WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

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Politician01
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Politician01 » 16 Nov 2020 10:34

As I see it:

1. The fuel situation of the Germans gets a little better. Even with minimal fuel deliveries from the occupied USSR, they save a lot of fuel by not having to fly over the vast distances of the USSR, compared to the rather short distances of Western Europe. Also most bombers flew in the East, reducing fuel consumption considerably. So the Germans have more fuel for combat operations and probably enough fuel that they dont have to reduce pilot training hours at all - or only in late 1942 as OTL but not again in the summer of 1943. This makes their pilots in the 43-45 at least a little better compared to OTL + all the thousands of Pilots that were lost in the East, or wasted in Luftwaffe field divisions can now be transferred to the West.

2. An increased fighter and AA gun production to OTL. Without an active Eastern Front, Germany can shift at least some production capacity reserved for land warfare and increase its fighter/AA production. Especially when more German workers are avaliable from a partially demobilised Eastern Army.

3. Better trained flak crews. Without the East sucking up most manpower, flak crews could be trained better with more personell, making them more accurate. This means more hits and less wasted ammunition. One of the reasons why it needed up to 16 000 rounds to destroy a bomber was the fact, that many flak crews were manned by young boys, POW´s ect.

4. Without most of its manpower destroyed in the East, the Germans can demobilize thousands of scientists and engineers that were drafted OTL out of desperation and accelerate certain projects. As noted before R4M and the dual time/impact fuse very highly effective, however OTL they were completed far to late (early 1945) and produced in far to small numers to make any difference. If projects such as these are accelerated by just a few months and mass production starts a the end of 1944, Wallied losses in 1945 would be absolutely catastrophic.The double time/impact fuse alone was sad to tripple the amount of downed Bombers, while reducing ammunition consumption by more than half.

So it can be said that a Germany concentrating on the Air War can destroy thousands of additional Allied aircraft in the 43-45 period. The exchange ratio in pilots/crew would be most unfavorable for the allies, as would be the exchange ratio in money/resources.

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Peter89 » 16 Nov 2020 11:55

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
16 Nov 2020 08:04
Long story short I prefer numerical analysis to mantra and faith. I'm sure you'll keep repeating these same points continuously.
Okay, I'll try to take a different angle for this time, and completely let go what we know of aerial warfare in ww2.

Why would a rapidly and amazingly successful Germany suddenly change policies?

These policies were the agendas of decision maker and influencer men, like Hitler, Göbbels, Göring, Udet and Jeschonnek. If the Germans do well in the East, they'd likely to keep their personnel intact and continue wasting resources and possibilities like in 1941. The simple shift from Udet to Milch resulted a dramatic increase in production and organization, and it is highly doubtful that Udet (and Jeschonnek) was to be removed if the battle results would pour in, so it is highly doubtful that a super effective expansion of air forces could come from a person who said "I do not know what I should do with more than 360 fighters!" in March 1942.

Also, given the Germans are able to do what you claim (defeat the SU and get in parity with the Wallies), why would they change the deployment policies? What the German Luftwaffe actually did was the "Baedecker raids": highly ineffective and costly missions. If the Wallies would ever hit German cities (and undoubtedly they would), they would set the course for wrong German decisions.

So how do you or anyone can reason that the Germans go for the strategic defense when they are on the path of victory? Why would they rationalize their production when they seemingly had no need to do it? How they are going to be able to refrain from the very cost-inefficient retilatory attacks if they have the planes to carry them out? What will the Germans do with the extra Wallied planes and resources that were sent to the SU, and now being operated by more experienced crews?

So do we really understand how deeply the production problems were ingrained into the German armament production system?

Are you aware that the Messerschmitt factories were even using aluminum to build tropical shelters and ladders for use in vineyards?
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 16 Nov 2020 13:36

Peter89 wrote:Why would a rapidly and amazingly successful Germany suddenly change policies?
As regards the air battle, this misstates the OP's ATL (SU defeated by early '43) and my ATL's (SU defeated in September '42). Under either condition, OTL aerial events up to at least early '43 are little changed. Cologne is still hit with 1,000 bombers in May '42, Bomber Command's Ruhr Campaign is barely diminished in early '43, probably the devastation of Hamburg still occurs in July '43 (though perhaps somewhat diminished).

These early grand bombing attacks killed a lot of Germans and destroyed a lot of German material culture even if their economic impact is debatable. In July 1942 Jeschonnek planned to quadruple the fighter forces - mere months after questioning the need for 360/month. The attendant production plans went consistently upwards in the following months.

Per GSWW v.6, Jeschonnek favored bombers for the Eastern Front while urging quadrupling of fighters:
Jeschonnek’s view was similar, as it had
been a year earlier, when the defeat before Moscow set his mind more firmly
on the eastern front, and on Hitler’s orders he had to set up new assault units
and did not shrink from digging into the training foundation of the fighter arm
in favour of the assault or ground-attack pilots.
Jeschonnek listened to Galland’s arguments for the reinforcement of the fighters quietly, and agreed with
them, but considered that the annihilation of the Soviet Union was now the
essential prerequisite for the successful continuation of the war.1
Note this need for bombers for the Ostheer also ate into LW training... If there's no Moscow defeat and Ostheer is firmly on the path to victory in early '42, the perceived need for bombers is diminished and more priority can go to the simultaneous and conflicting drive for a quadrupling of fighters.

Superficial support for your thesis comes in the following from GSWW:
In summary, it can be said of the German fighter defence in 1942 that it was
still in the shadow of offensive thinking, with its bomber armament priority
But, as with many "common wisdom" narratives about WW2, the narrative is simplistic. GSWW v.6, p.545 also states, " Hitler regarded the day fighters as an offensive instrument." The day fighters enabled the LW's bombers to wreak havoc on opposing ground forces; a need still envisioned had Germany beaten the SU for campaigns in Iberia, the MidEast, and even to India (per Hitler's post-SU plans).

So even in 1942 the LW had already recognized the need for more fighters - both for increased defensive duties and as a part of the general offensive.

GSWW v.6 concludes re 1942:
Theexpansion of night fighting took place very slowly owing to the shortage of
aircraft, crews, and radar equipment
Re radar, also from GSWW v.6 p.548:
Most of the experts and workers in the radar industry were at the front and had first to be withdrawn little by little to the
factories and laboratories
...of course the Ostheer's demands on labor never subsided; ATL they do and the result would be greater radar production.

-----------------------------------------------------

The other piece you're missing is Hitler/Germany's enormous faith in flak, for which massive resource expenditure happened and greater was planned. Germany adopted this plan in part due to the higher fuel requirements of more reliance on fighters - a condition ameliorated/removed by Russian oil. It's not that Germany didn't plan to devote enormous resources to air defense even in 1940; it's that it chose the wrong weapons. When that tactical error was revealed, it didn't take a paradigm shift to focus on fighters - only a tactical shift.

----------------------------------------------------
Peter89 wrote:If the Germans do well in the East, they'd likely to keep their personnel intact and continue wasting resources and possibilities like in 1941.
Not clear what you mean but it sounds like you believe a naive "Blitzkrieg" theory of the German economy and don't know that Germany was planning to demobilize the Ostheer already in '41. The Blitzkrieg theory is completely discredited by the last 20 or so years of scholarship; see my threads in the Economy subforum.
Peter89 wrote:The simple shift from Udet to Milch resulted a dramatic increase in production and organization, and it is highly doubtful that Udet (and Jeschonnek) was to be removed if the battle results would pour in, so it is highly doubtful that a super effective expansion of air forces could come from a person who said "I do not know what I should do with more than 360 fighters!" in March 1942.
As already stated and cited above, Jeschonnek reversed himself in a few months. Re Udet he killed himself due to production problems that became apparent well before the failure at Moscow (he died in November '41).
Peter89 wrote:What the German Luftwaffe actually did was the "Baedecker raids": highly ineffective and costly missions. If the Wallies would ever hit German cities (and undoubtedly they would), they would set the course for wrong German decisions.
Baedecker raids were a small portion of total LW losses and deployments. Most bombers went to support the ground forces, so they would ATL (MidEast and North Africa). Have you simply not noticed, nor paused to think about, the proportion of German bombers sent on Baedecker raids? As stated and cited above, Hitler the primary role of fighters to accompany the bombers on offensive missions, so ATL they make more fighters and bombers.
Peter89 wrote:So how do you or anyone can reason that the Germans go for the strategic defense when they are on the path of victory?
Again your conception of my ATL, as with your conception of actual OTL German thinking, is simplistic. You're smart enough to read good books like GSWW, I recommend you do so.

A Germany victorious in the East has two main goals: conquer the MidEast/N.Africa and invade England. Both of those goals require air superiority - as Hitler definitely recognized re Sealion in 1940. Given those two goals, given the offensive conception of fighters that Hitler actually held, there is nothing about increased fighter (and bomber) production that implies strategic defensive.

[quote="Peter89']Why would they rationalize their production when they seemingly had no need to do it?[/quote]

Again you appear to be under the sway of discredited theory of the German economy, here the "inefficiency theory." As I've detailed in another thread, modern scholarship thoroughly discredits the idea that German aircraft production rationalized only later. viewtopic.php?f=66&t=252374#p2295474
Peter89 wrote:So do we really understand how deeply the production problems were ingrained into the German armament production system?
"We" don't; I do. Please read the articles by Budrass, Scherner et. al. cited in the linked thread.
Peter89 wrote:Are you aware that the Messerschmitt factories were even using aluminum to build tropical shelters and ladders for use in vineyards?
Of course I am; that you view this is an impediment to higher LW production is another sign that you have a feint picture of how Germany's aircraft industry actually worked.

------------------------------------------------------

On several points you're expressing simplistic and/or discredited ideas on German economy and strategy, hewing to certain ideas one might hear in a History Channel documentary or other poor work. Rather than continuing to hold these views, I strongly recommend reading more.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 16 Nov 2020 13:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 16 Nov 2020 13:51

Politician01 wrote:
16 Nov 2020 10:34
As I see it:

1. The fuel situation of the Germans gets a little better. Even with minimal fuel deliveries from the occupied USSR, they save a lot of fuel by not having to fly over the vast distances of the USSR, compared to the rather short distances of Western Europe. Also most bombers flew in the East, reducing fuel consumption considerably. So the Germans have more fuel for combat operations and probably enough fuel that they dont have to reduce pilot training hours at all - or only in late 1942 as OTL but not again in the summer of 1943. This makes their pilots in the 43-45 at least a little better compared to OTL + all the thousands of Pilots that were lost in the East, or wasted in Luftwaffe field divisions can now be transferred to the West.

2. An increased fighter and AA gun production to OTL. Without an active Eastern Front, Germany can shift at least some production capacity reserved for land warfare and increase its fighter/AA production. Especially when more German workers are avaliable from a partially demobilised Eastern Army.

3. Better trained flak crews. Without the East sucking up most manpower, flak crews could be trained better with more personell, making them more accurate. This means more hits and less wasted ammunition. One of the reasons why it needed up to 16 000 rounds to destroy a bomber was the fact, that many flak crews were manned by young boys, POW´s ect.

4. Without most of its manpower destroyed in the East, the Germans can demobilize thousands of scientists and engineers that were drafted OTL out of desperation and accelerate certain projects. As noted before R4M and the dual time/impact fuse very highly effective, however OTL they were completed far to late (early 1945) and produced in far to small numers to make any difference. If projects such as these are accelerated by just a few months and mass production starts a the end of 1944, Wallied losses in 1945 would be absolutely catastrophic.The double time/impact fuse alone was sad to tripple the amount of downed Bombers, while reducing ammunition consumption by more than half.

So it can be said that a Germany concentrating on the Air War can destroy thousands of additional Allied aircraft in the 43-45 period. The exchange ratio in pilots/crew would be most unfavorable for the allies, as would be the exchange ratio in money/resources.
What do you consider to be minimum necessary conditions for defeat of the Combined Bomber Offensive?

Structuring the discussion around such conditions might engender more clarity.

My minimal conditions:
  • 1. Axis/Allied frame production numbers approaching parity. IMJ Axis can afford slightly lower production given it needn't patrol the oceans and Allies will have far more losses to flak.
  • 2. Improvement of German avgas supply by a substantial amount - at 5x OTL.
  • 3. Related to (2), improvement of LW training infrastructure.
  • 4. For ease of computation ATL:OTL, flak arm improves as much as LW fighter production.
Politician01 wrote:So it can be said that a Germany concentrating on the Air War can destroy thousands of additional Allied aircraft in the 43-45 period.
Agreed but probably nobody is going to be convinced by destroying "thousands" more Allied aircraft. Even 10,000, on its own, seems insufficient. Merely maintaining American production at its peak throughout '44/45, rather than tapering off in '44, replaces such losses.

It's gotta be a dramatic change in the resources picture, articulated with sufficient specificity and plausibility to convince a fair-minded and decently sophisticated reader. Unsophisticated readers probably will not be convinced by anything, as they rely on slogans and faith that no analysis can pierce. So IMO we've go to aim for the economically/historically sophisticated. Out of all folks reading this thread, we'd be lucky to have 2 change their minds.

That's why I say this discussion is young. In the headline economic/military parameters I see a clear path to German victory, at least over the conventional CBO. But it'll take some work to spell it all out - help appreciated.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Richard Anderson » 16 Nov 2020 17:11

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
16 Nov 2020 07:50
Elsewhere you're arguing that Black Thursday didn't cause a complete bombing halt; I'm with you on that one. But if you're trying to extend this to "Black Thursday was actually good!" you're flying unescorted into swarms of countervailing facts.

The raid alone cost 77 B-17's downed and scrapped for the loss of maybe 38 LW fighters. That's a disastrous exchange ratio of >10:1 in production terms and ~20:1 in human resources. It didn't cause a halt of bombing - plenty to destroy within escort range - but it did cause a temporary stoppage of deep penetration raids. Because it was a very bad thing for the USAAF, not the LW.
You need to think about what I wrote, rather than what you appear to think I wrote. Yes, the 13 October 1943 raid was disastrous to VIII BC, but those six months of the air campaign were more damaging to the Luftwaffe than to the USAAF. Different time period, different scale.
We have better data (thanks in part to you); let's look just at dayfighters vs. HB's over the West in October 1943, the month of Black Thursday:
Again, you are changing the scope of the selection...concentrating on trees rather than forest.
Per your stats (source?) USAAF lost another 527 AC elsewhere, some of which were surely non-HB losses in the West. But let's set those aside for now.
USAAF Statistical Summary...I'm starting to feel like I'm trying to lead that damned horse to water. Yes, the USAAF lost other aircraft elsewhere, as did the Luftwaffe, it simply isn't a one-way street. Furthermore, given the much smaller overall capability of the Luftwaffe in training and replacement, those losses were much more damaging to the Luftwaffe than to the USAAF. On 31 December 1943, there were 852 HB crews in the U.S. in training, 2,081 crews on hand in Europe and the Med...and 187 crews had been lost in all theaters of war in December 1943.
Trading 198 HB's for 220 1-E fighters is a highly unfavorable exchange ratio, even if somehow the USAAF lost zero fighters and light/medium bombers over the West.
Not for the U.S. it isn't unfavorable, for the USAAF it is highly favorable.
And the Davis stats don't include bombers scrapped after return.
The USAAF Statistical Summary stats do.
Bomber Command, btw, lost 154 HB's over Germany alone in October 1943.
Indeed, the comparison I did obviously does not include the RAF, which was also better able to sustain such losses and for the same reasons the USAAF was able to. The American and British capability to train and deploy air crews was much better than the German, probably by orders of magnitude.

True story, my wife's late stepfather, Peter Cope, was a 20-year old RAF aircraftsman in 1942 when he was selected for flight training. He did not receive it in Britain, nor Canada, but in the U.S., in Texas, and received USAAC wings rather than RAF wings. One of the 41,673 who completed primary, basic, and advanced single-engine training in the U.S. in the first quarter of 1942. (He later flew PR, primarily in Mustangs, became a flight training officer, graduated the Empire Test Pilot School postwar, emigrated to Canada and was one of the last to fly the Arrow for AVRO Canada.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Politician01 » 16 Nov 2020 18:34

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
16 Nov 2020 13:51
What do you consider to be minimum necessary conditions for defeat of the Combined Bomber Offensive?
This depends on a number of factors - many of which would be political rather than economic. If the United States and the British Empire would fight only against Germany/the European Axis, the Germans would eventually be overwhelmed by 1945 regardless of what they do. The problem was Japan which sucked up around 10% of the war effort of the British Empire and around 40% of the war effort of the US (source O`Brian). Japan + the fall of the USSR would bring so many political problems for the Wallies that I am not even sure that the Germans would need to defeat the CBO:

- The British are running out of manpower by 1943 - fast. Their AFV production is shrinking because they have to relocate most of their workforce towards aviation, yet even with all their effort the 1944 aircraft production level was basically the same as in 1943. I am not sure if the British can continue the war into 1946, especially against a much stronger Germany compared to OTL.

- Most Americans saw Japan as the main enemy, if the US remains inactive on the ground in 43 and especially 44, I am not sure how they can justify further involvement in Europe. Especially with increased casualties and meagre results.

- Roosevelt dies in April 1945 as per OTL - Truman will seek to end the war with Japan Asap. Ending the war against Japan however will be .... traumatic. Against a Japan that has not to worry about the USSR, and which doesnt lose Manchuria, even a combination of blockade, 10 atomic bombs and invasion would take well into 1946. After the casualties and destruction sustained against the Japs, I am not sure how Truman could justify to restart the war in Europe against public opinion - even if he wanted. A cease-fire/compromised peace would be to tempting.

- If it really comes down to an unwavering full scale air war, I would say an additonal 10 000 (Bomber) aircraft lost by the Wallies in the May 43 - May 45 period would be enough to lead to a cancelation of the CBO. According to the USSBS by March/April the US/Britain had 14 100 bombers in the ETO. Assuming 3/4 of the additonal 10 000 aircraft downed would be bombers, this would effectively half what the US/Britain had compared to OTL. With the introduction of the dual fuse and R4M there would be a lot more damaged aircraft in 1945, bringing down the number of operational bombers to a fraction of the OTL level. Which would mean the end of the CBO by the autumn of 1945 at the latest. Of course this assumes that the Americans invested as much aircraft into the ETO as OTL, which seems unlikely.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
16 Nov 2020 13:51
Merely maintaining American production at its peak throughout '44/45, rather than tapering off in '44, replaces such losses.
I am not sure the Americans can keep up their peak production in aircraft much longer than OTL. By the end of 1944 they started to feel manpower shortages and had to sacrifice AFV production in order to keep up their Aircraft production. And if they have to invade Japan - which seems quite likely without the USSR, they will need additional hundreds of thousands of men in the Pacific in order to replace casualties. They will also need thousands of additonal aircraft in the Pacific to replace casualties.

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 16 Nov 2020 19:00

Richard Anderson wrote:You need to think about what I wrote, rather than what you appear to think I wrote. Yes, the 13 October 1943 raid was disastrous to VIII BC, but those six months of the air campaign were more damaging to the Luftwaffe than to the USAAF. Different time period, different scale.
Well if you go back and read what I wrote - only mentioning the Regensburg raid - I'll ty to think about what you wrote. I mean really - Regensburg is all I mentioned, not even October, certainly not the adjacent 5 months.
Richard Anderson wrote:Again, you are changing the scope of the selection...concentrating on trees rather than forest.
Again, I was talking about one raid. Expanding the scope to October was actually a concession.
Richard Anderson wrote:Not for the U.S. it isn't unfavorable, for the USAAF it is highly favorable.
Depends what you mean by unfavorable.

If you mean the OTL loss exchanges got the Allies closer to victory, fair. LW had to win by like 10:1 OTL against the W.Allies; which plainly was not in the cards.

But I'm clearly evaluating things based on the ATL topic of the thread, in which a post-SU Germany has more favorable options.
Richard Anderson wrote:I'm starting to feel like I'm trying to lead that damned horse to water.
Well in my religious tradition a damned horse needs to store a lot of water for his final destination, so maybe he's double-dipping from various waterholes, doing his best camel.
Richard Anderson wrote:Indeed, the comparison I did obviously does not include the RAF, which was also better able to sustain such losses and for the same reasons the USAAF was able to... True story, my wife's late stepfather, Peter Cope
No doubt the Anglosphere had enormous spare resources OTL. It alone had ~3x Germany's productive resources and faced only ~40% of Germany's productive resources. The W.Allies could have built a giant battle fleet, 5x the IJN+KM and perfectly engineered to dump Sherman tanks into the Mariana Trench at 33kn, and still won the war. They could have formed a 5mil-man Army Choir, sent it on a two-year tour of highland Argentina, and still won.

The picture change might have changed had they faced 100% of German productive resources, which have doubled from OTL. At least FDR and the JCS thought so.

I hope Peter coped with the weather change and culture shock in Texas. A lot of funny-talking people aggressively asking why he talked so funny.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 16 Nov 2020 19:13

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
16 Nov 2020 09:10
T.A. Gardner wrote:The P-80.
You turned me on the Youtube channel "Greg's Airplanes," which has a good video comparing Me-262 and P-80 thrust/drag profiles. https://youtu.be/zv83yBebiIU Greg's channel is highly recommended for other avgeeks.

Per Greg, Me-262 was faster in their respective 1945 configurations. And while P-80 could out-turn Me262 at slow speeds, Me-262 had the advantage at high speed. Here's screenshot of the turn analysis:

Image

Me-262 was also the better climber in most cases.

More importantly for a discussion of ATL 1945, the Me-262 was much farther along the introduction curve. OTL Me-262 production was hampered by critical shortages of labor/tooling and by bomb damage, all of which diminish/disappear in a post-SU ATL. Germany could have been producing 1,000 Me-262's per month in ATL early '45; P-80 would be produced by the dozen.
No, Germany probably couldn't produce 1,000 a month. That'd require 2,000 Jumo 004 engines which Junkers couldn't provide but a fraction of. Then they'd need thousands more to replace those that failed in service given the roughly 10 hour service life of one. P-80 production by mid 1945 would be at a minimum hundreds per month and ramping up. There would also be about a dozen other jet fighters about to enter service or testing as well, along with jet bombers to join that shortly--real jet bombers, not like the Ar 234 that was pressed into service as one when it was really far too small to do the job.
T.A. Gardner wrote:And, both were inferior to cancelled Allied fighters like the P-72, P-82, or MB-5.
I was comparing contemporary aircraft. Yes the Allies were building more advanced piston-engined AC but so was Germany. Ta-152 was about as fast as P-72; Do-335 was a far better heavy fighter than P-82. Both German designs were closer to service/production than their American counterparts in OTL 1945 and would have been better-placed ATL.
The P-72A would have hit about 520 mph and climbed at a mile-a-minute. It totally outperforms the Ta 152C and H both. It was in testing in June 1944 and the only reason it was cancelled was the USAAF didn't see a need for a better plane at that stage of the war. Since the airframe is mostly a P-47 one, it would have been in production before the Ta 152 had the USAAF wanted it.
The Do 335 is just a match for a P-82. The P-82 does about 470 mph with better maneuverability and has a tremendous range as an escort plane. And, by 1946 it could have been using an early, and reasonably effective for the time period, AAM (unlike the totally unworkable X-4 Ruhrstal AAM)

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 16 Nov 2020 19:20

As an aside, what Germany really needed by 1945 was a workable SAM. This reduces the use of fuel for interception considerably if you can fire missiles using various solid or liquid rocket fuels instead. It also reduces the need for ammunition and flak guns that are growing more marginal in effectiveness as aircraft altitudes are increasing.

The problem in putting one in service for Germany is two-fold:

The first is having a working missile to use. While the Germans were testing a number of these most had serious drawbacks or were simply unworkable as a service missile.

The second is having a reasonably good fire control system that could guide the missile to a target. The Germans really never got beyond some basic proposals for such a system and were a lot further from a solution in this area than in having a missile.

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 16 Nov 2020 19:29

politician01 wrote:Most Americans saw Japan as the main enemy, if the US remains inactive on the ground in 43 and especially 44, I am not sure how they can justify further involvement in Europe. Especially with increased casualties and meagre results.

I am not sure if the British can continue the war into 1946, especially against a much stronger Germany compared to OTL.
Agreed. I find it unlikely that both publics last into even 1945, more on that below.
Against a Japan that has not to worry about the USSR, and which doesnt lose Manchuria, even a combination of blockade, 10 atomic bombs and invasion would take well into 1946.
Yes. Manchuria/Korea is such an important and oft-overlooked point. Japan's industrial base there was massive OTL and they had plans to increase it. Those plans were nullified by China-based bombers but ATL the Kwantung Army is free from '42 so China - and the bases for Manchuria-bound bombers - is cleared.

It isn't hard to imagine Japan pulling something approaching the Soviet evacuation: move basic and armaments industries to Manchuria/Korea, where the coal/ore resources were actually closer. Like the SU, Japan's population was committed to the war on a level the W.Allies - and even Germany - could not equal.
Roosevelt dies in April 1945 as per OTL - Truman will seek to end the war with Japan Asap. Ending the war against Japan however will be .... traumatic.
IMJ Roosevelt isn't president in April 45. If the U.S. has only suffered defeats in ETO during 42-44 (MidEast, North Africa, Iberia if they try something there) then a Republican like Taft could make huge inroads on a "Japan First" platform, castigating FDR for his aggressiveness with Germany and the resultant entanglements in Europe - a powerful rhetorical note in case you're not up on U.S. mythology. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washingto ... _Alliances (you might know this from 7th grade if you're American but can't tell if you are)
I am not sure the Americans can keep up their peak production in aircraft much longer than OTL.
I doubt it as well, but for different reasons.

Might the W.Allies have to replace the Red Army, at least to some extent? If they don't, they're going to lose everything not separated from Germany by an ocean. I.e. all of Eurasia.

What I mean is the W.Allies have to raise larger armies. Larger armies mean less production overall, and a greater proportion of the reduced production going to shells/bullets rather than planes. The most decisive issue is whether there's a perceived threat of UK being invaded. If so, W.Allies need at least 200 divisions in Britain, which means 10mil men at OTL division slice. That's ~1/4 of American industrial manpower. Between 1/4 fewer men and 3x the army production required, there's no way to sustain anything like OTL aerial production levels.

While describing the German invasion path is difficult, it's a historical fact that American leaders perceived such a danger as real had the SU fallen. The W.Allies couldn't have afforded - politically or prudentially - to have taken the threat lightly. So they probably need to put millions of soldiers in the British Isles, removing them from factories and mandating more ground production. Germany needn't respond with reciprocal drafts from factories as their soldiers can go from Germany to the front in a week or so, while American boys needs months/years to assemble. So it seems nearly certain to me that the W.Allies could not have maintained OTL aerial production so long as Germany controlled all of Europe, nor could they have assembled the millions of men and tons of shipping to invade Japan. It'd be a choice of (1) indefinite siege of Europe with a remaining possibility of Germany conquering Britain anyway or (2) peace with Germany and a victory over Japan.

That the choice would be (2) in such circumstance is very clear to me. As you say, Americans hated Japan foremost. Furthermore, as I've detailed in another thread, America had plans for a cold war with Nazi Germany until the Soviet entry and resilience raised the possibility of crushing Hitler. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=252647&start=90#p2302010

Contrary to vulgar narratives, we (America) didn't fight WW2 as a life/death struggle against the incomprehensible evil of Nazism. We would have made accommodations with Hitler's order had it been firmly entrenched in Europe and only invaded Europe because it was relatively easy ("easy" is of course applicable only to the grand strategic questions, not to the individual heroism of Americans like my relatives who did the actual fighting - but their opinions wouldn't have held sway anyway).
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 16 Nov 2020 19:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 16 Nov 2020 19:46

T.A. Gardner wrote:No, Germany probably couldn't produce 1,000 a month. That'd require 2,000 Jumo 004 engines which Junkers couldn't provide but a fraction of.
OTL not ATL. Resources matter. A Germany constrained to a bomb-ruined Altreich in 1945 is fundamentally different from a Germany whose Grossraum covers all of Europe and whose bomb damage is at least significantly ameliorated. It's just a silly game to pretend OTL and ATL are the same.
Then they'd need thousands more to replace those that failed in service given the roughly 10 hour service life of one.
OTL not ATL. Jumo 004's design reflected choices imposed by raw material and skilled work shortages, as recognized by engineering analysis in Germany and in postwar American analysis: https://web.archive.org/web/20120320004 ... gine_2.pdf
The P-82 does about 470 mph with better maneuverability
P-82's wingloading is 23% higher than Do-335's. You've previously expressed the opinion that wingloading is irrelevant to maneuverability but that's just nonsense. Wingloading is THE most important headline stat for maneuverability.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Politician01 » 16 Nov 2020 20:17

T. A. Gardner wrote:
16 Nov 2020 19:20
As an aside, what Germany really needed by 1945 was a workable SAM. This reduces the use of fuel for interception considerably if you can fire missiles using various solid or liquid rocket fuels instead. It also reduces the need for ammunition and flak guns that are growing more marginal in effectiveness as aircraft altitudes are increasing.The problem in putting one in service for Germany is two-fold:
The OTL problem Germany faced. There was progress with AA rockets in the 43-45 period, however because the Germans had to use up all their manpower in the East, development was severely hampered. And everything they had in the eastern part of Germany and the Protectorate had to be evacuated or fell into Soviet hands in the January - May 1945 period. With more funds, far greater manpower and no evacution, one can say with certainty that several projects the Germans were working on would have been completed by the summer of 1945. Unfortunately it is impossible to say what projects because there are to many variables.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
16 Nov 2020 19:29
IMJ Roosevelt isn't president in April 45. If the U.S. has only suffered defeats in ETO during 42-44 (MidEast, North Africa, Iberia if they try something there) then a Republican like Taft could make huge inroads on a "Japan First" platform, castigating FDR for his aggressiveness with Germany and the resultant entanglements in Europe - a powerful rhetorical note in case you're not up on U.S. mythology.
This is certainly a possibility I raised in the many other What if threads where the Soviet Union is out of the war. I didnt mention in in order to discuss the air war until 1945.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
16 Nov 2020 19:29
Might the W.Allies have to replace the Red Army, at least to some extent? If they don't, they're going to lose everything not separated from Germany by an ocean. I.e. all of Eurasia. What I mean is the W.Allies have to raise larger armies. Larger armies mean less production overall, and a greater proportion of the reduced production going to shells/bullets rather than planes.
If the Wallies create larger armies - this will be at the expense of the Navy/Air Force/Industry. I doubt Britain can relocate more than
500 000 men into the Army from all other branches in 1944/45 without the war effort collapsing. The Americans face similar, allthough not as pressing problems. Perhaps they can redistribute around 1 Million men without endangering industrial output/ weakening the Atlantic Navy and the ETO Air forces by much. But certainly not more than that.

If the Wallies raise larger armies though, they will have to use them eventually. It doesnt make sense to have 200 divisions in the Med/Britain just sitting around doing nothing. Should the Wallies attack in Italy in 1943 and in France in 1944 though, their losses would be so catastrophic that they would run out of manpower by 1945, perhaps even in 1944. Then there is the problem of Japan for the Americans. I doubt that the American public and American Generals/Admirals would allow any more rsources beeing taken from the Pacific Theatre.

Regardless which course of action is taken - larger armies mean less personell for the Navy/Air force/Industry and therefore a reduced industrial output and less damage/losses for German U-boats and German Industry/Air force.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
16 Nov 2020 19:29
Contrary to vulgar narratives, we (America) didn't fight WW2 as a life/death struggle against the incomprehensible evil of Nazism. We would have made accommodations with Hitler's order had it been firmly entrenched in Europe and only invaded Europe because it was relatively easy.
The main motor of American involvement in WW2 was Roosevelt. Make him lose the election of 1944 - or not participate - and there is room for realpolitics. The same applies to Truman after Roosevelts death. As you mentioned: It is quite easy to stay in a war against an enemy whos attention is focused on another front. Against a Continental Empire whos full attention is shifted towards the defense against Invasion - not so much.

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Richard Anderson » 17 Nov 2020 01:56

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
16 Nov 2020 19:00
Well if you go back and read what I wrote - only mentioning the Regensburg raid - I'll ty to think about what you wrote. I mean really - Regensburg is all I mentioned, not even October, certainly not the adjacent 5 months.

Again, I was talking about one raid. Expanding the scope to October was actually a concession.
I'm sorry, but I thought I was quite clear in the scope of what I posted. You narrowed six months of missions down to a single mission. Looks like a moving of the goal post.

Depends what you mean by unfavorable.

If you mean the OTL loss exchanges got the Allies closer to victory, fair. LW had to win by like 10:1 OTL against the W.Allies; which plainly was not in the cards.
By unfavorable I mean the exchange ratio and the relative replacement capabilities of the two.
But I'm clearly evaluating things based on the ATL topic of the thread, in which a post-SU Germany has more favorable options.
The problem was, by 1942 the German training program was already well on its way to implosion. Worse, more and more "you don't understand because OTL is not ATL" is sounding more and more like a mantra, or possibly a Harry Potter-inspired spell?
Well in my religious tradition a damned horse needs to store a lot of water for his final destination, so maybe he's double-dipping from various waterholes, doing his best camel.
Just so long as you can feed your horse through the eye of a needle...or whatever.
No doubt the Anglosphere had enormous spare resources OTL. It alone had ~3x Germany's productive resources and faced only ~40% of Germany's productive resources. The W.Allies could have built a giant battle fleet, 5x the IJN+KM and perfectly engineered to dump Sherman tanks into the Mariana Trench at 33kn, and still won the war. They could have formed a 5mil-man Army Choir, sent it on a two-year tour of highland Argentina, and still won.
I am not too worried about giant battle fleets or choirs, but rather factual capabilities. The Germans lacked training infrastructure, fuel, engine plant, aircraft plant, and et cetera, all of which take time.
The picture change might have changed had they faced 100% of German productive resources, which have doubled from OTL. At least FDR and the JCS thought so.
There goes that mantra again. Ommmm! Yes, FDR, the CoS, and the CNO anticipated the need in late 1939, so began building up the manufacture of aircraft and the training of crews. The Germans didn't do so well.

The German sausage factory did not do too well at turning out pilots was the problem. Although Milch's design in 1934-1935 was for a system that could turn out 10,000 to 15,000 pilots per year, the search for shiny things kind of messed things up. Goering wanted operational units so was happy to raid the training establishment for experienced pilots and crews at will. Bomber training was screwed multiple times, starting in April-June 1940 to sustain transport operations in the Norwegian, Danish, and French campaigns, again in spring 1941 to sustain operations in Crete, again in the winter of 1941/1942 to sustain the Ostfront pockets like Demyansk, and then finally in the Stalingrad and Tunisian airlifts. The Lehr Geschwadern made excellent operational units...which kind of defeated the entire purpose of creating them as centers of training excellence, and doctrinal, and tactical development. The other training programs were similarly affected. The upshot was that in 1942 the training system was only able to turn out 1,662 SE fighter pilots, 537 SE bomber crews, 1,962 2E bomber crews, and 431 recon and 2E NF crews. In 1943, it improved to 3,276 SE fighter pilots, 537 SE bomber crews, 3,231 2E bomber crews, and 1,822 recon and NF crews. From 1,962 qualified pilots to 3,231 qualified pilots.

So if we take your change from, what is your WAG again? 40% of German productive capability becomes 100%, so what, by 1943 they are cranking out around 8,000 pilots? It is still only about 20% of the American training capacity...add in the British program.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Thumpalumpacus » 17 Nov 2020 03:37

Peter89 wrote:
16 Nov 2020 07:58
Exactly! The Wallies made a mistake and re-evaluated their approach - why do we think that they wouldn't do so if they have to wrestle for air superiority over the mainland?
They did exactly that when Doolittle ordered the fighters away from close-escort to a strategy of sweeps ahead and loose escorts freed to shoot up whatever targets presented, after the bombers had extricated. A change in approach aimed directly at the goal of air superiority.

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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Lars » 17 Nov 2020 17:48

* If The USSR is out of the war in early 1943, the Germans will immediately send most of the Luftwaffe to the crisis in Tunisia.
* The Germans and Italians will hold out longer, but a larger Tunisgrad is still in the cards, by say, late summer 1943.
* The Allies will need to build-up their aircover much more before an invasion of Sicily can take place because the Luftwaffe is much stronger in the Med than in our timeline.
* I suppose the autumn weather is not a problem in the Med for an invasion.
* So Sicily is invaded in say October or November.

* The USAAF build-up in England is delayed even more than in our timeline because of Tunisia.
* The RAF also doesn't have the quite the historical resources for the bombing campaign.
* Support and recon for the u-boats will spike immediately when it is clear that The USSR is going to drop out of the war.
* The RAF will have to divert more resources to the Atlantic because of this.
* So The RAF's bombing campaign will not have quite the strength it had in out timeline.
* For the USAAF the effects will be much larger. It takes USAAF several more months to get the daylight bombing campaing going.
* Even without the Italian disaster at Stalingrad Mussolini's standing towards Hitler will be much diminished.
* When Hitler demands that several German divisions, including panzer divisions, be sent to Sicily as well as Sardinia and the Italian mainland Mussolini will concur.
* Given that the invasion of Sicily was less than perfectly executed, I can see a likely scenario where the much larger rested and refitted German elite divisions coupled with a much stronger Luftwaffe throws the Allied invasion back into the sea.
* This completely changes the war compared to our time line.

I am not that optimistic about the losses of the Luftwaffe going down significantly though.
* More German planes and pilots will be lost in Tunisia and Sicily than in our timeline.
* To the benefit of the Germans this will be a defensive airwar over their own territory which means that downed pilots can fly again while downed Allied pilots will be captured.
* The other benefit might be that Sicily could be a relatively short campaign. If the Allies are thrown back into the sea this likely occurs within the first week.

So I basically argue that one should look to the Med when it comes to the question of Luftwaffe strength.

The other question which is highly speculative is what condition rump-USSR is in.
* Will Stalin remain in power, will the Communists?
* My answer is probably no to the second question, and most likely no to the first.
* At least there will be a second civil war within The USSR.
* The Communist regime will be without the gain of The Ukraine and Caucasus and left with little (but expanding) oil from the Ural area.
* Coal is also a problem without the Donbas and the Moscow area mines.
* Lend-lease will stop.
* However, if USSR/Russia manages to hold together against the odds then from 1944 the Germans will have re-stock the Eastern front with assets somewhat including some Luftwaffe assets.

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