Review: How Hitler Could Have Won World War II

So, I figure it’s high time we had some more random posts, particularly reviews of semi-relevant stuff. What better to start with than an excellent book called How Hitler Could Have Won World War II? What’s more, this book can be had for less than $12 on Amazon.com — you can get it via the Rifles Ready! Store here.

Looks great by your keyboard.

Looks great by your keyboard.

This is an easy-to-read, relatively brief (337 pages, though a good 100 or so is comprised of maps, photos, the index, etc.) historical book that takes a serious look at how the Nazis could’ve won World War II. Most people — and that includes COH players — say to themselves, “now how can Hitler’s Germany possibly win long-term against the massive American armies and Allied industry? and the atomic bomb?” Well, historian Bevin Alexander tackles this and answers with detailed breakdowns of the strategic opportunities Hitler had, but squandered. Had Hitler seized the Suez Canal early during the African campaign, he would’ve had limitless fuel for all those panzers. Had he continued the attack, a huge number of British troops would’ve been captured or killed at Dunkirk. Had Hitler been slightly more decisive, D-Day would’ve ended with Tigers shelling the crap out of whatever made it off the beaches of Normandy. Had Hitler let his generals fight the Soviets in the open, and had he allowed them to push straight to Moscow, Stalin would’ve ended the war directing guerrilla attacks from the Ural Mountains. And so forth.

Probably the most striking thing about the book is just how calm and analytical the author is. Mr. Alexander breaks everything down in an orderly fashion and there’s nothing alarmist or sensational about his multiple theses, which all ring true — Hitler was very close to creating a true “Fortress Europe” that would’ve taken the Allies a decade to build up enough forces to defeat by force. Plus let’s not forget how close Hitler’s scientists were to the atomic bomb… Read on for the full review! And more lovely pictures!

I myself have the hardcover version of the book, and it’s a very nice edition, with nice big type, rich creamy pages (the durable kind!) and a very slick jacket. I believe Amazon has the cheaper, more mass-produced paperback version, but the book is no less harrowing. And I do mean harrowing. Check out this excerpt:

“At the time (spring 1941) the British had only 36,000 men in Egypt, including a single incomplete armored division … once Axis forces overran Egypt and the Suez Canal, they would close the eastern Mediterranean to the Royal Navy. The Axis would be able to move at will into the Middle East, for the British had no substantial forces there. This region produced much of the world’s oil, and its capture would provide ample amounts of Germany’s single most-needed strategic material.

In possession of the Middle East, all of North and West Africa, and Europe west of Russia, its armed forces virtually intact, its economy able to exploit the resources of three continents, Germany would be virtually invincible. Britain’s defiance on the periphery of Europe would become increasingly irrelevant. Germany would not have to inaugurate an all-out U-boat war against its shipping. Britain’s remaining strength would have to be expended in protecting its empire and the convoys to and from the home islands.

Guderian, Rommel, and shovel-carrying Krauts.
Guderian, Rommel, and shovel-carrying Krauts.

The United States would have no hope of launching an invasion of mainland Europe against an undefeated and waiting German army until it had spent years building a vast navy, army and air force, not to speak of the transports, landing craft, vehicles, and weapons necessary for such a giant undertaking. It is possible that the United States would take on this task, but the chances for its success would be extremely small. Far more likely, the American people would turn first to counter the expansion of Japan in the Pacific.

Meanwhile Germany could consolidate its empire, bring subject nations into an economic union, and grow more powerful economically, militarily, and politically every day. Before long, the world would become accustomed to the new German Empire and insist on a return to normal international trade.”

And Alexander is just getting started — that’s like chapter 1. This is a great read, perfect for fans of COH, and the battle maps are even understandable.

You can get it easily and cheaply on Amazon.com, so if you want to, go ahead and buy through the Rifles Ready! Store — it costs you nothing extra and Amazon gives us a referral bonus — the perfect way to support your favorite COH blog.

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5 Responses to Review: How Hitler Could Have Won World War II

  1. rapba says:

    Let’s be happy it did not come this way…
    Although I think Germany was quite far from the atomic bomb. There was some very strange testing going on, but it’s all controversialyy disputed,

  2. It’s fascinating to think what we might have done with the bomb against Fortress Europe if the scenario outlined did happen.

  3. Logabob says:

    Fascinating? Or horrifying?

    I must say, I’m really interested in checking this out now.

    The allies would need to do some crazy ninja-decapping to reclaim the suez canal.

  4. jodonnell says:

    I’ve been reading Jeff Shaara’s historical fiction on WW2 (The Rising Tide, on the African theater, and now The Steel Wave, on Overlord) and it really strikes you how close things could have been. It’s easy to see how we won now, but in the middle of the war, there were no foregone conclusions; and just like today, generals had to deal with not only the enemy, but also the media and the perceptions and attitudes they created (sometimes irresponsibly) back home. Fantastic books; highly recommended.

    We’re lucky that Hitler was a lunatic psychopath, because if he had listened to his generals and allowed the ground forces to finish the job at Dunkirk (Goring told him the Luftwaffe would be sufficient,) or if he did not arbitrarily cancel Operation Sea Lion, or if he allocated sufficient supplies to Rommel in Africa (to allow him to destroy the British at El Alamein before Monty could prepare his forces,) or if he had not wasted his entire army on a suicidal war against Russia, things would have been substantially different.

  5. Encena…

    Hi, Great Post Thanks.:)…

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