1941: Top 3 Allied Bombers

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wuzak, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    A companion thread to Tomo's fighter thread.

    Which 3 bombers were the best available (in production and service/combat) for the Allies in 1941.

    They could be light, medium, heavy, strategic, tactical, torpedo or dive bomber. Or any other category of bomber I have missed.
     
  2. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Vickers Wellington
    Petlyakov Pe-2
    Martin Maryland
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    A bit too broad of a spectrum if you are trying to compare a Blackburn Skua (or, heaven forbid an Fairey Swordfish) to Wellington, Whitley or Sterling/Halifax let alone bringing in other nations.

    For the Russians you are trying to compare the SU-2

    su2.jpg

    to the PE-8

    Pe8on42712.jpg
    8676049228_6d5567ce8b_z.jpg

    And while the SU-2 sure can't do what the PE-8 can do I don't think you want to try using the PE-8 at tree top level attacking army gun positions or supply lines.
     
  4. KiwiBiggles

    KiwiBiggles Member

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    If we're OK with the Mosquito B.IV's introduction date of 15 November 1941, then the Mosquito pretty much tops the list.

    The Petlyakov Pe-2 is probably up there, if not quite at Mosquito levels.

    For heavies it's really an RAF clean sweep. Halifax, Stirling, Wellington.
     
  5. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #5 Shortround6, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
    "The B Mk IV entered service in May 1942 with 105 Squadron." ???

    The Petlyakov Pe-2 may be somewhat over rated.

    Some of the Wiki figures are way out of line. It may have been one of the better Russian aircraft in 1941 but that is not saying a great deal. In use it it had some of the same problems as the JU-88, a rather restricted internal bomb load so any bomb load in excess of 6 X 100KG bombs was carried externally with the associated penalty in speed/range.

    I would also note that the top speeds often quoted are without the external bomb gear.
    For a great picture of the Pe-2 bomb bay.
     

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  6. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    105 Squadron received their first Mosquito on 15 November 1941. I don't think the Squadron would have been declared operational with Mosquitoes by the end of 1941. My references are at home, but I think the first operations weren't until 1942.
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Letting the Mosquito into consideration for 1941 means a host of American bombers become eligible. The first production B-25C was delivered in Dc 1941, The First B-26A was delivered in Oct 1941 after 201 (?) B-26s. " By November 30, 1941, 42 B-17Es had been delivered." and some of them were at Pearl Harbor.
     
  8. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    The question is, were any of these better at their jobs than teh Mosquito was at its?

    FWIW, I don't think the Mosquito qualifies.

    The Boeing does, in an earlier guise - the Fortress I (B-17C) was in operations for the RAF in mid 1941.

    What other options are there?
    Wellington
    Blenheim
    Whitley
    Manchester
    Hampden
    Halifax

    I'm not up to speed with Soviet equipment.
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    As far as "combat use" goes the Mosquito, B-25 and B-26 don't really qualify (although a number of squadrons were working up with them) and only the early B-17s do, ( and few non-turbo B-24s) and they weren't very good as bombers as used in Europe.

    A few different types of A-20 do qualify.

    We also have a problem (or at least I do) with the statement "were any of these better at their jobs than the Mosquito was at it's?"
    The Mosquito was very good at it's "job" (but it's job even in 1942 was rather restricted as 105 squadron was the only Mosquito bomber squadron for 9 months) but trying to compare planes doing different jobs gets very difficult. Was a Skua a better or worse dive bomber than the Mosquito was pathfinder or target marker?
    It is a bit like saying is a chicken Caesar salad a better salad than a German chocolate cake is a cake :)
     
  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    No, I'd have to go with the German Chocolate cake :lol:

    I'd have to list the B-17 as the B-24 (LB-30) I am really not sure of. The A-20 and if the Mosquito is not allowed the Wellington.
     
  11. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    What you can do is compare the aircraft to others in its category.

    The Mosquito was, arguably, without peer in its category/class of bomber - light to medium bomber.

    Not sure that could be said of the Skua....


    You are quite welcome to nominate the best 3 of each category if you so desire.
     
  12. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    It seems the B-26 as the Marauder I started operations for the RAF in 1942.

    The B-25 as the Mitchell I went to an operational training squadron in 1941, but did any actually see combat operations in 1941?
     
  13. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Skua was a pretty lousy light/medium bomber. On the other hand it wasn't a bad carrier based dive bomber for 1940/41. Something the Mosquito could never do (unless they built much bigger carriers).

    In the Thread on fighters we are comparing planes that went (99% of the time) from 5,000 to 8,000lbs ( the P-47 and P-38, etc weren't really in operation yet) and with 1000-1500hp engines (roughly), and had pretty much the same job with few specialists (like the mig 3). In this thread we have planes from under 8,000lbs to well over 50,000lbs. 700hp to over 5000hp and with practically every job except fighter (although we have a few cross overs like the Skua).
     
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  14. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    What does that make the B-17 then, in terms of bomb load?

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  15. KiwiBiggles

    KiwiBiggles Member

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    A school of swordfish, of course
     
  16. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The Wellington with Hercules engines would be a contender here IMO.
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Kind of depends on when doesn't it?
    First 10 Mosquito bombers (first of which flew in Sept of 1941) were limited to four 250lb bombs.
    B-17D which started production in Feb 1941 could hold 4800lb of bombs (eight 600lb bombs ?)
    First B-17E flew 3 days before the first Mosquito bomber which had the short engine nacelles and short span tailplane.
    B-17E was good for 12 500lb bombs or 8 1000lb bombs.
    512 B-17Es were built before the Mosquito flew it's first combat mission as a bomber.
    First B-17F flew the day before the Mosquito flew it's first combat mission as a bomber.

    It would be quite some time before the Mosquito, extraordinary aircraft that it was, would come close to challenging the B-17 for bomb load carried.
     
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  18. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Correct in the context of 1941 , but incorrect in a technical sense. To meet specification N.15/44 for Royal Navy use, de Havilland produced a carrier-borne variant. This resulted in 50 Sea Mosquito TR Mk 33s which featured folding wings, a thimble nose radome and fuselage hardpoints for mounting torpedoes. These were followed by 14 Sea Mosquito TR Mk 37s, which differed in having ASV Mk. XIII radar instead of the TR.33's AN/APS-6.
    The Royal Navy also operated the Mosquito TT Mk 39 for target towing. A number of B.Mk XVIs bombers were converted into TT.Mk 39 target tug aircraft.

    Not sure if the type was ever permanently embarked on a carrier, but its successor the Sea Hornet certainly was....postwar.

    Sea Hornets were the obvious extension of the carrier borne Mosquito concept, though admittedly a different aircraft. Eric Brown had this to say about the Sea Hornet

    And to finish off I can't think of a better way than with some words from Eric 'Winkle' Brown, who was very impressed with the Hornet. Note that Eric is discussing the performance of the Sea Hornet, which was some 800 kg heavier than the F.1.

    "
    Sea Hornets were cleared for carrier operations in 1948, aboard the Implacable and served very well.

    British wartime carriers were well able to handle aircraft of this size. After the war, the 14000 ton Majestics were sold off to friendly nations. These included unmodified straight deck types like the SYDNEY which operated aircraft like the Firefly, a heavier aircraft than the mossie. The Melbourne was a majestic, converted to and angled deck in 1955. She operated Gannets, again a heavier a/c, and then from 1967, Trackers, despite a failing catapult by that stage. If she had been new they could have operated a Sea Mosquito with no problem....except that limited capacity of the British carriers would have been even more limited
     
  19. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'll rephrase that...operational bomb loads :)
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  20. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    The Mosquito could have ben ready for service more or less in the guise it was introduced in 1942, at least 2 years before it did. there was no technical reason for its delay. What delayed it was RAF hostility towards its very concept....an unarmed high speed bomber made of wood ran counter to everything the RAF believed was necessary. De Havilland were saying for two years before they did that they could build a war winner, but were constantly denied permission. They eventually received some support from a few very courageous officers in the RAF, and from there were able to force the issue by the sheer brilliance of the design

    B-17 was basically a story in reverse. great things were expected of it from its inception in 1934, for which it could not deliver. Dogged persistence eventually got it across the line, in a vastly different form and for a completely different role for which it was originally intended. To me, there is no contest in comparing a thorouighbred like to the mossie to a near broken down hack like the B-17
     
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