Airfix Logo

Humbrol Logo

The Airfix Tribute Forum was established in April 2006 to discuss the making of Airfix models.

Email: admin at airfixtributeforum.co.uk

It is currently Wed 20 Sep 2017 21:07 pm

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 35 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Tue 09 May 2017 20:20 pm 
Offline
Green Star
Green Star

Joined: Wed 26 Oct 2011 13:55 pm
Posts: 194
I often read that the Me262 could have helped curtail the daylight bombing raids over Germany if it had been introduced to service before Hitler ordered that it be made capable of carrying/using bombs. The 262 was a difficult aircraft to fly on account of its engines, had a high maintenance requirement and often lacked the fuel required to fly at all. Training was a challenge too. But I read many accounts of its 'war winning' potential. Is it appropriate to consider the machine as a potentially great aircraft when in fact it seems to have achieved little? Would it have had any greater potential to stem the US air assault on Germany, particularly as these raids were to become escorted by P38 then P47 & P51 fighters? I assume its role would have been to protect the bf109, Me110 and FW190 by taking on those American escort fighters, but could this really have had the impact often claimed? I'd be interested to know what others think.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Tue 09 May 2017 20:39 pm 
Offline
Two Gold Stars
Two Gold Stars
User avatar

Joined: Wed 12 Nov 2008 13:32 pm
Posts: 5655
Location: Bomber County, Lincolnshire
: Model Portfolio
Sadly (?) it came too late. I suspect if it had been even a year earlier and in full production, then, it would have knocked down countless American bombers with their escort unable to catch the jet machine. Things would have improved as to the fuel and pilot training situation with type experience but then again the Americans may have devised tactics to catch the 262 either as it climbed up to the formations or as it was running short of fuel ?? It certainly could have been a game changer . . .

_________________
"Well Chaps ... my watch says time to go ..."

Avro Lancaster Enthusiast.
Builder: RAF Station Grimsby diorama


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Tue 09 May 2017 21:19 pm 
Offline
Bronze Star
Bronze Star
User avatar

Joined: Wed 20 Jun 2012 20:22 pm
Posts: 751
Location: Scottish Borders
More in the JG's earlier, armed with R4M rockets or similar & Galland getting approval for operations like "Big Blow" would have been an absolutely horrific prospect for the USAAF.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Tue 09 May 2017 21:38 pm 
Offline
Silver Star
Silver Star

Joined: Sun 26 Oct 2008 19:29 pm
Posts: 1012
In my opinion it's unlikely that the Me262 could have been introduced earlier due to the significant problems with getting it's engines into production. Even if Hitler hadn't ordered it's development as a bomber, it wouldn't have got into service any earlier.
The Jumo 004 engines also required careful handling and had poor acceleration making the Me262 vulnerable on take off and landing. Tactics were rapidly developed by the allies to exploit these weaknesses. Even before the introduction of the Me262, allied tactics were to attack Luftwaffe fighter bases and destroy the enemy fighters on the ground.
Also prior to the introduction of the P-51D in early 1944, the FW-190A was causing massive damage to US bombers. Prioritising production of the higher performance FW-190D and Ta152 would arguably have had as much effect as diverting resources to the Me262.
Finally the Me262 was an interceptor not a fighter. It's job was to kill bombers and use it's speed to evade the escort, not engage in dog-fights.

_________________
US Fighters project. Built - 22. Budget £220. Spent £187.91


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Tue 09 May 2017 22:10 pm 
Offline
Two Gold & Bronze Stars
Two Gold & Bronze Stars
User avatar

Joined: Thu 13 Dec 2007 02:47 am
Posts: 6792
Location: Minnesota, USA
: Model Portfolio
I think the "Me-262 wins the war" fantasy goes like this-- the Me-262 (or whatever) delays allied victory long enough to allow the Germans to develop the atomic bomb. No other outcome would change the result of the war. It's a very unlikely chain of events (fortunately). But writers after the war were always writing about "the what-if."

_________________
“Build what YOU want, the way YOU want to, and above all, have fun.”
- Al Superczynski (1947 - 2007)

dancho's model collection dancho's blog


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Tue 09 May 2017 22:17 pm 
Offline
Bronze Star
Bronze Star
User avatar

Joined: Wed 20 Jun 2012 20:22 pm
Posts: 751
Location: Scottish Borders
If the jet engine hadn't been considered a gimmick & been given priority earlier, Germany (& Britain) could have had more reliable jets in service earlier, where remaining issues could have been sorted out.
The Dora & Ta152 would certainly be more effective dealing with the fighter escorts, leaving the bombers for the Schwalbes & Wurgers (& if the Me262 with a better developed engine had still been a sitting duck on take off & landing, they could have provided top cover a la Parrot Squadron at JV44).
As dancho says war pro-longer is probably more apt than war winner, but daylight bombing would certainly have been affected.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Tue 09 May 2017 22:20 pm 
Offline
Gold & Silver Stars
Gold & Silver Stars
User avatar

Joined: Wed 11 Nov 2009 19:24 pm
Posts: 4529
Location: Chelmsford
The war winning potential is overstated in my view. Firstly, the materials technology was not up with the engine design itself, so even if it had been introduced earlier the engines would still be extremely unreliable. Secondly, read any account by 262 pilots and it's clear that the closing speeds made interceptions extremely difficult. The idea of 262s knocking out swathes of bombers borders onto fantasy (the same applies with the Me 163). Where it would have been best used would have been as a fighter interceptor, but even then it would require outstanding fighter control to get it in the right place at the right time and in sufficient numbers not to be overwhelmed. The significance of the 262 is the quantum leap in design and performance, make no mistake, in its day it was quite extraordinary.

_________________
peebeep aka Paul Brown
IPMS Locate and Cement website
http://www.locate-and-cement.com
RevellAtions
Bring me my chariot of fire


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Tue 09 May 2017 22:29 pm 
Offline
Red Star
Red Star
User avatar

Joined: Thu 17 Oct 2013 16:37 pm
Posts: 328
Location: Ilkley
: --------------------
Whether it would actually have destroyed enough planes to "win" the war is debatable. But it could have turned opinion - public and military - against bombing raids, and possibly led to reduced American war effort.

_________________
"Quae desperat tractata nitescere posse, reliquit" - Horace, Ars Poetica 1.148
(What he fears he cannot make attractive with his touch, he abandons)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Wed 10 May 2017 04:29 am 
Offline
Silver Bar
Silver Bar
User avatar

Joined: Sat 22 Apr 2006 01:22 am
Posts: 12770
Location: Nanaimo. British Columbia. Canadia
: Group Build Leader
: Airfix Modelling SIG Member
peebeep wrote:
The war winning potential is overstated in my view. Firstly, the materials technology was not up with the engine design itself, so even if it had been introduced earlier the engines would still be extremely unreliable. Secondly, read any account by 262 pilots and it's clear that the closing speeds made interceptions extremely difficult. The idea of 262s knocking out swathes of bombers borders onto fantasy (the same applies with the Me 163). Where it would have been best used would have been as a fighter interceptor, but even then it would require outstanding fighter control to get it in the right place at the right time and in sufficient numbers not to be overwhelmed. The significance of the 262 is the quantum leap in design and performance, make no mistake, in its day it was quite extraordinary.

Using the stovepipe or R4M rockets to break up the bomber formations would be *very* valuable, even if they didn't actually shoot down any bombers which, let's face it, isn't really that difficult a task to predict where they're going, and they're not a small target. Remember what Winkle said about them "one minute there was a perfectly good [B-26], the next, confetti. B-26 is a smaller, faster, more maneuverable target than B-17 or B-24.

_________________
Portfolio


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Wed 10 May 2017 06:19 am 
Online
Gold & Bronze Stars
Gold & Bronze Stars

Joined: Sun 14 Feb 2016 00:00 am
Posts: 3485
Location: South Australia (Ex Brit)
: --------------------
Interesting debate. If the 262 was put into service, in 1941, instead of being shelved until 1944, (the FW 190, had just come into service, and was far superior to anything the allies had at the time), so could have had a greater impact, (and given the German Boffins, more time to sort out the 262's deficiencies). On the flip side of the coin, it would have encouraged, the Allies, to get jets of their own sooner also.
Mike


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Wed 10 May 2017 11:20 am 
Offline
Silver Star
Silver Star
User avatar

Joined: Thu 25 Feb 2010 15:48 pm
Posts: 1370
Location: Enfield
The Me262 was put into service too late (it could not under any circumstances have seen service any earlier) and in insufficient numbers to make a difference- the Achilles heel was its engines- only allowing 10 hours between overhauls. Even if it could have inflicted severe damage on the USAAF bomber streams, its vunerability to the new generation of Allied piston engine fighters, the new allied jets appearing in increasing numbers, the appalling state of German fuel supplies and pilot training would have severely limited its impact.

_________________
I am the cat of cats, the everlasting cat, cunning and old and sleek as jam


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Wed 10 May 2017 12:46 pm 
Offline
Blue Star
Blue Star
User avatar

Joined: Sun 18 Jun 2006 09:02 am
Posts: 515
Location: Dorset
Of course this argument is all predicated on the war being "won" by the heavy bomber forces defeating Germany's ability to replace military equipment destroyed in combat. The war was won by boots on the ground marching in Germany. It was shortened by the bombing offensive. And so as someone above has said, even if the 262 had been available in larger numbers to knock down large numbers of allied bombers, all it would have achieved is improve the ability of German factories to build and replace equipment and so delay the inevitable.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Wed 10 May 2017 13:02 pm 
Offline
Blue Star
Blue Star

Joined: Tue 16 Feb 2010 19:51 pm
Posts: 637
Location: Columbus, Ohio
: Portfolio
If there had been more 262's the pilot shortage would have been even more acute as would the fuel problem and the allies had already developed tactics to take them on. They just waited until they were landing and as they were cumbersome to land, the P-51 pilots pounced on them on their approach. Even with all that, by the time they were introduced, their war was lost. Remember, there were two fronts and the Russians did most of the fighting numbers-wise, and the 262 would not have made one jot of difference on their front if employed against bombers at home.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Wed 10 May 2017 16:37 pm 
Offline
Silver Bar
Silver Bar
User avatar

Joined: Fri 18 Jun 2010 13:34 pm
Posts: 10188
Location: D'Dee, N'orn I'rn
: --------------------
: Group Build Guru
: AMSIG member
What is often fogotten in this scenario of the 262 being a war-winner is that the Allies had jet engines too.
I often see this in 'what if...' questions; the proposer forgets that the opposition is not sitting still, they are developing counter measures as fast as they can.
If the 262 had entered the fray sooner then the Allied jets would have entered sooner as well.
Both the Meteor and P80 entered battle before the end of WW2, and both these had better engines than the 262.
We just night have seen jet vs jet airfights 5 or 6 years before they actually did

_________________
Al speling misteaks aer all mi own werk..
Its not just how good your painting is, its how good the touch-ups are too.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Wed 10 May 2017 20:17 pm 
Offline
Green Star
Green Star

Joined: Thu 08 Aug 2013 17:12 pm
Posts: 169
: --------------------
Ditto what Fred said... another imponderable is that if the Nazis used resources to develop the 262, what other weapon systems would they have had to have sacrificed to permit it?
On the other hand, if the type had been outrageously successful, and severely depleted the allied bombing campaign, would they have had more resources overall to bring to bear on their other projects?
The problem of counterfactuals is that if you change one decision, it becomes a different universe, and sets up a cascade of many tens of thousands of minor and major decisions that may have changed as a consequence. Ultimately though, an Me 262 wouldn't have reached America, and America would probably still have had the bomb by Autumn 1945 - assuming there was still somewhere friendly to fly a B29 from, and that could have been affected by Mussolini being or not being overthrown and Italy continuing as an axis power. If a cessation of the bombing campaign had given the Nazis breathing space to develop their own bomb, one suspects that they would have used it on Britain, if that had non been occupied, or the Soviet Union, depending on what the above consequences would have been on that campaign. Always assuming there was still no means of delivering one to the USA.
All these are musings, and without really doing any research! But really, I think that to introduce a decisive change complicates the issue to a such a monumental degree as to make any rational person's head swim.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Wed 10 May 2017 20:43 pm 
Offline
Silver Bar
Silver Bar
User avatar

Joined: Sat 22 Apr 2006 01:22 am
Posts: 12770
Location: Nanaimo. British Columbia. Canadia
: Group Build Leader
: Airfix Modelling SIG Member
fred wrote:
What is often fogotten in this scenario of the 262 being a war-winner is that the Allies had jet engines too.

About 1400 Me 262s vs 616 Sqn's 20 Meteors in 1945. I'd be Seigging Heil to that fight. :)

What was the question, really? IF Germany had sufficient pilots and sufficient fuel and sufficient resources to maintain the Me262s, would the USAAF have suspended the bombing effort? Almost certainly. Only a nut of the scale of Haig would persevere.

_________________
Portfolio


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Thu 11 May 2017 05:36 am 
Offline
Gold & Bronze Stars
Gold & Bronze Stars
User avatar

Joined: Mon 24 Apr 2006 01:08 am
Posts: 3005
Location: Adelaide, Australia
: Moderator
: Group Build Guru
: Model Portfolio
If the resources that went into to V-1 and V-2 had gone into the Me-262, that could have made a big difference. From Wikipedia:

"The German V-weapons (V-1 and V-2) cost the equivalent of around USD $40 billion (2015 dollars), which was 50 percent more than the Manhattan Project that produced the atomic bomb."

_________________
If you would like Airfix to release a 1/600 kit of HMS Dreadnought,
the world's first all-big-gun battleship, then please vote here!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Thu 08 Jun 2017 10:42 am 
Offline
Black Star
Black Star

Joined: Mon 02 Jan 2017 18:30 pm
Posts: 16
: --------------------
The Germans lost the war the day they marched into the Soviet Union; although no one could have imagined what cold blooded sacrifice the soldiers and civilians of Mother Russia were prepared to endure until boots were on the ground in Berlin. My uncle was a squadron leader flying Lancasters so I would be the last person to deny the courage of bomber crews, but the ME262 versus Allied bomber raids was a relative sideshow considering all the slaughter on the Eastern front. A great looking aircraft for all that, although like its tank equivalent, the Tiger 1, not enough produced to make a difference, and mechanically flawed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Thu 08 Jun 2017 16:35 pm 
Offline
Blue Star
Blue Star

Joined: Tue 20 Sep 2016 09:55 am
Posts: 516
Location: Scotland
: --------------------
I think that @Sad Dad is probably correct, with the note that it seems reasonably certain that at least some of the production of the Jumo 004 engine was sabotaged by damaging the "christmas trees" on the rotor blades.

_________________
"Is there anything I can do to help you?"
"Yes. Give me a staffel of Spitfires!"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Me 262 - War Winner?
PostPosted: Fri 21 Jul 2017 14:09 pm 
Offline
Green Star
Green Star

Joined: Wed 23 Sep 2015 13:33 pm
Posts: 118
: --------------------
I have just read a book about Bomber command's late war battles and to my surprise quite a few jets were shot down by air gunners. Due to the bright jet exhausts they could see them take off, climb and approach in the dark. So if it got too bad by day for the USAAF, they could have harried the Luftwaffe by day with fighter sweeps, joined the RAF at night and overwhelmed German defences. So not a war winner for me.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 35 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group

The Airfix Tribute Forum

The Airfix Tribute Forum - Est. 2006 | Make a Donation


modelsforsale.com