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Old January 28 2014, 08:15 AM   #34
Location: Kentucky
Re: If Nazi's had not been defeated space timeline reasonable?

Silvercrest wrote: View Post
I'm not sure if that supports my point or contradicts it. Surely the development of the transistor went faster due to wartime pressure for better/more efficient/more compact controls.
The transistor was a direct outgrowth of the need for a better, more reliable solid-state diode for radar sets, to replace troublesome point-contact devices (galena crystals and the like).

So getting back to what technology would've made a difference, AT&T barely beat some German researchers to the transistor, and even during the war some Germans were thinking of building computers using relays. So it would be pretty simple to posit that they got transistors early in the war, or even prior. Have Goering get killed in a car accident early enough, and his replacement probably wouldn't have had a profound disdain for airborne electronics like radar. In that area, Goering was an impediment who once said "It's boxes with coils, and I don't like boxes with coils". That might've helped equalize the Allies large advantage in radar.

It's also easy to imagine that the Polish encryption experts never made it to England, greatly slowing or eliminating Bletchley Park's successful attack on the Enigma cypher machine. Not being able to crack German codes would have a fairly large effect on most of the battles.

But something that would've dealt an almost insurmountable blow to the Allied strategic bombing effort was actually within their reach, if they'd have thought of it, and that is the IR homing Sidewinder missile, which only used period technology and can fly on only eight vacuum tubes. They wouldn't have been horribly useful against fighters at first, but would've devastated large bomber streams.

If those had been available fairly early, the Allies couldn't have achieved air superiority, the bombers would've suffered too many losses to maintain a strategic bombing campaign, and when they were finally married up with the Me-163 and Me-262, the Third Reich would get its roof back.

Still, the ultimate in air superiority is having your tanks parked on your enemy's runway, so to win, Germany would've had to delay the invasion of the Soviet Union until they had better logistics and better tanks. If they had delayed, England would've been left dangling far longer, while the Soviets wouldn't have been getting anything from Lend Lease because they'd still be in a pact with Hitler. That would buy time and breathing space for further technical developments.
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