Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

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Von Schadewald
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Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by Von Schadewald » 12 Mar 2010 01:27

WI the Avro Manchester is a success: its Vultures are made reliable, and eventually turn out 2000hp (giving the Manchester performance akin to the Lancaster). The Lancaster never gets built.

Does having a fleet of adequate earlier available Manchesters (instead of later Lancasters) affect BC's ability to damage Germany any more or less than in OTL?

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If Harris can pull off a 1000 bomber raid already in 1941, this is going to be swingeing to German morale.

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phylo_roadking
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Re: Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by phylo_roadking » 12 Mar 2010 01:50

Simple answer to this...

No. Aircraft availability wasn't the only....not even the MAIN issue...facing Bomber Command in 1941.

The REAL problem was ACCURACY...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butt_Report

All the Manchester arriving on time would mean was MORE aircraft getting it wrong! :lol: :P
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phylo_roadking
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Re: Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by phylo_roadking » 12 Mar 2010 01:58

Plus this -
WI the Avro Manchester is a success: its Vultures are made reliable, and eventually turn out 2000hp (giving the Manchester performance akin to the Lancaster). The Lancaster never gets built.
....is a bit of a non-sequitor. Problems with the Vulture surfaced as early as 1937...that's why work began on the Handley Page H.P.56 - eventually to be the Halifax - as an alternative to the Manchester :wink:

Therefore what WOULD have happened is that if it was decided to persevere - take longer - with "curing" the twin-engeined Manchester - by the time the problems were cured there would have been more Halifaxes in service :wink: So one way or another Bomber Command would have had it's 1,000 bomber raids in late 1941...IF the problem with accuracy hadn't halted bombing for a time! :wink: :lol: The AIr Ministry was by no means waiting on the Manchester...

After all - when Harris mounted the first "1,000 bomber raid"...remember how few of them were Lancasters anyway!
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REAL problem was ACCURACY

Post by Dave Bender » 12 Mar 2010 02:21

I agree.

RAF Bomber Command should have gone slow on aircraft production until they finally figured out how to hit a target with military and/or economic value. Until then they were spending a lot of money on aircraft and aircrew training for nothing.

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phylo_roadking
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Re: Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by phylo_roadking » 12 Mar 2010 02:31

RAF Bomber Command should have gone slow on aircraft production until they finally figured out how to hit a target with military and/or economic value
Weeeell....they just couldn't hit an individual factory inside a town or city :wink: And thus killed a lot of landscape and enemy-occupied cows jettisoning their ordnance when they couldn't find the target - or just plain missed. The expedient of changing the rules of engagement to make city-SIZED targets the objective would STILL require a vary large number of aircraft whenever it occured...so why halt or slow production of aircraft that were bound to be needed? :wink: That would have cast a shadow on Bomber Command consistent effort months down the line after ops were resumed.
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Von Schadewald
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Re: Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by Von Schadewald » 12 Mar 2010 03:27

Since the British already knew in 1940 about Knickebein & X-Gerat & their ability to succesfully pin point targets like the Rolls Royce factory at Derby, why did it take them until 1942 to give BC a degree of bombing accuracy by getting Gee in to service?

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Re: Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by phylo_roadking » 12 Mar 2010 03:46

Because a major c0ck-up was made! 8O
Eager to utilize the system, the prototype Gee sets were used on marker raids well before the production sets were available in numbers for large raids. This risked detection of the system before it could be fully utilized. Indeed, one of the prototypes was lost on the 13 August 1941 raid over Hanover. Although equipped with demolition charges, the British couldn't be sure the set wouldn't be studied by the Germans.

R. V. Jones was tasked with trying to hide the existence of the system. First, the use of the codename 'Gee' in communications traffic was dropped, and false communications were sent referring to a non-existent system called 'Jay'; it was hoped the similarity would cause confusion. Extra antennae were added to the Gee transmitters to radiate false, unsynchronized signals. A couple of RAF personnel were sent to talk 'carelessly' in a restaurant about how Jay was in fact a copy of the German Knickebein system, and it was also arranged for this story to be reported via the Double Cross system. Finally, false Knickebein signals were transmitted over Germany.

The ruses seemed to delay the introduction of jammers, for they were not encountered until nearly 5 months after Gee entered service
The cover story took quite a lot of months to create :D

Plus - you have to remember that the british during that period thought their bombers' navigation WAS fine; they did what the Germans didn't - designed-in a navigator's space, full instruments, and and astrodome for star-sighting into night bombers...and had specific designated navigators with full day and night navigation training . "Gee" was intended to IMPROVE navigations - they didn't realise during the period of its development from how low a point that improvement was to begin! :lol: :P
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Re: Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by phylo_roadking » 12 Mar 2010 03:49

Since the British already knew in 1940 about Knickebein & X-Gerat & their ability to succesfully pin point targets like the Rolls Royce factory at Derby
And of course....the range of effective countermeasures the British developed against German bombing beams of various types made the RAF slightly wary of duplicating the same reliance on something similar! :wink:
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Re: Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by Von Schadewald » 12 Mar 2010 14:27

I have removed the content of v.S post as yet again its a divergence from the thread titles original question.
Andy H

v.S You must try to keep to the thread title even if its your original question that were discussing. You cannot keep putting WI inside other WI that end up making the thread a confused jumble of questions and answers on a wide range of topics far outside the scope of the title. You dont give people enough time to respond to your orignal WI before taking it off in a completelly different direction-which is what happened in your Reverse Dieppe thread.

From this trread title about Manchesters instead of Lancaster, your last post (which I removed) was now proposing a WI about the Halifax bomber.

Regards

Andy H

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Tim Smith
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Re: Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by Tim Smith » 12 Mar 2010 16:16

Von Schadewald wrote: If Harris can pull off a 1000 bomber raid already in 1941, this is going to be swingeing to German morale.
Nope. German morale was much tougher than Bomber Harris expected - as tough as British morale in fact.

German civilians were much, much more frightened of the Gestapo and SS than of British bombers. The latter MIGHT kill you - but the former WILL kill you if you protest against the regime in public, or refuse to show up for war-related work. Some chance of survival is better than no chance.

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Re: Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by Andy H » 12 Mar 2010 16:51

Tim Smith wrote:
Von Schadewald wrote: If Harris can pull off a 1000 bomber raid already in 1941, this is going to be swingeing to German morale.
Nope. German morale was much tougher than Bomber Harris expected - as tough as British morale in fact.
Hi Tim

Were all well aware now that the effect on morale by Bombers was grossly over-estimated by all sides during the war, and in that I fully back your 'Nope' so to speak.
However what I will say is that such an early 1000 bomber raid in 1941, when the Germans started to see there first real military reverses on the battlefield would have had a more of an impact, than when the first took place in mid May'42. When, I would venture the German civilian popn was more used to the ravages of bombng and had a that is war attitude.

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Andy H

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Re: Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by phylo_roadking » 12 Mar 2010 20:19

However what I will say is that such an early 1000 bomber raid in 1941, when the Germans started to see there first real military reverses on the battlefield would have had a more of an impact, than when the first took place in mid May'42. When, I would venture the German civilian popn was more used to the ravages of bombng and had a that is war attitude.

Andy, I'm not sure - remember Speer's and Goebbels' remarks about "one or two more raids like that would finish us"? It looks like the first wave of 1,000 bomber raids were quite a shock to German civilians, but then TWO things happened historically...

1/ Bomber Command couldn't keep up the tempo, and there was an unfortunate "rest" right at that time! 8O

2/ from a standing start, by 1943 and into 1944, the German civilian populations saw the various state and volunteer aid agencies ramping up their efforts - sorting people out with new accomodation, getting them clothes and clothing, new papers/rations books etc. Emergency provisions like that were the key to keeping morale from falling through the floor AND in keeping workers coming in to work, and not taking time off to do these theings for their families themselves. Meanwhile, in the UK, at the height of the Blitz you had Winston's unfortunate encounter with the housewifes of the East End! The one where he arrived, surveyed the damage and proclaimed "We can take it" - and they let him know in no uncertain terms exactly how much more they could take!

Survival under bombardment was something civilian populations had to learn they could take - by experience 8O
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Re: Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by PeterOT » 13 Mar 2010 18:22

Tim Smith wrote:
Von Schadewald wrote: If Harris can pull off a 1000 bomber raid already in 1941, this is going to be swingeing to German morale.
Nope. German morale was much tougher than Bomber Harris expected - as tough as British morale in fact.

German civilians were much, much more frightened of the Gestapo and SS than of British bombers. The latter MIGHT kill you - but the former WILL kill you if you protest against the regime in public, or refuse to show up for war-related work. Some chance of survival is better than no chance.
Tim,

I would argue that the issue wasn't so much fear of the SS & Gestapo (though no doubt it was a factor), but solidarity built from the shared experience of being attacked - as it was in Britain. You might hate your own government, but they aren't firebombing your street & melting your children into little puddles.

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Re: Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by phylo_roadking » 13 Mar 2010 18:49

You might hate your own government, but they aren't firebombing your street & melting your children into little puddles.
None of the major powers were worried about that, exactly...more about the hordes of Frankenstein's Outraged Peaants they feared marching to Whitehall/the Chancellery, waving their pitchforks and scythes and demanding that the government make peace...

...which I've always found to be a rather strange idea, given that -

1/ When urban morale DID decline - people "got the hell outa Dodge" and trekked out to sleep in the fields etc. - they didn't clump and march anywhere except away from urban centres!

2/ Yes, there's a far better chance they hate the enemy doing it to them far more than their OWN government, no matter what!

3/ The ideas on aerial bombadment and declining popular morale came from two sources -

A/ Douhet and his idea on fighting an air war - no harm to the "sainted" (so he was almost regarded!) Giulio, but the ITALIAN experience of fighting an air war was a bit different than the rest of Western Europe...bombing terrified tribesmen and natives in Libya, bombarding terrified tribesmen and natives in Ethiopia - notice the trend? :lol:

B/ the effect of declining popular morale leading to a 1917 Soviet-style revolution and pressures from THAT forcing the government that ended up in place :wink: into reaching a peace agreement with Germany. Again - not exactly a set of circumstances pertaining in EITHER Nazi Germany OR wartime Britain! :P :lol:
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Re: Avro Manchester instead of Lancaster

Post by Von Schadewald » 13 Mar 2010 19:14

phylo_roadking wrote:
Plus - you have to remember that the british during that period thought their bombers' navigation WAS fine; they did what the Germans didn't - designed-in a navigator's space, full instruments, and and astrodome for star-sighting into night bombers...and had specific designated navigators with full day and night navigation training
Navigation takes some IQ, & a navigator makes the best maths teacher. It's a tragedy that so many such calibre men were lost to the UK gene pool, to little avail, for want of a radio beam system.

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Were navigators still part of crew compliments after H2S, Gee & Oboe, and right up to the end of the war? Could not the bomb-aimer, who was redundant for most of the mission, have doubled up as the H2S operator?
Last edited by Von Schadewald on 13 Mar 2010 21:33, edited 2 times in total.

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