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Most cost effective weapon

Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by harolds, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Effective yes but how cost effective was it compared to other systems. Getting a firestorm going by the way often took a mix of HE and incendiary and perhaps even FRAG bombs. How many did you have to drop and how much did they cost? How many aircraft and crews did you loose in the process? One of the things that made the Atomic bomb so effective is that it only took one plane to take out a city. I seem to recall the Dresden raid as being at least 3 and perhaps 4 seperate waves with hundreds of planes. Not sure about Hamburg. Nor was it possible to tell when you would get a firestorm, they were actually quite rare.
     
  2. harolds

    harolds Member

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    After thinking it over, I think I'd have to go with the mortar also. I've read that in Normandy, most Allied casualties came from mortars. Here's my thinking: 1. Heavy to pack, but very much more portable than an artillery piece. 2. It can lob it's projectile on the backside of hills, walls and other cover reaching places that ever arty can't get too.3. Pound for pound, the projectile is more effective since it comes down close to perpendicular to the earth. That gives 360 degree shrapnel unlike arty that normally fired low angle weapons. 4. More than just HE. We had a smoke/WP projectile that not only screened but was a casualty causing agent too. The Germans had a bomb that would bounce back up about 10ft after it hit giving an air burst. 5. It was inexpensive!

    Please note that even if one weapons system is more cost-effective than another, one may need both for optimum combat effectiveness. Each weapon was a tool that did specific jobs. All weapons were also tools but all tools aren't weapons.
     
  3. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    are we counting sub cost and crews lost for torpedo cost effectiveness? are we counting transport cost of mortar rounds?..the torpedo did not kill 'many' troops, and was not designed to....the incendiary was designed to destroy cities..and they did, without firestorms ..the US burned much of almost all the Japanese cities..what other weapon could do that? and I did say some of the raids caused firestorms
    Atomic bomb cost <>2 billion
     
  4. green slime

    green slime Member

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    The development of the Atomic bombs "cost" 2 billion USD, true.

    Two were enough, however. And this thread was not about cost per se, but cost efficiency. It only required two aircraft, with their fuel and air crews, to deliver two bombs to destroy two cities, to end the war with Japan. What price the end of conflict?

    How much fuel, trained aircrews, aircraft, and manpower to maintain that infrastructure, would the continued firebombing of Japan require, to say nothing of the costs of the planned invasion.

    The development of the A-bomb also employed 160,000 people. They paid taxes, and purchased goods. During the development of the bomb, we also got spin-offs such as the development of nuclear energy.

    On the negative, it also caused a large amount of radioactive pollution, and carbon dating is limited to pre-1950 artefacts. Not a problem now, but imagine a few centuries into the future...
     
  5. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    yes I realize all that, it's just that the firebombing was so huge in it's effect -not counting the A bomb........hell, really, on earth..the fire of hell and damnation..I'm enamored with it
     
  6. Terry D

    Terry D Well-Known Member

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    It is not neccessarily a dollar and cents matter, though we are handicapped here because we don't have that many hard figures to work with. As in every field, too, sometimes you just have to spend money whether it is convenient or not. Arming an infantry unit with bolt action-rifles as opposed to semiautos might be cheaper, and in that sense "cost effective," but it certainly wouldn't be militarily effective if the other side also had a semiauto and your infantry did not. Arming an infantry unit entirely or almost entirely with second-generation SMGs (as the Soviets did in some cases) would also be cheaper but of very limited or narrow effectiveness because such a unit would be hampered in too many situations by the technical limits of the weapon (lack of range, etc). Inexpensive and cost effective are not the same thing.

    As you say our infantry did not have a true LMG like the Bren, and that fact made the Garand all the more important and so well worth the extra money. If Marshall's work on Korea is correct then the M1 did make a major contribution to US infantry fire, certainly contributing more than the mix of Nagants, Mausers, and Arisakas did to the fire of the CCF and NKPA. (In WWII, the US Army and USMC both found ways to augment fire at the squad level by adding extra BARs, but that is a different story.)
     
  7. Terry D

    Terry D Well-Known Member

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  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I don't see how we can not do so. The torpdeo is the equivalant of an artillery shell. The plane, sub, ship, or boat carrying it the equivalant of the artillery piece.

    While it wasn't especially designed to you might be surprised at how many it actually killed. The Japanese lost a huge number of soldiers on torpedoed ships and the various navies lost quite a few sailors on them as well.

    I'm not at all sure that they were designed to destroy cities. Certainly they did so although often in conjunction with other bombs which could also destroy cities.

    My real point in this though was how do we choose a MOE that is reasonable in evaluating rifles, bombs, shells, torpedoes, and mines much less propaganda or atomic bombs?


    Even with hard numbers how do we account for synergies between weapons?
     
  9. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    It's threads like this that make me miss Opana Pointer. He would be able to tell us the cost of employing each system from the B-29 to the P-38 can opener.

    IF you look at "bang for your buck" we had M2's and 1911's that were manufactured in 1942 when I was in the Marines. Iowa Class Battleships were in service in excess of 50 years. The non nuclear carriers like the Midway and Essex Classes that were built in '43 and '45 that lasted in to the 90s.

    It seems that the Israelis were using M4 Shermans up in to the 80's.
     
  10. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    Can't help you with the P-38 can opener (the P-38 Lightning cost $97,147), but the B-29 cost $605,360 in 1944 and $509,465 in 1945.
     
  11. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    let me add to this and mine...My Uncle never talked much about the war, and we were just kids when he was hanging around...but, what he said about the mortars [ the Germans could zero in on you with them ] was one of the very, very few things he said about it...so, that is very telling that mortars had stuck in his mind, and not much else [almost nothing else! ]
     
  12. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Everything in the Marine Corps inventory has a bayonet lug
     
  13. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Not sure how much the P-38 cost but I've had one on my keyring for as long as I can remember, dating back to high school days. Dated 1952 so it's older than I am. And in better condition too. Guess it could be used as a weapon in a real close fight.
     
  14. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Most opponents aren't patient enough to sit still while you open up the top of their head.
     
  15. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Don't you have some trespassers to shoot at?
     
  16. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    That reminds that in Russia there are some factories that have some T34s to this day for official guard duty.

    From what we have discussed about mortars, would mortars be more accurate than artillery?
     
  17. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    depends on the FO/crew/FDC [ guys that compute the data ] ..arty goes farther, so more room for error....mortars have a ''big'' parabolic arc, [ adjusting is easier ] so I'm guessing, mortars much more accurate....plus, as someone stated, there are not many dead zones for mortars....time for adjust is really only the time of the round in the air, <>once our FDC got the adjustment from the FO, they were very quick to get the new data, and our gunners super quick to adjust!..gunners could adjust in less than 10 seconds for the fire for effect....
     
  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    My short experience showed that mortar is deadly up to a certain distance perhaps 1-2 kilometer, but definitely massively accurate up to a kilometer. The further you shoot the winds might move the ammo and the area of the hit is further apart. When we shot a car some 700 meters away, if the aimer is good and the man holding the mortar in place does his job, the 5 rounds will hit practically the same position 2 seconds apart. It was an awesome view...
     
  19. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Browning M2 .50 cal. machine gun.

    /thread

    PS, there was one weapon that killed 5,000 soldiers with one "round". Not cost effective, however.
     
  20. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    If you say OpanaPointer 3 times looking into a mirror...
    Good to see you, man.

    #101,102:
    Wonder if the firestorms in Japan were more due to the unique wood construction, and the close proximity of the bldgs. It took less bombs to create a firestorm yonder.
    Also. there was not a lot of air opposition or AA fire. They could bomb lower, in daylight(?), with better accuracy. Thus the huge firestorms with less friendly casualties. Maybe.
     

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