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Could The Germans Have Successfully Propagated Sealion Without Air Supremacy


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#781 Yama

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 0437 AM

Germany had the capacity to design a reasonable (I am not saying excellent) large aircraft for military purposes, but actually did not build many of the aircraft that I am thinking of: the FW 200 Condor.  The FW 200 had, on paper, similar overall characteristics to the B-17, (but was not a B-17).   
 
With sufficient development, including higher powered engines and a stronger structure, a reasonable night bomber could have been produced.  Whether enough could have been produced is another matter.


FW 200 could not be turned into effective frontline bomber. It was not designed to handle such loads. In general, converting passenger aircraft to bombers did not work because requirements were too different.

And no Germany could not produce them enough, except by undercutting other types which they needed more acutely - tactical bombers, dive bombers, fighters, transport aircraft. It was a wise decision to abandon 'Ural bombers' once it became clear that the models offered did not match their projected performance.
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#782 Rick

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 0512 AM

That was done with submarines in the Atlantic, and the Malta campaign, albeit overruled 

 

Methinks that few of us recognize the novelty of torpedo bombing in WWII, eh?

Concerning European navies, the British certainly did. I would say the three other major navies of Germany, Italy, and France did not. Though the R.N. had good torpedoes, the Swordfish was fortunate to have missed the Japanese. 

The U.S.N. placed some value on torpedo bombing since at least the 1920's with the Curtiss CS and Martin T3M. While the successor to these planes, the Devastator was a decent plane for the time, the U.S.N. torpedoes were not. 

Enough has been written about the brilliance of Japanese torpedo bombing to know they were the varsity team, especially in the beginning. 


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#783 Yama

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 0513 AM

 

The advance in aerodynamics and construction was a result of the limitations on aircraft weight and available engines forced onto them through the Versailles treaty. I just think it is unrealistic to expect Germany to build better planes and engines than the USA or the UK, who never faced those restrictions and at the same time come up with a stronger Luftwaffe and better tactics than either of the 2. 

Nope, not expecting them to better the US. That was something we couldnt even do. Just better than humble old Britain.

 

Why should they be expected to perform better than the British, who had designed an elaborate and comprehensive set of treaty restrictions from preventing them doing just that?

 

And if we are talking about aero industries, lets talk about America then! US had the most advanced aeronautical industry in the '30s, by far. Almost everyone relied on aerodynamic research done by NACA. US civilian aircraft industry was years ahead of rest of the world. When a British aircraft designer was shown a photo of Boeing 247, he snorted in disbelief: "It's only a model". American engineering and production standards were a marvel. American factories were capable of true mass production, with uniform standards and little need for time- and labour consuming hand fitting done in other countries. Their aero engines were usually of higher performance, and certainly much more durable, than those of any other country.

 

Yet for the purpose of military needs, this peerless machine was horribly mismanaged. American fighting aircraft often had inferior performance and weak armament. Prime USAAF fighter in 1940 - P-36A - was something like 60km/h slower than contemporary Spitfire or Bf-109, and no faster than Italian or French fighters which had 30% less engine power than P-36. Primary US Navy fighter was Brewster Buffalo which really needs no further comment. And if you think something like Defiant or Me-210 were bad, that is only because you haven't heard of Airacuda:

BellYFM1Airacuda.jpg

 

During Spanish Civil war an American military pilot had the chance to inspect Soviet made fighting aircraft used by Republican side. He was shocked: far from being primitive as one could expect, they were much more advanced than contemporary USAAF aircraft. They had seat armours, variable pitch propellors, retractable landing gears, self-sealing fuel tanks. It was nothing that American aero industry was incapable of doing (and the Soviet aircraft were powered by copies of British and US engines), it was just not implemented because USAAF leadership was completely out of touch about developments in the real world.

 

My point is that nitpicking about various curiosities and poor choices made by Nazi war machine regarding aero industry (or any other industry) easily gets into Hindenburg bar stool rearrangement territory. Everybody made mistakes those days - sometimes huge ones - because the nature of the field was so new and hard to foresee. It was inevitable. There is no evidence whatsoever that mistakes made by German military-industrial leadership were more serious or decisive in nature than those made by other countries.


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#784 DougRichards

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 0532 AM

 

Germany had the capacity to design a reasonable (I am not saying excellent) large aircraft for military purposes, but actually did not build many of the aircraft that I am thinking of: the FW 200 Condor.  The FW 200 had, on paper, similar overall characteristics to the B-17, (but was not a B-17).   
 
With sufficient development, including higher powered engines and a stronger structure, a reasonable night bomber could have been produced.  Whether enough could have been produced is another matter.


FW 200 could not be turned into effective frontline bomber. It was not designed to handle such loads. In general, converting passenger aircraft to bombers did not work because requirements were too different.

And no Germany could not produce them enough, except by undercutting other types which they needed more acutely - tactical bombers, dive bombers, fighters, transport aircraft. It was a wise decision to abandon 'Ural bombers' once it became clear that the models offered did not match their projected performance.

 

There are some indications that the Condor was used as a long range bomber during the Battle of Britain, if I recall mainly trying to hit naval bases out of range of the He111 / Do17 / Ju88 trio.  It obviously was not too successful.

 

I was thinking of using the flying surfaces and power plants, but marrying them to a more bomber like fuselage.  This may not have necessarily worked of course.  The prototype of the Short Stirling used the wing of the Sunderland, but it had to be shortened to meet hangar specifications. The Sunderland being related to the Short s23 civil aircraft.


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#785 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 0810 AM

They would have had to have redesigned the undercarriage as well doug. The Condors undercart was pretty horrible.

 

Incidentally there is nice replica/restoration going onof a Condor. Pity they are turning it back into an airliner though.

 

hipreview-2.jpg

 

https://www.fzt.haw-...ation_Teil2.pdf


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 16 May 2020 - 0817 AM.

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#786 Yama

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 0901 AM

Condor was a beautiful, elegant airliner, almost like Constellation. Bomber variant looked ungainly in comparison...

 

Fw200V1_Condor_pict3.jpg

 

In addition to landing gear issues, engine had no developmental potential left, same thing terminated career of Do-17.


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#787 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 1011 AM

Pity they never thought have hanging some Pratt and Whitneys on it.

 

Yeah, its was a very elegant propliner. Its a shame that the Nazi connection has all but allowed that to be forgotten outside Germany. Too bad its not going to be a flier.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 16 May 2020 - 1012 AM.

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#788 Rich

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 1038 AM

BellYFM1Airacuda.jpg

if you think something like Defiant or Me-210 were bad, that is only because you haven't heard of Airacuda:

 

 


 

What? Airacuda was brilliant! Look on those nacelles with two AAC 37mm guns! What could be wrong with an aircraft armed by the American Merchants of Death, the Miranda Brothers (no relation to Carmen or Ernesto)? If it worked for Preston Tucker, it'd work for Jim Work at Brewster right? :D :D :D


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#789 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 1129 AM

I think its a mother beautiful aircraft,and its a shame the daysayers didnt give it its day in the sun. :)


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#790 MiloMorai

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 1626 PM

The Kondor also had a weak fuselage and would break behind the wing's trailing edge.


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#791 MiloMorai

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 0742 AM

Bomber Command Campaign Diary https://webarchive.n...mand/diary.html


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#792 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 0854 AM

The Kondor also had a weak fuselage and would break behind the wing's trailing edge.

Yeah, the one they recovered seemed to do pretty much exactly that.

 

OTOH, its not a flying boat. :)

 

Thanks for the Bomber Command diary, ive been flirting with buying that for some time.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 17 May 2020 - 0855 AM.

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#793 glenn239

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 1446 PM

The CAI’s first sortie wasn’t even launched until two weeks after Hitler ordered his planned invasion of the United Kingdom postponed. The first major Italian raids took place over Harwich and Felixstowe on Oct. 24, 1940. They were followed by other small missions. These included the Oct. 29 attack on Ramsgate and Deal. The last sizeable Italian sortie against Great Britain occurred on Nov. 11, 1940. It ended in failure. Smaller missions were flown sporadically throughout the remainder of November. By early 1941, the entire Italian contingent was withdrawn and redeployed to the Mediterranean. In all, 10 Italian aircraft were destroyed in action over England or the channel — a comparable number were lost in accidents. Italy’s role in the Battle of Britain became little more than a footnote to history.

 

The most remarkable thing about it is that the Italians appear to have been the instigators to the expeditionary force to the Channel. 


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#794 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 0207 AM

I think it more accurate to say it was Mussolini that was the instigator. Im not sure the Italian Air Force was so enthusiastic.


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#795 glenn239

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Posted Yesterday, 02:23 PM

Stuart Galbraith, on 25 May 2020 - 03:07 AM, said:

I think it more accurate to say it was Mussolini that was the instigator. Im not sure the Italian Air Force was so enthusiastic.

 

 

Could be, but the strategic cooperation was demonstrated.  The Italian units were moved to the English Channel, the bases and supply chain were established, missions flown in cooperation with the LW.  The Italian expeditionary force was, of course, near to completely ineffective in combat.  But that would be moving the goal posts – the strategic coordination to establish the expedition was accomplished between the air forces.  The navies might have done the same thing, to whatever level geography permitted.


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#796 glenn239

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Posted Yesterday, 02:32 PM

Rich  Obviously stupid, because nothing was going on in the Med at the time...

 

5 July - Swordfish attack Italian shipping at Tobruk sinking a destroyer and a freighter.

9 July - Action off Calabria.

11 July - HMS Escort sunk by Marconi.

16 July - HMS Phoenix sunk by Albatross.

19 July - Action off Cape Spada.

1 August - HMS Oswald sunk by Vivaldi

August - Operation HURRY to Malta.

August - Warspite, Malaya, and Ramillies bombard Bardia

August - Italians invade British Somaliland.

22 August - Swordfish attack Italian shipping at Tobruk sinking a submarine and a submarine depot ship.

23 August - Italians lay minefields inthe Strait of Sicily, sinking HMS Hostile.

September - Resupply missions to Malta and to Egypt continue.

17 September - Mediterranean Fleet attacks Benghazi again, sinking two destroyers, while HMS Kent is torpedoed by SM. 79 (see above).

22 September - HMS Osiris sinks Italian torpedo boat.

30 September - Italian submarine Gondar sunk en route to Alexandria with load of Pigs by RAN Stuart.

 

 

By this logic one wonders why in 1814 Schwarzenberg didn’t respond to Napoleon’s thrust at his lines of communication by abandoning his march on Paris - on the principle that the key strategic objective apparently should be sacrificed anytime some whim of operational trivia of no importance arises.  Say like the hollow threat to the lines of communications made by a beaten army, or perhaps a Swordfish attack at Tobruk that sinks a submarine depot ship.


Edited by glenn239, Yesterday, 03:18 PM.

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#797 glenn239

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Posted Yesterday, 03:15 PM

Rich What is "navalized equipment such as artillery"? Do you mean a ship with guns? Or guns removed from a ship?

 

Guns and gunnery equipment removed from some of the more obsolescent Italian ships and remounted on auxiliary escorts was the idea there.  The crews of ships so disarmed man invasion transports.  All would have to be transported by rail and mounted on site on the English Channel. 

 

There was all of about 40 MAS boats completed by mid 1940...how many should they ship to the Channel? Why, since they were fully occupied in the Med?

 

 

If the Italians had 40 MAS boats at the time, then at least 20.  The reason “why” is that the military principle is concentration of force at the decisive point.  Is Sealion the decisive point of the war, or Tobruk in Libya?

 

 Decima Flottiglia MAS was not formed until 1941. Prima Flottiglia MAS was the unit in 1940..and was badly hurt by the sinking of the mother subs Iride and Gondar and the depot ship Monet Gargano in July and August...see above, you know the activity that apparently was of no concern to the Regia Marina in the Mediterranean so they could just go help their good German buddies in France?

 

 

The ships you list were sunk in August and September, so would not have impacted the status of units transferred to the Channel starting in July.

 

 

 No, the Germans did not ask for assistance, the CAI was foisted upon them by Mussolini on 10 September and did not deploy till 25 September and was not operational for another month after that...which gives some idea how complex a problem it was. Airfields first...you seem to forget that they were not a dime a dozen in northwest France and Belgium. Ditto fuel, ammunition, maintenance, spares, ground crews, accommodations, and so on.

 

 

Who said anything about a hypothetical Italian naval cooperation happening as late as 10 September?   That was far too late in the day.   I was picturing more like mid-July as the starting date.

 

And exactly why would Hitler, who was all about prestige and appearances - he was a typical bourgeoisie Austrian after all - want to go cap in hand to his erstwhile former mentor and top fascist dog asking for help? Until 1939-1940 the patron-client relationship between Italy and Germany was very different. Do you really think that Hitler and his minions forgot that when they became top dogs in the Axis?

 

 

Mmmn.  Seems like this one was an afterthought.  To answer your question, planners generally first look at the enemy’s capabilities, not their intentions.  Intentions are hard to extract and extremely subject to change.  Capabilities are far less amenable to revision.  So, we look at capabilities.  Were the Germans and Italians capable of moving Italian naval kit by rail from Italy to the English Channel starting in July 1940 in time to participate in an operation in late September?  I say yes, they were capable of that. 

 

Anyway, how exactly were the Italian fighter pilots "considerably more experienced"? Against whom? Especially in the Bf 109?

 

 

I’ll ask a pilot with 6,000 hours tonight which would have been the better option – upgrading experienced Italian biplane fighter pilots to certification in the ME-109’s, or using green German pilots that can’t even navigate straight out of flight school. 

 

Do you mean all that French naval and army artillery that the Germans took over and used? The 3,486 odd pieces from 75mm to 194mm they still had in inventory as of 1 March 1944 in Ob.West alone? Yeah, obviously they were too dumb to use it earlier. Or all those ships in the Atlantic that mostly went to British or French North African ports? Those in Vichy? How do they get to them?

 

 

No, I meant that warships entering port in Southern France would disarm their AA and secondary armaments and turn them over to the Germans as a condition of the armistice.  All torpedoes in French service would be declared and inspected, and some total of them surrendered to the Axis.  Sea mines, same thing.  That sort of idea.  The French would have scuttled their ships rather than surrender them. 

 

 So if they were going to "lay their hands" on French naval personnel what would they use them as? Galley slaves? Cooks? Bottle washers? Or do they set them to navigating ships and manning sensitive equipment with minders? Highly efficient use of manpower that.

 

 

The Germans managed to make AA crews out of captured Russian POW’s, for example, that served in Normandy and elsewhere.  


Edited by glenn239, Yesterday, 03:19 PM.

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#798 Rich

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Posted Yesterday, 05:38 PM

 

Rich  Obviously stupid, because nothing was going on in the Med at the time...

 

5 July - Swordfish attack Italian shipping at Tobruk sinking a destroyer and a freighter.

9 July - Action off Calabria.

11 July - HMS Escort sunk by Marconi.

16 July - HMS Phoenix sunk by Albatross.

19 July - Action off Cape Spada.

1 August - HMS Oswald sunk by Vivaldi

August - Operation HURRY to Malta.

August - Warspite, Malaya, and Ramillies bombard Bardia

August - Italians invade British Somaliland.

22 August - Swordfish attack Italian shipping at Tobruk sinking a submarine and a submarine depot ship.

23 August - Italians lay minefields inthe Strait of Sicily, sinking HMS Hostile.

September - Resupply missions to Malta and to Egypt continue.

17 September - Mediterranean Fleet attacks Benghazi again, sinking two destroyers, while HMS Kent is torpedoed by SM. 79 (see above).

22 September - HMS Osiris sinks Italian torpedo boat.

30 September - Italian submarine Gondar sunk en route to Alexandria with load of Pigs by RAN Stuart.

 

 

By this logic one wonders why in 1814 Schwarzenberg didn’t respond to Napoleon’s thrust at his lines of communication by abandoning his march on Paris - on the principle that the key strategic objective apparently should be sacrificed anytime some whim of operational trivia of no importance arises.  Say like the hollow threat to the lines of communications made by a beaten army, or perhaps a Swordfish attack at Tobruk that sinks a submarine depot ship.

 

Not my point and I think you know it, but are left only with straw men to argue with.


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#799 Rich

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Posted Yesterday, 06:06 PM

Guns and gunnery equipment removed from some of the more obsolescent Italian ships and remounted on auxiliary escorts was the idea there.  The crews of ships so disarmed man invasion transports.  All would have to be transported by rail and mounted on site on the English Channel.

 

Why? They didn't have a shortage of "guns and gunnery equipment". They had a lack of "good escorts" auxiliary and regular and the crews to man them. So now the RM agrees - out of the goodness of its heart I suppose - to return to port, march its crews to the local train station...and kiss Africa Settrionale and probably Albania and any ambitions in Greece goodbye.

 

 

If the Italians had 40 MAS boats at the time, then at least 20.  The reason “why” is that the military principle is concentration of force at the decisive point.  Is Sealion the decisive point of the war, or Tobruk in Libya?

 

So like the rest of the RM, the Italians have no need for MAS boats in the Med. Noted.

 

BTW, "concentration of force" is an easy thing to do in a wargame, it's just shuffling counters after all, but a bit more difficult in reality. In this case, you need to first convince the Italians that giving up North Africa, Albania, and Greece in the long run to facilitate a "concentration of force" - 20 MAS boats is significant? - in th short run.

 

 

The ships you list were sunk in August and September, so would not have impacted the status of units transferred to the Channel starting in July.

The Siluro a Lenta Corsa has a range of 15 miles. It depended on its mother vessel for operations.

 

 

Who said anything about a hypothetical Italian naval cooperation happening as late as 10 September?   That was far too late in the day.   I was picturing more like mid-July as the starting date.

 

That is much too early. The Germans simply don't have the capability in mid-July to lift diddly-squat to England. Adding Italian crews and guns will not improve that.

 

 

Mmmn.  Seems like this one was an afterthought.  To answer your question, planners generally first look at the enemy’s capabilities, not their intentions.  Intentions are hard to extract and extremely subject to change.  Capabilities are far less amenable to revision.  So, we look at capabilities.  Were the Germans and Italians capable of moving Italian naval kit by rail from Italy to the English Channel starting in July 1940 in time to participate in an operation in late September?  I say yes, they were capable of that.

 

Planners like to pretend they are looking at enemy capabilities, but rarely do. For example, NEPTUNE was based on a good knowledge of Germaan capabilities in Ob.West, but a piss-poor assessment of their intent was wrapped up in it.

 

So are we back to late September again? Or is it now mid-July? I wish you would make up your mind.

 

 

I’ll ask a pilot with 6,000 hours tonight which would have been the better option – upgrading experienced Italian biplane fighter pilots to certification in the ME-109’s, or using green German pilots that can’t even navigate straight out of flight school.

 

Why don't you ask him why you didn't respond to the most important part of my comment as well? That way you might not be so reliant on another straw man for your response.

 

 

 

No, I meant that warships entering port in Southern France would disarm their AA and secondary armaments and turn them over to the Germans as a condition of the armistice.  All torpedoes in French service would be declared and inspected, and some total of them surrendered to the Axis.  Sea mines, same thing.  That sort of idea.  The French would have scuttled their ships rather than surrender them.

 

Except none of that was a condition of the Armistice...and such a conditions would likely have resulted in the French fleet absconding to North Africa.

 

 

The Germans managed to make AA crews out of captured Russian POW’s, for example, that served in Normandy and elsewhere.

 

Really? Are you referring to Freiwillger or Hilfswillger? Which units? "Captured Russian POW's" could be either, but there was a significant difference. Freiwilliger served in autonomous units of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, as part of the Heer. The Luftwaffe did not employ Freiwilliger. Both employed Hilfswilliger who were unarmed support personnel.

 

Come up with some evidence.


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#800 Martin M

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Posted Today, 12:36 AM

" r " s  south . . .

 

 

(Freiwilliger = one

Freiwillige = more than one)


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