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  • Plausible late war AH based on early war changes

    OK, this might get moved to Barracks, but oh well.

    As I've been getting caught up in my WWII readings trying to plan out the plot for that damnable AH novel I'm always going on about. And I've discovered that the story I want to write is something off the wall, not that I don't mind. It's not so much that the premise is whacked in and of itself, like Worldwar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worldwar) it's that I have so many alterations it blasts the story out of counterfactual territory into historical fantasy. But it is the story I want to tell.

    Needing to be bound by internal plausibility, I need the plot of the last year of the war (1945) to make military sense. So here it is:

    As of Feb 45, the German army has stabilized it's three fronts. Rommel holds the Middle East at the Suez Canal from the Allies who are trying to push in from Egypt. Because Italy holds most of the Balkans and Turkey, the Mosul oilfields supply all the crude Germany needs. The Soviets have been stopped at the old Polish-Soviet border, but have taken much of Livonia (Baltics states), with Riga under siege. In the West, the Germans broke through Strasbourg and swept up to Antwerp, rending the American victory at the Battle of the Bulge, and annihilating 3rd Army in toto. This is not as bad as it would be in our world, because the Dutch are neutral, and so no forces were sent up there to liberate it.

    The Wehrmacht is in roughly 43 shape in terms of manpower, but better equipped due to economic rationalization (some 1939, extensive 1943), and the Luftwaffe, while unable to establish local superiority in the west, has enough planes and enough well trained cadres to deny air support to the Allied armies. The bombing of Germany was cancelled in 43, but resumed after the loss of 3rd Army. It's won't go on forever, the Germans shoot down about 20% of each raid due to the Home fighters being almost entirely Me-262s. The big if is the Allies getting the kinks ironed out with their own jets. The German military overthrows Hitler and the Nazis over three days in February, believing correctly not only is Hitler evil, he makes peace impossible. The Germans understand they cannot win the war they are fighting, at some point the army will collapse. So the Germans must FORCE a peace.

    To that end, they have three options: drive the Allies from France while ignoring the buildup in the East, focus on the East and force Stalin out, or try and balance. They decide balance, stopping in exhaustion in the West after forcing the Allies out of Belgium, sending in a fire brigade to head up a spoiling offensive against the Red Army before the spring thaw, and from there planing both a small offensive in the Batlics (Livonia is an ally, the Germans went to war ostensibly to protect it), while planing a large push to Paris in the West. Nukes will come into play but I don't wanna say much except no cities in Europe get destroyed.

    Stalin is killed as it most of the politburo, and the great Soviet Marshall (who is not Zhukov), signs a ceasefire to march on Moscow before Beria (who survives) can consolidate NKVD control of the country. The Germans hope this is the start of Civil War, but in the end, Beria is killed by his subordinates, as they know the Red Army as an institution is more powerful than they, so best to kiss an make up under the regime of the Red Army.

    With the Red Army out of the picture, the Germans dive hard at the Allies, and are stopped at the Marne just short of Paris. Eisenhower gets credit for this, and thus still becomes President down the line. With stalemate in the West, and unease on both sides about the Soviets, now that they are not in the game at the moment, and people on all sides fearful of atomic weapons, the Germans and the Allies force a peace, which takes effect on August 5, 1945, and everyone celebrates late into the evening, while the Americans nuke Hiroshima.

    Now, completely screwing with German capacities, does this sound INTERNALLY plausible? I know the Germans didn't have near enough fuel to modernize it's home fleet to jets, that's why I knocked out the bombing campaign and gave them the ME oil. Militarily it makes sense to crush one front or the other, but the military is trying to hold ground so an elected government can make the bad peace with the Allies, leaving the military leadership scot free. It's very, VERY political, but at the same time the Germans cannot afford ANY major defeat.

    My thought on this is that I should probably start at the beginning of World War II, and let this be the climax of a series, but I'm not sure that's wise. Any thoughts appreciated...please be gentle.
    How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
    275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

  • #2
    Rommel would've had to take Egypt to even threaten the Suez Canal, something that was impossible once the Allies got their act together.

    By the same token, total Allied air superiority over Western Europe meant that the bulge offensive was doomed as soon as the weather permitted flying.

    Bastoigne wasn't the whole story either, there were also British and Commonwealth troops in the area who held their ground. Only the inexperienced US troops being forced back.

    It's a nice idea but you'd really have to cancel Barbarossa and keep Uncle Joe sweet to have any chance of an Axis victory as, even without Hitler striking east, Stalin may well have struck at Berlin while Germany was directing the bulk of her forces to the Med.
    Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

    Comment


    • #3
      Point taken on the air superiority, that's why I stated the Allies were never able to achieve it. The Bulge itself is different, though I'm not sure exactly, as the Netherlands is not at war with Germany. And as I also said the Germans are much MUCH better equipped from earlier and more extensive economic rationalization. I tried making that clear, and besides those are the givens. The real meat is about how the Germans would play their hand being squeezed to death on all sides while still being able to strike back. I think my theory has merit given the circumstances, but I wanted to see if there are holes I need to patch up.
      How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
      275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

      Comment


      • #4
        Without Barbarossa, air superiority may well have been more difficult for the Western Allies to achieve but not impossible. The Romanians may also have had something to say about their oil being nicked.

        A major factor has to be Stalin, he was only biding his time before he struck west and a war in Western Europe and the Med would be just what he wanted,

        An offensive by the Red Army from Poland would only be a matter of time.
        Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

        Comment


        • #5
          But I didn't nix Barbarossa, and it makes my storyline impossible. Barbarossa must happen, although the Germans handle the Ostfront much better in late 43 and 44 due to being better equipped. Besides if the bombing campaign fails in 43 it means the Germans production sky rockets and they would have the refined fuel reserves to train new pilots with substantial airtime. This might not be enough to drive the Allies from the skies (or maybe it would) but it would be enough to deprive the Allies greatest asset: air support.

          To be honest, I think Stalin would have double crossed Hitler well before my February 1945 opening. Besides, I plan to use Livonia as an X factor. In this world the Germans attacked the USSR because it attacked Livonia like Finland, and thus the Germans see themselves in a noble defense of Europe against Communism. It is a cause to believe in, and makes them fight harder than they would have.

          I do appreciate your thoughts, though not sure how to use them.
          Last edited by Wolery; 30 Jan 10, 14:18. Reason: spellcheck is my friend!
          How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
          275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

          Comment


          • #6
            If Rommel is currently controlling the Suez Canal you can count on less British forces being in Europe. They would be in Palestine.
            A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Destroyer25 View Post
              If Rommel is currently controlling the Suez Canal you can count on less British forces being in Europe. They would be in Palestine.
              Actualy, the Afrika Korps overtook the middle east in late 41, and then Torch swept the Axis out of Africa and so the Germans control the mandates. The Italians admister the territory, and have protected the Jews from the SS.
              How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
              275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

              Comment


              • #8
                If Russian forces are on the border of Poland why haven't they blasted the Italians out of Iraq and Turkey?

                Historically the Brits and Russians took over Iran to ensure a supply line.


                There is no way the Russians wouldn't deal with the Italian presence on their Southern Front.

                Furthermore the old logistics problem makes it impossible for the Italians to have even got there in the first place.

                It is just plain silly to believe that the Italians could hold the mosul oilfields. It may be plausible for the Italians to wreck them with the sacrifice of airborne assets in conjunctions with an Iraqi rebellion. But by 1945 the area would be firmly back under the control of the allies.

                Your whole North Africa thing is implausible as well. The allies win there on logistics alone.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wolery View Post
                  Actualy, the Afrika Korps overtook the middle east in late 41, and then Torch swept the Axis out of Africa and so the Germans control the mandates. The Italians admister the territory, and have protected the Jews from the SS.
                  In late 1941 the Afrika Korps was still besieging Tobruk and defending against Operation Crusader. Get your facts straight. Perhaps your confused with the Axis' attempt to gain control of Syria. I believe a few paras were landed, and the Luftwaffe built some bases, but the British quickly put a stop to that.
                  A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Without going too far back, the entire history of Italy post 1453 is very, very different. In this world the Italians pioneered amphibious assault after Gallipoli, eviscerating the Ottomans, conquering Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Ataturk's Turkey in that order in the years just after WWI. This might not make sense unless you know Italy united in 1715 and liberated Greece during Nappy's Egyptian campaign, and the British never made them give it back, as Italy ended up on British team after 1812. This is not directly relevant, except the Italians, with German help, EASILY took over the Mosul area because it right next door to their supply bases. Britain made no effort to stop them in the early 1920s as they were busy pacifying (or trying) the historical rebellions in India, Ireland, and Iraq.

                    As for the logistics, I know you say impossible, but which ones? The BEF was MUCH better supplied historically, but here Hitler understands that there's no practical way to invade Britain by sea, owing to logistics, and insofar anything could be done about the Brits would involve taking their colonial assets. Malta is overrun by the Italians the day of their DOW, and the Afrika Corps is not backed to the hilt only because of preparations for a premature Barbarossa. Also, the Axis can attack through Libya AND Anatolia, so when Hitler gets serious about the oil in early 41, time is no longer on the side of the British.

                    As far as post-Torch, you would be right too, except that the Germans have a very good rail network going from Constantinople to Baghdad and Jerusalem. Most of late 43 up to early 45 is a skillful retreat across Egypt, conducted similarly to Kesselring's Italian defence. The Allies do try flank El-Alamein by amphibious landings near Alexandria, but are bloodied so badly by the Italian and Vichy French (an Axis ally since the Mers-el-Kadir) navy, as well as destroyed totally on the beach head, which was the result of the Salerno landings too. All of this made possible by a gaggle of Axis warplanes (due to the rationalizations of 1939) who make it impossible for the Allies to dominate the sky. Yes the Allies have MUCH better supplies, that's why the Germans have to play a skillful defense in the Eastern Med, instead of rolling up the Allies to Casablanca.

                    And finally, there is no Caucus front. This is because a small greater Armenia exists as a buffer state between the Italians and the Soviets, by mutual agreement. I needed this to happen because, at least in theory, a German thrust into the Caucuses during or before Case Blue, at LEAST denies the Soviets needed oil or could probably net the Axis the Baku fields. It's also nifty for keeping the Soviets out of Italy's territory. Armenia wouldn't be hard to conquer, but the logistics across the mountains and into Kurd country would be so horrendously time consuming anyway, that neither side would considered it a worthy investment.

                    EDIT: Destroyer, I'm not saying the Siege of Tobruk is out of the question in my timeline, but I never said it was in their EITHER. The only theaters of operation in Europe that look semi-historical for more than a moment are the West Europe in 44 and the Ostfront 42-mid 44. The Med theater is HUGELY different. Anatolia is an Italian possession as is Syria, and the British navy has to fight not only the Italians, but the Vichy French too. Without Turkey, the Axis have operational freedom greater than anything they could do OTL.

                    But all of this is backstory, not what I'm asking. Given the siutuation I presented in the OP, is the strategy I outlined full of holes or it is a sensible thing GIVEN the sitution, no matter how implausibly it came to that.
                    Last edited by Wolery; 02 Feb 10, 22:32.
                    How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                    275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Errrrrm, after Trafalgar, the RN owned the Med. The chances of a hostile force threatening that just don't hold water.

                      Relations between the UK and the united Italy were always cordial, so the Italians wouldn't have the motivation to challenge a naval power that could obliterate them in an afternoon anyway.
                      Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by the ace View Post
                        Errrrrm, after Trafalgar, the RN owned the Med. The chances of a hostile force threatening that just don't hold water.

                        Relations between the UK and the united Italy were always cordial, so the Italians wouldn't have the motivation to challenge a naval power that could obliterate them in an afternoon anyway.
                        In a fair fight, I would agree. Heartily. However, the bulk of the RN spent the whole war in the Atlantic combating the U-boats. If the RN owned the Med historically, they would have been able to cut off the supply lines to Libya with or without Malta. As it was the lines of supply were never cut until AFTER the Afrika Corps surrendered in Tunisia. In speaking of an Italian and Vichy French presence in the Med, they can't threaten the Allies, BUT such a force would be enough to scare off another invasion attempt at Europe's "soft underbelly." Bluntly, the landing craft were so rare and wanted everywhere, and that was why Allied planners INSISTED on total air superiority at Normandy and went right back to the Pacific when done. At least this is how I am to understand things.
                        How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                        275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here's the reality of what Germany in February 1945 would be facing using your scenario:

                          The Me 262 is flying to the tune of a couple hundred servicable aircraft at most. Most of the time it is less than 100 air worthy. Why? Engines. The Jumo 004 had a service life of just 5 to 10 hours at most. This means that it needs changing after just a couple of sorties. Nothing in this scenario will change that as the necessary strategic metals to make high temperature engine parts still don't exist for the Germans.

                          The Allies meantime are starting to deploy their own jet fighters. The British have the Meteor and Vampire entering quantity service and both are a match for the 262. The US has pushed their production ahead too. They have the P-80 in service and the P-84 and P-86 that are superior to the 262 following shortly.

                          The B-29D (aka postwar B-50) is now in service and only a 262 can reliably intercept these. But, because of the previous losses the .50 was replaced with 20mm cannon and the gyroscopic / radar fire control system is more than capable of tracking and sawing a 262 down well before its short ranged slug throwers can take out a B-29.

                          Worse, the Germans would have still had the V-1 and 2 programs I assume. Because of the aerial losses these two programs boomerang badly on the Germans. The USAAF decides to launch its own V-1 program as the JB-2. Having the first example flying 60 days after the first German launch the US sets out to produce 5000 per month (this is historical fact the USAAF just cancelled the project as unnecessary... here they don't) and begin firing thousands of V-1's into German territory in short order. Göring now has to explain to Hitler why for every V-1 they fire the Allies send back 10.

                          With the V-2 the USAAF presses much more ardently for their MX 774 project to get completed. Convair and Rocketdyne with more funding and urgency produce a working model that has test flown successfully. The US is now about to enter production of their own version of the V-2 only theirs flys twice as far and carries three times the payload.

                          The British are about to put the Centrurian in service. The US has the M-26 entering serivce with the M 29 and 32 close on its heels. This new generation of tanks outclasses the German stuff completely.

                          At sea, the U-boat campaign is still crushed.

                          The US gearing for a longer war has produced an extra 25 or so divisions and is shipping them overseas as well. Since the Allies are on the continent, they simply dig in for a war of attrition. Come August, the Germans get their first taste of nuclear power as the US vaporizes one of their cities; say Hamburg. A week later one of the major Ruhr industrial cities goes up in mushroom cloud.

                          On the ground, the news of this is demoralizing and Allied propaganda says the Wehrmacht is getting the next one special delivery...

                          The Germans lose.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mr. Gardner!

                            I thank you for your analysis, because it is useful. But only to a point, and I'm not blaming you, it's just my baby needs it to be possible for the Germans to win a late war encounter (but both sides realize that in a fight to thr finish the Germans will lose and lose badly). I'm going to give them whatever they need to win, and I'm willing to change anything to make it happen. In most counterfactuals here, the object is to change one thing and see where others think it will go. Mine is I want this to happen, how do I make it so. In my story the Germans have 500 operational Me-262s, which are a generation better than the Allied Jets, although the Germans have simply opted to manufacture low quality engines instead of more Me-262s. At the start of the story the Germans have invented the afterburner, and decide not to use it because the sonic boom would destroy the craft. A wide variety of rocket assisted early war models flex out the field aircraft. And lest I forget, the Wasserfall rocket program came online mid war, and this is very, very BAD for anything unfriendly in German airspace.

                            But as much as the info is useful, I was not asking could the Germans win, that has already been decided. America WILL make a peace, because it will be in their political best interest, nuclear showdown or not. What I asked is would a sensible group of men in the Germans place do what I think they would do? The issue here is not the military situation, for want of a horse I can save the Kingdom or destroy it in a thousand ways, the issue is the POLITICAL maneuverings. My job is not to show you how the Kraut can trounce the Yank or the Ruskie in the field, my job is to show how the Alliance can be broken, and how Germany can avoid destruction with pluck, luck, repentance and enough nukes to level the eastern seaboard. That is provided the Anti-Nazis can hold it together.

                            I do like some of the stuff coming through here, but it's important to remember that very little, if any thing is fore-ordained, and as such, anything is possible. I could probably assemble a small library of books written by various historians on how the Japanese could have won against the United States in WWII. I have trouble believing Japan would be anything but meat for a hungry dog, but students of the theater say otherwise. The fact these counterfactuals exist is not just to sell books, but to remind us that most of what we might call inevitable history is the result of happenstance, and we rightly remember Einstein's dictum that imagination is more important than knowledge. This is doubly true for any student of history because unlike the hard sciences, there is no way repeat the crucible of time and space where the moment happens and changes the world. But I do like to be challenged, so don't think I'm trying to discourage discussion.
                            How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                            275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              So why does Stalin die?
                              Wisdom is personal

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