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What would have happened if the Me 262 had been produced since 1943?


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Spanisharmada #1 Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:34 AM

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Title says it all. what would have happened?

SpartanOneOFour #2 Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:55 AM

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to put it simply if they could have fielded it in sufficient numbers they would have owned the sky, bomber losses would have been 4-5 times what they were that would have removed the pressure from German production allowing them to produce more weapons and extend the war or even win it. It also would have allowed the "wonder weapons" to be much more effective, D-day would have been an epic failure. I would imagine that Germany would have shared the tech with Japan and our bombing campaign would have failed there also and the Marianas Turkey Shoot would have been the other way around. so in short we'd all probably be speaking German right now if the ME262 had come out in '43.

P101011 #3 Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:09 AM

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Didn't they have a severe lack of pilots though? The fighters are useless without pilots who can actually pilot them, especially these which if I remember correctly were very unstable.

LUIGI1963 #4 Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:13 AM

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deathmachine16 #5 Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:15 AM

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Well they didnt have many well trained fighter pilots so i guess maybe a bit a spike in bomber loses i suppose.  :Smile_unsure:

mrasianman2 #6 Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:50 AM

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I do remember hearing the commander of the bombers saying if the losses were to rise any higher, daytime bombing offenses would have to be cancelled, and that might have changes A LOT of things. Also, at that stage, Germany still had some quality fighter pilots, and with the Allies off their back for a while, they could feasibly implement a training program to produce better pilots. Basically, it would have been A LOT harder for Allied aircraft to achieve air superiority during D-Day, and maybe they could have won the Battle of Britain if Hitler used the Me 262 correctly.

von_Krimm #7 Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:40 AM

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Germany would still have lost the war, they were approaching financialy exhaustion and suffered a dearth of manpower as early as 1943; by 1945 Germany was in complete collapse.  the allies did not lack for jet designs, or the people to make more rapid progress on development, or the ability to produce them; they did make it a choice to keep their current designs of prop a/c and make proggressive improvements to those a/c rather than lose the economies of scale inherent in switching to a new production cycle.  the war might have lasted longer by a year, perhaps two, but that is about all that would be of notable difference between the "what if" of this thread and reality.
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easy8tanker #8 Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:56 AM

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Skilled pilots would have to have been massed to fly these new fighters. Not much would have happened due to the retraining to the jet fighter from the piston one.

An advanced plane is not that advanced with a nontrained pilot

Spektral #9 Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:59 PM

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The removal of Allied airpower from the skies over Germany would have released more manpower for the front lines, as well the loss of fighter pilots through 43 and 44 from the superior planes of the allies and quantity that was amassed would not have happened. It would have been dark days for the allies and D day may not have happened per se. Likely they would have had to push through Italy and up through the alps.

KeyWestKid #10 Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:34 PM

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If the Me-262 was introduced in 1942 instead of 1944. I can imagine it would have prolonged the war in a considerable way. I am aware that the ME-262 was opperational aircraft in 1941 in the testing phase and did not introduced as combat ready until 1944.

However there is three key issues we must look at:

1.) Shortages of various key war materials. You have to keep in mind that the German military used a tremendous amount of resources for the war effort. Some areas that did well in others it just insane. For example: The Germany army had 23 different models of trucks during the war. IF they standardized what they needed it would have limited wasteful consumption of war materials.

2.) Hitler.  Keep in mind Hitler was obsessed with wonder weapons. He have historically interfered with the planning and applications of the ME-262. He insisted that the ME-262 should be a jet bombe. If he left the German General staff alone it would have been assigned as a fighter and would have been a bit more effective even when the war was not going in their favor.

3.) The engines was plagued with opperational challenges.  Keep in mind that this is the very first military jet aircraft.

If we take a step back and look at the planning stages of the ME-262. It was on the drawing board in 1939 and saw limited production of test aircraft in 1940 and saw actual testing in 1942. The delay was associated with constant endorsement of the high command to focus on the production of the BF-109. If the high command was more receptive I imagine that the ME-262 would have saw massive production as early as 1940-1941.

From 1944 to 1945 the Germans were able to produced about 200 ME-262 despite production delays and supply sortages. In perfect conditions for that year they could have produced 1200 ME-262's. Now taking the potential numbers and apply it towards the years 1940,1941, and 1942. One could speculate that the germans would have had 3,600 ME-262.

In having these "potential" production numbers...one can assume that the germans would have caused serious havoc in the skies over europe and prolong the war considerably. As far as having complete and final German victory with an early indroduction of the ME-262 is shaky at best. There are other weapons during the war that would have eventually introduced and caused serious problems for the Germans. Also, the issue of shortages would become apparent as early as 1943.

So, thats my two cents.

Edited by Sujak, 26 September 2012 - 06:37 PM.


r4y #11 Posted 29 September 2012 - 06:41 PM

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I actually once saw a documentary asking this exact question:

From my understanding, it  would have been much more difficult to damage Germany's industrial capacity, making Allied Bomber losses even higher than they already were.

Fast forward to June 6th, 1944; Operation Overlord would fail because the Allies cannot obtain air superiority against the German Jets.  France wouldn't be liberated, and this would give Germany time to develop two other technologies further:

The submersible barge intended to allow U-Boats to tow V-2 missiles within range of the American Coast, and the Nuclear Bomb, which would without a doubt be mounted on these barges.

It would be no exageration to say that Germany might have won the war if the Me-262 was available in sufficient numbers from 1943.

Edited by r4y, 29 September 2012 - 06:41 PM.


thunderbearr #12 Posted 05 October 2012 - 02:27 AM

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Thormenter #13 Posted 06 October 2012 - 11:19 AM

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View PostP101011, on 26 September 2012 - 01:09 AM, said:

Didn't they have a severe lack of pilots though? The fighters are useless without pilots who can actually pilot them, especially these which if I remember correctly were very unstable.

Yes they did but not because (like today) they didn't have enough recruits :Smile_smile: . Losses during the Battle of Britain were high on both sides, but the battle was fought above britain so German pilots were captured wile RAF pilots could often just step in a new plane the day after. German pilot numbers were exhausted because of their losses.
I do not think that production of the Me 262 in 1943 would have made a large difference in the outcome of the war. The outcome was there in 1942 when Stalingrad fell, the UK still wasn't defeted, there were still no massive oil fields available to Germany, and Hitler declared war to the USA (wile he was not obligated to do so, it was Japan that attacked and not the other way rounHaving the plane form 1941 or 1942 might slightly be a different story. Having the plane at the beginning of the war would have made a landing in the UK possible. However, this is pure what if history...

LastRemnant #14 Posted 08 October 2012 - 02:46 AM

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From what i read and saw documentaries the luftwaffe air command had ask hitler if they should start producing 262. But he told them to hold off on this plans because at the moment they had air superiorty over europe. This act would doom luftwaffe in air. The nail in cofffin was two front war however. Thankfully it didn't happen the other way.

D_Blitz1997 #15 Posted 13 October 2012 - 04:35 AM

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All the jets today would basically derive their design from me 262

Old_Crow51 #16 Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:47 PM

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View PostD_Blitz1997, on 13 October 2012 - 04:35 AM, said:

All the jets today would basically derive their design from me 262


This statement needs more info ^

Anyway, while yes it would have helped the Luftwaffe in regards to being up to date against the allies (the ME-109 had reached its development peak with the F, and the FW-190 always played second fiddle) there are two points that the people above me have absolutely right why it wouldn't have mattered.

1) Pilots: Germany and Japan did not cycle their pilots back to training centers to train new pilots, something the US and Britian did. This meant that a pilot flew until he was wounded/killed, in the process losing vital knowledge about how to beat the enemy. Britan and the US did, meaning that their pilots in training got a taste of what combat was really like and learned from others experience. Another point to contend is that both Japan and Germany's pilots were kicked out the door with about 200 hours of training, while in the States it usually happend with double those hours or even more. Take a look at the fact that jets fly differently from props (for the time, acceleration, touchy engines, high landing speed) and its not going to matter if you have 5 times the amount of aircraft.

2) Oil: The Germans were out of it basically by the end of 1944. They would only respond in limited force to the bomber fleets and only for the more vital targets. The ME-262, being a first generation jet, used fuel at a much higher rate then a piston engine, meaning that their units would run out of fuel much eariler then others. This is why they were grouped into into the Jagdverband 44 unit, a top unit of German aces to use the Me-262 to its full effect. The problem was that dispite the fact that they had aircraft, only a limited number could fly at any one time, again compounding the fact that you need X logistics supply to keep Y amound of aircraft up, without it you are left with only a minimun amout of planes to put up, regardless of how many you actually have.


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