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Bombing campaign: does economy work? - 2/4/2019 6:31:06 PM   
CaptCarnage

 

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Question on the Pointblank strategic bombing campaign.

I know there is a VP distribution, you get this amount per target etc. etc.

But can I actually starve the Luftwaffe of fuel, if I target synthetic fuel or oil or fuel targets?
Can I stop production if I target heavy industry?
Does everything grind to a halt if I destroy the Reichsbahn yards?

In other words, is this just about scoring VPs or does the economy work in these scenarios?

< Message edited by CaptCarnage -- 2/4/2019 6:38:51 PM >
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RE: Bombing campaign: does economy work? - 2/4/2019 6:44:01 PM   
loki100


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I'd say not, in effect use the VP scoring as a proxy for doing economic damage

Its a bit more subtle in the campaign, taking out railyards for eg gives you no VP but you do undermine the German supply network.

The key in the campaign is you can't shut off production of fuel, supplies etc but you can seriously hinder its distribution by tagetting rail yards and truck production.

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RE: Bombing campaign: does economy work? - 2/4/2019 9:36:40 PM   
CaptCarnage

 

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ok thank you.

It's just that I am looking for some better working version of ye olde Bombing the Reich. I am trying to see if the Strategic Bombing scenarios fulfill that need...

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RE: Bombing campaign: does economy work? - 2/4/2019 9:55:56 PM   
xhoel


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Adding to what loki said I want to say that you do cause shortages to the Germans depending on what you target and how much resources you throw at it but some of the effects are observable by you (the enemy) like lack of Panzers or bad supply if you bomb truck/panzer/railyards and some aren't visible (HI, ARM, Manpower etc).

Cheers,
Xhoel

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RE: Bombing campaign: does economy work? - 2/6/2019 7:16:29 AM   
EddyBear81

 

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If the German player is careful enough, you cannot starve the Wehrmacht from fuel (didn't happen to me at least)

From what I've experienced, for maximum impact, I target Manpower, Vehicles, and AFV. Those are the items on which I always run low when playing the germans

And for local / tactical effect, railyards are a good target (at least it will hinder troop movement, and possibly supply). Couple it with "railyways" targeting (by FBs) for added effect.

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RE: Bombing campaign: does economy work? - 2/6/2019 2:36:25 PM   
cfulbright

 

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I playtested this scenario during its development. You cannot starve the Luftwaffe of fuel in this scenario. It's entirely based on the VP's.

Cary

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RE: Bombing campaign: does economy work? - 2/6/2019 5:35:54 PM   
Great_Ajax


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Interestingly, the bottleneck of German industry was the transport network bringing raw materials to the factories. Once the Allies starting focusing on the rail and waterway networks in late 44, early 45, production started to drop off. Bombing the factories directly never worked to have a signiticant impact.

Trey

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RE: Bombing campaign: does economy work? - 2/7/2019 1:25:20 AM   
skraft16

 

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My experience in playing 44-45 and now the 43-45 campaign scenarios vs. the AI is that my production of oil/fuel/supplies does go up and down based on strategic attacks on these targets, and the AI generally does a good job of bombing U-boat and V-weapon facilities. It is far less consistent on bombing rail yards. Sometimes it blitzes them (particularly in France in the leadup to D-Day) but sometimes it attacks them and then goes away for a few turns, which seems to be the pattern in Italy. But the rail yard bombing definitely crimps supply movement, and does damage to units you attempt to rail move through multiple heavily damaged rail yards

< Message edited by skraft16 -- 2/7/2019 1:35:44 AM >

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RE: Bombing campaign: does economy work? - 2/24/2019 9:16:44 AM   
HMSWarspite

 

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I have never done a campaign where I just bomb railcards consistently but tactical bombing of them does make a real difference. For instance I aim to have every yard in Italy red before winter 43. This really slows supply movement, forces use of vehicles to haul supply etc. Doesn’t matter how much the axis have, if it is unable to get to where you are.

I don’t know how accurately the game models the economy and effects of bombing. Then again there is a whole historical debate as to whether the German economy could be “halted” by aerial bombing and if so, how? I have seen oil, transport and power (electricity) mentioned in RL debates. One day I mean to see if there is anything on the latter in the literature as it has been described as very fragile.

Having said all this, people have labelled the bombing as a failure because it didn’t “win the war” or collapse the economy. In reality I would like to see a real comparable analysis: the aim of the bombing should be to do more damage more efficiently than other means: a tank (for example) is ineffective if hit by a large AT round, if it breaks down and is captured, if it gets stuck in a railyard and overrun, or if it is stuck in a factory waiting some parts that come from a sub-factory that is bombed... it is solely a question of which used the least allied time effort, lives and money to achieve.

The dams raid was stunningly good at showing this. It was sold as war winning and could never have been this so is usually not regarded well because of it. But point to where else this much effort (1 reinforced squadron of elite crews and some R and D) drew that much response from the Germans... the Doolittle raid is always acknowledged as militarily insignificant but strategically/psychologically huge.

I often wonder what the German economy could have been like without bombing...

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RE: Bombing campaign: does economy work? - 2/24/2019 4:28:00 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: HMSWarspite

...

I often wonder what the German economy could have been like without bombing...


I think part of the problem in this evaluation is any outcome gets measured partly against the over-inflated expectations from the 1930s (of bombers destroying whole cities) and, esp in a British context, the enduring controversy over Harris.

In the war, strategic bombing more or less forced the invention of the statistics behind operations research. At a technical level, you are right above - what mattered was the cost of a raid and the payback for that raid. The difficulty in any analysis is its not 1:1, if one side could afford a higher cost then it might be worth paying it, and there was logic to British (esp) logic in 1942-early 1944 that it was only with strategic bombing could they achieve any damage to Germany at all.

Now the nature of the early research was of course purely in terms of bombs dropped, accuracy, variants of payload and so on. The Western Allies had little feedback from within Germany so it was hard to judge the impact.. The Soviets had more, they infiltrated the factories with 'guest' workers or played on existing pro-Communist sympathies - the result was they had a good idea of production and repair rates for some key items. As an eg, the Soviets were keen to get info on serial numbers of tanks/planes in for repair - that told them a lot about where it had been damaged, how it was damaged and so on.

This is still probably the definitive British post-war analysis: http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p4013coll8/id/4323. There is some really detailed attempts not just to quantify the damage but model the 'what if we hadn't bombed'

There is an equivalent US one.



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RE: Bombing campaign: does economy work? - 3/10/2019 5:46:20 AM   
Saturn V

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: HMSWarspite

I don’t know how accurately the game models the economy and effects of bombing. Then again there is a whole historical debate as to whether the German economy could be “halted” by aerial bombing and if so, how? I have seen oil, transport and power (electricity) mentioned in RL debates.

Part of the problem is that the Allies underestimated just how many bombers were needed to truly knock out a target, had troubles correctly estimating the damage done in raids, underestimated the importance of long-range fighter escorts, and left some targets off the target lists (the German electrical supply was particularly vulnerable but never substantially attacked).

All that said, the bombing did effectively collapse the German economy — its war production index as recorded by Speer's armaments ministry peaked in July 1944 and began falling rapidly after that. Its railway system was almost completely shut down by early 1945, which made it nearly impossible to move goods, supplies, and armaments within Germany.

Although the popular conception is that Bomber Command did little more than incendiary area raids on German cities, that isn't the case. Roughly half the RAF's effort was against a variety of targets other than area raids, hitting railway centres, airfield, V-weapon sites, ports, oil refineries, steel mills, and more.

Indeed, according to Adam Tooze's The Wages of Destruction, the second Battle of the Ruhr waged in the first half of 1943, had a huge effect on the German war economy. That production had been increasing at a substantial pace over fifteen months; the RAF attacks on the Ruhr resulted in an effective stagnation of German war production over the subsequent nine months, with a particular shortage of vital subcomponents, according to the German's own records. It wasn't until March 1944 that a major increase in the German military production index was next recorded. The main issue with Bomber Command's effort rested with Sir Arthur Harris, who was firmly wedded to the prewar ideas of air power, and had disdain for the 'precision' attacks preferred by the USAAF. Harris called the supporters of such raids as 'panacea merchants'. Right at the point the Ruhr offensive might have had a decisive effect, he called off the effort in favour of area attacks on German cities, starting with the July 1943 raid on Hamburg.

While the effects of area raids are hard to measure in terms of direct effect on the German war economy, there were unquestionably indirect effects which contributed to the Allied victory. Perhaps the most important of these was the allocation of artillery. From 1942 to 1944, some 83% of the dual purpose artillery produced by Germany was used in the anti-air role. That's a whole lot less artillery firing at Allied tanks and troops. The effects of the more specifically targeted attacks are easier to quantify.

quote:

ORIGINAL: HMSWarspite
The dams raid was stunningly good at showing this. It was sold as war winning and could never have been this so is usually not regarded well because of it.

Part of the issue with that raid was that one of the dams targeted was not, in fact, a vital target; it had been misidentified by British intelligence. Another issue was the failure to follow up the raid with similar attacks on other installations, and to complete the destruction of the damaged installations. This error in prematurely assuming a target had been effectively taken out was to be repeated numerous times during the war. (The heavy losses suffered on the raid were another reason why follow up attacks were not conducted.)

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RE: Bombing campaign: does economy work? - 3/10/2019 5:57:22 AM   
Saturn V

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

The Western Allies had little feedback from within Germany so it was hard to judge the impact..

Not entirely. Ultra intercepts proved useful, particularly in revealing the degree to which attacks on German oil refineries and synthetic fuel production were hurting its economy and military, which pushed oil targets up in priority.


quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

This is still probably the definitive British post-war analysis: http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p4013coll8/id/4323. There is some really detailed attempts not just to quantify the damage but model the 'what if we hadn't bombed'

I believe that might be the report Tooze referred to in his book as almost seemingly deliberately downplaying the effect of British bombing.

Regardless of that, thanks for the link! I'll be downloading it. Always nice to see good historical WWII documents. :)


quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

There is an equivalent US one.

That would be the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, which has reports on both the European and Pacific theatres. The full reports of each are hundreds of pages long.

From one of the reports about German steel production, the direct and indirect effect of RAF bombing (the USAAF made little effort against steel) caused, for the war as a whole, German steel production to be 8% below what it would have otherwise been, according to the German's own estimates. That's 8% less steel for tanks, shells, and other armaments.

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