View Poll Results: Could Germany have won WW II

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  • Yes Germany could have won

    32 0.44%
  • No they were destined to lose

    7,286 99.56%
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Thread: Could Germany have won WWII

  1. #2881
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    The impact of strategic bombardment of Germany and occupied Europe is very hard to quantify, given that Germany's industrial output increased YoY between 1942 and 1944. The question becomes "How much MORE would the output have increased without the bombing campaign?"

    This question will never be answered. I'd suggest the obvious damage, and more importantly, the tying up of manpower, 88's and other AAA pieces, and ultimately the strangling of petroleum and transportation, made the campaign valuable.

    The contribution of strategic bombardment to the defeat of Japan is undeniable. The one-two punch of Naval commerce and transport destruction and USAAF mainland bombardment, effectively cut off the Japanese tentacles and isolated them.

  2. #2882
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    chogy,

    interesting you bring this up. this was recently discussed on Stirling mailing list-- the what if resources were used elsewhere argument.

    ----

    "-- it would have made it possible to exert much more pressure on the
    Germans on the ground.

    But one of the reasons the British put so much effort into the bomber war
    was precisely to -avoid- fighting the Germans on the ground.

    In a way, the actual results in terms of hurting the Germans were
    irrelevant. The political-strategic aim was satisfied as long as the bomber
    offensive gave the -appearance- of doing something significant.

    (Mind you, Harris and Churchill really did believe the arguments they
    advanced; it's just that it was so convenient to believe them that they were
    probably impervious to evidence that they were wrong, of which there was a
    good deal at the time.)

    Almost anything that beat the U-boats earlier would have opened out a lot
    of options for Anglo-American action; this was the great bottleneck, the
    "only thing that frightened me", as Churchill put it. "

    ----

    " The Mosquito in particular had exceptional range (it could
    go to East Prussia and back) and was so fast that interception was extremely
    difficult for German fighters.

    Mosquito speed and maneuverability was so good that modified models were
    used as heavy fighters and fighter-bombers. The 2-man crew and high speed
    meant that unarmed Mosquito bombers could deliver ordinance far more
    cost-effectively than Lancasters or B-17's. That's why they were used for
    precision attacks, like the raid on the Gestapo HQ in Copenhagen.

    WWII heavy bomber design was based on an erroneous defense concept; they
    kept trying to design a four-engine bomber that could -fight- interceptors.
    Hence "Flying Fortress". This was inherently wrongheaded. The solution
    was to design bombers that had little or no defensive armament but were so
    fast that it was difficult to get an attack run at them -- and of course to
    put escort fighters around them in great numbers."
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  3. #2883
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Astralis,

    There were different concepts in Allied Strategic bombardment.

    Brits were ready to sacrifice as many German civilians as needed, (since the Germans didn't care about Polish and British civilians, why would they care about Germans), while the American were more cautious and paid attention to abide to FDR's appeal of 1939, until late 1944.

    Unless you take German civilians as "resources", the Brits were not focused on resources only, but on revenge.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  4. #2884
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    doktor,

    Unless you take German civilians as "resources", the Brits were not focused on resources only, but on revenge.
    which does not necessarily disagree with Mr Stirling's statement,

    In a way, the actual results in terms of hurting the Germans were irrelevant. The political-strategic aim was satisfied as long as the bomber offensive gave the -appearance- of doing something significant.
    also shows the mistake of acting out of a sense of vengeance. the british DID try to make a strategic argument out of it by stating that such bombardment would "break enemy morale", but continued this process even when evidence pointed the other way.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  5. #2885
    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    I agree. the flying fortress idea was a failure, the B17 only carried 8000# of bombs, something two single engine fighter bombers could do by the end of the war. The B29 wasn't all that effective in Japan until Le May took most of the guns off and dropped down to 10,000 feet. The B36 was a odd duck with all those retractable 20mm turrets - and never dropped a single bomb on an enemy, but the B52 is still with us, it has dropped more bombs than any other bomber type, having been designed with a single gun turret.
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
    If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

  6. #2886
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    I guess they couldn't come up with a better idea of selfdefense bomber then the fortress at the time.

    I am curious how Harris survived so long. RAF lost more crew members and pilots then bombed Germans on the ground.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  7. #2887
    Senior Contributor 1979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    I guess they couldn't come up with a better idea of selfdefense bomber then the fortress at the time.

    I am curious how Harris survived so long. RAF lost more crew members and pilots then bombed Germans on the ground.
    Four and half years the fighting was on the outskirts of Europe, Harris made the Germans feel it's effects on their homes... literally.
    J'ai en marre.

  8. #2888
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1979 View Post
    Four and half years the fighting was on the outskirts of Europe, Harris made the Germans feel it's effects on their homes... literally.
    At what costs?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  9. #2889
    Senior Contributor 1979's Avatar
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    isn't a airmen a soldier like any other ?
    J'ai en marre.

  10. #2890
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1979 View Post
    isn't a airmen a soldier like any other ?
    Americans did sorties over Germany, too, but their loses were lower.

    As for your comment, a soldier in the plane is same like a soldier in the tank.

    You don't send your conscripts directly to any of those without training.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  11. #2891
    Senior Contributor 1979's Avatar
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    They had a late start.
    AFAIK in terms of personnel the losses were about the same.
    J'ai en marre.

  12. #2892
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    1979,

    Four and half years the fighting was on the outskirts of Europe, Harris made the Germans feel it's effects on their homes... literally.
    which actually solidified german morale until the very end. oops.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  13. #2893
    Senior Contributor 1979's Avatar
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    Being left homeless definitively has a effect on anyone morale, but I would not go as far as calling it solidification.
    J'ai en marre.

  14. #2894
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    Quote Originally Posted by USSWisconsin View Post
    I agree. the flying fortress idea was a failure, the B17 only carried 8000# of bombs, something two single engine fighter bombers could do by the end of the war. The B29 wasn't all that effective in Japan until Le May took most of the guns off and dropped down to 10,000 feet. The B36 was a odd duck with all those retractable 20mm turrets - and never dropped a single bomb on an enemy, but the B52 is still with us, it has dropped more bombs than any other bomber type, having been designed with a single gun turret.
    The load was as limited by the wing spars as anything. The B-17 wingers were mounted low and the spars went through the aircraft instead of being attached to the aircraft like the B-24 or the British bombers. It made the bird incredibly tough.

    Also v the whole fighterbobmer thing.

    A fighter bomber can't bomb and do A2A- the B-17 could.
    A fighter bobmer can't carry 8,000lbs to Berlin- the B-17 could.
    A fighter bomber that lost an engine was called a crash....
    A fighter bomber had a harder time navigating if weather turned bad
    A fighterbomber and pee break are an oxymoron....

  15. #2895
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    A blast from the past: not suggesting this thread be revived, other than as reference for those who can't now find it.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility

    Gottfried Leibniz

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