Ju 390 Help!

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
TonyC
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Post by TonyC » 26 Oct 2006 22:15

I must admit I find it hard to understand the amount of heat which this thread has generated, with a conspicuous lack of light...

It is a shame that it has degenerated into a mud-slinging match, which benefits nobody.

As Huck has mentioned, it was a hypothetical branch of the topic after all... no-one actually knows if it happened!

Be Well,

Tony

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Post by Topspeed » 27 Oct 2006 08:42

ChrisMAg2 wrote:There was: the Me 264.
But this is now OT.


Is it really ?

To find out if Ju390 was intented to be a transcontinental bomber one should possibly stydy specs on both planes. Speed, altitude and bomb bay arrangement foremost IMHO.

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Post by Andreas » 27 Oct 2006 10:14

Huck wrote: Andreas, wouldn't it be nicer if you'd check the figures before repeating whatever nonsense you found on the web that fits your view? That post starts on the wrong foot from the very first step. The author quotes a fuel consumption of 570l/h in cruise for BMW801E whereas the actual cruise fuel consumption on a long range mission is less than half that figure.


I provided the quote on its own merits. It is good to see that Kiwikd took it apart on technical grounds, and I certainly learned a lot from that exercise. It is less good to see that he chose to launch an unprovoked personal attack in his rebuttal. Thanks to you too for providing the correction on the cruise consumption figure. I do however not think that the numbers are the only interesting thing in the quoted post, since the actual description of the sources for the claim that the flight took place are worth having as well. The reason the post was quoted in full were that:

- I can not be accused of selective quotation.
- To enable others to see the full argument being made.
- To ensure that the information is still available in this discussion even in case the other forum shuts down.

However, to make that perfectly clear, I am very sceptical that this flight happened. Apart from any technical analysis, there is the complete absence of a documentary record (fact), and it would appear to me to be a stupid stunt with little to no value (opinion). But this scepticism does not meant that I would reject actual proof or convincing conjecture that it did happen. It is just that I have seen neither so far, since I do not consider the interrogation report of what appears to have been a low-ranking, non aircrew POW as actual proof.

Huck wrote: If Ju-390 never flew to New York and back, it was certainly not because it could not do it.


Following the discussion in this thread, I would tend to agree with that, but it was (based on the range data for the plane) certainly not a standard or design mission for the plane, since it was considerably beyond the recce version range, and clearly beyond the calculated maximum mission range (taking account of Luftwaffe fuel reserve requirements) for it (I have posted this information elsewhere).

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Mathias J » 05 Nov 2006 14:00

3) You are presuming that the Germans would just add internal fuel - presumably that would ruin payload. Since the aim of proving the flight route was to show that NY could be attacked, it does not appear logical that in order to prove the route, one has to remove the ability to deliver bombload. I think that would have been the point where people would have said 'It's not worth it.' Either the plane can fly the distance with full payload, or there is no point flying it.


I don't remember where I read this, regarding the Me-264 project the idea was that on a bombing mission to America the crew of the Me-264 would bail out over sea after delivering the payload to be picked up by a German submarine, thus making it possible to replace fuel with weapons. Couldn't the same tactic have been deployed in the event of an armed 390 mission?

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New York BOMBER

Post by Antonio_2006 » 06 Nov 2006 19:10

"Mathias J" wrote:

I don't remember where I read this, regarding the Me-264 project the idea was that on a bombing mission to America the crew of the Me-264 would bail out over sea after delivering the payload to be picked up by a German submarine, thus making it possible to replace fuel with weapons.


This may have been considered at some moment, but by the end of the war a Me-264-Jet capable of flying to America and back, was only a few months away, as Major De Seversky admitted in a 'New York Times' article the 8th of June 1945.

Major De Seversky was at that time special 'Air Consultant' to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson. He interviewed Goering with Gen. Carl A. Spaatz right after Goering was captured at Augsburg.

Notice that the following article has been censored! But the remaining information is still of great interest. Notice also that De Seversky declares that the Allies captured a prototype of the 'New York Bomber' in France, at a location he can not disclose!


The New York Times. June 8, 1945. Page 8:


NEW YORK BOMBER BUILT IN GERMANY

De Seversky Says Principal Bar to Use Was Its High Rate of Fuel Consumption

By Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES

PARIS, June 7–The Germans planned to bomb New York and other eastern American ports and, according to Hermann Goering, were within a few months of working out the kinks in a jet-propelled plane that would do it, Maj. Alexander P. de Seversky, airplane designer and airpower advocate, said today.

Major de Seversky, World War I commander of the Russian Navy’s Baltic fighter plane force, has been touring Germany as a special air consultant to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson. He interviewed Goering with Gen. Carl A. Spaatz right after Goering was captured at Augsburg.

[Simultaneously, Supreme Headquarters announced that Heinrich Bernard Oelerich, inventor, designer and producer of German jet planes and other military aircraft has surrendered to the United Sates Military Government and had offered his jet secrets and aircraft designs to the American Army, The Associated Press reported.

[Oelerich was identified as the designer of the ME-262 jet fighter. He previously had improved more conventional types–the ME-109 and ME-110, and Focke-Wulfe 190

[Oelerich, who claimed he knew many secrets concerning plans of German industry, made his offer of cooperation to Capt. Frank Baab of Richmond, Va., a military Government officer.]

The Germans’ “New York” bomber, a prototype of which was found at an undisclosed place in France, was a Messerschmitt 264. It had four engines with jet propulsion for high altitudes, Major de Seversky said. The Germans started working on it before the war, designing it to cross the Atlantic and return nonstop with two or three tons of bombs. The only obstacle to its introduction was its big fuel consumption, but this, Goering asserted, the Germans had expected to solve in a few months.

The major said his survey showed that the Germans’ wartime scientific developments surpassed ours in some respects.

On the subject of “atomic bombing” – projectiles deriving their power from hitherto unreleased energy in atoms–Major de Seversky said the Germans had worked on the project but he thought any talk of a practical application of the idea was just propaganda.

He said that he doubted that the introduction of pilotless rocket-propelled V-bombs was going to revolutionize warfare, recalling the notions along that line that were advanced when the torpedo was invented.

Major de Seversky (thirty-nine words censored) said that “the results of our strategic bombing campaign exceeded all expectations.” He added that “seventy German cities with populations of more than 100,000 had been 50 per cent destroyed and the hearts of those cities were 75 per cent destroyed.”

He declared that Goering, in the interview, blamed Hitler for the Germans’ failure to develop strategic bombing on their side but said that actually Goering, too, had sold it short after the Battle of Britain. Another of their errors was spending too much time on novel air weapons, instead of developing along proved lines, the major said.

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Re: New York BOMBER

Post by Topspeed » 09 Nov 2006 11:16

Antonio_2006 wrote:"Mathias J" wrote:

This may have been considered at some moment, but by the end of the war a Me-264-Jet capable of flying to America and back, was only a few months away, as Major De Seversky admitted in a 'New York Times' article the 8th of June 1945.
Notice that the following article has been censored! But the remaining information is still of great interest. Notice also that De Seversky declares that the Allies captured a prototype of the 'New York Bomber' in France, at a location he can not disclose!


Any fact to back this up..a photo ?

I think Ju390 fits more into the picture of long transports..let's say supplies to SU had they conquered that nation. Or transports of the jews into Madagasgar had the SU invasion succeeded etc.

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Re: New York BOMBER

Post by Andreas » 09 Nov 2006 15:56

Antonio_2006 wrote:
This may have been considered at some moment, but by the end of the war a Me-264-Jet capable of flying to America and back, was only a few months away, as Major De Seversky admitted in a 'New York Times' article the 8th of June 1945.


That information is nonsense. Work on the Me 264 was ordered stopped in 1944 (and had pretty much stopped in 1943 IIRC). They may have been only a few months away at that point, but they were no longer working on it after that.

During the flight testing in 1943, the fate of the Me 264 still hung in the balance. Admiral Dönitz and the Supreme Naval War Staff favored the Focke-Wulf Ta 400. However, since this aircraft wasn't supposed to be ready before 1946, it was decided that the Ju 290, He 177 and the Ju 390 should be produced in the interim to provide maritime reconnaissance. A teletype message reached Messerschmitt in May 1943, stating that the Me 264 should be abandoned. This caused some astonishment, because just a week earlier the RLM had insisted upon the completion of the Me 264 prototypes. In June 1943, Messerschmitt contacted Hitler to inform him on how well the Me 264 development was progressing, hoping that Hitler would intervene in his behalf. On July 8, 1943, at a meeting in the Supreme Headquarters, Hitler promised his support for the continued production of the Me 264 to Messerschmitt, but only for maritime uses. At the same time he dropped his decision to bomb the east coast of the U.S., because "the few aircraft that could get through would only provoke the populace to resistance". Only one day later, GFM Milch agreed to continue the construction of the three Me 264 prototypes for the purpose of studies only. Göring, Milch, Friebel and Messerschmitt met on October 14, 1943 to discuss further development possibilities. According to Messerschmitt, the components for the first five prototypes were completed, but he lacked the necessary space and facilities in which to construct them. To get the space for the Me 410 production, all the Me 264 final assembly building jigs were moved from the Augsburg plant and stored at Gersthofen. Later that day, GFM Milch wanted to stop the Me 264 completely, in order to concentrate on the Me 262 jet fighter, to which Göering agreed. One day later, the production orders for the Focke-Wulf Ta 400 was canceled, mainly because the Focke-Wulf resources were needed for the Fw 190D-9 and Ta 152 production.
On June 29, 1944, the Trial Establishments Headquarters definitely stated that the Me 264, as well as the Ju 390, would be unsuitable for operational deployment since its fitting with the entire military equipment and payload would excessively increase the takeoff weight and the wing load. Then on July 18, 1944 the only Me 264 prototype was destroyed in an air raid along with the assembled components of the following two prototype and 80% of the production facilities. Although numerous attempts were made to save the Me 264 program, Admiral Dönitz got Hitler to agree on September 23, 1944 that all work on the Me 264 project should be stopped. Less than a month later, on October 18, 1944 an unmistakable directive was received. The "Reichsmarschall Technical Order Nr. 2" stated: "The production of the Me 264 is herewith canceled". This confirmed the end of the eight year development program that led to only one test aircraft that was far from being operationally ready.


http://www.luft46.com/prototyp/me264.html

This information is corroborated by Neitzel in 'Der Einsatz der deutschen Lufftwaffe ueber der Nordsee und dem Atlantik', in case the interweb is seen as insufficiently reliable.

As a general point - articles from back in the day are certainly good fun to read, but I would caution about their reliability because:

a) They are written by journalists, not military analysts, and journalists are prone to errors in highly technical subjects. That is true as much now as it was then.
b) They are based on material available the day before publication. I leave it up to you to consider how much of the Luftwaffe material had been analysed by the allies on 8 June 1945.

All the best

Andreas

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RE: RE: New York BOMBER

Post by Antonio_2006 » 13 Nov 2006 16:58

Andreas wrote:

That information is nonsense.


The information might be correct or not, but it is certainly not “nonsense”.

I was completely aware of the official history; the report is so interesting precisely because it contradicts this history so sharply.

It is important to note that the relevant information is NOT of a technical nature at all. Basically it says that:

(a) Germany had a Me-264 bomber with jet propulsion (no number of planes is indicated).

(b) This machine would have been used to attack some cities on the American East Coast a few months after May 1945.

(c) A prototype was captured at an undisclosed location in France.

There are no “highly technical subjects” here. How could the journalist not understand what De Seversky was saying? Or are you suggesting that he lied? Why would he do such a thing? We are talking about 'The New York Times’, not the ‘World Weekly News’. And De Seversky was a very respected Airman indeed, specially at that time. See the picture below, ‘De Seversky-Patterson-Truman_June 24, 1947’, found at the Truman-Library online:

http://www.trumanlibrary.org/photographs/displayimage.php?pointer=2292&people=De+Seversky%2C+Alexander+P.+%28Alexander+Procofieff%29%2C+1894-1974%3B+De+Seversky%2C+Evelyn%3B+Patterson%2C+Robert+Porter%2C+1891-1952%3B+Truman%2C+Harry+S.%2C+1884-1972&listid=0

But lets suppose for a moment, the journalist distorted what the great aeronautical pioneer said and/or just invented freely what he wanted.

In this case, there would have been a fast and ENERGIC reaction by Major De Seversky himself. And given that he was a ‘Special Consultant’ to the Secretary of War his correction would have been published. The problem is that, so far I know, no such correction ever appeared.

You are right that not all the material of the Luftwaffe had been analyzed before the 8th of June 1945. But the information contained in the above ‘a’, ‘b’ and ‘c’, must have been PERFECTLY KNOWN by that time (the protoype, for instance, must have been found well before the end of 1944).

All this and the fact that the official history is so full of lies, distortions and omissions (specially when dealing with certain special technologies and developments), makes it very difficult for me to share your certainty on this subject.

Regards,
Antonio.
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Re: RE: RE: New York BOMBER

Post by Andreas » 14 Nov 2006 10:35

Antonio_2006 wrote:Andreas wrote:

That information is nonsense.


The information might be correct or not, but it is certainly not “nonsense”.

I was completely aware of the official history; the report is so interesting precisely because it contradicts this history so sharply.

It is important to note that the relevant information is NOT of a technical nature at all. Basically it says that:

(a) Germany had a Me-264 bomber with jet propulsion (no number of planes is indicated).

(b) This machine would have been used to attack some cities on the American East Coast a few months after May 1945.

(c) A prototype was captured at an undisclosed location in France.

There are no “highly technical subjects” here. How could the journalist not understand what De Seversky was saying? Or are you suggesting that he lied? Why would he do such a thing? We are talking about 'The New York Times’, not the ‘World Weekly News’. And De Seversky was a very respected Airman indeed, specially at that time.


Well, how about a picture of the plane then? How about a German veteran's recollection who worked on it or a pilot who flew it? How about a US veteran's recollection who captured it or a specialist who analysed it? How about a reason why this plane would share the Me 264 designation, which was for an abandoned piston-engined long-range recce/bomber type, instead of having a new designation? How about any document showing that this plane was actually developed, other than a newspaper article? How about a reason why the capture of such a plane is subject to lies, distortions, and omissions about German technology development, except for the mention in a major US newspaper on 8 June 1945? :roll:

Until then - nonsense. I frankly don't care if you share my view, and neither would I care were you to tell me that you believe that Mars is inhabited by little green men.

Antonio_2006 wrote:But lets suppose for a moment, the journalist distorted what the great aeronautical pioneer said and/or just invented freely what he wanted.


You are free to suppose whatever you like, but I warn you to not engage in building up strawmen. I have little time and even less tolerance for that. I never said the reporter lied, distorted, or invented anything, so don't put words in my mouth. I explicitly said 'errors', not lies, not inventions, and not distortions. These are all your words, and I note you have a certain fondness for them.

Thanks.

Andreas

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Re: Re: RE: RE: New York BOMBER

Post by Antonio_2006 » 16 Nov 2006 18:20

Andreas wrote:

How about a reason why the capture of such a plane is subject to lies, distortions, and omissions about German technology development, except for the mention in a major US newspaper on 8 June 1945?


Very simple: the main reason is the ‘special load’ that this plane was to transport to America. The Germans were certainly NOT trying to send a few tons of conventional bombs across the Atlantic!

And also for this reason we hear very little about the OTHER transport systems being prepared (some of them already completed by the end of the war) for the "Siegeswaffe" (like the intercontinental rocket or the intercontinental flying bomb, for instance). And again for this reason, there is such a heated debate every time the otherwise completely harmless subject of this Ju-390 transatlantic flight is discussed.

You demand more evidence and this is perfectly acceptable. It is necessary to find objective evidence; without this there is no proof. But it is also necessary to understand that the exact nature and the amount of the objective evidence available at a certain archive is not itself an objective fact. Archives are controlled by States and Governments and subjected, no doubt, to the requirements of the national policy of the respective State or Government. So, taking this into account, let’s check the situation:

-PICTURES: Extremely difficult; such a direct evidence would not escape the tight censorship of the archives in the USA or in the Bananenrepublik Deutschland. None have been found so far and none will probably surface in the future.

-DOCUMENTS: Difficult, but not impossible. Some have already been found and more will appear in the future. But it takes a very considerable investment of time and money.

-WITNESSES: In the USA I don’t know; I never tried to locate witnesses there. In Europe it is difficult to find them and even more difficult to bring them to the light. And it is not only a biological problem; the political pressure is just too big (specially in Germany) and nobody wants to be associated with anything connected to that period, even more so if it is something relevant (think for a moment an older Gentlemen admitting publically something like “I was the pilot that was to (atom)bomb New York for the Nazis”, etc.).

In any case, outside Germany you might be lucky after all: About a year ago, a witness was found; he is German but has been living in Barcelona for decades. This man, then a young pilot, was trained by the end of 43 and beginning of 44 for a bombing mission to New York (using a He-177). The training was finally stopped because of the aircraft's constant mechanical problems and because a better machine would be soon available.

An interview with this pilot was published the 18th of December 2005 by "La Vanguardia" (a major Spanish newspaper printed in Barcelona).

Regards,
Antonio.

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Re: Re: RE: RE: New York BOMBER

Post by Andreas » 17 Nov 2006 10:54

Antonio_2006 wrote:Andreas wrote:

How about a reason why the capture of such a plane is subject to lies, distortions, and omissions about German technology development, except for the mention in a major US newspaper on 8 June 1945?


Very simple: the main reason is the ‘special load’ that this plane was to transport to America. The Germans were certainly NOT trying to send a few tons of conventional bombs across the Atlantic!


You fail to get my point - if it was so secret, then why did they spill the beans to an NYT reporter? You either have a secret, or not.

Antonio_2006 wrote:And also for this reason we hear very little about the OTHER transport systems being prepared (some of them already completed by the end of the war) for the "Siegeswaffe" (like the intercontinental rocket or the intercontinental flying bomb, for instance). And again for this reason, there is such a heated debate every time the otherwise completely harmless subject of this Ju-390 transatlantic flight is discussed.

You demand more evidence and this is perfectly acceptable. It is necessary to find objective evidence; without this there is no proof. But it is also necessary to understand that the exact nature and the amount of the objective evidence available at a certain archive is not itself an objective fact. Archives are controlled by States and Governments and subjected, no doubt, to the requirements of the national policy of the respective State or Government. So, taking this into account, let’s check the situation:

-PICTURES: Extremely difficult; such a direct evidence would not escape the tight censorship of the archives in the USA or in the Bananenrepublik Deutschland. None have been found so far and none will probably surface in the future.

-DOCUMENTS: Difficult, but not impossible. Some have already been found and more will appear in the future. But it takes a very considerable investment of time and money.

-WITNESSES: In the USA I don’t know; I never tried to locate witnesses there. In Europe it is difficult to find them and even more difficult to bring them to the light. And it is not only a biological problem; the political pressure is just too big (specially in Germany) and nobody wants to be associated with anything connected to that period, even more so if it is something relevant (think for a moment an older Gentlemen admitting publically something like “I was the pilot that was to (atom)bomb New York for the Nazis”, etc.).


Okay, so you have no evidence except for 'some documents' (would you be able to present those?), and for you the reason is a conspiracy, and political pressure. Of course, despite this conspiracy and political pressure, there was this newspaper article. Shrug.

In any case, outside Germany you might be lucky after all: About a year ago, a witness was found; he is German but has been living in Barcelona for decades. This man, then a young pilot, was trained by the end of 43 and beginning of 44 for a bombing mission to New York (using a He-177). The training was finally stopped because of the aircraft's constant mechanical problems and because a better machine would be soon available.

An interview with this pilot was published the 18th of December 2005 by "La Vanguardia" (a major Spanish newspaper printed in Barcelona).

Regards,
Antonio.


More nonsense I am afraid. There is no way on earth that a He 177 could make the flight, the distance being beyond the ferry range of the plane. In any case, this interview is not evidence for the existence of a jet-engined Me 264, if anything it is evidence that there were lots of rumours about Wunderwaffen. But I note that despite your argument above that nobody would like to come forward, it appears this guy did not mind, which invalidates your argument above.

You'll excuse me if I find all this quite unconvincing.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by HistorianSr » 18 Nov 2006 05:09

After the war, various comments were made in newspapers and magazines about fantastic discoveries. You assume that letting a secret like this slip is critical. After the war, it was not. And could be quickly denied.

In the excellent book, Luftwaffe Over America, The Secret Plans to Bomb the United States in World War II, by Manfred Griehl, there is a drawing of an Me-264 with two tandem propeller engines on both wings and jet engines in the wing roots. In Luftwaffe Secret Projects: Strategic Bombers 1935-1945, by Dieter Herwig and Heinz Rode, there is a painting of an Me-264 with four jet engines on page 44. Anyone studying Luftwaffe secret aircraft projects would know of the sometimes extreme differences in aircraft under the same designation, like the Messerschmitt P.1101.

In Hitlers Siegeswaffen, Band 1, Friedrich Georg writes about the Ju-390 V-2. On 9 February 1945, there were two flights by Captain Joachim Eisermann in Rechlin and another from Rechlin to Larz (umlaut over the a). Shortly after, the aircraft disappeared and was not reported as being captured. "At his hearing befor the British, on 26 September 1945, Professor Heinrich Hertel, chief designer and technical director of the Junkers Aircraft and Motor Works, stated that the Ju 390 V-2 had neither been completed nor had it been flown."

As an aside, allow me to mention that a new book has come out with proof that the Americans flew the Go-229 after the war. More is still being found about various Luftwaffe subjects and will be published in short order.




HSr

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Post by Andreas » 18 Nov 2006 13:22

No HSr, I do not assume that letting a secret slip like this is critical. I assume that there was no secret to let slip, since the plane never existed.

Paintings. Drawings. It all adds up to a real plane very soon no doubt.

Your point about the various versions of the P.1011 is irrelevant - the P.1011 apparently never flew, which is a bit different from the Me 264, AFAIK. But if you know of flying German planes that underwent such massive changes as going from prop to jet engines while keeping their designation, feel free to fill us in on it.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Troy Tempest » 28 Dec 2006 06:31

I thought the only credible Luftwaffe strategic bomber that was jet equipped was the Ta-400, the ultimate version, not the original version, that was to have two jets in addition to its prop engines? I'm no expert of course, but I've never heard of an all-jet equipped Me 264 before until now. As for the Allies 'finding' an example and then hiding such a huge aircraft with no info ever being released or being leaked for the next 60 years .... well, I'm sure it's possible, but why? :D

Troy

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Post by LWD » 28 Dec 2006 13:54

Kiwikid wrote:...
German weather stations were located in Greenland and the U-534 on weather station in the Atlantic below Greenland constantly fed back weather information. As any aviator knows if you can, you will alter course to take advantage of winds blowing around depressions and anticyclones to avoid headwinds. In some case when the weather pattern is just right one could take advantage of favourable winds both there and back.
...


Constantly? From what I've read most of these were very small transient "stations" who transmitted ocasionally. What kind of weather info do you think they were collecting in January in Greenland? Barometric pressure, temperature, and ground winds certainly but what else? The concept of a U-boat stationed "below" Greenland I do find humerous. Neither of these sources were likely to be able to give detailed inflight weather info.

One of the things that supporters of this sort of thing seam to take for granted is weather reports like we can get to day and GPS level navigation. My uncle taught navigation to B-24 navigators for a while before he flew over to England and logged is combat tour. A number of his stories mentioned navigational problems. Like the flight from Brazil to Africa where they ran into an unexpected (ie unforcast) headwind. Note that the US and British had lots of access to weather reports along the route at least compaired to what the Germans would have had. He was suspicious about it for some reason and had the pilot fly up above the cloud level so he could take some star shots and figured out that they had indeed encountered the headwind. They landed safly in Africa at least one other member of their flight did not. Or the flight from North Africa to Wales where again they encountered an unexpected/unforcast crosswind. This time it was a lighthouse off their left side which clued them into the problem (the light house turned out to be in Portugal). Using the light house as a referance he was able to determien the strength of the cross wind and they made it to Wales although they landed at the wrong airport mostly due to a heavy fog.

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