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Operation "Unthinkable", yes it was unthinkable

199 posts in this topic

13 minutes ago, fufubear said:

I doubt the west would have used jets.  Germany only used jets put of desperation while Britain and America largely held their jets back.  Jets would only be a factor if the soviets posed a real threat.

what? Jets where a well mastered tecnology and every pilot already saw the huge advantage of speed over anything that started the speed race that ended only with the 4th gen Jets. Britain was also using it's jet against V1s. US was finishing to refine the P80s.... They would have used them for sure

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13 minutes ago, bellezza03 said:

what? Jets where a well mastered tecnology and every pilot already saw the huge advantage of speed over anything that started the speed race that ended only with the 4th gen Jets. Britain was also using it's jet against V1s. US was finishing to refine the P80s.... They would have used them for sure

It was something they had an edge over the soviets so risking losing it and having Soviet jets flying using copied engines was a risk.  Not to mention there were much more piston aircraft available.

 

And using jets for v1 interception is much different from using jets for offensive patrols.  If you lose a jet intercepting a v1 you ensure you get all sensitive items back.  If you lose a jet over enemy lines the sensitive items are most likely lost forever.

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On 3/21/2017 at 11:21 AM, fufubear said:

I doubt the west would have used jets.  Germany only used jets put of desperation while Britain and America largely held their jets back.  Jets would only be a factor if the soviets posed a real threat.

Didn't stop them in the early days of Korea.  The North didn't have jet aircraft at the time until the Russians sold them some.

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1 hour ago, Retry said:

Didn't stop them in the early days of Korea.  The North didn't have jet aircraft at the time until the Russians sold them some.

I think it was less of a risk to lose an f80 seeing that North Korea had a tiny industrial base and the US still had better jets being held back.

 

It's different from a hypothetical operation unthinkable since the Russians have a large industrial base and would have been working on their own jet prototypes so the risk of copying a Western jet is more likely.

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The Russians didn't get a decent working jet engine until we Brits gave them one though? 

 

As for Op Unthinkable itself - I've always interpreted it as merely a contingency should old 'Uncle Joe' have gone even more meglomaniac than he already was. 

 

All three of the major powers were fought out in Europe by the end - Russians and British had more or less run out of men for the meat grinder, and the US was more worried about the Pacific. Certainly nobody here in Blighty would have gone for a seventh year of war, and I wonder whether the Americans would have wanted to get involved in yet another round of European Dictator Removal?

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Posted (edited)

Russians would of won, they had a much better Command and Control. 

 

Russian tankers would of been in Paris in under a year. 

Edited by Randall43645
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Posted (edited)

The Russian air force did not have as many high performance planes as the west, their air doctrine was very outdated, and the numbers strategy would not have worked against the US.  You can say they would have success on the ground but the air was a different story.

Edited by fufubear
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5 hours ago, Randall43645 said:

Russians would of won, they had a much better Command and Control. 

 

Russian tankers would of been in Paris in under a year. 

Are you certain about that?

 

If the allies were able to reinforce in time, I strongly doubt that the USSR would have been able to use the weight of numbers against a nascent NATO (Britain, France, Italy, US, Germany, etc.). Allied superiority in the air would also mean that the allied airpower would be able to harass, disrupt and sever the USSR's logistical lines. That on its own has value, given that the USSR's logistics were already stretched. Further, there is also the value of Allied raw materials shipments to Russia to consider.

 

If the USSR could have moved quickly, there's a decent chance that they could have won given their immediate superiority in numbers. On the other hand, if the Allies could draw out the fight, Russia's victory becomes far from certain.

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Posted (edited)

It's doubtful they would have won on the ground.  Even when ignoring the obvious aircraft and logistical disparities, the backbone of the Russian tank fleet were T-34-85s.  US and Britain had plenty of '76 and 17 pdr Shermans in 1945 which were the equivalent of the -85 T-34s.  Add the ability to add some Jumbo kits to some of the Shermans and they're all of the sudden invulnerable to the Russian's most common tank cannons.  US M9 Bazookas can penetrate the T-34-85 from all angles as well, as could some field guns like the British 6 pdr.  Add that the Pershings were just arriving to Europe and the Centurion was in the pipeline, the Soviet armored corps wouldn't have been able to make a successful push in 1945.

 

They could wait for increased numbers of IS-2s, T-44s, and IS-3s to arrive to make another push, but by then advanced versions of the Pershing and Centurion would be available, not to mention the Soviet heavy threat would strongly encourage development of NATO heavies like the T-Series, as well as improved hand-held anti-tank weaponry which could result in rushed development of the M20 Super Bazooka (which could easily pen all mentioned tanks).  Even without the Super Zook, the M9 is capable of penetrating all of these tanks from the side, which will mean the Soviet horde will not be able to push wherever they want free of consequence.  With the already-established air superiority advantage and a rather poor anti-aircraft net, fighter-bombers like the Tempest and P-47 are free to knock out artillery and supply lines, which drastically limits the Soviet's offensive (and defensive) capabilities.

 

There's also the problem of the other front; the United States and other combatants can, with a little bit of preparation for the colder climate, invade the Soviet Union from their east coast.  Six Million men were planned to participate in Operation Downfall, but if the war were to go hot again, these could be re-directed to land in Russia instead, supported by several fleets and their fighter complements,  and planned tank brigades.  That's force the Russians to dedicate at least some resources to halt this force, or risk them getting too close to something vital.

 

Oh, and it always comes down to the infantryman and his rifle.  With the average US infantryman's standard issue semi-automatic M1 Garand, the average US soldier has a decisive advantage over the typical Russian and his bolt-action.

Edited by Retry
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13 hours ago, Retry said:

It's doubtful they would have won on the ground.  Even when ignoring the obvious aircraft and logistical disparities, the backbone of the Russian tank fleet were T-34-85s.  US and Britain had plenty of '76 and 17 pdr Shermans in 1945 which were the equivalent of the -85 T-34s.  Add the ability to add some Jumbo kits to some of the Shermans and they're all of the sudden invulnerable to the Russian's most common tank cannons.  US M9 Bazookas can penetrate the T-34-85 from all angles as well, as could some field guns like the British 6 pdr.  Add that the Pershings were just arriving to Europe and the Centurion was in the pipeline, the Soviet armored corps wouldn't have been able to make a successful push in 1945.

 

They could wait for increased numbers of IS-2s, T-44s, and IS-3s to arrive to make another push, but by then advanced versions of the Pershing and Centurion would be available, not to mention the Soviet heavy threat would strongly encourage development of NATO heavies like the T-Series, as well as improved hand-held anti-tank weaponry which could result in rushed development of the M20 Super Bazooka (which could easily pen all mentioned tanks).  Even without the Super Zook, the M9 is capable of penetrating all of these tanks from the side, which will mean the Soviet horde will not be able to push wherever they want free of consequence.  With the already-established air superiority advantage and a rather poor anti-aircraft net, fighter-bombers like the Tempest and P-47 are free to knock out artillery and supply lines, which drastically limits the Soviet's offensive (and defensive) capabilities.

 

There's also the problem of the other front; the United States and other combatants can, with a little bit of preparation for the colder climate, invade the Soviet Union from their east coast.  Six Million men were planned to participate in Operation Downfall, but if the war were to go hot again, these could be re-directed to land in Russia instead, supported by several fleets and their fighter complements,  and planned tank brigades.  That's force the Russians to dedicate at least some resources to halt this force, or risk them getting too close to something vital.

 

Oh, and it always comes down to the infantryman and his rifle.  With the average US infantryman's standard issue semi-automatic M1 Garand, the average US soldier has a decisive advantage over the typical Russian and his bolt-action.

how nice of you to not include stuff like Panzerfausts and Panzerschrecks in possession of German units... the potential of keeping guns like the Pak 44 in production (atleast for a short time) as a countermeasure, and Tanks like the Panther and the Königstiger in Europe

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59 minutes ago, RohmMohc said:

how nice of you to not include stuff like Panzerfausts and Panzerschrecks in possession of German units... the potential of keeping guns like the Pak 44 in production (atleast for a short time) as a countermeasure, and Tanks like the Panther and the Königstiger in Europe

 

By the time they use Panzerschreck, the U.S. have their own upscaled Bazooka instead of reverse engineered one, which is the 90 mm M20 Super Bazooka with massive firepower while being practical.

105 mm T5 guns would have been mass produced for T29 & T95 tanks in great effect. (They planned for producing 1200 T29 by March 1945)

 

Also for a debut to introduce the 120 mm T53 for the T34 heavy tank arming itself with the strongest APCR ever made in history intended to knock off every opponent tanks with life expectancy for up to 10 years since its first development.

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8 hours ago, RohmMohc said:

how nice of you to not include stuff like Panzerfausts and Panzerschrecks in possession of German units... the potential of keeping guns like the Pak 44 in production (atleast for a short time) as a countermeasure, and Tanks like the Panther and the Königstiger in Europe

US and UK personnel may take up some captured or abandoned Panzerfausts & Panzerschrecks, AT guns, and tanks ad hoc until they ran out of ammunition or broke down.  There's no reason to assume that the US would encourage re-establishing Germany's broken military industry to continue their production immediately after WWII for the US as 1.The US equipment I've already mentioned were good enough and 2.The US really doesn't like complicating logistics.

(Remember that by the time the war ended, Germany's able-bodied military population was decimated, so this equipment would have to be produced for the other powers.)

 

It's doubtful that the remaining spare German equipment would be enough to significantly alter the course of the ground war.

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Posted (edited)

you might want to remember that Panzerfausts even then were produced in huge numbers...afaik they churned out roughly 2 million pieces (1/3 of the overall production) even in 45... so keeping them in production (especially if it could be the last projected version, the Panzerfaust 250) could therefore be advantageous

 

does anyone have production numbers on the Bazookas?

Edited by RohmMohc
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For the T29 and T34 thing you also had to ship them etc... Not mentionning they were not battle proven while the King Tiger was with well identified issues and already almost finished improvements to improve it's reliability such as the Maybach HL 234, Rangefinders, possibly even a new gun with the 105 mm gun which required new internals for the turret, this would have taken  much less time to implement. I think it'd have been much simplier to allow ressources to production and improvement of already battle proven heavy tank like the King Tiger which on the top of that was overall more suited for frontal combat with 122 mm guns T29 and T34 being imho too lightly armored. T32 however would be a much better choice, better than even the king tiger

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On 3/25/2017 at 4:49 PM, Retry said:

It's doubtful they would have won on the ground.  Even when ignoring the obvious aircraft and logistical disparities, the backbone of the Russian tank fleet were T-34-85s.  US and Britain had plenty of '76 and 17 pdr Shermans in 1945 which were the equivalent of the -85 T-34s.  Add the ability to add some Jumbo kits to some of the Shermans and they're all of the sudden invulnerable to the Russian's most common tank cannons.  US M9 Bazookas can penetrate the T-34-85 from all angles as well, as could some field guns like the British 6 pdr.  Add that the Pershings were just arriving to Europe and the Centurion was in the pipeline, the Soviet armored corps wouldn't have been able to make a successful push in 1945.

 

They could wait for increased numbers of IS-2s, T-44s, and IS-3s to arrive to make another push, but by then advanced versions of the Pershing and Centurion would be available, not to mention the Soviet heavy threat would strongly encourage development of NATO heavies like the T-Series, as well as improved hand-held anti-tank weaponry which could result in rushed development of the M20 Super Bazooka (which could easily pen all mentioned tanks).  Even without the Super Zook, the M9 is capable of penetrating all of these tanks from the side, which will mean the Soviet horde will not be able to push wherever they want free of consequence.  With the already-established air superiority advantage and a rather poor anti-aircraft net, fighter-bombers like the Tempest and P-47 are free to knock out artillery and supply lines, which drastically limits the Soviet's offensive (and defensive) capabilities.

 

There's also the problem of the other front; the United States and other combatants can, with a little bit of preparation for the colder climate, invade the Soviet Union from their east coast.  Six Million men were planned to participate in Operation Downfall, but if the war were to go hot again, these could be re-directed to land in Russia instead, supported by several fleets and their fighter complements,  and planned tank brigades.  That's force the Russians to dedicate at least some resources to halt this force, or risk them getting too close to something vital.

 

Oh, and it always comes down to the infantryman and his rifle.  With the average US infantryman's standard issue semi-automatic M1 Garand, the average US soldier has a decisive advantage over the typical Russian and his bolt-action.

 

M9 Bazooka had routine fusing problems against sloped armor. Combat reports from Korea indicate that the T-34-85 was functionally invulnerable to the M9 Bazooka due to this.

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3 minutes ago, Nomad_Gaming said:

 

M9 Bazooka had routine fusing problems against sloped armor. Combat reports from Korea indicate that the T-34-85 was functionally invulnerable to the M9 Bazooka due to this.

ouch.. btw i've read that from the 3 Weapons (Bazooka, Panzerschreck and Panzerfaust), the Panzerfaust produced the most spalling and after-armour effects... hte Bazooka the smallest...

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Here is a similar, but interesting video about the matter.:yes_yes_yes:

 

 

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1 hour ago, SAUBER_KH7 said:

Here is a similar, but interesting video about the matter.:yes_yes_yes:

 

 

 

Interesting film. Effectively a massive soviet advance, followed by a steady rolling back of the soviets to their pre-1939 borders. Seems accurate enough, however the author clearly doesn't have access to info about upcoming allied projects during the period (T series, etc) as well as mass production of the M4A3E8, which was a match for the T-34-85 as demonstrated in Korea. Soviet victory would largely have rested on how well they could interdict allied shipping, as well as how fast they could advance before allies could properly reinforce. Also seems fairly unlikely that Japan would ally itself with the Soviet Union. 

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Posted (edited)

6 minutes ago, Nomad_Gaming said:

 

Interesting film. Effectively a massive soviet advance, followed by a steady rolling back of the soviets to their pre-1939 borders. Seems accurate enough, however the author clearly doesn't have access to info about upcoming allied projects during the period (T series, etc) as well as mass production of the M4A3E8, which was a match for the T-34-85 as demonstrated in Korea. Soviet victory would largely have rested on how well they could interdict allied shipping, as well as how fast they could advance before allies could properly reinforce. Also seems fairly unlikely that Japan would ally itself with the Soviet Union. 

My thoughts also. I noticed English was his second language and most of the subtitles were in "Engrish". When the author said the Sherman was not good against T-34-85, I'm sure he was referring to the M4A2 (75mm). But yes, he failed to take into account the M4A3E8. What got me was that he did not mention anything about the likely appearance of American and Soviet Jets such as the P80A and Mig-9. Nor did he mention the possible use of prototype tanks like the T29, T32, IS3, or T44.

And Japan would have been too weak to continue a war with the USA, with much of it's navy and air force almost completely destroyed.

 

Granted it was not perfect, but it was decent enough imo.

Edited by SAUBER_KH7
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Well, this is probably THE most interesting question regarding alternate history of WWII. We will never know for sure, although the fact that Stalin did not do anything is probably the best indicator that USSR couldn't possibly won this, if full-scale war was involved. On the other hand, there wasn't much more to achieve for USSR without going full-scale. Greece maybe, and even then USSR lost it.

 

Would love to play in some well-thought and realistic strategy game covering such scenario though.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, SAUBER_KH7 said:

My thoughts also. I noticed English was his second language and most of the subtitles were in "Engrish". When the author said the Sherman was not good against T-34-85, I'm sure he was referring to the M4A2 (75mm). But yes, he failed to take into account the M4A3E8. What got me was that he did not mention anything about the likely appearance of American and Soviet Jets such as the P80A and Mig-9. Nor did he mention the possible use of prototype tanks like the T29, T32, IS3, or T44.

And Japan would have been too weak to continue a war with the USA, with much of it's navy and air force almost completely destroyed.

 

Granted it was not perfect, but it was decent enough imo.

Indeed. The allies would have had a significant advantage due to the fact that the MiG 9 wasn't officially deployed until mid-1946. Even then, the range of the B-29 coupled with long-range fighters such as the P-51, especially if they were based in Alaska or Japan, would have automatically put all but the most distant Soviet production centers at risk in a manner that the Soviets would not have easily been able to counter. This would have given the allies the ability to sever and hinder Soviet resupply efforts fairly early on in the war, especially if the US offered Japan a conditional peace deal in exchange for basing rights. If you take this into account, along with the overstretch of soviet supplies as they went into Germany, there exists the possibility that the allies/NATO could have basically starved the Red Army of critical supplies before they could have advanced far enough to deliver a knockout blow.

25 minutes ago, kstoff said:

Well, this is probably THE most interesting question regarding alternate history of WWII. We will never know for sure, although the fact that Stalin did not do anything is probably the best indicator that USSR couldn't possibly won this, if full-scale war was involved. On the other hand, there wasn't much more to achieve for USSR without going full-scale. Greece maybe, and even then USSR lost it.

 

Would love to play in some well-thought and realistic strategy game covering such scenario though.

There are a few strategy games regarding it, but they don't play well (I'm thinking of Codename: Panzers). A good novel series on it (via amazon) is the "Red Gambit series." In fact the course of the war drawn out by that video largely parallels that of the Red Gambit series, right down to Brutal fighting in Germany and France, along with the Russians giving Japan a free hand in China and the Pacific.

Edited by Nomad_Gaming
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2 hours ago, Nomad_Gaming said:

 

Interesting film. Effectively a massive soviet advance, followed by a steady rolling back of the soviets to their pre-1939 borders. Seems accurate enough, however the author clearly doesn't have access to info about upcoming allied projects during the period (T series, etc) as well as mass production of the M4A3E8, which was a match for the T-34-85 as demonstrated in Korea. Soviet victory would largely have rested on how well they could interdict allied shipping, as well as how fast they could advance before allies could properly reinforce. Also seems fairly unlikely that Japan would ally itself with the Soviet Union. 

 

The thing about shipping is the Royal Navy was mostly commited to the Med and Atlantic, would have no problem redeploying to bottle any Soviet attempts to interdict shipping.

By 1944 we had the anti-sub techniques and tech to devastate subs and the Soviets never had anything as good as the Germans anyway.

 

We'd bottle up both the Baltic and Black sea with little trouble.

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2 minutes ago, Nomad_Gaming said:

 

Interesting film. Effectively a massive soviet advance, followed by a steady rolling back of the soviets to their pre-1939 borders. Seems accurate enough, however the author clearly doesn't have access to info about upcoming allied projects during the period (T series, etc) as well as mass production of the M4A3E8, which was a match for the T-34-85 as demonstrated in Korea. Soviet victory would largely have rested on how well they could interdict allied shipping, as well as how fast they could advance before allies could properly reinforce. Also seems fairly unlikely that Japan would ally itself with the Soviet Union. 

 

Especially with massive air force projects (most of them are insane) such as the flying wings & flying pancakes.

 

 

I extremely doubt the Soviet could blockade the Allied naval transportation, large one. Either by VVS or VMF.

 

First,

You're facing a major navy force in WWII which can even open 2 fronts at once against KM (mostly sub warfare) with joint operation from RN in Atlantic & IJN (largest surface naval warfare for 5 consecutive years) singlehandedly with little aid from the other Allied in Pacific & win.

Do remind that if both KM & IJN which were far superior than VMF got totally destroyed by USN (+ RN), what could VMF do against it? (considering USN will have all experiences of naval warfare tactics after WWII).

 

USN will do the same by shredding both fronts from west & east.

 

 

Second,

Most Allied warplanes (mosty USAF) can invade whole European continent from France or Japan combined. They also have tons of surplus ordnances & wing reinforcements for tactical airstrike from 360° before the VSS can plan any offensive, let alone reaching the USN transport convoys, let alone facing the AA screen & thousands of carrier fighters.

 

Any possible kind of aerial warfare would be USAF bombing & securing airspace in Europe from 8 km above (most Soviet interceptors are only effective on lower altitude like they did in Eastern Front) & USN mobilizing their planes at low altitude in both Europe & Asia. VSS will have to finish both problems at once.

 

 

Third,

Specifically talking about the military vehicles.

USN Fighters:

Mostly reinforced with Hellcats, Corsairs, & too-late-for-war Bearcats & Tigercats. Possibe approval to mass produce the Flying Pancake due to requirement to combat the VSS fighters at low altitude with high maneuverability. Also XF8B for Navy bomber interceptor.

 

USN Attack-Bombers:

Helldivers, Catalinas, Mariners, Mitchells, Skyraiders, BTD Destroyers, Skypirates (torpedo bombers intended for Midway-class). Some of these would deal with VMF fleet & some would perform off-shore airstrike.

 

USN Fleet:

Whole Angry Armada. Period.

 

USAF Fighters: Mustangs (H), Twin Mustangs, Lightnings, Black Widows, Thunderbolts, Shooting Stars, Warhawks (reserve I think), A lot of those in medium - high altitude.

 

USAF Attack-Bombers: Mitchells, Flying Fortress, Liberators, Superfortress, Flying Wings, Marauders, Invaders, craptons of bombloads & aerial fleet.

 

USA Tanks:

Stuarts, Chaffees, T37 (possible project for upgunning the Chaffee ASAP), Shermans (all variants), Pershings, T29, T30, T34, T32. Standard issue tanks for another war. 

 

USA Tank Destroyers:

Wolverines, Hellcats, Jacksons, T28, All but one fast tank destroyer for vast Soviet soil warzone.

 

Lots of halftracks & trucks.

Nuke bombers.

Proximity fuzed shell on massive scale.

More weaponry would be released from their seal.

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The US was already war weary with the slow progress in Japan. There would have been no support for a follow up war with Soviet Union. I also question how the economy would have held up under several more years, at least, or all out war.

It seems the Soviet Union was just as war weary, and economically in no shape to continue either.

 

Any plans for continuing the war against the Soviet Union were probably draw up as contingencies against the very real possibility that Stalin would just want to keep marching over Europe. Certainly it was their desire to, but they realized they weren't in a position to do so.

 

I don't have any data on how long it took the US to produce additional nuclear weapons after Nagasaki, nor how many were available in the next few years. This would be a critical factor to consider in any such war: How fast could the US get more nukes on the field, and could they get them in enough numbers to be decisive? That alone would be enough to deter soviet aggression.

That may have been a major reason in why Stalin did not seriously consider war, even during the Berlin blockade crisis.

 

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