WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
Politician01
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Politician01 » 18 Mar 2021 17:15

histan wrote:
18 Mar 2021 16:07
Please no hand waving
Ok then:

- How will Bomber Command keep up the OTL strenght with increased losses due to better/more flak/fighters from the Summer of 1943 onward?
- How will Bomber Command compensate for all the additional air crew shot down over Germany/wounded?
- How is the RAF going to keep the "Lack of Moral Fibre" that was a serious problem OTL in check with even more strain on the crews ATL?
- How is it not possible to conquer Malta that is far smaller than Crete, far nearer to Axis controlled territory and has less defensive troops?

I will stop now, I am already getting bored.

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

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 18 Mar 2021 18:01

Going back to a post a few pages and much hilarity ago, TMP posted:
One significant problem, however, is the Type XXI submarine. Nobody had any answer to this weapon even in 1948.
With the implication that his "research" "proved" this a fact whereas the historical evidence is much more nuanced; not a word that could be used to describe many of the arguments made in these "what-iffery" threads.

In light of my recent remark that the one good thing about these threads is a reminder to read more, I thought this article might be of use to some of those of a less dogmatic nature:

https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/v ... nwc-review

I'd suggest that some of the arguments made in this article reinforced my questions around the perceived urgency of delivering such a technological shift in response to TMP's assertion that:
TheMarcksPlan wrote: ↑17 Mar 2021 21:05
It's a distinct possibility that the additional resources for the Uboats - including leadership attention - results in Type XXI being conceived a year or so earlier and that - with more and better workers on the project and less bomb damage to its production chain - it's fully operational by 1944.
In particular, I noted this remark:
One cannot exaggerate the importance of the experience of the U-boat service in May 1943 to Dönitz’s decision to shift production to an entirely new platform in wartime.
So I'll repeat my questions.
a. Why is it a "distinct possibility"?
b. What would drive such a decision? Certainly not U-boat losses up to that point or an understanding of the impact that air-power would have on the the U-boat's effectiveness.
And add a third:
c. Does this ATL include a presumption that the course of the Atlantic U-boat campaign remains OTL until 31 May 1943?
My questions were previously dismissed with a "hand-wavium" reply which was disappointing. Any chance of a more informed discussion?

Regards

Tom

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

Post by History Learner » 18 Mar 2021 18:26

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 05:59
Thanks. I forgot that you posted the chart earlier.

The GOP were not all isolationists. Dewey was an interventionist, and Taft, the leader of the isolationist wing, barely won reelection in his home state in the OTL.

I would also note that your chart shows a substantial gap between the percentage of the American population willing to make peace with Hitler and the percentage willing to make peace with the German army. The percentage willing to make peace with Hitler is a lot lower, and for good reason as I've pointed out on this thread (and no one has responded to): Hitler was a war loving maniac who broke every treaty he ever signed, constantly started wars against countries he was at peace with, and was intent on developing offensive weapons to terrorize enemy civilian populations. Thus, the percent willing to make peace with the German army implies a peace with a rational German government that has deposed Hitler, gives up its conquests and renounces the militarist Nazi public policy.

I'm not aware of any public outcry that caused the United States to end the Korean War (it didn't really end), but Korea and Vietnam are very different examples than WW2. Neither country had attacked the United States. Neither country posed any real threat to the United States. Television media coverage played an important role in Vietnam that wouldn't have been present during WW2. The meaninglessness of the Vietnam war was an important factor, whereas your chart shows that a very high percentage of the American public understood what WW2 was about. Americans in WW2 were faced with a madman trying to conquer the world and rain weapons of mass destruction down on their families' homes, and they rightly had no interest in making peace with him, as your chart shows.
The GOP were not all isolationists, sure, but that doesn't change the fact Politicians are opportunists. If the majority of the American public come to demand an end to the conflict, do you really think both major parties-especially the GOP-are going to ignore them? If they do so, they do it at their own peril and then you reach a point of public discontent that can have ramifications outside the ballot box. From 1944 onwards, despite the heated opposition of both the CPUSA, the AFL, the CIO, etc wildcat strikes by American industrial workers began to skyrocket. If the war has become unpopular and their voices are not being heard but the Democratic process, expect that to not only continue but increase. Like I said earlier, the U.S. is a Democracy and that carries disadvantages to running a war effort that Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and the USSR don't have to deal with.

Specifically as it pertains to the graph provided, at the height of public opinion on the matter 40% supported a peace deal with the German Army-this was not specified to include giving up conquests-and 25% were willing to make peace with Hitler even based on existing conquests, which at the time included all of Europe and vast amounts of the USSR. That's a pretty large voting bloc in of itself, and that's before we take into consideration the impacts of the changed scenario here. There is no USSR left to face, so the Germans are free to pour resources into their Air and Naval forces, as well as transfer vast amounts of divisions Westwards to face the Anglo-Americans. Even presuming a 100 Division occupying force in the former USSR, that still frees up about 50 divisions immediately for use elsewhere, as well as "saves" about 70-100 more for use on the long run either at the front or as skilled industrial labor to help boost German material output.

To put this into perspective, the roughly 60 divisions on the Western Front in 1944-1945 (IIRC) inflicted over 700,000 American casualties. This is also, for the record, not including Commonwealth losses or the losses of both in Italy concurrently. Rather than facing about 80 Divisions, here the Anglo-Americans would be facing closer to 160 in all probability if not more, which are also vastly better equipped and trained thanks to higher German industrial output. Thus, in effect, any prolonging of the conflict once the USSR goes down is effectively asking the public of the United States to sustain most likely two million causalities or more, even using 1944 rates.

Now, to specifically look at the cited examples of Korea and Vietnam they are equally applicable to the position of Nazi Germany in WWII. North Korea engaged in unprovoked aggression against its neighbor, invading it and attacking American forces; sound familiar? Same for Vietnam, with the Tonkin Gulf incident in particular. Worried about a madman trying to conquer the world and threatening to use WMDs on CONUS? Exactly the thoughts of Americans in the early 1950s about Stalin and the Soviet bloc at large, same with Vietnam in the early days; Domino Theory didn't just come out of the ether, after all.

I'd highly recommend you review opinion polling on Korea in the context of the altered situation presented by the OP.

KDF33
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by KDF33 » 18 Mar 2021 18:47

History Learner wrote:
18 Mar 2021 18:26
To put this into perspective, the roughly 60 divisions on the Western Front in 1944-1945 (IIRC) inflicted over 700,000 American casualties.
This is incorrect. US battle casualties in the ETO from June 1944 - May 1945, excluding the USAAF, amounted to 520,244.

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