No Ju-88

tomo pauk

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Well they built 15,000+ Ju-88s. Pretty sure that wasn't all in 1940. The reasoning on not developing say the Ju 188 was that it would cut back on Ju 88 production.
Ju 88 was arguably an excellent bomber in 1941. A bit less so in 1942. Having trouble though still usable in 1943. In big trouble by 1944.
All those planes probably weren't actually deployed and many were destroyed on the ground or broke down, but if say half of them were shot down in combat that's 30,000 crew.
Maybe make 5,000 Ju 88s and who knows? 3-4,000 Ju 188 or 388 models, and possibly you don't lose as many crew, or waste as many machines. Production capacity doesn't help that much when the dualumin and engines and fuel are all ending up in a smoking heap on the ground a few weeks after the plane is built.

(I've decided that this what-if has merit, and expanded it further: no Ju 88 what so ever)

Perhaps RLM is disappointed once they see the Ju 88 under-performs when all the bells and whistles are on (wing racks + bombs hanging there, blocky & draggy cockpit, defensive positions, dive brakes etc), so they cancel the Ju 88 as-is. Decision is made to expand production and slightly improve the He 111, while sending the request for a new, actually fast bomber with a proper bomb bay, so the big bombs don't mess with aircraft's speed and range that much. Extra resources available untilt the new bomber is around, most importantly the engines the Ju 88 was supposed to get, can be spent on the other projects.
Ju 88 is cancelled some time in mid-1938.
 

Wild_Bill_Kelso

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Given the problems with training sufficient crew, better to make 10,000 higher quality aircraft than 30,000 lower quality ones, IMO. Of course getting the timing and everything else right is very tricky.

That said, I don't see it as an all or nothing proposition and wouldn't cancel the Ju 88. Ju 88 was a quite good bomber for the early war, not just in the bomber role but as a night fighter, intruder, and a maritime strike aircraft too.

Biggest problems are fairly easy to fix (with the benefit of hindsight) - the stepped cockpit and that weird draggy gondola thing under the cockpit and the high angle dive bombing gear. Fixing those things should speed it up. As you noted earlier a larger bomb bay would also be welcome (and would really improve speed, range and fuel efficiency when carrying bombs).

Of course guessing the right size of the bomb bay is also quite tricky. By the time the aircraft is in production bigger bombs might already be needed or wanted. Those guided munitions are probably too big for most reasonable bomb bays.

I'd still make 2,000 - 3,000 Ju 88s and then shift toward something like the Ju 88B / Ju 188. I'd also cut back on the number of He 111 and wouldn't make 5,000 of those.

Then you can make more Ju 188 / 388 variants with different sized wings (try getting rid of the pointed wingtips), different engines, remote gun turrets, low alt strafer attack versions with no bombardier, high alt recon and night fighter or bomber-destroyer versions and so on.


I don't know how hard it is to make a larger bomb bay but if that was possible, say with a stretch of the fuselage, I'd say make a variant that does that. See what works best.
 

Shortround6

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Ju 88 is cancelled some time in mid-1938.
A bit early?
A big problem for the Germans was that their engine development/production lagged behind, sometimes a bit and sometimes quite a lot.
Junkers was working on the Jumo 213 in 1939 and promising 1500hp for take-off and 1240hp at 18,000ft.
I don't know if "best was the enemy of good" or if the Jumo 222 sucked up too much engineering staff or what was going on.
Junkers couldn't even deliver the Jumo 211J on time in 1940.
Meanwhile DB couldn't deliver enough DB 601s
BMW was having trouble with the 139 engine and then the 801 engine.
Talking about 1938-40 here when the plans for better bombers would have to made in order to get production going and to have large numbers in 1941-42.

If you are stuck with 1000-1200hp engines you either make really small fast bombers or you make lumbering big bombers (Pegasus powered Wellingtons or Whitleys). Trying to split the difference means not enough speed to make much difference and not enough defensive guns to to do much either. The whole three RCMG defense had to go. Having one man trying to use 3-4 guns was not a solution either. Looked good on a postcard ;)

The Germans tried to skip the manned turret generation and skip directly to the remote barbette generation. And wound up poking RCMGs out of windows for years.

Yes a plane that could hold six 550lb bombs inside (or four 1100LB?) with a useable amount of fuel would have been very nice once the engine situation got sorted out.
Having external racks for short range/soft defense would have been nice, (or drop tanks?).
Having better defensive armament would have been nice (what was so hard about using two MG 131s in one mount? or using power for both elevation and traverse?
 

tomo pauk

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I'd still make 2,000 - 3,000 Ju 88s and then shift toward something like the Ju 88B / Ju 188. I'd also cut back on the number of He 111 and wouldn't make 5,000 of those.

Then you can make more Ju 188 / 388 variants with different sized wings (try getting rid of the pointed wingtips), different engines, remote gun turrets, low alt strafer attack versions with no bombardier, high alt recon and night fighter or bomber-destroyer versions and so on.
Trick with Ju 188 was that they still were hanging the bombs in the breeze. Perhaps an earlier go towards the bomb panier might've been beneficial, like it was done on the Ju 388? There is still a question of engines - the Jumo 213, DB 603 or at least the BMW 801 will be needed (the turbocharged 801 like the 388 used is years in the future).
My pet project for the Junkers to make is the early Jumo 288 fuselage paired with the wing of the Ju 88, or with the original small wing from the Ju 288 itself. Ju 288 was designed as a ww2 bomber should be IMO - around the uninterrupted good-sized bomb bay. Yes, it will not be that fast without 1700-2000 HP engines, but it will be a far better platform to carry big bombs than it was the Ju 88 or He 111.

Junkers was working on the Jumo 213 in 1939 and promising 1500hp for take-off and 1240hp at 18,000ft.
I don't know if "best was the enemy of good" or if the Jumo 222 sucked up too much engineering staff or what was going on.
Junkers couldn't even deliver the Jumo 211J on time in 1940.
Jumo was working on the 222, the 223 (diesel), 004, while improving the 211 and 207. This called for a big investment of tallented manpower, time, test cells, 'fancy' metals - meaning that everything will be late, or too late.
IMO - unless the 222 (and the 223, for a good measure) are not cancelled by 1940, the 213 and improved 211s will be always late.

If you are stuck with 1000-1200hp engines you either make really small fast bombers or you make lumbering big bombers (Pegasus powered Wellingtons or Whitleys). Trying to split the difference means not enough speed to make much difference and not enough defensive guns to to do much either. The whole three RCMG defense had to go. Having one man trying to use 3-4 guns was not a solution either. Looked good on a postcard ;)

Hmm - a 400 sq ft winged 2-engined bomber with a bomb bay (or recess) to carry up to a 1800 kg bomb or more of the smaller ones (500 or 250 kg) should come in handy. Ie. an A/C sized between the Ta 145 and He 219, or indeed the size of the MTT A/C like the Bf 110/Me 210 were.
Should be also a decent base for a night fighter when the need arises.

Yes a plane that could hold six 550lb bombs inside (or four 1100LB?) with a useable amount of fuel would have been very nice once the engine situation got sorted out.
Having external racks for short range/soft defense would have been nice, (or drop tanks?).
Having better defensive armament would have been nice (what was so hard about using two MG 131s in one mount? or using power for both elevation and traverse?
Works for me.
 

Jager52

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I initially thought that this was going to be a discussion about how the model manufacturers have not produced a 1/32 scale Ju88 since ROG did their A1 and A4 in 2015-16. They had a good chance to offer many incarnations of this versatile aircraft including 188 but have chosen not to. Aftermarket companies like Pastor John's AIMS Model Works, now closed, CMK and L'Arsenal, have filled a large portion of the kit void. But this discussion is thought provoking and asks the question "what if".

Jager
"Living on Tulsa Time"
 

Shortround6

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Hmm - a 400 sq ft winged 2-engined bomber with a bomb bay (or recess) to carry up to a 1800 kg bomb or more of the smaller ones (500 or 250 kg) should come in handy.
The 1800kg is too specialized.
If you want to replace the He 111 you need a bomber than can replace the He 111 and it's eight 550lb bombs (maybe you can get away with six?) and how far it can carry them.
The Germans need a good general purpose bomber, the veering off into specialized roles/requirements is what got them into trouble in the first place.
Ditch the dive bomber requirement, You don't need dive bombers to attack factories that cover many acres, at least you shouldn't ;)
The SC-1800 bomb was 3.5 meters long.
 

tomo pauk

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The 1800kg is too specialized.
If you want to replace the He 111 you need a bomber than can replace the He 111 and it's eight 550lb bombs (maybe you can get away with six?) and how far it can carry them.
The Germans need a good general purpose bomber, the veering off into specialized roles/requirements is what got them into trouble in the first place.
See above for the 'Ju 288 minus' :)

Ditch the dive bomber requirement, You don't need dive bombers to attack factories that cover many acres, at least you shouldn't

Agreed.
 

Wild_Bill_Kelso

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500 kg bomb capacity is probably really good, even 250 kg would be good.
 

Shortround6

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500 kg bomb capacity is probably really good, even 250 kg would be good.
did you mean max individual size bomb (like eight 250kg) or 500kg total bomb load because 500kg is crap for general purpose bomber (attacking factories, infrastructure, shipping and so on.) needed 3-4 fast small bombers does not make things easier than building one good medium bomber.
(take He 111, put newest engines on it, it took about 1 year or more to the get the engines the Ju-88-4 had) put some sort of better gun on the top, it was flying with MG 17 long after other planes had MG 81s and MG 131s.
Put the drop tanks on the 109 and escort the bombers and not make them fly alone or call a fighter sweep "escorting".
Use 110 to lead drop tank 109s to escort the bombers out while the first escorts head for home with low fuel.

Accept the fact that enemy fighters will almost always be enough faster than your bombers to intercept your bombers.
You may get lucky for a few weeks or even a few months, but betting on it continuing is a sucker bet.
 

Wild_Bill_Kelso

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did you mean max individual size bomb (like eight 250kg) or 500kg total bomb load because 500kg is crap for general purpose bomber (attacking factories, infrastructure, shipping and so on.) needed 3-4 fast small bombers does not make things easier than building one good medium bomber.

No I mean individual bomb size. I think a 500 kg bomb is plenty for any tactical bombing, 250kg is pretty good. Ju 88s and Stukas did a lot of damage with these sized bombs, much more IMO than HE 111s ever did, even though the former carried them on the outside of the plane obviously.

(take He 111, put newest engines on it, it took about 1 year or more to the get the engines the Ju-88-4 had) put some sort of better gun on the top, it was flying with MG 17 long after other planes had MG 81s and MG 131s.

For bomber defense, there are three factors. I'd argue the most important one is performance (especially speed but also climb, ceiling etc.). The second is defensive guns, the third is maneuverability. Two out of three is pretty good. Mosquitos did well with performance and some maneuverability but no guns. Stukas, so long as they weren't forced to stay in large formations, did pretty well mainly just with the maneuverability (and a little bit their light defensive guns). Ju 88s relied on performance and a bit maneuverability (and a little bit light defense guns) i'd say Pe-2 were similar. B-25, B-26 relied more on guns, then performance and then maneuverability (they had a little of each). Bostons and Baltimores relied first on performance (especially speed), then guns and then maneuverability. Most fighter bombers like Fw 190, P-47, A-36, Hurricane, Kittyhawk etc., relied on performance and maneuverability, as they lacked defensive guns, but they also had the capability to fight back offensively of course. B-17s and B-24s operating in NW Europe relied heavily on the guns, performance mainly just based on the altitude (for B-17), and that did not prove to be enough unless they had very good fighter escort.

(in the Med, B-24s and B-17s sometimes flew different mission profiles, and the same in the Pacific, where they appeared able to operate unescorted for much longer, but that was in part because they were able to use their top speed to escape or minimize the risks of interception)

Defensive guns are really only part of what makes a bomber capable of surviving strike missions. Just like bomb load is arguably less important than bombing accuracy and survivability.

Put the drop tanks on the 109 and escort the bombers and not make them fly alone or call a fighter sweep "escorting".
Use 110 to lead drop tank 109s to escort the bombers out while the first escorts head for home with low fuel.

Accept the fact that enemy fighters will almost always be enough faster than your bombers to intercept your bombers.
You may get lucky for a few weeks or even a few months, but betting on it continuing is a sucker bet.

I think that's true for unescorted bombers, unless you have a really fast one like a Mosquito or an Arado jet. But there is also this issue I mentioned before about bombers surviving even while escorted to a greater or lesser extent. Better speed means less time in the target area, a swifter escape especially after dropping the bombs, longer chase for interceptors, time for fewer firing passes for the interceptors, and overall a better chance to evade and survive.
 

Shortround6

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Defensive guns are really only part of what makes a bomber capable of surviving strike missions. Just like bomb load is arguably less important than bombing accuracy and survivability.
You are right, but everything is on a sliding scale.

North Africa is a strange area. There are few, if any, industrial targets, harbor docks?
There are no bridges that needed to be bombed with large bombs. There was only one east-west railroad and that didn't go all the way or didn't after the war started and it got bombed more than a few times.

Just about all missions are tactical. Why fly 300 miles past the front lines to hit truck convoys when in another day or two the truck convoy will be 50-100 miles from the front?
And there are darn few roads to send the convoys over.

The Soviets found that either adding defensive guns or changing defensive guns significantly increased the survivability of some aircraft. We are back to to the sliding scale.
Things like an IL-2 without rear gunner was doing good to survive 10 missions. If they added a rear gunner it might survive well into the teens.
The PE-2 started with a 7.62mm gun in the rear, changing to the 12.7mm increased survivability. Whatever the bigger guns cost in speed or climb they were considered worth it.
Loosing 10-20kph wasn't going to make much difference.

If you are going to use a fat fuselage or carry a 4-5 man crew then don't throw the sacrifice of performance away by using single pea shooter guns with limited ammo supply and no power assist for the gunners.

B-17s and B-24s certainly were not invulnerable but with significantly few guns (not just taking out 2-3) things would have been even worse.

Bombers were supposed to able to hit the enemy in his rear areas.
The fighter bombers had trouble with that. There are photos of Hurricane IVs with a set of rockets on one wing and drop tank on the other in order to reach targets. They did it because they had to, not because was it really effective or efficient.
If your fighter bombers cannot reach the target and return then it doesn't matter how accurate they are or how survivable they are. There are other things you can use them for but they cannot replace the light and medium bombers for certain missions.
 

Wild_Bill_Kelso

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You are right, but everything is on a sliding scale.

North Africa is a strange area. There are few, if any, industrial targets, harbor docks?
There are no bridges that needed to be bombed with large bombs. There was only one east-west railroad and that didn't go all the way or didn't after the war started and it got bombed more than a few times.

Just about all missions are tactical. Why fly 300 miles past the front lines to hit truck convoys when in another day or two the truck convoy will be 50-100 miles from the front?
And there are darn few roads to send the convoys over.

I agree not that many Strategic targets if any, but again here I would would interject with 'Operational' targets. This would include especially supply dumps, fuel and ammunition dumps, military staging areas, barracks and airfields, ports and ships in port, and rail heads and marshaling yards, choke points on the roads through the mountain passes. The closer you get to the front lines the more spread out and dug in the targets are. Somewhere behind the lines they tend to have to be more concentrated. That is what the longer ranged strike aircraft can hit. This was true in Russia, where the Germans were still able to use Ju 88s and He 111s on unescorted missions far longer (in part because Soviet fighters had short range and generally poor altitude performance), and it was true in North Africa where the Germans were hamstrung by the short range of their fighters and the vulnerability of their bombers; while the Allies were able to go back and hit Axis Operational targets, sometimes without opposition from Axis fighters which couldn't be everywhere.

The Soviets found that either adding defensive guns or changing defensive guns significantly increased the survivability of some aircraft. We are back to to the sliding scale.
Things like an IL-2 without rear gunner was doing good to survive 10 missions. If they added a rear gunner it might survive well into the teens.
The PE-2 started with a 7.62mm gun in the rear, changing to the 12.7mm increased survivability. Whatever the bigger guns cost in speed or climb they were considered worth it.
Loosing 10-20kph wasn't going to make much difference.

All true, but even when they both had a heavy machine gun shooting backward, the Pe 2 had a much better survival rate (54 missions) than the IL-2 did (26 missions), despite all the armor on the IL-2. The difference I would argue was performance, both speed and altitude.

If you are going to use a fat fuselage or carry a 4-5 man crew then don't throw the sacrifice of performance away by using single pea shooter guns with limited ammo supply and no power assist for the gunners.

I agree with that but I think unless you have the escort fighters don't use a fat fuselage or super wide wingspan.

B-17s and B-24s certainly were not invulnerable but with significantly few guns (not just taking out 2-3) things would have been even worse.

Agreed. And like I said, when they could push their speed to ~300 mph they seem to have been able to operate on their own sometimes, definitely in the Pacific and sometimes in the Med too.

Bombers were supposed to able to hit the enemy in his rear areas.
The fighter bombers had trouble with that. There are photos of Hurricane IVs with a set of rockets on one wing and drop tank on the other in order to reach targets. They did it because they had to, not because was it really effective or efficient.

Hurricane with tropical gear had a very short (interceptor) range. A Kittyhawk could reach almost twice as far, a P-38 or Beaufighter could reach 3-4 times as far. Same for P-51s once they arrived obviously.

If your fighter bombers cannot reach the target and return then it doesn't matter how accurate they are or how survivable they are. There are other things you can use them for but they cannot replace the light and medium bombers for certain missions.

Fighter bombers definitely had shorter range, agreed! They were front line strike aircraft, for the most part (barring ones like the P-38 or P-51). For the longer ranged operational strikes you bring your fast two engine bombers and fly the fighters with external fuel tanks as escorts.
 
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Shortround6

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If the Ju88 is nixed early on, then perhaps the Do17 transitions to the Do217 sooner?
Yes, no, maybe?

The Do 217 was completely new airframe that just looked a lot like the Do 17.
The Do 217E weighed about 8000lbs more empty than Do 17Z did.
Or to put it another way The Do 217E weighed as much empty as the Do 17Z did at maximum overload.

Telling Dornier it didn't have to dive bomb may have speeded things up quite a bit ;)
 

Wild_Bill_Kelso

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What made the Do 217 so fast compared to say the Ju 88 or Ju 188
 

tomo pauk

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What made the Do 217 so fast compared to say the Ju 88 or Ju 188
If these A/C were powered by same engines and flown in clean configuration, the Do 217 will probably be the slowest of the lot. Do 217 was the best of the 3 if big bombs were carried by the all three of them, since it have had the proper bomb bay to house these bombs.
Most of the Ju 88s were not powered by BMW 801s, though.
 

Shortround6

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What made the Do 217 so fast compared to say the Ju 88 or Ju 188
Selective quoting of statistics:)

The Do 217E using BMW 801 engines of 1580hp for take-off and 1380hp at 15,100ft (old book correction welcome)
was good for 273mph at sea level and 320mph at 17,060ft. weight not given.
Cruise speeds, like usual, are all over the place.
258mph with max internal bomb load at 17,060ft
Economical cruise 245mph (altitude not given).

If you wait for 1943/44 and the DB 603 engines to show up the numbers get a lot better.

Edit the Do 217 showed up, as a bomber, in March of 1941, for anti-shipping operations with II/KG 40.
 
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tomo pauk

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The Do 217E using BMW 801 engines of 1580hp for take-off and 1380hp at 15,100ft (old book correction welcome)

BMW 801A was a bit worse than that: link
It didn't used 2700 rpm band anywhere beyond take off, not even 2550 rpm band the 801C used (bad for peak power, but excellent for reliability)
Later (1943 and on?) BMWs on Do 217 were of same power as on the Fw 190A-4, up to 1440 PS at 5700m, and up to 1730 PS down low.

If you wait for 1943/44 and the DB 603 engines to show up the numbers get a lot better.

Speed, celining and RoC - certainly.
Reliability was reminiscent of Sabre or BMW 801 in 1942, or R-3350 in 1944, though.
 

Shortround6

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Thank you.
Basically the DO 217 was not fast enough to outrun trouble in 1941 when it came out (Spitfire Vs even with eight .303s).
Either cut the plane down (bomb load and fuel and crew and airframe) or bite the bullet and put in a bit better guns, The E-3 version had 5 guns manned by one crewman. Great field of fire, hopefully only one attacker at a time. The turret with the MG 131 was a bit feeble.
 

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