What if Hitler spares Russia.

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glenn239
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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by glenn239 » 01 Jun 2020 17:02

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 May 2020 00:04
The difficulty, even in perfect hindsight, of describing this strategy's merits should give one pause. Absent hindsight, Hitler was reasonable to see no end game to chasing Britain across far-flung deserts while the SU built up a juggernaut on his border.
So Hitler should dive into Russia and lose the war there 100% of the time rather than try diplomacy with the Soviets to carve up the British Empire, and succeed 50% of the time?

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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by Avalancheon » 23 Jun 2020 11:12

T. A. Gardner wrote:
28 May 2020 19:43
Peter89 wrote:
28 May 2020 18:54
2. The Americans would definately not join the war before PH, and PH only happened after this campaign should have been concluded.
You cannot state this with any certainty. Polling in the US prior to June 1941 saw healthy majorities of Americans already considering Germany a serious threat, supported Lend-Lease, and even already resigned to eventual war with Germany. The US was already in a de facto war at sea with Germany in the Atlantic. So, the possibility that the US enters the war prior to Pearl Harbor is at least a reasonable possibility.
You cut through this issue way too quickly, without handling any of the details. In order to get a declaration of war from Congress, Roosevelt needs a very, very convincing casus belli. In OTL, he was handed a royal flash by Japan when they attacked Pearl Harbor and invaded the Philippines. Roosevelt was then handed yet another royal flush when Germany declared war on the U.S., basically doing his work for him. At a stroke, this swept aside the isolationist sentiment and united the entire country behind him, giving FDR carte blanche to prosecute the war.

You cannot take these unique political circumstances and transplant them into a completely different ATL. That is laziness at its height.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
28 May 2020 19:43
Peter89 wrote:
28 May 2020 18:54
3. I doubt it, because the infrastructure was intact, the ports, pipelines, terminals and everything were unscathed in early 1941, during the time of the Iraqi freedom revolution. Shipping the oil through a safe Mediterran sea could be no problem. The bigger problem was that the Axis lacked the proper merchant fleet for a high scale exploitation.
This jumps well ahead of the discussion. Even if somehow Germany got control of these oil fields, their operation is mostly being done by Europeans and Americans who might well decide not to cooperate or flee ahead of the occupation. Without skilled manpower in place to operate them, they remain useless. As the occupation of the oil fields in the Caucasus shows, the Germans were unable to exploit those for the roughly year they held them. Same thing here. It could be years before a drop of oil flowed from wells to Germany.
Even then, as you point out, Germany doesn't have the means to transport the oil by sea and there is no land route in place so...
Thats a very weak argument. If the petroleum engineers flee the country, then the Germans will just bring in their own and operate the oil fields themselves. They trained thousands of engineers in preparation for Case Blue, when they were expecting to capture the Caucasus oil fields.

Speaking of that, you are leaving out key details about their failure to get those fields back in operation. First off, the Soviets had thoroughly demolished all of the wells, derricks, and infrastructure before abandoning Maikop. Second, the Germans were only in control of Maikop for less than 6 months, not 1 year as you claim.

As far as transporting oil from Iraq to Germany, there actually is a way this could be done. It would require co-operation from Turkey, and the use of their railways to move the oil from Iraq to Bulgaria via tanker cars.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
28 May 2020 19:43
The problems with a Mediterranean strategy for Germany is that first and foremost, the Germans lack a navy there to do anything. They are dependent on the Italians for shipping space and a navy. Unless and until that changes, Germany's ability to project power in that region is very limited.
'Mediterranean strategy' is a broad term that can refer to several different scenarios. Among other things, the term has been used to describe an invasion of Turkey, an invasion of Spain, and an enlarged Afrika corps. None of those things require any German naval presence in the Mediterranean. So really, your catch-all is nothing of the sort.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
28 May 2020 19:43
A better strategy would be to focus on a war of attrition against Britain itself using air power and a guerre de course of U-boats at sea. A war of attrition aimed at weakening Britain at home with the eventual end goal of a negotiated peace would be the strategy. Germany could adopt the historical aims of keeping Italy in the war in the Med using a somewhat more beefed up Afrika Korps that doesn't detract from the campaign against Britain itself.
Using more air power at sea against British shipping while fighting a sustainable air war over Britain and a defensive one against Bomber Command, would be one arm of this. It keeps Britain being economically pounded. Add in the U-boat campaign that now has air support to a degree from maritime patrol planes and bombers that are attacking shipping allowing any cripples to be finished off by U-boats, and Britain starts losing an unsustainable amount of their merchant fleet. It could also make it sufficiently dangerous that foreign shippers refuse to allow their ships to go to Britain.
Realistically, most scenarios that involve Germany and Italy teaming up against Britain alone will probably result in the latters capitulation sometime in 1941. They have much better odds fighting on just one front. The problem is, however, that they will be facing a resurgent Soviet Union in 1942. Germany would have a harder time pulling off operation Barbarossa.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
28 May 2020 19:43
The icing could come when Japan opens their war against the US in the Pacific. Germany declares war on Japan and announces support for the US in the Pacific.
In what Universe do you think that is a plausible outcome?

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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by glenn239 » 23 Jun 2020 17:00

Avalancheon wrote:
23 Jun 2020 11:12
Realistically, most scenarios that involve Germany and Italy teaming up against Britain alone will probably result in the latters capitulation sometime in 1941. They have much better odds fighting on just one front. The problem is, however, that they will be facing a resurgent Soviet Union in 1942. Germany would have a harder time pulling off operation Barbarossa.
It is precisely because the Soviets were playing for time while their massive armaments program spooled up that in 1940 it was possible that the Soviet Union would have signed into the partition of the British Empire as per the Ribbentrop agenda. In all these discussions it is assumed that the USSR would not, under any circumstances, climb aboard the Axis to destroy the British Empire in the Middle East and India. Yet, in 1940, if doing so delayed any possibility of Barbarossa until 1943, the inherent logic of the situation made it quite feasible that the Soviets might have done so.

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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by T. A. Gardner » 23 Jun 2020 18:12

Avalancheon wrote:
23 Jun 2020 11:12
You cut through this issue way too quickly, without handling any of the details. In order to get a declaration of war from Congress, Roosevelt needs a very, very convincing casus belli. In OTL, he was handed a royal flash by Japan when they attacked Pearl Harbor and invaded the Philippines. Roosevelt was then handed yet another royal flush when Germany declared war on the U.S., basically doing his work for him. At a stroke, this swept aside the isolationist sentiment and united the entire country behind him, giving FDR carte blanche to prosecute the war.

You cannot take these unique political circumstances and transplant them into a completely different ATL. That is laziness at its height.
There is still a very good possibility that the US declares on one or the other. In the Atlantic, the US was de facto at war with Germany by late 1940. The USN was hunting German U-boats and by 1941 it was a full blown war at sea with the Germans torpedoing several US warships among other things. The US was occupying Greenland and Iceland, and definitely at war with Germany in most ways other than officially on paper. That wouldn't take too much more to get a declaration out of.
Thats a very weak argument. If the petroleum engineers flee the country, then the Germans will just bring in their own and operate the oil fields themselves. They trained thousands of engineers in preparation for Case Blue, when they were expecting to capture the Caucasus oil fields.

Speaking of that, you are leaving out key details about their failure to get those fields back in operation. First off, the Soviets had thoroughly demolished all of the wells, derricks, and infrastructure before abandoning Maikop. Second, the Germans were only in control of Maikop for less than 6 months, not 1 year as you claim.

As far as transporting oil from Iraq to Germany, there actually is a way this could be done. It would require co-operation from Turkey, and the use of their railways to move the oil from Iraq to Bulgaria via tanker cars.
No, it's not a weak argument. For the Caucuses oil fields, the Germans fielded Oil Brigade Caucuses. This was a 1500 man unit assembled to restore those fields when captured. They had little heavy equipment for the job. Germany has no glut of engineers in the petroleum industry either. Since Germany has no major oil companies on an international scale, and only a relatively small domestic oil industry there was no pre-war need for them in the country.
For example some years ago I read a detailed article in a professional journal on oil exploration. It detailed the wartime German seismology effort to find new oil fields. The entire unit consisted of three vehicles and 12 engineers. That was the German effort to find new oil fields. Germany simply doesn't have a major oil industry to rely on, and it doesn't help that the Germans were poor civil engineers in terms of efficiency.
Arguing that the oil fields in the Middle East would be captured intact is likely a non-starter too. The British would have every reason to sabotage those fields as they withdrew.

It is also quite a stretch to think that Turkey would willingly join the Axis even as a neutral partner and allow the Germans to freely use their rail net.
'Mediterranean strategy' is a broad term that can refer to several different scenarios. Among other things, the term has been used to describe an invasion of Turkey, an invasion of Spain, and an enlarged Afrika corps. None of those things require any German naval presence in the Mediterranean. So really, your catch-all is nothing of the sort.
But, all of those things negatively impact Germany on the whole too.
Realistically, most scenarios that involve Germany and Italy teaming up against Britain alone will probably result in the latters capitulation sometime in 1941. They have much better odds fighting on just one front. The problem is, however, that they will be facing a resurgent Soviet Union in 1942. Germany would have a harder time pulling off operation Barbarossa.
Up through June 1941 it didn't. It wasn't likely that Germany was going to accomplish that by the beginning of 1942 with or without an invasion of Russia. All Britain has to do is hang on until either the US or Russia enters the war, or worse, both do.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
28 May 2020 19:43
The icing could come when Japan opens their war against the US in the Pacific. Germany declares war on Japan and announces support for the US in the Pacific.

In what Universe do you think that is a plausible outcome?
I don't think it's plausible but with "What if's" it's imaginable. It also makes for a fun scenario.

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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 24 Jun 2020 06:14

Glenn239 wrote:So Hitler should dive into Russia and lose the war there 100% of the time rather than try diplomacy with the Soviets to carve up the British Empire, and succeed 50% of the time?
I didn't respond to this when posted because it's obviously circular reasoning, but now that I'm back on the thread...

Yes, obviously IF you're right that Germany had NO CHANCE to beat the SU then the only play is fight Britain and hope for Stalin's mercy.

But it's also obvious that we disagree on whether Hitler could've beat Stalin so why make this point?
Glenn239 wrote:In all these discussions it is assumed that the USSR would not, under any circumstances, climb aboard the Axis to destroy the British Empire in the Middle East and India. Yet, in 1940, if doing so delayed any possibility of Barbarossa until 1943, the inherent logic of the situation made it quite feasible that the Soviets might have done so.
I don't see any any assumption that the SU wouldn't have joined the Axis. Actually I find it quite feasible they would have joined had Hitler acceded to Soviet demands in the Balkans/Straits.

But for Hitler to have acceded to Stalin's demands would have required a different strategic view of Soviet strength, which perception would have provoked a different strategic reaction from Hitler. If Hitler rightly perceives a nascent or extant juggernaut on his border - one with a fundamentally hostile ideology - how can he confidently devote all his efforts westwards?

And even if Hitler still believes he has space to delay Barbarossa before the juggernaut awakens, how does a '42/'43 Barbarossa succeed against a Red Army that is massively stronger, while Germany also fights maximally against the West?

Somehow folks here consistently ignore the enormous damage that Barbarossa inflicted on the SU (Kruschev compared it to a nuclear first strike) and assume that a later Barbarossa would have gone similarly.

WHYYY??? The SU would have had numerical superiority at least as large as OTL '43 and better training than OTL '43. How do the Germans win?
T.A. Gardner wrote:There is still a very good possibility that the US declares on one or the other. In the Atlantic, the US was de facto at war with Germany by late 1940.
I have to echo Avalancheon's point about the laziness of this argumentation.

There are obviously many degrees of de facto war and only one degree of de jure war under then-prevailing U.S. legal norms.

Failing to establish de jure war removes massively significant degrees of de facto mobilization/combat from the American war effort. Obviously there's no Torch/Guadalcanal/etc and lower levels of rationing and war mobilization absent the de jure DoW.
T.A. Gardner wrote:That wouldn't take too much more to get a declaration out of.
Why not?

Of course you'll return to your public opinion surveys but there's an enormous body of scholarship and common sense explaining why congressional (especially senatorial) majorities don't track popular majorities under the U.S. system.

Your argument requires explaining why isolationist senators, concentrated in low-population states and therefore lagging internationalist survey sentiment, would vote for war based on - what? - a few more DE's lost in the Atlantic?

Your argument would also require explaining why even normal senators from non-isolationist states would favor the low-intensity internationalist sentiments of 55% of voters over the high-intensity isolationist sentiments of 45% of voters. Politicians track public opinion only when they'd pay a price for bucking it; it's far from clear that the coalition politics prevalent in 1942 would imply an actual vote cost based on public opinion. Bucking a high-intensity minority view can have far worse electoral implications than bucking a low-intensity majority view (see, e.g., gun control in the US).
T.A. Gardner wrote:For example some years ago I read a detailed article in a professional journal on oil exploration. It detailed the wartime German seismology effort to find new oil fields. The entire unit consisted of three vehicles and 12 engineers. That was the German effort to find new oil fields. Germany simply doesn't have a major oil industry to rely on, and it doesn't help that the Germans were poor civil engineers in terms of efficiency.
Source please

First, that's irrelevant because the Germans aren't looking for new fields here; they're just restarting existing fields. Completely different technical capabilities.

Second, it ignores the existence of the European oil industry (e.g. Romania) and the availability of its resources to Germany.

Third, your judgment that the Germans were poor civil engineers is (1) dubious and (2) irrelevant because whatever the supposed inefficiency of German oil engineers, it wouldn't have come close to the inefficiency of spending ~10x the resources to make oil from coal as opposed to getting it from the ground. It's another instance of your tendency to equate sub-optimality with worthlessness, as we've discussed re the Pacific War. Germany could throw resources at the Caucasus with epic inefficiency and still come out ahead of their OTL oil industry's efficiency.

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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by glenn239 » 24 Jun 2020 17:53

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Jun 2020 06:14
Yes, obviously IF you're right that Germany had NO CHANCE to beat the SU then the only play is fight Britain and hope for Stalin's mercy.

But it's also obvious that we disagree on whether Hitler could've beat Stalin so why make this point?
Because the reason why Hitler automatically loses the war if he invades the SU is not because of the Soviet Union, but because of the United States. The United States was so strong that the only conceivable alliance structure available to Germany in 1941 that could have defeated it was with the Soviet Union in the Axis. This, obviously, could not occur the moment Germany attacked the Soviet Union. It didn't matter how that invasion turned out - Germany will lose any war with the US where the USSR is not a German ally.

Glenn239 wrote: I don't see any any assumption that the SU wouldn't have joined the Axis. Actually I find it quite feasible they would have joined had Hitler acceded to Soviet demands in the Balkans/Straits.
I wasn't talking about meeting Stalin's demands in Bulgaria or Turkey, (we agree on that, BTW). I'm talking about the Red Army utterly crushing the British Empire throughout the Middle East and India in one or two season campaign. The main argument that posters who argue to the endurance of the British Empire have, aside from the USA, is the fact that the British position in India and Iraq was largely inaccessible to Germany. Yet, this very quality also meant that a Soviet war against the British Empire would conquer a new communist empire inaccessible to Germany. That is to say, Anglophillic posters that assume Stalin would attack Germany in 1943 once the Soviets were invulnerable to an Axis attack, are misreading Stalin's available options. Stalin could also have used that immunity to smash the British, Japanese and French empires to the purpose of exporting communism all over the world.
But for Hitler to have acceded to Stalin's demands would have required a different strategic view of Soviet strength, which perception would have provoked a different strategic reaction from Hitler. If Hitler rightly perceives a nascent or extant juggernaut on his border - one with a fundamentally hostile ideology - how can he confidently devote all his efforts westwards?
It wasn't just Soviet strength that Hitler blew his calculations on. It was - more importantly - American strength. Stalin was a realist when it came to American strength. Hitler was a dillusionist, in that he would resort to the most ridiculous suppositions to pretend that the US was not as strong as it obviously was.
Somehow folks here consistently ignore the enormous damage that Barbarossa inflicted on the SU (Kruschev compared it to a nuclear first strike) and assume that a later Barbarossa would have gone similarly.
I've wondered that if the Germans hadn't invaded, and if the Soviet Union had remained on good terms with the Axis, it would become so strong that the United States might decline to enter the war in Europe altogether and instead focus on the inevitable partition of the British, French and Japanese empires in Asia.

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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 25 Jun 2020 03:46

Glenn239 wrote:The United States was so strong that the only conceivable alliance structure available to Germany in 1941 that could have defeated it was with the Soviet Union in the Axis.
Thanks for clarifying. That's a coherent argument but of course I disagree...

One rarely hears on this forum or in the Anglo press/histories about the difficulties facing the Anglosphere upon German victory in the East. But many sophisticated analysts recognize it. For example, in American War Plans 1941-145, Stephen T. Ross of the Naval War College writes:
American and British political and military leaders were vividly aware that if Russia were defeated or signed a separate peace treaty with Germany, the United States and Great Britain would face a bleak strategic situation. Victory would become at best improbable or vastly more expensive in lives and treasure than even the most pessimistic planners predicted.
page 164

This is a luminary of the U.S. Naval War College, not some Wehraboo on Reddit.

The notion of an all-powerful USA may reflect some contemporary bias. It was powerful but not to the same degree as later.

Just look at Wedemayer's Victory Program of 1941, which assumed Soviet defeat/impotence during 1942. That strategic study didn't even pretend that that the U.S. would raise an army capable of matching Germany's. Instead it presumed destruction of Germany via bombing and then a smaller army to finish the job. The main problem with that strategy is that for conventional bombing to succeed would have required a material superiority even greater than that required for land invasion - a material superiority the Anglosphere would have lacked.

Wallied material superiority might have been sufficient for victory in a full-scale, full-tilt land war but I doubt that the Wallies had the appetite for >5mil dead on the battlefield.
Glenn239 wrote:It wasn't just Soviet strength that Hitler blew his calculations on. It was - more importantly - American strength. Stalin was a realist when it came to American strength. Hitler was a dillusionist, in that he would resort to the most ridiculous suppositions to pretend that the US was not as strong as it obviously was.
This is true of Hitler only after December '41 when he had to convince himself he had a chance of surviving the war. There's a huge divergence in the quality of Hitler's strategic thinking once the war turned against him. The later Hitler is man inventing fantasies to justify Germany's continued resistance; the earlier Hitler was probably at least as good a strategist as any of the other major figures.

Prior to December '41 Hitler in some ways overestimated American strength. Part of the short Barbarossa timeline was a belief that the U.S. could powerfully intervene in Europe by '42 - something it plainly was incapable of.

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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by glenn239 » 25 Jun 2020 18:00

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
25 Jun 2020 03:46
Glenn239 wrote:The United States was so strong that the only conceivable alliance structure available to Germany in 1941 that could have defeated it was with the Soviet Union in the Axis.
Thanks for clarifying. That's a coherent argument but of course I disagree...

One rarely hears on this forum or in the Anglo press/histories about the difficulties facing the Anglosphere upon German victory in the East. But many sophisticated analysts recognize it. For example, in American War Plans 1941-145, Stephen T. Ross of the Naval War College writes:
The thread was closed for some reason, but a while back we were discussing such a war and it was clear that the Anglo-Americans would have not had it easy beating Germany. Nonetheless, I still think that the air offensive would have crippled Germany's oil production. Tough to see how Germany doesn't lose if without oil production.
Just look at Wedemayer's Victory Program of 1941, which assumed Soviet defeat/impotence during 1942. That strategic study didn't even pretend that that the U.S. would raise an army capable of matching Germany's. Instead it presumed destruction of Germany via bombing and then a smaller army to finish the job. The main problem with that strategy is that for conventional bombing to succeed would have required a material superiority even greater than that required for land invasion - a material superiority the Anglosphere would have lacked.
No, success depended on increasing CEP accuracy in bombing. It was a technical problem, not one of mass, and the Allies had solved the problem well enough to efficiently smash German factory sized targets by 1945.
This is true of Hitler only after December '41 when he had to convince himself he had a chance of surviving the war. There's a huge divergence in the quality of Hitler's strategic thinking once the war turned against him. The later Hitler is man inventing fantasies to justify Germany's continued resistance; the earlier Hitler was probably at least as good a strategist as any of the other major figures.
Once Barbarossa failed and the US entered the war Hitler had one strategic option left. That was to make peace with the Soviet Union at any price, step down as leader, on the presumption that if deal were good enough for the Russians, Stalin would honour the deal. I wouldn't be surprised if this were still possible before Kursk.
Prior to December '41 Hitler in some ways overestimated American strength. Part of the short Barbarossa timeline was a belief that the U.S. could powerfully intervene in Europe by '42 - something it plainly was incapable of.
I think the Anglo-Americans had the strength to be dangerous, but were playing different games too many different theatres to focus, and missed the best opportunity of the war in Vichy territory in 1942. I'm not talking Casablanca either. I'm talking Toulon, Marseilles and Southern France. Land there in great strength and I bet the entire 100,000 man garrison of Vichy France in France goes Allied, and Germany has lost Southern France in a stroke. Then, use diplomacy to let Italy exit the war, (Mussolini is allowed to retire to a nice villa and writes some books, provided the Italian armed forces go over to the Allies). Had a discussion on that over on Tanknet some time ago on that one - wow did that go pear shaped. :^)

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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Jun 2020 11:30

Glenn239 wrote:The thread was closed for some reason, but a while back we were discussing such a war and it was clear that the Anglo-Americans would have not had it easy beating Germany.
The thread was closed in large part due to this board's delusion that it is on a holy quest against Wehraboos - that many members here are fighting on their keyboards battles as glorious as our forebearers.

I'll start another thread on the air war, post-SU fall. Maybe the mods will let us discuss that.

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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by Terry Duncan » 26 Jun 2020 16:26

This topic was locked due to the inability of certain members to remain civil and not make personal comments. I could add the use of terms that some find offensive, similar to your use of the term Wehraboos here, although you saw fit to report it when it was directed at you. Maybe you should avoid using such terms yourself?

There is no 'delusion' over 'a holy quest against' anyone other than people who continuously break the rules. Commenting on actions taken by moderation staff is not allowed on any forum and certainly not encouraged here. If you have a problem with actions taken by moderators, you should PM an independent moderator for adjudication, not make stupid comments in a thread.

This thread is now locked due to repeated inability to follow the rules, and the same rules will apply to any new threads started. Consider this a final warning to follow the rules. If you cannot resist breaking the rules again, you will have plenty of time to follow your own holy quests.

Terry Duncan

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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 29 Jun 2020 10:41

Glenn239 wrote:missed the best opportunity of the war in Vichy territory in 1942. I'm not talking Casablanca either. I'm talking Toulon, Marseilles and Southern France. Land there in great strength and I bet the entire 100,000 man garrison of Vichy France in France goes Allied, and Germany has lost Southern France in a stroke.
Obviously there's going to be huge logistical issues here with the supply lines vulnerable to air attack from Sardinia and France...

Setting that issue aside, I don't see how even 100,000 Vichy soldiers make the difference between a war-saving '42 invasion of Europe and a war-losing disaster - as the British judged Sledgehammer would have been.

Further setting aside the issue of whether the Wallies were correct, with 100% hindsight, about the prospects of Sledgehammer or its Cote d'Azur version, this is a tremendous gamble whose risk one can hardly fault the leaders for avoiding if they ever considered it.
Glenn239 wrote:Prior to December '41 Hitler in some ways overestimated American strength. Part of the short Barbarossa timeline was a belief that the U.S. could powerfully intervene in Europe by '42 - something it plainly was incapable of.
You didn't really respond to my point about Hitler's pre-12/41 perceptions of American strength. Do you disagree that the Barbarossa timeline was critically motivated by a perception that the real war would be with the U.S., perhaps including with the support of Britain on Germany's side? Tried to find the cite for the Hitler quotes on point but it occurred to me you might be aware of these views anyway...

What do you think of my claim that Hitler was rational re America until he adopted his life-extending delusion around December '41? It seems clear to me that he appreciated America's strength pre-Moscow/PH. I agree that, after U.S. entry in OTL, his only feasible option was probably to step down for Germany's good but doesn't that bolster my argument that his post-Moscow/PH statements about American military might were self-serving lies/delusions to extend his life/reign by a few years before joining Antifa and shooting himself?

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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 29 Jun 2020 19:57

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
25 Jun 2020 03:46
Just look at Wedemayer's Victory Program of 1941, which assumed Soviet defeat/impotence during 1942.
You might want to have a look at the chapter by James Lacey Toward a Strategy: Creating an American strategy for global war, 1940-1943 in the book 'The Shaping of Grand Stategy: Policy, Diplomacy and War' edited by Murray, Sinnreich and Lacey.

Lacey argues that Wedemeyer's claim to authorship of "The Victory Program" is 'one of the more enduring myths of World War II' and that Wedemeyer's 14 page document The Ultimate Requirements Study: Estimate of Army Ground Forces of early September 1941 'was wrong in almost every one of its particulars' and that the military couldn't actually tell industrial planners what their requirements were. In despair of ever getting a sensible answer from the US Army, an economist/statistician working for the Supplies Production and Allocations Board made the calculations for what he "guessed" the American army might want, and then went to the UK to do the same there, before returning to the US to produce a memorandum detailing the total requirements calculated in his "The Anglo-American Consolidated Statement".

According to Lacey, it was not until War Production Board meetings on 6 and 13 October 1942 that the US Army faced up to the reality of the difference between their "desires" and the ability of American industry to manufacture, and as a result accepted that 'the army's munitions program needed to be cut by almost a third'. According to Lacey, it was this new knowledge that led to Marshall's acceptance of the more limited ground strategy laid out at Casablanca. At last, reality and strategy merged, or "ends and means" dropped more closely into balance. :D

Regards

Tom

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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by T. A. Gardner » 30 Jun 2020 01:05

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Jun 2020 06:14
T.A. Gardner wrote:There is still a very good possibility that the US declares on one or the other. In the Atlantic, the US was de facto at war with Germany by late 1940.
I have to echo Avalancheon's point about the laziness of this argumentation.

There are obviously many degrees of de facto war and only one degree of de jure war under then-prevailing U.S. legal norms.

Failing to establish de jure war removes massively significant degrees of de facto mobilization/combat from the American war effort. Obviously there's no Torch/Guadalcanal/etc and lower levels of rationing and war mobilization absent the de jure DoW.
If the US is at war with Japan and Germany continues to sink US merchant shipping in the Atlantic, and there is a continued confrontation with US naval vessels-- and no, the USN won't wholesale transfer the Atlantic Fleet to the Pacific-- then at some point it will end up in a shooting, declared war.
T.A. Gardner wrote:That wouldn't take too much more to get a declaration out of.
Why not?

Of course you'll return to your public opinion surveys but there's an enormous body of scholarship and common sense explaining why congressional (especially senatorial) majorities don't track popular majorities under the U.S. system.

Your argument requires explaining why isolationist senators, concentrated in low-population states and therefore lagging internationalist survey sentiment, would vote for war based on - what? - a few more DE's lost in the Atlantic?

Your argument would also require explaining why even normal senators from non-isolationist states would favor the low-intensity internationalist sentiments of 55% of voters over the high-intensity isolationist sentiments of 45% of voters. Politicians track public opinion only when they'd pay a price for bucking it; it's far from clear that the coalition politics prevalent in 1942 would imply an actual vote cost based on public opinion. Bucking a high-intensity minority view can have far worse electoral implications than bucking a low-intensity majority view (see, e.g., gun control in the US).
Public opinion was that Germany was the greater threat. Once the Pacific war starts, and that's almost a certainty, a war with Germany is likely to follow. The US went to war over the destruction of the Maine. The US went to war over the Lusitania sinking and loss of civilian life. A few more DE being sunk in the Atlantic would certainly do the trick, particularly if the US were at war with Japan already.
Oh, and Pearl Harbor / war with Japan isn't dependent on what Germany's doing. It was dependent on an IJA that couldn't back down in China due to internal social pressure and the US, Britain, and the DEI placing an embargo on trade with Japan. Japan was backed into a corner and has little choice but to go to war.
T.A. Gardner wrote:For example some years ago I read a detailed article in a professional journal on oil exploration. It detailed the wartime German seismology effort to find new oil fields. The entire unit consisted of three vehicles and 12 engineers. That was the German effort to find new oil fields. Germany simply doesn't have a major oil industry to rely on, and it doesn't help that the Germans were poor civil engineers in terms of efficiency.
Source please
I wish I kept the magazine. All I recall is that it was a professional trade journal in the field of oil exploration. It was pure chance I even saw the article.
First, that's irrelevant because the Germans aren't looking for new fields here; they're just restarting existing fields. Completely different technical capabilities.

Second, it ignores the existence of the European oil industry (e.g. Romania) and the availability of its resources to Germany.
Assume the fields are inoperable and require repairs. This means either procuring or making the necessary parts to repair these fields. Those parts have to come from somewhere as it's unlikely they can be locally procured.
Third, your judgment that the Germans were poor civil engineers is (1) dubious and (2) irrelevant because whatever the supposed inefficiency of German oil engineers, it wouldn't have come close to the inefficiency of spending ~10x the resources to make oil from coal as opposed to getting it from the ground. It's another instance of your tendency to equate sub-optimality with worthlessness, as we've discussed re the Pacific War. Germany could throw resources at the Caucasus with epic inefficiency and still come out ahead of their OTL oil industry's efficiency.
No it's not dubious or irrelevant. Germany was dependent largely on hand labor and hand methods for construction projects. Their construction base lacked mechanization. You rarely see any evidence of a large German construction project using dump trucks, bulldozers, earth scrapers, you-name-it. There is the occasional gantry crane and they usually bring in a batch mixer for concrete projects.

Also, coal liquification doesn't cost "10x the resources" that drilling and refining do. It's more on the order of 1.5 to 2. The biggest requirements are lots of fresh water and electricity. The Caucasus oil fields are inefficient if the Germans can't ship by sea and river or by pipeline back to Germany. The length and quality of rail available makes it a poor alternative until those lines are massively upgraded.

glenn239
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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by glenn239 » 30 Jun 2020 19:04

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
29 Jun 2020 19:57
According to Lacey, it was this new knowledge that led to Marshall's acceptance of the more limited ground strategy laid out at Casablanca. At last, reality and strategy merged, or "ends and means" dropped more closely into balance. :D
My understanding was that the issue was political - that the British would not agree to land in France in 1943?

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: What if Hitler spares Russia.

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 30 Jun 2020 19:30

glenn239 wrote:
30 Jun 2020 19:04
My understanding was that the issue was political - that the British would not agree to land in France in 1943?
Whereas my understanding was that the issue was military reality - the British would not agree to an attempted invasion of NW Europe until they thought it would be successful.

What is your source, or actually your logic, that says the issue was political?

Regards

Tom

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