The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
KDF33
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by KDF33 » 14 Mar 2021 19:11

ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 13:59
Alternate scenarios that are founded on assumptions ,wishes,and not on facts,are a wast of time and even very suspect .
There are no facts in an ATL.
Those two sentences juxtaposed contradict each other.
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 13:59
The facts are that prior (= without ) war with the USSR ,the strength of the WM was limited to 5,4 million men and 154 divisions
Actually, there were 165 German divisions in May 1940, and 2 more were activated in June. The Germans kept increasing the size of their field forces until the armistice, and there is no reason to assume that their strength at the time of Fall Gelb constituted any kind of upper limit on German force development.
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 13:59
A year later, because and thanks to the decision to attack the USSR,the strength of the WM was increased to 7,23 million men and 208 divisions
Not "because and thanks to", no. "Following the decision to attack the USSR" is the proper way to phrase it. The strength of the field forces was increased "thanks to" Germany having the potential to do so - the decision to attack the USSR just saw Germany channel its latent potential in this specific manner.
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 13:59
which implies that without the Barbarossa decision the WM strength would be lower not only than 7,23 million and 208 divisions, but even lower than 5,4 million and 154 divisions .
The size of the field forces wasn't tied to Barbarossa per se, but rather to Germany's perceived requirements, with an eventual upper limit reflecting its fundamentals. War in the East was just the specific requirement Hitler foresaw in 1941. Had the Germans perceived the need for more divisions in another context (say, the entry of the US as an active belligerent), they would have had the means to create them.

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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 14 Mar 2021 19:53

18 June (BEFORE the end of the war in the West ) Jodl said the following :
''Bitte an General Keitel um Erlass einer scharfen Anweisung,dass die Aufrüstung entsprechend den von ihm niedergelegten Richtlinien gestoppt wird ''
Ask Keitel for a clear order that the arms production must be stopped following the instructions he has given .
Source : Vabanque P 13
Two days later ,Fromm ordered the following :Das Ersatzheer wird baldmöglichst aufgelöst.
The Reserve army must be disbanded as soon as possible .
Same source .
June 14 : Hitler ordered a decrease of the army to 120 divisions .
Same source : P 12
In the Autumn the order was given to increase the number of divisions from 120 to some 200 .The increase was due to the order to prepare Barbarossa .
Without this order there would be no increase of the army .
And, if Britain had capitulated before June 1941, it is likely that Barbarossa would be cancelled and that there would be again a decrease of the WM .
Last point : on June 22 ( the start of Barbarossa ! ) the order was given to give the LW and the KM again priority over the army concerning armament discussions .
And , it was already ordered that after the fall of the USSR and thus the end of Barbarossa, a third of the Barbarossa divisions would be disbanded .50/60 would remain in the East and the same number would return to Germany .
All this proves that the strength of the army was tied to Barbarossa and its perceived success .
There would be no need in the Autumn of 1941 for an army of 200 divisions ,besides an army in the West of 140 divisions instead of 70 ,as in June 1944,could not operate in that ToO.And what would do 200 divisions after the fall of the USSR in the Autumn of 1941 ? Playing skat ?
The German economy could not afford 7 million soldiers doing nothing during 3 years and the German population would not accept it .
Politically and financially it was out of the question .
After the fall of the USSR in 1990,NATO forces almost disappeared and conscription was abolished in most countries.A peace dividend . The same would happen in Germany without war with the USSR .
The strength of the Bundeswehr is now only a third of what it was in 1990, and the number of reservists is almost insignificant : 30000 .
This would also happen in 1940 in Germany .

KDF33
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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by KDF33 » 14 Mar 2021 20:38

ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 19:53
18 June (BEFORE the end of the war in the West ) Jodl said the following :
Yes, and Paris fell on the 14th, while Pétain asked for an armistice of the 17th. When I wrote "The Germans kept increasing the size of their field forces until the armistice", I obviously meant until the outcome was clear, not until the ink was literally dry on the document.
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 19:53
In the Autumn the order was given to increase the number of divisions from 120 to some 200 .The increase was due to the order to prepare Barbarossa .
Without this order there would be no increase of the army .
No shit. You seem to be logically challenged: the point is that Barbarossa is just one of a multitude of contingencies that could have led Hitler to conclude that he needed to expand the size of the field forces between the fall of France and June 1944.

The latent potential to do so, however, would have existed regardless of whatever contingent decision was taken.
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 19:53
All this proves that the strength of the army was tied to Barbarossa and its perceived success .
It doesn't. It indicates that the Germans didn't perceive a requirement for large field forces in the context of (1) a defeated USSR and (2) no credible ground threat from the UK, which at the time had yet to be joined by the US as an active belligerent.

Indeed, Führer Directive 32's very first paragraph (!) explicitly states the reasoning behind the decision to reduce field forces: "After the destruction of the Soviet Armed Forces, Germany and Italy will be military masters of the European Continent—with the temporary exception of the Iberian Peninsula. No serious threat to Europe by land will then remain. The defence of this area, and foreseeable future offensive action, will require considerably smaller military forces than have been needed hitherto."

In the event of a renewed perception of "threat to Europe by land", do you think the Germans would remain committed to reduced field forces?
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 19:53
besides an army in the West of 140 divisions instead of 70 ,as in June 1944,could not operate in that ToO.
The Germans invaded France with 141 divisions in May 1940...

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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 15 Mar 2021 09:02

Not all of these divisions were used :135 divisions were committed in May 1940,of which 42 reserve divisions and the difference with 1940 was that in 1944 the Germans had very big problems to supply the existing 70 divisions in the West of which only a small part fought in Normandy .
About FW 32 : it said explicitly that after (thus because ) the fall of the USSR no serious threat by land would remain,thus success of Barbarossa would prevent a US/British landing ,and, maybe also an intervention of the US in the war,which means that Overlord after the fall of the USSR would be very questionable .
''No serious threat to Europe by land '' meant no serious threat from the USSR, not by the US . Overlord did not come by land .
Weisung 32 was not about the danger of a landing by the Wallies .
And, it is more than likely that ,if there was a landing in Normandy in June 1944,3 years after the fall of the USSR, it would be a much smaller landing than in the HTL,which means that Germany would not need an army of 200 divisions to defend Europe against a threat coming from the sea .

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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 15 Mar 2021 09:18

KDF33 wrote:
14 Mar 2021 20:38


No shit. You seem to be logically challenged: the point is that Barbarossa is just one of a multitude of contingencies that could have led Hitler to conclude that he needed to expand the size of the field forces between the fall of France and June 1944.

The latent potential to do so, however, would have existed regardless of whatever contingent decision was taken.

I disagree : in June 1940,with France collapsing and thus Britain likely giving up,and no problem with the USSR ( no danger to Europe by land ) Hitler ordered to reduce the army to 120 divisions .
A few months later,with Britain still fighting, he ordered to increase the army ( no number of divisions was mentioned ,but the increase was going to 208 ).Why did Germany needed 80 divisions more ? Not for Sealion, not for NA, not for Greece,,not for a British only Overlord, but for Barbarossa ,only for Barbarossa ,and we know that the aim of Barbarossa was to convince London that Germany was invincible and that they had only one option = surrender as soon as possible .If Britain surrendered before Barbarossa, there was no need for Barbarossa and thus also not for an army of 200 divisions .
In May/June 1940 Germany defeated France and Britain with an army that was much smaller than 200 divisions,with France out,there was no need for an army of 200 divisions to defeat Britain .

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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by Peter89 » 15 Mar 2021 12:31

KDF33 wrote:
14 Mar 2021 20:38
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 19:53
18 June (BEFORE the end of the war in the West ) Jodl said the following :
Yes, and Paris fell on the 14th, while Pétain asked for an armistice of the 17th. When I wrote "The Germans kept increasing the size of their field forces until the armistice", I obviously meant until the outcome was clear, not until the ink was literally dry on the document.
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 19:53
In the Autumn the order was given to increase the number of divisions from 120 to some 200 .The increase was due to the order to prepare Barbarossa .
Without this order there would be no increase of the army .
No shit. You seem to be logically challenged: the point is that Barbarossa is just one of a multitude of contingencies that could have led Hitler to conclude that he needed to expand the size of the field forces between the fall of France and June 1944.

The latent potential to do so, however, would have existed regardless of whatever contingent decision was taken.
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 19:53
All this proves that the strength of the army was tied to Barbarossa and its perceived success .
It doesn't. It indicates that the Germans didn't perceive a requirement for large field forces in the context of (1) a defeated USSR and (2) no credible ground threat from the UK, which at the time had yet to be joined by the US as an active belligerent.

Indeed, Führer Directive 32's very first paragraph (!) explicitly states the reasoning behind the decision to reduce field forces: "After the destruction of the Soviet Armed Forces, Germany and Italy will be military masters of the European Continent—with the temporary exception of the Iberian Peninsula. No serious threat to Europe by land will then remain. The defence of this area, and foreseeable future offensive action, will require considerably smaller military forces than have been needed hitherto."

In the event of a renewed perception of "threat to Europe by land", do you think the Germans would remain committed to reduced field forces?
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 19:53
besides an army in the West of 140 divisions instead of 70 ,as in June 1944,could not operate in that ToO.
The Germans invaded France with 141 divisions in May 1940...
He doesn't understand because he doesn't want to understand.

ljdaw has enough knowledge to know that his opinion is not sensible, he just believes that saying the same thing for 1000 times will tire his debate partners, and God's my witness, it does.

Obviously he is not so stupid to believe that 200 battered, under-trained, ill-supplied "divisions" is the same as 200 divisions with years of rest, training and proper equipment.

Obviously he is not so stupid to believe that the Germans would spend their time with mountain hiking between 1941-1944, but would commit themselves to other theatres of war.

Obviously he is not so stupid to believe that the losses of the Eastern front helped to increase German strength.

Obviously he is not so stupid to believe that the POL shortages of Germany did not affect their fighting strength.

I think it's trolling with commitment :thumbsup:
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 15 Mar 2021 17:02

What is your proof that between 1941 and 1944 the Germans would commit to other theatres of war ?
1 If Britain gave up in 1940 there were no other theatres of war
2 If USSR collapsed in 1941,there would be no other theatres of war .
3 If Britain continued the war after the defeat of the USSR in the Autumn of 1941, Germany could do NOTHING with its 200 divisions .They could not send 100 divisions to the ME or NA.

No one said that the losses on the Eastern Front helped to increase the German strength in the HTL, but I continue to oppose the claim that the forces that in the HTL were build for Barbarossa would also exist in an ATL without Barbarossa .
Saying that the Barbarossa Forces (150 divisions 3 million men ) would also exist in 1944 without Barbarossa(and avoiding the question WHY ) is the same as saying that the US forces committed in 1944 for the war against Japan would also exist in 1944 without war with Japan and would be available for the war against Germany .And this is not so .It is the same for the opposite scenario : no war between US and Germany would not mean more US forces in the Pacific .
It is the same for the war in Vietnam : if there was no war in Vietnam,the 500000 men fighting in Vietnam in 1968,would not exist and they would not be available to strenghten NATO in Europe .
If there was no hostility between US and USSR ,the forces of Eucom would not exist and would not fight in Vietnam .
It is the same for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan .
Returning to Germany : when Hitler was convinced that Britain would give up,he ordered to decrease the army to 120 divisions . When it was obvious that Britain did not give up, Hitler did not order to increase again the army .
When he declared war on the US he did not order to increase the army .
The whole scenario where one is transferring German forces which existed in the HTL for something that happened in the HTL (Barbarossa ) to an ATL where the reason for the existence of these forces did not exist, is only an artificial construction to make a German victory possible .
In the ATL Germany would not suffer 4 million + losses in the East because there would be no war in the east,and no war in the east means no Germans fighting in the East and the 150 Ostheer divisions would not exist .
You can't create a scenario where Barbarossa did not exist but where the Barbarossa forces existed .
If you do this,you must also accept the ATL scenario without Barbarossa, but with 20 million Soviet soldiers in the Far East .

And, curiously ( or not ) I have not seen such a project .

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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by Peter89 » 15 Mar 2021 19:48

ljadw wrote:
15 Mar 2021 17:02
What is your proof that between 1941 and 1944 the Germans would commit to other theatres of war ?
1 If Britain gave up in 1940 there were no other theatres of war
2 If USSR collapsed in 1941,there would be no other theatres of war .
3 If Britain continued the war after the defeat of the USSR in the Autumn of 1941, Germany could do NOTHING with its 200 divisions .They could not send 100 divisions to the ME or NA.

No one said that the losses on the Eastern Front helped to increase the German strength in the HTL, but I continue to oppose the claim that the forces that in the HTL were build for Barbarossa would also exist in an ATL without Barbarossa .
Saying that the Barbarossa Forces (150 divisions 3 million men ) would also exist in 1944 without Barbarossa(and avoiding the question WHY ) is the same as saying that the US forces committed in 1944 for the war against Japan would also exist in 1944 without war with Japan and would be available for the war against Germany .And this is not so .It is the same for the opposite scenario : no war between US and Germany would not mean more US forces in the Pacific .
It is the same for the war in Vietnam : if there was no war in Vietnam,the 500000 men fighting in Vietnam in 1968,would not exist and they would not be available to strenghten NATO in Europe .
If there was no hostility between US and USSR ,the forces of Eucom would not exist and would not fight in Vietnam .
It is the same for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan .
Returning to Germany : when Hitler was convinced that Britain would give up,he ordered to decrease the army to 120 divisions . When it was obvious that Britain did not give up, Hitler did not order to increase again the army .
When he declared war on the US he did not order to increase the army .
The whole scenario where one is transferring German forces which existed in the HTL for something that happened in the HTL (Barbarossa ) to an ATL where the reason for the existence of these forces did not exist, is only an artificial construction to make a German victory possible .
In the ATL Germany would not suffer 4 million + losses in the East because there would be no war in the east,and no war in the east means no Germans fighting in the East and the 150 Ostheer divisions would not exist .
You can't create a scenario where Barbarossa did not exist but where the Barbarossa forces existed .
If you do this,you must also accept the ATL scenario without Barbarossa, but with 20 million Soviet soldiers in the Far East .

And, curiously ( or not ) I have not seen such a project .
What you don't understand: the number of divisions is irrelevant.

Germany constantly faced demotorization and demobilization, because it lacked the resources to maintain a huge army. Thus maintaining more than several dozens of "elite" divisions was the maximum what the Germans could do. The rest was to be static or limited mobility divions. Also: hundreds of thousands of qualified and able-bodied men missed from the Axis production because of the Ostfront. The increase from 120 to 200 was irrelevant, because it was never intended to be a long-term commitment.

The second thing you don't understand: Germany was looking for a way to defeat Britain, and there were laid down paths as alternatives of Barbarossa. I know you are in denial of hard facts, but that doesn't change the picture. In your mind, what would have happened, if Barbarossa wouldn't happen? Hm? Nothing? Really? I know you are smarter than that.

Long story short.

What would have happen if Germany didn't commit against SU?
1.) They would commit against Britain.
2.) They would commit against others (neutrals, allies).
3.) They would do nothing.

And: you are right. They had no chance to commit 150-200 divisions against Britain. Thus: even in worst case scenario, their losses would be more mild, and they'd have more forces to withstand a Wallied offensive.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 15 Mar 2021 20:29

What would happen if Germany did not attack the USSR ?
Very simply , because there was in this scenario only one option : the war with Britain would continue,WITHOUT the intervention of the army, but by KM and LW only .
Germany was unable to operate with its ground forces outside the continent .
To put it in actual words : if war with Britain continued,while there would be no war with the USSR,Europe would be in lock down . German divisions could not operate outside the continent and British divisions could not operate on the continent .
And this would continue, without the need for an army of 200 divisions, til in the best scenario for Germany,the end of the 1940s,when the Third Reich would collapse by itself.In the real and very bad scenario til 1945 when the German cities would be nuked .
There are two possibilities
1 200 divisions would not be needed to prevent Britain from landing and thus there would not be 200 divisions
2 200 divisions would not prevent the Wallies from nuking Germany .
In both cases the number of 200 divisions was irrelevant .
When in June 1940 war with Britain was considered as over and when there would be no war with the Soviets ,Hitler ordered to decrease the army to 120 divisions .
When the war with Britain continued without war with the USSR (Autumn 1940 ) it was still 120 divisions .
Only the war with the USSR convinced/forced Hitler to increase the army to 200 divisions .
When this war started and Hitler was convinced that he would be won,very quickly, a big part of the Barbarossa divisions would be disbanded ,and the army would return to a strength of 120 divisions . 200 divisions was a ad hoc decision,a temporary division .After the fall of the Soviets,there would be peace,even if Britain continued the fighting.And peace was not possible with 200 divisions . Even 120 was to much .
If Britain landed they would be defeated without 200 divisions .
If the Wallies nuked the German cities, 200 divisions could do nothing .
In both cases 200 divisions would not help Germany, thus there would be no 200 divisions .

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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by Aida1 » 15 Mar 2021 21:27

Sheldrake wrote:
25 Feb 2021 03:59
historygeek2021 wrote:
23 Feb 2021 22:40
Germany's overall strategy in 1941 makes sense when you look at it from the perspective of trying to knock Britain out of the war. The strategy is basically as follows:

1. Deliver a crippling blow against the Soviet Union.

2. With the Soviet Union crippled, Japan is free to conquer Britain's colonies.

3. Germany helps Italy defeat Britain in the Mediterranean.

4. German U-boats sink Britain's merchant fleet.

The German strategy was to force Britain into a "three front" war that it could not win: (1) against Japan in the Pacific, (2) against Italy and Germany in the Mediterranean, and (3) against Germany's U-boats in the Atlantic.

This explains the elation among Germany's senior commanders when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The main goal of the Barbarossa campaign was to free Japan to attack Britain's Pacific colonies, and this had been achieved.

Today we know that the flaw in the plan was the United States, but the Germans in 1941 didn't know how quickly the United States could come to Britain's rescue. When you consider that the main goal of the plan was to knock out Britain, it makes sense that Germany would declare war on the United States in December 1941. This would prevent the United States from focusing everything on Japan and saving Britain's colonies in the Far East.

Obviously this was not a perfect plan, but it does make a certain kind of sense from a global geostrategic point of view.
I don't think Hitler can be found as at any point agreeing with your points. However, I can see why an alien might see this pattern. There are several definitions of "Strategy". There is a planned strategy and an emergent strategy.

Hitler justified the attack on the USSR as a means of defeating the only possible British ally in Europe. But it neatly dovetailed into the idea of Lebensraum outlined in Mein Kampf

Surely the Germans hoped that the Japanese would attack the USSR and not gobble up British colonies?
Hitlers Weisung nr 24 of 05.03.1941 clearly states what he wanted Japan to do and it was to atack british interests in the far east. In point 5 of the Weisung it is strictly forbidden to tell the Japanese about Barbarossa .

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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by Aida1 » 15 Mar 2021 21:33

Peter89 wrote:
04 Mar 2021 07:33
historygeek2021 wrote:
03 Mar 2021 23:35
Peter89 wrote:
03 Mar 2021 21:44

The British Empire was the target, not the SU.
And by invading the Soviet Union, Germany freed Japan to inflict greatest possible damage that any of the Axis nations could inflict on the British Empire.
Japan was free to do so regardless of Barbarossa.
Weisung nr 24 states that Barbarossa will create the political and military preconditions for a successfull intervention by Japan.

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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by Nautilus » 18 Mar 2021 09:48

ljadw wrote:
15 Mar 2021 20:29
What would happen if Germany did not attack the USSR ?
Very simply , because there was in this scenario only one option : the war with Britain would continue,WITHOUT the intervention of the army, but by KM and LW only .
Germany was unable to operate with its ground forces outside the continent .
To put it in actual words : if war with Britain continued,while there would be no war with the USSR,Europe would be in lock down . German divisions could not operate outside the continent and British divisions could not operate on the continent .
And this would continue, without the need for an army of 200 divisions, til in the best scenario for Germany,the end of the 1940s,when the Third Reich would collapse by itself.In the real and very bad scenario til 1945 when the German cities would be nuked .
There are two possibilities
1 200 divisions would not be needed to prevent Britain from landing and thus there would not be 200 divisions
2 200 divisions would not prevent the Wallies from nuking Germany .
ljadw wrote:
14 Mar 2021 13:59
The Manhattan Project was economically and politically impossible without war with Germany.
Contradiction: if the Manhattan Project was economically and politically impossible without open, declared war with Germany, how was the Government going to do the incredible human and financial effort which it did in RealLife after the spring of 1942?

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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 18 Mar 2021 11:07

No contradiction :
in war time the electors are willing to spend more taxes than in peace time,thus no political problems .And a lot of the war expenses were loans who would be paid by the next generations.
the war had as result that the GDP of the US increased ,thus more could be spend for war aims .Thus no economical problems .
US GDP in 1941 :$ 129 billion
US GDP in 1945 : $ 229 billion

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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by AbollonPolweder » 21 Mar 2021 23:11

Aida1 wrote:
15 Mar 2021 21:27
...
Hitlers Weisung nr 24 of 05.03.1941 clearly states what he wanted Japan to do and it was to atack british interests in the far east. In point 5 of the Weisung it is strictly forbidden to tell the Japanese about Barbarossa .
This document can also be added to Directive No. 24.
" Hearings on American Aspects of the Richard Sorge spy case."
Before the Russian-German war started high military officers came
to Tokyo from Berlin.
And also an emissary of the German Admiral Canaries, who was
in charge of antiespionage activities, came to Tokyo.
Ambassador Ott went to the Japanese Army general staff showing
the German plan of attacking Singapore, and told the Japanese that
if they followed that plan Singapore would fall very easily.
https://archive.org/stream/hearingsonam ... t_djvu.txt
As anyone can see, the German General Staff helped the Japanese prepare plans for an attack not on the USSR, but on Singapore.
https://sites.google.com/site/krieg1941undnarod/
Better to lose with a clever than with a fool to find

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Re: The Logic of German Global Military Strategy in 1941

Post by ljadw » 27 Mar 2021 16:48

The whole story is a hoax (there were a lot of such things which were investigated by the Committee on on-American activities),besides the story was not the business of the Committee .
Sorge ,and it is the same for the members of the German embassy in Japan ,knew nothing about Barbarossa , which was something that would happen on the other side of the planet and did not concern Japan .
About Singapore : this also is a hoax :
Germany and Japan did not trust each other and Germany had no information about Singapore .

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