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Thread: What if Hitler had waited?

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    Senior Member [WDW]Megaraptor's Avatar
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    Default What if Hitler had waited?

    This is something i've been wondering about: What if Hitler had waited to launch WWII, say, until 1943 or 1944?

    From what i've read, Hitler didn't launch any sort of master plan in 1939. Rather, he actually didn't plan to go to war until several years later. The war started because Hitler didn't expect France and Britain to come to war when he invaded Poland. And of course one invasion led to another: War with Britain and France led to the need to seize Norway, war with France necessitated the seizure of the Low Countries and the invasion of France, and so on. And then, heady with success, Hitler embarked on an invasion of Russia.

    In 1939-1941, many futuristic German weapons were still in development and would not be ready until 1944-45. What would world history look like today if Germany had first gone to war in 1944, armed with the Me262, Ar234, Panther, Tiger, King Tiger, Frtiz-X antiship missile, Type XXI Elektroboot, Graf Zeppelin carrier and the V-1 and V-2 missiles? As we all know, most of these weapons arrived too late and in too few numbers to affect the outcome of the war, but what if they had been available in the crucial battles of 1942?

    Would the Germans have been able to invade England? Would they have captured Moscow? Stalingrad? Kursk?

    Or would allied technology been more advanced as well by that point, and the end result be the same? Would allied technology have advanced to the point it was in 1945 without the war stimulating the invention and development of new weapons?

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    Loadmaster General Laworkerbee's Avatar
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    Had Admiral Raeder achieved the number of U-boats he wanted at the beginning of the battle of the Atlantic things would have gotten very ugly.

    Perhaps Britain would have been starved into submission?

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    i guess its just one of those 'what if' questions that is too vast and complex to try to analyse and answer

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    Senior Member [WDW]Megaraptor's Avatar
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    Very true, but things would have been a lot uglier if the Type XXI's had entered service in large numbers.

    April 30 1945, the situation at sea was nearly hopeless for most U-boat captains. But for KK (Korvettan Kapitan) Adalbert Schnee, his situation was different. Of the two new operational Type XXIs, he was in command of one of them – U-2511. Schnee was under orders to sail from Bergen, Norway, and to make his way to the Carribbean. His orders were not to attack any ships on his outbound journey, but the boat was detected by an anti-submarine patrol group. Traveling faster underwater than the escorts could on the surface, he easily outran the escorts. He was in command of a new boat, one which would make hunting as easy as it had been during the “Happy Time”. Then on May 3 1945, the unthinkable, but inevitable happened. A message from BdU: Germany had surrendered. All U-boats were ordered to cease hostilities and were to sail to the nearest allied port under a black flag. Nevertheless, U-2511 had the British cruiser HMS Suffolk in its sights. Schnee carefully evaded the heavy escort screen, closed in to 600 meters of the cruiser, and raised the periscope. The torpedoes were primed, and he ordered the tube doors opened. As the British cruiser crossed the targeting crosshair on his periscope - instead of giving the order to fire, he simply cursed, lowered the scope, dived under the target and made off for Norway, unknown to those sailing above him.

    The other Type XXI, Kptlt. Helmut Manseck of U-3008 had just sailed from Wilhelmshaven on May 3, 1945. Shortly after departing, the message of Germany’s surrender was received, Manseck spotted a British convoy and carried out a dummy attack. He slipped away undetected and returned to port.

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    Senior Member zad's Avatar
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    Soviet Union would had time enought to recover from the Great Purge of officials, German armies would faced not the chaotic red army of 1939 but the war machine of 1944-45, soviets would still outnumber any german tiger/phanter with the more quickly produced T-34s series, soviets would not quited their reaction fighters project because of the lack of time that they faced in 1940 while the nazis crossed Ukrania and Bielorrusia, French would have time to continue the Maginot Line covering the ardens forest and the Belgium border, Japan would had to take the decision of fight alone against the US or to give in on the US pressures and economic embargo of raw materials stopping their asian expansion campaign....

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    Senior Member [WDW]Megaraptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zad View Post
    Soviet Union would had time enought to recover from the Great Purge of officials, German armies would faced not the chaotic red army of 1939 but the war machine of 1944-45, soviets would still outnumber any german tiger/phanter with the more quickly produced T-34s series, soviets would not quited their reaction fighters project because of the lack of time that they faced in 1940 while the nazis crossed Ukrania and Bielorrusia, French would have time to continue the Maginot Line covering the ardens forest and the Belgium border, Japan would had to take the decision of fight alone against the US or to give in on the US pressures and economic embargo of raw materials stopping their asian expansion campaign....
    But would the Soviets have recovered from the purges without the German invasion giving them an enemy to rally against?

    Your point about the Maginot Line is well taken...if it extended from Switzerland to the coast I don't know if the Germans could have breached it.

    Events in Japan moved independently of Europe. Unlike Hitler and Mussolini, the Japanese went to war on their own time with a definite plan, which is how they were so successful for the first six months. And unlike the Germans, the Japanese didn't have many revolutionary weapons under development. Sure they had a few new fighters and a lot of improvised things, but nothing approaching what the Germans had except what they copied.

    For our purposes, let's say that the Germans started the war by invading Poland in 1943, but the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 and had been at war with the USA, Britain, Australia and Holland for the past 2 years. What would America have done if Hitler had started taking over Europe after Pearl Harbor? Would Hitler have declared war on the United States? And even if he did, would the US have been willing or able to send significant resources to the European theater? Would Britain have been weaker in Europe because they were concentrating their efforts on fighting the Japanese in the Pacific?

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    Falcons FTW Kilgor's Avatar
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    Before Hitler went senile in the later years, he did have a firm grasp on strategic situations. In 39/40/41 he knew his enemies were military weaker, politically divided and the strength of his armed forces was at its best compared to his foes.

    Technology you mention is developed painfully from the blood of war, progress during peacetime would have been nowhere near as rapid or pushed.

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    As far as the Type XXI U-boat is concerned, it's not like the Germans had this submarine fully planned out in '38 and were just waiting for all their Type VIIC's to be sunk before starting up production of the XXI's.

    The design of the XXI took into account all of the lessons learned at great cost by the U-boat arm of the Kriegsmarine during '42, '43 and later.

    So as far as I know, put the war off for any number of years and they still wouldn't be able to design the XXI until a lot of VIIC's had been sunk and they clued in that a deck gun on a submarine was a waste of space, that a submarine could no longer just tool along on the surface for any sort of distance, etc etc.

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    Loadmaster General Laworkerbee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgor View Post
    Before Hitler went senile in the later years, he did have a firm grasp on strategic situations. In 39/40/41 he knew his enemies were military weaker, politically divided and the strength of his armed forces was at its best compared to his foes.
    But his intelligence on Soviet tank production was shyte and they didn't even know the T-34 existed when Barbarossa kicked off according to what I've read from John Keegan.

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    Senior Member zad's Avatar
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    But would the Soviets have recovered from the purges without the German invasion giving them an enemy to rally against?
    Stalin knew that he will had to fight against Hitler, he didn´t thought that he would had to do it 1940


    Events in Japan moved independently of Europe. Unlike Hitler and Mussolini, the Japanese went to war on their own time with a definite plan, which is how they were so successful for the first six months. And unlike the Germans, the Japanese didn't have many revolutionary weapons under development. Sure they had a few new fighters and a lot of improvised things, but nothing approaching what the Germans had except what they copied.
    Japan would have to face the whole combinated fleet of Royal Navy, French Navy, Dutch Navy and US Navy, even if they succed in the surprise attack against Perl Harbor the Atlantic Fleet of USN will be free of enemies in the Atlantic to go to fight to the Pacific, the number of air carriers, battleships, and other ships of the combined allied fleet would outnumbered the Japanese Imperial Navy, The war against Japan in 1941 would be a good test camp for modern tactics for the french and english troops, Japan would had faced a much stronger oposition to their expasion attempt in Indochina and Dutch Indias.

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    concerning the french maginot line;
    it was already redundant as it was built with WW1 warfare in mind.also the weapons pointed forward,not behind or up.what happened to it would have happened regardless of how long they had to construct it.the nazis would still have attacked by comin through belgium,their tanks would still have came in behind the wall and been victorious

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    Senior Member zad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERU/ARW View Post
    concerning the french maginot line;
    it was already redundant as it was built with WW1 warfare in mind.also the weapons pointed forward,not behind or up.what happened to it would have happened regardless of how long they had to construct it.the nazis would still have attacked by comin through belgium,their tanks would still have came in behind the wall and been victorious
    Yes, but the french plan was to continue the Maginot Line to cover the Belgium border also.

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    Having an Identity Crisis Hawkeye4077's Avatar
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    Do you think production of the A-bomb would've been delayed as well? If yes, then do you think an invasion of Japan would've been an absolute necessity?

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    If Hitler had waited Stalin would have attacked instead and the initiative would have been lost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by [WDW]Megaraptor View Post

    Your point about the Maginot Line is well taken...if it extended from Switzerland to the coast I don't know if the Germans could have breached it.
    It should be noted, that the original German plans for the Blitz fell into French hands due to some German officers accidentally landing in French territory because of navigational error. The French studied the plans and made changes accordingly. In accordance to the new threat, the French and Brits swung their best armies to the North along the Franco-Belgian border, and in doing so, the Germans learned that the entire defenses hinged at Sedan, the weakest point. Hence the German developed the two-****ged attack for the Blitz, and the rest is history.

    However, if we do a "what if" scenario, take into account that
    it was originally intended for the Maginot line to extend from the Swiss border and hinging not at Sedan, but on the Belgian fortress of Eben Emael. However, because Belgium declared it's neutrality at the very last minute, the French were forced to modify their plan and have the line go directly from the hinge from the Ardennes and follow the Franco-Belgium border to the sea.

    Unfortunately, by the time of the Blitz these new "emplacements" were merely a series of trenches and foxholes. With more time, it's possible more concrete fortifications could have been built. It may have been succesful, but this is assuming French military doctrines would have changed as well, and it seems unlikely this could have happened, though new plans could have provided for better deployment of their finer troops and tanks. More modern aircfraft would have helped, like the D-520 and the VG-33 fighters.

    If only they had more time too....

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