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Old December 17th, 2012, 11:21 AM   #141

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Originally Posted by zincwarrior View Post
Wait why would a jet bomber not work again (looks over at the B-52).
Jet bombers were developed by nations of the world after WW2, and the Germans even developed on by the Arado company during the war, but because of the fuel consumption of jet engines, I don't think their range is good enough to fly non-stop from Europe to America and back without refueling...

The B-52 has a combat range of 4,480 miles, which is greater... BUT one must also remember that the B-52 was developed after WW2 when engineers had had more time to develop the engines to improve effectiveness and power. In addition, I think the B-52 had a higher ceiling then other aircraft... In fact the B-52's ceiling is close to twice that of the B-24. At higher altitudes, a plane can go farther because of thinner air and less drag. Part of the reason why the SR-71 Blackbird has such a great range is because of its ability to achieve near Earth orbit with regard to its ceiling. At that hight, drag is greatly reduced and the plane doesn't have to do as much to go.

The jets of WW2 were all still very new and experimental. As such they were all prone to various mechanical problems, mostly because the technology was so new. Would it have been impossible for Germany to develop a good jet bomber? No, but they would needed about five years of peace to test and develop it. Making "lightyear" jumps in a time of war is rather difficult as you'll either be short of materials (no access) or the factories or the transport would be bombed.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 11:27 AM   #142

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But at the time America's real involvement was rather limited. We weren't sending entire squadrons to fly and attack German cities, we weren't commiting large numbers of men to attack the German army.

What America had been doing prior to Hitler's declaration was keeping Britain from being defeated utterly. And had Hitler not declared war, the Isolationists in America would have done everything possible to make sure FDR didn't do any more then what he'd already been doing.

And while I'm not sure that Hitler knew all the exact details, but I do believe he knew of FDR's struggles against the Isolationists. I believe this was some time before WW2... but FDR had sent a message to Germany demanding that Germany respect the borders of its neighbors. Hitler then openly mocked the message before the Reichstag by reading off the individual countries named in the message to laughter from the Reichstag members. In that, I think Hitler knew that FDR had to contend with a powerful lobby that wouldn't let him take any real action. Which to him made America a paper tiger.
Indeed. I remember Hitler was alleged to have said somewhere the Americans made good refrigerators and razorblades and nothing else. I wonder if some fail to recognize that the isolationist lobby was not politically partisan. It crossed the aisles in congress, with powerful politicians from all points of the compass, celebrities, religious leaders, and a very pro-German population in various regions of the country loudly making opposition to any involvement in Europe. It's a wonder he was able to do what he did before the neutrality laws were modified, and Lend-Lease passed.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 04:44 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Linschoten View Post
Did the Japanese really think that if they made a surprise attack on an American fleet, the Americans would do no more than make a diplomatic protest?

I think what the Japanese were hoping for was that Americans wouldn't think it worth the time, money, and effort to defeat them, and that eventually, American and Japan would reach some kind of settlement that would allow Japan to keep at least some of their gains. Even at the time the first atomic bomb was dropped, when it was clear that the Japanese had lost the war, the Japanese were still hoping for some kind of negotiated settlement.

It took an lot of money and men to defeat Japan. After all, when they wiped out the Russian fleet in an earlier sneak attack during the 1905 Russian-Japanese war, the Russians didn't go and build another fleet to defeat the Japanese.

Also, the Japanese probably underestimate America's ability to salvage the ships at Pearl Harbor. Most of the ships sunk at Pearl Harbor, were able to be repaired and refloated during the war, something I suspect the Japanese did not anticipate.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 10:59 PM   #144

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I wish that people wouldn't rely on the History Channel/comic books as historical sources.
It was not until 1951 that a jet, an RAF Canberra, made the first non-stop jet flight across the Atlantic and then it had the luxury of being able to refuel in the USA. None of the 1950s, 1960s jet bombers or passenger aircraft, including the B-52 (introduced in 1955) had the range to make a return trip across the Atlantic which is why in-flight refueling was developed. The dreams and musings of "Amerika" bombers with nuclear weapons are just that, musings.
A lot of ideas were scratched on the back of cigarette packets in bars by German scientists in WW2 as they were by British and American scientists as well.
Von Braun's orbiting space station took 50 years to see fulfillment, Barnes Wallis's sub-orbital passenger rocket plane might see the light of day in the next decade--he sketched it out in 1940.
The Kriegsmarine's requirement for a U-boat with a "uranium engine" appeared in the USA as the USS Nautilus, ten years after the original request.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 03:10 PM   #145
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From what i understand the Japanese knew the US would attack back but they thought as soon as the bodies started piling up the US would than be willing to coming to the negotiating table.
All of which demonstrates just how worthless the Japanese understanding of America was. If true, the thought that the Japanese would embark on a huge war against an enemy they did not understand in the least has to be one of modern history's greatest miscalculations. If the Japanese had been even minimally clever, they would have attacked Hong Kong, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies (their main goal), French Indo-China and eventually India and left the US's possessions scrupulously alone. What could Roosevelt have done in that event? Congress and the American people were in no mood to go to war absent a direct attack. The Japanese might have gotten away with that strategy. Instead, they waltzed into a distant neighbor's yard - the only neighbor strong enough to hurt him - punched and stabbed him and stole other possessions from him and then expected him to do nothing? Absurd! And incredibly stupid.

In other words, Japan gambled away their empire without knowing what the rules of the game were going to be.

Last edited by royal744; March 7th, 2014 at 03:19 PM.
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