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Subject: Soviet entry into WW2 rss

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suPUR DUEper
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If you think of a wargame as a simulation engine, it needs to designed in such a way that a) if players play historically you get a historical result and b) you have to allow for some deviation from the historical timeline to allow the players to explore alternative strateies and approaches.

The problem is, when a wargame is designed you only have the (one)historical timeline to work with. You have one set of events that occured and a bazillion that did not WWII wargames tend to give you some incremental abilities to alter history (e.g Sea Lion, '43 D-Day, Japanese Go North etc.) but they tend to stay away from the biggies. (i.e. no U.S. involvement, Russia declaring war in 1946, etc). Compare that to say, Empires in Arms where you have almost complete freedom of action to deviate from history.

I think there are two reasons for this. Most WWII wargamers want to refight the war along the approximate historical timeline. WWII wargamers like their events/timeline hardwired far more than say Napoleonic gamers.

Second, no simulation model has been built which is sophisticated enough to resaonably model what would have happened had Hitler not invaded in '41. The unknowns are too many and the extrapolation from the historical timeline is so radical that it ceases to be a game about WWII.
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jumbit wrote:
J.L.Robert wrote:
Now, this is a personal opinion, and I have no references to it

But I believe that Stalin NEEDED Germany to be the aggressor. Stalin was much more shrewd than people want to give him credit for. And he did not want Hitler to gain any sort of global sympathies by being a "victim" of Soviet aggression.


Didn't stop Stalin from trying naked aggression against Finland. The world was loud with support for this tiny, free country. Britain and France almost declared war with the Soviets over it. Just imagine how different WWII would be then. As it happened, Britain and its commonwealth nations ended up declaring war against Finland a year later.


Exactly my point. Stalin actually learned a valuable lesson from The Winter War, and realized that future diplomatic options were going to rest on Western perceptions of Soviet intentions in Europe.

As an aside, I feel that the to create these perceptions were also a reason why the Soviet war machine "appeared" weak and disorganized in the early stages of the war. Rather than simply phasing out their older, outdated materiel (such as BT-7's and T-70's), having them flung forward and crushed by the Germans furthered the image of a weak and wounded Soviet Union. That opened the ports for Lend Lease, while all the while the early models of T-34 and KV-1 tanks were rolling out of the production lines in late 1941.
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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Legion of DOOM wrote:
piotrveliki, In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion


However perhaps we might cut him some slack for at least making it amusing (sorry Simon, perhaps you don't see it that way, being the target). OTOH, as perhaps you will be or have been informed, use of the T word is strictly forbidden.
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TedW wrote:
...I think there are two reasons for this. Most WWII wargamers want to refight the war along the approximate historical timeline. WWII wargamers like their events/timeline hardwired far more than say Napoleonic gamers.

Second, no simulation model has been built which is sophisticated enough to resaonably model what would have happened had Hitler not invaded in '41. The unknowns are too many and the extrapolation from the historical timeline is so radcial that it ceases to be a game about WWII.


An interesting angle for discussion. Another consideration is related to player incentives vs. 'idiot rules'. If you go too heavily for 'idiot rules' (e.g. Hitler did it historically, it made no sense whatsoever, therefore the Axis player MUST do it) then you get your 'historical timeline', but you might as well read a book. So when you consider the German invasion of the Soviet Union, one has look at the 'range of possible outcomes' that the game provides for. If the Germans are inevitably going to fail in their attempt to conquer the Soviet Union, why invade in the first place? Hitler not only didn't have that hindsight to base his decision on, in fact he had a deeply held belief of almost the exact opposite - i.e. he couldn't possibly lose!

So, in order for the German player in an ETO WWII game to voluntarily invade, there must be an 'incentive' (e.g. victory points) and it must be achievable. Lacking that, you fall back on an 'idiot rule' to 'force' matters. Now saying that the Germans 'must' invade becomes rather complicated to implement in practice, so what you get instead is the 'flip side' - if you don't attack the Soviet, they will attack you.
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J.L.Robert wrote:

Exactly my point. Stalin actually learned a valuable lesson from The Winter War, and realized that future diplomatic options were going to rest on Western perceptions of Soviet intentions in Europe....


A point often overlooked. As horribly as the Soviets started off, assuming (very wrongly) that their 'attack' would be akin to Nazi 'victory parades' in Austria or the Sudetenland, they did manage to get their act together by the end and launch a reasonably coordinated offensive which broke the Mannerheim Line. So the Winter War had a huge impact on two fronts, realization by the Soviets of their own shortcomings, and further confirmation for Hitler of his ultimately fatal overconfidence.
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There are a few basic problems with ETO games, and they all center around Hitler.

1) In 1940, Hitler was largely responsible for the adaptation of Manstein's plan for the invasion of France. The plan that was on record would have smashed German forces straight into the oncoming French and British who were moving up to the Dyle River. The reason the Germans won and won quickly is because they had a plan that worked like a judo flip, using the Allied plan against itself. While French morale was not great, they actually fought very hard after Dunkirk, and from an equipment standpoint, they were generally superior to the Germans. Seeing as it is difficult to recreate the strategic surprise and operational mastery of Manstein's plan, most ETO games should probably have a France that is around for most of the war; in reality, none of them do.

2) Had Hitler decided to finish off Britain in 1941 rather than invade Russia, it would have been almost impossible
for him to not succeed. Had the Germans decided to go through Spain, capture Gibraltar, and to commit major forces to removing the British from North Africa and the Middle East, there was almost no chance of the British preventing it (as anyone who looks at the force disparity in your standard ETO game sometime around Spring 1941 can easily attest). With the benefit of historical hindsight, no right-thinking German player would attempt to fight the Battle of Britain or to try Sealion, which the army clearly didn't have the capacity to pull off. Instead, they would basically destroy the British empire's strategic position, capture all the oil they ever needed, and build U-Boats early that would starve the British into submission should there be no early U.S. intervention. Assuming you treat the UK as the principal opponent, the war was almost impossible to lose for Germany in 1940-1...

3) Of course, they did lose it by attacking Russia instead. Why did they attack Russia? Because Hitler wanted to. That was pretty much it. Hitler tossed away a sure thing for an exceedingly risky gamble thanks to his racial priorities and visions of Germanic grandeur. (It's the height of irony that for all the Drive to the East business, the German economy got nothing out of those provinces all war long and was basically living off of France's production.) Could the Germans have beaten Russia in 1941? Yes, conceivably. (Although again, Hitler himself was the impediment, as the Russians attempted to initiate peace talks and were rebuffed by Hitler, who thought he would be able to force unconditional surrender.) But it was a much tougher go. Furthermore, things went from difficult to impossible when Hitler brought the U.S. into the war, which was a frivolous thing to do, even with the undeclared fighting going on in the Atlantic.

Basically, I think most ETO games should just start with Barbarossa, as the early years don't game well. If you are realistic about the possibilities, then the odds are great that you get something radically different than what happened in 1940 (i.e. the French stay in the war). If you are straitjacketing the French into defeat, then you are setting up a situation where the Germans should be easily able to achieve victory in 1941 by following a Mediterranean strategy, and where you need a whole host of other rules to force them to make their historical decisions.
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deadkenny wrote:
So, in order for the German player in an ETO WWII game to voluntarily invade, there must be an 'incentive' (e.g. victory points) and it must be achievable. Lacking that, you fall back on an 'idiot rule' to 'force' matters. Now saying that the Germans 'must' invade becomes rather complicated to implement in practice, so what you get instead is the 'flip side' - if you don't attack the Soviet, they will attack you.


Exactly. The operative root word in wargame is game. One alternate history line might postulate that neither Germany nor the USSR attacks the other. It might make for interesting discussion, but it kills a game.

There must be an incentive to clash; sitzkrieg ain't fun. As you noted, that's where the victory conditions come in.

I think the challenge for the designer is play balance. The farther game decisions stray from the history (permeatations of decisions driving more options that drive more options, etc.), the more difficult it is to work game balance.

This is where diplomacy-type negotiating can be a saving grace. Since actual military powers are usually not balanced, a game can avoid the balance issue while simulating reality by allowing players the freedom to negotiate alliances as well as non-aggression pacts.
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Umberto Colapicchioni
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seanmac wrote:
Nope. These are all neo-Nazi sources.


The main thing discussed on those articles, was a book written by Albert Weeks, which is a professor of Russian studies at the universities of Chicago, Columbia, New York, which also worked at West Point and for the U.S. State Department. I think he's no nazi...

Some info about him:

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2003/lev10_03...

David Irwing, the commenter, cited this book as a confirmation of what he was writing in his own books, but I'm not very interested in his view, rather to what is written in that book he's commenting.

Since one of the crucial evidence was the in-famous speech Stalin gave at the Frunze academy and, from Stalin's own words:

Quote:
Now that we have become strong, one must go from defense over to the attack. To accomplish the defense of our country we are obliged to take the offensive.... We must reform our instruction, our propaganda, agitation, our press to pervade an attack spirit. The Red Army is a modern army, and a modern army is an offensive army


Part of that book is on Google books, Stalin's speech is at page 94.

At page 91 of that above book: an ex-officer, who was in charge for political indoctrination of the Red Army in the 70s, Dimitri Volkogonov, did some research on his own and recollected some witnessess from officer of that time, Oleg Sarin and Lev Dvroetskij, that describe the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in a very precise way, see the whole comment here:

http://books.google.it/books?id=0YzPUy3n1psC&lpg=PP1&ots=P9d...

The only point is: do you think this, in fact, never happened ?
Is there any evidence those was forged somehow ?
 
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Wargames » Forums » General
Re: Soviet entry into WW2
piotrveliki wrote:
You are right, comrade SIMON MUELLER, we shall purge ruthlessly these revisionist warmongering capitalists from the surface of the earth and of the universe .

It is more than revisionism, it is a true heresy and a blasphemy to dare to suggest that in any imaginable circumstances the peace loving paradise of workers, the Soviet Union, under the enlightened leadership of comrade Stalin, could be an agressor.

Never at any time in history did the Soviet Union or any other peaceful communist countries ever initiate an agreesion war as stated in the vile propaganda of the hate mongering revisionists.

It is an fact that in many instances the Soviet Union and these countries were compelled to act defensively out of pure altruism to protect the international proletariat and working class and they were entirely right to do so

Yes to think otherwise is pure revisionism and shall be punished with an immediate death penalty by a NKVD firing squad.

I am glad to see that there are still healthy class conscious marxist-leninist people thinking like you and me in this corrupted capitalist world!

Yeah, nice one.

I thought I expressed myself clearly enough, my concern about this sort of unproven revisionism is that it euphemises Nazi Germany's war of aggression. Apparently being Anti-Fascist makes me a Communist ...

I wonder if anyone of you followed the "enlightening" links Mr. Colapicchioni posted, like for example to this site where you can find that compelling read: "The Jewish Declaration of War on Nazi Germany".
gulp

You can go to fucking hell and I want no part in this shit. This must have been the fifth time I got into debate with some closet-Nazi wargamer on this site. When I find the time I will salvage my worthwhile contributions and nuke my account.
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deadkenny wrote:

However perhaps we might cut him some slack for at least making it amusing (sorry Simon, perhaps you don't see it that way, being the target). OTOH, as perhaps you will be or have been informed, use of the T word is strictly forbidden.


Thanks. Fixed my previous message.
 
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Simon Mueller wrote:
When I find the time I will salvage my worthwhile contributions and nuke my account.


I'm disappointed in you, Simon. I figured you'd be made of sterner stuff.

These ass-clowns write that kind of shit deliberately just so they can get a rise out of people. You replying this way is EXACTLY what they want. They might not believe in what they're writing. Hell, they might not even be knowledgable about what they're writing. But they like getting people all worked up and make others' lives miserable to make theirs appear less-so.

I seriously doubt that any serious member and regular contributor to this site actually buys into the neo-Nazi line. But just because some backwards thinking people trumpet out their nonsense doesn't mean this site is a breeding ground for their hate.
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J.L.Robert wrote:
jumbit wrote:
J.L.Robert wrote:
Now, this is a personal opinion, and I have no references to it

But I believe that Stalin NEEDED Germany to be the aggressor. Stalin was much more shrewd than people want to give him credit for. And he did not want Hitler to gain any sort of global sympathies by being a "victim" of Soviet aggression.


Didn't stop Stalin from trying naked aggression against Finland. The world was loud with support for this tiny, free country. Britain and France almost declared war with the Soviets over it. Just imagine how different WWII would be then. As it happened, Britain and its commonwealth nations ended up declaring war against Finland a year later.


Exactly my point. Stalin actually learned a valuable lesson from The Winter War, and realized that future diplomatic options were going to rest on Western perceptions of Soviet intentions in Europe.

As an aside, I feel that the to create these perceptions were also a reason why the Soviet war machine "appeared" weak and disorganized in the early stages of the war. Rather than simply phasing out their older, outdated materiel (such as BT-7's and T-70's), having them flung forward and crushed by the Germans furthered the image of a weak and wounded Soviet Union. That opened the ports for Lend Lease, while all the while the early models of T-34 and KV-1 tanks were rolling out of the production lines in late 1941.



The Soviet army not only appeared weak it was weak,but not for too much longer...new gear like the Sturmovik and the T34 were starting to roll off the drawing boards or out of the factories...the Purge not only killed many good officers,but it also got rid of a lot of dead wood from the Civil War era and the 1920s Polish debacle allowing many younger and more able generals to come to the fore like Konev,Rokassovski and later Zhukov who were destined to figure largely in the final victory...you're right about the Winter War and it's valuable lessons and not just in the area of tactics...no more would he upset potential allies with agressive adventures...Stalin may have made mistakes but he was a fast learner...Hitler from his point of view attacked Russia not before time...maybe he sensed that the Red Army was getting stronger and this would be his last chance...I think he was ALMOST right...I think I said it earlier in the thread Stalin knew Hitler was coming he just wasn't quite ready for him...
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J.L.Robert wrote:
Simon Mueller wrote:
When I find the time I will salvage my worthwhile contributions and nuke my account.


I'm disappointed in you, Simon. I figured you'd be made of sterner stuff.

These ass-clowns write that kind of shit deliberately just so they can get a rise out of people. You replying this way is EXACTLY what they want. They might not believe in what they're writing. Hell, they might not even be knowledgable about what they're writing. But they like getting people all worked up and make others' lives miserable to make theirs appear less-so.

I seriously doubt that any serious member and regular contributor to this site actually buys into the neo-Nazi line. But just because some backwards thinking people trumpet out their nonsense doesn't mean this site is a breeding ground for their hate.


Absolutely Simon...what he said...don't let it get to you...
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Sean McCormick
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The Soviets were planning to attack Germany the same way the U.S. was planning to attack Japan. After all, the U.S. actually had a war plan for that contingency, they aggressively moved their fleet from California to Hawaii, and they undertook policies that attacked Japan's ability to keep its fleet supplied and operational. Therefore, the U.S. was clearly in the process of attacking Japan when Japan just happened to attack the U.S. first.

Or something.

Nobody doubts that the Soviets were in the middle of using their army aggressively against minor nations, nor that they were deployed offensively to continue doing so. But it's amazingly weak tea to build a case for an imminent Soviet invasion of Germany based on Stalin's Rah-Rah speech to a bunch of officers. Stalin wasn't stupid; he was perfectly aware of how strong Germany's army was, which was one reason why he was so terrified of doing anything to provoke the Germans in June of 1941 despite the building evidence of invasion.
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seanmac wrote:
If you are realistic about the possibilities, then the odds are great that you get something radically different than what happened in 1940 (i.e. the French stay in the war).


I liked this post a lot and agree. I highlighted this portion because in Blitzkrieg General France is very tough for Germany to beat without help from cards. In many people's view this "breaks" the game, but in many ways it is just reflective of what people expected to happen - Germany to attack and be stopped and then events would unfold.

Interestingly in our Blitzkrieg General games the Soviets usually pound away on the Japanese - also very historically grounded if you look at 1939.

In my mind the "how to get Germany to attack USSR" issue is one of victory conditions. A good game would have to dangle the carrot of "just one kick to knock in the door" type victory conditions for Soviet surrender (or at least peace) versus the virtually impossible to defeat conditions present in most games - e.g. take every city. Almost a random chit draw system.

I don't see Stalin attacking Germany in 1942 or 1943 to save the British Empire. He might have made life VERY difficult for Tojo though...

Good luck with your game design!
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Yes,there are a lot of interesting 'what ifs' involved...a couple of examples...

What if France had IMMEDIATELY attacked Germany via the Saar and Alsace when Poland was invaded with what they had available...

What if Hitler had decided FROM THE START that the UK would be invaded and occupied...

What if Hitler had managed to launch Barbarossa ONE MONTH earlier than he did...

What if Hitler had reneged on all his previous ideological rantings on lebensraum etc.and NOT INVADED the Soviet Union at all...

I don't think any of these are valid for various reasons,but are interesting propositions nonetheless that could be allowed for in a game design...





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Seth Owen
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ftarzanin wrote:
seanmac wrote:
There are a few basic problems with ETO games, and they all center around Hitler.

1) ... most ETO games should probably have a France that is around for most of the war; in reality, none of them do.


Complete agreement. Until Germany fully mobilized, France should have survived ... and given the Allies early technology lead and complete domination of the sea, France may have survived the entire war ...

seanmac wrote:

2) Had Hitler decided to finish off Britain in 1941 rather than invade Russia, it would have been almost impossible
for him to not succeed.


I pretty much agree. I think a UK collapse was not inevitable but had Germany done a UK first policy but it would have been very ugly for the British ... certainly the Med should have collapsed and with good access to oil Germany would be in an excellent position to threaten much of Britain's empire.

seanmac wrote:

3) Of course, they did lose it by attacking Russia instead. Why did they attack Russia?


I don't think Hitler was insane to attack the USSR but it was clearly a bad call with hindsight.

Let's try to look at this a little more objectively based on what Hitler knew in 1941:

1) Germany almost won WWI with Italy on the Allies side and France still in the war. In 1941, Italy was on Germany's side and France was knocked out of the war ...

2) The USSR's regime's strength was unknown in 1941. The military blows that the USSR sustained in the first six months of WWII where far worst than Russia received over 3 years in WWI when Russia was knocked out of the fight. Additionally, the Russian army looked just as inept as in WWI (Finnish War) and to top things off, the military had a purge and Stalin was a less popular than the Romanovs after killing over 20 million people ... It's not to big a leap of faith to think the USSR was less stable than Russia was in WWI and that the Soviets should have collapsed under the onslaught in 1941. In fact, we have no idea how close the USSR was to actually collapsing in 1941. In game terms, perhaps the USSR got a really lucky die roll to stay in the fight in 1941.

3) Germany was actually in a better political position in 1941 than it was in 1914. Japan, Spain and Turkey where passive allies. The Balkans where either allies or conquered. Italy was on it's side. The USSR was a political and military unknown. France was knocked out of the war.

In some sense, it's crazy that Germany lost the war after they knocked out France in 1940 and was facing only the UK.

seanmac wrote:

... If you are realistic about the possibilities [in WWII], then the odds are great that you get something radically different than what happened in 1940 (i.e. the French stay in the war). If you are straitjacketing the French into defeat, then you are setting up a situation where the Germans should be easily able to achieve victory in 1941 by following a Mediterranean strategy, and where you need a whole host of other rules to force them to make their historical decisions.


I completely agree. I would also add that it was not inevitable that Germany goes after the USSR and that with a few bad breaks it could have been Russia and Germany versus the allies ... after all, the Allies almost declared war on the USSR and the Americans where basically fighting a proxy war against the USSR in China.

To really do WWII correctly you would need to give a lot more political flexibility for Russia, Germany and the Western Allies to create different alliances much as we do for 'Here I Stand' or many of the Grand Strategy Napoleonic games but this would not be the WWII that we are all familiar with.

I would also add that it should not be taken for granted that France should fall so fast or that the USSR should be so determined to stay in the fight ... I think if you did these things, many of the decisions that both sides made would make a lot more sense and it would make for a hell of an interesting albeit terrifying game to play.


This brings up a key point, which was Britain's refusal to accept the German victory over France as the last word in the struggle. It's easy to forget now, but the British battle on alone (well, alone among major powers, they had the brave support of the Commonwealth) for almost a year. I'm quite sure that it was an agonizingly long year for the British. Basically Churchill fought on, hoping that somehow the Axis would blunder and the tide would turn.

Amazingly they obliged. Twice. One could argue long into the night which was the biggest blunder, Hitler's invasion of Russia or Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, but together they changed the complexion of the war entirely.

The problem for a World War II game is that in order to be a recognizably World War II game it must induce the Axis to attack the USSR and the USA. The simplest way to do that is to give those powers to option to enter the war anyway at a certain point so that the Axis players feel the pressure to act that their historical counterparts did despite the fact that hindsight tells them it's going to be dangerous.

Any WW2 wargame that allows England to surrender or in which it gets overrun is not going to look much like WW2. I tend to think that Sealion in 1940 was a long shot, but had Hitler bent his efforts to the task there is no reason why Germany could not have eventually marshaled the resources needed to successfully invade England. It's virtually unimaginable that either Stalin or FDR would have been able to initiate a war against the Germans before 1942 which would have given the Germans 2 years to wear down British resolve or invade.

Fortunately Hitler didn't have the patience or foresight of Churchill and moved East just as Churchill had hoped he would.

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I don't know if anybodys read Shirer's 'Rise and Fall of the Third Reich'...it's old but VERY perceptive on the subject of Hitler's attitude to Britain (as well as a lot of other things)...the author makes it plain that Britain's refusal to conclude a separate peace after the fall of France took the German leader completely by surprise...he just could not believe that they refused his offer of terms...he totally misjudged Churchill and the mood in Britain at that time,so much so that he was completely unprepared for an invasion...'Sealion' was a rushed plan that was not supported by the navy and was only half-heartedly backed by Hitler because it diverted troops from what he considered the main game,Operation Barbarossa which was already foremost in his mind after France...so when Goering offered to bring Britain to it's knees with the airforce he jumped at it...I think it's right to say that the US and the Soviets would not have been able to intervene for some time,but the British navy would have to have been destroyed or lured away somehow before an invasion could take place even if the RAF was neutralised...given all this I actually think Britain was pretty safe from invasion...another interesting speculation would have been if the Hitler had pumped more resources into the U-boat campaign against Britain's supply lines...
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Atraxrobustus wrote:
I don't know if anybodys read Shirer's 'Rise and Fall of the Third Reich'...it's old but VERY perceptive on the subject of Hitler's attitude to Britain (as well as a lot of other things)...the author makes it plain that Britain's refusal to conclude a separate peace after the fall of France took the German leader completely by surprise...he just could not believe that they refused his offer of terms...he totally misjudged Churchill and the mood in Britain at that time,so much so that he was completely unprepared for an invasion...'Sealion' was a rushed plan that was not supported by the navy and was only half-heartedly backed by Hitler because it diverted troops from what he considered the main game,Operation Barbarossa which was already foremost in his mind after France...so when Goering offered to bring Britain to it's knees with the airforce he jumped at it...I think it's right to say that the US and the Soviets would not have been able to intervene for some time,but the British navy would have to have been destroyed or lured away somehow before an invasion could take place even if the RAF was neutralised...given all this I actually think Britain was pretty safe from invasion...another interesting speculation would have been if the Hitler had pumped more resources into the U-boat campaign against Britain's supply lines...


In 1940, yes, but I'm not so sure about a 1941 or 1942 Sealion, especially if conducted in conjunction with a sustained U-Boat and aerial campaign against England along with pressure against other points such as Egypt and Gibraltar.
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Yes,I see what your getting at...I suppose you're assuming no attack against Russia and a very sucessfu U-boat campaign...don't forget Britain is getting stronger too...
 
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J.L.Robert wrote:
Simon Mueller wrote:
When I find the time I will salvage my worthwhile contributions and nuke my account.


I'm disappointed in you, Simon. I figured you'd be made of sterner stuff.

These ass-clowns write that kind of shit deliberately just so they can get a rise out of people. You replying this way is EXACTLY what they want. They might not believe in what they're writing. Hell, they might not even be knowledgable about what they're writing. But they like getting people all worked up and make others' lives miserable to make theirs appear less-so.

I seriously doubt that any serious member and regular contributor to this site actually buys into the neo-Nazi line. But just because some backwards thinking people trumpet out their nonsense doesn't mean this site is a breeding ground for their hate.


Simon,

I was making fun about you I admit, it was not meant to hurt you but to make you realise in a humorous way that we shall not use serious words like "revisionism" too lightly in a forum devoted to a hobby and where the purpose is just to have fun, especially if you use these words to rebuke participants who just want to harmlessly discuss a possible "what if".

Do not take too seriouslsy little events without importance. It is not worth to be offended by a harmless joke and to take it so seriouly l as to deprive yourself of a nice forum about your hobby? Are you not just punishing yourself without cause? Life is to enjoy and not to take everything seriously all the time.

Do not close your account, stay with us and continue enjoying boardgaming with us all, you are part of us, after all this is why we all all here. And SMILE

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Umberto Colapicchioni
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Atraxrobustus wrote:
Yes,there are a lot of interesting 'what ifs' involved...a couple of examples...


There are literally endless "what ifs" like:

- What if there were more coordination between the Axis powers:

- What if Italy left Greece alone (which was politically close to fascism anyway) and focused on taking Egypt, with the old fields in the Middle East as the final goal.

- What if Japan attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, at the same time Barbarossa started, and forget about Pearl Harbour and the Pacific for a while.
 
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Sean McCormick
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Atraxrobustus wrote:
I don't know if anybodys read Shirer's 'Rise and Fall of the Third Reich'...it's old but VERY perceptive on the subject of Hitler's attitude to Britain (as well as a lot of other things)...the author makes it plain that Britain's refusal to conclude a separate peace after the fall of France took the German leader completely by surprise...he just could not believe that they refused his offer of terms...he totally misjudged Churchill and the mood in Britain at that time,so much so that he was completely unprepared for an invasion...'Sealion' was a rushed plan that was not supported by the navy and was only half-heartedly backed by Hitler because it diverted troops from what he considered the main game,Operation Barbarossa which was already foremost in his mind after France...so when Goering offered to bring Britain to it's knees with the airforce he jumped at it...I think it's right to say that the US and the Soviets would not have been able to intervene for some time,but the British navy would have to have been destroyed or lured away somehow before an invasion could take place even if the RAF was neutralised...given all this I actually think Britain was pretty safe from invasion...another interesting speculation would have been if the Hitler had pumped more resources into the U-boat campaign against Britain's supply lines...


Yes, Hitler had a great deal of respect for the British Empire, and his idea was ultimately to be allied to them. Germany would emulate England by creating an empire in Russia, and she would control the continent while England controlled the seas and kept her possessions in Africa and Asia. He never wanted to fight England, and he was always hopeful that they could come to an understanding. In contrast, the Russians were the people he wanted to fight, and he was quick to turn the page even without England being defeated.
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Bill Wood
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Here is the BIG problem with ETO Strategic games - they ignore the Holocaust.

Hitler's goal, simply stated, was to make a Greater Germany by conquering and annihilating all the non 'Aryan' people - and that focus was in Central/East Europe and Russia.

A correct set of VPs for the Hitler player, for without Hitler none of this was going to take place, would be to have some collection of VP pieces in each country that represent undesirable people - Jews, Slavs, etc.

As the Hitler player conquers parts of Europe, he gets VPs for removing said tokens and sending them out for 'disposal'. He would store them in holding boxes (concentration camps) draft some into Industry (economic points) but gain essential victory by eliminating them.

The taking of Resources and Industry serves only to meet that end - the continuance of German Military might and retention of conquests to facilitate the 'cleansing' of Europe.

The attacks in the West were spoiling attacks designed to buy time for the true goal - securing Central, Eastern, and Russian Europe for Hitler's Dream.

He of course need to be pragmatic at times - hence the deals he had to make - Poland with Soviets, the Danes getting to keep the Jews safe while they fed the Germans, and the treatment of Italian Jews early on; etc.

Without Hitler - no WW2.

- and we have an alternative history situation that is a collection of small national conflicts on the edges - certainly no Total War.

All ETO games focus on the 'clean and safe' victory conditions of political conquest (capitols usually) and the securing of economic assets.

In reality, it was not the goal of the prime Belligerent.

-----------------------------

As to the goals of the rest of the combatants - self interest.

Britain - keep the Empire. Avoid European War.

France - keep the Empire. Avoid European War.

Soviet Russia - keep the Soviet State and export Communism. Avoid European War, excepting those States adjacent to it.

USA - stay the hell out of the whole mess - excepting that Roosevelt was no isolationist, checked by isolationist Congress and population.

...and keep its own Empire.

Britain, France, USSR and Russia had the additional desire to keep Japan in check, primarily with naval/air balance and bases along with War by Proxy in China against Japan.

In the Balkans, Rumania, Hungary, we have small nations fighting over their own corners of the world, with Special interest on Rumania due to oil.

Italy under Mussolini was out to expand Italian influence, while challenging its neighbors along with Britain.

And further, everyone was developing a strong interest in the Middle East due to Oil.

For everyone, Economics was a strong desire to improve.

For Hitler, it was also a desire to remake the entire Civilization of Europe in Central, Eastern and Russian areas, and to go West once it gained CER Europe.
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Geoffrey Engelstein
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As the original poster, who thought he was asking a question about historical justification for the 'what if' of the Soviets entering WW2 in the absence of a German invasion, it has become apparent that this thread has outlasted it's usefulness.

Thanks to all those who made thoughtful posts about the game design issues behind strategic level ETO games, especially surrounding the USSR.

Since I can't close it, I will cease monitoring this thread. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Geoff
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