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Worst Weapon?

Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by skunk works, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I believe that the later marks were still pleasant planes to fly. It just was not pleasant to land...or climb...or turn.
     
  2. Jadgermeister

    Jadgermeister Member

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    Absolutely!

    Not only did it practically do nothing, it cost so much, it was absurd. If they had the common sense to combine it with the already existing guidance systems, perhaps it could have been effective.

    At the very least, having that shoot down from a bomber... would be terrifying. I mean, bombs are bad enough, mach 3 bomb that makes deafening roar when fired, and smashes into its target with a massive charge... anybody nearby would be terrified...
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Somewhere I read that one of the USN pilots said they were his favorite plane to fly as long as he wasn't in combat. It apparently handled very nicely just not very quickly.
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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  5. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    I agree entirely with VP.

    The concept was excellent, as was its design for the day. The issue is whether or not it was an effective use of Germany's resources -- which, IMO it wasn't. But at this point the war was lost already anyways, so its not as if redirecting funding would have effected the outcome.

    I don't think its valid to compare the costs of the V weapons program to the Manhattan project (the V2, by the way, cost about 2 billion according to the few online sources I could find). Germany simply did not have the resources, or capacity (economic and intellectual), to conduct a Manhattan Project-like operation. Yes, they cost about the same, but to say that instead of the V2 the Germans could have had Little Boy and Fat Man just isn't true.
     
  6. Jadgermeister

    Jadgermeister Member

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    That might be the least logical argument I have every seen, you are talking as if the resources used on the V-2 magically did not come from other projects...

    The V-2 achieved nothing... less than a new rifle would have... let alone using the resources and minds take off of meaningful projects. You speak like the resources to make a rocket are made from trees... its a supersonic weapon... taking resources that could have gone to thousands of manned vehicles that actually made an effect.

    The other German vehicles were getting at least unity in their returns, the V-2 was in the negative.

    Just another example of people praising a weapon with a terrible record while denying how other weapons performed much better for the same resources and in the same situation. Those materials and rail shipments would have been used better in almost any other weapon system...
     
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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    Okey dokey, I will repeat myself. Just to refresh.
    I'm guessing from your post you don't fully grasp the morale effect at the V2's target end in London & SE UK - and it was very much a 'morale' weapon..
    The government seriously saw it as a tremendous threat which might make the people demand peace, even at that late stage. Government reports of the period take an alarmist tone not seen in the previous years with reference to attacks on the homeland. While being fully aware of potential limitations, the V2 might well have worked.
    Nah, by the simple rules of supply, demand & production.
    As I said above, by the time V2 came on stream, the production facilities of conventional German weapons were in a mess, badly bombed, lacking in supplies, and reaching the ends of their tethers, despite heroic efforts at keeping things on line the tide had turned for Germany.
    This is precisely why the V2 and other wunderwaffens became so attractive - desperation, and a hunt for something that might just have a dramatic effect while everything else crumbled.

    To see the resources required for a missile programme (or any other production programme) as automatically directly transferable/exchangeable to production of a.n.other weapon system is also a gravely simplistic error.

    As an example - it's often cited that production of 'X' Tiger IIs could have automatically been exchanged for '2X' lighter tanks. Despite the weight similarities between Two Mark IVs and One Mark VIb the equation is far more complex than that. Each of those Mk.IV's requires 2x gun, sight, rubber, etc. etc., and every other special material associated with the design.
    Base steel weight appeals so much as a factor on first glance, but disregards that a 75mm gun or an 88mm gun use broadly the same amount of materials for the parts required to make them function, a Maybach 230 requires the same sort of parts/machine time as a 120, etc.
    So... it's hard enough to compare resources between two similar systems, let alone between a Potato powered rocket and a Machine gun, conventional bomb, or Tank.

    And the above doesn't even consider the crucial question of manpower.
    With Germany being 'bled white' in the East, rolled up in Italy, and facing a hammer blow from the West, no matter what production they could achieve there was a parlous gap building in men to crew them.

    Necessity forced the V2, and in that circumstance it's an entirely defensible concept, particularly for a regime ideologically determined to fight to the last man, the last bullet.
     
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  8. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    The Brewster "Pearl of the Northern Skies" (Buffalo) had the best kill ratio of ALL fighters in the entire WW2.

    "During the Continuation War of 1941–1944, the B-239s (a de-navalized F2A-1) operated by the Finnish Air Force proved capable of engaging and destroying most types of Soviet fighter aircraft operating against Finland at that time, achieving, in the first phase of that conflict, a kill-ratio of 32:1 (32 Soviet aircraft shot down for every B-239 lost)[3] and producing 36 Buffalo "aces"

    "In service from 1941 to 1945, Buffalos of Lentolaivue 24 (Fighter Squadron 24) claimed 477 Soviet Air Force warplanes destroyed, with the combat loss of just 19 Buffalos, an outstanding victory ratio of 26:1"

    "In Finnish Air Force service, the B-239s were regarded as being very easy to fly, a "gentleman's plane." The Buffalo was also popular within the FAF because of its relatively long range and flight endurance, and also because of its low-trouble maintenance record."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewster_F2A_Buffalo
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Karjala,

    I made a point of mentioning only the later marks of the Brewster Buffalo for a reason.

    The first production variant of the Brewster, the F2A-1 was a dream for US Naval pilots to fly, it was light and maneuverable - better than the Japanese Zero was in most performance areas. However, between the US Navy and Brewster Aeronautical, they added armor plating, self-sealing fuel tanks, and made several other additions, by which time these had made the empty weight of the F2A-3 some 400 kilos heavier than and empty F2A-1. The loaded weight of the F2A-1 jumped to some 800 kilos above the loaded weight of the F2A-1. To compensate for this greatly increased weight, only a small increase in engine horsepower was made. Let's not forget that the increased weight of the F2A-3 also had a detrimental effect on the plane's stability and it's maneuverability.

    So, what had once been an aircraft with superior performance to a not=yet-extant Japanese Zero, had now become an aircraft that had with vastly reduced performance when the Japanese Zero did appear on the scene. Thus, the F2A-1 is deserving of the stellar remarks made about the aircraft by it's US and Finnish pilots. But, the F2A-2 & F2A-3 are equally deserving of the disparaging remarks - including the term "flying junk" - and their abysmal reputation.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    It's also why I specified the "final version" when I brought it up. Although as I said I have read US pilots who still considered it a pleasant plane to fly ... as long as they weren't flying it in combat.
     
  11. Don Juan

    Don Juan New Member

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  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That's rather egotistical isn't it? Also by your own criteria hardly correct. You state on that page:


    The Buffalo failed in its prmary role of fleet air defence. The latter models even failed in their secondary role of air defence of Marine and Naval instilations (witness Wake and Midway).
     
  13. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    There weren't any Buffalos at Wake; the squadron on the island comprised F4Fs. For the attempted relief operation, Saratoga carried a squadron of Buffalos which were planned to be flown to the island, the same ones which ended up on Midway IIRC.
     
  14. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    I was not really objecting your views but adding my 5 cents...
     
  15. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Inflation that bad in Finland Karjala? :)
     
  16. Don Juan

    Don Juan New Member

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    I didn't write it.
     
  17. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Or was it supposed to be two cents...? :confused:

    Maybe my thoughts are just worth a bit more... ;)
     
  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    You posted it and implied that it had "THE" answer.
     
  19. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Whatever, as long as we aren't expected to make change.
     
  20. Don Juan

    Don Juan New Member

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    Well in fairness it mentions planes that couldn't take off; that could only fly in straight lines if they did; that broke apart on landing; that fell apart even when left on their own on the apron; or were considered so hopeless that they weren't even chanced in combat.

    No matter what the limitations of the Buffalo might have been, it could at least be relied upon to get in the air in one piece and land in one piece, and not disintegrate when left untouched.
     

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