WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

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

Post by Peter89 » 21 Dec 2020 09:33

History Learner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 08:49
Peter89 wrote:
21 Dec 2020 08:36
History Learner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 01:05

I can't think of any strategic situations in WWII where adding more resources into a situation resulted in a worse outcome. Either the Allies would have to become even better or would, in turn, be forced to add more resources to achieve that end result.
Quite the contrary, the air war was full of these situations.

In the night bombing campaign against Britain in 1940 / 1941. The airlift to Tunisia in 1942 / 1943.

In some cases, the deployment alone causes +10-20% non-combat losses.

If the Germans had twice more bombers in 1940, and they'd still deploy them as they did OTL, they might drop more bombs on Britain, but they would ultimately fail. In order to achieve sunstantially different results, the Germans needed like ten times the planes, and their additional crew, and the ground infrastructure, aviation fuel, spare part production, etc. Which is why it is a bit more complicated than a "more is better" approach.

To assume that "everything goes better for Germany" is simply not plausible. It would require a series of good calls instead of a series of wrong calls, each having a unique background why those calls were made.

The same goes for Tunisia; if the Germans had way more transport planes, they couldn't hope to sustain their forces in Africa via air.
These aren't exactly good comparisons though; whether or not more German bombers can successfully terror bomb Britain into surrender is rather different, in both tactical and strategic realities, than the Germans deploying more fighters to the Mediterranean in 1943 and somehow getting defeated even faster. To get an idea of what I mean:

Say the Allies are facing 1,000 German fighters and can shoot down 100 a day. You would thus assume, in 10 days, the Allies to eliminate their German opponents. Say the Germans reinforce that starting force with another 1,000 fighters, however, since the USSR has collapsed. Would the Allies still be able to defeat all 2,000 fighters in the original 10 days? No, because their capacity to inflict damage has not changed; it will now take them 20 days to eliminate all German fighters.

The only way to change this is by either increasing their ability to inflict damage with existing resources-which begs the question of how come they didn't do this historically-or they have to increase the amount of their own resources to compensate for the increase in German strength. Lastly, they can just accept the increase in German strength and struggle through attrition warfare, given with existing resources they can wear down this new German strength but it will take twice as long historically and that carries grave political consequences in both the United States and United Kingdom. TheMarcksPlan has, in other threads, shown that there was an understanding on the part of Anglo-American political leadership this was unfeasible, both politically and economically given what an Axis controlled Europe from Brittany to the Urals/A-A Line would mean.

Lastly, more German transports to North Africa can mean they can sustain them via air because you're increasing the influx of supplies. What happened historically was a shortage of sufficient transports and insufficient air cover to protect them; not an ability on the part of airpower to bring in needed supplies.
The Wallies sent a substantial amount of war materiel to the SU, including over 18,000 aircraft and an insane amount of avgas. The very idea that "substracting the SU from the equatation would only mean more German forces against the same Wallied forces" is wrong.

Moreover, they would defeat Japan, freeing up more and more resources to fight against Germany.

As for the Tunisian operation: the Germans had to send 80-100 escort fighters for approximately the same number of transports. The escorts had to refuel and reload ammo in Tunisia, etc. It was a madness. Not even twice the number of planes would change that outcome.

Also, deploying X times more of aircraft do not increase the delivered supplies by a factor of X; Tunis and Bizerte were the major airports, Gabes and Sfax had all kind of deficiencies and only the most skilled crew could fly there. So even if you have ten times the planes, you'll have to commit them piecemal. The OTL landings of 3900 Ju-52s and 160 Me-323s could be multiplied; it wouldn't mean a big change (maybe later, but the Germans still lose Africa), but it would contribute to higher German losses.

The problem with your approach that the Germans' doubled escort size would result a lower attrition rate is not entirely that easy either. Larger escort means lower efficiency. The Germans started the airlift operations in this theatre with an 1:15 ratio in 1941, and arrived to a 1:1 ratio in 1943. You really claim that a 2:1 ratio is feasible? That would essentially cripple the whole operation.

Besides, the Wallies intercepted air convoys with the matching amount of sorties; if you double the escort to 160-200, you will still lose, if you can't replenish your air forces at the same rate as the Wallies.

Also, the Wallies had the opportunity to increase their intercepting sorties to a level which the matching escort had no chance to compete with using the Tunisian airfields. Even as they were, they were stretched to their limits.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Dec 2020 10:17

History Learner wrote:That can only occur via one of two methods:
You're leaving out some other easily foreseeable vectors of additional LW losses:
  • 8th AF Mission X against Target Y meets 100 fighters OTL, 400 ATL. Instead of 100 fighters making passes at B-17's, 400 do so. The marginal 300 fighters will face weaker defenses (.50-cal MG's on fewer B-17's because the original 100 shoot down a few) but the difference is one of only a few %. The 300 marginal fighters will suffer losses additional to what the 100 original suffered.
  • 9th AF tactical mission over France is not challenged OTL but is ATL. This is entirely new combat with attendant new losses.
...Your supposition would be true if the W.Allies scored their last kill with their last plane. But of course that wasn't the case; the W.Allies had many more planes than was required to defeat the LW.
Peter89 wrote:In order to achieve sunstantially different results, the Germans needed like ten times the planes,
TEN TIMES!! Obviously this is a figure plucked from thin air, resting on the background belief that the Good Guys never could have lost and there's no reason to posit serious numbers.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Peter89 » 21 Dec 2020 10:46

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2020 10:17
Peter89 wrote:In order to achieve sunstantially different results, the Germans needed like ten times the planes,
TEN TIMES!! Obviously this is a figure plucked from thin air, resting on the background belief that the Good Guys never could have lost and there's no reason to posit serious numbers.
Exactly, because the number was irrelevant, thus no serious number can be used. Germany could not bomb Britain into submission. The Wallies couldn't bomb Germany into submission, but hell, they've employed so many bombers the Germans could never dream of. It was a stupid concept to begin with.

The British could always withdraw their forces where the Me-109s couldn't go. They could also buy airplanes in the US. The Germans could not achieve air supremacy or even superiority over the whole Britain.

So what is your method here to calculate the exact number of airplanes needed to defeat the RAF?

And even if the RAF is "defeated", the goal of the operation (Sealion) would succeed surely?
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Dec 2020 12:25

Peter89 wrote:Exactly, because the number was irrelevant, thus no serious number can be used. Germany could not bomb Britain into submission. The Wallies couldn't bomb Germany into submission, but hell, they've employed so many bombers the Germans could never dream of. It was a stupid concept to begin with.

The British could always withdraw their forces where the Me-109s couldn't go. They could also buy airplanes in the US. The Germans could not achieve air supremacy or even superiority over the whole Britain.
This is an intellectually incoherent jumble that includes conclusions supporting premises and strategic ambiguity about end states. Not even sure who's fighting given that the British are "buying" airplanes in the U.S. - if they're both fighting Germany does it matter what colors are on the plane? Not sure which concept was stupid "to begin with."

This incoherence is followed by a request for the "exact number" of planes needed to defeat the RAF, as if we're having a discussion involving reciprocal analytical rigor.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by History Learner » 21 Dec 2020 13:08

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2020 10:17
History Learner wrote:That can only occur via one of two methods:
You're leaving out some other easily foreseeable vectors of additional LW losses:
  • 8th AF Mission X against Target Y meets 100 fighters OTL, 400 ATL. Instead of 100 fighters making passes at B-17's, 400 do so. The marginal 300 fighters will face weaker defenses (.50-cal MG's on fewer B-17's because the original 100 shoot down a few) but the difference is one of only a few %. The 300 marginal fighters will suffer losses additional to what the 100 original suffered.
  • 9th AF tactical mission over France is not challenged OTL but is ATL. This is entirely new combat with attendant new losses.
...Your supposition would be true if the W.Allies scored their last kill with their last plane. But of course that wasn't the case; the W.Allies had many more planes than was required to defeat the LW.
Peter89 wrote:In order to achieve sunstantially different results, the Germans needed like ten times the planes,
TEN TIMES!! Obviously this is a figure plucked from thin air, resting on the background belief that the Good Guys never could have lost and there's no reason to posit serious numbers.
The first doesn't work because B-17 gunners can't shoot at more than one place at a time. Taking your hypothetical example, said gunners can shoot at the new planes...but at the cost of not shooting at the OTL 100 they originally were shooting at. On the on the other hand, you've added an extra three hundred German fighter pilots than can pick new targets that their 100 OTL counterparts could not due to the same reason the B-17 gunners are constrained here. If, say, the 100 IOTL managed to shoot down 10 B-17s it's not unreasonable to expect that, with 3x more firepower than historical, they will instead shoot down 40 B-17s. Sheer probability alone dictates that that much extra firepower being shot will hit additional targets.

As far as the additional combat scenario, that's kind of factored into what I said if we are assuming a base average of Allied effectiveness.

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

Post by Politician01 » 21 Dec 2020 13:13

T. A. Gardner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 06:05
The problem for Germany is that they are losing the technological battle as well as the physical one. The US and Britain have the advantage of the initiative to continue at the intensity they are, or to change their strategy and tactics. Germany needs more than a better defense to win here.
Its the Allies that are losing the technological battle as well as their innitiative. They have to attack if they want to continue the war. If they dare to invade Italy/France they would sustain unimaginable losses which would destroy their manpower reserves and reduce public support for the war. If they are to afraid to invade and just continue bombing, they basically admit that they have no idea how to win the war and are to afraid to invade. As has been demonstrated, bombing has an extremely unfavorable exchange ratio for the attackers. With the Germans investing more/most of their resources into the air war, the Allies cannot cope. So yes, all Germany needs to win here is a better defence.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 06:05
The question we should be trying to answer is How can Germany effectively go on the offensive against Britain and the US once the Soviet Union is out of the war?
An illogical question because all Germany needs to win the war is a better defence/to convince Allied populations that a victory would take to long/require to much casualties. American attention would shift to the Pacific and after the horrors/casualties experienced there, the war on Europe would not be restarted - simple realpolitics.
History Learner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 08:13
The planes are arguably there without Soviet Lend Lease
Peter89 wrote:
21 Dec 2020 09:33
The Wallies sent a substantial amount of war materiel to the SU, including over 18,000 aircraft and an insane amount of avgas.
Around 14 000 of these were the P-39/P-63/P-40/Hawker Hurricane/Spitfire with a range of less than 1000 Kilometers (P-40 had 1100) which are helpfull for ground warfare - but pretty useless for the strategic bombing campaign from NA/Britain. The Allies could have a million of these aircraft models - if they dont have a foothold in Europe from which to use them - they are only mildly useful. The 3600 A-20´s and B-25´s would be only mildly helpful as well because of the small bomb load they can carry.

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

Post by History Learner » 21 Dec 2020 13:17

Peter89 wrote:
21 Dec 2020 09:33
History Learner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 08:49
Peter89 wrote:
21 Dec 2020 08:36
History Learner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 01:05

I can't think of any strategic situations in WWII where adding more resources into a situation resulted in a worse outcome. Either the Allies would have to become even better or would, in turn, be forced to add more resources to achieve that end result.
Quite the contrary, the air war was full of these situations.

In the night bombing campaign against Britain in 1940 / 1941. The airlift to Tunisia in 1942 / 1943.

In some cases, the deployment alone causes +10-20% non-combat losses.

If the Germans had twice more bombers in 1940, and they'd still deploy them as they did OTL, they might drop more bombs on Britain, but they would ultimately fail. In order to achieve sunstantially different results, the Germans needed like ten times the planes, and their additional crew, and the ground infrastructure, aviation fuel, spare part production, etc. Which is why it is a bit more complicated than a "more is better" approach.

To assume that "everything goes better for Germany" is simply not plausible. It would require a series of good calls instead of a series of wrong calls, each having a unique background why those calls were made.

The same goes for Tunisia; if the Germans had way more transport planes, they couldn't hope to sustain their forces in Africa via air.
These aren't exactly good comparisons though; whether or not more German bombers can successfully terror bomb Britain into surrender is rather different, in both tactical and strategic realities, than the Germans deploying more fighters to the Mediterranean in 1943 and somehow getting defeated even faster. To get an idea of what I mean:

Say the Allies are facing 1,000 German fighters and can shoot down 100 a day. You would thus assume, in 10 days, the Allies to eliminate their German opponents. Say the Germans reinforce that starting force with another 1,000 fighters, however, since the USSR has collapsed. Would the Allies still be able to defeat all 2,000 fighters in the original 10 days? No, because their capacity to inflict damage has not changed; it will now take them 20 days to eliminate all German fighters.

The only way to change this is by either increasing their ability to inflict damage with existing resources-which begs the question of how come they didn't do this historically-or they have to increase the amount of their own resources to compensate for the increase in German strength. Lastly, they can just accept the increase in German strength and struggle through attrition warfare, given with existing resources they can wear down this new German strength but it will take twice as long historically and that carries grave political consequences in both the United States and United Kingdom. TheMarcksPlan has, in other threads, shown that there was an understanding on the part of Anglo-American political leadership this was unfeasible, both politically and economically given what an Axis controlled Europe from Brittany to the Urals/A-A Line would mean.

Lastly, more German transports to North Africa can mean they can sustain them via air because you're increasing the influx of supplies. What happened historically was a shortage of sufficient transports and insufficient air cover to protect them; not an ability on the part of airpower to bring in needed supplies.
The Wallies sent a substantial amount of war materiel to the SU, including over 18,000 aircraft and an insane amount of avgas. The very idea that "substracting the SU from the equatation would only mean more German forces against the same Wallied forces" is wrong.

Moreover, they would defeat Japan, freeing up more and more resources to fight against Germany.

As for the Tunisian operation: the Germans had to send 80-100 escort fighters for approximately the same number of transports. The escorts had to refuel and reload ammo in Tunisia, etc. It was a madness. Not even twice the number of planes would change that outcome.

Also, deploying X times more of aircraft do not increase the delivered supplies by a factor of X; Tunis and Bizerte were the major airports, Gabes and Sfax had all kind of deficiencies and only the most skilled crew could fly there. So even if you have ten times the planes, you'll have to commit them piecemal. The OTL landings of 3900 Ju-52s and 160 Me-323s could be multiplied; it wouldn't mean a big change (maybe later, but the Germans still lose Africa), but it would contribute to higher German losses.

The problem with your approach that the Germans' doubled escort size would result a lower attrition rate is not entirely that easy either. Larger escort means lower efficiency. The Germans started the airlift operations in this theatre with an 1:15 ratio in 1941, and arrived to a 1:1 ratio in 1943. You really claim that a 2:1 ratio is feasible? That would essentially cripple the whole operation.

Besides, the Wallies intercepted air convoys with the matching amount of sorties; if you double the escort to 160-200, you will still lose, if you can't replenish your air forces at the same rate as the Wallies.

Also, the Wallies had the opportunity to increase their intercepting sorties to a level which the matching escort had no chance to compete with using the Tunisian airfields. Even as they were, they were stretched to their limits.
As I said earlier, just assuming 18,000 aircraft in USAAF colors instead of VVS isn't a good idea because that requires manpower to both operate and maintain them. Where, exactly, is that extra manpower to come from? By 1943 the British Army was being forced to break down units and the U.S. was already running a 90 Division gamble to keep up the Army Air Force and Navy at their historical levels.

Defeating Japan is very much easier said than done and given it was only accomplished in late 1945, what is supposed to be done between 1941-1945? That's a long period of time and polling plus internal documents by planning on the part of the U.S. showed they didn't think it could be done, politically or militarily. By 1945, Germany will have avoided millions of casualties, have moved industry if needed to beyond the range of escorts and/or developed a sophisticated air defense network that even with superior Anglo-American production would take time plus lots and lots of blood to break. By that point, Britain has already been at war for six years and her manpower and financial strain is becoming acute, while politically on the American side the willingness to continue the war was waning; the entire reason JCS settled upon Downfall in the first place is because they didn't think American morale would hold long enough to break Japan via starve and bomb.

As for the Tunisian mission, the original statement was airlift could not logistically supply the forces needed. You're basically conflating the Anglo-American ability to inflict losses with the baseline question of if the Luftwaffe could do it. If the amount of supplies needed is X and the Luftwaffe has X amount of carrying capacity by its transports, than the question of whether or not they can supply North Africa is settled; they can, that's literally stated by the numbers. What you are arguing is more of the belief that the Anglo-Americans can inflict sufficient losses to mean long term its not tenable keep this up due to losses (and non-combatant losses), which is a different metric. Either way, however, the addition of hundreds/thousands of German fighters and transports means at a minimum they (the Germans) can maintain their forces in North Africa for longer, prolonging the struggle. Would that increase casualties? Yes, but that's also because you've extended the timeframe; it does not mean the Allies have suddenly become more efficient at inflicting losses.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Dec 2020 13:31

History Learner wrote:The first doesn't work because B-17 gunners can't shoot at more than one place at a time.
You apparently are imagining that in the original example all 100 planes attack at the same time. The Germans had serious difficulties getting a single schwarm (4 planes) to attack in unison, let alone 100. I'd recommend picking up a good book on the air war over Germany, such as Caldwell and Muller's The Luftwaffe over Germany: Defense of the Reich.
Politician01 wrote:If they dare to invade Italy/France they would sustain unimaginable losses which would destroy their manpower reserves and reduce public support for the war.
Agreed. There's really no debate on this point, just ahistorical wish fulfillment: the W.Allies themselves rejected the notion of invading Europe absent the RKKA: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=252647

In 1941 they maintained the delusion that they would someday invade after the (then-anticipated) fall of the SU but this assumed that a bombing campaign would wreck Germany's ability resist beforehand. The only potential saving grace here is the A-bomb. But that "grace" would come with millions of dead Europeans, including many of the millions of foreigners employed in German cities/factories.
Politician01 wrote:the war on Europe would not be restarted - simple realpolitics.
Indeed. Outside of a few dreamers in the aforementioned 1941 plans, most American elites envisioned an encircling "Cold War" against Germany until Russian resilience raised the possibility of invasion: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=252647&start=90#p2302010

I've posted this stuff multiple times. Some here are impervious to historical facts.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Dec 2020 13:45

History Learner wrote:Defeating Japan is very much easier said than done
Indeed.

And your interlocutor is ignoring - or is ignorant of - the implications for Japan of SU's fall. Kwantung Army in 1942 had 1.1mil men. Now they're free; what happens in China? If China falls and virtually the entire IJA is free, how do the W.Allies hold India?

OTL the Japanese had a huge industrial base in Manchukuo that AAF wrecked from China. That doesn't happen here. Japan planned to shift production to Manchukuo until the bombings - here they do. That means much of Japan's industry is immune to USAAF.

OTL the Russian invasion was a central part of Japan giving up. Obviously that doesn't happen here.

OTL the Germans and Japanese intended to cooperate on a Mideast-India strategy but that was postponed by Russia's resilience. What happens ATL?

OTL the Germans/Japanese wanted to support each other technically and economically but largely couldn't. ATL a there's a prostrate Russia and a free Trans-Siberian railroad.

Germany would have gone to serious lengths to maintain Japan in the war, just as they did with Italy (but even more so). That has profound implications for the US.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 21 Dec 2020 13:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Politician01 » 21 Dec 2020 13:45

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2020 13:31
The only potential saving grace here is the A-bomb. But that "grace" would come with millions of dead Europeans, including many of the millions of foreigners employed in German cities/factories.
As I have writte multiple times: The A bomb is no factor at all.

1. The B - 29 is the only aircraft that can carry the bomb until 48 and it is completely defenceless while doing so.
2. There were only 60 B-29´s capable of carrying the bomb by 1948
3. The US produced far to few Atom Bombs in the 45-48 period to defeat Germany
4. OTL it was estimated that some 400 bombs would be needed to defeat the USSR, even if only 200 are estimated for Germany its to much
5. Without the USSR wrecking Manchuria, Japan will hold out until the summer/autumn of 1946, so all A bombs the US has are used there
6. German AA defenses which by 1946/47 would be monstrous.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Dec 2020 13:59

Politician01 wrote:
21 Dec 2020 13:45
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2020 13:31
The only potential saving grace here is the A-bomb. But that "grace" would come with millions of dead Europeans, including many of the millions of foreigners employed in German cities/factories.
As I have writte multiple times: The A bomb is no factor at all.

1. The B - 29 is the only aircraft that can carry the bomb until 48 and it is completely defenceless while doing so.
2. There were only 60 B-29´s capable of carrying the bomb by 1948
3. The US produced far to few Atom Bombs in the 45-48 period to defeat Germany
4. OTL it was estimated that some 400 bombs would be needed to defeat the USSR, even if only 200 are estimated for Germany its to much
5. Without the USSR wrecking Manchuria, Japan will hold out until the summer/autumn of 1946, so all A bombs the US has are used there
6. German AA defenses which by 1946/47 would be monstrous.
IIRC the US had the option of scaling-up A-bomb production over OTL course, they probably do so here. Not sure how many bombs that yields. It seems improper to assume OTL quantities though.

Re B-29's I agree they'd be hit hard but realistically it's hard to envision even 50% loss rates on a 1,000-bomber mission. So at least half of the A-bombs are going to get through so long as you have crews committed enough to fly the missions (knowing they'd be murdered and worse if captured).

Not sure about the relevance of flak defenses - I'd guess it'd be difficult politically to keep them manned under A-bombing. We'd probably see radical dispersion and a reliance on airborne defenses - thousands of Me-262's et. al.


IMO the biggest factor is the German response, which would be horrific. I mean seriously that I hope I am not capable of imagining what Hitler and his gang would have felt permitted to do. Sarin gas bombardment of Britain (via jet bombers) is a certainty - that means millions of dead British. Do they start ransoming Europeans as well? France is technically still at war... wouldn't Nazis just start murdering French people or others as a policy? Executing PoW's? It would fulfill Nazi propaganda that the Allies sought to exterminate Germany, opening all imaginable horizons for public evil that was otherwise (somewhat) concealed. Either way it's the kind of victory that doesn't seem like a victory.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by Peter89 » 21 Dec 2020 14:22

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2020 12:25
Peter89 wrote:Exactly, because the number was irrelevant, thus no serious number can be used. Germany could not bomb Britain into submission. The Wallies couldn't bomb Germany into submission, but hell, they've employed so many bombers the Germans could never dream of. It was a stupid concept to begin with.

The British could always withdraw their forces where the Me-109s couldn't go. They could also buy airplanes in the US. The Germans could not achieve air supremacy or even superiority over the whole Britain.
This is an intellectually incoherent jumble that includes conclusions supporting premises and strategic ambiguity about end states. Not even sure who's fighting given that the British are "buying" airplanes in the U.S. - if they're both fighting Germany does it matter what colors are on the plane? Not sure which concept was stupid "to begin with."

This incoherence is followed by a request for the "exact number" of planes needed to defeat the RAF, as if we're having a discussion involving reciprocal analytical rigor.
Dear TMP, in 1940, the US did not fight the Germans. The British did. The British could and did buy weapons and matériel from the US.

What is intellectually incoherent about that? The Germans could not simply defeat the RAF by defeating the RAF alone, as they couldn't defeat the RN by defeating the RN alone. For example, the destroyers for bases Agreement gave the British twice the number of the Kriegsmarine's destroyer fleet.

What is intellectually incoherent is the reasoning that feeding more Luftwaffe aircraft into hopeless situations would somehow turn the tide.

They wouldn't. They would only contribute to higher losses on both sides, but the outcome of the battle would not be changed. The Germans can't supply Africa via air with more planes ONLY. If the Germans had more and better airfields, better aircrews, more fuel, more AA equipment, more counterintelligence, more intelligence, more spare parts, more ground crew, more logistics, etc. more of everything, then they could win. But they didn't, so they've lost.

You have to wake up to the reality that numbers are ONE factor, not the ONLY factor in warfare. If you double the Luftwaffe's strength for the Battle of Britain, the RAF might lose the airspace above the southern parts of the country, but since the Germans had little means to cross the Channel, it would not mean a thing for the outcome of the grand strategy. The Germans still can't take Britain, the US still enters the war, etc., much like as it happened OTL.

Yes, I see you have no idea what concept I am talking about.

The very idea that drove the Luftwaffe, that they will night bomb the British and they will achieve anything with it except unnecessary losses.

Example:
Month all losses / noncombat losses total bomber count
October 1940 171 / 64 1,420
November 1940 84 / 14 1,423
December 1940 129 / 62 1,393

You see that the LW burned 27% of its bomber force in 3 months (384); the reinforcements (357) were only enough to keep the numbers at approximately the same level.

Now let's say the British miracolously fail to shoot down any bombers, because "there are more of them". Still 17% is lost due to noncombat causes. So if we double the original bomber count to 2840, the 17% noncombat loss would result 488 noncombat losses. So now the REINFORCEMENT rate has to grow substantially if you want to keep up the Luftwaffe's strength. Otherwise, the 357 reinforcement bombers are only good for 73.15% of the noncombat losses.

What we have here is a picture where the LW will lose its bomber strength gradually. I am still talking about noncombat losses. If we add the historical 10% combat causes (the night defense will gradually improve on the British side OTL, so it's more than fair to the Germans), we are talking about a near 33% loss in a year.
October 1940 - December 1940: 2840 - 410 / 357
January 1941 - March 1941: 2430 - 299 / 357
April 1941 - June 1941: 2131 - 218 / 357
July 1941 - September 1941 1913 - 159 / 357

When the operation began, the industrial production of aircraft in Germany had stagnated for the third consecutive year.

And let's not forget that the bombing of Britain did not have the desired effect, and the Germans still can't invade Britain simply because the bombers dropped twice the bomb load on Britain (which requires more than twice the number of bombers as OTL).

Do you understand why am I saying that the LW needed "about ten times" the aircraft to have some additional effect? Amongst other things, because they could barely keep up reinforcing their existing bomber units. If they have triple the bomber forces with the same reinforcements, the numbers go down faster.

Do you understand why is it irrelevant whether the Germans had 50%, 100% or 200% more aircraft for this mission?

If you deploy your units for a mission for which your industry can't cover the losses, it is a stupid mission.

This is where some people start to juggle with the numbers and the decisions again, instead of saying: "Yes, the LW was deployed in a stupid mission over Britain.", and don't appreciate the ruthless nature of attrition, they find consolation in smaller details. Production could be increased. New fighter types could be invented and pushed into service earlier. Mass production methods could be utilized to a greater extent. Diverting capital investments for a battle that was never conceived before it happened, is totally realistic. Producing higher octane fuel was easily doable. Allocating resources for the desired production is done by cold-headed calculation, instead of the heated interservice rivarly (for example with the Kriegsmarine) than it actually was. Does it ring a bell or two?

So in the end, all numbers should match to increase everything at the German's disposal and leave everything as it was at the Wallies' side.

Because, as we know, they've never reacted to Germany's moves.

The problem is that with every decision making as we step away from the OTL, we take a chance. Let's say there is 80% chance for the change of copper allocations in favor of the Luftwaffe. Then let's say there is 50% chance to that change to take full effect on the production. Now we are at 40% chance to increase aircraft production with more copper allocations. Then there is 25% chance for increased avgas production. Etc. So in the end, the scenario we are talking about has irrelevant chance and yes, a lot of people can entertain themselves with numbers, but this is just an imagination.

Even if every single step is "possible" (= has more than 0% chance), the overall probability is very, very low.

This is why it's my last reply in depth for this kind of approach and methods.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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

Post by Peter89 » 21 Dec 2020 14:25

Politician01 wrote:
21 Dec 2020 13:13
T. A. Gardner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 06:05
The problem for Germany is that they are losing the technological battle as well as the physical one. The US and Britain have the advantage of the initiative to continue at the intensity they are, or to change their strategy and tactics. Germany needs more than a better defense to win here.
Its the Allies that are losing the technological battle as well as their innitiative. They have to attack if they want to continue the war. If they dare to invade Italy/France they would sustain unimaginable losses which would destroy their manpower reserves and reduce public support for the war. If they are to afraid to invade and just continue bombing, they basically admit that they have no idea how to win the war and are to afraid to invade. As has been demonstrated, bombing has an extremely unfavorable exchange ratio for the attackers. With the Germans investing more/most of their resources into the air war, the Allies cannot cope. So yes, all Germany needs to win here is a better defence.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 06:05
The question we should be trying to answer is How can Germany effectively go on the offensive against Britain and the US once the Soviet Union is out of the war?
An illogical question because all Germany needs to win the war is a better defence/to convince Allied populations that a victory would take to long/require to much casualties. American attention would shift to the Pacific and after the horrors/casualties experienced there, the war on Europe would not be restarted - simple realpolitics.
History Learner wrote:
21 Dec 2020 08:13
The planes are arguably there without Soviet Lend Lease
Peter89 wrote:
21 Dec 2020 09:33
The Wallies sent a substantial amount of war materiel to the SU, including over 18,000 aircraft and an insane amount of avgas.
Around 14 000 of these were the P-39/P-63/P-40/Hawker Hurricane/Spitfire with a range of less than 1000 Kilometers (P-40 had 1100) which are helpfull for ground warfare - but pretty useless for the strategic bombing campaign from NA/Britain. The Allies could have a million of these aircraft models - if they dont have a foothold in Europe from which to use them - they are only mildly useful. The 3600 A-20´s and B-25´s would be only mildly helpful as well because of the small bomb load they can carry.
Yes, you are right about that, but I replied to a scenario where the Wallies are on the defense, for which these planes are good for. Also there was a theatre in the Med, and other scenarios (attack via Turkey, etc.) were discussed, where these planes could not be substracted from the Wallies' air power.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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

Post by Politician01 » 21 Dec 2020 14:28

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2020 13:59
IIRC the US had the option of scaling-up A-bomb production over OTL course, they probably do so here. Not sure how many bombs that yields. It seems improper to assume OTL quantities though.
Which are all used against the Japanese, so by mid/late 1946 the US has 0 bombs.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
21 Dec 2020 13:59
IMO the biggest factor is the German response, which would be horrific.
Agreed. If the Wallies use the bomb - Britain is going to get it and as an island Britian is far more vulnerable to biological/chemical weapons than a continental country. So the British would be against using the bomb. Basically the Wallies can only win if the are willing to sacrifice Britain/large parts of the British population and if they would be willing to prolong the war until 1948. There would be no public support for this and no manpower.

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 21 Dec 2020 14:35

Peter89 wrote:Dear TMP, in 1940, the US did not fight the Germans
What is going on here? We're talking about post-SU ATL. Are you ok?
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