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Alternate History- What if Hitler had not invaded Russia, would Germany still control Western Europe today?


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9 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

A quick google check here,

don-caldwell.we.bs/jg26/thtrlosses.htm (don-caldwell.we.bs)

Indicates that the Luftwaffe lost (defined as total losses plus damaged) 27,060 aircraft fighting the Anglo-Americans and 8,600 aircraft fighting the Soviets between September 1943 and October 1944.  It does not break down the losses between the RAF and the USAAF, but assuming about 50/50, that would mean that the RAF accounted for something like 13,500 German aircraft and the USAAF and Soviets accounted for about 22,000.

If the USA and USSR are not in the war, the RAF might shoot down or damage some number of aircraft more  - at great price to the RAF.  But even so, the bulk of the 22,000 will not be shot down because the air forces that did so historically are not in the war.  So, the LW frontline strength against England alone in 1944 is not peaking at less than 6,000, it's rising to past 15,000.

You are again making assumptions with no data to back them up, why 50/50 and not 75/25? after all the British had been in the war longer and (in the air) winning it. Then you focus on the price but miss the point - it's not a matter of high or low, but whether they could afford it. The British could, the Germans couldn't.

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2 hours ago, RETAC21 said:

Let's look at your logic in more detail, shall we?

- How do they take Gibraltar?

- Why is the whole strength of the LW in the Mediterranean?

- Why the Germans could reinforce the Med but no one else can?

Your non sequiturs are bigger than operation Barbarossa.

1. Gibraltar is taken by the German army executing a direct invasion of Spain from France.  This idea seems to confuse you.  Somehow, you imagine that Adolf Hitler, of all people, was concerned about Franco's feelings, or needing to feed a conquered population.  Geez man, pick up book.  The guy was ruthless.

2. The whole strength of the Luftwaffe is not in the Mediterranean.  They don't need it all there, just enough to shut the RN out of the Med and take Egypt.  Much of the LW will be deployed in Northern France bombing the UK, (mostly by night).  Some of it will be in France and Spain participating in the BOA.

3. The British are on exterior lines.  All their reinforcements have to sail around Africa.  Their aerial reinforcements can fly across Africa, but still, it takes much longer.  The Germans are on interior lines.  They can move their air forces about in Europe much more quickly

 

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13 minutes ago, RETAC21 said:

eh, no?

This is basic probability. I won't bother with looking at the statistics for you, but for example, see here:

Suffice to say, it's not linear, to the surprise of no one.

Your source says,

Air Ministry estimates were that it took 6,000 shells for each claim in autumn 1940, improving to 3,195 in April 1941.

So in 1940 if they fired 6,000 shells, they shoot down 1 plane.  If they fire 12,000 shells, they shoot down 2 planes.  In 1941 fire control improves so that if they fire 3,195 shells they shoot down 1 plane.  If they fire 6,400 shells, they should down 2 planes.

What Rich and you are saying is that if they fire 6,000 shells in 1940 they shoot down 1 plane.  But if they fire 12,000 shells, they shoot down 1 plane.  No.  They shoot down 2 planes because those extra 6,000 shells have a basically equal chance of doing damage as the first 6,000 shells.

 

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6 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

One day it's the A-bomb they're not going to have, the next it's the blockade that's not going to work.  It's all pixie dust.  The British couldn't win the war without either the USSR or USA coming in.

Sorry Glenn, that's not going to fly. Ultimately we did build the bomb on our own, Germany did not. We can argue how long it would have took, but inevitably we were up to creating it and the Nazis were not. Nor, very likely, could they ever had, with the fundamental mistakes Heisenberg was making, deliberately or otherwise.

Again , the blockade would work, did work and would always work, because we had a fleet capable of fulfilling its mission and Germany didnt.

The British Empire in 1947 equalled in population the USSR in 1989. It had aircraft production above germany. It was more mechanised, we even built more agricultural tractors in Ww2 than Germany did. We completely outclassed them at sea except in submarines. Economically we were more powerful. Add all that up, it was inevitable we would win just ourselves against Germany. The only question is how we did it, and how long it took. They were in the brink of starving in Germany by 1945 Glenn. We werent.

You know, I'm trying to revise my posting style to be less sarcastic and confrontational, challenging though I find some people's attitudes to be. But there is only one person throwing pixie dust in the air here Glenn, and I'm very sure it's not me.

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9 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

1. Gibraltar is taken by the German army executing a direct invasion of Spain from France.  This idea seems to confuse you.  Somehow, you imagine that Adolf Hitler, of all people, was concerned about Franco's feelings, or needing to feed a conquered population.  Geez man, pick up book.  The guy was ruthless.

2. The whole strength of the Luftwaffe is not in the Mediterranean.  They don't need it all there, just enough to shut the RN out of the Med and take Egypt.  Much of the LW will be deployed in Northern France bombing the UK, (mostly by night).  Some of it will be in France and Spain participating in the BOA.

3. The British are on exterior lines.  All their reinforcements have to sail around Africa.  Their aerial reinforcements can fly across Africa, but still, it takes much longer.  The Germans are on interior lines.  They can move their air forces about in Europe much more quickly

 

But what about the ones coming in from India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand?

It's an Empire. Get past the idea it's only the British isles that is important and suddenly it doesn't look so easy.

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1 hour ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

What about he Suez canal Glenn? It takes longer to get to Cairo, but the route isn't closed. It might even be faster to import supplies from the US West Coast going that way.

If Alexandria had fallen I believe the plan was to sabotage the Suez Canal so that the Axis could not advance into the Red Sea via the Suez Canal.  The issue for the British was not the Germans.  It was the Soviets.  If Egypt falls, Stalin may take this as the indication that the British were done.  If the Red Army attacks, the British are done.

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13 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

1. Gibraltar is taken by the German army executing a direct invasion of Spain from France.  This idea seems to confuse you.  Somehow, you imagine that Adolf Hitler, of all people, was concerned about Franco's feelings, or needing to feed a conquered population.  Geez man, pick up book.  The guy was ruthless.

2. The whole strength of the Luftwaffe is not in the Mediterranean.  They don't need it all there, just enough to shut the RN out of the Med and take Egypt.  Much of the LW will be deployed in Northern France bombing the UK, (mostly by night).  Some of it will be in France and Spain participating in the BOA.

3. The British are on exterior lines.  All their reinforcements have to sail around Africa.  Their aerial reinforcements can fly across Africa, but still, it takes much longer.  The Germans are on interior lines.  They can move their air forces about in Europe much more quickly

 

1. You still don't get it, I see. No one mentioned Franco's feelings but you, but wars are not fought becuase feelings - you still seem to miss the objective reasons why Hitler didn't do that, and it wasn't because of Russia.

2. Sorry, when you wrote the whole LW you meant what? so now "much" is bombing the UK bt night and suffering appalling losses, reducing the fraction available for the Med and the BOA, and, by happenstance, the fraction most sorely needed for over water navigation.

3. Yes, but the German "interior" lines are subject to interdiction too, specially on the part in which you have them sailing across the Med in landing craft. 

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3 hours ago, Detonable said:

You are describing American plants, not the German hydrogenation plants. 

You quoted a document from a US department, but without providing the date of publication. According to my, I admit, rudimentary knowledge of petroleum refining, the information quoted correspond to years where catalytic cracking was extended worldwide, such as now.

Catalytic cracking is the most efficient process, and perhaps the only one feasible, to obtain high octane number gasolines in high quantities, as @RichTO90 stated, I confirmed independently by myself, and other members of this Grate Sight have written over the years. Regarding the last point, I think it was King Sargent (Rest in Peace) the one that wrote that Russians were so impressed with Lend-Lease gasoline that they asked the Americans for details of the refining process, in order to apply it with their oil sources, but the USA declined to share that process.

In the links quoted, they explained the origins of the catalytic cracking process, the engineering behind converting it into a continuous process instead of a batch one, and the massive industrial use of catalytic cracking in USA because of the high demand of gasoline due to the large number of automobiles in use in the country, while out of Europe there was more demand of Diesel and other heavy fuel oils. Also, it should be noted that the advanced, continuous catalytic cracking process was entering industrial production between 1938, and 1940. That is too late to have that technology widely available worldwide, especially during a war.

There is also the aspect of TEL, but I am not taking any position there, as I could not find conclusive evidence about its use by Germany during WWII.

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11 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

Your source says,

Air Ministry estimates were that it took 6,000 shells for each claim in autumn 1940, improving to 3,195 in April 1941.

So in 1940 if they fired 6,000 shells, they shoot down 1 plane.  If they fire 12,000 shells, they shoot down 2 planes.  In 1941 fire control improves so that if they fire 3,195 shells they shoot down 1 plane.  If they fire 6,400 shells, they should down 2 planes.

What Rich and you are saying is that if they fire 6,000 shells in 1940 they shoot down 1 plane.  But if they fire 12,000 shells, they shoot down 1 plane.  No.  They shoot down 2 planes because those extra 6,000 shells have a basically equal chance of doing damage as the first 6,000 shells.

 

Er, no, again. They may shot down 1.3 planes but shooting double the amount of ammo will not bring down double the number of aircraft. I see you missed the part on "claims".

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With regards to the Western Front, I guess one factor would be that the Germans might not fight as hard as they did on the Ostfront (racial animosity plus fear of retribution for massive war crimes). Another factor would be whether the US and U.K. would even have the manpower and logistics to pull of a successful invasion (it was fairly challenging for us in real life).  Agree that “How many Germans could even fit in Normandy” would be a factor. Another factor would be the course of the Pacific War, assuming it happens in this timeline, although that was a minority of overall US effort. 

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5 hours ago, bojan said:

Just a note, but significantly changing refinery output in the 1940s refinery basically meant rebuilding major parts of the columns and other equipment. It was far from  "lets's produce 50% less diesel and we will get 50% more gasoline", ratios for change were very, very bad, with even 10% increase in certain fraction would result in significant (up the 50%) loses to others (well, except tar...).

Also, refineries as built were "tied" to a certain oil sources and changing them on the fly while possible in theory was very problematic. Refining efficiency could drop even 30-40% in case of crude source change.

Some crude sources were also non-exploitable for this reason also, refining equipment needed for process to be economically viable was too expensive to set, and lesser equipment would not produce enough desired products for a process to be economically viable..

As for TEL, there were work-arounds if you needed relatively small quantities of high performance gasoline, but there was no realistic way to make enough to power your whole fighter fleet.

  As everyone increases production aren't they increasing each fraction, so more of each type of fuel will be available?

 

  Also, could Italy have bought fuel oil from the Soviet Union? They had the largest oil reserves in Europe.

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57 minutes ago, sunday said:

You quoted a document from a US department, but without providing the date of publication. According to my, I admit, rudimentary knowledge of petroleum refining, the information quoted correspond to years where catalytic cracking was extended worldwide, such as now.

Catalytic cracking is the most efficient process, and perhaps the only one feasible, to obtain high octane number gasolines in high quantities, as @RichTO90 stated, I confirmed independently by myself, and other members of this Grate Sight have written over the years. Regarding the last point, I think it was King Sargent (Rest in Peace) the one that wrote that Russians were so impressed with Lend-Lease gasoline that they asked the Americans for details of the refining process, in order to apply it with their oil sources, but the USA declined to share that process.

In the links quoted, they explained the origins of the catalytic cracking process, the engineering behind converting it into a continuous process instead of a batch one, and the massive industrial use of catalytic cracking in USA because of the high demand of gasoline due to the large number of automobiles in use in the country, while out of Europe there was more demand of Diesel and other heavy fuel oils. Also, it should be noted that the advanced, continuous catalytic cracking process was entering industrial production between 1938, and 1940. That is too late to have that technology widely available worldwide, especially during a war.

There is also the aspect of TEL, but I am not taking any position there, as I could not find conclusive evidence about its use by Germany during WWII.

 

The link also mentioned hydrogenation. Hydrogenation, not catalytic cracking, was the German method.

"By this time, other German chemical companies such as Ruhrchemie and Friedrich Krupp AG began liquid fuel production operations and by the end of 1945 twelve coal hydrogenation plants and nine F-T plants had been constructed. 27"

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"Turning to their neighbors in the east, Germany pressed both Romania and the Soviet Union to significantly increase current oil exports. Romania was particularly critical to the Reich’s oil stockpile program, producing 8 million barrels for German export in 1940—a staggering increase of 4.7 million barrels in only two years.15"

AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE AIR UNIVERSITY TURNING POINT: A HISTORY OF GERMAN PETROLEUM IN WORLD WAR II AND ITS LESSONS FOR THE ROLE OF OIL IN MODERN AIR WARFARE Shawn P. Keller, Major, USAF AY11 Spring Independent Elective Advisor: Dr. Michael May

 

  Although we noted Italy had enough  fuel for 1941, why can't Italy buy from the Soviet Union? They're selling to Germany.

 

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26 minutes ago, Detonable said:

by the end of 1945 twelve coal hydrogenation plants and nine F-T plants had been constructed

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergius_process

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brabag

Looks like you are conflating the two ways of obtaining fuels, by refining from petroleum, with possible hydrogenation and cracking involved, and by hydrogenation of coal by the Fischer-Tropsch or Bergius processes, followed by some refining, that could include cracking.

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On 1/24/2021 at 2:31 PM, Stuart Galbraith said:

Turkey just isnt going to join the Axis. Not after having the example of what happened last time it joined cause with the Germans. What precisely is it going to get from it? Even if the Germans win, it seems unlikely to me the Germans are going to allow Turkey to gain control of the worlds oil supply.

At some point, Turkey might have had no choice, however: one of the German attempts to negotiate a deal with Soviets had them propose Soviets expanding towards Middle East, in favour of Finland and Romania which were uncomfortable expansion targets from German point of view. Had Soviets accepted this approach, it would have placed Turkey in difficult position.

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On 1/24/2021 at 7:48 AM, RichTO90 said:

Why would Moscow give the Germans more financial and political rope in this scenario? Remeber, by mid-1941 Germany was badly in arrears to the USSR. How long do they keep on giving before Stalin gets tired and starts taking back?

Germany was in debt to USSR not so much because they couldn't pay, but because they (rightly) saw no reason to ship valuable stuff to a country they planned to invade in very close future.

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On 1/24/2021 at 8:47 AM, RichTO90 said:

Why? Are you going to stand down that part of the Luftwaffe? The Luftwaffe is going to use fuel whether or not it flies against the East or it flies against the West. In the summer of 1942 only 43% of the Luftwaffe 1E fighter force was in the east. By winter it was just 28% and it continued to fall in 1943. By September 1943, only 30% of ALL Luftwaffe combat aircraft strength was in the east.

'Only 43...%' ? I don't know, sounds fairly large share for me. Luftwaffe had no reason to keep much of its strength tied up in Eastern Front in wintertime when potential for air operations was limited. Frontline strength was increased for Kursk, then it fell again after offensive had failed.

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6 hours ago, glenn239 said:

Invading the Soviet Union cost the Germans far more in resources than were ever extracted from it.  Also, doing so prevented the trade pacts Stalin was wishing to sign in 1941 from happening, costing the Axis untold millions of tons of supplies later.

By August 1940, Germany was 73-million RM behind on payments to the USSR. By June 1941, it was about 230-million RM behind. Partly that was due to Hitler attempting to get something for nothing before attacking the Soviets, but it also is indicative of how little Germany actually had for trade.

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6 hours ago, glenn239 said:

Rich and I participated in a discussion last year on Axis History Forum where the use of unrefined oil in the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1944 was discussed.   The problem, (IIRC) was high sulfur contaminants in the oil, which made the ships more vulnerable to fuel explosions in battle.  But it was done.

No, the problem with using unrefined crude in warships was that it required certain qualities of crude - the typical waxy German and Austria crude was unsuitable without refining - and that volatile contaminants in the crude meant the ship machinery was vulnerable to disastrous damage, in or out of battle.

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4 minutes ago, RichTO90 said:

No, the problem with using unrefined crude in warships was that it required certain qualities of crude - the typical waxy German and Austria crude was unsuitable without refining - and that volatile contaminants in the crude meant the ship machinery was vulnerable to disastrous damage, in or out of battle.

There have been fires aboard crude oil tankers because their captains/owners decided it could be a good idea to burn the cargo as fuel. However, that is not so of a good idea when a fuel system designed to handle a hard to burn fuel such as bunker oil finds itself conveying a volatile-rich substance like crude oil.

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8 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Because I think its a given that Hitler, utter tool though he was, would not be so stupid to start a war with spain, because it would have given him absolutely nothing but road access to Gibraltar.

No, the only way that it would happen, as historically didnt happen, was because Spain wanted to join the war. And because it would gain very little from such an action and was already damaged by the civil war, it didnt.

I dont think this a particularly stunning revelation. its why it didnt happen.

I don't think that in this scenario  - no invasion to USSR - Germany would gain by invading those other countries it historically did not invade - Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Turkey and whatnot. They would have been capable of course, but cost/benefit seems dubious at best. Capturing Gibraltar, possible IMO if you throw everything for that goal, but is it worth THAT much? Same goes for bribing Spain to German side - again, plausible, but amount of freebies Germany would have to give to Spain to get them to join Axis and actually be useful ally would be prohibitive.

Also, those neutral countries were useful for Germany - much more so than they were to Allied. They could run trade, contraband, spies, diplomacy etc. All that would stop if they were conquered.

Best 'Spanish scenario' for Germans might be to pay them to help German blockade running and submarine operations.

All that of course doesn't mean that Hitler would not invade them anyway. He seemed to like invading countries.

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5 hours ago, glenn239 said:

The German war economy was overheated and strained because it was fighting on two fronts.  The three hammer blows, the establishment of Allied airpower in France, of the loss of France, and Rumania, ain't gonna happen.

Nope. The Nazi government economy was imploding because they refused to increase taxes on industry until it was too late. Worse, their shell-game finance scheme of raiding the German pension scheme had exhausted that resource...

 

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All of the Axis aerial forces committed to Barbarossa will come west.  Some of the bomber force would be assigned to the BOA, more than the historical numbers.

Why the "historical numbers" allocated to the Battle of the Atlantic were so low is the problem. Luftwaffe naval strike capabilities were limited, to say the least. They had effectively four KG gruppen capable of naval strike.

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No, what's happening is that you are perfectly aware that if Gibraltar falls the British are done in the Med.  So, what we get is a bunch of nonsense that Franco's Spanish army, half of which would probably defect to a German invasion, will somehow perform better than the Yugoslavians did. 

No, what's happening is you are blowing smoke as usual and expecting everyone to accept the bullshit you spout. Gibraltar has zero to do with Britain maintaining a presence in the Med...there is this port known as Alexandria and this Canal-thingie going through Suez.

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After 1944 pressure mines will choke British imports, and argument to the effect that the Germans would not do what they could do, are simply disingenious.  The Type XXI's will start coming in in numbers and the British will be in trouble there as well. 

You need to look into the reality of the German pressure mines and why they were employed as they were. The original design was defective, using natural rubber, which deteriorated causing them to premature. That wasn't discovered until they were employed in June 1944. They also were not employed then for two reasons, oddly enough, a desire not to violate the ban on such "unsweepable mines" and the fear one would be captured, copied and employed against them. However, in fact, the British had developed their own pressure mine already, but did not employ it for the exact same reasons. The kickers are, if the Germans did deploy them against Britain, the British would retaliate and devastatingly so, likely closing the Rhine-Ruhr canal system and shutting down the core of German industry, while the idea that the mines were "unsweepable" isn't quite true, they were vulnerable to being spoofed by explosive pressure waves, a problem that was not solved until 1945.

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1 hour ago, Detonable said:

  As everyone increases production aren't they increasing each fraction, so more of each type of fuel will be available?

If you are using crude that your refinery is built for. But refineries are made with finite capacities, and more crude you process more often you will need to stop process in order to do maintenance, so it is very far from a linear gain.

If they are using "wrong" crude, other than reducing production (other than tar...) by as much as 30-40% means that your maintenance circle will go down drastically. Rule of thumb is about 2 times shorter maintenance circles due the crud buildup in system, and for 1940s refineries that might be even worse.

 

Quote

  Also, could Italy have bought fuel oil from the Soviet Union? They had the largest oil reserves in Europe.

Soviet Caspian oils are well known as "aromatic", they were more suited for being refined in the heavier fractions. One of the reasons Soviets pursued "dieselization" was that it was more economically viable to extract more diesel vs gasoline from their Caspian crude (only later post-ww2 will Siberian "light" crude come. Especially high octane gasoline was problematic. Before WW2 they have started ambitious diesel air-engine program that while did not see widespread aviation use actually resulted in V-2 engine for T-34. Basically they were trying to save every drop of high performance gasoline for fighters.

So if Italy wants diesel and "aromatic" crude they could probably import it. Question is what were they going to do with it with mostly gasoline motorization...

 

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I don't have a dog in this fight and forgive me if this been answered before, but I have two questions after reading Rich's account of refining facts. 

1. Was U.S. aviation gasoline crucial to the Soviet Air Force's ability to function?

2. Same question as to the British and her Commonwealth air forces?

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19 minutes ago, RichTO90 said:

Nope. The Nazi government economy was imploding because they refused to increase taxes on industry until it was too late. Worse, their shell-game finance scheme of raiding the German pension scheme had exhausted that resource...

 

Why the "historical numbers" allocated to the Battle of the Atlantic were so low is the problem. Luftwaffe naval strike capabilities were limited, to say the least. They had effectively four KG gruppen capable of naval strike.

No, what's happening is you are blowing smoke as usual and expecting everyone to accept the bullshit you spout. Gibraltar has zero to do with Britain maintaining a presence in the Med...there is this port known as Alexandria and this Canal-thingie going through Suez.

You need to look into the reality of the German pressure mines and why they were employed as they were. The original design was defective, using natural rubber, which deteriorated causing them to premature. That wasn't discovered until they were employed in June 1944. They also were not employed then for two reasons, oddly enough, a desire not to violate the ban on such "unsweepable mines" and the fear one would be captured, copied and employed against them. However, in fact, the British had developed their own pressure mine already, but did not employ it for the exact same reasons. The kickers are, if the Germans did deploy them against Britain, the British would retaliate and devastatingly so, likely closing the Rhine-Ruhr canal system and shutting down the core of German industry, while the idea that the mines were "unsweepable" isn't quite true, they were vulnerable to being spoofed by explosive pressure waves, a problem that was not solved until 1945.

Rich, I have not received the books you recommended on W.W.2 economies, but would it be accurate to say Germany would have gone bankrupt sooner than Great Britain?

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