Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by Guaporense, Nov 11, 2009.
When WSC heard about Pearl Harbor he went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved.
Not everyone has read Tooze by any means.
Was the UK supplying the US in 41? Certainly the UK sent some resources to the US but was receiving quite a bit in return were they not?
Was the US at war in 1941? Certainly after 7 Dec but unofficially well before that. The shoot on sight order is quite clearly an act of war.
Did the US rescue the UK in WWII? That's a rather open question and depends a lot on semantics. For instance you go into a fair amount of detail on the British support of the 8th AF. It's worth noting however that especially during the period in question the 8th AF was pretty much dedicated to supporting the UK. From what I've read the UK and the US tried to do things in the most efficient way possible with the aim of winning the war as quickly and as efficiently as they could. Certainly there were partisan efforts from people on both sides but they were the exception and not the rule.
Still waiting for your sources on the troop ships by the way. Please do a proper job of sourcing as well, shotgun sourcing is just about useless.
Few things to consider. The Luftwaffe lost as many as 20,000 aircraft on the Ost Front. The air war over Russia was different than in Western Europe as a result these were mainly medium to low altitude aircraft. Without Russia, Germany can now concentrate on the skies over Western Europe. Just imagine an additional 15k Messerschmitts BF 109s. How do the allies cope? What happens to Europe from 1941-1945?
IIRC, German single engine fighter combat losses were well below 15,000 - more in the realm of 2,800, with twin engine fighters adding some 500 more. Most of those aircraft lost were ground attack & bomber.
So, that would probably mean - Battle of Britain: Round 2. Or, would they be sent off to Italy/North Africa?
The source does not differentiate between combat losses and operational losses.
Still, 6,921 is a far cry from your earlier 15,000 Messerschmitts BF 109s...
Again. . . . . read the books. The UK 'The Rise and Fall of the German Air Force' and the US 'Strategy for Defeat the Luftwaffe 1939 - 45' which clearly outline the difficulties facing the Luftwaffe. While the GAF lost a lot of aircraft in the East, the main drain of pilots and aircraft was first in the Mediterrenean and then over Germany. If you look at the Battle of Stalingrad you'll discover the GAF gradually being withdrawn from the battle to face the air offensive in the Mediterreanean. After Stalingrad the GAF could only maintain local superiority in the East.
The Germans always sacrificed air superiority in the East to meet the more serious threat in the West
While we often consider airframes a measure of capability, we rarely look at the number, quantity and quality of aircrew and aircrew training and all accounts record a progressive decline throughoout the war. It's useless building 10's thousands of airframe's if you have not got the pilots (or the fuel) to fly them.
It's not just aircraft v aircraft. There's a whole infrastructure to take into account. Pilot training, fuel, repair faclities, tactical mobility, air defence, communications,
This stuff has been around for 50 years. . . . but people are still to lazy to read it.
While I applaud your effort to get the British official histories online, you seem fixated on the notion you are the only one who has ever seen them or read them, which is patently false and unfair, especially given the number of times you have been corrected in misstatements.
In this case, Rise and Fall of the German Air Force is excellent - I picked it up in a visit to Kew in 2004, two years after it was published by the PRO. It was written in 1948, but wasn't publicly available until the late 1970's when declassified. Even then, it could only be easily accessed at the PRO in its original manuscript form. As for Williamson Murray's Strategy for Defeat the Luftwaffe 1939 - 45, it was written in 1983, so I am unclear how you think it too could have been "around for 50 years", since 1966?
The point is 90% of the people who are reading about WWII are reading 'popular' histories. Of course people with a serious interest read serious books. . . . . .but we are a tiny minority.
The 7 volume combat history of the RAF is out there somewhere - if I can find it.
In reality, if you seriously research WWII, the military stuff is pretty trivial. WWII was won through economics, logistics and production output. If you want the decisve factor in WWII it would be the decision of Chamberlain, both as Chancellor and later Prime Minster, to gradually move the UK to a war economy.
Germany was always going to lose in a long war. . . . .they knew that in 1936. . . .
How many more aircraft would allies have had if they weren't sending anything to the USSR? And regardless of the extra number of Luftwaffe aircraft available, THERES NOT ENOUGH FUEL. Not enough to make a difference.
A couple of perspectives to look at this from. The Luftwaffe losses (60+ percent damaged to both enemy and non-enemy causes) to operational units by "year" were:
1E Fighter 536/707
2E Fighter 61/178
Night Fighter 83/0
Ground Attack 169/457
1E Fighter 2359/1135
2E Fighter 182/132
Night Fighter 274/23
Ground Attack 518/905
1E Fighter 6818/972
2E Fighter 275/185
Night Fighter 1063/94
Ground Attack 345/1237
Total Mar 1942-Dec 1944
1 E Fighter 9713/2814
2E Fighter 518/495
Night Fighter 1420/117
Ground Attack 1032/2599
We can also look more closely at 1944. From July to December, just Luftflotte 3 and Luftflotte Reich (the above also include losses in Italy and Norway) lost 10,362 aircraft destroyed (1,698 in accidents) and 6,787 damaged less than 60% (2,919 in accidents). Training units meanwhile lost 2,052 aircraft destroyed and 1,986 damaged.
In the first five months of 1944, the Allies flew some 58,000 sorties against the Germans. The Germans under 32,000 in response.
To review this thread. . . . . . .
Germany did not have the economic resources to win a World War. Not even close. It could knock out opponents by coup de main attacks but it did not have the economic base to carry out a sustained war.
Worse, it was not prepared to make a a full switch to a war economy.
The British however were planning for a long war from 1936, with investments in air defence, weapons production and in depth development of the air arm which included pilot training, the design of new types and increasing production capacity. The British recognised from long before the war that airpower would be decisive.
On the outbreak of war in 1939 the German closed down their airwarfare research and development unit and drew down theire trained pilot reserves - the British did the opposite.
British aircrew and airframe availablity along with a hardened air defence system were decisive in winning the Battle of Britain.
Ok. . . . . so its 1941 and Germany is not got the power to overwhelm the UK. As long as the UK can maintain its sea trade and has American credit (lend lease) it has unlimited resources. It's very short of manpower but the forced conscription of women into the miliary and war economy are very important.
Germany has in comparison almost unlimited manpower but is unable to untilize it. They also fail to 'concentrate' the economy on war production. Germany has a shortage of strategic materials - notablly oil - that the UK does not have.
Tooze in the Wages of Destruction correctly reasons that the only way that shortage of materials can be resolved is to attack the USSR.
However, the USSR has made much the same strategic decisions as the UK in moving its defence industries beyond the Urals (the British relled on air defence, not geography)
Again Germany tried (and almost succeded) in a coup de main attack on the USSR.. . . . and failed, as it had with the attack on the UK.
At this point - late 1941 early 1942, Germany had lost the war simply because of resouce and manpower shortage. It could not compete with the global resources availble to the UK through its control of shipping and it could not match the Russian manpower.
The US had made the strategic decision to support the UK in late 1940, but completely unprepared for war, on every level. When they did enter the war in 1942 the British more or less dictated strategy and organised the US war economy. Its fully acknowledged in the US Green Book 'Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare.
After a series of catastrophic errors the US 'got on board' with the British programme.
It was over then for Germany.. . . .this is 1943. . . . In 1942 -43 concentration in the German war economy and full labour utilisation started to come into play in the German war economy. . . . .but it was 3 years too late.
German losses on the Eastern Front were collosal - but so was the destruction of Strategic Air Offiense.
We have to view the war as 'Material Battle' in the west and a 'Manpower Battle' in the East.. . . . no more significantly symbolised by the transfer of German airpower from the battle of Stalingrad to the Mediterrean during the battle.
At Stalingrad Germany lost both the Land Battle and the Air Battle
Um, the United States entered the war in 1941, not 1942.
Meanwhile, since you know the materiel so well, you should have no problem telling me the exact page or pages in which volume of Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare where the authors "acknowledge" the British "organised" the US war economy? Somehow I think it might be a surprise to Messrs. Matloff and Snell.
Also meanwhile, perhaps you would care to answer the previous questions addressed to you. For my part, I am still wondering who the "Swiss historian Breuerer" is. Then there is Slipdigit's question addressed to you on the 24th. http://www.ww2f.com/topic/58220-biggest-mistake-of-the-kriegsmarine-not-putting-any-aircraft-carriers-into-service/?p=653368
I'd be interested also, because I've actually read that particular volume, not recently though, and that's not the impression I got from what I read. The problem may have been that I read the American edition and not the official Queens Own, British, edited and expanded edition.
As to the first Tooze actually makes the opposite point from what I recall reading.
As to the second note that the forth contradicts it. How can you loose due to a shortage of manpower while just a bit ago you had "unlimited manpower"? Indeed Germany had "manpower" issues from the start of the war.
As to the third, I seam to recall that Tooze suggested very clearly that other routes were available especially early in the 30s.
As to the last the US was hardly "completely unprepared for war", certainly they were not ready to fight a European war in 1940 but many of the necessary steps had already been taken. Not to mention at that point the USN was one of the two most powerful navies in the world.
Chapter and verse, please.
The Logic is not strong with this one it seems.
In terms of tank production alone, the progression was:
1 September 1939-1940: 381 (22 medium and 359 light)
1941: 4,023 (1,420 medium, 1,601 light, and 2 heavy)
1942: 23,885 (12,936 medium, 10,947 light, 2 heavy)
1943: 29,501 (21,253 medium, 8,213 light, 35 heavy)
1944: 17,565 (13,468 medium, 4,043 light, 54 heavy)
1945 (1st 8 months): 11,918 (6,793 medium, 2,801 light, 2,324 heavy)
So a ten-fold expansion in the fifteen prewar months and then a near eight-fold expansion in the first wartime year, followed by a modest increase to full wartime production. Actually, the peak production month in terms of both medium tanks (2,447) and total tanks (4,772) was December 1942. It seems there was a bit more prewar planning and investment than might otherwise be supposed?
In actual fact most of the planning and investment, which resulted in the expanded production, was done 17 June-15 August 1940. Manpower planning and investment may be said to have begun on 17 August 1940 when Congress voted to federalize the National Guard for one year and when Roosevelt signed the Draft Act on 16 September 1940.
Of course, naval munitions building was planned and invested in even earlier, as was that devoted to aircraft production.
Not strong on erudition either, just enough to feel worthy to lecture the Rogues.
The experience gained in manpower mobilization via the CCC is also worth noting.
Gen. Marshall certainly thought so.