The Second World War was by far the bloodiest and the most destructive conflict in human history. In no other time in history have humanity faced such vicious atrocities, cruelty and total economic downfall as it was in World War II.
It is estimated that more than 50 million people were killed during the course of the war within only 6 years. Most of the fatalities were in Europe and North Africa. Apart from the combatants, millions of innocent civilians, me, women and children alike suffered enormously at the hands of every war participant. It is a war that could be described as a war that doesn’t have any winners but survivors.
The Course Of World War II
As we are going to “imagine” what would have happened if Hitler or the Nazis won the war, in reality, they lost it.
To give a brief summary of the war, the war broke out in 1939 after Germany invaded Poland after violating numerous treaties and pacts which were imposed upon them after World War I. As the Nazis invaded Poland, Britain, and France declared war on Germany. The European front of the second world war was officially open after this even.
See also: Map of Europe in 1914
Map Of Axis Invasion Of Poland in 1939
Japanese Attack On Pearl Harbor 1941
The United States of America entered the war after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in 1941, and marked the beginning of the Pacific front of the war and quickly the war stretched from Europe to Pacific and into Asia as well.
After almost 6 years since the beginning and after countless deaths of both soldiers and civilians, the European front of the war ended in 1945 with the surrender of the Nazis and the suicide of Adolf Hitler. 2 months later, USA would use the most devastating weapon ever used in human history, the Atomic Bomb. Two atomic bombs completely destroyed and annihilated the population in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. After witnessing the cataclysm, the war had brought upon their country and people, Japan surrendered in August 1945, effectively ending the second world war.
What If Hitler Won The War?
Things would have been much different if Hitler had won. The Axis victory over the allies would have meant a complete change in global politics and economies.
First of all, Democracy and free trade would have been abolished. The Nazis adamantly believed in an authoritarian and fascist regime commanded by a single strong individual as the central focus of power centralization. And free trade and commerce were discouraged in Nazi Germany and they were strictly regulated by the government.
Nazis considered themselves as the “most superior” race in the world, deeming other people, races, nationalities, and ethnicities inferior. Nazis views of Jewish people were the same and during wartime, as many as 6 million Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis. This period was known as the “Holocaust” and such brutalities would have been continued if Hitler had won the war.
Entire Europe would have fallen under Germany. And the victory over the Soviet Union would have provided Germany with abundant resources to mobilize for further military campaigns. Especially, to fight against the United States and the rest of the remaining colonies and occupied areas of the British and French empires.
Moreover, Hitler and the Nazi party always planned towards the expansion of the Germanys’ national border and to include Poland, Austria, Hungary and resource-rich large parts of Eastern Europe under its territory.
If Hitler had won, apart from Germany and the European front, the entire history of Asia and the Pacific would have changed dramatically as well. Axis Victory in Europe would have meant that the Japanese forces fighting in Asia and the Pacific would have got a clear advantage over the USA and the allies. With the Nazi victory in Europe, United States would have been left alone to fight the war on its own and in such a scenario, eventually, they’d have to negotiate for peace or end defeated and surrendered to Axis powers.
Moreover, as the British Empire was the largest at the time and held nearly one fourth or a quarter of the world under its dominion, the surrender of the mainland Britain would have eventually driven the territories held by Britain to surrender to Germany as well because, without the support, administration and the management aid from Britain, the colonies would have not lasted long on their own.
Nazi Germany At Its Height
At its highest expansion during the second world war, Nazi Germany was stretched a staggering 3.6 million square kilometers from France and North Africa towards the Volga River in the Soviet Union (modern Ukraine). Almost all the states in Eastern Europe were either allies or the puppet states of Nazi Germany.
What Would The World Be Like If The Nazis Won?
We have mentioned almost everything that could have happened if the Nazis won the war. So, here is a brief summary of the political and ideological changes that would have happened.
- No more democracy: The world would have been under a totalitarian rule where freedom of speech, media freedom and human rights are disregarded.
- The “Injustice System”: The judiciary systems employed by the Axis powers could not be “Fair”, “Unbiased” or “Equal” to every person and citizen. Discrimination based on ethnicity, nationality, and race would have been plenty under the Axis rule.
- A “Global” Holocaust: in the real scenario, only Europe witnessed the inhuman purge of humans on a mass scale. Concentration camps like Auschwitz, which were used to kill hundreds of thousands of Jewish people and other peoples who Nazis viewed as “inferior” would have built all around the world to annihilate many individuals and groups that stand out against the Nazi regime.
- Development of new technologies and military application of such technologies: long before allies even think of, the Nazis were experimenting on new technologies such as long-range missiles, submarines and long-distance telecommunication and more!
In a world under Nazis, the latest technologies like these would have been improved to an even more advanced level and would have used to apply to achieve destructive military purposes.
Axis Victory Map
The following is an imaginary, fictional map of how the world could have been if the Axis victory was ensured in the second world war.
Did Hitler Really Have a Chance At Winning World War II?
To answer this, let’s do a quick review of the facts.
- Availability of Resources and the landmass: At the time, Nazi Germany was only 633,786 km2. However, all the allied nations were far much bigger than Germany and had more access to war-time resources such as Steel, Crude Oil, Wood, Minerals, etc.
- USA: Approximately 8 million square kilometers.
- British Empire: more than 33 million square kilometers.
- Soviet Russia: more than 22 square kilometers.
- Population and availability of manpower: Germany was outnumbered even in terms of available manpower and population against its allies. Although Germany’s 70 million population was far bigger than the UK (46 million) or France (41) million,
- The British empire population was 450 million strong,
- Russia’s population was nearly 170 million,
- The USA’s population was nearly 130 million.
Wartime GDP – Axis vs Allies
Economy and the war-time production capacity: Germany’s GDP was several times smaller than the economies of the allied nations. German economy in 1939 was roughly $384 billion.
In addition, Germany did not put many resources into “Total War Production Economy” until the very end of the war, 1944. However, allies, especially the USA and Russia shifted much of their resources to wartime production much earlier, giving them a clear advantage over the Nazis.
However, there are clearly several strategic mistakes Hitler and the Nazis made that if prevented, could have given them the upper hand of the war. They are,
- Declaring war on Russia and going to direct war with them.
- Declaring war on the USA, which did not enter the war until 1941.
- Starting the war too early, the German Army was massive. Yet their naval power and the Luftwaffe’s air power was significantly weaker than allied powers.
- Mass execution of local populations in occupied areas. This led to unrests and increased partisan attacks in many occupied territories and the German army had to deal with them as well, apart from the war.
- Hitler’s arrogance and over-confidence: If Hitler had let the Field Marshals, Army Generals, and Commanders take main decisions and fight the war, there was a much chance that Nazi’s could have won as they had many strategic commanders. (i.e.: Field Marshal Erwin Rommel)
- The weak spy system and the coding system: if the German intelligence was much stronger and stable, Nazis might have had a chance. The British and American intelligence agencies had infiltrated the German spy networks and harnessing vital information and Germany had no idea of it. And the “Enigma” code, the encrypted message code system (Cypher) employed by the Germans were broken by the British and made German military movements more vulnerable and predictable.
To summarize, the Nazis could have won, if they did not make many strategical mistakes and had war from all fronts. But still, it would have been extremely difficult as economic, resource and military conditions at the time were strictly against them.