dandy_don
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Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:32 pm

I have been reading about the end of Nazi Germany in the spring of 1945, having watched a great German movie about the topic: "Downfall", as well as Ryan's "Battle of Berlin"

It has got me thinking about what would have happened if war broke out between Russia and the Western Allies along the battle lines of May 1945 once Germany collapsed?

Especially in terms of an air war. I am by no means an expert on the merits of the two air forces but it seems to me that the western air forces were designed for strategic use and Russias for tactical. Would that have given the advantage to Russia?
 
zanl188
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:07 pm

Nuke Moscow and industrial centers, air war over. Then the real mess starts.
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L-188
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:43 pm

No.

You are correct that the Russian air force was centered on tactical roles. Because of this they lacked any meaningful long range aircraft save from the prewar tu-4(?). You have to remember that after the start of Barbarossa Russia was forced to move most of their aircraft production to regions on the east sides of the urals. This was to protect them from bombing from the Luftwaffe, which also was tactically oriented and lacked meaningful long range aircraft. Those factories would not have been safe from us aircraft. The British also benifited from the lack of German long range aircraft during the battle of Britian.

Russia under this scenario would also be fighting a two front was because there is no way that a second front would not be opened the the far east and pribabky one through the middle east from Iran. For the most part in WWII russiavhad only one front to worry about. It would be a a differentbwa if the had to worry about b-17s from the west and b-29's from the east.

Another key issue is that the us aircraft generally had battles at higher altitudes than Russian aircraft which tended to stck lower. So going high would also be a tactical advantage for the us.

I could go on. Russia was dependent on lend lease supplies, which would also be cut off.
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par13del
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:38 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 1):
Nuke Moscow and industrial centers, air war over.

Based on the situation at the end of the war in 1945, that would have been the ultimate option, indeed Churchill was already talking about a conflict with Russia before the war ended.
No way the US were going to prolong the war, its why the nuke was used on Japan and the cold war commenced, because all parties agreed to disagree and not go to war.
 
Ozair
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:42 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
No.

You are correct that the Russian air force was centered on tactical roles. Because of this they lacked any meaningful long range aircraft save from the prewar tu-4(?). You have to remember that after the start of Barbarossa Russia was forced to move most of their aircraft production to regions on the east sides of the urals. This was to protect them from bombing from the Luftwaffe, which also was tactically oriented and lacked meaningful long range aircraft. Those factories would not have been safe from us aircraft. The British also benifited from the lack of German long range aircraft during the battle of Britian.

Russia under this scenario would also be fighting a two front was because there is no way that a second front would not be opened the the far east and pribabky one through the middle east from Iran. For the most part in WWII russiavhad only one front to worry about. It would be a a differentbwa if the had to worry about b-17s from the west and b-29's from the east.

Another key issue is that the us aircraft generally had battles at higher altitudes than Russian aircraft which tended to stck lower. So going high would also be a tactical advantage for the us.

I could go on. Russia was dependent on lend lease supplies, which would also be cut off.

Given the vast numerical superiority the russian army had on the ground I am not sure the air forces of either side would have made that much of a difference. The british army was exhausted and shrinking by this stage, the US army had no stomach for casualties and neither was as proficient as the Russians in armoured warfare. The Russians also had a large number of troops that marched into Manchuria at the end of the war and given the heavy armour component would have been a challange for the US pacific forces that weren't geared for fighting an armoured conflict. The Russian air force was the thrid largest in the world by this time and while as has been stated was tactically focused the number of targets for long range allied bombers would be small compared to Germany and at incredibly long distances.

Perhaps tactical western air power might had been able to restrict Russian rear battlefield movement but IMO the great weight of Russian grounds troops would simply have been too much.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 1):
Nuke Moscow and industrial centers, air war over. Then the real mess starts.

There simply weren't that many nukes available and producing them was not an overnight job. Perhaps the allies would have been required to resort to chemical weapons to slow or stop Russian ground forces until a sufficient number of nukes were available.

Quoting dandy_don (Thread starter):
Would that have given the advantage to Russia?

If it was a quick grab for land then probably yes. If it ended up into a long drawn out campaign then the allied air forces would have much greater effect.
 
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:16 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 4):
There simply weren't that many nukes available and producing them was not an overnight job. Perhaps the allies would have been required to resort to chemical weapons to slow or stop Russian ground forces until a sufficient number of nukes were available.

I think the war ended in August 1945 with one nuke in inventory, ready to go on Tinian. They could produce 2 a month at that point, and the rate soon increased. You don't need a lot to make an impact when the other side has none.
 
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:16 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 4):
Given the vast numerical superiority the russian army had on the ground I am not sure the air forces of either side would have made that much of a difference.

Don't forget that most (if not all of Europe) did not want to fall into Russian hands. So you would have had Britain (and empire), USA, France, Belgium, Netherlands, The Scandanavian countries, Finland. Plus inside resistance from the likes of Poland, and then the remainder of the German forces. Yes the Russian army was numerically superior (just), but its soldiers were poorly trained, were forced to fight (any form of retreat even for tactical reasons was treated as treason with instant execution), and had poor morale. USA had just hit its peak production and was supplying aircraft etc to Russia. In an airwar Russia would be cut off, The allies would have better planes, more of them, better resources, better training etc. Russia itself would unlikely fall, but Moscow Westwards would be taken, Hitler was really only a division or 2 short and a season out from achieving that earlier in the war.
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Ozair
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:33 am

Quoting aklrno (Reply 5):
You don't need a lot to make an impact when the other side has none.

Two major factors influence nuking Russia and particularly Moscow in 1945.

The first and probably most important is Stalin. Unless you kill him you start a war with a man that has willingly sacrificed millions of his own people to industrialise his country, let alone those who died in the war. He will not stop if you drop five weapons on Moscow let alone the one available. Sure Stalin doesn't know how many nukes you have but does he really care?

Second is the technical ability to actually fly to Moscow, drop your weapon and cause enough damage to the target to have more than a symbolic effect. Flying to Moscow and dropping the bomb would be a one way trip. There are no air to air refuelling aircraft and the B-29 was possibly the only aircraft that could have flown that far. To do so it would have had to fly direct over thousands of Russian fighter aircraft risking the bomb being shot down and falling in Russian hands. Once you get there the size and explosive power of the initial nuclear weapons would not have been enough to cause the type of damage seen in Japan. The weapons were by today's standards small tactical yield weapons and Moscow, a predominately stone, brick and concrete city, is not the powder keg a city mostly of wood construction in Japan was.

With so few weapons available you either hit symbolic targets or troops on the ground because Russia's industry is simply too far away. Given the production rate of nukes the Russians are in Paris by the time you have enough to make a marginal impact.

Of course this is all simply a matter of opinion but I don't think one or three nuclear weapons would have stopped Russia before they had taken most of western Europe.
 
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:10 am

Given the state of US industry in 1945 (which was good), and manpower (also good, if politically less solid than Stalin), I'd have a real hard time believing Russia would have a production or technological edge on the USA at that time. USSR was hurting.

Not commenting on specific air combat, only on the respective ability of USSR vs USA to produce planes. The USA had much greater industrial might. 1945 aircraft production in the USA: 46,000. USSR: 20,900 Were they equal in quality? That would be hard to believe. US technology is not "always best" but I do believe the US was a tech leader at that time. The US also had the majority of world economic product within its own borders. If you include a "NATO" style group, make that the vast, vast majority, like about 90%.

This implies that even if Russia got early gains, they could be rolled back using US/Western machines that were tooled up.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 6):
es the Russian army was numerically superior (just), but its soldiers were poorly trained, were forced to fight (any form of retreat even for tactical reasons was treated as treason with instant execution), and had poor morale. USA had just hit its peak production and was supplying aircraft etc to Russia. In an airwar Russia would be cut off, The allies would have better planes, more of them, better resources, better training etc.

Right.
 
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:20 pm

An air war between the Soviets and Western Allies in the second half of 1945 would have gone pretty bad for the Soviets.

The OP is correct in saying the air war on the Eastern Front was very much a tactical one centred on events occuring on the ground. The air war on the Western Front however, had both strategic and tactical elements running in parallel. Thus the air forces of the Western Allies were far better equipped and experienced to take on an air campaign against the Soviets.

Putting aside the atomic bomb for the time being, the most obvious difference between the Western Allies and Soviets was in strategic bombers. The UK had been bombing the Germans since 1939 and the US had been in the game since 1942. The RAF and USAAF had very large fleets of strategic bombers and had developed successful and effective doctrines for mounting strategic bomber offensives. The Soviets on the other hand, had no strategic bombers, and in 1945 were trying to reverse engineer B-29s which had force-landed on their territory. The Soviet copy of the B-29, the Tu-4 did not enter service until 1948.

In terms of fighter forces the difference wasn't quite so stark, but a significant difference nonetheless. The Soviets operated some superlative low altitude fighters by the end of the war - namely the Yak-3 and La-7. These fighters were optimised for securing air superiority over the battlefield and would have been ill suited to intercepting high flying American bombers. Let's not forget the Soviets also lacked an effective night fighter to counter the type of night time bombing offensive the British mounted against Germany. The Soviet fighters were excellent low altitude performers but began to look far less impressive at higher altitudes where they were not designed to operate. The Allies conversely had a full spectrum of fighters. At lower altitudes the likes of the Spitfire MkXIV and Hawker Tempest would have been a match for any of the Soviet fighters. At higher altitudes - the kind where the Soviets would have to intercept American daylight bombers - the P-51 was king. Also bear in mind the Soviets had no experience in intercepting and taking down heavy bomber formations - something even the Germans couldn't do effectively in 3 years of trying.

As far as fighter bombers go, the Allies again had the edge with the Typhoon/Tempest and P-47 - which I think can be argued were considerably better ground attack types than the Il-2/Il-10. The Soviets however, were well extremely well versed in ground attack and their doctrine of massed aerial attack, although lacking in finesse was extremely effective - although at great cost (one third of all Il-2 aircraft produced were shot down).

Then let's consider the jets - by 1944 the British already had a jet fighter in service, the Gloster Meteor. In the final weeks of the war they had a second jet fighter in service, the De Havilland Vampire. The Americans were well advanced in development of the P-80. The Soviets however, were quite a bit behind in jet technology - the Yak-15 and MiG-9 not flying until 1946.

Then there's the various Allied types that were just on the cusp of entering service when the war ended - the Hawker Fury/Sea Fury, De Havilland Hornet/Sea Hornet, all of which would certainly have seen service in any Soviet war.

Captured German research and technology may have made a difference too, but there once again the Allies got the lion's share of that too.


Having said all that......

An air war cannot be considered in isolation as it would have been accompanied by a ground war. The Red Army of 1945 was an absolute juggernaut that I very much doubt the Western Allies would have been able to stop without resorting to the use of atomic weapons.

[Edited 2011-06-26 05:22:07]
 
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par13del
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:50 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 6):
Yes the Russian army was numerically superior (just), but its soldiers were poorly trained, were forced to fight (any form of retreat even for tactical reasons was treated as treason with instant execution), and had poor morale

Well, the German forces who faced and were ultimately defeated by their front line forces will disagree with you, their occupation forces were another story, but their job was occupation.
 
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:25 pm

A B-29 flying from LHR (London) to SVO (Moscow) would only fly 1563 miles, each way. That is well within the range of the Silverplate B-29s of the 509th Comp. Gr. Position P-51s and P-38s in Norway, and you have an escort capability. The USN can attack through the Black Sea, and the Pacific Ocean (after taking care of the IJN). The US Army and USMC can attack from Europe, Pacific, and China. Then you also have bases in Alaska to add to the USAAF. The Allies will only add to Stalin's problems.

LHR-SVO&MS=wls&DU=mi" target="_blank">http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=LHR-SVO&MS=wls&DU=mi

Unlike what the Germans tried to do, the Allies can fully surround Russia and strike from all directions. In 1945, Russia can be defeated. Patton was right.

We could get the Germans to build heavy tanks for us as the M-4 Sherman could not stand up against the T-34, but the Tiger I/II/King tank could, as well as the US built M-26 Pershing tank. The Tigers had an 88 mm gun and the M-26 (called T-26E2/3 during WWII) had a 90 mm gun.
 
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:15 pm

Ending the lend/lease supplies would have an immediate impact, as the Soviets were importing a huge amount of food from the US to feed its citizens. This enabled them to shift manpower from agriculture to fighting. They'd be forced to choose, fight and starve, or move troops back to farming. Also no more P-39/63 and B-25 spare parts and ammunition.

The Soviets also never faced anything like strategic air raids done by the US and UK. Their industrial centers were moved inland and were not decimated the way Germany was. They may have operated while damaged before, however the damage from 20 HE-111s is nothing compared to what 1000 B-17s or Lancasters could do. The huge fleets of T-34s would be burning through spare parts left and right, taking those factories out even temporarily would deny them the ability to produce attrition replacements.

Opening a southern front in Ukraine and Iran would start to cut off fuel supplies as well. Pushing from Italy into Romania and Bulgaria would also strangle some supply lines. The baltic republics that the Soviets invaded in 1941 would also capitulate and join in the offense. Finland would push back east as well, especially if better supplied.

Manchuria would be a tougher nut to crack. The Soviets may try to instigate the Korean War a few years earlier, tying up the pacific fleet and USMC for years.
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kc135topboom
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:22 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 12):
The Soviets may try to instigate the Korean War a few years earlier, tying up the pacific fleet and USMC for years.

How? A war between the Allies and the USSR in 1945 means they cannot spare folks to fight in NK. That also means no Mig-15. China would be sided with the US and that means no Chinese support for NK. The Korean War would be delayed for years, if it ever starts, since because the Russians do not get anything from the victory over Japan, there is no North Korea in 1945.
 
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:19 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):


We could get the Germans to build heavy tanks for us as the M-4 Sherman could not stand up against the T-34, but the Tiger I/II/King tank could, as well as the US built M-26 Pershing tank. The Tigers had an 88 mm gun and the M-26 (called T-26E2/3 during WWII) had a 90 mm gun.

Probably worth remembering here that the main problem with the Tiger and Leopard tanks was that they were simply too difficult to produce quickly. Added to that is the consequence of capturing Germany: That much of the factory capacity is destroyed or badly damaged, with many of the key facilities in Soviet hands. Likewise for the people that worked in them. you could have brought the plans and as much of the tooling / personnel that survive into allied factories to start anew but the ramp-up would be extremely slow, you certainly wouldn't see many vehicles trundling off the production lines for months or even a year.
 
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:29 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
How? A war between the Allies and the USSR in 1945 means they cannot spare folks to fight in NK. That also means no Mig-15. China would be sided with the US and that means no Chinese support for NK. The Korean War would be delayed for years, if it ever starts, since because the Russians do not get anything from the victory over Japan, there is no North Korea in 1945.

The MiG is irrelevant, especially since there would be no F-86 either. You'd be seeing La-9s and Yak-9s vs P-51s and P-47s, with P-61s at night.

The Chinese revolution of 1949 would be influenced to happen earlier, providing a speedbump of sorts and lots of problems for the allies in Asia. Ho Chi Minh was active in 1945 and the Viet Minh would be keeping the French busy in Indochina. Lots of populist social movements around at that time that would probably find a push from mother Russia to rear their heads a few years earlier.

The question is whether the Asian socialists could keep enough allied forces busy so that the USSR wouldn't have to divert any forces away from Europe. Losses for them will be heavy, especially in occupied Germany, Czech, Poland and Hungary with guerilla warfare.
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bikerthai
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:38 am

Quoting BilgeRat (Reply 9):
The Red Army of 1945 was an absolute juggernaut that I very much doubt the Western Allies would have been able to stop without resorting to the use of atomic weapons.

Juggernaut yes, but a without proper logistics, they would stop in their tracks. All the allies would have to do (if they can not destroy the factories beyond the Urals) is to destroy the rail hub between the east and west. They can also destroy the oil pipelines. With these supply routes destroyed or damaged or harassed, the Red Army would be playing a defensive game.

The Red Army armor forces enjoyed excellent air cover toward the end of the war. As mentioned above, given the Allies superiority in CAP fighters, the T-34s would lose their air cover soon enough. They then would be more concern about the Thunderbolts than what tanks the allies have to offer.

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David L
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:46 pm

Quoting BilgeRat (Reply 9):
The Soviets however, were quite a bit behind in jet technology - the Yak-15 and MiG-9 not flying until 1946.

And they certainly wouldn't have received those RR Nenes "for civilian purposes" from which to make unlicenced copies.
 
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:08 pm

Werent there a few instances toward the end of the war where Allied and Soviet fighters met in the air over Germany and a few blue on blue events occurred? I vaguely recall something with some MiG 3s and P51Ds - was a dogfight and shots were fired before either side knew the other was "friendly" but the fight continued as neither would disengage?
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par13del
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:04 pm

Quoting GST (Reply 14):
Probably worth remembering here that the main problem with the Tiger and Leopard tanks was that they were simply too difficult to produce quickly. Added to that is the consequence of capturing Germany: That much of the factory capacity is destroyed or badly damaged, with many of the key facilities in Soviet hands.

One thing the US had during WWII especially in the latter years was industrial capacity, don't look at the facilities in Europe or their work force, look at the facilities in the US and see how fast they could be converted to producing upgraded Tiger tanks if the Pershing proved not up to the task.
 
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:53 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 19):

One thing the US had during WWII especially in the latter years was industrial capacity, don't look at the facilities in Europe or their work force, look at the facilities in the US and see how fast they could be converted to producing upgraded Tiger tanks if the Pershing proved not up to the task.

Oh I am assuming that the production would be attempted in the US as much or more than elsewhere, but my argument is that it would be difficult enough to get a complete set of drawings and process plans let alone the personnel to help you ease into production. Reverse engineering "missing" parts and re-developing process plans / analysing allowable tolerances etc all takes rather a lot of time wherever you do it. You need to be a fair way through that before you can start finalising your factory layouts.
 
David L
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:34 am

Quoting GST (Reply 20):
but my argument is that it would be difficult enough to get a complete set of drawings and process plans let alone the personnel to help you ease into production. Reverse engineering "missing" parts and re-developing process plans / analysing allowable tolerances etc all takes rather a lot of time wherever you do it. You need to be a fair way through that before you can start finalising your factory layouts.

On the other hand, construction of tanks like the Centurion had already started in 1945. I confess don't know enough about tanks to know how it compared to what the Germans and Russians had but it was a big step up from its predecessors and distributed manufacturing shouldn't have been a problem.
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:18 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 10):

Well, the German forces who faced and were ultimately defeated by their front line forces will disagree with you, their occupation forces were another story, but their job was occupation.

Yes but not by their training or ability, it was by shear numbers... IIRC often it was 10:1 ratio of Russian to German troops.
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:09 am

Quoting GST (Reply 20):
Reverse engineering "missing" parts and re-developing process plans / analysing allowable tolerances etc all takes rather a lot of time wherever you do it.

Toward the end, the Pershing have incorporated much of the technology that makes for a modern tank. The Sherman's wheels and spring suspensions have been replaced by the torsion type suspension. Optical range finder and the 90 millimeter guns would have been a match to any Tiger.

From what I read, the Pershing design was initiated early during the war, but because it was more difficult to build, the army opted for the Mass production of the Sherman over the heavier Pershing So I guess near the war end, mass producing the Pershing could be possible if the production was shifted over.

Quoting David L (Reply 21):
Centurion had already started in 1945.

And as history showed, the Centurion was an excellent tank. And in the hands of capable crew/army, they beat the crap out of all those Russian tanks (with less capable crew) during the Middle east conflict (with the added 105 mm guns of course). 


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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:06 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 4):
and neither was as proficient as the Russians in armoured warfare.

General Patton would disagree with you.
 
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:02 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 6):
Yes the Russian army was numerically superior (just), but its soldiers were poorly trained, were forced to fight (any form of retreat even for tactical reasons was treated as treason with instant execution), and had poor morale.

It is true that in the early time after the German invasion of the Soviet Union the Soviet Union was extremely short of supplies. At this time (1941) most factories and depots were in areas overrun by the Germans. Also at this time they still had the all powerfull political commisaries running the show in the military (most experienced generals from the Russian Civil War had been considered to be a threat by Stalin in the late 1930s and been executed).
But after 1943 the Soviet military became more and more professional. Unlike Hitler, Stalin realised that he had to listen to the professional soldiers of his officer corps and to let them run the show, not party functionaries.
By this time also the factories, which had been relocated behind the Ural mountains started to deliver.
E.g. the Soviet Union could produce it´s own tanks (which were very good) and artillery (which was also good). They also had good designs of fighters and tactical bombers.
The Red Army was also able to provide itself with clothing very much suited to the country (summer uniforms made from Usbek cotton, and woolen winter uniforms with felt boots and insulating rubber soles, unlike the hobnailed leather soles the British and Germans used, and which caused frostbite in winter).

As for trucks, the Soviet Union had an agreement with the US that trucks would be shipped from there (mainly Studebaker heavy trucks, plus Dodge WC-51s and jeeps, the early 1950s models were actually Soviet copies of American trucks).

Similarly radio equipment came largely from Canada in the shape of Britsh designed No. 19 wireless sets.


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dandy_don
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:01 am

I have enjoyed the many comments so far.

Does anybody know the relative strength of the Soviet forces compared to the Western forces at that time?

Manpower?
Tanks?
Aircraft?

One observation I would make is that I think the M4 Sherman tank is being underestimated. Keep in mind it was a medium not a heavy tank. It fared well against the T34 in Korea.
 
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:27 pm

I think it has been proven in just about every war since WW 1 that air superiority is the crucial factor in warfare.

Air Superiority on its own cannot win a war as seen in Vietnam etc but ground force superiority by weight of numbers (Saddam in Iraq GW1) or technology (Germans on Western Front at DDay) will just provide a target rich environment without air superiority.

Allied production facilities were in full swing for high performance fighters, Russian production was more geared towards tactical fighters and low level fighters. This would be telling attrition wise once engagements began.

I think that as stated in earlier posts, the Allies were equiped with superior high altitude fighters: the P51, Griffon engined Spitfire, Hawker Fury etc. The P51 was more than a match for any of the piston engined German fighters it encountered on its escort missions which were easily as good as the best Russian ones so I think the Allies would quickly establish air superiority over the Western Front. Once a defensive line was established the allies could then afford to deploy their jets for home defence in Germany and bring in the shorter legged Spitfires and the plethora of highly effective ground attack fighter types, every one of which was superior to the IL 2, the most numerous Russian aircraft, air to air. The Russians armour would then find itself exactly where the Germans in Normandy found themselves - hiding in forests by day as they tried to retreat by night with their supply lines under round the clock attack.

The Russians lack of high altitude fighters would have severely handicapped their ability to intercept escorted Allied bombers on logistic raids which would allow the Allies to all but cut off supplies to the Western Front. The Russians also lacked any meaningful carrier capability which means the Allies could open up a whole Eastern front with tactical and strategic bombing coming from that side also.

What Stalin had going for him was stomach for war which the allies would have largely run out of so at best the allies would repulse early Russian gains but there is no way they would go street to street in Stalingrad again.
 
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:40 am

Quoting spudh (Reply 27):

Yep, Air Power alone do not win war. But it does make it much easier.

Imagine if the german had air superiority over the Russian Steps, then it would be near impossible for the Russian to mass their tank for attack on then ground.

A formation of b 24 will blunt a spear head pretty fast.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:03 pm

On November 7th, 1944 three P-38 squadrons of the 82nd USAAF fighter group misstook an advancing Red Army column near the Serbian city of Nis for Germans and attacked it. The Russian commander ordered some Yak-3 fighters from a nearby airfield to take off and to confront the P-38s. Upon this the p-38s started to attack the Yaks, which´s red star markings were clearly visible. Another squadron of Yak-3s from another airfield under the Soviet fighter ace captain Koldunov joined the fray and there followed a vicious dogfight until the American and the Soviet commanders got their pilots under control.
The results of this air battle (which´s existence was kept secret for many years and which´s investigation documentation is still classified by both the Americans and the Russians) are still unclear. Participation was 9 Yaks and an unknown number of P-38s.
The Americans claim 4 Yaks and 2 P-38s shot down, while the Soviets claim the losses of 4 P-38s and 3 Yaks.
A Serb partisan commander, who watched the fight, said that 7 P-38s and 3 Yaks were shot down.

This was the only direct confrontation between Soviets and Americans in the air.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_battle_over_Ni%C5%A1

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RE: Hypothetical 1945 Air War, USA V Russia

Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:28 am

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 18):
Werent there a few instances toward the end of the war where Allied and Soviet fighters met in the air over Germany and a few blue on blue events occurred?

Yup, I have heard of a few after action reports where US aircraft describe encounters with "Round wingtip Me109's". The Soviets of cource called them Yaks.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 29):
The results of this air battle (which´s existence was kept secret for many years and which´s investigation documentation is still classified by both the Americans and the Russians) are still unclear. Participation was 9 Yaks and an unknown number of P-38s.
The Americans claim 4 Yaks and 2 P-38s shot down, while the Soviets claim the losses of 4 P-38s and 3 Yaks.
A Serb partisan commander, who watched the fight, said that 7 P-38s and 3 Yaks were shot down.

This was the only direct confrontation between Soviets and Americans in the air.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_bat...C5%A1

Pretty sure Wikki has that one wrong
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