If the Me 262 was finished sooner.....




 
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February 23rd, 2009  
519MPBN
 
 

Topic: If the Me 262 was finished sooner.....


Would a successful implementation of the Me 262 into the Luftwaffe in large numbers have helped turn the tide of war in Europe back to Hitler's favor?

Just looking for some opinions.
February 23rd, 2009  
Mark Conley
 
 
Maybe for a short while. But the allies were quick to counter the ME-262 tactical advantage in speed by nitrous injection of several fighters to catch it with speed. It would have spurred quicker development of the British Meteor, or the US P-80, because the need would have shown.

It just that by the time the allies got in full production of bombers, and could have probably built more than the ME-262's could shoot down.

just my rambly opinion.
February 23rd, 2009  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Conley
Maybe for a short while. But the allies were quick to counter the ME-262 tactical advantage in speed by nitrous injection of several fighters to catch it with speed. It would have spurred quicker development of the British Meteor, or the US P-80, because the need would have shown.

It just that by the time the allies got in full production of bombers, and could have probably built more than the ME-262's could shoot down.

just my rambly opinion.
I tend to agree although I tend to think that any reprieve for German war industry would have caused the allies problems, the one thing the Germans should have done was freed up their nightfighters to operate over English airfields as they did in the early part of the war because with the 1000 bomber raids in effect they would have had a field day shooting down tired bomber crews on the way home and forming up.

The biggest problem for the Me-262 was not the aircraft nor its production but the lack of trained pilots and fuel.
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February 23rd, 2009  
mmarsh
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I tend to agree although I tend to think that any reprieve for German war industry would have caused the allies problems, the one thing the Germans should have done was freed up their nightfighters to operate over English airfields as they did in the early part of the war because with the 1000 bomber raids in effect they would have had a field day shooting down tired bomber crews on the way home and forming up.

The biggest problem for the Me-262 was not the aircraft nor its production but the lack of trained pilots and fuel.
I also agree with the Final analysis. It would have caused fearsome damage to the Allied bomber force but would have not changed the direction of the war in the long run. I dont see how the 262 would have effected the ground war.

Second of all the Britsh Meteor was already in Service in 1945 but was limited to V-1 interception over the channel. The Meteor *could* have faced the 262 in combat but didnt for security reasons because the RAF was afraid a crash might be recuperated by the Germans. If however the Germans put had increased the number of 262 I am certain the RAF would have forced to use the Meteor to defend the Bombers as Monty suggested.

Also the US P-80A was also available but in very small numbers and stationed only in America, however increased Me-262 activity would have certainly pushed its devolpment.
February 24th, 2009  
Partisan
 
 
Surely we're missing an important fact. At the time the 262 could start to come on stream is when the German industrial areas were suffering their greatest damage from the Allies.

Yes production could've been ramped up, what would have given way, tanks? guns? What woul've been the impact of those lost weapons on the very pressed German front line.

Much as I love the 262 and wonder about its frontline effectiveness, I don; think that it would have had a significant effect on the war, but it is stilla beauty to look at and a wonder of engineering.
February 24th, 2009  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partisan
Surely we're missing an important fact. At the time the 262 could start to come on stream is when the German industrial areas were suffering their greatest damage from the Allies.

Yes production could've been ramped up, what would have given way, tanks? guns? What woul've been the impact of those lost weapons on the very pressed German front line.

Much as I love the 262 and wonder about its frontline effectiveness, I don; think that it would have had a significant effect on the war, but it is stilla beauty to look at and a wonder of engineering.
I don't think we are missing the point at all, as I recall (and these are rough numbers) in the 4 months of 1945 they produced about 1400 ME-262s but due to fuel restrictions and the number of trained personnel only 80 of them were serviceable at any one time.

Now had the ME-262 been available in numbers when it was first ready for mass production ie 1943 it would have made a significant impact on the air war however much like everything else going on at the time political interference held up production until it was far too late.
February 24th, 2009  
Partisan
 
 
Valid, for all the reasons stated, plus 1 - lack of suitable launch areas for the 262.

I checked up on my limited reources & then wikipedia, they seem to agree that (lifted straight from Wikipedia):

The 003 engines, which were proving unreliable, were replaced by the newly available Junkers Jumo 004. Test flights continued over the next year, but the engines continued to be unreliable. Airframe modifications were complete by 1942, but hampered by the lack of engines, serial production did not begin until 1944. This delay in engine availability was in part due to the shortage of strategic materials, especially metals and alloys able to handle the extreme temperatures produced by the jet engine. Even when the engines were completed, they had an expected operational lifetime of approximately 50 hours; in fact, most 004s lasted just 12 hours.

Whilst not disputing the numbersof 262 produced, not their effect, tactics were quickly developed to counter the 262.

I come back to my original point, had production started earlier, with the consequent strain on engines and thus skilled manpower, materiel and other logisitic support what would have given way? The German war machine was at full throttle, the Allied air forces concentrating on defeating the German industrial capability. Yes the air war would've been in the balance, but then the ground war might have seen some other gains.
February 24th, 2009  
MontyB
 
 
But you are over looking a couple of points, in 1943:
1) Germany was still in control of the Ploesti oil fields thus fuel shortages were less accute.
2) The Luftwaffe still had an effective pilot training program.
3) D-Day was still in the planning stages and without air superiority it probably would not have gone ahead when it did hell had the ME-262 been available in numbers mid to late 1943 the Salerno may well have been delayed as well.

The Allies understood the having total air superiority was the only way these invasions were going to succeed, on top of this the Luftwaffe would have had time and secure airfields to train and equip squadrons properly as well as work out several of the bugs before the Allies got a competing jet into the air.

I don't believe the ME-262 would have changed the outcome of the war but I do believe it could have extended it into 1946.
February 24th, 2009  
perseus
 
 
Regarding suitable escort aircraft, I cannot imagine the Meteor would have suitable range. Propellor aircraft seem to hit a barrier around 500mph whatever fuel you use due to compressibility effects, and it must be very fuel intensive to push an aircraft to this speed, especially over Germany without a base on the continent. It would have posed a problem for daylight raids and bombing the oilfields in particular.

Once a forward base had been established I suppose conventional fighter aircraft could hover over the airfields waiting of the 262s taking off as they did later in the war.
February 24th, 2009  
redcoat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty
Now had the ME-262 been available in numbers when it was first ready for mass production in 1943 it would have made a significant impact on the air war however much like everything else going on at the time political interference held up production until it was far too late.
If they had been mass produced in 1943 they would have sat around Luftwaffe airfields until the problems with the Jumo 004 had been rectified enough to allow at least some operational use.

While Hitlers bomber order did cause some delay in the mass production of the airframes, it mattered little in the timing of operational debut of the Me 262

http://www.vectorsite.net/avme262.html
 


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