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WW2 - what if the Nazis had won?

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WW2 - what if the Nazis had won?

Old 23rd Jan 2018, 14:27
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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From outside

Let me remember the old story. Imagine early morning at one of German airport. Somebody is calling for start up engines. Tower answers: not yet,and everybody must speak English! Somebody tells, I'm German,in my native town, why I have to speak English? At that very moment somebody from somewhere says in clear English:"Because you lost WW2..."
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 20:15
  #102 (permalink)  

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"It was Britain which declared war on Germany after the invasion of Poland. What if we hadn’t?"

Well, it is a bit like saying, "It was Britain which declared war on Germany after Belgiums' neutrality was breached. What if we hadn’t?".

There were quite a few people in Britain who were vehemently opposed to intervention in WW1. Wilhelm II (eldest grandchild of Queen Victoria ) was very upset when Britain declared war over such a trifle. It was not at all what he expected as a result of his giving carte blanche to Austria/Hungary to attack Serbia. The Germans thought that just crossing a small corner of Belgium would be overlooked.

But to come back to the original question, nothing much (at least initially, they called it the "Phoney War"). France fell, Poland fell, Denmark was invaded, Czechoslovakia fell, Austria was annexed in the Anschluß, and Hitler was the master of Europe and sooner or later, if unchecked, of the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Suez Canal. The question is, could England afford to permit this?

And the very obvious answer is no, it could not. Chamberlain, the Great Appeaser, whimpered, "How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing. It seems still more impossible that a quarrel which has already been settled in principle should be the subject of war."

Yet by ignoring the almost immediate violations of Versailles, accepting the remilitarisation of the Rhineland, the Anschluß, the annexation of the Sudetenland and etc., we brought it upon ourselves. . .

Mac
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 20:33
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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The French should have piled in while the Germans were busy in Poland ..
set up camp on the banks of the Rhine
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 20:48
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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The French fought the British more frequently than they fought the Germans from 1940 to 1944.

The "what if the Nazis had won?" question is something that many seem to want to stick to, even though it was impossible from the start.

So OK, let's say that they won a bit more than they did (even invaded Britain?). They would have caused a huge amount more damage than they did, then they would have collapsed. In the process they probably would have caused a lot more of Europe to come under the tyranny of the USSR. For a while. I suspect that the western Europeans (especially those west of La Manche) would have been far more of a hassle for the Soviets to deal with than what they experienced from the eastern Europeans who were far more used to being overrun and having foreign 'masters' and this may have caused the USSR to collapse earlier than it did.

Which ever way, the Nazis were never going to be able to sustain any 'win'.

I remember at about the time of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain flying into Germany to an airport that had a German Air Force base nearby and the German Air Force aircraft leaving there, when contacting the civilian ATC unit, were speaking to German ATC in English. i thought at the time that it would have been marvellous to have been able to put a crystal ball in front of Herman Goering 70 years earlier and say to him "What are you fighting about?"!!
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 21:23
  #105 (permalink)  

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Pontius Navigator asks: "EM, why? There was a strong pro-German sympathy in the US. The US did not develop the atomic bomb on its own and furthermore had no imperative need so to do."

There was a significant amount of sympathy towards Germany in the US in 1914, but far less in 1938, even allowing for Charles Lindbergh.

That an atomic bomb was feasible became known in 1939, when Lise Meitner, Otto Hahn and Otto Frisch realised that sustained atomic fission was possible and would lead to the release of unbelievable amounts of energy. Their work was published shortly afterwards.

Every atomic researcher in the world immediately understood that an atomic bomb was at least theoretically a possibility.

American scientists were no exception. At the time, Germany, Britain and the USA had been the world leaders in atomic research, although there were small groups in other countries. With the expulsion of Jewish scientists from their posts in Germany, most fled to Britain or the USA, leaving a small core of loyalists in the Reich. Germany had "blown its brains out".

Nobody had the slightest doubt, in the early days of the war, that if atomic fission could be weaponised that Hitler and Germany would hesitate to use it. It therefore became imperative for America to investigate this and, if it were possible, to develop such a device.

America indeed did not develop the atomic bomb on its own - Frisch and Peierls at the University of Birmingham worked out the critical mass of U235 to be around 10kg - a deliverable weapon. I will not bore you with the interesting details, but Britain conveyed these calculations to the Americans and in 1942 the Manhattan Project was born, approved with laconic, "OK FDR" scrawled on the proposal.

Some of the scientists were Hans Bethe, John Van Vleck, Edward Teller, Emil Konopinski, Robert Serber, Stan Frankel, Eldred C. Nelson, Emilio Segrè, Felix Bloch, Franco Rasetti, John Henry Manley, Glenn Seaborg, Enrico Fermi, Robert Oppenheimer, Niels Bohr, Otto Frisch, Klaus Fuchs, Rudolf Peierls, and Ernest Titterton and Edwin McMillan. They tentatively confirmed that a fission bomb was theoretically possible.

That Manhattan Project, culminating in Trinity, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, cost $1.89Bn (equivalent to $20.5Bn 2017 dollars), roughly equivalent to 9 days of wartime spending.

But what of the German A-bomb? The Uranverein started in 1939, but it was decided that weaponised fission was too theoretical to be worthwhile and the project and funding was divided among nine independent groups. Although there were several attempts at building a reactor, none successfully achieved criticality and a bomb was never on the cards.

"...had no imperative need so to do." - indeed, but the USA/UK did not know that, and with the success of the A4 rocket and the possibility of the intercontinental A10, no-one could afford to take the chance.

Would you have done?

Mac





Last edited by Mac the Knife; 24th Jan 2018 at 06:19.
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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 21:42
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by chopper2004 View Post
Were there not rumours -of big American corporations supporting / spplying the nazi regime before 41?

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Old 23rd Jan 2018, 21:50
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rigpiggy View Post
Ford Motor Company refused to build the Merlin under license, packard was then tasked with it. No Merlin, No Mustang"or a least a much reduced performer"
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/..._the_Holocaust

Thomas Watson, founder of IBM, supplied the Nazi regime with Hollerith punchcard material which was a direct contributor to the Holocaust.

All the records of baptism were punched up and automatic card sorting was used to identify those of Jewish blood. Candidates for the death camps were ranked by how pure their Jewish blood was.

Historians were amazed at the speed & accuracy with which the Nazis were able to identify & locate European Jewry. Until now, the pieces of this puzzle have never been fully assembled. The fact is, IBM technology was used to organize nearly everything in Germany & then Nazi Europe, from the identification of the Jews in censuses, registrations & ancestral tracing programs to the running of railroads & organizing of concentration camp slave labor. IBM & its German subsidiary custom-designed complex solutions, anticipating the Reich's needs. They didn't merely sell the machines & walk away. Instead, IBM leased these machines for high fees & became the sole source of the billions of punch cards needed.
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 01:44
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Jetex Jim,


Good post. And exactly why I support a robust 2nd Amendment in the USA, despite it's faults. Governments can go out of control. (I have no interest in another gun thread).
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 06:08
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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Would be interesting to know which banks helped Hitler to finance his preparations and war itself.

And I doubt that IBM would know what was the exact aim of German administration in using their computers. I would rather follow the bankers...
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 06:39
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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To go back to the original question; they may well have found life difficult here in the UK. Talking to a WW2 veteran some years ago, he told me of an exchange between Churchill and a German politician, some time after the end of the war. The German told Churchill that the problem with Britain was we are a militaristic nation. Churchill replied we are not militaristic but certainly a warlike nation. He explained himself by pointing out how Germans, by nature, are prepared to fall in and follow even unpleasant leaders, as long as they are rigid in their governance, whereas if a British government tried to enforce a similar sort of system, the people would be up in arms and throw the buggers out! We don't like to be governed. On the other hand, if someone from elsewhere tries to tell us what we must do, then the warlike option is natural.
A bit like during my time in the Army, we of the Royal Signals were constantly fighting "Tankies" but the moment someone from outside the Army poked their noses in, we were instantly united.
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 07:16
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pali View Post
Would be interesting to know which banks helped Hitler to finance his preparations and war itself.

And I doubt that IBM would know what was the exact aim of German administration in using their computers. I would rather follow the bankers...
Read ‘IBM and the Holocaust’ by Edwin Black and you might change your mind on that. To be fair though, even though he had intimate knowledge of every aspect of his business, Thomas J Watson didn’t finance the Nazis, he just profited from them.

If you want to talk about banks who funded the Nazis, look at names like the Bank of England, the US Federal Reserve, and (at the time) the worlds largest private investment bank, Union Banking Corporation - owned by no other than Brown Brothers Harriman and ran by one Prescott Bush...
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 08:59
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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The movie, “The darkest hour” is of interest to this thread.

The portrayal of how close the UK came to agreeing terms is rarely scripted.


Mjb
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 09:09
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pali View Post
Would be interesting to know which banks helped Hitler to finance his preparations and war itself.

And I doubt that IBM would know what was the exact aim of German administration in using their computers. I would rather follow the bankers...
At the time there were no general purpose computers. The data was gathered on punch cards and then sorted by various parameters using custom designed hardware.
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 09:28
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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the little bit of water saved us back then
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 09:32
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mickjoebill View Post
The portrayal of how close the UK came to agreeing terms is rarely scripted.


Mjb
Nor indeed is how close the USSR came to offering terms to Hitler in 1941. According to Zhukov, the Bulgarian Ambassador Ivan Stamenov was approached to act as a mediator but he refused, stating ‘even if you retreat to the Urals, you’ll still win in the end’.
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 09:44
  #116 (permalink)  
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An amazing period of history brought about by the antidote to anything 'Nazi' or the likes: Democracy.
Annoying as it may be to some, Hitler was democratically appointment as Chancellor by President Hindenberg in accordance with the German constitution of the day.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_...931–1933)

.....”Hindenburg reluctantly agreed to appoint Hitler as chancellor after the parliamentary elections of July and November 1932 had not resulted in the formation of a majority government. Hitler headed a short-lived coalition government formed by the NSDAP and the German National People's Party (DNVP).

On 30 January 1933, the new cabinet was sworn in during a brief ceremony in Hindenburg's office. The NSDAP gained three posts: Hitler was named chancellor, Wilhelm Frick Minister of the Interior, and Hermann Göring, Minister Without Portfolio (and Minister of the Interior for Prussia).[70][71] The SA and SS-led torchlit parades throughout Berlin. It is this event that would become termed Hitler's Machtergreifung ("seizure of power") The term was originally used by some Nazis to suggest a revolutionary process,[72] though Hitler, and others, used the word Machtübernahme ("take-over of power"), reflecting that the transfer of power took place within the existing constitutional framework[72] and suggesting that the process was legal.[73][74]

Papen was to serve as Vice-Chancellor in a majority conservative Cabinet – still falsely believing that he could "tame" Hitler.[53]..........”
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 10:03
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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Annoying as it may be to some, Hitler was democratically appointment as Chancellor by President Hindenberg in accordance with the German constitution of the day.
Absolutely true.

But the Nazis did not maintain that democracy for long. That, in the 'modern' world (early 20th Century and onward), was the beginning of their downfall.

Move on the next step to the Cold War and it was the democracies that eventually won.

The same will ultimately happen in the Far East.

Democracies may throw up their occasional stupidities, but by their nature they have the ability to adapt to the changing circumstances that they find themselves in. They have the flexibility and imagination to survive. Tyrannies, like Nazism, are all too rigid and as the world around them alters, they crack up and fail.
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 14:41
  #118 (permalink)  

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The Reichstag Fire Decree (Reichstagsbrandverordnung) which took away from German citizens most of their civil liberties, was passed on 28th February 1933.

The Enabling Act (Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich) was passed on 24th March the same year and gave Hitler and the Nazis complete plenary powers.

The Democratic (sic.) German government, civil service, courts and legal system were effectively neutered and took little further part in what followed. In fact many disappeared into the "Nacht und Nebel".

Mac
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 16:33
  #119 (permalink)  
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Equally interesting question - what if Hitler had not declared war on Germany the day after Pearl Harbor in support of Japan? Would the USA have just turned their attention west and left the UK to fight on without their support?
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 17:09
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Actually, Hitler did have a choice. The treaty with Japan bound Germany to enter a war on its side if Japan were attacked. As it was, Japan declared war on the USA, leaving Germany free to join the war on Japan's side or not.

The German U-boat war was already taking place just off the East Coast of the USA, plus the USS Reuben James had been sunk on 31 October 1941 by a U-boat while escorting a convoy to the UK. A state of war thus already existed between the USA and Germany to some practical extent prior to Hitler's formal declaration of war.

According to what I've read, Hitler thought that the USA was going to declare war on Germany anyway, so that he wanted the propaganda value of being the first to declare war. As with so many things, we are reduced to guessing what he was up to then, what he was thinking.

There's a joke about a young officer being shown a map of the world showing how small Germany was compared to the USA, when he asked "Has anyone told the Führer?" That's the sort of joke that could see you hanging from a meat hook in a Gestapo cellar if you were caught telling it, so that it might be just one of those post-war things, like the way the villagers claim that everyone pissed on their "Hitler Oak" until the sapling died.
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