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Old 09-04-2016, 05:45 PM   #41
grants70
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Yes but the Germans didn't give two fucks about human rights and would have ruthlessly occupied Ireland in days as the Irish had a very small volunteer army with no tanks or aircraft. Also, the Irish States dream of a united Ireland probably might have influenced them to welcome the Germans (if they had already subdued Britain) in order to be free of the British oppressors. The Irish usually returned RAF crewman who had baled out over Ireland back to the British. On the flip side, the Irish leader sent condolences to the German embassy in Dublin after Hitler's death, so the Irish appear to have played to both sides even though they were neutral.

The Royal Navy might well have proved useless with U-Boats prowling the English Channel in those days before sonar detection was available. At least 60 U-Boats were active at any one time in 1941 and they would have posed a serious threat to Royal Navy activities. Add to that Stuka dive-bombers and the German Navy itself.

The Germans stalled at Moscow wasn't a real disaster, it just stalled both sides until the weather improved. The German 1942 summer offensive completed most of their important objectives. Stalingrad was the real disaster as it also coincided with American involvement in North Africa. Once America got involved, Hitler had to factor that into how he distributed his dwindling resources. He called off the battle of Kursk just as it was about to turn to his advantage, so he could send tanks to Italy but totally disregarding the fact that it would take months to get the tanks from Russia to Italy. He deserved a slap on the head for not seeing out Kursk first, as the Germans were still ahead with the number of tanks and men available and Manstein correctly knew that he had the opportunity to destroy the Russians strategic armor in the Prochorovka area.

The point of all that is, until America got involved it was touch and go if Britain would survive. Churchill said in his memoirs that he didn't think they had a chance of winning, and he put his maximum efforts into getting America involved. When Pearl happened and Hitler declared war on America, Churchill knew the Germans would be defeated. Every decision Hitler made after that was influenced by the involvement of all the Allies.
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