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Old 14th May 2018, 01:47 PM   #161
HansMustermann
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Hmm, guess my source was wrong, then.
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Old 14th May 2018, 01:48 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Still, going the middle east route to Baku would have been a bit of a 'mare.
And you then have to get over the mountains, don't you?
I just can't envision it.
Going through Russia to Baku also means you have to go over the mountains, viz. the Caucasus. I don't know which are worse. The most difficult part, IMHO, would be to get troops into Syria in the first place. Turkey was neutral, and Britain controlled Cyprus, Palestine and Egypt.
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Old 14th May 2018, 02:01 PM   #163
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Still, if you look a couple of pages down, the REFINED production of Iraq for 1938 (since 1939 is missing) was 22,000 tons of distilled fuel and 20,000 tons of kerosense, plus 112,000 tons of heavy oils, which includes both diesel and fuel oils that are basically useless as fuel for an internal combustion engine. If you sum those up, you get roughly the number I had posted, so I guess that's where that came up.

Still, I guess it shows the problem with trying to mash up numbers from different sources. They may not be talking about the same thing. Sorry about that.

Anyway, it also shows that crude oil extraction is not the whole picture. Even if you took Iraq's oil fields, you'd have to get it to some place with a refinery before it helps drive any tanks. Presumably not an easy exercise with the RN and RAF around in the Mediterranean.

The closest would presumably be Iran, but even that one looks like it can't even handle the whole of Iran's own crude oil extraction, so no help there.
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Old 14th May 2018, 04:24 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Still, if you look a couple of pages down, the REFINED production of Iraq for 1938 (since 1939 is missing) was 22,000 tons of distilled fuel and 20,000 tons of kerosense, plus 112,000 tons of heavy oils, which includes both diesel and fuel oils that are basically useless as fuel for an internal combustion engine. If you sum those up, you get roughly the number I had posted, so I guess that's where that came up.

Still, I guess it shows the problem with trying to mash up numbers from different sources. They may not be talking about the same thing. Sorry about that.

Anyway, it also shows that crude oil extraction is not the whole picture. Even if you took Iraq's oil fields, you'd have to get it to some place with a refinery before it helps drive any tanks. Presumably not an easy exercise with the RN and RAF around in the Mediterranean.

The closest would presumably be Iran, but even that one looks like it can't even handle the whole of Iran's own crude oil extraction, so no help there.
Good points. You can see later numbers at the 1944 Yearbook, though many numbers there go unreported (I guess due to the war). Iraq had virtually no refining capability, and according to wiki, production only really went off after, in 1934, two pipelines were completed that ran from Kirkuk (the only Iraqi oil field that was exploited at the time) to Haifa in Palestine and Tripoli in Lebanon. I guess the dip you see in the crude oil production in 1940 and 1941 is due to shutting the latter off. The Iranian oilfields were, AFAIK, mainly in the south, and Iran had a huge refinery at Abadan on the Gulf.

If the Nazis had gotten hold of the Iraqi oil fields (to start with, with better coordination with the Nazi-friendly Iraqi officers who attempted a coup), their only shot to actually use that crude oil would have been to try convince Turkey that they allow it to be shipped overland to Europe.
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Old 15th May 2018, 03:07 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
You can see by that just how important it was for Germany to get Romania into the Axis, which may not have happened had Stalin not annexed Bessarabia.
That or they shouldn't have started annexing countries which also had an oil problem.

If you look at the economy, Poland had very little oil, but it had a lot of need for oil. Once the RN cut off imports to Germany, yeah, Germany inherited that deficit. The Czechs had industry, but again had virtually no oil of its own to run it. Austria, ditto. The Netherlands had a lot of oil in Indonesia (or Netherland Indies, as it was called at the time), but that kinda stopped coming in when Germany occupied it. France had virtually no oil either.

Basically ON PAPER Germany now had a lot of industrial capacity, and could produce a lot of tanks and airplanes to conquer the world with. We could debate how much of that they could actually keep running, but the more important part is that they don't have the oil to actually run thpse tanks and planes.

In 1941, as I was saying, Germany actually has to DE-motorize some divisions, because sure, they can produce more tanks and trucks, but they don't have the oil to run them.

And by the end of the war, after the Allies eventually figured out that the best use of bombers was to cripple Germany's oil refineries and reserves, it gets even worse. There's at least one recorded instance of using half-tracks to clear mines by just driving them into a minefield. Because, you know, you wouldn't have the oil to use them for their intended role anyway. So, screw it, let's at least wreck them for a good purpose.
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Old 15th May 2018, 04:24 AM   #166
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What percentage of German fuel use during the war was synthetic fuel?

And did they ever consider making biodiesel? There's plenty of rapeseed being grown in Germany (don't know if that was the case back then), or else you can use used cooking oils. And at the front, it doesn't matter that your tank smells like an imbiss stand. I don't know how useful it would have been, I seem to remember that all German tanks ran on gasoline/petrol, not on diesel.
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Old 15th May 2018, 04:55 AM   #167
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Another route the Germans could have taken to the oil fields was via Romania and Bulgaria, the Black sea and Georgia. Troops were already in Romania and Bulgaria after the invasion of Greece. They would need sea transport though. So that might have ruled out that option.
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Old 15th May 2018, 04:57 AM   #168
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But if they wanted the oil fields they should have concentrated in the South and not done much in the North.
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Old 15th May 2018, 05:11 AM   #169
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Far as I know, back then "synthetic fuel" didn't mean putting rapeseed oil into your diesel car. It meant synthetising fuel by processes like Bergius (from coal) or FT (water-gas process). The dominant one was coal hydrogenation, or as it was called in Germany, Kohleverflüssigung.

At any rate, that's the one Hitler emphasized in his 4 year plan in 1936.

The closest they ever came to using anything plant based to drive a tank, was a project that strapped two vats to the back of a tank, so you could burn wood into carbon monoxide and then burn that in the normal engine.Not very efficient, and kinda stupid to lug it with you anyway. But basically you'd chop some wood, chuck it in the big containers in the back, and heat it.

That didn't go anywhere for tanks, but there were trucks in germany converted to run on wood. With the caveat that CO is poisonous, and the whole pressurized contraption could explode when damaged, so it wasn't... ideal, shall we say.

Other stuff, including the V2 rockets, ran on distilled alcohol from potatoes. Needless to say, since it still contained a lot of water, this was a lot less energetic when you burned it with air instead of peroxide, so it was not particularly well suited for trucks or such.

Basically there was nothing as fancy and high tech as using cooking oil in a diesel engine, like ye posh barstards

As for how much that covered of the German fuel need, best I can find is that by March 1944 they were producing a bit over 300,000 tons of synthetic fuel per month, which apparently was the peak of the production. Which just about covered the army needs, at the cost of basically telling the rest of the economy to sod off, 'cause they're not getting any.

Then starting in May, the Allies wisened up and decided to attack something that matters instead of taking it on the civilians, and targeted the refineries. By September 1944, the production was a mere 17,000 ton, completely crippling both Heer and Luftwaffe. In fact, by September 1944, the Luftwaffe was only getting some 5000 tons of aviation fuel per month, and was running off the rest of its meager (and soon to be depleted) reserves.
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Old 15th May 2018, 05:12 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
But if they wanted the oil fields they should have concentrated in the South and not done much in the North.
Which was exactly my point on the previous page. Hitler explicitly tasked Halder with going south, Halder lied to Hitler and went north instead.
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Old 15th May 2018, 05:20 AM   #171
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Oh, and BTW, hydrogenation required pressures of 300 atmospheres or more. Which made things go real slapstick when hit by a bomb. Other industrial equipment you could just dig up nearly intact from a bombed factory and put together again. But when those hydrogenation tanks burst, yeah, good luck using unskilled slave labour to put them together again.

So, yeah, that's why it was smart to finally target those.
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Old 15th May 2018, 06:11 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
That didn't go anywhere for tanks, but there were trucks in germany converted to run on wood. With the caveat that CO is poisonous, and the whole pressurized contraption could explode when damaged, so it wasn't... ideal, shall we say.
Here's a clip with normal passenger cars in the Netherlands, 1940; one running with a generator on the trunk, and another with a big balloon with coal gas (most Dutch cities had a coal gas network):
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This worked for short distances. As soon as the Netherlands was occupied, the Germans seized all petrol.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Basically there was nothing as fancy and high tech as using cooking oil in a diesel engine, like ye posh barstards
The principle was known. According to wiki, there was a diesel engine running on peanut oil at the 1900 Paris Exhibition, and Rudolf Diesel himself said in 1912: "the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal-tar products of the present time"

Any idea why this was not picked up? It's not that Germany had an abundance of biomass, but it would have been easy to collect used cooking oil, when you go door-to-door to collect for Winterhilfe anyway.
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Old 15th May 2018, 07:13 AM   #173
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Well, I didn't say it didn't work. Well, except for tanks, where it totally didn't have enough energy density to move a tiger much. For trucks I just said it wasn't ideal.

As for running diesel on cooking oil, no idea. I GUESS it may be a combination of there being no tanks or airplanes than ran on that (remember: the military had top priority for fuel), and it not being yet a very efficient use of agrarian land. Remember that we're talking and age still before GM and specially selected high efficiency plants and all. Also a time when Germany was having a food deficit.


To be honest, I wonder something completely different: why the hell not go steam punk... err... I mean steam power, then? I mean, if you're going to burn wood for power, that would be a more efficient way to get the energy out of the wood, innit? Plus, if you have enough coal to produce your fuel and then some, well, burning coal for power worked well before didn't it?
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Old 15th May 2018, 09:00 AM   #174
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Well, they did try to move everything by train whenever possible. Including the tanks and trucks when they had to go any longer distances.
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Old 15th May 2018, 09:12 AM   #175
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Well, sure, but I mean how hard would it have been to make a steam powered truck? It can't be much less efficient than their wood burning contraption PLUS an engine that wasn't optimized to run on CO.
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Old 15th May 2018, 03:13 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, sure, but I mean how hard would it have been to make a steam powered truck? It can't be much less efficient than their wood burning contraption PLUS an engine that wasn't optimized to run on CO.
In fact, in 1906 the Stanley Motor Carriage Company demonstrated a steam powered car that went as fast as 200 km/h. That must have been quite the ride! I've had my 2008 BMW up to 185 km/h, and even on a really good road it didn't feel as stable as I wanted it to.
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Old 15th May 2018, 03:35 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, sure, but I mean how hard would it have been to make a steam powered truck? It can't be much less efficient than their wood burning contraption PLUS an engine that wasn't optimized to run on CO.
Problem with steam engines is that they take a long time to get started. Plus they are big and heavy. OK for trains, not so good for trucks. But still, if you have not got diesel power that is something that should have been looked into.

Imagine a Road_trainWP powered by a steam engine. Might need another man to look after the engine.
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Old 15th May 2018, 04:23 PM   #178
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Well, thing is, steam powered trucks (and busses, and trams) had already existed, and worked ok. I mean, sure, they were heavier and produced more smoke, but they got the job done. They disappeared in the 30's mostly due to (A) competition from internal combustion engine trucks, and (B) being taxed more for road maintenance, BECAUSE they were heavier.

In fact, B was as much a factor as A, since while ICEs were lighter and cheaper to make, fuel costs to actually operate them were still fairly high. Most of Europe had to import its fuel.

I would have imagined that if fuel availability got VERY low and thus prices got even higher, SOMEONE would figure out they could bring them back.
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Old 15th May 2018, 05:55 PM   #179
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The other problem is that wood is not a good fuel. Too many trees need to be cut down.
Coal, on the other hand, is a great fuel. Just ignore the pollution it causes.
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Old 15th May 2018, 06:36 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Problem with steam engines is that they take a long time to get started. Plus they are big and heavy. OK for trains, not so good for trucks. But still, if you have not got diesel power that is something that should have been looked into.
How well did the trucks' engines start at -40 C before Moscow? And how well would a steam engine start under those circumstances?

The Soviets often kept their T-34s (which ran on diesel) running overnight.
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Old 15th May 2018, 10:45 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
How well did the trucks' engines start at -40 C before Moscow? And how well would a steam engine start under those circumstances?

The Soviets often kept their T-34s (which ran on diesel) running overnight.
They would have to do much overnight. Leave the water nearly boiling and under pressure. Maybe throw a blanket over it and it should still be warm in the morning. Coal does not freeze. Put it in the engine, with something to light it and it will burn. The biggest danger is water freezing in the pipes. But drain them and you are good to go.
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Old 16th May 2018, 02:06 AM   #182
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Steam works for trains because weight isn't such an important factor. For road transport it is a big drawback. Boilers that produce the quantity and pressure needed are heavy. In addition the vibration and jolting a boiler on a road vehicle would need to cope with means it would need to be very solidly built. Look at the Steam Tractors used for agriculture and heavy hauling up until the 20s.
Steam powered lorries and busses were built and operated but they were always heavy and needed a lot of maintenance.
In addition to fuel they also need a lot of water. Adding condensers and their associated plumbing and heating exchangers would add massively to the weight, cost and complication. They would need to be none condensing total loss systems.
Look at the attempts to produce condensing, water tube railway locamotives, a lot of effort and money was put in to it and all were abandoned.
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Old 16th May 2018, 02:18 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Steam works for trains because weight isn't such an important factor. For road transport it is a big drawback. Boilers that produce the quantity and pressure needed are heavy. In addition the vibration and jolting a boiler on a road vehicle would need to cope with means it would need to be very solidly built. Look at the Steam Tractors used for agriculture and heavy hauling up until the 20s.
Steam powered lorries and busses were built and operated but they were always heavy and needed a lot of maintenance.
In addition to fuel they also need a lot of water. Adding condensers and their associated plumbing and heating exchangers would add massively to the weight, cost and complication. They would need to be none condensing total loss systems.
Look at the attempts to produce condensing, water tube railway locamotives, a lot of effort and money was put in to it and all were abandoned.
A steam powered lorry would be a lot smaller than a train because
1. Lower speeds. Double the speed and you need four times the power.
2. Less to pull. Unless it is a very long road train, there would be far fewer carriages on a road train.
You could use a steam turbineWP to cut down the vibration. Why were they not used in steam engines?

Edit. But otherwise I agree with you.
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Old 16th May 2018, 03:19 AM   #184
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Stream turbines are very inefficient unless you have a condenser, The LMS experimented with steam turbines on locomotives but always had condenser problems and steam supply problems. LNER experimented with high pressure marine type water tube boilers but always had problems with vibration breaking joints. They work fine in ships where there is unlimited water for the condensers but on land you either use air cooling on the condenser or total loss and have a fraction of the efficiency and power., they aren't practical.
Steam lorries were quite widespread in the UK prewar but couldn't compete with IC engines.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_wagon
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Old 16th May 2018, 04:17 AM   #185
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That's more or less what I've already said in #178. My point though is still that a steam engine actually outperforms an internal combustion engine FOR WHICH YOU HAVE NO FUEL
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Old 16th May 2018, 05:46 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
You could use a steam turbineWP to cut down the vibration. Why were they not used in steam engines?

Just to add to what Captain_Swoop wrote, steam turbine locomotives had problems with blades breaking off when coupling cars to the train, as there's a large jolt from the impact that, because of the orientation, tends to create a significant bending moment in the blades.

Further, a steam turbine locomotive needs a heavy, complicated transmission. And because turbines can only run in one direction, it needs either a reverse turbine, or an even heavier and more complicated transmission, to move backwards. These problems can be avoided by using turbo-electric drive, but that creates an additional set of complications. The Wikipedia article on the steam turbine locomotiveWP has an overview of some of the problems encountered in the few attempts to build them.
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Old 16th May 2018, 06:16 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
That's more or less what I've already said in #178. My point though is still that a steam engine actually outperforms an internal combustion engine FOR WHICH YOU HAVE NO FUEL
Steam engine aka nice target for Czech squadrons in RAF...
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Old 16th May 2018, 09:25 AM   #188
jimbob
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
Steam engine aka nice target for Czech squadrons in RAF...
I imagine even a single 20mm shell would make a mess of a pressure vessel if steam was up.
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Old 16th May 2018, 11:24 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
That's more or less what I've already said in #178. My point though is still that a steam engine actually outperforms an internal combustion engine FOR WHICH YOU HAVE NO FUEL
Steam engines tend to have incredibly high maintenance levels and parts issues for which the logistic train will now also have to deal with.
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Old 16th May 2018, 12:15 PM   #190
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On the bright side, though, now you'd have fuel for more logistics, innit?

I mean, I don't imagine getting many tons hauled by trucks you don't have fuel for.
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Old 16th May 2018, 12:57 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
On the bright side, though, now you'd have fuel for more logistics, innit?

I mean, I don't imagine getting many tons hauled by trucks you don't have fuel for.
Except that now you have to transport water or obtain it locally (LOTS of water, mind you), you also have to supply of coal to depots in addition to the train stations. You have to add many more specialty maintenance crews for these steam trucks.

A steam train needs cleaning that required over 24 hours of down-time and a crew of a dozen maintenance workers about every 2 weeks. A steam truck wouldn't need as much or as often but it would still need that cleaning maintenance more often than any diesel or gas truck.

In addition, steam trains need to be almost taken apart and cleaned about every 4-6 months. (there is a reason the world moved to Diesel Engines once they became reliable)

Furthermore, you've added more parts to a logistics chain that already cannot produce parts for the trucks and tanks that are already in service.

The net gain would be a loss, IMHO.
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Old 16th May 2018, 01:20 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
Except that now you have to transport water or obtain it locally (LOTS of water, mind you), you also have to supply of coal to depots in addition to the train stations. You have to add many more specialty maintenance crews for these steam trucks.

A steam train needs cleaning that required over 24 hours of down-time and a crew of a dozen maintenance workers about every 2 weeks. A steam truck wouldn't need as much or as often but it would still need that cleaning maintenance more often than any diesel or gas truck.

In addition, steam trains need to be almost taken apart and cleaned about every 4-6 months. (there is a reason the world moved to Diesel Engines once they became reliable)

Furthermore, you've added more parts to a logistics chain that already cannot produce parts for the trucks and tanks that are already in service.

The net gain would be a loss, IMHO.
There are a couple of others relevant to taking supplies up to a muddy battlefront.

Due to the pressure vessel, they would be very heavy - not ideal for mud, and they would also tend to produce a line of smoke pointing to their position, which I guess would help make them an obvious slow-moving target.
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Old 16th May 2018, 03:13 PM   #193
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Oh well. I guess I should be thankful either way that the Nazis didn't ruin the good name of steam punk
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Old 19th May 2018, 11:14 AM   #194
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Well, let's keep the talk of Nazi competence going, by taking a flight over a cuckoo's... err... I mean, by taking a look at one of their Luftwaffe projects.

Everyone knows about the Me-262, the famous jet fighter. It was not the first jet fighter, but it was superb in that role, with some units achieving 4:1 success rates against the allied bombers and their escorts.

Everyone also knows how it got delayed because Hitler wanted it turned into a bomber. Now that wasn't actually the only factor, arguably not even the main factor, but it was A factor and it does delay its entering operational service a bit. To the point where it enters service after the Allies were bombing the German refineries into rubble, and the new jet had a fuel supply problem.

But now let's look at the bomber version, and what Germany got for its delays.

The "Sturmvogel" ("storm bird" or, I guess, "assault bird") version could fly fast and drop two 250kg bombs. The problem is that it didn't have dive brakes, nor adequate bomb sights. In fact it came off the factory line without bomb sights at all, and they were only later available as a field modification kit.

And they're not very good bomb sights, either. Only one prototype was built with advanced bomb sights, but that never made it past prototype stage.

Not surprising, the effect of Me-262 bombing attacks was minimal AT BEST.

At which point you really have to wonder about the competence of those involved in that whole exercise, or if someone was just taking the piss.
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Old 19th May 2018, 12:35 PM   #195
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Even if they had put the ME262 in to action as a fighter the Allies had the Meteor and the US had the Shooting Star to meet it.

Germany could never have produced enough 262s to make a difference. anyway
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Old 19th May 2018, 12:56 PM   #196
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Well, sure. But my point is: what kind of confusion of mind makes one think it's a good idea to make a bomber where the bombing sights are an optional extra, and at that an after-thought, and the dive brakes are not even that? Doesn't exactly seem like a very competent decision, is all I'm saying.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 04:23 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
This used to be a huge controversy. I recommend the defining text that basically resolved the debate: Kershaw's "The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems & Perspectives of Interpretation".

The brief summary is that Nazi Germany consisted of a lot of parallel authorities competing with each other, though all ultimately answering to Hitler. The absolute power of Hitler's word meant that people were keen to use personal connections or latch onto offhand comments by him in order to push through their agendas, leading to a system of no clearly defined hierarchies or clearly delineated spheres of authority. Even the mighty Himmler ran into problems with mere Gauleiters, local party bosses, because of this chaotic order.


As for the military, it was a mixed bag. Some of them gambled and it paid off. But they grossly underestimated Russia and pursued poor doctrines of weapon development.
That seems to contradict the Nazi regime being "totalitarian".
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Old 22nd May 2018, 04:39 PM   #198
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Nah, it's how virtually all totalitarian regimes work. There's this myth of the supreme efficiency of an enlightened despotism or whatever other excuse, but the truth is that any totalitarian regime HAS to be very inefficient and corrupt, in one way or another.

The thing is, if you're a dictator, there's ALWAYS a bunch of guys who could unite to depose you. For reasons ranging from that they don't like how you're doing (e.g., let's not forget that Mussolini was deposed by the leadership of his own fascist party), or think they could have more power without you, or whatever. So SOMEHOW you have to placate them.

Now there are a few ways to do that. You can flat out bribe them. You can give them enough privileges that it's not very much of a reward/risk incentive to try to coup you. But then they can also have enough power to depose you anyway. (Again, see Mussolini.) You can terrorize them, a la Stalin. Or you can make them busy enough trying to sabotage each other, that it's unlikely enough would conspire to do ANYTHING together, much less a coup. That was Hitler's way.

Essentially absolute power comes with a price. The price being that it's nowhere near absolute
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Old 23rd May 2018, 08:48 PM   #199
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One thing the Nazis were not competent in was locating and catching spies and traitors. The third reich high command was riddled with them. Attack plans were handed to the enemy by British and Soviet spies. And a lot of military projects and designs were deliberately sabotaged from within. This explains why a lot of advanced and forward thinking weapons went nowhere or only got to the testing stage. It didn't help that the Ultra code had been broken either -
http://www.wintersonnenwende.com/scr...pple/wa00.html
https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=8227
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Old 24th May 2018, 02:41 AM   #200
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What didn't help was thrir gullibility. Every German spy in the UK was turned and working for the British. All fed false information and the Germans lapped it up.
They still thought the Normandy landings were a decoy for over a month because of the Double Cross system.
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