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What is the most viable example in WWII of ‘Too little, Too late’?

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  • Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    When many people see an Army uses rail support they often think of wide tracks and sometimes more than one set of tracks. There was no wide rail system in Libya and the Italians did not set up a good East/West system. It was easier to use ships. The Soviet Union was a whole different case as they had many good sets of wide tracks at the start. The Red Army and German Army were quite good at destroying the rails during retreats. The Red Army had to rebuild a smaller system as they went West.

    Pruitt
    Interestingly enough- a well built, heavy rail narrow gauge system can carry heavy loads- the Queensland system in Australia is a good example. Narrow gauge is slower in transit- but quicker to build.- and was skimped on by the Italians...

    Tripoli and Benghazi should have, at the minimum, been linked
    The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

    Comment


    • Originally posted by MarkV View Post

      It was already there. The 8th Army had been sustained by sea before the retreat to El Alamein. By this time British naval superiority and increasing air power meant that the Axis had very little capacity to interfere

      In the week before Trobruk was recaptured British motorised units advanced 130 miles in two days bypassing and surrounding an Italian defensive position and taking prisoner the whole of the Italian 10th Corps ( I get the impression that the Italians were used as a sacrificial rearguard). As each port was retaken or captured for the first time the ability of the 8th army to keep advancing was enhanced. The slow down only began after Tripoli when German supply lines were shorter and the terrain better for defence.
      There were certainly some delays while ports were cleared of mines etc for use, and to bring forward the logistical support to provide for the 10s of thousands of trucks needed to sustain the Allied army

      Comment


      • Originally posted by lodestar View Post
        Japan's worst error?



        Excellent choice.
        The US submarine campaign against Japanese merchant shipping was one of the most outstandingly successful and yet under-recognized aspects of WWII.

        It achieved the near total destruction of Japan's pre-war merchant fleet and effectively cut off Japan's SE Asian and Pacific 'Empire' from the Japanese home islands.

        In short Japan was eventually unable to use the resources (oil, rubber, minerals, food, daffodils etc.) which she had gone to war with the West to seize in the first place.

        Japan would have lost whatever strategy she undertook and whatever operational or tactical level adjustments she made but ignoring and not attempting serious anti-submarine measures till far too late certainly speeded her defeat.

        Regards
        lodestar
        I must disagree.

        Japan's worst error was General Tojo and the bizarre clique around him.

        Japan's second worst error was failing to stall the war against China until expansion to the South had occurred, OR halting the Chinese war, even if it meant a retreat back to the Yellow river.
        In late 1943, with the support of the Emperor, Tojo made a major effort to make peace with China to free up the 2 million Japanese soldiers in China for operations elsewhere, but the unwillingness of the Japanese to give up any of their "rights and interests" in China doomed the effort.[77] China was by far the largest theater of operations for Japan, and with the Americans steadily advancing in the Pacific, Tojo was anxious to end the quagmire of the "China affair" to redeploy Japanese forces.[

        From Wikipedia,"tojo".

        Only took him two years to figure that one out.....


        The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

        Comment


        • Re: Other approaches to strategic bombing. The link gives possible
          different tactics that might have been used. The author claimed
          they tried to convince bomber command is was safer to travel in streams.

          But the crews tried to keep out of the bomber stream, because they were
          more afraid of collisions than of fighters. A comment to this stated
          that one Bomber Command member was "well aware of the need to stay
          inside the bomber stream. His view was that many crews became isolated
          from it because of poor navigation."

          I would think it would take extremely good navigation to stay in a stream
          at night with 1940's technology.

          I wonder what others think of the link?

          The author Freeman Dyson postwar became a brilliant physicist, appointed
          to the Institute for Advanced Studies, where Einstein worked. He did
          pioneering studies on "Dyson spheres". These are hypothetical structures
          made by blowing up planets, encircling a star to capture its power.

          Way off topic, I recently read an article about how a camera ~ 500 times
          farther from the sun than earth could use the sun as a magnifier. It would
          have a resolution around 10K on planets around the closest star - enough to
          see the biggest cities on earth.

          So perhaps someone reading this will see pictures of Dyson spheres.


          https://www.technologyreview.com/s/4...-intelligence/
          "The good old hockey game is the best game you can name
          and the best game you can name is the good old hockey game"

          - Stompin' Tom Connors - The Hockey Song

          Comment


          • Originally posted by marktwain View Post

            I must disagree.

            Japan's worst error was General Tojo and the bizarre clique around him.

            Japan's second worst error was failing to stall the war against China until expansion to the South had occurred, OR halting the Chinese war, even if it meant a retreat back to the Yellow river.
            In late 1943, with the support of the Emperor, Tojo made a major effort to make peace with China to free up the 2 million Japanese soldiers in China for operations elsewhere, but the unwillingness of the Japanese to give up any of their "rights and interests" in China doomed the effort.[77] China was by far the largest theater of operations for Japan, and with the Americans steadily advancing in the Pacific, Tojo was anxious to end the quagmire of the "China affair" to redeploy Japanese forces.[

            From Wikipedia,"tojo".

            Only took him two years to figure that one out.....

            This shows an ignorance or at least disregard, for Japanese social and political expectations and image. To pull back and halt the war in China would mean a major disgrace for the senior officers involved. It would be political and social suicide. The war had to be expanded to show that greater effort was being made to end it in Japan's favor.
            I know that sounds a bit insane, but the Japanese position within the Army in particular, was that Japan could become a great colonial empire of the sort European countries had. In doing that, it meant that each time expansion was viewed as possible, it had to be taken to meet the expectations of the upper end of Japanese society. To not expand, to not conqueror, meant that Japan would not be taken seriously as a colonial power-- in the eyes of the Japanese leadership.

            It's a myopic view that forced a series of decisions made in almost a political vacuum on the Japanese military. When other factions worried that Japan might be taking on too much, the Army would come back with essentially, "We've almost won. Just a bit more and we can have complete victory." But, each time it was the same answer-- Just a little bit more...

            So, from the Japanese POV, it was a do or die / commit suicide politically and socially if we don't push on situation.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

              This shows an ignorance or at least disregard, for Japanese social and political expectations and image. To pull back and halt the war in China would mean a major disgrace for the senior officers involved. It would be political and social suicide. The war had to be expanded to show that greater effort was being made to end it in Japan's favor.
              I know that sounds a bit insane, but the Japanese position within the Army in particular, was that Japan could become a great colonial empire of the sort European countries had. In doing that, it meant that each time expansion was viewed as possible, it had to be taken to meet the expectations of the upper end of Japanese society. To not expand, to not conqueror, meant that Japan would not be taken seriously as a colonial power-- in the eyes of the Japanese leadership.

              It's a myopic view that forced a series of decisions made in almost a political vacuum on the Japanese military. When other factions worried that Japan might be taking on too much, the Army would come back with essentially, "We've almost won. Just a bit more and we can have complete victory." But, each time it was the same answer-- Just a little bit more...

              So, from the Japanese POV, it was a do or die / commit suicide politically and socially if we don't push on situation.
              Hopefully, a disregard, although I have been totally wrong before.

              My brother attended a conference at Pearl Harbour in the 1980's and the Japanese presenter said that the Samurai spirit meant that a challenge, like the oil embargo had to be met with force. He also said that the Japanese tradition of balancing opinions had been destroyed by the IJA during the 1930's.

              By June of 1941 japan under Prime Minister Kenoe ' had it all'. Effective control of Indo china, a Netherlands east indies wavering about the oil embargo provided Japan agreed to leave them alone, and a China bottled up.
              Kenoe resigned rather than take the war to the United States and Britain. From October 1941 on, Tojo showed no conception that all the empire needed at the time had been gained.

              General Macarthur once said that General Tojo had the vision and abilities to be - an effective high school principal...
              Last edited by marktwain; 24 Jun 19, 22:34.
              The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

              Comment


              • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

                This shows an ignorance or at least disregard, for Japanese social and political expectations and image. To pull back and halt the war in China would mean a major disgrace for the senior officers involved. It would be political and social suicide. The war had to be expanded to show that greater effort was being made to end it in Japan's favor.
                I know that sounds a bit insane, but the Japanese position within the Army in particular, was that Japan could become a great colonial empire of the sort European countries had. In doing that, it meant that each time expansion was viewed as possible, it had to be taken to meet the expectations of the upper end of Japanese society. To not expand, to not conqueror, meant that Japan would not be taken seriously as a colonial power-- in the eyes of the Japanese leadership.

                It's a myopic view that forced a series of decisions made in almost a political vacuum on the Japanese military. When other factions worried that Japan might be taking on too much, the Army would come back with essentially, "We've almost won. Just a bit more and we can have complete victory." But, each time it was the same answer-- Just a little bit more...
                Very insightful and well argued. But I'm not sure how it's an example of 'too little too late'?

                Could be if the Japanese military leadership clique had at some time decided to par back or even reverse expansion but took these (hypothetical) measures too half-heartedly and too late ….however they never really did that did they.
                They were still launching offensives in China in 1944.

                Still your basic argument is sound. Similar to the argument that nations or coalitions of nations often come to grief by convincing themselves that in order to 'secure' one piece of territory it is necessary to go and 'conquer then secure' an adjoining piece of territory. Kind of a Catch 22 (hey sounds like a great name for a novel!)

                Regards lodestar

                Comment


                • The Japanese internally had several occasions in the late 30's where they could have reigned in the IJA by an officer purge but failed to do it. The February 26th revolt is a good example. If Japan was serious they would have gone beyond just rounding up and trying the ringleaders. A more thorough purge would have been useful. A cultural change in the army would have also been necessary and it is possible that could have been forced on it.

                  Given a more restrained army it is possible that Japan could have decided to hold the territory they had and just foment endless civil war in China leaving the country impotent. They could have then gone the German route on oil and produced synthetic from the abundant coal in Northern China (aka Manchukuo). This would have alleviated part of the problem of resources.

                  But, at the time Japan had little real appreciation for the finer details of national economies and acquisition of resources...

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Pruitt View Post

                    You have to figure in range of the Fighters. Spitfires (not the Recon version) might be able to reach the Ruhr. All the Germans have to do is set up Fighter Bases just East of this line so they can still hit the Bombers. Fighter sweeps are also dangerous to the fighters. The mathematics figure one will lose Fighters for several reasons. One Pilot Error (running into stuff). Two Flak Damage. Third Miscellaneous. Fighter Pilots hate not being locked in mortal combat with the Red Baron.
                    Pruitt
                    Apologies for late reply.

                    I believe P-47s / P-38s with belly tanks would have longer range. No question fighter pilot casualties would have gone up, but total Allied casualties might have gone down, considering bombers had 10 man crew vs. 1 man fighter. Any use of fighter bombers to strafe, bomb, and rocket would have had fighter escorts, so plenty of chances for tangling with enemy fighters.

                    Low level attacks perhaps would be more damaging to German war effort. Because it would be much more accurate, even if bombs / rockets / MG firepower is much lighter.

                    It would also inflict casualties and destruction on both light and heavy flak. One argument for bomber offensive is that it diverted heavy flak from ground fronts. Low level fighter / fighter bomber offensive would have not only diverted, but actively caused attrition to all flak, potentially giving ground fronts more relief.


                    "The good old hockey game is the best game you can name
                    and the best game you can name is the good old hockey game"

                    - Stompin' Tom Connors - The Hockey Song

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by HMan View Post

                      Apologies for late reply.

                      I believe P-47s / P-38s with belly tanks would have longer range. No question fighter pilot casualties would have gone up, but total Allied casualties might have gone down, considering bombers had 10 man crew vs. 1 man fighter. Any use of fighter bombers to strafe, bomb, and rocket would have had fighter escorts, so plenty of chances for tangling with enemy fighters.

                      Low level attacks perhaps would be more damaging to German war effort. Because it would be much more accurate, even if bombs / rockets / MG firepower is much lighter.

                      It would also inflict casualties and destruction on both light and heavy flak. One argument for bomber offensive is that it diverted heavy flak from ground fronts. Low level fighter / fighter bomber offensive would have not only diverted, but actively caused attrition to all flak, potentially giving ground fronts more relief.

                      I'm not sure this is an example of 'too little too late'?
                      Rather a suggestion of another approach being taken.

                      Are you suggesting that the resources going to produce heavy bombers for the strategic bombing offensive would have been better spent in producing larger numbers of fighter-bombers, medium bombers and attack aircraft?

                      So doing of course meant tying the use of these aircraft to the battlefield and to the area some distance from the front.
                      In short a 'tactical' air force like the Luftwaffe?
                      Which worked brilliantly AS A TACTICAL FORCE. It was not designed to win a strategic aerial campaign like the BoB.

                      lodestar once had an unsettling moment just to see what t felt like.

                      Regards lodestar



                      Comment


                      • I am suggesting that long range fighters & fighter-bombers might have been a better strategic
                        aerial campaign. Rather than an exclusive focus on heavy bombers.

                        I am not addressing whether producing larger numbers of medium bombers and attack aircraft
                        was a good idea here.

                        Unescorted bombing raids were extremely costly. Development of long range fighters came
                        'too little too late' IMO.
                        "The good old hockey game is the best game you can name
                        and the best game you can name is the good old hockey game"

                        - Stompin' Tom Connors - The Hockey Song

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by HMan View Post
                          I am suggesting that long range fighters & fighter-bombers might have been a better strategic
                          aerial campaign. Rather than an exclusive focus on heavy bombers.

                          I am not addressing whether producing larger numbers of medium bombers and attack aircraft
                          was a good idea here.

                          Unescorted bombing raids were extremely costly. Development of long range fighters came
                          'too little too late' IMO.
                          Excellent insight HMan.

                          Yes, could another way of looking at it be that the decision to go full-throttle on the untested theory of strategic bombing was a case of 'too much too soon' ?

                          You post some interesting stuff, how come I ain't heard a ya before?


                          Regards
                          lodestar

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by HMan View Post
                            I am suggesting that long range fighters & fighter-bombers might have been a better strategic
                            aerial campaign. Rather than an exclusive focus on heavy bombers.

                            I am not addressing whether producing larger numbers of medium bombers and attack aircraft
                            was a good idea here.

                            Unescorted bombing raids were extremely costly. Development of long range fighters came
                            'too little too late' IMO.
                            Very true, and the experimental bombers outfitted as heavily armed escorts could not keep up once the bombers dropped their loads could fly faster.

                            The YB-17 experimental gunship:
                            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by HMan View Post
                              I am suggesting that long range fighters & fighter-bombers might have been a better strategic
                              aerial campaign. Rather than an exclusive focus on heavy bombers.

                              I am not addressing whether producing larger numbers of medium bombers and attack aircraft
                              was a good idea here.

                              Unescorted bombing raids were extremely costly. Development of long range fighters came
                              'too little too late' IMO.
                              The US figured that out and their solution was a long range heavy escort of fighters. The British before them figured that out, and their solution was to go to night bombing. The German's response to the RAF was creation of a large, well organized, nightfighter force and RAF losses remained fairly high but just within sustainable limits through almost the end of the war.
                              The US response resulted in the decimation of the Luftwaffe into impotence and the switch by Germany to a mainly flak based response to bombing that grew increasingly ineffective and costly.

                              If it wasn't the P-51 it would have been the P-47 and P-38. Look at the P-47N. It had a range of about 2400 miles. That was matched by the P-82 Twin Mustang that appeared very late in the war. The P-82 with drop tanks had a truly impressive range. Mission-wise it could fly from London to Moscow, loiter as much as 30 minutes over target, and return. That long range kept both the P-47N and P-82 in service after the war for years, particularly the P-82 as it had two crew for long flights.

                              Switching to an all-fighter / fighter bomber strategy is not going to work better. It argues the same thing as say the suggestion that the RAF and USAAF adopt the Mosquito as their only or majority bomber. The problem with both is that it creates a largely one-dimensional strategy that the enemy can singularly focus on countering.

                              Historically, the problem for the Luftwaffe was they had to counter many different Allied air strategies and types of operation. As Allied numbers grew this problem became overwhelming. On top of that, they also tried to maintain some offensive capacity as well.
                              That flak grew in size and numbers massively, had as much to do with Göring's ego as any military reasoning. Flak gave Göring the ability to recruit large numbers of men into the Luftwaffe. These men were often stationed near towns and cities throughout Germany giving the public a view of men in the Luftwaffe and acting as something of a PR effort by Göring. It also gave him numbers for his version of a private army, much like the SS became for Himmler.

                              So, the German response to the air war was in part one based on Nazi politics as much as one based on reasonable military doctrine.

                              Comment


                              • Long range Fighter Bombers have to go inside the low altitude envelope to drop their ordinance. All it takes is one guy on the ground firing a "Golden BB" to mess up a Fighter Bomber's day. The Fighter Bombers are also limited to the size of ordinance they can carry. I think one needs a good mix of different types to fight a war.

                                Goring was using women, girls and 12 year old boys at the end. The FLAK Gunners at Dresden were too short to load the guns when they burned it down. The Germans even used Italians to man batteries! Goring used his men as a measure of his power. Look at all the air base personnel that found themselves transferred to the Infantry in 1944!

                                Pruitt
                                Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                                Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                                by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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