The Twin Vipers: A TL of the Berlin-Moscow Axis

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by BiteNibbleChomp, Dec 7, 2018.

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  1. The Red A virulent, ignorant bigot

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    Just popping my head in to say that this has been and continues to be an enjoyable read, looking forward to more!

    In regards to the discussion on Stalin's next steps I'd see it as being entirely characteristic for him to dump the Germans at this juncture; the Wehrmacht have squandered every single one of the (many) opportunities Soviet resources have allowed them to turn the war decisively in their favour and now their defeat is going to be only a matter of time without a massive Red Army commitment. Granted, the Soviets have invested a great deal in a German victory but it's becoming a case of gambler's fallacy to continue to support them at this juncture, the German deliveries of machine tools and other material to the USSR must be drying up by now, whilst the odds of a favourable separate peace with the Allies is only going to become more unfavourable.
     
  2. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, and even assuming the worst scenario (ie. Stalin tries to make a separate peace, the Allies refuse, and Hitler learns of it), Soviet situation isn't worsened but remains just the same. Hitler will rage but can't do anything, he can't try to align with the Entente (as the Entente will refuse a survival of Nazism and will likely want to dismantle the German military and have a weak Germany to avoid another repeat), and he can't declare war on the Soviets of course.

    So Stalin should try to dump Hitler, either it works, or it fails and he can keep supporting and supplying the Germans as he does now.
     
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  3. BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    No worries mate!

    The first thing the Allies have access to that can dogfight a 262 would be the P-80, which IOTL was first used in 2/45 (and unlike the nuke or Soviet jets, I can't see how this timetable can really be accelerated). The Corsair (in service by '43) would probably be the next best bet. As well as the OTL "kill them when they land" approach.

    Against the Wolf (whose OTL best comparison is either a Jagdtiger with a turret, or an IS-3) , even the M46 would be toast - the 12.8 Pak 44 could get through 7" of armour at 2km while the Patton's maximum armour was 4". My thought is that the Americans would introduce something like the T29 (which would be called M29 ITTL), which at least in some places can survive a 128.

    They won't use nukes on Germany because the only way Germany survives to 1945 is if the Red Army is occupying most of the front line, in which case they might as well nuke the USSR instead because that's where all the armies are coming from.

    Thanks mate!

    FEGELEIN! FEGELEIN! FEGELEIN!

    - BNC
     
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  4. GDIS Pathe Well-Known Member

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    hows far is the gloster meteor into production?
     
  5. BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    :noexpression:I'd forgotten about that. The Meteor would be looking at a late 1944 introduction.

    - BNC
     
  6. StrikeEcho Procrastinating

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    I would guess the Allies best bet currently against the Me262 would be the Tempest, since it would be introduced around Jan 44, likely as a stop gap measure before the Meteor rolls out.
     
  7. Indiana Beach Crow Exile in Wrigleyville

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    With a less discombobulated British defense industry (no Dunkirk disaster, so no mass postponements of planned equipment in favor of "what can we get right now") the Meteor is probably ahead of OTL schedule.
     
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  8. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    While the 262 and the Wolf are very cool toys, one must also consider that they have a lot of important drawback:

    - They are timeconsuming to produce and use a lot of important material to do it.
    - They were not reliable, frankly maintenance were a bitch and consumption rate were horrific
    - The Jagdtiger in OTL had an autonomy of 120 km on road...basically he is good only as a mobile fortress for defense purpose, any offensive use of that mean a strained logistic chain, plus was slow and hardly manovabrle make him a much easier target for air attack.

    Not considering that from an industrial pow, the URSS ITTL must face a strategic bomber campaign unlike OTL, meaning that her industrial and delivery capacity will be much less than OTL
     
  9. Babatus Well-Known Member

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    Isn't that balanced than the fact than ITTL they didn't had to suffer the desorganization caused by the occupation/destruction of massive chunk of their Industrail/Ressources Producing region ?
    Also from what I got from the TL, the Wolf and the 262 reliability and production cost were helped by the Soviet influence and their policy of conceiving war materials that are both easy to produce and maintain.
     
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  10. BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    True for the 262 - that's not changed much from OTL as the Germans were the clear leaders in jet production over the Soviets. (The MiG variant is more of a licence build than a new design)

    The Wolf however is a tank that doesn't really have a comparison to OTL - I give the Jagdtiger as a guide for armament and the IS-3 for how it would be produced, but that doesn't mean that it is as unreliable as a Jagdtiger. Soviet-designed tanks, except for the KVs, tended to work quite well (much more so than the later German designs), and this would be reflected in the Wolf considering the Soviets had considerable influence in its development. Maintenance of a 50-60 ton tank is going to be hell no matter how good a design it is, but a 50t designed like a T-34 is going to work a lot better than a 50t designed like a Tiger, and the Wolf fits into the former's category.

    Not really. The closest Allied airbases to the Ukraine would be in Syria (which doesn't have the infrastructure to support a huge B-29 swarm) and Albania or Serbia. These are both about the same distance as Tokyo to the Marianas Is., which is pretty much the limit for a P-51. And unlike Japan, the USSR is easily capable of wrecking unescorted bombers. Not to mention industry in Moscow, Leningrad and the Urals are completely immune to bombing.

    Tempest and Corsair are a close enough match, doesn't matter too much which is better :)

    - BNC
     
  11. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Sure, but ITTL they don't have the american industry that work for them to cut the slack, so they will be not only forced to use men that OTL had been drafted to do industrial and agricoltural work, but they will have probably done the same OTL thing and relocated behind the Ural to avoid allied bombardment causing a lot of further disruption...
    You can have easy to produce and mantain or the Wunderwaffe described here...sure having access to the necessary material due to the Soviet support will greatly help respect OTL, still there are limit to the tech of the time.
     
  12. Svyatoy Medved Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't it just explained that they have no real need to worry about Allied bombing? Thus, no need to move behind the Urals. And while American lend-lease helped, it did not account for the total, genocidal annihilation of the most economically valuable parts of the Soviet Union. Plus, as you described, but apparently did not consider, the USSR has massively fewer casualties. I figure, on the outside, that they've lost throughout this war what they lost OTL in 1941. Forget the genocide. That gives them a tremendous boost to industrial capability alone, probably enough to make up for the lack of American aid even if you don't count the loss of industry that came with the mass death.

    I also take issue with the idea that there has to be a choice between reliable weapons and good weapons. The Nazis were famous for having ingenious designs held to too high standards by there political leadership, required to be things they couldn't be. The 262 was initially designed as a pure interceptor, but Hitler demanded it be a fighter-bomber. It couldn't be that, which delayed production by a year and tore its efficiency to shreds when it was rolled out. If you eliminate those problems with the addition of an ally superior to Germany, then you get the reliability alongside the effectiveness (a la the Von Braun group).

    As an aside, I think the 262 could be rolled out even earlier than ITTL, and could be far more effective than OTL. If scientific cooperation is the reason you had it roll out a year early, then that still leaves the whole fighter-bomber thing. Obviously, you can't have it too far back, but you might be able to shave off another couple months. That could be big in a scenario this close.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  13. BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    Easy to produce vs Wunderwaffe isn't cut and dry, except for extreme cases like the Maus. The Soviets produced 6000 IS-2s and 3s in a couple of years with the T-34 still having priority, and the IS-2/3 were still formidable tanks (and the IS-2 at least could still manage 40km/h, which is at least respectable speed for a heavy tank). A 128mm gun isn't so extreme as to require any enormous changes from other OTL designs of the period, certainly not so much as to require a drastic loss in some other factor of tank design (the Americans planned to put a 155mm on the T30 heavy around the same time, so anything less is certainly possible with 1944 technology).

    A realistic TL has everyone make their fair share of screw-ups. Some things go better, or even best-case scenario (see the A7M in 1942), and others should go worse (the Axis trashing that convoy in 1941). I feel that it is pretty important to include these effects for both sides from time to time.

    - BNC
     
  14. BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    @cortz#9 sent me this brilliant drawing of the Wolf. Thought I'd post it so everyone can enjoy :)

    Pz6 Wolf.png

    - BNC
     
  15. karatachi "Stay woke" - Gitmo Interrogator

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    How is ITTL ME262 different from OTL ME262?
     
  16. BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    No major changes. The Soviet variant uses 23mm cannons in place of the German 30mms, and a longer-lasting variant of the Jumo 004 engine due to better availability of raw materials, but the overall design is basically the same.

    - BNC
     
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  17. Threadmarks: 1/44-2/44

    BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    Opening the East, January 1944

    Despite Soviet successes north of the Danube, the Italians continued to make good progress against the German occupation forces in Thrace, and the fall of Istanbul just after the new year opened up the opportunity of liberating much of Anatolia, where the Turkish resistance had finally gained an upper hand in the south and west against the Axis.

    In a conference at Rome, Italian, American and British commanders developed a plan that would see a combined Allied force (led by Graziani as the Italians commanded the most troops in the theatre) attempt to seize as much of Turkey as they could. Using the Indian armies stationed in Syria and the Italians crossing the sea from Istanbul, they hoped to link up with the Turkish resistance and retake Ankara, while US Marines landed on the south coast of Turkey to prevent the occupation forces from concentrating against the Allies.

    The Axis position in the west was considerably weaker than anyone, even Hitler, believed. Only third-rate units were being used in the area, as all veterans and elite forces had been pulled from Army Group D to fight on the Western Front, while only a pair of understrength panzer divisions were available to provide any sort of heavy fighting power at all. What resistance the Germans did offer was quickly swept aside, and by the end of the winter all of Turkey west of Ankara had been liberated.

    The eastern half of the country would prove much more difficult. Not only were the Allies operating at the end of lengthy supply lines (stretching back to Albania and Egypt), but the mountainous terrain favoured the Soviet defenders, while Stalin had sent some of his best mountain divisions, recruited from the Caucasus and having proven themselves in the invasion of Finland. As the winter weather prevented the Allied air forces from gaining a decisive advantage, Graziani called a halt to the operation. When clear skies returned, Stalin had sent his first production run of MiG-262s to the south, where they would prove a difficult foe.

    Battle of the Rhineland, January 1944

    After Manstein’s force had been wiped out, the Allies had planned on waiting until the winter passed before commencing the invasion of Germany. Their positions north of Arnhem meant that any defensive line based on the Rhine could be outflanked by the British, and it was believed likely that the Germans would prefer to hold out in the Rhineland, where most of their industry was concentrated.

    The appearance of the Red Army on the Danube changed that, as although the Soviets had not yet joined the battle directly in Germany (although the VVS had been taking over from the Luftwaffe for a long time), Allied intelligence had found that Stalin was certainly considering doing so, especially after Churchill refused a Soviet peace offer that would have seen the Communists control all of Europe east of the Oder and north of the Danube.

    The operation to take the Rhineland began in late January 1944, with the British 2nd Army leading the largest force out of the Arnhem bridgehead and along the banks of the Rhine. Manstein, now the overall commander of all the German forces on the Western Front, had expected an offensive in that sector, where the Allies had their only bridgehead over Germany’s greatest river. To stop the offensive, he pulled the best units of the remaining Wehrmacht from all along the Western Front to fight in the north, while brand new Wolf tanks were being driven out of the factories and straight onto the front line, not even giving the tanks’ paint time to dry.

    With the Germans now tied up in the north, the combined Allied command launched the second stage of the offensive. Using most of the American forces in Europe, including the recently formed 3rd American Army under the command of General Patton, the second stage of the plan called for an offensive through Belgium and the southern Rhineland to smash through the crumbling German defence and seize bridges across the Rhine near Mainz, threatening Frankfurt and encircling the Ruhr between the two forces. Patton, who was known for his aggressive armoured tactics (which had denied him army command during the trench battles of 1942 and 1943), proved to be the perfect man to lead the operation, capturing Frankfurt before orders got through ordering him to halt just east of Mainz for supplies to catch up. The fall of Frankfurt came as a shock to Manstein, who had managed to hold up the British in the built-up areas of the Ruhr.

    Battle of the Shetlands, February 1944

    Throughout the later months of 1943, the Kriegsmarine’s battleship fleet had expanded from two battleships to six, as the Friedrich der Große-class entered service. Hitler’s four new ships, KMS Friedrich der Große*, KMS Großdeutschland, KMS Hindenburg and KMS Ludendorff were for the most part a slight enlargement of the Bismarcks, able to maintain the 30 knots of their predecessors, while weighing just over 60,000 tons and carrying 16” guns.

    At the end of January, two factors came together that gave Hitler the opportunity to use his new naval power for the first time. Not only was the position in the Rhineland quickly becoming a disaster, and a victory at sea could be used to boost morale, but weather reporters predicted that conditions in the North Sea would be terrible over the next several days, which would give the ships time to slip through the Allied patrols. At Kiel, the Kriegsmarine’s officers protested, stating that the fleet had no hope of winning in what was mockingly called “Operation Suicide Charge”, in face of the British, French, Japanese and US Navies, each individually far superior to the Kriegsmarine. Hitler was steadfast in his determination to battle the Allied navies, and drafted orders for the SS to march into Kiel should Admiral Raeder order the Kriegsmarine to mutiny. Raeder reluctantly decided to order the Kriegsmarine out to sea, eventually admitting to reporters that “it would have been a shame to scuttle our fleet a second time at Scapa Flow”.

    In addition to the six battleships, the Kriegsmarine could still call on fifteen destroyers, 22 submarines, the cruiser KMS Prinz Eugen and the two pocket battleships KMS Admiral Scheer and KMS Graf Spee, as well as thirty Fw 200 Condor bombers based in Norway. Between them, the Allies could call on more than thirty fleet carriers, 28 battleships and over 300 smaller ships from the various fleets based in the Atlantic. Despite this, the Kriegsmarine force managed to sneak through the North Sea unnoticed, while the Royal Navy remained unconvinced that the intelligence reports of the Kriegsmarine passing by southern Norway were true, thinking the move so stupid as to be impossible.

    On February 9th, the Germans’ good luck ran out. The weather had cleared earlier than expected, and the Kriegsmarine ran into a small Allied task force built around the USS South Dakota and the enormous IJN Yamato. As Admiral Yamamoto set urgent radio reports back to London and called for all nearby Allied fleets to move to a position near the Shetland Islands, a massive battleship duel erupted. Several ships were badly damaged, and the Großdeutschland was forced to break away from the engagement and head to nearby Bergen for repairs towards the end of the day.

    On the second day of the battle, the tide of the battle shifted decisively against the Germans. Yamamoto’s call for reinforcements had seen US Admiral Spruance pull together a task force comprised of eight fleet carriers, five battleships including the Yamato’s newly built sister ship Shinano, and a wide variety of smaller ships including heavy cruiser USS Alaska, another recent build. As the Kriegsmarine had no carrier escort (their only carrier having been sunk early in the war), Spruance wanted to avoid another gun duel, instead opting to launch a massive air strike against the Germans. The first wave of torpedo bombers quickly sent Bismarck and Hindenburg to the bottom, while Raeder attempted to finish off the stricken Yamato. Two hours later, Spruance launched a second wave of bombers, which effectively finished off the Kriegsmarine as a fighting force (KMS Ludendorff would be the only German ship larger than a destroyer to survive the battle, Großdeutschland being sunk by a submarine before it reached Bergen harbour). Allied losses had included five destroyers, 94 aircraft (mostly shot down by the large numbers of AA emplacements on the new German battleships) and the Yamato, but although the Allies would spend months repairing damage, the battle was an unquestionable victory, and second only to Jutland as the largest naval battle in history.

    Head of the Viper, February 1944

    For many in Germany, the destruction of the Kriegsmarine in a worthless attack was the final straw. Despite his boasts and initial successes, particularly in securing Czechoslovakia in 1938 and then forming an alliance with the strongest power in the world, Hitler had overseen one disaster after another since the invasion of France. Not only had the German people had to endure three years of the Western Front, which had gone no better than during the First World War, but in recent months they had been forced through worse. Allied bombing raids had visited most major German cities, destroying huge swathes of urban area, not just industrial targets but civilian homes as well. As the Rhineland began to fall under Allied occupation, German confidence in the war, waning since 1940, finally collapsed.

    As Hitler announced a conference to begin in Berlin on February 24th, several high-ranking officers in the Wehrmacht began to consider removing Hitler from power and replacing him with a leader who would use the incredible advantages of an alliance with the USSR more effectively before Germany was conquered by the Allies outright. As the 24th neared, several officers informed Hitler that they would not be able to attend due to pressing needs at the front, while others travelled to Berlin, preparing to assassinate the Fuhrer and as much of the Nazi leadership as they could get.

    Fortune favoured the plotters, as an Allied bombing raid on Berlin the previous night had disrupted usual security procedures. Hans Oster, who had led a plot in 1938 intending to kill Hitler should the Sudetenland crisis become a war, managed to smuggle a bomb into the conference room by hiding it in a briefcase. During the conference, it became necessary to cover the large table with a map of the Western Front, with the briefcase being used to hold down one of the corners. Oster left the conference early, claiming that an urgent report meant that he was needed back at Abwehr headquarters (the messenger was himself a member of the conspiracy, and the “urgent report” forged). Twenty minutes later, the bomb exploded. Hitler and Himmler were among the seventeen officials killed, as were Rudolf Hess and Martin Bormann, two prominent figures who were considered by many as likely successors to Hitler.

    - BNC

    (* = Yes, I'm aware that Hitler had thought about naming the first 2 H-classes after Gotz von Berlichingen and Ulrich von Hutten, but those names suck so I'm not using them)
     
  18. AkulaKursk Well-Known Member

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    My boi Patton finally seeing some action. Now hopefully he can get what he really deserves and lead an actual First United States Army Group charging into Moscow... at least I can dream, can't I?
     
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  19. Theoretical_TJ Well-Known Member

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    That tank is an absolute monster and a real nightmare to counter.
     
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  20. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

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    Junta-led Germany will be interesting.
     
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