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

#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.
 
D

Deleted 20555

Guest
#2
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
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.
I think we have the DS answer:)
 
D

Deleted 20555

Guest
#4
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:

 
#6
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.
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 Deleted 20555.
 
#8
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 Deleted 20555.
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.

I
 
#9
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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
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.
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
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.
From Wiki :
President Roosevelt instructed Groves that if the atomic bombs were ready before the war with Germany ended, he should be ready to drop them on Germany.[SUP][216][/SUP]
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.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
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.
 
#16
Farmboy, your hypothesis depends on the date a warhead was dropped on Germany and where. Assuming it was used on Germany I don't think it would have stopped Stalin from taking over Poland and pushing into Germany. As far as the US was concerned there was no cold war at that stage and no reason to threaten Russia over its troop movements.

BrandySoured, Trueman may well have told Groves that but I sincerely doubt he would have, or could have, gone through with it without massive consequences. Their use in Europe was dependent on agreement with the Allies and that is where I think his problems would have arisen.

It is also one thing to say that to Groves when the bombs were still under development, it was another once the thing was finished and the destructive power understood. Their use in Japan was, I understand but may be mistaken, based on the premise that the invasion of the home islands would cost an enormous number of casualties, perhaps over a million, based on figures from the taking of Okinawa. Use of the atomic bombs was an attempt to circumvent that loss of life. That was never an issue in Germany, at least not to the same scale.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
Ironically, not only did the Bomb save all those Allied casualties (and thousands of our PoWs), it also saved many Japanese lives for which I still fail to notice any sense of gratitude.
 
#18
Farmboy, your hypothesis depends on the date a warhead was dropped on Germany and where. Assuming it was used on Germany I don't think it would have stopped Stalin from taking over Poland and pushing into Germany. As far as the US was concerned there was no cold war at that stage and no reason to threaten Russia over its troop movements.

BrandySoured, Trueman may well have told Groves that but I sincerely doubt he would have, or could have, gone through with it without massive consequences. Their use in Europe was dependent on agreement with the Allies and that is where I think his problems would have arisen.

It is also one thing to say that to Groves when the bombs were still under development, it was another once the thing was finished and the destructive power understood. Their use in Japan was, I understand but may be mistaken, based on the premise that the invasion of the home islands would cost an enormous number of casualties, perhaps over a million, based on figures from the taking of Okinawa. Use of the atomic bombs was an attempt to circumvent that loss of life. That was never an issue in Germany, at least not to the same scale.
Germany was, right up to their complete defeat, working on an atomic bomb. The Allies did not know, right up to the complete defeat of Germany, where that research was up to.

They would have been bombed. No question. And given that they had started two lemming like crusades within a generation, they would have been bombed into the stone-age if needed.
 
#19
Farmboy, your hypothesis depends on the date a warhead was dropped on Germany and where. Assuming it was used on Germany I don't think it would have stopped Stalin from taking over Poland and pushing into Germany. As far as the US was concerned there was no cold war at that stage and no reason to threaten Russia over its troop movements.

BrandySoured, Trueman may well have told Groves that but I sincerely doubt he would have, or could have, gone through with it without massive consequences. Their use in Europe was dependent on agreement with the Allies and that is where I think his problems would have arisen.

It is also one thing to say that to Groves when the bombs were still under development, it was another once the thing was finished and the destructive power understood. Their use in Japan was, I understand but may be mistaken, based on the premise that the invasion of the home islands would cost an enormous number of casualties, perhaps over a million, based on figures from the taking of Okinawa. Use of the atomic bombs was an attempt to circumvent that loss of life. That was never an issue in Germany, at least not to the same scale.
Hi Baronboy - specifically with Poland I was thinking about its treatment by Russia in the immediate post war period. Stalin was still smarting from the malleting he got from Józef Piłsudski in 1920 and ignored what the US and GB wanted for Poland in the post war period. Would the use of the bomb in Europe have given the allies more leverage in preventing the Iron Curtain?
 
#20
BrandySoured, I disagree but that's nothing new on ARRSE. The writing was on the wall for Germany from 1945 on whereas, the same could not really be said for Japan without massive casualty figures. In any event, Germany had nearly been bombed back into the stone age, the fact that they had to rebuild from scratch was an undoubted factor in their economic strength today.

I stand to be corrected here but I don't think there was much left in the atomic arsenal after Nagasaki. My dim memory from having written an undergraduate paper over 30 years ago on atomic weapons and politics was that only 3 atomic warheads were initially made, the Alamogordo test, Hiroshima & Nagasaki. There had been a lot of debate over the use of the third warhead in case of further need.

Farmboy, your hypothesis may be right but I can't recall reading much about any criticism of the USSR when Poland was divided up between it and Germany despite that being the kick-off for WW2.
 

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