Jock wrote:Uli, I was asking, ironically, if the Russians attacked the Romanian lines by chance. Your gargantuan post only confirms my earlier, concise statement.
Carl, Phylo, for Italy to have remained a true neutral, they would have had to erase the 1930's, Mussolini, and the Spanish Civil War. No matter who's side they declared themselves on, they had backed the Axis side thoughout the 30's, and would have always been considered dictatorial, therfor, seen as the enemy, or at best, suspect.
Jason Pipes wrote:Jock, your response is uncalled for and I don't appreciate your tone or attitude. We are placing you under review.
Uli, please accept our apologies.
Piet Duits wrote:Hi all,
What do you think about this question? Was it due to the ill performing italians that The Reich got involved in fighting in the Balkans first, and later had to send in troops to Africa to bail out the italians?
Had the italians performed better, the germans would have been able to start Barbarossa sooner and thus had more time before the winter started AND would not have faced the british empire for a short while.
Well, what's your opinion? Am I too far off?
Ronald Lameck wrote:Germany lost the war mostly because of an almost non-existent grand strategy. Hitler did not expect that Britain and France to fight over Poland. He had a hard enough time understanding why Poland's government would resist him. It could/should have allied to Germany in 1939. That would have added about 40 divisions to an attack at the U.S.S.R., and placed the initial front 600 Km. further east.
Hitler should have taken Denmark and the Netherlands immediately after defeating Poland in the fall of 1939. There would have been nothing that the western Allies could have done to prevent it, and it may have dampened their notions of invading Norway. The battle for Norway was much more costly for the Kriegsmarine - it ended the campaign comparatively weaker to the Royal Navy than it was at the start.
Hitler had almost no joint planning or discussion with Mussolini. He did not expect and did not need the Italian "help" against France in June 1940. He had expected Italy to remain neutral until 1942.
He made a too-hasty and generous peace with France. He should have insisted on receiving the French navy as reparations. If this kept France in the war a bit longer, that would not be a problem. It was already beaten.
The same week Italy jumped in, he should have set Unternehmen Merkur in motion and seized Malta. The Mediterranean would be an Axis lake, and Britain would have been the one with no viable supply line in the area. With all of this, even a war-monger like Churchill might have decided that a peace with honour was a good way out.
Then the U.S.S.R. would definitely have been defeated (barring some truly STUPID German action). There would likely not have been the "need" for the death camps. Eastern Europe would not have become Stalin's colonies, there would have never been a "Cold War." If an Israel existed today, it might be on Madagascar, as Hitler suggested in Mein Kampf years earlier. Many people not under the pressure of ultimatums might have acted very much differently. All these "what ifs" point to how the world today could have been much more peaceful, happier, and healthier if only a handful of people in positions of power had let their heads rule their emotions instead of the opposite.
Ronald Lameck wrote:... Had Poland's "Three Colonels" been wise, they would have allied with Germany in 1939.
... Had Hitler insisted upon surrender of the French fleet, it might well have scuttled,
... Certainly, the French colonies would not have tried to pursue war with no fleet or national leadership.
This French fleet, added to Italy's. would have kept Britain's nose out of the Mediterranean.
Ronald Lameck wrote: The view on what Poland's gov't. should have done is hardly MY hypothesis. In fact, it seems to have been a seerious consideration by many authors I have read. Let's just leave it that, as an absolute minimum, Poland would sure have fared no worse than it did.
What the French fleet would have done is always subject to speculation, but it's view may have been much more limited with the whole of France occupied in June/July 1940. Certainly, there would have been a constellation of opinions among its admirals and also among the average sailors. I doubt that more than a small number of ships would have been able to rely upon an obedient crew to sail off to Britain or elsewhere.
The French colonies did nothing meaningful until AFTER the clearing of N.Africa. But it may never have been cleared if the whole of France was occupied in 1940 and the fleet stayed in Axis hands.
The Axis would continue to have fuel problems, but the fuel could be dispensed among the "capital" ships.
Britain never used any of its 1st-line ships in the Mediterranean,
and the addition of many more big-bore guns via the French navy would have opened up the possibility of a Jutland-like battle for dominance there.
But: my contention remains. Germany did not lose the war because of Italy. It lost due to lack of a grand strategy.
It needed to act quickly to overcome its huge material and manpower disadvantage. The "Sitzkrieg" wasted a lot of valuable time.
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