Strategic bombing during World War II

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7490
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby RF » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:45 am

lynn1212 wrote: there's a long list of things that germany had to import in order to rearm and bauxite was near the top of the list. from my reading i understand that a major reason that heavy bombers were largely ignored was the simple fact that it took several times the aluminum to build a bomber that it took to build a fighter.


Germany's imports of bauxite I believe were sourced from Hungary, supplies continuing up until February 1945, so I wouldn't have thought that in itself was a major problem. Hungary imported most of its manufactured goods from Germany as well, so foreign exchange in that case shouldn't be a problem either.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
Herr Nilsson
Senior Member
Posts: 1036
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Germany

Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Herr Nilsson » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:52 am

Well, at least for the German navy and its shipyards it was ordered to save Aluminium at almost any cost. I've a copy of the directive in my private collection.

Al.JPG
(96.33 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Regards

Marc

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7490
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby RF » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:12 pm

Dated May 1940. There could be a whole array of reasons for this and given the degree of organisational inefficiencies in the way the German economy functioned there were constant shortages of skilled labour and materials particulary prior to 1942. Shortages of materials even included coal, of which Germany was itself a major world producer. I also have the impression that German shipyards seemed to be particulary badly hit by these sorts of problems, from the weight of ancedotal evidence that keeps cropping up, such as for example the quality of welds on Bismarck's stern.

Later in WW2 of course the interdiction of transport and distribution ifrastructure by Allied bombing made the shortages worse.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
Dave Saxton
Supporter
Posts: 2882
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains USA

Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby Dave Saxton » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:01 pm

..I also have the impression that German shipyards seemed to be particulary badly hit by these sorts of problems, from the weight of ancedotal evidence that keeps cropping up, such as for example the quality of welds on Bismarck's stern.


No, the problems related to the Bismarck's stern has little to do with material quality of the welds or the parent metals. The quality of the materials was the best in the world at the time and even today would be considered top quality. Even the welding techniques would be little diffrent from today. The problems with the joints was the result of design restrictions imposed by the Kriegsmarine. Until mid 1939 the KM forbad welding directly to armoured bulkheads so some joint designs that incorporrated both riveting and fillet welds were used in some places instead. This was likely the root cause of most joint failures. Furthermore, if stresses involved were greater than the strength of the welded joints it will appear that the welds failed when there is actually no quality problem with the welds at all.

The quality of the steel plates of both the construction steel and the armour materials of German warships was unaffected by shortages, particuarly pre-war. The construction steel developed by the Germans during the 1930s was designed to be weldable and is the basis of marine construction steel used worldwide today.

German homonegous armour was not a nickel/chromium alloy but of a new innovative and different type of steel than the Ni/Cr steel used elsewhere. It was based on the chromium/molybdenum family of electric furnace steels. Some advantages of this cutting edge metalurgy was the ability to treat the steel to greater levels of tensile strength and hardness without embrittling it, and it was more weldable. Additionally, being produced by electric arc furnace technology it could utilize for the most part recycled materials tightly controlling the contents, and be produced almost free of impurities such as sulfer.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

User avatar
wadinga
Senior Member
Posts: 922
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 3:49 pm
Location: Tonbridge England

Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby wadinga » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:14 pm

All,

I suspect even Voltaire might have second thoughts today in a world where gullible millions can be told (and many believe) the CIA and Mossad blew up the Twin Towers and used holograms to convince people aircraft were involved. :D


The non-Holocaust denier (1974 version) David Irving's "Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe" is apparently based on lengthy consultations with Milch and confirms aluminium shortage as a critical factor in the decision not to pursue the development of the four engine Ju 89 and Do 19. Milch blames Kesselring and Jeschonnek for influencing Goering on cancellation, although another source, Diechmann, says it was perhaps Milch himself who made the suggestion to concentrate on twin engine designs. Irving says "The records do indeed show that of the 4,500 tons of aluminium required monthly for aircraft manufacture, only about half was currently available." Goring had inquired "How many twin-engined aircraft can we make for each four-engined one?" the reply was "About two and a half". "The Fuhrer" concluded Goring, "does not ask me how big my bombers are, but how many there are."
Of course, there was no need to totally terminate the four engine bomber programme. Vital development work could have proceeded on a limited basis with a view to gaining experience for a time when more resources were available, but reason and logic was not the Nazi way. Factions attempted to push forward their own concepts to the detriment of others, through egotistical competition not co-operation. Since dive bombing had proved successful in Spain, even the twin-engine bombers to be developed, like the Ju 88, would have to be strengthened (and thus made far heavier) to withstand the stress of the dive.

The disastrous effect of placing the charismatic Udet in charge of aircraft production and development was evident from his descent into clinical depression, drug addiction and finally suicide, when the catalogue of delay, wasteful development of failing designs, and general incompetence came to light. Of course Goering disowned all responsibility, and as late as 1943 was claiming he knew tandem engines would never work and that twin-engine dive bombers were a bad idea.

When it came to using what they had in the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe had to operate under Hitler's constraint:
Hitler's No. 17 Directive, issued 1 August 1940 on the conduct of war against England specifically prohibited Luftwaffe from conducting terror raids on its own initiative, and reserved the right of ordering terror attacks as means of reprisal for the Führer himself:
"The war against England is to be restricted to destructive attacks against industry and air force targets which have weak defensive forces... The most thorough study of the target concerned, that is vital points of the target, is a pre-requisite for success. It is also stressed that every effort should be made to avoid unnecessary loss of life amongst the civilian population."

:shock: Humanity from the Fuhrer? No, just the last vestiges of disappearing reason. The RAF, uniquely in Europe, had the ability to pound German cities in retaliation, so the Luftwaffe would tread carefully and not provoke a major attack. British civilians still died, but as collateral damage during raids on "legitimate" targets, as German civilians did when the RAF went after similar locations. Hitler still hoped the British would accept his terms, making it unnecessary to make good on his empty threat of "He is coming, He is coming!", i.e. the highly problematic seaborne invasion, and launching terror bombing on any serious scale would wreck this. As we know, lost Luftwaffe bombers hit central London first, and RAF retaliation against Berlin followed. Then an outraged Hitler unleashed his direct assault on the civilian population of London and many other UK cities. Irving says Milch noted in November 1940 that over 15,000 British civilians had been killed by Luftwaffe raids since the start of the war whereas only 975 Germans had been killed by the RAF, half as many as were killed in road accidents in the Fatherland.

Of course, there is another significant element to this. Nazism was an evangelical movement. It expected to eventually convert the working masses of its opponents into willing adherents, once their ruling classes and any inconvenient protesting democratically-oriented intellectuals were swept away.

The 5 April 1941 Luftflotte 4 operations order for the attack on Belgrade opened with: “The task of the Luftwaffe is:
a) the annihilation of the enemy’s air force through the destruction of the aircraft on the ground and in the air and the barracks and similar infrastructure
b) destruction of Belgrade through massive attack; destruction of individual factories.”
“government buildings, the War Ministry, the Royal Palace, Parliament, barracks, etc., in order to eliminate the unified military command authority in Yugoslavia.”
“to minimize losses among the civilian population that lived in close proximity to the attack targets (“…um die Verluste unter der Zivilbevölkerung, die in unmittelbarer Nachbarschaft der Angriffsobjekte lebt, möglichst gering zu halten.”).”
Sensitivity from the Fuhrer? No, just practicality, since previously King Paul and his faction , before their overthrow, had been prepared to be allied with Hitler, massive civilian casualties would merely alienate the Yugoslavs. They needed to be brought back on side before “Barbarossa” . However, there may still have been as many as 4,000 civilian casualties during the Luftwaffe’s “surgical strike” on the capital.

For the Jews and other untermenschen there were no such considerations, just the bullet or the gas chamber or starvation to death in a work camp.

Dave,
the particular “academic hypothesis” spawned here is “That's false becuase it runs into the assumption that because the nazis were "nazis" then they would have commit genocide against all it's enemies. A lie. Why? Because if we see History the Germans were not keen to attack cities or target civilians in terror attacks as the allies did in a methodological way. “ and “But the allies attacked Germany in the most criminal deliberate way for five years with the sole purpose of killing old men, women and children. There is plain documentation to prove this point easily.” If debunking such revisionist NN twaddle with fact is witch-hunting, well call me Matthew Hopkins and pass the Swan Vestas. :evil:

Byron,
Whilst the savagery of the attack on Pearl harbour and American interests in the Phillipines undoubtedly caused outrage and a thirst for righteous vengence, one can only speculate on the response of the United States had Allied bombing not mortally damaged German industrial capability. If the Amerika bomber or the V2 submarine barge projects had reached fruition, American civilians could have died in their thousands within sight of Times Square or the Capitol building. A different matter entirely.
The Allies used all the means at their disposal to defeat Nazi Germany as quickly as possible, to avoid these eventualities.

They sowed the wind, they reaped the whirlwind.

All the best
wadinga
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7490
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby RF » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:31 am

wadinga wrote: They sowed the wind, they reaped the whirlwind.
wadinga


About as good a description as anybody can get.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
19kilo
Member
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:46 am

Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby 19kilo » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:15 pm

I agree.

User avatar
aurora
Senior Member
Posts: 683
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:31 pm
Location: YORKSHIRE

Re: Strategic bombing during World War II

Postby aurora » Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:58 pm

A quote from Robin Neillands' "The Bomber War" seems fitting :

"War erodes humanity.When Britain went to war in 1939, it was accepted that if the RAF could not attack a target without putting civilian at risk-the target should not be attacked at all.That policy was introduced partly from humanitarian motives,partly to impress neutral nations and partly to attract approval of the President of the United States,who had asked all belligerents to refrain from attacking cities,partly for fear of retaliation. Nazi Germany followed the same course but could not maintain it.Japan did not even try to do so and sent squadron after squadron of bombers to pound the helpless citizens of Shanghai and Nanking before the war spread to the west"

What happened to Britain's restraint- is all chronicled in the foregoing posts of this splendid thread; and Germany suffered a holocaust of death and destruction in it's cities.
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim


Return to “World War II”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest