You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 10, 2016, 10:15:58 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: World War II Discussion Thread  (Read 611 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline AviTopic starter

  • I'll show you how to soar.
  • On Hiatus
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2007
  • Location: Memphis and Maury City, TN
  • Gender: Male
  • Flying by the seat of his pants...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
World War II Discussion Thread
« on: March 06, 2010, 07:24:55 PM »
I've posted an initial question to get the ball rolling.  Vote and post any comments here!

Offline MagicalPen

Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2010, 07:26:19 PM »
Definitely effected production capabilities and forced much to go underground in Germany, but did not 'cripple the nation/cause terror' as it was supposed to do (the reason civilians were targeted).

Offline Xenophile

Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2010, 07:28:21 PM »
Oh yes. It both had an impact on the outcome of the war, and it had a severe impact on the people who lived, and died in the strategic bombing. If for example, Nazi germany did not have ANY of their strategic resources or industries reduced by any means, then the outcome of the war could have been different. If the Nazis had their abilities to sustain and build the warmachine unmolested, and lets say that the Britains did, it would have mattered.

Offline Ramster

Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2010, 07:30:28 PM »
I'd say it scared the living shiznat out of all civilians strategically bombed, so they certainly managed the "cause terror" bit.

Offline AviTopic starter

  • I'll show you how to soar.
  • On Hiatus
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2007
  • Location: Memphis and Maury City, TN
  • Gender: Male
  • Flying by the seat of his pants...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2010, 07:32:38 PM »
It was demoralizing, to be sure, and it definitely had an impact on industrial production.  I'm just not a complete believer in it.  In my opinion, it was pretty wasteful for the effect it had on the populace.  Frankly, I think divebombers were more demoralizing since you could actually aim the damn bomb, the only drawback being low altitude.

I actually had an interesting discussion about differences between German production and U.S. production, being that the U.S. focused on mass-produced, cheap, non-uber effective equipment that worked well, whereas the German military tended to go for technologically complex wonder weapons that were hand-made and difficult to standardize.  That probably slowed production more than any amount of dropped high explosives.

Offline MagicalPen

Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2010, 07:34:59 PM »
The thought behind bombing civilians is that they would get on their knees and beg the army/government to surrender to stop the war. Clearly this did not happen! (apart from in Japan, where it can be said the A-bombs were souped-up strategic bombs).

The Germans needed to specialize in production due to their limited resources (and manpower) in order to get a decisive victory somewhere and hold on to at least some of their games. The US, with an abundance of material and no factories being bombed, could focus on the 'bread and butter' of the war - ammunition of all types - to keep pounding away at Germany.

It has been noted, in this example in North Africa, that the Germans could only fire 1 shell in return for every 10 artillery shells the allies threw at them due to limited supplies.

Offline Xenophile

Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2010, 07:36:19 PM »
I'd say it scared the living shiznat out of all civilians strategically bombed, so they certainly managed the "cause terror" bit.

I say the effects varied. The Brits where unphased by the Blitz, because the goal was to bomb the Brits to submission. That failed. The strategic bombing on Japan affected the civilians more, because the situation was different. The houses where made out of so much more flammable materials, and the American bombers used combination of HE and Incindiary munitions to both destroy and burn whatever they hit. The aim was to demoralize, and to cause strategic damage. The demorilization was ineffective, but the strategic damage was noticable.

THe Germans suffered a similar fate as the Japanese, but the demorilization was more prevelant. It was not so effective anyway, because the people had little to no influence to force Hitler to end the war, and the strategic damage was definitely noticable.

The aims, effectiveness and methods differed for each nation. That needs to be put into consideration.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 07:39:21 PM by Xenophile »

Offline AviTopic starter

  • I'll show you how to soar.
  • On Hiatus
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2007
  • Location: Memphis and Maury City, TN
  • Gender: Male
  • Flying by the seat of his pants...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2010, 07:49:52 PM »
(I'm going to post the short-response essay I ended up writing, in its entirety.  Feel free to agree or disagree, this is just what my opinion is.  The topic is "Assess the effect of technology upon the outcome of the Second World War.)

     The Second World War was a cataclysmic event for peoples and countries all across the world, a conflict that drew together allies that might not otherwise have done so, had the war not been on such a grand scale.  With the combined military might of five of the world’s major powers, plus their allies, directed at each other with each side striving for absolute victory, the war was a showcase for the emerging and evolving technologies of war.  Some of the developments were more successful than others, however, and it was these few developments that had a true impact on the conflict.  The development of the P-51 Mustang escort fighter, the B-29 Stratofortress bomber, and the advent of atomic weapons all proved to be game-changing technological innovations that served to end the war decisively in the favor of the Allied powers. 

     The Allied powers, and particularly the United States, were a stand-out example of how effective concentrated, thoughtful technological innovation could be and truly have an impact on the outcome of an armed conflict.  Not only did the Allies funnel resources into projects that could truly have the potential to shorten the war that was costing the lives of millions, but they successfully avoided the opposite side of the spectrum.  The experience of the German military during the war, obtaining technology seemingly just for the sake of having it, is a prime example of what could have happened to the Allies had they not been so careful with their resource investment.  The Tiger tank, the V-2 rocket and the ME-262 jet fighter were all remarkable technological marvels, and yet they failed to have a palpable impact on the course of the war.  The Allies kept this from happening to them, and thus were able to successfully exploit their innovations to end the war on their terms.

Offline MagicalPen

Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 08:07:53 AM »
The development of the P-51 Mustang escort fighter, the B-29 Stratofortress bomber, and the advent of atomic weapons all proved to be game-changing technological innovations that served to end the war decisively in the favor of the Allied powers. 

I strongly disagree with the above mentioned quote.

The P-51 Mustang was by far the most superior allied fighter in the war, but came at a time after all the major aerial battles had taken place. Its performance, rate of climb, turning radius, and speed coupled with its fire power made it far superior, but the Luftwaffe had been soundly beaten (and large parts destroyed) by the time the Mustang came into action in large numbers. Its kind of like eating yogurt with a shovel (instead of a spoon) - its overkill.

The B-29 was also not a 'game winner'. It was effective at what it did, but really didn't bring the war closer to an end. It was just a technologically more advanced version of bombers.

The A-Bomb CERTAINLY is a game changer and is the only point I would agree upon.

In replacement of the first time 'nominations' I present to you the Radar and the T-34 Tank.

The Radar - Allied Invention, gave night-fighters the capability to hunt down German Aircraft (and was birth of the "British pilots eat carrots to see in the dark better" saying...aka eating carrots makes you see better). Allowed early detection of incoming ships and aircraft. In use int he Mediterranean Sea, allowed Allied Naval Bombers and Ships to locate and strike the Italian Navy whereas the Italians lacked such technology. Certainly a game changer as a it gave advantage to the Allies and allowed them to pick apart a superior navy in the Med. Sea.

The T-34 Tank - a technological innovation all upon itself, the first tank to use Sloped Armor. Was quick and reliable, packed a punch, and could go up against German Armor. Later variants were virtually unstoppable. Was the main factor in turning the tide on the Eastern Front, the Battle of Kursk being the largest tank battle in the world (and won by the Russians). All modern armor, with sloped technology, can give thanks to the T-34 and its variants. Certainly a game changer when you look at American Armor, which only beat German tanks due to sheer numbers (took 5 Shermans to take out 1 Tiger, for instance).

That is all. :)

Offline RubySlippers

Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2010, 08:26:47 AM »
If your talking any sort of bombing that is strategic the atomic bombs sure did the deed, taking out most of two cities used as a likely staging area for a defense of Japan with TWO BOMBS sure ended the war fast.

It could have draggd on two or three more years if we hadn't.

As for conventional bombing on industrial targets of course it helped you take out a factory and its skilled workforce including machinists and the like you hurt production. We in the US liked Ford-style mass production and it mattered when we could crank out ships, tanks, jeeps, guns and the like fast and get them into the hands of fighting men. And we had a larger pool to draw on for some specialties like fighter pilots that was no small advantage if we can get these men into planes and fighting.


Offline MagicalPen

Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2010, 08:45:28 AM »
In regards to Pilots, the US and most of the Allies had the luxury of a vast manpower pool and the ability to rotate Pilots. American Pilots, for instance, we rotated out of battle duty after so many combat missions. They would return state-side and be used to train new fighter pilots, able to pass on a wealth of knowledge so that the new pilots wouldn't be shot down the first time they engaged in combat.

The Japanese and Germans, on the other hand, did not have a large manpower supply, and had to fly-until-you-die type of mindset. They needed their veteran pilots to be up in the air, shooting down enemy planes. These veterans were slowly getting shot down too and -especially with the Japanese- green pilots were getting little training before hand and were sent up, usually being shot down right away. This certainly tips the airwar in favor of the Allies.

Look at kills and mission statistics between the two sides - the difference between the most flown/kills on either side is DRASTIC.

Offline AviTopic starter

  • I'll show you how to soar.
  • On Hiatus
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2007
  • Location: Memphis and Maury City, TN
  • Gender: Male
  • Flying by the seat of his pants...
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2010, 09:50:56 AM »
The strategic bombing of the Allies was dependent on its bombers getting over the target sites without being turned into Swiss cheese by the Luftwaffe and AA fire.  The development of the P-51d Mustang, both as an escort fighter and for close-range support, allowed the Allies to strike harder, deeper into German territory, than they had at any previous point in the war.  Without escort all the way into Germany, bomber crews had a life expectancy of under 5 missions.  That's not going to encourage a continuation of that campaign.

And there's no way that the atom bomb is getting dropped by a normal B-24 Super-fortress.  You need a high-altitude, ultra long-range aircraft to deliver that payload, and the Strattofortress was that platform.

RADAR and the T-34 were both important, and they certainly helped, but I think they fall just a bit farther down the list of important innovations.

Offline MagicalPen

Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2010, 09:57:26 AM »
I strongly disagree with you too Avi. Certainly the Mustangs helped save some of the Bombers, but they only help deal with fighters (which were on the decline in Germany) and help nothing in regards to AA installations. The Mustangs were obviously not flying over the target zones with the bombers. And again, they only came into being later on in the war after the major air battles had already been fought and German technology was virtually obsolete (the Germans never really developed their aircraft after their initial success during the war).

And again, I don't think you can justify the B-29 because it delivered the A-Bomb. If you are, you're going to have to mention the USS Indianapolis, which delivered the bomb to the Island from which the aircraft took off from...it played just as important a role as the aircraft in regards to the A-Bomb.

The impact Radar and the T-34 had on the war was felt for over a year and gave birth to the modern uses and technology.

Offline Xenophile

Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2010, 12:56:10 PM »
I'm going to agree with Eeyore on the Mustang and b29 discussion. Both where relativly late in the war, and thus did not have a great long term impact on the war, and it idn't have a chance to change the outcome of the war as a whole. The RADAR, the T-34 are good examples of war material that did. Or, they had a impact that was very noticable over a number of years of the war.

One more important piece of technological innovation would be the use of advanced encryption machinery, like the ENIGMA, and the use of computers to decrypt the encrypted messages. If anything, both would spurr technological advancements beyond the second world war.

If we count the smaller pieces of equipment that was not present in WW1, but where, or came into use, during WW2, we can see a huge difference. SMG's where developed and use in WW1, but they really came strong in WW2 by every nation that was in the war. Armoured vehicles where also used, but also in different ways. WW2 was a very mobile war, and if we look on how mechanized and motorized battalions where used, this becomes very apparent that WW2 saw a very new usage of equipment. Tanks in WW1 where simple battering rams, while in WW2 they where used in advanced manoeuvres and tactics.

Just to name a few.

Offline MagicalPen

Re: World War II Discussion Thread
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2010, 01:04:51 PM »
Well, in WWI, tanks were developed as a means to conquer the trenches. The idea behind them was to create a mobile gun platform, where several men inside the machine could safely fire machine guns with out being shot themselves. Having this gun platform become mobile meant that they'd be able to cross 'no-mans-land' safely and cross over trenches and craters. A lot of these tanks had machine guns slotted on the sides so they could fire down the length of a trench as they crossed over. They were clearly designed as Infantry Support Weapons.

The interwar-years saw further development in Tanks, making their armor better and guns more powerful, along with rotating turrets, faster speeds, and greater mobility. The German Invasion of France showed how much they had differed in the inter-war periods. The production limitations on Germany, especially in regards to building weapons like tanks, clearly shows up in their inferior tank designs due to limited resources. However, the Germans Tactics were greatly advanced, using tanks to their advantages - powerful weapons against infantry and soft targets (and against other tanks) and their mobility. The French still had the WW1 mindset, using tanks as individuals or in small groups as Infantry-Support weapons.

After the quick fall of France, and Allied losses in Africa, it quickly became apparent that they were lacking in the tactics department. As the war progresses, especially on the Eastern Front, we see tactics which resemble current, modern tactics in the use of tanks with Infantry acting as support (rather then tanks acting in support).

Of course, lack of air superiority greatly hinders the capabilities of tanks or motorized divisions, and since the end of WW2 things have taken a more impersonal touch, with Predator Drones and Airforce Planes (and artillery) taking most of the action against armed forces.