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"What if the UK gave up after the fall of France?" Topic


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982 hits since 2 Oct 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse03 Oct 2018 10:53 a.m. PST

Interesting what if?….

link

Amicalement
Armand

28mm Fanatik03 Oct 2018 2:00 p.m. PST

Then the US would only have fought in the PTO.

mildbill03 Oct 2018 2:48 p.m. PST

Russia would have lost the war.

mwindsorfw Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2018 2:57 p.m. PST

The Man in the High Castle.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Oct 2018 3:38 p.m. PST

How dare you mildbill to ever suggest Russia could ever have lost the war --- or anything ever!! No matter what !!
They could have whipped the Germans, even the United States and UK with one arm tied behind their back.
You don't read TMP enough ???

Lee49403 Oct 2018 5:39 p.m. PST

Per the OP (or link) "the war ends". Need to know what that looks like in more detail. Germany still needs to garrison the west. Does the UK surrender result in a Vichy type occupation of UK territories? How many troops does that tie up? Recall the DAK was just that, a corps. I'm not sure that turns the tide in Russia. Also Russia fights without British aid. But what about US Lend Lease? Would we have just let Russia fall? More importantly Japanese aggression was based on the fact that France and especially Britain was engaged in Europe.

So my take is that Japan buckles under as England shifts forces to the far east and never attacks Pearl Harbor or the West leaving the US to focus on supplying Russia to stop Germany. Eventually the US gets into the war after repeated sinkings of US ships. With the US in the war and the West lightly garrisoned France and UK with US help and troops "revolt" against German occupation. Germany is overwhelmed and the war is over by the time of Kursk in 1943. In short, a UK surrender probably doesn't change a thing but it preserves tge British Empire and the war ends sooner without all the sideshow campaigns in Africa and Italy.

Cheers!

Lion in the Stars03 Oct 2018 9:19 p.m. PST

From wiki on the Destroyers-for-Bases executive order:

The British Chiefs of Staff Committee concluded in May that if France collapsed, "we do not think we could continue the war with any chance of success" without "full economic and financial support" from the United States of America.

So if the UK sued for peace, that means that the US never did the Destroyers for Bases agreement, and therefore never did Lend-Lease.


Without Lend-Lease, I don't see the Russians being able to put up anywhere near the defense they did.

I don't know that the Germans could have won in the East, but it would have been a much closer thing.

Frontovik04 Oct 2018 1:20 a.m. PST

Given that 90%-95% of Lend Lease did not arrive until after the Soviets had defeated the Germans at Stalingrad sensibly after all nobody wants to sell a load of equipment that might end up just being used against you – it's effect on the early stages of the war is minimal.

So, the Soviets weren't going to lose but Glantz has estimated that without Lend Lease they'd have probably got to the 1939 border by mid 1945.

Make peace then and Germany rules Europe until Dolfi sees the next shiny thing.

Eleve de Vauban Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2018 1:35 a.m. PST

Old Glory – what is "mildbill"?

Fred Cartwright04 Oct 2018 1:46 a.m. PST

Given that 90%-95% of Lend Lease did not arrive until after the Soviets had defeated the Germans at Stalingrad sensibly after all nobody wants to sell a load of equipment that might end up just being used against you it's effect on the early stages of the war is minimal.

Hmmm! Not sure I would agree with that. Particularly tank deliveries were quite critical in maintaining Soviet tank strengths through 1942. As for the DAK deploying east it would depend on where and when committed, but a fresh pair of Panzer divisions sent to Army Group Centre for the drive on Moscow could have made a big difference.
Does Glantz' estimate include a cessation of hostilities in the west? That is quite a game changer. No decimation of the Luftwaffe fighter force, no damage to German industry, rail network or oil supplies. No massive night fighter force or flak arm. More troops to reinforce the east etc.

Frontovik04 Oct 2018 2:48 a.m. PST

At the casualty rates the Germans were suffering the DAK would have been used up in about three months on the Eastern Front. And two divisions would not have stopped the Moscow counteroffensive.

Even after the invasion of Italy Europe was, basically, used as a rest and garrison area by the Germans some 80% of their strength was deployed against the Soviets prior to June 1944.

The bombing campaign didn't really get going until 1943.

While there is an argument that Lend Lease tank deliveries were important around the end of 1941 the Soviets had so few tanks overall it's doubtful they had much of an impact. The Red Army was, more or less, made up of riflemen until the back end of 42.

The fact is the RKKA stopped the Germans largely by their own efforts. Lend Lease was absolutely crucial to them getting to Berlin when they did but it did not 'save Russia'.

Tired Mammal04 Oct 2018 3:24 a.m. PST

If UK made peace and that war ended quickly with Italy told to behave and do nothing, then I think we can probably assume that Hitler would have milked the success and played his Guns or Butter card and partially demobilised.

Remember the key thing about the Russian campaign is that he continually underestimated what it would take to beat Russia.
So it would have been pretty similar ands depending on what they had demanded from France the Western front could have re ignited at the first public massacre of civilians in the west.
They were very clumsy, inefficient overlords so I cannot see them controlling any country effectively for long.

Legion 404 Oct 2018 6:43 a.m. PST

Still think the USSR would probably have eventually defeated Nazi Germany. I would have taken longer and a lot more losses overall …

Fred Cartwright04 Oct 2018 6:56 a.m. PST

And two divisions would not have stopped the Moscow counteroffensive.

That assumes the Moscow counteroffensive still goes ahead. With the Japanese blocked from attacking in the Pacific they may have turned their intentions towards Russia. 2 fresh divisions may have made the difference if used to bolster the attack on Moscow at the critical point. Meaning Moscow falls, which hinders the Soviet prosecution of the war significantly.

I would have taken longer and a lot more losses overall …

Could they have sustained a lot more losses and still kept attacking or would it have degenerated into a stalemate? Even with all the help that lend lease provided enabling the Soviets to undertake operations like Bagration, they were desperately short of manpower by May 1945. They would also have needed to devote a lot more resources to production to replace the material provided for lend lease.

Legion 404 Oct 2018 7:06 a.m. PST

That being said, I still think the USSR would have at least thrown the Nazis out of the Russian "Motherland" … Pushed them back to Poland or even the German border.

catavar04 Oct 2018 11:34 a.m. PST

If I'm not mistaken, the Soviets got almost 4,000 tanks via Lend Lease by the end of '42. That's not an insubstantial sum in my opinion.

Even without them I think the Germans fall short of taking Moscow which really decides the issue. It would probably just have taken the Soviets longer to turn the tide. Still, I can't help wonder if they would've been more open to making a deal without any allies?

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Oct 2018 1:55 a.m. PST

It would sort of depend on the nature of the peace treaty. If England was left intact along with its colonies, then the effect would be fairly minimal since England would declare war again the moment Hitler invaded Russia. But if England was really left prostrate with a loss of its possessions in the Middle East, then I think Hitler wins. He would have an additional 30 divisions and 2500 aircraft (and Rommel) to throw against Russia and that would tip the balance. Moscow falls in 1941 and the rest in 1942 and it is pretty much game over at that point.

Legion 405 Oct 2018 6:13 a.m. PST

I don't think Stalin, et al would accept/allow the Nazis to occupy The Motherland for any length of time. As we see what happened in reality. Again, the USSR on it's own would have still defeated the Nazis. But it just would take more time and more losses … for everyone involved, IMO …

donlowry05 Oct 2018 12:07 p.m. PST

Besides the 2 panzer divisions, the Germans also deployed a few infantry units to North Afrika, such as 90th Light (basically a motorized inf. div.). And non-divisional units. Also several Luftwaffe units (fighters, bombers, transports, etc.). And Italy's best armor (so to speak) was in NA and could have helped in Russia.

One reason Hitler gave for attacking the USSR when he did was that he thought hope of Russian intervention was what was keeping the UK in the war, thus he wanted to take it out. So if UK makes peace after Dunkirk, maybe Hitler waits a bit longer before attacking the USSR, which might, or might not, have worked to his favor.

Lion in the Stars05 Oct 2018 9:49 p.m. PST

This doesn't answer the other question, though. Would the Germans have declared war after the Japanese did in 1941?

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Oct 2018 4:48 a.m. PST

I just don't buy the the argument that one-on-one, the USSR defeats Germany and its allies. With no distractions from the west, Germany and its allies have more population and more industry that the USSR. And after the initial German advances 1/3 of Soviet citizens are behind German lines. Without help the USSR loses.

Legion 406 Oct 2018 6:01 a.m. PST

That is a good point. IIRC 70-75% of all German[and it's allies?] losses happened/were inflicted on the Eastern Front/by the USSR. But again, the USSR had "help" from the West. And the Axis had to deal with the Western Allies as well as the USSR.

But again, the USSR was[still is very] big, and could[did] trade space for time as well as had[has] a very large population.

But again I was not there … so …

Prince Lupus Inactive Member06 Oct 2018 6:42 a.m. PST

Could Japan take India and attack Russia, with Indian allies through North West frontier?

Legion 406 Oct 2018 7:20 a.m. PST

The Japanese had the Indian National Army made up of Indian POWs who then became their "Nationalist India" allies. There were about 40,000+ Indian Troops[estimated?]. They proved to not be too effective. link

The Japanese and USSR sparred before WWII in '39, Battle of Khaklin-Gol/Nomanhan Incident. Even though the USSR took losses it did not turned out to well for Japanese overall. link

Could you imagine the Japanese Armor units taking on the modern USSR tanks '43 on ? T-97 vs T34, KV1 or JS1s etc. … huh?

Mark 108 Oct 2018 9:56 a.m. PST

That assumes the Moscow counteroffensive still goes ahead. With the Japanese blocked from attacking in the Pacific they may have turned their intentions towards Russia.

It is of course possible that the Japanese would have moved against the Soviets. If they had, it would have ended the war in the Pacific much faster.

In July of 1941 the US shut off the sale of oil to Japan, cutting off more than 90% of Japan's oil supply. In August the Dutch government cut off pretty much all of the rest. This was what led to the attack at Pearl Harbor, as the Japanese needed to seize the Dutch East Indies oil production, and the USN was "in the way".

Do we suppose that the UK coming to some form of terms with the Germans leaves the Dutch East Indies undefended? Or that the Dutch government then sides with the Japanese?

In this case, the Japanese have enough oil flowing to continue their war in China at perhaps 20% of their prior scale, after their stockpiles are depleted. Without the Dutch oil, they run out and can continue neither their war in China, nor their own home industrial economy, after their stockpiles are depleted.

If their navy stays at home, they deplete their stockpiles in about 1 1/2 years. If the IJN sorties (for example to take the Dutch east indies and face-off with the USN), then they run out of oil in 1/2 year.

If they do not get the Dutch oil, but go into Manchuria instead, they 1) do not get any oil, and 2) accelerate their consumption of oil over what was consumed just for their war in China, but somewhat less than their consumption in the real timeline because the IJN fleet stays mostly at home. But they won't have any sources of oil. So in the end they run out sooner.

As I see it, the "Northern Option" means they run out of oil faster, and their war in China starts to fall apart by late 1943, even as their economy starts to collapse.

Seen from the other side, it hardly makes any difference in the war against Germany. Most of the "Siberian" divisions that were transferred to face the Germans at Moscow were sent before it was clear to the Soviets that the Japanese were going to stay quiet on their front. There was no scenario where the survival of the Soviet state was threatened by the Japanese, but there was a VERY substantial threat from the Germans. If the Soviets had left nothing but a token force to screen the Manchurian border, the Japanese would still have run out of oil advancing into the Siberian wastelands.

Let us not forget that the whole reason that Japan went to war against the west was to support their war against China. That ground war was the focus of their army, and even at the highest point of the Pacific War, the Japanese army had some 85% of its strength in China. So if the 15% that they sent to the Pacific was instead sent into Manchuria … yawn. They wander around a lot, get harassed by Soviet and Mongolian horsemen, and eventually Japan get access to unlimited lumber, if they can transport it across the Mongolian steppes.

Germany and its allies have more population and more industry that the USSR. And after the initial German advances 1/3 of Soviet citizens are behind German lines.

This is true. Too often we read about Russia's "unlimited manpower". In fact, the Germans controlled a LARGER population than the Soviets in 1942.

The key to understanding this dynamic, and how the Germans came to believe in "unlimited manpower" (and sold that story to the west in post-war writings), is to understand that the Soviets mobilized forces much faster than the Germans -- meaning that they took more civilians into service faster. Yes, they also died faster. But they weren't dying as fast as they were being mobilized.

That's where the Germans were losing -- they were losing troops faster than they were mobilizing them, and the Russians were mobilizing faster than they were losing. So the Russian army grew in size while the German army shrank. The challenge for the Russians was that they would eventually run out of men, and they needed to win the war before that happened. As it was, as they pushed the Germans back the population base that the Russians could mobilize grew, so that they were in less danger of running out of men in 1945 than they had been in 1943. And at the same time, as they advanced they knocked the Italians, the Romanians, and the Finns out of the war, cutting the troops available to the Axis by about 1,000,000 men that Germany alone had no possible way to replace. But if you slow down the Russian advances, you put them very much in danger of losing the war.

Or so I believe from my readings.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Tired Mammal09 Oct 2018 7:42 a.m. PST

How many Germans were "wasted" in garrisons and anti partisan duty.
Crete had about 75K apparently, not exactly a good use of limited manpower. I doubt that they could have reduced that garrison if Britain was no longer in the war.
Same was repeated all over Europe. They sent their factory workers and farmers to the front so they forced conquered countries and prisoners to supply labour then they needed more soldiers to enforce this and yet more to pacify the countries where they took the young men.
Then by taking the young men from conquered countries they destroyed their economies so that these countries no longer can supply food and resources to the fatherland and cause yet more unrest.
Net result is an empire that needs a lot of men guarding things but can barely feed or supply itself.

The only way would have been to return borders back to pre 1939 (or maybe 1914 at most) and ask for supplies and rubber oil etc. as reparations then go to war with Russia and play the anti communist card.
But that would have implied that the Fatherland needed help to beat Russia and was not the leaders way.
So to summarise their fanaticism took them further than anyone could have expected but it also built in their inevitable failure.

Banana Man Inactive Member09 Oct 2018 1:17 p.m. PST

I thought the UK did ultimately lose the war – it made us bankrupt and we lost so many men that we had to "import" replacements!

Jubilation T Cornpone09 Oct 2018 1:37 p.m. PST

How much difference would it have made in Russia with a Luftwaffe that hadn't bled its bomber, Stuka and fighter crews over the UK in 1940/41? Negligible or enough to matter?

GreenLeader Inactive Member09 Oct 2018 2:19 p.m. PST

Mark 1

Excellent summation as always… though did Russia really knock Italy out of the war? That does not quite tally with my understanding of events.

Fred Cartwright09 Oct 2018 2:47 p.m. PST

The challenge for the Russians was that they would eventually run out of men, and they needed to win the war before that happened. As it was, as they pushed the Germans back the population base that the Russians could mobilize grew, so that they were in less danger of running out of men in 1945 than they had been in 1943.

That doesn't quite gel with what I have read. Despite having access to more manpower as they pushed west the Russians were getting close to running out as they continued to sustain losses at a high rate.

And at the same time, as they advanced they knocked the Italians, the Romanians, and the Finns out of the war, cutting the troops available to the Axis by about 1,000,000 men that Germany alone had no possible way to replace.

Hmmmm! I think the British & Commonwealth and US forces had more to do with knocking the Italians out. It was well in to 44 before any minor axis powers were knocked out by the Soviets.

But if you slow down the Russian advances, you put them very much in danger of losing the war.

I think that is a very valid point. Changing the dynamic with a major shift like peace in the west could have serious knock on effects for the war in the east.

donlowry09 Oct 2018 4:34 p.m. PST

Do we suppose that the UK coming to some form of terms with the Germans leaves the Dutch East Indies undefended?

If we assume that the UK comes to terms after Dunkirk, then the Netherlands have already been conquered, so, yes.

Or, if a deal with the UK includes not occupying France, Belgium, the Netherlands, maybe even Norway, all those garrison troops are now available to send to the Eastern Front.

donlowry09 Oct 2018 4:40 p.m. PST

In July of 1941 the US shut off the sale of oil to Japan, cutting off more than 90% of Japan's oil supply. In August the Dutch government cut off pretty much all of the rest. This was what led to the attack at Pearl Harbor, as the Japanese needed to seize the Dutch East Indies oil production, and the USN was "in the way".

With 20/20 hindsight, one has to ask whether the U.S. would have gone to war over a Japanese invasion of Indonesia? Seems doubtful to me, when we didn't go to war over a German invasion of Poland, or Denmark, or Norway, or the Netherlands, or Belgium, or France …"

Lion in the Stars09 Oct 2018 6:44 p.m. PST

The US shut off the sale of oil to Japan as a 'shot across the bow' over the Imperial Japanese Army's behavior in China.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse09 Oct 2018 7:52 p.m. PST

Lion is right…

Amicalement
Armand

Andy ONeill10 Oct 2018 1:16 a.m. PST

The Luftwaffe would be in significantly better shape in 1941 without BoB.
No need to ramp up submarine forces or annoy USA.

How many troops did germany have in the likes of Norway?
I would have thought that substantial.

Wouldn't the main thing be that they had oil?
No desperate need to take the oil fields.
Just one strategic focus.
I would have thought that huge.

Higher octane fuel from oil.
Cracking coal shale to make artificial fuel was very inefficient and costly. I'm not sure what significance that might have strategically though.


link

Martin Rapier10 Oct 2018 3:06 a.m. PST

"Excellent summation as always… though did Russia really knock Italy out of the war? That does not quite tally with my understanding of events."

From a Russian pov (Great Patriotic War 1941-45) they did – the Italian Army in Russia was destroyed during Operation Uranus and never returned.

The actual surrender of Italy was caused by the Allies, but there weren't any Italians left in Russian by then.

Legion 410 Oct 2018 5:50 a.m. PST

but there weren't any Italians left in Russian by then.
Just POWs and the dead …

Mark 110 Oct 2018 11:29 a.m. PST

… did Russia really knock Italy out of the war? That does not quite tally with my understanding of events.

It was well in to 44 before any minor axis powers were knocked out by the Soviets.

Hmmm. Perhaps my comment deserves a little more explanation.

From a Russian pov (Great Patriotic War 1941-45) they did the Italian Army in Russia was destroyed during Operation Uranus and never returned.

Martin has stated clearly the meaning I intended.

My comments were from the perspective of the number of troops fighting on the Eastern Front.

The Italians were knocked out of that war, on that front, during the winter of 1942/43. Their casualties were terrible (from the Italian perspective), and were quite a shock to the nation.

At the same time the Romanian forces were also decimated. However the Romanian army was not withdrawn from the Eastern Front. Hungarian forces at the time of Stalingrad were also crushed, and withdrawn from the Eastern Front. They did not appear on the Eastern Front during the 1943 battles. But the Hungarians returned to the battlefield in 1944 in larger numbers than had been present in 1942.

The Axis inability to hold back the post-Kursk Russian offensives can be attributed in large part to the fact that the Axis had something like 3/4 of a million men missing on the southern half of the Eastern Front, a manpower shortage caused not by German losses at Stalingrad, but by losses to Italians, Hungarians and Romanians.

More specifically to the Italians, what had been a field army of 3 corps with 10 divisions, more than a quarter million men, fighting for the German's side in that war, evaporated. The Germans were never able to generate men to replace that loss in frontline manpower.

Hmmmm! I think the British & Commonwealth and US forces had more to do with knocking the Italians out.

It is quite fair to say that the Italian government was overturned due to the British, Commonwealth and US forces invading Sicily, and then the Italian mainland.

I don't think there is any fair dispute of that.

But the Italians were already out of the war on the Eastern Front.

And the force levels and morale of Italian forces that the western allies faced were deeply affected by the Italian losses on the Eastern Front.

The permanent losses (killed, captured or missing, but not wounded) that the Italians suffered were, approximately:

Russia: 85,000

This compares with permanent losses on other fronts, up until the overturn of the fascist state in late 1943, of approximately:

France: 1,000
North Africa: 20,000
East Africa: 8,000
Balkans (Albania, Greece, Yugoslavia): hard to say -- seens a low as 10,000, as high as 30,000+
Air and Sea: 30,000

It is fair to say that western allies forces were the immediate issue that the Italians faced in the second half of 1943. The Italian military had no opportunity to recover from the debacles of the first half of 1943, because the western allies were there, pushing, forcing the decision. But the reason the Italian military needed breathing room (which they didn't get) was that they had already been very badly beaten and demoralized by that point. And the Russians had contributed more than their share to that process.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Mark 110 Oct 2018 11:48 a.m. PST

I thought the UK did ultimately lose the war it made us bankrupt and we lost so many men that we had to "import" replacements!

I think it is fair to say that the UK paid a very high price for "winning", or even to characterize the result as "not losing" (vs. "winning").

But if you think of the UK's WW2 experience as "losing", I suggest you don't quite understand what losing meant in WW2. In WW2 the prices could be VERY high. Losing was a disaster. Even losing only temporarily, suffering occupation by the Axis for some portion of the war, and later being among the "winners" at the end could be a disastrous cost.

To wit:

Germany suffered about 107 deaths out of every 1,000 population.
Hungary: 63 out of 1,000
Japan: 36 out of 1,000

Poland: 161 out of 1,000
Soviet Union: 136 out of 1,000

UK: 7.6 out of 1,000

Nope. Maybe a high price for winning. But definitely not the highest, and no where near the price of losing.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Fred Cartwright10 Oct 2018 11:48 a.m. PST

This compares with permanent losses on other fronts, up until the overturn of the fascist state in late 1943, of approximately:

France: 1,000
North Africa: 20,000
East Africa: 8,000
Balkans (Albania, Greece, Yugoslavia): hard to say -- seens a low as 10,000, as high as 30,000+
Air and Sea: 30,000


Mark you need to go back to your books. The Italians lost over 138,000 prisoners from Operation Compass alone. Total Italian losses for the North African campaign are in the order of 350-400,000. The reasons the Italians were having such a bad time of it in 43 was not because of losses in Russia, but because they had been bled white in Africa. North Africa was THE war for the Italians. Russia was a sideshow.
By the way I would be interested where you got the figure for Russia. 85,000 seems a little low for total losses.

Mark 110 Oct 2018 4:02 p.m. PST

The Italians lost over 138,000 prisoners from Operation Compass alone.

Excellent point, Fred. You are quite right. I took the numbers from an Italian acquaintance, who claimed it was the best approximation after a survey of numerous sources. As my attention was on another issue when I snagged the numbers, I did not think that number through nearly well enough. I assumed it included captured. But it clearly does not, and can not.

Thanks.

-Mark

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