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Hypothetical War: Nazi Germany vs Imperial Japan

  1. Mar 26, 2009 #1
    Who'd win in the quest for World Domination? Assume that they are only two powers in the world.

    On a side note, it's interesting that these once 2 formidable enemies of America are today by it's side as staunch allies brothers in blood... with world class technology and that they make top cars. :!!)
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2009 #2


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    If you're referring to WWII standards, I'd have to side with Germany. They had some of the best engineers in the world, with magnificent weapons systems. The Japanese had somewhat more dedicated soldiers, and a lot more of them, but the technology was weaker. (Although the Zero was one hell of an aeroplane.)
  4. Mar 26, 2009 #3
    I agree, the best plane in the world is the Kamikaze plane... vrrrrroooom bang!

    Seriously though, even today I think Germany's technology is still slightly ahead of Japan.. take a look at their cars for example: Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Maybach are light years ahead of Honda, Toyota, etc.
  5. Mar 26, 2009 #4


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    I can't comment too much about the car thing; I'm strictly Detroit iron. (Well, my favourite girl was born in Windsor, which is on my side of the border, but we still use that terminology for her.) '72 GTX Roadrunner with a 650+hp 440. Everyday vehicle is a '76 El Camino frame-stacked on a '74 Jimmy chassis with a '76 455 Olds Rocket engine. I just can't get into the rice-rocket scene.
  6. Mar 26, 2009 #5
    You can try it out and find out for yourself... ;-p
  7. Mar 26, 2009 #6
    Ummm.........no, not even close.

    Anyway, Germany would have won hands down. If we would have waited 3 more months to invade they probably would have defeated the US. Their A-bomb, jet fighters, and V2 rockets were all rather close to completion.
  8. Mar 26, 2009 #7
    Needless to mention their death grip on the naval battles with their submarines. If Germany did not go into Russia I suspect that the world would be a sehr different place now.
  9. Mar 26, 2009 #8
    But if they didn't go into Russia, how would they get to the Japanese?
  10. Mar 26, 2009 #9
    Dig a tunnel.
  11. Mar 26, 2009 #10


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    It isn't really a reasonable question since the two are so mismatched in capabilities that there wasn't really any chance of that kind of thing happening.

    Japan is an island country and had a massive navy and no army to speak of, so they had no capacity to invade anything of substantial landmass besides backwards China.

    Germany had the army to take a lot of land, but no navy to speak of and no possibility of crossing any body of water Japan would have cared to protect.
  12. Mar 26, 2009 #11
    Not really, when the allies occupied Haicherloch in 1945 they found the nuclear reactor of Werner Heisenberg in the "atom keller". That's just about it, no more. http://www.undercover-game.de/PC/contentHintergrund.swf.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  13. Mar 26, 2009 #12
    It would be easy to say Nazi Germany
    their military technological edge was markedly superior to the Japanese.
    Their best piston-engined fighters would have run right through the best of the Japanese; the late-war USN fighters worked out the Jap fighters ace card, the Germans would have too.
    I've not even started on the Germans' lead in turbo-jet development.
    Land forces, well, the Germans had their own dedicated soldiers in the Waffen SS but let's not forget the Wehrmacht were a well-trained, well-equipped and well motivated army too. You could describe the lead that German armour had but it's quicker (and just as accurate) to say that Japanese armour was a joke.
    I think the Japanese could have given the Germans a bigger problem at sea but who wouldn't want a ringside seat at the Yamato vs Bismarck? The Germans were a real threat to everyone with their U-Boats and this would in turn have caused the Japanese a big problem; I doubt they would have had the capability at the time to eventually overcome the problem and this would hurt them, they NEED to ship everything in to support their war effort.
    As a lead-on from that, neither country had the natural resources to conduct a large-scale, even global war; Germany's advantage here was that resources lay within terrestrial reach (albeit in other countries) but the Japanese would not only have to find them but ship them across the Japan Sea under constant harrassment from U-Boats.
    The problem with the answer is how either side finishes the job. Either Germany is sitting in Manchuria looking across the Japan Sea or Japan is sitting on some European border looking at Germany; either way it's not easy to dismiss the fact that they've either conquered or at least upset the natives in order to do that.
    There's also the inevitable numbers game, it's hard to see how either side could sustain the awful casualties required for end-game. I'll give it to Germany, on account that a break-out would be easier in the direction of natural resources (crude oil, most likely) across land than it would be for the Japanese, across a waterway. The Germans could use strategic bombing and ring-fence the home islands with U-Boats to starve the Japanese into surrender, or whatever the Japanese decided to do, once they realised the jig was up.
  14. Mar 26, 2009 #13
    You'd have to specify what such a war entails as well as how you would define victory. The two countries had no way of directly confronting one another and would have had to use proxy wars or else have limited warfare in, say the Middle East. Japan had no possibility of forward naval bases beyond Suez for perhaps decades and Germany had no transport or supply capable of sustaining the Wehrmacht past the Urals or Suez again. A reasonable scenario would be that Germany develops ICBMs and nukes by the late 50s and simply annihilates Japan.
  15. Mar 26, 2009 #14


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    For every post after the quoted one, cudos for excellent analyses of the problem. Colin, are you a historian or just someone interested in the subject?
  16. Mar 26, 2009 #15
    If Germany didn't go to USSR, then the Japanese would. Remember, the Japanese defeated Soviets numerous times in the soviet-japanese wars.

    Germany would have defeated USSR if it wasn't for America and Britain carpet bombing their homeland, cutting off supplies and economics. And also because of the fierce Russian snowstorm that protected them that month of invasion. Still, Russia lost 10x more soldiers than the Germans during the battle, which just goes to show the German's efficiency.
  17. Mar 27, 2009 #16
    My money would be on the Germans by a landslide. The Wehrmacht was a very effective army, however it was stargicly mismanaged. Having to fight a war on two then three fronts is what killed the German armed forces in WWII.

    Look at the Battle of the Bulge in the last part of the war, if Hitler hadn't of instead on continuing the offensive and listen to his generals the allies would of had suffered a very major defeat. However because of ego, and some luck the allies were able to win that offensive, and use the momentum to finish the war.
  18. Mar 27, 2009 #17
    I think a major issue is who would have been on whose side? The US would have been quite difficult for Germany to attack. With Japan threatening the US interests in the Pacific and US isolationist sentiments pre-Pearl Harbour the US may have agreed to leave Germany to its devices in Europe and go straight for Japan. Roosevelt would have had trouble maintaining assistence for England if the US was at war with Japan and Japan was at war with Germany.

    Russia may have sided with Japan to keep them off their backs while they had to deal with Germany.

    Does any one know any good WWII historical or alternate history fiction? The Man in the Highcastle is the only I know of.
  19. Mar 27, 2009 #18


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    Remember that the US was selling arms to Germany up until Hitler declared war on them the day after the Pearl Harbour attack.
    One of my favourite hard SF writers, James P. Hogan, produced one entitled 'The Proteus Operation'. It is frighteningly cool. The story revolves around a special ops team from California in a reality where the Nazis won. They time-travel back, with the aid of Churchill and Einstein, and do their commando ****. It doesn't go quite according to plan, which results in our current reality.
  20. Mar 27, 2009 #19
    If Germany won would it mean that Japan came second?
  21. Mar 27, 2009 #20
    Now that sounds cool.
    I remembered one other WWII book I read. It was called They Used Dark Forces by Dennis Wheatley. Very cheesy but sort of entertaining in that old pulp spy thriller sort of way.
  22. Mar 27, 2009 #21
    Most carpet bombing prior to 1944 was in France and the Ruhr Valley. Stalingrad and Kursk were won by the Russians alone, albeit with substantial American lend-lease supplies.

    Harris and LeMay convinced much of the world (even poor Leigh-Mallory) that punitive bombing was effective. Many think the jury is still out.
  23. Mar 27, 2009 #22


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    I would agree with Russ here , the OP's question isn't realistic at all. Anyways to continue on with the " fun " here ... Germany made an error when it betrayed its agreement with Russia in a fashion similar with Napoleon , however despite their impressive technology Germany wasn't strategic as Japan. Japan dealt with numerous issues and all of them were for sole the purpose of securing China

    1) Russia

    2) China

    3) English crown colonies

    4) Korea

    5) Australia

    6) eventually the US

    7) A little bit of Canadian involvement

    1-5 was taken.

    Consider how despicable both of these nations were in that their approaches were similar -
    keyword here is " Kahn " .
  24. Mar 27, 2009 #23


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    Fatherland by Robert Harris got turned into a move by HBO, if I recall correctly. That was where D-Day failed miserably and an armistice was reached. After a detente, Hitler's trying to cover up his dirty little secret (the Holocaust).

    A Damned Fine War by Bill Yenne is about a Soviet betrayal immediately after WW2, and their push to communize all of continental europe. Patton is the central figure in this one.

    Fox on the Rhein and the follow-up Fox at the Front by Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson follow the successful execution of the July 20 Plot (i.e. assassination of Hitler), and ascendancy of Himmler. As the name suggests, Erwin Rommel plays a central part in this one.

    I found the latter two to be highly entertaining (just saw the movie for the first one). The great (and scary) thing about Amazon is that when you type in a title, you get others in the same genre. I hadn't read Dobson's Macarthur's War or Robert Conroy's 1945 but they're probably decent given the other stuff they've wrote.

    Harry Turtledove's World War series (starts with In the Balance: An Alternate History of the Second World War) is about the ultimate Deus Ex Machina during World War II: Alien Invasion! Entertaining, but the entire series (broken into three time periods each separated by 20ish years) is something like 12 volumes.
  25. Mar 27, 2009 #24
    And, of course, as a reference it's always worth remembering that Japan and Germany were at war with one another during World War I. There was very little they could do to one another except for a few German Islands and the Indian Ocean shipping lanes.
  26. Mar 27, 2009 #25
    In 1944
    as opposed to what? I don't think B-17s were choosing which chimney stack they were going to pop their bomb down and capturing it on all-angle video for CNN back home.

    40s strategic bombing had massive associated collateral, usually in terms of civilians but that was the level of technology available and I doubt the others outside of the 'many' would question LeMay's or Harris's desire to kick the enemy in the teeth.

    Strategic bombing disrupted armament manufacture, dispersing it and causing new problems, lines of communication and tied up vast quantities of Axis resources including troops, AAA, fighters and precious fuel. In December 44, the Luftwaffe lost around 550 pilots (and their aircraft), eroding their fighting effectiveness; taking on the bomber streams was bleeding the Luftwaffe to death.

    Punitive bombing, if you want to call it that, shortened the war. It's because of them that the tutters and tongue-clickers can have their little juries in the first place.
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