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What if the air-dropped A-bombs were duds?

Discussion in 'What If - Pacific and CBI' started by brndirt1, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    atomics (both were prototypes in this form), had been duds? Would the Soviets have co-ordinted their invasion of Hokido with our invasion of Kyushu? In addition to their existing Red Banner Far East Fleet of cruisers, destroyers and submarines they had a great number of American made amphibious specific ships and craft. And don't neglect their Naval Infantry (Marines) which were already deployed and operating on Sakhalin Island. Far East Fleet's Lend-Lease supplied landing special stuff, in the spring of 1945 was this; 25 LCIs, 17 LCTs, and 28 Coast Guard frigates were transferred by the United States to the Soviet Union under lend-lease, and Soviet sailors were trained in the use of the ships in Cold Bay Alaska by US Coast Guard sailors until the Soviet sailors were adept in them. The USCG transferred the ships to the USSR, and the Red Banner was hoisted over them in July of 1945 and they sailed for Mother Russia with their new crews. Here is a complete list of all US specialized "landing craft" supplied to the USSR under Lend-Lease from mid-'44 to July '45 supplied by "Tiornu" (Richard Worth) on another forum:

    2 LCVP: C-42116, C-42737
    2 LCS(S): C-7653 (Mk 1), C-51393 (Mk 2)
    2 LCM(3): C-29301, C-29309
    54 LCM(3): LCM 786, LCM 787, LCM 793, LCM 850, LCM 851, LCM 857, LCM 858, LCM 859, LCM 860, LCM 861, LCM 862, LCM 863, LCM 864, LCM 866, LCM 867, LCM 868, LCM 869, LCM 870, LCM 871, LCM 872, LCM 873, LCM 874, LCM 875, LCM 876, LCM 877, LCM 878, LCM 879, LCM 880, LCM 881, LCM 46972, LCM 46973, LCM 46974, LCM 46975, LCM 46976, LCM 46977, LCM 46978, LCM 46980, LCM 46981, LCM 52410, LCM 52411, LCM 52412, LCM 52413, LCM 52421, LCM 52422, LCM 52423, LCM 52425, LCM 52426, LCM 52427, LCM 52428, and five others. (Three of these were lost in attacks in the Far East in 1945.)

    2 LCT: LCT 1163, LCT 1176
    15 LCT(6): TDS.1 (ex-LCT 1047), TDS.2 (ex-LCT 559), TDS.3 (ex-LCT 561), TDS.4 (ex-LCT 563), TDS.5 (ex-LCT 745), TDS.6 (ex-LCT 1015), TDS.7 (ex-LCT 1046), TDS.8 (ex-LCT 1442), TDS.9 (ex-LCT 1445), TDS.10 (ex-LCT 744), TDS.11 (ex-LCT 1434), TDS.12 (ex-LCT 1435), TDS.13 (ex-LCT 1436), TDS.14 (ex-LCT 1437), TDS.15 (ex-LCT 1438)
    30 LCI: DS.1 (ex-LCI(L) 526), DS.2 (ex-LCI(L) 527), DS.3 (ex-LCI(L) 551), DS.4 (ex-LCI(L) 554), DS.5 (ex-LCI(L) 557), DS.6 (ex-LCI(L) 666), DS.7 (ex-LCI(L) 671), DS.8 (ex-LCI(L) 672), DS.9 (ex-LCI(L) 945), DS.10 (ex-LCI(L) 946), DS.31 (ex-LCI(L) 584), DS.32 (ex-LCI(L) 585), DS.33 (ex-LCI(L) 586), DS.34 (ex-LCI(L) 587), DS.35 (ex-LCI(L) 590), DS.36 (ex-LCI(L) 591), DS.37 (ex-LCI(L) 592), DS.38 (ex-LCI(L) 593), DS.39 (ex-LCI(L) 665), DS.40 (ex-LCI(L) 667), DS.41 (ex-LCI(L) 668), DS.42 (ex-LCI(L) 675), DS.43 (ex-LCI(L) 943), DS.44 (ex-LCI(L) 949), DS.45 (ex-LCI(L) 950), DS.46 (ex-LCI(L) 521), DS.47 (ex-LCI(L) 522), DS.48 (ex-LCI(L) 523), DS.49 (ex-LCI(L) 524), DS.50 (ex-LCI(L) 525). (Four or five were war losses.)

    (me again), and the great bulk of these ships were used in the PTO by the Soviets.

    Building a "Higgins" (LCVP) type may not have been needed (even though the USSR had some to copy), since the Japanese were on their "last legs" and concentrating their forces in the south in anticipation of the US invasion (Downfall). The Soviets also acquired 3,500 light amphibian Ford GPA ¾ ton 4x4s, and 586 of the 2 ½ ton DUKW amphibian truck supplied to the Soviet Union during the war, under Lend-Lease shipments. The Soviets also built their own replicas of these two American amphibians, the DUKW version was produced as the ZIL-485, and the Ford GPA replica was the GAZ-46. With these two amphibians models, the transferred LCIs, LCTs, the Soviet Naval Infantry, and its existing Red Banner Pacific Fleet, the Soviets were more, rather than less likely to be able to launch and succeed in amphibious landings on the Japanese home islands if it had been necessary.

    With the Soviets only declaring war between the two atomics, the Japanese would have been put in a very "nasty" position in regards to defending their northern shores from invasion. They weren't military dolts in the planning of things, and common sense (not intel) had them concentrate their forces in the south in anticipation of invasion from that direction. Their Fleet was non existent, and all their really decent troops were concentrated in the south. The Soviets would have enjoyed a literal walk over.

    Stalin "sped up" the declaration by about two weeks, but only after the first atomic was dropped. We weren't anticipating invasion in Operation "Olympic" porion of "Downfall" until Oct. of '45 ourselves, and he might have co-ordinated with us and invaded at the same or near the same time. The bombs may have done more than just bring the war to an end quickly and saved thousands if not millions of lives (allied and Japanese), they may have thwarted a "north and south" Japan as well.
     
  2. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Member

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    Honestly if they were duds I think both the US and Russia would invade Japan.....Japan, America and Russia would all fight for the US bombs. I am not trying to offend anyone when I say they Russians just try to steal and copy other inovative designs. Of course Japan would want it because they could give its vital information to Hitler and Hitler would just play games with the allied forces. The battle to get the bomb back would be a total blood bath and ruin the US-Russian and therefore either start another war or causea lot of umcomfort among the US citizens. Especially because at the time many Axis nations were making long range bombers capible of bombing the US from Japan and Germany.

    The outcome wouldnt be good.
     
  3. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Member

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    Also, the US shouldn't of supplied the USSR with as many vehicles as they did and as you said they have copies of the Higgins landing craft. Proving my point. Good information my friend!
     
  4. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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  5. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    If both atomic bombs had been duds, they would have been substantially destroyed on impact. the conventional explosives that triggered boh bombs in all probability would have wrecked them beyond recognition. Japan wold have the wreckage but wouldn't be able to do much with it; the radioactivity of the fissionable material would preclude doing much with them.

    The USSR wouldn't even know they had been dropped, unless the US admitted that they hadn't worked, an unlikely prospect.

    Hitler was already dead, and had been for three months before the first A-bomb was dropped; Germany would be a non-factor in any scenario.

    No Axis nation (only Japan remained) in August, 1945, had any capability
    of building any aircraft or other delivery platform with nuclear capability. The US would be perfectly safe from atomic attack, and would remain that way until August, 1949, when the Russians tested their first atomic device. The Soviets had information, in 1945, on how to build an atomic bomb, courtesy of their spy networks in the US and Britain, but it had very little fissionable material and it took years to develop domestic sources.
     
  6. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Would the US and Soviet Union have coordinated their Hokkaido invasion with the US invasion of Kyushu?

    The answer is, probably not. By the time the atomic bombs were dropped, US intelligence was aware that the Japanese expected the US to invade Kyushu and were rapidly building up their defenses on that island in exactly the places that the US had decided to land. The plans for the Kyushu invasion almost certainly would have been scrapped, and some other objective, probably some location near Tokyo and the Kanto Plain would have been substituted. This would have caused a delay of several months and it would have been the Spring of 1946 before any US invasion would be likely to take place. Since the Fall, 1945, Japanese rice crop failed, and the US Air Force was making plans to attack the Japanese railway system, which was crucial to the supply of food in Japan, massive starvation of Japanese civilians would occur before the invasion and this might, in itself, have been enough to force the Japanese government to the surrender table.

    As for the Soviets, they intended to attack in Japanese-occupied Manchuria before the end of August, 1945, and speeded up their offensive when news of the success of the US atomic bomb broke. It's my understanding that their plans for Hokkaido called only for a small regimental-sized landing which probably would have failed. However, Stalin appeared confident, in August, 1945, that Truman would allow the Soviets to jointly occupy the Japanese Home Islands. When Truman told him in no uncertain terms that The US would be the only occupying power, Stalin backed down.

    I think the same thing would have happened had the atomic bombs been duds, and the US invasion was delayed until early 1946, UNLESS Stalin was willing to put much more into an invasion of the Japanese Home Islands than the modest planned invasion of Hokkaido. Frankly, I don't think the Soviets could have logistically supported a larger scale invasion on such short notice. I do not believe the majority of the amphibious equipment and craft you have listed were immediately available to the Soviets in the Pacific, and the Soviets had little in the way of amphibious assault experience. If the fighting on Sakhalin was any indication, the Japanese troops on Hokkaido would not have been easily brushed aside. In any case, had Truman been willing to push things, the Soviet Pacific Fleet was no match for the US Pacific Fleet, and the Soviets weren't going anywhere in the Pacific that the USN didn't want them to.
     
  7. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    A bit too apocaliptical, isn't it? As if anyone in the Axis had the capability to do anything of strategical value. Besides Hitler was already somewhat dead when the Bombs were dropped.
     
  8. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    The amphibious craft I listed had been trained on, and delivered to the Red Fleet by July of 1945. And BTW, the Stalin's Naval Infantry (their version of our Marines) is an older service than our own, and they are and were reknowned for their fighting ability and amphibious skills. So with experienced and proven marine forces, our amphibious craft (on which they were trained by our own USCG), and which they used in an amphibious landing behind the Japanese on Sahkalin Island in Aug. they were completely capable of landing a substancial force across the little 26 miles of sea betwen Sahkalin and Hokkaido.

    Just throwing out a "what if" that I had worked on in the past, and wondering what everybody else's take would be.
     
  9. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The problem is that virtually none of the US lend-lease supplied landing craft are in the Pacific. Worse, the Russians really don't have a navy and the Japanese in 1945 still, at least by comparison, do.
     
  10. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Ok, where, exactly, in the Soviet Union were all those amphibious craft? If they had been used for training, and the landing on Sakhalin, what condition were they in? Your list looks impressive, but in fact, it is only a fraction of the craft required to support a major (Multiple divisions) amphinious assault, and there is a conspicuous lack of the larger types crucial to the success of any large scale, across-the-beach combat landing. Look at the list of amphibious assault craft used in the Leyte Gulf landings, for example.

    There is no doubt that the Russian Naval Infantry was, and is, a valorous fighting force, but the fact that it is older than our own Marine Corps is irrelevant to the discussion. During WW II, the Soviet Naval Infantry made over 100 assault landings, the vast majority of which, however, involved no more than platoon- or company-sized units. In fact, the Soviets lacked experience in planning and supporting multi-division amphibious landings, and Soviet Naval Infantry were not trained in amphibious landings of more than brigade size. In fact, only a portion of the Soviet Naval Infantry had any amphibious training at all.

    The Soviets took heavy casualties on Sakhalin Island and had a tough time overcoming the Japanese defenders. Hokkaido, which was much better defended than Sakhalin, was to be the objective of a regiment-size landing, which was almost certain to be repelled by the thoroughly prepared Japanese defenders. In any case, the Soviets weren't going to be able to land on Hokkaido without the concurrence of the US because they had no real fleet in the Pacific comaparable to the US Fleet.

    That is my "take" on the issue.
     

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