Assumptions Necessary to Create a Plausible Axis Victory

The problem with that is the British know perfectly well that Hitler's promises are worthless. There's no point in making a deal with someone that you know won't honor the deal.
If they all know this, why did Halifax, the second most powerful politician in the country, literally try to bring down Churchill in order to start negotiations? Doesn’t seem like a fringe view at the time at all.
American public opinion turned against isolationism in 1940. Gallup polls taken that year show that even as early as March of 1940, there was already a majority (55%) of the American public that wanted the US to loan money to Britain and France if that was necessary to keep them from losing to Germany and thereafter there was consistent majority support for the US giving aid to the Allies. A May 1940 poll showed a majority (51%) wanted the US to extend credit to the Allies, a July 1940 poll showed a majority (53%) felt the US wasn't doing enough to help the Allies, a September 1940 poll showed a majority (52%) felt that helping Britain was more important than keeping the US out of the war, and an October 1940 poll showed 60% wanted the Neutrality Acts repealed so that US ships could directly carry war supplies to Britain.

http://ibiblio.org/pha/Gallup/Gallup 1940.htm
Do you think the United States should declare war on Germany and send our army and navy abroad to fight?

Yes................................ 6%

No..............................94

Ummm…
How exactly are the Nazis taking Moscow in 1941? IOTL it took all their strength just to get to the outskirts of the city, so how exactly are the Germans, who are at the end of their tether, going to take the most heavily defended city on Earth in the face of an incredibly nasty winter?

And why would Japan attack the Soviets? The resources Japan desperately needs are in the south, and they really didn't enjoy their last experience tangling with the Red Army, so there is no reason for them to go north.
By not having any forces tied to the West after the UK made a deal.

Japanese involvement is not necessary, but could easily be the result of a promise by Germans to help supply them with oil after Soviet defeat. The fear of Soviets would just as well be a motivator to strike them while they are weak.
Wait, what? How is Germany getting the atomic bomb by 1946? The German atomic bomb project was an underfunded joke that never came close to producing a bomb and was pretty much abandoned by 1942 as Hitler was much more interested in developing long range rockets.


Furthermore even if you flat out gave the Germans atomic bombs, they don't have any bombers or rockets capable of carrying such heavy weapons, so how are they going to threaten the United States with their atomics? About the best they could do is load an atomic bomb on a u-boat and have it try to sail across the Atlantic (in the face of the US and Royal Navies), sneak into an American port and suicide bomb itself, but that's not exactly a reliable delivery method, and it still leaves the Nazis with no way to strike at the American interior (where most of the US industry and population is.) Furthermore, if the Germans ever succeed in such an attack, the US will then simply turn every German u-boat base into radioactive slag, which will leave the Germans with no way at all to strike at the US with atomic weapons, while the US atomic arsenal just keeps getting larger and larger.
I’ll admit that this one is a bit more speculative, though it is also not a necessary condition for Axis victory, which is effectively achieved at this stage. But less Soviet and no Western resistance leaves far more resources for developing new kinds of weapons, which the Nazis were clearly adept at doing even at very difficult times. And if it doesn’t happen in 1946, it seems implausible it wouldn’t happen by the ’50s. And since US hasn’t declared war, simply having the bomb as a defence against invasion is a powerful deterrent.
 
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If they all know this, why did Halifax, the second most powerful politician in the country, literally try to bring down Churchill in order to start negotiations? Doesn’t seem like a fringe view at the time at all.

You might have mentioned that Halifax's attempt was voted on and turned down unanimously by the War Cabinet. Describing Halifax as the "second most powerful politician in the country" is nonsense of the first degree as well. Chamberlain, Attlee, Greenwood, Eden, Sinclair - all stood higher in the pecking order.

When Churchill became PM, Halifax was a busted flush, and everyone knew that. His position as Foreign Secretary was a sinecure; usually it's one of the Great Offices of State, but it was neutered by the simple fact that Churchill took over the functions of the office.

When Wiki says: "The British war cabinet was split on the question of whether to make terms", what it doesn't mention was that the split was 24 against making terms and Halifax thinking terms were possible.
 

thaddeus

Donor
with regards to the Black Sea, Germany was back in the same position as they were with Italy to operate in North Africa, depending on someone else, in this case the Romanian navy. there really wasn't much if any planning, as a quick victory on land assumed, maybe the KM could have become interested in the shipyards at Mykolaiv and given some thought to another scenario?

whatever their efforts, it would depend on smaller vessels, u-boats, S-boats, R-boats, and MFPs, if they assembled enough of the last , they could have become the basis for transport back and forth to Germany itself.
 
with regards to the Black Sea, Germany was back in the same position as they were with Italy to operate in North Africa, depending on someone else, in this case the Romanian navy. there really wasn't much if any planning, as a quick victory on land assumed, maybe the KM could have become interested in the shipyards at Mykolaiv and given some thought to another scenario?

whatever their efforts, it would depend on smaller vessels, u-boats, S-boats, R-boats, and MFPs, if they assembled enough of the last , they could have become the basis for transport back and forth to Germany itself.
with regards to the Black Sea, Germany was back in the same position as they were with Italy to operate in North Africa, depending on someone else, in this case the Romanian navy. there really wasn't much if any planning, as a quick victory on land assumed, maybe the KM could have become interested in the shipyards at Mykolaiv and given some thought to another scenario?

whatever their efforts, it would depend on smaller vessels, u-boats, S-boats, R-boats, and MFPs, if they assembled enough of the last , they could have become the basis for transport back and forth to Germany itself.
This makes sense. However, the Turkish alliance would - 1. add a lot of warships to the Axis fleet, 2. allow Italian naval vessels and German U-boats access to the Black Sea, 3. provide access to locations from which the USSR Black Sea fleet could be more readily attacked from the air. It could have the practical effect of turning the Black Sea into an Axis Lake. This would have a major effect on easing transport issues into the Southern part of the Eastern front.
 

thaddeus

Donor
I have just thought of another possible PoD that's plausible, and unlikely to butterfly the Nazis - An independent Ukraine.
Either as a German ally, or by just removing sufficient industrial and agricultural capacity from the USSR during the 20´s and 30's.

you could have a hypothetical scenario where Poland "wins" the Polish-Soviet War, holding parts of western Ukraine, which was their largest advance during the war? do not see how you could salvage the Japanese adventure (during nearly the same timespan) in Siberia? maybe they could hang on to Sakhalin island and reaped a trickle of oil? (and further weaken the Soviets)

so you have a Poland-Romania pact (historically Romania was only tangentially involved but in a victory?) and guess (?) the historical Polish-Japanese cooperation could still occur.

when the Nazi regime comes to power they might view Soviet Russia and Poland-Romania in different light? with the Soviets being much weaker, and the invasion of Poland a much more daunting objective?

you could have the invasion of Poland and the Winter War against Romania, possibly Japan dragged into the war against the Soviets (an enlarged version of their historical border conflict)
 
Do you think the United States should declare war on Germany and send our army and navy abroad to fight?

Yes................................ 6%

No..............................94

Ummm…
Note that's a January poll straight out asking should they declare war that moment. A month later the response was 23% in favor of declaring war on Germany, if Britain and France were losing, showing things aren't clean cut and that having a cause can change things. In March 55% of Americans favored loaning money to Britain and France. Note these are all before the Fall of France shook things up, when that poll you cite occurred 59% of Americans thought the UK/France would win compared to 1% Germany, opinions changed pretty fast with the Fall of France. By the end of 1940 the average American felt 60-40 that helping Britain was more important than neutrality

So the US is not seriously isolationist, and is likely to aid the USSR. And while aiding the USSR FDR is likely to do the same things he did in OTL, namely wage an undeclared war on Germany with as much force as he can get away with to pressure the Germans into doing something, months before Pearl Harbor the US had a shoot on sight order for German vessels and had bombarded a German weather station without much outcry at all
 
no Dunkirk, and more chaotic evacuations form elsewhere in France? seems like the air campaign could have just continued as more of a naval interdiction, potentially saving 100's and 100's of LW aircraft (albeit it works both ways) the German side might also have proceeded with their original plan to assemble a large number of magnetic mines, which could cancel the fumble of one into British hands? (i.e. it takes the British months to solve that problem?)



there is a good paper on Axis failures on the Black Sea, even sending more small vessels overland and via the Danube (earlier) would have paid huge dividends https://www.jstor.org/stable/44641609?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents
This is a very interesting article. It appears that even with existing resources, the Axis could have done much better utilizing the Black Sea for transportation and logistics. After they captured Novorossiysk, there was a potential opportunity to move men and material a long way by water, east the bottleneck at Rostov, and supply forces in the Caucasus area. There was a failure of coordination and vision that blew a big opportunity to ease supply problems. It also seems to be the case that the Soviet navy was very gun shy after the fall of Sebastopol and was less of a threat to shipping than one might think given its numerical and tonnage superiority.
 

thaddeus

Donor
there is a good paper on Axis failures on the Black Sea, even sending more small vessels overland and via the Danube (earlier) would have paid huge dividends https://www.jstor.org/stable/44641609?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

This is a very interesting article. It appears that even with existing resources, the Axis could have done much better utilizing the Black Sea for transportation and logistics. After they captured Novorossiysk, there was a potential opportunity to move men and material a long way by water, east the bottleneck at Rostov, and supply forces in the Caucasus area. There was a failure of coordination and vision that blew a big opportunity to ease supply problems. It also seems to be the case that the Soviet navy was very gun shy after the fall of Sebastopol and was less of a threat to shipping than one might think given its numerical and tonnage superiority.

there were major Soviet evacuations by sea that aided their defense of Leningrad and Sevastopol https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_evacuation_of_Tallinn , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hanko_(1941) . and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Odessa_(1941)

the concept of transporting u-boats overland was not foreign to the KM, there was design work done on a 100t submarine for use on "lakes" but they certainly neglected smaller and mini submarines compared to Japan and Italy.
 
A POD I have tried to get to work is to have the Russians invade Poland either at the same time or before Germany

This gives France and the UK pause with regards to declaring war - not sure if it helps or hinders Germany but potentially leaves Germany not having to fight the Western powers and by extension the USA.

I am not sure if this is realistic as the UK and France did toy with plans to support the Finns (which they did to some degree) and bomb the Russian fuel regions etc - so they might declare war on both?

Its a POD I have for my unwritten TL where the war between Germany and France / UK does not start until Summer 1940 - but it might work here where they do not go to war.

But basically to win WW2 the UK and France needs to be occupied or otherwise on side obviously the same with regards to Russia.
The problem with this POD is, Britain and France didn't care about preserving Poland in general, they cared about preserving Poland from Germany. The Soviet invasion of Poland is given a lot more leeway because of the Polish-Soviet War and Poland's annexation of it's eastern territories from the USSR.
Britain and France were willing to go to war with Germany over Poland because they had already given Germany so much leeway with violating Versailles and the Sudentenland/Czechia annexation. They had casus belli, but did not for a Russian invasion of Poland.
 

Lexijag

Banned
One option as a piece of the pie is have Sweeden allow the passage of 100,000 British and French troops to fight the red army in Finland bringing in the USSR on Germanys side. Or have a cease fire with Germany by France and gb as the allied forces escalate vs USSR. Low probability on the second part but interesting on the first.

 

thaddeus

Donor
the concept of transporting u-boats overland was not foreign to the KM, there was design work done on a 100t submarine for use on "lakes" but they certainly neglected smaller and mini submarines compared to Japan and Italy.

The did send Type II uboats (stripped down to 140 tons) via canals to the Black Sea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30th_U-boat_Flotilla

that was my earlier point that once they arrived the Soviets were not able to resupply Sevastopol as easily as they had evacuated Odessa, they might have considered some kind of "ad hoc" fleet of commercial vessels and transported the u-boats and s-boats prior to invasion.

moving u-boats overland would have helped in the Med also, if they had continued development of coastal boats? they might be more suitable for the Med?
 
One thing that’s certain to me here is that an Axis victory means the end of Communism as a worldwide political movement due to the complete destruction of its biggest sponsor.
 
that was my earlier point that once they arrived the Soviets were not able to resupply Sevastopol as easily as they had evacuated Odessa, they might have considered some kind of "ad hoc" fleet of commercial vessels and transported the u-boats and s-boats prior to invasion.

moving u-boats overland would have helped in the Med also, if they had continued development of coastal boats? they might be more suitable for the Med?
Reviewing some of this material, it may make sense to try to develop a Black Sea Strategy Thread. The premise would be much better coordination among the Axis powers and their military branches. A priority would be given to capturing Black Sea ports, building up naval capacity with some of the ideas above, and using air power to counter the Soviet Black Sea Fleet. There would probably be a change in the deployment of Van Manstein's Army after an earlier Fall of Sebastopol - it would be kept in the South and to some extent transported by boat to the Kerch peninsula and maybe to Novorossyk. Novorossysk would be secured so that the Soviet army would be pushed back far enough so that it would be safe from artillery. Then it would be turned into a major hub getting transport from all the way back in Romania and then forwarded to the forces attacking Grozny and pushing south in the Caucasus. This would also relieve congestion at the Rostov choke point. The Luftwaffe would play a major role. These operations would be given priority because of an increased awareness of the importance of logistics. With improved logistics, possibly Grozny could be taken and the Caspian Sea reached cutting off Baku from land connection with the rest of the Soviet Union.
 

thaddeus

Donor
Reviewing some of this material, it may make sense to try to develop a Black Sea Strategy Thread. The premise would be much better coordination among the Axis powers and their military branches. A priority would be given to capturing Black Sea ports, building up naval capacity with some of the ideas above, and using air power to counter the Soviet Black Sea Fleet. There would probably be a change in the deployment of Van Manstein's Army after an earlier Fall of Sebastopol - it would be kept in the South and to some extent transported by boat to the Kerch peninsula and maybe to Novorossyk. Novorossysk would be secured so that the Soviet army would be pushed back far enough so that it would be safe from artillery. Then it would be turned into a major hub getting transport from all the way back in Romania and then forwarded to the forces attacking Grozny and pushing south in the Caucasus. This would also relieve congestion at the Rostov choke point. The Luftwaffe would play a major role. These operations would be given priority because of an increased awareness of the importance of logistics. With improved logistics, possibly Grozny could be taken and the Caspian Sea reached cutting off Baku from land connection with the rest of the Soviet Union.

of course I think there was room for great improvement in the Black Sea operations, but the situation in the Baltic is even more critical for Germany. IF they were able to eliminate the Soviet fleet(s) from both Baltic and Black Seas, it completely transforms their transportation situation.
 
of course I think there was room for great improvement in the Black Sea operations, but the situation in the Baltic is even more critical for Germany. IF they were able to eliminate the Soviet fleet(s) from both Baltic and Black Seas, it completely transforms their transportation situation.
Doesn't that sound like a sound strategic prioritisation, weakening the centre push strengthening the flanks, I.e take leningrad and Ukraine, don't overextend towards Moscow.
 
of course I think there was room for great improvement in the Black Sea operations, but the situation in the Baltic is even more critical for Germany. IF they were able to eliminate the Soviet fleet(s) from both Baltic and Black Seas, it completely transforms their transportation situation.
Good point. So the overall strategy would be to base offensive operations on securing hubs for logistics to support further operations with a focus on waterway transportation as well as rail hubs. Of course, the Allies did this in the West with the focus on taking Cherbourg, the Channel ports, and Antwerp as well as focusing on taking Naples in Italy. The drive in the South would focus on Sebastopol, Rostov and Novorossyk and at least neutralizing the Soviet Black Sea fleet. In the North, the focus would be on taking Talinin early and taking Leningrad and demolishing the Soviet Baltic fleet. The Kreigsmarine would shift its focus from trying to cut off shipments to Murmansk to taking total control of the Baltic and then allowing shipments into Leningrad to support a cut off of Murmansk from the rest of the Soviet Union. A further aspect of this might be a focus on the use of rivers and canals for inland transportation.
This is all based on the insight that the key constraint for Barbarossa as it pushed further and further East was logistics. Overland transport by rail can work but the difference in gauges and the problem of guerrilla activity limits this. Truck transportation also is subject to guerrilla activity and burns up so much fuel that its range is limited. By transportation by water avoids guerrilla activity and used much less fuel.
 

thaddeus

Donor
of course I think there was room for great improvement in the Black Sea operations, but the situation in the Baltic is even more critical for Germany. IF they were able to eliminate the Soviet fleet(s) from both Baltic and Black Seas, it completely transforms their transportation situation.

Doesn't that sound like a sound strategic prioritisation, weakening the centre push strengthening the flanks, I.e take leningrad and Ukraine, don't overextend towards Moscow.

while we are in agreement (from my POV, once they lunge for Moscow there is no negotiated agreement possible, whatever chance has evaporated), naval operations on the Baltic and Black Seas could run in parallel to any offensive plan they choose?

the Axis could be supplied by sea for their historical operations or what if some speculative scenario the Soviets are forced to terms? the Axis side would have a very effective chokehold over the USSR if they had total control over the two seas?
 
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