German strategic bombers

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thaddeus_c
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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by thaddeus_c » 21 Dec 2022 17:34

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2022 21:21
T. A. Gardner wrote:
20 Dec 2022 21:13
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2022 20:01
Thinking of 'strategic air power' solely in terms of attacking industry or cities is one way of considering this. The war at sea was a strategic effort & providing the German Navy with a operational strength of 500+ VLR reconnaissance/bomber aircraft would be a strategic use of airpower. & a number in reach of the industrial capacity OTL. Of course that requires focus and setting realistic priorities, which is not what the nazi regime is known for. For the Allies a few hundred VLR aircraft were important in tipping the balance of the BOA in their favor and the slow provision of them dragged out the result into 1943. Perhaps 'strategic' results could have been had through this use of high capacity VLR aircraft?
The problem there is that the Luftwaffe was barely able to keep tens of long-range aircraft flying missions for maritime patrol well into 1941.
Yes its a tough problem. In the end the resources have to come from somewhere else.

A look at the maritime or littoral air campaign in the Mediterranean is worth a look too. They did get improving results until the Allied airpower matured in 1943.
my view the HE-177 spoiled a great deal of developments, no evolutionary changes were made to the FW-200 Condor and other aircraft remained prototypes.

my suggestion or speculation would be after the first 200-odd HE-177s "flamed out" they get lumped in with the ME-210 and scrapped as a failure of the prior LW regime.

wartime experience could produce a five engine Condor, ready attachments for aircraft to be towed aloft, and some earlier guided munitions.

despite appearing ungainly the twin fuselage HE-111Z could have also been used, with little disruption to production lines or development time.

Peter89
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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by Peter89 » 21 Dec 2022 20:03

thaddeus_c wrote:
21 Dec 2022 17:34
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2022 21:21
T. A. Gardner wrote:
20 Dec 2022 21:13
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2022 20:01
Thinking of 'strategic air power' solely in terms of attacking industry or cities is one way of considering this. The war at sea was a strategic effort & providing the German Navy with a operational strength of 500+ VLR reconnaissance/bomber aircraft would be a strategic use of airpower. & a number in reach of the industrial capacity OTL. Of course that requires focus and setting realistic priorities, which is not what the nazi regime is known for. For the Allies a few hundred VLR aircraft were important in tipping the balance of the BOA in their favor and the slow provision of them dragged out the result into 1943. Perhaps 'strategic' results could have been had through this use of high capacity VLR aircraft?
The problem there is that the Luftwaffe was barely able to keep tens of long-range aircraft flying missions for maritime patrol well into 1941.
Yes its a tough problem. In the end the resources have to come from somewhere else.

A look at the maritime or littoral air campaign in the Mediterranean is worth a look too. They did get improving results until the Allied airpower matured in 1943.
my view the HE-177 spoiled a great deal of developments, no evolutionary changes were made to the FW-200 Condor and other aircraft remained prototypes.

my suggestion or speculation would be after the first 200-odd HE-177s "flamed out" they get lumped in with the ME-210 and scrapped as a failure of the prior LW regime.

wartime experience could produce a five engine Condor, ready attachments for aircraft to be towed aloft, and some earlier guided munitions.

despite appearing ungainly the twin fuselage HE-111Z could have also been used, with little disruption to production lines or development time.
The Condor-story is overrated. The plane was never quite a good choice for the VLR role, Petersen choose it because he had to start ASAP and there weren't enough Ju 90 around, while the FW 200 had a production line running. Also the handful of FW 200 pilots had the most transatlantic flight experience. But it does not mean that it was the best type the Germans had for this role. It must also be noted that the early relative success of Condor was not the result of some unique feats, but a British mistake (they stripped low altitude AA from merchant ships). As soon as these lumbering beasts were forced to higher altitudes, their accuracy dropped and they became ineffective.

What Carl said above is right. If the Germans developed deliberately and consistently a long range maritime anti ship aircraft, the matching doctrine and units, then they could have wreaked havoc on the Atlantic in 1940-1941.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

thaddeus_c
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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by thaddeus_c » 21 Dec 2022 20:24

Peter89 wrote:
21 Dec 2022 20:03
thaddeus_c wrote:
21 Dec 2022 17:34
my view the HE-177 spoiled a great deal of developments, no evolutionary changes were made to the FW-200 Condor and other aircraft remained prototypes.

my suggestion or speculation would be after the first 200-odd HE-177s "flamed out" they get lumped in with the ME-210 and scrapped as a failure of the prior LW regime.

wartime experience could produce a five engine Condor, ready attachments for aircraft to be towed aloft, and some earlier guided munitions.

despite appearing ungainly the twin fuselage HE-111Z could have also been used, with little disruption to production lines or development time.
The Condor-story is overrated. The plane was never quite a good choice for the VLR role, Petersen choose it because he had to start ASAP and there weren't enough Ju 90 around, while the FW 200 had a production line running. Also the handful of FW 200 pilots had the most transatlantic flight experience. But it does not mean that it was the best type the Germans had for this role. It must also be noted that the early relative success of Condor was not the result of some unique feats, but a British mistake (they stripped low altitude AA from merchant ships). As soon as these lumbering beasts were forced to higher altitudes, their accuracy dropped and they became ineffective.

What Carl said above is right. If the Germans developed deliberately and consistently a long range maritime anti ship aircraft, the matching doctrine and units, then they could have wreaked havoc on the Atlantic in 1940-1941.
what I posted is not in disagreement with Carl's idea, but rather how they could implement it with what was on hand. had I posted they should have begun planning for a maritime strategy in the mid to late 1930's, I feel pretty sure you would be rushing in to explain how that would drain them of tactical bombers.

the FW-200 is a perfectly good transport aircraft which the LW also needed, its main problem in the bomber role was placing a (relatively) fragile craft into maneuvers it was not designed for, which I alluded too with guided munitions, also the loss of engine power on one side made for terminal loss of the aircraft, hence my mention of adding a fifth engine.

the research on guided munitions started with the Spanish Civil War with SC-250 bombs, grew into the Fritz-X in 1943, my suggestion use the SC-250 bombs, in the Atlantic there would not be the jamming of radio signals or if that proves troublesome use wire guidance.

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by T. A. Gardner » 21 Dec 2022 22:36

Peter89 wrote:
21 Dec 2022 20:03
thaddeus_c wrote:
21 Dec 2022 17:34
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2022 21:21
T. A. Gardner wrote:
20 Dec 2022 21:13
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2022 20:01
Thinking of 'strategic air power' solely in terms of attacking industry or cities is one way of considering this. The war at sea was a strategic effort & providing the German Navy with a operational strength of 500+ VLR reconnaissance/bomber aircraft would be a strategic use of airpower. & a number in reach of the industrial capacity OTL. Of course that requires focus and setting realistic priorities, which is not what the nazi regime is known for. For the Allies a few hundred VLR aircraft were important in tipping the balance of the BOA in their favor and the slow provision of them dragged out the result into 1943. Perhaps 'strategic' results could have been had through this use of high capacity VLR aircraft?
The problem there is that the Luftwaffe was barely able to keep tens of long-range aircraft flying missions for maritime patrol well into 1941.
Yes its a tough problem. In the end the resources have to come from somewhere else.

A look at the maritime or littoral air campaign in the Mediterranean is worth a look too. They did get improving results until the Allied airpower matured in 1943.
my view the HE-177 spoiled a great deal of developments, no evolutionary changes were made to the FW-200 Condor and other aircraft remained prototypes.

my suggestion or speculation would be after the first 200-odd HE-177s "flamed out" they get lumped in with the ME-210 and scrapped as a failure of the prior LW regime.

wartime experience could produce a five engine Condor, ready attachments for aircraft to be towed aloft, and some earlier guided munitions.

despite appearing ungainly the twin fuselage HE-111Z could have also been used, with little disruption to production lines or development time.
The Condor-story is overrated. The plane was never quite a good choice for the VLR role, Petersen choose it because he had to start ASAP and there weren't enough Ju 90 around, while the FW 200 had a production line running. Also the handful of FW 200 pilots had the most transatlantic flight experience. But it does not mean that it was the best type the Germans had for this role. It must also be noted that the early relative success of Condor was not the result of some unique feats, but a British mistake (they stripped low altitude AA from merchant ships). As soon as these lumbering beasts were forced to higher altitudes, their accuracy dropped and they became ineffective.

What Carl said above is right. If the Germans developed deliberately and consistently a long range maritime anti ship aircraft, the matching doctrine and units, then they could have wreaked havoc on the Atlantic in 1940-1941.
What the Germans really needed, and it wasn't going to happen, was that the maritime patrol planes were controlled by the KM not the Luftwaffe, and that they could easily coordinate with the U-boats. All the patrol aircraft needed to do is spot and accurately position and identify shipping and relay that information directly to U-boats on the surface. They could also broadcast warnings about where British naval vessels were so the subs could avoid these.

The Luftwaffe set up required the plane to radio back to their chain of command, then have the information pushed up it to the top where it was then given to the KM. That massive delay made their reconnaissance data nearly worthless as the process took a day or more to complete. If instead the planes were operated by the KM and the crew could communicate directly with U-boats, the process would take minutes to hours at most and the information would be valuable.

In the early war period, a patrol plane could easily stalk a convoy immune to what AA fire was present, knowing there were no enemy fighters or other planes that could engage them. With direct communications with submarines and other ships they could steer a big can of whoopass onto a convoy.

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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Dec 2022 22:38

Revisitng my post from several days ago:
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2022 20:01
Thinking of 'strategic air power' solely in terms of attacking industry or cities is one way of considering this. The war at sea was a strategic effort & providing the German Navy with a operational strength of 500+ VLR reconnaissance/bomber aircraft would be a strategic use of airpower. & a number in reach of the industrial capacity OTL. Of course that requires focus and setting realistic priorities, which is not what the nazi regime is known for. For the Allies a few hundred VLR aircraft were important in tipping the balance of the BOA in their favor and the slow provision of them dragged out the result into 1943. Perhaps 'strategic' results could have been had through this use of high capacity VLR aircraft?

Looking at that in the context of the OP. that is confining the proposals to what could be from 1940, & not some mid 1930s date. 500 operational VLR bomber looks unrealistic in the context of 'all at once'. So, if the decision is made in the autumn of 1940 after its clear Britain will not be participating in peace talks what can be done?

There are the few Condors at hand. That's at least a start. Then there was the small maritime attack group that already existed & was already operating against Brit cargo shipping. KG200 ? That was equipped with relatively short ranged He111. Tho conversion to Ju88 may have been scheduled. As a intern measure one can increase the range of the twin engined bombers by trading off bomb load for fuel capacity. Removing some weight not needed for long ranged maritime attacks is possible. Hypothetically at this point you can assign as many off the available bombers as you like to this mission, but once the decision for attacking the USSR is made diverting more away from that is a tough call. Who do you want to damage more in the near term? The Reds or the Brits? Theres also the question of diverting twin engined aircraft from the X Fliger Corps in the Mediterranean as 1941 progresses, and later from the operational group in northern Norway. It may be for the first six months, from November 1940, that after losses are added in you can't keep much more than the VLR Condors of OTL and 50 - 100 LR bombers operational. Otherwise you have to start drawing down operations in the East or Mediterranean to keep up a 200+ operational maritime force

The next calculation is when and how many new VLR bombers can be provided? I know nothing of the Ju90 or the other proposed 'big bombers'. Is a average production of ten a month possible from May 1941, assuming the decision is made NLT November 1940? Are more possible? Again the caveat is how big a bite out of other operations would this make? If in terms of engine production one of these VLR replaces two medium bombers in the replacement production then it cancels 20 LR replacements at a low production estimate.

As a Base Line estimate how many cargo ships or tons cargo would be sunk by a notional 100 place bomber group? (excluding VLR reconissance models.). Ellis in 'Brute Force' gives 1.979,000 tons cargo embarked to Britain as lost enroute. With 1,390,000 tons cargo let to submarine attacks. Of the other 580,000 tons material sunk its not clear what was attributed to mines, surface raiders, or aircraft. The gross does average out to 165,000 tons which falls far short of the goals Raeder set for this campaign. So how many multiples of this base line 100 aircraft will it take to get 1941 losses to the 3.694,000 tons cargo lost enroute to the UK in 1942? Or how many in 1942 to push that number over the tipping point to where Churchills government falls & a settlement cabinet appointed or elected>

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by T. A. Gardner » 24 Dec 2022 04:46

The most practical, and easiest to produce VLR bomber for maritime patrol for Germany is the Ju 88H. This is simply a standard Ju 88A with a stretched fuselage that holds like double to triple the fuel. If you have this plane earlier in the war and it is outfitted ASAP with Fritz X or Hs 293 missiles it would be a real ship killer.

Focke Wulf isn't going to produce more than a handful of FW 200, and Junkers can't manufacture more Ju 90 / 290 that like 2 or 3 a month at most. But Junkers could easily churn out a Ju 88H in sufficient numbers to equip several squadrons and keep them flying.

Peter89
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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by Peter89 » 24 Dec 2022 11:52

T. A. Gardner wrote:
21 Dec 2022 22:36
Peter89 wrote:
21 Dec 2022 20:03
thaddeus_c wrote:
21 Dec 2022 17:34
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2022 21:21
T. A. Gardner wrote:
20 Dec 2022 21:13


The problem there is that the Luftwaffe was barely able to keep tens of long-range aircraft flying missions for maritime patrol well into 1941.
Yes its a tough problem. In the end the resources have to come from somewhere else.

A look at the maritime or littoral air campaign in the Mediterranean is worth a look too. They did get improving results until the Allied airpower matured in 1943.
my view the HE-177 spoiled a great deal of developments, no evolutionary changes were made to the FW-200 Condor and other aircraft remained prototypes.

my suggestion or speculation would be after the first 200-odd HE-177s "flamed out" they get lumped in with the ME-210 and scrapped as a failure of the prior LW regime.

wartime experience could produce a five engine Condor, ready attachments for aircraft to be towed aloft, and some earlier guided munitions.

despite appearing ungainly the twin fuselage HE-111Z could have also been used, with little disruption to production lines or development time.
The Condor-story is overrated. The plane was never quite a good choice for the VLR role, Petersen choose it because he had to start ASAP and there weren't enough Ju 90 around, while the FW 200 had a production line running. Also the handful of FW 200 pilots had the most transatlantic flight experience. But it does not mean that it was the best type the Germans had for this role. It must also be noted that the early relative success of Condor was not the result of some unique feats, but a British mistake (they stripped low altitude AA from merchant ships). As soon as these lumbering beasts were forced to higher altitudes, their accuracy dropped and they became ineffective.

What Carl said above is right. If the Germans developed deliberately and consistently a long range maritime anti ship aircraft, the matching doctrine and units, then they could have wreaked havoc on the Atlantic in 1940-1941.
What the Germans really needed, and it wasn't going to happen, was that the maritime patrol planes were controlled by the KM not the Luftwaffe, and that they could easily coordinate with the U-boats. All the patrol aircraft needed to do is spot and accurately position and identify shipping and relay that information directly to U-boats on the surface. They could also broadcast warnings about where British naval vessels were so the subs could avoid these.

The Luftwaffe set up required the plane to radio back to their chain of command, then have the information pushed up it to the top where it was then given to the KM. That massive delay made their reconnaissance data nearly worthless as the process took a day or more to complete. If instead the planes were operated by the KM and the crew could communicate directly with U-boats, the process would take minutes to hours at most and the information would be valuable.

In the early war period, a patrol plane could easily stalk a convoy immune to what AA fire was present, knowing there were no enemy fighters or other planes that could engage them. With direct communications with submarines and other ships they could steer a big can of whoopass onto a convoy.
That's true as well. However, the Condors/VLRs historically could and alternatively should attack the merchant ships on their own.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

Peter89
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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by Peter89 » 24 Dec 2022 14:13

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Dec 2022 22:38
Revisitng my post from several days ago:
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Dec 2022 20:01
Thinking of 'strategic air power' solely in terms of attacking industry or cities is one way of considering this. The war at sea was a strategic effort & providing the German Navy with a operational strength of 500+ VLR reconnaissance/bomber aircraft would be a strategic use of airpower. & a number in reach of the industrial capacity OTL. Of course that requires focus and setting realistic priorities, which is not what the nazi regime is known for. For the Allies a few hundred VLR aircraft were important in tipping the balance of the BOA in their favor and the slow provision of them dragged out the result into 1943. Perhaps 'strategic' results could have been had through this use of high capacity VLR aircraft?

Looking at that in the context of the OP. that is confining the proposals to what could be from 1940, & not some mid 1930s date. 500 operational VLR bomber looks unrealistic in the context of 'all at once'. So, if the decision is made in the autumn of 1940 after its clear Britain will not be participating in peace talks what can be done?

There are the few Condors at hand. That's at least a start.
The Germans started to rebuild Condors for armed versions as early as March 1939 and set up the predecessor of KG 40 as early as September 1939, and ordered 20 Condors (at a contract price approximately of a Tiger tank apiece). The Japanese have ordered a military version already in 1938. So your original timeline was well within the spheres of reality (but instead of mid, it's rather the late-1930s).

The Germans also had a number of promising designs and crews with considerable blue water navigation experience. However, they were not consolidated into real fighting units, but they were deployed in high risk air transport missions. The Luftwaffe rather liked to raid the Lufthansa for aircrafts and aircrews irregularly, thus first they filled up the ranks of KGrzbV 172 and later the 4 engine aircrafts were consolidated into the 4./KGrzbV 107 before the Weserübung. Also at the outbreak of the war, there were 1 Ju 52, 2 Do 26s and 1 BV Ha 139 in the Canaries. They all made it back home through a then-hostile France, only to be consolidated into KGrzbV 108, which also suffered devastating losses in Weserübung. However, they helped the blockade runners with recon information before their departure, and it didn't seem to prompt the British or the French to declare war on Spain.

There were also other designs like the He 116 which was (would be) in my opinion the best maritime recon plane ever. Its fuel consumption was low, had an extraordinary range and it was cheap and easy to build; but the OkdL kept them for themselves and did not employ them in conjunction with the Kriegsmarine.
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Dec 2022 22:38
Then there was the small maritime attack group that already existed & was already operating against Brit cargo shipping. KG200 ? That was equipped with relatively short ranged He111. Tho conversion to Ju88 may have been scheduled. As a intern measure one can increase the range of the twin engined bombers by trading off bomb load for fuel capacity. Removing some weight not needed for long ranged maritime attacks is possible. Hypothetically at this point you can assign as many off the available bombers as you like to this mission, but once the decision for attacking the USSR is made diverting more away from that is a tough call. Who do you want to damage more in the near term? The Reds or the Brits? Theres also the question of diverting twin engined aircraft from the X Fliger Corps in the Mediterranean as 1941 progresses, and later from the operational group in northern Norway.
The principal anti-shipping units were the KG 26 and the KG 30, the former equipped with He 111s and the latter with Ju 88. It was the KG 30 that scored a hit on the Ark Royal (although they were not allowed to damage the Hood which was there as a clear target of opportunity).

The Küstenfliegergruppen (106, 406, 506, 606, 706, 806) were much less effective, only scoring two torpedo hits on November 7 and December 18 in 1939.

If the Germans really put some effort into these groups, they'd need more units like the KG 26 and the KG 30, a working torpedo with a proper number of He 115s, and of course more emphasis on very long range maritime recon / atttack planes in the KG 40. I wouldn't say that keeping hundreds of such aircrafts were within a realistic reach of the Germans, but to keep a fully crewed, equipped and operational KG 40 would result just enough British losses to worth the effort.

As for the production, the Germans were really frittering away their most valuable resources. The Ju 90s and the Condors were not really pressed into serivce in stable, organized units. By now I have a complete collection of the stories of all of these aircrafts in 1939-1941; they were employed in the worst possible ways.
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Dec 2022 22:38
It may be for the first six months, from November 1940, that after losses are added in you can't keep much more than the VLR Condors of OTL and 50 - 100 LR bombers operational. Otherwise you have to start drawing down operations in the East or Mediterranean to keep up a 200+ operational maritime force
The question is rather what is a maritime force? If it includes all kind of naval aviation units, the Germans had those numbers historically.

In a rational German maritime air force strategy, they could organize their forces into two units, both under the SKL / Kriegsmarine. One would be the short range units, the other the long range units.
The KG 26 and the KG 30 would coordinate their efforts with the SKL and not sink their own ships (Wikinger) for a start; also during the Weserübung, when the North Sea was full of excellent targets, the Küstenfliegergruppen would be authorized and ordered to press home as many torpedo attacks as possible, and the bomber units could attack British ships.

The long range unit (KG 40) would have 2 full Gruppe of Condors to carry out armed recon missions. 1 Gruppe would be the same with Ju 90s. 1 Gruppe would be lightly armed flying boats and 1 Gruppe would be long range recon, contributing to the blockade running, U-boat and surface raider efforts as well.
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Dec 2022 22:38
The next calculation is when and how many new VLR bombers can be provided? I know nothing of the Ju90 or the other proposed 'big bombers'. Is a average production of ten a month possible from May 1941, assuming the decision is made NLT November 1940? Are more possible? Again the caveat is how big a bite out of other operations would this make? If in terms of engine production one of these VLR replaces two medium bombers in the replacement production then it cancels 20 LR replacements at a low production estimate.
You just asked the right person :)

As for the FW 200, the production numbers are:
1939: 6
1940: 42
1941: 52

Ju 90 production numbers:
1939: 8
1940: 4
1941: 2 (production discontinued)

As for the engines, they used the same as other aircrafts (BMW 132 and Bramo 323). So yes, a production of ten was possible from like 1940, had the decision been made in 1939.
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Dec 2022 22:38
As a Base Line estimate how many cargo ships or tons cargo would be sunk by a notional 100 place bomber group? (excluding VLR reconissance models.). Ellis in 'Brute Force' gives 1.979,000 tons cargo embarked to Britain as lost enroute. With 1,390,000 tons cargo let to submarine attacks. Of the other 580,000 tons material sunk its not clear what was attributed to mines, surface raiders, or aircraft. The gross does average out to 165,000 tons which falls far short of the goals Raeder set for this campaign. So how many multiples of this base line 100 aircraft will it take to get 1941 losses to the 3.694,000 tons cargo lost enroute to the UK in 1942? Or how many in 1942 to push that number over the tipping point to where Churchills government falls & a settlement cabinet appointed or elected>
For comparison, the Condors contributed only to one quarter of the sunk Allied ships by German aircrafts, but here are some statistics:

1940: 20 ships (114,044 GRT) sunk and 37 ships (180,000 GRT) damaged, 5 Condors lost to the Allies, 9 lost to other causes
1941: 58 ships (234,443 GRT) sunk and 21 ships (112,256 GRT) damaged, 14 Condors lost to the Allies, 21 lost to other causes

The problem was the low operational readiness rate, often as low as 25%, thus the Condors never really carried out massed attacks, save a single mission in which 11 Condors took off to bomb Casablanca; 3 turned back, 1 was hit by AA and crash-landed in the Canaries, 2 ran out of fuel and landed in Southern Spain, 5 got back home normally. So if the Germans had a full complement of 45 aircraft on hand, they could probably deploy about 12 at any given time.

Let's assume that they double the production in 1939-1941 and could keep double that figure in the air with the same results and we have the numbers. Very far from being decisive on their own.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
24 Dec 2022 04:46
The most practical, and easiest to produce VLR bomber for maritime patrol for Germany is the Ju 88H. This is simply a standard Ju 88A with a stretched fuselage that holds like double to triple the fuel. If you have this plane earlier in the war and it is outfitted ASAP with Fritz X or Hs 293 missiles it would be a real ship killer.

Focke Wulf isn't going to produce more than a handful of FW 200, and Junkers can't manufacture more Ju 90 / 290 that like 2 or 3 a month at most. But Junkers could easily churn out a Ju 88H in sufficient numbers to equip several squadrons and keep them flying.
This bit is certainly not true. The increase of production out of thin air is certainly not possible, but there is no reason why the Junkers can't build 1 Ju 90 instead of 3-4 Ju 52s or Ju 88s.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Dec 2022 16:32

If the Germans really put some effort into these groups, they'd need more units like the KG 26 and the KG 30, a working torpedo with a proper number of He 115s, and of course more emphasis on very long range maritime recon / atttack planes in the KG 40. I wouldn't say that keeping hundreds of such aircrafts were within a realistic reach of the Germans, but to keep a fully crewed, equipped and operational KG 40 would result just enough British losses to worth the effort.
A working torpedo needs attention a few year earlier. If the decision is made in October 1940 then its how long before a German torpedo is in sufficient production? Begging the Italians means either waiting for the recently started Italian production to ramp up. Or, setting up a German production of Italian torpedo design, which probably means diverting some skilled engineers from some other project.

If I can believe the secondary sources there were a small number of German pilots skilled at extreme low level attacks. Although the bombs don't have the size of expolosive charge of a torpedo with these low level techniques they can be as effective as torpedos. The experience of the US 5th AF in the Pacific is one model for this. The down side is it takes extended training for proficiency in Skip Bombing or similar techniques. Still its worth pursuing since some small results could be had quicker that waiting for torpedos to appear.
This bit is certainly not true. The increase of production out of thin air is certainly not possible, but there is no reason why the Junkers can't build 1 Ju 90 instead of 3-4 Ju 52s or Ju 88s.
In the near term this might be more productive than a single focus pursuit of four engined aircraft production. This would present a opportunity for some synergy with the submarines. The medium bombers can attack on the Western and Eastern Approaches, out of the range of the Spitfires and Hurricaines. That could allow shifting some submarines to the Northern Approach for better concentration there. It also might lead to less coastal Command activity or effectiveness in the West & East Approaches. OTL. Coastal Command ran the submarines out of the home waters during the winter of 1940-41. If a few more squadrons are provided they can harass the vulnerable patrol planes of Coastal Command, and the ASW ships on patrol. Not a game changer in itself, but another increment in breaking down Brit cargo shipping.

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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by Peter89 » 24 Dec 2022 19:23

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
24 Dec 2022 16:32
If the Germans really put some effort into these groups, they'd need more units like the KG 26 and the KG 30, a working torpedo with a proper number of He 115s, and of course more emphasis on very long range maritime recon / atttack planes in the KG 40. I wouldn't say that keeping hundreds of such aircrafts were within a realistic reach of the Germans, but to keep a fully crewed, equipped and operational KG 40 would result just enough British losses to worth the effort.
A working torpedo needs attention a few year earlier. If the decision is made in October 1940 then its how long before a German torpedo is in sufficient production? Begging the Italians means either waiting for the recently started Italian production to ramp up. Or, setting up a German production of Italian torpedo design, which probably means diverting some skilled engineers from some other project.

If I can believe the secondary sources there were a small number of German pilots skilled at extreme low level attacks. Although the bombs don't have the size of expolosive charge of a torpedo with these low level techniques they can be as effective as torpedos. The experience of the US 5th AF in the Pacific is one model for this. The down side is it takes extended training for proficiency in Skip Bombing or similar techniques. Still its worth pursuing since some small results could be had quicker that waiting for torpedos to appear.
This bit is certainly not true. The increase of production out of thin air is certainly not possible, but there is no reason why the Junkers can't build 1 Ju 90 instead of 3-4 Ju 52s or Ju 88s.
In the near term this might be more productive than a single focus pursuit of four engined aircraft production. This would present a opportunity for some synergy with the submarines. The medium bombers can attack on the Western and Eastern Approaches, out of the range of the Spitfires and Hurricaines. That could allow shifting some submarines to the Northern Approach for better concentration there. It also might lead to less coastal Command activity or effectiveness in the West & East Approaches. OTL. Coastal Command ran the submarines out of the home waters during the winter of 1940-41. If a few more squadrons are provided they can harass the vulnerable patrol planes of Coastal Command, and the ASW ships on patrol. Not a game changer in itself, but another increment in breaking down Brit cargo shipping.
The Germans captured hundreds of torpedoes from the French. They simply didn't take it necessary to develop a torpedo bomber aircraft. He 115 was by and large acceptable for this role, but the torpedo bombing was still in testing phase and the production of He 115 lagged.

As for the medium bombers, tinkering with them will hardly result any aircraft variants that might outrange the coastal command's fighters. If you strip all of the defensive armament, extra armour and pack them full of fuel, they'd be easy preys of twin engined fighters.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 31 Dec 2022 16:52

Peter89 wrote:
24 Dec 2022 19:23
...As for the medium bombers, tinkering with them will hardly result any aircraft variants that might outrange the coastal command's fighters. If you strip all of the defensive armament, extra armour and pack them full of fuel, they'd be easy preys of twin engined fighters.
Which of Coastal Commands fighters are you looking at? Also is it really necessary to strip all the defense armament from the Ju88 or He111 to attack convoys on the Western or Eastern approaches?

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by T. A. Gardner » 31 Dec 2022 20:12

Peter89 wrote:
24 Dec 2022 14:13

This bit is certainly not true. The increase of production out of thin air is certainly not possible, but there is no reason why the Junkers can't build 1 Ju 90 instead of 3-4 Ju 52s or Ju 88s.
This is only partially true. To build a Ju 90 or 290 you need a set of jigs and tooling to do it. For each additional one being manufactured concurrently, you need another set. Since the ratio of complexity in aircraft is exponential, not linear, each Ju 90 / 290 will replace somewhere between 4 and 6 of the smaller aircraft on the assembly line.

In order to have enough to supply and keep say a single squadron of 12 flying, you'll need about 1 new plane every three days coming off the assembly line. Then there's the fuel issue I brought up before. Flying one long-range mission in a Ju 290 consumes roughly the fuel needed for a squadron of Me 109 to fly one sortie.

This is why doing the Ju 88H makes sense. This modification is simple to achieve. You stretch the fuselage some and insert larger / more fuel tanks. The plane might consume double the fuel of a Ju 88A per sortie, but that's nowhere near what the Ju 290 is needing. You get the range, and the plane can carry a useful load of ordinance for attacking ships. The interchangeability with other Ju 88's simplifies maintenance too.

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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by paulrward » 31 Dec 2022 22:15

Hello All ;

Mr. T.A. Gardner posted :
This is only partially true. To build a Ju 90 or 290 you need a set of jigs and
tooling to do it. For each additional one being manufactured concurrently, you need
another set. Since the ratio of complexity in aircraft is exponential, not linear, each
Ju 90 / 290 will replace somewhere between 4 and 6 of the smaller aircraft on the
assembly line.
Mr. Gardiner, perhaps some Engineering Help would prove of some value.

What you could do is take the Ju 88 H-1 design, and stretch the wings in the same way
that Junkers would stretch the wings in their wartime designs, and add two more engines.

Like So :
Ju 488 H1.jpg

This would allow an even greater fuel load, and could utilize many of the existing jigs
and fixtures used in the Ju 88 production line. No new technology or materials needed, simply
a ' Stretch ' of the existing design, in exactly the same way that Douglas stretched the DC-8
and DC-9, and Lockheed stretched the C-141 Starlifter.

The engineering wouldn't be difficult. You use the existing fuselage and wings, and simply bolt
the Ju88 H-1 wings to a newly designed two engine center section. This would allow you to
further increase the fuel capacity by using the inboard wing sections as fuel tanks, and also
to add even greater fuel to the fuselage tanks due to the increased power and wing area
available for take off.

Operationally, you would use all four engines for take off and climb, and then, at cruise altitude,
you would throttle back or even possibly shut down the outboard engines, and run at a lower
cruise speed, stretching the fuel and range for Long Range Atlantic Patrols, either to scout for
the U-boats, or even to carry out attacks on unguarded convoys.

It's not Rocket Science. Just Aeronautical Engineering.....


Respectfully

Paul R. Ward
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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by Peter89 » 01 Jan 2023 16:56

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
31 Dec 2022 16:52
Peter89 wrote:
24 Dec 2022 19:23
...As for the medium bombers, tinkering with them will hardly result any aircraft variants that might outrange the coastal command's fighters. If you strip all of the defensive armament, extra armour and pack them full of fuel, they'd be easy preys of twin engined fighters.
Which of Coastal Commands fighters are you looking at? Also is it really necessary to strip all the defense armament from the Ju88 or He111 to attack convoys on the Western or Eastern approaches?
Obviously the Beaufighter Mk IC which started to shoot down Condors from April 1941.

The USAAF 480th Anti-Submarine Group’s B-24D Liberators also shot down Condors, and in 1943 the RAF was able to partol the Bay of Biscay with Mosquitoes so it was game over by then anyway.

The fundamental problem was the Condor's very weak structure and unprotected fuel tanks (another stopgap measure).

No, I mean it was not necessary. The Ju 88 (Küstenfliegergruppe 106 & 606), the He 111 (I and III/KG 26) and even the Do 217 (II/KG 40) attacked Allied shipping in the Atlantic. The problem was still the same, because the convoy routes could be protected by RAF fighters (or modified bombers, heavy fighters, etc.) and if Germany was not able to defeat the RAF or put a serious strain on British aerial resources, the superior production of Britain would sooner or later seal the deal.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: German strategic bombers

Post by Peter89 » 01 Jan 2023 17:44

T. A. Gardner wrote:
31 Dec 2022 20:12
Peter89 wrote:
24 Dec 2022 14:13

This bit is certainly not true. The increase of production out of thin air is certainly not possible, but there is no reason why the Junkers can't build 1 Ju 90 instead of 3-4 Ju 52s or Ju 88s.
This is only partially true. To build a Ju 90 or 290 you need a set of jigs and tooling to do it. For each additional one being manufactured concurrently, you need another set. Since the ratio of complexity in aircraft is exponential, not linear, each Ju 90 / 290 will replace somewhere between 4 and 6 of the smaller aircraft on the assembly line.
This is not really true in this case. The complex part of an aircraft were the engines, the controls and the landing gear. Airframes were significantly more simple to produce. To produce 4 engines instead of 3 engines or 2 engines is not 4-6 times more complex or costly. Or do you have any proof that the production of 1 Ju 90 would equal 4-6 Ju 88?
T. A. Gardner wrote:
31 Dec 2022 20:12
In order to have enough to supply and keep say a single squadron of 12 flying, you'll need about 1 new plane every three days coming off the assembly line. Then there's the fuel issue I brought up before. Flying one long-range mission in a Ju 290 consumes roughly the fuel needed for a squadron of Me 109 to fly one sortie.
From the pictures I've seen, Ju 90 was not produced on assembly lines. But 10 aircrafts per month was not an impossible thing to achieve, not even with your numbers: if half of the production capacity for Ju 88 went to Ju 90 production, the Germans could have had a really large force.

T. A. Gardner wrote:
31 Dec 2022 20:12
This is why doing the Ju 88H makes sense. This modification is simple to achieve. You stretch the fuselage some and insert larger / more fuel tanks. The plane might consume double the fuel of a Ju 88A per sortie, but that's nowhere near what the Ju 290 is needing. You get the range, and the plane can carry a useful load of ordinance for attacking ships. The interchangeability with other Ju 88's simplifies maintenance too.
It doesn't really make sense to me. Plus I have no idea why you think that a BMW 801 engine in a Ju 90 (the Ju 290 didn't exist in the window of opportunity) would consume much-much more than double the fuel than the same engine in a Ju 88. The fuel consumption of a BMW 801 D engine varied between 255-440 l/h (except take off consumption) thus it is not even double.

Your note about the maintenance is also a bit misleading. As well as the remark on interchangeability. Because the maintenance personnel did a lot of things that were actually much easier with a few larger aircrafts than with many smaller ones (refuelling, washing, greasing, changing of filters, etc.) but also the overhauls are disproportionately easier with a single four-engine aircraft than with 4-6 two- or three-engine aircrafts. When it comes to equipment, it is also easier to have 1 operating radio than having 4-6 operating radios.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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