Better German Aircraft in 1943 Inflict Crucial Losses of Allied Air Power in Britain?

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That such operations could have had an impact is illustrated by the Luftwaffe intruder effort launched in March 1945:

As demonstrated by Jabberwoky's posts, the idea was not pursued with as much vigour and losses resulted. by early 1945, the LW can achieve very little of substance with the number of aircraft it had available at that time. It amounted to a suicide mission.

Doing real damage to such facilities required larger groups than the typical 2-4 aircraft that were usually used. In 1943, when they did attempt to attack such targets with larger forces, losses climbed prohibitively. Some of the bigger missions - involving 100+ aircraft - had loss rates approaching 10%.

Yup, they were not affective in the way they were conducted, as I mentioned earlier, but again, it depended on how the Germans approached the situation and when and in co-ordination with other raids, as opposed to send over a handful of aircraft alone, which they tended to do. During the Battle of Britain, the concept was not pursued with particular strength to the degree it could have. In his analysis, bungay states the following, regarding EGr 210:

"In the end it was too little too late. Erpobungsgruppe 210 attempted to take on the job the whole of the Luftwaffe should have attempted to do from the beginning. The raid on Woolston was successful. It maybe that his note on using fighter bombers on 2 September was a sign that Goring was realising what was needed, but when it was put into practise, it was a travesty."

"They had an aversion to low-level operations because it made them feel vulnerable. Manston is the only airfield to be repeatedly strafed by Bf 109s. it worked there, but there re very few examples of Bf 109s being used in this way anywhere else. This was the strategy Park feared the most, and there was not a lot he could have done once the radar was down. his worst moments during the Battle were when he was blinded for a time, as on 30 August."

"However, if the attacks had been frequent enough, he would not have had enough time to re-organise his defences. The effectiveness of such attacks depended on intensity, and the weather could therefore have prevented them from being kept up, but Knickebein would have enabled raiders to find target areas in dirty weather, andf poor visibility was good for them: it was easier to get surprise and escape. Erpobungsgruppe 210 showed the Luftwaffe the way."
Well, my friend and I used the same book, the German version of course. For I do not believe Griehl and Dressel produced books of different content in German and English language, I must do a meticulous comparison to show why we come to a very different assessment as you do. This may need to start a new topic about this.

I doubt sincerely that two translations of the same book can be so different that the narrative was completely different. I even quoted directly from the book. I suspect your friend is not reading the book through its entirety and is looking at the aircraft through rose tinted glasses.

If you and your friend refuse to accept the truth in English, how about in German. The following is from the German wikipedia page on the type, which is not as detailed as the English version. Yes, it is wikipedia, but it states pretty much what Griehl/Dressel states:

"Bei der Indienststellung der He 177 zeigten sich beträchtliche Unzulänglichkeiten. Als äußerst anfällige und von ihren Besatzungen nicht gern geflogene Maschine kam sie in den Truppeneinsatz, noch bevor gravierende Fehler behoben worden waren."

Das führte dazu, dass die überwiegende Anzahl der bis Juli 1943 gebauten Flugzeuge nicht frontklar war und aufwändig umgebaut wurde.

Google translate has this to say, for the non-German speakers...

The commissioning of the He 177 revealed considerable shortcomings. As an extremely vulnerable aircraft that its crews did not like to fly, it was deployed even before serious errors had been corrected.

As a result, the vast majority of aircraft built until July 1943 were not ready for the front and were extensively rebuilt.

From here:

Heinkel He 177 – Wikipedia

Here is the English version, a lot more detailed:

Part of the reason I have included these is because Wiki uses Griehl/Dressel's book as a reference.

...And if we are going to go on about this, this is what Hermann Goring had to say about the He 177 in March 1943. Written in English, but the German translation can be found easily.

"It is not only that the appearance of this aircraft is a year behind schedule, but that there is moreover no likelyhood of its becoming operational for the present , and that an aircraft which has been in development for years should suddenly present difficulties such as cannot be explained. I find this incomprehensible too."

Here's another source, Roderich Cesscotti, from an originally German written but translated into English text on the type:

Monthly output for both plants assembly line reached 12 aircraft by July 1943, and by the end of the year when this number had increaased to 42 permonth. Near the end of 1943, when 261 A-5s had already been built, an RLM order went into effect calling for the scrapping of all He 177s extant due to the high number of problems."

Finally, "By this time a total of 1,146 examples of this highly interesting aircraft had been built, despite never really having reached front-line maturity. The continuous technical problems which kept cropping up undoubtedly led to more losses than those caused by the enemy, and all hopes that this would be the bomber which could seriously compete on an even level with those of the Allies were brutally dashed."

"The He 177 began flying bombing operations starting in early 1943 in support of army operations... By this time there were 13 remaining aircraft, and despite their good showing with regard to defending themselves against enemy fighters, no less than seven further machines became total write-offs in spite of having notched up quite a successful service record. Most of these losses were attributable to engine fires, without any visible signs of damage due to enemy action."

Cesscotti goes on to describe the career of the type and by mid 1944 he states the following, "At this time operational readiness hovered around 35% on average."

"These notable examples illustrate just how much of a bitter disappointment the He 177's frontline career was to those who had placed high hopes on this weapons platform, which had such promising strategic potential."

need I say more. Your friend is clutching at straws if he pretends that the type's issues were not major and he is very much selectively reading from Griehl and Dressel to satisfy his own agenda and refusing to see what is blatantly obvious about the aircraft. It simply wasn't ready for continuous operational use in 1943.

An essay about what were the troubles of the He 177 and how to solve them, if the Germans had tried to systematically work on them.

How about your friend come on and do the opposite and prove just how the He 177 was ready for combat when it was not, with sources. Don't relay instructions from your friend, tell him to come here and do it himself. :mad:
nuuumannn nuuumannn :
Sorry for being late. First, I am not in a position to tell my friend what to do. Second, there is no problem finding sources which underline the He 177's real bad habits, or such which were just continued time after time, thus ignoring the proceedings that had happened, although by an extremely uneasy development. Continuing troubles could also base on inadequate maintenance, caused by lacking of personal capacity and organisational quality.

My friend and I together composed the following text, which was then posted in in 2016 (in 2018 this forum ceased to exist):

By all appearance, for the Daimler-Benz double engines mounted in the He 177 the cooling itself was neglected. The result were breakings of piston rods by seizures, which then led to the known engine fires from the leaking oil. Similar problems were known from the single engine DB 605 (in the Me 109), which for this had to be throttled for a long time. Reason for this problem in both the single and the double engine was an oil cooling problem which in the Me 109 apparently mainly resulted from a poorly working component (oil retaining valve).

Given the technical facts and statements of people involved at the time (E. Heinkel) it seems likely that the then competent designer Hertel had undersized the cooling equipment in the He 177, to spare drag.

The often quoted installation position of the double engine has indeed led to the event of damage, as described above, the engine and the aircraft caught fire (by the ignition of the leaking oil), but it was not causing the problem.

Material quality problems of the bearings in the engine, particularly the crankshaft bearings were not eliminated until to the end of the period of use, since high-quality steel should be saved. Likewise, due to the war the manufacturing quality suffered.

Overall, the situation was however improved by action of the commissioner Hertel [Hertel had supervised the construction of the aircraft, Heinkel had sacked him because his designs (He 112, 118, 119, 100) did not win the approvement by the RLM. Hertel then went to Junkers. With the problems continuing in, the RLM made Hertel commissioner for the further development of the He 177]. Whether he here ironed his own mistakes or if he eliminated the unsystematic work of others remains an open question. With the demand for diving ability the problems of double engines had absolutely nothing to do.

The Daimler-Benz-twin engines in general, and the DB 610 in particular, were in early 1944 service-ready at least to a limited extent. Here, a double engine can not be better than its individual parts, which were known to built "on a knife's edge".

Especially for inexperienced pilots the line between "smooth work" and "overload" was narrow. They tended to let the motors run too long at maximum power. This was owed to the necessity, to retain climb / combat power over a longer period of time, since the rise to the required height (6000 m) took at least 40 minutes. To that extent the He 177, even with DB 610, must be considered underpowered, since the required power could not be accessed permanently.

For an initially equally poor functioning of dual motors in the Ju 288 C there is no evidence, even if the absence of troop testing a fair comparison between the He 177 on one, the Ju 288 C and the He 119 on the other side is not possible.

Through a consistent revision of the cooling system in the He 177 (possibly with extendable additional coolers, as with other Heinkel models) and some measures on the engine itself, as they were applied in the course of development (oil slinger, enlargement of the oil circulation) the failure rate by lubrication loss could have been minimized fairly shortly. Together with measures during installation into the aircraft, which in case of doubt would have in prevented any engine fires (a fire extinguishing system had been proposed), the He 177 would have quickly become a reliable combat aircraft.

Overall, it must be said that an ill-considered approach and chaotic, aimless crisis handling have thwarted the success of He 177.

End of the text. I mean you can agree.

Regards, RT
As demonstrated by Jabberwoky's posts, the idea was not pursued with as much vigour and losses resulted. by early 1945, the LW can achieve very little of substance with the number of aircraft it had available at that time. It amounted to a suicide mission.

In 1945? Certainly. In late 1943 or early 1944, that's a different story. Intruder operations would have posed some problems for the Allies, and given them something to worry about.
In late 1943 or early 1944, that's a different story. Intruder operations would have posed some problems for the Allies, and given them something to worry about.

Yes and no. The risks of direct attack against the UK were no less hazardous to the LW in 1943 as they were in 1945. Again, attrition is the issue here, could the LW carry out these as a sustained campaign, which is really the only means of making such attacks meaningful? Just sending aircraft across to hit targets at random doesn't do much except lose aircraft to ground fire, as was demonstrated. Remember the RAF had Spitfire Mk.IXs, low level Mk.Vs and Typhoons available in 1943, these were pretty formidable low level interceptors. Not to mention Mosquito night fighter variants available by night.
In 1945? Certainly. In late 1943 or early 1944, that's a different story. Intruder operations would have posed some problems for the Allies, and given them something to worry about.
The Luftwaffe did undertake Intruder Operations between August 1943-April 1944 (and slightly later) with some success, eg. against the 8th USAAF 2nd Bomb Division on 22nd April, 1944. It was one of three main periods of German Intruder activity, roughly August 1940 to October 1941, August 1943 to April 1944 and March 1945. These operations are well described in 'Intruders over Britain - The Luftwaffe Night Fighter Offensive 1940 to 1945' by Simon W Parry, Air Research Publications 2003 (first published 1987) ISBN 1-871187-16-8, for those that are interested.


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