Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 06 Jul 2021 18:11

TMP posted:
Churchill's concept for Anglo-American victory was in line with the US "Victory Program of 1941": Allies would bomb Germany then, to avoid full-scale WW1-style battle, conduct expeditionary landings with smaller mechanized forces.

The plan was unworkable - risible actually. It tacitly assumed that, even were it possible to limit land warfare to small mechanized forces, expertise in such warfare would suddenly desert the Germans and inhabit the Allies.
Context is everything though isn't it? Churchill didn't have a single "concept" for victory - his views on possible routes to victory evolved in response to the changes in the overall situation. Churchill's concept in September 1939 would have been different to that in September 1940, September 1941, September 1942, etc, etc...

If the Soviet Union had collapsed, no doubt his "concept" would have changed again.

I also note that there has been little, if any, reference in the discussion on the productivity of the German aircraft industry of either the impact of Allied bombing (and consequent dispersal and atomisation of production) nor of the generally recognised fall off in quality of those airframes produced. Perhaps that should be included as a factor?

BTW many thanks for the links to Mark Harrison's multitude of works and mention of Arming the Luftwaffe. The latter is definitely on my updated "most wanted" list!

Regards

Tom

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Jul 2021 22:33

Tom from Cornwall wrote:Context is everything though isn't it?
Fundamentals are everything.

To conquer Germany requires conquering the German army. Churchill never really faced this fact in either world war.

In WW2 the solution was "Let the Russian do it." Absent that solution, I (and FDR) doubt there was another.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

KDF33
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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by KDF33 » 07 Jul 2021 00:11

historygeek2021 wrote:
06 Jul 2021 06:00
If I convert the 186,940,000 pounds of U.S. airframe weight for the period May-July 1943 shown by both sources, I get 84,794.49 metric tons. But you used 67,644 metric tons for the U.S. side of the equation. Please explain how you arrived at this, and if possible, show screenshots of your work.
The data shown in the USSBS as well as the Official Munitions Production of the United States is for the months of May - July. Namely, in this case, May to July 1943.

My calculations are for the months of April and May 1943, as can be seen here. They are based on empty weight figures found on Wikipedia, mainly sourced from Jane's. Here, for instance, you will find the empty weight of the B-24.

I did the same for Germany, as shown here.

That way, I can proceed with an apples-to-apples comparison, namely one based on empty weight.
historygeek2021 wrote:
06 Jul 2021 06:00
[...]So please explain why we should be using 67,644 metric tons for the U.S instead of 84,794.49.
As mentioned previously, my figures are for April-May, whereas the USSBS are for May-July.
historygeek2021 wrote:
06 Jul 2021 06:00
Also, it would be good to see what figures you get for the same period in 1944, for which the USSBS shows a 58% leap in U.S. productivity versus an increase of only 13% for Germany.
I intend to do it - it just takes time. With that being said, I can already say that the difference in productivity in 1944 will be larger than in 1943 or 1942 - which is to be expected, given how the German aircraft factories came under sustained attacks starting in June 1943, a campaign which peaked in intensity during the 2nd quarter of 1944.

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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by historygeek2021 » 07 Jul 2021 01:42

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Jul 2021 22:33

To conquer Germany requires conquering the German army.
Or you could just (atom) bomb them into the stone age.

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 07 Jul 2021 01:50

historygeek2021 wrote:
07 Jul 2021 01:42
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Jul 2021 22:33

To conquer Germany requires conquering the German army.
Or you could just (atom) bomb them into the stone age.
Maybe, assuming Germany doesn't conquer Britain first and that, if not, the war lasts into 1945.

But that's not an option - not part of the fundamentals - when FDR and Churchill considered their long term plans in '42.

The only options were (1) "assume bombing works and the Germans forget how to do mechanized warfare" and (2) "let the Russians fight the Germans."

FDR soon realized that (1) was a mirage - something implicit in the Victory Program of 1941 all along anyways (it was drafted by Wedemayer, a stringent isolationist who perhaps was sending a message).

Churchill, as I say, never stopped trying to duck an all-out fight with the German army.

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

An interesting ATL - one on my backburner - is a conventional war pitting a US/Empire fully committed to a slog through Europe, absent the SU.

If we remove political constraints disfavoring millions of battlefield deaths, I'm open to the argument that US/UK can conquer Germany. Decisive factors would be:
  • 1. Battle of Atlantic, Round 2: Dawn of real submarines
  • 2. Production choices: US/UK need to draft another ~15-20mil given US division slice and logistical practices. What do they cut from their production program and is there enough left to conquer Europe?
  • 3. Peace with Japan? Hard to see Hitler dying violently absent this stipulation.
For (1) I'm very dubious on the Allies chances. Maybe, though, if they invade in '45 they can achieve a dominant position before T21 severs their LoC. Probably not.

For (2) I can see an army-focused program working, now that we've removed the political constraints and therefore the air power focus. Plus US has some slack in the domestic economy.

For (3) I can't see peace with Japan, not after Pearl.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

historygeek2021
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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by historygeek2021 » 07 Jul 2021 03:29

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Jul 2021 01:50

But that's not an option - not part of the fundamentals - when FDR and Churchill considered their long term plans in '42.

The only options were (1) "assume bombing works and the Germans forget how to do mechanized warfare" and (2) "let the Russians fight the Germans."

FDR soon realized that (1) was a mirage - something implicit in the Victory Program of 1941 all along anyways (it was drafted by Wedemayer, a stringent isolationist who perhaps was sending a message).

Churchill, as I say, never stopped trying to duck an all-out fight with the German army.
You put too much weight on politicians' statements in the early years of the war. Politicians say all sorts of nonsense. It doesn't have any bearing on reality, which in this case showed that the Germany army was basically a walkover for the Americans and British.

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 07 Jul 2021 03:37

historygeek2021 wrote:Germany army was basically a walkover for the Americans and British.
Ok if you're ever ready to have a serious discussion of the topic, lmk.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by historygeek2021 » 07 Jul 2021 03:54

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Jul 2021 03:37
historygeek2021 wrote:Germany army was basically a walkover for the Americans and British.
Ok if you're ever ready to have a serious discussion of the topic, lmk.
The Allies literally walked over the Germans from North Africa to Italy and from Normandy to the Elbe.

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 07 Jul 2021 03:55

KDF33 wrote:airframe weight'
What meaning of "airframe "weight" as used by USSBS corresponds to reality? Maximum takeoff weight?

If you know, could you point me to where the USSBS defines "working day" for the purposes of the Exhibit V/VI productivity calculations?

It may be that USSBS is crediting German aircraft factories for the brutally-long hours put in by forced laborers, then translating these into a standard "working day" measured in hours (say 10).

We've known for many decades that maximum output no longer increases after a certain number of hours - usually given as 48.

If so, USSBS's calculations would show much lower productivity per "working day" than would stats based on employees - such as your calculations.

This would exaggerate the true productivity differential because
  • Had US workers logged slave hours, output would not necessarily have risen and may have declined.
  • It was infeasible to force slave hours on American workers (see labor actions during WW2).
So it may be that your calculations are properly removing an unwarranted productivity differential portrayed by USSBS, apart from the "airframe weight" issue.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 07 Jul 2021 03:57

historygeek2021 wrote:
07 Jul 2021 03:54
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Jul 2021 03:37
historygeek2021 wrote:Germany army was basically a walkover for the Americans and British.
Ok if you're ever ready to have a serious discussion of the topic, lmk.
The Allies literally walked over the Germans from North Africa to Italy and from Normandy to the Elbe.
Literally walked? I thought the Allies were mechanized?

HG you're obviously not taking this discussion seriously, obviously ATL conditions would differ (i.e. force ratios). Again, if you ever want to have a serious discussion...
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

historygeek2021
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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by historygeek2021 » 07 Jul 2021 04:04

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Jul 2021 03:57
historygeek2021 wrote:
07 Jul 2021 03:54
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
07 Jul 2021 03:37
historygeek2021 wrote:Germany army was basically a walkover for the Americans and British.
Ok if you're ever ready to have a serious discussion of the topic, lmk.
The Allies literally walked over the Germans from North Africa to Italy and from Normandy to the Elbe.
Literally walked? I thought the Allies were mechanized?

HG you're obviously not taking this discussion seriously, obviously ATL conditions would differ (i.e. force ratios). Again, if you ever want to have a serious discussion...
Within a year of the Allies landing in North Africa, there were no more Germans in North Africa.

Within a year of landing in Italy, the Allies had cleared most of the peninsula.

With in a year of landing in France, there was no more German army at all.

Any objective observer would call the Allied vs German land campaigns of WW2 a lopsided victory for the Allies, or in common parlance, a walkover.

KDF33
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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by KDF33 » 07 Jul 2021 04:08

historygeek2021 wrote:
07 Jul 2021 04:04
Within a year of the Allies landing in North Africa, there were no more Germans in North Africa.

Within a year of landing in Italy, the Allies had cleared most of the peninsula.

With in a year of landing in France, there was no more German army at all.

Any objective observer would call the Allied vs German land campaigns of WW2 a lopsided victory for the Allies, or in common parlance, a walkover.
I am confused. You are aware that a substantial majority of the Heer was fighting in the East, right?

You are also aware of the Battle of France or the Battle of Gazala?

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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by historygeek2021 » 07 Jul 2021 04:10

KDF33 wrote:
07 Jul 2021 04:08
historygeek2021 wrote:
07 Jul 2021 04:04
Within a year of the Allies landing in North Africa, there were no more Germans in North Africa.

Within a year of landing in Italy, the Allies had cleared most of the peninsula.

With in a year of landing in France, there was no more German army at all.

Any objective observer would call the Allied vs German land campaigns of WW2 a lopsided victory for the Allies, or in common parlance, a walkover.
I am confused. You are aware that a substantial majority of the Heer was fighting in the East, right?
Yes. I stated a simple fact. The Allied armies walked over the German army.

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 07 Jul 2021 04:14

KDF33 wrote:
07 Jul 2021 04:08
historygeek2021 wrote:
07 Jul 2021 04:04
Within a year of the Allies landing in North Africa, there were no more Germans in North Africa.

Within a year of landing in Italy, the Allies had cleared most of the peninsula.

With in a year of landing in France, there was no more German army at all.

Any objective observer would call the Allied vs German land campaigns of WW2 a lopsided victory for the Allies, or in common parlance, a walkover.
I am confused. You are aware that a substantial majority of the Heer was fighting in the East, right?

You are also aware of the Battle of France or the Battle of Gazala?
Simple explanation: HG has shifted from a good discussion based on quantitative analysis to a Reddit style of discussion. Disappointing.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

KDF33
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Re: Alternative history and its science fiction derivatives

Post by KDF33 » 07 Jul 2021 04:15

historygeek2021 wrote:
07 Jul 2021 04:10
Yes. I stated a simple fact. The Allied armies walked over the German army.
Not quite. TMP argued that the Allies counted on (1) strategic bombing and/or (2) active Soviet participation in the war, to which you replied, and I quote:
historygeek2021 wrote:
07 Jul 2021 03:29
You put too much weight on politicians' statements in the early years of the war. Politicians say all sorts of nonsense. It doesn't have any bearing on reality, which in this case showed that the Germany army was basically a walkover for the Americans and British.
Given that the majority of the German Army was fighting in the East, how is referring to Allied success against the minority they engaged, with overwhelming odds in their favor, a rebuttal of his argument?

There's no logic here.
Last edited by KDF33 on 07 Jul 2021 04:17, edited 1 time in total.

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