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How many Sixes does Adolf Nazi have to Roll?

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Max Sinister

Well-known member
During the time of my absence, I didn't think too much about AH.

Well, until I had this idea...

You know from my time at the other place, that I like big AH projects. Now Jaredia proved to be a little too big, but still.

The PoD wouldn't be as original as the death of Genghis Khan of course, and the topic has been rehashed... feels like a million times. Still I hope I might be able to give it a new spin.

In fact, I might even publish the whole thing - here.

Please let me know your opinions, by all means.
 
Why I decided to write this

Max Sinister

Well-known member
A long time ago (about 15 years now), I decided to challenge myself by writing a detailed, non-ASBish timeline starting with the Mongol conquests since Genghis being stillborn, and continuing said timeline until the present (roughly, either by year or technology would have counted). This I called "climbing the Mount Everest of AH". You have to read and judge for yourself, but if you ask me, I certainly succeeded. And so far, nobody else seems to even seriously have tried to copy this achievement, in a different, individual way.

After this challenge, I did not find a satisfying challenge for a long time that was realizable as well - "Dubia" and "Jaredia", two timelines with an earlier Global Warming / different geography, proved to be too much of a challenge. Climbing Mount Everest is doable, but this was more like walking from the Cape of Good Hope to tierra del Fuego via the Bering Strait. Maybe doable, but still.

So there seemed to be no other worthy and doable challenge in Althist, and there is only one Mount Everest in the world after all. That's why I mostly dropped the topic of Althist for some time.

But then one day, when I had a lot of time to ponder Althist, I remembered a different challenge at the very heart of it. Not a Mount Everest, more like a Mariana Trench.

This one isn't a new one, of course. It has been tried many times with varying success. Think of "Fatherland", "The Man in the High Castle", the new "Wolfenstein" games, "Swastika Night", "Wenn das der Führer wüsste", or the more recent "NSA".

Most of these works either stay deliberately vague (even "Fatherland", which was written by a real historian after all) or make assumptions simply too outrageous (looking at you, CalBear). I didn't want to do either.

Of course, at that point you have the old problem of the sheer superiority of Adolf Nazi's opponents. It does remind of the old Jewish joke with the punchline "Does the 'Führer' know this map?" Let alone the moral factor. Having FDR and/or Churchill making peace with Adolf Nazi, even one without losses for their countries, is a bit like asking POTUS Lincoln "Is the liberation of the slaves really worth the lives of so many white men?"

It seemed doable if and only if Adolf Nazi was rolling sixes all the time. Or at least close to it. So I decided to let him do exactly that. And got a title for a story at the same time. One that keeps a clear distance to nazism to boot.
 

SinghSong

Well-known member
Location
Slough
Pronouns
he/him
A long time ago (about 15 years now), I decided to challenge myself by writing a detailed, non-ASBish timeline starting with the Mongol conquests since Genghis being stillborn, and continuing said timeline until the present (roughly, either by year or technology would have counted). This I called "climbing the Mount Everest of AH". You have to read and judge for yourself, but if you ask me, I certainly succeeded. And so far, nobody else seems to even seriously have tried to copy this achievement, in a different, individual way.

After this challenge, I did not find a satisfying challenge for a long time that was realizable as well - "Dubia" and "Jaredia", two timelines with an earlier Global Warming / different geography, proved to be too much of a challenge. Climbing Mount Everest is doable, but this was more like walking from the Cape of Good Hope to tierra del Fuego via the Bering Strait. Maybe doable, but still.

So there seemed to be no other worthy and doable challenge in Althist, and there is only one Mount Everest in the world after all. That's why I mostly dropped the topic of Althist for some time.

But then one day, when I had a lot of time to ponder Althist, I remembered a different challenge at the very heart of it. Not a Mount Everest, more like a Mariana Trench.

This one isn't a new one, of course. It has been tried many times with varying success. Think of "Fatherland", "The Man in the High Castle", the new "Wolfenstein" games, "Swastika Night", "Wenn das der Führer wüsste", or the more recent "NSA".

Most of these works either stay deliberately vague (even "Fatherland", which was written by a real historian after all) or make assumptions simply too outrageous (looking at you, CalBear). I didn't want to do either.

Of course, at that point you have the old problem of the sheer superiority of Adolf Nazi's opponents. It does remind of the old Jewish joke with the punchline "Does the 'Führer' know this map?" Let alone the moral factor. Having FDR and/or Churchill making peace with Adolf Nazi, even one without losses for their countries, is a bit like asking POTUS Lincoln "Is the liberation of the slaves really worth the lives of so many white men?"

It seemed doable if and only if Adolf Nazi was rolling sixes all the time. Or at least close to it. So I decided to let him do exactly that. And got a title for a story at the same time. One that keeps a clear distance to nazism to boot.
Which sixes are you thinking of starting off the TL with Adolf Nazi (Hitler?) rolling, then? Would it be a change within Germany (and/or Austria) itself, or farther afield (say, in the British and/or French Colonial Empires, Anglo-French relations, over in the USA, or even over in China) playing greatly to Hitler and Nazi Germany's advantage relative to OTL, purely by chance and luck?
 

History Learner

Well-known member
@themarcksplan has produced a convincing argument a German victory was doable with only one change, titled The Gornostaipol Option.

OKH commits its reserve mechanized divisions (2 panzer, 1 motorized infantry) to AGS’s left wing, where they push Soviet 5th Army back over Dniepr – as in OTL – but now 6th Army is strong enough to develop its foothold into Kiev’s rear.

As we have seen, AGS seized the Gornostaipol bridgehead by August 24 (11th Panzer) and reached the Desna the next day. Then SWF counterattacked, checking LI Corps in the ~15 miles between the Dniepr and Desna until it crossed the latter on September 6.

In this ATL, the extra divisions consolidate Ostheer’s hold on the Dniepr-Desna gap rather than being forced back on August 27. Elements of 11th Panzer are also retained in the bridgehead instead of resting for Taifun (with appropriate compensation later).

The 3.5 mechanized divisions plus LI AK’s ID’s are forcing the Desna and rolling up Soviet forces on their left flank in the Dniepr-Desna gap. The latter move threatens the rear of forces opposing 2nd Army (XIII AK), compelling their retreat. As its opponents fall back to the Desna, 2nd Army can strengthen its left wing over OTL to compensate for Guderian’s absence.

In OTL, 6th Army’s breakout from the Gornostaipol-Oster bridgeheads axis didn’t occur until around September 10th, when 2nd Army had also crossed the Desna and was threatening the forces containing 6th Army in their rear. With 3.5 extra mechanized divisions, and having had time to consolidate its Dniepr-Desna gap communications and move forward its ID’s, the ATL 6th Army-Plus should be able to break out from the Desna on its own.

What then? Let’s schedule the breakout from the Gornostaipol-Oster axis, as in OTL, on September 10-11 (with the intervening time spent unshackling 2nd Army from its right-flank foes and consolidating the Oster bridgehead over the Desna). This timeline allows PzGr1 its OTL rest period before crossing the Dniepr around Kremenchug.

The green lines represent the infantry army thrusts and are basically as in OTL: LI AK driving S-SE from Oster and XXIV AK north from Rzhishchevy to form the inner kessel around Kiev. The blue lines represent the 3.5 ATL mechanized divisions, which meet with PzGr1 to form an outer pocket roughly congruous with the main outer OTL pocket around what AGS calls “Raum Pirjatin-Solotonoscha.”. I’ve crossed out PzGr2 units in red… As mentioned, AOK 2 would have pivoted units into this space (though not as far south) by virtue of the added ATL units freeing its left flank in late-August and early September.

We are missing another pocket northeast of the Pirjatin-Solotonoscha grouping, but the primary documents imply that these pockets – formed primarily by AGC units – yielded only ~7% of the greater Kiev campaign’s PoW haul.

And while PzGr1 doesn’t have Guderian manning the outer ring of encirclement, our primary documents indicate that there was no outer threat OTL. ATL the earlier drive on Moscow will have sucked Bryansk Front and reserves towards it.

If we forego only 7% of OTL Kiev’s PoW haul, this “Kiev-lite” is not so lite. Even if it’s 15% foregone (i.e. 100k PoW), that’s a massive haul of ~560k. Combined with an early Vyazma that should bag near the same as OTL’s ~515k, Ostheer takes >400k more PoW in ATL September than OTL. That’s ~15% of RKKA’s German-facing front strength in OTL.

After Kiev, what next for AGS?

First, observe that the Gornostaipol Option has committed at least 4 of OTL Taifun’s mechanized divisions – the three reserve plus 11Pz – to AGS until at least late September. So they’re not joining the Moscow campaign for a while, if at all. I suspect this is why it wasn’t considered – OKH was too focused on radical concentration against Moscow after Kiev to notice a possible compromise.

In addition, it doesn’t make sense to transfer XXXXVIII Motorized Corps to PzGr2 (with 9PzDiv. and 16th Mot.) absent PzGr2’s jump-off towards Moscow being nearby.

So AGS has 6 more mechanized divisions, AGC 6 fewer. But recall that RKKA is ~15% weaker. Having 16.5 mech divs. (instead of 22.5) probably forces AGC to attack Moscow on a narrow front after Vyazma, which would be a good thing compared to OTL’s wide-sweeping approach. Ideally they’d take small, Roslavl-size bites out of the defenders, including on the flanks, as AGC approached Moscow.

Meanwhile, AGS has, functionally, another panzer group.

The green arrows roughly trace PzGr1’s OTL path (Azov Sea battle then Rostov). The first blue arrow adds a second pincer to 17th Army’s push on Kharkov. There’s not much to be encircled on 17A’s left flank but by cutting off Kharkov Ostheer would gain the city cheaply (and possibly with unevacuated equipment) or, if 17A’s OTL opponents stand firm, will take another big PoW haul. Then the second set of blue-green arrows represent a second pincer added to PzGr1’s OTL push along the Sea of Azov, meeting around Voroshilovgrad (Luhansk) – a big economic target that Ostheer didn’t take until July 1942.

Caveat is logistics: AGS lacked rail connections east of the Dniepr in fall ‘41; the second blue arrow is viable only if South/SW Fronts are very weak – i.e. if the additional ATL September losses, the ATL Kharkov battle, and/or the threat to Moscow preclude strongly defending Ukraine. Absent that situation, the “extra” panzer group drives north from Kharkov towards Kursk-Voronezh. Or it drives towards Bryansk after Kiev, seeking to replicate the Bryansk kessel in conjunction with 2nd Army as in OTL (but later). It would thereby return to AGC’s logistical burden.
Maps are attached in the link, I removed them from brevity here but viewing them is helpful in understanding the scenario.
 

Max Sinister

Well-known member
@History Learner and @themarcksplan : Thanks, I'll add the PoD. The disadvantage: Adolf Nazi thought he'd need the Ukrainian grain first, to feed the German population and avoid low morale because of a lack of food as in WW1. (About the only thing that the nazis did better in their world war than the kaiser's guys in theirs. At least until the tide turned...) He'd have to change his mind - well, it's possible.
 
"Victory" conditions

Max Sinister

Well-known member
Just to clarify what I'm aiming at:
  • The conflict called "World War 2" has to end in Europe and nearby areas (Caucasus, Near and Middle East, Northern Africa, Iceland/Greenland) until silvester 1945, max. (A permanent armistice as between the two Koreas would count.)
  • Nazi Germany and its allies in Europe and nearby (see above) have to have ceased warring with the US, the British Empire, and the Soviet Union, or never started to make war with them in the first place. Or vice versa.
  • Nazi Germany and its allies have to control de facto all of the Soviet Union's territory west of the Dniepr and south of the Düna/Dvina river.
  • The western Allies (US, Empire, Free French) must not have a foothold on the European continent, save for Gibraltar maybe.

  • Nazi Germany has to survive in recognizable shape at least twenty years after World War 2 ends. Meaning:
  • The head of state has to use the title of "Führer".
  • It has to be a one-party state effectively ("block parties" as in Communist Eastern Europe would pass, though), governed by the NSDAP.
  • Said party's ideology has to include German(ic) über nationalism, aggressive militarism, expansionism, white supremacy (even if called differently), and radical antisemitism. In theory and practice.
  • It has to control (together with allies and satellites) at least the same territory it controlled when the World War ended. Losses are acceptable only if it gained more and better territory in some other place before said losses happen.
  • Adolf Nazi, if dead after those twenty years, still has to be held in high regard officially. No "Dehitlerization" (like Destalinisation) allowed.
  • Almost superfluous to say: It has to be settled mostly by German-speaking citizens of Germany. Humans, not robots or zombies. Who actually mostly have German(ic) ancestors.
  • Most important: Only realizable events. No FDR/Churchill suddenly becoming convinced to become a nazi and make his country join Germany's side (that's against the laws of human psychology). No sudden invention of genetic engineering or artificial intelligence way ahead of their time (that's against the laws of scientific progress). No Maus for every German soldier (that's against the laws of production). No transports of a million men over 1000 miles in a day (that's against the laws of logistics). No discovery of yuge oil fields under German soil (that's against the laws of geology).
  • Additional: Adolf Nazi has to be alive, not comatose, not incapacitated, not committed etc. In short: To be able to give commands to people and notice at least when they aren't executed.
 
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Possible PoDs and probabilities

Max Sinister

Well-known member
This post gives an overview of various PoDs that might help Nazi Germany win the war. Including their necessary conditions, how they'll influence the war, and how high I guesstimate the probability that they're going to happen.

If I have to heap coincidence and dumb luck for this, I don't mind. Not even if I literally arrive at a chance of one in a million. Not because we are on Discworld, it's the principle of the thing. And admit it: It's somehow very calming to know that Adolf Nazi's chances to win are that low.

Also consider: The shorter the allowed window of opportunity, the smaller the probability of this event happening.

Note: Two independent 50/50 chances usually make a chance of 25%. Rolling eight sixes in a row'd have a chance of less than one in a million. (I'd liked it better if it had been six or seven times.) But if the chances are dependent, things look different. If e.g. Canaris' machinations are discovered, the chances for Spain entering the war grow (because Franco had been misinformed by the Abwehr). Also, Heydrich might survive. And the attack on Crete'd go different if the Nazis knew that British troops there were three times stronger than what Canaris had claimed. And if the BEF was defeated at Dunkirk, practically the whole war changes for Britain, since they'll lack experienced troops now - especially to raise and train more troops!

Only allowed percentages: <1, 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 30, 50, 70, 80, 90, 95, 98, 99, >99.

Oh, and every PoD has to happen in May 1940 or afterwards - with the "Sickle cut", Adolf Nazi already got veeery lucky, it'd be very hard to top that.


Alternate Axis members:

- Spain: Depends on two questions: Do they know that Canaris gave them informtion that was wrong? And will they join the war for a short, local campaign (Operation Felix, restricted to Gibraltar), or something bigger?
* Canaris uncovered: 20-30 for a Gibraltar campaign, 5-10 for a bigger one.
* Otherwise: <5/<1 respectively.

- Turkey: <5%. Even then, this wasn't the Turkey of today - their military strength rather was comparable to Yugoslavia, if not worse. Also, the answer'd depend on whether they'd have to fight the Brits, the Soviets, or both.


- Argentine: <1. Even for a local campaign to take the Falklands, nothing more, <5.


- Japan (vs. Soviet Union): <5. Even the chance for an indicent after Nomonhan <20.


- South Africa: <1


- Soviet Union (vs. Brits): <20


- Persia/Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi-Arabia: Unless the Wehrmacht is already standing near the big population centers, an uprising is likely to fail. Unless British presence was weaker...


- India: A big-scale uprising in India might easily tip the scales of the World War. Despite of Bose and the like, the probability seems to be low, though.



Alternate Nazi campaigns:

- Operation Felix: Attack on Gibraltar. Needs cooperation of Spain (see above). Hence, improbable.

- Operation Isabella: Attack on Portugal. Also needs cooperation of Spain. Even more improbable than Felix.

- Operation Polar fox: Attack on Sweden. Probably doable, but during the war, there's no visible gain. Sweden already delivered iron ore to Germany, a war wasn't necessary. Maybe towards the end of the war, when the war with the strongest opponents is over, to complete the "Greater Germanic Reich".

- Operation Fir tree: Attack on Switzerland. May not look like it, but would be a disaster for the Nazis. Switzerland was able to mobilize 500,000 men, had great defenses in the mountains, and was willing to fight on even if the Germans took the lower parts of the country with the big cities. Hence, improbable.

- Operation Hercules: Attack on Malta. Needs cooperation of fascist Italy. Mussolini's pride would be hurt if his armed forces didn't manage to take even little Malta. Also, the Wehrmacht would needs paratroopers for this, most of which were lost on Crete in OTL.

- Operation Gertrud: Attack on Turkey. Needs cooperation of Bulgaria and/or the Soviet Union, or control of Greece. All of which is possible. As said above, the Turkish army wasn't very strong during World War 2. OTOH, the bad railway network of Turkey (a good part was still single-track) would delay Wehrmacht advances.

- Earlier Operation Barbarossa: Was originally planned for early May, not late June as in OTL. Looks promising, but there's a different danger: The Rasputitsa, the early mud season, which took especially long in early 1941. In fact, OTL invasion didn't start too late for this. Hence possible, but not promising.

- Mega-Dieppe: In OTL, the Allies used about 10,000 soldiers for the Dieppe raid and lost more than 6,000 of them. The lessons learned from this were valuable, though. But what if the Allies had decided to start a bigger invasion (albeit smaller than Overlord) and it had been a failure as well? (Wouldn't necessarily have to happen at Dieppe. Any coastal place controlled by the Nazis and their satellites from Narvik to Casablanca would work.)

- Torch fails:

- Nazis bomb Baku:

- Nazis strike Murmansk/the railroad there: That'd have to be done by general Dietl's mountaineer troops. Might cut off the Soviet Union's most important warm-water harbor, hence L&L.

- Nazis take Cyprus:

- Nazis attack and defeat the BEF at Dunkirk: 50 for an attack. Somewhat less for a successful attack (total destruction of the BEF at lower losses for the Wehrmacht). Would have enormous consequences for the rest of the war, as it'd become harder for Britain to raise and train new troops. Hence, this PoD might influence many other on this page.

- In August '41, OKH commits its reserve mechanized divisions to AGS's left wing (aka Gornostaipol option):


Alternate Nazi personnel:

- Fritz Todt doesn't die: Which also means that Albert Speer won't get his job. Now who might be better to expand German arms production?

- Reinhard Heydrich doesn't die:

- Wilhelm Canaris removed as head of Abwehr:

- Hermann Göring dies:

- Heinrich Himmler dies:


Alternate Nazi technology:

- Konrad Zuse's computers:

- Nazi nukes:

- More/better Messerschmitt planes:

- Enigma security notched up:

- More/better Tigers/Panthers/Jagdpanthers/Königstigers:

- Thermobaric bomb by Mario Zippermayr: Potentially devastating, but needed until 1943 in our history to be tested.


Alternate Nazi economy:

- Operation Desert: Nazis develop oil shale technology. In the long run promising, but the local project wasn't very profitable.


Alternate deaths:

- FDR: The driving force against Adolf Nazi in US politics. Hard to say who'd be able to replace him. Doesn't mean the Nazis should start to provoke an FDR-less US.

- Churchill: The driving force against Adolf Nazi in British politics.

- Stalin: Per se, many might lead the war better, esp. the military and in the early stage of the Nazi-Soviet war. Unfortunately, his death might throw the Soviet Union into chaos at the wrong moment.

- de Gaulle:

- Chiang Kai-shek:

- Eisenhower:

- Patton:

- Zhukov:


Other:

- Wehrmacht during Barbarossa better prepared for the Russian winter. Strangely, planners had warned about this, but the leadership didn't care. Especially odd because some high-ranked Nazis had actually lived in Russia, including Rosenberg. Who was even more reality-impaired than his boss, though. Impact: Many German casualties could be avoided, so quite high. Probability: Still low.

- Better treatment of the people of the Soviet Union. There was a lot of anti-Communism around. But as many have pointed out, it'd mean that we need Nazis who aren't Nazis. Improbable.

- Volga Germans are settled in the Reich before Barbarossa (seriously, was nobody thinking about them? So much about caring about your "Volksgenossen"...):

- Separate peace: Veeery tricky, of course.
 
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ChrisNuttall

Well-known member
A lot of Hitler’s problems came from very limited resources and consequently options. He couldn’t do everything he wanted to do with the best will in the world, which meant that if he focused on ‘A’ it would ensure ‘B’ would suffer. Whatever he did would also have an effect on world history – if he started seriously preparing for Sealion in 1935 (or whenever) he would be following a policy that could have no realistic goal other than invading Britain and Britain might consequently take a more resolute stance in 1938.

Thinking about it, his best bet might to have been to abandon the battleship program from the start and send the metal to build more and better tanks instead. Germany is not going to match the UK in a hurry (and worse for the US, if Hitler has a more realistic idea of American industrial power in ATL) and conceding British naval supremacy might just make it easier to convince the UK not to press matters when Hitler starts moving towards war. If that didn’t work, Germany would probably be able to crush France quicker than ORL (destroying the BEF would certainly weaken the UK to the point continuing the war quickly would be impossible) and then start preparations for an earlier invasion of Russia (assuming there is no Balkan diversion in ATL). In ATL, Germany would start Barbarossa with more tanks and everything else, giving the Germans a better chance to win the war by taking Moscow before winter. Even if that doesn’t convince the Russians to quit, they’ll need time to rebuild and that’ll help the Germans too.

Hitler would probably also need to come to terms with the conquered populations, at least as a purely tactical measure to keep them from rebelling against him. There were Vichy politicians who wanted to move towards a subordinate place in the New Order, rather than remain completely under Nazi domination. This would be difficult as Hitler loathed the French and wouldn’t be willing to grant them much of anything, but he might be sold on the measure as a stopgap solution. (He might give the same concession to the Western USSR, although this would cause other problems.) Realistically, this would require a Hitler who wasn’t Hitler.

And then there’d be the problem of America …

Chris
 

Max Sinister

Well-known member
Adolf Nazi originally had planned to win over the Empire as an ally. Actually not a bad plan, except that the Brits wouldn't have that. If even an anti-Communist like Churchill isn't willing to support your plan to turn Russia into a German India, that should be a hint that your plan somehow doesn't work.

But yeah, I'm not even going to try thinking about Sea Lion. (Originally just called "Löwe", but since it involved the sea... strange that nobody did mind that a sealion isn't really a scary animal.) And as said in post #8 (Probs and PoDs): Up until May 1940 thing went so well for Nazi Germany, it's hard to think up some realistic history with an earlier PoD. So I won't do that either. It was the Slavs after all Adolf Nazi hated and loathed. In case of the Anglos, it was more like envy.
 

ChrisNuttall

Well-known member
Thinking a little more ...

What if the Germans collaborate a little more with the Japanese? The Japanese are already thinking about carrier strikes and naval aircraft to change the balance of power between them and the UK/US. They learnt a lot from Taranto, but they already had the basic idea in mind. What if they help the Germans to develop a proper naval air wing? (Goring would need to be on board, or told to STFU). The Germans still have major problems in invading the UK, but an invasion might look more possible (particularly if the RN takes heavier losses in Norway) and the UK might take a 'honorable' way out of the conflict rather than continue the fight.

Chris
 

TheIO

Captain Tom the Tank Engine
Patreon supporter
Thinking a little more ...

What if the Germans collaborate a little more with the Japanese? The Japanese are already thinking about carrier strikes and naval aircraft to change the balance of power between them and the UK/US. They learnt a lot from Taranto, but they already had the basic idea in mind. What if they help the Germans to develop a proper naval air wing? (Goring would need to be on board, or told to STFU). The Germans still have major problems in invading the UK, but an invasion might look more possible (particularly if the RN takes heavier losses in Norway) and the UK might take a 'honorable' way out of the conflict rather than continue the fight.

Chris
The trouble with that is that Taranto came after Sealion got shelved, and given how close Britain is to continental Europe having an aircraft carrier doesn't seem to help much in a scenario where the land-based air force has already lost.

Plus there's precisely no viable targets for it aside from Britain, so it's gonna be a big red warning sign that, unlike the rest of the German surface shipbuilding program, isn't disguisable in intent.
 

Max Sinister

Well-known member
That'd probably demand an earlier PoD then. And Sealion is dead anyway. But feel free to use that PoD for yourself.

IOTL the Japanese wouldn't even attack Vladivostok, as a helpful diversion. (Nomonhan had shown already that their army wasn't that great.) In SE Asia they had help (recon, sabotage) by ethnic Japanese - which weren't around in Siberia, of course. And Siberia would need heavy investments to be useful, so Adolf Nazi offering them all of Siberia up to Omsk didn't help here.

Hell, they couldn't agree about the Jews. Heard of the Fugu plan? The Nazis had told the Japanese essentially "oh, the Jews are very dangerous and control all the banks in the world" and the Japanese only understood "The Jews are good with money... maybe we should 'import' some of them!"
 

ChrisNuttall

Well-known member
The trouble with that is that Taranto came after Sealion got shelved, and given how close Britain is to continental Europe having an aircraft carrier doesn't seem to help much in a scenario where the land-based air force has already lost.

Plus there's precisely no viable targets for it aside from Britain, so it's gonna be a big red warning sign that, unlike the rest of the German surface shipbuilding program, isn't disguisable in intent.
Not a carrier - a land-based antishipping wing, carrying torpedoes and bombs designed to kill surface ship. It would be a lot less noticeable than Graf Zaptplin I-III and also a lot less openly threatening.

Chris
 

TheIO

Captain Tom the Tank Engine
Patreon supporter
Not a carrier - a land-based antishipping wing, carrying torpedoes and bombs designed to kill surface ship. It would be a lot less noticeable than Graf Zaptplin I-III and also a lot less openly threatening.

Chris
Ah right, that makes a lot more sense.
 

SinghSong

Well-known member
Location
Slough
Pronouns
he/him
Adolf Nazi originally had planned to win over the Empire as an ally. Actually not a bad plan, except that the Brits wouldn't have that. If even an anti-Communist like Churchill isn't willing to support your plan to turn Russia into a German India, that should be a hint that your plan somehow doesn't work.

But yeah, I'm not even going to try thinking about Sea Lion. (Originally just called "Löwe", but since it involved the sea... strange that nobody did mind that a sealion isn't really a scary animal.) And as said in post #8 (Probs and PoDs): Up until May 1940 thing went so well for Nazi Germany, it's hard to think up some realistic history with an earlier PoD. So I won't do that either. It was the Slavs after all Adolf Nazi hated and loathed. In case of the Anglos, it was more like envy.
Thinking about it, couldn't an easier, more plausible way of doing this simply involve screwing over the Allies a bit more? Does it still count as "Adolf Nazi rolling sixes" if it's the enemies he's fighting against who're rolling lower scores luck-wise against him than they did IOTL? Take India, for instance- couldn't it have potentially turned into a 'British Russia'? True, the most likely PODs for doing so (e.g, the organized backlash against Britain after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre being led by literally anyone who wasn't an absolutist non-violent pacifist, as Gandhi was, and OTL's 'non-cooperation movement' blowing up into a wholesale Indian War of Independence instead, as even OTL's movement had been on the verge of doing before Gandhi called it off in February 1922, following the Chauri Chaura incident) would be markedly earlier, enough so to potentially butterfly away the rise of the Nazis in Germany entirely.

But there are still plenty of other potential possibilities to sweep India, the cornerstone of the British Empire, out from under them during the height of the conflict; with 'Winston-Imperial' himself effectively having continuously rolled sixes (with the few setbacks attributable to 'bad luck' constituting rolling 5s or 4's, at the very lowest) in the Indian/South Asian theatre of the conflict over the entire course of the war. With situations like the Bengal Famine, there's no way that the backlash and demonstrations against the British Empire should have been as sporadic, ill-organized, non-violent and small-scale as they were, without a ton of sixes being rolled by the British leadership, and pure luck keeping resistance and rebellion as limited as it was IOTL.

Winston Imperial subjected the native populations of a fair few of his territories to levels of suppression and oppression which were at least approaching being a par with, and arguably even worse, than those imposed by Adolf Nazi upon annexed and/or demilitarized (i.e, Vichy France and Quisling Norway) territories in Western Europe and Scandinavia. Yet the British Empire didn't really have to deal with the emergence of any organized armed resistance movements of note, with the same also being true of the Americans; with this almost entirely being attributable to pure luck. But what if 'Adolf Nazi' didn't have good reason to envy the luck of 'Winston Imperial' in WW2, with regard to the conquest and pacification of its most problematic territories? What if 'Winston Imperial' and/or 'Franklin Yank' had rolled a few more 1-3's instead, resulting in the emergence of organized armed resistance movements within their own occupied/colonial territories, with these movements being similarly successful?
 

SinghSong

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This post gives an overview of various PoDs that might help Nazi Germany win the war. Including their necessary conditions, how they'll influence the war, and how high I guesstimate the probability that they're going to happen.

If I have to heap coincidence and dumb luck for this, I don't mind. Not even if I literally arrive at a chance of one in a million. Not because we are on Discworld, it's the principle of the thing. And admit it: It's somehow very calming to know that Adolf Nazi's chances to win are that low.

Also consider: The shorter the allowed window of opportunity, the smaller the probability of this event happening.

Note: Two independent 50/50 chances usually make a chance of 25%. Rolling eight sixes in a row'd have a chance of less than one in a million. (I'd liked it better if it had been six or seven times.) But if the chances are dependent, things look different. If e.g. Canaris' machinations are discovered, the chances for Spain entering the war grow (because Franco had been misinformed by the Abwehr). Also, Heydrich might survive. And the attack on Crete'd go different if the Nazis knew that British troops there were three times stronger than what Canaris had claimed. And if the BEF was defeated at Dunkirk, practically the whole war changes for Britain, since they'll lack experienced troops now - especially to raise and train more troops!

Only allowed percentages: <1, 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 30, 50, 70, 80, 90, 95, 98, 99, >99.

Oh, and every PoD has to happen in May 1940 or afterwards - with the "Sickle cut", Adolf Nazi already got veeery lucky, it'd be very hard to top that.

-CUT-
Related to the 'Alternate Nazi personnel' column, here's perhaps the impactful potential POD which could've changed up the Nazis' roster IMHO, which ironically was only averted IOTL because of Hitler managing to roll the equivalent of at least two sixes in a row:

WI: Bürgerbräukeller Bomb exploded 30 minutes earlier?

It did come before May 1940 though, and I guess 'Adolf Nazi' would've been killed in the process (to most likely be replaced by Hermann Nazi instead), so fair enough.

For Alternate Axis members:, not sure if it's PC to bring it up right now given current ongoing events, but what about Ukraine? A week after the start of Operation Barbarossa, the OUN-B (which had already stated its immediate goal, at the time of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, was to re-establish a united, independent, Nazi-aligned, mono-ethnic Nation state in a territory that also included parts of modern-day Russia, Poland, and Belarus) proclaimed the establishment of an independent Ukrainian State in Lviv, with Yaroslav Stetsko as premier, on 30 June 1941 in occupied Lviv, while the region was under the control of Nazi Germany, pledging loyalty to Adolf Hitler. The Nazis' response though, having been taken completely by surprise, was to choose to interpret it as an attempted coup, even after Nazi troops entered Lviv to a hero's welcome, with the German authorities telling the leadership of the Ukrainian government to disband, and the leaders of the government, including President Yaroslav Stetsko and Stepan Bandera being arrested and interned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. IOTL, Stetsko and Stepan Bandera were only released by the German authorities in Sept 1944 in the hope that they would rouse the native populace to fight the advancing Soviet Army (allowed to set up headquarters in Berlin, with the remnants of the OUN-B and the UIA supplied by the Luftwaffe with airdrops of arms and equipment, as well as some OUN-B leaders accompanied by assigned German personnel and agents trained to conduct terrorist and intelligence activities behind Soviet lines until early 1945)- by which stage, it was way too late.

And with Erich Koch having been placed in charge, the more moderate, but equally supportive, OUN-M had also been swiftly and brutally cracked down upon growing strength by the Gestapo, in spite of elements within the Wehrmacht trying in vain to protect OUN-M and its members; with Koch's leadership and tyrannical administration rapidly eliminating any chances of tapping into that early Ukrainian popular pro-Nazi collaborationist sentiment to any meaningful extent. When he spoke to the commanding generals of the German Army Groups in the summer of 1942, Adolf Hitler stated that: "Were it not for the psychological effect, I would go as far as I could; I would say, "Let's set up a fully independent Ukraine." I would say it without blinking and then not do it anyway. That I could do as a politician, but (since I must say it publicly) I can't tell every German soldier just as publicly: "It isn't true; what I've just said is only tactics." But with Hitler having already acknowledged Ukraine's OUM as "a faithful German auxiliary" in the invasion of Poland, what if Hitler had decided that the advantage of setting up a fully independent (insomuch as Vichy France and Quisling Norway could be said to have been full independent) Ukrainian puppet state governed by the OUM would outweigh the negative psychological effect he (almost certainly mistakenly) believed it'd have on his troops, and elected to support it (since it would be "only tactics", so as to have a ready supply of far more expendable Ukrainian Slavs to die in the meat grinder on the Eastern Front killing the Russian Communist Slavs for him, reducing the loss of life to, and creating more Lebensraum for, his Aryan German master race, as well as ensuring they'd have an easier time of it extracting Ukraine's resources- with every intention of simply having its leaders rounded up and executed on trumped-up charges, revoking its nominal 'independence', and merging its territories into the Greater German Reich anyway, as soon as Operation Barbarossa had been won)?

The same could also be true of Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia; couldn't they all have potentially been Alternate Axis Members, if Adolf Nazi had decided to support their proclamations of independence after 'liberating' them from the Soviets, and installed Nazi collaborationist puppet regimes there, simply repeating the same tried-and-tested divide-and-conquer M.O. which he'd already used with great effect in Czechoslovakia (with the Slovaks being equally 'untermensch' Slavs, but with Hitler having supported the First Slovak Republic's declaration of independence, admittance as a member of the Axis powers, and participation in the Nazis' campaigns against Poland, the Soviet Union and the Holocaust IOTL- and having almost certainly intended to revoke its independence and annex it to the Greater German Reich at his leisure after having won the war)? And if Adolf Nazi had done so, how much easier would it have made Operation Barbarossa, and how much likelier would he have been to "win the war"?

And another big possibility worth mentioning, to be added to the Alternate Nazi tech column: Nazi thermobarics. Significantly less unlikely, less technically challenging and way less expensive than the 'Nazi nuke', given that the first test with a 60kg thermobaric bomb was purportedly carried out in 1943 after it was developed within in the space of just a few months as little more than a side project at Mario Zippermayer's secret 'Hochtal' weapons research facility in Salzberg, with the Nazis only attempting to build upon this to develop and produce larger bombs with liquid oxygen at the very end of the war, and then only in the Hexenkessel (Witch's Cauldron) Project to provide a high-yield warhead for a surface-to-air missile against enemy bombers. Even in its original demonstration form (whereby coal dust was launched in a grenade, and dispersed by an explosive charge, greatly increasing their yield and effectiveness, in a reliable, low-tech and low-cost manner which easily allowed for mass-production), Zippermayer's tech could've easily played a key role for the Nazis- just imagine every platoon of Nazi soldiers being equipped with thermobaric grenades to use in all of their critical sieges in Operation Barbarossa, for example. I'd rate OTL, where the Nazis never actually used any of the thermobaric weapons that they'd developed in WW2 beyond testing, as easily a 'improbable'/negligible outcome, giving it a score/chance of <1 or 1 at most. And the chances of thermobaric weapons (which built upon the 'Brand Granate' incendiary shells that'd been developed and used by Germany back during WW1) actually being produced and utilized by the Nazis in WW2 instead, should at least count as a 99 probability-wise IMHO.
 
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Artaxerxes

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Thinking about it, couldn't an easier, more plausible way of doing this simply involve screwing over the Allies a bit more? Does it still count as "Adolf Nazi rolling sixes" if it's the enemies he's fighting against who're rolling lower scores luck-wise against him than they did IOTL? Take India, for instance- couldn't it have potentially turned into a 'British Russia'? True, the most likely PODs for doing so (e.g, the organized backlash against Britain after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre being led by literally anyone who wasn't an absolutist non-violent pacifist, as Gandhi was, and OTL's 'non-cooperation movement' blowing up into a wholesale Indian War of Independence instead, as even OTL's movement had been on the verge of doing before Gandhi called it off in February 1922, following the Chauri Chaura incident) would be markedly earlier, enough so to potentially butterfly away the rise of the Nazis in Germany entirely.
The major problem with Adolf rolling more sixes is that iotl he already rolled way way to many of them up until like 1940-41. Especially fighting the British.

A ludicrous number of gambles paid off and like any gambler he just kept going until the house won.
 

TheIO

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Bit complicated, surely, by the fact that Ukraine et al is precisely what Hitler had in mind as Lebensraum?

The major problem with Adolf rolling more sixes is that iotl he already rolled way way to many of them up until like 1940-41. Especially fighting the British.

A ludicrous number of gambles paid off and like any gambler he just kept going until the house won.
Well yes, he did, which is why anything pre-May 1940 is out of scope as that's when Hitler got his sixes in a neat little row - I think the experiment is "how many more sixes does he need to roll to win?" with a side dose of "and how likely are them anyway?"

Speaking of sixes, the Brits knocking out most of the Italian Army in Africa in a literal 1:100 casualty ratio in Operation Compass in late 1940 probably counts; even a marginally better performance by the Italians there means that Compass remains just a raid rather than a drive halfway across Libya. Similarly, the Italian campaign in Greece in 1940 was also an utter disaster (& possibly not even necessary?).
True, Italy did have a lot of problems with its military, but its 1940 performance was impressively abysmal even by those standards - I did spin up a thread a couple years back about what Italy could have done better wrt WW2, and any better rolling on Mussolini's part is a six that Hitler doesn't need to.
 
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SinghSong

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Bit complicated, surely, by the fact that Ukraine et al is precisely what Hitler had in mind as Lebensraum?
Indeed. But if he'd actually listened to the proposals advocated by his chief administrator of the region, head of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories Alfred Rosenberg (who favored setting up a buffer state in Ukraine to ease the pressure on the German eastern frontier, as well as collaboration with the East Slavs against Bolshevism and offering them national independence), and done what he'd told Rosenberg he was amenable to doing (rather than LOLing at him behind his back in private meetings with Koch), then he would've done so. As Nazi Germany's chief racial theorist, Rosenberg considered Slavs, though lesser than Germans, to still be Aryan; often complaining to Hitler and Himmler about the treatment of non-Jewish occupied peoples, and proposing the creation of buffer satellite states made out of Greater Finland, Baltica, Ukraine, and Caucasus. And as Hitler himself said about it,

"Were it not for the psychological effect, I would go as far as I could; I would say, "Let's set up a fully independent Ukraine." I would say it without blinking and then not do it anyway. That I could do as a politician, but (since I must say it publicly) I can't tell every German soldier just as publicly: "It isn't true; what I've just said is only tactics."
Hitler did indeed have Ukraine et al in mind, earmarked as Lebensraum. But there's nothing precluding Adolf Nazi from simply promising or granting them all provisional independence without blinking (as he did in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania), then choosing not to honor their independence by annexing them all anyway, one by one, and extending the Holocaust to their populations too, after the War with Soviet Russia's already been won and they've outlived their strategic advantage to Germany as allies against the Bolsheviks. And if Hitler had emerged from WW2 victorious, that almost certainly would've been the eventual fate of Slovakia too, in spite of the First Slovak Republic having formally been an independent, contributing member of the Axis Powers. He IS Hitler, after all.
 
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