If the WAllies had decided to push the Soviet Union out of Europe immediately following WW2

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Malone, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. TDM Well-Known Member

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    May 11, 2018

    Apparently production rate was approx 3 per month, and I'd guess faced with the prospect of pushing the red army back hundreds of miles conventionally they'll increase it.

    Bombers and and range IIRC you can hit Moscow from the SE Med and the Levant with B29's? But it's still a long way!

    I can't remember how the discussion goes regarding soviet high altitude interceptors vs. high altitude bombers though?
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018 at 4:50 AM
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  2. TDM Well-Known Member

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    Maybe, but to put that in context Germany's total mobilisation for the entire of WW2 was 13m.

    Don't get me wrong a full mobilisation by the US (and British empire) is still theoretically way larger but you're going to have to sell that.
     
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  3. inawarminister Well-Known Member

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    Ah, but the WAllies are fighting a war of Liberation of the various nations of Central and Eastern Europe here.
    And the Soviet armies are so very far from Russia proper...
     
  4. StealthyMarat Formerly known as WalkingNewbie

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    Those 12.000.000 were REALLY last soldiers. USSR had less than 1 million reserve manpower left in 1945.
    How they're going to replenish losses? They had REALLY no reserve manpower.
     
  5. TDM Well-Known Member

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    I know but my point was imagine fighting pretty much every German mobilised during the entire war all at once. I mean you are right they're going to struggle to make good losses at their previous rate but 12m is still a huge number of people to beat in a fight. Yes the US et al can out mobilise them but it's going to take time to mobilise that resource and get it there (there were preparations for Japan going on but it doesn't turn on a dime). While that's happening you've got what's there in Europe fighting what's there.

    On the 1m reserve figure for the soviets it not really that simple, yes they were running dry certainly and certainly would not have been able to withstand losses like they had for the past 4 years* but it's not like it was 1m left and then a depopulated USSR. (but yes I agree it's not a bottomless pot either!)


    *but then equally this is a different red army to the one in 1941/42, if the Wallies and soviets go straight at it in 1945 I don't think we're going to see those huge encirclements and losses of soviet soldiers like we did in 1941/42. If nothing else were talking about the Wallies attacking and pushing back the soviets to pre 1939 positions, that puts the soviets on defence and the Wallies on offence. Famously you want the 3:1 numerical superiority on the ground to be in the other direction for that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018 at 4:53 AM
  6. avernite Well-Known Member

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    Why replenish losses? The allies have 4,5 million roughly in WE before the Germans surrendered, plus another million or so on the Italian front. The Russians have a good long while before they drop below the Allied force levels even if they don't have any reinforcement.

    So it all boils down to propaganda; if the Allies can hold morale together long enough to bleed the Soviets white (which is very hard if the Soviets aren't the clear aggressor) they may be able to pull in enough reinforcements before the Soviets hit the Channel. If the Allied propaganda fails, their home fronts will (effectively) collapse way before the lack of Soviet reinforcements matters.
     
  7. Sam R. Well-Known Member

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    Mutinies in India, Cairo, British and US forces in Europe

    Communist revolutions in Greece, Italy, France

    UK Labour imploding and the CPGB being relevant

    Yeah if they hold morale together. If.
     
  8. David T Well-Known Member

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    (1) Moving millions of soldiers half way around the world is a bit less easy in the real world than it is when you are playing with a map. At the very least, it gives the Soviets plenty of notice of US intentions (not that they wouldn't have that anyway through espionage) so there is no possibility of the West having the advantage of surprise. The Soviets while they have a massive advantage in troops in Europe aren't going to just sit around waiting for millions of Americans to arrive...

    (2) Of course US public opinion was probably 99.9% in favor of those soldiers (except those needed for occupation duty in Japan) being sent home to reunite with their families as soon as possible, and certainly not to start a new war with the USSR. But I realize that Truman was a magician who could instantly completely reverse public opinion. Or else he was a dictator who could arrest all his opponents and put them in forced labor camps in Alaska. Whatever.

    (3) Saying that the continental Europeans (or for that matter the British and Americans) "wouldn't have been keen for more fighting" is the understatement of the century. Indeed, in OTL even NATO and containment drew widespread opposition that went far beyond the Communists (who were themselves pretty numerous in western Europe). "Europe, ruined by the last war, convinced that a third would bring a repetition of the infernal cycle, Occupation — Destruction — Liberation, provides a splendidly fertile sail for the seeds of pacifist propaganda. A large number of Europeans, very far removed from Communism, are in consequence vulnerable to the attacks of the Peace Campaigners and provide an effective contribution to the general strategy of the [Communist] party." Maurice Duverger, Political Parties, p. 109. https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet...n-And-Activity-In-The-Modern-State#page/n141/ And of course the idea of launching a new war would be opposed even by most people who did not support the Communists or the Peace Campaign. I mean, after your country is devastated in two wars, and you somehow survived, you really don't want it to happen again if you can at all avoid it. Believe it or not, sometimes people want to live...
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018 at 5:23 PM
  9. TDM Well-Known Member

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    A quick point of scale here, the mobilisation for the expected invasion of the Japanese home islands has been mentioned. The planned allied manpower for both Coronet and Olympic combined was 2m troops, and even though the allied estimation of Japanese troops was low, even in reality the Japanese numbers were way less than that of the red Army in 1945.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018 at 4:57 AM
  10. teg The Worst Unionist

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    The overwhelmingly likely result of that would have been Stalin sending condolences to the new president Truman (or temporary President Wallace if it happens that quickly) and getting one of his lackeys to find a few people they want to get rid of who will suddenly become die hard Trotskyist fascist sabouteours.

    teg
     
  11. Anchises Well-Known Member

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    Nov 12, 2017
    I really doubt that Stalin would risk another war.

    He would probably retreat to the USSR's 1940 border trying to negotiate a massive "compensation".

    Kissinger wrote in his memoir that he belives that Stalin after WW2 was ready to negotiate over Eastern Europe before the USSR recovered. I think that is true. Stalin knows he can't enforce his hold on Eastern Europe if the W-Allies seriously oppose him.
     
  12. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Apr 13, 2012
    I'm going to ignore the "how" of this in favor of talking about such a conflict itself.

    First and foremost, there is no overwhelming Soviet manpower advantage and the ratio to the West is close to a 1:1 basis than what I've seen suggested within this thread. The Soviets did have more divisions, but that is merely a paper advantage given they were managing 2-5,000 men per division at this time as compared to over 10,000 for your regular American unit. By late 1942/early 1943 the Soviets had effectively exhausted their manpower according to reports delivered to Stalin. A translated summary of it is here:

    So in general, the Soviets had about ~3.7 Million left to call up, of whom 2.5 Million were needed to keep the economy going and most of the rest were Central Asian natives, whom were not exactly ideal to call up due to reliability issues. Even if they do call them up, that's just an additional 1.2 Million, which for reference is essentially the casualties incurred at Kursk and Smolensk in 1943 alone. What ended up saving their bacon was battlefield success, in that they liberated territory that provided the manpower to keep going. Still, even by 1944 they were on their last legs:

    Bagration, 1944, Osprey Campaign Series -

    "Soviet rifle divisions were generally smaller than their German counterparts, averaging 2500-4000 troops. At the time of Operation Bagration a concerted effort was made to bring these units up to an average of 6000 troops. No serious effort was made to bring them up to their nominal TOE strength of 9600 troops."

    Red Army Handbook, 1939-1945, by Steven J. Zaloga -

    "By this time, however, it was becoming apparent that the Soviet force structure of 500-plus Divisions simply exceeded their capacity to support it. [..] in mid-1944 more drastic action was necessary. Either some of the rifle divisions would have to be demobilized and their personnel used to fill out other units, or divisional strengths far below envisioned norms would have to be accepted. The Stavka opted for the latter alternative."

    Soviet Military Doctrine from Lenin to Gorbachev, 1915-1991, by Willard C. Frank -

    "Soviet sources reflect manpower deficiencies by emphasizing the low strength of rifle units and the draconian measures used to enlist soldiers in liberated regions. By 1945 Soviet rifle divisions were often under strength, with only 3,500 to 5,000 men each."

    Next, we move to the nuclear issue. Serial production was already underway by the end of 1945 and for the first half of that year the masses of B-24s and B-17s the U.S. had used to break Nazi Germany were still present. To understand why this is important, consider the following:

    [​IMG]

    Take out Warsaw, Lublin and Lwow, and the entire logistics net of the RKKA West of the Vistula immediately collapses as they've just lost their rail connections to the USSR proper. The Soviets could not recover from this due the following:

    92.7% of all Railway rails were Lend Lease sourced.

    81.6% of all Locomotives were Lend Lease sourced.

    80.7% of all Railcars were Lend Lease sourced

    Source for all of these.

    59% of all AV Gas also came from the West, which is critical as Air Power and Maneuver Warfare by Martin van Creveld states that 87% of German counterattacks against Soviet exploitation forces happened outside the range of all fire support except for the Soviet air force. With such a steep reduction in AV Gas, the VVS will be unable to play this vital role and most Soviet attacks will collapse and be destroyed in the face of Anglo-American counter-attacks. This is already no much of an issue, given overwhelming Western air advantage.

    Finally, the entire Soviet economy was threatening to fall apart at this time, according to Beginnings of the Cold War Arms Race: The Truman Administration and the U.S. Arms Build-Up by Raymond P. Ojserkis:

    "There was evidence indicating that the Soviet economy was weak. Even the Soviet government's published statistics, which were thought to be generally exaggerated, revealed an economy far behind the west. Soviet diplomatic actions in the immediate post-war period, whether in the form of attempts to gain more favourable conditions for Lend-Lease payments, Sovietlobbying for a large German reparations payment, Soviet demands to gain Austrian oil, or the transportation of basic infrastructure from conquered eastern Europe to the Soviet Union all indicated economic deficiencies. General Walter Bedell Smith, a future head of the Central Intelligence Agency, estimated that it would be another 10 to 15 years before the Soviets had recovered from the last war. The CIA's Office of Research and Estimates (ORE) tried to appraise the Soviet Union in terms of war potential, looking at the industrial strength, technology, and possible bottlenecks to increased production. The ORE concluded that Soviet economic weaknesses gravely limited the ability of Moscow to fight a prolonged war with the North Atlantic Treaty nations."

    "In particular, American analysts felt that the Soviet petroleum industry would find it difficult to produce enough high octane fuel, the Soviet machine tool industry did not produce enough spare parts, there was insufficient rolling stock to handle war time needs in the USSR, and the Soviets had perennial shortages of certain non-ferrous metals and certain types of finished steel. Complicating these problems, and, to an extent, causing them, were the Soviet deficiencies in properly trained technological personnel and managers."

    Long story short, the Soviets collapse within six months with minimal Western losses.
     
  13. TDM Well-Known Member

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    May 11, 2018
    OK fair enough look like I was overstating the numbers of Soviet troops actually on hand, however I don't think it's going to quite like that

    "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 protracted total war. In the report of 22 May 1945, an offensive operation was deemed "hazardous"."

    "In June 1945 Zhukov suddenly ordered Soviet forces in Poland to regroup and prepare their positions for defense. According to Edinburgh University professor John Erickson, Operation Unthinkable helps to explain why he did it. The plan of operation had been transmitted to Moscow by the Cambridge Five."

    However I do think the allies will go nuclear
     
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  14. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    They don't have to go nuclear. Since 1943 they had become experts in collapsing transportation/logistical networks as well as conducting tactical air support missions. The moment hostilities start the Soviet logistics system will collapse due to Western air power, which will also quickly decimate any attempt at counter-attacks while likewise degrading their own ability to mount a defense. 1944 in France and in Belarus shows what happens when one side has overwhelming control of the air and the other doesn't.
     
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  15. Jack1971 Kicked

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    Jul 28, 2018
    Yes, but how do you order your army to now launch attacks on its ally? In 1945 you’ve got British and American soldiers shoulder to shoulder with Russians.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When the order comes to start shooting those very Russians, I’d bet many Wallie units, and even nations refuse.

    And how do you justify this new war to the American people? "We’re dying for what now?"
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018 at 8:01 AM
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  16. TDM Well-Known Member

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    Only Soviet air power isn't Nazi Air power, so I don't think you can automatically say what we did to the Germans in we'll do to the Soviets.

    PLus your now talking about running air operations not over Germany and western europe but eastern europe, you going to have to move stuff to do that.
     
  17. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, we didn't supply the Luftwaffe with 60% of its AV gas or thousands of aircraft like we did with the Soviets. The Germans also had a functioning high altitude interceptor force up until their defeat, while the Soviets had to begin constructing one at the start of the Cold War.
     
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  18. TDM Well-Known Member

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    Look at the link I posted the soviets have 2x the tactical planes we had (EDIT: actually ignore this because what ever that tactical plane spilt is referring to is seemingly contradicted by the Combat aircraft split, but either way the Soviets have more the germans did), and by 1945 actually their producing a lot of their own*, yes the high octane av gas is potentially a problem but actually they were also producing their own as well by the end (IIRC, because we'd helped them with the refining infrastructure to do so!). You don't need a high altitude interception force to fight tactical air support

    But Ok are you arguing that the Soviet air force is weaker in 1945 than the German one was in 1944 (the germans having also had issues with fuel supplies)? Or put it this way you mentioned France and Belarus and the advantage of air superiority, only that's the Soviets in Belarus isn't it?

    EDIT: when you talking about the german functioning high altitude interceptor force, what are you defining as that? (you talking about stuff like the TA-152?)


    *also what are we going to do ask for the ones we had supplied up until that point back because we're now fighting them? Don't get me wrong I get the lend lease argument. But I think it has a habit of being over applied in this scenario.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018 at 7:45 AM
  19. TDM Well-Known Member

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    Look I should just say, I think the Wallies would win, but I think it going to be somewhat more of a hard and long fight than:

    "The moment hostilities start the Soviet logistics system will collapse due to Western air power"

    makes out, well unless we start dropping Nuclear bombs about.
     
  20. FjPavels Well-Known Member

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    Dec 20, 2011
    About lend lease, if the western allies plan to push the soviets out of europe then i think lend lease will stop before it did in our timeline.
    So i guess lend lease could easily be reduced by at least 21 % (if we assume no lend lease in 1945).

    Lend lease to the Soviet Union by the western Allies (from wikipedia)
    Year Amount (tons) %
    1941 360,778 2.1
    1942 2,453,097 14.0
    1943 4,794,545 27.4
    1944 6,217,622 35.5
    1945 3,673,819 21.0
    Total 17,499,861 100