If Chamberlain hadn't declared war, would Hitler have stopped with Poland?

Would Hitler have stopped at Poland?

  • Yes

    Votes: 5 3.6%
  • No

    Votes: 135 96.4%

  • Total voters
    140
As I’ve stated before in previous threads, Hitler was just as obsessed with destroying France as he was with destroying the USSR, and he wanted to take out France first to prevent a two-front war when attacking the USSR. The idea that Hitler just wanted to destroyed communism and was forced to invade Western Europe because France and Britain declared war is 100% false. Destroying France was always on the list of objectives.
 
As I’ve stated before in previous threads, Hitler was just as obsessed with destroying France as he was with destroying the USSR, and he wanted to take out France first to prevent a two-front war when attacking the USSR. The idea that Hitler just wanted to destroyed communism and was forced to invade Western Europe because France and Britain declared war is 100% false. Destroying France was always on the list of objectives.
And it was literally written in my Kampf but just as a precondition to conquering the lebensraum in Eastern Europe.
 
France still possessed Alsace-Lorraine. Germany would want to recover that territory before moving onto the USSR. They only targeted Poland first because the question of Poland had dogged Germany ever since the former's rebirth at the end of 1918.
 
I thought Soviet tanks were superior to German ones at first, which is why they introduced the Tiger I.
Germans had heavier tanks in the works before Barbarossa, and even before France
The VK30.01 (H) a 30 ton class panzer, the grew to the developmental VK36, then VK45, and then the Tiger

Soviet tanks, the KV-1 and T-34, were better, on Paper. Biggest difference was ergonomics, and then lack of vision devices, crews were near blind.

Everyone heard the stories on 'A KV-1 took XX number of 37mm/50mm/whatever hits before being knocked out'
One wonder why that crew let them be punching bags for so long--answer: they couldn't see what was doing all that door knocking, and stry to top them

The early models tended to lack radios(as did the French) and were mechanically unreliable, and most important, the Soviet crews didn't have much 'hands on' training, and leadership was very poor after the purges.
 
And it was literally written in my Kampf but just as a precondition to conquering the lebensraum in Eastern Europe.
But what excuse could he find to attack France, as far as I know there was no "persecuted" German minority in A-L wanting to re-unite with the Fatherland that Hitler could be "reluctantly forced" to "protect" by destroying France. A-L was not the Sudetenland or Polish Corridor. Dictator or not Hitler still has to convince the German people to go to war.
 

Lee-Sensei

Kicked
Yes. It certainly won't be the majority view, but I think he would. If he'd wanted all of Poland, the M-R Pact wouldn't have given half of it to the USSR. There would be something of a standoff in the East, since Hitler does want Ukraine and the Caucasus, but isn't really ready for war. He won't really have a pretext for Barbarossa unless a war is already underway; he may attempt to do so on his own timetable, but he may delay things long enough that they actually don't happen. Unlike most, I don't think Hitler was so committed to his long-term ideological goals that he was willing to risk everything, at any cost, to get Lebensraum. I think he sincerely thought he could bluff the West over Poland again, and I think he was disappointed when war was declared.

This applies only to Hitler's ambitions, not with events beyond his control. Stalin may have something to say about the new western border, and a preemptive war by either the USSR or Germany is entirely possible, though I don't think Hitler wants it before June 1941. Another possibility is that Chamberlain's government falls, and the new one declares war. The Nazis are still going to commit the same atrocities in Poland that they did IOTL, if not more, so that may cause war. The likelihood of Hitler actually getting away with keeping his half of Poland until his natural death is practically zero. But I do think his ambitions ended there -- it's just that they were already too far-reaching for peace.
He let the Soviet Union take half of Poland, because he wanted to secure the Eastern Front to deal with France, Britain and their allies.
 

Lee-Sensei

Kicked
But what excuse could he find to attack France, as far as I know there was no "persecuted" German minority in A-L wanting to re-unite with the Fatherland that Hitler could be "reluctantly forced" to "protect" by destroying France. A-L was not the Sudetenland or Polish Corridor. Dictator or not Hitler still has to convince the German people to go to war.
The Germans wanted Alsace Lorraine.
 
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But what excuse could he find to attack France, as far as I know there was no "persecuted" German minority in A-L wanting to re-unite with the Fatherland that Hitler could be "reluctantly forced" to "protect" by destroying France. A-L was not the Sudetenland or Polish Corridor. Dictator or not Hitler still has to convince the German people to go to war.
He just had to set up a false flag attack by German troops wearing French uniforms, which he did with Poland to claim he had a casus belli.
 
Much of the Panzers were of the Panzer II and 38T, not all that different from those two, that was still a large part of the armored divisions at the time of invasion
Panzer IIs were not that common anymore. Lots of them were destroyed in France and Poland.
Panzer 38t was better than the T-26 and BT tanks by 1941. The Germans upgraded the design by making a better turret and giving it more armor.
 
No he doesn’t, as he’s, well, a dictator. Being a dictator literally means he doesn’t have to worry about the wishes of the people.
He does if wants them to truely fight rather than just go through the motions. His pal to the south found that out.
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
He does if wants them to truely fight rather than just go through the motions. His pal to the south found that out.
He’ll be able to find people to follow through on his wishes, there are always followers willing to do the dirty deeds. Plenty of them will be senior military figures, after that in a totalitarian state with conscription, the people’s wishes don’t really matter a lot.
His pal to the south only found that out when he started losing. Before that, he had no problems.
 
He’ll be able to find people to follow through on his wishes, there are always followers willing to do the dirty deeds. Plenty of them will be senior military figures, after that in a totalitarian state with conscription, the people’s wishes don’t really matter a lot.
His pal to the south only found that out when he started losing. Before that, he had no problems.
Mussolini, if he is under discussion, lasted in power in Rome until mid-1943.
Mussolini's armies started losing at the end of 1940/start of 1941, when they had their butts repeatedly kicked by the British in one of Britain's last displays of competence on land of the early war against a major Axis power, during Operation Compass, and then lost Abyssinia and had to hear the news that Haile Selassie had been restored to his throne.
For over two years, Mussolini hung on, after he started 'losing'; it was only once the invaders were actually on Sicily and getting positions to cross to the Italian mainland that the Grand Fascist Council removed Mussolini - and note that there was a non-military mechanism, in Italy, in the shape of the Grand Fascist Council for telling Mussolini that he was being removed; the only way Hitler was ever going to leave was if the military (either German or Allied) removed him, with force, or if an independent assassin somehow got to him.

Edit:
And even after Mussolini was removed by the Council, the Germans rescued him, and put him back in power, in northern Italy.
 

Ramontxo

Donor
I agree with Big Blue Box and some of the other commentators. Once the guarantee is made, Chamberlain has to honor it and his government would collapse if he extended a guarantee to Poland, the Poles refused to deal with Germany because they had a guarantee, Germany invaded Poland and the British and French did nothing.

Its worth remembering at the time that most people (not everyone) expected Poland to hold out long enough against Germany for the French to mobilize and attack into Germany before the Germans had finished with Poland. So the guarantee, though it was criticized by people such as Lloyd George as the wrong place to draw a line in the sand, was not meaningless. This also explains the French failure to mount a serious attack in September 1939, though thought they had more time and could mobilize first.

This means we are probably dealing with a situation where the POD has to come before the Nazi Soviet Pact. There is either no guarantee, or the British and French convince the Poles that they have to give in to the German demands (which if I remember correctly were not that extensive) and they do. Germany now has a land connection to East Prussia and no excuse for war with Poland. Poland is also larger than Czechoslovakia and has a larger army and air force, so this isn't the Czech situation where the Germans can just reneg and walk into Prague.

ITTL there is no Nazi-Soviet Pact. Hitler still wants to take over Russian territory and build a continental German empire. He has gained another bloodless propaganda victory and more territory. Also the British and French governments have given him everything he wants twice. They also keep removing excuses to go to war. And he can't just attack the Soviet Union because there is no common border and Germany hasn't been able to plunder France, Poland, and the Low Countries.

So my guess is the focus of German diplomacy is enlisting the British and French into an alliance to take down the Soviet Union. Remember there is no Nazi-Soviet Pact but German diplomatic relations with Britain and France are not actually that bad. They might try to build on the Japanese alliance more but I never have understood what they were trying to do with this.

Britain and France both have right wing and anti-communist governments, but they gave in to Hitler's demands more to preserve the peace then to clear the way for a western version of the Nazi Soviet Pact. Third Republic governments were never that stable, and Chamberlain faces an election in 1940 where he will face criticism by Labour and internal criticism from some Conservatives for having given into Hitler twice.
ITTL Poland would surely be a Nazi puppet. Hitler is not going to invade Russia with France at his back so 1940 invasion goes on. Worst case everything falls as well as OTL in the west but now he is all that closer to Moscow and Leningrad and has the polish army along the Italian and Rumanian ones with him. Stalin is (even) more paranoic than usual and insists in a preventive attack against the Wermacht and it goes even worse than what they did OTL in Finland. As he has started the war when he calls for unity and everybody fighting to save the Rodina it doesn't work to the same level. And Adolf has more leverage to impose terms...
 
No

For Hitler et al, this is not just about lebensraum in the east and ethnically cleaning house, but also rewriting the result of WW1 to what they considered it should always have been (German victory and European hegemony). So unless France kowtows it's going to be war, IMO the only real variable is what order things happen in.
 
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