A-20 vs. Beaufighter

Discussion in 'Polls' started by tomo pauk, Nov 21, 2009.

?

A-20 or Beaufighter

  1. A-20

    34.9%
  2. Beaufighter

    65.1%
  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    What would you pick for your airforce of WW2?
     
  2. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    As night fighter and anti-shipping a/c: Beau
    As light bomber: A-20

    Juha
     
  3. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I go with Juha!
     
  4. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    If I had to pick just one and try to adapt to the most missions it would be Beaufighter. There were several US aircraft that would replace the 'light' bomber mission with nearly the same speed but a lot more capabilty.
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion the A-20 ties with the Ju-88A for best light bomber during the early WWII period.

    Apparently my opinion doesn't count for much as the U.S.Army Air Corps did not like the A-20. :oops:
     
  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Dave - I wouldn't say they didn't like it - they just felt the B-25 was a better 'buy' for a variety of missions and the A-26 was far superior as you know (and referenced earlier)..

    The Ju 88 was a better match load and range wise for the B-25 than A-20 wasn't it?
     
  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    IMO the A-20 never really got the full credit she deserved.
     
  8. glennasher

    glennasher Member

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    I think the USAF DID like the A-20, after all, after the war, it was renamed the A-26(or B-26) and soldiered on thru Korea, Vietnam, some African campaigns, etc. You can't say that about the Beau, the Mitchell, or the Marauder, can you?
     
  9. pinsog

    pinsog Member

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    A20 Havoc was a completely different aircraft than the A26 Invader.
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The Russians loved the A20.

    And the A20 performed with distinction in the SW Pacific with the 5th AF right up to the very end of the war.
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The A-20 was very fast for an early war light bomber and it had a decent size bomb bay (4 x 500 lb bombs). I expect it was difficult to intercept.

    When used as a torpedo bomber the A-20 could carry a pair of 45cm aerial torpedoes. Russia made use of this capabilty. The U.S. should have rather then trying to sink Japanese ships with B-17 and B-25 level bombers.
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Where did you come up with that?
     
  13. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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  14. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The B-17 was a failure against shiips but I always thought the B-25 did fairly well skip bombing:confused:

    Most early B-25s were fitted to carry a torpedo.
    The Early B-25s had a much longer range than the A-20, being able to reach the target area might be of some importance. Distances in the pacific being somewhat longer than in the blatic or Black seas.
     
  15. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    Wouldn't the Beaufort and the A-20 be a better comparison.

    As for anti-shipping, I think the Beaufighter takes the cake.
     
  16. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    The A20G, according to "Aircraft of World War II" by Munson had a Vmax of 317 mph at 10000 feet, a service ceiling of 25000 feet and a normal range of 1025 miles. It carried either nine 50 cal mgs or five 50s and four 20mm cannon: up yo 2000 pounds of bombs internally and a further 2000 pounds externally. Pretty potent warplane.
     
  17. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I was curious if the A-20s were ever used in skip bombing which they apparently were, however they were escorted by RAAF Beaufighters for flak suppression - which I kind found humorous.
     
  18. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The A20's at the "Battle of the Bismark Sea" in March 1943 had the Beaufighters go in as the lead to "hose down" the ships so the A20's could concentrate on skip bombing their targets. It worked very well. Not only were the AA gunners eliminated but scores of crewman and soldiers were also wounded and killed. Ina couple of cases, the Beaufighter pilots shredded the bridge's and wiped out the ships officers on the spot.

    Not all A20 missions were escorted though. The A20's also had the parafrag missions against Japanese airfields in which the A20 was clearly superior. In that case, bomb bay volumetric capacity was paramount as the bombs were light, but you needed to carry dozens of them.

    For me, the A20 was the better of the two, simply because it was better as a strictly light bomber. The bomb bay size as being the rationale of why it was the best.

    But no mistaking about it, the Beaufighter was a great plane in its role in the SW Pacific. Sort of like a heavy fighter used for antishipping uses.
     
  19. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    #19 JoeB, Nov 22, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
    B-17's also had some success with skip bombing tactics from late '42, but were basically less suited to it, B-26
    s also. USAAF B-25's OTOH sank a lot more ships w/ strafing/skip bombing than Soviet A-20's did with torpedoes (or bombs, Soviet A-20's also employed mast head bombing tactics against ships, as did most countries, though without the heavy fwd firing strafing armament of stafe/skip type B-25's, only some Soviet A-20 units were equipped with torpedoes). USAAF A-20's also had strafe/skip bomb successes as at the Battle of Bismark Sea but that was also B-25's and later on B-25's did an even higher % of the antishipping work, while both types were used for low level anti-airfield attacks, then later A-20's mostly did ground support as in the Philippines. But without bogging down in comparing Soviet and USAAF antishipping effectivness since it's different air arms and different opposition, the USAAF itself after early 1943 had no more reason to seek out different anti-shipping tactics. Strafing/skip bombing had proved highly effective, spectacularly at Bismark Sea (few other convoys in WWII were virtually wiped out like that so rapidly by planes alone), against the type of ships and shipboard AA threat they were called on to attack.

    I agree on range of B-25. USAAF A-20 pilots typically liked it as a great pilot's airplane but from a higher level POV it had a lot of the same logistical footprint as a B-25 to support at a forward base but couldn't go as far, carry as much, and was limited in some missions because of single pilot. It had a much higher accident rate too, perhaps for the same reason. But then again that was also a reason pilots liked the A-20, to be left alone to fly and not have to deal with a co-pilot.

    A-20 and Beaufighter is comparing two fairly different planes. As a night figher the Beaufighter was superior, the P-70 (A-20 night fighter) didn't have sufficent performance, though a few successes. The Beaufighter OTOH wasn't a real light bomber, the A-20 was. For daylight long range fighter ops the Beaufighter had some success but like most of the mutli crew/multi engine fighters only if it was beyond the range of high quality single engine fighters.

    Joe
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree. However I don't think either aircraft was too spectacular as a night fighter.
     
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