Peter89 wrote:4000 EXTRA PLANES with aircrew and infrastructure is a bit funny number for me as the LW was not capable to operate that number for quite a long time.
...which is why I've always said 1,500 AC supporting the MidEast drive. Put another 1,000 or so elsewhere (Aegean and Sicily primarily).
The LW operated ~2,500 in the East continuously into 1943 and that this operating capacity is free after SU's fall.
The remaining ~1,500 AC can be used for training - the pilots too.
No, you don't get it. 40-45% (and certainly more if operated from forward air based) was an overall non combat loss rate.
Again that's OTL not ATL. O'Brien discusses this factor at length in Chapter 8 of HWwW. A primary cause of losses was new pilots inadequately trained and the primitive conditions from LW was forced to operate in Tunisia. The Stalingrad and Tunisia airlifts, in particular, forced early withdrawals from flight training programs and consequent losses to undertrained aircrews in accidents. ATL we have lower German losses from no later than the beginning of '42 due to a weakened VVS. We have the LW operating from relatively secure and well-supplied bases in Turkey, rather than from insecure and abominably-supplied bases in Tunisia. Re base security, the redeployment of the Ostheer's immense light Flak resources alone makes LW bases significantly better-defended.
You are improperly assuming that the ~1,500 AC/pilots not killed in the East suffer accident rates equal to the new and under-trained pilots deployed under OTL emergency conditions.
The war's OTL course forced the LW to take short-term emergency steps that undermined its long-term viability. The ATL war gives Germany much more breathing room. The LW would have maintained normal training flows, suffered fewer losses in the East and in the Med, and would have been on a much better footing at the end of '43 even if it had to concede local air superiority to reinforced W.Allied air armies in the MidEast by 1944.
We're again having the problem of under-specified ATL conditions so let me clarify:
I am absolutely committed to the idea that the LW would maintain at least parity over the MidEast during late '42 and the first half of '43. This plus Heer numerical/qualitative superiority allows Germany to take at least Syria, Iraq, Suez, and northern Iran by mid-'43. W.Allied logistics are insufficient either to assemble a dominant air presence or enough divisions to stop the Heer in the Levant and Mesopotamia.
As we approach '44, however, the W.Allied position should improve. They could
have sufficient shipping to stop the Heer somewhere south of Suez and Mesopotamia, as well as in eastern Iran. They would probably
achieve local air superiority in the theater as well. I doubt, however, that they would be willing/able to send the ground forces necessary to recover Levant/Suez/Mesopotamia/Tehran, even under conditions of local air superiority. Air superiority has only so much payout in a ground war; W.Allied air dominance over Italy and France was a secondary factor to their eventual victories there. In the end, ground forces are primary means of taking territory and winning wars.
we have EVIDENCE that aerial warfare in the MTO was an unnecessary attrition for the LW, that was a prelude for their final defeat above the Reich approximately a year later.
Again, OTL not ATL. The OTL '43 MTO was an emergency defensive war waged under improvised and shabby logistical conditions.
This is what we call battle of attrition: where the replacement capacity of matériel and men is the decisive factor to win a battle.
Whatever we call the battle, attrition is caused by enemy forces (primarily), not by some metaphysical attritive character attaching to a battlefield. To show that OTL outcomes would result in W.Allied air dominance by mid-'43 (i.e. during my positied MidEast campaign), you'd have to show that W.Allied forces - perhaps win combination with increased ATL non-combat losses - would destroy another 4,000 LW planes over OTL (1,500 deployed initially, the rest coming as replacements if needed). One obstacle to such a showing is the shipping logistics of deploying the 100k's of men needed to support a giant W.Allied air force in the MidEast. That's an issue you've resolutely refused to face.
Instant and full scale redeployment of 4000 extra planes to the peripheries immediately after a successful Soviet campaign was out of the question.
Again, 1,500 initially. I'm fine with pushing back the timeline for redeployment of the 1,500 as well: As my shipping analysis has shown, the W.Allies simply don't have enough shipping to meet a German MidEast push with powerful forces in September. We can specify a gradual buildup of German forces in the MidEast in the second half of '42.
Also, what the mechanized units (but any units, really) needed after such a campaign was an operational pause for training, maintenance, refit with modern weapons and whatnot.
AGS's units operated almost continuously from June to March '43 OTL. I've specified 20 divisions in Turkey, half mechanized so 10 mech.divs. That's only a quarter of the Ostheer's mech.divs. The initial Ostheer '42 push from Gorkiy and Stalingrad starts in May, by the end of July the RKKA is so weak that Ostheer can pull 10 mech.divs. and start resting/redploying them.
You keep quoting the 600 planes of the LW as if it was avoidable in your OTL: the Germans were not able to operate their planes in Tunisia, and an invasion via or against Turkey doesn't help it (on the contrary). Have you ever read about the maintenance of german armoured units in NA?
Again we need to specify what's happening in the ATL. If Torch happens, the Mideast can't be defended. Not enough W.Allied forces, let alone shipping, for that. If the MidEast is defended strongly, Torch doesn't happen.
I don't think Torch happens, here's why:
- In the last thread I mentioned that the hobbling of the SU by July '42 allows Germany to take Malta in September or so. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=238638&start=135#p2294600
- I also discussed the Turkey push meaning that Rommel's Alam Halfa offensive is cancelled: it becomes unnecessary for taking Egypt/Suez and is inefficient compared to the push FROM Turkey, which has better logistics. With Rommel on the defensive and Malta gone, Axis ships to Tripoli instead of Benghazi/Tobruk, meaning much lower shipping losses. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=238638&start=120#p2294338
- 8th Army can't launch Second Alamein in November, as its Levantine rear is already crumbling and at least some of its force will be required to slow the German push on Suez.
- In this ATL condition, a German defense of Tunisia has much more secure shipping (Malta accounted for half of Axis shipping sunk on the Tunisian route).
- The Spanish are likely to join the Axis now or at least allow passage to Gibraltar. If Spain joins after Torch is launched, the W.Allies forward armies are logistically screwed and their best hope is safe escape to western Morocco.
For all these reasons, ATL Torch would be a gamble with a downside of losing most of British First Army in a chaotic withdrawal across Algeria, an upside of orderly withdrawal to Western Morocco. Ike and Marshall were prudent men, I don't see OTL Torch being launched.
Their best course would be (1) a smaller landing limited to Casablanca and Western Morocco ("Torchlite") where sea LoC's are secure regardless of Gibraltar and Spain, plus (2) a defense of the MidEast hoping to slow the German advance and retain bases for long-term buildup to hold something in the theater.
Peter89 wrote:To commit aerial units on the med periphery, was in essence, to repeat the same mistake as the Germans have done.
Again, you're assuming any Med commitment is a mistake ATL because it was a mistake OTL. For the reasons stated above, not true.
Soviet defeat could have made the invasion of Europe much harder for the Wallies
Now that's an understatement. I've said elsewhere that I think it might have been possible for the Wallies to invade Europe if Germany beats the SU but the path there is deeply daunting.
Minimum size of U.S. Army would be 300 divisions. At OTL division slice, that means ~11mil more men drafted compared to OTL 91-division army. That removes ~25% of America's non-agricultural labor force.
The only remotely feasible route to equipping 300 divisions with 25% smaller labor force includes abandoning heavy bomber production (just for a start). Absent the bombing campaign, the German/European economy is roaring...
EDIT and BTW - Perhaps it would be best to split this off into a new thread where I set forth the envisioned ATL push FROM a non-hostile or Axis Turkey. Depending on IRL factors and desired level of initial detail, could be done in a few days.