General der Jagdflieger

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by silence, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. silence

    silence Active Member

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    Supposed that Mólders had not died in an air crash, but continued on in his command role. Could he have made a difference in the decline of the Luftwaffe? Could he and Galland, working together, have improved the Luftwaffe's fortune?
     
  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    The Luftwaffe didn't essentially fail mostly due to bad leadership. If failed because of a steady ramp-up by the Allies in the numbers of aircraft opposing the Luftwaffe, including the British, the USA, and the Soviet Union combined.

    The USA alone delivered more aircraft in 1944 than Germany built during the war.

    Not sure how the life or death of Mólders would change that in the sightest.
     
  3. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    #3 Gixxerman, Aug 6, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
    It seems to me that this, like a lot of 'what ifs' at best can possibly be said to make small tactical differences.
    But the wider strategic picture remains the same.
    A medium sized European country like 30's Germany simply cannot take on the array of opponents she did and expect to win.
    They were always doomed to be out-produced, out manned and ground to defeat.
    Even the possibility of a quick victory of sorts in western Russia does not necessarily defeat Russia anyway...and as they could never hold bring on-line those resources in a feasible time-scale it is not exactly doing them much for them other than to suffer a huge bleed in their own material, manpower general resources.
    I do not believe that even the capture of Moscow necessarily means a Russian defeat either....it wouldn't be the 1st time they simply moved back to come back again and again etc etc.
    They could afford the losses Germany never could.
    Especially not with the British Empire resolutely refusing to do a deal with the USA (in all but name, and that only for a few months) in the war.
     
  4. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Large numbers of aircraft do not matter if you do not train your pilots properly. That was the real problem with the Luftwaffe.
    Second problem was a lack of spare parts (from April 1944, this problem is substituted for lack of fuel)
    Third problem was the limited aircraft production (but only up to 1943)
    Fourth problem was Goering. Other LW leaders were okay, especially Milch.


    Kris
     
  5. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    there was disagreement about how the Lw was to be used at the start of the war and nothing changed except the fuhrer wanted more personal control and fatty continued to be his stooge having competent fighter leaders removed from high ranking positions.......remember the last dayz of the so-called mutiny.......too late to achieve anything
     
  6. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    No, the sacking of competent leaders only really started when the Luftwaffe was suffering strategic defeats, starting in 1943 and increasing until 1945. It is a typical response by those who refuse to accept responsibility and blame it on subordinates. And that was nowhere as prevalent as in Nazi Germany.


    Kris
     
  7. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The early RLM leadership was still entrenched in the "battleship" school of thought, meaning they insisted on thier bombers being capable of dive-bombing which hampered otherwise good designs, they were suspicious of jet technology early on, they didn't feel a need for long range strategic bombers, they did not like designs with tricycle landing gear and so on...

    Certainly not a good start for an air force that was going to be soon at war.
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    An excerpt from a letter from Himmler to Milch. I've cut out the middle bit where Himmler moans about the scruples of "Christian" doctors.

    Dear Comrade Milch,
    You will recall that through General Wolff I particularly recommended to you for your consideration the work of a certain SS Fuhrer, Dr Rascher, who is a physician of the Luftwaffe on leave. These researches which deal with the behaviour of the human organism at great heights, as well as with manifestations caused by prolonged cooling of the human body in cold water, and similar problems which are of vital importance to the Luftwaffe in particular, can be performed by us with particular efficiency because I personally assumed the responsibility for supplying asocial individuals and criminals who deserve only to die from concentration camps for these experiments..........

    I beg you to release Dr.Rascher, medical officer in reserve, from the Luftwaffe and transfer him to the Waffen SS. I would then assume the sole responsibility for having these experiments made in this field and would put the results, of which we in the SS need only a part for the frost injuries in the East, entirely at the disposal of the Luftwaffe. However, in this connection I suggest that with liaison between you and Wolff a non Christian physician should be charged.

    I would be grateful to you if you would put the low pressure chamber at our disposal again, together with step up pumps, because the experiments should be extended to include even greater altitude.

    Cordial greetings and Heil Hitler

    SS Reichfuhrer Himmler.

    Milch acquiesced to all Himmler's requests. Rascher conducted about 400 experiments on about 300 human beings. About 1/3 died in the experiments. The rest were shot or gassed afterwards.

    Oh yes, he was alright Milch.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Only if he befriends Speer before that man becomes armaments minister. Otherwise Mólders would have no more control over production of fighter aircraft, engines and fuel then Adolph Galland did.
     
  10. jim

    jim Banned

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    Personnaly , i dont know if Moelders would be better than galland but certainly could not be worst
    I wonder what good Galland offered to the Jagdwaffe. Did he influence decisions? Did protect training organisation? Did he influenced fighters evolution or production? Did he request twin stage superchargers? Did he do anything to change the catastrophic tactics of early 1944 over germany?
    Not to speak about his brilliant idea of exchange places of JG26 and JG54
    Maybe he was overpowered by other commanders, but he should have protest and fight against them and then resign. And in time. Not in "revolution"of January 1945. By then it was a move more for his post war fame than for practical benefit of his pilots
    Moelders,Priller or Baer look to me as more appopriate charachters for the job
    Perhaps it would have been better for the Galland to remain in JG26.( Better for his scoring record, not his health)
     
  11. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The senior surviving Luftwaffe officers did two things post war.
    First they distanced themselves from the Nazis and Nazism. There was resistance in Nazi Germany, books have been written about it, but almost all those involved in a meaningful way were executed following the failed July plot.
    Secondly they blamed everyone but themselves for the failings and ultimate defeat of the Luftwaffe.
    Galland was one of those preeminent in both these endeavours.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Speer excelled in that category. He elected not to place Jumo 004A engine into mass production during 1943. Then while in prison he created a story about Hitler being to blame for delays in Me-262 production.
     
  13. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    AFAIK the engine wasn't even passing the 10 hour test until 1944, so it would have made no sense to put it into production that early, as it would have been a waste of resources until it was semi-reliable.
     
  14. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    AFAIK the engine wasn't even passing the 10 hour test until 1944, so it would have made no sense to put it into production that early, as it would have been a waste of resources until it was semi-reliable.
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Speer excelled at creating the myth of Speer the good Nazi. "Keine ahnung" was his catch phrase when asked about the worst atrocities, until he was rumbled late in life. He must be the only high ranking Nazi whose deputy was executed whilst he got away with it.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  16. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    I think it is all very easy for us armchair generals to criticize their decisions. They took the decision based on the information they knew then. Until accurate bomb sights were available, dive bombing was the only way to accurately drop a bomb. The tactic proved extremely succesful and most countries developed or tried to develop dive bombers. For the same reason, long range bombers were a no go. With the existing technology, the Ural bomber would be too slow, vulnerable and unable to find its target and bomb it with any accuracy. That only became possible in the early fourties, when the He 177 went into production. The coupled engines were a good idea, but they had development issues. Jet technology seems an obvious step forward, but in the late thirties, early fourties it was still very exotic and unpredictable. They chose certain projects such as the V2 and neglected nuclear weapons. Ah well, bad guess. But understandable ...

    He was right not to order it in production. Consumed too many rare alloys. And Hitler was the only one responsible for the delivery plans of all weapons. He decided what received priority. And no one else.

    The discussion about war guilt knows no end. All were envolved in the atrocities, one way or another. But I believe we have to see it in its time frame and in the mind set of the time. The SS and some top nazis were the driving force behind the holocaust. But the real power behind was those who just went along with it, like sheep. Hannah Arendt described it as the "banality of evil". See no evil, hear no evil. Just do your job and don't question the guy above you.

    Kris
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The coupled engines may NOT have been a good idea, one estimate claims they saved about 3% in drag over 4 engine nacelles. Was the reduction in drag really worth the extra trouble? and not just the engine fires.

    The Germans seem to have have spent and inordinate amount of time and effort trying to wring the last few percent of improvement out of some things when a worthwhile improvement could have been achieved with a lot less effort.
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Re: Speer.
    I can only suggest that you read Gitta Sereny's "Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth". In the end she, like the Nuremberg prosecutors, goes easy on him. We now know his "keine ahnung" was BS and that he was fully aware of just what was going on both in the extermination camps and in the forced labour programs from which he profited and his subordinate (Sauckel) was executed. Speer demanded more labour and Sauckel provided it.
    This is not the place for this in any case :)
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  19. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    Indeed, a very good read....and untimately Speer admits he deliberately lied and in fact that he knew all about what was really going on (the tale of the secret deposition to an Israeli holocaust trial is very interesting)
     
  20. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I believe even Sereny, who is not unsympathetic to Speer, concedes that had some of the later evidence come to light at Nuremberg or had Speer been more honest, he would almost certainly have hanged. The British, Americans and French could not have saved him from the vengeance of the Soviets.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
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