The Nuclear decision...what if?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Seawitch, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    Hi all
    What if.........Germany hadn't made many of the mistakes we debate here and the War in Europe was happening a lot slower than it did.
    I wonder where the very limited Nuclear capability created in 1945 would have been applied?
    Would taming Stalin have been more important than the awful prospect of invading Japan if it's use abroad didn't convinve them it was time to give up?
    I've thought about this one quite a lot, but never managed to establish an opinion.
     
  2. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    The Americans made the atomic bomb. The reason was the needs of war. The sheer scale would perhaps not been availble in peacetime.

    So one scenario is that Germany is not at war with US so no atomic bomb.

    Also the Germans in Moscow by Dec 41 and game over...Germany conquered Europa.

    Or Dunkirk evacuation never happened and UK makes peace with Hitler.
    If Germany made the right moves then the war would be over too soon for the bomb to be developed.
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The US and Britain were going to develope the bomb one way or another.

    Just because in your scenario the Germans are not at war with the US, doesnt mean the US trusts the nazi's.

    The bomb will be developed just as scheduled with the Rhur or Berlin as the first target.
     
  4. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    Yes
    And perhaps Germany too...and with weapons like the V2 about possibly with an invulnerable delivery system too!
    With such advanced weapons about, a very real fear that Germany might soon have a Nuclear weapon?
    But I have started this thread with American involved still in mind
    Could the increased risk of a European delivery of the two available weapons in August 0f 45 been enough to go East?
    Then again, the last U.S ship to be sunk in WW2 had delivered one of the Bombs, perhaps I'm making a mistake there!
     
  5. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The V2 didnt have the payload to carry an atomic weapon from that era.

    And its very difficult to scale up rockets to carry more payload. I wouldnt see the Germans being able to build a reliable booster with the payload and range capabilities untill long after the US bombed Germany first with B29's, or delivered a nuclear "mine" into Hamburg via sub.
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Very unlikely scenerio because we have all seen how big the A-Bombs were during WW2 and a V-2 would not have been able to carry such a payload. Correct me if I am wrong, but I doubt it.
     
  7. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    Don´t forget France, friends!

    France had a reasonable -if not perfect- chance to stop the german advance in mid june 1940 and France by then was the most advanced nation in nuclear physics. Even the germans estimated that the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe would have been exhousted in mid 1940 and initially aimed Fall Rot, conquering the remainder of France, to mid 1941. So asuming France does not orders to evacuate 1.800 of it´s most modern planes on june 17th and keeps up we have a reasonable chance for a shorter war.
     
  8. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    This is correct, but it's also wisdom with hindsight. I mentioned the V2 because, like Nuclear weapons....it's about fear.
    I don't want to sound like Doctor Strangelove!
    But it's a fact that the Germans persistanly produced weapons that outclassed anything their enemies had....the ME262, the Tiger tanks, the V weapons...so why not a very real fear of a more efficient (and therefore smaller) Nuclear weapon?
    Also, there was a need to deter Stalin, would that purpose have been better served by a European use of the Atomic bomb?
    I hope I'm not causing a Political thread:oops:
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The allies had their own set of advanced weapons the Germans didnt have.
     
  10. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    The way in which France fell in 1940 is perplexing. Cannot be written off to a single factor, but this is what I've learned. Most accounts I've read seem to indicate there was a severe paralysis in decision making not only in the French high command, but also throughout the army. It appears that they were always waiting for the 100% solution - and the constantly changing situation means you will never have such a thing. Leaders were waiting for this tank company to move up into position to counter-attack, or this arty bat could support an assault in 5 hours.

    Perhaps you right, but I don't think that evac would have made a critical difference. The problems were far deeper.
     
  11. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    France fought well considering the circumstances. I too suspect problems in the leadership but France´s fate does deserve attention and isn´t easily explainable. Whenever french tank forces fought Wehrmacht tank forces in a moving, coordinated battle, the germans lost:!: . The french tanks got slaughtered once they ran out of ammunition, gazoline or leadership. Preferably when they were told to hold a position X.
    The french air force was underutilizing it´s strength while the Luftwaffe overutilized it´s strength, resulting in a higher exhoustion during the campaign. In mid june 1940, both air forces had reached parity in operational strength, an aspect I would credit as a success for France. Till this time, the UK holded a foothold in Dunkirk and no german units have penetrated deep into France. The french forces fell back on their logistical bases and enjoied infrastructural advances and the inherent advantages of fighting a defensive war (esspeccially for warplanes lost over french terretory) .Considering that the main bulk of french fighter and bomber forces -contrary to what is repeated often- were modern units in june 40 the decision to flee from France is questionable at best. In mid June 1940, France indeed could have delivered a substantial blow to the german advance from here onwards if they decided to concnetrate on this with proper tactics.
     
  12. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    Hi Guys
    Trying to keep this thread on topic is like the defence of France...a lost cause!
    Lets get in on the act...enter 'french military victories' into ...google.... click on 'Im feeling Lucky...:twisted: :twisted:
     
  13. david johnson

    david johnson Member

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    since we're mulling over alternate history, read the harry turtledove 'world at war' series. it's a lot of fun for me because much of takes place where i live.

    hitler, himmler, molotov, patton, einstein...they're all there. early jets, lasers (skelwanks - one of my favorite new words)...

    dj
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Great books. I have all of them including the Colonization series. I have just started reading the Colonization ones though.
     
  15. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    The Germans could've developed a deliverable nuclear weapon, maybe by '46, but there was too much disinterest in higher circles to support the atomic research that was going on in Germany in the late '30's/early '40's; Hitler considered atomic research a "Jewish scince" and, therefore, dismissed it out of hand (see David Irving's book The German Atomic Bomb: The History of Nuclear Research in Nazi Germany). Germany actually built the first operational heavy-water facility in Vemork, Norway before it was sabotaged by British commandos in '40.

    They also had plans on the drawing board for a "boosted" V-2 capable of reaching the East Coast of the USA (it would've been the world's first true ICBM) known as the A-10 (there were also much larger rockets projected beyond this known as the A-11 A-12). In theory, one of these "boosted" V-2's probably could've lofted an atomic weapon on the US, but the Germans were years away from that when the War ended.
     
  16. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    I read that the V 2 costed about as much as the Manhatton project. So the Germans could have had a nuke had they wanted to. They could have put it in a Ju 390 with a one way ticket to Manhattan at night.

    I think it was the A-12 which was to be the first intercontinental ballistic missile. They were years away from that even though the V 2 was the biggest Army project.
    Kris
     
  17. david johnson

    david johnson Member

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    colonization is also good.

    in 'world at war', some secret usa science shenanigans are going on up in myrtle, mo. my wife worked at the school there for the past few years.

    since much of it also occurs in arkansas, i feel right at home in the books.
    i've been to all the places turtledove mentions.

    i've forgotten some details...seems like one protagonist joins the raf and another flies german jets...neat stuff. i liked the guy who figured out that, if you had the guts to wait, you really could blow up a lizard tank.

    my favorite part was after a truce when the us sgt and a lizard sgt were setting around talking at night in a blasted american city.
    'why you guys fighting us?'
    'hell if i know, the emperor said do it and that's what us soldiers do.'

    i bet that conversation has happened between foes in most wars!

    dj
     
  18. Hop

    Hop Member

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    The V-2 wouldn't have been a suitable delivery mechanism for a nuclear warhead. Apart from the fact the early nuclear weapons were far too big, the V-2 had very poor accuracy and was very unreliable.

    Of the 1350 or so fired at London, just 520 hit within the greater London area, which was about 20 miles across. Almost a quarter of the missiles broke up in flight.

    With a 25% chance of losing a precious nuclear warhead, and less than 40% chance of hitting the largest city in the world from 200 miles away, the idea of launching nuclear weapons at the US (3,500 miles) was pure fantasy.

    It wasn't just a question of money. The Germans had some of the basic science wrong.
     
  19. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Like what?

    Kris
     
  20. Hop

    Hop Member

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    Their development of a nuclear reactor was hindered by a mistaken belief that graphite was no use as a moderator. That meant they needed lots of very pure heavy water, which was expensive and difficult to make (I'm not sure they ever got enough). Graphite is actually an excellent moderator, still used in most reactors today. It's cheap and easy to produce.

    They also appear to have been unsure how much enriched uranium or plutonium they would need for a critical mass, with Heisenberg at times believing it would take several tons, rather than the tens of kilos actually needed.
     
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