Germany.
The USA was committed to staying out of any European wars and was far more concerned with events in the Pacific that threatened its preeminence there.
If the Germans had instead attacked the USSR after invading Poland, leaving the allies content behind their barricades, the war may have gone very differently. The luftwaffe wouldnt have suffered the losses of the battles of France or Britain, and the antiwar movements in France and Britain would have remained strong. Its important to remember the euphoria that greeted Chamberlain after the Munich conference. With Hitler's overtures to Britain about leaving its empire intact there would have been little for opponents of apeasement to attack.
Also, the Bolsheviks had few strong supporters among the establishments of the USA or the UK. They could have expected as much support from them as the Royalists received in the Spanish civil war.
After the defeat of the USSR, Germany could then have turned west.....

Just an idea to keep me from thinking about work http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Daiichidoku
11-21-2005, 08:29 PM
yes, an intriguing idea, but

IMO, it simply would not havge happened

as truly ill-prepared and supplied the weremacht was in 41 for a russian war that could last for much over 6 months, assuming blitzkrieg failed, it was even worse in 40

while the threat of russia attacking germany some time or another was on AH's mind, and indeed was a real possiblilty, he could risk that, given the distances involved and russias general state of affairs concerning its military (can you say "finland?")

thus (in part) he went west


to go east, he could and would not have dared to strip western germany of the troops needed to go east, as france alone could have marched all the way to Berlin without much problem

in fact, AH and most of his staff and field officers were REALLY nervous about france, as when they attacked poland, they did strip most of the military strength from rhineland/western germany...they were lucky france did not react for poland...however, at that time, there was a strong communist presence in france, and much sympathy to russia, and germany attacking russia would have probably roused france

if not that compelling the french, then certainly the realization that they could be next should have certainly roused them...and for that matter, the british

yes, the french were very defensive, and leery of battle, having lost its "flower of youth" 20 years before, but it still had the largest air force in the world, and AFAIK the second largest army


still, neat idea

SOLO_Bones
11-21-2005, 08:43 PM
Hitler would have had to attack Russia BEFORE invading Poland. It was the invasion of Poland which forced the hand of the British to declare war. Then if Hitler turned east he would have left his lines open for an easy walkthrough from the west.

blakduk
11-21-2005, 09:18 PM
Daiichidoku- I take your point about the size of the French forces.
If you look at the French deployment however they were not equipped to take the offensive. Theirs was a policy of intimidation by show of arms and defense.
I think the Germans overestimated the capability of the French army and airforce as on paper they were quite formidable. Their inability to use their forces cohesively was ultimately their undoing.

DmdSeeker
11-21-2005, 09:31 PM
He DID turn east before west; that's where Czekoslovakia and Poland are.

And Britain wasn't ambivalent; she declared war because of his expansion eastwards in an attempt to save Poland.

LEXX_Luthor
11-21-2005, 09:40 PM
Take France out of the discussion -- attack USSR in July 1940 after France is defeated, instead of wasting over Britain so many experienced Luftwaffe fighter and bomber crews. Best of all, in Germany, the Bf-110 was considered the Elite fighter...until the Battle of Britain, and would have found extreme success as long range fighter over Eastern Front 1940. By going East instead of BoB, the -110 and Luftwaffe opinion (and support) of twin engine fighters in general would have been preserved or in fact enhanced. The most fascinating discussion is how would the -110 fare in the East during 1940? No Yaks, No LaGGs, No MiGs. Granted, the Germany Army did not lose anything in the LW's battle with Britain, and so certainly benefitted waiting a year until May (as planned) or June 1941, unlike the Luftwaffe which was wasted over Britain. So the question is, can the German Army be able to invade USSR sometime in 1940? If so, this could be the basis of a most fascinating Dynamic Campaign.

arcadeace
11-21-2005, 09:48 PM
I think everyone in Europe would've stayed out of his way. If... he went strait for Russia, German industries would be churning full steam, with token national defense toward the west. Frankly I think blitzkrieg would've rolled, with continued resupplies, all the way.

Pirschjaeger
11-21-2005, 09:48 PM
Had Hitler gone east right away I don't think the situation would have remained the same in France. The Germans thought France was formidable and if they'd gone west right away it would be reasonable to assume the French would have used the extra time to build and strengthen their forces.

I think from Hitler's POV, he must have thought that Russia could wait as they were diplomatically ok.

Poland, with Russia helping from the other side, was more of a pep rally for the German people and military. A fast and decisive victory was great for moral and national support for the Nazis. Once Germany ran over Poland the German people were more than satisfied. Hitler never truly had the nation behind him until the war actually began.

France turned out to be a "cake walk" and therefore made Hitler much more popular with the German people.

Russia could never have been a quick win simply due to its size.

Another point, it was personal. The T of V was signed in France and the Germans really resented that and their land loss to France.

Hitler's tactical blunder was at Dunkirk. He should have pushed on and surrounded the allied troops and forced a surrender. This is not hindsight but common sense. "Don't fix it if it ain't broken".

He should have continued what was already working. He could have divided his forces according to the amount of fuel they had. They could have kept pushing while waiting for supplies, then the remaining forces could have caught up, undeterred, with the fighting forces. meanwhile the LW could have had the sole purpose of keeping the British rescue ships from reaching the beaches.

Sorry, going a little off topic. But having succeeded at Dunkirk would have meant the Nazis would have had the time to consolidate and gain support from the rest of Europe through assimilation, then attack Russia. 5 years would have been enough.

There should never have been a WW2. Hitler started it, but not in Poland. He started it at Dunkirk.

Fritz

blakduk
11-21-2005, 10:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DmdSeeker:
He DID turn east before west; that's where Czekoslovakia and Poland are.

And Britain wasn't ambivalent; she declared war because of his expansion eastwards in an attempt to save Poland. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Britain did send their army but didn't engage the enemy immediately- they entrenched themselves and awaited the Germans next move. I believe that implies the British and French had no real desire to join in a shooting war and had already demonstrated a preparedness to do almost anything to avoid hostilities.
Politicians such as Churchill fumed that they had to take the fight to the Germans however the pacifist movement was still very strong. There was no great love for the USSR, who had only recently killed their monarch, and i believe their would have been a great deal of posture and protestation from the Western nations but very little real help.
I agree that Hitler's preoccupation with the Treaty of Versaille means this scenario is not likely to have ever happened. I just find the idea interesting.

Pirschjaeger
11-21-2005, 10:24 PM
Had Hitler gone east it would have been a long drawn out affair. I think at one point, if Germany was to have had success in a war against Russia, the Russians would have, as a means of self preservation, made good relations with the French and British and had them attack Germany from the rear.

If Hitler would have attacked Russia it would have been a clear sign that France and the rest of Europe would have been next.

Nations, like school girls, have new best friends every 3 months.

Fritz

Daiichidoku
11-21-2005, 11:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pirschjaeger:
There should never have been a WW2. Hitler started it, but not in Poland. He started it at Dunkirk.

Fritz </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



not to hijack the thread...

and with all due respect to your statement, pirsch...it is, after all valid

just as valid as "if goering hadnt called off attacks on RAF fields and infrastructure and home chain"
or
"if that 88 crew hadnt sloppily jettisoned bombs over london"
or
" if alois schiklgruber was kicked in the nuts SO hard one day..."
or my personal fav,
" if england actually reacted, at all, to AH's invading czech (after the studetenland annex)"...this would have led to a coup by most of the wermacht's top officers

read shirer's hefty "the rise and fall of the third reich"...totally amazing book, shirer was in and around germany throughout the whole pre- and early war period

Daiichidoku
11-21-2005, 11:23 PM
william l shirer, i believe

and post count +1

Pirschjaeger
11-21-2005, 11:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Daiichidoku:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pirschjaeger:
There should never have been a WW2. Hitler started it, but not in Poland. He started it at Dunkirk.

Fritz </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



not to hijack the thread...

and with all due respect to your statement, pirsch...it is, after all valid

just as valid as "if goering hadnt called off attacks on RAF fields and infrastructure and home chain"
or
"if that 88 crew hadnt sloppily jettisoned bombs over london"
or
" if alois schiklgruber was kicked in the nuts SO hard one day..."
or my personal fav,
" if england actually reacted, at all, to AH's invading czech (after the studetenland annex)"...this would have led to a coup by most of the wermacht's top officers

read shirer's hefty "the rise and fall of the third reich"...totally amazing book, shirer was in and around germany throughout the whole pre- and early war period </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You are right Daiichidoku. For a long time now I've been thinking about all these events and the impacts they've had on the outcome of the war.

Previously my thoughts were "The allies won the war" but the more I learn the more I tend to think "Hitler lost the war". The allies couldn't have won without Hitler. It seems to me that Germany could have easily won the war and even under bad leadership, they almost did.

Today we can be thankful that Hitler was a moron when it came to tactical and strategical details.

So we don't reroute this thread further, Blakduk, as mentioned, Germany was not equipped to invade Russia. They proved that. How far do you think they would have gotten if they would have invaded Russia first? I'm thinking that due to the size of Russia and Germany's friendly weather equipment, there wasn't enough of a timeframe(seasons)available to gain any quick successes.

Then again, if Hitler had enough foresight and intellect, he could have made good use of Russia's politics to win over the masses.

Fritz

Daiichidoku
11-22-2005, 03:19 AM
im hijacking this thread again...kind of

but im using a plastic spoon to do it, so....


AH was a surprisingly adept tactician and strategist, esp for a mail-running corporal

IMO, his problem was ego, faith in providence, and a touch of paranoia
he started to make decisions based upon what he thought would look good to people, or to "show up" stalin, or churchill, or fdr

witness stalingrad, or "vengeance" weapons for ego

keeping goering around WAY too long, cuz he knew he could keep him under thumb, or giving himmler field powers, he couldnt trust anyone else by that stage, showing his flaw of paranoia (of course, EVERYONE but eva betrayed eventually, hehehe)


take the balkans outta de picture, and even after splitting up his army to deal with ukraine, they could have made good the plan to make moscow a resivoir

hell, he had D-Day dead to rights, initally, but his double thinking kept the vital panzer groups and needed troop reserves in calais


germany was, by 41, by way of blitzkrieg, equipped to handle mother russia...but with no allowances for error, most notably, the well-known problems of a russian winter


absolutely correct, pirsch, indeed, many satelite states of russia, especially the well-populated, and resource-rich ukraine welcomed the germans, until, well...we all know now whyhttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

those ppl would have fought more fiercely against the russians than the germans, and it wouldnt have been hard at all to take them into the fold