Keynes' Cruisers Volume 2

Story 2387
72 miles southeast of Shanghai, China January 13, 1944

USS Porpoise slowly crept forward. Word was passed to the control room that the four torpedo tubes in the forward room were reloaded. That evolution had been hurried as much as quietly possible even as depth charges exploded several hundred feet behind and only dozens of feet above the boat. The sonar team reported a large ship breaking up after at least two torpedoes exploding on time. The skipper ordered a short sprint at six knots and then a pause at bare steerage where the submarine would attempt to become part of the sea floor as the convoy escorts searched for their assailant.
 

Driftless

Donor
Both submarine crews carried out their duties with a grim porpoise.
 
Story 2388
East of Milan, January 14, 1944

Corporal Jaroshek checked the fighting position. The BAR gunner next to him slowly traced back and forth with his eyes and the gun barrel. He had a clear field of fire to cover a curve in the small hill that the company was defending. The Pennsylvania National Guard had relieved the Texas National Guard's place on the line starting last night. The officers and sergeants of the company had met up with the men who had grown up around El Paso the night before before the Keystone Division moved into position. The Texans had a good basic building situation. The trenches and dug-outs were dry and deep, and the fighting positions were well enough camouflaged and positioned.

Twenty minutes later, the corporal and the rest of his squad were huddled around a camp stove that had a water nearing a boil. As soon as the coffee was warming their cores, the 10:1 ration pack was opened up and a private from Forty Fort took on the duties of the squad cook. He was a replacement but he had shown during his short time with the squad that he could actually make standard issue field rations taste much better than they should taste. Few people asked how that occurred.
 

Driftless

Donor
East of Milan, January 14, 1944
He was a replacement but he had shown during his short time with the squad that he could actually make standard issue field rations taste much better than they should taste. Few people asked how that occurred.
Two aphorisms come to mind: "Never look a gift horse in the mouth" and "It's hard to argue with success"
 
Story 2389
Chongquing, China January 15, 1944

The extremely tall data organizer placed a note card in the last folder. The returned the file to the cabinet and locked her office. A dozen members of the OSS were heading to the basketball court behind the building and the men had invited her along as they needed someone who could hit a fifteen foot set shot with some regularity. So far this assignment was not too bad; she was seeing the world and helping her country at the same time.
 
Story 2390
The English Channel, January 16, 1944

HMS Unison slowly motored out to deeper water at a steady four knots on her electric motors even as she still surfaced. There was little water beneath her keel as she was less than a mile offshore of the French coast. Half a dozen commandoes had escorted the two geologists to the beach where they had spent almost an hour collecting samples. An hour later, her diesels took over to charge the batteries and move the submarine faster before she dove at dawn and crept back to England at a steady two knots in what everyone hoped was a deconflicted travel lane.
 
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Driftless

Donor
Chongquing, China January 15, 1944

The extremely tall data organizer placed a note card in the last folder. The returned the file to the cabinet and locked her office. A dozen members of the OSS were heading to the basketball court behind the building and the men had invited her along as they needed someone who could hit a fifteen foot set shot with some regularity. So far this assignment was not too bad; she was seeing the world and helping her country at the same time.
Julia (nee McWilliams) Child maybe?
 
Chongquing, China January 15, 1944

The extremely tall data organizer placed a note card in the last folder. The returned the file to the cabinet and locked her office. A dozen members of the OSS were heading to the basketball court behind the building and the men had invited her along as they needed someone who could hit a fifteen foot set shot with some regularity. So far this assignment was not too bad; she was seeing the world and helping her country at the same time.
Is this someone from history?
 
Story 2391
Wichita, Kansas January 16, 1944

The big bomber was dragged out of the way. If any of the hundreds of mechanics had the energy to care they would have first cheered unironically and then given a Bronx cheer as this was only the first bomber that could be ready to pass acceptance inspections. There were another eighty seven aircraft in various stages of reconstruction on the frigid ramps and sixty two more bombers ordered and being incorrectly built in the covered factories.

It would not matter, the coffee cart was here and for once the wiring crews would have first dibs on the donuts.
 
Wichita, Kansas January 16, 1944

The big bomber was dragged out of the way. If any of the hundreds of mechanics had the energy to care they would have first cheered unironically and then given a Bronx cheer as this was only the first bomber that could be ready to pass acceptance inspections. There were another eighty seven aircraft in various stages of reconstruction on the frigid ramps and sixty two more bombers ordered and being incorrectly built in the covered factories.

It would not matter, the coffee cart was here and for once the wiring crews would have first dibs on the donuts.

It looks like the "Battle of Kansas" is about two months or so ahead of OTL.
 
It looks like the "Battle of Kansas" is about two months or so ahead of OTL.
and so America suffers it's OTL Pyrrhic victory that much earlier iTTL

since the B-29 was never capable of fulfilling its design purpose as a self-protecting, high-level day bomber with conventional bombs
and only succeeded as either a naval minelayer or a lightly protected, mid-level night bomber with incendiaries

all that enormous engineering effort to fix the pressurization, multiple turrets and supercharged engines is an entire waste
(as is most of the basic design for such a complex and expensive platform)
 
and so America suffers it's OTL Pyrrhic victory that much earlier iTTL

since the B-29 was never capable of fulfilling its design purpose as a self-protecting, high-level day bomber with conventional bombs
and only succeeded as either a naval minelayer or a lightly protected, mid-level night bomber with incendiaries

all that enormous engineering effort to fix the pressurization, multiple turrets and supercharged engines is an entire waste
(as is most of the basic design for such a complex and expensive platform)
How was it a failure as a "self protecting, high level day bomber with conventional bombs"? Most of the reasons for failure had nothing to do with the bomber itself. Example was using the fact that the Jet stream was over Japan most of the time during the start of the bomber campaign, this was one of the reasons that the US had the Chinese Communists to protect the US weather stations in that part of China to get a better idea what was going on. I have not heard of any problems with the self defense in the face of the Japanese aircraft attacking the B29 when they were in a proper formation.

The reason they changed doctrine was the simple fact that going low at night with incendiaries increased the damage inflicted upon the cities in Japan, even more so than conventional high level bombing.
 
The reason they changed doctrine was the simple fact that going low at night with incendiaries increased the damage inflicted upon the cities in Japan, even more so than conventional high level bombing.

Exactly my point

the B-29 as designed was the wrong weapon for the objective of defeating Japan
... and hugely more expensive (and possibly later arriving) than one created for what actually worked would have been
 
Exactly my point

the B-29 as designed was the wrong weapon for the objective of defeating Japan
... and hugely more expensive (and possibly later arriving) than one created for what actually worked would have been
But they did not know that until after they started to use the B29 to attack Japan. There was no way of knowing that the doctrine and environment behind the planning was going to cause the change in the use of it. The B29 was requested in December of 39 to counter Germany not Japan. Given the lag time between first proposal and final product even in wartime would have meant that you would be looking at 45 or later before a plane specifically to defeat Japan would be ready. This was actually a good plane to use attacking Japan, much like the P47 or F4U Corsair would good fighters, but in Ground Attack were excellent fighters the B29 was ideal for attacking Japan even with a change of doctrine that actually made it more effective.
 
But they did not know that until after they started to use the B29 to attack Japan.

Not really true I'm afraid..

B29 raids on Japan did not commence until mid-1944 .. and then from the totally impractical bases in China.
Only in late 1944 with bases in the Marianas were the B-29s really operationally capable


quite apart from issues like
  • the cost-effectiveness of Gardening
  • the relative need for fighter escort by day vs by night
  • the ineffectiveness of bomber defensive armament
  • bombing accuracy with the US GP bombs
  • accuracy of an 'average' crew even with a stabilised sight like the Norden
... all of which were well known from ETO experience early in 1943 ...

the USAAF conducted controlled experiments in the US from May to September 1943 (@ Dugway Proving Ground )
which concluded incendiaries were the best method on test targets built in the Japanese style

1606244697157.png



True the B-29 itself could probably NOT have been totally avoided given the Bomber Barons in 40 & 41
and A 'Battle of Kansas' would have still been needed to sort the quality control issues in 42 and 43

but if the correct design changes had been adopted in late 43
the operational planes would have been VERY different and available in numbers earlier and cheaper
 

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AlanJWhite. I'm not sure what your driving at. Are you saying that the AAF should have gone with a clean paper design in 43 or heavily modify the B29 to make it a lower level night bomber.

By heavily modify I mean delete the turrets and not bother with pressurization systems.
 
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