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If Stalin attack the West, what year and month was optimum?


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#1 Hairog

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 04:06 AM

I think you can figure out from my signature and avatar what my choice is. If asked I will tell you my reasons.

What is your choice and why?
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#2 tackle74

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 04:28 AM

Better not be before he got the bomb or they were toast..literally toast & ash.

#3 Hairog

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 05:19 AM

There are a lot of myths that need to be countered about the atomic bomb. It was not a tactical weapon and it was very hard to bring to bear in the presence of a worthy opponent. Japan was helpless when we dropped it on her.

Was the Soviet Union helpless against an atomic bomb campaign?

Here is an interesting fact. The US had 9 atomic bombs at the end of 1946, 13 at the end of 1947 and 50 at the end of 1948. The Joint Chiefs of Staff estimated that it would take 140 Mark III atomic bombs to cripple the Soviet Union.
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#4 belasar

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 11:20 AM

There are a lot of myths that need to be countered about the atomic bomb. It was not a tactical weapon and it was very hard to bring to bear in the presence of a worthy opponent. Japan was helpless when we dropped it on her.

Was the Soviet Union helpless against an atomic bomb campaign?

Here is an interesting fact. The US had 9 atomic bombs at the end of 1946, 13 at the end of 1947 and 50 at the end of 1948. The Joint Chiefs of Staff estimated that it would take 140 Mark III atomic bombs to cripple the Soviet Union.


Hairog, you should take cold war military assesments with a grain of salt. First remember the military services routinely overestimated soviet nuclear ability well into the 60's. They also had a vested interest in aquiring as large an arsenal as they could so of course they would say they need X number of bombs. As a functional matter 2 dozen nukes detonated at nearly the same time over major population centers, naval ports and industrial regions would cripple the Soviet Union, as it would the US. Especially in 1946-48.
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Wars are rarely fought in black and white, but in infinite shades of grey

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#5 LJAd

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 11:34 AM

1945-1955 would be unwise for the SU to attack ,because US could damage the SU with nuclear weapons,and the SU could not reply .
What would be the use of conquering Paris,if it was at the cost of Moscow .
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#6 Victor Gomez

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:38 PM

Gosh! What an effort you have put towards this possible alternate history! If you get 20 or 30 minutes spare time could you consider another possible scenario of futuristic history? What comes to mind is a what if? What if China had a famine and without weapons launched a transfer of it's people to move to the rest of the world by un armed boat. Think of the endless onslaught of boats that it would take to move this population that would inundate the rest of the world without use of conventional weapons.

#7 LRusso216

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 02:11 PM

I'm closing this thread for a number of reasons. First, any Alternate History post must go into its assigned forum, where it must be moderated. Second, it does not meet the requirements for an Alternate History thread. Please read the posting suggestions in that forum. Finally, the original post does not contain a fully fleshed out scenario with the poster's ideas. If you wish to continue this discussion, please do so in the appropriate place.
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#8 Otto

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 03:15 AM

Thread moved to Alternate History section where it belongs.

The thread has been re-opened also. I expect cogent, thoughtful discussion, and if you don't fancy alternate history, don't partake int he thread.

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#9 Hairog

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 06:11 AM

Well that was nice of you. Thanks. Sorry for the mistake. I just saw the dates 1945-1950 and didn't read further.

Hairog, you should take cold war military assesments with a grain of salt. First remember the military services routinely overestimated soviet nuclear ability well into the 60's. They also had a vested interest in aquiring as large an arsenal as they could so of course they would say they need X number of bombs. As a functional matter 2 dozen nukes detonated at nearly the same time over major population centers, naval ports and industrial regions would cripple the Soviet Union, as it would the US. Especially in 1946-48.


I have a number of references and resources that make me thing that it might not have been too easy to use the atomic bomb on the Soviets in 1946-47. In fact they intimate that it would be very hard for a number of reasons.

The Soviets were not helpless like Japan was. They had the biggest air force in the world in 1946-47. The usual argument is that the B29 would just fly at 32,000 and be invulnerable and could just drop it's bombs anywhere it wanted. I don't buy that opinion on face value.

1. The Soviets had a number of aircraft capable of intercepting the B29 so it would have to be escorted. As we found out in Korea it was vulnerable just as any bomber was.
2. After hearing about the jet stream over Japan causing conventional bombers to fly under 25,000 I did some research. Now I guess it might have changed in 60 odd years but I don't think that much. Over several major cities including Moscow and the industrial heart in the Urals it is very, very strong for much of the year. Sometimes stronger than what we encountered over Japan.
3. Very little was known about the interior of the Soviet Union in 1946-47. Our intel overflights had not taken place yet. We just didn't know where the targets where located 300 miles or so East of Moscow.
4. I don't think we would use the atomic bomb over Western Europe. I think they would rather be red than dead and we would honor their decision.
5. Would the American public stand for the massacre of millions of innocent Soviet citizens who months ago were our allies? There was a serious movement afoot after the war to have all nuclear weapons taken out of the control of the military and it was even proposed that they be outlawed by the UN.
6. The production of U235 and plutonium greatly declined after August 1945. Most of the production facilities were shut down.
7. The nuclear scientists lost their military jobs and went back into the civilian workforce shortly after the end of the war.
8. Despite the fact that some are under the impression that the JCS over estimated the number of atomic bombs needed and only a handful would do the trick...the JCS believed otherwise. Since they were in charge at the time would they have proceeded with a nuclear attack before they stockpiled the 120 or more they say was needed to win a war?
9. The US was 108% debt ration over GNP at the end of the war. We owed more money to our citizens than our total GNP. There were no Chinese to buy our bonds. Only the American public could finance another war. Would we have done it? Would we have endured rationing for another 5 years in order to save Europe again?
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#10 lwd

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 02:09 PM

... I have a number of references and resources that make me thing that it might not have been too easy to use the atomic bomb on the Soviets in 1946-47. In fact they intimate that it would be very hard for a number of reasons.

The Soviets were not helpless like Japan was. They had the biggest air force in the world in 1946-47.

Did they? I'd like to see the numbers and just what it was composed of.

The usual argument is that the B29 would just fly at 32,000 and be invulnerable and could just drop it's bombs anywhere it wanted. I don't buy that opinion on face value.

1. The Soviets had a number of aircraft capable of intercepting the B29 so it would have to be escorted. As we found out in Korea it was vulnerable just as any bomber was.

How many fighters did they have that could intercept the B29 at altitude? And how long would it take them to do so. PLS note that the US and Canada didn't have an easy time intercepting balloons at that height and below during 44 and 45.

2. After hearing about the jet stream over Japan causing conventional bombers to fly under 25,000 I did some research. Now I guess it might have changed in 60 odd years but I don't think that much. Over several major cities including Moscow and the industrial heart in the Urals it is very, very strong for much of the year. Sometimes stronger than what we encountered over Japan.

But you don't have to be nearly as accurate when you are using an atomic bomb.

3. Very little was known about the interior of the Soviet Union in 1946-47. Our intel overflights had not taken place yet. We just didn't know where the targets where located 300 miles or so East of Moscow.

Why target that deep in the USSR? I'd go for logistic nodes much closer to the front. Especially if the Soviets are on the offencive.

4. I don't think we would use the atomic bomb over Western Europe. I think they would rather be red than dead and we would honor their decision.

We wouldn't have to use it over Western Europe. Eastern Europe has plenty of targets.

5. Would the American public stand for the massacre of millions of innocent Soviet citizens who months ago were our allies? There was a serious movement afoot after the war to have all nuclear weapons taken out of the control of the military and it was even proposed that they be outlawed by the UN.

If the Soviets launched an attack on us, especially a surprise attack, yes they would.

6. The production of U235 and plutonium greatly declined after August 1945. Most of the production facilities were shut down.

Indeed but they could be started back up pretty quickly and there were some stockpiles.

7. The nuclear scientists lost their military jobs and went back into the civilian workforce shortly after the end of the war.

So the hydrogen bomb isn't designed too much earlier than it was historically. Not that that will be of much consulation to the targets of the atomic bombs.

8. Despite the fact that some are under the impression that the JCS over estimated the number of atomic bombs needed and only a handful would do the trick...the JCS believed otherwise. Since they were in charge at the time would they have proceeded with a nuclear attack before they stockpiled the 120 or more they say was needed to win a war?

If they thought it necessary to stem the Soviet advance, yes. If the Soviet advance was already stopped perhaps not.

9. The US was 108% debt ration over GNP at the end of the war. We owed more money to our citizens than our total GNP. There were no Chinese to buy our bonds. Only the American public could finance another war. Would we have done it? Would we have endured rationing for another 5 years in order to save Europe again?

If attacked, yes, without a question. For one thing it wouldn't be viewed as just "save Europe again".

#11 belasar

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 02:13 PM

War is never easy, but military personel train to overcome these difficulties and carry out the mission.

While the Soviet Union had aircraft that could preform an intercept, the US had long range fighters as well.

The major population centers and ports were well known as to location.

Certainly we would not want to use nule's over western europe but the plan was to use them over central-eastern europe if they were used at all. In any event we had the weapons and the delivery system, so we always had the final say in their use.

Don't confuse the America of today with the one of 1945-55. The American public of this era trusted its government and if it said they needed to nuke Moscow to save Washington the public would accept it, especially after a few years of duck and cover.

History has shown that governments do not give up power unless forced to. Utopians might have wanted to control or outlaw nukes, but so long as the USSR had a massive land army ready to invade Western Europe on 72 hours notice the nukes would remain.

Production declined because we demobilized and for a few years had a monopoly on nukes. When Russia deployed atomics, we ramped up production and multiple delivery systems.

Not only nuclear scientist's were demobilized, so to tankers, artillerymen, bombadiers and all others called up to serve in WWII.

Gerneral's make plans based on perceived worst case scenario's but when push comes to shove they use what they have to get the job done. If you have any doubt about who ultimately has control of American forces and policy read about MacArthur and Truman.

WWII was expensive to the US, but compared to the rest of the combatents we got off easy. The period of 1945-55 was one of great weath and prosperity for the US, we had no need for Chinese money, if anything, we were the world banker.

One of the reasons we aquired nukes, and greatly reduced our conventional forces was because they were cheaper. That would make their use more likely rather than less.
Wars are rarely fought in black and white, but in infinite shades of grey

(Poppy is occasionaly correct, or so I hear)

#12 lwd

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 02:17 PM

In answer to the origianl question I'm not sure there is a good time for him to do so. Obviously anything prior to the fall of Berlin is out. The remainer of 45 isn't a very good time either. The Soviets are still realing from their losses in the war and until after the harvest of 45 food is a significant problem. 46-49 to at least some extent the USSR is still recovering and in the latter part of this period a communist victory in China is looking quite likely. Attacking the west may jeprodise that and open a huge second front vs the Soviets. The communist win in China in 1950 but it will likely be a couple of years before they are willing to take an active part in a new world war which pushes the date back to 52. The Korean conflict then provides a window on the capabilities of the two sides. The success of the allied counter attack and the military build up it engeners argues against an immediate attack then Stalin dies in 53.

#13 brndirt1

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 04:19 PM

There are a lot of myths that need to be countered about the atomic bomb. It was not a tactical weapon and it was very hard to bring to bear in the presence of a worthy opponent. Japan was helpless when we dropped it on her.

Was the Soviet Union helpless against an atomic bomb campaign?

Here is an interesting fact. The US had 9 atomic bombs at the end of 1946, 13 at the end of 1947 and 50 at the end of 1948. The Joint Chiefs of Staff estimated that it would take 140 Mark III atomic bombs to cripple the Soviet Union.


This list of stockpiled atomics seems to state quite clearly that before the Soviets exploded "Joe One" in 1949, the US had quite a few in "stockpile". Of course this ignores the five "Fat Man" plutonium types which were used in tests (Crossroads and Sandstone) post-war starting in 1946. Those "Little Boy" uranium gun-type bombs (5) that were not used, were dismantled and their U-235 used in the new "combo" bomb which contained both uranium and plutonium.

Goto:

Nuclear Weapons in the Strategic Air Command Arsenal

And let’s not forget that in the last day of Dec. 1946, Truman transferred the atomic production effort from the Army’s MED to the civilian controlled AEC. The Hanford Plant had slowed production, but it remained putting out a bit of the plutonium for test bombs. If the Soviets had advanced west, that wouldn't have happened for sure. Just in peacetime production we not only produced and stockpiled those Mk3 bombs, we tested with them as well long before the USSR exploded their first one.

Then don't forget that the Soviet "breadbasket" would be highly susceptible to fire-bombing during the harvest months and we knew full well where those fields were. Pretty hard to hide tens of thousands of acres of grain from attack. Even Stalin himself had "Patton-like" generals who wanted to march to the English Channel while they had the Army at full strength. He dissuaded them from such foolishness with the rebuke (paraphrasing) "...and how would we feed these conquered peoples? We are just now becoming able to feed ourselves."

Edited by brndirt1, 03 May 2011 - 04:43 PM.

Happy Trails,
Clint.

#14 Black6

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 04:42 PM

I would say May/June of 1947 due to the total unpreparedness of the US Army at that time. NATO was not yet formed, the US Armed forces had pretty much completed demobilization and the only army in western Europe with any sizable forces was the French. If the Soviets could successfully launch a massive surprise invasion its likely that they would gain all of Germany, the Low Countries and France within 3-4 months. In that time frame the US would be unable to do anything except fortify Britain and begin to remobilize. Atomic weapons applied to the Red Army's logistical choke points and staging areas could certainly slow down the offensive and perhaps weaken it enough for conventional forces to stop it short of Paris, but what then? Another Soviet push from that point would likely succeed before the US/British come to France's aid.

#15 brndirt1

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 08:31 PM

I think that one should remember that the "Cold War" was the reason the B-36 was finally finished, but if the Soviet had advanced into the west of Europe it wouldn’t have been kept on the back burner as long as it was. Even though the need for it had disappeared since it was first started in 1941, the first B-36A took flight in August 1947 even without real combat need.

If that need had existed, I don’t doubt they would have curtailed B-29 production and ramped up B-36 deliveries. These planes could fly from the US to Moscow and back without refueling, in one of the most revealing demonstrations of its ability, one took of from Carswell AFB in Texas on the seventh anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, flew to Hawaii, dropped a 10,000 lb. "dummy" bomb, and flew back without being detected by American radar on Hawaii.

"On December 7-8, 1948, a 7th BG B-36B flew a 35 1/2 hour round-trip simulated bombing mission from Carswell to Hawaii. On the way, the aircraft's 10,000 pound bombload was dumped in the ocean a short distance from Hawaii. The total distance flown exceeded 8000 miles."

Goto:

Convair B-36B Peacemaker

If the Soviet had turned "hostile" in reality with military aggression, the B-36 might very well have been an effective strategic aircraft they would be hard pressed to counter. Even in a "Cold War" rather than "Hot War" scenario, it was probably the Soviets themselves who bear the actual responsibility for saving the B-36 program from cancellation. On June 18, 1948, the Soviets began their blockade of Berlin, and the B-36 was back on track for immediate production rather than wait for true "jet bombers".
Happy Trails,
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#16 Sloniksp

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 10:20 PM

Would the U.S. bomb Moscow if U.S. pow's were there?


And yes the Soviet Union had the largest airforce at the time....
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#17 brndirt1

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 10:31 PM

Would the U.S. bomb Moscow if U.S. pow's were there?


And yes the Soviet Union had the largest airforce at the time....


Why would Stalin move the few POW he had in his control to Moscow? I fail to see the deterrent factor, how would any Soviet leader know which city the atomics might fall upon? America didn't nuke Tokyo BTW, while we bombed Nagasaki knowing that POWs were being used as slave labor in the area. Having the "largest" airforce in numbers is rather useless if most of the planes are dedicated to low level attack and defense.

These are pointless positions, 1) the US and western allies wouldn't do anything without Soviet aggression toward the west. 2) Stalin had no intentions of doing anything of the sort, he was a smart man as well as an experienced politician. Stalin had no reason to advance to the west, and every reason in the world not to.
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Happy Trails,
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#18 Sloniksp

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:01 PM

Agree completely.

After witnessing Heroshima and Nagasaki there would have been no Western push. Besides Stalin considered the Western allies as just that. The monuments/statues which he had erected only reinforces the notion.

A difference in govt. type does not constitute enemies.

All were tired of fighting. The war was over and it was time to heal and rebuild.
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The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#19 Hairog

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 12:29 AM

Stalin stated many times that WWII was just the start of the war between Communism and Capitalism.

As to the B36. It flew not much higher or faster than the B29. It just had a long range. If the Soviets could figure out a way to stop the B29 they could use the same solution on the B36. The new jet Yak 15 and prop jobs Yak 9PD and Yak 3PD could all reach it and were faster.

would say May/June of 1947 due to the total unpreparedness of the US Army at that time. NATO was not yet formed, the US Armed forces had pretty much completed demobilization and the only army in western Europe with any sizable forces was the French.


In May 1946 it was almost as bad. You can access online the reference book U.S. Army in the occupation of Germany, 1944-1946 at this URL:
Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library : Compound Object Viewer
and read starting on page 421 a scathing report on the fitness and preparedness of the US forces as of Jan. 1946. It is quite eye opening. Especially considering it was written by the Army itself. They would not have stood a chance in hell if the Soviets attacked. According to the JCS themselves all of Western Europe would have been over run in less than 90 days.

Jeepers so many posts. This is great.
www.wwiii1946.blogspot.com

#20 Cash10

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 12:38 AM

I think you can figure out from my signature and avatar what my choice is. If asked I will tell you my reasons.

What is your choice and why?


September, 1961 might have worked.....but after the Berlin Wall was built....the West was awakened.

#21 Hairog

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 01:01 AM

Did they? I'd like to see the numbers and just what it was composed of.

Well if they were planning to attack and they knew that the B29 was their worst nightmare I would predict that they would rush to production the Mig 9, Yak 15, Yak 9PD and Yak 3PD.

How many fighters did they have that could intercept the B29 at altitude? And how long would it take them to do so. PLS note that the US and Canada didn't have an easy time intercepting balloons at that height and below during 44 and 45.

The afore mentioned aircraft.

But you don't have to be nearly as accurate when you are using an atomic bomb.

Very true but the jet stream is very strong. I really don't believe you could drop even an atomic bomb from so great a height have it be buffeted in who knows what direction or directions and have it even come close. I'm pretty confident that you would have to drop it below the jet stream and that means 25,000 ft or less just like Japan.

Why target that deep in the USSR? I'd go for logistic nodes much closer to the front. Especially if the Soviets are on the offencive.

Good point. I can think of ways for the Soviets to avoid such nodes however.

We wouldn't have to use it over Western Europe. Eastern Europe has plenty of targets.


But you would have to fight your way through the Red Army Air Force. Not so easy a task especially unescorted. Think of the US daylight bombing effort before the P38 and P51. The losses were unsustainable and the German Luftwaffe was no where near the size or expertise of the Soviet forces likely to be involved.

If the Soviets launched an attack on us, especially a surprise attack, yes they would.


I don't know. We did a pretty good job of playing up the old babushkas, starving Soviet families and the brave Soviet fighting man. They were our brave allies for a long time. Not to mention that there were many committed Communists in the US, France, Italy, Britain and Greece.

It would take a good 4 to 6 months for the US to start a bombing campaign and by then there could be a lot of hostages transported to the major cities of the USSR. How about threatening to blow up Paris and other major cities if we used the atomic bomb in Soviet territory.

Indeed but they could be started back up pretty quickly and there were some stockpiles.

You maybe right but I don't get that sense from my readings.

So the hydrogen bomb isn't designed too much earlier than it was historically. Not that that will be of much consulation to the targets of the atomic bombs.

If they thought it necessary to stem the Soviet advance, yes. If the Soviet advance was already stopped perhaps not.

The Mark III atomic bomb was not a tactical weapon. It took 48 hours to assemble on site, a special pit had to be used to load it, a special B29 Silver Plate to deliver it, a highly trained crew to fly it and then had to be used within 48 hours or a battery went dead and they had to disassemble it to change out the battery. It was very hard to use.

If attacked, yes, without a question. For one thing it wouldn't be viewed as just "save Europe again".

I'm not so sure about that. I've read quite extensively on America's post war mood and I'm not convinced at all that we would have jumped once more into the breach. At the very least it would have been very late in the game and not without some very draconian efforts by the US Government. The armed forces would not be full of volunteers and the factories had already shifted to peacetime cars and soap. The worst hold outs would have been the business men. Where would the money come from to once again retool and rearm?


This is just filler to make my post long enough.:eek:
www.wwiii1946.blogspot.com

#22 Hairog

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 01:49 AM

War is never easy, but military personel train to overcome these difficulties and carry out the mission.

While the Soviet Union had aircraft that could preform an intercept, the US had long range fighters as well.


My point was that the Soviets would not be helpless like the Japanese or the Germans in 1944-45. They had a formidable card to play that the US had never faced before. Look at how fast we stopped unescorted daylight bombing until the P38 and P51 came online. By Soviet standards the losses that stopped cold our bombing campaign were a drop in the bucket.

No this enemy is a whole different animal.

The major population centers and ports were well known as to location.


I don't believe we would stoop to terror bombing on our former ally. The US press had made the Soviets as cute as teddy bears. I don't think the world would have stood for it including our own citizens. Not in 1946 anyway.

Certainly we would not want to use nule's over western europe but the plan was to use them over central-eastern europe if they were used at all. In any event we had the weapons and the delivery system, so we always had the final say in their use.


Actually it wasn't until after 1948 or so. I can find no evidence in the JCS war plans as to what targets we would go after with our nukes from 1946-48. It was not decided. In fact the JCS were unaware at just how few atomic bombs we had during that time period. Why I don't know but it is mentioned several times in a number of references.

Plus we still had to deal with the Soviet air force.

Don't confuse the America of today with the one of 1945-55. The American public of this era trusted its government and if it said they needed to nuke Moscow to save Washington the public would accept it, especially after a few years of duck and cover.


I think you are misinformed by too many movies. I have done tons of research on this and the most startling observations include: troops rioting all over the world, huge strikes that crippled the American economy for up to 4 months at a time by every union imaginable, 60% of the American voters unwilling to assist Europe in it's recovery, major opposition to the continuation of the draft, 108% debt ratio over GNP, US treasury bonds going begging, well organized Communist sympathizers, the draft failing for 6 straight months to fulfill it's goals etc.

The official line and what you learned in school are not reality. Go and look at the old newspapers of the time period. It is quite eye opening. Things weren't all rosy in the US and there was fierce opposition to many of the Governments policies. The letters to the editor are very revealing.

History has shown that governments do not give up power unless forced to. Utopians might have wanted to control or outlaw nukes, but so long as the USSR had a massive land army ready to invade Western Europe on 72 hours notice the nukes would remain.

Not so as witnessed by the new arms reductions by the Soviets and US. It can and did happen.

Production declined because we demobilized and for a few years had a monopoly on nukes. When Russia deployed atomics, we ramped up production and multiple delivery systems.

Very true.

Not only nuclear scientist's were demobilized, so to tankers, artillerymen, bombadiers and all others called up to serve in WWII.

Also very true and a great impediment to any counter attack.

Gerneral's make plans based on perceived worst case scenario's but when push comes to shove they use what they have to get the job done. If you have any doubt about who ultimately has control of American forces and policy read about MacArthur and Truman.

I agree. I don't see your point however in regards to my post.

WWII was expensive to the US, but compared to the rest of the combatents we got off easy. The period of 1945-55 was one of great weath and prosperity for the US, we had no need for Chinese money, if anything, we were the world banker.

We got stuff in return. Monopolies, raw materials, loan payments. overseas bases, control of markets etc. and our citizens started to get their war bonds paid back. If another war started there would be none of that plus we had tapped out in self financing. I believe it is a huge question as to where the money was going to come from. I know the American businessman in 1946 would not have done it again for free and I don't think the American average Joe had the money any more. We were tapped out just like everyone else. Our saving grace was that we weren't bombed out too.

One of the reasons we aquired nukes, and greatly reduced our conventional forces was because they were cheaper. That would make their use more likely rather than less.

I agree but could we have used them effectively? I've seen many reports by the JCS that say no. That we would be shooting blind and it could possibly be at too great a price in casualties to once again step up and save the French, Italians, Germans and Greeks. Some of whom had Communist governments on and off during this time period.


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#23 Black6

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 03:57 PM

Suggest you start here at pg 281 Soviet military policy: an ... - Google Books

You would have to build a perfect "what if" for the Soviets to be successful. Based on a huge surprise attack (the chances of which are very remote) the Red Army might be able to sweep across Western Europe, thats about it though.
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#24 Hairog

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 05:14 PM

Suggest you start here at pg 281 Soviet military policy: an ... - Google Books

You would have to build a perfect "what if" for the Soviets to be successful. Based on a huge surprise attack (the chances of which are very remote) the Red Army might be able to sweep across Western Europe, thats about it though.


I got it the other day thanks.

Sweeping across Western Europe might just do it. I'm just not that sure that the US could afford or had the heart to step in once more to pull Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Greece's ass out of the fire. Stalin could stop there and send his 5th columns out to finish the job in other parts of the world.

Quite frankly I'm totally convinced that from 1946-1948 the Soviets could have walked into Western Europe. The future NATO forces were so poorly motivated, trained, led and supplied it was embarrassing. When the West disarms we really do a good job. The politicians at the time let our troops down big time. From funding cuts to pay cuts it was ugly. At least they did a good job with the GI Bill but otherwise the peacetime forces between 46-48 were sorely neglected.
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#25 lwd

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 06:28 PM

[quote name='Hairog']...
Did they? I'd like to see the numbers and just what it was composed of.
Well if they were planning to attack and they knew that the B29 was their worst nightmare I would predict that they would rush to production the Mig 9, Yak 15, Yak 9PD and Yak 3PD.
[/quote]
You stated historically they had the larger airforce. This doesn't address that. Nor does it give the numbers that were historically present. If the Soviets start concentrating on high altitude aircraft doesn't that potentially raise a warning flag in any case.
[quote]
How many fighters did they have that could intercept the B29 at altitude? And how long would it take them to do so. PLS note that the US and Canada didn't have an easy time intercepting balloons at that height and below during 44 and 45.
The afore mentioned aircraft.
[/quote]
That doesn't address my question. I asked for numbers and what sort of reaction time would be required for them to intercept a B-29. Note that quite a few years after this date they didn't manage to intercept a Cessna.
[/quote]
But you don't have to be nearly as accurate when you are using an atomic bomb.
Very true but the jet stream is very strong. I really don't believe you could drop even an atomic bomb from so great a height have it be buffeted in who knows what direction or directions and have it even come close.
[/quote]
But the jet stream is pretty predictable in the short term. Dropping a smoke bomb a few minutes prior to bomb release could give you a pretty good correction factr.
[quote]I'm pretty confident that you would have to drop it below the jet stream and that means 25,000 ft or less just like Japan.
[/quote]
I'm not.
[quote]
Why target that deep in the USSR? I'd go for logistic nodes much closer to the front. Especially if the Soviets are on the offencive.
Good point. I can think of ways for the Soviets to avoid such nodes however.
[/quote]
How? There aren't that many sets of train tracks in the USSR and they come together at rather fixed points as do the roads.
[quote]
We wouldn't have to use it over Western Europe. Eastern Europe has plenty of targets.
But you would have to fight your way through the Red Army Air Force. Not so easy a task especially unescorted. Think of the US daylight bombing effort before the P38 and P51. The losses were unsustainable and the German Luftwaffe was no where near the size or expertise of the Soviet forces likely to be involved.
[/quote]
Who says they wouldn't be escorted? P-51's could escort as far as Eastern Europe. I also suspect that the fighter arm of the LW was more experianced in high altitude interception than the Soviets and furthermore the Soviets had never run into bomber boxes or a force that used a escort doctrine as refined as that of the US. Furthermore the bombing doesn't necessarily have to be by daylight.
[quote]
If the Soviets launched an attack on us, especially a surprise attack, yes they would.
I don't know. We did a pretty good job of playing up the old babushkas, starving Soviet families and the brave Soviet fighting man. They were our brave allies for a long time. Not to mention that there were many committed Communists in the US, France, Italy, Britain and Greece.
[/quote]
The fact that they were our former allies and stabbed us in the back would make it even worse. Japan hadn't pretended to be an ally shortly before PH.
[quote]
It would take a good 4 to 6 months for the US to start a bombing campaign ...[/quote]
How do you come up with that figure?
[/quote]
The Mark III atomic bomb was not a tactical weapon. It took 48 hours to assemble on site, a special pit had to be used to load it, a special B29 Silver Plate to deliver it, a highly trained crew to fly it and then had to be used within 48 hours or a battery went dead and they had to disassemble it to change out the battery. It was very hard to use.
[/quote]
That above doesn't mean that it was hard to use it simply means that you had to plan ahead of time to use it nor does it mean that it couldn't be used as a tactical weapon. Indeed there was considerable thought of doing so for Olympic.
[/quote]I'm not so sure about that. I've read quite extensively on America's post war mood and I'm not convinced at all that we would have jumped once more into the breach. At the very least it would have been very late in the game and not without some very draconian efforts by the US Government. The armed forces would not be full of volunteers and the factories had already shifted to peacetime cars and soap. The worst hold outs would have been the business men. Where would the money come from to once again retool and rearm?
[/QUOTE]
I think you are very much mistaken. For one thing the US would still be in Europe at the time. An attack on western Europe would be persieved as an attack on the US, indeed it would almost be guaranteed to cause more US casualties than PH did. I don't need to go into the reaction that produced.




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