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Why germany never had a four engined bomber?

Article about: General Walther Wever became the commander of the RLM in 1933 and Chief Of Staff of the Luftwaffe in 1935 and was a strong believer in the importance of having a strategic air force. However

  1. #11

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    General Walther Wever became the commander of the RLM in 1933 and Chief Of Staff of the Luftwaffe in 1935 and was a strong believer in the importance of having a strategic air force. However, he was killed in an air crash in 1936, after which those who favoured a more tactical based air force held sway and so Wever's ideas fell by the wayside.
    If he hadn't of been killed then who knows how the Luftwaffe would of developed.

  2. #12
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    Ant and Krad have it right- no important targets were so far that the 2-engined types they had couldn't reach them. The FW200 was a primarily a long-range maritime recon aircraft, not a bomber and others with four engines were heavy transports, etc.- none were true strategic bombers because Germany never needed them. Not only that but the Allied 4-entined 'heavies' had average bomb loads of 2000kg-3600kg for the B17 and 6300kg for a Lancaster, aren't dramatically better than the 2000kg of an He111H and 3000kg of a Ju88A4, directly and relatively speaking. Doubtless the Luftwaffe's view was on bomb load. Plus Germany didn't have the manufacturing capacity of the USA and Canada, so 2-engined bombers, which were much, much less-costly, that delivered at least equivalent loads, were far better choices.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  3. #13

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    They did atleast capture one B-17

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  4. #14

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    Quote by MetalCrue1 View Post
    They did atleast capture one B-17

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    The KG-200, they also captured B-24 too.

    Taka

  5. #15

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    A bit of research shows why the German Luftwaffe had only 2 engine bombers for most of the war and why multi engine aircraft in general declined in importance to them over the course of the war-the death of Wever and the concentration on building up a purely tactical support arm for the army using 'blitzkrieg' techniques to win short, sharp campaigns along with a very stop/start development programme of changing priorities ensured no large strategic bombing capacity ever occurred-by the time it became apparent it might be a good idea, it was too late and the focus had shifted to single engine fighters and fighter bombers as the war situation deteriorated for them.

    It's also a mistake to think that Britain had no interest in direct air support for the army-most of the RAF bomber force at the start of the war consisted of single engine light bombers of various ages such as the Hawker Hart derivatives, Vickers Wellesleys, Fairey Battles etc and the light medium twin engine Bristol Blenheim-also the army cooperation force with Westland Lysanders (and more Harts)-the strategic force with Wellingtons and Whitleys was quite small and it took a very long time to build RAF Bomber Command into a major force, helped by the fact that for several years it was the only way of directly attacking Germany in Europe.

  6. #16

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    The answer is simply, that they did not Need the 4 engined long haulers. If their targets had been farther distanced away, I'm sure they would have developed them more thoroughly than they did.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  7. #17

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    Thanks for everyone's input certainly answered a nagging question thats been burning me for years.............
    With Regards Jake.

  8. #18

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    Hi, My two penny worth. From what I have read and as a general opinion, General Wever was a very forward looking personality and forsaw the needs of modern warfare. His intention to arm the new Lufwaffe with the "Ural" strategic four engined bomber was largely at variance with the then concept of European land warefare. Most of the early generals of the Luftwaffe were ex frontline soldiers who saw the "Air Arm" as an Army support tool and were therefore in favour of tactical ground support in order to achieve fast penetration and overwhelming battlefield superiority. This to the direct detriment of the theory of defeating an enemy at its roots rather than in the field. The analagy that I would draw would be to hit a wasps nest with a cricket bat then try to swat the wasps one by one on a tactical basis rather than to take out the whole nest as a strategic action. The strategic theory is borne out by the German inability to curtail Russian production, military command and control, movements and govenance etc as it was all moved farther east out of German reach whilst the German Army was frittered away in places like Stalingrad etc. which should never have happened. Had General Wever not died as and when he did, and had his strategic theories been allowed to proceed, WWII could have had a far different outcome with Ural Bombers attacking London and all the major cities and centers of production, population and military command etc., in any of the theatres of war, not to mention CONUS?? Thankfully for the Allies, Germany, at that time, was not geared up for a World War but rather a "localised" Europian War with little consideration of the vast areas and capabilities of the East and West. In answer to your original question, short sighted military and political policy, arrogance concerning the capabilities of the intended foes, superiority comlex viz the invincibility of the Werhmacht and the reliance on short term tactics rather than longer term stratagies. And, sadly, it is still happening in the Middle East as we speak!! Hope I have not bored anyone, these are just my opinions.
    Cheers Michael Ryan

  9. #19

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    The whole strategic bombing and its actual effectiveness on a cost benefit basis has been debated since well before the actual end of the war but it's highly unlikely that even long range bombers would have had any real effect on the outcome of the war for the Germans-it was only by 1944 that the combined RAF/USAAC effort started to have a real impact on German industry and then only in certain sectors such as oil production-the pre war belief in strategic bombing was shown to be greatly exaggerated in effectiveness and many have argued that a transfer of resources to long range anti submarine patrol aircraft would have been far more useful to the Allies in the period 1940-43 than trying to bomb Germany at great cost and with little result. It's also worth noting that both Italy and the USSR did develop effective modern 4 engine bombers but either couldn't build them in sufficient numbers (Italy) or found that they didn't suit their actual combat needs (USSR).

  10. #20
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    Quote by lithgow View Post
    The whole strategic bombing and its actual effectiveness on a cost benefit basis has been debated since well before the actual end of the war but it's highly unlikely that even long range bombers would have had any real effect on the outcome of the war for the Germans-it was only by 1944 that the combined RAF/USAAC effort started to have a real impact on German industry and then only in certain sectors such as oil (USSR).
    Yes, because the RAF and USAAC started to seriously target refineries in late '44.

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