1941: Top 3 Axis Level Bombers

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wuzak, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    So which were the best bombardment aircraft of the axis, not including dive bombers and torpedo bombers, or other speciality type bombers, in 1941?

    The number of types from which to choose is more restricted than for Allied types I suspect.
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The Japanese had 8 bombers in service (not including dive bombers, torpedo bombers and similar types) and the Italians had quite a variety as well.

    My top 3 Axis bombers of 1941 would be:
    G4M "Betty" - Decent speed, excellent range, adaptable to a broad range of roles. Downside was poor armament crew protection.

    Ju88 - Very adaptable aircraft for a broad range of roles, good speed, decent range. Downside was poor armament crew protection.

    LeO 451 - I know this was a French aircraft, but the ones that survived the Battle of France were captured and pressed into Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica service, where it performed well. Good speed, decent range and capable of performing a broad range of roles (including degaussing), it was an aircraft that I think had a great deal more potential than was realized.
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    No love for the He 111? :)

    Do 217 was available in what form and in what numbers?

    Agree with the G4M, many of the other Japanese bombers suffered from low powered engines ( and single engine, fixed landing gear bombers hardly make a best list even if in service in numbers).

    Italians are in even worse shape engine wise. A big reason for the 3 engine bombers.

    Since we are talking about 'bombers' I am not sure how much the ability of the aircraft to perform other rolls should be factored in, up to Wuzak?
     
  4. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I think that the ability to perform other roles shouldn't be counted too highly, but could be used to separate two close contenders.


    I didn't mention it in the OP, but the types need to be in operational service in 1941.
     
  5. Timppa

    Timppa Active Member

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    1. Fw200
    2. Ju88
    3. G4M
     
  6. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The FW 200 had some fundamental flaws. All it had going for it was range. Being 2-5mph faster than a Whitley doesn't win many races.

    1-Fw-200C-Condor-12KG40-F8FW-broken-back-1942-02.jpg
    lrg1082.jpg

    JU-88 even in the A-4 version had some range vs payload problems. Better at short range than the He 111, not so good at long range.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Ju-88 was a pretty good level bomber in addition to being a dive and torpedo bomber. So it scarcely seems reasonable to exclude it.
     
  8. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it is being excluded, it may very well be in the top 3, lets just evaluate on what it could really do as a level bomber compared to the other Axis level bombers of 1941.
     
  9. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    What more is there to say about level bombing, then? In a nutshell: It takes off, it flies to it's target, it drops bombs, it flies home.

    An aircraft's worth has to be not only in providing the service it was designed for, but to be able to adapt to the fluid conditions (and needs) of the war. So when compared to the He111, the Ju88 offered more bang for the buck (how's that for a pun?)...
     
  10. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    From all the German bombers, only the Do-217 was able to lug a sizable bomb in a bomb bay. That means benefits both for speed and range. Once the Ju-88 starts to carry bombs outside it ceases to be the Schnellbomber.
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #11 Shortround6, Dec 23, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
    Did it?

    If you want to drop 4400lb of bombs on a target the HE 111 can do it further away from home base than a JU 88 can. If you are happy with four 550lb bombs (compare to Mosquito until the 4000lb cookie comes along) the He 111 can reach even further.

    Ju 88 has to fill the forward bomb bay with a fuel tank (leaving ten 110lb bombs) to have the same range (roughly) as a HE 111 carrying eight 550lb bombs. Granted you could hang four/six 550lb bombs under the JU 88 but what did that do to range?
    Needed twice (ir four times?) as many planes to deliver the same bomb load is hardly good bang for the buck.
    Granted I am probably picking a worst case for the Ju-88A-4 and the JU-88 shows up much better on close range missions but if you can't reach the desired target/s any/all money spent on that type of bomber is a total waste.
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    However, the thread was: 1941: Top 3 Axis Level Bombers - not long range

    So the He111 could carry an internal load of 4,400 lb (2,00kg) for a distance of 1,429 miles (2,300km) with max fuel.

    The Ju88 could carry 3,100 pounds internally (1,400kg) for nearly the same distance, with a higher speeds capable. If it carried it's ordnance externally, it far surpassed the Mosquito's max. load. Naturally, the extra weight and drag caused a penalty in performance but most of the Axis bombing operations weren't long range.
     
  13. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The only way for the Ju-88 to better 1500 km range, with bombs in bomb bay only, is to attach a drop tank under the wing. In order to beat 2000 km, two drop tanks are needed. With drop tanks, the speed of the Ju-88 drops to under 420 km/h on max continuous power. Indeed faster than the clean bombed up He 111, but not sufficient to run away from a half decent fighter in 1941.
    It still has only 2/3rds of the bombs of the He-111. It is also questionable how useful the 50 kg bombs are, when compared with 250 kg ones.
     
  14. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    In no particular order: Ju 88, G4M, Do 217.
     
  15. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Axis two or more engine bombers operational in '1941 (obviously add and corrections are welcome)

    Do 17
    Do 215
    Do 217
    He 111
    Fw 200
    Ju 88
    Ju 86
    Ca.135
    B.71
    M.B.210
    Potez 633
    P.37
    Blenheim
    Z.1007
    B.R.20
    C.R.25
    S.M.79
    S.M.82
    S.M.84
    S.M.81
    Ca.310
    Ca.311
    Ca.313
    Ca.133
    G3M
    G4M
    Type 97
    Type 100
    Type 99 Light
     
  16. l'Omnivore Sobriquet

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    Bloch MB-174/175, LéO-45 should be added to the list.
    They were operational in 1941.

    Although it pains me to see them in the Axis one...
     
  17. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #17 Vincenzo, Dec 25, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
    i don't counted Vichy France as Axis

    i try to post a list of Vichy bombers (but i'm not agree to count it as a axis country)
    Potez 542
    Farman 221
    Farman 222
    Martin 167
    Bloch 200
    Douglas DB-7
    Léo 451
    Breguet 693695
    Amiot 143
    Bloch 175
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Vichy France was NOT a member of the Axis and it's bombers cannot be counted in this thread. Vichy was technically neutral.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  19. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Disagree...the Leo 451 served in Luftwaffe units and some were transferred to Italian service.

    A few Leo 451 airframes were even fitted with the degaussing rings and served alongside the Ju52/3 equipped with the same array.
     
  20. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    If they served with the Luftwaffe or Italian Air Force then they were serving with an axis power and you can count them, just like any other aircraft they used.

    Those in Vichy service can't be counted, which is what I said above.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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