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"Game Changers"

Discussion in 'Wonder Weapons' started by formerjughead, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    True game changers?

    The "For list" in no particular order:

    -British radar, especially in the BoB.
    -German wireless radio communications equipment in 1939-1942, enabled effective mechanized combined arms doctrine to work when no one else had the same capability (coupled with Auftragstaktik = leathal).
    -Allied sonar, acoustic torpedoes, aerial radar to detect surfaced submarines
    -P51 Mustang
    -T34 tank
    -Shaped charge anti-tank weapons, not really sure who to give credit to but certainly changed the game between tanks vs. Infantry
    -Japanese Zero
    -German 88mm Multi-purpose gun
    -Spam
    -Allied tactical carpet bombing in support of ground ops
    -AMTRAC



    Against list:
    Enigma
    Maginot Line/Dyle Plan-Allied force structure and doctrinal design 1940
    V-weapons program (cost as much as the Manhatten Program for little result)


    Just a few off the top of my head.
     
  2. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Of that list RADAR and SPAM are the only good candidates for the Allies. Why though?

    Enigma machines and V weapons are non issues as the Brits were interpeting Enigma codes early in 1941 and the V1 / V2 never really reached their potential.
    The German use of Radio and Coordinated air/ground attack was effective until the US entered the war so I am going to waffle on that unless you have something different to add.
     
  3. Victor Gomez

    Victor Gomez Ace

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    I am a skeptic of the belief that Germans should have won or could have won because I know we(the Allies) took the war to their homeland and many countries of Europe we had to retake to defeat them. They had very good technologies but a major mistake was the defeat of their own economy by the deportation and attack upon a member of their own population. Early on, leading scientists left Germany. They placed some of their best implementers of technology in the ovens. Their good ideas couldn't be speedily brought into production. This placed a debilitating limitation on their war production capabilities that their enslavement of others could not make up for. Considering this alone is sufficient argument for me that even on paper they couldn't compete with our production. This is something their warped views did to themselves. In addition they had an interfering idiot that often insisted on things that was not the chosen tactic of their generals who were capable.

    A second and most important factor is yet untested and I believe would be very difficult to accomplish. There is nothing in the American culture that would be acceptable to an autocratic rule. That rule would have to be established on our homeland. I am just guessing but I have to tell you they would have a hard time controlling the resistance that I think would result in every state of this union if an outsider tried to change our free way of life. There are a sufficient number of autonomous groups amongst us Americans that would have to be individually conquered or destroyed(these would be our "Game Changers") if they hoped to rule this land. If they came across this land they would face that kind of opposition and this is a big country to try to do that in. I do believe we could be over populated by a conquering interest but not by Germany. That wasn't going to happen even if they had had earlier success. People don't often think of it but our second amendment rights are also a "Game Changer" for conquest of the U.S.A.
     
  4. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    Combined operations involving Air, Land and Sea against a contested beach like Normandy was what I had in mind. A lot more complex affair. I'd say that no other protaganist during the war could have done it.

    Weserübung almost went tits up because a costalfort fired, Crete offered just penny-packets of recistance. etc.

    Going back to the criteria of the thread (the way I understand it) the 'game changer', I am looking at inventions and philosophy that would have changed the war if we were to remove it.

    Assimilation of lessons learned, and change in doctrine. The allies have the Axis licked there. (now why didn't I think of that earlier?) This can be nailed down to the allies having to play catch-up with the Axis. As can the pragmatic approach that I described earlier.

    Tolerance would feature on the philosophical level. The bridge between the Comitern powers and the Democratic nations (the UK in particular) is definitivly a gamechanger. If the Germans had welcomed the Ukranians the balance in the east might have swung the other way.
     
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  5. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    The Japanese used that at Wake with some positive, albeit hard won, result. Coordinated Air/ Ground attacks with artillery in support was what propelled Germay through Poland, France and into Russia. So I think that was just a natural progession of mechanized warfare; everyone who had the capability was doing it or studying it.

    The Allied Naval tactic of Island Hopping ( bypassing, isolating enemy held territory) was effective.


    Exactly

    Assimlating lessons learned is what I think Germany brought to the party in the Ardennes. The German units that lead that attack had learned some hard lessons in Russia over the previous winters and it was the Allies first European winter. I think the Germans effectively exploited the affects of weather and protracted Allied supply lines. Had it worked, Germany could have effectively neutralized several US divisions had they the logistical resources to press the attack.

    The Albatross of NAZI party dogma did more to hurt the Germans and inspire resistance than any amout of propaganda ever could. Maybe the NAZI's were their own worst enemy?
     
  6. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Yes, and thats the reason why they would never had won the war! With their idealogy they must´ve ended this way. They didn´t trust anybody and killed anybody who were dangerous to them. What is the end of this? Kill everybody, don´t trust anybody and your damn alone in the world.
     
  7. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    The final point is probably the crux of the matter.
     
  8. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Did I miss sonar above? As well as anti sub equip like the hedgehog and other depth charge throwing devices...Radar in the Pacific was so new, they didn't really know how to use it properly. For example, some of the battles @ Guadalcanal had radar equipped ships not leading the way for night time battles and some of the information gleaned by radar was not interpreted correctly.
     
  9. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Perhaps I missed it, but how about the German's introduction of Blitzkrieig. That certainly made a lot of people crap their culottes and re-think warfare and how it was to be carried out from that point on. And if that concept is allowed as a game changer, how about carrier warfare. That also caused many a "d'oh" moments as well.
     
  10. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    I was dragging my feet on RADAR because I was really hoping to pull out how RADAR was utilized by the Centralized Command to allocate fighters during the Battle of Britain.
    IF The Army had the RADAR Operational at the time of the Attack on 7 Dec. would it have made a difference or would it have resulted in more US casualties. I think the Japanese attack would have had the same result regardless.


    I was including that in the 'Coordinated Attack' entry; but, it's obvious that it desrves it's own entry.
     
  11. machine shop tom

    machine shop tom Member

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    I would argue that Bletchley Park, the name of the brain trust that broke the Enigma code, was a very important game changer. In fact, had the U-Boat code not been cracked, England would have been very near or actually starved for materiel in 1942-1943. The British came very close to losing the tonnage war in spring of 1942. When the code was finally cracked, U-Boat orders were decoded as they were sent, allowing the allies to divert convoys, or call protecting escorts to bear where the subs were going to be gathering. There were actually two stages of Enigma code. The first used three code wheel, the second four (which made it 26 times harder to break into messages). The first stage had been cracked, but when the fourth code wheel was added, there was a blackout of information until that code system was broached. Fact is, even with the codes broken, the American aversion to the convoy system was just as dangerous as not having the German info to aid the defense against the U-Boat menace. It wasn't until the convoy system was universally adopted, the Atlantic air gap was bridged, and effective sub hunter-killer units were formed did the tide turn against Germany in the Atlantic. The U-Boat was the single deadly menace that truly could have put Britain out of the war. Had Hitler realized it, of course.

    tom
     
  12. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    That's the Cryptology/ Cryptography. I think it played a large role in both Theaters.
     
  13. machine shop tom

    machine shop tom Member

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    Agree 100%.

    tom
     
  14. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    High underwater speed submarines. Had these come out in 1943 or 44 in quantity they would have rendered most of the British and a good portion of US ASW equipment and ships obsolete overnight. Every British corvette (eg., Flower class)would have been obsolete and both US and British frigates / DE's would have been obsolesent. Most weapons would suddenly be of marginal value at best along with all but the latest sonars.

    The US fleet train. It made the advance across the Pacific and ship operations possible for sustained periods without a major port possible anywhere in the world. This is a first for navies.

    Long ranged fighter aircraft. Planes like the A6M Zero and P-51 Mustang changed the nature of air war and rendered pre-war theories on aerial combat obsolete.

    Infantry anti-tank weapons like the bazooka and panzerfaust. This put them back on a somewhat equal footing with tanks. No longer could armor move against infantry with impunity.
     
  15. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    That's an "If" I am more concerned with what was in use and wether it proved to be a game changer either for or against.

    I think that would be considered "Logistics" or "Arsenal of Democracy" and is already represented.

    Need to think that one through a little more. I think there was more to the P-51 than just the Aircraft. The Brits were flying P-51s early in the war 1941/42 so the airframe it's self was not a game changer per se.

    Both sides had them so it's a null sum development unless you can say one had a larger impact than the other and if that is the case is it about the weapon or the shaped charge munition?
     
  16. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Really?
    You are waaay off the mark on that. :rolleyes:

    There were "operational doctrine" innovations on both sides, but I think that the Allies, especially the British were out in front on the tech advances, certainly far far more than just the A bomb.

    Other have pointed out Radar, Sonar, code breaking, but there were many others.
    Airborne radar equipped sub hunters.
    Finding subs by detecting their long range HF transmissions
    Degaussing ships to defeat magnetic mines
    First design & use of "window" chaff
    "Avgas" was discovered & patented by the British

    yes indeed

    I think I've heard of that, it was piloted by a Higgin's bosun, right? ;)

    It was operational.
    Didn't help much
     
  17. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    You need to look at the original post. As things are brought up they are added to the appropriate list.
    As far as me being "Waaaay off the mark" please explain.
    If you need an example of "Gee Whiz" here are a few:

    Enzian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Wasserfall - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Fliegerfaust - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Henschel Hs 117 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Rheintochter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I-400 class submarine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    As far as the Radar at Pearl Harbor it was far from being "Operational" to any extent of being useful despite it functioning.
    So, the question remains: Even if the Opana Point RADAR had been fully operational and an incorporated into an effective air defense plan would it have made a difference or was it a fateful short comming that prevented an even greater loss of men and materiel?
     
  18. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    German wireless radio communications equipment in 1939-1942, enabled effective mechanized combined arms doctrine to work when no one else had the same capability" (see France 1940 and Operation Barbarossa)
    The Germans had the ability to coordinate their combined arms team with greater speed, operational control and precision as a direct by-product of the first integrated wireless tactical radio net. When no one else had the same capability from 1939-1942 is that a game changer? In my opinion, most definately.

    The point about the Enigma and V weapons was that they were a game changer for the Germans in the negative sense. They invested heavily in V weapons for little result and their reliance upon a compromised encoding machine likely cost them the war.
     
  19. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    I'll nitpick by interjecting that the British had it up untill the massive buildup of the army (TA units) but that is a question of quantity, rather than not having it at all.

    The Experimental Mechanised Force pionerd the integrated comms, aswell as all arms forces. However the EMF was disbanded during the defence cuts.
     
  20. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    I'd say thats a good nitpick. My point regarding the Germans is that their use of wireless radios was comprehensive at all levels and used very effectively to integrate into older legacy type wire to wire communications to create a very rapid communications network. It integrated the armor/motorized units with the Luftwaffe (Luftwaffe radio teams attached to Panzer units at battalion level and above) as well as connecting forward units with the rear to effect rapid artillery support, logistical considerations and basic information flow. This was enunciated doctrinally in 1933-34, practiced at all levels of field training and was tried, tested and proficient by the time the war started. No one else had that for almost 3 years, most notably the Wehrmacht's first 3 major ground opponents (Poland, France, Soviet Union).
     

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