Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 24 Aug 2021 20:29

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
24 Aug 2021 20:07
glenn239 wrote: I said "if intercepted" by fighters an ME-109 would probably want to fire the R4M's at them. Not necessarily because they were particularily effective against fighters, but for the same reason a pilot would drop their drop tank
Ah that makes sense.

Another factor in translating R4M performance a year or so earlier is how many could be carried 1E fighters. Me262 carried 24, which gives a good area barrage. How many aboard a Fw190?
It would appear that the standard 24 would have been fitted. No idea on what performance penalty is involved though.

https://falkeeins.blogspot.com/2012/06/ ... -dora.html

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by David Thompson » 24 Aug 2021 20:56

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by lamuerte » 25 Aug 2021 01:06

Are you going to ban the most informative user on this site, who actually presents a lot of unique data and provokes long, substantial discussions by his ATL analyses because he just laid out that someone was contradictory to oneself (funny thing to say, that someone had been wrong and then, one year later, provide another stack od statistics, which prove that the almighty researcher made a mistake in his calculations) and this someone is close to forum staff? Really? Is this what this site is going to be?

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Aug 2021 01:57

To get back on thread:

Hi Orwell1984,

Many thanks. That makes a lot more sense.

Did 100th Bomber Group report anything unusual about the four losses on that date?

Looking through JG 7's operations, 18 March seems to be the only day R4M rockets were claimed to have been used. One wonders why, if it was such a demonstrable success, it wasn't used more on subsequent missions?

I have been trying to find a source for this outside the internet, but have yet to do so. There is a suspiciously descriptive account of it on: https://erenow.net/ww/hitlers-jet-plane ... ory/11.php, but yet again without any sourcing. (I wonder if this tale has the fingerprints of the highly questionable Colin D. Heaton on it?)

Does anyone have any sourcing for this story?

Cheers,

Sid.
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 25 Aug 2021 09:45, edited 1 time in total.

Richard Anderson
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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Aug 2021 02:51

I've been able to track down three of the four lost of the 100th Bmb Gp on 18 March 1944, MACR give the following information.

Aircraft 43-37521, a B-17G, was shot down at 1109 by an Me 262. No report of rockets, just the left stabilizer broke off.
Aircraft 44-8717, a B-17G, was shot down at 1120 by an Me 262. No report of rockets, but the "tail was shot off".
Aircraft 43-38861, A B-17G, was shot down at 1114 by an Me 262. Nor report of rockets, but two engines were lost.

I'm not sure how Erich was able to state in viewtopic.php?p=987295#p987295 "8th AF lost at least 18-20 B-17's due to the R4M's by III./JG 7pilots" and that "the acct of losses in US words narly all were due to Flak which is not correct". In Mission 894, a total of 13 USAAF HB were lost, 12 B-17 and 1 B-24.

"Mission 894: 1,329 bombers and 733 fighters are dispatched to hit railway stations and tanks plants in the Berlin area; the attacks are made both visually and with H2X radar; the Luftwaffe makes its most concentrated and successful attacks with Me 262s to date; the AAF claims 21-1-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 13 bombers (8 to flak) and 6 fighters are lost:

1. 421 of 450 B-17s hit the Schlesischer rail station in Berlin; 13 hit the secondary target, Zehdnuk [sic: Zehdenick, but the actual target was the Alkett tank works at Falkensee (called "Falkenburg in the 100th's mission report"), which was the 100th Group's target-of-opportunity and where its four aircraft were lost]; and 1 hits Vechta, a target of opportunity; they claim 6-0-0 aircraft; 5 B-17s are lost, 8 damaged beyond repair and 268 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 18 WIA and 49 MIA. 179 of 199 P-51s escort; they claim 4-0-2 aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost.

2. 495 of 530 B-17s hit the Nord rail station in Berlin; targets of opportunity are Ludwigslust (3) and other (3); they claim 1-1-1 aircraft; 7 B-17s are lost, 6 damaged beyond repair and 319 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 12 WIA and 79 MIA. Escorting are 219 of 238 P-51s; they claim 7-0-1 aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost.

3. 347 B-24s are sent to hit the Tegel (225) and Henningsdorf (80) tank factories in Berlin; targets of opportunity are Oranienburg (9), Uelzen (9) and other (3); 1 B-24 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 127 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 1 WIA and 11 MIA. The escort is 254 P-51s; they claim 3-0-1 aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost.

4. 2 B-17s fly a scouting mission.

5. 27 of 30 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

6. 1 of 12 P-51s escort 5 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany."

The USAAF claims were also inflated. The Germans recorded attacking with 46 aircraft sorties, of which four were lost, one was missing, and six were damaged 60% or greater.
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 25 Aug 2021 03:01

glenn239 wrote:
24 Aug 2021 16:59
The pattern of the rocket salvo was intended to fill an area 45' x 90' at 600 meters, which was sufficient to hit a bomber. The rockets essentially made the target 'area' of the bomber much larger for the missile salvo than it would be for a cannon.
I can't post up the drawings I did from the side and ahead / astern of a B-17 boxed by a 45' x 90' square, but from ahead or astern it's likely that all 24 R4M would miss most of the time. There's a lot of empty space from that angle. Coming in from a beam attack--as the US decided to use in the 1950's with FFAR on planes like the F-89--there's, and this is somewhat rough, I'd say a 50 to 75% chance your going to get a solid hit and cripple or destroy the bomber.

From ahead and astern, the plane's profile is really pretty small and getting a hit would be more like around 10% with 24 rockets scattered randomly in a 45' x 90' box at 600 meters.

Of course, a beam attack requires a much better trained pilot who can deflection shoot accurately to accomplish this since he wouldn't have a lead computing gunsight of some sort to help him.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Aug 2021 09:51

Hi Richard Anderson,

Thanks very much.

So it would appear that there is no Allied confirmation of the use of R4M rockets on the only occasion they are claimed to have been used.

I can't find any references to sources for this operational use of R4M rockets outside the internet in the last 20 years or so.

Can anyone else?

Where did this story start?

At the moment it is shaping up to be another internet myth.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Orwell1984 » 25 Aug 2021 14:28

Sid Guttridge wrote:
25 Aug 2021 09:51
Hi Richard Anderson,

Thanks very much.

So it would appear that there is no Allied confirmation of the use of R4M rockets on the only occasion they are claimed to have been used.

I can't find any references to sources for this operational use of R4M rockets outside the internet in the last 20 years or so.

Can anyone else?

Where did this story start?

At the moment it is shaping up to be another internet myth.

Cheers,

Sid.
Went back to my library and dug out this Osprey by aviation historian Robert Forsyth
Lots of information on the development, use and pros and cons of the R4M, including missions when it was used.

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There is also the multi volume history of the Me 262 by Classic Publications that probably has some good detail. That I don't have access too.
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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Aug 2021 21:49

Hi Orwell1984,

Thanks for digging that out.

Could I ask how many missions the R4Ms were claimed to have been used on and what their results were claimed to be? This would help the other half of the thread, which is discussing the theoretical effectiveness of the R4M. Practical results might give their theorizing some ballast.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Aug 2021 05:16

lamuerte wrote:
25 Aug 2021 01:06
Are you going to ban [someone]... because he just laid out that someone was contradictory to oneself... Really? Is this what this site is going to be?
I am guessing that is not what this site is. I am guessing the mods object to something else I said in pointing out that Richard Anderson blatantly contradicted himself. To demonstrate, I'll again post Richard Anderson's blatant contradiction of himself, without further commentary:
Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Aug 2021 18:26
More nonsense. "Big Week" was 20-25 February 1944. During that period the USAAF launched 3,280 sorties against Germany and lost 154 heavy bombers.
Richard Anderson wrote:The USAAF did not lose 226 bombers 20-25 February 1944 in "Big Week", they lost 225.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=253448&p=2310379&h ... k#p2310379
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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 26 Aug 2021 08:50

Hi TMP,

There is some wriggle room between the two.

The first says "154 heavy bombers".

The second, "226 bombers".

The USAAF also used medium bombers. This could bridge the gap.

So the contradiction is not necessarily so "blatant" and may not exist at all.

I suggest we suspend such contentious judgements until this is clarified.

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S. Digging a little further, I have found the following - 8th Air Force lost158 bombers and 5th Air Force lost 89. While not an exact match, it might offer one explanation for the two statistics. The first is for British-based USAAF heavy bombers, while the second is for Italian-based USAAF heavy bombers.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Terry Duncan » 26 Aug 2021 09:29

Two posts from Richard Anderson were removed by this moderator for insulting other members.

Can people please not insult each other, it is against the rules and will only end badly for you.

Terry

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by glenn239 » 26 Aug 2021 14:50

T. A. Gardner wrote:
25 Aug 2021 03:01
I can't post up the drawings I did from the side and ahead / astern of a B-17 boxed by a 45' x 90' square, but from ahead or astern it's likely that all 24 R4M would miss most of the time.
Sure, but the problem is that even if only 1 in 6 salvos hit, that's still a massive increase in the lethality of the attacking aircraft per sortie. Also, I'm not a pilot or a gunnery expert but I would assume that R4M would probably be best in a diving or climbing attack where the much larger profile (maybe 2,500 square feet?) comes into play.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by glenn239 » 26 Aug 2021 14:54

Sid Guttridge wrote:
25 Aug 2021 09:51
So it would appear that there is no Allied confirmation of the use of R4M rockets on the only occasion they are claimed to have been used.
The Axis History Forum link I posted suggested about 50 kills by R4M, and I have seen other accounts of their use, (for example, I recall an RAF daylight raid where maybe 6 or 7 bombers were claimed by R4M carrying '262's. In terms of Allied confirmation of their use in the incident in question, keep in mind the rockets were tiny and moving at 600 meters per second at launch.

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Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 26 Aug 2021 17:08

glenn239 wrote:
26 Aug 2021 14:54
In terms of Allied confirmation of their use in the incident in question, keep in mind the rockets were tiny and moving at 600 meters per second at launch.
Hmm, were they smokeless?

Regards

Tom

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