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chrisg

One Hundred Seconds

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The problem is we've been tolerating scum for too long.

 

And that goes for allied scum as well, which goes back to Stalin in 1941.

Or should I call it "temporary allied".

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30 minutes ago, chrisg said:

t does depends what you call "front-line aircraft"  most of the Czech air force was biplanes

 

That's not a huge disadvantage when you're comparing one of the best biplanes ever built (the B.534) with one of the first monoplanes (Me 109) in a pre-missile setting.

 

Biplanes had more wing area and less wing load making them more manoeuvrable. If you look to the only times biplanes engaged monoplane Me 109s in the Spanish Civil War, the biplanes did quite well.

 

It's no secret that Czechoslovakia would have had its arse kicked without English and French support. But with French and English support, Hitler knew he would've been fucked - The English air force was superior to the German one in 1938. The Hawker Hurricane was more than a match for any German interceptor.

 

Chamberlaine handed Czechoslovakia and France's future defense strategy to Hitler to placate a tyrant who kept taking a mile out of every inch given. It was a terrible idea and it fucked the allies because it neutered a capable ally Hitler was wary of.

Edited by Leonid
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Yes,

 

The 534 was a very good biplane but the Me-109 had a significant speed advantage and heavier armament plus I don't know how well trained the Czech pilots were. However the few who made it to England did rather well.

 

I honestly do not think Chamberlain was much if anything of a strategist but it is a case of picking where to fight your battles. Far from home alongside an indifferent ally, the French, would not have been a good place.

 

The fact that the BEF was kicked off the continent in short order not much later, and that at the time there were not that many Hurricanes says that unfortunately Britain could well have suffered a very humiliating loss. Driven to some distraction by the German attack they might well have dug in and forced a repeat of Flanders further east but the problem with that would be that Germany could out-flank them quite easily  and literally starve them out if need be.

 

It would have been a very different war but although I won't give Chamberlain any credit for it I rather think Britain would have lost and made it that much easier for Germany to invade.

 

That would certainly have gone badly for him.

 

I actually war-gamed a fictitious German invasion, in 1940, some years ago that began on a premise that Britain had lost the Battle of Britain. Germany however still lost the battle of the beaches and hedgerows, at great loss to both sides.

 

When you consider how large the D Day invasion forces were to retake Europe I don't find that too surprising, Hitler would not have been the first to under-estimate the Channel and the bloody mindedness of the English.

 

The thing is though you can always play "what-if" but that was not how it went down.

 

Cheers

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58 minutes ago, chrisg said:

and that at the time there were not that many Hurricanes

 

Just 550. Or thereabouts. By mid-1938.

 

Then off course there was the French D.500/D.510 to help out

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Yes,

 

But not enough capable pilots and not enough close in air strips. The D500 looked great - on paper, but it was open cockpit, a lot slower and was on its way to training squadrons by then.

 

Again, I give Chamberlain no credit for not engaging rather seeking appeasement but if the Hurricanes had been attritioned even by say 10% there would not have been enough to have guaranteed winning the Battle of Britain. Remember the Hurricane was the workhorse in that battle and scored more victories than the Spitfire but on the last day of the Battle there were no reserves, which fortunately the Germans did not know and switched to night bombing.

 

In the end for all the wrong reasons he ended up conserving most of the forces, until sending the stupid BEF that had to be hauled out at considerable loss.

 

Germany did a very good job of building up a significant game-changing military based upon new aircraft, new tactics, new infantry weapons, new tanks and for most of the war despite the odds, very high esprit - which is never to be under-rated.

 

Then bolstered by a succession of easy victories they pushed Poland, with Stalin's somewhat suspect but conniving support and THAT was when Britain committed to war.

 

Which made no difference, Poland still fell but Britain had, mostly more by luck than judgement and the heroes of Dunkirk, kept most of what forces they had intact so was able to hang on.

 

I sense you think that if England had have intervened earlier there might not have been a WWII.

 

In that I can't agree, Germany was on a roll and fully militarised by 1938 with production geared up and a large number of troops already in uniform. England was still catching up and France never did. The invasion of France was so fast that the German supply lines, mostly on horses, had trouble keeping up. Ironically five years later Patton had the same problem whilst pushing back to the border and then into Germany proper.

 

The war, if it was to end without becoming protracted or ending up going nuclear in Europe hinged on many events and most of them were accidental.

 

If Germany had have taken England or at least reduced it to a mired conflict so the Eighth, once America came in could not have operated there then the war would have taken much longer and Germany may well have had enough time to develop weapons to directly attack America. They certainly had plans to do so but lacked resources.

 

Controversy still exists over if their nuclear programme was going anywhere, wilder theories say they even test detonated in early 1944. Needless to say I don't believe that. But the Atlantic is not like the Pacific where the island hopping campaign put the B-29s into striking distance of the Japan. There are fewer island in the Atlantic, really just the Azores until you get to the Sal islands which are not THAT close to homeland Germany but are within reach of German attacks if pushed. Japan never had that option when Tinian was taken, their air force was no longer up to it.

 

America would probably have had to wait on the Manhattan project and the B-36 before they could strike Germany which would have had more time and less distraction to build better weapons.

 

Take another slant - what if Japan had have held off and not attacked Pearl until Europe was entirely defeated ?

 

December 7 1941 allowed Roosevelt to declare war on both of the Axis partners, plus Italy I guess but Japan and Germany were the important ones.

 

What very few on the Axis side really understood was the industrial might of the US - Yamamoto did, but even the Emperor did not really believe him.

 

In very short order the US was able to gear up to successfully fight a war on multiple fronts and then when Stalin switched sides it was only a matter of time.

 

But if the war had have been in two acts, Europe then Japan coming in later it would have been very, very different and could possibly have led to nuclear exchanges.

 

All supposition - it played out the way it did.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, chrisg said:

But not enough capable pilots and not enough close in air strips.


Same for the Germans. With the same evidence presented.

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To a degree but the Luftwaffe had been training for a long time on gliders of all things and had some experience in Spain.

 

The Me-109s and He-111s were pretty reliable and sturdy aircraft, evolved through the war of course but went on in service for quite a number of years, the latter even in Israel. Longer in Czechoslovakia and Spain which was why they had some available to make the Battle of Britain.

 

I tend to think it was just as well that Hitler was a nutcase and kept redirecting his "wonder weapons."

 

The V-2 attacks on London were scary, my dad was there, never did evacuate, my grandmother was paranoid about losing her kids to adoption, but he and his many siblings thought it was mostly a bit of a joke.

 

The Arado 232 if they had have had the time was shaping up as a nasty reprisal bomber and the ME-262, which Hitler kept changing his mind on with a bit more development could have been a nasty fighter.

 

Others not so much, the Nater etc - nutty last ditch rubbish, even the ME-163 killed most of its pilots.

 

However, if there had been more time, whilst I still think the US would have eventually have prevailed, it would have been a much longer war but for Hitler losing his marbles.

 

Apparently he was off his head on so many drugs at the end that he no longer slept and his orders whilst still being attempted to be carried out had no coherency.

 

Our current world may at least partly exist via the wonders of pharmaceuticals 🙂

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Leonid said:

 

Chamberlaine handed Czechoslovakia and France's future defense strategy to Hitler to placate a tyrant who kept taking a mile out of every inch given. It was a terrible idea and it fucked the allies because it neutered a capable ally Hitler was wary of.

This.

Every thing I read and every doco I watched said the same thing . I even remember seeing one from the German perspective that pretty much said the same ... mind you it was from the garden variety German, and not the Nazi variety German.

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13 minutes ago, eveln said:

This.

Every thing I read and every doco I watched said the same thing . I even remember seeing one from the German perspective that pretty much said the same ... mind you it was from the garden variety German, and not the Nazi variety German.

 

 

Unfortunately that is completely true and why I don't defend Chamberlain one iota. But I do think via his stupid acquiescence he actually did conserve England's resources and buy some time to build them up a little more . Then thankfully he was dismissed and the old wardog Churchill took over - pretty much everyone hated him, but he did get the job done - just.  Before America came in England really was only just hanging in there.

 

Last gasp of Empire really.

 

Cheers

 

 

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4 hours ago, Leonid said:

 

Czechoslovakia had 650 front-line aircraft. 

 

which were almost entirely outmoded - biplane fighters against me109 aren't looking good; even stukas look pretty modern comparatively

 

edit :  late to the thread having read above

 

the hurricane wasn't any better than the 109, both with significant good and bad points; a set of brownings up against a cannon is an unfair fight; the fuel feed in an me109 was way better with negative g's

 

climb rate versus radius of turn... i can go on, but suffice to say as a keen aircraft fan (especially ww2 european theatre), the brits were underwhelming pretty much up till dunkirk air wise, and if it hadn't been from goering's distraction from tactical targets, they would have been knackered

 

the choice to bomb london instead of radar and airstrips  lost them  significant advantage, because without air commands "eyes", interception would have been ineffective

 

 

Edited by scruffy1

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1 minute ago, scruffy1 said:

 

which were almost entirely outmoded - biplane fighters against me109 aren't looking good; even stukas look pretty modern comparatively

 

Yeah,

 

There never was a Czech Turkey Shoot, but there could well have been.

 

There are just too many factors to draw real conclusions but in the early stages of the war before England committed Germany was very much the dominant force.

 

Stukas were sort of the signature tune across Europe, it was not until they tried to use them against British radar stations that the Hurricanes and Spitfires simply tore them apart. Before long they were simply not being used against England and the plan moved to He-111s and Do-17s with fighter escort bombing airfields.

 

Those were tougher to crack although the escorts did not have the ability to stay long but in one of Hitler's earliest mistakes he stopped bombing airfields and started bombing cities.

 

Overall as they evolved defensively Britain's tactics were far better but going on the offensive was very difficult. To a degree the Lancasters could hit at night and the somewhat crazy daylight raids which to a degree I never understood could hit by day, keeping the pressure up I suppose. However until the P-38s and P-51s arrived to cover the air armadas all the way there and back the B-17s had a bloody hard time of it.

 

Cheers

 

 

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33 minutes ago, scruffy1 said:

the hurricane wasn't any better than the 109, both with significant good and bad points; a set of brownings up against a cannon is an unfair fight; the fuel feed in an me109 was way better with negative g's


If you’re gonna rip something out of wiki, make sure to include the rest:

 

“In general, though, as Alfred Price noted in The Spitfire Story:

 

[... the differences between the Spitfire and the Me 109 in performance and handling were only marginal, and in a combat they were almost always surmounted by tactical considerations of which side had seen the other first, which had the advantage of sun, altitude, numbers, pilot ability, tactical situation, tactical co-ordination, amount of fuel remaining, etc]”

 

And note that Hurricanes were the most prolific fighters in the Battle of Britain which the UK won against a larger Luftwaffe.

 

Edit: interesting real-world historical report of a dogfighting test between an Me109 and a Hurricane: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2019/08/a-treat-for-warbirders-hurricane-vs-messerschmitt-109/

 

The conclusion would seem to indicate that barring not being surprised by a 109 - a Hurricane was a better plane to be in.

 

The same ethos has continued to the present day - every allied plane is outclassed in raw performance by Russian fighters. But raw performance isn’t what wins air wars.

Edited by Leonid

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A lot of the allied aircraft used carburettors.  A lot of the German ones used fuel injection.

Carb has the disadvantage at high altitude fucking up the mixture as well as certain maneuvers causing fuel starvation.

 

But all other shit aside, the home ground advantage re fuel was often a huge one in all cases.

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Hmm,

 

Supposedly Hurricanes could soak up more punishment than the Me-109 which did have a vulnerable radiator and it had the disadvantage of needing quite a trip to get home.

 

That all depends of course upon if the pilot is hit, the actual protection there was pretty minimal both on the Hurricane and the Spitfire.

 

In many ways the Hurricane was the unsung hero of the battle, the Spit was sexy but the Hurricane could take a licking and keep on kicking. Production did not quite match that however, apparently Spitfires were quicker to produce so whilst Hurricanes lasted longer more Spits were coming off the lines.

 

I suppose it is notable that the Spitfire simply stayed in production and evolved whilst the Hurricane mutated into the Typhoon and Tempest, which were dominant in ground attack late in the war, when not tipping over V.1s.

 

Leaves aside the Hurricat of course, a use once and throw away and hope to recover the pilot used on the Murmansk convoys mainly - now that was desperation.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 minute ago, Rybags said:

A lot of the allied aircraft used carburettors.  A lot of the German ones used fuel injection.

Carb has the disadvantage at high altitude fucking up the mixture as well as certain maneuvers causing fuel starvation.

 

But all other shit aside, the home ground advantage re fuel was often a huge one in all cases.

 

 

Yeah, different ideas really, but all the British fighters were, like nearly every fighter ever produced by Britain, very short on legs, so just as well they were fighting close to home.

 

It was what made them lousy escort fighters on bombing raids into Germany - only the Mosquito really had the legs and more commonly used as Pathfinders anyway. Whitehall had some belief that at night the Lancs etc could look after themselves- the lost rates did not really support that especially when Germany stated developing specialised night fighters.

 

Cheers

 

 

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Which neatly dovetails into what I was saying.

 

If Neville the Spineless had any brain capacity whatsoever he’d have gone to war when Hitler made a move on Czechoslovakia.

 

And they would have won that war with every tactical advantage. Czechoslovakia has been preparing for that war. It just needed its allies to step up and do what they were treaty-bound to do.

 

Chamberlaine played straight into Hitler’s hands and handed over a supremely capable ally on a platter that Hitler had little hope of defeating.

 

Don’t feed tyrants in the name of a peace they do not want. Every minute you give them makes the inevitable war worse.

Edited by Leonid

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8 hours ago, Leonid said:


If you’re gonna rip something out of wiki, make sure to include the rest:

 

 

 you might; i got my info from a youtube series by an aeronautical engineer, plus numerous books on the subject last century

 

 

edit :  and flying them (well, realistic sims)  myself in "cliffs of dover" and occasionally in flightgear

 

 

Edited by scruffy1

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And if an expedition to assist Czechoslovakia against Germany had failed, which with the lacklustre support of France and the real evidence of the debacle with the BEF just where would that have left England ?

 

Cheers

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1 hour ago, chrisg said:

And if an expedition to assist Czechoslovakia against Germany had failed, which with the lacklustre support of France and the real evidence of the debacle with the BEF just where would that have left England ?

 

With a depleted Germany, a still-existing France and with time.

 

Remember, the first year of the war - Germany basically achieved every one of their objectives.

 

Losing Czechoslovakia but saving the furniture would have been no bad thing - certainly not worse than what followed.

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Well,

 

Yes and no, in the first several months of the war after the recovery of the BEF not a lot happened because Germany was consolidating in France.

 

Germany would have likely been no more depleted than it was in its engagements with the BEF a few months later but I'd seriously doubt the Brit forces would have made it to the Czech border without war being declared and assaults on the troops moving through France which would have meant an earlier start to the war. Czechoslovakia would likely still have rolled over without a fight and France would have been useless. Thus the British forces would have been badly out of position and  in danger of never making it back to England.

 

Nothing to gain, a deal to lose.

 

I'm starting to lose track of your argument, Britain was left to stand alone with ill-prepared forces, if Czechoslovakia was as prepared as you maintain why did they not stand up to the Germans even if they had to go it alone ?

 

That could have changed things greatly, with Germany engaged with a resistant Czechoslovakia Britain might have been able to move in and France might have been more proactive. Hell, Poland might even have joined in and then Germany would have had one heck of a fight on its hands.

 

The key is not so much that Britain did not engage at that time but was forced to later it was that Czechoslovakia capitulated very easily to German demands.

 

Chamberlain was useless but it is a bit wiling to suggest it was all his and by extension Britain's fault.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@Leonid imo, this is where you Save yourself !! and  let chrisg waffle into oblivion. 

 

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25 minutes ago, eveln said:

@Leonid imo, this is where you Save yourself !! and  let chrisg waffle into oblivion. 

 

 

Yeah, the historical revisionism is quite impressive.

We're being asked to believe that Czechoslovakia that built fortifications at breakneck speed and called up 1.25m soldiers (out of 15m total citizens), and asked its allies to step in according to treaty obligations to prevent a war.... would've "rolled over without a fight"

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There is no revision of history.

 

Hitler annexed Sudetenland, under a pretext, which completely undermined the Czech defenses, subsequently they surrendered to the Germans and remained occupied until 1945.

 

The pretext was accomplished under the Munich agreement with Hitler wanting to annex Sudetenland because most of the occupants were German speaking, it also happened that most of the vaunted Czech defenses were in Sudetenland.

 

At the time most of Europe thought it was a good act of appeasement even though Czechoslovakia was not party to the agreement.

 

Chamberlain, being all for peace went along with the rest of the signatories.

 

Now in retrospect I completely agree with you that the Munich agreement was a crock of shit but I very much doubt Britain could have gone to war over it.

 

Cheers

 

Btw Ev, if you have nothing to add to an historical discussion, don't.

 

 

 

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Oh. And here I was sure I was adding a substantive contribution .

 

 

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The problem with an alternate timeline is that it might have kept Russia on their side.

And might have kept Churchill out of the PMs job.

 

Or alternate to that, it might have been all over red rover by 1942.

No nukes or nuclear power until much later.  Current technology level about what it was in 1995.

Edited by Rybags

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49 minutes ago, Rybags said:

The problem with an alternate timeline is that it might have kept Russia on their side.


Hitler hater Slavs.

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