Messerschmitt Me 264 and Heinkel He 277.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Lucky13, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    How would the Allied have reacted if the Germans had managed to put sufficient numbers of the Messerschmitt Me 264 and Heinkel He 277 into action in mid 1943? Would the fighters that they had, P-38's and P-47's be good enough to take on these giants? Would it had sped up production of the P-51? Would it changed things around in that way that we'd have seen the B-29 over Europe in 1944? Maybe even the F-4U Corsair? I imagine this now that the 264 and 277 would be as good as the B-17 and B-24 in effiency and reliability....
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  2. Parmigiano

    Parmigiano Member

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    I guess that every bomber, no matter how big, would have been destroyed by fighters, unless properly escorted (and LW had no long range escort fighters in inventory, the best was the Fw190 with drop tank)

    True that Allied fighters of 1943 (except the unreliabe Typhoon) did not carried proper armament to tackle heavy bombers, but it would have been easy to fit some extra-cannon, rockets etc. like the Germans did.
     
  3. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Any idea how the LW would have tackled the escort problem? Did they have ANY projects or such on longdistance fighter escorts? Or.....?
     
  4. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    It could even have brought the B-36 Peacemaker off the drawing board early to act as a retailation bomber. Ie. you drop your bombs on me and I'll drop three times as many on you from one or more planes.
     
  5. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Let me point out that the He 177/277 and the Me 264 are completely different type of bombers. That is: the Me 264 was designed for long range, the Heinkels for medium range.
    So the question is first, what do you want to use those bombers for? Bombing Britain or the US?
    If it's the US, then there is no way you can escort them. The Germans tried with the Me 328 parasite fighter but that would never have worked.
    If it's Britain, then the Germans don't need long-range escort fighters. They could station them close enough to Britain.

    Kris
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I really dont think it would have sped it up any. The B-29s were good eneogh for the job.
     
  7. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    I agree with Adler on that one, the B-29s could have been stationed dang near anywhere and still have been able to hit Germany.

    For bomber duty, I would imagine the P-47 and P-38 because of their heavy armament. P-51's perhaps to take on the escort force if there was one. Bombing in such a manner would not have been a wise move at all for the Germans. They couldn't put out nearly as many heavy bombers as we could to compete with the heavy losses associated with hardcore heavy bombing.
     
  8. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Since the Me 264 was a long range bomber to be. What kind of escorts did they have in mind to protect them? Did they have any in the inventory that would have been acceptable to develop any further or would a completely new design been the best way forward?
     
  9. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Having a bomber and what to bomb are the questions. Given that the Germans had the long-range bomber with escorts what would they have hit? I think they would have missed the mark given their track record. Outcome would probably be the same.
     
  10. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Lucky, I already answered your question.

    If it's the US, then there is no way you can escort them. The Germans tried with the Me 328 parasite fighter but that would never have worked.
    If it's Britain, then the Germans don't need long-range escort fighters. They could station them close enough to Britain.


    So no, the Germans didn't have long-range escort fighter projects.
    Kris
     
  11. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    Well it depended on how bad things got. The B-36 Peacemaker was almost ready to go in 1941 save for the fact that Britain didn't fall. In a large scale bombing scale I could imagine that the scale would be focused on increasing damage per mission. As it was the B-36 Peacemaker would probably have made an even bigger dent on German morale and industry during 1943-1945 if it was available.
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Where do you come up with this stuff? The B-36 was not almost ready to go in 1941. The US did not even have an operation jet fighter in 1941, so how were they going to have a bomber with 4 jet engines along with the 6 Prop engines?

    The USAF requested a design of a very long range bomber on April 11, 1941! That does not mean that it was almost ready in 1941. The designs had just begun in 1941...

    You are not going to get a plane of those proportions flying in a few months from design to first flight. Come on Healz use some common sence here.

    The XB-36 did not even fly until 8 Aug 1946...

    The first prototype failed to meet the standards place in the requirement of 1941 and it was plagued with problems. The first prototype to meet the standards did not even fly until 4 Dec. 1947.

    Do some research man...
     
  13. phouse

    phouse New Member

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    As I understand it, the ME-264 was intended to be ditched in the ocean after bombing the US and their crews picked up by submarine. So to beat a dead horse, no escort plans were constructed.

    As a retort to Civettone, perhaps they didn't need long range escort fighters but the LW probably should've sent planes with more staying power than the ME-190s they were so fond of!

    By mid-1943 where this hypothetical is set, the Luftwaffe was already starting to feel the talent drain of the high attrition rates is suffered from the Battle of France onwards and with many of their pilots lost in the first BoB not returning, experience was a real factor as well. Assuming the manpower needs were there as well, one would imagine the Allied response would probably be a refit or some interceptor response.
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Bf 109 or Fw 190 not Me-190. I am sure that was just a typo though. :lol:

    As a defensive aircraft the 109 was just fine.
     
  15. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    I thought that was the story of the Ju 290. The Me 264 had a range of 11,000 km so should have been able to get back to France.

    I was also thinking it was a typo - and it probably is - but then again, it would be a inventive way to name German fighters in one 'word' the Me 190 ;)


    I don't think the BoB or France still played a part in 1943. The Luftwaffe pilots were more experienced in 1943 than they were in 1940.
    The training of new pilots was indeed a problem but this was not recognized by the German leaders, especially Jesschonnek (sp?) and Göring.


    Anyway, I think the Amerika project was a damn good idea. With a couple of long-range bomber squadrons to reach random points along the American Eastcoast, the Americans would have to build radar stations and facilities along an at least thousand mile stretch and station fighter squadrons and AA battereis there. All resources which wouldn't have gone to the front. Even if this would have stopped any German bombers, those weapons would still stay in place even without a single German bomber crossing the Ocean.

    Kris
     
  16. phouse

    phouse New Member

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    Oops, typo indeed! I meant ME-109.

    As far as the ME-264 was concerned, only the reconnaissance versions were able to fly such a long range. Bombers would have required in flight refueling, a possibility nixed by Gen. Jeschonnek.
     
  17. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    The Amerika Bomber project could have possibly only succeeded at first. Maybe 1 or 2 missions since the US had the production capacity to put up lots of AA and lots of fighters on the US East Coast and also would have put a lot of radar up real quickly.

    It really only was a pipe dream.

    For a good read on the Amerika Bomber project read this book:

    Luftwaffe Over America - The Secret Plans to Bomb the United States in World War II by Manfred Griehl
     
  18. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    I agree Adler but my point was that those weapons and resources would have to stay there!

    Kris
     
  19. phouse

    phouse New Member

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    This is a good point but I wonder if it would have made a significant difference for the United States?

    I had a fantastic book that I'd love to cite on the long lasting impact the first BoB had on the Luftwaffe but I lent it to a friend. I need to get it back. To paraphrase and summarize, the author asserted that there was a substantial talent drain on the Luftwaffe because they lost so many top-rated fliers over England and the Channel. Some of this talent would have been cycled around to instruction by 1943. I am unclear maybe someone can clarify but what year was it that the Luftwaffe started pulling instructors from their flight academies and placing them in front line service? 1944?
     
  20. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    The range would have been, with a 3000 kg (6614 lbs) bomb load, 11600 km (7208 miles)

    What's significant?
    Fact is that those guns and fighters would not have been used in Europe. Seen on an economical scale it's also obvious that the Americans would have to assign more resources to set up a defence than the Germans would if they were to field a couple dozens semi-operational bombers.

    I don't think there's any debate about that. The Luftwaffe would have been stronger had they not lost those pilots. But you claimed the Luftwaffe was feeling those losses in 1943 which I think is exaggerated.
    Also, the training problems the Luftwaffe suffered had nothing to do with a lack of experienced pilots available. They didn't demand their aces to give up their frontline positions which they should have done. Having more aces wouldn't have remedied their lack of experienced instructors.

    Kris
     
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