More He 111s, less Ju88s?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    What if in 1938 the view of the LW as to keep Ju88 production in balance with He111 production?
    Tensions were increasing throughout 1938 and the Ju88 was being redesigned and had serious issues in its early production, which delayed its introduction, yet it still got 50% of all airframe production resources in 1939.
    So what if the LW took a more balanced perspective about what was going on and decided that the He111 was going to be ready in mass usable form sooner and they would therefore produce it in number first? As it was only some 133 Ju88s were operational to use in France in May 1940.

    For one thing they could push the H-series of the He111, which was delayed in production until April/May 1939, while the DB601 equipped P series was ready in Autumn 1938. This seems silly to me considering that there were so few DB601s available and the Jumo 211 was pretty much the predominant bomber engine at that time. So knowing that the more available engine equipped series would get more units in service sooner, why not start with that? In fact why even allow the DB equipped series to be developed at all if DB engines are so scarce?

    Historically within 4 months the He111H was produced to the tune of over 400 units (May-1st September), which means that even using historical production resources at least some 900 units could be delivered before Poland is invaded. With greater resources, say an equal share as the Ju88, I don't see why over 1200 Jumo equipped units could be delivered from Autumn 1938-September 1939 if not even more. That would mean they could phase out all of the older bombers in service, including the Do17 and older He111s, while there would still be room for the Ju88 when its ready. By the time of the Battle of France there could easily be well over 2000 H-series units delivered, plus some Ju88s.

    To me that sounds much better than the historical production scheme that saw the Ju88 only in limited service by the time the major battles were being fought in France and over Britain. Really the Ju88 only is in service in numbers over Russia and in the Mediterranean 1941. Having many more He111s as a result of different production priorities starting in late 1938 would change the composition of the LW in the important battles, which IMHO would change the context of the war later on (crews not dying in the slow Do17, more bombers allowing for a reserve, more bombers allowing for sales to Axis allies earlier).

    Thoughts?
     
  2. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    Well it looks like my idea was somewhat off due to engine production; it turns out, according to the USSBS, that Daimler engine production was higher than Jumo production in 1939 and I imagine in 1938, which is why they went for the P-series first. Jumo engine production didn't outstrip Daimler until 1940, which is when the He111 P series was cancelled. So going with the historical time line of events in terms of which type is produced first make sense. However, I still think that producing He111s over Ju88s in 1938-40 is the best option, which means reducing airframe production resources for the Ju88 until after the Fall of France and keeping them in balance in terms of resources. Having the extra airframes, regardless of which engine they used, as the P and H series were virtually identical except for engine mounted, would be helpful, instead of having capacity sitting idle early on waiting for the Ju88 to iron out its production issues and go through design changes.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Which is what one would expect as He-111 was a modified cargo aircraft while Ju-88 was a purpose built heavy dive bomber.

    Ju-88 airframe was just as cheap as He-111 once mass production kicked in.

    Ju-88 had considerable growth potential.
    .....Fuselage can be stretched to increase fuel capacity.
    .....Wings can be easily modified to accept more powerful engines.
    .....Ju-88G probably still holds world record for most night fighter kills.

    Personally I would reverse the equation. He-111 should end production NLT 1942 with factory space converted to build more Ju-88s.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    During 1939 three modern factories produced Jumo 211 engines while DB601 had only a single modern factory at Genshagen. If Daimler had a temporary production advantage in early 1939 it was only due to Junkers model change over from Jumo 210 to Jumo 211 during 1938.
     
  5. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinkel_He_111#Design_and_development
    The He111 was designed as a military aircraft, with a dual bomber/transport role. It was adapted from a civilian design, but was conceived of as a military aircraft from the design spec.

    That's the crux of the problem; the Ju88 is only ready for mass production from 1940 on and it took some time to ramp up production, despite controlling 50% of all airframe production resources; the HE111 on the other hand is ready from late 1938 on, so getting it into production sooner with an equal share of production resources as the Ju88 would mean a lot more modern bombers come September 1939 and all throughout 1940, as the production path grooved by the HE111 from 1938-1940 would be greater than the Ju88 finally getting into mass production in 1940.

    Having more modern aircraft in service from 1939-40 is a major boon for the LW over the historical situation, where they had to survive with the Do17 for far longer than they should have. The Ju88 barely participated in the Fall of France and was even limited in service during the BoB. Plus the extra He111 output could go to Germany's allies, like Romania, for more oil; they eventually sold off He111s to their allies anyway, they can start doing it sooner here and garner the benefits of better equipped allies and more imports from them (the Romanians were limiting exports to Germany due to their late payment for exports).

    Also the early Ju88s were not that well liked and were pretty dangerous to the crews; it took until the A5/A4 version in 1941 to become the aircraft of its reputation:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkers_Ju_88#Operational_history
    I don't disagree, but it wasn't really ready for that potential until 1941; at that point it can become the most produced aircraft, until then though there were better options.

    I agree that over the winter of 1941-42 Germany should have started phasing out the He111 for a combination of the Do217 and Ju88, but until 1942 the He111 should have been Germany's primary bomber, as the Ju88 didn't reach its potential until the A4 airframe of 1941, but by that time Germany needed to maximize its bomber output for Barbarossa, so once winter comes around then the conversion to better aircraft can start.


    The change over the Jumo 211A happened in 1937, in 1938-39 the conversion to the Jumo 211B is what happened.
    DB didn't have that much of an issue, but I wonder if there was something going on as far as Jumo adding that capacity in 1938-39 that we aren't aware of. Daimler was ready to go and probably was running multiple shifts at Genshagen to ramp up numbers, while Jumo was working on one shift.
     
  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,995
    Likes Received:
    438
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Are we sure re. bolded parts?
     
  7. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    No that's speculation on my part. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

    Also I found this:
    Junkers Companies
    So at least two of the major Jumo factories weren't in service until after the war started, though this is contradicted by info on other parts of the website:
    Junkers Engines - Jumo 213
    This shows Leipzig producing pre-1942...and no info about Kassel.

    Junkers Engines - Jumo 213
     
  8. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,769
    Likes Received:
    800
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    Some accounts say the Do 17 didn't suffer much different than the He 111 and Ju 88 on a per sortie basis.

    The Do-17 did have a smaller bomb load than the He 111 but then so did the early JU-88s if they wanted to keep the speed up (no external bombs).
     
  9. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    Again which speaks to the He111s early war superiority.
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,769
    Likes Received:
    800
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    The He 111 basic failing in 1939/40 was the rather pathetic defensive armament. Granted even power turrets do not come close to giving bombers immunity to attacking fighters but single hand aimed 7.9 mm machine guns feed by 75 round drums is not much more than morale armament. British at least went to twin .303s on many bombers.

    I do believe that both the He 111 and Do 17 are under appreciated now and were somewhat sidelined then, development wise, as the design staffs worked on the next big uber plane.
     
  11. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    Agreed. However, armament got better in time and it was better than the Ju88 and Do17.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinkel_He_111#Specifications_.28He_111_H-6.29
    Agreed.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,769
    Likes Received:
    800
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    The MG 131s took too long to show up and the MG FF was much more for ground attack than a defensive weapon. Field of fire was rather restricted and I believe most of the trainable mounts used either 15 or 30 (?) magazines/drums rather than 60 round drums.

    The MG 81 and 81Z were big improvements, higher rate of fire and belt feed but again, only show up after 1940 and in the case of the 81Z, it doesn't show up in numbers until 1942.
     
  13. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,995
    Likes Received:
    438
    Trophy Points:
    83
    The MG 81Z was merely two MG 81 slapped together. 'Z' is for 'zwilling' - twin. Too bad that was not tried with MG 15.
     
  14. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,769
    Likes Received:
    800
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    Not quite, it used one trigger to control both guns and the feeds were reversed. Left "gun" feeding from the left and right "gun" feeding from the right. reversing feeds with minimum number of new parts can take a bit longer than just mirror imaging but pays off in the long run.

    I am wondering why they never tried the MG 17 in a flexible installation, at least get rid of the drums?
     
  15. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,995
    Likes Received:
    438
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Agreed re. MG 81Z. Few differnt parts should not use two years to design produce?

    The MG 17 fired from closed bolt, maybe there was a fear that there would not be enough cooling for the cartridge chamber once the MG is away from prop wash?
     
  16. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    Getting back on topic, does anyone have an opinion about producing the He111 as Germany's main bomber from 1938 on until it could be replaced with a combination of Ju88A4s and Do217s?
     
  17. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,995
    Likes Received:
    438
    Trophy Points:
    83
    That was historically true? Though, the potentially more useful Do-217 was left a bit under-powered for quite some time? When engine power caught up, so did the Allied fighters.
     
  18. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    I'm not quite clear what you're asking. Are you suggesting that the He111 was historically the main bomber?
    German aircraft production during World War II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    In terms of production there were more He111s available in 1939 than Ju88s, but that changed in 1940, though the A-1 series was not as safe as the later A4/5. There could have been many more He111s in 1939 and 1940 if it were produced with similar or greater resources than the Ju88. Even Heinkel built Ju88s as it was building He111s.

    I've heard differing opinions about the Do-217; the E series wasn't underpowered because it was lighter than the later M series with the DB603; Eric Brown thought it was underpowered, but that was a matter of opinion, as it was it was faster and had better cruise speed than the He111 for similar range and a better payload. Perhaps that means the He111 was underpowered? Of course that is the historical Do217, which we agreed on the build your own LW thread was compromised by the dive requirement.

    Any bomber aircraft needed an escort in WW2 after the Fall of France due to fighter speed relative to bombers of any kind; I'm unaware of any that could outpace single engine fighters, except for the Mosquito in certain instances, or the Ar234. Also keep in mind, as I already mentioned, the Do217M was faster than the He111 and already in service in 1942.
     
  19. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,995
    Likes Received:
    438
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I'm saying that it was historically true that He-111 was the mainstay of the LW bomber force, until there production of the Ju-88 and Do-217 was sufficient.

    A faster bomber makes the escort's work easier, it will spend less time above enemy held territory, the exposure to the enemy AAA is shorter, it is s more demanding target both for the AAA and enemy fighters.
     
  20. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    Sure, during a short period in 1939-40. I'm suggesting something much larger, as a lot of capacity sat still while waiting on the Ju88 to be redesigned, put into production, and get the production issues sorted out. This wouldn't have been an issue with the He111, which was pretty well grooved in terms of production lines. It could have used more and more labor dedicated toward it rather than the Ju88 in 1939 and in 1940 before it got the A4/5 redesign.

    Sure, but the Ju88 was heavily slowed down by external bomb load and extra fuel carried internally. Its also less accurate due to the higher speed. Plus, as far as the Ju88 went, it wasn't available in quantity until after the Fall of France, so whatever its advantages they were moot due to the lack of Ju88s. However the A1 1940 version of the Ju88 wasn't popular with crews, so a limited introduction to work out its issues would have been better in my opinion.
     
Loading...

Share This Page