The Battle of the Atlantic

JohnM

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Speculation without sources? I expected better. The Jumo engines on the Me 262 were good for a maximum of 22 hours before replacement. But more engines were made than airframes. Since certain high-temperature metals were in short supply, substitutes had to be used and a new method of forging turbine blades developed. A Tuskegee Airmen shot down an Me 262 and that's it? A year after the war, the USAAF published a study outlining the great threat and effectiveness of the Me 262. People should look up the shell it fired.

German efficiency and innovation won the day. I say won in the sense of as opposed to doing nothing they did something with what they had. Again, under almost constant bombardment. I decry the obvious bias here which is based on very surface information. Any in-depth study would prove the isolated claims here as isolated. Without context, balanced, factual information is replaced by flag waving. Again, I expected better.

The later German tanks were built under difficult conditions and factories faced constant bombardment, so some production was moved underground. Russian tank factories were located far behind the lines and were sometimes bombed. I have seen a spectacular photo of one such factory where the boiler was destroyed. Imagine molten steel cooling inside the factory/foundry. Do not forget that the Russians were being supplied American produced tanks and aircraft. Yes, the T-34 was a fine tank but it was quantity that won, not just quality. I have also seen many unpublished period photos of Russian tanks that were captured by the Germans and used against their former owners. Again, balanced reporting as opposed to flag waving.

Toward the end of the war, the German Panther was fitted with an infrared spotlight and scope, making fighting Russian tanks in total darkness possible. But don't believe me. At least one museum has a Panther with such fitment among its collection.
 

JohnM

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Given your near-constant refrain that we're all ignorant morons, I find this difficult to believe.


"we're all ignorant morons..." Where did I write that? Since we are on the "information super-highway," why am I seeing so much speculation? So many one-sided comments?

Don't take anything I write personally. Anyone can rebut anything I write with facts. No one can know everything but I do write about what I do know. A real, civil discussion is possible. Counter-arguments are possible and welcome. Not emotion-based, 'you rubbed me the wrong way' comments.

In a perfect world, or discussion forum, does everyone expect to hear only what they want to hear? Is civil rebuttal too hard? Too much work?
 

Pyan

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Calm down, people. Reasoned discussion are the watchwords.
If anyone feels personally attacked, best thing to do is report it, using the button at the bottom of every post, not reply in the thread.
 

The Ace

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Speculation without sources? I expected better. The Jumo engines on the Me 262 were good for a maximum of 22 hours before replacement. But more engines were made than airframes. Since certain high-temperature metals were in short supply, substitutes had to be used and a new method of forging turbine blades developed. A Tuskegee Airmen shot down an Me 262 and that's it? A year after the war, the USAAF published a study outlining the great threat and effectiveness of the Me 262. People should look up the shell it fired.

German efficiency and innovation won the day. I say won in the sense of as opposed to doing nothing they did something with what they had. Again, under almost constant bombardment. I decry the obvious bias here which is based on very surface information. Any in-depth study would prove the isolated claims here as isolated. Without context, balanced, factual information is replaced by flag waving. Again, I expected better.

The later German tanks were built under difficult conditions and factories faced constant bombardment, so some production was moved underground. Russian tank factories were located far behind the lines and were sometimes bombed. I have seen a spectacular photo of one such factory where the boiler was destroyed. Imagine molten steel cooling inside the factory/foundry. Do not forget that the Russians were being supplied American produced tanks and aircraft. Yes, the T-34 was a fine tank but it was quantity that won, not just quality. I have also seen many unpublished period photos of Russian tanks that were captured by the Germans and used against their former owners. Again, balanced reporting as opposed to flag waving.

Toward the end of the war, the German Panther was fitted with an infrared spotlight and scope, making fighting Russian tanks in total darkness possible. But don't believe me. At least one museum has a Panther with such fitment among its collection.
Not this again ! :mad:

The Me 262 was a far better aircraft than the Gloster Meteor - which it vastly outnumbered in any case. A single squadron of Meteors was deployed to Belgium in early '45, but there was little for them to do by that time, and people were nervous about someone getting hold of one.

While a stunning aircraft, you're right about some of the 262s flaws, the Jumo engines, the nosegear, which had a tendency to collapse, and the Mk103 cannon, which had a short range, and jammed at the most inopportune moments. While it's true that it was a one-shot killer against fighters, and three hits could bring down a bomber, the Me 262 was far from invulnerable. In addition to the P-47 Thunderbolt, P-51 Mustang, and Hawker Tempest (all with multiple Me 262 kills, 16 in the case of the Tempest), a 262 pilot lost his life when he got too close to a pair of Avro Lancasters - the crossfire from their tail turrets literally tore his aircraft to shreds.

Adolf Galland - who flew the Me 262 in Germany, and the Gloster Meteor in Egypt post-war - said that the best fighter of WW2 would've been the 262 with the Meteor's engines.

As to the Panther, like the King Tiger it was underpowered, over-engineered, and the factories and personnel needed to produce enough of them were never available - you can couple that with a critical fuel shortage as well.

Your infra-red system is real enough (as was the Vampyr IR sight for the StG 44), but you'd be lucky if a couple of dozen were even made - far less found their way into the hands of troops who could use them.

Two P-80 Shooting Stars (powered by a licence-built British engine) toured the European Theatre, and two more went to the Pacific, but there was no way the thing could be produced in useful numbers before the war ended.
 

paranoid marvin

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The thing with many of the German weapons is that they were ahead of their time. But partly the reason for that is that they were put into manufacture too early. Having said that , at some stage you have to take the plans off the drawing board and make them into a reality, as otherwise the war is lost before you can use them. And there's always the race to get your new weapons out there before your enemy gets the chance to unleash theirs.

And it is almost impossible to cater for all eventualities. Much of the German weaponry would have been designed months/years in advance of it's deployment. Likely it wasn't envisioned that the damage/cold and other extremities would have to be endured by it. And if they had been made in sufficient quantity, and with back-ups like air and artillery, their deficiencies probably wouldn't have been so noticeable.

It's curious to note that with all the devastation wrought on German cities and industry, they were producing vast amounts more ordnance in 1944 than they had been in any year prior to that. In 1943 Goebbels had been calling for a 'total war', but it was only a year later that Hitler moved the country on to a total war footing; another major mistake. If he'd done it a year or two earlier, who knows how things might have turned out.

But I think the other thing we have to look at is Hitler himself, who declared that his 'wonder weapons' would change the course of the war. The developers of the latest tanks and jet aircraft must have been under immense pressure to deliver, and perhaps they rushed their 'wonder weapons' in to production too soon to appease their leader, when they could have been manufacturing greater quantities of older, more reliable armaments.
 

JohnM

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I didn't say anything about the nose gear on the Me 262. In a four volume set about the Me 262, an original document was translated. Regarding the nose gear: "Do not turn more that 5 degrees." I never wrote that the Me 262 was invulnerable. The jet pilots did what they could against the "terror bombers." While the airfields were bombed, Me 262s were hidden near the autobahn and took off and landed there. They were most vulnerable to attack as they decreased speed to land. To defend them, top cover was provided by Fw 190 D-9s.

Adolf Galland was quoted in the same book series about his first flight with the Me 262: "It felt like angels were pushing me." What is your source for your Galland quote?

Never use the word never if something was fielded. The Panther, Tiger and King Tiger along with the JagdPanther and JagdTiger. Overengineered is an assumption. What is it based on? As I wrote earlier, an American G.I. published a book that highlighted his encounters with the JagdTiger. Fuel was rationed, yes. But these tanks appeared on the battlefield.

Regarding the infrared system used on the Panther, it was also used on German lightly armored vehicles with mounted machine-guns, as well as the rifle version. Photos exist, but photos from that late in the war end up in specialist publications instead of widely marketed books.
 
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JohnM

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Here is an example of the type of specialist publication I refer to. No links will be provided since I do not want to spam the site.

Blitz Bombers by Creek and Forsyth.

"This is the first time that the story of the Arado Ar 234 as the world’s first dedicated jet-bomber has been told in such detail in the English language.

"In late December 1944 the Luftwaffe surprised the Allies when it unexpectedly introduced a new, high-speed bomber to its inventory. Though deployed in small numbers, the Arado Ar 234 B-2 jet-bomber proved itself an effective day and night strike aircraft over the Western Front and a tough challenge for Allied fighter pilots who tried to counter it.

"Powered by the same Jumo 004 turbojets as the Me 262, the Ar 234 could attack pinpoint targets such as transport hubs or enemy vehicle columns and troop assemblies in ‘glide attacks’ with a high degree of impunity. The jets were flown by experienced and often highly decorated Luftwaffe bomber pilots who worked hard to master the new aircraft in a short time and amidst the chaotic conditions of a Third Reich in decline.
‘Blitz Bombers’ tells the story of KG 76’s operations when equipped with what was the world’s first jet bomber, the Arado Ar 234 B-2. The book is founded on original unit diaries, reports and other records, as well as various German and Allied material drawn from archives and private collections gathered over many years. It traces KG 76’s period working up on the aircraft and its subsequent combat operations over the Western Front from December 1944 through to the end of the war.

"The Geschwader’s jets took part in operations over the Ardennes, in the ill-fated Bodenplatte attack of New Year’s Day 1945, in missions against the Allied armies driving into the Reich in early 1945, and in a series of intensive strikes against the Ludendorff bridge at Remagen and the bridgehead established there by the Allies in March 1945.

"Following many years research, the book includes nearly 300 illustrations, comprised of rare photographs of KG 76’s aircraft, personnel and equipment, as well as the Allied aircraft and pilots who encountered the Arados in combat, plus key documents taken from the unit’s records. These are supplemented by specially commissioned and highly detailed colour artwork depicting the unit’s aircraft."
 

BAYLOR

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There was a series on TV a few years back about restoring WW2 tanks. One episode was on the Panther. It had a fabulous suspension system but it was also fabulously complicated and, therefore, difficult to manufacture.

Difficult to service on the battlefield.
 

BAYLOR

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"we're all ignorant morons..." Where did I write that? Since we are on the "information super-highway," why am I seeing so much speculation? So many one-sided comments?

Don't take anything I write personally. Anyone can rebut anything I write with facts. No one can know everything but I do write about what I do know. A real, civil discussion is possible. Counter-arguments are possible and welcome. Not emotion-based, 'you rubbed me the wrong way' comments.

In a perfect world, or discussion forum, does everyone expect to hear only what they want to hear? Is civil rebuttal too hard? Too much work?

John , no worries , we don't take any of it personal. It very obvious that know a great about subject of German weapons systems of WW II>
 

The Ace

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My Galland quote was from, "The First and the Last."

You only have to look at them - let alone watch excellent Youtube videos from, "The Chieftain," or Bovington tank museum to see what a maintenance nightmare these vehicles were - thus, over engineered.

The 200 series Maybach engine which powered these vehicles was a good engine which had reached its design limits, but there was no replacement (be very glad the Germans were never able to develop an equivalent to the Rolls-Royce Meteor), so the same engine had to shoulder the burden of ever bigger and heavier.

When they worked, late-war German tanks and assault guns were terrifying and effective, but there were never enough of them. Breakdowns were frequent, and recovery and repair ranged from difficult to impossible, due to a lack of spares, and that's before many were simply scuttled or abandoned by their crews after running out of fuel.
 

BAYLOR

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My Galland quote was from, "The First and the Last."

You only have to look at them - let alone watch excellent Youtube videos from, "The Chieftain," or Bovington tank museum to see what a maintenance nightmare these vehicles were - thus, over engineered.

The 200 series Maybach engine which powered these vehicles was a good engine which had reached its design limits, but there was no replacement (be very glad the Germans were never able to develop an equivalent to the Rolls-Royce Meteor), so the same engine had to shoulder the burden of ever bigger and heavier.

When they worked, late-war German tanks and assault guns were terrifying and effective, but there were never enough of them. Breakdowns were frequent, and recovery and repair ranged from difficult to impossible, due to a lack of spares, and that's before many were simply scuttled or abandoned by their crews after running out of fuel.

The German tanks kept getting heavier and slower with the added armor . The Panther weighed 44 tones The Tiger I 54 tons and the King tiger topped out at 68 tons .
 

Foxbat

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The Maus was ridiculously heavy
 

BAYLOR

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The Maus was ridiculously heavy

And really scary part is they had even bigger tanks on the drawing board with multiple turrets.
 

BigBadBob141

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The Russians had one with one large main turret with the big gun, then four mini-turrets, one in each of the four corners, two with a smaller gun and two with machine guns, one of each at the front and the opposite at the back, by this I mean that the small guns and Mgs were diagonally opposite each other.
Pretty sure it didn't go to war but they did build one or two prototypes!
The British had one with same layout, got a photo of it in my tank encyclopedia, but only one was built and during the war was used as an army camp gate guard!
The trouble with the Panther and Tigers, they were both so heavy few bridges could support their weight, when this was the case they had to be fitted with snorkels to allow the engine to breath during river crossings.
 
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paranoid marvin

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I'm not sure how much of an advantage multiple turrets would be. You only have limited shells which would be quickly depleted , and surrounded by friendlies, you are more likely to end up firing on your own side if you have three or four gunners firing in all directions. It would be incredibly difficult for a tank commander to co-ordinate such an attack..
 

BigBadBob141

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If you think the commander of such a tank would be as busy as a one legged man in an ass kicking contest, watch Lindybeige's You Tube film where he compared the one man turrets of the French tanks to the normal turret layout of three men.
Most tanks of the time had three man turrets, gunner, loader (who might double as radio operator depending on the tank, some times this was the hull machine gunners job) and commander, the poor French crew man had to do all three jobs at once.
Pop out of turret to acquire target, pop back in and load gun, aim gun and fire, unload (not forgetting to put on leather gauntlets as the empty shell case is hot) then reload gun, pop back out to require target, the view from the guns aiming viewfinder at this time was pretty limited, re-aim gun ect, all the while telling his driver where to go and now and then communicating with other tanks of his platoon, if he is the leader (no radios in French tanks) by popping half out of his turret again and waving flags at them, a near impossible job to do all of this made even harder as the hatch was at the back of the turret and not the top!
 
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