Capabilities of the Western Allies to keep fighting without the USSR
Discussing with a individual, I presented the argumentation that both the Soviets and the Western Allies critically needed from each other in WWII, and he replied with the following:
David Glantz correctly noted (as he wrote elsewhere) that, had the USSR had to fight alone, it would be much more difficult to achieve a decisive victory (if possible at all). However, although the Soviet victory would not be obvious in that case, its theoretical possibility could not be ruled out completely. In connection to that, can anyone tell the same about the Western front? Would be a victory without the USSR possible (even theoretically)? (Please, do not use references to A-bomb, or something of that kind: obviously, without EF Hitler would make the A-bomb, as well as the intercontinental ballistic rocket, first.).
The guy practically mocked from the Western Allies, and I think his arguments are not that fair. I found the claims that the Nazis would surpass the Manhattan Project like magic, and produce advanced rockets in a very short time and force an Allied capitulation very suspect. Not to mention the fact the same Nazi nuclear weapons and advanced rockets could also have been used against the Soviets, and probably with much more devastating results since the Russians would not have an effective answer.
Another thing that should have vital consideration in this subject is the year in which the Soviets would be defeated. Frankly, I cannot view Hitler defeating the Soviets with his historical means, specially after December of '41, but let's fix a date to mid 1942.
Members interested in this subject like Parfisal, can you help the fellow here providing your opinions about the claims the individual did?
Last edited by Jenisch; 04-01-2012 at 07:55 AM.
Mmm, interesting, reminds me of the 'Hearts Of Iron' (within paradox plaza's forums,) communitiies A-historical societies, and their historical based options of musings towards alternet events.
Jenisch I appreciate that you are quoting someone else but anyone who can write that has a very tenuous grasp of the period's history. I'm not sure how seriously I can take his other opinions.
Originally Posted by Jenisch
If I telll you that this person has many awards in a famous site for writing about WWII and a PhD in humanities...
Originally Posted by stona
Maybe,but he has no understanding of the nuclear project in nazi Germany! It didn't have the people or investment to produce a weapon in any timescale relevant to WWII. Such a fundamental misunderstanding doesn't inspire confidence in their other opinions. A quick look at the figures for the Manhattan Project will show that Germany was incapable of developing a weapon during the war,let alone beating the Western allies to the punch. It's basic history and not at all difficult. I'm fortunate as an ex-chemist to have a basic grasp of the scientific principles too,though this isn't neccessary.
Originally Posted by Jenisch
Anyway that's enough of a diversion
Thank you for your contributions Stona. I really enjoy chemistry. =D
Originally Posted by stona
About the subject of the topic, Parfisal posted in a discussion about alternative history here: "For every German action, there would be an Allied response". If the Germans didn't attacked the USSR, or the USSR was defeated, there would be certainly an Allied response, and the Soviets would also had their answers if Britain was defeated in 1940 for example. Of course, much would depend on the circunstances. For example, the Soviets defeated in '42 or '43 is very different from 1941.
I'm curious about the capability of the Germans to deploy accurate missiles to force an Allied surrender in this scenario.
Last edited by Jenisch; 04-01-2012 at 10:09 AM.
I'm curious why anyone would imagine that the deployment of accurate missiles would force an allied surrender anymore than the massive allied bombing of Germany,delivering a quantity of explosive force and destruction an order of magnitude greater than any conventional missile offensive,forced a German surrender.
Originally Posted by Jenisch
Is this idea from the same bloke? Maybe he meant an impossible nuclear missile offensive but then why the need for accuracy? Anywhere in the ball park would do!
We can debate the efficacy of the allied bombing offensive ad nauseam,how much it contributed to the defeat of Germany, but it certainly did not force a German surrender. Boots on the ground did that.
Last edited by stona; 04-01-2012 at 10:42 AM.
He posted the following:
Soviet neutrality would not prevent economic collaboration (Sweden was a typical example). Since neutral USSR and Sweden could sell everything Germany needed, the effect of naval blockade would be minimal. Re "If the Soviet Union was defeated, victory from the Western Allies could not be ruled out totally as well" good answer that explains nothing: deficient German logistics in the East was a direct result of ongoing hostilities and partisan war. Re A-bomb: Werner Heisenberg explained it as follows: "Heisenberg tells how German industry was stretched to the limit in 1942. More importantly he says "the undertaking could not be initiated against the psychological background of the men responsible for the German war policy." The military leaders would not back anything that did not promise early results." (Why No Nazi Atomic Bomb The Science News-Letter, Vol. 52, No. 18 (Nov. 1, 1947), p. 276) Obviously, this stretch was a direct result of terrible situation in the East (because no other theatres created problems for Hitler during that time). Re "The Western Allies were capable of muster much more strenght against Germany if necessary." Then why hadn't they done that, and forced the USSR to fight alone? By no means I am offended by this your post. I simply find it illogical: according to you, since two theatres existed, then they both were equally important. That is not the case, however, and Italian or Japanese theatres had much less strategic effect than the European theatre, and especially the EF
Regarding Germany buy materials from the Soviets, I told him that Germany was broken and would never be able to pay the Soviets in the long term, and would not have the capability to match the Anglo-American industrial power for the incoming air war and defend the Eastern borders. Hitler also didn't have the necessary logistics and infraestructure to conduct a large scale offensive to take Africa and the Middle East (Britain would certainly respond with the 750 tanks and almost 1000 aircraft send to the Soviets in 1941).
Regarding the German logistics, the guy also did a terrible mistake in trying to take the blame away from the Germans, as this link about the railway shows: http://www.google.com.br/url?sa=t&rc...1Fak6Aoib92rsA
A text with more info about logistics:
At the start of the war in the dry summer, the Germans took the Soviets by surprise and destroyed a large part of the Soviet Red Army in the first weeks. When good weather gave way to the harsh autumn and winter and the Red Army recovered, the German offensive began to falter. The German army could not be sufficiently supplied for prolonged combat; indeed, there was not enough fuel for the whole army to reach its objectives.
This was well understood by the German supply units even before the operation, but their warnings were disregarded. The entire German plan assumed that within five weeks they would have attained full strategic freedom due to a complete collapse of the Red Army. Only then could they have diverted necessary logistic support to fuelling the few mobile units needed to occupy the defeated state.
German infantry and tanks stormed 300 mi (480 km) ahead in the first week, but their supply lines struggled to keep up. Soviet railroads could at first not be fully used due to a difference in railway gauges and dismantled railroad facilities in border areas. Lack of supplies significantly slowed down the blitzkrieg.
The German logistical planning also seriously overestimated the condition of the Soviet transportation network. The road and railway network of former Eastern Poland was well known, but beyond that information was limited. Roads that looked impressive on maps turned out to be just mere dust roads or were only in the planning stages
Just by such informations, I'm more and more convinced that a diploma can very well meant nothing depending on the person.
ps: by no means I'm trying to diminish the vast efforts from the Soviets or claiming the Western Allies didn't needed them. I'm just saying the Western Allies would not be necessarily hopeless if they were alone, maybe like the Soviets also would not have been.
Last edited by Jenisch; 04-01-2012 at 11:18 AM.
Ah, and about the missiles, yeah, I was thinking just this. Let's take for intance Japan today. According to this guy, I belive that Japan should abandonate it's conventional defensive forces and only have Patriot launchers everywhere, since China, N. Korea and Russia could simply sature the islands with missiles.
Last edited by Jenisch; 04-01-2012 at 11:24 AM.
Heisenberg had made some very serious errors in his calculations regarding an atomic weapon. In the absence of any competent peer review these would have been carried forward in the project. Peer review is a corner stone of any scientific research.
The Soviet Union,even with access to much of the data from the Manhattan Project and a highly competent scientific team coupled with a massive economic,scientific and infrastructure investment didn't explode a weapon until late in 1949.
The Soviet Union adopting neutral status,a ridiculous idea.The USSR had other concerns besides Germany. I very much doubt that your man has bothered to read the Hague Convention laying out the rights and responsibilities of a neutral state. His theoretical Soviet neutrality was never going to be respected in any case. Nazi Germany was always going to attack the Soviet Union so the rest of his conclusions,based on Soviet neutrality,are irrelevant nonsense. Again,a poor grasp of history and the politico-racial aspect of nazi ideology.
The shortcomings of the German campaign in the East are well documented. What is remarkable is that they came as close as they did to achieving their initial objectives. Even had they done so I doubt that it would have been enough.
The only good thing about this sort of revisionism is that,like a good conspiracy theory,it evaporates in the face of the facts.
Yes. Even if the Germans had taken Moscow in '41, they would still meet Zhukov's offensive, there would be still 1500 km to the Urals, the Germans would still face heavy resistance, overstretched supply lines, Torch would went on, and the Soviets would probably continue with their scorched earth policy, particuly in the Caucasus oil fields. Then, it would be necessary to adapt all the conquered lands to extract resources, supress remaining partisan and resistance focus, and transfer/desmobilize to industry the armed forces to fight the West.
All that would be achived when? Late 42', early '43? By that period the Western Allies would be by no means weaker, and the Germans would probably already have suffered some heavy casualities in the East.
I'm also confident with the Soviet troops in the Far East. There was much men there, and the Lend-Lease could provide food and arms to them. They could have open another front as soon as the Allies were ready. My country, that sent 25,000 men to Italy in '44, wanted to send 300,000 if necessary, and Brazil's vast resources were already helping the Allies. It would take some time to train all this personal, and probably only by late '45 a good part would be ready, but they certainly would be there if necessary. So, the Axis life would be by no means easy.
Last edited by Jenisch; 04-01-2012 at 01:03 PM.
It is important to remember that Germany was not at war with Britain as she is today but the entire British Commonwealth and Empire,a very different thing. Britain was still,just,the world's pre-emminent naval power,not reduced as she is today to a handful of warships and submarines and without an aircraft carrier! India alone raised an army of close to 3,000,000 men. Even a small island nation like Tonga raised funds for three Spitfires. Aside from the massive contributions from the "Old Commonwealth" (Canada,Australia,South Africa,New Zealand) to the air war nearly 400 men from the Carribean islands served as air crew.
Add to that the industrial,economic and military might of the United States and it is difficult to see how Germany could ultimately have prevailed even with the USSR somehow miraculously removed from the equation. I'm sure it would have been a longer and harder road but leading,one way or another, to the same result.
Last edited by stona; 04-01-2012 at 03:28 PM.
Yeah Stona, it's "politically incorrect" to talk about the Impire today, isn't?
Ah, and I just finish to watch an excellent documentary about Britain in the war:
I think it was you who said Britain's role in the war is being increasingly diminished, and I agree with that.
Now, even with all the Allied superiority, I don't rule out the possibility of the Axis be victorius or at least survive the war. The correct way of see WWII is like if the conflict was happening today. I notice many people lack this broad and dynamic view, analyzing the war in a much inflexibile way, many times reduced to numbers and much, much hindsight.
An example of what I'm talking can be seen in this article about the Battle of Kursk: Battle of Kursk: Germany's Lost Victory in World War II
Anyway, the point has been done that the Western Allies were by no means week. Unfornately, the guy in the discusssion is now ignoring my posts. lol
Last edited by Jenisch; 04-01-2012 at 04:32 PM.
Diplomatic events would decide what happens next.
August 1939. Did President FDR still suggest to Soviet Ambassador Konstantin Oumansky that the Soviet Union should reach an agreement with Britain and France to safeguard its future?
Soviet invasion of Finland. Does the British Government still do everything possible to downplay public outrage over Soviet aggression?
April 1940. Large scale Soviet deportations from occupied eastern Poland. Historically the U.S. and British Governments were well informed of these events but did everying possible to ignore or downplay the murders. Do Britain and the USA still adopt this diplomatic position?
12 Nov 1940. Does Molotov still suggest to Hitler that the Soviet Union would like to occupy Bulgaria? Does Molotov still ask about German views concerning the neutrality of Sweden, Hungary and Yugoslavia?
Britain will quit the war during 1940 and the USA will stay out entirely unless they are reasonably certain of military alliance with the Soviet Union. What has changed to cause an Anglo-USA military alliance vs Germany without Soviet military assistance?
A Soviet neutrality is impossible following the conventional historical logic (if Hitler wanted fight Britain from the start, we would see Germany with a stronger navy). So, the only way would be Germany defeat the Soviets. The problem is: how they would do this? I can see Germany being capable of defeat the Soviets in case the war with the West didn't existed, and Hitler managed to obtain the historical surprise assault, or an armistice was signed with the west. In other way, it's higly unlikely, because both the West and Eastern Fronts would start to drain Germany, and she proved unable to hold both. And even in such ways its impossible, since Hitler needed to take Poland to attack the USSR, and this would bring the West to the war. And an armistice with the West would be just as impossible, because Germany was simply unable to force the Allies to this by any means.
Last edited by Jenisch; 04-01-2012 at 07:16 PM.