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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. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    It's a bit more complicated than that.

    Hitler's order to build the Me 262 as a Schnellbomber dates from May 1944 and was rescinded six months later. It actually had limited effect on deployment, since it was always intended it would be a multi-role aircraft.

    The main issues were that it was new technology, especially with regards to the engines. V5 did not fly until June 43 and the first 16 production types were completed in April 1944. Hitler's interference in May had little effect.
     
  2. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    I see I shorted that reply.

    I meant to add that RLM resistance in general, and various types like Udet, Milch, and Goering in particular, to the new technology may have hampered development. The key point seems to have been the reduction order in development personnel for the jet engines back in 1940, which IIRC was Milch. In fact, if there was a primary villian retarding jet progress in Germany it was probably him, not Goering.
     
  3. Roderick Hutchinson

    Roderick Hutchinson Member

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    Thanks Rich, I think that Germany realistically ran out of time, which was a good thing.
     
  4. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    From my studies I have come to believe that it was something of a paradox. Germany started with an early advantage, partly because they got out of the Great Depression somewhat earlier than other nations and did not suffer quite a badly from the Great Recession of 1937/38. So they had a bit of a jump there.

    However, they also suffered from limited manpower, which caused huge issues in mobilization and became more critical throughout the war. Add in resource limitations and prewar decisions such as planning to convert most of the automobile industry to building aircraft components and the attempt at POL autarky and you end up by early war with the Germans busily robbing from Peter to pay Paul and then back again. Of course, all nations had similar problems, but overall the alliance had more resources to draw from.

    The Germans also had to live with prewar decisions such as the Bf 109 and its rickety aircrew training program, because it was essentially fixed at the start of the war - same with a lot of its industrial planning and the limitations of manpower and available industrial plant, resources, and capitol meant that change based on wartime experience was difficult and recovering from planning mistakes was even more difficult.

    OTOH, the U.S. industrial infrastructure was moribund in 1939 and little better in 1940 and unemployment was till high. So mobilization had more room to grow and was better able to adjust based upon wartime experience. Of course there were glitches there too, primarily in manpower, where it was soon realized it was not unlimited (and was further constrained by racial policies related to manpower use).
     
  5. Roderick Hutchinson

    Roderick Hutchinson Member

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    This might not mean much Rich, but as you know during the war, women played a massive part in the western Allied war effort which allowed the massive amount of war material to be made.
    Germany was different, Hitler forbade women in the war factories, he saw women as child bearers, also Germany heavily relied on slave labour, not conducive to the war effort
     
  6. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, but like many assumptions about the way things were - like the idea that the Germans did not "fully mobilize" until after Stalingrad - it is simply wrong...well, not quite right may be a better phrase. In reality, German utilization of women in the workforce before and during the war was higher than any other country other than the USSR. They were just employed differently - fewer in heavy industry, more in light industry, civilian support, and military support. For the last, Helferrinen were commonplace, even in Flak batteries defending the Heimat. Ditto for the young. A year of RAD service for young men was common before they were drafted into the Wehrmacht, and even younger kids were Flakhelfer and Helferinnen as well.

    BTW, I have never seen any orders from Hitler forbidding women from working in industry, it was simply frowned upon by Nazi doctrine. And, yes, of course, the shortfall in heavy industry was taken up more and more over the years initially by Gastarbeiter then by more and more coercive means. Notably any stricture against women did not apply to them BTW, both "paid" Gastarbeiter and forced laborers included women.

    It also took a while to set up an populate the mechanism of forced labor and the expansion of the Gastarbeiter system during the war and there was rightfully a worry that doing so could result in sabotage of the war effort and there was prejudice that Slavic and other Untermensch were incapable of doing precision work. Peak employment of forced labor was late 1944 to the end of the war. In 1940, most of the "forced labor" were French POW working on German farms.
     
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  7. Roderick Hutchinson

    Roderick Hutchinson Member

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    Again you have enlightened me with your information.
     
  8. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    It is the actual purpose of alternate history. It sparks ideas that lead to further research that lead to new insights to why things happened the way they did. I was quite serious when I said earlier that I spent more time in my professional career as a military analyst and historian learning what I got wrong in the first half of my life. A lot of what I have relearned has been through chasing down information on what ifs and the thing is, there are actually only a few worthwhile ones out there (generally having to do with Sealion, the BoB, the BoB (the other one, the Battle of the Bulge :D), Pearl Harbor, Midway, ROUNDUP, SLEDGEHAMMER, Malta, and Gibraltar...and they have all been discussed to death on the internet for over a quarter century, and I was discussing most of them face to face with war gaming and military history buddies for a quarter century before that. Sp please forgive me if I sometimes sound jaundiced, impatient, abrupt, or condescending in my replies, it is just that there seems little new under the sun being found that validates any of these ideas.
     
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