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21-12-2020, 20:14   #61
Duke of Schomberg
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Also if the British were not in the fight then no convoys to the USSR with essential materials this would have led to Russian defeat. As it was it was close enough.
Well its a good job we were up for the fight - unlike DeValera, fueling U-boats and directing German bombers to Belfast. That Fenian was a disgrace to those Free Staters that did take up arms against evil.
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21-12-2020, 20:30   #62
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Well its a good job we were up for the fight - unlike DeValera, fueling U-boats and directing German bombers to Belfast. That Fenian was a disgrace to those Free Staters that did take up arms against evil.

Too true, and it's a well known fact that the SS were all trained at the Curragh Camp by the crack LDF.
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21-12-2020, 21:09   #63
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Too true, and it's a well known fact that the SS were all trained at the Curragh Camp by the crack LDF.

Possibly one of the more sensible posts in this thread!
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21-12-2020, 21:12   #64
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Didn't the Pope personally guide the German bombers to Belfast in the lead plane!
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21-12-2020, 22:03   #65
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There is no possible scenario where Hitler would not have gone to war against the Allies or specifically avoided war with the Soviet Union but it was not inevitable that he would have lost although Hitler's ideology could not leave any possibility of surrendering to the Allies on any terms once war began. He saw everything in absolute terms - he had either to win or he would fight on to the bitter end and suicide.
Hitler did not intend to go to war with the Western Allies over Poland, he assumed they would not go to war on Poland's behalf if he invaded. He did of course believe war was inevitable with France and they would at some stage have to be dealt with and war with the Britain was also likely, but as something of Anglophile he was never overly enthusiastic about it. He also did not Germany to go to war with the USA until well after Germany had achieved its goal of hegemony in Europe. In fact he believed he would no longer be alive by the time of such a war, it would be the next generation of Germans who would conquer the USA, preferably in alliance with Great Britain. His primary goal for both ideological and economic reasons was always the conquest of Russia.

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The moment after which Hitler could not win was when Churchill became PM after a meeting between himself Lord Halifax who counselled peace and the King who was sympathetic. Had Churchill deferred to Halifax having failed to win support. Churchill was quite prepared to fight on believing America would intervene in Europe as they did in 1917 and was prepared to sacrifice the empire in the process. Halifax was prepared to make peace with Hitler in return for retaining British interests just as the defeated French had whose armies continued to garrison their far flung colonies after the fall of Paris in 1940.
From what I've heard and read I believe many WWII historians are now concluding that Germany had lost the war somewhere in the 1941-1942 campaigns in Russia. One could argue that Britain's blockade of Germany/occupied Europe which resulted in the severe oil crisis for the German's was a major contributing factor in the failure of Germany's war with Russia.


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Hitler sought to be the master of Europe in order that he could grab living space in Soviet Russia as far as the Urals. He was under no illusions that he would be at war with the United States but gambled that the Soviet Union would collapse before the end of 1941. He had to believe this of course because Nazi Germany faced an acute fuel crisis.
I agree that Hitler's goal was to be master of Europe and his desire to create living space in the east, but as I already said in my first paragraph, he did not intend to go to war with the USA while he was already at war in Europe. He did gamble on the Soviet Union collapsing, but the gamble wasn't done because he believed a war with the US was coming. The fuel crisis was likely a major factor in Hitler's thinking.

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Hitler had to seize the Caucasus oil fields by 1941-42 or not only future military operations would jeopardized but the Reich economy itself. Hitler had to grab Moscow and the Caucasus the first year or the Soviets would be in a position to mobilize it's full resources to stop and roll back invasion which is in fact what happened.
I mostly agree with this assessment. It is possible that the full resources of the Soviet Union on its own would not have been enough without the supplies and equipment sent under Lend Lease, but that's a highly debatable and contentious topic.

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The major speedbump was the British resistance in the Balkans and Greece in 1941 and the Mediterranean that threatened the southern flank of Hitler's Europe. Those vital months which saw a desperate hopeless rearguard by the British actually delayed and hampered Barbarossa.
Most (but not all) WWII historians have moved away from the idea that the Balkan Interlude fatally delayed Operation Barbarossa. If you remove the Balkan Interlude from the German time table, the German's still needed time to complete logistical arrangements for the invasion and also had to wait on suitable weather conditions. Yes the Germans could of started maybe three weeks earlier but that only matters if you believe it was the Russian winter that stopped the German's, but Barbarossa had already failed due to the losses the German's had sustained, a logistic system that had collapsed and the exhaustion of its troops, all of which occurred before the Russian winter started to take effect.

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Hitler's forward reconnaissance units could actually see the spires of Moscow's St Basil's cathedral through their field glasses before they were forced to retreat.
This is most likely not true. More likely an exaggerated story by the German unit who reported it or a case of mistaken identification. From the location Khimki, the furthest most point the German's advanced to in Russia the German unit reported seeing the golden spires of Red Square and the Kremlin, however their view would of been blocked by high rise apartments on the outskirts of Moscow, secondly the German units said they spotted it when they looked out from a tall building in Khimki, but in 1941 there was no tall building located there. Finally the Kremlin itself was well camouflaged by the Soviets as protection from raids by the Luftwaffe, the Golden Spires had been painted dark colors.

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The Japanese hit many of the American battleships at Pearl Harbour but did not hit the carriers which were at sea. In any case once America mobilized they produced thousands of ships which overwhelmed the Japanese.
Hitler knew FDR favoured a Europe First war policy so with the Soviet victory in the Battle of Moscow he knew war was coming with the United States and was prepared to go down fighting.
Agree with you that the American industry overwhelmed Japan's.
I don't actually know if Hitler knew FDR favoured a Europe first strategy. Hitlers decision to declare war against the USA is one of the those debating points where we will never really know for sure why he did it. The terms of the Tripartite Pact did not obligate him to do so. My own personal belief is that he thought the US was going to declare war on Germany and he would simply beat to the punch as a way of showing the world that was he was still in control of events.

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21-12-2020, 22:47   #66
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There is no possible scenario where Hitler would not have gone to war against the Allies or specifically avoided war with the Soviet Union but it was not inevitable that he would have lost although Hitler's ideology could not leave any possibility of surrendering to the Allies on any terms once war began. He saw everything in absolute terms - he had either to win or he would fight on to the bitter end and suicide.

The moment after which Hitler could not win was when Churchill became PM after a meeting between himself Lord Halifax who counselled peace and the King who was sympathetic. Had Churchill deferred to Halifax having failed to win support. Churchill was quite prepared to fight on believing America would intervene in Europe as they did in 1917 and was prepared to sacrifice the empire in the process. Halifax was prepared to make peace with Hitler in return for retaining British interests just as the defeated French had whose armies continued to garrison their far flung colonies after the fall of Paris in 1940.

Hitler sought to be the master of Europe in order that he could grab living space in Soviet Russia as far as the Urals. He was under no illusions that he would be at war with the United States but gambled that the Soviet Union would collapse before the end of 1941. He had to believe this of course because Nazi Germany faced an acute fuel crisis.

Hitler had to seize the Caucasus oil fields by 1941-42 or not only future military operations would jeopardized but the Reich economy itself. Hitler had to grab Moscow and the Caucasus the first year or the Soviets would be in a position to mobilize it's full resources to stop and roll back invasion which is in fact what happened.

The major speedbump was the British resistance in the Balkans and Greece in 1941 and the Mediterranean that threatened the southern flank of Hitler's Europe. Those vital months which saw a desperate hopeless rearguard by the British actually delayed and hampered Barbarossa.

Hitler's forward reconnaissance units could actually see the spires of Moscow's St Basil's cathedral through their field glasses before they were forced to retreat.

The Japanese hit many of the American battleships at Pearl Harbour but did not hit the carriers which were at sea. In any case once America mobilized they produced thousands of ships which overwhelmed the Japanese.
Hitler knew FDR favoured a Europe First war policy so with the Soviet victory in the Battle of Moscow he knew war was coming with the United States and was prepared to go down fighting.
I have not looked at any other post so perhaps I'm repeating things. Hitler mistakes mostly happened when he overided his military. If he had allowed the Luftwaffe to continue bombing British aerodromes during the battle of Britain. The whole war would have gone very differently.
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21-12-2020, 23:29   #67
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Obviously if Hitlers aim was to conquer Russia what I think is not really relevant. But I believe he should have invaded Poland then France, aligned with Italy, Austria and Spain if possible then went all out in an invasion of Britain.

Would the USA have joined? Probably. But if he took over Britain that would have left him in control of Europe minus soviet territories. Japan could have took over China while Germany refuels and prepares to attack Russia. In this situation success is much more likely but if the USA ever joined and developed the bomb first it was probably game over.

Inventing the atomic bomb first was likely their only real chance of success. Drop one of those on an English city and they'd surrender in days.
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21-12-2020, 23:59   #68
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De Valera's nuclear physicists during the war!


https://www.irishtimes.com/news/scie...push-1.2380717
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22-12-2020, 00:30   #69
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The conflict with the Soviets was always on the cards, Stalin knew that and so did Hitler, Hitler sought it. I think the Soviet view was to hope/let the western democracies slug it out with Germany, with the outcome of weakening all, so the Communist International could take hold in Europe at least. Some in the Soviet Union knew an attack was coming when it started and likely knew it would have come at some point if Barbarossa had not started when it did. Stalin did buy time and had the Germans taken such an approach themselves or had they been able to, they may have come out on top.
I agree with most of this, but the German's could not have opted to play for time due to their oil situation. The German's pretty much got the timing for Barbarossa spot on, they caught the Red Army while it was still recovering from the purges which left it critically deficient in most areas such as equipment, training and leadership but also in the midst of the Red Army redeploying from its entrenched pre-war position along the Soviet Union's frontier into the less well prepared area's the Soviet Union had taken since the start of the war in Europe. A delay would of seen the Soviet Union better prepared and an even worse fuel situation for the Germans.

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If the Germans took a more defensive approach to fend off any Soviet pre-emptive strike in Eastern Europe and dealt with Great Britain in the way and numbers they had put into Barbarossa, while not as straightforward they may very likely have knocked them out of any prolonged war, this would have meant no carpet bombing of Germany by the RAF later on or any bases or reason for the US to even be there.
To knock Great Britain out of the war, German would have to invade and occupy Britain. To do that the German's would need to build up a navy that could hold its own against the Royal Navy. But as the old saying goes "naval strategy is build strategy" and building warships and fleet takes years and its not like their chasing a fixed target, Great Britain would be able to see such a build up and respond in kind. The same situation as above also applies, in this scenario the Soviet Union has more time to prepare and German oil stocks run out.

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By isolating and weakening Britain at sea nearby to her waters earlier on (mining and submarines) and not making wasteful air attacks on cities and focus on the RAF and Radar sites, even though the Germans both didnt have that many subs at the start of the war and their strategic air force capability was limited by aircraft types available, it may have been more possible to defeat the UK and more valuable to have made more limited attacks to the British mainland rather than committing fully to an all out onslaught such as the Battle of Britain as it occurred, which consumed valuable men, material and resources and can be lost and then give hope to potential allies.
Also, not sending out small groups of Capital ships into the Atlantic (without air or other support to at least harry or attempt to concern the RN enough from losing ships as they had to Japan in the East).
Doing so put these ships at more risk of being sunk (ie Bismark and small number of ships that accompanied her). The Bismark could have been used within range of the European mainland coast and most likely could have made a bigger impact on the RN by destroying them directly or drawing them into being attacked by air by the Luftwaffe (although that level of combined use of forces didnt exist in Germany, with headstrong leadership intent on pursuing their own personal agendas).
In this scenario, would see the German's scrape Plan Z even early than they did in reality and focus primarily on U-Boats and mining. There is some potential here, but again its not going to result in a quick win for the Germans. The issue here is by how much the German's would need to increase the size of U-Boat fleet by for it to have a chance of knocking Britain out of the war. In the 27-28 months before the USA entered the war only in two months did the Germans sink the required tonnage to starve Britain out of the war (when the USA joined the war the required tonnage that had to be sunk each month effectively doubled). The threat of U-Boat's was somewhat exaggerated and they never came particularly close to knocking Britain out of the war. If the German's had focused more on U-Boat's, Britain not having to worry about enemy surface ships as much could divert more resources to anti submarine warfare, after all if you're talking about one hypothetical scenario, then in fairness you also have to think about what the hypothetical response from the other side would be to counter it.

Mining, well the German's tried that and for a brief time their magnetic mine gave the British real concern until they captured one intact and developed counter measures. For regular mines to be effective you need to deploy them in large quantities, U-Boats and German airplanes wouldn't have the capacity to do so. Secondly the German's would never be in position to deploy them all around the entirety of Britain. Bottling up ports on the east coast of Britain with mines doesn't do much when ports on the western and northern side of the islands are still operational.

Wasteful attacks on cities and should of targeted radar sites. Well I'd argue the whole Battle of Britain was a waste from the German point of view. Winning the Battle of Britain wouldn't really help German's much at all. As for targeting radar sites, military aviation history looked into this and examined the occasions the German's did attack radar installations and in event found the attacks mostly ineffective, requiring significant effort on the German's part for damage that the British could usually repair in a matter of hours.

Again unless the U-Boat completely cut Britain's supply line off, nothing short of invading and occupying Britain knocks them out of the way at which pointed limited air attacks are not needed. Perhaps a purely defense posture by the Luftwaffe in which they only defended against British air attacks incoming against Germany and occupied Europe would of saw the Luftwaffe in better shape for Operation Barbarossa.

Agree about not sending small amount of capital ships out. However the German's lacked aircraft with the range to provide them with air cover.
As for Bismark, well it did sink the Hood, so in effect that sort of balances out its sinking. How you where suggesting should have been used is debatable. The German battleships where always going to be out numbered by the Royal Navy, so it's down the skill of the ship commanders if they can set up traps for the Royal Navy and not get cornered in doing so, a strategy not without its fair share of risk. If it remained in European waters then it would of been susceptible to air attack like the other German ships in occupied Europe where. Send it to Norway and you have a more powerful force to threaten the Arctic convoys with. Also had the Germans been more patient they could of deployed Bismark as part of much larger surface fleet to go commerce raiding.

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(They also could have limited their large shipbuilding projects from earlier and developed more capable subs).
Alongside dealing with Great Britain in the Med, mainly taking out Malta and pouring resources into a North African campaign.

Victories there before British land forces commanders were changed, and mainly before the British had an opportunity to turn around any losses (the British in a sense traded land and time like the Soviets because the Germans in North Africa didnt have the resources to outright destroy their enemy. Had they been supplied to do so, then that would likely have provided Germany ultimately with access to oil through what is now Syria/Iraq and Iran, and a route through the Suez.
I've already responding to stopping ship building and the issue with developing a better U-Boat fleet.

Wining North Africa doesn't really help the German's much. It doesn't knock Britain out of the war. The British can simply go around the horn of Africa to get around losing access to the Suez Canal to maintain links with its Empire. Syria, Iraq and Iran's oil production was back then was no where near developed to the level its at nowadays. The other problem what oil was there would have to be shipped back to Germany. Shipping Germany didn't have.


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Germany had some connections with Japan and could have made more diplomatic efforts to dissuade them from any attack on the US which could have been predicted. By offering the Japanese to participate in attacks on British dependancies/ thereby isolating Australia & NZ or at least causing concern for their own to defence to provide troops/support to Britain in her backgarden, while also still not outright provoking the USA into a full conflict by attacking them, which was generally opposed in the US.
Without a doubt a weakness of the Axis powers was their relative lack of co-operation. Germany/Hilter didn't know Japan was planing to attack the American so relations would have had to improve well advance to the point where Japan would of trusted Germany enough to tell her of Japan's intentions and Germany could of offered something in return for Japan holding off. The Japanese like Germany where also short of oil, due to the American embargo and wanted the Dutch East Indies for its oil supply. I don't believe Germany could of offered Japan anything at least short term to help them overcome that. The Japanese needed the Dutch East Indies and they believed by taking that they would automatically mean war with the USA and Great Britain. They where not too concerned about Great Britain believing more or less correctly it was busy with the war in Europe, but against America they didn't want to pass up an opportunity to surprise the American's and level the playing field. Perhaps the German's could of said, invade east Russia and assisting us defeating the Soviet Union and we can supply you with the oil you need, but that oil is at best case scenario at least two years away, has to come from a long distance away and is it really as good as controlling your own supply?

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Potential successes against the British in North Africa, could have provided the Germans a better means to either attack the Soviet union later from a better situation, ie either Great Britain knocked out of any extended war, Possibly with a second route through the Caucasus, or even just the threat of that to divert Soviet forces with the main route as per Barbarossa, and even a 3rd route from the East by supporting the Japanese with a limited attack on Soviet soil and a naval blockade.
As I mentioned winning in North Africa, doesn't knock Britain out of the war. Hate to use the dreaded L word but the logistic required to send a force via the middle east to attack the Caucasus from the south was well beyond the German's capability. Even deploying a force credible enough to just create a diversion would probably have required too much resources. Also once you knock Great Britain out of the war, the chances of attacking the Soviet Union by surprise go down substantially. One of the likely reason's Stalin was taken by surprise by the German invasion, is that he didn't believe the German's would go to war with the Soviet Union while still at war with Britain. The excuse Hitler gave Stalin about the deployment of forces to the Soviet border regions was that he was moving his forces out of range of British bombers would have no longer seemed credible.


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In that situation, I think the Soviet Union would have capitulated.
I don't think it was a viable option.

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Even if prior to such a scenario had the Soviets preemtively attacked in Eastern Europe, its likely they would be no better prepared for it themselves than the Germans were, their equipment and organisation was likely worse, morale and the lack of incentive to act with initiative (stymied by the late 30's purges of the army)
That itself would give good grounds for Germany to launch its own intended attack at any time that suited following destroying any incoming assault by the Soviets.

Its possible such a follow on Barbarossa2 may not even have been opposed in the US as they themselves werent exactly pro communist. The Soviets may have turned on themselves and Stalin might have been shot in some basement of the Kremlin by 1944.
The Soviets where in no position to launch a pre-emptive attack in 1941. Given the state the Red Army was in, it likely would of been even more disastrous for them than the early stage of Barbarossa actually was for them, doesn't make much difference in term of who was part of the Allies. Britain was already at war with Germany, Barbarossa didn't bring the USA into the war in Europe, that was Hitlers declaration of war after Pearl Harbor.


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As bad as the Soviets were, fortunately for the rest of us the Germans weren't so organised in cooperative actions with the Japanese, and that they seemed to over extend themselves in every theatre, and to some extent even that they weakened the Soviets and that the war was so brutal that that in itself prevented the Soviets from making any dash to the coast of France, either earlier on and even later when they were able.
Yes thankfully the Axis lost the war. The German's definitely over extended in both Russia and Africa, but wasn't really the case in other theatres. Yes the war was devastating to the Soviets but I don't think they where ever in a position to dash to the coast no matter how much they would have liked too, either early on when they would have had to dealt with Germany, France and Britain combined without lend lease assistance and later when the USA had possession of atomic bombs.


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Having said that, certain German commanders may have been able to do it, ie win what came to be described as WW2, Hitlers meddling in matters on numerous occasions hindered that, his ideology prevented at different points opportunities to not lose men and materiel by forcing Generals to command their units to stand their ground and fight to the last, rather than not losing men and equipment which was not sustainable.
Let me be clear Hitler was an evil man and doesn't deserve any sympathy and he did get several major decisions wrong but he's often unfairly blamed for too many things that happened during the war. The German generals after the war had a vested interest in blaming all that went wrong on Hitler and claiming if only he had listened to them Germany could of won the war. There was times when Hitler was right, for example his hold fast order against the Soviet counter offensive at the end of 1941 is widely have believed to have stopped the German retreat from turning into a full on rout. Operation Barbarossa is considered a fundamentally flawed plan, the blame here can be layed equally among Hitler and the generals who devised it. There is also several examples of general's getting their way on a tactical level and doing what they wanted to do but still ended up being defeated. Another example is he's often blamed for issuing the Dunkirk Halt order allowing the British to escape at Dunkirk but it was the colonel-generals Von Rundstedt and Von Kluge who where the ones who proposed halting in the first place.
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I think it could have been possible for them to win with the forces they had at their disposal from Sept 1939, had they done things differently.
Its possible, but its pretty darn unlikely.

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22-12-2020, 00:42   #70
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This is it in a nutshell.

Germany could have defeated Russia and acquired living space in eastern Europe. Alternatively Germany could have honoured Hitler's deal with Stalin and retained control of France and neighbouring countries.

They could not win on three fronts.

By invading western Europe, and antagonising Britain, meant sooner or later, America would enter the war, and no matter how long it took, Germany would be defeated by the combination of American equipment and supplies, and russian lives.
You are forgetting geography aren't you? For America to defeat Germany if they had already secured a peace with both Britain and France in 1940 would require going to war with all three to land forces in Western Europe. The Vichy French resisted the British and Americans in our time line. If the British led by Halifax rather than Churchill had similarly made peace with the Nazis they would have likely fought to deter the Americans by cooperating with the French and the Germans. Could the Americans have landed troops in Scandinavia or Ireland or the French coast or Spain or Portugal against resistance and driven all the way into the heart of Germany to conceivably meet the Russians coming the other way as an alternative to using Britain as a staging post and effectively an air craft carrier for landing operations and bombing operations in Europe? Possibly but it would have been very hard and more likely to fail.
Indeed Hitler declared war in 1941 believing that the Americans could not fight across two oceans to defeat both Germany and Japan.
The 1944 invasion of Europe came very narrowly close to failing because of stormy weather that June which wrecked the prefabricated port facilities established on the invasion beaches. Had not these facilties been able to be established in the first place the entire enterprise would have been called off and Hitler would have won in the West however at that stage the Soviets were advancing from the East.
While the Western Allies victories were not assured in the East the Soviets I believe could not have been defeated unless Moscow had been captured before the winter of 1941.
The defeat of Moscow in 1941 could only have happened if there was no British resistance in the Balkans and Greece to delay Barbarossa by the vital weeks before the winter set in giving Stalin the breathing space he needed.
This I believe would not have happened if Halifax was PM.

Last edited by Samsonsmasher; 22-12-2020 at 00:47.
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22-12-2020, 09:05   #71
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If they were why did the Nazis hate them?
Invented scapegoat for losing WW1 and everything that was wrong with Germany and the wider world, part racial theory pseudoscience but drawing from a deep well of anti semitism that was around for centuries.
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22-12-2020, 09:08   #72
 
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Invented scapegoat for losing WW1 and everything that was wrong with Germany and the wider world, part racial theory pseudoscience but drawing from a deep well of anti semitism that was around for centuries.
A lot of it was to do with money and jealousy

The Natzis stole a lot of Jewish possessions
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22-12-2020, 09:41   #73
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Well its a good job we were up for the fight - unlike DeValera, fueling U-boats and directing German bombers to Belfast. That Fenian was a disgrace to those Free Staters that did take up arms against evil.
LOL some real quality posting there, 4 posts on boards and all trash.
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22-12-2020, 09:42   #74
 
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LOL some real quality posting there, 4 posts on boards and all trash.
Lol ya ,I was going to look around and see if that was the standard for the forum
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22-12-2020, 09:42   #75
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Didn't Hitler initially think Britain as potential allies? He was sure that they wouldn't intervene when Germany invaded Poland. He saw Britains specifically English people as part of the Aryan Germanic master race...
In late 43 when things were going really badly for the Germans, massive destruction of the Fatherland by American and British bombers, the Red Army approaching the boarders of the Reich, Goebbels and Hitler discussed an alliance with the Anglo-American forces to stop the Bolshevik army sweeping across Europe. Even at this stage they considered it in the interest of the western Allies to unite with Germany to stop the advance of the Russians and the subsequent loss to Bolshevism.

Such was the arrogance and ignorance of the top nazi figures.
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