Author Topic: German submarine U-234 heads to Argentina instead of surrendering to USA  (Read 3068 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

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For those of you not aware, at the end of WWII, a German Type XB U-boat (long-range cargo transport version) was on its way to Japan.  Amongst its cargo was detailed technical drawings, examples of the newest electric torpedoes, one crated Me 262 jet aircraft, a Henschel Hs 293 glide bomb and what was listed on the US Unloading Manifest as 560 kg of uranium oxide. (A lot of people get all excited about this last element but for this scenario I don't care).

Also on board were a number of passengers including, General Ulrich Kessler of the Luftwaffe, Dr. Heinz Schlicke, a specialist in radar, infra-red, and countermeasures and director of the Naval Test Fields in Kiel (later recruited by the USA in Operation Paperclip); and August Bringewalde, who was in charge of Me 262 production at Messerschmitt.

Upon hearing news of Germany's surrender the crew debated the alternative options they had:  surrender to the British or Canadians, surrender to the United States, continue to Japan or head to Argentina.  In real life, the eventually surrendered to the USN (see below photo of this):



And now for the scenario:  what if the crew decided to head for Argentina instead?  The combination of a complete Me262 plus technical drawings and most importantly, an expert in the setup of a manufacturing facility for such could have been invaluable.  Now if the Argentinians decided to exploit this prize and put the Me262 into production what might we have seen...

« Last Edit: January 16, 2015, 03:15:23 PM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline Cliffy B

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Re: German submarine U-234 heads to Argentina instead of surrendering to USA
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2015, 11:28:36 PM »
ooooOOOOOOoooooo!!!  Please continue!  8)
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: German submarine U-234 heads to Argentina instead of surrendering to USA
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2015, 02:01:37 AM »
Very interesting scenario you have here.  I wonder what they could've done with the rest of the technical data?  What aircraft did they have that could carry a locally-built derivative of the Hs293?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2015, 02:18:03 PM by elmayerle »

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: German submarine U-234 heads to Argentina instead of surrendering to USA
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2015, 03:05:58 AM »
What aircraft did they have that could carry a locally-built derivative of the Hs293?

Well, the most obvious in the immediate post-war period would have been the I.Ae. 24 Calquin.  Maybe the Lancasters a few years later.  Maybe also their Catalinas or at a stretch the Martin B-10s…



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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: German submarine U-234 heads to Argentina instead of surrendering to USA
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2015, 03:38:52 AM »
BTW, other things on the sub included:

- A single Me163 + technical drawings
- A single Me309 + technical drawings
- A high altitude pressure cabin from a Hs130
- Technical drawings for the Me209, Me210 and Ju88
- Copies of and technical drawings for multiple turbo jets
« Last Edit: January 17, 2015, 04:11:34 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: German submarine U-234 heads to Argentina instead of surrendering to USA
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2015, 02:19:29 PM »
Of course, some reports give it as 560 kg. of U235, not uranium oxide, but I'm not sure how much to trust those reports.  OTOH, there is documentation that Imperial Japan had an active atomic bomb program of its own.

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Re: German submarine U-234 heads to Argentina instead of surrendering to USA
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2015, 03:13:47 AM »
Of course, some reports give it as 560 kg. of U235, not uranium oxide, but I'm not sure how much to trust those reports.  OTOH, there is documentation that Imperial Japan had an active atomic bomb program of its own.

Usually those promoting this scenario are very vague on the details and make a lot of stuff up.  From what I have read (and tend to believe more) is that the uranium oxide was intended for use as a catalyst in the production of synthetic methanol for aviation fuel.  Anyway, as explained earlier, I am less interested in that for this scenario.

Amongst other items on the manifest were supposedly:

- Technical drawings and associated information for the V-1 and V-2 missiles;
- Plans for a junkers trimotor transport - I would assume either Ju252 or Ju352;
- Details of new proximity fuses for weapons including missiles and panzerfausts; and
- Details of various instrumentation, electronic devices etc all intended for aircraft use.

As explained above, such a collection of detailed information along with some examples and people to assist (including those such as Kurt Tank a few years later) could have potentially provided a different flavour to Argentina's aerospace history.
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: German submarine U-234 heads to Argentina instead of surrendering to USA
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2015, 04:46:12 AM »
The Jumo 004 engine in the Me-262 (assuming it didn't have BMW-003s) may have helped the indigenous jet designs. The 1947 Pulqui I was grossly inferior to the Me-262. Maybe a home grown jet inspired by the 262 (similar to the Russian 1946 Su-9) would have had better results. Or maybe a "Pulqui Ib" with two Jumos in the fuselage instead of the original Derwent 5. It could look like a Mig-9.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: German submarine U-234 heads to Argentina instead of surrendering to USA
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2015, 10:36:56 AM »
Of course, some reports give it as 560 kg. of U235, not uranium oxide, but I'm not sure how much to trust those reports.  OTOH, there is documentation that Imperial Japan had an active atomic bomb program of its own.

Usually those promoting this scenario are very vague on the details and make a lot of stuff up.  From what I have read (and tend to believe more) is that the uranium oxide was intended for use as a catalyst in the production of synthetic methanol for aviation fuel.  Anyway, as explained earlier, I am less interested in that for this scenario.

Amongst other items on the manifest were supposedly:

- Technical drawings and associated information for the V-1 and V-2 missiles;
- Plans for a junkers trimotor transport - I would assume either Ju252 or Ju352;
- Details of new proximity fuses for weapons including missiles and panzerfausts; and
- Details of various instrumentation, electronic devices etc all intended for aircraft use.

As explained above, such a collection of detailed information along with some examples and people to assist (including those such as Kurt Tank a few years later) could have potentially provided a different flavour to Argentina's aerospace history.
Oh, I agree about the questionable nature of those sources; just threw it out as further food for thought.  I do agree that the other material and people would be far more useful to Argentina in the near term, particularly since Argentina could obtain various materials for high-temp alloys that the Germans couldn't (lack of them seriously affected service life of the Jumo 004 and other engines).  With that basis, I could see Argentina producing a swept-wing fighter as their first jet fighter (assuming they could persuade Emil Dewoitine to use the swept wing).  With this basis, Kurt Tank's arrival a few years later could really impact matters, especially if the sub also had Ta-183 documentation).