USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

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Takao
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Takao » 10 Apr 2020 14:48

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
10 Apr 2020 09:10

TMP,

Thanks for the statistics and snips from O'Brien's book - it is now moving up my "wish list".
You might want to consult primary sources before purchasing O'Brien's book.

For instance, in the page TMP has in post #70
Claim: the Eastern Seaboard Command had no aircraft assigned to it in December 1941.

The war diary for the Eastern Sea Frontier states that there were 103 aircraft assigned and lists the number of each type of aircraft.

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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 10 Apr 2020 15:02

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
10 Apr 2020 12:14
I never said convoying was a panacea,
"Had the U.S. retained sufficient escorts in the Atlantic - even at some marginal cost to the Pacific Fleet - at least 2mil tons of shipping could have been saved." See O'Brien 260-272.

" As discussed above, the U.S. saves >2mil tons of merchant shipping in early '42"

"if we prevent the early-'42 disaster by focusing on Europe/invasion rather than sending so many ships to the Pacific."

"simply endorsing O'Brien's notion that a small diversion of destroyers from the Pacific to facilitate Caribbean/coastal convoys would have largely prevented the early '42 "Second Happy Time" for the U-boats."

"that doesn't mean it's wise or even competent to allow a dozen or so German subs to inflict a war-changing defeat because you won't spare a few fleet destroyers."

What you are missing in your reading of the table and your statements that we should "just look at losses among escorted vs. convoyed ships", "It's obvious you need convoys to protect your shipping" and "in only one month of '42 did losses in convoy reach the level of unescorted losses", is the fact that the Germans identified the lack of convoys along the Eastern seaboard of USA and moved their U-boats there as the independent sailings were undoubtedly easier pickings. Hence the shape of the graph and reduction in number of losses for convoyed shipping:
SsWBluX.png
What neither you nor O'Brien seem to answer (and I only have the sections of his book that you have posted up here) is that if the U-boats had found the eastern-seaboard shipping harder to attack they would likely have been redeployed (either partially or entirely) - just like in the OTL when they returned to mid-Atlantic patrolling in the autumn of 1942. Hence the increase in losses of convoyed ships later in 1942, as a greater proportion of U-boats was redirected to attacking the Atlantic convoys themselves. That some shipping would have been saved is highly likely, that anyone can do more than guess what the saved percentage would have been is surely definite.

Are you really that confident that losses of convoyed ships during the spring and summer of 1942 would have remained as in the OTL and not, perhaps reached similar levels throughout that period as were suffered in August 1942? Clearly this would still have seen a significant saving in shipping but not one that would have had such a dramatic effect as you predict. In addition, the losses for March 1943 convoyed shipping should be noted - especially if one was trying to invade NW Europe in May 1943.

I would suggest that the complexity of the "Enemy Attack on Shipping" and the inter-play between Allied moves and German counter-moves is much more complex than you seem willing to concede and much more realistically identified by Rich's comments that:
The U-Boat campaign was not won by the production of US specialized escort vessels - it was already won by the time the DE showed up. It was won by the four-stackers that were eventually put into service...oh, and improved doctrine, ASW equipment, experience, aircraft, HF-DF, radar, codebreaking....no panacea "let's just spend this money here instead of there" excuse*.
NOTE:

Andy H and Takao - thanks to you both.

Regards

Tom
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Apr 2020 17:40

Andy H wrote:
10 Apr 2020 14:35
For some more information on the UBoat ops and the Allied response to operations of the South African coast then please have a read of this:-
Good Hunting’: German Submarine Offensives and South African Countermeasures off the South African Coast during the Second World War, 1942-1945 by Everts Kleynhans
available as a PDF here:- https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.z ... /view/1166
A few others that might improve some people's understanding of reality...

Charles M. Sternhell and Alan M. Thorndike, ASW in World War II, Report No. 51 of the Operations Evaluation Group, 1946 https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/rep/ASW-51/
C.H. Waddington, O.R. in World War 2: Operational Research Against the U-boat, 1973.
Keith R. Tidman, Operations Evaluation Group, A History of Naval Operations Analysis, 1984.
Jan S. Breemer, Defeating the U-Boat, Inventing Antisubmarine Warfare, Naval War College Newport Papers No. 36, August 2010.
Maurice W. Kirby, Operational Research in War and Peace, The British Experience from the 1930s to 1970, 2003.

Or you can just reject my reality and substitute your own...
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Apr 2020 17:46

Takao wrote:
10 Apr 2020 14:48
Tom from Cornwall wrote:
10 Apr 2020 09:10

TMP,

Thanks for the statistics and snips from O'Brien's book - it is now moving up my "wish list".
You might want to consult primary sources before purchasing O'Brien's book.

For instance, in the page TMP has in post #70
Claim: the Eastern Seaboard Command had no aircraft assigned to it in December 1941.

The war diary for the Eastern Sea Frontier states that there were 103 aircraft assigned and lists the number of each type of aircraft.
And according to one reviewer he contends that Panzer Lehr was destroyed in Normandy by tactical air power...

In some ways, the blurbs make it sound like something guaporense would have written...
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall
Hitler's Last Gamble
Artillery Hell

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 10 Apr 2020 17:54

Richard Anderson wrote:
10 Apr 2020 17:46
And according to one reviewer he contends that Panzer Lehr was destroyed in Normandy by tactical air power...
Hmmm,

Maybe I'll wait for a cheap second-hand copy in ten years time. Thanks for that warning.

Regards

Tom

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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by paulrward » 10 Apr 2020 19:36

Hello All :

To Mr. Tom From Cornwall:

You might put the O'Brien book back on your list, as it is quite useful. Be very wary of such critiques as:
You might want to consult primary sources before purchasing O'Brien's book.
For instance, in the page TMP has in post #70
Claim: the Eastern Seaboard Command had no aircraft assigned to it in December 1941.
The war diary for the Eastern Sea Frontier states that there were 103 aircraft assigned and lists the number of each type of aircraft.
The poster appears to have misinterpreted Mr. O'Brien's data. Mr. O'Brien stated:
" Arnold was undoubtedly right. King was willing to spare hardly any naval aircraft to patrol off the
American Seaboard. The Eastern Seaboard command had no aircraft assigned to it in December 1941.
I
n April 1942, when sinkings were rising inexorably, the number of navy aircraft in this theater had only
increased to a meager 86. "
From this, we can see that Mr. O'Brien, when he stated that , " no aircraft assigned to it in December 1941."
was referring to NAVY aircraft. Yes, the Eastern Command had aircraft, some 50 + intercepters, along with
about one or two dozen Douglas B-18 Bolo bombers, which, after Pearl Harbor, were assigned to U Boat Patrol,
despite their unsuitability and lack of crew training for the task. But, as O'Brien points out, Admiral King, in
his infinite wisdom, refused to assign navy patrol seaplanes to protect convoys until his hand was force by
both Marshall and Roosevelt.

We have to be very careful of relying on the judgement of non-impartial reviewers when evaluating data
sources.

Two points:

1. As for the breaking of German Naval Cyphers, it must be remembered that, for the first
half of 1942, King was relying on a U.S. Naval Cypher system that had been broken by the British, who
had warned him that it was thus vulnerable to decryption by the Germans. King adamantly refused to listen
to them, and continued to employ this system. It wasn't until the U.S. had been given access to the German
Naval Cypher system by the British, and decoded a German message that quoted one of King's orders verbatim,
that he changed the U.S. system to a more secure one.

2. As for a critic of Mr. O'Brien's work stating that Mr. O'Brien contends ,
Panzer Lehr was destroyed in Normandy by tactical air power...

According to the best histories I have read, like all German armoured units engaged in Normandy, Panzer Lehr suffered heavy losses in its transport from Allied air attacks, and, in addition, on July 25th, 1944, the Americans launched Operation Cobra, their breakout from the Normandy lodgment. At this point, Panzer Lehr had only 2,200 combat troops remaining, with 12 Panzer IVs and 16 Panthers fit for action and 30 tanks in various states of repair behind the lines. Operation Cobra was preceded by a massive aerial bombardment by over 1,500 allied bombers. Panzer Lehr was directly in the path of attack, and suffered about 1,000 casualties during the bombing. The division also lost at least 14 assault guns and 10 tanks. Two days later, on 27 July, the German defensive lines had been penetrated, and Bayerlein reported that Panzer Lehr was "finally annihilated."


It would appear from the above that, yes, indeed, Panzer Lehr was destroyed by Allied Tactical Air Power.


Or, you can reject my opinion, and subsitute your own. I make no claims as to my opinions being reality.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 10 Apr 2020 19:54

paulrward wrote:
10 Apr 2020 19:36
Or, you can reject my opinion, and subsitute your own. I make no claims as to my opinions being reality.

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Paul,

Thanks for offering an opinion and correcting the correction re aircraft held by Eastern Seaboard Command. I don't want to head down a rabbit hole here, but were long range ASW aircraft converted from bomber aircraft transferred to the USN or retained and used by US Army Air Corps units in an ASW role like the British RAF Coastal Command (BTW apologies to my Americans colleagues if I keep saying USAAC when it should be USAAF - I'll go away and look that up!).

As for the Panzer Lehr Division - I'm afraid we'll have to disagree there. I think that to say that:
paulrward wrote:
10 Apr 2020 19:36
yes, indeed, Panzer Lehr was destroyed by Allied Tactical Air Power.


is a huge exaggeration. Perhaps though, as you suggest, I should just put my hand in my pocket, buy the damned book and make up my own mind. :D

Regards

Tom

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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by The Ibis » 10 Apr 2020 20:34

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
10 Apr 2020 19:54
paulrward wrote:
10 Apr 2020 19:36
Or, you can reject my opinion, and subsitute your own. I make no claims as to my opinions being reality.

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Paul,

Thanks for offering an opinion and correcting the correction re aircraft held by Eastern Seaboard Command. I don't want to head down a rabbit hole here, but were long range ASW aircraft converted from bomber aircraft transferred to the USN or retained and used by US Army Air Corps units in an ASW role like the British RAF Coastal Command (BTW apologies to my Americans colleagues if I keep saying USAAC when it should be USAAF - I'll go away and look that up!).

As for the Panzer Lehr Division - I'm afraid we'll have to disagree there. I think that to say that:
paulrward wrote:
10 Apr 2020 19:36
yes, indeed, Panzer Lehr was destroyed by Allied Tactical Air Power.


is a huge exaggeration. Perhaps though, as you suggest, I should just put my hand in my pocket, buy the damned book and make up my own mind. :D

Regards

Tom
Hi Tom,

The discussion regarding the Lehr division is contained on page 316-17 of the book. I see its available on Google preview. I think the reviewer slightly overstated what O'Brien was saying, but you can decide for yourself.
Last edited by The Ibis on 10 Apr 2020 21:38, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Sheldrake » 10 Apr 2020 21:13

paulrward wrote:
10 Apr 2020 19:36
According to the best histories I have read, like all German armoured units engaged in Normandy, Panzer Lehr suffered heavy losses in its transport from Allied air attacks, and, in addition, on July 25th, 1944, the Americans launched Operation Cobra, their breakout from the Normandy lodgment. At this point, Panzer Lehr had only 2,200 combat troops remaining, with 12 Panzer IVs and 16 Panthers fit for action and 30 tanks in various states of repair behind the lines. Operation Cobra was preceded by a massive aerial bombardment by over 1,500 allied bombers. Panzer Lehr was directly in the path of attack, and suffered about 1,000 casualties during the bombing. The division also lost at least 14 assault guns and 10 tanks. Two days later, on 27 July, the German defensive lines had been penetrated, and Bayerlein reported that Panzer Lehr was "finally annihilated."

It would appear from the above that, yes, indeed, Panzer Lehr was destroyed by Allied Tactical Air Power.
Paul,

There is evidence that the damage to the Panzer Lehr from air attack is seriously overstated. Zetterling (Normandy 1944) Their losses to air attack in the march to Normandy were significant but exaggerated. The formation lost about 3,000 men during June mostly in ground fighting south of Bayeux.

Tactical; bombing by the Strategic air force hit the Panzer Lehr hard on 24-25 June in Op Cobra. But most of the Panzer Lehr casualties were shocked troops taken prisoner. Their total casualties for July, which includes fighting west of St Lo, were around 3,000 with 1,400 missing, mainly from Op Cobra. On 1st August the Division had a strength of 11,018, 33 tanks and 44 in maintenance facilities, 391 SPW and 54 i short term repair. It was short of field artillery because it had been involved in ground combar with 3rd US Armoured Division.

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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Cult Icon » 10 Apr 2020 21:40

Pz Lehr, July 1944 losses: 347 KIA, 1480 MIA, 1144 wounded

A lot of losses were in the Pz Lehr counterattack

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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Apr 2020 21:59

Takao wrote:
10 Apr 2020 14:48
Tom from Cornwall wrote:
10 Apr 2020 09:10

TMP,

Thanks for the statistics and snips from O'Brien's book - it is now moving up my "wish list".
You might want to consult primary sources before purchasing O'Brien's book.

For instance, in the page TMP has in post #70
Claim: the Eastern Seaboard Command had no aircraft assigned to it in December 1941.

The war diary for the Eastern Sea Frontier states that there were 103 aircraft assigned and lists the number of each type of aircraft.
Yeah, but the Eastern Sea Frontier is a different critter from the "Eastern Seaboard Command", which did not in fact ever exist. "Eastern Seaboard Command" is apparently some weird mishmash between the Navy's Eastern Sea Frontier and the Army's Northeastern Defense Command.

The Eastern Sea Frontier was established with the 1st, 3d, 4th,and 5th Naval District, with the 6th added in 1942.

As of 7 December 1941:

1st ND had 49 aircraft, including 1 PBY
3d ND had 167 aircraft, none of them long range.
4th ND had 71 aircraft, most of them test aircraft at NAF Philadelphia, and 11 airships at the LTAS, Lakehurst.
5th ND had 137 aircraft, including 7 PBY, mostly at NAS Norfolk.

None of those were organized or trained for maritime reconnaissance, but they were pressed into such service, along with attached CAP aircraft, after 7 December 1941.

The Atlantic Fleet's actual maritime reconnaissance assets on 7 December 1941 were under Patrol Wings, Atlantic, which did not report to the Sea Frontiers. They were PATWING 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9. Of those, VP-31 with 11 PBY was at NAS Norfolk, PATWING 5 HQ and VP-51 were at NAS Norfolk with 4 OS2U and 16 PBY, a detachment of PATWING 7 was at Norfolk with 5 OS2U, PATWING 8's VP-83 was at Norfolk with 10 PBY, and PATWING 9, VP-91 was at Quonset Point, RI with 6 PBY. The rest of the Atlantic Fleet's PATWINGs were forward deployed to Coco Solo, Bermuda, Natal (Brazil), and Argentia.

So I have no clue where either zero or 103 is from. :lol:
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Takao » 10 Apr 2020 22:27

paulrward wrote:
10 Apr 2020 19:36
Hello All :

To Mr. Tom From Cornwall:

You might put the O'Brien book back on your list, as it is quite useful. Be very wary of such critiques as:
You might want to consult primary sources before purchasing O'Brien's book.
For instance, in the page TMP has in post #70
Claim: the Eastern Seaboard Command had no aircraft assigned to it in December 1941.
The war diary for the Eastern Sea Frontier states that there were 103 aircraft assigned and lists the number of each type of aircraft.
The poster appears to have misinterpreted Mr. O'Brien's data. Mr. O'Brien stated:
" Arnold was undoubtedly right. King was willing to spare hardly any naval aircraft to patrol off the
American Seaboard. The Eastern Seaboard command had no aircraft assigned to it in December 1941.
I
n April 1942, when sinkings were rising inexorably, the number of navy aircraft in this theater had only
increased to a meager 86. "
From this, we can see that Mr. O'Brien, when he stated that , " no aircraft assigned to it in December 1941."
was referring to NAVY aircraft. Yes, the Eastern Command had aircraft, some 50 + intercepters, along with
about one or two dozen Douglas B-18 Bolo bombers, which, after Pearl Harbor, were assigned to U Boat Patrol,
despite their unsuitability and lack of crew training for the task. But, as O'Brien points out, Admiral King, in
his infinite wisdom, refused to assign navy patrol seaplanes to protect convoys until his hand was force by
both Marshall and Roosevelt.

We have to be very careful of relying on the judgement of non-impartial reviewers when evaluating data sources.
So, now it is no NAVY aircraft????

Then by all means DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!

First, the Navy command defending the eastern shores was the Eastern Sea Frontier - NOT Eastern Seaboard Command.
For the Army, it was the Eastern Defence Command.

This insipid author apparently has rolled the two together.

Now, the Eastern Sea Frontier had
51 trainers
18 Scouts (OS or OB)
14 Utility
7 Transport
6 Patrol (P or PB)
3 Torpedo
3 Fighters
1 Bomber
Total 103

THAT'S 103 NAVY AIRCRAFT.

I see that Richard has posted before me. The 103 aircraft assigned to the Eastern Sea Frontier can be found here:
http://www.uboatarchive.net/ESF/ESFWarDiaryDec41CH2.htm

It is beyond me, as to how others see this as 0 Navy aircraft.


Given Paul's pathetic
We have to be very careful of relying on the judgement of non-impartial reviewers when evaluating data sources.
I can only wonder what Paul would say about relying on the judgement of non-impartial AUTHORS when evaluating data sources.

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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 10 Apr 2020 22:49

Tom from Cornwall wrote:the Germans identified the lack of convoys along the Eastern seaboard of USA and moved their U-boats there as the independent sailings were undoubtedly easier pickings. Hence the shape of the graph and reduction in number of losses for convoyed shipping:
Tom,

Notice that I didn't say all of the 2.8mil tons of shipping lost in coastal/Carib waters would have been saved. My first-order estimate is 2mil tons saved - i.e. the Uboats used in the Caribbean/East Coast would have sunk 800,000 tons anyway.

For the exceptional returns of the Uboats dispatched to the relevant waters, see Blair's "Hitler's Uboats: the Hunters":
Altogether, the six Type IX captains who sailed in April (Folkers,
Gelhaus, Rash, Schacht, Winter, Wiirdemann) sank forty-six ships
(fourteen tankers) for 230,000 tons. This was an average of 7.7
ships for 38,333 tons per boat per patrol.
these eight IXs sank sixty-one ships for
304,000 tons: an average of 7.6 ships for 38,000 tons per boat per
patrol.Counting the truncated voyages of the two lost boats, U-157,
sunk in the Florida Straits, and U-158, sunk near Bermuda, the May
IXs spent 517 days at sea.
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by paulrward » 10 Apr 2020 23:42

Hello All :

To Mr. TomFromCornwall :
Thanks for offering an opinion and correcting the correction re aircraft held by Eastern
Seaboard Command. I don't want to head down a rabbit hole here, but were long range ASW aircraft
converted from bomber aircraft transferred to the USN or retained and used by US Army Air Corps units
in an ASW role like the British RAF Coastal Command (BTW apologies to my Americans colleagues if I
keep saying USAAC when it should be USAAF - I'll go away and look that up!).

The first group of B-24s supplies to Britain were, like the first group of B-17s, the P-39s, and the P-38s,
delivered to Britain WITHOUT TURBOCHARGERS .

The reason that the prototype XB-24 was slower than it's contract airspeed, as Mr. Anderson has noted,
was because it HAD NO TURBOCHARGERS ! When the Turbochargers were installed on the second prototype,
it made it's designed speed, along with it's designed ceiling, designed range, and designed payload capability.
This was also true for the Boeing B-17. The prototype, the Boeing Model 299, had no turbochargers, and as
a result, was powered by four Pratt-Whitney Hornets that put out only 762 hp each, far less than later,
turbocharged B-17s.

For this reason, the USAAF ( THE AIR FORCE ! ) ordered the B-24 into production. However, there
was a fly in the ointment. To understand this, we have to go back to the 1920s-1930s. The 'salad days'
of the U.S. Military. Poverty Row. No money. During this period, the most famous aircraft in the USAAC
were the Boeing P-26 Peashooter, the Martin B-10, and the Curtiss A-8 / A-12 Shrike ground attack aircraft.
The total numbers of these aircraft built for the USAAC were 139, 166, and 61, respectively.

Now, starting the in middle 1930s, the USAAC began putting out contracts for an entirely new suite of
aircraft, all to be powered either by the Allison V-1710 or by either a Curtiss-Wright or Pratt-Whitney
radial, and ALL to be turbocharger equipped. These included the Curtiss P-37, Lockheed P-38, Bell P-39,
Seversky P-43, the Boeing B-17, and the Consolidated B-24.

During the period, turbochargers were made almost exclusively by the General Electric Corporation. So,
at some point in late 1939 / early 1940, there was a board meeting at G.E., and the question came up,
" The Army is going to want turbochargers. What do we have to do to make sure we get this business ? "

" Well, How many of these turbocharger gadgets will they want ? If we build a huge plant, and they
only order a few, then we have to amortize the cost of building, facilities, equipment, and manpower
among only a few turbochargers. It might be better if we build the factory based on how MANY
turbochargers the USAAF is going to want. "

" Well, let's see. They are going to use them in the B-17, the B-24, the P-37, the P-38, the P-39, and
the P-43. Let's assume they order one hundred of each airplane - after all, that's a LOT of airplanes,
right ? So, that's 400 for the B-17s, 400 for the B-24s, 100 each for the P-37s, P-39s, and P-43s, and
200 for the P-38s - how many is that ? "

" Uhhhhhhhhhh .......... that's 1300. "

" Well, let's assume we have to make a few spares. Like, a total of say, 1500 turbochargers. And, if
they will want them all by the end of 1942, that means that, assuming we spend a year getting the factory
ready, we wil have two years to make 1500 Turbochargers. Hmmmmm........ 750 per year. Thats about
15 per week, or about three per work day. O.K. So, we will need six lathes, six milling machines, one
big forge, two surface grinders, six drill presses, six bench grinders, two annealing ovens, and some what-not.
No Problem. "


And that was the problem. When the time came, the USAAF ordered THOUSANDS of B-17s and B-24s and P-38s
and everything else. And that meant, there weren't enough turbos to go around. Which meant that somebody
would have to go to bed hungry. First, the USN was out of the picture. " NAVY ? NO TURBO'S FOR YOU !!!! "

Then came the P-37. Cancelled. build the P-40 instead, with no turbo.

P-39 ? No Turbo's for YOU !

P-38 ? Well, we have enough to equip the P-38s for the USAAF, but the one's ordered by Britain...." England ?
NO TURBO'S FOR YOU ! "

The same applied to the B-17s and the B-24s ordered by Britain. " NO TURBO'S FOR YOU ! " Which was why
the British B-24s were converted to coastal patrol ( low level flying ) and LB-30 transports ( No bomb or gun
turret load ) The RAF tried to use the B-17s without turbo's on a few missions, and gave it up. And, when
the first P-38s and P-39s without turbo's showed up, they got rejected. The RAF flew the P-39s for about
a month, and realized they were a lost cause. They cancelled the order, and the USAAF took them on as
P-400s and sent them to MacArthur in New Guinea. The P-38s without turbo's were rejected without even
testing them, and the USAAF branded them ' P-322 s " and used them to train P-38 pilots. Who called them
'Castrated Lightnings'.

All through 1941 and 1942, G.E. was working like slaves in hell to both build enough turbochargers and
also build extra manufacturing plant to make LOTS MORE turbochargers, with the result that, by the beginning
of 1943, the shortage was pretty much over.

But, that still meant a lot of lousy P-400s being shot down in New Guinea ( the pilots said that a P-400
was a P-40 that came equipped with the Zero already on it's tail ! ) and, more importantly for our discussion,
a lot of B-24's that couldn't carry the weight of guns, bombs, and fuel to 25,000 feet over Germany. But,
they could carry a load of bombs at 5,000 feet over the Atlantic, or the Caribeean, and make life miserable
for the Kriegsmarine.

For a visual clue, if you see a B-24 with round ( circular ) engine cowlings, it is non-turbocharged. If it has
oval cowlings, ( wider than they are tall ) it is probably turbocharged. Now, the B-24s supplied to THE NAVY ! were redesignated PB4Ys, in various sub types, and were flown on both sides of the Atlantic by U.S. naval
aviators, USAAF pilots, and RAF types. Usually the markings and paint schemes can tip you off as to who is at the controls.


And now the rabbit is kicking everyone out of his hole. After all, He is Late for a Tea Party !


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by T. A. Gardner » 11 Apr 2020 00:38

In the case of turbochargers, initially the British--and every other country-- wasn't allowed to have them as they were on a list of items that couldn't be exported because of their being a restricted item based on technology not production. That is, the US military didn't want other nations copying the technology.

The US Navy really didn't need them as they didn't intend to fight a high altitude air war. Their thinking was they'd be operating at up to say 25,000 feet at the very most and at 15,000 or less most of the time. After all, you can't successfully attack ships at 20,000 feet...

When the British rejected the Lockheed 332 version of the Lightning without the turbos, Lockheed reworked the aircraft as P-38G's and sold them to the USAAF now with turbos installed.

The PB4Y the Navy ordered without turbocharging was the same way. The Navy didn't see a need for high altitude performance so they could go without them.

Early B-17's sold to Britain did have turbochargers, but there were numerous issues with flying the planes at 25,000 to 35,000 feet simply related to altitude and operating at it for hours on end. Boeing spent a lot of time and money fixing all those problems so that by 1942 they were almost all solved otherwise the B-17 might have gone into combat and spent a year or more getting straightened out.

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