Luftwaffe "sanity options 2.0", 1935-43

At least for reasons of balance (so we don't pile up all of the criticism on the RAF and/or the British air ministry ;) ), here is the thread for Luftwaffe to be criticized. Suggesting the ways of better spending money and resources is also okay (things like 'kill Goering' or 'kill Hitler' are their past sell date, though).
For all intents and purposes, ww2 starts for them as it did, so do the invasions of different pars of the Old World, and declaration of the war against USA also happens per schedule.

To start the ball rolling - less emphasis on dive bombing.
 
Germany needed a singular good dive bomber in service at any one time. Stuka was outdated almost at the start and was useless in any kind of contested airspace. A fast, more manoevreable dive bomber, possibly a heavy fighter combination would be great. Speaking of, proper long range, high ceiling cannon armed heavy fighters for escort and defense duties. Can’t think of much better than P38 in that regard.
 
Germany needed a singular good dive bomber in service at any one time. Stuka was outdated almost at the start and was useless in any kind of contested airspace. A fast, more manoevreable dive bomber, possibly a heavy fighter combination would be great.
It was indeed a good dive bomber, but, boy, was it slow, even with bomb(s) gone.
The Ha 137 have had a better potential for speed, mostly by virtue of being much smaller (size sorta in-between Spitfire and Hurricane) - perhaps give better chance to this aircraft?
Ju 88 flunked the 'fast' part of it's 'fast bomber' role, again something a bit smaller will be needed, with a proper bomb bay to carry big bomb or two. Fat-belly spin off of Do-17/215 line?
Heavy fighter + bomber was the role that Focke Wulf was trying to warm the RML about with their spin-offs from the Fw 187, had RLM/LW bought into that aircraft earlier, Allied would've have more problems shooting it down than it was the case with Bf 110s or Ju 88s, let alone Ju 87s.
 

thaddeus

Donor
my speculation has always been around the little biplane HS-123, that they never build the HS-126 recon plane, but rather build 500 (or more) additional HS-123s.

a similar expediency would be twin fuselage versions of the 109 & 111 (cancel the HE-177 after the first run of 150-odd aircraft were so problematic, with plans to skip to jet bombers)
 
It was indeed a good dive bomber, but, boy, was it slow, even with bomb(s) gone.
The Ha 137 have had a better potential for speed, mostly by virtue of being much smaller (size sorta in-between Spitfire and Hurricane) - perhaps give better chance to this aircraft?
Ju 88 flunked the 'fast' part of it's 'fast bomber' role, again something a bit smaller will be needed, with a proper bomb bay to carry big bomb or two. Fat-belly spin off of Do-17/215 line?
Heavy fighter + bomber was the role that Focke Wulf was trying to warm the RML about with their spin-offs from the Fw 187, had RLM/LW bought into that aircraft earlier, Allied would've have more problems shooting it down than it was the case with Bf 110s or Ju 88s, let alone Ju 87s.


I think it’s not the size but engine and design that’s the issue. Dauntless is a bit heavier with same engine achieving greater speeds than a Stuka. HA137 is half the weight but also a bit slower but with higher cruise speed. I think it was simply showing it’s age by the start of the war. It needed a replacement and it simply never got it.
 
I think it’s not the size but engine and design that’s the issue. Dauntless is a bit heavier with same engine achieving greater speeds than a Stuka.
Ju 87 will certainly not win any prizes for it's aerodynamics, with fixed U/C, blocky cockpit, flaps and dive brakes extending into the airstream even when not used, etc. Combine that with the big-ish wing, and there is one slow bomber.

HA137 is half the weight but also a bit slower but with higher cruise speed. I think it was simply showing it’s age by the start of the war. It needed a replacement and it simply never got it.
Ha 137 will certainly need a proper engine in order to became an useful and as fast as possible dive bomber.
FWIW, perhaps the He 112 would've been good in this role (again with a better engine)? More of a fighter-bomber, though.
 

DougM

Donor
Frankly Germany needed a LOT of newer or alternative aircraft. Most of the planes they flew were “ok” at best. at the beginning of the war but were hoplessly out of date as soon as its enemies could field there newest/best in any significant numbers.

And they also needed a better Maritime search aircraft and a either a true fast bomber wity high speeds and long range built in large numbers or a heavy bomber of the B-17/Lancaster varieties.

So this topic is going to be interesting as it is easier to say what aircraft DONT need to be replaced as it is a much much shorter list.
 
Ju 87 will certainly not win any prizes for it's aerodynamics, with fixed U/C, blocky cockpit, flaps and dive brakes extending into the airstream even when not used, etc. Combine that with the big-ish wing, and there is one slow bomber.


Ha 137 will certainly need a proper engine in order to became an useful and as fast as possible dive bomber.
FWIW, perhaps the He 112 would've been good in this role (again with a better engine)? More of a fighter-bomber, though.
I think the design depends on realizing the requirements. Do you really need a dive bomber tossing a 2000lb bombs or a 1000lb for close in ground support? Designing something faster around a 500lb or less bomb payload would be a bit easier.
 
Again I am going to focus on the wetware

The Luftwaffe had a serious issue with retaining a suitable reserve of Pilots

This placed a huge demand on its then pilot 'estate'.

So while I do not see them being able to conduct something like 'THE PLAN' that the British did they need to give it much more thought.

And then they need to rotate pilots and crew giving experienced pilots a rest and the chance to pass on their experience to new personnel as well as bringing their knowledge into staff and command positions and not fly till they die or become badly injured.

Also they need to not strip their training command to provide sufficient air transport pilots - twice they did this - Netherlands and Crete and on both occasions suffered very heavy losses - which further impacted their ability to train new pilots - making an already bad situation worse.
 
Again I am going to focus on the wetware

The Luftwaffe had a serious issue with retaining a suitable reserve of Pilots

This placed a huge demand on its then pilot 'estate'.

So while I do not see them being able to conduct something like 'THE PLAN' that the British did they need to give it much more thought.

And then they need to rotate pilots and crew giving experienced pilots a rest and the chance to pass on their experience to new personnel as well as bringing their knowledge into staff and command positions and not fly till they die or become badly injured.

Also they need to not strip their training command to provide sufficient air transport pilots - twice they did this - Netherlands and Crete and on both occasions suffered very heavy losses - which further impacted their ability to train new pilots - making an already bad situation worse.
This +1

Worrying about the abstract comparative specs of planes is a red herring if you don't have the pilots at all or you don't have pilots good enough to actually derive the full benefit from them they become less relevent.

also judging a dedicated dive bomber by it's ability to dog fight is a bit unfair
 
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This +1

Worrying about the abstract comparative specs of planes is a red herring if you don't have the pilots at all or you don't have pilots good enough to actually derive the full benefit from them they become less relevent.

also judging a dedicated dive bomber by it's ability to dog fight is a bit unfair
Indeed no single engine strike aircraft did well in a 'non permissive' environment

Like in the British / RAF thread the Germans built some very good aircraft - with arguably only the British matching them technology wise for much of WW2

So better production numbers and improve the ability to train new pilots while retaining talent would be the things they needed.
 
I think the design depends on realizing the requirements. Do you really need a dive bomber tossing a 2000lb bombs or a 1000lb for close in ground support? Designing something faster around a 500lb or less bomb payload would be a bit easier.

Bf 109E was carrying up to a 550 lb/250 kg bomb - probably no need to develop something dedicated for that kind of bomb load?
1100 lb/500 kg is more worthwhile, and we'd probably want a bit more range for greater flexibility than it was the bombed-up 109E. Go with He 112A (20 sqm wing vs. 16 sqm on the 109 and 17 sqm for the He 112B; wing size/area was fluctuating a lot on the 112s) or indeed Ha 137, powered by at least 1000 HP engine?

Indeed no single engine strike aircraft did well in a 'non permissive' environment

Depends on the A/C type? Fast 1-engined types being much better than the slow 1-engined types.

So better production numbers and improve the ability to train new pilots while retaining talent would be the things they needed.

A lot of designs will need to go away, in order for the production numbers of the other types to go up. On my short list: Bf 110/210, Hs 129, Ju 87 if it can be replaced with a fast 1-engined bomber/fighter-bomber, Hs 126 (make more of Storchs), Ju 52 (make a transport worthy of investing 3-4 engines per A/C instead).
Much better bombers than the Ju 88 and Do 17 are needed.

Make two-seat 109s in order to help with new fighter pilot's proficiency. Rotate the experienced pilots so their knowledge can become widespread.
 
The He 112 is a dead end from an industrial production and maintenance point of view. It required 2 to 3 times as many man hours to build as the 109, it had 2 times the amount of bolts as a 109 and was a pain to repair/do maintenance on it.

This is a reason why Heinkel eventually abandoned it and went with the He 100, which was an even worse dead end than the He 112, though one that halved the number of parts needed.

I honestly don't see what they could do better than OTL, sure, some improvements here and there (not letting Arado design the Me 210 wings; Design the Me 262 with a nose wheel from the start; Do away with the 15 mm MG 151 etc) but the moment the war starts they cannot afford to change the 109 to something else, it would just lead to even worse supply issues as they rework the tools and jigs for mass production.

There's also the corporate interest at play, free capacity and 'don't throw all your eggs in the basket' approach.
 
The He 112 is a dead end from an industrial production and maintenance point of view. It required 2 to 3 times as many man hours to build as the 109, it had 2 times the amount of bolts as a 109 and was a pain to repair/do maintenance on it.

This is a reason why Heinkel eventually abandoned it and went with the He 100, which was an even worse dead end than the He 112, though one that halved the number of parts needed.
Yes, good call on the He 112 being too manhours-hungry design.

I honestly don't see what they could do better than OTL, sure, some improvements here and there (not letting Arado design the Me 210 wings; Design the Me 262 with a nose wheel from the start; Do away with the 15 mm MG 151 etc) but the moment the war starts they cannot afford to change the 109 to something else, it would just lead to even worse supply issues as they rework the tools and jigs for mass production.

There is far more to the German production than the 109, and much more time than past September 1939 here.
Eg. LW can make a deal with Heinkel for the He 100s with normal cooling. Or, BMW to make a big V12 (40+L) by late 1930s. Or that Junkers make Ju 88 around a less restrictive bomb bay.

There's also the corporate interest at play, free capacity and 'don't throw all your eggs in the basket' approach.
Agreed.
 
There is far more to the German production than the 109, and much more time than past September 1939 here.
Eg. LW can make a deal with Heinkel for the He 100s with normal cooling. Or, BMW to make a big V12 (40+L) by late 1930s. Or that Junkers make Ju 88 around a less restrictive bomb bay.
The He 100 with a normal cooling did not offer anything over the Bf 109E, and was even more limited in growth potential, it was smaller, the cowling was wholly supporting the engine instead of an independent support like on any other plane, it could not take a more powerful engine and I think the wings were in a similar situation, could not mount (even in gunpods) anything bigger than 8 mm Mauser.

When the Bf 109 F-2 entered production it already outclassed the He 100, and don't forget the problem with the engine availability... (The Soviets extensively tested the 109E3 and He 100D0 and regarded the 109 as the better handling plane)

Zeppelin and B&V comes to mind as to have free capacity and a good design team. (There were some other, smaller firms but they were mostly used later on as subcontractors for the big companies)

Messerschmitt was preoccupied with the Bf 109, the Bf 110, the Me 210, the Me 163 (thought that's more an independent entity inside Messerschmitt under Lippisch) the Me 262 and Willy's misplaced obsession on the Me 209/309/409/etc.

FW had their hands full with various bombers, heavy fighters, transport planes and their 190.

Dornier and Arado were in a similar situation, though much more limited in what they could do. (Also Professor Dornier's obsession with a Do 335 type aircraft not helping)

For there to be sanity options you will have to change the RLM requirements, assume the firms develop a good aircraft, then make sure you have 2 in production of the same type (redundancy) and then make sure everyone has something to built and not remain idle or dependent on a competitor's product...
 
The He 100 with a normal cooling did not offer anything over the Bf 109E, and was even more limited in growth potential, it was smaller, the cowling was wholly supporting the engine instead of an independent support like on any other plane, it could not take a more powerful engine and I think the wings were in a similar situation, could not mount (even in gunpods) anything bigger than 8 mm Mauser.
Incorrect.
I have a pdf of the documentation made by Heinkel regarding the He 100.
The evap cooling system (Kuhlmaschine) was successfully removed and replaced with a larger retractable radiator (Blockkuhler).

Also, the He 100 V7 was fitted with 4x 7.92mmMG 17s and 2x 20mm MG FF.
The documentation itself also stated that there were plans to replace the MG 17s with 15mm MG 151.

If you do not believe me, then I can send you the pdf via Wetransfer.
It's from a website that has since gone under, quite common among the WW2 history community with older sites.

The whole thing is German though, and the only reason I can read it because I am somewhat fluent (and still learning) German.
 
The He 100 with a normal cooling did not offer anything over the Bf 109E, and was even more limited in growth potential, it was smaller, the cowling was wholly supporting the engine instead of an independent support like on any other plane, it could not take a more powerful engine and I think the wings were in a similar situation, could not mount (even in gunpods) anything bigger than 8 mm Mauser.
109E was with with lumps, bumps and truts all around, making He 100 even with the bathtub radiator a dam sight sleeker and thus faster aircraft. See MC.202 and it's 40 km/h speed advantage over the 109E. I'm not sure that gunpods were ever tested on the He 100.
Racing He 100s were powered by 2500 HP DB 601s, that seems powerful enough. I'm fine with He 100 continuing with DB 601 engines for the duration of the time frame specified for this thread.

When the Bf 109 F-2 entered production it already outclassed the He 100, and don't forget the problem with the engine availability... (The Soviets extensively tested the 109E3 and He 100D0 and regarded the 109 as the better handling plane)

It didn't already outclassed it,. It didn't actually outclassed it, either. There is no reason to wait until 1941 for the 'normal' He 100 anyway.
Soviets couldn't wait for their own 'normal' He 100 - Yak-3 - to materialize in flesh. People at Yakovlev used same recipe that Heinkel used when creating the 100 - namely to cut the wing area and span, and also weight to gain performance.

Messerschmitt was preoccupied with the Bf 109, the Bf 110, the Me 210, the Me 163 (thought that's more an independent entity inside Messerschmitt under Lippisch) the Me 262 and Willy's misplaced obsession on the Me 209/309/409/etc.
My suggestion: kill the 110/210/410, as well as the 209/309 etc. The Me 163 should've been powered by the jet engine from day one.

FW had their hands full with various bombers, heavy fighters, transport planes and their 190.

Dornier and Arado were in a similar situation, though much more limited in what they could do. (Also Professor Dornier's obsession with a Do 335 type aircraft not helping)

Do 335 makes sense if made much earlier, talk 1940-41.
Fw - both 187 and 190 were excellent, I'd push for a V12-powered Fw 190 much earlier, say already in 1938.

I have a pdf of the documentation made by Heinkel regarding the He 100.
The evap cooling system (Kuhlmaschine) was successfully removed and replaced with a larger retractable radiator (Blockkuhler).

Also, the He 100 V7 was fitted with 4x 7.92mmMG 17s and 2x 20mm MG FF.
The documentation itself also stated that there were plans to replace the MG 17s with 15mm MG 151.

If you do not believe me, then I can send you the pdf via Wetransfer.
It's from a website that has since gone under, quite common among the WW2 history community with older sites.
I am very much interested in the He 100. Could you sent these docs to me, too?
 
109E was with with lumps, bumps and truts all around, making He 100 even with the bathtub radiator a dam sight sleeker and thus faster aircraft. See MC.202 and it's 40 km/h speed advantage over the 109E. I'm not sure that gunpods were ever tested on the He 100.
Racing He 100s were powered by 2500 HP DB 601s, that seems powerful enough. I'm fine with He 100 continuing with DB 601 engines for the duration of the time frame specified for this thread.



It didn't already outclassed it,. It didn't actually outclassed it, either. There is no reason to wait until 1941 for the 'normal' He 100 anyway.
Soviets couldn't wait for their own 'normal' He 100 - Yak-3 - to materialize in flesh. People at Yakovlev used same recipe that Heinkel used when creating the 100 - namely to cut the wing area and span, and also weight to gain performance.


My suggestion: kill the 110/210/410, as well as the 209/309 etc. The Me 163 should've been powered by the jet engine from day one.



Do 335 makes sense if made much earlier, talk 1940-41.
Fw - both 187 and 190 were excellent, I'd push for a V12-powered Fw 190 much earlier, say already in 1938.


I am very much interested in the He 100. Could you sent these docs to me, too?
get it quick the link will expire in a couple days
 
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