Plans for the Luftwaffe if the war continued ...

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Greyman, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    #1 Greyman, Apr 20, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
    Knowing comparatively little about the German side of things, I was wondering what anyone else thought about Generalleutnant Galland's plans for the continuation of the war if — for some magical reason — the Allies and Soviets were halted on the Rhine and Oder indefinitely.

    (based on interrogation at Kaufbeuren, 16-18 September 1945)

    • production shifting away from Me 109/Fw 190 and toward Ta 152
    • development and production of Do 335 continued
    • Me 262 development/production continued (increased range, drop tanks, better fuel, built-in rockets for better climb, better armour and armament)
    • He 162 not capable of much further development, but improved until reaching promises made by Heinkel
    • Me 163 replaced by Me 263
    • 3-cm MK 108 replaced by 3-cm MK 103 and/or 3-cm MK 213
    • 2-cm MG 151 replaced by 2-cm MG 213
    • EZ 42 gunsight replacing standard Revi sights
    • development of radar range measuring device
     
  2. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    If they were stuck on those borders they would collapse due to the strategic bombing and lack of imports. Speer said once the Chromium imports from Turkey were cut in April 1944 they were coasting on stocks, but would implode due to lack of resources once they ran out. With those borders their production would collapse due to lack of resources and food shortages causing famine. Really you'd need to have Germany hold Fortress Europe in 1945 (failed Normandy and a victorious Kursk), while having some sort of effective counter to the strategic bombing campaign and the Allies out of Italy. Really you'd just have to have the US neutral and just providing Lend Lease to Britain and the USSR for Germany to survive into 1945 and '46.
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    And then, with hindsight, you could forget the Ta 152, Do 335, He 162 and Me 163 and concentrate everything on the Me 262 and Ar 234 and their development. Keep going with the rocket programme too, developing the V2 into it's multi stage and much longer range successors.

    Exploit the lead, albeit narrow in the case of the jets, that you already have. None of the piston engine fighters were going to scare the allies and I think history has shown that the rocket powered interceptors were a dead end.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Germany was beaten by fall 1944. After that the end was inevitable. The only real question was the cost of prosecuting the war to the end. As with the above posts, I don't think it would have been possible ... unless perhaps something drastic changed in early 1943.

    If they has fielded the me 262 in early 1943 in some strength; if Hitler had been more concerned with his people on the Russian Front; if the Type XXI U-Boats had been avilable in numbers at that time (manned, ready, and deployed); perhaps if the Germans had knocked out the British radar and stayed with it as it was rebuilt ... there is a whoile raft of what is that would have to have been seen to in order for the course of the war to have changed.

    Given Hitler's nature of keeping the men around him fighting among themselves and not listening to the mlitary advice of his professional military planners (recall that he himslef was a Corporal in WWII, not an officer)... I can't see a way for him to spontaneously turn from a self-centered egomaniac without a conscience into an effective military leader who did proper planning and then carried out the plan.
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, they are beat once germany is contained to its own borders. Assuming thyey can halt the Russians at the 1939 frontiers, hold Rumania, and somehow stop or delay OVERLORD, they have a chance.

    The real killer for the germans by the latter part of 1944 was not strategic materials, though that was bad enough. it was manpower. They were scraping the barrel by late '43. by late '44 they were down to the old men and boys. In the air, no amount of whiz bangery could escape the fact that their training regime was in tatters, and not recovering. Against the second gen jets like the Meteor F8 and Vampire, Sea Venom they didnt stand a chance, unless they could recover some skills in their mainstream pilots
     
  6. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Some of the changes don't make sense on a technical level. The 3cm MK 108 was a 58kg gun. the 3cm MK 103 was a 141kg gun. You are lucky to replace two MK 108s with one MK 103. The MK 103 ammo was longer and heavier. The gun fired slower. It did have a much higher velocity and longer range but you weren't going to put two of them in either a He 162 or Me 263. Not without taking a substantial performance hit.

    The Mauser 213 series guns were great prototypes but how close were they to production? It took the Allies (America, Britain and France) until the early 50s to put into service "copies" of the 213 series guns even with the help of some German engineers and under the threat of the cold war and nuclear bombers. Perhaps the allies had different standards of gun life or mean time/rounds between failures?
     
  7. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    There was a lot of time lost after WW2 due to engineers being kept in prisons and having their labs and teams broken up before being moved to the US, having to figure out and work within a new system and fill in existing teams of US engineers with their own biases and modes of operating. The British, French, and US all got part of the German engineers, so they weren't all concentrated in one place and I doubt they had all their work intact either.
    Revolver cannon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I assume too that they had to be adapted to work with various different calibers too, rather than the German ones the 213 was designed around. Plus the models that were produced were the 30mm variants and AFAIK the Germans had just started working on that at the end of the war, as they focused on the 20mm model. That of course would delay things.
    Google Translate
     
  8. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    I'm not sure sure. I think the basic idea behind the Me 163 was sound - it just needed further development, perhaps what would be seen in the Me 263.

    From what I gather, the main issue with the Me 163 was the short flight time. This restricted the 163 to a radius of action of only about 50 km from its base. This also made expert ground control a necessity.

    The Me 263, however, was supposed to have double the flying time and triple the radius of action, along with 2 x 3-cm MK 108s or 4 x 2-cm MG 151s. The 5-cm rocket triggered by photoelectric cell was also in development.

    Lack of fuel is a crippling, ever-present issue as well ... but as I said, this scenario put to Galland in the interrogation involves a bit of magic.
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Yes but then you adding Mauser engineers to existing gun development teams. Time may have been lost in 1945-48 but it took until 1953 or so to get guns into service. 5 years after the Berlin airlift and almost 4 years after the first Russian atomic bomb is tested and only the US got a gun into service for combat testing during the Korean war. They might not have been pushing quite as hard as during WW II but these were priority programs at time of high international tension. ( I can remember doing air raid drills in grade school and middle school in the late 50s and early 60s).

    It defies belief that the Germans were only months away from production in the Spring of 1945. ten prototype guns is almost laughable, the US went through a lot more than 10 guns just trying to get the Browning .50 cal from 800rpm to 1200rpm. It also took almost 4 years and 3 different design teams.

    BTW the Wiki article on revolver cannon contains at least one error. The 5 barrel Hotchkiss gun was NOT a Gatling gun as a Gatling gun has a firing lock (breechblock and firing pin) for every barrel. The Hotchkiss gun had ONE breechblock and firing pin mechanism serving all 5 barrels. It is more like a 'revolver' gun with a really long cylinder cut away to form barrels.
     
  10. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    The situation in 1944-45 prevented more prototypes from being built. They were built around the 20mm German round with some basic work done on the 30mm German round. Post war the team and prototypes were broken up among several nations and reverse engineered, then scaled up to work on the 30mm version while rechambering it while budgets were just and development pushed back until the Cold War started heating up. That's a hell of a lot of delay in development. Assuming the war situation was better during development, the team kept together in Germany and the 20mm version focused on I don't see why it couldn't have been ready in 1946 or even late 1945.
     
  11. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Ta152 production would be important, but so was the Bf109 Fw190...which were both still very capable fighters. The Luftwaffe could have had a thousand Ta152s and it wouldn't have done any good. They simply didn't have enough skilled pilots left to fly them...

    The Do335 was an aircraft that had good qualities, but considering Germany's precarious position, I would kill the project off and focus on proven piston/jet aircraft...

    The Me262's range limitations were not due to fuel quality, they were due to the engine's performance. No first generation jet engines offered their aircraft significant ranges. The Me262 did have decent armor, however the engines and the poorly protected fuel tanks were an issue. The problem here, is that once you start loading the Me262 down with quantities of armor, you're going to suffer a penalty in performance. And the Me262 did have a good rate of climb to begin with.
    As far as armament goes, how can you improve on the Mk108?? Those 4 30mm cannon were devastating to anything they touched. The main drawbacks to the 30mm, was ammunition capacity, range and rate of fire. Perhaps consider 4 20mm: the Mg151/20 was lighter, had a higher rate of fire and allowed for a higher ammunition store. The A-1a/U1 and A-1a/U5 were good ideas, but I think that too many weapons in the nose actually limited their effectiveness.

    The He162 had projected variants on paper (He162B, He162C, etc) but why not pursue the Me P.1101 which was nearing flight testing? And how about the Ta183?

    The problem with the Komet, was it's rate of closure: It was simply too fast. In the world of 1944-45, the pilots relied on visual targeting and their ability to spot the target, train their weapons and effectively fire thier weapons took up most of the time they had before the window was gone. Also, projects like the Me163 and other similar systems (like the Natter) were really taking valuable material and manpower away from projects that were proven performers.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    I agree that development would have been slow in 1946 through 48 and even early 1949, but once Russia explodes an an Atomic bomb in the summer of 1949? After the Iron curtain and Berlin air lift of 1948? The Korean war? It takes Both Britain and France until 1954 to get guns into service and the US manages a test unit in combat in early 1953? But the Germans could do in one year (or less) what it took the 3 allies 3 1/2-4 years to do after the Russian explode their A bomb?

    BTW the German revolver guns used totally different cartridge cases than any other German aircraft gun. German 20mm revolver gun round may have been a beltless version of the mid 1930s Solothurn Anti-tank rifle round.
     
  13. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    Not knocking Mr Galland but the German regime always had plans, I think not having a plan for the future was seen as defeatist and could lead to a firing squad. Right up to Berlins fall there was a team of about 200 working on plans for a 3m gauge railway connecting all of Europe. Some German plans towards the end were close to fantasy. Germany couldnt slow down the Russians before D Day After the break out from Normandy they couldnt slow down the Western allies. If the allies were some how temporarily stopped on the Rhine and the Oder the war could have been won by the allies without aircraft being used it would have meant more casualties and taken longer but by that stage the war was over. I worked last year in a small German town, in the last months of the war a guy I met was drafted into the Army at 13, he lost his foot and his father and two brothers, they all came from a farm which wasnt planted that year, Germany was starving.
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Presumably this accomplishment includes greater then historical damage to Soviet alliance air forces. How much greater would determine Luftwaffe planning for 1945. For instance, was 1944 Germany able to effective protect synthetic fuel production plants? Is anti-communist alliance able to retain Romanian oil fields? How about Estonian shale oil mines?

    If 1945 Germany lose most aviation gasoline production as happened historically then aircraft production will switch mostly to jets such as the He-162B powered by Jumo 004D engine. Otherwise I see no reason not to keep producing Me-109s and Fw-190s powered by more powerful versions of DB605 and Jumo213 engines.

    Rocket powered Me-163 was not terribly effective so I expect the project to be terminated.

    Do-335 would make an effective bomber destroyer but under circumstances prevailing in 1945 Germany I cannot imagine a large new plant being constructed to mass produce it.

    MG-213 revolver cannon and stabilized gun site should have high priority as they allow heavy bombers to be engaged outside effective range of bomber protective machineguns.
     
  15. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Agree on the part about Germany always having plans...however, they didn't have much foresight to go with most of these.

    Their first major screwup was getting cocky after their "Leibensraum" went unchallenged by the Western Allies. Taking Poland without any serious challenge from the Allies simply took their boldness to new levels. And by "serious" meant anything more than a strongly worded statement of condemnation (much like they still do today).

    There never seemed to be a contingency plan to fall back on if any of these adventures failed. Adventures = Battle of France, Battle of Britain, invasion of Russia, etc. etc. etc.

    And this blind faith that the Fatherland will prevail in the end, continued all the way until the Red Army was running through the streets of Berlin...
     
  16. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Short range jet interceptors were something the Germans developed to challenge the US day time aerial onslaught. They made sense at the time because they were cheap and in some cases partially disposable (Bachem 'Natter'). In the long run they were a dead end. The British were very interested in them at the end of the war, they took home more captured Me 163s than any other type, but interest soon waned. Where are today's rocket powered air force aircraft?
    The Germans would have done better putting the resources into the best bomber interceptor developed by anyone during WW2. That that was the Me 262 and that was just the first jet interceptor.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Not today's but 1957-58

    saunders-roe-sr-53.jpg
    sr53c.jpg

    2 min 12 sec from brakes to 50,000 ft

    Used a 1640lb thrust Viper to get back down :)
     
  18. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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  19. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I think that refers more to manned rocked-powered combat aircraft.
     
  20. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    Even when I was at school I learned the disadvantages of a rocket powered aircraft. It carries its oxidant and so has a weight penalty, its control is basically on and off and it has a tendency to explode.
     
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