US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by EwenS » 17 Oct 2020 19:00

T. A. Gardner wrote:
17 Oct 2020 16:18


The US, not being stupid, would also push aircraft into production like the B-45 most likely by 1947 at the latest and more likely by late 1945. The B-45 was started as a design in late 1944 and in wartime I'd expect flying prototypes within 6 or so months. It used extant technology so it wasn't a ground breaking design. The rival B-47 and B-48 (Martin) were slower to develop and the B-47 involved considerably more cutting edge technology, so they'd be slower to get into service.
I think your idea of the development timescale is a bit overambitious.

While everyone remembers the Mustang (prototype contracted April 1940 and flying on 25th Oct 1940), it was very much an exception. The first production aircraft didn't leave the production line until April 1941. Delivery to the UK took until Oct and squadron service entry was in Feb 1942. So ignoring the 6 month shipping delay, 16 months from start of design to front line.

One of the quickest wartime aircraft development projects was the Grumman F8F Bearcat. Development began in July 1943 and was completed in November with orders for the prototype placed that month. It flew in Aug 1944. Production was ordered in Oct and the first production aircraft rolled out of the experimental ship in Dec 1944 and deliveries to the USN began in Feb 1945 and the first squadron formed in May that year. So over a year to get a prototype and near enough 2 years from start to reaching the front line. And that was a programme that was relatively trouble free and without interference from authorities demanding changes or unable to make their minds up about the spec of the aircraft as happened to so many WW2 designs.

The B-45 was a bigger, more complex aircraft, and although its aerodynamics were conservative the jet powerplant was still new technology at the time. So with the design not starting until Aug 1944 there is no way that you could have got a flying prototype in Feb 1945 (being 6 months from the start of design). Whle I've no doubt things slowed down a bit after Aug 1945, the B-45 was still seen as a priority for the USAAF, its development was confirmed in Aug 1946 and a production contract awarded in Jan 1947 before the prototype flew in March 1947. Production aircraft didn't fly for another year and squadron service entry wasn't until late 1948, and even then the aircraft weren't fully equipped. Even f you say forget the 12 months immediately postwar, service entry wouldn't be until mid-late 1947.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by T. A. Gardner » 17 Oct 2020 21:31

No it isn't.

The B-45 originates in mid 1943 when the USAAF was in full swing to get jets developed and had become aware that the Germans were well advanced in this technology also. Historically, the USAAF recognized the war was winding down and the initial contract (AC-5126) was issued to NAA on 8 September 1944. It ordered 3 prototypes based on N. American's NA 130 design.

N. American's design was selected because it used extant technology for the most part. There was nothing radical or particularly new about the design. The plane would use 4 GE TG 130 (J35) engines. Had the war not ended and the need for this plane in service ASAP it the production of the prototypes would not have taken until late 1946 with the first flight of the prototype in March 1947.

I'd say that the first prototype would roll out somewhere around May 1945, give or take say 3 months, possibly having to run on the J33 (Whittle based centrifugal engine) to get it into testing. This would be the biggest roadblock to building the plane, the availability of the J35 engine from GE. But, early Chevrolet produced J35's would likely be available. Then there'd be testing and modifications of the prototypes that run to about the beginning of 1946. The third prototype is likely still the first YB-45 and flies early in 1946. This puts production by mid-46 as a distinct possibility with the biggest bottleneck remaining the J35 engines. That puts service entry around the end of 1946 with deployment around early to mid- 1947.

Once you have though, German flak defenses are all but worthless as they can barely reach 30,000 to 35,000 feet where these planes would operate.

That creates another problem for the Germans.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by T. A. Gardner » 18 Oct 2020 02:54

In post #12, TMP mentions:
Germany plans for a two-summer campaign, therefore has better rail logistics in '41.
How does planning for a longer campaign "improve rail logistics" at any point?

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 18 Oct 2020 03:08

T. A. Gardner wrote:
18 Oct 2020 02:54
In post #12, TMP mentions:
Germany plans for a two-summer campaign, therefore has better rail logistics in '41.
How does planning for a longer campaign "improve rail logistics" at any point?
Addressed here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=243557&start=390#p2239628

TL;DR: German railways performed beyond expectations in Barbarossa. Those expectations, however, were for the Ostheer not to need much rail support beyond approximately Smolensk. Had Barbarossa envisioned supporting the full ostheer to Moscow and beyond; logistical planning would have been altered accordingly and the extra expense would have been manageable.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Aber » 18 Oct 2020 12:01

T. A. Gardner wrote:
18 Oct 2020 02:54
In post #12, TMP mentions:
Germany plans for a two-summer campaign, therefore has better rail logistics in '41.
How does planning for a longer campaign "improve rail logistics" at any point?
If the Germans think they need a 2 summer campaign, will they even launch Barbarossa as this locks them into an ongoing 2 front war?

At this point does an Mediterranean 1941/Sealion 1942 plan look a better option?

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by ljadw » 18 Oct 2020 17:38

Sid Guttridge wrote:
16 Oct 2020 22:29
Hi Guys,

Without an active Eastern Front, Germany wouldn't have to keep its army fully mobilised. It took the Anglo-Saxon powers until 1944 to mount an invasion of Western Europe even with most of the German Army occupied fighting the USSR. How much longer, if ever, would it take to do the same knowing that almost all the far more experienced German Army would be available to oppose them?

I don't see Germany winning a war against the Anglo-Saxon powers, but I don't see the surviving Allies doing so by conventional means, either.

Cheers,

Sid.
If there was no active Eastern Front, Germany would need at least 75 divisions to secure its eastern border and the same number to secure its western border, I know that you will reply that Germany had 200 divisions in June 1941,of which 150 in the east, but this was only a temporary solution :that's was one of the reasons why Barbarossa was planned as a short campaign ,after which a big part of the Ostheer would be demobilised .Germany could not afford to have an army of 200 divisions and a big LW and KM for years .Germany had not only to win the war, but also to survive a victorious end of the war :if Germany won the war in 1944,it would collapse before 1953 .
And,it is also very questionable that the German army was far more experienced .
About the USSR : the longer Barbarossa was postponed, the bigger the Ostheer had to be to protect the eastern border,because the USSR would become stronger every year ,while Germany could not match the mobilisation of Britain,of the USA,of the USSR .
If the war in the east was won,they would need an occupation army of 100 divisions,for decades .
If there was no war in the east,they would need 100 divisions as protection against the Soviets also for decades.
If the war in the west against Britain was won,they would need 100 divisions in the east and 125 elsewhere during decades .
The only chance to survive was a peace situation with a Wehrmacht of 1 million men :50-60 divisions, more was impossible ,but 50-60 were not enough to dominate Europe .
A country of 80 million people can not have mobilized during decades 4 million men = 5 % of its population : US can not have an armed force of 16 million men for more than a few years .
It is impossible :financially,economically, politically, demographically .
It would destroy Germany, very quickly .

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by T. A. Gardner » 18 Oct 2020 20:52

Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Oct 2020 17:55
T. A. Gardner wrote:
18 Oct 2020 02:54
In post #12, TMP mentions:
Germany plans for a two-summer campaign, therefore has better rail logistics in '41.
How does planning for a longer campaign "improve rail logistics" at any point?
I do have to wonder if he ever actually reads the sources he googles to feed his confirmation bias? :lol:
Apparently not, as I have read the ones linked to in his answer. But because of the length of his answer, trying to cover everything in rebuttal is going to take some time. The essence of the response is this:

TMP states, "The WW2 Heer was not systematical bad at logistics." Maybe not systematically, but they were bad at logistics. He uses as an "aside, "...American logistical support wasn't flawless (See Patton's drive across France which was shorter than AGC's advance..." Well, Patton's supply lines didn't extend to say the Normandy beachhead or England. He was getting his supplies from Detroit, Kansas, Texas, California, etc., so his supply lines were far longer and far more complex than anything the Germans attempted in WW 2.

Anyway, why the German logistics system failed has more to do with their absolutely crappy level of civil engineering and maintenance--including availability of parts--than logistics planning itself which was pretty mediocre on its own.

It is this poor level of civil engineering capacity that really undoes everything else. It also has gone undiscussed at all by TMP. To improve German logistics, you have to improve German civil engineering both within and outside the military, but particularly within the military, and I don't see that happening.

From the paper he cites in his earlier answer:
The German Army may have brought many of its troubles on its own head, by trying to run the railways itself, but the NKPS and Railway Brigades (Soviet) made much of the captured network unusable by its own demolitions. Bridges were a target, and the Soviets had their own track-destroying machines introduced in the Great War, but their principal means were the destruction of equipment at depots and engine sheds. A destroyed depot denied 100 km of track, and the lack of water supplies, engineering equipment, and covered facilities would be largely responsible...
This is a civil engineering problem. The US Army solved it by making their railway operating battalions self-sufficient. They would be given responsibility for a length of say 100 miles of track and they'd have to rehabilitate everything along it as well as be responsible for operations along it. A 'Grand Division' would be set up to coordinate the battalions. Everything was done under one chain of command and responsibility. As the Army moved forward, rear areas would be turned over to civilian operations with the now intact and usable railway system already in place. The US Army's Quartermaster corps and Engineering Corps coordinated the whole operation. The QM corps was deciding what was to move from depot to front in its entirety. The Engineers made it happen.

The German system broke up the responsibility. The eisenbahn pioneere repaired track and bridges. Construction engineers would be responsible for other structures, if they were assigned at all. Signal troops were responsible for radio and telegraph equipment. Each of these fell under different command structures so in a sense, the right hand didn't know what the left was doing.
Thus, depots went unrepaired because nobody in a position to recognized their absolute need noticed. Instead, the minimum to get the length of track usable was done and then a new and different command chain came in and ran the trains. The whole system needed a change of structure.

Operation of the truck component of this system was separate from the railway portion and under two different chains of command. Roads were an after thought as far as maintenance and condition and not the responsibility of the command running the vehicles. If field commanders didn't allocate engineers to road construction and maintenance, it didn't get done.
We can see the difference with the US Army. They built roads all the time. If the US Army were in Russia, they'd have built a road network, even from scratch, and not simply sent truck columns down rutted dirt tracks that the trucks themselves cut out of the steppe.

Civil engineering undercut the Germans terribly and its likely something that can't be fixed, at least not once the war started.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 18 Oct 2020 23:44

@T.A. Gardner please a source, analysis, really anything backing up.your contention that the Germans were "crappy" at civil engineering.

Once you've done so, please link your civil engineering diagnosis to Barbarossa's rail logistical issues. An example would be Germany failing to build bridges because they're such bad civil engineers. It's obviously not true - Germany built scores of brides in the SU - but would be a relevant example.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by T. A. Gardner » 19 Oct 2020 02:10

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
18 Oct 2020 23:44
@T.A. Gardner please a source, analysis, really anything backing up.your contention that the Germans were "crappy" at civil engineering.

Once you've done so, please link your civil engineering diagnosis to Barbarossa's rail logistical issues. An example would be Germany failing to build bridges because they're such bad civil engineers. It's obviously not true - Germany built scores of brides in the SU - but would be a relevant example.
We've had this discussion before, one instance is listed below

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=243557&hilit=bulldozer&start=15

It hasn't changed. German civil engineering / construction troops were almost entirely unmechanized. The Germans didn't design and produce pre-fabricated buildings like the Quonset or Nissan hut.
The lack of train depots was mentioned, repeatedly. Had the Germans been more prepared for construction of facilities, they wouldn't have had an issue with this.

If you look at a US Army railroad operating battalion, one company, usually A Company, had men assigned specifically to build and maintain depot structures. As integrated as they were in terms of what they had to manage, they would have not just restored the rail lines, but the depots, communications, and other infrastructure all at the same time. They then would have improved on the existing line(s) to increase capacity.

https://armyhistory.org/railroaders-in- ... e-in-wwii/
http://web.mst.edu/~rogersda/umrcourses ... %20ETO.pdf

The same goes with roads and bridges.

For example, the US Army faced with a problem like the Stalingrad encirclement would have made sure to build all-weather airfields (where they didn't already exist) at both ends of the operation. That is, they would have flown in first thing, the means to build better airfields within the encirclement. That would have included everything like small bulldozers, trucks (disassembled and then reassembled as necessary), etc. With good airfields and proper navigation equipment, the supplies could be flown in and the encirclement saved.

Image
An "airborne" bulldozer capable of being transported in existing aircraft

This is another concept the Germans never even considered.

Image

The US Army laid pipelines for POL and water as they advanced. It made moving these vital supplies forward much simpler, resistant to any sort of resistance / guerrilla warfare, and continuous. You simply build a tank farm at the terminal end. It frees up the railroads to carry other supplies instead. They went so far as to do PLUTO for the Normandy invasion:



Even laying pipeline on the ground exposed is a good alternative

Image

The US laid the "Big Inch" pipeline from Texas to Pennsylvania to render U-boat attacks against tankers on the US coasts irrelevant.

Image

Your post linked to mentions Operation Otto using 30,000 men. I'd postulate that the US Army could have done it with less than 6,000 men and done it faster. That frees up, conservatively 20,000 men for use elsewhere. That's the multiplier having mechanization gives you.

While this is current, not WW 2, imagine an engineer unit doing this supported by a gravel plant and the necessary equipment to grade the road and make the culverts alongside for proper drainage. The reduction in vehicle wear would have been enormous.



The German military mindset ignored such stuff in favor of tactical and operational efficiency but it would cost them in anything but a very short campaign.

Having engineers capable of building better roads is the same thing. The US Army obviously could build roads. If the Germans had road engineers with more than hand tools to render basic fixes, they could have built graded, compacted, and paved--even if just with used oil and gravel--roads into Russia that had good drainage and been all-weather. This would have cut down on the wear and tear on trucks which could now also pull heavy trailers making the whole operation far more efficient. But they didn't do that.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by David Thompson » 19 Oct 2020 04:47

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by T. A. Gardner » 19 Oct 2020 04:55

Let me illustrate what I mean about this and civil engineering.

According to The German Campaign in Russia-- Planning and Operations (1940 - 1942) US Army historical study 20-261a,

During the winter battles of 1941-42 the Germans lost approximately 75,000 trucks. Between Nov 1941 and March 1942 the Eastern Front received 7.500 replacement vehicles.
180,000 horses died, largely due to exposure, and 20,000 were received in replacement.
Trucks and motor vehicles were wearing out at roughly double the planned rate due to the poor conditions encountered.

Now, we take that and look at civil engineering. The Germans had they been more proficient and mechanized in their construction units building better roads and keeping them in reasonable condition are able to reduce those losses by just 25%, and they get a huge increase in efficiency. Being able to rapidly construct shelters and buildings like the British, and more so the US, could do would have made a huge difference.

https://www.amazon.com/Architecture-War ... 0394709977

Having an all wood prefabricated building in a number of sizes that could be quickly erected would have made a huge difference. Troops and animals are sheltered against the weather and it doesn't require any critical resources. The Germans didn't have anything like that.

If you have better roads that can work in all but the worst weather, and that reduces the wear and tear on motor vehicles even by just 10% you win. That's a massive increase in available vehicles, equal to the replacement rate if the US Army study is to be believed.

That requires a new, and much higher, level of civil engineering competence.

You might note, that the commander of the port of Cherbourg reported to the OKW that his demolition of the port was so thorough that it could never be opened by the Allies. The USN and US Army came in and cleared the port in less than 60 days and in 90 had it operating at a higher rate of tonnage than it did pre-war. It was a level of civil engineering the Germans couldn't even grasp existed.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 19 Oct 2020 05:24

T.A. Gardner wrote:We've had this discussion before
I'm aware and I've never found any of your arguments convincing. You suggestion that the Germans should have adopted American logistical practices, for example, is completely bereft of cost vs. benefit analysis. The world's wealthiest country could afford airborn bulldozers; the Germans could not. Further, American logistical largesse explains much of why it was only able to field 91 divisions in WW2: our 60k division slice owed partially to the immense manpower requirements of American logistical practices.

An overarching problem with Gardner's statements about German civil engineering competence is they're about capital resources, not engineering ability. He seems not to recognize this and seems more interested in disparaging Germany than in providing insightful analysis.
T.A. Gardner wrote:The lack of train depots was mentioned, repeatedly. Had the Germans been more prepared for construction of facilities, they wouldn't have had an issue with this.
The Germans built tons of train depots in the SU:

Image

An assertion that the Germans couldn't build train depots is facially absurd and disproven by the above table, collected by Der Alte Fritz from Pottgieser's work on German railways. viewtopic.php?f=66&t=203286&start=75#p1849753

Gardner misses the reason they didn't build any depots during Barbarossa despite indisputable ability to do so, as proved by post-Barbarossa building programs. I've already explained why upthread.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by T. A. Gardner » 19 Oct 2020 06:31

So, I get ad hominem instead of rebuttal... How nice.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 19 Oct 2020 09:46

T. A. Gardner wrote:
19 Oct 2020 06:31
So, I get ad hominem instead of rebuttal... How nice.
A description of your analytical errors is not an ad hominem.

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Re: US leaders believed Germany would likely have been invulnerable had it defeated SU

Post by Cult Icon » 19 Oct 2020 11:11

T. A. Gardner wrote:
19 Oct 2020 06:31
So, I get ad hominem instead of rebuttal... How nice.
how about provide research papers, books, sources etc. for these and other fanciful claims of yours. You posted these and many other specious arguments CONSTANTLY on ACG 10 + years ago.

eg. I have never seen a historian advance this argument of horrible German engineering and how they should have used a time machine to copy late war US practices- usually it's about their logistics.

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