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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines

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Alternate Timelines The plausible "what if's" of military history.

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  #16  
Old 17 Jul 17, 16:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Errm - the He 177 did have four engines - in some ways that was the problem - they were paired to drive a single prop (a very WW1 solution) and in a very confined housing with no fire walls (to save space) was always going to be subject to engine fires. But not Der Grosser Herman's fault any more than the Manchester's problems were the fault of Hariss's. The blame could be fairly laid at the feet of Herr Gimmler. What can be laid at the German sausage's door is the point blank refusal to allow development of the He 277 which could have been archived relatively quickly - its as if Harris had said 'no don't bother with the Lancaster we'll manage with the Manchester thank you'.

At bottom the fault lay with the German Army high command who defined what the Luftwaffe's main function and purpose was to be when it was being created in the early 30s - to wit to tactically support the army.

BTW thew original RLM specification called for medium angle bombing not dive bombing.
That's what I originally said, in not so many words. The fault doesn't lie with the OKW in any way. It lies with the RLM and Luftwaffe leadership.

I don't think the Luftwaffe really had a coherent mission in mind with its aircraft choices. At the start of the war, only Richtohfen's VIII Fliegerkorps was really equipped and trained for close air support. The rest of the Luftwaffe was more general purpose and focused on more "strategic" missions such as destruction of enemy's air forces, or even bombing cities.

The RLM was run by combat officers rather than ones seeped in technical and engineering aspects of aircraft. The middle management, also military officers, were allowed vast leeway to tinker with designs, or make all sorts of outrageous or silly demands. Look at the Bomber B program. That turned into a total cluster f...

The two main designs were the Ju 288 and FW 191

The RLM demanded the companies use an untried, experimental engine, give the planes a remote control armament (like the B-29 got successfully), and other advanced design feature. Focke Wulf was asked to make their design all electric.

The Ju 288 program saw at least 22 prototypes made well into 1943 without ever coming close to a production plane.
The FW 191 only saw 6 prototypes built over roughly the same period.

The Arado Ar 240 is another such project. At least a dozen prototypes of a mediocre plane some of which get pressed into service for high speed reconnaissance.

The He 100D is not accepted, even as Messerschmitt has no visible replacement for the Me 109. It's like the USAAF wouldn't accept the P-51 into service because it was from a manufacturer that should be building the B-25 and uses engines that could be going into the P-40...
That was about what the RLM told Henkel.
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  #17  
Old 17 Jul 17, 16:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asterix View Post
The FW-200 was a so-so aircraft, as long as it was lightly loaded. Unlike it's pre-war airliner version, the wartime FW-200 had serious structural problems....it's lengthened fuselage stretched precariously up to it's loading limit. Many of them snapped their backs while taxiing, hard landing or even as the result of the slightest combat damage.
And the tendency of the rear spar to fail.

It's funny how a hasty, fragile lash-up achieved so much, before there were enough escort carriers.
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  #18  
Old 17 Jul 17, 19:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
The He 100D is not accepted, even as Messerschmitt has no visible replacement for the Me 109. It's like the USAAF wouldn't accept the P-51 into service because it was from a manufacturer that should be building the B-25 and uses engines that could be going into the P-40...
That was about what the RLM told Henkel.
AQ hoary old story. The He 100 was abandoned because
  1. The time it would take to tool up for mass production was longer than the RLM expected the war to last
  2. Heinkel was already overloaded - when the Japanese built a factory to produce the type under licence they could not even supply the necessary jigs and tools
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  #19  
Old 17 Jul 17, 20:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
AQ hoary old story. The He 100 was abandoned because
  1. The time it would take to tool up for mass production was longer than the RLM expected the war to last
  2. Heinkel was already overloaded - when the Japanese built a factory to produce the type under licence they could not even supply the necessary jigs and tools
Not true. The sole reason it was turned down was it used the DB 601 engine that was already being used in the Me 109 and 110. Henkel was asked if he could modify the plane to take a Jumo 211 engine.
The fact that a dozen He 100D-0 pre-production planes actually were built says that the tooling to begin production was in place. Japan ordered 3 He 100D-1 production planes, as did the Soviets. The later three were actually delivered.

And, if Henkel couldn't expand or get production going, the thing for the RLM to do was hand that production off to a company that could do it, like Henschel. But, German industrial politics and government short-sightedness prevented that. Both of Henschel's aircraft plants were badly under utilized during the war in part because the RLM saw them as a Johnny-come-lately to aircraft manufacturing and often ignored their in-house designs other than in low priority aircraft like close support ones.
Henschel has other advantages. They are already producing on license the DB 601.

At the beginning of 1940 the Schönefeld plant is badly under utilized producing Ju 88 and was anticipating a shift to the early model Hs 129. That got panned, so the plant could have been switched to tooling up for the Henkel fighter.
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  #20  
Old 20 Jul 17, 17:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Not true. The sole reason it was turned down was it used the DB 601 engine that was already being used in the Me 109 and 110. Henkel was asked if he could modify the plane to take a Jumo 211 engine.
The fact that a dozen He 100D-0 pre-production planes actually were built says that the tooling to begin production was in place. Japan ordered 3 He 100D-1 production planes, as did the Soviets. The later three were actually delivered.

And, if Henkel couldn't expand or get production going, the thing for the RLM to do was hand that production off to a company that could do it, like Henschel. But, German industrial politics and government short-sightedness prevented that. Both of Henschel's aircraft plants were badly under utilized during the war in part because the RLM saw them as a Johnny-come-lately to aircraft manufacturing and often ignored their in-house designs other than in low priority aircraft like close support ones.
Henschel has other advantages. They are already producing on license the DB 601.

At the beginning of 1940 the Schönefeld plant is badly under utilized producing Ju 88 and was anticipating a shift to the early model Hs 129. That got panned, so the plant could have been switched to tooling up for the Henkel fighter.
What would be the point of Germany producing the He100?
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Old 16 Aug 17, 19:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazsa View Post
What would be the point of Germany producing the He100?
Get a better interceptor a couple years ahead of the FW190? Thats all I can think of. I've heard criticisms of the 1942-44 improvements of the Me109 missing the mark. Dont know if that is true but its worth a look at what the He100 might have added in 1941-43.
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  #22  
Old 11 Sep 17, 16:11
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Not finishing off Britain would have been a mistake weather or not the Battle of Britain took place.
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  #23  
Old 11 Sep 17, 16:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merkava188 View Post
Not finishing off Britain would have been a mistake weather or not the Battle of Britain took place.
And ever whether or not the BoB had taken place the existence of the RN together with Britain (and the Empire)'s control over resources (in part through financial instruments) world wide meant that unless Germany finished off the USSR quickly in the longer run she was dead meat. VE might have taken until 1955 but it was there.
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  #24  
Old 12 Sep 17, 01:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazsa View Post
What would be the point of Germany producing the He100?
The big advantage is the He 100D has about 40% more range than an Me 109E... Either could have been fitted with a drop tank, but having more internal fuel is a big plus for the BoB.
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  #25  
Old 12 Sep 17, 03:53
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Originally Posted by the ace View Post
I know Hitler was insane, but would he REALLY be stupid enough to leave an enemy intact at his back while he looked at Southern Europe and the Soviet Union ?

Hitler knew he needed a short war, and the decision to try and remove Britain as a threat was a sound one, coupled with the fact he'd already flattened anyone who'd tried to oppose him, meant that attacking Britain made sense.

The fact that he had the wrong kind of aircraft, and couldn't make up his mind on objectives (coupled with a catastrophic intelligence failure) meant he hadn't a snowball's of winning, is beside the point.
He had his chance at Dunkirk but squandered it, after Dunkirk the war was lost imo, his next move was to go ahead and destroy his air force in the air-battle for England, bleeding it dry.

Imo he should have left England alone at that point and focused on taking out Russia instead, he would have had the time to do so. Then when Russia was out of the picture focus on England again. It's on an island. Not on mainland Europe.

The English wouldn't have managed to mount an invasion of mainland Europe themselves, and even IF they could have done so, it would have taken a lot of time to set that up. Therefore no immediate threat. He should have taken out Russia, afterwards he could have used its natural resources and labor.

Edit
Hadn't the National Socialists resorted to their genocidal policies in the East they could have gotten the Ukrainians on their side as an ally too, at first they were greeted as liberators (read up on Holodomor and you will understand why) , they should have capitalized on that.

But I'm digressing now.

Last edited by walle; 12 Sep 17 at 04:09..
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  #26  
Old 12 Sep 17, 05:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walle View Post
He had his chance at Dunkirk but squandered it, after Dunkirk the war was lost imo, his next move was to go ahead and destroy his air force in the air-battle for England, bleeding it dry.

Imo he should have left England alone at that point and focused on taking out Russia instead, he would have had the time to do so. Then when Russia was out of the picture focus on England again. It's on an island. Not on mainland Europe.

The English wouldn't have managed to mount an invasion of mainland Europe themselves, and even IF they could have done so, it would have taken a lot of time to set that up. Therefore no immediate threat. He should have taken out Russia, afterwards he could have used its natural resources and labor.

Edit
Hadn't the National Socialists resorted to their genocidal policies in the East they could have gotten the Ukrainians on their side as an ally too, at first they were greeted as liberators (read up on Holodomor and you will understand why) , they should have capitalized on that.

But I'm digressing now.
But isn't that actually what happened? An "air-battle" was indeed launched in an attempt to "bleed it dry".
Hitler did believe the Britain was of "no immediate threat". Therefore he did try to "take out Russia" (USSR).

Since we are digressing, Britain, and the Empire might have developed nuclear weapons devoting vast assets in desperation-"Needs must when the Devil Drives" (vide "Tube Alloys"). Then what ?
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Last edited by BELGRAVE; 12 Sep 17 at 05:18..
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  #27  
Old 12 Sep 17, 05:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
Get a better interceptor a couple years ahead of the FW190? Thats all I can think of. I've heard criticisms of the 1942-44 improvements of the Me109 missing the mark. Dont know if that is true but its worth a look at what the He100 might have added in 1941-43.
Big problem was Heinkel had simply too much other business, to the extent that when the Japanese decided to build the He100 and built a factory to do so, Heinkel couldn't even manage to supply the basic jigs etc to set up production. So presumably if the RLM had decided to get another factory in Germany (say Messerschmidt) to build the aircraft under licence the same would have happened.
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  #28  
Old 12 Sep 17, 14:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Big problem was Heinkel had simply too much other business, to the extent that when the Japanese decided to build the He100 and built a factory to do so, Heinkel couldn't even manage to supply the basic jigs etc to set up production. So presumably if the RLM had decided to get another factory in Germany (say Messerschmidt) to build the aircraft under licence the same would have happened.
This was a failing of German politics and economics at the highest levels. The easiest fix would be the one the US and Russia adopted. The RLM / government simply hands the production to another company. Henschel comes to mind. Their Schönefeld plant was being badly under-utilized. This plant was to produce the Hs 129 but that program got shelved just about the time the He 100D proved viable.

So, the RLM tells Henschel to gear up for He 100D production and that Henkel will turn over the jigs and tooling they have available to Henschel to start production. Messerschmitt is told they'll have to start winding down Me 109 production and to concentrate on a replacement using a Jumo motor until Daimler-Benz can expand 601 engine production.

But, as it was, the RLM felt Henschel was a Johnny-Come-Lately to the aircraft industry and only good for producing parts for other manufacturer's designs or dealing with aircraft at the bottom of the priority list. Henkel was a bomber manufacturer in their eyes, while Messerschmitt was producing fighters. The RLM was quite myopic and the Allies should be thankful.
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  #29  
Old 12 Sep 17, 14:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Only if Germany had put the resources into a strategic bomber force that could have hit the Soviet industrial base when it pulled back beyond the Urals
Yeah, the nearest toys Adolf had were his Focke-Wulf 200 'Condors' but they were originally built as civil airliners and were too flimsy for the rigours of wartime flying, although as some guys have said, they did useful longrange patrols over the Atlantic.
Hey here's food for thought- Der Fuhrer could have used Condors to bomb New York and other east coast cities!
The snag was that they wouldn't have had enough fuel to get back to Europe and would have had to ditch in the sea after dropping their bombs, and the crew could have been picked up by U-Boat.
Just one bomber bombing NY would have been great propaganda for the nazis, so I'm surprised Adolf didn't give the go-ahead.
Remember, a Condor had already flown from Germany to NY before the war, proving they had the range to clobber NY if Adolf wanted to-

"On August 10-11, 1938, Focke-Wulf 200 Condor D-ACON 'Brandenburg' (below) made a record-breaking nonstop flight across the Atlantic from Berlin to Floyd Bennett field in Brooklyn, New York.
The 4,075 miles flight (6,437 km) took 24 hours and 57 minutes against strong headwinds, at an average speed of 164 MPH (263 km/h). The return flight to Germany took 19 hours and 47 minutes at an average speed of 205 MPH (330 km/h) on August 13, 1938"

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Old 12 Sep 17, 17:12
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Originally Posted by Poor Old Spike View Post
Yeah, the nearest toys Adolf had were his Focke-Wulf 200 'Condors' but they were originally built as civil airliners and were too flimsy for the rigours of wartime flying, although as some guys have said, they did useful longrange patrols over the Atlantic.
Hey here's food for thought- Der Fuhrer could have used Condors to bomb New York and other east coast cities!
The snag was that they wouldn't have had enough fuel to get back to Europe and would have had to ditch in the sea after dropping their bombs, and the crew could have been picked up by U-Boat.
Just one bomber bombing NY would have been great propaganda for the nazis, so I'm surprised Adolf didn't give the go-ahead.
Remember, a Condor had already flown from Germany to NY before the war, proving they had the range to clobber NY if Adolf wanted to-

"On August 10-11, 1938, Focke-Wulf 200 Condor D-ACON 'Brandenburg' (below) made a record-breaking nonstop flight across the Atlantic from Berlin to Floyd Bennett field in Brooklyn, New York.
The 4,075 miles flight (6,437 km) took 24 hours and 57 minutes against strong headwinds, at an average speed of 164 MPH (263 km/h). The return flight to Germany took 19 hours and 47 minutes at an average speed of 205 MPH (330 km/h) on August 13, 1938"
The Condor that flew to New York was a specially modified prototype with extra fuel tanks to make the flight. It wasn't carrying any of the extra weight a service aircraft would be carrying. It's also important to note it wasn't carrying any passengers, just 4 crew (pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, radio opertor).
See 10–11 August 1938:
Quote:
There were no passengers on board.
So there was no extra weight to spare for a things like bombs. Add bombs, reduce fuel carried, reduce range.

A better bet than the Kondor would be a Ju 290 (or 90 for passenger model)
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