Would the atomic bomb be a magic bullet against Germany if they defeated the USSR?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Captain Marvel, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Captain Marvel Well-Known Member

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    In a scenario similar to AANW where the Reich has defeated the USSR and occupied it up to the Urals due to a successful Barbarossa/Case Blue would the atomic bomb be a magic bullet as some make it seem so that the war in Europe ends in 1946 as opposed to the war dragging on for years as the WAllies get bogged down in a far bloodier fight than OTL?

    How plausible is the idea that atomic bombs would be decisive against a far more powerful Germany and a far more powerful Wehrmacht in the same way they were decisive against Japan?
     
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  2. Histor32 Well-Known Member

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    Yes
     
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  3. Histor32 Well-Known Member

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    And it would be used
    It would take more of them, but yes.

    Germany would respond with biological and anything else . But the bomb would be the win.
     
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  4. TheKutKu Well-Known Member

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    Yes but after a lengthy air war, the US can’t “just” sit back in British base and use B 36 to drop bombs, not when the entire war industry of the Reich would be focused on defending its air space:

    Although B 36 would be *really* effective once most AA threats are eliminated.

    Germany would try to build nukes when they discover the American have them, and they would discover it contrarily to what AANW assumes, it’s impossible to hide the deployment on a large scale of a weapon like the nuke. But it took 7 years of development for the soviet WITH better scientist and spies in the manhattan project, Germany would be one big crater before they can make single a nuke (although they may somehow Salvage a nuke from a crashed plane, but at this point the USA would already be deep in the bombing campaign and the Reich would only have months to lives)

    I have to admit that i’m not Sure the US would go all out in an air war followed by a. Complete nuclear campaign against Germany unless Germany keeps attacking Britain and American assets, if the Germans are smart enough (which I doubt they would be) to avoid provoking the US too much I think the American leadership may not consider worth it to directly attack the Reich, especially if they can cause dozens of thousands of death in Britain with chemical attacks. Although that would also depend on how the war with japan ended, if it was an operation downfall people may be more cautious with a full scale nuclear attack and invasion/Pacification (because you’ll need to put boots on ground eventually) of Europe.

    If hitler keeps sending V2 at Britain or sinking ships though? Yeah they’ll get the nukes; millions will die in Germany, but dozens of millions will survive in the occupied Eastern Europe.

    Biological weapons Won’t be used by the Anglo-american unless the Nazis use them, then it’s anthrax time for Germany _ although the effectiveness of anthrax depends on the state of germany’s Infrastructure, if it is still mostly standing.i guess they can manage anthrax bombing campaign by starving the reichskommisariat even more and focusing on the essential part of the army, it’s not sustainable though._
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  5. varyar Who?

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    I think in this scenario, you'd see a conventional air campaign (perhaps on steroids with forces no longer needed in Asia) until the US built up a sufficient nuclear stockpile to thoroughly cripple Germany in a single assault. It might not be until 46 or 47, which is miserable for almost everyone in Europe, but D-Day under this scenario is probably a non-starter.
     
  6. Father Maryland Enemy of Neo Secesh Everywhere

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    Yeah but it's going to take a lot more then two to do the job.

    Figure maybe a couple dozen get dropped.
     
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  7. fasquardon Cosmonaut

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    The atom bomb is absolutely devastating for Germany, in more ways than one.

    Once they're deployed, Germany has to treat every B36 as if it were able to level a city - that makes air defence enormously more difficult (one might even say impossible). Further, Germany will need to invest an ever larger amount of resources repairing her industries from bombing (which will be made much worse by the atom bomb) and when the US and Commonwealth are ready to invade Europe, they can blow a hole in German coastal defences with a few nukes. And Germany was at least a decade away from getting a bomb of her own. Probably more. Factor in the resources needed to develop a delivery method and to repair the German bomb program's infrastructure from Anglo-American bomb damage... Germany is boned.

    And in the East, destroying the Soviet Union isn't the end of German problems here. They still need to invest heavily to repair the infrastructure to access the resources of European Russia and to mop up partisan forces. And of course the Nazis aren't gonna stop being Nazis, so they'll continue to treat economically wasteful extermination programs as strategic necessities.

    Not to mention, Germany was already running out of manpower in OTL. If that manpower is spread clear to the Urals and being bled out by steady atomic-enhanced bombing raids, well. Germany will implode economically if the WAllies don't invade first.

    Of course, all of this is very expensive for the WAllies. Atom bombs aren't cheap, nor are air forces, nor is the manpower they'll be keeping mobilized. But the US can afford to keep the WAllies going.

    fasquardon
     
  8. Captain Marvel Well-Known Member

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    How many more troops would the Reich be able to station in Western Europe if they weren’t fighting an intense war with the USSR?
     
  9. karatachi "Stay woke" - Gitmo Interrogator

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    If used in a surprise attack on Berlin.......
     
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  10. marathag Well-Known Member

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    They didn't seem to have that program, just nerve gases, that are harder to use than you might think, and they didn't have the plans to mass produce them.

    However, the US did have mass production of Anthrax and other crop diseases planned, but Japan's surrender by two atomic bombs cut all that short.
     
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  11. SpicyJuan Well-Known Member

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    Assuming the Soviet Union collapses sometime in 1941 or 1942, with the Germans reaching the Urals, the political leadership in the US and Britain would ask if it was really worth it, that is waiting for some fantasy weapon for 4 to who-knows-how-many years-losing thousands of lives and spending ungodly amounts of money fighting a war in MENA and over the skies of Western Europe. Would it really be worth (assuming that the weapon works as intended in the first place) burning Europe to the ground with all the history imbued in the art, architecture, and cities just to achieve something which could be won at the negotiation table?

    It seems to me that people hastily answer "yes" to this question with only the indomitable will of the Big 3 in mind, without really thinking of the other parties involved.
     
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  12. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    IMHO you'll see the war in the Pacific go on as OTL mostly, but Japan gets blockaded and bombed no OLYMPIC. You'll see a stepped up bombing campaign, you may see B-29s from Iran bombing the Baku oil fields if the Germans take them and seem to be getting them back in place - no matter what the Allies will clear out North Africa, and probably take Sicily and probably Corsica and Sardinia. Come 1945, maybe once 3-4 bombs are ready, mushrooms begin to spout...the B-36 may come in in early 1946. Using radar and atomic bombs, you don't really need to go in daylight, and that makes life worse for the Germans. even if the Germans put lots of money and effort in to an atomic program, it will take at least five years to do it and they have an issue with getting uranium in quantity.
     
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  13. marathag Well-Known Member

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    OTL the program was set to low priority in spring 1942 so Consolidated could focus more on B-24 production in San Deigo, and the project was moved to Fort Worth, and was worked on slowly, and redesigned a couple times.
    The early version would have had multiple 37mm turrets along with dual and quad 50s, for (5) 37mm and (10) .50s, along with 72,000 pounds of bombs
     
  14. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Maybe.

    The idea that atomic weapons will definitely be ready by August of 1945 should not be taken as a given, as plenty of things could've went wrong in the 1941-1942 period to delay the project; matter of fact, the initial purpose was, instead of weapons, ship propulsion IIRC. Combine with the fact it's going to take time to get sufficient numbers of B-36 in play, and they'll need to given existing Flak weapons can bring down B-29s even at their maximum height, it's entirely possible Anglo-American resolve to keep fighting will end before the decisive point arrives in regards to the ability of nuclear weapons.
     
  15. wcv215 Well-Known Member

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    No.

    Atomic bombs are, at their core, little more than big bombs. Yes there's radiation and all that, but Germany kept going despite cities being leveled from the air and their armies were crushed across the continent. They refused to surrender while the Soviets were literally storming their capital city. If the atomic bomb is to end the war it will do so only after being used in such numbers that there is barely a Germany left TO surrender. Its not like the atomic bombs were alone in forcing Japan to surrender. It stood alone against the world, its empire in shambles, its military being ground to dust, its cities burning, and its people starving. And it still took TWO bombs to force a surrender. In the scenario presented Germany isn't in anywhere near that situation. I honestly don't think that the atomic bombs and bombers could be build in significant numbers to do the job before the Nazis can build an air force large enough to fight them effectively.
     
  16. Anti-GrammarNazi Well-Known Member

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    This is essentially another of those "can the US-UK defeat Germany alone?"

    On paper they can. The problem is this isnt a RTS where resources are automatically converted into non sentinent soldiers and machines of war and nations can keep fighting perfectly until the exhaustion of those resources.

    Those resources require a blood price to pay to be converted into victory and in liberal democracies there is political capital.

    If the US-UK end up needing to pay as much blood as the Soviets did OTL to win or they have to trash Europe with nukes and earn the hate of everyone they are not going to do it.

    Losing France alone has Churchill in a toss up, fighting a Germany that holds territory from Calais to the Urals is not going to look pretty. The collapse of the USSR all the way to the Urals in 1941 will make the Battle of France look like nothing and will likely have a War Cabinet Crisis all over again.

    A negotiation will happen where France will be disarmed and evacuated with the exception of Alasce-Lorraine, Germany gains back the territories lost to Versailles and its gains in the East are recognized.
     
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  17. kio Well-Known Member

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    This exactly. I agree with most of your points. On the other hand, I disagree that America might not be able to build bombers and bombs in sufficient quantities, and that Germany would be able to field a real air force by that point - which would probably be 1947, 1948 or so. America had a pretty significant industrial capability by the end of the war, and Germany's Air Force was essentially no longer existent.
     
  18. wcv215 Well-Known Member

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    Germany's air force wasn't existent because of the large number of commitments that had to be made to the Eastern front. Yes I know that most of it was destroyed in the West, but with the Soviet Union defeated German industry can shift its focus to defending itself from the bomber offensive.
     
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  19. King Augeas Well-Known Member

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    Virtually impossible to defend against and hugely devastating? Yes.
    Magic bullet? No.

    Germany can, and would, simply sit there, getting towns and cities smashed, and disperse population and industry into the depths of the east. At some point the transport grid is likely to break down from accumulated damage and the pressure of supporting a dispersed economy, so famine and falling production result. But this still doesn't really weaken the political control of the Nazi Party. If anything, it embeds it, as the populace is now even more reliant on the civil and military authorities (one of the lessons of strategic bombing OTL).
     
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  20. TheKutKu Well-Known Member

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    I do agree that it’s not a automatic win button, but you have to remember that in the east there are ~100 million people who are enslaved/extremely oppressed/genocided and who simply just wait while they die, that would requires a good couple million active soldiers/security force to keep control of the Reichskomissariat. And dispersing population and industry to the east means that transportation and communication lines are even more vulnerable now.

    IMO the Nazis can either focus entirely on defending against the WAllies, or focus on keeping control of its Occupied territories but doing both would mean a quick collapse of Germany. Only doing one could push the collapse to the 50s
     
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