Click to Subscribe
▶  More from Gaming The Man Cave Reader versus Writer
WWII in Less Than 200 Words?
Ethan Wants to Know


James, my friends make all of these pronouncements about WWII, that the Nazis almost conquered the world, that we don't know how close that war was, blah, blah. I do not have time to read 1,000 books on this subject which seems never ending. You seem to have a good grasp of history. Could you encapsulate WWII in, lets say, under 200 words?"

-Nathan

That's tough, Nathan. Those three words, this, and the following passage do not count.

I have only read 58 books [Yes, it took me longer to count them than to write this article] on WWII, including the Marshal Cavendish WWII Encyclopedia in 25 volumes. I have, however, read A Genius For War six times, and have spent over 1,000 hours playing and play-testing tactical, operational and strategic war games on WWII. My opponents regard me as a formidable Russian, cunning German and boring American player. I'll give it a go...

WWII in 197 Words

“France, 1944: a U.S. Army lieutenant asked a German POW, “If you’re the master race, how come you’re behind that fence?”

The German answered that he had commanded an .88 [antiaircraft gun used for killing tanks] and was assigned to stop American progress on a road. He knocked out a large number of tanks. More tanks came, but he was out of ammo.

This conversation was the inspiration of the lieutenant’s book, A Genius for War, born in this conversation, which holds the entire answer to your question:

1. The Germans did not have the material resources to win WWII and every top general knew it, just as the architect of Pearl Harbor knew that his nation would be defeated.

2. The second clue is that the German was speaking English, the global language even then. WWII was a forlorn hope for two aggressive ethno-states striking out in a ghastly spasm of national suicide, rather than willingly submit to the global capitalism of Britain and America.

The Italians could not beat the Ethiopians without help, Germany had no surface fleet, and neither Germany or Japan had intrinsic oil reserves. An accountant could have picked the winner.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1308836.A_Genius_For_War

Books by James LaFond

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&text=James+LaFond&search-alias=books&field-author=James+LaFond&sort=relevancerank

Add Comment
Sam J.February 25, 2017 5:26 PM UTC

I agree with Jeremy Bentham and Mesc Franklin but I don't agree that for the Germans all hope was lost from the beginning. I agree with the experts that as time went on Hitler started making more and more mistakes but I don't agree that all the things he did were mistakes. Sorta. Trusting Goring was a huge mistake. Now I know history is done but gaming the situation a bit either of two events could have happened to completely change the war.

One, the battle in either Moscow or Stalingrad was won. Either one would have sent a mass attack of Japanese against the Soviet Union. This would in turn cut of much of the Soviet Union's supplies from the allies. The US was the reason the USSR didn't run out of food and a lot of supplies. Stalin concentrated on heavy industry and used his man power for that and soldiers. The US made a lot of the food that otherwise would have taken away Russian man power.

Two, James scenario where Hitler took Iraq and the Middle East oil. This in turn would allow him to control the Med. Big deal.

Three, this is farther fetched but could have been decisive. I got this from looking at "Could Germany have won the War" search. If Albert Speer had been in charge of production earlier and Goring booted out the game would have been very different. Speer would have several major strategic differences in production. Hitler delayed jet fighters to make them into bombers (they were ready for use as fighters one whole year earlier). Speer would have used them for fighters cutting off the bombing of Germany, thereby increasing production of even more fighters and military equipment. Speer would have gone to a all time all out build everything possible war production model. Major mistake by Hitler. Speer said that Hitler had a perfectly good heat seeking anti-aircraft missile that he didn't use. Speer would have covered all of Europe with these.

I think in Stalingrad Speer would have told Hitler the situation. Maybe with Speer in charge of production they would have had enough airlift to deliver supplies and if they didn't Hitler could have been apprised of the situation and made a retreat saving several 100 thousands of Men. It wouldn't over by far if he had kept those Men.

A large part of Hitler's wins were because of the training of the military. I've been told that they were training in the mode of 3rd generation warfare. That all commanders were trained in situations where the only way they could win would be to disobey orders. Initiative was promoted. I've been told that the US Army has still not done this and that we still fight in a 2nd generation manner. I do believe the SF and other units do but it's not done at the top levels.

The US military is making some of the same mistakes that Hitler did. The F-35 is a prime example. You can't make a good Air Superiority fighter also take and land vertically and bomb well. We don't have enough F-22's. What we need is a good air superiority fighter in large numbers that can have bombing racks bolted on after we gain the air field above the battle. For close support we need a new type helicopter that is like a Chinook but one that has special stiff blades like wings. They also need to be able to stop the blades after it gets up to a high speed and then use jet engines to push it forward. The blades would stop into a position just like this Oblique wing jet. This would allow it a decent high speed and low drag.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oblique_wing

We also need to build all our transports to be gyroplanes with jump start lift. An older example.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairey_Rotodyne

The military doesn't like these because they're kind of weird and goofy but it would allow you to land equipment most anywhere like a helicopter and after you unloaded you could jump start by getting the rotors up to speed and then raising the lift on the blades. Like this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFNc1iY8wi0
Mesc FranklinFebruary 24, 2017 7:26 PM UTC

The sequel to World War two is Colin Flaherty's Youtube channel..all the cities the soldier boys who beat the Axis powers were from were then thrown to the savages by the same people who used them. Many of the "greatest generation" have met their ends being beaten to death in their living rooms by dindus.

Every willing soldier who believed in Murica had a hand in this indirectly or directly and we are all paying the price to this day. I don't give a damn what Hitler did or didn't do, he was in a country hemmed in by all sides. Murica could have stayed out of this but decided it was better to have random young working class men burned to death in M4 tanks and college boys plummeting to earth in bombers so they could kill women and children to help Bolsheviks who swore the whole time to undermine and destroy the United States.

Fuck America, this slave plantation/managerial state/ZOG will fall apart and it deserves to!
Jeremy BenthamFebruary 24, 2017 5:42 PM UTC

Oh yeah. Thanks Sam J. Yeah, we can't forget Iraq can we? The Iraq Rebellion April to June 1941 against the British is one of those outliers, one of those foot notes in history that could have had enormous repercussions had it gone the other way and the British had NOT won. And it so easily could have gone the other way, regardless of the general military incompetence of the Iraq rebels, had Prime Minister Churchill had not over-ruled General Wavell in Cairo and ordered British Forces in the Middle East to fight rather than negotiate for peace terms. Another instance where having the will to fight and the will to win is more important than anything else. Had the Iraqi rebels expelled the British, the Brits would have lost control of the Iraqi oil fields which at the time was THE major source of fuel for the Royal Navy. What would the Royal Navy have done without fuel? Not much of anything except sit in port and make targets of themselves, eh? Could the Germans have taken advantage of that bigtime? I don't see why not. The German high command including Hitler himself was half-ass paying attention to the unrest in Britain's Middle-East colonial possessions, but completely missed what a windfall was handed to them by the Iraq rebellion. And there was a German ally Vichy French Syria right next door to provide assistance to the Iraqis. Germany sent a Luftwaffe fighter squadron and a transport squadron (that had to promptly return to Greece to support the Crete Invasion. Imagine if Hitler had diverted the Crete Airborne invasion force to Syria/Iraq?) and that's it. The RAF quickly swept the single Luftwaffe fighter squadron from the air. Hitler was too preoccupied with his impending invasion of the Soviet Union, so he sent not further help to the Iraqis and Brits beat them. So Hitler missed a pretty good chance to knock Britain completely out of the war before The USSR AND the USA entered into it against him. The rest is history. No guarantees that anything that didn’t actually happen could happen, but it is fun to speculate on what might have been.

P.S. Nero the Pict is absolutely correct too. As far as the American Left is concerned WWII was a war to save Communist dictator Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union. That's why WWII was "The Good War" because the radical Left in America was all for it, once Hitler invaded the USSR, and squashed any and all opposition to it. As they are so good at doing, aren’t they? Every other war that America has been in since WWII has been “bad”, because the Progressive Left deemed it to be bad.

"My belief is that World War II is the last war that America was right about. Anything after that, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq—they were wrong." Spike Lee, 2007

“All counter-revolutionary wars are unjust, all revolutionary wars are just.”

- Mao Zedong (1893-1976), Chinese statesman. From On Protracted War (1938).
Jeremy BenthamFebruary 24, 2017 2:15 AM UTC

“At one point it would have been possible to stop Hitler with a memorandum.” – Winston Churchill

“We have learned that the awful power of the German Army comes not just from tanks and airplanes, but from a certain attitude of mind in her manhood.” - Lord Moran, WWII British Psychologist

“You have only to kick in the door, and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.”- Adolf Hitler (Speaking about the Soviet Union on the eve of invasion)

“Had I known they had as many tanks as that, I would have thought twice about invading.” - Adolf Hitler (Speaking about the Soviet Union)

P.S. We also have to keep in mind that Hitler’s early successes are what had everyone flummoxed and astonished. These successes happened not only because of the fighting prowess of the German Armed Forces, but because the governments of many of the invaded countries lost their nerve and capitulated. For example, when the Luftwaffe bombed Rotterdam, the government of the Netherlands surrendered, even though the Dutch army was still full of fight. After Germany defeated Poland so quickly the French and British were psychologically paralyzed into inaction and just waited for 9 months (The Phony War) while Germany prepared to attack west. The Polish Army of 1939 was considered no pushover by the rest of the world, so the French and British were astonished that the Germans beat them so quickly (do not forget the Germans had help from the Soviet Union in mopping them up too. The Non-Aggression Pact). Most of the rest of the world was still using horse cavalry and horse-drawn transportation in their armies like the Poles, including Germany. Like Churchill observed early on it would have been possible for the British and French to have stopped Hitler with a stern letter telling him knock it off or else war. For example when Hitler sent German troops to reoccupy the Rhineland in 1936, if the French and British had sent in their own troops to confront them the Germans would have had to back off as there was no way the German Army was in any shape to fight against the French and British just then. Hitler would likely have been ruined politically and his own National Socialist Party would have deposed him as a dangerous idiot. But in the event the British and French governments were more afraid of war than Hitler was, so they were the ones who backed down. Hitler achieved much success in the early years by sheer audacity, because he believed his enemies lacked the will to fight. And he wasn’t entirely wrong. Of course when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union and declared war on the USA he sealed his doom as those powers had the material means and the willpower, along with Churchill’s Britain, to do whatever it took to defeat him. Anyway the sheer complexity of the conflict and the many unexpected events make World War Two so fascinating to study, as well as fun to discuss the many “what ifs”. It truly was a world war as there was fighting even in faraway places like Greenland and South America.
Sam J.February 24, 2017 1:50 AM UTC

James verdict is correct. Not enough men or resources. I think the whole thing was much closer than we now assume though. I think it was Jeremy Bentham that said if Hitler had taken the middle east oil fields and then locked up the Mediterranean that Germany could have won. At one time Hitler assumed that he had beaten Russia and was getting ready to pull troops from there.

I've read all of books on WWII by David Irving. Hitler's War and the Goring biography, (these are free online and well worth reading free or not), had a passage in it that stunned me. I've said this before several times because I believe it is so crucial. Hitler counted on Goring to deliver supplies to the troops at Stalingrad and supply air cover for them. Goring deliberately lied to Hitler about his ability to do so. Lied by a huge, very large margin. The amount of supplies was a small percentage of what they needed. I think if the Germans would have had the supplies and air cover they could have won Stalingrad then turned to the oil fields in Russia. Not taking this big lie into account is maybe one of the reasons that everyone says Hitler was such an idiot about Stalingrad. If he knew there was no supplies would he have done the same?? We don't know but I doubt it.

Did the Germans have or get close to having the bomb? Hmmm...maybe. There's reports from the end of the war of a huge massive explosion in I think it was Poland. Complete destruction of a nuke sized area. It could have been a fuel air explosion as we know they were also working on those. There was some really strange research being done in Poland. In charge was SS General Hans Kammler. Head of the SS, rocket programs, so called extermination camps and all kinds of mysterious stuff. Nothing more than the whole big mess of evil Nazi Man. Look up "Nazi Bell". There's one project that he was working, one of many, where a bunch of prisoners died every time they turned this thing on. Some have speculated anti-gravity but others say it was a new kind of particle accelerator that could neutron enrich thorium or Uranium to make nuclear materials. We do know at the end of the war he shot all the prisoners and the scientist. Packed up all the documentation into a new super plane that could go unfueled all the way from Europe to Argentina...then he disappeared. Supposedly killed...like five different ways, in case one wasn't enough. Here's the last know picture of him.

http://i0.wp.com/historicalsocietyofgermanmilitaryhistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/SS-General-Hans-Kammler.jpg?resize=474%2C585

As for Japan. There's good evidence that they were very close to an Atomic bomb. For all those whining about Hiroshima, what do you think the Japanese would have done with their bomb? If the Japanese would have had a bomb they would have bombed us. See, "Japan’s Secret War: Japan’s Race Against Time to Build Its Own Atomic Bomb" by Robert K. Wilcox. Wilcox talked to one of the scientist that said a nuke was successfully tested off the coast of what is now North Korea a couple weeks before Hiroshima. They didn't have enough material for more though.

http://www.historynet.com/book-review-japans-secret-war-japans-race-against-time-to-build-its-own-atomic-bomb-robert-k-wilcox-wwii.htm

Further VERY STRONG confirmation comes from the enormous resources put into the ultra long range submarine that Japan built carrying only three airplanes. They only military use for such a vessel would be if it carried nukes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-400-class_submarine
Nero The PictFebruary 23, 2017 8:03 PM UTC

Here are even fewer words. This about sums up US involvement in that conflict.

WWII. The war to save Josesph Stalin.

-Bill Buppert. Anarchist thinker and military historian.
Jeremy BenthamFebruary 23, 2017 5:18 PM UTC

“To have the United States at our side was to me the greatest joy. Now at this very moment I knew the United States was in the war, up to the neck and in to the death. So we had won after all!…Hitler’s fate was sealed. Mussolini’s fate was sealed. As for the Japanese, they would be ground to powder.” - Winston Churchill

“An army of deer led by a lion is more to be feared than an army of lions led by a deer.” - Chabrias, Athenian General, 4th Century B.C.

Yes, James is correct Nathan. If you look strictly at the "tale of the tape" there was absolutely no reason to believe that Germany and Japan (and Italy) could have won a war against the combined forces of France, the British Empire, the Soviet Union, China and the USA. Like they say, the battle doesn't always go to the strongest nor the race to the swiftest, but that is the way the smart money bets. As long as the political leadership of the Allied powers possessed the will to win a protracted war there was no way they could lose against Germany and Japan. So what made the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese imagine they could win a war against the Allies? Because they imagined their enemies were decadent, weak, stupid and cowardly and lacked the will to fight back, such that the great material advantages the Allies possessed were of little consequence. All the Axis powers had to do, they thought, was give their enemies one good punch and they'd surrender. They were wrong. Even against those long odds though the Nazis and Japs came uncomfortably close to winning the war, or at least fighting it to a draw such that that Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan still might be around and causing trouble to this day. Much like North Korea and Communist China. This all makes it great fun to speculate on what might have been if certain events had played out differently. As a practical matter though for either the Germans or the Japanese to have stood a realistic chance of winning they would have had to have found some way to end the war very early, like before 1943. After that the Allies just got too strong and built their forces up so much that even if they had suffered some unexpected setbacks it was unlikely they would have been forced to give up. For example, by June of 1944 even if the Germans had repelled the Normandy Invasion, at that point all it would have meant was that by the following summer the first atomic bombs would have been dropped on Germany. Which was the original plan, since the USA and UK feared the Germans were likewise working to develop a “uranium bomb” (How close they actually got to building one is still largely classified). The Japanese were also doing research to that end, plus on a microwave weapon, but those are other stories. Anyway from a purely materialistic viewpoint, James is absolutely correct, the outcome of World War II was a forgone conclusion: the Allies were going to win. But absent the material factors, having political leaders with the will to win the war, no matter what, was, and still is, critical. As we have learned in our contemporary world, it is not something you can take for granted.