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You may choose one (1) modern bit of kit to refight WW2

This is the place to discuss the past, its study, and those who study it. Discussion about events that happened less than twenty years ago should go go in Politics instead.
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Abominable Intelligence
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You may choose one (1) modern bit of kit to refight WW2

Post by Abominable Intelligence » Mon May 29, 2017 6:41 pm

A ferocious warp-storm has played havoc with reality and altered our timeline. It is September 1939 and the Nazi war machine has just smashed east into Poland.

You have your work cut out for you, commander. Thankfully, fate has seen fit to bless your side with one piece of modern 21st century technology that travelled back in time with you, so to speak, to use in this titanic struggle.

The rules:

1) The technology may not have been used at any point of WW2. So, stealth jets and mirv nuke ICBMs are out, since jet engines, nukes and ballistic missiles were all on stage during the war.
2) You may only have one item of said technology. So, no fleets or armies or squadrons of this or that - you get one item.
3) Any supporting skills and technologies to make this one item work, be useful and keep it working for the duration of the war are in place, but they may not be used for any other purpose. For example, if you chose a spy satellite, the control room, analysis staff and imaging equipment are in place.

Choose wisely - your country depends on you!

plebian
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Post by plebian » Mon May 29, 2017 8:06 pm

Genetic engineering

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MattShizzle
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Post by MattShizzle » Mon May 29, 2017 8:57 pm

Besides whatever you'd bring, you'd have another HUGE advantage - knowing what they were going to do and when, at least until you changed things to the point their plans would change. You'd also know about their capabilities and secrets. More or less depending on your knowledge of the history of the war. On the other hand you might be better off sitting back - totally crushing the Nazis early would save plenty of lives but could lead to a worse eventuality - say a much stronger post-war USSR conquering most of Europe.

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subsymbolic
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Post by subsymbolic » Mon May 29, 2017 10:01 pm

A multipurpose geostationary satellite covering the North Atlantic that could be used for:

1) Weather forecasting - getting an accurate weather forecast was the bane of the allies from start to finish. Even without advanced software, simply knowing what was coming our way all of the time, rather than relying on patchy and often poor information from coastal command as well as the weather flights of 517 and 518 Sqdn would have transformed the bomber offensive, shortening the war

2) Tracking naval movements including surfaced U boats. Winning the battle of the Atlantic would have been massively aided by a constant eye in the sky and enigma information could have been used more freely with a ready reason for us knowing where everything was.

3) As a homing navigation aid. While not able to guide bombers to the target, having a simple signal that could be turned on when needed and off when not combined with the ability to change frequency at prearranged times would allow tired bomber crews to avoid navigation errors in much the same way as day fighters did.

4) As a secure communications channel.

I'm sure there are others I haven't thought of.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Mon May 29, 2017 11:08 pm

My mother-in-law.

Abominable Intelligence
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Post by Abominable Intelligence » Tue May 30, 2017 4:28 am

I'd choose a supercomputer with a complete suite of mathematical, modelling, design, programming and analysis tools. The useful stuff you could do with it is endless.

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Post by Abominable Intelligence » Tue May 30, 2017 4:42 am

Oh, and relating to Matt's post. I had thought of something as simple as a comprehensive encyclopedia of the war - but it would run out of usefulness very rapidly since your first successes would alter the enemy's plans and disposition. It would be useful as a means of choosing the most effective path towards the best technology sooner (for example, drop tanks for aircraft were curiously a johnny-come-lately midway through the war, you'd think someone would have thought of it sooner).

On the other hand, you have to consider the post-war landscape as well, not just winning the war. For example, if you knew from the outset that nukes were a game-changer and this accelerated their development by a few years at the expense of other technology such as jet and rocket propulsion, the postwar world might have been bleaker for it.

Abominable Intelligence
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Post by Abominable Intelligence » Tue May 30, 2017 4:45 am

[quote=""ruby sparks""]My mother-in-law.[/quote]

So she's a modern lady, eh? Perhaps that explains your sexual proclivities.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Tue May 30, 2017 7:46 am

[quote=""Abominable Intelligence""]
ruby sparks;672357 wrote:My mother-in-law.
So she's a modern lady, eh? Perhaps that explains your sexual proclivities.[/QUOTE]


My error. I forgot the criteria.

She was used as a minesweeper on D-Day.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Tue May 30, 2017 7:47 am

[quote=""Abominable Intelligence""]Oh, and relating to Matt's post. I had thought of something as simple as a comprehensive encyclopedia of the war - but it would run out of usefulness very rapidly since your first successes would alter the enemy's plans and disposition. It would be useful as a means of choosing the most effective path towards the best technology sooner (for example, drop tanks for aircraft were curiously a johnny-come-lately midway through the war, you'd think someone would have thought of it sooner).

On the other hand, you have to consider the post-war landscape as well, not just winning the war. For example, if you knew from the outset that nukes were a game-changer and this accelerated their development by a few years at the expense of other technology such as jet and rocket propulsion, the postwar world might have been bleaker for it.[/quote]

You can't change the future, even via the past. What does that even mean? It's going to have has happened anyway*.

(Not loaded: Dcu6GEti_94)
(View video on YouTube)







*Unlesss.......aha...I'm changing my selection to.....the ultimate weapon..... free will.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Tue May 30, 2017 8:35 am, edited 9 times in total.

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subsymbolic
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Post by subsymbolic » Tue May 30, 2017 8:34 am

[quote=""Abominable Intelligence""]Oh, and relating to Matt's post. I had thought of something as simple as a comprehensive encyclopedia of the war - but it would run out of usefulness very rapidly since your first successes would alter the enemy's plans and disposition. It would be useful as a means of choosing the most effective path towards the best technology sooner (for example, drop tanks for aircraft were curiously a johnny-come-lately midway through the war, you'd think someone would have thought of it sooner).

On the other hand, you have to consider the post-war landscape as well, not just winning the war. For example, if you knew from the outset that nukes were a game-changer and this accelerated their development by a few years at the expense of other technology such as jet and rocket propulsion, the postwar world might have been bleaker for it.[/quote]

Drop tanks are simple. The tactical doctrines of Germany, Russia and the UK simply didn't see any value for a long range fighter. Both Portal and Freeman were quite clear and explicit that any aircraft could not be economical nor maneuverable enough. Drop tanks were not considered to change this equation for the simple reason that the progression in fighter wings was towards thinner more gracile wings that struggled to accommodate eight guns and an undercarriage let alone hard points and internal fuel. It was only as engines became more powerful and reliable that aircraft started to grow in size, expanding the options.

The only British single engined fighter that could support hardpoints, the Hurricane, was too slow, still not economical enough and didn't perform well enough at altitude. Ironically, the one aircraft that would have succeeded here is the Miles M20 which had double the range of the Hurricane out of the box and even in early prototype stages had performance only a tiny bit behind the Spitfire. Sadly it wasn't pursued because it was made of laminated wood in the same way as the Mosquito. This only succeeded because Freeman personally supported it - which is why it is sometimes called Freeman's folly.

However, the British commitment to night bombing mean that fighter support wasn't really a priority, although modified mosquitos were used in that role later in the war.

The Mustang was designed specifically for battlefield interdiction and benefitted from a laminar flow wing, specifically designed to give good fuel economy to allow it to loiter. It is ironic that the very first modern fighter designed as a fighter bomber and with tactical cooperation in mind turned out, mostly by virtue of a thick yet slippery wing, to have the combination of range and most of the qualities needed for a fighter.

The Germans were focussed on a tactical air force and had no need for a long range fighter. More to the point, the 109 was tiny, had a thin wing and had a bunch of flaps and slats to make up for other aerodynamic compromises in the wing. Later versions can barely be called the same aircraft.
Last edited by subsymbolic on Tue May 30, 2017 8:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Tue May 30, 2017 9:48 am

Let me guess- Val has been reading John Birmingham.

Under those limitations a top-of-the-line computer loaded with lots of strategic and technical information would be about the only practical thing you could carry along; but even then that single screen would be a choke point, and getting all the useful data out of it and into the hands and heads that needed it would be a real bugger.

Abominable Intelligence
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Post by Abominable Intelligence » Tue May 30, 2017 9:55 am

Hm. I haven't, but funnily enough I think the premise is a bit daft - that is, I don't think the topic that interesting to write novels about. Essentially my feeling is that overriding the history of WW2 with modern technology makes you talk about something that isn't WW2 anymore.

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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Tue May 30, 2017 2:29 pm

Would laser guidance and/or heat-seeking guidance count? If not, then micro-drones. Fly one with fast acting poison into the Eagle's Nest and wipe out Hitler first and then the entire Nazi high command in about five minutes.
Stupidity is not intellen

Abominable Intelligence
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Post by Abominable Intelligence » Tue May 30, 2017 8:00 pm

JDAM packages with laser, tv or heat guidance are allowed. You get one shot, and you need to deliver the ordnance on target, on time. Inertial guidance is out, that was used during the war. GPS guidance is out, since that requires a second (three, actually) piece of kit. Can't have a cruise missile or a rocket, the V1 or V2 represented those. So you'd have to have an iron bomb, delivered on a heavy bomber. Good luck getting that puppy down range.

The drone idea is pretty good.

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Hermit
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Post by Hermit » Tue May 30, 2017 8:20 pm

Just nip the war in the bud almost literally by giving Maria Anna Schicklgruber the pill starting in July 1888. Early 20th century anti-Semitism in Germany would have been no worse than in France, Italy or wherever else at the time, and no war.

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Post by MattShizzle » Tue May 30, 2017 9:01 pm

What about a thermobaric guided bomb - dropped at a point where at a certain time Hitler was known to be. Somewhere close enough to reach without much problem and even if possible able to be fighter escorted. Such as when he went to France after French surrender. Taking out Hitler early might shorten the war - or make it worse as his replacement might not make some of the idiotic decisions he made, especially when he went against the advice of generals.

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Post by dancer_rnb » Tue May 30, 2017 9:12 pm

[quote=""Abominable Intelligence""]JDAM packages with laser, tv or heat guidance are allowed. You get one shot, and you need to deliver the ordnance on target, on time. Inertial guidance is out, that was used during the war. GPS guidance is out, since that requires a second (three, actually) piece of kit. Can't have a cruise missile or a rocket, the V1 or V2 represented those. So you'd have to have an iron bomb, delivered on a heavy bomber. Good luck getting that puppy down range.

The drone idea is pretty good.[/quote]

The Germans apparently had tv guidance on some HS-193s.
There is no such thing as "politically correct." It's code for liberalism. The whole idea of "political correctness" was a brief academic flash-in-the-pan in the early 1990's, but has been a good conservative bugaboo ever since.

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Post by dancer_rnb » Tue May 30, 2017 9:15 pm

[quote=""Hermit""]Just nip the war in the bud almost literally by giving Maria Anna Schicklgruber the pill starting in July 1888. Early 20th century anti-Semitism in Germany would have been no worse than in France, Italy or wherever else at the time, and no war.[/quote]

Hitler didn't start the stab in the back conspiracy theory all by himself. And the other countries didn't have Martin Luther.
There is no such thing as "politically correct." It's code for liberalism. The whole idea of "political correctness" was a brief academic flash-in-the-pan in the early 1990's, but has been a good conservative bugaboo ever since.

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MattShizzle
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Post by MattShizzle » Tue May 30, 2017 9:52 pm

[quote=""dancer_rnb""]
Hermit;672423 wrote:Just nip the war in the bud almost literally by giving Maria Anna Schicklgruber the pill starting in July 1888. Early 20th century anti-Semitism in Germany would have been no worse than in France, Italy or wherever else at the time, and no war.
Hitler didn't start the stab in the back conspiracy theory all by himself. And the other countries didn't have Martin Luther.[/QUOTE]

Another problem is someone could have taken powerful who wasn't QUITE as antisemetic as Hitler and more rational, who might have won the war. Lots of resources that went to the death camps could have been used for the war. They also could have had the populations that were killed instead just be repressed so they could still work in vital industries and be in the military (though probably not as officers.) How many of the scientists who worked on the bomb were people who fled Germany or German occupied countries? Even if the rise of Fascism/wanting war with the West/USSR could be avoided, that leaves a much more powerful USSR - so there could be a different WWII of the USSR (and maybe Spain - without help from Germany and still getting it from the USSR/Western volunteers Franco could have lost.)
Messing around with history would be a very dangerous thing were time travel possible.

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Hermit
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Post by Hermit » Wed May 31, 2017 2:53 am

[quote=""dancer_rnb""]
Hermit;672423 wrote:Just nip the war in the bud almost literally by giving Maria Anna Schicklgruber the pill starting in July 1888. Early 20th century anti-Semitism in Germany would have been no worse than in France, Italy or wherever else at the time, and no war.
Hitler didn't start the stab in the back conspiracy theory all by himself. And the other countries didn't have Martin Luther.[/QUOTE]
True. My plan relies on the assumption that without Hitler there would have been no WWII. We could argue about that for ages. I won't.

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