Jump to content


Photo

What Was The Nazis' Desired End-State?


  • Please log in to reply
37 replies to this topic

#1 Brian Kennedy

Brian Kennedy

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 5,387 posts

Posted 24 January 2015 - 1943 PM

After reading Goldhagen's latest piece in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.c...le#sundayreview) I started wondering about it. Most commentary runs the gamut from "carving out lebensraum in Eastern Europe" to "draining the Med and depopulating Africa." So what did Hitler actually see as the best possible outcome for Germany in WW2?
  • 0

#2 RETAC21

RETAC21

    A la lealtad y al valor

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13,590 posts

Posted 25 January 2015 - 0326 AM

Hitler didn't envision WW2 - his desired end state was a German empire ruling the space between the border with France/Belgium/The Netherlands and the Ural mountains.

 

In this area, Jews were to be expelled (extermination was a consequence of defeat not an aim at the start) and the locals were to be enslaved as forced labor under Nazi overlords and German settlers. The SS were supposed to provide the overlords and the security forces/army to defend the new empire.

 

The Balkans would become an economic colony but once access to Soviet resources was assured it would become a backwater and wouldn't need to be occupied. North Africa and the Middle East didn't come into the picture.

 

Eventually, Hitler envisioned a confrontation with the US as the other relevant economic bloc.

 

Let me throw another option, what will happen is instead of declaring war with Germany in 1939, France and Britain would have contented themselves with a economic blockade and sanctions? Germany was dependent on imports for rubber, oil and steel, Poland was indefensible. Eventually Hitler would have had to launch Barbarossa (against what he and conventional wisdom perceived as a weaker enemy than France), but without the benefits of the French campaign.


  • 0

#3 Olof Larsson

Olof Larsson

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,287 posts

Posted 25 January 2015 - 0538 AM

Hitler didn't envision WW2 - his desired end state was a German empire ruling the space between the border with France/Belgium/The Netherlands and the Ural mountains.

 

In this area, Jews were to be expelled (extermination was a consequence of defeat not an aim at the start) and the locals were to be enslaved as forced labor under Nazi overlords and German settlers. The SS were supposed to provide the overlords and the security forces/army to defend the new empire.

 

The Balkans would become an economic colony but once access to Soviet resources was assured it would become a backwater and wouldn't need to be occupied. North Africa and the Middle East didn't come into the picture.

 

Eventually, Hitler envisioned a confrontation with the US as the other relevant economic bloc.

 

Let me throw another option, what will happen is instead of declaring war with Germany in 1939, France and Britain would have contented themselves with a economic blockade and sanctions? Germany was dependent on imports for rubber, oil and steel, Poland was indefensible. Eventually Hitler would have had to launch Barbarossa (against what he and conventional wisdom perceived as a weaker enemy than France), but without the benefits of the French campaign.

 

And now with France and UK better prepared (as far as equipment goes),

no German port for the submarines in Norway and France and with the Ruhr only minutes away for anglo-french bombers.

 

Futhermore in that scenario Mussolini might sit tight and Japan...

 

Well with France still in the game, the japanese are less likely to invade Indochina

and the same is then true for sanctions against Japan,

making a war between Japan and the western powers less likely

and a japanese invasion of the Soviet Union more likely.

 

Bad news for Germany (well for the german leaders), the Soviet Union and for China.

 

Unfortunatly it would also make the USA less likely to join the war or provide material aid.


  • 0

#4 tallshort

tallshort

    Crunchie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 25 January 2015 - 0831 AM

 

Hitler didn't envision WW2 - his desired end state was a German empire ruling the space between the border with France/Belgium/The Netherlands and the Ural mountains.

 

In this area, Jews were to be expelled (extermination was a consequence of defeat not an aim at the start) and the locals were to be enslaved as forced labor under Nazi overlords and German settlers. The SS were supposed to provide the overlords and the security forces/army to defend the new empire.

 

The Balkans would become an economic colony but once access to Soviet resources was assured it would become a backwater and wouldn't need to be occupied. North Africa and the Middle East didn't come into the picture.

 

Eventually, Hitler envisioned a confrontation with the US as the other relevant economic bloc.

 

Let me throw another option, what will happen is instead of declaring war with Germany in 1939, France and Britain would have contented themselves with a economic blockade and sanctions? Germany was dependent on imports for rubber, oil and steel, Poland was indefensible. Eventually Hitler would have had to launch Barbarossa (against what he and conventional wisdom perceived as a weaker enemy than France), but without the benefits of the French campaign.

 

And now with France and UK better prepared (as far as equipment goes),

no German port for the submarines in Norway and France and with the Ruhr only minutes away for anglo-french bombers.

 

Futhermore in that scenario Mussolini might sit tight and Japan...

 

Well with France still in the game, the japanese are less likely to invade Indochina

and the same is then true for sanctions against Japan,

making a war between Japan and the western powers less likely

and a japanese invasion of the Soviet Union more likely.

 

Bad news for Germany (well for the german leaders), the Soviet Union and for China.

 

Unfortunatly it would also make the USA less likely to join the war or provide material aid.

 

France and Britain were pretty well equipped and prepared they just got the German game plan completly wrong.

 

If they had stuck with sanctions would the Germans have had to worry about anglo-french bombers given the real reluctance the Anglo-French had for making war.?

 

Japan had clashed with the Soviet Union twice before 41 and been soundly beaten both times hence the reason they went south on their conquests not North. Also Britain was still in the game but it didnt stop the Japs attacking their colonies with great effect.

 

Had Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in 1940 instead of 1941 would he have had greater success given that: The Red army was weaker in 1940 than in 41, the Panzers had not had to fight campians in France and the Balkans and would be in a better state of repair for the invasion and the Luffwaffe would not have had to replace the losses it suffered in the Battle of Britain.


  • 0

#5 R011

R011

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,686 posts

Posted 25 January 2015 - 1012 AM

(extermination was a consequence of defeat not an aim at the start)

 

The exterminations started in earnest with BARBAROSSA when the Nazis thought they were winning.  The Wansee Conference when the policy was clarified and extended to everywhere the Nazis could reach was January 1942 - again when they thought they were going to win.  The destruction of Poland and eventual genocuide of its people was determined in 1939.

 

As for ignoring France, that's certainly a possibility, but it would have left a hostile force on Germany's western frontier and Hitler did want revenge against the French for beating Germany in 1918.


  • 0

#6 RETAC21

RETAC21

    A la lealtad y al valor

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13,590 posts

Posted 25 January 2015 - 1216 PM

 

(extermination was a consequence of defeat not an aim at the start)

 

The exterminations started in earnest with BARBAROSSA when the Nazis thought they were winning.  The Wansee Conference when the policy was clarified and extended to everywhere the Nazis could reach was January 1942 - again when they thought they were going to win.  The destruction of Poland and eventual genocuide of its people was determined in 1939.

 

As for ignoring France, that's certainly a possibility, but it would have left a hostile force on Germany's western frontier and Hitler did want revenge against the French for beating Germany in 1918.

 

 

Wansee came about because the Germans failed to take Moscow and were turned back, first time that had happened, opening up the perspective of a long war, at a time the Nazis had "taken over" large, unintegrated Jewish populations in Poland, putting them in the quandary of what to do with them. The Madagascar plan was SOP before that and remained alive for a short time until they realised they could get away with the murder of millions:

 

"Rademacher recommended on 3 June 1940 that Madagascar should be made available as a destination for the Jews of Europe. With Adolf Hitler's approval, Adolf Eichmann released a memorandum on 15 August 1940 calling for the resettlement of a million Jews per year for four years, with the island governed as a police state under the SS. The plan was postponed after the Germans failed to defeat the British in the Battle of Britain later in 1940 and was permanently shelved in 1942 with the commencement of the extermination of European Jewry."


  • 0

#7 swerve

swerve

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,779 posts

Posted 25 January 2015 - 1227 PM

Ignoring France wasn't an option, IIRC. It was supposed to be reduced to a pliant vassal state, somewhat like the fate intended for the Scandinavian countries. Alsace-Lorraine was to be part of the Reich, & thoroughly re-Germanised. The only question was the timing of France's defeat & forcing into its place in Hitler's plan.

 

One of the oddities about the Nazi end plan was that it was very fluid. Volksdeutsch kept getting shuffled around as it changed. Bessarabian Germans, for example, were summoned back to the Reich for resettlement in territory to be cleared of Poles, & then they were sent east to lord it over Ukrainians, just in time to be hurriedly evacuated (if they were lucky) ahead of the advancing Red Army.

 

There were times when plans overlapped. German settlers sent to a conquered territory sometimes found themselves allocated the houses & land of Germans who'd recently been evacuated, & who might still be en route to some other place identified as needing Germanising.

 

Hitler talked in vague, grandiose terms, capable of many interpretations. Those charged with the details had varied ideas, & different plans gained & lost favour depending on the vagaries of external politics, the progress of German arms, & the internal influence of different factions. 


  • 0

#8 TTK Ciar

TTK Ciar

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,016 posts

Posted 25 January 2015 - 1314 PM

These alternate scenarios would depend on dramatic changes in doctrine. The French already had superior equipment when Germany invaded, but it was deployed entirely incorrectly (the Maginot Line, tanks as infantry support, etc). Also, invading France had long been recognized among German brass as the correct first move if any hostilities broke out in Europe, to eliminate the possibility of fighting a two-front war.
  • 0

#9 Ken Estes

Ken Estes

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,761 posts

Posted 25 January 2015 - 1409 PM

More mythology about the Maginot Line. It was not a defensive-minded strategy, but an insurance policy against a surprise attack by a more populous Germany [cf. France and Lost Generation], such that the frontier could be held while the field army was mobilized and deployed, leaving France an even chance of a fight vice losing so many vital regions in the north at the outset as in 1870, 1914.

 

The Maginot Line was a complete success and no major work was ever taken [and the Germans did try]. It was also clear to the French that they had to win in the field, hence the rearmament of the late 1930s. When the Maginot construction began, there were no competing priorities for funds: no designs yet existed for modern tanks, planes, etc. The construction cost 7% of the defense budget and was well spent. The fact that the French Army was outmaneuvered at Sedan and did not recover had no relation to the benefits and success of the Maginot Line.

 

Hitler in 1936 was in no hurry to face France, but as revealed in the Hossbach Memorandum of 1937, called upon the army to be prepared to take advantage of a socio-political breakdown in the Third Republic when and if it occurred.

 

The USSR was consistently a target for Nazi ideology and German military preparations of the Third Reich, OTOH.

 

Economic blockade by UK & FR would be seen as an act of war in 1939 Germany. The German Navy held its strategic goal of Norway regardless of the war at hand.

 

So many things are consistent with what actually took place, and the order in which opponents were taken on may have varied, but their intended fates were foreseen.

 

The best single source for me remains Norman Rich, Hitler's War Aims, 2 vols. (New York, 1973).

 

 

Although the Führer never precisely articulated his
thought, its chief components remained anti-Semitism, aggressive territorial expansion,
and an all-encompassing historical view that emphasized national life as a continuing
struggle for survival.*
Hitler consistently identified nationality with race. The racial status of the individual
remained unalterable; hence, whole nations had their fates determined on the basis of
racial criteria under the Nazi order of things. Hitler accepted the Germanic race as
clearly superior. He saw it as having created the only cultural values of any worth, and
therefore being morally destined for world domination. Under Hitler’s direction, the
German armed forces would cease their drive to the west and south and “resume the
Germanic expansionist program where it had stopped six hundred years ago, and to press
once again over the routes of the medieval crusading orders into the lands of the east.” **

 

 

*Eberhard Jäckel, Hitler’s Weltanschauung: A Blueprint for Power (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan
University Press, 1972), pp. 117–21.

 

**Rich, Hitler’s War Aims, vol. 1, Ideology, the Nazi State, and the Course of Expansion (New York: W.
W. Norton, 1973), pp. xlii, 4–7.

Edited by Ken Estes, 25 January 2015 - 1414 PM.

  • 0

#10 firefly1

firefly1

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 285 posts

Posted 25 January 2015 - 1745 PM

.

 

One "small" problem with the above is that the Nazi's did not just restrict themselves to obliterating the Jews.  They were also intent on killing off as many "Untermenschen" as they could.

 

They killed an awful lot more Russians (both civilians and POWs) than jews.


  • 0

#11 Ken Estes

Ken Estes

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,761 posts

Posted 25 January 2015 - 1829 PM

Read Slavs in general, especially Poles, much more in hand. Czechs, on the other hand were working in Reich industries.


  • 0

#12 bojan

bojan

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11,697 posts

Posted 25 January 2015 - 1848 PM

...Wansee came about because the Germans failed to take Moscow and were turned back, first time that had happened...

Extermination of Jews in Serbia started in August 1941, in Croatia even earlier (late May-early June). Extermination of Jews in USSR started as soon as cities/villages were taken. While codification in policy might be later exterminations started as soon as Germans occupied countries, and while they were still pretty much winning.


Edited by bojan, 25 January 2015 - 1851 PM.

  • 0

#13 swerve

swerve

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,779 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 0622 AM

Read Slavs in general, especially Poles, much more in hand. Czechs, on the other hand were working in Reich industries.

Poles, Ukrainians & Russians also worked in Reich industries: millions were recruited (sometimes forcibly) to work in the Reich.

 

As I said, policy was incoherent. There were struggles between those who wanted skilled workers, & those who wanted to kill them for being the 'wrong' ethnic group. Farmworkers were needed - but were being cleared off the land & dumped in places where there was insufficient land even to feed themselves from to make room for imaginary German settlers.

 

Ukraine & Poland were supposed to be needed for lebensraum for Germans, but several million workers were imported from them to work in factories within the pre-war borders of the Reich.


  • 0

#14 Yama

Yama

    The only honest Scorpion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,976 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 0659 AM

Hitler didn't envision WW2 - his desired end state was a German empire ruling the space between the border with France/Belgium/The Netherlands and the Ural mountains.
 
In this area, Jews were to be expelled (extermination was a consequence of defeat not an aim at the start) and the locals were to be enslaved as forced labor under Nazi overlords and German settlers. The SS were supposed to provide the overlords and the security forces/army to defend the new empire.
 
The Balkans would become an economic colony but once access to Soviet resources was assured it would become a backwater and wouldn't need to be occupied. North Africa and the Middle East didn't come into the picture.
 
Eventually, Hitler envisioned a confrontation with the US as the other relevant economic bloc.
 
Let me throw another option, what will happen is instead of declaring war with Germany in 1939, France and Britain would have contented themselves with a economic blockade and sanctions? Germany was dependent on imports for rubber, oil and steel, Poland was indefensible. Eventually Hitler would have had to launch Barbarossa (against what he and conventional wisdom perceived as a weaker enemy than France), but without the benefits of the French campaign.


Effectiveness of sanctions took a big hit when Molotov-Ribbentrob -treaty was signed. That gave Germany access to many raw materials they otherwise would have faced shortage of.
  • 0

#15 tallshort

tallshort

    Crunchie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 0815 AM

 

Read Slavs in general, especially Poles, much more in hand. Czechs, on the other hand were working in Reich industries.

Poles, Ukrainians & Russians also worked in Reich industries: millions were recruited (sometimes forcibly) to work in the Reich.

 

. There were struggles between those who wanted skilled workers, & those who wanted to kill them for being the 'wrong' ethnic group. Farmworkers were needed - but were being cleared off the land & dumped in places where there was insufficient land even to feed themselves from to make room for imaginary German settlers.

 

Ukraine & Poland were supposed to be needed for lebensraum for Germans, but several million workers were imported from them to work in factories within the pre-war borders of the Reich.

 

 

Think the whole third reich was incoherent to an extent with no real end goal.


  • 0

#16 Ken Estes

Ken Estes

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,761 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 0851 AM

 

Read Slavs in general, especially Poles, much more in hand. Czechs, on the other hand were working in Reich industries.

Poles, Ukrainians & Russians also worked in Reich industries: millions were recruited (sometimes forcibly) to work in the Reich.

 

As I said, policy was incoherent. There were struggles between those who wanted skilled workers, & those who wanted to kill them for being the 'wrong' ethnic group. Farmworkers were needed - but were being cleared off the land & dumped in places where there was insufficient land even to feed themselves from to make room for imaginary German settlers.

 

Ukraine & Poland were supposed to be needed for lebensraum for Germans, but several million workers were imported from them to work in factories within the pre-war borders of the Reich.

 

 

True, every nationality worked in Germany, invited and otherwise. I was merely pointing to a relative exception to the fate of Slavs in German occupied territory. Whereas the Polish Jewry and political, military and intellectual leadership were systematically liquidated, and the population subjugated for random uses, the Czechs worked mostly in Reich industry within their own homeland and suffered comparatively less. Poland suffered more than usual in part because there was no surrender and peace treaty, and Free Poland [3 govts in exile] caused serious damage to the Germans throughout the war. Poland paid with 16+% (~half Polish Jews) of its population, the Czechs and Slovaks 3.2%.


  • 0

#17 JasonJ

JasonJ

    nonbiri

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11,039 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 0910 AM

Japan had clashed with the Soviet Union twice before 41 and been soundly beaten both times hence the reason they went south on their conquests not North. Also Britain was still in the game but it didnt stop the Japs attacking their colonies with great effect.

 

 

Although Japan suffered those defeats, after 1939, developments were put in place shortly after in response response to it such as the Chi-Ha Shinhoto mounting the 47mm cannon. In March 1941, plans were made for the development of a successor to the 47mm anti-tank gun, the 57mmL57 anti-tank gun as well as a 57mmL48.5 tank gun. This was before the start of operation Barbarossa. Development and testing was scheduled to be completed by October 1942. Along with a motorized carriage it was fully developed but at a delayed time of February 1943 because of the Pacific War. By that time, the 57mm was seen as inadequate so in June 1943, the 57mm was canceled with plans for a 105mm anti-tank gun put in place.

 

I think there were a lot of factors to making Japan shift its grand strategy to the Pacific from Manchuria, not just the defeats of those two early battles. Although, others here would know better than me in regards to that. If for whatever reason, Japan was to have invaded the SU at the same time as Germany, there would be cannon developments for dealing with T-34 already in the pipeline. The 57mm wouldn't have been great vs T-34 but adequate. Its development probably could have been hurried if called for. Of course I'm not saying that the Japanese would have wiped up the Soviets, just pointing out that Japan would have had some preparation for another fight with the SU if the grand strategy was an invasion of the SU.


Edited by JasonJ, 26 January 2015 - 0918 AM.

  • 0

#18 Jonathan Chin

Jonathan Chin

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 454 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 0939 AM

But was Japanese military doctrine and economy suited for operations in Eurasia against huge modern armies? To my amateur and uninformed eyes, fighting the Soviets did not look at all like an attractive strategic option, even if the IJA had new anti-tank guns and tanks in the works. It did not seem as if the technology of tanks or guns in themselves were the most important part of the equation from the Japanese perspective with regard to fighting the Soviets.


Edited by Jonathan Chin, 26 January 2015 - 0942 AM.

  • 0

#19 BillB

BillB

    Scooter Trash Gunphobic, apparently

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12,217 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 1007 AM

tallshort wrote:Think the whole third reich was incoherent to an extent with no real end goal.

 

And there we have it in a mere fifteen words.  :) 

 

BillB


  • 0

#20 JasonJ

JasonJ

    nonbiri

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11,039 posts

Posted 26 January 2015 - 1008 AM

But was Japanese military doctrine and economy suited for operations in Eurasia against huge modern armies? To my amateur and uninformed eyes, fighting the Soviets did not look at all like an attractive strategic option, even if the IJA had new anti-tank guns and tanks in the works. It did not seem as if the technology of tanks or guns in themselves were the most important part of the equation from the Japanese perspective with regard to fighting the Soviets.

 

The Soviet Union was under a lot of pressure dealing with Germany. Throwing Japan on top might have done her in... if Japan wasn't increasingly getting pressured from the US. An SU invasion sort of assumes no war with the US. Edit: also, I recall that Japan actually did have a developed tank doctrine but hasn't been able to demonstrate much of it with small number of tanks low on fuel on little islands. But anyway yea, logistics was not good.


Edited by JasonJ, 26 January 2015 - 1014 AM.

  • 0