Effects of Ernst Udet not rising in the Luftwaffe?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, May 27, 2015.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    What if Walter Wever lives and as a result Ernst Udet is not able to rise to any position of prominence in the Luftwaffe, with guys like Richthofen and Wilhelm Wimmer remaining in charge of technical developments, while Erhard Milch stays in control of production and the aircraft industry in general? For the sake of argument let's assume the Wever did cancel the Ural Bomber, but does keep the order for about a dozen each of the two designs as demonstrators. He waits for the Bomber A to pan out before building a strategic bomber.
    One obvious thing would be dive bombing outside of dedicated dive bombers like the Ju87 and Hs123 wouldn't become a major project for the Luftwaffe, i.e. no dive bombing Ju88, Do217, Me210, and He177.
    How about in terms of production? Would we see production stagnate in 1939-41 without Udet's tenure? Would we see a Ju288 project and if so would we see it get sabotaged by Milch? Or even the rise of the Ju88 as the major Luftwaffe bomber and rise of Koppenburg? Might the Jumo 222 pan out without Milch's fight with Koppenburg? Or might the DB603 not be cancelled in 1937? Would the Me210 production fiasco happen without Udet?
     
  2. Koopernic

    Koopernic Active Member

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    Udet was Germany's second highest ranking ace from WW1. He was well liked, affable. He was drawn into the Luftwaffe by Goering. He would have been better of and happier staying out of it. He was a superb aerobatic pilot, performing in America. He ran a small light plane manufacturing company.

    He was probably unsuited to the position he was placed. He was of course a big supporter of dive bombing
     
  3. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but if he ended up as a test pilot rather than anything else, keeping the pre-Wever death leadership in place, what is the result of that?
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The chances of the Jumo 222 working out are slim and none no matter who was in charge.

    Not canceling the DB 603 in 1937 does NOT get you a 1750hp engine in 1940. Not unless you think that the DB 603 development team was sealed in a vacuum bubble and learned absolutely nothing from the development of the DB 601 and DB605 during the period the DB 603 was on pause.
     
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  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Wever died early enough that we cannot know exactly what he may or may not have accomplished for WWII era Germany. Decisions to produce He-177A rather then He-177B and bomber B fiasco both happened after his death. So did cancellation of DB603 engine which was necessary to get best performance from Do-217 bomber. Not to mention cancellation of Ju-252 and Ar-232 transports in favor of continued Ju-52 production.

    As for Udet, he will be a factor whether Wever dies or not. However Udets influence may be restricted to dive bombers and fighter aircraft. Probably a net gain for Germany as this dive bombing expert was historically spread too thin with too many responsibilities. With fewer responsibilities the Luftwaffe may get a Ju-87 successor.
     
  6. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    #6 wiking85, May 27, 2015
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
    I didn't say it would, but the DB602 could produce a 1500-1600hp in 1940, upgrading as they learned more and applied it to later versions. Plus they could also make it reliable long before the historical late 1943 date.

    As to the Jumo 222, I've heard different opinions. Karl-Heinz Regnat disagrees with your assessment of the 222 and thinks it could have been fine at 2000hp in 1942-43.
    Amazon.com: Black Cross Volume 2: Junkers 288/388/488 (9781857801736): Karl-Heinz Regnat: Books
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    DB603 prototype number 1 produced 1,500hp during 1937 after only a year of development. It's reasonable to assume DB603 would be producing 2,000hp after five years of continuous development.

    What's the sense of developing Jumo222 engine which produces 2,000hp during 1942? If RLM is set on developing a new engine initial performance bar should be at least 2,500hp with follow on development to 3,000hp. Otherwise just stick with full funding for less expensive DB603 engine program.
     
  8. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    1500hp in 1937 is not producing that reliably yet. The Db603 historically never reached 20000hp despite being developed from 1939-45 and likely won't before the 222, which had lower fuel consumption than the 603 and guaranteed 2000hp when the best the 603 could develop by 1942 would be 1600-1750hp depending on reliablity.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I suspect salesmen said something similar when asking RLM for BMW801 engine program funding.

    There are no performance and reliability guarantees when developing an entirely new engine of an unproven design. You simply push ahead and hope it works.
     
  10. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    It was running at that in 1939-40. Ultimately it did run well enough to get into production before bombing made that impossible in 1943 at 2500hp.
    Junkers Jumo 222 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Junkers Jumo 222
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Not to pick on the Germans, The Vulture passed a type test. The Sabre (from Wiki) " January 1938, although they were limited to 1,350 hp (1,000 kW). By March, they were passing tests at 2,050 hp (1,500 kW), and by June 1940, when the Sabre passed the Air Ministry's 100-hour test, the first production versions were delivering 2,200 hp (1,640 kW) from their 2,238 cubic inch (37 litre) displacements.[2] By the end of the year, they were producing 2,400 hp (1,800 kW)."

    and yet it's introduction into service was.........less than trouble free shall we say?

    Bristol Centaurus was supposed to have passed a type test in 1938?

    Wright R-3350 first ran in May of 1937, 5th engine produced in Oct 1939, at some point they "paused", through out much of what already existed and then, using what they had learned on the R-2600 (and R-1820) pretty much started over keeping the bore and stroke. Took over a year to go from start of "redesign" to 5th engine of the new type.

    We have mentioned the US hyper engines in other threads and the Wright Tornado.

    I am still puzzled as to what happened to all those production Jumo 222 engines. You could have moved them by ox cart from the Jumo factory to whatever air frame builder wanted them if they were really airworthy engines. Continental only built 23 of the various I/O/IV-1430 and yet managed to power two different aircraft (to their detriment) which is a much better percentage of engines built;used than the Jumo 222 managed.
     
  12. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    The 222 is a topic of contention, so let's agree to disagree about that.
    What about the production/combat effects of a non-dive bombing Ju88, He177, Do217, and Me210? Or Milch's continuous control of production planning? Would he be able to increase production early on, especially if Wever were around and supporting that increase (unlike Jeschonnek who said he didn't know what to do with extra fighter production)?
     
  13. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Alright, I'll at least say this: without the dive bombing requirement for the Ju88 and more rational planning of the Luftwaffe the Do17 wouldn't be in production by 1939 and would be replaced in service by the Ju88 before Poland. The He111 would have more production resources as the Luftwaffe's main bomber, with the Ju88 Schnellbomber being a supplement to it (maybe 60-40 He111-Ju88 planned, not at the start of the war). That probably means a lot more bombers overall in the period of 1939-41 and on because of this, as the He111 was a mature design in production, unlike the Ju88, which historically got a lot more production resources, but was delayed into production first by the dive bombing requirement redesigns and then the difficulties in production caused by those design changes that left something like 50% of Luftwaffe production (the 1939 historical amount invested in the Ju88 program) idle for months while the problems were fixed.

    Without the Udet stagnation and the better production balance with the Ju88, while that design has fewer production problems and delays, what kind of numbers and increase could we expect? Would the 1942 level of increases start in 1939 or 1940 without Udet?
    German aircraft production during World War II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  14. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Germans were under producing everything in 1939/40. At least to what they would be doing in in 1942. Tanks, artillery, machine guns, everything. The Germans were on a "pay as you go" plan. Take over a country/area and loot it to pay for the next attack/conquest. It also took a while to figure that just maybe they shouldn't be drafting the skilled factory workers into the army if they wanted high production rates from the factories.

    There was a lot more going on with Germany's low war production rates than just a few top generals in the Luftwaffe. Keeping up production civilian consumer goods was one thing.

    The Do 17 performed fairly well in Poland and France. It even did fairly well in the BoB for a few months. It just didn't have the bomb load to be a good night bomber. It went on to give good service in the Yugoslavian and Greek campaigns and in the early part of the Russian campaign. There were over 2000 Do-17 built, many in 1937 and 1938 and these older versions helped equip the bomber schools along with newer versions.

    I wouldn't read a whole lot into some of the resource allocation vs production things either. Not without a lot of specific information.

    for a glimpse of US production see: http://www.enginehistory.org/References/WWII Eng Production.pdf

    See the first pages and exhibits 4 through 12.

    also note that Ford built 1 R-2800 in Oct 1941, 99 in Nov, 164 in Dec and by May was building 500 a month and still climbing. Ford have been given over 14 million dollars in Sept of 1940 to start construction of the factory on a bare plot of ground. How much of the 1940 resource allocation did Ford get or how much of the 1941 allocation? It didn't pay off until 1942. Chevrolet and Studebaker had signed contracts in 1940 but after Ford but produced NO engines in 1941 even though 1942 production was by the thousands and that was a mere indication of what was to come in 1943/44.
    It takes time to build and equip factories and train workers. Massive investments in production infrastructure rarely pay off in the same year that the investment is made and it sometimes takes 2-3 years to get things to full production. Also please remember that almost every major airframe or engine plant also had hundreds of sub contractors feeding parts to the main factory. The Dive bombing requirement certainly delayed things but perhaps not to the extent that is sometimes given.
    A dive bombing 23,000lb plane is one thing (JU-88A-1) a dive bombing 33,000lb plane is another (Do-217E-2) and a dive bombing 50,000lb plane is another thing entirely.
     
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  15. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    The civilian consumer industry idea has been debunked since the 1990s by several historians, most recently Adam Tooze. Germany had effectively ended consumer goods production in 1938 and whatever was dedicated to that was being used to supply the military, rather than civilian consumption.

    The Do17 had its production ended because of its poor performance and limited capabilities in France; the BoB showed it to be too vulnerable to function against a serious modern foe. It soldiered on briefly in Yugoslavia and Greece where the competition was minor and no threat to it, same with Barbarossa, but then was gone when there were enough Ju88s to totally replace it. It was a 1934 design and only used because it was all that was on hand due to the delays in the Ju88 project.

    Also to your point about the skilled labor in the aviation industry that hit a new low in 1942, rather than is when deskilling and slave labor took over and production soared; it wasn't a function of having the military release skilled labor, rather the opposite happened.
    Amazon.com: Arming the Luftwaffe: The German Aviation Industry in World War II (9780786465217): Daniel Uziel: Books
    Daniel Uziel demonstrates quite convincingly it was Udet's influence on production (i.e. horrible ineffeciency and corruption) along with Richard Overy in his 1970s thesis on Luftwaffe production in 1939-41 (hard to get access to via libraries)and of course his biography of Goering and his various offices:
    Amazon.com: Goering: Hitler's Iron Knight (9781848859326): Richard Overy: Books
    Its remarkable how much the production increase correlates with Milch return to control over production planning for the Luftwaffe in October 1941, but that is for a reason.
     
  16. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Also without C3 fuel in abundance I don't think the DB603 was capable of 2000hp or greater. The DB603N was cancelled for the lack of C3 fuel and that wasn't available as an option until mid/late 1944 historically.

    Daimler-Benz DB 603 – Wikipedia
     
  17. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Amazon.com: Arming the Luftwaffe: The German Aviation Industry in World War II (9780786465217): Daniel Uziel: Books
    From pp.14-15
    From pp. 13-14
    Add these failures in, the Me210 and He177 fiascos not likely to occur under Milch and Wever's tech team, with the He177 due to not making it dive bomb and giving all sorts of bizarre roles or making it have the twin engine layout, while the Me210 wouldn't get the order to be produced before the prototype flew for the first time with professionals managing production. That would save a lot of production resources, especially without the waste of resources that occurred under Udet. If the Ju88 is non-dive bombing it would be easier and cheaper to make, plus available 6 months early, gaining an additional 6 months of experience, resulting in accumulated efficiencies and savings. So Luftwaffe production could have been quite a lot higher by 1941.
     
  18. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't they have put greater emphasis on developing/refining a WM/50 injection? ( I know the DB-603 adapted to the Mercedes-Benz T80 featured water/methanol injection, but that's a race/sprint engine, not something ready for mass production -more akin to the late 30s Rolls Royce R variants)
     
  19. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that system could be moved up any sooner than it historically appeared.
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know who first tried water injection (the alcohol is mainly for anti-freeze) but I believe Jimmy Doolittle was playing with it in mid 30s. The power effect was known (they also pushed a normal 600hp R-1340 Wasp to over 900hp using 100 octane fuel) but long term maintenance issues and short term reliability issues (broken or bent connecting rods) were not. It went from emergency use ONLY to a pretty normal take-off power boost system on postwar commercial planes in under 5 years (although the take off boost was generally at a lower level that WER ratings) with commercially acceptable reliability. How many hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of testing it took to get there is certainly worth a look at before somebody claims they could have just done it in 1939-40-41.
     
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