Luftwaffe. Secret Bombers of the Third Reich


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More than


rare drawin and photosgs




ISBN: 978-1-911276-06-7 £6.99

Dan Sharp

Preface B

ritain became intimately familiar with the Luftwaffe’s bomber fleet during the Second World War, particularly from September 1940 to o May 1941 when it repeatedly attacked the nation’s major ports and cities. Yet despite their evident ne eed to drop the highest possible tonnage of bombs ov ver Britain, it always struck me as curious that the Ge ermans did not operate a heavy bomber of a sort equivalent to the British Avro Lancaster or Ha andley Page Halifax. Instead, Germany fielded a range of smaller airrcraft – the glass-nosed Heinkel 111, Dornier’s sle ender Do 17 and the workmanlike Ju 88. They see emed to get the job done however, and having grown up with stories of the terrifying and deadly Blitz, it did not occur to me that the Germans miight have been anything less than satisfied wiith their bomber fleet. Years later, during the 1990s, I was amazed to disscover the incredible variety of unusual ‘secret pro oject’ aircraft apparently developed by German ma anufacturers during the war. There were rocketpow wered interceptors aplenty, pulse-jet fighters, forrward-swept wings, asymmetrical ground-attack airrcraft, parasite fighters and more. The purpose, context and even in some cases the tru ue nature of many of these designs appeared to ha ave become confused however, prompting me to write Luftwaffe: Secret Jets of the Third Reich in an attempt to provide some clarity. While working on this project I naturally encountered many bomber designs, but lacking the space to do them justice, I set them aside. In truth, there were just as many puzzling aspects to German bomber development during the war as there were co oncerning jet fighters. The more I read about these designs, the more co onflicting claims, obfuscation, oddly recurring th hemes and outright misinformation I encountered. This publication is therefore an attempt, once again, to o set the record straight using primary source material as far as possible. There is one particular theme that seems to have ca ast a shadow over all studies of German wartime bo omber development – what has come to be called th he ‘Amerika bomber’. Today, many German bomber prrojects are said to have been part of an ‘Amerika bo omber programme’, this being a concerted effort th hroughout the war to build something capable of flying over to US, bombing it, and flying all the way back to a base in Europe. However, among the records and archives I examined for this edition, there is seldom any mention of an attempt to build a bomber capable of reaching America. Reading the Germans’ own technical reports, minutes of meetings, air ministry memos and dozens of other documents carefully preserved in British archives, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Germans never seriously

considered flying a bomber all the way from Europe to attack the US. Time and again, there are references to bombing Britain. There are laments that the Luftwaffe’s existing types are not up to the job of doing just that, there is regret at the lack of a bomber that can fly high enough to avoid RAF interceptors, there is concern that the British are developing ever better navigation techniques for their own heavy bombers without fear of reprisal. Similarly, there is constant debate and discussion about how best to find and sink the convoys plying the Atlantic with the supplies that are keeping Britain alive. The U-boats, it is said, urgently require help to do their job effectively – something that is better than the Focke-Wulf Fw 200, a repurposed airliner. In fact, there was one attempt – during the early part of the war – to build a bomber capable of reaching America, but this hope seems to have faded very quickly and was never to be rekindled. All thoughts turned instead to Britain and how best to bomb it into submission. With the ‘Amerika bomber programme’ myth removed from the equation, the story of heavy bomber development in Germany becomes a little more straightforward as I hope will be apparent. As before, I found that the best place to begin my research was with a document called German Aircraft: New and Projected Types, which can be found in the National Archives at Kew in London. This factually accurate ‘greatest hits’ of German secret aircraft projects was compiled by British air intelligence in 1945 from captured documents and published in January 1946. Numbered among the 174 types and projects it covers are numerous bombers. Dozens of other documentary sources were then added to establish a basic history of German bomber development. The focus has been mainly, though not exclusively, on large and long-range bombers and bomber projects, rather than groundattack aircraft or smaller ‘schnellbomber’ types. This is primarily for reasons of space but also because those types tended to have more in common with fighters and therefore had a somewhat different development background. It will also be noticed that this publication is somewhat lacking in tables of statistics and graphs. Contemporary documents are full of these occasionally useful graphics but there is rarely enough room for them in a publication that seeks to establish a cohesive historical narrative, rather than n documenting every technical nuance and detail of aircraft that were never built. Finally, no matter how interesting their features, no matter how innovative their design, it should not be forgotten that these projects were sponsored by the Nazi regime, and that their chief purpose was to bomb and destroy its opponents.

Luftwaffe: Secret Bombers of the Third Reich 003

006 Introduction

022 Henschel Hs 130 (1937)

036 Blohm & Voss BV 238 and BV 250

012 Fernbomber (1936)

026 Fernkampfflugzeug (1940)

042 Fernerkunder (1941)

Blohm & Voss design Heinkel P 1041/He 177 Henschel P 26 Junkers design Messerschmitt P 1061

016 Bomber B (1939)

Arado E 340 Dornier Do 317 Focke-Wulf Fw 191 Junkers Ju 288 Heinkel design


Luftwaffe: Secret Bombers of the Third Reich

Focke-Wulf Fernkampfflugzeug Junkers design Messerschmitt P 1061 (Me 264)

Focke-Wulf Fw 300 Junkers Ju 290

046 Heinkel He 274 (1941)

030 Arado E 470 (1941)

050 Blohm & Voss P 163 (1942)

032 Fernkampfflugzeug second try (1941)

054 Interlude: Göring on bombers (1943)

Focke-Wulf Fernkampfflugzeug – revised Heinkel six-engined design Junkers Ju 390 Messerschmitt Me 264

058 Fernkampfflugzeug final phase (1943) Focke-Wulf Ta 400 Messerschmitt Me 264

Co ontents FRONT COVER: A pre-production model Junkers Ju 287 A-0 prepares to bomb Allied advanced landing grounds in western Germany by Ronnie Olsthoorn. For more information about the Ju 287 see pages 78 and 106.

AUTHOR: Dan Sharp DESIGN: REPROGRAPHICS: Jonathan Schofield and Paul Fincham PRODUCTION EDITOR: Jack Harrison PUBLISHER: Steve O’Hara ADVERTISING MANAGER: Sue Keily, [email protected] PUBLISHING DIRECTOR: Dan Savage MARKETING MANAGER: Charlotte Park COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR: Nigel Hole PUBLISHED BY: Mortons Media Group Ltd, Media Centre, Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6JR. Tel: 01507 529529 THANKS TO: Simon Fowler, Chris Gall, Chris Gibson, Paul Malmassari, Paul Martell-Mead, Ronnie Olsthoorn, Alexander Power, Chris Sandham-Bailey, Daniel Uhr, Stephen Walton, Gary Webster and Tony Wilson PRINTED BY: William Gibbons and Sons, Wolverhampton ISBN: 978-1-911276-06-7

ABOVE: The distinctive form of a Junkers EF 130 in flight. In fact, numerous different configurations for the EF 130 were proposed, though none now survive save this one. Art by Ronnie Olsthoorn

Junkers Ju 390

© 2016 Mortons Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage retrieval system without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

Heinkel P 1068/Strabo 16 to/He 343

068 Heinkel He 277 (1943)

090 Junkers Ju 488 (1944)

070 Arado projects (1943)

094 Sänger Raketenbomber (1944)

Arado E 555 Arado E 560 Arado TL-Jäger Arado R-Jäger Arado K-Jäger

076 Strahlbomber (1943) Arado E 395 Junkers Ju 287 Blohm & Voss P 188

100 Daimler-Benz Schnellstbombenträger (1944) 106 Langstreckenbomber (1944) Messerschmitt P 1107 Junkers Ju 287 Horten XVIII

114 Messerschmitt P 1108 (1944)

118 Red bombers (1946)

Horten XVIII Junkers Ju 287 Messerschmitt P 1107

124 Unknown!

Henschel P 135 Messerschmitt P 20 Focke-Wulf Bomber mit 2 HeS 011 Swaty S.8 Karl Stöckel rockets and rammers Horten committee bomber BMW bomber projects

Luftwaffe: Secret Bombers of the Third Reich 005


Arrested developm

Germany’s Second World War bombers – an introduction

It was clear even before its formation in 1935 that the Luftwaffe was going to need a heavy bomber. After a couple of false starts, it seemed as though a world-beating design was firmly in the frame by the end of 1936…

ABOVE: Possibly the most important German aircraft of the Second World War – the Heinkel He 177. A great deal of time, effort and money was expended on it which might have been more profitably employed elsewhere. Worse still, for several years it seemed as though the He 177 might be just about ready to enter service even though it wasn’t, fatally delaying the development of a more capable aircraft to replace it.


hen Heinkel’s P 1041 was declared the winner of the Fernbomber or ‘long-range bomber’ competition on October 16, 1936, the German military believed it to be the most advanced aircraft design of its type anywhere in the world. It stood head and shoulders above the designs tendered for the first long-range

bomber specification of two years earlier – the Junkers Ju...

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