Author Topic: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration  (Read 1076 times)

Offline Volkodav

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #45 on: October 09, 2019, 07:23:26 PM »
Evan, I see you read Operation Shatterhand also  I think that makes you, me, and the author's mother.  Now, what happens with an early entry into WWII?  No Pearl Harbor, and no gotcha opportunity for the carrier admirals.  The Iowa and Wisconsin are completed, but the New Jersey goes with 18 inch guns.  The drydock spots for the Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky are used to begin construction of the first three Montanas, also with18 inch guns. ( The US Navy had some knowledge of the Yamatos, and they were very concerned).  Regarding armor, as of January 1940 the M2 light and medium tanks were not all that out of line with contemporary west European or Japanese armor.

An early entry would likely have had to opposite effect with either the North Carolinas or the South Dakotas being standardised, i.e. likely no Iowas and definitely no Montanas, likely also no Essex or Midways, just repeat Yorktowns.  The Standardised destroyer likely would have been the Benson not the Fletcher and there likely would have been no Sumners or Gearings.  Same with the Cruisers, forget the Baltimores and Cleavlands, think Wichitas etc.

I strongly suspect the adoption M-1 Garand and M-1 Carbine may well have been delayed or even cancelled, while the Sherman would probably have been more like a Ram than it turned out in reality.  The only positive is it is likely combat experience, as opposed to interpreting the experience of others, may have resulted in the Tank Destroyer Doctrine never being adopted and the number of organic AT within regiments and divisions being increased, also likely the number of independent tank battalions supporting the Infantry divisions.

Sadly, no Mustang, or B-29 for that matter, likely no B-26 or A-26.  The war would have been fought with what was available and while new gear was developed it would have taken longer to get into service, because the existing designs would have filled the production capacity coming on line.  Just look at the UK and the 2pdr for example, its replacement had been designed and accepted but desperation meant production couldn't be switched over as something was better than nothing.

Offline Kelmola

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #46 on: October 09, 2019, 08:13:29 PM »
An early entry would likely have had to opposite effect with either the North Carolinas or the South Dakotas being standardised, i.e. likely no Iowas and definitely no Montanas, likely also no Essex or Midways, just repeat Yorktowns.  The Standardised destroyer likely would have been the Benson not the Fletcher and there likely would have been no Sumners or Gearings.  Same with the Cruisers, forget the Baltimores and Cleavlands, think Wichitas etc.

I strongly suspect the adoption M-1 Garand and M-1 Carbine may well have been delayed or even cancelled, while the Sherman would probably have been more like a Ram than it turned out in reality.  The only positive is it is likely combat experience, as opposed to interpreting the experience of others, may have resulted in the Tank Destroyer Doctrine never being adopted and the number of organic AT within regiments and divisions being increased, also likely the number of independent tank battalions supporting the Infantry divisions.

Sadly, no Mustang, or B-29 for that matter, likely no B-26 or A-26.  The war would have been fought with what was available and while new gear was developed it would have taken longer to get into service, because the existing designs would have filled the production capacity coming on line.  Just look at the UK and the 2pdr for example, its replacement had been designed and accepted but desperation meant production couldn't be switched over as something was better than nothing.
What gave the US an unique advantage is that it had vastly more production capacity than the UK, so it could add production for newer types without disturbing the production of existing types. Sure, in cases where something was perhaps not the best but adequate (as the 75mm gun on Shermans in OTL really was, considering the small numbers of Tigers actually encountered) production and logistics would not have been risked for minor improvements only, but if something were totally inadequate for its job (as the 2pdr was) it would be replaced at earliest opportunity. Even better if the new entry is produced by another company than the one making the existing product.

M1 Carbine would probably be skipped, sure, but M1 Garand was already in mass production since 1937. Having those production lines back-converted to produce M1903 Springfields would have been more difficult than simply opening new 1903 production lines with old tooling to supplement the Garand (as was actually done in OTL), never mind that throwing away thousands of perfectly useful rifles would have been stupid. What this means is simply that second-line troops would use either Springfield or SMG's.

A-26 might be in peril, I'll give you that, but I disagree on B-26 and B-29. B-18 production line had been closed already and it was obsolete, so the US would have needed a medium bomber and B-25 and B-26 were already in development for that exact specification. True, Martin would have probably put out more of its Maryland & Baltimore lights before starting B-26 production, but they were not really going to cut it in the long run.

B-29 was also a necessity, as B-17 and B-24 simply did not have the range to bomb Japan (at least not with any sort of useful payload) from available bases.  It was certainly not a finished article in OTL either but was pressed into service anyway, eating away production capacity from the true and tested B-17. The latter one was kept in production too, because it was adequate choice for ETO (and more cost effective at that).

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #47 on: October 09, 2019, 09:05:00 PM »
To a considerable extent it depends on when, where & how much of a shock to the system the casus belli that forces the early US entry into the war is.

It, obviously, has to be pretty traumatic but, if it doesn't completely paralyse the country, then the US is still relatively isolated from the main regions of conflict & still able to ramp up its industrial power.

Obviously, again, much of this would be impressed into producing what was available but the US's isolation would have allowed it more freedom to experiment & develop new equipment. The P-51 would be something that would have, I believe, proceeded, as the British had approached NA to produce Spitfires in early 1940 & the first (experimental) airframe (minus engine) was rolled out in about September, although it may never have received the Merlin. The M-1 Garand was the standard US Army service rifle from 1936, so ramping up production & standardising it across all services is a given, as in the RW. The M1 carbine (or something very much like it) would have been produced for the same reasons as the RW weapon.

Armour would have been slower to develop, as the US would have only the invasion of France (perhaps) to base its development, without the benefit of observations of the North African campaign. However, real combat experience may have resulted in a better tank (not that the M4 was bad, despite propaganda to the contrary) &, more importantly, a better tank doctrine, albeit a little later than in the RW.

The real telling point would be how fast the US economy could switch from peace-time production to full-scale war production, rather than the slower ramping up that they had between September 1939 & December 1941.
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2019, 09:49:58 PM »
An early entry would likely have had to opposite effect with either the North Carolinas or the South Dakotas being standardised, i.e. likely no Iowas and definitely no Montanas, likely also no Essex or Midways, just repeat Yorktowns.  The Standardised destroyer likely would have been the Benson not the Fletcher and there likely would have been no Sumners or Gearings.  Same with the Cruisers, forget the Baltimores and Cleavlands, think Wichitas etc.

I strongly suspect the adoption M-1 Garand and M-1 Carbine may well have been delayed or even cancelled, while the Sherman would probably have been more like a Ram than it turned out in reality.  The only positive is it is likely combat experience, as opposed to interpreting the experience of others, may have resulted in the Tank Destroyer Doctrine never being adopted and the number of organic AT within regiments and divisions being increased, also likely the number of independent tank battalions supporting the Infantry divisions.

Sadly, no Mustang, or B-29 for that matter, likely no B-26 or A-26.  The war would have been fought with what was available and while new gear was developed it would have taken longer to get into service, because the existing designs would have filled the production capacity coming on line.  Just look at the UK and the 2pdr for example, its replacement had been designed and accepted but desperation meant production couldn't be switched over as something was better than nothing.
What gave the US an unique advantage is that it had vastly more production capacity than the UK, so it could add production for newer types without disturbing the production of existing types. Sure, in cases where something was perhaps not the best but adequate (as the 75mm gun on Shermans in OTL really was, considering the small numbers of Tigers actually encountered) production and logistics would not have been risked for minor improvements only, but if something were totally inadequate for its job (as the 2pdr was) it would be replaced at earliest opportunity. Even better if the new entry is produced by another company than the one making the existing product.

M1 Carbine would probably be skipped, sure, but M1 Garand was already in mass production since 1937. Having those production lines back-converted to produce M1903 Springfields would have been more difficult than simply opening new 1903 production lines with old tooling to supplement the Garand (as was actually done in OTL), never mind that throwing away thousands of perfectly useful rifles would have been stupid. What this means is simply that second-line troops would use either Springfield or SMG's.

A-26 might be in peril, I'll give you that, but I disagree on B-26 and B-29. B-18 production line had been closed already and it was obsolete, so the US would have needed a medium bomber and B-25 and B-26 were already in development for that exact specification. True, Martin would have probably put out more of its Maryland & Baltimore lights before starting B-26 production, but they were not really going to cut it in the long run.

B-29 was also a necessity, as B-17 and B-24 simply did not have the range to bomb Japan (at least not with any sort of useful payload) from available bases.  It was certainly not a finished article in OTL either but was pressed into service anyway, eating away production capacity from the true and tested B-17. The latter one was kept in production too, because it was adequate choice for ETO (and more cost effective at that).

Look at today to see what I was talking about, the war on terror killed the Comanche, M-8 rifle, Crusader SPG, Bradley replacement, AAAV replacement, possibly also the DDG 1000.  This is stuff in development that the military was keen on bringing into service or increasing holdings of that was cancelled or production ended early i.e. the F-22, because an active conflict required the substantially increased defence budget to be spent of stuff the troops needed in the field immediately.

The navy got more Arleigh Burkes but only three DDG 1000s and no CG replacement, the Army and Marines got thousands of MRAPs, UAVs and UCAVs but no new scout helos, I could go on.  When you have troops in the field, ships at sea and aircraft over targets you need the best that is available, not the better stuff that's two to five years off.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #49 on: October 09, 2019, 11:12:11 PM »
The difference is that the US hasn't swung its economy into full war-production mode.

The counter to that, of course, is that they haven't fully mobilised for war, either.
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Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #50 on: October 10, 2019, 01:41:45 AM »
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #51 on: October 10, 2019, 09:27:11 AM »
Its a simple fact, when wars start you go with what you have, you produce what is ready and any new equipment is driven by operational need and how quickly it will be available.


Offline Kelmola

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #52 on: October 10, 2019, 06:42:08 PM »
War on Terror is an extremely poor comparison to just about any full-scale war. If the OPFOR is assumed to be a few thousand paramilitaries with AK's (who only during the last couple of years have gotten tech-savvy) then of course stealth helicopters and railgun-toting destroyers are not needed to defeat them, especially as the economy is still in peacetime footing and there is no massive mobilization of troops for large-scale war. Looking back into 2001, with Russia still in shambles and China only catching up the pace (and being still mostly a regional power in Asia and also challenged by Russia) there was no need for a Cold War style buildup either and the money saved from acquisitions could be used for increased operational costs.

US entering WW2 in 1939-40 means that its opponents - industrial nations instead of guerillas - are in many fields ahead of it in military technology and fielding massive conscription armies. What will follow is the mobilization of entire industry and full scale consription. The needs and resources (read: budget) available could not be more different.

If anything, WW2 meant that development of new equipment was accelerated and while in the short term production of existing equipment was prioritized, once the needs outweighed the benefits of undisturbed logistics, new equipment was pressed into service even though it was only half-ready in many cases.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #53 on: October 10, 2019, 08:06:47 PM »
War on Terror is an extremely poor comparison to just about any full-scale war. If the OPFOR is assumed to be a few thousand paramilitaries with AK's (who only during the last couple of years have gotten tech-savvy) then of course stealth helicopters and railgun-toting destroyers are not needed to defeat them, especially as the economy is still in peacetime footing and there is no massive mobilization of troops for large-scale war. Looking back into 2001, with Russia still in shambles and China only catching up the pace (and being still mostly a regional power in Asia and also challenged by Russia) there was no need for a Cold War style buildup either and the money saved from acquisitions could be used for increased operational costs.

US entering WW2 in 1939-40 means that its opponents - industrial nations instead of guerillas - are in many fields ahead of it in military technology and fielding massive conscription armies. What will follow is the mobilization of entire industry and full scale consription. The needs and resources (read: budget) available could not be more different.

If anything, WW2 meant that development of new equipment was accelerated and while in the short term production of existing equipment was prioritized, once the needs outweighed the benefits of undisturbed logistics, new equipment was pressed into service even though it was only half-ready in many cases.

The M-26 was available for Normandy but not used, the 76mm gunned Shermans were not even seen as necessary, the only reason the USN had the Iowas is because they stayed out of the war until December 41, if they had joined two years earlier the Iowas would have gone the way of the Montanas and the RNs Lions.

The war on terror is the perfect example, true it wasn't a fight for survival, it was a counter insurgency writ large, but it still resulted in programs with billions of sunk investment being cancelled and huge sums of money being diverted to what was needed for the war at hand.  This is exactly the point I have been making from the start, when the shooting starts, anything that will not be ready in time, or is seen as unnecessary for the current conflict, will be cancelled or put on the back burner.  This is very different to accelerating stuff that is needed, or developing stuff resulting from lessons learned and responding to tactical / strategic needs, which is what you are talking about.  Lots of out of the box stuff is considered, but except for real times of desperation, rarely results in anything, rather its evolution of existing, or occasionally, if their is spare capacity, something exceptional may get up, again very, very rare.

Do you seriously believe North American would have been allowed to develop the Mustang for the UK if the US had already been at war?  War is just about the biggest disrupter you can get, it doesn't make things better easier or quicker, it actually derails lots of things and makes them harder, less efficient and often results in failure.

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #54 on: October 10, 2019, 11:56:08 PM »
Its a simple fact, when wars start you go with what you have, you produce what is ready and any new equipment is driven by operational need and how quickly it will be available.

By that logic the US wouldn't have produced anything new from December 1941-August 1945 in real life




but technological revolution occurred.

Its the "pressure cooker of war" phrase I see often. People actually get more bold and take more risks, not fewer. the A-bomb there is a helluva an example, but its not the only one. Moreover the US was already ticking up its military

Its not a hard and fast rule, In some cases yes innovation is stifled in favor of production and In other cases it isn't. A lot of it depends on the pressure that's applied.

One could make the case the US would actually be Green lighting MORE projects in a time of panic, not fewer.

Quote
  War is just about the biggest disrupter you can get, it doesn't make things better easier or quicker, it actually derails lots of things and makes them harder, less efficient and often results in failure.


The state of the US military at that stage vs the size of it only a few years later is quite telling.  By 1945 the numbers were:

ARMY             USN             USMC      COAST GUARD             TOTAL
8,267,958   3,380,817   474,680            85,783                 12,209,238

That reflects a bit over a 3550% increase!!!



But the war did make things better easier quicker and more efficient how else does one increase 3,550 percent? One big advantage the US had (and it was BIG) was a massive industry that was immune from serious enemy attack not to mention multiple weapons companies.

The war was not a "disrupter" it was a motivator ideas that in peace would not have been considered, or deemed to expensive or risky were brought to the fore.
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Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #55 on: October 11, 2019, 12:12:49 AM »
if they had joined two years earlier the Iowas would have gone the way of the Montanas and the RNs Lions.

are you sure? I thought battleships would still be seen as the kings of the sea without any of the carrier battles  ;)

Quote
The war on terror is the perfect example, true it wasn't a fight for survival, it was a counter insurgency writ large, but it still resulted in programs with billions of sunk investment being cancelled and huge sums of money being diverted to what was needed for the war at hand.  This is exactly the point I have been making from the start, when the shooting starts, anything that will not be ready in time, or is seen as unnecessary for the current conflict, will be cancelled or put on the back burner.  This is very different to accelerating stuff that is needed, or developing stuff resulting from lessons learned and responding to tactical / strategic needs, which is what you are talking about.  Lots of out of the box stuff is considered, but except for real times of desperation, rarely results in anything, rather its evolution of existing, or occasionally, if their is spare capacity, something exceptional may get up, again very, very rare.

While things like EFV/AAAV being (shortsightedly) canceled is true, there are plenty of other projects (F-35, Any kind of Submarine, most conventional weapons, nuclear, cyber etc etc) has gone forward now before we point out that a lot of these programs have origins in the 1990s (true, or even earlier sometimes) Very little of the US military is actually useful for the GWOT or insurgency in general and a lot of other programs and other gear has come up since 2001, and of course lots of other stuff has gone into retirement, and lots of other production has ceased which would bely the "make more of what you already have!" argument.

So basically we had programs with billions invested cancelled, and programs with billions invested continued. Just like peacetime. :-\

The simple fact is there are examples of both with GWOT. so it becomes what one wants to weigh or count using the GWOT as an example the US Military is massive and costs around (using the actual budget) around or over 700 billion per anum. Thats a lot of money in things that are not just GWOT but everything from a dentist to cyber warfare to Nuclear arsenals.

the constant battle thats been waged in the halls of the pentagon and elsewhere has been how to find a "balance" of conventional warfare and unconventional warfare, and it only gets more muddy and complicated every year. The USMC's new boss just finally laid down the gauntlet and said "we are getting ready for war with China." which has been really refreshing. Wish we had that EFV now...

« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 12:14:35 AM by taiidantomcat »
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Offline LemonJello

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #56 on: October 11, 2019, 01:53:33 AM »
Reading all of the discussion here, I come back to this line of thinking: Without a direct threat to the US homeland, what does it matter if the US enters the war earlier? Manpower, industry, resources are the same as RW, right? US farming ramps up to feed armies.  US industry ramps up to clothe and equip armies.  US population mobilizes to expand the military while also manning the assembly lines.  It's unlikely the US goes straight onto the offensive in either Europe or the Pacific, instead using whatever time it has to train, equip and plan, though maybe relying on Allied advisors for foundational doctrine? 


Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #57 on: October 11, 2019, 04:00:00 AM »
Reading all of the discussion here, I come back to this line of thinking: Without a direct threat to the US homeland, what does it matter if the US enters the war earlier? Manpower, industry, resources are the same as RW, right? US farming ramps up to feed armies.  US industry ramps up to clothe and equip armies.  US population mobilizes to expand the military while also manning the assembly lines.  It's unlikely the US goes straight onto the offensive in either Europe or the Pacific, instead using whatever time it has to train, equip and plan, though maybe relying on Allied advisors for foundational doctrine?

that kind of where I am at, same thing just a couple years sooner. (theres going to be differences in gear etc, which is what makes the GB fun)
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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #58 on: October 11, 2019, 04:24:30 AM »
If the US did enter the war earlier, one might see the Martin Maryland (as the A-22 - see XA-22 below) enter USAAC service along with the A-20 entering service a little earlier.

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Offline jcf

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Re: U.S. Enters WWII Early (1940) GB Inspiration
« Reply #59 on: October 11, 2019, 04:36:37 AM »
Me three. There is no way that the US would be as stupid as Canada, Australia and New Zealand
and blindly follow Britain into a European war that had nothing to do with them, an idiotic
repeat of their actions in the First World War. Plus Hitler wouldn't have been stupid enough to
declare war on the US in 1939, as Kim points out they had plenty of reason to do so in 1940,
but they didn't, the German declaration of war on the US following Pearl Harbor is considered
one of their biggest strategic missteps.

Using Paul's logic the Brits wouldn't have developed anything beyond what they had on hand;
no Lancaster from Manchester, no Typhoon then Tempest, no Churchill etc. etc. But we know
that's exactly what they did.

BTW Paul, the Martin B-26 was ordered into production before it's first flight, already being at
war wouldn't have changed that reality. US development and expansion plans were under way
before Sept. 1939 and were increased in scope and accelerated afterwards.
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