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  • Appeasement continues

    Instead of supporting Poland in September 1939 Britain and France declare that Eastern and Central Europe are none of their concern. Further they state that they will only respond to events in Western Europe for example an attack on Belgium.

    Would Hitler still attack the West or would he use peace in the west as a green light to attack the Soviets earlier in 1940?
    "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

  • #2
    He has to eliminate France - otherwise the ToV still stands.

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    • #3
      I don't think Hitler would attack in the west, at least not until he had dealt with the Soviet Union. He always looked towards the Soviet Union as his main enemy.

      He would probably still invade the Soviet Union in 1941. It would take him some time to secure his Southern European flank and I doubt he could secure it by spring 1940 so he would have to wait another year to launch Barbarossa in the spring of 1941.

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      • #4
        600+ miles to Moscow, <200 miles to Paris.

        Cannot see the Germans leaving France in their back while they go off to invade the SU.
        Plus without a BEF in France already the Germans would naturally be more confident of victory there anyway.

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        • #5
          Or, Hitler issues an order to maintain a strong defensive force in the west, freeing up all those divisions that aren't used as occupational troops in Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands and France. Also with this there is no North African attrition, the Germans could field an additional 30 divisions or so in the east.

          How that eventuates no one really knows.

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          • #6
            Sounds bad to say it, but abandoning Poland to it's fate may have been the best option. France and UK needed more time for their armament/defense industries to streamline and catch up. Abrogating their treaty with Poland could have accomplished this.....to what degree is a matter of speculation.

            Originally posted by Gooner View Post

            Plus without a BEF in France already the Germans would naturally be more confident of victory there anyway.
            Then the Germans should have forged eastwards without the least of worries, no?
            Last edited by asterix; 27 May 14, 23:55.
            You'll live, only the best get killed.

            -General Charles de Gaulle

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            • #7
              I have to go with jamse and Roddross on this one. Almost everything Hitler wanted was in the east. Historically the main reason Germany ended up at war with Britain and France was because of their alliance with Poland. If that didn't exist I doubt he would go looking for a fight with them. Even the way things really worked out he never wanted to fight Britain at first, apparently they were fellow Aryans.

              That's not to say Britain and France would never have gotten fed up with his antics and attacked Germany. Especially if they saw it bogged down in a fight with the Soviet Union.
              "Artillery lends dignity to what might otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederick the Great

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              • #8
                Originally posted by frisco17 View Post

                That's not to say Britain and France would never have gotten fed up with his antics and attacked Germany. Especially if they saw it bogged down in a fight with the Soviet Union.
                I'm not so sure. While France and Britain saw Hitler's Germany as a threat, they regard Stalin's Soviet Union a worse threat. I think both countries would have gladly watched both Germany and the USSR slug it out hoping Stalin would eventually be defeated. Keep in mind, historically, both FR and UK were contemplating plans to send troops to help the Fins in the event of a war with Russia. (Those troops would later be diverted to Norway).
                You'll live, only the best get killed.

                -General Charles de Gaulle

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                • #9
                  That thought had crossed my mind as well. Specifically the old British strategy of siding with the weak against the strong. Let Germany and the USSR slug it out and then attempt to finish off the winner.
                  "Artillery lends dignity to what might otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederick the Great

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by asterix View Post
                    Then the Germans should have forged eastwards without the least of worries, no?
                    No, there were still 90+ French divisions for the Germans to worry about.

                    Keeping a few dozen forming or refitting divisions in the West whilst they have licence to steal and loot anything that takes their fancy is a win-win for the Germans compared to having to keep a few dozen divisions of behind the Westwall.

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                    • #11
                      Those who think Hitler won't dispatch France at the first opportunity, and once and forever, have not read Mein Kampf.
                      Michele

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by frisco17 View Post
                        I have to go with jamse and Roddross on this one. Almost everything Hitler wanted was in the east. Historically the main reason Germany ended up at war with Britain and France was because of their alliance with Poland.
                        I agree. Hitler might well have been satisfied to have taken over the Soviet Union, and what's more, Britain and France and America might well have been pleased to let him do so. Nobody liked the communism, except some of the French, so it would be letting Germany carry out the trash.

                        This is a good what-if. Why DID the allies draw the line at Poland? They didn't draw it very decisively, since a silent "Phony War" followed for eight months, broken NOT by Britain and France but by Germany's attack on France in May 1940. Probably better in for a penny, in for a pound, let Poland go and let Hitler and Germany get hung up with General Winter.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Phebe View Post
                          I agree. Hitler might well have been satisfied to have taken over the Soviet Union,
                          The recommendation is the same as above: read Mein Kampf.
                          Michele

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michele View Post
                            Those who think Hitler won't dispatch France at the first opportunity, and once and forever, have not read Mein Kampf.
                            I'll admit to not having read the whole thing but I'm familiar with parts of it. That's partially where I'm drawing my conclusions from. I'm not suggesting that France would be let off the hook forever, just that Hitler would likely go after the USSR first. An attack on France would be complicated by it's alliance with Britain, whom Hitler really didn't want to fight, while the USSR is isolated, seen as a threat by most of the world, run by communists and populated by Slavs. It's a much juicier target for Hitler.

                            Of course this all assumes he isn't stupid enough to just attack them both at the same time, which is entirely possible.
                            "Artillery lends dignity to what might otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederick the Great

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                            • #15
                              You are saying Hitler meant to take over everything, like all megalomaniacs, Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon.

                              No doubt, but taking on Russia put paid to Napoleon, and might have put paid to Hitler sooner rather than later as happened anyway.

                              Without the West having to go into WWII. After all, how did it help Poland? The allies never did save Poland, didn't even try --- so it was pointless to declare war on that basis.

                              Great what-if. Let Hitler have Poland, they did exactly that anyway so why not, and Hitler would surely have gone East and broken his teeth on the Russian bear. If Hitler seemed to be losing, they could attack his rear later, or just leave it to Russia, death of armies.

                              Certainly Hitler WANTED to conquer all Europe, but he might well have been too weakened even after a victory over the Soviet Union, and that was by no means assured.

                              All the what-if novels I've been reading about Hitler-won-after-Dunkirk because the British negotiated all have a long, long war (ten or fifteen years and counting) between Russia and Germany immediately after the British settlement. Just skip the British and French defeat and go straight to the Russian war: that would have been much the better strategy.

                              I wonder why they didn't do exactly that? Anyone have an idea?

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