What's history channel's f***in deal with axis secret weapon BS?

Ok, I’ve got to rant. I’m watching this complete BS program(It’s a few weeks old, I’ve got Tivo) about Japanese secret aircraft of WWII and how if the US waited until spring 46 that they could have won the war for Japan. I’m just flabergasted about it. I mean I can’t believe just how loose with history they were playing. They talk about Japanese “helicopters”. Ok, they admitted those were autogyro’s but do they mention that the US had real copters by the end of the war?(At least I believe that’s right, of course not.)

They talk about Japan attacking a British and American force with Jet bombers and fighters off a super carrier. The stupid program was talking about how the allies would have no plane capable of fighting with them. Umm, well lets count the errors. First off the British had jet fighters and unlike the axis they had material for good engines. That reminds me, were the hell were the Japanese going to get tungsten or chromium for the damn engines, gas to fuel the planes, or pilots to fly the damn things? Oh and I know they said they’d build everything in caves but how the f**k do you build an aircraft carrier in a cave? Of course the mention the Russians in passing but neglected to mention the soviets would be coming in too.

And that’s another thing. Hey, lets forget that all that stuff didn’t work so well for the Germans either. Oh wow, they increased the flight time for the rocket powered plane. So what? Those things had around 5 minutes of fuel, even if they quadrupled it we’re talking less than 1/2 an hour of flight.

Hey, I’ve got an idea history channel. Why not wonder how things would have turned out if they perfected nukes, fusion, advanced plastics, computer, teleportation, and a few starships as well since it’s obvious you didn’t care about being realistic.

I am with you on this one, Dave_D. It gets a little tiring with the articles and shows that deal with these designs totally out of context with the problems of getting them into service and maintaining them once there. The designs are interesting to look at, and have a lot of cutting edge stuff that latter show up in airplanes from all over. But for the Allies, the war of attrition approach they used–in which production of huge number of airplanes counted more than putting the newest design into production ASAP–seemed to work OK, so they let programs like the B-36 or the lightweight P-51H slide. If one wants a bunch of "what-if"s, you could go with “secret weapons” from the UK, US, and USSR that didn’t go into immediate production because the urgency for them wasn’t felt.

And not only the British. The USAAF had a few P-80s in Italy before war’s end (didn’t get into combat, though, didn’t find any enemy planes when they flew sorties). Thirty P-80s were shipped to the Philippines to be used against the Japanese–they were waiting for batteries to arrive when the Pacific war ended–and by 1946 the USAAF would have had, if needed, a whole mess of them. Even with the end of the war cutting the order, Lockheed still delivered hundreds of P-80As by December, 1946. Four years later an F-80 was the victor over a MiG-15 in the first jet-jet combat of the Korean War, so I imagine it would have been “capable” of handing cruder designs.

Yes, it was definitely terrible and completely lacked context. I mean they talk about the super aircraft carrier but don’t mention how they got the planes from the “caves” and onto the ship. Of course no mention about how the Rocket planes would be largely useless without good ground radar to launch them in a timely fashion. Oh and that whole bit about the Japanese having missile technology which would give them an edge.(Yeah right, at best TV guided missiles and even then Vietnam demonstrated that you still need guns.)

Actually I remember the most unrealistic part of the whole program. Get this, the explaination of how the Japanese were going to launch the planes so the allies couldn’t hit the airfields. The explaination was they’d launch them out of caves. Oh yes, lets have rookie pilots go through narrow caves to launch their planes. Of course if they crash at take-off they block the whole runway with fire and smoke. Oh, they can’t just push the planes off to the side since the airstrip is in a cave. Lets see, if the Japanese push the flaming wreckage out side then you’ve got the problem that it marks the cave opening.(I haven’t even mentioned how difficult it would be to land either. If the pilot missed the cave opening or just wasn’t flying straight enough he’s a dead man.)

BTW, thanks for bringing up the P-80. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised the US was working on jets as well.(Most likely with good engines and gas.(I mean I’m guessing there’s a reason that despite all of Germany and Japan’s experience with jets that the Russians used English jet technology in the MIG-15. Maybe it’s that they actually had experience with high temperature materials that the Germans and Japanese lacked.)

Sadly, even though the show was awful I’d still take it over one of those “mysteries of the pyramids” type shows any time. I hate how easy it is to exploit fringe archaeology for entertainment. There’s so much serious scholarship out there–why do they have to settle on that drek?

If the Germans just pioneered mid-air refueling and poured more resources into Me-262 intercepters - countermanding Hitler’s bomber variant. OK, and Hitler scraps the Battle of the Bulge. Oh, and he doesn’t give the moronic no surrender orders. It never ends.

Why beat it to death? I don’t go much past his decision to open an eastern front. Hitler was a brutal tyrant with bad military instincts.

Oh shit. Hitler gave no retreat orders - not even strategic withdrawls to regroup for counter attacks.

I don’t think mass surrenders would have done the trick.

As for the Japanese, they needed to invest in newer technology as the war went on, no doubt about that. The Zero was great at the beginning of the war but by the end against Hellcats and Corsairs it was somewhat overmatched. But, they didn’t, and four carriers were sunk at Midway no matter what.

Yokosuka MXY7 - Kyushu J7W - Nakajima Kikka are three really modern Japanese aircraft that could have made a difference. One is just a kamakazi rocket. If it had just been wire-guided and dropped from a long-range jet bomber… It never ends.

To paraphrase Denis Leary- we had the friggin Bomb.

It would have ended. The Manhattan Project would have ensured that. As Germany was the priority target, had the war in Europe been delayed, Germany would have hit with Atomic weapons dropped from B-29s escorted by 100’s of fighters. Hitler’s cruddy little shelter would have never have held up.

The A-Bomb was the ultimate wonder weapon. Not some crude flying wing jet Bomber prototype. Not a few concept sketches drawn in bunkers. Live, shiny, city destroying A-Bombs were the ultimate weapon. Think Dresden was bad, imagine the Allies dropping 3 or 4 A-bombs on Berlin. ::shudders::.

Also without complete air superiority over your runways, fancy aircraft don’t matter much. Me 262’s were notorious for being highly vulnerable on takeoff and landing.

In regards to the OP, I agree that show was a joke. The only upside was the nicely done computer animation. The rest was as historically accurate as the study hall stetches of a bored 11th grader.

I got a kick out of those shows, too. I kept yelling at the TV “If the damn war went on till 1946, there would be a Disneyland in Berlin and a statue of Truman in Tokyo!”.

It was fun.

Fagjunk Theology: Not just for sodomite propagandists anymore.

Right, but not an unlimited number of A-bombs. You seem to be assuming that assembling nuclear weapons in 1945 was cheap. In fact, we only had the two we dropped. We did bomb Berlin almost flat with conventional bombs, BTW.

If you get your bombers shot down in great numbers, just nuking the problem away is not as easy. Hitler wasted a year on the Me-262 bomber variant. Clouds of jet interceptors might have made the Mustang pilots take notice.

But, again, once Hitler attacked the USSR and did not win, game over.


To back up what Beagle said, we only had a couple of bombs, and if German fighter opposition is such that a signifigant percentage of attacking bombers don’t reach their target-no way in hell a bomber is being launched towards Berlin carrying one. If it’s shot down and the bomb survives, we’ve just handed Germany an atomic weapon. A month or so later it would be heading towards London in a V2.

Since the History Channel seems to be obsessed with Hitler, why haven’t they speculated about scenarios like the one Weirddave just proposed: Would Hitler have just used the bomb as soon as possible, or would he have built up an arsenal before attacking? How effective could they have been?

Would anyone care to speculate?

The whole point of the war was the Eastern front. Hitler wanted the wide open spaces of Russia.

Why do you think the first attack was to the East?

Umm, you realize that the A4 had a payload capacity of about a ton and the first 2 bombs the US dropped weighed about 5 tons, right?(Range was about 200 miles with that kind of payload.)

I agree, but hypothetically… Hitler had Stalin following the non-aggression pact. Every German general knew from history that opening an eastern front was suicide - until the western one had been subdued certainly. Hitler greiviously miscalculated in thinking that if he “kicked in the door the whole rotten edifice would come crumbling down.” I’m quoting from memory, but that has to be one of the stupidest statements ever. Later, when told how many tanks the Soviets had at the beginning of Barbarossa, Hitler supposedly said if he’d known he would not have attacked.

Hitler had to finish the British before turning on the Soviets. I don’t think many historians would disagree that one decision pretty much guaranteed that the Allies would win in the end.

If you look at Hitler’s record as a military commander it was filled with horrible decisions. But, this is Hitler we’re talking about. Horrible was his defining characteristic.

I don’t think the Germans could have launced a nuke on a V-2. But, the possiblity of losing one in a hotly contested air strike is interesting.

Yes but “clouds” of jet interceptors means that Germany had the factories to build them, fuel, ground crew, pilots and raw materials.
Which they didn’t, and even then the Brits had the Gloster Meteor.
And if they could build them they would get fewer tanks and other usefull stuff.

How would they have been able to make a flying wing stable without a computer making constant adjustments?

The P-80s were mentioned early on, which is about the only real contribution I could’ve made.

Sock Munkey: I’ve asked your question over in GQ, since I think that would be a better place for a factual answe and I’m curious too.

Thank you.:slight_smile:

It probaly would have been a much better praogram if they had limited the “what if” to a single possible advancement like “what if the Germans focused on developing a jet fighter early on and diected it’s resources to that instead of dozens of other advancments?” and then extrapolated how it would had impacted every other facet of the war instead of this piecemeal approach.