Peabody-Martini wrote:
Aircraft construction in the US is both advanced and held back by the lack of involvement. The theories of aerodynamics and engine construction that were so spectacularly wrong have not been so harshly exposed like what happened in OTL.

NACA was established in 1915 because America was well aware of how far behind, (and backwards out aircraft technology was) they were compared to Europe. Which 'aerodynamic' and 'engine' theories were "wrong"? As it was, since most effort was directly tied to commercial use our engines and aerodynamics were in fact ahead of most of the world even before WWII broke out. (Jet, ramjet, and rocket propulsion, high subsonic, transonic and supersonic flight experimental work, as well as extensive work on high altitude flight had been carried out by the mid-30s but not followed up due to budget issues and disinterest by commercial concerns) People tend to assume that because the US didn't start or test a jet engine/aircraft around the same time Britain and Germany did they were far behind in development. In truth they had gone directly in the direction of the axial flow turbojet rather than centrifugal as the others did and because it did not offer an immediate advantage for COMMERCIAL operations, (and the military didn't see a direct need at the time) it was only a very low priority program. Get any 'hint' of advanced work in Germany of the UK and it will get a higher priority.

Most of the reasons why the US had early issues during WWII came down to changing doctrine and conflicting interests along with severe inter-service rivalry for the limited between wars budget. (And the Depression didn't help at all) A "neutral" United States would prioritize military assets to protect Its territory and deter foreign aggression but not necessarily be optimized for offensive operations.

It would vary a lot by "branch" and mission for example the Army would prioritize coastal and mobile artillery so as to be able to inflict as much damage as possible on any enemy beachhead. Tanks, anti-tank weapons would be designed and used from defensive positions to deter or stop any enemy use of tanks as a break-out or raiding force. The Army Air Force see Interceptor aircraft as a priority to attack and defeat incoming enemy bomber streams while long range 'bombers' are mostly for maritime patrol and attack in theory 'in conjunction' with the Navy but through most of the 30s OTL the Bomber Mafia were outspoken in the idea of the bomber replacing the Navy as a maritime force. The Navy meanwhile needs to protect the continental US and ensure open and free 'lines' of trade and supply to any US overseas territory and trade partners so while battleships are present the majority of fleet units would be cruisers with the battleships dedicated to and designed for the 'decisive' battle to defeat an enemy fleet. Carriers would be coming on-line to combine the effective range of air-power for scouting and to enhance the 'control space' of a force with the ability to make long range attacks and defend against enemy air assets. They would be charged with and designed to keep up with the cruiser force while the battleships would probably be slower. Submarines were a lesson the US learned pretty well and any force would be designed and built around long range operations against enemy shipping and escorts and information/intelligence gathering.

Overall a neutral US is a defensive US in military make up but this also has possible significant butterflies along the way. For example while the B-29 was conceptualized in 1938 it was ALWAYS a strategic ATTACK bomber and not usable in the types of maritime missions the B-17 and B-24 were imagined and designed to do. Similarly the P-38 was a long-range, twin engine escort fighter to protect offensive bomber operations that turned out to be a better interceptor than the P-40. Meanwhile the Wildcat was adequate as a carrier fighter the Buffalo was obviously not and despite politics, (which was a major factor in its continued production in the first place) there was a proliferation of 'replacement' aircraft being considered and tested by the late 30s. (The XP-50 was a candidate to replace the Buffalo AND add enhanced capability as well for example)

Something also to consider was that both the US and Britain had been experimenting with air-to-air refueling and a "neutral" US has more incentive than OTL to continue this and so might Britain without the outbreak of OTL's war in 1939. No one else really considered the technique as having a viable use mostly because it was so clunky but by 1939 Britain had managed a "workable" system which the US was in the midst of purchasing to experiment with. Both sides actually have more incentive to develop the technology due to the distances involved in future conflicts in TTL.

Tanks in the US are still going to be tall and thin as they are not expected to deploy any distance except by railway. You'll still have a "Sherman" (though I'd argue it would be the "Grant" as the 'stop-gap' OTL version of that vehicle probably won't be created, though since you don't go into detail it MIGHT be the "Grant" or "Sherman" either way :) ) though any leaked data would probably be incorporated BUT then again it might not. The key is mass production and some aspects didn't lend themselves to that until the expanded industrial capacity and technology of the late 40s and early 50s.

Not sure how the West Coast aviation industry isn't going to be as developed as Lockheed and Boeing are already working. Given that military contracts are not going to be as prevalent as OTL we might not get some of the smaller "split" companies we did OTL and more and earlier 'consolidations' of existing companies.

Randy
 
The engine theories I mentioned was that the USAAC wanted a universal supercharger that was an ad on to existing engines. That wasn't a bad idea but the one used tended to explode and there isn't always a one size fits all solution. The removal of that supercharger was one of the reasons for the poor performance of the production P-39s.

The flawed aerodynamic theory was seen in comic books from the era. The thought was that a rounded or blunt front with a bulge in the middle and short overall length was an aerodynamic shape. This was seen on the Seversky P-35 and the Brewster Buffalo.

Brewster_Buffalo-paint-scheme_Wings_of_War_James_Busha_Zenith_Press.png
afp010_lg_1_.jpg
 
To be fair, the blunt front end is forced up you be the use of radial engines. While inlines let you have a more aerodynamic shape, they do come with their own set of issues.
 

FBKampfer

Banned
Though this was already known to be a flawed theory.

The P-40 was a much more aerodynamically sound design, suffering primarily from lack small refinements, and was the most produced allied fighter of the war, not the P-35 or Brewster. And the P-47 is likely to still be in the works, given its somewhat in-house development, and evolution from the P-35.

And the F4U's development predates even the start of WWI.
 
Part 31, Chapter 355
Chapter Three Hundred Fifty-Five


26th December 1943

Potsdam

“You really do love to make a hash of things, don’t you” Kira said to Kat who wasn’t in the least bit apologetic.

“The thought of spending the holiday surrounded by Anglophilia and misogyny didn’t seem appealing” Kat said, “So I came home for the weekend.”

Kat had spent the night at her Aunt and Uncle’s house and had been treated to Kira’s summons just after breakfast to present herself before the Empress.

“That is understandable enough” Kira said, “But you should have given more notice besides a telegram as an afterthought.”

“If I hadn’t done that they probably still wouldn’t have noticed that I had left” Kat said.

“Regardless” Kira said, “You managed to ruffle a few feathers in the British SAS and Military Intelligence. The Ambassador was able to smooth things out a bit, he said that you were homesick which is preposterous.”

“They can believe whatever they want, your Highness” Kat replied.

“Again, regardless” Kira said, “The friendship that you’ve struck up with Princess Elizabeth is what saved you, this time. Gaining insight on the heir to the British Throne is more valuable than going after you for spending your own personal time in the wrong place and potentially embarrassing an important ally. Do you understand how you’ve lucked out?”

“Yes, your Highness” Kat said but her posture radiated that she didn’t care. She had better start caring, Kira thought to herself. The men she’d embarrassed were all too likely to assuage their fragile egos by burying Kat in officialdom and red tape the first chance they got. It wasn’t the first time that the Freiherrin had done that either. That was what the Americans had been planning on doing that after an embarrassing incident with the officials backed by armed soldiers and law enforcement.

“In any event, your plans to return to England will need to be delayed” Kira said, “I don’t know if you saw the coverage in the British Press but the verdict has been handed down in the trial of Lavrentiy Beria. They found him guilty with the sentence to be carried out at the stroke of midnight, New Year’s.”

Kat hadn’t seen that and the Court really had gone for the dramatic. She’d reached the conclusion that the Russian was no longer a factor once they’d locked him in a cage where he belonged. She had thought of elaborate ways to make him suffer when she got the chance but had realized that he’d probably get off on that, gross. “Good” Was all she said.

“You had asked to be on that detail” Kira said, “While I think you might be too close to this matter because of Gianna, I hope that you will treat it with the gravity it deserves.”

That had been months earlier before Kat had a chance to think things through. Now she realized she had no desire to see that sort of spectacle, even with a creature as loathsome as Beria.

“Is there anything else, your Highness?” Kat asked.

“Yes” Kira said, “I’m curious about this friendship that you apparently have with Elizabeth?”

“More of an acquaintance” Kat said, “She wishes that she could be in the Military like I am, she said wants to learn to drive a Panzer.”

“Seriously?” Kira asked with a smile.

“Yeah, seriously” Kat said with bit of a laugh.

“I have a hard time picturing that” Kira said.


Saratov, Russia

Kurt stepped onto Field Marshal von Wolvogle’s train. After the constant cold over the last couple months the heat of the train was overwhelming. Earlier that day he had one of Wolvogle’s staff come looking for him. Apparently, the old General wanted something.

“Rittmeister Knispel, please join us” Wolvogle said.

“Thank you, Sir” Kurt mumbled. He was aware of the fact that he was lowest ranking man present, not exactly a comfortable position to be in. They were looking over a map of southern Russia.

“We were just discussing our next move” Wolvogle said, “You have any ideas.”

“It’s not my place, Sir” Kurt said.

“I asked for your opinion” Wolvogle said sternly, “That makes it your place.”

“We need to secure our position before the Rasputitsa shuts us down” Kurt said, “Head straight west to link up with our own forces at…” Kurt looked at the map and pointed “…There at Borisoglebsk and drive on Voronezh.”

“Well, you don’t think small do you, Rittmeister” Wolvogle said, “I’ll give you that much.”

Kurt didn’t know if that was approval or not.

“Some of these Gentlemen in this room think we ought to drive straight for Moscow” Wolvogle said, “What do you think of that?”

Kurt was aware that of the men in the room there were a couple Field Marshals and the rest were all Generals of one sort or another. No matter what he said he could easily make a powerful enemy in the next few minutes.

“I think the Russians would be expecting that” Kurt answered, “And you never do what your enemy expects you to.”

Kurt held his breath for what seemed like an extremely long moment. Finally, Wolvogle broke the silence. “See that, the Rittmeister has a good head on his shoulders” He said, “We needed an outsider’s perspective and he gave us one.”

Kurt wasn’t sure if he liked that Wolvogle had used him like that with no warning.
“Thank you, Rittmeister” Wolvogle said “You’re dismissed.”

Kurt wasted no time getting out of there. Only later did he learn that the 2nd and 5th would be headed west on the road to Voronezh.
 
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Though this was already known to be a flawed theory.

The P-40 was a much more aerodynamically sound design, suffering primarily from lack small refinements, and was the most produced allied fighter of the war, not the P-35 or Brewster. And the P-47 is likely to still be in the works, given its somewhat in-house development, and evolution from the P-35.

And the F4U's development predates even the start of WWII.

It was the H-1 that changed everything because Hughes was willing to throw money at the technical problems. That was in 1935, it took a while for the practical applications to reach the field. On a sad note, the Spruce Goose has been the victim of the mighty butterfly.
 
Boeing, Douglas, Martin, and et al were all working on long range transport planes prewar. The XB-15 used the same wing as the Boeing 314 China Clipper commercial aircraft. The DC 3 was prewar and DC 4 on the drawing boards before then. The Lockheed Constellation first flew in 43 and was from a design request from Howard Hughes for TWA in 39. There was a proposal for the XB30 based on it. The Boeing 307 Stratoliner was a fully pressurized aircraft that first flew in 38 and was in service with Pan AM in 40. Look at a 307 and you can see where the B29 came from, looks like brothers. And don't forget the Lockheed L133 jet fighter with axial flow engines first proposed in 39.
 
Part 31, Chapter 356
Chapter Three Hundred Fifty-Six


31st December 1943

Lạng Sơn, Vietnam

After so many months they were back here. The last time Tilo had been through here they had blown up the bridge, now they were walking across the bridge that the Pioneers had just finished building. Phan had remained in Hanoi when they had left, his involvement with the 3rd Marine Division was at an end. Tilo had been cut loose by the Doctors, they had concluded that he’d had a viral infection that they were still working on identifying. The problem was that he’d gotten better before they could get a proper set of samples. Tilo sarcastically offering to die next time if that would make their job easier had marked the end of his tenure on the hospital ship.

Now they were walking north, out of Vietnam. The road climbed out of Lạng Sơn towards the mountains, it was surprisingly cold here. Nothing like winters in Germany but still much cooler than what they had become accustomed to.

“Hey Tilo” Edmund said, “This is the same pass that you pointed out to us back in June?”

“Yeah” Tilo said “It is”

They came around a bend in the road and saw an old fashioned Chinese fortress. The lead elements of the 3rd Division were already passing through the gates.

“What is that about?” Reier asked.

“That’s China” Tilo said “The 3rd Division is going home.”

“Hot damn” Reier said, “That’s true ain’t it?”

There was a buzz around them as word about that spread around the Division. Then someone started singing a raunchy song about the nightlife in Tsingtao and was joined by dozens of others. The Division was in a festive mood as they crossed into Southern China from Vietnam on the last day of 1943.


Spandau Prison

Beria was sitting at the table with his hands and feet chained to the floor when Kat walked in. Two guards remained just outside the door in case there was any trouble. Kat’s understanding was that they weren’t shy about using violence to keep prisoners in line. This place was known for housing the worst sorts of prisoners, and seldom for very long. It would only be a few minutes until it was time for him to take the final walk to the gallows.

“I’m here as a formality” Kat remarked “There are a few things that we wish to clear up before the sentence is carried out.”

“Just who is we anyway?” Beria muttered in Russian.

“That’s of no concern to you” Kat replied in the same language looking through the folder that she had been carrying, “Definitely not after midnight.”

“You’re the one who that rutting sow sent to taunt me in my final minutes?” Beria asked.

“While I frequently represent the interests of the Empress I am not here in that capacity” Kat said without much interest.

Kat had thought about this conversation in the days leading up to it. She realized that she wanted him to have no satisfaction at the moment of his death. While Beria might get off on being defiant right up until the second that the lever was pulled, being given the knowledge of his own colossal failures would rob him of that.

“We’ve long had our theories about you” Beria said “Is it true that you and General von Richthofen’s daughter have a thing going? A real man could straighten you right out, just get rid of these.” Kat heard the clank of the chains. She knew that he was trying to get a rise out of her, again for the satisfaction.

“You ordered, at Joseph Stalin's direction, the operation that concluded in the murders of Henry Thomas, Tatiana Thomas-Romanova and Olga Romanova?” Kat asked as if he had said nothing, “The Canadian Government wants that matter cleared up as well as the murders of a dozen others who were present during the Tumbler Ridge massacre.”

“You already know the answer to that” Beria said.

“I need to hear it from you” Kat replied.

“Yes, I ordered that” Beria said, “Are you now going to execute me twice?” If only that were possible, Kat thought to herself.

Kat spread out the photographs from her folder. They were of the individuals who had actually carried out the massacre. Schultz had gotten to them one by one. They had all come to a brutal end at his hands.

“These were your agents in America?” Kat asked.

“What do I care about pawns?” Beria asked in response, not really answering the question. Of course, he’d be perfectly aware that this lot were already dead.

Kat spread out another batch of photographs. These were of the British spy ring, these included Kim Philby before he’d taken a tumble into the tiger cage at the London Zoo.

“Is there a point to this?” Beria asked.

“Yes” Kat said. Just not the one he might think.

“I have no idea who these people are” Beria said. Kat knew that he was lying when he had said that.

Kat spread out the last batch of photographs. These were of Juan Pujol-Garcia’s fictitious spy ring. It was subtle but Kat saw his demeanor change. That was not what he’d been expecting.

“These are all your people?” Kat asked, “Correct?”

Beria was a sadistic brut but he wasn’t stupid. He could understand the subtext of what Kat had just said.

“Were they ever really your people?” Kat asked with emphasis on the word really.

Beria didn’t react but Kat noticed a slight sheen of sweat on his forehead. Kat gathered the photographs and put them back into the folder.

“Also, do you know anything about the rumors of there being a survivor from Tumbler Ridge?” Kat asked.

“No” Beria said, a little too sharply, “I would have heard about… They were all dead.”

“Really?” Kat asked, “Because there was a survivor. Goodbye, Herr Beria.” Abruptly ending the interview.

Beria’s fragile confidence from earlier was gone. Kat ignored the questions he yelled at her as she left the room. A dozen guards were waiting outside for her business to conclude. Beria had to be dragged to the scaffold kicking and screaming. The journalists on hand had remarked as to how undignified it was, but few had much sympathy for a man who’d been a rapist and murderer on such a scale.
 
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Re: Shermans

While I'll grant you (see what I did there? :D ) that the US Army needs a vehicle like the M4 Medium Tank, I'm not at all convinced it'd be called a 'Sherman'. That particular name was adopted from the British practice, and I'd be quite surprised if the British are feeling the need to buy literal boatloads of American vehicles.
 
Re: Shermans

While I'll grant you (see what I did there? :D ) that the US Army needs a vehicle like the M4 Medium Tank, I'm not at all convinced it'd be called a 'Sherman'. That particular name was adopted from the British practice, and I'd be quite surprised if the British are feeling the need to buy literal boatloads of American vehicles.

Granted, but at the same time you want people to know what you are talking about.
 
Kat spread out the last batch of photographs. These were of Juan Pujol-Garcia’s fictitious spy ring. It was subtle but Kat saw his demeanor change. That was not what he’d been expecting.

“These are all your people?” Kat asked, “Correct?”

Beria was a sadistic brut but he wasn’t stupid. He could understand the subtext of what Kat had just said.

“Were they ever really your people?” Kat asked with emphasis on the word really.

Beria didn’t react but Kat noticed a slight sheen of sweat on his forehead. Kat gathered the photographs and put them back into the folder.

“Also, do you know anything about the rumors of there being a survivor from Tumbler Ridge?” Kat asked.

“No” Beria said, a little too sharply, “I would have heard about… They were all dead.”

“Really?” Kat asked, “Because there was a survivor. Goodbye, Herr Beria.” Abruptly ending the interview.

Beria’s fragile confidence from earlier was gone. Kat ignored the questions he yelled at her as she left the room. A dozen guards were waiting outside for her business to conclude. Beria had to be dragged to the scaffold kicking and screaming. The journalists on hand had remarked as to how undignified it was, but few had much sympathy for a man who’d been a rapist and murderer on such a scale.

Hell hath no fury like a woman's scorn.
So 1944 enters not with a ball drop in Times Square but with a Beria drop in Spandau Prison Square.

I see what you did there. x'D
 
Ban
Heya there. I archived this thread as it now - you can download it.

MOD EDIT

Extract the zip, open 00001.html and navigate from there. It's a full archive, including all image and style assets, so you'll be able to view if offline if you like. It also includes commentary, which often ends up having important details and discussion of story elements and historical accuracy notes, so it's worth having around. Happy reading! :)
 
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It was the H-1 that changed everything because Hughes was willing to throw money at the technical problems. That was in 1935, it took a while for the practical applications to reach the field. On a sad note, the Spruce Goose has been the victim of the mighty butterfly.

Note that the F4U, and the mighty P47 were both developed in 1940. THe P-47 was improved with lessons noted from combat in the wars before the US entered.
 

FBKampfer

Banned
Only real butterfly for the USAAF is likely to be a lack of the P-51. Everything else for the most part was a development of prewar designs that continued to be improved and tweaked throughout the war.
 
Heya there. I archived this thread as it now - you can download it here. Extract the zip, open 00001.html and navigate from there. It's a full archive, including all image and style assets, so you'll be able to view if offline if you like. It also includes commentary, which often ends up having important details and discussion of story elements and historical accuracy notes, so it's worth having around. Happy reading! :)
Do you have Peabody-Martini's permission? If not youve committed a serious faux pas. This is his work, he decides where it appears.
 
Part 31, Chapter 357
Chapter Three Hundred Fifty-Seven


3rd January 1944

Near Kalininsk, Russia

It was a new year and it was looking exactly like last year. The pattern that had become all too familiar was playing itself out. The SPz-2 had been stuffed full of supplies and they got the privilege of walking behind it in the cold until they ate enough of those supplies to fit inside again. Hans was totally inured to the straps of his rucksack and the sling of his rifle cutting into his shoulders. The Platoon had fallen into a sullen silence as the snow and ice crunched under their boots.

The road dropped down towards a frozen river and Hans caught a view of the 2nd and 5th Corps. A line of soldiers and vehicles stretching all the way to the horizon under a steel grey overcast sky. There were intermittent flakes of snow here and there but the weather was holding, for now.

“The maps says we’re headed back towards Ukraine” Soren said to no one in particular. It was no surprise that he was ignored for the most part.

Hans had seen that. He also knew that they were eventually to link up with friendly forces not far away from where they had first crossed into Russia in July. When the Platoon figured that out they were going to be pissed. They will have spent the last six months going in a vast circle around Stalingrad and Saratov.

Hans pointed had that out to the Hauptmann. The Hauptmann had said that they had encircled hundreds of thousands of Russians in the process and had waged a victorious campaign in Russia during the winter. When put that way it was an astonishing feat. They had turned back towards Ukraine to shorten their supply lines and consolidate their gains. The problem was that from the perspective of walking behind an APC in the middle of the Russian winter in a largely flat featureless landscape in was hard to muster a whole lot of enthusiasm.

Rechlin–Lärz Airfield

It had been the perfect day for flying. Cold and crisp with only a few high clouds. Lenz taxied the brand-new FW-252 to its parking spot on the tarmac. Word had come down that the Brass had agreed on an official name for the airplane, Hühnerhabicht. Lenz found that to be perfect. Also naming it for the Northern Goshawk suggested what Focke-Wulf’s intentions were. The bird of prey was a common sight over the fields and forests of Europe.

Lenz had been busy getting JG-1 ready for combat again. Unbelievably, he was the XO of one of the most prestigious fighter wings in the Luftwaffe. His leadership of Jasta 60 had not gone unnoticed. He and his squadron been the subject of numerous newspaper articles. Hard luck Jasta 60 fighting a constant battle against both the numerically superior Japanese and the harsh elements of South-East Asia to emerge victorious. The Press and public had loved it. Lenz had discovered this when he had arrived home from Vietnam he’d discovered that his mother had kept a scrap book of the newspaper articles that had featured her sons. Jost’s outfit had a reputation as one of the toughest on the Eastern Front and was featured in much the same manner. To everyone’s surprise even Tilo had made a name for himself in Vietnam.

After Lenz had returned from leave he’d discovered that he had his hands full. Between the hard work of transitioning to jet turbine aircraft and Joachim Marseille still reveling in his status as the fastest man alive, things had been difficult. Things had evened out finally and he got a chance to fly the hot new airplane. As Lenz handed the airplane off to the crew chief he looked over the airplane. The red nose and white tail of Jasta 11. How about that.

As Lenz made his way towards the buildings at the end of the flight line. A helicopter was taking off. It was one of many such prototype vehicles that Focke-Wulf had been building under the name Albatros. There had been two which had been in competition for production. Both were of the same steel tube and fabric construction but the appearance of the two was radically different.

The first was a two-rotor design with the engine buried in the fuselage. The second one, the design that beat the first out and the one flying overhead, was the single rotor design with a smaller anti-torque rotor out at the end of the tail. It was supposed to be the simpler of the two machines and there were rumors that it was based off of designs that Abwehr had filched from an American company. The radial engine was mounted just in front of the cockpit in such a manner that made Lenz wonder how the pilot and co-pilot could see anything at all. Behind them was the cargo bay. It was said that one of the more important features that the Luftwaffe wanted was the ability to haul 500 kilos.

To Lenz’s eye they had both looked like extremely complex death traps. He was perfectly happy to leave being a test pilot to the nut cases who were into that sort of thing. Flying an aircraft where the engineers were still trying to figure out how to control had always struck him as suicidal. Joachim had told him about his experience of flying the modified jet with the rocket engine on the record beating flight. The very next flight that rocket engine had detonated rather than working as intended, nearly killing the pilot.
 
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After Lenz had returned from leave he’d discovered that he had his hands full. Between the hard work of transitioning to jet turbine aircraft and Joachim Marseille still reveling in his status as the fastest man alive

Got to say that if Marseille must have gotten several jokes from his fellow Jasta pilots for this.
 
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