Skip to comments.BRITAIN IS SEEKING WAR PLANES HERE (Real Time + 70 Years)
Posted on 04/14/2008 6:42:45 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
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We tend to think of the depression as one long event that lasted from October 1929 until Dec. 7, 1941. A picture is emerging for me from the newspapers of the time and from the fireside chat that Americans of the time saw things differently. There are references to new recessions and improvements. I should start looking for unemployment figures in the papers as we move along. My rusty understanding is that unemployment remained unwaveringly high right until our entry into the war and the New Deal programs were more feel-good than objectively productive.
Of course, with the benefit of perfect 20-20 hindsight, we can easily look back and say, "you fools, didn't you know X, Y and Z..?"
Just about every history I've ever seen of WWII comes from that sort of perspective:
1). The war might have been prevented, if the Brits & French had been more aggressive with Hitler, if they had made a serious effort to bring Stalin on board, and if the US had not been such isolationists (if, if, if...)
2). The war for France in 1940 did not have to be lost, if the Brits & French had not been so confused about what they were trying to do (more ifs). After all, the forces in 1940 were much more evenly matched than the outcome would suggest.
One thing is for certain: the Germans did not actually INVENT the idea of Blitzkrieg. And who do you supposed they learned it from?
That's right, the Brits, who seemingly then forgot it themselves.
In his chat he was going on about how we are overproducing and under consuming....in 1938. Lets look at the National Industrial Recovery act of 1933. (A New Deal policy)
The NIRA was formed to stabilize declining prices for industry. The declining prices were due to excess surplus of course. While they did stabilize prices at first, they also set a MINIMUM WAGE.
With the increased wages came an increase in prices and it hit a threshold where the consumer stopped buying. The the cycle of too much production and not enough consumption continued....for him to bemoan it 5 years later in his Fireside Chat.
The rest of your post is correct, I'm blessed with perfect 20 - 20 hindsight. And I also believe building China into a industrial powerhouse is pure insanity.
Come on over to a free trade thread sometime. Some of the folks there would offshore 100% of every needful item if they could.
Actually the Germans did “field a few good designs and then churn[ed] them out in mass quantities. Think ME 109, Ju 87B, Heinkel 111K, Dornier 17, FW Condor. The problem was they were ALL first generation aircraft, designed and put into production BEFORE the war. The only tweo truly successful designs the Germans developed and produced on anything near a mass scale during the wwar were the FW 190, and 190D, and the JU 88.
The German Mosquito was built on Goering’s direct order. And he insisted it be a virtual copy of the British plane. The problem in production wasn’t the wood. It was the glue,which the Germans had a hell of a time developing, and which they couldn’t produce in quantity, or on a schedule yo allow aircraft production.
German aircraft were also hampered by Goering’s [and Hitler’s] idiotic requirements for dive brakes [even on the 4 engine jobs], or Hitler’s insistence that fighters be able to serve as fighter/bombers. That delayed the ME 262 going into service for a year.
On the other hand, the Germans during the same time period developed and fielded the first cruise missles [V1 and the anti-shipping rockets they used in the Atlantic], the ballistic missile [V2], jet aircraft [ME 262, and the Arado bomber], rocket aircraft [the Komet]; as well as the best light machinegun the world has ever seen [MG 42], and the world’s first assault rifle [Stg 44].
The P 51 was initially manufactured with a different engine [underpowered], and was used as a ground attack aircraft because of its poor handling at altitude. The Rolls Royce Merlin engine gave it the potential to be the greatest piston engine fighter ever built. But it was putting the extra gas tank in the fuselage behind the pilot that put it over the top, giving it the range needed to escort the bombers into the Reich and out.
How about the Kirk Douglas flick where an atomic carrier with f14s goes through a time warp and is in position to stop the Japanese on December 7th, 1941. The scene where jets smoke a couple of Zekes is priceless.
They also had a protype “flying wing” they were trying to get in the air - for use against the U.S.
Now you're testing me? OK, no problem ;-)
We should begin by noting that the Brits & French invented tanks, and first used them in the First World War.
The first great combined arms battle is said to have been Amiens, in August 1918, where the allies fielded 532 tanks and 1,900 aircraft.
The first serious "tank theorist" is said to be Britain's JFC Fuller:
"In the inter-war period tanks underwent further mechanical development and, in terms of tactics, J.F.C. Fuller's doctrine of spearhead attacks with massed tank formations was the basis for work by Heinz Guderian in Germany, Percy Hobart in Britain, Adna R. Chaffee, Jr. in the U.S., Charles de Gaulle in France, and Mikhail Tukhachevsky in the USSR.
"All came to similar conclusions, but in the Second World War only Germany would put the theory into practice on a large scale, and it was their superior tactics, not superior weapons, that made blitzkrieg so formidable."
That is interesting. I had an uncle who was a navigator on a B-17. He also had a short career. His crew arrived at their base in early December 1943 and they were shot down on Jan. 11, 1944. That was their fourth mission. The 8th Air Force was not an employer with good long-term prospects.
I think it’s great that his memoirs are starting to come together!
Here’s an interesting one that never made it to full production....but did fly to within 12 miles of Manhattan in 1944.....the JU-390...a 6 engined monster...
I'd say, to be considered true "combined arms," those 1,900 planes would have needed to do more than just scout around.
Well, I can't find where they actually bombed enemy positions, but they did definitely strafe enemy troops caught in the open.
So, yes, the first major "combined arms" battle.
It took a genius like Germany's Guderian to figure out that if you put radios in tanks and aircraft, and got those guys talking to each other, you could have a revolutionary war-winning combination.
In the mean time, after a promising start, the Brits wandered off into the clouds somewhere, trying to figure out how airplanes could make infantry obsolete. It didn't happen...
One comment I heard more than once in the UK when discussing WW1 & WW2, "the experts didn't think they'd find enough lads willing to sit and die in dugouts or charge machine guns like they did in the First War".
(In my first comment, I wasn't trying to be a smart aleck, I just never realized the Brits and French could put together a combined arms ops.)
When time permits, I'm going to spend a bit of time looking more at that era, my Grandfather was gassed and shot at the First Battle of the Somme - w/ the 36th Div.
No doubt, that was a critical problem for the democratic allies then, just as it is today. A problem that neither the Nazis, Japanese nor Communists faced.
No problem when you challenge if my conclusions are based on facts. If they are not, then shame on me. And I ought to be able to show where I got my facts.