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WildeSau1975
05-09-2007, 05:14 AM
Hi all,

I understand that in the beginning of the war the German Luftwaffe didnt' deploy heavy bombers because it thought that there is no need for it and that bombers were used more tactically than strategic but my question is why didn't the try develop heavy bombers when attacking Britain and were not using existing planes like the Fw200 and

LEXX_Luthor
05-09-2007, 06:04 AM
I think Fw-200 could never make a heavy bomber -- too weak I hear -- and they were needed as transports or marine Atlantic recon.

This is interesting however...


Directive No. 21: Operation Barbarossa, by Adolf Hitler
:
:
The enemy will then be energetically pursued and a line will be reached from which the Russian Air Force can no longer attack German territory. The final objective of the operation is to erect a barrier against Asiatic Russia on the general line Volga-Archangel.

<span class="ev_code_yellow">The last surviving industrial area of Russia in the Urals can then, if necessary, be eliminated by the Luftwaffe.</span>
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:
B. Luftwaffe
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In order that we may concentrate all our strength against the enemy Air Force and for the immediate support of land operations, the Russian armaments industry will not be attacked during the main operations. Such attacks will be made only after the conclusion of mobile warfare, and they will be concentrated first on the Urals area.
:
:
~ http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/1084/fuehrer_directives.htm

Didn't turn out like that, but its a good in-game fantasy scenario idea to make missions or campaign with Germans in a position to carry out such a strategic plan in late 1941. Here, the Russian MiG-3, my fave WW2 plane, would prove the "ultimate interceptor" (a term given to the somewhat later Ussian F-106), as it was the only such aircraft in the world at the time.

...or late 1940. My fave fantasy scenario is an early summer/late spring 1940 Barbarossa, where Germany turns East instead of wasting the reputation of the Bf-110 in a battle over England. Up its mis-use during the Battle of Britain, the Bf-110 was the elite Luftwaffe fighter. In a 1940 Barbarossa campaign, the Bf-110 with its long range would be the prime tactical fighter -- No Yaks, No LaGGs, No MiGs. Only in early 1941 would the first MiG-3s challenge german bombers and Bf-110 escorts at high altitude over the Urals. Interesting game ideas for those interested in these aircraft.

MAX_theHitman
05-09-2007, 06:05 AM
Back then I guess the war policy was more light-medium bombers was better than "heavier bombers". But that was a big mistake since the germans invaded russia, because without long-range heavy bombers such as the U.S.B-17 types the germans couldn´t not bomb the Russian factories hidden out deep in Russian territory. Big mistake in not developing heavy-bombers earlier in 1939. Also good for the world that the nazis didn´t win the war, right?
Although it would be very interesting to see someone model a Me-264 Amerika_bomber prototype to add to this game. It does look alot like the B-29 but has a different tail design. It might add some interesting missions to the game. Just a thought.

Cheers
MAX

tigertalon
05-09-2007, 06:07 AM
Originally posted by WildeSau1975:
Hi all,

I understand that in the beginning of the war the German Luftwaffe didnt' deploy heavy bombers because it thought that there is no need for it and that bombers were used more tactically than strategic but my question is why didn't the try develop heavy bombers when attacking Britain and were not using existing planes like the Fw200 and

Fw200 was a converted airliner. It was by no means a military concept from the beginning (contrary to He111 and Do17 which were 'disguised' as civil planes with bomber in mind during it's concievement). It would get minced by spits and hurris. It was suited for long range recconaisance/maritime patrol missions where an encounter with enemy fighters was not likely.

German philosophy regarding bombers was quite different: they considered them just as a long(er) range artillery to support ground troops. They never had the strategic long range bomber force in mind (till it was too late).

stef51
05-09-2007, 09:14 AM
Originally posted by WildeSau1975:
Hi all,

I understand that in the beginning of the war the German Luftwaffe didnt' deploy heavy bombers because it thought that there is no need for it and that bombers were used more tactically than strategic but my question is why didn't the try develop heavy bombers when attacking Britain and were not using existing planes like the Fw200 and

General Walther Wever's death had a lot to do with it apparently....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkers_Ju_89

Wever's link seems to be in error though...

Stef51

ElAurens
05-09-2007, 11:14 AM
The term "German heavy bomber" is an oxymoron.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

csThor
05-09-2007, 11:36 AM
Not necessarily. The He-177 was certainly qualifying as "heavy" bomber, but there was a load of reasons for Germany not building heavy bombers.

a) As early as 1937 the german industry was aware that Germany's fuel reserves would limit the amount of mechanization of its field army and the kind of air force it was building. A thorough study revealed that the 3rd Reich could either build and equip a modern field army with enough tanks and support vehicles and a tactically oriented air force or a strategic fleet of heavy bombers as proposed by General Walter Wever (the Luftwaffe's first Chief of Staff). One particularly pessimistic entity calculated a heavy bomber fleet sucking up around a third of Germany's total fuel reserves in a single month of operations. That doomed the idea right from the start.

b) Due to the limitations of the Versailles Treaty Germany had some issues with producing enough ammunition (especially artillery shells and bombs) to keep up with demand. A fleet of heavy bombers would be uneconomical with the bombload given the massive accuracy problems level bombers faced at that time. That was one reason for the Stuka idea to be born (even before Udet bought the two Curtiss Hawks in the USA). The Stuka could deliver a decent payload with a (for the 1930s) staggering accuracy.

c) Germany was economically limited by the general lack of key raw materials. A medium bomber was far easier to build, swallowed less fuel and was much cheaper than a heavy bomber. Knowing the limitation of the german aviation industry most german medium bombers were designed to carry an unusually heavy payload for an aircraft of its class - few (if any) allied medium bombers came close to a Ju 88 or He 111 hauling its full possible bombload around.

d) The last prominent reason was the lack of enemies requiring a fleet of strategic bombers. I'm not talking about 1939 or 1940 and beyond, but of the early 1930s when the Luftwaffe and its doctrine were developed in secrecy. What Germany faced then was a potential tactical war on its borders against Poland, Czechoslovakia or a french intervention in the west. For that kind of warfare it didn't need heavy bombers but tactical support planes with a greater accuracy than usual bombsights of that time could achieve. For example to crack a certain pillbox of the czech defenses in Sudetenland a Stuka was the much more suited aircraft than a B-17 would ever be.

WildeSau1975
05-10-2007, 03:51 AM
csThor, many thanks for this interesting post. This clarifies a lot for me.
WildeSau