Could you have designed a better air force?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Clay_Allison, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    You are a medium size country with a decent industrial base and a moderate amount of money to spend. You have no natural loyalties, but it's 1935 and you, as head of the war department are smart enough to realize that war is coming and you are going to be in someone's crosshairs if you don't get ready.

    Your air force is an all-biplane joke. Your fighters couldn't hold their own with the T-6 Texan. So, make your alliances (or declare neutrality) acquire technology, build factories.

    What aircraft types do you want? Which ones are redundant? How are you going to handle your pruduction lines? Are more sophisticated aircraft worth the expenses and complicated, vulnerable production? What is your air war doctrine?

    Finally, who will your major enemy be, and how will you defeat them and claim air superiority?

    Just remember, you aren't the USA, you can't have infinite resources, you have to spend wisely.
     
  2. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    if the country isn't in europe, (and is not the thailandia) take neutrality not spent, late in war you enter in victory side with their aircrafts
     
  3. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    I'll go ahead and give you mine and you can follow the format if you like it.

    I theorized a pan-scandinavian alliance: Norway, Sweden, Finland. You're in good shape economically but you have to work fast to be ready for expansionist Russia and Germany.

    First I make friends with America and England, then I make sure Saab and Volvo are ready with enough brand new modern factories in secure locations to start really cranking out engines and planes. Jews were fired from the German Aircraft industry (and many other industries) in 1933, if I could get them out of Germany and recruit them to work for Sweden, it would be a coup.

    I'd buy a lot of stock in Allison, get my guys in to learn from the design team and get Volvo ready to mass produce licensed V-1710s. I'd keep my factories well protected and camouflaged like the Brits did during the BoB.

    The Allison V-1710 would be my only aircraft engine. It's tough, powerful enough for what I want, and easy to mass produce, and I want all of my engine tooling to be the same. I never was big on the motorkannon so I don't care that it isn't set up for one. Similarly, my aircraft gun efforts would be centered on the H.S.404

    My first plane would be a very cheap mass production Hawker-style steel/fabric/wood all-altitude dogfighter. Designed with wieght savings in mind, it would look like a Macchi C.202 Folgore with minimal armor and 2x20mm cannon. I think they could go into mass production in early 1937 and become popular on the export market. I'd also make a two-seat, low-octane, naturally-aspirated version for advanced-training and liason.

    The second plane would be a two-engine single seat interceptor like the Westland Welkin. Armament would be 4x20mm nose guns with the option to carry bombs and rockets for ground attack.

    Third, a four-engine bomber like the B-24 Liberator, designed more for speed than self defense, but with a 20mm tail gun, nose gun and belly gun.

    Fourth and finally, I'd bolt two Allisons together to make the X-3420 and put two of those monsters in a B-25 Mitchell style attack bomber.

    As to foreign policy, I'd want to kiss Hitler and Stalin's asses right up until it became unavoidable that I had to do something, all the while madly preparing for war and trying desperately to hide my strength. Underground hangars, food rationing, preservation and storage, lying on paperwork, the works. I'd even try to convince the Finns to hold off on starting the Continuation War until Operation Barbarossa.

    When the time was critical, I'd ship hitler a bunch of Ball Bearings that would fail, cut him off in the middle of the Battle of Stalingrad and attack every convenient German airfield to try to catch the Luftwaffe on the ground, right when they thought we were on their side against the Russians. It would be Pearl Harbor II, but against Hitler. Then the Allies would invade Normandy and it would all hit the fan.
     
  4. bigZ

    bigZ Member

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    What country are you choosing out of the 3 clay?

    You can't align yourself if your going to be neutral. Or if you stay neutral until 44 Norway is now a pupet state and Finland is a co-beligerant whos main concern is Russia.
     
  5. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    It's really Sweden, but I was off on an alternate history tangent where Sweden/Norway/Finland treaty effots in the 20s and 30s didn't fail. That doesn't matter, I could do all of the aircraft stuff just as Sweden if I invested in infrastructure.
     
  6. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Neutrality meant nothing, My country tried that and you can easily see what became of them. Neutrality means no friends and no priority by the new allies when attacked. It also means big problems to acquire any decent weapons from abroad, not being able to agree about tactics with your neightbour etc etc. IMO neutrality was the worst choice unless you were lucky.
     
  7. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    your country is in europe Marcel...
     
  8. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Ah misread you, sorry :oops:
     
  9. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    It worked for Sweden because Hitler was afraid of an interuption in iron, steel, and ball bearing shipments. Otherwise they'd have been no better off than Norway. I don't know if anything the Netherlands could have done would have helped. If anything, the bloody French could have afforded to arm you and Belgium to the teeth if you had been allied with them. Still, would some extra H.S. engines for a better mark of Fokker D.XXI and G.I have made enough of a difference? A bunch of MAS rifles? God knows they didn't have tanks to spare.
     
  10. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it would have made a difference. The smaller countries would just end up being steam rolled almost as easily as they did in actuality. Having the right equipment didn't do any good for France, as they didn't use it properly. It would have been the same for the Netherlands and Belgium. French arms = French orientation with them.
     
  11. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    Well it all depends on requirements and resources...got plenty of money but want to produce so we need some natural resources....got oil? big problem there. Anyway nuf of that,

    The main job of the Air Force would be defense....try to buddy up to adolf baby as long as you could then when heinkel puts the He100 up for sale snatch them up with a license to produce them and engines..try to get the 601N but especially the 601F and also strive for the bigger wing model. fit it with 3x20mm or my personal favorite MG151/15 good rate of fire and high velocity. This will be my defensive fighter.
    For bombers Medium type get close to the US and get the B25.
    Long range bombers (do I have the fuel?) need a good bomb truck and at this time the Russian Pe-8 looks like it could fill the bill as the Brit and US machines not are ready yet.

    Well that's my quick look.
     
  12. fly boy

    fly boy Member

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    i can't think of anything weird
     
  13. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    Not bad, I like the He-100 a lot, I believe it was a critical error to stay with the 109 (continually adding letters to the end) rather than moving to a newer and more promising type that might have provided some parity with the P-51 in the late war had it been adopted.

    I also think the Italian fighters starting with the Macchi C.202.
     
  14. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    The weapons probably wouldn't have made much difference, although we would have been able to put up a better fight and keeping the Germans at bay for a much longer period. The Dutch army's main artillery was for instance a gun made in 1870.... Reember the Dutch country was ideal for defending against attacks from the east. It was lack of modern weapons and especially ammunition that caused the quick collapse.
    Our neutrality worked very much against us. Being allied to Belgium would have given the opportunity one line of defence. As the situation was now, the belgium defence line and the Dutch Peel-Raam stelling had a gap between them of several kilometers. This allowed the Germans to just go around both of them. Furthermore, the French could have had a better forward defence, maybe stalling the Dutch capitulation. This would have been a real pain for the Germans who would have had to divide their attention. It also would have streched the german reserves to the limit. As it was now, the French only arrived when the Peel-Raams was already collapsing. The were not able to reach the Moerdijk in time which was key to prevent the Germans their victory. What would have happen? Who knows? It would have been a different game that's for sure.
     
  15. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    If I'm reading this correctly (with emphasis on bold adjective), are you blaming the French because Belgium and the Lowlands chose to remain neutral until the very last minute?

    I could not disagree with you more. French arms most likely = French technical advisors. This does not translate into shared doctrine and/or their use in combat, though there is no evidence to show the Belgian or Dutch forces were capable of using them any better even if they did possess them. Also, you shouldnt' confuse the "misuse" of weapons as "improper" use. Examples such as the battle of Hannut, or the counter-attacks at Laon and Montcornet demonstrate good use of such weapons when used in a manner which deviated from old doctrine.


    The great fear shared by Belgium and Holland was antagonizing and perhaps even provoking Hitler's Germany by having a shared defensive plan with the French, which to be fair, is understandable. However, given the growing threat which loomed over the horizon (and by 1938 should have been obvious to everyone), turning down any such military co-operation with France/UK is what doomed Belgium, Holland and to a much lesser extent Denmark. Shared weapons technology and their uses, however proper or improper one may deem them to be, is by 1939 completely irrelevant. Inter-Allied co-operation and co-ordination was the key, which by 1940 was unfortunately non-existant.
     
  16. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    This was a bit difficult to do given that the French/BEF were not allowed to cross the Belgian frontier until after Belgium was attacked and being overrun. Nevertheless, elements of Gen. Giraud's 7th Armee did reach parts of Holland, so the effort was made.


    If I were to engage in this revisionist/alternative-theoretical history, i would propose the follwing: I'm France, and I run it with an iron fist. I abolish and even deport communist instigators who are deliberately stalling and even sabotaging defense works. Crack the skulls of the occassional Anarchists that get in the way. Since it's 1935, the T-6 Texan is only an underarmed prototype, so i'm not too worried about my biplane airforce. However, the MS.406 is making itself know, and by next year the Dewoitine D.520 is on the drawing board, so I push those two designs at full speed. I make Col. de Gaulle supreme military commander and give him the power to discharge all those who do not read his books.

    As for alliances, I have none. On once Belgium and the Lowland countries make themselves known to remain neutral and refuse and offers of a military alliance, I assume I'm on my own and complete the Maginot Line along the French-Belgian border all the way to the Channel. By 1938, Germany re-occupies the Rhineland. This is a direct threat to my sovereignty, and after hearing the diplomatic row and protests from the US and the UK over my plans to eject the Germans, I conclude I'm on my own and take action on my own, fair-weather Allies be damned.
     
  17. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    easy talking, impossible doing
     
  18. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    Then tell me why. Besides, isn't that the point of the whole thread, your own "what if"?
     
  19. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    The adjective is due to their incredible act of collapse with such a large and, honestly, decently armed military. I can't think of a single historical parallel where a country that was decently matched with an enemy and totally forewarned (by the invasion of Poland) choke and be utterly routed.

    France had the entire Phony War to get ready and THAT WAS IT? That was their effort? Why did they even show up? Compare that to Finland for a second, tell me it isn't disgusting.
     
  20. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    With all due respect, I attrubte it to your lack of understanding of 1: the French military doctrine which was ingrained since after WW 1, and 2: the political circumstances which led the isolation of French defensive planning insofar as co-operation with Belgium and Holland was concerned. If by 1935-1938 there had been a mutual defensive agreement, maybe there could have been a difference, but by 1939 it was too late. Over 20 years of military doctrine cannot be changed in such short time, at least not in any pratical or effective sense.

    I would refer you to an earlier thread in which I explained these discrepencies, with sources, but then I think you're mind is already made up, so whats the point? I'd link the thread relating to this topic but for some reason I can no longer find it. EDIT - I found it, here it is:

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/av...ance-could-ve-prevented-their-loss-11164.html

    How on Earth this compares to the Russo-Finnish conflicts escapes me.
     
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