What could have been built instead of the He177?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Given that historically the He-177 saw 1200 units produced between 1942-1944 with minimal functionality, assuming this aircraft was not built at all, what could have been produced instead? There would at least be enough DB601/5 engines for 2400 bombers or 4800 fighters. The raw materials alone would have added up to several times more aircraft, engines notwithstanding. Assuming Germany held off on the He-177 until it was proven reliable in testing, what could/would have been built? I'd say there would have been some 2,400 He111s and Ju88s that could have been produced, even night fighter versions of the Ju88. Germany's European allies could have been totally equipped with German bombers as a result of this and there still would have been many left over for the LW. Frankly this would have been a far better use of resources than the failed He-177. I know Romania was holding up deliveries of oil because Germany had not provided the modern medium bombers it had promised in this period, so extra bombers would have meant extra fuel for these extra bombers, as Romania could have provided the oil for them, while fueling their own. Germany was in arrears with all of her European allies, so clearing accounts with more aircraft could have resulting in more raw materials for them from their allies.

    Having more aircraft couldn't hurt, especially given the numbers that were down due to lack of spare parts historically or lacked replacements for combat and non-combat damage. Plus being able to phase out the Bf110 quicker from 1943-44 with more Ju88s licensed produced by Heinkel would have been helpful, even if adapted to the DB601/5 engines.
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I vote for Do-317B.

    DB606 coupled engines were proven in He-119 so Do-217 bomber could have been designed this way from the beginning, entering mass production during 1941 as a replacement for obsolescent Do-17. Use of Dornier production faculties means this aircraft should not disrupt production at Heinkel (i.e. He-111) and Junkers (i.e. Ju-52, Ju-87, Ju-88).

    Prior to 1944 I doubt this schnellbomber could be intercepted and it has excellent range/payload. What's not to like?
     
  3. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Theoretically sure, but the Ju288 had the pride of place, so we'd need two changes to make this one work...
     
  4. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Forget the bombers and concentrate on fighters. The problem wasn't being able to attack other countries. It was defending yours against other bombers.
     
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  5. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    4800 extra fighters (assuming there was enough material from the He177 including 4 db601/5 engines) starting in 1942 would have been pretty useful. I think it was easier to train the fighter pilots than the He-177 crews too, plus the fuel saved from these gas guzzlers would have been probably enough to top off these fighters.
     
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  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    IMO that was a mistake. Late 1930s Junkers was on the way to becoming the only Germany company which built bombers and transport aircraft. That's not good for German aircraft industry. Capitalism requires commercial competition.

    There's another issue also.
    24 cylinder DB604 and Jumo 222 engines were created from scratch for Bomber B program. Why fund these expensive and technically risky engine programs when DB606 engine was proven and production ready? All RLM needed to do was increase Daimler-Benz V12 engine production.
     
  7. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    The Jumo 222 was cheaper per unit to make, smaller, about half the weight, had much better fuel economy, and combined to make the Ju 288 faster, cheaper, and lighter than the version with the DB606 or the Do317. That's why it was the back up engine in case things didn't work out.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Apparently not because RLM killed both the DB604 and Jumo 222 engine programs after paying for several years of development. They were replaced with DB606 / DB610.
     
  9. bob44

    bob44 Member

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    Yes, exactly.
    But not to shoot down Allied bombers.
    Germany needed good air superiority fighters. As well as pilots, fuel, tactics, strategy, ect.
    At least in the West.
     
  10. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    #10 Gixxerman, Jan 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
    More quality fighters would have been useful, and in the time-span pre D-Day more twin engine fighter bombers would have been useful too I suppose.

    But IMO it's all just arranging deck-chairs on the Titanic.

    The key to Germany getting out of WW2 without the disaster which came with it is primarily not starting the war at all.
    If that really was impossible for the political ideology they had shackled themselves to (and possibly for economic reasons due to the policies Hitler's crowd pursued) then they should have stopped after the war in the west was won.

    If Russia was truly planning a strike at Germany (which I doubt) then they would have been in a far stronger position re the USA etc.
    It would also have given time to restock advance development of things like the jets train make up losses if there were a couple of years without much happening save for nuisance raiding from the west by Britain.

    I suppose the U-boat war would have gone on but I suspect there they would have done much better with the electro-boat (type 21) which in large part was not in fact a huge technological leap (basically it's a double depth U-boat with the lower level full of batteries)....although in the way that they were prone to the Germans made it very difficult for themselves complicating matters by dispersing production rushing to introduce various new modular construction techniques etc whilst being hammered by heavy allied air attacks, something they would not have had to do in this 'what if' scenario.

    The key to knocking the UK out of the war was the U-boat (as Churchill rightly identified) not air power.
    Without the UK (and subsequently USA) in the war Germany stands a much better chance of (later) winning the territory in the European part of the east, claimed to be the goal, if not actually defeating the USSR.

    The He177 is one of several examples of wasted effort, it surprises me that, given the usual German (sorry for the national stereotyping) talent for organisation they were so often so bad at it back then.
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Then put this fighter into mass production NLT 1940. Powered by same DB601 engines which would have formed He-177 power eggs. So there's no good excuse for an engine shortage.
    fw-187.jpg
     
  12. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It is.

    A weapon like the He 177, or at least the weapon it was supposed to be, is heavy on one particular aspect of most weapons and that's politics.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Heavy bombers became something of a fad during 1930s. Rather like dreadnought battleships during the decade prior to WWI. A world power had to have them, or so the heavy bomber barons preached.

    1914 Germany would have been further ahead if money spent on battleships had instead been spent on additional army corps. 1939 Germany would have been further ahead if money spent on heavy bomber programs had instead been spent on more dive bombers and fighter aircraft. It takes good national leadership to purchase what you need rather then purchase the latest weapon fad.
     
  14. l'Omnivore Sobriquet

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    Then the latest weapon fad became the ballistic missile...
    Very soon in fact.
     
  15. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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  16. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Trucks - build more trucks and depend less on draft horses.
     
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  17. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    #17 wiking85, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
    Too late to make a difference or get into production, as it came after 1944. AFAIK there wasn't one even completed historically.

    :|
    Barely anything had been spent on the heavy bomber program as a share of LW spending up to 1939; materially there was very little investment, so this yields very little. I agree with you as of 1941, as the attempts at the strategic bomber concept had been a bust and never would make a difference. In 1941 don't tool for the He177, but rather more fighters and some bombers.
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Not so sure about that. Heavy bombers and their engines are expensive to develop. I'd hazard a guess these programs add up to more then RM 100 million spent by the end of 1939. Enough money to tool up a Fw-187 assembly plant, double DB601 engine production at Genshagen and start building the Falke.

    Ural Bomber funded 1934 to 1937.
    Bomber A funded 1936 onward.
    V24 engine funded 1937 onward.
    Do-217 funded 1938 onward.
    Bomber B funded July 1939 onward.
     
  19. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    There was no special engine developed for the program; the DB606 was developed separately. The V24 was for the Bomber B program, not the Bomber A. Also the Do-217 doesn't necessarily qualify as a 'heavy' bomber, as its two engine. Same with the Bomber B program. The bomber B was to replace all two engine bombers.
     
  20. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    It's not the number of engines that determines if it's a heavy bomber or not. Per Merriam Webster: "a large long-range bomber designed primarily to carry large and heavy bomb loads to distant strategic targets".
     
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