Luftwaffe after BoB: strategy, tactics, tecnology?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Similar to the RAF thread: what steps need to be undertaken by the LW in order to best it's opponents in the up coming years? The time frame is the same, starts in Autumn of '40, ends before '44 starts.
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Here we have a real fork in the road.

    does the Luftwaffe realize it can't win (something it didn't realize until late 1943 or 44) and go over to the defensive or does it plan for a renewed offensive against the British in 1941/42 or does it go for a better set up for fighting the Russians in 1941/42?
     
  3. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Going to a pure defense will allow the Allies to quickly gain the upper hand; the Op. Barbarossa unfolds pretty much as historicallly, and LW is the main Wermacht's asset there. Against the UK, going against SLoC will be more productive than a 'classic' bomber offensive?
     
  4. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    In your time frame nothing. The Luftwaffe had already lost. If earlier we can increase aircraft production and pilot training to the point where it won't find itself fighting on three fronts (Channel, Mediterranean, Eastern) with roughly the same number of aircraft with which it started in Poland it may have a chance.

    Alternatively don't invade the Soviet Union until some settlement has been forced on the British and don't declare war on the United States :)

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Historical German aircraft will work just fine if they have enough fuel for operations and training. Germany must build more hydrogenation plants for production of aviation gasoline. If they start building during fall 1940 and program has top priority the additional fuel should coincide nicely with increased German aircraft production during 1943 to 1945.
     
  6. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Also would require that they are protected from air attack and that their supply routes are protected.
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Maybe some cancellations would be in order? Like the Jumo 222 (more effort on the Jumo 211 and 213 instead), whole plethora of DB engines, some complicated BMWs (stick to the 801 and a bit to the 9-cylinders)? What about the Me-210, Ta-154, He-219? Should the machine tools from France be shipped to Germany proper? How about a proper 4-engined job? Centrifugal-compressor jet engines only, or no jets at all?
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    More aviation gasoline will go a long way towards protecting German industry from Allied bombing attack during 1943 to 1945.

    If you want to change German aircraft production then put Jumo004A engine and Me-262 fighter into limited production during 1943. These jet jagdgeschwader would be devoted entirely to knocking down heavy bombers during the daytime.
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Kind of goes back to my post #2.

    Do the Germans give up on the bomber "B" program and/or Ural bomber projects?

    Hindsight would say yes, but that is admitting that the Luftwaffe has somewhat limited offensive power even 2-4 years down the road. Granted these projects came to nothing so actual capability would be unchanged.

    The Germans would have been better served to develop some of the planes (and engines) they did have rather than go haring off on some of those technological "Vundar" planes.

    Not speaking so much of the jets but the Jumo 222 and similar over-complicated piston engines.

    It wouldn't have changed the outcome much as no matter what German does it cannot out produce The US, Britain and the Soviet Union.
     
  10. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    It may delay the destruction of German industry, or reduce its effects, but it won't effect the final result.

    Since the major oil offensive didn't happen until after D-Day in the OTL, one wonders if that would have been the case had the Germans started building more hydrogenation plants. It certainly would have been of interest to the planners, and may have moved Oil to the #1 spot during 1943, rather than in 1944.

    Disasters such as Schweinfurt would still have happened, but weight of numbers (and the arrival of escorts) would have eventually taken its toll.

    And that is not taking into account Bomber Command. If Harris was persuaded (ordered) to attack these sites earlier, even more disruption and destruction could have occurred.

    And not forgetting the Transportation Plan in this either. By disrupting road, rail and waterway freight the hydrogenation plants will be starved of the supply of coal required to make fuels and oils. Inland waterways, for example, were extensively mined during the war.

    The next question is, was there sufficient coal supply to provide for an increase in fuel production? If so, by how much? Does the increase in production require extra manpower? Where does that come from - slaves?
     
  11. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    With total hindsight they should focus on getting the Do17 out of production, the Do217 in, cancel the Jumo 222, focus on two stage, two speed superchargers, not focus on turbosuperchargers, no Ta-154, focus on the Jumo 213, reduce engine projects, cancel the strategic bombers, make the Jumo 004A, hold Me210 production until the problems are fixed and don't start phasing out the Bf110 until then, no He-219, focus on a Ju88 nightfighter, cancel the Ju288 and focus on the 188 instead, switch to fighter production by the end of 1942, don't stay involved in the African Campaign past the end of 1942, don't strip out flight instructors for missions, rotate out the best fighter pilots to training centers and don't promote them based on kill rates, don't bother with the Do-335, focus on getting the Ta-152 into service, get the FW190D in service ASAP (along with the Jumo 213 issue), and focus on getting SAMs and proximity fuzes into service (fewer projects too). Start work on the V-1 missile in 1940 instead of 1942. Make the Do-26 as your long range naval recon aircraft with the Hohentwiel ASV, don't bother with the Ju290 or Atlantic bomber. BMW only works on the 801. DB works only on the 601 and 603, Jumo works only on the Jumo 004, 601/5, and diesels. Develop R4M and no other rockets; don't weight down fighters with heavy cannons. Cancel work on the 5cm AAA and focus on the 5.5cm Gerat 58.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Do 17 went out of production in 1940, it continued in use quite a bit longer. Not much use putting the Do 217 in production sooner if you don't have engines for it. It needs the BMW 801 or equivalent, an early version with 1940 Jumo 211s is just not going to work.

    Two stage superchargers need high performance fuel. The Germans got there, but not soon enough. Without something like 100/130 in 1942 a two stage supercharger is going to be limited in what it can do (or use really big inter-coolers).

    A simple (somewhat) area is get rid of the Ju 52. It sucked up way too much in the way of resources for what it delivered the majority of the time. Too many engines, too much metal and too much fuel for the amount of cargo/troops it delivered over a given distance. Perhaps a small twin engine transport could have been useful (Beech 18/Anson sized?) sooner, the Siebel 204 going into service much too late.
     
  13. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    #13 kettbo, Oct 21, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
    Just sticking to the planes here
    Fw190s as Sturm but....30mm cannon only and armor. Weight off so they are not defenseless pigs. The cool thing would be less cannon/MGs, instead racks with R4M! Imagine, decent size forces both sides, escorts turn around and the bombers get are savaged with rocket barrages then follow-up with twin 30mm. Simple, possible, affordable.... Think mid '43 this alone could have turned the tide and put a stop to unescorted deep penetration raids. I cannot imagine a Staffel in their wedge unleashing a barrage of R4Ms on a bomber box. Might not need the 30mm for clean-up. I think the Bf109 could carry R4M also.

    Switch off some of the crazy stuff as noted above, make 1944 production rates by 1943.
    Put 1944 Bf109s into service earlier; More/sooner /AS, GM1, MW50
    Better use of the Fighters in attacking inbound Escorts, mess-up the carefully-coordinated escort plan.

    Somehow, get several bombers over the UK to hit the bomber bases, mid '43 on. Many benefits here. Does not have to be many planes but it has to be threat to cause nightly patrols, fear, disrupted sleep as crews would have to go to bunkers. Long range Fw190G with wing tanks and centerline cluster bomb mix of super frag to puncture fuel tanks and incendiary to ignite the spills. Maybe the LW had a operation or two like this, somebody help me here.
     
  14. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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  15. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    LWs defeat had little to do with the LW itself. It was about the strategic choices that were made for it that eventually killed it. Though tactically the LW was still part of the problem and not part of the solution, though it could have been.

    The main tactical problem for the LW was that it made choices such as limits on its tactical bombers and embracing of divebombing that whilst highly effective were also highly costly in terms of own losses.

    As far as the so called strategic choices, the old chestnut is that Hitler made a mistake in deciding to attack the Russians in 1941. facts are he had no choice. Evidence now strongly suggests the Soviets were planning their own attacks into southern Europe in the Nazi occupied areas (and strategically vital) such as the Romanian oilfields. The Soviets were looking for a far greater level of co-operation with the germans, something the germans or rather the Nazis were unable to accede to. From that point on, the Soviets and the germans were on a collision course with each other, its just that the germans beat the Russians by about a year.

    Defeating the RAF over Britain was never going to happen, or at least not happen and leave the LW in a position to exploit it. There were some possibilities in southern Eurpoe, but these were not war winning game changers.

    What the LW had to do was stop looking for the cheap easy wins, stop with the opportunistic and disjointed war strategies, and knuckle down like the RAF and fight the campaigns that needed to be fought firstly in order to ensure survival and then to ensure the enemy did not gain sufficient air superiority as historically they did. The LW needed to become much more of a team player, particularly with the Navy rather than going off and doping their own thing and leaving vital areas and activities under-resourced

    Historically, for a long period, and despite the absolut drubbing the RAF received over france 1941-2, the LW conceded air superiority over the channel and along the coast and put insufficient resources into fleet co-operation. Their training programs and build up of reserves was attrocious and their lack of foresight as to the likely and impending bomber offensives completely under-estimated.

    A lot needed to be done, but I wouldn't go so far as to say the LW was a lost cause in 1940. A lot could have happened between 1940 and 1944 when it all came crashing home.....
     
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  16. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Agreed re. more emphasis on cooperation with Navy, ditto for not spending resources for the V2, but for the SAMs. The V1, a dirt-cheap thing, might be a good thing to have, in 1943 there would be no fighter around able to kill it? It would be a handful also for the non-VT fuses equipped heavy AAA; the LW also needs VT fuses for their Flak.

    The need for the hi-oct fuel can be circumvented to a great deal by using the engines of big displacement (Germans already have those), intercoolers (Jumo 211J has it from late 1941/early 1942), water injection (MW 50 is the German variation to the theme). Also, the BMW-801D (or whatever the engine supersedes the BMW 801C), need to get a decreased compression ratio, not increased, so more boost can be used. Once a capable two-stage engine is around, it will get a priority for both airframes and the C3 fuel over the BMW 801D.
     
  17. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    "Final Results" are determined by politicians. Air force leaders can only attempt to win the air war.
     
  18. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    AFAIK the Germans were set to produce enough C3 fuel in 1944 were it not for the RAF and USAAF bombing of oil plants. That, the transport plan, and the campaign against the chemical industry all caused a collapse that a greater German focus on air defense starting in 1942-43 would have blunted to a degree. If the technology and training focus was right then the LW would have been set up to blunt the Allied aerial offensive plans in 1943-44. By 1945 things would have been very tricky, but a better set of strategies and better decisions on technology (not to mention the politics of expanding the war) would have kept the LW viable for much longer than they historically were. Of course much of that was with hindsight and the problems that crept up were also a function of the dysfunctional Nazi political system leaving guys like Hitler and Goering putting their cronies in charge of vital decisions, while also interfering in matters beyond their ken frequently.
     
  19. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Sure, but the waste of resources on ridiculous schemes cost the LW dearly (Ju288, He177, Me210, Ta-154, various Wunderwaffen projects, research dispersion, etc).
    Even relatively minor things like the V-1 being ready in mid-1943 would have had a massive impact on the course of the war, as the Allies would lack the necessary counters and it would serve to disrupt their ability to operate like they did historically in 1943-44. Operation Gemorrah wouldn't necessarily have been possible in 1943 if the RAF was too busy bombing V-1 launch sites. Also Leningrad and Moscow could have been hit by V-1s in 1943 given German positions in the East (Moscow though would be out of range once Smolensk fell).
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Hydrogenation plants can be built and operational in two years if given top priority. This scenario start date is fall 1940. Therefore Germany can theoretically be producing enough aviation gasoline during 1943.

    Having adequate fuel during 1943 means a lot as Luftwaffe can ramp up pilot training before Allied bombing becomes overwhelming. It also means Luftwaffe will have adequate fuel for Battle of Kursk, Sicily, Southern Italy etc. Difficult to say how much effect this will have but it definitely would be to German advantage.
     
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