What if.....

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Soundbreaker Welch?, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    The US and Russia went to war against each other in 1945, 1946, who do you think would have won the Air War?

    Yak-9's, La-7's, Mig 3's against P-51's, P-47's......



    Frankly, glad it didn't happen.
     
  2. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

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    Hmmm... Intriguing. I wonder if the air war would have been similar to that of the German and Russian Air War. I think that high altitude the US air force win, but I would be interesting to see how that lighter Russian planes would perform low altitude
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Complete List of Lend Lease to Russia including atomic materials
    I'd be concerned about Russian manufacturing capability without Lend-Lease. When was Russia able to produce high quality aviation gasoline? Synthetic rubber for tires, fuel hoses, gaskets etc.? Aluminum in adequate quantities? Brass in adequate quantities? Insulated copper wire in quantity and of decent quality? Nickel in adequate quantity? Molybdenum? Magnesium? Zinc? Armor plate? Structural steel? Machine tools? Cotton cloth? Chemicals like acetone, alcohol, toluene and ammonia which are vital for making explosives? Spare parts for the 100s of thousands of American made motor vehicles in Soviet service? If the war lasts more then a few months Soviet military production could slow to a crawl for lack of vital materials.
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I think a couple of advantages the US had was the ability to wage war on 2 fronts which the Soviets really had not had to face and an incredible strategic bomber force.
     
  5. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

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    I don't think the Soviets could have adequetly handled a bomber attack by the US
     
  6. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    Thats a good point, however Russia had a fair industrial strength of its own in 1945 and 1946. Not to mention the equipment and techniques they would have learned from German production. The power in the VVS in 1945 lay in Russian made planes.

    The biggest issue I think, is how Russia could handle American jet fighters and B29 raids.
     
  7. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Can you image a 1000 bomber raid on Moscow, Stalingrad, or the oil plants?

    I think the Americans would know 100% to stay out of Russia during the winter. Plus with Japan down, the American's and British could launch strikes from carriers on the east and west coast plus from China, Swedan, Norway, and/or Germany. The Russians wouldn't have known what direction the attack was coming from.

    Maybe my American pride is talking here, but I don't think the Russians would last more than a year.
     
  8. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    The Russians were a very strong military force at the completion of WW2. They had learned from their many mistakes and their equipment was miles ahead of what they originally had. In the long term the USA would no doubt win, but it certainly has to the potential to be a long drawn out affair.

    Are we assuming Britain and France are included in this or not? They would certainly have a vast impact.
     
  9. smg

    smg Member

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    well i dont think that the americans woud hab that easy of a victory
    thay did hold for like 2 or 3 years at stalingrad (im not sure) bout i think that they would have resursh jet tecnology preaty fast
    i dont know thats what i tink so yea
     
  10. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    Unescorted raid on Moscow, 2500km away from its airbase in UK? For B-17 that would be a suicide mission.
    Stalingrad is 700km further east and major industrial centers in 41-42 were relocated beyond Ural mountains. That's out of reach even for B-29.

    And what was VVS strength by the end of the war? 40-50 thousands aircraft? Well, chances to fly in the soviet air space without being intercepted in 45 would be close to none. Most of the bombers after such raid wouldnt make it home in my opinion.
     
  11. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Why fly from UK when you and your allies control half of Europe?
     
  12. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    Flying strategic bombers from an airfield in Germany would be too risky - too close to the front line - easy target for Russian ground troops.
    France is not much closer to Moscow then UK, so...
    And P-51 didnt have enough range to fly to Moscow from anywhere in western europe and return back home.
    B-29 night bombing could be an option but that would have little effect either, I think.
     
  13. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Granted the Soviets had a good number of aircraft at war's end, but the U.S. had well over two theaters worth of fighters. Unescorted bombing missions weren't anything new to the Americans, either.

    As far as the B-29 was concerned, it had a combat range of 3,200 miles (5,230km) and could have easily struck strategic targets in the Soviet Union.

    Bear in mind that the U.S. was fully capable of escorted long range bombing missions and new bomber designs were in the works by WWII's end so that if hostilities broke out between the U.S. and U.S.S.R., wartime production would be able to ramp up the production of the later designs like the B-32 and the B-36. The B-32 had a range of 3,000 miles (8,815km) and a ceiling of 35,000 feet (11,000m), the B-36 was capable of about 6,800 miles (10,945km) and a ceiling of 48,000 feet (15,000m).

    The Russians didn't focus on strategic bombing, and the Germans never used a solid strategic bombing strategy against them, so thier experience in that regard would put them at a disadvantage. Granted, the Russians had good fighters and experienced pilots, but so did the Americans, who not only had the strategic bombing and high altitude combat experience, but experienced personnel from two different theaters at thier disposal.

    Take into consideration that not only were newer and more powerful bombers becoming available, but the U.S. had thousands of heavy bombers on hand, which goes back to the formula for beating Germany with quantity over quality (classic argument of Sherman versus Tiger). I seriously don't believe the Soviet Union was prepared to defend themselves against that type of warfare, and any "wonder weapons" they had scored from the Germans wouldn't have been ready for production by such an early date.
     
  14. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    The war in Europe was won on the ground. Even in Germany with its high population density, allied air raids had little effect. To win a war against Russia where large cities located thousands kilometers apart, with areal bombing only, would be difficult, practically impossible, no matter how many aircrafts you have.

    Yes, USAF had well trained, experienced fighter pilots by the end of the war. The thing is, they didnt have a fighter plane to fly deep into the soviet airspace to escort bombers.
     
  15. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    That is a very strong argument. They are the reasons I can't see the USSR winning, however it won't be a quick success.
     
  16. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    #16 GrauGeist, Jun 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
    I have to make a couple points here, but at the same time, I don't want to sound like I'm being a jerk about it, but Germany did in fact feel the effects of the Allied raids. In manufacturing, infrastructure and in moral.

    I also cannot see the U.S. just blazing into the middle of Russia blindly with bombers after years of successfully deploying air assets in every type of combat situation.

    I would imagine that armed with good intel, the U.S. would start a strategic light bombing campaign against the Soviet foreward air bases to damage the Soviet's capacity to deploy fighter protection while at the same time conducting CAP and GA missions against Soviet air ground assets plus protecting supporting U.S. ground units. Don't forget that the U.S. had some pretty effective light and medium bombers, not to mention some brutal gunships that were very effective in sinking shipping and would cut a tank to shreds.

    The U.S. did have very long range fighter aircraft by war's end, like the F-82 for example. Range was 2,350 miles (3,605km), ceiling was 38,900 (11,855m). There were other aircraft like the Skyraider, the F8F and so on. All of these aircraft were capable of defending bombers at altitude, where, like I said before, the Soviets were not familiar with fighting. While the newer aircraft were coming online, there were thousands of proven fighters available like the P-47, P-51, P-38 AND F6F, F4U, P-61, etc...

    I would also figure that the U.S. having not only European and Mediterrenean units at thier disposal, but a tremendous force available in the Pacific and Far East as well. These could be used effectively to open up a two front war that the Soviet Union could not afford to fight. All of the Soviet Union's strength lay in the west, along Europe, where they had just spent the last 5 years being bled out by the Germans and thier allies.

    The Russians fought a brave war and managed to beat the Germans against some pretty high odds, but I seriously doubt that they were in a position to fight another war on such a scale as they just fought. Not for a while at least.
     
  17. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    #17 imalko, Jun 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
    If it all depended on ground operations I think that Soviets would have won, especially with Red army in full strength deployed in central Europe after defeat of Germany. There is great possibility that they could have occupied rest of Europe up to the channel coast. US were (and are today) very sensitive on public opinion and there is no way American could sustain casualties as,for example, Germans did at Stalingrad and continue the war for years after that. Also, I believe that Soviet armoured forces were better then those of western nations. What hampered Red Army during the WW2 was the lack of trucks and in this field the western aid to USSR was crucial, not in airplanes and certainly not in armoured wehicles. During victory parade in Berlin western allies were shocked when they saw new types of soviet heavy tanks. Think I read somewhere that Patton said on this occasion something like this - "Don't worry they are still on our side."

    In my opinion there is only one way US could have won this type of war - by establishing bases for long range B-29 bombers in Norway and middle east and then bomb USSR with atomic weapons. (Presumption is, of course, that in 1945/46 US possessed nuclear weapons and USSR didn't.)

    I'm glad something like this never happened.
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Those aircraft were made of U.S. aluminum and ran on U.S. aviation gasoline. Just as T-34 tanks were largely made of U.S. steel. Half of the explosives used in Soviet artillery shells were made in the USA. For a few months this won't make any difference. That will change when existing Lend-Lease material stockpiles are exhausted.

    Thanks to Allied bombing, artillery and looting Central Europe was essentially a heap of rubble in 1945. It will be several years before the Soviet Union produces anything useful in their newly captured territory. I suppose the starving civilians in the Soviet zone could be used as cannon fodder for the Red Army. :cry:
     
  19. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    Good thread guys. The Russians have always been willing to take high losses. They were willing to kill their own troops in the race to capture Berlin. I do not think using atomic weapons against them would have the same impact it did against Japan.

    DBII
     
  20. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    I think you are way off here. The war in Europe was won both on the ground, AND in the air. Without air superiority, there is no way to achieve victory on the ground. Can you name me one major battle in Europe that was won where the victors did not have air superiority? The allied ground forces would have been blown away by the Luftwaffe. I do not know the numbers, but I would venture to say that most Allied victories were accomplished while we had control of the air. And your comment about air raids having little effect, you are dead wrong. Germany's industrial capability to produce weapons was reduced to zero, to the effect I believe that German planes were being assembled in forests because all the factories had been destroyed. Even simple things like ball bearings were no longer able to be produced due to the constant bombing raids. I believe towards the end of the war, the Allies were running out of targets IIRC.
     
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