Author Topic: 10 Alternative World War II Plans That Would Have Changed History  (Read 676 times)

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Offline Chieftain

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Re: 10 Alternative World War II Plans That Would Have Changed History
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 09:23:08 PM »
I have a couple of books that detail the plans for Operation Downfall, the overall invasion of Japan.  Operation Olympic was to be the opposed invasion of the Island of Kyushu and the follow on Operation Coronet was the planned invasion of the Kanto Plain and the Japanese mainland.  Only if Olympic succeeded could Coronet be attempted, and even the most optimistic projections showed a million allied casualties and millions of Japanese civilians killed. 

Had Operation Downfall become necessary, and the planning was well advanced at the time of the Japanese surrender, it would have been the biggest humanitarian catastrophe man ever came up with.

I read a novel years ago....the plot was that the Trinity atomic bomb test failed.  The tower was struck by lightning and it caused the bomb to fizzle, setting the Manhattan Project back a year, and giving the green light to Operation Downfall.  You can imagine how bloody it would have been.  Scary stuff.



« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 09:23:44 PM by Chieftain »

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Re: 10 Alternative World War II Plans That Would Have Changed History
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 09:25:31 PM »
I have a couple of books that detail the plans for Operation Downfall, the overall invasion of Japan.  Operation Olympic was to be the opposed invasion of the Island of Kyushu and the follow on Operation Coronet was the planned invasion of the Kanto Plain and the Japanese mainland.  Only if Olympic succeeded could Coronet be attempted, and even the most optimistic projections showed a million allied casualties and millions of Japanese civilians killed. 

Had Operation Downfall become necessary, and the planning was well advanced at the time of the Japanese surrender, it would have been the biggest humanitarian catastrophe man ever came up with.

I read a novel years ago....the plot was that the Trinity atomic bomb test failed.  The tower was struck by lightning and it caused the bomb to fizzle, setting the Manhattan Project back a year, and giving the green light to Operation Downfall.  You can imagine how bloody it would have been.  Scary stuff.

I have a book on Operation Downfall. I know a gentleman who was slated to be part of the invasion force

Offline Chieftain

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Re: 10 Alternative World War II Plans That Would Have Changed History
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 09:29:48 PM »
I have a book on Operation Downfall. I know a gentleman who was slated to be part of the invasion force

yep...I know a few people who had Dads and Uncles who would have been knee deep in it too had the war not ended when it did.  I dated a girl for a while whose Dad was a waist gunner on a B-25, and his unit was already moving from Europe toward the Pacific when the war ended.  A lot of us alive today would not be here now because our dads would have been killed in the invasion.  Sobering thought....


Offline PzLdr

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Re: 10 Alternative World War II Plans That Would Have Changed History
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2014, 08:00:36 AM »
Sea Lion was killed before its birth by the Norwegian campaign. German naval losses, including three cruisers and half Germany's destroyers guaranteed that the German Navy was incapable of supporting an invasion of England on ANY scale.
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Re: 10 Alternative World War II Plans That Would Have Changed History
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2014, 02:45:03 PM »
Sea Lion was killed before its birth by the Norwegian campaign. German naval losses, including three cruisers and half Germany's destroyers guaranteed that the German Navy was incapable of supporting an invasion of England on ANY scale.

If the Luftwaffe continued the pounding on the airfields and radar stations they may had have a chance.

Offline mountaineer

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Re: 10 Alternative World War II Plans That Would Have Changed History
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2014, 03:43:03 PM »
I have a book on Operation Downfall. I know a gentleman who was slated to be part of the invasion force
That would have been my father-in-law and my father (thought I'm not sure where he was at that point in his recovery from injuries suffered during the Okinawa fighting). 

Every time I see another documentary on the History Channel or the Military Channel about the murder plots against Hitler, I think about what might have been. If only he'd been killed years earlier ...
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Offline EC

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Re: 10 Alternative World War II Plans That Would Have Changed History
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2014, 03:52:38 PM »
Take a wee peek beyond the War. Operation Gladio springs to mind (My father in law was hugely involved in that.)
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Offline PzLdr

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Re: 10 Alternative World War II Plans That Would Have Changed History
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2014, 11:45:34 PM »
If the Luftwaffe continued the pounding on the airfields and radar stations they may had have a chance.

Not really. They had no escorts for either the original Army plan, or the reduced one. Plus, they had no transports. And the Luftwaffe didn't have the lift capacity to move enough supplies.The heaviest units available for fire support had 11" guns [SCHARNHORST and GNIESENAU]. Re-supply would have been damn  nigh impossible. And the Brits would have held nothing back on defense. And the German Army had no stomach for the operation.
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Offline Chieftain

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Re: 10 Alternative World War II Plans That Would Have Changed History
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2014, 11:49:52 PM »
Not really. They had no escorts for either the original Army plan, or the reduced one. Plus, they had no transports. And the Luftwaffe didn't have the lift capacity to move enough supplies.The heaviest units available for fire support had 11" guns [SCHARNHORST and GNIESENAU]. Re-supply would have been damn  nigh impossible. And the Brits would have held nothing back on defense. And the German Army had no stomach for the operation.

And that is probably the most significant point about why the Germans lost the war.  It wasn't just the German army that had no stomach, it was all of the conscript troops from conquered countries that didn't have a stomach for the Nazis and their plans either.


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Re: 10 Alternative World War II Plans That Would Have Changed History
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2014, 12:21:31 AM »
I have a book on Operation Downfall. I know a gentleman who was slated to be part of the invasion force

My father was such a man, a 19 yr. old Marine, Okinawa invasion vet, wounded after 45 days, recovered in Honolulu.

Ready to go back to full duty, but the war ended.
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Re: 10 Alternative World War II Plans That Would Have Changed History
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2014, 02:07:32 AM »
If the Luftwaffe continued the pounding on the airfields and radar stations they may had have a chance.
In August, the Luftwaffe started to attack Fighter Command's airfields, operation rooms and radar stations - the idea being that the RAF could be destroyed on the ground so that the Luftwaffe need not fight them in the air. Without radar the RAF would be seriously hampered in terms of early warning and the destruction of operation rooms would cut off communications between fighter bases and those at the heart of the battle controlling the movement of fighter planes. Destroyed runways would hamper the chances of a fighter plane taking off.On Sunday August 18, the Luftwaffe launched the biggest raid on the Battle of Britain on RAF installations in the south of England. In the two weeks from August 24 to September 6, the Luftwaffe committed a 1000 planes day against the British.From August 23rd to September 6th, the Luftwaffe started night time bombing raids on cities. The RAF was also badly hit with 6 out of 7 main fighter bases in south-eastern England being put out of action. Biggen Hill was wrecked. However, for all this apparent success, the Luftwaffe was losing more planes than the RAF was - 1000 German losses to 550 RAF Fighter command was stretching to the limit. Pilot casualties were crippling, and those who survived exhausted and battle wary, were called upon to fly day in and day out,time and time again, in order maintain an adequate defense. Meanwhile the men on the ground, had to maintain the communication and bases operational. Dowding admitted 11 Group's efficiency was impaired. The German refocus on London was not critical.Other scholars assert that this period was the most dangerous of all. In the book The Narrow Margin, published in 1961, historians Derek Wood and Derek Dempster  believed that the two weeks from August 24- September 6 represented a real danger. According to them, 295 fighters had been totally destroyed and 171 badly damaged, against a total output of 269 new and repaired Spitfires and Hurricanes. They assert that 103 pilots were killed or missing and 128 were wounded, which represented a total wastage of 120 pilots per week out of a fighting strength of just fewer than 1,000. In their assessment, the RAF was losing the battle. Denis Richards, in his 1953 contribution to the official British account History of the Second World War, agreed that lack of pilots, especially experienced ones, was the RAF's greatest problem. The turning point was the shift of bomber tactics on September 7 when bombing turned on London. The reason the Luftwaffe bombed London because the RAF conducted a night raid on August 26 and bombed the German capitol. The order came from Churchill in response of enemy bombers offloading high explosives on a London suburb. On September 7, Fighter command was on the ropes. With the change of tactics, they were able to patch up the damaged parts of Fighter Command  and recover its strength with a new injection of pilots and planes.  On September 15th, it was supposed to be the day to deliver the knockout blow.There were a long series of raids that day but the day did not go so well for the invaders.On September 15th came the last major engagement of the battle. On that day, the Luftwaffe lost 60 planes while the RAF lost 28. On September 14th a meeting was called about the situation in Berlin. On September 17th, Hitler called off Operation Sea Lion.More than 1700 Luftwaffe (German air force) planes were destroyed. The 2662 German casualties included many experienced aircrew.

http://www.funtrivia.com/en/History/Battle-of-Britain-20070.html
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 02:14:21 AM by SPQR »


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