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What if: Luftwaffe raid on US east coast cities

luftwaffe atlantic USA Doolittle bomber hypothetical

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#1 Heräkulman Ruhtinas

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Posted 05 December 2015 - 02:20 PM

Hello Sirs,

 

Disclaimer: I apologize if this has been discussed earlier. Could not find the exact scenario I was thinking with search.

 

Scenario as follows:

 

After USA joining the WW2, Germany realizes that obviously it is not going to be good, so that something must be done. They decide to mount a surprise strike to some US east coast cities (New York/Washington/Portland/Boston) with limited amount of long-range bombers. This is not to cause much damage, more like in way of the Doolittle raid, to have a moral effort and to tell the enemy that they are not safe.

 

This will happen late 1942 or 1943, using Me.264 or Ju.390 planes (can suggest others but I think these are the only ones with range for return). As such, this would be with small  bombload, maybe 1000 - 1500kg per plane, and would be directed towards port installations or governmental buildings. Also, the amount of planes will be something like 10-20.

 

They would probably need a few subs or ships as radio beacons for navigating aid. This works a bit under assumption that this plan is not revealed to allies through Enigma/Bletchley Park and Luftwaffe can at least obtain a surprise until they take off (meaning that allies do not have knowledge of such operation being undertaken)

 

Thoughts? I think this would slow down the allied effort and make them do some more considerations, like building a air-defence and radar network in US east coast (As I understood there was not much at that time, correct me if I am wrong). Also as such, I think that one or two this kind of raids in short time could succeed, after that the element of surprise would be lost and air-defence network would catch up.

 

Also I think that for initial raids, the bombers would be nearly impossible to catch unless there would be a CAP in near vicinity. The mission profile used would be bit like with the "Steinbock" -raids, giving the bombers a good escape velocity. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 03:55 PM

Hi Heräkulman,

 

yes, I think we discussed this already years ago. I also cannot find the thread. To discuss this systematically, we need answers to the following questions:

 

1) Would this be a good idea?

 

2) Would this be possible to realize? And this is to be split into two threads:

 

2A) Would this be possible to realize when nothing else changes?

 

2B) Would this be possible to realize when considerable changes take place?

 

 

So, to question 1), I think, the whole thing is a matter of diversification. As one will never cause much damage by this, it may only be worthwile when the US leadership gets in panic and thinks its east coast needs more protection, so forces needed elsewhere become transferred to the place. This may happen or not.

 

To question 2A) I quote from memory, the Me 264 made its first flight in December 1942 and then stood there for months, waiting for a change of engines. It got a very low priority. This happened because Luftwaffe chief of general staff Jeschonnek had decided "no changes for 1943, we do everything with our old planes", to minimize the expenses. The result was the failed Kursk offensive.

 

To 2B), I once asked a German historian if in his opinion Germany could ever got the Me 264 service-ready. He said no. You may remember the "What if" topics a friend of mine and me created for a scenario about what could have done if Hitler had been toppled in late 1942. When there is everything concentrated on an offensive against Allied shipping, the Me 264 and Ju 390 had been welcome to share, but still would not have been there. The Me 264 was a way difficult to fly that it needed bigger constructive changes, especially a bigger wing, which would make it even more weighty and needing probably 6 engines. So you can assume a German B-36 necessary to be constructed, with all consequences, the same for the thought creating a first-class bomber from the Ju 390.

 

But: If the Axis powers had conquered Britain and the US still don't give up (the further idea is, after Germany and Italy control the complete Red Sea, Japan transfers her battlefleet and remaing carrier fleet to the Mediterranean, from there actions against Britain are possible), transatlantic bombers get their chance in contributing to control this ocean.

 

Regards, RT



#3 Heräkulman Ruhtinas

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 08:54 PM

Hi,

 

good systematic approach is always welcome.

 

1. Yes, that would be the main idea, diversification. Whether it would work or not is another thing. The German High Command line of thought is that US Government will make a panic reaction and will pull out or lessen effort in ETO. The had all kinds of plans to achieve this.

 

2A. I think, without stretching OTL too much, this could be doable. Maybe with an half of an effort to a better maritime patrol plane (Me.264 originally was a patrol plane I understood) or actual long-range plane program (Derivative of Me.261?).

 

2B. There was a Me.264/6m paper project, but doubtful that would be ready anytime before 1945 even with higher priority. Ju.390 flew in 1943 and really never passed prototype stage, Me.264 as you remembered.

 

Speculation follows:

If UK would have been forced or negotiated out of war, there would not be a reason to attack USA, my guess is that USA and Germany would have gone to a truce, USA supplying stuff to USSR but not in extent as with lend-lease, state of cold war being over Atlantic. USA taking Japan first and looking over USSR and Reich trying to terminate each other.


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Heräkulman Ruhtinas

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#4 Ricky

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 08:07 PM

Those pesky Brits, eh?

I remember quite liking this idea, as if it worked the USA would have to devote a lot of resources to cover their enormous coastline - it would be even better if the Germans could persuade Japan to launch a few more submarine-launched bombing raids on the west coast. Maximum diversion of resources for a minimal outlay. After all, the bombing campaigns could be very irregular or even suspended after the first few raids

#5 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 07:33 PM

Those pesky Brits, eh?
 

Yes Ricky, you are right. Optimal geographic location, some ships, good strategic overview, and intransigence. Abbreviated "p-e-s-k-y" (the letters don't match, but what does it matter). The German strategic nightmare (until 1945). Or, in other words, see what 20 miles Channel distance make a difference.

 

2A. I think, without stretching OTL too much, this could be doable.

No Sir. I don't know what differerence the pressurized cabin and the remote-controlled turrets make, but you must compare the effort for the B-29 to the one you speculatively need to get the Me 264 service-ready, and you can calculate when this will be completed. Also, the Me 264 (please drop the dots) has to fit into an overall production plan.

Further, please explain what you mean with "OTL". Here is a list: http://www.abbreviations.com/OTL "Obese Taiwanese Leprechauns" sound nice, but is probably not your point.

 

2A. Maybe with an half of an effort to a better maritime patrol plane (Me.264 originally was a patrol plane I understood) or actual long-range plane program (Derivative of Me.261?).

Originally, the Me 264 was meant as transporter for southern fruits, so it got its nickname "banana plane". It offered the chance to perform strikes some thousand km out of the zone controlled by the Reich, so why be content with less? The Me 261 was a very different concept. The relationship between 264 and 261, grossly spoken, was the one between Lancaster and Mosquito.

 

2B. There was a Me.264/6m paper project, but doubtful that would be ready anytime before 1945 even with higher priority. Ju.390 flew in 1943 and really never passed prototype stage, Me.264 as you remembered.

The question is, what can you put into the hands of a not too experienced pilot? The B-29 was also difficult to fly, I wonder how they manage "FiFi" today.

 

Speculation follows:

If UK would have been forced or negotiated out of war, there would not be a reason to attack USA, my guess is that USA and Germany would have gone to a truce, USA supplying stuff to USSR but not in extent as with lend-lease, state of cold war being over Atlantic. USA taking Japan first and looking over USSR and Reich trying to terminate each other.

I don't think so. Short before Britain fell, Churchill would have fled to Canada to continue the war. Roosevelt also would not have done any arrangement with Germany. There would not be any chance for a truce, if only Lindbergh had toppled Roosevelt. For a truce, Germany also would have broken her alliance with Japan, for no reason. After Britain were out, there would be a good chance to stop the US meddling in the Old World. A "sea stalemate" (I quote from memory) is seen by historians. Hard to say what would follow.

 

Regards, RT



#6 Heräkulman Ruhtinas

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 07:10 PM

Obese Taiwanese Leprechaus sounds tasty! Like the Orange Tree Licker too!

 

Original Time Line, often used in alternate history discussions.

 

1942 / 43 Luftwaffe Kampfgeschwadern had still a lot of experienced pilots, even after BoB and Stalingrad. They started the real bloodletting of bomber pilots somewhere in 1944. Pilots with experience of planes like Me 323, He 177 and Fw 200.  So I think pilot / navigator / bombardier for 20 planes is not an issue.

 

Speculation part:

If I remember correct, Roosevelt was an advocate of isolationist policy and was not too keen in getting to war ... so in this case, UK is beaten in submission, makes truce, Ireland keeps friendly relations with the Reich and there is no need for Germany to declare war to USA. I was not thinking that UK would have been occupied.


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#7 CORSNING

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 08:03 PM

What? :blink: Wow! :wacko: Is anybody following this conversation? :huh: Ricky, what are you doing? You been giving Japan information on our west coast line defense? :o

Herakulman, UK beaten into submission :o . Sir, I say never! :angry:  Us over on this side of the Atlantic would not have it. :angry:  We will be there for God and country when called upon..... Just a minute, Dear where did you put my pint?...................thank you dear. Where was I? Oh, yes, no need for Germany to declare war on the USA (1941)? Right then,........dear where did you say my pint was?......Sorry, I will have to get back with you chaps.

 

Just kidding guys. Very interesting discussion that has gotten too deep for me, but still interesting....carry on then. Jeff :)


Edited by CORSNING, 10 December 2015 - 09:17 PM.


#8 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 07:26 AM

Original Time Line, often used in alternate history discussions.

Thank you for explaining. Is the term "Battle of Kansas" familiar to you? Meaning the US needed the whole countries' industry to get all components of the B-29 together and working (besides all other armament needs, one part of the US armament miracle of WWII). I did not do too much research about it, but I just cannot imagine such a performance to be done by Germany (for the Me 264). When a systematic armament approach was done by Speer, it was already too late.

 

1942 / 43 Luftwaffe Kampfgeschwadern had still a lot of experienced pilots, even after BoB and Stalingrad. They started the real bloodletting of bomber pilots somewhere in 1944. Pilots with experience of planes like Me 323, He 177 and Fw 200.  So I think pilot / navigator / bombardier for 20 planes is not an issue.

That's not the point. I have a source stating the Me 264 was still difficult to fly even for the most experienced test pilots.

 

Speculation part:

If I remember correct, Roosevelt was an advocate of isolationist policy and was not too keen in getting to war ...

The contrary is true. Roosevelt had gone to war much earlier had the Congress not stopped him. In Casablanca, Churchill and Roosevelt demanded unconditional surrender. As much as I mean to understand them, they were not only addressing the Axis. They were talking about themselves as well. For them, there was no way out of the war but unconditional surrender, even if it had to be theirs.

 

Speculation part:

I was not thinking that UK would have been occupied.

IMHO the Axis could not win the war if Britain is not occupied.

 

Speculation part:

UK is beaten in submission, makes truce, ...

There is no way to beat the UK without completely cutting her Atlantic supplies, what means to beat the US Atlantic force (and the British navy as well).

 

Speculation part:

... and there is no need for Germany to declare war to USA.

The German (and Italian) war declaration this day 74 years ago was only a clarification of the already existing state of the matters. Remember the Anglo-Saxon countries could have peace with the Axis any time they wanted, given the Axis countries can keep their state as great powers. The Western Allies had other plans.

 

dear where did you say my pint was?...... :blink: :wacko: :)

Jeff, sorry to disregard your health, but as the Western world is now in danger of islamization, please also consider drinking alcohol and loose female clothing is also a form of political resistance!bia.gif

 

Best regards, RT



#9 flying kiwi

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 08:42 AM

 

Speculation part:

If I remember correct, Roosevelt was an advocate of isolationist policy and was not too keen in getting to war ... so in this case, UK is beaten in submission, makes truce, Ireland keeps friendly relations with the Reich and there is no need for Germany to declare war to USA. I was not thinking that UK would have been occupied.

 

Everything I know contradicts this. Roosevelt effectively entered the war well before any declaration, opposed by an isolationist Congress. Ships were exchanged for basing rights, the USN helped with convoy escorts, US Naval yards helped repair RN ships........

 

www.boundless.com/u-s-history/textbooks/boundless-u-s-history-textbook/from-isolation-to-world-war-ii-1930-1943-26/conflict-in-europe-202/america-s-growing-involvement-in-wwii-1109-9746/



#10 CORSNING

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 10:51 AM

Islamization! :blink:  I say Never! :angry: Just because I wear loose female clothing when I am drinking a sweet red wine, does not mean that I would even consider wrapping a towel around my head. :huh:

PS: Unless I just die colored my hair to match my eyes. :)  :P  :D  :lol:  


Edited by CORSNING, 11 December 2015 - 01:32 PM.






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