PDA

View Full Version : Patton's Third Army in the Pacific instead of Europe



Officer of Engineers
17 Jan 16,, 18:40
Obviously, staging from India through Burma into China.

Despite all the logistical difficulties of such a campaign, I cannot think of any/all obstacles the Japanese can throw at the man that would stop him from taking Manchuria and Korea inside of 10 months.

zraver
17 Jan 16,, 21:56
lack of roads... You can pick a path for a tank through forest, you can't do the same in Jungle and Swamp. Plus as seen at Metz, tank armies pay horrible butcher bills in urban combat.

Officer of Engineers
17 Jan 16,, 22:02
lack of roads... You can pick a path for a tank through forest, you can't do the same in Jungle and Swamp.Plenty of roads in China. It's a 3000+ year civilization, especially southern China.


Plus as seen at Metz, tank armies pay horrible butcher bills in urban combat.That's what the Chinese army is for. I'm sure they would be looking for payback. Besides, the Japanese would be the ones fighting the pissed off locals.

SteveDaPirate
18 Jan 16,, 01:02
Obviously, staging from India through Burma into China.

Despite all the logistical difficulties of such a campaign, I cannot think of any/all obstacles the Japanese can throw at the man that would stop him from taking Manchuria and Korea inside of 10 months.

The logistics would seem to present a huge and perhaps prohibitive obstacle. As I recall, flying fuel over the hump to build up stockpiles in China was a massive effort that never really worked particularly well. Matterhorn seems like a pretty good example of how impractical staging fuel and supplies over the Himalayas really was.

Didn't Patton have a thing for running out of fuel even with comparatively short supply lines in Europe.

Officer of Engineers
18 Jan 16,, 01:41
The logistics part is for an American problem for the Americans to solve. It won't be as though the IJA would even think of cutting the American LOCs. In fact, how? It took the Japanese 15 years to learn to protect their rear against Chinese foot infantry and often, they left their own rears vulnerable just to encircle the Chinese.

But the thing here that showed that Patton really understood logistics, he swung 90 degrees to relieve Bastonge while refusing his newly made right flank.

Cactus
18 Jan 16,, 14:09
Colonel, if Manchuria is the big prize... why not hug the eastern-edge of the Tibetan Plateau, go north through Sichuan and Lanzhou, and then turn east towards Beijing and Southern Manchuria? Why mess with the water-logged rice paddies of southern China when you can follow historic cavalry routes to the north? Your right flank is also protected by hundreds of miles of allied Chinese. If Patton cuts the Japanese into two at Southern Manchuria and the USAAF degrades the eastern ports significantly, the Chinese armies should be able to finish off the IJA stranded in the south by themselves. Bonus: China proper remains with the KMT.

Officer of Engineers
18 Jan 16,, 17:13
Colonel, if Manchuria is the big prize... why not hug the eastern-edge of the Tibetan Plateau, go north through Sichuan and Lanzhou, and then turn east towards Beijing and Southern Manchuria? Why mess with the water-logged rice paddies of southern China when you can follow historic cavalry routes to the north? Your right flank is also protected by hundreds of miles of allied Chinese. If Patton cuts the Japanese into two at Southern Manchuria and the USAAF degrades the eastern ports significantly, the Chinese armies should be able to finish off the IJA stranded in the south by themselves. Bonus: China proper remains with the KMT.You've just cut the 10 month war in half ... with a small, almost non-existing caveat, Southeast Chinese coast would be under USAAF threat but NE China would be out of range.

But this is exactly the kind of maneuver that Patton (and Zhukov) is famous for.

Yeah, we (West) screwed up on this one ... and I still say Germany and Japan got extremely lucky. Japan would have been knocked out of the war in 5 months had the US gone Japan first ... and then the full might of the USN and USMC (and the RN and the BIA) concentrates on Germany ... while Stalin is holding Hitler's nose ring for the Western allies' sucker punch.

Mihais
18 Jan 16,, 18:07
I like this board.

That is a 4000 km march.It is clearly bold.
15 divisions can do it.Only thing that can limit it are a.logistics b. the need to secure Burma.And Burma was lost before the West could utter a ''WTF is going on?''.And taking it back was a nasty affair.

So,assuming the Allies decide in this COA,they need to a.Keep Burma,which is hard. b.Send supplies and troops to India c.Retake Burma from the Japs if needed d.Redeploy e.Start the Chinese campaign.

Phase B takes 6 months.If C is needed,that is another 6-12 months.So at a minimum,if Burma is kept,we're talking at mid 1943 for the US and Commonwealth forces to cut China in half.At the expense of doing nothing else to influence the ETO.If phase C is required,as it would most certainly been the case,we're talking mid 1944 before they can start redeploying to Europe.

Officer of Engineers
18 Jan 16,, 18:55
I like this board.

That is a 4000 km march.It is clearly bold.
15 divisions can do it.Only thing that can limit it are a.logistics b. the need to secure Burma.And Burma was lost before the West could utter a ''WTF is going on?''.And taking it back was a nasty affair.

So,assuming the Allies decide in this COA,they need to a.Keep Burma,which is hard. b.Send supplies and troops to India c.Retake Burma from the Japs if needed d.Redeploy e.Start the Chinese campaign.

Phase B takes 6 months.If C is needed,that is another 6-12 months.So at a minimum,if Burma is kept,we're talking at mid 1943 for the US and Commonwealth forces to cut China in half.At the expense of doing nothing else to influence the ETO.If phase C is required,as it would most certainly been the case,we're talking mid 1944 before they can start redeploying to Europe.Why would they have to take Burma back? If we're talking Patton in charge, he would have seen that Burma would mean nothing once Korea and Manchuria were taken.

And the Chinese Army under Patton's command would most certainly be extremely more aggressive than they historically were.

gunnut
18 Jan 16,, 21:46
The logistics part is for an American problem for the Americans to solve. It won't be as though the IJA would even think of cutting the American LOCs. In fact, how? It took the Japanese 15 years to learn to protect their rear against Chinese foot infantry and often, they left their own rears vulnerable just to encircle the Chinese.

But the thing here that showed that Patton really understood logistics, he swung 90 degrees to relieve Bastonge while refusing his newly made right flank.

Sir, can you briefly explain the nature of the difficulty in "swinging an army 90 degrees?" I've read about it and the comment was always " a nearly impossible task" but Patton did it in merely 3 days. What was involved?

Officer of Engineers
18 Jan 16,, 21:52
Patton was already deep in battle when he swung north. Third Army knew at what time point and where they had to stop to feed/rest/refuel/re-arm their front units and allow relief units to take up the fight. That meant the service battalions knew where they had to reach to feed/rest/fuel/arm the exhausted front units.

Now, you swung north and you have to determine where/when/how to fuel/feed/rest your men and machines all the way back to the svc bns. Remember, nobody knows where/how/when to go. In the meantime, you've just offered a flank to the defending Germans who could (and did) counter-attack.

That was one hell of a maneuver and put Guderian/Rommell/Von Mainstein to shame.

gunnut
18 Jan 16,, 23:43
Patton was already deep in battle when he swung north. Third Army knew at what time point and where they had to stop to feed/rest/refuel/re-arm their front units and allow relief units to take up the fight. That meant the service battalions knew where they had to reach to feed/rest/fuel/arm the exhausted front units.

Now, you swung north and you have to determine where/when/how to fuel/feed/rest your men and machines all the way back to the svc bns. Remember, nobody knows where/how/when to go. In the meantime, you've just offered a flank to the defending Germans who could (and did) counter-attack.

That was one hell of a maneuver and put Guderian/Rommell/Von Mainstein to shame.

*light bulb turns on*

Ah that's what I was missing.

How did Patton achieve that? Did he have his staff come up with contingency plans already? Or did they work that out on the fly and the mid/lower level commanders used their initiative to make up the rest?

Officer of Engineers
19 Jan 16,, 01:02
This is Patton you're talking about. Before WWII, his division achieved their exercise 40th hour objectives in 9 hours. In practice, this meant that Patton demanded good maps and all his men can read and follow a compass and map. His Colonels can come up with a realistic timetable and being able to achieve that timetable. Extremely good reccee and real time communications to overcome obstacles.

What's more, this is Patton. He inspires men. If he says you can do it, you believe you will do it. In hindsight, he never asked the impossible but he sure demanded you believe you can do the impossible.

Monash
19 Jan 16,, 12:03
Should the title of this thread even be 'Patton's Third Army in the Pacific instead of Europe'? Perhaps a more accurate title would simply be Patton in the Pacific instead of Europe'. Isn't the issue the man himself rather than the specific unit he commanded. If Patton had been assigned an army in the Pacific theater it would surely have been structured differently to the 3rd Army which was assembled and trained for war in continental Europe. For a start there was way less need for armor, mechanized infantry and heavy artillery units as a % of the total force he would theoretically be commanding because until such time as landings occurred either in mainland China or the Japanese home islands themselves the terrain would dictate different force structure. No big armor battles for a start. The campaigns in Burma and the Pacific were all about tropical/jungle warfare and maritime landings/assaults. So I suspect that Patton would have simply rolled his sleeves up and trained, planned and lead a different type of force into combat, one specializing in maritime landings and jungle warfare.

And Zraver had a point about the Burma Front, you could send Patton to China as an adviser but you couldn't supply a force even remotely resembling his Third Army via the Burma Road or 'the Hump' the logistics were just not doable - the Allies struggled to get supplies to the Chinese Nationalists right up till the end of the war. So there would be no large American force in China until the Philippines and/or Taiwan had been taken.

I suggest that if you put Patton in charge of US Army Operations in the Pacific (instead of that clown MacArthur) you would still have ended up with an exceptionally well trained and lead force (as well as a better planned Pacific campaign) but you would not have had the Third Army in it's classic form - at least until the very end where you were contemplating an invasion of Japan proper at which point I think the 3rd army would come into it's own.

Officer of Engineers
19 Jan 16,, 12:55
Should the title of this thread even be 'Patton's Third Army in the Pacific instead of Europe'? Perhaps a more accurate title would simply be Patton in the Pacific instead of Europe'. Isn't the issue the man himself rather than the specific unit he commanded. If Patton had been assigned an army in the Pacific theater it would surely have been structured differently to the 3rd Army which was assembled and trained for war in continental Europe. For a start there was way less need for armor, mechanized infantry and heavy artillery units as a % of the total force he would theoretically be commanding because until such time as landings occurred either in mainland China or the Japanese home islands themselves the terrain would dictate different force structure. No big armor battles for a start.What? Armour was used effectively throughout the Pacific and Korea. The reason why they were not used more is because of the island hoping nature of the USN, not because they couldn't be effective.


And Zraver had a point about the Burma Front, you could send Patton to China as an adviser but you couldn't supply a force even remotely resembling his Third Army via the Burma Road or 'the Hump' the logistics were just not doable - the Allies struggled to get supplies to the Chinese Nationalists right up till the end of the war. So there would be no large American force in China until the Philippines and/or Taiwan had been taken.A 2 million man British Indian Army says otherwise.


I suggest that if you put Patton in charge of US Army Operations in the Pacific (instead of that clown MacArthur) you would still have ended up with an exceptionally well trained and lead force (as well as a better planned Pacific campaign) but you would not have had the Third Army in it's classic form - at least until the very end where you were contemplating an invasion of Japan proper at which point I think the 3rd army would come into it's own.The scenario is now a march north through the Tibetan plateau, the traditional route of horse cavalry.

Mihais
19 Jan 16,, 13:07
Sir,I may be ignorant.But IIRC,the whole point of having Burma was to keep supplies to Chiang flowing easily.
Yes,they flew supplies over the Himalaya,but it was about 100 tons per month,at a huge risk for pilots and planes.
So how do you get 15 divisions and 30000 vehicles to China?And the 8000 tons of supplies daily?
I look at the map now and I see no way.And that is a very superficial look I'am taking.

Officer of Engineers
19 Jan 16,, 15:08
The road was used to keep the Chinese in the fight, to get supplies to where they are needed the most in the shortest time possible. The Chinese needed the road open.

Not so here with Patton. All he had to do is to follow Younghusband's path with zero opposition all the way to northern China. He can spend his time leisurely build up his supplies before attacking Korea and Manchuria.

BTW, 39,000 tons a month was being air lifted by the end of the war

Monash
20 Jan 16,, 13:12
What? Armour was used effectively throughout the Pacific and Korea. The reason why they were not used more is because of the island hoping nature of the USN, not because they couldn't be effective.

Sir I did actually say 'less need for armor, mechanized infantry and heavy artillery units as a % of the total force' not no armor or heavy artillery etc. Every text I have read on the Pacific and Burma campaign refers to the fact that the terrain in general did not favor the use of large armored formations. By the same token Japanese armor was not a significant factor in the war unlike the situation in Europe.


A 2 million man British Indian Army says otherwise.

I was actually referring to the China proper not the Indian Subcontinent. Supplying the India/Burma frontier is a different kettle of fish to supplying the 3rd army with fuel, spare parts and munitions etc across the Himalayas and into northern China. I'm not saying it couldn't be done mind you just that it would be a an order of magnitude harder.


The scenario is now a march north through the Tibetan plateau, the traditional route of horse cavalry.

As I noted above I agree it could be done but given the dominant position of the US Navy in the Pacific by late 1943 early 1944 wouldn't a straight thrust at Taiwan (which was in fact contemplated as an alternative to the Philippines) have been a simpler and easier solution than a land based advance from India into northern China. Once Taiwan had fallen to Patton and his 'new model' 3rd Army the entire Chinese Coast up to and including the Korean Peninsula would have been open to invasion - and Patton would have creamed the Japanese once he landed. (In fact once he had dealt with Taiwan and was on the mainland a proper combined arms campaign aka the European theater becomes a viable option, the Japanese would have had no answer.

Officer of Engineers
20 Jan 16,, 15:56
Sir I did actually say 'less need for armor, mechanized infantry and heavy artillery units as a % of the total force' not no armor or heavy artillery etc. Every text I have read on the Pacific and Burma campaign refers to the fact that the terrain in general did not favor the use of large armored formations. By the same token Japanese armor was not a significant factor in the war unlike the situation in Europe.Well, you're wrong. The Pacific War did not favour armoured formations because they were small islands with zero room to maneuver before you're in the oceans. Also, most battles were brigade size. The terrain didn't favour large armoured formations because they were small islands, not because you can't get tanks into the fight.

Not so here on the Chinese mainland. In fact, the Chinese Civil War saw extreme use of artillery (cheaper than tanks) but heavy use never the less. In fact, during the Korean War, the Chinese drive south against the Americans ran into trouble when the infantry outran their own artillery.

Armour was used extensively in Vietnam though it was light armour, the M113 APC. The enemy didn't dictate the use of tanks. That was not the case during the 1979 Sino-Vietnam War. The Chinese favoured the use of light tanks as a means of destroying enemy pill boxes. It worked to a degree. Chinese tanks made short work of the immediate opposition, then they ran into trouble as they went deeper into Vietnam.

Lastly but not least, the Soviet extensively use tanks against the Japanese both in 39 and 45, even in swamps the Japanese thought impossible.


I was actually referring to the China proper not the Indian Subcontinent. Supplying the India/Burma frontier is a different kettle of fish to supplying the 3rd army with fuel, spare parts and munitions etc across the Himalayas and into northern China. I'm not saying it couldn't be done mind you just that it would be a an order of magnitude harder.Actually, it's a lot easier. There is no opposition before 3rd Army is in position to drive east. We're no longer using Burma. We're using Tibet and the traditional Turkic/Mongol horse calvary invasion routes both into India and China. The Chinese needed Burma because they need to keep Southern China. That was the only supply route they had to keep the Chinese armies in the south fed and armed. Not so here. We're no longer worried about those Chinese Armies.

The route through Tibet and Western China would be unopposed. Set up your supply depots along the way and blindside the Japanese who would not see you coming.


As I noted above I agree it could be done but given the dominant position of the US Navy in the Pacific by late 1943 early 1944 wouldn't a straight thrust at Taiwan (which was in fact contemplated as an alternative to the Philippines) have been a simpler and easier solution than a land based advance from India into northern China. Once Taiwan had fallen to Patton and his 'new model' 3rd Army the entire Chinese Coast up to and including the Korean Peninsula would have been open to invasion - and Patton would have creamed the Japanese once he landed. (In fact once he had dealt with Taiwan and was on the mainland a proper combined arms campaign aka the European theater becomes a viable option, the Japanese would have had no answer.That's a 3 year war. Patton driving north from India is at most a 10 month war.

Sidenote: I can't imagine British ego would allow Patton to take all the credit.

DOR
20 Jan 16,, 16:19
Two issues jump to mind in this very interesting scenario.

First, Burma's mud has to be experienced to be believed. Mules would be more likely to get through than armor.

Second, Chiang Kai-shek vs George Patton ... I'll bring the popcorn for THAT epic clash of wills, and, I'll put money on the G'mo.

Officer of Engineers
20 Jan 16,, 16:28
Two issues jump to mind in this very interesting scenario.

First, Burma's mud has to be experienced to be believed. Mules would be more likely to get through than armor.Not all year round and now, Burma is bypassed in this scenario.


Second, Chiang Kai-shek vs George Patton ... I'll bring the popcorn for THAT epic clash of wills, and, I'll put money on the G'mo.Don't need CKS's ok and he can't do a thing about it anyway. Tibet wasn't under his control.

zraver
20 Jan 16,, 17:05
*light bulb turns on*

Ah that's what I was missing.

How did Patton achieve that? Did he have his staff come up with contingency plans already? Or did they work that out on the fly and the mid/lower level commanders used their initiative to make up the rest?

In a stroke of genius foresight as soon as Patton stsarted hearing reports of the German attack he deduced it was more than local and started his staff on planning the swing north. The other allied leaders were slow on the up take. So when Ike finally figured out it was a major German effort and convened a meeting of allied generals the plan was already drafted. Ike wanted Patton to cut North and Monty to move south to pinch the penetration. The people who didn't think Patton could do it, didn't know his staff had already been working on the problem for 3 days.

zraver
20 Jan 16,, 17:07
Colonel, if Manchuria is the big prize... why not hug the eastern-edge of the Tibetan Plateau, go north through Sichuan and Lanzhou, and then turn east towards Beijing and Southern Manchuria? Why mess with the water-logged rice paddies of southern China when you can follow historic cavalry routes to the north? Your right flank is also protected by hundreds of miles of allied Chinese. If Patton cuts the Japanese into two at Southern Manchuria and the USAAF degrades the eastern ports significantly, the Chinese armies should be able to finish off the IJA stranded in the south by themselves. Bonus: China proper remains with the KMT.

Brilliant if you can solve two problems- winter logistics and the Soviets. A mechanized army with an aggressive anti-communist general on their southern flank is going to have Stalin in fits. He would almost certainly order Mao to do anything and everything to oppose it including team up with the Japanese.

zraver
20 Jan 16,, 17:19
Patton would also need significant air cover. In this scenario the IJAAF would not have been beat down the way the Luftwaffe was. Now allied planes in 1944 ere vastly superior and its pilots were at least as good, but planes gobble up fuel at a rate to make tanks look like a modern hybrid car.

Officer of Engineers
20 Jan 16,, 17:44
Brilliant if you can solve two problems- winter logistics and the Soviets. A mechanized army with an aggressive anti-communist general on their southern flank is going to have Stalin in fits.Or he would have ordered an attack himself but he would not had the intelligence of the 3rd Army in the area.


He would almost certainly order Mao to do anything and everything to oppose it including team up with the Japanese.Mao wasn't his puppet back then and he was getting his ass kicked by the IJA "Kill all, burn all, destroy all."


Patton would also need significant air cover. In this scenario the IJAAF would not have been beat down the way the Luftwaffe was. Now allied planes in 1944 ere vastly superior and its pilots were at least as good, but planes gobble up fuel at a rate to make tanks look like a modern hybrid car.I don't see the IJAAF being a factor. They were too far away and tied up in the south and they would not have the intelligence of 3rd Army moving through traditional Mongol/Turkic invasion routes.

zraver
20 Jan 16,, 17:56
Or he would have ordered an attack himself but he would not had the intelligence of the 3rd Army in the area.

Mao wasn't his puppet back then and he was getting his ass kicked by the IJA "Kill all, burn all, destroy all."

I don't see the IJAAF being a factor. They were too far away and tied up in the south and they would not have the intelligence of 3rd Army moving through traditional Mongol/Turkic invasion routes.

The Japanese had good enough intelligence assets t figure out the game eventually. The IJAAF will be a major factor once the attack starts. The USAAF has always been light on ADA relying on friendly air cover to clear the skies, in areas where the skies are not cleared this is going to be a problem.

Officer of Engineers
20 Jan 16,, 18:00
The Japanese had good enough intelligence assets t figure out the game eventually.Sure, when Patton starts hitting them. The Japanese never figured out the locations of interior Chinese military assets. How would they figure out 3rd Army's position protected by the Chinese army and 100s of miles in distance?


The IJAAF will be a major factor once the attack starts. The USAAF has always been light on ADA relying on friendly air cover to clear the skies, in areas where the skies are not cleared this is going to be a problem.Name me one battle the IJAAF was a factor, even against the Chinese.

The only problem I see is logistics but that is an American problem for the Americans to solve (and well within American experience and knowledge to solve). It is not an advantage the Japanese could nor even know how to exploit.

Officer of Engineers
20 Jan 16,, 18:07
Actually, the question is what can the IJA do to stop ... or even just to slow down Patton? Did they even know how?

zraver
20 Jan 16,, 18:25
Sure, when Patton starts hitting them. The Japanese never figured out the locations of interior Chinese military assets. How would they figure out 3rd Army's position protected by the Chinese army and 100s of miles in distance?

Eventually Patton will get close enough to be detected


Name me one battle the IJAAF was a factor, even against the Chinese.

Battle of Malaya, Battle of Singapore, Japanese invasion of the DEI, invasion of the Philippines, New Guinea.


The only problem I see is logistics but that is an American problem for the Americans to solve (and well within American experience and knowledge to solve). It is not an advantage the Japanese could nor even know how to exploit.

Third Army had 5 armored divisions, 9 infantry divisions, 1 mechanized cavalry group plus corps assets like independent tank destroyer battalions. Around 1000 AFV's, several hundred guns, a couple thousand half tracks and thousands of trucks, jeeps, and tractors. Patton needed 7,000 tons of supplies a day to keep Third army moving and fighting. 7,000 tons without a rail or pipeline is insurmountable given the distances involved. you would need 3500 truck loads a day. This over a distance of 4-5000km up to 3100 miles. That is before offensive operations begin. Given two way travel you need 220,000 trucks just to keep the supplies moving once the offensive jumps off. Then you need to plan out the route march for each truck company to prevent traffic jams and prioritize the movement of wounded back from the front lines. There is a reason the Soviets with an internal rail line and a lot more experience with overland movement and supply took 6 months to prepare August Storm. Start adding in aircraft few, aircraft bombs etc and the numbers become truly mind boggling. Also unlike the Germans, we did not have dedicated highly efficient rail road building teams that could build track to follow Third Army's advance across Western and Northern China.

zraver
20 Jan 16,, 18:36
No non-Soviet allied Army in WWII was ever more than 500 miles from a major port. The American logistics miracle was create with and by the movement of ships.

Officer of Engineers
20 Jan 16,, 18:47
Eventually Patton will get close enough to be detected.Yes, when he attacks.


Battle of Malaya, Battle of Singapore, Japanese invasion of the DEI, invasion of the Philippines, New Guinea.Yes, IJN, not the IJAAF and even here, it was the straw that broke the camel's back, it was not the deciding force. I reference the Chinese for a reason. They were the only division/army size foe the IJAAF fought and they were negliable.


Third Army had 5 armored divisions, 9 infantry divisions, 1 mechanized cavalry group plus corps assets like independent tank destroyer battalions. Around 1000 AFV's, several hundred guns, a couple thousand half tracks and thousands of trucks, jeeps, and tractors. Patton needed 7,000 tons of supplies a day to keep Third army moving and fighting. 7,000 tons without a rail or pipeline is insurmountable given the distances involved. you would need 3500 truck loads a day. This over a distance of 4-5000km up to 3100 miles. That is before offensive operations begin. Given two way travel you need 220,000 trucks just to keep the supplies moving once the offensive jumps off. Then you need to plan out the route march for each truck company to prevent traffic jams and prioritize the movement of wounded back from the front lines. There is a reason the Soviets with an internal rail line and a lot more experience with overland movement and supply took 6 months to prepare August Storm. Start adding in aircraft few, aircraft bombs etc and the numbers become truly mind boggling. Also unlike the Germans, we did not have dedicated highly efficient rail road building teams that could build track to follow Third Army's advance across Western and Northern China.Again, I don't see the problem. Patton could build up unhinderd and unopposed. So, he uses trucks instead of a rail. It's not as though the IJA is going to cut his LOC.

Hell, the IJA would not even be able to find it. They never found the Chinese LOCs.

gunnut
20 Jan 16,, 20:03
Brilliant if you can solve two problems- winter logistics and the Soviets. A mechanized army with an aggressive anti-communist general on their southern flank is going to have Stalin in fits. He would almost certainly order Mao to do anything and everything to oppose it including team up with the Japanese.

Mao was a lot of things, but teaming up with Japanese was not one of them. He would lose his popular support, which he needed to solidify his base for the upcoming civil war. Chinese would rather follow a corrupt dictator in Chiang than to follow a collaborator anything.

zraver
20 Jan 16,, 20:23
Yes, when he attacks.

Yes, IJN, not the IJAAF and even here, it was the straw that broke the camel's back, it was not the deciding force. I reference the Chinese for a reason. They were the only division/army size foe the IJAAF fought and they were negliable.

Disagree, IJAAF air dominance let a bunch of half starved poorly equipped light infantry rout the Western allies in several locations from India to New Guinea. I referenced IJAAF operations not IJNAF ops.


Again, I don't see the problem. Patton could build up unhinderd and unopposed. So, he uses trucks instead of a rail. It's not as though the IJA is going to cut his LOC.

its not going to be a short 10 month time table to build up enough supplies to sustain offensive operations.


Hell, the IJA would not even be able to find it. They never found the Chinese LOCs.

They cut the Burma road rather effectively. In this scenario you are having Patton move a mechanized army north out of India and CKS is still going to need supplies so you also have to send him stuff down the same road or fly it over the hump plus support a massive allied air effort.

zraver
20 Jan 16,, 20:25
Mao was a lot of things, but teaming up with Japanese was not one of them. He would lose his popular support, which he needed to solidify his base for the upcoming civil war. Chinese would rather follow a corrupt dictator in Chiang than to follow a collaborator anything.

Mao had a long and cozy history with the Japanese. He would feed the Japanese information to harm the nationalist and vice verse. The motto appears to have been use the hand of one enemy to strike the other.

gunnut
20 Jan 16,, 20:47
Mao had a long and cozy history with the Japanese. He would feed the Japanese information to harm the nationalist and vice verse. The motto appears to have been use the hand of one enemy to strike the other.

That may be so, but directly working with Japanese to slow the Americans did not figure into his plan. Remember, everything he did was to further the goal of the communists. A direct confrontation against a vastly superior military organization, at the same time working with what his constituents believed to be their mortal enemy, was not a profitable plan. What would he get out of it?

Officer of Engineers
20 Jan 16,, 21:15
Disagree, IJAAF air dominance let a bunch of half starved poorly equipped light infantry rout the Western allies in several locations from India to New Guinea. I referenced IJAAF operations not IJNAF ops.Battalion and brigade size in concentration. They had zero effect on Chinese divsion and army size formations which is the basis to measure their effect on 3rd Army.


its not going to be a short 10 month time table to build up enough supplies to sustain offensive operations.How is it not going to be a short time table? The only difficulty is terrain and even then, buidling up supply depots is not that difficult. You're following traditional horse calvary routes. You could laid rail in that time. There is zero opposing force in front of you and even if they do know you're there, they can't cross 100s of miles of Chinese held territory to get to you.


They cut the Burma road rather effectively. In this scenario you are having Patton move a mechanized army north out of India and CKS is still going to need supplies so you also have to send him stuff down the same road or fly it over the hump plus support a massive allied air effort.We're bypassing Burma and going through Tibet here. And we can leave CKS alone. He has no choice in the matter.

Mihais
20 Jan 16,, 22:14
How can they go across Tibet?Was there any infrastructure beside foot paths?

zraver
20 Jan 16,, 22:55
How can they go across Tibet?Was there any infrastructure beside foot paths?

Not really, the US can build roads, we were as good at that as the Germans were at building rail lines. But its going to be a slow crawl to reach plains suitable for tank warfare. You need to build a two lane road from a northern Indian rail head almost 3000 miles to reach maneuver country. You will need rest stops every few dozen miles and major depots every 2 days truck travel. Certain parts of the road will only be usable a few months a year.

Officer of Engineers
20 Jan 16,, 23:06
How can they go across Tibet?Was there any infrastructure beside foot paths?Calvary inavsion routes.


Not really, the US can build roads, we were as good at that as the Germans were at building rail lines. But its going to be a slow crawl to reach plains suitable for tank warfare. You need to build a two lane road from a northern Indian rail head almost 3000 miles to reach maneuver country. You will need rest stops every few dozen miles and major depots every 2 days truck travel. Certain parts of the road will only be usable a few months a year.No, you don't. This is China. They have roads already.

zraver
21 Jan 16,, 02:22
Calvary inavsion routes.

There are no such routes from India to NW China/Inner Mongolia. The Silk Road went through the Gobi. To get to them you either have to build a new route or invade the USSR from Afghanistan.


No, you don't. This is China. They have roads already.

Sorry no, rural china in the 30's and 40's did not have a robust all weather road system with bridges able to handle tanks and artillery. Even the US the most prolific road building nation of all time was still mostly seasonal roads in the 40's. You might find roads like you needed for mechanized movement near the coast but you are proposing to cut a never before used route from Northern India across Tibet and north through Western China/Inner Mongolia before reaching the old horse cavalry routes striking East. Heck the Burma road wasn't even built until 1937. china was primarily a river and coastal transport based system.

Officer of Engineers
21 Jan 16,, 07:28
There are no such routes from India to NW China/Inner Mongolia. The Silk Road went through the Gobi. To get to them you either have to build a new route or invade the USSR from Afghanistan.Sorry, what?

Jason, you're reaching. I gave you the histoic reference. Tibet has the been throughway fir Central Asia. Central Asia was always a war of horse calvary. The Mongols/Turks subjucated the Dali Lama (which makes the current the Dali Lama a fucking liar if her EVER acknowedged the history.

Tibet defeated the Tang Dynasty and the Younghusband conquered Tibet.

History prived your points to be false.


Sorry no, rural china in the 30's and 40's did not have a robust all weather road system with bridges able to handle tanks and artillery.Jason, are you serious? It doesn't have to the robust. It just have to exist. The US Army Corps of Engineers will make it work ... especiailly when it existed 200 miles from the nearest Japanese formation.

Officer of Engineers
21 Jan 16,, 07:33
Jason,

You're actually reaching. Imagine yourself in Patton's Staff. Gen Patton gave this order to be in Beijing in 6 months. Are you going to say no or are you going to make it happen?

DOR
21 Jan 16,, 08:59
We're bypassing Burma and going through Tibet here. And we can leave CKS alone. He has no choice in the matter.

I missed something huge somewhere.

Moving Patton's armor through Tibet? How? Who's in charge of logistics, Mandrake the Magician?

ADD: I've been in Southwest Yunnan and Northern Burma. The Naga Hills are mule country, not armor. Further West? What's a tank's altitude ceiling? The Mongols and Turks were on the Northern side of the Himalays; Patton would be coming through India, from the South.

Ignoring Chiang, and Washington (Soong Mei-ling's speciality)? How? Did Henry Luce vanish?

Burma's rainy season lasts plenty long -- close enough to 10 months of bad (if any) roads per year. The Japanese knew that, and they knew how to live in the jungle far better than General Patton.

I'm not buying the entire thing.

Officer of Engineers
21 Jan 16,, 16:38
Moving Patton's armor through Tibet? How? Who's in charge of logistics, Mandrake the Magician?Younghusband. And who dragged artillery and the equivlent of 2 divisions in the 1962 War.

If you can fight a brigade level war there, you can move an army through there.


Ignoring Chiang, and Washington (Soong Mei-ling's speciality)? How? Did Henry Luce vanish?The same way we did in WWII. Give them tokens and pat them on the head. Chiang's gang got squat all when compared to Eisenhower, Nimitz, and MacArthur.

I really don't care if you're not buying the whole thing. You have absolutely zero concepts of what zero opposition means.

zraver
22 Jan 16,, 08:12
Sorry, what?

Jason, you're reaching. I gave you the histoic reference. Tibet has the been throughway fir Central Asia. Central Asia was always a war of horse calvary. The Mongols/Turks subjucated the Dali Lama (which makes the current the Dali Lama a fucking liar if her EVER acknowedged the history.

Sir the cavalry route is via the Khyber Pass and the Hindu Kush, not from India into Tibet


Tibet defeated the Tang Dynasty and the Younghusband conquered Tibet.[/qupte]

It took 7000 infantry over a year to reach Lassa

[quote]History prived your points to be false.

You are on the wrong side of the map sir.


Jason, are you serious? It doesn't have to the robust. It just have to exist. The US Army Corps of Engineers will make it work ... especiailly when it existed 200 miles from the nearest Japanese formation.

Sir, it has to be robust enough to support a mechanized army. At a minimum for non combat you're gonna need 3-4 2 lane all weather roads. Something China doesn't have at the time. China might have the tracks that can be expanded, but now you've upped the logistics requirements by a huge percentage. You've already got close to 300,000 vehicles between the actual divisions, corps and army assets of Third Army plus the massive supply chain truck fleet and now you need to add the equivalent for 3-4 AlCan Highway building operations and all the logistical support those operations with need. Its not even about enemy action. Russia may have had Generals Winter and Mud, Japan will have General Distance. You are talking a logistical effort equal to the entire ETO to support just one army.


Jason,

You're actually reaching. Imagine yourself in Patton's Staff. Gen Patton gave this order to be in Beijing in 6 months. Are you going to say no or are you going to make it happen?

Sir, in this scenario the logistics are the real problem. We know the Japanese can't stop a mechanized army. The problem is getting that mechanized army into position. It took the Soviets 6 months and they had 1/3 of their force already positions and years of experience in planning major operations away from ports/centers of production.

DOR
22 Jan 16,, 21:20
I really don't care if you're not buying the whole thing. You have absolutely zero concepts of what zero opposition means.

and yet, and yet, I have walked the ground, and I do have a deep understanding of Chinese politics at the time.

Amazing fact: we disagree.

citanon
22 Jan 16,, 23:48
So, if the 3rd is in China, who is in Europe?

gunnut
23 Jan 16,, 05:27
So, if the 3rd is in China, who is in Europe?

The premise of this "what if" is the US picking to curb-stump Japan first before turning around to smack Germany.

So...the answer to your question would be "no one, until Japan is done and the US Army along with Marines transfer to Europe."

Monash
23 Jan 16,, 05:59
Regarding your point that "The Pacific War did not favor armoured formations because they were small islands with zero room to maneuver before you're in the oceans. Also, most battles were brigade size. The terrain didn't favor large armoured formations because they were small islands, not because you can't get tanks into the fight."

I should point out that neither PNG or the Philippines are exactly 'small islands' yet the use of tanks in those campaigns (during both the original Japanese invasions and the retaking' saw only limited use of armoured fighting vesicles - and terrain was the overriding issue. Tropical forests, swamps and mountains together with very poor or non-existent road networks greatly limited the utility of tanks in either campaign. Things would however obliviously be different on mainland China - there would be the maneuver room needed to deploy large scale armored forces.

As for the rest I still tend to believe the facts would support a sea born invasion of Tawain followed by landings on the northern Chinese Coast as a better option. As you noted that would be a least a 3 year campaign. But that said the shorter time frame you refer to (i.e. 12 months or so?) for the whole Tibet/3rd Army campaign is dependent upon the almost immediate deployment of Patton and his army in India within days of the last bomb falling on PH. I just don't see that as likely. After all in the real world the 3rd army under Patton took a couple of years to put together, train up and prepare in England, it wasn't an overnight creation then either.

But getting back to the scenario at hand, immediately following the entry of America in the war the focus was on trying to save/salvage the the military situation in the Philippines and S/E Asia. It would be February/March of 42 before reality set in and planning for any large scale US military deployments in India (or anywhere else for that matter) could or would commence. Following that you have form-up, train and equip the 3rd. Even with a man like Patton driving the effort and America on a war footing that would take say 3-6 months, at least. After that you have to transport the 3rd Army to India (presumably from the East Coast and around the Cape of Good Hope/U-boats?) since this the shorter route. And of course once you arrive the Army has to be moved up to and reorganized at its staging points in Northern India - say another 3-6 months to complete. So you are looking at at least a year probably closer to 18 months before kickoff.

And that's assuming the roads and bridges have been built (or at least started). Presumably the British will have agreed to the whole campaign so they may well have started work before Patton even arrives but since their main concern will still be the Burmese front that is where the bulk of their attention and effort will be focused. Chances are that the heavy lifting on the road works and bridge building, supply depots etc won't even start until Patton and his engineers can get into the Indian hill country and start work. And I'm sorry but even driven by a man of Patton's character I don't see his engineers completing the works needed to get the bulk of the 3rd over the Tibetan plateau and into S/W China in less than say 6 months - and that's assuming the Tibetan winter doesn't slow things down.

Once you are over the plateau things would, I presume proceed more quickly i.e. in the manner you have outlined but we would still be talking some few months to get the bulk of the 3rd into northern China and in contact with the Japanese (political wrangling not withstanding) at which point Patton would be able to launch the kind of offensive he was good at, one which the Japanese at best might be be able to slow down but which in the end they had no chance of stopping.

So all in all I would hazard a guess at saying it would take something like 2 years or more to get Patton into Northern China - assuming politics, weather and everything else works out in his favor. And I think two years is probably optimistic. Meanwhile given the course of the war in the Pacific by mid 44 the US is in a position to contemplate an invasion of Taiwan followed almost immediately by a follow-up landing on the north Chinese coast thereby isolating all Japanese forces in China and potentially Manchuria. Coincidentally also putting them in a position to block Stalin should he choose to exploit the Japanese collapse and make a move on the Korean Peninsula (no NK).

So at best the Tibetan scenario would I think save you 6 months. And as Z has pointed out a sea based invasion gives you access to multiple ports on the Chinese Coast and much shorter/secure supplies lines.

Officer of Engineers
27 Jan 16,, 07:14
My apologies, gentlemen, but other thoughts consumed me.


Sir the cavalry route is via the Khyber Pass and the Hindu Kush, not from India into Tibet1962 Sino-India War, combined strength of 150,000 men and 4 artillery regiments. Added to this, the 1979 Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan when the Soviet 40th Army constucted roads into Afghanistan in a matter of 4 weeks. The Himalayas was NOT an obstacle.


Sir, it has to be robust enough to support a mechanized army. At a minimum for non combat you're gonna need 3-4 2 lane all weather roads. Something China doesn't have at the time. China might have the tracks that can be expanded, but now you've upped the logistics requirements by a huge percentage. You've already got close to 300,000 vehicles between the actual divisions, corps and army assets of Third Army plus the massive supply chain truck fleet and now you need to add the equivalent for 3-4 AlCan Highway building operations and all the logistical support those operations with need. Its not even about enemy action. Russia may have had Generals Winter and Mud, Japan will have General Distance. You are talking a logistical effort equal to the entire ETO to support just one army.I strongly disagree! The IJA could go no further against the Chinese Army because they could go no further. A single American battalion within a Chinese corps would push back the IJA at least 20 miles if not further.

But you're not countering my arguement. The biggest delay in engineering roads to support 3rd Army is reccee, ie finding routes that can support an armour thrust. Traditional calvary routes eliminates or at the very least reduce it to miniscue importance. There is a reason why the Soviet 40th Army can build roads to send in their tanks into Afghanistan and the Golden Horde is that reason.

Hell, the Soviet 58th Army had Lop Nor as a 72 hour objective.


Sir, in this scenario the logistics are the real problem. We know the Japanese can't stop a mechanized army. The problem is getting that mechanized army into position. It took the Soviets 6 months and they had 1/3 of their force already positions and years of experience in planning major operations away from ports/centers of production.Really, Jason? Patton ... with 10 months ... and with zero opposition? You're seriously telling me the US Army Corps of Engineers can't do what the Soviets did in 1979.




and yet, and yet, I have walked the ground, and I do have a deep understanding of Chinese politics at the time.

Amazing fact: we disagree.I am more than sure you never have one man's life under your decision, never mind 200, and never mind a 1000. Patton vs Chiang? FDR would feed Chiang to the dogs! American boys under that fuck? Are you shitting me?

Officer of Engineers
27 Jan 16,, 08:43
Regarding your point that "The Pacific War did not favor armoured formations because they were small islands with zero room to maneuver before you're in the oceans. Also, most battles were brigade size. The terrain didn't favor large armoured formations because they were small islands, not because you can't get tanks into the fight."

I should point out that neither PNG or the Philippines are exactly 'small islands' yet the use of tanks in those campaigns (during both the original Japanese invasions and the retaking' saw only limited use of armoured fighting vesicles - and terrain was the overriding issue. Tropical forests, swamps and mountains together with very poor or non-existent road networks greatly limited the utility of tanks in either campaign. Things would however obliviously be different on mainland China - there would be the maneuver room needed to deploy large scale armored forces.Actually, they were, we're not talking about finding 10,000 men where they're not supposed to be but instead 100,000 men with 1000 tanks and 2000 artillery pieces kicking your backdoor in. That was preciesly Patton's relief of Bastonge.


And that's assuming the roads and bridges have been built (or at least started). Presumably the British will have agreed to the whole campaign so they may well have started work before Patton even arrives but since their main concern will still be the Burmese front that is where the bulk of their attention and effort will be focused. Chances are that the heavy lifting on the road works and bridge building, supply depots etc won't even start until Patton and his engineers can get into the Indian hill country and start work. And I'm sorry but even driven by a man of Patton's character I don't see his engineers completing the works needed to get the bulk of the 3rd over the Tibetan plateau and into S/W China in less than say 6 months - and that's assuming the Tibetan winter doesn't slow things down.Explain the 1962 Sino-Indian War.


As for the rest I still tend to believe the facts would support a sea born invasion of Tawain followed by landings on the northern Chinese Coast as a better option. As you noted that would be a least a 3 year campaign. But that said the shorter time frame you refer to (i.e. 12 months or so?) for the whole Tibet/3rd Army campaign is dependent upon the almost immediate deployment of Patton and his army in India within days of the last bomb falling on PH. I just don't see that as likely. After all in the real world the 3rd army under Patton took a couple of years to put together, train up and prepare in England, it wasn't an overnight creation then either.Wrong calculus, when was the BEF declared ready?

Officer of Engineers
27 Jan 16,, 08:51
This is the one thing I don't think none of you civies get, serving under an inspirational leader. Thus far, speaking as an engineer, there is no physical obstacle that I cannot overcome and overcome with determination and manpower with a short span of time. The Himalayas are my biggest obstacles but if the Soviet 40th Army can build roads to invade Afghanistan in 1979, there is absolutely zero reason to believe American engineers cannot do the same in the Himalayas and infact, history proved that to be the case with two freaking armies, the 1962 Sino-India War with a combined force of 150,000+ men with artillery and trucks.

That is 15 divisions right there, people.

After that, the Tibetab Plateau and Western China are extremely vehicle friendly territory. The Soviets planned to take Lop Nor in 72 hours.

So, tell me, what exactly are the obstacles? The Chinese and Soviets did everything I proposed. The only difference was they were driving south while I proposed Patton drive north. Same route, different vectors.

zraver
28 Jan 16,, 04:24
This is the one thing I don't think none of you civies get, serving under an inspirational leader. Thus far, speaking as an engineer, there is no physical obstacle that I cannot overcome and overcome with determination and manpower with a short span of time. The Himalayas are my biggest obstacles but if the Soviet 40th Army can build roads to invade Afghanistan in 1979, there is absolutely zero reason to believe American engineers cannot do the same in the Himalayas and infact, history proved that to be the case with two freaking armies, the 1962 Sino-India War with a combined force of 150,000+ men with artillery and trucks.

That is 15 divisions right there, people.

After that, the Tibetab Plateau and Western China are extremely vehicle friendly territory. The Soviets planned to take Lop Nor in 72 hours.

So, tell me, what exactly are the obstacles? The Chinese and Soviets did everything I proposed. The only difference was they were driving south while I proposed Patton drive north. Same route, different vectors.

Sir not a civvie...

1. The US and Canada undertook a similar road building operation (AlCan Highway) that took from early March 1942 to late November 1942. Construction start was delayed by several months as equipment was shipped in to actually do the work. The distance slightly over 1200 miles required 10,000 men to construct. You are advocating multiple such roads, 2.5x longer.

2. No matter how great Patton is, he needs 12,500 tons of supplies a day, supplies that need to be enroute for the entire route from port to battle field. Once Patton is in contact, if he runs out of something, he can't get more of it in anything larger than normally scheduled amounts for a month, and then only if he cuts other supplies to make room. Ditto for replacement troops, evacing the wounded would be an exercise in futility. Get shot in China and you become a small farmer there, bought and paid for.

3. The truck and maintenance services he would require to keep that supply line open would be larger than the US Army had for the entire ETO, maybe greater than the US Army had in all of WWII. The US Army was an army that drove on wheels, but never far from a port, not for long. A US Armed division needed 350 tons of gasoline a day, an infantry division 150 tons.

So using historical analogs, the road building itself would take 2 years, which would be a feat of engineering equal to Caesar's Crossing the Rhine, or the construction of the Panama canal. Then you would need to send a quarter of a million trucks and close to one million men to service a fighting force of just 15 divisions. Its an operation that while maybe doable in the theoretical fails the logistics smell test. You simply can cut corners on supplies in a mechanized operation.

bonehead
29 Jan 16,, 05:15
I almost asked, "why go over the Himalayas when we could have dropped off Patton and his 3rd army in north Russia. He could have made use of the trains." Then I remembered how well Patton loved Russians.

Officer of Engineers
30 Jan 16,, 05:59
1. The US and Canada undertook a similar road building operation (AlCan Highway) that took from early March 1942 to late November 1942. Construction start was delayed by several months as equipment was shipped in to actually do the work. The distance slightly over 1200 miles required 10,000 men to construct. You are advocating multiple such roads, 2.5x longer.Not a good analogy. This was a paved road instead of compact and grated road. The only real obstacles outside the Himalayas would be river crossings but then again, horse cavalry have been doing the same for centuries.


2. No matter how great Patton is, he needs 12,500 tons of supplies a day, supplies that need to be enroute for the entire route from port to battle field. Once Patton is in contact, if he runs out of something, he can't get more of it in anything larger than normally scheduled amounts for a month, and then only if he cuts other supplies to make room. Ditto for replacement troops, evacing the wounded would be an exercise in futility. Get shot in China and you become a small farmer there, bought and paid for.How was that any different than any other war we fought? Taking a page from the Soviets, they planned for a 40 day campaign. They got a 40 day campaign. The Kwantung Army died on day 21 in both cases they fought against a Mechanized Army. Why should we not expect the same from Patton?


3. The truck and maintenance services he would require to keep that supply line open would be larger than the US Army had for the entire ETO, maybe greater than the US Army had in all of WWII. The US Army was an army that drove on wheels, but never far from a port, not for long. A US Armed division needed 350 tons of gasoline a day, an infantry division 150 tons.Again, I don't see the problem. Neither we nor the Soviets ever planned from port to Berlin (or Tokyo) in one go. Men and machine needed rest and rebuilding and we had enemy armies in front of us, forcing us to use gas and ammo. There is no such opposition in this case. This is merely a matter of distance and terrain which again is extremely vehicle friendly once you crossed the Himalayas. Then, you merely massed for a 40 day campaign and that is being generous.


I almost asked, "why go over the Himalayas when we could have dropped off Patton and his 3rd army in north Russia. He could have made use of the trains." Then I remembered how well Patton loved Russians.Stalin had a non-aggression pact with Tojo. The US would have to offer something real juicy for Stalin to re-neg on Tojo, something along the lines of Northern China.

Officer of Engineers
30 Jan 16,, 06:23
I almost asked, "why go over the Himalayas when we could have dropped off Patton and his 3rd army in north Russia. He could have made use of the trains." Then I remembered how well Patton loved Russians.But Stalin had Northern China and Manchuria and Korea. He just gave them back. And he was desperate for the 2nd Front. In fact, a deal could be made. Allow the US to deal with the Japanese first and then the US could concentrate on Europe.

zraver
30 Jan 16,, 07:57
Not a good analogy. This was a paved road instead of compact and grated road. The only real obstacles outside the Himalayas would be river crossings but then again, horse cavalry have been doing the same for centuries.

Horses swim, tanks and trucks don't. At every stream, creek or river you need to build a bridge capable of handling an endless supply of 30 ton vehicles.


How was that any different than any other war we fought? Taking a page from the Soviets, they planned for a 40 day campaign. They got a 40 day campaign. The Kwantung Army died on day 21 in both cases they fought against a Mechanized Army. Why should we not expect the same from Patton?

The Soviets went up against an IJA that had shipped most of its best troops to the Pacific. Had the Soviets tried August Storm in 1942 things would have progressed much more slowly. You are talking about throwing Patton at the IJA in China while it is at near maximum strength. It won't save them, but it will make the fight more difficult. Also, your route has Patton aimed at Beijing and several other major cities that have to be taken. Patton was great in open country, less so in urban areas. It took Patton 3 months to secure Metz.


Again, I don't see the problem. Neither we nor the Soviets ever planned from port to Berlin (or Tokyo) in one go. Men and machine needed rest and rebuilding and we had enemy armies in front of us, forcing us to use gas and ammo. There is no such opposition in this case. This is merely a matter of distance and terrain which again is extremely vehicle friendly once you crossed the Himalayas. Then, you merely massed for a 40 day campaign and that is being generous.

You are talking distances that are 5x the rated life span of a sherman tank. IIRC the Sherman had a major breakdown interval of 300-500 miles .Just getting a mechanized army down 2500 miles of road is going to be as brutal as combat on the vehicles. Its 1930/40's technology, not modern equipment. It didn't last as long between breakdowns. Look at how badly the German truck fleet suffered in 1940. In 1940 they had trucks for 3 army groups, by 1941 they lost 2/3rds of that fleet. Granted US trucks were a lot better and more reliable, but they are still maintenance intensive beasts.

zraver
30 Jan 16,, 08:06
Another option, by 1944 the USN is big enough to defeat the Japanese in any type of clash of fleets the IJN can dream up. If you want to put Patton in China, stage from India and do a D-Day style landing between Hainan Island the Vietnamese coast for a drive towards Hong Kong. The Japanese garrison in French Indo China is small, just big enough to secure the occupation. You have the coastal lines the US Army needs for sustained offensive movement and India provides a solid base of operations with several major ports to stage from. You would also cut off a large Japanese force turning Burma and Thailand and give yourself the option of conducting operations south to the DEI, Phillipines and Maylay Penninsula with the massive sea lift capacity you would have.

Officer of Engineers
30 Jan 16,, 17:28
Horses swim, tanks and trucks don't. At every stream, creek or river you need to build a bridge capable of handling an endless supply of 30 ton vehicles.You missed the point. Horses don't swim in strong currents. Where they can cross, you can build a bridge.


The Soviets went up against an IJA that had shipped most of its best troops to the Pacific. Had the Soviets tried August Storm in 1942 things would have progressed much more slowly. You are talking about throwing Patton at the IJA in China while it is at near maximum strength. It won't save them, but it will make the fight more difficult.Pit the entire IJA at its peak against the armies of URANUS and MARS and the IJE dies faster. It's not that the regular IJA soldier is less trained than the infantry arts. In fact, where the IJA could put up a fight in AUGUST STORM, they did. Only problem was they didn't realize they were being fixed in place. Those IJA units that could fight would be fixed in place and enveloped; thoughts alien to the IJA.


Also, your route has Patton aimed at Beijing and several other major cities that have to be taken. Patton was great in open country, less so in urban areas. It took Patton 3 months to secure Metz.You have an entire Chinese army numbering at 7 million men. Give them something to do.


You are talking distances that are 5x the rated life span of a sherman tank. IIRC the Sherman had a major breakdown interval of 300-500 miles .Just getting a mechanized army down 2500 miles of road is going to be as brutal as combat on the vehicles. Its 1930/40's technology, not modern equipment. It didn't last as long between breakdowns. Look at how badly the German truck fleet suffered in 1940. In 1940 they had trucks for 3 army groups, by 1941 they lost 2/3rds of that fleet. Granted US trucks were a lot better and more reliable, but they are still maintenance intensive beasts.As opposed to combat? This is a simple maintenance and scheduling problem. Patton is not going to lose any machines through combat getting into position. It's predictable and schedulable. Also, the truck technology at the time was a plus, not a minus. The trucks could be torn apart and put back together in the field and more often than not by the truck crews themselves. You don't need to drag the trucks back to a specialty garage in a lot of cases.

bonehead
30 Jan 16,, 23:22
But Stalin had Northern China and Manchuria and Korea. He just gave them back. And he was desperate for the 2nd Front. In fact, a deal could be made. Allow the US to deal with the Japanese first and then the US could concentrate on Europe.

I wouldn't base too much faith in a non aggression pact. Stalin had one with Hitler and they fought the bloodiest battles of the war. I doubt Stalin would have lent anything to assist Patton march east through russia. Like you said, Stalin was adamant about a second front and Patton going anywhere but to face Germans, Stalin would not approve. Finally, I think Patton would have resigned his commission before taking anything from Stalin. I would have loved being a fly on the wall when the German high command learns that Patton and his 3rd army just landed in russia because the Germans would have no doubt that Patton would have then turned west and joined with the Russians. It may have weeks before they realize that Patton wasn't there.

Officer of Engineers
31 Jan 16,, 01:25
I wouldn't base too much faith in a non aggression pact.It stopped a 2 front war for Stalin. Therefore, whatever you're going to offer him to open this 2nd front better be worth it.


Stalin had one with Hitler and they fought the bloodiest battles of the war.You forget that Hitler was the one who broke it.


I doubt Stalin would have lent anything to assist Patton march east through russia.Actually south, Patton would land at Vladivostok.


Like you said, Stalin was adamant about a second front and Patton going anywhere but to face Germans, Stalin would not approve.Stalin is a thug and thinks like a thug. You just have to make it worth his while. After all, he did broke the Non-Aggression Pact with Tojo.


Finally, I think Patton would have resigned his commission before taking anything from Stalin.And give up the chance for payback against the people who did Pearl Harbour? Do recall that the man swallowed his pride and took command of a phantom army.


I would have loved being a fly on the wall when the German high command learns that Patton and his 3rd army just landed in russia because the Germans would have no doubt that Patton would have then turned west and joined with the Russians. It may have weeks before they realize that Patton wasn't there.And after realizing that Japan was knocked out of the war and knowing 4 aircraft carriers were coming their way, it would have been an "oh shit" moment.

Monash
01 Feb 16,, 08:05
Actually, they were, we're not talking about finding 10,000 men where they're not supposed to be but instead 100,000 men with 1000 tanks and 2000 artillery pieces kicking your backdoor in. That was precisely Patton's relief of Bastonge.

Yes but they have to get to Northern China first, which was my point - would there not be a quicker/easier way of getting him to grips with the Japanese


Explain the 1962 Sino-Indian War.

Pardon me but from my albeit limited reading the Sino-Indian war was an Infantry war (and light infantry at that) with limited artillery support and little or no armor. In other words the exact opposite of the war Patton would want to fight. In addition the Indians at least suffered from serious logistics/supply issues due to the nature of the terrain and lousy road system - which is a big part of the problem in this scenario.


Wrong calculus, when was the BEF declared ready?

But the BEF only had to cross the Channel. I concede that the US may well have been able to form up a '3rd Army' under Patton around regular US Army formations at hand in the continental USA in early 1941 (or at least start the process) But it would not be the superbly equipped and supplied 3rd Army that Patton has at his disposal in Late 43/early 44. For example the M-4 Sherman was only just going into production which means the bulk of his armor units would be equipped with M-3 Stuarts and M-3 Lees. None of the other excellent armored support units eg the Chaffeys and all the M-4 derivatives etc would be available to him. Radios would be in short supply as would the engineering bridge building equipment etc needed for the road building operation. Again he could do it but not like he could in 44.

I grant you that M-3 Stuarts and Lees would be more than a match for the Japanese, while even a limited supply of M4s would be like hitting them with King Tigers given the types available to them but still Patton's 3rd Army, even in late 1941/early 42 would not be the 3rd army he commanded on his real campaign - not without a hell of a lot of build up time.

Officer of Engineers
01 Feb 16,, 17:15
Yes but they have to get to Northern China first, which was my point - would there not be a quicker/easier way of getting him to grips with the JapaneseNorthern China represented a force-on-weak campaign aimed at the heart of the Imperial Japanese Empire with zero opposing force stopping Patton. Just looking at the map, there are no major obstacles other than about 4 major river crossings. Would it be easy? No. Is it impossible. Not even in the slightest.


Pardon me but from my albeit limited reading the Sino-Indian war was an Infantry war (and light infantry at that) with limited artillery support and little or no armor. In other words the exact opposite of the war Patton would want to fight. In addition the Indians at least suffered from serious logistics/supply issues due to the nature of the terrain and lousy road system - which is a big part of the problem in this scenario.But the Chinese broke through and threaten the Indian interior and also, the InA was rushing two corps forward with the plan to drive the Chinese out of the disputed area. The point here is that a war consumes supplies a hell of a lot faster and harder than a march with no opposing force. While the actual fight was done by infantry, the assembly points were built up by roads and trucks. Again, the war shown the Himalayas is not that big of an obstacles. If the Chinese can threaten south, Patton could have marched north.


But the BEF only had to cross the Channel. I concede that the US may well have been able to form up a '3rd Army' under Patton around regular US Army formations at hand in the continental USA in early 1941 (or at least start the process) But it would not be the superbly equipped and supplied 3rd Army that Patton has at his disposal in Late 43/early 44. For example the M-4 Sherman was only just going into production which means the bulk of his armor units would be equipped with M-3 Stuarts and M-3 Lees. None of the other excellent armored support units eg the Chaffeys and all the M-4 derivatives etc would be available to him. Radios would be in short supply as would the engineering bridge building equipment etc needed for the road building operation. Again he could do it but not like he could in 44.

I grant you that M-3 Stuarts and Lees would be more than a match for the Japanese, while even a limited supply of M4s would be like hitting them with King Tigers given the types available to them but still Patton's 3rd Army, even in late 1941/early 42 would not be the 3rd army he commanded on his real campaign - not without a hell of a lot of build up time.Those are pluses. You don't have to build a bridge that can handle a M4. The Soviets killed the Kwantung Army in 1939 with T-26s. I don't see M-3 as a problem. Patton is a maneuver general. In my re-discovered view, the best during WWII. The relief of Bastogne is perhaps the greatest maneuver of WWII.

Not only do I think he could do this but it would have been his kind of maneuver.

bonehead
01 Feb 16,, 19:01
[QUOTE=Officer of Engineers;1002750]It stopped a 2 front war for Stalin. Therefore, whatever you're going to offer him to open this 2nd front better be worth it.

[You forget that Hitler was the one who broke it.]


No. Nor did I forget how worthless such agreements were at the time.


[Actually south, Patton would land at Vladivostok.]

He could have landed nearly anywhere. Vladivostok would have been closer to Japan but if you want to screw with the germans you land in Ukraine or somewhere along the north coast(weather permitting) Thinking that Patton, his 3rd army and his skill with armored warfare was fighting side by side with the russians would have altered the German plans in some of the biggest land battles of the war.



[Stalin is a thug and thinks like a thug. You just have to make it worth his while. After all, he did broke the Non-Aggression Pact with Tojo.]

I agree with you on Stalin. I just don't think you could have convinced him to support anything but a second front for the germans to fight. Stalin was concerned about the thousands of russian troops dying every day and he was fighting for survival. Stalin wanted Patton fighting germans yesterday….not in 6 months.


[And give up the chance for payback against the people who did Pearl Harbour? Do recall that the man swallowed his pride and took command of a phantom army.]

This was after he slapped a couple of soldiers, was relieved of his command and fighting for his career. The fact that the germans paid so much attention to where Patton was and what he was up to made operation fortitude work. This also proves the german high command would have needed new underwear if they had credible info that Patton had just moved to the eastern front. Besides, it was the Germans Patton wanted to fight. That is where the glory was and he pictured himself right in the middle of it all. He studied german tactics, he thought the germans were the best and he wanted to beat the best.


[And after realizing that Japan was knocked out of the war and knowing 4 aircraft carriers were coming their way, it would have been an "oh shit" moment.]

I kind of doubt that. Germany put its faith in submarines and by the middle of the war had little faith in surface ships. Germany feared russian tanks far more than American carriers. Although, the thought of sending hellcats against 109's and 190's would be interesting.

Officer of Engineers
01 Feb 16,, 19:24
No. Nor did I forget how worthless such agreements were at the time.It still avoided a 2 front war for Stalin.


He could have landed nearly anywhere. Vladivostok would have been closer to Japan but if you want to screw with the germans you land in Ukraine or somewhere along the north coast(weather permitting) Thinking that Patton, his 3rd army and his skill with armored warfare was fighting side by side with the russians would have altered the German plans in some of the biggest land battles of the war.I'm lost to your scenario. My original post was for Patton to knock out the Japanese Empire. Why would Patton need to land in Asia to attack Germany? Also, anywhere on the European continent, you're talking about an opposed landing wheras there is no such in the Mainland Asia scneario.


I agree with you on Stalin. I just don't think you could have convinced him to support anything but a second front for the germans to fight. Stalin was concerned about the thousands of russian troops dying every day and he was fighting for survival.You could have fooled us. Casualties wasn't his concern. He threw a 1000 men into Stalingrad a day and he had a million more where they came from. This is a country with 11 million military dead and that does not include the civilian casualties. Also, we gave him a second front, Italy. He wasn't satisfied. So, a deal could have been made and in fact, was made. For the 2nd front, he declares war on Japan once Berlin fell.


This was after he slapped a couple of soldiers, was relieved of his command and fighting for his career.This goes to show that his career is more important to him than his pride.


The fact that the germans paid so much attention to where Patton was and what he was up to made operation fortitude work. This also proves the german high command would have needed new underwear if they had credible info that Patton had just moved to the eastern front. Besides, it was the Germans Patton wanted to fight. That is where the glory was and he pictured himself right in the middle of it all. He studied german tactics, he thought the germans were the best and he wanted to beat the best.That wasn't his choice. It was FDR's. If FDR chosed Japan first, he would have been leading the charge also. Also, until Africa and Italy, Patton was an unknown in the German High Command.


I kind of doubt that. Germany put its faith in submarines and by the middle of the war had little faith in surface ships. Germany feared russian tanks far more than American carriers. Although, the thought of sending hellcats against 109's and 190's would be interesting.The Happy Times I and II didn't stop a single thing and that was against un-escourted American freighters. The U-Boats already gave up the RCN guarded convoys.

But you missed the point, those 4 American carriers just told the Germans they lost the Battle of the Atlantic and 3 million US Marines were coming their way.

gunnut
01 Feb 16,, 23:04
But the BEF only had to cross the Channel. I concede that the US may well have been able to form up a '3rd Army' under Patton around regular US Army formations at hand in the continental USA in early 1941 (or at least start the process) But it would not be the superbly equipped and supplied 3rd Army that Patton has at his disposal in Late 43/early 44. For example the M-4 Sherman was only just going into production which means the bulk of his armor units would be equipped with M-3 Stuarts and M-3 Lees. None of the other excellent armored support units eg the Chaffeys and all the M-4 derivatives etc would be available to him. Radios would be in short supply as would the engineering bridge building equipment etc needed for the road building operation. Again he could do it but not like he could in 44.

I grant you that M-3 Stuarts and Lees would be more than a match for the Japanese, while even a limited supply of M4s would be like hitting them with King Tigers given the types available to them but still Patton's 3rd Army, even in late 1941/early 42 would not be the 3rd army he commanded on his real campaign - not without a hell of a lot of build up time.

M3 Stuarts would have crushed whatever IJA had in China. Patton fought a different war than what IJA was used to from the Chinese.

bonehead
02 Feb 16,, 18:21
It still avoided a 2 front war for Stalin.

I'm lost to your scenario. My original post was for Patton to knock out the Japanese Empire. Why would Patton need to land in Asia to attack Germany? Also, anywhere on the European continent, you're talking about an opposed landing wheras there is no such in the Mainland Asia scneario.

You could have fooled us. Casualties wasn't his concern. He threw a 1000 men into Stalingrad a day and he had a million more where they came from. This is a country with 11 million military dead and that does not include the civilian casualties. Also, we gave him a second front, Italy. He wasn't satisfied. So, a deal could have been made and in fact, was made. For the 2nd front, he declares war on Japan once Berlin fell.

This goes to show that his career is more important to him than his pride.

That wasn't his choice. It was FDR's. If FDR chosed Japan first, he would have been leading the charge also. Also, until Africa and Italy, Patton was an unknown in the German High Command.

The Happy Times I and II didn't stop a single thing and that was against un-escourted American freighters. The U-Boats already gave up the RCN guarded convoys.

But you missed the point, those 4 American carriers just told the Germans they lost the Battle of the Atlantic and 3 million US Marines were coming their way.



Japan was so far out in left field and had its hands full with the U.S. and China so it was not a threat to Stalin which is why stalin pushed so hard for the allies to open up a second front with Germany.Stalin couldn't have cared less about Italy. Stalin obviously would have poured every last man…and woman on the battlefield but in the end it was his people bearing the brunt of the germans and he wanted the allies to do their share of the bleeding.

I was referring to a landing in north Russia but georgia or Turkey would be doable. I misspoke with Ukraine. Patten didn't have to fight with the russians on the eastern front. he just had to make the Germans think he was. Either landings would have gotten the Germans attention and Patton could have been attacking the Japanese before the Germans realized he was not still in Eastern Europe. Another issue is you really can not stress the fact how important Patton was in the european theater. The U.S. had no replacement for Patton as far as turning a rag tag army into one of the most feared in Europe.No one was able to organize and motivate like Patton. He also understood the German generals on levels that was unparalleled. Patton's tactics shortened the war considerably and could have done even better if not for politics and having to play second fiddle to Montgomery. The U.S. already had a good general out fighting the Japanese. McArthur knew the Japanese like Patton knew the Germans. Instead of Island hopping we could have gone to NE Russia for a landing with his troops….leaving all those Japanese troops stranded on the islands.

Germans based their sea defenses primarily on their Uboats. If they had more subs at sea, the damages to the allies would have been much greater. After the limited success of his battleships Hitler all but given up on surface ships and he had no concept of how important carriers will become. Hence, a few allied carriers in the area would not have worried him so much as where Patton was. Germans focused on land and air battles and that is where they were determined to win or lose. The Germans knew the allies were coming to Europe and they were determined to stop them from the air and from the land…not the sea. Germans simply didn't think controlling the seas was going to make of break them.

Officer of Engineers
02 Feb 16,, 19:35
Bonehead, please slow down and expand your explanations. I'm getting lost in your arguments. I'm getting the feeling that there are subtleties that are getting lost in your short replies.


Japan was so far out in left field and had its hands full with the U.S. and China so it was not a threat to Stalin which is why stalin pushed so hard for the allies to open up a second front with Germany.There are other threads in this section that detailed Japanese desire for Siberia. However, what you left out was that Stalin clobbered the Japanese in 1939 when the Kwantung Army attacked Siberia and lost 65,000 men in the process. A weakened USSR would be a very tempting target for Tojo.


Stalin couldn't have cared less about Italy.That's not the point. The point was that both the US and Great Britain had already lived up to the letter of the Potsdam Agreement. It was time for Stalin to pony up for Op OVERLORD and that was Op AUGUST STORM.


Stalin obviously would have poured every last man…and woman on the battlefield but in the end it was his people bearing the brunt of the germans and he wanted the allies to do their share of the bleeding.You're not getting it. By Ops MARS and URANUS, the Red Army was the Herr's superior in operations and strategy. It was tactics that the Germans still excel at but the Soviets still made use of casualty intensive tactics not that they need to but because they can afford it and the Germans can't. By the Battle of Berlin, Soviet battle hardened veterans were taking on teenage boys and crippled old men.


I was referring to a landing in north Russia but georgia or Turkey would be doable. I misspoke with Ukraine. Patten didn't have to fight with the russians on the eastern front. he just had to make the Germans think he was.Waste of good propaganda. The Soviets already had good maneuver generals that were giving the Germans headaches and heartaches. It might have raised a few eyebrows but would not have committed more German divisions than they already had. The battle space can only fit so many troops. For Patton to join the fight, a Soviet army must be withdrawn.


Another issue is you really can not stress the fact how important Patton was in the european theater. The U.S. had no replacement for Patton as far as turning a rag tag army into one of the most feared in Europe.No one was able to organize and motivate like Patton. He also understood the German generals on levels that was unparalleled. Patton's tactics shortened the war considerably and could have done even better if not for politics and having to play second fiddle to Montgomery.Which again wasn't his decision. FDR did not decide to fight Hitler based on Patton being in the field. Had FDR chosen to fight the Japanese first, I strongly doubt Patton would have the nerve or even the desire not to plummel the Japanese.


The U.S. already had a good general out fighting the Japanese. McArthur knew the Japanese like Patton knew the Germans.Well, you could have fooled me. The mistakes that man made was equal to his own ego. Besides, what's to figure out? The Japanese was best WWI Army fighting WWII. Zhukov figured that out in 1939.


Instead of Island hopping we could have gone to NE Russia for a landing with his troops….leaving all those Japanese troops stranded on the islands.Doesn't that contradict your claims that MacArthur is a good general? The Imperial Japanese Empire was Korea and Manchuria and yet no one but the Soviets took that on.


Germans based their sea defenses primarily on their Uboats. If they had more subs at sea, the damages to the allies would have been much greater.The Happy Times I and II (a disaster greater than Pearl Harbour) was the UBoat campaign against unprotected American cargo ships. Donitz had long lost the Battle of Atlantic to the RCN and RN before then. The Uboats suffered 80% casualties. And we're not talking 8 men out of 10, we're talking 8 boats out of 10, that's 8 crews out of 10, that didn't make it home.


After the limited success of his battleships Hitler all but given up on surface ships and he had no concept of how important carriers will become. Hence, a few allied carriers in the area would not have worried him so much as where Patton was.Actually, they were. Uboats had no defence against air cover. Hence, why they never operated against convoys within range of allied air cover. US aircraft carriers guaranteed that the wolf pacts would be sunk before they had a chance to fire.


Germans focused on land and air battles and that is where they were determined to win or lose. The Germans knew the allies were coming to Europe and they were determined to stop them from the air and from the land…not the sea. Germans simply didn't think controlling the seas was going to make of break them.3 million US Marines coming their way would get their heads up real fast

bonehead
03 Feb 16,, 05:33
"There are other threads in this section that detailed Japanese desire for Siberia. However, what you left out was that Stalin clobbered the Japanese in 1939 when the Kwantung Army attacked Siberia and lost 65,000 men in the process. A weakened USSR would be a very tempting target for Tojo."


I have not been lost on Japans desire to expand the empire into Siberia, However, Japan had the U.S. to contend with and by1942 Japan was already in a losing series of battles in the Pacific. Japan also had millions of angry Chinese to deal with so a march into Siberia was out of the question. Even if Japan did invade siberia what would they gain as Russia could have let that go and more without hardly noticing it and there is no question that once Germany was done all Russia had to do is turn east and retake Siberia. Western russia was important to Russia, not siberia.

Officer of Engineers
03 Feb 16,, 08:10
I have not been lost on Japans desire to expand the empire into Siberia, However, Japan had the U.S. to contend with and by1942 Japan was already in a losing series of battles in the Pacific. Japan also had millions of angry Chinese to deal with so a march into Siberia was out of the question. Even if Japan did invade siberia what would they gain as Russia could have let that go and more without hardly noticing it and there is no question that once Germany was done all Russia had to do is turn east and retake Siberia. Western russia was important to Russia, not siberia.I am really lost with your contentions. Japan attacked the US, not Germany. Happy Times I and II came as a result of the US declaring War on Germany and not before.

So explain to me how all of this allow Patton to choose his own theatre of operations without answering to FDR?

bonehead
03 Feb 16,, 08:20
"You're not getting it. By Ops MARS and URANUS, the Red Army was the Herr's superior in operations and strategy. It was tactics that the Germans still excel at but the Soviets still made use of casualty intensive tactics not that they need to but because they can afford it and the Germans can't. By the Battle of Berlin, Soviet battle hardened veterans were taking on teenage boys and crippled old men."

"Waste of good propaganda. The Soviets already had good maneuver generals that were giving the Germans headaches and heartaches. It might have raised a few eyebrows but would not have committed more German divisions than they already had. The battle space can only fit so many troops. For Patton to join the fight, a Soviet army must be withdrawn."



During the early part of the german invasion of Russia, Russia was fighting for its existence and Stalin had far more men than materials and supplies. What troops he did have were not well organized or trained. Germans did have plenty of both, well trained troops and the supplies. Why not force segments of russian society into the meat grinder as they were either going to starve to death or freeze the following winter anyway. Even so, russian casualties were rising fast and that was not good for morale. One cant blame Stalin at this point wanting the allies to open a front in Europe to take the heat off and give Stalin some breathing room.

If Patton did take his army into Russia the Germans would definitely know about it and would alter their plans accordingly. That much is clear and the reason Patton was given a phantom army in the first place. If I gave you the impression that I thought Patton would fight on the eastern front that was not the case. We can save that for another "what if". Patton would only be showing his ass to the Germans as he hopped on a train to china to take care of the Japanese first. That route looks to be a lot easier to manage than marching over the Himalayas.

bonehead
03 Feb 16,, 08:32
I am really lost with your contentions. Japan attacked the US, not Germany. Happy Times I and II came as a result of the US declaring War on Germany and not before.

So explain to me how all of this allow Patton to choose his own theatre of operations without answering to FDR?


Short answer. Japan was getting spread too thin to invade siberia. Even if they did, Russia could have lost siberia to Japan and it wouldn't have mattered one iota for the outcome of the war. Patton goes where he is told to go in either case. But if Stalin had any say he would have wanted Patton to help defend western Russia

Officer of Engineers
03 Feb 16,, 08:37
During the early part of the german invasion of Russia, Russia was fighting for its existence and Stalin had far more men than materials and supplies. What troops he did have were not well organized or trained. Germans did have plenty of both, well trained troops and the supplies. Why not force segments of russian society into the meat grinder as they were either going to starve to death or freeze the following winter anyway. Even so, russian casualties were rising fast and that was not good for morale. One cant blame Stalin at this point wanting the allies to open a front in Europe to take the heat off and give Stalin some breathing room.

If Patton did take his army into Russia the Germans would definitely know about it and would alter their plans accordingly. That much is clear and the reason Patton was given a phantom army in the first place. If I gave you the impression that I thought Patton would fight on the eastern front that was not the case. We can save that for another "what if". Patton would only be showing his ass to the Germans as he hopped on a train to china to take care of the Japanese first. That route looks to be a lot easier to manage than marching over the Himalayas.In 1942? No one knew how good Patton was. Not even Patton!

Officer of Engineers
03 Feb 16,, 08:40
Short answer. Japan was getting spread too thin to invade siberia. Even if they did, Russia could have lost siberia to Japan and it wouldn't have mattered one iota for the outcome of the war. Patton goes where he is told to go in either case. But if Stalin had any say he would have wanted Patton to help defend western RussiaYou really missed the point on this one. Had Japan marched north in December of 1941, the USN would have sailed to Europe in January, 1942. Japan marches north. Japan dies and dies fast!

And that is WITHOUT PATTON! Zhukov was a superior general than Patton.

bonehead
03 Feb 16,, 09:08
"Well, you could have fooled me. The mistakes that man made was equal to his own ego. Besides, what's to figure out? The Japanese was best WWI Army fighting WWII. Zhukov figured that out in 1939"


"Doesn't that contradict your claims that MacArthur is a good general? The Imperial Japanese Empire was Korea and Manchuria and yet no one but the Soviets took that on."



McArthur's first mission was to make Australia and the Philippines safe. After that it was to take the fight to the Japanese mainland. The strategy to get close enough for bombers to hit the mainland and eventual invasion was sound. Adding nuclear weapons was icing on the cake. I wouldn't get to hasty to compare campaigns though. Zhukov was not fighting on islands/jungles and he didn't have the Japanese navy to contend with. To be honest i don't think the American government put much stock in sending forces to China other than a few volunteers, ie flying tigers. The goal of the U.S. was to take the fight directly to the Japanese homeland and that is exactly what happened.

bonehead
03 Feb 16,, 09:12
You really missed the point on this one. Had Japan marched north in December of 1941, the USN would have sailed to Europe in January, 1942. Japan marches north. Japan dies and dies fast!

And that is WITHOUT PATTON! Zhukov was a superior general than Patton.

With Zhukov thousands of miles away engaged with the Japanese. Germany would have no one to stop them from taking all of russia from the west.

bonehead
03 Feb 16,, 09:14
In 1942? No one knew how good Patton was. Not even Patton!


Oh I am sure Patten knew and he would have told anyone who asked.

Officer of Engineers
03 Feb 16,, 09:16
McArthur's first mission was to make Australia and the Philippines safe. After that it was to take the fight to the Japanese mainland. The strategy to get close enough for bombers to hit the mainland and eventual invasion was sound. Adding nuclear weapons was icing on the cake. I wouldn't get to hasty to compare campaigns though. Zhukov was not fighting on islands/jungles and he didn't have the Japanese navy to contend with. To be honest i don't think the American government put much stock in sending forces to China other than a few volunteers, ie flying tigers. The goal of the U.S. was to take the fight directly to the Japanese homeland and that is exactly what happened.Ok, you're jumping all over the place. MacArthur is a poor General. That is proven by Chinese General Li Peng, the third WWI army General who kicked MacArthur's ass.

But that is outside the argument of this thread. The argument is what is going to kill Japan quick and hard and that is the lost of Manchuria and Korea and historically that was done via maneuver war - twice - by the Soviets.

So tell me again, how a WWI General, MacArthur, is going do better than a maneuver General, Patton, when MacArthur could not even fathom killing the IJE through taking Manchuria and Korea.

While by the same token, Patton got shouted down from cutting off the Bastonge salient?

bonehead
03 Feb 16,, 09:16
"3 million US Marines coming their way would get their heads up real fast"

That we can agree on. Germans respected a well trained fighting land force.

Officer of Engineers
03 Feb 16,, 09:17
Oh I am sure Patten knew and he would have told anyone who asked.No one asked and no one cared, especially not FDR. BTW, Bradely was a superior General.

bonehead
03 Feb 16,, 09:18
Zhukov was a superior general than Patton.

The world came dangerously close to putting that to the test.

Officer of Engineers
03 Feb 16,, 09:18
With Zhukov thousands of miles away engaged with the Japanese. Germany would have no one to stop them from taking all of russia from the west.What? Do you even know who Zhukov was?

Officer of Engineers
03 Feb 16,, 09:22
The world came dangerously close to putting that to the test.There was no test. Patton was an Army General. Zhukov was a theatre General. The Western equivalent was Eisenhower. Only difference was Zhukov saw more combat than Patton and certainly more than Eisenhower.

Officer of Engineers
03 Feb 16,, 09:24
But we're going outside the point of this thread. Patton could kill the IJE fast and hard, faster than what traditionally has been WWII.

That in turn released the full US might towards Europe.

And all because of FDR's decision to go Europe first.

Mihais
03 Feb 16,, 09:33
But that was also Marshall's decision.

Officer of Engineers
03 Feb 16,, 09:42
But that was also Marshall's decision.Does not change the fact that Patton had no say in which enemy he was going to fight.

bonehead
03 Feb 16,, 17:42
But we're going outside the point of this thread. Patton could kill the IJE fast and hard, faster than what traditionally has been WWII.

That in turn released the full US might towards Europe.

And all because of FDR's decision to go Europe first.

I have no doubt that Patton could have done so in china. Getting to the Japanese homeland and getting Japan to surrender was not going to be that fast or easy. The wisdom at the time was that Japan was not going to surrender without being invaded and that was going to be a bloodbath for both sides. Nothing short of dropping a couple of atomic bombs changed this.

bonehead
03 Feb 16,, 17:55
There was no test. Patton was an Army General. Zhukov was a theatre General. The Western equivalent was Eisenhower. Only difference was Zhukov saw more combat than Patton and certainly more than Eisenhower.

True enough. However, a war with russia would not have the same political constraints as the war with Germany for Patton. The chances are that Patton would have been fully unleashed and not have to wait for Montgomery to catch up and share in the glory. Patton would have a superior air force, and navy backing him up. Oh and Patton also had a huge advantage having nuclear bombs at his disposal.

Officer of Engineers
03 Feb 16,, 18:17
I have no doubt that Patton could have done so in china. Getting to the Japanese homeland and getting Japan to surrender was not going to be that fast or easy. The wisdom at the time was that Japan was not going to surrender without being invaded and that was going to be a bloodbath for both sides. Nothing short of dropping a couple of atomic bombs changed this.Depends on what you mean by surrender. Japan's abilities to carry on the war was out the window without Manchuria and Korea. They would have accepted starvation and freezing to death than to allow an occupation but Japanese expansion was at an end and their populace reduced to Somali level existence.

Stitch
03 Feb 16,, 19:54
Does not change the fact that Patton had no say in which enemy he was going to fight.

Now that you mention it, I'm sure Patton would've been much happier killing the Japanese; as most of you know, he was all for recruiting the Germans after the War (hell, during the War!) to fight the Russians. It turns out his instincts were right, but he was about 5 years early.

gunnut
03 Feb 16,, 23:09
There was no test. Patton was an Army General. Zhukov was a theatre General. The Western equivalent was Eisenhower. Only difference was Zhukov saw more combat than Patton and certainly more than Eisenhower.

Sir, wouldn't the western equivalent be Bradley? Eisenhower always struck me as more of a politician than a fighting general. Did he see combat?

Can you also explain briefly why Zhukov was so good?

zraver
04 Feb 16,, 06:58
Sir, wouldn't the western equivalent be Bradley? Eisenhower always struck me as more of a politician than a fighting general. Did he see combat?

Can you also explain briefly why Zhukov was so good?

Eisenhower never saw combat at any rank.

zraver
04 Feb 16,, 07:05
There was no test. Patton was an Army General. Zhukov was a theatre General. The Western equivalent was Eisenhower. Only difference was Zhukov saw more combat than Patton and certainly more than Eisenhower.

In Soviet terms both were front level commanders as far as operational forces were concerned given that a US Army was analogous to a Soviet Front. On the strategic level as a member of Stavka he was more akin to Bradley who commanded an army group. The Soviet's Stavka set up had Vasilevsky sitting in a position that combined that of Ike and Marshall.

zraver
04 Feb 16,, 07:07
Sir, wouldn't the western equivalent be Bradley? Eisenhower always struck me as more of a politician than a fighting general. Did he see combat?

Can you also explain briefly why Zhukov was so good?

Zhukov was the Soviet Grant, keep hitting and never give up even when you are wrong. He had Stalin's ear but suffered some serious military set backs, if not as ruinous as some early Soviet commanders. His fixation on Army Group Center and the defeats he suffered trying to defeat it likely saved 4th Panzer Army and lengthened the war by a year.

bonehead
04 Feb 16,, 20:04
Ok, you're jumping all over the place. MacArthur is a poor General. That is proven by Chinese General Li Peng, the third WWI army General who kicked MacArthur's ass.

But that is outside the argument of this thread. The argument is what is going to kill Japan quick and hard and that is the lost of Manchuria and Korea and historically that was done via maneuver war - twice - by the Soviets.

So tell me again, how a WWI General, MacArthur, is going do better than a maneuver General, Patton, when MacArthur could not even fathom killing the IJE through taking Manchuria and Korea.

While by the same token, Patton got shouted down from cutting off the Bastonge salient?

History has proven that Japan can and did do very well without manchuria. I think you are basing way too much emphasis on manchuria and Korea. You are clinging to the belief that manchuria was everything to Japan and clearly it was not. A huge loss to be sure but Japan survived and even thrived without it. As for Peng kicking MacArthur's ass, well…That is another "what if discussion. Lastly, I see no proof that ANYONE involved with making the decisions in the pacific theater wanted to attack Japan via manchuria. The focus was to get to the Japanese homeland in revenge to what the Japanese did to American soil. The war in the pacific relied heavily on the navy which gave Nimitz great leverage and FDR was the one calling the shots….not McArthur.

gunnut
04 Feb 16,, 20:25
Eisenhower never saw combat at any rank.

That's what I thought. I don't recall him ever being in the field. He was a good politician though, able to manage all the egos in a very large multi-national force.


Zhukov was the Soviet Grant, keep hitting and never give up even when you are wrong. He had Stalin's ear but suffered some serious military set backs, if not as ruinous as some early Soviet commanders. His fixation on Army Group Center and the defeats he suffered trying to defeat it likely saved 4th Panzer Army and lengthened the war by a year.

I know Zhukov was a strategic mind but don't know how he was tactically. Maybe Zhukov would be a great tactician if he had better trained troops and mid level commanders to carry out his plans. Not to knock on the Red Army, but I thought their mid level commanders lacked initiative compared to US commanders. And the difference is even more pronounced at lower levels.

Officer of Engineers
04 Feb 16,, 20:25
History has proven that Japan can and did do very well without manchuria.Not post Japanese Industrial Revolution. Japan needed Manchuria's resources to maintain the IJN. And you're still missing this. The Imperial Japanese EMPIRE was Korea and Manchuria. Take that away, you took away the Japanese EMPIRE and she would have to withdraw to her home islands. Would she surrender like she did? No. She would fight on but the Philipines, SE Asia, DEI, Tokyo would've lost them.


I think you are basing way too much emphasis on manchuria and Korea. You are clinging to the belief that manchuria was everything to Japan and clearly it was not.It clearly was since Japan demanded Manchuria and Korea as part of any peace talks.


A huge loss to be sure but Japan survived and even thrived without it. As for Peng kicking MacArthur's ass, well…That is another "what if discussion. Lastly, I see no proof that ANYONE involved with making the decisions in the pacific theater wanted to attack Japan via manchuria.A lot of reasons but the main one is the lack of a staging area and no one had the foresight to attack through Tibet. Hell, I only came up with it when I challenge Eric that the Pacific War could not be shortened. Even then, I thought the traditional route, the Burma Road. It was Cactus who suggested Tibet and even then, it took a lot of thinking to go outside that box.


The focus was to get to the Japanese homeland in revenge to what the Japanese did to American soil. The war in the pacific relied heavily on the navy which gave Nimitz great leverage and FDR was the one calling the shots….not McArthur.Still does not make MacArthur a better commander no matter what scenario you put up.

Officer of Engineers
04 Feb 16,, 20:27
I know Zhukov was a strategic mind but don't know how he was tactically. Maybe Zhukov would be a great tactician if he had better trained troops and mid level commanders to carry out his plans. Not to knock on the Red Army, but I thought their mid level commanders lacked initiative compared to US commanders. And the difference is even more pronounced at lower levels.Zhukov's main advantage is that he had enough to keep the Germans off balance even when he lost. Operation MARS was a Soviet military disaster but Operation URANUS kept the Germans off balance and could not replace MARS losses even though they won.

gunnut
04 Feb 16,, 21:06
Zhukov's main advantage is that he had enough to keep the Germans off balance even when he lost. Operation MARS was a Soviet military disaster but Operation URANUS kept the Germans off balance and could not replace MARS losses even though they won.

Right. Zhukov was a strategist and understood that a tactical defeat can still be a strategic victory. All he had to do was to make sure the Red Army outlasted the Wehrmacht. I did the same thing when I played Zerg in StarCraft. I know my units weren't a match in an even fight against the Terrans or the Protoss (especially the Protoss). But, I can crank them out like there's no tomorrow and keep them rolling into the field before my opponents can replace their losses. I had to completely change my play style because I was so used to playing Terrans with their more flexible units suited for a defensive war. It was very unnatural.

Were Operations Mars and Uranus designed in concert to complement each other so that at least one would be successful in keeping the Germans off balance?

Edit: of course everyone on the internet calls the Red Army "the zerg" for a reason. Often as a derisive term.

Officer of Engineers
04 Feb 16,, 21:59
Were Operations Mars and Uranus designed in concert to complement each other so that at least one would be successful in keeping the Germans off balance?Well, yes and no. They were aimed at different army groups. However, either one is a set up for a follow up operation that was already in the planning stages before the ops were launched.

bonehead
05 Feb 16,, 04:12
Not post Japanese Industrial Revolution. Japan needed Manchuria's resources to maintain the IJN. And you're still missing this. The Imperial Japanese EMPIRE was Korea and Manchuria. Take that away, you took away the Japanese EMPIRE and she would have to withdraw to her home islands. Would she surrender like she did? No. She would fight on but the Philipines, SE Asia, DEI, Tokyo would've lost them.


"Japan would not have surrendered like she did". Exactly. Japan would have simply not been a factor to Russia for the rest of the war. They still had a formidable navy that had to be defeated and still would have fought to the end…the end being a couple of Atomic bombs dropped in their lap.

bonehead
05 Feb 16,, 04:34
Zhukov's main advantage is that he had enough to keep the Germans off balance even when he lost. Operation MARS was a Soviet military disaster but Operation URANUS kept the Germans off balance and could not replace MARS losses even though they won.

Zukov also had an expansive land mass to retreat to, manpower to spare, allied materials gifted through lend lease, and he had the home-field advantage. He had the luxury of executing those under him that didn't perform. Most of all he didn't have a tactical idiot like Hitler telling him what to do and when to do it. I am not bashing the man as he did a great job with what he had at the time, but he did enjoy some inherent advantages over his german rivals.

Officer of Engineers
05 Feb 16,, 04:35
"Japan would not have surrendered like she did". Exactly. Japan would have simply not been a factor to Russia for the rest of the war. They still had a formidable navy that had to be defeated and still would have fought to the end…the end being a couple of Atomic bombs dropped in their lap.No. They won't. They wouldn't have the oil to get that far out and must retreat to the home islands. Nor the iron to keep churning out ammunition like they were spending.

If you're saying that you want an American Army marching down in Tokyo. No, that would not have happened but we would get a surrender like Serbia and Kosovo.

Officer of Engineers
05 Feb 16,, 04:39
Zukov also had an expansive land mass to retreat to,He never retreated. He was beaten back a couple of times but he never lost any territory through battle.


manpower to spare, allied materials gifted through lend lease,He managed Stalingrad without LL.


and he had the home-field advantage. He had the luxury of executing those under him that didn't perform.If they were only that lucky. Those who didn't performed were thrown into penal battalions.


Most of all he didn't have a tactical idiot like Hitler telling him what to do and when to do it.Stalin ain't exactly an easy man to please.


I am not bashing the man as he did a great job with what he had at the time, but he did enjoy some inherent advantages over his german rivals.Namely, he was smarter.

zraver
08 Feb 16,, 02:54
I know Zhukov was a strategic mind but don't know how he was tactically. Maybe Zhukov would be a great tactician if he had better trained troops and mid level commanders to carry out his plans. Not to knock on the Red Army, but I thought their mid level commanders lacked initiative compared to US commanders. And the difference is even more pronounced at lower levels.

He might be the single most over rated commander of WWII. Tactically he was weak and he relied on superior material and huge reserves to win battles of attrition. The quality of his troops didn't really make that much of an impact. Look at Vatutin, same troops, out blitzed the Germans in every battle but one.

Officer of Engineers
17 Feb 16,, 04:50
He might be the single most over rated commander of WWII.Jason, thinking about this. No, I don't think so. Even when he lost, Zuhkov won. Vatutin sufferred the same kind of losses but the difference is that his oppenants can still mount a defence for the next campaign. Not so with Zuhkov. Every battle Zuhkov lost, the Germans were obliged to give up ground to consolidate their defences.

zraver
18 Feb 16,, 05:14
Jason, thinking about this. No, I don't think so. Even when he lost, Zuhkov won. Vatutin sufferred the same kind of losses but the difference is that his oppenants can still mount a defence for the next campaign. Not so with Zuhkov. Every battle Zuhkov lost, the Germans were obliged to give up ground to consolidate their defences.

Except Lenningrad or Operation Mars....

Officer of Engineers
18 Feb 16,, 17:00
Except Lenningrad or Operation Mars....Vatutin was part of the Lenningrad battle and the comparison was between the two. Operation MARS collapsed the Stalingrad relief.

zraver
20 Feb 16,, 02:44
Vatutin was part of the Lenningrad battle and the comparison was between the two. Operation MARS collapsed the Stalingrad relief.

Mars was a disaster and at Lenningrad, Vatutin was the only senior Soviet commander to really give the Germans fits.

Officer of Engineers
20 Feb 16,, 03:12
Mars was a disasterIt was but again, the Germans sufferred casualties they could not replace.


and at Lenningrad, Vatutin was the only senior Soviet commander to really give the Germans fits.Your point was Vatutin's tactical genius. I don't see it. He sufferred the same casualty rates as other Soviet generals and he could not relieve Lenningrad.

astralis
24 Feb 16,, 18:47
here's a thought experiment: wonder what would have happened if Zhukov and Konev were Germans, with Manstein and Guderian being the Russians.

this is a bit reminiscent of the "what if Lee and Grant had switched places" discussion we had a long time ago.

gunnut
24 Feb 16,, 19:34
here's a thought experiment: wonder what would have happened if Zhukov and Konev were Germans, with Manstein and Guderian being the Russians.

this is a bit reminiscent of the "what if Lee and Grant had switched places" discussion we had a long time ago.

The results would probably be the same. Zhukov would learn to use German tradition of well trained troops and execute more complex tactical maneuvers. Manstein and Guderian would learn to use deep operations as they have more man power available to them. These were very smart men. I am sure they can adapt to whatever constraints the environment throws at them.

Monash
25 Feb 16,, 10:55
The results would probably be the same. Zhukov would learn to use German tradition of well trained troops and execute more complex tactical maneuvers. Manstein and Guderian would learn to use deep operations as they have more man power available to them. These were very smart men. I am sure they can adapt to whatever constraints the environment throws at them.

I think the real tragedy for both sets of Generals is that they were all saddled with deeply flawed and dysfunctional heads of state. Imagine what they all could have achieved under a Roosevelt or a Churchill!

Officer of Engineers
25 Feb 16,, 16:57
Would they achieve anything? FDR needed admirals more than he needed generals as he was getting ready to fight Japan and I cannot see the Brits starting a war of European conquest.

Mihais
25 Feb 16,, 23:00
The US had a Guderian or Manstein.They put him in charge of a fictional AG.Deception is good.
The Soviets just used pseudonyms or simply lied about the whereabouts of the likes of Zhukov,Rokosovsky or Konev.

Mihais
25 Feb 16,, 23:07
I think the real tragedy for both sets of Generals is that they were all saddled with deeply flawed and dysfunctional heads of state. Imagine what they all could have achieved under a Roosevelt or a Churchill!

Write good articles about theory.Reach 3 stars at most.In Zhukov's case maybe become a regimantal commander.Zhukov is a product of Stalinist era.His real merit is terrorizing.
At Leningrad he ordered taking hostages and executing families of soldiers who surrendered.His attacks are bloodbaths and failures.

Doktor
26 Feb 16,, 06:59
here's a thought experiment: wonder what would have happened if Zhukov and Konev were Germans, with Manstein and Guderian being the Russians.

this is a bit reminiscent of the "what if Lee and Grant had switched places" discussion we had a long time ago.

Different cultural mimdsets. Why switch Germans with Russians. Switch Russians and French for a headache ;)

Monash
26 Feb 16,, 11:57
Would they achieve anything? FDR needed admirals more than he needed generals as he was getting ready to fight Japan and I cannot see the Brits starting a war of European conquest.

Its perhaps somewhat of a simplification to say that FDR needed Admirals more than he needed generals. Assuming for the sake of argument that the wars in Europe and the Pacific commenced and progressed more or less as history records then good generals would of course have been required at some point in time for both theaters. In any event my point was that all the Generals named were shackled to despots who were more than ready to ignore economic and military realities in the pursuit of personal power, ignoring, even fearing their best generals. Of course neither FDR or Churchill would have started the war but my point was that both men, once confronted with the realities of WW11 would have made far better use of these generals than either Stalin or Hitler ever could. How much sooner would the war have ended with Zhukov et al fighting on the side of the democracies alongside men like Patton instead of against them.

gunnut
26 Feb 16,, 19:25
Its perhaps somewhat of a simplification to say that FDR needed Admirals more than he needed generals. Assuming for the sake of argument that the wars in Europe and the Pacific commenced and progressed more or less as history records then good generals would of course have been required at some point in time for both theaters. In any event my point was that all the Generals named were shackled to despots who were more than ready to ignore economic and military realities in the pursuit of personal power, ignoring, even fearing their best generals. Of course neither FDR or Churchill would have started the war but my point was that both men, once confronted with the realities of WW11 would have made far better use of these generals than either Stalin or Hitler ever could. How much sooner would the war have ended with Zhukov et al fighting on the side of the democracies alongside men like Patton instead of against them.

Well, then someone else will rise to the occasion. There are many smart men in the military. Zhukov rose to where he was because of the purge. Had the purge not happen, there would be others before him to lead the Red Army. Had he been purged, there would be others to take his place.

Officer of Engineers
26 Feb 16,, 19:29
Its perhaps somewhat of a simplification to say that FDR needed Admirals more than he needed generals. Assuming for the sake of argument that the wars in Europe and the Pacific commenced and progressed more or less as history records then good generals would of course have been required at some point in time for both theaters. In any event my point was that all the Generals named were shackled to despots who were more than ready to ignore economic and military realities in the pursuit of personal power, ignoring, even fearing their best generals. Of course neither FDR or Churchill would have started the war but my point was that both men, once confronted with the realities of WW11 would have made far better use of these generals than either Stalin or Hitler ever could. How much sooner would the war have ended with Zhukov et al fighting on the side of the democracies alongside men like Patton instead of against them.Too many butterflies. Without Guderian and Von Manstein and Rommell and Kesselring, etc Hitler would have been cowed before Austria.

astralis
26 Feb 16,, 19:32
meh, not a believer in the systems theory. consider the performance of the Red Army in 1941. if the Red Army continued to suffer the type of losses it ate in 1941, then the war would have been over by 1943.

the Russian numbers advantage was significant but not infinite, so they had more of a "cushion" in terms of men's lives to throw away than the Germans did so that the generals could learn their craft. but for the general to learn his craft, he needs to have SOME talent to begin with.

Monash
27 Feb 16,, 11:52
meh, not a believer in the systems theory. consider the performance of the Red Army in 1941. if the Red Army continued to suffer the type of losses it ate in 1941, then the war would have been over by 1943.

the Russian numbers advantage was significant but not infinite, so they had more of a "cushion" in terms of men's lives to throw away than the Germans did so that the generals could learn their craft. but for the general to learn his craft, he needs to have SOME talent to begin with.

For what it's worth I agree 100%.

Monash
27 Feb 16,, 11:57
Well, then someone else will rise to the occasion. There are many smart men in the military. Zhukov rose to where he was because of the purge. Had the purge not happen, there would be others before him to lead the Red Army. Had he been purged, there would be others to take his place.

The same can of course be said for any of the great generals in history, fate plays some role but in the end without the basic raw talent no leader will rise. As for your comments on Zhukov, regardless of how he came to rise to command he still had to 'produce the goods'.

Monash
27 Feb 16,, 12:05
Too many butterflies. Without Guderian and Von Manstein and Rommell and Kesselring, etc Hitler would have been cowed before Austria.

Possibly, but in the longer term I would never discount the ability of Hitler's (or for that Matter Stalin's) ego to override common sense. Give them a couple of years and (assuming the absence of these particular Generals) they would have found others to initiate their campaigns across Europe. As has been pointed out other candidates would have emerged - the question is would they have been as good or even perhaps better? Long term I don't think it would have mattered, given the nature of their respective leaders any successful German or Russian General would end up either having their advice ignored or facing a firing squad because they had become too 'popular'. Sucks to be them.

Officer of Engineers
27 Feb 16,, 12:52
The Sudetenland. A very simple butterfly. Win or lose, the German war machine dies, even with all the best Generals you can name.

astralis
27 Feb 16,, 16:07
most likely had that been a failure, then there would have been an internal coup and Germany would just turn into a standard right-wing military dictatorship or oligarchy instead of a fascist state. one of the biggest miracles of WWII was that the countless number of attempts to kill Hitler or remove him from power never succeeded.

Officer of Engineers
27 Feb 16,, 19:25
here's a thought experiment: wonder what would have happened if Zhukov and Konev were Germans, with Manstein and Guderian being the Russians.

this is a bit reminiscent of the "what if Lee and Grant had switched places" discussion we had a long time ago.I don't think there would have been that much of a difference. Hitler would still have saddled Zhukov and Konev with his strategic demands and Stalin would not allow von Manstein and Guderian one step back backwards. During BARBAROSSA, blitzkreig was deep battle. Entire armies were surrounded and destroyed. The idea of a fixing force would have dawned on Soviet generals (even if they are the fictional Guderian and von Manstein here) sooner or later.


Write good articles about theory.Reach 3 stars at most.In Zhukov's case maybe become a regimantal commander.Zhukov is a product of Stalinist era.His real merit is terrorizing.
At Leningrad he ordered taking hostages and executing families of soldiers who surrendered.His attacks are bloodbaths and failures.Unfair assessment. Zhukov won. No matter what talk of German military prowess or brilliance, they had no answer to the Soviet juggernaut. Hell, they didn't even have an answer to the Soviet fixing force. Come to think of it, how many German generals even knew they were being fixed in place?

zraver
28 Feb 16,, 01:30
most likely had that been a failure, then there would have been an internal coup and Germany would just turn into a standard right-wing military dictatorship or oligarchy instead of a fascist state. one of the biggest miracles of WWII was that the countless number of attempts to kill Hitler or remove him from power never succeeded.

leading to WWII starting in 43-44 when Stalin rolled west over Poland, Romania and Hungary. France would still say meh and do as little as possible to help the Poles, the UK and Italy as German allies would likely go to war if Germany decided to fight.

Officer of Engineers
28 Feb 16,, 02:13
leading to WWII starting in 43-44 when Stalin rolled west over Poland, Romania and Hungary. France would still say meh and do as little as possible to help the Poles, the UK and Italy as German allies would likely go to war if Germany decided to fight.What would be the incentive? Stalin was getting ready to fight Hitler, the two biggest thugs on the block. Hitler gone, Stalin would be king of the hill.

zraver
28 Feb 16,, 06:36
What would be the incentive? Stalin was getting ready to fight Hitler, the two biggest thugs on the block. Hitler gone, Stalin would be king of the hill.

Even without Hitler, Germany is trending right through the 30's, Italy has already been in the hard right camp since the 20's, Poland, the Czecks and Finland are all rightwing and Stalin was building a military aimed at expansion, first the Baltic states but eventually Europe. While I don't think Germany interrupted a Soviet invasion in 1941, there is little doubt in my mind that by 1943 the Soviets would be rolling west if Hitler had not invaded in 41.

Monash
28 Feb 16,, 12:08
Agreed but without Hitler, Stalin eventually risks taking his place in the eyes of the Anglo/French alliance and other European nations who would tend to gravitate to them for political and military support. Stalin might risk his chances taking small chunks out of Poland, East Prussia, and Hungary etc (maybe even Turkey) but as soon as he tries to make a play for Germany/Central Europe as a whole he would end up facing Britain, France and possibly even Germany in a united campaign against him. And frankly I can't see him even being in a position to contemplate such a move sooner than say the mid 40's. After all Russia was still attempting to re-equip and re-build it's armed forces following the purges when Germany attacked in 41.

astralis
28 Feb 16,, 17:38
z,


Even without Hitler, Germany is trending right through the 30's, Italy has already been in the hard right camp since the 20's, Poland, the Czecks and Finland are all rightwing and Stalin was building a military aimed at expansion, first the Baltic states but eventually Europe. While I don't think Germany interrupted a Soviet invasion in 1941, there is little doubt in my mind that by 1943 the Soviets would be rolling west if Hitler had not invaded in 41.

i doubt this. Stalin himself said he didn't feel ready for a confrontation with Germany until 1943-1944 anyways. Stalin was never a gambler like Hitler, and he was not interested in the worldwide communism thing which Trotsky advocated for.

besides, if there was going to be a Soviet offensive now that Germany quieted down, it'd probably be for another round of fighting against the Japanese.

zraver
28 Feb 16,, 22:38
z,



i doubt this. Stalin himself said he didn't feel ready for a confrontation with Germany until 1943-1944 anyways. Stalin was never a gambler like Hitler, and he was not interested in the worldwide communism thing which Trotsky advocated for.

besides, if there was going to be a Soviet offensive now that Germany quieted down, it'd probably be for another round of fighting against the Japanese.

Without Germany, the strongest army in Europe is the Soviets and Stalin has a beef with most of his neighbors and invaded or made territorial demands on 5 of them IIRC and that was with Hitler in the picture. Without a strong Germany, hes not gambling as much as he is picking low hanging fruit. By 43 the purges are over and many of the mechanized formations have been converted to T-34 and KV tanks which are offensive platforms.

astralis
29 Feb 16,, 00:56
z,


. Without a strong Germany

hitler getting assassinated in 1938 or 1939 still leaves Germany in a fairly strong state.

moreover there's an immense risk in this timeline that without the nastiness that was Hitler, the Western Allies would have easily found common cause with a right-wing Germany against the Red menace...along with the Poles, too, for that matter.

I can see Stalin snaffling up the Baltic states but much more than that, he would have a real war on his hands. Germany would never stand by while Poland got swallowed down, and Poland was a pretty decent second-rate power all by herself.

THAT would be an interesting war if Stalin decided to fight it. French and UK expeditionary troops fighting with the Germans and the Poles in a Russian offensive against Warsaw...

Officer of Engineers
29 Feb 16,, 01:30
hitler getting assassinated in 1938 or 1939 still leaves Germany in a fairly strong state.What strong state? Your premise is that Hitler gets knocked off after Sudetenland and if the Germans did Sudetenland, they wouldn't have an army after that. At least, not a mechanized army.

zraver
29 Feb 16,, 06:12
z,



hitler getting assassinated in 1938 or 1939 still leaves Germany in a fairly strong state.

And if he never rises to power or gets knocked off earlier?


moreover there's an immense risk in this timeline that without the nastiness that was Hitler, the Western Allies would have easily found common cause with a right-wing Germany against the Red menace...along with the Poles, too, for that matter.

I don't see Stalin as that risk averse without Hitler going in to 1943. The Red Army would be mostly rebuilt with equipment vastly superior to anything France and the UK can come up with and in far greater numbers. The VVS would be weaker in terms of technology, but without a re-armed Germany the UK and France are not really going to be pushing aviation development as heavily as they otherwise did. Without Hitler, or with the Skoda works the German army is well trained but small and poorly equipped, at least in terms of countering Soviet deep battle doctrine.

The Poles actually compete with Italy and Romania for having have the strongest army in the West capable of actually fighting since I firmly believe France won't really budge. In fact, the biggest advantage the West might have is Polish intelligence, if the Poles can discover and then convince the rest of the world about the T-34 then you might see the UK build something less terrible than the 2pdr armed Crusader.


I can see Stalin snaffling up the Baltic states but much more than that, he would have a real war on his hands. Germany would never stand by while Poland got swallowed down, and Poland was a pretty decent second-rate power all by herself.

His army still dwarfs all comers, even combined. Depending on how things go in Germany leading to no Hitler the UK might have a good jump on developing heavy bombers. Those and the RN are the only western advantges, but against a pure continental power like the USSR the RN is much less of a factor than it would be against almost anyone else.

THAT would be an interesting war if Stalin decided to fight it. French and UK expeditionary troops fighting with the Germans and the Poles in a Russian offensive against Warsaw...[/QUOTE]

If the UK was not already embroiled in a war in the Pacific...

Officer of Engineers
29 Feb 16,, 18:53
Thinking this through, I don't think Russia have that much of an advantage. The only example of maneuver war before BARBAROSSA that they did was with the Japanese and that was with the Mongolian open plains. Plus, if the Germans did the Sudetenland, then, fortifications would have re-exerted itself as the primary means of warfare. The Russians would have to smash through variations of the MAGINOT LINE and though Stalin is a butcher, I can't see him bleeding 500,000 lives just to take Warsaw.

lineisyjanelle
01 Jul 16,, 12:12
The United States Third Army enjoyed an impressive history of glory and victory during it's lifetime. The Third Army was at it's best and most famous when it was commanded by the great combat general, George Smith Patton, Jr.

One of the thousands of battle hardened veterans of the Second World War who served under Patton's command said of the fighting unit, "The Third under Patton, was probably the cleanest, neatest army that ever fought a war. Patton saw to that. And I've always believed that was one of the reasons it was such a fine army. We hated the rules, but we never lost a battle."

It was under the command of General Patton that the Third Army saw it's only period of actual combat.