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Luftwaffe: Secret Projects of the Third Reich by Dan Sharp

newsdeskdan

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Interesting that BMW, which produced the report 'Der Einbau des PTL-Geraets BMW 028' (EZS Bericht Nr. 48 EZV Nr. 592/44) in July 1944, was included on the recipient list of a report of November 27, 1943, by the LFA's Theodor Zobel (entitled 'Ein Weg zur Leistungssteigerung von Schnellflugzeugen') which included drawings like this:

Zobel.jpg
 

edwest

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Thank you for posting this. Very informative.
 

newsdeskdan

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Off topic, but where did you find your material for the Luftwaffe Secret Projects series? Mostly overlooked or mostly recently declassified?
In response to your query elsewhere Ed - 'mostly overlooked', or perhaps 'hidden within the dauntingly vast quantity of difficult to access captured German material which still survives today' might be a better way of putting it. Locating and extracting material that's actually useful and interesting is a very time consuming and expensive process - which perhaps explains why others might have been deterred from pursuing original research on unbuilt projects.
But even then the Luftwaffe Secret Projects series would have been impossible to make without the help and generosity of my friends and fellow researchers.
 

edwest

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Off topic, but where did you find your material for the Luftwaffe Secret Projects series? Mostly overlooked or mostly recently declassified?
In response to your query elsewhere Ed - 'mostly overlooked', or perhaps 'hidden within the dauntingly vast quantity of difficult to access captured German material which still survives today' might be a better way of putting it. Locating and extracting material that's actually useful and interesting is a very time consuming and expensive process - which perhaps explains why others might have been deterred from pursuing original research on unbuilt projects.
But even then the Luftwaffe Secret Projects series would have been impossible to make without the help and generosity of my friends and fellow researchers.

Thank you for your reply. As I recall, Phil Butler made a similar comment regarding his book War Prizes where he said that it required going through many unproductive card files to get at the information he was looking for.
 

newsdeskdan

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Off topic, but where did you find your material for the Luftwaffe Secret Projects series? Mostly overlooked or mostly recently declassified?
In response to your query elsewhere Ed - 'mostly overlooked', or perhaps 'hidden within the dauntingly vast quantity of difficult to access captured German material which still survives today' might be a better way of putting it. Locating and extracting material that's actually useful and interesting is a very time consuming and expensive process - which perhaps explains why others might have been deterred from pursuing original research on unbuilt projects.
But even then the Luftwaffe Secret Projects series would have been impossible to make without the help and generosity of my friends and fellow researchers.

Thank you for your reply. As I recall, Phil Butler made a similar comment regarding his book War Prizes where he said that it required going through many unproductive card files to get at the information he was looking for.
Card files - yes and not arranged in any way that would be useful to a researcher. Much of the 'overlooked' stuff isn't on any card files, it's simply uncatalogued.
 

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Much of the 'overlooked' stuff isn't on any card files, it's simply uncatalogued.
Makes it hard to know what to ask for, or even to ask at all, as you have to find some way round the standard "which catalogue items do you want us to fetch for you to look at?" form-filling routine.
The longer I live, the more I realise that all the bureaucratic form-filling and digitisation in the world can never replace the old adage, "It's not what you know, it's who you know".
 

edwest

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Off topic, but where did you find your material for the Luftwaffe Secret Projects series? Mostly overlooked or mostly recently declassified?
In response to your query elsewhere Ed - 'mostly overlooked', or perhaps 'hidden within the dauntingly vast quantity of difficult to access captured German material which still survives today' might be a better way of putting it. Locating and extracting material that's actually useful and interesting is a very time consuming and expensive process - which perhaps explains why others might have been deterred from pursuing original research on unbuilt projects.
But even then the Luftwaffe Secret Projects series would have been impossible to make without the help and generosity of my friends and fellow researchers.

Thank you for your reply. As I recall, Phil Butler made a similar comment regarding his book War Prizes where he said that it required going through many unproductive card files to get at the information he was looking for.
Card files - yes and not arranged in any way that would be useful to a researcher. Much of the 'overlooked' stuff isn't on any card files, it's simply uncatalogued.

I find that hard to believe. Intelligence reports I've read indicate a massive filing operation for internal use. I have seen references to a color coding system, like see "buff card." I have also read descriptions by researchers over the difficulty of finding something "responsive to their request." The difficulty was over wording or with name spellings or even with persons with the same last name, and a request for a birth date to discover if Sam Smith number one is not Sam Smith number two. The military loves creating acronyms and if the right acronym is not known, the file cannot be found. Take B.I.O.S. and C.I.O.S. reports. Don't know what these initials stand for? Well, that's just too bad. There is also a relatively long list of Allied intelligence groups/teams that were let loose on occupied Europe. FIAT? Well, if you don't know, we can't help you. And the massive microfilming operation that was going on in Europe. I have made attempts to locate documents and have gotten no response or the equivalent of file not found. In fact, I have stumbled across more information as opposed to going with, what I thought, would be the more direct route.
 

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Card files - yes and not arranged in any way that would be useful to a researcher. Much of the 'overlooked' stuff isn't on any card files, it's simply uncatalogued.
I find that hard to believe. Intelligence reports I've read indicate a massive filing operation for internal use. ... The military loves creating acronyms and if the right acronym is not known, the file cannot be found.
I find it very easy to believe. A single card or inventory entry can cover an entire boxful, even shelves full, of stuff that has never been sorted. The military just enjoy adding a second layer of encryption.
 

newsdeskdan

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Off topic, but where did you find your material for the Luftwaffe Secret Projects series? Mostly overlooked or mostly recently declassified?
In response to your query elsewhere Ed - 'mostly overlooked', or perhaps 'hidden within the dauntingly vast quantity of difficult to access captured German material which still survives today' might be a better way of putting it. Locating and extracting material that's actually useful and interesting is a very time consuming and expensive process - which perhaps explains why others might have been deterred from pursuing original research on unbuilt projects.
But even then the Luftwaffe Secret Projects series would have been impossible to make without the help and generosity of my friends and fellow researchers.

Thank you for your reply. As I recall, Phil Butler made a similar comment regarding his book War Prizes where he said that it required going through many unproductive card files to get at the information he was looking for.
Card files - yes and not arranged in any way that would be useful to a researcher. Much of the 'overlooked' stuff isn't on any card files, it's simply uncatalogued.

I find that hard to believe.
Believe what you like. Much (but by no means all) of the 'overlooked' stuff isn't on any card files. It's uncatalogued. A vast quantity of file cards was created covering a vast quantity of documents, now in various different repositories. Many of these documents are well known (or at least known) today, but some files never received cards. But they still exist nonetheless.
 
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sienar

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The digital edition of Luftwaffe Secret Projects of the Third Reich is now available from Pocketmags: https://pocketmags.com/us/aviation-classics-magazine/luftwaffe-secret-projects-of-the-third-reich

It is listed on the Pocketmags site under Aviation Classics: https://pocketmags.com/aviation-classics-magazine/issues

Pocketmags is having one of their 99¢ back issue sales, so a number of the previous Luftwaffe Secret series back issues are available for 99¢ through sometime Monday.

The Pocketmags 99¢ Sale page: https://pocketmags.com/bankholiday
I could've sworn that amazon had a kindle version listed last week. But I just checked and its no longer an option. But they now have a shipping date of the 28th for the paperback.
 

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I find that hard to believe. Intelligence reports I've read indicate a massive filing operation for internal use. I have seen references to a color coding system, like see "buff card." I have also read descriptions by researchers over the difficulty of finding something "responsive to their request." The difficulty was over wording or with name spellings or even with persons with the same last name, and a request for a birth date to discover if Sam Smith number one is not Sam Smith number two. The military loves creating acronyms and if the right acronym is not known, the file cannot be found. Take B.I.O.S. and C.I.O.S. reports. Don't know what these initials stand for? Well, that's just too bad. There is also a relatively long list of Allied intelligence groups/teams that were let loose on occupied Europe. FIAT? Well, if you don't know, we can't help you. And the massive microfilming operation that was going on in Europe. I have made attempts to locate documents and have gotten no response or the equivalent of file not found. In fact, I have stumbled across more information as opposed to going with, what I thought, would be the more direct route.
Having spent five years doing archival research for my own book, which will be published by Dan (after I met him in one of said archives) - I can testify to the accuracy of his comments on that.

You may be interested to know (for example) that although BIOS reports were available to buy in the post office in the late 40`s for pennies, you will find far more information in the unpublished BIOS report case-boxes, and the "trip reports", these were never catalogued properly and were never published. The descision on which ones that happened to were down to the view of the intelligence staff in 1945/46/47/48 on what was most industrially relevant which in many cases does not match well with what people are interested in, in 2019.


This involves hours of sifting through what is mostly dross to find the odd gem.
 
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Wurger

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you will find far more information in the unpublished BIOS report case-boxes, and the "trip reports", these were never catalogued properly and were never published
Calum, where can we find those gems?
 

edwest

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I find that hard to believe. Intelligence reports I've read indicate a massive filing operation for internal use. I have seen references to a color coding system, like see "buff card." I have also read descriptions by researchers over the difficulty of finding something "responsive to their request." The difficulty was over wording or with name spellings or even with persons with the same last name, and a request for a birth date to discover if Sam Smith number one is not Sam Smith number two. The military loves creating acronyms and if the right acronym is not known, the file cannot be found. Take B.I.O.S. and C.I.O.S. reports. Don't know what these initials stand for? Well, that's just too bad. There is also a relatively long list of Allied intelligence groups/teams that were let loose on occupied Europe. FIAT? Well, if you don't know, we can't help you. And the massive microfilming operation that was going on in Europe. I have made attempts to locate documents and have gotten no response or the equivalent of file not found. In fact, I have stumbled across more information as opposed to going with, what I thought, would be the more direct route.
Having spent five years doing archival research for my own book, which will be published by Dan (after I met him in one of said archives) - I can testify to the accuracy of his comments on that.

You may be interested to know (for example) that although BIOS reports were available to buy in the post office in the late 40`s for pennies, you will find far more information in the unpublished BIOS report case-boxes, and the "trip reports", these were never catalogued properly and were never published. The descision on which ones that happened to were down to the view of the intelligence staff in 1945/46/47/48 on what was most industrially relevant which in many cases does not match well with what people are interested in, in 2019.


This involves hours of sifting through what is mostly dross to find the odd gem.

Thank you for your reply. I am aware of the B.I.O.S. and C.I.O.S. reports and own a handful. These were numbered and had initials marked in pencil on the covers. These were not the same as those produced by HMSO. I have what I believe to be a complete picture of intelligence operations during the war with the exception of Russia, and the period immediately after. Millions of pages had to be examined, cataloged and passed on to the appropriate services and other groups. I am fully aware of files that were left in boxes in some location that were unsorted in relatively recent years. And I am aware that such boxes are counted in linear feet. The point of my remark/observation was all about document classification. The British Targets Force or T-Force, still has a significant percentage of its documents classified, ignoring the 50 year rule. In other words, someone, at some point, had to decide: Restricted, Secret, Top Secret, Most Secret and so on. Releasing any documents that could have any military value would have been incompetent and could affect the national security of the country in possession of same. So, yes, things that were considered relatively unimportant, or were later declassified, were tossed into boxes and placed on shelves in no particular order. They were no longer important. My point again, which appears to have been misunderstood, was that all of those documents were examined, sorted and classified, including those cleared for public release. Soldiers sending photos back home had to get them passed by a censor, An example is the Alexander Lippisch papers which are held by a university. I seriously doubt it was left there without a thorough classification review.

I have gone to your website and saw the entry for Air Materiel Command, and noticed their cataloging method which was designed to help inform the services and industry. I will add that many classified documents were simply not available aside from a small group who used them in a compartmentalized fashion solely for the development of new equipment based on these documents which I've seen in reports as "affecting the security of the United States." Which also included mention of "espionage laws." As far as German aircraft, including those that received T-2, FE or USA numbers, all were evaluated and most were scrapped, with a few ending up in museums.

I appreciate the mention of the B.I.O.S. report case-boxes and the 'trip reports.' I have read about scientists being put in uniform to aid in their safe passage through certain places or situations. And I have a copy of what I call a 'listing document.' It has no title on it. It lists various documents related to aviation experiments performed during the war by the Germans. It gives a short summary and then the last name of the person who translated it. I consider myself quite lucky to have it.

Best regards,
Ed
 

gatoraptor

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Try Books-A-Million.
Unfortunately, the only BAM close to here just closed, and the next nearest one is a 70-mile round-trip, on the other side of Atlanta. I'll wait for Barnes & Noble.....
 

Calum Douglas

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[/QUOTE]

Thank you for your reply. I am aware of the B.I.O.S. and C.I.O.S. reports and own a handful. These were numbered and had initials marked in pencil on the covers. These were not the same as those produced by HMSO.

Best regards,
Ed
[/QUOTE]

Hi Ed,
Your welcome, a very small point the HMSO reports do represent a genuine part of the BIOS/CIOS reports, its just that anything marked RESTRICTED upwards wasnt made available for sale.
In other words there are not BIOS reports which were BOTH for sale through HMSO AND also availalbe in some other secret form with more detail - I hope that makes sence. The HMSO
reports form a distinct part of the CIOS/BIOS series, its just that since a very large number ARE marked RESTRICTED upwards, the HMSO published ones represent a portion of the total. I do not know what the exact portion is, but I`d say maybe 50% as a very rough guess.

Dan`s comments still stand however, as he is correct in stating that certain collections were not cataloged but do exist despite the reasonably well organized system to sift and cataloge all the German and Japanese materials. We can only guess at what happened but the most likely scenario is that before the operation was completed, funding for the project ceased, and so
a mad rush to simply microfilm the last piles of documents ensued. For many microfilm reels there are NO cataloge entries. As I have said this is nothing to do with suggesting that there was not a gigantic and well planned system to cataloge it, as there was - its just plain that by the time that it got to about 1948, priorities obviously changed and it wasnt completed properly.

These days museums are all under such tight budgets that its vanishingly unlikely anyone will ever look through these "mystery" reels and complete the process, so one would have to just start looking through them and hoping for pot-luck.
 

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Pot luck plays a part in all research.
Even at places like the National Archives in Kew you are never sure what a file might or might not contain. Sometimes the file title is misleading and quite often tangential stuff was included in the file when it was originally compiled, documents like brief loose minutes that might not have warranted a new file or something that was remotely connected to the topic in hand. Often these have lead to more fruitful searches elsewhere by following up the new lead, sometimes it fills in a gap somewhere else.

Acronyms, especially for job titles, are frustrating. Sometimes you can piece them together but sometimes its hard to decipher what job somebody had and what their position was within the hierarchy.
 

steelpillow

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such boxes are counted in linear feet. ... all of those documents were examined, sorted and classified, including those cleared for public release.
From my personal experience handling documents while still classified, that would be a false proposition. The document set would initially have been classified according to the most sensitive information likely to be discoverable through them. That could well be the source of the documents rather than their actual content. From that point, they could only be declassified following individual inspection and reassessment. But to declassify several shelves full for public release would be a mammoth and expensive task. It was/is/will be carried out only when some case for that particular document set arose, perhaps an academic grant or a publicity opportunity. Another common fate is that one day the storage space runs out of time, so to save money and effort the whole lot is deemed no longer of use and is destroyed via shredder and incinerator. (I once watched a poor sysadmin, denied access to suitably destructive machinery, having to break open and shred several shelf-feet of floppy diskettes with no better tool than a pair of scissors. Different departmental budget and responsibilities, therefore somebody else's problem to have him sit there for days on end while his fingers bled raw and the systems crashed around us. Because of that glass wall, I was forbidden to handle the material even to help in its destruction.) Those shelf-feet for which life is made easiest by leaving them alone are the ones still there.
 

edwest

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Interesting. Documents do not classify or catalog themselves. In the United States, documents are being declassified on at least a quarterly basis. Examples can be provided.

I am sure you are familiar with the term 'document security.' In a given setting, someone has the job of making sure everything goes back into the safe at the end of the day. And for national security-level projects, a missing copy causes alarm. In a publicized case, the CIA took a researcher/author to court for attempting to publish certain secrets in his book. The CIA was seeking to block publication or, failing that, having the secret material removed. In any case, the defense asked the CIA to identify this secret material, which they did. The author, for his part, told them everything he had written was declassified. They asked him for the locations of the documents he used. The ending was that most of the declassified files were reclassified and disappeared. The others now had a piece of paper indicating parts had been removed. Security means security. In the United States, money is no object when certain things are involved. After all, it's the peasants' money, not theirs.
 
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sgeorges4

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got mine today and yes I got something for moar me 262 model and a bf 109 S (yay!) ,nice 3d view too (how did you get the idea?)
 

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The digital edition of Luftwaffe Secret Projects of the Third Reich is now available from Pocketmags: https://pocketmags.com/us/aviation-classics-magazine/luftwaffe-secret-projects-of-the-third-reich

It is listed on the Pocketmags site under Aviation Classics: https://pocketmags.com/aviation-classics-magazine/issues

Pocketmags is having one of their 99¢ back issue sales, so a number of the previous Luftwaffe Secret series back issues are available for 99¢ through sometime Monday.

The Pocketmags 99¢ Sale page: https://pocketmags.com/bankholiday
I could've sworn that amazon had a kindle version listed last week. But I just checked and its no longer an option. But they now have a shipping date of the 28th for the paperback.
Sienar,

Beware of Kindle editions of photo heavy publications. Kindle's emphasis is on text for readers and they treat photos as extraneous. An early volume of Luftwaffe Secret Projects was available as a Kindle edition and it had the text and only a few of the pictures.

The digital editions from Pocketmags have everything included in the paper version.

Richard
 

newsdeskdan

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The digital edition of Luftwaffe Secret Projects of the Third Reich is now available from Pocketmags: https://pocketmags.com/us/aviation-classics-magazine/luftwaffe-secret-projects-of-the-third-reich

It is listed on the Pocketmags site under Aviation Classics: https://pocketmags.com/aviation-classics-magazine/issues

Pocketmags is having one of their 99¢ back issue sales, so a number of the previous Luftwaffe Secret series back issues are available for 99¢ through sometime Monday.

The Pocketmags 99¢ Sale page: https://pocketmags.com/bankholiday
I could've sworn that amazon had a kindle version listed last week. But I just checked and its no longer an option. But they now have a shipping date of the 28th for the paperback.
Sienar,

Beware of Kindle editions of photo heavy publications. Kindle's emphasis is on text for readers and they treat photos as extraneous. An early volume of Luftwaffe Secret Projects was available as a Kindle edition and it had the text and only a few of the pictures.

The digital editions from Pocketmags have everything included in the paper version.

Richard
I believe they only made Kindle versions of the first two - Secret Jets and Secret Bombers - before giving up. Kindle versions are surprisingly time-consuming to make and the end result is inferior, as you say, to what you get from Pocketmags.
 

sienar

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Finally got this. I haven't read everything yet but I did skim through. One thing stuck out immedietly

"There is no known instance during the entire course of the war of a project being run to determine the properties of a Rolls-Royce Merlin or Griffon, or any other Allied engine, when fitted to any German aircraft."

There was some correspondence between Messerschmitt and Daimler-Benz about fitting the Merlin engine to a 109 airframe. The main goal of this was to evaluate the relative effectiveness of the Spitfires radiator installation vs the 109. I have no idea why they felt an engine swap was necessary to do that and Willy proposed just swapping the radiators.

Maybe they were interested in the effects of a higher prop shaft too? Or just interested in the aerodynamics of an allied style inline engine cowling? Someone high up deciding that a like-for-like engine comparison could only be down through a swap?

Either way there isn't a lot about this that I've found. Just a few letters between Mess. and DB. - no drawings or anything neat like that. Regardless of that there are now two known instances of proposals for sticking allied engines on axis airframes. Hopefully in due time someone will find a proposal to stick an allison on a 190 or Mc202.
 

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I know of at least one Spitfire that had a DB601 engine installed in it, so the reverse being done wouldn't seem too strange.
 

steelpillow

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I know of at least one Spitfire that had a DB601 engine installed in it, so the reverse being done wouldn't seem too strange.
It seems that it was planned but never done during the war. The Hispano Buchon, a Merlin-engined Bf 109, was a postwar type.
 

sienar

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No, he is talking about the spitfire that had a DB605 taken from a 110.
Spitfire_Bild.jpg.2227665.jpg
 

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No, he is talking about the spitfire that had a DB605 taken from a 110.
Yes indeed. That machine has been on my modelling wish-list for a while (so many Spitfires, so little time!). I meant that the reverse was planned but not done, I thought that the Buchon example made that clear, but evidently not.
 

gatoraptor

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I got tired of waiting for Barnes & Noble and finally ordered a copy from Amazon. Great job, as usual!
 

newsdeskdan

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Finally got this. I haven't read everything yet but I did skim through. One thing stuck out immedietly

"There is no known instance during the entire course of the war of a project being run to determine the properties of a Rolls-Royce Merlin or Griffon, or any other Allied engine, when fitted to any German aircraft."

There was some correspondence between Messerschmitt and Daimler-Benz about fitting the Merlin engine to a 109 airframe. The main goal of this was to evaluate the relative effectiveness of the Spitfires radiator installation vs the 109. I have no idea why they felt an engine swap was necessary to do that and Willy proposed just swapping the radiators.

Maybe they were interested in the effects of a higher prop shaft too? Or just interested in the aerodynamics of an allied style inline engine cowling? Someone high up deciding that a like-for-like engine comparison could only be down through a swap?

Either way there isn't a lot about this that I've found. Just a few letters between Mess. and DB. - no drawings or anything neat like that. Regardless of that there are now two known instances of proposals for sticking allied engines on axis airframes. Hopefully in due time someone will find a proposal to stick an allison on a 190 or Mc202.
I'm told that the purpose of fitting a DB 605 to a Spitfire airframe was a Messerschmitt/DB project to evaluate the radiators/cooling system of the Spitfire. Do you have a date or source (or ideally both) on the Messerschmitt/DB correspondence about fitting a Merlin to a 109 airframe?
 

sienar

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Will Messerschmitt by Frank Vann ISBN 1852604395

There are some inaccuracies in the book but as it has a reproduction of the letter I'd say that part of the book is likely correct. I can't say what source is listed for it though as I don't have the book with me right now.
 

newsdeskdan

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Will Messerschmitt by Frank Vann ISBN 1852604395

There are some inaccuracies in the book but as it has a reproduction of the letter I'd say that part of the book is likely correct. I can't say what source is listed for it though as I don't have the book with me right now.
You've a good memory - it's on p68 of my copy of Vann (1993 first edition). I had a quick look through the papers Vann used to create the book and found the relevant letter (see below). I stand corrected - it would appear that Daimler-Benz did indeed run a project to determine the properties of a Rolls-Royce Merlin when fitted to a German aircraft!

Mtt letter.jpg
 

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That last line sounds like DB was trying to prove something to someone.
Especially since "um nachzuweisen" translates as "in order to prove" :)

However with "ist" (is) and "und" (and) overtyped, it is not clear exactly what they were hoping to prove. I would have expected "als" (than).
 
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