What if the Luftwaffe technological gambles worked out?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Inspired by this post:
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/optimize-ju88-speed-42985-2.html#post1193328
    Supposing the Ju288 with its Jumo 222 engine, Me210, and He177 with the DB606 engine all worked out by 1941-1942 as planned, what would it have functionally have meant for the Luftwaffe in the second stage of the war?
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Not a lot. None of them could fly without fuel or aircrew.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  3. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    #3 wiking85, Mar 19, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
    In 1941-1942 they had enough of both, plus the Me210 was less draggy and would cost less fuel per mile flown, while the Jumo 222 was the most fuel efficient piston engine the Germans had:
    Junkers Jumo 222 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  4. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #4 stona, Mar 19, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
    Not really, been covered before. In July 1942 (at Karinhall) Goering received the unpalatable news that due to fuel shortages for training command only 40% of required fighter pilots and 20% of required bomber crews could be produced.
    The average monthly allotment of fuel to training command was 27,000 tonnes in 1941, cut to an average of just 15,000 tonnes in 1942. In September 1942 training command was allotted just 3,000 tonnes for the subsequent five week period which virtually brought all flying training to a halt.
    There was also a severe shortage of instructors, many of whom were posted to transport command, flying ill advised missions to their encircled comrades.

    Front line Luftwaffe units were not struggling for fuel yet, but they were already struggling for replacements.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  5. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Despite that they didn't experience crippling pilot shortages until 1943-44 with the mass slaughters over Tunisia/Sicily/Italy and Stalingrad, the attrition over Italy and Germany, and the final nail in the coffin with the introduction of the P-51D. Despite the training school shortages there was enough for the front until 1944 and the bombing of oil production. Having quality aircraft from 1941-42 introduced would keep the slaughter of pilots to a lower level than it historically was and reduce the pressure on training schools.

    Let's not forget too that the USSR training programs never had more than 60% of fuel requirements, yet they produced an air force comparable to the Western Allies in number.
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    You're joking, in January 1942 the Luftwaffe was operating with only 54.8% of its authorised aircrew strength (59.6% fighter pilots, 47.2% bomber crews). It never recovered.

    The falling quality of Luftwaffe training is reflected in the fact that losses (aircraft written off) as early as 1941 were nearly as many due to accidents as to enemy action (43% to 57%). In January 1942 pilots were sent to front line units a month early, before completion of the training program which was anyway shortened, with flying significantly reduced, shortly thereafter. The Luftwaffe was already in crisis, the advent of the USAAF and its escorts pushed it over the edge. The Luftwaffe, like all German services, showed almost incredible resilience, fighting well into 1944, even early 1945. Most others would have collapsed sooner.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  7. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Given those troubles then, wouldn't technically superior aircraft have been what was needed to maximize the potential of the declining numbers of experienced pilots?
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Look how much time was lost flogging the corpse of the Me210...

    They could have done much better with the Fw187 (fighter) and Ar240 (in lieu of the Me210) as a replacement for the Bf110
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but how technically superior was the Me 210/410 to allied fighters? Same goes for everything, with the possible exception of the jets. Who was going to crew the He 177s?
    There is a lesson to be learned from experiences on the ground. German tanks, in fact almost all German weapons, were superior to those of the allies (until the late advent of the Pershing et alter) but quality does not necessarily compensate for quantity. The Luftwaffe would have been overwhelmed in any case.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  10. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    In 1941-42 it had a major use, especially compared to the Bf110 and in some uses the Ju88 during daylight. Its major issue was getting into production too late.

    The he177 could be crewed by the guys used on the Fw200, Ju290, and arguably the He111s that were used for strategic bombing. Plus of course the guys that crewed them historically, as there were some 1200 built and several Gruppen formed.
     
  11. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The problem with the Me410 (and Me210 had it been problem free from the onset) is that it required additional fighter protection to conduct it's mission.

    So instead of being an asset, it was an additional drain on resources.
     
  12. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    How did the Ju88, He111, and Bf110 operate historically? The Me210 was faster than all of the above carrying bombs, even faster than the Do217; that's the point of the design.
     
  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    But not many bombs. None of these were game changers.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  14. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Sure, but the statement wasn't about that, it was about need for escorts and considering we are talking about replacing one for the other clearly slower models were able to survive in that period, so a better performing aircraft would either have escorts or wouldn't need them.
     
  15. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    In making reference to the Me210, I am talking about like types...

    The Bf110 was designated as a "heavy fighter", not a "schnell bomber". The Me210, with all of it's problems, would (in theory) do 350mph (564kph)...load it down with 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg) of bombs and it will be much slower. The Me410 was faster by 30mph, but again load it down with bombs and it pays a penalty in performance.

    This is not a world beater.

    Additionally, the heavy fighter concept is a notion carried through from the late 20's and 30's...the only way the Bf110 was going to be successfully replaced, is by a type that could produce adequate speed and performance. This would not be the Me210/Me410 by a long shot.
     
  16. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but considering the speed of the Bf110 fighter-bomber with the same load it was at least 30mph faster, therefore mores surviveable in 1941-43 when it was needed; by 1944 it was dog meat as a heavy fighter, but still solid as a fast bomber, especially in the East and at night.
     
  17. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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  18. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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  19. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Zerstorer = Destroyer

    The Bf110 was originally developed as a heavy fighter

    The Bf162 was spun off the Bf110 design as a light bomber just as the Bf161 was spun off the Bf110 as a high-speed recon platform.

    Bf110 V1 first flight: 12 May 1936
    Bf161 V1 first flight: 9 March 1938
    Bf162 V1 first flight: 26 February 1937
     
  20. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    #20 kool kitty89, Mar 20, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
    Exactly why focusing on the likes of the Fw-187, Fw-190 (including emphasizing DB-603 powered variants as soon as such engines were available), and possibly He-100s would have been more significant.

    Yes, Fw-187 as the LW's definitive long range day fighter and heavy interceptor, possibly fighter-bomber as well, similar to the P-38. (and similarly adaptable to the night fighter role once combat radar units came online)

    The Ar-240 in place of the Me 210/410 and possibly displacing the Ju-88, but keeping the latter as a stop gap and backup plan, or taking the conservative route and just focus on improved Ju-88 derivatives outright. (given the quality over quantity necessity, though, taking a chance by investing in supporting the 240 seems reasonable)

    Having more twins in service would have complicated training somewhat, but also potentially eased transition to Me-262 fighter units later on too. (not the same, but twin piston to twin jet is better than single piston to twin jet)



    Relying on the large, slowly developed and late to service engines for any design was a big problem. Focusing on more practical alternatives from the start would make much more sense. (accounting for less powerful engines and either using more engines or keeping the size/weight down)



    Of course, there's also the jets ... but those programs weren't quite the same 'gambles' early on so much as inconsistently supported. (and for all their offensive tactical dreams early on, there was an odd lack of emphasis on high speed jet bombers ... granted, attack and dive bombers are totally impractical due to speed and fuel consumption at low alt, but medium/high altitude level bombers would have been more interesting)
     
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