My way to dry out GB. Foreseeably, my friend thinks he needs to shoot across...

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Jul 12, 2008
Many of you may have read about the fruitless discussions with my friend in a couple of threads I posted. Now we stopped that. What you see here is the last part. And it is really becoming complicated, sorry for that. Please look at quotes at the ending.

In my eyes, it would be a failure to send out bombers far out over the Atlantic to attack Allied convoys. See forum thread [1].

So, if this would not work, what would? From German view, if GB does not surrender, the war will be lost. Especially when you respect that the war in the East could resume again at any time.

The following scenario is pretty unrealistic, I admit. To make it come true, the German brass would have needed prophetic abilities, to say least, when in reality lack of strategy and foreseeing action were the case. Maybe intense to desperated efforts to get the problem done might have born the right solution, rsp. what I think it could have been it (after thinking it over for decades from my comfortable sofa).

Three things are needed: flying out for very far, hit ships hard, and escape enemy fighters, especially such operating from carriers. And all these things are needed at the same time, with failing being no option.

For flying out very far while carrying a considerable explosive payload, you need a heavy bomber. For precisely hitting a target, the best weapon in WWII, at least for a long time, was the dive bomber. Please now don't consider to combine this in one aircraft like intended in the He 177. Even if it had worked, the sprawling aircraft had been an unfailing target for AA fire. Heavy losses of expensive aircraft and irreplacable crews were no option either.

The thought which went in the right direction was to combine both aircraft concepts in a way a big aircraft would carry a small parasite bomber. There had been such thoughts in the Western Axis powers. Italian inventor Bestetti made a matching proposal [2]. And imaginations like these circulated within the German bomber force personnel. Werner Baumbach spoke even about the little bomber returning to the mother plane, becoming recharged and starting another attack! [3]

Well, we know, Bestetti's draft never became realized. Nor did Baumbach's vision. Looking further on Bestetti's plan, you see it had not been the solution needed. The mother aircraft surely did not have the necessary range to perform operations very far out over the ocean. And the dive bomber, be it as small as it may, would not escape enemy fighters which would shoot it down before it could reach any convoy.

For getting out far enough, german firm Messerschmitt could have offered two interesting aicraft: types Me 261 and 264. They were not built in numbers either, but this was due to wrong decisions met by the responsible persons. But what little aircraft would you need to escape enemy fighters?

Well, anyone knows the Heinkel He 162, a workaround solution as cheap defensive fighter at the war's end. At least what-if lovers should know the proposal of the firm Arado for a small automatic, jet-driven pinpoint attacker, the E.377, and the combination of He 162 and Ar E.377 as "jet mistle".

The "mistle" thought was no product of the war's final stage, in 1940, Junkers chief pilot Siegfried Holzbauer obtained a corresponding patent [4].

So, what if "jet mistle" had been considered rsp. developed much earlier? Driven by Heinkel jet engines? Heinkel had had the earliest jet engines at all. But for use in warplanes, they never became service-ready. Why this? Jet inventor Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain and Heinkel jet workshop manager Harald Wolff were accused by a former collegue having sabotaged them [5, author Budraß is not quite sure if this is true, but sees evidence and demands further research], for they were catholic Christians and thus opposing the Nazi regime. When the Americans took over, out of a sudden the Heinkel jets worked fairly well! [6]

Of course, the Messerschmitt super-long-range-aircraft could not have carried the jet mistle. But they could have hauled it. How far for real, I don't know and also don't care too much. There should have been methods found to create the range required. In vicinity of a convoy, detected and shadowed by German far-range reconnoisaters, the jet mistle gets released, and makes its way to the convoy. With a cruise speed of 680 km/h (read for the He 162, the two-engined Ar E.377 surley would have made the same or nearly the same number), the mistle is a hard catch for any contemporary carrier fighter. It is intended the mistle focusses on carriers to knock them out, so other bombers and U-boats were no longer kept by their aircraft to further attack the convoy.

After releasing the Ar E.377 onto an enemy carrier, the He 162 pilot withdraws and tries to find again his mother plane or another one which is waiting for its "child" to return, where he rings in his plane again to be towed home. In the meantime, the mother planes had circled well-outside of the range of the carrier fighters. Had this not been possible, they had to be replaced by other aircraft having flown out just to pick up returning He 162s. Well, in any way to successfully perform an attack, to survive it, and to find a towing aircraft to get home again is not far from a Japanese-style suicide attack. But I need a vision in which the pilot at least has minimum chance to survive. There is a joking German What-if-modeler who converted the He 162 into a little flying boat [7]. I mean, this would have been the second option, hoping to become picked up by a German submarine rather than (instantly) drowning (hardly imaginable to survive for long when landed in the middle of the ocean's water desert without anybody knowing it) or becoming captured.

Well, these are my personal thoughts, not respecting if these are logical or less. At this point, my friend gets in. His starting point was to catapult the jet mistle from surface ships or special submarines, admitting the former being unsuitable for the task because of the Allied sea superiority, the later needing to be created as well, and if so, only to be deployable in very little numbers. My scenario, in the beginning, he could not imagine it at all. And then, he tried to find one and another argument to crash it.

First, he said, the Allies never would concentrate so much carriers onto one special task, for this dropping lots of other actions, especially such in the Pacific ocean. He said the Americans would rather drop GB than taking the risk the Japanese meanwhile could have taken Hawaii, what would have damaged the American self-reputation beyond any repair. He even thought the Japanese might have invaded the North American mainland. I answered, you personally don't believe that. In this point, he admitted having exaggerated.

But then, he created another thought. He said, the mass-produced jet mistle could have catapulted into the air from Norwegian bases, then make its way across the North Sea and whole Scotland, then releasing the charge-carrying Ar E.377, then the He 162 returning to Norway. The speed of the jet mistle would create dire difficulties for Allied fighters to intercept it. By using this method, he said, there were no need to create hauling formations to operate far out over the Atlantic. But he admitted, had these operations been successfully performed, the U-boats would have been delighted.

Now there is one thing I have to admit: in the Luftwaffe brass, such a thought really might have emerged, not respecting what the Kriegsmarine brass would have said about it. But for me, my friend's scenario is rather inefficient. Near the Scottish coast, there is no need to sink carriers, with enough land bases for aircraft laying in the vicinity, which could be attacked, but not sunk. My friend this way wants the jet mistle to directly attack merchant ships. In my eyes, a rather inefficient method, when the means to be correctly chosen were remotely controlled small missiles, with the Hs 293 being in the first place. And AA fire meaning to be a constant danger for any attacker needing to get close to the firing target, what the mistle pilot had to perform, in my scenario as well. It could have been necessary to fire the explosive charge by a rocket engine from the Ar E.377, to improve the Hs 162 pilot's chances to survive.

Well, as I said, we stopped discussing, with no final agreement possible. I have to leave open, what would be best. And I leave it to you to personally judge.

Thanks for your patience, and regards,
RT

Sources:
[1] What if lots of B-29-like bombers with glide bombs had attacked very well protected convoys?
[2] Итальянские бумажные проекты. Цирк Вахмистрова от сеньора Бестетти - Альтернативная История
It is in Russian language. Online translation to German worked fairly well, although some curiosities occur, like online translating uses to continuously produce.
[3] Werner Baumbach, Zu spät? Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1978, p. 159.
(There might be a translation to English of this book.)
[4] Horst Lommel, Vom Höhenaufklärer zum Raumgleiter, Geheimprojekte der DFS 1935 - 1945, Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, p. 29.
[5] Lutz Budraß, Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain. Neue Erkenntnisse zu seiner Rolle in der nationalsozialistischen Rüstung, location and year not given, [PDF] Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain, Neue Erkenntnisse - Free Download PDF.
[6] Friedrich Georg, Verrat an der Ostfront, Der verlorene Sieg 1941/42, p. 382. "Verrat" = "treason" is a continuous figure in Nazi apologetic literature, to which this book belongs to. So read with care.
[7] Neckarwyoming Model Magic - What if Aircraft 1. The modeler calls it "Nakajima N1K62", as having been left to the Japanese, so scroll a bit. Smile if you please.

Hope you enjoy the tow train pictures attached, on ground an in air.
 

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