No Me210 fiasco

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    What if the Me 210 was properly vetted before being ordered, so was never put into production at all and the Bf110 was not removed from production and development?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Me_210
    I've seen figures that it cost the LW about 2,000 aircraft that were lose in by taking the Bf110 out of production and trying to phase in the Me210 instead. Supposing that this had not happened and that the LW was able to get about 2,000 extra Bf110's out of the production lines prior to the historical introduction of the Me410, what effect would that have had on the LW's capabilities? I assume that means quite a few fighter-bombers for the Eastern Front in 1941-43, as well as for the Mediterranean theater, where it would serve in many roles. I also imagine that the E-series would appear in 1941 with the introduction of the DB601F, but there would be a lot more of them. There would probably be even more available as night fighters and bomber destroyers in 1941-43 too.

    What effect if any would this have had on the war? Even 500 more ground attack aircraft in the East would have been helpful in 1941-43, as would 500-1000 more night fighters in the 1941-44 period. I'm not sure if 500 extra bomber destroyers were really all that necessary in 1941-43, but they couldn't hurt that much. Obviously this isn't going to change the war, but it could have an impact on say the Battles of the Ruhr and Berlin and on the fighting in 1942-43 in the East.

    Any thoughts on this?
     
  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #2 GregP, Jan 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
    Assuming they could have trained and provided pilots it would have made a decent impact. Whether or not it would have changed an outcome is another "what-if" that I won;t address, but 2,000 more warplanes with pilots and crew could have helped stem the retreats. It they all could have been employed over tyeh invasion beaches and if they were of an attack variety, who can say what the changes might have been?

    I can't, but in the case of air support, more is generally better ... assuming they were correctly employed. 100 Spitfires or Mustangs are formidable. But against 1,000 Bf 110's. maybe less than required. The reall deciding factor would be the relative amounts of forces employed and by what skill level of pilot and what tactics were employed.

    If I were trying to repel an invasion of the magnitude of D-Day, I'd concentrate on attacking the landing craft. The Allies only had so many and loss of a significant amount of them might render the mass of ships somewhat more ineffective than they were. Then again, I am not all that sure how many Allied fighters were ciovering the landings just off the beaches.

    Then again in the MTO, another 1,000 aircraft would be very welcome to the German forces, assuming they could have been supported. The real question would be could the Nazi leadership that had demonstrated little ability to field cooperative forces have provided pilots, ground crews, fuel, and logistics support for the new batch of 2,000 Bf 110's?
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to see your calculations as to how Germany could have 2,000 additional Me-110 aircraft without the Me-210 program.
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I glossed over that fact and tried to answer, but wanted to ask the same thing myself.
     
  5. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    That was a calculation made by Daniel Uziel in 'Arming the Luftwaffe'. Its based on the production time lost taking the Bf110 out of production in 1941; also a fair few resources were wasted tooling for the Me210. IIRC there were about 600 Me210 units that were started, most were not completed and few entered service and were quickly withdrawn. Adding that number with the time lost switching production over to the Me210 and then back to the Bf110 resulted in roughly 2,000 units that could have been produced in the time and with the resources invested in the Me210 program. I believe this also factors in experience lost between 1941-42 when the Me210 was in production on the lines that used to produce Bf110s, as having maintained Bf110 production would have resulted in greater efficiencies in production of the Bf110, rather than stopping that model, phasing in a new model, stopping it, and then starting over with the old type.
    Arming the Luftwaffe: The German Aviation Industry in World War II: Daniel Uziel: 9780786465217: Amazon.com: Books
    Apparently Willi Messerschmitt lost his job as chief of his company after this.
     
  6. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I dont see how these numbers stack up either. Total Me 210 production amounted to 619 airframes, including 267 licence built Hungarian "C" models, which were quite successful

    In Hungarian service the Me 210 C did well and were very popular. The Duna works delivered 267 aircraft before switching to the Bf 109 G in March 1944, and the Hungarians used the speedy twin intensively on the Eastern Front.
    Designated Me 210 C-1 these were generally similar to the A series but with DB 605B engines and improved handling characteristics resulting from the introduction of a redesigned, deeper rear fuselage and automatic leadingedge slots on the outer wings. These modifications were then applied retrospectively to some existing Me 210A-1s, which in August 1942 became operational with 16./KG 6 in Holland and later with III./ZG I in Sicily and other units in the Mediterranean area.

    So to that 2000 claimed additrional airframes must be deleted about 500 airframes of the basic Me 210 configuration, that were eventually made very competitive and operational. also, though a different type, the me 410 owed much to the 210, and roughly 1200 were built.

    So, in total the Germans would forego 1700 much improved Me 210s and Me 410s in exchange, allegedly, for 2000 indifferent Me 110s. I think they would have been worse off with that option
     
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  7. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #7 DonL, Jan 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
    I can't estimate how much airframes the Me 210 fiasco costs the LW in reality, but it were far more then a few hundred, because production places were retooled two times. End of 1941 to the Me 210, you can see this very good because the output of Bf 110 droped very fast and after the fiasco (Me 210) the production places were retooled again to the Bf 110. This you can also see, that the production numbers increased end of 1942, beginning 1943.

    I don't think somebody could do a real proper estimation, but the losses through the retooling are mentioned at primary sources and you can see it at the output of the Bf 110!

    Production output Bf 110:

    1940: 1083
    1941: 784
    1942: 580
    1943: 1580
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    There was also a loss in Bf 109 production, just as the changeover to the F series was starting. I'll post some data at the weekend when I get home. Not 2,000 aircraft but significant none the less. Production was lost at Regensburg for about 3 months IIRC.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Gotha was the largest Me-110 production facility.
    Not converted to produce Me-210s. Production of Me-110F halted during December 1941 and resumed by February 1942. Presumably this amounts to model change over from Me-110F to Me-110G.

    Focke-Wulf plant converted to produce Fw-190.
    .....Fw-190 vs Me-110. Me-210 was not a factor.

    MIAG (Braunschweig). 10 Me-210 produced before resumption of Me-110 production.
    .....It's readily apparent this factory remained tooled for Me-110 production.

    Messerschmitt, Augsburg converted to Me-210.
    85 Me-210s constructed Jan – March 1943.
    Me-410 production started Jan 1943.
    .....The only plant converted from Me-110 to Me-210 production.
     
  10. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    See image for production loss. Gotha may have started to convert to Me 210 production but this was reverted or the production loss is from changing to a new Bf 110 model. Strange to see even MttR involved in Me 210 production
     

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  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    As shown by the chart, production lines do not start and stop like turning a light bulb on and off. It takes time (several months) to bring one to a stop and several months to get one going at the pace it was before it was shut down. I would also note that a couple of the factories had much higher production per month in 1943 than in 1942, I have no idea if 1943 production levels could have been reached in 1942 if time had not been spent on the Me 210.
     
  12. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    What the graphic shows is that as 110 production declined, 210 production increased. When 210 production ceased, 110 increased.
     
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  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Bf 109 production at Regensburg was precisely ZERO between October and December 1941 as a direct result of the Me 210 fiasco. Obviously if the Me 210 had not been prematurely pushed into full production then the sought after target of 250 Bf 109s per month from Regensburg could at least have been attempted, if not achieved.

    This extract from Peter Scmoll's 'Nest of Eagles' gives a flavour of the chaos which reigned at Meeserschmitt Regensburg during this crucial period of the war.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  14. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    That is a rather simplistic way of looking at it. Take a look at the Luther production, for the first 8 months of 1941 they averaged 25 planes a month, in Nov-Jan they managed 10 Me 210s total and didn't exceed 20 Bf 110s per month again until July of 1942.
    A conservative count would come up with a loss of at least 170 planes worth of production (based on 25 bf 110s per moth for the period in question) in that one plant. Seeing as how it went to 50 planes per month in 1943 one wonders how they would have done in 1942 without the interruption.
     
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  15. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    The effect on Bf 109 production in this timeframe
     

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  16. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you can see what happened at Regensburg in this period. Instead of starting to become the major Bf 109 production facility it produced virtually nothing for three months. The two aircraft produced in December were two experimental examples of the G-1 (14001 and 14002) not aircraft destined for the Luftwaffe and I don't count them.

    As far as the Me 210 goes, amongst many other things, 172 sets of wings and 278 rear fuselage sections were shipped to Augsburg for completion. This gives an idea of the scale of the mess at Regensburg. It cost many man hours (some estimates go well over 2 million) to sort out. At one period over 4,000 workers at Regensburg were effectively unemployed.

    Had this fiasco not occurred production of other aircraft at both Augsburg and Regensburg must have been significantly higher.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  17. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Switch from DB601 engine to DB605 engine happened during this time frame.

    How much production delay was typical when WWII era aircraft switched engine types? P-51 switch from Allison engine to Packard built Merlin engine might be a good comparison.
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    You can swop engines without mounting two final assembly lines for another type, then taking them down and re-erecting the original lines. The 'conveyor' system for the Bf 109 was substantially different to that of the Me 210 (obviously).

    You can also upgrade engines without shipping hundreds of half completed sub-assemblies across the country to another plant. You can also change engines without creating a situation where thousands of workers are literally standing around with their hands in their pockets, waiting for new jigs and then the parts to use on them.

    The situation where a crew was sent to Obertraubling to chop up 100 Me 210s parked there sums up the confusion.

    Hermann Cronseder was part of that crew.

    "I was ordered to go to Obertraubling. The first thing we were ordered to do was cut up 100 Me 210s...........Just as we hacked 10 aircraft to pieces came the order 'Stop, stop!'.

    It was a complete fiasco, largely of Messerschmitt AG's making, though the RLM had a hand in it too.

    Take a look at Spitfire production as the change from Mk V to Mk IX was made to see how it could be done. Not a single Spitfire was hacked to pieces.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good to me.

    How many weeks of production were lost when switching from Spitfire Mk V to Mk IX?
     
  20. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I dunno, but I'll find out :)

    I absolutely guarantee that it wasn't three months, even before looking.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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