Der Adler, der Wolf, und die Sonne: Die Geschichte des Stahlpakts

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
IX: 2. Sitzkrieg or 'Phoney War', Feb - Aug 1942: German R&D

Wraith11B

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Jan - Aug 1942

HEER.

With the coming assault against Poland expected to begin within the month, the Heer finalized their doctrine for the mechanized infantry forces which would be supporting the Panzers throughout their operations. Time would tell whether those doctrinal moves were the right ones, but in the meantime the focus transitioned to improving attack movement by better organizing command and control at the operational level. This work, started in January, finished in May.

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Mechanized forces in training; this battalion made up
Panzergrenadier-Brigade 1, assigned to 1.PzD.

A continuing project that evaded notice of the Heereswaffenamt Inspector General Emil Leeb and even the Inspector of Armored Troops was the development of new engines for a future light tank project. The engine would be employed in the new armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) of mechanized units and also as a truck engine for motorized troops, but documents revealed that a relatively junior lieutenant colonel was seeking more chances to sell licenses of armored vehicles overseas, as well as a model that the Heer might use itself. Indeed, the new light tank design conducted reliability testing from May through August 1942.

0QyReY7.png

A line drawing of the VK.1602 Leopard light tank design.
Equipped with a 5 cm Kw.K.39/1 L/60 cannon, this design
was foreseen as a unit that could accompany the Panzer-
Grenadiers in their operations, or for sale abroad.

April saw the final touches of the latest iteration of the Panzer IV: the Pz.Kpfw.IV ausf. C. Problems with the ausf. As and some ausf. Bs had been exposed during the fighting in Poland, which saw significant losses in tanks, not through the impact of enemy action, but of breakdowns and design failures. A redesigned main gun and armor scheme was finalized as well. The combat experience also showed a clear need for a redesigned heavy tank: a few examples had been sent up to the Panzerkorps from the two motorized infantry corps’ Leiche-Divisionen, and the experience was less than stellar, but funding was delayed until intelligence courtesy of Frick’s Geheimdienst showed that the Soviet Union had an advanced heavy tank design that was beginning serial production.

RQObRhH.png

A Panzer IVC with the final Schürzen armor.
This armor was largely ineffective, and tended
to be removed by the crews at the slightest
inconvenience.

Small improvements to the production models of small arms for the infantry units began development in January, and were informed by experience in Poland. The Gewehr 43A had proven useful in combat, and was well respected by the infantrymen carrying it. Thus, the improvements were geared towards the refinement of magazines, and better ammunition burn. Improvements were also made to the MP38, which would become the MP42 and all small arms projects were finished in April. The Heereswaffenamt released more funding in February to improve support weapons, which focused in this iteration on the mortars assigned to infantry forces, and which finished in April. Further funding was approved in March for both improvements to the light artillery and anti-tank weapons held at the regimental level; these projects received final approval for production in May and June.

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Above, an improved mortar team digging in.
Below, a mountain howitzer.
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In February and March, the Heereswaffenamt concluded the training for the Feldgendarmerie of the Heer, as well as the final selection for bridging equipment and assault weapons for the Pioniere. This freed funding for lessons from the recent conflict in Poland for both First Aid and Combat Medicine in March and April and continued through July. Experience in the employment of the Fallschirmjagers in Poland had delayed the final approval of tactical improvements to their operations until April.

Antgw7e.png

A member of the Feldgendarmerie performing
his duties in a cold rain, 1942.

Through August, digesting the experience from Poland was the focus for the Heer and their after action reports. April had four projects start: the first to improve generals’ experience in recognizing the elements necessary for breakthroughs, the second and third in improving organization of infantry units and their training for the assault. April’s final project was for the organization of the Panzers. In July, training Panzer forces began for future operations. In August, work began on training Gebirgsjäger and Fallschirmjäger formations as more combined arms operations.


KRIEGSMARINE.

The Kriegsmarine’s winter submarine training evolution concluded in January. While the after action reports were being assembled, the Unterseekriegsleiter office began planning for their contribution to the Grossdeutsches Reich’s war plans: unrestricted submarine warfare. Hitler had expressed reservations about the usefulness of such tactics, being of the understanding that it had been what finally brought the United States into the war against Germany during the Great War. Doenitz, supported by Frick, had explained that with the ascension of the decisively isolationist America First wing of the GOP in the United States, it would be highly unlikely to repeat itself. Raeder remained unimpressed, which led to the uboats not being deployed for months during the opening months of the war with the Allies. The doctrinal review would not be completed until late June, at which point it was too late for several flotillas of uboats which had to be disbanded because of losses.

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Type XXIEs after conducting training in 1942.
Despite the promise of the fleet, conflict between
Raeder and Doenitz led to the USKL largely
remaining in port for much of the first few months
of the war.

The test programme for the refinement of Radar to equip the small surface combatants of the Kriegsmarine produced a deployable result in March. While funding was not immediately allocated to the project and thus it would be months before all refinements would be completed, the development was feted in the Kriegsmarine as a way to make those smaller (and thus more economical) vessels better able to find, fix and fight the merchantmen and escorts of the Royal Navy. The battles during the spring and summer of 1942 also showed that the heavy units needed an improved Radar set, but funding this project did not get released until July.

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A Focke Wulf Fw200 and Junkers Ju88 conducting training in the
North Sea, 1942. Each Marinefliegergeschwader maintained a
Staffel of navalized Fw200s for their long range reconnaissance
missions.

In March, the Kriegsmarine finished distributing the results of the late winter war games conducted by the heavy surface combatants to the officers of the fleet. These efforts and their recent conduct made the officers fresh for the surface battles which dominated the Sitzkrieg months of 1942. The funding was rapidly redirected after the first several battles to more crew training, targeting and range finding as well as further training for the Kriegsmarine’s air arm. The losses and damage suffered by the fleet during May and the loss of the Albatross in February was especially concerning for the Kriegsmarine. Indeed, the battles around the Kattegatt were so furious that the Kriegsmarine also ordered more training for their pilots and ground crew and a review of the tactical employment of the aircraft in April; all this training would finish in August. The crew training for cruisers would not finish until July for the heavy units and until August for the light units.

PStu22Y.png

Stettin, the first of its class of light cruisers, showing the latest
radar set on her mast. Designed to almost be comparable in size
to a heavy cruiser, the class was optimized for surface raiding, a
leading cause of damage sustained by the type.

The loss of the vessels making up the KuBA in late February to air attacks from the Ark Royal’s air wing caused the USKL to demand more capable air raid warning devices which could be installed on their submarines. The project, ordered in April, yielded an improved device in July, but as with all improvements, would be subject to the tyranny of time and effort to refit all submarines with the equipment.

FP91VWv.png

Kriegsmarine Frigate F1, dedicated convoy escort. These
vessels served as the last line of defense against the
predations of the Royal Navy, and Royal Canadian Navy.

One of the main concerns of the units in the surface fleet after the series of engagements in Spring 1942 was the apparent training deficiency in the reconnaissance mission of the small surface combatants. The restricted waters of the Baltic, especially around Denmark, had made the battles a pile of knife-fights at relatively close range and had rapidly ground down the Royal Navy’s strength, especially in heavy cruisers. Training for spotting enemy vessels was begun in May and continued through early September. The merchant losses also convinced the SKL that anti-submarine warfare was seriously lacking, and so funding was provided in June to rectify that deficiency, while in July, an effort was started to work on escort system for the destroyers and frigates of the Kriegsmarine.

uO5a3vU.png

A Heinkel He111 testing two torpedoes for the Kriegsmarine,
1942. While the Luftwaffe assisted in the project, it did so only
begrudgingly, and thus delayed the program.

Studies of the engagements of the Marinefliegergeschwaders showed a decisive lack of hits on the vessels during engagements in May, which caused the Kriegsmarine to again look at the weapon systems which equipped their aircraft. It was June before they also began looking at the targeting systems and tactics, techniques and procedures for the operations. Another project focused on at-sea naval strikes was continuing from the previous year and published some conclusions in July but the project continued to be funded. The Kriegsmarine also began to look at the effort at making naval strikes in ports and harbors for the expected invasion of the British Isles, but it was not finished before the Royal Navy had dispatched their remaining fleet to deal with the Japanese Navy.

NAZJ97t.jpg

A plan of the first German light aircraft carrier, Alder.
Experience in carrier aviation was seriously lacking
in the Kriegsmarine, but that didn’t stop Raeder from
wanting his prestige projects to go ahead.

While a German set of naval architects had conducted a thorough study of Japanese carrier designs in the early 1930s, German naval architects ran into difficulties due to lack of experience in building such vessels, the situational realities of carrier operations in the North Sea and the lack of overall clarity in the ships' mission objectives. This lack of clarity led to features such as cruiser-type guns for commerce raiding and defense against British cruisers, that were either eliminated from or not included in American and Japanese carrier designs. American and Japanese carriers, designed along the lines of task-force defense, used supporting cruisers for surface firepower, which allowed flight operations to continue without disruption and kept carriers out of undue risk of damage or sinking from surface action. While designs were well advanced in concept, the actual operational doctrines supporting their use were not. A pair of studies were funded in July: one, how to employ carriers within the Kriegsmarine and two, how best to operate those vessels. The ability to conduct this training was significantly diminished because of the lack of any carriers, but that did not stop the research studies from proceeding. [NOTE: recall, because of an error in my modding, GER and ITA wound up with more Carrier techs than I wanted to give them, which was none; and so I made a house rule that I would not allow myself to build any CVs as either nation until either I had researched some version of Carrier techs and either three CVLs had been built or the year was at least 1942.]


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The Stettin sinking after the engagement off Dogger Bank.

The experience of the engagements around the Baltic and North Seas had exposed a significant weakness in the light cruisers of the Kriegsmarine. Older designs, especially the Emden-, K- and Leipzig-classes were becoming ever more outclassed by the planned expansion of the British and American navies. Thus, three projects initiated for better main armament, anti-air armament and engines for those light cruisers while another two projects, one for an improvement in the anti-aircraft artillery schemes for the battlecruisers and more training provided for Fire Control Systems were approved to begin in August.


LUFTWAFFE.

The combined projects of working in ground-based radar into how the fighter units of the Luftwaffe operated finished in February. These projects, based on the latest version of ground-based radar demonstrated the shortcomings of the system, which informed the development of an aerial search and navigation radars (the former of which was completed in March, the latter not begun until June) and the demand for an improved ground-based version (funded in April, and completed in July), as well as medium air search radar for the tactical bombers (and later co-opted by the Kriegsmarine). This larger radar system was completed in August, at which point the Luftwaffe demanded navigation radar systems.


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A radar station designed for raid warning. These radars were
spared almost no expense despite their cost.

The radar systems were only part of the plan. Goering had invested significant amounts of his personal prestige into the VLaN, which saw the construction of the progenitor of what would become known as an integrated air defense system (IADS), a networked system of radars, air defense artillery, and fighters to protect the nation. New artillery systems were completed in February to leverage radar-direction for those guns.


jO9xKWV.png


This Würzburg was designed for gunlaying, rather than mere
detection of hostile aircraft.

Training for all Luftwaffe aviation formations continued with the inclusion of lessons learned over Poland and were finalized in April. This included better sortie generation rates through the use of what became known as elefantenritt, or elephant walk, in the close air support and tactical and heavy bomber formations which were no-notice drills designed to go from stand-down to full combat operations in as little time as possible. These drills also culminated in several ground attack training scenarios in the Sudetenland training area as well as in several Polish locations; by April they were coming to an end. Another lesson learned by the Luftwaffe was that their medium sized bombs were in need of better fuzing and design, and so the project was funded in July.


VgaMYDp.png


An A4 conducting a field launch test, 1942. The A4
was the epitome of the wartime efforts to restrain the
Luftwaffe from “needing” a strategic bomber, and in
that, the Luftwaffe succeeded.

Another of Goering’s pet projects, the Marschflugkörper, was certified and the first production example was rolled out in March. By August, the Luftwaffe held nearly 1200 examples, and yet Goering was told of even greater possibilities. Continued funding into rocket research was directed to HVP in April, and in July, Goering was briefed on a project which would finalize what was called Aggregat (German for “Aggregate”) and would produce the world’s first ballistic missile. The project received approval from the Reichsluftminister in July and replaced the funding for the research in August.


273tdtq.jpg


The Heinkel He 178, the world’s first jet-powered
aircraft.

These developments had convinced some in the Luftwaffe of the possibility of military aircraft equipped with rocket engines. A theoretical jet engine was demonstrated in April aboard the Heinkel He 178, a private effort by the company and spearheaded by Hans von Ohain and Ernst Heinkel. While Goering did not attend, two other high-ranking members of the Luftwaffe did: Ernst Udet and Erhard Milch. Neither were necessarily impressed with the display, but funding was begrudgingly parted with for further development research in April and continued through the year.


CIVIL/SECRET.

Speer’s desire to continue the drive to ruthlessly improve his standing and power in the Reich led to two projects in February and March focused on improving the production of industry and its efficiency. Focused as he was on centralizing all industrial concerns under his control, when these projects were finished in May and June respectively, his ministries had also completed several projects in the refinement of rare materials, steel production, oil refining, coal processing and synthetic fuel projects in March. Speer’s compatriot in the Reich’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Richard Walther Darré, had been convinced to begin another round of Agriculture improvement projects in March as well, which finished and began implementation in June.

3qcqOVr.png

Richard Walther Darré, originally Ricardo Walther Óscar Darré,
was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was a leading NSDAP
ideologist who survived the Night of the Long Knives as a
cabinet Minister for Food and Agriculture. Speer was a fellow
compatriot with Darré’s dislike of Schacht.

Applying some of the previous project results in the production of supplies, their organization and transportation, new projects in February (for the former) and March (for the other two) finished in June and July, respectively. This also was joined by a February project to continue the preparation for both the restoration of damage from strategic attacks against the Reich and for the needed expansion of the Reich into their new territory; this project was completed in June.

Speer’s ability to bring the results endeared him to the Führer, and his influence within the inner circle of the Reich continued to burn brighter. Schacht had long since stopped even bothering to show himself at the Ministry, leaving a barely-disguised conflict for influence between Frick’s Abwehr, Heer, and Kriegsmarine on one side, the Luftwaffe and Goering on another with Speer’s Armaments Ministry (along with several of the other civilian ministries, especially those of Economics, Food and Agriculture, Labor, Transport and Education) playing the two off one another for his own benefit.

It was Speer’s own involvement which continued the push for splitting the atom: Speer saw this as a way to liberate Germany from her need to produce coal or oil for powering the Führer’s plans for the grand restructuring of Berlin and other cities. Another influx of cash into the requisite background research was authorized in April, and ended in August while in May a specific project to work on separation of isotopes concluded and turned to the physics required for the construction of a nuclear reactor.


vPD8m6m.jpg


Frick, right, meeting with Alexander Mach, left. Mach was the
more ideological component of the Slovakian government, and
staunchly pro-German. Frick used this to his advantage when
dealing with von Ribbentrop.

Frick, in one of his many plays to ingratiate himself with Speer (as well as to smooth over some of the issues between himself and Goering) advocated providing funding for decryption and encryption efforts. Speer in turn asked Frick for more funding for both mechanical and electronic computing machines, as the scientists who reported to him stated that their efforts would be aided by such machines and they would also help other projects as well. Speer, Frick and Goering all agreed to provide such funding in June.

*****

All, I've taken the post so that I can thank everyone. It will be amended to the post at 1000EDT.

Wait till it gets to just 1 to go and the complex games theory around trying to engineer someone else accidentally posting at the top of the page.
DYAEiOu.gif

As it usually is with your own AARs, but I have secured the post (it will be amended to this one!).

Clearly, the solution is to have the German science directorate develop heatproof pockets. :p

They tried, but couldn't sort things out... Something about thermodynamics.

so this is the final post to take you to the beginning of the page or am I just screwing things up?

You've achieved the necessary numbers!!
 
Last edited:

Axe99

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so this is the final post to take you to the beginning of the page or am I just screwing things up?

You were braver than me! I was thinking about posting, but not confident I wouldn't mess it up, so let it lie! Nice work :)
 

TheButterflyComposer

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They tried, but couldn't sort things out... Something about thermodynamics.

I feel like thermodynamics was the thing people used before quantum physics to do the 'something something...er...well, in quantum physics...something something'.
 

Wraith11B

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You were braver than me! I was thinking about posting, but not confident I wouldn't mess it up, so let it lie! Nice work :)

Well, now we have an update! Check it out! Some crazy Naval Pron in there for you, Axe!

I feel like thermodynamics was the thing people used before quantum physics to do the 'something something...er...well, in quantum physics...something something'.

Quantum anything seems to be the be-all, end-all these days.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Bullfilter

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Well, now we have an update!
You certainly do! You must have a detailed list of cast members tucked away to be able to track all those ministries, departments, agencies etc and who is who within them. All those odious functionaries vying for influence in the chaotic and continuous internecine struggles in the Nazi state. Sounds realistic. A good thing for humanity that a nation with such a reputation for efficiency was in OTL run by such an inefficient bunch of squabblers.

How has the air war been going since Poland? Is that going to be in an impending chapter?
 

Axe99

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Wraith11B

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Technically it is.

Touche.

You certainly do! You must have a detailed list of cast members tucked away to be able to track all those ministries, departments, agencies etc and who is who within them. All those odious functionaries vying for influence in the chaotic and continuous internecine struggles in the Nazi state. Sounds realistic. A good thing for humanity that a nation with such a reputation for efficiency was in OTL run by such an inefficient bunch of squabblers.

Yes, the cast continues to grow... As one star rises, others fall, or rise ascendant again. For instance, the influence campaigns and all of that Geheimdienst and Abwehr stuff has largely fallen away, which means that Frick and von Ribbentrop aren't pulling much power anymore. Their influence wanes and the war time power transitions to Speer and the military. Shoves the links to Wikipedia aside and hopes no one noticed...

How has the air war been going since Poland? Is that going to be in an impending chapter?

It will. I'm thinking it will be part of TTL Sealion (I know you're trying to not do spoilers, so I'll just call it that).

And then some, on both counts :D

Glad to oblige. Soon it'll be Naval Combat pron for you. That is where I'll see about the true caliber of my writing skills!
 
Last edited:

roverS3

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Interesting, here too, Mach makes an appearance...

I like the light tank design you dug up, I'd never seen it before, and in the context of the game it does give a more plausible alternative for L Arm (IV) or L Arm (V)... There's a similar problem with Soviet Light Tanks, neither the T-60 or the T-70 are mentioned in the game, and those were built... It just stops at BT-7, and then it's L Arm(IV), etc. Same with Armoured cars, BA-20 and then it's over to generic names...

Loving the naval pictures, that picture of a Stettin-Class cruiser is particularly spectacular.

Wasn't the A4 a Wehrmacht project, to supplement heavy Artillery, circumventing the Versailles treaty limitations, or was that another rocket before that one?

Udet and Milch not being impressed by an experimental jet aircraft really is unsurprising, but it's a nice little touch for you to mention it...

Another great update.
 

diskoerekto

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El Pip

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All those odious functionaries vying for influence in the chaotic and continuous internecine struggles in the Nazi state. Sounds realistic. A
Nah, that was all far too smooth and organised. There is only one nuclear project for starters, should be at least 3 - Army, Reich Research Council and the Post Office (a fact too barking not to be true). These projects should all fight for the same scarce resources and spend more time sabotaging each other than doing real work. The Army should also be drafting up nuclear physicists and making them serve as infantry grunts on the front, the few who are left because most of them should have fled the country or been forced out. Still could be worse, could be the endless and bitter fights over intelligence agencies and decryption efforts. ;)

I can imagine why Schacht has stopped turning up, for all his sins he had a firm grasps on reality and a Germany that can afford this level of spending without having looted Europe is a long way from reality. I imagine Schacht just sitting at home drinking Schnapps, chain-smoking and trying to work out what the hell is going on and where all this stuff is coming from.

For all that, once again @Wraith11B I am impressed at the efforts poured into this and your excellent array of words and pictures. :)
 

Wraith11B

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Interesting, here too, Mach makes an appearance...

I like the light tank design you dug up, I'd never seen it before, and in the context of the game it does give a more plausible alternative for L Arm (IV) or L Arm (V)... There's a similar problem with Soviet Light Tanks, neither the T-60 or the T-70 are mentioned in the game, and those were built... It just stops at BT-7, and then it's L Arm(IV), etc. Same with Armoured cars, BA-20 and then it's over to generic names...

When I found that picture of Frick and Mach, I knew that I just had to make the connection. Given Frick's influence in the cabinet in TTL, I couldn't forego the obvious nod to either Inevitable Defeat nor especially to Talking Turkey.

I don't particularly like how the game handles division design (one thing to commend of HoI4, for sure), and light armor gets a bad rap for sure.

Loving the naval pictures, that picture of a Stettin-Class cruiser is particularly spectacular.

I appropriated the picture from a Hipper-class heavy cruiser, as those were never constructed in TTL, but I wanted something that I might be able to find at least some "real" shots of. Fortunately, Shipbucket smiled upon me and revealed that there was a plan to equip the Seydlitz with 5.9" guns (and thus make her a "light" cruiser) and combining that with the fact that most "light" cruisers were almost the size of heavy cruisers anyways led to that.

Wasn't the A4 a Wehrmacht project, to supplement heavy Artillery, circumventing the Versailles treaty limitations, or was that another rocket before that one?

The Wehrmacht wanted rocket artillery to circumvent Versailles, and had several plans for what amounted to artillery for every range: short, tactical employment; medium-range operational and long-range strategic. The A4 was supposed to be the operational to strategic range (in contrast to the Nebelwerfers' tactical use).

Udet and Milch not being impressed by an experimental jet aircraft really is unsurprising, but it's a nice little touch for you to mention it...

Another great update.

Thank you! I figured that there was some room for unimpressed Germans in the AAR...

Great post with tasty pics! :)

Oh my god
This is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G
This is a gem of an AAR
I am going to follow it and read every word
Man this is some real boss level writing man !!!

Thank you, gentlemen. Always good to hear that people are enjoying it and that I am writing well!

Nah, that was all far too smooth and organised. There is only one nuclear project for starters, should be at least 3 - Army, Reich Research Council and the Post Office (a fact too barking not to be true). These projects should all fight for the same scarce resources and spend more time sabotaging each other than doing real work. The Army should also be drafting up nuclear physicists and making them serve as infantry grunts on the front, the few who are left because most of them should have fled the country or been forced out. Still could be worse, could be the endless and bitter fights over intelligence agencies and decryption efforts. ;)

Ah, if only there was a mechanic for that in HoI3! I doubt it would be that hard to do, either. "if (nuclear research = yes) then {-0.75 * research rate}" And I know it's fallen by the wayside (because the war is hotting up now, and I'm not forced into contrivances to keep the plot interesting) but there's still the disagreements between Frick and Goering.

I can imagine why Schacht has stopped turning up, for all his sins he had a firm grasps on reality and a Germany that can afford this level of spending without having looted Europe is a long way from reality. I imagine Schacht just sitting at home drinking Schnapps, chain-smoking and trying to work out what the hell is going on and where all this stuff is coming from.

"I did my best, but what the absolute hell happened?"
5AgY3GO.png


For all that, once again @Wraith11B I am impressed at the efforts poured into this and your excellent array of words and pictures. :)

Thank you, as ever. Honestly, I have to say that your input has been invaluable to me as a check on what I am writing to bring a semblance of reality!
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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Ah the Wurzburg radar. I have always found it slightly odd how the Wurzburg looks almost like the archetypal radar, unlike say the Chain Home series of radar designs. Well, odd is not perhaps the right word, but interesting.
 

Surt

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Ah the Wurzburg radar. I have always found it slightly odd how the Wurzburg looks almost like the archetypal radar, unlike say the Chain Home series of radar designs. Well, odd is not perhaps the right word, but interesting.

This type of antenna has been around since at lease 1931 .
 

El Pip

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This type of antenna has been around since at lease 1931 .
Well it's just a parabolic dish, the concept of using them for focusing goes back to at least Archimedes and the 3rd Century BC.
 

stnylan

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This type of antenna has been around since at lease 1931 .

Well it's just a parabolic dish, the concept of using them for focusing goes back to at least Archimedes and the 3rd Century BC.
I know that very well

My point is that I find it interesting that Germany possessed a more "stereotypical" radar dish than the British equivalent stations. FWIW from my reading I tend to regard the Germany air defence radar as being less efficacious overall than the British system, but equally know that is in part down to differences in doctrine and the German love (in this period at least) of over-complicating stuff.
 

Eurasia

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Saw this Friday and thought of your latest chapter....

XZ0kzM6.jpg
 

El Pip

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IMy point is that I find it interesting that Germany possessed a more "stereotypical" radar dish than the British equivalent stations. FWIW from my reading I tend to regard the Germany air defence radar as being less efficacious overall than the British system, but equally know that is in part down to differences in doctrine and the German love (in this period at least) of over-complicating stuff.
At the risk of ruining a forthcoming chapter of Butterfly (I say forthcoming, it'll be in 2020 at best) the German radar at the start of the war was technically better (shorter wavelength, so more accurate, better at height, etc) as the Germans had focused on making the best radar they could. This meant that Wurzburg could use a "stereotypical" dish as the wavelengths were shorter. The long-range Freya sets looked a lot like Chain Home but shorter, again due to shorter wavelengths. BUT all these clever radar sets required complex, hand-fettled components and lots of babysitting during operation, with the result that the Germans only had 8 Freya sets operational at the start of WW2 and huge gaps in their radar coverage.

The British insight was that radar was only information and what you did with it was important, so Chain Home was constructed from mostly off the shelf components and the effort was put into the Filter Rooms and operational systems to turn a radar detection into the launch of a fighter as fast as possible. Because they were off the shelf the wavelengths were really long, 12m which was 10x longer than Freya and so needed 10x longer aerials, hence the giant towers. The advantage being they were cheap and quick to build, so Chain Home, Chain Home Low and the Filter Rooms were all ready by the outbreak of war.

Of course both sides developed as the war went on, the Germans finally built enough Freyas and developed a very efficient air defence system over the Reich with their own version of the Filter Room. Meanwhile the British invented the cavity magnetron and had high-power, cm wavelengths radars they could use for better air defence, as well as H2S, proximity fuse and all that good stuff.
 

stnylan

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At the risk of ruining a forthcoming chapter of Butterfly (I say forthcoming, it'll be in 2020 at best) the German radar at the start of the war was technically better (shorter wavelength, so more accurate, better at height, etc) as the Germans had focused on making the best radar they could. This meant that Wurzburg could use a "stereotypical" dish as the wavelengths were shorter. The long-range Freya sets looked a lot like Chain Home but shorter, again due to shorter wavelengths. BUT all these clever radar sets required complex, hand-fettled components and lots of babysitting during operation, with the result that the Germans only had 8 Freya sets operational at the start of WW2 and huge gaps in their radar coverage.

The British insight was that radar was only information and what you did with it was important, so Chain Home was constructed from mostly off the shelf components and the effort was put into the Filter Rooms and operational systems to turn a radar detection into the launch of a fighter as fast as possible. Because they were off the shelf the wavelengths were really long, 12m which was 10x longer than Freya and so needed 10x longer aerials, hence the giant towers. The advantage being they were cheap and quick to build, so Chain Home, Chain Home Low and the Filter Rooms were all ready by the outbreak of war.

Of course both sides developed as the war went on, the Germans finally built enough Freyas and developed a very efficient air defence system over the Reich with their own version of the Filter Room. Meanwhile the British invented the cavity magnetron and had high-power, cm wavelengths radars they could use for better air defence, as well as H2S, proximity fuse and all that good stuff.
Have you read Most Secret War by RV Jones? (tbh, I would be very surprised if you had not).

He makes an almost throwaway comment in there following a discussion with Kammhuber after the way about the different doctrines of radar usage that I found very illuminating - about how the British used radar to effectively increase their figher coverage, whilst the Germans for too long were wedded to the idea of removing their Observor Corps equivalent.