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German fighter development, how to shoot yourself in the foot


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Germany loosing WW2 can not really be put down to one weapon or one weapon system, or one strategic blunder,

 

But rather a continued combination of them all including certain ideologies of the Nazis.

 

What surprises me is that there doesn't really seem to have been a plan B,  but rather the continued assumption that it would be a short war, and no plans made "just in case"

To that end all things considered I'm glad Germany lost the war, but in regards to fighters.....


The American's managed to "whip up" the P51 in about 149 days, yet the Germans couldn't match this even though they had at least one design that with a bit of Government support and direction (pressure) would have made life a lot harder for the British.

While the first few prototypes of the he100 had a number of deficiencies (surface cooling, weak undercarriage), with a bit of pressure I believe these could have been ironed out in less than a year (so by early 1939 having the He100D1 perhaps enlarged a little with the presumption of engine growth) with production started about mid 1939 (me109 production lines being re-tooled to produce the he100).

When this was in full swing Messerschmidt could of either been contracted to develop the successor to the 109 (maybe the me309 using the DB603 whose development didn't start until mid 1940 and dragged for 2 years before a prototype even flew...) which since it used the DB603 wouldn't compete for engines with the H100,

 

or even better to put all their effort into the Me262 on which development started before ww2 began, instead of wasting time and energy to re-design the 109 (with of course pressure put on the development of the jet engines)

Having the HE100 would have given the Germans a fighter with an in service speed of roughly 630km/h and a range of 1000km, compared with the 109 E that the Luftwaffe had during the BOB it's chalk and cheese.

Edited by novicebutdeadly
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It's all very logical. It seemed like with a little more development the Luftwaffe would have had a third excellent fighter with some shortcomings of the other two solved and great room to improve.

 

It sounds like a combination of politics, engine availability, the design favouring the DB601 over any other type of engine, other types of engines not really being available at all and the RLM's feeling that the Bf109 and Bf110 were superior to any opponent and why bother with a more advanced weapon.

 

Its usually never one thing but in retrospect it does seem shortsighted.

 

The interesting thing to me is that Messerschmidt spent years building the Me309 to replace the Bf109 and in the end they had an aircraft which much the same qualities. Not enough to recommend replacing the Bf109. Amazing they really struggled to do better. I'm not sure what that says... the Bf109 truly was an excellent design? Probably. That superseding it with a better design was difficult? Very likely. But it did have its issues and range was one of them!

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Germany did better than you think they did, and had weapons you don't know about, and who won and lost the war isn't as clear cut as

you were taught in school...and that's all I'm going to say about that here.

Hey Gambit21,

 

I never questioned Germany's accomplishments, and what they did eventually achieve,

 

but rather what they could have achieved if they had had some foresight, as they say "hope for the best, plan for the worst"

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It's all very logical. It seemed like with a little more development the Luftwaffe would have had a third excellent fighter with some shortcomings of the other two solved and great room to improve.

 

It sounds like a combination of politics, engine availability, the design favouring the DB601 over any other type of engine, other types of engines not really being available at all and the RLM's feeling that the Bf109 and Bf110 were superior to any opponent and why bother with a more advanced weapon.

 

Its usually never one thing but in retrospect it does seem shortsighted.

 

The interesting thing to me is that Messerschmidt spent years building the Me309 to replace the Bf109 and in the end they had an aircraft which much the same qualities. Not enough to recommend replacing the Bf109. Amazing they really struggled to do better. I'm not sure what that says... the Bf109 truly was an excellent design? Probably. That superseding it with a better design was difficult? Very likely. But it did have its issues and range was one of them!

With a lot of this its hard to believe that they didn't invest in some projects, while wasting resources in others.

 

For example the the Jumo 213, first run in 1940 yet "not ready" for production until mid 1943, imagine Fw190D9's in 1942...

 

 

 

 

Edited by novicebutdeadly
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The US was a massive economy, far from any front line, with tons of resources (both materiel and expertise) to throw at aircraft development. It could draw on expertise from other allies.

 

Germany's economy was already stretched to its limits and their government's ethnocentric policies made them less likely to adopt foreign designs. On top of that, German industry lacked quiet countryside for developing aircraft.

Edited by JG13_opcode
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Hey Gambit21,

 

I never questioned Germany's accomplishments, and what they did eventually achieve,

 

but rather what they could have achieved if they had had some foresight, as they say "hope for the best, plan for the worst"

 

I get it, no worries...and I wasn't being defensive of Germany either in case that's how it sounded.

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New designs do nto ultimately lead to victory. Just looks at the 190 Dora series, Ta152 and later nightfigter designs (He219). All excellent aircraft with no impact on outcome.

 

What influrenced the RLM to drop support for any new fighter developments was the fact german was a comperatively small country with limited human and materialistic ressources. A new fighter design requires long planed changes at the production lines and reduces the output of current fighter production which in times of urgent need is not a wise decision.

 

Sure, for it's time the He-100 had potential but also some serious problems. One of which being the fact it was not very adoptable due to it's construction. It also had only a handfull of examples made by the time Messerschmitt already went on full production.

 

One can argue the Einheitsjäger concept was faulty which I certainly agree on, but that does not mean the more aircraft = more win.

but rather what they could have achieved if they had had some foresight, as they say "hope for the best, plan for the worst"

You don't need a lot of planing to know what's going to happen if you go to war against 3 major nations and fail.

Edited by 6./ZG26_5tuka
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New designs do nto ultimately lead to victory. Just looks at the 190 Dora series, Ta152 and later nightfigter designs (He219). All excellent aircraft with no impact on outcome.

 

What influrenced the RLM to drop support for any new fighter developments was the fact german was a comperatively small country with limited human and materialistic ressources. A new fighter design requires long planed changes at the production lines and reduces the output of current fighter production which in times of urgent need is not a wise decision.

 

Sure, for it's time the He-100 had potential but also some serious problems. One of which being the fact it was not very adoptable due to it's construction. It also had only a handfull of examples made by the time Messerschmitt already went on full production.

 

One can argue the Einheitsjäger concept was faulty which I certainly agree on, but that does not mean the more aircraft = more win.

You don't need a lot of planing required to know what's going to happen if you go to war against 3 major nations and fail.

It depends (of course for Germany one design, one decision won't win the war) on when.

 

By the time the 190D9, ta152, me262 came out it was already too late, the numbers were heavily stacked against them.

 

Earlier on in the war was the time to make changes after all when the 109F went into production they had to completely change production to the new design (prob some tools and jigs could be reused or modified), but with the he100 being steadily introduced the 109 factories would still have been producing the 109E so no large loss of fighter production.

 

It just seems to me that once Germany realised the need for a new fighter (to replace the 109 and supplement the 190) they spent a lot of time doing R&D into a new design that would be X amount better than their competition (who was also constantly improving their designs), to the point of nothing actually getting accomplished especially when combined with the new mission of bomber interception (needing heavy armament to take down bombers, but still be a fighter).

 

Hindsight is a great thing, but I feel that since the German hierarchy knew by the late 30's that war with England was a certainty they should have been more on the front foot. 

 

But then again had the English not got the ball rolling on the P51 who knows if would ever have been built (and what outcome that would have had on the war).

 

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With a lot of this its hard to believe that they didn't invest in some projects, while wasting resources in others.

 

For example the the Jumo 213, first run in 1940 yet "not ready" for production until mid 1943, imagine Fw190D9's in 1942...

 

 

 

 

 

The benefit of hindsight helps a lot. There were lots of examples of being blinded by early victories that lead to entrenched policies that created the situations that they did. The Bf109 was the fighter the Luftwaffe wanted to go with and I suspect some of the reason that the FW190 project was even approved was because it used the BMW engine and not the DB601 that was so prized and prioritized.

 

I doubt much of this would have changed the outcome of the war. The odds were against Germany from the very beginning and wars are won and lost on logistics rather than individual weapons. The Allies were slow to respond and thats why Germany did so much and accomplished what they did but ultimately, once things were up and running, they were in a losing battle.

 

Yamamoto on the Japanese side recognized that if Japan couldn't knock America (and its massive industrial potential) out of the war in 6 months, it would be lost. He was right. It wasn't that different for Germany.

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I suspect some of the reason that the FW190 project was even approved was because it used the BMW engine and not the DB601 that was so prized and prioritized.

True, the Db601 was in short supply and reserved for the 109s and 110s.

 

The F series was actually a very economic and effective upgrade to the 109. The production delay caused by changes were not as big as the introduction of a new fighter and it could quickly rushed into full production. Also trained squadroms could put the aircraft to use imediently as opposed to a new fighter type requiring conversion training.

 

The only issue caused by 'lack of hindsight' arised with the G6 which set the new trend for the 109 to develop into a bomber killer rather than a light interceptor it was meant to be.

 

The Fw190 as well as the 262 surely were more suited for this task.

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262 would have its engines changed every four hours or so? It would have proven extremely difficult for Germany to maintain this level of activity for the 262, but perhaps on the other hand, the extra time might have allowed Germany to develop solutions to some of these issues.

 

Regardless, if my Grandfather had died in that conflict, instead of surviving, I would not be here to have this discussion.

 

I too wondered if He100 if put into major production, if it would have made a difference, but the 109 simply was a better design overall. And since it was never produced in numbers from the beginning, by the time it was needed it was too late to alter production for a previously risky design. That's my best guess.

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Fighting the whole world is the reason for germany lost the war, not some p51 or yak or whatever.

A country without resources cant fight for ever, no matter how advanced their tech is.

In the end of the war there was enough matierial to fight in the air but the germans lacked

new pilots and gas to do it, the prouctionrates exploded till the end.

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I'm always amused when people start looking for an answer to why Germany lost the war. Outside of their surprise victory over France, Germany was never really on track to win the war. The surprising thing is not that they lost, but that it went well for as long as it did.

 

As for the Germans not investing bigly in a new single engined fighter after the Fw 190. That's completely understandable. If at all possible, you want to avoid having to introduce completely new equipment into production lines and into the field in the middle of a large scale war. All new designs have teething problems and slow down production considerably. If anything, Germany sank too many ressources into new designs rather than prioritizing production numbers and perfecting the designs they already had.

 

Look at the Soviet Union: Pretty much not a single new design put into large scale production from 1941 through 45. Just about everything was modified version of something that already existed. And it was the same for tanks.

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I'm always amused when people start looking for an answer to why Germany lost the war. Outside of their surprise victory over France, Germany was never really on track to win the war. The surprising thing is not that they lost, but that it went well for as long as it did.

 

As for the Germans not investing bigly in a new single engined fighter after the Fw 190. That's completely understandable. If at all possible, you want to avoid having to introduce completely new equipment into production lines and into the field in the middle of a large scale war. All new designs have teething problems and slow down production considerably. If anything, Germany sank too many ressources into new designs rather than prioritizing production numbers and perfecting the designs they already had.

 

Look at the Soviet Union: Pretty much not a single new design put into large scale production from 1941 through 45. Just about everything was modified version of something that already existed. And it was the same for tanks.

For the most part I totally agree, in that for Germany to have won the war a lot more things would need to have been done differently (I think it could have been possible),

 

I guess the purpose of my post is not "would the he100 have won the war" but rather looking at the possible missed opportunity.

 

What got me thinking about this recently is reading about the pretty awesome late war Italian designs, which impressed the Germans (to the point of looking at the possibility of putting them into production in Germany),

 

and it made me wonder how Germany had gone from a "world leader" in terms of fighter designs to looking to build a foreign design.

 

I think part of it is because they waited until the need for a new design was so glaringly obvious that it was too late, leading to wasted time doing R&D only to have the requirements changed leading to more R&D only to have the requirements change.....

 

Before Germany invaded Russia they had a chance before being spread thin, too thin to have 109's kept light as fighters and 190's as bomber killers.

 

And when the American Generals finally listened to the pilots actually fighting in the war, the air was was lost for Germany (leading to more last minute designs... and more R&D).

 

 

Edited by novicebutdeadly
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262 would have its engines changed every four hours or so? It would have proven extremely difficult for Germany to maintain this level of activity for the 262, but perhaps on the other hand, the extra time might have allowed Germany to develop solutions to some of these issues.

There were solutions to solve this by using more reliable Heinkel HeS engines (they were refused by Messerschmitt early on due to Heinkel being his competitor for the jet fighter contract). The only advantage the Jumo 004 had was availability, which meant that 262 production could be ramped up.

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True, the Db601 was in short supply and reserved for the 109s and 110s.

 

The F series was actually a very economic and effective upgrade to the 109. The production delay caused by changes were not as big as the introduction of a new fighter and it could quickly rushed into full production. Also trained squadroms could put the aircraft to use imediently as opposed to a new fighter type requiring conversion training.

 

The only issue caused by 'lack of hindsight' arised with the G6 which set the new trend for the 109 to develop into a bomber killer rather than a light interceptor it was meant to be.

 

The Fw190 as well as the 262 surely were more suited for this task.

I def agree, but I wonder if instead of using the engines in the me110 they were used on he100's, 2 he100's would have been better than 1 me110 in an air war :-)

 

I hadn't taken into account complete re-training of aircrew, but if this started in mid to late 1939 the he100 could of been flown by the new recruits (who would have appreciated the wide under carriage) coming through (provided Germany also increased pilot numbers).

 

 

 

There were solutions to solve this by using more reliable Heinkel HeS engines (they were refused by Messerschmitt early on due to Heinkel being his competitor for the jet fighter contract). The only advantage the Jumo 004 had was availability, which meant that 262 production could be ramped up.

The engine life issues with the Jumo004 had a lot to do with the materials they were made from, they knew what they needed to make the alloys needed, but by the time the project was given a higher priority the metals needed were in short supply,

 

So that had to produce jet engines with more and more power, while using inferior materials.

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After recently reading about 109 and its development and production, it dawned on me that there were only two people in Germany who had some clue about project management: Erhard Milch and Albert Speer. Everything done by anyone else was pretty much a mess. For example, requirements for a plane that was already in pre-production could change about 40 times in a time frame of three months. The RLM and Luftwaffe simply didn't have a clear picture what they wanted/needed.

Edited by LLv34_T_Temuri
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I think that building up that strong Luftwaffe from almost nothing in 5-6 years was quite impressive. 

 

 

 

 I feel that since the German hierarchy knew by the late 30's that war with England was a certainty they should have been more on the front foot. 
 

 

I don't think that German leaders considered it a certainty. 

I think that Germany hoped that Britain / France would not declare war, when they attacked Poland. When war did happen, they tried to offer peace to Britain several times, but the offer was no longer accepted. Even Battle of Britain's main purpose was to scare the British to accept peace, rather than really planning an invasion there.

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Before i start one book that should everybody read who is interested in this topic: Arming the Luftwaffe

 

German industrie did not expect the war to start before 1945 at the earliest! Hitler himselve told leaders of the industrie this.

So when he started the war with poland in 1939 he was well aweare that germany was not ready for it but he did not care and with the first quick victories many people got the impession that the war would realy end soon and that there is no need for expansions of industrie and makeing plans for a longer war. This explains why german industrie still worked only 10 houre shifts until late 1942. So without improving anything in production economics they could have produced twice as much war products than they did until late 1942. Also Hitler feared that he would lose a lot suppored from people when he would order the industrie to shorten production of civil things and produce military equipment instead. So german industrie was fighting a war with more than one hand on its back. By late 1941 more than 5.000.000 additional workers were missing in german war production and germanys leader were slow to use womean to fill the gaps. Since germany was the second largest producer of maschines and tools before the war we had a very large stockpile of them but missed the workers to use them. This however was good when the airwar over germany realy started by 1943 we could simply replace deamaged maschines in most cases and large parts of factories were empty space which could be used when other buildings were damaged. This explains to some part why production was running again so quickly after bombardments.

Until very late in the war the Luftwaffe failed to introduce a clear plan for aircraft development. This lead to hundrets of designes beeing developed by the factories which cost time that was wasted on aircrafts that were never needed. Also the Luftwaffe changed there oppinion of what was needed so often that Aircraft developers constantly had to change there plans for example the Ju 388 was changed over 200 times because Luftwaffe wanted someting new ( we need 3 crew, we need larger bomb bay, we need now 4 crew, ...). In the end the stop gap solution Ju 188 was the best some pilots got all orhers had to fight with the old Ju88. When finaly there was a desigion for a version to be build they often wasted time retooling one factory to produce it and when they were done and could start producing they desided to produce there something else ( for example one factory in france retooled 6 months for ju 388 wings when they were ready it was desided to produce Ju 88 wings instead which meant retooling for 2 more months! ).

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Need more suport on the luftwaffe, need more suport making tanks, more suport building subs, etc etc. Germany had no more resources and the 109 was an easy, cheap and efective plane to build. In the east front was enought and is the wert the 190 was crap at altitude and the 109 a real good interceptor. They had no more Dbs to equipe other planes. 

The he100 had a lot of problems and the cooling system is to weak to suport combat damage. Probably to put a convencional cooling system they would get similar performance than the 109 or 190

Edited by E69_geramos109
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I'm always amused when people start looking for an answer to why Germany lost the war. Outside of their surprise victory over France, Germany was never really on track to win the war. The surprising thing is not that they lost, but that it went well for as long as it did.

This comes to my mind too.

 

Answer why they lost is very simple. When you are at war basically with the rest of the world you will loose, too many fronts, too many enemies. I don`t think any other nation would have done better in their shoes. It is a plain miracle that the war went on as long as it did. Purely from the performance view Wehrmacht was an outstanding military in it`s time.

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This comes to my mind too.

 

Answer why they lost is very simple. When you are at war basically with the rest of the world you will loose, too many fronts, too many enemies. I don`t think any other nation would have done better in their shoes. It is a plain miracle that the war went on as long as it did. Purely from the performance view Wehrmacht was an outstanding military in it`s time.

Me three. I've made the point numerous times on these boards that Germany was at war with the world's largest Air Force (US), largest Navy (Britain) and largest army (Soviet Union).

 

The outlook was quite bleak, and the only "victory" I could really see for Germany would have been possibly holding on to Austria and parts of the Balkans. Maybe some African territory if the Allies sued for peace early. The Western powers would not have accepted an occupied France or Belgium.

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A couple'a points:

The He-100 would never have served with Surface Cooling. The D-Model and later would all have reverted to conventional radiators. They were also fitted with the DB601M, a DB601N with a different Reduction Gear. The Top Speed as far as I know for Combat Ready D-series He-100, with Guns, larger Tail and larger Cockpit dropped down to 628kph at around 5000-6000m. It likely would have dropped further with the installation of a reinforced landing gear and more Armor. The Propaganda 670kph so often quoted would never have been possible on the "War Version".

 

Comparing that to the Bf109F-2 (615) and F-4 (635) and given that the He-100 had a Worse Rate of Climb and manouverability disadvantage, the Range equalled out, so, why bother? The advantages are Minute.

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... and who won and lost the war isn't as clear cut as

you were taught in school...and that's all I'm going to say about that here.

I would say that with Germany divided among the Allies and in ruins, and with Japan devastated and irradiated, it's fairly clear-cut who the war.

 

If you're talking about the fact that Germany and Japan are now some of the world's leading nations, that's a result of them recovering after losing the war.

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I would say that with Germany divided among the Allies and in ruins, and with Japan devastated and irradiated, it's fairly clear-cut who the war.

 

If you're talking about the fact that Germany and Japan are now some of the world's leading nations, that's a result of them recovering after losing the war.

i think what he means is that if germany would not have attacked russia in 1941 that the allied side whould have had a very hard time and loses could have been so high that the People in free nations would have forced theire nations to make peace with germany. After all the german army would have had 3500000 man more in the west
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To add to this, simplifying fighter production was a trend common to most countries, mainly because there isn't a magical switch in the factory which you can change from "Bf-109" to "He-100" and poof, different aircraft come out in the end. Changing what you produce means stopping production for a while, refitting the production lines, possibly changing the staff to adapt to the needs, and given how aircraft usually have parts produced in many different factories you can imagine the disruption this chain effect would have, not to mention the logistics as well. For example, the MiG-3 could not use the engine compressed air starter for the Yak-1, so a regiment converting from one to the other would have to receive new equipment, and a regiment sharing a base with a regiment using another aircraft could not share some equipment.

 

In the Soviet Union, a country which despite being in the heart of the war also boasted a strong industry beyond the front lines (after the evacuations and reassembling were completed), in 1945 the main tank was an upgraded T-34 from 1940, the most modern fighter aircraft in the air force were evolutions of the 1940 prototypes which led to the LaGG-3 and Yak-1, the attack aircraft were still based on the 1939 Il-2 prototype, the bombers were a mix of a rehashed 1939 high-altitude fighter (Pe-2), a 1941 pre-war design (Tu-2), a year earlier in 1944 you still had a 1935 bomber operating (Il-4/DB-3), and the mainstay transport was a licensed version of a 1935 American design. Even when there were better prototypes available such as the I-185, it was somewhat of a requirement that new aircraft build upon previous ones to prevent disrupting production lines because if you can get the numbers, the people to operate the numbers, and the right doctrine to make use of the numbers, the benefits outweigh the minor performance gains you can get by starting over from scratch.

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Germany did better than you think they did, and had weapons you don't know about, and who won and lost the war isn't as clear cut as

you were taught in school...and that's all I'm going to say about that here.

If after the war west Germany would not get support from allied countries and blind eye on gold robbed from conquered countries held in banks of Switzerland, today german economy would look less optimistic. Allied level bombed all major cites and factories, there was great starvation period after the war. But there was greater enemy - stalin and only rich countres with good economy can have had chance fight back reds. Who won war is obviously - mostly reds then allied. Any way Russia as today lost they hegemony gained after war. Germany stared war,were couse of all geneside but at the end build strong nation until now. Edited by 307_Tomcat
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Germany as a country lost the war, the people no doubt paid the price. I should have worded that differently. What happened with the ruling class and those making the more exotic toys is a bit more interesting, and I'm not just talking about Paperclip. Again though, not the time or place.

 

Germany as a country though - no there's no debate about losing the war.

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i think what he means is that if germany would not have attacked russia in 1941 that the allied side whould have had a very hard time and loses could have been so high that the People in free nations would have forced theire nations to make peace with germany. After all the german army would have had 3500000 man more in the west

Germany would always have been in a pickle no matter what.

 

If they went all in on the Western front, the Soviets may have just attacked (either preemptive or part of a larger plan) anyway.

 

The he100 may not have altered the out come of the war, though it would have given the Germans what they needed which was more single seat fighters (compared with trying to use the 110) with a performance boost over the 109E (so save on R&D for the F series and me309).

 

Germany may have been able to win the war, however so many things would have had to be done differently, and by win, it would not be the same idea of winning that Hitler had.

 

I did post on another thread how I think they it should have been done, but with this thread I wanted to more bounce the idea around on thoughts on the he100D1

 

If it would have been better to keep the 109 progression going after the E, I wonder if it wouldn't have been a better idea to enlarge the 109 a bit for future growth (this would have prevented the performance robbing bulges etc), and address things like stick forces etc.

 

 

Edited by novicebutdeadly
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Realistically Germany never stood a chance to win because, as mentioned before, nobody would have settled for an occupied Western Europe. That they got away with Austria and Czechoslovakia in the beginning is already very surprising.

 

In whatever context though, introducing a well-rounded He-100 would not have done much in the long run because its performance advantages over contemporary Bf-109s were relatively ignorable and, on top of the possible industrial and logistical disruptions necessary to introduce it, the He-100 used the same engine as the Bf-109. You can only have so many engines of the same model made within any given time. Remember the MiG-3? The project was terminated so that Mikulin engine supplies could focus on the AM-38 for the Il-2. What about the LaGG-3? The project only survived the chop because Lavochkin and Gorbunov attached an M-82 engine to it and balanced the airframe accordingly. By the time they had done it, LaGG-3 production lines were bound to be shut down in favour of Yak-1 and Yak-7 production so that these aircraft could take up the M-105 supply.

 

The Bf-109 was clean and simple, and despite losing its elegance as the war wore on, it remained easy to manufacture and competitive.

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It`s quite a complex issue that isn`t answered very simply, but I`ll try.

 

The Germans needed to win quickly. They didn`t. After that it was all over.

 

Hitler`s reluctant stubborness sealed their fate as almost no one dared challenge him and the Generals that did , failed.

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Realistically Germany never stood a chance to win because, as mentioned before, nobody would have settled for an occupied Western Europe. That they got away with Austria and Czechoslovakia in the beginning is already very surprising.

 

In whatever context though, introducing a well-rounded He-100 would not have done much in the long run because its performance advantages over contemporary Bf-109s were relatively ignorable and, on top of the possible industrial and logistical disruptions necessary to introduce it, the He-100 used the same engine as the Bf-109. You can only have so many engines of the same model made within any given time. Remember the MiG-3? The project was terminated so that Mikulin engine supplies could focus on the AM-38 for the Il-2. What about the LaGG-3? The project only survived the chop because Lavochkin and Gorbunov attached an M-82 engine to it and balanced the airframe accordingly. By the time they had done it, LaGG-3 production lines were bound to be shut down in favour of Yak-1 and Yak-7 production so that these aircraft could take up the M-105 supply.

 

The Bf-109 was clean and simple, and despite losing its elegance as the war wore on, it remained easy to manufacture and competitive.

 

 

Def agree with your first point, the only way Germany would "win" in the scenario I thought up, isn't one of continued conquests, but rather temporary, and I think would have a fair chance of not having a war with England.

 

 

The lack of engines would be off set by reducing the production of the 110/ removing them from current 110's (I know that one of the gears was different on the engine, and how easy to change this I'm not sure).

 

The 110 was a greater fighter bomber, but a long range escort it wasn't (and unless you could find a way to have peace with England it is of limited use in an air war), perhaps I should have in my original post introduced the idea of slowing production the 110 in favor of the he100?

 

 

But irrespective, if Germany still went down the path that it did, not only does Germany still loose, it is for the best.

 

 

 

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Yes but, the plan wasn't about Western Europe was it.  The intention was to neutralize Western Europe, presumably reach an accommodation with the British, and then continue the expansion Eastwards at the expense of the Soviet Union.  With the Soviets destroyed  (and that was a closer run thing than people seem willing to acknowledge these days) , and the British out of the war, who the hell was going to "not settle" for it?  The US?  What exactly could they do about it without European bases or allies and an enlarged Germany with all of the resources available to it from both Western Europe and Soviet Russia?  

 

And I don't believe there was ever any seriously intention on Hitler's part to invade the British Isles, and certainly not in 1940.  How on earth would he have managed it?  A good proportion of his paratroop force had already been destroyed in the assault on the Low Countries and approximately a third of his air transport force had been wiped out in the process.  What's more, the Royal Navy was largely in tact so just how would you get a sufficiently strong invasion force across the Channel and once there, how would you re-supply it?  Do we imagine that Hitler of all people wouldn't have been aware of these difficulties?  I think the invasion was a big bluff.  Just another way of putting pressure on the British government in an effort to get it to accept the new reality on the Continent.  In the end the bluff didn't pay off but it was probably worth a try as was the BS propaganda about the 'stunning' German victory in Poland.  It wouldn't have made any difference which large European power attacked Poland at the time, the Poles simply didn't have a hope without immediate intervention from allies, something they expected (built into their national defence plans, but of course never received) and realistically were never going to; not in sufficient time at any rate.

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Edited by Wulf
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I'm always amused when people start looking for an answer to why Germany lost the war. Outside of their surprise victory over France, Germany was never really on track to win the war. The surprising thing is not that they lost, but that it went well for as long as it did.

 

 

Also, nothing went "according to the plan" for Germans. Their industry did a great job of building Luftwaffe out of nothing in economically ruined state, but after that, they were constantly out of their depth. Hitler started war years before the industry was ready to support it. Hitler counted on England and France to let him have his way with Poland, and leave him alone to fight his war with Soviet Union (which, he believed, would be fought also in defence of England and France from immenent Soviet invasion only he saw coming). Instead, England and France joined the war and refused his every peace proposal, even after defeat of France. Mussolini got him involved in Africa, Yugoslavia and Greece, costing him resources, manpower and delaying Barbarossa. To defeat the French he had to invade Low Countries, and to fight against England he had to conquer Norway - while occupied states let him exort him extra resources, he had to occupy whole Europe with troops drawn from single nation, while fighting Mussolinis pointless sideshows, instead of just putting everything into  the war with Soviets he always wanted. And then Japanese brought Americans into the war, AND failed to go against Soviets and blockade Vladivostock, where most of Lend-Lease materiel was coming through (the Japanese with the warships were not interested in fighting Soviets and the Japanese who wanted to fight Soviets had no warships). By 1941 there was already no time to design new solutions, just salvaging and reacting and - at best - riding the wave. 

 

As of Luftwaffe, it was created in short time, mostly to vision of WW1 fighter pilots, tacticians who reactivated themselves as colonels and generals (and marshall) and tried to envision the strategy of future air war. Their conflicting visions led to less than successfull Bf-110 and Ju-87, and neglect of strategic bombing; it is a great success that Luftwaffe was created in such short time, as good as it was, at all. In the end, Luftwaffe was built as mostly tactical bomber force with medium and light bombers. Bf-109 was designed as interceptor, in 1930s when "bomber will always get through" doctrine ruled. Luftwaffe worked pretty much as intended up to Battle of France, in its intended enviroment - surpressing air force still stuck in 1930s while supporting advance of ground troops and bombing targets behind the front. Battle of Britain forced great deal of improvisation, using planes out of their intended roles - medium and light bombers shoehorned into long range strategic bomber role, Bf-109 bomber interceptors forced to act as escorts, Bf-110s and Ju-87 trying to do anything useful. Lots of airframes and experienced pilots were lost with no gain. 

 

In Soviet Union, like in Poland, France or Greece, Luftwaffe showed that it can effectively defeat an air force that's still stuck in 1930s, while supporting advance of ground troops. As soon as Soviets brought their own planes and tactics up to demand, situation changed.

 

If there is a plane type that Germans should have been developing in 1930s to change course of war, it isn't Mustang-equivalent, it's B-17 or B-29 equivalent. By the time USA joined the war, they had one strategic bomber already and other about to take first flight. The Germans missed that chance in 1930s, and were left with tactical planes for all kinds of work for rest of the war. Of course, it was matter of lack of vision rather than just airframes - or rather, people with strategic bombing vision not being allowed to shape the future air force.

 

Edited by Trupobaw
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Also, nothing went "according to the plan" for Germans. Their industry did a great job of building Luftwaffe out of nothing in economically ruined state, but after that, they were constantly out of their depth. Hitler started war years before the industry was ready to support it. Hitler counted on England and France to let him have his way with Poland, and leave him alone to fight his war with Soviet Union (which, he believed, would be fought also in defence of England and France from immenent Soviet invasion only he saw coming). Instead, England and France joined the war and refused his every peace proposal, even after defeat of France. Mussolini got him involved in Africa, Yugoslavia and Greece, costing him resources, manpower and delaying Barbarossa. To defeat the French he had to invade Low Countries, and to fight against England he had to conquer Norway - while occupied states let him exort him extra resources, he had to occupy whole Europe with troops drawn from single nation, while fighting Mussolinis pointless sideshows, instead of just putting everything into  the war with Soviets he always wanted. And then Japanese brought Americans into the war, AND failed to go against Soviets and blockade Vladivostock, where most of Lend-Lease materiel was coming through (the Japanese with the warships were not interested in fighting Soviets and the Japanese who wanted to fight Soviets had no warships). By 1941 there was already no time to design new solutions, just salvaging and reacting and - at best - riding the wave. 

 

As of Luftwaffe, it was created in short time, mostly to vision of WW1 fighter pilots, tacticians who reactivated themselves as colonels and generals (and marshall) and tried to envision the strategy of future air war. Their conflicting visions led to less than successfull Bf-110 and Ju-87, and neglect of strategic bombing; it is a great success that Luftwaffe was created in such short time, as good as it was, at all. In the end, Luftwaffe was built as mostly tactical bomber force with medium and light bombers. Bf-109 was designed as interceptor, in 1930s when "bomber will always get through" doctrine ruled. Luftwaffe worked pretty much as intended up to Battle of France, in its intended enviroment - surpressing air force still stuck in 1930s while supporting advance of ground troops and bombing targets behind the front. Battle of Britain forced great deal of improvisation, using planes out of their intended roles - medium and light bombers shoehorned into long range strategic bomber role, Bf-109 bomber interceptors forced to act as escorts, Bf-110s and Ju-87 trying to do anything useful. Lots of airframes and experienced pilots were lost with no gain. 

 

In Soviet Union, like in Poland, France or Greece, Luftwaffe showed that it can effectively defeat an air force that's still stuck in 1930s, while supporting advance of ground troops. As soon as Soviets brought their own planes and tactics up to demand, situation changed.

 

If there is a plane type that Germans should have been developing in 1930s to change course of war, it isn't Mustang-equivalent, it's B-17 or B-29 equivalent. By the time USA joined the war, they had one strategic bomber already and other about to take first flight. The Germans missed that chance in 1930s, and were left with tactical planes for all kinds of work for rest of the war. Of course, it was matter of lack of vision rather than just airframes - or rather, people with strategic bombing vision not being allowed to shape the future air force.

 

 

 

Yes, good summary but the LW would have been much better off with a Lancaster rather than a B 17.  The Lanc is easily the better of the two.

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Of course, it was matter of lack of vision rather than just airframes - or rather, people with strategic bombing vision not being allowed to shape the future air force.

 

Even chance had it's role in it. The first Luftwaffe Chief of Staff was Walther Wever, who believed strongly in strategic bombing, but he died in a plane crash in 1936. His successor Albert Kesselring, former Landwehr officer, considered the support of land operations as the main focus of Luftwaffe.

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Very good summary indeed :)

 

 

 

Of course, it was matter of lack of vision rather than just airframes - or rather, people with strategic bombing vision not being allowed to shape the future air force.

 

The problem with the Luftwaffe and bombing went beyond 'to be or not to be strategic'. Germany had built an excellent tactical air force, and pursued military goals which fit its military capacities during 1939 and early 1940. From then on it went after completely different objectives which required a completely different approach. Waging a fast land war against France is different from bringing the United Kingdom down to its knees across the pond. Invading Belgium, which has roughly the same area as Baden-Württemberg, is not the same thing as invading the European Soviet Union, which comprises about 5,000,000 square kilometres. It's possible to fight a wholly tactical air war, as the Soviet Union did, but to do that you need the numbers, the focus and the right enemy.

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Yes, good summary but the LW would have been much better off with a Lancaster rather than a B 17. The Lanc is easily the better of the two.

I got to ride in one of IIRC only two airworthy Lancasters this year. Formation flights with a Mustang and a B-25 Mitchell, was really really awesome.

 

But I was shocked at how small and claustrophobic the RAF's heaviest bomber was. The C-130 Hercules feels roomy and comfortable and the C-17 Globemaster is absolutely cavernous by comparison. I could probably have gone for a quick jog in the back of the C-17.

 

Shows you how far we've come, I guess. I would not want to go to war in a Lancaster

Edited by JG13_opcode
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