CID1990 wrote:mrklean wrote:The Russian did not want to fight us in 1945. We had the Air Power that the Germans did not. We would have blasted them back to the Stone Age. They had nothing to match our B-29's and P-51's.
That's an oft repeated myth.
The Soviets had what was one of the best - if not the best - fighter of the war in the Yakovlev Yak-3. The high altitude variant was easily a contemporary to the P-51. The few non-Russian pilots to fly it almost uniformly agreed that it was superior to late model Spitfires and the P-51D.
Lavochkin also had two VERY good fighters - the La-7 and the La-9. The number one Allied fighter ace of WWII did not fly a Spitfire or a P-51. He flew a La-7... Ivan Kozhedub. He had 62 confirmed kills. Ironically, he went on to command a MiG-15 battalion on the North Korean border which was credited with shooting down something like 15 B-29s.
The Soviet capacity for mass producing aircraft by 1945 was very very good, and their aircraft and tank factories were well beyond the Urals. Stalin moved them there to keep them out of the reach of German forces after 1941. They were well beyond the reach of our B-29s from any place we could have staged them.
The Soviets also had thousands and thousands of late variant T-34 tanks in Eastern Europe in 1945, and nothing we had came anywhere close to it.
Any Allied offensive to roll the Soviets back from Eastern Europe would have been a very bloody affair and our prospects of getting past the Danube would have been very dicey.
What about the Pershing? Didn't the Pershing outperform the T34 in Korea? From what I've read 1st Pershings didn't arrive in Europe until Jan 45', only about 300 were in Europe by the time the Germans surrendered, and only about 15 saw combat. But we certainly had the ability to crank them out en mass like we did the Shermans if for some reason the war had gone into 1946..