View Full Version : *Only* the Soviets against the Germans
21st Oct 09, 8:27 AM
A bit of a random topic, but Im just curious on a possible 'What-if' or just to give me an idea of how strong the Soviet Union was during the war.
What if it was JUST the Soviets against the Germans, no British, no Americans or other forms of allies, how well would the Soviets do?
I know they wiped out hundreds of thousands of german troops, but Im just wondering how you guys think they would fare if it was only them against the Nazi War Machine.
21st Oct 09, 8:55 AM
Well, it could have evolved quite naturally in Poland; the Germans and Soviets come into contact, but a misunderstanding results in fighting. Both sides accuse one another of violating their treaty... Germany would have the immediate advantage, though it would not be the massive army that in real life pushed into the Soviet heartland, but the smaller force used to subjugate Poland that would be first on the scene. With France and Britain as threats in the west, some force would still be necessary to protect Germany proper, but they could certainly have mobilized a significantly large army to supplement the forces in Poland, far faster than the Soviets could raise any force to slow them down.
Rommel would make a name for himself not in the sands of north Africa but in the steppes of Russia. The blitz would work, though the fight would degenerate into a slogfest well before German forces reached Stalingrad as they would lack the experience, technology and army size for the enormous gains they made in real life. The Soviets would be very short in supplies and lacking in all of the equipment that won their front of the war at this point, so there would still be massive gains. It's very likely that Hitler's ego would not get in the way as much in this case, and perhaps a targetted drive at the oil fields would have taken absolute priority. If the Germans could make their push and seize those vital oil fields before the Soviets could gear up their war industry, the Soviets would have been in serious trouble.
This would be doubly so if the Japanese, rather than pursuing European colonies in the Pacific, engaged in a land war into the Soviet Union aimed at the Siberian oil fields. With both oil-producing regions either threatened or in the hands of enemy powers, the USSR would have had little option but to sue for peace. Japan and Germany would have unfettered access to abundant oil and raw materials. France, having witnessed the tactics of the blitz, would have corrected their defensive posture, and Britain would have geared up for imminent war as well. The US would have a terribly hard time joining the war effort until Britain was directly threatened... the result would have been an even more intense, longer fought and altogether uglier ground war in western europe, potentially with Japanese infantry fighting alongside Italian and German troops. British and French colonies in the east would again fall, and there's a chance the US would cede their claims in the Pacific in the face of a much stronger Japan. Africa would likely fall to the Italians.
That's just one way it could have played out.
21st Oct 09, 9:14 AM
There are plausible scenarios for Germany defeating the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa, though many of them hinge on actions Hitler did not take or would be actively against taking. So unfortunately these what-ifs require a much greater what-if, namely that of replacing Hitler with another leader, potentially even removing the Nazi party from the picture altogether.
For scenarios before Barbarossa it's much harder to say. Poland was not like France, and the offensive bogged down a lot against stiff Polish resistance, rather than being a true blitzkrieg. Success would depend upon pushing through Poland as fast as possible, so that access to the more open steppes is achieved. Once in Russia, then you've got to not make the same mistakes of Operation Barbarossa, such as spreading out your numerically inferior army across a vast front.
21st Oct 09, 1:46 PM
Without any outside influences, the odds of Nazi Germany NOT winning are rather low.
Removing the invasion of Greece alone gives the Germans an extra three months or so to campaign in optimal conditions.
Removing the effect Allied strategic bombing had, starting 1943, removed a burden on German industry, petroleum, shipping, etc.
Removing the (admittedly comparatively small, once the Soviets got their production going) contribution in terms of supplies, vehicles, etc., only makes Russia more susceptible in the beginning, vulnerable year of the campaign.
The thing to remember is that Russia circa 1941-42 and parts of '43 is simply not the Russia of latter '43, '44, etc. Could that nation stop a Nazi Germany unhampered by any other external considerations? I don't know for sure... but I don't like her odds.
On the other hand, there are problems that Germany was always going to have. The Wehrmacht was not fully mechanized by 1941-42. A lot of the issues related to this that it ran into those first two winters were still going to be prevalent.
Furthermore, there will still have been groups within her borders interested in seeing Hitler fail--the same groups, for instance, that supplied crucial, detailed information that helped the Battle of Kursk become a Soviet victory... even with the Russians losing 5-6 times more men than the Germans, an even greater ratio of tanks, artillery, and aircraft, etc.
Ultimately, it's a pretty unrealistic scenario. I can't imagine a situation where the rest of the world powers just sat around and watched Germany and Russia slug it out without getting involved in some way, shape, or form.
21st Oct 09, 11:54 PM
Russia is a bugger of a thing to conquer. The sheer size of the undertaking would make that unlikely if not impossible. But defeating them is a different matter. Most of the important bits of Russia are in the west (most notably pretty much all of Russia's food production is there) so realistically Germany only needs to occupy that part long enough. Granted we're still talking an area bigger than the rest of Europe so it's far from certain but given the massive advances of 41 it's quite plausible. The removal of the need to station troops in the west against allied intervention across the channel could be the tipping point.
That said Germany gained quite a lot from it's actions in 39 and 40, especially the usage of the Blitz in France reinforcing Hitler's faith in it against the more traditional (and probably inferior) plan proposed by most of his Generals. If you take the allies out logically you take out France too.
22nd Oct 09, 12:43 AM
I'm not sure that the OP asked what you're implying, though. I believe their intent was to see what would happen if no one could interfere in the war between Nazi Germany and the U.S.S.R.--not that there couldn't have been anything going on before it.
I'm pretty sure the OP is imagining a scenario wherein Britain decided it wasn't worth it after Dunkirk, or anti-Communist sentiment in the U.S. was enough to prevent aid going to the U.S.S.R. Unlikely, sure, but part and parcel of this discussion. :)
22nd Oct 09, 1:58 AM
If the minor allies of Germany and the Soviets take no part in this fight, then I don't see many ways for Germany to win. They (Germans) didn't have much of Petroleum and more or less depended on Romania for that resource (am I right?) so they'd be not only trying to attrite their way to Moscow but do it on foot too.
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