|Quoting lightsaber (Reply 57):|
I agree Russia won the war, but imagine a war where:
Ok, i start to imagine
1. No bombing of German Factories. In particular, the destruction of the bearing factories, tank factories, and the Maybach factory. At a critical juncture, Stug, Panther, and Tiger production was halted during a massive production ramp. Another 1,600+ German tanks per month would have made a significant difference in the length of the war.
By the time the bombing campaign started to become really effective, the USSR had already almost pushed the Wehrmacht out of its territory. While it did certainly have an effect, our modern day view overestimates the effect it did have. Production capacity wasn´´t really a problem for the Deutsches Reich, just look at even the 1944 war supply production numbers. The very real bottleneck of German tank production was the availability of certain resources like Chromium, Manganese etc. to make high grade armor steel. Later production models had armor that was very brittle, so i have doubts as to Germany´s industries capacity to churn out more tanks w/o a significant reduction in quality. That those things can be scarce, doesn´t really cross a 21st century´s persons mind.
2. No need for U-boat production freeing up more resources for German Tank production. Estimates vary, but the same factories that were making U-boats could have been making trucks or tanks.
Since problems with the quality of steel showed up much later in submarine than tank production iirc, i would assume that the scarcity of those alloying element limited production of both in different ways. Maybe someone really knowing metallurgy can weigh in on that one. So, maybe, just maybe, a meaningful shift between the two products would not have been that easy.
3. Take a look at the quantity of fighters going up against the Western bombers. Perhaps the #1 contribution of the west. The war in the East would have been much different if the Germans had been able to maintain the air war.
Fighter qty was much less of a problem than fuel and experienced pilots. But you are correct, despite from the wrong angle, AAA was the real drag in manpower and resources. And that thanks to the utter stupidity of the German high command that a) canned the development of proximity fuses pre-war in the working prototype stage and b) failed to equip their AA ammunition with impact fuses until late in the war,1945 (!), even with the troops screaming for those for years. Those alone tripled the effectiveness of the Flak, considering the further increase proximity fuses showed in the pacific .... imagine bomber losses some 10+ times higher. The "famous" raid on the Schweinfurt Ball bearing production may have very well been wiped out on the inbound leg.
Lack of coordination of the German war industry was probably the biggest break in favor of the allies, secrecy was to a degree that when the first SAMs where designed, no-one in those teams was aware that there has been a working proximity fuse design for years....
Considering that Bomber losses did come close to unsustainable levels on some occasions, that may have easily turned the tide.
4. Oil, without the Western fighting, Germany would have had Libyan oil thanks to Italy. That would have made a notable difference.
Considering the shipping losses in the Mediterranean i don´t think it would have had that much of an effect, unless you want to expend the "what-if" scenario into the Empire giving up defending itself all together that is. Germany didn´t start using U-Boats to ship strategic supplies if shipping had worked to any satisfying degree.
5. Trucks, boots, and other supplies sent to Russia from the Western powers. 6
6. Aircraft and Trucks to Russia. I count over 13,000 fighters alone
Which is a lot, but in the context of over 130.000 aircraft produced in the soviet union during the war probably not a game changer.
7. Touring's code breaking totally changed the battle of Kursk.
Didn´t the USSR need to get those information via spying? I have the feeling that means that the western allies didn´t consider that information crucial to the outcome of the war, otherwise they should have shared it.
8. Spam. I'm serious. There were times the Red Army advanced instead of starving thanks to Lend-Lease food.
Oh yes, they needed it. Question is, did they fundamentally need it, of did the need arise because they had Trofim Denisovich Lysenko .... the ideological father of the greatest preventable famine the world has ever seen later in China.
In all lend and lease provided supplies for about 10% of the USSR combat power. Significant, but probably not turning the tide.
9. Anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns, lend lease supplied 21%.
Well, i guess that one had noticeable effect.
If Japan had won the battle of Coral Sea, than the Australians and Kiwi's would have withdrawn their troops from Africa granting Rommel his obsession of the 'infinite oil of Iraq.' That alone would have extended the war a few years. IMHO, the battle of Coral Sea saved Russia by depriving Germany of oil *and* tying up the Africa Corps. This would have freed up the 250,000 troops at the end and the nearly 150,000 who surrendered during the fighting with the British/Australians/New Zealanders. While a large fraction would have been left to secure Africa, we're not talking small quantities of troops or equipment.
So far everything i did read about the African campaign pointed to the overstretched, and constantly attacked, supply lines and ultimately lack of everything needed to stay in the fight doomed the expedition -> http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/JanFeb01/MS610.htm
So while I agree the war was won on the Ost front, recall that the tank losses of 1944 almost had the Russians negotiate a separate peace.
I honestly never heard of that. I know that the western allies where scared a good deal that there could be a separate peace between them, i heard that Japan and Italy where urging Germany to seek a separate peace, but never ever that the USSR seriously considered it, especially not after Kursk.
Recall how young of troops Russia was drafting in 1945.
Older than the ones we drafted. Combat support troops ages 10-14 where quite common in 1943, the same year 15-years olds where taken into training for front line combat duty and in 1945 advancing allied troops encountered combat units entirely at ages 12 and younger. I think the youngest POW captures was eight years old.
The USSR would have signed a peace by 1944 due to the losses of manpower.
Forgive me, but i´d like a credible source for that, as i never even heard of it. I would then call my old history teacher and complain.... ..he should still be alive.