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Operation "Unthinkable", yes it was unthinkable

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After the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, Churchill planned an offensive against the soviet forces on occupied central and eastern Europe, this to prevent a further advance of communism over western Europe, the very first sign of the cold war. The plan was to launch a British offensive with the help of the allied countries USA, Canada, France, polish forces in exile and POW german soldiers. The total amount of allied troops on western Europe were about 2.5 million men plus exile soldiers and ex-wehrmacht troops (about 100,000 german soldiers). But the soviet numerical superiority was about 4:1 in men and 2:1 in tanks. The planned was abondoned due to the great risk of a new big world conflict and the highly probable soviet victory (who knows) and didn't become public until 1998.

 

This is the map that showed the positions of the allied armies at the end of the war, western allied armies were much less than soviet ones, but each army had a bigger number of soldiers, although soviet total numbers of soldiers was bigger, still had a 4:1 ratio. But the soviet forces had their own allies too, the yugoslavian, bulgarian, romanian and polish forces.

 

Allied_army_positions_on_10_May_1945.png

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From Churchills perspective, one brutal dictatorship was just replaced with another. He didn't like that. His answer: more war while at it.

The alternative was 40 years of fragile peace at a high cost to those in the "satellite countries".

 

Neither option was pleasant.

Edited by Dodo_Dud
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Tbh I feel like the western allies could have succeeded.  Better aircraft could have achieved air superiority easier and iirc the soviets were starting to run into manpower issues.  On the ground the soviets best stuff would most likely not be in high numbers so most of the tank combat would be done by t34s and IS2s which can be countered by the Sherman and pershing.

 

It's probably a good thing it didn't happen though because anot her world war was something that was definitely unneeded 

 

I also want to clarify that I am taking in all aspects of the aircraft in comparisons.  So while the Russians may have had aircraft with good performance they didn't have other aspects like range or reliability to propeller them over the western allies.

Edited by fufubear
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16 minutes ago, fufubear said:

It's probably a good thing it didn't happen though because anot her world war was something that was definitely unneeded 

 

We had that World War for another 40 years.

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9 minutes ago, PainGod85 said:

Notwithstanding the fact the Allies could've simply nuked their way towards Moscow back then...

 

And don't you think they wouldn't have done it - they'd have stopped after Little Boy otherwise.

and i thinkt he poles werent too fond of the soviets too... so if the westerna llied could've gotten far enough they might've switched sides... i mean Polish veterans that fought for Britain for example... some didnt even go back as long as the sovietunion controlled Poland

 

and as far as i remember from waht i've read... the soviets at that point pretty much were at their breaking point... just a "bit" more... and it might've went really downhill for them

Edited by RohmMohc
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1 hour ago, Dodo_Dud said:

 

We had that World War for another 40 years.

Less people died during the cold war than how many would have with a proper war.

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The Red Army was in 45 also at its end of the Line, discipline problems, manpower problems, logistic problems, they just had not the power to rush on and Stalin knew that very well. 

Also how do you want to fight an enemy while he supplies you with the raw materials and supplies you NEED to stay in war like:

Aviation Fuel which exceeded the SU production by 1,4 times AND was of higher octane making it even more important.

Automobile Fuel, while being only 2,9 % of the wartime production of the SU the % of Lend Lease vehicles was way bigger and led to increased wear and tear on vehicles because also here the LL fuel was of way better quality and higher octane.

Motor Vehicles making 32,8% of the SUs wartime Production but the Sudebakers where way more reliable and had a lot more payload, without those trucks the Red Army could have never achieved its mobility it showed from 1943 on. 

Railroad Supplies, like the Lend Lease rails making up 92,7% of the SUs wartime production, same with locomotives who exceeded the total production by 2,4 times and the electric locomotives by 11 times. The rail cargo cars exceeded the domestic production by 10 times.

Explosives and Copper , the LL explosives made up 53% of the SUs production and the LL copper made around 82,5% of the SUs production.

Aluminium deliveries exceeded the domestic production by 1,25 times.

Steel and Armored Vehicles and Aricraft, taking into account that the soviets overstated their production umbers twofold in both areas, LL Aircraft make up  30 % and Tanks and SPGs 24% of the overall production.

Tires and Food, made up 43,1%, but taking into account that the US delivered truck tires which exceeded the SU production by ca 2,5 times the impact is way higher.

Sugar, 41,8% of the domestic production.

Canned food, 17,9% of the SUs meat production, the percentage is higher if you exclude by products and bear in mind that preserved meat is considerably greater in weight than an equivalent of raw meat.

In short, without Lend Lease the Soviet Union had not even the chance to stay in war, so no way to make war against the LL delivering countries. 

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1 hour ago, fufubear said:

Less people died during the cold war than how many would have with a proper war.

 

Just add them all up. Start with Korea. Over 4 million casualties total. And you still have plenty to go.

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A proper war would have still had more.  Think of all those small wars but this time it involves major nations actually confronting each other.

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The Soviet Union would not have been able to win an Operation Unthinkable in the long run; the winning strategy for the Soviet Union would have meant rushing for the French coast and for Italy in order to prevent resupply. The Red army would have had to secure at least two major fronts, not including the possibility of invasion through Turkey. Then there's the issues of logistics that Sev brought up. Initially, the Soviets would have held the advantage, though this would be steadily bled through the end of Lend Lease supplies and US industrial output. Further, the Soviet Navy would have been unable to effectively interdict supplies coming from the US across the Atlantic.  

 

Finally, there's the issue of China, Manchuria, Korea, and Japan. I would not have been surprised if--in desperation--the US had intervened in the Chinese civil war on the side of the nationalists in order to get China into the fight against the Soviet Union and/or used what was left of the Japanese army for a push in the Russian far-east.

 

Either way, Russia's only real option against the weight of allied industry which they couldn't touch would have been to further stretch their supply lines and push as hard as they could for a fait accompli in Europe before further men and materiel could arrive from the US and the British Commonwealth.

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This is a favourite fantasy of a certain section of the western population.

 

Glad it didn't happen......it was bad enough being raised in the 60's and 70's and being taught how to behave in case of nuclear strike.......like hiding under a table would have helped....having another generation slaughtered would have been no use to anyone :(

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9 minutes ago, Josephs_Piano said:

Glad it didn't happen......it was bad enough being raised in the 60's and 70's and being taught how to behave in case of nuclear strike.......like hiding under a table would have helped....having another generation slaughtered would have been no use to anyone :(

 

Well, the idea was to prevent it by removing the dictatorships, not by replacing a guy with a moustache with ... a guy with a moustache.

 

We don't know what the world would be like in the event. Nor do we know what the world would be like if Hitler's rise to power had been prevented or contained.

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no one has ever attempted to "remove dictatorships".....just replace dictators we don't like with dictators we do like.

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7 hours ago, Josephs_Piano said:

no one has ever attempted to "remove dictatorships".....just replace dictators we don't like with dictators we do like.

 

Well, in western europe, the allies did remove a dictatorship and replaced it with democracies.

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27 minutes ago, Dodo_Dud said:

 

Well, in western europe, the allies did remove a dictatorship and replaced it with democracies.

 

Really? West Germany was a military dictatorship for years, split into 3 control zones. The only reason they where allowed an army was due to the size of the Soviet forces next door. The West German government was little more than an American-controlled puppet regime till the late 60's.

 

Japan still has to abide by a pacifist constitution enforced on them by the occupation forces.

 

People look back at the late 40's and 50's with rose tinted glasses.

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Not quite. West Germany had - after 4 years of occupation - free elections. And there was a broad choice. They opted "US" by popular interest. If it turned out to act like a puppet state, then due to a broad democratic consent of the electorate and due to the well visible red alternative looming next door.

 

The remilitarization was a topic of national elections which the conservatives did win. It was allowed but opposed from within.

Edited by Dodo_Dud
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13 hours ago, Dodo_Dud said:

From Churchills perspective, one brutal dictatorship was just replaced with another. He didn't like that. His answer: more war while at it.

The alternative was 40 years of fragile peace at a high cost to those in the "satellite countries".

 

Neither option was pleasant.

 

That's what Churchill wanted the world to think in his memoirs.

 

In reality, Churchill actually cut a deal with Stalin long before the war was even over - this was called the "Percentages Agreement" and it essentially agreed to hand over all of Eastern Europe to Stalin in exchange for Greece. The Soviets actually honored the agreement which is why Greece was able to become part of NATO.

 

Worse, Churchill went behind Roosevelt's back and did not inform him about this deal.

 

Churchill was actually a very Machiavellian figure - who was willing to hoodwink America and sell out Eastern Europe in exchange for more power for the British Empire. Operation Unthinkable was frankly more and more of a red herring that he invented to make it seem as though he wanted to fight the commies to hide the fact he made a deal with him. In reality, everyone in the British government was against Unthinkable and the overwhelming majority of the British population was in fact pro-Soviet. Indeed, Atlee - who would replace Churchill as PM before the war ended - basically enacted a whole bunch of socialist policies that lasted up to around the Thatcher period.

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10 hours ago, Nomad_Gaming said:

The Soviet Union would not have been able to win an Operation Unthinkable in the long run; the winning strategy for the Soviet Union would have meant rushing for the French coast and for Italy in order to prevent resupply. The Red army would have had to secure at least two major fronts, not including the possibility of invasion through Turkey. Then there's the issues of logistics that Sev brought up. Initially, the Soviets would have held the advantage, though this would be steadily bled through the end of Lend Lease supplies and US industrial output. Further, the Soviet Navy would have been unable to effectively interdict supplies coming from the US across the Atlantic.  

 

Finally, there's the issue of China, Manchuria, Korea, and Japan. I would not have been surprised if--in desperation--the US had intervened in the Chinese civil war on the side of the nationalists in order to get China into the fight against the Soviet Union and/or used what was left of the Japanese army for a push in the Russian far-east.

 

Either way, Russia's only real option against the weight of allied industry which they couldn't touch would have been to further stretch their supply lines and push as hard as they could for a fait accompli in Europe before further men and materiel could arrive from the US and the British Commonwealth.

 

The Soviet Union didn't even need to fight. There was no popular support for war against the Soviets in either the United States or the United Kingdom. The last Gallup poll on the subject recorded a staggering 80% "favorable" rating towards the Soviet Union.

 

Again, people love to jump to military fantasies without first considering the political realities. Except for Churchill (who, as noted above, may have been just faking it) nobody in either the US or UK high commands really wanted to fight the Soviets. Patton supposedly did (but the man was half-crazy), but he wasn't even an Army Group commander - meaning all he commanded was one of the rectangles in the OP's map. Only the Free Polish Forces in the West would have seriously supported any such offensive - but that would only lead to a brother fighting brother situation given nearly as many Poles were also already fighting with the Red Army. 

 

If the Western Allies tried to attack the Soviets, it is much more likely that there would be a widespread mutiny and disobedience among the troops themselves before an offensive would even start. Anti-communist feelings did not run high among the troops back in 1945. It took a decade of scare-mongering by US politicians like McCarthy and the Soviet development of their own atom bomb before the American public got really scared of the Soviet Union; which is ironically around the same time Stalin died and the Soviets became much less dictatorial.

Edited by Zinegata
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22 hours ago, PainGod85 said:

Notwithstanding the fact the Allies could've simply nuked their way towards Moscow back then...

 

And don't you think they wouldn't have done it - they'd have stopped after Little Boy otherwise.

 

Nukes would be last option. The infrastructure for producing fission material was still developing, and the possibility of compromising the weapon's specifications to Soviets couldn't be overlooked. 

 

20 hours ago, fufubear said:

Less people died during the cold war than how many would have with a proper war.

 

You are underestimating the civilian casualties of communist rule in the countries they controlled...and of course, all the fallout from cold war is still biting us in the a**. The perpetual turmoil and rise of extremism in Middle East is a result of all the manipulating by major powers. Without Cold War, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and more could all be relatively civilized countries now.

Edited by Sarin
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7 minutes ago, Sarin said:

 

Nukes would be last option. The infrastructure for producing fission material was still developing, and the possibility of compromising the weapon's specifications to Soviets couldn't be overlooked. 

 

 

You are underestimating the civilian casualties of communist rule in the countries they controlled...and of course, all the fallout from cold war is still biting us in the a**. The perpetual turmoil and rise of extremism in Middle East is a result of all the manipulating by major powers. Without Cold War, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and more could all be relatively civilized countries now.

 

Yeah, because only the Commies where bad right?

 

What about the Kurds Saddam gassed in the 80's? Because he was allied to America at the time, nothing happened. Funny how it got dragged up to justify invasion when the mad dog bit the hand that fed him.

 

How about the Congo in the 60's? American, French and Belgian backed rebels overthrowing the legitmately elected, but left wing, governemnt and throwing it into chaos.

 

Then we have good old Iran when the Americans and British again helped overthrow an elected, however left wing, government in favour of a brutal dictator. That mess ended up in the islamic revolution and the mess we have today.

 

The West are responsible for much more of the mess in the world today than those evil commies.

Edited by Fallenkezef
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1 minute ago, Fallenkezef said:

 

Yeah, because only the Commies where bad right?

 

What about the Kurds Saddam gassed in the 80's? Because he was allied to America at the time, nothing happened. Funny how it got dragged up to justify invasion when the mad dog bit the hand that fed him.

 

How about the Congo in the 60's? American, French and Belgian backed rebels overthrowing the legitmately elected, but left wing, governemnt and throwing it into chaos.

 

Then we have good old Iran when the Americans and British again helped overthrow an elected, however left wing, government in favour of a brutal dictator. That mess ended up in the islamic revolution and the mess we have today.

 

The West are responsible for much more of the mess in the world today than those evil commies.

 

Might be useful for you to take reading courses before writing such aggressive post. I never wrote that only commies screwed up things. The political games were played by both sides.

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7 minutes ago, Sarin said:

 

Might be useful for you to take reading courses before writing such aggressive post. I never wrote that only commies screwed up things. The political games were played by both sides.

 

Why the personal attack? Interesting response.

 

"You are underestimating the civilian casualties of communist rule in the countries they controlled"

 

You posted a one-sided claim, insinuating that many people died in Communist countries. Really?

 

You make a claim with no back up, no lists of these countries, no events showing these casualties. You make an implied criticism of the communist regimes with no backing and ONLY mentioned the Communist regimes and not the casualties of Western-backed nations.

 

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22 minutes ago, Fallenkezef said:

 

Why the personal attack? Interesting response.

 

"You are underestimating the civilian casualties of communist rule in the countries they controlled"

 

You posted a one-sided claim, insinuating that many people died in Communist countries. Really?

 

You make a claim with no back up, no lists of these countries, no events showing these casualties. You make an implied criticism of the communist regimes with no backing and ONLY mentioned the Communist regimes and not the casualties of Western-backed nations.

 

 

Ironically enough, when the "west" is at fault, it is usually western reporting that digs up the dirt. In the "east", such things are usually swept under the rug. For instance, the Katyn Massacre. 

 

As is, I tend to take a dim view of hand-wringing about the west's "crimes." I don't think there is an excuse for it all the same, however I often find that the phrase "western crimes" or "western-backed crimes" is usually followed by some sort of craven justification of whatever atrocity is being committed by [insert autocratic major power or dictatorship here].  

 

This is so common, in fact, that what you see above is practically a knee-jerk response for me.

 

We're getting off-topic though. I suggest that you leave political and blame-gaming aside for the moment.

Edited by Nomad_Gaming
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