A Devastating Alternate Second World War

May 13, 2007

Shattered World - Segment 52.3.1(Revised)

May 19th 1949

The United States and Brazil formally enter the Alliance for Democracy. The new seat of the Alliance will be based in San Francisco, where an elaborate headquarters facility is to be built. The Alliance for Democracy is the largest Alliance of any kind in the history of the world.

Meanwhile, in East Prussia the German High Command is meeting to discuss the summer offensive campaign. Hitler is adamant that the Soviets be "smashed before the American mongrels stab us from the west". German forces have been massing eastward for months, and the Reich's army in the east has swollen to over two million men in all, stretched along a front from the Baltic sea to the southern Ukraine. One great concentration of men and material masses in the stark terrain of the western Ukraine, where repaired rail lines and roads flow with constant streams of food and supplies necessary to feed and arm close to a million men. Romanians, Italians, Bulgarians, Serbians, western European and Swedish volunteers, and others bolster Axis forces there.

The bustle is unmistakable, and it has not gone unnoticed. From Kiev and south down the line of the river Dnieper dense belts of defensive lines run along the river and east all the way back to the border of mother Russia. A large fraction of the Soviet Union's remaining resources have gone into the defenses in the Eastern Ukraine, and the 800,000 troops there represent a significant portion of the Red Army's remaining strength. It is here, Beria has decreed, that the Soviet Union and International communism shall make its stand. The strategic thinking is clear - for east of the Ukraine lies the wide open plains of Southern Russia and the key transportation hub of Beriagrad, including access to Rostov and the Caucasus region where the Red Army still hopes to blast its way to the oil fields of Baku.

Yet, north of the Pripet swamps lies another expanse of open plains - Belorussia, the key city of Minsk, and the Soviet occupied Baltic states. It is here, where the front has been stable for months, that the German High Command senses an opportunity. The Soviets have nearly a million men in this theatre, and lots of armor strength, but nothing like the fortifications in the Ukraine. The battle here can be on German terms, wide open battles of maneuver. A successful thrust in the north would threaten Moscow and render all the Soviet defenses in the Ukraine worthless. And so, with no way to fully disguise their intent, the Germans have simply planned and prepared for two simultaneous massive summer offensives. One in the south, and one in the north. Only Hitler, a few of his top aids, and the very upper echelon of the High Command know that the southern offensive is in fact a grand farce. East Prussia and Poland are a frenzy of activity, the signs of a great army preparing for a great offensive are unmistakable. A million men, almost all of them German, and thousands of panzers are massing here. 80% of the panzer strength of the German army is concentrated in this theatre. To the south, whole 'divisions' of German armor massing in the western Ukraine are in fact equipped mostly with obsolete models, broken down machines, wooden decoys, old men, and boys - mere shells of armored divisions.

May 21st 1949

British carrier aircraft break through Axis land-based air cover to stage a devastating attack on a major Italian supply convoy making the run from Southern Spain to the Canaries theatre of operations. No less than 7 Italian transports are sunk and the rest forced to scatter in all directions. In addition, two Italian destroyers are sunk and another severely damaged. Within days scavenging British and American submarines sink 4 more of the transports. In all, nearly 75% of the tonnage in the convoy is put to the bottom of the ocean.

May 23rd 1949

With British carrier air power and British/American submarines now cutting deeply into their tenuous supply lines, and sensing the size of the oncoming U.S. naval force, Axis forces in the Canaries and on Madeira have no choice but to switch to a defensive standing. A large German fighter and naval maritime presence is now in place on the islands and 25,000 Axis troops are digging into the same defensive positions used by the British a couple weeks earlier.

Meanwhile, to the west many of the German submarines not involved in the blockade of the Canaries and Madeira are heading for the waters off the coasts of the United States and Brazil in search of the rich merchant pickings there.

May 26th 1949

For several days now intense air clashes and sea engagements have raged in the skies and waters around the Canary islands. In the skies the clashes are a relative stalemate, with both sides losing many fighters and slipping through bombers to hammer opposing air fields and other installations. On the seas amongst the Canary islands British and Italian destroyers and other light vessels clash in several sharp engagements - ending decidedly in the favor of the Royal Navy. Superior British training and radar gunnery prove quite decisive in these close-in day and night time engagements.

Axis control of the waters around the Canary islands has been effectively broken. The main bulk of the Italian fleet in the Canaries now sits mostly immobile under cover of heavy anti-aircraft defenses and land based air cover. Axis supplies on the islands are running dangerously low as fewer and fewer re-supply ships and air transports arrive. The British supply situation, meanwhile, has been nearly as poor but is now improving steadily thanks to effective anti-submarine sweeps that have already sunk a dozen German and Italian submarines. The weight of the Royal Navy is proving too much for the Axis forces to handle, especially with the Royal Air Force now operating in strength from the islands the British still hold.

To commanders and knowing observers on both sides the tide in the Battle of the Canaries has clearly turned in favor of the British. And the U.S.'s huge Atlantic Fleet is less than a week away.

May 28th 1949

Visibly pale, quaking, gaunt, and notably distracted by preparations for the summer offensive in the east - Hitler angrily refuses a request by the Axis naval command to begin withdrawing from the Canary Islands and Madeira, instead ordering that the occupied islands there be held at all costs as a "forward shield against the Americans". Mussolini, faced with pleading requests from his own naval commanders to evacuate the Italian fleet back into the Mediterranean while they still can, is similarly rebuffed when he approaches Hitler about the matter in a private call that evening.

June 2nd 1949

Twelve SBC B-34 bombers, operating out of the new SBC base in Puerto Rico, approach the Canary Islands as the sun rises - escorted by a swarm of 200 American carrier jets and electronic warfare aircraft. Roughly 100 German and Italian fighters of all types rise to meet this force, vectored onto the incoming American strike by the functional but degraded Axis radar net - and several dozen of the German planes are jets themselves. The fighter clash is epic, and both sides fight well. German experience and superior land-based jet aircraft gives the Axis an overall favorable 2 to 1 kill ratio. But the U.S. has carrier fighters to spare and they can easily afford the steep price of 52 carrier jet fighters that are downed. The Axis cannot afford the 28 fighters that they lose.

Worst of all for the Axis - the massive B-34 bombers, flying above the pesky fighter duels below them and surviving attempted interceptions by several Axis fighters, make their way over the Canary Islands and Madeira largely unmolested. Three of the bombers are carrying 40 kiloton atomic bombs and all three detonate several hundred feet over their intended targets. The main Axis air field on Santa Cruz de Tenerife is entirely wiped out and an Italian battlecruiser and two destroyers are sunk by the second atomic strike which all but wipes out the port town on the same island. Future historians will debate the morality of the strike on the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and its resulting heavy civilian toll(some 55,000 dead and wounded) - but that is for future historians. The third atomic bomb, meanwhile, wipes out the Axis-controlled airbase on Madeira along with a good portion of the Axis command staff and supplies on that island. Half of the Axis bombers and maritime aircraft on the islands, desperately scrambling for the skies, are destroyed outright on the ground in the atomic blasts or knocked out of the skies by the shock waves in the air. The other half are set upon by American fighters and suffer heavy losses. In a single hour the Axis position in the Canary Islands and Madeira has been dealt a crippling blow.

Later, as the B-34's lumber back towards the Caribbean and U.S. carrier jets are returning to the flat decks of six aircraft carriers - Axis aircraft of all types are forced to land on open fields, narrow roads, runways slagged into glass and still radioactive, and any spot of flat land or beach they can find. Nearly a quarter of these aircraft are damaged beyond repair in these hasty emergency landings, and the rest no longer have functioning air fields to operate out of. Over the coming days barely 20 Axis fighters, a dozen bombers, and several maritime aircraft will manage to fly through Alliance air patrols to reach air bases in Spain.

Later in the day, adding insult to injury, nearly two hundred British carrier aircraft range over the Axis held islands at will, bombing and strafing everything that moves as well as sinking Italy's remaining troop transports and severely damaging the only Italian battleship in the theatre. "The Big Day", as the Americans will come to call it, has been the single greatest military disaster in German and Italian history.

Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe the front lines in the main front of the Second World War have been ominously quiet for several days. Both great armies are tense, coiled to spring at a moment's notice. The outcome of the war may soon be at hand.

TO BE CONTINUED in Segment 52.4...


xxmagex said...

Hooray!!! More soon, please, pretty please.

Anonymous said...

Bobby you have one airfield taken out by an a-bomb on Tenarife, also the port and then a third on Madeira - with the rest being conventional bombs dropped on troop concentrations. However you are only talking about 9 bombers - even as huge as the B-34 - and that isnt going to really decimate the troop concentrations on those islands - its just not enough bombs.

As for landing on roads, fields, etc.. - unless their planes are all jets they can land no problem on roads or fields - most German planes of WWII had the ability to use grass fields and roads very nicely as runways. Now high performance jets are another thing - but prop planes should be fine on such fields.

Olefin here by the way

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Hmm, fair points Olefin. Probably deserves some re-wording on my part to give it a better feel.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Just put this up on the discussion board as well Bobby - there was another large airfield in the Canaries in the 40's as well besides the ones you have mentioned - it was at Lanazarote (eastern most island in the chain) - and it was more than big enough for jets and bombers to operate on (in fact it can handle international flights today).

Plus I dont think the Spanish are going to be in much of a mood to give up after Tenarife got nuked - that city and the surrounding area have over 100,000 people in them - and with two nukes going off in the space of around 11km I dont think many of them survived that double attack.

Anonymous said...

from Olefin

Good update but the attack on the airfields definitely needs some kind of update

1) A B-34 at most can do 400 mph and only for short duration if it wants to get back to Puerto Rico - that means that German radar would have had them quite a while before they struck. They would have issued an emergency take off order - and considering how exposed those fields are just about every plane would have been on a hot pad alert - i.e. able to start up and take off in 5 minutes or less. Every plane that could have would have scrambled - so while the airfields would have been hit most of the planes on them would have already taken off and gotten out of Dodge.

2) The Germans would have known the incoming planes were nuke capable - so they would have issued orders for all soldiers to put on their NBC gear and get to shelters - so the mustard gas attacks would have done nothing but kill civilians. As for conventional attacks - the Germans are dug into several islands - a B-34 (B-36) at most can carry 86000 lbs of bombs - but not at the range they were attacking. Even if they could carry max bombloads that means each plane is the equivalent of 10 B-17's - but you are talking about a huge area to hit spread out between Madeira and the Canary islands - it sounds like a lot of explosives but in that area it isnt that much.

3) If you are coming in with 200 carrier aircraft right afterward then why kill 100,000+ civilians to get a few ships that are immobilized in a harbor? I have quite a few friends who are Spanish - take it from me the countries of Latin America, South America and Iberia would be in one foul mood from seeing that many civilians killed to take out a few ships. Want to see a million Spaniards and Portuguese flood SS recruitment centers to fight the US - an attack like that would guarantee that.

4) As I said before German aircraft were designed to fight on the Eastern Front - i.e. to land and take off from rough fields, grass strips, roadways, etc.. - and the Germans would have been doing that now again for over a year. Their pilots would be experts at landing and taking off and operating from rough conditions and their planes would be designed to do that. So those planes coming back would have set down and been able to go without any problems. Landing and taking off from a prepared airfield was almost the exception for German combat pilots in WWII and not the rule - especially on the Eastern Front. It would be the same here - especially since they would be using, most likely, combat pilots from the Eastern Front.

5) By the way just how high were the B-34's operating at? The Italians would definitely have had the Fiat G.55 Centauro operating on the islands - and she has a service ceiling of 41,666 feet - and could operate higher if needed to. If they came in at 35,000 feet as they were designed to then they would have had those fighters on them for sure - and if anyone would put planes like that there it would be Italy - who has already been nuked twice by the British. If those planes came in fully loaded with bombs then they were interceptable - and at least one or two should have been shot down by the Centauros- who would have been sent after those bombers for sure after Tripoli.

Anonymous said...

The Battle of Britain proved how even just a few fighters lead by radar can easily scatter a bomber formation. Given the comparative loss figures its safe to say the Axis owned the American fighters fairly convincingly in a straight up dog fight. So why were none of them off intercepting the bombers?

Golladay said...

Bobby, the Italians were ahead of everyone in terms of Radar development in OTL. Other than that the British victory is about right.

Well we are getting close to the Cumbre Vieja.

Anonymous said...

from Olefin

Maximum speed: 406 mph at 36,000 ft. (Featherweight III -D models could fly 418 mph)
Cruising speed: 225 mph
Range: 7,500 miles with 10,000 lbs. bomb load.; 8,800-mile ferry range
Service ceiling: 45,200 ft.

The straight line distance between San Juan and Tenerife Sur is approximately 3195 miles or 5142 kilometers.

The straight line distance between San Juan and Lanzarote / Aeropuerto is approximately 3376 miles or 5433 kilometers

The straight line distance between San Juan and Funchal / S. Catarina is approximately 3201 miles or 5151 kilometers

Thus the bomb loads they were carrying couldnt have been close to the 86000lbs max loads - most likely - at most - they were carrying between 15,000 - 20,000 lbs - in other words a total bomb load of, at most, 180,000 lbs (360 500 lb bombs). That is not a big enough load to disrupt the Axis on the Madeiras and the Canaries - that is a relatively minor raid by WWII standards.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Responding to various points...

The B-34's were coming in at 300+mph and at about 40,000 feet. Yes, in theory they could have been intercepted by some of the Axis fighters...but remember there is a swarm of 200 very aggressive U.S. jet fighters escorting them.

Note that the limitations of the B-34 are the reason the U.S. didn't try to strike Spain - Axis air defenses there are quite strong.

As for German preperations for a chemical/nuke attack - they certainly are equipped with gear for that and they would have been using it. That kind of goes without saying doesn't it? As of Part 52 every front in the war is a full nuclear/chem/bio war enviornment except for the channel front between england/germany where niether side has escalated yet.

Regarding the effectiveness of the attacks by the other 9 B-34's, note that I changed the language to say they hit a few key locations.

As for why the U.S. used a nuke to hammer the Italian fleet when they knew the British were about to send in a huge carrier raid - I say why not use it? They bagged an extra cruiser and couple of destroyers and also wiped out the harbor facilities. Plus the bomb through the fleet into chaos which later helped the British carrier raid do even more damage. This is worth the loss of tens of thousands of enemy civilians by the grim calculations of a Second World War. Hell, Britain has done mass raids on Turkey that killed hundreds of thousands. A few tens of thousands of civilians killed is not that big of a deal by Shattered World standards - remember, atom bombs are just really big bombs to the people of this timeline circa 1949.

As for the other Axis aircraft on the ground - they were preparing for an attack on the U.S. fleet and they were a tad too slow. Major blunder on the part of the Axis command. Also, keep in mind they had to scramble the 100 fighters to meet the American fighter force, and they had to keep more fighters in reserve because a strong British carrier force was still out there somewhere. In all this confusion the Axis command blunders and doesn't scramble all their bombers and maritime aircraft, or rather they make the mistake of being too aggressive by trying to prepare a strike against the American carriers but they screw it up.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Bobby I can understand your logic - and if this was Tokyo when the B-34 hadnt debuted yet I would say it makes sense.

However the B-34 has now been used repeatedly in Asia and the Japanese have, by now, given detailed info about what a B-34 attack looks like to the Germans and Italians. The German air base commanders would see those huge targets coming in at 40,000 feet plus - knowing that the only thing they could be is B-34's that are nuclear capable - and they would know that since there are only 12 of them that it was a nuclear strike in progress - that would fit the same profile as the Tokyo strike.

Since the B-34's are so slow it would give the Axis time to implement several emergency orders.

They would immediately order an emergency scramble of every plane still on the ground - they would use taxiways, runways, you name it - and get off the ground in a hurry. Especially every fighter they had left. Something like that happened just before Kursk in 1943 OTL - German fighters took off using anything they could use - and massacred an incoming Soviet bomber raid that their radar had detected coming in.

Then they would contact the fighters and order every fighter that could make 40,000 plus feet to disengage from the American jets and go after the bombers - right then and there. Pilots who disobey orders like that usually end up getting shot.

The fleet would issue an emergency sortie order - every ship in the harbor would fire off their boilers and go to max speed - that would probably save the DD's and possibly a light cruiser - subs would submerge. The BCR most likely couldn’t get going fast enough.

And an immediate air raid special weapons siren would go off - all troops to shelter and in their gear immediately.

Would this stop the Big Day - no it wouldn’t. But no Axis commander is going to sit there and let his planes get massacred by an incoming nuclear strike - not when the planes are obviously B-34's - not after Tokyo and not after Tripoli. The Americans would have lost bombers for sure - and the Germans would have still taken a big hit - not everything would have gotten off so it would have still been a major hit to them - and losing those airfields would still be a huge hit to their forces.

And the 200 incoming carrier aircraft would have had a bunch of disorganized planes landing wherever to take advantage of - so even the planes that got off the ground wouldn’t have had a very good day once those carrier planes got there.

As I said before - the Germans are going to take a huge hit either way - but having them just sit there and get massacred with no action makes absolutely no sense - they arent Nagumo at Midway - they had radar, they would have seen the planes, known damn well what they were and what was coming down on them and at the very least they would have scrambled anything that could get off the ground.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

What is the range at which the Axis would have spotted the incoming U.S. strike? I figure 200 miles is probably about the max. Axis radar isn't quite as good as allied radar. So, with the B-34's coming in at around 300mph the Axis have maybe 45 minutes of notice. How long does it take them to scramble 100 fighters?
The Axis are operating two airbases, so say 50 fighters or so from each air base. How long would it take these airbases to scramble 50 fighters? I'm honestly not sure.

Also, keep in mind that a B-34 raid would not be something they could be expecting. Yes, they have some information on them from the Japanese but not that much - would they really suspect that these bombers are capable of striking them from bases in the Americas?
Still, because of the threat of carrier strikes the Axis would be on high alert regardless. I just don't think they would be as ready for a B-34 strike as you seem to think. If anything they would be looking for a British heavy bomber strike of some sort ala Tripoli.

In addition, all 200 of the American fighters are jets wheras only about 50 of the Axis fighters are jets - so I seriously question assertions that the higher ceiling Axis fighters could easily just avoid the American jets and go after the very high flying B-34's.

Theres also the possibility that the Americans used whatever latest ECM they have to confuse the Axis radar picture.

Anonymous said...

They most likely had all 50 off the ground in about 10 minutes at most from both airfields. RAF scramble times during the Battle of Britain were under 5 minutes to get a squadron from the siren going off to wheels up and in the air and climbing. And in an emergency scramble they would have used even the taxiways if they had to to get off quicker.

As for the fighters getting clear to get at the bombers during the fighting - just because you are outnumbered doesn’t mean you cant get clear and take a crack at bombers - there are innumerable examples of that happening in WWII (i.e. Flying Tigers in China, Italian Veltros and Folgores over Sicily, British fighters in the Battle of Britain, etc..) If your base orders you to disengage and take out bombers they will do it if they can.

Plus lets be honest Bobby - the Germans and Japanese have now seen a clear pattern of attacks by small groups of bombers being nuclear attacks - they saw it at Tripoli (twice), at Tokyo, and multiple times throughout the Pacific. You are a German air commander - and you see a huge Allied fighter attack with 12 bombers (and since they attacked both areas you see maybe 3-4 approaching the Madeiras and 8 or so the Canaries) at very high altitude coming in behind them - only 12 when Britain could have launched hundreds as they did at Benghazi.

That would have sent alarm bells off in any commander's head who had a brain at all - he would have sortied every plane he had immediately and pulled every plane that could make 40,000 plus feet out of the furball and at the bombers - immediately.

Could they have used ECM - yes they could have - but a massive use of ECM would have also made them scramble every fighter and bomber they had as well - since that is a huge sign of incoming bombers - and you don’t sit there on the ground waiting to get your planes bombed out of existence.

If the Allies had some kind of stealth bomber then you the scenario you paint could happen where the commanders on the bases would literally not know the bombers were coming until the flash of the nuke. But a B-34 is anything but stealthy - and at the range they were coming in they were going more like 250mph or so at most - they would have seen them coming in, seen they were at a very high altitude, that the planes were very large (much bigger than a B-31) and known very quickly that this was an incoming nuke strike - especially since there were only 12 of them.

That is the biggest reason they would have scrambled by the way Bobby - a huge fighter strike preceeding only 12 incoming bombers? - that just screams NUKE!!!!!!

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

You do make some good points, no doubt about it. Will discuss further over on the discussion board.

Anonymous said...

put up my comments on the board as well - as I said Bobby the attack in general still should end with the Germans and Italians getting their butts kicked - no disagreement there - but the whole air attack is just too easy a kill for the US and British - for one those 200 carrier aircraft should be getting quite a reception from German and Italian AA - but they get away scot free - what happened to the huge defensive buildup on the Canaries and Madeiras?

For another the B-34's are coming in slow and low at 40,000 feet - and that puts them within interception envelopes of several different German and Italian prop fighters.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here again

gotta love the idea that the Germans have - sounds very familiar - i.e. 1942 OTL - there Stalin guessed that Hitler would attack in the Center - and put everything he had around Moscow - and by the time he realized what was going on Hitler had almost won the war - but they had enough gas to get in place to stop his drive in time

this time the Russians are out of gas - so when they realize they have their best troops and armor in the wrong place - they wont be able to move them in time

Terence Co said...

What is the maximum ceiling of the latest German jet fighters?

I am preety sure that the prop fighters cannot reach the B-34s at 40,000 feet.

As for German blunders. I think its safe to say that the Germans probably underestimated the U.S. capabilities even after Tokyo.

Even in OTL, they looked down on Japanese military capability based on race.

I however do not think the Germans are expecting a nuke especially on what they consider European territory. So far the nukes have been used outside Europe, Asia and the Middle East but not in Europe itself.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Note that Segment 52.3 has been revised slightly, its now 52.3.1

I've slightly tweaked the description of the American atomic attack on the canaries based on input from Olefin and others.
The end result of the day is still the same - a crushing Axis defeat. But a few of the details have been tweaked to provide a more robust picture of the battle.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Regarding the Eastern front, after segment 52.4 you should have a much clearer picture of what is going on there.

archangel said...

Great timeline Bobby!

Unfortunately, it hasn´t been possible for new users to enter and post in the message board.

Can you also tell us if there are any news in the Korea front or what happened to Java and Sumatra?

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

The Korean front will be mentioned in segment 52.4

As for Java and Sumatra, the Japanese evacuated and left Indonesian nationalists in charge. The Alliance hasn't decided how to treat them yet - its a messy situation because there are still Alliance troops there who had been working with guerrilla forces to fight the Japanese.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

To answer the question about prop fighters able to fight at 40,000 feet and higher - the answer is that both the Germans and Italians in WWII OTL deployed fighters with operational ceilings above 40,000 feet. Those fighters could operate as high as 42000 feet for instance (Centauro) and still be fully combat capable and maneuverable.

Now if the Americans go to the featherweight version of the B-34 then all bets are off with prop planes - that version operated in excess of 50,000 feet.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here again Bobby

Have a question - the B-34's survived several intercept attempts - from that I assume that at least some German and Italian planes made it up to the height they were at - did the B-34's get actually engaged and damaged or did their defensive armament keep the fighters from getting in a good shot at them?

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

The couple of fighters that actually attempted to engage the B-34's were driven off by the heavy armaments of the B-34's. Multiple 20mm barrels. Some of the fighers probably got a shot off but none did any damage.

In the future you'll see the B-34's get a heavier challenge, the air defenses over Europe proper are going to be much stronger and the Germans will be rushing dedicated high level interceptors into service.

Anonymous said...

I think the coming offensive in Russia is going to be the real pivotal moment of the war - if the Germans can destroy most of the remaining Russian forces (not meaning they take Leningrad and Moscow by the way) by being able to possibly break thru in the center and then take out the Ukranian forces by going around the defenses - then Russia will basically be out of the war.

Their manpower reserves will be completely depleted and it will take them years to get more gas and men to be a real threat - and by then the Germans will have nukes for sure.

The real story of Germany surviving the war may be played out in the next update. I have a feeling it may be a successful version of the 1942 OTL Caucasus operation - but this time by suckering them into putting their forces to the South while the Germans break thru in the center - and with the Russians without the gas to move their troops in time.

Ever heard of a book called Arc Light? It was about a possible WWII between the US and Russians - and it sounds a lot like what might be happening as far as the ground invasion we will see in the next update

Olefin here

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Bobby you mentioned that the Germans are beginning to come to the end of their manpower rope - but if you look they have a huge group of kids who would have been born between 1934 and 1939 - i.e. when Hitler was giving incentives for large families - coming of military age soon. And considering OTL what it really means is millions of dedicated Hitler Youth who have been trained since birth to be totally loyal to Hitler and trained for combat since they were little boys.

That force (while not in any way close to being called adults) is a huge asset that Germany will definitely use. And as I said these arent 14 and 15 year olds pulled off the farm - these are kids who spent the last 6-8 years every day and most weekends being taught how to shoot, how to dig foxholes, conduct military maneuvers, etc.. Are they as good as real combat troops - no not most of them (the 16 year olds could probably give combat troops a real run for their money). But they could be used effectively.

That is the real German ace in the hole - a final last surge of manpower that could give them troops while everyone else is sucking wind.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

just one more thing - love the updated post Bobby - too bad we dont have any graphic artists among us - the image of German bombers and fighters clawing for altitude and distance with the bomb going off behind them is a great image - and the furball with hundreds of jet fighters, propellor fighters, bombers, etc.. all in one huge mixed up fight with atomic mushroom clouds in the background would make for an awesome combat painting

Anonymous said...

Nicely made! You should really write a book about this. I was waiting for part 52 for months now- and I am NOT disappointed! This is the single greatest piece of writing I've ever come accross!

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Yeah, the Germans do have a small baby boom of sorts resulting from the Nazi party's "make babies" campaign in the 30's. However, they are still getting pretty stretched.
Best off is America of course - American military casualties have been relatively light compared to everyone else - and no damage to the homeland at all.

Oh, and I've wished I had drawing/painting skills for a long time. All these cool visions in my head and only words to get them out. My creative skills don't go much beyond writing.

To the last commenter, thanks for the compliment. I have certainly always considered that Shattered World could become a real book someday. Some of the earlier parts are pretty crude though. I started writing this about 7 years ago and I think my writing has improved since then. Some day I need to go back and polish some of the earlier stuff.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Bobby a question for you for the upcoming offensive. We know the Germans have a lot of armored divisions and mechanized infantry divisions - but are all their infantry divisions mechanized (i.e. mounted in armored personnel carriers of some type, halftracks, etc..) or is it just some of them and the rest are motorized (i.e. mounted in trucks)?

The second question is how much mechanization/motorization is there in their allies - you figure that the Italians and possibly Hungarians would be pretty high as well with others basically being foot infantry.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Regular German infantry divisions are mostly mobile via trucks. However, there are quite a few mechanized infantry divisions equipped with APC's and light panzer support, the panzergrenadier units.

The stronger minor Axis allies are also pretty mechanized, with trucks for most infantry and some mechanized infantry forces as well - using a lot of older German equipment.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Bobby we know that the Italians have completed the transition out of the Pzk III tank into the Pzk IV and some Cougars. Are they older Cougars from German stocks or are they making their own Cougars?

Just trying to get some idea of the Axis forces as they now stand prior to the great Summer offensive into Russia.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

As of Spring of 1949 the Italians are still only producing late model Mk4 designs. These are very refined models with improved engines, better turrets, more powerful long barreled canons, upgraded
control systems, etc. Still not quite as good as a Cougar I but much better than earlier model Mk4's.

The Italians do intend to begin producing Cougar I's on license but they are still gearing up for it.

Mussolini has been obsessed since the Eurasian War with improving Italy's armaments industry to make it more self sufficient and this has paid off in some areas - their tank and aircraft production lines are now quite robust - still not as good as the Germans but way ahead of any other Axis power. In many ways Italy has become a true member of the Great Powers although it is still the weakest of that category.
All in all, Italy is a much stronger ally of Germany than it ever was in our timeline.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here again

Saw your comments Bobby and I remembered something you posted several months ago.

You mentioned that the Tigers would return to action in Russia where they would be used to bust thru heavy fortifications and strongpoints. I also remember you mentioned that the Germans were developing a replacement for the Cougar II - a replacement that would be lighter than the Cougar II but easier to build, still well armed and armored and with some new refinements in it as well.

Question - will that new tank makes its debut this summer or is it still too early to see at the least prototypes of it in action?

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

The Tiger, or something very much resembling it, is around in relatively small numbers and is generally used to assault strong points, for tough urban fighting, etc.

The New German medium tank is still in development, probably won't go into full production for awhile still. They are taking their time on it, they want a tank that outclasses anything else in the world - and their is stiff competition from the British and Americans lately.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Bobby have a question to ask about the update - just for my info and a few others

The US and Brits had over 200 carrier aircraft available to hit the islands right after the big fighter sweep. Now I could see using the nukes to take out the airbase on the Canaries - but still troubled about the ones on the Madeiras and the Tenarife harbor strike.

And not troubled they would do it - but Madeira still had British troops on it correct? That is pretty cold blooded to nuke an island that small with your troops still on it - troops that probably took a bunch of casualties from the nuke strike due to fallout.

The other one is why nuke Tenarife harbor if the islands are basically just about cutoff from sea traffic? I mean I can understand it if the main Italian fleet was there and you were going to put a half dozen capital ships down - but it sounds like all there was there was a BCR and two DD - and if you have 200 carrier aircraft you could take them out easily without having to nuke the harbor area that you are going to need yourself once you reoccupy the Canaries.

Just wondering because those two attacks really seem out of character for the US militarily - i.e. putting Allied troops in danger at Madeira and using such a huge weapon just to get three ships.

CJ said...

Re: Tenerife harbor
- Because they could. Also, who knows what kind of supply dumps, C3 facilities, and troop concentrations there may have been

Re: Madeira
- Depends on how much of the island the British still hold and where their lines are. Based on Hiroshima & Nagasaki, there won't be much fall-out from air bursts and the worst of the effects will be around ground zero. Don't get be wrong, there will be long-lasting effects around the former airfield, but the British troops and most of the population should be OK. The airfield on Madeira is right on the beach and the terrain looks like it should shield most of the rest of the island from the blast effects. Plus I figure that the British troops had some warning and were all under cover - just in case. Have a look at some of the US Army manuals on NBC defense, prepared troops can do OK against what is basically a TacNuke by today's standards.

CJ said...

Bobby, any chance we can get some new maps that show the current front lines around the world?

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Still doesnt make sense though to waste a nuke for three ships - and also you have to figure that the British really wanted to sink those ships themselves. They really havent had a moment of naval glory in a while - and after the beating they took in the Fatherland fiasco you would think they would have lobbied heavily to take those ships out face to face - or at the least with their carrier aircraft.

I.e. sort of their chance for revenge like the Pearl Harbor BB got at Surigao Strait in OTL.

As for Madeira it really matters as to what the prevailing winds were - using a nuke on an island that small is something you dont lightly do - not unless the Brits there were in imminent danger of being thrown off and it was that or lose. And from what Bobby said while their supply situation was bad it wasnt that bad.

CJ said...

I'll say it again, for all we know there were also supply dumps, C3 nodes, and troop concentrations in the area around the harbor. Combined with the surface combatants in harbor, it was an ideal nuke target.

As for the British wanting the ships for themselves to take revenge, come on. The British are practical folks and are in pretty bad shape themselves overall. Every ship, supply dump, troop concentration, C3 node, and airfield taken out by the nukes equals aircraft and aircrew that won't get shot down going after those same targets. Ditto for ships and their crews. It's simple economy of force. The AfD needed to get control of the situation as quickly as possible and the nukes did that for them. How long would it have taken to wear down Axis airpower and deplete their supplies using only conventional weapons?

From what I can find the prevailing winds come in from the north, so most of the radiation and what fallout there was was probably blown out to sea.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Madeira : The British troops were given some notice, enough time to get into shelter and to ready their protective gear. The atomic blast hit the Axis part of the island, radiation exposure for the allied troops was minimal.
And remember, the long term threat of radiation hasn't really sunk in to these people yet - the threat of increased cancer rates seems pretty minimal in a world at war where millions of people are being killed and maimed.

As for the atom bomb that took out those Italian ships - the main target was the harbor itself, and all the supplies there. The ships getting taken out was a nice side benefit though, loss of the AAA cover around the port also helped the subsequent British carrier strikes in the area.

Anonymous said...

CJ you know perfectly well what I am talking about - the RN is a very very tradition bound organization - and they dont take defeats lightly - so any chance to show they still have it and that they cant be pushed around is one that they would jump at - and personally any battleship admiral who wouldnt want to take on two BCR and one BB with at least 8 BB of his own (4 US and 4RN minimum is what should be in the Allied fleet) should get cashiered.

or to say it English style - sinking capital ships with atomic bombs just isnt their cup of tea -

besides CJ you are the naval guy here - you tell me - what do you prefer - seeing capital ships sunk by impersonal bombs dropped from 40,000 feet - or sunk by other capital ships in a nice all out slugfest

one that by the way does the same thing as the atomic bomb did - and I think that with no airplanes left to interfere that a huge RN/USN BB and cruiser fleet could have basically finished Tenarife as a functioning port after they had put the Italian ships on the seafloor - plus not nuking a city of 90,000 plus in the process

call me old fashioned - but given the chance I would think the RN battleship commanders would have jumped at the chance to justify all the steel and pounds put into building those ships -

besides the supply of atomic bombs is pretty limited - however the British and US have lots and lots of nice bombardment and anti ship shells

by the way as I said I do agree with using the nuke to take out the airfields on the Canaries - that target just screams nuke it and forget it

CJ said...

Re: Tradition
- The nature of warfare has changed in ATL. That's just a simple fact. This decision would have been made well above the level of the First Sea Lord, let alone the battleship admirals.

Do I love big gun actions? Of course I do. But their time is coming to a close. Oh we might get a few battles (read executions) in the Mediterranean and a battle or two in the North Sea. But the grandaddy of them all ain't likely to happen because the IJN is being exterminated in port.

Besides, it the Italians. Not the Germans. If it was Vaterland herself out there, then maybe I could see it. But it's some Italian battleship - probably a new one that never did anything. Ditto for the battlecruisers.

Speed was of the essense here. Like Bobby said, the ships were a bonus, not the primary target. In a day the AfD has completely turned the tide of the battle. How many days or weeks would that have taken otherwise? How many lives. How many ships and aircraft lost?

Besides, that battleship and one of the battlecruisers are still out there. Maybe Bobby will give us something special in the next part. I'm just sad the RM didn't send out any of its carriers.

Re: A-bomb supply
- Actually, the US is probably up to 3-6 per month by now and climbing. With Continental Europe pretty much off limits for nukes, they had to use them somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder why everyone here is expacting (or wanting?) a German breakthrough in the East? The Russians often pulled victory from the jaws of defeat haven't they? Let's not write them off so quickly.


Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Cant wait for the next update Bobby - sounds like the Eastern Front is going to be a very exciting place to be.

By the way are the Germans/Italians operating any aircraft at all out of the Canaries now using roads or smaller landing strips or did they pull everything out that had range to make Spain?

You would think at the least they would keep a few planes there similiar to what the US did in Bataan in 1942 OTL - i.e. a remnant air group operating from airstrips that were basically roads or flat grassy strips.

At the least anything that couldnt make Iberia from the Canaries should still be there - but you would figure it would be, at most, about a squadron or squadron and a half made up of whatever was left.

Also I am assuming the second Italian battlecruiser is still out there somewhere?

CJ said...

Re: Axis aircraft in the Canary Islands
- I think the real question here is what kind of disperal plan did the Axis have? If their munitions, AVGAS, spare parts, and maintenance troops were mostly at the airfields, they no longer have the abilty to support anything more than token air operations.

Re: RM Surface Combatants
- The battlecruiser is probably going to make a run for it if they've got the fuel. Regardless, it won't last long with the force ratios in the theatre.
- That battleship is going to die, and soon.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

I am wondering if the BCR made a run for the South Atlantic - i.e. to raid the sealanes there - if it did it may have to try for Argentina - possibly we can look forward to an updated version of the Graf Spee fight?

CJ said...

Now there's an interesting thought. But it's going to be a hell of a lot harder to hide in ATL 1949 than it was in OTL 1939 with more and better search assets available. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it's going to be more difficult. My main concern would be getting out of the cordon the AfD are going to have around the Canary Islands. At the very least they've got MPAs at Cape Verde and out of northern Brazil. Still, it's worth further thought.

I've got visions of an Iowa running her down and ripping her apart, if the carriers don't get her of course.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - opened a new thread on the discussion board in the tech area about possible B-34 interceptors - ranging from the Natter to the Ta-152 to the Centauro to the Blohm and Voss BV 155 - very interested in what we get for answers there - obviously the Germans had aircraft in OTL WWII that could have intercepted a B-34A - possibly even a Featherweight version - so the real question is will the interceptor be one of them or something new that Bobby comes up with?

Anonymous said...

Not sure if the Big Day would really be the biggest disaster - there have been some other ones out there I would think are pretty bad as well - Skorzeny's idea in Russia that cost the Reich most of their helos and a lot of elite commandos comes to mind right off the bat - or the big para drop on Gib that ended up with all of them dead or captured

Archangel said...

- Bobby, are you going to pull the Kurd card?

It is a tactical option if you want to weaken Turkey and Iran (mostly the latter), or a strategic option if the AFD is in deep trouble.

The Kurds tried for several times to rebel and in OTL they even tried around this time.
Given the fact that the Kurds represent 20% or so of Turkey's population and a sizeable chunk of the remaining Iran, a binding agreement (with Kurdish leaders -the Iraqi Kurds for example) of an independent state for the Kurds would make them rebel and keep occupied a good portion of Turkey troops back home, making more difficult to supply Iran, and, if the kurds are well supplied, even reducing axis-controlled Turkish territory.

I'm considering the lower case scenario, involving Turkish Kurdistan, but the Shah could also be convinced to give Persian Kurdistan independence too, in exchange for a greater deal of help.
Syria doesn't enter in this equation since it´s part of a Free France, a (for the time being) neutral country (an allied-leaning non-belligerant country to be more precise).

In the British War Cabinet, at least someone would be itching to pull this option, in case the Turks can't be convinced to Switch sides to AFD or going neutral.

- By the way, will Free France return to a democracy, whatever the outcome you have in mind for the war?

What´s your opinion about these points?

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Regarding the Kurds. Note that they did help the British in Iraq, and were granted a semi-autonomous status as a reward. A British-backed Kurdish rebellion in Turkey is certainly possible, and some Kurdish groups would already be active in this arena with or without British support.
Britain would prefer to have Turkey switch sides, so it isn't ready to openly support a Kurdish rebellion yet.

As for the Free French, a lot depends on how the war ends. If mainland France remains in German hands then its likely that Free France would remain dominated by the Free French military, with perhaps an outward appearance of a Republic to make the AfD happy.

CJ said...

Bobby, do you not check your PMs anymore?

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

The Kurdish option could backfire as well - the Kurds are not well liked by their fellow Muslims - and being seen as a tool of the British is not going to be popular in places like Jerusalem and Amman and Cairo.

It may end up being not worth it - and if you really want to piss off the Turks and get them gung ho for an all out war it would be the perfect thing to do.

They hate the Kurds - and a Kurdish invasion of Turkey incited by the AfD would make them go completely and utterly into the Axis camp. They not only wouldnt change sides - they would probably stay in the war longer convinced any AfD victory means the dismemberment of Turkey.

Anonymous said...

olefin here

fyi from Bobby in response to an email I sent him

My Question:
Did the US and Brazil also declare war on the SAFB since the AfD was at war with them?

Response from Bobby:

No, they only declared war on Germany and Italy actually. Then all the Axis declared war on the U.S. and Brazil, as per the terms of the Axis treaty system. The U.S. and Brazil then replied. So, the U.S. and Brazil are at war with the European Axis. It gets kinda complicated, because Brazil is not at war with Japan but the U.S. is.

Anonymous said...

So bobby - Germans ready to launch the huge offensive against the Russians, something may be happening in Korea, Middle East looks interesting and the Canaries are smoking (literally) -

and all of us are on pins and needles - any idea when we may get to see if the Germans make it to Moscow?

Anonymous said...

Bobby - Olefin here - a question - were any RN or USN carriers - up to this point in the Canaries fighting - either sunk or damaged by the German and Italian subs that were part of the force sent to blockade the islands and prevent British reinforcement of them? If not is it because of good ASW - or is it because the Germans and Italians didnt go for the carriers but instead went for the Allied supply ships?

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