Can you do better than Adolf?

Right. It's 1938 and you have just waved goodbye to dear old Neville clutching his bit of paper and managed to suppress the urge to laugh until the cameras have stopped rolling.

How would you set about winning world domination?

Consider the state of the nations much as they were. US still strongly isolationist, Russia seemingly friendly.

Assume the Italians and Japanese would fall in with whatever plan you develop, so no precipitous Pearl Harbour attack unless you think that's a cool idea.

What is your timeline for ultimate victory?

Moggy

AlanR

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To start.

By consolidating what had already been gained in mainland Europe, before moving on.
Not bombing the UK, so avoiding retaliatory attacks.
Not even thinking about invading Russia.
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charliehunt

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The problem with "what if" questions is in separating the historical individual from oneself. Unless you were the megalomaniac Hilter was, amongst other unsavoury things, the sane purposeful individual would have no interest in world domination anyway.
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Moggy C

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As I see it he has two ways to go East or West. Now we know he kicked off by heading East into Poland, but this didn't seem to alienate Stalin much. However it brought down on his head the ire of Britain and France.

Romania and Hungary were largely pro German, so once Poland was subdued there was the making of a considerable power block which included oil fields.

If as much planning had been devoted to the possibility of an eventual Channel assault as was given to Overlord it might have been a good tactical move to postpone the westward blitzkreig until the Wermacht had at least some practical means of crossing the Channel with heavy vehicles. It didn't look like the French were going to launch other than very local attacks over the Maginot line, so another year or two could have been devoted to the submarine blockade of the UK.

How is it going so far?

Moggy

snafu352

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Whilst echoing charlies comments as entirely sensible I would offer don't start the war until 1945, as I believe was originally intentioned*, as the quickest way to achieve the aim.

*That may have been war with Britain; but I think if Germany had simply waited for Soviet Russia to tear itself apart some more, taking the time to build the warships and more developed weaponry under design in the late '30's the rest of Europe would have struggled, including Britain.

John Green

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1. Bring into the German speaking union, Austria, and the Sudetenland plus any one else who would feel happier in union, with the intention of creating more cannon fodder plus a potential increase in weapons manufacturing capacity.

2. Don't march into Poland. The intention is to avoid annoying the British who have a support treaty with the Poles.

3. Don't annoy the British - see WW1. The intention is to avoid a war on two fronts.

4. Cosy up to Romania and Hungary. The intention is to secure Romanian oil.

5. Make friends with the Finns and arm them. The intention is that they don't much like the Russians having just lost about 20% of their territory in the winter war.

6. Invade Russia in late Spring 1941. Attack from the South with a minimum of 10,000 aircraft, 10,000 tanks and six million infantry. The Finns to attack from the North. The intention is to destroy Communist Russia and acquire land for expansion of the German empire in the East and additional manufacturing capacity. Above all, treat the native population well. Do not antagonize them. They are our friends as you will see.

7. Having conquered Russia, we will reposition our forces for an attack down thru Persia. The intention is to seize and control the flow of oil and threaten only, the jewel of the British Empire; India.

8. This move increases tension with Britain. We will at once begin to train a 100,000 strong parachute army amounting to ten divisions plus transport aircraft. The intention is that if war with Britain comes then we will have a significant mobile spearhead available in sufficient numbers to seize vital British airfields and harbours.

9. Meantime the Japanese are at war with the USA. We do not declare war on the USA. The intention is to sit on the fence and see how the Japs get on against the Americans.

10. Anticipating war with Britain we have amassed a total of 1,000 ocean going submarines. The intention is to quickly sever the Atlantic lifeline of supplies from America and Canada.


Back to reality. There are too many assumptions implicit in the above to be of any real value in determining the outcome and the timescale.
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Beermat

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Couldn't resist this one!

Absolutely agree John, too many assumptions - and hard to avoid hindsight in decision making, as well.. but:

I would learn the lesson of history and not invade Russia at all. Cosy up to her. Maintain the pact, keep Stalin onside. Ultimately the Stalinist system was doomed to failure - and instead of a populace engaged in a unifying 'Great Patriotic War' (nothing like a war to increase popularity if you're a bit dictatorially inclined), you get a frustrated population (including the millions of young people who in 'real' history were killed in the war) across an enormous and disparate country, and leaders who are quite used to the idea of revolution.. So just be patient and let Soviet Russia fall apart while maintaining my own (Germany's) superior economic and industrial organisation, then go in and pick up the pieces (and the oil fields, and minerals, and Pacific bases, etc etc.).

Invading Poland? Well, I reckon if he had stopped there the declaration of war by Britain would not amount to much more. The phoney war would stay phoney - recalling the old hippy question 'What would happen if war was declared but nobody showed up'?

So slowly the economic wealth, and therefore global power, of Germany increases. Maybe another soft invasion of another European country in a couple of years time. Exactly the way the Soviets did post war, in fact - but with a functioning socio-economic system able to make the most of new resources in each case. Once the USSR had faded and fallen under German control (after all, the countries would be 'partners', so why shouldn't there be German ownership of the resources) whether in four or forty years, then there ya go, Global Superpower status. What would the UK do? Either form a counter-alliance with the US and China (maybe even Japan) - or duck the issue by going Swiss, becoming the world's bank and specialist engineering workshop. Whatever, I doubt very much Britain would feel the call to go to war.
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Lincoln 7

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"There is no sch thing as a problem, just a solution"

Problem. Hitler.

Solution..Bump him off before he could have started the war.

Simples, Eh?.

Jim.
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snafu352

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Simple and effective Jim, if you are not Hitler...

The OP was asking how would you play it if you were Hitler.

Presumably you'd do the honourable thing and bump yourself off?

John Green

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I didn't know you had a sense of humour. Very good !
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Moggy C

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Following Beermat's scenario you have to wonder if Europe and some bits of Asia and Africa would have been enough. Or might he have pressed on with atomic research inb order to visit a Hiroshima and Nagasaki on an unsuspecting US, smug, dumb and happy in its isolationism?

Moggy
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Lincoln 7

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Simple and effective Jim, if you are not Hitler...

The OP was asking how would you play it if you were Hitler.

Presumably you'd do the honourable thing and bump yourself off?


But "I" did in the end, didn't I?...........:D
Jim.
Lincoln .7

snafu352

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Following Beermat's scenario you have to wonder if Europe and some bits of Asia and Africa would have been enough. Or might he have pressed on with atomic research inb order to visit a Hiroshima and Nagasaki on an unsuspecting US, smug, dumb and happy in its isolationism?

Moggy


Given that there wasn't much in the way of real economy or substance behind the Nazi regime and it's "progress" you'd have to think that the regime would have to take on the US to sustain itself.

hampden98

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Don't persecute the Jews. Start your own Manhattan project (Jewish scientists). Get nuclear weapons.
Invest in Jet and Rocket technology.
Boom!
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charliehunt

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Great idea but a minor flaw. You couldn't not persecute the Jews!;)

Creaking Door

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Given that there wasn't much in the way of real economy or substance behind the Nazi regime and it's "progress" you'd have to think that the regime would have to take on the US to sustain itself.

Very true; the Nazi 'economic miracle' was really a vast confidence trick. Full employment, vast government spending on all that infrastructure (autobahns) and the military, was all paid-for by vast borrowing; without war, and the plundering of other countries's resources, the whole Nazi house-of-cards would have collapsed before 1943. War was inevitable but I'm not sure how 'taking on' the United States would have 'sustained' Nazi Germany?

Creaking Door

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The intention is to destroy Communist Russia and acquire land for expansion of the German empire in the East and additional manufacturing capacity. Above all, treat the native population well. Do not antagonize them. They are our friends...

It would be absolutely impossible for the Wehrmacht to 'treat the native population well' since the invading soldiers needed to steal all the food the native population had to feed themselves! This wasn't accidental, nor was it something that happened later on when supplies ran low, it was fundamental to the basic planning of the invasion of the Soviet Union; the name of this planned atrocity was the 'hunger plan' and it is well worth looking it up if you have never heard of it.

It was also one of the main reasons for the spectacular success of the invasion of the Soviet Union; the invading armies were not encumbered by the sort of logistical train that other modern armies were forced to maintain. It did of course mean that some ten million, mainly Ukrainian, civilians were condemned to certain death by the ordinary soldiery of the Wehrmacht but that conveniently solved another of their problems, what to do with those already native to their 'living space' and was a price they were clearly willing to extract for their 'lebensraum'!

John Green

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CD

Your juxtoposition has become juxtoposed !

The OP asked: "Can you do better than Adolf? "

All who have responded, have responded in that light. We, all of us know what actually happened at the time, the challenge was to assume the mantle of the invader and concoct a different scenario.

In my scenario, I'm sensible and knowledgeable enough to know that much of the population of Soviet Russia, especially the Ukraine were not well disposed towards the Communist regime so, why antagonise them further by ill treating them when with a little extra effort I can get them onside and eventually fighting alongside my army ?

So, if we connect with the point that you make, I have to make adequate provision for supplying the Wehrmacht, which of course means that I don't rely on Goering, instead putting together a workable and reliable supply train.

snafu352

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Very true; the Nazi 'economic miracle' was really a vast confidence trick. Full employment, vast government spending on all that infrastructure (autobahns) and the military, was all paid-for by vast borrowing; without war, and the plundering of other countries's resources, the whole Nazi house-of-cards would have collapsed before 1943. War was inevitable but I'm not sure how 'taking on' the United States would have 'sustained' Nazi Germany?


You've answered your question yourself in the prior words. In the sense that continual war was required to sustain the regime. I'll agree that the US wouldn't necessarily have been the next stop as there was plenty of Africa and Asia left but assuming that all went hunky dory at some point the only other area and one that would at some point have objected to German dominance was the US.

snafu352

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In my scenario, I'm sensible and knowledgeable enough to know that much of the population of Soviet Russia, especially the Ukraine were not well disposed towards the Communist regime so, why antagonise them further by ill treating them when with a little extra effort I can get them onside and eventually fighting alongside my army ?

So, if we connect with the point that you make, I have to make adequate provision for supplying the Wehrmacht, which of course means that I don't rely on Goering, instead putting together a workable and reliable supply train.


But as we've already noted the Nazi economy had no way of providing such supply without plundering other territories. So whilst your thoughts are indeed innovative they require a different regime in power prior to 1938 to be enacted. The starting point is 1938, if you can get a functioning economy in place in the next 2 to 3 years to support your logistical requirements you should be running for lifelong President of the World. ;)

John Green

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As Fuhrer, I am in control of a 'command economy' which means that I can organise in any way that suits my needs. Eg,

Russia has cold winters. My army will have available suitable winter clothing including white camouflage. My quartermasters will submit their estimates in respect of food, forage, ammunition, weapon replacement, and medical supplies including field hospitals and mobile workshops enough to supply and maintain 120 mixed panzer and infantry divisions.

A fleet of 500 transport aircraft each capable of carrying 2 tons of supplies with a further 250 such aircraft in reserve will be the main carrier supplemented by road and rail transport and shipping routes along the Baltic.

If there is a shortfall in any of the supply criteria then Barbarossa will be postponed until the deficiencies are made good.