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

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 6413
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Nov 2020 22:14

T. A. Gardner wrote:
10 Nov 2020 21:52
What I'm really driving at is the Germans could have supplied a minimum of mechanization and it would have made a huge difference in productivity, but they failed almost entirely to do that.
Doubtful. IIRC at various times they captured various items of allied mechanized engineering kit and made little use of it. The real stumbling block was fuel and maintenance. They prioritized tracked vehicle maintenance and fuel for the Panzer units and did a pretty iffy job of it there. Adding mechanized engineering kit would have simply added to the burden they were already not shouldering very well. It was yet another sympton of the absolute German requirement to rob Peter in order to pay Paul.
Far more common in bridging for the US was to use a 2 1/2 ton (or 4 ton, or 5 ton) oil field body truck with gantry on the back like seen here. Supplying one or two per battalion wouldn't have been hard for the Germans to do.
That is actually a "Brockway" truck, which was unique to the Treadway Bridge Company and was not used by the Heavy Ponton Bridge Battalion.
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

History Learner
Member
Posts: 433
Joined: 19 Jan 2019 09:39
Location: United States

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

Post by History Learner » 11 Nov 2020 04:45

Richard Anderson wrote:
10 Nov 2020 17:17
History Learner wrote:
22 Oct 2020 10:39
One wonders why there was a six month halt to bombing in late 1943 into early 1944, then. Here too, the Germans can take page from the defeated Soviets and simply move their industry beyond the range of Allied bombers or, at least, Allied escorts.
Except there wasn't a "six month halt". In the 3Q1943, the Eighth AF executed 1,849 sorties against German targets. In the 4Q1943 it was 7,374, plus 56 from Twelfth and Fifteenth AF. BC executed 13,416 sorties 3Q1943 and 10,768 in 4Q1944, In the 1Q1944, Eighth AF flew 15,601 sorties against German targets, plus 1,328 by the Fifteenth AF. BC executed 14,652 in the 1Q1944.

One wonders where the idea there was a "six month halt" comes from?
There was a halt, although upon double checking it was not six months; I had confused the time to the Schweinfurt-Regensberg mission in August. It actually was started in October:
As a result, leaders now knew that they could no longer conduct raids into Germany without fighter escorts. Their escorts during the raid, the P-47 Thunderbolt, required external fuel tanks. In June 1943, the Army Air Force had directed the addition of external fuel tanks to the P-51A Mustang to produce the P-51B, but sufficient numbers of the modified fighter would not be available until the winter of 1943. As a result, Eighth Air Force halted raids into Germany and would not resume them until mid-January 1944.

Essentially, up to that point, Eighth Air Force lost air superiority over Germany, a glaring admission that unescorted daylight precision bombing doctrine developed at the Air Corps Tactical School, Maxwell Field, in the 1930s was a failure.
Mid October to Mid January is four months.

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 6413
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 11 Nov 2020 06:13

History Learner wrote:
11 Nov 2020 04:45
There was a halt, although upon double checking it was not six months[/url]; I had confused the time to the Schweinfurt-Regensberg mission in August. It actually was started in October:

Mid October to Mid January is four months.
No, sorry, but there was no bombing "halt", "pause", or "lull" mid-October 1943 to Mid-January 1944. There was a re-evaluation and a decision made to limit deep-penetration raids aimed at targets far beyond escort range. Nevertheless, raids continued over Germany at an increasing pace. There was also less daylight and worse weather because of the season.

The Regensburg (Ober-Traubling) Bf 109 Assembly Plant Raid was 17 August 1943 by 126 8th AF HB and occurred along with 183 HB hitting the Schweinfurt Ball-Bearing plants in three separate attacks. The more famous Schweinfurt Ball-Bearing Raid (Black Thursday), also executed as three separate attacks, was 14 October 1944 by 228 8th AF HB.

# USAAF Sorties over Germany:

16 July - 15 August 1943 - 1,114 with 37 losses - there were 1,388 HB on hand 31 July
16 August - 15 September 1943 - 480 with 85 losses - there were 1,348 HB on hand 31 August
16 September - 15 October 1943 - 1,877 with 162 losses - there were 1,448 HB on hand 30 September
16 October 1943 - 15 November 1943 - 1,404 with 47 losses - there were 1,520 HB on hand 31 October
16 November 1943 - 15 December 1943 - 2,247 with 88 losses - there were 1,843 HB on hand 30 November
16 December 1943 - 15 January 1944 - 3,984 with 186 losses - there were 2,167 HB on hand 31 December
16 January - 15 February 1944 - 3,451 with 126 losses - there were 2,608 HB on hand 31 January
16 February - 15 March 1944 - 6,723 with 353 losses - there were 2,842 HB on hand 28 February
16 March - 15 April 1944 - 5,862 with 298 losses - there were 3,524 HB on hand 31 March
16 April - 15 May 1944 - 7,183 with 251 losses - there were 3,900 HB on hand 30 April

As you will notice, the only real "lull", in terms of a decrease in sorties, was 16 August - 15 September 1943 and it was also when the most severe loss was suffered. However, the period prior to that did not see extraordinary losses, so what happened? Fewer missions and sorties, 37 missions to 14. Why? The losses in the 17 August attack led to a three-week lull as tactics were re-evaluated. Not six months, not four months, not in October, but in late August to early October 1943.
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

glenn239
Member
Posts: 5868
Joined: 29 Apr 2005 01:20
Location: Ontario, Canada

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

Post by glenn239 » 11 Nov 2020 15:06

Richard Anderson wrote:
11 Nov 2020 06:13
No, sorry, but there was no bombing "halt", "pause", or "lull" mid-October 1943 to Mid-January 1944. There was a re-evaluation and a decision made to limit deep-penetration raids aimed at targets far beyond escort range. Nevertheless, raids continued over Germany at an increasing pace. There was also less daylight and worse weather because of the season.
Rich, what was the progression on Allied high altitude bombing CEP between mid-1943 and late 1944?

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 6413
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 11 Nov 2020 16:08

glenn239 wrote:
11 Nov 2020 15:06
Rich, what was the progression on Allied high altitude bombing CEP between mid-1943 and late 1944?
Hard to say, since they did not use that terminology. They measured percentage of bombs within 1000' and 2000' of the designated MPI, not CEP.

In 1943 it was assessed quarterly: 1000'/2000'

1Q43 18/36
2Q43 12/30
3Q43 16/38
4Q43 27/48

In 1944 and beyond it was monthly except in a few cases:

Jan 44 35/58
Feb 44 39/69
Mar 44 31/58
Apr 44 29/55
May 44 37/65
Jun 44 45/75
Jul 44 37/69
Aug 44 45/75
Sep/Oct 44 38/65
Nov/Dec 44 25/48
Jan 45 29/59
Feb 45 49/77
Mar 45 38/69
Apr 45 59/85

Note weather probably was more of a factor than German resistance, although throughout there was a balancing act between the best formation for bombing and the best formation for defending against the German fighters.
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

glenn239
Member
Posts: 5868
Joined: 29 Apr 2005 01:20
Location: Ontario, Canada

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

Post by glenn239 » 12 Nov 2020 15:28

Thanks - that averages about 18% within a 1,000 feet of the aim point in 1943 versus 38% in 1944/45. An improvement of about 210%.

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Nov 2020 17:03

Richard Anderson wrote:
11 Nov 2020 06:13


# USAAF Sorties over Germany:

16 July - 15 August 1943 - 1,114 with 37 losses - there were 1,388 HB on hand 31 July
16 August - 15 September 1943 - 480 with 85 losses - there were 1,348 HB on hand 31 August
16 September - 15 October 1943 - 1,877 with 162 losses - there were 1,448 HB on hand 30 September
16 October 1943 - 15 November 1943 - 1,404 with 47 losses - there were 1,520 HB on hand 31 October
16 November 1943 - 15 December 1943 - 2,247 with 88 losses - there were 1,843 HB on hand 30 November
16 December 1943 - 15 January 1944 - 3,984 with 186 losses - there were 2,167 HB on hand 31 December
16 January - 15 February 1944 - 3,451 with 126 losses - there were 2,608 HB on hand 31 January
16 February - 15 March 1944 - 6,723 with 353 losses - there were 2,842 HB on hand 28 February
16 March - 15 April 1944 - 5,862 with 298 losses - there were 3,524 HB on hand 31 March
16 April - 15 May 1944 - 7,183 with 251 losses - there were 3,900 HB on hand 30 April
I thought stats like these would require 30 years of life, yet you did in a few days! ;) Source?

What's the scope of sorties/losses? All 8th AF missions? Only 8th over Germany? Only HB's?
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Nov 2020 17:40

Re the OP, I recently read another brand new book that has some bearing on the topic: Tomorrow, the World by Stephen Wertheim. https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php ... 0674248663

The book's primary focus is not on WW2 combat per se, rather on the US decision to attain global supremacy after the Fall of France - and on the related decision to found the UN as legitimizing front for US/Anglo hegemony. The author focuses on the nascent U.S. foreign policy establishment that grouped around non-govermental, elite-based organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations (State Department was too small for strategic planning back then and later folded CFR personnel/ideas into its postwar structure). I highly recommend the book's demolition of the pat postwar narratives that oppose CFR-style ambitions of global supremacy against a simplistic "isolationism," that, the book argues, never really existed except as rhetorical cudgel.

Re the OP topic, he book discusses policy elite's vision during '40-'41 and thereby provides a complement to the military/civilian governmental perspective that the OP laid out. As with the military/FDR view, foreign policy elites did not expect, prior to Barbarossa, to roll back German domination of Europe - at least not in the medium term. From pages 68-69:
Starting in early September [1940] the CFR’s Economic and Financial Group hit
upon the answer it would proceed to advocate through the middle of 1941: join
the Western Hemisphere to the British Empire and the Pacific basin in a “great
residual area” embracing the entire non-German world except the Soviet
Union. By integrating the United Kingdom, a major importer of agricultural
products, the planners went far in solving the problem of surplus exports
from South America. They calculated the non-German area, which they later
named the Grand Area, to possess “substantially greater” self-sufficiency
than German Europe, for it could consume 86 percent of its exports and
supply 79 percent of its imports.78 Finally, after months of study, the planners
had discovered that if German domination of Europe endured, the United
States had to dominate almost everywhere else. In their words, “the United
States should use its military power to protect the maximum possible area
of the non-German world from control by Germany in order to maintain
for its sphere of interest a superiority of economic power over that of the
German sphere.”79
Note that this evaluation preceded Barbarossa and assumed Japanese participation in the Anglo-American "great residual area."

Only once the SU joined the war was there explicit discussion of defeating Germany:
Having already
determined, after France fell, that the United States needed to lead a
globespanning order, U.S. elites sought every opportunity to enlarge the Grand
Area. After mid-June, the CFR planners ceased to discuss the Grand Area except
as a stopgap measure that awaited the incorporation of Europe after a full
Nazi defeat.25 Thus the traditional American preference for global intercourse
overtook the emergency planning for liberal autarky, but the former bore the
mark of the latter: global intercourse now entailed global armed policing
Wertheim doesn't discuss any crisis in elite non-governmental circles regarding a potential collapse of the SU; rather the narrative jumps from the Nazi-containing "Grand Area" to post-Nazi world American world domination - once the SU promised an opportunity to finally defeat Germany. It may be that Wertheim's argument isn't concerned with this potential issue; it may be that the policy elites weren't wise to the military issues raised by Soviet collapse or didn't share the military's view that such collapse was a live possibility.

Regardless of whether Soviet collapse is included in the picture, the book recovers a pre-Barbarossa view in which America would lead a postwar order that merely contained Nazi Germany, not seeking a full-scale invasion of Europe. The book discusses using the prospect of "redeeming" Europe as a tool to legitimate the new U.S.-dominated world order but doesn't mention any planning efforts for invasion of Europe.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 12 Nov 2020 17:46, edited 2 times in total.
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 6413
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 Nov 2020 17:41

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Nov 2020 17:03
I thought stats like these would require 30 years of life, yet you did in a few days! ;) Source?
Well, I did spend upwards of 30 years of my life assembling "stats" like these, both professionally and while following my own interests. However, in this case the data are not from my compilation. They are from:

Dr. Richard G. Davis, Bombing the European Axis Powers, (Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Air University Press, 2006). The original edition included the Excel spreadsheets, but I'm not sure that is still true.
What's the scope of sorties/losses? All 8th AF missions? Only 8th over Germany? Only HB's?
The data are by Air Force component (BC, 8th AF, 9th AF, 12th AF, 15th AF, and 205th GP), country, city/specific target, day, target type, sighting type, #aircraft attacking, tons of HE, incendiary, fragmentation bombs, total bomb tonnage, mission number, and type of area or city bombing or denoted special bombing operation.
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

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Nov 2020 17:44

Richard Anderson wrote:Dr. Richard G. Davis, Bombing the European Axis Powers, (Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Air University Press, 2006). The original edition included the Excel spreadsheets, but I'm not sure that is still true.
Thank you. Just downloaded on Kindle.
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Nov 2020 17:52

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Nov 2020 17:44
Richard Anderson wrote:Dr. Richard G. Davis, Bombing the European Axis Powers, (Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Air University Press, 2006). The original edition included the Excel spreadsheets, but I'm not sure that is still true.
Thank you. Just downloaded on Kindle.
Doh! The book is available for free download here: https://media.defense.gov/2010/Oct/27/2 ... ropean.pdf

Ah well, $8 to support an author ain't bad...

Still don't have the Excel files though. Does anybody have? The link at the bottom of the .pdf is dead, btw.
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 6413
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 Nov 2020 18:16

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Nov 2020 17:52
Still don't have the Excel files though. Does anybody have? The link at the bottom of the .pdf is dead, btw.
Well, yes, I do, I would have thought the inference was clear?
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

History Learner
Member
Posts: 433
Joined: 19 Jan 2019 09:39
Location: United States

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

Post by History Learner » 13 Nov 2020 05:03

Richard Anderson wrote:
11 Nov 2020 06:13
History Learner wrote:
11 Nov 2020 04:45
There was a halt, although upon double checking it was not six months[/url]; I had confused the time to the Schweinfurt-Regensberg mission in August. It actually was started in October:

Mid October to Mid January is four months.
No, sorry, but there was no bombing "halt", "pause", or "lull" mid-October 1943 to Mid-January 1944. There was a re-evaluation and a decision made to limit deep-penetration raids aimed at targets far beyond escort range. Nevertheless, raids continued over Germany at an increasing pace. There was also less daylight and worse weather because of the season.

The Regensburg (Ober-Traubling) Bf 109 Assembly Plant Raid was 17 August 1943 by 126 8th AF HB and occurred along with 183 HB hitting the Schweinfurt Ball-Bearing plants in three separate attacks. The more famous Schweinfurt Ball-Bearing Raid (Black Thursday), also executed as three separate attacks, was 14 October 1944 by 228 8th AF HB.

# USAAF Sorties over Germany:

16 July - 15 August 1943 - 1,114 with 37 losses - there were 1,388 HB on hand 31 July
16 August - 15 September 1943 - 480 with 85 losses - there were 1,348 HB on hand 31 August
16 September - 15 October 1943 - 1,877 with 162 losses - there were 1,448 HB on hand 30 September
16 October 1943 - 15 November 1943 - 1,404 with 47 losses - there were 1,520 HB on hand 31 October
16 November 1943 - 15 December 1943 - 2,247 with 88 losses - there were 1,843 HB on hand 30 November
16 December 1943 - 15 January 1944 - 3,984 with 186 losses - there were 2,167 HB on hand 31 December
16 January - 15 February 1944 - 3,451 with 126 losses - there were 2,608 HB on hand 31 January
16 February - 15 March 1944 - 6,723 with 353 losses - there were 2,842 HB on hand 28 February
16 March - 15 April 1944 - 5,862 with 298 losses - there were 3,524 HB on hand 31 March
16 April - 15 May 1944 - 7,183 with 251 losses - there were 3,900 HB on hand 30 April

As you will notice, the only real "lull", in terms of a decrease in sorties, was 16 August - 15 September 1943 and it was also when the most severe loss was suffered. However, the period prior to that did not see extraordinary losses, so what happened? Fewer missions and sorties, 37 missions to 14. Why? The losses in the 17 August attack led to a three-week lull as tactics were re-evaluated. Not six months, not four months, not in October, but in late August to early October 1943.
Okay, so what else would you call "there was a re-evaluation and a decision made to limit deep-penetration raids aimed at targets far beyond escort range." other than a halt or a pause? Yes, overall sorties continued, but the limitation you specify rendered much of Germany free from bombing in that four month period. Also, of the sorties, what is the breakdown of that? Fighter sweeps, recon, etc.

History Learner
Member
Posts: 433
Joined: 19 Jan 2019 09:39
Location: United States

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

Post by History Learner » 13 Nov 2020 05:08

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
14 Oct 2020 12:38
In several threads I've argued that the W.Allies would likely have been unwilling and/or unable to defeat Germany had she conquered the SU.
Doing research on this, I also found out about JPS 43, "Strategic Policy of the United Nations and the United States on the Collapse of Russia,’’ Aug. 7–8, 1942. JPS 43 specifies in the event Russia collapses or is rendered impotent (i.e. incapable of offensive) by the Fall of 1942, they'd abandon all offensive actions against Germany:

"All Pacific-first proposals had proceeded on the assumption that lack of cross-Channel assistance in 1942 would force a Russian surrender and that such a surrender would preclude any future offensive operations against Germany. From July through October, the successful German offensive in Russia seemed to bear out these pessimistic forecasts. In August, the joint planning committees completed studies on the probable effects of a Russian collapse by making clear that such a catastrophe would force the United States into an all out Pacific first-strategy."​

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 6413
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 13 Nov 2020 07:25

History Learner wrote:
13 Nov 2020 05:03
Okay, so what else would you call "there was a re-evaluation and a decision made to limit deep-penetration raids aimed at targets far beyond escort range." other than a halt or a pause? Yes, overall sorties continued, but the limitation you specify rendered much of Germany free from bombing in that four month period. Also, of the sorties, what is the breakdown of that? Fighter sweeps, recon, etc.
Um, I would call it a "re-evaluation and a decision made to limit deep-penetration raids aimed at targets far beyond escort range". It was neither a "halt" or a "pause". Strategic German targets were still being attacked and the Luftwaffe was still coming up and contesting the air space. You quote was simply incorrect on many particulars.

"As a result, leaders now knew that they could no longer conduct raids into Germany without fighter escorts. Their escorts during the raid, the P-47 Thunderbolt, required external fuel tanks. In June 1943, the Army Air Force had directed the addition of external fuel tanks to the P-51A Mustang to produce the P-51B, but sufficient numbers of the modified fighter would not be available until the winter of 1943. As a result, Eighth Air Force halted raids into Germany and would not resume them until mid-January 1944.[/quote]

Um, sorry, but no, "Eighth Air Force halted raids into Germany" simply isn't true. Raids into Germany never halted. Deep penetration raids into certain classes of targets ended until early 1944 and the arrival of large numbers of long-range escorts, but that is different.
Essentially, up to that point, Eighth Air Force lost air superiority over Germany, a glaring admission that unescorted daylight precision bombing doctrine developed at the Air Corps Tactical School, Maxwell Field, in the 1930s was a failure.
Um, sorry, but no, the Eighth Air Force could not lose something it had not yet gained. The Allies did not gain "air superiority over Germany" until late spring 1944 and it was still contested by the Germans through the end of the the year. After BODENPLATTE it could be argued the allies achieved air supremacy, but that may be a stretch.

BTW, its pretty embarrassing that whatever internet PAO flack at Maxwell that typed up that egregious manure didn't bother to check it against the facts.
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

Return to “What if”