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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:21 pm 
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Yes, it's fair to say essentially every resource of the Royal Navy would have been thrown at a landing if need be. 112 modern destroyers. Some were in the Indian Ocean and Singers or the Caribbean and Med perhaps but certainly 70 or more could meet an invasion. Can you imagine 70 DD's showing up at dawn and you have hundreds of towed barges?

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:28 pm 
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Might have helped if the Germans had concentrated on hitting the airfields, radar installations and aircraft manufacturers instead of switching to the cities. The Luftwaffe's intelligence was shit and Göring struggled to resolve the claims of his bomber and fighter chiefs for priority.

A few Spits might have been helpful too. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:46 pm 
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Mac wrote:
Might have helped if the Germans had concentrated on hitting the airfields, radar installations and aircraft manufacturers instead of switching to the cities. The Luftwaffe's intelligence was shit and Göring struggled to resolve the claims of his bomber and fighter chiefs for priority.

A few Spits might have been helpful too. ;)


One point I'm constantly led back to though: if we distinguish "assets" at the Operational or Tactical level (the Bf-109, the Me-110, Enigma, human intelligence capabilities, etc., etc.) from "assets" at the Grand Strategic Level (the thing between the ears of Adolf Hitler, Herman Goering and the sundry of other high level NSDAP officials who made top-level decisions).

Even with the best intell coming in from the field and being prepped to be sent up the chain, if Goring and Hitler and the gang were just too stupid/biased/megalomaniac for the Intell to make any impact it wouldn't make a difference. Given the extreme stupidity Hitler demonstrated in attempting to micro-manage his literal military geniuses like von Mannstein, Guderian and even guys like von Bock and von Rundstedt. Those guys were fucking professionals; best in the business, and when the realities they had to convey to Hitler didn't sound like the bravado of proper Aryan super men, SACKED!

The synthetic theme I keep coming back to is: "we" (the good guys) got DAMN lucky cause they (the bad guys) had some crazy idiots in the top decision making positions, and not only that, those crazy idiots often INSISTED on micro-managing their more competent and knowledgeable underlings AND imposing ridiculous ideological doctrine onto pragmatic issues like production and labor organization.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:09 pm 
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Mac wrote:
Might have helped if the Germans had concentrated on hitting the airfields, radar installations and aircraft manufacturers instead of switching to the cities. The Luftwaffe's intelligence was shit and Göring struggled to resolve the claims of his bomber and fighter chiefs for priority.

A few Spits might have been helpful too. ;)



I agree about the switch in targets from military to civilian.
From what I recall reading, the Germans were having an impact against the British airbases, and against their radar network. Had they continued on with that pressure they might have been able to largely or at least more easily neutralize the RAF. Even so, were the Luftwaffe able to gain some small measure of temporary local air control I agree that the Royal Navy would have thrown EVERYTHING that it had against a German invasion fleet. And when they saw that it was mostly River barges, with a handful of Destroyers and some E-boats as escorts, they would have destroyed it. Presumably the Germans might have also landed some FJR, but in 1940, German parachute troops consisted only of the 1. Fallschirm-Jäger-Division. The 2nd FJR was not formed until 1943 (which was a bit ironic since the last large airborne operation by the Germans was the Battle of Crete in May 1941).

Having only 1 FJR division, without assistance from an invasion fleet with more division, the 1FJR would have been quickly neutralized.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:29 pm 
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Here are the thoughts I have: Given the populations, industrial capacities, literacy, technical capabilities and immediate military situations, was it "INEVITABLE" that the Battle of Britain turn out the way it did?

I'm quite interested in the hypothesis that: no, it was NOT inevitable. The reason being, I am no Nazi fan boi, but I always find it interesting to examine the reasons why a bad guy managed to lose even when they started off so well.

All of the short-term time-frame, and immediate operational or tactical factors you guys name do in fact seem like legitimate reasons why the German effort to gain Air Supremacy failed, and also why their prospects for ever being in a position to launch Sea Lion by the way they were approaching it were perhaps doomed to fail. But this points assume that the specifics of German assets at the time of the start of BoB are a "given" as well as the strategic orientation and objectives they had in mind.

The question I'm really interested in is: IF we were to conceive of an alternate pattern of buildup, development, production, mustering, training and planning starting from 1933 which would have put Germany into a position to achieve its goals: domination over all of Western Europe, what would it have looked like?

I don't know the answer to that, but I have some ideas:
1. Hitler needed to ditch his false notion that there was a commonality and prospect for a negotiated peace between the U.K. and Germany. This bias on his part, even if anyone close to him disagreed, seems to have prevailed at various points in strategically dumb decisions he made and imposed on his commanders (e.g., pausing during the push toward Dunkirk and seemingly ALLOWING the British evacuation more breathing room).
2. Submarine production and R&D needed to have been geared up far, FAR more than it was and much earlier too. Doenitz is said to have told Hitler he "needed 300 long range subs, and with that he could strangle Great Britain." When Operation Fall Weiss started, I want to say that they had about 50 subs total and about 35 operational. Had the Kriegsmarine actually been in a position to blockade the isles, the need to press hard for a rapid air advantage might have been reduced substantially.
3. Allying with Japan, probably the single most questionable thing Hitler ever did. It almost insured that Germany would get entangled in a war with the U.S. and offered little if any real benefit to Germany. Even if they had not allied, the U.S. may nonetheless have wound up at war with both, but the point is: allying with Japan and given that EVERYONE knew the Japanese were going to have to go to war with the U.S. sooner or later, meant that war with the U.S. was more likely and likely to occur sooner. Hitler might have bought himself more time by telling the Japs to buzz off.

The lack of a real navy, and the lack of a decent long-range fighter escort, as well as the lack of a decent long-range heavy bomber are all pretty serious failings though, and the mindsets of the mid-to-late 1930s do seem to have precluded appreciable foresight as to the potential long-term importance of heavier bombers and long-range escorts. Which is to say: as far as I'm aware, the Germans were not particularly "behind" the other powers with regard to their development of long-range strategic bombing capabilities--perhaps a bit compared to the U.S. and the U.K. but not substantially I think. If the shoe had been on the other foot, and the U.K. were attempting to impose Air Supremacy over France in 1940, and bomb German holdings to prepare for an invasion . . . they obviously would have had the naval part covered, but they would not have been much better positioned to strike deep and hard into France. The point being: the aircraft and doctrine for that form of warfare were pretty much only on the drawing board, except for the B-17 eh?

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:59 pm 
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Anthropoid wrote:
Here are the thoughts I have: Given the populations, industrial capacities, literacy, technical capabilities and immediate military situations, was it "INEVITABLE" that the Battle of Britain turn out the way it did?

I'm quite interested in the hypothesis that: no, it was NOT inevitable. The reason being, I am no Nazi fan boi, but I always find it interesting to examine the reasons why a bad guy managed to lose even when they started off so well.

All of the short-term time-frame, and immediate operational or tactical factors you guys name do in fact seem like legitimate reasons why the German effort to gain Air Supremacy failed, and also why their prospects for ever being in a position to launch Sea Lion by the way they were approaching it were perhaps doomed to fail. But this points assume that the specifics of German assets at the time of the start of BoB are a "given" as well as the strategic orientation and objectives they had in mind.

The question I'm really interested in is: IF we were to conceive of an alternate pattern of buildup, development, production, mustering, training and planning starting from 1933 which would have put Germany into a position to achieve its goals: domination over all of Western Europe, what would it have looked like?

I don't know the answer to that, but I have some ideas:
1. Hitler needed to ditch his false notion that there was a commonality and prospect for a negotiated peace between the U.K. and Germany. This bias on his part, even if anyone close to him disagreed, seems to have prevailed at various points in strategically dumb decisions he made and imposed on his commanders (e.g., pausing during the push toward Dunkirk and seemingly ALLOWING the British evacuation more breathing room).
2. Submarine production and R&D needed to have been geared up far, FAR more than it was and much earlier too. Doenitz is said to have told Hitler he "needed 300 long range subs, and with that he could strangle Great Britain." When Operation Fall Weiss started, I want to say that they had about 50 subs total and about 35 operational. Had the Kriegsmarine actually been in a position to blockade the isles, the need to press hard for a rapid air advantage might have been reduced substantially.
3. Allying with Japan, probably the single most questionable thing Hitler ever did. It almost insured that Germany would get entangled in a war with the U.S. and offered little if any real benefit to Germany. Even if they had not allied, the U.S. may nonetheless have wound up at war with both, but the point is: allying with Japan and given that EVERYONE knew the Japanese were going to have to go to war with the U.S. sooner or later, meant that war with the U.S. was more likely and likely to occur sooner. Hitler might have bought himself more time by telling the Japs to buzz off.


Regarding your #3, IIRC, the pact/alliance between Germany, Italy and Japan was a DEFENSIVE alliance.
They were obligated to come to the defense of the others, if they were attacked.
Japan attacked the US.
Hitler/Germany was not obligated, under the treaty, to join in Japan’s OFFENSIVE war with the US, yet he did so anyway.
Hitler’s Germany declared war on the United States December 11, 1941, 4 days after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:05 pm 
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Right! Thanks for clarifying that. I had forgotten the nitty-gritty details, but yeah: pretty dumb!

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:10 pm 
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Quote:
The question I'm really interested in is: IF we were to conceive of an alternate pattern of buildup, development, production, mustering, training and planning starting from 1933 which would have put Germany into a position to achieve its goals: domination over all of Western Europe, what would it have looked like?


One thing that Germany might have done differently was not to build large surface warships, like the Bismarck, Tirpitz and other large ships. The steel and resources used to build those ships could have been used towards the 300 u-boat fleet that Doenitz wanted. The manpower used to crew those large behemoths could have been used to crew many, many u-boats.

Now granted, those additional u-boats would not have helped with an Operation Sealion, but the idea would have been to strangle the British economy to the point that they would agree to a negotiated armistice between Germany and the UK, along with all the Commonwealth countries.

And I am NOT saying that this course of action would have led to a German victory, but it might have made a difference.

Germany still had many other issues to deal with, like its deficit in oil/petroleum products.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:12 pm 
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Found this page on the "Bomber B" project which never seems to have 'got off the ground.'
Quote:
Bomber B was a German military aircraft design competition organised just before the start of World War II to develop a second-generation high-speed bomber for the Luftwaffe. The new designs would be a direct successor to the Schnellbomber philosophy of the Dornier Do 17 and Junkers Ju 88, relying on high speed as its primary defence. Bomber B would also be a much larger and more capable aircraft, with range and payload far greater than the Schnellbombers, besting even the largest conventional designs then under consideration. The winning design was intended to form the backbone of the Luftwaffe bomber force, replacing the wide collection of semi-specialized designs then in service. The Reich Air Ministry was so optimistic that more modest projects were generally cancelled; when the project failed the Luftwaffe was left with hopelessly outdated aircraft


I agree that the large surface ships were a waste. I always take those out of the build queue as soon as I start a Germany campaign! :lol:

Some interesting points about the fact that only the U.S. had a decent four engine heavy bomber as of 1939 . . . from the Bomber B wiki page.
Quote:
By the late 1930s, airframe construction methods had progressed to the point where airframes could be built to any required size, founded on the all-metal airframe design technologies pioneered by Hugo Junkers in 1915 and constantly improved upon for over two decades to follow – especially in Germany with aircraft like the Dornier Do X flying boat and the Junkers G 38 airliner, and the Soviet Union with the enormous Maksim Gorki, the largest aircraft built anywhere in the 1930s.

Engines for such designs was a great problem; mid-30s aero engines were limited to about 600 hp and the first 1000 hp engines were just entering the prototype stage – notably the Rolls-Royce Merlin and Daimler-Benz DB 601. Even the latest engines were limited in the sort of designs they could power; a twin-engine aircraft would have about 1,500 kW (2,000 hp), the same power as a mid-war single engined fighter aircraft like the Hawker Typhoon or Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. Although using a larger number of engines was possible, and achieved in some airframe examples for both the United Kingdom and the Third Reich, the production capacity of both nations was considered too small to equip a fleet with such designs. The United States, confident in its ability to produce aviation engines in any needed quantity, opted for four-engine designs with massed defensive firepower, as seen in the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.

In Germany, most bomber designs were adapted from pre-war designs, many of them passenger aircraft or dual-use designs. The first specialist bomber aircraft was the Junkers Ju 88, which had limited range and payload, forcing the Luftwaffe to maintain the Heinkel He 111 for other missions. A shortage of both types forced the early-war Luftwaffe to improvise with a collection of aircraft, a problem no one in the Luftwaffe was at all happy with. The earlier Ural bomber program that had been championed by Luftwaffe General Walther Wever but which had failed to produce any practical Allied-style "heavy bombers". Wever's death on June 3, 1936 prompted the issuance of the RLM's "Bomber A" heavy bomber design specification on the day he died, to inspire development of a new heavy bomber with much better range and payload than the Ural Bomber prototypes, the Dornier Do 19 and the Junkers Ju 89 would ever be able to provide. The winning design, given its RLM airframe number on November 5, 1937 was the Heinkel He 177.[1]

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 Post subject: Re: Military Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:17 pm 
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Japan as an ally to Germany didn’t really gain Germany much.
When Germany declared war against the Soviet Union, Japan didn’t join Germany in that war, even though Japan shared a border with The SU.

Less than 6 months later, Hitler could have reciprocated Japan’s unwillingness to join in the war against the SU, by declining to join in Japan’s war against the US.

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