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The Amerika Bomber

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by harolds, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The Hindenburg could home on navigational beacons and travel low enough when over land to get pretty good navigational fixes. At sea they could exchange info with any ships sited.

    My uncle taught navigation for the USAAF for a while early in the war then flew his bomber over to Great Britain via the southern route. Going over to Africa he suspected an unforcassed head wind and had the pilot take them up high enough to get a star shot. Since you can't do this accurately through glass it's not exactly a comfortable operation. Of course not finding Africa (as one of planes in the stream with him didn't) wouldn't be comfortable either. The flying from Africa to Wales they spotted a lighthouse off the starboard side. There weren't suppose to be any so a bit of checking indicated it was in Portugal and they had encountered an unexpected cross wind. The navigational beacon they were suppose to be following got turned off for some reason. They did eventually make contact with a field in Wales (not the one they were suppose to land at which was just as well as it was fogged in) and managed to land safely. Note that planes bombed Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland accidentally as well.

    The AA guns were concentrated around the coast and coastal defenses from what I've read. Some may have been focused around some installations near the coast as well I'm not sure about factories but suspect not much. But then finding the factories would have been a bit of a chore as well.

    Also if you bomb from 5-6k feet it means dropping down and then going back up to a cruising altitude which burns more fuel.

    Again at what point in the war this would occur is critical. Very early there wouldn't be much opposition in terms of either fighters or AAA. Midterm it would be pretty difficult later it's harder to say. Many of the fixed defenses were gone or unmanned but the intell network was pretty good and the USN had a lot of ships with radar and a fair number of carriers in the Atlantic. Put a line of radar pickets backed up by 2 or 3 CVE's and the raid could be in serious trouble before it even reached the American coast.
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Hindenburg found Lakehurst, New Jersey.
     
  3. harolds

    harolds Member

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    They also found NY, NY. I'm sure you've seen the pictures of it over Manhatten.
     
  4. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    If a bomber couldn't hit a target like New York city I would forget the whole bomber theory of existence. No need for strategic target BS...its the psychological effect of hitting such a city with indiscriminate bombing...you aim for the guts of the city (I don't know NY) but lets say you make the Empire State building or the Chrysler building your target...many bombs will fall short, still destroying and damaging many buildings...many bombs will overshoot, still destroying and damaging many buildings...this is a psychological bombing, if its strategic then the strategy is to keep weapons and troops in the US and to sway public opinion...ironically studies have shown that the opposite may well occur...further strengthening the US's resolve, possibly the BEST reason this did not happen. As for the bomber station? Bombers could use Greenland simply as a refuelling stage point...a submarine surfaces, gives fuel and the bombers carry on to Europe...(or even Ireland - did I go there!!?)
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    It was a joke, son, a joke!
     
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  6. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Of course, but the other point is that mobilization was probably not all that necessary. The 729 fighters of First Air Force were all deployed around the major cities, many of them based on the airfields associated with the various aircraft manufacturers, like Curtiss and Bell's Buffalo, NY plants, Grumman and Brewster's Long Island, NY plants, Chance Vought's Stratford, Conn. plant, Eastern Aircraft's, NJ plants, and Martin's Baltimore, MD plant. Others were on the large AAC fields taken over from major airports, like Washington's Reagan National, New York's La Guardia, and New Jersey's Newark. Many additional fighters from the Replacement and Schools system were also based there.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Was there a significant difference between the maximum operational altitudes of the fighters and the bombers?
     
  8. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The loss of fuel efficiency might make that a problem, unless it is a one-way mission.

    Oh, that was all there, created in early 1942 post Pearl Harbor, as part of the Eastern chain of radar stations and was part of the integrated Eastern Defense Command. It was inactivated in April 1944 due to the lack of a threat, but it's physical presence remained in place. Given the porosity of Luftwaffe ENIGMA, it is unlikely the Germans could keep development of this nonexistent attack force a secret, which would easily allow mobilization of a greeting if the nonexistent attack materialized after April 1944.

    Then, of course, there was the active Atlantic radar systems, not inactivated in April 1944. The 18 USN and RN Hunter-Killer Groups, Escort Groups, and DESRONs assigned to the trans-Atlantic and Eastern Seaboard convoy escort system. They comprise about 100 very active radar systems very curious about aircraft flying in their area of operations, and are operating right in the path of any nonexistent German flight.

    The guns of concern would be those of the fixed harbor defenses. For New York, the extensive fortifications of Forts Tilden, Hamilton, Hancock, and Wadsworth.

    Except security for their MANHATTAN would be about as good as that of the real MANHATTAN's versus the Soviets - nonexistent. :)
     
  9. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I agree. Security would be the biggest hang-up were it ever tried.

    I'm suspecting our current security vis a vis Russia is about the same as it was then.
     
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Manhattan Project wasn't exactly a sieve, folks.
     

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