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Thread: What Weapon Had the Largest Impact on the Outcome of WWII?

  1. #46
    Banned Defense Professional Bluesman's Avatar
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    C'mon, guys, the Battle of the Bulge wasn't a weapon, it was an event. Focus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluesman View Post
    It's not a weapon; it's weapon PART.
    Sure, just like high explosives are a weapon part. However, join the two together in a suitable fragmentable projectile and the effect on a massed division is much the same as your photo of Bremen, but in a more 'body bits strewn randomly' sort of way.

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    I think I still agree with shek on this one. The use of radio waves was the most important aid to the allies victory. Yes, the axis used the radio spectrum as well, but they did not use it nearly as well. Radar? In the Pacific theater, our vast superiority in radar meant victory in many cases, and proximity fuses, basically tiny radar sets, saved many ships from sinking. Using radar on our subs greatly increased their effectiveness, allowing them to stay surfaced more of the time, and allowing them to find their targets in all sorts of conditions. In the battle of the Atlantic, radar made it unsafe for any U-boat to stay surfaced for long, or even use a snorkel. Detecting U-boat radio comms and triangulating them was another devastating tactic. Radar helped save Britain during the Blitz. Proximity fuses again played a huge role. Radio communications were one of the key factors in the development of blitzkrieg. You might argue that blitzkrieg was impossible without it, in fact. Without radio, the war might not have lasted much time at all, or simply stagnated.

    It seems to me that for this question to have any meaning, it has to be limited to revolutionary/new/transformational weapons. Otherwise one could argue that the rifle or the breech loading cannon was just as important as the tank. Which they were, but it kind of misses the point.

    Of course, "radio spectrum" is a very, very broad category, kind of like "airplane," or "armored warfare." And one could argue persuasively that air warfare was just as transformational. But then, like Bluesman said of radar, both sides had them. It was more an issue of who could produce planes faster. And the Allies win in industrial production, hands down.

    Speaking of strategic bombing, I've always wondered how Germany's industry would have fared without it. Considering that their industrial production continually increased during the bombing years, does that mean that our bombing was ineffective, or that German industry would have increased even more without it? Also, how effective was the bombing of the synfuels plants? If IIRC, the Ploesti bombing had very little impact, but I can't remember if we crippled the synfuels production or not. If we did, that was a truly major blow.
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    Okay, I'll broaden and agree on radio wave applications.
    Lol, this is going to be one hell of a school history report if this kids paying attention

  5. #50
    Banned Defense Professional Bluesman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmchairGeneral View Post
    I think I still agree with shek on this one. The use of radio waves was the most important aid to the allies victory. Yes, the axis used the radio spectrum as well, but they did not use it nearly as well. Radar? In the Pacific theater, our vast superiority in radar meant victory in many cases, and proximity fuses, basically tiny radar sets, saved many ships from sinking. Using radar on our subs greatly increased their effectiveness, allowing them to stay surfaced more of the time, and allowing them to find their targets in all sorts of conditions. In the battle of the Atlantic, radar made it unsafe for any U-boat to stay surfaced for long, or even use a snorkel. Detecting U-boat radio comms and triangulating them was another devastating tactic. Radar helped save Britain during the Blitz. Proximity fuses again played a huge role. Radio communications were one of the key factors in the development of blitzkrieg. You might argue that blitzkrieg was impossible without it, in fact. Without radio, the war might not have lasted much time at all, or simply stagnated.

    It seems to me that for this question to have any meaning, it has to be limited to revolutionary/new/transformational weapons. Otherwise one could argue that the rifle or the breech loading cannon was just as important as the tank. Which they were, but it kind of misses the point.

    Of course, "radio spectrum" is a very, very broad category, kind of like "airplane," or "armored warfare." And one could argue persuasively that air warfare was just as transformational. But then, like Bluesman said of radar, both sides had them. It was more an issue of who could produce planes faster. And the Allies win in industrial production, hands down.

    Speaking of strategic bombing, I've always wondered how Germany's industry would have fared without it. Considering that their industrial production continually increased during the bombing years, does that mean that our bombing was ineffective, or that German industry would have increased even more without it? Also, how effective was the bombing of the synfuels plants? If IIRC, the Ploesti bombing had very little impact, but I can't remember if we crippled the synfuels production or not. If we did, that was a truly major blow.
    Well, I agree that radio and all its permutations were transformational, but is it a WEAPON? I say no; it makes employment of weapons possible, it makes weapons more effective.

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    I would say the British Breaking the German code with the Enigma was the biggest factor in that war.


    Knowing when and where the Germans planned to attack was the key IMO


    A point could be made for the P51 Mustang. It allowed the Allies to use there heavy bombers with Fighter Escorts.
    Last edited by Canuck; 14 Feb 07, at 14:26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canuck View Post
    I would say the British Breaking the German code with the Enigma was the biggest factor in that war.


    Knowing when and where the Germans planned to attack was the key IMO


    A point could be made for the P51 Mustang. It allowed the Allies to use there heavy bombers with Fighter Escorts.
    I'd say your P-51 is a dam' good pick. After all, Goering said he knew they'd lose when he saw the first enemy fighters over Berlin.

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    "When I saw those Mustangs over Berlin, I knew that the war was lost."
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    HKHolic Senior Contributor leib10's Avatar
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    Speaking of strategic bombing, I've always wondered how Germany's industry would have fared without it. Considering that their industrial production continually increased during the bombing years, does that mean that our bombing was ineffective, or that German industry would have increased even more without it? Also, how effective was the bombing of the synfuels plants? If IIRC, the Ploesti bombing had very little impact, but I can't remember if we crippled the synfuels production or not. If we did, that was a truly major blow.
    I've always wondered this as well. For one part, a lot of industries were stripped down and sent to the countryside where they were manufactured in smaller workshops and were far less vulnerable (for instance, small arms components). Some industries, like the production line for the V2, were placed underground.

    As for the Ploesti oil fields, the Americans launched many raids against it, including Operation Tidal Wave. The Germans lost a good deal of their production capacity and many fighters trying to protect the target over time, but damage was usually soon repaired until the Soviets captured it in 1944.

    In an interesting sidenote from Hans von Luck's Panzer Commander, he related how the Allied system worked in regards to intelligence. He noticed that the bombers would come back to a target time and time again until it was truly out of operation. It was obvious that somebody was in the factory giving the Allies information about how much damage the factory had taken and whether it was operational or not. Once it was destroyed, the Germans (or the foreigners working for them) would just begin to rebuild it again, and in a few days the process would repeat itself.
    Last edited by leib10; 14 Feb 07, at 15:32.
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    The critical impact on Gemrany via heavy bombing wasn't industry. It was on the luftwaffe and its scarce irepalcable fighter pilots and the huge numbers of 88mm guns needed in the east. With out the 8th and RAF Bomber Command Ivan never would have made it west of the Dniepr and Normandy could not have happened.

    In the pacific the nearly invulnerable (to light japanese fighters) B-17's and B-24's doing long range patrols found and thus allowed to be sank more Japanese surface shipping than any other source. Later when the B-29 entered the fray Japan it self was subjected to devestating attacks that did have impact promised by the bomber crowd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    In the pacific the nearly invulnerable (to light japanese fighters) B-17's and B-24's doing long range patrols found and thus allowed to be sank more Japanese surface shipping than any other source.
    Are you sure about this? From what I've read in the past submarines accounted for a majority of Japanese shipping losses, 60% according to this: RESULTS OF THE GERMAN AND AMERICAN SUBMARINE CAMPAIGNS OF WORLD WAR II
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  12. #57
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    Factories. The U.S. could out produce bombers, fighters,ships, tanks, guns and ammo, and everything else, faster than the axis powers could destroy them. The U.S. not only supplied itself, but gave items to England and Russia as well. The U.S. and the U.S. alone could replace horrible losses on the battlefields, the oceans, and the air.
    People who "worked for a living" also paid dividends on the battlefield. No one knew how to do field repairs on machinery like the farmers who did the same things many times before on the farm. Those who built things with their hands,(read preautomation) can use those same skills on the battlefield. I am talking machinists, mechanics, welders and the like.

    Now that the U.S. has all but given up on its factories in pursuit of the almighty dollar, China, with its huge and growing, industrial capacity has a chance to win the next world war as long as the war does not go nuclear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonehead View Post
    Now that the U.S. has all but given up on its factories in pursuit of the almighty dollar, China, with its huge and growing, industrial capacity has a chance to win the next world war as long as the war does not go nuclear.
    I'd put American industry against Chinese industry any day. Unless we're talking tennis shoe production.
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    im still sticking to the Liberty ship. Without this, the US would have been able to reliable supply the european allies, or even fight them for that matter.
    The reason is because after dec. 7th 1941, ww2 took a turn for the good. The us had the supplies/resources/and man power to fight a world war, and once they had there bombers stationed in england, and massive bombing raids had begun. The results of this were a huge impact to the german industrial industries, as well as moral, and a good moral is one of the big factors of winning a war.
    Oh and how did the bombers get to england? Noo wayy, Liberty Ships!! Once we entered the war and began sending massive coveys across the atlantic, the war was won.

    On a side note, the same thing happend in world war one. 1917, when us entered, Germany had just launched there massive offensive which had sent all the other countries packing. I mean they came like 60km away from paris. And then the us troops landed with all there supplies, and pushed them back. Ohh and how did they get there?? transport ships.

    Im telling yall, history repets itself, and you cant fight a war if your not there.

    Hands down, have to say its the Liberty ship, i dont know why there isnt more people saying this. I mean it wasnt some advanced technology or some big gun that won the war, but rather a simple very very lightly armoured and poorly built slow moving boat.

    but hey, what do i know right? lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by SupraQuinn View Post
    On a side note, the same thing happend in world war one. 1917, when us entered, Germany had just launched there massive offensive which had sent all the other countries packing. I mean they came like 60km away from paris. And then the us troops landed with all there supplies, and pushed them back. Ohh and how did they get there?? transport ships.
    Continuing off topic, the German offensive had largely been broken by British/Dominion troops by the time the US got involved (and even when they did, the US were a pretty minor and relatively insignificant adjunct to the French troops). They certainly hadn't sent "other countries packing" - indeed German casualties were substantially higher than the combined British/Dominion and French casualties on the Somme, and even worse were concentrated among the Stosstruppen who were creamed off as the best soldiers in the German army.

    Apologies for the rant, but you'll find a great many of us Yuropeans get very grumpy indeed when we see Americans claiming to have had a major impact in WW1 - and particularly when they claim to have "saved Europe". They made a significant contribution and it is arguable that the Kaiserschlacht would not have been launched but for the presence of a lot of US troops in France. In battlefield terms however their contribution was smaller than that of Australia or Canada.
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