Luftwaffe torpedo planes

Guns, torpedoes, mines, bombs, missiles, ammunition, fire control, radars, and electronic warfare.
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marcelo_malara
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Post by marcelo_malara » Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:55 pm

Thanks Dave.

Do you know the tonage sunk by them?

Do you (or anyone) think that if the role had been asigned to the Kriegsmarine more resources and importance would have been allocated to the role?

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Post by Erich » Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:04 pm

the biggest problem with the KM is the non-association with the Luftwaffe. There was not a serious connection but in truth a denial of space. Sounds strange but it is true

One of the very instances is the correlation of the LW Ju 290 gruppe FAGr 5 flying from SW France on long range Recee thus giving another pair of eyes to the sea-bearing U-booten arm. Sadly for this marriage of forces there were never enough LW Ju 290's in the air at any one time nor able to cover the Atlantic like wished.
Also do not forget the willingness of the LW bomber gruppen to apply torpedo bombers along with KG 40's mix of He 177 and Fw 200 Kondors on bombing strikes and the later war useage of the air to ship rocket-bombs on Allied shipping convoys

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Dave Saxton
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Post by Dave Saxton » Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:51 pm

Erich is 100% correct about the poor co-operation between Navy and Airforce. Much had to do with the personal dislike Raeder and Goring had for each other.

24 ships were sunk from PQ17, but I don't know the exact percentages sunk by Ju88's, and those by U-boats. More than 1/2 were sunk by the bombers.

Some of the most effective use of German torpedo bombers was in the Med. On occasion the Italian torpedo bombers scored some success, (hitting HMS Nelson with a torpedo and sinking a transport) but for the most part, the Italian Airforce demonstrated about as much effectiveness as did their Navy, and German airpower had to be diverted to the Med. Goring was dead set against using his Airforce to attack shipping in the Med, but Raeder eventually talked Hitler into ordering the 10th Air Corps to the Med in early 1941.

They scored 6 bomb hits on HMS Illustrious on Jan 10th, and sank the cruiser Southhampton with torpedos on the 11th. The intervention of 10th Air Corps was only temporary, being redeployed to the East after a very short time.

The absence of a strong German air presence in the Med proved counter productive, and by autum, the 10th was once again deployed to the Med along with the Second Air Corps, which specialized in attacking shipping at night.

On March 20th 1942 a strongly guarded convoy to Matla from Alexandria was not intercepted by the Italian Navy, and so 2nd Air Corps Ju88's attacked just after night fall, as the convoy approached harbor. Two ships, the 7000 ton Clan Cambell and the supply ship Breconshire were sunk outside of harbor, and the remaining merchantmen in harbor, with almost the entire cargo from the convoy lost. This is just one example.

Although, the Lufwaffe anti-ship operations using torpedo /divebombers in the Med were highly successful, Hitler and Goring both coudn't wait to redeploy these forces, partly because they feared the next logical step following greater Axis success in the Med: the occupation of Malta.

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Post by marcelo_malara » Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:50 pm

Dave, so I am right to believe that if the torpedo/bombers had been owned by the Kriegsmarine greater success would have been atained due to the simple fact that they wouldn´t have been sent to land theaters?

Do you have the exact figure (ships or tonage) sunk by the Luftwaffe?

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Post by Dave Saxton » Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:06 pm

I don't know the exact tonnage sunk, or the losses of the German aircraft in exchange.

I agree that greater success would probably have been attained under direct KM command, but there's no way of knowing for sure.

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Post by Erich » Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:32 pm

Dave you are right there that is fact.

Gents all I can say for reading/doing serious research about the Atlantic shipping and LW air campaign a big word comes to mind and that is :

~ STUPID ~

there has already been proven records enough to state that with the proper links together the two forces may have been such a huge threat that Allied convoys either would of slowed down, taken a totally different route(s) or would of been eliminated altogether but it was not to be, too many huge egos from the Third Reich hierarchy planning and implementing which led to almost nil success over the ocean.

as a side token there are many photos of the tails of Ju 88, He 111's sporting ship kills with the appropriate dates but upon further research, many so-called kills were in fact damaged ships that returned to Allied controlled ports. Am still looking for a reported total of Allied and Soviet shipping sunk by the LW during the war broken down by years.

an excellent two volume set to have for study if interested are Chris Goss's : Sea Eagles published by Classic, under their Classic Colours line-Luftwaffe Colours
many first person accts, photos, beautiful art-work

last but not least this could BE the book : Sönke Neitzels: Der Einsatz de Deutschen Luftwaffe über dem Atlantik und der Nordsee 1939-1945, Bernard and Graefe Verlag, all in German, many charts, some photos, excellent references posted. copyright 1995 ISBN: 3-7637-5938-7

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marcelo_malara
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Post by marcelo_malara » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:16 am

Am still looking for a reported total of Allied and Soviet shipping sunk by the LW during the war broken down by years.
Erich, do you mean that the records doesn´t exist?

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Post by Erich » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:54 am

I think there is a record of total tonnage sunk but where exactly I do not know at the time Marcelo. I have so many books in my collection it could very easily be in one of them and not even know it, but truthfully I do not recall seeing one given. Surely somewhere hidden in the German Archivs in Berlin, Aachen or Freiburg there must be something, even if it is just typed or handwritten unit histories, but having said that it would be a nightmare to try and figure as not all LW unit actions are recorded down.

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Post by marcelo_malara » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:58 am

Thanks Erich.

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Post by Erich » Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:03 am

Marcelo and others I will try and look through several volumes in the next week or so to see what comes up.......... who knows maybe something will show

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Post by RF » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:36 pm

In the Med the Germans would have seen the Italian torpedo bombers in action. I have read somewhere (this was a long time ago) that the Germans used some of these Italian planes to attack the Arctic convoys.
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Post by Ramius » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:22 pm

Never heard that before (although that doesn't mean it is not true) :think: I thought they would have just used Stukas.

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Post by tommy303 » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:26 pm

If I remember correctly, the first Luftwaffe torpedo squadrons were formed in the fall of 1941, utilizing the Italian aerial torpedoes. Planes which were normally employed were He-111 and Ju-88.

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Post by Ramius » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:30 pm

Yeah, that makes sense. Speaking of the devil, are these torpedoes underneath or fuel tanks or something?
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RF
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Re: Luftwaffe´s torpedo planes

Post by RF » Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:00 pm

Some time ago I recall that one month in early 1941 the Luftwaffe actually sank more merchant ships in the Atlantic than U-boats, a claim that was repeated in the episode ''Wolf Pack'' in the World at War TV series.
As a guestimate I would think the quantity of shipping destroyed (as opposed to being damaged as obviously not all ships attacked will be sunk) in the open North Atlantic by Luftwaffe planes would be in the order of 300,000 to 350,000 tons, in the most part smaller ships that would be easier to sink with the limited bombloads. This does not include the Arctic convoys or the Meditteranean theatre.

This figure by comparison is with 830,000 tons sunk by hilfskreuzer over three and a half years, and about 9 million tons sunk by U-Boats. Regular KM warshps combined sank about 280,000 tons, some 40% of that figure accounted for on Operation Berlin, the remainder by the pocket battleships and Hipper.
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