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Old 2012-08-25, 04:35   Link #81
DonQuigleone
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[QUOTE=Ithekro;4319643]The basic problem with Operation Sealion is that it shouldn't be able to work at all. Germany just did not have the ability to mount enough on an offensive across the Channel. Maybe later, but the British still had places outside of Luftwaffe bombing range while the Royal Air Force could still effectively bomb any invasion forces. That and the Germans were never able to effectively neutralize the Royal Navy, even with air power.
[quote]
If Germany no longer had to pour resources into the meat grinder of the Eastern front, then I think they'd have the industry to easily outproduce Britain in terms of airpower. They already had a very large airforce anyway.

Once they had air superiority, the Royal Navy would be as able to block them crossing the channel as it was able to stop them from invading Norway. Land based air power is far superior to sea power.

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The German trouble with the Soviets was that the Soviets could always fall back. The Urals are along way from Germany and Siberia is even farther. The Communists and Russian peoples were in no way going to give into the Germans. Stalin's cult of personality was way too strong in the 1940s to allow for defeat. They would just fall back so far that the Germans could not follow without needing to massively rebuild the parts of the Soviet Union they occupied to fuel, repair, or feed their military. They needed new airbases if they wanted to keep up the pressure on the Russians beyond the Urals. About the only advantage the Germans would get would be a chance to take Persia and the Middle East for British oil and maye link up with the Japanese in India.
If the Germans reached the Urals, my guess is that the soviet regime would have collapsed, it would have lost almost all of it's population centres, agricultural centres and industry. At best they'd continue as a guerilla insurgency, they wouldn't have been able to feed and provide bullets for a full arrmy. That said, when Nazi Germany collapsed, you didn't see the remnants of the Nazis fight on(and if anything they were more indoctrinated then the soviets). Likewise, I'd say after a Nazi defeat, the Russian citizenry would have adjusted to the new reality.

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But with that much of the world in a mess, I wonder how ling even the isolationists could keep the US out of it. Especially if trade was maintianed. And the horror stories that would come out of Germany...can't forget about those.
Well, once the Soviet Union is done for, I don't see the US having a hope of budging the Nazis. It would have become another cold war.

The main question is how long Isolationists could have kept the US out of the war. If we're conservative and make it a year or two, I still think that would be too late to save the Soviets. America alone could not have beaten Nazi Germany, nor could the Soviets. Only the combined strength of Britain, the Soviets and America could do it.
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Old 2012-08-25, 10:10   Link #82
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It would require a collosal amount of bad fortune for the Royal Navy in order to pave the way for Sealion. The comparison with Norway is rather inane since UK was only half-hearted in assisting them anyway. You made forward the requirement of Barbarossa's absence in order to enable the Sealion plan, but I'm still skeptical that it could've provided Germany with sufficient resources. Besides, it'd be just telling Stalin to backstab them anyway.
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Old 2012-08-25, 19:12   Link #83
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Aegir View Post
It would require a collosal amount of bad fortune for the Royal Navy in order to pave the way for Sealion. The comparison with Norway is rather inane since UK was only half-hearted in assisting them anyway. You made forward the requirement of Barbarossa's absence in order to enable the Sealion plan, but I'm still skeptical that it could've provided Germany with sufficient resources. Besides, it'd be just telling Stalin to backstab them anyway.
You misread me. I said this would happen after Germany won against the Soviets. This is a scenario where Isolationists won the US elections in 1936/1940 (a likely scenario), and don't send any lendlease. Without lend lease, the Soviets would probably have lost, maybe by 42 or 43.

After beating the Soviets, Germany would be able to fully put all of it's resources into building a superior air force, and would easily have outproduced the British and be able to negate the Royal Navy.

In fact, to make matters worse, victory in Russia would also put Germany in an excellent position to lock down Britain's supply lines by taking Suez and maybe persuading Spain, Iran, or even Turkey to join the Axis.

As I said before, the US would likely intervene to save Britain, but the real question is if they could mobilize fast enough before Germany assembled a large enough air force.
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Old 2012-08-25, 21:20   Link #84
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That depends on if the Americans are already at war with Japan or not. Some suggest that even with an isolationist government we would still get into a war with Japan based on the US possessions in the Pacific.

The other thing is that in normal history, there was a deal with Britian around the time of the embargo on Japan. Any attacks on British colonies would be as if they attacked American lands.
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Old 2012-08-25, 21:41   Link #85
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I'm also still skeptical that Germany could've beaten the Soviets. Not even with the help of better-prepared Japan that could've been achieved.
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Old 2012-08-26, 11:37   Link #86
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Germany would've "beaten" the Soviet Union the same way Japan "beat" China - militarily winning the major battles, but a lack of manpower and bad logistics would've ensured that the Germans could not effectively control anything beyond Moscow, if that.
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Old 2012-08-26, 13:23   Link #87
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Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
Germany would've "beaten" the Soviet Union the same way Japan "beat" China - militarily winning the major battles, but a lack of manpower and bad logistics would've ensured that the Germans could not effectively control anything beyond Moscow, if that.
The thing is, that going beyond Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad there isn't much of Russia that's actually heavily populated. The only major centers are Kazan and the Caucasus, and they were already on the verge of securing the Caucasus before Stalingrad. With the Caucasus taken, most of their resource problems would have been solved.
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Old 2012-08-26, 13:28   Link #88
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If I recall, the Soviets had moved their industrial centers past the Urals while the Germans were on the move to Moscow. Where the work goes, the people follow.
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Old 2012-08-26, 13:29   Link #89
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
The thing is, that going beyond Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad there isn't much of Russia that's actually heavily populated. The only major centers are Kazan and the Caucasus, and they were already on the verge of securing the Caucasus before Stalingrad. With the Caucasus taken, most of their resource problems would have been solved.
Germany would still have to leave troops there. As long as there is no decisive defeat to the red army. Germany can't just shift troops form the east to the west without inviting a counterattack.
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Old 2012-08-26, 15:45   Link #90
DonQuigleone
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If I recall, the Soviets had moved their industrial centers past the Urals while the Germans were on the move to Moscow. Where the work goes, the people follow.
They can move the industry, sure, the bigger problem I think is moving the agriculture. No point in having lots of industry and workers if you don't have the food to feed them. Siberia is not exactly fertile.

They wouldn't really be able to ship it in either, as Archangel would be cut off. The only route left would be via Vladivostok and the TranSiberian railway, and that could be cut by the Japanese, if the bulk of the soviet army has already been eliminated, or is occupied in the west.
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Old 2012-08-26, 15:59   Link #91
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You'd have to ask a Russian about that. They would know better where they can and cannot grow food. Assuming they can't just import rice from China in trade for weapons to use against the Japanese.
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Old 2012-08-26, 16:15   Link #92
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
You'd have to ask a Russian about that. They would know better where they can and cannot grow food. Assuming they can't just import rice from China in trade for weapons to use against the Japanese.
Problem with China is that the only route to deliver that food would be through the Gobi desert. Also, I can only imagine that China has enough trouble feeding itself as it is. Same goes for India, though I think the natural barriers are less acute

Here's a map of Russian agricultural production
. Green is low, Red is highest, white means nothing Something to bear in mind is that this is a modern map, the soviets did a lot during the cold war to try to expand their grain production in Siberia. How high it was in 1940 I don't know. The most fertile region (the "breadbasket") was Ukraine.
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Old 2012-08-27, 02:41   Link #93
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We really shouldn't assume that Germany would be able to genocide the Russian population under their rule right away and withstand the unrest during the war time.
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Old 2012-08-27, 08:08   Link #94
DonQuigleone
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We really shouldn't assume that Germany would be able to genocide the Russian population under their rule right away and withstand the unrest during the war time.
Did anyone say that? I just said that a soviet state pushed past the Urals would have trouble feeding itself.
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Old 2012-08-27, 08:13   Link #95
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Did anyone say that? I just said that a soviet state pushed past the Urals would have trouble feeding itself.
It doesn't matter. You're assuming that Russians under German occupation would just sit down instead of resisting the occupation. That's one big elephant in the room there.

And this is assuming that the Germans would reach the Urals, something which doability ought to be questioned.
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Old 2012-08-27, 08:40   Link #96
DonQuigleone
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It doesn't matter. You're assuming that Russians under German occupation would just sit down instead of resisting the occupation. That's one big elephant in the room there.
Who knows? After the Nazi regime fell, the German people didn't really resist the occupation, did they?
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And this is assuming that the Germans would reach the Urals, something which doability ought to be questioned.
In OTL they came pretty close to occupying the core of Russia.

If the Soviets had crumbled at Smolensk, Leningrad and Stalingrad (and all 3 battles were close), there would have been very little from stopping them to continue all the way to the Urals. In summer, it's just dry steppe, easily crossed by Tanks. They would have overrun the fleeing Soviet forces.
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Old 2012-08-27, 10:08   Link #97
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Maybe because the Germans were under a losing, exhausted regime on the verge of breaking down on its feet and were not occupied by a single party(only a third east went to Soviet) and that Germany was a much smaller country in territorial size compared to European-Russia. .The German armies were so stretched in Russia IOTL that they had to secure their flanks with Italians and Romanians, and we all know what happened then...

Smolensk was never close, it was a failed Soviet attempt at a counteroffensive. Smolensk mattered for psychological effect, not military results. Leningrad was not one battle, it was many, and it wasn't close to actually falling after Zhukov saved it. That the Soviets repeatedly tried and failed to take Siniavo does not disguise that fact. The Leningrad Siege was the product of the Soviets having to fight where Germany was strongest, with logistics to a great extent working against them. While Stalingrad was also never that close either.
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Old 2012-08-27, 11:01   Link #98
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I don't have time to type out a wall of text, (which is why I've pretty much been absent from this fascinating discussion), but I'd like to point out something that I've noticed about Japan and hasn't really been talked about.

In that era, every American kid grew up playing team sports. Baseball, basketball, football, all relied on working with team mates, all of which have a valuable position, to win against an opponent.

I don't as much of that "team effort" mindset with Japan, which prized individual sports (Kendo and Judo for example). This is especially apparent with their aviation as their fighters were designed with individual plane vs. plane engagements in mind.

I'm not saying that Japan couldn't coordinate , they very obviously could, but what is apparent to me is that all the way down to squad level, Americans seemed to be a bit better at it.

How would things have been different if Japanese kids of that era were playing team sports as they were growing up like the American kids were doing?

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Old 2012-08-28, 18:54   Link #99
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
The thing is, that going beyond Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad there isn't much of Russia that's actually heavily populated. The only major centers are Kazan and the Caucasus, and they were already on the verge of securing the Caucasus before Stalingrad. With the Caucasus taken, most of their resource problems would have been solved.
What about the entire Volga river region? That looks pretty populated to me, and probably would've been even more populated with all the refugees escaping the German advance. German logistics and manpower would have only allowed them to securely hold land at or west of Moscow, and even that was a massive stretch. The Soviets could've relocated their base to somewhere like Omsk or Sverdlovsk, and they would've still had sizable armies and industry with which to raid and harass the Nazis. Additionally even though Soviet troops may not have been able to retake a lot of land, the occupiers would have had so many problems finding enough men to hold and police it that the whole place would turn into partisan-infested no man's land, with the partisans being constantly bolstered and reinforced by the remaining Soviet industry and army, as well as local peasants fed up with the invaders. In that sense it would be like China.
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Old 2012-08-28, 19:04   Link #100
DonQuigleone
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What about the entire Volga river region? That looks pretty populated to me, and probably would've been even more populated with all the refugees escaping the German advance. German logistics and manpower would have only allowed them to securely hold land at or west of Moscow, and even that was a massive stretch. The Soviets could've relocated their base to somewhere like Omsk or Sverdlovsk, and they would've still had sizable armies and industry with which to raid and harass the Nazis. Additionally even though Soviet troops may not have been able to retake a lot of land, the occupiers would have had so many problems finding enough men to hold and police it that the whole place would turn into partisan-infested no man's land, with the partisans being constantly bolstered and reinforced by the remaining Soviet industry and army, as well as local peasants fed up with the invaders. In that sense it would be like China.
Well Moscow and Stalingrad are on the Volga. Go beyond them and you've basically taken the Volga river region.

I don't doubt Partisans would be a problem, but put it this way, the rest of Europe was also pretty populated, and had tons of Partisans (Vive la Resistance!), but didn't cause the Germans that much trouble. It certainly would have made a post war occupation hell though.
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