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Mass production and Modern War

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  • #16
    At some point there will be a stalemate. Where weapons design and tactics cancel each other out? But the cause of the war is driving enough to warrant continuing the war. There must be something in place to ramp up production, surely?

    "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

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    • #17
      Originally posted by DARKPLACE View Post
      At some point there will be a stalemate. Where weapons design and tactics cancel each other out? But the cause of the war is driving enough to warrant continuing the war. There must be something in place to ramp up production, surely?
      Back in the late 1970s I was seconded to the British Civil Service at Senior Principal level to provide advice on computer systems. A lot of my time was spent attached to the MOD and a significant amount of that was to do with logistics related systems. I sat in on a number of committee meetings involving the RN, the Army and NATO including some that related to systems controlling naval weapons development and the refitting and reprovisoning of ships with the latest ironmongery. It was apparent that NATO almost unconscious thinking was that any war that could be classified as a world war would very soon go nuclear and so systems and processes for the procurement and production of new weapons was an irrelevance. It was way way above my pay grade but I couldn't help thinking that here was a self fulfilling prophecy that undermined the MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) philosophy of deterrence. Without the ability to sustain conventional warfare one side or the other would b faced with the choice of suing for peace at any price or the goterdamerung option. I wondr if this is still the case?
      Last edited by MarkV; 29 Sep 18, 12:49.
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • #18
        But wasn’t that the thinking after WW2, nuclear weapons was a way of scaling back conventional forces because they were able to still maintain a deterrent? Which is why some nations still try to circumvent or threaten with sanctions the proliferation of nuclear weapons elsewhere.
        "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
        Ernest Hemingway.
        “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

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        • #19
          So basically unless we figure out how to three d print tanks we're screwed?
          "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

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          • #20
            Isn't there a Churchill(?) quote on rearmament to the effect that in the first year you get nothing, in the second a trickle, in the third a stream and in the fourth a flood? Something like that anyway.

            Be the same today wouldn't it?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by DARKPLACE View Post
              So basically unless we figure out how to three d print tanks we're screwed?
              Just do what everyone else does and bolt AA guns into pickups. Maybe not so easy to come up with production lines for tanks and airplanes, but on the other hand there is a ton of stuff that can be commandeered(right word?) from society. Trucks, drones, communication devices, etc would not be in short supply.
              Wisdom is personal

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              • #22
                My understanding is that as far as equipment goes, what we have on hand is what we have. Warfare has changed a lot since WW2 where large parts of the economy and industrial capacity had to be converted towards producing military equipment and supplies. Even with WW2 industrial capacity production could we produce the amount of F-35's needed to fight an enemy that is on equal terms with the US? Meaning that against an enemy with the same type of aircraft as the F-35, an advanced air radar, and anti-air system, could the US produce enough to both keep up with losses and demands to gain and keep air superiority?
                Would the war be over before factories ramp up to max production efficiency?

                But let's imagine we're at total war and after a crippling surprise attack by China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Venezuela, North Korea, and others (just as an example, it could be others).

                First we got to look at what needs to be supplied and transported.
                How long and which overseas bases can hold out against an enemy worldwide with the supply of munitions, fuel and supplies on hand?
                Can those same bases be resupplied by sea, ground or air efficiently from safe supply routes?
                How many ships and fleets can be put to sail in a short amount of time as possible?
                How many service members can be supported in three theaters or more?
                How fast can the US deploy all of their active duty service members? Would they?
                How much and which units of the National Guard will be activated? What precedence of units?
                How much of the Reserves will be activated? What precedence of units?
                What role will the Coast Guard have and will their ships need to be refitted?
                Will a draft be instituted?
                How many draftees can be trained per quarter and how fast can they be ready for deployment?
                How much more training capacity can be built up by expanding training bases and occupying all unused training areas?
                Do we have enough clothing, equipment, and weapons to equip all men between 17-25 signed up for Selective Service every quarter, every year?
                Are there enough vehicles with seats to get all service members around the battlefield?
                How many older, low usage, recently decommissioned equipment be quickly be brought back up to combat readiness?
                How much ammunition do we have to sustain a fully deployed military engaged in combat in multiple theaters?

                That's not even an exhaustive list. Once we have those answered can we start to plan on what civilian industries and resources need to be restructured and reshuffled for military use.

                Fuel rationing for all non-war related activities
                Activate and ready all Maritime Administration’s Ready Reserve Force and National Defense Reserve Fleet Category B, C, and E ships
                Determine seaworthiness and cost-effectiveness of refitting all Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility ships
                Find out which aircraft frames at the Boneyard can be reactivated and ready for combat
                Find out which vehicles and equipment at Sierra Army Depot can be refurbished and ready for combat

                Civilian factories ramped up or commandeered for military use to produce (joint branch standardized, possibly using recycled materials):
                Kevlar helmets, ballistic plate carriers, uniforms, boots, rucksacks, ammunition, vehicle parts, magazines, spare barrels, weapons optics, night vision devices, thermals, gas masks, etc.

                I could see drastic resource shifts, especially if they previously had to be imported from now hostile countries or waterways. How many North and South American mines can provide the same raw materials needed? Can enough scrap be collected from what is available? How much would need to happen to last through the war if critical resource areas couldn't be secured?
                The Europa Barbarorum II team [M2TW] needs YOUR HELP NOW HERE!

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Frtigern View Post
                  My understanding is that as far as equipment goes, what we have on hand is what we have. Warfare has changed a lot since WW2 where large parts of the economy and industrial capacity had to be converted towards producing military equipment and supplies. Even with WW2 industrial capacity production could we produce the amount of F-35's needed to fight an enemy that is on equal terms with the US? Meaning that against an enemy with the same type of aircraft as the F-35, an advanced air radar, and anti-air system, could the US produce enough to both keep up with losses and demands to gain and keep air superiority?
                  Would the war be over before factories ramp up to max production efficiency?

                  But let's imagine we're at total war and after a crippling surprise attack by China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Venezuela, North Korea, and others (just as an example, it could be others).

                  First we got to look at what needs to be supplied and transported.
                  How long and which overseas bases can hold out against an enemy worldwide with the supply of munitions, fuel and supplies on hand?
                  Can those same bases be resupplied by sea, ground or air efficiently from safe supply routes?
                  How many ships and fleets can be put to sail in a short amount of time as possible?
                  How many service members can be supported in three theaters or more?
                  How fast can the US deploy all of their active duty service members? Would they?
                  How much and which units of the National Guard will be activated? What precedence of units?
                  How much of the Reserves will be activated? What precedence of units?
                  What role will the Coast Guard have and will their ships need to be refitted?
                  Will a draft be instituted?
                  How many draftees can be trained per quarter and how fast can they be ready for deployment?
                  How much more training capacity can be built up by expanding training bases and occupying all unused training areas?
                  Do we have enough clothing, equipment, and weapons to equip all men between 17-25 signed up for Selective Service every quarter, every year?
                  Are there enough vehicles with seats to get all service members around the battlefield?
                  How many older, low usage, recently decommissioned equipment be quickly be brought back up to combat readiness?
                  How much ammunition do we have to sustain a fully deployed military engaged in combat in multiple theaters?

                  That's not even an exhaustive list. Once we have those answered can we start to plan on what civilian industries and resources need to be restructured and reshuffled for military use.

                  Fuel rationing for all non-war related activities
                  Activate and ready all Maritime Administration’s Ready Reserve Force and National Defense Reserve Fleet Category B, C, and E ships
                  Determine seaworthiness and cost-effectiveness of refitting all Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility ships
                  Find out which aircraft frames at the Boneyard can be reactivated and ready for combat
                  Find out which vehicles and equipment at Sierra Army Depot can be refurbished and ready for combat

                  Civilian factories ramped up or commandeered for military use to produce (joint branch standardized, possibly using recycled materials):
                  Kevlar helmets, ballistic plate carriers, uniforms, boots, rucksacks, ammunition, vehicle parts, magazines, spare barrels, weapons optics, night vision devices, thermals, gas masks, etc.

                  I could see drastic resource shifts, especially if they previously had to be imported from now hostile countries or waterways. How many North and South American mines can provide the same raw materials needed? Can enough scrap be collected from what is available? How much would need to happen to last through the war if critical resource areas couldn't be secured?
                  in this day and age is fuel rationing even an option. Considering almost no one lives near where they work. So housing should be tossed in.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by craven View Post

                    in this day and age is fuel rationing even an option. Considering almost no one lives near where they work. So housing should be tossed in.
                    It can be. A big push should be to increase mass transit. Increase the number of bus and rail routes as well as buses and trains. Consider incentives to trade gasoline and diesel powered vehicles for electric cars and bikes. Provide workers who are reasonably close but not far enough to need to use mass transit to provide them with human-powered bicycles, used ones acquired from pawn shops and thrift stores, and improve infrastructure to provide efficient traffic flow and speed of bicycles without interfering with motorized traffic. Habits would have to change and certain things which civilians need would have to be centralized to cut down on number and length of motorized trips. That, or people would have to be relocated to where they work so that they aren't wasting fuel simply commuting to work.

                    Civilian fuel powered vehicles can still be used but alternative fuels would be made available at gas stations that are cheaper like CNG, Ethanol, and Biofuel. Conversion kits would be provided to allow current vehicles to use different fuels. Some converted CNG vehicles can use methane from biodigesting human and animal waste as well as capture methane from landfills. Wood gas can be captured with high carbon waste materials, especially from milling, construction, rubber (new tire production and recycled tires), landscaping industries, etc. I could see a program where low fuel economy vehicles would be traded in for hybrids or small displacement engine vehicles. Legislation could be made to ban sale and use of large high displacement vehicles if owners can't prove they need one. Also incentives for driving less and penalties for driving too much.

                    Cellulosic ethanol is different from fermented ethanol in that it drastically increases the amount and sources of ethanol sources like grasses, wood and algae which doesn't have to take up arable land and can be harvested and produced at the source where it's needed. Every farm, vegetable packing, grocer, restaurant and household can divert all waste organic matter either to be digested for methane, fermented with high sugar foods, or cellulolysis for everything else. The beauty is that cellulolysis can be used most organic waste, but high carbon materials are probably better gassified.

                    Another interesting development is the making of fuel from plastic and since so much plastic has been produced, will still be produced and doesn't degrade very fast, it can be collected and turned into fuel. So basically, waste should not be considered waste but as potential fuels.

                    Then you have biodiesel, which may not be needed as there aren't that many non-commercial diesel vehicles but commercial diesel vehicles could be converted to use biodiesel to lessen demand on petrodiesel. The other option is to not have to convert current diesel vehicles and infrastructure and simply refine biodiesel into shorter hydrocarbon chains to use straight into existing engines and pipelines. Waste oil can be collected and refined to be used and high oil-producing crops that can be grown on marginal lands, and one of the most efficient is algae. The problem or benefit you run into with all these renewable fuels is that they could be diverted to the war economy. I would think that massive government investment to create viable renewable energy fuels and infrastructure to come online in great enough quantities once current petroleum-based fuel reserves become depleted. But communities who need combustion engine vehicles could create their own renewable fuel refineries to meet the demand of civil work vehicles like emergency services.
                    The Europa Barbarorum II team [M2TW] needs YOUR HELP NOW HERE!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      A major problem would be rare earth produced metals which are an essential component in advanced miniaturised electronic guidance, communications and control systems which form a major element in modern weapons. Whilst there are reserves in California, Australia and Brazil 95% of the world's current production is in China
                      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                      Comment

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