Alternative history is a rather weird hobby. People analize events and decisions and try to guess how history would‘ve changed is some decisions were different. It is not really a productive thing to do, but many people enjoy alternative history and consider it to be a mental exercise. Therefore, we present you with a little piece of alternative history – 5 ways how Hitler could‘ve won the Second World War.
It is important to note that none of these speculations are by any means serious history science. We are judging past events from our current perspective and we have so much more information than people who were making decisions back in a day. We see everything from a top of our book shelf, we know personalities from both sides of the front and we can now identify some decisions as mistakes – it certainly looked different 70 years ago. These theories are the most interesting ones we fished out from the internet.
Germany attacks Great Britain instead of Soviet Union
Many WW2 enthusiasts agree that attack on Soviet Union was one of the biggest Hitler’s mistakes. At least its timing. There is a theory, stating that invasion to British Islands might have been a smarter decision. After France fell, a lot of British heavy armour was left behind and thus forces of this country were weakened. A well-planned an organized invasion could’ve removed one potent enemy from Hilter’s path to ultimate victory.
Of course, there are holes in this theory. Royal Air Forces were already pretty strong and defeating them would not be so easy. Furthermore, Germany would’ve had to consolidate its forces. That little bit of time could’ve been enough for Britain to prepare for possible invasion and to discuss situation with its allies. Also, it is not clear whether this decision would’ve helped avoiding fighting on two fronts – what would Soviet Union do later in war?
Hitler does not star Holocaust
This is one of the more interesting theories. Hitler was always seen as a cold-hearted tyrant, who partakes in ethnic cleansing as a maniac he was. But what if he wasn’t this way? What if he did not hold strong policy against Jewish people?
Some speculate that in this way Allies would’ve had a harder time mobilizing themselves for a fight against Hitler. Furthermore, a lot of resources, both material and human, were simply wasted in this bloody campaign. And some public support was lost because of Holocaust, not excluding people directly affected and murdered.
On the other hand, this basically means that Hitler would’ve been a different person all together and would have surrounded himself with different people too. So in a way, no one can tell how it would have changed the course of history, if Hitler himself did not hold anything against Jewish.
Germany strengthens its navy before the war
Dominating world’s oceans is a huge asset to have. However, Germany could not enjoy any kind of dominance (maybe under water), since its navy was not fully developed. Having a stronger fleet of surface ships could have led to stronger pressure against Allied forces were they least expect.
Furthermore, it could have allowed a closer coordination of actions with Japan. In essence, strong germane navy with alliance with Japanese forces could’ve dominated world’s oceans and seas, but there is one condition.
This means that war would have to be started later. In fact, at least a decade later – around 1949 seems like a reasonable time. And at this point in history everything would’ve been different.
Germany does not halt its advance in Dunkirk
In 1940 when France fell Germany was pushing hard on somewhere around 350 thousand Allied soldiers, most of whom were British. German tanks were fast in their way to encircle their enemy while Luftwaffe was smashing them from above. However, on 24th of May Hitler ordered to halt the operation for three days. It is believe that this decision was influenced by Field marshals Gerd von Rundstedt and Günther von Kluge – they did not want unconsolidated German forces to encircle Allied soldiers, because they thought they would easily break out.
This gave time for Allied forces to establish defence lines and evacuate relatively safely. A lot of heavy weaponry was left behind as well as 68,111 British soldiers were killed, wounded or captured. But most of them left France relatively unharmed. Great Britain already considered conditional surrender at the moment when Germany halted its advance.
Many believe that Hitler missed a chance to eliminate Great Britain from war with one easy blow and who knows now how it would’ve changed the course of the war.
Hitler does not interfere too much with strategic decision making
It is a well-known fact that Hitler enjoyed being in charge of all military operations of Germany. Not only he was aware of the situation in places thousands of kilometres away, he was commanding operations by himself, sometimes removing his generals from the equation. However, this did not mean he was a flawless leader.
In fact, Hitler had experienced and well-educated military personnel, which he did not take full advantage of. He got mad if someone opposed his opinion and sometimes gave irrational orders, especially as war was coming to an end. Had he listened to his generals and involved them more in strategic planning, some moves in was might have been different and some mistakes could have been avoided.
Alternative history is really not accurate and goes against the principle of historicism. However, it can be a fun thing to do, allowing yourself to immerse your brain into something that is as much fiction as it is history.