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Allied counter factuals in WWII

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  • Allied counter factuals in WWII

    So many alternate history items regarding WWII deal with pro-Axis counterfactuals. It is time for some pro-Allied counter factuals.

    What could the Allies have done to defeat the Axis powers sooner?

    What if the allied bomber offensive had started attacking the German oil industry from the beginning, instead of waiting to 1944?

    What if the Americans had enthusiastically adopted the 17lber for their shermans as soon as it was available? Assume the US sets up its own manufacturing facility to increase the total number of guns produced.

    What if the USA started the Manhattan project sooner?

    What if Stalin had listened to his intelligence and put the Russian army on alert on June 21st 1941?

    What if Zhukhov was in charge earlier and some of the big pockets never happened?

    What if the UK had simultaneously invented the general purpose machine gun along with the Germans and all commonwealth infantry units had much higher numbers of machine guns?

    What if the French had a better combined arms/mobile warfare doctrine in 1940?

  • #2
    What if the allies had gone after the power structure of Germany and knocked out power plants? It was debated but the Air chbiefs decided it would not have worked. Hindsight says it would have. No power, no factories to produce the weapons of war. Everybody's easily home for Christmas 1944.

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    • #3
      I'll take the last one and move it back even further. Hitler reoccupies the Rhineland and France sends it's troops over the border at once. His credibility is now shot and he is removed from power. No WW2.
      Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by grognard View Post
        What if the allies had gone after the power structure of Germany and knocked out power plants? It was debated but the Air chbiefs decided it would not have worked. Hindsight says it would have. No power, no factories to produce the weapons of war. Everybody's easily home for Christmas 1944.
        For as much as I'm against the entire bomber offensive I'll admit this would've worked. Of course you'd have to reallocate bombers from the "workers relocation" campaign....
        If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by freightshaker View Post
          For as much as I'm against the entire bomber offensive I'll admit this would've worked. Of course you'd have to reallocate bombers from the "workers relocation" campaign....
          Well duh, for a counterfactual, the allies have to relocate forces somehow.

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          • #6
            My favourite is 'what if' Britain had begun its rearmament earlier?

            Say double the T.A. after the Anschluss, reintroduce conscription after Munich, bring forward armaments production by six months, the BEF in France would have been 20-odd divisions with a couple of dozen Hurricane squadrons, could Jerry still have prevailed.


            As it was H.M.G. ran a slight budgetary surplus in the years leading upto WWII.

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            • #7
              One counterfactual could be an Allied offensive in September 1939 while much of the German army was in Poland.

              The major drawbacks to this would be the time taken to ship the BEF to France and the extreme defensive mindedness of the French. But if there had been a more aggressive French commander e.g. DeGaulle could an offensive in 1939 have prevented the fall of France in June 1940?
              "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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              • #8
                It would have taken more than a new commander. The French mobilization as it existed in 1939 recluded any imeadiate attack. As it was the limited Saar offensive was susposed to be a precursor to a large attack building up thru late September into October. The French had expected it would take the Germans some four to six months to conquor Poland.

                The rapid destruction of the Polish army suprised the French & the Saar offensive was halted as now pointless.

                For France to have launched a imeadiate attack plunging deep into Germany. The mobilization system would have had to be completely redone begaining as far back as 1937 or early 1938. Such a reorgnaization would have required a major change in French politics & thinking. Others besides DeGualle proposed a standing stratigic strike force inside European France. But as I understand it the French standing army was limited to a imobile training organization for political reasons. Only after weeks of mobilization of reservists could a real field army be formed.

                This may seem silly, but the Germans were only slightly better off. There were some 'standing' divsions ready for combat in peacetime, but the bulk of the active service Wehrmacht soldiers were in units formed for training. The difference between the German & French army in September 1939 is the Wehrmacht had begain mobilizing its reservists into their combat units several weeks earlier. So, they were ready to attack Poland. While the French were just starting to call their reservists into the combat units.

                Even begaining the French mobilization several weeks earlier would not have helped much. From my limited understanding the schedule for the offensive was very slow & accelerating it would still require revamping the mobilization system during the previous year or two.

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                • #9
                  I'm not sure this belongs here, but what if the British agreed to peace immediately after the fall of France, then quietly regroupped their forces and backstabbed Germany when it attacked the Soviet Union?
                  They could have guessed that those two will clash sooner or later...
                  (The german divisions that AH offered for India would be an added free bonus...)
                  Last edited by leopold; 29 Mar 07, 06:15.
                  If you believe, you receive.
                  If you doubt, you go without.

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                  • #10
                    "... but what if the British agreed to peace immediately after the fall of France, then quietly regroupped their forces and backstabbed Germany when it attacked the Soviet Union? "

                    That would fit the British style from earlier eras. Even if it were only a cease fire or armistice during 'peace negotiations'.

                    The downside would be keeping the public motivated for war when the time came to resume fighting.

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                    • #11
                      "Say double the T.A. after the Anschluss, reintroduce conscription after Munich, bring forward armaments production by six months, the BEF in France would have been 20-odd divisions with a couple of dozen Hurricane squadrons, could Jerry still have prevailed."

                      Doubling the BEF, with a couple full size armored divsions. Tough call assuming the French command makes the same mistakes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                        "... but what if the British agreed to peace immediately after the fall of France, then quietly regroupped their forces and backstabbed Germany when it attacked the Soviet Union? "

                        That would fit the British style from earlier eras. Even if it were only a cease fire or armistice during 'peace negotiations'.

                        The downside would be keeping the public motivated for war when the time came to resume fighting.
                        Agreed.
                        But the machiavellian thing to do for Churchill would be to voluntarily agree to slightly unfavorable peace terms (something which hurts more the english pride than their strategic actual interests, for instance- small symbolic reparations) this way revanshist movements inside UK would be strong enough to allow good motivation.
                        That again has a downside that the public can grow resent of Churchill and overthrow him.
                        But then he could maybe rule somehow from behind the curtains?
                        If you believe, you receive.
                        If you doubt, you go without.

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                        • #13
                          "But then he could maybe rule somehow from behind the curtains?"

                          A difficult thing for Churchill to do. In any case there others just as determined to defeat the nazis & its likely other leaders would have emerged to pull them together. Even Chamberlain worked hard (if ineffectively) at the war effort after the overthrow of the Czech government in 1939 violated the Munich aggreement.

                          Churchill was the man of the hour in the summer of 1940 & did incredible things countering declining morale. Beyond that there were others who could have led the British just as well, tho with a different style.

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                          • #14
                            As was said above France marches into the Rhineland. Thats all that was needed. 2 Divisions entering the area would have sealed Hitlers fate.
                            "The Eastern front is like a house of cards. If the front is broken through at one point all the rest will collapse."- General Heinz Guderian


                            "Oakland Raiders: Committed to Excellence"

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                            • #15
                              I think the primary factor that raised the "cost" for the Allies, that means prolonged the war, is some form of American ignorance.

                              Americans have a tendency to go to war
                              • too late
                              • with inadequate equipment
                              • ignore all the lessons learned by all the players so far
                              • lose the first battles by neglect


                              Granted, they later recover, and after they recover they are doing great, because their new lessons learned are more up-to-date than what the other players have experienced before. But it does make the whole show longer than trying to establish a more forward attitude.

                              Let me Quite General William DePuy, from his lessons published after
                              the 1973 Arab Israeli War.

                              In case you don't know, DePuy was the main guy in charge of these 1973
                              lesson applications, he's the only who had to point the U.S. army to
                              the fact that the Arabs lost more tanks in one day than the U.S. Army
                              had in Europe.

                              TRADOC LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
                              22 May 1974
                              [At Fort Benning, Georgia]
                              KEYNOTE ADDRESS
                              By
                              General William DePuy

                              [...]

                              The first thing that gets to you about this, is thatyou are going to be fighting a lot of equipment.
                              In the old days of WWI and WWII, the American way was to just provide more of everything
                              than the other guy had. If one Division was not enough we would use two, if two was not enough
                              we would use four. Our tanks were not as good as the German tanks but we had three times as
                              many. Now it is kind ofun-American, is it not, to find out that the other guys have more equipment
                              than we have? Then my next point is that their equipment is just as good. For example, their
                              tanks-there are certain aspects of their tanks which are better than ours and certain aspects of
                              our tanks that are better than theirs, but it is sort of a general opinion that they come out about
                              even. They have a mechanized combat vehicle which is highly sophisticated. It is better than
                              the M113. It has weapons which can kill tanks, and it is in all respects, an admirable vehicle.
                              Actually, they are optimizing theirs as a tank killer and we want ours to be optimized for
                              suppressive fire. We have a different concept of MICV on the battlefield. The quality of their
                              MICV is better than the one we have now and about as good as the one we are going to have.
                              We are now faced with a situation like that which faced the Israelis when they fought the
                              Egyptian tank brigade that tried to break out from the Sinai. The Israelis who fought that brigade
                              were equipped with T55 Russian tanks which the Israelis had captured earlier, in the 1967 six-day
                              war. The Israelis were equipped with T55 and the Egyptians with T55, so the real battle was a
                              battle between the people who manned the tanks. The Israelis, for a variety of reasons, came out
                              way ahead, 150 to 1. The fact of the matter is, the equipment was the same. The difference was
                              in the training, the leadership, the motivation, the courage, and the flexibility-the skill, tactical
                              and technical skill on the battlefield.
                              In addition to Americans being used to having more of everything than the other guy, and
                              until recently even having better, there are a lot of associated problems. One is that we now have
                              a volunteer Army. You fellows in the units know that we are not getting the college graduates
                              114
                              22 May 1974
                              in the Volunteer Army. That does not mean we are not getting good men; we are getting some
                              good men and we are getting some marginal men. From that raw material we are trying to make
                              fighting units with a qualitative difference in performance, but using equal equipment. That is a
                              sobering thing to think about. When you take the average of the Israeli Army-that is sort of a
                              mobilization Army, and they take everybody they can get their hands on, the higher the quality
                              the better, and throw them into combat-it is different quality of person than on the average we
                              are recruiting in the United States Army.

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