Battle of the Bulge.....

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Lucky13, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Well, not exactly about the Battle of the Bulge, just wondering what the effects would have been, if Hitler had deployed his troops etc., eastward instead for west and attacked the Russians...
    Could they have pushed them back or halted them for the western allies to get Berlin and further east?
     
  2. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    By that time in the war I sure wouldn't think so. I may have had the same affect as to create a bulge in the line, but it would have been countered in time as well.
     
  3. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Oh, I don't doubt that.... Was just thinking if they had come better off in the end, with the western allies taking more of Germany.
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    It certainly would not have changed the outcome. It may have slowed down the Soviet advance, but I also highly doubt that the Russians would not have ended up taking Berlin in the end anyhow. There were just too many Soviet troops.
     
  5. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    I think at that point in the war, any offensive by the Germans would just delay the inevitable.
     
  6. Just Schmidt

    Just Schmidt Member

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    I agree that it is improbable that by december 44 the germans could have stopped the russians, even if the western allies had withdrawn from the war entirely.

    At least Liddell Hart claims that after the Bulge the germans did in fact prioritise the eastern (to some extent the south eastern, hungarian) front. Later (the last month or so) the germans to a great extent stopped opposing the western allies drive eastwards.

    Had they begun with that (or simply laid the western front bare by sending all troops east) two months earlier, it is probable that more of germany would have been occupied by the west, and indeed the Battle of the Bulge slowed down the western allies, if only by upsetting their time-table. However the western allies might have suspected a trap and advanced carefully after, just to make sure, having bombed everything in their path, thereby slowing their own progress through the rubble...
     
  7. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Cheers lads! That was what I was thinking in line of, move troops, tanks etc. eastwards to combat the Russians and get more if not all of Germany under western allied hands...
     
  8. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    You are neglecting political aspect of the events guys. Post war division of Germany was agreed at Yalta conference and Eisenhower knew about this. I seem to recall reading somewhere that he never considered advancing beyond Elba river because he was reluctant to sacrifice more lives of his troops to capture territory which he would have to abandon later anyway.

    As for the Germans, I believe that it was far beyond they ability to stop the Soviet advance in 1944. They might have it slowed down a little, but that is all...
     
  9. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Yeah, Eisenhower stopped at the Elbe for political reasons. He had the supplies, equipment, manpower to send Patton skipping happily to, and possibly through, Berlin before the Soviets got there...possibly facing only token resistance from the average German troops along the way. But he held up at the Elbe because good ole Uncle Joe wanted to take Berlin, and as Imalko stated, Berlin was going to be well inside the Russian-held territory as defined by Yalta.

    Amazon.com: Patton: A Genius for War (9780060927622): Carlo D'este: Books talks about it to some extent.
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I wonder if the allies would have ended up with both Austria and Czechoslovakia, instead of 1/2 of each?
     
  11. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I think the only way it would have made a difference was if Germany was on the verge of having an Atomic Bomb and needed the time to keep the Soviets at bay. Anything beyond that, the inevitable was going to happen.
     
  12. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Did the Germans know about the Yalta meeting? If not, nothing say that they couldn't have done some unexpected by the Allies, like go east to save as much of Germany as possible from going under Russian control....let the lesser of two evils take Berlin etc.
    Maybe keep what was needed in the west, to make it look like a fighting retreat...
     
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    By late 1944, the Germans were no longer in control of their destiny. The fate of germany, even the areas to fall under each of the major nations control had already been worked out. The allies were very unwilling to capture Berlin because they knew it was going to be a bloodbath as all urban firefights always are. They were content to leave the capture of both Berlin and Vienna up to the Russians. The Russians were happy to pay that price, for the political cudos that the capture of the nazi capital would bring them.

    In 1945 there were several US units that crossed the agreed stop lines, which essentially followed the Elbe. They pulled back to the agreed demarcation lines, to allow the Russians to take up their positions. At that time, though doubts were beginning to appear in the alliance, it was still solid, and nothing the germans could do was going to shake or change the agreements the allies had made concerning her fate.

    Shifting the german schwerepunkt to the Eastern front would have achieved zip, the same as making the focus of the offensive the western front achieved zip
     
  14. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "... By late 1944, the Germans were no longer in control of their destiny".

    An irrational lunatic - tipped over the edge by the assasination attempt - was.

    MM
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    FDR made those agreements. He was anti-German and sympathetic towards communism. If FDR had lived another year post-WWII Europe would likely have been even worse. Something like the Morganthau Plan might have been put into effect.

    Hence the advantage of keeping the Red Army as far east as possible for as long as possible. If the Soviets are held at the Pripyat Marshes until August 1945 the new U.S. President and his newly developed atomic bomb might make Stalin an offer he can't refuse. The Red Army will advance no further west then the 1938 Soviet border.
     
  16. Just Schmidt

    Just Schmidt Member

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    If the Soviets are held at the Pripyat Marshes until August 1945

    :lol:
     
  17. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Not a chance. Even if the Russians had been held at the Pripet marshes (which they had already bypassed as early as April 1944), agreements put into place as the war progressed ensured the Russians were going to occupy most of eastern Europe and a good sized chunk of Germany.

    Churchill was uneasy about the Russians occupying Poland, and outright opposed Russian moves into Greece, however even he was not opposed to a Soviet occupation of East Germany.

    To understand why German resistance, or a shift in priorities was pointless by the latter half of 1944, it is important to understand the outcomes and focus of some of the allied wartime conferences.

    The Casablanca conference in early 1943 established the terms of unconditional surrender to be imposed on the Germans. This removed any rights of negation or determination by the Germans themselves. The Germans would have had to achieve a total victory over at least one of their principal opponents in order to break this agreement, and this was never going to happen after 1943. At this conference it was agreed in principal that post war Germany would be jointly occupied.

    At the Tehran conference, the final details of the war strategy to be employed were agreed upon. Further details on the postwar occupation were discussed and agreed upon.

    The fourth Moscow conference, (codename TOLSTOY) worked out the post war spheres of influence and occupation details. This was the last effort by Churchill to save Poland from Soviet occupation. There was no disagreement about the occupation of German territory.

    Yalta (codename ARGONAUT) convened at the beginning of February 1945 and refined the final plans for the defeat of Germany and its post war occupation.

    None of the leaders, including Stalin, were going to renege from these agreements, whilst they faced the common enemy. If Roosevelt had tried to overturn the fundamental elements of the agreements, he would have faced impeachment and probably would have broken the alliance. This was just never going to happen, whilst Nazi Germany continued to exist..
     
  18. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Even hitler, ultimately, was powerless by the latter half of 1944 to do anything to control the fate of germany. Germany by that stage was utterly powerless to avoid total defeat. There was nothing, and no-one within germany that could stop thatfrom happening.
     
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