ME109s during the Battle of Britian question

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posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 04:54 PM
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This isn't exactly a conspiracy but i was hoping that some of the aircraft experts could answer this question. I looked online and couldn't find an answer.

During the battle of Britain one of the problems the Luftwaffe had was the fighter aircraft running out of fuel. The pilots were faced with making a decision, to stay and engage the RAF and have the possibility of running out of fuel and crashing in enemy territory or the channel.

Why weren't they equipped with drop tanks? It seems like a very simple solution?




posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 05:11 PM
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What a great question.

Not got an answer, except I thought it was the English planes that were limited in their combat time, probably as they were planned as interceptors.

Having said that, I will be interested to read an experienced persons correction and answer to your question.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by drock905
 


Actually, several versions did have drop tanks fitted, both a 300 liter drop tank and an 80 liter jettisonable tank under the fuselage. I can tell you, though, that you don't fight with tanks on. 300 liters of av fuel weighs about 450 pounds, or more than a ton in a 5 g turn. For the Battle of Britain, Germany could base the 109s in NW France, the coast of which is only a very few miles from the coast of England.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by drock905
 


I am no expert but from what I recall when talking to vets at a 8th AF, 100 BG meeting in Savannah, Georgia a few years ago, the Me-109 had issues with balance between external fuel tanks and the rare bomb they might carry. These were basically fighters and using them like Ju-87 (Stukas) really caused issues with pilots. In the battle of Britain, earlier Me-109s had extended wing plants for diving that completely failed and then also hampered their abilities against the Hawker Hurricanes that came before the Supermarine Spitfires were dominant.

I suggest looking up the 8th Air Force website at Pooler (Savannah) Georgia and writing for more info. They are very good at responding to questions like this. URL follows -
mightyeighth.org...



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 07:22 PM
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en.wikipedia.org... seems they had multitude of roles but were designed as interceptors not long range fighters at least originality

www.spitfireperformance.com... comparison of the spitfire to the 109

www.youtube.com...

video of archival footage of battle of britan

www.battleofbritainexperience.co.uk...


i think it is also relevent to point out part of the british success was because of early warning radar which made interception of german planes easier

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by drock905
This isn't exactly a conspiracy but i was hoping that some of the aircraft experts could answer this question. I looked online and couldn't find an answer.

During the battle of Britain one of the problems the Luftwaffe had was the fighter aircraft running out of fuel. The pilots were faced with making a decision, to stay and engage the RAF and have the possibility of running out of fuel and crashing in enemy territory or the channel.

Why weren't they equipped with drop tanks? It seems like a very simple solution?



IIRC1 Staffel or Gruppe was equipped with them - but they were still experimental and the vast majority of a/c had not been modified to accept them.

Edit: Can't find reference to any experimetnal use - I may be thinking of Er 210 which had fighter bombers.

But they had 300l drop tanks before the BoB for the Ju-87R.

the E-7 was the first 109 production model equiped to carry them, and didn't start arriving until August 1940. Apparently by November 1940 many earlier models had been mod'ed to carry them also - see this Axis history forum thread.

the question about "why not?" probably comes back to lack of foresight - they'd not needed them before & hadn't thought it through properly.
edit on 26-2-2013 by Aloysius the Gaul because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 09:04 PM
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Germany had developed a 66-gallon drop tank but by the time it was ready the Battle of Britain was all ready over.



posted on Feb, 27 2013 @ 10:19 PM
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The Bf-110 was supposed to be the long-range bomber escort, and it's performance was not equal to the single engine fighters. The OKL was slow to give up on the Bf-110 as an escort. Single-engine fighters such as the Bf-109 weren't designed for long range (neither were the Hurricane or Spitfire for that matter). They sacrificed the fuel-volume/weight/drag for their more nimble performance. The Emils and later versions were eventually plumbed for tanks.



posted on Feb, 28 2013 @ 03:32 AM
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Don't forget, no decent fighter pilot dogfights with tanks on.



posted on Feb, 28 2013 @ 05:09 AM
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The BF 109 was originally a Swiss design, have you seen how small Switzerland is? I guess the design team thought the plane would not need long range?



posted on Feb, 28 2013 @ 05:19 AM
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Originally posted by _Del_
The Bf-110 was supposed to be the long-range bomber escort, and it's performance was not equal to the single engine fighters.


Actually its performance was better than quite a lot of single engined fighters - it was faster and could climb better than every allied fighter in 1939-40 except the Spitfire IIRC (and maybe the Gladiator could out-climb it too??).

But as a large aircraft it was insufficiently maneuverable to dogfight with almost any single engined a/c, and it lacked armour plating. Where it had sufficient speed advantage (eg vs Polish PZL's) it could pick when to fight and have an advantage, or where the opposition was disorganised such as in France it could do well.

But apparently the Germans well knew of it's inability to cope with single engined fighters - they had conducted mock dogfights between 110's and 109's before France and the 109's won all the time - 110 units had been warned about trying to dogfight with the French single-engined fighters.



posted on Feb, 28 2013 @ 05:25 AM
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Originally posted by pikestaff
The BF 109 was originally a Swiss design, have you seen how small Switzerland is?


How do you figure that??


The Swiss certainly bought some - but the designers were Willy Messerschmitt and Robert Lusser - both Germans, working in Germany.

It was originally designed as an interceptor - a role for which long range was not required in the specification



posted on Feb, 28 2013 @ 09:56 AM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


Well, at the time of the Battle of Britain they were less than mph faster than a Spit and were slightly slower than the Emil. It is true that they were faster than the earlier 109 models when introduced.
The wing loading was pretty low for it's size, much lower than the P-38 for example, which had higher maneuverability. The idea was that at high altitude the excess power would give them the advantage. And when used as such they did respectably in their role as an interceptor. I've often wondered what the results would have been if they had given fowler- or zap-flaps like the P-38 or P-61, both of which had fairly respectable maneuverability (the P-61, in particular).



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 07:20 PM
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reply to post by RalagaNarHallas
 


Your video is not archival. I'm afraid it is a cgi cartoon. One very blatant error it contains is that fighters did not swirl around the skies with guns blazing like that. A target was closed in on to around 250yds and fired at in two second bursts. The Spitfire shown in the video would have been out of ammo before he completed the turn.


As others have said, the Germans simply didnt figure they would need drop tanks, which they otherwise could have used to cross the channel and then ditch when crossing the coast to gain more time over England.

Although the Germans were perfectly aware of radar and had it themselves, they had not considered using it as an early warning air defence tool and so fighter control was a total mystery to them, the regularity and efficiency with which they were met by British fighters came as a complete shock.

Short range was not an issue for the RAF as the Spifires and Hurricanes were operating in their design role over home territory. Incidentally the Spitfire NEVER dominated in the Battle of Britain. The Hawker Hurricane shot down more enemy aircraft than all other defences (ie aircraft including Spitfires, AA Batteries etc) combined.

Other factors that tipped the Balance were the rather cavalier and amatuerish leadership of the Luftwaffe during the Battle that experienced and knowledgable pilots were often hamstrung by, plus the fact that RAF fighter Command grew in size during the course of the Battle while the Luftwaffe shrank so that by the end of September the German numerical superiority at the outset of the BoB was reversed.

German morale was also damaged by the constant, inaccurate, reassurances from Luftwaffe intelligence that the RAF was on its knees and down to its last few planes (a myth that many believe to this day) when in reality every raid was being met by swarms of hundreds of fighters.

The depletion of German numbers was partly offset by the introduction of Italian fighters and bombers late on, following their declaration of war on an enemy they thought all but defeated, but in actual combat over the UK the Italians were ineffective and of little help to the Luftwaffe and were quickly withdrawn again.

Study shows that the failings of the British side (stupidly rigid and outdated tactics at the outset, thinking the Boulton Paul Defiant was of any use in daytime, lack of large quantities of 100 octane fuel, canvas covered control surfaces that made Spitfires impossible to control in a high speed dive, carburetted engines that cut out in negative g turns etc) were quickly and efficiently dealt with, while German failings (winding down aircraft production in the belief the war was nearly over, rigidly observed 'chivalric' codes in which wingmen were made to leave targets for their leader and chaotic planning of raids etc) continued throughout the period of the Battle of Britain and were not addressed until later in the war when Russia was attacked. These are probably the most salient points IMO.



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 07:23 PM
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Hitler originally didn't plan to attack britian
so there was a certain lack of planning



posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 07:27 PM
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reply to post by Danbones
 


There is much truth in that. After the fall of France Hitler was sure Britain would co-operate and sue for peace but he was wrong. We were like the annoying kid that wouldn't go away



posted on Mar, 6 2013 @ 11:35 AM
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Just another opinion,

The german airforce primary doctrine was to support the german army in advances and the use of forward basing right behind the army negated the need to design in any long range fighters. The doctrine also explains why the germans felt no need for long range heavy bomber capabilities. I believe prototyping of heavy bombers came after the BoB ended but as history showed german efforts were hampered severely by lack of both long range fighters and long range heavy bombing capability. Everything they had in numbers was short to medium range at the start of the war and it can also be said that poor decisions throughout the rest of the war did not improve the situation much.



posted on Mar, 6 2013 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by drock905
This isn't exactly a conspiracy but i was hoping that some of the aircraft experts could answer this question. I looked online and couldn't find an answer.

During the battle of Britain one of the problems the Luftwaffe had was the fighter aircraft running out of fuel. The pilots were faced with making a decision, to stay and engage the RAF and have the possibility of running out of fuel and crashing in enemy territory or the channel.

Why weren't they equipped with drop tanks? It seems like a very simple solution?


I can ask John Vasco for you if you wish...Google him and get back to me if you want the answer you seek



posted on Mar, 6 2013 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by Phoenix
 


You are right. They did however fly prototypes of a four engined heavy bomber (google the Dornier Do 19) long before the British Short Stirling flew and became our first of that type. The Luftwaffe commander who was supporting the development of a strategic force was, though, killed in an accident in the 1930's and his ideas died with him. Lucky us.



posted on Mar, 6 2013 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by waynos
 


General Walther Wever was the heavy bomber proponent killed in an aircrash, General Albert Kesselring replaced him and supported Ernst Udets dive bombing doctrine.

General Wever foresaw the need to bomb the Ural mountain region of Russia in case of war back in the early to mid thirties.

Of course Goering went for larger production numbers of smaller aircraft used tactically instead of looking at strategic needs.

I am still amazed at some of the prototypes developed by the germans later but to late to effect the war as it went.

It always a wonder had Wever not died and heavy bombers were in the inventory would the germans have seen the need for their version of the P-51 as an escort. They were certainly capable of it.

edit on 6-3-2013 by Phoenix because: add comment





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