During WW2 Hitler was defeated in Russia, because of the cold weather there. What country did he plan to attack after Russia, if his attack on Russia had succeeded?

closed as off-topic by Tyler Durden, Pieter Geerkens, Semaphore, CGCampbell, default locale Dec 9 '15 at 5:17

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is hypothetical. – Tyler Durden Dec 6 '15 at 1:51
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    @TylerDurden: The question is not at all hypothetical (there were plans, and those plans must have been well-documented). It is atrociously worded, though. I could edit it, but the OP seems to be opinionated and apt to take offense. – Ricky Dec 6 '15 at 3:03
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    This reminds me of the question somebody asked whether Hitler was planning to conquer the United States and make Lincoln, Nebraska the capitol of the world (!!!) (see history.stackexchange.com/questions/24231/…) – Tyler Durden Dec 6 '15 at 3:15
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    @Ricky It is atrociously worded, though. I could edit it That will be good. I believe that the question could become perfectly valid after that. – Matt Dec 6 '15 at 7:18
  • @Matt: Fine. I'm only doing it so it doesn't get closed. I don't like touching other people's work. – Ricky Dec 6 '15 at 7:21

Hitler's goal was a pure Aryan Germany that stretched from the Rhine in the west to the Dvina-Dnieper rivers in the east. With the purification of this greater Germany complete the plains of Poland, Ukraine and Belarus would be repopulated with German farmers that would breed like rabbits (as they had between the wars) an make the Third Reich a thousand-year power, just like in the campaign posters.

This was what Hitler meant by lebensraum. He seems to have truly believed that the Soviet Union would collapse once Nazi Germany had occupied these territories, much as Tsarist Russia had collapsed in 1917 when about half that territory had been occupied. I see the unclear goals and execution of the 1942 offensive by Germany as a symptomatic of this conviction - that it was sufficient to just hit them hard one more time to get the knock-out.

If the Soviet Union had collapsed according to this scenario, then it is hard to imagine the Western Allies ever successfully mounting an amphibious invasion of either France or Italy. Available troops to defend the Atlantic Wall and Mediterranean would have been tripled to quadrupled - imagine the carnage on Omaha Beach and then in the bocage in front of Gold-Juno-Sword and Utah with four times as many German defenders, and no collapse of Army Group Centre.

So with a treaty in hand that established those modified borders, and granted access to oil from the Caucasus, Hitler would have actually been satisfied with the victory. There was no next victim planned.

Note here (figure 1 b) the dramatic difference between German and French birth rates between the wars. Although birth rates in both countries had collapsed during the First World War, German birth rate recovered faster than the French, and steadily ran at nearly double the French birth rate. This information was known to planners around Europe and significantly affected military planning through the 1920's and '30's. The knowledge that they simply wouldn't have the soldiers to fight Germany successfully again was a major determinant in the French decision to build and rely on the Maginot Line for defense against Germany; and also most likely affected both French and British decision makers in Munich in 1938.

  • Would an Allied front have been impossible, had Hitler managed to defeat the Soviets? By 1944 the Allies had overwhelming air superiority. It would probably have meant a later start to Overlord, and even greater blanket-bombing and destruction of German cities before it came about. The Allies would have needed to find a way of taking out the V2 bases, however, but in the longer run it may have ended as Germany being the victim of the atomic bomb. So defeat by the USSR was probably no bad thing for millions of Germans. Long-term Hitler could not possibly have prevailed. – WS2 Dec 6 '15 at 15:25
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    Unless of course he had had atomic weapons. Many years ago I had a colleague who had studied chemistry at Cambridge during the war. In his final examination in 1943 the last question on one paper was simply Write what you know about nuclear fission. It had not been part of the course and he was convinced it was planted there by the British security services, and that anyone attempting an answer was allocated an MI6 handler to keep watch on them. So great was the concern at that time about Hitler getting the bomb. – WS2 Dec 6 '15 at 15:32
  • I think it can be said that Hitler wanted to take the fight to the United States via aerial bombing as early as 1940. There were prototypes of a long-range bombers, the He 277, Ju 390, Me 264 (Project: Amerika bomber), which could carry payloads of 3 tons, 5 tons, and 6.5 tons, respectively, and which could make a round-trip flight from the Azores to New York City. Hitler hoped that the US would have to divert money to build and install massive AA batteries on its coasts and cities -- money which could not be used to rearm the UK. – Bruce James Dec 8 '15 at 15:17

Hitler's aims are outlined in Hillgruber, Andreas, Germany and the Two World Wars, Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1981, pages 50-51. Not only did he want to control all Europe and have a vast strategic base in Eastern Europe, he also wanted to colonise parts of Africa and have a strong Atlantic fleet. His dream was that in the generation after his death, Germany would defeat the USA and become the main world power.

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    Dreams and plans are two entirely separate things. Are you sure you are properly distinguishing between the two? – Pieter Geerkens Dec 6 '15 at 15:02
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    The reference characterises it as "aims". Not sure there is a very clear cut distinction. But I will edit it slightly to account for your concerns. – Virgo Dec 6 '15 at 16:27

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