World War 2
Germany in WW2
Adolf Hitler

How could Hitler have won World War 2?

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2013-03-27 15:56:32
2013-03-27 15:56:32

A. If his scientists had been successful in producing the atomic bomb. (They were close).

B. If he had left military strategy to his highly qualified generals and staff.

C. If he could have pursued war on only one front at a time. He was fighting the Russions to the east and British/Americans to the west.

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Post-war documents show (A) as highly unlikely - even without Allied destruction of heavy water supplies, German atomic research was crippled by lack of resources (both funding and manpower), and political infighting. The German atomic bomb project was effectively abandoned in mid-1942 (research continued, but not at the "crash" program level required to produce a working bomb). German estimates were that such a weapon, while feasible, would not be developed by anyone for use in WW2.

(B) is also highly debatable. Interference in tactical decisions (particularly 1941 and later) by Hitler undoubtably severely hurt German chances. However, many strategic military/political decisions made by Hitler were superior to those being made/recommended by the German General Staff (many of whom were very conservative in their military planning).

Two Strategic errors and two tactical mistakes are key in German defeat:

A primary fatal error in German conduct of WW2 was the declaration of war on the U.S.A. in December 1941, after the Japanese attack. This was NOT required by their treaty with Japan, and the U.S.A. was not immediately inclined to declare war on German (and was not immediately looking to fight a 2-front war). Postponing direct American involvement in the European theater by even a year would have vastly increased Germany's chances for a more favorable outcome.

The other fatal error which effectively wiped out German chances for winning a longer war was the very poor organization of the German war industry. The entire German war effort was not even placed under central direction until late 1942. German industrial production suffered from poor allocation of scarce resources, inefficient competition, severe political infighting, and poor design choices. In particular, German industry tended to produce overly-engineered products which required very long (and complex) manufacturing, and designs were often chosen to satisfy political (rather than operational or military) purposes.

Tactically, the failure of Germany to secure its communications is a huge (and many historians see as perhaps the single-most decisive) factor in the increasingly poor strategic performance of the German military. Faster Enigma key rotation, and better communications security would have radically cut back on the success of Ultra (the Allied code-breaking project). Much (if not most) strategic success of the Allies in 1942-1943 is due to the Allied ability to "read the German mind". Without such intimate knowledge of German plans and responses, the Allies would have had to fight on a much more even basis against the German military, which was demonstrably superior tactically.

The other tactical mistake made by Germany was not to continue unrestricted submarine warfare in 1940-41. Such warfare would almost certainly have strangled Great Britain, forcing it to sue for peace. British/American countermeasures in 40-41 were very weak, and the volume of u-boat sinkings was such Britain could not feed itself (or import enough materials to fight). Fears that continued u-boat warfare would bring the U.S.A. into WW2 during 1940 were reasonable, but the counter-benefit would have been a british surrender by no later than 1941. Without the British Empire, an American invasion of Europe/Africa would have been almost impossible to accomplish, and American re-supply of the U.S.S.R. would have been many times more difficult.

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The German Generals were actually quite intellegent, and had it not been for Hitler's everything or nothing stance on places such as El Alemain, Stalingrad and St. Petersburg the Generals such as Rommel would have had ample chances to claim numerous victories, for example had Rommel been given the troops he requested in North Africa which were being used in reserve, El Alemain would have been a German victory.

What was also a wasted gold mine was the mostly unguarded middle east. Its vast oil supplies were there for the taking, but it was Hitler's stubborness that bypssed walking through Turkey into the middle-east, taking the needed oil, bypassing the caucuses, up through Georgia and Azerbyjan, behind Stalingrad, taking Moscow by 2 fronts within a matter of weeks. Stalingrad would have been the last stand of the Soviets but to much less of a degree than what actually happened.

What is also interesting was the efficiency of the Wehrmacht. Outnumbered in many departments, the rate of German firepower, man power, supply lines when at the height of the war was nothing short of staggering.

Field Marshall Herman Goering was as much a thorn in Germany's side as was Hitler's as a tactician. His manovering of the Luftwafte in a mini carpet bombing was a major let down. Had he concentrated on vast bombardment on Brighton, Plymouth, Dover, Southampton and Exeter with London as a scare tactic instead of journeying to Nottingham, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol with more effect, with the help of German U-Boats and Destroyers using the occupied Channel Islands to station artillery, an invasion could have happened.

Germany could have won world war 2 suprisingly easily with Russia under control of the SS, England would have not only sought peace, but could have gained from a German victory with substantial trade and territorial gain in Europe according to the sorts of peace settlements offered to Britain, appealing especially to Lord Halifax and the Labour leaders supisingly. The USA would not find war with Germany as an option apart from attacking Japan had Pearl Harbor been attacked. Rommel could have instramented one of the most awe inspiring take overs of northern and central Africa, and life as we know it could be so much more different.

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