View Full Version : Strange Axis related Question

12-15-2004, 07:21 PM
If the Luftwaffe had produced the Mitsubishi Zero under licence at the beginning of 1940 and used it as an escort fighter in conjunction with the BF109 E would they have won the Battle of Britain?

also does anybody know the displacement of the Jumo213 - the FW190 D's engine?

12-15-2004, 07:27 PM
maybe, and no idea http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

12-15-2004, 09:58 PM
No becuase even if the Luftwaffe had obtained control of the skies over S.E. England they would not been in a situation to obtain control of the English Channel from the Royal Navy. Also if the Luftwaffe hadn't changed tactics and concentrated on bombing London, they had pretty much brought the RAF to its knees another week or so and Luftwaffe may have had air superiority at least for a while.

12-16-2004, 12:17 AM
It's a simple trade-off: armour for range

There's a good reason German fighters poor range: they were designed to operate over well-defended industrial targets, take damage, and still return

Japanese naval fighters operating over France and Britain would have been shot out of the sky long before they could be of any use

12-16-2004, 02:28 AM
The displacement of the Jumo 213A, the FW 190D's engine, is 35 liters (2136cu.in.).
Source: Jane's Fighting Aircraft of WWII - Engine section.


12-16-2004, 02:40 AM
What did Churchill say..We will fight them on the beaches..we will fight them in the villages and in the towns...we will never surrender... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif (its not a totally accurate quote, and yes i am a Brit http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif)

12-16-2004, 03:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ForkTailedDevil:
Also if the Luftwaffe hadn't changed tactics and concentrated on bombing London, they had pretty much brought the RAF to its knees another week or so and Luftwaffe may have had air superiority at least for a while. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

yes, God blessed us, he sent them a dumba@@, and let him made that dumba@@ic decsion, thanks God....

12-16-2004, 03:24 AM
So am I JG52

(Thanks Zeb for the engine info)

I also ahve studied the RN in great depth and realise that any invasion of the UK would be impossible to achieve without nullifying the RN first as well as the RAF.
But lets face it if the RAF was out of the picture sufficiently the RN would be in a situation like it was in the MED where it suffered heavy losses only this time there would be the whole Luftwaffe and not just a couple of Gruppen to field against it. Stukas and Ju88's were deadly against shipping.

I also have read that the RAF was a week or so from being defeated had Hitler not switched targets - I think this is perhaps a little bit exaggerated but still had the LW concentrated on airfields over southern England they should have been able to secure a passage of an Army it'd take only a few days - a week max to land sufficient forces to defeat the demoralised British Army. Or to succeed in taking London.

I think that the Zero with its extra range would have enabled the LW to spend longer over its target area and therefore do its job more effectively. The claim that the 109 E is much better armoured than the Zero may be so but any small fighter aircraft is fragile. Flying over Southern England would not pose any greater AAA threat than flying over Ships in the Pacific or heavily defended carriers or airfields. If either plane took any form of substantial hit it would probably mean that the pilot would end up in the channel anyway.

Oh , by the way im no great Zero fan I think its pretty rubbish really I much preffer the 109 - but as an escort fighter range is paramount add that to very experienced well trained pilots and you have - well the Japanese Navy during 1941/42

12-16-2004, 05:13 AM
Interesting question. I think the Germans would have added armor and self-sealing tanks, but that would not have mattered that much. What matters is the range. And add the fearsome low speed handling... I think the RAF would be in a double trouble. Why? Well, let's see:

The LW would be able to escort the bombers all the way to the farthest target and fight the RAF. and at the low speed at which the escorting is, they would be in advantage to the Hurricanes and Spitfires. Also, the ability to send CONSTANTLY groups of fighters to circle over the RAF fields and stay there... The inscreased stress of the RAF pilots(knowing that you could and would be attacked while taking off, while landing, having to fly even more sorties) would really have made a difference. Personally I would keep the production and training of the new Zero equipped Gruppen in full secret. Keep them in reserve, a joker in the sleeve.

But if the production of the German Zeros had started, this would mean Hitler's firm decision to attack Britain. This means Me-109s with drop tanks, ground forces atacking the retreating British Expedition Corps, demoralized Britain. No such thing like "miracle escape". do you really think the RN would stand a chance against the Luftwaffe? Think about the retreat from Crete, think about the Med, think about the Guadalcanal and Leyte Gulf.

And the "we shall fight them..." sorry but was pure BS. The forces that were to defend the beaches had really limited ammount of ammo. Hey, there were even considerations of equipping militia units... with pikes! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/354.gif against the best army in the world? What's next, humanwave attacks? I am thinking about the Banzai counterattacks... It is hard to imagine Tom, Bob, Mary, George and James countercharging yelling "god save the Queen", at least for me.

and once again, I am really glad this did not happen. <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> posted by FatBoyHK:
yes, God blessed us, he sent them a dumba$$, and let him made that dumba$$ic decsion, thanks God.... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Amen to that.

12-16-2004, 06:36 AM

The only really effective attacks that the Germans mounted during the BoB were low level strikes against strategic targets (radar stations/aircraft production) so I'm not sure that switching to London was such a big mistake.

Sure, it took the pressure of the airfields but, from what I've read, they were able to just about cope with what they were being hit with.

The LW's problem was that they just didn't know how effective their low level attacks were both by evading British radar and putting the "eyes" of the command and control system out of action.

What with the strength of the C&C and the increasing production capability for RAF planes, it's hard to say what effect the Zero would have had but if it had started to shoot down planes (and pilots) faster then they could be replaced then of course it could have changed the outcome...as would if the Zero's range permitted it to defend bombers all the way to target and back.

I suppose the other effect the range of the Zero would have had is to undermine British morale by denying access to the bombers.


12-16-2004, 07:02 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mynameisroland:

But lets face it if the RAF was out of the picture sufficiently the RN would be in a situation like it was in the MED where it suffered heavy losses only this time there would be the whole Luftwaffe and not just a couple of Gruppen to field against it. Stukas and Ju88's were deadly against shipping.

The med was convoys and warships protecting them. If sealion went ahead the entire home fleet would be out there, thats allot of ships and not having a convoy to stay near and protect it and in home waters near to bases they could rearm and refuel at, would alow them freedom to manouver and take offensive action and the combined firepower of such a huge fleet would be frightning. Would the Luftwaffe not then be over stretched, taking on hundreds of ready and waiting combat ships, there bases of operation, RAF airfields, the airfields and reserves in the north of the UK, the oil refineries in Wales, the steel works in the north and also protecting the invasion force as it tries to weave through one of the biggest navies in the world which is prepared to sacrifice itself to protect the homeland?

12-16-2004, 07:33 AM
This would have been an apocalyptical battle. Just imagine it... The whole Royal Navy, the Kriegsmarine with all the U-boats, in the air the most desperate battles the world would ever see.

But what would stop the Luftwaffe annihilate the RAF and then hunt the RN?

If some of you could provide a table with the strength of the RN and Kriegsmarine at that time... It will make an interesting discussion

Ruy Horta
12-16-2004, 08:44 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mynameisroland:
If the Luftwaffe had produced the Mitsubishi Zero under licence at the beginning of 1940 and used it as an escort fighter in conjunction with the BF109 E would they have won the Battle of Britain? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Its been mentioned before but:

First would Luftwaffe air superiority have been enough to defeat Britain in 1940, or even limited air superiority over the intended invasion areas.

The Germans lacked the capability to stage a 1940 invasion under the best terms, in the face of the RN (arguably the mightiest Navy in 1940) it was absolutely without a chance.

The British government knew that.

They certainly knew that in 1914 when the German Navy was much more evenly matched, they would have had the same wisdom in 1940.

The defeat on the continent needed a comparable victory, the Battle of Britain (as in narrow British definition) was the answer.

Second in the summer of 1940 the Zero was JUST entering limited service over China, so technology wasn't even ready to be deployed en masse in 1940. The Zero came to its rights in 1941/42, not earlier.

Although it would not have made a difference in 1940, would it theoretically fared much better than the Bf 109E-1, 3, 4 and 7?

The Zero would have been unacceptable as used by the IJN, since it would require added armor, added quality radio etc etc etc, all with an engine that was less then 900hp. The fight did move up and the Zero would have been at a disadvantage compared to Spits, Hurris and Messerschmitts above medium altitudes.

Yes it would have had range, but at the short hop over the channel that range would not have been translated into combat capability.

Since the Zero and Fw 190 histories run fairly close, you might as well ask if the Luftwaffe would have done better with Fw 190s over Britain in the Summer of 1940! And the Focke Wulf with drop tank would have been much more effective than the Zero.

The Zero was a nice fighter early in the war, but it would not have fitted in the Battle of Britain and it would not have changed the outcome.

Another interesting question however is how theoretically the respective combattants would have done under similar circumstances both defensively and offensively.

Would the RAF have been capable of defeating a Luftwaffe defending Britain in 1940, attacking with their material (Battles, Spits, Blenheims etc).

Would the Luftwaffe have been capable of defending Britain with its doctrine and material, would they have done better or worse than the RAF?

Would the US material and doctrine have been capable of defeating Britain in 1940?

etc etc etc

With the simple RAF/Luftwaffe reversal I think that the outcome would be similar - the attacker would fail, but perhaps in this case more so.

12-16-2004, 08:55 AM
I think even if the Luftwaffe had obtained air superiority they would have had to hold it while the bombers including FW-200's tackeled the RN I don't think the Kreigsmarine surface fleet was ready for even the RN Home Fleet. The best bet after the Luftwaffe had contol of the skies would have been for Germany to do 3 other things. Capture the Suez canal, Malta and Gibralter. With those three things in Axis hands England would have been finished.

12-16-2004, 09:09 AM
First of all, if the Germans had produced or bought the Zero and then upgraded the armor and tanks, overall performance would have suffered accordingly. The A6M1/2 Zero had something like a 975 hp engine, and some experienced Japanese pilots would (and remember, most of these pilots weighed less than 57kg)not wear a 'chute because they were convinced that the extra 15-20kg had a deleterious effect on their aircraft's performance.

Also, there's the issue of top speed. The Zero did about 335 mph, tops, not much faster (if at all) than the Hurricane, and quite a bit slower than the Spitfire MK I. The RAF would have been booming and zooming within a few days of their first encounters with the Zero, avoiding the turning fight, and demanding more incendiary ammo. Also, we'd have to factor in the German pilots' reaction to so many more of their comrades dying a fiery death; culturally, the Japanese were much more sanguine about such things than Europeans.

On the plus side, the Zero was more reliable than the 109, and suffered far fewer ground handling problems (almost a third of all 109s were lost in operational accidents-mostly taxiing, landing or takeoff accidents). Availability would have been higher, although I suspect combat losses might also have be higher.

Do the German Zeros get German radios, or would they be stuck with the unreliable Japanese ones? This also has an effect on team tactics, comms with your wingman, and getting directions home.

Throwing the Zero into the BoB mix changes a lot of things, not just the range capabilities of the Jagdewaffe. It creates new problems for both sides.



12-16-2004, 03:39 PM
The topic and the discussion based on it are interesting. Please, let me comment the Battle of Britain but let me do it without dealing with the "Zero" -alternative at all! As somebody said, the Japanese fighter was hardly in service in those days.

According to a german writer, General von Tippelskircsh (the first edition of his history of WWII was published in early 1950:s), the question of the operation "Seel√¬∂we", invasion to Great Britain, was a more or less Hitler‚¬īs bluff. He had proposed peace in july 1940 but Churchill did not agree. Now he was dealing with a problem which he had not foreseen neither had he prepared himself for that. The war was meant to be short and in the beginning it was not to escalate out from Poland at all.

After the collapse of France there was the immediate need to stop the war at the greatest German victories at hand. But Churchill did not let Hitler go that easy. Hence, Germany had to keep fighting against the Great Britain, go on in a battle, which was not originally wanted. Luftwaffe was designed to different kind of warfare, Kriegsmarine was poorly equipped and it had not been trained for invasions. In addition Flotte did not posses adequate landing crafts at all.

Jodl wrote a memorandum dated on the 30:th of June, where he recommended invasion to England only if 1) Great Britain had allready collapsed conscerning war-economy and 2) if RAF was hardly able to fly for any more. That memorandum was dated roughly a week after France‚¬īs capitulation. There is no question about that they had studied theoretically the possibilities for Battle of Britain for months by that time, but this just memorandum had been written during the first week after Germany‚¬īs great victory in France. It shows, that the high command well knew their limited capabilities for invasion to England. The well known demand for "airsuperiority" over southern England was not the only condition. Great Britain must be practically destroyed related to war economy before landing on their beaches would be possible.

Hitler wrote his directive No 16, dated in July the 16:th in 1940, whereby he declared that the "purpose of invasion to England is to prevent the Brits from conducting warfare against Germany from the mother land and if necessary, to occupy her totally". (my translation)

Hitler‚¬īs direction No 16 was naturally based on all the calculations known to high command. They knew that they could not do such a maneuver just like that. And they knew, that Germany could not hope for quick results from their U-boot flotte either, since there were only about 28 operative boats at that time. Luftwaffe in it‚¬īs turn could not smash the British economy either.

England was not the only thing to worry about. The Sovjet Union had activated surprisingly during the previous 10 months in war, which was not her war originally at all... Poland, Finland, three Baltic countries and Rumanian Bessarabia not to mention the diplomatic warfare about Dardanelles etc. Germany had to calculate their possibilities carefully, for war between Germany and Sovjet Union seemed unavoidable - sooner or later.

What was left? What could germany do? In the meaning of to fight the Brits they had to expand their U-boot flotte which they did, but that process was to take time and it was to consume much of germany‚¬īs industrial power. Something had to be done immediately after the collapse of France, and the only thing Germany could do was to conduct warfare in the air.

In the situation where the German highcommand knew that they could not invade England just like that, where they felt that something had to be done against Great Britain and in addition there was the Sovjet Union to worry about, they could do the only possible operations: expand the U-boot fleet, prepare war plans for Russia, and conduct aerial warfare against Britain. And of course, spread around rumours and other propaganda about instant invasion to England.

I don‚¬īt know if I could write this sound way as English is hard to me and I`m tired, on the way to bed, but I wanted to write this because the topic is so interesting.

I remain dreaming of a GOOOOOOOOOOOOD BoB,

12-16-2004, 05:54 PM
Very interesting posts , i have to agree with the last two , the Royal Navy was indeed too mighty , it was nearly impossible to overcome it , Germany just didn't have the naval strength to destroy it in 1940 , nor to organize an invasion .

Hitler plan was to weaken England in the short term in the air and on the sea , to sort out everything on the continent first , and only after invading USSR etc..(bordering countries ), re-switching with full strength and thinking about invading England , and fortunately , it failed .

12-16-2004, 06:33 PM
Well, Hurri and Spits didn't fair too well in the Pacific when they first met the Zero, so...and even if the Spits could learn not to turn with the Zero, the Hurri had no alternative and the Hurri made up most of the RAF.

1940 He~100 would have done the job http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/icon_twisted.gif

I am most interested in "what if" Hitler was smart and instead of throwing away his Air Force over England, had invaded USSR starting late summer 1940. The neat thing is that up until mid 1940, the Germans considered the Bf~110 as their most "elite" fighter. After BoB of course Bf~110 was shifted to ground support (very effective too). But with the "what if" of late 1940 Barbarossa instead of wasted BoB, it would be interesting to see how the still "elite" Bf~110 would fair as escort fighter over USSR in 1940...given Extreme experienced Bf~110 crews from combat in Poland and France, and high speed compared to Soviet fighters of 1940 such as I~152, I~153, I~16...NO YAKs, NO LAGGs, NO MIGGs.

Perhaps the greatest untold "what if" is exploring Hitler's hope that Japan would attack Russian forces in the Far East in 1941...Zeros and Ki~43 against the usual suspects http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ...haha Merged FBP. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

12-16-2004, 08:33 PM
the bf110 drivers didnt fare to well in poland btw.

p11 drivers performed mightly http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

ill photo some pages from a book i got tomoz, including some interestin info.

lw intelleigence took raf strength from before BOB, added production figures, and then took away those claimed as kills by fighters and bombers. fighter command didnt exist, it had MINUS planes.

in fact, the raf had a similer number of planes (but less experienced pilots) http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

another what if
douglas bader, leading polish pilots http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/icon_twisted.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

12-16-2004, 09:13 PM
I, and several well published BoB historians, have always choked on the contention that the switch in tactics from targeting airfields to bombing London is what swayed the BAttle.

The initail weeks after the switch to the Blitz were MORE costly for the RAF than the preceeding month had been for them. Hitler was wrong when he said that London was the only target that the British would commit everything to defend. Dowding refused to be drawn into commiting anything more than he had to, even when Bader and Leigh-Mallory (among others) favoured the Big Wing tactic (3-6 squadron sized formations achieving total local area dominance)

IN fact, some British fighter squadrons didn't see ANY action during the course of the battle. Group 10 and 13 were kept almost at full fighting strength through the battle, thoguh experianced pilots were rotated out. Group 11, and to a lesser extent Group 12, did the vast majority of the fighting (something which would further embitter the group 12 leader, Air Vice-Marshal Leigh-Mallory, against Air Marshal Dowding and lead to Dowdings removal after the end of the BAttle)

London was not what saved the RAF. Dowdings carful husbanding of strenght, refusal to be baited into traps, clever use of RDF, spotters and AAA, emphasis on defensive tactics and the bravery and skill of its pilots are what saved the RAF. RAF strength never really fell off during the BAttle, at most it plateaued, while Luftwaffe strength, particularly Bomber and single engine fighter strength, took a significant nose dive.

AS for the Zero. I think the tactics employed ny the RAF would of remained somewhat similar, with a few minor variations. Spitfires to engage the escorts and Hurris to act as bomber destroyers. The Zero would of been hideously vulnerable to .303 fire (particularly DeWilde ammo) and it didn't perform nealy as well at the high altitudes the BAttle was fought at. Many Luftwaffe pilots made it home with smoking engines, holed tanks and bullet impacts all over their cockpits. A 109 can survive damage that a Zero cannot and a battery of .303s would go through a zero like a pisshead goes through curry. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

Similarly, the 109 had a stronger armament than the zero (more reliable, faster firing cannon with better ammunition) could dive to disengage (which the early zero's couldn't with their tendency to shed wing skins on pullouts) and was more suited to high altitude fighting than the radial engined Japanese bird.

But thats just my opinion.

12-17-2004, 01:05 PM
Hitler didn't want to get into quarrels with the English: he saw them as an irritant, not as a serious threat to Germany

France and Russia were Hitler's main obsessions - to expend time, men and resources conquering England, with Russia still undefeated, would have been completely out of character

12-18-2004, 08:20 AM
First things 1st the FW190 even in its BMW 139 prototype form would have devastated the RAF as it was around 50mph faster than the SPit mark 1.

But the Zero was tested in combat in 1940 so it is not to far off and out of the realms of possibilty for it to have been used in the BOB - in no way is its tech level more advance it is just a totally different concept. The LW equivalent is the ME110.

THE RN was the largest Navy in the world in 1940. It was also the least modernised of the 3 main navies and its fleet air arm fighter defence would have been useles against the LW operating in the Channel. Also Britain had trouble developing a good heavy AA gun gun its only effective guns being the dual 4inch AA turrets fitted on some cruisers. A navy up against a land based airforce with no or little fighter cover will get hammered. It DID happen at Crete and it happened throughout the MED and also the Pacific. Think Force Z think the Yamato.

Stukas could sink any ship the RN had and operating in the Channel where there would be limited room to manuver or hide would make RN heavy ships sitting ducks.

I think that the Zero would be able to comfortably dog fight the RAF and succeed RAF pilots would have a superior E fighter in the 109 E and a superior dogfighter in the Zero to contend with. I imagined the scenario as an early war version of 1944v 45 where the LW were faced with allied fighters operating deep over there bases and able to strike at any time.

Also in what way was the Zeros armament less effective? It was armed with 2 x 20mm cannon of a similar velocity of the MGFF was it not infact a design that shared many similarities?

12-18-2004, 12:31 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Stukas could sink any ship the RN had and operating in the Channel where there would be limited room to manuver or hide would make RN heavy ships sitting ducks. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly! And there were also quite a few Ju-88. Nevermind the subs.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I imagined the scenario as an early war version of 1944v 45 where the LW were faced with allied fighters operating deep over there bases and able to strike at any time. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Ditto. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

And it seems some of you really think that licence equals copycat. The German Zero woould have the same armament as the Emil. Enough for the RAF birds. Even more than enough for the FAA ones.

12-18-2004, 12:38 PM
There are many reasons that the Germans lost the Battle of Britain. Not just the inferiority of the E4 to the Spitfire or its short range. I doubt one plane would have made a difference.