Pragmatic Wunderwaffe

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by ArmchairSamurai, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. ArmchairSamurai Member

    Apr 17, 2016
    Hello all. Below is a bit of a list I am putting together for my AH scenario. I am aiming for a more pragmatic approach to the classic wunderwaffe concept. You'll probably notice the distinct lack of weapons we are all too familiar with, like the Horten Ho-229, Aggregrat A-4 or Panzkerkapmfwagen VIII among other things. It's all too impractical. I would appreciate any suggestions you all have to offer. Discussion is also welcome. Much obliged.

    Dornier Do-335
    Blendkorper 2h
    Bombentorpedo BT series
    Fahrgerat: Puma, Falke, Sperber & Uhu
    Espenlaub Luftflugabwehrdrachen
    Glasmine 43
    Panzerabwehrwerfer 8H63 / 10H64
    Holzgas / Stadtgas
    Hydrostatischen Antrieb
    Kugelblitz (turret)
    Lichtsprecher 250-130
    Sdkfz 325
    Pantherturm / Panzernest
    Panzerfaust 150
    Propellerschlitten WH-WL
    Raedel Schraubenantrieb Schneemaschine
    Raketenpanzerbusche 54-1: both Panzerschreck & Fliegerschreck ammunition
    Schrage Musik
    Sturmgewehr 45 Grossfuss
    Type XXI, XXIII & XVII Uboats
    Winkeltürme, Flakturm Baurat, Weingut, LS-Zellen and REIMAHG
    Krupp Räumer S
    Rheinmetall-Borsig RI-502
    Henschel Hs-293 B
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  2. Stryker_911 Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    In other words "I'm going to take from hindsight what we know works in the form of 'wunderwaffe', and abandon the rest without cause because handwavium."

    If you're taking a pragmatic approach to concepts deemed 'wunderwaffe/napkinwaffe', what is the metric you are using other than Goering walking in to Hitler saying "I had a dream that all the things on this list worked, but everything else did not".
  3. James Ricker Own your mistakes

    Oct 29, 2016
    Boston Massachusetts
    With Germany's limited resources I do not see the Do 335 being put into production.
    The ta-152 was faster and only required 1 engine which means at burnt half of the scarce aviation fuel.
    The advanced u-bolts would have run into trouble because the Allies were advancing their anti-submarine efforts. In 1945 depth charges we're about to be replaced with homing torpedoes.
    As for the HS 293 anti-shipping missile, the Allies were ahead in radar and in electronic countermeasures its effectiveness was severely diminished by having its guidance system jammed.
  4. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Jul 17, 2018
    Some of these hardly qualify as wunderwaffe.

    The RPzB 54/1 is just a slightly shorter Panzerschreck tube with a slightly better rocket with another 30m of effective range.

    The Sd.Kfz. 325 is an airfield tractor.

    Espenlaub Luftflugabwehrdrachen
    is a barrage kite.

    Raedel's Schraubenantrieb Schneemaschine is a screw-propelled snowmobile that barely worked.

    Fahrgerat: Puma, Falke, Sperber & Uhu- are these the 8-wheeled armoured cars?
  5. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

    Jun 27, 2014
    1123 6536 5321
    MK 24 FIDO Homing torpedo entered service in May 1943! And by this point the various aspects, (technology, experience, tactics, weapons, Aircraft, intel and numbers) required for the winning of the battle of the Atlantic had gloriously aligned in the Allies favor

    They didn't know at the time that they had won it but the Germans did - they called it Black May

    To the OPs question - less Wunderwaffe and more FW190/Hetzer type kit is what is required not M262 and King Tiger

    Grossfuss Sturmgewehr and not MP44

    Robust, proven technology and not complicated and able to be built in large numbers, relatively cheaply and earlier than OTL
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  6. ElMarquis Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2017
    I don't think the Horten 229 was impractical. It combined similar construction to the DH Mosquito with jet engines - the latter being the weakpoint as demonstrated by the 262.

    Incidentally, the engines of the 229 have the same dimensions as the RR Avon in the EE Lightning... idea!
  7. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

    Oct 29, 2017
    Somewhere where rockets fly.
    What the comments above suggest. (^^^)

    As a practical matter, it makes no difference because the 1 game changer is in Allied hands by August 1945. As I am not a Luftwaffe 1946 kind of guy, I would PoD more in the areas of logistics, economic rationalization, kill the Berlin maniac early and "Make peace, fools!" in 1943 and still expect the worst outcome for Berlin kind of guy. Gadgets don't win wars. Mass equals force times acceleration, plainly achievable limited goals, (Austria, Sudetenland, kill the Berlin maniac and quit the game while you're still winning diplomatically, Fatso.) and applied common sense (as in not fighting the whole world), does.
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  8. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2019
    only wunderwaffe would be a time machine , go back and in time and prevent the british empire from forming
  9. wiking Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    No need to go that crazy. Even just some basic rationality to the rearmament policy would have been huge; Plan Z was an enormous waste of resources; had they instead focused just on Uboat construction by summer 1940 they'd have double the historical number of Uboats in service, which would be very bad news for the British. Couple that with figuring out the problems of their torpedoes pre-war and the British might well be toast.
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  10. nbcman Donor

    Jan 6, 2009
    Isn't Plan Z of early 1939 too late to significantly improve the quantity of u-boats for the following summer? The Germans weren't producing that many subs per month in either 1939 or 1940 (2-3 / mo). Could they ramp up to a 1941 - 1942 production rate of 15 - 20 / mo that quickly?

    Quantities taken from page 132 of this study.
  11. wiking Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    Nope. It took about 12 months to build one and about 6 more months to 'shake it out' and prep the crew. So the bigger burst of Uboats entering service would start around June-July. The reason the Germans weren't building many Uboats in 1939-40 was Plan Z, which took over naval yards and funding and then needed scrapping; that took until November 1939 to start. In early 1940 the war economy was just being organized due to the war catching planners by surprise, but if Uboat construction were started pre-war then it wouldn't have been impacted by trying to organize it on the fly at the start of the war.
    IOTL there was 18 built in 1939 and 50 in 1940. Those numbers wouldn't be any different in 1939 if the POD is the same year, but in 1940 there is no reason they couldn't be doubled or increased even more had the necessary foundations been laid in early 1939 considering that IOTL 1941 they built 199, a near four fold increase over the previous year despite Barbarossa gobbling up so many resources and of course the blockade being in effect since 1939.

    My numbers from here:
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  12. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

    Oct 29, 2017
    Somewhere where rockets fly.
    The study is garbage. It does not take into account the limited machine tool capability of German core industry or the lack of a uniform industrial set of practices across the entire European continent. French, Czechs, Hungarians, and Italians did not do things the German way. To get American or Soviet or British kinds of rational production, one must have NATIONAL or uniform practices inside the "German" empire. The Germans did not have the time or resources to divert into such rationalization during their war, so their industrial effort was of necessity ad-hoc, "incompetent" and inefficient by their enemies standards. The Germans results of their ad hockery was that mish mash of production and weaponry that RTL flowed out of "their" factories. It is especially evident in their incompetently designed Type XXI and XXIII U-boats. It was supposed to be their Kaiserized version of naval construction. How did it work out? While the Americans churned out GATOs by the hundred lot, the Germans produced 14 seaworthy examples from 400 component sets of the Type XXI. Later the Americans GUPPIED almost 100 WW II boats. The German attempts to GUPPY Type VIIs and IXs mid war were disasters.

    QED. One should look at results and track backwards why those outcomes happened and not "handwave". History has "reasons".
  13. nbcman Donor

    Jan 6, 2009
    OK. I wasn't citing the author of the study's opinions. I was citing the production figures on the page listed and questioned whether the Germans could produce enough U boats, crew them and get them trained in slightly over a year's time. Thanks for your review of the Author's study.
  14. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

    Oct 29, 2017
    Somewhere where rockets fly.
    I was merely noting the methodology and the conclusions that were cited as a "proof". If the source is flawed, then it should not be used as a proof.
  15. ArmchairSamurai Member

    Apr 17, 2016
    Hindsight aside, what I am attempting to do is redefine what wunderwaffe means in terms of how such weapons, vehicles, and devices affect war-time logistics rather than the decisive war-winning miracle as we have come to associate the real wunderwaffe with. Basically, if German developments took a more pragmatic approach to special weapons and equipment.
    In addition to that, this AH scenario is not centered around the mere idea of pragmatic wunderwaffe, as such an idea is absolutely fruitless given the material shortages of a disoriented industry under a refractory hierarchy. No, I had to build an entire timeline from scratch, which would take ages for me to explain in this context. All I will say is that it deviates from our own in 1880. (and Goering is not present) I really just wanted everyone's opinions, but I did not give enough context to make this discussion more constructive. My apologies.

    My apologies for not being more forward in the context of my post. Resources aside, would you say that the Dornier Do-335 is a better investment than the jets? Imagine if you will the Germans put the jet engine on the back-burner until the technology is more proven and economical, which piston plane developments would fare best in keeping up with the Allies? I do agree with your assessment of the Ta-152, that is my second pick for multi-role attack aircraft.
    Not sure about the U-boats to be honest. I hoped someone would see the B designation following the Hs-293, but alas, no one did. That is to indicate the wire-guided variety. Really said wire-guidance could be outfitted to the following Hs-294 and Hs-295 with similar results I imagine. What do you think?

    Refer to my above answer. Again, my apologies for not being more forward in the context of my post. They don't qualify as wunderwaffe, because they aren't according to the definition we associate them with; that's the point.

    I included the RPzB 54/1 because its easier to handle, plausibly easier to manufacture and therefore considering its purpose, a weapon of potential; especially given the introduction of Fliegerschreck ammunition.

    I am well aware of what the Sdkfz 325 is. Rather than have a hodgepodge of foreign and domestic equipment meant to tug aircraft (Austro-Daimler, Sauer, Latil, Borgward, Büssing-NAG, Deutz, Hanomag, Lanz, Skoda, Laffly, etc), why not have one? Efficiency. I consider that something with the potential to positively affect the war effort, even if only a little.

    I am genuinely surprised someone knows what that is. I only included it because its a novel and cheap way to defend airfields in tandem to anti-air batteries. Again, efficiency. If something better comes along than I will revise my list.

    I chose this because it has potential if given the means for development. The reason being is given the terrain of Russia, especially in the winter and during the thaw (see rasputitsa) than such a means of propulsion could be useful in logistics. In addition if one looks at the Soviet ZIL-2906 from the 60s, then can it not be said the Germans could likely make something or similar or superior quality? Imagine if you will, a Raupenschlepper OST with a screw-propulsion chassis to get a feeling for what I mean.

    Those are actually the code-names for various types of night-driving apparatuses for German vehicles. Puma is a tank cupola apparatus, Falke is installed on the Sdkfz 251 (driver and gunner), Sperber is a complete tank apparatus (commander and driver), Uhu is a direction apparatus (installed in the rear of an sdfkz 251) meant to provide navigation for independent units via radio. I forgot to include Fahrgerat 1252 (unnamed), which was installed on cars and trucks.

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  16. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

    Oct 29, 2017
    Somewhere where rockets fly.

    Gizmos aside, if your PoD is 1880 AD then abdicate Kaiser Bill II in 1895 AD. That gains you a lot more than gadgets. You remove him from power just about when his good efforts at modernizing his government plateau out and before he goes off the rails into das Land der verrückten Träumer (Cloudcuckoosvile).
    ArmchairSamurai likes this.
  17. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

    Mar 12, 2007
    UK, EU (for the moment), Earth
    Spend the money they wasted inventing CGI on something actually useful.
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  18. David Floyd Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2008
    Germany didn't need wunderwaffe. Their "superweapons" were generally inferior compared to advanced Allied technology anyway.

    Germany needed rationalized production from Day 1 and an end to bureaucratic empire building that pulled resources away from the collective good, as well as an end to the (and I apologize because there is absolutely a moral component here too) resource suck of the Holocaust. Hitler literally preferred killing Jews to supporting German soldiers, which is hardly a winning strategy.
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  19. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

    Oct 29, 2017
    Somewhere where rockets fly.
    Curious about that on 2 fronts... JPL sure was a late starter to Peenemunde. However Qian Xuesen was a shade brighter than the Paperclip sponsored von Braun acquired in the sudden German technology fire sale of 1945. Also; he, our Chinese American rocketeer, is a case study in how one's bigoted racist political stupidity can BOITA, even if one is a supposed "enlightened democracy".
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  20. Saint_007 The King Of Nothing

    Sep 17, 2011
    One should note that even successful designs took a while to implement. The angled aircraft carrier deck could have saved plenty of lives in WW2, by offeringa second runway for take-off or landing that prevented crashes, but it was only introduced too late in the war to make a difference. It would have been easily implemented. But it takes time for 'logical conclusions' to be made about relatively mundane stuff, let alone something as complicated and uncertain as wunderwaffe.

    You'd run into the issues of people not entirely sure what worked and what didn't since they were still ironing out all the bugs in the middle of a war, something (as Churchill noted) that doesn't allow for too much calibration and refinement when you're under heavy attack from all sides.

    Plus, you'd need to remove the top idiots from command; the Fuhrer (who ordered such things as making incredibly fast planes into fighter-bombers, a role they couldn't do because they were too fast to lock onto a ground target), Goering, and the rest of the idiots who were trying to promote their own projects and agendas.

    Where's that webcomic link again...?
    McPherson likes this.