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3/20/2017 5:03:23 PM
Posted: 8/14/2001 8:22:41 AM EDT
If the BF109, had drop tanks in the battle of britain, would they of had the range and endurance to of destroyed the RAF. TMA
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 8:44:36 AM EDT
I would imagine it would have helped the German effort... Another key would have been to attack the radar installations that allowed the Brits to get airborne to meet each attack... Planes on the ground are much easier to destroy
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 8:45:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2001 8:45:32 AM EDT by Avalon01]
If the BF-109 had drop tanks, they may have shot down more aircraft, but I don't think it would have turned the tide. Remember, they would still have to get back home, and dogfighting uses up a lot of fuel. Another point is that when a German figher piolt ejected over England he usually became a prisner. When an English piolt ejected, he was patched up and put right back into battle. So Germany might have been able to get more fighters in the sky, they would have lost even more experienced piolts. Also, there were BF-109's over England during the war. They were flown out of airfields near the coast of France. However, they only had the range to fly over the southern part of England. Germany should have concentrated on a long range heavy bomber. They could have pounded English airfields and logistial lines, but High Command decided they didn't need them. Edited to say that the Messerscmitt Bf 109G-2R4 did have drop tanks. It was used for photo reconnaissance. The camera was monuted in the fusalage.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 9:21:16 AM EDT
I agree a long range bomber would have helped, but probably would have not changed the outcome of the battle. The U.S. Army bombed German aircraft factories and airfields, but did little to stop German aircraft production. They did, however, force Germany to send up fighters to intercept the bombers. They could afford to lose planes, but not their experienced pilots. It was a war of attrition. England used radar effectively during the Battle of Britain, and had surperb tactics. That was the difference. It was close, though.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 10:10:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2001 10:09:42 AM EDT by DonS]
The Germans were in fact slowly winning the BoB in the early stages--while they were concentrating on the destruction of the RAF. They were winning the war of attrition. But they didn't know that--they couldn't see the slow degredation of the RAF, and, of course, German spys in England failed badly. And after the RAF bombed German cities, the Germans switched to attacks on the civilian population. This let the RAF off the hook. And accomplished basically nothing of military value. Some of the key points they helped the Brits: 1) Ultra intercepts. The Brits had broken the German Enigma code, and they knew when the Germans were going to attack, etc. To add to this, as already noted German Intelligence in England failed. 2) Radar. The German high command had underestimated it, and it, combined with Ultra, was priceless. 3) The German decision to require their fighters to provide close support. After being told he must provide close support for the bombers, German general of fighters Adolf Galand was asked if there was anything he wanted. His reply: "a squadron of spitfires". This quote was often taken out of contect later, but he was basically saying that they were fighting in conditions that favored their enemy. The Germans in fact had better tactics, the "rott" (or pair of wingmen) and "swarm" (four finger formation) being the easiest examples to cite. The Brits learned modern fighter tactics the hard way (later, they taught the Americans). However, at a stratigic level, the Brits did a much better job than the Germans. Goring managed to mismanage the Luftwaffa to an incredable extent, and this was made even worse by his tendancy to brownnose Hitler. Technically, the German bombers had all been designed with divebomber capacity--they were all tactical bombers. They had also been designed when speed was a useful tactic for a bomber dealing with fighters. By 1940, armor and guns were the best on-board defenses a bomber could have. Further, even the German bombers were relatively short range weapons: they couln't take the "long route" to England and avoid the radar net. As far as fighers go, the spitfire and the bf-109 were closely matched. But the bf-109, as noted by others, lacked range.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 10:21:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By medicjim: Another key would have been to attack the radar installations
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It's been said that Germany stopped attacking radar sites, because they found them to difficult to hit? What am I missing here? They looked pretty vulnerable to me.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 10:28:55 AM EDT
Imagine trying to hit a cell phone tower with an ungided bomb, being fired on by flack and AA, trying to watch out for enemy fighters, all while traveling 250 mph (or so). It took dozens of sorties to destroy anything in WW2. It wasn't point and shoot like it is now.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 11:09:06 AM EDT
I don't think drop tanks would have resulted in a German victory, because the Germans should have destroyed the RAF with the resources that were already possessed. But it's a good observation that drop tanks COULD have helped. I just don't think that they would have, given the Germans failure to focus on the destruction of the RAF Really, the Germans blew it. An island nation like the UK seems very vulnerable if shipping is entirely stopped. It's not like British had tremendous natural resources of their own. Losing twice as many aircraft as the British was a sign of inferior leadership and organization, given the potential superiority of the Luftwaffe. 'Course, the British had a share of stupidity as in their "Big Wing" formations.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 11:16:51 AM EDT
Avalon, I totally agree that precision strikes with early WWII tech would have been tough. No rockets, large canon, and precision bombing turned out to be a joke. BUT, the Japanese did a reasonable job of beating the crap out of point targets at Pearl Harbor. And if air superiority was guaranteed, the Ju 87 or Ju88 could have done a decent job of hitting that elusive cell phone target in a dive.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 11:23:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Ustulina: Avalon, I totally agree that precision strikes with early WWII tech would have been tough. No rockets, large canon, and precision bombing turned out to be a joke. BUT, the Japanese did a reasonable job of beating the crap out of point targets at Pearl Harbor. And if air superiority was guaranteed, the Ju 87 or Ju88 could have done a decent job of hitting that elusive cell phone target in a dive.
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Yeah, I guess that was the point I was trying to make. If you can hit a tank with a rocket or bomb, then I don't see the big deal about a radar tower. No, not easy, but worth the risk.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 1:00:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2001 12:58:07 PM EDT by Avalon01]
I'm guessing here so stay with me.... I think that the Japanese did a better job of hitting targets at Pearl since they went through many simulations and knew the layout of the harbor very well. Also, Japanese bombers were more maneuverable than the German bombers. If you can avoid the flack and AA being shot at you, rather than have to fly straight through it, you would have a better chance of hitting your target. If I remember correctly, didn't the English RADAR sites consist of a tower and and control center? If the Germans knocked down the tower, a new one was built, and if they knocked out the command center the English built another one. I think it was taking several sorties to knock out a RADAR site and the loss of quite a few pilots. Hitler never understood RADAR, so he probably figured it was a waste of pilots. Edited because I can't spell...
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 1:25:42 PM EDT
I don't think the Germans did a bad job of knocking out the radar sites. But the radar network had overlapping coverage, and IIRC the British had mobile sites in case a fixed location was out of commision. The British placed a high priority on repairing damaged sites. The Germans didn't understand the damage they were doing. The sites consisted of the radar array and the radar equipment. The equipment was inside a hardened structure, very difficult to destroy or damage, and difficult to replace if destroyed. The radar array was out in the open, easy to damage, and easy to repair. The Germans had the tools to get the job done. Strategically they failed. Part of the reason they switched tactics was the British bombed Berlin as a reprisal for downtown London being bombed. The Germans bombed London by mistake. After Berlin was bombed Hitler decided to go after the English cities. The RAF was at the breaking point, airfield, aircraft, and radar were all at a critical point. Bombing the cities gave the British time to rebuild airfields and radar installations. It also meant that the RAF would decide when and where they would engage the Luftwaffe. Before they had no choice, if fifty planes are coming at the base you are at you MUST respond or be destroyed on the ground. The campaign against the cities also meant that the raids had to travel farther inland. giving the British time to set up an incoming intercept then break off. Then if they choose to re-arm, re-fuel and attack again as the enemy was on their way home. They would also decide what flights to intercept, so several flights would get through w/o intercept but one flight would get thumped by several flights of British fighters. It was a matter of the mission each side had and how they used their resources. German planes were superior at this point in the war, the British had very few early model Spifires. The British recovered downed pilots and were able to fight cooperatively at a strategic level. The British had military men who knew their business in charge. The Germans had politicians in charge. Churchill fought in several conflicts as a lad and was an Under Secretary of the Royal Navy during WWI. During WWI Hitler was a Cpl, Goering was a despised fighter pilot.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 1:34:10 PM EDT
Point well taken about the Japanese having the luxury of thorough preparation. Also, RE: rockets, there weren't any used in the BoB, which makes the job tougher. Still, I don't think that manouverability is necessary for attacking a fixed target with bombs, so long as the attacking aircraft does not have to contend with enemy fighters. The sluggish and stable Ju 87 in the hands of skilled pilots was a very accurate bomb truck. I don't know how many of Rudel's scores came in a Fw190, but I think most of his success came at the controls of the Ju87. Avalon-- it is interesting to hear that attacking radar sites was considered excessively costly. I still think that given the 2:1 loss disadvantage of the Luftwaffe, should have spent some tactical aircraft on harassing radar sites. Does anyone know if Me 110s were used as dedicated ground-attack aircraft in the BoB? I would have thought that this aircraft would have had the armament, range and speed to be an ideal choice for shooting up aircraft, trains and shipping. Never have heard much about it aside from its failure as an air superiority fighter and its subsequent relegation to nightfighter status. If the Ju 87 had enjoyed uncontested skies, it could have taken out the radar sites. The Ju 88 also was employable in the dive bomber role, although I don't know how many were available at the time. As you guys stated earlier, maybe the Germans didn't take radar seriously enough. Maybe it was too new a development. I do recall that Goering told his pilots that radar wasn't necessary, and that night fighters should "fly around until you see the bombers illuminated by the moon," or something to that effect. Boy they sure blew that one! Back to the Me109 drop tank idea, I don't think that the Me109 ever had excellent range, with or without drop tanks. That's why late model American fighters kicked ass. In a proof flight, a P-47N flew from New York to Florida, simulated dogfighting at full war power for 15 minutes, and then returned to New York with a substantial reserve of fuel. All despite the P-47 being "a gas-eating hog." This kind of range allowed us to shoot the shit out of the European countryside. Some of the footage of P-47s strafing trains on the move is pretty thrilling.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 1:42:17 PM EDT
Me-110's were deployed as long range fighter escort and they got smoked. Later in the war their was a heavily armed bomber attack version. The problem was they weren't really all that manueverable and were bascially unarmored. The P-47 was a gas hog. The difference was that It was also a flying gas tank. The US and Japan had planes with very long ranges. The US less so at the begining of the war but building up as time went on. We did it with big engines and big gas tanks. They did it with light planes with smaller engines and moderately sized gas tanks. The USSR, Britian, and the Germans mostly had short range planes. The Germans probably had longer effective ranges than the Britih planes.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 3:09:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2001 3:15:55 PM EDT by DonS]
Originally Posted By Avalon01: Also, Japanese bombers were more maneuverable than the German bombers. If you can avoid the flack and AA being shot at you, rather than have to fly straight through it, you would have a better chance of hitting your target. figured it was a waste of pilots.
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The most accurate Japanese bombers were their divebombers, and the most accurate German bombers were their divebombers. In a dive, you dive down on the target, you don't "dodge" AAA. Both the Germans and the Japanese had very good divebombers, and pilots to fly them. The German Stukas suffered badly in the hands of the RAF. One advantage the Japanese divebombers had was the ability to dogfight, once they dropped their load. Incidently, doing effective bomb runs against ships is quite difficult. This is shown by the poor performance of US army pilots during Midway. Specifically, US army B-17s dropped some 320 odd bombs on the Japanese fleet, without scoring any hits (a few near misses casused minor causlties). The B-17s did claim to have sunk pretty much everything in sight, and I don't believe we knew who sunk what until the war was over. On the BoB, the defeat of the RAF would not, in itself, resulted in a complete German victory. In fact, I suspect the Germans could have attained sufficient air superiority for an invasion, early on in the BoB. The problem was the Royal Navy, which would have still posed a serious threat. Considering that most German bomber pilots probably were not skilled at attacking shipping, an aggressive use of the major British fleet probably would have caused havoc in the channel. Another problem the Germans faced was that the top Nazis tended to be Anglophiles. Hitler really didn't want to destroy England. The best bet the Germans had was the U-boat campaign. The U-boats might have worked, had they had enough to begin with (which they did not), and if they had employed them to maximum effect from the beginning (which they did not).
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 4:23:16 PM EDT
I think that the best possible outcome for the Germans would have been to isolate Britain using submarines and air power to the point where the island nation could no longer obtain the fuel and raw materials with which to conduct war. The point would have been to starve the British into suing for peace and then maintaining their isolation from resupply. I think that a big obstacle to this plan would have been the lack of legitimate german surface ship and marine aviation. The Germans possessed no long ranged, combat-tough aircraft capable of launching torpedos, or skip bombing. The Condor didn't cut it. Come to think of it, wasn't the lack of German naval aircraft due to jealousy on Goering's part? For a smart, tough man, the guy certainly was a worthless sack of shit. I never got the idea that Operation Seelowe was much of a possibility, and like DonS said, the Royal Navy would have slaughtered the german invasion force unless it was seriously culled. I don't think that the Germans showed any sort of plan for amphibious landings and resupply efforts would have been iffy at best. They would have been best off containing and isolating the British. Stukas did poorly because they lacked agility, but that would be a moot point if air cover disallowed British fighters. IIRC, the Me 109G ( admittedly later and heavier than the E and F in the BoB) had a range of about 480 miles. This was worse than the Spit or the Hurricane. The FW 190 wasn't much better, but the Ta 152 supposedly had a range of 700 odd miles. Incidentally, the escort version Yak-9 did have excellent range. I think that the lack of single engined fighter range may be why the Westland Whirlwind (other than its heavy 20mm cannon) was used to attack targets of opportunity in the 1941 era. I still don't know if the Germans tried to use the Me110 as an interdiction/harrassment/attack aircraft in the BoB. I think that it would have done well in this role, as it had relatively heavy guns, and could have carried useful bomb and fuel loads. But you know what? America would have still kicked everybody's ass put together in terms of aviation and probably submarine power.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 4:49:00 AM EDT
It would have helped, but it wouldn't have changed the outcome.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 1:01:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Mach1:
Originally Posted By medicjim: Another key would have been to attack the radar installations
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It's been said that Germany stopped attacking radar sites, because they found them to difficult to hit? What am I missing here? They looked pretty vulnerable to me.
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I believe they did as well as trying to destroy the RAF on its airfields but they changed focus and went after the cities. Dumb, dumb, dumb, - but good for the allies
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 5:06:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Ustulina: I think that the best possible outcome for the Germans would have been to isolate Britain using submarines and air power to the point where the island nation could no longer obtain the fuel and raw materials with which to conduct war. The point would have been to starve the British into suing for peace and then maintaining their isolation from resupply.
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They sure tried to do that, but the Atlantic ocean is very big, the USA sent a LOT of ships over (and lost quite a few) and the Germans had a relatively small number of U-boats compared to the amount of search area and the number of convoys sent over.
I think that a big obstacle to this plan would have been the lack of legitimate german surface ship and marine aviation. The Germans possessed no long ranged, combat-tough aircraft capable of launching torpedos, or skip bombing. The Condor didn't cut it.
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The limited range of aircraft definitely adversely affected the anti-shipping effort. The limited aircraft range, lack of reliable target-locating equipment, and poor accuracy of weapons made the warbirds of the era poorly suited to convoy hunting in blue water.
Come to think of it, wasn't the lack of German naval aircraft due to jealousy on Goering's part? For a smart, tough man, the guy certainly was a worthless sack of shit.
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The lack of carriers was probably a direct result of the Treaty of Versailles and the Washington Protocols that limited naval development - though Washington was mostly about battleships, it's been all over the History Channel lately [:)] James
Link Posted: 8/21/2001 1:35:24 AM EDT
Hmmm-- I agree about technical limitations hampering maritime aviation locating convoys, but the Germans did possess the ability to manufacture aircraft with 3000+ range such as the Condor , the Bv138, and Bv222 Wiking. The thing is, had the Germans possessed and used something like the VLR Liberator, they would have had a long range threat that could have sowed mines, or perhaps skip bombs. At the very least, they would have had eyes in the sky that would have stretched to the midpoint of the Atlantic, allowing increased lead time for U-boats to savage the Allied convoys. I would imagine that they could have come up with some sort of search/location radar. And if they had been able to use Fritz X or Hs293 guided bombs as standoff weapons off of a large patrol aircraft, the Allied conveys would have doing even worse. The Germans did have an excuse for an aircraft carrier, right? Graf Zeppelin? Not that it was ever ready for any sort of action. I don't think that the Post WWI treaties would have deterred the Germans had they recognized a need for aircraft carriers. The Versailles and Washington treaties didn't stop them from building the Admiral Hipper series of capital ships, let alone the Scharnhorst, Gneisnau, Bismarck and Tirpitz. Nor did the treaties prevent the Wermacht from developing new tanks, even if in Russia. It seems like the German commanders, while very concerned with the tactical picture, did not have the ability to look at the overall strategic picture. Had they done so, they would have played to their strengths, which were considerable. They possessed no strategic airforce, no airlift, a middling surface navy and produced a Disney-like variety of tanks and aircraft, leading me to think that they never contemplated projecting force beyond 500 miles. Maybe they never meant to be in a hemispheric type war, but if that was the case, they shouldn't have tried to invade Russia.
Link Posted: 8/21/2001 1:50:36 AM EDT
The Germans, as many europains, believed in higher performance, by lesser range. Most of germany's neigbors are less than an hour flight away. so they never developed the concept of long range. The Graf Zepplin, the one and only german carrier, was never finished. She was to have navalized versions of the BF109, and JU87. Considering the landing and take off performance of these two aircraft, I would have hated to be a german carrier pilot. Germany never has been a true naval power, Jutland proved that, They caused more losses to the Brits, but never came out after that. TMA
Link Posted: 8/21/2001 1:52:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Ustulina: They possessed no strategic airforce, no airlift, a middling surface navy and produced a Disney-like variety of tanks and aircraft, leading me to think that they never contemplated projecting force beyond 500 miles. Maybe they never meant to be in a hemispheric type war, but if that was the case, they shouldn't have tried to invade Russia.
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The Nazis knew they couldn't live along side of the Bolsheviks, so they planned to fight the Soviets all along. However, they were planning for a war in 1946, I believe. The decision to fight sooner was dictated in part by circumstances. The Germans had sent some troops to Romania, on Romania's request. The Soviets took it wrong (actually, they took it right: Romania wanted military aid against a possible Soviet invasion), and drunken speeches made in the Politburo called for war with Germany. The speeches meant nothing; it was Stalin who made all the decisions (and Stalin wasn't going to go to war). But Hitler didn't know this, and he choose to initiate war, rather than fight a defensive war. The result war the German invasion of the USSR. Beyond that, the Nazis did not want to fight either the US or England. They were also not interested in fighting in the Baltics (Italian involvement sucked them into that), or North Africa (again, Italian involvement sucked them in), or Norway (British invasion plans sucked them in). They were happy to get out of the Baltics, BTW, but they decided that the Norwegians were their Germanic brothers, and began construction of an autoban linking Norway to Germany.
Link Posted: 8/21/2001 2:06:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Maxim08: Germany never has been a true naval power, Jutland proved that, They caused more losses to the Brits, but never came out after that. TMA
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In the lead up to WW1, Germany was attempting to become a major navel power. They ended up being second or third in the world, but England remained number 1. During WW1, the German navy rarely came out in force. This is true before and after Jutland, and was mostly due to the Kaiser being unwilling to risk the fleet. At Jutland, the Brits displayed their usual good use of codebreaking to find out what the Germans were up to, allowing them a chance to destroy the German fleet. The Brits lost their chance, because the Germans outfought them tactically and displayed good battlefield leadership, while the Brit's battlefield leadership was overly cautious. Soemhow, this has translated into a British "stratigic victory". In fact, the Brits threw away their chance at victory--a possible defeat of the German fleet. Stratigically, Jutland was a tie. Both sides went back to what they had been doing before the battle.
Link Posted: 8/21/2001 5:39:24 PM EDT
DonS, I think you were talking about the "Balkans". The Baltic countries welcomed the Germans as liberators because the Russians has seized them only years ago.
Link Posted: 8/24/2001 4:16:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SS109: DonS, I think you were talking about the "Balkans". The Baltic countries welcomed the Germans as liberators because the Russians has seized them only years ago.
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Well, I don't have any of my books on hand, but I think it was Romania, which was an ally of Nazi Germany. In the Balkins, the Serbs tended to be pro-Soviet, while the Albanians and others tended to favor the Germans. The Balkins were just one more thing the Germans got sucked into during WW2, without wanting to be involved. I believe that they were bailing out their Italian allies when they went into the Balkins, and that this diversion set operation Barbarosa back several critical months (as it was, German troops got to within sight of Moscow, with two more months they would have done a lot more damage).
Link Posted: 8/24/2001 5:46:05 AM EDT
They were happy to get out of the Baltics, BTW, but they decided that the Norwegians were their Germanic brothers, and began construction of an autoban linking Norway to Germany.
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That would have been quite an autobahn, seeing how it would have had to cross the North Sea! Perhaps the Germans were planning to route it through Denmark, then conquer Sweden to complete the link?
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