Best German option for long range naval reconnaissance

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    #1 wiking85, Sep 27, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
    I know we've had a slew of these types of threads, but some very interesting information tends to come out of them, so I'll add another:

    What would Germany's best option have been for long range naval reconnaissance? Bonus points if it can be an offensive bomber too, like the FW200.

    Edit:
    Only aircraft that could be in action by June 1940.
     
  2. johnbr

    johnbr Well-Known Member

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    I say the ME-261 with bmw 802.
     

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  3. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    A fine photo, but how close was the 802 to production?

    I would say the Me 261 also, but with DB 610s. I believe at least one of the Me 261s had DB 610s, the first had DB 606s. I also understand that the M e261 didn't have the reliability issues thatthe He 177 had with teh same engines.
     
  4. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    I should have specified...pre-war designs only that could be in action by 1940. The Me261 didn't fly until December 1940 and wasn't ready until after Germany could really used such an aircraft, although it was excellent for the role, just too late to matter.
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Prior to 1941 the He-111, Fw-200 and various seaplanes are your only realistic options. But those are only interim solutions until a purpose built aircraft becomes available.

    Follow Heinkel's recommendation and the He-177B will be in service during 1941. If that costs too much build the Ju-88H (i.e. stretched fuselage) or an extended range version of the Do-217. All three of these long range bombers were effective maritime attack aircraft.

    Hs.293 guided air to surface missile should be a top priority. With this weapon any German aircraft large enough to lift it becomes a ship killer. Even something like a Ju-52 transport.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    October 1914.
    Dr. Wilhelm von Siemens begins designing a wire guided air to surface weapon for maritime attack.

    Summer 1917.
    Over 75 flight tests to date.

    December 1918.
    Design and testing of wire guided maritime attack weapons ends.

    1939.
    Development of wire guided maritime attack weapons resumes.

    May 1940.
    Hs-293 prototype first flight.

    Hs-293 was developed in two main versions.
    …..Wire guided.
    …..Radio guided.
    MCLOS guidance was employed (i.e. similar to Soviet AT-3 anti tank missile).

    Fritz X guided armor piercing bomb developed concurrent with Hs-293. They employed a similar MCLOS guidance system.

    September 1942.
    Hs-293 ready for operational use.

    25 August 1943.
    First combat use of Hs-293.
    …..11 month period before weapon enters combat.

    A total of 319 Hs.293 and Fritz X guided weapons were launched in combat. 106 hit the target. Accuracy = 33% under combat conditions.

    These weapons were employed against targets on land (i.e. bridges and bunkers) as well as against ships.


    So…..
    WWII Germany required only 3 years (1939 to 1942) to produce operational guided air to surface weapons. Plus 11 months to modify carrier aircraft and develop tactics for combat use.

    Large scale German naval spending began during 1935.
    …..2 x Scharnhorst class dreadnoughts laid down.
    …..2 x Hipper class heavy cruisers laid down.
    …..13 x Destroyers laid down.

    Resume German development of guided maritime attack weapons during 1935 and they will be in combat during 1939. Carrier aircraft doesn’t make much difference at such an early date as most British merchant convoys lacked air protection. Ju-52 transport aircraft armed with Hs-293 missiles would rip almost any 1939 merchant convoy to pieces. Fw-200 airliner plus Hs-293 would extend attack radius quite a bit.
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Only the ones in the English channel. Ju 52 can't reach any further than that. In fact in 1939 the JU 52 would have trouble reaching a good part of the English channel from bases in Germany. Ju 52s chances of survival over the English channel would be minimal.

    Of course in scenario the unlimited funding brought about by the total abandonment of the fleet in being strategy does fund all the advancements in electronic technology needed for the MCLOS guidance system to actual WORK. 1943 radios were not the same as 1939 radios. 1943 radars were no the same as 1939 radars and so on. It took quite a bit of concurrent technological development for some weapons systems to work. Not just funding or development in one area.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    MCLOS wire guidance does not require radio or radar technology.
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #9 stona, Sep 28, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
    No,but it requires considerable skill and concentration on the part of the operator. The problem of estimating range has never been solved.

    Steve

    Edited to avoid confusion.
     
  10. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Those figures are a little deceptive, though they may have developed wire guided missles, they never used them operationally.
    None of the sucesses you list for the Hs293 was with the wire guided version.

    The problem with wire guided misssiles is the operator has to stay in visual range, and steady perspective, or he has little chance of a hit. That makes his aircraft a ideal AA target.
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    A third of the weapons hit the target under combat conditions. What other WWII era air to surface weapon can put a 500 kg bomb on target with that level of accuracy?
     
  12. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Dave, I don't your sources but Bollinger in his Warriors and Wizards gives different numbers. These are from p. 172
    903 a/c sorties which carried a total of about 1200 glide bombs of which about 500 were never launched at a target, either because the a/c aborted or because it was shot down before it could use its weapons. Of the 700 or so missiles launched, about 230 did not function properly. Of the roughly 470 missiles that apparently guided, perhaps 51 achieved a direct hit or a near miss sufficient to cause damage to the ship (39 direct hits and 12 near misses) only 35 are confirmed, with 8 probable successes and another 8 probable hits or near misses.

    Juha
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Every source claims something different. Here's one which suggests a hit rate averaging about 43%
    Dawn of the Smart Bomb
    He-111H-Hs-293-3.jpg

    I didn't realize the Hs-293 could be carried by a He-111H. That takes care of the short range launch platform. Fw-200 provides an inexpensive long range launch platform until a proper German heavy bomber enters service.
     
  14. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    One more proof that Internet isn't a good substitute to well researched books, HMS Inrepid and RHS Vasilissa Olga were sunk by Ju 88s from LG 1, in fact not a single LW a/c armed with HS 293/Fitz X operated in the area.

    Juha
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    What makes you think books are better researched then Internet pages?

    Original source documents for German units which used the Hs-293 and Fritz X are conclusive. It doesn't matter if those documents are copied into a book or on a web page.
     
  16. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #16 Juha, Sep 28, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
    Your last link is a good example of that, the writer has accepted uncritically all claims on his subject's achievements. For ex the sentence "The Fritz-X was also claimed to have been used to destroy the bridge at Pontaubault, to stop the advance of the US 6th Armoured Division, in August 1944" The breakthrough to Bretagne at Avranches was one of the most important points of Normandy campaign and it is well known that LW didn't destroy the bridge at Pontaubault, even if it tried, also with guided missiles. But the writer has from somewhere picked up that claim, and because it suited to his presumption had put it into his article. That kind of mistakes only show the level of usefulness of the info in that article. Same goes to Intrepid Olga claim for ex.
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    No but then they do require a signal sending unit of some sort and a signal receiver, the receiver has to send signals to the servos that operate the flight controls even if they are "bang-bang" servos and not proportional servos.
    You know, little things like vacuum tubes (valves) and resistors and basic circuit design made NO advances from 1939 to 1943?

    Or was there a general advancement in basic electronic technology that ALLOWED improvements in many different products?

    BTW neither the Fritz X or Hs-293 used wire guidance in operational versions did they?
     
  18. johnbr

    johnbr Well-Known Member

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    No they did not just got to the prototype.As did the tv guided.
     
  19. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Why not the Me264?

    It was definately a long range aircraft that had the capacity to carry anti-shipping ordinance, the only drawback was the lack-luster support of the RLM, so it was never fully developed therefore never seeing it's full potential.
     
  20. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Too late?

    Me 261 was flying 2 years earlier and had longer range.

    Less weapons load, but we are talking reconnaissance.
     
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