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Old March 19th, 2008, 02:36 AM
Foreign Shadow Foreign Shadow is offline
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Operation Orpheus

This is a very simple, proposed timeline, that I hope others can provide insight on and help me expand or change what is necessary, and whereever I have faulty reasoning, to adjust that.

********

It is late 1940. Adolf Hitler, seeing that any hope of an invasion of Britain is, for the present at least, utterly hopeless, decides to scrap Operation Sealion entirely. His initial plans are to invade the Soviet Union while Britain remains in the war. However, based largely on the advice of one of his closest lieutenants, Rudolf Hess, he chooses, instead, to change his focus dramatically. Thus begins Operation Orpheus.

Operation Orpheus is a nonlinear plan, one might almost call it "passive-aggressive", that is comprised of three separate, but related programs:

1) The pursuit of unrestricted submarine warfare on Britain, with the intention of crippling its commerce. The German leadership has not forgotten how devastating that system of action was in the previous war, nor that the Kaiserreich temporarily abandoned it. This will not happen in this war. Hitler gambles there is enough isolationist feeling in the United States that, at worst, it will take Roosevelt precious months, perhaps a year or more, before he can work up enough support for war against Germany, and at best, no war declaration will be coming. Either way, Hitler's plan is to starve Britain, either into submission, or into a position where it cannot fend off invasion, before the U.S. can effectively become a military factor. Hitler directs large numbers of submarines to be built as quickly as possible, to help ensure the success of this operation. In additon to the relentless sinking of merchant vessels, the Luftwaffe will resume operations on British military targets, maximizing the military effect the weakened German Air Force can cause.

2) Many of the armored divisions originally earmarked for an attack on Russia, up to 15%, will join with the forces already under Erwin Rommel's command in the Afrikacorps, with the goal to destroy the Allied North African, and take the Suez Canal, as quickly as possible, thus farther weakening Britain's position through oblique, rather than direct, attack.

3) Although Hitler does not expect Stalin to invade immediately, he knows the peace the two dictatorships currently have will not last forever. He thus prepares for an attack from the Soviets. A plan for defense in depth is ordered, with the goal being to weaken the numerically superior Russian force while still in what is mostly conquered Polish territory. The hope is for successful counterattacks to continue and eventually form into a steady press into Russian territory. Although Hitler does not care for the plan overmuch, he is convinced by Hess and by the German military command to adopt it for several reasons: A) It will provide a propoganda boon, and may even reduce tensions in the U.S. caused by the renewal of aggresive unrestricted submarine warfare; and B) It will provide a chance for Germany to induce favorable attrition against the Russians, perhaps encircle and capture large numbers of fighting men, before adopting Blitzkrieg tactics for the inevitable counterattacks.

******

Ok guys, what do you think? What's feasible here and what isn't? And what would be the results of such a strategy?

NOTE: I know that Hitler, being aggressive, cool towards naval operations as a general rule, and just plain batshit crazy, would be unlikely to enact such a plan, but let's write this down as Hess and the Generals getting him on a couple of good days. I'm more concerned with *if* something like this proposed plan was adopted, what would be the consequences, rather than how likely it is that such a plan would be accepted by Hitler.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 02:59 AM
CalBear CalBear is offline
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This is a very simple, proposed timeline, that I hope others can provide insight on and help me expand or change what is necessary, and whereever I have faulty reasoning, to adjust that.

********

It is late 1940. Adolf Hitler, seeing that any hope of an invasion of Britain is, for the present at least, utterly hopeless, decides to scrap Operation Sealion entirely. His initial plans are to invade the Soviet Union while Britain remains in the war. However, based largely on the advice of one of his closest lieutenants, Rudolf Hess, he chooses, instead, to change his focus dramatically. Thus begins Operation Orpheus.

Operation Orpheus is a nonlinear plan, one might almost call it "passive-aggressive", that is comprised of three separate, but related programs:

1) The pursuit of unrestricted submarine warfare on Britain, with the intention of crippling its commerce. The German leadership has not forgotten how devastating that system of action was in the previous war, nor that the Kaiserreich temporarily abandoned it. This will not happen in this war. Hitler gambles there is enough isolationist feeling in the United States that, at worst, it will take Roosevelt precious months, perhaps a year or more, before he can work up enough support for war against Germany, and at best, no war declaration will be coming. Either way, Hitler's plan is to starve Britain, either into submission, or into a position where it cannot fend off invasion, before the U.S. can effectively become a military factor. Hitler directs large numbers of submarines to be built as quickly as possible, to help ensure the success of this operation. In additon to the relentless sinking of merchant vessels, the Luftwaffe will resume operations on British military targets, maximizing the military effect the weakened German Air Force can cause.

2) Many of the armored divisions originally earmarked for an attack on Russia, up to 15%, will join with the forces already under Erwin Rommel's command in the Afrikacorps, with the goal to destroy the Allied North African, and take the Suez Canal, as quickly as possible, thus farther weakening Britain's position through oblique, rather than direct, attack.

3) Although Hitler does not expect Stalin to invade immediately, he knows the peace the two dictatorships currently have will not last forever. He thus prepares for an attack from the Soviets. A plan for defense in depth is ordered, with the goal being to weaken the numerically superior Russian force while still in what is mostly conquered Polish territory. The hope is for successful counterattacks to continue and eventually form into a steady press into Russian territory. Although Hitler does not care for the plan overmuch, he is convinced by Hess and by the German military command to adopt it for several reasons: A) It will provide a propoganda boon, and may even reduce tensions in the U.S. caused by the renewal of aggresive unrestricted submarine warfare; and B) It will provide a chance for Germany to induce favorable attrition against the Russians, perhaps encircle and capture large numbers of fighting men, before adopting Blitzkrieg tactics for the inevitable counterattacks.

******

Ok guys, what do you think? What's feasible here and what isn't? And what would be the results of such a strategy?

NOTE: I know that Hitler, being aggressive, cool towards naval operations as a general rule, and just plain batshit crazy, would be unlikely to enact such a plan, but let's write this down as Hess and the Generals getting him on a couple of good days. I'm more concerned with *if* something like this proposed plan was adopted, what would be the consequences, rather than how likely it is that such a plan would be accepted by Hitler.
# 1. Pretty much happened

#2. The Germans lacked sufficient sea lift to move additional forces to Africa in the numbers suggested. They also lacked sufficient escorts to defend additional convoys even if the additional bottoms could be found (and every additional merchant ship is roughly 1.5 fewer U-boats and every escort is 2 fewer U-Boats for # 1.).

#3. This would require a total reversal of EVERYTHING Hitler began the war over in the first place. Hitler's vision required the Ukraine and most of European Russia as "living space" for the German people. You need to have Hitler cease to exist, those who endorsed his beliefs cease to exist, and the entire war be waged for different reasons.

Hitler didn't hit the USSR because he was trying to beat Stalin to the punch; he did it because he needed land for the Master Race and the semi-human Slavs were living on it.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 03:44 AM
Foreign Shadow Foreign Shadow is offline
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#3. This would require a total reversal of EVERYTHING Hitler began the war over in the first place. Hitler's vision required the Ukraine and most of European Russia as "living space" for the German people. You need to have Hitler cease to exist, those who endorsed his beliefs cease to exist, and the entire war be waged for different reasons.

Hitler didn't hit the USSR because he was trying to beat Stalin to the punch; he did it because he needed land for the Master Race and the semi-human Slavs were living on it.
That's true, but the idea wasn't that he had changed his mind about his goals, simply how to achieve them. Thanks for the info about German logistics on #2...are you sure the Germans put everything they had into unrestricted submarine warfare? If so, how did Britain not starve out by '41?
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Old March 19th, 2008, 04:00 AM
CalBear CalBear is offline
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That's true, but the idea wasn't that he had changed his mind about his goals, simply how to achieve them. Thanks for the info about German logistics on #2...are you sure the Germans put everything they had into unrestricted submarine warfare? If so, how did Britain not starve out by '41?
Because it isn't as easy as it seems.

The USN did a far better job of blockading Japan than the Kreigsmarine ever achieved (or dreamed of achieving) against Britain, and Japan wasn't starved out after 18 months. (Although by early '46, that would have changed since the USN & USAF had started to sink anything they could find canoe sixed or larger and strafe every oxcart.) That's a in a country with a larger population than Great Britain (GB 48 Million, Japan 73 million) with less farm land and one that was engaged in a massive land war vs. China AND a huge naval/land fight with the U.S.

Look at the situation on Malta during the Axis attacks there, starving a population is MUCH easier said than done.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 04:45 AM
Foreign Shadow Foreign Shadow is offline
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Because it isn't as easy as it seems.

The USN did a far better job of blockading Japan than the Kreigsmarine ever achieved (or dreamed of achieving) against Britain, and Japan wasn't starved out after 18 months. (Although by early '46, that would have changed since the USN & USAF had started to sink anything they could find canoe sixed or larger and strafe every oxcart.) That's a in a country with a larger population than Great Britain (GB 48 Million, Japan 73 million) with less farm land and one that was engaged in a massive land war vs. China AND a huge naval/land fight with the U.S.

Look at the situation on Malta during the Axis attacks there, starving a population is MUCH easier said than done.
Point...still, over the long run, it could have worked, I assume?

EDIT: Ie, in perhaps 2-3 years?
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Old March 19th, 2008, 06:24 AM
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Look, problem #3 can be resolved in even better fashion than it already was. OTL, there was talk of Stalin joining the Axis Powers. If Germany is really sincere about peace in the East, then let's go further than claiming that Germany abandoning its silly ideas in the East. Let's use the M-R Pact as a gate towards German-Soviet Cooperation and resolve the whole thing entirely.

A German-Soviet-Japan Coalition should be strong enough to crush the UK entirely (The Soviet Contribution would be an all-out attack in Central Asia towards India and a Massive push into the Middle East).

If you intend Germany to avoid a war with Stalin, diplomacy would probably work massively. I think that Stalin would honor a formal alliance with Hitler and a DMZ throughout Eastern Europe. In OTL, the opening phase of Barbarossa STAVKA told the Red Army not to fight against a provocative incident--that's how far Stalin was trying to avoid war with Germany.

If we presuppose a German-Soviet Alliance, the UK is deeply screwed. Indeed, this MIGHT be enough for the Axis Powers to take on the USA, particularly if their A-Bomb project doesn't begin until a much later date due to a later war.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 06:56 AM
Foreign Shadow Foreign Shadow is offline
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Look, problem #3 can be resolved in even better fashion than it already was. OTL, there was talk of Stalin joining the Axis Powers. If Germany is really sincere about peace in the East, then let's go further than claiming that Germany abandoning its silly ideas in the East. Let's use the M-R Pact as a gate towards German-Soviet Cooperation and resolve the whole thing entirely.

A German-Soviet-Japan Coalition should be strong enough to crush the UK entirely (The Soviet Contribution would be an all-out attack in Central Asia towards India and a Massive push into the Middle East).

If you intend Germany to avoid a war with Stalin, diplomacy would probably work massively. I think that Stalin would honor a formal alliance with Hitler and a DMZ throughout Eastern Europe. In OTL, the opening phase of Barbarossa STAVKA told the Red Army not to fight against a provocative incident--that's how far Stalin was trying to avoid war with Germany.

If we presuppose a German-Soviet Alliance, the UK is deeply screwed. Indeed, this MIGHT be enough for the Axis Powers to take on the USA, particularly if their A-Bomb project doesn't begin until a much later date due to a later war.
And to continue our issue from another thread, Max, I don't see why Hitler couldn't just exile the French (and ITL the Brits as well) and take all their land. If he was gonna do it in Russia, why not in the Reich's *real* foes? Personally, I think kicking all of the Brits and French out of Europe would be the most effective way to make sure they'll not be able to ever recover what they've lost or to hurt you again.

Anyways, as for the U.S., facing *THREE* Old World Superpowers, it is not going to fight if it's wise. I don't care how big and tough the U.S. is, it couldn't stop a Germany-over-Europe, USSR and Japan combo. If it was lucky, it could get a "don't mess with us and we won't crush you" type of peace.

***
BTW, One of my favorite personal ATL scenario's for a long time was a non-antisemtic dictator comes to power in Germany, follows Karl Haushofer's ideal of a Continental Bloc (ie, the Alliance with the Soviets as well as the Japanese) and focuses on destroing the Anglo-French alliance instead, and taking their land and alot of thier colonies (especially in Africa, splitting it with Mussolini). The End result is a Old World/New World Cold War, with the French and Brit expatriates settling in Canada, and the U.S. forcing South America into line as part of a Continent-wide power bloc to stave off the Superaxis.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 08:04 AM
Blue Max Blue Max is online now
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Well FS, the first thing to consider is social issues. Deporting Millions of people is extremely difficult, and its really easier for a short hop than a long one, hence why I think Germany on the Seine is a lot more plausible than Reichkommerseriat Westland. Indeed, it's really easier just to kill all of them, actually. (As a Fellow American, I have a very low opinion of Nazis. Bear with me)

Deporting people is expensive and its likely to augur their dislike or hatred of you. Of course, the more people and the more territory you try to grab, the more hatred you create. Taking Paris from the French is very bad because its really unforgivable--its a part of who the French are as a people. See, the advantage of pushing the French back to the Seine is that they might be able to accept that someday. Granted, this only really matters if you aren't out to stomp the French anyway.

And the old wisdom was to show decency to a defeated foe so that they might get over it. You might take a chunk of territory from another country, but people could get over it eventually. Hey, someday Germany might need France's help--better not make them too angry today. But if you take Paris from France, you have humiliated the French People, their culture, and their works. They will claim Paris CENTURIES after the transfer, and they'd have no compunction against ejecting the Germans if they ever got the chance, but perhaps worse, they'd fight. That's right, you'd get a good hard fight from a nation that Germany historically walked over.

I suppose its kind of a weak point--does Germany ever want to be friends with the French, are they willing to have a centuries long vendetta with them? In this case, Germany has the choice between humiliating a government or humiliating a people.

Finally, politics matters too. The French don't just live in France, just like the Brits live outside the Island. You can expect the rest of these people to be extremely angry as a result.

As for your Three Power TL, two words: Nuclear Standoff. The USA can certainly stop them. Indeed, the USA could probably KO Japan even with that combination (US Navy gets megabuilt, while the Soviets and the Germans are poor naval powers)
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Old March 19th, 2008, 08:21 AM
Foreign Shadow Foreign Shadow is offline
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Well FS, the first thing to consider is social issues. Deporting Millions of people is extremely difficult, and its really easier for a short hop than a long one, hence why I think Germany on the Seine is a lot more plausible than Reichkommerseriat Westland. Indeed, it's really easier just to kill all of them, actually. (As a Fellow American, I have a very low opinion of Nazis. Bear with me)

Deporting people is expensive and its likely to augur their dislike or hatred of you. Of course, the more people and the more territory you try to grab, the more hatred you create. Taking Paris from the French is very bad because its really unforgivable--its a part of who the French are as a people. See, the advantage of pushing the French back to the Seine is that they might be able to accept that someday. Granted, this only really matters if you aren't out to stomp the French anyway.

And the old wisdom was to show decency to a defeated foe so that they might get over it. You might take a chunk of territory from another country, but people could get over it eventually. Hey, someday Germany might need France's help--better not make them too angry today. But if you take Paris from France, you have humiliated the French People, their culture, and their works. They will claim Paris CENTURIES after the transfer, and they'd have no compunction against ejecting the Germans if they ever got the chance, but perhaps worse, they'd fight. That's right, you'd get a good hard fight from a nation that Germany historically walked over.

I suppose its kind of a weak point--does Germany ever want to be friends with the French, are they willing to have a centuries long vendetta with them? In this case, Germany has the choice between humiliating a government or humiliating a people.

Finally, politics matters too. The French don't just live in France, just like the Brits live outside the Island. You can expect the rest of these people to be extremely angry as a result.

As for your Three Power TL, two words: Nuclear Standoff. The USA can certainly stop them. Indeed, the USA could probably KO Japan even with that combination (US Navy gets megabuilt, while the Soviets and the Germans are poor naval powers)
Well, Max, I don't think the US could really *stop* them. Hold them back to the Old World and have a variant of OTL Cold War? That seems very likely, however. But stop them? No. The U.S. taking out Japan is possible, but not a guarantee.

On to your point about my Deutschwank on France: The thing is, the Germans would be unlikely to care about the "don't arsefuck your defeated enemy" ideal...because that's exactly what France did to Germany at Versaille and afterwards. After Versailles, and the Ruhr Atrocity, I'm shocked that any Germans would ever want to show mercy to the French again (I think the only reason Hitler did is because he didn't really care about France or Britain, he was focused on the East).

You raised a good point about logistics, and expatriate anger, though, and I think it would be wise for the Germans to leave, say, a fourth of France as a very weak, semi-occupied state, so they can just shove the French on a train down out of the way, let a few thousand starve before things get settled (yes, callous, we're talking about either Nazi's or a very angry militarized Germany here, however). This would have the added advantage of having the center of French power (at least officially, if not de facto, probably you'd get a De Gaulle-type until at least Britain's downfall) right near you, ready to be crushed down again and again if need be.

As for Paris, you're absolutely right, taking it is unforgivable-from a French viewpoint. If the German ruler ITTL felt as I would as a German, and I think like many Germans did at the time, He'd want to take it, burn it to the ground, and salt the earth. And damn the reprecussions, he'd depend on his country's military skill and engineering brillance, and his alliance with the Soviets and thier resources, to pay the price that vengenace would cost.

Really, to me, it's a bloody miracle the French weren't treated horribly by the Germans in WWII in OTL. In many ways, they deserved it. Takin Paris would be unforgivable-but so was Versailles/Ruhr.

I hope I don't sound TOO bloodthirsty, we are, after all, indulging in hypothetical actions of nonexistent states. But I'm a strong proponent of the theory that Versailles was the biggest assfest in modern history.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 08:43 AM
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A real alliance between germans and soviets, I mean a military alliance against the allies, is almost ASB, let's face it. Too many ideollogical and imperalistic differences.
But this scenario, IMO, is workable from another point of view. In 1941, Hitler can be convinced, as many of his generals were, that a two front war means defeat as in WWI. So they may decide there is not going to be any attack on the soviets until GB has made peace. Then, they may not starve the british, but they can make life miserable for them for a long time: defeating them in Africa, bombing their industries and homes and offering peace at the same time. And of course avoiding war with USA as long as possible. It is not unthinkable that the British would agree to sign a honorable peace sometime around late 1941 or 1942. Then the germans can think about the soviets .I know, the Red Army would be stronger, but it is still a war the germans can win. Stalin would have more planes and men, but their tacticall skills would be as bad as in 1941. And with no war against GB, Hitler may have even somme support from american anti-comunist big firms.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 08:53 AM
Blue Max Blue Max is online now
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Just one point. Germany might do this to the French, but it would probably not do this to anyone else. France and Germany have a lot of old blood feuds and yes, Germany might well leave Paris as a Crater. They CERTAINLY would not do this the United Kingdom, as this would trigger a war from the USA. Indeed, France and Poland are the only countries that Germany would really want to do this too.

In OTL, Germany came close to doing exactly that to the Poles--the plan was to build an airstrip where Downtown Warsaw used to be as punishment for the Warsaw Uprising. I don't doubt that you've got a real point, but I'd tell you that if these things actually happened in WW2, there would be blood shed over it today.

Finally, one more thing. Consider that Human Rights, if not fully fleshed out at this time, are important. Its just as unforgivable as taking Paris from France as to cause the deaths of 10 million Frenchmen through Starvation and Malnourishment. Nazi Germany was never a big fan of human rights, but there are limits of just how extreme your actions can be. You might want to force 50? million people into an area the size of Austria, but that's crossing into the boundary of deliberately killing the French. Also, if I have any idea what land you are moving them to, I'm guessing its a bunch of rocks in the Alps? Land that could never support that population in a million years.

The thing about Human Rights is that people care about them. The Pope isn't going to ignore Germany forcing 30 million Frenchmen into starvation, and this is the kind of thing that creates enemies. The Pope would have to act--he'd have to call the world's attention to this abuse. That's a lot of stuff to worry about. There are a lot of countries that would become very grumpy as a result.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 03:53 PM
Foreign Shadow Foreign Shadow is offline
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Just one point. Germany might do this to the French, but it would probably not do this to anyone else. France and Germany have a lot of old blood feuds and yes, Germany might well leave Paris as a Crater. They CERTAINLY would not do this the United Kingdom, as this would trigger a war from the USA. Indeed, France and Poland are the only countries that Germany would really want to do this too.

In OTL, Germany came close to doing exactly that to the Poles--the plan was to build an airstrip where Downtown Warsaw used to be as punishment for the Warsaw Uprising. I don't doubt that you've got a real point, but I'd tell you that if these things actually happened in WW2, there would be blood shed over it today.

Finally, one more thing. Consider that Human Rights, if not fully fleshed out at this time, are important. Its just as unforgivable as taking Paris from France as to cause the deaths of 10 million Frenchmen through Starvation and Malnourishment. Nazi Germany was never a big fan of human rights, but there are limits of just how extreme your actions can be. You might want to force 50? million people into an area the size of Austria, but that's crossing into the boundary of deliberately killing the French. Also, if I have any idea what land you are moving them to, I'm guessing its a bunch of rocks in the Alps? Land that could never support that population in a million years.

The thing about Human Rights is that people care about them. The Pope isn't going to ignore Germany forcing 30 million Frenchmen into starvation, and this is the kind of thing that creates enemies. The Pope would have to act--he'd have to call the world's attention to this abuse. That's a lot of stuff to worry about. There are a lot of countries that would become very grumpy as a result.
Actually, it would be closer to the size of the Czech Republic, and it would be on decent land in the southeast, or southwest. And although there'd be some deaths, the Germans wouldn't allow *mass* starvation. You forget, also, that this lesser France could ship food in if it had too. In fact, that could probably be a fashion in which a permanent weakening of France could be achieved: the need for food imports (including from their former territory, now occupied by Germans) means France can't support any significant industrial or military structure.

As far as not doing that to Great Britain...a point. I think that a militarist German leadership might consider doing it, but they would not because of the reprecussions from the U.S.A. (although never forget that without Pearl Harbor, the U.S. might not have entered the war at all...I think a lot of people underestimate the degree to which the average American didn't want to go to war). So instead, they'd pound on Great Britain, degrading its ability to wage war, until A) Britain finally sues for peace so it can keep its colonies, etc or B) A Germany much better prepared to take on the task of invading Britain launches another version of Unnamed-Sea-Mammal. If the later, Germany will take as many colonies from Britain as it can (it's already taken France's).

OR

Although I still think the plans doable, especially if Germany ships in food to make sure they ALL don't starve till the situation is stable, let's try it your way. Let's say the only go to the Seine, and perhaps some of the northern and northwestern part as well, to get a longer coastline for Germany. but take all of France's major colonies, limits on the La Grande Armee, and German Bases in France. Then they address Britain as in the above TL, and probably take many of Britain's colonies too.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 04:01 PM
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This is so far off the rails now that it is ASB. Nevertheless -

Stalin would have ridden the Non-Aggression Pact to the end (he had an interesting habit in the area of following deadlines in written agreement). The Pact was always seen as Stalin as an opprotunity to buy time. There are any number of well research books and papers available that outline this in some detail.

Hitler would not, arguably could not, act in the way being positied. Hitler had laid out, in great detail, his plans for the future (I mean he published a book with the details laid out). He was not at all interested in depopulating either France or, especially, Great Britain (he actually saw Great Britain as a natural ally against the Communist USSR). He was fixated on the Jews and on the Slavs, both of whom he considered to be subhuman (untermensch), who he believed were useful only as slaves (or eventually in the Jews' case, dead). Hitler was also, in all probability, mentally ill, be it from a less than stellar childhood or his experiences prior to and during the Great War or some organic cause & this seriously impacted on his behaviour.

Hitler's vision of the Greater Reich saw the East, with its massive land area and fertile farmland, as the future of the Volk. The German people would fill this land (Poland & the Ukraine, along with European Russia) and be served by the remnents of the native populations as slaves. (Interestingly, he somehow came to believe that the slavs would come to accept and even thrive as servants to the Aryan masters. Like I said, mentally ill.). This is the future that the man detailed in writing, in speechs, and in conversations with almost anyone who would listen. It put him, and the Reich (the two are interchangable) on any other path is to completely ignore the man, his motivations, and his obsessions. Moreover, he had surrounded himself with others who shared his vision so, even in the case of his death, the Nazi Party would have continued his blueprint; although it is very likely that other Nazi leaders would have seen the handwriting on the wall by mid-1944 and tried to cut a deal.

BTW: When did Japan, an Asian country that only entered the modern age in 1854, become an Old World Power?
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Old March 19th, 2008, 04:06 PM
Foreign Shadow Foreign Shadow is offline
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Originally Posted by CalBear View Post
This is so far off the rails now that it is ASB. Nevertheless -

Stalin would have ridden the Non-Aggression Pact to the end (he had an interesting habit in the area of following deadlines in written agreement). The Pact was always seen as Stalin as an opprotunity to buy time. There are any number of well research books and papers available that outline this in some detail.

Hitler would not, arguably could not, act in the way being positied. Hitler had laid out, in great detail, his plans for the future (I mean he published a book with the details laid out). He was not at all interested in depopulating either France or, especially, Great Britain (he actually saw Great Britain as a natural ally against the Communist USSR). He was fixated on the Jews and on the Slavs, both of whom he considered to be subhuman (untermensch), who he believed were useful only as slaves (or eventually in the Jews' case, dead). Hitler was also, in all probability, mentally ill, be it from a less than stellar childhood or his experiences prior to and during the Great War or some organic cause & this seriously impacted on his behaviour.

Hitler's vision of the Greater Reich saw the East, with its massive land area and fertile farmland, as the future of the Volk. The German people would fill this land (Poland & the Ukraine, along with European Russia) and be served by the remnents of the native populations as slaves. (Interestingly, he somehow came to believe that the slavs would come to accept and even thrive as servants to the Aryan masters. Like I said, mentally ill.). This is the future that the man detailed in writing, in speechs, and in conversations with almost anyone who would listen. It put him, and the Reich (the two are interchangable) on any other path is to completely ignore the man, his motivations, and his obsessions. Moreover, he had surrounded himself with others who shared his vision so, even in the case of his death, the Nazi Party would have continued his blueprint; although it is very likely that other Nazi leaders would have seen the handwriting on the wall by mid-1944 and tried to cut a deal.

BTW: When did Japan, an Asian country that only entered the modern age in 1854, become an Old World Power?
I'ms sorry, I wasn't being clear-I was talking about a different TL, a different leader, with different plans, focusing on France and to a lesser extent Britain as his targets, and working for a real alliance with the USSR from an earlier date. Of course Hitler wouldn't act in the way posited, I wasn't talking about Hitler.

EDIT: Based on what BlueMax said in one of the posts, about a real alliance with the USSR.
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Communism - the Attentionwhore of the 20th century.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 08:05 PM
Ian the Admin Ian the Admin is offline
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Originally Posted by Foreign Shadow View Post
Really, to me, it's a bloody miracle the French weren't treated horribly by the Germans in WWII in OTL. In many ways, they deserved it. Takin Paris would be unforgivable-but so was Versailles/Ruhr.

I hope I don't sound TOO bloodthirsty, we are, after all, indulging in hypothetical actions of nonexistent states. But I'm a strong proponent of the theory that Versailles was the biggest assfest in modern history.
And so for an eye you think the French deserved to have the Nazis take ten.

On this board I like to see a certain basic level of civilized morality where people don't go about saying that other people deserve to be brutalized by the Nazis. Try and keep your disgusting crap to yourself in the future, or you will deserve to be removed.
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Old March 19th, 2008, 09:13 PM
Foreign Shadow Foreign Shadow is offline
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Originally Posted by Ian the Admin View Post
And so for an eye you think the French deserved to have the Nazis take ten.

On this board I like to see a certain basic level of civilized morality where people don't go about saying that other people deserve to be brutalized by the Nazis. Try and keep your disgusting crap to yourself in the future, or you will deserve to be removed.
I apologize. I didn't intend to be seen as an advocate for Nazi cruelty. I was trying to make a point about the unfairness of Versailles, and ended up going too far, and sounding as if I saw such actions as moral, which they are not. In the future, I will watch how I phrase such potentially inflamatory statements.

EDIT: My point was that there was a legitimate grievance on the part of the Germans for Versailles, not that conquest and mass ethnic cleansing are justifiable solutions. The "deserved it" comment was out of line, and ill-considered.
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Old March 20th, 2008, 12:29 AM
von Adler von Adler is offline
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Problem with Afrikakorps and Rommel is not the number of forces or getting them there (there were enough of the Italian merchant navy), it is supplying them. There are no real railroads in Libya, and a Panzer division needs 300 tons of supplies every day, plus water (another 45-50 tons). Rommel's staff calculated that they would need 14000 trucks to supply properly. That is more trucks than all three Panzergruppen had on the eastern front together in 1941.
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Old March 20th, 2008, 10:22 AM
DeathDemon DeathDemon is offline
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Problem with Afrikakorps and Rommel is not the number of forces or getting them there (there were enough of the Italian merchant navy), it is supplying them. There are no real railroads in Libya, and a Panzer division needs 300 tons of supplies every day, plus water (another 45-50 tons). Rommel's staff calculated that they would need 14000 trucks to supply properly. That is more trucks than all three Panzergruppen had on the eastern front together in 1941.
Regardless, the Italians managed to supply a massive infantry force. Remove some of the nearly useless Italian infantry divisions (keep the XX motorized corps though) and you could keep Rommels divisions at full strenght.

Besides, the high truck demand was because the Italians kept unloading a Tripoli, which was the safest. If they would unload at Tobruk, Rommels supply lines would be dramatically shortened.
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Old March 20th, 2008, 11:05 AM
Shimbo Shimbo is offline
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Originally Posted by von Adler View Post
Problem with Afrikakorps and Rommel is not the number of forces or getting them there (there were enough of the Italian merchant navy), it is supplying them. There are no real railroads in Libya, and a Panzer division needs 300 tons of supplies every day, plus water (another 45-50 tons). Rommel's staff calculated that they would need 14000 trucks to supply properly. That is more trucks than all three Panzergruppen had on the eastern front together in 1941.
Yes, I've said this before in several threads and no one has believed me, probably because it is somewhat inconvenient for their dreams of world conquest.

There is also the question of the capacity of the ports, the reason Tripoli was used was that it was the only port of any size that the German/Italians controlled. Tobruk, Benghazi and Mersa Matruh were all of limited capacity.

This is one of the reasons that the desert war sea-sawed back and forward, both sides kept running out of supplies when they advanced. This issue was finally solved by the Allies in two ways, by Montgomery's so called over-cautious advance after the 2nd battle of El Alemein, and the Torch landings.

On the truck issue, IIRC 80% of Rommel's trucks were captured from the British which shows what a shoestring he was operating on.
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Old March 20th, 2008, 01:21 PM
DeathDemon DeathDemon is offline
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The reason Tobruk and Benghazi were not used by the Italians, was because the route to Tripoli was much safer.

It doesn't matter if Tobruk and Benghazi have a smaller capacity than Tripoli; they still could have been used. Just send the heavy equipment (tanks, aircraft, etc...) through Tripoli, and the supplies Rommel needs immediately (oil, food, water, spare parts, etc...) through Benghazi and Tobruk.

One of the reasons Rommels supply situation was as bad as it was, was because the Italians would refuse to use any other port but Tripoli. They actually did supply Rommel a lot better than you would think (still, not enough of course), but since the RAF had air supremacy, most of the supplies got destroyed by British interdiction sorties.
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