Luftwaffe's biggest mistakes?

Dir

Nov 2015
1,957
Kyiv
You can start here

Icebreaker (Suvorov) - Wikipedia
it includes
Suvorov's view that a Soviet invasion of Germany was imminent in 1941 is not shared by most historians.
A noteworthy rebuttal of Suvorov's thesis is contained in Colonel David Glantz's work Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War.
Summarising the western scholars' opinion on Icebreaker Hugh Ragsdale concludes that the book is "generally considered discredited" by now,whereas Jonathan Haslam notes that Suvorov's claims "would be comical were it not taken so seriously"
I posted here the official archive document of the Russian General Staff drawn up 2 months before the German invasion of Russia. It meant the general offensive of the Red Army in Poland, the seizure of Warsaw and the defeat of the Wehrmacht to the west of it. Not only that - the Russians entered World War II on September 17, 1939; before the invasion of the Germans they conducted two military campaigns, seized and annexed Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bessarabia, Bukovina and the Finnish Karelian Isthmus.

But at the same time, the “majority of historians” are sure that after that Russia became peaceful and she was prepared just for defense.

Meanwhile it turned out in June 1941 that its huge army was completely unprepared for defense. Why? Because in the first half of 1941 the Red Army was preparing for anything, but not for defense. And it is completely obvious. Similarly, it was preparing for a large offensive in the spring of 1942 near Kharkov and in the east of Crimea. And there the Germans also struck first - and completely defeated the Russian units, which prepared for the offensive, and not for defense

And surprisingly, with all this Russian peace-loving - at the end of the WWII - in addition to the countries and territories Russia captured in 1939-1940 - she seized and annexed a whole string of another territories of other countries - half of East Prussia, half of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands

More than 50% of all Soviet tanks needed major repairs on June 22, 1941. If an invasion was planned, these maintenance tasks would be carried out
I checked these "50%". Here is the official summary of the availability and serviceability of tanks in the Red Army in June 1941.

Сколько танков было у Сталина?

All in all, the Russian army had 25,932 tanks then. Of these, 1 category (new tanks) - 2.612
2 category (completely serviceable) - 17.366

In total, the 19,978 Russian tanks on the day the German invasion began were perfectly operational. This is 77% of their total number, and not at all 50%. Not only that - in the troops of the Western Military Districts, the Russians had 11,000 tanks just in its Tank Corps, and the superiority in attack power over the Germans was sufficient for a large offensive.

The remaining 23% of the tanks were of 3 category (needed mid-repair) or 4 category (required major repairs)

The Red Army really was not ready for an offensive on June 22, 1941, since a large number of troops were on their way to the western border. The Russians had enough fuel and ammunition near the western border in June 1941, but a huge number of depots with ammunition and fuel were bombed off by German aircraft or went to the Germans as a trophy in the first weeks of the German invasion. Stalin really did not think that the Germans would begin the invasion in the summer of 1941, because he knew that the main goal of the Germans was a big invasion of the British Isles and the subsequent division of the fat colonies of the British Empire. This is confirmed by the diaries of the Chief of the German General Staff Halder. Even in the midst of the German invasion of Russia, he wrote about the war with the British as a priority. And it is precisely based on the German invasion of England, the Kremlin planned to deliver a powerful blow to the bare German rear. And Stalin also knew that the Russians had many times more tanks and airplanes than Germans. And he believed that the Germans are not crazy to attack the Russians themself with a small qty of German tanks and plane.

Another question is that the Germans postponed the invasion of the islands. But the Russian military flywheel had already gained high speed, and their preparations for the invasion were in full swing. In the midst of this preparations, the Germans themselves hit the Russians. Hence the heavy pogrom of the Red Army, which was in the process of being deployed for an offensive, and not at all in defensive order. The facts of the massed preparation of the Russians for the invasion of the West are much more than Suvorov voiced. They started World War II very successfully for Russia and did not intend to stop. For this huge country was completely ineffective in peacetime. She was completely engineered towards a big war. Engineered much better than the Third Reich.

And about the preparation of a large invasion by the Russians Hitler wrote in a letter to his friend Mussolini the day before the start of the German offensive against Russia. Two military monsters were preparing to exterminate each other after two years of close cooperation. And the Germans managed to strike the first blow, beating the Russians. And they completely destroyed the Red Army that confronted them in June 1941.

And in the winter of 1941, the Germans suddenly discovered that they were opposed by the new Red Army. They also defeated this army in 1942 — and by the beginning of 1943 the next Red Army had defeated the Germans at Stalingrad. The Russians were preparing to fight until the last Russian. In the family of my wife's grandfather, who lived in a village in the Middle Volga in the deep Russian rear, his father, 11 children, was called to the front. And 9 out of 11 children died of hunger.

Compare with the German law on the last son in force even at the end of the WWII
 
Last edited:
Mar 2019
1,968
Kansas
Meanwhile it turned out in June 1941 that its huge army was completely unprepared for defense. Why? Because in the first half of 1941 the Red Army was preparing for anything, but not for defense.
Well that comment needs a little context. Basic Russian and then Soviet battle doctrine had always been the creation of weapons and tactics for offensive operations. So it wasn't brought on by a sudden desire to attack Germany.

Another interesting aside is part of that doctrine looked eerily like Blitzkrieg tactics, only the Soviets looked to create a wider gap than the Germans, and have the logistics to penetrate deeper than the Germans, potentially as much as 700 km.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,919
I posted here the official archive document of the Russian General Staff drawn up 2 months before the German invasion of Russia. It meant the general offensive of the Red Army in Poland, the seizure of Warsaw and the defeat of the Wehrmacht to the west of it. Not only that - the Russians entered World War II on September 17, 1939; before the invasion of the Germans they conducted two military campaigns, seized and annexed Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bessarabia, Bukovina and the Finnish Karelian Isthmus.

But at the same time, the “majority of historians” are sure that after that Russia became peaceful and it was prepared just for defense.

Meanwhile it turned out in June 1941 that its huge army was completely unprepared for defense. Why? Because in the first half of 1941 the Red Army was preparing for anything, but not for defense. And it is completely obvious. Similarly, it was preparing for a large offensive in the spring of 1942 near Kharkov and in the east of Crimea. And there the Germans also struck first - and completely defeated the Russian units, which prepared for the offensive, and not for defense



I checked these "50%". Here is the official summary of the availability and serviceability of tanks in the Red Army in June 1941.

Сколько танков было у Сталина?

All in all, the Russian army had 25,932 tanks then. Of these, 1 category (new tanks) - 2.612
2 category (completely serviceable) - 17.366

In total, the 19,978 Russian tanks on the day the German invasion began were perfectly operational. This is 77% of their total number, and not at all 50%. Not only that - in the troops of the Western Military Districts, the Russians had 11,000 tanks just in its Tank Corps, and the superiority in attack power over the Germans was sufficient for a large offensive.

The remaining 23% of the tanks were of 3 category (needed mid-repair) or 4 category (required major repairs)

The Red Army really was not ready for an offensive on June 22, 1941, since a large number of troops were on their way to the western border. The Russians had enough fuel and ammunition near the western border in June 1941, but a huge number of depots with ammunition and fuel were bombed off by German aircraft or went to the Germans as a trophy in the first weeks of the German invasion. Stalin really did not think that the Germans would begin the invasion in the summer of 1941, because he knew that the main goal of the Germans was a big invasion of the British Isles and the subsequent division of the fat colonies of the British Empire. This is confirmed by the diaries of the Chief of the German General Staff Halder. Even in the midst of the German invasion of Russia, he wrote about the war with the British as a priority. And it is precisely based on the German invasion of England, the Kremlin planned to deliver a powerful blow to the bare German rear. And Stalin also knew that the Russians had many times more tanks and airplanes than Germans. And he believed that the Germans are not crazy to attack the Russians themself with a small qty of German tanks and plane.

Another question is that the Germans postponed the invasion of the islands. But the Russian military flywheel had already gained high speed, and their preparations for the invasion were in full swing. In the midst of this preparations, the Germans themselves hit the Russians. Hence the heavy pogrom of the Red Army, which was in the process of being deployed for an offensive, and not at all in defensive order. The facts of the massed preparation of the Russians for the invasion of the West are much more than Suvorov voiced. They started World War II very successfully for Russia and did not intend to stop. For this huge country was completely ineffective in peacetime. She was completely engineered towards a big war. Engineered much better than the Third Reich.

And about the preparation of a large invasion by the Russians Hitler wrote in a letter to his friend Mussolini the day before the start of the German offensive against Russia. Two military monsters were preparing to exterminate each other after two years of close cooperation. And the Germans managed to strike the first blow, beating the Russians. And they completely destroyed the Red Army that confronted them in June 1941.

And in the winter of 1941, the Germans suddenly discovered that they were opposed by the new Red Army. They also defeated this army in 1942 — and by the beginning of 1943 the next Red Army had defeated the Germans at Stalingrad. The Russians were preparing to fight until the last Russian. In the family of my wife's grandfather, who lived in a village in the Middle Volga in the deep Russian rear, his father, 11 children, was called to the front. And 9 out of 11 children died of hunger.

Compare with the German law on the last son in force even at the end of the WWII
First the quote regarding the tanks availability is not mine

Second by spring 1941 the soviets knew about the large german force concentrations near their borders, so there was never any question about a "bare german rear" at that point..... In fact the best time for such an attack if it were to be envisaged would have been spring 1940 when France was still in the game and the german army was majoritarily on the western front.....

Third soviet troops were indeed being redeployed westward subsequent to the acquisition of eastern Poland, the baltics and Bessarabia... This was a normal redeployement to take into account the new borders, and not indicative of offensive plans

Fourth, given the poor performance of the soviet forces in BOTH the polish and finnish campaigns , its unlikely that the soviet leadership had any illusions regarding the capabilities of the red army to take on the wehrmacht, which was largely superior to both the poles and finns in every category..

Fifth while Germany deployed some 80% of her ground forces (and some of her allies even more) for Barbarossa, the red army had a much lower % of its forces available for the "western front"

Sixth, the soviets were building the "Molotov Line"
Molotov Line - Wikipedia
a defensive line with pillboxes etc.... which rather contradicts the theory that they were not preparing for defense

And lastly... the assertion that "because the army was preparing for attack it was unable to defend" is unproven and in fact rather silly.... Any offensive operation eventually ends , and the attacker changes his posture to defense..... Its not rocket science
 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
It had zero effect- the US was producing planes faster than the enemy could shoot them down, of every type. There was No shortage of fighters due to bomber production by Britain and the US. There was no point after the US entered the war that the Allies did not conduct a mission for lack of equipment.
This statement is completely false. Invasion of France supposed to be a duel invasion of Normandy by 21st Army Group (OVERLORD) and Southern France by 6th Army Group (Dragoon). Instead, they had to postpone Dragoon for months because of a lack of LST landing craft, used to offload larger equipment like tanks and such. That right there proves that what you wrote was false.

The operations in Europe from summer '44 to the winter of '45 were seriously hindered by either a lack of materials, or a lack of manpower. Part of the material issue was due to lack of ports, but part of it was also due to the fact that the material just didn't exist (like artillery shells). Why were there a limited number of divisions capable of being raised by the US Army? It wasn't just a manpower problem, it was equipment shortage and shipping issues. And yet every single bomb or gallon of fuel those heavy bombers needed for a single mission needed to be ferried across the Atlantic on ships that could have been carrying other equipment. All of the factories making the aircraft could have been using the precious war materials to make other equipment, and the manpower to either crew the aircraft, or conduct the maintenance on them, instead of spending upwards of a year or more training them, could have been used to fill other much needed positions in the Army Ground Forces (AGF). The manpower issue especially was a problem for the infantry, who took 85% of casualties, were the most responsible for winning ground needed to end the war, but were on the bottom of priorities in terms of quality recruits. Who had top priority? The US Army Air Force.

To put it in perspective, Soldiers enlisted/indicted into the US Army during WW2 were judged in intelligence by a test called the Army General Classification Test (AGCT). Category I is the smartest, Category V the dumbest. Here is the distribution of manpower by 1943 (from Peter Mansoor's The GI Offensive in Europe):

Army Ground Forces: Cat I/II: 29.7%, Cat III: 33.3%, Cat IV/V: 37%
Army Service Forces: 36.5%, 28.5%, 35%
Army Air Forces: 41.7%, 31.3%, 27%

Seeing a pattern here?

Note, Army Ground Forces didn't mean just infantry. The pick of the litter of those Cat I/II went to signals and artillery branch, because those two jobs really did require brainpower, especially the former. Other branches were armor, tank destroyer, air defense, cavalry, all of which needed to be filled to create divisions and separate battalions. They were the ones who won the war too, so they should have had priority.

They didn't, because pre-war doctrine, fully believed by Air Power acolytes, was that Air Power in the form of strategic bombing would be the winner of the war. Which was why the USAAF got priority on supplies and personnel and funding even when early war it was apparent that pre-war doctrine wasn't just flawed, but outright wrong. They pressed it because the bomber bosses/barons pressed and pressed and made unfounded claims about how they would influence the war, win it, and how every material, every Soldier given to them was going to shorten the war. That was untrue. Largely it was a waste of materials and manpower. Not just in hindsight, they knew this since early war but suppressed it because Air Power afficianados had too much political power in the US and UK.

A B17 crew is 10 crew. That's a squad. Four officers, six enlisted NCOs, the shortest training was for the enlisted gunners who had no other responsibilities and it lasted half a year. The pilots and other officers took nearly two years to train. Every bomber lost was a significant hit as it meant not only losing a precious aircraft which had to be replaced, it meant the crew were either KIA or captured after bailing out.

Meanwhile, that manpower could have spent 12 weeks as enlisted, or three months as officers, to be used as infantry, where they were desperately needed, which means for every B17 or B24 in the 8th AAF, considering ground crew conducting maintenance, that could have been a full infantry platoon fighting up to a full year earlier. Which meant that the US Army could have fielded nearly double the number of divisions.
 

sculptingman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2009
3,656
San Diego
This statement is completely false. Invasion of France supposed to be a duel invasion of Normandy by 21st Army Group (OVERLORD) and Southern France by 6th Army Group (Dragoon). Instead, they had to postpone Dragoon for months because of a lack of LST landing craft, used to offload larger equipment like tanks and such. That right there proves that what you wrote was false.

The operations in Europe from summer '44 to the winter of '45 were seriously hindered by either a lack of materials, or a lack of manpower. Part of the material issue was due to lack of ports, but part of it was also due to the fact that the material just didn't exist (like artillery shells). Why were there a limited number of divisions capable of being raised by the US Army? It wasn't just a manpower problem, it was equipment shortage and shipping issues. And yet every single bomb or gallon of fuel those heavy bombers needed for a single mission needed to be ferried across the Atlantic on ships that could have been carrying other equipment. All of the factories making the aircraft could have been using the precious war materials to make other equipment, and the manpower to either crew the aircraft, or conduct the maintenance on them, instead of spending upwards of a year or more training them, could have been used to fill other much needed positions in the Army Ground Forces (AGF). The manpower issue especially was a problem for the infantry, who took 85% of casualties, were the most responsible for winning ground needed to end the war, but were on the bottom of priorities in terms of quality recruits. Who had top priority? The US Army Air Force.

To put it in perspective, Soldiers enlisted/indicted into the US Army during WW2 were judged in intelligence by a test called the Army General Classification Test (AGCT). Category I is the smartest, Category V the dumbest. Here is the distribution of manpower by 1943 (from Peter Mansoor's The GI Offensive in Europe):

Army Ground Forces: Cat I/II: 29.7%, Cat III: 33.3%, Cat IV/V: 37%
Army Service Forces: 36.5%, 28.5%, 35%
Army Air Forces: 41.7%, 31.3%, 27%

Seeing a pattern here?

Note, Army Ground Forces didn't mean just infantry. The pick of the litter of those Cat I/II went to signals and artillery branch, because those two jobs really did require brainpower, especially the former. Other branches were armor, tank destroyer, air defense, cavalry, all of which needed to be filled to create divisions and separate battalions. They were the ones who won the war too, so they should have had priority.

They didn't, because pre-war doctrine, fully believed by Air Power acolytes, was that Air Power in the form of strategic bombing would be the winner of the war. Which was why the USAAF got priority on supplies and personnel and funding even when early war it was apparent that pre-war doctrine wasn't just flawed, but outright wrong. They pressed it because the bomber bosses/barons pressed and pressed and made unfounded claims about how they would influence the war, win it, and how every material, every Soldier given to them was going to shorten the war. That was untrue. Largely it was a waste of materials and manpower. Not just in hindsight, they knew this since early war but suppressed it because Air Power afficianados had too much political power in the US and UK.

A B17 crew is 10 crew. That's a squad. Four officers, six enlisted NCOs, the shortest training was for the enlisted gunners who had no other responsibilities and it lasted half a year. The pilots and other officers took nearly two years to train. Every bomber lost was a significant hit as it meant not only losing a precious aircraft which had to be replaced, it meant the crew were either KIA or captured after bailing out.

Meanwhile, that manpower could have spent 12 weeks as enlisted, or three months as officers, to be used as infantry, where they were desperately needed, which means for every B17 or B24 in the 8th AAF, considering ground crew conducting maintenance, that could have been a full infantry platoon fighting up to a full year earlier. Which meant that the US Army could have fielded nearly double the number of divisions.

Um- number one- No they didn't postpone Dragoon for a lack of landing craft- they chose to employ ALL their landing craft on Normandy because of an analysis of the German Atlantic wall determined how fast they would have to land men and materiel to overwhelm the German defenses. They COULD have simply postponed D-day a few months until more landing craft were available... but they determined that it would be just as easy to use what they had at Normandy and then simply use them again elsewhere.

Ergo- no- they did not have too few landing craft- they had more than enough if they simply scheduled their use. They still achieved every objective they wanted. They DECIDED they didn't NEED more... Here's an analogy. "Well, Bob, If we had TWO chainsaws we could cut down BOTH those trees at the Same Time!" "Or," says Bob, " We could take the One chainsaw we Do have now and simply cut that tree down today, and that other tree down tomorrow."
One Chainsaw is enough.

Also- the theory that two invasions at once would be more disruptive was shot down as erroneous thinking. Logistically, both locations would be just as hard as they ever were going to be given their set defenses- however- if a massive invasion is staged at one side of france, then there was a good chance that many of the forces at the Other side of france would be re-directed toward first invasion- thereby Weakening the defenses at the second, later location.


Secondly, LSTs are NOT made of aluminum and not made by even remotely the same kind of factories that produced aircraft.
So- fewer bombers produced would NOT have translated into more landing craft. period.

Thirdly- you keep pretending that the men used in Bomber operations could have been more effective elsewhere- but you have zero evidence or argument to back up that claim.
If we HADN'T been bombing german war production and transportation facilities- then Germany would have been better able to field fighters AND men, and that would have offset any gains from the men transferred from bomber crews to the front lines.
More importantly, it would have translated into a better German ability to contest air superiority over the actual fronts.

There is simply no valid argument that strategic bombing was not effective in impairing German armaments production, and diverting german air power resources, which directly benefited all other combat objectives of the allies.

In Point of fact- it can be argued that Britain only survived the BOB because Churchill ordered bombing raids on Berlin. Which caused Hitler to demand that Goering shift his focus from attacking British airfields and aircraft production to attacking London, which gave Britain the breathing room to rebuild their dwindling stock of fighters.

You can "what if" all you want and compare stats of numbers of men... but its a plain fact that the Allies pretty much had it all their way once they invaded France. The Germans steadily lost ground in terms of numbers of planes, tanks, and men and that WAS partly due to the disruption of production caused by strategic bombing.

No- air wings can not win a war all by themselves, and they did not win WWII- but they certainly contributed to the shortening of the war by creating a continuous ongoing cost the Germans could not afford to maintain.

Sorry- the argument that the allies desperately NEEDED those men elsewhere is simply not borne out by history. From 1942 thru 1943 they were pretty much the ONLY Americans actually in combat outside of North Africa.
And once long range fighter escorts were finally developed, the casualty rate for bomber crews fell dramatically, and the rate at which german fighters were shot down rose dramatically.- again- diverting a large percentage of German fighter production to defending areas well away from the front.

Its an easy argument to claim that Bombing did not impair German war production, when there is zero evidence of what their production COULD have been without strategic bombing.
But the actual evidence is that hardening german production against bombing raids was a huge cost to the German economy. and a huge diversion of manpower.

And the fact that the US had NO ONE strategically bombing their factories and damns- and the productivity the US acheived as a result argues that strategic bombing was genuinely effective at weakening the enemy and advancing the allies agenda.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
Um- number one- No they didn't postpone Dragoon for a lack of landing craft- they chose to employ ALL their landing craft on Normandy because of an analysis of the German Atlantic wall determined how fast they would have to land men and materiel to overwhelm the German defenses.
Yes they did postpone Dragoon. In order to make Overlord work, they had five assault divisions that needed to be offloaded inside a couple days, including infantry, armor, artillery, supplies, etc. That meant having a set number LSTs. They only had so many. Meanwhile, they had three assault divisions for Dragoon. They could do one at a time, but not both, which is what they wanted to do. Which means you're wrong, because your earlier un-sourced and completely opinionated (and wrong) comment was that there was never a material/equipment shortage in the war, which is total nonsense. And this is only about LSTs. Not even counting artillery round shortage in late 44, and other shortages in the Pacific, etc.

Also- the theory that two invasions at once would be more disruptive was shot down as erroneous thinking.
LOL, you have no idea what you're talking about. This isn't even sporting, I feel like this is the academic equivalent of the Marianas Turkey Shoot. I almost feel guilty. Almost.

Why did the Germans wait to commit the panzer and infantry divisions set aside for Fifteenth Army that were stationed near Calais? Why did they wait and not commit them quicker to Normandy area? Because they feared a second landing at Calais. Which right there shows two invasions are more disruptive.

OB West has a limited number of troops in the western theater, especially panzer divisions, which they were completely reliant on to counterattack and defeat the landings. If they detected on landing and no other inside a 3 month period, they could commit those divisions to that one sector instead of two. Which means had Dragoon happened sooner, less divisions would have been committed to Normandy, which means the breakout would have occurred earlier as there would have been less German combat units opposing the 21st Army Group and the newly established 12th Army Group.

Secondly, LSTs are NOT made of aluminum and not made by even remotely the same kind of factories that produced aircraft. So- fewer bombers produced would NOT have translated into more landing craft. period.
Aircraft aren't only made out of aluminum. Bombs aren't either. They use fuel as well. And LST are not only made from steel, nor do they run on coal or steam power. Both are made in things called "factories" using other things called "workers" being paid for with things called "Dollars." All of which were in limited supply. So every factory devoted to cranking out bombers not doing much to actually win the war was one that wasn't cranking out LSTs, which were absolutely essential to winning the war (Ike believed the most essential).

And that only compares bombers to LSTs. It doesn't take into account the numerous other equipment that could have been made instead of bombers and their bombs. Like more artillery rounds, which were in short supply in '44, to the point the US were needing to use British artillery units in support because they had rounds but we didn't. Guess what happened in fall of '44 just when we needed those rounds?

The Germans were reinforcing their infantry divisions with hundreds of thousands of airmen and sailors and 16 year olds, while positioning them in fixed foritifications. So yeah, having those arty rounds, which weren't being made because and shipped to ETO because of manufacturing and shipping priorities, meant it took longer to defeat the Germans.

Meanwhile, every single bomb and spare part for the bombers, plus their crew, all had to be continuously manufactured in the US, rail transported to a coastal port, then shipped to the ETO and MTO bomber bases. Everyone one of those ships needed to dodge U-boats, and could have been ferrying other supplies. Like artillery rounds.

Thirdly- you keep pretending that the men used in Bomber operations could have been more effective elsewhere- but you have zero evidence or argument to back up that claim..
I already provided the numbers of Cat I/II personnel that were used by the AAF either as ground or air crew. Those very intelligent individuals, in large numbers, could have been used to a much better effect in Army Ground Forces. Especially in the infantry who really did get the dregs. Instead, the AAF ground personnel turned wrenches, while the air crews were killed in record numbers to do what? Temporarily slow down a few factories from cranking out tanks? Uselessly go after ball bearing factories? Force the Germans to commit old men and kids to shoot them down instead of not using those same individuals in late war? Horrible trade off.

There is simply no valid argument that strategic bombing was not effective in impairing German armaments production, and diverting german air power resources, which directly benefited all other combat objectives of the allies.
Yes there is, but like most of his you never read about it. There have been 70 years of individuals making the point that strategic bombing had little actual effectiveness and was wasteful in terms of the money, materials, resources, manpower given to it. Your ignorance on the subject does not equal truth.

In Point of fact- it can be argued that Britain only survived the BOB because Churchill ordered bombing raids on Berlin. Which caused Hitler to demand that Goering shift his focus from attacking British airfields and aircraft production to attacking London, which gave Britain the breathing room to rebuild their dwindling stock of fighters.
First, the BOB has nothing to do with Allied Strategic Bombing later on, which is what this discussion is about. The only thing that matters is that when Germany did shift attacks against London proper during the Blitz, and later during the V-1/2 rocket/missile attacks, morale bombing had little to no affect on the war effort, as it did not break British morale. Which means that right there also proves, along with countless other studies, including the British's own done in 1941, that terror/morale bombing didn't work. And yet RAF bomber command did what for four more years?

Even the US eventually started shifting toward it for many of their missions, simply because their precision bombing wasn't precise enough and they weren't causing enough damage. So at least if they were doing "De-housing" or targeting "Marshaling Yards" they could claim better analytic success by showing damage to city blocks instead of showing a factory complex untouched by a multi group bomber raid. Look at the Pacfic. January 1945 to August, they did little but terror bombing. Did it work? Not really. In fact even Spaatz was going to have Lemay shift targets to go after better targets, namely transportation.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
You can "what if" all you want and compare stats of numbers of men... but its a plain fact that the Allies pretty much had it all their way once they invaded France. The Germans steadily lost ground in terms of numbers of planes, tanks, and men and that WAS partly due to the disruption of production caused by strategic bombing.
That isn't "what if." Those were actual clean numbers garnered by legit historians. This is not a comparison about what the Allies had compared to the Germans, this is what the Allies had and how they used it, in terms of effectiveness and common sense. You bringing up chain saws or Germany's lack of marbles doesn't change anything. What matters is the AAF got the best troops and the most money, and massive chunk of civilian manpower and resources, and squandered it all with little to show for it. The juice was absolutely not worth the squeeze.

No- air wings can not win a war all by themselves, and they did not win WWII- but they certainly contributed to the shortening of the war by creating a continuous ongoing cost the Germans could not afford to maintain.
And yet that is what the bomber command generals, USAAF and RAF, were claiming. They flat out said that using ground forces weren't necessary, they'd win the war. That was why they got so much money and supplies, because they pulled a Used Carsalesman spiel that was total nonsense. They knew it was wrong then, we definitely know it is wrong now, 70+ years later.

Sorry- the argument that the allies desperately NEEDED those men elsewhere is simply not borne out by history. From 1942 thru 1943 they were pretty much the ONLY Americans actually in combat outside of North Africa.
And once long range fighter escorts were finally developed, the casualty rate for bomber crews fell dramatically, and the rate at which german fighters were shot down rose dramatically.- again- diverting a large percentage of German fighter production to defending areas well away from the front.
In fall 1944 winter 45 there was a MASSIVE manpower shortage in the US Army Ground Forces, especially in the infantry. They were pressing supply, admin, cooks, anyone they could as infantry and even tankers, because they didn't have enough.Where were they? The Army Air Force. What were they doing? Not a whole lot in terms of winning the war. What was winning the war faster? Breaching the West Wall and getting inside Germany.

Its an easy argument to claim that Bombing did not impair German war production, when there is zero evidence of what their production COULD have been without strategic bombing.
But the actual evidence is that hardening german production against bombing raids was a huge cost to the German economy. and a huge diversion of manpower.
No, it was not a huge cost to the German economy. Going to total war footing in 43 and 44 was what had a huge cost in the German war economy, and what really affected it was when they pulled factory workers and bureaucrats in '44 and drafted them. What branch did they get drafted into? The Heer? And in what job? Infantry. What happened to the hundreds of thousands of Kriegsmarine sailors and Luftwaffe airmen, including NCOs and officers, in mid 1944? They were transferred to the Heer and made into infantry.

And the fact that the US had NO ONE strategically bombing their factories and damns- and the productivity the US acheived as a result argues that strategic bombing was genuinely effective at weakening the enemy and advancing the allies agenda.
The Allied agenda was to defeat Germany. Allied troops advancing inside Germany, causing their leaders to kill themselves or surrender unconditionally is what did that. Not missing factories in bombing raids, dehousing/killing German civilians, or anything else.
 

botully

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
3,546
Amelia, Virginia, USA
It had zero effect- the US was producing planes faster than the enemy could shoot them down, of every type. There was No shortage of fighters due to bomber production by Britain and the US. There was no point after the US entered the war that the Allies did not conduct a mission for lack of equipment.

Ergo- making fewer bombers would not have materially advanced the allies plans for invasion- nor their ability to secure air superiority.
You do realize that late 1944 production figures are not the same as those of late 1942, right? That early on in the rearming process decisions had to made about priorities? Because resources were not infinite? Machine tools, draftsmen, machinists, engineers, and on and on, were allocated according to these decisions?
Prewar, the bomber advocates insisted that fighter escorts would not be necessary, hampering fighter development and numbers as limited funds went to heavy bombers. They said that effective long range fighters were impossible, and not needed besides. Thus money and engineering talent went to other projects. In fact, it was the long range fighter that doomed the Luftwaffe, not strategic bombing. What is your take on the fact that at the end of 1943 the CBO faced collapse from attrition in men and machines? What turned the tide? Long range fighters and the invasion of France. It turns out that bombers are only effective with air superiority. Air superiority must be won first...by fighters. The Allies did it backwards, sending in the bombers, because they lacked the long range fighters.
Besides, your whole "ergo" logical point is simply a tautology: The Allies produced what the Allies produced. That doesn't exclude the possibility that they could have produced something else in different numbers.


However- fewer bombing raids WOULD have materially improved Germany's ability to manufacture aircraft, AND it would have materially improved the availability of fighter aircraft at the fronts.- Unlike the US, germany had limited resources. Whereas the united states, at that time, was the world largest producer of Oil, Steel, Aluminium, copper, Plastics, Neoprene, Food, shipping, aircraft, tanks, landing craft, ammunition, boots, cotton, meat, leather, trucks, locomotives, explosives and every other materiel of war, WITHOUT having to reach outside the confines of the continental US for ANY needed materiel.
Even the US was not fully autarkic, though they came closer than anyone. Even so, the US did not have infinite resources, and how silly to suggest otherwise. You should do some minimal reading on the subject before making these sweeping, ridiculous, statements. The US production effort was constantly beset by shortages in too many things to list here. Pretty much everything, in fact.

The US, alone, could supply the entire war needs of the US, Britain, Australia, and the Soviet Union... The US produced ships faster than germany could sink them- carriers faster than japan could sink them, and aircraft faster than all the axis powers could shoot them down.

Nearly Every single day of the war, the Allies had MORE equipment than the day before, regardless of enemy actions.
This is just silly.

War is Potlatch. US production of bombers did not have any effect on their production of fighters. The US was never in the position of having to choose one thing over another.
they literally Could have it all. Hell we even had the luxury of spending 2 billion 1943 dollars inventing an atomic bomb we didnlt even have a plane that could carry- AND develop the plane, too-
Yikes. "They literally Could have it all", eh?
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,325
Was not FW190 a better plane?
In many respects, yes, although it had some handling quirks all of its own, and even after many modifications, always suffered to a degree from excessive heat in the cockpit - though this was only true of the radial engine versions. The D versions onward used V12's and even though the Junkers engine was generally thought of as a 'bomber' engine, the performance proved better.. Nonetheless, it was not considered good policy in any of the major combatant countries, axis or allied, to put all eggs in one basket, plus of course there were political aspects to whether an aeroplane was kept in production or even received a contract at all. One of the best fighters ever made in WW2 was the Martin-Baker MB5 (Look it up) which despite rave reviews from test pilots was refused a contract even though a quick decision could have had them in front line service by 1945. The reason was that Martin-Baker did not have a record of supplying the Royal Air Force with fighter aeroplanes and lacked political influence to change peoples minds. Martin-Baker was an outsider.

Hitler's understanding of warfare was extremely poor.
Funnily enough this wasn't true. He understood it quite well. He did of course believe he was always right however and wasn't good at listening to advice, plus he was an inverterate gambler, and allied to his rather fixed ideas on strategy, led him to make some poor decisions and badly considered initiatives.
 
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Dir

Nov 2015
1,957
Kyiv
Second by spring 1941 the soviets knew about the large german force concentrations near their borders, so there was never any question about a "bare german rear" at that point..... In fact the best time for such an attack if it were to be envisaged would have been spring 1940 when France was still in the game and the german army was majoritarily on the western front....


Third soviet troops were indeed being redeployed westward subsequent to the acquisition of eastern Poland, the baltics and Bessarabia... This was a normal redeployement to take into account the new borders, and not indicative of offensive plans.
This is not true. The Russians moved their border to the west in September 1941. And a massive transfer of their troops to the new border began only after a year and a half - in the first half of the 1941. At the same time, fortified areas with powerful pillboxes created in the area of Kiev and in Belarus (Kiev, Mozyr and Polotsk fortified areas - УРы, Укрепленные районы) before the WWII (since late 1920s) were disarmed. In each of these URs , there were about 200 reinforced concrete pillboxes with machine guns. Some pillboxes had guns. Here's how, for example, looked DOT №205 Kiev fortified area, built in 1928-1932, with its firing points and underground concrete galleries with a total length of 358 meters and a garrison of 50 people



If the Russians, according to numerous Western historians, were preparing to repel the invasion of the Reich - why was it necessary to disarm them and leave them unarmed in 1941?

You do not like Suvorov? Here is another study on 1941 - Boris Shaptalov. Only Russian version is available.

ВОЕННАЯ ЛИТЕРАТУРА --[ Исследования ]-- Шапталов Б. Испытание войной

The author writes that:

In September 1940, the military commissar S.K. Timoshenko and the head of the Red Army, K.A. Meretskov wrote to Stalin the report “Considerations about the basics of the strategic deployment of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union in the West and the East for 1940 and 1941.” "On our western borders, Germany will be the most likely enemy ... The armed clash between the USSR and Germany may involve Hungary in a military conflict with us, and also Finland and Romania with a goal of revenge

Note that there is no talk of an invasion of Germany, but of a military conflict. The forecast for June 1941 of the Russian commanders turned out to be very accurate. They correctly predicted the direction of the main German strikes in June 1941 and a number of other things. And only exaggerated the number of German divisions.

So, the Russians move a huge mass of troops and equipment to the western border in the first half of the 1941. Placed many airfields right near the border. At the same time, the number of aircraft on them is such that with a sudden raid of the Germans only a small part of the aircraft can take off. Huge stocks of ammunition, fuel and other military equipment are located near the border.

Not only that - Shaptalov shows that the General Staff had a lot of reports about the accumulation of German troops near the Russian border in May-June 1941.

You say that the Russians were preparing to repel the impending German invasion.

And what was the reality?

Halder, Chief of the German General Staff. A diary.

June 22, 1941 (Sunday). 1st day of war
Morning reports report that all armies, except the 11th [on the right flank of Army Group South, in Romania] launched an offensive according to plan. The offensive of our troops, apparently, was for the enemy on the whole front a complete tactical surprise.


Border bridges across the Bug and other rivers everywhere are captured by our troops without a fight and in full safety. The complete surprise of our offensive for the enemy is evidenced by the fact that the units were taken aback in barracks, the planes were standing on airfields covered with tarpaulin, and forward units suddenly attacked by our troops asked the command what they should do.

... The naval command also reports that the enemy, apparently, caught off guard.

12.00 - It was reported that the Russians had restored their international radio communications, which had been interrupted this morning. They appealed to Japan to represent the interests of Russia on political and economic relations between Russia and Germany and are engaged in lively radio talks with the German Foreign Ministry.

... The command of Army Group "South" reported that our patrols, unopposed, crossed the Prut between Galati and Husi and between Husi and Iasi. Bridges in our hands

..The overall picture of the first day of the offensive is as follows:

The offensive of the German troops took the enemy by surprise. The tactical order of the enemy was not tactically adapted to defense (!!! - Dir); His troops in the border zone were scattered over a wide area and tied to the quartering areas. The security of the border itself was generally weak.

... the enemy’s resistance in the border zone turned out to be weak and unorganized, as a result of which we easily managed to seize bridges over water obstacles everywhere and to break through the border strip of fortifications to the full depth (field type fortifications).

June 24, 1941. 3rd day of war
Decor: The final reports for 23.6 and today's morning reports confirm our assumptions. ... the resistance of the enemy turned out to be unorganized, divided and therefore ineffective.


.... The complete absence of large operational reserves completely deprives the enemy command of the ability to effectively influence the course of hostilities
etc. etc.

So, the Russians disarmed their powerful fortifications in the rear. They transferred a huge mass of troops and equipment to the western border. Placed right at the border of thousands of aircraft. And they have clear information about the concentration of a large number of German troops, clearly preparing for the invasion.

But at the same time, on June 22, it turned out that Russians are completely unprepared for the unexpected invasion and they did not expect it at all.

...Fourth, given the poor performance of the soviet forces in BOTH the polish and finnish campaigns , its unlikely that the soviet leadership had any illusions regarding the capabilities of the red army to take on the wehrmacht, which was largely superior to both the poles and finns in every category..
- In Polish campaign? Are you sure? I have never heard that the Polish campaign was recognized as unsuccessful in the Kremlin, and the actions of the Red Army in it were ineffective. The Finnish campaign - yes, it temporarily cooled the hot Kremlin heads. And it was decided to carry out urgent reforms in the Red Army. And the Russians expected that in a year they should have given a positive result.

A huge number of Russian troops were on their way to the western border. A number of units were preparing for the transfer to the border. The Germans often destroyed Russian equipment right at the time of its transfer. At the same time, for the successful repulse of the German invasion of forces by the Russians on June 22, 1941, it was quite enough. But they needed a huge advantage over the Germans for a big invasion. Not only that - the Russians at that time often stationed headquarters on the western border, and these headquarters were waiting for the troops and equipment of their units to arrive there.

Is not it - a great decision in anticipation of the invasion of the enemy. He can easily destroy the command of the unit, and the unit itself will be on the way without command.

Sixth, the soviets were building the "Molotov Line"
Molotov Line - Wikipedia
a defensive line with pillboxes etc.... which rather contradicts the theory that they were not preparing for defense
- And at the same time the Russians did not hurry at all. Of the 5807 long-term defensive structures of 13 fortified areas only 880 were ready. The preparedness of the fortified areas amounted to 15-20% on average.

All this construction completely fit into the Russian "Plan for covering the western border". The purpose of the plan was to cover the border until all the necessary units of the Red Army were deployed near it. For what? I already told you.

By the way, the Germans also built powerful fortifications along the Polish border until 1939. And these fortifications were much more solid than the Molotov line built on the 20%. Nevertheless, the Germans attacked the Poles, and not the Poles, against the Germans
 
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