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500 Greifs available in 1943

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  • 500 Greifs available in 1943

    The Germans built a total of 1000 He177s.

    With its 3000 mile range and 6 ton bombload, what would have been the effect of 250 fully functioning Heinkel 177s on the Eastern Front able to reach the Urals, and 250 on the Western able to reach the Mediterranean & mid-Atlantic in 1943?


  • #2
    Zip. That's not enough bomb weight, given the inaccuracy of WW2 strategic bombers, to affect production. And they couldn't reach the USA.
    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.

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    • #3
      A He 177 takes about 8 to 10 metric tons of fuel per flight to operate. That means for all 500 to fly will require about 4000 to 5000 metric tons of fuel.
      At the time Germany was producing about 500,000 metric tons a month. That means 1% of all the fuel Germany makes goes to operating these planes for one (1) sortie per plane per month. Let's up it to 10. Now we need 40,000 to 50,000 we are using 10% of all the fuel in Germany.

      It is that simple. Germany cannot operate a large bomber force because they don't have the fuel to do it. They aren't going to get the fuel either.

      KG 1 operating He 177 in the East was disbanded in early 1944 for this simple reason. It was taking the unit several months to store up enough fuel to make a single mass sortie.

      So, it will have next to no effect. It is another self-defeating program the Germans are into.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        A He 177 takes about 8 to 10 metric tons of fuel per flight to operate.
        How does that compare to the FW 200 used for recon flights over the N Atlantic? Or a extended range He 111 or Ju 88 configured for long range missions?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
          How does that compare to the FW 200 used for recon flights over the N Atlantic? Or a extended range He 111 or Ju 88 configured for long range missions?
          It doesn't.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
            How does that compare to the FW 200 used for recon flights over the N Atlantic? Or a extended range He 111 or Ju 88 configured for long range missions?
            An FW 200 takes about the same fuel but these flew individual missions and in 1940 - 41 Germany was producing and importing upwards of 1 million to 2 million tons of fuel a month. There were usually just a dozen or so Fw 200 in service and they flew one or two sorties a day at most.

            The He 111 and standard Ju 88 take about 4 or 5 tons of fuel for a sortie. The Ju 88H runs closer to the He 177 at around 8 to 10 but maybe 5 or 6 of these were made at most and flew only a few missions.

            The He 177 and Do 217 in the "Mini-Blitz" of 1943 flew sorties in the hundreds total.

            Germany simply doesn't have the fuel to run a huge air force. Malta survived in good part because the Germans and Italians couldn't afford the fuel for a sustained aerial bombing campaign against the island. The best they could do is have a short high intensity impulse of bombing raids that suppressed operations from Malta for a short while.
            This was usually done in conjunction with major troop movements to North Africa.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mifletz View Post
              The Germans built a total of 1000 He177s.

              With its 3000 mile range and 6 ton bombload, what would have been the effect of 250 fully functioning Heinkel 177s on the Eastern Front able to reach the Urals, and 250 on the Western able to reach the Mediterranean & mid-Atlantic in 1943?
              In a word, nothing.
              The numbers are far too low to have achieved anything.

              He 177's took part in Operation Steinbeck, the so-called 'Baby Blitz' of Southern Britain during January-May 1944, a force of around 500 Luftwaffe bombers took part in the campaign, but the campaign was halted after Luftwaffe losses of over 300 aircraft including 46 He 177's.

              ps:

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              • #8
                Or that the Luftwaffe had 1,000 He-177 during the BoB and were hitting the Aircraft assembly and aero engine plants, thus depriving the RAF of aircraft.

                In the end Wever is vindicated by Goering that the Luftwaffe was wise in investing in Strategic Bombers.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
                  Or that the Luftwaffe had 1,000 He-177 during the BoB and were hitting the Aircraft assembly and aero engine plants, thus depriving the RAF of aircraft.
                  If they had 1,000 He 177's in 1940 they wouldn't have had the medium bombers for the tactical roles needed to support the army.
                  Goering didn't dislike the idea of heavy bombers, but he had a choice either enough medium bombers for the tactical roles assigned to the Luftwaffe or a medium sized strategic bomber force, but not both.
                  If you look at the success achieved by the Luftwaffe in the early war years and the size of any strategic bomber force needed to achieve any meaningful results it's clear that it was Goering who was vindicated not Wever.

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                  • #10
                    If you look at the production of the He 177 and then at Allied bomber production it compares roughly like this:

                    In full production Henkel was turning out about 1 He 177 a day. In the US at the same time Ford, Consolidated, etc., were turning out about 30 B-24 and another 10 B-17 a day.

                    That gives you some perspective on just how incapable the German aero industry was in producing large 4 engine bombers.
                    Junkers was turning out 1 Ju 290 a month.

                    Now, those are all rough figures but they illustrate a harsh truth. Germany simply could not build a big 4 engine bomber force like the US or Britain could. Russia simply didn't, not that they could not have done so.
                    The Germans were pretty much stuck with building twins, and mostly smaller less capable twins like the Ju 88.

                    If you compare it to Allied aircraft the Ju 88 isn't a B-25 or 26 it is more equivalent to the A 20, A-26 or Mosquito.
                    The He 111 is really about a less capable B-25 or 26 with poorer defenses, lower speed and operating altitude for the same bomb load.
                    The only really heavy twin the Germans built was the Do 217 which compares to a B-26.

                    It was either build twin engine bombers and have sufficient numbers or build fewer 4 engine bombers and never have anywhere close to enough.

                    When you factor in the fuel situation things also favor the twin design over the 4 engine heavy.

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                    • #11
                      .
                      Last edited by Mifletz; 05 Jun 14, 16:21.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                        If you look at the production of the He 177 and then at Allied bomber production it compares roughly like this:

                        In full production Henkel was turning out about 1 He 177 a day. In the US at the same time Ford, Consolidated, etc., were turning out about 30 B-24 and another 10 B-17 a day.

                        That gives you some perspective on just how incapable the German aero industry was in producing large 4 engine bombers.
                        Junkers was turning out 1 Ju 290 a month.

                        Now, those are all rough figures but they illustrate a harsh truth. Germany simply could not build a big 4 engine bomber force like the US or Britain could. Russia simply didn't, not that they could not have done so.
                        The Germans were pretty much stuck with building twins, and mostly smaller less capable twins like the Ju 88.

                        If you compare it to Allied aircraft the Ju 88 isn't a B-25 or 26 it is more equivalent to the A 20, A-26 or Mosquito.
                        The He 111 is really about a less capable B-25 or 26 with poorer defenses, lower speed and operating altitude for the same bomb load.
                        The only really heavy twin the Germans built was the Do 217 which compares to a B-26.

                        It was either build twin engine bombers and have sufficient numbers or build fewer 4 engine bombers and never have anywhere close to enough.

                        When you factor in the fuel situation things also favor the twin design over the 4 engine heavy.
                        Please don't compare the Mosquito to any of those above! It was much better than any of them in all departments, including attrition rates.

                        Paul
                        ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
                        All human ills he can subdue,
                        Or with a bauble or medal
                        Can win mans heart for you;
                        And many a blessing know to stew
                        To make a megloamaniac bright;
                        Give honour to the dainty Corse,
                        The Pixie is a little shite.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
                          Please don't compare the Mosquito to any of those above! It was much better than any of them in all departments, including attrition rates.

                          Paul
                          Next thing you're going to tell us is you're dating one...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                            If you look at the production of the He 177 and then at Allied bomber production it compares roughly like this: In full production Henkel was turning out about 1 He 177 a day... Junkers was turning out 1 Ju 290 a month.

                            ... Those are all rough figures but they illustrate a harsh truth. Germany simply could not build a big 4 engine bomber force like the US or Britain could... The Germans were pretty much stuck with building twins, and mostly smaller less capable twins like the Ju 88.
                            The He-177 is maligned because of its protracted and difficult development. By the end of 1943, four years after it all started, the He-177A-5 emerged as a fairly capable, reliable, long-range bomber. As with many things, it was a case of too little, too late with the Greif. A few sorties were flown in October 1943 against hydroelectric installations near Gorkii, but the Heinkels were grounded in November for want of fuel. Long-range missions with one four-engine bomber used fuel sufficient for six fighter sorties, and by the end of 1943, Germany was under siege.

                            That was the extent of the Luftwaffe's strategic bombing operations. It was too late for a strategic bomber to be of any use to the Germans. As has been noted, there was not the production capacity to build enough aircraft for an effective bombing campaign, nor were there escorts to protect them all the way to the target. Instead, the Greif was used for maritime reconnaissance with KG 40, sometimes as a platform for the Hs-293 and Fritz-X wire-guided missiles. Most of them ended up flying against England in Operation Steinbock, along with the remaining Do-217s and Ju-188s based in the west.

                            If you compare it to Allied aircraft the Ju 88 isn't a B-25 or 26 it is more equivalent to the A-20, A-26 or Mosquito.
                            This is an important point that many Luftwaffe aficionados fail to realize. In relative terms, the A-26 is the best match, re: dimensions, performance and cost. The Ju-88 was emphatically not a medium bomber.

                            The He 111 is really about a less capable B-25 or 26 with poorer defenses, lower speed and operating altitude for the same bomb load.
                            The only really heavy twin the Germans built was the Do 217 which compares to a B-26.
                            In fairness, the Heinkel He-111 was a revolutionary aircraft for its day. Ten years later it had been surpassed by newer aircraft, but it was still the Luftwaffe's workhorse. The Do-217 was loosely based on the Do-17, but was a completely new aircraft. These were based along the Atlantic for most of their service. Neither was capable of reaching far into Britain.

                            It was either build twin engine bombers and have sufficient numbers or build fewer 4 engine bombers and never have anywhere close to enough.

                            When you factor in the fuel situation things also favor the twin design over the 4 engine heavy.
                            Fuel is another critical factor. The opportunity cost of flying bombing sorties was less fuel for attacking American bombers, which were over Germany by 1943. The Germans had no fuel, so they were forced to prioritize, and the bombers were stood down.

                            Its worth noting that after Wever's death, strategic bombers were not abandoned by the Luftwaffe. That is a misconception. Heinkel received the order for what became the He-177 in mid-1937, a year after Wever's death. The difficult and protracted development of the aircraft that resulted from the technical challenges, politics and changing requirements delayed it for years, but there was always the desire in some quarters for a strategic bombing capability.

                            Regards
                            Scott Fraser
                            Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                            A contentedly cantankerous old fart

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                              Next thing you're going to tell us is you're dating one...
                              I can understand Dibble getting a bit twitchy when your post likened the Ju88 to the Mosquito. The Ju88 was closer to the Beaufighter, but even then not quite as good.

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