What if we had developed the A bomb 18 months earlier in WW2?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by FARMBOY, Aug 2, 2011.

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  1. Another What if Q for the afternoon. What if the allies had developed the A bomb 18 months earlier in WW2?

    1. Would we have used it on Germany?

    2. What would have been the outcome in the ETO in terms of style of campaign/German reaction?

    3. What effect would this have had on the Russians and subsequent cold war?

    4. Would Japan have sought peace after seeing the effect of A - bombs on Germany?

    Your thoughts on the above please gentleman.
  2. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

    Fritzland would have received a well deserved fry up - the little shits - Sovs would have stopped at Poland and would have had a major sulk and would probably have got uppity as soon as they had similar weapons - Japs would have needed a couple of bursts of instant sunshine as well cause they weren't exactly the most reasonable of people anyway.
  3. I think we have the DS answer:)
  4. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

    You could actually argue that the huns would have been better off if just one or two cities got vaporised as most of the bombs actually fell during the last 18 months of the war as well as most of the casualties on the Russian front were from the time of Bagration to the fall of Berlin.
  5. It would have been terrible! Dresden would probably have looked like this:


    and Coblenz would have looked like this:

    • Like Like x 1
  6. That is a very good point - none of the A bomb weoponary at the time could have matched the Biblical destruction that was Bagration. I think it was Max Hastings who said that nothing in human history can compare to the pounding of Bagration - I think at one stage the Soviets were stonking the Germans with 32,000 artillery pieces - a little old A bomb as you say may have been a mercy in comparison.
  7. 1. I thought that was the original plan? Finish off Germany with the first batch then move onto Japan.

    2. The target area would have been in the eastern sector I think. And with intense propaganda and threats of more destruction the western theatre would have surrendered quicker. The Soviets would have continued attacking right through any contamination therefore the Germans would keep resisting there.

    3. A slight change in where the Iron Curtain ran but the stand-off would have still came about.

    4. No. They would still persist in futile defence.

    So, I guess I'm broadly - if succinctly - agreeing with Schaden.
  8. Really so it was part of the original plan - Germany surrendered before a working bomb could be deployed. As others have said I wonder with the level of destruction in Eastern Europe and Germany whether it would have had the impact (no pun intended) that it had on mainland Japan? My wife's Grandmother described Bagration to me and bar the radiation aspect of an A bomb the destruction could not have been any worse IMO.

  9. 1. They would never have used it against Germany - too many German migrants in the USA.
    2. No difference, see 1 above. Besides, Roosevelt thought he had Joe's measure despite Churchill's pleadings.
    3. None.
    4. No - they were being very bloody minded and even attempted to stop the Emperor from calling it quits after having received 2 buckets of sunshine.
  10. 1. The scientists were upset that it was to be used against Japan wanting it to be used against the Nazi regime so there goes that.

    2. A Lot of red army units suffering radiation sickness, as they still would have advanced into a bombed area to claim it and look for things to rape.

    3. None.

    4. Japanese would still need a up close look as their leadership was fanatical to the end.
  11. 1. It mattered not a toss what the scientists wanted to do with the beastie. They were never going to decide who was going to be the lucky ones - that was purely Roosevelt's and Truman's domain.
    2. Stalin couldn't have cared a tinker's cuss about radiation sickness for his troops should the thing have been used in Germany. He wanted as much of Europe under his control as possible. What's a few thousand less to worry about anyway.
    3. Agreed.
    4. Agreed.
  12. But surely Stalin would have had to respect the allies wishes with regard to who entered Berlin/ where the Soviet forces stopped etc. Would Stalin have been so bold about Poland etc had that show of strength in the form of an A bomb on European soil been made?
  13. The reference is:

    Major General Groves book 'Groves, Leslie (1962). Now it Can be Told: The Story of the Manhattan Project.. New York, New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-306-70738-1. OCLC 537684
  14. Churchill probably would not have accepted the use of an A bomb in Europe (unless, post-1945, the soviets decided to keep on rolling past the Elbe).

    UK/the allies already had an overwhelming but unused WMD capability in chemical weapons, but they were held in reserve in case the Nazis tried this first. Evidently the Nazi regime, even in its V-weapon death throes, was deterred from using chemical weapons.
  15. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    I presume the 'scientist' comment reflects the fact that the Jewish ones had a lot of skin in the game and, reservations about the Hun apart, hoped that an early end might have spared some of the Jews who had fallen under German control. Catch is, an earlier German surrender before infantry had fought their way in might have led to the same situation as in 1918 with too many Germans feeling they had given up too early. If we did anything wrong it was helping Germany back on its feet - it should have starved a bit longer.

    Even assuming an earlier development had led to increased production, it could not have been used on the Japanese until Tinian and other islands in the Marianas had been captured and airfields built.

    NB Both Germans and Japanese were working on the technology. There is a tale about a cargo of Uranium 235 waiting to be shipped to Japan from Germany by submarine, that allegedly nearly got left behind because the crates had U235 written on them and the U-boat's pendant number was U-234. Same shipment included scientists. See Wiki, 'German submarine U-234' (for a quick read) and Joseph Mark Scalia, 'Germany's Last Mission to Japan: The Failed Voyage of U-234' Naval Institute Press (2000) ISBN 1-55750-811-9.