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Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today.

Re: Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Postby Marcelo Jenisch on 28 Jan 2013 17:31

ljadw wrote:That's a total illusion


What?

Anyway, people are saying that if Germany defeat the USSR it would desmobilize part of the Heer and would improve it's production levels. However, evidence was already provided here that the Anglo-American ground contingents were larger than the ones Germany had in the East, and the Allies would have their situation improved by absence of Lend-Lease to the USSR and reduction of the strenght in the Pacific if necessary. So, by logic it seems that the Allies also would be able to do the same and keep their advantage in the air war.

I can be wrong, but I belive that Germany would not last longer if the same or probably larger destruction was inflicted in the country than the one they had suffered by '45. The cities would be in rubble and the transportation system destroyed. People often praise the Stukas as a vital tool for the Heer's advances. True, but this inferiority complex, or better, the superiority complex commonly add to Germany ignores the fact that Thunderbolts, Thypoons and other Allied types also could do ( and did) the same. Not to mention the heavy bombers. I already posted earlier: 2000 B-29s were in the Pacific by mid-1945. A B-29 could carry the bomb load of almost 3 B-17s to targets in Germany. Of course, all that I said here would depend of endless factors. I just would say that I belive that a Soviet defeat would not necessarly meant the Allies would be in a hopeless situation like historians such as Richard Overy say.
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Re: Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Postby ljadw on 28 Jan 2013 19:42

The illusion is that Germany could deplace its war industries to the regions east of Berlin,in the middle of nowhere.There was nothing in these regions to make possible the operating of the war industry.
And,how to transport Krupp,Junkers,etc ?
To deplace the UBoat factories was of course impossible.
And,why should the Germand deplace their industry to the east ? The RAF/USAAF were attacking Berlin also .

Btw:the impact of the war in the east on the Reichsbahn was meaningless.
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Re: Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Postby Marcelo Jenisch on 29 Jan 2013 00:01

In my opinion, the Allies would inflict even more destruction in Germany than historically, and they would employ types such as the B-29, the B-32 or perhaps even the B-36 against it. After Germany was in total rubble, an invasion of France could be contemplated. But the Allies would not need to have any hurry, there would be no Russian pressure. If they could obtain a foothold in Europe, then, like the Eastern Front, the advance could have occured gradually, perhaps over the years. There's much flexibility in this scenario,
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Re: Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Postby KDF33 on 29 Jan 2013 06:27

Hello Jenisch,

Although I agree that a quick conquest of Russia does not mean an automatic German victory, I'm not convinced that an Allied victory would be automatic either. As mentioned previously, the Balkans held large deposits of bauxite, and the Ukrainian coal mines (for hydrogenation) and the Caucasus oil fields offered Germany the possibility to vastly increase it's avgas supply, if it could secure the areas (which is far from a given, however, especially in the case of the Caucasus). The demobilization of a fraction of the German army and a large influx of foreign workers which would, in this scenario, increase the size of the Reich's workforce instead of stabilizing it, would also significantly increase the supply of manpower available. Lastly, the Germans could slash their bomber force in favor of a defensive fleet of fighters, something they never consciously implemented until the summer of 1944, which would help them both to maximize sortie generation against the Allied bomber fleets and to allocate more avgas to the pilot schools.

In sum, I'm not convinced that the Western Allies' immediate production advantage would triumph over those of the Germans, i.e. 1) that they were fighting a defensive war on interior lines of communication, whereas the Americans were fighting an offensive war thousands of miles from their production centers, and 2) that the Germans could gradually mobilize Europe's resources which, although of limited utility in the context of continental Europe's energy shortage, had the potential to become much more useful to Germany's war effort if coupled with the western USSR's coal and oil.
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Re: Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Postby Marcelo Jenisch on 29 Jan 2013 14:05

KDF33 wrote:the Balkans held large deposits of bauxite


They already had them.


and the Ukrainian coal mines (for hydrogenation)


Why this was not explored when Germany was so much needing oil?

and the Caucasus oil fields offered Germany the possibility to vastly increase it's avgas supply, if it could secure the areas (which is far from a given, however, especially in the case of the Caucasus).


The thing of the Caucasus would be relative.


The demobilization of a fraction of the German army and a large influx of foreign workers which would, in this scenario, increase the size of the Reich's workforce instead of stabilizing it, would also significantly increase the supply of manpower available.


No problem. The Allies would decide: we gonna wage total air war. Millions of men would not be drafted and went to the industry, and others in the Air Forces. Germany was not the only country able to do this.

Lastly, the Germans could slash their bomber force in favor of a defensive fleet of fighters, something they never consciously implemented until the summer of 1944, which would help them both to maximize sortie generation against the Allied bomber fleets and to allocate more avgas to the pilot schools.
[/quote]

I doubt that more bomber pilots placed to fly fighters would stop the Allies in full air effort against Germany. If the Germans can put extra 2000 fighter pilots, the Americans also can, even if this meant a temporary reduction in bomber strenght. But even so I doubt it would be needed, since there were 2000 B-29s in the Pacific by 1945, and a B-29 was almost 3 times as effective as a B-17. There was no necessity to bomb Japan like historically, and planes and pilots, as well as equipment in general from the Pacific could have been partially diverted to Europe after Japan was contained by late 1942.
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Re: Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Postby LWD on 29 Jan 2013 14:17

Marcelo Jenisch wrote:
and the Ukrainian coal mines (for hydrogenation)

Why this was not explored when Germany was so much needing oil?

Germany also had large deposites of coal. The problem was mining it. They drafted most of the miners fairly early on.

and the Caucasus oil fields offered Germany the possibility to vastly increase it's avgas supply, if it could secure the areas (which is far from a given, however, especially in the case of the Caucasus).

The thing of the Caucasus would be relative.

Relative to what? In any case it's going to take them years to get a distribution network in place and the fields back into production. If they can hold them for that long.
The demobilization of a fraction of the German army and a large influx of foreign workers which would, in this scenario, increase the size of the Reich's workforce instead of stabilizing it, would also significantly increase the supply of manpower available.

No problem. The Allies would decide: we gonna wage total air war. Millions of men would remain in the industry and others in the Air Forces. Germany was not the only country able to do this.

But Germany needed those workers elsewhere as well. Remember Germany was hardly selsufficent as far as food went. The vast dislocation of labor of various sorts along with war damage produced shortages of food of varying degrees over most of Europe.
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Re: Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Postby BDV on 29 Jan 2013 16:49

ljadw wrote:The illusion is that Germany could deplace its war industries to the regions east of Berlin,in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing in these regions to make possible the operating of the war industry.


That would be a surprise to Poles, Silesians, Czechs, denizens of the Baltic Countries, and Galicians. I'm sure they don't think they live in the middle of no-where. Historically, Poland had a conscientious effort in the mid-30s to build a military-industrial complex (COP) in the Pole heartland. That'd be a sensible place to evacuate key german industries to, away from the scourge emmanating from East England.


And,how to transport Krupp,Junkers,etc ?


Maybe Adolf can rent a few railway bureaucrats from Stalin to help, if germans forgot how to do it (move tools by train)? Historically, they did remove quite a lot of machinery from France?


To deplace the UBoat factories was of course impossible.


The shipyards of Danzig (Gdansk) are an esoteric concept? Solidarnosc? The Yantar Shipyard in Konigsberg (Kaliningrad) is the pride of Voyenno-Morskoy Flot to this day.


And,why should the Germand deplace their industry to the east ? The RAF/USAAF were attacking Berlin also.


But not Breslau (Wroclaw).


Btw:the impact of the war in the east on the Reichsbahn was meaningless.


But useful in discussions as proof of Reichsbahn's abilities to schlepp materiel. For example, the schlepping of the K5s to and fro shows that DR would have had no trouble transporting tools up to 200 tons in weight.
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Re: Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Postby ljadw on 29 Jan 2013 19:40

NO:if the armaments industry was transferred to the east,it would collaps:there never would be enough coal,steel and fuel availabli east of Berlin ,and,if it was,the Reichsbahn never could transport it .Germany produced yearly some 180 million tons of coal,mainly in the Ruhr,as one train could transport 400 ton of load,the numbers of trains needed would be countless.And,we are talking also about the demolishing of the existing plants,their transport to the east,and the reconstruction.It would take years.
We also are talking about the removal of hundrerds of thousand of workers ,and their families to the east,where they would find nothing to be housed .

If¨ Breslau was not bombed,Königsbergen was .

The whole thing was a non sequitur .
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Re: Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Postby ljadw on 29 Jan 2013 19:47

About the UBoat Yards:the Germans produced 1134 U Boats,of which 96 in Danzig and 3 (= three) in Stettin.If Stettin was more safe than Hamburg,and if more U Boats could be produced at Stettin,more U Boats would have been produced at Stettin .It's as simple as that .
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Re: Shipping things

Postby BDV on 29 Jan 2013 20:28

Coal was not produced in one spot and was not consumed in one spot. Some things are harder to move, some are less economical to move. Germany does not have to move everything. If all that's left to feasibly bomb west of Berlin is coal, iron ore piles, and steel mills how efficient would level bombing be? Not much. Strategic offensives against rail did not amount to much (AFAIK) in WWII.


And what do you mean "collaps"? Why would it "collaps"? Why would there be never eneough steel or whatever "east of Berlin"? What is Oster-reich? What is COP? What is Silesia? What is Galicia? What is Bohemia? What is Moravia? The Baltic Countries were the precision manufacturing heartland of Soviet post-war industry. So why not in WWII for Nazi Germany? Nazis were not economical wunder-werkers, but were they worse than the bolsheviks?


P.S. Well, you're arguing with a fellow that thinks the 3rdR should have produced ~300 (400 tops) submarines in total, of which at least half should have been transport submarines for blockade running. But thank you for making my point that hundreds of UBoots COULD have been produced in shipyards east of Hamburg.
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Re: Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Postby KDF33 on 29 Jan 2013 20:30

They already had them.


Yes, but they did not exploit the Balkans' bauxite deposits to the extent they planned to during the lead-up to Barbarossa.

Why this was not explored when Germany was so much needing oil?


I would assume it had something to do with the fact that the Ukraine's coal deposits were captured late 1941, lay right in the middle of the German-Soviet frontline for most of 1942 - early 1943, and were irretrievably lost in September 1943.

The thing of the Caucasus would be relative.


Relative to what? Europe's total supply of crude never reached 10 million tons during the war, whereas the Caucasus produced upward of 30 million tons beforehand.

No problem. The Allies would decide: we gonna wage total air war. Millions of men would not be drafted and went to the industry, and others in the Air Forces. Germany was not the only country able to do this.


I agree that the Allies can do this, but then the Germans can just convert even more of their war industry for waging a defensive air battle. The Allies' logistical constraints will remain a serious bottleneck during 1942 - 1943.

I doubt that more bomber pilots placed to fly fighters would stop the Allies in full air effort against Germany. If the Germans can put extra 2000 fighter pilots, the Americans also can, even if this meant a temporary reduction in bomber strenght. But even so I doubt it would be needed, since there were 2000 B-29s in the Pacific by 1945, and a B-29 was almost 3 times as effective as a B-17. There was no necessity to bomb Japan like historically, and planes and pilots, as well as equipment in general from the Pacific could have been partially diverted to Europe after Japan was contained by late 1942.


I'm not arguing that Germany should use bomber pilots to fly fighter planes. What I'm saying is that by gutting the bomber arm, the Luftwaffe could redirect large resources to the production of fighters and their effective employment (fuel for pilot training and combat operations). This is something that Adolf Galland proposed early in 1943, but it wasn't implemented until July 1944 as the "Fighter Emergency Program", at a time when the Luftwaffe was starting to feel the pinch from the destruction of the synthetic fuel plants.

Regarding the B-29, the USAAF statistical survey only accounts for 348 B-29 aligned against Japan on 31.12.44, a total rising to roughly 1,000 planes at the time of the Empire's capitulation. As for your assertion that the B-29 was "3 times as effective" as a B-17, the B-29 could on average carry 3 times the bomb load, which should not be confused with the rather abstract notion of "effectiveness".
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Re: Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Postby KDF33 on 29 Jan 2013 20:36

Regarding coal:

Ths link provides coal production of the Grossraum for each fiscal year of the war. As you can see, Eastern Germany (Silesia) produced a lot of coal, although not as much as the Ruhr.

Ruhr / Silesia, millions of tons, yearly:

1940/41: 149.5 / 86.4
1941/42: 151.1 / 83.7
1942/43: 154.2 / 94.0
1943/44: 149.0 / 101.5

Bohemia-Moravia, Austria and the Sudetenland produced, altogether, roughly 20 million tons a year during the war.
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Re: Shipping things

Postby ljadw on 29 Jan 2013 23:02

BDV wrote:Coal was not produced in one spot and was not consumed in one spot. Some things are harder to move, some are less economical to move. Germany does not have to move everything. If all that's left to feasibly bomb west of Berlin is coal, iron ore piles, and steel mills how efficient would level bombing be? Not much. Strategic offensives against rail did not amount to much (AFAIK) in WWII.


And what do you mean "collaps"? Why would it "collaps"? Why would there be never eneough steel or whatever "east of Berlin"? What is Oster-reich? What is COP? What is Silesia? What is Galicia? What is Bohemia? What is Moravia? The Baltic Countries were the precision manufacturing heartland of Soviet post-war industry. So why not in WWII for Nazi Germany? Nazis were not economical wunder-werkers, but were they worse than the bolsheviks?


P.S. Well, you're arguing with a fellow that thinks the 3rdR should have produced ~300 (400 tops) submarines in total, of which at least half should have been transport submarines for blockade running. But thank you for making my point that hundreds of UBoots COULD have been produced in shipyards east of Hamburg.

That is unproved :if more than 90 % of the U Boats were produced west of Danzig,where they were subject to allied air attacks,the reason is that it was impossible to move the Hamburg shipyards to the east,otherwise,it would have been done .
Unless you think that the Germans were stupid .
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Re: Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Postby ljadw on 29 Jan 2013 23:05

KDF33 wrote:Regarding coal:

Ths link provides coal production of the Grossraum for each fiscal year of the war. As you can see, Eastern Germany (Silesia) produced a lot of coal, although not as much as the Ruhr.

Ruhr / Silesia, millions of tons, yearly:

1940/41: 149.5 / 86.4
1941/42: 151.1 / 83.7
1942/43: 154.2 / 94.0
1943/44: 149.0 / 101.5

Bohemia-Moravia, Austria and the Sudetenland produced, altogether, roughly 20 million tons a year during the war.

My figures were from Tooze :an average of 180 million ton of coal (anthracyte)
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Re: Could The USA/British Empire have won on their own?

Postby LWD on 29 Jan 2013 23:17

ljadw wrote: My figures were from Tooze :an average of 180 million ton of coal (anthracyte)

That appears to be the problem. I suspect you were using Table A2 which lists 184,489 tons of anthracite produced in Germany in 1937. Table 12 on the other hand lists 230,690 tons of coal for the same year. The latter obviously includeing more types of coal than anthracite.
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