Author Topic: UK moves projects etc to the Dominions in WW2  (Read 668 times)

Offline Volkodav

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UK moves projects etc to the Dominions in WW2
« on: December 27, 2015, 08:58:10 PM »
Getting off the Mosquito topic but following Dunkirk the UK suspended or delayed many projects due to the urgent need to replace equipment lost in France and equip their massively expanding forces in preparation for an inevitable invasion.  What if instead of just suspending these projects the UK sent them off shore to the Dominions as part of preparing to continue fighting from exile, as a number of European countries actually did.

This could have seen not just the Mosquito but the 6pdr AT gun, RR Meteor, Typhoon, MB3/5 etc. and other projects pushed out to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.  Every spare engineer, technician, artisan, tool maker, tooling, machine could have been sent to these locations as opposed to reality where the UK embargoed exports of strategic equipment and personnel which hamstrung many dominion projects.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: UK moves projects etc to the Dominions in WW2
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2015, 02:37:24 AM »
Triggering idea for this:

"The construction of the prototype began in March 1940, but work was cancelled again after the Battle of Dunkirk, when Lord Beaverbrook, as Minister of Aircraft Production, decided there was no production capacity for aircraft like the DH.98, which was not expected to be in service until early 1941. Lord Beaverbrook and the Air Staff ordered that production focus on five existing types, namely the Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane, Vickers Wellington, Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley and the Bristol Blenheim. Work on the DH.98 prototype stopped; it seemed that the project would be shut down when the design team were denied the materials with which to build their prototype. 

The Mosquito was given new life in July 1940, after de Havilland's General Manager L.C.L Murray, decided to transfer development to one of its subsidiaries in either Australia or Canada.  With the de Havilland Canada already committed to production of DH.82 Tiger Moth trainer aircraft to support the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, Australia was quickly chosen.  This seemed a doubly prudent move given the impending fears of invasion in the UK.  As it was, during the Battle of Britain, interruptions to normal production due to air raid warnings caused nearly a third of de Havilland's factory time to be lost. 

In November 1941, the Australian de Havilland factory at Bankstown commenced production of the first Mosquito prototype. Initial delays were caused by the unavailability of Canadian birchwood, and Australian coachwood had to be substituted.  The Australian team were greatly assisted by a contingent of British engineers and technicians led by Test Pilot Geoffrey de Havilland, Jr.  The first aircraft would fly on 1st April 1941, with de Havilland himself at the controls,.  This was an incredible achievement given the timeframe involved.

Initial production was split between RAF and RAAF requirements with the former receiving priority.  The Air Ministry ordered 19 photo-reconnaissance (PR) models and 176 fighters. A further 50 were unspecified; in July 1941, the Air Ministry confirmed these would be unarmed fast bombers. By the end of January 1942, contracts had been awarded for 1,378 Mosquitos of all variants, including 20 T.III trainers and 334 FB.VI bombers..."
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: UK moves projects etc to the Dominions in WW2
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2015, 07:45:41 PM »
A thought that crosses my mind is considering the success of Blitzkreig a priority line of development for the Australian Mosquito could have been the Tsetse.  Combining the Wooden Wonder and the Molins gun into a super Panzer / landing craft smasher, an uber defensive weapon designed to counter Operation Sealion, from day one would have been an entirely understandable objective and coincidently very useful once Japan entered the war.  It could also have made for a very interesting bomber destroyer.