USSR v Western Allies circa 1945 - who would win and why? - Page 8




View Poll Results :USSR v Western Allies circa 1945 - who would win and why?
USSR 12 46.15%
Western Allies 14 53.85%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

 
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December 3rd, 2004  
Darcia
 
I doubt they all where back in WW2 though, Remember while the men where at war the women did the work in the factories producing our weapons.
December 6th, 2004  
airmanpatroler
 
 
True but dont forget it isnt a very good idea to build such a huge steel mill especially if it is prone to sabatoge
December 6th, 2004  
MadeInChina
 
though true, the russians believe in big things, such as the dniepre dam, siberian oil fields and the world's largest steel mill_ all to boost morale and give the russians hope that they are the greatest
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December 7th, 2004  
Darcia
 
The Bigger it is the easier it is to bomb....remember that
December 7th, 2004  
MadeInChina
 
true, but the bigger the better feeling people have
December 7th, 2004  
Earling
 
I think people are putting too much emphasis on strategic bombing.

First of all, Bombing had a debatable impact on the German war effort. While it certainly had an effect, it didn't bring the war to a close and didn't really have the crippling effect that its proponents expected. I tend to think of it like the British blockade in WW1, Effective but primarilly harming the country it's self not the countries ability to wage war. Eventually perhaps it will ware the country down on its own, but that would take many more years. As for individual targets, when damage was done, the germans were usually quick to repair it. The Russians could almost certainly do likewise.

Secondly, Bombing Russia and Bombing Germany are two massively different things. First of all, the Allies had increasingly complete and by the end of the war total air superiority over Germany. Such would not be the case over Russia. Russia's industry was also significantly further away than German industry, this would again ensure that the Allies would never gain air superiority to such an extent that they could bomb with impunity. (Unlike what occured with Germany in the last year of the war)

As to the war it's self.
Atleast on paper the Red army was significantly superior to the allies both in quantity and quality. The Allies had taken almost a year to travel the distance from Normandy to Berlin, despite their total and utter air superiority over Germany. The allies still have to finish their war with Japan. The Atom bomb has yet to have been used and is certainly in no position to be mass produced.

To win the allies would have to push the Soviets back to the 1939 border of Poland atleast. This would be nearly impossible for them to accomplish.
On the other hand, the soviets had to push far enough to force the Allies (Primarilly the US and Britain) to withdraw from the continent.

The Soviets have a far greater chance of bringing about a withdrawl to Britain than the Allies have in pushing the red army back to its 1939 borders. It is possible a new stalemate could have been drawn at the river Rhine, but this seems doubtful.

Air power is dominant when it is not opposed. During this war, atleast for the imminent future, the allies air power would be facing a far greater force than the Luftwaffe. You may argue over quality, but the quantity of the soviet air force would ensure that the allies aircraft would have a muted effect on ground combat, which would significantly favour the red army.

That said, it is impossible to say who would win with complete confidence. Strange things often do happen.
December 7th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Very true about bombing Russia. Even before the German invasion, the Soviet people had hidden their most important manufacturing sites in unexpected places. Tankograd is one excellent example. Also, there is just so much area to try to bomb. Very hard to do much damage.

The Atom Bomb is another matter because it was capable of erasing entire cities. You can't say that if Moscow and Leningrad were wiped off the face of the earth, that it wouldn't affect morale. It would. A LOT! Even if the damage is purely collatoral damage, its just too big of a loss per Atomic Bomb. Rather than mostly destroying cities, it completely destroys them -- absolutely no chance of survival withing the blast radius. The psychological impact of such a weapon is just too terrifying. It unbalances the equation and the West wins so long as they have the stomach to use such inhumane tactics. If you have the Red Army pushing you back across Western Europe, I think it definitely gets used.

I don't know where people get the idea that the USA made two (for Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and then just ceased production. Of course they were not quick to make, but the USA was getting very good at making them. Even just 1 every 3 months is enough. I doubt production would have been that slow.

Contrary to many posts, the Atom Bomb would have seen very little use on the battlefield. Tactial (smaller) nukes didn't exist yet and Atomic Bomb would have been too great a risk to your own troops.
December 8th, 2004  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earling
I think people are putting too much emphasis on strategic bombing.

First of all, Bombing had a debatable impact on the German war effort. While it certainly had an effect, it didn't bring the war to a close and didn't really have the crippling effect that its proponents expected. I tend to think of it like the British blockade in WW1, Effective but primarilly harming the country it's self not the countries ability to wage war. Eventually perhaps it will ware the country down on its own, but that would take many more years. As for individual targets, when damage was done, the germans were usually quick to repair it. The Russians could almost certainly do likewise.

Secondly, Bombing Russia and Bombing Germany are two massively different things. First of all, the Allies had increasingly complete and by the end of the war total air superiority over Germany. Such would not be the case over Russia. Russia's industry was also significantly further away than German industry, this would again ensure that the Allies would never gain air superiority to such an extent that they could bomb with impunity. (Unlike what occured with Germany in the last year of the war)

As to the war it's self.
Atleast on paper the Red army was significantly superior to the allies both in quantity and quality. The Allies had taken almost a year to travel the distance from Normandy to Berlin, despite their total and utter air superiority over Germany. The allies still have to finish their war with Japan. The Atom bomb has yet to have been used and is certainly in no position to be mass produced.

To win the allies would have to push the Soviets back to the 1939 border of Poland atleast. This would be nearly impossible for them to accomplish.
On the other hand, the soviets had to push far enough to force the Allies (Primarilly the US and Britain) to withdraw from the continent.

The Soviets have a far greater chance of bringing about a withdrawl to Britain than the Allies have in pushing the red army back to its 1939 borders. It is possible a new stalemate could have been drawn at the river Rhine, but this seems doubtful.

Air power is dominant when it is not opposed. During this war, atleast for the imminent future, the allies air power would be facing a far greater force than the Luftwaffe. You may argue over quality, but the quantity of the soviet air force would ensure that the allies aircraft would have a muted effect on ground combat, which would significantly favour the red army.

That said, it is impossible to say who would win with complete confidence. Strange things often do happen.
I agree with much of what you said. As I pointed out earlier, the USSR came fairly close to matching the numbers of planes produced by the US during WW2. Although much of the VVS had been destroyed in fighting the Germans, a good proportion was still intact and the Western Allies would not have enjoyed the air supremacy they did over the German forces on the Western Front.

The reason why I think the Red Army would win this hypothetical clash is because of strategic momentum and because of numerically superior, and in some cases better equipped, forces on the ground. The Western Allies did not have the armies in the field to stop the Red Army from pushing all the way through to the Atlantic. There would be fierce fighting at various points along the way but I don't think the Soviet juggernaut could be repelled. The Red Army suffered huge casualties all the way to Berlin, inflicted by numerically inferior Wehrmacht units using fluid defence tactics. This 'new' defensive Wehrmacht was arguably the best in the world at mobile defence and yet they could not stop the Red steamroller. Nor do I think could the Western Allies.

Moreover, if the Soviets capture the North Sea ports it's pretty much all over for the Western Allies. I could see the Red Army pushing on through the northern German plains right on to the coast, before taking the vital port of Antwerp. I think they would do this quite quickly, perhaps even in 2 weeks. The loss of such a crucial port would be a major blow for the US/UK armies and perhaps might be decisive. The Allies would have to defend this coastline at all costs and the Red Army would know this. If you examine how long it took to land 150,000 troops for D-Day then you can see what a massive undertaking it would be to both land reserves, combat replacments and supplies. The loss of even one big port would put a big dent in Western Allied logistical capability.

The big equalizer for the Western Allies is by dropping nukes on major Soviet cities to try and cow and shock the USSR into coming to terms. They would never use those weapons on the battlefield for obvious reasons. So if we remove nuclear weapons from the argument I do not think the Western Allies could win this contest.
December 8th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
I can agree that they wouldn't win easily, but the numbers that the West had in place would have made driving the USA and Allies to the Atlantic very hard. They were by no means superior to the Germans, man for man, but then again, there was a lot more UK/USA/French/etc forces than there had ever been German forces. The Soviet forces would have made rapid gains initially, but the attacker generally pays the greater price in blood -- I think that the drive toward the Atlantic would have ground to a halt -- probably just shy of the Rhine River and the Low Countries. I think that would have happened (as the Western Powers were generally quick to adapt) got better at defending against Soviet tactics. From there? That's tough to figure since you had unbelievable military production on both sides. I'm hesitant to say it ... but I think that the combined efforts of the USA, UK and France (with the addition of more practial tank designs being mass-produced) would have managed to reverse the tide .... after a very long stalemate. You'd be looking at a very very bloody conflict for both sides. Frankly, I think the Russian people had suffered enough by that point.

Dopp, I can follow your point on aircraft production, but I don't know of a TRULY successful and potent air superiority figher on the Russian side. They focussed heavily on anti-ground. The UK and USA had a long list of superb air superiority fighters.
December 8th, 2004  
Darcia
 
Thats a point I hadn't thought of yet, even though thier are alot of Russian forces the fact that America,The Uk ( Don't forget most of the UK's colonies too), and France more made up for the fact. Though the French had been divided for most of the war that didn't meen they had no army.