AHC: Peerless Air Ministry

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by perfectgeneral, Jun 6, 2018.

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  1. PMN1 Member

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    Does anyone know of a handy table that has in the OTL what aircraft were made by which company, when and where for the period say 1935 to 1945????:)
     
  2. Perturabo Active Member

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    Fair enough, although shortage of aircraft is unlikely to be a problem under the peerless air ministry. A pity the changes will do little to ameliorate invasion panic.
     
  3. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

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    In ref the 20mm-armed Spits & Hurrys: based on what Allen estimated in Who Won the Battle of Britain (& my poor recall of it;)), I'd say German losses in the Battle will be at least double OTL's, maybe as high as 4:1.:eek: It's a fair bet East Front ops are severely buggered, & keeping up bombing against Malta seems very unlikely indeed. Since I can't believe the Germans would allow Malta to continue to serve as a base, it makes Herkules more likely, IMO--provided DAK is still sent to aid the Italians in Africa in the first place...
     
  4. sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

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    I am bouncing between countries at the moment but am working on the next installment that covers the period from the end of Dunkirk to Eagle day. I hope to post it within a week or so.
     
  5. Tjyorksgeezer Well-Known Member

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    Eagerly awaited, but I fully understand that RL doesn't have a pause button.
     
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  6. Astrodragon Coffee-seeking Dragon Donor

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    To be honest, I'd say that is a load of b*****s.
    Cannon aren't going to hit any more planes (in fact, probably less),although they will do more damage.
    Planes shot down that managed to get home damaged, yes. Maybe as high as 50% more losses over England, but x4 is sheer fantasy.
     
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  7. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

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    Maybe. As I recall the reasoning, it was based on damage per burst: since the 20mm do more damage, bursts that OTL didn't manage to bring anything down, with only .303s, might, & that means the number of total kills goes up. It also means the number of kills achieved by the (small fraction that were) aces would climb fairly dramatically (which is pretty obviously correct).

    Would that amount to a 4:1 rise? IDK. How much an increase would it take to have the mooted result, would you think? And would cannon fighters be able to achieve that? IMO, the chances of it still look good, 4:1 or no.
    I tend to agree, that's a good thing. (BTW, that also means the number of kills goes up.)

    OTOH, it makes me wonder a little: with more crews available, is Bomber Command (if not Fighter Command) even more willing to expend crews than OTL on futile exercises?:eek:
    I'm not so sure you need such a major push. In Canada, at least, the big hurdle was, who's going to pay? IMO, it was possible to sell it as a job-creation program: building airports & training a/c, for a start, would be helpful. That said, no Canadian PM in this era took FDR's approach, so doing it does require a change in perspective. If HMG made an open offer to pay, up front... Would that get the program up by 9/39? Maybe not. It couldn't hurt.
    That fits what I'm thinking. A lot of the basics for this work for RCAF (RAF) & civil both, & ultimately pay back postwar; it wouldn't be a hard sell, IMO, to get Ottawa to go along with a plan that would give Canada dozens of free airports, useful for a/c communication postwar. (Not to mention the trained flight crews...)

    I'm not sure if you also get spinoffs for exploration of the North, or a/c development of Norseman-like types.

    If it's true the projected a/c-building was to be 3000/mo, the number of aircrew would 9obviously) have had to increase commensurately, & AIUI, that was a persistent bottleneck, moreso than manufacturing output proper. So could the *CATP have scaled up enough, even if it was begun sooner? And could an earlier start, such as posited, have achieved that increase?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  8. pjmidd Well-Known Member

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    4 cannon vs 8 MG is according to Tony Williams 5 times the effective firepower. So I can see where the 4x best case comes from, I agree vs fighters its going to be a lot lower but against bombers not so much overall especially as these are relatively unarmored 1940 versions compared to later.( non linear effects due to potentially breaking the formation quicker , more stragglers, more crashing on the way home due to being more damaged ). An awful lot of bombers made it back just with minor bullet holes that would have not been at all minor if explosive shells had hit.
    So in terms of availability losses might hit 4x ( combined increases in lost, written off and damaged ), losses I can see as double with bombers making a disproportionate share of the increase. Of course this would just cause the Germans to change tactics so in terms of the battle of Britain it would likely become the Blitz a lot earlier so maybe 50% increase over the course of the campaign compared to OTL.
     
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  9. Astrodragon Coffee-seeking Dragon Donor

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    I'm certainly not going to argue with Tony's numbers, but in a real scenario they have to be read with caution.
    First, they exclude the chance of a hit at all - greater with 8x303 than 4x20mm.
    Second, just because an individual hit does a lot more damage, doesn't necessarily mean a far greater chanceof bringing the target down.

    The AM had actually done tests, and worked out 4x20mm was the best armament. I strongly doubt they decided it was 4 times as good, if it had been they'd have been alot more urgent at getting them in service (OK, granted, I'm assuming sense at the AM here...)
     
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  10. tomo pauk Well-Known Member

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    AM was certainly trying to have 4 cannons installed on their fighters - Hurricanes, Spitfires, Whirlwinds, Beufighters, Typhoons - by the time procution of cannons caught up with production of fighters. We know that 4 cannon Hurricanes and Tphoons replaced respective 12 MG versions.
    USN was of opinion that single Hispano cannon (firing at 600 rpm) was equal to three .50s from late war (800 rpm, 2900 fps, improved ammo), and tried to have cannon-armed Corsairs, Hellcats, Bearcats and Tigercats in service, despite problems with US ww2 Hispano reliability. Germans were also fond of 4 cannons, even before B-17s appeared over Europe. Japanese were also trying to install 4 cannons in some of the late-war fighters. Soviets, with one of the best LMG and weakest 20 mm around, didn't tried the 'many LMGs' game.

    Thus, I'd say the earlier RAF can have a performer with 4 cannons, the better.
     
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  11. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Earlier British development of the Hispanic could mean that it enters the US R&D cycle with fewer teething problems.
     
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  12. tomo pauk Well-Known Member

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    My suggestion (granted, too late for this timeline) would've been to adopt Oerlikon cannons instead, either of three models that were actually available by early 1930s. Thus having the cannon-armed Hurricanes and Spitfires by 1939.
    Oerlikons made in USA also avoid the chamber-related problems (as it was true historically), since the cartridge was head-speced at breech.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
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  13. marathag Well-Known Member

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    The same US Ordnance department that took 4 years to speed up the M2 Browning to the M3, botched the MG-42 conversion, and wasted the entire war on a .60 caliber MG?

    No, they could have had that design in 1939 and would have had it no sooner than OTL.

    They were every bit as worthless as the Navy with torpedoes.

    No strike that, the USN at least had decent torpedoes by 1944
     
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  14. Ian Henderson Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, the micro argument over the proper caliber for the Garand obscures the macro level point that US Army Ordnance made a hash of almost everything in small arms they touched in this period. There’s a parallel project to this thread, where we have ordnance actually produce functional weapons.
     
  15. marathag Well-Known Member

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    And then the fouling up with the 57 caliber T1 76mm to the M1 52 caliber gun, with heat treating problems on almost every 75 and 76mm monoblock shot produced, it just wasn't the little stuff.

    Then you can veer off that when everyone knew that the time of the 37mm gun was at an end when the M3 37mm was brand new, did nothing, had to borrow the excellent 6 pdr/57mm from the Brits, and in the meantime worked that 'lightweight' 76mm gun to an AT mount, it was declined in favor of the older 3" AAA from WWI that was used in the M10 Tank Destroyers, as a ground mount by using the M2 105mm howitzer carriage
    A thousand pounds heavier than the Pak40, less effective, and in service two years afterwards
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  16. sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

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    In the PAM the Current Fighter Command front line fighters have 2 x 20mm cannon except for the Defiant that has 4 but little less performance and then their are the Reaper and the Beaufighter that have 4 x 20mm but are only available in relatively small numbers. I personally think a 4 x kill rate is verging on ASB. What I think you will get is more kills and a higher degree of probable's being converted into kills by not making it back.
     
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  17. Threadmarks: 8.1 Recouping

    sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

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    8.1, Recouping.

    Just before the final fall of France the evacuation of allied forces in Norway took place. This was presented as a fait accompli to the Norwegian Government as late as the 1st of June. Whatever the thoughts of the Government, King Haakon VII accept the British offer of Sanctuary in the United Kingdom. Part of the evacuation was the recovery of the remaining Hurricanes by the FAA. The plan was to fly the ten surviving Hurricanes from 263 squadron and seven Hurricanes from 46 squadron onto HMS Courageous using the basic plan used during the trials on Courageous in 1937. That was to fly on the aircraft with a sand bag in the tail to help hold the tail down under heavy braking. After the Hurricanes had been flown on board on the morning of the 8th June Courageous and her two escorting destroyers had been joined by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire which was carrying the Norwegian Royal family. The subsequent passage back to Scapa had proceeded at high speed with continuous cover by LRMP Sterling’s from Maritime Command. It was one of these aircraft that had located the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau some one hundred miles northeast of Courageous. Admiralty instruction had the safe arrival of the Norwegian royal family as a priority so all ships had all boilers lit and were proceeding at highest viable cruising speed. On identification of the enemy ships the Courageous group fled on a course south of west. Though the crew of Courageous would for ever suffer verbal spears and arrows from the crews of Ark Royal, Glorious and Furious who were providing cover for the evacuation of the troops from Norway and who’s aircraft crippled both of the enemy battle ships in what became known as the first Battle off North Cape. Due to the necessity of covering the evacuation convoy the air attack was not followed up in the artic midnight sun. Whilst both the damaged German warships eventually made it into Narvik fiord. later intelligence from Norwegian sources confirmed that Gneisenheau was a constructive total loss and was stripped of equipment to make Sharnhorst sea worthy enough to work her way back to Kiel for full repairs. The important event as far as Sir Phillip was concerned was the safe return of eighteen invaluable combat experienced pilots who would form the core of their squadrons as they were brought up to strength in the coming weeks. The saving of the Hurricanes was a bonus and would provide the aircraft for another squadron or OTU.

    On the 19th of June Sir Phillip gave his initial report on the state of the RAF, the Air Defence organisations and the Aircraft industry. The report started off by listing the losses suffered by the RAF in the recent campaigns. May and June had cost the RAF around a 1000 aircraft, there was some ambiguity in the figures, sources saying that the losses were between 992 and 1003 aircraft, the discrepancy apparently being that some aircraft were struck of charge but were subsequently repaired and some of those aircraft were then destroyed. The accepted figures of these losses were 501 fighters with the totals for all aircraft types being, for the A.A.S.F 234, the A.C.ofB.E.F including the P.A.C lost 305, Fighter Command 219, Bomber Command 166 and Maritime Command 68. It was noted that the PAC by proportion had lower losses in percentage of fighters engaged than either the Air Component, the Advanced Strike Force or Fighter Command and this led strength to the argument being put forward by operational research that it must be the way the Polish Pilots flew and fought that was the deciding factor as they were flying the same aircraft in the same skies against the same enemy aircraft. In discussions with Newall, Dowding and Park Sir Phillip made it clear that the rest of the RAF had better take on board the Polish tactics pretty dam quick. To this end the Highest scoring Polish Pilots were being sent to spend time with the Air Fighting Development Squadron (AFDS) currently at Northolt so that lessons could be learnt and passed on to all the other squadrons. Park stated that 11 Group would stage all Squadron CO’s and Flight leaders through Northolt as quickly as the AFDS could cope with and then that the AFDS should be sent to each of the other groups in turn. Two important projects had been instigated by the AM prior to the start of the spring campaigns, these had been the allocation of extra aircraft and pilots to the fighter squadrons to cover leave and other absences so that the squadron could always fly its full fighting establishment and in the current emergency could at time fly at above the established strength for short periods (or until losses took their toll). After debriefing his pilots and his own personal observations over Dunkirk, Park put forward the suggestion that with so many squadrons reforming and accepting both extra and replacement pilots, that in order to apply the new tactics now was the time to alter the flight and squadron format. The flights should be reduced from six to four pilots but each squadron would have four operational flights of four aircraft, flying in pairs, this would give an operational strength of sixteen with one flight of four as a reserve. This would necessitate more flight leaders but would in it’s own way make the absorption of new pilots easier. Additionally it was made formal policy that Squadrons would be rested in 13 and 14 groups where they were less likely to encounter large enemy formations.
     
  18. steamboy Well-Known Member

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    Great to see this and you back! Question, with the attack on the Twins, what aircraft would have been doing the attack? Skua's and Swordfish or some new planes from this TL?
     
  19. sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

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    as this is an Air Ministry TL I have tried to tread lightly regarding the FAA (a pet subject of mine, though I am not in the same class as the estimable 'Dragon') but the aircraft would have been Bristol 148 Brigands, Fairey Swordfish and Follond Fulmars.
     
  20. sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

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    Sorry about the blocky presentation in the last story post, I shall do better on the next one.
     
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