WWII What If: Britain, France, Japan and Germany vs. Soviet Union and United States

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Joku_, Nov 27, 2019.

  1. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Sure but that doesn't take away from the main point; Germany had a larger GDP and Japan did too, but failed to defeat their opponents. Industrial output is the far better metric to use:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Richard V Well-Known Member

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    Looking at actual war production, Germany is par with Britain, and well bellow USSR and USA


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  3. edgeworthy Well-Known Member

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    A key point is that not being bombed and blockaded as OTL will do wonders for the Military Production of Britain and Germany, and the lack of Arctic Convoys and Lend-Lease will have a deleterious effect on that of the Soviet Union.
    Not to mention that the lack of technological co-operation will do the US no favours, it means no Cavity Magnetron, no Proximity Fuse, no Frisch–Peierls memorandum, no M1 AT Gun, no P-51 Mustang, no ULTRA, no Torpex, worse Jet Engines etc.
     
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  4. FBKampfer Ardent Arguer

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    I suggest you look into the total number of US ships building and canceled in 1944 and 1945.

    I'll help you out; it's significant.


    To repeat myself, ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY CARRIERS were built and converted during WW2.

    24 battleships were in service by 45. And that's not even going for a spam strategy, as well as being, without question, the most powerful ships in service. Nothing survives 9 16 inch rifles.

    Even going flat out, they just can't match the raw industrial capacity of the USA.
     
  5. Finbarr the Fair Well-Known Member

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    Yes

    And? How many would have been ready in 1941 or 1942?

    How many capital ships, cruisers and CVEs could the UK and its co-belligerents build in the same period? Given much less disruption to their trade routes and no bombing of their industrial base.

    It will be quite a lot.
     
  6. Snufkin Active Member

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    Soviet Union will fall fast against the European Powers even if there is no strategic surprise like in OTL WW2. The war against the US is different and invasion of US mainland is impossible anyway. What kind of objectives there could be for the European Clique (+Japan) that could be realistically achieved? They just try to keep the US away from dominating the seas and building their navies too. The timeline OP posted do not probably lead to total war of annihilation between these powers and when SU falls the reason for war is pretty much gone. Would the US try to liberate the Soviet Union from Germany, probably not.
     
  7. Cubert Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how the Soviets would lose quickly in the scenario presented. Yes, if France and the UK are fully committed to sparing every last man, rifle, and bullet (or to go by /r/WhoWouldWin terminology "bloodlusted") to defeating them it would go astoundingly poorly for the Soviets and result in relatively quick defeat. But they aren't. France and the UK are still the countries they were historically, which means there wouldn't be much support for a war, much less support for an aggressive war against the Soviets. This means support for Germany from them will be limited to very friendly trade deals, limited materiel support, military advisors, and maybe a handful of volunteers.

    In exchange, Germany misses out on all of its direct profits from occupying Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Low Countries, and France. I'm not exactly an expert but I would argue that the industrial/economic benefit gained from freely trading with these countries would at best be marginally better from occupying them, though they do gain back the manpower needed to occupy them. Germany also gets a cooperative Polish army (and whatever is left of the armies of the Baltic countries), but unless we're dragging Romania, Hungary, and Italy into this all in all Germany will end up with only slightly more manpower available for Barbarossa and throughout the course of the Eastern Front (based on the fact that non-German Axis countries contributed ~18% of the manpower during Barbarossa from some Wikipedia surfing). OTL Barbarossa was nowhere near succeeding, and attempting it with a less motorized Wehrmacht from my view is not a recipe for success.

    ITTL the initial naval battles will indeed go poorly for the US, but again considering the motivations for this war if the US starts upping its naval output and thereafter wins one or two significant victories in the Pacific I have a hard time seeing France and the UK being determined to continue fighting over, well, not much. A handful of island chains in the Pacific wouldn't really seem worth fighting to the bitter end for, especially if all they're fighting over is if they can have two very morally questionable countries to fight a third morally questionable country.
     
  8. Finbarr the Fair Well-Known Member

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    All good points. Its difficult to understand the motives for this conflict without a more detailed set of PODs.

    Perhaps both the USSR and US have become aggressive towards the European Empires. The former in a Trotsky like wish to spread Revolution to Europe and the latter to try to break up Imperial closed markets. Making the UK, France and Netherlands draw together and support a Nationalist but not Nazi Germany. With Italy onside too.

    A lot then would depend on who rearms first .
     
  9. JohnBull Well-Known Member

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    Germany + Austria = US$ 375.6 billion. That's above USSR in your shart.
     
  10. edgeworthy Well-Known Member

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    ITTL the addition of the Army of the Second Polish Republic can more than double the non-German Axis manpower contribution to the Eastern Front. And as OTL the Franco-British motivation for war is the same, someone invading Poland.
    Which also means that Britain and France will have no issues with pouring aid into the Polish Army regardless of any problems with Germany and Japan. And in this TL they can actually ship it through the Baltic, or just across the Reich.
    If the US invades Canada and the Caribbean*, Britain and France will have plenty of other reasons to continue fighting as well.

    *In such a campaign the US has more problems than might first be assumed, while Canada almost certainly cannot be held in the face of a US assault its Armed Forces are then faced with carrying out a series of multiple amphibious invasions. All of which are initially outside the range of land based aircover. At least half a dozen, all of which will be less Iwo Jima and more on the scale of Okinawa**.
    [** At a minimum the ones that will be garrisoned at such a level will be Newfoundland, Jamaica, British Guiana, Trinidad, French Guiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe. (Logistically its less of a challenge than North Africa, St John's is closer to any British Port than Alexandria) This is not to say elsewhere will be undefended its just that these are the ones with significant populations, resources and landmass. They can also serve as naval bases for light forces, think along the lines of Malta at best/worst. Even if submarines have only the ability to pick up some diesel, cod and bananas it will make Operation Paukenschlag, "The Second Happy Time", look like a minor hiccup. And OTL that accounted for a quarter of all Allied losses in The Battle of the Atlantic.]
     
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  11. tomtom34b Well-Known Member

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    One thing not mentioned sofar is the effect on powers that stayed neutral in historical ww2. I think for example that turkey would join the anti-soviet side, opening another front for the soviets, opening the black sea to hostile fleets entering through the dardanelles, dooming the soviet navy there. Naval supply across the black sea can help supplying the invaders of AG South.

    Switzerland will certainly not join the soviet camp, but is also not very important.

    The big one will be the south-american countries. I am not an expert on these but I understand that there are some rivalries between some of them. Depending on which bloc supports which country, an interesting side-theatre of war could happen in south america.
    Even if they all remain neutral, the question will still arise with which bloc they will be able to trade, which navy will be able to wrestle control of the atlantic, etc.

    Manpower and occupation policy: As I understand it, the soviet union looses the benefit of a "great patriotic war", since they are the initial attacker. That combined with a more moderate nazi party could lead to a different approach towards say the ukrainians. If treated differently than OTL, the ukrainians could turn on the soviets, perhaps with a promise of independence? germany would have less prisoners of war, a smaller forced labor workforce.

    R&D: Nuclear bomb development was mentioned. However I think that the race to the bomb will be less lopsided. If both blocs are developing nuclear weapons and one side gets it first, it is not necessarily an automatic war winner. 3 scenarios are possible:
    The bomb is used immediately, to show force and force diplomatic talks.
    The bomb is held for later, for use in an operationally favorable way.
    The bomb is held for later, and used in a desperate attempt to stop the other side in a theater of war where they are winning. (least likely).

    It is hard to predict who will get the nuke first. Also while hypothetically one side uses the bomb first (and will most likely use it somewhere at the periphery), the other side might not be lagging behind so much that they must immediately surrender.
    A hot nuclear war could begin, though the number of bombs produced would be rather limited in the beginning. And hopefully this would result with peace talks eventually.

    Last but not least, the anti-soviet bloc does not suffer from blocade in research, meaning they can with no problems exchange information, research and scientists, while the USA and the soviet union are pretty much isolated from each other, except maybe a risky longrange flight across the northpole(?). The antisoviet bloc can pool its research much easier than the soviet-USA block.
     
  12. JohnBull Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. After the defeat of the Soviet Union and of the US Navy, and given the impossibility for both sides to wage a war on their opponent's continent, the war would soon die off to evolve into a cold war.
     
  13. Richard V Well-Known Member

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    This war would be over when the European powers inevitably run out of oil. The largest producer of petroleum in 1939 was the US with 60% of global total. The next tier producers where the Soviet Union and Venezuela, about 10% each. The Middle East (mostly Persia), Indonesia and Romania were small players. Pre-war Britain imported 45% of its oil from Venezuela, Mexico and the Caribbean; 20% from US and 35% from the Middle East. During the war US supplied 80% of Britain’s oil needs and the rest were from the western hemisphere, almost none from the Middle East.

    In other words Britain cannot make war with the US, and all the Soviets had to do is deny Romanian oil to the Europeans and it’s hard to see why they would fail with the full might of American supplies and air power deployed to the Soviet Union. Other critical strategic materials like aluminum was mostly produced by the US and tungsten for machine tools were dominated by China and the Soviet Union.

    So... game over...
     
  14. Cubert Well-Known Member

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    Jul 19, 2019
    Can it? OTL Romania committed 686,000 men to Barbarossa and by Summer 1944 had 1,224,000 men on the Eastern front, Hungary committed 209,000 men during the 1942 summer offensive, and Italy ended up contributing around 230,000 men. Finland would dedicate well over 500,000 to the Continuation War, which would not occur ITTL.

    This is true - they would pour massive amounts of aid towards Poland unhindered. But is it materiel aid enough to defeat a significantly more prepared Soviet Union?

    Regardless of how far the Soviets make it with their initial offensives into Europe, because they are expecting a counterattack a Barbarossa-like success for any Polish-German offensive is moot. There will be no 4000 aircraft of the VVS destroyed on the ground or dismemberment of the Soviet chain of command within the opening days of Barbarossa that allowed the subsequent successes to happen. Moreover if the Soviets are launching offensives against Japan and then Poland within months of each other this implies they're significantly more mobilized ITTL than in OTL (unless Stalin has suddenly developed dementia), which means the manpower disparity is likely to be nowhere near what it was historically. Yes, there's still going to be a lot of incompetence because the Soviets are still reeling from the Great Purge, but it is in my opinion pretty unlikely the end of 1941 sees Germany and Poland even capturing Kiev. And the less of the Soviet heartland is lost, the less necessary US lend-lease becomes. And to make it worse for Germany, their armies will be significantly more green than they were historically.
     
  15. edgeworthy Well-Known Member

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    The Polish Army of 1939 was one of the largest in the world with over a million men under arms.
    https://ww2-weapons.com/polish-armed-forces/
    The population of Poland is 40% of the Third Reich, its larger than Romania, Hungary and Finland combined.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_in_1939
    And the Poles really don't like the Russians very much, especially as they have just been invaded.
    They are extremely well motivated ITTL. And unlike OTL help is coming.
     
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  16. RMcD94 Well-Known Member

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    Dragging in the signatories of the anti Cominterm pact, all of whom would want to be part of this grand European alliance should be very easy.

    The idea that an alliance of France, UK, Germany and Poland would have no minor European powers scrambling to not be caught outside of this block seems silly.

    But yeah if you take the prompt from UK and France and Japan and Germany and Poland at war with USSR and you take out half of them then yes, you might as well go to the Germany and Poland fight USSR thread on this subject.

    Also trade is insanely better, consider that the Axis never profited from any of their Eastern territories.

    It's very interesting to me that you say France and the UK will fall out of the war because its insignificant islands and yet the USA will happily bleed for communists? If anyone is likely to want to drop out of this war its historically isolationist USA who got involved in world politics primarily through their ties with the UK.
     
  17. Cubert Well-Known Member

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    The claim was that Poland can "more than double" the Axis contribution historically, which I doubt. I agree that they could more or less match the historical contribution, but "more than doubling" it would require them to conscript over 17% of the population, which I find somewhat unlikely.

    And in the prompt presented no country aside for Romania has much of a reason to send anything more than their country's version of a Blue Division at most.

    I'm saying that in the prompt presented, without a reason for greater commitment from the UK/France support will be limited to large amounts of materiel and air support and relatively little in terms of ground troops on the frontlines. If we're further handwaving in a motivation for the UK and France to fully commit to the war then of course the Soviets die a horrible death very quickly.

    I'm not terribly knowledge about this subject, but what of their conquests in western Europe? I don't really have any sources on this so if you do I can't really argue this point.

    Yeah that's true - the biggest stretch here is that the UK/France would end up at war with the US at all at this point in time. But at the same time the US is also still at war with Japan, which it now very much has a grudge against.
     
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  18. TDM Well-Known Member

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    How are the soviets going to deny Europe Romanian Oil in this TL? In OTL they only got to Romania in Aug 1944

    Once the soviets are beaten Europe will then have access to their oil fields, oil exploration in the ME was increasing prewar and would likely increase even more quickly in a cold war with the US.

    I agree the US will obviously be self sufficient, and will likely control Venezuelan & Caribbean/Gulf oil exports, but this European/Japanese alliance has the rest of the world.


    There's also a question about what you mean by "make war", unless either side invades the other (massively hard for both, and impossible for either to complete) there is no large scale land war. This will be cold war with proxy wars and naval conflict
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  19. TDM Well-Known Member

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    I'm not really sure what % of war making potential means in this context*? but if nothing else your table and point seem intrinsically linked to what happened in OTL (France for one). Yes Germany failed to beat it opponents but it did so in a very different TL to the one being discussed here.

    Also as pointed out Germany didn't have a larger GDP than the USSR, (Germany won't be conquering France in this TL) and certainly not as per you initial claim "Nazi Germany far outclassed Soviet Russia" (In GDP, although yes GDP per capita)


    *or how its calculated, one assumes it's coming off GDP in some way
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  20. Finbarr the Fair Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a similar table somewhere but can't remember where to find it.

    IIRC it measures primarily the production of goods thought relevant to warfare. Fuels, steel, radios, vehicles, ships, aircraft, and hopefully a lot more. I don't recall how sophisticated it was.

    Nor how well it accounted for soft factors like standard of education. Especially the much greater familiarity with motor vehicles and radios in the US than European countries, let alone the USSR or Japan.