German war production without war with West

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    What would the German economy be able to produce without being at war with the Western Allies (no blockade, bombing, or Uboat war)? Let's say that Germany is only at war with the USSR, so can trade with the rest of the world after conquering France and cutting a deal with Britain. Let's assume that Japan still attacks Britain and the US, so that these powers are distracted and aren't involved in undermining the Germans via supporting the Soviets.

    So German (and Axis Europe) vs. the USSR. What would production look like from 1941 on assuming German and Britain end their war by March 1941? I've read that historically the Germans were spending as much a 40-50% of the their defense spending on air defense by 1944, though this seems really high to me. From 1942 on the Germans built 1000+ Uboats, while also spending huge resources on the V-1, 2, and 3 programs. By 1943 over 50% of the Luftwaffe was fighting the Western Allies, which left the Soviets with a rapidly diminishing aerial threat before Kursk. Large resources were spent on defenses against Britain and the US in the Atlantic Wall and in Africa/Italy. Also Albert Speer estimated that Allied bombing cost Germany at least 33% of its output in 1944, which I'm not sure if he's counting the penalties caused by dispersal of production, cost of under ground factory construction, and transportation disruption.
    Even just the material losses of the bombing campaign were severe for the Germans:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defence_of_the_Reich
    Even singular campaigns were pretty brutal:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Hamburg_in_World_War_II#Aftermath
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Ruhr
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Berlin_(RAF_campaign)
    This last one resulted in the massive Flaktürme, which were massive resource sinks:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flak_tower

    Flak-Turm - Weapons and Warfare
    The cost of the massive AA guns like the 128mm cannon were extensive.

    Without all of these expenses, what could they have produced to fight just the USSR? Could they equip their allies in Europe better? Could they have developed enough of an aerial threat to force Russia to divert resources to aerial defense? What does 1000 less Uboats mean in terms of other weapons production? How about tens of thousands of less AAA weapons? Does this mean the Axis could gain fire superiority in terms of increased artillery output?
     
  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #2 GregP, Aug 20, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
    Without the war with the UK and USA, the Germans would be free to concentrate their forces on the Soviet Front. I’m thinking they would have used a Blitzkreig attack to push forward and then consolidate. Then another push forward and consolidation. The Soviet Union would not have had time to move their aircraft factories and would likely have lost the war before they could rebound from the carnage or even invent the T-34 tank. So there would not BE any Il-2’s, La-5/7’s, Yak’s or MiG’s. Maybe no Tu-2, Pe-2 either. Only the outdated Soviet planes available at the start of the war.

    When the Soviet advance started, the Luftwaffe shot down obsolete Soviet fighters in swarms and if not for the war in the west, probably could have sustained the offensive long enough to conquer Moscow. Soviet leadership, while very good in 1944 – 1945, was sorely lacking in the dark days of 1941 – 1942, thanks to Stalin’s insistence on unquestioning obedience without individual initiative. You will find it difficult to find a meek follower who then turns into a leader when required. If he takes one step too far, he’s shot by his own people.

    Also, if not for the Western Front, the Graff Spee, Bismark, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, etc. would have been available to support any action near the Russian coast, and the Russian Navy wasn’t up to stopping these ships.

    I predict a German win if there is no Western Front to occupy Germany’s attention with damage to the homeland on a daily basis. I am NOT saying the Soviets would not pull back, regroup, and wage a guerilla war or put up at least SOME fight that might win back some of the lost territory, but they probably could not have stopped the Germans if the German supply chain had not broken down. Without a Western Front, the supply chain would probably have been intact.

    Of course, not having a Western Front would also mean the Nazis didn’t start death camps. If not, they MIGHT have been able to avoid war with the West. I seriously doubt Hitler’s ability to not start a Western War, given his real-life track record. But, if he HAD been, then it is also likely that Rommel would have been in charge of the armor since he would not have participated in the attempt on Hitler’s life. Germany with her best leaders and no war in the west would have been dificult to stop.

    Whether or not they could HOLD it is another matter, but they surely would have beaten the Soviet Union alone. They might have prevailed in the West, too, if they had simply left the Soviet Union alone and waited until taking the UK before going into the Med and Africa.

    Winning the Battle of Britain is not out of the question, but getting across the English channel with men and equipment in the ships they had might be stretching it a bit (the Royal Navy would surely agree). But they COULD have taken France and the rest of Europe and defeated attempts to push them back from that if they had not invaded in the East.

    All in all, Hitler wasn't too far from being able to accomplish his goals if he had been smart enough not to go for them all at the same time. Luckily, he was a Corporal instead of a German Officer in WWII or ne might have known that. Officers were required to study military history, strategy and tactics. We can all thank our lucky stars he never did. He almost succeeded anyway.

    I, for one, am grateful for the British resolve and the unrelenting resitance by the Soviets. Without both, it well might have gone the oither way in Europe.
     
  3. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    I fail to see how the lack of a war with the west would mean no death camps. The extermination camps ( Auschwitz, Sobibor, Treblinka,) themselves were in the eastern territories, and the vast majority of the victims murdered in them came from the eastern territories. Plus almost all of murders carried out by the Einsatzgruppen before the death camps were fully functional were in the eastern territories.
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #4 GregP, Aug 20, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
    I didn't mean to say it would mean no death camps all by itself. I intended to convey that no death camps might allow Germany to not get into a western war.

    If they started the death camps anyway, then war with the west was going to follow even if other things were acceptable without war. At that time, as it is today, news of millions of deaths by execution would generate a war if for no other reason. So, to stay OUT of a western war, the death camps would necessarily have been eliminated. Not saying some persecution might not have been tolerable, but mass executions would simply not have gone unanswered.

    I'm not going to debate the death camp timeline or the camps themselves. Only foregoing those attrocities would allow for no western war. That's as far as I'm willing to go with it, and it's only my opinion, not a fact in the real world. Peace, Tom. I should have been more clear with my writing above that it was only one condition for no war with the west, not a cause-and-effect item.
     
  5. silence

    silence Active Member

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    As well, all the time, effort, material, and manpower (manufacturing and military) needed for the U-boat campaign could have been redirected towards the Heer. Raeder might have gotten his first two H-class BBS as well as the Graf Zeppelin. German ground and air forces might be as much as 25% stronger - maybe even more. Etc...

    With the German surface forces released the Soviets might have been compelled to complete the Sovetsky Soyuz-class battleships, diverting their own resources. There are no lend-lease trucks nor food for the Red Army (I feel these are by far the most important things provided by the West.)

    However, I do think the death camps would have come, and I don't believe the West would have gone to war over them. The West turned away too many people trying to escape Nazi Germany pre-war and all but ignored the camps. I am of the personal opinion that the excuses for not at least bombing the camp rail yards ring hollow: they after all did a pretty good job of tearing up the French rail lines prior to Normandy. Buna-werke (Auschwitz III) and Monowitz (Auschwitz II) were both bombed, as were other factories and oil refineries nearby.
     
  6. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Greg
    Soviet Union had some 500 T-34s and some 900 KVs when Germany attacked on 22 Jun 41, so T-34 was already invented as was Il-2 and Pe-2. And of course the modern Yak-1s, MiG-3s and LaGG-3s.

    A task force incl Tirpitz was stationed in Baltic Sea during the summer 41, so the main difference there would have been more KM DDs, TBs, minesweepers and MTBs there. KM would not have risked more of its heavy units there than in reality because of the minefields and subs there.

    And I also find it hard to understand what was the connection between the Western Front and the death camps.

    Juha
     
  7. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #7 tyrodtom, Aug 20, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
    Without Britain , France and the Dutch engaged in a war in Europe, I don't think the Japanese would have ever dared to engage the 3 of them, plus the USA, in Asia.


    Plus there's always the question of how Germany gets to Russia without going thru Poland , and setting off the war ?
    Poland and Germany allies ? Not likely.
    France and Britain ignoring their treaties with Poland ? Maybe.
     
  8. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    *spoiler for anyone who has not read Robert Harris's book 'Fatherland'*
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    In Robert Harris' book 'Fatherland' the tales runs that the UK come to terms and Germany fights Russia to the point of taking Moscow Leningrad (St. Petersburg).
    They go on to exterminate many more millions but the war never quite ends.

    The USA whilst not formally at war with Germany supply support the remaining Russia - why would the USA see a dominant Nazi Germany as anything other than a threat?
    (Just as the US helped the Chinese continue when Japan looked dominant there.)
    The Russians continue to bleed German forces significantly.

    I suspect this is all very likely.
    There is also the interesting prospect of German youth wider society coming to realise what happened to the 'undesirables' the effects this would later have.

    Napoleon's venture shows that a 'win' over western Russia may not afterall equate to a true victory.
     
  9. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #9 GregP, Aug 20, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
    Hi Juha,

    No war with the west in the 1940's means the conditions in the German-occupied countries would be acceptable. The extermination of millions of people is not acceptable to us. It's that simple.

    Some in here think that might not be enough for us to declare war. I think otherwise and it's a giant "what if" that will not be answered until someone else tries to exterminate millions. We'll see when and if, won't we? I sincerely hope it never happens again and so we'll never have a definitive answer. That would be the best eventuality.
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    If Germany and Russia were at each other's theoats in 1941, this would most likely mean that the Stalin-Ribbenttop pact has already sealed Poland's fate...the Sudentanland and Austria were occupied and the Axis alliance was intact.

    The question is, did Italy continue to pull of it's failed conquest of African territory which eventually drew German and British assets into the African fray?

    As far as Russia was concerned, even with U.S. support, Russia was in a dangerous situation with Germany fighting a single-front war. The Kreigsmarine probably wouldn't have the U-Boat fleet as we know it, because there wasn't the urgency of stopping the (now nonexistant) British convoys of this scenario.

    However, the DKM heavy surface ships would have wrought havoc in the Baltic or if brought into the Black Sea since they weren't (in this scenario) challenged by the Royal Navy.

    Add to that, the ability to successfully exchange goods with Japan now, since most of the shipments by German or Italian subs would be able to safely make it to Japanese ports un-molested by Allied warships.
     
  11. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    IMHO Kmer Rouge did and what happened , it was up to Vietnam to topple them.

    Juha
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    FOLKS - KEEP THE POLITICS OUT OF THIS PLEASE!!!!!
     
  13. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Again, KM didn't use its available heavy units in 1941 actively so even with more units available I think the situation would have remained same. From Wiki:

    "In September 1941 Germany formed the provisional Baltenflotte, which consisted of the battleship Tirpitz, cruisers Admiral Scheer, Emden, Köln, Leipzig and Nürnberg, destroyers Z25, Z26, Z27 and the 2nd torpedo boat squadron. It had been tasked with destroying the Soviet Baltic Fleet should it try to escape to neutral Sweden. As this did not happen, and aerial reconnaissance showed severe damage to the remaining ships of the Soviet Baltic Fleet, the Baltenflotte was disbanded before October 1941."

    Baltic suited well for mine warfare not for heavy units operations.

    Juha
     
  14. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Good point, Juha, so then they would have been free to support the Crimean campaign if needed
     
  15. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    How, the Turks weren't about to let warships traverse the Dardanelles.
     
  16. silence

    silence Active Member

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    Ok, all, let's just focus on the scenario as presented and not what would be required to make it feasible.
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Please do....
     
  18. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "...How, the Turks weren't about to let warships traverse the Dardanelles."

    Would neutral Turkey go to war with Germany over the KM forced penetration of the Dardanelles. A heavy German fleet in the Black Sea would have been a huge plus .. :)
     
  19. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Turkey had a neutrality agrrement and even a trade agreement with Germany and the Germans honored that agreement. The Germans had access to the Black Sea...
     
  20. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    With non-warships. Historically no Axis warships were allowed use of the Dardanelles. Merchant shipping was fine by treaty.
     
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