If the US is neutral, how does the air war in Europe play out?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Assuming the US stays neutral in Europe, let's say Hitler dies of a heart attack on October 16th 1941 and Goering takes over and breaks relations with Japan after December 7th publicly over the attack to keep the US neutral and shifts the Uboat war to the Arctic Convoys and Mediterranean (Doenitz had given up on convoys in the Atlantic by December 1941 historically and wanted to expand the war to the US coast to avoid British convoy protects), meaning there is virtually no chance of a naval incident giving FDR Casus Belli, how does the air war over Europe play out?

    There is the daylight war along the French/Belgian/Dutch coasts, the night bombing of Germany, the Mediterranean theater, and the Russian front (let's say the fighting there plays out the same until Summer 1942). Without the USAAF joining in on the bombing, the British winning the Battle of the Atlantic by early 1942, and no Operation Torch expanding the Mediterranean front, how can the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica handle the war?

    Hitler won't be around to cut off the German intruder operations over Britain after October (which he cancelled right around the time of his death in this scenario), which I believe Goering was in favor of but Hitler wasn't. Goering will have different priorities than to nix Operation Herkules in this scenario, so perhaps Malta gets invaded, rather than Rommel invading Egypt (Rommel was in favor of Malta over Egypt from what I understand, but Goering was afraid for this paras, so delayed the operation past July 1942, the planned start date, which effectively killed it).

    From what I understand the USAAF didn't have a major impact on the air war over Europe or Africa until 1943, so US absence will mainly be felt on the ground in Algeria/Tunisia rather than in the skies. How does the night bombing war play out without Germany being diverted to maintain major daylight defenses against the US from 1943 on? Or the Eastern Front without US bombing of German factories (IIRC there were over 6,000 strategic bombers operated by the USAAF in the European Theater by 1944)? How does an earlier victory in the Atlantic shape the British war effort after 1942?
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean "neutrality" as practiced by President FDR during 1939 to 1941 or will USA be truly neutral as practiced by Ireland throughout WWII?
     
  3. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Providing Lend-Lease to the USSR and UK while escorting convoys to Iceland; the US if fighting in the Pacific from December 1941 on.
     
  4. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Viking
    how about LL to the SU, would it have continued as historically, be more limited because SU would not be an ally (SU was neutral in Far East up to August 1945) or plentier because lesser USAAFneeds? US LL had impact to the Eastern Front air war especially because of the deliveries of P-39s, A-20s and B-25s and high octane fuel, light alloys and M-17 AA half-tracks.

    Juha
     
  5. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    I suppose roughly the same, as the US economy wouldn't be as mobilized as it historically was, so has more consumer goods.
     
  6. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Hitler dies, maybe saner heads prevail and Germany sues for peace?
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That isn't neutral by any stretch of the imagination. War with Germany is only a matter of time in such a scenario.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That's what happened historically during summer 1940. Britain and Soviet Union won't accept peace as long as their war effort is being bankrolled by USA.
     
  9. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Basically the November 1941 stasis hold; the US supplies the European powers fighting Germany, but focuses on fighting Japan; Goering does what he can to prevent war from escalating with the US, which leads to the Battle of the Atlantic basically being over by early 1942 and the navy getting less resources to fight the Arctic Convoys and in the Mediterranean; the navy instead shifts to air power, mining with surface units and uboats, special forces (K-men), and working on getting the Elektro-boote online in 1944 with less resources, so no mass production problem there.

    Also I should mention that with Goering rising to power, he takes over control of the war economy, firing Fritz Todt and Albert Speer. All offices working on economy related issues get folded into the 4-year program office of his. He also purges all rivals, which means the Nazi administration of the East is ended, Himmler and the SS are forced to focus on internal security and limit the Waffen-SS, while Goering does not order the Holocaust or Wannsee conference and calls off the Einsatzgruppen. He was anti-semitic, but not genocidal like Hitler or Himmler AFAIK. Forced labor though is still in effect. The Hunger Plan is not, but there is still famine in Europe that will fall on Eastern Europe. Darre is still out for his failure to manage agriculture, as is Robert Ley for his blatant corruption and incompetence. Goering hands off the RLM to Erhard Milch upon Goering's promotion and the death of Udet. The different ordering of events here saves Werner Molders from his plane crash on the way to Udet's funeral.
     
  10. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Is it really?
     
  11. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    No, they never discussed terms, just tried to get into contact through back channels that never connected. Supposedly Hess brought an armistice note with his trip to Scotland, but it gave terms that were unacceptable (give Germany Europe, don't bother Germany in her conquest of the East). Officially there were no peace talks and the ones with the Soviets were political theater to pressure the West into doing something Stalin wanted.
     
  12. Koopernic

    Koopernic Active Member

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    #12 Koopernic, Jul 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
    Indeed, Lend Lease was passed into law well before the US entry into war. It supplied approximately 30% of Britain's Munitions in exchange for a small fraction of their worth by my calculation In addition the so called 'neutrality patrols' were to me it seems engineered to act in Britain's favour. I doubt anyone today in all seriousness would argue as the Roosevelt administration did that they were to keep the US Neutral though they started out as seemingly fair. Neutrality patrols ended up being escorts for British convoys more than half the way across the Atlantic. To me it seems they were designed to provoke an incident with a U-boat or aircraft that would lead to a declaration of war by someone at some point. Be that as it may in general:

    The direct result for Germany would be
    1 No US troop assistance to the British in North Africa. Rommel might win, might even smash through via the middle east to the Caucasian oil fields.
    2 No Anzio Landings or Sicilian Landings.
    3 RAF Bomber command is a fraction of its size however it continues to prosecute a night bombardment war against Germany. Because the Luftwaffe fighters do not expend itself against the USAAF the German night fighter force is much better resourced while the Luftwaffe over the Soviet Union provides better support. Bomber command can not afford the huge wastage and attrition of aircrews so there is greater emphasis on higher performance Lancaster's such as the Mk V or VI which had the two stage Merlin.
    4 As a result German production expands at a much more rapid rate and some advanced aircraft of higher quality enter service.
    5 A modest German bomber effort is prosecuted against Britain that modestly degrades British production.
    6 Germany must defeat the Soviet Union first. Does the SU get Lend Lease aid as well?
    7 No operation Overlord (D day landings)
    8 German v-weapons mature in range, cost and accuracy throughout late 44 through 1945 and probably do to British cities in 1945/46 what happened to German cities in 1944.
    9 Britain does not fall due to the Channel unless the USSR is defeated and then only after a year, she has the material aid of Canada, Sth Africa, Australia, New Zealand and some of her dominions such as India though all of the latter (eg Australia) will be preoccupied with the Japanese threat.
    10 The advanced type XXI U-boat cuts of the bulk of slower convoys but fast Merchant ships do get through; they simply can't be intercepted.
    11 Hitler was favourable to the survival of Britain and even her remaining in control of her empire. He thought it would save the Reich the cost and bother of controlling the rest of the world. No doubt he would have taken care of Britain in 1947/48 as I believe he said when she had no alternative but to accept terms when the Reich had built up its strength and manpower after the defeat of the SU. A failure to accept terms and the resultant loss of life during an operation sea lion II would have lead to measures such as the independence of Scotland, Wales and perhaps the delivery of Northern Ireland to the Republic (a split Churchill had ensure happened) as well as dismemberment of the empire. Any resistant British ruling elites would also find themselves in a trouble. Because of the inevitable disenfranchisement of the wealthy and elite and Britain's likely defeat the stakes would ensure negotiation at that point. Only a hope such as US aid or perhaps hope of an atomic bomb would keep things alive. The worst for England would be that England would just be England without great Britain.

    Of course it could go the other way, the Germans start loosing against the SU and becomes desperate to sue for peace with the UK.

    The original poster suggests that Hitler dies in 1941. That in itself makes possible a negotiations that otherwise couldn't happen. Hitler would have died a Hero to his nation, for reuniting the German people at that point. However without Hitlers force of will, irrespective of whether he dies in 1941 or 1961 things just would turn to normal.
     
  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #13 stona, Jul 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
    The Irish Republic was not truly neutral. The 'Donegal Corridor', vital to British operations from Northern Ireland against German U-Boats in the Battle of the Atlantic, was one obvious glaring contravention of neutrality by the Irish government.
    Steve
     
  14. swampyankee

    swampyankee Active Member

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    What did these peace offers look like? Some of the German offers in late WWI made Versailles look like the Marshall Plan.
     
  15. Koopernic

    Koopernic Active Member

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    The Germans or rather Kaiser offered a peace in 1916 that involved everyone going back to their pre 1914 borders. Seems reasonable as the German were perhaps winning. It was rejected, Britain and France probably held out hope of still wining with US aid and in 1917 their hope came true. I take it, though, you mean the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. I'd argue as many did that it was a good treaty that liberated many from a giant tsarist and up and coming soviet prison camp and that all of those Finnish, Ukranians, Latvians, Lithuanians would be happy to be out from the control of the Tsar, Soviet Communism, various foreign nationalities that moved into their traditional lands while under soviet control and whatever Mr Putin wants for them up to to this day. And Just immagine, no holdomor.

    Versatile did something different and went a lot further.
     
  16. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Well for one change, perhaps the Italians get more of their new fighters into combat, the Macchi 205, Fiat G.55/56, and Re. 2005:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macchi_C.205
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reggiane_Re.2005
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_G.55
    All used the DB605 engine, but were aerodynamically superior to the Me109 and were better even than the FW190. Perhaps the German fighter squadrons in the Mediterranean reequip with them? With no USAAF bombing of North Italy from December 1942 on they can be built in peace.

    Perhaps the upgraded P.108 heavy bomber gets its upgrade to the P.133 by 1944 due to the lack of US bombing of Italian industry starting December 1942?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piaggio_P.108#P.133


    Also without the high altitude threat of the US do we even see the Ta-152 series? Does a medium altitude FW190C or D get put into development? Perhaps the Ostmark engine facility actually comes into large production by the end of 1943 without US bombing forcing it to move. Supposedly the upgraded functional version of the Jumo 222 E/F was to be put into production in 1944 without the US bombing of Dessau. How about jets, do we see them come into service by 1944 without the threat of the US? Or perhaps the Me262 night fighter comes online for Mosquito Swatting? Do we have see an earlier Ju88G without the threat of daylight bombing to counter? Perhaps the Me410 ends up purely as an intruder by 1943? How about an earlier, greater output of the Jumo 213 without USAAF bombing of Germany in 1943? Maybe the He177B can complete testing in 1944 and get produced?

    Also how do the British react to the V-1 without a Normandy invasion to shut down the launch sites? Or perhaps they come online earlier if without Hitler there is no V-2 or V-3 ordered into production, so there are more production resources available for them? Perhaps with Me262 and later Ar234 spotting they become more accurate late in 1944.

    How does the air war on Russian front play out without the major diversion fighters to the West from 1943 on? If the USAAF is not in the war the Germans don't have to expend resources defending Romania, as the British weren't able to bomb it themselves until Italy was invaded historically. Where do these resources go?
    Do intruder operations resume over Britain without Hitler ordering them cancelled, if so what impact do they have on RAF BC operations from 1942-45?
     
  17. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    The German "peace offers" in 1940 were never made through formal channels. No terms were given and no guarantees proposed.

    Hitler's "appeal to reason" was neither appealing or reasonable.

    After re-armament, the Rhineland, the Spanish Civil War, the Austrian Anschluss, the Sudetenland Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark and Norway, the British had no reason to assume that they could take Hitler and Nazi Germany at its word.

    Why should the UK agree to peace, with Germany dominating the continent, but sitting impotent on the shores of the Channel, and throwing its airforce away against an opponent with a superior defensive position?

    The US is hardly bankrolling the UK war effort in 1940. Britain is paying in hard currency, gold and even territory for US support. It was cash and carry until lend-lease came into effect.
     
  18. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Bullsh*t. Placing a gun at someone's head and saying I won't fire it if you do this for me is hardly suing for peace, and this is exactly what Germany did with Belgium during the Great War and prior to the outbreak of WW2. Ridiculous suggestion. Hitler (and Moltke) wanted peace alright, a piece of Poland, a piece of France, a piece of Russia... (it's better when spoken).
     
  19. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    I guess I should add more to this, the Mustang, as a British aeroplane would have seen greater resources devoted to production specifically for the British; its career and development might have taken a different path. The use of Allison engined Mustangs with the RAF might not have changed much, except for larger numbers in production specifically for the RAF. In reality, Lend Lease meant that subsequent Merlin Mustang production was prioritised for the USAAF, and prior to US interest, the British suggested ideas for the Mustang to be built in Britain and powered by Rolls Royce Merlins prior to Packard producing the V-1650-3.

    In the (somewhat convoluted) alternate universe suggested here, its possible that all Merlin Mustang production goes toward fulfilling British contracts, which means Mustang IIIs and IVs instead of P-51Bs, Cs and Ds to the USAAF, are going to the RAF in large numbers. Supply of powerplant is the issue, with in reality, 60 Series Merlins were immediately earmarked for Spitfire production and Packard produced the V-1650-3 as a result to power the Mustang and P-51, so going with Rolls production means Mustangs reach squadrons later than desirable, unless RR produces a new facility specifically to supply Mustang airframes. Or, perhaps, as did traditionally, Packard steps in and Mustang production is carried out entirely in the USA.
     
  20. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Its a silly question really. The US is absolutely essential to the war outcome. And that had to be something more than just Lend Lease. Neither Britain or Russia had the strength, even with Lend Lease, to survive, let alone defeat the Axis Powers. Germany would have had time to assimialte the rest of occuapied Europe as part of their empire....the very reason Britain refused to accept Hitlers demands that they surrencer Dave (you got that more than a bit wronmg incidentally).

    Now, if we are talking about a Germany contained....no occupation of France or the Low countries, then you have a real contest, provided, of course the US maintains Lend Lease aid. Its the olod alliance again, the Triple Entente. But as in the first world war, with only two powers in the fight, andf the US staying out of it, and germany able to rape and pillage half of Eurpoe to fuel their war effort, the allies will have a hard time of it.
     
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