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Thread: Fall of France

  1. #226
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    ahh, forget WAB...i knew Col Yu back when he was ripping people to pieces on the now defunct China Military Forum. this was around 1999-2000. you think this is bad, this is nothing compared to the treatment meted out to the China PLA fanboys.

    Toby,

    just read up on it on wiki if nothing else. there's a reason why the Japanese were ripped to shreds in such a short period of time. i remember one of my earlier discussions with the colonel, that part of the reason for this was that the Japanese by then had been sending their best troops to fight the Americans in the Pacific or to defend their home islands. but reading through the way the Soviets repeatedly encircled the clueless Japanese persuaded me that even the 1941 IJA would have been wrecked by such an application of mobility.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    ahh, forget WAB...i knew Col Yu back when he was ripping people to pieces on the now defunct China Military Forum. this was around 1999-2000. you think this is bad, this is nothing compared to the treatment meted out to the China PLA fanboys.

    Toby,

    just read up on it on wiki if nothing else. there's a reason why the Japanese were ripped to shreds in such a short period of time. i remember one of my earlier discussions with the colonel, that part of the reason for this was that the Japanese by then had been sending their best troops to fight the Americans in the Pacific or to defend their home islands. but reading through the way the Soviets repeatedly encircled the clueless Japanese persuaded me that even the 1941 IJA would have been wrecked by such an application of mobility.
    Hence my point about a series of set piece battles rather than a single grand offensive like August Storm. The Soviets in 41 had the doctrine, and even the sharp end of the spear equipment, but not the coordination, communications, logistical capability, small unit and tactical level leadership or soldier training. Based on how the Siberian and FE divisions did against the Germans in 41, they were hardly elite troops. Stalin started pulling troops from the FE in June (11 div) totaling 28 divisions by December. Soviet FE divisions had less combat power than western formations being generally smaller units.
    An Axis History forum post lists the Soviet FE as having 780k men in June 41 with roughly 7400 heavy guns, 6000+ heavy mortars, 3200 tanks, 15,000 trucks, 90K horses. If Stalin wants to invade Germany, he won't be sending much east. He has enough there to do the job. Japan has 13 divisions guarding the borders and a further 25 in interior China. The Soviet FE forces are enough to crush the Japanese on the Mongolian and Manchurian borders, but it wont be a sweeping double envelopment. It will be a blundering ugly bloodletting.The Japanese are at least as good as the Finns defending, but don't have winter or narrow forest tracks to channel the Soviets.

  3. #228
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Hence my point about a series of set piece battles rather than a single grand offensive like August Storm. The Soviets in 41 had the doctrine, and even the sharp end of the spear equipment, but not the coordination, communications, logistical capability, small unit and tactical level leadership or soldier training. Based on how the Siberian and FE divisions did against the Germans in 41, they were hardly elite troops. Stalin started pulling troops from the FE in June (11 div) totaling 28 divisions by December. Soviet FE divisions had less combat power than western formations being generally smaller units.
    An Axis History forum post lists the Soviet FE as having 780k men in June 41 with roughly 7400 heavy guns, 6000+ heavy mortars, 3200 tanks, 15,000 trucks, 90K horses. If Stalin wants to invade Germany, he won't be sending much east. He has enough there to do the job. Japan has 13 divisions guarding the borders and a further 25 in interior China. The Soviet FE forces are enough to crush the Japanese on the Mongolian and Manchurian borders, but it wont be a sweeping double envelopment. It will be a blundering ugly bloodletting.The Japanese are at least as good as the Finns defending, but don't have winter or narrow forest tracks to channel the Soviets.
    Z,

    I think in this scenario Stalin isn't planning to invade Germany for a few years - 1943 or 44 at the earliest. He will likely keep building up the 'Stalin Line' (just in case) and leave quality troops in the west, but at the very least transfer some A grade divisions to lead the attack. I'm thinking some quality armored troops & maybe the equivalent of mechanized infantry with troops from the FE making up the rest. I also wonder if they might use paratroops. They were a part of Russian offensive doctrine & there hadn't been a chance to use them in Finland.

    If Stalin still harbors plans to invade Germany he will want to give experience to at least some of the troops & commanders who are going to do it.

    I also reckon 1942 is when he will go. I seem to recall Stalin was very well informed on Japanese plans via Richard Sorge, so he will have a fair idea that Japan plans to attack into Sth East Asia & take on the Allies. Hard to believe he would do anything to dissuade Japan from doing this. It will also give him time to divert more resources to the KMT & CCP & get them to draw off more Japanese resources. As with the Germans in France, he may get a shock at the speed of the conquest in SEA. However, even if that unfolds exactly as it did in OTL it means a lot of Japanese soldiers a long way from Manchuria.


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  4. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    Z,

    I think in this scenario Stalin isn't planning to invade Germany for a few years - 1943 or 44 at the earliest. He will likely keep building up the 'Stalin Line' (just in case) and leave quality troops in the west, but at the very least transfer some A grade divisions to lead the attack. I'm thinking some quality armored troops & maybe the equivalent of mechanized infantry with troops from the FE making up the rest. I also wonder if they might use paratroops. They were a part of Russian offensive doctrine & there hadn't been a chance to use them in Finland.

    If Stalin still harbors plans to invade Germany he will want to give experience to at least some of the troops & commanders who are going to do it.

    I also reckon 1942 is when he will go. I seem to recall Stalin was very well informed on Japanese plans via Richard Sorge, so he will have a fair idea that Japan plans to attack into Sth East Asia & take on the Allies. Hard to believe he would do anything to dissuade Japan from doing this. It will also give him time to divert more resources to the KMT & CCP & get them to draw off more Japanese resources. As with the Germans in France, he may get a shock at the speed of the conquest in SEA. However, even if that unfolds exactly as it did in OTL it means a lot of Japanese soldiers a long way from Manchuria.
    Well, Zhukov is in the East and has already bested the Japanese in 39 with whats in hand. Since then the IJA has been static although the IJAAF has upgraded its planes. So a few divisions, maybe. Some equipment certainly, but there just isn't the logistical support for much more, not in 42, not for an August Storm style offensive that would double the size of the Soviet forces in the Far East.

  5. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Well, Zhukov is in the East and has already bested the Japanese in 39 with whats in hand. Since then the IJA has been static although the IJAAF has upgraded its planes. So a few divisions, maybe. Some equipment certainly, but there just isn't the logistical support for much more, not in 42, not for an August Storm style offensive that would double the size of the Soviet forces in the Far East.
    The choice of commanders would be interesting. Zhukov is an obvious choice for a senior role, but you get the feeling not everyone will be of quality. Another opportunity here to find out who is up to it & who isn't. Of course, without the shock of 1941 Stalin is less likely to take military advice than he became.

    Fair point on numbers, a bit of an increase with quality overall being higher. The VVS will also be of much higher quality. Their frontline fighters will be competitive with whatever Japan fields. That T-50 tank looks like a handy little machine for this particular war. Japanese tanks would seriously struggle against it and it could be deployed in areas the larger tanks won't go.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    The choice of commanders would be interesting. Zhukov is an obvious choice for a senior role, but you get the feeling not everyone will be of quality. Another opportunity here to find out who is up to it & who isn't. Of course, without the shock of 1941 Stalin is less likely to take military advice than he became.

    Fair point on numbers, a bit of an increase with quality overall being higher. The VVS will also be of much higher quality. Their frontline fighters will be competitive with whatever Japan fields. That T-50 tank looks like a handy little machine for this particular war. Japanese tanks would seriously struggle against it and it could be deployed in areas the larger tanks won't go.
    The T-50 was probably the ultimate expression of the Pre-War infantry tank concept. Less armor than the Matilda II, smaller gun than the Pz IV, but better balanced and faster overall. Against Japanese armor and 37mm AT weapons it might as well be a Tiger II.

    I don't think the VVS will do well at all. They have a couple of very nice planes like the Pe-2 and Il-2 but junk training and tactical concept. Most importantly, they drew opposite lessons from Japan in plane design and tried to develop Western style fighters along the line the Me-109 and Spitfire. But they employed them in a manner more consistent with how Japan envisioned air combat; low altitude turning fights. A Lagg-3 or Mig-3 in a turning fight with Oscars and Zeros is a losing bet. The Soviet fighters don't have the speed or the doctrine to win a fight the way the P-40 could if employed correctly. At low altitude the Mig-3 was sluggish and less maneuverable than the Me-109 or Spitfire and a top speed of only 314mph below 20,000' and a 2600'/m climb rate. Compare that to the Zero A6M2 which had a speed of 336mph, incredible turn radius, heavier armament, and a climb rate of 3100'/m. Late War Soviet designs depended on imported American high-octane avgas that would not be available. Plus Japanese pilots have a lot of combat experience in turning fights. The Soviets were supplying the KMT with I-15's (and variants) and I-16's and variants.The Soviet's have combat experienced pilots, but they are all in China as part of the Soviet Volunteer Group through the end of 41 and would not have time to train the rest of the VVS in anti-Japanese tactics for a war in 42. Plus by 41 they were beginning to get creamed by Zeros despite dominating the Japanese earlier in the war.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Volunteer_Group

  7. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Hence my point about a series of set piece battles rather than a single grand offensive like August Storm.
    If we are to assume that the Finland Winter War also took place, then Zukhov's faction within the Red Army would come to dominate as in detailed planning, logistical build up, fire support prep, and a proper order of battle (ie, training) as opposed to Voroshilov who expected everything to be easy. The Winter War didn't replaced the purged officer corps but it did got rid of some of the boneheads in the Red Army.

    However, I question whether set battles would take place. AUGUST STORM was a classic pincer movement. The North Front was the fixing force and the East and West Fronts were the pincers. The OTL saw all three fronts steamed roll over the Japanese, even the fixing force and bypassed several strong points. The Kwantung Army was expecting the North Front but were completely surprised by the East and West Fronts.

    That would still be the case here. We can expect Zhukov to carry out a planning and prep work to his liking, meaning he would get his 81 Divisions instead of the 45 that was on the border. At best, I can see the Kwantung Army putting up a much more stiffer resistance against the North Front but they still would be suprised by the East and West Front. The North Front would get bloodied but that's its job, to fix the Kwantung Army in place.

    I don't see any rationale to expect the Kwantung Army to be prepared for the East and West Fronts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    I don't think the VVS will do well at all. They have a couple of very nice planes like the Pe-2 and Il-2 but junk training and tactical concept. Most importantly, they drew opposite lessons from Japan in plane design and tried to develop Western style fighters along the line the Me-109 and Spitfire. But they employed them in a manner more consistent with how Japan envisioned air combat; low altitude turning fights. A Lagg-3 or Mig-3 in a turning fight with Oscars and Zeros is a losing bet. The Soviet fighters don't have the speed or the doctrine to win a fight the way the P-40 could if employed correctly. At low altitude the Mig-3 was sluggish and less maneuverable than the Me-109 or Spitfire and a top speed of only 314mph below 20,000' and a 2600'/m climb rate. Compare that to the Zero A6M2 which had a speed of 336mph, incredible turn radius, heavier armament, and a climb rate of 3100'/m. Late War Soviet designs depended on imported American high-octane avgas that would not be available. Plus Japanese pilots have a lot of combat experience in turning fights. The Soviets were supplying the KMT with I-15's (and variants) and I-16's and variants.The Soviet's have combat experienced pilots, but they are all in China as part of the Soviet Volunteer Group through the end of 41 and would not have time to train the rest of the VVS in anti-Japanese tactics for a war in 42. Plus by 41 they were beginning to get creamed by Zeros despite dominating the Japanese earlier in the war.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Volunteer_Group
    The old joke of two Soviet Field Marshalls sitting at a cafe in Paris comes to mind. "So, who won the air war?"

  9. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    Do you seriously not know who WABs_OOE is? Ever wonder why some folk address the 'NOOB' as 'sir'? When I first got here the Colonel didn't consider it a good week until he had torn a few limbs off a 'NOOB'. harsh but fair ;-). You are just lucky that he has mellowed in his old age.

    I'm afraid the 'NOOB' here is you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    OoE is shorthand for Officer of Engineers. He's been on WAB since summer 2003.
    Quote Originally Posted by Triple C View Post
    OOE is the highest ranking ret. soldier on this board with command experience in a shooting war or two.
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    That was far more diplomatic than I would have been. I may have gotten banned or at least a strongly worded missive had I seen and been able to reply to that post.

    Hey Toby, ever been beat about the head by a one armed man? I would gladly do it too you. Used to have 2 arms, but when I was a noob, OOE tore one off. It would behoove you too apologize, the colonel is a man of honor. There is a lot of backstory here that you don't know, will likely never know. You are a late comer to this party. We've watched each others kids grow up, seen each other get married, divorced and sadly watched far too many members of the community die.

    And Holy Shit, I've been a member here for over a decade.

    BF, one week exactly till you hit a decade as a wabbit.
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    ahh, forget WAB...i knew Col Yu back when he was ripping people to pieces on the now defunct China Military Forum. this was around 1999-2000. you think this is bad, this is nothing compared to the treatment meted out to the China PLA fanboys.
    I should copy this for my obituary.

  10. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    If we are to assume that the Finland Winter War also took place, then Zukhov's faction within the Red Army would come to dominate as in detailed planning, logistical build up, fire support prep, and a proper order of battle (ie, training) as opposed to Voroshilov who expected everything to be easy. The Winter War didn't replaced the purged officer corps but it did got rid of some of the boneheads in the Red Army.

    However, I question whether set battles would take place. AUGUST STORM was a classic pincer movement. The North Front was the fixing force and the East and West Fronts were the pincers. The OTL saw all three fronts steamed roll over the Japanese, even the fixing force and bypassed several strong points. The Kwantung Army was expecting the North Front but were completely surprised by the East and West Fronts.

    That would still be the case here. We can expect Zhukov to carry out a planning and prep work to his liking, meaning he would get his 81 Divisions instead of the 45 that was on the border. At best, I can see the Kwantung Army putting up a much more stiffer resistance against the North Front but they still would be suprised by the East and West Front. The North Front would get bloodied but that's its job, to fix the Kwantung Army in place.

    I don't see any rationale to expect the Kwantung Army to be prepared for the East and West Fronts.
    Sir, I don't see the Soviet's in 42 being able to pull it off. If Zhukov was in command, he'd try. His head always outpaced his ability. But the lack of motor transport, rail lines, depth of China, short range of the most common Soviet tanks etc means he'll have to attack and envelope on a much smaller scale. He'll get the border divisions in the bag sure enough, but the interior divisions will take a further series of attacks.

    As for the air war, that is why I don't think the VVS being out performed by the IJAAF and IJNAF will change the outcome. It takes an air force along the lines of what the US/UK could put in the air in 44/45 too really have an impact across the breadth and depth of a battle. The primary goal of the PVS will be to stop Japanese recon and tactical bombers from revealing or blunting Soviet thrusts and using their own tac air as flying artillery to bust up stubborn knots of Japanese defenders.

  11. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    For those who might have joined us recently, that is pretty damned close to the beginning of life on WAB.
    OoE was here before WAB was WAB, when we were on globalrelations.net. He's a principal founding member, though wasn't a staff member until later. He was Canuckian, IIRC, back on Pakistani Defence Forum. 15-20 of us left PDF to found the forum that eventually became WAB. I didn't know about the Chinese forum, apparently he had his fingers in quite a few pies.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 06 Jan 18, at 06:12.

  12. #237
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    The T-50 was probably the ultimate expression of the Pre-War infantry tank concept. Less armor than the Matilda II, smaller gun than the Pz IV, but better balanced and faster overall. Against Japanese armor and 37mm AT weapons it might as well be a Tiger II.

    I don't think the VVS will do well at all. They have a couple of very nice planes like the Pe-2 and Il-2 but junk training and tactical concept. Most importantly, they drew opposite lessons from Japan in plane design and tried to develop Western style fighters along the line the Me-109 and Spitfire. But they employed them in a manner more consistent with how Japan envisioned air combat; low altitude turning fights. A Lagg-3 or Mig-3 in a turning fight with Oscars and Zeros is a losing bet. The Soviet fighters don't have the speed or the doctrine to win a fight the way the P-40 could if employed correctly. At low altitude the Mig-3 was sluggish and less maneuverable than the Me-109 or Spitfire and a top speed of only 314mph below 20,000' and a 2600'/m climb rate. Compare that to the Zero A6M2 which had a speed of 336mph, incredible turn radius, heavier armament, and a climb rate of 3100'/m. Late War Soviet designs depended on imported American high-octane avgas that would not be available. Plus Japanese pilots have a lot of combat experience in turning fights. The Soviets were supplying the KMT with I-15's (and variants) and I-16's and variants.The Soviet's have combat experienced pilots, but they are all in China as part of the Soviet Volunteer Group through the end of 41 and would not have time to train the rest of the VVS in anti-Japanese tactics for a war in 42. Plus by 41 they were beginning to get creamed by Zeros despite dominating the Japanese earlier in the war.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Volunteer_Group
    The Yak-1 compares pretty well with Japanese aircraft, and it had decent low altitude performance. I don't know how steep the Russian learning curve would have been, but they don't have to dominate the air, just make sure the Japanese don't. The Russians showed themselves capable of learning quickly enough when they needed to. I suspect some of those more experienced pilots & officers would rapidly find their advice being sought. Russia also has an advantage in numbers. They may not be able to deploy that due to logistics issues, but they can replace aircraft very quickly.


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  13. #238
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    OoE was here before WAB was WAB, when we were on globalrelations.net. He's a founding member, though wasn't a staff member until later. He was Canuckian, IIRC, back on PDF. 15-20 of us left PDF to found a forum that eventually became WAB.
    Thanks. I thought he was a founder member via PDF, but it was before my time so I wasn't 100%. Very much part of the DNA of this place.

    I think we all remember our first encounters with the Colonel. Some lived to tell the tale and learned something, others..... :-)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    The Yak-1 compares pretty well with Japanese aircraft, and it had decent low altitude performance. I don't know how steep the Russian learning curve would have been, but they don't have to dominate the air, just make sure the Japanese don't. The Russians showed themselves capable of learning quickly enough when they needed to. I suspect some of those more experienced pilots & officers would rapidly find their advice being sought. Russia also has an advantage in numbers. They may not be able to deploy that due to logistics issues, but they can replace aircraft very quickly.
    The Yak was a good match by all accounts, but was only about 1/4 of Soviet fighter aircraft production in 41 and a far smaller number of actual fighters as far as I can tell. Plus the bulk of the VVS is still going to be made up of older I-15/16 series craft. The VVS was huge in 1941, 9600 aircraft. Without a total war footing, that is a slow turnover in planes. Smaller air forces can modernize quicker. Still I don't see the Japanese air forces stopping the Soviets. Japanese tactical thinking in the air was never really developed past win the dog fight and sink the ship. Allied pilots called Japanese attacks swarms because they lacked any identifiable cohesion. They didn't even use wingmen in most cases but were a mass of individual samurai. Thier strength was in the pilots. In 41 the Japanese pilots were both the best in the world (IJNAF) in terms of individual skill and second best (IJAAF). They relied on a relatively small but elite cadre which doomed them when a world war kicked off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Sir, I don't see the Soviet's in 42 being able to pull it off. If Zhukov was in command, he'd try. His head always outpaced his ability. But the lack of motor transport, rail lines, depth of China, short range of the most common Soviet tanks etc means he'll have to attack and envelope on a much smaller scale. He'll get the border divisions in the bag sure enough, but the interior divisions will take a further series of attacks.
    But we're only talking Manchuria and Korea, not all of China which is about the same size as Finland.

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