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  • Poland stands alone

    The concept is this: for whatever reason, France and the UK decide not to draw their line in the sand in Poland.

    The invasion of Poland goes as it went historically.

    Now you have Hitler and Stalin, both at peace, sharing a border.

    Will Hitler move west or east? Will he try to stand pat?

    Without the western Blitz, will Stalin roll the dice on a solo war with Germany?

    Without the damage to the Allies, will Japan still embark upon its desperate race against oil reserves?
    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

  • #2
    Germany will go west for the same rationale they went west in 1914. France was an easier/quicker opponent to beat than Russia/Soviet Union.

    In this scenario there probably wouldn't be a BEF in France May 1940? That would make France easier and the UK harder to beat.

    Stalin would probably be happy for the capitalist pigs to destroy each other first before making a move.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Gooner View Post
      Germany will go west for the same rationale they went west in 1914. France was an easier/quicker opponent to beat than Russia/Soviet Union.

      In this scenario there probably wouldn't be a BEF in France May 1940? That would make France easier and the UK harder to beat.

      Stalin would probably be happy for the capitalist pigs to destroy each other first before making a move.
      Stalin would have a dilemma - Historically Central Poland was the jumping off point for European armies invading Russia. This is now in German hands. Without a British blockade of Germany Stalin does not have the same leverage as a supplier of oil and food and Hitler does not have an incentive to maintain the Molotov - Ribbentrop agreement much less all the secret protocols and trade agreements around it. Hitler has no pressing need to attack the West to secure that front before turning East. The failure of Britain and France to react to the invasion of Poland would suggest that they would remain supine if he attacked the USSR. Indeed they might even welcome this (as might the USA which might be prepared to sell Germany materials). France was considered a much harder nut to crack than it turned out to be whereas Hitler was contemptuous of Soviet military capability.( with the benefit of hindsight we know different but Hitler and Stalin did not know). Hitler's plans for the Kriegsmarine suggest that he had originally anticipated war with Britain around about 1945 so keeping France and Britain neutral whilst adopting a 'USSR first' war policy would fit. Stalin might well think about a pre emptive attack but would he have the nerve?
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Gooner View Post
        Germany will go west for the same rationale they went west in 1914. France was an easier/quicker opponent to beat than Russia/Soviet Union.

        In this scenario there probably wouldn't be a BEF in France May 1940? That would make France easier and the UK harder to beat.

        Stalin would probably be happy for the capitalist pigs to destroy each other first before making a move.
        Good points. Here's one, though: if the BEF didn't make to France, which is possible, that would mean that the Brits would fight in North Africa against a better-supplied Rommel, and the Brits would have no real combat experience and the same slow tanks they had in France in RL.
        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Gooner View Post
          Germany will go west for the same rationale they went west in 1914. France was an easier/quicker opponent to beat than Russia/Soviet Union.

          In this scenario there probably wouldn't be a BEF in France May 1940? That would make France easier and the UK harder to beat.

          Stalin would probably be happy for the capitalist pigs to destroy each other first before making a move.
          Nonsense. Hitler always viewed the threat as coming from the east..he wrote a book which devoted a great deal to this thought. Hitler was surprised that UK/FR declared war over Poland. Both France and the UK had already known and discussed that they were behind not only doctrine but military industrial output, and the consensus was that it would not be until at least end of 1941 or beginning of 1942 before both nations felt they would be on par with Germany in this regard.

          In order to achieve this, both France and the UK made two fatal mistakes in regards to the above:

          1- Poland was a signatory to the Munich agreement, which enabled Poland to seize a piece of the Czechoslovak pie. So much for Poland's innocence on that issue...and FR/UK should have taken a hint from this.

          2- Once the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was revealed, both the UK and France should have seen the writing on the wall.

          Poland was F'd in more ways than one, and given her geographical disposition there was very little if anything the western Allies could have done given current doctrine. That the treaty was honored only resulted in almost 5 years of suffering for a nation which was impossible to defend from the Nazis then occupied by Soviets afterwards.
          You'll live, only the best get killed.

          -General Charles de Gaulle

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          • #6
            Originally posted by asterix View Post

            Nonsense. Hitler always viewed the threat as coming from the east..he wrote a book which devoted a great deal to this thought. Hitler was surprised that UK/FR declared war over Poland. Both France and the UK had already known and discussed that they were behind not only doctrine but military industrial output, and the consensus was that it would not be until at least end of 1941 or beginning of 1942 before both nations felt they would be on par with Germany in this regard.

            In order to achieve this, both France and the UK made two fatal mistakes in regards to the above:

            1- Poland was a signatory to the Munich agreement, which enabled Poland to seize a piece of the Czechoslovak pie. So much for Poland's innocence on that issue...and FR/UK should have taken a hint from this.

            2- Once the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was revealed, both the UK and France should have seen the writing on the wall.

            Poland was F'd in more ways than one, and given her geographical disposition there was very little if anything the western Allies could have done given current doctrine. That the treaty was honored only resulted in almost 5 years of suffering for a nation which was impossible to defend from the Nazis then occupied by Soviets afterwards.
            Well put. I have always wondered why the UK and France chose Poland as the tripwire. They betrayed the Czechs because there was no military option, yet the Poles were easily in as bad if not worse shape, being flanked by Prussia.

            Neither nation was ready to go to Poland's aid in '39.

            They would have been far better off to let Poland go it's own way and then prepare for war.

            I personally think Hitler would have gone east.
            Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MarkV View Post

              Stalin would have a dilemma - Historically Central Poland was the jumping off point for European armies invading Russia. This is now in German hands. Without a British blockade of Germany Stalin does not have the same leverage as a supplier of oil and food and Hitler does not have an incentive to maintain the Molotov - Ribbentrop agreement much less all the secret protocols and trade agreements around it.
              But the Molotov - Ribbentrop pact was signed before the war, indeed Hitler was surprised that the British and French did declare war, so in this ATL it might happen anyway.


              Hitler has no pressing need to attack the West to secure that front before turning East. The failure of Britain and France to react to the invasion of Poland would suggest that they would remain supine if he attacked the USSR. Indeed they might even welcome this (as might the USA which might be prepared to sell Germany materials). France was considered a much harder nut to crack than it turned out to be whereas Hitler was contemptuous of Soviet military capability.( with the benefit of hindsight we know different but Hitler and Stalin did not know).
              Hitler was contemptuous of French military ability too. The danger from France is that it much nearer Germany's vitals than the Soviet Union but more importantly I can't see Germany going to war on either front without first diplomatically neutralising the other.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post

                Good points. Here's one, though: if the BEF didn't make to France, which is possible, that would mean that the Brits would fight in North Africa against a better-supplied Rommel, and the Brits would have no real combat experience and the same slow tanks they had in France in RL.
                The forces that destroyed the Italians in Compass didn't have much experience fighting the Germans either. It could be that enough extra forces are sent by the British to the Middle East that German assistance arrives too late or insufficient in numbers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post

                  Well put. I have always wondered why the UK and France chose Poland as the tripwire. They betrayed the Czechs because there was no military option, yet the Poles were easily in as bad if not worse shape, being flanked by Prussia.

                  Neither nation was ready to go to Poland's aid in '39.

                  They would have been far better off to let Poland go it's own way and then prepare for war.

                  I personally think Hitler would have gone east.
                  I agree...had Poland been "sacrificed" and allow for the two totalitarian states of Hitler's Germany and Stalin's USSR to slug it out,the West could have quickly put into place a program which not only could have increased their armament industries, but also a better transitional period towards more modern material and doctrine given what they observed happening on the Eastern front.

                  I think a more interesting question would be: why did Hitler not try harder at currying FR/UK favor in going east with him? France and the UK were already on the cusp of sending troops to aid Finland in their fight against the Soviets.

                  The only downside to all of this, is the ethnic and religious minorities (Jews, Gypsies, etc) in the East are probably facing a 99.99% to 100% extermination rate. Would someone win this war, or would they both be mutually "bled white" into exhaustion?
                  You'll live, only the best get killed.

                  -General Charles de Gaulle

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gooner View Post

                    The forces that destroyed the Italians in Compass didn't have much experience fighting the Germans either. It could be that enough extra forces are sent by the British to the Middle East that German assistance arrives too late or insufficient in numbers.
                    Interesting point.
                    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by asterix View Post

                      I agree...had Poland been "sacrificed" and allow for the two totalitarian states of Hitler's Germany and Stalin's USSR to slug it out,the West could have quickly put into place a program which not only could have increased their armament industries, but also a better transitional period towards more modern material and doctrine given what they observed happening on the Eastern front.

                      I think a more interesting question would be: why did Hitler not try harder at currying FR/UK favor in going east with him? France and the UK were already on the cusp of sending troops to aid Finland in their fight against the Soviets.

                      The only downside to all of this, is the ethnic and religious minorities (Jews, Gypsies, etc) in the East are probably facing a 99.99% to 100% extermination rate. Would someone win this war, or would they both be mutually "bled white" into exhaustion?
                      I have always wondered if the Finnish conflict had lasted a little longer and the Allies had sent troops.

                      IMO, Hitler could not see the UK/France as anything close to Allies after his experiences in WW1, but that's just a guess.

                      As to a German-Soviet conflict, I think it depends on the start date. If German struck east in 1940, the T-34 would be a year away from field service, and the Red Army would be still reeling from the purge and in the midst of implementing the Winter War lessons.

                      Germany would be less experienced than historically, but they would have only the one front. Most importantly Hitler would not have the victor complex at the start that he had in RL,

                      Lend Lease was less likely, as the Allies wouldn't mind seeing the USSR bleed.

                      I think that the odds favor Germany.
                      Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post

                        I have always wondered if the Finnish conflict had lasted a little longer and the Allies had sent troops.

                        They were about to, but in this scenario the Finns don't have any greater edge and would give in at about the same time they did IRL.

                        As to a German-Soviet conflict, I think it depends on the start date. If German struck east in 1940, the T-34 would be a year away from field service, and the Red Army would be still reeling from the purge and in the midst of implementing the Winter War lessons.

                        Germany would be less experienced than historically, but they would have only the one front. Most importantly Hitler would not have the victor complex at the start that he had in RL,....
                        If the Allies had joined in with the Finns, and Germany invaded right after that, it would have made the West into the Allies of the #rd Reich!
                        Churchill would probably have shot Chamberlain at that point...

                        I don't think that Germany's odds were much better in 1940 than they were a year earier, but that is a good point about less hubris on Hitler's part. However, if he had ordered his Generals into Russia with only Poland under his belt, HE might have been the one getting shot by his own side.
                        "Why is the Rum gone?"

                        -Captain Jack

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                        • #13
                          Germany defeated the Russian Empire in World War I while fighting a two front war.

                          From the outside, in the late 30s early 40s the USSR would look weak.

                          In the last 25 years the Russian Empire / USSR had:

                          Been defeated in World War I

                          Suffered a brutal civil war in which millions died and huge amounts of damage was done to the country

                          Suffered the miss management of the communists

                          A series of communist purges had damaged the armed forces

                          The Red Army's performance in the winter war against Finland showed weakness

                          And the USSR had ethnic divisions that could have been exploited.


                          Last edited by 17thfabn; 06 Nov 18, 00:09.
                          "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
                          Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post

                            Well put. I have always wondered why the UK and France chose Poland as the tripwire. They betrayed the Czechs because there was no military option, yet the Poles were easily in as bad if not worse shape, being flanked by Prussia.

                            Neither nation was ready to go to Poland's aid in '39.

                            They would have been far better off to let Poland go it's own way and then prepare for war.

                            I personally think Hitler would have gone east.
                            Perhaps that's using the benefit of hindsight.

                            Up to the German invasion and occupation of Prague in March,1939, Britain and France hoped that the Munich Agreement really had bought "Peace for our time". But, by his blatant invasion of the Czechoslovakia rump state, Hitler's true nature was revealed. It was thought, therefore, that a 'line in the sand" had to be drawn; otherwise where would it all end ?

                            The Polish situation was the next crisis that emerged, so, without regard to the practicalities of rendering Warsaw on-the-ground real assistance,war was declared.
                            "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                            Samuel Johnson.

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