Man in the High Castle: Analysis of Possibilities from WW2

Many people from Asia, do not know much about WW2 because we were not much affected by it directly. I have keenly read about it from childhood, and I’ve always wanted to know exactly how the USSR was able to turn the tide in the war.

The best and most detailed analysis can be seen in this series on YouTube:

There is a lot of new information I’ve learnt from this video, maybe too much, but still very interesting.

Here are some of the major questions, I’ve always had from WW2, and some reasonable answers to them:

Hitler opening up the eastern front was a mistake?

Not necessarily, the basic idea may have been very solvent, considering that these guys had spies everywhere and they knew that the Allies looked at the USSR as the necessary and only other partner who could keep Germany in check.

Could the Nazis have won the offensive?

I first thought that if they had not made many mistakes along the way, they might have succeeded, but I believe that even if they had taken Moscow, alone, they simply did not have the resources to conquer the whole of the country and keep it for any tenable period of time.

I see Hitlers ego and the Nazis racism — they really believed their outlandish theories to have been their biggest weakness (as per how the war proceeded). Even though the soviets made a lot of mistakes and were very weak in year 1 of the war, they learned and improved and kept learning and improving. The Germans were too “disciplined” to be flexible, severely underestimated the soviets, as well as were too afraid of Hitler. While the soviets were afraid of Stalin too, it looks like Stalin never interfered that much in the actual general’s job of managing the battlefield.

So, the Germans started the offensive well, but Hitler interfered too much, and basically, eventually took over the command, and it just got worse from there.

The Mistakes made by the Nazis

  • They did not take advantage of the initial success, and get Moscow. But, I believe, even if they had done so, it would not have made any difference.
  • They were too arrogant/ racist/ crazy enough to start this war without a clear understanding of how much the soviets could handle in losses and still come up with millions of soldiers and thousands of tanks and planes.
  • They did not have the backend resources (coal, oil, materials, factories) to supply chain fighting such a large country with so many resources. Churchill did a study towards the end of the war to see if it were tenable to attack the soviets, move forward and drive them back — even the Allies may not have been able to sustain this.

Is there anyway they could have won the war to make the Man in the High Castle a reality?

I do not believe it is realistic for them to ever have conquered the USA because it is simply too large and too faraway.

Apparently Stalin wanted to tie up with Hitler and conquer the world. I do not think this is realistic because the Nazis were too racist to work together with the soviets as Allies.

They could have worked with the Japanese though. Because Japan was too faraway and Hitler had no interest in Asia. Perhaps, that was the original plan — Germany attacks from the east and at some point Japan attacks from the west.

This might have worked…

Remember the USA entered the war only after the Japanese stupidly attacked Pearl Harbor. Their strategy in Asia was interesting — they seem to have conquered the easy countries and areas and dominated them.

But…

Instead if they had worked closely with the Germans, and put their full might into the USSR instead of Asia (is this likely? maybe). Then together, they might have been able to win the war against the USSR especially at the time Hitler attacked the USSR.

The more I think about this, the more sense it makes. I think the plan was to attack the USSR early on together. With all the initial mistakes from the soviets, this may have broken them. But Hitler was probably very pissed off that Japan did not want to do this, so he went on anyway, because he understood that this is the one & only chance he has to win the USSR (before they had time to prepare).

  • The USA had no reason to join the war as it remains untouched. The republicans would never had agreed to it. They let China become communist — they would have let Germany be unless attacked directly.

This is bad though. The Nazis were bad and deserved to be defeated. Their atrocities were terrible.

Anyway you look at it, if Hitler had not invaded the USSR when he did, he would always be looking at one big threat right next to him. And the way he was, I do not think he could accept any other dominant power anywhere near Germany.

It is possible that the only reason he had a group of countries in the Axis group is purely because of the only other imminent threat he felt he had.

How would the world have looked?

Anyway, continuing in this vein, Now, there would be German Europe + Caucasian Russia and Japanese Asian Russia. With no USSR to help them, there would be no Taiwan. Here is how the world map would have looked like:

Axis (Non Democratic, Fascism, Racism + Massive Human Suffering)

Germany (Very Strong)

  • Caucasian parts of Russia
  • Eventually including other parts of Europe as well
  • Would have conquered England & thereby all its colonies

Japan (Very Strong)

  • China
  • All of South East Asia
  • India might have been under Japanese influence & not under England

Allied (Democratic, Capitalism, Rule of Law + Normal life as we know it today)

USA (Strong but marginalized by comparison)

  • Only other major dominant world power.
  • Now, the USA looks vulnerable in comparison.

What if they never attacked the USSR?

Then it becomes very complicated, and very unrealistic, because the moment the USSR gets puts in the picture, you realize Germany still would look a small kid next to it, which is the whole reason why Hitler attacked the USSR in the first place.

I think it is more realistic to say that if Hitler knew the resources of the USSR, he probably would have waited longer, and by then Normandy would have happened, and we don’t really know if the Allies could have won the war, if the USSR was silent. The landings even may not have had taken place if Japan had not attacked the USA (very stupid move).

If they were logical, and did not do these mistakes, all these countries would have stayed at stalemate for many, many years after which the world would have had Nazis for a long time… (this is bad).

As all these countries would have had nuclear weapons shortly after WW2, the stalemate would have remained probably for a very long time.

This is how it could have looked:

Axis (Non Democratic, Fascism, Racism + Massive Human Suffering)

  • Japan (swallows all of South East Asia + India under their influence) — Strong

Allied (Democratic, Capitalism, Rule of Law + Normal life as we know it today)

Soviet (Non Democratic, Communist, Human Suffering)

  • China — Strong

Wow! All in all, it looks like whatever we have now is a lot better than this — where a good portion of the world is non-democratic. The super powers would have been the Axis and the Communist countries, and the USA would be strong, but marginalized as one part of three only.

Summary

To me it looks like:

  • It worked out better for us that Japan attacked the USA so the USA could join the war, and help defeat Germany and eventually Japan as well.

The interesting thing is again that even if Germany had not attacked the USSR, and Japan did attack the USA, then USA would still have joined the war probably Normandy would have happened.

But, even in this situation, Germany would have had it a lot easier to keep the stalemate even if attacked from both sides, as their forces had time to prepare, gather resources and strength as well as make it a lot harder to lose.

Germany had no chance if UK + USA + USSR attacked at the same time. This is why I believe that they felt they had no choice but to attack the USSR, because no matter what Germany did or not, the USSR would still be a large threat to Germany forever. It was just a matter of time and they probably felt it more logical to attack earlier than later. I’m sure they might have thought that Japan would join them at some point.

Phew! Let us be thankful for the world we live in, because the Nazis surviving WW2 intact is too horrendous to consider.

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“If you see something that’s not right, not fair, not just, do something about it. Say something. Do something.” — Rep. John Lewis