Did the allies use the best strategy...?


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Old 06-23-2014, 02:30 AM   #1
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Default Did the allies use the best strategy...?

...in Europe in WWII ?

Suppose the allies had not attempted the D-Day invasion and consequently skipped the excitement of the Hedgerows, the adventure in the Hurtgen Forest, the opportunity for glory at Bastoyne ...

...and instead put all of their bets on the combined bomber offensive ?

The arguments for such a gamble are :
1) A few more Hamburgs would have convinced the German high command that the war was no longer worth fighting .

2) Improved equipment would have allowed escorted bombers to destroy oil targets .

3) The land campaign took resources from the bombing campaign, led to the Battle of The Bulge , etc.

4) Bomber Harris was never given more than 15% of the resources he said he needed to defeat Germany by bombing alone . Without the second front Stalin pressed for, could Harris have succeeded ?



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Old 06-23-2014, 02:45 AM   #2
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Bastogne.



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Old 06-23-2014, 03:01 AM   #3
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Most military minds do not believe you can take or hold ground by conventional bombing. All you can do is soften up the enemy by destroying roads, supply dumps, various fortifications, all the visible tools the enemy has at his disposal. At some point you have to get in there and take that piece of ground.

Look at the island hopping campaign in the pacific. Everyone of those island were bombed and shelled to the point that there should have been nothing there. Yet thousands of Japanese managed to survive the bombardment.

Man is an amazing creature that will find a way to survive almost anything you throw at him.

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Old 06-23-2014, 03:11 AM   #4
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It would have required the devastation of Western and Eastern Europe. Many cities had already been turned into rubble.

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Old 06-23-2014, 03:53 AM   #5
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Somebody pass me a beer, and I'll play Devil's Advocate.

OK- we put max effort on the bombing campaign. Does that change the time table? I think it would extend things. Giving the Germans time to bring two weapons to bear.

The first is the jet fighter. Deployed in very small numbers, it was devastating to Bomber Command. Adolph kept insisting that it be used as a bomber. Imagine jet fighters deployed in large numbers- the right way.

Second weapon- the German Nuke program. A number of folks think that they managed a test shot of at least one- got a "fizzle" (low yield atomic detonation). Give them time to iron out the kinks, visit London with one. Given more time- they WERE developing what was called the "New York" bomber.


And frankly, any surrender of Germany would have been based on someone capping Adolph first. If the combined Air forces had rubbled every village in Germany, he would have insisted on fighting on. Rewatching the end of the 3rd Reich earlier this evening- Volksturm was drafting 13 year old boys, and handling them a Panzerfaust.

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Old 06-23-2014, 04:09 AM   #6
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Establishing a Western foothold in combination with the Southern push from Italy, and the Eastern push by the Russians, forced resources to be divided in a way that an aerial campaign couldn't have accomplished as quickly.

It may have allowed more time and resources to be diverted to special weapon development as C3 was saying. V1, V2, jets, nukes, large scale guns that could bombard England.

I think the ground push was essential.

How many modern day aerial campaigns have been successful or decisive in any final sense?

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Old 06-23-2014, 04:12 AM   #7
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Winston Churchill insisted on invading the Balkans instead of northern France. The local resistance was powerful, especially the Yugoslavs. FDR and of course Stalin disagreed. Churchill's foresight made more sense after the war ended and the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe was fait accompli.

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Old 06-23-2014, 05:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSGN_Doc View Post
Establishing a Western foothold in combination with the Southern push from Italy, and the Eastern push by the Russians, forced resources to be divided in a way that an aerial campaign couldn't have accomplished as quickly.

It may have allowed more time and resources to be diverted to special weapon development as C3 was saying. V1, V2, jets, nukes, large scale guns that could bombard England.

I think the ground push was essential.

How many modern day aerial campaigns have been successful or decisive in any final sense?
Gulf war one. It was pretty much a done deal through air power. Gulf war two was the same way. Gw1 was ended early because daddy bush pussed out. Gw2 ended with saddam being hung by the neck

Pretty decisive. Ground troops were able to roam at will because of total air victory. While there was some grond fighting it was minor compaired to even the german victories in europe against poland and france at the start of ww2. Not even the blatant cowardice in the face of the enemy of general douglas mcarthur came close to the whoopin saddam got by air power alone.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:50 AM   #9
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Gulf war one. It was pretty much a done deal through air power. Gulf war two was the same way. Gw1 was ended early because daddy bush pussed out. Gw2 ended with saddam being hung by the neck

Pretty decisive. Ground troops were able to roam at will because of total air victory. While there was some grond fighting it was minor compaired to even the german victories in europe against poland and france at the start of ww2. Not even the blatant cowardice in the face of the enemy of general douglas mcarthur came close to the whoopin saddam got by air power alone.
True... But in no way did our WWII Air Power equate to the Air Power thrown at Iraq some 45 years latter... And in no way did Sadams Iraq equal the profesionism or skill of our earlier German Adversaries.

... Not to mention the fact that Russians would not have stopped where they did if their Allies, USA, Britain, and France were not on the ground blocking the road west.

Without the ground offensive Western Europe may have simply swapped living under a German Boot for a Russian Boot.

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Old 06-23-2014, 01:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tackleberry1 View Post
True... But in no way did our WWII Air Power equate to the Air Power thrown at Iraq some 45 years latter... And in no way did Sadams Iraq equal the profesionism or skill of our earlier German Adversaries.

... Not to mention the fact that Russians would not have stopped where they did if their Allies, USA, Britain, and France were not on the ground blocking the road west.

Without the ground offensive Western Europe may have simply swapped living under a German Boot for a Russian Boot.

Tack
The point I was getting at was decisive and long term effectiveness.

Yes, both gulf wars air campaigns were effective and decisive... In allowing ground forces to go into the country and gain a surrender.

Without the ground troops present, continued chaos and chest beating. Sadam continued to be a pain in our arse. He continued to develop his military. We continued air strikes. We ultimately had to go back in.

We pulled our troops out again, and things deteriorated again.


In Europe, we established ground bases for decades.


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