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Could WWll have been avoided
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 02:58 AM UTC
Could WW ll have been avoided by action during the "Phony War"? In Sept 1939 the Wehrmacht was still relatively small. France's tank and infantry forces were much more numerous - their tanks were generally stronger with bigger guns, although technologically inferior.
The bulk of Germany's Wehrmacht was occupied fighting the Poles, and their Western front was weakly held. France and Britain had already declared war on Germany. Britain's and France's navies were superior, and could have provided a naval blockade (as in WWl), as well as big gun artillery support, where possible.
Could an immediate French attack (for the purpose of discussion ignoring the fact that Frances' government and military was riddled with indecision), followed by BEF re-inforcement, into Germany, have forced Hitler into a ceasefire, armistice, or surrender, before Jan 1940?
Cookiescool2
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Georgia, United States
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 04:02 AM UTC
You've certainly posed an interesting question, and I do think the French could've defeated Germany since they would've been unprepared, but that might've led to further conflicts with the Soviet Union. Overall, I think it's better to leave questions like these unanswered, it's a can of worms that shouldn't be opened.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 04:20 AM UTC
Headhunter506
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 04:24 AM UTC
It could have been avoided long before that if the Western Powers showed some backbone and reacted forcefully to Hitler's reoccupation of the Rheinland. The Wehrmacht was nowhere strong enough to call the West's bluff. Stop that and there would have been no Anschluss, no occupation of the Sudetenland, no silly buffoon in a starched collar and derby waving a worthless sheet of paper, no secret pact with the Soviets or Sept. 1, 1939 ever taking place. More than likely, there might have been a coup d'etat staged by the more sober senior Wehrmacht officers in conjunction with political foes of the NSDAP. Old Dolph could have been "Mussolini'ed" by then. Payback's a beeyotch.
Headhunter506
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 04:26 AM UTC

Quoted Text




I like the ones with BBQ sauce.
joepanzer
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 05:15 AM UTC
More importantly, do you think that this hobby would be as popular now if WWII wouldn't have happened?
Headhunter506
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 05:31 AM UTC
That would have been very inconsiderate of them. There would be no hobby. There wouldn't be anything to build because nothing would've been developed for our modeling pleasure.
TopSmith
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 06:38 AM UTC
If the armestience agreements from WW1 had not have been so punitive Germany probably would not have been so desperate that Hitler looked good. If he hadn't been able gain a foot hold, WW2 would not have started.
Tojo72
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 06:58 AM UTC
Interesting,in the Pacific,is it possible that Japan would have stood down if France and Netherlands weren't defeated and Britain not tied down with Germany,or was war between the US and Japan still going to happen regardless of what happened in Europe ?
jphillips
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 07:27 AM UTC
If only WW2 could have been avoided! That would have been a very good thing. On the other hand, it could also have been a lot worse - the war could have been even deadlier and more destructive, and dragged on longer.
obg153
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 07:43 AM UTC
Anthony brings up an excellent point. Japan had already invaded China well before Germany went into Poland. Japan's needs for raw materials was much greater compared to Germany. Being unable and/or unwilling to negotiate with other nations in the Pacific, as well as refusing to get out of China, Japan saw its' only choice as war. On the other hand, it seems like Hitler was hell bent on exacting revenge for the indignities imposed by the Allied nations at the end of WWI.
Vicious
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 09:51 AM UTC
Maybe if the art-school in Vienna instead to refuse accept the student Adolf Hitler the war been avoided and now everybody speak about Adolf the great artist!...or maybe we just avoid Adolf for some other crazy Fritz,the problem of Germany at that time was not only Adolf,im was just the "right guy at the right time" but the Brown Shirt and the nazi-fascism wave in Europe was on a lot before the Austrian painter move to München...Mussolini was very popular when Adolf was still a "Mr Nobody"

In the Pacific the story was complitely different i don think was possible avoid the war of Japan expansion
spongya
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 01:47 PM UTC

Quoted Text

If the armestience agreements from WW1 had not have been so punitive Germany probably would not have been so desperate that Hitler looked good. If he hadn't been able gain a foot hold, WW2 would not have started.



I think that's the right answer.
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 03:46 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

If the armestience agreements from WW1 had not have been so punitive Germany probably would not have been so desperate that Hitler looked good. If he hadn't been able gain a foot hold, WW2 would not have started.



I think that's the right answer.



Conjecture is merely food for thought...

Post-history is merely "Monday-morning-quarterbacking". What if, what if, what if...

What if after all these billions of years, some genius-scientists found out that the Earth is really spinning BACKWARDS? What if Ketchup had never been invented? What if the Model T Ford had never made it into production? Or the WHEEL itself had never been invented? Never mind if Hitler had never been born- what about Kublai Khan, Julius Ceasar, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon I, Erzsebet Bathory, or Phyllis Diller? What if Cain had never slain Abel? Did they exist? Theologians, atheists and agnostics have argued religion for eons, but that is not my purpose in this discussion...

History unfolds as randomly as the common cold, yet EVERYTHING that happens is due to something that goes awry.

World War II happened because of certain unalienable facts unfolding in real time. The things that happened in the past, good or bad, can be traced back to "The BIG BANG", if you want to pick nits. Could World War II have been avoided? No. Because World War I came before, and the Versailles Treaty came immediately after... But wait! What happened between France and Germany in 1870..? Did WWI REALLY happen because of the assassination of some Royal Oldster (Archduke Ferdinand) in Sarajevo? No, I think it was that Kaiser Wilhelm II and Messrs Krupp & Company were hell-bent on war anyway, whether Ferdy got himself drilled in Sarajevo, or not.

The same can be said for the militaristic clique in WWII Japan, who, in some way or other, had been warring since 1905, and for thousands of years prior to that. The US? A Nation born of Revolution against Great Britain, which also had a reputation not always sterling. France, through prior revolution, might never have had given herself over to Napoleon I if the French Aristocracy hadn't subjugated it's people beforehand.

So, my friends, we can go on an on, postulating the "whys and wherefores" of World War II, which still influences what goes on in the world today. Say what you will about the policies of FDR- He still managed to turn the US into a Superpower, even if he wasn't privy to everything that was going on in bringing us into "The Atomic Age". Would atomic power have been possible without FDR? WITHOUT A DOUBT. INEVITABLE. We can thank Einstein, et al for that. So could World War II have been prevented? Really? I don't think so...
Wellsbourne
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 04:21 PM UTC
Can of worms indeed.
Many historians have postulated on this subject.
had the will been there, yes AH could have been defeated by force of arms before 1939. His posturing and desire to conquer europe could have been halted.
There was a lack of will and a sore lack of equipment in the peace time British Army, no one wanted a return to the "killing fields" of WW1. Military budgets had been cut to the bone (sound famiiar).
A despot had been allowed to carry on and appeased (sound familiar).
The reparations imposed did foment resentment in a nation that had been defeated, so a vacuum was filled by a strong regime (sound familiar).
I am reminded of the film spoof "The Directors", where AH's character sings.."all I want is peace, a litte piece of Poland and a little piece of France etc etc"
The only thing that appeasement managed was to allow some time for Britain to re-arm, albeit rather late and with some poor choices.
There were Nazi sympathizers here in the UK, and the US.
We had Mosley, the Us its own pro Nazi party, Henry Ford was an anti semite, supplying Germany with vehicles at cost price (documented). Our king at that time was a Nazi sympathizer too (Not admitted).
As for the far east, British Imperialism was a mindset that allowed some mistakes to be made with regard to defence, and an attitude of superiority towards the Japanese as a fighting force totally at odds with reality. The Japanese were a warlike nation but the US embargo on oil supplies did nothing but make them want to ensure that they had access to minerals they lacked, by force of arms if necessary.
The world was in turmoil, with different factions pulling in different directions (sound familiar).
So to answer the question, yes, AH could have been defeated if the will and equipment had been available. But could the Nazi party be defeated is another question.


Bonaparte84
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Hessen, Germany
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 05:29 PM UTC
If you don't like this particular can of worms, you don't have to read this thread. Personally, I find this kind of thinking experiment fascinating.

One aspect missing completely so far is that of Stalin and the Soviet Union and the possible clash between East and West, had AH been defeated before it came to WW2. We had the Cold war right after WW2. Who knows whether it would have remained cold, had the devastating experience of WW2 not occurred... THe Soviet Union might not have been ready for war in June 1941, but clearly it wa preparing to get ready...
Also, the discussion seems very focussed on Germany, wich is understandable. But don't underestimate the importance of other actors in that period, like Italy which already waged war in Africa and had special plans for the Balcans. Or the war between Finland and the Soviet Union, the Civil war in Spain...
amoz02t
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 05:56 PM UTC
and we should think how to apply those lessons to today's conflicts. How do we react in the best way forward knowing what we do from that situation in 1939? France is now stepping up from what I read in the papers.
joepanzer
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 06:22 PM UTC
speaking of the present day situation. Go back and watch "Lawrence of Arabia" and see the similarities. The "tribes" rise up to defeat the common enemy, but when it comes to self rule, they break back down.
johhar
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 07:00 PM UTC
Opinions on history range from those who take their school textbooks and newspapers at their word to those who offer the deepest and darkest conspiracy theories and everywhere in between. This question, like every other, will get a wide range of opinion depending on how much one has delved into the questions and what "truths" one has settled on being most likely based on this.
Headhunter506
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 07:07 PM UTC
Star Trek episode 28, The City on the Edge of Forever, will answer all of you questions.
jrutman
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 07:24 PM UTC
Since we are taking it back to the source. The whole thing maybe would never have been if that butt-head hadn't shot the Archduke in Sarajavo! Think about it.
J
Armorsmith
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 07:34 PM UTC
A can of worms indeed. I am also reminded of the old saying "Fools go where angels fear to tread." Also of the proverb "It is better to keep silent and thought the fool, than to speak and remove all doubt."

Nevertheless-Hitler was determined to start a war, both to eradicate the Jewish menace and to achieve lebensraum. This can be found in Mein Kampf. It is difficult to predict what would have happened if France and Britain would have taken action during the "Phony War." Would an invasion of Germany itself not set off the war anew? Would the German people and German generals revolt or would they rally to Hitler in defense of the Fatherland? Having already taken half of Poland in agreement with Hitler, would Stalin feel himself free to take the remainder once Germany was engaged in the West by virtue of British and French action. And being the paranoid that he was, would he have stopped there. And remember, Stalin was really no better than Hitler in terms of brutally and ruthlessness. Stalin felt no hesitation at killing far more of his own people than Hitler murdered Jews. What would Western reaction have been if Stalin had decided to take the rest of Poland? Would Stalin have stopped at Germany's eastern border? What would France and Britain have done then? What would the US position/response have been to all this?

There are as many questions about the war in the Far East? If Russia had moved against the rest of Poland and moved into Germany, Japan might still have attacked Pearl Harbor. But, what if there had been a successful uprising in Germany, and what if Russia did not move against Poland? Would Japan then have stayed her hand against the US? Would Japan have modified her plans and just attacked European possessions in the Pacific leaving the US alone? If there is no attack on Pearl Harbor, would the US have gotten into the war and if so, what issue would have brought a declaration of war from Congress?

Without the US, would France and Britain have been capable of defeating Germany with the people and army rallying around Hitler as the defender of the Fatherland? While possessing greater numbers than Germany(aircraft, tanks, etc.)the Germans were still superior in terms of tactics and doctrine and in some cases equipment. If so, would they have been willing to confront the Russians in Poland or even in Germany, and would they have been capable of defeating Russia themselves? How would the US react to all of this?

You may have noticed that I never answered the question of whether WWII could have been avoided by some kind of action against Hitler/Germany by France and Britain during the "Phony War." Changing one element in the time line of history is like violating the "Prime Directive," it's impossible to predict the consequences of your action.

Having said that I still find questions such as these and interesting and entertaining exercise.
Armorsmith
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 07:50 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Star Trek episode 28, The City on the Edge of Forever, will answer all of you questions.



Came to me immediately but I couldn't think of the name of the episode!
MikeyBugs95
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 07:53 PM UTC
Personally I think we shouldn't dwell on if WWII could've been avoided, it already happened, we can't change anything about it. I think what we should instead ponder is how to prevent WWIII. Learn our lessons from that era and apply them to prevent another war from breaking out.
dhines
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Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 08:03 PM UTC
Hello Biggles, one aspect of ww2 history we were taught in school has always made me wonder was the Russian treaty with Hitler. Stalin had his way when he attacked Finland without much of an outcry from the rest of the nations in the west. Also, he attacked Poland and occupied half of the country that we went to war to support.Not much of any attention was paid to this fact in the history that I was taught in school,and when Hitler invaded Russia, Stalin became good old uncle Joe. I think if Germany was not treated so badly at the end of WW1, then there would not have been a Hitler or a Nazi party. Regards.....Dale