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Bombs on the German Synthetic Fuel Production in Summer 1941?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 09:38 AM

Hi friends,

 

my question, especially to the British among you is, do you see a chance for knocking out the German synthetic fuel production in the summer of 1941? The targets were well known to the British.

 

But they were deep inside Germany. Probably daylight attacks had been necessary. I mean the number of Lancaster bombers already introduced to the RAF was not very high then, and fighter escort could not have been foreseen.

 

I mean it was not possible. What do you say?

 

Thank you for your answers!

 

Regards, RT



#2 GregP

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 07:51 PM

Not too sure the British had the Lancasters if they were going to lose a significant number on early raids. They lost enough on the daylight bombing they did that they  went to night bombing, The accuracy went down, but so did the losses.

 

My question is this. Sure the British could have hit the fuel production facilities. But, early in the war, how long would they have been down? It might be worth the losses if you could shut off fuel production for a decent period of time, but rapid repairs make the task perhaps not worth the losses.

 

Later in the war, going for fuel as a target makes sense. Early in the war, I'm thinking that Germany could repair the damage and be back in business in a short time ... and then maybe turn to attacking British fuel storage and production and maybe moving strategic industry underground a bit sooner.

 

Good question, though.



#3 flying kiwi

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 09:45 PM

As far as I know, fuel was one of the targets from very early on. They did what they could, but with Whitleys, Wellingtons, and Hampdens, that wasn't much. Daylight attacks would probably have knocked out Bomber Command and they had neither the tactics nor the technology to hit much at night.

Wikipedia (I know) seems to confirm my ageing memory: 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_campaign_chronology_of_World_War_II



#4 Kutscha

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 03:47 AM

Germany had constructed twelve coal hydrogenation and nine Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) plants by the time World War II ended.

 

https://churlsgonewi...ss.com/tag/oil/

 
german-oil-production-1944.jpg


#5 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 05:05 PM

Hi friends,

 

I mean having read somewhere (but can't remember where) that, as Greg intends to say, the fuel production facilities were up again within weeks after being hit. So, keeping them down permanently might have needed "around the clock bombing" which might have attrited the British Bomber Command earlier than the German fuel suppy.

 

Kutscha's map shows quite a lot of the facilities being deep inside Germany, in Poland or Austria. Even for a Lancaster not too easy to reach, if bomb-loaden.

 

Kiwi's links tells no single effort in 1941 to bomb if only one of the German "fuel" targets.

 

Quick googling showed there are no new German sources on the subject. And the one's arguments that gave me the intention for this topic are questionable, as you contributed. Thank you!

 

Regards, RT 



#6 Kutscha

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 04:34 AM

Part of the problem was the bombs were too small (500lb) to do any real damage. This was also a problem with industrial targets - it damaged the buildings but not the machinery.

 

RT, Lancasters flew from England to northern Italy. Preserved Lancaster Q-Queen was one of these Lancasters.

 

A few years ago there was a thread on a board (forgot which one) that went to some depth on the attack on German oil. If I remember where will post the link.



#7 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 01:07 PM

Too small bombs? I thought the British were famous for their big bombs! The more grand the slam, the better! You say, they were developed only later?!

 

Yes industrial machinery was hard to destroy. But I mean having read (also forgot where), the equipment of a refinery is comparedly easy to knock out, but also not too hard to renew. Looks like I have to read more here.

 

Regards, RT



#8 Stony

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 04:01 PM

In 1941 there were surely no Grand Slams available....Or even aircraft capable to deliver one on a target...

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#9 curmudgeon

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 08:10 AM

Somewhere in the archives this was thrashed out. The original? (there were several) prewar bomber command 'strategy' had fuel near, or at, the top, but they quickly found they couldn't do it. It is all in an archived thread. There was an informative history site on this. If it still exists it is swamped and not found by me with reasonable Google terms.



#10 Armand

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 12:16 AM

In 1941 there were surely no Grand Slams available....Or even aircraft capable to deliver one on a target...


Teaching me about the late introduction of the Lancaster - TNX!




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