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A wonderweapon that could have won the war.

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A wonderweapon that could have won the war.
    Posted: 06-May-2008 at 09:05
A Surface to air missile which could have possibly won the war for the Germans, by denying the allies air supremacy over Europe and perserving German industry to manufacture enough jets and Anti-ship missiles.
 
 
 
 
Amazingly it was ready for production in 43, but was delayed since Hitler doubted its effectiveness.
 
Speer thought it could have won the war.
 
Originally posted by Hitler's architect

"To this day, I am convinced that substantial deployment of Wasserfall from the spring of 1944 onward, together with an uncompromising use of the jet fighters as air defense interceptors, would have essentially stalled the Allied strategic bombing offensive against our industry. We would have well been able to do that -- after all, we managed to manufacture 900 V2 rockets per month at a later time when resources were already much more limited.
 
 
 
 
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  Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 09:48
Doubt that it would have proved 100% accurate. Not very good against ground forces overwhelming yours!
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 09:57

The ground forces were busy relying on airpower.

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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 10:07
But there remains the question of how do they stop the Soviet land forces from advancing, which is the single most important reason why the Nazi regime was defeated.
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  Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 10:14
Originally posted by Sparten

The ground forces were busy relying on airpower.

 
Not relying. Air power cannot of itself defeat an enemy. If you are talking tactical airstrikes in support of the army then I think that this weapon was only meant to be attacking strategic air-bombing and would not be of much use against low level tactical strikes
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 10:21
As a ballistic missile there's no reason to think it could hit a fast-moving aircraft. As a visually guided missile it would have to rely on radio signals from the control unit, which not only also introduced a delay factor, but made it susceptible to easy jamming.
 
Modern SAMs rely on self-guidance systems, usually (maybe always) heat-seeking. There's no way Wasserfall could have had that in 1943-5.
 
What would have happened with a Wasserfall that missed? The damage from 'shrapnel' fragments from AA shells was already considerable.
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  Quote IDonT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 14:06

For every plane the German's shoot down, the allies will have built 10.  I remember somewhere that a U-Boat commander knew the war was lost when he realized the US can build ships faster than he can sink them. 

 
The ultimate wonder weapon were factories that can outproduce the allies production.
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  Quote deadkenny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 15:03
I agree with others, not a weapon that clearly could have 'won the war' for Germany.  German production actually increased during the bombing campaign, due to the 'rationalization' and move to a 'total war' economy that Hitler had delayed due to 'political' considerations.  When the German economy 'collapsed' towards the end of the war, that had a lot to do with the loss of the sources of critical raw materials.  That was both due to loss of territory directly, as well as 'neutral' sources (Spain, Sweden, Turkey) being cut off.  While the day time targetting (i.e. visual) may have been effective, the night time guidance would not likely have been nearly as effective.  Therefore the Allies simply would have given up their daytime bombing and shifted totally to night bombing.  Also, the weapon system in question would really only have been effective against the Wallies' strategic bombing, not the 'tactical' airsupport.  Being V2 based, production was limited and scarce resources would have had to be shifted from other projects in order to build sufficient numbers of these missiles.  Also note that the Wallies' strat bombing campaign only really became 'cost effective' with the addition of long range fighter escorts to the picture.  Up until then the Germans had effectively forced the Allies to call off their daylight strat bombing campaign due to the losses inflicted with 'conventional' defenses.  Really, there was not enough time between the resumption of the strat bombing campaign in early '44 and the crushing defeats suffered by Germany on land in mid '44 (Normandy and Bagration) for the strat bombing campaign, or defensive missiles to have been 'decisive' enough to do more than delay the inevitable outcome.

Edited by deadkenny - 06-May-2008 at 15:03
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 15:23
^
Speer disagrees with you.
 
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  Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 15:57
Originally posted by Sparten

^
Speer disagrees with you.
 
 
Speer was talking strategic bombing not the tactical ground support. Still never found a 100% accurate, kill every time weapon.
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  Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 16:21
Hello to you all
 
If the germans developed this kind of weapons, practical weapons that is, you might be right. I read somewhere that the Germans could have easily made at least 15000 more bombers if they scraped the V2 project. With those bombers and with the aforementioned rockets Germany not only could have sent the Russians to smithereens with the bombers while their airdefense dealt with the allies, any attempt to land would be doomed from the start. Germans showed in Italy that they could rebound from utterdefeat and that was quite important.
 
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 17:26
Originally posted by Peteratwar

Originally posted by Sparten

^
Speer disagrees with you.
 
 
Speer was talking strategic bombing not the tactical ground support. Still never found a 100% accurate, kill every time weapon.
 
Attacks by the Eight Airforce and Bomber Command on German fuel and supply dumps, 6 months leading up to D-Day were just that, strategic. And even if these could have not been protected, the releasing of squadrons for the west (due to the fact that SAMS would have kept them in check) could have made a big difference. Esp say Normandy camapign, a battle of attrition that was one by allies supplys, a precarious supply line. The allies were an expeditionary force, very vulnerable. Even if the air supremacy would have been a little less, the Germans could very well have thrown them back into the sea. Ala Gallopoli.
 
 
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  Quote deadkenny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 17:39
Originally posted by Sparten

^
Speer disagrees with you. 
 
Yes, however, there are plenty of high ranking Germans who claimed after the war that Hitler had made decisions that cost Germany the war, and Germany 'would have won' if Hitler had only listened to them.  Frankly, if the entire case for this weapon possibly winning the war for Germany rests on the fact that Speer said so, then that's not a very strong case.  The fact remains that the V2, and this weapon which was loosely 'based on' it, were 'leading edge'.  That typically means expensive and unreliable.  Some even question the effectiveness of the American Patriot missiles in the 1990's.  I'm simply not convinced that the night 'guidance' system would have been very effective.  As I stated, the daytime visual targetting might have been somewhat effective, although losing sight of the bombers and / or missile due to cloud cover would have been an issue.  I never suggested that having such a weapon system would have made no difference.  But your original claim was that it could have 'won the war' for Germany.  Germany lost the war primarily due to the ground war, and in particular the losses they suffered in Normandy and due to Bagration pretty much finished any hope they had to survive, never mind do more than that.  I'm just not convinced that staving off the daytime Allied strat bombing campaign from Feb. - July 1944 would have made all the difference in the outcome of those 2 campaigns.  By July '44, the Germans were defeated on the ground.  In neither case was the German problem primarily that of damage to their industry.  In both cases Hitler made erroneous judgements about the strategic situation - in the west, that the 'main' Allied landing was yet to come and Normandy was a diversion, in the east that the main Soviet attack would come in the south, to breakthrough to the Balkans.  Thus in both cases the Germans failed to concentrate their force where it was needed when it was needed, and I don't see a few months of strategic bombing (night vs. day) making that much of a difference.


Edited by deadkenny - 06-May-2008 at 17:40
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 18:03
The failure at Normandy was at the initial few hours, it was realised pretty soon by everyone that this was the main effort, the troops at Calais area were not released until later because they were the resrves for the area, not because the Germans thought the allies would land there. The Normandy camapign from 6th June to July 20 was one of attrition, that broke the back of the Germans and at one point in late June SHAFE actually considered withrawing and actually did issue an order for withrawl of a couple of divisions which was later recinded. (it was the US 90th Division if i am not mistaken and canadian one). The battles around Caen, St Lo, broke the backs of the Germans and on several occasions the Germans could not achieve a strategically decisive victory becasue any attempt a manover would lead to attention from the air. At this time several groups of Luftwaffe fighters were in Germany, including all the Me-262s (which were coming online in significant numbers at the time, 3 or 4 wings if memory serves) in German service. If weapons like this SAM had been built and they had releived even a few groups and 88 batterys for France, Normandy may well have been won by the Germans. if they could get even a stalemate in the air. Esp if the effort had been put into this at the expense of the V-2's. It was ready in 43, by 44 there would have been enough field data to put into place some very effective versions.
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  Quote deadkenny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 19:29
First, several points about Normandy.  The Germans were of 2 philosophies regarding the landing.  Rommel was of the 'crush them on the beaches' philosophy, whereas von Rundstedt concept was to allow the Allies to commit forces ashore first and then crush the beachhead, destroying a much larger force.  The disposition of German forces was not such so as to facilitate Rommel's 'beach'  concept.  Rommel had wanted the reserves, particularly the Panzer divisions, to be positioned much closer to the potential landing sites, and to be released much more quickly.  Instead, most of them were stationed far back and were only to be released by order of high command.  Hitler was concerned enough about possible alternate landing sites so as to withhold signficant reserves from Normandy for two weeks.
 
Regarding withdrawals by the Allies, I would appreciate it if you could provide sources for your claim.  As far as I know there was never any consideration by the Allies of a complete withdrawal from the landings.  The two exceptions, both early on, were at Utah and Omaha.  At Utah the forces accidently landed on the wrong beaches.  There was brief consideration to pulling out and landing on the right beaches.  However, since there was little German resistance the decision was quickly made to go with where they had landed.  The other exception was Omaha, where the first wave was pinned on the beaches and it became a nightmare when the second wave tried to land.  There was initially some consideration of pulling out forces and using them to reinforce the flanking beaches.  However. eventually the position on Omaha was consolidated.  I am not aware of any plans to 'pull out' as late as late June, unless it was a matter of re-positioning or rotating of specific units.  There was certainly frustration at the slow pace of advance.  However, there was also determination that, one way or the other, a breakout would be achieved.
 
Regarding the development of the 'SAM' weapon system being discussed, I find it difficult to believe that it could have been effectively produced in sufficient numbers and deployed in the timeframe you are claiming.  The V2 itself, which was given priority by Hitler, was supposed to have been ready by 1943.  However, ongoing development and production delays meant that it was mid-44 before signficant numbers were being delivered.  So I do not see why the SAM project would have been able to avoid similar delays, since it was based on the same technology, and was even more complicated in some respects.  First of all the guidance system on the V2 only needed to target a large stationary target (a 'city').  The SAM needed to hit a small moving target.  Second, the V2 could be prepared and fired at a time of the German's own choosing, whereas the SAM needed to be kept 'ready to launch' for extended periods in anticipation of Allied air raids.  Finally, you are assuming that the SAM's could have 'taken the place of' the defensive German fighters.  However, you are ignoring the fact that if the Allied bombers were under attack only by SAM's, and not enemy fighters, then the Allied fighter escorts would also have been freed up.  So, instead of the Allied long range fighters facing the Germans fighters over Germany, they would have been facing the German fighters over France.  You still have a fighter to fighter battle that was to the advantage of the Allies, even more so than the historical situation as the Allies are closer to their own bases.


Edited by deadkenny - 06-May-2008 at 19:31
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 20:51
Its past twelve here, and I have a meeting tomorrow. So I'll just give the cite, wrt to the withrawl decision, it is in both Eisenhower and Bradley memoirs. As well as in Stephan Ambrose's book. Apparently it was considered serious enough to be discussed at a meeting. Its been a while so I'll admit that it may have been a discussion about eventualitys more than anything. As for the 90th, that was historical, its in their war journal.
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  Quote deadkenny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 21:05
In late June there was consideration of launching a 'supporting' invasion in Brittany.  However, there was no intention as far as I know of actually withdrawing from Normandy.  It was simply a matter of capturing more 'port capacity' in order to speed the build up and 'flank' the German forces in Normandy.  Ultimately Ike was against it and it didn't happen.  Is that what you were referring to?  I can see nothing in Ike's memoirs regarding a possible withdrawal from Normandy.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2008 at 21:13
From memory (i read them 5 years ago) Ike asked Bedall-Smith about the evacaution plan for Normandy and was given it. At that time the logistic situation was worse than what was considered the threshold for a withrawl. In a meeting, it was discussed and it was eventually said (mostly by monty and his staff; can;t remember if he himself was there) that while the situation was dire, the Germans were in even worse shape.
 
And apparently McNair was also at the meeting, so it must have been before he was killed.
 
 
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