AHC: With a POD no earlier than the German Stalingrad defeat, allies win WW2 with no iron curtain

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Anti-GrammarNazi, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. VictorLaszlo Well-Known Member

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    If the Western Allies get to Berlin first the German copy of the Ribbentrop-Molotov-Pact including the secret clause regarding Poland and the Baltic countries will be discovered by them instead of spirited away by NKVD agents to secret archives in Moscow the way it was IOTL. With such clear evidence of the complicity of Stalin in the Nazi aggression at the start of WW2 and with the Western Allies holding more territiory than IOTL it will become much harder for Stalin to press his demands than IOTL and he might be lucky to get away with OTL's western border of the USSR as the westernmost extent of his influence.
     
  2. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    That pact was already known. A Soviet diplomat slipped copies to French and British diplomats shortly after it was signed.
     
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  3. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    A tonne of stuff to deal with. Especially the Pacific. ASBs up there, here they come.

    The problems (^^^) are material and technical.

    a. The US Army is not good enough, and neither is the USAAF to make this scenario remotely possible. (This will happen a lot in the following comments)
    b. The Italians are not strong enough unless ASBs come down and give them miracle operational art skills and material to carry their share of the load.
    c. The sea lift is not simply not there, so even if the British are 30% more efficient and there 2x as many of them trained and ready to go in the ATL they are not going to be enough of them.

    d. Stalin dying might actually speed the Russians' recovery up. He was THAT incompetent. My opinion, ymmv.

    This I will deal with in a bit.

    e. Not enough sea lift to sustain a Balkans campaign at that time.

    f. I think the opposite happens. Even if SWPOA is postponed and those LSTs head for Europe, the chief lifter, the United States, deposits an army in France and Marshall and Eisenhower have to explain why three quarters of a million Americans are behind German barbed wire. The Americans need combat experience AND LESSONS LEARNED. North Africa and Sicily is barely enough as Salerno demonstrates. Sledgehammer would be a disaster.

    g. As has been pointed out elsewhere, up until around Kursk LL was not that critical to Russian operations. In 1944, it becomes critical as the Russians now increase their lunge forward capacity and tactical speed from ~ 100 km at 5 m/s to about 450 km and 10 m/s on the ground. This means the Wehrmacht no longer enjoys the 1 or 2 days reaction time they had to see how the Russian attack develops. Now they only have hours, maybe as little as a quarter day to recover from the OODA loop deficiency.

    h0. The Pacific.

    To keep the Russians out of Manchuria and by extension, Korea, the US has to choose in a hurry between Mao and Chiang. Only China can save China. Mao was a better tactician and a better op-artist, but that leaves the politics and the logistics. Burma is not happening EVER. The terrain and weather is just too tough for anything but air lift logistics in country and that is not available until 1944. With that understood, the only game is ORANGE and that takes a few miracles.

    h1. A US submarine campaign on 8 December 1941 that immediately is as effective as the Murder Year of 1944.
    h2. MacArthur stays on the Rock.
    h3. ABDA puts in a sterling performance that throws the Japanese timetable off by three months.
    h4. Coral Sea and Midway wipe out First Air Fleet totally with the loss of every last veteran Japanese aviator and air staff officer and air division maintenance crewman embarked.
    h5. Yamamoto dies at Midway (via suicide preferably) to completely rattle IJN morale down to the keels.
    h6. Brereton, Brett, English, Withers, Miles Browning, Marc Mitscher, John Tower, Leahy, Pye etc. all are sacked immediately.
    h7. Curtin and Blamey have a meeting of the minds. Ditto Crace, or replace that man with Crutchley soonest.
    h8. Watchtower kicks off 1 month sooner and catches the Japanese unprepared.

    Barring all this, if somebody makes a stand at Rabaul and succeeds to hold the place, then that speeds the Pacific War up by a half year. That in turn puts America at Japan's throat around September 1944. She falls MARCH 1945 instead of September 1945 and when Stalin makes his August move he gets a couple of atomic bombs in the face. That is about the only way to keep Stalin out of Manchuria.


     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  4. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

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    even for a very narrow front line like from the Malian Gulf to the Ambracian Gulf?
     
  5. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    A British 1944 division (infantry) uses between 300 and 600 tonnes of supplies per day low tempo/high operation tempo rates (Pacific War rates, I suspect Atlantic War is worse, when you add artillery and POLs.). I predicate a 1942 Atlantic War British division in heavy combat will match 1944 Pacific rates. Now that is multiplied by at least 3 corps worth (Desert Army / 10 divisions or so) for the Balkans and that becomes 3000 tonnes to 6000 tonnes per day. Figure loss of efficiency of 3% of Egyptian seaport delivered as measured by tonnage transported per 10 kilometers to the front and a front at least 500 kilometers from the seaport to be viable. 150% of that 300 tonnes is 450 tonnes just to get the 300 tonnes burned as food/fuel/ammunition to the fighting division in contact in the Balkans.

    Map.

    [​IMG]

    Just at a guess, a million and a half tonnes a month or what the Japanese used in their Southern Resources Area offensive: 500 freighters, 40- 60 tankers and 60% of their NAVY to accomplish. British numbers would have to be similar and they don't have that in the Eastern Mediterranean in 1940-1942.

    In fact until 1941-1942, nobody even knows how to do it or shows how that it can be done.
     
  6. Dennis Dean Matta Member

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  7. Dennis Dean Matta Member

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    Sorry I messed up my reply there.
     
  8. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Hitler releases neither the 40th or the 48th Panzer Corps for counter-attacks in the aftermath of the Second Battle of Kiev. The Soviets thus advance much faster to the Romanian border, reaching it in February as opposed to April, where their attack culminates due to exhaustion, over-extension of supply lines (enveloped German forces in their rear) and prepared Axis defenses on the Romanian frontier. It is at this point, given the focusing of Soviet forces on this axis of advance and the timeframe needed to restore them for operations, decided that the main Soviet thrust for 1944 will originate from the Ukrainian. Although Romania presents a valid target, both for the political value of defeating an Axis member and the strategic value of removing Germany's chief oil supplier, a far more tantalizing target presents itself: the North European Plain. Between the Carpathians and Pripyat Marshes, there is a corridor of advance leading right onto said plains, which, if successfully done, would yield decisive gains for the Soviets. Not only would the terrain be conducive to further armored warfare, successfully punching through to the Baltic not only would take the war to Germany by overrunning East Prussia, it would cut the logistics net of both Army Group North and Army Group Center. Stalin, seeing the real opportunities here, goes with this plan.

    Problem is, IOTL and here in the ATL, that's exactly what Hitler and the German command exactly expected and why they formed Army Group North Ukraine under Model. The Soviets achieve initial success in the advance, and then the Germans use the Pripyat marshes as a hinge to Model's forces as the "door", sweeping out till they reach the Axis-controlled Carpathians acting as the end point for their encirclement. It takes until the Fall of 1944 for the Soviets to recover, who by that point are in quiet a panic given the Allies are ashore and advancing steadily. Their main effort for the Fall is to push Army Groups Center and North out of Belorussia and the Baltics, starting in October and lasting into February. They try an effort to break into Romania in November but fail due to completed Axis defenses and the still recovering state of Soviet forces in the area.

    Elsewhere, everything is largely proceeding as IOTL. The Brits still land in Greece, but with no Soviets to meet them, continue on advancing into Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, where the Bulgarian government surrenders to them and the Chetniks finally switch sides. Overstretched German forces are unable to respond, and then the situation is further complicated with Pro-Allied coups in Romania and Hungary. On the direct Western Front, Jacob Devers takes the direct offensive into Germany in November. In desperation, Stalin immediately orders an advance on the Vistula after completing the liberation of Soviet territory, but the offensive fails due to exhaustion, logistical overstretch, and a fierce German defense. By March the Western Allies are on the Oder and in Prague, with the Americans from Italy and in Austria meeting Anglo-Hungarian forces in Vienna. German forces in Poland largely surrender to Anglo-American troops crossing the Oder or to the Poles, with the Home Army liberating vast areas aided by the Polish paras.
     
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  9. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

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    This comes up repeatedly when there is a presentation, speculation, or discussion of something less than unconditional surrender on the part of the Germans. There is that difficulty, a few million dead Jews, Rom, Poles, Slavs of all ethnicity, gays, communists, socialists, people of conscience, the mentally infirm, the weaklings. Note I said a few million, assuming that some kind of deal was attempted before the final hard push.
    Sorry, it's a hard sell, especially when the first death camps are confirmed - by the way to give you some idea about how widespread the camps were, even Greece had one: the Haidari concentration camp. Granted more a starve them to death or ship them off to the main extermination centers. Still, a nasty enough evil to make the Allied soldiers rather angry...
    The generals were accessories, before, during, and after the fact, and they knew it. For exigent reasons they might not have been hung, but they would never be allowed to govern Germany.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 1:42 AM
  10. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    a. Airstrikes? If I am Commando Supremo / Regia Aeronautica riddled with German sympathizers I foresee a huge op-sec problem.
    b. Same for the Esercito. I would think ground assault would be equally problematic as an op-sec issue.

    It would take days. Days with the Germans just hours away and coming south fast. Salerno was a near disaster and was planned with much of what is supposed (^^^) in mind.

    Not locally, and it would have to be locally scraped together and as incredibly fast movement by sea. There was a very strong LW presence that would remain active from Corsica and Sardinia as well as Italy proper that would interfere, since I think none of this is achievable until after Husky. YMMV and it should, but I think the conditions might not exist for success even if the Italians pull everything off in mainland italy. Just my opinion. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 2:15 AM
  11. Dennis Dean Matta Member

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    I completely agree that the secrecy would be the most important part. So it would have to go something like this. The King officially takes back command of the military that he had given to Mussolini. Officially and publicly states the military has under performed and he expects better. This gives the Italian military permission to make sweeping changes primarily removing the loyal to Mussolini and German sympathizer officers and replacing them will loyal to the king soldiers. In OTL the soldiers loyal to the king also tended to be the long time professional soldiers so you can sell it as professionals back in command. To allay suspicion they would ask formally for training officers and noncoms for the levels below battalion level from the German army to improve performance of their troops. They would also ask for war gaming with battalion level and above officers. The Italian military then actually works hard with the German assistance to improve their army. The Germans would see this and believe that this trade for professional officers is for the best. German officers would prefer professionals over Zealots and Political animals. The SS not included of course. The irony would be that this better performance from German training would come back to bite them in the ass.
    This is still where basically it all succeeds or fails. You figure for each division would need probably 50 officers in on it so x 70 your already at 3500. Figure another 2000 for navy and airforce combined. Thats 5500 men who have to be loyal to the King. Possible but difficult. On the day of the attack a personal message from the king to all the troops along with their senior officers full support should be enough to bring the troops into it.

    For Luftwaffe in Corsica and Sardinia those had primarily Italian garrisons so those bases would be very lucky to have aircraft escape let alone attack. In fact most Luftwaffe bases are primarily surrounded by Italian forces. If surprise is achieved they are either taken or rendered combat ineffective for a few days. A battalion of infantry attacking an airbase that is not expecting it is going to do massive damage.

    A quick look says if the Italians attack in force that any German advance is measured in weeks against hostile forces over difficult terrain. Also if surprise is achieved any German forces in close proximity are going to be damaged or destroyed. It will take a little time to put together troops to force the Alps from Austria. On the French side the Italians can trade space for time as they retreat to the French alps which will also be a difficult nut to crack. In Greece the bad road and railway systems in the Balkans coupled with the Italian forces fighting and the already existing partisan activity make any quick German advance highly unlikely.

    The sealift question is like you said based more on Salerno. Allies plan invasion of Sicily but if Italians come through move north instead. I am not saying more than 7 divisions because that is the available sealift that the allies had originally. Since this is planned out with the Italians this isn't a quick scrape together affair. The Allies will know if it is for real because there is no way to hide the turmoil that would be caused if 70 or so divisions and 1000 planes attack the German forces without warning. The Germans had 8 divisions in Italy prior to the invasion of Sicily and it was the fall of the Sicily that prompted more reinforcements.

    As I said above if the surprise can be achieved then the rest is doable. Secrecy is difficult but not impossible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 10:41 AM
  12. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Another idea I had.

    The March 1943 coup attempt succeeds but the disorganized nature of the Schwarze Kapelle sees the plotters deposed in a week at the hands of Heinz Guderian and his Panzer training cadres. Guderian institutes a military-government and elects for the strategic defense in the East for 1943 as he IOTL suggested to Hitler, ultimately goading the Soviets into taking the initiative in July of 1943 and attack the well prepared German defenses. Weight of numbers slowly drags them forward at an immense blood cost and reduced gains as compared to OTL. Guderian, unlike Hitler, is willing to enter into secret peace talks like the Soviets were willing to do in 1943 and ultimately both sides come to terms on 1939 borders by New Years of 1944. The loss of Lend Lease combined with the need to repair existing damages in the Soviet Union prevent Stalin from any actions in 1944-1945. When he finally does come back in, it's to attack the Japanese and grab Manchuria, with the strategic Port Arthur, from their failing Empire. The infusion of Eastern Front airpower and increased ammunition for AA defenses makes the gaining of Air Dominance a bit bloodier in the Spring of 1944, but it still attained. The transfer of Panzer forces, however, is sufficient to throw the Normandy landings back into the Channel. Ultimately the atomic trump card is used to destroy multiple cities and that is sufficient to compel the Germans to accept an "unconditional" peace, which in reality is the restoration of borders to 1937.
     
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  13. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    There are some things which are physically possible, like a 1943 D-Day, but which the WAllies are not liable to pursue because they are politically unpalpable. Most ideas which posit a better German defense in the east run into the problem that the Eastern Front is the central theater of the European war, so any slow down there tends to slow down the Western Front just as badly as the Germans have much more resources to then oppose the west.

    So basically, Army Group North Ukraine somehow moves it's forces from the OTL position of directly in front of the proposed Soviet assault to territory that was historically defended by Army Group Center's 2nd Army, despite the fact that the "initial success" of the Soviet assault would have pinned them down and possibly even overrun many them, then drive through the vastly numerically superior forces of the 1st Belorussian Front's left wing (which to support the aforementioned assault would be even stronger then OTL) over terrain they never demonstrated the capacity of moving forces and supplies through on such a massive scale and then not only sustain said advance nearly 400 kilometers despite a complete lack of north-south rail lines large enough to support such a movement and with a truck park which proved utterly incapable of supporting major offensive operations of even a fraction of that depth in this time period, but doing so while having to fight through the strong operational and strategic reserves the Soviets would undoubtedly deploy to oppose them.

    Well, it certainly sounds like a typical 1944 Hitler/OKH plan, yes: totally devoid of any sense of the relative strengths of the two opposing armies and the mismatch between the logistical task being demanded of the Germans and the resources with which the Germans have to actually do said task.

    Really, your better off positing a more successful 1943 defense by the Germans and even that post-Cold War scholarship has found is less likely to work out then not. Speaking of which...

    Generals like Guderian accept the idea that a defensive posture in the East would have inevitably resulted in things going better for the Germans a priori but the actual reality is that the Germans did an atrocious job of predicting where Soviet offensives would fall and were always scrambling on the back foot once the Red Army seized the initiative. German offensive plans also delayed and weakened Soviet offensive forces and channeled their attacks into areas of German strength. The defensive preparations the Soviets committed to Kursk for example precluded them launching major offensive operations elsewhere from March until July. Given that the Russians actually had significant superiority in forces around Kursk in March, its entirely possible that if there had been no threat of a German offensive they would have attacked much earlier and with success, starting a major push west months before it happened historically. Thus while there is a possibility that a defensive stance in mid-'43 could go better, it also has to be considered that things could go worse for the Germans once they let the Russians have free reign on where and when they strike. Possibly much worse. But at least it's odds are better then that 1944 plan, which just reeks of a failure to understand how much more powerful the Red Army had become over the Ostheer by then...
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019 at 7:35 PM
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  14. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    Or the Allies hammer Germany in a strategic air campaign that by 1945 is actually starting to be effective and Stalin resumes his ground war on his western frontier. As for the Far East, it is Truman and a couple of atom bombs in Stalin's face, or the Maoists. Take your pick, but Stalin is not getting Manchuria... ever.
     
  15. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    What? The US OTL was just fine with Stalin getting Manchuria because of the pressure it would put on the Japanese. Why is Truman suddenly about facing on this? What's more, how is he able to about face on this without getting his ass politically thrown out by angry congressmen for basically helping the Japanese?
     
  16. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    Political realities on the ground ON. Mao is going to have a lot to say in postwar China. Stalin really did not want him, nor the US for much the same reasons. Both wanted a corrupt weak China post war. The Chinese do get a say in that, ya know? Besides a Stalin double cross in 43-44 (^^^) postulated puts the Союз Советских Социалистических Республик in the doghouse as this is exactly the treachery FDR expected. Watch the situation in 46-47? Truman is already leaning that way.
     
  17. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    Why, Stalin was so against Mao taking over China that he promptly turned over captured Japanese weapons to Mao's communists and let them in to take control of much of the territory. :rolleyes:

    Not to mention, that doesn't at all answer why the US would suddenly not let the Soviets invade and occupy Manchuria when they historically begged them to do just that, made considerable concessions to them in the region to entice them to do so, and even helped out in partially supplying the Soviet invasion force.
     
  18. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    See post that I edited? Stalin was about chaos and causing trouble always. Like another totalitarian he was an opportunistic military incompetent who did not play long game too well. Turncoat is Stalin's middle name. Our people were not stupid about this, though they completely misread China.
     
  19. Sam R. Well-Known Member

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    The title and body aren’t aligned. For example a no stop order for PCF/PCI/KKE could equally get no iron curtain.
     
  20. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    Except none of this is accurate. Stalin learned from his mistakes in 1941-42, acquired a extremely keen strategic acumen during the course of WW2 (at the Tehran and Yalta conferences, he managed to impress western generals with his insights into the military situation), and was much better at playing the long game then Hitler was. Furthermore, the WAllies were very much stupid about this: they went out of their way to tacitly and explicitly give him all sorts of stuff and not press too hard on points they thought he was sensitive about. There was worry in the west that the USSR might make a separate peace in '43, yes. But the fact there was worry came from a understanding of the reasons why Stalin might make such a peace, which would very much ameliorate any western outrage over such a move. So even if Stalin were to make a compromise peace with Germany in 1943, for the US to then turn around and oppose him attacking Japan would be political suicide for whatever politician decided to try and basically defend the attackers of Pearl Harbour and butcherers of Bataan.
     
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