Streamlining the German air force ?

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1st Lieutenant
Feb 5, 2021
If we cant out run the russians we will just switch the 30 cal in the tail for a twin 20 setup and blow them out the sky

Right, because defensive bomber armament will see those bombers safely home. Ask the 8th AF in 1943 how that worked out ... "Hey, we've got two 20s in the tail" naturally invites opposing tactics, such as the beam-attacks by American fighters on Bettys armed with one 20 stinger in the tail.

We can talk about ammo stowage later.
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Senior Airman
Apr 8, 2021
Please show picture or photo of German bomber, He 111, or Do 17 or Do 217 or JU-88 with a gun in the tail that could be aimed.

We are getting back in phantom planes that didn't exist.
TO prove my point about how useless heavies are the USSR only made 93 PE-8s most of their bombing was done by mediums and IL-2s and it worked proving the idea of a 4 engine heavy redundant


Apr 9, 2005
Colorado, USA
TO prove my point about how useless heavies are the USSR only made 93 PE-8s most of their bombing was done by mediums and IL-2s and it worked proving the idea of a 4 engine heavy redundant
They had engine and production issues and were not able to be mass produced in the numbers of the IL-2s. Additionally the Soviet Union did not participate in the strategic bombing of Germany in the same manner the US and GB did, although they wanted to. The Pe-8 conducted some notable raids but they also suffered heavy losses. The Soviet desire to acquire an advanced four engine bomber was well known and it became apparent later in the war.


33k in the air

Staff Sergeant
Jan 31, 2021
Be careful when quoting the Mossie's 4,000 lb. max. - that max. load came with limitations, just like the Lanc's 22,000 lb. max. came with limitations.

Which tilts the striking power factor even more towards the heavies.

But when your in the RLM's situation you cant afford to waste production on a heavy you need mass produced bombers which means tons of 88s the germans dont have time to bulid a heavy .

A strategic campaign against the far larger operating area of the Eastern Front would have been a major stumbling block.

Night bombing. It doesn't matter that much how fast you are flying. Russians don't have radar equipped night fighters.

On the other hand, if the Soviets had faced a substantial nighttime bombing campaign, it is reasonable to think they would have put more emphasis on radar and night-fighters, Perhaps even with assistance from American or British equipment via Lend-Lease.

Every measure has a countermeasure.

B-29s had 20mms in their tails and plenty were shot down by intercepting Japanese aircraft. The 20mms were later removed because they were ineffective

From what I remember reading, the problem was that the 20mm cannon had different ballistics from the accompanying two .50-cal MGs, making shooting more troublesome --- one or the other weapon system was going to miss when aiming with the other one in mind.


Major General
Jun 29, 2009
Central Florida Highlands
TO prove my point about how useless heavies are the USSR only made 93 PE-8s most of their bombing was done by mediums and IL-2s and it worked proving the idea of a 4 engine heavy redundant
The 93 PE-8s used something like 4 different engine setups and some of the engines were a bit lacking in reliability, to put it mildly.
They used engines from Mig-3s, at least one type of Diesel engine (truly horrible reliability) and near the end M-82 engine like the LA-5 used. It also over 4 years to build the 93 planes so number available for any one raid were very small.
The PE-8 was an old (first flew in 1936) bomber with a series of unsuitable engines due to the Soviet lack of capabilities or attempts to over reach.

The medium bombers consisted of over 5,000 IL-4, some lend lease B-25s, and a few others.

IL-2s did very little bombing of anything except tactical targets. IL-2s were certainly NOT going bomb targets in Poland until the front lines had nearly reached Poland let alone Germany.

If the Soviets had "streamlined" their forces to use the IL-2 and not built the PE-8 and IL-4 it would have made the German defenses much easier. More fighters could be moved to closer to the front lines and more AA guns moved closer and/or fewer AA guns built and other types of artillery built.

Some goes for the German using only JU-88s. You are automatically reducing the area/range you can effectively strike at and making your enemies defense problems simpler.

Just Schmidt

Airman 1st Class
Jul 19, 2010
The He 112 indeed is a tricky one, the contemporary proliferation of projects of variants and prototypes being further clouded by well over half a century's what ifs. I'm not entirely sure about the quality of this video, but he usually does good research and the footage is actually showing the planes he's talking about. To me at least it appears as an honest attempt to untangle the web:

About strategic bombers I don't think 4 engines is an absolute requirement, 2 or maybe 3 can do a lot. I consider the Wellington to be quite good, though famously it didn't meassure up to unescorted daylight raids, imho nothing would for several more years. When it comes to round the clock, expecting Germany (or anybody) to achieve in 1941 what UK and USA together achieved from some time in 43 is just ludicrous. Especially as they need pretty much everything they had historicallly to get to the jumping off point for Barbarossa.

Or maybe they can do with just Czechoslovakia? I mean, flying downhill all the way from the top of the Sudeten may grant the He-112 5 minutes over the Urals, and the Bf 109 5 minutes over Moscow?

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