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500 Greifs available in 1943

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  • #16
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    Next thing you're going to tell us is you're dating one...
    TA! I'm head over heels

    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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    • #17
      Where would the Luftwaffe have got the fuel to train 500 air crew to fly the Griefs? Weren't the Germans running out of aircrew in 1943?

      Pruitt
      Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

      Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

      by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
        Where would the Luftwaffe have got the fuel to train 500 air crew to fly the Griefs? Weren't the Germans running out of aircrew in 1943?

        Pruitt
        Yes. Depends on the source but training flight hours at the Lehr units in Germany were reduced about 30% in 1943, to 170 hours vs 240 hours in 1942. At that time the Brits were giving their new pilots over 300 hours before reporting to a combat unit, and the US approx 280 hours. Also the school squadrons in the combat groups were effectively disbanded during 1943 due to both fuel rationing and declining numbers of experience pilots for instructors.

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        • #19
          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.
          I hate to be technical here but the He-177 was a four engine bomber it had four engines mated to have two engines that were housed in two nascelles for the requirement of being a heavy dive bomber.

          This requirement baffled Heinkel as far as I know as they wanted to produce the He-177 as a four separate bomber from the get go but Goering forbade it to the point he actually threatened anyone from Heinkel with imprisonment if they continued to bother him.

          Also another fact is that in late 1944 Goering deeply regretted that as the B-17's and B-24's were bombing Germany that the Luftwaffe didn't have the same in 1940 and thus vindicating Wever.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Scott Fraser View Post
            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.



            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.



            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.



            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
            The primary role of the He-177 was to be a heavy tactical bomber with the ability to be a tactical heavy dive bomber to support the troops, not to be used as a strategic bomber, this was the downfall of the He-177. It was a flawed bomber from the start. Also considering the aircraft first flew in November 1939 not a bad effort.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
              Also another fact is that in late 1944 Goering deeply regretted that as the B-17's and B-24's were bombing Germany that the Luftwaffe didn't have the same in 1940 and thus vindicating Wever.
              Do you have a source for that claim.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
                I hate to be technical here but the He-177 was a four engine bomber it had four engines mated to have two engines that were housed in two nascelles for the requirement of being a heavy dive bomber.

                This requirement baffled Heinkel as far as I know as they wanted to produce the He-177 as a four separate bomber from the get go but Goering forbade it to the point he actually threatened anyone from Heinkel with imprisonment if they continued to bother him.

                Also another fact is that in late 1944 Goering deeply regretted that as the B-17's and B-24's were bombing Germany that the Luftwaffe didn't have the same in 1940 and thus vindicating Wever.
                The He 177 was an entry in the Bomber A program of 1938. The requirements were for a bomber carrying a 2,000 lb bomb load 4160 miles and a maximum speed of at least 335 mph. The plane also had to have structural strength to perform dive bombing attacks.
                Henkel chose the coupled engine design because of the speed requirement. The dive bombing requirement worked against the design in that it added immense structural weight to make the aircraft survive a 60 degree diving attack.
                The coupled engine arrangement resulted in overheating and frequent fires. Henkel saw the solution was to go to four separate engines. Göring found out and expressly forbid any development. Henkel persisted with development of the "He 177B." Then about a bit over a year later Hitler was ranting about wanting to bomb London and asked aircraft designers for a plane to do it. Henkel offered the He 177B so it got approved despite Göring.

                The problem was the Luftwaffe asked too much of designers in the Bomber A (and B) program and ended up without successful designs.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
                  The primary role of the He-177 was to be a heavy tactical bomber with the ability to be a tactical heavy dive bomber to support the troops.
                  The Heinkel may have ended up as a glorified Stuka, but it was developed in response to the Bomber-A Program, which called for a purely strategic bomber intended for long-range bombing operations against Soviet industry in the Urals. That vision never went away completely, although it was not until after Korten took over that German strategic bombing became a reality, however briefly.

                  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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