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 History Learner » 18 Mar 2021 03:33

historygeek2021 wrote:
17 Mar 2021 22:42
History Learner wrote:
17 Mar 2021 20:54

I would highly encourage you to re-read the post instead of providing meme answers that suggest you did not so in the first place. Beyond the fact the citation specifically notes a secret mailing list of 8 million American First members had been retained, polling conducted by Gallup found that 40% of Americans supported a peace deal with Germany and the Roosevelt Administration considered this a grave political and strategic threat.

American Popular Opinion and the War Against Germany: The Issue of Negotiated Peace, 1942 by Richard W. Steele:
By mid-February the shallowness of public commitment to the war had become a subject of national public discussion. To those who enthusiastically supported the administration's view of the war-and this included most of the nation's publicists and opinion leaders-America seemed indifferent.7 The consensus was that after the initial shock of Pearl Harbor had worn off, the public had lapsed into complacency. Public officials, reporters, and other "informed observers" described Americans as "smug," "slothful," and "asleep." According to Time, while people did what they were called upon to do, "they showed little excitement about the war."8 Poor morale generated the most intense public discussion early in 1942, but the problem remained a matter of official concern throughout the year.​

For example, in September OWI reported that "few citizens are fully supporting the war effort. Most are content with the same comfortable ruts." The report said that not many Americans were convinced the military situation was critical or doubted eventual victory. Moreover, although most expected the war to last several years, few thought the struggle would entail great sacrifices. This and other analyses of morale noted a popular disposition to concentrate on the advantages accruing to various sectors of the populace and to conclude that others were exploiting the war for selfish advantage.​
Even against the hated Japanese, by 1945 war exhaustion had likewise set in and the JCS was getting very concerned about it. To quote from Michael D. Pearlman's "Unconditional Surrender, Demobilization and the Atomic Bomb":
"Leahy admitted however, that there was "little prospect of obtaining unconditional surrender" in 1945, Admiral Ernest J. King, Chief of Naval Operations, would write that the Navy "in the course of time would have starved the Japanese into submission" (Italics mine). Time, however, was a waning asset, especially to Marshall, who would later say that American "political and economic institutions melted out from under us [the U.S. military]". The Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion told the JCS what magazines and newspapers had been printing since late 1944: there was overwhelming public pressure to increase production of consumer goods. I am "afraid of unrest in the country," said Director Fred Vinson. I have never seen "the people in their present frame of mind." Aside from reports about the "national end-of-the-war psychology among [the] citizens" of the United States, the JCS heard from its own military intelligence community. Their best estimate was that total victory through encirclement, blockade, and bombardment might well take "a great many years."5"​
A Germany in control of Europe to the A-A Line or the Urals is one that has the capacity to inflict millions of casualties upon the Anglo-Americans, with its strategic position affording it the ability to last until the late 1940s at the least even if the willpower is there on the part of the Allies to endure that much sacrifice. In such a scenario, I find it highly likely that public support for the war will give out long before Germany is crushed underfoot. Whether or not Churchill or FDR hate Hitler is irrelevant in the face of public opinion, given the former two are, after all, in charge of Democracies. Said public opinion was also not universally behind the war in the way we view today, but was in fact much more fickle and this directly shaped Allied operational planning as a result.
I don't see any specific cite to the 40% opinion poll in your posts. Can you please provide it again?

That, and the rest of your points, are simply statements of subjective anxieties that are normal for political leaders to feel during a war. Wartime leaders worry that their populations will turn against them, that they need to keep winning in order to keep up morale, etc. This doesn't prove that the American public would have abandoned the war just because Germany reached the Urals.

I asked earlier, and no one has answered: When in history has an anti-war movement successfully caused a country to abandon a war? The only examples I can really think of are Russia in 1917 and Germany in 1918, but both were cases of societies experiencing economic collapse and deplorable living standards. The Russian Revolution wasn't even a true anti-war movement. It was a revolution against the Tsar, but Russia kept fighting until Brest-Litovsk. Germany in 1918 was a case of war exhaustion, blockade and imminent catastrophic defeat on the front line. These situations are in no way comparable to a United States in 1943 that is faced with a gigantic German empire in control of continental Europe, that is marauding the seas with U-boats and bombing civilians in Britain, and is developing long-range bombers and (eventually) ballistic missiles capable of killing Americans at home.

Loss of enthusiasm for the war in 1945 is a different situation: the people wanting to enjoy the fruits of victory. Germany was defeated and Japan was wiped from the Pacific, reduced to hunkering down on its home islands. Of course people are going to be tired of rationing when they can smell the taste of complete victory. Nevertheless, these opinions and murmurings never amounted to anything more than that, and produced no tangible effect on the war effort.

Edit: typo
American Popular Opinion and the War Against Germany: The Issue of Negotiated Peace, 1942 by Richard W. Steele but the chart provided already is from Opinion Trends in World War II: Some Guides to Interpretation, so two different sources confirm it and I'm pretty sure you can directly go through Gallup's archives too.

Outside of the citations of the matter, you need to review them because this isn't politicians stating anxieties but clear evidence of the feelings of the wider public-from which the workers and soldiers must be drawn-having grave misgivings about the European War from the onset of it. 40% being open to a peace deal in 1942 is nothing to sneeze at, and as I've already pointed out carries grave political risks that FDR was acutely aware of. If the GOP takes the House in 1942 and can filibuster in the Senate, they can force a change a policy. If that doesn't do the trick, come 1944 you only need a shift of 2.5% to get a President Dewey/Taft in the White House. Unlike Nazi Germany or the USSR, the United States is a Democracy and public policy is beholden to the voters who are being asked to sacrifice themselves and millions of others for a cause many-even with a much smaller blood cost IOTL-were reluctant to make.

If you like some examples to answer your question of a nation making peace based on public opinion, ample American specific examples abound in the 20th Century: See Korea and Vietnam.

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

Post by histan » 18 Mar 2021 03:41

Just spent an hour and a half reading through this thread because I stupidly thought I might find some fresh insights into air warfare that I haven't found in the last forty years - unfortunately I didn't and it's time that I can not get back.

My immediate response is that of Dowding when questioned about alternative possible decision making in the Battle of Britain.

"She'd be my Uncle."

Regards

John

PS I do in some ways admire the fantasy worlds that some posters seem to live in.

I will, however, add one point.
The German people believed that they had won the war in 1939 and again in 1940, and now again in 1942/1943. All these massive victories.
But their cities are still being bombed and there has been a firestorm in Hamburg.
Every night the air raid sirens sound and they seek the shelters.
Might they ask - what is their government doing to exact retribution on England? Where are the Reich's bombers striking back to deliver the same punishment to the English?

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 18 Mar 2021 04:01

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
17 Mar 2021 19:59
A bit more on this from "The 90 Division Gamble" by Maurice Matloff in Command Decisions.
Why, if Germany could maintain a military establishment of 9,835,000 or 10.9 percent of its population and Britain could support 3,885,000 or 8.2, did American manpower officials insist in late 1942 that 10,500,000 or only 7.8 percent would be the maximum force that the country could sustain without incurring serious dislocation to the American economy? [5] The problem as well as the answer stemmed basically from the fact that the Allies had from the beginning accepted the proposition that the single greatest tangible asset the United States brought to the coalition in World War II was the productive capacity of its industry. From the very beginning, American manpower calculations were closely correlated with the needs of war industry.

The Army had therefore to compete for manpower not only with the needs of the other services but also with the prior claims of industry. Cutting too deeply into the industrial manpower of the country in order to furnish men for the Army and Navy might interfere seriously with arming U.S. troops and those of the Allies for the successful conduct of the war. Furthermore, the United States was fighting a global conflict. To service its lines of communications extending around the world required large numbers of men, and great numbers of troops were constantly in transit to and from the theaters.
The War Manpower Commission, informing the armed services that approximately 1,500,000 men could be furnished to them in 1944, stated that this figure would be close to the limit of those that could be withdrawn from the manpower pool without jeopardizing war production, transportation, and essential civilian services.
Efforts to formulate troop bases for 1944 and beyond that were being made at the same time pointed to the need for drastic reductions of earlier estimates. [8] The planners were working from the old assumption of the late 1941 and early 1942 period that the USSR might be defeated by the Germans, thus forcing on the Allies a far greater and more costly ground effort
What I would expand this with is the US use of African & Latina American labor and men for the military. Defacto or by conscious design those two labor pools were under used into 1944. In the shorter span, through 1943 it looks relatively small,a 5% increase? Projecting forward into 1945 & 46 is more difficult. Any upward trends are distorted by the changes and reductions in production goals that started in 1944. Next is incomplete or unbuilt production sectors in 1944-45. ie: the war funded reconstruction of the US railways did not taper off until 1947. It was approximately 75% complete in late 1944 & regions like New England still had inadequate transport capacity due to near 15+ years of underinvestment. All Ive seen are some projections into 1946-47 made in 1942-43, for potential material output and military manpower.

Finally there is the usual question of if just counting ground combat forces is a accurate measurement for estimating the overall situation & outcomes. Theres a reason the US & Britain invested heavily in air power and doubled down on that investment as the war progressed. Were the leaders correct in that, or should they have sent the airmen and factory workers to the infantry?
[/quote]

It's also worth making clear that the US mobilized - roughly - 10 percent of its 1940 population (132 million), including the Army, Navy, USMC, USCG, and USMS/MM; all of them, whether regulars, activated reserves, federalized Guardsmen, volunteers, or draftees, were subject to being sent overseas, essentially wherever the NCA chose to send them (and that they could be deployed and sustained, of course.)

The British did essentially the same, although with some wrinkles; there was no draft in northern Ireland, for example, and even British draftees - physically fit young Englishmen, Scotsmen, and Welshmen, and not conscientious objectors - were diverted into the domestic labor pool; Bevin's Boys, for example.

Canada had a draft for home service, but until 1945, draftees were not sent to Europe (which is why of the eight divisions the Canadian army raised in 1939-41, only five went overseas); the same sorts of limits held true (more or less) in Australia (with the AIF/AMF split) and South Africa (with the "Africa Pledge" exceptions, etc.), while British "imperial" manpower in the Americas (Newfoundland and the West Indies), western, central, and eastern Africa, the high commission territories in southern Africa, the non-white population in the Union of South Africa, the Mandate, India (both British India and the princely states, Ceylon, the Pacific, etc. was never subject to conscription for overseas service (or even for domestic service, in the vast majority of cases.)

New Zealand had (essentially) a draft for unlimited service, but the labor pool was so constrained, the New Zealand Army demobilized about a third of its existing ground force units deployed outside of the Dominion in 1944. Could that labor shortage (largely agricultural) been made up by laborers recruited in the PI, or South America, possibly?

Which raises another possibility, of course; manpower (military or labor) recruited in Brazil (41 million in 1940), Mexico (19 million in 1940), and the other Latin American states that were historically belligerents by 1942-43, and labor from those that weren't...

Speaking of which, it's also worth making the point that while the US integrated women into the wartime labor force to a degree the Axis never did, there was never an actual "labor draft" in the US, although it was discussed at times.

There's also the not minor point that the US was raising "new" air combat units throughout 1944, including (but not limited to) the 501st, 502nd, 504th, 505th, 506th, 507th, 508th and 509th groups, largely for the B-29 program; which, it's worth mentioning, the B-29 (five plants!) production lines were almost entirely separate from the B-17 and B-24/PB4Y/B-32 lines ...

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 18 Mar 2021 04:15

------------------------------
TMP bookmark: LW fuel burn in Eastern Front Combat
-----------------------------

We should also account for LW combat fuel burn on the Eastern Front. Even in 1944, LW flew 65% of its combat sorties on the Eastern Front.

Taking the average of fuel capacity for Me-109 (.54t) and Ju-88 (2.32t) as the average per-sortie fuel burn [i.e. 1.44t], that implies ~500,000t burned on the Eastern Front in combat missions during 1944 - about a quarter of the LW's avgas budget. [That's a very rough estimate, I know. Better figures welcome] LW fuel burn was almost certainly higher in the East in '43 than '44 but to be conservative let's stick with 500k t.

The ATL specifies that planes will be expended in the West rather than East, but in the West they don't survive very long: ~8x more likely to be splashed per sortie. Planes shifted East to West, therefore, burn only ~13% as much fuel as OTL.

So simply shifting LW operations from East to West "saves" something on the order of 400k mt of avgas on combat operations for a given attrition magnitude.

Per Caldwell and Mueller's The Luftwaffe over Germany: Defense of the Reich the Germans planned to expend 60-80k mt of avgas monthly on training in mid-'44, graduating 1,200 day-fighter pilots monthly plus 469 others (events nixed these plans of course).

The fuel saved from Eastern Front air operations would allow several months of LW training or (more likely) an increase in the quality of pilots.

Again, this is the roughest of estimates. It's sufficient to make the point, however, that saving fuel on Eastern Front combat ops would enable better training.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 18 Mar 2021 04:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WW2 Air war in Europe with a defeated USSR?

Post by David Thompson » 18 Mar 2021 05:04

Another post from TheMarcksPlan, containing insulting personal comments about another member, was removed pursuant to the forum rules.

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

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Mar 2021 05:32

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 03:45


Yes, of course, I'm sorry. I forgot the rules. We're in an imaginary world where the Germans have perfect foresight and know exactly what they will need in order to conquer...............
The invasion of Russia was a colossal blunder. This complete failure of the German Army to achieve its aims (cue endless squeals pointing out the number of Soviet tanks/planes/trains/turnips captured/stolen) doomed her to eventual defeat. By the end of 1941 the German Army was totally spent. It was a worn-out shell with broken down tanks lining the roads from Poland and its transport fleet gutted. Yet here we have claims was an all-powerful all-seeing invincible force could go reverse its shambolic record. At a stroke the defining failure of the actual German Army is hand-waved away and a new invincible version substituted. Sorry its too big of a stretch..

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

Post by historygeek2021 » 18 Mar 2021 05:45

Michael Kenny wrote:
18 Mar 2021 05:32
historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 03:45


Yes, of course, I'm sorry. I forgot the rules. We're in an imaginary world where the Germans have perfect foresight and know exactly what they will need in order to conquer...............
The invasion of Russia was a colossal blunder. This complete failure of the German Army to achieve its aims (cue endless squeals pointing out the number of Soviet tanks/planes/trains/turnips captured/stolen) doomed her to eventual defeat. By the end of 1941 the German Army was totally spent. It was a worn-out shell with broken down tanks lining the roads from Poland and its transport fleet gutted. Yet here we have claims was an all-powerful all-seeing invincible force could go reverse its shambolic record. At a stroke the defining failure of the actual German Army is hand-waved away and a new invincible version substituted. Sorry its too big of a stretch..
I mean, I can see Germany doing marginally better if they were more motorized and managed the train system better (the latter of which would have required an implausible amount of foresight - how is Germany supposed to know the distance between train water stations in the Soviet Union - maybe Oster or Canaris could have ridden the train to Moscow and counted?), but the effect on the war would only be marginal. Maybe Leningrad, Moscow and Rostov fall in 1941. Maybe German casualties are a hundred or two hundred thousand less. But the problem with these ATLs is that they go from a marginally better Barbarossa to the Soviet Union completely disappearing in 1942 or 1943. Like, Stalin can just retreat, you know? He threw his soldiers away in the OTL because he had the manpower reserves to do so. If losses become too great, he can always change his tactics and go on the defensive or even withdraw. And as long as the Soviet Union is there, Germany is going to need to keep millions of soldiers in the east to guard against the Red Army, and that means Germany will never be able to devote the resources needed to the western front, Mediterranean and air war that it needed in order to survive against the Allies.

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

Post by historygeek2021 » 18 Mar 2021 05:59

History Learner wrote:
18 Mar 2021 03:33

American Popular Opinion and the War Against Germany: The Issue of Negotiated Peace, 1942 by Richard W. Steele but the chart provided already is from Opinion Trends in World War II: Some Guides to Interpretation, so two different sources confirm it and I'm pretty sure you can directly go through Gallup's archives too.

Outside of the citations of the matter, you need to review them because this isn't politicians stating anxieties but clear evidence of the feelings of the wider public-from which the workers and soldiers must be drawn-having grave misgivings about the European War from the onset of it. 40% being open to a peace deal in 1942 is nothing to sneeze at, and as I've already pointed out carries grave political risks that FDR was acutely aware of. If the GOP takes the House in 1942 and can filibuster in the Senate, they can force a change a policy. If that doesn't do the trick, come 1944 you only need a shift of 2.5% to get a President Dewey/Taft in the White House. Unlike Nazi Germany or the USSR, the United States is a Democracy and public policy is beholden to the voters who are being asked to sacrifice themselves and millions of others for a cause many-even with a much smaller blood cost IOTL-were reluctant to make.

If you like some examples to answer your question of a nation making peace based on public opinion, ample American specific examples abound in the 20th Century: See Korea and Vietnam.
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.

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

Post by KDF33 » 18 Mar 2021 06:13

Michael Kenny wrote:
17 Mar 2021 21:56
Eastern Front is eastern Front. At no time did the Western Allies suffer the same rate of casualties
The data doesn't bear this out, though. At various points, the Allies suffered similar casualty rates to the Germans in the East.

For instance, in Normandy the Allies suffered comparable casualty rates to those the Germans suffered in the East during 1943q3, the time of Kursk and the subsequent Soviet general offensive to the Dnieper.

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

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Mar 2021 07:23

KDF33 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 06:13
For instance, in Normandy the Allies suffered comparable casualty rates to that of the Germans in the East during the third quarter of 1943, the time of Kursk and the subsequent Soviet general offensive to the Dnieper.

The cherry-picking false equiveillance.
Think strategically.
What did the Germans gain in exchange for their third quarter of 1943 casualties?
What did the Western Allies gain for their Normandy casualties?

Because the Germans lost in WW2 those who believe it 'deserved' to win have to find another way to claim their team was better. Hence the obsession with 'kill-ratios'.
Every battle is judged by trivialities such the number of enemy tanks lost and the most extreme level of this madness is the way the number of Soviet tanks destroyed on the streets of Berlin is held up as an indication of German 'superiority'. Combine it with the endless search to find at least one man from every nation on earth who fought 'to defend The Fuhrer' in Berlin and you realise the depth of this sickness.

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

Post by KDF33 » 18 Mar 2021 07:38

Michael Kenny wrote:
18 Mar 2021 05:32
The invasion of Russia was a colossal blunder. This complete failure of the German Army to achieve its aims (cue endless squeals pointing out the number of Soviet tanks/planes/trains/turnips captured/stolen) doomed her to eventual defeat.
Here I very strongly disagree.
Michael Kenny wrote:
18 Mar 2021 05:32
By the end of 1941 the German Army was totally spent. It was a worn-out shell with broken down tanks lining the roads from Poland and its transport fleet gutted.
The Ostheer at the end of 1941 was indeed at its lowest point in terms of manpower and available equipment, at least compared to any other point prior to the second half of 1944. It was, however, on the cusp of a massive effort at rehabilitation that would restore its offensive power and mobility, albeit not to the level of the previous year. Thus, it seems a stretch to draw overall conclusions from that snapshot. It would be akin to concluding the U.K. was finished based on the state of the British Army in July 1940.
Michael Kenny wrote:
18 Mar 2021 05:32
Yet here we have claims was an all-powerful all-seeing invincible force could go reverse its shambolic record. At a stroke the defining failure of the actual German Army is hand-waved away and a new invincible version substituted. Sorry its too big of a stretch..
Although I obviously agree that the Wehrmacht wasn't invincible, it did recover the initiative and went on to inflict massive defeats on the Soviets over the next spring and summer.

Lastly...
Michael Kenny wrote:
18 Mar 2021 05:13
Your mask has slipped proving you are in fact 'the joke'.
On this point, however, I agree that Politician01 is talking nonsense.

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

Post by KDF33 » 18 Mar 2021 07:44

Michael Kenny wrote:
18 Mar 2021 07:23
The cherry-picking false equiveillance.
Think strategically.
What did the Germans gain in exchange for their third quarter of 1943 casualties?
What did the Western Allies gain for their Normandy casualties?
You claimed that the Allies never suffered the same casualty rate as the Germans in the East. I pointed out that this is factually incorrect. Its not cherry-picking, nor a false equivalence, to point out that a statement of fact is not supported by the primary data.

I'm not making any argument here. I actually agree with you that the Allied "investment" in casualties during Normandy was better spent than the comparable German "Investment" in 1943q3. Which is obvious, given that the Allied ROI was incipient victory, whereas the German ROI was more pointless death and destruction.
Michael Kenny wrote:
18 Mar 2021 07:23
Because the Germans lost in WW2 those who believe it 'deserved' to win have to find another way to claim their team was better. Hence the obsession with 'kill-ratios'.
Every battle is judged by trivialities such the number of enemy tanks lost and the most extreme level of this madness is the way the number of Soviet tanks destroyed on the streets of Berlin is held up as an indication of German 'superiority'. Combine it with the endless search to find at least one man from every nation on earth who fought 'to defend The Fuhrer' in Berlin and you realise the depth of this sickness.
Who in this thread is claiming any such thing?

Who are you arguing with?

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

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 18 Mar 2021 09:22

-----------------------------
TMP bookmark: ATL defense against Bomber Command
------------------------------

Because I have been proceeding in analytically digestible steps, I have focused exclusively on the American component of the ATL air war and so far have ignored RAF, which I'll now address.

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

Again, the basic ATL conditions are as for my analysis of the ATL US bombing effort: SU is impotent/defeated by September '42, is ~40% weaker by January '42, German total production is ~10% greater than OTL by January '42 and all production increments from that time go to LW/KM. Simple quantitative modelling presented upthread.

From the above-linked quantitative model - which is conservative IMO - I get >2.5x the total production for LW/KM in ATL vs. OTL. If anybody actually cares about the details of the quantitative/economic analysis, I'm happy to reproduce the calculations.

...but let's be uber-conservative and posit only 2x the ATL LW production (in every LW sub-category) as I did upthread prior to my bone-simple quantitative model.

That means 2x the German night-fighters and therefore 2x the British losses (unlike with analysis of ATL American bombing, very few OTL night-fighters were lost against SU or in ground attacks in Med; here I'm pretending those figures were zero).

Bomber Command lost 2,349 AC in 1943, 1,816 to night fighters. GSWW v.7, p.184.

At the beginning of 1943, Bomber Command had 869 AC available, 818 of them heavies. [image from Harris, Despatches] Britain produced 1,981 Lancasters in 1943, 4,615 heavy bombers overall.

Obviously, a doubling of BC's losses to night-fighters during 1943 - 1,816 more lost - is going to make the RAF campaign unsustainable. BC's ATL losses of 4,165 would be 90% of 1943 production. Given that a 2x delta to LW night-fighters is, IMO, conservative, losses would probably exceed 100%.

Harris himself (in Despatches) admitted that the Germans took a heavy toll on Bomber Command:
The Germans fully realised the implications of the bomber offensive even before the spring of 1943, which was by then creating havoc in the Ruhr industries. They knew that they must, if in any way possible and at all costs, make bombing too expensive for us. To do this they were prepared ruthlessly to rob their battle-fronts of guns and fighters. Up to a point they succeeded, and our losses were almost 5 per cent. of total sorties during the spring and summer of 1943, in spite of the introduction of various radar countermeasures.
...double those losses and night-bombing either stops or is restricted to rare conditions.

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

What's the aerial economic attrition ratio?

Per GSWW v.7, p.185, Germany lost 1,012 night-fighters and 1,363 twin-engine Zerstorers in 1943. Assuming all Zerstorers were lost against RAF (it's not clear whether GSWW author Horst Boog intended that implication on p.185), that gives an numerical Bomber Command : LW aerial attrition ratio of 1:1.31 in favor of Bomber Command.

But of course Bomber Command is losing primarily heavy bombers while LW is losing medium bombers and heavy fighters. Cost figures:
I'm going to assume that Ju-88 is representative of the cost of LW's frame losses, which is probably excessive because the Me-110 and other heavy fighters were cheaper.

For RAF, I'm going to assume average frame lost was 80% of the Lancaster cost [$144k] because I don't have complete cost data on all British planes.

Arithmetic gives us:

Aerial Economic Attrition Ratio = 2.04 : 1 in LW's favor.

Again, that may be excessively generous to RAF because I'm counting all Zerstörer's as lost against RAF.

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

Since starting this post I came across a research thesis: Britain 1939-1945: The economic cost of strategic bombing.

Haven't read all its 488 pages yet but contains a lot of interesting data and analysis:
Of the £2.78 billion that Britain spent in carrying out the strategic air offensive,
£223.86 million went to the aircraft industry for the expansion of their production
through the building of new factories and plant. To this cost must be added £1.5
billion paid for the bomber aircraft that served in Bomber Command. The aircraft
required airfields costing £222.15 million, fuel and oils costing another £223.65
million and ordnance, which added another £183 million. On top of the
expenditure on equipment and facilities was £636.34 million on wages and
salaries. The financial costs identified in each of the chapters were arrived at
using modern accrual accounting methods. The result has been a more accurate
estimate of the total financial cost and the proportion of the cost that each major
area of activity consumed.
Knowing the financial cost of the strategic air offensive allows a more useful
evaluation to be made of the value of the offensive. Now historians can begin to
compare the impact of strategic bombing on Germany with the cost of that
bombing to Britain. It is now possible to see how the strategic air offensive
affected Britain. The full implications of this remain to be teased out, but the
work here suggests that Britain derived very little long-term benefit from the
£2.78 billion spent on mounting the bombing of Germany. [/color]

...
Having identified that the strategic air offensive cost £2.78 billion it is now
possible to place a financial value on the investment it took to achieve the
outcomes of the bomber attacks launched against enemy targets in Europe. It is
now possible to show that it cost approximately £7,131.00 for each of the 389,809
operational sorties flown by Bomber Command aircraft during World War II and
the average cost of each of the 6,259 bomber raids launched by Bomber
Command was £444,160.00. The average cost per ton of bombs dropped was
£2,911.007
. It cost Britain £5,914.00 to kill a German civilian by bombing. Of
course, this last figure is questionable because there is no way of separating out
those killed by American and Russian air attacks from those killed by Bomber
Command. It does mean that the actual cost of each civilian killed was
substantially more than the figure offered here.
Fahey's analysis is different from mine: he's looking at long-term ROI for Britain whereas I'm looking at efficiency of resource usage to win the war. Nonetheless, his total spending estimate and other figures are useful for quantifying Bomber Command's pull on national resources:

British GDP in 1943 was 9.875bn Pounds. If 1943's share of bombing cost 1/3 of total bombing cost, Britain was spending ~10% of GDP on bombing Germany. It is doubtful that British bombing caused 10% damage to German GDP in 1943. It is arguable, however, that damage+bombing defense (Flak, night-fighters, radar stations, fire-fighting, bunker building, etc.) did destroy or occupy >10% of German GDP and in that sense British bombing was arguably efficient.

But that sense of efficiency has never been my point either. Rather, I've always argued that, given historical rates of aerial economic attrition, OTL Allied bombing campaigns can only have worked against an opponent with crushing material inferiority: if the opponent has anywhere near parity in aerial resources, he will be able to inflict a far greater magnitude of aerial economic attrition that will render bombing damage too expensive to inflict. This is, after all, what happened to the LW when it tried to bomb Britain.

Now apply that logic to the ATL post-SU air war where Germany has 2x the night-fighters in 1943:
  • Britain spends an equal amount to inflict half the OTL bombing damage (over plane/crew lifespan, which is 50% of OTL)

    .............OR...........
  • Britain spends 2x OTL bombing expenditure to achieve the same damage.
Here's a simple graph of the concept:

Image

German costs - damage plus defenses - are the red lines; British costs are the Green lines.

Because night-fighters are much cheaper than heavy bombers, the upward red line has shallower slope than the downward one: it's cheaper to prevent damage - if possible - than to take it (hopefully that's everyone's intuition as well).

Point "G" represents something like the OTL case: Germany produced 57% as many nightfighters and destroyers as Britain did heavy bombers (2,613 vs. 4,615); Germany's planes cost ~28% as much as Britain's (based on prices above). Between damage and defense expense, Germany is losing more than Britain is spending at Point "G". [again, not sure that's true historically but could be - the graph is to illustrate concept rather than fine data]

Point "H" represents the 2x OTL German night-fighters case analyzed above: German combined costs are now less than British.

The higher Green Line represents a British decision to double-down on the bomber campaign. That would return German damage to Point "G" (2x the OTL bombers flying fewer sorties each) but move British costs so high that they far exceed German total costs (damage plus defense).

If Britain does not double bomber output, OTOH, the graph is probably generous to the British side because it may be impossible to force bomber crews to continue missions with 10% loss rates indefinitely. Creepback and refuge in neutral countries, possibly mutiny, may become widespread.

Of course for Britain to have doubled bomber output is infeasible, absent cutting back in other areas whose ATL demands would only grow (e.g. army, air defense, shipping).

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

So I hope this clarifies why I've emphasized "aerial economic ratio" - something on which I've received some pushback.

It is NOT a standalone metric for evaluating strategic bombing, rather it's an analytical tool for evaluating whether a tactical/strategic approach would work in different contexts where the enemy has different resource levels. WW2 strategic bombing worked only if the targeted country did not possess - or could not employ - sufficient resources to leverage the defender's advantage in aerial attrition against heavy bombers.

While OTL Germany could efficiently shoot down British bombers, it could also efficiently kill Russian soldiers - but it had to do a lot of both. In the end, efficiency didn't matter because Germany lacked the resources to do enough things efficiently*.

*And no, in the aerial context, "efficient" doesn't mean excellent or skilled. The LW was outclassed personally and technically by 1943 and earlier. Efficiency here simply means the defender's inherent advantage against 1940's conventional strategic bombing.

Finally, note that my upthread analysis of Germany's probable ATL bombing of Britain follows this logic for Germany as well: it would be a massively inefficient use of German resources [though even inefficiently-gained things are still things gained - in this example ~100k British dead and/or related damage/diversions].
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 18 Mar 2021 09:44, edited 2 times in total.
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Politician01
Member
Posts: 441
Joined: 02 Sep 2011 06:56

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

Post by Politician01 » 18 Mar 2021 09:43

historygeek2021 wrote:
17 Mar 2021 22:50
How many casualties does Germany suffer against the Soviet Union in this ATL? What is its manpower situation when the Soviet Union surrenders? Where is its army deployed? What is its industry producing?
Around 80% of OTL 41/42 losses - but only 5% of the OTL 43-45 losses. This saves the Germans give or take 3.5 Million casualties and reduces the size of the Army in the East from 3 Million to 1.5 Million - another 1.5 Million that can be invested elswhere. So the total ATL manpower that gets freed in the 43-45 period is around 5 Million.
historygeek2021 wrote:
17 Mar 2021 22:50
Britain easily crushed independence movements in India in the OTL. Britain only let up after the war because it had agreed to do so in the Atlantic Charter in order to get American support.
Britan did so because it wasnt fighting the Axis anymore. The Atlantic Charter gets signed ATL as well. Basically with Japan defeated by 1946 - yet the war against Germany still raging, India would want independence now. And Britain would find itself in quite a conundrum.
historygeek2021 wrote:
17 Mar 2021 22:50
Germany will no doubt produce more once the Soviet Union surrenders. The question is, how much, and will it be enough, and will it be able to keep pace with Allied technological advances? As for Allied casualties, you haven't explained how the Allies are likely to change their strategy in response to Soviet defeat. What do the Allies do differently if the Soviet Union shows signs of collapse in 1941 and 1942? They have multiple options. They could focus everything on Japan early in order to secure a lendlease supply route to Vladivostock, thereby keeping the Soviet Union in the war. Or they could strike at German peripheries that were vital to its war effort, as discussed here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=256179
The Wallies have exactly two options - stick to bombing and hope that it amounts to something and invade in the Med as per OTL. All other approaches are not viable. Concentrating on Japan by 1942 will lead to the abandonment of the war in Europe. It also would probably accelerate Wallied advance by at least 6 Months. So the Home Islands ar facing invasion by May 1945 before the first bomb is ready. This will lead to a bloodbath in a Downfall like invasion that would further reduce any attempts to restart the war in Europe.

And invading neutral countries, far from Germany is the stupidest thing that the Wallies could do, so it is not going to happen - just admit that that idea of yours is absolutely ridiculous - even the Anglos here think so.
historygeek2021 wrote:
17 Mar 2021 19:19
I have now addressed all of your points, twice. Can you please show me the same courtesy and address mine
I believe I have: Your point of view is that the Wallies would never surrender and that the war could go on for decades. I have demonstrated that this is not possible. Mutual exhaustion would have forced a compromise for both sides by 1947 at the absolute latest. Because Britain was running out of manpower by 1943, India wont keep still and even the US was facing problems of its own. Points you handwaved away.

Politician01
Member
Posts: 441
Joined: 02 Sep 2011 06:56

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

Post by Politician01 » 18 Mar 2021 09:49

KDF33 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 07:38
On this point, however, I agree that Politician01 is talking nonsense.
The Wallies fought a tiny fraction of the German Army and as John Ellis demonstrates, their armies were inneficent, wasteful and only won because they massively outnumbered this tiny fraction. Had the Germans concentrated most of their land army against them instead of the USSR, they would have been swept away - unless they would have been still massively outnumbered which doesnt seem possible. These are the facts. So what exactly is nonsense?

Was it Trevor Dupuy who calculared that a German division was the equivalent of 1.25 Allied ones? Well I believe he was a little concervative and that the real number was somewhere in the vicinity of 1.5 : 1. Still better than the 2:1 or 3:1 for the Soviets, but far from stellar.

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