Operation Unthinkable

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
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Karl Heidenreich
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Operation Unthinkable

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:07 pm

Well, it seems that the British were not as naive as the Americans when WWII was ending in Europe. Winston Churchill commisioned by the Joint Planning Staff to examine the needed operations to put the Soviet commies in his deserved place.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Operation ... ning_Staff

Quite interesting. Any thoughts?
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RF
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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by RF » Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:12 am

The last section of this document has a very familiar ring to it - yes, General Marcks original version of Operation Barbarossa!!!!!

The scenario in this document was the ''last straw'' survival strategy of the Nazis - that Britain and the US would change sides and join Germany in the war against the USSR.

Looking at it brutally, there was nothing to stop the US from winning a quick war against the USSR in the summer of 1945. It would be a question of how many atom bombs would be needed.
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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:37 pm

Being the US the only atomic power at late 1945 and in 1946 it could have been a western victory and millions of lives spared for the next 40 years of Cold War. Living in Central America, where a proxy war was fought, gave the motivation to think like that. I remember the shadow of threat form Fidel´s Cuba, the proximity of the russians; the sandinista take over Nicaragua in 1979 and the contra war for the next then years. I remember dead friends also. So, if Patton Third Army could have joined Papa Hauser´s Panzers in order to kick commie butts it´s like a symphony of freedom for me.

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RF
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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by RF » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:06 am

This is really a trade off isn't it, our lives for Russian lives.

But if Stalin and the communist system was violently removed by outsiders then what fills the vacuam in Russia? A Russian version of Hitler, with atomic bombs? An even harsher version of the Cold War for the 1960's and 1970's?
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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by iankw » Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:58 pm

If you read Churchill's history of the second world war it becomes apparent that he was well aware of the threat from the Russians. After Italy he, allegedly, suggested that the war be continued through Austria but this was gainsaid by the Americans and Russians. I have mentioned this previously and the, admittedly small response, was that this front would be even harder than pursuing the war through France and the Low Countries. Bearing in mind that Churchill's words have to be treated with a pinch of salt at times, what do members now think? I have to admit to being ignorant of the terrain between Italy and Germany, and the possible problems caused by it.

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RF
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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by RF » Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:09 pm

Moving into Austria from Italy would be difficult, not just the terrain but logistically.

No, what Churchill wanted was to take Berlin instead of Bavaria. Eisenhower essentially overruled him.
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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:11 pm

Omar Bradley stated once that Ike, amongst many senior US officers, and himself didn´t understand the geo political implications of the desicions behind the last manouvers at the European Theater. For sure, if instead of Ike we had McArthur as Supreme Allied Commander Allied Expeditionary Force the ruskies would have never taken Berlin and many other important zones, as Patton often talked about. As a matter of fact when the commies wanted to land in mainland Japan McArthur almost offered them war. McArthur, even with his own weaknesses or ego problems, understand more about geo politics than Ike or many paper wavers at Washington.

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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by RF » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:25 am

McArthur as supremo in the West, together with Patton would have been an interesting combination.
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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm

RF:
McArthur as supremo in the West, together with Patton would have been an interesting combination.
Military it would have been something like Lee and Stonewall Jackson...

... On the other hand it would have been a war between them for getting the most important and visible media coverage. And where do you leave Monty? Another big ego. In order to get the headlines the ruskies would paid dearly for each one:

"Patton crosses the Oder!"

"McArthur gives Uncle Joe an ultimatum whilst Third Army and II Panzer Corps advance toward Smolensk"

"Monty seizes Kiev..."

"Curtis Le May launches Atomic Bomb over Moscow. Eight Air Force burns downtown."

"Waffen SS Panzers and US armoured forces encircled Zhukov. Soviet Marshall shots himself before falling into Beria´s hands"

"RN bombards Archangel. Gangut sinks freeing the world of it´s horrible silohuete."

"Americans, British and Germans celebrate the fall of the greatest dictatorship in the world. Stalin and Hitler shared cell in La Haya. Goering and Beria play tic-tac-toe whilst awaiting trial."

"Mao forces surrender to Nationalist faction."

"War has been erased after the destruction of all and every totalitary form of goverment"

"McArthur wins election for US President. Patton climbs the Everest!"
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by lwd » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:19 pm

RF wrote:This is really a trade off isn't it, our lives for Russian lives...
Not just Russian lives. There was famine or near famine conditions throughout much of Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals. A disaster of huge porportions was averted by using a lot of shipping space to bring food to Europe from the West and by the Soviets demobilizing and and reassigning them areas where they could help in the East. Continue the war through the Sumer and Fall of 45 and the casualties would have been incredible.

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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by RF » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:10 am

This of course was where the Marshall Plan was later to come in, after the war ended. Though of course the Soviets were careful to keep out of that and loot what they could find in Germany.
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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by madmike » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:59 am

MacArthur,,,PATTON AND MONTY...Wow now thats a collection of egos.would the western allies have beaten the Soviets.YES. but at what cost.the combined power of the western allies(Britain and the US,France AND the germans)would have beaten the Soviets no doubt,but at a enormous cost in lives. then what happens?Yes it would have changed the face of Europe.no Soviet bloc,but does that mean no nato?Who takes control of a defeated Russia,Do the allies split Russia up between themselves?and what about the war-crimes committed by the Nazis,i dont think they would be allowed to go free,Would that have stopped the rise of communism in China?Would it have changed the world through the 50s 60s 70s.YES .would it change things for the better in the end,we can never know we can only guess.

just my humble little thoughts.

here is real scary one for you all,WHAT WOULD OF HAPPENED IF THE GERMANS GOT THE ATOMIC BOMB FIRST(they were working at it as early as 1940-41)
personally i think hitler would have use it on the russians first(he really hated Stalin) remembering that the Germans were far in advance of the rest of the world in both jet and rocket technologically.at that time(in fact the first US rocket into space was a captured German V2).the first operational jets were German.

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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by lwd » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:41 pm

madmike wrote:... here is real scary one for you all,WHAT WOULD OF HAPPENED IF THE GERMANS GOT THE ATOMIC BOMB FIRST(they were working at it as early as 1940-41)...
Not to scarry until they figure out a way to deliver it. The B-29 project was on the same order of magnitude financially as the Manhatten project.

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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by alecsandros » Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:55 am

lwd wrote:Not to scarry until they figure out a way to deliver it. The B-29 project was on the same order of magnitude financially as the Manhatten project.
The V-2 could have been a choice...
I have also read about larger rocket projects (very large, intercontinental ones) but I forgot their names...

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Re: Operation Unthinkable

Post by lwd » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:28 pm

alecsandros wrote:
lwd wrote:Not to scarry until they figure out a way to deliver it. The B-29 project was on the same order of magnitude financially as the Manhatten project.
The V-2 could have been a choice...
...
No. It didn't have the payload.

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