⚜ | When the Luftwaffe tried to knock-out Soviet Power plants

⚜ | When the Luftwaffe tried to knock-out Soviet Power plants


Hello everyone and welcome back to Military
Aviation History. I am your host Bismarck and today I want to
talk about why the Luftwaffe never conducted strategic bombing on the Eastern Front, except
for when it did. I believe this topic highlights quite a number
of interesting issues, from operational conditions, doctrine, over to internal politics and the
changing parameters on the Ostfront, which are often ignored, oversimplified or simply
not taken into account. The sources for this video are, one the one
hand, this… the ‘German Air Attacks Against Industry and Railroads in Russia, 1941 – 1945
by Oleg Hoeffding. Written in 1970, published by RAND. Of course, that’s not all -you know me- as
I’ve recently been to the German Military Archives and also got some primary sources. This one is from 1943 for example is a Luftwaffe
study, the Kampf gegen die russische Ruestungsindustrie -the fight against the Russian war industry-
and it’s a telling reflection on the success and mistakes of the Luftwaffe from 1941 to
1943 on the Eastern Front. Beyond that, more sources in the description
as always. Before I go into this video, quick disclaimer. I understand that in the comment section,
perhaps before you even get to this part of the video, some of you might have already
written about how the lack of 4-engined strategic bombers bite the Germans in the behind, the
fact that the ‘Ural-bomber’ wasn’t built being the fundamental game changer and so on. Three things here, One, such a monocausal
argument doesn’t hold up in my opinion, which leads me to point two, this video won’t delve
into the strategic bomber dimension because I’ve got like a massive project running in
the background that will dive right into that rabbit hole and so much more. Release day…pending. And third, as always, I want to base myself
on the actual strategic and operational conditions on the Eastern Front, as far as I can ascertain
them from the literature, both primary and secondary, rather than go into the realm of
speculation that really doesn’t further our understanding of what actually happened. The old, one might call it ‘stereotype’, that
the Germans did not act upon the strategic dimension of air warfare is overall supported
by what happens on the Eastern Front. But as we will see, this is not because they
didn’t understand that dimension, or because they did not have the capabilities. They did. In the early campaigns you didn’t need a four-engine
bomber to hit Soviet Industry where it hurt -more on that later, just remember that point
for now. Yet, once you start looking at the rational
behind the lack of strategic action, we start to appreciate the reasons, some of them quite
rational, as to why the Germans never engaged on that dimension. This doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a mistake
in the end, or a serious flaw in their thinking -that’s a whole other discussion- but cracking
open this case shows that it’s not a simple case of X didn’t do Y because Z. Before we look at the Luftwaffe, it serves
to have a brief look at Soviet industrial capacity and its hotspots in 1941, around
the time of Invasion Barbarossa. For this, I’ll just do a quick breakdown between
the production in front and beyond the Urals. This is important as the popular narrative
is always that the location and relocation of Soviet factories behind that famous mountain
range was the reason Germany could never hit industrial production. Yet, this is not necessarily the full story. In 1942, the majority of Soviet production
was beyond that prominent geographical barrier. Significant for sure, but that still left
plenty of potential targets. After 1942, the balance between the two regions
shifted again in favour of that close to the front lines. The Moscow region itself contributed significantly
to the Soviet war effort, comprising around 22% of total production in pre-Barbarossa
1940. This halved by 1942 yet it quickly recovered
to pre-war rates in the following two years. Moscow and the Moscow region, Oblast, is of
particular importance First, Moscow was the traditional industrial centre of the Soviet
Union. This was the industrial hotspot, situated
around Moscow between Tula, Rybinsk and Gorki. Second, this region was within the range of
the Luftwaffe from 1941, all the way to 1944. Considering that after 1942, a lot of production
was again shifted to Moscow, this region remained a prime target. Open quote
I’ts share in total Soviet wartime industrial output cannot be determined exactly with the
available data. Very roughly, however, it may be placed at
around 25 percent of the total in 1942, and about one-third in 1944. Between these years, its output expanded by
approximately 60 percent.’ end quote
Sure enough, the Luftwaffe wouldn’t hit everything but it did have a bead on a significant portion
of Soviet industrial output, if it wanted to. It’s not that the Luftwaffe considered such
attacks to be superfluous. Unlike the popular picture, the Germans did
consider strategic strikes. Nearly every Directive issued prior to a major
campaign opened up the possibility for such attacks. That it didn’t consistently act on this dimension
prior to the invasion of the Soviet Union was also due to the rapid victories Germany
achieved in every campaign. The point where strategic attacks were necessary
in the Luftwaffe’s mind was never reached because victory proceeded it. For Barbarossa, attacks on industry were considered
but such attacks were not pushed in the initial opening phase as the Luftwaffe was set to
act on the tactical and operational level, aiming to disturb Soviet supply lines, assist
the ground elements and wrestle and neuter the Soviet Air Force. To quote
‘The ultimate objective of the operation is to establish a defence line against Asiatic
Russia from a line running approximately from the Volga River to Archangel. Then, in case of necessity, the last industrial
area left to Russia in the Urals can be eliminated by the Luftwaffe’. end quote
Thus, when Germany flung itself against the Soviet Union, the Luftwaffe did what it always
did. It launched an all-out effort against the
Soviet Air Force, disrupted Soviet front lines, provided support to the Wehrmacht, and only
occasionally, more haphazardly than premeditated, hit factories in the Soviet rear without causing
much damage. The Germans had in fact forbidden the bombardment
of fuel stores, food and light metals, hoping to capture these themselves. Beyond interdiction and the occasional attack
on railyards no attack was conducted in the hinterland. Initially, the Luftwaffe achieved considerable
success against the Soviet Union, whose air force had become an empty shell -until it
recovered. This success did come at a price. Germany started Barbarossa will only around
600 bombers, less than it had during any of the previous grand operations, and attrition
slowly grinded the Luftwaffe into an ever-smaller force. This wasn’t a sudden blow but a long-term,
slow disintegration. With their primary bombers, the He-111 and
Ju-88, the Germans still faced two fundamental problems when it came to the bomber force. First, basing. Only few large enough airstrips to accommodate
a Kampfgeschwader, often set far behind the front lines. Second, the range to bombload ratio of these
bombers had been manageable in the West, considering what they were used for, but now presented
an issue. The further you wanted to go, the more fuel
you needed and the less bombs you could load. This meant that at the furthest ranges, a
German bomber usually sat at the maximum, on a single ton of ordinance. To sum up, not only were their too few bombers
but those the Luftwaffe had were based far inland, thus prolonging sortie time and cutting
bomb loads. This gives you also an idea of why the choice
to support the front lines, rather than flying substantional long-range missions made more
sense to the Germans. At least this way, they had quicker turn-around
time and more ordinance on those targets in the support of ground operations. The report from 1943 makes this quite clear. ‘On the Eastern Front, the Luftwaffe was used
correctly up until reaching the Dnjepr line. […] From that point forward, the Luftwaffe
should have at least partially: a) engaged Russian rail ways in the hinterland
[…], b) engaged the manufacturing factories that
remained in range. Initially, the continuation of the operations
did not permit splitting the available forces. The bombardment of Leningrad and Moskau were,
even after the stabilization of the front line in defence of the Russian counteroffensives,
always postponed due to more pressing demands by the Heer […].
The Germans, having smashed into a wall of ice and fire in front of Moscow now dug in
for a long and cold winter. Based on pre-operation plans, the main objective
wasn’t met but now was perhaps the time to think about strategic bombing. The factories within Moscow itself had drastically
reduced their output but the region beyond Moscow still had a significant number of factories
and power plants. Those will be important so remember them. Thus, talks did commence on switching over
to missions that also inflicted strategic damage on industrial targets, both those that
produced power to fuel the factories, and the factories themselves. The question was now, which one to attack
as not that many bombers could be spared. Should the Luftwaffe hit the power plants,
thus scything off production without destroying the factories…or hitting the production
centres thus destroying stockpiles and production. This discussion came as for the High Command,
the priorities had changed. Problem was that while 1941, only food, fuel
and light metals supplies were off-limit, now a whole list of key industrial sectors
were expected to be captured and put to work, including ammunition, rubber, chemicals, propellants,
synthetic fats, motor vehicles, iron and steel.,,,the list goes on and on and The ‘Richtlinien fuer
die Fuehrung der Wirtschaft in den neubesetzten Ostgebietenm Teil II’ from September 1942
make this clear. Suddenly there was renewed interest in capturing
everything intact. So factories couldn’t be bombed but in theory,
cutting the power would prevent damage to factories while also stopping Soviet production. In theory. Germany itself also had a vulnerable power
network, so perhaps that experience was applied here, as the Carl Committee, under Dr. Carl
the German Chief of Power Planning endorsed this plan. In contrast, for Luftwaffe Air Intelligence
whom had drawn up the list of targets, the choice was clear. The factories, not the power plants needed
to be destroyed as it was them that supplied the war material. The Soviets had thus far, every time a factory
was threatened, either dismantled and evacuated equipment, or blown everything up. If not both. This disagreement between the ‘lets destroy
the factories’ and the ‘lets hit the power’ sides were never satisfactory resolved and
thus nothing more than occasional ad-hoc attacks against some factories were flown, mainly
on the initiative of front-line units. It’s astounding how much time was lost. In July 42, Air Intelligence made its stance
clear by the’, open quote: ‘absolute rejection of the point of view that
air attacks on Soviet industry must be avoided in order to keep it available to work on German
behalf.’ End quote. Trouble was that by now the discussion had
turned philosophical. The preparations for the new southern offensive
against Stalingrad consumed everyone’s attention….eventually the Luftwaffe had to mount a considerable
effort to supply the 9th Army, even flying supplies in by bombers. While some among the Luftwaffe continued to
try to push forward comprehensive plans to target Soviet Industry and specifically fuel
supplies, the capacities were lacking at this point. Post-Stalingrad, the wheels began to turn
that prompted a revision of the standing orders. Slowly, the German High Command realized that
perhaps it had made a mistake in not exploiting the operational freedom it had into 1941 and
even during parts of 1942 to more systemically combat Soviet infrastructure and production,
where it was possible. Before continuing, I want to put a small caveat
on that. Like I mentioned, there were reasons why the
Germans had not launched attacks beyond the perhaps naive hope to recycle Soviet factories,
and that was the lack of bombers, the consistent pressure to fly continuous missions in support
of the army, and the basing and range problems. While Germany could have launched strategic
attacks earlier if it had wanted to, we also got to remember that that would have taken
assets away from other areas, which adds to the complexity of the situation. But now the Germans had run into disaster
at Stalingrad. In popular memory, this battle marks the symbolic
turning point on the Eastern Front. Looking at the air war, the Luftwaffe’s failure
to supply the 9th Army Group often overshadows everything else but Stalingrad symbolises
even more. While tactically and operationally the front
lines had embedded and flowed, strategically the Germans had been forced to consistently
yield ground back to the Soviet Army. Come spring 1943, it had lost the 9th Army
Group but by now the front lines from North to South had shifted so that the Luftwaffe
had only a few Soviet industrial zones to choose from. In one of its reports it also stated that:
A useful relief of the frontlines from the material pressure of the Red Army in the upcoming
battles could be achieved through a scheduled and intensive attack of the war industry. Out of the limited pool available, the German’s
main target was Gorki, home of the aptly named Gorki Automobile Plant, or Gorkovsky Avtomobilny
Zavod. Popularly abbreviated to GAZ, the plants produced
tanks…although only a small number of T-34s, but rather a lot of lighter T-60s. I’ve seen an estimate attributing 60% of Soviet
light tank production to this plant but I have nothing definite. In any case, not ideal targets but the Germans
saw no alternative and this target was chosen as part of the German preparation for its
last grand summer offensive, what we now know as the so-called Battle
of Kursk. The
Luftwaffe reorganized the IV. Fliegerkorps under General Pflugbeil, notably
combining the forces of Kampfgeschwader 27 and 55, KG 27 and 55 under one banner. These had used the last months to refresh
their forces and flew only a limited number of missions, one of which was on June 2 against
the Kursk railyard. Following that, both transferred up north
to take aim at Soviet tank production both in an effort to cut Soviet supplies and to
misdirect Soviet attention. What followed was, on the Eastern Front, an
unprecedented strategic bombing campaign singularly focused at handicapping Soviet military production….of
T-60s. Flying only at night, 7 missions were flown
between June 4 to June 21. Just under 1,000 bomber sorties accounted
for 1,500 tons of bombs. Roughly two-thirds of these were sent against
the plants at Gorki, but other attacks took place too. In the south, the Saratov oil refinery received
200 tons of bombs, while the Yaroslav synthetic rubber factories got 320 tons. But these were sideshows, compared to Gorki. Gorki was heavily hit, again the estimates
I have don’t specify a clear number but GAZ had received significant damage and German
losses were very light in return. Telling too is that the Soviet Union reacted
with drastic measures, investigating the failures to stop German bombers from attacking the
city. While Soviet air defence, specifically at
night, wasn’t the best, additional AA guns of all calibres were sent to defend the production
plants. The plant itself not able to continue producing
at the same rate for several months but the raid provided little to no tangible effect
on Soviet front-line strength, especially during the Operation Zitadelle it was supposed
to support. Following the failure at Kursk, the Luftwaffe,
which had initially taken part in that battle and was then forced to divert its attention,
once again became a firefighting force, with no ability to strike the Soviet Union on the
strategic dimension. At Gorki it had shown what it could have done
but this was an isolated incident, in mid-1943, on a target of rather limited value in the
end. By the end of 1943, the Luftwaffe reported
that: ‘Many important assets now lay outside our
range. […] but even with out present means, we
still possess the ability to engage and destroy important parts of the Russian war industry.’ It also states that:
‘Could the German Luftwaffe not provide more to victory in the East if it, instead of flying
around like artillery and dropping bombs in front of the infantry, attacks the roots of
the Russian offensive power, the Russian war industry?’ That was not to be. The Luftwaffe continued to lobby for permission,
also specifically to knock out Soviet aeroengine production – some of the plants still being
in range for the He 177- but that plan soon faded away as the German lines were pushed
ever back. It serves mentioning that a final push to
knock out production around Moscow was made just months after Zitadelle. German planners understood the situation the
Luftwaffe was in, that it had few resources to spare for long range attacks. Thus, such attacks, if made, needed to be
pinpoint and devastating. The idea to strike the power network was dug
up once more. While the He 177 was pushed to the Atlantic,
the Fritz-X guided glide bomb had just sunk the Italian Battleship Roma in spectacular
fashion. Such a weapon, it was hoped, could also accurate
hit the boiler rooms of a power plant or break a hydro-plant. Other, more convenient targets in the power
network could just be carpet bombed to amplify the effect of the more accurate Fritz-X attacks. Should a Fritz-X prove incapable of knocking
out a dam, the idea was to drop mines into the intake channels, in the hope that an explosion
would knock out the turbines. Crazy ideas perhaps, but then again, the Dambusters
bouncing UPKEEP bomb was also once described to be a tripe of the wildest description. But with every passing day, week and month,
the preparations and plans became ever more difficult. The targets were now out of range of the He
111 and Ju-88, and the Heinkel 177, were available, was not operational in sufficient numbers
and too few targets were available. To have a significant effect, an integrated
power grid needed to be knocked out comprehensively. With only a few plants in range, the question
was why bother. In a twist of sorts, this dillydallying had
meant that the IV. Fliegerkorps had remained without much of
a mission so far and while it had taken part in the fighting at times, it was one of the
few German Luftwaffe formations that were up to strength with an operational readiness
at one time of 80%. In March 1944�.it just dawns on me how impressive
that is. 80%…. Anyway, the IV. Fliegerkorps now engaged in a systemic campaign
of interdiction on the Eastern Front against the Soviet held rail network in the Ukraine. While this wasn’t strategic warfare as we
know it, and the Germans experienced at the hand of RAF Bomber Command and the US 8th
Air Force, it was an attempt to use the Fliegerkorps to good effect and provide an effort that
brushed the line between the operational and the strategic. This was significant for the Luftwaffe, as
standing doctrine regarded such attacks as only useful during offensive operations, rather
than the defensive slugging match the Germans now experienced. In six weeks, between March 27 and May 5 1944,
roughly 2,700 sorties brought down around 3,500 tons of explosives against Soviet railyards,
stations, and bridges. Sounds impressive without a reference point,
so let me give you one. In April 1944 alone, the US Army Air Force
and RAF dropped 32,000 tons. No, not in total, only on the rail transportation
network. While the Germans were perhaps in a more focused
campaign of railway disruption, hitting the network between Brest and Kiev, even they
knew that the given the lack of resources and longevity of the operation, as well as
speedy Soviet repairs, that this campaign was, on the whole, a papercut. From now on, things get desperate. By mid-1944, there would be no more talk about
any conventional large-scale Luftwaffe effort on the Eastern Front. You know what’s coming. When the conventional stuff is out the window,
the Allies land in Normandy and the Red Army starts to race itself to Berlin, it’s time
for those war changing ideas that will certainly bring forth a complete reversal of Germany’s
fortunes. Except they didn’t. The Germans played with the idea of dropping
special commandos near power plants and factories, until they realized that they probably can’t
carry enough explosives to fulfill the deed. After that there was the idea of asking volunteers
to fly one-way trips with their bombers. They didn’t really find anyone who exhibited
both the necessary delusion and the required experience, also they realized it was a waste
of fuel, and then finally we come to the Mistel, a bomber repurposed into a flying bomb controlled
by a small fighter plane that would detach itself just prior to impact. Operation EISENHAMMER was given a bombastic
name but never struck an ambos. The airfields in East Prussia that were close
enough to allow a Mistel plane to reach the Soviet power plants around Moscow – yes, they
were still looking at the same targets as in 1942 with the Germans expecting to knock
out 40% of the electrical grid – those airfields were taken too soon by the Soviets. In any case, 100 Mistels were needed, 18 were
available. These were eventually used to destroy some
of the Bridges over the Oder in an attempt to delay the Soviet advance on Berlin. And that brings us to a close for this one. Thank you very much for watching, please consider
sharing the video, liking and subscribing. Remember to hit that bell button to receive
a notification when I publish a new video and as always, have a great day, good hunting
and see you in the sky.

100 Comments on "⚜ | When the Luftwaffe tried to knock-out Soviet Power plants"


  1. This won't make YT trending, but I would love to see that happen. This is wonderful content, and extremely interesting, to me at least.

    Reply

  2. The German NAZI Government was stomped into the dirt of total defeat because of their idiot rulers and their total inept bungling leadership of right before and during the war years. And then they were hung like dangling chickens for their crimes against humanity. Their mindset was a total blueprint for their outstanding total defeat and demise hung by the neck until dead. These idiots had very little “strategic” long term war plans much less how to carry it out. The German
    N AZI war effort was lost when A) they bungled the very early attempt to defeat the British , and then abandoning that , the absolute disaster of opening a two front war, which actually was a logistical Three Front War nightmare of logistical imposibility. How frigging STUPID they were believing their own bull z)(/t of the aryan superior race which brings us back to that total stupid mind set that began it all.

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  3. The USAAF, for its part, thought long and hard about going after Germany's electrical supply. But it made the all-too-common mistake of assuming the enemy's vulnerabilities were like one's own: there were critical nodes in the U.S. electrical supply but it also had plenty of excess capacity which largely negated that vulnerability, so it was assumed the German electrical system was in a similar position, and consequently electrical power generation was a low priority target. In reality Germany's electricity generation was much more vulnerable, and a sustained campaign against it might have produced results as effective as the campaign against oil and transportation.

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  4. I've read a bunch of books about WWII, but still you added many insights that I hadn't heard before. Very interesting. Thanks

    Reply

  5. I came to think of the minor nations chat you had with Bernard in the last video, thought maybe it would be of interest to you to look into Finnish doctrine during the Winter War and Continuation War? Speaking about the air combat tactics and ideas surrounding targeting Soviet bombers developed by Richard Lorentz and Gustaf Erik "Eka" Magnusson. I myself know absolutely nothing about it, but if I can piggy back on the interest of a Nerd (read outstanding enthusiast), I won't complain.

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  6. This was really a superb presentation of an important but under-examined topic. This might be your best so far! I particularly applaud your use of original sources rather than relying too much on other's work. I remember reading that during the formation of the Luftwaffe, that it was decided early on that dive bombers would replace the need for a strategic bombing force since their accuracy was so much greater than that of level bombers. With this requirement in mind, the He-111 and Do-17 both had to be able to dive. So even though the bomb load was light on a long range mission, the ability to deliver an accurate dive attack obviated the need for a large bomb load—in theory anyway. Do you know if the Luftwaffe tried diving attacks on the factories or power plants? Thanks again!

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  7. Prima discussion. Understanding the greater picture is key to these topics. This is the post graduate part of YouTube.

    Reply

  8. It sounds like one of the major problems was a lack of bombers with the payload to do reasonable damage to a target at longer ranges. Not necessarily the lack of specific type but an overall lack of capacity. The Allied strategic bombing effort was an attrition effort to hurt German industry and the Luftwaffe, a bloody and expensive effort that eventually worked.

    Attacking the power grid and oil production facilities was probably the wisest set of targets as their destruction had the widest ripple effects to the entire economy.

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  9. Thank you, this video added a lot to my knowledge of this topic. I'd never realised just how much of an internal high command struggle there was between wanting to stop the Soviet army, and expecting to eventually take over their facilities. And when reality arrived in force it was all too late. Victory disease, gets you every time! Thank you again.

    Reply

  10. Perhaps the Germans also looked at their own experience of being able to keep producing war materials despite the Allies’ strategic bombing and decided it was a futile effort.

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  11. General George Smith Patton wollte, dass Deutschland das kommunistische Russland zerstört. Als der Krieg zu Ende ging, kam er nach Bayern. Er wollte sowohl deutsche als auch amerikanische Soldaten einsetzen, um die bolschewistischen Russen zu vernichten. Aus diesem Grund und ein paar anderen radikalen politischen Gründen, glaube ich, wurde er ermordet. Ich stimme seiner Idee zu, den Kommunismus zu zerstören, während wir dort waren. (Auch in China)

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  12. The Luftwaffe was right to reject attacks on soviet industry
    14:10
    If anyone thought this was a good idea they're nuts in hindsight (it being 20/20)

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  13. The effectiveness of strategic bombing has always been overestimated. The US and British bombing of Germany, and the US bombing of Japan did not really become effective until 1945, when the leading psychopaths Harris and LeMay switched to dropping incendiaries and burning out whole cities, civilians and all. Remember, German war production was UP in 1944 leading into 1945. It really did not drop until the Allies and Soviets started over-running the actual factories. As to the Eastern from, why stop production of weaponry if the Soviets are handing you those same materials wholesale in the various "kessels," or massive encirclements. Besides, the Luftwaffe was severely lacking in aircraft after the Battle of Britain, and they was stretched to the limit trying to cover three fronts. Strategic bombing is more of a nice-to-have than a necessity.

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  14. In invasion of a country in WW2 step 1 remove the means to produce war material. Step 2 destroy transportation. Invade and keep pressure on prevention of movement of war supply. The Germans counted so much on blitzkrieg they fell complacent on how well it worked. That when they hit Russa they never took into thought on how BIG Russia was compared to rest of Europe. Too much land gave Russia time to move industry and play a delaying action untell they were ready to tear into the Germans. So much time lost because of German overconfidence and probs in the high command.

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  15. it still amazes me how they were able to keep these somewhat advanced factories functional with tons of ordinance dropped on then especially the germans. Like WW2 was such a unique time in history where technology was advanced enough to give us such amazing weapons but yet simple enough that factories did not require much in the way of sophisticated machinery to produce weaponry

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  16. What happened to the radio controlled glider bombs? I believe that the allies were very nervous about these early in the war, but you don't hear much about them later in the war. Were they over rated, or did the Allies gain control of the air and make life too hard for German pilots to hang around and keep them on target?

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  17. Interesting counterpoint to the West, where years of futile attempts at destroying German industry were punctuated with the very occasional use of the strategic force as a tactical weapon – over the bitter opposition of the air forces involved- as in the Normandy breakout, operation Cobra.

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  18. Great video. Seems not only that Germany lacked a strategic bomber and bomber arm, but the Luftwaffe lacked a comprehensive strategic bomber mindset or forethought. Interesting. It makes sense now why it was never pursued in earnest.

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  19. Bernard, have to ever spoken to Kermit Weeks from Fantasy of Flight about coming over to Florida and spending a week filming his vast collection?

    Reply

  20. Just wanted to congratulate you for 16 Days in Berlin being funded, can't wait to watch what all of your great channels build together

    Reply

  21. 25:50 gotta love how the only way to show the effectiveness of the weapon is to show it getting shot to ribbons.

    Also gotta love the Luftwaffe suicide pact by late war:
    Eisenhammer
    Sonderkommando Elbe
    Bodenplatte

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  22. Nazi German high command with Luftwaffe made another tactical blunder during the eastern front. The Nazi Germans were so confident in defeating the Soviets, that they did not want to destroy the Soviet manufacturing facilities is absolutely a gross miscalculation!! The arrogance of the Nazi German continues to baffle the mind. Rather than wasting the Luftwaffe fighting the British and bombing London (what a total waist)…the Nazi Germany could have used those bombers and fighters on the eastern front. It would have made a good contribution to the war efforts. Miscalculations and incompetence helped the Nazi Germany to lose the war!! Also, just a side note, but NO mention of Lend-Lease?? If not for the Americans, the Soviet would have had a harder time defeating the Nazi Germany. Merci

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  23. Germany had the fast and accurate Ju88. The Allies had the fast twin engine Mosquito that could carry the same bomb load to Berlin as the huge four engine B17. It begs the question why The Allies kept going with vulnerable, inaccurate heavy bombers when they had the tools that could actually do precision attacks.

    I accept the Lancaster carried bigger loads, but its accuracy was poor. The huge Tallboy and Grand Slam bombs came later that the period under discussion.

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  24. Great entertaining vid 🙂 When theres no fuel to spare, a strategy might look like similar to Mosquito raids, and the SAS desert raids, – probably Ju88s on pinpoint areas far behind the lines to disrupt and achieve chaos/uncertainty/morale issues and to cause more resources to be allocated to defend the vast area behind the lines. Seems like the Axis focus was instead solely on the fight at the battlefield with the rear roads rail and so on largely intact.

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  25. 25:38 "Sir, we have no volunteers for one way mission!!" …….. "Do we have any Japanese in Germany???"

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  26. I appreciate you well thought-out videos and enjoy watching them. But I wish you would stop using the blurry images of what is in the real frame to fill out the rest of the frame. i see many youtubers do this. But for me it is distracting. I assume I am not the only viewer who feels this way about that technique.

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  27. Around the 14:30 mark, your graphic on the screen says "9th Army" when I am fairly certain you meant "6th Army".

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  28. Probably not a good idea to use film from Brit 3.5 in anti aircraft guns defending London from the Luftwaffe durung the blitz… !

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  29. I would suggest getting 'dollar shave club' as a sponsor, that way you could get a razor and get that peach fuzz off your face.:)

    Reply

  30. You have answered one of the questions that puzzled me for 45 years, so thoroughly ! My father said when he was in Germany during WW2 there was a widespread conspiracy theory, that the allies could have taken germany out of the war by destroying it's power stations at any point, but instead preferred to see the russians drain themselves. The logic is tempting, 9 sites, i think, were all that was required ? Any possibility there ? i am suspicious, as the germans could have done it to england if it were even vaguely practical .

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  31. It's been fascinating to watch the development of these videos over time, from the 'good enthusiast' level to a truly professional one that ranks with the best. Informative, excellently researched and delivered, and without being dry and humourless. A joy to watch.

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  32. Quite often I encounter phrases like Nazis should have done this or that to achieve victory, whereas I think they shouldn't have existed in the first place. It is both amusing and frightening to be honest, as if the whole world regrets fighting Hitler and indulges in wishful thinking incl. professors who write books about it.
    the answer to the question in the headlines is quite simple… If your army is planning to invade another country the last thing you want to destroy is infrastructure because you are going to own it, use it for yourself. Thus resources that go into long range bombers are better redirected into development and production of fighters and tactical bombers. Now if your country is planning to defend itself then long range bombers are important to conduct raids into enemy rear and bomb cities, factories as well as logistical hubs.
    Any study into why Germany didn't conduct long range bombings or target infrastructure, silently implies that Germany was the defending side in the conflict.

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  33. Hi, I love your videos cause they are not shallow, and you know what you're talkin' bout'. Will you be so kind to make a video about the he 111 H-6 as torpedo bomber in the Convoyś Route from Uk to UssR, example the convy PQ 17 and 16.Thanks a lot, bye now. 😉

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  34. … By German High command he means Hitler and he's poor strategist skills. As Hitler was the only one who gave orders in the war and didn't allow any opposing opinions..

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  35. Seems like the Luftwaffe missed a number of potentially tremendous opportunities, due to indecision, and especially due to the naive – I think even at the time – false hope that all this material would be captured from the Soviets.

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  36. Germany could of had Slavia to build roads to mascow as 6 countries went to war against Russia

    why wasn’t one building a road so supplies can get to mascow

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  37. Why isn’t there any Russian youtubers who knows a lot about the Ussr so we historians can learn about it

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  38. The US aircraft was even better than we thought. In 1944 the US built 98,000 plane about the amount Germany, Britain and Russia made added together. If the US did not build large 4 engine planes and only smaller twin engine planes like Germany and Russia the US would have built perhaps 120,000 in a year.
    It did not really matter what Germans did during the war your not beating those numbers.

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  39. Careful Chris….It sort of sounds like you regret how WWII ended (with the destruction of a corrupt evil country).

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  40. speaking os German Strategic Bombers could you do a video on the Grief Bomber? that is a very interesting design that was had bizarre engine problems.

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  41. T-60's were not in production by 1943, T-70's were. Also, one should take into account the nasty side-effect of the German bombings of GAZ plant – the loss of part of the factory archives and some of the experimental vehicles stored there.

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  42. Great video. I kept thinking in the back of my mind however, even if the Luftwaffe had carried on a successful strategic bombing of Soviet factories and/or power plants, American factories were churning out enough war material to send to the USSR which would have made the effort all for naught. And Germany had nothing that could reach America.

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  43. Those interested in reading a Japanese pilot's account of the attack on Pearl Harbor should read 'The Miraculous Torpedo Squadron' by Juzo Mori on Amazon Kindle. Only recently translated into English, Mori's autobiography gives a vivid account of life in pre-war Japan, training to become a pilot, flying in China, training for and carrying out the attack on Pearl Harbor, his role in the attacks on Wake, Midway and Guadalcanal, and more. A must read for students of the Pacific war.

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  44. Our p47's didn't have the power of your fockewolf 190s with their cannon. They really interfered with rail traffic wherever they could reach. Overwhelming air control was why the battle of the bulge in the ardennes forest was stalled when the weather finally cleared and camf group piper was seriously open to air attack after the weather cleared. Germany should have hit every commie railroad where they could reach. Just because a train is not visible does not mean the next run to stalingrad couldn't be delayed.

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  45. Interesting that you (MAH) can identify (some of) the problems inherent in trying to employ small tactical bombers in a long range strategic bombing role but you still don't consider the lack of a purpose built long range strategic bomber to be a problem. Hmmm … okay. As the Western Allies found out, un-escorted long range, precision, strategic daytime bombing was impractical and unsustainable, due to losses. The only practical approach was to burn the entire city to the ground; workers, women, children and all. To do that you need something more than a He 111 or a Ju 88. The German Luftwaffe was simply incapable of mounting an effective strategic bombing campaign in WW 2.

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  46. if Russias air defense was genrelly fairly poor then why didnt the Germans start lobbing V-1's and V-2's into Russia?

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  47. What is always striking is reality gap between German planning departments in higher command and the actual wartime situation. The similarities between the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe in fighting next years war today are signal. Churchill came out with a scheme, sometimes twice a week but few are treated with credulity today probably because the likes of Brooke, Dowding, Portal, Harris and Pound ensured the majority were stillborn with pragmatism so don't make it into alternate history which seems de rigueur for students of Axis history in general and German history in particular. Harris put it succinctly describing Germany's unrealistic attempts at wonder weapons as trying to invent the machine gun in the middle of the battle of Agincourt.

    The fundamentals required are firstly the aviation fuel for a sustained strategic German air offensive, something the Germans did not have since 1940, secondly, as Bismarck points out the Aircraft for a sustained effort including industry geared to support this offensive, thirdly the intelligence and fourthly the weather and finally the reaction from your enemy. Which front or arm was going to be robbed to provide the resource for a strategic campaign against Russia. Nightfighters? Nope they were are a priority from July 1943. Day Fighters? ditto. U-Boats? They were the most successful arm until May 43. Heer? Looks like German strategic bombing was no more than an augmented staff exercise for units incapable of operating in western skies.

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  48. Thank, I always love to lear something new. I was raised by my parents just after the war when rationing was still in existence.
    My parents both served in the armed forces and never talked about the war.
    The material that we in the UK get shown, does not cover factual information in such detail.
    It shows it more from our point of view or perspective.
    We were just told that both Stalin and Hitler were both as mad as a box of frogs as a saying we have in England. Or potty as a fruit case as some people say.
    All I know is that forgiveness begins with understanding.
    It's amazing that we often had almost identical ideas.
    Thank you for a very informative and educational film.

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  49. The Luftwaffe never had the range to hit any targets at any depth . Point Battle of Britain . The Luftwaffe could not even hit most of the targets in England ,How were they going to hit targets in a county that was 50 time bigger just at the front line .No matter how you look at it the Luftwaffe was a short range tactical air force .

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  50. So had Germany focused more on expanding industrial production and aircrew training earlier in the war, they might have had enough forces to mount long range strategic raids.

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  51. Vielen Dank fur dieses Video. I had little to no idea about this little known and oft-misunderstood part of the Eastern Front, finding myself wondering why the Luftwaffe appeared to miss the opportunity to handicap Soviet industry especially when Germany had, and was, experiencing the consequences of strategic blockading and bombing.
    At least now I understand that the German High Command did contemplate this at various stages and on various different levels, and can appreciate that part of the problem was the omnipresent, pervasive and continuous issue of 'too little too late' – that seemed to dog the fortunes of the German armed forces over and over.
    Excellent video.

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  52. Never any consideration of using weapons of mass destruction remains the odd decision…particularly in 1941 but also in 1942 and Case Blue.

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  53. 26:54: "I simply enjoyed feeling less exposed without the fear that someone could access my data".
    Dude, that is total and UTTER BULLSHIT. And you know it. Data security is between endpoints. No VPN providers can EVER substitute simple endpoint data encryption. You FEEL whatever you FEEL.
    Obviously, you also FEEL great urge to display your Youtube paraphernalia for self-indulgence.
    How do you spell "Egocentric Prick" in German?

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  54. Try to get to the point a bit faster? You said three times "before we get to" and it feels dragged out. Perhaps, if you think these are necessary points, simply frame them differently. "The first point of the topic at hand is that", that would make me feel like we're already at the video's topic. Finally, if you script what you will say, I'm sure you could reduce the video length to under 15min.

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  55. I've seen some of your videos here and there (probably found you through your Austrian colleague), but I finally now realize how much of a rabbit hole your channel is (in a good way!). There are just so many interesting subjects, and this one pushed me over the edge, I'm now a subscriber. Not sure how much that is worth these days (demonetisation-wave), but hey.
    Keep up the good work! Mach's gut 🙂

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  56. 21:33 "fritz x has just sunk italian battleship" somebody pls explain me why would it sunk a pizza ship?

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  57. According to wiki, the Soviets stopped making t-60s in 1942. The Gorky factory was probably making t-70s and Su-76s.

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  58. I'm sure the Luftwaffe would have appreciated having 1000 B-17 at any given time at their disposal.

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  59. The lack of four-engine bombers nevertheless really hindered the German war effort against the Soviet Union (the mastermind of those tactics, General Walther Wever, died before the war). Had enough numbers of such aircraft even the Soviet war factories in the Ural mountains could be reached and bombed, changing the course of the war…

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  60. If the Germans had been at all serious about strategic bombing, they would have let Heinkel put four engines in four nacelles in the He-177. The Brits did it with the Manchester (as bad a turkey as the 177) and the result was the Lancaster. Heinkel had to sneak them into the He-277, which the French used post WWII.

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  61. Would it be fair to say that the luftwaffe were looking for a tactical victory but in the process losing strategically?

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  62. BIASED!!!!!! The USSR industry recovered quickly, because of supplies of EVERYTHING from the USA and the UK, without the Landlease russians were on their knees

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