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The Luftwaffe masters aerial refueling.

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  • #16
    Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
    ..not to mention the nukes german cities.
    That one always ends it. Now & then one sees some intersting discussions of target selection for the A bombs of 1945-46.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
      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?

      Blohm & Voss P.144 aerial tanker with ZG-76 Messerschmitt P.1101/105 & ZG-52 Heinkel P.1079 zerstorers

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      • #18
        I see several things that basically make the technology worthless or nearly so to the Germans.

        1. Lack of fuel. This is a big one. If the Germans by 1943 are having difficulty just mounting a large raid using bombers because of the fuel situation this does nothing to change that.

        2. The need for tanker planes. These have to be large aircraft. When Junkers can't build more than one or two Ju 290 per month, Messerschmitt can't build more than a Me 264 every couple at most, Focke Wulf an Fw 200 a week, you won't have an easy time accumulating tanker planes which themselves take large amounts of fuel to fly and refuel the other planes.

        3. A lack of target data. Pin prick raids for purposes of terror or propaganda are one thing, militarily significant ones are another. The later are not likely to happen.

        4. Raid size will be severely limited. The number of planes they can send is going to be dictated by the number of tanker planes and how fast they can refuel the strike. This will mean only a handful of strike planes can go in most cases.

        Then the next question becomes, what happens when the Allies copy this technology? Unlike the Germans they don't have fuel shortages, they can build massive planes in quantity.

        Germany then Japan get the brunt of more bomber raids.

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        • #19
          As usual with WW2 what ifs, you need to start early if you are going to change the outcome. A possible critical point at which German aerial refuelling could cause major changes is 1940-1 when aerial refuelling could allow the Luftwaffe to attack the British Atlantic convoys with their medium bombers. Some deluded poster at the Axishistory website seems to have had this idea a few years ago http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...?f=11&t=152456 (although not before this thread started).

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Mostlyharmless View Post
            As usual with WW2 what ifs, you need to start early if you are going to change the outcome. A possible critical point at which German aerial refuelling could cause major changes is 1940-1 when aerial refuelling could allow the Luftwaffe to attack the British Atlantic convoys with their medium bombers. Some deluded poster at the Axishistory website seems to have had this idea a few years ago http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...?f=11&t=152456 (although not before this thread started).
            An easier and more likely method to accomplish that would have been for Junkers to come up with the Ju 88H series in a 1940ish timeframe.



            That would give them a medium bomber that has the range of a Fw 200 and that is cheap and easy to produce.

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