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WWII: British Empire Supercharged

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Who would win?

The British Empire (and sooner than 1945)
7
17%
The British Empire (later than 1945)
19
45%
The Axis
16
38%
 
Total votes : 42

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Infected Mushroom
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WWII: British Empire Supercharged

Postby Infected Mushroom » Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:14 pm

Please consider the following hypothetical:

WWII starts just as in the original timeline and France still falls.

However, only the British Empire (no USA, no Soviet Union) opposes the Axis. However, all subjects and citizens of the Empire whether or not in a settler colony are 100 percent loyal to the British Empire, really want and need Britain to win and there are no independence movements whatsoever. In this timeline, Britain can try to literally arm up all of India, all of its African colonies etc with no political considerations whatsoever for dealing with insurrections after. In other words, this is Britain that can and will fight at full power.

Can this British Empire singlehanded win WWII?

Or do they lose? Keep in mind that the Empire can literally summon and arm troops from 1/4 of the entire world and India alone has more population than the whole Axis combined (I think).

Assume that there are no nuclear weapons.

Yes. I say the British can win, though without American and Soviet help, maybe a few years later. In real life the UK had to fight with a hand behind its back because it was concerned about the postwar order but in this case, with all its colonies fully committed, they can bring in a lot more power to the fights.
Last edited by Infected Mushroom on Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Risottia » Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:04 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:Can this British Empire singlehanded win WWII?

Yes.
They control a lot of resources (oil, coal, steel) and have much better capacity than the Nazi-Fascists to control the oceans, not to mention superior technology in radars and C3I.
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Fri Oct 22, 2021 4:13 am

Risottia wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:Can this British Empire singlehanded win WWII?

Yes.
They control a lot of resources (oil, coal, steel) and have much better capacity than the Nazi-Fascists to control the oceans, not to mention superior technology in radars and C3I.


Did they have more oil than USA?

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Picairn
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Postby Picairn » Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:34 am

Win in what sense, exactly? The British Army is inferior to the German Wehrmacht and without American naval supremacy Operation Overlord would have been impossible. Without the Soviets pinning down most of the Axis troops Germany would have had millions more troops and resources to fortify the Atlantic Wall. It's gonna be Dardanelles times 10.

The Battle of the Atlantic also might have played differently. Without the German invasion of the USSR or the US joining the war, the German war machine would have had free reign to continue producing submarines and planes in large numbers for the UK campaign. Mobilizing resources from all corners of the empire would have mattered little if more U-Boats could sink the transport ships. Bombings of London and major industrial/military centers would also have ensued.

British colonies aren't exactly industrial powerhouses like the USSR or the US. It's doubtful how much they could have filled in those two superpowers' shoes.

And that's not mentioning Japan, which would still have invaded British colonies in South East Asia, isolate Australia and New Zealand from the rest of the world, and threaten transport ships from British Asian colonies to the motherland.

And Italy?

Of course, these hypotheticals are stupid. Hitler wanted to destroy the Soviet Union and turn it into Lebensraum for the Germans, it's literally his life goals. And Japan would have bombed Pearl Harbor regardless.
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Postby Kerwa » Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:43 am

Is there some way that the Nazis and the Soviets destroy each other and the rest of us get spared all that shitty Cold War crap? That’s the one I choose.
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Postby Antipatros » Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:50 am

Without the Soviet Union fighting the bulk of the German Army and the US helping in the Atlantic, Africa, and Western Europe, I'm not sure I see the British Empire winning by itself against the Axis. Carrying out an amphibious invasion of Western Europe would be extremely difficult under those conditions.

On the other hands, I also don't see the Axis successfully invading the British Isles. Stalemate, I suppose?

What Uber-Britain really needs to do is win the battle of France, which is doable. The Allies need to convince Belgium that trying to maintain neutrality is a futile exercise, station their armies along the Meuse-Albert Canal line once Germany invades Poland, and maintain a strong strategic reserve.

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Postby Picairn » Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:51 am

Come to think of it, if you played Hearts of Iron 4 and gave Britain the "US industrial capability" mod, maybe it could have won WW2 alone.
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Postby Page » Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:44 am

Depends on if Barbarossa still happens. If it does, then of course British Empire will win the war because they did hold out alone up until the Nazis made the mistake of throwing their men into the Soviet meat grinder.

If, on the other hand, Hitler absolutely forsakes his eastern ambitions and dedicates the entirety of his military strength to Sea Lion, the British Empire is in big damn trouble, because if the home islands fall, the colonies aren't going to keep fighting the war.
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Postby Heloin » Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:53 am

Like just about every alt history scenario for WW2, Germany loses.

Infected Mushroom wrote:
Risottia wrote:Yes.
They control a lot of resources (oil, coal, steel) and have much better capacity than the Nazi-Fascists to control the oceans, not to mention superior technology in radars and C3I.


Did they have more oil than USA?

Not relevant.
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Postby Heloin » Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:54 am

Page wrote:Depends on if Barbarossa still happens. If it does, then of course British Empire will win the war because they did hold out alone up until the Nazis made the mistake of throwing their men into the Soviet meat grinder.

If, on the other hand, Hitler absolutely forsakes his eastern ambitions and dedicates the entirety of his military strength to Sea Lion, the British Empire is in big damn trouble, because if the home islands fall, the colonies aren't going to keep fighting the war.

Sea Lion never had a chance of success assuming the British don’t surrender if the germans take the Isle of Wight or some shit.
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Postby Thermodolia » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:03 am

Page wrote:Depends on if Barbarossa still happens. If it does, then of course British Empire will win the war because they did hold out alone up until the Nazis made the mistake of throwing their men into the Soviet meat grinder.

If, on the other hand, Hitler absolutely forsakes his eastern ambitions and dedicates the entirety of his military strength to Sea Lion, the British Empire is in big damn trouble, because if the home islands fall, the colonies aren't going to keep fighting the war.

Sea Lion was never going to happen because the Royal Navy. The Brits would but everything between them and the Nazis in that channel
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Postby Thermodolia » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:06 am

If it’s just Britain against the Axis I don’t see either winning but a new Cold War developing. This war would end in another stalemate.

However it’s impossible that it would occur as the Nazis would have to not exist
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Postby The New California Republic » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:06 am

Heloin wrote:Sea Lion never had a chance of success assuming the British don’t surrender if the germans take the Isle of Wight or some shit.

What are you basing this on?
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Postby The New California Republic » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:09 am

Thermodolia wrote:
Page wrote:Depends on if Barbarossa still happens. If it does, then of course British Empire will win the war because they did hold out alone up until the Nazis made the mistake of throwing their men into the Soviet meat grinder.

If, on the other hand, Hitler absolutely forsakes his eastern ambitions and dedicates the entirety of his military strength to Sea Lion, the British Empire is in big damn trouble, because if the home islands fall, the colonies aren't going to keep fighting the war.

Sea Lion was never going to happen because the Royal Navy. The Brits would but everything between them and the Nazis in that channel

If anything it was the RAF that stopped Sea Lion. The Nazis had every intent of crossing as soon as the RAF was destroyed.
Last edited by Sigmund Freud on Sat Sep 23, 1939 2:23 am, edited 999 times in total.

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Postby Perikuresu » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:11 am

The New California Republic wrote:
Thermodolia wrote:Sea Lion was never going to happen because the Royal Navy. The Brits would but everything between them and the Nazis in that channel

If anything it was the RAF that stopped Sea Lion. The Nazis had every intent of crossing as soon as the RAF was destroyed.

Sure, the Germans might've taken over the English airspace if the RAF was destroyed, but Britannia still rules the sea, so if Sealion happens, the Royal Navy would just
1. Absolutely destroy the German Navy
2. Just isolate the invading Germans on Britain by cutting off their routes to Europe and wait until they slowly starve to death.
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Postby Perikuresu » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:14 am

I'd say it's either yes or a stalemate, with the Axis having the lower ground except in continental Europe and Asia Pacific.

They would have the resources and manpower of 1/4 of the world, although the Axis would have one target to deal with, and these colonies aren't industrialised powerhouses like the US or the USSR.

(Although if they did win the war with the Axis, I wonder what territories they would colonise)
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Postby Heloin » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:15 am

The New California Republic wrote:
Heloin wrote:Sea Lion never had a chance of success assuming the British don’t surrender if the germans take the Isle of Wight or some shit.

What are you basing this on?

The reality of supplying the needed men and materials over the channel, the lack of any german ability to actually move enough men and supply over the channel, British success in the air making over channel suppling even more impossible, and the Royal Navy which out classed anything Germany could bring to bear. The best Germany could hope for was to land a few thousand soldiers in England who’d immediately be cut off from mainland Europe. Like all alternate history the success of Sea Lion is a pure fiction that relies on reality shifting to create the one perfect scenario were the Germans had a chance.
Last edited by Heloin on Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Perikuresu » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:20 am

Heloin wrote:
The New California Republic wrote:What are you basing this on?

The reality of supplying the needed men and materials over the channel, the lack of any german ability to actually move enough men and supply over the channel, British success in the air making over channel suppling even more impossible, and the Royal Navy which out classed anything Germany could bring to bear. The best Germany could hope for was to land a few thousand soldiers in England who’d immediately be cut off from mainland Europe. Like all alternate history the success of Sea Lion is a pure fiction that relies on reality shifting to create the one perfect scenario were the Germans had a chance.

The only way for Operation Sealion to succeed is to eat a funny bright red mooshroom steak and have it in your dreams, where the German army got buffed until it was the rl version of Greninja in SSB4, then obliterate the RAF, land a force of a few thousand soldiers on Britain, and collaborate with the British Fascists, Celtic Nationalists and that King that abdicated to marry an American widow (even though he got sent to become the Governor of the Bahamas) to start an uprising and civil war in Britain, and then have Ireland join the axis to get Northern Ireland, send a force from Norway to take Iceland, Faroe, the Orkneys and Shetlands Islands and invade down Scooterland.
Last edited by Perikuresu on Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The New California Republic » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:22 am

Heloin wrote:
The New California Republic wrote:What are you basing this on?

The reality of supplying the needed men and materials over the channel, the lack of any german ability to actually move enough men and supply over the channel

They were building landing craft and pressing various boats and ships into war service, if push came to shove they could have landed and paradropped significant men and material.

Heloin wrote:British success in the air making over channel suppling even more impossible

I'm aware. I was working off the assumption that the preconditions had been satisfied.

Heloin wrote:and the Royal Navy which out classed anything Germany could bring to bear.

Yes, but all the Nazis needed to do was create a corridor. S-boats and U-boats and air cover could do that.

Heloin wrote:
The best Germany could hope for was to land a few thousand soldiers in England who’d immediately be cut off from mainland Europe. Like all alternate history the success of Sea Lion is a pure fiction that relies on reality shifting to create the one perfect scenario were the Germans had a chance.

No, just the destruction of the RAF, one single difference, as that was the only precondition the Nazis had for invading, so if we are assuming the invasion is going ahead then we can assume that condition has been met.
Last edited by Sigmund Freud on Sat Sep 23, 1939 2:23 am, edited 999 times in total.

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Postby Unstoppable Empire of Doom » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:25 am

No ships for bases? No lend lease? Britain is starved out of the war in 41. The total loyalty of all colonies do mean that the world continues fighting but without British, US, or Soviet industrial might they find themselves riding semple tanks and shooting hope.

What about China btw? The only major non axis power you allowed to remain.
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Postby Kannap » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:27 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:Please consider the following hypothetical:

WWII starts just as in the original timeline and France still falls.

However, only the British Empire (no USA, no Soviet Union) opposes the Axis. However, all subjects and citizens of the Empire whether or not in a settler colony are 100 percent loyal to the British Empire, really want and need Britain to win and there are no independence movements whatsoever. In this timeline, Britain can try to literally arm up all of India, all of its African colonies etc with no political considerations whatsoever for dealing with insurrections after. In other words, this is Britain that can and will fight at full power.

Can this British Empire singlehanded win WWII?

Or do they lose? Keep in mind that the Empire can literally summon and arm troops from 1/4 of the entire world and India alone has more population than the whole Axis combined (I think).

Assume that there are no nuclear weapons.

Yes. I say the British can win, though without American and Soviet help, maybe a few years later. In real life the UK had to fight with a hand behind its back because it was concerned about the postwar order but in this case, with all its colonies fully committed, they can bring in a lot more power to the fights.


Without the United States, probably - assuming a much later end to the Pacific War via British and Soviet invasions.

Without the Soviet Union, probably not. The German invasion of the Soviet Union was the last nail in the coffin of the Nazi Reich, Hitler overextended his armies and allowed his emotions to get the best of him to force his soldiers to fight in the winter and make stupid moves that allowed the Soviets to - post-winter - surround and force the surrender of entire armies. Not to mention the Soviets still managed to win the war and beat the rest of the allies to Berlin in spite of receiving the worst of fighting against the Nazis.

In this hypothetical you're suggesting Britain goes it alone. Without the United States, without the Soviet Union. With all her European allies lost to the enemy. Magically without her subjects getting rebellious. Employing a Soviet-style "overwhelm them with numbers" approach? I don't see it working.

With the Soviet Union and United States 100% guaranteed to stay out of the fight in this scenario, the Axis powers can focus their sights entirely on the British Empire. Japan - without having to worry about the United States fighting them - can continue with their plans to invade India and Australia + New Zealand after their sweep through Malaysia and the Dutch East Indies. We can assume fighting in these countries would be similar to the fighting in Malaysia and the Dutch East Indies: The Japanese, with greater naval and air strength in the region and with better trained troops would knock the more rapidly conscripted, untrained Aussie/Indian troops. The British, like IRL, would likely focus their trained British servicemen in defending the homeland while sending untrained colonial conscripts to the Japanese theater. IRL, the main thing that stopped Japan from conquering Australia and India was the United States navy approaching their rear flank. Naval forces dispatched to assist invasions of Australia and India were pulled back towards the Pacific to fight the U.S. naval forces. You've removed Japan's big enemy/weakness.

Likewise in Europe, Germany - and to a lesser extent, the underbelly of Europe - Italy - would be able to focus entirely on an invasion of the rest of Africa and the Middle East: British and Free French possessions held there, as well as the British homeland. Guaranteeing the Soviet Union refrains from the fight means 100% of the German war effort can be spent fighting the British, and the German war machine outranks the British on nearly all fronts. Britain has a stronger navy and more numbers if she's taking a Soviet-style approach of throwing untrained conscripts at the enemy to overwhelm them with numbers. If Hitler could focus the Luftwaffe at max power at the British Isles and could continue attacking RAF bases - leaving the RAF virtually useless - instead of switching his attacks entirely to London and other civilian cities, it would be likely that an invasion of the British Isles could eventually work. If nothing else, the Germans would be able to prevent British invasions of Europe like D-Day or the invasion of Sicily. Possibly until Japanese naval forces could be sent to assist in an invasion of Britain.

Basically you've removed the biggest weakness the Axis Powers had: Overwhelming themselves with enemies and opening their war on multiple fronts. Yeah, the Axis Powers are going to stand a much better chance when they're only fighting one major enemy.
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Postby Kannap » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:31 am

Heloin wrote:Like just about every alt history scenario for WW2, Germany loses.


Even if Hitler defeats the British, all empires come crumbling down. Hitler dies - his higher up followers at the time of his death split the empire into pieces among them in disagreement over who should take Hitler's place. Fighting ensues between them while uprisings happen underneath them. Eventually the United States and Soviets step in as opportunists to help the rebels, setting up quasi puppet empires and a cold war begins
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Postby Kannap » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:34 am

The New California Republic wrote:
Thermodolia wrote:Sea Lion was never going to happen because the Royal Navy. The Brits would but everything between them and the Nazis in that channel

If anything it was the RAF that stopped Sea Lion. The Nazis had every intent of crossing as soon as the RAF was destroyed.


Hitler's silly decisions at it again, tbf. The Luftwaffe had rendered the RAF largely incapacitated but the RAF managed an inconsequential bombing on Berlin that angered Hitler and he changed his sights on London and British cities in retaliation. The concentration on cities allowed the RAF to recuperate and fight back.
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Postby Heloin » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:38 am

The New California Republic wrote:
Heloin wrote:The reality of supplying the needed men and materials over the channel, the lack of any german ability to actually move enough men and supply over the channel

They were building landing craft and pressing various boats and ships into war service, if push came to shove they could have landed and paradropped significant men and material.

I laughed a bit too hard at paradropped. Airborne infantry is generally the worst option available, the Germans determined from the Battle of Crete that while it can work it’s so rarely worth it. The success of airborne in Normandy with the allies was mostly do to how much the airborne landing fucked up creating chaos behind German lines, the allies would determine after market garden that it really is almost never worth it to use airborne as anything other then ground infantry.

Heloin wrote:British success in the air making over channel suppling even more impossible

I'm aware. I was working off the assumption that the preconditions had been satisfied.

That would not have changed enough.

Heloin wrote:and the Royal Navy which out classed anything Germany could bring to bear.

Yes, but all the Nazis needed to do was create a corridor. S-boats and U-boats and air cover could do that.

No, they couldn’t. Allow for a brief landing maybe, but the channel spent the war firmly under British control for more reasons then just the RAF.

Heloin wrote:
The best Germany could hope for was to land a few thousand soldiers in England who’d immediately be cut off from mainland Europe. Like all alternate history the success of Sea Lion is a pure fiction that relies on reality shifting to create the one perfect scenario were the Germans had a chance.

No, just the destruction of the RAF, one single difference, as that was the only precondition the Nazis had for invading, so if we are assuming the invasion is going ahead then we can assume that condition has been met.
[/quote]
Sea Lion had no chance of ever succeeding. If the RAF was crushed then the Germans would be able to cross a relatively small number of men who would be slaughtered. If they survived the channel would still become to much of a death trap with the Luftwaffe and the Royal Navy that supplies would make Stalingrad look well feed. The best case scenario for Germany is thousands of Germans dead in England.
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The New California Republic
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Postby The New California Republic » Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:39 am

Kannap wrote:
The New California Republic wrote:If anything it was the RAF that stopped Sea Lion. The Nazis had every intent of crossing as soon as the RAF was destroyed.


Hitler's silly decisions at it again, tbf. The Luftwaffe had rendered the RAF largely incapacitated but the RAF managed an inconsequential bombing on Berlin that angered Hitler and he changed his sights on London and British cities in retaliation. The concentration on cities allowed the RAF to recuperate and fight back.

Yes, but the Nazis were unaware of that, as their intelligence operations in the UK had been utterly decimated.
Last edited by Sigmund Freud on Sat Sep 23, 1939 2:23 am, edited 999 times in total.

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