New work on Luftwaffe against Allied Bombing Offensive

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by sgtk495, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. sgtk495

    sgtk495 New Member

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    I am currently writing my dissitation on how the luftwaffe could have better countered the allied bombing offensive of 1942-1945. It concerns all aspects of the Luftwaffe so any help would be greatly appreciated! I need to identify ideas/mistakes that were ignored/carried out which created the defeat of the Luftwaffe.

    If anybody has any contacts with ex-RAF, USAAF or Luftwaffe members, not just necessarily pilots or anybody that has any knowledge regarding this subject I would be most appreciative of getting in contact with them to further my research, I would do all the work and just conduct a mini interview or something and you would gain recognition in my works.

    Even if your grandad/father/uncle or anybody was associated with these services during the Second World War I would be so appreciative to talk to you about getting some information off them.

    Any other opinions etc from non-forces associated people as myself who are interested in this area would be brilliant too! Thanks guys!

    If anybody has links to primary source documents too this would be amazing!

    Any help at all would be so welcome and my email is listed below.

    Aaron
    [email protected]
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Do a search in this forum. We have discussed this many times.
     
  3. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    So, you don't want much then? LOL!
     
  4. TheMustangRider

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    I'm pretty sure that you will find answers to most of your questions here in this forum Aaron, I'm not expert myself but some members have extensive knowledge in the subject.
     
  5. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    What does that mean?
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Mass produce these beginning in 1942. They turn ordinary Me-109Gs into bomber killers without sacrificing air combat performance vs escort fighters.
    The wonder weapon R4/M Orkan ("Hurricane")
    [​IMG]
     
  7. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    As noted above - we have discussed the tactical side as well as poor senior Nazi decisions regarding R&D slections.

    The number one factor would have been to kill Hitler in 1942 and carefully consider that the Germans only had limited resources to match up against the entire Allies.

    In order, right off the top, given that USAAF initiated daylight bombing on France in August 1942 and that RAF was already putting huge numbers over Germany at night - the Nazi high command had to start with first the notion of 'force multipliers' to deny USAAF/RAF control of the air as well as build up its reserves of fighter pilots at the expense of most other air arms.

    The force multipliers include a.) increased focus on jet aircraft and airborne radar, b.) night intruder capability to repeatedly strike all bases in UK at night (USAAF and RAF), and c.) increased U-Boat investment and coverage for the Atlantic approaches of surface shipping, d.) developing a daylight fighter with very good range and atitude performance rather than stick with the Me 109 for so long.. Fighters that could intercept over England and/or drop to the deck at daylight and work over bombers bases loaded with fueled and bombed up ships on the ground..

    The possible political solution after taking out Hitler would have been to try to make peace with USSR.

    The possible strategic decisions include huge investments in nuclear weapons and delivery systems, synthetic fuels and carefully consider the use of Sarin on the UK and possibly in the US via smuggling.
     
  8. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    The Germans could have easily prevented Allied bomber offensive by conquering Britain in 1940. Make no mistake about it, Luftwaffe was capable of performing this task even when it was essentially an tactical air force, and indeed almost done it, but never the less failed due to the poor lidership (among other factors). If Britain had been conquered no Allied bomber offensive would be possible.
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    And there is no scenario that stands up to analysis that the Germans could conquer the UK.
     
  10. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Haven't the Dowding himself said that august 1940 was critical period of BoB, when Luftwaffe was attacking Fighter Command airfields, radar stations and aircraft industry? Have the Germans continued with this kind of pressure instead of switching to bombing of London, this would have paralised Fighter Command and ultimately enabled the invasion and occupation of UK.
     
  11. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Easily? Then why didn't they?

    The Luftwaffe was largely constrained by the technological limitations of the time; fighter cover could only loiter over SE England for around 20 minutes which takes us in turn to the bitter lessons that would be re-learned throughout WWII; those of the unescorted bomber. Some poor decisions were made ie binding the fighter escort so tightly to the bombers but it wouldn't have changed the limitations imposed by the combat radius of the Bf109.

    You would need to consider how much more amenable the Soviets might have been to US aircraft on their soil before arriving at such a definitive conclusion.

    Edit: South East England actually, Colin!
     
  12. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Colin, you have misunderstood my post... I wrote that Allied bomber offensive (of 1942-44) could have been easily prevented if Britain had been conquered. I don't think that Germany could have easily conquered Britain. On the contrary it would be difficult task and German loses would be high.

    This thread is about what Germany could have done to defend itself more efeciently from Allied bombing in 1942-44 and my point was that Allied offensive wouldn't even been possible if Luftwaffe had won BoB.

    By the way I agree with everything what you wrote in your post but I still think that Germans could have won BoB if they had made some different decisions and avoided many mistakes. Poor lidership is on top of my list of reasons for Luftwaffe's failure over Britain.

    There is one interesting question regarding the limited combat radius of Bf 109 though. Had the Germans introduced drop tanks on their Messershmitts earlier in the 1940, would that have changed the course or even outcome of BoB?
     
  13. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    Imalko,

    It wasn't losing the BoB that stopped Operation Sealion dead in it's tracks - it was the Kreigsmarine's obvious inability to get the Wehrmacht across the Channel. This has been discussed extensively on this board, and at the risk of flogging a thoroughly dead horse, here are a few factors to consider:

    1. The KM lacked suitable landing craft. Their LC technology was roughly on a par with that used by the Allies at Gallipoli in 1915. Getting tanks and heavy equipment ashore would have been a nightmare.

    2. Even with the LW controlling the air, the KM still had to control the seas. The RN had plenty left to throw at an invasion force, and I seriously doubt the KM and LW could have completely sealed the Channel AND provided support for the landings with the resources they had available.

    3. Much invasion shipping had been damaged or destroyed by RAF bombing raids through the Kanalkampf and the BoB. This often overlooked in the history of the campaign.
     
  14. TheMustangRider

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    On top of that not all bomber groups were stationed in the UK for the allied ofensive against Germany, the 15th Air Force established on late 1943 which was headquartered in Italy was capable of hitting southern Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the Balkans and Romania, most of which were beyond the range of the 8th Air Force.
     
  15. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    IMO, the downfall of the LW was its lack of planning to rapidly expand pilot training in 1942 and 1943, and to make sure they had enough flight hours to fly their airplanes and not be cannon fodder for the allied pilots.
     
  16. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Of course, you are right. Kriegsmarine was totally unprepared for the outbrake of the war and its commanders were skeptical about Sealion from the outset. But look what happened during invasion of Crete. Most of German forces were transported by air. Yes the casualties were high and similar attack against Britain would have been much much more costly, but if we know something about Hitler it's that he wasn't afraid of high casulaties in his forces. If Luftwaffe had control of the air over Channel and Britain it probably wouldn't be able to completely stop RN but it would limit its effectivnes and inflict some heavy loses to the British. British had army to defend their island (thanks to Dunkerque) but this army was poorly equiped and armed in 1940, so German invasion mostly from the air could have been posible. Wasn't the Messerschmitt Me 323 in the first place designed for transporting heavy equipment acrosss the Channel in support of the invasion.

    Of course this are just some of my thoughts about this subject, and it's completely what-if scenario...

    Had Britain been conquered in 1940, the course of war in Mediteraian and North Africa would probably been changed and it's great question if Allied invasion's of North Africa, Sicily and Italy would even took place in 1943. Again, just a speculation...
     
  17. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    To return to more possible scenarios - had the German's realised importance of Me 262, they would have given it's development high priority. Galland suggested that Me 262 could have become operational two years earlier (in 1942 that is) and this would made all the difference in Reichsverteidigung.
     
  18. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    Crete was a small island with relatively light defences - not a 600 mile long island full of soldiers and an organised civilian resistance movement. I personally believe that the LW did not have the air transport resources in 1940 to launch an invasion mostly by airdrop. The paras would have gone in piecemeal with no tanks, no AT weapons bigger than an ATR and no artillery bigger than an 81mm mortar. Even against the battered and depleted British Army of the time, I don't think such a force would have lasted very long...
     
  19. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Don't forget the coastal defences that ringed the entire country at the time.
    They rarely get a mention but would have held up a seaborne landing long enough for the British to put some real resistance in front of the German thrust
     
  20. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    Very true Colin, although one has to assume that with air superiority secured, the LW would try to neutralise as many of these sites as possible before landings occurred.
     
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