Did Hitler & The 3rd Reich Save Western Europe?

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Did Hitler & The 3rd Reich Save Western Europe?

Post by Flagg » 2010-03-24 08:24am

I've been reading one of Harry Turtledoves newer books 'The War That Came Early: Hitlers War' about a WW2 that started in 1938 when Chamberlain refused to appease Hitler regarding the Sudetenland. Now, before you heap tons of scorn upon me (aside from the fact that I wasted time on a book by an author who is infamous for having roughly 1/3 of his novels be the same thing/facts repeated over and over in each chapter) this is not an alternate history scenario I'm coming up with or some nonsense like that. I just mention this because while reading the novel it got me thinking about the facts of the European war.

I essentially have 4 questions to the historians of the board who are more knowledgeable than I am about the intricacies of inter-war foreign affairs.

1) Can we take for granted that barring an aggressive Germany or other power in Western/Central Europe, Stalin would have unleashed his wrath upon all of Europe in a war of conquest at some point in the 1940's?

2) If we take the above for granted, could an alliance of Central and Western European powers have stopped such a conquest (barring US involvement)?

3) Can we thank Nazi Germany for preventing such a conquest due to their aggressive war mobilizing the enemies of Germany into an uneasy alliance?

4) If on VE day Stalin had simply attacked the Western allies (yes, I know how ridiculous the question is from a practical standpoint when you consider the massive casualties the Russians took in defeating the Germans) and tried to drive them off the continent, would he have had the manpower and industrial power to do so barring the US use of an atomic weapon or even with one?


I'm not asking these things due to some wank fanfiction I'm writing or anything like that, I'm just honestly curious about the above circumstances and you're like the smartest people I know.

I did a few searches and came up with nothing regarding this subject on the board, so I hope this hasn't been done before. If it has though, I'd appreciate a link to the relevant thread.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Simon_Jester » 2010-03-24 08:48am

Flagg wrote:1) Can we take for granted that barring an aggressive Germany or other power in Western/Central Europe, Stalin would have unleashed his wrath upon all of Europe in a war of conquest at some point in the 1940's?
No.

Stalin wasn't a Napoleon wannabe. He was certainly an aggressive ruler under some conditions, and he had no qualms at all about using military force to get what he wanted on the USSR's borders. But as far as I know there is no evidence that Stalin's military buildup was aimed at a war of conquest in Europe. Certainly not a war that would have taken the boundaries of his control farther than they wound up historically after the war, when the Warsaw Pact countries are taken into account.
2) If we take the above for granted, could an alliance of Central and Western European powers have stopped such a conquest (barring US involvement)?
Quite possibly.

It bears remembering that every country in Europe had strong political factions opposed to communism. Most of the nations on the USSR's borders (Poland, Finland) were strongly anticommunist and were prepared to resist a Soviet invasion; Poland in particular had already done so in 1920. Nations more distant from the conflict (Germany, France, the UK) were prepared to offer support to these front-line nations and continue the war on their own territory if necessary. France in particular had a large conscript army that, while smaller than the Soviets', was still not to be despised.

Moreover, an open Soviet war of aggression would be relatively likely to cause a wave of anticommunist sentiment that would draw in nations from well beyond the war zone; it is one of the few things I can imagine that might (might I say) have gotten the League of Nations off its keister, for instance. US involvement would not have been implausible, especially considering that the US had participated in an intervention during the Russian Civil War, to the tune of over ten thousand troops.
3) Can we thank Nazi Germany for preventing such a conquest due to their aggressive war mobilizing the enemies of Germany into an uneasy alliance?
Almost certainly not.

An anti-Soviet defensive alliance would have been the easiest and most natural thing in the world to the conservatives of Europe. Rallying the continent against the Soviets would probably have been even less difficult than rallying it against the Nazis, and at best would not have been much more difficult.
4) If on VE day Stalin had simply attacked the Western allies (yes, I know how ridiculous the question is from a practical standpoint when you consider the massive casualties the Russians took in defeating the Germans) and tried to drive them off the continent, would he have had the manpower and industrial power to do so barring the US use of an atomic weapon or even with one?
...The answer to the first ("barring the US use...) is "I don't know," and the answer to the second (even with one) is "no."

"I don't know" is because I don't feel qualified to look at the orders of battle of the armies involved and decide who would win in a fight, or which of the competing allegations about the two sides' available assets to believe.

The "no" is because of how intense the US reaction would likely have been had the Russians decided to keep going. Stuart would be the go-to guy on this, but I imagine that even if the Soviets enjoyed incredible military success in the opening months, US bombers operating from British territory (which the Soviets couldn't reach much, if any, better than the Germans) would have the range to cause enormous damage to the USSR very quickly. Decisive damage, once mass production of atomic bombs began in 1946-7.

The real wild card I see is Japan. A Soviet betrayal in Europe might force the US to divert its (two?) remaining nuclear bombs to the war in Europe (say, to nuking Moscow) and delay any nuclear strikes on Japan until large scale production was ready. It would also have enormously heartened the Japanese (Ha! The enemy is fighting among themselves!) and made them more willing to hold out for a negotiated peace instead of the dictated one they actually got. Which, hell, we might have given them for all I know. The strain of trying to batter down the Soviet Union might force us to give up any idea of expending troops on the scale it would take to conquer and occupy the Japanese Home Islands.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2010-03-24 09:03am

Didn't Stalin also decide on "communism in one nation", rather than the internationalist global revolution crap that most commies wanted, because he wanted to consolidate in one manageable nation rather than go around waging troublesome wars and revolutions and uprisings all over the world (which he knew wasn't worth it)?
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by K. A. Pital » 2010-03-24 09:32am

Flagg wrote:1) Can we take for granted that barring an aggressive Germany or other power in Western/Central Europe, Stalin would have unleashed his wrath upon all of Europe in a war of conquest at some point in the 1940's?
No. In fact, Stalin's Soviet industrialization in the 1930s started with greater value-added for civilan sectors than for the military prior to ~1935, when European nations started raising their armament prospects. Moreover, Stalin wanted to make a collective security pact with EITHER Germany or France/Britain, indicating an interest in collective "policing" of smaller European nations. Stalin's primary sphere of interest lie in Eastern Europe, the former parts of the Russian Empire.
Flagg wrote:2) If we take the above for granted, could an alliance of Central and Western European powers have stopped such a conquest (barring US involvement)?
Quite certainly yes. The USSR was very, very under-industrialized. It's a miracle (or rather, very impressive feats of evacuation, etc. etc) which allowed the USSR to survive the German onslaught. The USSR's ability to wage war on it's own territory is far greater than it's ability to attack major European powers. A further note is that Stalin did not expect France to collapse so quickly as it did. He (and the Soviet generalitee to an extent, much like some other generalitees) thought that the major powers have immense armies which will fight in a World War I style stalemates lasting for months, with pre-hostilities lasting for weeks.
Flagg wrote:3) Can we thank Nazi Germany for preventing such a conquest due to their aggressive war mobilizing the enemies of Germany into an uneasy alliance?
No. Nazi Germany in no way prevented a conquest. On the other hand, if the USSR attacked, everyone and his dog would rally against it. Hell, Germany and Poland were close to forming an anti-Soviet alliance after they carved up Czechoslovakia together in 1938. And that's with Germany being Nazi. Imagine all European powers being calm, etc. and then the USSR suddenly attacking. All Europe, including Britain, would easily join up into an anti-Soviet bloc.

In fact, were it not for Hitler's modestly and moderately non-brutal wars of conquest against Britain and other WE powers, he could've joined with them in partitioning Russia/USSR; everyone hated the USSR and a new intervention in it would be easily supported in a wartime circumstance. Hadn't Hitler attacked Poland but instead joined it to attack the USSR, quite possibly Britain could jump on the bandwagon.
Flagg wrote:4) If on VE day Stalin had simply attacked the Western allies (yes, I know how ridiculous the question is from a practical standpoint when you consider the massive casualties the Russians took in defeating the Germans) and tried to drive them off the continent, would he have had the manpower and industrial power to do so barring the US use of an atomic weapon or even with one?
The USSR had an ability to run further. However, it didn't want to fight it's own allies. That's fucking stupid.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Flagg » 2010-03-24 09:49am

Thanks for the info, guys. It was very illuminating and successfully shattered the idea I had that the Nazis may have prevented a Soviet conquered western Europe.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Simon_Jester » 2010-03-24 09:50am

Thank you, Stas.
Stas Bush wrote:A further note is that Stalin did not expect France to collapse so quickly as it did. He (and the Soviet generalitee to an extent, much like some other generalitees) thought that the major powers have immense armies which will fight in a World War I style stalemates lasting for months, with pre-hostilities lasting for weeks.
Ah... I'm not sure "generalitee" is an accepted word for a collection of generals in English, though it may be in other languages that I don't know.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Stuart » 2010-03-24 10:07am

Flagg wrote: Can we take for granted that barring an aggressive Germany or other power in Western/Central Europe, Stalin would have unleashed his wrath upon all of Europe in a war of conquest at some point in the 1940's?
No, we can't. The whole concept is antithetical to Stalin's world view. It was an article of belief of his administration that the correlation of forces and the broad sweep of history were running in his direction and that, unless something absolutely disastrous happened, he would win in the end. "Something absolutely disastrous" included a war which might inflict such damage on the USSR that the correlation of forces and the sweep of history would be changed. So, the abiding doctrine of Stalin's USSR was to push and prod but stop well short of any war. This changed postwar due to a conplex variety of circumstances, not least of which was the Great Patriotic War itself and the development of nuclear weapons, but that's entirely another matter.

Having said all that, it is conceivable that if Hitler hadn't invaded the USSR in 1941, the growing threat on the USSR's borders and the sure and certain knowledge that he would invade sooner or later might have provoked an entirely understandable Soviet pre-emptive attack. However, that simply points to the fact that Nazi Germany was the cause of the situation not a preventer of it.
If we take the above for granted, could an alliance of Central and Western European powers have stopped such a conquest (barring US involvement)?
This is a very hard one. It's not so clear-cut as it may seem and a lot will depend on the timescale involved and the kind of war that will be fought. The Soviet Union did carry out major assaults that plowed straight through large enemy forces (Operation Bagration/Destruction of Army Group Center being a classic example) but, on the other hand, it has very limited industrial resources to back up its war effort. It has significant cadres of supporters in all the Western European countries who would create some level of disruption, again how much is hard to predict. It's also hard to predict how stable the anti-Soviet alliance would be. Certainly, the "Pan-European Defense Against Bolshevism" line was attractive to some parts of Western opinion in the 1930s (Halifax being a classic proponent of that school) but given teh Nazi's outspoken behavior and actions, its likely they will alienate most of their allies.

So, my conclusion would be that, in the immediate short-term the answer is probably yes but in the longer term the issue becomes much more clouded.
Can we thank Nazi Germany for preventing such a conquest due to their aggressive war mobilizing the enemies of Germany into an uneasy alliance?
Quite the opposite. Nazi Germany and its aggressive war mobilization would probably have brought about the attack described.
If on VE day Stalin had simply attacked the Western allies (yes, I know how ridiculous the question is from a practical standpoint when you consider the massive casualties the Russians took in defeating the Germans) and tried to drive them off the continent, would he have had the manpower and industrial power to do so barring the US use of an atomic weapon or even with one?
Flat no. The Soviet Army wasn't going anywhere in 1945; the great offensives in the last part of 1944 and early 1945 had left it exhausted. It had shot its bolt. It would need months of regrouping and resupplying before it was capable of a further advance. In addition, Stalin was a sharp cookie, he knew very well that once the war was over allied forces in Western Europe would be reducing at an exponential rate; if he was going to go, why attack when his forces were weakest and allied forces were strongest? It would make much more sense to wait while his forces rebuilt and recovered and the allied forces stood down.

If the atatck had occurred, option 1 would have been moot; the US response would have been atomic and would have been directed at Russian infrastructure. Remember, the US can do the one thing Germany could never do - strike at the Russian heartland. The B-29s have the range that Germans could only dream of and can use bases in Japan to strike at targets the Germans couldn't. The Soviets would have had a hard, hard time fighting the B-29; once the B-36 came along there would be nothing they could do to stop it. And all those bombers would have been delivering nuclear weapons.

It's interesting how often the "Well, the Nazis would have stopped the Soviet conquest of Europe" line comes up; it's essentially a rebirth of 1930s European fascist propaganda. What it really shows is how deficient in strategic thought the proponents of that line really are.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by K. A. Pital » 2010-03-24 10:16am

Stuart wrote:It's interesting how often the "Well, the Nazis would have stopped the Soviet conquest of Europe" line comes up; it's essentially a rebirth of 1930s European fascist propaganda
Given the resurgence of the far-right in some parts of the world, that's not surprising. All they have is to pull out the Goebbels lines, dust them off and put to use.

The very funny fact was that the Nazis managed to underestimate Soviet industrial potential while at the same time trying to paint a picture of how "menacing" the USSR was and how it was going to totally crush all and all. Heh.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Stuart » 2010-03-24 10:35am

Stas Bush wrote: The very funny fact was that the Nazis managed to underestimate Soviet industrial potential while at the same time trying to paint a picture of how "menacing" the USSR was and how it was going to totally crush all and all. Heh.
I think a lot of it was mirror imaging. The nazis worked on the assumption "we are aggressive war-mongering bastards so they must be as well. If we had a massive military production base, we would attack them, they haven't attacked us so they can't have a large military production base. Since they don't have a large military production base and we do . . . . CHARGE!!! . . . .. . . (Long pause) . . . . . Ooops.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by PeZook » 2010-03-24 11:29am

Simon_Jester wrote:Most of the nations on the USSR's borders (Poland, Finland) were strongly anticommunist and were prepared to resist a Soviet invasion; Poland in particular had already done so in 1920.
I hate to butt in on a thread which had its topic fairly well covered already, but in the interest of accuracy, I need to point out the 1920-1921 war was hardly clear-cut with regards to who started the mess. I wouldn't call it "defence against Soviet invasion", since both sides were really damn eager to fight, just looking for an excuse. Things were so bad in 1919 that border patrols sometimes attacked each other with little provocation.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Simon_Jester » 2010-03-24 11:36am

Ok, you're right. I have no idea who started the war. What I do know:

There was surely a Soviet invasion of Poland, whether the Poles brought it on or not. There were actual Red Army troops marching around inside the country. Now, maybe the Poles earned the invasion (as Germany earned the invasions it suffered during World War Two), and maybe they didn't. I do not know.

The Poles defeated this army, which was definitely invading them.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by PeZook » 2010-03-24 11:43am

Yeah, this much is true. The Battle Of Warsaw didn't happen near Moscow, after all :D

But the war is often painted as a valiant defence of Europe from an unstoppable wave of communist invaders, while in reality it was a messy affair sparked off by centuries of national animosities and recent political conflict. The first major offensive of the war was stared by Poland, after all, in a bid to reclaim lost territorry.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Elfdart » 2010-03-24 11:51am

Stas Bush wrote:
Stuart wrote:It's interesting how often the "Well, the Nazis would have stopped the Soviet conquest of Europe" line comes up; it's essentially a rebirth of 1930s European fascist propaganda
Given the resurgence of the far-right in some parts of the world, that's not surprising. All they have is to pull out the Goebbels lines, dust them off and put to use.

The very funny fact was that the Nazis managed to underestimate Soviet industrial potential while at the same time trying to paint a picture of how "menacing" the USSR was and how it was going to totally crush all and all. Heh.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Thanas » 2010-03-24 12:11pm

PeZook wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:Most of the nations on the USSR's borders (Poland, Finland) were strongly anticommunist and were prepared to resist a Soviet invasion; Poland in particular had already done so in 1920.
I hate to butt in on a thread which had its topic fairly well covered already, but in the interest of accuracy, I need to point out the 1920-1921 war was hardly clear-cut with regards to who started the mess. I wouldn't call it "defence against Soviet invasion", since both sides were really damn eager to fight, just looking for an excuse. Things were so bad in 1919 that border patrols sometimes attacked each other with little provocation.
There was also vicious fighting between German and polish troops over east prussia, as the poles got it in their head to simply grab all of Silesia/East Prussia. There is a well known tale of veteran german troops being shuffled directly from the west front into east prussia to stop the polish advance. That was an exceptionally nasty little war which for some reason nobody likes to focus much on nowadays.

Stuart wrote:It has significant cadres of supporters in all the Western European countries who would create some level of disruption, again how much is hard to predict.
In Germany the effect would be next to nil. The left tried such a powergrap already in 1919 and a few years later they tried to take control of the Ruhr valley. In both cases they were dispersed without many problems. Germans are notoriously bad at revolutions.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by montypython » 2010-03-24 02:18pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Ok, you're right. I have no idea who started the war. What I do know:

There was surely a Soviet invasion of Poland, whether the Poles brought it on or not. There were actual Red Army troops marching around inside the country. Now, maybe the Poles earned the invasion (as Germany earned the invasions it suffered during World War Two), and maybe they didn't. I do not know.

The Poles defeated this army, which was definitely invading them.
The positions of that conflict tended to be more opportunity than anything, as the Battle of Warsaw was fought due to the Red Army having the initiative, but it could have very well been the other way had conditions swung in the Polish Army's favor in the opening days. Pezook's absolutely right about the whole thing being a mess all around.
Stuart wrote:I think a lot of it was mirror imaging. The nazis worked on the assumption "we are aggressive war-mongering bastards so they must be as well. If we had a massive military production base, we would attack them, they haven't attacked us so they can't have a large military production base. Since they don't have a large military production base and we do . . . . CHARGE!!! . . . .. . . (Long pause) . . . . . Ooops.
I wouldn't say that the German's didn't understand the Soviet war production capacity necessarily, having cooperated with them from 1922-1932, rather the assumption was that a massive shock a la Barbarossa would overwhelm what the Soviets had available for production, negating any possible advantages. Of course things didn't turn out that way. :lol:

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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by K. A. Pital » 2010-03-24 02:26pm

montypython wrote:I wouldn't say that the German's didn't understand the Soviet war production capacity necessarily, having cooperated with them from 1922-1932
They didn't. Post 1935 it changed a lot.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by spaceviking » 2010-03-24 04:27pm

One must wonder how a supposed Soviet Invasion would have gone . I assume it would never happen prior to 1943 (if Stalin had wanted to) so Soviet industry would have been in a better postion. Though some factors would favour the Germans, they could stay out of the citites, short supply lines, maybe they could have got their economy in order etc.

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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by MKSheppard » 2010-03-24 05:21pm

Stuart wrote:So, the abiding doctrine of Stalin's USSR was to push and prod but stop well short of any war.
What about the Soviet-Finnish War?

That was basically:

"We'd like you to redraw your boarders to our advantage."

"No."

*Invades*

I can see some sort of Second Soviet-Polish War occuring in the 1940s over some "minor border adjustments" similar to the Soviet-Finnish War, as that would fit Stalin's MO, plus there might be a personal interest for Stalin, seeing as he was involved in the First Polish/Soviet War.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by MKSheppard » 2010-03-24 05:28pm

Flagg wrote:I've been reading one of Harry Turtledoves newer books
I feel for you. Here's a lighter. Burn the book before it contaminates your braincells and destroys more of them.
'The War That Came Early: Hitlers War' about a WW2 that started in 1938 when Chamberlain refused to appease Hitler regarding the Sudetenland.
All going slightly okay. In reality that would have led to a military coup deposing Hitler the moment the German army smashed into the Czech fortifications along the boarder.

But it's turtledove, so we have increasingly fucking implausible events; like a successful Japanese invasion of Siberia :lol:

Even in 1938, the Soviet army outmatches the Japanese Army..it's just a victory on the margins of 40 to 1; rather than the 100 to 1 that was historical that Zhukov inflicted on 'em.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Teebs » 2010-03-24 08:29pm

MKSheppard wrote:All going slightly okay. In reality that would have led to a military coup deposing Hitler the moment the German army smashed into the Czech fortifications along the boarder.
Weren't the Czechs basically screwed by the Anschluss? I was under the impression that ruined all of their defensive plans.

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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Steve » 2010-03-24 08:51pm

Teebs wrote:
MKSheppard wrote:All going slightly okay. In reality that would have led to a military coup deposing Hitler the moment the German army smashed into the Czech fortifications along the boarder.
Weren't the Czechs basically screwed by the Anschluss? I was under the impression that ruined all of their defensive plans.
As I recall it complicated them severely because Bohemia became a cul-de-sac surrounded on three sides by German territory, but they'd fortified the entire ring and, given it was already hilly territory, even a bit mountainous IIRC, they still had a strong position.

It was Munich that screwed the Czechs royal, because they had that defensive frontier stripped from them, leaving the heartland of Bohemia open to easy invasion by Germany.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Flagg » 2010-03-24 10:22pm

MKSheppard wrote:
Flagg wrote:I've been reading one of Harry Turtledoves newer books
I feel for you. Here's a lighter. Burn the book before it contaminates your braincells and destroys more of them.
'The War That Came Early: Hitlers War' about a WW2 that started in 1938 when Chamberlain refused to appease Hitler regarding the Sudetenland.
All going slightly okay. In reality that would have led to a military coup deposing Hitler the moment the German army smashed into the Czech fortifications along the boarder.

But it's turtledove, so we have increasingly fucking implausible events; like a successful Japanese invasion of Siberia :lol:

Even in 1938, the Soviet army outmatches the Japanese Army..it's just a victory on the margins of 40 to 1; rather than the 100 to 1 that was historical that Zhukov inflicted on 'em.

I don't know why I enjoy his books, I think it's because it gives me a better sense of real history somehow. But I don't read them as anything more than a guilty pleasure.
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Mystikal » 2010-03-24 10:55pm

Flagg wrote:I've been reading one of Harry Turtledoves newer books 'The War That Came Early: Hitlers War' about a WW2 that started in 1938 when Chamberlain refused to appease Hitler regarding the Sudetenland. Now, before you heap tons of scorn upon me (aside from the fact that I wasted time on a book by an author who is infamous for having roughly 1/3 of his novels be the same thing/facts repeated over and over in each chapter) this is not an alternate history scenario I'm coming up with or some nonsense like that. I just mention this because while reading the novel it got me thinking about the facts of the European war.

I essentially have 4 questions to the historians of the board who are more knowledgeable than I am about the intricacies of inter-war foreign affairs.

1) Can we take for granted that barring an aggressive Germany or other power in Western/Central Europe, Stalin would have unleashed his wrath upon all of Europe in a war of conquest at some point in the 1940's?
Um, from what I have rtead about Stalin, it is very likely that either the Russian people would have eventually rebelled against Stalin and the Communists and that he would not have modernized and advanced the Red Army that he did, to the extent that he did, as fast as he did. IF this butterflies away the Winter War, then not only is the logistical side of still against the USSR too much for a conquest like in OTL but he would still have a less than optimal armor strategy. One of the main things that got Stalin to modernize the Red Army was its appaling performance against Finland and later the extreme pressure by the Nazis. Without a reason to look outward, he would most likely continue to focus his paranoia at home.

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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by K. A. Pital » 2010-03-24 11:16pm

MKSheppard wrote:Burn the book before it contaminates your braincells and destroys more of them.
Echoed. Turtledove causes brain damage which, in some cases, can be quite severe.
Mystikal wrote:One of the main things that got Stalin to modernize the Red Army was its appaling performance against Finland and later the extreme pressure by the Nazis.
The USSR constantly modernized it's army, but to be fair, it was an industrializing nation still. The first push towards Army modernization came after the "alarm of 1927", later in the 1930s the process continued slowly until c.1935. Border conflicts of the 1930s, etc. There was plenty of events which stimulated modernization. Finland was a bitter lesson, although circumstances played an important part in the poor perfomance of the RKKA, it's deep organizational problems were not solved (e.g. overreliance on tanks without adequate supply and support vehicles, etc.)
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Re: Did Hitler & The 3rd Riech Save Western Europe?

Post by Fingolfin_Noldor » 2010-03-25 12:04am

What is this "Alarm of 1927"?
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