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British rearmament earlier and more effectively in the 30s

JFC Fuller

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Tony Williams said:
So it really wouldn't much matter what the Luftwaffe did - they would almost certainly shoot down far fewer small fast bombers than big slow ones, and each small one would be a fraction of the loss in human and material terms.
I would suggest it would make a substantial difference what the Luftwaffe did, focussed on intercepting agile high-speed and lightly armed targets (conveniently similar characteristics to a fighter) and actually intercepting major raids conducted by such a type rather than ignoring nuisance raids the Luftwaffe would inevitably push the Mosquito loss rate up rapidly. Given the difference in bomb-load between a Lancaster and a Mosquito and the usually quoted difference in loss rates (2.2% versus 0.7%) as many Mosquitoes and Lancasters would be lost just to deliver the same bomb-load not even taking into account the higher loss rate that would result from it being the focus of the Luftwaffe's efforts.
 

Tony Williams

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I would suggest it would make a substantial difference what the Luftwaffe did,
Perhaps you could explain what they could do to overcome the substantial problems I outlined in my last post?

They tried their best, with the special anti-Mosquito squadron(s) I mentioned, and failed abysmally.
 

JFC Fuller

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Tony Williams said:
Perhaps you could explain what they could do to overcome the substantial problems I outlined in my last post?

They tried their best, with the special anti-Mosquito squadron(s) I mentioned, and failed abysmally.
Given the overwhelming focus on intercepting heavy bombers they hardly tried their best, especially not with one squadron. And a number of Mosquitoes were lost to single engined German fighters
 

Tony Williams

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To give themselves any chance of downing Mosquitos on a substantial basis in the way did with the heavies (as opposed to occasionally getting lucky), the Luftwaffe would have needed interceptors with a very high rate of climb, a substantial speed advantage over the Mossie and a large fuel supply to enable them to overhaul the bomber in a long chase. There was no such plane available to them during the war.

Incidentally, the special anti-Mosquito day organisations were JG 25 and JG 50. These were fairly large organisations, since the number of aircraft in a Jagdgeschwader increased during the war from 112 at the start to 276 at the end. They also had a night group, JG 300 (IIRC). None of these proved particularly effective at shooting down Mosquitos.

Furthermore, the Luftwaffe home defence control system would have a much tougher job tracking a swarm of separate bombers coming in on varying tracks and at varying altitudes, plus vectoring fighters on to them.
 

JFC Fuller

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The FW-190 claimed a good number Mosquitoes from 1942 onwards, they were capable of doing it and there was more than just luck involved. Indeed it was between March 1942 and June 1943 when the Mosquito B.IV Series II was flying precision daylight raids that the types loss rate was approaching that of the Blenheim when that type was flying daylight missions, and the primary culprit was the Fw-190. Also, the RAF actually found that the best way to penetrate the Kammhuber line was with a single massive bomber stream rather than multiple aircraft attacking from different vectors due to the distributed nature of the German air defence network.

Edit; I knew I had seen these figures somewhere- from "The Science of Bombing: Operational Research in RAF Bomber Command" by Randall Thomas Wakelam. A series of mid-to-late war studies were done on the efficiency of different bomber types and resulted in the following interesting statistics.

The Lancaster, between 1 June 1943 and 15 September 1943 dropped 112.6 bombs for every missing aircraft versus 29.8 tons for the Mosquito. A further April 1944 study found that the Lancaster and the Mosquito cost twenty man months per ton of bombs dropped but the Mosquito only achieved this when flying with a single 4,000lb bomb- thus underscoring its lack of payload flexibility. All this in an environment where the Luftwaffe was primarily orientated against the four-engined "heavy" threat.

Edit 2: Just another note, apparently JG25 and JG50 never got much above Gruppe size before being transferred to the RLV mission so probably peaked at 40-50 aircraft each.
 

Tony Williams

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I think that we may be at risk of confusing day and night bombing, which were very different scenarios requiring different tactics (on the part of both the bombers and the defenders).

A postwar study in the NA (AVIA 46/116 De Haviland Mosquito papers, 1939–1945) is stated as demonstrating: "that the RAF found that when finally applied to bombing, in terms of useful damage done, the Mosquito had proved 4.95 times cheaper than the Lancaster."
 

PMN1

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Hood said:
The British had no 75mm or even a 57mm tank gun ready in 1940
Might have been possible to have a 6pdr a bit earlier.

Death by Design…Peter Beale

During the period when the two-pounder was being developed and mounted in tanks (as well as being used for ground-mounted anti-tank equipment), the thickness of armour on all tanks was rising steadily. There was clearly a case for a heavier gun. Col. Campbell Clarke was deputy Chairman of the Ordnance Board in 1937, and he had urged the then Director of Artillery, Maj Gen H. A. Lewis, to order a tank gun which could deal with tanks armoured to the 78mm standard of the Matilda. Lewis said that the General Staff did not consider it necessary. On 1 April 1938 Campbell Clarke succeeded Lewis as Director of Artillery, and on handing over Lewis said to Clarke, ‘Now you can get on with your gun’. Clarke proceeded to do just that.

The prime cause of this work was the field anti-tank gun rather than the tank gun; but from the start the possible future use of the gun in tanks was allowed for. Clarke called for general exploratory work on a six-pounder anti-tank gun in April 1938 ‘following generally the specification which governs the production of the two-pounder’. This request was made by the Design Department; but that department was understaffed and busy with other guns, and Clarke could not get General Staff priority.

Because of the shortage of design resources and the priorities given to them, designs for the six-pounder was not available until autumn 1939. The attention of the Director of Mechanisation, Maj Gen A.E. Davidson, responsible for the provision of tanks to the armoured forces, was drawn to the new gun at an early stage. But he was even less interested in a six-pounder tank gun than a six-pounder anti-tank gun; thus when a gun was available for trial in April 1940, and was approved, subject to testing, a tank and anti-tank gun, it was not specifically adopted for use in tanks.

In June 1940 the six-pounder passed its test at Shoeburyness. In July 1940 the Ministry of supply was asked to make fourteen pilot models, and in October they increased this to 50. At about this time Clarke read in an Ordnance Board minute that the Churchill tank currently being rushed through the design and manufacturing process was still to mount a two-pounder. Clarke protested vigorously to the Assistant Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Sir G.N. Macready and to his own boss, the Director General of Munitions Production, Sir Harold Brown. Clarke had already pointed out that the Germans, having investigated the Matildas left behind at Dunkirk, were very likely to increase the strength of both armour and the armament on their tanks – which they did.

Clarke also pressed the Director of Mechanisation to adopt the six-pounder in his tanks. Maj Gen Davidson pointed out that there was no General Staff requirement for a more powerful gun on tanks, and that ‘it was no part of the Director of Mechanisation’s duties to dictate to the General Staff when they had already decided their policies; the new Churchill tanks were designed to mount the two-pounder; and the size of the six-pounder would involve radical enlargement of the hull and turret’.

Macleod Ross records that: ‘On Clarke’s remonstrance Adm Sir Harold Brown (the DGMP) immediately ordered 2,000 six pounder anti-tank guns and 2,000 six-pounder tank guns. Unlike the D of M he did not care whether the General Staff approved or not, action which might be termed “the Nelson touch”.

The orders were there, but was the manufacturing capacity? Production was allowed to start only in a new factory at Radcliffe near Bolton because of War Office insistence that the production of two-pounders in existing factories should not be compromised.
 

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