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Joker94's avatar

How different would WWII's outcome have been if...? (See inside)

Asked by Joker94 (8165 points ) March 31st, 2011

We were learning more about WWII in my World History class, and are finishing up learning about the Battle of Stalingrad. Now, from what I understand, Hitler had become extremely unhinged as the war went on, and my teacher said Hitler used his trains to deport more Jews to his concentration camps instead of sending more troops into battle.

All this got me to wondering, do you think Hitler could have actually taken the city if he had more troops there? And would WWII have panned out in his favor if he had?

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14 Answers

KateTheGreat's avatar

I don’t believe so. If you’ll notice, the Soviet Union had more casualties than anyone in the war. Stalin would have kept sending the Soviet troops in to destroy them. Since the Soviet Union was huge, Hitler’s army would have still fizzled out quickly. Now if he did somehow manage to take over, he would have had a pretty great advantage, but he would have still been obliterated by allied troops. Nothing would have necessarily changed.

WestRiverrat's avatar

His biggest mistake at Stalingrad was trying to take the city in the first place. If he would have stuck to the plan his Generals came up with, Stalingrad would have been surrounded and isolated and the bulk of his forces would have headed south to take the Caucasus oil fields.

As far as sending more troops to the front, Germany didn’t really have a lot of untapped manpower left to send to Stalingrad. Russia lost about 1.1 million men in the half year battle. Germany and its allies lost about 800,000 troops killed, and about 100,000 walking skeletons taken prisoner.

gondwanalon's avatar

Remember that the U.S.A. had the atomic bomb and had the option of dropping one on Stalingrad and or Berlin.

Zaku's avatar

No. The Germans forces were surrounded and wiped out at Stalingrad largely because Hitler wouldn’t let his generals distribute their forces, maneuver, and later, retreat, according to their knowledge of effective tactics, because he was improperly obsessed with taking and holding Stalingrad. If there had been even more troops sent to Stalingrad, the result would mainly have been that even more of them would have been cut off and lost. Even if he had taken all of Stalingrad, it would all have been cut off and starved during the winter, with more or less the same overall result.

What could have saved the southern front, would have been to allow the generals to deploy and maneuver effectively, even if and when it meant making tactical withdrawals.

If the Germans had been successful in the south of the Russian Front in the winter of 1942–43, it would have made a big difference, and we can’t know what would happen after that. It is not obvious that it would have tipped the scales to favor Hitler. I think few would say that it would have. More important, I think, would be whether Hitler was overriding his generals with foolish directives, or not.

Hibernate's avatar

Dear gondwanalon ”)))))))))))))))))))))))))

You are so very wrong lad. Not only the US tards had atomic bombs but US were the most stupid ones who participated .
1st of all US wasn’t engaged in many battles ON THEIR OWN LAND so they afforded to do as they please with others.
2nd if you remember Pearl Harbour and the outcome from there just think what would US looked for the others.

2d and the most important. JAPAN DID NOT RETALIATE USING AN ATOMIC BOMB. Just imagine how would US be now if japan had started to deploy bombs. They used their brains and did not want to create so much suffering to the next generations [ wich US did not take into consideration ]

Anyway all this WHAT IF doesn’t really matter since the end of the war wasn’t at Stalingrad. But for more informations you need to ask your grandparents and ask nicely to them to make them tell you the TRUE FACTS.

Cheers.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Good points from @WestRiverrat and @Zaku. Sixth Army in Stalingrad was calling for all the (German) reinforcements they could get their hands on for fighting in the rubbled city (which is ideal defensive terrain) while both their flanks were being held down in the countryside by Italians, Romanians and Hungarians.

It’s easy to overlook the bigger trap present in the whole situation. This dream of capturing the oil fields around Baku is what drew Army Group B (comprising a full panzer army and two infantry armies) south. This came to nothing as the mountain passes were easily defended and it was too late in the year to force them by the time they had been reached. One of the reasons Hitler demanded Sixth Army to hold Stalingrad after they had been encircled rather than attempt a breakout was the fear that the forces encircling Stalingrad would be freed up to drive on Rostov-on-Don and trap all of Army Group B. In the end, they were able to pull out quickly enough.

@KatetheGreat Soviet manpower was finite and could have been exhausted if they had kept fighting like they did in 1941–2 and the Germans had played to their strengths by attacking judiciously and defending elastically. However, the Red Army gradually got better and the Wehrmacht gradually got worse (partly through having their hands tied by Hitler’s micro-management and partly through the loss of the best trained, most experienced and physically fit soldiers).

The most persistent myth about the Eastern Front is that the Soviet Union won just through overwhelming manpower advantage. This was not true over the whole length of the front, at least in 1943 and 1944. The Red Army developed the ability to trick the Germans regarding their deployments and quickly mass overwhelming superiority locally for breakthrough attacks which were exploited by motorized infantry.

And there lies perhaps the most under-appreciated weapons of WW2: the thousands of trucks the United States sent the Soviet Union under Lend Lease. America put the Red Army on wheels while the bulk of the German army’s infantry relied on horses. This had the additional benefit of allowing Soviet factories to concentrate on tank production.

tedd's avatar

The Nazi’s lost the battle of Stalingrad because winter started and they had stretched their supply lines too far…. just like Napoleon before them.

The number of troops the Nazi’s would’ve had to send to Russia to counteract the literally millions of Russian conscripts pooring into the city by the end of the winter, would likely have required pulling troops out of all the other fronts.

As far as the effect on the war. Even if the Nazi’s had taken Stalingrad, they would need to have completely passified the Russians for the war to have gone any differently. If the Russians were still fighting back and still eventually taking back their country, taking Stalingrad over at the end of one battle wouldn’t really make any difference. If somehow they had knocked the Russians out of the war thanks to winning in Stalingrad (like somehow Moscow just gave up)... then the war would’ve been drastically different. My guess is it would’ve lasted until almost the 50’s and the allies would still have won… the US had way too much might.

mattbrowne's avatar

I agree with @tedd. Napoleon made the same mistake, by the way.

Tobotron's avatar

Your kinda forgetting that the US wasn’t that opposed to Hitler, they were doing business with the Nazi’s for some time, if Japan never attacked the US the US would have had sat out of the entire war…

After all it had been going on for several years before the US came along…most films paint a pretty biased picture of WWII and some with complete un-truths.

tedd's avatar

@Tobotron The US was already in the war when the Battle of Stalingrad started.

And granted Pearl Harbor gave us the excuse to finally join the war…. But around half of the population was actively campaigning to have us join on the side of the allies before the attack. Roosevelt had been secretly trying to find ways to help the allies and join the war since it began. Hell half of the British navy was “loaned” out US ships.

gondwanalon's avatar

@Hibernate Excuse me but the U.S.A. produced the first atomic bombs during WWII in the Manhattan Project. Germany was working on atomic bomb development but was not successful thank goodness for that as Hitler would have surely used it to wipe out London. As for the Japanese, the two atomic bombs dropped on Janan caught them flat-footed. They had no recourse but to surrender. You should go back and review your world history.

Zaku's avatar

@tedd It is not true that half of the British navy was loaned US ships. The US did send them a significant number of destroyers (the smallest class of serious warships, good at anti-submarine warfare, which made a big difference), but pretty much the rest of the British navy was its own, and was very powerful.

tedd's avatar

@Zaku Ok granted, but we still loaned them a ton of ships with the lend-lease act.

tedd's avatar

@Hibernate Going further on @gondwanalon… The US military leadership told Truman to drop one of the bombs on Tokyo because it was FAR more militarily significant. He refused because he knew the casualties would be monumental. He would also later refuse a request by the United Nations and his own top general to use the bomb against China during the Korean War.

Besides all this talk about dropping the bomb on Japan like they were good people or something. They brutalized mainland asia much akin to what the Nazi’s did with the holocaust, and attacked America without provocation. The Rape of Nanking was so horrifying that a Nazi ambassador openly and publicly protested Japanese actions and had to be recalled to Germany. You know its bad when a Nazi is saying “this is messed up.”

Lastly, even after the Americans dropped the first bomb on Hiroshima and the Emperor of Japan realized he needed to surrender… When his military leadership discovered his intent to surrender, they staged a coup and placed him under house arrest, intent to continue the war against America… the only thing that stopped them was that they happened to stage this coup on August 9th… the same day we dropped the second bomb on Nagasaki.

Imagine how many millions of lives would’ve been lost and how much longer the war would’ve been prolonged if the US and the allies had to invade Japan with an army like Europe.

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