From: Mosquito Bite, Texas
I too am convinced that the Germans could have won the war. Sure, expecting panzers to reach Vladivostok and Washington DC is far fetched, but I think that if the soviets were stretched to the breaking point a politcal accomodation might have been possible. Given the brutality of the German "liberators," I believe that total and complete surrender was a little out of the question. While it may have been technically possible, I think that the guerrilla war that followed would have tied up vast German resources for a very, very long time. And, I think that Soviet surrender was quite remote anyway, if possible at all.
But, I think that a cessation of major hostilities might have been possible, for at least a few years, with the Germans having "liberated" the Baltic states, and perhaps Ukraine. Perhaps after an armistice of some kind. And yes, I know that Hitler was a nut and would have kept fighting forever to free the world of the "untermensch," but even he was politically cunning enough to believe that he could gobble up major parts of the USSR, call an armistice, take out the Western Allies, and then have another go at the Soviets. Would he? I doubt it, but maybe. After a few years, the Soviets would have recovered, built up a very significant force, and about the time the Western Allies were ready to make their move, I believe that the Soviets might have joined in again. That, I think, could actually have happened had the Germans been more successful.
The point is, though, who the hell knows? We are all speculating. Who would have thought in 1939 that the French would have surrendered, formed a Vichy government, and actually fired on Allied troops a few years later? The people in the forums of the days (the local drinking establishments) would have called someone who suggested that in 1939 an idiot, a fool, not understanding the real world. They would have given him the green button (a physical extraction from the bar).
What the game should provide is for the Germans to have the opportunity to get to a point where the Soviets are "defeated." What that means can be argued. As it is now, it seems that German victory is losing a little less big that they did historically. As we say here in Texas, whoop-de-do. The Germans should also have a reasonable chance to do much better, to hurt the Soviets so badly that the War in the East is "won" by the Germans, so that large numbers of troops can shift to other theatres. If for no other reason that to keep the game fun for those who want to play the German side. Does that mean that they must be able to overrun all of the USSR? Of course not. Just hurt them bad enough that one of the situations I suggest above can result.
I have to say, though, that every restart I do a little better as the Germans (yes, against the AI). I can actually survive the first winter in decent shape and take good ground in 42. But, eventually the Soviets get too strong, I can't sustain my losses, and I start to lose ground. Hopefully I can keep from getting steamrolled, but that seems pretty difficult to avoid. But, I'm getting better. Once I can maximize every element of the game, perhaps what I suggest is possible. We'll see.
Occasionally, and randomly, problems and solutions collide. The probability of these collisions is inversely related to the number of committees working on the solutions. -- Me.