Wednesday, April 28, 2021


When I was younger and a baby historian, I, we, would play what if conjecture games.  

"If Germany had built 40 more U-Boats they would have won WWII"

"If Germany had built 400 more ME-262s they would have won WWII"

"If Germany had started the invasion of the USSR 2 weeks earlier they would have won WWII"

"If Germany had actually set it economy on a war footing in early 1940 they would have won WWII"

Now I am older and hopefully wiser.  My conclusions have changed.  They were never going to win WWII.  Had they done X or Y they might have extended the war a few more months, but that was only delaying the inevitable.  If they had contained themselves to JUST Britain as an enemy, not declared on the US, or invaded Russia, I still think they lose.  The way looks different, but they still lose.    


McChuck said...

Germany had to invade the USSR, because they knew for sure and certain that the USSR had plans to invade Germany and conquer all of Europe.

It is interesting how when Germany invaded Poland, France and Britain declared war. Yet when Russia invaded Poland, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, France and Britain said nothing.

Jonathan H said...

The biggest way to change the outcome would have been to change the timing.
I've read that the German army wanted to build up and not go to war until 1945. If this had been combined with a strong effort to undermine the USSR and set up a casus belli, Germany may have been able to get France, Britain, and the USA on their side against the USSR instead of the opposite.

W. Fleetwood said...

The How Germany Wins tropes boil down to "If only Germany wasn't Germany and Hitler wasn't Hitler then....." But they were.

Will said...

I don't think Germany knew the Soviets were planning to invade. Hitler kept pushing the date back. However, it wasn't really their main focus. It was POLAND they each wanted. They originally split that area, but they coveted the whole thing because they both understood that they couldn't feed their own countries, partly due to too many people in the military instead of on the farm. Stalin and his henchmen had no idea how to feed their people, and ended up killing most of his farmers between the two wars. The Polish area was known as the Breadbasket of Europe.

BTW, the Germans were puzzled by finding so much military gear stockpiled near that border. Stalin didn't trust his military, so he had everything sent ahead before he invaded. He had his forces scheduled to hit the border a week after Hitler's final date. That's why it was so easy for the Germans to push so far into Russia, their military was nearly unarmed.

McChuck said...

@Will -
The Germans knew the Soviets planned to attack. They didn't know the precise timing, but knew that it was "soon". The Russians had built up their military and practiced against Poland, Finland, and the Baltics.