View Full Version : Victory and Defeat: An Alternate Kriegsmarine in WWII
04-04-2010, 10:28 PM
Victory and Defeat: An Alternate Kriegsmarine in WWII
In our timeline, the Kriegsmarine of World War II became a force defined not by surface actions, but by submarines, as the focus shifted away from surface actions in the latter half of the war towards near exclusive submarine actions. But was this shift away from surface combatants necessarily inevitable? Could the Kriegsmarine have pursued a different course during the war? What would the effect of a stronger and more powerful German Battlefleet be towards the end of the war? This scenario seeks to examine that question by changing the Battle of the Barents Sea, the last gasp of the Kriegsmarine's surface elements...
(All events are OTL)
January 12th: Hitler tells Raeder, Kietel, and Jodl that the Allied invasion of Norway is imminent. Hitler fears a pincer attack from the North that would allow the Western Allies to join forces and link up with the USSR. This marks the beginnings of Hitler’s fascination with Norway, not wanting to divert troops from the Eastern Front, Hitler assigns the task of defending Norway to the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine. Plans are made for the break out of Kriegsmarine vessels in Brest to break out and join the rest of the fleet in Norway called Operation Cerberus.
January 14th: The newly completed German Battleship Tirpitz leaves Wilhelmshaven for Trondheim
January 16th: The Tirpitz arrives in Trondheim, her escort of 4 destroyers heads south to participate in Operation Cerberus as the Kreigsmarine is desperately short of escorts.
January 17th: News of the arrival of the Tirpitz in Norway leads to the Admiralty cancelling all Russian convoys from January 17th-25th.
January 22nd: Hitler declares Norway “the zone of destiny in this war” and advocates for the scrapping of the Schnarnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen should they not be able to escape from Brest.
January 23rd: The RN locates the Tirpitz at her anchorage in Trondheim.
January 29th-30th: The Tirpitz is bombed by a force of 9 Halifax and 7 Stirling bombers, no damage.
February 11th-13th 1942: Operation Cerberus occurs resulting in the infamous Channel Dash in which the German Battlecruisers Schnarnhorst and Gneisenau as well as the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen slip past the British and successfully transit the English Channel without taking heavy damage. Arriving in Germany they begin to refit for eventual redeployment to Norway.
February 20th-23rd: The German heavy cruisers Admiral Scheer and Prinz Eugen sail from Wilhelmshaven to Trondheim. On the 23rd the Prinz Eugen is torpedoed off Trondheim and forced to return to Germany for repairs.
February 25-26: An RAF bombing attack on the German Battlecruisers Schnarnhorst and Gneisenau is successful when a British bomb penetrates the forward magazine of theGneisenau causing the ammunition therein to explode and massive damage to the front half of the ship. The damage is so severe that in addition to repairs, extreme reconstruction is also deemed worthwhile. Once reconstructed the Gneisenau will have her 11 inch guns replaced with 15 inch guns as well as heavier armor. (In OTL this reconstruction was never completed)
March 5th -9th: The Tirpitz’ first action sees her flail about in the North Sea attempting to locate the Arctic Convoys PQ-12 or QP 8. At the same time, the RN taskforce assigned to hunt down the Tirpitz fails to find her. Only on March 9th do aircraft from the carrier Victorious sight the Tirpitz and launch an air attack which inflicts no damage. This air attack however reveals to Hitler the vulnerability of his surface units to air attack, orders are issued prohibiting actions when carrier aircraft are present.
March 19-20: German cruiser Admiral Hipper sails from Germany to Norway
March 28th: Fearing the breakout of the Tirpitz into the Atlantic, British commandos destroy the dockyards at St. Nazaire, the only ones capable of servicing the massive battleship.
March-April: Several RAF bombing attacks using long range Halifax and Lancaster bombers on the Tirpitz fail to achieve any results.
July 2nd-July 5th 1942: German heavy units in Norway, consisting of the Tirpitz, Hipper, Admiral Scheer and escorting destroyers, sortie to attack the convoy PQ-17, news of this action coupled with inadequate RN escorts causes the convoy commander to order the scattering of the convoy. Shortly after the scattering of the convoy, the German surface units return to base. Combined U-boat and Luftwaffe attacks devastate the convoy sinking 23 out of 34 merchant vessels. Nevertheless, the failure of German surface units to engage the enemy make the operation a failure despite their indirect contribution to its success.
September: A similar attack on convoy PQ-18 is vetoed by Hitler who declares the warships too valuable to the defence of Norway, and thus prohibiting any undo risks. Instead, U-boats and aircraft attack the convoy resulting in the loss of 13/40 ships. PQ-18 will be the last Arctic convoy until the completion of Operation Torch in November.
November: The pocket battleship Admiral Scheer returns to Germany from Norway to refit, she is replaced by the pocket battleship Lutzow.
December 18th: The first post-Torch Arctic convoy, JW-51A sails from Scotland with 15 ships. They are escorted by 6 destroyers as well as Force R, a pair of cruisers intended to ward off any surface attacks. Though JW-51A is not attacked by the Kriegsmarine, a plan codenamed Operation Regenbogen (Rainbow) is drawn up which provides for German surface units to attack an unspecified arctic convoy.
December 22nd: The second half of Convoy JW-51, JW-51B sails from Scotland with 14 merchantmen carrying 202 tanks, 2046 vehicles, 87 fighters, 33 bombers, 11,500 tons of fuel oil, 12,650 tons of aviation gas, and 54,321 tons of miscellaneous supplies. They are escorted by 6 destroyers, 1 minesweeper, 2 corvettes, and 2 armed trawlers.
December 28th-29th: JW-51B runs into a gale and is forced far south of their intended course the poor weather conditions cause several merchantmen to be separated from the convoy. The minesweeper Bramble is detached from the convoy on the 29th to go look for the missing ships. Meanwhile the rest of the convoy turns east towards Murmansk, in doing this their course takes them within 200 miles of the German base at Altenfjord.
December 30th: JW-51B is sighted by German U-boat U-354 who shadows it for 8 hours. During this time news is sent to Germany where Hitler approves the attack on the convoy. Operation Regenbogen is authorized and later that day, the German cruisers Lutzow and Hipper along with 6 escorting destroyers set sail to intercept the convoy. Kummetz plans to attack the convoy in two groups, the Hipper and 3 destroyers from the north and the Lutzow and 3 destroyers from the south, with the aim of the northern group driving the convoy into the southern group. Less than an hour after setting sail, a message is sent to Admiral Oscar Kummetz onboard the Hipper warning him not to take undo risks and to retreat, even in the face of an equal force. Hitler is told that the convoy would be engaged in the early hours of the morning, he orders his aides to keep him constantly updated. With that the stage is set for the Battle of the Barents Sea.
04-04-2010, 10:34 PM
Part I: Blood and Ice
0743: Convoy JW-51B is sighted by the northern German force, poor weather however, prevents proper identification
0753: The convoy is properly identified, Kummetz orders the Hipper to increase speed and close the distance between the two forces.
0830: The British destroyer HMS Obdurate sights the Northern German force, initially thinking they were Russian escorts sent to see the convoy to its destination, the Obdurate moves to the rear of the convoy to investigate and signal a challenge.
0915: The German destroyers respond to the challenge of the Obdurate by opening fire and thereby initiating the engagement. Captain R. Sherbrooke commander of the convoy’s destroyer escort positions his force in between the Germans and the convoy in the hopes that the fear of a torpedo attack will dissuade any attacks on the merchant ships. Admiral Kummetz in the Hipper moves to engage firing several broadsides into the destroyer HMS Achates which was laying a smokescreen.
0922: Meanwhile Kapitan Stange onboard the Lutzow receives the Hipper’s report of engagement and continues to steam slowly north-east in the hopes of sighting the convoy.
0944:Two British destroyers simulate torpedo attacks on the Hipper forcing her to turn away from her attack on the convoy. Kummetz is amazed at the skill and tenacity of the British destroyer crews.
0957: Kummetz again turns to attack the convoy firing upon the British destroyers and is again driven off by the fear of a torpedo attack.
1000:Captain Sherbrooke receives a message from Force R, consisting of the cruisers HMS Sheffield and HMS Jamaica putting them to north of the convoy and approaching at all possible speed. Sherbrooke correctly fears he is being driven into a trap by the Germans and dispatches 2 destroyers to return to the convoy.
1018: Kummetz begins another approach on the convoy firing heavily on the destroyers.
1019: German shells at last strike home severely damaging the destroyer HMS Onslow and injuring Captain Sherbrooke. However fearing another torpedo attack Kummetz turns away despite having gained a crucial advantage. During this time Kummetz sights and sinks the minesweeper Bramble a straggler struggling to return to the convoy.
1050 POD: Kapitan Stange onboard the Lutzow sights the convoy and makes a positive identification. Increasing speed he adjusts course to close the distance between the convoy while opening fire with his 11-inch guns. (In OTL Stange hesitated, allowing the convoy to slip past him while he attempted to link up with the Kummetz in the north).
1052: The Lutzow’s second volley strikes home hitting the SS Empire Emerald and causing fires that eventually ignite her convoy of aviation fuel and fuel oil. The resulting explosion is massive and encourages Stange to press the attack.
1053: Stange radios Kummetz that he has engaged the convoy, Kummetz’ plan has worked perfectly. The Lutzow continues to fire on the convoy all the while closing the distance and inflicting heavy damage on the unprotected merchant ships. Meanwhile the British destroyers Obdurate and Obedient increase speed to engage the Germans. At the same time Stange orders his escorting destroyers to close with the convoy and initiate torpedo attacks.
1056: An 11-inch salvo hits the SS Empire Archer crippling her and killing her commander, convoy Commodore R.A. Melhuish. German destroyers Z-30, Z-31 and Theodore Riedel open fire on the convoy and prepare to initiate torpedo attacks. The arrival of the destroyers, coupled with the loss of leadership, prompts the convoys remaining ships to scatter.
1100: The British destroyers Obedient and Obdurate dispatched to return to the convoy arrive and proceed to engage the German destroyers leaving the Lutzow free to continue ravaging the convoy with her guns.
1105: Fire from Z-30 and Z-31 cripples the HMS Obdurate forcing theHMS Obedient to retreat under heavy fire from the 3 remaining destroyers.
1106-1108: Admiral Kummetz makes another attack on the convoy this time hitting the damaged Achates and sinking her. The remaining destroyer Orwell facing the Hipper alone decides to attempt a torpedo attack. This time however Kummetz is determined to attack the convoy, as the Orwell closes with the Hipper Kummetz opens fire with his entire armament. At such close range the Orwell is hit several times and crippled. Convoy JW-51B is now caught in a vice between the German forces.
1112: Kummetz sights the remains of the convoy, now scattering in an attempt to avoid fire from the Lutzowadjusting his course he orders the Hipper to open fire.
1135: The slaughter of Convoy JW-51B is brought to a close with the arrival of Force R on the scene. As 6-inch salvos from the Sheffield and Jamaica begin to fall around the German ships, Kummetz seeing that most of the convoy had been either sunk or damaged, opts to retreat. Admiral R. Burnett opts to pursue to ensure the German raiders did not turn back. Salvos are traded between both forces with no severe damage as a result.
1137: Escaping under the cover of a smokescreen the Hipper and the Lutzow turn south, avoiding further combat with the British cruisers of Force R bringing the surface portion of The Battle of the Barents Sea to an end.
1140: The course of force R brings it right across that of U-354, the German submarine which sighted the convoy and has been shadowing it since December 29th. Having a clear line of sight, Lieutenant Commander Herbschleb launches a spread of torpedoes at the HMS Sheffield resulting in 2 hits and catastrophic damage.
1141: The destroyers of Force R the HMS Musketeer and the HMS Matchless immediately attack U-354 however the German submarine manages to escape.
1145: With the HMS Sheffield taking on water fast, Admiral Burnett transfers his flag to the HMS Jamaica and orders the Sheffield abandoned. Her remaining crew is transferred to the Jamaica and the escorting destroyers. At this time pursuit of the German raiders is aborted as Force R turns north to reform the battered convoy JW-51.
1213: U-626 stumbles across the USS Jefferson Myers and sinks her marking the final casualty of the Battle of the Barents Sea. The battle has been a complete disaster for the Allies, 12/14 merchant ships had been destroyed, along with 3 destroyers, and the cruiser Sheffield with no appreciable losses for the Germans.
Rest of December 31st 1942: News of the great success at the Barents Sea eventually reaches Hitler through the report of Admiral Kummetz and the melancholy report of the BBC. Hitler is ecstatic, having had a very bad late 1942 with the defeats at Stalingrad and Operation Torch. Now he at last has a victory to usher in the New Year. Summoning Raeder to the Wolf’s lair Hitler begins to talk naval strategy, his opinion of Raeder having grown due to the recent victory. Hitler immediately criticized Raeder for being too conservative with his ships arguing for more aggressive action in the hopes of achieving more success. Utilizing his newfound political favour, Raeder presses for increased concessions from Hitler arguing for the continued construction of the aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin and the reconstruction of the Gneisenau. Hitler agrees and orders the Kreigsmarine to gather in Norway as a way of preventing further convoys to Russia as well as defending Norway.
In Britain, news of the near annihilation of JW-51B is met with dismay, though not surprise from Churchill and his war cabinet. All further Arctic Convoys to Russia are cancelled until further notice. Stalin is furious, but effectively powerless to do anything.
(In OTL, the Battle of the Barents Sea was a disaster for the Germans as they failed to engage the convoy and were driven off by the escorting destroyers, losing 1 destroyer and taking damage in the process. This defeat sent Hitler into a rage in which he ordered the remaining German surface units scrapped. Raeder would later resign and be replaced by Admiral Doenitz as head of the Kreigsmarine, resulting in a focus on submarine warfare.)
04-04-2010, 10:45 PM
Part II: Return of the High Seas Fleet
(From Scourge of the Seas: The German Navy in WWII By Dudley Pound 1974)
...The immense success of the Battle of the Barents Sea in Late 1942 would effectively revitalize the sagging fortunes of the Kriegsmarine. Having all but annihilated convoy JW-51B, the German navy had once again closed the Arctic route for Lend Lease to Russia. Though the British would plan to resume the convoys as soon as possible, other pressing matters prevented them from doing so until late 1943...
...With Admiral Raeder once again in the good graces of Hitler, work began once again on elements of the Kriegsmarine’s surface fleet. Here, German shipbuilding efforts benefitted greatly from the efforts of industrial mastermind Albert Speer, brought in on Hitler’s express order, who efficiently organized the process and facilitated a faster rate of construction...
...Speer would also be key in reorganizing German merchant shipping greatly improving its efficiency (1)...
...With the allocation of increased resources to the surface fleet, Admiral Doenitz, commander of the German U-boat arm vainly attempted to secure an equal number of U-boats for the ongoing Battle of the Atlantic. Though at the time the Battle of the Atlantic was proceeding quite well for Germany, Doenitz was unable to successfully lobby for increased U-boat construction, perhaps because Hitler was unconvinced that more U-boats were needed. Though Doenitz proposed an emergency construction program of 40 u-boats per month, Hitler refused going so far as to decrease U-boat construction in favour of completing several larger Kriegsmarine units...
...Doenitz would not be the only one opposed to Hitler’s renewed interest in Raeder’s Kriegsmarine. With the completion of the aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin now allocated one of the highest priorities, head of the Luftwaffe Hermann Goering went to Hitler to vociferously complain about the Kriegsmarine’s use of Luftwaffe resources. Though he would be successful in influencing Hitler not to indulge Raeder’s request for new carrier aircraft for the Graf Zeppelin he would be unable to halt the increased use of Luftwaffe units by the Kriegsmarine. In addition to seeing the Kreigsmarine gain its own airforce for the Graf Zeppelin more planes would be allocated to protect Kreigsmarine bases in Norway from air attack, regardless of the needs of the Eastern Front...
...In addition to renewed naval construction, early 1943 would see Hitler continue to mass Kreigsmarine units in Norway in order to both protect what he saw as the “zone of destiny” in the war, and also to serve as a powerful fleet in being tying down considerable Royal Navy resources. In addition to the forces already present there, 1943 would see the Battlecruiser Schnarnhorst, the Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen and the Pocket Battleship Admiral Scheer along with several lighter units moved to Norway. With rumours of Arctic convoys starting up again, Hitler envisioned a Grand Fleet to destroy them like what happened during the Barents sea, and ordered all the heavy units of the Kreigsmarine along with most of the escorts to relocate to Altenfjord in Northern Norway, out of the range of Allied bombers, to prepare for another Arctic convoy...
...Yet no Arctic convoys would be forthcoming as Early 1943 saw the Battle of the Atlantic reach its peak with German U-boats engaging Allied convoys in a number of pitched battles. These battles and the necessity to keep Britain supplied drew most escorts away from the proposed Arctic Convoys resulting in the resumption of the route being further delayed...
...March of 1943 would see the German U-boat offensive reach its peak, culminating in numerous convoy battles and heavy losses. During March alone the Allies would lose nearly half a million tons of shipping in the Atlantic. Never had the Germans come so close to severing the vital lines of supply and communications between Britain and the New World...
...Yet though the early months of 1943 saw a continuation of the horrific losses in the Atlantic, severely threatening Britain’s capability to continue the war, by April the tide was beginning to turn. The advent of new technology such as the Hedgehog rocket launcher as well as other innovations, allowed the Allies to turn the tide. April of 1943 saw fewer Allied losses due to fewer U-boats in the Atlantic and a slight increase in U-boat losses (Up 3 boats to 15, over the 12 sunk in March)...
...Allied advances in technology and doctrine, coupled with increased shipbuilding by the US made Doenitz’ goal of destroying more merchant tonnage than was being produced increasingly problematic. The German U-boat Furthermore Allied advances would eventually culminate in what became known as “Black May” among the German U-boat arm. Unable to match allied advances, over the course of a month the Allies would lose only a quarter of what they lost in March, all the while sinking 43 U-boats...
...The loss of so many submarines, and more importantly their crews would deliver the fatal blow to the German U-boat arm from which it would never recover. The loss of the crews would not only severely affect the effectiveness of the German submarine arm, but the loss of the junior officers represented the next generation of U-boat commanders effectively dooming it’s future operations. Faced with such losses, Doenitz had no choice but to end his offensive in the North Atlantic...
...His decision would result in one of the most controversial decisions of the war. Brought before Hitler to explain his actions, Doenitz pleaded for more submarines and increased resources allocated to developing new technologies to turn the tide of the Battle of the Atlantic. However Hitler would have none of it, veins bulging out of his neck, Hitler lectured Doenitz for hours on the failings of the submarine arm through history, particularly in the First World War. Blaming Doenitz for the American declaration of war in December 1941, Hitler ordered the scrapping of most oceangoing U-boats with the focus shifting to coastal defence and protecting Norway (2)...
...Hitler’s decision would both sadden and anger Doenitz, who despite trying to convince Hitler to reconsider, failed to make any serious dent in his resolve. The future of Germany’s navy lay in its surface vessels, having already demonstrated themselves at the Battle of the Barents Sea not in its submarines. Unwilling to lead his force in this way, Doenitz offered his resignation in June, accepting the ceremonial post of Inspector of U-boats for the remainder of the war. His subordinate Eberhardt Grodt would take his place as head of the U-boat arm and would do his best to co-ordinate the remaining actions of the war...
...The disaster of Black May and the subsequent resignation of Doenitz would mark a substantial shift in the philosophy of the Kriegsmarine. As Raeder assumed unchallenged leadership of the Kreigsmarine, he managed to dissuade Hitler from scrapping the remaining Oceangoing U-boats preferring to use them to interdict Arctic convoys and as scouts. Under Raeder’s unquestioned leadership, resources would be shifted away from U-boat construction towards the completion of various surface elements under construction...
...Though the shift of naval production away from U-boats would come too late to speed up the construction of the Graf Zeppelin, it would greatly facilitate the completion of the heavy cruiser Seydlitz and the continuing reconstruction of the Gneisenau which would be completed in June and August 1943 respectively. In addition the shift away from U-boats allowed the Kreigsmarine to address it’s chronic shortage of escorts speeding up the construction of numerous destroyers and torpedo boats(3)...
...Completed in April of 1943, the Graf Zeppelin began sea trials immediately in the Baltic, fielding an airwing of 30 navalized Me-109 fighters and 12 Ju-87 dive bombers, it was hoped that she would be ready by the Winter to participate in the defence of Norway and future actions against Arctic convoys. Though somewhat obsolete, Hitler’s renewed fascination with the navy, allowed Raeder to push through the development of an improved air-wing for the carrier slated to be ready by 1944(4)...
...Following her successful sea trials in the Baltic during the summer of 1943, the Graf Zeppelin was ordered to proceed north to rendezvous with the Grand Fleet assembled in Norway in September, in preparation for future operations against Arctic convoys and Allied invaders. Joined by the Heavy Cruiser Seydlitz and several destroyers, the Kriegsmarine’s lone carrier would make the long journey successfully arriving in Northern Norway in late September despite several British submarine attacks...
1)Speer would do this in OTL under Doenitz. Though in TTL Raeder remains in command, Speer is brought in under Hitler’s personal order and given a greater
say in KM affairs
2)Yeah, Doenitz gets a bad rap in TTL for Black May, Hitler’s reaction towards Doenitz is much like that of his towards Raeder after OTL’s debacle at the Barents Sea. Getting blamed for America’s entry into WWII is completely inaccurate, but not out of Hitler’s character in my opinion.
3)The Seydlitz is a cruiser of the Admiral Hipper class that was almost completed in OTL. Though there were plans in OTL to turn her into an aircraft carrier, Speer vetoes those plans as inefficient in TTL and sees her completed as a heavy cruiser. Given the states of completion all the vessels mentioned in this paragraph in OTL prior to Raeder’s resignation and an increased emphasis and efficiency of shipbuilding construction in TTL I don’t think those completion times are inaccurate.
4) April 1943 was the date slotted for the completion of the Graf Zeppelin in OTL until work was stopped in February of 1943. Though perhaps optimistic, Speer’s influence and more resources following the Barents Sea make it happen.
04-06-2010, 03:30 AM
Seems like you're cutting Soviet Union off from Lend-Lease for a year. Uncle Joe won't like - no he won't!
With no arctic convoys and no shipments to Russian Pacific Coast that leaves the truck route through Persia. With North Africa controlled by the Allies that seems the obvious. Or through Syria to Persia to cut sailing time???
Looking forward to new installments.
04-19-2010, 09:20 AM
While this screws over the Russians a great deal, might this have a positive effect for the allies elsewhere.
Just becauset the convoys aren't going to Russia doesn't mean the trucks, tanks, planes, and other equipment aren't being built in US or British factories.
Maybe this would allow for more resupply of allies troops in Italy or somewhere.
Or maybe this would allow the US to send additional supplies to the Pacific. Not a lot, but maybe enough to have a half dozen or so extra fighter or bomber squadrons slugging it out in the Solomons or somewhere.
At this point, would this also not have a negative effect on the eastern front. Not enough to allow the Germans to beat the Russians, but maybe enough to cause the Russians to have some logistical slowdowns. Maybe instead of moving 20 miles a day in an attack, the Russians only get 10 miles or something.
04-19-2010, 11:42 AM
Updates are forthcoming, I'm in the middle of my exam period right now, I've got quite a few surprises planned, the least of which involve the Eastern front....
04-20-2010, 03:40 AM
Good luck with the exams. :)
Looking forward to being surprised.
04-24-2010, 12:45 PM
This is good! I like that the POD is compleatly non-ASB.
One point: all the resources the Germans are putting into Graf Zeppelin will give them an offensive force of only 12 Ju-87s. Does'nt seem worth it.
05-08-2010, 04:11 PM
I'm sad to say, a week has passed since my last exam and I have exactly no desire to put much more work into continuing this TL at the present time. Difficulty in tracking down English language historical sources, an increasingly busy schedule, and interest in other areas has led me to put this TL on hiatus for the time being.
That being said, I will attempt to give an idea of the direction I was hoping this TL to take..
-In TTL the Kriegsmarine under Raeder/Hitler was going to be a much more effective "fleet in being" holing up in a heavily defended Norwegian Fjord and tying down a lot more resources than they did in OTL. Though I had toyed with the idea of a "Battle Royale" between TTL's revamped KM and the combined RN/USN forces deployed to contain it sometime in 1944, the poor combat effectiveness of the Graf Zeppelin and other ships made me lean towards having Hitler's cautious nature dominate and result in the KM staying put for the duration of the war.
-One of the biggest differences in TTL was going to be that increased RN/RAF air strikes on Norway as a result of the alternate Battle of the Barents Sea would give impetus to Hitler's OTL paranoia regarding Sweden. In OTL Hitler apparently was convinced that the Grand allied offensive would sweep through Scandinavia to link up with the USSR and that Sweden would quickly join the allies once troops landed in Norway. According to one source Hitler was actually ready to go ahead with the invasion in OTL and was only stopped by the Allied invasion of Sicily. In TTL Hitler's increased interest in naval affairs/Scandinavia as a result of the POD in addition to increased air strikes leads to this becoming somewhat of a priority and the Nazi's invading Sweden in summer 1943. Though I had trouble finding sources I assume this wouldn't be too long of a campaign.
-No Kursk in TTL as Hitler allocates resources/focus to Scandinavia. Fearing the Western allies more, Hitler adopts a policy of mobile/fluid defense in the East giving the go-ahead to Manstein's proposed operation in and around Rostov designed to stabilize the South and destroy a large number of Soviet troops. Wasn't exactly sure if I wanted to take the classic route and have Manstein succeed or have the Soviets smash through. Also considered busting the Lucy spy ring to aid the Germans in the east.
-Less Lend Lease means a slower relief of Leningrad in TTL, Toyed with the idea of having the Germans take the city ever so briefly. No Arctic convoys for the remainder of the war (more or less) due to the threat posed by the stronger Luftwaffe/Kriegsmarine in the region.
-Due to fewer German troops, Sicily goes a lot better for the Allies, Messina is taken in mid/late July by Montgomery preventing any Axis evacuation. Patton closes the net by Taking Palermo shortly thereafter. In General the allied campaign in Italy goes better but eventually slows down.
-Hitler's continued fascination with Scandinavia in spite of Allied efforts elsewhere contributes to an earlier attempt at OTL's July Plot. Hitler is killed and a civil war engulfs Nazi Germany. Himmler and the SS eventually come out on top and begin to deploy WMD's against the allies. This however results in a severe pushback from the regular army resulting in defections and the formation of an Anti-SS alliance with the Allies. Himmler is subsequently defeated, only after destroying much of Europe.
-A slower soviet advance coupled with an earlier end to the war leads to No countries falling under the Eastern block in TTL. Stalin turns his attention East however to China/Japan. All in all the USSR is a lot weaker in TTL and the Cold War is severely truncated.
And that's about as far as I got, thoughts?
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