Thanks for reminding us of the danger inherent in the kind of liquid fueled rocket motors the Germans were using. Considering how many V-2 blowup on the launch pad these primitive SAM might have done more damage to the Germans then the Allies. Fueling these missiles on short notice would be highly dangerous for the user.You know, I got to thinking about one of those points, and I actually kinda agree with it... but there's a nuance that has been missed.
By the late war, the KM might well have been ahead of the allied navies in submarine design.
This is not the Cold War of Cowboys & Cossacks and hunts for Red October. Sub vs sub duels are extremely rare, and comparing submarine types is a fool's errand.
What you have to compare instead, is each side's submarine technology against its counters.
The KM subs are behind Allied ASW from when, spring '41? Barring a blip in the Second Happy Time which is less about technology than doctrine.
Western Allied subs are ahead of Axis ASW and aren't facing the same survival pressures. U-boats are fighting (and losing) in an environment of Allied air supremacy with regular radar-equipped patrols with all sorts of gizmos - Leigh lights, HF/DF, rockets, FIDO, Squid/Hedgehog, all that jazz - which the Allied submariners just don't have to contend with in the main. The Med is at least contested air- and seaspace (and then Italy changes sides) and the Japanese approach to ASW is desultory.
So while it's not wrong IMHO to give the nod to German submarine design over Allied submarine design... it is just looking at the wrong comparison to do so.
The Baltic is a more serious issue, actually. Littorals are hard for everybody - sonar doesn't work well, but defenders can lay minefields with enthusiastic abandon.
But that made me think - gosh this living in the decadent West really does blunt the brain - what happens if the LW focuses on Schmetterling for air defence... on the Ostfront?
I think there's a big problem here.
The Henschel SAM needs a pretty fixed emplacement for its liquid fuels - red fuming nitric acid is not forgiving of being chucked about in jerrycans out in the field. Conversely, the eastern front didn't see a lot of strategic bombing of deep industrial targets - it wasn't unknown, but the heavy majority of missions are close support - that's what the 36,000 Il-2s are for, and VVS is translated as Frontal Aviation - the clue is, as they say, in the name.
So if you want to defend things on the ground, your not-very-mobile missiles need to be deployed forwards so that their 20m range can cover the things they are meant to protect.
Yikes. The further forward you are, the easier it is to do "suppression of enemy air defences" with T-34s or Katyushas instead of Sturmoviks.
But the real kicker is the numbers game. The Soviet Air Forces are huge (and their OTL casualties were huge too). If a missile-based defence doctrine can't equal those numbers then its going to fail even harder than the Nazi performance failed OTL.
The frankly terrifying OTL losses to the Soviet Air Forces aren't going to be happening from low-volume high-complexity missile systems. You want asymmetric combat to produce large kill ratios - where fighter squadrons engage unescorted slow heavily-laden attack aircraft and massacre them in wholesale lots, not have low-fire-rate SAM systems attrite them on the way in and way out. This area defence strategy is really only going to work against high-value bombers - four-engine multiple-crewmember platforms like the B-17. Missiles will have a lower hit rate against a smaller target like an Il-2 and then you have to get four or five of them to equal the materiel and crew of the Fortress.
The Soviets were also capable of evolving doctrine to meet the situation, and I suspect the VVS force would be pretty good at striking at SAM sites too in the same way as Western medium- or fighter-bombers would be after D-Day gets them fields in range of the SAM sites.
That's ignoring that you've got to truck your missiles and their crew and exploding corrosive fuel mixtures fifty miles closer to the forward edge of battle area than you could base a fighter squadron, and you've got to spread them out along the front lines away from main supply routes so as not to have areas of your army without air defence, and then you get the Kammhuber problem - wherever the VVS wants to strike gets the attention of division of air assets that absorb the local missile stocks while the rest of the front has its SAM operators twiddling their thumbs because they aren't at today's schwerpunkt. Fighters are better at reactive air defence because you can concentrated them where they are needed (cf. Dowding, Park et al, 1940) whereas SAMs work better when you can site them around high-value targets that will draw the enemy to them.
And that assumes the Soviets don't just park some jamming trucks a mile or so back from the frontline and watch all those expensive missiles do pretty loop-the-loops while the VVS boys and girls fly grimly past to smite the invaders of the Motherland.
Anyway, we're saying that a SAM-based approach to air defence needs to add more logistical load to the German transport network to the east, and then provides a more brittle air defence that is less responsive to Soviet massed attacks and more vulnerable to deep operations by ground forces. Boy it's a good thing the Soviets aren't too enamoured of deep operations. /s
So... overall a big no for forward air defence in the east. Stick to fighters.
I guess we could say, our Schmetterling programme will replace what - the Me-163, the Me-262, the He-162 Volksjager, the V-2 programme... what else? All the high-altitude AAA and flak towers? But the key is that it cannot and must not replace any of the conventional fighter production - nor the conventional tank and artillery production.
And if it does replace those, will it actually be in service by say 1943 to make any impact on Spaatz's daylight operations at all?
The IAe 24 Calquin. Argentina asked to buy Merlin engines for it from the UK, but the Ministry of Supply said no, but offered to sell them Mosquitoes instead (likely Canadian production B.XXV models). Argentina said no to that and used US P&W radials instead. Think they built about a hundred or so. Quite an attractive aircraft, but not the sleek thing of beauty that was the Mosquito.IIRC the Argentine's also built a radial-engined copy postwar but it wasn't built in any numbers...
The one really superb weapon the Reich possessed that was light years ahead of any other player in WW II was the MG-42. IIRC the German army uses a version of the weapon to this day.I agree with you, but the MP-44 Sturmgewehr was going in the right direction. What they needed were more advanced, but conventional weapons, they could mass produce. The Panzerfaust, Panzerschreck, and the V-1 were worthwhile efforts.
Your right. German machinegun superiority (MG-34/42) was the biggest weapons advantage they had. At some points their tanks had advantages, but the Germans won their early victories though superior doctrine, leadership, and the way they used their machineguns as much as the way they used their tanks. On the defense the MG-42 was the critical weapon on all fronts. None of their enemies had a machinegun to match it. Having a MG form a base of fire in every rifle squad is now standard practice in every army, but at the time it was an innovation. Both the MG-34/42 were more mobile, and versatile then any Allied crew served machinegun. The only criticism of the MG-42 you can really make is it had too high a rate of fire. Modern armies find MGs with 600-900 rpm enough. Mini guns are a different class of weapons.The one really superb weapon the Reich possessed that was light years ahead of any other player in WW II was the MG-42. IIRC the German army uses a version of the weapon to this day.
Simply magnificent weapon. Of course the Heer didn't develop a good modern battle rifle or useful to go with it (fortunately, the combination of proper doctrine, the Zipper, and semi-auto or full auto battle rifles would have been truly formidable)
I apologize for the implication per your politics. I was wrong in this case, but the frequency of WW1-WW2 German military fans later showing unpleasant far-right views is sufficiently high that such suspicions are reasonable.I suppose I could be a closet Nazi, but I think my wife (black Afro-Caribbean) might have had something to say about it if I were . You chose your name well. It goes with your personality. Insults do not an argument make.
Let me be crystal clear here.
You WILL, immediately, stop attacking each other.
Made out of a solid lump of unobtanium by the Dwarves under the mountain and the metal was quenched in refined fairy tears - which probably explains why they only made 7000 of themwell there was that lovely but very complex and expensive para rifle thing, the FG-42
It's interesting that only the U.S. & Soviets had a successful general issue semi-automatic rifle in WWII. Everyone else used bolt action rifles.Made out of a solid lump of unobtanium by the Dwarves under the mountain and the metal was quenched in refined fairy tears - which probably explains why they only made 7000 of them
Plus SAMs are reactive, and would tend to be fuelled more hastily that ground attack rockets, a source of additional accidents.Thanks for reminding us of the danger inherent in the kind of liquid fueled rocket motors the Germans were using. Considering how many V-2 blowup on the launch pad these primitive SAM might have done more damage to the Germans then the Allies. Fueling these missiles on short notice would be highly dangerous for the user.
It's interesting that only the U.S. & Soviets had a successful general issue semi-automatic rifle in WWII. Everyone else used bolt action rifles.
And do note that in the Russian case production was largely switched back to the Mosin Nagant and became reliant on the PPSH because they could not build the SA SVT 40 quickly enough - 'lol' they only made 1.6 million of them.It's interesting that only the U.S. & Soviets had a successful general issue semi-automatic rifle in WWII. Everyone else used bolt action rifles.
Well, it took time, but the Germans finally won the debate. All modern armies that I know about have squads/sections/groups built around light General-Purpose MG's. General Patton recommended a future rifle squad with 2 fire teams, each with a light GPMG. The actual preferred American infantry tactic was to make contact with the enemy and call the artillery in to blow them to hell. The Germans whined that the American Army doesn't take territory it occupies it. A 105mm shell is cheaper than a rifleman's life.And the Soviets placed more emphasis on SMG's anyway. While the Garand was an excellent battle rifle and fitted US doctrine and military culture well I think the British/German approach of MG centric platoons with SMG equipped assault sections was better and the MG42/MP40 was a better implementation than the Bren/Sten one. The Red Army also moved that way with their SMG's and the DP-27. The US was the outlier and not in a good way.
This one category though does not make up for the general trend of the Allies having better equipment.
Well, it took time, but the Germans finally won the debate. All modern armies that I know about have squads/sections/groups built around light General-Purpose MG's. General Patton recommended a future rifle squad with 2 fire teams, each with a light GPMG. The actual preferred American infantry tactic was to make contact with the enemy and call the artillery in to blow them to hell. The Germans whined that the American Army doesn't take territory it occupies it. A 105mm shell is cheaper than a rifleman's life.
I believe the U.S. adapted the M-1 Garand in 1936, but prewar budgets were low, so production was small. The army in the Philippines had prewar equipment. The USMC always got army hand me downs. Until 1944 the M-1 couldn't be fitted with a sniper scope, or grenade launcher, so the Springfield still had its uses. The M-1 Carbine was produced in very large numbers, I think over 6 million were made, and they gave Springfield equipped units some semi-auto fire weapons.And do note that in the Russian case production was largely switched back to the Mosin Nagant and became reliant on the PPSH because they could not build the SA SVT 40 quickly enough - 'lol' they only made 1.6 million of them.
And Garand production was not sufficient until 1943 - Philippines and Guadalcanal (initially) was fought with M1903 Springfield's and we see some combat arms still equipped with bolt action rifles for Torch.
But yes generally the point is well made.