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What if the Me-109E had drop tanks in the Battle of Britain

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by west6008, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Eleven Group did bear the brunt; there were a number of occasions when Twelve Group squadrons were "stepped forward" to protect Eleven Group fields while their squadrons were sent down to the coast...and of course there were the instances when Douglas Bader led his squadron(s) down to the coast "Jerryhunting", and blocking R/T communications in the process to the Eleven Group squadrons there!

    The big moment of Twelve Group and its "big wings" came in the day raids on London in September. But even then it came after one disastrous day when Bader's wing took large losses when it was jumped by "free hunting" German fighters.

    We shouldn't get TOO hung up on the advantages of drop tanks and 109s carrying bombs....as of September 1940 it was one or the other ;) You could have long-range fighters...or fighter bombers covering Kent, the very east of Sussex and the very south of Essex, the bit in Eleven Group...
     
  2. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Well for one, I don't think they would have flown deeper into the UK. The range wouldn't have increased THAT much more to make it viable to have to fly through 11 Group, and still have 12 or 13 Group to deal with. Might have given them a bit more time over 11 Group, but in combat, the throttles are at full tilt, and fuel consumption is very high. No way they would have staged 109's with tanks across the North Sea.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What I was suggesting is not so much that they would have ventured into the territory of the other groups but that they would have gone a bit deeper and even if they didn't go deeper more time over Britain means more time for 12 Group to enter the action. As Phylo points out as it is they did a number of times but had coordination issues. Given a bit more practice I suspect those issues would at least in part have been resolved.
     
  4. harolds

    harolds Member

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    What drop tanks would have done is give the German fighters more combat time. This is especially true of the close escorts. Waiting for bombers to show up at the rendezvous point plus weaving back and forth around the slower bombers ate up a lot of gas! If the drop tanks got them to the channel then it would have been a big improvement.
     
  5. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    The 109E averaged 66 gallons per hour fuel consumption. The drop tank at the time was 25 gallons capacity. Added 26.1 minutes flying time. That's an average. Full throttle, less.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I thought that the Ju-87R and Me-110 were using the 66 gallon tank during the invasion of Norway.
     
  7. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Those tanks were wing tanks and wouldn't fit under the belly of a 109.
     
  8. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    It's never too late to realise you're wrong & I stand corrected ! ( I completely missed this posting first time around... )

    I've just checked in my copy of John Vasco's 'Bombsights Over England' and 210 did indeed use bomb-carrying 109s in the BofB, which is something I'd never appreciated before......
     

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