WI: Netherlands not invaded during WWII?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Laxault2020, May 15, 2019.

  1. Laxault2020 Like making new friends

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    What if Hitler, instead of invading, says he will keep them independent provided they allow certain amount of resources to go through their ports like in WWI or Sweden in WWII?

    While this won't be decisive, it could help alleviate supply issues and thus make the war longer.

    Hitler and the Nazis did see the Dutch as Aryans (like they did the Swedes) so a Swedish-like relationship is possible, so long as the initial invasion of France is still effective in making a quick French surrender (main question of this WI). Even if there are more casualties, would it be possible/likely to have the same vicotry without the invasion of the Netherlands?

    The main issue brought up in past similar threads, is that without the attack on the Netherlands, than Fall Gelb looks like Schlieffen 2.0. Would the additional paratroopers and aircraft be enough to reduce this redundancy?

    Also, could the allies be even more lulled by this repetition? Or would the simple reality of distance mean that the French could retreat back quick enough once they realized their mistake in the Ardennes?

    Would we see a later Yugoslav-style campaign with the Netherlands as Hitler needs to "mop-up"? Or would Churchill or the allies consider invading a neutral Holland to go to Germany?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Laxault2020 Like making new friends

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    Sorry I should have titled this "Netherlands Not Invaded", would have been clearer
     
  3. Roosevelt 26th President

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    Probably not much. If the Dutch try to help the Nazis, then its likely that Britain and America would invade to stop them, or at least place immense pressure on the Dutch to stop.
     
  4. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    If the Dutch are using neutrality to transship significant amounts of goods to Germany it will be discovered rather quickly. The Rn, and subsequently the USN will include Holland in the blockade regime. This is more or less what happened in WWI. No invasion needed. Of course the Japanese will still invade the DEI to get the oil there. Not seeing much advantage that would override the "military" reasons for invading the Netherlands.
     
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  5. Post Well-Known Member

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    If the Netherlands are not invaded, the french won't advance to Breda, which might effect the Ardennes campaign.

    It also would effect the airwar: less airfields to attack England from, although I'm not sure if (m)any were used (would have been for bombers). And it will hamper the RAF bomber campaign, because they can't fly over the Netherlands, but eill also hamper german airdefence.
     
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  6. David T Well-Known Member

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    You can change the title. On your original post, go to "thread tools," then "edit title."
     
  7. Laxault2020 Like making new friends

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    In such a scenario we could see an invasion of Curacao and Suriname, i.e. fighting in the Western Hemisphere...

    But overall, the reasons to invade the Netherlands vs. keep neutral were pretty high.

    So this wasn't a case of Hitler getting the "invade everything" syndrome, but actually logical?
     
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  8. Laxault2020 Like making new friends

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    So the Ardennes campaign might be threatened along with the Battle of Britain? As in the French might plug the gap... Interesting.

    Also, less air bases is a problem.
     
  9. MatthewB Well-Known Member

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    The Nazi-approved government in The Hague might just sell the oil to Japan. Unless FDR and Churchill want to declare war on the Netherlands they can’t prevent DEI exports.

    For example, neutral Sweden sold iron ore to Germany throughout the war.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_iron-ore_mining_during_World_War_II
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  10. thaddeus Well-Known Member

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    maybe an uninformed question but don't they need to invade the Netherlands if the advance into France stalls? and at such point there is no surprise?
     
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  11. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    OTL very little use was made of the Dutch airfields vs Britain. The Lw air groups attacking Britain were deployed much further west in Flanders and Normandy, far closer to their targets.

    However:

    Up until the Sicklecut maneuver succeeded the Lw thought it would need the Dutch airfields for attacking the UK. Goering & his staff had near zero confidence the ground army would reach western Belgium or the French coast. Like most German military leaders they thought the offensive would stall similar to 1914 & the Lw would be lucky to have any airbases in Flanders.



    So yes, if the offensive stalls short of the coast, then the Lw leaders would be arguing how badly they need the Dutch airfields to strake a effective blow at England.
     
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  12. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    That worked for Sweden. The arraignment was not dependent on US or London banks. Japan was cash poor by 1940. It had a war on & its financial reserves which had never been large were effectively gone. Between the cost of running a war, and the underdeveloped nature of occupied China looting did not pay off the same way it did for the nazis 1937-1940. Instead Japan was borrowing from the US commercial banks, and to a lesser extent London. All the attention in the discussion of the Embargos is about cutting off oil exports from the US to Japan. However the core action was freezing all Japanese bank accounts in the US. This left Japan with a declined credit card and less than lunch money in its pocket. Between 1941 London and New York the worlds banking system was effectively closed to Japan by the embargo. A few sympathetic nations like Peru might snub the US, but relatively speaking they could not do more than front Japan the price of a small fountain drink, & Japan needed its gas tank filled, several quarts of oil, new wiper blades and a tail light.

    Bottom line here is the Dutch are going to be taking promissory notes for the petrol they sell to Japan. & they have a degree of vulnerability to Allied economic pressure as well. Its a misunderstanding to think the British blockade of WWII depended on cruisers intercepting merchant ships at sea. That happened but not often. Between the Navigation Certification system, spies and agents, and insurance & banking information the Brits were tracking globally what was being loaded in the worlds neutral ports, & where it was headed. When they found evidence of smuggling diplomatic pressure was put on the associated government. Equally important is the offenders started having trouble obtaining credit, the oxygen of any business or trade. Maritime insurance revolved around the London underwriters & offending shipping companies found their premiums skyrocketing or policies canceled. Between the US and Britain enormous pressure could be brought against neutrals that were 'uncooperative'.
     
  13. Michele Well-Known Member

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    There is no fall of France, I'd say. They did not need to move through the Netherlands in case their advance stalled - they needed that to perform their risky main plan. If they don't advance there, then they're down to more conventional planning, which the French can more easily cope with, and slower rates of advance, with the French can better cope with, and more costly butcher's bills, which the German armored units, in particular, can worse cope with. Overall result, France stands, WW1.5 ensues.
     
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  14. jsb Well-Known Member

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    Could Germany not support Japan, the Dutch being themselves forced into selling by the threat on the border at home?

    What would happen to DEI then? US was the one who wanted the blockade but will they be willing to get that involved and GB was just hoping for peace so if Japan ships oil in her own few tankers would they do anything?
     
  15. riggerrob Well-Known Member

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    It having to invade the Netherlands would save a few hundred Ju 52-3m transports and large numbers of air-landed troops.
    They would have been available for a decisive invasive n of Crete the next summer.

    OTL Netherlands AAA were enthusiastic and accurate.
     
  16. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Financially? No, nazi Germany lacked sufficient bank capitol to be supporting anyone else. After abrogating the Versailles treaty financial reparations, the 1929 Dawes Plan & all that German government and private industry lost significant access to credit in th US and London banks. The nazi government set up a complex system for barter & credits. Deficit spending for its military expansion and other projects like the autobahn construction, turned German finances into a system of smoke & mirrors. Looting the Austrian & Cezch banks staved off collapse, but Germany lacked the ability to effectively support other nations. Spain was a example. Britain and the US could afford to 'cut off' Spain from specific economic activities, but for Germany the price was to high to compensate. The other side of this, is like Spin the US/British alliance was able to pay well for the resources the Germans needed. Iberian Wolfram or Tungsten ore became to object of a bidding war between British and German purchasing agents.

    Germany might be able to strong arm the Dutch into handing over something with inadequate compensation. When the Japanese pressured the French into allowing their soldiers to land in Indo China & occupy the key ports, it was with German permission. The nazi government ordered the French to stand down their military and allow the Jpanese to enter. This in violation of the Franco German Armistices, but hey, Hitler never met a treaty he did not declare "a scrap of paper". OTL the Dutch went down swinging, twice. They fought the Gemans and Japanese both. This suggests they would not be quick to give into German pressure when neutral.
     
  17. jsb Well-Known Member

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    Did they really get any choice about it, both are invasions without much if any warning? If the German ambassador simply demands and none to subtly talks about the balance of power after the FoF would the Dutch not likley try to accommodate them?
     
  18. HJ Tulp Vice Admiral, Eutopian Navy

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    Actually, in the case of the Pacific War it was the Netherlands which declared war on Japan, not the other way around. Japan didn't declare war on the Netherlands until January 1942. In fact, the Netherlands was the first nation to declare war on Japan, even before the US!
     
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  19. wiking Well-Known Member

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    They did allow some because the Dutch needed German coal to run their electrical grid. Of course if the Dutch are truly neutral they will be less under the thumb of the British and US, so could well end up selling oil and rubber to the Japanese. They could also until June 1941 sell to Germany as well by shipping to Japan or Russia and having the material transshipped through the Trans Siberian RR. The Japanese and Germans traded via that IOTL, no reason the Dutch couldn't do that to get around the blockade, just using the Soviets as a middle man.

    Wasn't that more a function of Germany not being able to stop Japan, so advising the French to do the thing that would avoid them losing the colony outright?

    Yet at the end of WW2 hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Nazi stolen gold was found scattered throughout Europe, not counting silver, art, various jewels and other foreign exchange, etc. despite all the inflated wartime purchasing. Germany's gold reserves were spent through pre-war, but during the war and persecution of Jews and various other people they stole heaps of money and were somewhat flush even at the end despite spending most of what they captured. Plus the Germans weren't outbid by the Allies in Spain, Portugal, or Turkey; they got the Tungsten and Chromium they wanted and they paid for it in cash.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_gold
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019 at 9:59 AM
  20. pompejus Hertog van Gelre

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    If the Netherlands does not get invaded by Germany and France still falls, you would get into a realy weird situation if Japan still attacks the Dutch East Indies.

    If Nazi Germany does not declare war over it, you get the strange situation that the Netherlands is allied with Britain and the USA, while not being at war with Germany. That is an incredibly unstable situation for Germany. If Germany does declare war over it, you get the situation that suddenly a springboard opened for the allies towards Germany. If the British and Americans can get enough troops into the Netherlands on time, they might be able to form a beachhead and use it to attack Germany, if they manage to be able to hold it. The interesting thing is that neither Nazi Germany nor the allies are actualy prepared for it in this case (as opposed to may 10th 1940, when Germany was). Personaly I think that Germany will try to convince Japan not to attack the Netherlands.

    If the Netherlands remains neutral during the entire war, it will probably turn into some sort of Switserland on the North Sea (ok, maybe Sweden is a better example). Not joining NATO, not forming the Benelux, not joining the ECSC, etc. Assuming the rest of history will be the same as OTL, at best they will join the EU together with Sweden, Finland and Austria.
     
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