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Old 15th April 2019, 02:47 PM   #41
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I didn't say any of these necessarily were stupid ideas or shouldn't have been done. But something can turn out to be a waste even if done with the best intentions.

As for the G7e/T2, it really was useless. Estimates of the duds with the impact fuse can go as high as 40%, depending on who you trust to do the estimate, which is a hell of a lot when your life depends on it. And as I was saying, the magnetic fuse was as good as a random number generator for when it will blow up, and basically you can't get much better a testimony of how bad it was than the fact that Dönitz explicitly forbade its use in any situation. Add other issues like the totally crap range, crap speed, needing constant maintenance to even work at all, NEEDING to be pre-heated before launch, the possibility of creating hydrogen gas inside the sub, etc, and yeah, it was a waste. No two ways about it.

Mind you, I can understand why they would design it, but the result just wasn't worth the insane cost.
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Old 15th April 2019, 03:04 PM   #42
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So, the Germans stole their fuse designs from the US Navy, did they?
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Old 15th April 2019, 03:04 PM   #43
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Unlike the US Navy torpedo that was so reliable.
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Old 15th April 2019, 03:33 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
Was this not repurposed into a tank destroyer later in the war?
Nope. The US tank destroyers were based on the M4 suspension. The M7 started as a light tank replacement, but got too heavy and the M24 ended up being the upgraded light tank. The M7 should have been abandoned when it became too heavy but they kept on with for no reason.
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Old 15th April 2019, 04:07 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Unlike the US Navy torpedo that was so reliable.
Beat you to that one!
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Old 15th April 2019, 04:10 PM   #46
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Well, not exactly. The US torpedoes had a problem with basically being too fast for the fuse design at the start of the war. The G7e was slower than a drunk snail, so obviously the fine German engineers managed to design their own flaws on their own, thank you very much
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Old 15th April 2019, 05:18 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, not exactly. The US torpedoes had a problem with basically being too fast for the fuse design at the start of the war. The G7e was slower than a drunk snail, so obviously the fine German engineers managed to design their own flaws on their own, thank you very much
And the US torpedo fuse had a faulty striker and problems with depth setting etc.
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Old 15th April 2019, 05:43 PM   #48
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That was the fault, basically. The new torps (well, new at the time) were too fast and broke the fuse on a clean perpendicular impact.
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Old 15th April 2019, 05:52 PM   #49
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too fast, lol.
One way of putting it.
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Old 15th April 2019, 09:00 PM   #50
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Well, no, it's the same as what happened with the Arianne disaster. Well, same principle.

They had a device, in the torps' case the fuse, that worked perfectly fine with the previous generation of torps (the Mark 10.) Solid, reliable, etc. And nobody saw any reason to doubt that it would work just as fine with the new and faster generation of torps (the Mark 14 and Mark 15.) Nor any reason to test that it does.

I mean, the Mark 10 only did 30 knots, while the Mark 14 and 15 did 46 knots, so about 50% more, but hitting a fuse harder shouldn't be a problem, right? Something that goes boom when hit, should just more reliably go boom when you whack it harder, right?

Turns out that no, it didn't.

(Though, unsurprisingly, it worked flawlessly again when put on the copied design of a German electric torp. Which also did around 30 knots. Turns out that, unsurprisingly, a fuse that worked flawlessly at about 30 knots, still worked flawlessly at about 30 knots.)

So, yeah, much as I'm into taking the piss at times, this time I'm dead serious. The torpedo was simply too fast for the old fuse design.

If anything, what also didn't help was the paranoid secrecy. The only manual for the warhead existed in only one copy, locked in a safe. So the rest of the Navy had no idea what it does or how it's built, so nobody could spot any good reason why it should be tested.
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Old 16th April 2019, 12:29 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
The whole bloody war was a waste.
I would agree with this, but add that there was little that could be done to prevent it. That is unless people in the early 20th century had a different attitude towards war and so WW1 never happened. It only happened because everyone wanted to go to war and was looking for an excuse to do so.
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Old 16th April 2019, 12:40 AM   #52
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Another big waste were battleships. They could have spent the money on aircraft carriers with a decent dive bombing or torpedo aircraft.
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Old 16th April 2019, 12:46 AM   #53
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THAT probably wins the thread, to be honest. No other military expenditure comes even within an order of magnitude to being the kind of MASSIVE waste of resources and money that battleships were for the first half of the 20'th century or so.
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Old 16th April 2019, 02:28 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Another big waste were battleships. They could have spent the money on aircraft carriers with a decent dive bombing or torpedo aircraft.
How many battleships were completed in WW2?
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Old 16th April 2019, 03:52 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
How many battleships were completed in WW2?
21?

10 American (2 North Carolina class, 4 South Dakota class, 4 Iowa class)
5 British (King George V class)
3 Italian (Littorio class)
2 Japanese (Yamato class)
1 French (Richelieu class)

I believe that's the ones completed during WWII.
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Old 16th April 2019, 04:08 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
21?

10 American (2 North Carolina class, 4 South Dakota class, 4 Iowa class)
5 British (King George V class)
3 Italian (Littorio class)
2 Japanese (Yamato class)
1 French (Richelieu class)

I believe that's the ones completed during WWII.
When were they laid down?

For example the KGV class were al laid down in 37 and launched in 39-40.
Anson and Howe had their fitting out given low priority and weren't commissioned until 42 as other ships were given priority.
Four battleships were laid down after the war started, three Lion Class and the Vanguard.
Work on the Lions was suspended and they were cancelled as the need for more carriers, cruisers and escorts was realised.
Vanguard was started and stopped several times during the war and she wasn't completed until after the war.

Yes, wartime experience showed that modern aircraft and carriers were the way forward but that certainly wasn't obvious in the 1930s with the aircraft technology available and which navy would have been brave enough to throw thei Battleships away first?
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Old 16th April 2019, 04:17 AM   #57
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You were asking about when they were completed. Not about when they were started. These were the ones completed during the war. I did omit Jean Bart and Vanguard because these were only completed after the war.

Building a battleship takes a long time.

Edit:
Oops!
Forgot two.Germany 2 (Bismarck class)

Total 23 battleships completed during WWII
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Old 16th April 2019, 08:00 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
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I didn't say any of these necessarily were stupid ideas or shouldn't have been done. But something can turn out to be a waste even if done with the best intentions.

As for the G7e/T2, it really was useless. Estimates of the duds with the impact fuse can go as high as 40%, depending on who you trust to do the estimate, which is a hell of a lot when your life depends on it. And as I was saying, the magnetic fuse was as good as a random number generator for when it will blow up, and basically you can't get much better a testimony of how bad it was than the fact that Dönitz explicitly forbade its use in any situation. Add other issues like the totally crap range, crap speed, needing constant maintenance to even work at all, NEEDING to be pre-heated before launch, the possibility of creating hydrogen gas inside the sub, etc, and yeah, it was a waste. No two ways about it.

Mind you, I can understand why they would design it, but the result just wasn't worth the insane cost.
There's always two ways about it. "Our rockets always blow up." New machines don't work flawlessly out of the box. It's not fair to judge the flaws of a prototype as if it were supposed to be a cost-effective mass production design. And one of the defining characteristics of warfare is that it's a context in which flawed prototypes are employed as if they were bug-free "production" models.

Modern military history is full of weapons that didn't work so well in their earlier iterations.

Yes, you can say that any idea that was explored but did not pay off was a "waste," and be Technically Correct.

But I think it is a mistake to look at warfare through that lens. War, especially, is a time when ideas need to be pursued even if they look like long shots, and even when they don't necessarily look promising in their early development. You're looking at it in terms of cost-effectiveness, with 20/20 hindsight. I'm not saying the word "waste" is wrong. I'm saying your view of effort in war is a quarter-turn off of true. You're torquing too hard, in my opinion.

Yes, the torpedo was a "waste" in the sense that it was an effort that didn't pay off, and consumed resources that could have been invested in some other effort... that may or may not have paid off. But the Germans needed to improve their torpedoes. They needed to make the effort, to keep working on it, to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. To me, the real waste in that situation would be to not make the effort.

Same thing with the Atlantic Wall. Sure, the Germans lost the war, so the claim that the Atlantic Wall was a "waste" is Technically Correct. But I don't see it as a waste at all. The Germans were committed to fighting, to making the effort. The Wall represented the furthest-forward line on which they could make a stand against invasion. It was a necessary fortification, and they built it to the best of their ability. In the end, it failed the test. But by forcing the Allies to make that test, and by creating what opportunities it could for the Germans, it did its job, and was not a waste.

In my opinion.

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Old 16th April 2019, 08:37 AM   #59
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I see no one has mentioned the Dieppe raid. Or was it maybe worth the lives lost in experience gained for Overlord?

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Old 16th April 2019, 08:41 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
There's always two ways about it. "Our rockets always blow up." New machines don't work flawlessly out of the box. It's not fair to judge the flaws of a prototype as if it were supposed to be a cost-effective mass production design. And one of the defining characteristics of warfare is that it's a context in which flawed prototypes are employed if they were bug-free "production" models.

Modern military history is full of weapons that didn't work so well in their earlier iterations.

Yes, you can say that any idea that was explored but did not pay off was a "waste," and be Technically Correct.

But I think it is a mistake to look at warfare through that lens. War, especially, is a time when ideas need to be pursued even if they look like long shots, and even when they don't necessarily look promising in their early development. You're looking at it in terms of cost-effectiveness, with 20/20 hindsight. I'm not saying the word "waste" is wrong. I'm saying your view of effort in war is a quarter-turn off of true. You're torquing too hard, in my opinion.

Yes, the torpedo was a "waste" in the sense that it was an effort that didn't pay off, and consumed resources that could have been invested in some other effort... that may or may not have paid off. But the Germans needed to improve their torpedoes. They needed to make the effort, to keep working on it, to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. To me, the real waste in that situation would be to not make the effort.

Same thing with the Atlantic Wall. Sure, the Germans lost the war, so the claim that the Atlantic Wall was a "waste" is Technically Correct. But I don't see it as a waste at all. The Germans were committed to fighting, to making the effort. The Wall represented the furthest-forward line on which they could make a stand against invasion. It was a necessary fortification, and they built it to the best of their ability. In the end, it failed the test. But by forcing the Allies to make that test, and by creating what opportunities it could for the Germans, it did its job, and was not a waste.

In my opinion.
They become a waste when it is obvious they will never work but resources are still poured in to them.
That's why I nominated Cultivator No. 6
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Old 16th April 2019, 08:49 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
I see no one has mentioned the Dieppe raid. Or was it maybe worth the lives lost in experience gained for Overlord?
In my opinion:

This is still too much of the "cost effectiveness" paradigm. Military operations in war aren't just about return on investment. They're about the need to keep trying, to keep making efforts, to keep pushing and pushing. You try something, and if it doesn't work - which it often doesn't - you don't give up. You fall back, regroup, and try again. Maybe after a while you try something else. If you've got the capacity, you're trying several different things at once, looking for the breakthrough.

Venture capitalists risk their money on a portfolio of ideas. Most of those ideas fail, even with good management and oversight by the investor. But a few of those ideas succeed well enough to pay for the failures, and leave a tidy profit behind. Such a risk-tolerant investor would not consider the failures a "waste", any more than a professional poker player considers the hands he folded to be a waste. They're part of the process. You're taking risks in the face of uncertainty, because that's the only way to find the elusive payoff that wins the game, or turns the tide of battle.

I would say that just making the attempt at Dieppe was justification enough, and not a waste. The attempt also created an opportunity to learn valuable lessons for Overlord. This opportunity was also not wasted.

Again, I think it is a mistake to conflate the failure of a military operation with the waste of military resources.
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Old 16th April 2019, 09:06 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
They become a waste when it is obvious they will never work but resources are still poured in to them.
That's why I nominated Cultivator No. 6
And I think it's a good choice. I'd be interested to know how the cost sunk into it after it became obvious it was useless compared to, say, the Blackburn Firebrand. Designed as a carrier-based fighter, for which role it was clearly too big and heavy and had too poor a view over the nose, it was gradually converted into a single seat torpedo bomber, resulting in it first flying in 1940 yet not making it into active service by the end of the the war.

Compared to such things, the Atlantic Wall and the Maginot Line at least had a definable role.

Dave
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Old 16th April 2019, 09:43 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Yes, the torpedo was a "waste" in the sense that it was an effort that didn't pay off, and consumed resources that could have been invested in some other effort... that may or may not have paid off. But the Germans needed to improve their torpedoes. They needed to make the effort, to keep working on it, to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. To me, the real waste in that situation would be to not make the effort.
Maybe, but they sure as heck didn't need to keep buying thousands of them when reports from the actual captains were pouring in about how they don't work.
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Old 16th April 2019, 10:09 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
And the US torpedo fuse had a faulty striker and problems with depth setting etc.

US torpedoes tended to run too deep because the depth controls had been calibrated using practice warheads, which were significantly lighter than live warheads.

Additionally, the Mark 14's magnetic pistolWP was extremely unreliable because it had been calibrated off the US East Coast. However, most attacks took place near the equator, where the Earth's magnetic field behaves differently.
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Old 16th April 2019, 10:13 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
US torpedoes tended to run too deep because the depth controls had been calibrated using practice warheads, which were significantly lighter than live warheads.

Additionally, the Mark 14's magnetic pistolWP was extremely unreliable because it had been calibrated off the US East Coast. However, most attacks took place near the equator, where the Earth's magnetic field behaves differently.
I still maintain that the magnetic pistol too had a problem that was made worse by the difference in speed. The same magnetic field from the Earth, in either of the situations when it caused erroneous detonation, would have produced a much smaller voltage by induction when you move across the magnetic field lines at 30 knots than when you move at 46 knots.
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Old 16th April 2019, 10:15 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
I see no one has mentioned the Dieppe raid.
Yeah, but those were mostly Canadians so they don't count.


Quote:
Or was it maybe worth the lives lost in experience gained for Overlord?
Yes, it helped provide experience for the Normandy landings. Plus there was the secondary benefit of demonstrating to Russia that the allies were interested in opening up a western front.

(I don't think the plan was for Dieppe to be the start of a large-scale invasion of Europe in the first place.)

There are some theories (not universally accepted) that one of the objectives of the raid was as cover for British Commandos to gain secret materials (including an enigma machine) from a German naval office in the town.

https://www.thespec.com/news-story/7...of-espionage-/
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Old 16th April 2019, 10:20 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Another big waste were battleships. They could have spent the money on aircraft carriers with a decent dive bombing or torpedo aircraft.
Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
How many battleships were completed in WW2?
Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
21?

10 American (2 North Carolina class, 4 South Dakota class, 4 Iowa class)
5 British (King George V class)
3 Italian (Littorio class)
2 Japanese (Yamato class)
1 French (Richelieu class)

I believe that's the ones completed during WWII.
I mentioned the Yamato class earlier, but I'm not going to say battleships in general. In hindsight, it seems obvious, but in 1939 nobody was predicting the importance of the aircraft carrier in the coming war. The Japanese probably came closest but even then stuck to their notion of a climactic surface battle to end the war.
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Old 16th April 2019, 10:22 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
I see no one has mentioned the Dieppe raid. Or was it maybe worth the lives lost in experience gained for Overlord?
Note that the OP does specify wasteful hardware....
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Old 16th April 2019, 10:24 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
I see no one has mentioned the Dieppe raid. Or was it maybe worth the lives lost in experience gained for Overlord?
Churchill did love an audacious raid. When they come off it's a morale boost and everyone looks like heroes. When they don't, well you get posthumous heroes. Dieppe, Arnhem, Taranto, the Dam Busters, St Nazaire... Some were worthwhile for the direct gains, others were great propaganda. I don't know if the lessons of Dieppe were worth the price.
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Old 16th April 2019, 10:28 AM   #70
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Yes, but when you justify it by how they were thinking in 1939 -- or let's make it 1937 for the Yamato -- then the Yamato made perfect sense. Bigger had been better ever since the actual HMS Dreadnought. And the race to make even bigger dreadnoughts had been the massive drain on the economy that made everyone try to reach an agreement not to.

Because there wasn't any end in sight any time soon for that race. They were nowhere NEAR any technology limitation or anything that would say, "yep, this is the limit, everyone keep making ships this big from now on." Everyone was trying to leapfrog everyone else just a little, but it was nowhere near the point where that wouldn't result in a more deadly ship.

That is, until carriers entered the picture.

But basically if you're going to excuse the Brits for not knowing that carriers would make their 5 KGV battleships obsolete, then I don't see why the Japanese wouldn't get the same excuse.
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Old 16th April 2019, 10:33 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
And I think it's a good choice. I'd be interested to know how the cost sunk into it after it became obvious it was useless compared to, say, the Blackburn Firebrand. Designed as a carrier-based fighter, for which role it was clearly too big and heavy and had too poor a view over the nose, it was gradually converted into a single seat torpedo bomber, resulting in it first flying in 1940 yet not making it into active service by the end of the the war.

Compared to such things, the Atlantic Wall and the Maginot Line at least had a definable role.

Dave
Well, the Firebrand was an aircraft, it wasn't a good aircraft but there were a lot of not very good aircraft. It had a role.

To me the big waste is something that had no real use or was never going to work but it was developed anyway.
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Old 16th April 2019, 10:36 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
How about the Messerschmitt 163 (Komet)? They were amazingly fast; almost too fast to shoot down. But they tended to overshoot a dogfight rather than get stuck in, and their volatile fuel was a bigger danger to the pilot than enemy fire anyway. The fuel lasted seven minutes, giving it an operational range of 25 miles. Not much cop for a fast interceptor.

Also, the Messerschmitt 262. Awesome aircraft in its own right, but jet propulsion was in its infancy, and the engines VERY high maintenance. Instead of a war-winning weapon, it was a money pit that came into service when money was scarce. Throw in the way Hitler insisted on turning it into a fighter-bomber, and we have an aircraft that was more trouble than it was worth.
If you think of the 163 as a guided anti aircraft rocket it looks better. You got the added benefit of potentially several aircraft attacked per launch and it was reusable. Still, terrifyingly dangerous for the "guidance and targeting system".

262 was compromised by the short service hours of its engines but obviously in principle jets were the way forward. Can't fault them for trying it. Further compromised by not allowing it just to be a dedicated interceptor - yes, that was a waste of time and resources they couldn't afford.
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Old 16th April 2019, 10:39 AM   #73
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Well, the RN did realise Battleships were obsolete, that is why building of the Lion class was suspended and they were never completed.
They were laid down before the war and were to have 3 16" turrets 'Super KGV' you could say.
Vanguard was supposed to be a 'quicky' using existing 'spare' 15" turrets but it's build was suspended several times and in the end it wasn't completed until after the war.
It was the last ever Battleship commissioned.
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Old 16th April 2019, 11:51 AM   #74
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The 262 wasn't that bad an idea, nor that much of a waste, actually. Dunno why people think it was.

Get this: the jet engine actually cost a third in either Reichsmark or man-hours of what one engine for the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 that everyone loves. Even while using 2 of them, it was STILL cheaper than a fokker.

Even better: Germany had a fuel problem, and not just as in quantity. A lot of the performance advantage in allied fighters actually had to do purely with the availability of higher octane fuel, so you could push the compression ratio higher. And sure, the compression ratio was not the only trick. You could also do stuff like water-methanol injection and whatnot, but then both sides did it, and what remained was still that the side with better fuel refining was having the edge when it came to piston engine aircraft.

So, anyway, when it came to piston engine fuel, Germany had a problem. Both in quality, and in the quantity that makes the cut at all to be aviation grade fuel. And the quality translated in the Allied aircraft having the edge in the air.

The jet engine, on the other hand, didn't have that problem. You could put a lot worse fuel in it than in a Fokker and it wouldn't cause knocking. Because knocking isn't even possible in a jet engine.

So, yeah, everyone loves to IMAGINE that higher tech means horribly expensive, but in this case actually it was cheaper. Basically it's useful to check the actual reality, rather than judge real stuff based on imaginary factors.
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Old 16th April 2019, 11:55 AM   #75
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The Reising submachine gun deserves a mention.
It came out in the late 1930's as a sort of poor man's Thompson, aimed at smaller police forces in the US who could not afford the expesnive Thompson.
Come the massive build up of US Forces starting in 1939, the US Army soon had contracts for the entire output of Thompsons. The US Marine corps has bought some Thompsons in the thirties, but did not have enough to equip the hordes of new Marines coming into the service.So, because there was really not much else avaible, they bought up and issued the Reisings.]
They were a total disaster. They jammed easily, were impossible to keep clean,were inaccurate, had a recoil that made them almost possible to control. Marines On Guadalcanal who were issued the Reising rapidly dumped it in favor of anything else they could get their hands on.
Guadalcanal was the only battle where the Reising took part.The Corps withdrew it from service as rapidly as possible, replacing it with the MI Carbine as soon as it became available. By mid 1943, the Reising was history. It was sort of the Chauchat of the Second World War.
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Old 16th April 2019, 02:03 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I mentioned the Yamato class earlier, but I'm not going to say battleships in general. In hindsight, it seems obvious, but in 1939 nobody was predicting the importance of the aircraft carrier in the coming war. The Japanese probably came closest but even then stuck to their notion of a climactic surface battle to end the war.
In the 1920s certain people believed that aircraft could sink battleships. They even sank a WW1 era German battleship this way. But this evidence was rejected. Aircraft and weapons then improved, but still the people in power ignored the evidence. No battleship should have been started after 1930 at the latest.
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Old 16th April 2019, 02:05 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
The Reising submachine gun deserves a mention.
It came out in the late 1930's as a sort of poor man's Thompson, aimed at smaller police forces in the US who could not afford the expesnive Thompson.
Come the massive build up of US Forces starting in 1939, the US Army soon had contracts for the entire output of Thompsons. The US Marine corps has bought some Thompsons in the thirties, but did not have enough to equip the hordes of new Marines coming into the service.So, because there was really not much else avaible, they bought up and issued the Reisings.]
They were a total disaster. They jammed easily, were impossible to keep clean,were inaccurate, had a recoil that made them almost possible to control. Marines On Guadalcanal who were issued the Reising rapidly dumped it in favor of anything else they could get their hands on.
Guadalcanal was the only battle where the Reising took part.The Corps withdrew it from service as rapidly as possible, replacing it with the MI Carbine as soon as it became available. By mid 1943, the Reising was history. It was sort of the Chauchat of the Second World War.
I disagree slightly. The Reising wasn't a military spec weapon. It was never meant to be used in jungle combat or on a wet, sandy beach.
As a low cost police weapon it was not a bad gun. It should never have been put in to frontline combat.
What they should have done is used it to free up Thompsons for frontline service
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Old 16th April 2019, 02:08 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
In the 1920s certain people believed that aircraft could sink battleships. They even sank a WW1 era German battleship this way. But this evidence was rejected. Aircraft and weapons then improved, but still the people in power ignored the evidence. No battleship should have been started after 1930 at the latest.
Nope, in the 20s navies were quite right to keep building battleships.
It's one thing to sink an old hulk at anchor, quite another to do the same thing against a moving ship firing back.
Things had changed by the late 30s but even then it was hard to sink warships that were prepared and working as part of a fleet with air cover.
How many battleships were sunk by air attack when they weren't operating alone with no chance of support?
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Old 16th April 2019, 03:02 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The 262 wasn't that bad an idea, nor that much of a waste, actually. Dunno why people think it was.

Get this: the jet engine actually cost a third in either Reichsmark or man-hours of what one engine for the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 that everyone loves. Even while using 2 of them, it was STILL cheaper than a fokker.

Even better: Germany had a fuel problem, and not just as in quantity. A lot of the performance advantage in allied fighters actually had to do purely with the availability of higher octane fuel, so you could push the compression ratio higher. And sure, the compression ratio was not the only trick. You could also do stuff like water-methanol injection and whatnot, but then both sides did it, and what remained was still that the side with better fuel refining was having the edge when it came to piston engine aircraft.

So, anyway, when it came to piston engine fuel, Germany had a problem. Both in quality, and in the quantity that makes the cut at all to be aviation grade fuel. And the quality translated in the Allied aircraft having the edge in the air.

The jet engine, on the other hand, didn't have that problem. You could put a lot worse fuel in it than in a Fokker and it wouldn't cause knocking. Because knocking isn't even possible in a jet engine.

So, yeah, everyone loves to IMAGINE that higher tech means horribly expensive, but in this case actually it was cheaper. Basically it's useful to check the actual reality, rather than judge real stuff based on imaginary factors.
Wasn't the problem mainly that during development they had to work around Hitler's insistence that it be used as a bomber rather than as an interceptor? Which delayed actually getting an interceptor ready for production and into combat.
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Old 16th April 2019, 03:49 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Wasn't the problem mainly that during development they had to work around Hitler's insistence that it be used as a bomber rather than as an interceptor? Which delayed actually getting an interceptor ready for production and into combat.
Mostly that, yes. Although the delays did give them the time to perfect the engine some more. Still, yeah, that was a bit of wasted opportunity.

Although to make the whole turning it into a bomber an even bigger problem, here comes the bigger WTH: the (fighter-)bomber model was shipped without any bombing sights. Attempts to use it resulted in accuracy so poor, that, well, shall we say, if you even wanted to hit an airfield, you only had any chance if you were currently parked on it. Though soon after it started shipping, you could buy the bombing sights as an extra kit to apply yourself in the field
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