Wings Of Clay

…or, an unvarnished look at the WWII German Messerschmitt 262.

Along the way, this screamingly-funny chap slaughters all sorts of sacred cows, e.g. that the Me262 could have won the war for the Nazis, that Albert Speer was a genius, that German technology was superior to that of the Allies, and that Herman Goering was an incompetent asshole.

Okay, that last one happens to be true, as historian Lord HardThrasher sets about him with a cricket bat, calling most of history’s revered sources a pack of liars and completely debunking the myth of Germany’s technocrats, e.g. Willi Messerschmitt (yeah, the guy who designed the Me109).

Along the way, he proves that Allied bombing actually worked better than today’s naysayers would have you believe, and that bad things happen when you allow the reigns of power to be wielded by simpletons and incompetents.

But you all knew that.

There is plenty of bad language, but as Readers of this here website, you should be used to that by now.


  1. Uh, “REINS of power,” but your slipped homonym makes a certain snarky sense–so nicely said, even if inadvertent.

      1. Grammar nazi: “In English a double positive is never a negative as it is in some languages”.
        Yeah, right.

  2. Meh, you have some people slobbering over WW2 German stuff and others saying all of was crap. Some people calling them all geniuses and others all idiots (actually, most of the top Nazis were idiots who had their positions due to internal political reasons rather than competence. )

    Germany was doomed as soon as Hitler declared war on the US. There was no scenario where they could have overcome the economic output of Britain, the USSR amd the USA. Everyone in the German high command knew that except Hitler.

    So saying that this weapon or another wasn’t going to win the war for them is over determined, even when they had good stuff. Cool weapons are cool and all, but the least insightful way to look at war.

    BTW, the thing that the Germans did that was way better than everyone else was operational planning. We spent a fair amount of time studying their methods at the NWC because our current system is a copy of theirs (indirectly, we copied the Brits who copied the Germans, although after the war we revamped to be even more like the Germans.) But that is boring and all.

    1. I think it was Fred Reed who said, of German Military ‘genius’; Stupid comes in three grades; dumb, REAL dumb, and invading Russia.

  3. The Jumo engines on that beast were disposable. No INCONEL in them.

    They had to be removed after 100 hours, and sent back to the factory to be scrapped for parts to construct a new engine.

    And they flamed out if you didn’t adjust the throttle like it was sunk in molasses.

  4. I think there’s a certain kind of fetish or fascination with things we can’t directly have, similar to the car guys lusting after all things JDM when there’s not really a shit’s worth of difference. For many years there were gun guys telling one and all that the AK was the greatest combat rifle ever and the M16 a plastic piece of shit, back before you could easily get an imported AK for direct comparison. We lived in fear that the Soviet jets were better than ours, although some of that was just defense industry shilling for more govt money.

    Makes sense, we know all of the flaws of our own equipment and none of the flaws of the enemy equipment, so quite easily become impressed with the seemingly flawless foreign shit. Nothing ever changes.

  5. Even the Germans started to believe their own propaganda. Blitzkrieg wasn’t some wonder weapon, it was a command and control structure that controlled weapons in development during and after the First World War. If it weren’t for the French stone-age command structure the German Army would have had a much harder time touring Paris (Orders sent to the front via MOTORCYCLE courier?). As it was, Blitzkrieg was ended by mid 1943 with mobile defense, defense in dept, and hand-held antitank rockets.

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