1937- What if the US Army get a blank cheque?

Have a tall tale? Possibly thoughts on a book? A great place to get a first impression of your idea.
Joined: December 24th, 2006, 4:52 am

February 13th, 2018, 11:22 am #21

Dave AAA wrote: Probably what you really need is a French corps or two with tank and artillery support and a good sized air group of first line combat aircraft with well trained crews in Indochina led by someone willing to fight regardless of orders from Vichy.  That would pretty much stop Japan from moving south at the beginning.

This, however, could probably not be funded from the US defence budget at this time.
the problem was Rooseveldt was to provoke Japan into attacking yo get America into the war in Europe.  See Stinnert's book Day of Deception.   I discovered it was part of a considerable literature on the subject.
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Joined: January 14th, 2013, 4:04 pm

February 13th, 2018, 11:40 am #22

Robert Stinnett, okay, he would say something like that.
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Joined: April 10th, 2005, 2:54 pm

February 13th, 2018, 2:12 pm #23

richard roper wrote:
Dave AAA wrote: Probably what you really need is a French corps or two with tank and artillery support and a good sized air group of first line combat aircraft with well trained crews in Indochina led by someone willing to fight regardless of orders from Vichy.  That would pretty much stop Japan from moving south at the beginning.

This, however, could probably not be funded from the US defence budget at this time.
the problem was Rooseveldt was to provoke Japan into attacking yo get America into the war in Europe.  See Stinnert's book Day of Deception.   I discovered it was part of a considerable literature on the subject.
And what do you say about criticism of Day of Deception, such as the impossibility of using radio traffic to find a formation under radio silence so strict they disabled their radio equipment?

And why do you continue to insist on mispelling Roosevelt?
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Joined: June 2nd, 2004, 9:45 pm

February 13th, 2018, 2:46 pm #24

Changing up.  Putting more resources and men into the US Army in 1939 is a zero sum game.  Removing manpower from industrial recovery, or diverting manufacturing to wartime stuff, have consequences.

Having large stocks of out-dated, ineffective, and/or obsolete hardware does not benefit warfighting.   For example, how many Lee/Grants would one need to fight a well-led armored division equipped with PZ IVh, Stug III Gs, and (before too long) Tigers/Panthers?

One way to envision war preps on design/manufacturing is to compare it to decelerating to a gravity field landing, rather than ACCelerating.  That is, it is more efficient to apply the burn as late as possible, rather than as early as possible.

In post-WWII USSR, Stalin kept up a war economy while the West shifted to peacetime economy growing.  As a result, the USSR overall economy grew slowly, while the West grew fast, enabling a larger pie to carve war pieces from, rather that the USSR having larger percentage pieces of a smaller pie..
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Joined: January 19th, 2011, 11:33 pm

February 13th, 2018, 3:42 pm #25

jim 1 wrote: Changing up.  Putting more resources and men into the US Army in 1939 is a zero sum game.  Removing manpower from industrial recovery, or diverting manufacturing to wartime stuff, have consequences.

Having large stocks of out-dated, ineffective, and/or obsolete hardware does not benefit warfighting.   For example, how many Lee/Grants would one need to fight a well-led armored division equipped with PZ IVh, Stug III Gs, and (before too long) Tigers/Panthers?

One way to envision war preps on design/manufacturing is to compare it to decelerating to a gravity field landing, rather than ACCelerating.  That is, it is more efficient to apply the burn as late as possible, rather than as early as possible.

In post-WWII USSR, Stalin kept up a war economy while the West shifted to peacetime economy growing.  As a result, the USSR overall economy grew slowly, while the West grew fast, enabling a larger pie to carve war pieces from, rather that the USSR having larger percentage pieces of a smaller pie..
That's an interesting point, but in 1937 would that matter?

The US had quite a bit of slack industrial capacity in 1937.  10% of the GDP is small enough that it could be funded out of tax rolls.  The US shifted from M2, to M3s, to M4, to M26 all while keeping up wartime production requirements.  I don't see how a 1937 start would make things harder than a 1940 start.  It just give the US time to come up with equipment designs, and train up troops to use them ~3 years sooner.
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Joined: May 8th, 2006, 7:32 pm

February 14th, 2018, 12:13 am #26

jim 1 wrote: Changing up.  Putting more resources and men into the US Army in 1939 is a zero sum game.  Removing manpower from industrial recovery, or diverting manufacturing to wartime stuff, have consequences.

Having large stocks of out-dated, ineffective, and/or obsolete hardware does not benefit warfighting.   For example, how many Lee/Grants would one need to fight a well-led armored division equipped with PZ IVh, Stug III Gs, and (before too long) Tigers/Panthers?
I think I disagree on this part. As far as resources in1939, there was significant under employment in the USA at that time. Regardless of the unemployment rate (number derived from two moveable numbers, so its not always useful), the actual level of employment was well below potential. Manufacturing plant was not quite so easy to find, but I suspect there was enough to get started, and more could be built as part of the ramp-up.

Paying for it was another issue, but if we think on a war footing then it is simply a matter of federal government fiscal policy: deficit spending. With the boost it would give to employment and profits there would also be some increase in taxes, and presumably some social-support spending could be reduced.

As for having obsolete equipment later, yes, but it could at least have provided training resources, and even outmoded tanks and etc. would have been useful in 2nd-line theatres and against the Japanese, such as in the Philippines. M3s were solid tanks in the Pacific even if they were meat on the table in Europe.
Interception at Sea https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/warships1discussionboards/interception-at-sea-chapter-1-contact-t36949.html
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Joined: June 2nd, 2004, 9:45 pm

February 14th, 2018, 12:44 am #27

I meant 1937, of course, but I do not want to edit and confuse things further.
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Joined: June 2nd, 2004, 9:45 pm

February 14th, 2018, 12:55 am #28

BTW, the WPA was already doing a lot of what could be gained in training.  Reading about the Skyline Parkway and other projects, they had men working, bunking, training together in a quasi-military setting.  Many seem to credit it for how quickly the US to field a disciplined Army in early WWII.

Building a lot of obsolete material would doubtless require it to be used.  We might even have employed horses (we came close as it was in OTL). In principle, removing manpower as late as possible from infrastructure work and building as late as possible have great advantages.  Putting more resources earlier that OTL into R&D and field testing would help a LOT.  Building non-obsolete-able stuff such as freighters, oilers, etc would be good.  Things like widening the net for new equipment development over OTL would also be good.  As we know, the B-17 damn near did not get built due to the crash during the design competition due to pilot error.  Letting more designs get through to the assessment stage would have been great.  Things like that were budget bottlenecks and those are what can be addressed in 1937 with more funds/resources.
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Joined: January 19th, 2011, 11:33 pm

February 14th, 2018, 3:04 am #29

jim 1 wrote: BTW, the WPA was already doing a lot of what could be gained in training.  Reading about the Skyline Parkway and other projects, they had men working, bunking, training together in a quasi-military setting.  Many seem to credit it for how quickly the US to field a disciplined Army in early WWII.

Building a lot of obsolete material would doubtless require it to be used.  We might even have employed horses (we came close as it was in OTL). In principle, removing manpower as late as possible from infrastructure work and building as late as possible have great advantages.  Putting more resources earlier that OTL into R&D and field testing would help a LOT.  Building non-obsolete-able stuff such as freighters, oilers, etc would be good.  Things like widening the net for new equipment development over OTL would also be good.  As we know, the B-17 damn near did not get built due to the crash during the design competition due to pilot error.  Letting more designs get through to the assessment stage would have been great.  Things like that were budget bottlenecks and those are what can be addressed in 1937 with more funds/resources.
While it's true that the work programs were quasi-military, I suspect the US might well have been better served with actual military training.  That has the side impact that as the soldiers are trained, they can participate in large scale exercises that allow for doctrine to be written, and modified with respect to experience in the training fields.

I'd have to say that if the US Army got a big cheque, it's best use of the funding would probably be R&D, and field testing.  Build a new weapons system, try it out, and then modify the requirements for next year.

Under take a version of the Louisiana Manvers of 1940/1941 in 1938 or so and then annually onward?  The USN had it's almost annual fleet problems, so why not similar scale annual Army exercises?
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 10:19 pm

February 14th, 2018, 1:26 pm #30

Now that would be rather sensible but the USN was the exception - around the world - in doing that sort of thing.
Of course the British army did the famous Mobile Force exercises in the '20s but AFAIK a series of annual trials to answer specific questions building to a war plan was USN only ar this time.  Much the same as the von Moltke staff war games in an earlier age so the example was there on land as well as at sea.
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