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  • Tech Plunder ~ Loot & Booty

    Some recent reading has me realizing just how much Nazi Germany was involved in research and developing of advanced technology. Yeah, Italy and Japan might have had an interesting item or such, but it seems that Germany was the one going in several directions, so that will be my main focus here. However, others can feel free to contribute material on the other Axis.

    For that matter, we could include Allied tech "steals" from each other such as the Soviet's back-engineering of B-29 into their Tu-4.

    While WWII saw an ongoing technology race for new weapons and systems, and that could be covered here, I'm mainly focusing on the closing months and early post-war period when as Germany was collapsing, the Allies had intentional organizations following close behind lead units to find, secure, and "loot" German R&D and advanced weapons production facilities.
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

  • #2
    One element that may come readily to mind was the race to get the "rocket scientists", especially those involved with the A-4/V-2 ballistic missile. Many such whom wound up in the West Occupation Zones would be hired and shipped off to the USA under what would be known as "Operation Paperclip";
    ....
    Operation Paperclip was a secret program of the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) largely carried out by Special Agents of Army CIC, in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians, such as Wernher von Braun and his V-2 rocket team, were recruited, after the end of World War II, in Germany and taken to the U.S. for government employment, primarily between 1945 and 1959. Many were former members, and some were former leaders, of the Nazi Party.[1][2]

    The primary purpose for Operation Paperclip was U.S. military advantage in the Russo–American Cold War, and the Space Race. The Soviet Union were more aggressive in forcibly recruiting (at gunpoint) more than 2,200 German specialists—a total of more than 6,000 people including family members—with Operation Osoaviakhim during one night on October 22, 1946.[3]

    The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) established the first secret recruitment program, called Operation Overcast, on July 20, 1945, initially "to assist in shortening the Japanese war and to aid our postwar military research".[4] The term "Overcast" was the name first given by the German scientists' family members for the housing camp where they were held in Bavaria.[5] In late summer 1945, the JCS established the JIOA, a subcommittee of the Joint Intelligence Community, to directly oversee Operation Overcast and later Operation Paperclip.[6] The JIOA representatives included the army's director of intelligence, the chief of naval intelligence, the assistant chief of Air Staff-2 (air force intelligence), and a representative from the State Department.[7] In November 1945, Operation Overcast was renamed Operation Paperclip by Ordnance Corps (United States Army) officers, who would attach a paperclip to the folders of those rocket experts whom they wished to employ in America.[5]

    In a secret directive circulated on September 3, 1946, President Truman officially approved Operation Paperclip and expanded it to include one thousand German scientists under "temporary, limited military custody".[8][9][10]
    ....
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

    Comment


    • #3
      Another interesting item that I hadn't been aware of was the role played by Hans Kammler:
      ...
      Hans Kammler (26 August 1901 – 9 May 1945) was a German civil engineer and SS commander during the Nazi era. He oversaw SS construction projects and towards the end of World War II was put in charge of the V-2 missile and jet programmes.
      ....
      In June 1941, Kammler joined the Waffen-SS.[2]

      Kammler eventually became Oswald Pohl's deputy at the SS Main Economic and Administrative Office (WVHA). He oversaw Office D (administration of the concentration camp system), and was also Chief of Office C, which designed and constructed all the concentration and extermination camps. In this latter capacity he oversaw the installation of more efficient cremation facilities at Auschwitz-Birkenau as part of the camp's conversion to an extermination camp.[4][5]
      ...
      Clear links between Kammler and advanced weapon projects seem to appear only in 1942. Early evidence of this is a letter from Oswald Pohl to Heinrich Himmler referring an interdepartmental memorandum on the manufacturing of modern weapons in concentration camps, having Kammler as one of the participants.

      Kammler was also charged with constructing facilities for various secret weapons projects, including manufacturing plants and test stands for the Messerschmitt Me 262 and V-2. Following the Allied bombing raids on Peenemünde in Operation Hydra, in August 1943, Kammler assumed responsibility for the construction of mass-production facilities for the V-2.[2] He started moving these production facilities underground, which resulted in the Mittelwerk facility and its attendant concentration camp complex, Mittelbau-Dora, which housed slave labour for constructing the factory and working on the production lines. The project was pushed ahead under enormous time pressures despite the consequences for the slave laborers employed on it. Kammler's motto at the time was reportedly, "Don't worry about the victims. The work must proceed ahead in the shortest time possible".[6]

      During this period, Kammler also was involved in the attempt to finish the Blockhaus d'Éperlecques known also as the Watten Bunker, a rather unsuccessful project to create a fortified V-2 launch base.

      Albert Speer made Kammler his representative for "special construction tasks", expecting that Kammler would commit himself to working in harmony with the ministry's main construction committee. But in March 1944 Kammler had Göring appoint him as his delegate for "special buildings" under the fighter aircraft programme, which made him one of the war economy's most important managers, and robbed Speer of much of his influence.[7]
      ...
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Kammler

      TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

      Comment


      • #4
        More on Kammler ....

        SS-General Dr (Ing) Hans Kammler
        ....
        Kammler worked in the Reich Aeronautical Ministry until the end of 1941. He joined the Allgemeine-SS in 1938, transferring to the SS Economic Administration Department in the autumn of 1941. He was appointed chief of Amtsgruppe C, overseeing the Reich’s building and construction industry, as well as that the SS. Under his leadership the SS-Baustaebe was created, which employed thousands of concentration camp prisoners as builders between 1943 and 1944, on military projects such as the Atlantic Wall, as well as in clearance operations in bombed-out German towns and cities. He may have been in charge of the construction of the gas chambers at Auschwitz, although this has never been proved.

        The officer entrusted with running the V-weapons project from its inception. Probably the most extraordinary and enigmatic figure among the latter-day Nazi hierarchy, SS-General Dr (Ing) Hans Kammler (b. Stettin 26.8.1901) was a grey career man who had seen no fighting at the front. As engineer in charge of Building and Construction Works at WVHA, the SS-Chief Economic and Administrative Office, in 1942 Kammler had had responsibility for the planning and design of a number of death camps and had personally supervised the construction of the Auschwitz satellite camp at Birkenau.
        ....
        https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2018/0...-hans-kammler/
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        ....
        There are reports that, in the closing days of the Reich that Kammler used a long-range multi-engined aircraft to ship a large body of research material and prototypes out of the Reich. This would perhaps tie in with reports of a Ju 290 (which is the most likely candidate for such a plane type) making a ferry flight of high-ranking Nazi personnel from Prague to Barcelona in Spain. References to Kammler in the official literature relating to the Nuremberg trials have been deleted. In fact, despite the knowledge that Kammler was, in many ways, number three in the Nazi hierarchy in 1945, his name comes up only once, in an indirect reference by Dornberger, during the war crimes trials, including the trial of his subordinates in December 1957 in Arnsberg, Westphalia.
        ....
        http://fairfieldproject.wikidot.com/hans-kammler
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war...t-suicide.html
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        What Happened to SS Gen. Hans Kammler?
        https://www.unexplained-mysteries.co...-hans-kammler/
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        A very extensive article about Kammler and the SS economy, control of weapons research and production, use of slave labor from concentration camps and other related factors ...
        http://www.456fis.org/8-Hans_Kammler.htm
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Hans_Kammler
        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

        Comment


        • #5
          Some things to ponder. Between the US and Britain, there was hardly any German technology in 1945 that wasn't matched or exceeded. It would be difficult to show any area in which the Germans still held a commanding lead beside a very few areas that wouldn't win them the war. In many areas, the Germans were badly behind the Allied state-of-the-art. Even where they weren't, they didn't contribute much beyond a few years of data to Western R & D.

          In the Soviet Union, the German equivalent of Paperclip proved useful for about a decade. On the other hand, Allied technology acquired through Lend-Lease and nefarious means gave the Soviets technology that lasted several decades beyond that.

          But, on the whole, I'd say the "windfall" of Nazi technology acquired by anyone at the end of WW 2 was greatly overblown in importance.

          Comment


          • #6
            I disagree.

            The Germans fielded disposable anti-tank weapons (Panzerfaust) decades before the USA; the first true assault rifle, and many other things.

            But the real value was their advances in rocketry; their scientists made the Apollo possible in the time frame it actually occurred.

            They got the first combat jet into combat (both a bomber and a fighter).

            The first operational air-to-surface missile.

            They were working on projects to the very end. I'm inclined to think that they produced a lot of core research.
            Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hitlers policy of divide and rule when it came to his key supporters meant that they all vied for power and responsibility which meant that many things in the 3rd Reich were repeated many times. Each project would have a senior Nazi 'courtier' as a sponsor. If Goring sponsored a project Goebbels and Himmler etc would be found sponsoring rival projects. This applied in spades to weapons development. This dispersed and diluted effort. Churchill established a system of scientific and technical committees to filter such projects so that very quickly there would be one development track and possibly a back up which could be dropped as soon as it became clear that the main one would work. The US soon established a similar regime. There was also a joint arrangement so that in many cases either the British or the US solution would be adopted as the main Western Allied approach. This did sometimes mean that sometimes it can be seen in retrospect that that a superior technical solution was abandoned but it did mean that many more new weapons were available for deployment before the war ended than would otherwise have been the case. A good example is the proximity fuse. . When the war ended Germany had about five different projects for proximity fuses running, some following very innovative technical solutions. The Allies were already using proximity fuses extensively both for AA and for ground work.
              Last edited by MarkV; 22 Sep 18, 04:55.
              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

              Comment


              • #8

                Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                Hitlers policy of divide and rule when it came to his key supporters meant that they all vied for power and responsibility which meant that many things in the 3rd Reich were repeated many times. Each project would have a senior Nazi 'courtier' as a sponsor. If Goring sponsored a project Goebbels and Himmler etc would be found sponsoring rival projects. This applied in spades to weapons development. This dispersed and diluted effort. Churchill established a system of scientific and technical committees to filter such projects so that very quickly there would be one development track and possibly a back up which could be dropped as soon as it became clear that the main one would work. The US soon established a similar regime. There was also a joint arrangement so that in many cases either the British or the US solution would be adopted as the main Western Allied approach. This did sometimes mean that sometimes it can be seen in retrospect that that a superior technical solution was abandoned but it did mean that many more new weapons were available for deployment before the war ended than would otherwise have been the case. A good example is the proximity fuse. . When the war ended Germany had about five different projects for proximity fuses running, some following very innovative technical solutions. The Allies were already using proximity fuses extensively both for AA and for ground work.
                Would the bold text apply to the British aviation industry for example?

                I think not.

                There were soooooo many aircraft manufacturers waiting to be allocated "make work" contracts just to keep the doors open and people employed.

                Even though just post WW2(but continuing under Churchill's post war chairmanship), the V Bomber program is an example where your statement does not apply.

                Four, count 'em, four V Bomber aircraft.

                Short Sperrin(2 only), Avro Vulcan, H.P. Victor, Vickers Valiant.

                The foundation for this somewhat wasteful program was laid quite firmly during WW2 where there were far too many aircraft manufacturers in the UK.

                An excellent overview of the mind boggling array of aircraft projects actually produced or just postulated by the UK aircraft industry is provided by Tony Buttler:
                British Secret Projects 3: Fighters and Bombers 1935-1950 First Edition



                https://www.amazon.com/British-Secre.../dp/1857801792
                Attached Files
                Last edited by At ease; 22 Sep 18, 09:02.
                "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

                Comment


                • #9
                  And have a look at the list of UK air Ministry Aircraft Specifications 1940-1949:

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ions#1940–1949
                  "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                  "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                  "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                  — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Even though the following did not format correctly(it is from my free ebook site edition), and I am not going to go blind reformatting it, it shows how many Torpedo Bomber projects were studied.

                    I picked torpedo bombers purely for example.

                    We all know roughly how many torpedo bombers the UK actually employed during or just after WW2.

                    From pp165 of Buttler(and it actually goes onto the next page pp166 - I'm too lazy to cut & paste the extra page):

                    Torpedo Bombers - Estimated Data


                    Project Span Length Gross Wing Area MaxWeighl Engine Max Speed / Height Armament
                    (t in (m) (t in (m) (t'(m') Ib (kg) hp(kW) mph (km/h) / (t (m)
                    Fairey Albacore 500(15.2) 3910 (12.1) 10,460 (4,745) I xTaurus 161 (259) at 4x 500lb (227kg), 6 x 250lb
                    (nown) 1,065 (794) 4,500 (1,372) (113kg) bombs or I x 18in
                    (45.7cm) torpedo,
                    3 x 0.303in (7.7mm) mgs
                    .................................................. ............................................ .................................................. ......................
                    Specification 5.24/37
                    Blackburn B.29 c50 0 (15.2) c400 (12,2) I x Exe 3x 500lb (227kg), 6 x 250lb
                    bombs or I x torpedo, I x mg
                    Bristol 5.24/37 500(15.2) 400(122) 450 (41.9) I xTaurus TE. I.M 229 (368) at 3 x 500lb (227kg), 6x 2501b
                    1,035 (772) 5,000 (1,524) bombs or I x torpedo, I x mg
                    Hawker 5.24/37 500(15.2) 386 (I 1.7) I x Taurus ? 3x 500lb (227kg), 6 x 250lb
                    500(15.2)
                    bomb or 1x torpedo, I x mg
                    5upermarine 322 400(12.2) 10,070 (4,568) I x Exe 1,100 (820) or 255 (410) or 3x 500lb (227kg),
                    as bombm carrier I xTaurus TE.3.SM 264 (425) 6x 250lb (113kg) bombs or
                    1,250 (932) at 5,000 (1,524) I x torpedo, I x mg
                    recce role
                    Westland P.l 0 479(14.6) 370 (344) 10,500 (4,763) I xTaurus 213(343) 3 x 500lb (227kg), 6 x 250lb
                    492(15.0)
                    bombs or I x torpedo, I x mg
                    Fairey Barracuda Mk.I 399(12.1) 414 (38.5) 13,177 (5,977) I x Merlin 30 250 (402) clean 3 x500lb (227kg), 6 x 250lb
                    (nown) with torpedo 1,260 (940) bombs, I x torpedo or 3 x depth
                    charge, 3 x 0.303in mgs
                    5upermarine 322 'Dumbo' 500(15.2) 400(12.2) 319.5 (29.7) 12,000 (5,443) I x Merlin 30 279 (449) at 3 x 500lb (227kg), 6 x 250lb
                    (nown) design figure 1,300 (969) 4,000 (1,219) (113kg) bombs or I torpedo,
                    2 x0.303in (7.7mm) mg
                    Beaufort/Botlw Specifications
                    Boulton Paul P.83
                    670(204)
                    Bristol 150 580 (l7.7)
                    479(14.6) 575 (53.5) 13,846 (6,281) or 2 x Pegasus Xor 254 (409) at 4x 500lb (227kg), 250lb bombs
                    13,739 (6,232) Goshawk 10,000 (3,048) or I torpedo, 3 x 0.303in mg
                    443(13.5) 492 (45.8) 12,022 (5,453) 2x Perseus PER.3.M 286 (460) at 4x 500lb (227kg), 250lb (I 13kg)
                    870 (649) 5,000 (1,524) I x 2,0001b (907kg) bombs or
                    I x torpedo, 3 x0.303in mgs
                    Boulton Paul P.84 600(18.3)
                    670(20.4)
                    Bristol G.24/35 560(17.1)
                    Blackburn Botha Mk.1 590(18.0)
                    456(13.9) 495 (46.0) 11 ,430 (5,185) 2 x Aquila AE.3.M 239 (385) or 2 x500lb (227kg) or 4x 250lb
                    479(14.6) 575 (53.5) 12,915 (5,858) or Goshawk 245 (394) bombs, 3 x 0.303in mgs
                    at 5,000 (1,524)
                    399(12.1) 469 (43.6) 10,920 (4,953) 2 xAquila 254 (409) at 2 x 500lb (227kg) or 4 x 250lb
                    670 (500) 5,000 (1,524) bombs, 3 x 0.303in mgs
                    51 1(15.6) 518 (48.2) 17,628 (7,996) 2x Perseus X 253 (407) at 2 x 500tb (227kg), 4x 250lb or
                    (nown)
                    Bristol 152 (Perseus)
                    580(17.7)
                    Bristol 152 (Aquila) 560(17.1)
                    Bristol 152 Beaufort Mk.I 5710 (17.6)
                    Specifications 5.6/43 & S. JJ/43
                    Fairey Torpedo Bomber
                    c70 3 (21.4)
                    880 (656) 15,000 (4,572) I x 2,0001b (907kg) bombs or
                    I x torpedo, 3 x0.303in mgs
                    443(13.5) 492 (45.8) 11,725 (5,319)/ 2 x Perseus 288 (463) 2 x 500lb (227kg), 4x 250lb
                    12,230 (5,548) 870 (649) at 5,000 (1,524) I x 2,0001b (907kg) bombs or
                    torpedo / gen bomber I x torpedo, 0.303in mgs
                    443(13.5) 492 (45.8) 10,895 (4,942) / 2x Aquila 262 (422) 2 x 500lb (227kg), 4x 250lb
                    10,910 (4,949) 670 (500) at 5,000 (1,524) I x 2,0001b (907kg) bombs or
                    torpedo / gen bomber I x torpedo, 0.303in mgs
                    447(13.6) 21,228 (9,629) 2 xTaurus 265 (426) at 2,0001b (907kg) bombs, mines
                    1,130 (843) 6,000 (1,829) or I x torpedo, 4x 0.303in mg
                    c47 8 (14.5) 660 (61.4) 26,090 (11,834) 2 x Merlin 32 249 (401) at 3,5001b (I ,588kg) torpedoes,
                    (8.4.42)
                    AWAAW.53
                    600(18.3)
                    Fairey 5.6/43 c56 8 (17.3)
                    Westland 5.6/43 600(18.3)
                    AWAAW.54 590(18.0)
                    AWAAW.54A 530(16.2)
                    Blackburn 5.11/43 c606 (18.4)
                    1,650 (1,230) 10,000 (3,048) 5x mgs
                    480(14.6) 24,930 (11 ,308) 2 x Merlin 26 304 (489) at 6 x 500lb (227kg) bombs or
                    I x torpedo,
                    1,600 (1,193) 9,500 (2,896) 8 x RP, 2x 0.5in (12.7mm) mgs
                    c45 10 (14.0) ? 25,670 (11,644) 2 x Merlin RM.14.SM 341 (549) at bombs or torpedoes,
                    2 x 0.5in (12.7mm) mgs
                    1,960 (1,462) 17,000 (5,182) or I x 20mm cannon
                    456(13.9) 550 (51.2) 24,000 (10,886) I x abre NS,53.SM 265 (426) at I x 2,0001b (907kg), 2x 1,0001b
                    2,850 (2,125) 16,000 (4,877) (454kg), 5x 500lb (227kg),
                    8 x 250lb bombs, I x torpedo or
                    I x mine, 8x RP, 2guns
                    450(13.7) 500 (46.5) 19,780 (8,972) 2x Merlin 26 330 (531) at 2,000lb (907kg) bombs or depth
                    1,600 (1,193) 9,500 (2,896) charges, 2x 0.5in mgs
                    436(13.3) 530 (49.3) 18,840 (8,546) 2 x F.3 450 (724) at 2,0001b (907kg) bombs or depth
                    15,000 (4,572) charges, 2x 0.5in mgs
                    c43 6 (13.3) No other details
                    Last edited by At ease; 22 Sep 18, 09:36.
                    "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                    "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                    "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                    — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                      I disagree.

                      The Germans fielded disposable anti-tank weapons (Panzerfaust) decades before the USA; the first true assault rifle, and many other things.

                      But the real value was their advances in rocketry; their scientists made the Apollo possible in the time frame it actually occurred.

                      They got the first combat jet into combat (both a bomber and a fighter).

                      The first operational air-to-surface missile.

                      They were working on projects to the very end. I'm inclined to think that they produced a lot of core research.
                      Let's see. The US invented the Bazooka well before the Germans put the Panzerfaust or Panzerschreck in service. Their choice was the unwieldly Puppchen rocket launcher.



                      The Panzerschreck evolved from it after the Germans examined captured bazookas. The Panzerfaust was an original idea, but far too short ranged and eventually evolved into something like an RPG, that was copied by the Russians and evolved into the RPG 7.

                      But, even the PIAT gave the Allies equivalent weapons for fighting tanks. So, there was no distinct technological advantage to the Germans from any of that.

                      The US started developing the M2 carbine in May 1944-- Before the SG 43 was known. It filled essentially the same role. An intermediate cartridge, large magazine capacity, and fully automatic fire. Just because it didn't look like an assault rifle doesn't mean it wouldn't make a good one.

                      US (I don't think the British put the effort forward beyond basic research at the time) engineers and such examined captured bits of the V-2 well before the war ended and the USAAF started project MX 774 in early 1945 to develop a ballistic missile of their own. The prime contractors were Convair for the air frame, Hughes for the guidance, and Reaction Motors for the engine.

                      Charles Bossart at Convair rejected out-of-hand, the German V2 airframe design. He instead made the propellant tanks of his design the skin of the missile and kept rigidity by pressurization of the tanks. The Germans had used a conventional aircraft airframe. Bossart also made the payload detachable meaning it was the only part of the missile that reentered. Bossart's design has remained to this day the one everybody uses on ballistic missiles. His design owes nothing to German WW 2 technology or even the German Paperclip rocket scientists.

                      Hughes rejected out-of-hand the German guidance system using on-board gyros that was self-contained. Instead, they designed the Azusa guidance system without any German technological input. This used ground based radar and "computers" (electro-mechanical like in contemporary fire control systems) to guide the missile. Aboard was only telemetry and radio equipment to communicate with the ground station. This increased the accuracy of the missile about 10 fold. It also meant at the receiving end there was no possibility of capturing the guidance system. Both the US and Soviet Union used this system up through the late 60's for missile guidance.

                      Reaction motors rejected the German rocket motor design as inefficient and heavy. They produced one that used a swivel nozzle, something that stymied the Germans who used graphite veins instead. The Reaction motors engine was about 30% more efficient than the German one. They also switched propellants to make it more efficient in later models, something the Germans didn't have a lot of options for because of shortages in chemicals and such.

                      The US on their own invented during WW 2 all of the rocket fuels Germany had and several more that the Germans didn't invent.

                      As for Apollo.... The engines are a North American design that owes nothing to German engineering. The airframe I already discussed. The guidance system was originally developed for Navajo and Polaris, and owes nothing to German engineering.

                      When it comes to jets, the Germans were desperate. They botched putting the He 280 jet into service, mostly because the Henkel HeS 001 engine was a major fire hazard that Henkel couldn't fix. The Me 262 underwent several years of redesign and modification before it was ready for production and operational use. The Ar 234 could best be described as the Germans using a totally crap design as a bomber simply because it was available. The early versions of this plane landed on skids for Christ's sake. It was a totally marginal and ill-suited design for a bomber.

                      The US on the other hand, managed to get a working jet only a few months after the first He 280 flew. This was the P-59. Sure, it wasn't any better in speed than contemporary prop planes in USAAF use, but it was a working, flyable jet-- unlike the Henkel that had serious engine issues, or the Me 262 that would fly once, nearly crash, then spend almost a year being modified for another try.

                      The US could have pushed the P-59 into combat service, but saw no reason to do so. Instead, they used the plane for development and training. That was a wise choice as jets proved to have very different characteristics than prop planes in service.

                      The British dithered around with their jet engine program and the Meteor otherwise it could have been in squadron service by late 1943 - early 1944.

                      Yes, the Germans had the first operational air to surface missile, but the US, and even the Japanese, developed their own such weapons along with guided bombs. There wasn't much for the US to get from the German designs.





                      As you can see, US technology in this area really exceeded German-- even in 1944 - 45.

                      One system that did impress the US and Britain postwar, was the Kriegsmarine's Gruppenhochtgerät (GHG) sonar system. While the Rochelle salt hydrophone heads were nothing special, it was the arrangement of 24 of these in a "beard" on U-boats along with the processing equipment that did. This system was far more sensitive and directional than what Allied submarines were using.
                      The US and Soviets quickly adopted similar systems on their subs postwar.

                      Sure, there were other bits here and there that made a difference, but the surprise for most people is just how behind the Germans were in most areas of technology by 1945.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The M-2 was nothing like an assault rifle. The German's pioneered the assault rifle concept of a necked, short-case rifle-caliber round in a selective fire weapon. The M-2 used a straight-case, badly underpowered round. It was the first effort to produce a PDW, not an assault rifle. It wasn't until the M-16 that the USA produced a assault weapon, 20 years after the Germans.

                        The German improvements to the early bazooka were the basis for the US 3.5" rocket launcher which continued in service until Vietnam.

                        Likewise, the US didn't come up with an equivalent to the Panzerfaust until 20 years later, with the short-ranged, under-powered M72 LAW, which remains in service today, and like the Panzerfaust, is most commonly used against strong points.

                        The PIAT was a hopeless piece of junk.

                        It was JFK who noted of our space program: "Our Germans are better than their Germans", referring to the USSR.

                        And whatever you think about the designs, both German jets saw combat. The Me 262 had quite an impact on US bomber crews.

                        The V-series rockets were far better than anything the Allies could deploy.

                        Everyone in WW2 worked in desperation.

                        And as Operation Paperclip proves, the Allies were not just determined, but desperate to grab German tech and research. The Soviets as well.
                        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [My participation here and on other threads of this board a bit constrained for now, as we're into the second week of a home improvement/remodel project that is a bit extensive (kitchen and bathroom) on an older(nearly 50 years) rambler. Excuse the hasty form and substance, hope to provide more at a later date.]

                          History has shown often that knowledge and technology are often being pursued along several and parallel tracks, efforts at powered heavier than air flight just one example. So yes, it's often we find both Allied and Axis working on same to similar technologies during the war, but that doesn't mean either side dominated in best approach or range of what was being investigated~researched. Nor does it mean there weren't some areas where German efforts provided advanced gains.
                          .................................................. ....
                          Excerpt:
                          ........
                          Heavily Requested Technical Reports Series in LC General Collections

                          Historical Note: Following right behind Allied combat troops into occupied areas, representatives of the British Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee (BIOS), the Combined Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee (CIOS), and the U.S. Field Intelligence Agency, Technical (FIAT), visited German manufacturing plants, research laboratories, and other war-related facilities to interview managers, scientists, and engineers. After collecting relevant documents, these groups wrote technical briefs on individual subjects, production processes and new technologies. They also prepared reports on whole industries - notably the German dye industry - and on construction projects, such as German underground factories. Although many of these were added to the PB series right after the war, later declassified documents can only be found in the reports listed below.
                          .....
                          https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/trs/trsgencoll.html
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Catalogue description British Intelligence Objectives Sub Committee Reports

                          http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C3206687
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee (BIOS)
                          http://www.secretintelligencefiles.c...o1093/0499/002
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          This is interesting, especially just looking over the report titles listed;
                          Selection of interesting FIAT - CIOS and BIOS reports
                          ...

                          B.I.O.S. = British Intelligence Objective Sub-Committee (shown below)


                          B.I.O.S. MISCELLANEOUS = Mixture of various BIOS topics (shown very below)

                          C.I.O.S. = Combined Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee (New items) 9/1/'17

                          F.I.A.T. = Field Information Agency Technical (United States Group Control for Germany) → Status: 11 September 2015

                          These remarkable papers had been made between 1944 and about 1949

                          FIAT and CIOS reports were both based on joined British - American investigations, covering German Science and Industrial Institutions. It covers a very wide variety of subjects. I have selected the ones that should have significance regarding the objectives of our Foundation. Consequently, it does not claim to be complete and the selection has been my personal choice.

                          Some papers consist of five pages only, whereas other reports may have several hundred pages.
                          ....
                          http://www.cdvandt.org/fiat-cios-bios.htm
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          ^ Hopefully some interesting leads for anyone wishing to delve further ...

                          BTW, another purpose of this thread is to examine the extensive efforts of Nazi Germany in R&D of Advanced Weapons (and the vast extent of underground production facilities).
                          TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=Arnold J Rimmer;n5064455]The M-2 was nothing like an assault rifle. The German's pioneered the assault rifle concept of a necked, short-case rifle-caliber round in a selective fire weapon. The M-2 used a straight-case, badly underpowered round. It was the first effort to produce a PDW, not an assault rifle. It wasn't until the M-16 that the USA produced a assault weapon, 20 years after the Germans.


                            The German improvements to the early bazooka were the basis for the US 3.5" rocket launcher which continued in service until Vietnam.
                            The only US takeaways from the Panzerschreck were to introduce a magneto ignition trigger like it had instead of batteries and a switch, and up the size of the round fired. The German rocket round was deemed poor both in range performance and penetration.

                            Likewise, the US didn't come up with an equivalent to the Panzerfaust until 20 years later, with the short-ranged, under-powered M72 LAW, which remains in service today, and like the Panzerfaust, is most commonly used against strong points.
                            Good thing too. The Panzerfaust was really almost a suicide weapon. The majority issued in WW 2 had a range of just 30 meters, although the 60 meter version came out in early 1945. As a weapon, many German tank hunter troops preferred the Panzerwerfmine instead.



                            This had the advantage of no back blast, no noise when fired, was smaller and lighter thus easier to carry, and just as effective and with equal range to the 30 meter Panzerfaust.

                            The PIAT was a hopeless piece of junk.
                            It was heavy and somewhat ungainly to carry, but it did work.

                            It was JFK who noted of our space program: "Our Germans are better than their Germans", referring to the USSR.
                            I don't know if he said that or not, but everything I posted was accurate. The one rocket that the German Paperclip scientists could be credited with that did make it into the US space program was the US Army's Corporal missile that launched the early Mercury capsules. Atlas, Titan, and Saturn were all entirely US homegrown systems that owed nothing to German wartime rocketry, and didn't employ many, if any, ex-German / Nazi scientists or engineers in their development.

                            And whatever you think about the designs, both German jets saw combat. The Me 262 had quite an impact on US bomber crews.
                            Few bomber crews ever even saw a German jet fighter.

                            The V-series rockets were far better than anything the Allies could deploy.
                            The V2 was a waste of effort and economic resources. It's the equivalent of building an Me 110 aircraft loading it with 2,000 lbs of bombs then randomly crashing it into a target no more than 300 miles from it's take off point. So, it might be a tremendous feat that the Germans got the V-2 operational but it was a nearly worthless weapon system in terms of cost and result.
                            The V-1... More economical, but hardly something the Allies couldn't deploy. The US had a working copy as the JB 2 / Loon (Army / Navy designations) 60 days after the first one was launched on England. The US at one point was going to have Willy's Overland mass produce the air frames and Ford Motor Co. mass produce the engines and was planning on firing upwards of 5,000 a month into Germany. That's almost more in a month than the Germans fired during the war... But, they cancelled the plan as unnecessary and a waste of resources.

                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic-Ford_JB-2

                            At the same time the US was experimenting with jet bombs like the JB 1 and 10, or the Navy's Gorgon. These were tried and tested but not put into service. So, the US had the capacity to put equal weapons of their own design in service-- they just didn't bother.

                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gorgon

                            Likewise, the US was doing development on SAMs and AAMs, and in many ways were ahead of the Germans in those fields.

                            http://www.designation-systems.net/d...1/ptv-n-4.html

                            http://www.designation-systems.net/d...1/rtv-n-6.html

                            The USAAF had the JB 3 Tiamat and Ryan Firebird in development.

                            Everyone in WW2 worked in desperation.
                            The Germans far moreso than the US ever did.

                            And as Operation Paperclip proves, the Allies were not just determined, but desperate to grab German tech and research. The Soviets as well.
                            The winners looked into everything they could. The US in particular, made detailed studies of virtually all German and Japanese military equipment, and related industrial and material information they could put their hands on. Much of that was simply to be thorough and really not of much use.

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                            • #15
                              Excellent post T.A., very good summary of the facts and dismantling of some myths.

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