Who would win a 1939 War: German Polish Alliance vs Soviet Union

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Jiraiyathegallant, Nov 28, 2019.

?

Who wins?

  1. Germany and Poland win a total victory early

    2 vote(s)
    1.3%
  2. Germany and Poland have early success, get bogged down, but eventually win a total victory

    18 vote(s)
    11.5%
  3. Germany and Poland have early success, get bogged down, but eventually win a limited victory

    78 vote(s)
    49.7%
  4. Stalemate

    7 vote(s)
    4.5%
  5. The Soviets eventually win a total victory

    26 vote(s)
    16.6%
  6. The Soviets eventually win a limited victory

    26 vote(s)
    16.6%
  1. Paolo Giusti Kaleckist-leninist

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2019
    Location:
    Western Stalingrad
    There is also the famous question by HUAC congressman "Does mr. Euripides preach class warfare?".

    FDR was not a fellow traveler (what is this? McCarthy's argument?). FDR was a left-leaning US President, with a Cabinet probably full of "fellow travelers" (although I doubt a McCarthyst fellow traveler was something more than a not blatanty-racist alt-rightist). But Stalin was the Paramunt Leader of the Workers of the Wolrd and still he allied with Hitler. Why? Geopolitics.
    IMHO USA and USSR were natural allies in Interbellum World: two young countries, full of idealism, rapidly growing and natural enemy of the Old Colonial Europe.
    Both had lots of advantages in the end of colonialism: this made them allies against Churchill at Yalta IOTL.
    Both had lots of advantages in reduce european influence in the world: this made them allies against Churchill at Yalta IOTL.
    Both had lots of advantages in divide the world between themseves: this made them allies against Churchill at Yalta IOTL.
    If Japan was involved, both had lots of advantages in crush it to pieces: this made them allies in the Pacific.
    On the contrary, FDR had no advantage in an alliance with Hitler or with UK and France against Stalin: quod prodest?

    Of course, a military alliance was a no-starter, but a lend-lease or the like would be possible (and a good excuse for a Third New Deal). Even a simple embargo would do wonders. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand, if Japan was involved, an embargo would easily provoke a PH.

    Almost everybody but Hitler: in Mein Kampf he said the worst tort of Versailles was Alto Adige (vol. II ch. 13 and the Zwei Buck), while Danzig corridor was a correct choice since it was inhabited by Polish (Santi Corvaja 1982) - I'll provide the quote in a second EDIT: done. I want to highlight that Hitler said so to silence a faction in German alt-right that pushed for Alto Adige even if it would cost Italian alliance. If a catholic austrian leaved South Tyrol for Itlay, he could leave Danzig corridor for Poland.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
    Zagan likes this.
  2. Michele Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Sorry, but your opinion matters less than the US voters' opinion at the time.
    And they thought they wanted no part in another European war, but assuming they really had to, what they feared there was Communism. Not Nazism. BTW, in 1939 the German-American and Italian-American minorities still were a factor, and as long as Germany and Italy don't go to war against Britain and France, they remain a factor.

    "Danzig is not the issue;..." (which apparently says you are right) "...our Lebensraum in the East is" (which says that even if the Germans decided to ignore the Pomeranian Corridor and Danzig, they'd still want as much Eastern plains as they could take - which means the Poles will eventually be shafted in this scenario).
     
    Stenz likes this.
  3. AdA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Location:
    Portugal
    An alliance with Poland was the German Generals original plan to deal with the USSR.
    In 1939, with France and Britain neutral, it is difficult to predict if Romania and Finland will join the German-Polish alliance (GPA) or not. since the OP doesn't include them, let's leave them out. Let's also assume the situation regarding Japan plays out as OTL.
    In early 1939 the Soviet Armed Forces will be at the worst moment of the purges (they had finished killing people but the replacments were totally green and at their most paranoid). The GPA advantadge in leadership will be maxed out. Invading after June is crazy, so let's assume a GPA attack in the Spring of 1939.
    Regarding equipment the situation will be more favourable for the soviets. The Germans will be very short of medium tanks and short of most things, and the LW will be in the middle of converting from the Bf109D to the E while the soviets will be using basically the same I-16 and SB-2 they had in 1941 (earlier versions, but the Il-16 typ 10 is much better vs the Bf109D then the typ 24 vs the Bf109F). The Soviets advantage in medium tanks will be massive. The soviets will be operating on prepared defensive lines and familiar ground.
    In short, with the LW not able to gain/hold air superiority consistently and without enough armor to conduct the large scale encirclements of 1941, the GPA will not gain decisive victories early on, and as the soviets get their act together will be forced into an attricional war for which the USSR is better prepared.
    My guess is that sometime in 1940 or 1941 the Nazis make a deal with the USSR and betray the Poles, leading to a partition of Poland, or to a reduced, socialist Poland.
    Germany will then be in a worse situation than OTL, facing a war ready USSR on one side and a War ready France and Britain on the other.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
    Frank Hart and Michele like this.
  4. Paolo Giusti Kaleckist-leninist

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2019
    Location:
    Western Stalingrad
    So US voters opinion in 1939 was for isolationism - as it was in 1919 and 1946, BTW. And still they were dragged in three European war, the First, the Second and the Cold one. Voters' opinion is important as long as it does not crash with stronger geo-political issues.
    Also, I really doubt 1939 USA were 1920 USA: in the Thirties there were attempted agricultural collectivisations, Federal Theaters, John Dillinger and the likes, Detroit sit-in, Milwakee strike, Longshoremen strike, SCotUS packing and a lot of commie things that made the Conservative Revolution of 1936 necessary. Does this made USA the land of the Reds? No. Does this made USA The Land Where Hitler And Stalin Had A Lot Of Funboys (TLWHASHALOF)? Yes.
    In the end, I think a better question is: would US enstablishment (the most coherent and organized in the World according to Gramsci) favour UK's Black Dam or the Soviet Icebreaker?
    EDIT: I know how it went in Spain (a friend of mine just remind me it) but I think there is a very little difference between SCW and alt-Barbarossa.

    Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that Rome was well worth Bolzano and still he annexed Trento and Trieste in 1943: Hitler said lots of things.
    My point is that his "never"s had a statistical meaning: statistically, they never lasted. In both ways.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  5. gallen95 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Let's see 1939 Soviet Light Tanks - T26 and BT-7, Medium Tank - T28 and Heavy Tank T35. German tanks not much better PZ I and II's a few PZ III's and IV's with more Czech T35's and 38's. Number wise definetly goes to the Soviets but reliability and maintenance I don't think so. Tactics and Leadership would defintely be German. At best I would call it a draw.
     
  6. Michele Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    There's the other aspect, which you are ignoring. Not only they were isolationists, they also preferred Fascism to Communism.
    "If you had to choose between Fascism and Communism which would you choose?" (Gallup poll, April 6, 1937)
    Fascism, 61%; Communism, 39%.

    "Which do you think is worse, Communism or Fascism?"(Gallup poll, June 21, 1938)
    Fascism, 42%; Communism, 58%.

    https://www.archives.gov/research/foreign-policy/cold-war/conference/white.html

    Your point was that you quoted what Hitler said, as if that mattered; you quoted him from both his books. If now what he wrote doesn't matter, OK with me.
     
  7. Paolo Giusti Kaleckist-leninist

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2019
    Location:
    Western Stalingrad
    How many of them were in favour of Isolationism on 6th december 1941? How many of them protested lend-lease against fascist countries on 6th december 1941?
    I am a staunch democracy-fanboy, but I must recognize that
    If USA enstablishment thought that Stalin was a better strategic ally than Hitler (and IOTL they thought so, at least the Dems), then Stalin would get USA's aid.

    Yes, I was not clear and I edited it:
    but I came late: I apologize.
     
  8. Michele Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Interesting.
     
    AdA likes this.
  9. marcinL Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    This might not be ASB, but with POD in '39 about as likely as USA out of the blue giving 1939 Poland a billion $$$ in gold and cash, no strings attached.
     
  10. 33k7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Ctarl-Ctarl Empire
    Germany and Poland form a secret military Alliance against the Soviet Union and declare war on the ussr the Baltic states and Finland would realize if the Germans and polish are defeated they would be next on the list so they would enter the war to.
    FDR would have a severe chance of losing the 1940 elections if he did that there is no way in hell any Lend-Lease is going to the Soviets in this type of War. he didn't start giving the ussr military aid until October 30th 1941 in our timeline it would be a lot harder doing this with Germany at war with just the ussr.



    other stuff

    Soviet officer purges is still fresh

    Germany is entirely devoted to one front and have Polish military on their side as well.

    no Allied bombing campaign throwing a wrench into German Manufacturing. so supply lines stay strong.

    the Soviet Union has no chance of maintaining air superiority anywhere

    Ukrainian partisans with Polish soldiers entering Ukraine. Ukrainian partisans would become a nightmare for the Soviet Union there is no way the SS can get away with their war crimes and expect to keep their allies so they're probably kept in Germany.

    why would the Allies not sell supplies to the polish and Germans maybe if the French vote for a far-left government but if that happens you have to British siding with the Germans and polish rather quickly
    the United States might not sell to them but there are plenty of other nations that would willingly sell resources to them Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Yugoslavia and Hungary would have no problem sending volunteers and resources Italy and Romania might even join the war so even if the French British and Americans don't Supply Aid they're still going to get aid from other people that will be able to make up for it

    1 and 3 odds of the Japanese declare war on the Soviets.

    the war probably is over by 1943 with the Soviet Union losing a substantial amount of territory at the very least
     
  11. AdA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Location:
    Portugal
    Not with early 1939 numbers.
    PzIII production only really stepped up in 1939. Too few Pz IV around. Integration of Pz35 (t) still going on and Pz 38 (t) production for German use only starting.
    You'll be hard pressed to field more than six PzD and all of them will be mostly equipped with light tanks.
    On the other hand, the Soviets can field thousands of T-26 and BT-5/7 with 45mm guns.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  12. Michele Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Indeed, I would be pretty wary to call, in 1939, the T-26 and the BT-7 (or the Pz III and Czech tanks) "light" tanks. They are, by later-war standards. In 1939, if we ignore the few and poor heavies, they are the tanks that can kill other tanks with ease (the Pz II needed short range and luck). And the 45mm gun has a somewhat decent HE round (unlike the 37mm), and there are versions that the British would call "support" tanks, of the BT series that sport a 76mm HE lobber.

    The main issue, of course, is that software trumps hardware, and the Germans will be better at C3I and tactics. That's why they'll win many battles. But quantity has a quality of its own, and at a certain point the Germans will discover they are running short of tanks, even while winning.
     
  13. AdA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Location:
    Portugal
    In 1939 the PzIII was a medium tank, the T-26 an infantry tank and the BT-7 a fast tank. By light tanks I was essentially referring to the PzI and PzII that made up most of German tank strength in 1939, and the PzI is more a tankette than a light tank. The Pz 35 and Pz 38 would-be used as medium tanks in 1939 for lack of heavier tanks.
    The "point" you reffer to will happen earlier than in the 1941 OTL campaign. That will make dislocation of soviet industry unnecessary and give the Soviets an even greater advantadge in production
     
    Michele likes this.
  14. Michele Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Oh yes. I was agreeing with you, and objecting to post #25, that defined the T-26 and BT-7 as light tanks.
     
    AdA likes this.
  15. I want to learn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    I don’t know why everyone is assuming Britain and France would remain neutral. Regardless of what FDR thought and American domestic politics, the Entente leadership made their choice very clear: they correctly identified Hitler was an immediate threat to freedom/Entente hegemony/international-order in a way the Soviets were not. A Nazi invasion of Russia in 1939/40 would have been followed immediately by the Entente declaration of war.
     
  16. Paolo Giusti Kaleckist-leninist

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2019
    Location:
    Western Stalingrad
    Maybe because Germany and Poland were bankrupt? IOTL, UK was running out of money in 1941 and the £ was the global reserve currency, Germany was running out of oil* and rare metals/earths in 1939. IOTL only the USA had the economic mighty to bail out the rest of the Allies and ITTL they were not going to help Germany.

    FDR would lose 1940 election maybe if he showed himself naked with some prostitutes and a joint in his mouth.
    I also repeat that FDR had a geopolitical interest in helping USSR against Hitler and IOTL he managed to drag the USA in an undeclared naval war with Germany while bailing out UK and embargo'ing Japan. Actually, he spent the 30s trying to loosen the Neutrality Acts to let Wallies buy arms from the USA.
    ITTL FDR would help Stalin even by widening the Neutrality Acts, provided Hitler had the money to pay for US products: helping his ally by humoring the isolationists and prompting them to full embargo'ing the Axis is FDR in all his political cunning.
    BTW, a an embargo provoked PH and we all concur Japan would join TTL Axis.

    Exactly.

    *although this is relevant:
     
  17. AdA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Location:
    Portugal
    Why?
    The French and the Brits failed to come to the assistance of their allies until 1939 so why would they go to war to help a nation they regarded as a potential foe?
    OTL Britain hated communism a lot more than it hated Nazism until the war and France seriously considered going to war with the USSR over Finland.
    Both countries would stay out and build up their armed forces while trying to draw lessons from the evolution of the campaign
     
    Naval Aviation Fan likes this.
  18. Paolo Giusti Kaleckist-leninist

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2019
    Location:
    Western Stalingrad
    Although "immediately DoW" is a bold assumption, in 1939 the measure was full. Since the POD is:
    Monaco's promises had been broken and you too said "untill 1939". Also, ITTL there was no Winter War.
    Hitler, IOTL and ITTL, did the same error Napoleon did in 1812: he did so much that everybody can see only him.
     
  19. Michele Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Don't think so.

    For starters there is no casus belli. That is very, very useful when you have a democracy on your hands and your public opinion really, really does not want war. Note how the British, when the "measure was full" (to quote the previous post), i.e., only after the dismemberment of rump Czechoslovakia, went to the unprecedented measure of offering Poland the unilateral guarantee.
    In this ATL, the British and the French have no treaty with the USSR. They might come around to make proposals to the USSR, but chances are they are as slow and heavy-footed as in OTL. Meaning the attack will come before the alliance is signed.

    And why were the Westerners so slow in their overtures to the Soviets? Why, for the same reason why the Soviets weren't even invited to Munich, with all that they had an alliance with Czechoslovakia. The Westerners feared Communism and the SU. Some of them, even more than the Nazis and the Fascists. Everybody remembers that even Churchill, a staunch rightist conservative, spoke in favor of an alliance with the SU after it was at war with the continental power that already had kicked the British all over the place. But what is key to remember is to whom Churchill compared Stalin, when he stated that he'd speak a word or two in favor of anybody who got invaded by Hitler. That gives you a hint of how Stalin would be regarded if Germany isn't at war with the West.

    Mind you, I wouldn't rule out that the Westerners eventually join in. But initially, they'll be glad to sit back, avoid the butcher's bill, and let the two dangers elide each other.
     
  20. AdA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Location:
    Portugal
    One thing to consider is that German-Polish cooperation would get the USSR on maximum alert mode, since that was exactly the scenario they had built their defense plans for. The OTL 1941 Stalin refusal to provoke Germany and to allow for defensive action in the first hours will not be a factor in this TL, and this will avoid some OTL mistakes on the soviet side. (German recce aircraft will, for example, be intercepted in the run up to the invasion,soviet troops will be placed in high readiness, etc.)
     
    Patukov and Paolo Giusti like this.