How Close Was Germany to Winning WW2?

“Every rise has a fall” isn’t just a proverb; instead, it’s a universal fact. Power and authority were the two main factors that led Hitler to expand and invade Europe.

We all know what happened to the entire occupation mission initiated by Germany; however, one may wonder how close was Germany to winning WW2. The initial triumphs were quite promising when Germany defeated France in 1940 and Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941.

The tables turned the other way around as the war prolonged. So let’s discuss an alternative history in which Nazi Germany wins WW2 by looking at battles from a different viewpoint.

How Close Germany Came to Winning WW2?

Let’s have a quick recap of the factors that led to WW2 before discussing how close Germany was to winning WW2.

First, resentment rose in the German population due to unjust and harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Furthermore, despite the alliance band mentioned in the Treaty, many countries, including Germany, overlooked the clause and occupied more land.

The early victories of Germany and Japan shook the opponents, posing a valid threat. However, both countries failed to strike when the iron was hot. All they needed was one massive blow, and they could have won WW2.

Conversely, some historians think that the initial triumphs were flawed. In 1940, the battle of France dragged on for six weeks. Later, around 400,000 allied troops were stranded at the French seaport of Dunkirk.

However, the allies were victorious in evacuating more than 330,000 troops back to Britain. Unfortunately, the Germans weren’t even aware of the total number of evacuated forces until after the incident.

Similarly, Japan failed to destroy the American carrier force, which wasn’t present on Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack.

As a result, Germany and Japan indulged in long-term war, in which Germany was fighting on multiple fronts with a weak ally, Italy.

War on Two Fronts

Germany should have learned the lesson from WWI of not fighting on two fronts with Britain and Russia.

During the first three years of World War 2, the Germans were fighting with Britain. However, they extended Axis forces on the defensive side after the bloodiest Battle of Stalingrad. The German troops surrendered on January 31, 1943, due to severe winter and shortage of food and medicines.

How Close Was Germany to Winning WW2?

Later, the Soviet soldiers advanced on the Eastern front.

British and American forces defeated the Germans and Italian in 1943 in North Africa. At the same time, the Western Allies invaded Sicily as well as southern Italy, leading to the ultimate fall of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s government in July 1943.

The allies celebrated the Grand D-Day on June 6, 1944, after landing 156,000 British, American, and Canadian soldiers in Normandy, France. As a response, Hitler deployed the rest of its remaining forces into Western Europe, which did nothing good but only harm to Germany.

The victory gave confidence to the British forces, who then opened a Western front to liberate Western Europe from Germany. Once they gained a firm footing in northern France, the troops later liberated Paris, followed by Brussels within two weeks.

Battle of the Bulge

Germany was surrounded on both sides by Soviet troops and Western troops. The Soviet forces advanced into Hungary, Romania, Poland, while the Western forces kept coming eastward.

Battle of the Bulge

Being sandwiched between the two, Germany had no other option but to fight a two-front war with limited resources. To make things worse, the desperate Hitler sanctioned a last-ditch winter attack on the Western Front with a hope to split the allied lines.

On December 16, 1944, the Nazi forces initiated a surprise full-force attack along Ardennes forest in Luxembourg and Belgium. Germans could cause a bulge to the allied lines; nonetheless, they couldn’t break it completely even after fighting for six weeks. 

The subzero condition led to soldiers suffering from frostbite, trench foot, and hypothermia to make things worse.

The Battle of the Bulge was the German’s last effort that turned out futile, as the Americans and British soldiers held the ground, even after losing 20,000 men.

German Surrender

German Surrender

After crossing the Rhine river, the Western Allies started firebombing different German cities, including Dresden. As the troops marched towards Berlin, they also liberated the concentration camps of Dachau and Bergen-Belsen.

Berlin

Once Germany was defeated on both fronts, it could see an inevitable defeat. After Hitler committed suicide in 1945, his successor, Grand Admiral Karl Donitz, initiated peace negotiations and signed an unconditional surrender of all German forces on 7th May 1945.

You must be wondering how close did Germany come to winning WW2 if it didn’t surrender. Was there even the slightest possibility of Germany winning the war?

The answer is no. By the time Germany surrendered, Soviet forces had already invaded the majority of the country.

Even if Germany hadn’t surrendered, its ally Japan was under a lot of pressure from the Soviet Union after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

When Japan didn’t surrender after the Hiroshima bombing, the United States launched a more powerful atom bomb attack on Nagasaki three days after the Hiroshima attack. On August 8th, Soviet Union officially declared war on Japan. At this point, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito finally decided to surrender.

WW2 consequently ended on September 2, when US General Douglas MacArthur officially accepted Japan’s surrender, bringing an end to 2,194 days of a deadly war that changed the course of the entire world.

Germany Wins WW2 Alternate History

Many historians believe that the nations that make the least mistakes win the war. That’s undoubtedly true. Let’s discuss alternative German strategies in fateful incidents which could have become favorable for Germany, making it close to winning WW2.

Dunkirk – 1940

If Germans hadn’t stopped for three days to reorganize before attacking Dunkirk, they would have crippled the Western allies for good. This way, Britain won’t have enough forces to defend its homeland because of the unrecoverable military loss at Dunkirk. Lastly, Britain would be sitting at a round table to negotiate a peace settlement with Germany. 

Battle of Britain – 1940

Instead of attacking RAF Flight Command, Germans changed their action plan and attacked the civilian population centers. If Germany hadn’t changed its attack strategy at the eleventh hour, they would have successfully invaded Britain by gaining air space control. 

War on America – 1941

As we all know, Germany, Japan, and Italy were part of the Tripartite Pact that prevented the Germans from declaring war on America since Japan was the primary attacker.

However, Hitler being a passionate leader, saw an opportunity to offer aid to Japan and gain their support in return against Europe.

If Germany hadn’t intervened, America would be concentrating on destroying Japan, leaving Britain all alone. This way, Germany would use all its might to fight against Britain’s forces, taking a step closer to winning WW2.

Stalingrad – 1942 – 43

Hitler was determined to hold the Stanlingard city, leading to one of the bloodiest wars that caused around two million Axis casualties. Germans lost most of their valuable equipment, including 10,722 trucks and 12,701 machine guns. If Field Marshal Paulus had escaped Stalingarn on time, Germany wouldn’t have lost its men and equipment.

Equipment And Weaponry

The Germans anticipated that WW2 would be nothing but a minor conflict lasting for a year or two. That’s why they thought of using their state-of-the-art equipment, including Me 109 fighter aircraft, the Panzer III and IV tanks, MP38 machine guns, and Type VII submarine U-boats.

Not only that but the production lines were scaled up to incorporate upgrades and modifications to the previous and existing models. However, as it turned out, manufacturing new models significantly delayed the production time.

If Germany forecasted a more extended war, they would have planned the production of their weapons and Panther tanks sooner than later. The British Valentine Mk2 tanks were not just slow-moving but also inadequately armored. Their two-pounder 37mm guns didn’t have any chance to stand against the mighty long-barrelled 75mm guns of Panther tanks.

Germans focused on using new-generation weapons to win WW2. Conversely, they lost tons of resources, including Me 163 Komet and the 188 ton Maus super tank.

Germany would have been close to winning WW2 if it had used the resources on other promising projects such as the production of Me 262s jet fighters to attack American Bomber formations.

Furthermore, the disposable Panzerfaust 60 didn’t come into full production until September 1944, which would have caused colossal damage on the Russian front in 1943.

WW2 Memorial Products

If you want to train yourself for military training or collect WW2 memorial products, you can buy the SYLPHID Green WW2 German Elite Steel Helmet, designed just like the original. It’s made of steel housing of 0.071 thickness, which is precisely the same as used by the Germans in WW2. Furthermore, it features a solid build with a large housing of size 68 and hollow rive vent holes.

WW2 Memorial Products

If you are enthusiastic about collecting miniatures, the German Squad WW2 Building Blocks are no less than an inspiration. The box comes with eight mini-figures and multiple pieces, including weapons, bricks, barrels, bombs, and more. It allows you to recreate historical WW2 battles using your creativity and imagination.

German Squad WW2

Another great addition to your WW2 collectibles can be the German Design WH SNOWFIELD Embroidered Patch with Military Hook. As the name suggests, it’s a moral embroidered path of 3.0 x 2.3 inches dimensions. It’s a Military clothing accessory perfect for a military kit, backpack, jacket, and clothes.

German Design WH SNOWFIELD Embroidered Patch with Military Hook-min

You can trace the origin of the moral patches back to the WWI fighter plane, where the fighters had their unique moral patches.

Lastly, you can buy the German Design WH SNOWFIELD Embroidered Patch with Military Hook featuring premium-quality Minifigures. These miniatures are made of reused LEGO Minifigures elements with custom accessories; however, they aren’t original LEGO products.

CombatBrick Premium WW2 German African Corps 2 Men Tank Killer Pack-min

Another exciting feature of this Two Men Tank killer pack is that it includes all kinds of weapons, such as rocket launchers, rifles, and much more. This way, you can play with your friends and kids and recreate the WW2 battles.

Is There Any Movie About Germany Winning WW2?

Courtesy of the Amazon Prime Germany wins WW2 movies and series; you can learn many facts about Germany and real-life stories of the soldiers. For instance, you can watch “The Best Years of Our Lives,” a story about a soldier who struggles to adjust to civilian life after WW2.

Moreover, “The Longest Day” is a movie about the D-Day when allied forces marched the beaches of Normandy. If you want to watch the Navy fighting in PT boats in WW2, you can stream “They Were Expendable.”

Closing Words

No matter how close was Germany to winning WW2 or what happened in 1945, the world acknowledges the resilience of Germany and Japan. And how both these nations held out for such a long time.

The German campaign of 1940 in Belgium, Holland, and France were brilliant moves by Hitler, who used Lightning War tactics for rapid attacks.

It would have been a matter of months to bring down the Allied armies and invade Europe. However, as the war proceeded, unforeseen circumstances, delayed tanks and jets production, and short-term war strategies didn’t let Germany stand against Allied forces. 

Related Resources:

Updated: June 27, 2021 — 1:12 pm

The Author

The German Tourists

We are The German Tourists. We love everything about German food, beer and travel. So, why not provide you all the information that we've learned and explored in Germany along the way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *