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What is the worst alternate history you’ve ever read? (Post-1900)

Fallout-Man101

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"PLEASE STAND BY"

Hello guys! I have made this thread to continue the conversation in the Pre-1900 thread.

Please note to mind your manners and obey the rules.

***STATIC***
 

Basileus_Komnenos

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While I certainly enjoyed reading/watching it (season 4 though was pretty meh) The Man in the High Castle in terms of Alternate History is pretty bad/implausible. The world-building is quite good, but in terms of historical plausibility, its ridiculous.

Even with nuclear technology, there would have been no way that the Nazis or Japanese would have ever thought to occupy or even partition North America or even the rest of the world themselves in such a manner.

There's also the issue of Italy which in the show has been completely subsumed by the Nazis along with the rest of Europe as part of one unitary state.
 

Fallout-Man101

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While I certainly enjoyed reading/watching it (season 4 though was pretty meh) The Man in the High Castle in terms of Alternate History is pretty bad/implausible. The world-building is quite good, but in terms of historical plausibility, its ridiculous.

Even with nuclear technology, there would have been no way that the Nazis or Japanese would have ever thought to occupy or even partition North America or even the rest of the world themselves in such a manner.

There's also the issue of Italy which in the show has been completely subsumed by the Nazis along with the rest of Europe as part of one unitary state.
True, but to be fair the TV show was doing it's best to make the even more ASB source material realistically workable for their story in that regard.

As for Italy? I agree without operation Torch or their poor performance in North Africa I doubt Hitler would have started looking unfavorably towards them and Mussolini could probably remain in power indefinitely.
 

Basileus_Komnenos

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True, but to be fair the TV show was doing it's best to make the even more ASB source material realistically workable for their story in that regard.

As for Italy? I agree without operation Torch or their poor performance in North Africa I doubt Hitler would have started looking unfavorably towards them and Mussolini could probably remain in power indefinitely.
True. The Italian military despite its poor performance wasn't a complete pushover. The Italian Monarchy and the Italian army could quite easily stop a German invasion through the alps. The fact that the Nazis in this tl have annexed Switzerland is ridiculous. A joint Italo-Swiss defense on the alps could quite easily deter such an invasion. Then there's the Regia Marina which could possibly cut off the Mediterranean for the Germans.

Mussolini was quite popular in Italy as well up until the war started going bad for Italy.

Realisticallly the Nazis would have to deal with fighting a grueling guerilla fighting among various resistance groups. Plus even with the capture of Moscow or Stalingrad, the Russians had already by then transported most of their industry and governmental operations east of the ural mountains ready to continue the war even if the capital had fallen.

The Japanese were also quite unwilling to attack the Russians as well.
 

BlackDragon98

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While I certainly enjoyed reading/watching it (season 4 though was pretty meh) The Man in the High Castle in terms of Alternate History is pretty bad/implausible. The world-building is quite good, but in terms of historical plausibility, its ridiculous.

Even with nuclear technology, there would have been no way that the Nazis or Japanese would have ever thought to occupy or even partition North America or even the rest of the world themselves in such a manner.

There's also the issue of Italy which in the show has been completely subsumed by the Nazis along with the rest of Europe as part of one unitary state.
Man in the High Castle was one of the reasons why I decide do to turn my "Der Rote Kampfflieger" TL into a full blown 3 book trilogy. (I'm currently working on the first book, Reich Turbulent).

I've done a shit ton of research, did some projections, and thus conclude that an alternate world where the Nazis and their allies win WW2 is possible without having to go into lifehacks and magic ASBs.
 

SpicyJuan

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I doubt Hitler would have started looking unfavorably towards them and Mussolini could probably remain in power indefinitely.
I generally agree with this, but it is entirely possible that post-victory squabbles could allow for the issue of Südtirol to come up again. Historically the Germans had no problems seizing the opportunity to strip Italy of much more than just German-speaking South Tyrol, but also Italian Trento, Belluno, Friuli, etc.

The Italian military despite its poor performance wasn't a complete pushover. The Italian Monarchy and the Italian army could quite easily stop a German invasion through the alps.
No, most likely not. The Germans would likely break through Slovenia into the Venetian plain and once that happens its all over as the Panzer divisions roll to the Piave (or even the Po), encircling many Italian divisions. German airpower would also dominate the RA.

The fact that the Nazis in this tl have annexed Switzerland is ridiculous.
Not at all. The Germans planned on it historically, and enticed the Italians to join in by offering Italian-speaking Ticino, as well as German-Romansch Graubünden, and French-German Wallis. Something along the lines of 80% of Switzerland's population is in the foothills, not the mountains, which would mean most of the country would be easily occupied and the Swiss would eventually starve.

Then there's the Regia Marina which could possibly cut off the Mediterranean for the Germans.
The Germans wouldn't exactly have many assets in the Med in this scenario.
 

Basileus_Komnenos

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Not at all.
Yes it is which was why the Germans abandoned such plans as folly in our own world. The Man in the High Castle is basically an absurd wanking of the Nazi regime based on tropes of the Nazis largely fueled by its effective propaganda. One major myth is the fact that they only loss Russia due to the sheer soviet manpower that they could afford to send waves of soldiers to the battlefield.

The Soviets actually were pretty competent and had a sound strategy for coordinating the war. Even if the Nazis somehow took Moscow or Stalingrad, they'd still likely lose the war at an albeit more slower rate. The German logistical system was stretched thin by the war with the Germans not having enough fuel or other material resources such as rubber to properly supply and utilize their army. The Germans had a severe fuel shortage as far back as the invasion of Franc e where the had to partially demobilize their army using horses to transport troops and artillery. The Russians had already made moves to transplant their industry and major governmental centers East of the Urals.

The Japanese had their hands full with the war in China/the Pacific. Plus its leadership was quite timid about attacking the soviets during the war.

Not at all. The Germans planned on it historically, and enticed the Italians to join in by offering Italian-speaking Ticino, as well as German-Romansch Graubünden, and French-German Wallis. Something along the lines of 80% of Switzerland's population is in the foothills, not the mountains, which would mean most of the country would be easily occupied and the Swiss would eventually starve.
The sheer cost of such an invasion in terms of resources and human casualties was why no-one dared to attack the Swiss. The Nazi government was one of the most evil and corrupt governments in human history, but they weren't stupid.

The Swiss were perfectly willing to retreat to the mountains and continue the fighting from there. They planted so many hidden bunkers and machine gun nests to pick off any invading army. They also rigged vital infrastructure points with explosives which would have prevented or at least severely impeded any attempt at an invasion from coming through

Kaiser Wilhelm II once joking asked the swiss what would "100,000 Swiss soldiers would do if 200,000 German invaders stormed over the border."

The swiss response: "Each would have to shoot twice your majesty."

You're severely underestimating the defensive capabilities of the Swiss.

In Nazi occupied Yugoslavia, they were being undermined by partisan groups which were very effective.

No, most likely not. The Germans would likely break through Slovenia into the Venetian plain and once that happens its all over as the Panzer divisions roll to the Piave (or even the Po), encircling many Italian divisions. German airpower would also dominate the RA.
Doing something like this is pretty dumb as the Germans would be in the meantime dealing with mass-rebellion among its conquered lands and internal discord within Germany due to Hitler and the Nazis dysfunctional government/style of leadership. Hitler often had his subordinates squabble with each other as to avoid them turning their attention to him.

The Germans wouldn't exactly have many assets in the Med in this scenario.
I mean the oil-fields in what I'm assuming would be Italian libya really managed to kick off in the 1960's, so they'd likely be interested in that.
 

SpicyJuan

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Yes it is which was why the Germans abandoned such plans as folly in our own world.
The Germans abandoned it because they had a world war to fight and the Swiss banks were very useful.

The sheer cost of such an invasion in terms of resources and human casualties was why no-one dared to attack the Swiss. The Nazi government was one of the most evil and corrupt governments in human history, but they weren't stupid.

The Swiss were perfectly willing to retreat to the mountains and continue the fighting from there. They planted so many hidden bunkers and machine gun nests to pick off any invading army. They also rigged vital infrastructure points with explosives which would have prevented or at least severely impeded any attempt at an invasion from coming through
You're assuming 1) the Swiss don't cave immediatley to save their population, and 2) the Germans blindly assault Swiss fortifications in the Alps. Although there is a common perception of the Swiss as resilient and fiercely independent, this shouldn't cloud the fact that Switzerland was entirely surrounded and, assuming Germany won the war, had absolutely no hope of victory or relief through the help of foreign powers. Any Swiss politician and general could see the writing on the wall, and there would most certainly have been some lobbying to accede to Germany's demand for Anschluss. Who knows how likely this would have been, but this possibility cannot be dismissed.

If the Germans directly assaulted Swiss fortifications in the high alps it most certainly would have been extremely costly, but there was absolutely no need to do this. The only thing necessary would have been to capture Swiss population and industrial centers in the foothills and wait the Swiss out. Those infrastructure points are only in the high alpine, not the foothills.

I mean the oil-fields in what I'm assuming would be Italian libya really managed to kick off in the 1960's, so they'd likely be interested in that.
That's quite the leap of an assumption. Germany would have its own source of oil in Baku and Romania.
 

sillygoose

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Yes it is which was why the Germans abandoned such plans as folly in our own world. The Man in the High Castle is basically an absurd wanking of the Nazi regime based on tropes of the Nazis largely fueled by its effective propaganda. One major myth is the fact that they only loss Russia due to the sheer soviet manpower that they could afford to send waves of soldiers to the battlefield.

The Soviets actually were pretty competent and had a sound strategy for coordinating the war.
The Soviets only survive 1941 due to Hitler not going for Moscow in August. They lucked out and were able to use their masses of men to win the war. Sure they developed great sophistication as the war went on, but without their huge numbers and willing to suffer heinous casualties (~30 million military casualties total of which probably at least 10 million were killed) to fight to the bitter end they'd have lost.

Even if the Nazis somehow took Moscow or Stalingrad, they'd still likely lose the war at an albeit more slower rate.
Stalingrad yes, since they basically did anyway IOTL, but Moscow would have been a death blow to the USSR given the irreplaceable specialized industries in and around the city as well as the coal and iron deposits around the Moscow region. That's leaving out the rail problems that would come from losing the central hub of their rail system, the communications problems from losing the hub of their telephone system, the political issues, etc.

The German logistical system was stretched thin by the war with the Germans not having enough fuel or other material resources such as rubber to properly supply and utilize their army.
Yet they managed to until the bombing of the factories and rail lines in 1944 started collapsing the chemical industry.

The Germans had a severe fuel shortage as far back as the invasion of Franc e where the had to partially demobilize their army using horses to transport troops and artillery.
Why do you keep repeating this? It is patently false as the Germans put together 600,000 motor vehicles for France and supplied them with fuel the entire campaign. Their bigger problem was keeping all the different models running.

The Russians had already made moves to transplant their industry and major governmental centers East of the Urals.
Sure, but August would be way too soon to pull that off. Even in October there was too much remaining to evacuate in time.

Doing something like this is pretty dumb as the Germans would be in the meantime dealing with mass-rebellion among its conquered lands and
They had such uprisings in Italy historically and were able to continue the war to the bitter end without much of an issue even with major SOE and OSS support. In fact they occupied Italy entirely after it's government defected without much trouble either even having to fight to take Rome.

Turns out hunger is a very effect means of control over occupied populations and a weapon the Nazis used along with extreme violence to force civilians back into compliance.

The Italian Partisan Republics were the provisional state entities liberated by Italian partisans from the rule and occupation of Nazi Germany and the Italian Social Republic in 1944 during the Second World War. They were universally short-lived, with most of them being reconquered by the Wehrmacht within weeks of their formal establishments and re-incorporated into the Italian Social Republic.
internal discord within Germany due to Hitler and the Nazis dysfunctional government/style of leadership. Hitler often had his subordinates squabble with each other as to avoid them turning their attention to him.
FDR and Churchill ran their governments the same way actually.
 

ATP

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Once on fanfiction.net i found story by guardian something about canadian super-old hag which stll looked sexy,take over Canada before WW2,made political correct state,during WW2 replaced USA in Europe/they do not fight there/beat Hitler on her own,captured on Pacyfic Yamato and Musashi,and....
nothing changed.History as OTL.Soviet take over part of Europe.
Then,she defeat and personally kill Stalin,after that - nothing change,soviet empire still hold Europe.
After that - Vietnam war when she,not soviet help them fight USA.And defeat them.

author hated christian,so made them as bad as possible in every story,and finally kill remnants in his mass effect crossover.Where,of course,super canadians old hags defeats Reapers.

As a christian i could stomach stories where somebody genocide us,but not bad written one,when new player changed nothing after defeating all possible enemies.
 

stevep

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The Soviets only survive 1941 due to Hitler not going for Moscow in August. They lucked out and were able to use their masses of men to win the war. Sure they developed great sophistication as the war went on, but without their huge numbers and willing to suffer heinous casualties (~30 million military casualties total of which probably at least 10 million were killed) to fight to the bitter end they'd have lost.
Doubtful. The mobile forces had to regroup and take a break while the rest of the army and their logistical system partially caught up. Even ignoring this would leave massive undefeated forces on their largely undefended right flank. Even spoiling attacks could cause merry havoc with what supply lines they had.

The big issue was how stupid Stalin was. If at any point he had allowed forces to withdraw then a lot of those trained men and a chunk at least of their equipment would have escaped to fight again and the logistical problems plus wear and tear on the mobile forces especially would probably have stopped them before the weather stepped in.


Stalingrad yes, since they basically did anyway IOTL, but Moscow would have been a death blow to the USSR given the irreplaceable specialized industries in and around the city as well as the coal and iron deposits around the Moscow region. That's leaving out the rail problems that would come from losing the central hub of their rail system, the communications problems from losing the hub of their telephone system, the political issues, etc.
Losing Moscow would have been a very bad blow for the Soviets, especially since it would doom Leningrad as well and free up much of Army Group North eventually. However given growing levels of L-L and the fact the Nazis gave the Russians no choice on the matter they would have continued to fight on.


Yet they managed to until the bombing of the factories and rail lines in 1944 started collapsing the chemical industry.
Only because they made massive use of looting, forced/slave labour and increasing depravations for all under their rule, including the German population itself.


Why do you keep repeating this? It is patently false as the Germans put together 600,000 motor vehicles for France and supplied them with fuel the entire campaign. Their bigger problem was keeping all the different models running.
I think that figure is inflated as they only had about 25-30 mobile divisions at that time. They gained a lot more from France as it had a more advanced motor industry, although looting and mismanagement along with general shortages meant they didn't gain a longer term advantage from that.

Sure, but August would be way too soon to pull that off. Even in October there was too much remaining to evacuate in time.
Some would have been left behind if you assume a renewed August offensive manages to capture Moscow say in early September but a lot would still have gotten out, along with the logistical resources transporting it. The Soviets aren't going to collapse totally simply because they have no choice on the matter.



Turns out hunger is a very effect means of control over occupied populations and a weapon the Nazis used along with extreme violence to force civilians back into compliance.
That only applies if you have food to offer those people and are willing to do so. The Nazis had neither and were planning to strave out the big northern cities if they captured them as they desperately wanted the Ukrainian grain supplies to meet their shortfalls at home. As such most of those people are going to die if Germany somehow got that successful - German plans were for about 30 million to be killed this way - but their likely out of desperation to take a lot of Germans with them, as well as survivors continuing to resist in the forests and marshes as happened elsewhere.

Not to mention if you turn much of the Russian heartland into a graveyard there's no workers either to extract resources for you or to be shipped as slave labourers to Germany.



FDR and Churchill ran their governments the same way actually.
They were disorganised at times and FDR seems to have had a deceitful streak but there was a basic rule of law and division of responsibilities. It was nothing like the mess that was Nazi Germany.
 

sillygoose

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Doubtful. The mobile forces had to regroup and take a break while the rest of the army and their logistical system partially caught up. Even ignoring this would leave massive undefeated forces on their largely undefended right flank. Even spoiling attacks could cause merry havoc with what supply lines they had.
Can you remind me when that happened historically? In August-September 2nd and 3rd panzer armies were continually fighting and advancing over distances at least if not even further than it would have taken to get to Moscow, except heading north and south. They not only did just fine, they destroyed mass of Soviet units in the process.

The logistic system had caught up by mid-August when the rail lines were extended to Smolensk and the first supply trains arrived. It wasn't as strong as in September or October, but enough supplies were coming in to sustain the fighting in north Ukraine by 2nd army and 2nd panzer army, defending against Soviet attacks toward Smolensk and around Yelnya, and sending 3rd panzer army north to fight the Soviets on the flanks and around Leningrad. If anything pocketing Vyazma in August would have cost less supplies than what they did historically given how supply intensive defensive fighting is and how much more economical offensive action that cuts your enemy's supply lines is. I mean see the historical Vyazma-Bryansk pockets, 1 million Soviet troops were lost at the cost of ~50,000 German casualties in 14 days. That was a hell of a lot better than the casualty ratios of the defensive fighting east of Smolensk in August-September.

As to the flank threat from Ukraine there was none. The Soviets in Ukraine were too busy fighting AG-South and losing to attack the flank of AG-North. By August 8th the Soviets on the direct flank, Central Front, were being destroyed. 28th army was officially wiped out on the 8th by Guderian at Roslavl and 2nd army under von Weichs was in the process of setting up the Gomel pocket and initiating the destruction/disbandment of Central Front. The survivors would be attached to the weak Bryansk Front which was created to deal with Guderian's further thrusts south into Ukraine after August 8th. If Guderian turned east on say the 12th of August after helping von Weichs get up the Gomel pocket, then Central Front would be destroyed and Bryansk Front would be stuck fighting him and maybe fighting part of Guderian's 2nd panzer army with a single one of their weak armies, the 50th, which was only created in mid-August. No real threat to Guderian as historically a single corps of his defeated their attacks against his flank as he pushed into Ukraine.

All the BS about the threat of the Soviet Ukraine forces was rationalizations by Hitler for his strategic fuck ups. Plus the supply lines were well north of the southern flank of AG-Center, so there is virtually no way that even stronger forces than Bryansk front could have threatened them. David Glantz's 'Barbarossa Derailed' covers the fighting in extreme detail and it's clear the Soviets were so outmatched that there was no significant flank threat at this time.

The big issue was how stupid Stalin was. If at any point he had allowed forces to withdraw then a lot of those trained men and a chunk at least of their equipment would have escaped to fight again and the logistical problems plus wear and tear on the mobile forces especially would probably have stopped them before the weather stepped in.
Stalin was extra stupid in 1941. He'd never retreat unless he had to because of how important he considered Ukrainian industry. Plus he would have also thought he had a flank threat in place if he kept Soviet forces there, as he was extremely ignorant of how capable his forces were at the time. As it was AG-South would have finished them off anyway, but it would have taken longer; that said the extended fighting in South Ukraine would actually make it impossible to withdraw quickly enough anyway given how heavily committed Soviet forces were in the fight to stop the Germans, since the Germans had greater mobility than they did by this point.

Wear and tear on German mobile units did not stop them at any point in 1941, only the weather did, which is why attacking in August when Soviet forces were weaker was the way to go rather than worrying about the non-threatening flanks.

Losing Moscow would have been a very bad blow for the Soviets, especially since it would doom Leningrad as well and free up much of Army Group North eventually. However given growing levels of L-L and the fact the Nazis gave the Russians no choice on the matter they would have continued to fight on.
L-L would not replace Moscow. Moscow accounted for most of Soviet specialized military industry, including optics, IIRC radios, trucks/cars, a lot of tank specific stuff, aero-engines, etc. Losing that would have been fatal and L-L would have had to reach 1945 levels in 1941 to even have a chance of making up a fraction of that output.

Only because they made massive use of looting, forced/slave labour and increasing depravations for all under their rule, including the German population itself.
What was there to loot in 1944? Looting was much earlier when there was stuff to loot, it was largely over by the end of 1943 and all the captured territories were actually a net drain on German resources; ironically the contraction of the front strengthened German forces and their economy when they didn't have to feed and supply the occupied economies throughout Europe. Deprivation was increasing, but the people that got the brunt of that were the slave laborers and various peoples that Hitler exterminated. The horror of Nazi logic was to basically work to death a bunch of people by this point and save resources that way. The deprivation for the German public mostly hit in the last 4 months of the war and of course the first couple of years after the war.

I think that figure is inflated as they only had about 25-30 mobile divisions at that time. They gained a lot more from France as it had a more advanced motor industry, although looting and mismanagement along with general shortages meant they didn't gain a longer term advantage from that.
You do realize that motor vehicles were used in non-mobile divisions and non-combat units, right? The standard infantry division was to have 960 motor vehicles and though only several dozen got their full TOE, most still had more than 500. Then there was the vital Grosstransportraum strategic supply units which had all the heavy trucks and were the army groups' logistical service that supplied them from the rail heads with about 20,000 tons lift capacity each (every army group had one). It was the exact equivalent of the Red Ball Express, but the Germans had 3 such units. Not only that, but the Luftwaffe and non-combat services like the RAD and OT had their own motor vehicles. So yeah there was actually 600,000 vehicles.
Nigel Askey's Operation Barbarossa books have all the details about the distribution and type of everything the Germans used; he did quite remarkable work compiling all the data from archives as part of contract work for wargaming companies.

As to the situation in France yes there was economic mismanagement, but relying on the French was a bad idea given how much sabotage in French factories there were; ultimately they got much better results moving much of French industry and labor into Germany where they could control the process and output.

Some would have been left behind if you assume a renewed August offensive manages to capture Moscow say in early September but a lot would still have gotten out, along with the logistical resources transporting it. The Soviets aren't going to collapse totally simply because they have no choice on the matter.
Actually none would have gotten out by September. None of it started moving out until October. Just because the Soviets had no choice in the matter doesn't mean they could actually sustain operations without their industry and transport hub.

That only applies if you have food to offer those people and are willing to do so. The Nazis had neither and were planning to strave out the big northern cities if they captured them as they desperately wanted the Ukrainian grain supplies to meet their shortfalls at home. As such most of those people are going to die if Germany somehow got that successful - German plans were for about 30 million to be killed this way - but their likely out of desperation to take a lot of Germans with them, as well as survivors continuing to resist in the forests and marshes as happened elsewhere.

Not to mention if you turn much of the Russian heartland into a graveyard there's no workers either to extract resources for you or to be shipped as slave labourers to Germany.
My comment was in reference to Italy not Eastern Europe. I largely agree with you about the situation in the East and historically the Hunger Plan was largely a failure compared to what the Nazis wanted to do. That said the partisan impact on the war was less than Soviet propaganda portrayed, so it is highly unlikely that starving desperate civilians would have done even as well as OTL partisans.

They were disorganised at times and FDR seems to have had a deceitful streak but there was a basic rule of law and division of responsibilities. It was nothing like the mess that was Nazi Germany.
You sure? I've come across at least one history of the administration that compared it to Hitler's mess of a ruling style and called FDR and outright narcissist.
 

stevep

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Can you remind me when that happened historically? In August-September 2nd and 3rd panzer armies were continually fighting and advancing over distances at least if not even further than it would have taken to get to Moscow, except heading north and south. They not only did just fine, they destroyed mass of Soviet units in the process.

The logistic system had caught up by mid-August when the rail lines were extended to Smolensk and the first supply trains arrived. It wasn't as strong as in September or October, but enough supplies were coming in to sustain the fighting in north Ukraine by 2nd army and 2nd panzer army, defending against Soviet attacks toward Smolensk and around Yelnya, and sending 3rd panzer army north to fight the Soviets on the flanks and around Leningrad. If anything pocketing Vyazma in August would have cost less supplies than what they did historically given how supply intensive defensive fighting is and how much more economical offensive action that cuts your enemy's supply lines is. I mean see the historical Vyazma-Bryansk pockets, 1 million Soviet troops were lost at the cost of ~50,000 German casualties in 14 days. That was a hell of a lot better than the casualty ratios of the defensive fighting east of Smolensk in August-September.

As to the flank threat from Ukraine there was none. The Soviets in Ukraine were too busy fighting AG-South and losing to attack the flank of AG-North. By August 8th the Soviets on the direct flank, Central Front, were being destroyed. 28th army was officially wiped out on the 8th by Guderian at Roslavl and 2nd army under von Weichs was in the process of setting up the Gomel pocket and initiating the destruction/disbandment of Central Front. The survivors would be attached to the weak Bryansk Front which was created to deal with Guderian's further thrusts south into Ukraine after August 8th. If Guderian turned east on say the 12th of August after helping von Weichs get up the Gomel pocket, then Central Front would be destroyed and Bryansk Front would be stuck fighting him and maybe fighting part of Guderian's 2nd panzer army with a single one of their weak armies, the 50th, which was only created in mid-August. No real threat to Guderian as historically a single corps of his defeated their attacks against his flank as he pushed into Ukraine.

All the BS about the threat of the Soviet Ukraine forces was rationalizations by Hitler for his strategic fuck ups. Plus the supply lines were well north of the southern flank of AG-Center, so there is virtually no way that even stronger forces than Bryansk front could have threatened them. David Glantz's 'Barbarossa Derailed' covers the fighting in extreme detail and it's clear the Soviets were so outmatched that there was no significant flank threat at this time.
That differs from most of what I've read, I frequently seen Glantz referenced and must try a book or two of his although I have seen him on the "War factories" series and several of the quotes there seem to disagree with some of the comments I've seen here and elsewhere. Currently finishing off "Wages of Destruction" because it was frequently being referred by another poster on another site and in that case his points seem to have been rather selective as the gist of Tooze's argument is often contary to what was being argued. Please note, I'm not accusing you of the same but given what I'm read elsewhere and the TV series I have reasons to be cautious.


Stalin was extra stupid in 1941. He'd never retreat unless he had to because of how important he considered Ukrainian industry. Plus he would have also thought he had a flank threat in place if he kept Soviet forces there, as he was extremely ignorant of how capable his forces were at the time. As it was AG-South would have finished them off anyway, but it would have taken longer; that said the extended fighting in South Ukraine would actually make it impossible to withdraw quickly enough anyway given how heavily committed Soviet forces were in the fight to stop the Germans, since the Germans had greater mobility than they did by this point.
My point, and Tooze makes this clear, was that Stalin's stupidity made the OTL German successes possible as it allowed many of the large encirclement's or other losses due to attacks being ordered when the forces were in no position to do so. Avoid a few of those and the Red Army has a lot more trained forces to stop the Germans a lot earlier.



Wear and tear on German mobile units did not stop them at any point in 1941, only the weather did, which is why attacking in August when Soviet forces were weaker was the way to go rather than worrying about the non-threatening flanks.
Long before OTL Typhoon a lot of the mobile units especially were fragments of what they were in terms of manpower and equipment. This was also a problem after the 1st round of offensives and why a pause for some units to regroup and try and rebuild some of their equipment structure was necessary. Remember that those units too disproportionate losses because they were engaged the most and often forced to stand against counter attacks to hold lines until the foot infantry could catch up.


L-L would not replace Moscow. Moscow accounted for most of Soviet specialized military industry, including optics, IIRC radios, trucks/cars, a lot of tank specific stuff, aero-engines, etc. Losing that would have been fatal and L-L would have had to reach 1945 levels in 1941 to even have a chance of making up a fraction of that output.
I didn't say it would replace Moscow but it, the equipment already evacuated and lack of any alternative would keep the Russians fighting. Not as large a force as OTL but enough to tie down a hell of a lot of German forces and continue the attrition of their manpower.



What was there to loot in 1944? Looting was much earlier when there was stuff to loot, it was largely over by the end of 1943 and all the captured territories were actually a net drain on German resources; ironically the contraction of the front strengthened German forces and their economy when they didn't have to feed and supply the occupied economies throughout Europe. Deprivation was increasing, but the people that got the brunt of that were the slave laborers and various peoples that Hitler exterminated. The horror of Nazi logic was to basically work to death a bunch of people by this point and save resources that way. The deprivation for the German public mostly hit in the last 4 months of the war and of course the first couple of years after the war.
I was talking about in 41-43 especially. Both equipment and most of all probably manpower and food, especially from the start of 1941. This was what enabled the government to increase the rations to the German population in 1942 after cuts that caused serious disatisfaction the previous year. Also the railway engines and wagons from western Europe were very important in patching up the German railway system, which due to neglect in the previous years was in a very rocky condition by 1939-40. This was a primary reason why that winter was very bad for Germany as the country couldn't distribute the materials it needed, especially coal to fuel industry and homes.


You do realize that motor vehicles were used in non-mobile divisions and non-combat units, right? The standard infantry division was to have 960 motor vehicles and though only several dozen got their full TOE, most still had more than 500. Then there was the vital Grosstransportraum strategic supply units which had all the heavy trucks and were the army groups' logistical service that supplied them from the rail heads with about 20,000 tons lift capacity each (every army group had one). It was the exact equivalent of the Red Ball Express, but the Germans had 3 such units. Not only that, but the Luftwaffe and non-combat services like the RAD and OT had their own motor vehicles. So yeah there was actually 600,000 vehicles.
Nigel Askey's Operation Barbarossa books have all the details about the distribution and type of everything the Germans used; he did quite remarkable work compiling all the data from archives as part of contract work for wargaming companies.
That I'm not aware of in detail but will add Askey to my reading list.


As to the situation in France yes there was economic mismanagement, but relying on the French was a bad idea given how much sabotage in French factories there were; ultimately they got much better results moving much of French industry and labor into Germany where they could control the process and output.
Interesting as the War Factories series - which I admit I take some points with a pinch of salt - takes the opposite viewpoint. The almost unorganised looting of French factories, especially for motor production greatly restricted their production but the Germans didn't have the experience of widespread motor production to make efficient use of the equipment.

Mind you from 1942 onwards when the extraction of food especially from France and other areas caused serious problems France and other developed areas would have had problems increasing their production anyway.


Actually none would have gotten out by September. None of it started moving out until October. Just because the Soviets had no choice in the matter doesn't mean they could actually sustain operations without their industry and transport hub.
Given how much of the USSR had been occupied by then I'm doubtful of this.


My comment was in reference to Italy not Eastern Europe. I largely agree with you about the situation in the East and historically the Hunger Plan was largely a failure compared to what the Nazis wanted to do. That said the partisan impact on the war was less than Soviet propaganda portrayed, so it is highly unlikely that starving desperate civilians would have done even as well as OTL partisans.
It might suprise you what 30-50 million people can do when they have to fight to survive.


You sure? I've come across at least one history of the administration that compared it to Hitler's mess of a ruling style and called FDR and outright narcissist.
Possibly although that might depend on the source. I've come across some right wing sources that seek to suggest that FDR's period of power was an utter disaster for the US and ignores what actually happened, both during the depression period and the war. This is one of the problems with war Factories as one of their quotes mentions the collapse of industry in the US but the period they mention was overwhelmingly before he became President. He made a lot of bad decisions and from some sources I've read was devious but he wasn't anything like the chaotic failure that Hitler and the Nazis were with their delusions, arbitrary changes of policy and bitter infighting.

Steve
 

sillygoose

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That differs from most of what I've read, I frequently seen Glantz referenced and must try a book or two of his although I have seen him on the "War factories" series and several of the quotes there seem to disagree with some of the comments I've seen here and elsewhere. Currently finishing off "Wages of Destruction" because it was frequently being referred by another poster on another site and in that case his points seem to have been rather selective as the gist of Tooze's argument is often contary to what was being argued. Please note, I'm not accusing you of the same but given what I'm read elsewhere and the TV series I have reasons to be cautious.
Be careful with Glantz, he is very good on the documentary evidence on the Soviet side of the hill, but is often blatantly wrong on the German side. His interpretation of the facts is flawed quite often too, even on Soviet stuff.

Tooze is also hardly perfect and you should also read Overy on the German economy and the Germany and the Second World War series, which is the best resource on any issue on the German war effort since they had the best access to German records of anyone and a mandate from the Bundeswehr to write the history of the entire German war effort. Just a warning though it's over 13,000 pages.

My point, and Tooze makes this clear, was that Stalin's stupidity made the OTL German successes possible as it allowed many of the large encirclement's or other losses due to attacks being ordered when the forces were in no position to do so. Avoid a few of those and the Red Army has a lot more trained forces to stop the Germans a lot earlier.
Tooze is out of his depth when talking about the fighting or equipment and even some production issues; I've caught him in blatant falsehoods when cross referencing some things with more specialist sources on certain sectors of the German economy. He's not bad when talking about Hitler's overall grand strategy and general economics or even the impact of bomb damage from the RAF, but he is quite flawed in myriad of other areas and isn't the near gospel source some people online like to pretend.

Stalin's stupidity was a factor, but so was the material problems the Soviets faced. I'd trust Glantz's Stumbling Colossus on the reality of how jacked up the Soviets were in 1941 and virtually unable to fight effectively; trying to evacuate in a timely fashion was virtually impossible in any number of instances and standing and fighting actually was the better option compared to getting destroyed when retreating given the greater German mobility and efficacy of the Luftwaffe. It was really much more Hitler's strategic errors and misconceptions that robbed the German army of its chance of victory in 1941. Arguably in 1942 as well.

Soviet training left a ton to be desired even pre-war, again see Glantz's Stumbling Colossus. Even after the Soviets got things sorted in 1942 and 1943 they were still horribly butchered in open combat despite having crushing numerical superiority in those engagements, like 2nd and 3rd Kharkov.

Long before OTL Typhoon a lot of the mobile units especially were fragments of what they were in terms of manpower and equipment. This was also a problem after the 1st round of offensives and why a pause for some units to regroup and try and rebuild some of their equipment structure was necessary. Remember that those units too disproportionate losses because they were engaged the most and often forced to stand against counter attacks to hold lines until the foot infantry could catch up.
That's actually false. See Askey, he proves that is largely bullshit in his books. Not just him but also "Enduring the Whirlwind" by Liedtke, which is probably a cheaper, more accessible source. Basically by October the average division was only about 15% understrength because replacements had largely kept up with losses.

Guys like Stahel are trash because they're just trying to sell books not write accurate histories. He specifically cherrypicks data and takes it out of context all the time and outright get some facts badly wrong.

Again, when was this operational pause you speak of? There was basically constant fighting with only very short rests from June to November. And actually armor units weren't the worst worn down and were prioritized for replacements, so were better off than infantry divisions, which did the heaviest fighting; the mobile units generally exploited infantry success in battle and hit weaker units on the march rather than getting stuck in in attrition slugging matches; that is what the infantry divisions were for. Certainly there were instances that that did happen, but mobile divisions generally used their mobility to run rings around Soviet units in battle and suffered surprisingly few losses especially on the offensive.

I didn't say it would replace Moscow but it, the equipment already evacuated and lack of any alternative would keep the Russians fighting. Not as large a force as OTL but enough to tie down a hell of a lot of German forces and continue the attrition of their manpower.
They could want to fight, but without equipment or supplies they cannot. Will means nothing as just about everyone who's defeated in combat finds out. I'm sorry but your statements above are just meaningless rhetoric not backed up by facts.

I was talking about in 41-43 especially. Both equipment and most of all probably manpower and food, especially from the start of 1941. This was what enabled the government to increase the rations to the German population in 1942 after cuts that caused serious disatisfaction the previous year. Also the railway engines and wagons from western Europe were very important in patching up the German railway system, which due to neglect in the previous years was in a very rocky condition by 1939-40. This was a primary reason why that winter was very bad for Germany as the country couldn't distribute the materials it needed, especially coal to fuel industry and homes.
Ok. I assume you're using Tooze for your comments on the German domestic situation...that is somewhat cherrypicked data that the Germany and Second World War series somewhat belies.
The rail situation was a bit rocky in 1939-40 due to unexpected mobilization, but by 1942 was largely resolved when wartime production finally got sorted. I'm not talking about Speer's efforts specifically, but the administration being centralized finally, industrial expansion finally being finished (originally slated to be completed in 1942 anyway), and priorities being worked out once the nature of the conflict was understood.

Tooze really doesn't seem to understand how badly the administration was unprepared for war in 1939 because Hitler had told them it was only coming in 1942, so they didn't have a mobilization plan, which is what caused so much of the transport, production, and administrative issues in 1939-40. That's all covered by the Germany the Second World War series in depth.

That I'm not aware of in detail but will add Askey to my reading list.
Please do and Liedtke's "enduring the whirlwind".

Interesting as the War Factories series - which I admit I take some points with a pinch of salt - takes the opposite viewpoint. The almost unorganised looting of French factories, especially for motor production greatly restricted their production but the Germans didn't have the experience of widespread motor production to make efficient use of the equipment.
I'm going to guess that is a pop history series, which are usually trash. There are better histories about the economic situation in occupied France; it depends on what period you're talking about too; the characterization you speak of was certainly true of 1940, but much less so from 1941 on when administrative responsibilities were sorted. That doesn't mean there weren't still issues, but once it was clear that the war was going to take a while things in France got a lot more reasonable though it was realized that trying to produce in France was a poor choice given the sabotage rates from French factories. So the Germans didn't bother to try and produce much in France because it would be wasted resources and instead maxed out production in Germany by taking from France.

Germany's issues with production are complicated and depends on each sector. Tooze is a flawed source in that regard. Especially around the truck issue, but that would take an entire essay to explain; the 'just so' explanation of 'not having experience with mass production' is just false though.

Mind you from 1942 onwards when the extraction of food especially from France and other areas caused serious problems France and other developed areas would have had problems increasing their production anyway.
Ultimately irrelevant given the choice to maximize output in Germany. Even then France was representing a net drain by 1944.

Given how much of the USSR had been occupied by then I'm doubtful of this.
I'm talking about the stuff in Moscow and Ukraine; the evacuations prior prioritized movement of factories closer to the border first since they were the most threatened; the rapid German advance caught the Soviets badly off guard. There is a reason after all Stalin thought the war was lost after the Minsk pocket and only later got his starch back when mobilizations of speed bump units worked out better than anticipated.

It might suprise you what 30-50 million people can do when they have to fight to survive.
Not when they don't have enough food to sustain them in combat units. If you read about the actual reality of most partisan fighting in the East most of their efforts were expending threatening civilians for food or trying to grow it in hidden areas to sustain themselves and they did very little actual fighting. After all if it were so easy then the Ukrainians would have overthrown the Soviets in the 1930s during the Holdomor.

Possibly although that might depend on the source. I've come across some right wing sources that seek to suggest that FDR's period of power was an utter disaster for the US and ignores what actually happened, both during the depression period and the war. This is one of the problems with war Factories as one of their quotes mentions the collapse of industry in the US but the period they mention was overwhelmingly before he became President. He made a lot of bad decisions and from some sources I've read was devious but he wasn't anything like the chaotic failure that Hitler and the Nazis were with their delusions, arbitrary changes of policy and bitter infighting.

Steve
Sure, I seen those too and think their critiques of the New Deal are generally vapid, but they do have some points about the war effort and the complete ignoring of Soviet penetration of all levels of government (Morgenthau's right hand man was a Soviet spy as was one of FDR's closest advisors and they materially sabotaged US efforts globally and in negotiations to help the Soviets).

I'm talking about biographies that tended to be more nuanced if not favorable to FDR; the still lamented the way the war effort was run and just how badly his mental decline was from 1941 on due to war stress, his drinking and smoking, and the realities of his physical ailments and limitations had on him. Before 1941 he was a different man and his wartime work is a black mark on his record. FDR was more constrained by his advisors on military matters, so couldn't be necessarily as destructive as Hitler, but you still have instances like the Admiral King affair in 1942 that saw the Atlantic stripped of escorts to send to the Pacific and then the greatest losses of the war to Uboats shortly thereafter, which arguably set the Wallied war effort back 6-12 months.
 

ATP

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There is dead site :"Changing the times" where i long enough read story about super USA,which:
1.start making big military in 1934
2.provoked war with Japan in 1938
3.Later Germany and soviets joined against USA and Allies just like in OTL,war lasted till 1950,both sides get A bomb,german u-boots delivered it to NY and few other american cities,but becouse only USA get H bomb,Germany turned into radioactive desert.Japan partially too,rest was starved - entire nation was practically genocided except remnants which run to Manchuria.
In process practically all chineese died,too.
War ended when USA captured asteroid and use it to hit Moscow.

Results - No Japan or Germany,remnant soviets survived with 18th century technology,England was on 1890 level,South America which helped USA on 1960,USA on 1975.
 

bullethead

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I dunno if anyone has read the short story "Lucky Strike," but I would say that's the worst one I've read. It basically posited that having one of the atomic bombs detonate in a forest would be enough to get Japan to surrender and avoid the international nuclear arms race, and it's just... not how people work, even giving the author the benefit of the doubt that the story was written before people were aware of the coup that almost prevented the Emperor from surrendering after the second nuke dropped.
 

Circle of Willis

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For me, it's gotta be Rumsfeldia from AH.com. Now of course Donald Rumsfeld isn't a saint IRL and I normally would have absolutely no inclination to defend whatever honor he might possess, but that timeline subjected him to truly ludicrous Stannis-level character assassination, changing him from a stodgy establishment neocon into the Tea Party Antichrist. To recap...
  1. Organizing 'liberty battalion' paramilitaries to burn books and enforce his will by way of murderous terror
  2. Using the RL Soviet tactic of locking up dissidents in mental asylums (while the Soviets become the heroes of the piece no less)
  3. Targeting former presidents and Republican bigwigs for assassination if they should try to get in his way
  4. Killing wounded soldiers to avoid paying for their medical treatment
  5. Trying to weaponize AIDS
  6. Actively trying to accelerate global warming on purpose
  7. And on, and on, and on. I'm pretty sure I've only barely scratched the surface here, but I really don't want to go back and refresh my memory by reading the damn thing again.
  8. Oh, but he's eventually replaced by Evangelical strawmen who, of course, turn the US into an even bigger right-wing shithole and gleefully use nukes and chemical weapons on cities that oppose their rule because they're so evil.
And to think the timeline was ostensibly about 'what if the Tea Party got everything they wanted huh?' Just goes to reinforce that old saying about how the American left misunderstands the American right to a greater degree than the opposite and while right-wingers might think left-wingers are dumb, left-wingers think the right-wingers are pure evil. Suffice to say the timeline caused my eyes to roll into the back of my head and tempted me to read some Kratman just to push it out of my head, because that guy's works are the only ones sufficiently strongly tilted in the other direction to counterbalance Rumsfeldia's biases.

What grinds my gears as much as the actual content is that I remember quite a few of Rumsfeldia's partisans went on to mercilessly bash New Deal Coalition Retained, a similarly wacky timeline with historical figures acting completely contrary to what they were like IRL and which suffered from the opposite bias. But at least that one had the excuse of being written by a literal teenager rather than someone old enough to vote for Howard Dean. And then all those enlightened, tolerant grownup enjoyers of the supremely realistic and thoughtful Rumsfeldia ended up hounding this kid enough to get him to discontinue his timeline on its second part & leave their forum altogether for a while, wowee.

However setting the general awfulness of the writing, character assassination of Rumsfeld to such an extreme that I started feeling sorry for the guy, and atrocious behavior of its defenders aside, what confused and disappointed me most of all was the lost potential. The prequel, Fear Loathing and Gumbo, was actually an alright, fairly grounded dystopian timeline that was near-universally highly regarded on AH.com by the time it finished. I don't know what caused the author to change tack so drastically, maybe Don Rummy manifested as his sleep paralysis demon or something, but he went completely nuts and jumped 100+ sharks in between writing FLG and Rumsfeldia.
 

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Be careful with Glantz, he is very good on the documentary evidence on the Soviet side of the hill, but is often blatantly wrong on the German side. His interpretation of the facts is flawed quite often too, even on Soviet stuff.

Tooze is also hardly perfect and you should also read Overy on the German economy and the Germany and the Second World War series, which is the best resource on any issue on the German war effort since they had the best access to German records of anyone and a mandate from the Bundeswehr to write the history of the entire German war effort. Just a warning though it's over 13,000 pages.


Tooze is out of his depth when talking about the fighting or equipment and even some production issues; I've caught him in blatant falsehoods when cross referencing some things with more specialist sources on certain sectors of the German economy. He's not bad when talking about Hitler's overall grand strategy and general economics or even the impact of bomb damage from the RAF, but he is quite flawed in myriad of other areas and isn't the near gospel source some people online like to pretend.

Stalin's stupidity was a factor, but so was the material problems the Soviets faced. I'd trust Glantz's Stumbling Colossus on the reality of how jacked up the Soviets were in 1941 and virtually unable to fight effectively; trying to evacuate in a timely fashion was virtually impossible in any number of instances and standing and fighting actually was the better option compared to getting destroyed when retreating given the greater German mobility and efficacy of the Luftwaffe. It was really much more Hitler's strategic errors and misconceptions that robbed the German army of its chance of victory in 1941. Arguably in 1942 as well.

Soviet training left a ton to be desired even pre-war, again see Glantz's Stumbling Colossus. Even after the Soviets got things sorted in 1942 and 1943 they were still horribly butchered in open combat despite having crushing numerical superiority in those engagements, like 2nd and 3rd Kharkov.


That's actually false. See Askey, he proves that is largely bullshit in his books. Not just him but also "Enduring the Whirlwind" by Liedtke, which is probably a cheaper, more accessible source. Basically by October the average division was only about 15% understrength because replacements had largely kept up with losses.

Guys like Stahel are trash because they're just trying to sell books not write accurate histories. He specifically cherrypicks data and takes it out of context all the time and outright get some facts badly wrong.

Again, when was this operational pause you speak of? There was basically constant fighting with only very short rests from June to November. And actually armor units weren't the worst worn down and were prioritized for replacements, so were better off than infantry divisions, which did the heaviest fighting; the mobile units generally exploited infantry success in battle and hit weaker units on the march rather than getting stuck in in attrition slugging matches; that is what the infantry divisions were for. Certainly there were instances that that did happen, but mobile divisions generally used their mobility to run rings around Soviet units in battle and suffered surprisingly few losses especially on the offensive.


They could want to fight, but without equipment or supplies they cannot. Will means nothing as just about everyone who's defeated in combat finds out. I'm sorry but your statements above are just meaningless rhetoric not backed up by facts.


Ok. I assume you're using Tooze for your comments on the German domestic situation...that is somewhat cherrypicked data that the Germany and Second World War series somewhat belies.
The rail situation was a bit rocky in 1939-40 due to unexpected mobilization, but by 1942 was largely resolved when wartime production finally got sorted. I'm not talking about Speer's efforts specifically, but the administration being centralized finally, industrial expansion finally being finished (originally slated to be completed in 1942 anyway), and priorities being worked out once the nature of the conflict was understood.

Tooze really doesn't seem to understand how badly the administration was unprepared for war in 1939 because Hitler had told them it was only coming in 1942, so they didn't have a mobilization plan, which is what caused so much of the transport, production, and administrative issues in 1939-40. That's all covered by the Germany the Second World War series in depth.


Please do and Liedtke's "enduring the whirlwind".


I'm going to guess that is a pop history series, which are usually trash. There are better histories about the economic situation in occupied France; it depends on what period you're talking about too; the characterization you speak of was certainly true of 1940, but much less so from 1941 on when administrative responsibilities were sorted. That doesn't mean there weren't still issues, but once it was clear that the war was going to take a while things in France got a lot more reasonable though it was realized that trying to produce in France was a poor choice given the sabotage rates from French factories. So the Germans didn't bother to try and produce much in France because it would be wasted resources and instead maxed out production in Germany by taking from France.

Germany's issues with production are complicated and depends on each sector. Tooze is a flawed source in that regard. Especially around the truck issue, but that would take an entire essay to explain; the 'just so' explanation of 'not having experience with mass production' is just false though.


Ultimately irrelevant given the choice to maximize output in Germany. Even then France was representing a net drain by 1944.


I'm talking about the stuff in Moscow and Ukraine; the evacuations prior prioritized movement of factories closer to the border first since they were the most threatened; the rapid German advance caught the Soviets badly off guard. There is a reason after all Stalin thought the war was lost after the Minsk pocket and only later got his starch back when mobilizations of speed bump units worked out better than anticipated.


Not when they don't have enough food to sustain them in combat units. If you read about the actual reality of most partisan fighting in the East most of their efforts were expending threatening civilians for food or trying to grow it in hidden areas to sustain themselves and they did very little actual fighting. After all if it were so easy then the Ukrainians would have overthrown the Soviets in the 1930s during the Holdomor.


Sure, I seen those too and think their critiques of the New Deal are generally vapid, but they do have some points about the war effort and the complete ignoring of Soviet penetration of all levels of government (Morgenthau's right hand man was a Soviet spy as was one of FDR's closest advisors and they materially sabotaged US efforts globally and in negotiations to help the Soviets).

I'm talking about biographies that tended to be more nuanced if not favorable to FDR; the still lamented the way the war effort was run and just how badly his mental decline was from 1941 on due to war stress, his drinking and smoking, and the realities of his physical ailments and limitations had on him. Before 1941 he was a different man and his wartime work is a black mark on his record. FDR was more constrained by his advisors on military matters, so couldn't be necessarily as destructive as Hitler, but you still have instances like the Admiral King affair in 1942 that saw the Atlantic stripped of escorts to send to the Pacific and then the greatest losses of the war to Uboats shortly thereafter, which arguably set the Wallied war effort back 6-12 months.
sillygoose

Short reply as a bit short on time but trying to catch some of the points.

There are points on which Tooze is factually inaccurate - I noticed one about right wing plans before Hitler came to power and he said those wouldn't breach the Versailles treaty which it definitely was. Also he's clearly an economist with a strong emphasis on the fiscal side. However I don't think he deliberately falsified anything. More he's out of his comfort zone. He does however suggest that the organisation of Nazi Germany was more professional than many earlier sources, at least by the latter half of the war, albeit with some costs.

I know of Overy but I think 13,000 pages is a bit much for me. ;) The younger me a few decades back possibly but that's a hell of a read even for him. Will try to pick up Glantz's Stumbling Colossus but my reading is a lot slower than it used to be as I spend far too much time on-line, plus the eyes aren't what they were, nor the concentration I fear. :(

Would the Soviet problems in 42/43 have been at least partially because of their huge losses in 41 which mean the vast bulk of their forces in the latter years were thrown into action without time for full training or a significant cadet of experienced regulars to impart the lessons of the 1st year of the conflict? That would be an additional factor for heavy losses Stalin inflicted on the Red Army in 41.

The loot from the conquered lands was very important for Germany. Probably especially from France where apart from other things the payments demanded for the German occupation of N France were way above the actual costs. Plus it continued to be a source of labour, food and raw materials until liberated.

As I understand it while the initial breaks in the defensive lines were made by the more traditional forces and the mobile units then exploited this left them way ahead of the foot infantry and hence they not only had to hold the line on the various encirclement's until the latter caught up they bore the brunt of many of the Soviet counter attacks. Coupled with their rapid movement and motorised nature meaning they were more vulnerable to wear and tear as well as combat damage.

The War Factories is a TV series from the US which has been displaced on one of the commercial stations over here, with a distinct laissez faire bias and hence heavily downplays alternative approaches where there is any government involvement. Definitely agree it needs to be taken with a [large] pinch of salt.

Don't underestimate what people can do when they have no choice. Especially in built-up areas or against isolated sentries say - which you would need to try and hold people trapped in cities. The vast majority of them are likely to die, whether by violence or starvation/disease but their likely to take a fair number of German troops with them. Plus if your cordoned off most of the cities that will have an impact on things like logistics as the bulk of them run through the urban regions.

Yes there were a number of serious mistakes by the US in decision making in the conflict and not getting a proper approach to ASW defence earlier was a big one. :mad: That was a problem for all the nations throughout the conflict and how much it was FDR failing to get a grip I wouldn't know.

Steve
 

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There are points on which Tooze is factually inaccurate - I noticed one about right wing plans before Hitler came to power and he said those wouldn't breach the Versailles treaty which it definitely was. Also he's clearly an economist with a strong emphasis on the fiscal side. However I don't think he deliberately falsified anything. More he's out of his comfort zone. He does however suggest that the organisation of Nazi Germany was more professional than many earlier sources, at least by the latter half of the war, albeit with some costs.
His issue is he only views things through an economist's lens and he tries to cram the facts into the mold he is familiar with, which distorts the picture. Whether or not he deliberately chose to misrepresent things is almost immaterial to the point, which is he gets stuff wrong in his analysis because of trying to abstract things from a fiscal economists perspective.
I haven't read his book in years all the way through so am forgetting specifics from that book, but his characterization of the German economy before the 2nd half of the war is pretty flawed as I remember.

I know of Overy but I think 13,000 pages is a bit much for me. ;) The younger me a few decades back possibly but that's a hell of a read even for him. Will try to pick up Glantz's Stumbling Colossus but my reading is a lot slower than it used to be as I spend far too much time on-line, plus the eyes aren't what they were, nor the concentration I fear. :(
I haven't read the whole 13,000 pages either, but since it is broken down into 13 volumes and by theme and period it is good to consult on specific topics. If you can find the time and patience Stumbling Colossus is definitely worth it.

Would the Soviet problems in 42/43 have been at least partially because of their huge losses in 41 which mean the vast bulk of their forces in the latter years were thrown into action without time for full training or a significant cadet of experienced regulars to impart the lessons of the 1st year of the conflict? That would be an additional factor for heavy losses Stalin inflicted on the Red Army in 41.
I'd say it was far more an issue of the purges (including one ongoing from 1940-42), expansion, and modernization happening all at once in 1941 that screwed them. They went from something like a 2 million man standing army in 1939 to about 5 million in 1941, so the losses in 1941 were largely hitting all the newbies that were just showing up as much if not more than the true professionals from earlier periods. The entire Soviet military was extremely jacked up on the eve of the war, so the losses in 1941 to the manpower was less of an issue than the overall problems they had as well as the economic damage done by the invasion.

One example of the problems they had with pre-war stuff was during 1941 over half of the aircraft lost were lost to non-combat causes. Only 10% of Soviet aircraft were lost in the first week of the invasion too, so 90% of losses happened after they were already mobilized and ready to fight, the majority being to non-combat causes. So there was something quite rotten with their forces as it was and the war simply exposed it and allowed the Soviets to fix the problems they had.

In the 1944-45 period they had better training that they were even able to give pre-war in many cases because of the experienced gained in the war and the fact that they were no longer desperate and could take time to train. If anything they were giving out more training than the Germans were able to for their replacements.

In 1942-43 the Soviets had more of a problem of their command asking forces to do much more than they could handle, but training was still being done. In 1943 Soviet commanders had a better handle on what their forces were capable of, but they still didn't really try too hard to limit casualties. In 1942 guys like Zhukov behaved like butchers, especially around Rzhev because they didn't want to incur Stalin's wrath. That wasn't the fault of ill trained men, that was the fault of commanders thinking more about politics than preserving lives. See Glantz's book "Zhukov's Greatest Defeat":

The loot from the conquered lands was very important for Germany. Probably especially from France where apart from other things the payments demanded for the German occupation of N France were way above the actual costs. Plus it continued to be a source of labour, food and raw materials until liberated.
In 1940-43 yes. Beyond that no. 1943 was the shifting point from it being a resource boon to a drain.

Germany had to send it's precious coal and various other resources to keep the blockaded French economy semi-functional to prevent a revolt, plus the partisan war kept getting worse. Benefits and drawbacks and by 1944 it was a drawback especially when factoring in the Allied bombing impacts on the French rail system and the cost to repair and defend it came out of German resources.

As I understand it while the initial breaks in the defensive lines were made by the more traditional forces and the mobile units then exploited this left them way ahead of the foot infantry and hence they not only had to hold the line on the various encirclement's until the latter caught up they bore the brunt of many of the Soviet counter attacks. Coupled with their rapid movement and motorised nature meaning they were more vulnerable to wear and tear as well as combat damage.
The facts though largely don't bear that out as a problem. Repairs and maintenance were rapidly done so anything falling out generally could be brought back into action in a matter of days. Like in France in 1940. The non-operation panzers in divisions got to alarming levels during the race to the sea, something like 50% fall outs, but within 24 hours the number of operational panzer had climbed by 50% and in 48 had doubled. There were instances where mobile units got beaten up in advance of the infantry like around Smolensk, but that was very exceptional, not the norm. See the Minsk pocket; the Soviets counterattacked hard and were shot to pieces with two entire mechanized corps (equivalent to powerful panzer corps) were wiped out in a matter of days with minor damage inflicted on German panzer spearheads, which then went on to encircle Smolensk shortly thereafter without much of a hiccup.

The War Factories is a TV series from the US which has been displaced on one of the commercial stations over here, with a distinct laissez faire bias and hence heavily downplays alternative approaches where there is any government involvement. Definitely agree it needs to be taken with a [large] pinch of salt.
Interesting.

Don't underestimate what people can do when they have no choice. Especially in built-up areas or against isolated sentries say - which you would need to try and hold people trapped in cities. The vast majority of them are likely to die, whether by violence or starvation/disease but their likely to take a fair number of German troops with them. Plus if your cordoned off most of the cities that will have an impact on things like logistics as the bulk of them run through the urban regions.
Don't overestimate what people can achieve in circumstances where their means to resist are highly limited. The vast majority of people occupied by the Nazis in the East historically did not fight back despite the Hunger Plan being in effect and extreme violence against civilians was the norm. Cities are extremely easy to control through hunger since they don't produce food; how many cities successfully revolted against the Germans in the East in WW2? Warsaw rose up and 250,000 people were slaughtered as a result. There was never any significant Polish uprising against the Germans after that and even partisan attacks were highly limited.

So again your theory is theoretical, the actual record shows the only successful urban uprisings in WW2 were only after German forces were beaten in the field and were retreating (Italy in 1945 and Paris in 1944).

Yes there were a number of serious mistakes by the US in decision making in the conflict and not getting a proper approach to ASW defence earlier was a big one. :mad: That was a problem for all the nations throughout the conflict and how much it was FDR failing to get a grip I wouldn't know.
Check out "How the war was won" which gets into some of the issues with US policy and FDR's problems with managing the running of the war, specifically the Admiral King issue; the author references a book I cannot remember the name to right now that covers the internal political battles. My point though is people exaggerate the issues Hitler's governing style had relative to the Allies, its just that the Germans lost and had much less room to screw up than say the US, so it amplifies the feeling of the impact of Hitler's style of governance. I'm not trying to defend Hitler in any way, just pointing out that the historiography distorts the reality of what was going on in every war effort at the time. Arguably Stalin had the worst run war effort until later in the war, as well and it was just things like strategic depth and US support that rescued him.
 
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