Peace under any negotiated circumstances ..?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by michaelmaltby, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    In a separate, unrelated thread, Parsifal wrote: "... Rommel's strategy was elegantly simple, and might have worked. Tanks are an inherently offensive weapon....Rommel was saying, lets ditch the offensive and get into the right position for a peace settlement".

    I was not aware of this view of Rommel's. It got me thinking and so I pose this hypothetical question to the membership: Can anyone foresee any
    circumstances under which Nazi Germany would have been able to sue for peace with Britain, Russia and the USA while Churchill and Stalin
    (and FDR) were the leaders of their respective nations?

    Given the chronology of WW1 and the events building up to the start of WW2, I cannot. :)

    Thoughts .... :)

    MM
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Nazi Germany...no,not a chance.
    Steve
     
  3. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    To be honest Germany got away with it the original plans for the peace would have been much much worse. Ironic isnt it that the threat of Stalinism meant Germany was rebuilt in the way it was.
     
  4. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #4 michaelmaltby, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
    ".... Germany got away with it the original plans for the peace would have been much much worse."

    The so-called Morgenthau Plan. Would have de-industrialized Germany and the Ruhr. The Daimler Benz Uni-Mog is an artifact of those immediate
    post-war plans when DB engineers were scrambling for an "agricultural" product. :)

    MM
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Morgenthau plan.
    Steve
     
  6. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, stona. He was FDR's neighbor in the Hanpshires.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    "Nazi" has little to do with it. FDR, Churchill and Stalin were determined to destroy the nations of Central Europe and give the rubble to the Soviet Union. The only hope for a negotiated peace was to maintain German control over Central Europe until after FDR dies.
     
  8. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Huh???
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #9 stona, Aug 28, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
    Huh? ......I'll go one better,Rubbish.
    Steve
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    No worries, I knew who you meant.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  11. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    #11 Edgar Brooks, Aug 28, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
    That has to be one of the most offensive pieces of drivel that I've read in a long time. By the time of FDR's last conference, he was so ill he should not have gone; when he and Stalin started their "negotiations" for Eastern Europe, Churchill walked out in fury. By then, of course, the "big two" saw Churchill/Britain as an irrelevance, so behaved accordingly. Churchill always planned to honour his promises to Poland, Czechoslovakia, etc., but the British electorate slung him out, and lumbered us with a purblind, Soviet-loving Labour government, who reneged on every promise.
    Edgar
     
  12. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    ".... That has to be one of the most offensive pieces of drivel that I've read in a long time".

    Agreed. Churchill was many things, but he was not a betrayer, he was not a conspirator, he was not a blinkered Anglophile. He was a supreme PRAGMATIST. And pragmatists are always appreciated at the moment and condemned as hypocrits when the danger has passed. :)

    MM
     
  13. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    But to return to the thrust of the thread for a moment, the hopes of the conspirators who would have assassinated Hitler after 1941 and sued for Peace were misplaced, I believe -- given the chronology of the 20th century. Had they succeeded I believe they still would have been faced with occupation, partition and unconditional surrender.

    MM
     
  14. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The deals were done before the "Khaki" election.

    Unconditional surrender for a new German government? Possibly,the best they could have hoped for would have been terms that didn't look much different to that anyway.

    Steve
     
  15. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Only chance - and very slim it might be - was if Hitler had died, say July '44. That would be a very remote chance for Nazi Germany to be able to sue for peace with Britain, Russia and the USA. And I would exclude USSR as even if negotations had occurred due to Hitler passing, Stalin would not stop.
     
  16. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Best bet for Germany to sue for peace was in 1940 having defeated Fighter Command over southeast England and hence being able to dictate terms to whoever succeeded Churchill (because I doubt he'd have stayed in office if Fighter Command had ceded air superiority to the extent that London was exposed). Of course that's not the central theme of this thread but from mid-41 onwards, I don't see any opportunity for Germany to sue for peace and still retain the gains achieved at the point of a bayonet.
     
  17. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    ".... Only chance - and very slim it might be - was if Hitler had died, say July '44."

    Tarantino's film "Inglorious Bastards" deals with this by wiping out Hitler and the top Nazi cadre in a cinema fire in Paris, just after D-Day.
    A clever premise BUT, too much was known about the Death Camps by 1944, IMHO, and given the chronicle of WW1 and how Germany arose in
    denial, I can't see any but unconditional surrender and dismemberment.

    MM
     
  18. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    The Germans began the war with illdefined war aims, beyond domination of Euroope. Exactly what that meant was open to interpretation.

    I believe that to understand German war aims , one has to try and get into the mind of Hitler. Hitler was not an idiot, in fact I think he was a psychopath, which is a criminal with a genius like malevolence. Hitlers war aims were related to his personal demons. He wanted to avenge the "betrayal of WWI", and the carnage of the westrern front. So in the first instance he persecuted the Jews, then exterminated them, because he believed they had been instrumental in orchestrating Germany's defeat. He wanted to defeat and humiliate the french, which he achieved. He had assumed that with France knocked out, the British would also capitulate and become his sex toy....didnt work, thanks to the BoB.

    He could not understand why the british would continue to fight when defeat of Germany was not possible in the conditions that existed in 1940-41. He assumed the US would stay neutral, and knew the British could not undertake a continental campaign on their own. He reasoned that they must be looking for a new continental ally, and the only available candidate was Russia. Since russia was also communist, and Hitler was rabidly anti-communist, he saw an opportunity to kill three birds with one stone....complete the isolation of the british, destroy the birthplace of the hated communists, and gain control of the resources and open spaces of the east. To us, it should be meglomaniacal claptrap, but to a mind like Adolph Hitlers, it made perfect, logical sense. And he had plenty of supporters within Germany who saw his logic as impeccable (there are many who still support his crackpot theories). Many, if not most German officers were enthusiastic supporters of the invasion of Russia. So the invasion went ahead.

    At first things went ahead swimmingly. City after city fell, vast quantieis of booty and prisoners were captured, vast areas of territory captured. Then the winter hit, and the russians, thought to be on their knees militarily, counterattacked, destroying large sections of the front. The Germans, and Hitler were shaken. The generals started to go to water and wanted to withdraw completely, Hitler on this one occasion acted more rationally even though he was onoly acting on instinct himself. If the german army had retreated as the Genmeral Staff had wanted, most of the german army would have been destroyed in the retreat....they were too immobile in the winter to withdraw effectively. Hitler, acting on his instincts, ordered that the army stand fast and fight. And though heavy losses were incurred in meeting that order, it also blunted the Soviet reserves and in so doing achieved the survival of a portion of the wehrmacht.

    The German emerged from the winter of 1941 with much reduced offensive capability. No longer were they able to attack along the entire front, they had sufficient tanks, aircraft, manpower and transport to attack with one of the army groups available (of three). The Soviets had suffered a heavy final defeat at Izyum and Kharkov, losing most of their tanks in an illconsidered offensive, and this gave opportunity for the germnans to attack. Within a month they were commencing their own attacks.

    Hitler paused, hesitated and reconsidered his war aims. ever the opportunist he was savvy enough to know that the full conquest of European SSRs was now beyond his capability. But he reasoned that by securing the Caucasian Oil and denying it to Russians he could deal an economic blow to the russians that they could not recover from. Funnily enough this was a view largely shared by his enemies. STAVKA received a report in 1942 that predeicted that if all the
    Trans-caucasian oil was lost, Soviet military production would drop by more than 60%. A linchpin in the capture of the Caucasus was the capture of Stalingrad.

    In 1942 there were several overtures for peace put out by the Russian and the germans, but they came to nothing. Both sides believed they could win.

    Even though on paper, the german Case Blau made good sense, in reality it was a fatally flawed plan, and many german officers knew it. It would further extend already overstretched German supply lines. There were insufficient troops and equipment to complete both objectives. The Russians had learnt a lot from the previous defeats. Halder was against the plan as was Rundstedt, and a number of other officers. Halder attempted to persuade the fuhrer not to undertake the offensive but hitler would not listen.

    For rommels plan to work (which in any case was not developed until '43), Hitler would have needed to be persuaded either to relinquish direct control of the army (see below), or agree not to embark on major offensive operations in 1942 and/or 1943.

    There was another opportunity to inject sanity into wehrmacht operations. Following the debacle at Stalingrad, there were mooted suggestions that the control of the army on the east Front be passed back to a serving officer, with the suggested obvious choice being Manstein. like the ceasefire feelers, these suggestions came to nothing....but they raise an intersting "what if"

    So we have two likley alternatives to this scenario....either a defensive stance from 1942, or a general put incharge in 1943. If either of these strategiers had been put in place, what would be the possibilities that could arise. Could sufficient casualties be inflicted on the Russians to force them to the peace table or at lease to halt their offensives?
     
  19. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    ".... Could sufficient casualties be inflicted on the Russians to force them to the peace table or at lease to halt their offensives?"

    I seriously doubt that any circumstances could have succeeded in that aim while Stalin was the supreme commander. Had Germany convincingly occupied Moscow in early December and been able to disrupt Soviet industrial re-organization, perhaps confidence in Stalin might have been shaken. But that did not happen and his position thereafter was more secure than Hitler's (IMHO).

    MM
     
  20. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #20 parsifal, Aug 28, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
    I agree that the chances were slim, and Stalins lack of concern about casualties is a factor in that conclusion, however, there is some evidence that the Soviets made some attempt to make peace with the germans. How serious, and how permanent I am unsure of, but i know that peace feelers were put out there. But the terms of peace could never be agreed upon.

    We can only surmise what effect a greatly increased casualty list would have on those peace initiatives. Even though stalin showed a lack of concern about casualties, he was not totally immune to them. And even Russia had limits to the manpower available to them. They were starting to run out of men by the end of 1943....lucky for them the germans ran out first...

    I have to re-stress the likelihood of any of this occurring is very low however, from what i have seen in other discussions, the following appears possible:

    "three deals offered (and ignored by the Germans in OTL) were:

    1942, after the start of the German summer offensive: Brest-Litovsk borders.

    1943, after the surrender at Stalingrad: 1939 borders.

    1944, right before D-Day and Bagration: 1914 borders.

    I also heard that the Germans seriously considered the 1943 and 1944 proposals, but decided they could stall for time and a better strategic position. After Bagration, the Soviets cut off all communications to Germany, thus dooming them.

    It's theorized that Stalin may merely have been attempting to sow discord among the German army, due to their necessarily more realist view of the battlefield than Hitler (and indeed the rejection of the proposals, especially the 1943 one, added several conspirators to the July assassination plot). [If Hitler could have been persuaded or made to reconsider his position, perhaps by more favourable peace terms....]

    There are also reports that the Soviets proposed a deal with Germany in October 1941, ceding the Ukraine to the Nazis in return for peace
    ."

    This exerpt come from this rather reasonable discussion on the issue

    Germany Accepts One of the Soviet Peace Deals - WWII [Archive] - Alternate History Discussion Board
     
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