U-56 downs HMS Nelson with Churchill aboard, 31 October 1939

trinity

Banned
Who could potentially serve as the alternative leaders of the war ministry in this case? For the sake of the WI, also assume that the "Halt Order" has never been sanctioned in this TL by the OKW, leading to no Dunkirk perimeter, although at least some evacuation has been carried out of other, much smaller-capacity ports.

Even this scenario is on the pre-condition that the pro-war caucus within the Cabinet can even remain unified, considering how they've now been stripped of their most effective Parliamentary proponent. Yet another possible dark horse scenario is that Halifax becomes prime minister due to a lack of viable alternatives after Chamberlain's resignation, yet gets offered unacceptable terms by Hitler due to his desire to appease Mussolini's own war aims, and resolves to fight on anyway.
 
Hello, any takers?
Apart from bumping after only two hours...... How many parts of the above will actually happen?
"Halt Order" leading to no Dunkirk perimeter
Halifax becomes prime minister... and resolves to fight on anyway.

Are they not both very questionable takes on what was actually happening, or what people could or would do?
 
Hello, any takers?
Generally it is best to wait 24 hours before bumping, as not everyone is American, or else is at work.

Britain fights on. They have an empire still, operation Dynamo will still go ahead by the same people, the UK is in a national government, and the Labour party despises Hitler. An unequal peace and the government collapses, to be replaced by a more pro-war one.

Which is if Hitler even offers reasonable terms, which OtL he didn't offer any terms. He felt the British ought to crawl to him. Otto von Bismarck could have negotiated it, but Hitler will ask far too much.

And Hitler has broken *every* treaty he's signed. 1934 Polish German treaty, 1939. AGNA, 1934- early 1939. Munich treaty, 1938- March 1939. Etc.

As noted above, Hitler's generals ignored when they wanted to. If they felt they could seize Dunkirk they would have, but German infantry hadn't caught up to the tanks, and tank strength was approaching 50%. Germany couldn't break the Dunkirk perimeter in time.
 
Who could potentially serve as the alternative leaders of the war ministry in this case? For the sake of the WI, also assume that the "Halt Order" has never been sanctioned in this TL by the OKW, leading to no Dunkirk perimeter, although at least some evacuation has been carried out of other, much smaller-capacity ports.

Even this scenario is on the pre-condition that the pro-war caucus within the Cabinet can even remain unified, considering how they've now been stripped of their most effective Parliamentary proponent. Yet another possible dark horse scenario is that Halifax becomes prime minister due to a lack of viable alternatives after Chamberlain's resignation, yet gets offered unacceptable terms by Hitler due to his desire to appease Mussolini's own war aims, and resolves to fight on anyway.
Well, even if both torpedoes hit and detonated, it is not guaranteed that Nelson would go down. Her torpedo defense was, IIRC, superior to that of Royal Oak, and even Royal Oak had needed two passes and 4 torpedoes (3 in one salvo) to sink her. A sinking is not assured from even two torpedo strikes and considering Nelson was in a squadron with Rodney and quite a few light forces, it is not guaranteed that Churchill goes down, even if the ship does.

Even assuming that Churchill dies, this does not really change the pro-war factions reserve, or their support from the population or the rest of government. Eden would become the leader of the movement. Halifax was not pro-Hitler and was highly unlikely to agree to any peace deal Hitler would offer. However, he would likely have been unacceptable to parliament due to his connection to appeasement. So you probably have Eden as PM as well. The war continues, with less Churchillian energy and creativity at the top put also a lot less inappropriate interference. I would call it even.

On a positive note assuming the sinking goes ahead you have removed Pound, which is probably a plus for the RN. Not as fortuitous (but probably not crippling) you have killed off Admiral Forbes.
 
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Garrison

Donor
Who could potentially serve as the alternative leaders of the war ministry in this case? For the sake of the WI, also assume that the "Halt Order" has never been sanctioned in this TL by the OKW, leading to no Dunkirk perimeter, although at least some evacuation has been carried out of other, much smaller-capacity ports.

Even this scenario is on the pre-condition that the pro-war caucus within the Cabinet can even remain unified, considering how they've now been stripped of their most effective Parliamentary proponent. Yet another possible dark horse scenario is that Halifax becomes prime minister due to a lack of viable alternatives after Chamberlain's resignation, yet gets offered unacceptable terms by Hitler due to his desire to appease Mussolini's own war aims, and resolves to fight on anyway.
The halt order only affected the panzers and they were shot after 10 days continuous action. The rest of the German forces carried right on attacking the British. the Panzer had to regroup and recover to be used for what was seen as the main strategic objective, finishing off the French. it's also forgotten that there were huge numbers of British troops south of the Dunkirk pocket who were evacuated later, some not leaving until August, well after the French surrender.

Halifax wasn't a viable option after Chamberlain resigned precisely because he was so closely associated with appeasement. Labour will not join a national government under someone like Halifax and for that matter if you look at the Norway debate I don't think he could count on wholehearted support from the rest of the Conservative party. For that matter whatever certain fictional works have implied for dramatic effect Chamberlain pretty much supported Churchill once he assumed office.
 

trinity

Banned
Karl-Heinz Freiser's "The Blitzkrieg Legend"

Action at Poperinge
The route back from Brooke's position to Dunkirk passed through the town of Poperinge (known to most British sources as "Poperinghe"), where there was a bottleneck at a bridge over the Yser canal. Most of the main roads in the area converged on that bridge. On 27 May, the Luftwaffe bombed the resulting traffic jam thoroughly for two hours, destroying or immobilising about 80% of the vehicles. Another Luftwaffe raid—on the night of 28/29 May—was illuminated by flares as well as the light from burning vehicles. The 44th Division in particular had to abandon many guns and lorries, losing almost all of them between Poperinge and the Mont.[23]

The German 6. Panzerdivision could probably have destroyed the 44th Division at Poperinge on 29 May, thereby cutting off 3rd Division and 50th Division as well. Thompson calls it "astonishing" that they did not, but they were distracted by investing the nearby town of Cassel.[24]
 

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trinity

Banned
Some of the quotes given here are certainly hyperbolic, but the general gist of the text is a fair assessment of the strategic situation at the time.
 
Karl-Heinz Freiser's "The Blitzkrieg Legend"
Yes, but that is the fog of war. No UAV's under direct control of local commanders, no palantirs or wizards to guide generals to the perfect spot.

Gallipoli had a few moments of that, but I haven't read "From the Jaws of Victory" by Charles Fair recently so forgot the exact debacles.
 

trinity

Banned
Yes, but that is the fog of war. No UAV's under direct control of local commanders, no palantirs or wizards to guide generals to the perfect spot.

Gallipoli had a few moments of that, but I haven't read "From the Jaws of Victory" by Charles Fair recently so forgot the exact debacles.
If Frieser is to be believed, the entire Halt Order debacle was the result of the OKW grossly overestimating the remaining armored capabilities of the Franco-British forces.
 
Without Churchill there would have been some kind of negotiated peace. Winston was indispensable to unconditional surrender. Without him and FDR there would have been some form of accommodation made to Hitler
 
Without Churchill there would have been some kind of negotiated peace. Winston was indispensable to unconditional surrender. Without him and FDR there would have been some form of accommodation made to Hitler
How? Hitler tore up every treaty he signed, nearly instantly. This idea that only Churchill saw Hitler as unstable and dangerous needs to die.
 

Garrison

Donor
Without Churchill there would have been some kind of negotiated peace. Winston was indispensable to unconditional surrender. Without him and FDR there would have been some form of accommodation made to Hitler
Well no because parliament wouldn't have accepted it. Churchill got the job as PM because he was willing to fight. The idea that he became PM because Halifax didn't push for it and he had to rally Parliament behind him makes for good storytelling but it doesn't reflect the circumstances. if you want to get a sense of the political mood in May 1940 read about the Norway Debate.
 
Halifax PM 1940. Can see him possibly accepting Hitler's terms and falling to an anti- appeasement revolt.
As mentioned above Halifax is not assured to have a majority in the Commons. It is certain he cannot create a national government, which basically all parties agreed was necessary. Halifax will not be PM.

Even if he was, the image of Halifax as ready and willing to surrender is seriously overblown. The farthest he ever went is being willing to hear Hitlers terms. It is almost assured that Hitler would not offer acceptable terms. Even if he did it is even less likely that Halifax could get them through Cabinet, much less through Parliament
 

trinity

Banned
If anybody was to continue the war, it would have been Halifax himself.

Both Max Hastings and Anthony Beevor agree that a non-Conservative Prime Minister taking power during the May 1940 War Cabinet Crisis was an outright impossible proposition, and that the only two personalities who commanded enough Parliamentary support to have a serious shot at taking power from Chamberlain within the Conservative Party were Halifax and Churchill.
 
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Both Max Hastings and Anthony Beevor agree that a non-Conservative Prime Minister taking power during the May 1940 War Cabinet Crisis was an outright impossible proposition, and that the only two personalities who commanded enough Parliamentary support to have a serious shot at taking power from Chamberlain within the Conservative Party were Halifax and Churchill.
Eden was a Conservative. With Churchill there, Eden was not likely to win as much due to age as anything, and he knew it. With Churchill gone Eden leads the old anti-appeasement faction, and likely the bulk of Churchill’s OTL support goes with it. He will likely lose some of it, but on the flip side he carries less baggage than Churchill.
 

trinity

Banned
Eden was a Conservative. With Churchill there, Eden was not likely to win as much due to age as anything, and he knew it. With Churchill gone Eden leads the old anti-appeasement faction, and likely the bulk of Churchill’s OTL support goes with it. He will likely lose some of it, but on the flip side he carries less baggage than Churchill.
Hastings and Beevor both definitively rule out Eden as a possibility on the grounds that the pro-war faction's support would certainly not have bled into him; their continued support for Churchill was about as based on personalist loyalty to the man himself as much as policy similarities, which Eden distinctively lacked at the time. Every author that I've read so far on this subject matter clearly reiterate that any alternatives to Churchill in the pro-war caucus were severely lacking, and that the bulk of Churchill's initial support was due to Chamberlain's continued support of him throughout the war cabinet crisis, which he would almost certainly have given to Halifax had Churchill been unavailable.

Hastings and Beevor continue on to talk about just how touch and go the War Cabinet Crisis actually was.
 
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Who could potentially serve as the alternative leaders of the war ministry in this case? For the sake of the WI, also assume that the "Halt Order" has never been sanctioned in this TL by the OKW, leading to no Dunkirk perimeter, although at least some evacuation has been carried out of other, much smaller-capacity ports.

Even this scenario is on the pre-condition that the pro-war caucus within the Cabinet can even remain unified, considering how they've now been stripped of their most effective Parliamentary proponent. Yet another possible dark horse scenario is that Halifax becomes prime minister due to a lack of viable alternatives after Chamberlain's resignation, yet gets offered unacceptable terms by Hitler due to his desire to appease Mussolini's own war aims, and resolves to fight on anyway.
Apparently Pound and Churchill visited Nelson and Rodney at Greenock on the 31st Oct and Nelsons logs do not collude with the idea that Churchill and Pound were on board when the supposed attack took place.

Its interesting to note Zahns lack of success in his career as a U-boat commander - and his eventual sacking as one in 1942.

Do note his actions as one of the 4 Captains of the MV Wilhelm Gustloff when she was sunk in 1945 and he alone was blamed for its loss and subsequent lack of leadership in evacuating the 10,000 passengers and he himself abandoning the ship well before it sunk - although no action was taken against him before the collapse of the Nazi regime

What I am alluding to - is that Zahn is not your man when it comes to sinking HMS Nelson!
 

trinity

Banned
Apparently Pound and Churchill visited Nelson and Rodney at Greenock on the 31st Oct and Nelsons logs do not collude with the idea that Churchill and Pound were on board when the supposed attack took place.

Its interesting to note Zahns lack of success in his career as a U-boat commander - and his eventual sacking as one in 1942.

Do note his actions as one of the 4 Captains of the MV Wilhelm Gustloff when she was sunk in 1945 and he alone was blamed for its loss and subsequent lack of leadership in evacuating the 10,000 passengers and he himself abandoning the ship well before it sunk - although no action was taken against him before the collapse of the Nazi regime

What I am alluding to - is that Zahn is not your man when it comes to sinking HMS Nelson!
U-56 in more able hands than Zahn could possibly have sunk the HMS Nelson and killed both Churchill and Pound, either on the 30th or the 31st.
 
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