What if? East Vs West 1945

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Ascent, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Ascent

    Ascent Member

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    Don't know if this has been asked before but here we go.

    It's June/July 1945 and after the Germans are defeated tensions rise between the western Allies and the Soviets. An incident sparks things off and all of a sudden there's another war started between east and west. How does the air battle go?

    Is the western allies strategic bomber force still any use given that the Soviet production facilities are so far away? Do the Soviets have anything which could actually worry the bombers?

    What about the Sturmoviks? Do they get a nasty suprise when they are clawed out of the sky? Or do they wreak havoc when the wetern allies can't counter them? Who gains air superiority?

    Equipment is basically what was in service at the end of the war and anything which might reasonably be ready to enter service straight after.
    What are your thoughts on these points and more?
     
  2. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    #2 ShVAK, Sep 25, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
    It would be an effective stalemate.

    The Allies would quickly acquire air superiority over the new European Front (East Germany to Moscow), the Soviets have nothing existing by mid-1945 that can effectively intercept the B-29 (might be possible with La-9/11, but that doesn't show up until late '46 and is questionable besides) short of fielding whatever technology available to the Luftwaffe that wasn't destroyed or otherwise inoperable which is a big long shot. American fighters and bombers are superior above 20K feet by a fairly wide margin and would remain unopposed. The VVS also has no night fighter force to speak of, and the Mosquito (later to be replaced by the Hornet/Sea Hornet) had no real competition. Night bombing, the same as daylight, would be largely unopposed.

    Moscow would be bombed to hell no doubt along with most of western Russia, the Baltic states, etc., but Russia was not nearly as strapped for resources and manpower as Germany was even after throwing so much into the meat grinder that was the Eastern Front. On top of that most of the factories are deep enough within Soviet territory that it is likely that bases would have to be established within Japan and China to hit anything of import on the Asian Front--we backed the wrong horse in China, and according to your scenario V-J Day hasn't happened yet. This also makes full U.S. commitment to the European Front hard, as we were still ramping up for a possible major invasion of Japan.

    Meanwhile the VVS I suspect would stick to its most successful strategy--using whatever aircraft they had from forward airbases available to support the thrust of the Red Army in the West and that's where the Allies would run into problems. The Red Army was not the joke it was in '41 and whatever Allied advances made on the ground would quickly grind to a halt up against Soviet numerical and materiel superiority. The mistakes of Barbarossa on the Soviet side would not be repeated and Allied victory would ultimately boil down to some sort of miracle--or nuclear intervention. There's a reason why Churchill's plan was called "Operation Unthinkable."
     
  3. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Lend Lease supplied about 1/3rd of the Soviets explosives, and of the explosive the Russians produced themselves, 40% of the Toulene was supplied thru Lend Lease.
    The cutting off of just that one part of the supplies that had been coming from Lend Lease would have a big affect on Russia's ability to make war.
     
  4. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    I don't think that allied fighter had the range to escort the B-29 to Moscow. Bombing western european Russia is useless was already destroyed.
     
  5. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    Imagine the Battle of Bulge but with the attacks being made all along the Allied front. The Red Army outnumbered the Western Allies by about 3-1 and most of the strongest partisan forces in Western Europe were loyal to the USSR. Personally, I think the Red Army would have destroyed the Allied Armies in very short order.
     
  6. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It had better be a short fight. Both Armies were at the end of long supply lines, It might take the Soviets a few months to run through any stockpiles but they cannot supply their own army at the rate they had been using ammo fuel if lend lease is cut off. The entire European transport network is a wreck, both east and west.Soviets were supporting the advance with Studebaker trucks. Soviets were running short of manpower but so was the British commonwealth.

    British and American artillery capability was also a generation ahead of what in had been in 1940-42.
     
  7. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Not without control of the air - look to Korea when the Chinese had and even larger force advantage. The Soviet logistics chain is a mirror exact similarity the Germans faced pushing to Moscow. May 1945 to August 6 1945 is a short time.
     
  8. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    #8 RCAFson, Sep 26, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    Eh? The PRC's PLA pushed the UN Forces back considerably and there's no way that the PLA had anything like the combat efficiency and firepower of the Red Army in 1945. The Red Airforce in 1945 is not going to be lightly brushed aside. The simple arithmetic of the numbers involved make any such war a pretty grim scenario for the Western Allies.

    Look at it this way; could the Western Allies have prevailed against the Eastern German Army in June 1944? Then look at what the Red Army did to the Eastern German forces in June-Aug 1944. The Western Allies would have been steamrollered just as the German Army was.
     
  9. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    A large portion of the Red Army's aviation gas was supplied thru lend lease also. I'm sure someone on this site can come up with the figures.

    So unless the Russians had some big stockpiles of gas, and explosives left over after they smashed Germany, they're going to run running short of fuel and munitions pretty quick.
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Hold out for a month and drop a couple of atom bombs on Moscow and Leningrad. That should be the end of that.

    Steve
     
  11. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    #11 bobbysocks, Sep 26, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    german did nto have a the stategic bombing capabilities like the western allies. they may have been able to press hard initially but like drgondog pointed out their suppliy lines are now at the mercy of long range HIGH ALTITDUDE bomber that could be stationed in eastern germany on former LW fields...far from the reached of vvs attacks. the russian army never faced a carpet bombing campaign from the germany. massive and concentrated bombing from altitudes that the vvs isnt used to fighting would very much have an equalizing effect on the strength. couple that with robbing them of supplies by bombing and destroying supply lines puts the red army in a world of hurt. within a few months you also have the big game changer the A-bomb. and withthe capitulation of japan the western allies have bases and the long range capability to bomb the eastern and central regions of russia. i dont think its as cut and dry an answer as some would believe. the hardest part would be getting the us public to buy into a ww2 part 2.....

    and what would have happened had we give patton the gas instead of the russians??...that slowed the western advance down quite a bit.
     
  12. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    The atomic bomb was dropped on two defenceless cities in August 1945 (the IJA AA never fired a shot - look it up) and no interception missions were flown either. Against the USSR the B-29 must fight through a determined AA defence network and a potent interceptor force. The Allied would probably not use atomic weapons until they had a large stockpile simply because there would have been a high probability that one or both bombs would not make it to the target. In any event Stalin knew all about the bomb and it's tactical limitations and the USSR would probably have moved their governing institutions to secure locations. Use of atomic weapons would probably drive the Red Army into a frenzy and fill it with " a terrible resolve" but two atomic weapons drops in would not alter the basic fundamentals of the war on the ground, nor appreciably alter Soviet industrial output.

    I don't quite understand the unwillingness to admit that the Red Army that crushed the Wehrmacht had a lot more combat potential than the Western Allies, in the Summer of 1945 - just add up the numbers. The Allies had it all over the USSR in industrial potential but that doesn't change the fact that the average GI or Tommy in Eisenhower's AGs is outnumbered 3 to 1 or more by a very tough, well trained, determined, and thus highly potent, Red Army equipped with a very modern set of weapons.
     
  13. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    If the war lasts six months that might be an issue, but in about 6 weeks the Allied Armies would be well and truly shredded and most likely trying to escape off the continent. Allied Forces might be able to retain a toehold in Italy.
     
  14. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    i am willing to admit that the russian army devistated the wm. my problem has always been the contention that they either really did it alone or didnt need the western allies to be as successful. as for if one a bomb would have made a difference....what if hitler had one at kursk and could have wiped out the soviet armor prior to them attacking? or dropped it on stalingrad at the beginning and not got bogged down in that mire....1 or 2 bombs ( with the capability to make a lot more ) does count for something.
     
  15. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    How would Hitler do that?

    How do you ensure that your multi-billion dollar bomb doesn't get shot down by a fighter or a $50 AA shell or horror of horrors drops it on some Pz division by mistake? The AA bomb was a very poor tactical weapon

    At Hiroshima the closest survivors were only a hundred yards or so from ground zero. If Hiroshima had issued an air raid warning the casualty rate would have been a fraction of what it was. To knock out a tank, you would almost need a direct hit.
     
  16. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    #16 Jabberwocky, Sep 26, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
    Look up 'Operation Unthinkable', which is a UK planning document on the possibility of resuming hostilities against "Russia", worked up at Churchill's request between May and July 1945.

    Their conclusions are that the Russians had a 4.1:1 superiority in manpower, 2:1 in tanks, 2:1 in 'tactical' aircraft, but a 1:2.9 deficiency in 'strategic' aircraft.

    It was concluded that against such forces, it would be impossible to win a quick victory, even a limited one, and that the Western Allies (and Poland) would be committed to a “protracted war against heavy odds”. An operational attack was deemed "hazardous" - a masterful British understatement if ever their was one.
     
  17. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    On to a theoretical, conventional air war

    The May 1945 planning document gives the following air force strength break-downs:

    Tactical
    Western Allies (+Poland): 6048
    Russia: 11802

    Strategic:
    Allies: 2750
    Russia: 960

    Total Russian frontline strength, including naval air force and defence forces, was considered to be 16500 aircraft.

    The planners were working without knowledge of atomic weapons.

    They assume that the Russian numerical superiority would be off-set by the “vastly superior handling and efficiency of the Allies Air Forces, especially Strategic Air Forces”. However, they were worried that a lack of replacement aircraft and aircrew would “seriously impair” air strength.

    Russian air force morale was considered “high”, but “not nearly as well trained or disciplined” as Western Allied air forces. Pilots were “always reasonably competent, sometimes brilliant” and experienced in short range support for ground operations.

    It was considered that the Western Allies had a technically superior but numerically inferior tactical air force.

    The planning document warns that the Western Allies superiority in strategic aircraft would “be to some extent discounted by the absence of strategic targets compared with those which existed in Germany” and the necessity of using strategic air forces to supplement tactical strength in support of land operations.
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    What makes you say that?

    This is the scenerio WWII Germany hoped for. The German Government and armed forces would cooperate. So would Italy, Hungary, Poland, Finland, Croatia, Spain, Slovakia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, several ethnic groups in the Caucasus etc. The U.S. Army main supply hub would be ports such as Hamburg and they would have full use of the excellent German rail system.
     
  19. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    Italy and many of the countries you mention had powerful communist controlled partisan armies. The Red Army (and NKVD) had already crushed any and all effective resistance that Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia could muster. Somehow, I doubt that Stalin laid awake at night worrying about the Spanish Army...

    The German rail network had been degraded by years of Allied bombing...but I guess you mean that Allied bombing was ineffective?

    Hamburg was a wasteland in May 1945.
     
  20. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    do these numbers include any LW ac that would still be operational and serviceable? is there any documentation of how many lw ac there were still flyable at the end of the war?
     
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