Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum  

Go Back   Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum > Discussion > Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces

Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the German Luftwaffe and the Air Forces of its Allies.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 6th September 2006, 03:09
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seaford, DE, U.S.A.
Posts: 626
Richard T. Eger is an unknown quantity at this point
Changing target priorities as they related to jet production

Dear fellow Luftwaffe researchers,

One area in which I have an admittedly weak knowledge base is the overall bombing strategies through the war. Recently, I summarized the leading bombing priorities established by A.I.2.(a) through 1944 and into early 1945. It was interesting to see the shift from conventional to jet targets, but then, after an initial flurry of focusing in on jet aircraft targets, the whole emphasis seemed to come off of aircraft related targets, but toward what focus was not stated. Apparently after the first of 1945, there was a renewed interest in the jets, but now the Jumo 004 producton was held as higher priority than that of the aircraft, themselves, although perhaps not by all that much.

Layered on top of this is slowly emerging evidence that, indeed, Allied Intelligence had indications of exactly where the Me 262 Waldwerke were at Schwäbisch Hall and Leipheim, but failed to act on the information. In the case of Leipheim, the information had a high degree of credibility, while that for Schwäbisch Hall simply was referred to as being from a source on the ground.

Was the lack of action more due to intelligence lost in a thicket of intelligence, a lack of believability, or a conscious choice not to pursue, with other targets deemed of higher value? Highly visible targets, such as at Kahla and the multiple carapace facilities, were certainly repeatedly covered by photo reconnaissance but, these targets, too, were never attacked, at least not that I am aware of.

But, getting back to the Waldwerke, the irony is that the nearby airfields continued to be attacked, but the production facilities, themselves, remained unscathed.

So, my question to all is two-fold:

First, can any of you offer insights as to what was going on to have caused this to happen?

Second, can someone recommend to me a book that would help educate me on the changing thinking as related to target priorities during the war?

Regards,
Richard
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 6th September 2006, 14:43
SMF144's Avatar
SMF144 SMF144 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Yellowknife, NT., Canada
Posts: 378
SMF144
Re: Changing target priorities as they related to jet production

Hello Richard,

To answer your second question, I highly recommend the following book “British Intelligence in the Second World War – Its influence on Strategy and Operations”

Here’s a snippet from volume III, part 2 that pertains to your query.

But in combination with the shock administered by the Ardennes offensive, and by the failure of intelligence to give advance notice of the massive GAF attack on Allied air bases that took place on 1 January 1945, the size of the force and the skill and determination with which it was used produced a wave of pessimism in London and Washington and throughout the Allied Commands as to the probable duration of the war and as to the serious consequences that could follow from the recuperative power of German industry – and above all from the entry into service of jet and rocket aircraft and the new U-boats alongside the V-weapons – if the war was prolonged.
These fears found expression in a new strategic bombing directive. Issued on 15 January, it was markedly ambiguous, retaining oil targets as the first priority and communications as the second priority, but stating that jet production, training and operational establishments had now become primary objectives and specifying that certain objectives in the enemy’s U-boat organization should receive marginal or incidental attention. It was no doubt the outcome of a compromise between the Air Staff and General Spaatz. The Air Staff did not believe that the jet aircraft constituted an immediate threat, and although it agreed that they might create a dangerous situation if their development was not checked, it also felt that their development would be more effectively checked by maintaining the offensive against oil and communications targets than by direct attack on jet targets, Spaatz was no longer prepared to rely mainly on the offensive against oil and communications. According to the British official account, he forwarded the directive to US Eight and Fifteenth Air Forces with the statement that jet targets had been made “a principal objective for attack’ because unless adequate measures were taken, the Germans would have between 400 and 500 jet aircraft available for operations against us by early summer, and according to the official US account he had already on 9 January, in agreement with SHAEF, decided to elevate jet production to first priority, co-equal with oil”.
Pages 601 & 602, British Intelligence in the Second World War. Its influence and Strategy and Operations. Volume III, part 2, F.H. Hinsley

I hope this helps?

Stephen
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 6th September 2006, 15:15
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seaford, DE, U.S.A.
Posts: 626
Richard T. Eger is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: Changing target priorities as they related to jet production

Dear Stephen,

This is exactly the sort of information for which I was looking. I've checked Amazon.co.uk for copies of Hinsley's books. There appear to be five in the numbered series, although Vol. III is listed as such, not as Part I or Part II. Are both parts in the same volume? What does each contain, i.e., what distinguishes one from the other?

Also offered are a 628-page June 1993 version:

British Intelligence in the Second World War Abridged Version (Hardcover)

and a 642-page April 1993 version:

British Intelligence in the Second World War: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations (Hardcover)

The basic volumes are definitely not light reading, with Volume III coming in at 1054 pages. It certainly looks like the answers would be buried there-in, but perhaps you or someone else might suggest a more condensed book that would cover my needs without consuming as much time as this series might to get to the answers I need. I sort of feel like I'd be going from the Me 262 weeds to the strategy weeds and was hoping for some overall perspectives as to the changing strategies.

That said, the information that you have provided from Volume III hits the nail on the head as regards one timeframe. It doesn't answer the summer 1944 swerve onto and then off of the jets, nor why the Waldwerke, Kahla, and the carapace targets were ignored. Any help that you can offer along these lines would be most appreciated.

Regards,
Richard
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 6th September 2006, 15:30
SMF144's Avatar
SMF144 SMF144 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Yellowknife, NT., Canada
Posts: 378
SMF144
Re: Changing target priorities as they related to jet production

Richard,

The copy I have is a first edition, published in 1988 and the page count is 1038. So, I have no idea about the later versions you have come across but judging by their page count I suspect they are part I of volume III. I happen to own two out of the five volumes and am on the hunt for the others. I've tracked down part I of Volume III but the outfit is asking $60 US, which, might be bang on, but I'm hoping to find it elsewhere for less and in Canadian funds. If not, I might get off the proverbial pot before it disapears.

There's a lot of ground to cover concerning your request, so give me some time and I'll see what else is offered.

The index provides the following for the Me 262:

first unit set up (Aug 44) 595-6
production bombed (Sep) 597
deployment, 597, 615-16, 905
equipped with R4M, 594
roles 600; fighter and recce 599-600
ground support (Jan 45), 615; night fighter (Feb) 614
fuel consumption, 617
production (1945), 618
incease in operations (Mar) 618-19
disbandment (Apr) 620


Stephen
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 6th September 2006, 17:40
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seaford, DE, U.S.A.
Posts: 626
Richard T. Eger is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: Changing target priorities as they related to jet production

Dear Stephen,

So, while there are supposedly 5 volumes, there are also potentially two or more parts to any one volume, each published as a free standing book, if I read you correctly. Whew!

Again, I ask, what distinguishes one volume, or part thereof, from the next? For instance, if they cover the war chronologically, then I'd be interested in the 1944-45 time period.

The indexing information on the Me 262, while interesting, doesn't directly relate to my question as to overall bombing strategy and the rise and fall of jet aircraft therein as a priority. I'm not even sure how one would find such information from an index.

Any help that you can offer is most appreciated. I can be contacted directly at egerrt@dmv.com.

Regards,
Richard
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Questions on 8th AF Swinemünde raid on 12 March 1945 Juha Allied and Soviet Air Forces 28 8th October 2009 17:32
Operation Aphrodite Brian Allied and Soviet Air Forces 25 12th March 2006 19:40


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 07:27.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2007, 12oclockhigh.net