German vs. Allied technology

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LWD
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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by LWD » 27 Nov 2009 00:43

On the otherhand their MTBs were arguably the best around.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by takata_1940 » 13 Dec 2009 12:47

EKB wrote:The British had a previous (1940) contract to buy P-38s but unfortunately the Air Ministry ordered the test aircraft built without vital standard equipment such as turbo-superchargers and counter-rotating propellers (M-322B). With derated power, the P-38 was not much faster than a Beaufighter and did not handle so well with both props swinging in the same direction.
This is not really what happened. The turbo-supercharged engines were not allowed to be sold to the Anglo-French commission at this time (this was an Anglo-French contract, mostly French at four/fifth), despite the aircraft being advertised with the turbo-supercharged performances (by the way, this engine proved troublesome when the airframes were completed). Performances were, not suprisingly, awfull at altitude and the aircraft was rejected. This serie ended in US training units. I'll add that the engines were originaly ordered as left and right spins but it was modified later by the British. I don't know why but I guess it was due to some logistical consideraton.
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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by EKB » 13 Dec 2009 20:11

takata_1940 wrote:
EKB wrote:The British had a previous (1940) contract to buy P-38s but unfortunately the Air Ministry ordered the test aircraft built without vital standard equipment such as turbo-superchargers and counter-rotating propellers (M-322B). With derated power, the P-38 was not much faster than a Beaufighter and did not handle so well with both props swinging in the same direction.
This is not really what happened. The turbo-supercharged engines were not allowed to be sold to the Anglo-French commission at this time

This is just another myth cooked up by the press. Unfortunately those writers who make this claim did not produce any documents to back it. There is no proof that Lockheed, GE, or the U.S. government ever withheld the sale of turbo-supercharged P-38s from the British or the French.

In a war emergency, it was not unusual for big governments to seize war material intended for export, but that is not the same as refusing to sell it in the first place.

takata_1940 wrote:(by the way, this engine proved troublesome when the airframes were completed). Performances were, not suprisingly, awfull at altitude and the aircraft was rejected.

The Lightning I Allison engines did not have turbo-superchargers or counter-rotating props because the British did not want them. They asked for total commonality with Tomahawk Allison engines to ease supply and maintenance.

After flight testing the Lightning I, the British realized their mistake and asked for a new contract. After re-negotiations with Lockheed, it was agreed that the last 524 of 667 Lightnings on contract were built as standard P-38Es with turbo-superchargers. The British also asked for a fix to a problem they interpreted as "tail flutter" before they accepted more aircraft. In the meantime, the USAAF seized all production P-38s for their own use, which meant the Brits could not receive any others, except a few test subjects.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by takata_1940 » 14 Dec 2009 02:12

EKB wrote:
takata_1940 wrote: This is not really what happened. The turbo-supercharged engines were not allowed to be sold to the Anglo-French commission at this time
This is just another myth cooked up by the press. Unfortunately those writers who make this claim did not produce any documents to back it. There is no proof that Lockheed, GE, or the U.S. government ever withheld the sale of turbo-supercharged P-38s from the British or the French.

In a war emergency, it was not unusual for big governments to seize war material intended for export, but that is not the same as refusing to sell it in the first place.
Hi EKB,
Concerning my post, I did not made any disrespectful comment about what your 'sources' could be. Actually, I spent quite some time researching the French U.S. 'cash & carry' contracts a few years ago in primary sources in Paris (SHD/A, Vincennes) and London (National Archives, Kew). My primary object was the financial situation, not really the technical details and I didn't keep everything in my notes from it. Beside many technical reports, I have checked all the minutes and the telegrams exchanged by the French and later Franco-British Air commissions, as well as the British Air commission, the diplomatical stuff (a lot was exchanged about aircraft orders by the diplomatical canals with the U.S.).

From memory, I'm positive that both Allison engines and Pratt & Whitney (I don't remember anything about Curtiss-Wright engines) using the late superchargers were denied by the U.S. Army Chief of Staff at one point. The suprechargers were 'classified' not available for export. The engine sold were all 'export' engines, not the Army ordered ones. Remember that those commissions worked from 1938 and that a lot of things changed with time with the U.S. internal-external policy evolution due to many legal ammendments. At first, the French Air commission worked in the U.S. (with President support) almost in complete illegality.

So, the first problem was a legal one and later, a question of delay because this Allison engine development was experiencing troubles. It was stated, in those cross-exchanges, that the C15 engine would have the performance required for advertised aircraft performance (which proved untrue later). Moreover, the engines were ordered left and right spins in the intial French contract with G.M. This imply that the British 'failed' to order/understand nothing.

Moreover, the French initial contract was for 500 aircraft plus 33% parts (making 167 more in dollar as spare-parts), not a 667 total as it is mentioned by you. This was not a 'British' contract. The main problem with all those stories is that it takes more than one document to follow the course of what happened during two or more years. The situation of those contracts/negociations evolved almost every day and many things were changed at the time the first aicraft was delivered from the assembly lines. Actually, many people/commissions were involved on the process and it is fairly difficult for one to make a definitive opinion due to contradictions in the archive files as we can read them today.

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One of these sources mentioned:
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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by phylo_roadking » 14 Dec 2009 02:39

From memory, I'm positive that both Allison engines and Pratt & Whitney (I don't remember anything about Curtiss-Wright engines) using the late superchargers were denied by the U.S. Army Chief of Staff at one point. The suprechargers were 'classified' not available for export. The engine sold were all 'export' engines, not the Army ordered ones.
A similar situation pertained for the Bell P-39; the Allison V-1701 that equiped the first three export Model 13s (a P-39C equivalent) and the Model 14 (P-39Ds) that arrived in the UK named as "Airacobra I/ II" had the integral single-speed, single-stage superchager giving it a critical altitude of only 12,000 ft (3,658 m) rather than the turbosupercharger that had equiped the XP-39 demonstrated to the British Direct Purchase Commission....and a 33mph cut in top speed at a series of rated altitudes when tested at RAF Colerne on July 6th 1941! The turbosupercharger equiped XP-39 had been promised by Bell to deliver 400mph - and got very close with the 396mph....but this was a lightly-loaded, unarmed, highly-polished experimental prototype with the turbosupercharger on IT'S V-1710-E4.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by EKB » 14 Dec 2009 07:45

takata_1940 wrote:Hi EKB,
Concerning my post, I did not made any disrespectful comment about what your 'sources' could be.
I referenced Daniel D. Whitney / Vees For Victory: The Story of the Allison V-1710 Aircraft Engine 1929-1948. Warren M. Bodie / The Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Rene Francillon / Lockheed Aircraft since 1913. All of them indicated that Lightnings built for British purchasing authorities were powered to their own requirements, that no government documents could be found suggesting that derated engines were forced on them because turbos were classified.

takata_1940 wrote:the French initial contract was for 500 aircraft plus 33% parts (making 167 more in dollar as spare-parts), not a 667 total as it is mentioned by you. This was not a 'British' contract.


The British took over the contract in 1940, long before the aircraft were built. They also made amendments before and after the Lightning I was flight-tested in England, so this for all intents and purposes was a British deal.

takata_1940 wrote:From memory, I'm positive that both Allison engines and Pratt & Whitney (I don't remember anything about Curtiss-Wright engines) using the late superchargers were denied by the U.S. Army Chief of Staff at one point. The suprechargers were 'classified' not available for export. The engine sold were all 'export' engines, not the Army ordered ones. Remember that those commissions worked from 1938 and that a lot of things changed with time with the U.S. internal-external policy evolution due to many legal ammendments. At first, the French Air commission worked in the U.S. (with President support) almost in complete illegality.

Going from memory is not appropriate here.

There might have been some truth to your beliefs in 1938 but the first export model Lightning was built three years later, by which time the U.S. trade relationship with the U.K. had changed drastically. In any case turbos had been around for a long time; Auguste Rateau developed them for French bi-plane fighters during World War I. There is no truth to the rumor that turbochargers were deleted because it was 'a secret' when the first British Lightning was built in 1941.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by EKB » 14 Dec 2009 08:32

phylo_roadking wrote:
From memory, I'm positive that both Allison engines and Pratt & Whitney (I don't remember anything about Curtiss-Wright engines) using the late superchargers were denied by the U.S. Army Chief of Staff at one point. The suprechargers were 'classified' not available for export. The engine sold were all 'export' engines, not the Army ordered ones.
A similar situation pertained for the Bell P-39; the Allison V-1701 that equiped the first three export Model 13s (a P-39C equivalent) and the Model 14 (P-39Ds) that arrived in the UK named as "Airacobra I/ II" had the integral single-speed, single-stage superchager giving it a critical altitude of only 12,000 ft (3,658 m) rather than the turbosupercharger that had equiped the XP-39 demonstrated to the British Direct Purchase Commission....and a 33mph cut in top speed at a series of rated altitudes when tested at RAF Colerne on July 6th 1941! The turbosupercharger equiped XP-39 had been promised by Bell to deliver 400mph - and got very close with the 396mph....but this was a lightly-loaded, unarmed, highly-polished experimental prototype with the turbosupercharger on IT'S V-1710-E4.

USAAF combat units were not equipped with turbo-supercharged P-39s, so this was not a similar situation. All V-1710 aircraft engines had internal single-stage superchargers. The turbo unit when present became the second stage of the system.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by phylo_roadking » 14 Dec 2009 16:05

USAAF combat units were not equipped with turbo-supercharged P-39s, so this was not a similar situation.
This isn't the "similar situation" I'm referring to; I'm referring to the turbosupercharger being deleted from the induction side of the engine compared to what the BPC was demonstrated by Bell as the full-spec aircraft for purchase.
All V-1710 aircraft engines had internal single-stage superchargers. The turbo unit when present became the second stage of the system
This I'm aware of - in detail. You may remember a discussion elsewhere about the P-38 in British service and predetonation? http://rwebs.net/avhistory/opsman/geturbo/geturbo.htm

From the Ohio State Engineer, December 1944, by Morris M. Robison Aero E III and Norman J. Goldstone Aero E III -
The Turbosupercharger consists of a turbinewheel, upon which hot exhaust particles from the engine strike, causing rapid rotation. This is similar to the derivation of mechanical powerfrom a water wheel. The rotating turbine is connected by a short shaft to a centrifugal aircompressor similar to the blower in a household vacuum cleaner. The shaft is supported by two bearings between the blower and turbine. About the shaft and bearings is a lubrication unit which supplies oil to the blower bearing operating atapproximately —67 °F and also to the turbine bearing at 1500°F. This problem of operating beams at such extreme temperature differences was solved by typical Yankee ingenuity and is the prime advantage of our supercharger over all others. Furthermore, this achievement enables the American unit to operate for 500 flying hours,whereas previous allied units were good for merely 50 hours. Not only did we use new and different metals in our bearing mixtures but also special heat treatments which are secret and unknown even to our allies

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by The_Enigma » 15 Dec 2009 07:11

RichTO90 wrote:You're killing me! Sleep! Please! [snipped] Good night!
Thanks allot! :D

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by EKB » 15 Dec 2009 09:44

phylo_roadking wrote:You may remember a discussion elsewhere about the P-38 in British service and predetonation? http://rwebs.net/avhistory/opsman/geturbo/geturbo.htm

From the Ohio State Engineer, December 1944, by Morris M. Robison Aero E III and Norman J. Goldstone Aero E III -
The Turbosupercharger consists of a turbinewheel, upon which hot exhaust particles from the engine strike, causing rapid rotation. This is similar to the derivation of mechanical powerfrom a water wheel. The rotating turbine is connected by a short shaft to a centrifugal aircompressor similar to the blower in a household vacuum cleaner. The shaft is supported by two bearings between the blower and turbine. About the shaft and bearings is a lubrication unit which supplies oil to the blower bearing operating atapproximately —67 °F and also to the turbine bearing at 1500°F. This problem of operating beams at such extreme temperature differences was solved by typical Yankee ingenuity and is the prime advantage of our supercharger over all others. Furthermore, this achievement enables the American unit to operate for 500 flying hours,whereas previous allied units were good for merely 50 hours. Not only did we use new and different metals in our bearing mixtures but also special heat treatments which are secret and unknown even to our allies
What does this prove?

A proprietary finishing or machining process is common in any kind of manufacturing business, but does not mean they refuse to sell their product to a customer.
Last edited by EKB on 15 Dec 2009 09:47, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by EKB » 15 Dec 2009 10:04

ljadw wrote:
Guaporense wrote:
ljadw wrote:I should like to see some proofs that the German soldiers in 1944 were inferior to those in 1940;of the 157 divisions in 194O,only 77 were classified as 'einsatzfahig '(ready for offensive and defensive operations ). Of the 4.5 million men of the Wehrmacht in 194O,only 2million were fully trained,800000 were untrained and there were 1.2 million veterans of WW I,the rest belonged to construction units . (source :the Blitzkrieg legend )
I read the claim that German soldiers in the 1944-1945 were inferior to the 1939-1942 soldiers in many books.

If you want hard data, second to Van Creveld (1982) based on data on 50 US vs German engagements (in 1944), about 1.55 US soldiers were killed and wounded and missing for every German soldier killed and wounded and missing. This included attacks and defenses, in the case were one side was fortified, there was a corrective bonus of 60% (for example, if US attacked a fortified German position and lost 320 men for 100 Germans, then, German score would be 2 to 1, on average German score was 1.55 to one in these 50 engagements). The average score for the British was a little better, 1.52 against 1.55 for the Americans. There were cases of elite German divisions in fortified positions with traded their men 6 to 1 with the Americans (yielding scores of about 4 to 1).

At France in 1940, the ratio of allied to German casualties was 2.4 to 1 (360,000 French and allied vs 150,000 German killed and wounded). And the Germans weren't in fortified positions when attacking. So score differential was about 2.4 to 1, quite worse than in 1944.

So we can conclude that in relation to the allies the Germans became worse during the war in relative terms. How can we say that this change in relative performance was generated by the allies getting better or the Germans getting worse? Well, the Germans got much, much, much more experience in ground warfare than the allies during the course of the war fighting the USSR. So I conclude that German soldiers were worse in 1944 than in 1939-1942.
thar the German army was defeated in 1944 does not mean that the German soldiers were inferior to those in 1940 ;would the German army from 194O with Pz I have performed better in 1944 ?
That the Germans became worse during the war in relative terms is another question:it means that the allies became better,stronger(more mobility,more firepower,air superiority )
On the eastern front,I don't think there was generally such difference between the German army in 1941 and 1944(the same for the Red army ):the German losses in 1941 were (on year base ) worse than in 1942 and even than in 1943
The Russian losses in 1945 were worse (on year base )than in 1941
Off course ,the Red Army had in 1944 37 motorised and tank corps (=divisions ),but the strength of those was some 500000 men for a total of 7.38 million (operational forces and Stavka reserve ),I think that,if the Red Army had in 1943 7O of those divisions,the German front had collapsed (on the other hand,I doubt that it would be possible for 70 armoured and motorised divisions,to operate succesfully in Eastern Europe )
Source for the Russian Armoured and motorised units :The Dupuy Institute Forum:Number of Soviet Tank and Mororised Corps
Is it relevant that the Germans had more experience in ground warfare from fighting the Russians ?
The nature of war in the East was totally different from the West:in the East :mobile warfare was not that important,air superiority was not that important

This is not specifically directed at you, but I opened this thread years ago and this off-topic statistical barrage is NOT connected with German or Allied technology. Please make your tangential arguments under a different topic heading.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by ljadw » 15 Dec 2009 14:15

hear,hear

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by Jon G. » 20 Dec 2009 17:46

The topic about the economies of the warring powers now has a thread of its own at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 4&t=161189

...this thread is for more specific discussion about Allied vs. German technology as the thread title suggests.

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