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Could the Allies defeat Germany only with air power?

Aviation Discuss Could the Allies defeat Germany only with air power? in the World War II - Aviation forums; The A bomb deployment in Japan was possible because the entire free world knew the kind of casualties America was ...

  1. #466
    Banned DonL's Avatar
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    The A bomb deployment in Japan was possible because the entire free world knew the kind of casualties America was taking (all Allies took) in the Pacific - against a sneaky Asian enemy that had cold-cocked America. And as an island, Japan was isolated.
    I agree and that's my thesis.



    After the war the US dropped A bombs in America ON THEIR OWN TROOPS (in the Nevada desert) (several times) ..... but THAT decision would have been easier than selling an A bomb solution on Germany to America's allies (and German-Americans in the USofA).
    But that's simply a whole other question compared to civilian casualty for example at Holland, Denmark, France etc......
    Plus the german chemical arsenal in conjunction with the V2(A4)!

    Edit:

    Anyway that's only my personal opinion and we will never knew. But in contrast to Japan, germany had "something" dangerous to strike back and this was well aware to the allied intelligences.
    Last edited by DonL; 12-11-2011 at 05:29 PM.

  2. #467
    Senior Member Readie's Avatar
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    [QUOTE

    Bomb two was really for the Soviets.

    MM[/QUOTE]

    Michael,
    Perhaps then in our scenario the A bombs on Germany would have also been a message for the Soviets.

    The French nuclear testing was er, not carried out with too much thought. As long as it was 10,000 miles from Paris they weren't bothered.

    I take your point about 'cold cocking' America (even I understand that phrase) but, do you not think that Britain was similarly vengeful after being bombed and taking heavy casualties since 1939?

    I wonder what Mr Churchill & Bomber Harris would have made of the Nuclear strike option in the dark days of 1944-1945? The Lancaster carried the biggest normal HE bomb available and I believe that we were only a heart beat away from a nuclear strike on the Nazi stronghold / Hitler.

    John
    Last edited by Readie; 12-11-2011 at 05:17 PM.

    Eternal vigilance

  3. #468
    Senior Member michaelmaltby's Avatar
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    ".... But that's simply a whole other question compared to civilian casualty for example at Holland, Denmark, France etc......"

    You saying a Grunt's life isn't the same as a Dutchman, a Dane or a Frenchie, DonL ..... I hope not ...

    MM

  4. #469
    Senior Member Readie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelmaltby View Post
    ".... But that's simply a whole other question compared to civilian casualty for example at Holland, Denmark, France etc......"

    You saying a Grunt's life isn't the same as a Dutchman, a Dane or a Frenchie, DonL ..... I hope not ...

    MM

    My point was that a Nuclear strike , in the context of this thread, before any D Day etc could have gained the unconditional surrender of the Nazi's and therefore saved 100,000's of allied lives in the process.

    I don't over look the possible fallout for the countries near Germany and that would be unfortunate, But, what is war at the end of day if not 'unfortunate'?

    John

    Eternal vigilance

  5. #470
    Senior Member michaelmaltby's Avatar
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    "... do you not think that Britain was similarly vengeful after being bombed and taking heavy casualties since 1939?"

    The British have always understood waves and weather .... Even with ghastly casualties, the Night Bomber War was popular with the British public (they had experienced it themselves and knew the Germans were getting it 100 X% ....).

    I can't see British scientists ever advising an A-bomb solution to the War Cabinet.

    MM

  6. #471
    Banned DonL's Avatar
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    Err. no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    But the decission of an independent State to endanger his own soldiers/troops, is an whole other question as to make this decission for foreign civilian people. That was my intention.
    Last edited by DonL; 12-11-2011 at 05:22 PM.

  7. #472
    Banned Siegfried's Avatar
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    The A4 could be an effective weapon on its own. As I've pointed out, the intention was to use a very precise 'wireless canon barrel' beam riding guidence that controlled the V2 path to within 0.05 degrees, its speed and cutoff distance pecisely enough to get a 300-500m accuracy at the point of re-entry. The system was called 'vollzirkel' (full-circle) it ran into problems in 1943 (ground plane interferenace I think) and far less accurate interim systems were used to accelerate the missile into production and use. The problems finally seem to have been solved and orders were partially filled for vollzirkel.

    The A4b (Winged A4) was to be even more accurare; since it had wings it could be manouverd during re-entry. The guidance was based around a Wassermann radar laid on its side, pinging a transponder in order to keep an inertial guidance system up to date (accelerometer) as long as possible.

    With accuracy up and mass production costs down A4 doesn't look to bad.

  8. #473
    Senior Member Readie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelmaltby View Post
    "... do you not think that Britain was similarly vengeful after being bombed and taking heavy casualties since 1939?"

    The British have always understood waves and weather .... Even with ghastly casualties, the Night Bomber War was popular with the British public (they had experienced it themselves and knew the Germans were getting it 100 X% ....).

    I can't see British scientists ever advising an A-bomb solution to the War Cabinet.

    MM
    We would have had to use American A bombs. Who made them or which aircraft delivered them is not the point. Its the effect...
    You are right about the British support for the 24/7 air raids. Using this desire to 'hit back' as hard as possible I think that, given the opportunity, Churchill would have gone for a nuclear strike(s).
    In the time scale that we are discussing the British were at the end of their tether.
    I fully appreciate that Japan was first and that the timing is slightly out with VE day coming before VJ day. Its the intent and benefits of nuclear weapons to achieve the desired aim that intrigues me.

    John

    Eternal vigilance

  9. #474
    Banned Siegfried's Avatar
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    I would add that without the Soviets to fight, with the reality of a long war against the UK and USA the Germans would start thinking 'long term' and put the resources into an atomic bomb. There were several reasons the Germans focused on a fundemental research program based around a reactor.

    1 Moral equivocation by server of the key scientists. von Lau completely against. Heisenberg torn between loyalty to his country and distaste for such a weapon.
    2 The key factor was however a belief that such a weapon could not be completed in time to influence the war, it would take several years and cost a great deal.
    The funds were best spent on providing weapons to the troops that could be of use in staving of defeat or achieving victory quickly. With the reality of a long
    term war that excuse goes.
    3 Lack of resources.
    4 Fear of bombing of heavy water production facilities built in Germany (fractional distillation)
    5 Many of the scientists laboratories were destroyed, including two functioning uranium enrichment systems.

    Once can assume that the USA goes full out in developing the B-36.

  10. #475
    Senior Member michaelmaltby's Avatar
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    "... My point was that a Nuclear strike , in the context of this thread, before any D Day etc could have gained the unconditional surrender of the Nazi's and therefore saved 100,000's of allied lives in the process..."

    The only way I could imagine that scenario happening was if the target was Adolph Hitler himself.

    MM

  11. #476
    Senior Member parsifal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenisch View Post
    During the Batte of Khalkhin Gol, the IJAAF was also restricted. I've always wondering me if this was a relevant factor in the Japanese defeat.

    Maybe it might be useful to get some background on the issue. Theree is not a lot available on OBs and Battle plans, but this attached article gives a pretty good general account of what happened

    World War II: Soviet and Japanese Forces Battle at Khalkhin Gol
    Fr President Clemenceau’s speech to the AIF 7th July 1918: “ we expected a great deal of (Australians)… We knew that you would fight a real fight, but we did not know that from the beginning you would astonish the whole continent. I shall go back and say to my countrymen “I have seen the Australians, I have looked in their faces …I know that they will fight alongside of us again until the cause for which we are all fighting is safe for us and for our children”.



  12. #477
    Senior Member bobbysocks's Avatar
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    i dont think the a bomb would have persuaded hitler to throw in the towel. just like DonL and the others said...adolph was both deluded and bitter. the only way would have been to drop it where he was at....or drop it and hope that the military leaders who were sane would lead a coup and oust him from power and petition for peace. Also i dont see that happening until after a beach front is established in europe. in japan even after the bombs...the military was split about 50/50 as to fight or surrender. and this was after they had lost all the ground gained and the allies were knocking on the mainlands door. a group of officers attempted to steal the video recording of the emperor's speach which was going to be broad cast in which he was going to tell the people of japan that the war was over. hitler would have let germany burn because he was going to burn. its a shame one of the many assassination attempts didnt succeed....it would have been interesting to
    see how that would have played out.

    curt lemay was said to author the quote " bomb them back to the stone age" in a attempt to make the enemy capitulate...and many have tried this theory but have yet to find the equation to break the enemy's will to wage war. so airpower will remain a strong tool.....but not win the war all by its lonesome.

    afghanistan was brought up...and that is interesting because the soviets had a commanding rule of the sky but never was able to subdue the earth.....however, when the rebels got stinger missiles and russia lost total air superority...that was dramatic. it caused them to shrink back and ultimately pull out. so in that case it kept a status quo or certain things in check.....the us had many of the same issues in viet nam....they were restricted...but still bombed cambodia and laos....but not until later did they bomb the north. the biggest part of that failed strategy was they never allowed the military to invade the north....they feared the chinese response way too much..
    Last edited by bobbysocks; 12-11-2011 at 06:03 PM.

  13. #478
    Senior Member parsifal's Avatar
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    Between 1945 and 1947 the US only developed 12 additional bombs to the 5 they produced in 1945. This very limited expansion of the US nuclear capability was not due to technical limitations, it was due to a desire to contain nuclear proliferation, and a general demobilisation following the outbreak of peace in 1945.

    In 1947-8, with the cold war rapidly escalating the US quickly ramped up its nuclear arsenal. SAC stockpiled over 133 bombs in less than 18 months.

    I do not know if there were additional facitlies developed for production of the necessary fissile material, but the change in American attitudes to a nuclear buildup was very rapid, and I dont see any reason why the same could not be done in an extended war with Germany. If the war had progressed into 1946, I dont think it implausible to speculate at least 100 bombs in US arsenal by the latter part of that year.

    In 1948, General le May, then head of SAC developed the plan on the use of the nuclear arsenal. Essentially over a seven day period it had been planned to swamp the Soviets with over 150 bombs dropped on 70 cities within the USSR. This plan was repeatedly changed and repeatedly updated, as the threat evolved, and capabilities increased

    I dont see why the US would not apply a similar strategy against the Germans. The Americans had no qualms about using WMDs in Europe against her enemies. the fact that the post war enemy was the USSR and not germany is irrelevant. My opinion, the US had the capacity to build abombs on an industrial scale by the end of 1945. They would be likley to have 100+ bombs by the latter part of 1946. They would be likley to use such an arsenal enmasse on a recalcitrant Germany as they planned to do against the Soviets if the need arose. The long term radiation effects were not that well known (I understand) and were of secondary concern anyway

    Germany under the hail of 100 or so atomic bombs is a nuclear desert. The average casualties per bomb in Japan from August 1945 through to end of the year, was about 400000 per bomb. If 70-100 bombs were dropped on Germany the expected casualties could be as high as 28-40,000,000 million. All the major centres would be wiped off the map. The moral dilemmas this might pose are enormous and unthinkable, but I doubt that would have stopped the americans if they felt they had to resort to nuclear weapons. By 1948 they were quite prepred to undertake such a program against heir enemies, if the need arose.

    Given the right incentives, such as a prolonged war, or use of WMDs by the Germans would IMO have given the US the casus belli to carry out such a policy.
    Fr President Clemenceau’s speech to the AIF 7th July 1918: “ we expected a great deal of (Australians)… We knew that you would fight a real fight, but we did not know that from the beginning you would astonish the whole continent. I shall go back and say to my countrymen “I have seen the Australians, I have looked in their faces …I know that they will fight alongside of us again until the cause for which we are all fighting is safe for us and for our children”.



  14. #479
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    Quote Originally Posted by parsifal View Post
    Maybe it might be useful to get some background on the issue. Theree is not a lot available on OBs and Battle plans, but this attached article gives a pretty good general account of what happened

    World War II: Soviet and Japanese Forces Battle at Khalkhin Gol
    Just what I was thinking: the Japanese Army High Command halted the bombing missions in the enemy's rear, which meant Zhukov was able to supply it's forces with no trouble (the Japanese probably would detect the scale of the Soviet logistics if attacked it), and allowed the VVS to obtain strenght, making the IJAAF suffer with attrition. So yes, it was relevant. But even if the Japanese wanted to bring relevant air power, the Soviets would respond in kind. The only way would be invade the USSR, and for very reason the air power was restricted, since an invasion was not desirable.
    Last edited by Jenisch; 12-11-2011 at 09:09 PM.

  15. #480
    Senior Member parsifal's Avatar
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    we had a fairly detailed debate about this issue in this forum.

    A key element of the debate was the propsects of the Japanese to take vladivostock. This was one of the most heavily defended regions in the Soviet Union in 1939, and was garrsoned by several hundred thousand troops. The paths of advance were constricted and very heavily defended, with the fortifications having been built up since 1905. They are still there today incidentally.

    There was a lot of debate about this issue. i think the final resting point was that it would be very costly for the Japanese to get anywhere, and their lack of sufficient heavy artillery to reduce the defensive strongpoints would work against them.....


    I do not believe the japanese could win a war in the far east against the Soviets in 1939-40
    Fr President Clemenceau’s speech to the AIF 7th July 1918: “ we expected a great deal of (Australians)… We knew that you would fight a real fight, but we did not know that from the beginning you would astonish the whole continent. I shall go back and say to my countrymen “I have seen the Australians, I have looked in their faces …I know that they will fight alongside of us again until the cause for which we are all fighting is safe for us and for our children”.



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