Was the Axis Alliance doomed to failure from the outset?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by michaelmaltby, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Hindsight is always 20:20 (except in alternative history scenarios :)). In 1938 the world was indeed a very dark place. Nonetheless, history shows that civilizations (nature) seem to have a built-in capacity to self-correct themselves. So I would argue that despite early starts on militarization, treachery and bully-boy tactics, the Axis powers were doomed to failure from the outset - notwithstanding heroic efforts.

    MM
     
  2. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Just to quickly answer, and for lack of time, I would simply state yes. You had several separate regimes bent on expanding their own countries power, and sooner or later I believe the Axis Alliance would have imploded from with in. Even if they had won the war.
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Too many what ifs to give an answer for sure. If everything had worked out for them they may have had a 50/50 chance of at least establishing a stale mate.
    Steve
     
  4. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    I'd say, that it was doomed by late Summer 42, when it began to look certain that Germany's summer offensive would not achieve its goals and SU would be able to deliver its upcoming winter offensive against badly overextended Axis lines. And in Pacific, well, tide was turning.

    Juha
     
  5. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    Not if the Nazis had invested to have their flying saucers! :)
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Italy was determined to carve out an empire in the Mediterranean. Consequently Britain was hostile.

    Japan was determined to control China. Consequently the USA was hostile.

    Germany and most other European nations simply wanted to destroy Stalin's Soviet Union, permanently ending the communist threat. Unfortunately the German Government was foolish enough to align themselves with Japan and Italy. The governments of Britain and the USA were even more foolish to align themselves with the Soviet Union. Stalin must have jumped for joy at the opportunity to conquer Europe with American and British assistance.

    Italian efforts vs Britain were doomed to failure. So were Japanese efforts vs the USA.

    IMO the nations of Europe were not doomed to become Soviet property. The key is for Germany not to align with Italy and Japan. That would allow the nations of Europe to fight the Soviet Union without Britain and the USA coming to Stalin's assistance.
     
  7. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Dave
    you forgot all that Lebensraum and Untermensch garbage which had its effects on Untergang. Germany's aims were much more sinister than just to crush communism.

    Juha
     
  8. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The root problem seems to be the axis contempt for everyone else. Contempt for the other side's fighting ability, contempt for their ability to produce weapons for war.

    In both cases Japanese, and German, it's as if they though everyone would put their hands up after a brief demonstration of German ( or Japanese) superority, in short, they believed their own bs propaganda. With a handicap like that, they didn't have a chance.
     
  9. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #9 Jenisch, Jan 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
    Mussoline knew Italy was weak. He just picked Hitler's bus.

    Despite Italy's weakness, I think they helped more than the opposite. The power the British and later the Americans employed against the Italians allowed Germany to wage war like it did in the East. An alliance with Japan to fight against the Soviets certainly would be the ideal for Hitler. Even so, the Japanese diverged a considerable US and British power in the Pacific. Roosevelt's "Arsenal of Democracy" would make Hitler likely declare war to him sooner or later.

    .

    How about Germany?

    Hitler wanted Poland. If he didn't have it's allies, it would be more easy for the allies intervene against him.
     
  10. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "... I think they helped more than the opposite. "

    Beg to differ :). One couldn't have chosen a more incompetent ally than Italy in 1938. Mussolini's misadventures in Africa dragged Rommel down when the resources were needed elsewhere. And his misadventures in the Balkins and Greece used up more precious resources and delayed launching Barbarossa. That month delay may have been the difference between spending December '41 in Moscow or in the snow. And then the country changed sides in 1944 ....

    MM
     
  11. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    I just believe there was too much corruption, too much greed, too much repression of millions of people for this alliance to last. there were far too many enslaved nation's and dis-content people for the Axis to be able to permanently keep control and govern over.
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Historical documents suggest otherwise.

    Germany tried hard to reach a diplomatic agreement with Poland for about a year prior to September 1939. Germany wanted Danzig (which was 90+ percent German) plus road and rail links across the Polish corridor. Britain encouraged Poland to reject any German offers and unilaterally gave Poland a military guarantee (which they later broke).

    Historical remarks by PM Chamberlain suggest Britain was not opposed to the German proposals per se. Poland was simply a convenient place to confront Germany. Better German diplomacy during the late 1930s might avoid the Anglo-German confrontation, at least while PM Chamberlain remains in office.
     
  13. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    Davebenger, would be possible for Hitler attack Stalin in 1940 if was the case?
     
  14. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Hitler go to rush with russian also w/o communism (lebensraum as already told Juha) and polish were in middle no hope for their.

    italy was not determined to create un empire in mediterranean there was only a bit of propaganda, w/o the start of WWII she don't go in war with greek

    japane need of oil more of need china
     
  15. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Michael, I tend to agree with your Axis implosion point.
    All empires have had a natural end, The Roman and the British empires were the most successfull in history, yet they both came to an end. Albeit for different reasons.
    Hitler created a monster and his goals were to dominate Europe and exterminate Jews etc. There is no point going over the appalling catalogue of crimes committed by the Nazi machine.
    The natural revulsion, rebellion against oppression, absorption into conquered countries, death of Hitler and the other Nazi Leaders would have watered down the Third Reich to the point of implosion over time.
    Quite how long this would have taken is another matter
    John
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I doubt it would happen that way.

    Assumption. Anglo-German detente established during 1935 lasts at least until the death of PM Chamberlain.

    November 1938 German-Polish Treaty.
    Perhaps Britain will serve as mediator.
    This settles the border dispute between Germany and Poland.

    August 1939.
    No Non-aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union. For Germany this treaty was an act of last resort to prevent the Soviet Union from signing a military alliance with Britain.

    Poland, Romania, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia all have good reason to fear Stalin. They will sign a defensive military alliance with Germany. Rather like a 1940 version of NATO.

    What happens next is unpredictable. There might be a cold war stand off between Europe and the Soviet Union. Or one of the numerous border disputes between the Soviet Union and its neighbors to the west might spark off a war. If it comes to war the Soviets will lose without American and British assistance.
     
  17. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    So, according to you, Hiitler only attacked the Soviets because the Anglo-French?
     
  18. Hop

    Hop Member

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    In 1938 Britain was encouraging Poland to reach a deal on Danzig and the corridor. Britain, after all, supported Germany taking control of ethnic German areas of Czechoslovakia.

    Britain's position changed in 1939 when the Germans broke the deal brokered at Munich in 1938 and seized control of the rest of Czechoslovakia.

    How on earth could Poland reach an agreement with Germany after that? Hitler promised he only wanted part of Czechoslovakia, then broke his word and took it all.

    Hitler's betrayal of the Munich agreement changed everything. Prior to that Britain had sided with Germany in recovering territory taken by the treaty of Versailles.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Real world diplomacy is almost never that simple. WWII was no exception.

    Hitler rose to power on an anti-communist political platform. So did Mussolini. That's why Germany and Italy openly opposed the Soviet Union during the Spanish Civil War. A war the Soviet Union lost. It's safe to say Hitler and Stalin hated each other and always would. That doesn't mean war was inevitable anymore then war was inevitable between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

    France signed a miliary alliance with the Soviet Union on May 2nd, 1935. 1930s Germanys greatest fear was for Britain to join the Franco-Russian alliance just as happened during 1914. And those fears were not unfounded. Influential British politicians (most notably Churchill) were pushing for just such a military alliance with Stalin's Soviet Union during 1939.

    The August 1939 German-Soviet non-aggression pact was a desperate attempt to prevent an Anglo-Russian alliance. This pact had the unintended consequence of pushing Norway, Sweden and Finland towards Britain. Which led to the Anglo-French invasion attempt of Norway which was forestalled by Germany.

    Then Germany's worst nightmare came true. British bungling in Norway led to Churchill becoming Prime Minister. A man who wanted a military alliance with Stalin's Soviet Union at almost any price. This was followed by President FDR getting reelected during November 1940. FDR was also committed to military alliance with Stalin's Soviet Union.

    After November 1940 the German diplomatic situation was desperate and Stalin knew it. But he still had to play his cards carefully as American and British support was not yet certain.

    During the spring of 1941 either the Soviet Union or Britain (sources disagree) arranged for a military coup in Yugoslavia to get rid of a government that was friendly towards Germany. For the German government this was the final straw. They couldn't allow Stalin to meddle in Yugoslavia anymore then they could allow Britain to meddle in Norway.

    Germany's best chance to forestall these events would be to remain on good terms with 1930s Britain. Distancing themselves from Italy would be a good place to start.
     
  20. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    Hitler gave the directive for the Barbarossa while the BoB was still raging. It's execution was not certain therefore?
     
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