Originally Posted by Samsonsmasher
Hitler was not interested in any of this. His sights were on Russia. After the defeat of France and the retreat of the British from Dunkirk he was confident they would accept a peace offer in July 1940 which Churchill rebuffed in favour of doggedly holding out - he was prepared to sacrifice the resources of the Empire to do it wheres Halifax would probably have readily taken the deal. Churchill would not accept England as a second rate power in 1940 but was forced to in 1945. It was not until Anthony Eden was humiliated by the Suez Crisis that British imperialists realized the Empire was on its last legs and the process of decolonization encouraged by both the US and USSR began in earnest.
With a Britain led by Halifax and an agreed peace Germany could concern itself totally with the war in the East.
The delay in attacking Russia in 1941 caused by the Balkans campaign proved fatal because the stiffer than expected resistance encountered at Smolensk convinced Hitler to delay the drive on Moscow because he was anxious to secure the Caucasus oil. He was not convinced of the importance of decapitating the regime by capturing Moscow by Guderian who he actually persuaded to support the priority of the southern sector of the Barbarossa campaign. The renewed drive toward Moscow began in October but had stalled by December when it was thrown back by the Soviet counter offensive with Siberian division freed up due to the Soviet Japanese non aggression pact which was not broken until 1945 after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs and the opportunity to invade Manchuria presented itself.
Hitler aim was to conquer Russia as he imagined the Indians had been conquered by the British and America had been conquered by the white man.
Had he secured a peace deal with Britain it is likely America would have given up trying to intervene militarily in Europe.
While different leadership in Britain could of led Britain to coming to terms with the Germans, British leadership however was not something within the German's control.
As I said before most historians do not believe the Balkan campaign significantly effected Barbarossa's outcome, the original start date of the 15th of May could not have been met by the Germans even without the Balkan campaign. An usually wet spring in 1941 meant river flood plains where still flooded at this point in some of the area's the Germans would need to pass through and the Germans/Axis allies had not completed the construction of the adequate airfields/logistics needed for the invasion. It probably could of gone ahead sooner than it did without the Balkans campaign maybe up to a week or two earlier, but the delay wasn't what stopped them from taking Moscow as they had already been stopped before winter arrived, it was the collapse of their logistics system and the casualties the Russian's had inflicted on them.
Also the offensive that drove them back had 18 Russian divisions, only 3 of which came from Siberia. The soldiers involved came from all over Russia with the Volga region of Russia providing more than other region.
If Britain and Germany where allies there is no way America gets involved in Europe, however there is a massive difference between Britain signing a peace agreement with Germany as opposed to actually becoming Allies. If Germany declared war on America in the wake of Japan attacking America, I can't see Britain also doing the same. Its possibly if Germany declared war on America, Britain would of reneged on its peace deal with the Germans and rejoined the war on the American side.