Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

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thaddeus_c
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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by thaddeus_c » 05 Sep 2014 02:41

Denniss wrote:Never heard of a propeller engine in the Me 163. It was a Me 262 prototype with a Jumo 210 engine in the nose.
think my post confused the issue in referring to earlier designs (DFS-40) as though they were the same aircraft. the DFS-40 had a small Argus engine, the ME-163 had only the small propeller serving to generate power.

rewatched the documentary on the Komet, it REALLY needed piston engine and landing gear, was a sitting duck (or duck egg)

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wm
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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by wm » 05 Sep 2014 09:11

thaddeus_c wrote:V-2 was a waste, the V-1 was cost effective and could have been further developed (simple fix of cutting payload increased the range, adding nitrous oxide boosted speed, etc.)
The CEP of the V-1 increased with range, so the long range V-1s would simply miss their targets better.
thaddeus_c wrote:a smart strategy (if they had been developed earlier) would have been to position 163s near V-1 launch sites (or bogus sites) as a distraction from industrial targets.
Allies' ground attack planes would love to have enemy airfields so close to their airbases, and Komets wouldn't be able to stop them.
Last edited by wm on 05 Sep 2014 09:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Grzesio
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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by Grzesio » 05 Sep 2014 09:19

According to these Luftwaffe records it was a B-17 http://www.luftwaffe.cz/04-1945.pdf
The entry is not taken from luftwaffe records, just from books: WW II Fighting Jets (Ethell, Price), Top Secret Bird (Späte)
/ Me 163 (Belcarz ...)
. Belcarz is not a primary study, rather unreliable as Komet's history and development are concerned, while according to Spaete it was a Lancaster - if I remember his memoires, the a/c type was given by a soldier who observed the incident with a scope. But, honestly, according to Spaete, the bomber immediately exploded.
Is it possible that the aircraft that survived was hit by something else? Considering this pilot claims it was shot down on the same day as the luftwaffe documents? Or possibly two where hit by Me 163 Jagdfaust? considering its mentioned as a kill? and the survived halifax is mistaken for the bomber shot down?
There was only one Me 163 sortie on that day, the very last Komet combat sortie at all. The case is studied in Ransom/Cammann book on the Komet, with conclusions I described (sadly I don't have the book on hand at the moment). Of course, the Halifax/Lancaster could be hit by flak. :) But as far as one doesn't check in primary documents, what losses were suffered by bombers near Leipzig during that mission, one can only speculate.

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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by thaddeus_c » 06 Sep 2014 05:40

wm wrote:
thaddeus_c wrote:V-2 was a waste, the V-1 was cost effective and could have been further developed (simple fix of cutting payload increased the range, adding nitrous oxide boosted speed, etc.)
The CEP of the V-1 increased with range, so the long range V-1s would simply miss their targets better.
thaddeus_c wrote:a smart strategy (if they had been developed earlier) would have been to position 163s near V-1 launch sites (or bogus sites) as a distraction from industrial targets.
Allies' ground attack planes would love to have enemy airfields so close to their airbases, and Komets wouldn't be able to stop them.
think both weapons were well within the ability of the Germans to produce and had improvements slated to be made but for time.

(as opposed to jet engines which they lacked critical heat resistant metals, and would not have been able to obtain)

my scenario was to use them in conjunction since the fuel handling was similar.

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ShindenKai
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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by ShindenKai » 13 Feb 2023 05:09

David1819 wrote:
04 Sep 2014 23:23
Grzesio wrote: It was a Canadian Halifax - the bomber had its tail turret blown off together with parts of elevator, but made it home, finishing with belly landing. One crewman was killed (tail gunner), one or two were wounded. As far as I remember, the Jaegerfaust was fired manually in this case, without the intended photocell trigger.
There are conflicting accounts here

According to these Luftwaffe records it was a B-17 http://www.luftwaffe.cz/04-1945.pdf
By squadron JG 400 Lt. Fritz Kelb 10 April 1945 using Jagdfaust

Then you have this from RAF archives
RAF (Mustang) pilot. The 165Sqdn ORB records for 10 April 1945:

"Twelve aircraft were airborne at 1535 hours on Ramrod 1534 as escort to the front of 200 heavy bombers (110 Lancasters and 90 Halifaxes) bombing the railway centre and marshalling yards at Leipzig. Our pilots experienced flak coming from the neighbourhood of Halle airfield judged to be 88mm. About this same time an Me-163 came up from the airfield, attacked and shot down one bomber from underneath continued its very fast ascent and prepared to dive down on the formation. F/Off Haslope followed it down in its dive firing most of the time and he claims one damaged".
Is it possible that the aircraft that survived was hit by something else? Considering this pilot claims it was shot down on the same day as the luftwaffe documents? Or possibly two where hit by Me 163 Jagdfaust? considering its mentioned as a kill? and the survived halifax is mistaken for the bomber shot down?
One of the coolest channels on YT does a great quick video about the SG500 Jagerfaust equip'd Me-163...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqEPY-CTdp8

More excellent info here: https://robdebie.home.xs4all.nl/me163/weapons01.htm

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Hans1906
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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by Hans1906 » 13 Feb 2023 20:57

When I was younger, I knew the German fighter pilot Herr Wolfgang Späte personally.

He was a person of integrity, certainly not a liar or braggart, I remember the elder Herr Späte with a lot of respect.

Wolfgang Späte: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Späte

Wolfgang Späte did a great deal after 1945 to bring former enemies and opponents into dialogue with one another, and you have to give the man credit for that.

A war hero, recipient of the Knight's Cross, but also a very friendly old gentleman, who I still like to remember.

Today we shouldn't lump all the "heroes" of the time together, the men fought for their fatherland, they didn't know any better, and many didn't want to know, not all of them were war criminals.


Hans
The paradise of the successful lends itself perfectly to a hell for the unsuccessful. (Bertold Brecht on Hollywood)

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ShindenKai
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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by ShindenKai » 15 Feb 2023 20:55

Hans1906 wrote:
13 Feb 2023 20:57
When I was younger, I knew the German fighter pilot Herr Wolfgang Späte personally.

He was a person of integrity, certainly not a liar or braggart, I remember the elder Herr Späte with a lot of respect.

Wolfgang Späte: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Späte

Wolfgang Späte did a great deal after 1945 to bring former enemies and opponents into dialogue with one another, and you have to give the man credit for that.

A war hero, recipient of the Knight's Cross, but also a very friendly old gentleman, who I still like to remember.

Today we shouldn't lump all the "heroes" of the time together, the men fought for their fatherland, they didn't know any better, and many didn't want to know, not all of them were war criminals.


Hans
More wringing-of-the-hands again Hans? Why are you even talking about war criminals?? NONE of that is being discussed here. The only one "lumping war criminals" into this discussion/thread is YOU.
:roll:

But since you brought it up, I bet you'll say Hanna Reitsch, Otto Skorzeny and Hans-Ulrich Rudel "didn't know any better", right?? I don't believe any of those three ever committed any war crimes, but they absolutely KNEW what was happening in the concentration camps and remained STAUNCH nazi's til their deaths.

Please, tell us more about your friendship with Späte.

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wm
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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by wm » 15 Feb 2023 22:26

Did Soviet soldiers know what was happening in the Soviet concentration camps and execution sites?
Of course some of them knew.

That the Germans knew during ww2 is highly exaggerated and frequently for political reasons. They heard about this or that, but nobody had a bird's-eye of what was going on.

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ShindenKai
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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by ShindenKai » 16 Feb 2023 00:18

von thoma wrote:
03 Sep 2014 03:19
Rudolf Opitz, test pilot, described it as an unstable and dangerous plane.
He broke his back during a landing and fortunately survived.
Komet's achievements are described in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagdgeschwader_400
Except Rudy Opitz didn't say that it was unstable at all, in fact he says: "a very good thing, every time at different speeds, normal to fly, very nice to fly." "It was very balanced through-out the speed range" "and people that had a lot of experience said it was one of the best-balanced aircraft that they had ever flown."

All the above quotes come from this interview of Dr. Opitz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj_B9G1Cnxs (@ 22:00+ minutes into interview)

IIRC, Mano Ziegler in "Rocket Fighter" also talks about the Me-163 being "un-stallable" which, again is the opposite of "unstable" in regard to an aircraft's in-flight handling characteristics.

Which is quite obviously true, the Me-163 would've been completely uncontrollable in its very high-speed climb otherwise.

The only thing dangerous about the aircraft was its very volatile/corrosive fuel and its VERY high landing speed without proper landing gear. You don't get to "go-around" to make a better landing attempt when in a glider. One try only. (Dr. Opitz also discusses all this in the above linked interview before the 22:00 minute mark)

In fact, it would be quite easy and safer to make a replica Me-163 or Me-263 powered by a safe rubber & nitrous oxide rocket, the same type used in the Space Ship One. (Though the SSO's rocket is unthrottled and has a much shorter burn time)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceShipOne
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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by ROLAND1369 » 16 Feb 2023 14:17

I can only give you the information I was told by my Father about the ME 262. He was a B 24 lead crew pilot in command of the 446 BG 2nd Air Division 8 AF. He said the few ME 163s which attacked them were totally ineffective. He said they seemed to stall through the formation firing without hitting anything. He stated they had no fear of them but certainly were highly concerned when the ME 262s were operating in the area. He said in the few attacks by the 163 no hits were scored, not so with the 262s.

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Hans1906
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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by Hans1906 » 18 Feb 2023 13:01

Please, tell us more about your friendship with Späte.
Hi ShindenKai,

Herr Wolfgang Späte was a regular customer at our family's bookstores. He was interested in books on aviation history, and I got to know the old gentleman as very accommodating.

I have a small series of press photos from that time that showed Galland, Späte, and other German Luftwaffe veterans at a meeting in a traditional local restaurant.
The photos are in my archive in northern Germany, maybe I can post these photos here at a later date, unfortunately not at the moment.

Here is a link from 1987, Späte is the standing gentleman in a circle of old comrades.
"Kavalier der Lüfte" Wolfgang Späte / 1987.
Link: https://www.kavalier-der-luefte.de/1987 ... ng-spaete/
(You will notice that the old gentlemen did not display their knight's crosses on their civilian clothes, that speaks for these gentlemen.)


Hans
P.S. I may have expressed myself incorrectly above, in which case I apologize.
The paradise of the successful lends itself perfectly to a hell for the unsuccessful. (Bertold Brecht on Hollywood)

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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by critical mass » 21 Mar 2023 16:05

ROLAND1369 wrote:
16 Feb 2023 14:17
I can only give you the information I was told by my Father about the ME 262. He was a B 24 lead crew pilot in command of the 446 BG 2nd Air Division 8 AF. He said the few ME 163s which attacked them were totally ineffective. He said they seemed to stall through the formation firing without hitting anything. He stated they had no fear of them but certainly were highly concerned when the ME 262s were operating in the area. He said in the few attacks by the 163 no hits were scored, not so with the 262s.
That´s probably an accurate description. The -163 was basically a manually guided SAM, which generally relied on 2 x 30mm guns to bring down bombers. Not very effective against B17 and B24 but may have been developed against the prospect B-29 thread.

There were very few air kills (but at least one guncam footage is known from -163s). This is an incomplete list of aerial claims (not confimed kills!) I compiled in 2013. There is no information in sources from mid November 44 to the begin of march 1945.

number---date------pilot--------target-----notes
#1------05-08-44---I/JG-400------P-51------352nd FG (by account of B-17 radio operator)
#2------05-08-44---I/JG-400------P-51------352nd FG (by account of B-17 radio operator)
#3------05-08-44---I/JG-400------P-51------352nd FG (by account of B-17 radio operator)
#4------16-08-44---H.Ryll--------B-17------10:52 HSS north of Brandis at 6,000-7,000 meters-returned to Enland, written off
#5------16-08-44---S.Schubert----B-17------10:57 HSS south of Kölleda at 6,500 meters
#6------16-08-44---H.Straznicky--B-17------11:02 HSS south of Kölleda at 7,000 meters
#7------24-08-44---H.Bott--------B-17------12:18 HSS Leipzig
#8------24-08-44---S.Schubert----B-17------12:08 northwest Leipzig at 7,000 meters
#9------24-08-44---S.Schubert----B-17------12:09 northwest Leipzig at 7,000 meters
#10-----24-08-44---Strasznicky---four engined bomber
#11-----11-09-44---K.Schiebeler--B-17------no details
#12-----11-09-44---S. Schubert---B-17------12:38 Brandis at 2,000 meters (hardly legible: 8,000?)
#13-----11-09-44---I/JG-400------B-17------acc. to ethell, 7 Me-163 attacked
#14-----12-09-44---K.Schiebeler--B-17------no details
#15-----07-10-44---K.Schiebeler--B-17------12:34 HSS Naunhof south of Brandis at 6,000 meters
#16-----07-10-44---I/JG-400------B-17------no details
#17-----02-11-44---Wiedmann------B-17------12:17 15 Ost / LF-7/MF-1 at 7,000 meters
#18-----14-01-45---unit unknown--P.R. Spit-(F/L J.M. Coldwell-Horsfall 16 Sqn POW 14Jan45 flying a Spitfire PR.XI (PL853), supposedly shotdown by a Me 163)
#19-----03-03-45---A. Hachtel----B-17------no details (I/JG400)
#20-----03-03-45---A. Hachtel----B-17------no details (I/JG400)
#21-----16-03-45---R.Glogner-----Mosquito--near Leipzig NS 795 of No.544 sq, written off after crash landing near Lille, combat near Leipzig with rocket propelled enemy A/C
#22-----10-04-45---R.Glogner-----Mosquito--near Leipzig-e/a crew bailed out
#23-----10-04-45---F.Kelb--------four eng--B17 or Halifax downed with SG-500 rockets near Leipzig
#24-----22-04-45---F.Woidich-----Lancaster-no details
#25-------05-45----P.Gerth-------Mosquito--II/JG400, n. Germany

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richardb
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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by richardb » 19 Nov 2023 16:41

What about the use of the Sondergerät 500 Jägerfaust (SG500),
  • were there any recorded kills from this recoilless weapon.
  • Were many made or was it more of a prototype weapon
[Do many examples remain in museums today[/list]

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Grzesio
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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by Grzesio » 19 Nov 2023 17:44

were there any recorded kills from this recoilless weapon.
See the #23 in the post above. ;)
But according to the latest research, Kelb just damaged a Canadian Halifax, shooting the tail turret off, killing the gunner and injuring two other men, but the aircraft made it home, performing a belly landing.

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Re: Did the Me 163 Komet achieve anything?

Post by Truelove » 19 Nov 2023 21:47

ShindenKai wrote:
16 Feb 2023 00:18
von thoma wrote:
03 Sep 2014 03:19
Rudolf Opitz, test pilot, described it as an unstable and dangerous plane.
He broke his back during a landing and fortunately survived.
Komet's achievements are described in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagdgeschwader_400
Except Rudy Opitz didn't say that it was unstable at all, in fact he says: "a very good thing, every time at different speeds, normal to fly, very nice to fly." "It was very balanced through-out the speed range" "and people that had a lot of experience said it was one of the best-balanced aircraft that they had ever flown."

All the above quotes come from this interview of Dr. Opitz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj_B9G1Cnxs (@ 22:00+ minutes into interview)

IIRC, Mano Ziegler in "Rocket Fighter" also talks about the Me-163 being "un-stallable" which, again is the opposite of "unstable" in regard to an aircraft's in-flight handling characteristics.

Which is quite obviously true, the Me-163 would've been completely uncontrollable in its very high-speed climb otherwise.

The only thing dangerous about the aircraft was its very volatile/corrosive fuel and its VERY high landing speed without proper landing gear. You don't get to "go-around" to make a better landing attempt when in a glider. One try only. (Dr. Opitz also discusses all this in the above linked interview before the 22:00 minute mark)

In fact, it would be quite easy and safer to make a replica Me-163 or Me-263 powered by a safe rubber & nitrous oxide rocket, the same type used in the Space Ship One. (Though the SSO's rocket is unthrottled and has a much shorter burn time)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceShipOne
After reading the account of the British pilot flying one, building a replica is on my "to do" list after winning the lottery

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