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The Luftwaffe In Normandy


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#141 Brian Kennedy

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Posted Yesterday, 12:54 AM

An example of how different air forces had different preferences, USAAF tested some Spitfire VA's regarding possible manufacturing in USA. Outcome was negative:

When Ben Kelsey was chief of the Fighter Project Branch at Wright Field before
the US entered the war, he was part of a team that evaluated the Spitfire for
possible production in the United States. The plane was already legendary for
its performance in the Battle of Britain, and the American evaluators
approached the aircraft with mixed awe and enthusiasm. But they quickly soured
on the airplane. As part of the evaluation, Kelsey flew the Spitfire from
Wright Field in Ohio to March Field in California. The trip was a nightmare.
Because of the short range of the airplane, he had to land at a number of
little-used secondary airfields and often touched down with the engine running
on little more than gas fumes. At many fields, engine cooling was inadequate
to permit taxiing from the landing strip to the service area. Long runways on
high desert airfields involved crosswind taxing that burned out the brakes.
The aircraft's marginal stability when airborne quickly exhausted the pilot,
especially in rough air. It was impossible to safely skirt the edges of even a
mild midwestern thunderstorm because of the plane's skittish handling, and what
was routine heartland weather in a P-40--or P-39--was dangerous in a
Spitfire.... In short, there were so many things wrong with the Spitfire from
the American point of view that the Air Corps evaluation board ruled it
unacceptable.


Regarding British manufacturing quality, I've understood that one issue of Rolls-Royce factory was that it worked really like a giant craft shop, rather than a manufacturing plant optimized on production economy. Assembling Merlins required lots of hand-fitting and the 'shop floor' would make changes and adjustments to the parts on the fly, not always bothering to inform design people of the changes they had made. This complicated things when US began to license-produce Merlins as their production philosophy was much different.

Packard Merlins had lower rating than RR Merlins, though I don't know if the difference resulted simply from different measuring criteria.

 

Edit: yarchive.net is pretty awesome, right? :) Not sure if that account is accurate or not though. 


Edited by Brian Kennedy, Yesterday, 12:56 AM.

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#142 alejandro_

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Posted Yesterday, 02:25 AM

Not sure if that account is accurate or not though.

 

If you read the wikipedia's entry on Ben Kelsey there is a similar account. I am not that surprised, as US pilots/officers pointed some of the issues when they had access to the Spitfire - lack of internal fuel being one. They could not believe it carried less than 100 gallons.


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#143 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Yesterday, 03:03 AM

America is a much bigger country, right? :) Ive not heard the Soviets complained about it (perhaps they did, ive just not heard it), but then they were operating from all kinds of frontline airstrip.

 

As far as the overheating, he does have a point. Ive read in the Haynes book (which is really rather nice, if perhaps light on combat experience) they talk of a Spitfire design flaw where the undercarriage is sat in front of the radiators, and the radiators sit slightly outside the fan disc. Which in the air isnt much of a problem, but if you have the undercarriage down, which is fairly normal proceedure on the ground, you have about 7 minutes before the engine overheats. Im not sure if this is all of them, all just the ones that have the full and the small radiator (other than the double one, as on the IX). Its certainly an issue, and I could see it would be an issue on some of the really large American airfields.

 

As for the rest of it, lets bear in mind, this is the same USAAC that rejected the Mosquito out of hand. Till they discovered first hand how awesome it was over Europe. N.I.H.

 

The Americans actually were convinced you could get more range out of a Spitfire and fitted it with long range drop tanks as in a Mustang. When they got it back to Europe they were horrified to notice they had been cutting away at structural items in order to get the internal tank to fit. We stuck to slipper and Torpedo tanks at that point, and didnt even use those unless we were operating out of England.

Spitfire_Mk_IX_long_range_usa_3.jpg


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#144 Adam_S

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Posted Yesterday, 04:47 AM

A few random musings.

 

As to why the 109 was kept in production, would the reason be, at least in part, because they couldn't afford to take production capacity offline to retool to make something better? Changing to something like a 209 or 309 would presumably take less effort and time to retool than, say, an FW 190 as well.

 

On the Spitfire fuel capacity, it wasn't as though they couldn't increase the fuel capacity, rather I suspect there was little perceived need to do so. Fuel capacity was gradually increased anyway as more powerful and therefore thirsty engines were introduced and there was no particular reason why it couldn't carry drop tanks.

 

Some interesting reading here: https://www.aerosoci...r-longer-reach/


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#145 seahawk

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Posted Yesterday, 09:58 AM

 

 

Its perfectly true its a problem Germany made for itself using slave labour. But they had an alternative in using women workers, something both the British and Americans availed themselves of.

 
You expect rational actions from an irrational regime. That is the problem of the "what ifs", if Germany would act more rationally, it would not fight the war in the first place.

 


Even Nazi Germany had sort of rationale for many things it did. Events of WW1 were still fresh in Germany's collective mind and one of the things Nazis had promoted themselves was that they would not repeat mistakes of WW1 (eventually they did and made many more). WW1 had resulted to serious shortage of food and everyday supplies in Germany which directly contributed to both military defeat and especially downfall of Imperial government. This meant they wanted to keep civilian life undisturbed for as long as possible - you mobilize too much of the civilian population to factories etc., not only you risk food shortage as agricultural production drops, you create a large proletariat who just might start getting ideas from dastardly Communists infiltrated amongst the industrial workers. Instead, you can use slaves...

 

 

But the idea to work those slaves making your weapons to death was beyond stupid. In some cases they treated the slave workers decently and the result was good, for example in the coal mines, as the miners themselves treated everybody the same who went into the mines. But imho a lot of things working for them, worked because they used established standards from long before the Nazis came to power. In the end this became obvious, when you look at how quickly Germany was a functioning state again after 1945 and how smooth and organized the rebuilding went. (when given the resources)


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#146 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Yesterday, 10:16 AM

Nazis couldnt organize anything. They couldnt even organize a Putsch up in a Beer Hall. :)


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#147 seahawk

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Posted Yesterday, 10:57 AM

Kind of. In one case we laid down an old building. It was built by the SS in 1942 as a school for teenage boys and in the old files, you found a note in which the city fined the SS for building it without a building permit. The fine was 1000 Reichsmark and they were obligated to tear down the building by the end of 1947 - which obviously did not not happen when useable buildings were rare in 1947.


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#148 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Yesterday, 11:22 AM

I remember reading in Anna Funder's 'Stasiland' and interesting account by a former Stasi employee. This guy ended up dismissed, Im not sure what for, so in revenge he stole a plaque from the office announcing they had won a third class place for excellence. Bronze round plate. He took it home and hid it behind his sink.

 

The Stasi figured out he knicked it, so tore his place apart looking for it. Clearly not the A team because they never found it. He remained under suspicion for stealing the plate, but without any evidence, they let it go.

 

East Germany fell and Germany reunified, and so he got the plate out and hung it on the wall. It was his 'fuck you' to the regime, so he figured he would tell people about it. A German TV crew came to see it and hear his story. It was broadcast on TV.

 

A month or so later he got a bill from the Unified German Government for stolen East Germany property. :D

 

 

Im not sure thats wholly relevant, but as it indicates, German Bureaucracy is one hell of a powerful weapon. If they had dropped it on England we would have stood no chance. :)


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, Yesterday, 11:23 AM.

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#149 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Yesterday, 12:48 PM

41E6C02500000578-0-image-a-26_1498815859


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#150 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Yesterday, 02:22 PM

Trial of a German 30mm against a Spitfire II.

 

There are some really great photo's of that and a similar trial against  a Blenheim here.

https://forum.il2stu...game-test-data/


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#151 alejandro_

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Posted Yesterday, 03:29 PM

Changing to something like a 209 or 309 would presumably take less effort and time to retool than, say, an FW 190 as well.

 

Both had many handling issues and were a failure. Focke Wulf did far better when it came to integrating the DB 603 engine. Even the Italians had some advanced types for this engine.


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#152 Yama

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Posted Yesterday, 03:37 PM

A few random musings.
 
As to why the 109 was kept in production, would the reason be, at least in part, because they couldn't afford to take production capacity offline to retool to make something better? Changing to something like a 209 or 309 would presumably take less effort and time to retool than, say, an FW 190 as well.


Once FW 190 came along, RLM was never too interested about replacing Bf-109. They were more concerned getting fighters to the operational units. Changing to new model would have disrupted production. Other belligrents did similar things.
Also, performance gains of Me-309 and 209 (309 came first, despite the designation) were modest over Bf-109 and as said, FW designs using the same engine were more promising.

309 was a neat looking machine, strong Airacobra-vibe.

2oeqq1hezx_large.jpg


Edited by Yama, Yesterday, 03:54 PM.

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#153 MiloMorai

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Posted Yesterday, 05:27 PM

Bf109 new production numbers from Jan '44 can be found here, http://forum.12ocloc...ight=neubau 109Post# 28


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