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stalkervision
09-25-2008, 09:41 PM
What would have happened in the European airwar had the merlin never been fitted to the Mustang? Opinions?

WTE_Galway
09-25-2008, 09:42 PM
Originally posted by stalkervision:
What would have happened in the European airwar had the merlin never been fitted to the Mustang? Opinions?

As a single engined plane they would have had trouble taking off.

Tab_Flettner
09-25-2008, 09:45 PM
Tow them behind jeeps as fast moving anti-tank weapons.

stalkervision
09-25-2008, 09:45 PM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by stalkervision:
What would have happened in the European airwar had the merlin never been fitted to the Mustang? Opinions?

As a single engined plane they would have had trouble taking off. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

wise a-ss http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

WTE_Galway
09-25-2008, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by Tab_Flettner:
Tow them behind jeeps as fast moving anti-tank weapons.

That could work http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

buzzsaw1939
09-25-2008, 09:47 PM
Galway... Sounds like you don't think much of the Allison!

It was a good engine, it just had trouble breathing! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Stiletto-
09-25-2008, 10:00 PM
It would be regarded as the P-40's faster younger brother.

jensenpark
09-25-2008, 10:02 PM
If no merlin, we'd be sitting here reading umpteen "teh P47 won the war" threads.

Buzzsaw-
09-25-2008, 10:08 PM
Salute

The P-51A, or Mustang I as the British called it, had a very successful operational record as a low level ground attack and tactical recon aircraft for the RAF. It was used by many Squadrons right up to 1944.

The original Mustang I was equipped with just the four .50 cals, but the IA was equipped with four 20mm cannon, (this is the aircraft initially called by the U.S. 'Apache', but without dive brakes) and combined with excellent low and medium alt speed, it was successful in making Intruder raids throughout Western Europe. The Mustang I was 20-30 mph faster than the Spitfire Mk VC at 5,000 ft and 35 mph faster at 15,000 ft. The Mustang had a top speed of slightly over 390 mph, and in 1942 and early '43 was faster at low altitudes than either the FW-190 or 109. Mustang I had a climbrate of 3800 feet per minute at 6000 feet, which is excellent for 1942. Optimal altitude for this aircraft was between 10-18,000 ft.

Mustang I equipped Nos 2, 4, 16, 26, 63, 169,239, 241, 268, and 613 Squadrons of the RAF, plus Nos 400, 414 and 430 Squadrons of the RCAF, and No 309 (Polish) Squadron of the RAF. Operational use of the Mustang I started in May of '42. First blood for the Mustang I was a FW-190, shot down by an American member of RCAF No. 414 Squadron during the Dieppe Raid.

Later, the British acquired a few of an updated version, the Mustang II, whose armament went back to the four .50's, but whose speed went up over 400 mph.

The Mustang I had excellent range and in October of 1942 during a mission to the Dutch/German border area, became the first Allied fighter to penetrate inside Germany from a base in England.

Youtube video from British Propaganda newsreel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usqV_zUpGCs

R_Target
09-25-2008, 10:12 PM
We'd hear a lot less griping from the Rule Britannia crowd.

Oh, and the Army would wise up and buy some Corsairs.

M_Gunz
09-25-2008, 10:20 PM
AVG did all right flying Allison powered planes with older and draggier airframes.
Hurricane has close to the same critical alt as the P-40's.

The Allisons were meant to be hooked up to a turbocharger, you have two that way per P-38.
P-38 ran high altitudes well in warm weather. Maybe the other times data helped with P-47.

ElAurens
09-25-2008, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by R_Target:
Oh, and the Army would wise up and buy some Corsairs.

Never would have happened.

The USAAF already had the P47 that was superior to the F4U for European ops.

struth
09-25-2008, 11:39 PM
Packard also manufactured Merlins of a sort.

Whirlin_merlin
09-26-2008, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by struth:
Packard also manufactured Merlins of a sort.

More than just 'of a sort' Packard produced excellent Merlins.
They brought US style mass production and tolerances to the party.

Aaron_GT
09-26-2008, 02:19 AM
The original Mustang I was equipped with just the four .50 cals

The Mustang I was equipped with four .50s (two chin, two wing) and four .303s (wings).

R_Target
09-26-2008, 05:15 AM
Originally posted by ElAurens:
Never would have happened.

The USAAF already had the P47 that was superior to the F4U for European ops.

I know. I can dream though, can't I? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I think the Army would go back to the P-26 before they'd fly a Navy bird. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

ElAurens
09-26-2008, 05:35 AM
Be sure!

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

stalkervision
09-26-2008, 07:16 AM
what would have happened without the allies having a really long range high altitude fighter over Germany like the Mustang? Bomber losses were crippling before the Mustang got the merlin and the added long range drop tanks. The RAF was almost stopped from doing night missions too at one point their losses were so heavy.

DKoor
09-26-2008, 07:35 AM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by stalkervision:
What would have happened in the European airwar had the merlin never been fitted to the Mustang? Opinions?

As a single engined plane they would have had trouble taking off. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Hahaha http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

DKoor
09-26-2008, 07:44 AM
Originally posted by stalkervision:
what would have happened without the allies having a really long range high altitude fighter over Germany like the Mustang? Bomber losses were crippling before the Mustang got the merlin and the added long range drop tanks. The RAF was almost stopped from doing night missions too at one point their losses were so heavy. You don't have to guess what if, you just have to watch early bombardment missions that USAAF undertook. Schweinfurt etc.
Losses were very high... stürmbocks were hitting B-17 hard on entrance and on exit too!
It was a bloody massacre.
In the beginning of the idea some people thought that bombers could effectively defend themselves from fighters if they have enough armor and defense weapons... it was however proved to be a disaster, in the worst possible way - by paying with human life.

That is why escorts were extremely important for bomber streams. I remember reading how one 109 pilot faced the one of the first bomber escorts... (osprey bibliography)


...
Also their first encounters with American escort fighter I ROFLed... said how they spotted mass of radial engined fighters above B-17 bomber stream... they thought those are Fockes... curiously enough they weren't attacking the bombers so FW. Wennekers and his wingman climbed up to inspect them... while the fighters above immediately dived on them... few moments later Wennekers heard his agitated wingman over R/T: "Look out, they are trying to shoot you down!", in their panic they tried to dive away from Thunderbolts http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif (lol). This time they got away and in general confusion they climbed up again only to find themselves among American bombers!
When he looked around Wennekers spotted dorsal hatch gunner of the nearest Fortress less than 65ft away. Gunner was equally shocked by the sudden appearance of the Messerschmitt, so he promptly ducked back inside the fuselage...!

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Bremspropeller
09-26-2008, 07:47 AM
Teh Mustang was crap anyway http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

KIMURA
09-26-2008, 07:49 AM
Originally posted by Bremspropeller:
Teh Mustang was crap anyway http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

Sure that. A/c that weighs lesser than 7 tons are crippled planes. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

stalkervision
09-26-2008, 08:01 AM
...
"Also their first encounters with American escort fighter I ROFLed... said how they spotted mass of radial engined fighters above B-17 bomber stream... they thought those are Fockes... curiously enough they weren't attacking the bombers so FW. Wennekers and his wingman climbed up to inspect them... while the fighters above immediately dived on them... few moments later Wennekers heard his agitated wingman over R/T: "Look out, they are trying to shoot you down!", in their panic they tried to dive away from Thunderbolts (lol). This time they got away and in general confusion they climbed up again only to find themselves among American bombers!
When he looked around Wennekers spotted dorsal hatch gunner of the nearest Fortress less than 65ft away. Gunner was equally shocked by the sudden appearance of the Messerschmitt, so he promptly ducked back inside the fuselage...!"

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Bearcat99
09-26-2008, 10:22 AM
It wouldn't have had the rep it does.. but it was by no means s bad plane with the allison.

Aaron_GT
09-26-2008, 01:38 PM
It was certainly a better low level recon than the Spitfire (good range and excellent sea level speed), hence the RAF used it as such.

Whirlin_merlin
09-26-2008, 01:54 PM
The problem with the P51 being so good with the Merlin in it is that it would give people the silly notion that the British and Americans where allies in WW2.

The outragous revisionist view that we somehow worked well together, learnt a great deal from each other and our forefathers (and foremothers in many cases) spilt alot of blood together. Next they will try to claim the Russkies where in on it to.

But that would be a lot less fun http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/icon_twisted.gif.

jarink
09-26-2008, 02:02 PM
The Merlin engine gave the P-51 better high altitude performance, but it was the addition of the extra fuselage tank that gave it the range needed for long range escort missions.

Without a Merlin engined Mustang, there would have been a lot more P-38s used in the ETO. In 1943, it was the only USAAF fighter that had the range and performance for long range escort missions.

thefruitbat
09-26-2008, 02:36 PM
To the original question,

I don't think that anything would have been that different particualy the outcome of the war, The p51 didn't arrive until the start of '44, by which time the allies were already in the ascendancy in the airwar over western europe, let alone the rest of the war.

The air war over the western front was already won in reality, because for germany the war had already been lost on the eastern front, sometime before the 51 showed up. Sheer numbers of allied planes on the western front was something that germany could never match, particuarly in respect to pilots. And as the allies still had plenty of other planes that were effective against the germans, as had been shown through the difficult time in '43, air supremacy would have still been acheived.

Maybee there wouldn't of been so many of the really long raids, but in reality what did these really acheive to the eventual outcome, that hadn't already been acheived with all the other raids?

They certainly didn't affect who was going to be the victors, that was already determined.

By the start of '44, nothing was going to be able to stop the soviets crushing germany, save a nuclear bomb maybe. This is of course seeing things with the benifit of hindsight, and nothing seemed certain back then for sure.

I personally think, that in reality all the western front really did from '44 onwards, was define where the iron curtain finally fell, although impossible to forsee or imagine at the time. Although saying that, i think that Churchill might just of had a niggling idea of this, but that is just my opinion.

That all said, i think the p51 was an outstanding long range escort fighter, unmatched in its class, and as history shows, extreamly effective.

fruitbat

Buzzsaw-
09-26-2008, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by thefruitbat:
By the start of '44, nothing was going to be able to stop the soviets crushing germany, save a nuclear bomb maybe.

Salute

You are quite correct.

Even if the Western Allies had not invaded at Normandy, the Soviets would still have taken Berlin. Basically nothing slowed them down after the battle of Kursk, except supply issues. Each Summer and Winter they would launch an offensive, drive until they ran out of effective supply range, then pause and consolidate, rebuild their units, in time for the next offensive. Nothing the Germans did stopped them from breaking the German defensive front at will.

Of course, they were benefitting greatly from lendlease, all the trucks, gasoline and food supplies enabled them to extend the distance they could exploit after breaking through. And much of the Soviet Army was equipped with US tanks and halftracks. All the Soviet Mechanized Corps were equipped with Shermans and M3 halftracks. (Soviet Tank Corps were equipped with Soviet manufacture AFV's)

The Soviet Army was the largest contributor to victory in WWII.

That doesn't mean they contributed the most to the victory in the air, in fact the opposite, the US and British aerial forces destroyed far more Germans.

But the war in the air was secondary to the war on the ground.

Kursk was the real moment of truth.

The Germans committed the cream of their Army, when it was fully equipped with AFV's including the newest types, along with the best trained, highest quality soldiers. The Soviets met that attack head to head, stopped the Germans dead in their tracks, then turned around and launched their own offensive, which smashed the Germans back and cleared them out of almost all of the Ukraine.

It was the decisive battle of the 20th Century.

DKoor
09-26-2008, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by thefruitbat:
I don't think that anything would have been that different particualy the outcome of the war, +1
I'd say that for instance P-47 would receive even bigger drop tanks and better frames/engines more quickly http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif.

Sillius_Sodus
09-26-2008, 03:29 PM
It's only an opinion but even without a long range escort fighter, the Allies may still have been able to maintain enough air supremacy in France for them to successfully invade Normandy, then base fighters there. It might have taken longer to defeat Nazi Germany but it's hard to see how the Nazis could have prevailed.

Buzzsaw-
09-26-2008, 03:39 PM
Salute

The P-47, when equipped with the two wing droptanks, was capable of escorting as far as Berlin. Which meant that most targets in Germany would have been vulnerable, although some important ones in Eastern Germany and Czechslovakia would have been out of range. As well, Ploesti was out of range for P-47's operating with the 15th AAF in Italy.

The P-47 was as capable an escort as the P-51, except for its lower range.

The P-38 was also a reasonable escort, although it was far less successful in the European theater due to high alt issues with compressibility, its turbochargers and pilot heating systems. (hard to focus on shooting down an opponent when your n*ts are freezing off http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

Blutarski2004
09-26-2008, 03:47 PM
Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
Kursk was the real moment of truth.

The Germans committed the cream of their Army, when it was fully equipped with AFV's including the newest types, along with the best trained, highest quality soldiers. The Soviets met that attack head to head, stopped the Germans dead in their tracks, then turned around and launched their own offensive, which smashed the Germans back and cleared them out of almost all of the Ukraine.

It was the decisive battle of the 20th Century.


..... Some historians argue that the failure at Kursk was the result of Hitler's insistence upon delaying the launch date until the new Panthers and Ferdinands reached the front. The field generals were begging Hitler to let them attack immediately, before the Russians could complete their defensive system. As it was, the Soviet command long knew from intelligence reports that Kursk was the target, so the element of surprise never existed. The rest, as they say, is history.

A thought - Did the US/GB ever offer the Allison-powered P51 as Lend-Lease to the Soviets? It would have been ideal for their style of air fighting.

thefruitbat
09-26-2008, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by thefruitbat:
By the start of '44, nothing was going to be able to stop the soviets crushing germany, save a nuclear bomb maybe.

Salute

You are quite correct.

Even if the Western Allies had not invaded at Normandy, the Soviets would still have taken Berlin. Basically nothing slowed them down after the battle of Kursk, except supply issues. Each Summer and Winter they would launch an offensive, drive until they ran out of effective supply range, then pause and consolidate, rebuild their units, in time for the next offensive. Nothing the Germans did stopped them from breaking the German defensive front at will.

Of course, they were benefitting greatly from lendlease, all the trucks, gasoline and food supplies enabled them to extend the distance they could exploit after breaking through. And much of the Soviet Army was equipped with US tanks and halftracks. All the Soviet Mechanized Corps were equipped with Shermans and M3 halftracks. (Soviet Tank Corps were equipped with Soviet manufacture AFV's)

The Soviet Army was the largest contributor to victory in WWII.

That doesn't mean they contributed the most to the victory in the air, in fact the opposite, the US and British aerial forces destroyed far more Germans.

But the war in the air was secondary to the war on the ground.

Kursk was the real moment of truth.

The Germans committed the cream of their Army, when it was fully equipped with AFV's including the newest types, along with the best trained, highest quality soldiers. The Soviets met that attack head to head, stopped the Germans dead in their tracks, then turned around and launched their own offensive, which smashed the Germans back and cleared them out of almost all of the Ukraine.

It was the decisive battle of the 20th Century. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I know lendlease was an important factor, but i was under the impression, that it was less of a factor by '44 than earlier on in the war, when it was much more crucial. This is due to the fact, that by this time the Soviets were producing there own equipment at an amzing rate, something that despite knowing the sheer brutality and demand for total effort from the people, i can't help but admire, nothing defines total war more. Happy to be corrected if i am missinformed!

Personally, i can never make my mind up between kursk and stalingrad, the latter setting the way for the former, as to what was the real moment.

I kind of tend to go with stalingrad, simply because of the way Zhukov drip fed Chuikov's 62nd army, to just about hold, and disguise the massive build up on the flanks, something that the germans couldn't even comprehend possible. After operation Uranus, the soviets were never short of equipment, the tide had turned.

The way Chuikov's 62nd army performed, and by how it went about itself with its ruthless discipline and harshness and total single minded purpose, without regard for own cost, from Germany's point of view, i don't think it was possible to win from then on. As long as the soviets had men to replace there losses, which they did, and that they wern't afraid to use them, which they did with shocking dissregard, as they had a nearly inexausable supply, how do you beat an opponent like that? Kill all of them?

Apart from those two nitpicking points i agree 100%!!

fruitbat

Doug_Thompson
09-26-2008, 04:18 PM
Somebody should mention that the Luftwaffe would not have been chewed up as badly as it was in the first half of 1944.

The Germans had to defend against bombing raids, and their losses were heavy. More of the Luftwaffe would have survived by the time of the Normandy landings. The Allies would have still won the air superiority battle, but it would have been bloodier.

thefruitbat
09-26-2008, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by Doug_Thompson:
Somebody should mention that the Luftwaffe would not have been chewed up as badly as it was in the first half of 1944.

The Germans had to defend against bombing raids, and their losses were heavy. More of the Luftwaffe would have survived by the time of the Normandy landings. The Allies would have still won the air superiority battle, but it would have been bloodier.

Why?

if there were no p51's, there would just be lots more 47's. Along with all the Spitfires, Tempests, and poss 38's. p47's could pretty much reach anywhere the 51's could, and had turned the tide already during the bloody battles of '43, when the luftwaffe was much more effective.

Same result would of happened, defining moments were in 1943, not 1944.

A massivley large factor to the allies air suppremacy was numbers, of both effective fighters, and trained pilots, not plane type.

fruitbat

Aaron_GT
09-26-2008, 05:38 PM
The Merlin engine gave the P-51 better high altitude performance

This also gave it longer range even without extra tankage. You can see the effect in the P-40 series too - with the Merlin it gained about 8% extra range, partly due to being able to cruise at higher altitude. For the P-40 this meant an extra 50 miles, which doesn't sound like much, but does if you're being escorted by it!

One thing that gets forgotten - with longer range you have to add oil tankage too. In the Spitfire you sometimes seem cowling shape changes hiding the bigger oil tank. I don't know where it is on a P-51. The tankage for a given distance for a Merlin P-51 is going to be similar to that of a Spitfire over the same distance (i.e. Spitfire PRs).

Aaron_GT
09-26-2008, 05:40 PM
One forgotten use of the P-51 is its use in mid 1944 by the RAF as a pathfinder, as an alternative to the Mosquito. This only worked in good weather with the most experienced pilots as the aids such as Gee, Oboe, H2S could not be carried. The full set of aids began to tax even the Mosquito - the flare load was light, but they were running out of places to put the gear (crews complained of very cramped cockpits) and electrical power. It is the sort of thing the P-82 might have done well at assuming all the relevant displays could have been fitted into the second cockpit.

PhantomKira
09-26-2008, 06:51 PM
"But the war in the air was secondary to the war on the ground."

This is most certainly true. Look at the aircraft this series we are so enthralled with is named after; it's a ground attack aircraft. Even the way the soviets trained thier pilots indicates that there wasn't any particular interest in air actions, other than what would further progress on the ground. As the famous saying goes "no air force has ever held ground". I have no idea who said that origionally.


"...P-51 oil tank"

Per Aircraft Anatomy of WWII, the oil tank on a P-51B was in front of the pilot, behind the engine. Right on the firewall, I assume. Unfortunately, I can't tell for sure... the darn thing is right in the middle of the crease between two pages. Go figure! Grump! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

(Reference: Aircraft Anatomy of WWII editors Paul Eden and Soph Moeng c2003 Aerospace Publishing Ltd ISBN # 0-7858-1722-0)

M_Gunz
09-26-2008, 11:28 PM
It's the oil cooler that was so vulnerable. Pop that and the oil tank would empty out.

Buzzsaw-
09-27-2008, 12:31 AM
AFV Lendlease whole war: (incl. British/Canadian)

Churchill (All armed with 6-pounder gun) 301
Cromwell 6
M10 Wolverine TD 52
M15A1 MGMC 100
M17 MGMC 1.000
M18 Hellcat TD 5
M24 Chaffee 2
M26 Pershing 1
M3 Lee/Grant ("Coffin for 7 brothers") 1.386
M31 ARV (M3 Medium tank chassis) 115
M3A1 "Stuart" light tank 1.676
M4 Sherman (75mm / 76mm) 2.007 / 2.095
M5 Light tank 5
Matilda Mk. II 1.084
T-48 (SU-57) Tank destroyer 650
Tetrarch 20
Valentine Bridgelayer 25
Valentine Mk. III/IV/IX/XI 2.394 (British) 1.388 (Canadian)

Soviet tank crews liked the Valentine better than their own light tanks, it had excellent radio. The T-34 crews would scrounge the radios from any wrecked Valentines they spotted. Valentine Bridgelayers would come in handy also.

M4 1st Ukrainian Front:

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/photogallery/cgku/07.jpg

Soviets got about 351.700 trucks and 78.000 Jeeps from the USA. They got the Studebaker trucks, the Americans didn't like them much, but the Russians loved them. In fact, adapted many of their engineering traits to future vehicles.

Studebaker with 310mm Katyuska mounted:

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/photogallery/cgku/01.jpg

U.S. Soviet lendlease act:

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/wwii/amsov42.htm

There used to be a link to the original US documents noting the totals US lendleas of various items to Soviets, but it is dead now. Dollar value was 11.3 billion.

From Wikipedia:

Aircraft 14,795
Tanks 7,056
Jeeps 51,503
Trucks 375,883
Motorcycles 35,170
Tractors 8,071
Guns 8,218
Machine guns 131,633
Explosives 345,735 tons
Building equipment valued $10,910,000
Railroad freight cars 11,155
Locomotives 1,981
Cargo ships 90
Submarine hunters 105
Torpedo boats 197
Ship engines 7,784
Food supplies 4,478,000 tons
Machines and equipment $1,078,965,000
Non-ferrous metals 802,000 tons
Petroleum products 2,670,000 tons
Chemicals 842,000 tons
Cotton 106,893,000 tons
Leather 49,860 tons
Tires 3,786,000
Army boots 15,417,001 pairs

DUKW's crossing river:

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/photogallery/cgku/05.jpg

Soviets never really repaid debt, although they acknowledged in '70's that they owed 700 million. Which the current Russian Gov't says it will honour.

Considering what Soviet Forces did to Werhmacht, I think the USA got a bargain. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

grist
09-28-2008, 01:29 PM
a) More P-38 to 8th AF.
b) Earlier development of P-47N and use by 8th.
c) Earlier development of high alt Allison V-1710 like the one used on P-63.