players in a prolonged war

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by olbrat, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. olbrat

    olbrat Member

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    What if the war were prolonged (heaven forbid!) another 1 to 2 years and everyone were able to get out their "new toys". What do you think would be the "match-ups" in each theatre? P-80's vs Me262's in Europe? What would be the effect of the US introducing F7 Tigercats, A-36's, B-50's, etc. Germany seemed to have some great designs in the works. I know Japan had a few new aircraft designs; were they comparible to ours?
     
  2. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

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    Alright, here's what I would think.
    Europe: It would pretty much be the Meteors, P-80's and Me-262's going at it, which I would think would have a huge toll on the bomber campaign. If you look at some of the late war prototype German aircraft, if the war continued, our bombers would have been in alot of trouble because of these interceptor jets. Also their would have been a huge air war over the North Atlantic. In late-war Germany the Horton brothers had designs for huge flying wing bombers which could have reached America. If you ever read Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising it would be the same general idea. British interceptors would have been fishing around the Atlantic for bomber formations, which would have also neccesitated the development of a long range interceptor (I would think something similar to the P-61). It would have been the Battle of Britian all over again.
    Pacific: If the war continued we would have done X-day; the huge invasion of the Pacific home isles. That would have been a blood bath and aircraft that worked good in Korea would have helped (F7, A-36). The Japanese where not as advanced as the Germans, but some of their aircraft such as the Kikka would have proved to be more than a match for our fighters.

    I'm not quite sure how Allied jet bombers would have played in. If they where used, it would have been in small numbers and only occasionally. I could see the B-29 and B-32 being used more over Europe, but its all speculation.
     
  3. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Olbrat,

    >What if the war were prolonged (heaven forbid!) another 1 to 2 years and everyone were able to get out their "new toys".

    The historian Williamson Murray once pointed out that there was a real chance that the Germans could have developed functional surface-to-air missiles if they had recognized the requirement early enough.

    Even with the delay mentioned by Murray, by 1945, they were well on the way to make SAMs work, and that might well have changed the nature of the air war over Germany completely.

    That's an interesting "what if" I've not seen discussed anywhere yet :)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    B-29s would have been introduced into Europe and there were plans at one time to use atomic bombs on Germany. If that would have happened, I think it would probably have been over quickly.
     
  5. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

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    Yeah, we would have probably nuked Germany, if Germany didn't figure out a way to nuke us first. I've been watching some documentaries about German secret weapons and their are test sitess in the middle of occupied German territory that could have been nuclear test sites, but nobody really knows what they are for.
    I think it is interesting to think about where aviation would be now if the war progressed. The Horton Brothers had already developed flying wing aircraft that where stealth. If all the countries began using those in the '40's imagine where we would be now!
     
  6. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

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  7. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    The Germans were doing research on nukes but hadn't gotten the last piece of the puzzle and it would have probably been a few years before they would have had a working A Bomb. By then the US would have shown them how it was done. :)
     
  8. olbrat

    olbrat Member

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    Thanks for the interesting thoughts about the SAM's and Nuke's. Thanks also for the Luft '46 website. It definately brings up food for thought.

    Putting the atomic bombs aside for now and working from the point that D-Day hasn't occurred yet:

    From an offensive standpoint, as I don't think the allies had a good jet bomber in the works (correct me if I'm wrong), do you think they would have tried to continue with piston-engined bombers and piston-engined escorts and concentrated their jet production effort for fighters and fighter/bombers? I agree with the introduction of B29's to Europe.

    Defensively speaking for Germany, would their aircraft (Me 262, Ta152 or their replacements) have been able to reach the B29's, or would they have concentrated their efforts on SAM type projects or rockets to break up or destroy formations of bombers?

    Offensively speaking for Germany, it looks as if the Germans would have had no problem taking the fight to the allies. From the looks of the Luft '46 site, if the projects were perfected in time, they may have able to control the resources they needed and they might have regained the edge in aviation they had early in the war.
     
  9. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Olbrat,

    >From an offensive standpoint, as I don't think the allies had a good jet bomber in the works (correct me if I'm wrong)

    I think you are right. From a quick look at a single book, the first Allied jet bomber seems to have been the North American B-45 Tornado which first flew in 1947.

    >do you think they would have tried to continue with piston-engined bombers and piston-engined escorts and concentrated their jet production effort for fighters and fighter/bombers?

    They probably would have had to stick to piston-engined fighters for a while as the Meteor was their only operational jet fighter. (The P-80 had some teething problems and might only have appeared in 1946 or 1947.) I'm not sure if the Meteor had the range to escort bombers from Britain to Berlin ... so it would have been predominantly piston-engined fighters for the Allies.

    >I agree with the introduction of B29's to Europe.

    The impact of SAMs might have been considerable. Heavy bombers are very good targets for SAMs, especially if they are flying in formation. The WW2 SAMs probably would not have been very capable in terminal guidance, and easier to outmanoeuvre than their Vietnam-era counterparts. However, a bomb-laden B-17 or B-24 droning along at cruise speed is not very manoeuvrable - and a B-29, despite flying fast and higher, is neither.

    I wonder if SAMs might have forced the Allies to abandon heavy bombers in favour of lighter, more manoevrable aircraft ... maybe the Lockheed P-38 "droopsnoot" bombers would have saved the day :)

    >Defensively speaking for Germany, would their aircraft (Me 262, Ta152 or their replacements) have been able to reach the B29's, or would they have concentrated their efforts on SAM type projects or rockets to break up or destroy formations of bombers?

    I guess SAMs would have become the primary means of air defence, with fighters the secondary. It would seem logical that the Flak units would have switched over from cannon to SAMs.

    >From the looks of the Luft '46 site, if the projects were perfected in time, they may have able to control the resources they needed and they might have regained the edge in aviation they had early in the war.

    Hm, well, "time" is exactly the problem there. I don't think many of the more ambitious "Luft '46" projects would have been ready in 1946 or even 1947. I think it's often underestimated how long it takes to get an aircraft from the drawing board to operational status, or even just from first flight to operational status if it's an innovative design.

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  10. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Wasn't the Ar 234 aslo being used for bomber purposes? I seem to recall a few flights like that in Dec. '44 during the Ardennes.
     
  11. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Personally I think the SAM defence wouldn't have been that effective. No doubt the Germans were ahead but they didn't become really reliable or accurate until the early 60's and I don't think the Germans were 15-20 years ahead of the game.
    A far more immediate and in many ways more dangerous development would have been the deployment of proximity fuses. Can you think of the damage these would have done to the daylight bomber formations
     
  12. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    The Brits were very good (most advanced) in electronic countermeasures and demonstrated great flexibility in countering German electronic stystems. I am sure this would have continued with the advent of SAMs. I think the war would have converted to night bombing with the Brits and Germans playing checkers with electronic systems. Daylight bombing might still have been effective if D-Day was successful. Then the Germans would have been faced with the same problem it always had, hordes of allied fighters, advanced props and P-80/Meteors, et.al. filling the sky.

    I agree with this. Many of the designs would have taken many years to solve the new design problems they had not seen. The Horten planes are a classic example. However, had the Germans fielded a swept wing fighter (not too big a jump), it could have jumped ahead of allied aircraft (unless the US had recognized its importance in '45), although I think the Allies would have responed quickly.
     
  13. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Glider,

    >No doubt the Germans were ahead but they didn't become really reliable or accurate until the early 60's and I don't think the Germans were 15-20 years ahead of the game.

    As Williamson Murray - a former USAF maintenance officer - pointed out, the Germany had the (mass-produced) V-2 -, and they had TV guidance (in a different missile). It would not have taken 15 - 20 years to combine these features ...

    And it's worth noting that the Germans had in fact several dedicated SAM systems under development. The first components of the Rheintochter system had been fired first in November 1943, the first examples of Schmetterling and Wasserfall had first been fired in Februarz 1944, of Enzian in April, and of Feuerlilie in May.

    In fact, the problem seems to have been more the poor focus and the low priority of the SAM development effort, and not the technology itself. Manfred Griehl supports Williamson Murray in this, quoting the "lack of technical understanding by Goering and Speer" as a main factor for the failure to deliver an operation SAM. When the responsibility for SAM development was taken over by the SS in January 1945, they decided to concentrate on the two most promising systems, Wasserfall and Schmetterling, in order to get them operational in late 1945.

    Impossible to say whether they would have succeeded under the conditions outlined by Olbrat, but considering all the development that already been done, I don't think it was unrealistic. After all, work on SAMs had begun in 1939, and von Braun had already made serious proposals in 1941. It's not like they started from scratch in 1945.

    (I'm mostly relying on Manfred Griehl, "Deutsche Flakraketen bis 1945", here.)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  14. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Davparlr,

    >The Brits were very good (most advanced) in electronic countermeasures and demonstrated great flexibility in countering German electronic stystems. I am sure this would have continued with the advent of SAMs.

    As I'd expect SAMs to increase the losses by a large percentage, the question is if the countermeasures would have sufficed to get back to the same "low" loss rates they had entirely without SAMs. These "low" losses were not so far from being prohibitively high, after all.

    >However, had the Germans fielded a swept wing fighter (not too big a jump), it could have jumped ahead of allied aircraft

    Hm, they actually fielded a swept wing fighter in the shape of the Me 262. I'd even say that in fact had jumped ahead of Allied aircraft with that :)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  15. Konigstiger205

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    Well I did saw a documentary on a revolutionary design by Messerschmidt with a jet fighter with variable-sweep wing, the Me P.1101.
     
  16. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

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    I think the Allies would have responded very quickly to SAM's. I don't think they would have really been that effective. In Vietnam their was the SA-2 "telephone poles" and those where pretty easy to dodge for fighters. Also, the SA-2 was developed 20 years after World War II. I think we are giving the Germans to much credit by saying all these designs would have worked. It is more propable that aircraft such as the Ta-152 and Go-229 would have played a bigger affect.

    I'm interested in the probability of Germany bombing America with the Horton brothers flying wings. I think that would have defienatly had a huge affect on the war because the Americans would have had to start thinking more of defense and their industrial capabilities would have been hurt.
     
  17. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    The Germans weren't close to Nuclear weapons at any point of the war... They decided that the war would be too short and nuclear bombs would take too long to develop, so no major program took place iirc. The did have a fairly large nuclear energy program (power plant development) as they had limited local supplies of fossil fuel and this would have mitagated that.

    Japan on the other hand had 2 programs (1 Army, 1 Navy) focusing primarily on weapons development. And though the mainland Army program was bombed out, the (more secret) Navy program operating off shore of Northern Korea may have successfully tested a staged Uranium fission bomb just days before the end of WWII.

    A History Channel Production:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdCe2wBeCiw


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCpZvyHW0NI


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCPH5kTj-5Y


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0fv2_-AJeE


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWOuxC9jkYs

    The 3 schools of thought on deploying the bomb were (with a suiside submarine) attack San Fransisco Bay, or similar, or (the much less "vengeance" mind set, and less insane) detonating it in the middle of the US invasion fleet.
     
  18. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    The wing was only adjustable on the ground and was for testing only. (to determine optimum sweep angle) The production version would have had a fixed wing.


    Another thought though is the R4M. It was cheap, simple, low tech, and effective. It could have been designed much earlier (before the war) and easily fielded by 1941. (most likely on Fw 190's)

    Here's a website that discusses several early war, pre-war "could have been" developments that could have changed the war significantly: Hot tip aircraft page
     
  19. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Flyboy,

    >I think the Allies would have responded very quickly to SAM's.

    Well, what could they have done?

    >In Vietnam their was the SA-2 "telephone poles" and those where pretty easy to dodge for fighters.

    For jet fighters ... propeller-heavy driven bombers nowhere near as fast or manoeuvrable.

    >think we are giving the Germans to much credit by saying all these designs would have worked.

    Why shouldn't they? The V-2 during the launch phase was actually a guided missile, receiving radio control commands in reaction to deviations from the desired trajectory detected by radar. It doesn't take much more to make a SAM ...

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  20. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    The problem with SAMs is that it they will be unreliable and even if they do work they cost as much in time and effort as the bomber they are trying to destroy.
    Early missiles were unreliable and there is no reason to assume that German ones would be any better. They are also large and difficult to deploy.

    Give me the proximity fuses.

    Re the aircraft there is no doubt that the Germans were well ahead of the rest of the world in aerodynamics. The TA152, Do335 were matched by the latest Allied aircraft. We can argue about which would be better but they would be close and in all likelyhood the difference would be small.
    The best chance the Germans had was to develop the aircraft that made the best use of advanced aerodynamics.
    An equal development would be to improve the accuracy of the V2. If they could get it to within a mile of a specific target then firing a dozen at a target could be devistating.
     
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