Ju-252 Transport Aircraft. An RLM Fiasco?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by davebender, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Jan 18, 2009
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    Michigan, USA
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    Historical Timeline.
    July 1937.
    Magdeburg Jumo-211 engine plant begins production.
    A large facility that built 24,267 Jumo-211 engines before production ceased during August 1944.

    Kothen Jumo-211 engine plant begins production.
    A large facility that built 20,911 engines before production ceased during February 1944.

    Ju-77 transport aircraft development begins.
    Except for retractable undercarriage the design was little changed from the Ju-52. Three BMW-132 engines. 21 passengers. Neither Lufthansa nor RLM were interested in this design.

    Ju-252 development begins.

    Sep 1939.
    RLM cancels development of Ju-252.

    June 1940.
    RLM resumes funding of Ju-252 program.
    …..According to Junkers the development priority very low.

    RLM cancels Ju-252 and orders Ju-352.
    …..Junkers shows 1941 as final date of Ju-252 design.

    Germany invests 1.2 billion marks for aluminum production facilities in Norway.
    …..This takes advantage of Norwegian hydroelectric power.
    …..Bauxite would largely be supplied by France.

    1942 Aluminum Production.
    472,000 tons. USA.
    309,000 tons. Germany. This was before Norway production became available.
    309,000 tons. Canada.
    103,000 tons. Japan.
    52,000 tons. Soviet Union.
    48,000 tons. UK.

    Leipzig Jumo-211 engine plant begins production.
    A large facility that built 17,032 engines before production ceased during August 1944.

    5 June 1942.
    Ju-252 prototype first flight.
    After this flight RLM placed an order for 25 Ju-252 transports. This order was later reduced to 12. Aircraft were delivered during 1942 and 1943.

    The Ju-352 is essentially the same aircraft but constructed of wood and fabric rather then aluminum. Engines were changed to the less powerful Bramo-323.

    Autumn 1942.
    Jumo-211 engine production peaks.
    1,700 engine per month. Production declined during 1943 due to lack of demand.

    1943 to Sep 1944. 44 Ju-352s produced.
    Less powerful engines plus wood and fabric construction gave the Ju-352 a payload only two thirds that of the Ju-252. Not good enough to justify mass production.


    It appears to me this entire fiasco was created by RLM.
    .....Sep 1939 to June 1940. RLM cancels the Ju-252 program. Why?
    .....1941 / 1942. RLM substitutes the less capable Ju-352 for the Ju-252 program. Why? Germany had already taken steps to insure there would be no shortage of aluminum or Jumo-211 engines.

    If not for RLM it appears to me the Jumo-211 powered Ju-252 transport aircraft could have been in full production by early 1942.

    Historically Germany produced 503 Ju-52 transport aircraft during 1942. Would it make a difference if Germany had produced 503 Ju-252s instead?
  2. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

    Sep 6, 2010
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    There was some kind of Fuhrer Befehl (Directive) that many have influenced a decision to suspend development in September 1939. Parts of the German aviation and radar industry had difficulty getting back on track after this directives effect ended. These were general directives issued by Hitler as to the the direction of mililtary objectives, behaviour of the military (eg don't sink British ships yet we might still make peace) and the use of national resources, they wouldn't be specific. September 1939 was of course the war with France and Poland and the directive put all efforts into weapons that could be fielded within 6 months. Hitler and the OKW certainly believed they could loose a simultaneous war against Britain, France and Poland combined. There may have been a similar directive around Barbarrosa. I have Hugh Trevor Ropers book which lists Hitlers war directives. I can't say I can identify the ones that would have been used to justify shutting down Ju 252 development.

    The other delay's however can't be so easily explained.

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