Author Topic: "If I were around in WWII..."  (Read 4368 times)

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
"If I were around in WWII..."
« on: April 23, 2013, 04:00:47 AM »
Alright, put your money where your mouth is.  If you were in charge during WWII, how would you equip your armed forces?  You know, I love these "Make your own army" sort of threads, but I think about these a lot.

So, I made a giant Excel with aircraft, ships, tanks, and other land equipment from 1939-1945.  For the most part, it's sort of a "best of" type thing, but I do try to also pick things that would be compatible.  Due to different engines, calibers, etc., many of my choices have significant modifications in some cases.

So, here's a few of my major choices for the "sexy" combat equipment at the start of the war, 1939-40.

    Armored Cars
    • Daimler Dingo
    • Panhard 178 w/ Böhler 47mm
      Tanks
      • Landsverk L-60 (Toldi) w/ Böhler 47mm
      • PzKpfw III w/ Skoda 47mm
      • Matilda II w/ Skoda 47mm

        Tank Destroyers
        • Skoda Š-I-j
        • StuG III w/ 75mm Mle 1897/33
          Fighters
          • Supermarine Spitfire
          • Heinkel He 100
          • Focke-Wulf Fw 187

            Bombers
            • Junkers Ju 87
            • Junkers Ju 88
            • Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

            I've got naval combat aircraft, transports, trainers, infantry weapons, artillery, softskins, and ships, as well if anyone's interested.

            Cheers,

            Logan

            Offline kerick

            • Responsible for all surrendered booty....Arrrr!!!!
            Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
            « Reply #1 on: April 23, 2013, 11:40:11 AM »
            The trick would be convincing the people in charge at the time to think to the future and design an American tank with a decent gun (37mm, are you joking?) and a British tank that is not specialized to death. What the h#ll is a cruiser tank anyway?

            Offline Logan Hartke

            • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
            • Rivet-counting whiffer
            Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
            « Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 12:30:17 PM »
            Well, the idea isn't so much a "Foresight War" sort of thing where you're trying to steer the ship.  It's more of a "All Star Team" sort of idea where you can pick what you think was the best stuff going at the time and use it to equip your own army/navy/air force.

            Cheers,

            Logan

            Offline Logan Hartke

            • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
            • Rivet-counting whiffer
            Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
            « Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 05:44:51 AM »
            Here's the naval aircraft I considered.  I could really go with the Wildcat just as readily as the Zero, to be honest.

              Carrier Aircraft
              • Nakajima B5N "Kate"
              • Brewster F2A Buffalo
              • Douglas SBD Dauntless
              • Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen "Zero"



                Seaplanes
                • Grumman J2F Duck
                • Consolidated PBY Catalina
                • Kawanishi H6K "Mavis"
                • Arado Ar 196
                • Martin PBM Mariner



                Cheers,

                Logan

                Offline GTX_Admin

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                Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
                « Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 05:48:41 AM »
                I think you need to break selections into periods otherwise it gets confusing.
                All hail the God of Frustration!!!

                Offline Logan Hartke

                • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
                • Rivet-counting whiffer
                Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
                « Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 12:25:24 PM »
                I did.  This is just my 1939-40 lineup.   ;)

                Cheers,

                Logan

                Offline upnorth

                • Distorting a reality near you.
                • Reinvented Austria and the Stuka....Now what?
                Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
                « Reply #6 on: April 28, 2013, 06:29:19 PM »
                If I were to look at the Pacific Theatre, starting prior to Pearl Harbour, I'd have done a few things in Australia.

                I'd have opened up production lines for Spitfires and Merlin engines in Australia very early in the conflict so that the RAAF could have something better and in good numbers than the Brewster Buffalo when the Japanese came knocking.

                It would also negate the need for the Boomerang fighter, thus freeing up resources for other things, Perhaps domestic Lancaster production and similar for the Beaufighter and its Hercules engines .

                Japan was known to be very aggressive to its neighbors well before they attacked Pearl Harbour and brought America into things. I've always felt it was quite short sighted to leave Australia so exposed as it was.

                Australia had the resources and talent pool, there really was no reason to not get them pumping out modern fighters and bombers from day one of hostilities in Europe in order to make sure they were ready for impending Japanese attack.



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                Offline Volkodav

                • Counts rivits with his abacus...
                • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
                Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
                « Reply #7 on: April 28, 2013, 07:37:12 PM »
                If I were to look at the Pacific Theatre, starting prior to Pearl Harbour, I'd have done a few things in Australia.

                I'd have opened up production lines for Spitfires and Merlin engines in Australia very early in the conflict so that the RAAF could have something better and in good numbers than the Brewster Buffalo when the Japanese came knocking.

                It would also negate the need for the Boomerang fighter, thus freeing up resources for other things, Perhaps domestic Lancaster production and similar for the Beaufighter and its Hercules engines .

                Japan was known to be very aggressive to its neighbors well before they attacked Pearl Harbour and brought America into things. I've always felt it was quite short sighted to leave Australia so exposed as it was.

                Australia had the resources and talent pool, there really was no reason to not get them pumping out modern fighters and bombers from day one of hostilities in Europe in order to make sure they were ready for impending Japanese attack.

                Well we were warned and told what we needed to do to defend ourselves against Japanese imperialism
                http://www.navy.gov.au/media-room/publications/reports-admiral-jellicoe-volume-i-iv
                It could be a good start to the Australian version of this wiff.

                In addition both Chauvel and Monash pushed for the formation of a regular Australian Army from the AIF and retaining/improving upon its already high (by contempory standards) level of motorisation. Instead the AIF was disbanded and its vehicles were left in Europe, UK and the Middle East, while the Australian economy was wrecked, in part, by having to pay for the gear left behind.

                Spitfire would have been great but assuming we started local aircraft production in Australia a deal with Hawker and RR would have been good.  Think Hawker Hart, Fury and Demon powered by the RR Kestrel from the late 1920s, followed by batches of improved Hawkers through to the Hurricane and Henley just before the start of the war.

                Offline Weaver

                • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
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                Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
                « Reply #8 on: April 28, 2013, 08:32:37 PM »
                The trick would be convincing the people in charge at the time to think to the future and design an American tank with a decent gun (37mm, are you joking?) and a British tank that is not specialized to death. What the h#ll is a cruiser tank anyway?

                A fast, lightly-armoured tank that can exploit breakthroughs made by the infantry and their slow, heavily armoured infantry tanks. Think of it as a "cavalry tank" and you'll get the idea.

                Note that I'm not saying that this was a good idea, just that it was the thinking behind the doctrine. Mind you, had the army had the resources to build any of their infantry/cruiser/light tanks to a decent standard, the concept might have stood up rather better than it did in real life. After all, the Christie-Cruisers were the British reaction to the Soviet BT-5/BT-7 designs. In Russia, those designs lead to the T-34....

                Tank-wise, the failure in pretty much all armies in 1939 was the failure to predict the dizzying rate at which the armour/gun race would escalate in the next six years. If you'd told any "expert" in 1939 that he'd be looking at 50 ton tanks with 88mm high-velocity guns in a few year's time, he'd have laughed in your face.
                « Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 08:37:43 PM by Weaver »
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                Offline Volkodav

                • Counts rivits with his abacus...
                • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
                Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
                « Reply #9 on: November 19, 2015, 09:42:58 AM »
                1. Improved Matilda II.

                Turret ring was the same as the Churchill so fit 6lbr, 75mm and 95mm turrets from Churchill.

                The twin engine setup was pretty chunky and complex, while the aft engine deck slopped down, so why not see if a much better engine could fit in the space.

                The suspension was bolted to the hull sides under the armoured skirts with its 14" track width, should not be too difficult to replace it with a more durable design and wider track while using spacers as required for the skirts.

                End result a much faster, more reliable, heavier hitting and capable medium tank for British and commonwealth forces that improved upon the strengths of the best existing design rather than trying to develop new designs (often already obsolescent) during the height of a battle for survival.

                This effective medium tank permits the UK to concentrate on a modern heavy cruiser or universal design much earlier, resulting the deployment of the Centurion in late 44 early 45 as a counter to the Panther / Tiger I.  The advent of the Tiger II and Intel on Soviet JSIII etc. leads to the prototyping and experimental deployment of the Conqueror in the last months of the war.

                Oh yes of course, Australian licence production of the improved Matilda, maybe using US sourced (or designed) engine, suspension and tracks.  Deployment with the 2nd AIF in 40-41 is one regiment of Improved Matilda per division, including the 8th in Malaya and Singapore (although leadership would likely needed to have changed for any real difference).

                2. UK adopts a modified version of the CDK TNH (Panzer 38t base vehicle that was actually assessed by the UK pre-war).

                An Anglicized version, called the Light Tank Mk X, is selected as the replacement for the various marks of light tanks in service and is in full production by the fall of France and thus becomes the standard British tank for the early years of the war as production is increased to replace the losses of the BEF. 

                The greater capability of the over the existing light tanks as well as the early cruisers makes it possible for the UK to skip the Crusader, Covenanter, Cavalier and Cromwell, permitting them to instead perfect and deploy the Comet Cruiser, much improved Challenger heavy cruiser and the Avenger tank destroyer in substantial numbers by D Day.
                « Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 09:55:20 AM by Volkodav »

                Offline Nexus1171

                • SC
                • I go by many names...you may know one...
                Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
                « Reply #10 on: November 20, 2015, 02:32:27 PM »
                Logan Hartke

                Quote
                Alright, put your money where your mouth is.  If you were in charge during WWII, how would you equip your armed forces?  You know, I love these "Make your own army" sort of threads, but I think about these a lot.
                Could I focus on the aviation side of things?  I know far more about aviation than tanks, and I have a little bit of knowledge on aircraft carriers.

                I'm also curious if it would be permissible to develop any of the following
                • A cancelled aircraft: With or without modifications
                • A fictitious design provided it follows a degree of realism

                Offline Rickshaw

                • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
                Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
                « Reply #11 on: November 21, 2015, 09:45:56 AM »
                1. Improved Matilda II.

                Turret ring was the same as the Churchill so fit 6lbr, 75mm and 95mm turrets from Churchill.


                Turret Rings:

                Matilda II - 54 inches (1.37 m)
                Churchill I-IV - 54.25 inches.

                While that extra quarter of an inch might appear insignificant, it means they weren't the same size.  Further, the hull of the Matilda was engineered to prevent the addition of a Churchill turret to it.   When they did add a new turret to the Matilda, experimentally, it required a new turret ring adapter, as the old one was considered too small to mount a 6 pounder.



                As it was, the Matilda considered marginal with a 6 pounder turret, cramped and difficult to fight properly.

                Offline Volkodav

                • Counts rivits with his abacus...
                • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
                Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
                « Reply #12 on: November 21, 2015, 05:08:03 PM »
                That's 3.175mm extra metal off each side of the turret ring, no need for an adaptor ring there, just remove the extra metal and fit the new turret, much easier than fiting the A24/27 turret with an adaptor.  Not talking about modifying existing tanks to be retro fitted with a new turret but rather modifying the design to be built with new turrets.

                Before you say it can't be done just look at the US M-2, M-3 and M-4 mediums, they started with a very limited design that, was inferior to most foreign contemporaries and ended up with a versatile design that remained viable, through never imagined upgrades, for decades.  My suggestion is the that UK do the same with the Matilda, while working on a long term replacement based on combat experience, rather than committing resources to the Valentine and the Churchill.  Take a perfectly capable and successful design and keep making it better until you have a fully sorted replacement ready and avoid wasting resources on multiple unsuccessful designs.

                Looking at the early war British designs the Matilda was the most easily improved.  It already had the armour, a large engine compartment, suspension mounted on the hull sides permitting easy replacement with improved, new design items.  The US did this with the Sherman, the Germans with the Panzer III and VI, the Soviets with the T-34 etc. the UK on the other hand often seemed to go for new tank designs over and over.

                Offline taiidantomcat

                • Plastic Origamist...and not too shabby with the painting either!
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                Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
                « Reply #13 on: December 17, 2015, 07:50:54 AM »
                Don't know as much as others in this subject but:

                I read a few weeks ago the Japanese could have used an airplane not unlike the B-25 in the south pac (so 1941-1943), a medium bomber. So that has my wheels turning

                I was kind of surprised the Germans didn't go to something like the E-series tanks early on.

                I have albert Speers book to read now, so there is probably a ton of stuff in there.
                "They know you can do anything, So the question is, what don't you do?"

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                Offline Volkodav

                • Counts rivits with his abacus...
                • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
                Re: "If I were around in WWII..."
                « Reply #14 on: December 21, 2015, 04:43:39 PM »
                Heres my (highly parochial) biggy, in addition to accelerating the local manufacture of the Beaufort in Australia the Commonwealth also decides to initiate a second project to manufacture a high performance fighter with a light / dive bomber derivative as a matter of urgency.

                Australian licence manufacture of the Hawker Hurricane, Hawker Henley, Rolls Royce Merlin, Browning .303 (maybe another calibre)and .50 calibre machine guns and Hispano 20mm cannon.