Question No. 2. Could Germany Have Won World War 2?
This is another frequently asked question on World War 2. The answer depends somewhat on the answer to Question No. 1 regarding whether Germany could have successfully invaded and conquered Britain in World War 2. Germany did not have to conquer Britain to win the war but it would have been difficult for them to win without accomplishing that conquest.
One scenario for Germany winning involved a much more aggressive armaments program coupled with a better planned attack on Russia in 1941. This scenario would have required the Germans to make a concerted effort to capture Moscow in 1941 instead of dividing their forces in three widely separated Russian offenses. All the multiple offenses did achieve quite a measure of success but the Germans failed to capture Moscow before the savage winter of 1941-42 set in. Instead, the force attacking Moscow found itself in the open as winter set in. They took tremendous losses as Hitler delayed allowing the German armies to retreat as the Russians counterattacked in the snow. The Germans had to capture Moscow! If they had captured Moscow, the Germans could have wintered there and Russia likely would have had to pull out of the war in 1942.
As far as the armaments effort went, Hitler was surprisingly very conscious of German public opinion and hesitated upsetting them by going with a 100% war effort as Goebbels, and later, Speer, advocated. For example, after France fell, Hitler sent a substantial part of the army home. Airplane production was in slow motion (Britain was actually producing more aircraft than Germany) and Hitler never allowed the German women to be mobilized as Russia, Britain, and the U.S. did. He dawdled in these areas even as he planned the attack on Russia. These are unbelievable actions for a country entering a world war. Hitler's relative inactivity from the fall of France to the Russian invasion was his greatest weakness. Later, his emphasis on producing "secret weapons" (unneeded long range bombers, death rays, etc,) instead of badly-needed conventional weapons (fighter planes, etc.) was almost as bad.
In addition to the Russian option, Hitler might have forced a draw in the war by not attacking Russia at all and, instead, adopting a Mediterranean strategy. This would have involved capturing Gibraltar and all of North Africa and the Middle East. By making the Mediterranean his lake, Hitler could likely have held out indefinitely. Turkey would probably have had to enter the war on Germany's side. These events would have put considerable pressure on Russia and they might have given in to whatever demands Hitler made of them.
But the fly in the ointment for the Mediterranean strategy was Franco and Spain. Franco, although a Fascist, would not enter World War 2 on Germany's side (actually, he just kept putting Hitler off with half promises). Without Spain's support, capturing Gibraltar was a much more daunting task. And Hitler liked easy "Blitzkrieg" type victories.