ALLIES HELPLESS AS FLEETS OF UNSTOPPABLE NAZI STEALTH BOMBERS POUND NEW YORK, LONDON, AND WASHINGTON
1943, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, the commander of Germany’s Air Force, issued his now famous “1000, 1000, 1000.” requirements, the so called “3 X 1000 project.” This was a call for a bomber that could carry a 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) load for 1,000 km (620 mi) at 1,000 km/h (620 mph. ) And the already famous Horten Brothers, aeronautical designers of some note, stepped up to the plate, and hit the ball out of the park. The Horten Brothers had been experimenting with gliders since the 1930s. They had reasoned that an aircraft that had no fuselage, in effect was a flying wing, would have a lot less drag than normal aircraft, and thus be vastly more fuel efficient. They had a huge lead on other developers, and within a year had a working prototype of the Ho 229 in the air. It performed admirably on trials, being the only aircraft that came even close to the 3 X 1000 requirements. Heck, it even exceeded them, one version of the bomber could actually reach New York and Washington with its efficient flying wing design. Reichsmarschall Göring was more than impressed, and as a close confident of Hitler, had no trouble convincing him to give priority to the project. Hitler’s obsession with bombers didn’t hurt, and by spring of 1944, the Ho 229 and its sister models were in full production.
The rest, as they say, is history. Did I mention that the Ho 229 had one other remarkable feature? As a benefit of its fuselageless design and paint designed to absorb microwave radiation, the Ho 229 was essentially invisible to the radars of 1944. That’s why the Allies were caught by complete surprise in i944 during Allied D-Day landings at Normandy … where Hitler decided it was time to send his secret weapon into action. Squadrons of high altitude, high speed, German stealth bombers suddenly appeared, sinking anything that floated in the English Channel. Well, they didn’t really appear, since they were invisible to radar and flew too high and fast to be seen. Essentially bombs falling from the sky ended the Normandy landings within weeks of June 6th 1944. In weeks it was over, hundreds of thousands of American, British, and Canadian troops had surrendered, and the vast majority of the best troops the western allies had were in labour camps in Germany.
It got worse, within days of the disaster at Normandy, streams of bombs were falling from the sky in London, New York, and Washington. “Panic” would be an understatement. Millions of Americans fled from an enemy that could neither be seen nor fought. The Horton bombers flew too high for most interceptors and all antiaircraft. Their speed and radar invisibility made them essentially invulnerable to what fighters could reach them. And the Germans weren’t stupid either. They had suffered years of strategic bombing raids themselves, they knew what hurt and what didn’t. While the raids spread panic among the general public, it was clear that the raids were not random, key communications, transport, and energy centres were under constant attack. By the end of 1944 the American economy was in worse shape than at the height of the great depression. Even if it had been politically possible, the USA simply couldn’t continue the war under such a relentless bombardment. It was over.
On May 7th 1945 the western allies signed the Treaty of Nuremberg, ending the war in the west. Hitler danced a little jig at the signing, Roosevelt had a stroke and died within hours. The Russians vowed to drive on, but within weeks streams of German bombs dropping invisibly from the sky had shown Stalin the error of his ways. In fact it may even have unhinged his mind, since he surrendered unconditionally to Hitler on September 2 1945. World War Two was over, grasping victory from the jaws of defeat, Hitler the Great had unified Europe and ushered in an era of German cultural hegemony that would last for 1000 years.
Obviously this is fictional, almost everyone knows that the Normandy landings were the beginning of the end for Hitler’s third Reich, and no squadrons of German stealth bombers attacked New York or any other target. The Ho 229 was real though, and a working prototype was built. It was however lost in a crash. And the Germans never had the time to continue development, let alone build a fleet of war winning stealth bombers. The inspiration for this post came from this article where the efforts of a modern group to build and test an Ho 229 are chronicled, it has lots of pictures. And essentially it is correct, the Ho 229 and its derivatives were indeed stealth aircraft, designed and built decades before the USA’s stealth program got off the ground.
So how likely is the above scenario? In my estimation, not a chance. I know articles and shows like to portray Hitler’s secret weapons as “war winning weapons” if they’d “only had a little more time,” but such and analysis is shallow and facile. One has to make so many history changing assumptions to make the Ho 229 a war winning weapon that it’s basically a fantasy story. One has to assume that Hitler didn’t cancel all his weapons research in 1940 for example. Then they had to manufacture these planes in secret in large quantities. Tricky, but not impossible. Then they had to come up with fuel for them, and that’s getting pretty iffy, aviation fuel was in desperately short supply in Germany by mid war. Then they had to both come up with effective tactics for using these new planes, and to somehow train the aircrew to fly them using the new tactics, a tall order indeed. Germany wasn’t even able to make effective use of what jets they did built because of these limitations, and these are problems that no super weapon is magically going to fix.
And even then, would a few hundred or even a few thousand Ho 229s have turned the tide of the war? I can’t think of any way they could have done so. My Normandy scenario above is silly, hitting ships with high altitude bombers had laughable results the times it was tried during the war. Ships are tiny, the ocean is huge. And even thousands of tons of bombs dropped on US cities wouldn’t have had a significant effect on the US economy and ability to wage war. And no doubt would have made Americans want to surrender about as much as the German blitz on London crushed English morale and determination to keep fighting. And stopping the onrushing Soviet juggernaut with high altitude bombers is even more laughable a prospect.
And sure, one can make a case that they could have been used at low altitudes, especially since there was a fighter version of the Ho 229. However, while the Ho 229 was an amazing plane, at low altitude they would most certainly have suffered heavy losses fro anti-aircraft and allied fighters, they were good but not invincible. And, frankly, a good thing too. Even fantasy scenarios where Hitler wins are a bit creepy. The world would be different, and not the good kind of different.
Many more images and videos of Hitler’s stealth aircraft can be seen here.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, is central to illustrating the post, and its use here in co conceivable way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. Credit and Copyright: Kyle Scott. Although his fine illustrations are all over the net, I couldn’t find a web site of his or I’d link to it. I will be making more posts on Germany’s secret weapons during World War Two because, well, it’s fun. Secret weapons rarely, if ever, win wars, but they do make for good blog posts.)