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Thread: WWII Atomic Weapons

  1. Top | #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzeage View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzeage View Post
    War is not healthy for children and other living things. That should be on a tshirt.

    In the end, how a person is killed in war, or why, is irrelevant to the discussion. There is no score card, where extra credit is given for deaths accompanied by minimal suffering.

    In the closing days of the war in Europe, it was acknowledged by military strategists that bombing campaigns had not been remotely effective as expected. There were a lot of reasons for this, but it came down to a few simple facts. First, targets are hard to hit. Second, bombers are easy to shoot down. This made bombing an expensive pursuit with small results.

    The strategist who were given the task of planning the invasion of Japan were faced with these facts. By the end of the war in Europe, the bombing was concentrated on civilian housing. The rationale given was the discomfort of the workers having everything they owned buried under rubble would hamper war production. The real reason was that the bombers could hit a city block.

    The same fate awaited the Japanese if the Allies launched an invasion.

    War and a bar fight have something in common. Whatever may have started the conflict, the immediate goal is to convince the other guy that continuing to fight is a bad idea. If an atomic bomb is what you have, it's what you use.

    Any moral argument which condemns the use of atomic bombs has to address the obvious point, which is it worked. The killing stopped.
    Of course, but given human nature defined at least partly by genetics how do we eliminate conflict? Russia nad Chima are in an aggressive pre WWII land and resource acquisition posture. In practical terms how does the world back down?

    Back in the 80s I was listening to Abrams talk about nuclear deterrence. It made sense to me. The only problem is the Russian American standoff worked because both sides had a common sense of survival and did not want destruction. I believe nukes prevented a WWIII in Europe. The Soviets wanted Europe or as much as they could get.

    The problem is wildcards. NK, Iran, Pakistan.
    The tactical value of nuclear weapons has been reduced by precision weapons. Instead of leveling a couple square miles, cruise missiles and other guided weapons can take out key targets with an accuracy which could only be dreamed of in WW2. This greatly reduces the likelihood of a super power using an nuclear weapon. If I were a despotic leader who feared regime change by more powerful nations, a nuclear bomb might make me feel more secure, but a really good investment would be a weapon system which could disable GPS satellites.


    When I was at Lockheed there were always unclassified military journals around. I read an article about potential scenarios for a Soviet invasion of Europe circa 1980s. There is only one route to transport large numbers of troops and equipment. It is well known. NATO has distributed stockpiles to last a certain amount of time. while America resupplies.

    The war game predicted it would rather quickly go nuclear. There are tactical nuclear cruise missiles. Russia has been boasting of new long range nuclear cruise missiles that can evade interception. All sides are working on so called agile weapons that can avoid detection and interception.

    The evolution continues.

    There have been close calls. In the 80s Warsaw Pact was conducting exercises that began to look like an invasion. The situation escalated to the point where NATO tactual nuke missiles were raised and ready to fire.

    In another case the USA launched a science missile with the proper international notifications. For a time on Russian radar it looked like the track of nuclear missile would take over the pole. The info had not passed down to the military. The Soviet premier was within seconds of launching a nuclear strike before the word got around.

    And of course the Cuban crisis. McNamara said afterwards he went to be wondering if he would wake up.

    IMO they will ne used again in the future.

  2. Top | #32
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    The 1980s are a very long time ago.

    The political and technological picture today is wildly different.

    Precision bombing wasn't widely available to any military force until the mid '90s - Much of the ordinance used in Desert Storm was 'dumb' bombs, and it was the tactical success of the few guided munitions in that conflict that led to their much wider adoption.

    The Soviet Union also ceased to exist in the early '90s. I am surprised you weren't informed of this.

    As to there only being one route to invade Western Europe for Soviet forces, that has to be the most hilariously absurd thing I have heard in months. Europe is a big place. And competent military strategists stopped believing that they couldn't be attacked through difficult terrain after the Ardennes Offensive of 1940.

    Even if the Soviets had been limited to using existing roads and railways, the pattern of both in Germany is of widely separated parallel East-West routes, (with interconnectors to major cities), any or all of which could have been exploited by an invading force. Germany is practically unique in not having her major highways arranged in a 'hub and spokes' pattern centred on the capital city, and this oddity is a direct result of the systems being designed to transport large numbers of troops and their equipment across the country. The railways were built in the late 1800s with the Schlieffen Plan in mind; And the autobahns were built in the 1930s with a view to a similar war against both France and Russia.

    Given that the Soviets already occupied the Eastern part of Germany, this infrastructure would have given them a wide range of strategic options if they had invaded.

    And of course none of this has anything to do with your claim that "Nukes are the logical conclusion of the endless search for more efferent and deadly ways to wage war", which remains wrong in pretty much every detail.
    Last edited by bilby; 05-02-2019 at 10:24 PM.

  3. Top | #33
    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Yes, the French built the Maginot Line to defend the only invasion route that the Germans could use to invade France. Those fucking stupid Germans went around it, not going cross country but using the highways from Belgium to Paris to move their troops.
    Last edited by skepticalbip; 05-02-2019 at 10:44 PM.

  4. Top | #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Yes, the French built the Maginot Line to defend the only invasion route that the Germans could use to invade France. Those fucking stupid Germans went around it, not going cross country but using the highways from Belgium to Paris to move their troops.
    In WWI, the Germans went through Belgium. They were prepared to give ground where the Maginot line was later built, it was though that that would increase the force of the Belgian route. That was the subtlety of the Schlieffen plan.

  5. Top | #35
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Parker View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Yes, the French built the Maginot Line to defend the only invasion route that the Germans could use to invade France. Those fucking stupid Germans went around it, not going cross country but using the highways from Belgium to Paris to move their troops.
    In WWI, the Germans went through Belgium. They were prepared to give ground where the Maginot line was later built, it was though that that would increase the force of the Belgian route. That was the subtlety of the Schlieffen plan.
    Yeah, but they stuffed it up - they were too keen not to cede any territory on the left, and reinforcements were sent there which Schlieffen's original plan had specifically said should not be allowed to happen. The right of the German advance ran out of steam on the brink of a decisive victory over the French, and the war bogged down into trench warfare. The French and British were divided and exhausted - just a few extra units sent to the Channel rather than to Alsace-Lorraine could have made all the difference - but the Germans couldn't bear the thought of letting the French have that territory back, even as part of a temporary strategic concession of territory.

  6. Top | #36
    Super Moderator Bronzeage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Yes, the French built the Maginot Line to defend the only invasion route that the Germans could use to invade France. Those fucking stupid Germans went around it, not going cross country but using the highways from Belgium to Paris to move their troops.
    It's easy to take cheap shots at the Maginot Line, but the fact is, the Maginot Line worked. It's purpose was to prevent German forces from crossing the border and it did that very well. The French had every opportunity to use those Belgium highways to meet the Germans, but things didn't work out well.

    There is a well known military truism, 'The winner of the last war thinks the next war will be the same, the loser is looking for a way to make the next war different." The French wanted a better trench and the Germans wanted something better than a trench.

  7. Top | #37
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    Probably another thread.

    Actually no one thought the next war would be the same. The French were behind the German and British curve. The French were still practicing cavalry tactics.

    Guderian was the mobile armor promoter in Ge4rmny and wrote books still in print. There was British coputer part inter war, his name is not commi9ng to me. Post war he claimed he had colorated with Guderian pre war.

    And Patton in the USA.

    The French and the allies were unprepared. The Germans had already developed and battle tested the revolutionary concept of dynamic air, armor, and infantry coordination by radio. Today it is called Command And Control.

    The Germs had deficiencies at the start that causght up with them. They had no large scale transport, the eqwuivalent of the American 2 1/2 ton truck or the Deuce And A Half.

    They also lacked large numbers of long range heavy bomers like the B17 and Lancaster.

  8. Top | #38
    Super Moderator Bronzeage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Probably another thread.

    Actually no one thought the next war would be the same. The French were behind the German and British curve. The French were still practicing cavalry tactics.

    Guderian was the mobile armor promoter in Ge4rmny and wrote books still in print. There was British coputer part inter war, his name is not commi9ng to me. Post war he claimed he had colorated with Guderian pre war.

    And Patton in the USA.

    The French and the allies were unprepared. The Germans had already developed and battle tested the revolutionary concept of dynamic air, armor, and infantry coordination by radio. Today it is called Command And Control.

    The Germs had deficiencies at the start that causght up with them. They had no large scale transport, the eqwuivalent of the American 2 1/2 ton truck or the Deuce And A Half.

    They also lacked large numbers of long range heavy bomers like the B17 and Lancaster.
    Germany lacked petroleum and rubber, and did not have the naval resources to maintain a supply of either. It would not have mattered if they had big trucks and bombers.

    Their strategic goals depended upon their opponents capitulating quickly. Once war started, Germany was doomed as long as Russian and the UK maintained the political will to fight.

  9. Top | #39
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    For those interested in WWII an historical note.

    Also there was a small WWI naval battle where sea launched plabes had an impact. The Japanese and the Amercans began carrier development post war.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._H._Liddell_Hart

    Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart (31 October 1895 – 29 January 1970), commonly known throughout most of his career as Captain B. H. Liddell Hart, was a British soldier, military historian and military theorist. In the 1920s and later he wrote a series of military histories that proved influential among strategists. He argued that frontal assault was a strategy that was bound to fail at great cost in lives, as happened in 1914-1918. He instead recommended the "indirect approach" and reliance on fast-moving armoured formations.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achtung_%E2%80%93_Panzer!

    Achtung – Panzer! (English: "Attention, Tank!" or, more idiomatically, "Beware the Tank!") by Heinz Guderian is a book on the application of motorized warfare. First published in 1937, it expounds a new kind of warfare: the concentrated use of tanks, with infantry and air force in close support, later known as Blitzkrieg tactics. The book also argues against the continued use of cavalry given the proven effectiveness of the machine gun, and advocates replacing the cavalry with mechanised infantry. It was never properly studied by the French or the English general staff, both of whom helped introduced the tank.[1]

    The first half of the book focuses on the advent of positional or 'trench warfare' in World War I, and the subsequent development of the first tanks. Here Guderian outlines the development of tanks and tank tactics throughout the Great War and during the interwar period. Later he discusses the effects of the Treaty of Versailles upon the German armed forces before detailing the recovery from the setbacks the Treaty caused in terms of development of mechanised forces. Guderian concludes by promoting the further development of the German tank force and providing suggestions concerning the future application of tanks and their relationship with other arms.[2]

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