Me 262 scenario

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davethelight
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Me 262 scenario

Post by davethelight » 09 Jan 2003 12:02

Germany was the first country to succesfully fly a jet aircraft on August 27, 1939 with the Heinkel He 178.

Imagine how different the war could have been if the potential for this type of aircraft had been fully appreciated at the time.

If Germany had placed just a little more emphasis on developing these air craft, they could easily have had squadrons of jet fighters operating by early 1943.

I wonder how well the Allied bombing offensive would have gone if there were, say, a hundred Me 262s avaialable in the West in early 1943, and if the creation of such squadrons rose sharply after that time in line with Germany re-structuring its economy for total war.

And I also wonder if the Germans could have turned the tide of the war back in their favour if they had about a thousand fully operation Me 262s throughout the Reich by D Day?

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The Desert Fox
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Post by The Desert Fox » 09 Jan 2003 14:39

To my mind, I think the allies would seriously have had their nose bloodied if the German Jet fighter program had kicked into full operation by 1943.

German industry more than anything would have benifited from the relief offered by a superior Jet fighter force defending the sky from the allied bombing effort. More planes, Guns and Tanks would have surived obliteration on the factory floor and actually got to the front where it was needed.

I do however appraoch this scenerio with some doubts for Man power was to my mind a major problem with the german war effort. By the wars end Germany was running out of men to fight, with many defenders of Berlin being little more than boys.

Would Jet fighters have just prolonged the war, where the allies greater manpower was so important or would the jet have actually given the Axis a second chance to win? Its a very hard question to answer.

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The Desert Fox

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Sam H.
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Post by Sam H. » 10 Jan 2003 01:28

Imagine Me-262's fighting the allies for control of the air over Normandy. The Germans would have been in a position to better understand the strength of the invasion and they would have been able to impede the allie supply effort. Those Mullberry harbors would have been sitting ducks.

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Post by The Desert Fox » 10 Jan 2003 08:59

Hard to know whether the germans would have considered risking the me262 over Normandy for risk of it falling into enemy hands. Its was technology far advanced of what the allies currently then had. Allow the risk of one of the jets falling over enemy territory would have been a big concern.

Manpower question I mentioned early had a huge impact on the luftwaffee especially. The Me-262 fighter required a very skilled pilot, and SKILLED pilots by 1944 where becoming scarce in supply.

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The Desert Fox

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davethelight
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Post by davethelight » 11 Jan 2003 01:00

"and SKILLED pilots by 1944 where becoming scarce in supply. "

True, but if Germany had been developing Me 262 fighter wings since early 1943, then alot more pilots would have been trained up when there was still plenty of manpower to draw on.

Also, alot more pilots who might have simply been Me 109 or Fw 190 pilots would have instead been put into the ME 262 programme.

With these two factors in play I don't think pilot shortages would have been that much of a problem by D Day anymore than they were for conventional fighter wings.

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Post by Sam H. » 11 Jan 2003 15:32

D-Day was truely a do or die fight for the Riech. If you have a weapon that can help you win a battle that is going to decide the fate of the war and you do not use it, then you deserve to lose.

The Germans should have thrown everything they had a the invasion fleet, including any ME-262's they could gather. And with these beasts providing recon flights, they would have seen what was instore for them, and perhaps would have reacted faster to the threat.

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Post by davethelight » 12 Jan 2003 03:29

Sam H, you seem to be forgetting or ignoring the well known fact that Hitler thought the Normandy invasion was a feint and that the real invasion would come at the Pass De Calais. That is why he held the bulk of his forces back until it was too late.

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Post by Sam H. » 12 Jan 2003 05:17

Oh ... but I haven't ignored that at all. With Me-262's ranging over the beach head, Germany is in a much better position to analysis the size and strength of the Allied invasion. Very few German aircraft managed to range over the allied naval forces during June 6th. With Me-262's, the Germans can run recon flights, determine the true strength and disposition of the forces and react accordingly.

And now, the Luftwaffe has a weapon that can challenge the allied air supremecy. The battle is going to change remarkebly.

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Post by davethelight » 12 Jan 2003 06:17

Sam H wrote:

"Oh ... but I haven't ignored that at all"


I strongly doubt it would have made a difference how much reconansance the Me 262s could have done on D Day. They could have gone snap happy with their cameras and reported back in detail the exact size and concentration of the invasion force, but it wouldn't have mattered.

It still doesn't change the fact that Hitler was still convinced that the invasion was a diversion from the "real" one on Calais.

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The usefullness of the me262 as a recon aircraft????

Post by The Desert Fox » 14 Jan 2003 08:13

Sam H. wrote:Oh ... but I haven't ignored that at all. With Me-262's ranging over the beach head, Germany is in a much better position to analysis the size and strength of the Allied invasion. Very few German aircraft managed to range over the allied naval forces during June 6th. With Me-262's, the Germans can run recon flights, determine the true strength and disposition of the forces and react accordingly.

And now, the Luftwaffe has a weapon that can challenge the allied air supremecy. The battle is going to change remarkebly.
I question the usefullness of the me262 in the reconoiance role. I think the speed of the aircraft may have made such a role of limited effectiviness. The photographic technology of 1944 may not have been up to the standard of the speed of the aircraft to take usefull pictures. I may be wrong here whats your opinon? Athought as a supporting aircraft to a standard recon plane it may have been usefull??

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Scott Smith
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Jet Photoreconnaissance and tactics...

Post by Scott Smith » 15 Jan 2003 08:35

The Arado Ar 234 turbojet lightbomber/reconnaissance aircraft did photograph Normandy in a situation of complete Allied air superiority. It was a stunning success! What the Germans lacked, however, was more detail on the invasion staging points in England because they grossly overestimated the strength of the Allied forces and Patton's nonexistent FUSAG (First U.S. Army Group). The Me 262 was also used in the aerial reconnaissance role but it didn't have as much range. A big mapping camera was carried in the nose in place of the four 30mm cannon.

Also, the Germans tried to muster as many Me 262 Fighter-Bombers as possible for Normany but only managed a handful for advanced combat testing. By 1944 Luftwaffe standards, the results were spectacular because unescorted Luftwaffe aircraft could penetrate targets enjoying complete enemy aerial supremacy and zoom away. Only if the JaBos were bounced would the mission be a failure because they would have to dump their ordnance since they couldn't outrun standard fighters while carrying it. Sometimes a jet would come in at treetop level, climb and then glide into the target in a shallow dive. Their were some bugs to work out as the center of gravity shifted when the ordnance was released that could cause the aircraft to whip violently upward and possibly lose control.

The best tactic used against the jets was to mount standing combat-air-patrols over their bases and catch them when they were vulnerable at takeoff and landing. Of course, a cheaper single-engined People's Fighter could have handled fighter-sweep and escort missions around the bases.

The Mulberry Harbors, and particulaly the associated staging areas on the continent, would have been extremely vulnerable targets to high-flying, fast bombers. The reason the Germans could only mount a few tests in June of 1944 instead of the thousand fighter-bombers that Hitler had asked for was because the engines were still barely usable. The Junkers Jumo 004B design was frozen for mass-production at a fairly early stage of development anyway but the output picked up after that. A few months later the first fighter-only units were formed, but they still didn't start seeing much success against the Allied bombers until 1945, and particularly with the use of twenty-four 55mm R4M air-air rockets underneath the wings, which were much more effective than slow-firing cannon and the older barrage rockets, nor did they effect the fighter's aerodynamics as badly.

The Germans developed the jet in the first place not because of the inherent speed advantages, which weren't readily apparent with the primitive state-of-the-art, but because of the use of cheap diesel fuel instead of high-octane aviation gasoline was possible. Speed and greater climbing and high-altitude performance was a bonus, and no exotic fuels were needed. But this realization did not come right away from the Air Mininstry, if you want to call that a "delay."

Secondly, the turbojet engines operated at extremely-high temperatures and nonferrous metals like chrome and nickel were in very short supply. It was tough to solve the problem of a mass-producible engine that would have much service life. However, overhauls were not very difficult compared to piston engines. An Me 262 only got a few sorties before the power-eggs had to be changed out. Improvements were coming all the time, but the Allies would have burned the midnight oil trying to catch-up.
:)

Captured Arado Ar 234, mostly used for photorecon.

Image

Heavier bomber version...

CLICK! Image

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Post by The Desert Fox » 15 Jan 2003 08:54

Thanks Scott for the indepth information. Its always a pleasure to check the forum for answers to questions.

It does make me wonder why the germans didnt carry out more reconaince of the channel prior to D Day. Greater efforts in this area would have provided great dividens. Severe weather conditions I read somewhere had some impact. The invasion had been delayed due to weather by a week or so?

An air strike against the accumulating war material in the harbours in Britian would have had a great impact.

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The
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Post by Napoli » 15 Jan 2003 11:01

A fe years back I read the story of someone who discovered his next door neighbor here in Adelaide, Australia was a Me 262 pliot during the war.
What he basically said was that even though they were flying in operations, they were still actually working out all bugs in the system almost up to the end of war so there were always on going problems including short ranges only. From the stress levels of doing such an exercise, a bottle of French conache would be the go afterwards to calm the nerves till the next day of doing it all over again.
Something similar in situation but better and more like a later Mig, this Italian fighterplane was held up also by the development of the Junkers engine for 2 years. Only a few where finished by wars end.





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Post by Napoli » 15 Jan 2003 11:09

Image

A better cross section view. The remainder of some of these planes were taken by both American and England for evalutions and the rest destroyed. I can find a photo of an actual unit flying if anyones interested. :D [/img]

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The Desert Fox
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Post by The Desert Fox » 15 Jan 2003 14:05

Napoli wrote:A fe years back I read the story of someone who discovered his next door neighbor here in Adelaide, Australia was a Me 262 pliot during the war.
What he basically said was that even though they were flying in operations, they were still actually working out all bugs in the system almost up to the end of war so there were always on going problems including short ranges only.
WOW 8) 8)
Now that would be sweet to have had the opportunity to speak to a veteran here in little old adelaide who had flown a me262. Hell that would be sweet!! Where did you discover this article Napoli? Was it in our local Advertiser or some other Australian paper? I would love to seek it out for a read.

Regards
The Desert Fox

ps - I hope you enjoy our hellish forcast of 39+ degrees for rest of week. grrrrrrrrrrrrr. A bit like being in the damn desert!!!!

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