Author Topic: "What if??" A thread for people who like to speculate  (Read 79618 times)

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Offline Technoviking

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2007, 11:43:19 »
Capt Sensible - you'd also have to 'wish away' the fact that OKW or indeed Hitler's personal staff was heavily compromised. Though I'm not sure who 'Wether' was (possibly Bormann), this agent was passing on details and German plans to the Soviets, reputedly before German field commanders had them.....
Fair enough.  I suppose I need a few more Alien Space Bats than I originally intended, but perhaps Canaris is on that plane with Adolf (for whatever reason) and a "new guy" ("Neumann"?) at the Abwehr detects the leaks, eliminates them (effectively plugging the gap).  Perhaps von Manstein, once appointed OKW (or did I say OKH?  I can never remember...) "makes up" a plan, follows up for leaks and observes Soviet reaction to test his and "Neumann"'s theories.  They find the mole, have him secretly executed, and continue to feed the Reds with info: although this time it sends false info for key events, but true info for mundane events.  Would that work?

So, there I was....

Offline Greymatters

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2007, 11:58:29 »
Didnt the OKW dislike the use of spies in the first place as part of their 'old school' attitude?  If i recall correctly they liked intelligence but did not approve of 'civilians' who played double roles.   

Offline Haggis

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2007, 12:02:51 »
case in point ginger addicted alien lizards showing up on Earth in 1941 ::)


Everyone knows this happened in 1947 in New Mexico.
Train like your life depends on it.  Some day, it may.

Offline Technoviking

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2007, 12:08:16 »
Didnt the OKW dislike the use of spies in the first place as part of their 'old school' attitude?  If i recall correctly they liked intelligence but did not approve of 'civilians' who played double roles.   
I'm not sure.

OKH became responsible for the conduct of the war in the East, and OKW for "everything else".  Very frigged up.  Maybe "post Hitler" this is all settled and OKW is responsible to provide direction to the Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine and Heer.  Whatever.  I think that OKH may have been more "old school" than OKW, but I could be wrong.
So, there I was....

Offline Thucydides

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2007, 09:40:45 »
National Socialist Germany is an object lesson in Jerry Pournelle's "Iron Law of Bureaucracy". The internal organization of the Third Reich was a mess (trying to draw an org chart would be akin to Mike Holmes doing a "before" wiring diagram on one of the houses he fixes), and the petty and not so petty functionaries were willing to go to the mat to protect their bits of turft. The classic example that I recall is the navy was desperately trying to put the Type XXI "Electroboot" into production, but the various shipyards and companies which made the older Type VII simply refused to give up their allocations of workers and raw materials. Given the Type XXI was built out of modular sections and could be made far faster than the traditional type VII, you can only wonder what would have happened if the planned "surge" ever took to sea.

This sort of thing is rife in almost any society, but especially so in societies ruled by fear, force or secrecy; reading about the newly unearthed history of the Soviet space program makes the Byzantine Empire look simple and straightforward.

The Third Reich would have lurched along with or without Hitler (the USSR managed to survive with a similarly disfunctional society) until it was smashed by an external power (real history) or collapsed due to chronic dysfunction (the end of the USSR, and most autocratic societies in history). Given the smaller resource base of Germany, and the ability to apply direct military power against the centre (impossible during the Cold War due to the presence of nuclear weapons), I don't think National Socialist Germany would have survived the 1950's at the latest. It is also quite possible that the United States would have unleashed the first nuclear weapon against an undefeated Germany in the mid to late 1940's in persuit of "unconditional surrender".
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline 3rd Herd

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2007, 14:05:44 »
J.T.'s Alternate History Site  http://www.tateville.com/althistory/index.html
"I have a degree in history and have continued to study it and its related fields.  Alternate History, or Counterfactual History, tries to answer the great questions of "What if so and so happened or didn't happened?".  What if Germany had won WW1 or WW2?  What if Britain had crushed the American Revolution?  What if Napoleon had never fallen and had become supreme ruler of Europe? What if the Soviet Union had won the Cold War?  And the most popular one: What if the South had won the Civil War/War Between the States/War of Secession?  The list goes on and on.  Authors such as Harry Turtledove, Robert Sobel, and many others have written books and novels to answer some of these questions.  There are also amateur authors, many who have put up websites of their own."

Some interesting reading. 

"if he was to be hanged for it, he told his brother, he could not accuse a man whom he believed had meant well, and whose error was one of judgment, not of intention"
Wellington

Offline DaveTee

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2007, 13:46:35 »
One question I've wondered about before, and hopefully no one else has posted it here, is what if Nazi ideology hadn't been racist? What if they had accepted the conquered peoples as equals, but as part of Germany once conquered? If they hadn't been so iron handed and evil, would they have found support among the people they oppressed? I mean imagine a conquered France where life goes on, except the mayor is a burgermeister. I mean without the awful concentration camps, the gestapo, the SS, all those loathsome elements of the racial supremacy, could they have formed an empire?

Offline Drummy

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2007, 15:13:30 »
What if Paul Hellyer had never been born?     :)

Part of the answer might be that we would still have 17 Regular Force Bands in the system instead of 6 !

Drummy

Offline Spencer100

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #33 on: July 16, 2007, 16:11:29 »
What if Paul Hellyer had never been born?     :)

Part of the answer might be that we would still have 17 Regular Force Bands in the system instead of 6 !

Drummy

An other part of the answer is some other ex minister would have to be looking for the "ginger addicted aliens."  Or is that two different threads  ::)

Offline Thucydides

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #34 on: July 16, 2007, 22:56:10 »
One question I've wondered about before, and hopefully no one else has posted it here, is what if Nazi ideology hadn't been racist? What if they had accepted the conquered peoples as equals, but as part of Germany once conquered? If they hadn't been so iron handed and evil, would they have found support among the people they oppressed? I mean imagine a conquered France where life goes on, except the mayor is a burgermeister. I mean without the awful concentration camps, the gestapo, the SS, all those loathsome elements of the racial supremacy, could they have formed an empire?

The logic of "National Socialism" may have been explicitly racist, but it only built on the existing foundations of Socialism. One only has to look at full fledged expressions of Socialism to see "awful concentration camps, the gestapo, the SS" existing under different names, and "racial enemies" renamed as "enemies of the people", "Kulacks", "Social Parasites" and so on. In fact, the Third Reich were pikers compared to some of their Socialist counterparts: USSR=20 million + dead; Maoist China est 60 million dead; Pol Pot's Cambodia est 3 million dead.....

If Socialism was persued in a less agressive form, we may have seen something like sleepy and impoverished Francoist Spain, or the chaotic South American Juntas of the post war period (particularly Peronist Argentina) (or Cuba or Venesuala today). Even "Democraatic Socialism" (an oxymoron if there ever was one) simply leads to stagnation at best or the destruction of civil society like we are seeing in the UK today at worst. If Socialism isn't actively opposed, it can exist for a long time (gradually mutating into oligarchy or devolving into something resembling feudalism).

Be thankful the West won WW II and WW III.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Technoviking

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2007, 08:53:08 »
On 1 September 1943, Pravda issues an announcement that "Army Group Poltava" has ceased to exist, destroyed due to traitorous conduct by key members of the STAVKA.  Of the 'convicted', Zhukov is the most important one to be named.  He and the others are hanged in Red Square, and a massive stalement akin to the front in World War One settles across Russia.  Germany has its breathing space: for now.

MORE
Situation: East Front.  A stalemate akin to the trench warfare on the Western Front in the first world war stretches from Leningrad in the north to the Black Sea in the south.  The Soviet Union had lost massive tank reserves and were again in a rebuilding stage in order to press home another offensive.  The initial dates for the start of their latest offensive was to begin on 1 December 1943, however, due to the sheer numbers of lost tanks and crews, the date was postponed until sometime in the new year.  In the meantime, the Germans were strengthening their positions and placing powerful mobile reserves behind the front in order to once again apply a "back hand blow" to any Soviet offensive, which they suspected to begin sometime around mid December.
In the West, the Allies had finally landed in Italy in early September.  Their gains were less than expected initially.  On the political front, the government in Rome surrendered following a coup that ousted Mussolini et al.  The Germans reacted strongly, reinforcing their own forces in Italy such that they were able to occupy the entire nation, much as they had done with so many other nations they had already conquered.
In France, Rommel's staff, along with OB West, completed an extensive estimate as to the expected cross-channel invasion.  For a timeline, they didn't expect any attempt to land until sometime in the spring.  For a location, they dismissed outright the Pas de Calais.  Although that area was closest to the shores of the UK, it was some distance from the ports that would be required to embark any invasion fleet.  The unanimous opinion was that the area between Cherbourg and Le Havre (Normandy) was the obvious choice for any invasion.  The beaches were suitable for landing draft, it was well within range for fighter support and the distance to the embarking ports was much closer than the Pas de Calais.  As well, Cherbourg and Le Havre could serve initially as ports for supplying any invading army.  Also curious was the rather rampant use of un encoded wireless traffic from Patton's "Army" opposite the Pas de Calais.  Given the lack of traffic from anywhere else in the UK, it was obvious to Canaris and his staff that this was a ruse.  Nevertheless, the armies in the Pas de Calais were readied in the event.
The Abwehr made a key intercept due to interrogations of captured Resistance leaders in France.  Two lines of a poem by Verlain, Chanson d'Autumne, would indicate the landings.  The BBC broadcast "messages" to the occupied nations, most of which were in fact coded instructions for the resistance.  The first line, "Les sanglot longs des violons de l'automne" mean that the day would happen soon.  The follow up, or executive would be broadcast within 48 hours of the invasion: "Blesse mon coeur d'une langueur monotone."  Radio intercept units were listening intently for these lines.  Chiefs of staff were instructed to put cancel leaves whenever the first line were heard.  When the second line was intercepted, all units would go to maximum alert.
The months of winter 1943-1944 dragged on.  Fighting in Italy was savage, but rather small scaled compared to the fighting of the previous years.  The offensive in the East never materialised, which only bought time for the Germans.  Their preparations for their defensive works were carried out.  The only offensive action with any repurcussions at all was the intensifying of the seige at Leningrad.  The Germans brought up their powerful railway guns to put pressure on the city.  They reasoned correctly that any attempt on their part to attack the city would draw in Soviets like moths to a flame.  Repeated attacks to break into the city failed miserably in the face of German opposition.  In a military sense, the continued pressure on Leningrad did little.  On a psychological and political sense, it drained the USSR of vital resources and effort in a fruitless mission.
At the home front of the US/UK bombing offensive over Germany, the autumn raids over Schweinfurt caused such loss that the US daylight raids ceased.  The Wasserfall project was ready for initial implementation, however, the numbers were low.  The Germans decided to place the missile batteries around the Ruhr and to use them exclusively at night: fighters would continue to form the first line of defence against any resumption of the US bomber offensive.
On the night of 1/2 December 1943, a UK raid over the Ruhr was engaged for the first time by Wasserfall.  Night fighters initially conducted their intercepts as they followed the waves of bombers from the coast to the German border.  As one British pilot commented later, they noticed that as soon as they entered German airspace, the fighter attacks ceased completely.  At first the pilots reasoned that these fighters were called off and the next wave of fighters were simply delayed in making their intercept attempts.  As they flew on, they became more and more suspicious of what was to await them.  The normal 88mm FLAK was engaging them throughout their flight; however, there were no fighters at all.
As they passed over the Rhine on their terminal approaches to their targets, something aweful happened.  As the pilot noted, a plane to his left suddenly erupted in a bright flash.  A direct hit by FLAK would do that, and it wasn't all that rare of a sight, though disheartening.  The pilot then noted a slow "tracer" arcing up from the ground towards them.  It hit another plane directly and it too exploded.  Looking around him, the pilot noted at least three other planes had burst into flame and were spiralling towards the earth.  Little did he know that these were radar guided missiles, the "Wasserfall" in their first combat operation.  Of 233 planes heading towards their target that night, 55 were destroyed by the Wasserfall intercepts.  Combined with the 8 lost to night fighters and 3 to FLAK, the 28% casualty rate to the bombing force was totally unacceptable.
Thinking that the high rate was a freak of luck, the UK Bombers approached Germany again the next night.  This time, of 198 planes, 68 were destroyed by Wasserfall, 4 to night fighers and 1 to FLAK.  With a total of 37% of the force destroyed at night, UK Bomber Command suspended all bombing operations until they could figure out was the problem was.
On 8 December 1943, they amended their tactics such that they bombed military targets over France in anticipation of the invasion in the Spring: for the first time in years, the nights were quiet in Germany.

To Be Continued....
So, there I was....

Offline time expired

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2007, 11:17:15 »
Capt. Sensible,excellent post,now were getting somewhere.Can barely wait
for part 2.
               Regards
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as occasionally to see a dead general
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Offline Mr.Newf

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2007, 11:27:11 »
Capt. Sensible,excellent post,now were getting somewhere.Can barely wait
for part 2.
               Regards

That was part two. Good post Garvin.
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Offline 3rd Herd

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2007, 11:45:13 »
That was part two. Good post Garvin.

Historical correction: Garvin= Von Garvin? :king: :king:

Excellent work
"if he was to be hanged for it, he told his brother, he could not accuse a man whom he believed had meant well, and whose error was one of judgment, not of intention"
Wellington

Offline Technoviking

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #39 on: July 17, 2007, 12:05:19 »
Historical correction: Garvin= Von Garvin? :king: :king:

Excellent work

Yep, Garvin is (was?) "von Garvin". 
Historically, that nom de plume was mine about 10 years ago on "Case's Ladder" when I was playing Close Combat 2: A Bridge Too Far.  I usually took the Germans, and like the Germans, had a losing win/loss rate.  Still, I had the coolest toys ;D

EDIT:  And thank you to all  :-[
More to come!  See what happens (happened?) in 1944!

So, there I was....

Offline Mr.Newf

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #40 on: July 17, 2007, 12:18:10 »
Historical correction: Garvin= Von Garvin? :king: :king:

Excellent work
I prefer Garvin, thank you very much  ;D
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Offline Technoviking

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #41 on: July 17, 2007, 12:55:20 »
And more:

As dawn broke over Europe on 1 January 1944, there was a noticable change in the course of the war.  In one year, the Germans had gone from operating on two continents to one.  No longer were they fighting in Africa, and in the Soviet Union, they were on a line roughly from Leningrad in the north to Smolensk in the centre and Zaparozhe in the South.  The Crimea was under German rule, and scores upon scores of blackened hulks of Soviet tanks littered the fields near Belgorod.  The German "Landser", or infantryman, made up the bulk of the German front lines, encased by earth and concrete, and supported with Anti tank guns, minefields and wire.  The scene was eeriely similar to the Western Front in the "old war". 
Italy was no longer a member state of the "Axis" powers.  Mussolini was thrown out and in his place the "new" government sued for peace with the Western Allies.  The Wehrmacht had occupied all of Italy, save for southern parts of the boot now under Anglo-American occupation.
France was being fortified day by day, with particular emphasis on the coast between Cherbourg and Le Havre, as well as many of the other channel ports up to Antwerp.  The bombers were leaving Germany alone, due to the now-implemented Wasserfall air defence system.  As a result, German cities were being repaired and the war production, long since under Speer's guiding hands, were starting to churn out more and more war material.  Still, the losses suffered in the East and in Africa took their toll on the Wehrmacht.  As new replacements were being trained, there just wasn't enough manpower to go around.
ENIGMA II was ready for implementation and soon the U Boats would be free to conduct unrestricted warfare upon the shipping lanes of the Atlantic.  In the meantime, US and Canadian convoys were able to take full advantage of the lull to make the UK a virtual armed camp, sitting like a spring ready to explode upon the continent.
The Soviets weren't able to launch their offensive due to delays in production of tanks and training of crews.  Of the infantry there was always enough, and instead of husbanding this vital resource for the upcoming offensive, they were thrown needlessly at the Germans near Leningrad, in a vain attempt to break that seige.  It was becoming known as "Stalingrad of the North" for the Russians, not because of their vaunted victory there of the year before, but because of the losses they suffered: some regiments were down to 10% of their effective strengths after only one week's worth of combat!
Although the German High Command knew that offensive action was the decisive action in war, they also realised that they didn't have the resources to deal a knockout blow to any of their enemies.  Their Schwerpunkt remained the Eastern Front, and it was decided to bleed off the Soviet Army to the point where a decisive attack could be made.  This time, the goal would not be territorial, but rather would be centred on the destruction of Soviet men and material.
In the West, their goal was to fight a delaying operation across Italy, allowing the Allies and themselves to destroy that nation, if necessary, in order to bleed off western material.  In France, when the invasion came, the plan was to destroy it on the beaches, handing the Western Allies a blow from which they could not recover any time soon.  That would offer the Germans a virtual free hand in the East.  Although they had plans for offensive operations in the East, it would not start until certain conditions were met.  First, the Western Allies would be destroyed on the beaches of France, and secondly the Russians had to attack in order to make the front fluid.  The Germans realised that they lacked the strength to bust through a fortified defensive line at the strategic level, but they had more than enough combat power to destroy any foe on a fluid battlefield.
WASSERFALL DETECTED
The US/UK bombing offensive over the Reich once again started up in early March.  Once again, the bombing forces were decimated.  This time, however, a UK radio operator from a bomber that survived the raids reported picking up some strange signals on his set.  He was an amateur radio junkie and he often wondered if there was a way to pick up the German RADAR signals with his own radio.  As they approached Germany one night, he picked up a strange signal where no RADAR had previously been used.  He dutifully reported this upon his return to the UK, and the intelligence forces investigated further.
A week later, on 28 March 1944, a specially outfitted bomber accompanied a UK raid over the Ruhr.  As was anticipated, the force suffered grave losses.  The bomber that accompanied the force flew some five thousand feet above the others.  It monitored for and recorded the radio intercepts and returned to England for analysis.
It was quickly deduced that the Germans had some specially outfitted rockets that could "home in" on radio returns from the attacking aircraft.  The radio signals detected were the broadcast beams.  In typical eccentric English fashion, a bombing force was specially outfitted with a number of countermeasures.  Some bombers had "Chaff": aluminium foil they would drop upon discovering that they were "painted" by the guiding radar.  Others would broadcast "white noise" on the very frequencies used by the radar.  In one case a bomber made completely from wood (less the engines, naturally) was sent to see if it would look "invisible" to the searching radars.
On 15 April, 1944, a UK bombing force set out for the Ruhr.  The lead planes were to detect and then bomb the searching radars.  Knowing that accuracy for these planes would be dubious at best, a number of "Specials" accompanied the attacking force.  As they crossed into Germany, the usual assortment of night fighters broke off their attacks, and the lead "Pathmakers" soon picked up the radar signals as they searched the night skies for the incoming British bombers.  Using simple radio triangulation, the sources of the RADAR were soon picked out and the "pathmakers" gave instructions to the "Pathfinders" to illuminate the RADAR stations. 
The RADAR operators were shocked to find themselves suddenly illuminated by parachute flares as the pathfinders dropped their loads over their sites.  The follow on forces then attacked.  As was anticipated, the results were poor, but not without psychological effect.  Though only one RADAR site was knocked out, a panicky controller in Cologne ordered all WASSERFALL Radar sites to temporarily shut down.
The follow on "Specials" noted with glee that the RADAR signals all shut off, pretty well at once.  The attacking force was able to proceed with virtually no losses and most bombs were delivered on target: a synthetic oil production facility somewhere in the Ruhr.
In the weeks that followed, the Allies and the Germans played a massive chess game of counter-measure, counter-counter measure.  In the end, the Allied casualty rates for their bombing formations dropped to nearly 15% of attacking formation.  Still a high cost, but certainly much better than the close to 40% they were suffering initially.  As well, the German WASSERFALL Radar sites were forced to go mobile in order to avoid the Allied bombing efforts.


More to come.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 12:59:16 by Captain Sensible »
So, there I was....

Offline Mr.Newf

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2007, 13:12:53 »
Sweet! Thanks!
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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2007, 13:58:41 »
PREPARATIONS IN THE EAST
The Soviets finally had the resources together for an offensive in the East.  Operation BAGRATION was ready to launch for early June, 1944.  Its aim was to isolate those forces in the North of the USSR that were right now isolating Leningrad.  Striking westward from the area of Novgorod, the Soviets initial objective was Pskov (Peskau as renamed by the Germans) and then on to the final objective of Riga.  The force would then seal off the entire Baltic region and trap within it, it was hoped, the entirety of Army Group North.
To accomplish this task, some three tank armies and six guards armies were earmarked.  The plan was simple: following a massive artillery and aircraft bombardment of the front from Leningrad to Novgorod, infantry forces would infiltrate the German front lines, clearing a path for the tanks to break through.  Once in Pskov, two guards armies would cover the northern flank as the remaining elements of the "Moscow Front" would drive on to Riga.  The Germans would not be able to handle such a massive force and they believed that the Germans were expecting an attack further south.
As it turned out, the Germans were well aware of BAGRATION and its intended objectives.  Though the start date was as yet unknown, preparations were well in hand.  Realising that they needed the Russians on the move to be able to defeat them, woefully few improvements were made at the front.  Here and there bridges in the depth behind the German front were destroyed or "weakened": the hope being that this would help channel the advancing Soviet forces into preset killing zones.  Powerful tank and panzergrenadier reserves were concealed from prying Soviet eyes in the hinterlands of the Baltic nations.  In this area, the Germans were relatively secure from Partisan operations: most Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians hated the Germans, but they hated the Russians even more and thus were not inclined to take part in operations that were seen further south in White Russia and in the Ukraine.  The Germans were ready for their backhand blow.  The only question remained: would the western allies attack prior to BAGRATION?
INVASION!
Their answer came on 6 June 1944.  On the first day of that month, the opening line of Verlane's poem was broadcast by the BBC.  As a result, all leave in France was cancelled.  In order to not tip their hand that they realised the invasion was coming, the reason for the cancellation of leave was for an upcoming exercise to take place on 15 June.  As well, rolling stock was "heading east" for upcoming operations in Russia.  Though rolling stock was indeed "heading east" in anticipation for the countermoves to BAGRATION, no exercise, or Kriegspiel was planned for June
At 0001 hours on 6 June, the second line of Verlane's poem was broadcast.  Immediately all forces in France and Belgium went to full alert status.  The conditions were ripe for invasion: though the weather was spotty at best, there was a late moon and ideal tide conditions for an invasion.  Soon after midnight, intense allied bombings centred roughly on Caen, followed by reports of parachute landings all across Normandy confirmed the suspicions of many.  Panzer Lehr, 21st Panzer Division and the 12th SS "Hitlerjugend" were ordered forward to just behind the coast, centred on Caen.  Though dead for over six months, Hitler was still, even in death, a powerful figure in Germany.  Now that he couldn't interfere with operations from the grave, his name was often used in vain to rally the German soldiers and Germany itself. 
All throughout the night, Germans and Allied paratroopers battled in a confused set of pitched battles as the last quarter of the moon rose over Europe.  Key bridges were seized in the British sector, and in the US sector, Ste Mere Eglise was one of the first French cities to be liberated from the Germans.
Three hours prior to first light, German coastal radar picked up a massive force approaching the coast off Normandy.  Most were centred on the Caen sector, with a second large "blip" a bit farther west.  Hurried intelligence assessments put the allied landing into two roughly equal halves: one near Caen and one near Ste Mere Eglise.  As things turned out, they weren't far off.
Though hampered by the Parachute landings, the 12th SS and 21st Panzer made their way to Caen prior to first light.  Due to the sheer size of the forces, the low light conditions and the rubble in the streets, both forces had to make their way around the city in order to have a clear path to the coast.  21st Panzer took the eastern side, with their centre for advancing being Cabourg.  12th SS took the western side, with their centre of advance being Lion sur Mer.  The divisional boundary was set as the Orne river.  As it turned out, 21st Panzer would miss the beaches, while 12th SS would hit squre into Sword beach, as it was called by the Allies.
At first light, the landings started.  At Utah beach, the opposition facing the allies was less than spectacular.  Though suffering some 66 fatalities at sea, these were largely due to mishaps than enemy action.  On the beaches, remarkably accurate allied bombing and naval gunnery silenced most opposition.  As a result, the US forces landing here were able to link up with Airborne forces at Ste Mere Eglise by nightfall.
At Omaha, the US forces were virtually wiped out at the beach.   It took several small acts of courage, but by 1500, the US forces were able to clear the beaches and establish enough of a beachhead to allow follow on forces to begin landing.  Casualties were severe in the first waves, but by the end of the day, the forces were ashore and more were coming in.
The British and Canadian beaches of Gold and Juno suffered moderate casualties in their first waves, but by 1000 they were able to declare the beaches "secure" and were fighting their way inland against mounting opposition.  The Canadians drove for the Carpiquet airfield, but were unable to reach it, due to mounting pressure and concerns to their left flank: Sword beach.
The British never had a chance as Sword.  Though their first few waves made it ashore with relatively light casualties and though they quickly linked up with their airborne forces, the sounds of tanks could soon be heard coming from the south.
By 1000, without having properly established their positions, the first tanks of the 12th SS began to attack into Quistreham.  By 1130, the town was cleared of all allied forces and soon the Panthers and Mark IVs were firing directly onto the landing beaches.  Using the coastal buildings for cover, the young fanatics of the 12th SS were able to avoid most allied efforts to destroy them from the air.  By the end of the day, SWORD was abandoned, and the Allied invasion beaches now went from Ste Mere Eglise in the west to St Aubin sur Mer in the East.  The Canadian division at St Aubin sur Mer stopped their advance and deployed in a defensive position to cover the flank of the beaches.  6th Para was now surrounded and was fighting off the attacks of two panzer divisions.
Over the month that followed, the US forces were able to drive to the Atlantic coast, but at great cost.  The German forces defended with infantry heavy forces and manoeuvred their heavy forces mostly at night, attacking near first light in almost every case.  Though far from "destroyed on the beaches", the Allies were quickly losing the race to reinforce the Normandy front.  Events would soon tip the scales in their favour, if ever so slightly.
So, there I was....

Offline Greymatters

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2007, 14:08:10 »
Interesting... who do you see as replacing Hitler?  I dont mean as per the party org chart but after the scuffle that would be bound to ensue.  That would have a tremendous impact on future operations...

Offline Technoviking

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2007, 14:12:30 »
Interesting... who do you see as replacing Hitler?  I dont mean as per the party org chart but after the scuffle that would be bound to ensue.  That would have a tremendous impact on future operations...
In a previous post, I had Goering going in, but he centres mostly on "Five year plans" and "national socialism" as opposed to the conduct of operations (except for air operations).  As well, he is fed a steady diet of information, misinformation and heroin to keep him "under wraps".  In essence, the army has staged a coup so quiet that nobody actually realises it.  The SS and other nazi organisations keep functioning with the mistaken belief that they actually run things.  The Waffen SS, closer to the Wehrmacht in philosophy than with Nazism, go along with the army coup. 
Militarily, von Manstein is running things as the "Berlin" level.

Not being a politico, I'm trying to avoid "all that mess", but this is my take on things.  In short, the army is running things, though nobody seems to realise it yet.
So, there I was....

Offline sdfgsdfgfd

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2007, 14:23:06 »
Write a book on this because i am actually waiting for your next post lol
Army?   I thought the bus was going downtown!!

Offline BulletMagnet

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2007, 14:26:31 »
Where is Rommel in all this or did I miss it?
"Often have I regretted my speech, never my silence" Cpl Jordan Anderson 1981-2007 RIP

When the going gets tough I take a nap...It's easier that way

Offline Technoviking

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2007, 14:29:34 »
Where is Rommel in all this or did I miss it?
Rommel is in Normandy (as he was in Our Time Line: "OTL"), but he didn't go home "on leave" as what really happened (his real reason to head home to was talk to Hitler directly, as was the perogative of any Field Marshall)

von Manstien, Guderian et al are running "the show" at upper levels, but Rommel was a driving force for the defensive preparations, which are meeting mixed results, though with better results (for them) than as occured in OTL.

So, there I was....

Offline Technoviking

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Re: The "what if" thread.For people who like to speculate.
« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2007, 14:30:49 »
FIRE IN THE EAST
22 June 1944, the third anniversary of the opening of the Great Patriotic War was chosen by Stalin himself for the date for BAGRATION to open.  Reasoning that German eyes were focussed on France, Stalin wanted to wait for two weeks prior to launching "his" offensive.  He calculated that two weeks would give enough time to the Germans to let them think that there would be no offensive this summer.  He was wrong.
At 0200 hours on 22 June, the bombardment began.  It was unlike any other suffered by the Germans thus far in the war.  Front lines were reduced to dust and massive holes began to appear in the lines.  At division level and below, a sense of panic began to creep in as reports flooded in of the sounds of impending attack: tank engines revving up in the lines opposite their own.  Contact was lost with battalion after battalion, as the Red Army's infantry was successful in cutting off land line communications.  At dawn the Red Air Force joined in the attack, striking deeper targets and providing battle damage assessments to the artillery.  Their attack is not without heavy loss, however, as the Luftwaffe is able to intercept many of the attacking waves.  By noon, the Red Air Force has pretty well shot its bolt and with very few exceptions, had no further effect on the opening stages of the battle.
By 1500, under a cloud of dust, smoke and fire, the tanks of the Red Army moved forward to exploit the gains of 10 hours of infantry combat.  By last light, some formations have broken through to a depth of 20 miles, though in most places the gains are more modest.  Still, the majority of the German front line is broken and into the gap pour the tanks of three entire tank armies.
The Germans were ready for the onslaught, and all things being equal, fully expected the results of the opening rounds.  Their only problem was to restrain the panzers from launching their attacks too soon.  The staffs all calculated that they needed to see the echelons of the attacking armies moving forward before they could strike back.  In one case, a division commander could no longer bear to hear the calls for help going unanswered.  He sent forward a tank regiment in order to make contact with the beleaguered Landsers at the front.  They linked up by 1800, but soon found themselves surrounded.  In the end, they were destroyed to a machine, the divisional commander replaced and the division reverted to "reserve" status for replacements.  In the end, however, this wayward attack helped the Russians believe that they were making greater gains than they actually were.  They miscalculated and thought that the Germans were in desparate shape, throwing into the breach all that they had left.  Unbeknownst to them, two powerful Panzer corps stood ready to allow the Russians to pass by, and then to cut it off as the advancing Tanks would then run headlong into a PAK front from which they could not escape.
Unlike in the West, the Germans were able to read the Soviets like an open book.  Much as in a staff exercise, the Germans were able to calculate their timings for attack, and the Soviets unwittingly complied with virtually every German course of action.  Although they didn't know it, the Soviets were heading closer to disaster with every mile moved westward.
30 June 1944 was the blackest day in Soviet War History.  Two previously undetected Panzer Corps, backed by two infantry corps, attacked into the flanks of their advancing armies.  Within a day, 3 tank armies, representing some 90% of the Soviet Tank force, along with two guards armies, were cut off.  They had just suffered massive losses after running headlong into what was essentially an army sized kill zone east of Pskov.  Powerful anti tank forces (PAKs) blunted all attacks forward.  Luftwaffe FW-190s struck at the depths of the columns, reducing ammo and fuel trains to burning piles.  There was no hope for survival, and the Germans once again demonstrated their mastery at mobile warfare. 
SITUATION IN THE WEST
Due to BAGRATION, however, the Germans were forced to allocate some forces to the East that were previously scheduled to go to France to fight off the invasion, now heading into its second month.  The Western Allies, under constant pressure, were fighting for their virtual lives on the coast, instead of running roughshod across Europe, straight into Berlin as was originally hoped.  Though the US forces were able to liberate most of the Cherbourg Peninsula, the port itself remained in German hands.  Even so, they had sabotaged it to the point that it would take upwards of a week to clear it for use.  British and Canadian forces, on the other hand, were still trying to make their way into Caen.  Though they had effectively destroyed the 12th SS Panzer in a month's continuous fighting, the 21st Panzer and Panzer Lehr, now reinforced by 2nd SS and other heavy formations, were starting to put the squeeze on the eastern beachheads.  Plans for a second "Dunkirk" were readied in London


More to come!

So, there I was....