Operation Unthinkable - General Discussion Thread

Alright everyone let’s discuss operation unthinkable - go.


What do you want to discuss about it?

Let’s start with how different the world would be if the Americans and British went through with it.

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Well, for starters you’re talking about two sides that frankly were at the ends of their ropes in terms of logistics. About the only saving grace for the US and Britain would be that the Soviets didn’t have much in the way of a Navy, so there would have been no REFORGER-style Second Battle of the Atlantic.

Likely needless destruction in a gridlock and needless bloodshed that would have been a PR disaster for the West. Negotiated settlement after awful continuation of a war no one wanted. Which is why this plan was never feasible from the break.


What would even be the casus belli?

Poland or Eastern Europe I guess but it would be a really big betrayal and be a disaster.

You could argue the Soviets would deserve it but it still would likely be a disaster with ramifications for generations.

Politically it seems insane.

Step 1: get ground down fighting Germany and Japan across three continents and two oceans.

Step 2: fight your former ally even though you’re exhausted and have filled millions of graves with your own dead.

Step 3: profit???

It’s why the plan was never seriously considered in the first place outside of some insane hawks, it was insane to Allied command. The Soviets knew they could landgrab in the post war and strong arm countries like Poland because there was nothing really that could be done to stop that.

People like to talk about Operation Unthinkable as if it was a serious consideration (similar to what is happening in this thread), but it wasn’t remotely possible. It was called Operation Unthinkable for a reason.

So yes…the Soviets had almost no reliable navy. The Royal Navy and American Navy would have made short work of them in the Baltic.

The issue was really over Soviet influence expanding mainly in Poland.

I’d assume it would go well at sea for the allies.

Land not so sure.

I think it’s valuable to look at the plan from two angles; first, as contributing towards an Allied perception of there being a severe gap in conventional military capability in Europe between themselves and the Soviet Union, a gap which favoured the Soviets on land, a fear that never really went away and remained a consistent theme in Western strategic planning throughout the Cold War.

The consequence of this recognition was that a lot of Cold War planning as a result often resolved to play heavily on ideas of surprise and strategic escalation, involving Western strategic arsenals, as a way of trying to overcome that imbalance.

The second way I think it’s valuable is that it highlights a sense of transition between ‘total war’ thinking and ‘cold war’ thinking.

Even moving into the Korean War you had proposals—such as Macarthur’s idea of a ‘nuclear curtain’ in China—that seemed wildly excessive by Cold War standards of restrained conflict

and yet still made a twisted kind of sense to statesmen who had spent much of their careers (and lives) under a frame of reference of totalising and highly unrestrained conflict.

I think in that sense that such planning is useful in giving us a window into the kind of arithmetic that leaders were having to perform in order to actually understand the emerging strategic conditions that we associate with the Cold War. Strategic conditions which, in hindsight, may seem intuitive to us and yet were undoubtedly counterintuitive for many of them.

Including the Italians is unthinkable because of the officers incompetence. Rearming the Hungarians and Romanians along with the rebuilt German Army would have been better.
The German Generals had a FAR better understanding of manueverable warfare than the Russians and were amazed at how many casualties the Russian Generals would take.
The Allies could have opened a second front coming out of Finland attempting to disrupt the Russian rear areas.
Eisenhower was nothing more than a politician in a soldier’s uniform.
The Allies could have succeeded with Operation Unthinkable, the Russians are not invincible. I would have done it.

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Also in our favor was that the USSR did not have nukes in 1945, nor a Soviet clone of the Boeing B-29 bomber, which they eventually did have in both cases.

The nuke technology was given to the commie Soviet Union by Roosevelt who was a communist ■■■ himself.


I first saw this kind of statement decades ago.

And I have been dismissing it as nonsense by extremist nuts ever since.

And when trying to get the truth of the matter, I am always given a barn full of stuff to read and that seals the deal.


The way to overcome that would be a sentence or two which EASES people into being able to understand how you can say FDR was a Communist.

Then, explaining why his being ■■■■■■ or not, does or does not matter to anything.

Read it. If you’re a fast reader, it won’t take more than 20 minutes.


What do you have in the five minute or less video category?

I’d have wanted to see Gen. Patton’s opinion of these, or his plans, had he drawn up such plans.

Patton was murdered after he was going to out the information he discovered as to what ■■■■ were doing to Germans after Germany capitulated.