The US doing things different from other nations?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Shortround6, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Answering this post heare rahter than derail/clog up the original thread.

    Mr Bender:
    "revolutionary approach for the time
    The USA did lots of things different from other nations.
    .....Mass produced an expensive semi automatic rifle for infantry use. Other nations kept using bolt action rifles until an inexpensive semi / full auto rifle was ready for production.
    .....Infantry .30cal MGs were updated WWI models. Most other nations introduced modern LMGs during the 1930s.
    .....Built a working atomic bomb. Several other nations investigated the possibility but gave up when they realized how much it would cost.
    .....Failed to build a reliable 20mm aircraft cannon. Most other nations had one by 1941.
    .....The USA built fighter aircraft such as the P-47 and P-38 which were twice as heavy and twice as expensive as fighter aircraft produced by other nations.
    .....The USA had the worst torpedos in the world.
    .....The U.S. Army had essentially no CAS capability until the final year of the war. Nothing comparable to German Ju-87, Soviet Il-2, RAF Hurricane Mk IIC etc.

    Doing things our own way is an American tradition. I see no reason we shouldn't build a large twin engine fighter aircraft during the 1930s to take advantage of those giant (for 1930s) Lexington class aircraft carriers."

    #1. US was the first to introduce in large numbers a semi automatic infantry rifle. However Two other nations built such rifles at least in the 10-20,000 number range if not more before, during WW II, not including Sweden.
    Price may subject to question also. Good bolt action rifles are not cheap. A few other nations used/adopted " expensive semi automatic rifle for infantry use" in the 1950s, like the dozens of nations that adopted the FAL.

    #2. Yes the US did use updated .30cal MGs WWI models in WW II. Of course what is not noted is that the US guns date from 1917-1919 and not 1900-1914 like everybody else's "WW I" guns. A few minor nations (Belgium, Poland and others) use the same "LMG" that the US did, the BAR. The French "Modern LMG" was pretty much a BAR turned upside down. The Italian and Japanese "Modern LMGs" should have been dropped in the nearest rubbish bin and factories tooled up for the BAR ( which was actually none too good as a LMG, but those guns were worse). US medium and heavy infantry MGs carried on until the 1960s and beyond, not bad for "updated WW I" models.

    #3. The US fighters were also much more capable than many other nations smaller fighters. The Japanese were trying to build large fighters at the end of the war. I am not sure that the P-38 and P-47 were twice the size and price of a Ta 152. If you want to carry a certain weight of guns and ammo a certain distance and height and achieve a certain speed a small cheap fighter cannot do it. There is no magic.

    #4. The US army had a lot of CAS support aircraft available, they just didn't use them. Hundreds if not several thousand A-24s, A-25s, A-33s and so on. Not to mention the A-20s. Of course all those heavy, expensive US fighters had a fair ability at CAS except perhaps in tank busting, making the need to deploy a seperate type of aircraft for CAS duties rather unneeded, what do you know, a cost savings!! fewer spare parts needed in the 3000-6000 mile long supply line.
     
  2. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting perspective SR, I was thinking that as poor a showing given by the P-40E used as an interceptor, its one bright spot was its performance as a fighter bomber able to carry and drop 500# ordnance and even had jury rigged Bomb swings installed so it could be an effective dive bomber. Didn't the Commonwealth users endorse the P-40 as a CAS aircraft?
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Just make sure and keep it civil guys.
     
  4. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #4 oldcrowcv63, Aug 9, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
    Uuuuah? (dang! not homer simpson... it should be Scooby!)
     

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  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    He was dead on about our topedoes, though...they were not only erratic, but often times deadly to our own crews...

    It wasn't until late in the war that a decent torpedo was made available which is really sad, if you think about it.

    Almost makes you suspect a senator had connections to the company that was making those defective POS torps for so long... (speculation here, but can't be ruled out, either)
     
  6. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Eh? How should I read that Shorty? Me confused! :lol:
     
  7. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #7 stona, Aug 9, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
    The United States financed and facilitated the building of the first atom bombs but they certainly didn't,at least initially,have the expertise to have built them "on their own". It was a huge multi national effort.
    Many of the brains were already in the US for various reasons,being Jewish was a particularly good one. Cooperation with the British was a rocky road,particularly as the US project overhauled the more modest,independent British effort. Eventually the Quebec and later Hyde Park agreements ensured that cooperation,albeit on American terms,would be resumed/continued. There were a handful of British scientists that the Manhattan project needed. It also needed Canadian natural resources (Uranium) and I think used Canadian produced deuterium oxide ("heavy water").

    Steve
     
  8. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #8 oldcrowcv63, Aug 9, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
    As I understand the history, it was the multinational component that spurred its development. AFAIK, Without that push, it probably wouldn't have been on anyone in the USA's radar. May be the USA would have pursued a death ray instead.... :eek:
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Both Germany and the Soviet Union built Semi Automatic rifles although not in the quantities the US did.

    Gewehr 43 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Note 3 different models. Plus

    FG 42 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Soviet Tokarev

    SVT-40 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Numbers are greater than I thought.

    Those were combatants, Sweden was neutral and managed the

    Ag m/42 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The post war French MAS-49 had pre-war roots and the 1940 model might have seen more use had France stayed in the war longer. The 1936 Bolt rifle was hardly world class.

    ALL of these guns were made of machined steel forgings and were expensive to make. The US was not alone or following a different path. It might not have even gotten there first ( depends on Russian production numbers in 1938-41?) even if it did produce the most during the war.

    Sorry for the earlier confusion.
     
  10. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Aaaah....
    Cheers pal, appreciated....
    Wonder if it was any good... :lol:
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The manufacture of torpedoes in the US was a government monopoly for quite a number of years, including the ones leading up to WW II. There may have been a congressional connection but it wasn't for profit/payoffs.
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Just trying to keep from happening what happens in every thread like this one. People acting like children, because they were never taught manners and how to act like an adult when you disagree with someone. There are people on both sides of the spectrum (pro axis/pro allies) that don't know how to debate like adults, and these kind of threads always deteriorate.

    Just trying to prevent that with a friendly reminder, but I suspect it will do no good...
     
  13. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    That is actually a fact. The senators from Rhode Island made sure the Newport torpedo factory had no competition.
     
  14. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    1. I'd dispute that other full power catridge semi-auto's were inherently any cheaper to make than the Garand. Of course submachineguns were, and to a lesser degree 'intermediate cartridge' weapons like MP44 and Soviet SKS and AK postwar. But other major countries went to semi-auto's (or eventually selective fire weapons in some cases) which weren't categorically less expensive to make than the Garand, they just did it later.
    2. This statement is at least half wrong because infantry machineguns includes medium machine guns, where most other countries used early or pre WWI designs in WWII. As far as squad automatic weapons it's truer, but the real differences between a weapon like Zb26 (and derivatives like Bren) and BAR are consistently exaggerated IMO. The Germans were the only ones to really revolutionize mg's with the univeral MG34/42 types. They stand out more v everyone else than the US does.
    3. Others can argue semantics here. You could say the English developed the A-bomb; if Newton hadn't come up with his theories of physics there would have been nothing for Einstein to question, right? Sort of kidding there but no modern scientific innovation is uninfluenced by past discoveries, and many are discovered independently but one or another team or group irons out the practical issues (as in the cavity magnetron was invented at least four separate places including Japan, but Brit teams made of it a practical microwave radar first, Xerox invented the computer mouse to take a commercial example, and so forth). If the US hadn't become the center of a 'United Nations' against the Axis it probably wouldn't have carried out the Manhattan project; OTOH if the US had remained neutral the remaining Allies could not have done it in a reasonable time IMO. Anyway it wasn't because the US 'did things differently'.
    4. Tony Williams is a very learned guy, but his constant writing and arguments on the web have convinced a lot of people that this of any importance to speak of, and with all due respect to Tony I don't buy that. .50 cal was perfectly adequate for US fighters, and anyway later war US Hispano clones worked OK.
    5. The only reason the P-38 is compared to single engine fighters is that it was competitive with them in air combat; other countries' big heavy twins (Bf110) were not.
    6. Had a bad quality control problem and was slow in fixing it. But when US torpedoes functioned as designed which they eventually did, they had similar performace to everyone else's with two major exceptions: Japanese O2 propulsion, and German electrics (eventually partly copied in US electrics). The US introduced a functioning homing torpedo (Fido) months after the unsucessful German Falke, and before the successful Zaunkoenig.
    7. CAS is a doctrine not an airplane. German practice fairly early in the war somewhat resembled what we know think of as CAS, with more or less direct communication between liaison officers on the ground and the air units to feed them time sensitive targets. Soviet practice did not at ll; Soviet a/c were notorious from German POV for bypassing obvious German targets because it wasn't in the their pre-briefed orders where to strike. What Il-2's did was what we'd now call 'battlefield interdiction' and so were Stuka missions in most cases. The US and British in late WWII did what most closely resembles modern CAS in the proper sense of the term, of direct targeting by ground forces in contact with the enemy.

    Joe
     
  15. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    US version of the Hispano (A-N/M2) didn't really work "OK" until the end of 1944. In the P-38 in the ETO, the US version of the gun suffered a rate of stoppage slightly more than three times that of the UK version.

    Chinn devotes about 25 pages in The Machine Gun to detailing the sorry story of the Hispano in US WW2 service. That's more space than he gives to whole Browning MG aerial gun family.

    The .50 was adequate, yes. It was a perfectly fine weapon. But, it was also the only option the US had on the table. There were a multitude of gun programmes started from the mid 1930s through to the end of the war and they never really produced a workable automatic aerial cannon for the US. There were three .90 cal guns that all failed to produce anything workable, and the attempt to convert the MG151 to .60 cal also failed. The 37 mm M4 wasn't really up to scratch until later in the war and the M9 came a too late.
     
  16. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    1. Maybe you missed where I said 'late war' which makes that point rather redundant. I've read Chinn many times, thanks.

    2. So why is this point always brought up as if of any significance? It's absurd to be discussing alongside something of the significance of the A-bomb (aside from 'who invented it') or even torpedo problems, and even notably down the scale from semi-auto standard infantry rifle. Virtual 100% non-issue, IMHO. Simple question, did US fighters have an armament problem?, IMO no not at all.

    Joe
     
  17. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The torpedos were so bad early in the war, if that problem didn't exist or was corrected much earlier, the US submarines might have been able to starve out Japan so much quicker, and the A-bombs might not have been necessary.
     
  18. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Hello, Joe, if I may cut in
    Maybe the answer would be 'it depends'?
    One thing is to have an 1700-3200 hp on board - it does not make so much of a problem to have a gun that is not ranked high at 'punch per armament ammo weight' - just stick enough of those guns their ammo and you're fine. But what about the 1000-1200 HP fighters? 4 seem like insuficcient, so lets stick another pair, simultaneously cutting the ammo count and slightly increasing the weight*, and the F4F-4 gets bad rap. Or, let's delete the 4 LMGs from the P-39, and we're stuck with 3 guns that can be used simultaneously only in point blank ranges ('seeing the white of the eyes of the enemy pilot'). That those 3 guns have appalling RoF is another low point; we do not have a simple, belt fed 20-30mm cannon, with decent MV RoF, to use it through the prop shaft, and the BMG is a lousy synchronized weapon (major low point?). Or, let's make the P-40 an 6 HMG fighter, and then be surprised it can't climb squat?

    *The major weight increase was due to the introduction of folding wings, I won't blame the Ma Deuce for all of that.
     
  19. Tante Ju

    Tante Ju Banned

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    It says more about US Army conservatism and too much confidence in the omnipotence of A-bomb... rather than the quality of those long obsolate weapons. They could do the job of course, point was other systems could do it better for 30 years. Which the US recognised only in the 1960 when it tried, not too successfully, to adopt GPMGs in the form of M60 GPMG, essentially a copy of German FG 42/MG 42 solutions. Shermans were still used in the Korean war, they did so good in WW2 right..?

    Zero, Yak 9D series... and early P-47s had exactly the same short range as 109E/Spitfire I. Check thesis again...

    OTOH I would not kick the US much for the lack of a 20mm gun... they tried to license a foreign one - like many others did, like German-Japanese-British with the Oerlikons and Oerlikon deriviate Hispano-Suiza. They just had production quality problems with it.
     
  20. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Tante Ju , same short range for Zero and Emil&Spit I??
     
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