What if... Germany and the USSR make peace




 
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August 4th, 2004  
theredbaron
 

Topic: What if... Germany and the USSR make peace


What do you all think would have been the US and British response to a seperate peace between the Soviets and the Third Reich in around 1942?

Imagine that the Soviets have relinquished part of the Ukraine and Germany now has a new border in the East that it must keep well manned 'just in case...'

What course of action would be open to the Allies? Would the invasion of mainland Europe still be a possibility? Would an Allied attack make the Soviets re-start war against Germany?

Your thoughts...

RED
August 5th, 2004  
David Hurlbert
 
theredbaron,

I think this is a very interesting hypothesis and is beginning to sound much like the very realistic World War II computer game called “Hearts of Iron.” Since you have placed the year at 1942 and the Germans invaded Russia in 1941, I will assume that the Germans have already defeated the Russians. Furthermore, this seems to be a realistic assumption since in your hypothesis you have the Soviets already having relinquished part of the Ukraine to the German. I think Stalin would have only done that if Mother Russia were defeated. With that being said, the German army’s presence on the Soviet border, I think would certainly not call for substantial troops to protect their eastern borders. Also, let’s not forget the Russian need to continue to split their forces as the Japanese are still at their backdoor. In this situation, the Soviet Union would have been in no position to have any effective impact the German eastern front in case of an allied invasion from the west making such an invasion high unlikely or at least unsuccessful and at a tremendous cost. Although many people might disagree with my take on this fantasy, I predict that the major players might have looked like this in 1942:

GERMANY: Germany takes a break and focuses on the reorganization, recruitment, and redeployment of her massive armies as she continues to build her military machine. All production of the Panzerkampfwagen III is stopped and the factories are retooled for mass production of the Panzerkampfwagen VI better know as the Tiger I. This is done in creation of the new heavy armor divisions as was suggested by commander of 41st Panzer Corps, General Walther Model. Since the allies can no longer establish a second front, the African Campaign is the only hope of drawing German forces from Fortress Europe. Unfortunately, Germany now could allocate more resources to Italy while increasing troops strength in the North African Campaign at three times the rate capable of the allies. For the Axis, the rich oil fields of the Middle East seem to now be easily in reach with the North African victory that seems more likely than ever before and especially since Great Britain is downsizing in her forces there and the people in the United States are going weary of this war.

ITALY: Italy now more secure from an allied invasion turns it attention to Greece. Unlike the earlier Italian attempt to take Greece, this time Italy will be able to double her forces while counting on a great deal of German might being available.

FRANCE: The resistance is rapidly declining as Nazis forces can now be more effectively distributed and used to control the populace. The French quickly become pro-Nazis supporters of the German empire. In a matter of months, they are annexed as the largest State in the German Empire and they willingly become the newest and largest recruiting pool for the next generation German Army.

GREAT BRITAIN: Fearful of an invasion, England starts withdrawing her forces from the Pacific Theater as to increase her abilities to repel a major German invasion. Although she and the United States keep a significant force in North Africa, only skeletal forces remain in the Pacific to ensure continued protection for resources.

UNITED STATES: Although the Unites States is determined to defeat Japanese Imperialism, she can no longer depend on Great Britain in the Pacific. Nonetheless, she continues to have the support of South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. She remains committed to protecting Great Britain at all cost, but with no staging area and limited opportunity to invade Germany, her words are little more than propaganda for the Nazis. However, her efforts and energies are turned to North Africa in a campaign that is quickly losing the support of the American people. In short, the great distance between Germany the United States becomes a comfortable reinforcement for the people in knowing that a German invasion is not logistically possible.

Now, I intentionally left some players out like Japan and purposely did not discuss many of the less significant players like Spain, Norway, etc., so that this discussion might continue with some other ideas or be open for a possible new turn. This is a very interesting hypothesis theredbaron. Thanks for making me think!
August 5th, 2004  
theredbaron
 
Interesting points David!

I have been discussing with a colleague the peace moves of March 1943 after Kharkov was retaken today, rather apt!

Certainly with Russia 'out' it would be difficult for the Allies to move on Germany. Large amounts of German hardware would not have been lost if we presume peace in 1942. The debacles at Stalingrad and Kursk have not happened.

Certainly the British would want to continue the fight in North Africa, but with the war over in Russia perhaps more forces could be sent to Rommel. I would presume that if this scenario is happening then the assault on Malta, Operation Herkules, would have been carried out in order to secure the Med supply lines and disrupt the Royal Navy.

If Malta is taken then the routes to Africa become less perilous, although the Italian Navy would still require greater support from Germany to patrol the Med and deny it to British shipping. It is interesting to wonder how Rommel may have done had more equipment been available.

Certainly sizable forces would have to be deployed by Germany in the East. And Russia would find itself looking towards Japan as its next threat.

Perhaps a German thrust into the Middle East through Turkey, if the Turks could be persuaded to join the Axis forces?
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August 6th, 2004  
yurry
 
I think this would develop into a stalemate for a time being. That is at least untill 1947

I think so because GB still had the strongest fleet and an invasion of the Island would be out of question. And the German plan for naval expantion at the start of the war pointed that Germany would not be able to chalange Brittain on open seas untill 1947 and even that with massive resources being funeled into naval construction.

I think an intense airwar would develope, maybe the Allies would try to invade Norway as it is cut off from major resuply by Germany in time of battle.

But ultimatly it would come down to who would make The Bomb first and thereafter
August 6th, 2004  
David Hurlbert
 
Although I know that Japan had the world's largest, best-equipped navy at the start of World War II, I am uncertain of their status in 1942. I agree that Great Britain had the strong fleet that may have acted as a deterrent for a Nazis invasion. However, in this hypothetical situation, would Japan have been in a better position to redeploy some of her naval forces to the European Theater? A long stalemate is doubtful. Nonetheless, yurry, you make some good points.
August 7th, 2004  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theredbaron
Interesting points David!

I have been discussing with a colleague the peace moves of March 1943 after Kharkov was retaken today, rather apt!

Certainly with Russia 'out' it would be difficult for the Allies to move on Germany. Large amounts of German hardware would not have been lost if we presume peace in 1942. The debacles at Stalingrad and Kursk have not happened.

Certainly the British would want to continue the fight in North Africa, but with the war over in Russia perhaps more forces could be sent to Rommel. I would presume that if this scenario is happening then the assault on Malta, Operation Herkules, would have been carried out in order to secure the Med supply lines and disrupt the Royal Navy.

If Malta is taken then the routes to Africa become less perilous, although the Italian Navy would still require greater support from Germany to patrol the Med and deny it to British shipping. It is interesting to wonder how Rommel may have done had more equipment been available.

Certainly sizable forces would have to be deployed by Germany in the East. And Russia would find itself looking towards Japan as its next threat.

Perhaps a German thrust into the Middle East through Turkey, if the Turks could be persuaded to join the Axis forces?
If peace in the Ostfront were to come to pass it would be a disaster for the UK and the USA, particularly the former.

It's often said that Stalingrad and Kursk were responsible for huge losses of men and material for Germany but this is always overstated. Tank losses at Stalingrad and Kursk for example were no higher than for any other battle during 1943. So even if peace had been made after Zitadelle Germany would still have had decent Panzer reserves. In addition, German AFV and plane production reached an all time high in 1944 so they would soon have had their unit strengths back up to near 100% operational capability.

I'm assuming that Germany and the Soviet Union make peace after it becomes clear to Germany that the Soviets won't be defeated in 1942. Germany would still have to maintain a fairly big presence on their border with the Soviet Union for obvious reasons, and I would see a split up of the Balkans between the 2 nations. From here the thrust would continue into the Arabian Peninsula.

The British would want to continue the fight but with a joint German-Soviet thrust into the Balkans and then into the Middle East I don't see the UK having too much luck in this area. They would be pushed back and forced to make a hasty withdrawal. She would be isolated and would be faced with a very difficult choice. Make peace with Germany and everything that would bring, or continue the fight and prepare for possible invasion. Britain would still have control of the North Atlantic by and large, but expect Germany to focus more on U-Boat production and the Wolfpacks to become ever more troublesome. Despite popular belief the Luftwaffe came very close to winning the Battle of Britain. The RAF had fought magnificently but they were close to defeat when Hitler ordered terror raids on civilian targets instead.

For me the big unknown is what the USA would do. They would obviously still have the Pacific War to deal with but would they turn the UK into an aircraft carrier knowing that the Wehrmacht could possibly be planning to invade? I'm really not sure how to call this but my hunch is that they wouldn't. American public opinion would ensure that the USA deal with one war at a time and the UK would be left to fend for itself.
August 7th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
The US policy was based on the fact that Roosevelt was not a complete idiot and he knew that Germany was much more dangerous than Japan. The main difference I would imagine is the approach to Great Britain. Rather than turning it into a giant aircraft carrier and troops holding area, much more focus would have gone into keeping Great Britain from being invaded. Likely that means that the US would have focussed on building a more potent navy for the Atlantic. Ultimately, it comes down to this: Can Germany sink Liberty Ships faster than the US can build them? Probably not, but they certainly could have severly diminished all attempts to keep Britain alive. However, matters turn very ugly when Germany focusses its industrial might on Battleships, Aircraft Carriers, Cruisers and Destroyers. With her diminished supply lines, Britain can't hope to keep up and the German Navy will soon outclass it. At that point, the US would have to supplement the British Navy with a powerful navy of their own. Because US wartime production outclasses any other, I don't see the thing ever actually ending if the US can keep Germany from taking Britain, and a lot hinges on that. Regardless of whether Britain falls, unless Russia takes sides, the war would go on for an extra decade. Picking the winner between US Productivity vs German Science and Ingenuity is a tough call, and I think it can go either way really, though the odds favor the US most likely.