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View Diary: George Lucas "Red Tails" gives Tuskegee Airmen the Rocking War Movie they Deserve (225 comments)

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  •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Uncle Cosmo

    World War II is littered with examples of the German military failing to made good use of the resources they had available to them, and generally showing a lack of good sense. Initially it worked in their favor (Stalin refused to believe reports that the Germans were about to invade, apparently, because the Wehrmacht troops massing in Poland were not equipped with winter weather gear), but by the last few years of the war they were running out of luck. The Me-262 was one of the first fighter jets ever made, but as you pointed out they didn't figure out how to use it properly until late in the war. It was much the same with the atom bomb, although part of that was that the Nazis had chased out most of the best scientists in the field because they were Jews or friends of Jews. And then of course there was the fact that Rommel was fighting the British in North Africa with what was effectively at least one and sometimes two arms tied behind his back. The man was a miracle worker, but the German high command squandered his talent for lack of resources to support him, and that was when they still had the Romanian oil fields, I think.

    •  Overconfidence among other things (0+ / 0-)

      IIRC (this is a tough one to google) the German weapons development establishments were at some point told to back-burner any project that couldn't be fielded by 1943 (or maybe 1942) because Hitler was certain the fighting would be over by then.

      More of Hitler's witlessness: According to Speer, fielding of the Me-262 was delayed while munitions hardpoints were added because der Führer insisted that the Schwalbe be able to function as a Jabo (fighter-bomber or attack plane).

      Engine reliability and maintenance was another major problem for the plane:

      [H]hampered by the lack of engines, serial production did not begin until 1944, but deliveries were low.... This delay in engine availability was in part due to the shortage of strategic materials, especially metals and alloys able to handle the extreme temperatures produced by the jet engine.

      Even when the engines were completed, they had an expected operational lifetime of approximately 50 continuous flight hours; most 004s lasted just 12 hours, even with adequate maintenance. A pilot familiar with the Me 262 and its engines could expect approximately 20–25 hours of life from the 004s. Changing a 004 engine was intended to require three hours, but this typically took eight to nine due to poorly made parts and inadequate training of ground crews.

      Part of the problem was that the engineers were really pushing the limits of what was possible with existing technology, but the shortages were no doubt at least partly due to the bombing campaigns against Germany--which (to come full circle) the Me-262 was designed to defeat.

      snarcolepsy, n: a condition in which the sufferer responds to any comment with a smartass comeback.

      by Uncle Cosmo on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 01:29:20 PM PST

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      •  They overdo the Fuhrer made me do it... (0+ / 0-)

        ...in their self serving biographies.

        Germany simply had limited resources and the allied side near infinite manpower, credit and raw material to dispose of at will.

        Point remains about aerial kills though.  Only a piss poor jet pilot (or an amazingly unlucky one) could have been defeated by a prop aircraft. Jet interceptors were designed to quickly climb to a superior high altitude and the dive down through a pack of bombers (or fighters) blazing away with 20mm cannons, then repeat until there was only enough fuel to return to base.

        Anyway, I looked into it, Jet pilots did dogfight at first but then were told not to after February 44. After that they were strictly banned from engaging in turning fights.

        A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

        by Salo on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:53:45 AM PST

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        •  Teh Tuskegee guys (0+ / 0-)

          got those kills before the tactical ban.

          A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

          by Salo on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:54:44 AM PST

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    •  No (0+ / 0-)

      Rommel could only have supplied 4-5 divisions of German armour. That was the absolute cut off given the logistics. The Germans were limited in what they could do in all situations given their logistics.

      The Jet was vulnerable at take off and landing. As long as it was used as an energy fighter it was untouchable. The speed was to high to catch for any prop aircraft. Aerial kills could only have occurred IF and only IF the Jet pilots were executing slow turning manouvers (or landing and taking off.) If they were dogfighting they were not really using the Jet as a Jet.

      A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

      by Salo on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:45:32 AM PST

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