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Tue, Sep 02, 2003

'Quiz' Draws Mail

Our little weekend quiz drew a number of responses from readers, including the well-written note below.

I'm sure you figured you'd get email from some jackass about the answers to the quiz being wrong. Well, I guess I'm that jackass... sort of...
 
The Me 264
[above] was not the only bomber capable of hitting New York from Occupied Europe. The Junkers Ju 390 was in competition against the Me 264 and was chosen over the Me 264 due to the high order of commonality between the Ju 390 and the Ju 290 already in production.

In January of 1944 the Ju 390 took of from Mont de Marson in France and flew within 12 miles of the US coast north of New York. It returned successfully to its base after the 32+ hour mission.
 
The Me 264 was the more-advanced aircraft -- better performance and grater range -- but it never actually flew a test mission to the US. It is the one known as the "Amerika-Bomber," and it had a 45-hour endurance. If Germany had picked the best aircraft for the role... it just would not have been Germany.
 
So I feel either the Me 264 or Ju 390
[below] would be correct answers with the bottom line being that Germany never had a "fully operational" aircraft capable of hitting the US.
 
References:
 
Green, William.
Warplanes of the Third Reich. Doubleday, 1970.
Smith, J.R. and A.L. Kay.
German Aircraft of the Second World War. Putman Aeronautical Books, 1972.
 
Keep it up --Bill Pearce

[While we're at it, while we gave the correct answer to one question, we answered incorrectly. Here's what we mean:

Question: Which branch of the American military had a higher combat death rate in World War II, The Air Corps or the Marine Corps?

Answer: More US servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions your chance of being killed was 71%.

Note: the rate was higher in the Air Corps (the correct answer to the question); the Marines lost more men (the way we phrased the answer was incorrect) --ed.]


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