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Luftwaffe lacking a good long range bomber

Discussion in 'Axis Bomber Planes' started by JJWilson, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    While the Mosquito wasn't the best fighter of the war or the time I don't think it drastically lost and indeed did pretty good as a night fighter.
     
  2. Zach gibson

    Zach gibson New Member

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    Oh sorry. I meant a wooden 109. Not the mosquito, I actually enjoy the reliability.
     
  3. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    I concur with the group that building and operating vast fleets of heavy bombers was not practical for Germany and not the best use of her resources, but I do think there would have been value in a small number of long-range aircraft for attacking key targets, maritime patrol, and other missions.

    Almost every German aircraft manufacturer had at least one project for a four- or even six-engine bombers, transports, flying boats, etc. Some were just on paper, others reached prototype or small-scale production, and they all consumed limited design and engineering resources. They ought to have picked a couple of projects to pursue rather than letting anyone with an idea expend time and money.

    One thought I've had is that a bomber might have been an alternative to the 80cm siege gun and the effort that went into building and employing just two of them. The basic requirement was to deliver 7000kg projectiles to a target. The guns had to be transported to the target area, in pieces, assembled, and special railroad tracks built to bring the gun into action. This took several weeks and required several thousand personnel, and of course it all had to be undone when the mission was complete. It would also require freedom for hostile air attack. In a situation where one could employ the gun, one would probably also have an airfield within 100 miles or so; if it needed improvement to accommodate a few heavy bombers, that would still be considerably less effort than deploying the gun, and the airfield would still be useful after the bombing was done. Building and transporting the projectiles would be about the same whether they were shells or bombs like the Tallboy. The bomber could have most of its defensive armament removed, as was done with Lancasters historically, and would only need fuel for a short flight. We might recall that a B-17, with standard armament, was rated to carry 17,600lb of bombs. In any situation where the 80cm gun could be used, our hypothetical German bomber could do the job - and it could do other missions besides.
     
  4. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I sort of agree Carronade, but other than convoys, what targets would they attack? A while back I "what if'ed" a small force of long range bombers (say 50) with air to air refueling capability that could strike the NE USA and eastern Canada. For this, I assumed that once the project got approved, fuel would have to be squirreled away for the time the bombers would be ready. A lot of people thought I was crazy. I never denied being crazy but I thought the project was doable with the technology available.
     
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  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I suspect there were more productive areas to spend the resources in if they hadn't built the 80cm guns. Small numbers of systems tend to be very expensive to both build and maintain. Strategic bombers didn't prove to be very accurate either. If you wanted to take out a point target with one the lesson from WWII was use a nuke.
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Germany could still buy materials from 'neutral' countries. The Schweinfurt bombings were a disaster as well in produktion destruction as Germany Bought the Ball bearings from Germany to replace their own losses. I have made a thread on this a while back. You might find it with the search function. Kph
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Well they could sort of buy materials from some neutral countries. They didn't have access to most of them. They had serious foreign exchange problems even before the war started. Then the allies compounded it by bidding up some of the resources and Spain for instance was kept on a very tight leash as far as oil supplies went
     
  8. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Well, that's why I suggested a small number of heavy bombers ;) One definite is that more maritime patrol aircraft would have significantly aided the U-boat campaign. Maybe there weren't a lot of 'panacea targets' where small strikes could have large effects. My basic thought is that "Germany should have had heavy bombers" does not have to mean trying to duplicate Bomber Command or the 8th Air Force; nothing on that scale was feasible.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Well they did and it helped a little but arguably not as much as it should have partially due to inter-service rivalries.
     
  10. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Remember, Germany was a leader in "smart bomb" technology.
     
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