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Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new wallpaper tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

Shimrra Jamaane posted:

Churchill desperately wanted an invasion of the Balkans because he was loving stupid.

No, he knew very well how important it was to meet the Soviet armies as far East as possible because that's where the post-war boundaries would be drawn. Rosevelt was the idiot who was convinced he had a personal relationship with Stalin that would mean nothing bad would happen and that the US could just disengage from Europe after the war ended.

He was completely wrong about the military practicalities of a Balkans expedition but had a sound (and as it turns out prescient) politicalunderstanding of such a move.

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R. Mute
Jul 27, 2011


Asking Me About My Opinions On Chairman Mao's Kill Count


You're talking about the man that wanted to invade the SU immediately after WW2.

EvanSchenck
Sep 8, 2010


Alchenar posted:

He was completely wrong about the military practicalities of a Balkans expedition but had a sound (and as it turns out prescient) politicalunderstanding of such a move.

How was it prescient? The allies didn't need to go into Yugoslavia to keep it out of the Soviet sphere, Tito saw to it all by himself.

Also, the idea that Roosevelt was played by Stalin is just another hindsight perspective problem, in which Cold War issues which only emerged later are projected backward. It's possible that Roosevelt believed Stalin when he made empty promises about democracy. It's also possible that Roosevelt knew Stalin was lying and simply didn't give a poo poo, because he considered it inevitable that the USSR would dominate Eastern Europe, in the absence of any possibility that the USA and UK could get there first. It's also wrong to exaggerate Churchill's political skills, as people so often do. You have to remember that Tehran and Yalta were three-party meetings but the UK was most definitely the USA's junior partner at the meetings. This is sometimes unclear, because one of the most prominent sources about the high-level conduct of the war was Churchill's own memoirs, which are problematic for obvious reasons--Churchill didn't want to see himself as a marginal participant.

Take the issue of Poland at the Yalta conference as an example and think about it from the likely perspective of the people involved. Churchill declares that Britain could not possibly settle for less than a free and independent Polish state. He has to do it, because Poland was a British ally and the Polish government in exile was located in Britain. But this is not something that Britain is even remotely in a position to demand. By the time of Yalta (Feb. 1945) Poland is already under Soviet occupation, the Armija Krajowa has been disbanded, and the communist puppet government of is already being set up. Poland is basically off the table. Churchill stands up and says this--which is already a done deal--is unacceptable to the UK, and he won't be satisfied unless Stalin turns back the clock and gives Poland democratic elections, in exchange for which Stalin will get... nada. It's also useful to remember that Poland wasn't even really a democracy before the war. This is not a tenable diplomatic position.

So I tend to read the resolution as Stalin going, "whatever, fine, I promise" to placate Churchill so that he and Roosevelt could move on to more serious things. Reading between the lines, it's actually pretty likely that everybody, especially Churchill, knew that the promise was bullshit, but bullshit was all Churchill needed. For the sake of posterity and British prestige he had to at the very least make a few key demands, and get some kind of fake concession down on paper, otherwise he'd look stupid. Accusing Roosevelt of being Stalin's dupe is a little silly when he was "giving" the USSR control of things the USSR already controlled. Say he didn't believe that Stalin was going to live up to his promises about free elections and decided to do something about it--where does he go with that, how does he put enough pressure on Stalin to get those concessions for real? Think about what happened with the few issues that the allies really stood their ground on, like when they demanded a French occupation zone in Germany. Stalin initially said that since France was barely even in the war, they didn't deserve a zone, but when Churchill and Truman stuck to their guns, he basically said that they could do what they wanted, but he wasn't giving up anything and the French zone had to come out their end.

Stalin didn't dominate the three-power conferences because Roosevelt was too dumb to back wise super-statesman Winston Churchill, he got what he wanted because the position he negotiated from was very strong when it came to what he was demanding.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Concerning the trading with the enemy stuff: the Dutch did it all the time. Which pissed off the English when they were together in wars against Spain. Before nationalism became a thing, wars were quarrels among kings, not something commoners should worry about too much.

DarkCrawler
Apr 6, 2009


EvanSchenck posted:


Stalin didn't dominate the three-power conferences because Roosevelt was too dumb to back wise super-statesman Winston Churchill, he got what he wanted because the position he negotiated from was very strong when it came to what he was demanding.

Yeah, Red Army did the lion's share of fighting, after 27 million dead there wasn't much USSR wasn't going to get if they wanted to.

Barto
Dec 27, 2004


Could someone break down for me, especially in terms divisions/production capacity, the contribution of the USSR in World War II? Lately, I've been discussing with some friends about how the U.S.+Britain et al weren't that important to the Western theatre, didn't do all that much of the fighting, never faced the full brunt of the professional German army, and the USSR could have won it on their own (albeit with financial help from the west). Am I close to the mark, or pretty far off?

Oxford Comma
Jun 26, 2011
Oxford Comma: Hey guys I want a cool big dog to show off! I want it to be ~special~ like Thor but more couch potato-like because I got babbies in the house!
Everybody: GET A LAB.
Oxford Comma: OK! (gets a a pit/catahoula mix)


Admiral Yamamoto wanted to occupy the Hawaiian islands right after Pearl Harbor. His goal was to use them as a bargaining chip, presumably to get the Americans to agree to let Japan have its Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere (the best name for an empire.) Was there any chance this could have worked, or is it basically the Japanese version of Operation Sealion?

dokmo
Aug 26, 2006

man


Barto posted:

Could someone break down for me, especially in terms divisions/production capacity, the contribution of the USSR in World War II? Lately, I've been discussing with some friends about how the U.S.+Britain et al weren't that important to the Western theatre, didn't do all that much of the fighting, never faced the full brunt of the professional German army, and the USSR could have won it on their own (albeit with financial help from the west). Am I close to the mark, or pretty far off?

Here's a nifty table from Adam Tooze's The Wages of Destruction:



and this plot from wikipedia:

gohuskies
Oct 23, 2010


Oxford Comma posted:

Admiral Yamamoto wanted to occupy the Hawaiian islands right after Pearl Harbor. His goal was to use them as a bargaining chip, presumably to get the Americans to agree to let Japan have its Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere (the best name for an empire.) Was there any chance this could have worked, or is it basically the Japanese version of Operation Sealion?




This is the surf on Oahu's beaches. It's not realistic to expect to land troops through that and have them arrive on the beach in fighting condition. The beaches on the SW of the island that could be landed on were covered by 16" CD guns. It wasn't going to happen.

Edit: And even had they taken Pearl, America still would have won, albeit with a lot more trouble and time. Supply lines to Australia would have to go all the way down to Tahiti, but that's an inconvenience. America probably wouldn't have gone "Germany first" and once the shipyards spooled up, the IJN was going to be completely outclassed no matter what.

A great link about a potential Pearl invasion: http://www.combinedfleet.com/pearlops.htm

gohuskies fucked around with this message at Oct 9, 2011 around 19:14

Oxford Comma
Jun 26, 2011
Oxford Comma: Hey guys I want a cool big dog to show off! I want it to be ~special~ like Thor but more couch potato-like because I got babbies in the house!
Everybody: GET A LAB.
Oxford Comma: OK! (gets a a pit/catahoula mix)


gohuskies posted:



This is the surf on Oahu's beaches. It's not realistic to expect to land troops through that and have them arrive on the beach in fighting condition. The beaches on the SW of the island that could be landed on were covered by 16" CD guns. It wasn't going to happen.

Japan could've had some pretty gnarly surfboard-borne troops ready to assault them tasty waves.

LimburgLimbo
Feb 10, 2008

One day I will be happy
every day


dokmo posted:

Here's a nifty table from Adam Tooze's The Wages of Destruction:



Holy poo poo did the Russians make a lot of mortars. I've never heard anything about Russian mortar use in WW2, can someone tell me about this?

R. Mute
Jul 27, 2011


Asking Me About My Opinions On Chairman Mao's Kill Count


dokmo posted:

Here's a nifty table from Adam Tooze's The Wages of Destruction:

Useful to keep in mind is the fact that the USSR produced all that after losing nearly all its industrial zones early on.

EvanSchenck
Sep 8, 2010


LimburgLimbo posted:

Holy poo poo did the Russians make a lot of mortars. I've never heard anything about Russian mortar use in WW2, can someone tell me about this?

Soviet military doctrine placed a lot of emphasis on artillery, and they liked to use huge numbers of guns to dump a lot of shells on the battlefield. This was one of the reasons that they pioneered the use of rocket artillery, which could be mounted on trucks for maximum mobilities, and generated a huge volume of fire on a single target in a short period. However, Soviet communications equipment and command structure wasn't suited to using their artillery dynamically after the fashion of the US Army. The US used forward observers with radios to set up bombardments on the fly, which was tremendously effective. By contrast, the Soviets had to use reconnaissance to pinpoint German positions in advance, plot fire missions, and then the gunnery crews would shoot according to the program. They could lay down a great volume of fire, but it was difficult for them to respond to changing conditions on the battlefield. If an assault unit got into trouble and there wasn't already a bombardment plotted, they had a lot of trouble responding.

To fill this gap, the Soviets made much greater use of direct-fire artillery and mortars than anybody else. The first element is simply cutting out the forward observer middleman and bringing the gun to the target. Advance units pinned down by Germans in a village and we don't have a pre-planned fire mission for it? Drag a howitzer to where the crew can see the village and shoot it over open sights. Mortars also worked on the principle of putting the gun right there with the troops, because they were cheap enough to produce in mass quantities, mobile enough to keep up with the front-line troops, quick-firing and easy to set up and use, and for purposes of suppressing the enemy and generating casualties a mortar could often work just as well as real artillery. The Soviets particularly led the way in large-caliber mortars, like the 120mm which impressed the Germans enough that they directly copied it.

INTJ Mastermind
Dec 30, 2004

It's a radial!

Are mortars still used in modern warfare? Or has CAS taken over that role?

Nenonen
Oct 22, 2009



INTJ Mastermind posted:

Are mortars still used in modern warfare? Or has CAS taken over that role?



Have you tried googling 'mortar'? The first image result is a US 120mm mortar in Iraq.

Panzeh
Nov 27, 2006

Wargames pretty much make you Hitler. It's awesome being Hitler.

Also the Soviets made the 82mm mortar so they could use NATO 81mm mortar rounds as well as their own.

EvanSchenck
Sep 8, 2010


INTJ Mastermind posted:

Are mortars still used in modern warfare? Or has CAS taken over that role?

Mortars have been replaced by mounting artillery-style collimator sights to the sides of all standard issue assault rifles. When an infantry unit needs indirect fire support, they simply elevate their rifles to the proper angle and fire ordinary rifle rounds which will arc over the battlefield and service tangos with death from above.

For more information on this, you should post the above paragraph (word for word) in TFR.

Rapey Joe Stalin
Jun 12, 2007
Uncle Ronnie had the right idea in the 80s when he sent in death squads to rape and kill nuns!

Very definitely still used. The British infantry get an awful lot of use out of their L9A1 51mm man-portable mortars, to the point where instead of phasing them out to be replaced by 40mm under-slung grenade launchers, they bought a load of M6-895 60mm man-portable mortars.

81mm mortars are also used from more static positions.

Nenonen
Oct 22, 2009



Panzeh posted:

Also the Soviets made the 82mm mortar so they could use NATO 81mm mortar rounds as well as their own.

NATO was formed 12 years after the 82mm mortar was first accepted into service.

It's a myth anyway. You could fire 81mm shells with the 82mm mortar, but then the range and accuracy were reduced - eg. Finnish army captured many 82mm mortars during WW2 but most of them weren't re-employed because there was a lack of 82mm shells and the alternative would have been wasteful (and downright dangerous - the 81/82mm mortar was so useful due to its accuracy, which allowed its use in close support of friendly forces). But from the Soviet point of view it wouldn't have made any sense - you're more likely to capture enemy mortar tubes and not enough shells for their prolonged use than you will capture huge piles of mortar shells and not enough tubes to fire them.

Nenonen fucked around with this message at Oct 9, 2011 around 20:11

Puukko naamassa
Mar 25, 2010

Oh No! Bruno!

Panzeh posted:

Also the Soviets made the 82mm mortar so they could use NATO 81mm mortar rounds as well as their own.

Uh, the Soviets developed their first 82mm mortar already in the 1930s and it was their main medium mortar calibre through WW2, were they really looking that far ahead?

Edit: beaten

gohuskies
Oct 23, 2010


LimburgLimbo posted:

Holy poo poo did the Russians make a lot of mortars. I've never heard anything about Russian mortar use in WW2, can someone tell me about this?

A lot of Russian units really relied on their mortars, too, because of divisional structure. German, US, and UK division TOEs placed 105mm and 150mm/155mm howitzers right there in the division, so wherever the division went, they had howitzers with them. In comparison, Russian practice was to under-equip the basic rifle divisions, and then attach specialized assets as appropriate. You need to break through a heavily fortified enemy in the front line of an assault? You get 203mm rocket artillery attached to your unit. You need to defend against armor? You get 76mm and 122mm anti-tank guns attached. Etc. When you're done with that job, you get them taken away to be given to someone else. But that meant that if a division didn't get anything given to them by higher command, they had to rely on their organic 76mm guns and rely very heavily on their mortars, since they always had them.

Shimrra Jamaane
Aug 9, 2007


Don't ever count out Touchdown Tom.


It's important to note the MASSIVE amount of lend-lease equipment that the US sent to the Soviets. The Soviets were able to make so many tanks and artillery because the US supplied a poo poo ton of their trucks. And the USSR didn't have to build a huge gently caress off Navy like the US did.

Shimrra Jamaane fucked around with this message at Oct 9, 2011 around 20:24

Ghost of Mussolini
Jun 26, 2011


Shimrra Jamaane posted:

It's important to note the MASSIVE amount of lend-lease equipment that the US sent to the Soviets. The Soviets were able to make so many tanks and artillery because the US supplied a poo poo ton of their trucks. And the USSR didn't have to build a huge gently caress off Navy like the US did.
By the end of the war about 60% of soviet trucks were made in the USA. Also almost all rail transport, both locomotive and car, was American-made. The Western Allies were even giving the Soviets shipments of combat rations.

dokmo
Aug 26, 2006

man


I found this table in Richard Overy's Russia's War

MassivelyBuckNegro
May 26, 2004
HAVE NO FEAR FOLKS, DETECTIVE VEINS IS ON THE CASE. NO DETAIL MISSED, NO SPREADSHEET LEFT BEHIND.

Rapey Joe Stalin posted:

Very definitely still used. The British infantry get an awful lot of use out of their L9A1 51mm man-portable mortars, to the point where instead of phasing them out to be replaced by 40mm under-slung grenade launchers, they bought a load of M6-895 60mm man-portable mortars.

81mm mortars are also used from more static positions.
In the Marine Corps, the 60mm mortar is the TO weapon for the mortar section of the rifle company's weapons platoon. The 81mm is the TO weapon for the mortar platoon of a weapons company.

Oxford Comma
Jun 26, 2011
Oxford Comma: Hey guys I want a cool big dog to show off! I want it to be ~special~ like Thor but more couch potato-like because I got babbies in the house!
Everybody: GET A LAB.
Oxford Comma: OK! (gets a a pit/catahoula mix)


Dick Bong: great name for a WW2 fighter ace, or greatest name?

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


Oxford Comma posted:

Dick Bong: great name for a WW2 fighter ace, or greatest name?

I like Dick Best better (and he solo-killed an aircraft carrier at Midway) but yeah that's a pretty good name.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007

Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952

wdarkk posted:

I like Dick Best better (and he solo-killed an aircraft carrier at Midway) but yeah that's a pretty good name.

2 near misses from his wingmen helped put her down, but that's one of the best single bombs in the whole war.

Mr. Sunshine
May 15, 2008

Can anybody find me somebody to love rape and torture?


R. Mute posted:

You're talking about the man that wanted to invade the SU immediately after WW2.

If you're talking about Operation Unthinkable, the rationale behind it was sound even if the plan itself was suicidal. It's aim was to "impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire. Even though 'the will' of these two countries may be defined as no more than a square deal for Poland [...]". Since WWII was kicked off by Britain and France guaranteeing the independence of Poland, leaving it as a puppet state to another totalitarian regime which had participated in the original invasion and dissolution of the country in the first place was rather distasteful.

Jiriam
Mar 4, 2007

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Mr. Sunshine posted:

If you're talking about Operation Unthinkable, the rationale behind it was sound even if the plan itself was suicidal. It's aim was to "impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire. Even though 'the will' of these two countries may be defined as no more than a square deal for Poland [...]". Since WWII was kicked off by Britain and France guaranteeing the independence of Poland, leaving it as a puppet state to another totalitarian regime which had participated in the original invasion and dissolution of the country in the first place was rather distasteful.

Who would win?

Mr. Sunshine
May 15, 2008

Can anybody find me somebody to love rape and torture?


Jiriam posted:

Who would win?

Taking into account the western Allied soldiers stationed in Europe at the end of WWII, Polish forces in exile, and about 100.000 reinstated Wehrmacht soldiers, the western forces were still outnumbered 3-1. To quote wikipedia:

Wikipedia posted:

Any quick success would be due to surprise alone. If a quick success could not be obtained before the onset of winter, the assessment was that the Allies would be committed to a total war which would be protracted. In the report of 22 May 1945, an offensive operation was deemed "hazardous".

Ghost of Mussolini
Jun 26, 2011


Jiriam posted:

Who would win?

dokmo posted:

Here's a nifty table from Adam Tooze's The Wages of Destruction:



and this plot from wikipedia:



dokmo posted:

I found this table in Richard Overy's Russia's War


DarkCrawler
Apr 6, 2009


Mr. Sunshine posted:

Taking into account the western Allied soldiers stationed in Europe at the end of WWII, Polish forces in exile, and about 100.000 reinstated Wehrmacht soldiers, the western forces were still outnumbered 3-1. To quote wikipedia:

Plus this isn't the completely gutted under trained Red Army that the Germans trounced in WWII - this is by far the largest military force in the world who just went through the largest military conflict in the history, surviving through total war the likes the Western forces could just dream of.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...10_May_1945.png

Yeah. We all welcome our Soviet overlords...

meatbag
Apr 2, 2007

They're very good hands.

I'm not saying it wouldn't be catastrophic, but at that point, the Allies had nukes and the Soviets did not. And IIRC, the Soviet Union were still dependent on American grain shipments and high-grade avation fuel. The abrupt cancellation of Lead-Lease shipment in August was not well received in Moscow.

Not to mention they were at their peak mobilization ability, while America still had ample manpower reserves. So while it's a stupid idea, its not as if the Soviets would be in a spectacular position.

pigdog
Apr 23, 2004


The morale of Soviets fighting the Allies would have also been far worse compared to the existential threat of Nazis whose goal was to literally wipe them out. Every Soviet conscript from the Baltic states would have definitely switched sides given a choice, the same would have probably gone for most Ukrainians, Poles and most other countries from under the Soviet rule, and quite a few Russians weren't so fond of Stalin either, given a better alternative than the Nazis.

Nenonen
Oct 22, 2009



pigdog posted:

The morale of Soviets fighting the Allies would have also been far worse compared to the existential threat of Nazis whose goal was to literally wipe them out. Every Soviet conscript from the Baltic states would have definitely switched sides given a choice, the same would have probably gone for most Ukrainians, Poles and most other countries from under the Soviet rule, and quite a few Russians weren't so fond of Stalin either, given a better alternative than the Nazis.

The morale of Allies fighting the Soviets would also have been far worse compared to the existential threat of Nazis who had bombed London and sunk Allied shippings and kept France under occupation for the past years. For Soviets it would have been yet another stab in the back, but for western democratic societies... why would the public have supported attacking an ally? Especially in those countries with a strong communist or labour element, like France or UK.

It's a pipe dream that relies on the assumption that Russians are suddenly unwilling to fight for their country but westerners are willing to fight because, Bolshevism. It didn't work very well in Russian Civil War either.

Mr. Sunshine
May 15, 2008

Can anybody find me somebody to love rape and torture?


Even worse, it would have required the western allies to re-mobilize and re-arm the Wehrmacht, fighting alongside their former enemies against their former ally. Try to sell that one to the folks back home.

e: But hell, even the code name for the operation shows that even someone as anti-communist and trigger happy as Churchill knew that it was a fantasy.

Mr. Sunshine fucked around with this message at Oct 10, 2011 around 13:08

R. Mute
Jul 27, 2011


Asking Me About My Opinions On Chairman Mao's Kill Count


Mr. Sunshine posted:

If you're talking about Operation Unthinkable, the rationale behind it was sound even if the plan itself was suicidal. It's aim was to "impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire. Even though 'the will' of these two countries may be defined as no more than a square deal for Poland [...]". Since WWII was kicked off by Britain and France guaranteeing the independence of Poland, leaving it as a puppet state to another totalitarian regime which had participated in the original invasion and dissolution of the country in the first place was rather distasteful.
How is that a good rationale? It's an incredibly vague plan that boils down to "We don't want the Russians to play in the big league.".

meatbag posted:

I'm not saying it wouldn't be catastrophic, but at that point, the Allies had nukes and the Soviets did not. And IIRC, the Soviet Union were still dependent on American grain shipments and high-grade avation fuel. The abrupt cancellation of Lead-Lease shipment in August was not well received in Moscow.

Not to mention they were at their peak mobilization ability, while America still had ample manpower reserves. So while it's a stupid idea, its not as if the Soviets would be in a spectacular position.
Well, no, the Allies didn't have nukes anymore. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they had none left and it took some time to produce any new ones. And while the US managed to sell the use of nukes on Japan pretty well, how would they go about explaining the use on the SU? "So hey, our ally that did most of the fighting against Germany, that we've been sending aid to for the last 4 years and that we just stabbed in the back... we're gonna nuke 'em." I don't think that would go down well anywhere. That's all assuming they'd use the nukes, of course.

And no, the SU was in a great position. I can't imagine it'd have taken them more than a few months to drive the entire Allied army into the sea and for them to occupy the entirety of Europe - as well as large parts of the Middle East and India. This was a huge army and the Allies had no means to stop it. The best result of such an attack would be the destruction of the Allied army in Europe and a very unfavourable peace in Europe.

Mr. Sunshine
May 15, 2008

Can anybody find me somebody to love rape and torture?


R. Mute posted:

How is that a good rationale? It's an incredibly vague plan that boils down to "We don't want the Russians to play in the big league.".

Oh, the plan was horrible. But the fact is that WWII started because Britain and France said that they wouldn't allow Poland to be occupied by a foreign power. And then, after the Germans were defeated, Poland was still occupied by a foreign power. Basically, if they were prepared to declare war on Germany over Poland, they should (theoretically) be prepared to declare war on the Soviet Union over Poland.

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KildarX
Oct 24, 2010

Worst decision I ever made.


Why was the United States Air Forces created as a branch of service; instead of just remaining to be the United States Army Air Force?

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