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Thread: Germany could have won key battles?

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    I had to undertake a two hour drive today and that gives one enough time to think things over - even this thread.

    Here's the question that came up in my mind: is there/was there ever a detailed German plan how to invade GB? Everything they did was written down - even the smallest details. So, if there's a plan, it would be interesting to 'recalculate' the chances of success!

    Menno
    Enjoy...

    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/GERMAN%20PLANS%20FOR%20INVASION%20OF%20ENGLAND,%20 1940_0001.pdf

    Beppo Schmidt’s response is best summed up as: ha ha ha ... NO.

  2. #52
    Master Lammylee's Avatar
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    Germany could have won key battles?

    The Germans lost the war the day they declared war on Russia, the attrition rate of available resources could never be matched.

    The only possible chance would have been if they attacked earlier in 1941, befriended and recruited more Ukrainian/Belorussian soldiers, treated Russian POWs humanely and Japan attached simultaneously from the East and America had not been involved.
    Last edited by Lammylee; 18th January 2020 at 21:02.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.Pottinger :

    If you're referring to Spain, the difficulty was while the German Luftwaffe had learned some lessons, these did not necessarily reach or were absorbed by the political leadership.
    Unfortunately, Hitler used bombing to further his political vision including strategically such as during the BoB, and prior to this, but not necessarily in accordance with what some in the Luftwaffe had learned earlier.
    Military adaptation is seldom even and still less the link with policy-makers and political leadership.

    Notably, leading scholarship regards Liddell Hart's work as hardly exemplary (e.g., see Professor Sir Hew Strachan's 'The Direction of War').
    Some of the best works on air power in WW2 are by Richard Overy, including several addressing the Battle of Britain.
    More recently, Phillips O'Brien's work has been well received, including: How the war was won: air-sea power and Allied victory in World War II.[/QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    I was attempting to be conciliatory.

    Liddle Hart wasn't a historian. Richard Overy certainly was and his 'The Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality' is the finest short account of the Battle available and should be required reading for anyone who has even the slightest interest. I don't think we are disagreeing; I think my only reference to Spain was this:


    I was talking about the pilots being blooded and adoption of tactics like the rotte and the finger four which gave German pilots a significant initial advantage against RAF pilots flying in close vics of three. My point was that this advantage, and the pilots were squandered. So yes, I agree that lessons were not learned.

    So what were we disagreeing about?
    I was simply clarifying about Spain given your reference to' debunked myths' included in the thread already, and as the document you quoted did address Spain in terms of the political leadership's actions subsequently.

    Liddle Hart was an historian but not an especially good one (see, e.g. Basford, Mearsheimer, or Strachan).

    I agree about the largely tactical lessons that the Luftwaffe absorbed quite successfully, thanks for the document link it's a neat one in that regard, imho.

    Br, AP.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    The American army was tiny at the start of WWII.

    If Britain had been invaded the US would have had no way of fighting back on the other side of the Atlantic would they?

    Plus after 1941 they had the Japanese empire to worry about.

    The United States main input to the war prior to Pearl Harbour and Hitler declaring war on them was as the arsenal of democracy, their huge manufacturing capability.
    I agree, and would add that the US President's actions were crucial prior to 7 December 1941 (Pearl Harbour) in preparing the US for war and also in his support for the UK and British Empire Forces that were 'alone'. He did the latter, for example by taking on quite a number in the US establishment to effectively end the US's neutral position in March 1941with the institution of Lend-Lease. There were also other examples, too. Much of Lend-Lease's military utility was the supply of material for the war to the allied side. However, it was also political; his actions sent a clear political message to Germany and others and paved the way to entry (and stimulated US producers).

    Br,

    AP.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    The United States main input to the war prior to Pearl Harbour and Hitler declaring war on them was as the arsenal of democracy, their huge manufacturing capability.
    I may be wrong but didn't US ships help to protect British convoys early on? Sure I read that somewhere.

  6. #56
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    Yes, arrangements were made pre- December 1941 as part of the convoy system but with strict limits.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    Neil is spot on as ever and, had the UK been invaded, the Germans would have had one thing they needed: a competent strategic bomber in the Halifax, or even the Stirling. They also wouldn't have had to station over a million 88mm guns (which were equally competent as anti tank and antiaircraft pieces) and crews in Germany but could have used them in their anti tank role.

    They came very very close to beating Russia; with a decent strategic bomber, a million extra antitank guns and no destruction and dislocation caused by bombing, they'd have taken Russia and fully consolidated their hold on Europe. At that point, they'd have had little to worry about from the US and could have worked their way around the Middle East and Asia at their leisure...

    Needless to say, I completely agree Matt.

    A chilling thought.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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  8. #58
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.Pottinger View Post
    I agree, and would add that the US President's actions were crucial prior to 7 December 1941 (Pearl Harbour) in preparing the US for war and also in his support for the UK and British Empire Forces that were 'alone'. He did the latter, for example by taking on quite a number in the US establishment to effectively end the US's neutral position in March 1941with the institution of Lend-Lease. There were also other examples, too. Much of Lend-Lease's military utility was the supply of material for the war to the allied side. However, it was also political; his actions sent a clear political message to Germany and others and paved the way to entry (and stimulated US producers).

    Br,

    AP.
    Yes indeed.

    FDR, a colossus of a president.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  9. #59
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    The US Army did not have a large force but the National Guard did and about twice the number. The National Guard which some consider the modern day militia, you will find many will disagree as do I, is still a large part of the Army and it's reserve units. Even today we run a a small military backed up with a part-time soldier.

    The wars in the last twenty years have shown we tend to depend more on the inactive than the active.

    Some good posts so far BTW.

    - - - Updated - - -

  10. #60
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    Very interesting reading about Operation Sea Lion! Reading this, causes a domino effect: when you read about some of the details and names, you're drawn to that as well. E.g. the Brandenburger Regiment: known for war crimes in the Netherlands during the May 1940 invasion. First, the Wehrmacht tried to overrun Dutch troops on a hill side (in a flat country, every hill is 'holding the high grounds...). That first attempt failed, then the Brandenburger Regiment gathered Dutch soldiers taken prison during the first two days of the battle. They forced them to go uphill in front of the Germans... Needless to say how that ended. My fathers oldest brother was one of the soldiers taken prisoner and he was forced to act as a human shield. Frankly, he has never recovered from that experience (lived with that memory until he passed away, a week before his 100th b'day).

    The attack on the Netherlands in May 1940 was not a success for the German airborne troops. We all know Market Garden, but the Germans 'found their Waterloo' during 3 days in May 1940: capturing the Dutch royal family failed, because the German paras were beaten by counterattacks by the Dutch troops and in Rotterdam, only a handful Marines defended the bridges across the river Meuse and even lured the Germans in a hand-to-hand combat in the early hours of May 13th. Dutch Marines swam across the river at night and attacked the Germans from the flanks. The Germans lost that fight, by retreating to 'safer grounds'. Only the May 14th bombardment of Rotterdam changed the course of history. Just like the Spanish Guernica bombing, it was an attack on civilians. Their 'We'll be on the Dutch beaches washing our socks within a day' ended in 3 days fighting without result and needed to be 'won' by bombing a city.

    Then: barges... after the days in May, the Germans had seized river barges from Holland, France and Belgium. To be used as troop and material vessels to cross the channel. Those barges are flat without a keel or daggerboard. Totally unsuited for sea trips! (There's a Grand Design episode where a London couple buys a barge in Holland and after a total refit, the vessel is sailed across the North Sea under its own power. Even then, with a totally flat and calm sea, it's nearly impossible to steer and every attempt to put on more power is useless: 2 - 4 knots/hr (nautical) is all that's achievable. Try to re-view that episode if you like).
    Those German barges would have been sitting ducks for the Navy!

    My examples only show that the German generals who weren't keen on attacking GB were probably right. The German troops weren't up to it.And, given the modus operandii of the Germans, they would have bombed civilians as well.

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