Goering to Blame???

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
User avatar
Xavier March
Member
Posts: 43
Joined: 26 Nov 2005 02:32
Location: The Former Confederacy

Goering to Blame???

Post by Xavier March » 29 Dec 2005 03:03

In the past couple of weeks I have spent much time researching the Luftwaffe and the production of aircraft and operation of the force. Most authors I have read place all of the blame on Goering and his handling ( or lack of ) the air force. However, I spent this Christams speaking with my brother in law who stated that Goering was a genusis at his defense at Nurneburg. ( brother in law going to be a lawyer :lol: :lol: :lol: ). Here's the rub, I know that he was a druggie. But, does he deserve all of the blame for the failure of the Luftwaffe or are there others besides Herman that have gotten off lightly because of the passing of time. I always thought that Willy Messerschmitt had a major influence of the production and hindered efforts in that arena. R&D in gerneal always seems out of wack as well. Also, why did traingin break down in 1944. I know KIA'numbers were up but it is not like instructors forget how to teach.

User avatar
Tim Smith
Member
Posts: 6177
Joined: 19 Aug 2002 12:15
Location: UK

Post by Tim Smith » 29 Dec 2005 06:16

Goering is responsible because the man in command is always responsible, even for the actions of his subordinates.

Some of the subordinates Goering selected were not effective, e.g. Udet, an old WWI comrade of Goering, was out of his depth when placed in charge of the Technical Department responsible for the development of new aircraft. And Joseph Schmidt was incompetent as head of Luftwaffe Intelligence (although to be fair he was also too junior for such an important job, an indication of the low priority the Luftwaffe and Goering placed on intelligence.)

User avatar
Y Ddraig Goch
Member
Posts: 371
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 11:07
Location: Cymru

Post by Y Ddraig Goch » 30 Dec 2005 14:00

The Luftwaffe was totally mismanaged. It wasn't just his fault. At the beginning of the war, factories worked a single eight hour shift a day, but this was due to the short war policy. Where the numbers of lost weapons could be replaced. Once it had become clear that the war had turned into an attritional war, it was far too late to make the changes. Britain had a two year lead in being on a total war footing, the USA and Russia one year.

Goring did have moments of clarity but mostly his ambitions took priority, he wanted to expand his economic empire and tighten his control over other spheres of control.

Goring was just one of many people who mismanaged the Luftwaffe.

User avatar
Robb
Member
Posts: 2633
Joined: 07 Jun 2005 14:19
Location: Brisbane Australia

Post by Robb » 31 Dec 2005 13:20

A lot of the blame can be placed on Goering, as he was quite ineffective and unsuited to the job as head of the Luftwaffe. He proved incapable of standing up to Hitler on some of the Fuhrer's poor decisions (eg using the Me 262 as a Blitz Bomber instead of a fighter, even though bombing accurately at the speed of the Me 262 and its low payload meant that it was not an effective bomber). Goering was also "helped" in the Luftwaffe by some incompetent Officers. Udet as already mentioned - better suited to "barnstorming" than administrative duties, Milch and Jeschonnek (pardon the spelling). Lack of forward planning ie planning for a short war as mentioned above also didn't help.

Regards from Downunder ..... 30 + degrees Celsius for about the last two weeks! Enjoy your White Christmas and New Year!!

User avatar
Davide Pastore
Member
Posts: 2768
Joined: 26 Nov 2005 22:05
Location: Germagnano, Italy

Re: Goering to Blame???

Post by Davide Pastore » 31 Dec 2005 13:53

Xavier March wrote: I always thought that Willy Messerschmitt had a major influence of the production and hindered efforts in that arena.
This is an interesting point. I too always thought that the infamous transformation of Me 262 from fighter to bomber was Dr. Willy's idea. IMHO Dr. Willy, sure to be able to sell the Me 309 as future Luftwaffe standard fighter, invaded Junkers' area with the additional offer of a fast bomber. This paralled He 219 saga: Heinkel designers, instead of dedicating themselves to He 177 (which by sure needed their help :cry: ), sure to be able to sell it nonetheless, preferred to invade Junkers' [again] area with a unauthorized Ju 88 night fighter rival. The fact that He 219 was better than its rival changes nothing - it was a case of bad management of scant resources.

But of course, any book we read does say it was all Hitler's fault, doesn't it? Too bad Hitler didn't survive to tell his own story..

Davide

User avatar
SES
In memoriam
Posts: 3936
Joined: 26 Jan 2004 09:07
Location: 05 ON LT 8

Post by SES » 31 Dec 2005 17:08

Robb wrote:A lot of the blame can be placed on Goering, as he was quite ineffective and unsuited to the job as head of the Luftwaffe. He proved incapable of standing up to Hitler on some of the Fuhrer's poor decisions (eg using the Me 262 as a Blitz Bomber instead of a fighter, even though bombing accurately at the speed of the Me 262 and its low payload meant that it was not an effective bomber). Goering was also "helped" in the Luftwaffe by some incompetent Officers. Udet as already mentioned - better suited to "barnstorming" than administrative duties, Milch and Jeschonnek (pardon the spelling). Lack of forward planning ie planning for a short war as mentioned above also didn't help.

Regards from Downunder ..... 30 + degrees Celsius for about the last two weeks! Enjoy your White Christmas and New Year!!
Hi Robb,
Kindly ad Schmid and Peltz to that list.
Minus 2 dg C and 30 cm of snow and we enjoy it.
bregds
SES

User avatar
Robb
Member
Posts: 2633
Joined: 07 Jun 2005 14:19
Location: Brisbane Australia

Post by Robb » 01 Jan 2006 00:11

Happy New Year SES!!

Please send some of that cool weather downunder - hottest December on record in many areas :( Which country and area are you in?

regards

User avatar
SES
In memoriam
Posts: 3936
Joined: 26 Jan 2004 09:07
Location: 05 ON LT 8

Post by SES » 01 Jan 2006 12:22

Hi Robb,
If boxed or bottled it would probably melt before it got there.
On your second question a small teaser, with 3 clues.
1. We have a Aussie crown-princess.
2. 5 km from the GefStd of Jafü Däne.
3. Or figure it out using LUMA on this link.
http://www.gyges.dk/reporting_grids.htm
And a very happy new year to you.
bregds
SES

Larry D.
Financial supporter
Posts: 3991
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Post by Larry D. » 01 Jan 2006 14:36

Mr. March wrote in part:
In the past couple of weeks I have spent much time researching the Luftwaffe and the production of aircraft and operation of the force. Most authors I have read place all of the blame on Goering and his handling ( or lack of ) the air force.
By now you know that there is no "Cliff's Notes" version of why the Luftwaffe was a failure from 1942 on. You also know that there are a hundred or more books and articles that treat this subject. The bottom line is that there are many reasons, a few of which are listed above. "Der Dicke" was so disconnected from the management of the Luftwaffe that, aside from the obvious charge of gross (no pun intended) negligence, he barely knew what was going on most of the time. The only cards he seems to have held was his ability to get his way with the Führer, to "get his ear", so to speak. He was probably more successful at that than any one else in the hierarchy. Had he also been a highly skilled and energetic manager and respected leader, then the Luftwaffe's outcome may have been somewhat different. But at the end of the game, WW II came down to numbers brought about by resources, technology, production and moral leadership. And that Germany did not have. So the Luftwaffe would still have been overwhelmed and crushed, but it just might have taken longer.

I don't know what books you have read or are reading, but don't forget David Irving's (yes THAT David Irving) biography of Göring, E.R. Hooton's two volumes on the Luftwaffe written in the late 'nineties, Williamson Murray's Strategy for Defeat, and a number of German language books and articles on this subject by Horst Boog, who was Referent Luftwaffe/MGFA for many years. There are many others, but these are among the better ones.

User avatar
Robb
Member
Posts: 2633
Joined: 07 Jun 2005 14:19
Location: Brisbane Australia

Post by Robb » 01 Jan 2006 16:36

Hi SES,

The Aussie Princess is a giveaway :D The land of Hans Christian Andersen! Are the Tivoli gardens still as lovely as they were when I was there in 1976?

Regards Robert (robb)

User avatar
SES
In memoriam
Posts: 3936
Joined: 26 Jan 2004 09:07
Location: 05 ON LT 8

Post by SES » 01 Jan 2006 18:53

Hi robb,
Yes I knew I made it easy, I should have stayed with clue 2 and 3.
Yes Tivoli is still worth a visit.

Larry I think you encaspsulated that beautifully. I think that one leadership observation is in order in all fairness. While the German strategic leadership as a rule was quite inept, all 3 German services had very skilled - some would say brilliant - operational commanders.
bregds
SES

Larry D.
Financial supporter
Posts: 3991
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Post by Larry D. » 01 Jan 2006 19:39

SES wrote:
While the German strategic leadership as a rule was quite inept, all 3 German services had very skilled - some would say brilliant - operational commanders.
Yes, SES, I agree. The Luftwaffe did indeed have quite a few Generalstabsoffiziere in Ia and O.Qu. positions who did an outstanding job under the most difficult and stressful conditions. No critic could ever take than away from them. But their outstanding performance was often blunted by high-ranking baffoons who owed their appointments to Party connections or being one of Göring's pals, particularly World War One pals.

User avatar
WalterS
Member
Posts: 1497
Joined: 22 Feb 2004 20:54
Location: Arlington, TX

Post by WalterS » 03 Jan 2006 02:34

Certainly Göring is responsible in part for the Luftwaffe's failure. However, the entire german High Command lacked any strategic vision when it came to the employment of air power.

Strategic bombing, or the lack thereof, was a major failure. Although the Luftwaffe could, and did, pulverize various cities such as Warsaw, Valletta, Stalingrad, etc, it was incapable of significantly attacking the enemy's infrastructure. With the exception of the fierce air and naval battles in the MED in 1940-42, German and Italian forces were unable to significantly interdict Allied movements, and even there they eventually lost.

Allied infrastructure: communications, transportation, production, was largely left untouched by the Luftwaffe. There are a number of reasons for this not the least of which was the ineptitude of the Nazi hierarchy in taking on too many enemies at the same time. Missions were left unfinished because another enemy had to be attacked. The Luftwaffe was unable to bring certain missions to conclusion because the tasks kept changing and because resources were not made available. This is particularly true when discussing the U-boat campaign.

Because the German High Command lacked any strategic vision, the Luftwaffe was viewed principally as a tactical tool, the role of "flying artillery" in which it excelled. When called upon to do anything else, the Luftwaffe did not fare so well.

Even in areas in which it did do well, the Luftwaffe was hamstrung by ridiculous restrictions from above. During the early years of the RAF's night attacks the Luftwaffe employed "intruder" aircraft which attacked RAF bombers over their own airfields. In 1940-41, according to Max Hastings, these "intruders" had been responsible for two-thirds of the Luftwaffe's night-fighter victories. "[Luftwaffe General] Kammhuber was convinced that this promised to be the most effective means of causing casualties and chaos to the bomber offensive. Bomber Command shared his opinion." If the German "intruders" had been allowed to continue their operations, according to Hastings, the consequences for BC could have been severe.

But the "intruders" were not allowed to continue these successful operations. Why? Hitler ordered that these operations be abandoned because he "considered that only aircraft shot down over Germany were of value in convincing the German people that they were being defended." So, once again, the Luftwaffe failed to complete a mission and left the British airfields alone. Hastings believes that this was the greatest missed opportunity of the bomber war.

(See Max Hastings, "Bomber Command," pp.266-270)

Göring, as the head of the Luftwaffe, should have argued vociferously in favor of the interdiction attacks. He didn't because he was first and foremost a Nazi crony. That was his, and the Luftwaffe's, undoing.

Larry D.
Financial supporter
Posts: 3991
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Post by Larry D. » 03 Jan 2006 15:22

Göring, as the head of the Luftwaffe, should have argued vociferously in favor of the interdiction attacks. He didn't because he was first and foremost a Nazi crony. That was his, and the Luftwaffe's, undoing.
Excellent analysis, WalterS, with the key sentences that sum your argument saved for last. Most of the specific failures of the Luftwaffe do indeed find their way back to Göring eventually. He had the Führer's ear but he lacked the personal responsibility and courage to tell the man things he didn't want to hear, prefering instead to continue feathering his own nest by not treading on the wrong toes. He was a sycophant of the first order.

User avatar
Cantankerous
Member
Posts: 742
Joined: 01 Sep 2019 21:22
Location: Newport Coast

Re: Goering to Blame???

Post by Cantankerous » 17 May 2022 16:37

I've heard that Goering was a drug addict, but is it reasonable to assume to Goering's addiction to drugs impaired his judgment regarding how the Luftwaffe should handle its air war against the USAAF's Eighth Air Force and Royal Air Force?

Return to “Luftwaffe air units and Luftwaffe in general”