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  • Advanced technology

    In 1945 which nation, overall, had the most advanced technologies?

  • #2
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    In 1945 which nation, overall, had the most advanced technologies?
    The USA without a doubt. Britain may have had better jet engines and tanks, and the Germans better rockets, but the US simply had a bomb free land with more money and better engineering enterprises than anywhere else.
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    • #3
      Germany. Operation Paperclip and the Soviet Union's counterpart are proof of that.

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      • #4
        Actually, Germany had very few areas were they had any significant technological advantage. Britain kept up in many areas often on a shoestring budget. The US blew the Germans away completely in a great many areas of technology. The Soviets were hit with the dual issues of Stalin having conducted a purge then having to fight a massive war. But, interestingly, prewar they were often ahead of Germany in advanced technology.

        Paperclip is grossly overrated. It had some influence in the US, but not that much. It's biggest contribution was the same as the technical mission to Japan-- To confirm the status of technological development by Germany rather than contributing any highly valuable advanced technology that was unknown already. Yes, there are a few particulars where that occurred, but on the whole the US really didn't get that much useful from it.

        The Soviets started with late war German technology in many cases as a matter of catching up having put their own programs on hold during the war. Even then, much of the technology they examined ended up being discarded as unworkable in a viable operational system.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          In 1945 which nation, overall, had the most advanced technologies?
          Hi Terry

          For a details guy, that's a strange and very vague question

          Many nations achieved their technological advancement through collaboration, whilst others achieved it alone without the means to exploit it. Equally technology is only as as good as the doctrine its wedded to or the resource pool to achieve its stated aim. Also many technological advances were made upon the advancement in your enemies capabilities, so depending on where you are in that cycle. Add in the fact that mediocrity (through quantitative advantage) would forestall the need for technological advancement~western Allied tanks being an obvious example.

          Regards

          Andy H
          "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

          "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Andy H View Post

            Hi Terry

            For a details guy, that's a strange and very vague question

            Many nations achieved their technological advancement through collaboration, whilst others achieved it alone without the means to exploit it. Equally technology is only as as good as the doctrine its wedded to or the resource pool to achieve its stated aim. Also many technological advances were made upon the advancement in your enemies capabilities, so depending on where you are in that cycle. Add in the fact that mediocrity (through quantitative advantage) would forestall the need for technological advancement~western Allied tanks being an obvious example.

            Regards

            Andy H
            That's not completely true. Much of the technology of the WW 2 era was driven by a perceived threat, real or imagined, that the enemy had or potentially had. Other portions of it were a recognition that existing technology was no longer viable to perform some necessary function.

            For example, the surface-to-air missile was driven in Germany by a need to engage high flying bombers more effectively than flak guns could. In Britain and the US the big impetus was the Japanese introducing kamikaze attack aircraft which were effectively a primitive form of anti-ship missile. That was followed by a recognition that with the coming introduction of higher flying, faster jet bombers that the antiaircraft gun was going to be rendered ineffective against them.

            The big difference was in how each nation proceeded with development. In Germany the focus was on developing a missile while the guidance system was something to be developed for the most part afterwards. In Britain it was a Get something that works, however marginally, in service now and then improve it. The US took a two pronged approach. Develop something quick and dirty that works acceptably well and start serious major development programs to build something that will really work the way it should.

            Of course, the war ended before any of these projects got to an operational stage. The thing to note here is that both Britain and the US had better thought out project plans and were testing missiles independently that were comparable to what Germany was doing in 1944 - 45.

            Another area that shows this is anti-submarine warfare. Both the US and Britain were aware that faster underwater attack submarines were on the horizon and were developing system to counter these. These developments included, scanning sonars, directional and active search sonobuoys, guided torpedoes, faster sinking ahead thrown weapons, the ability for ships to use their sonar at higher speeds, towed arrays, and dedicated ASW aircraft, among other programs. These were started before the first Type XXI or I-201 class was launched.

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            • #7
              The United States beats out Others in my opinion for being able to produce the atomic bomb faster than any other country. The “bomb” was able to get the Empire of Japan to capitulate..avoiding hundreds of thousands of US casualties In a possible invasion of mainland Japan.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Stonewall_Jack View Post
                The bomb was able to get the Empire of Japan to capitulate..avoiding hundreds of thousands of US casualties In a possible invasion of mainland Japan.
                Make that 'allied casualties' and we might hace an accord.



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                • #9
                  The “bomb” was able to get the Empire of Japan to capitulate..
                  able to get them a much-needed pretext to capitulate. In any case A-bomb had much more influence on Cold War than on WWII.

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                  • #10
                    Well, with things nuclear, the Germans at the time were not very clever or thinking things through. Consider the one reactor they tried to build:

                    42449773560_d60d015b32_b.jpg

                    This was a masterpiece for a Darwin Award. The tank and possibly pit were to be filled with heavy water. The core consisting of those blocks of uranium on stainless steel wires would be lowered by chain fall into the pit. As the core entered the heavy water the uranium would start to undergo fission and release neutrons as well as other radiation at an increasingly massive level. This would pretty much ensure everyone standing anywhere near this thing was killed in anywhere from minutes to hours.
                    To stop the reaction, somebody would have to operate the chain fall hoist to remove the core. But even then the core would remain 'hot' as all the fission fragments continued to decay and give off a mass of radiation.
                    Since there is no circulation system it's safe to assume that the heavy water near the uranium blocks gets hot enough to turn to steam and coat everything in sight with radioactive steam.
                    End result, this thing kills most of the people in the German nuclear program and renders the site so radioactive that it will be months, possibly years, before it can be cleaned up.
                    ..

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                    • #11
                      I think it's impossible to answer the question because of the contradiction between "overall" and "advanced". If something is advanced, then by definition it spikes well above the average in that field, i.e. it is an exception to whatever amounts to "overall".

                      It must be said that one could count the "spikes", and then conclude that the country having more of them is the winner, "overall" in another sense. In that case, it's Germany.

                      However, "advanced" may very well also contrast with usable and reliable. Which was definitely the case with most of the advanced stuff the Germans had. Indeed, many of the 1945 German geegaws were not actually used in the field, and those that were, often were not ready for that.

                      By contrast, the USA and Britain tended to field new stuff only when it was at least somewhat proven and reliable, and had less motivation - and therefore less inclination - to research truly weird stuff.

                      The most advanced gadgets of 1944-45 vintage and of German design surely were worth thinking about (and picking up) - with a view to the next war, however, not for 1944-45.
                      Michele

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                        In 1945 which nation, overall, had the most advanced technologies?
                        The USA, with an often assist from the UK/Brits, with whom we often shared joint ventures in R&D. I can think of a score of items and time allowing (it's later evening and dinner time with wife-person) will present and/or develop later. For now, in not exactly a certain and set order, the list (note some predate WWII, but were heavily involved);
                        ....
                        1) Proximity Fuse
                        2) Radar (various sizes and applications)
                        3) Atomic Bomb
                        4) 'Jeep', 4x4 drive, 1/4ton; also the 4x4 one ton and 6x6 2-1/2 ton trucks
                        5) Landing Craft/Ships: LCVP, LCM, LST, etc.
                        6) B-29 Bomber (pressurized crew compartments and remote control turrets)
                        ....
                        7) Colt 1911 and Browning semi-automatic pistols
                        8) M2 .50 Cal. Machine Gun
                        9) Bazooka
                        10) M1 Garand Rifle
                        11) Hedgehog ASW rocket
                        12) Recoil-less Rifle/Gun
                        13) Sherman Tank; and many other uses of the basic M3 Chassis
                        ....
                        14) C &K - Rations, and Spam
                        15) Plasma & Sulfa
                        16) SeaBees -USN Construction Battalions
                        17) Marsdon Matt
                        18) ATC = more a system; Air Transport Command; includes not only essential aircraft; C-47 and C-54 (plus assorted other types); but also the radio navigation, radar control, air routes and management of such
                        19) "Walkie-Talkie" small portable field radio
                        20) Liberty/Victory cargo ship design and manufacture (modular system)
                        ........
                        21) Maybe others not ready to mind ... will elaborate on this later, if no one else beats me, and any others I think of ....
                        Last edited by G David Bock; 23 Aug 20, 00:49. Reason: tweaks
                        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                        “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
                        Present Current Events are the Future's History

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Michele View Post
                          I think it's impossible to answer the question because of the contradiction between "overall" and "advanced". If something is advanced, then by definition it spikes well above the average in that field, i.e. it is an exception to whatever amounts to "overall".

                          It must be said that one could count the "spikes", and then conclude that the country having more of them is the winner, "overall" in another sense. In that case, it's Germany.

                          However, "advanced" may very well also contrast with usable and reliable. Which was definitely the case with most of the advanced stuff the Germans had. Indeed, many of the 1945 German geegaws were not actually used in the field, and those that were, often were not ready for that.

                          By contrast, the USA and Britain tended to field new stuff only when it was at least somewhat proven and reliable, and had less motivation - and therefore less inclination - to research truly weird stuff.

                          The most advanced gadgets of 1944-45 vintage and of German design surely were worth thinking about (and picking up) - with a view to the next war, however, not for 1944-45.
                          Actually, the US researched all sorts of truly weird stuff... Far more than Germany did. For example the link is to a list of MX projects the USAAF started during and shortly after the war. It runs to well over a thousand plus projects.

                          http://designation-systems.net/usmilav/projects.html

                          A few examples:

                          MX 527 was a series of tests using ramjets to power all sorts of things including a ramjet then pulse jet helicopter...



                          Or MX 620 to 624 for light (photo cell) and heat (infrared) sensitive target seekers.

                          MX 787 for an automatic navigation system

                          MX 1574 to develop streamlined and low drag external fuel tanks for aircraft

                          MX 1593 "Project Gopher" given to General Mills (!) to develop a high altitude reconnaissance balloon.

                          Most of the German stuff of 1945 was looked at closely by the US then ignored for the most part. The V-1 and 2 were used widely simply because they were available in numbers and best of all, free. Using them for testing and such was a good deal but there was no incentive to use them operationally when better stuff was already in development.

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                          • #14
                            Technically the V-1 and V-2 were used quite a bit and formed the basis for more advanced design variations once basic data had been acquired.
                            ....
                            United States



                            A KGW-1 being fired from USS Cusk in 1951

                            Main article: JB-2 Loon

                            The United States reverse-engineered the V-1 in 1944 from salvaged parts recovered in England during June. By 8 September, the first of thirteen complete prototype Republic-Ford JB-2 Loons, was assembled at Republic Aviation. The United States JB-2 was different from the German V-1 in only the smallest of dimensions, with only the forward pulsejet support pylon visibly differing in shape from the original German pilotless ordnance design. The wing span was only 2.5 in (6.4 cm) wider and the length was extended less than 2 ft (0.61 m). The difference gave the JB-2 60.7 square feet (5.64 m2) of wing area versus 55 square feet (5.1 m2) for the V-1.[91]

                            A navalised version, designated KGW-1, was developed to be launched from LSTs as well as escort carriers (CVEs) and long-range 4-engine reconnaissance aircraft. Waterproof carriers for the KGW-1 were developed for launches of the missile from surfaced submarines. Both the USAAF JB-2 and Navy KGW-1 were put into production and were planned to be used in the Allied invasion of Japan (Operation Downfall). However, the surrender of Japan obviated the need for its use.[91] After the end of the war, the JB-2/KGW-1 played a significant role in the development of more advanced surface-to-surface tactical missile systems such as the MGM-1 Matador and later MGM-13 Mace.
                            ....
                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-1_flying_bomb
                            ......................
                            ....
                            United States

                            Main article: V-2 sounding rocket


                            US test launch of a Bumper V-2.

                            Operation Paperclip recruited German engineers and Special Mission V-2 transported the captured V-2 parts to the United States. At the close of the Second World War, over 300 rail cars filled with V-2 engines, fuselages, propellant tanks, gyroscopes, and associated equipment were brought to the railyards in Las Cruces, New Mexico, so they could be placed on trucks and driven to the White Sands Proving Grounds, also in New Mexico.

                            In addition to V-2 hardware, the U.S. Government delivered German mechanization equations for the V-2 guidance, navigation, and control systems, as well as for advanced development concept vehicles, to U.S. defence contractors for analysis. In the 1950s some of these documents were useful to U.S. contractors in developing direction cosine matrix transformations and other inertial navigation architecture concepts that were applied to early U.S. programs such as the Atlas and Minuteman guidance systems as well as the Navy's Subs Inertial Navigation System.[92]

                            A committee was formed with military and civilian scientists to review payload proposals for the reassembled V-2 rockets.[93] This led to an eclectic array of experiments that flew on V-2s and paved the way for American manned space exploration. Devices were sent aloft to sample the air at all levels to determine atmospheric pressures and to see what gases were present. Other instruments measured the level of cosmic radiation.


                            ..
                            The first photo from space was taken from a V-2 launched by US scientists on 24 October 1946.

                            Only 68 percent of the V-2 trials were considered successful.[94] A supposed V-2 launched on 29 May 1947 landed near Juarez, Mexico and was actually a Hermes B-1 vehicle.[95]

                            The U.S. Navy attempted to launch a German V-2 rocket at sea—one test launch from the aircraft carrier USS Midway was performed on 6 September 1947 as part of the Navy's Operation Sandy. The test launch was a partial success; the V-2 went off the pad but splashed down in the ocean only some 10 km (6 mi) from the carrier. The launch setup on the Midway's deck is notable in that it used foldaway arms to prevent the missile from falling over. The arms pulled away just after the engine ignited, releasing the missile. The setup may look similar to the R-7 launch procedure but in the case of the R-7 the trusses hold the full weight of the rocket, rather than just reacting to side forces.
                            ...
                            The PGM-11 Redstone rocket is a direct descendant of the V-2
                            ........
                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-2_rocket
                            TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                            “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
                            Present Current Events are the Future's History

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                            • #15
                              What you are missing is all the other, far many other, programs the US was pursuing at the time. For example, Project Hermes started out as a SAM development program run by GE as an alternative to Bell's Nike. GE got as far as launching--well trying to launch-- three modified German Wasserfall before the program was shifted to purely R & D using V-2 rockets instead. The Wasserfall was deemed unworkable. It took the Soviets almost ten years of trying with variants of that missile before they too reached that conclusion.

                              The V-2 was free and available so it was used in Hermes for a range of testing. But, it was no longer cutting edge technology by 1947. The US Army made the most use of Paperclip German scientists and engineers. Yes, these guys did work on Corporal, then Redstone, and other Army missiles.

                              At the same time the USAAF / USAF started with MX 774 Hiroc a completely US design for a ballistic missile to supersede the V-2. Nothing from the V-2 was used on it. This led to a program to develop IRBM's like Thor and the competing Army Jupiter. The USAF then went to Atlas and Titan. German technology played no role in the development of these. In fact, Convair rejected the German airframe design was heavy and badly designed. Charlie Bossart, their engineer leading the project introduced the integral fuel tank using the missile's skin as the walls of the tank with pressurization to make it rigid a design feature still used today. Hughes rejected the German guidance system and developed the Azusa system that was used into the 70's. Interestingly, the Soviets came to a similar conclusion and used a system similar to Azusa on their early ballistic missiles. Aerojet and Rocketdyne rejected the German use of graphite veins to steer the missile and introduced swiveling nozzles, something the Germans couldn't get to work.

                              The USN likewise moved towards developing a sea launched ballistic missile. That became Polaris. The V-2 tests early on proved to the Navy that using liquid fuel rockets at sea was dangerous and bordered on insane.

                              Both the USAF and USN also pursued cruise missiles. The launch from the USS Cusk shown above was a test of the watertight container system in anticipation of using Regulus missiles, the Loon being a cheap test vehicle. The USAF fired numerous JB-2 at Elgin AFB in Florida to do various testing, but development of more advanced cruise missiles, both subsonic and supersonic were in the works. These owed nothing to German technology.

                              The Army's Nike SAM owed nothing to German technology. Bell developed the fire control and guidance, Douglas the airframe. The USN's entry for a SAM, Talos in Project Bumblebee was entirely a US design with nothing from German technology. In fact, Johns Hopkins University was firing supersonic test ramjets (the Burner / Cobra test vehicles) at Topsail Island N. Carolina to ranges of 10 miles and 30,000 feet prior to the end of WW 2.

                              In AAM's there was no comparison. The X-4 Ruhrstal wasn't even studied. The only component of interest was the Kranch acoustic proximity fuze that was briefly studied, tested, and found unworkable. The US had already far surpassed that missile with the JB-3 Tiamat and Ryan Firebird. The USN had already tested a Gorgon III versus a live target drone as an AAM in late 1944 and found CLOS guidance was unworkable dropping that as a system. The USAF followed shortly afterwards.

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