V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 10062
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 11 Jan 2023 13:00

thaddeus_c wrote:
10 Jan 2023 19:31

my point for a somewhat earlier introduction of the V-1 weapon was that the LW would have had at least a small bomber force.

that could have been used in conjunction with the V-1 bombing campaign or held back for the anticipated Allied invasion of France

I think I understand what you are getting at there. The Luftwaffe commanders choose to hold back the bomber force until the invasion was identified.


This analysis has some useful numbers for the German air activity against the OVERLORD operations:

https://www.history.navy.mil/research/l ... mandy.html


Most of the directly relevant numbers are in Chapter III. In that I see the German bomber force managed 6th June through 1 July sorties of "3,568 bombers carrying bombs, mines and torpedoes;". These were run through Luftflotte 3 & does not include any sorties flown by units outside Luftflotte 3. Also the comparison of total Allied and German air forces sorties of al types is given. 96,000 vs 13,983 sorties. From the first week the German bomber sorties were flown at night. Losses in daylight operations were prohibitive long before 6th June and a few daylight attacks from 6th June confirmed this.

thaddeus_c
Member
Posts: 816
Joined: 22 Jan 2014 03:16

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by thaddeus_c » 11 Jan 2023 15:41

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
11 Jan 2023 13:00
thaddeus_c wrote:
10 Jan 2023 19:31

my point for a somewhat earlier introduction of the V-1 weapon was that the LW would have had at least a small bomber force.

that could have been used in conjunction with the V-1 bombing campaign or held back for the anticipated Allied invasion of France
I think I understand what you are getting at there. The Luftwaffe commanders choose to hold back the bomber force until the invasion was identified.

This analysis has some useful numbers for the German air activity against the OVERLORD operations:

https://www.history.navy.mil/research/l ... mandy.html

Most of the directly relevant numbers are in Chapter III. In that I see the German bomber force managed 6th June through 1 July sorties of "3,568 bombers carrying bombs, mines and torpedoes;". These were run through Luftflotte 3 & does not include any sorties flown by units outside Luftflotte 3. Also the comparison of total Allied and German air forces sorties of al types is given. 96,000 vs 13,983 sorties. From the first week the German bomber sorties were flown at night. Losses in daylight operations were prohibitive long before 6th June and a few daylight attacks from 6th June confirmed this.
well the Baby Blitz cost them what little force (and flexibility) they had left for the Allied invasion. V-1 launches beginning in Jan.'44 might satisfy whatever political needs the Nazi regime had, setting aside their effectiveness, and sparing the bombers.

the numbers you cited show any conventional bombing is nearly futile, even if attempted around D-Day landings, but there is at least the chance for some "Raid on Bari" surprise?

User avatar
T. A. Gardner
Member
Posts: 3568
Joined: 02 Feb 2006 00:23
Location: Arizona

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by T. A. Gardner » 11 Jan 2023 21:01

thaddeus_c wrote:
11 Jan 2023 15:41
well the Baby Blitz cost them what little force (and flexibility) they had left for the Allied invasion. V-1 launches beginning in Jan.'44 might satisfy whatever political needs the Nazi regime had, setting aside their effectiveness, and sparing the bombers.

the numbers you cited show any conventional bombing is nearly futile, even if attempted around D-Day landings, but there is at least the chance for some "Raid on Bari" surprise?
That's why you want something like the BV 246 Hagelkorn. The bombers take off, climb to say 25,000 feet, release their glide bombs, land, and repeat. You could get several strikes in a night off one tank of gas on the plane and suffer no losses. Does it really matter that the bombs land "somewhere in England with say 50% or so hitting London? If you drop say 50 a night, that would be a very annoying thing. They would also arrive with little or no warning.

As a purely terror weapon that could be very effective.

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 10062
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Jan 2023 00:09

thaddeus_c wrote:
11 Jan 2023 15:41

well the Baby Blitz cost them what little force (and flexibility) they had left for the Allied invasion. V-1 launches beginning in Jan.'44 might satisfy whatever political needs the Nazi regime had, setting aside their effectiveness, and sparing the bombers.
Theres the actual PoD. The Brits were tracking the V programs and intervened against the first German attempt to build launchers. That was Operation CROSSBOW. The US 9th AF participated in that during the winter early 1944. My father a ordnance officer remembered loading out the bombers for missions against "mystery targets" the RAF was handing them. The mission briefs were based on land marks only with no specific target description. After a month or two of that treatment the Germans started building mobile launchers and hid those til the V weapons were ready.

If you can keep the V 1 program a actual secret & not a target opportunity for the RAF then you have a start to your desired end state.
the numbers you cited show any conventional bombing is nearly futile, even if attempted around D-Day landings, but there is at least the chance for some "Raid on Bari" surprise?
They did hit and sink a few ships. Various German intel groups had estimates ranging 100,000 tons or more sunk June & July. I have no clue what the actual number was. The TIGER exercise disaster suggests what a Bari clone air raid might accomplish.

Theres better sources on this than Wiki, but I don't have the URL any more. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Coupole

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-1_flyin ... facilities

thaddeus_c
Member
Posts: 816
Joined: 22 Jan 2014 03:16

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by thaddeus_c » 12 Jan 2023 00:40

T. A. Gardner wrote:
11 Jan 2023 21:01
thaddeus_c wrote:
11 Jan 2023 15:41
well the Baby Blitz cost them what little force (and flexibility) they had left for the Allied invasion. V-1 launches beginning in Jan.'44 might satisfy whatever political needs the Nazi regime had, setting aside their effectiveness, and sparing the bombers.

the numbers you cited show any conventional bombing is nearly futile, even if attempted around D-Day landings, but there is at least the chance for some "Raid on Bari" surprise?
That's why you want something like the BV 246 Hagelkorn. The bombers take off, climb to say 25,000 feet, release their glide bombs, land, and repeat. You could get several strikes in a night off one tank of gas on the plane and suffer no losses. Does it really matter that the bombs land "somewhere in England with say 50% or so hitting London? If you drop say 50 a night, that would be a very annoying thing. They would also arrive with little or no warning.

As a purely terror weapon that could be very effective.
I always mention that BV-246 weapon, since this thread was for the V-1 weapon I was limiting my comments to that. I had sketched out an alt.history scenario where the glide bomb was used with high altitude JU-86s, they flew those through several zones to be as disruptive as possible on nuisance raids, my understanding the British stopped triggering air raid sirens at one point. they could send the glide bomb off in another direction.

there is a post war (USAF IIRC) study that questioned why the V-1 was not used as an incendiary weapon and/or chemical weapon (the latter would be ruled out since they never employed chemical weapons, but the former might have been productive? likewise with the glide bombs)

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 10062
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Jan 2023 00:55

Hmm.. a core explosive charge rigged to toss canisters of Phosphous around the landscape...

User avatar
T. A. Gardner
Member
Posts: 3568
Joined: 02 Feb 2006 00:23
Location: Arizona

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by T. A. Gardner » 12 Jan 2023 01:12

thaddeus_c wrote:
12 Jan 2023 00:40
I always mention that BV-246 weapon, since this thread was for the V-1 weapon I was limiting my comments to that. I had sketched out an alt.history scenario where the glide bomb was used with high altitude JU-86s, they flew those through several zones to be as disruptive as possible on nuisance raids, my understanding the British stopped triggering air raid sirens at one point. they could send the glide bomb off in another direction.

there is a post war (USAF IIRC) study that questioned why the V-1 was not used as an incendiary weapon and/or chemical weapon (the latter would be ruled out since they never employed chemical weapons, but the former might have been productive? likewise with the glide bombs)
I mentioned it as a supplement to the V-1. If you have both being launched simultaneously, it would likely confuse the Allied response at first. That might well give the V-1 more time to be effective than a single prong approach where the Allies quickly start moving AA guns and fighters into place to counter the V-1.

The BV 246 has a range of up 120 miles dropped from 25,000 to 30,000 feet. That means most extant Luftwaffe bombers could easily haul them to the proper altitude for release to hit London at say from 40 to 50 miles out. After all, they only have to glide down to building height and impact a building horizontally to be effective.

thaddeus_c
Member
Posts: 816
Joined: 22 Jan 2014 03:16

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by thaddeus_c » 12 Jan 2023 13:05

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Jan 2023 00:55
Hmm.. a core explosive charge rigged to toss canisters of Phosphous around the landscape...
the post-war study of the V-1 weapon I was referencing mentioned incendiary as a throwaway line without much elaboration.

IDK enough about the subject as to whether the V-1 could scatter bomblets as their Butterfly Bomb canister could?

thaddeus_c
Member
Posts: 816
Joined: 22 Jan 2014 03:16

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by thaddeus_c » 12 Jan 2023 13:22

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Jan 2023 00:09
Theres the actual PoD. The Brits were tracking the V programs and intervened against the first German attempt to build launchers. That was Operation CROSSBOW. The US 9th AF participated in that during the winter early 1944. My father a ordnance officer remembered loading out the bombers for missions against "mystery targets" the RAF was handing them. The mission briefs were based on land marks only with no specific target description. After a month or two of that treatment the Germans started building mobile launchers and hid those til the V weapons were ready.

If you can keep the V 1 program a actual secret & not a target opportunity for the RAF then you have a start to your desired end state.
I've always speculated on a parallel engine development for the V-1 since the pulse jet gave them such issues, that they could have the "disposable" conventional jet https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_005

their issue(s) with jet engines was to extend the operational life, not an issue here as they are single use?

this could possibly be the POD for an earlier introduction, with a lower cost pulse jet version following along the historical timeline.

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 10062
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Jan 2023 19:12

thaddeus_c wrote:
12 Jan 2023 13:22

this could possibly be the POD for an earlier introduction, with a lower cost pulse jet version following along the historical timeline.
I don't know. My casual review this week, did not tell me how much Op CROSSBOW set back the launch capability, or the first use. Its certain a few could have been launched earlier depite the British attacks, the questions is in what volume?

Von Schadewald
Member
Posts: 2065
Joined: 16 Nov 2004 23:17
Location: Israel

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Von Schadewald » 12 Jan 2023 23:14

Judging by Goebbel's enthusiasm in this late 1944 speech, he & the Germans really believed the V weapons would turn the tide

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndSa5YdDDLg

Michael Kenny
Member
Posts: 8267
Joined: 07 May 2002 19:40
Location: Teesside

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Michael Kenny » 13 Jan 2023 00:30

Goebbels mentioned the V Weapons in Die Deutsche Wochenschau № 723 in July 1944



https://www.net-film.ru/en/film-57612/

and it can not be emphasised how much this type of thinking was keeping the Germans going in 1944. POW Interrogation reports show that the ordinary soldier really did believe Britain was being devastated by the V Weapons and victory (or a negotiated end) was on the cards.

thaddeus_c
Member
Posts: 816
Joined: 22 Jan 2014 03:16

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by thaddeus_c » 13 Jan 2023 01:08

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Jan 2023 19:12
thaddeus_c wrote:
12 Jan 2023 13:22

this could possibly be the POD for an earlier introduction, with a lower cost pulse jet version following along the historical timeline.
I don't know. My casual review this week, did not tell me how much Op CROSSBOW set back the launch capability, or the first use. Its certain a few could have been launched earlier depite the British attacks, the questions is in what volume?
sorry if I was unclear, I meant a parallel engine development could allow earlier V-1 introduction, all the books I've read have the vibration from the pulse jet as a serious cause of delay.

the short lifespan of their conventional jets was a problem with manned aircraft but I was speculating a "small" single use jet could have been used.

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 10062
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Jan 2023 01:31

I understood what you meant. My thought was the the effect the RAF attacks had for delaying deployment.

User avatar
Sheldrake
Member
Posts: 3747
Joined: 28 Apr 2013 17:14
Location: London

Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Sheldrake » 13 Jan 2023 02:15

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Jan 2023 19:12
thaddeus_c wrote:
12 Jan 2023 13:22

this could possibly be the POD for an earlier introduction, with a lower cost pulse jet version following along the historical timeline.
I don't know. My casual review this week, did not tell me how much Op CROSSBOW set back the launch capability, or the first use. Its certain a few could have been launched earlier depite the British attacks, the questions is in what volume?
Op Crossbow seems to have achieved very little for the loss of nearly 2,000 aircrew. The initial targets were the "ski sites" so called from the curved shape when seen from the air. The V1 programme started with a frenzy of construction by the Todt organisation which responded with the alacrity of any construction company given a blank cheque. Along side there was accompanied by a similar investment in reinforced concrete for monsterous launch sites for V2. By December 1944 a general had been appointed to command the organisations launching V weapons. His vew was that the concrete only served to attract bombing and that the V weapons wopuld be better served by concealment. A revised V1 launch platform was designed using rails and v2 would be launched from mobile launchers. The hardened sites would be completes - but as decoys. Op Crossbow continued on the Noball targets and largely missed the simplified, better concealed sites.

Allied bombing did impose significant delay on the V1 programme when a USAAF raid on Kassel hit some factory that made a key component by accident. They weren't aiming for that factory and weren't aware of its significance. I am not sure the raid on Peenemunde did that much either. It did force the Germans to disperse production, which .

Return to “What if”