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Interesting what if. WWII, repercussions of a Soviet collapse during the war.

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Showing 26-50 of 535 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 10:14:52 PM PDT
If my memory serves me, Stalin was balancing on a knife edge as the German's approached Moscow. He could have gone either way, total surrender, or continued resistance. In the end STAVKA convinced him that Zhukov could safely bring the Siberian troops that had been held in place to deter the Japanese to Russia to oppose the Germans. Other than that the Soviets were out of armies.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 4:06:46 PM PDT

Can you recall the source of your recollection? I'm not saying you're wrong, it's just something I hadn't run across. To be honest, my reading in this area is not all that extensive, so the fact that I haven't run across it doesn't hold a whole lot of significance! However, I'm wondering if this traces back in any way to Khruschev, because I know some scholars have questioned the veracity of some of Khruschev's characterizations of Stalin's wartime behavior. Primarily this is regard to the question of whether or not Stalin had a "breakdown" in response to the German invasion. However, the idea that Stalin was on the verge of surrender seems consistent with the theme.

Then again, maybe it's true.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 4:34:07 PM PDT
I can't remember exactly, I think it was from a book I read in high school, written by a Soviet General. Apparently Stalin was sitting in a train in Moscow waiting to evacuate to gain time for Molotov to negotiate with the Germans.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 6:20:48 PM PDT
Come to think of it, I do remember that a train was said to be standing by. I can't recall the source either. The other thing that I'm wondering about is whether Stalin's preparations for possible departure related to surrender, or rather evacuation in the expectation that the government wouldn't be able to continue function in Moscow if the fight moved into the city.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2012 7:58:36 PM PDT
There were not enough details in your original posting about WHEN Russia collapsed.

When and how Russia collapsed makes a big difference in the short term details - 1941-1945 tho' they are pretty irrelevant to the long term ones - 1946-1990.

There is a big difference in the immediate situations between these scenarios:
Germany captures Moscow in Dec 1941 right after declaring war on the US and Russia collapses in early
1942 with anti-communist military coup
Germany captures Moscow in Dec 1941 but Hitler does not declare war on US, and Russia collapsing in early 1942 in 1917-like collapse of central authority
Germany occupying Ukraine in non-brutal way, capturing Moscow in late 1941, Hitler setting up friendly puppet govt in Ukraine in 1942...
Hitler winning battle of Stalingrad, Russia collapsing in 1943....

But I think all of these are 2nd order effects. In Aug 1945 the US would drop Abombs on Germany not Japan. Whether there had been a successful or failed Normandy invasion, whether Germany had Russian or Iraqi or Arabian oil, whether Germany or the Allies would occupy North Africa, Germany would be out of the war by late 1945.

Germany would never be able to stage a successful cross-channel invasion. US and Britain would not need to.

Germany would never be able to seize air superiority over Britain.

US and UK would not have to try to pound Germany into submission from the air. Tho' they might have chosen to.

Regardless of when or how Russia had collapsed or what the successor gov't would be, Russia would probably have its post 1989 borders - no Ukraine, Belorussia, Baltic states, Caucasian and Central asian states, ...

No cold war.

No Russian support for Mao in China - Chiang would still lose.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2012 10:44:24 PM PDT
Germany captures Moscow in 1941 and Hitler never declares war on the USA. Without a declaration, there is no public approval for FDR to declare war against Germany, so Germany is free to develop the Soviet industrial capacity and resource base to support it's war machine. Come 1943 or so, Germany ends the sitzkreig with Britian and reingnits the Battle of Britian with large fleets of JU88s, escorted by FW190s and Bf109Fs, The RAF would be badly outnumbered, and the newer German fighters would be able to carry belly tanks for extended range. No more 15 minutes over England any more, now 30 to 45 minutes combat endurance. The English would be weaker than they were in 1941 due to running out of money and possible Lend Lease restrictions or cessations due to German diplomacy. The Germans have had time to develop and build real landing craft capable of cross channel operations and expand the German Navy to outmatch the Royal Navy for control of the Channel. With time and thee access to Soviet industry and resources, everything changes.

No US use of nukes against German since we wouldn't be at war with them, plus the germans would have the time and resources to develop their own nukes and delivery systems.

Posted on Jun 19, 2012 8:03:09 AM PDT
More likely
Germany captures Moscow on Dec 1 1941, Hitler declares war on everybody, "northerners" turn Japanese fleet away from Pearl Harbor at the last minute. Decide to strike Russia not US (very unlikely but what the heck)
Stalin overthrown by Army and military dictatorship takes over or authority collapses like 1917.
Germany brutalizes Ukraine, Belorussia, seizes Caucuses areas stopped at Caucuses ridges. Reinforces N Africa. Occupation not pitched battles in USSR.

Germans see even less need for nuclear weapons.
Stutzwar in the West.

Nukes on Germany in Aug 1945.

Posted on Jun 20, 2012 7:16:38 PM PDT
patrick says:
Does Germany at that point even have sufficient motivation to again "come for" the British?
and what this air offensive for its own sake, to supplement the U-boat offensive...or once more, vaguely to preamble a landing in UK, for which the logistics simply didnt exist in September 1940 anyway, no matter who controlled the air over the UK.
Yes, the belly tanks and improved aircraft like FW190 and F/G model Me 109s would make the assault more formidable...but there had been many weaknesses in the British defences in 1940 which would have hardened as well.There are many mythologies about the BoB, and a lot of those mythologies conspicuously ignore those weaknesses.
How many RAF fighters were lost , many easy kills handed to the German fighters, because of stubborn adherence to impractical tactics such as Vic-formations? How many Fighter Command pilots were barely trained , wrongly trained, and with a curious lack of aerial shooting training? (How many people who could fly well enough then had no idea how to shoot down a German even if they managed to get onto one? Many of them even presented themselves like a line of ducks in a shooting gallery to the often very competent and disciplined return fire from German bombers...the Hun TAGs gave far more back and caused far more damage than theyre usually given any acknowledgement-even the Stuka back-seaters were dangerous!probably more so than their counterparts in the Battles and Blenheims ) All of that would surely have been gone 2-3 years later,in any renewed back on the defensive by the RAF.
the German fighters with a belly tank are still not proper offensive escort fighters, although, undoubtedly more adaptable to the offensive role than the Spitfire proved to be in 1941.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2012 7:23:26 PM PDT
patrick says:
Dont know if nuclear weapons would have been deployed against Germany for certain or not.
Of course if you follow the same rationale that I myself subscribe to, for justifying the A-bombings of Japan,ie that you cannot possibly send your ground people in to battle those of the enemy in a meat-grinder which might go on any amount of time, if you have something else, any other sledge-hammer that you can try to just terminate this thing, NOW. ...THEN I guess, you have to measure that the same way in the ETO.
There is little doubt however, that the racial component of the Pacific War made it just that little easier, in fact, to probably make it inevitable.
If the same thing had had to happen in one or more German cities...that would still be hanging over us all today in ways that are hard to even model.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2012 8:04:59 PM PDT

If you read some of the declassified documents, that is why they were built. To use on Germany.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2012 10:23:13 PM PDT
I think Hitler always would have had reason to resume his assault on Britian. He was convinced he could do anything, so I think he would have bliffed himself into a corner where he had to go back to war with the Brits. The Brits could have fixed some of their problems, but the just didn't have the money to recover from a disasterous forced peace, espeically since Germany probably would have insisted on limitations on British rearmament. Britian would have looked like a peach ripe for the picking by 1943 or 1944. Hitler would have owned the Eurasian land mass with all its resources so he would be pretty confident that Britian would fold. If they didn't abjexctly surrender he would have the military power to defeat them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2012 11:01:37 PM PDT
patrick says:
yes...but that is still a different matter from signing the final order to go with a run in...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2012 4:44:57 AM PDT
Germany really didn't have any chance, at all, of defeating the Russians. The Germans did their own 'careful analysis', which lead them to conclude the same thing that you did, which is why they attacked. And they would have been right, and they would have defeated Russia, except for the factor that they didn't fully account for, which was a factor that made defeat of Russia virtually impossible.

If the Germans had fully understood the extent that the United States would go, in keeping Germany's enemies supplied, there is no way that they would have decided to do things like attack Russia.

Wars are won or lost almost entirely in terms of logistics. An enemy that can be deprived, will be defeated. An enemy that can stay supplied, pretty much can't be defeated. Had the South been willing to do what the Russians did, Sherman's March would have been an enormous failure. The Russians caused the Germans to stretch out their supply lines, unrealistically, and deprived the Germans of any advantage that could be gleaned from moving forward. The Germans became progressively more deprived. But the supply situation of the Russians improved, on pretty much a daily basis. Against this, Germany had no chance.

America's greatest contribution to the war, was the Liberty Ships. If we had never fielded a single soldier in the European theater, we still would have defeated the Germans, simply through our massive supply to the British and Russians.

Posted on Jun 21, 2012 8:01:53 AM PDT

Just so, I think that everyone has a tendency to under-rate the Soviet achievement. However, I would say that if they could have added that 30% of the Wehrmacht and 50% of the Luftwaffe that was in the West ... I just don't know. But after 43 it was a done deal. But without the US, the USSR has to settle for a stalemate. The US support was simply to great. So it was the US logistics chain that made the war o forgone conclusion. That and the fact that the Japanese were totally occupied in Asia by the US.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2012 8:37:55 AM PDT
Yes, to this day, no one can match the US logistical capability. Korea and Vietnam would have been fought far more effectively, if we had fought those wars as purely logistical wars. However, we felt that the South Koreans and South Vietnamese might not be determined enough, for their side to win; so we fielded our own soldiers. We brilliantly proved that you can't make much of a difference, by fighting their wars for them, if they aren't willing to fight their own wars. :)

That same unwillingness to fight one's own wars, is exactly why we didn't give China anywhere near the logistical support that we gave to Russia. The Russians were fighting tooth and nail. The Chinese-- not so much. Had the Chinese been a little cagier, we would have had a much easier time with the Japanese.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2012 10:18:59 AM PDT
The Chinese wer fighting a three sided war. The Reds fought the Nationalists probably more often than either fought the Japanese. Even with massive US aid, the NAtionalists were never a match for either the Reds of the Japanese, they were too corrupt to attract the loyality of thepopulation. The Reds wre seen as something new and possibility better that the same old warlords which is really all the Nationalists were in the view of the average Chinese citizen. Once the war was over and the Reds received massive Soviet aid, it was all over.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2012 10:34:15 AM PDT
"Even with massive US aid, the NAtionalists were never a match for either the Reds of the Japanese, they were too corrupt to attract the loyality of thepopulation."


Posted on Jun 21, 2012 5:52:13 PM PDT
patrick says:
However, we felt that the South Koreans and South Vietnamese might not be determined enough, for their side to win; so we fielded our own soldiers. We brilliantly proved that you can't make much of a difference, by fighting their wars for them, if they aren't willing to fight their own wars
thinks about whats imminent in A-stan, and blinks...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2012 5:56:42 PM PDT
Yep. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2012 10:42:30 PM PDT
That's what most of the Vets around here have been saying/thinking for a long time. If we needed to invade either country for our own reasons, fine do and get out. You can't nationbuild. It never works.

Posted on Jun 22, 2012 2:03:45 PM PDT
briefcandle says:
one repercusion of soviet collapse has not been discussed. If UK and possibly the US hold out, and japan makes it's same declaration of war:

-then japan may declare war against an imploding soviet state
-Hitler is free to act in the mid east, and would not only be in a better position to conduct campaigns in north africa but conceivably approach suez from both directions
-neutral and leaning states may become more compliant, I'm thinking particularly of Franco, who might just have declared with nazi germany and/or allowed access to gibraltar

Do you see where I'm going?

A collapse of sov u may not mean the surrender or invasion of britain, but it may mean an axis mediterranean thru nazi pressure or compliance from spain/turkey, or a mideast campaign starting in iran, eventually leading to the closure of suez.

Posted on Jun 22, 2012 2:09:49 PM PDT
briefcandle says:
re using the bomb on germany-

this has always got to be the strategic clincher but......

how do you reliably deliver such a weapon to target without air superiority?
First use can be delivered as a surprise- but the germans, in this scenario may well have a welcome committee for a second bomb.
My guess is that nukes would be used as beach busters in any invasion of nazi germany from the UK, ie take the short route at pas de calais- and nuke 'em on the beaches.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012 2:21:13 PM PDT

"how do you reliably deliver such a weapon to target without air superiority?"

Good point, but the RAF did it the entire war. They never achieve anything more than air parity over the night skies. B-29 can reach anything in Germany, and only the 219 and 410 can catch it. Gonna be tough escorted by all those Mosquitos, I think it could be done with some degree of confidence. Although nothing is certain. You bring up a valid point that probably would have kept the boys in England up very late at night. Given the potential, they probably would have done it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012 3:26:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 22, 2012 3:29:32 PM PDT
patrick says:
agree 100%

it seemed like the 'Nation building", especially in a place ultra-backward like A-stan, which is backward even by standards of the Middle-east and makes Vietnam look like Belgium and Switzerland, was really almost window-dressing to the initial military action...pure gesture warfare?the generals opinions are bought and paid for, Putreus and co, as far as political and policy statements go, they have to talk like they actually believe in this nonsense roads/schools hearts and minds...surely not one of them really believed/s that this stuff would work.
Even if it did work, a little bit..
this is just no longer convoys of trucks filled with --money-- that the Western World can even afford to burn throw away outside of themselves, trying to give these people new shiny countries and make them happy....and make them think and govern themselves like we do?
And then ergo, what,by way of this Santa Claus routine...
then not breed and educate Islamic militants and terrorists who want to fight us?
What may have been difficult and then fairly bungled any chance in South Vietnam..was just building a space colony on Mars in degree of difficulty in A-stan. Just adequately impossible in Iraq.
Probably comparable sized $$$ invoices to space colonies, too.

Posted on Jun 22, 2012 3:57:07 PM PDT

"Probably comparable sized $$$ invoices to space colonies, too. "

I'm dyin' here. That is a good one. I thought prez obam was the peace prez ... bring the kids home, fix their equipment and start paying the bills.
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Discussion in:  History forum
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Initial post:  May 31, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 3, 2012

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