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WWIII:Operation Unthinkable
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Thread: WWIII:Operation Unthinkable

  1. #1
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    Default WWIII:Operation Unthinkable

    Chevan has mentioned Churchill's scheme Operation Unthinkable on several occasions and if nothing else it is an interesting What If scenario. Whether it was a serious plan or just an idle concept is not the point of this thread.

    If the plan had gone ahead on 1st July 1945 and the forces of the western Allies attacked the forces of the Soviet Union, who would have won? Would the massive and highly successful Soviet ground forces have been able to resist the might and immense power of the RAF and the USAAF?

    Or would have the Soviet ground forces be able to withstand the blows and hit the American and British with an armoured punch never experienced by those forces?

    digger

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    Moved to Cold War...

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    It would've been part of a bloody hot WWII if it happened.

    Off the top of my pointy little head, some random factors that might have influenced it are:.

    1. Would America and Britain have utilised German troops against the Soviets? Odds are, they would have. And odds are, German troops would have fought the Soviets.

    2. Would Soviets have attacked in Manchuria in August 1945 or diverted troops to Europe? If they concentrated forces in Manchuria, as they did, they'd be weaker in Europe. If they didn't, they'd face a war on two fronts when they weakened their eastern rear, with the USN controlling the Soviets’ Pacific ports while the English-speaking Allies moved into Japan and, potentially, Manchuria which, after all, was really what a lot of the so-called Pacific war was about, at the start, and at the end for the Soviets.

    3. Would the Americans and British have utilised Japanese troops against the Soviets? They’d never fight side by side with them, but it's feasible that they would have let the Manchurian event play out to occupy the Soviets.

    4. Would the U.S. have used an atom bomb in Europe? It had that capacity late in August 1945 after using them in Japan. If it was what was needed to stop the Soviets, I’d say yes.

    5. What would have been the effect of an A bomb on the Soviets?

    6. What was the capacity of the Soviets to supply long LOC into western Europe compared with the comparative advantage of the English-speaking Allies?

    7. What were the consequences of the end of English-speaking materiel support for the Soviets at the same time that English-speaking resources were turned against the Soviets?

    8. Which oilfields supply the Soviets?

    9. As indicated in the OP, what was the strategic bombing capacity of the Soviets in Western Europe, and vice versa?

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    1. I think they probably would. I can see POWs being shipped back across the Channel/Atlantic with US equipment to join the fun.

    2. My opinion is that they still would have attacked Manchuria as part of Stalin's imperialist ambitions (greedy bugger he was).

    3. We certainly use them as second-class troops to keep the peace in liberated East Asia, so it is not inconceivable that they would have been used to keep Ivan busy in Manchuria.

    4. undoubtedly, especially as that was where it was intended for. And we had the capability to lift it as far as Moscow.

    5. I think that they wouldn't like it up them, particularly with the promise of more.

    6. Soviet logistics were crap, and overstretched. American logistics won the war in the West and the Pacific, and the allies would have been fighting in their backyards, logistically speaking. Living off the land was still to some degree Soviet logistic policy, and there wasn't much left to live off in the East in 1945.

    7. Food and raw material shortage in the east, extra supplies in the West to the allies. People consistently underestimate the value and impact of even one of the many products shipped to the Soviets: Spam.

    8. Romania, Azerbaijan and so on. Potentially a push into Iran early on to get their grubby little mitts on that. I would suggest that had this been a risk, we would have moved lots of troops very quickly to that area.

    9. the Soviets had practically no strategic bombing capability , we had loads. If it dragged on into 1947, welcome Mr B36 onto the scene. Plus, we had nuclear strategic bombing capability, and they didn't.
    1884 electric cartridge. Look similar to anything?

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    I doubt that such a war would have dragged onto 1947-48. american and British airpower would have been overwhelming enough in the first week to shatter the Soviet forces. And this is in no way disrespect to the Soviet army and it's abilities or courage.

    At it's peak on the Eastern Front the Luftwaffe barely managed to get 2,000 aircraft in the air, whereas the Americans and British would have mustered nearly five times that many in 1945.

    digger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Man of Stoat View Post
    8. Romania, Azerbaijan and so on. Potentially a push into Iran early on to get their grubby little mitts on that. I would suggest that had this been a risk, we would have moved lots of troops very quickly to that area.
    This is off the top of my pointy little head again, but IIRC Britain relied upon Middle Eastern oil primarily for its navy.

    In a 1945 land war against the Soviets in Europe the RN wouldn't have needed the reach it had against the Nazis, or Japan. Its main task would have been to lock up the Channel to allow movements to Europe. Soviet control of Iran's total oil production probably wouldn't have had any impact on a land war in Europe by denying it to the UK / US, although there are obvious other political and strategic considerations which might require conflict in Iran.

    From a strategic viewpoint, it might have better for the English-speaking allies to threaten Iran's oil and draw off Soviet forces to defend them, because they were more important to the Soviets. Conversely, why bother with that and all the LOC problems when the main game was in Western Europe?

    The USSR and UK conquered Iran in 1941 and controlled it till the end of the war.

    Again, IIRC the Soviets refused to leave Iran at the end of the war and played around with some attempts at a client state in northern Iran. It came to nothing after a year or two, but the settlement involved Iran supplying oil to the USSR. That wasn't all that different to the Soviets moving into Iran if Operation Unthinkable occurred.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 12-01-2007 at 03:56 AM.

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    Okay, so it is early 1946 and Ivan thinks he's hard enough to have a go. So he kicks off. You are Allied Commander, and you have five fat man type bombs, to be delivered by B29 bombers. these bombers can be launched from hastily constructed airstrips in any Allied controlled territory.

    To which five locations do you deliver these buckets of instant Sunshine?
    1884 electric cartridge. Look similar to anything?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Man of Stoat View Post
    Okay, so it is early 1946 and Ivan thinks he's hard enough to have a go. So he kicks off. You are Allied Commander, and you have five fat man type bombs, to be delivered by B29 bombers. these bombers can be launched from hastily constructed airstrips in any Allied controlled territory.

    To which five locations do you deliver these buckets of instant Sunshine?
    Look for that guy that so boldly choose the areas for nuclear strike
    Do not creat an illusions - to realise the was the operation Untinkable or not to need just to read the conclusion of British experts in the original documents.
    WHERE it was clear NOTICED that the Strategic bombing would not be so effectively against the distant soviet targets.
    Even the few nuclear strikes unlikely could change a something.
    Besides after capturing of the Western Europe the soviet troop sould avoid the total destruction by the nuclear wearpon.

    "I decide who is a Jew and who is an Aryan "- Hermann Goering

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    Theres a nice little book by Dean Koontz of all people that has some dude going back in time and telling Churchill how the war ends and all about the Cold War. By the time he returns home to the present Churchill had continued the war against the Soviets and Russian sports cars etc were all the rage in modern LA.

    Im not sure anyone actually had the will to carry on fighting in 1945 to be honest. The UK was pretty much a spent force, the US itself was starting to feel the manpower squeeze and the Soviets too were exhausted. Then you factor in the premise that they had just defeated the Nazis who were the vilest power in Europe. The Nazis hoped that the Allies would do just that, join with them on an anti Soviet crusade. I just dont think anyone would have had the will to carry on.

    However, I still think the nuclear option would have been the only way for the Allies to win in the short term.
    Last edited by Firefly; 01-11-2008 at 03:07 PM.

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