The Battle of the Atlantic

BAYLOR

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On land , I think that the British were a little behind the times, as (being a maritime nation) they tended to reply mainly on their navy, but were also developing their air force. As an island, the use of ground fortifications and heavily armoured combat vehicles simply wasn't needed. What they were good at though, due to almost a 1000 years of uninterrupted war, was the ability to quickly react to new challenges.

The Germans had a definite advantage early on in the war, but I think this came more from superior tactics than vastly superior equipment (although no doubt the Panzers were much more suited to the task than Allied tanks). Much of the German army was still using the horse as it's main method of transportation.

Initially, Blitzkrieg warfare itself was a shock for everyone.
 

BAYLOR

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Which I think is why it was so successful and why the tactics of Germany at that time were far superior to the Allies, who expected another slow attritional campaign such as in WW1.

That kind thinking was the main reason why France lost the war, The Maginot Line from a mistral standpoint was bad idea and impractical in the face of Blitzkrieg. The French military would have better off investing in new weapons systems and tactics but leadership of the French military was in hands of generals who couldn't see past their own war experiences in WWI. Britain a similar problem in that regard but, some their generals could see past WW I and see that the next War would be quite different from last war.
 

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Interestingly (at least I think so) Heinz Guderian - generally accepted to be one of the fathers of Blitzkreig - had British General Percy Hobart’s articles on his ideas on tank warfare translated into German and utilised those ideas in developing Blitzkreig. Meanwhile General Archibald Wavell dismissed Hobart in 1940 because of his unconventional ideas on armoured warfare.

Churchill eventually had Hobart brought back into service and went on to a successful command of the 79th Armoured Division, and was also instrumental in developing many of the specialised armoured vehicles used in Normandy.
 

BAYLOR

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Okay at Dunkirk. Hitler held back his Panzer and troops enabling the British to evacuate the BEF and remnants of the French Army, Other remnant od the French Amy stayed behind and fought a further delaying action to buy them more time to escape . What if Hitler had instead decided press home his advantage and send in the Panzers and troop and finish off the British expeditionary force? How would loss of the all those men have effected the outcome of the war?
 
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paranoid marvin

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Churchill said that the forces at Dunkirk were 'the whole root and core and brain of the British Army'. Lose that, and you not only lose any notion of defending your islands in the case of a successful invasion, you also lose the ability to attack the enemy.

Would the successful campaign in North Africa against the Afrika Korps been possible? Doubtful. And if Hitler secures North Africa, does he split his forces in Russia to capture the Southern oilfields?

And it would lead to an interesting situation in Britain. The loss of the core of the army, and the loss of morale would lead for pressure for Churchill to seek peace terms from Hitler. This happened even with the successful evacuation of Dunkirk; how much greater would it have been with the defeat of the BEF? Now there was no way that Churchill was ever going to do this, but he was only the leader and could have been replaced. In such an eventuality would Churchill have organised a coup and left England with an - albeit temporary - military dictatorship?

But Churchill's main objective was to get the US into the war before the fall of Britain. This was more likely to happen if the US could see some kind of fightback, some military successes from the British - none of this would have been possible with the loss of those men at Dunkirk

It's easy to say with hindsight that it was a poor choice for the Germans not to finish the attack. But the main objectives of the Germans at this time - the capture of France, Belgium and the Netherlands - were virtually completed. Britain was always going to come later due to the English Channel. The German attack had worked so well, but to some extent too well, and the lines and their supplies were not ideal. What the Germans didn't want was for a breakout by the Allied forces around Dunkirk. As soon as they - and other French forces around the country - realised that their situation wasn't anywhere as dire as what it appeared to be - the Germans could find themselves on the back foot, or at least have a much greater fight on their hands. So soften the forces up with constant attacks from the Luftwaffe, beef up the cordon surrounding them, bring up reinforcements and resupplies, and then force their surrender. If a few thousand made it back across the English Channel then that was of little consequence. But the most important thing was to prevent any form of counter-attack to stiffen the French resistance and resolve.
 

BAYLOR

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Churchill said that the forces at Dunkirk were 'the whole root and core and brain of the British Army'. Lose that, and you not only lose any notion of defending your islands in the case of a successful invasion, you also lose the ability to attack the enemy.

Would the successful campaign in North Africa against the Afrika Korps been possible? Doubtful. And if Hitler secures North Africa, does he split his forces in Russia to capture the Southern oilfields?

And it would lead to an interesting situation in Britain. The loss of the core of the army, and the loss of morale would lead for pressure for Churchill to seek peace terms from Hitler. This happened even with the successful evacuation of Dunkirk; how much greater would it have been with the defeat of the BEF? Now there was no way that Churchill was ever going to do this, but he was only the leader and could have been replaced. In such an eventuality would Churchill have organised a coup and left England with an - albeit temporary - military dictatorship?

But Churchill's main objective was to get the US into the war before the fall of Britain. This was more likely to happen if the US could see some kind of fightback, some military successes from the British - none of this would have been possible with the loss of those men at Dunkirk

It's easy to say with hindsight that it was a poor choice for the Germans not to finish the attack. But the main objectives of the Germans at this time - the capture of France, Belgium and the Netherlands - were virtually completed. Britain was always going to come later due to the English Channel. The German attack had worked so well, but to some extent too well, and the lines and their supplies were not ideal. What the Germans didn't want was for a breakout by the Allied forces around Dunkirk. As soon as they - and other French forces around the country - realised that their situation wasn't anywhere as dire as what it appeared to be - the Germans could find themselves on the back foot, or at least have a much greater fight on their hands. So soften the forces up with constant attacks from the Luftwaffe, beef up the cordon surrounding them, bring up reinforcements and resupplies, and then force their surrender. If a few thousand made it back across the English Channel then that was of little consequence. But the most important thing was to prevent any form of counter-attack to stiffen the French resistance and resolve.

Lord Halifax would have likely taken over negotiated a peace with Germany . For Churchill, it would have at the very least, end his political career . North Africa would have fallen to Nazi Germany and I suspect they'd eventually reach Irag and Iran and that would given them nearly unlimited oil and it would have put them right next to Russia's oil fields. An absolute nightmare scenario :(

In the US the Isolationists sentiment would have prevailed and FDR would've been unable do anything .:(
 
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paranoid marvin

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Lord Halifax would have likely taken over negotiated a peace with Germany . For Churchill, it would have at the very least, end his political career . North Africa would have fallen to Nazi Germany and I suspect they'd eventually reach Irag and Iran and that would given them nearly unlimited oil and it would have put them right next to Russia's oil fields. An absolute nightmare scenario :(

In the US the Isolationists sentiment would have prevailed and FDR would've been unable do anything .:(


Churchill would have had two choices if he was forced to resign: attempt a military dictatorship and continue the war, or go to Canada with the Royal family and take the bulk of the RAF and Royal Navy with him.

With Britain out of the war, the US would have focused solely on Japan.
 

BAYLOR

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Churchill would have had two choices if he was forced to resign: attempt a military dictatorship and continue the war, or go to Canada with the Royal family and take the bulk of the RAF and Royal Navy with him.

With Britain out of the war, the US would have focused solely on Japan.



The first scenario is the least likely , I can't see Churchill going the Dictatorship route given his opposition to Fascism. If he goes the second route, Canada gains the world latest and most powerful navy and an even bigger and more powerful Air force and instantly becomes a major world power. Unfortunately, in that scenario, the Royal Navy doesn't get the chance to take out Frances fleet at Mers el Kebir and, Germany secures it and they gain a significant surface fleet . Combine this with Italy's navy and , the possibility that Germany might also take steps to secure Gibraltar, Germany owns the Mediterranean lock, stock and barrel. They would likely build more surface ships and U-boats to be used in the Atlantis theater . The US responds by fortifying Greenland and, with the Royal Navy's help, Iceland is secured , denying it to Axis as a base. I think that the combined US Atlantis Fleet and Royal Navy would be more than enough to blunt the Axis in the Atlantic in for the time being . The US still wouldn't be able to focus solely on Japan.
 
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Robert Zwilling

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A very interesting scenario where Churchill moves England's military might to Canada. I think a good deal of the population would also have gone along to Canada. The u-boat threat was real, but in the end, it was sheer production numbers that filled the Atlantic shipping routes and supplied the North Atlantic fleet with a spectacularly effective anti submarine naval and air force. That probably would have seen Canada, England, and the US merge into 1 super power. With all the resources at hand there was nothing that couldn't have been built. With the Pacific and Atlantic oceans as buffers, they would remain relatively secure. Mexico might have been dragged in as well, to keep the Panama Canal secure.

The Russians kept the pressure up so that Germany was never able to focus everything on one location. The US sent Russia 400, 000 trucks and jeeps. Plus tanks, airplanes, blankets, boots, all kinds of supplies. The Japanese enjoyed great success militarily, capturing a tremendous amount of territory, but they also could not focus all their attention in one place because of the immense areas involved and long supply lines. This allowed the Allies to pick and choose where they struck back in the Pacific front.

The invasion of North Africa would probably have been different if England was not available as a staging point. Africa probably would have worked as a staging point if England had fallen. It just would have taken longer. Not everything the US supplied for the North African invasion was shipped directly from the US to North Africa. 60,000 of the roughly 110,000 American troops came directly from the US. The other 50,000 came from American troops and equipment already in England. The UK forces, over 100,000, were already fighting the Italians and Germans in North Africa.

Even though the axis powers (Germany, Italy and Vichy) had numerical superiority in ships and planes in the Mediterranean, in the end, it was only what the Germans operated that actually counted. With no naval control in the Mediterranean, the Germans had to reinforce their forces by flying them in from Italy. This decreased their ability to adequately keep the German forces supplied. This was another battle zone where sheer numbers eventually outweighed quality. North Africa was a testing ground for future invasions. After the landings American forces failed to understand that holding the high ground first afforded great potential for not getting wiped out, allowing the Germans to beat the Americans by continually taking the high ground first. When the Americans got to Italy, they were well versed in mechanized warfare, but the Germans still had the upper hand in taking the best land positions even though they were constantly retreating.

The developers of the latest tanks and jet aircraft must have been under immense pressure to deliver,
Unlike before the war, during the war, the Germans did not work together, but in small groups, and they were not sharing information with each other. This was due to personal survival strategy. It resulted in a very large number of inventions all going from the drawing board to the battlefield in parallel efforts, most of which worked. Failure was not an option. Once a program got going, it grew large very fast.
 

BAYLOR

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History doesn't follow a script . A wrong turn here , a bad bit of luck there combined with a decision made or not made at a crucial time . There are quite a number of things that could caused history to go down a different and darker path.
 

The Ace

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The Russians had one with one large main turret with the big gun, then four mini-turrets, one in each of the four corners, two with a smaller gun and two with machine guns, one of each at the front and the opposite at the back, by this I mean that the small guns and Mgs were diagonally opposite each other.
Pretty sure it didn't go to war but they did build one or two prototypes!
The British had one with same layout, got a photo of it in my tank encyclopedia, but only one was built and during the war was used as an army camp gate guard!
The trouble with the Panther and Tigers, they were both so heavy few bridges could support their weight, when this was the case they had to be fitted with snorkels to allow the engine to breath during river crossings.
The T-35 main 76.2mm 2x 37, or 45mm AT guns and 5x 7.62 mgs distributed over 5 turrets. Looked very impressive on Mayday parades. Around 30 were built but fire control was a nightmare, and the only service they saw was when a handful were thrown into the defence of Moscow (One was actually captured by the Germans, and used as a static defence in Berlin in 1945)

The Vickers A1 Independent never left the drawing-board, but the A11 cruiser (France 1940 and home defence until replaced by better models) had a 2-pounder (40mm) AT gun in the main turret and 2 forward mg turrets - armour was lousy, and performance mediocre.
 

BAYLOR

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The T-35 main 76.2mm 2x 37, or 45mm AT guns and 5x 7.62 mgs distributed over 5 turrets. Looked very impressive on Mayday parades. Around 30 were built but fire control was a nightmare, and the only service they saw was when a handful were thrown into the defence of Moscow (One was actually captured by the Germans, and used as a static defence in Berlin in 1945)

The Vickers A1 Independent never left the drawing-board, but the A11 cruiser (France 1940 and home defence until replaced by better models) had a 2-pounder (40mm) AT gun in the main turret and 2 forward mg turrets - armour was lousy, and performance mediocre.

Ive seen picture of a Russian Tank vehicle called the KV VI. It looks like a plumbers nightmare.
 

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Ive seen picture of a Russian Tank vehicle called the KV VI. It looks like a plumbers nightmare.
The KV-VI was a fantasy model built in the '90s, using bits of various plastic kits. It was an entry in a special competition, where contestants not only had to produce something outlandish, but to write a, "What if," history.

This kind of thing goes on all the time among more extreme modelmakers, and nobody bats an eyelid, but somebody stuck it on the internet to see what would happen, and you can guess the rest.
 

BAYLOR

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The KV-VI was a fantasy model built in the '90s, using bits of various plastic kits. It was an entry in a special competition, where contestants not only had to produce something outlandish, but to write a, "What if," history.

This kind of thing goes on all the time among more extreme modelmakers, and nobody bats an eyelid, but somebody stuck it on the internet to see what would happen, and you can guess the rest.

It look like something out of the Warhammer 40 K Universe.:)
 

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