Fw 200 vs. Allied Convoys

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Erich, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Haven't read it, probably won't. One of the reviewers makes a good point. It was a sideshow to the main show which was the U-boat war.

    But it seems nobody ever put any real thought into how effective aircraft could be in the Battle of the Atlantic until the Brits got the idea of using Coastal Command/VLR aircraft. Almost amazing, considering how much thought the Japanese and US put into it for the Pacific. It was something of an afterthought for the Atlantic.

    Had the Condor been in large scale production, sync'd in with the U-boat fleet (and a larger U-boat fleet available earlier), it would've been murder for the Convoy system. Toss in a decent airborne radar for the Luftwaffe and the problems really get out of hand. Condors wouldn't even have to attack, they could simply track.

    Very bad time for the Allies if that had come to fruition.
     
  3. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    LW aerial recon over the Atlantic is very little known Tim, in fact very very few books written on the important subject. still waiting for the vets of FAGr 5 to write thier history flying the Ju 290's, now that would be a very interesting piece of work, and the unit of two staffeln was very successful in hounding out Allied convoys for the U-Bots later in their A-7's dropping the HS's along with KG 40''s Fw 200's and He 177's.

    the radar used by FAGr 5 was sufficient enough as the crates flew at sea level top

    well in any case glad to see the Osprey work in print may just buy a copy out of being curious, as one of the few times the KM and LW seemed to work together through all the later ego's of both branches of the Wehrmacht and that was the main reason's the Battle of the Atlantic failed for Germany
     
  4. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Good points, It's a segment of the war that should be better covered. I'm thinking the first person accounts are probably drying up with age. And they are very important, if for nothing else, the tactical inputs.

    It is also important as two technologies that hadn't been in existence some 50 years earlier, had, by the 40s, matured to the point they were effective weapons. The process of figuring out how to work them would be a microcosm of how to develop and exploit new technologies in something as important as control of the seas.

    What was done in 1940 with type VII Subs and Condors was done in the 80s with Alphas and Bear Bombers. Gotta wonder if anyone on either side in the Cold War researched that point. Probably not. One of those, "Not invented here" perspectives.
     
  5. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    what gets me and am still not quite sure who was responsible for putting the nail in the coffin but the Kriegsmarine indeed wanted a separate airforce of it's own to associate itself with any and all types of above and below surface shipping
     
  6. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    There's a decent book on the market by C F Rawnsley called Nightfighter, though it's less about nightfighters per se and more about AI; it covers the Battle of the Atlantic and the technological ace that was killing the U Boats was the use of centrimetric radar by the British; as soon as the U Boat commander popped his periscope it was picked up at some considerable distance (for the period) by the roving airborne patrol.

    I'll post more details on the book when I get home, if you're interested
     
  7. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    #7 Erich, Jul 21, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  8. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Sounds something like what the RN went through in becoming a separate force from the RAF, but to a far greater degree. With the different pulls on Germany resources, it is no suprise the Kriegsmarine Air Service ended up way down the bottom of a long list.

    Impossible to say what a couple hundred four engined bombers would've done to the convoy battles, but it would've had a multiplier affect on resources allocated. Add in some of those glide bombs that were used so successfully in the Med and you have the makings of big problem for the Allies. Especially if the glide bombs go after the escorts.

    Not much the escorts can do about it either. Transmitting on the radio and sliding the frequency was the recommended method of handling radio directed glider bombs.
     
  9. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    I've always wondered why Murmansk was not plastered off the face of the earth as it could well have been. well it is a what-if of course the KM and LW knew the convoy routes it was just getting through the strength of the Allied protection modes
     
  10. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Think of the Battle of the Bismark Sea or the reinforcement convoys heading to Guadalcanal. If the LW had hit the Murmansk runs the way the US/Australian/NZ aircraft hit those convoys, there woudl've been nothing left of the Allied Ships heading towards Murmansk.

    And that's not even counting the U-boats.
     
  11. Nikademus

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    According to the late Clay Blair, the Luftwaffe/Condor efforts over the Atlantic and North Sea produced very poor results due to lack of coordination between the Uboat arm and the attached naval units, conflict and disinterest with the larger Luftwaffe hierarchy (the well known problem of private empires within the Nazi command), and poor navigational training.
     
  12. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    If Germany had produced 2-300 four engined bombers you could bet anything you like that the German Navy would have last call on the bombers.
    Hitler would have ensured that they were either used against London or Russia. The Navy would be a distant third.
     
  13. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    The Luftwaffe and the u-boats did their best to destroy the convoys to Murmansk, and flew about 600 attack sortiesagainst them in mid 1942 alone. The battle reached its climax during convoy PQ-18, when about 260 Luftwaffe sorties, including 140 torpedo bomber attacks were sent against PQ-18, which was escorted by the RN and the escort included the escort carrier Avenger, which carried about 8 Sea-Hurricanes. Losses were heavy on both sides, but ultimately , after PQ-18 the Luftwaffe's losses became unsustainable, mainly due to ship's AA fire. There is a very good account of the 1941/42 convoy battles here:
    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/LondonGazette/39041.pdf

    From April to Sept 1942, the Luftwaffe flew the flowing number of attack sorties:
    bombers: 374
    torpedo aircraft: 217
    for a total 591 sorties against a 1/2 dozen convoys.

    Here's some newsreel footage of HMS Scylla defending convoy PQ-18:
    http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=23105
     
  14. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Excellent postings.
     
  15. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    thanks R-son but my mention was to attack Murmansk directly not the convoys to and from, wiping out the major port-side would of been paramount which the LW did not apply as they should have, in my opinion the PQ convoys were another story and as you said attrition was high on both sides.

    as to LW 4-engines to London possibly if the craft had the bomb carrying capacity and especially one with power and altitude which the Ju 290 and Fw 200K did not seem to have so made perfect sense to use them low-level over the ocean waves. He 177 development was precarious at best. the small Austrian was such a fool to begin with the but power struggle he had with his own personal issues growing up led him in his thinking to control every aspect of the Wehrmacht armed forces, consequently this made him the major Dik-wad of Germanic history ever witnessed
     
  16. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Great stuff fellas! I'm curious to know more about this! :thumbright:
     
  17. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    I should add my FAGr 5 data .............. ?

    the small book on the Fw 200 by Ken Poolman isn't too bad but an older title that needs updating it stops abruptly in spring of 44 with nothing after that.
     
  18. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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  19. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    LFl 5 tried to bomb Murmask when it became clear that German army would not get there in 1941, but even if they inflicted heavy damage the Soviet AA and fighters made it too expensive for LFl 5 to continue heavy attacks with its rather meager resources.

    juha
     
  20. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    should of been attacked at night Juha repeatedly as the Soviets had no nf's to speak of, though they probably would of learned soon enough
     
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