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The Allies never get air superiority

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by T. A. Gardner, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. RAM

    RAM Member

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    You do have a point here, TOS. One has to keep in mind that Britain had almost exhausted its resources on manpower by the fall of 1944. The UK could no longer make good the losses on the continent. A stronger Luftwaffe would inflict more casualties and losses on the Allied. One can perhaps imagine a worst case scenario on the western front where the Allied offensive grind to a halt along a line streching from Antwerp-Brussels-Bastogne to Strasbourg. On the Eastern Front the Russians, less sensitive to human losses and with shorter supply lines and not depending on sea transport, would continue to push the Germans to the west. Agreement or not, I do think Stalin would have taken the opportunity to push all the way to the North Sea if there was an American-British stalemate on the Western Front.

    The political landscape in postwar Europe would have been quite different, with all the territory of Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and perhaps Norway under Soviet control.
     
  2. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    Better than the Mediterrainin battles of 1943 for study of a battlefield where the Axis retained air parity would the be the Eastern Front. Through 1943 neither side had overall superiority. The two air forces played a game of point/counter point where they massed air groups to achieve local superiority for a few days or weeks. Despite a lack of overall air superiority the Soviet Army was able to win enough ground battles to gain the upper hand by the end of 1943.
     
  3. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Air superiroty or no air superiority, the Germans still had no fuel so the superiority if achieved, would not have lasted very long. Also this has no effect on the war with Russia. Germany needed men and tanks against Russia not planes. Germany held air superiority for most of the war on the Ost Front and look at what happened...

    Plus I see no use of the A-bomb in Germany with Russian troops near by.
     
  4. Flying Fortress

    Flying Fortress Member

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    I mean there are too many ifs in that sentence. There are quite a few scenarios that could happen.
    - Germany would have obviously been defeated eventually but, what if having dragged the war out longer than anticipated that they would have been able to strike a deal with Russia? That would have put less pressure on the Eastern front and Germany could focus more on Western front.
    - Germany would have been the first victims of the A-Bomb.
    - Or with steady support in the form of luftwaffe that full production of the ME-262 which might have turned the tide in Germany's favor.
     
  5. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Any deal with Russia went out the window after battle of Moscow.
     
  6. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    That is very true, their fuel supplies were fast becoming nil and while the synthetic fuel production was able to supply a portion it wouldn't be able to keep up with the need. Especially in the "avgas" field. Now, while they could produce kerosene for the turbojets, their axial flow engines just weren't reliable enough to make any difference in the long run.

    As to no A-bomb it must be remembered that Germany was both the original target, and we (allies) truely didn't understand the dangers of the radioactivity. Add in that at the Yalta conference it had already been decided where bombing runs would end on a north/south line so that the western allies didn't accidentially bomb our Soviet allies.

    The western allies couldn't and wouldn't bomb east of that line without specific approval from Stalin and the Soviets. So, it is unlikely that Red Army troops would be endangered by "accident" or on purpose. I however don't see too many targets in the Red zone that could have been chosen, on the other hand the nuclear facility near Stuttgart might very well have been. We knew that was where the German atomic work had transferred to from Leipzig when it was extensively bombed by conventional means. I don't think Berlin would have been the target for the same reason Tokyo wasn't, if the bomb ends the war; "you need somebody in power to negotiate with."

    Just my opinion here, but I don't see Germany being spared the bomb simply because the Red Army was "too close", and being rather naive about the dangers of radiation at the time that concern wouldn't have even come into the picture.
     
  7. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    An excellent point. I forgot about the division and would agree with the above.

    Cheers
     
  8. The Big I

    The Big I recruit

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    I would suspect that come D-day you would see a lot more battle wagons in the mix as well as a couple of carriers, and a lot more allied fighters over the beach including the meteor. As for ground troops proximity fuse would be a definite and I'd suspect the M-26 would be making an appearance on the beach.
     
  9. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Only if Goering and Milch were out of the picture before the war started, and Weaver had survived.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Thinking about this some more one really has to answer the question: Why not? Something has to make some major changes and there will almost assuredly be other fallout from those changes. There's also of course a problem with the basic wording. Air superiority can be a relativly short and ephemeral thing. There were times for instance when the LW held air supperiority over southern England during the BOB they didn't last long (10s of minutes to perhaps a few hours). In spring of 44 the allies however achieved "air supremacy" a much more difficult thing. If that was what was meant by the question then the allies could probably achieve air superiority over any particular spot near England for a time if they needed to at the cost of giveing the LW pretty much a free ride elsewhere or committing carrier aviation (which tends to wear it self down pretty quickly).

    The only things I could think of that were likely to have this great of impact are "acts of God".
     
  11. Overkilll

    Overkilll Member

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    Are you sure? I think I read somewhere (don't remember where exactly) that the USSR proposed a truce in 1943.
     
  12. Overkilll

    Overkilll Member

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    The bulk of casualties inflicted in WW2 were inflicted by artillery, second place is small arms. Airpower is responsible for only a small fraction of total casualties inflicted. However, the importance of airpower was in terms of logistics, mobility and morale.

    Overall, without air superiority, the Allies would have won the war in the same timescale, perhaps taking a few more weeks, and losing an extra few hundred thousand men. The decisive factor in the Allied victory was the superiority in numbers and firepower on the ground, in both the eastern and western fronts. The GI joe and rifleman ivan were the protagonists in the victory over the third reich.
     
  13. Overkilll

    Overkilll Member

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    Glantz suggested that without any Western involvement, the USSR would win but take up 12-18 months longer. Without the western front, the allied strategic air offensive, the battle of the Atlantic, the Italian front, lend-lease, etc.

    I disagree, I think that American help was vital for the ultimate defeat of Germany: it was the US's vast industrial production that enabled the Allies to defeat the luftwaffe, the kriegsmarine, and a large proportion of the heer (30-40% of the heer was defeated in the western and italian fronts), while helping the Soviet Union with lend-lease.

    Sorry for the triple post.
     
  14. Victor Gomez

    Victor Gomez Ace

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    As this is a thought experience we need remember we are not fighting for air superiority over our homeland.........therefore for us there is less expense for a stalemated air fight. On the other hand a stalemated existence for the Germans means that the home land is receiving the damage to their towns and factories as the stalemate continues. It may be that we would still prevail, but there was realization by the fighting soldier that all was not well in the homeland despite their best efforts. I think the damage our air war inflicted was severe and debilitating to the total effort of Germany. Perhaps pound for pound at first they could match us but our endlless production of aircraft and replacement of air crews overcame their efforts.
     
  15. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    I beleive it would have had a MASSIVE effect. Air superiority is STILL at the apex of the military triad, and for good reason. Many of the German plans were foiled by lack of air superiority, they HAD the technological edge (and then some) - It was the allies superior numbers of both pilots and planes that made the difference - You'll excuse me, but this question does suggest a considerable amount of ignorance of the contribution air power offers all in a military exchange.
     
  16. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    The US and Brits could probably get and keep local superiority over Normandy and western France. The problem with the LW was not the production of airplanes, but training pilots and keeping them alive long enough to be effective. That meant reducing the number of skilled pilots so as for them to be used in training units.
     

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