Did the allies use the best strategy...?

Discussion in 'History' started by Rentacop, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. Rentacop

    Rentacop Well-Known Member

    1,112
    48
    48
    ...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 ?
     
  2. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

    3,302
    1
    0

  3. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

    6,624
    2
    0
    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.
     
  4. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

    3,302
    1
    0
    It would have required the devastation of Western and Eastern Europe. Many cities had already been turned into rubble.
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,461
    614
    113
    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.
     
  6. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

    6,927
    67
    48
    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?
     
  7. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    11,342
    16
    38
    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  8. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    19
    38
    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.
     
  9. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

    6,165
    3
    0
    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
     
  10. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

    6,927
    67
    48
    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.
     
  11. willshoum

    willshoum New Member

    5,417
    0
    0
    Prove a point...............

    Why go Island hoping when your enemy can't supply thier soldiers on all those islands..................The idiots in charge wanted to invade Japan just to prove a point. After midway, we had the little yellow basterds by the balls.............
     
  12. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    11,342
    16
    38
    In hindsight, maybe. At the time, the Japanese would not surrender, and they had Nazi Germany on their side, with its super weapon programs.

    This is not supported by evidence. In fact they hated the idea so bad that they nuked Japan instead.
     
  13. willshoum

    willshoum New Member

    5,417
    0
    0
    Wrong...........

    The Germans were praying that The U.S.A. and thier allies would accept surrender before the Russians took over. Stalin had his own agenda. He killed off as many as Hitler. the U.S.A. and England gave him the OK to take Germany Because they didn't want any more losses...........Stalin didn't give a chit...........Besides his docks were over loaded with military equipment from the U.S.................And who's millitary equipment is feeding todays war..............:mad::mad::mad:
     
  14. manta

    manta Well-Known Member Supporter

    3,081
    158
    63
    There is a question over the morality of deliberately targeting German cities and civilians during WW2, even Churchill distanced himself from bomber command after the war. If you want to take and hold ground you need boots on the ground.
     
  15. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    11,342
    16
    38
    One does not rule out the other. The massive bombings saved a lot of American and British lives, at the expense of the enemy population. I have no problem with that.

    Churchill disagreed with the generals half the time. The decisions were his.
     
  16. manta

    manta Well-Known Member Supporter

    3,081
    158
    63
    That's easy to say when you haven't being on the receiving end. Its open to question if the deliberate targeting of civilians shortened the war in Europe. You could argue that if bomber harris was not as obsessed with bombing German cities and used the resources better to support the troops it could have saved soldiers lives. We were on the receiving end here, so civilians had an idea of what the German civilians were going through.

     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  17. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    11,342
    16
    38
    Anything is easy to say.

    War degrades the individual. War is not fair. No one's life matters more than victory. There are only two sides, nothing in between. Such is the naked truth. Besides that war was not of our making.

    Air Marshal Harris was obsessed with winning the war against the worst enemy in your history. I wish we could borrow some of that resolve today, in the age of armed humanitarian missions.
     
  18. manta

    manta Well-Known Member Supporter

    3,081
    158
    63
    So do you think all's fair in war. Deliberate targeting of civilians etc. Al Qaeda would say they are at war with America, was flying planes into the twin towers justified. ? We also have terrorist organizations targeting civilians here and calling it a war, were they justified.

     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  19. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

    6,165
    3
    0
    I agree...

    Being a former grunt I'm well aware that the only weapon capable of dislodging a dug in man with a rifle... Is another man with a rifle. ;)

    Tack

     
  20. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    11,342
    16
    38
    Manta. Read slowly:
    Now:
    The German cities were human shields for the Nazis.

    They started the war by targeting civilians. I'd rather stick to OP if you don't mind.