The B-29's that never arrived

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by gjs238, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    How much Axis resources were put into programs to counter the B-29 (and B-32) that never arrived over the skies of Germany?
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    If a fighter aircraft will shoot down B-17s then it can shoot down B-29s. You don't need anything new except perhaps a bit more firepower to destroy the larger aircraft.
     
  3. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #3 GregP, Feb 24, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
    Beg to differ ... the B-17 is hitting the German skies at 180 - 190 mph and the B-29 can hit it at a bit over 300 mph, making multiple passes a thing of chance. It is entirely possible that the same fighters could be used, but they'd have to be fast enough to catch a B-29 at altitude and not get shot down due to little closing speed and a good B-29 gunner. They are entirely different anmimals to tackle. Ask any Japanese pilot who couldn't catch one.
     
  4. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    It's hard to say that there were programs designed specifically to counter the B-29 threat because the Germans were already designing high performance fighters equipped with pressurised cockpits well before the B-29 became a factor. Same with their AA - the 88mm Flak 41, for example which started production in 1942, had a maximum vertical range of 10,675-15,000 m, and the earlier Flak 18 and 30 series ranged between 8,000 to 10,600 m 88mm Flak Series - Flugabwehrkanone

    More than likely had there been confirmation that B-29s were to be used over Europe the Germans would have accelerated the development and service introduction of the likes of the Ta 152H and Me 262.
     
  5. rinkol

    rinkol Member

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    #5 rinkol, Feb 24, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
    The B-29 threat did skew the German priorities towards aircraft and engines optimized for altitudes over 10,000 m. Aircraft examples include the Ta 152H and JU 388J while Daimler Benz had a host of engine projects involving various combinations of multistage mechanical and exhaust driven superchargers. Effort applied to the JU 388J in particular was largely wasted since, without the B-29, that aircraft was a poor match to the actual military needs.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Did B29s cruise that fast while carrying a payload?

    Anyway...
    B29 didn't become effective until late 1944 / early 1945. By then all German day fighter aircraft could exceed 400mph. Late war Ju-88G night fighter was also edging close to 400 mph. That's before we consider Me-262 which was entering service in significant numbers by April 1945 with more reliable versions of Jumo004B engine. R4M rocket and gyro stabilized gun sight also entered service in significant numbers by April 1945.

    From a technical viewpoint I think April 1945 Germany was winning the air defense battle. But that doesn't do any good with Allied troops sitting in Berlin and the Ruhr.
     
  7. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Blohm Voss BV 155 also comes to mind.
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    It depended on what kind of range was required for the mission. The B-29 cruised at 220 mph and was able to run at full speed WITH payload well over 300 mph, but one needs to consider the payload. Just about anything the LW had in 1944/ 45 could shoot down a B-29, but more "would have" been needed in comparison with a B-17 or B-24.
     
  9. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure that the B29 was really needed in the EAW.
    In the Pacific most definitely and for the A bomb attacks on Japan it was the tool for the job. No question.
    The B17 and Lancaster could deliver the fatal blows to the Nazi war machine as long as we had fighter cover.
    Maybe the thought of the arrival of the B29 would cause concern in the LW by late 1944 - 1945 but, concern is all it would be as the war was lost.

    Had the EAW dragged on another 3 years then that is a different matter....

    Cheers
    John
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #10 FLYBOYJ, Feb 25, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
    As mentioned many times, as the air war in Europe ramped up, it was decided that the B-29 was never to go to Europe. The B-32 was supposed to replace all B-17s and B-24s in the ETO.
     
  11. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    #11 Readie, Feb 25, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
    Maybe its not so much the bomber more the bomb that would prove decisive Joe.

    We'll never know for sure but, how long would it have been and how many allied lives spent before Germany was reduced to a nuclear wasteland?
     
  12. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    A B-29 or B-32 carried a bombload equivalent of three B-17s for targets in Germany. :p
     
  13. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    And it could do so higher and faster.
    It could also handle the British speciality bombs that the B-17 B-24 couldn't.
     
  14. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Without reigniting another round of posts...the Lancaster and B29's had the same bomb load of 22000 Lbs.
    Obviously there are other differences and the B29 was the next generation..but, as a work horse the Lancaster was its equal.

    Cheers
    John
     
  15. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    The normal bomb load for a Lancaster was 14,000 pounds with a normal combat range of 2,530 miles. It COULD be modified to carry a single 22,000 pound bomb, but you wouldn't want to do it in rough air and you could not load enough conventional bombs to get to that weight.

    The normal bombload for a B-29 was 20,000 pounds of conventional with a normal combat range of 3,250 miles.The B-29 didn't have to be modified to carry a big bomb ... that was close to the normal payload. So, at normal payloads the Lancaster carried about 3.5 times the average bombload of a B-17 that launched from the UK and was bound for Berlin. The B-29 carried 5 times the same B-17's payload.

    While the Lancaster was and is a great plane, it was never the equal of the B-29. Fortunately, they were both on the same side and either was a good bomber.

    I consider the Lancaster the best of the heavies in the ETO and the B-29 the best heavy bomber of the war. It was also a later design than the Lancaster and so should have had some improvements over the basic Manchester design that carried over into the Lancaster. The U.S.A. would probably have been better off to have adopted the Lancaster early on but, in the end, the job still got done and, as pointed out, it got done without the B-29's assistance in Europe.

    Actually, I've often wondered how a US-built Lancaster version would have looked after we adopted out own turrets, etc. I think we'd have used SAE hardware that wopuld probably have resulted in a few changes here and there.
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Like a co-pilot's position.....
     
  17. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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  18. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    I have to disagree with your statement 'the B-29 the best heavy bomber of the war' Greg.
    The B29 wasn't introduced into service until the 8 May 1944....
    I would say that the B29 was the most advanced allied heavy bomber of WW2 for all the reasons we know but, 'the best'?
    I would give that title equally to the B17 Lancaster.

    Cheers
    John
     
  19. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #19 GregP, Feb 25, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
    I think it may be all in the eyes of the beholder, Readie, and I shall not disagree with you. From the standpoint of actual wartime accomplishments, the Lanc and the B-17 are both truly great aircraft.

    Let's say the B-29 carried more bomb load, on average, at a faster speed and over a longer range ... but it DID arrive well after the B-17 and the Lancaster. Using your philosophy here seems reasonable and that is why I tend to discount the Me 262 and Ta 152 ... too little, too late. Technically they were wonderful. War accomplishment-wise, they were almost unimportant.

    The B-29 did have a pretty great impact in the PTO, but was never used in the ETO and thus seems to get little respect from ETO fans. The planes (and other machines and perople) that carried the burden of the war rightly get the lion's share of the glory. That's why the Spitfire and the Me 109 will be forever tied together and will be fondly remembered along with the Lancaster in the UK. In the US we tend to link the P-51 wth the B-17 since it was a primary escort and tend to lump the P-47 into a ground attack aircraft despite teht fact atht it was a decent air-to-air fighter, too. When people think of Japan in WWII, their first thoughts are probably Pearl Harbor and the Zero.

    So, I agree with your premise from one standpoint.
     
  20. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Hello Greg, I can agree with you there. Good point and well said.
    Cheers
    John
     
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