Soviet long range bombers and Japan

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Jenisch, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    #1 Jenisch, Jul 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
    Hello,

    The Soviets were not much interested in long range bombers prior and during WWII by several reasons. As far as Europe is concerned this seems to be truth. However, with Japan I think the story is another. The USSR didn't had a Navy capable of confront the IJN, but bomber attacks against the vulnerable Japanese cities could have produced devastating results IMHO.

    I'm wondering what was the capability of the VVS for a bombing campaign against Japan between the end of the 30's and the initial years of WWII. Also, how was it's anti-shipping capability to attack Japanese vessels supplying their forces in China?
     
  2. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Aside from some aging TB-3's, as a practical matter, I don't think any capability for a truly long range Soviet bombing force existed.
     
  3. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,281
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    none
    Location:
    Lazio
    Sovie had long range bomber and a branch intintled to long range bombardment aviation.
    Bomber like Yer-2, Pe-8, Il-4 and probably the old TB-3 were relatively long ranged bombers
     
  4. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Actually, if the bombers were to depart from Vladivostok the distance to Tokyo would be about 800 km. Therefore, against Japan the question would be more to have a good bomber force than a long range bomber force.
     
  5. Rogi

    Rogi Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,161
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Its a pretty huge distance in the USSR from here to there. Thats why in the winter they were able to choke hold the Germans into retreating, that and they came un-prepared for winter combat.

    They also weren't that well known for being able to mobalize units quickly and send them into battle imediatley. It took the USSR time to concentrate their forces.

    You also have to have a system in place to rescue downed aircrew, which in the USSR at that time means, you won't be able to recover pilots quickly if you'll be able to find them at all over their vast terrain.
    It was easier for the US because where ever their pilots were shot down they'd be picked up by someone and returned to duty, or captured if they survived the drop into enemy territory.
     
  6. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,149
    Likes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    48
    So, if the Russian had attacked Japan with bombing on what would effectively have been a second front, ignoring the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact of 1941 (Japanese–Soviet Non-aggression Pact) would this have shortened to war in the Pacific?

    Yes I realise this is all conjecture.
     
  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,064
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    It certainly would have tied down some of Japan's Fighters and other resources.
     
  8. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    retired
    Location:
    rural east Texas
    The USSR definitely did not want to open a “second front” but as to them being able to move forces quickly they certainly did move a large number of men and equipment from the East to defend Moscow in 1941 - efficiently and quickly.

    About bombing Japan, the Soviets started bombing Berlin in Aug 1941; and most people don’t know the Chinese Air Force flew missions over Japan with bombers prior to the US entering the war.
     
  9. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The IL-4, at that point still called the DB-3, was a medium range bomber, at that stage of the war only about 50 Yer-4's had bee produced production wouldn't resume until 1943 only 93 Pe-8's were produced between 1937 1944. I don't think that by WW II standards you can realisticly call that a long range bombing force.
     
  10. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    With 50% of their lend lease supplies coming in thru the Pacific route, Russia would have to be foolish to start a war with Japan and close down half their lend lease supplies.
     
  11. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,281
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    none
    Location:
    Lazio
    The Il-4 or DB-3 was the most common bomber of Soviet Long Range Bombardment Aviation, if you take out it the number are very few.
    For Niehorster page the LRBA had, in june '41, 33 Bomber Rgts, of this 29 with Il-4/DB-3, 2 with TB-3 and 1 with TB-37 (aka Pe-8 ). The range of Il-4 maybe not much different of that of Wellington (a bit shorter), Wellington was a time the most common bomber of BC, this, the Welly, is larger and a more capable bomber but difference in range is limited.
     
  12. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,064
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    If you add the 93 Pe-8s to the 12 B-17s and 30 B-24s that the Soviets were able to repair from the 76 of each that had crashed in their territory (Soviet Air Power in World War 2 by Yefim Gordon), then you might have a decent size force. Pack them with incenderaries and I think you could do some serious damage. Add in the TB-3s and only do night missions.
     
  13. JoeB

    JoeB Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    That was one very good and immediate reason, and related to the more fundamental reason that it was strategically reckless for the Soviets to start wars with new countries until Germany was defeated. In the Cold War and still today it might be assumed the Soviets would take all kinds of risks to expand their own or Communist allies' areas of control. But in reality the Soviets probably put little if any strategic value on invading Japan proper, and in the event they were able to spread Communist control to a large area of Asia by entering the war v Japan a week before it was over, well after Germany was defeated. There wasn't enough further to gain to justify the cost and risk of entering the war v Japan till Germany was defeated and Japan's position was absolutely hopeless, and that's what the Soviets did.

    Joe
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    The Soviet Union didn't produce much aluminum during the 1930s. So this bomber would probably need to be constructed from wood or steel tube covered by fabric.

    The Soviet Union had trouble producing high octane aviation gasoline. So bomber engines will be running on low octane fuel.

    The Soviet Union had trouble producing gyro stabilized bomb sights similiar to the American Norden or German Lotfe 7. So the bomber must attack from low altitude if it wants to hit anything.

    Heavy bombers require expensive, well developed airfields. Just one more thing the Soviet Union couldn't afford.

    Map: Europe, 1919 to 1939
    map10eu.png
    Communist Soviet Union was mostly oriented against anti communist Germany. Most important German industrial area was located in the Ruhr. That's a long flight from airfields located in the vicinity of Minsk. Especially since Soviet bombers must loop north around Poland.

    IMO that's plenty of reasons for late 1930s Soviet Union to forego production of heavy bombers.
     
  15. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    but the poster specifies late thirties - early WWII, so there is no Lend-Lease or any crashed B-17's and B-24's yet. The 93 Pe-8"s were spread over 5 years of production so less than 20 a year available which probably wouldn't come close to covering losses and the TB-3's would have had to do night missions and were desperately needed on the German front anyway. also their bases would probably have been within range of Nell's and Betty's.
     
  16. krieghund

    krieghund Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Avionics Engineer Advisor to RSAF
    Location:
    Riyadh
    The PE-8 had the necessary range and bomb-load but when one looks at the employment history not doing a campaign against Japan is a good idea. Kind of reminds me of the spotted history of Italy's P-108B.
     
  17. hurricane55

    hurricane55 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Tupolev SB, Tu-2, and TB-3 medium ranged bombers from as far northwest as Neryungri, Russia could reach Sapporo, Japan, or from Vladivostok, Kagoshima, while the longer ranged Ilyushin IL-4 and Petlyakov Pe-8 could strike Central-Southern Japan from Yakutsk.
     
  18. glennasher

    glennasher Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    kitchen countertop laminator
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    IIRC, Russia didn't even declare war on Japan until it was all over, anyway. Not until after Okinawa, maybe even after the atomic bomb blasts.
     
  19. hurricane55

    hurricane55 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Yes, they declared war after Japan surrendered to gain territory in Manchuria because the Japanese had just surrendered and they were caught off guard. The US urged the Soviets to call off the attack, but Stalin refused for 10 days of invading Manchuria, when he was forced to stop. But in this scenario, the Soviets could declare war before this, or in the 10 days in which they invaded Manchuria.
     
  20. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    the original post specifies the late 1930's early WWII not 1945
     
Loading...

Share This Page