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If Hitler had been smart, would Germany have won?

 
 
Milfmaster9
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 05:35 pm
Renamed Cobh now... all you Brits seem to think that were completely anti-Allied and pro-German.. we would have resisted any occupier as any nation would... personally i believe we should have joined the war, or at least helped the Allied nations more than we did (and yes we helped britian a long way),
staying out of the war was a mistake.. we had nothing to lose and we would have benefitted more with an alliance with the british than trying to play our neutrality.. if britain was allowed the treaty ports and if she had built air bases in kerry and donegal, the battle of the atlantic would have been easier for the britain as their arial patrols would have covered a few more hundred miles of ocean.. cornwall vulnerable.. it makes alot more sense for the germans to have invaded across the pas-de-calais... What if Sealion went ahead despite the success of the battle of britain? would germany have succeeded?
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 06:14 pm
I personally think it was too late by the time the "Battle of Britain" had begun. Could the fallschirmjeagers been used to establish a bridgehead in Kent, i think the German Navy could have protected a crossing. Gniesenau, Scharnhorst and Prinz Eugen ran the channel in broad daylight--Adolf Galland describes the operation in his The First and the Last, his war memoirs. He states that he kept fifty fighters over the flotilla at all times. It would only have been necessary to keep the narrowest portion of the channel open for a day--and Kesselring, Sperrle and Stumpff disposed of far more resources in 1940 than Galland had available for his operation in February, 1942. Churchill himself, in his monumental history of the Second World War, admits that the island was almost defenseless after the debacle on the continent. Approximately 330,000 troops--English, French and Belgian--were evacuated in the Dunkirk operation, and they arrived in England without weapons and equipment. The "territorial divisions" which were organized for defense were similarly ill- or unequipped. However, the German paratroops were not yet prepared for such an operation, what resources had been available had been used in the drive through Holland and Belgium, and were not even then available in large numbers--although they likely would have met little opposition if landed in Kent. The other limiting factor was transport. Although Sea Lion had been planned for a long time, OKH had not given it sufficient serious consideration to have marshalled the resources which would have been needed. Hitler was an idiot, militarily speaking, as i've noted time and again in this thread, and the too many Hitler threads we get at this site. He thought that England would fold up as he deluded himself that Poland and France had done. In Poland and France, neither government was prepared or willing to fight an all-out war, but in both cases, individual units fought heroically. French armor was superior to German armor, but was not concentrated. Polish airman hadn't the aircraft to successfully oppose the Germans, but they did great service to the RAF once they arrived in England. The French front-line aircraft were a match for the Germans, but, as with armor, they were squandered by being scatte4red about the country, and not concentrated to oppose the onslaught a child could have foreseen.

Interesting topic, but as with almost all historical "might-have-beens," it ignores that events transpired as they did because of the operative conditions at the time.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2005 11:35 am
I bet I'm the only person on a2k to have met Adolf Galland Smile

(at North Weald former RAF base maybe 20 years ago. He was given vip treatment...)

Set I'm always in awe of your mastery of historical detail. When Walter H came over here (hope he doesnt mind me recounting this) he said his father who was a doctor with the werhmact thought operation Sealion to be a disaster in the making.

I used to think that Hitler only had to make overtures to Britain and some deal could be done. But he did (Hess etc.) and was thoroughly rebuffed. After the fall of France, Churchill squashed any thoughts (in his cabinet) of negotiated peace, and he carried the people with him. Had the Germans made a landing in S England we would have fought like furies...with sticks if necessary. (we like fighting)

Milf I dont think all Irish were anti allied or British far from it. (Although I could understand it given the history). I just think de Valera made a calculated guess that Germany would win (and who could blame him).
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2005 01:17 pm
Steve (as 41oo) wrote:
When Walter H came over here (hope he doesnt mind me recounting this) he said his father who was a doctor with the werhmact thought operation Sealion to be a disaster in the making.


At that time, my father still was a wireless operator and paramedic.
The first time, they went with was a kind of landing boat - near enough to take photos. (I've seen two pics, with - using some phantasy - the white cliffs of Dover in the background - have really to try to find them again .... some time.) My father always said, they didn't take a 'landing' serious, more like a maneuver/exercise. So, he even didn't take his full first aid equipment with him, when going the second time, only empty boxes. [Before that, he had been around Leningrad, at the doors of Moscow - commanding a paramedic tank: he said, he knew, how Nazi Wehrmacht worked.]
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2005 01:49 pm
thanks walter and apologies for errors in my re telling of your story.

What is a paramedic tank?
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2005 02:01 pm
Steve, our member Asherman has also met General Galland . . .
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2005 02:17 pm
oh dear bluff called

never actually shook hands or exchanged war medals

just saw the famed war hero at 10 paces

but it was HIM
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2005 02:39 pm
If you have not read The First and the Last, i highly recommend it. Asherman says that he did the "meet and greet" thing, and that Galland was cordial, affable and charming. I'm sure he made good money on the rubber chicken circuit, the more so as his well-known acrimonious relations with Hitler made him less objectionable to governments and veterans.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2005 03:55 pm
Steve (as 41oo) wrote:

What is a paramedic tank?


An armoured ambulance should be the correct translation.
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Milfmaster9
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Nov, 2005 05:19 pm
here is an interesting one, what if hitler had died, say in August 1939.. would have the reich survived and would his successor have been as keen on war...
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Alexander Masan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2005 12:30 am
In my opinion, Hitler was indeed smart. His problem was that his hatred for the Jews and Slavs, along with his belief that he was some sort of God, caused him to make three decisions that turned the tide of the war.

Until the middle of 1940, his strategy (or his generals strategies) were nearly flawless. He gained amazing victories in western Europe. But, after he had pushed the English off the mainland of the continent, then he made three decisions.

First, he chose to begin putting Jews, gypsies, Slavs, mentally ill and physically deformed people, along with many other "undesirables" into deathcamps. This was a great mistake. We could look at him making two different decisions on this subject.
The best decision to make - and one he wouldn't have ever made, regardless of the benefits of it - would be to let them live. Think of how many more scientists Germany would have had. Think of how many more soldiers they would have had. There would have been other benefits to this decision, but I don't think it's necessary to dwell on them. This would never have happened with Hitler's racist views.
Another decision to make, better than that which he did, would be to have just killed them on the spot, or exiled them. The manner that he disposed of them costed him far too much money, and far too much men that could have been used for the war.

Second, he chose to break the Non-Aggression Pact that he had with the Soviet Union. This was probably the greatest mistake of the war. This was a war, from the start, that he could not have won, given his current positions. At the very best it could have been a stalemate. So say he didn't declare war. He would have been able to concentrate his men and money on other things, such as North Africa.

Lastly, he chose to wage an air war with Britain. This wasn't that bad of a decision, but it wasn't necessary. His choice to begin bombing non military targets was, however, a bad decision. I believe, if he had concentrated solely on the defense of the new Nazi Empire, and the expansion into North Africa, he would have been much more successful.
If he had achieved victory in Egypt, and taken the Suez Canal, then he would have cut the British off from the Mediterranean, making it a German/Italian lake. That would open the door to unlimited oil in the Middle East, which he could have taken quite easily. Once he had defeated the British here, I don't think they would have been much of a threat. They were completely isolated.

So yes, I believe Hitler had the world in his grasp. Just a few things he could have easily done would have changed history. Maybe he wasn't the greatest strategist, but he had generals who were. And he had the power to say what general he would go with.

But these are my views... I don't know how many others share them with me.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2005 05:04 am
thanks Alexander and welcome to a2k

ever thought of writing a book about Hitler?
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Alexander Masan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2005 06:30 pm
Actually I have thought about it, hah.
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daniel-booth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jan, 2006 10:20 am
my theroy
Hello everyone i am only 15, not fan of war except the games on the computer. but a while ago my friend and i were talking about this topic about "What if Hitler" right. so i came to a conclusion in a simple diagram.
hitlers positon
if you have a look at this you would be like WTF?, but allow me to explain.
you see the semicircle it is represented by the portion of europe that hitler occupied during WW2 and all his forces untill the point were he hadn't yet invaded africa or USSR,
Now if Hitler wanted to occupy more space he would have to get more forces, but forces from where?? the graves or the soldiers he already wasted away.... not likely, even with the sworen arms of the countries he took over.
Now up to this point he owned most of europe, about to head into africa. STOP!!! why invade africa?? they are/were 3rd world countries it is juz a waste of good forces and it only provaked the english more and more, i say if Rommel's Africa Korps was put to look atfer the west and southern coast of europe or/and to plan some 2nd air invasion of england or even a troop invasion via the water, considering that Hitler and the soviets had some peace agreement (i forget the name), so it is cool with the USSR wateva hitler does aslong as they dont attack them, but what does hitler the absolute dickhead do! he attack's them. So even IF he took over USSR what was he going to occupy it with? a huge long wall? sorry thats in China. which brings me back to that picture, how can you expand if you have nothing to make it bigger while forces are pushing it inwards making them smaller, and making all his forces fatter wouldn't help at all. so i say if hitler was to think about this logicaly he could have own alot of europe and not get in alot of trouble for it.
As for his advantages, his tanks were masterful, the weapons were good, and the intent was high, but he got gready and lost it all even his life.
Now think about this yourself, would you attack a country to be gready but then loose your life , wife Eva braun (mysterey) and all what you worked for soon after,
Or would you be happy with your life, as much land as the eye can see and a wife and your millions of dollars from his dictatorship.
Personally i would go for the 2nd one.

Thanx for reading my very 1st post on this site, you might find alot of flaws in all that, but then think to yourself i'm juz some average 15yr old with a opinion.
I look forward to your replies
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wiseguy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2008 02:39 pm
If Shitler hadn't antagonized Britain and France by annexing the Sudetenland and Austria, then he might have gotten away with the division of Poland with Stalin. This would then have enabled him to pursue his goal of acquiring "lebensraum" without having a western front to think about.

This was his key mistake IMO, because the territories of German-speaking populations in central Europe were of no strategical importance to him at that time and forced the British and French to view him as a threat to their interests in their own backyard.

Chances are that in the eyes of Britain and France Shitler and Stalin would both have been considered equally bad guys and equally guilty of what had happened to Poland if it had not been for the annexation of the Sudetenland and Austria.

After the conquest of Poland and with no logistical issues of dealing with the occupation of France and a bunch of other European countries of little/no importance to his final goal of conquering Ukraine and the Caucasus, he could have attacked the Soviet Union earlier or at the same time but with more resources available for that operation.

Stalin, with no or little support from Britain, France and the USA, in the face of an imminent military disaster might have sued for peace and accepted the loss of Ukraine and the Caucasus...
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 06:27 am
Apparently, then, you think that England and France would not have honored their mutual defense pact with Poland.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 03:16 pm
I think Wise Guy has it exactly backwards. Chamberlain was quite ready to tolerate the takeover of the Sudentenland and, particularly, of Austria. Both were German-speaking territoties anyway so Hitler could make a half-arsed argument that Germany was doing no more than retreiving lost territories. It was precisely the invasion of Poland which precipitated a declaration of war from Poland's allies, Britain and France. WG, are you suggesting that if Hitler had hit Poland right away, without bothering about the German-speaking lands, nobody would have interfered? That's a tough argument to take seriously.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 04:24 pm
Setanta wrote:
Apparently, then, you think that England and France would not have honored their mutual defense pact with Poland.
I think its clear the defence treaty with poland was a line in the sand. Only H. Hitler thought it meant nothing. Actually in practical terms he was right, apart from it precipitating WW2. I saw again tonight a film by Jeremy Isaacs on the siege of Lennigrad and the defence of the Russian homeland. I must confess it brought a tear to my eye.
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Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2008 05:59 pm
Whenever someone suggests that Hitler was "smart," i can only shake my head at the thought that he's taken in yet someone else more than 60 years after he died. Now, i acknowledge that Wise Guy has not described Hitler as smart, but the joker at the top this page (page 24) has said as much. So i thought i'd dispense with him first. I'm not going into a detailed response to his post, i'm frankly sick and tired of doing this year after year.

But Wise Guy is much mistaken. As MA points out, it is almost incredible how very backwards WG has gotten it.

Hitler was a gutter politician, the only talent he ever displayed in his life. His tools were bluster, intimidation and murder. He could murder the homosexual leadership of the S.A., confident that no one would weep for them, or seek to avenge them. He could bluster his way into political popularity, exploiting the Versailles Diktat myth (which he didn't create) and the Stab in the Back myth (which he didn't create), and harping upon the shame of the Germans at their defeat, promising that Germany would rise to a greatness they had never known before--and the Germans ate it up. And he thought he could intimidate France and England.

Daladier and France did not want to face Hitler alone, and there was sufficient antisemitism and admiration for fascism in France that Daladier (with a shakey left-wing coalition) would prefer not to antagonize the French conservatives, but he had no illusions about Hitler's ambitions. Because Neville Chamberlain wanted to negotiate with Hitler over Czechoslovakia, Daladier went along, because he felt that France could not face Germany alone. But he said: "Today it is the turn of Czechoslovakia. Tomorrow it will be the turn of Poland and Romania. When Germany has obtained the oil and wheat it needs, she will turn on the West. Certainly we must multiply our efforts to avoid war. But that will not be obtained unless Great Britain and France stick together, intervening in Prague for new concessions but declaring at the same time that they will safeguard the independence of Czechoslovakia. If, on the contrary, the Western Powers capitulate again they will only precipitate the war they wish to avoid." (source in Shirer's Collapse of the Third Republic)

So Hitler was confirmed in his belief that he could intimidate the western powers to get what he wanted. Had the English backed his play, Daladier was prepared to honor the military assistance pact which France had with Czechoslovakia, but France did not intend to go it alone. Sartre reports that when Daladier returned to Paris and was hailed by the population, he told his aide, L├ęger, "Ah, les cons!" (Which means, "Ah, the turds," in sense that an English speaker would say "sh*thead.")

So Hitler, who wanted to believe it anyway, convinced himself that he had successfully intimidated the English and the French. In fact, he had only intimidated Neville Chamberlain, who, despite his family's origins, had been raised in the classic style of the English gentleman, and was fool enough to believe that Hitler would keep his word, and honor his agreements. He was obliged to acknowledge that he had been a fool when Germany, Italy, Hungary and Poland gobbled up the rest of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Hitler considered Daladier a coward, but Daladier had wanted to oppose him, but was unwilling to face Germany alone. Hitler considered Chamberlain a coward, and certainly Chamberlain had been a fool, but Hitler was too stupid to see that Chamberlain was not supported by even his own cabinet, especially after the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Although Chamberlain attempted to prevent general war, even after the invasion of Poland, Hitler had badly misjudged Daladier and the French, and he had badly misjudged the English. Daladier said that he would fight on, but his government fell over his failure to aid the Finns in the Winter War.

Chamberlain was forced by circumstance to support a war against Germany, and did almost nothing. He did take Churchill into the government as First Lord of the Admiralty, but Churchill's aggressive nature benefited Churchill, and not Chamberlain. When the attempt to defend Norway proved a fiasco, Chamberlain finally could not keep a government together. He attempted to form an all-party coalition, but Labour balked, and his own backbenchers were deserting him. His friend an political ally Leo Amery publicly told him: "For God's sake, go!" While he was negotiating to form a national government in May, 1940, Germany invaded the low countries. Labour finally agreed to serve in a national government under "someone else" (although it is not clear that they would have done so if they had known that Churchill would be the choice), and Chamberlain was finished.

Hitler could only see other leaders in terms of the gutter politics he understood. He thought Daladier was a coward, and he was not, and he (Daladier) would not back down once the French were committed to war over the invasion of Poland. He thought Chamberlain was a coward--although that was not true, it was enough that Chamberlain failed to deal effectively with Hitler. But Churchill was certainly no coward, and Hitler completely failed to understand that the English could cast about for a government who would fight him until they found one--Hitler could not understand a government which bowed to the will of the people, and he could not understand just how odious he was to the English, and just how far they would go to defeat him. More than anything else, Hitler was always deluded by believing what he wished to believe as opposed to coming to an understanding of the evidence of events an the implication of those events for his nation and his policies.

To suggest that had Hitler not annexed Austria and dismembered Czechoslovakia, but simply proceeded to an invasion of Poland (for which he was definitely not prepared in 1938), that the western allies would not have responded is foolish. It was the invasion of Poland which hardened Daladier's resolve to fight Germany, and it was the invasion of Poland which destroyed Chamberlain's support, even within his own party. All of Europe understood that an invasion of Poland would lead to general war, and Daladier has absolutely no illusions about what Hitler intended. He couldn't get the French to back him over Czechoslovakia, but he was prepared to fight over Poland. Sadly for Poland, Chamberlain's continued dithering lead to an inexcusable inaction on the part of England and France in the crucial period when and invasion of Germany from the west would have met no more than token resistance. Hitler had judged that the western allies were cowards, and would not attack him while he was involved in Poland. He was correct that he could get away with that invasion, but for the wrong reasons. He simply did not understand what he had unleashed, and ultimately, millions of Germans, and tens of millions of others paid the price.
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wiseguy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2008 02:31 am
Merry Andrew wrote:
I think Wise Guy has it exactly backwards. Chamberlain was quite ready to tolerate the takeover of the Sudentenland and, particularly, of Austria. Both were German-speaking territoties anyway so Hitler could make a half-arsed argument that Germany was doing no more than retreiving lost territories. It was precisely the invasion of Poland which precipitated a declaration of war from Poland's allies, Britain and France. WG, are you suggesting that if Hitler had hit Poland right away, without bothering about the German-speaking lands, nobody would have interfered? That's a tough argument to take seriously.

Basically, what I was suggesting was that in terms of his final goal the Rheinland, the Sudetenland and Austria meant nothing. Those territories had only a meaning if he was content with restoring Germany's position prior to WW1. But he wanted to make Germany the no 1 power in Europe and possibly in the world and this would have been possible only if he had taken Ukraine and the Caucasus which would have seriously crippled the Soviet Union's resources while immensely boosting Germany's resources. Poland was the only obstacle between Germany and the Soviet Union that had to be taken care of in order for such a plan to be executed. Now, whether or not he could have succeeded at all is an entirely different matter. I'm just saying that he did his best to waste resources and to intimidate France and Britain prior to making the move that triggered WW2, i.e. the invasion of Poland...
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