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Old 04-12-2014, 06:11 PM   #51
Flyndaran
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I was afraid my ignorance of such details would make me looks silly when wondering "out loud".
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:21 PM   #52
dcarson
 
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Losing the bomber with a successful drop wouldn't matter. The 1000 plane raids they were using in Europe expected to lose a little less then 1% from collisions forming up.

If both bombs had failed they might have gone with a invasion but would still have had multiple bombs per month with a month or so. So the invasion would have had serious beach defense clearing ability. I'd expect surrender would not have required conquering the whole country.

If they hadn't had the bombs at all the combination of destruction of transport infrastructure from tactical air support and a much larger occupation force to feed would have meant wide spread starvation and famine in Japan for a year or more. There was some anyway but we had the shipping to get supplies there and a mostly working rail and road system to distribute them. This might also mean that with japan is such bad shape getting them reindustrialized to support UN forces in Korea wouldn't make sense so they would be much slower to recover.
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:37 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
I was afraid my ignorance of such details would make me looks silly when wondering "out loud".
Its worth asking. It leads to questioning what would have made the Japanese theater of the war different. Why was unconditional surrender the only option America gave them? What could make it different?

Szilard-1 Either due to slightly different physics or a slightly different Leo Szilard nuclear physics got off on the wrong foot. Weaponization was delayed for decades. WWII goes off on schedule, but without a coherent Manhattan Project as there was no corresponding Nazi Uranpojekt. The Americans go ahead with Operation Downfall, the invasion of the Japanese Home Islands, with conventional weapons and manpower.

The Soviets had been playing both sides, agreeing to help the American invasion while at the same time advising the Japanese. Without the horror of atomic weapons to basically guarantee a quick Japanese collapse the Soviets renege on their agreements with the US and do not help with invasion, instead appearing to play the role of mediator. Facing the prospect of a prolonged and ruinous invasion the Kyujo Incident perpetrators are more motivated. A military coup places the Emperor under house arrest, kills Admiral Suzuki and places Minister Anami in charge.

Japan becomes a meat-grinder for American troops, eating US men and materials for years. US forces enter the fire bombed ruins of Tokyo in 1950, while Soviet forces occupy all of Berlin, move as far south as Egypt and Italy 'elects' a pro-Soviet government. A significantly scaled down Marshal Plan isn't near enough to keep war wear Europe from succumbing to Soviet promises of peace, prosperity and stability. By 1960 the Iron Curtain is at the Pyrenees as Spain and the British Isles are the only major areas not under Soviet control in Europe.

The Red Scare in the US is scarier with a much more powerful USSR and weaker homeland economy. Without widespread television ownership Nixon wins the 1960 election, and Tricky Dick is much more 'trickier' in this timeline.

Instead of proxie wars in Korea and Vietnam the US and USSR face off in the Balkans, Turkey and Mid-East.

Adventures in Szilard-1 could be dodging FBI agents who think nothing of torturing prisoners and secret trials, much like their KGB counter-parts in France or Denmark. US backed Turkish troops fighting in Greece, or Soviet troops in Iran. The Australian-Japanese-California Trade Triangle is beginning to give the US the economic boost it missed in the 50s, but Soviet submarine wolfpacks harass the shipping; diesel powered Filippino zeppelins patrol the west Pacific.

Then again, I'm sure this one has been done somewhere already.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:39 AM   #54
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WWII goes off on schedule, but without a coherent Manhattan Project as there was no corresponding Nazi Uranpojekt.
The existence of the Manhattan project doesn't depend on the details of the German project. Almost nothing was known to the Allies about that project until close to the end of the war, apart from their interest in the Norwegian heavy water project.

The Manhattan project was started on the basis of the potential of the German scientists, and of the potential power of the weapons. In fact, the Germans
failed to organise a coherent project and never made much progress.

Apart from that, excellent stuff!
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:49 AM   #55
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The existence of the Manhattan project doesn't depend on the details of the German project. Almost nothing was known to the Allies about that project until close to the end of the war, apart from their interest in the Norwegian heavy water project.

The Manhattan project was started on the basis of the potential of the German scientists, and of the potential power of the weapons. In fact, the Germans
failed to organise a coherent project and never made much progress.

Apart from that, excellent stuff!
Apart from the fact that you got his argument backwards, excellent reply. He said that the German Project was caused by the Manhattan Project, not the other war around.
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:56 AM   #56
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Apart from the fact that you got his argument backwards, excellent reply. He said that the German Project was caused by the Manhattan Project, not the other war around.
We appear to be reading different dialects of English. I'd agree with you if the "as" in "without a coherent Manhattan Project as there was no corresponding Nazi Uranpojekt" wasn't there.

Also, the second German project started before the Manhattan project, AFAICS.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:17 AM   #57
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We appear to be reading different dialects of English. I'd agree with you if the "as" in "without a coherent Manhattan Project as there was no corresponding Nazi Uranpojekt" wasn't there.

Also, the second German project started before the Manhattan project, AFAICS.
Whoops, sorry
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:19 AM   #58
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Whoops, sorry
No problem.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:53 AM   #59
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The existence of the Manhattan project doesn't depend on the details of the German project. Almost nothing was known to the Allies about that project until close to the end of the war, apart from their interest in the Norwegian heavy water project.

The Manhattan project was started on the basis of the potential of the German scientists, and of the potential power of the weapons. In fact, the Germans
failed to organise a coherent project and never made much progress.

Apart from that, excellent stuff!
I was just trying to gloss over the (hard to justify) fact that early 20th century scientists did not take atomic weapons seriously. If the Germans didn't think nukes were viable, Einstein doesn't write his famous letter. Nazis chase after the Grail instead of funding their nuke project. Maybe Szilard-2 is a mana world, no nukes but Nazi occultism works, just not as effectively. You get the US vs USSR setting with a Harry Potter-ish twist.

I didn't realize I had made a diesel punk setting until I got to the rebuilding of Japan.

Thank you for the compliment - goes to show what not having anything to do on a Saturday night will get you :)
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:27 AM   #60
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I was just trying to gloss over the (hard to justify) fact that early 20th century scientists did not take atomic weapons seriously.
They didn't immediately jump to atomic bombs as a conclusion, but the idea of a powerful energy source was interesting, and the atmosphere of the time made people think of military applications. And bombs were a fairly obvious possibility. It's notable that just about every competent nuclear physicist of the time reached the same conclusions fairly quickly after hearing about fission caused by neutrons. The atomic bomb was never a secret on that level, although the knowledge of precisely how to do it was worth keeping secret. Note that every nation that has tried to test an atom bomb appears to have succeeded on the first try.
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If the Germans didn't think nukes were viable, Einstein doesn't write his famous letter. Nazis chase after the Grail instead of funding their nuke project.
The letter was based on the possibility of atomic power, Germany's good supply of physicists, and the German reputation for high technology, more than any knowledge of a German project.
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