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  • The Luftwaffe masters aerial refueling.

    Okay, it is a given that a plane expends the most fuel getting airborne and up to its cruising altitude. This also creates difficulties regarding the bombs vs. fuel-carried ratio. What if the German Luftwaffe had mastered the art of aerial refueling at the same time that the US was experimenting with it in the 1930's?

    Such technology could have greatly increased the range of German Bombers and brought the historically out of range, Russian Armaments Factories in the Ural Mountains under Luftwaffe aerial bombardment. Also, the Eastern Coastal Cities of the US could also have met that same fate. How would this have changed the course of WW II?
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

  • #2
    The question leads several directions. 1. How much bomb weight it really takes to get a decisive result on a industrial target. The US & Brits seem to have been nonplussed at the real damage they caused with their 'aluminum overcast'. Will a few hundred, or even onethousand sorties with the Ju88s cripple Soviet oil or tanks production?

    2. Will there be enough refuleing capability for escourt fighters as well. Not much point is dispatching 300 Ju88 if they suffer the same sort of losses the USAF took in the 'ball bearing' campaign.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
      The question leads several directions. 1. How much bomb weight it really takes to get a decisive result on a industrial target. The US & Brits seem to have been nonplussed at the real damage they caused with their 'aluminum overcast'. Will a few hundred, or even onethousand sorties with the Ju88s cripple Soviet oil or tanks production?

      2. Will there be enough refuleing capability for escourt fighters as well. Not much point is dispatching 300 Ju88 if they suffer the same sort of losses the USAF took in the 'ball bearing' campaign.
      Not sure myself, although, let us not forget the He 111's in all this and all the other later generations of bombers that the Germans produced. If you were to "gas them up" after they'd reached their optimum cruising altitude, they could fly several times greater the distance than they could from solely taking off and flying to their targets.
      "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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      • #4
        You'd have to protect very vulnerable tankers aswell. For the luftwaffe to hit the Urals they'd have to refuel over soviet territory. A sitting duck for the soviets that would have been.

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        • #5
          Even IF. Using the FW Condors what do you use to refuel the tankers? What type of A/c are the tankers? How often do both the tankers and bombers need to be refueled. What route do they fly. What are allied fighters in Iceland/ Greenland and NE Canada doing. One load of bombs on the Boston Navy yard once a month would_______________shorten the war, having wasted much needed resources.

          HP
          "Ask not what your country can do for you"

          Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

          you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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          • #6
            While the Luftwaffe might have been able to extend bomber range and maybe offer more fighter protection with aerial refueling, the biggest issue for German air superiority, IMHO, was the inability to match British production. Throw in American production later in the war and it was always about when they would lose, not if.
            "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
            George Mason
            Co-author of the Second Amendment
            during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

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            • #7
              a very possible what if. germany, having failed to develop long range strategic bombing, turns to high-altitude Ju-88's to be air refueled to bomb the ural factories.

              effect on war: propaganda boost on German morale.

              but that's it the soviet output would have been so high that it would not have changed much.
              "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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              • #8
                This is only useful if you can protect the tankers.

                The tankers are very long range themselves. It might look easy to escort them because they can just constantly refuel their fighter flock but that reduces the usefulness drastically, as the fighters use up both fuel and fueling time.

                In WW2 it won't be easy to find the the tankers either. They had enough trouble in Vietnam, with radar.

                Then there's the problem of having the fuel in the first place...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                  Such technology could have greatly increased the range of German Bombers and brought the historically out of range, Russian Armaments Factories in the Ural Mountains under Luftwaffe aerial bombardment. Also, the Eastern Coastal Cities of the US could also have met that same fate. How would this have changed the course of WW II?
                  The German bomber campaign against Britain didn't achieve anything of real note in its affect on British production, so the chances of a far smaller bomber campaign over longer range, against targets which were more dispersed, having any noticable effect, is as close as you can get to zero.

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                  • #10
                    effect on war: propaganda boost on German morale.
                    Gobbels only had to go on the radio and say that they had bombed NYC and would have got just about the same effect for a lot less money.
                    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
                      Gobbels only had to go on the radio and say that they had bombed NYC and would have got just about the same effect for a lot less money.
                      Bombing the Urals factorys just aggravates the Russians who are redlined on the anger scale already. Bombing NYC pushes the Yanks, whos indicator was just in the yellow zone. Likely result is 30,000 soldiers from Brooklyn now see the Germans as targets for vengance.

                      I'm visualizing a extended range nazi bomber stuck in the side on the Empire State building...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                        Bombing the Urals factorys just aggravates the Russians who are redlined on the anger scale already. Bombing NYC pushes the Yanks, whos indicator was just in the yellow zone. Likely result is 30,000 soldiers from Brooklyn now see the Germans as targets for vengance.

                        I'm visualizing a extended range nazi bomber stuck in the side on the Empire State building...
                        Kind of like the US B-25 Bomber that actually did that to the Empire State Building during the war.
                        "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cyberknight View Post
                          While the Luftwaffe might have been able to extend bomber range and maybe offer more fighter protection with aerial refueling, the biggest issue for German air superiority, IMHO, was the inability to match British production. Throw in American production later in the war and it was always about when they would lose, not if.
                          You mean inability to match Soviet production, right?

                          As to the original question - it wouldn't have made any difference really. The disparity in fighters was growing as the war reached its end. The Yak-3, especially the model with the VK-107, could wipe the floor with the Luftwaffe at low altitude, as could the La-7 and later La-9 (which was being produced right at the end of the war). The P-47N (which saw limited service in the pacific) would have easily been a match for the Ta-152 at high altitude. And that's ignoring all the other allied planes that were "good enough" to get the job done in numbers far superior to German production.

                          Loads of people fixate on Nazi wonder weapons, but the fact is the P-80 was better than the Me-262, and so were the Yak-15 and MiG-9. The Yak-15 also had the benefit of being a Yak-9 with a jet engine on it, so it would have been extremely easy to mass-produce with the existing Yak-9U and Yak-9P production lines. The DeHavilland Vampire came out right around 1946 too I believe. I don't think the Germans would have been able to field the Ta-183 in 1946, even assuming they were in a better position in 45 than they were historically. After he emigrated, Tank went to Argentina, and the design continued to have problems there. It took him years to really get it working, and by then it was obsolete. Of course, the Argentinian facilities weren't quite what the German ones were (most likely, I'm not positive), but I don't think it would have mattered. Even gifting the Germans the Ta-183, they wouldn't have stood a chance against swarms of allied jets.

                          The Germans were pretty well doomed from December 8th 1941 until the end of the war. They lost the battle of Moscow on December 6th to Soviet counter-attacks, and stupidly declared war on the US on the 8th. That sealed their fate.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Alina View Post
                            You mean inability to match Soviet production, right?

                            As to the original question - it wouldn't have made any difference really. The disparity in fighters was growing as the war reached its end. The Yak-3, especially the model with the VK-107, could wipe the floor with the Luftwaffe at low altitude, as could the La-7 and later La-9 (which was being produced right at the end of the war). The P-47N (which saw limited service in the pacific) would have easily been a match for the Ta-152 at high altitude. And that's ignoring all the other allied planes that were "good enough" to get the job done in numbers far superior to German production.

                            Loads of people fixate on Nazi wonder weapons, but the fact is the P-80 was better than the Me-262, and so were the Yak-15 and MiG-9. The Yak-15 also had the benefit of being a Yak-9 with a jet engine on it, so it would have been extremely easy to mass-produce with the existing Yak-9U and Yak-9P production lines. The DeHavilland Vampire came out right around 1946 too I believe. I don't think the Germans would have been able to field the Ta-183 in 1946, even assuming they were in a better position in 45 than they were historically. After he emigrated, Tank went to Argentina, and the design continued to have problems there. It took him years to really get it working, and by then it was obsolete. Of course, the Argentinian facilities weren't quite what the German ones were (most likely, I'm not positive), but I don't think it would have mattered. Even gifting the Germans the Ta-183, they wouldn't have stood a chance against swarms of allied jets.

                            The Germans were pretty well doomed from December 8th 1941 until the end of the war. They lost the battle of Moscow on December 6th to Soviet counter-attacks, and stupidly declared war on the US on the 8th. That sealed their fate.
                            Soviet production did become a factor later in the war but in 1942 and 1943, it was insufficiently versitile. While they could build tanks and aircraft the couldn't supply the logistical basics such as trucks and transport aircraft early on. While I agree that delay in Soviet full wartime production probably did not change the outcome of the war, IMHO, American supplies did certainly speed up the timetable.

                            As you correctly point out, had the war gone to 1946, the allies had such a qualitative edge as in the aircraft you indicated by example.
                            "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                            George Mason
                            Co-author of the Second Amendment
                            during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cyberknight View Post
                              Soviet As you correctly point out, had the war gone to 1946, the allies had such a qualitative edge as in the aircraft you indicated by example.
                              ..not to mention the nukes german cities.
                              "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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