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novicebutdeadly

German fighter development, how to shoot yourself in the foot

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Actually it was all the Soviet union and the Versailles Treaty's fault!

 

I guess you intended as parody, but indeed Treaty of Vesailles played a big part in the developments in Germany during interwar period. It was recognized in the west (USA & UK, not France) already before WWII. And it is a well known fact that Soviet Union and Germany launched the war together (had a pact) in Europe in 1939.

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I guess you intended as parody, but indeed Treaty of Vesailles played a big part in the developments in Germany during interwar period. It was recognized in the west (USA & UK, not France) already before WWII. And it is a well known fact that Soviet Union and Germany launched the war together (had a pact) in Europe in 1939.

 

It's true that the terms of the Treaty greatly inhibited the development and implementation of effective mass production methods for the production of weaponry, within Germany, in the inter war years and that that had a significant impact on early war production.  However it is also true that the whole notion of 'mass production' was deemed antithetical to the core values of National Socialism.  The combination of these two factors resulted in woeful production figures in the first half of the war. 

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I suspect Hitler would have succeeded if 1) he hadn't allowed the Luftwaffe (which had already sustained significant losses during the campaigns in Poland/France and the Low Countries) to be consumed in a futile battle over Southern England and b) if he hadn't delayed the assault on the Soviet Union to assist his ally in Greece. 

 

If those two things hadn't happened, I suspect he would have completed his destruction of the Soviet military in relatively short order.

 

1) Have France  and Britain let him have his way with Poland without joining the war, or otherwise open front with Soviets without bringing West in.

2) Have Mussolini not start costly sideshows in Africa, Greece and Balkans

3) Distance himself from Japanese Navys war against US.

 

In short, not bring whole world into his planned war against Soviets.

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It's true that the terms of the Treaty greatly inhibited the development and implementation of effective mass production methods for the production of weaponry, within Germany, in the inter war years and that that had a significant impact on early war production. However it is also true that the whole notion of 'mass production' was deemed antithetical to the core values of National Socialism. The combination of these two factors resulted in woeful production figures in the first half of the war.

I mainly meant the political developments due to Treaty of Versailles. War exhausted Germany having to pay huge reparations because they lost the war. The hope to manage with borrowed American money also collapsed, when the economic bubble bursted in the USA in 1929. It is no surprise that a nation living in poverty elected Hitler, when he promised to stop paying the reparation costs that were felt as unjust.

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1) Have France and Britain let him have his way with Poland without joining the war, or otherwise open front with Soviets without bringing West in.

 

Yes, waiting/tricking Stalin to attack Poland first. Then France and Britain would have had to declare war on Soviet Union due to their alliance. Germany could have gone to"help" Poland or "secure" Europe a few weeks later.

Stalin definitely outplayed Hitler in that poker game in 1939.

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I hate to have topics locked, but this one, imho, truly deserves it.

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I hate to have topics locked, but this one, imho, truly deserves it.

Why?

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Not sure if there's any chance of getting this topic back on track... But I was always fascinated with the development of the Bf109 and the two subsequent attempts by Messerschmidt to try and top their original design. The Me209 (the second iteration using this designation) and the Me309. I realize that both were failures but they are interesting projects along the way in fighter design.

 

Also when I went to check my references on those two this morning I realized that there was also a bizarre Me 609 which was two Me 309s slung together in a F-84 Double Mustang kind of arrangement.

 

I guess they never really were able to design a relatively problem free alternative to the Bf109 under the conditions at the time.

Edited by ShamrockOneFive

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Not sure if there's any chance of getting this topic back on track... But I was always fascinated with the development of the Bf109 and the two subsequent attempts by Messerschmidt to try and top their original design. The Me209 (the second iteration using this designation) and the Me309. I realize that both were failures but they are interesting projects along the way in fighter design.

 

Also when I went to check my references on those two this morning I realized that there was also a bizarre Me 609 which was two Me 309s slung together in a F-84 Double Mustang kind of arrangement.

 

I guess they never really were able to design a relatively problem free alternative to the Bf109 under the conditions at the time.

Which begs the question, was the 109 more luck than judgement ?

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Which begs the question, was the 109 more luck than judgement ?

 

Interesting concept. I mean its possible that Willy Messerschmidt was the aeronautical equivalent of a one hit wonder? I'm not fully certain I believe that though he did have his detractors and some of his designs never really fully panned out. The Me262 would be an interesting counterpoint to that. Maybe?

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Did any designers come up with a large number of actually successful, distinct fighter designs at all during the war?

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I don't think the Messerschmitt109 was luck. In fact it looks rather like an improvement process. Messerchmitt and his engineers did all they could, i would even say all that was possible to get the max out of this airframe. This is the reason why the 109 was such a formidable machine. It is definitely about judgement.

 

Perhaps the real issue that the Reich industry faced was related to economy of scales. By producing just one aircraft in great numbers you definitely learn how to make it better. More pilots, mechanics, factory enginneers can give impressions, remarks, ideas to make it improve even further. It is possible that from really good the 109 went to really excellent through very intensive production process.

 

The German engineers could have done exactly the same for any other aircraft they could imagine but not within the limits of their relatively small economy (and of course the limits of time: the 109 was  an old design at the end of the war! time and operational feedback through years was certainly a key element) . Those industrial limits certainly dictated the fate of many concepts: they could only afford one or two airframe (fighters) to be lead to operational perfection. There was just not enough mechanics, engineers, factories, even not even enough pilots to lead all the projects through the improvement process the 109 went through.

Edited by Caudron431Micha
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Which begs the question, was the 109 more luck than judgement ?

 

 

I suppose I should have qualified that by saying was there an ELEMENT of luck involved when designing the 109, or any aircraft for that matter.  After all, for all of the brilliance of the designers and engineers Messerschmidt still produced some real turkeys and that was with all the added experience of several years of war, both in Spain and Europe and this was at a time when Germany crucially needed some good replacements for the Stuka, 110 etc.  The 109, like the Spitfire, was a superb backbone, still as capable at the end of the war as at the start, if anything let down by increasing problems of supply and quality.  The 262 was a superbly designed aircraft but that would be to suggest it was perfect.  It wasn't, and given the new areas of design and development that the engineers were playing with a certain amount of luck and crossed fingers must have played there part.  That's why they have test pilots after all and why many of those pilots had curtailed or foreshortened careers.

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A necro-thread that should have stayed dead.

Agree. This has to be burried with a lock.

As a reminder, political stuff isn't allowed on the forum. This includes alternate political history.

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