Bombing raids on the Soviet power grid and their large factories beyond the Urals could conceivably have had a reasonable impact, but it is hard to predict with certainty the extent of it.
They can try, I doubt they will succeed given the limited numbers there would still be available and the difficulties of navigation. Unless you are also giving the Luftwaffe H2S airborne radar they are going to be limited to 1941 levels of bombing accuracy.An early Operation Eisenhammer with the floating mines
Would be great if the Germans got a plane that could reach the ports in Kamchatka, but bombed Tokyo instead (ASB, but still).They can try, I doubt they will succeed given the limited numbers there would still be available and the difficulties of navigation. Unless you are also giving the Luftwaffe H2S airborne radar they are going to be limited to 1941 levels of bombing accuracy.
And that distance limits the number of sorties as well and if they are trying to do this in the autumn or winter bad weather substantially reduces the number of days they can fly to begin with. It seems like a really good way to waste a very expensive bomber force without achieving much.About bombing the Ural factories. I didn't measure the exact distance, but it's a lot further than London-Berlin, which is about 600-700 miles. I'd say from the German airfield you'd be looking at over 1,000 miles and probably closer to 1,400 than to 1,000. So with a cruising speed of 258 mph (according to Wiki) that's a round trip of about 8-12 hours. You're going to need long nights for nightbombing. Which means it's only possible between september-march, or even less. And it'll be chilly up there. And lots of bad weather. So much fun for the crew, especially if they crash.
I imagine that they'll have trouble getting a good weather forecast for the targetarea, so there'll be a significant number of raids in where they can't find the target at all due to cloudcover, rain or snow. It won't be so bad that they'll bomb Tokyo, but there'll be a lot of trees that will bombed. Although that may cause some forest fires, I guess in the winter they'd be less dangerous than in the summer.And that distance limits the number of sorties as well and if they are trying to do this in the autumn or winter bad weather substantially reduces the number of days they can fly to begin with. It seems like a really good way to waste a very expensive bomber force without achieving much.
But that means you won't then have the two engine bombers and they were being used
(also it not just the extra engine when it come to scaling up to 4 engine bombers it will be a greater investment)
Are you talking about using them in the med or the east?
Converting from producing one type of engine to another is time consuming and costly and as has been pointed out a few hundred extra He 177s isn't going to make a major strategic difference.
But the means to make the bombers effective has less to do with four versus two engines and more to do with the other technologies for navigation and bomb aiming.Nothing is going to make a strategic difference in the long run, eventually a Silverplate B29 sqn is on the menu for Germany.
However separating out the engines into individual nacelles is an improvement that will have some effect as it will reduce non combat losses and increase availability. As for cost of converting factories, that has to be weighed against the opportunity cost of building ~2000 ineffective medium bombers instead of maybe 1000 effective heavy bombers.
But the means to make the bombers effective has less to do with four versus two engines and more to do with the other technologies for navigation and bomb aiming.
ETA: Also the two engine bombers might have been ineffective for strategic bombing but they were well suited to tasks the He 177 can't fulfil.
The US passed on the V2 rocket & direct derivatives and told Braun to do new designs.
Would it be possible to switch to tricycle gear?
At least with the push-pull arrangement, you could get by with a smaller radius propeller, rather than the massive 4-bladers that the DB 606 required....You're nose gear is going to require moving/deleting the fwd bomb-aimer/gunner position but it might be plausible. You still have to be careful due to take off angle and it might extend the take off run.
The He177 already had 4 engines, its just that they were laid out poorly, layig them out in a conventional manner should see OTL production numbers without the problems.
The concept of operations I envisage is I suppose how the RAF used the Wellingtons in the Med in 1941-43. They didn't try to bust factories in Turin, de-house people in Rome, sink ships at sea, bomb trucks on the via Balbia or Rommel's field HQ, instead they attacked what I'd consider theatre-strategic targets such as ports and logistic hubs of Tripoli and Benghazi and their counterparts in Italy and Sicily.
They did bomb Stalingrad, they pretty much bombed it flat? I'm just not seeing teh extra benefitIn Germany's case they might heavily bomb Stalingrad as they approached it, or whatever the deep support area behind Kursk was in 1943. What they wouldn't do is try to bomb the factories in the Urals, or plaster the front line, the former will be too light to be effective and the latter is the job of tactical aircraft.
Right but given the Ju88 made up approx. half the German bomber output you really limiting the resources you have to make changes and so any changes you make will inherently have a small scope when it comes to effect.True, but the Ju88 is in production and a great plane, the He177 can't come at the expense of that gem.