The new and improved 'what if!' WWII 1945-51?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Lucky13, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    What would the airwar in WWII have looked like, had it been between '45-'51 instead?
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Same war, same circumstances?
     
  3. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    No war because Germany would have to stop rearmament to raise money, find that they are in huge debt in their resource swap deals, and that the Allies and Soviets have armed up so any war would be insane. Probably the Nazis are toppled and replaced by the military after the public turns against Hitler who is in serious mental decline thanks to his Parkinsons and has wrecked the economy. Maybe if Stalin goes insane he invades to take advantage of the collapsed Germany.
     
  4. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Everything the same....aircrafts might have been slightly different though, or?
     
  5. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    Perhaps not very different...the pressure of war speeds up development. Biplanes may have vanished though, and the Soviets may (?) have recovered a bit from Stalins purges making a difference in pilot quality.
     
  6. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #6 GregP, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
    I don't think the aircrqaft would have been significantly different. Most of the technology advances were due to the war and without the war, we might still have been flying fabric planes in 1945. The British might or might not have funded the Whittle engine and test airframe and the Germans may not have either due to the economy as mentioned above.

    Without the war, there would have been very slow, peacetime type development, which is usually not all that innovative. Most real technological progress in war machines (fighters and bombers in this case) comes during the war or as a result of the war. Electronics is another matter, and we would likely have had the war with radar and sonar as starting resources. That may have made the London bombing and "iffy" thing due to advance warning and another 5 years of electronic development, but the planes would likely have been much the same as WWII.
     
  7. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Would more development have been done to the jet engine or?
     
  8. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    #8 kool kitty89, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
    Also remember that the war forced many projects to be canceled or placed on low priority, innovation quashed in favor of practical production efficiency. That said, improvements in manufacturing infrastructure (at least on the allied end) would have been much slower, and some companies that collapsed under the stress of wartime demands (usually on top of their own management troubles) might have fared differently.

    Development might have been more gradual, but also likely more diverse and some designs perhaps not as advanced as they historically were in 1945, but perhaps more refined than some of the rushed war-time counterparts.

    On top of that, Russia, Germany, Japan, and England wouldn't have set-backs caused by bombing raids destroying resources and infrastructure (or destroying prototypes and killing or injuring engineers).

    With a more gradual military build-up, and less incentive to push for aggressive immediate development, a large number of the designs in the works around 1938/39 may have continued to progress and be refined at a more stable, moderate pace, and lack of blockades on key raw materials would make engineering somewhat more flexible as well. And France, Poland, Denmark, Holland, and the rest of Western Europe would still be independent. (aside from the territories Germany had already annexed by the end of 1938)

    Also remember that a good number of the more promising designs were private projects that went without government backing for quite some time (and in some cases got less focused support because of the war). Heinkel was often more interested in record breaking and cutting edge high speed flight than purely military design effectiveness and Ohain's interest in jet engine development was largely inspired by the speed and smoothness of flight possible with such designs. (De Havilland's Jet designs were privately funded too, and might have developed more quickly if resources weren't so heavily focused on the Mosquito -in fact, if Whittle's project had ended up muddled even worse in political setbacks and funding constraints, Halford/De Havilland developments may have gotten the prime interest without Gloster ever being directed to develop the meteor, or perhaps there would have been less of a mess before Whittle partnered with Rolls Royce, still potentially progressing more slowly in terms of mass production, perhaps foregoing the Welland and Derwent entirely in favor of the Nene or something similar)


    You've got Rolls Royce's piston engine designs that got delayed or canceled in favor of focus on the Merlin (Peregrine, Vulture, Exe, Griffon), and the DB-603 being stalled due to the start of the war, among others.

    On the American end of things, they might not have had Jets flying by 1945 given the lack of interest as far as private ventures went aside from Lockheed's excessively complex, flawed, and problematic L-1000. (an early attempt, but one so unrealistic and impractical that it would hardly set the bar for anyone to follow) If British and German developments were more publicized during peace time, there might have been more incentive for American companies to take interest in gas turbines sooner. (or perhaps if Nathan Price had partnered with GE rather than Lockheed while consulting on turbocharger design, some of GE's other engineering teams might have started parallel developments)
     
  9. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    State of the art 1929
    Bulldog-1a.jpg

    State of the art 1934
    d500-5.jpg

    State of the art 1939
    bf109e3.jpg

    Doesnt look like slow progress to me. The 1930s were pretty radical as far as design went.
     
  10. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    1/. The War Cabinet would have stayed in power, with Churchill still as Prime Minister, so Czechs, Poles and Russians would not have been sent back for Stalin to murder, and Russia wouldn't have been given the engine for the MiG-15.
    2/. If the U.K. had still needed a loan, maybe the U.S. President would have had a word with the American bankers about their usurious interest rates.
    3/. Korea wouldn't have happened, neither would Malaya.
     
  11. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    The A Bomb would be available from the start not as the wars end so everything would be different.
     
  12. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #12 GregP, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
    Hi Fastmongrel,

    The Germans were arming for war, and the world knew it. Had they NOT been doing so, I doubt if the progress would have been anywhere near what it was. Good pics of a Dewoitine, I like them for some reason or another. At least they look more modern than, say, a P-26 Peashooter.

    The Spirfire was a response to meeting the threat of the Bf 109 and the Bf 109 was the German Luftwaffe's weapon of choice. Had Hitler opted not to start the war until 1945, I doubt you would have seen Bf 109's in squadron service at least in large numbers, until a year ot two before the war started. If the UK had not seen the proliferation of Bf 109's as a threat, I doubt if the Spitfire would have achieved operational status until years after it actually did.

    That's my whole point. Had the war not started until 1945, the German buildup would have not started until 5 years later, too, at least with the speed at which it really did. I'm not even sure the Nazi government could have funded another 5 years of U-boat production without a war on, much less another 5 years of Luftwaffe buildup.

    But, in a "what if," anything is possible. So it is also possible the Germans could have started the war with the atomic bomb and a strategic bomber with which to deliver it, even though they never actually produced a strategic bomber in the real world. After all, it IS a "what if."
     
  13. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Agree without the pressure of German re armament the pace would be slower but my point was that the technology was there before the LW was thought of.

    The problem with this What If is that there was a narrow window of opportunity for the Nazis. They could only come to power when they did if they hadnt won the elections in 1933 the next ones in (not entirely sure of when next election would have been) say 1937 the economy would have gone against them as the economic fixes of the Weimar govt which the Nazis claimed as their own would have worked to the benefit of Germany. If the Nazis get in as real time there is no way that Germany could have lasted a peace much past 1940 as they would have run out of money without the plunder of conquest and if the Molotov/Ribbentrop pact had gone ahead then bill from Stalin would need paying. Germany had to go when they did.
     
  14. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe, but the Manhattan project is one of the technical undertakings that depended on massive US Government support and spending driven largely by the War. It's not something that would have continued at remotely the same pace if supported independently or with more limited peacetime grants both in terms of laboratory application of theory and industrial scale mass production of Uranium enrichment and plutonium breeding and processing plants. (and cyclotrons)

    Aside from that, German and Japanese Nuclear projects might have made plenty of progress as well, especially without bombing compromising things or political ideology (and mismanagement) compromising some of the scientific intellectual resources in Germany. (the latter depending more on what exactly replaced the Third Reich) Though the German Nuclear project seemed to focus more heavily on power generation than the American or Japanese projects ... bomb designs were in there as well, but nuclear power seemed to be the most prominent goal. They also seemed to focus on paraffin and heavy water moderated natural uranium reactor experiments rather than enrichment or breeding. (and nothing on the scale of the graphite moderated air-cooled Chicago Pile 1)

    That said, Germany historically stockpiled chemical and biological derived weapons materials in potentially devastating quantities (refined Botulinum toxin in particular comes to mind), so in terms of strategically deployable mass destruction weapons, there might have been enough either way to lean towards a stalemate (cold war) if any side decided to deploy them. And having all sides fully re-armed would lend more to a cold war scenario anyway, at least as far as Western Europe is considered. (teritory squabbling over colonies and possibly parts of Eastern Europe might be more plausible, especially if 1945 'rearmament' was still very limited in production capacity -ie advanced tech, but not easily ramped up to anything close to historical 1945 scales -especially in the US)



    The Spitfire and 109 very well may have been produced in much smaller numbers with less heavy development and completely superceded by 1945 with more advanced designs coming online by the mid 1940s without compromises made for sustained wartime production or short-term planning.

    Or perhaps up-engined Hurricane models were seen as more attractive development wise as holdovers for Jet aircraft. (possibly the Typhoon/Tempest and a Gloster/Supermarine/De Havilland heavy twin engine fighter) That or the Whirlwind might have seen continued development along with its peregrines. (possibly the Hawker Tornado as well -the Vulture might have remained more attractive than the Saber if it hadn't been canceled, or possibly displaced by the Griffin)

    The Mustang might not have been pursued in the US ... or development may have stayed as a lower key privately funded venture alongside slower development of the P-38, P-39, P-40, and P-47. The XP-47J's and P-38K configruations might have been adopted as standard production though the emphasis on long range fuel tankage might not have been the same, or similar internal capacity (P-47N wing included) but perhaps lesser emphasis on drop tanks in combat. (pre-war, both the USAAF and USN showed interest in fighter aircraft capable of exceeding 1000 mi or even approaching 2000 mile maximum ranges on internal fuel, has had the IJN)

    A lot would depend on how much combat experience developed with smaller scale conflict in 1938-1944 to make the need for certain features more obvious. (armor and self sealing fuel tanks in particular)
     
  15. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    #15 kool kitty89, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
    Also no copies of the Jumo 004 or BMW 003. There might have been greater emphasis on the Lyulka turbojet developments instead, and more progress might have been made earlier if the Evacuation to the Urals hadn't taken place.



    That might get into greater complexities if you consider restructuring of the Nazi part itself ... aside from being deposed, there's potential for splinter parties pushing for reform more in the direction Oswald Spengler emphasized in the 1920s, or other Nationalist/Expansionist entities not in line with the previous Weimar government but also not in line with the 3rd Reich's ideology and doctrine.

    Still, that would imply continued attempts at expansion well prior to 1945 and how to do that without initiating a full blown European War is a pretty broad question, and more difficult still if you want France, Brittan, and Russia still as non-combatants prior to 1945. That and Japan and the Pacific war ... though I suppose if you allow THAT to continue and only postpone European hostilities it might make some sense. (especially if you include other possibilities like German support of Chinese against Japan ... avoiding aggression with the USSR seems tricky at best though, especially if Germany had supported the Finnish resistance against Russia)

    Alliances and expansion of a German Empire in Europe and possibly abroad without inciting declarations of War from the UK or France might have been possible if Germany (and their hypothetical allies) kept their targets selective enough and diplomatic negotiations smart (and tricky) enough. Ending up in a war with the USSR prior to 1945 seems more likely still, and swinging things to get British, French, and American support (or a shaky alliance) against Japanese expansion in the Far East might be more realistic (or at least to the extent of keeping supply lines open). Russia seems the tricky spot in as far as whether they'd be more opportunitic with land grabs here and there or actually draw full aggression to the point of War during the mess in the far east.
    Or, diplomacy aside, just enough strategic military sense to make sure German held (and allied) territory was full well able to maintain air superiority and repel any and all enemy air strikes.


    One other interesting scenario (albeit departing from the primary premise of this thread) would be Germany expanding as far as they had in 1939 through the Battle of France and THEN seeing a radical restructuring of their government (via Coup, Revolution, etc) that saw radical shifts compared to the Nazi regime, but still one intent on Nationalist expansionism. Something like that with enough competent leadership and diplomatic prowess might have been able to negotiate some sort of peace (if uneasy) with the UK and avoid the Battle of Britain as well as possibly changing their ties with Italy or swaying things to avoid Italian-British conflict, perhaps moderating the Balkins campaign differently and certainly managing any moves towards Russia differently. (possibly avoiding an invasion of Russia entirely and/or focusing on expanding into territories on the western and southern fringes of the USSR, including the Baltic states and parts of the Middle East)

    If there was any sort of sustained Alliance with China, a more direct line of transportation (both land and sea) would be critical for making that sort of exchange really useful.
     
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