Guys it don't matter what weapons the germans may or maynot have fielded in from late 1944 on, cause historically there was no fuel to fly them
anyway. Even the much vaulted Me-262 which reached 1440 produced [by the end of the war], was only able to fly at most 100 at a time mainly due to
lack of fuel [there were easly 300 -400 available]. After the allies targeted the german fuel industry they were kaput! Without fuel , army units
can't move and tanks are stuck while planes are limited in flying meaning most replacement pilots get 1/3 the training so they just can't compete
Now if you want to examine an interesting alternative history consider this. The Me-262 prototype was ready in 1942 , but had to wait for the jet
engines to be developed , which didn't really happen until two years later in early 1944. If you track the development of the Jumo -004 jet engine
developement, it was treated as an interesting 'experiment' through the first half of the war [starting in 1939/40]. SO much so that up to three
major delays can be IDed in the development accumulating 18 months of delay. All of these delays were solved by singular person adding his suggestion
to the develoment route...thus leading to solution. It was not until after Stalingrad in 1943 that Hitler all of a sudden had a revelation that he was
losing and any thing and everything was needed including 'Total war economy' , 'V weapons' and jets guided missiles etc etc.
Right away guided missiles that were ready were put into service and within 1 year of that decision, the 'war economy' was in full swing and Me-262
jet was tested /developed and in mass production , while the V-1 was flying and the V-2 was ready for combat. It clearly shows what a difference can
happen when 'push comes to shove'.
I gather Hitler saw the first Jet flights at the beginning of the war, and remarked that they would win the war with piston engines any way so the
jets were not needed! Such blindness , lead to an experiment on the 'back burner',instead of a strategic program.
Now imagine for a moment, the Jet/Rocket/missile programs were recognised as a 'strategic program' from before the war, when they were first
developed, so with such a priority there is none of the additional delays and these programs enter service atleast 18 months ahead of the historical
Why would such an effort be made? Well look at germans strategic situation pre war. It depended on foreign allied countries for 3/4 of its oil
supplies and was massively outnumbered by its combined enemies armed forces.Just 20 years prior it had lost a massive war were falling behind
technologically had made the suffer immensely and partly cost them the war. Germany was as badly outnumbered as WW-I if not more so, thus help was
clearly needed. High tech weapons , like the ones mentioned above, could have made a hugh difference! Of course Hitler saw german race and willpower
as weapons and relied on them instead
Consider instead if the german war effort had been run by groups as competant and practical as the Allied command was forced to be?Its not that much
of a leap of logic as one might think.
Massive Synthetic fuel plants would have been put into production from the late 30s on using 'Hyrdogenation' exclusively, instead of part
inefficent more costly 'Fischer Tropsch' plants. That would have netted fuel/oil self sufficency by the begining of the war and lead to a 50%
increase in overall production /storage by late war [1944/45]. German combat operations would not have been constrained by the growing historical fuel
shortages from 1942 on.
The war in 'France' and 'Battle of Britian', would have been used to kick in the 'total war economy' and push rocket/jet/missile programs to the
front of development. Historically German economy did evolve into the total war but only over four years. If the option to 'total war' was selected
in late 1940 as a result of the 'russia first policy, britain second' ,based on a more realistic appreciation of soviet war potential, then massive
increase in production would have occured in 1942/43 not 44.
One way to simulate and study this effect, would be to advance all production historical figures atleast one year, but using the existing prodution
types. So in 1941 , instead of 3700 '1941 tanks and spguns' produced and another 500 converted ,you have 7500 '1941 tanks and spguns' produced
On top of that massive production increase , you have a flood of high tech weapons emerging into the production lines. Short range radio Guided glide
bombs mounted on Condor multi engined bombers scouring the oceans in at the end of 1941 /42 . In early/mid 1942 the Me-262 is ready for development
along with V-1. Mass production of both items begins in early 1943.
The first Panzerfaust enter massive prodution in late 1942, a year ahead of service, while the PW-600 light ATGun enters massive production in late
1943/early 1944 , doubling ATgun production to 24,000 units. Meanwhile in 1944 about 8000 Panthers are produced and 12,000 Hetzers & 3000
waffentraggers [mounting 105 & 150mm Howitzers or 88mm ATguns] are produced along with 50,000 half tracks [1/2 SPW rest Mules] and 1/4 million other
If you push back all the special high tech weapons by 18 months or so , you end up with ...
In late 1943 about 300-400 Me 262 jets operational each eqipped with an air to air R4M rocket battery.
By early 1944, about 900 Wasserfall radio guided SAMs [essentially a mini V-2 SAM] a month production capability launching from ~ 20 SAM sites.
Mid 1944 X-4 air to air wire guided missile would go into widespread use on the operational Me-262 jets [ 4 per jet] and the FW-190s [two per jet].
These changes alone , would halt American day light bombing raids and convert to night time bombing or tactical bombing support role leaving the
german fuel industry intact. The radar tracking of the Wasserfall SAM would mean night bombing would become more costly, but it could be expected that
allied bombers would eventually adapt the radio jamming technology developed to counter german antiship missiles , towards special 'Radio Wild
Weasel' jamming B-17s.
In early 1944 the Me-262 production would be up to ~400 month , but now each would be produced as the two seater night fighter. Mean while through out
mid to late 1944 , the FW Ta-183 jet/ interceptor would be developed and tested , ready for massive production with an anticipated monthly production
of ~700 through out 1945. This single engined jet fighter was essentialy a Mig-15 jet with four X-4 AAMs each.
Initial success with the V-1 would show that these weapons would be only valuable as terror weapons since their accuracy/ payload was far worse than
conventional bombers [ Each allied bomber was dropping 3-4 tons within 1500m CEP, while the V-1 was 1 ton within 13km CEP] and discontinued due to the
cost vs merrit of these systems. Instead the developement effort would be split between the Wasserfall SAM [up to 5000 month production] and the
Rheinbote SSM[~ 1500-2000 month production?].
The Rheinbote SSM would become in 1944 an Army Group massed rocket barrage weapon firing scores , several hundred km at detected enemy army
buildups/staging areas or airfields etc. With a CEP of ~ 13km it would be of little value unless the radio guidance system historically developed for
the V-2 SSM could be instead developed for the Rheinbot SSM, in which case CEP would be reduced to 5-7km radius.
In any event thats the flight of fancy that some consider with respects to WW-II high tech weapons, and what could have been done with better
management. We are really lucky that dictators tend to surround them selves with 'yes men' and become deluded by tunnel vision, while democracys
have harsh but healthy internal dialogues , that force a more global view to be taken and to avoid such embarracing problems occuring
[edit on 19-12-2004 by psteel]
[edit on 19-12-2004 by psteel]