Armor and Armament of Ju 88?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wwii:)aircraft, May 29, 2011.

  1. wwii:)aircraft

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Does anyone know any information on the armor of the Ju 88 (A-4)? I've have noticed through pilot's stories and the combat sim Il2 Sturmovik 1946 (latter isn't very useful) that the Ju 88 is fairly unprotected in certain areas such as the fuel tanks. Did the Ju 88 have self-ceiling fuel tanks and if it did, were they properly protected.

    Did the standard A-4 variant have any armor glass?

    How much more armor did the A-14 have over the A-4 and were is that armor placed? I assuming that the armor is placed at the bottom of the aircraft to protect it against light anti-aircraft fire from enemy ships. Did the A-14's added armor help it against enemy fighters?

    What was the purpose of having 2x machine guns it the dorsal position if only one person is using both?; crew of 4: pilot, navigator (forward gun), gunner (both dorsal guns), and gunner for ventral position.

    Why not just have a single Mg 81z or Mg 131 in that position (possible even a Mg-FF or Mg 151/20).
    This would increase the overall field of fire and weapons such as the Mg 131 and possible 20mm cannon had more range and more armor piercing abilities than the 7.9 machine gun.

    I know I have a lot of question but any help would greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    130
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I only really have information on the Ju 88 A5/A6..

    The whole back of the cabin was protected by armour and bullet proof glass as far down as the upper gunner's knees.

    The lower gunner had a dome of armour plate below him and a semi-circular piece of armour which rotates with his gun to protect his face.

    The pilot had an armour plated headpiece to his seat, and the back was protected from the rear and fine quarter.

    The underneath of the upper gunner's seat is also armoured. The rotatable window rings in which the guns were mounted were bullet-proof glass.

    No thickness figures for anything unfortunately.

    All fuel and oil tanks were self-sealing.

    To avoid the blind spot created by the tailplane/rudder.
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,769
    Likes Received:
    800
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    To add to what Greyman has said.

    what was a self-sealing tank against 7.7-8mm bullets may not be self-sealing against 12.7mm bullets. 20mm shells tended to blow holes in tanks you could put your hands through. Trying to armor tanks was generally too heavy. Steel weighs 40lb per sq ft for a 1 in thickness (or close enough) 8.5mm steel will give you 3 sq ft for every 40lbs. Aluminium armor needs to weigh almost the same as steel to give the same protection.

    Not all those guns existed at the same time. Early German bombers had a choice of the MG 15 or the MG-FF cannon. The problem with the cannon (goes for the MG 151 too) was that they are large and heavy. They stick back further into the crew compartment which limits their actual traverse or covered arc. Their weight makes them hard to swing fast to track a fighter coming from anywhere except dead astern. larger barrels give the slipstream more to work with so the gunner has to work harder to maneuver the gun.
    On some US planes twin .30s were preferred to a single .50 because the .30s were easier to aim. The German MG 131 was much smaller and so is better for this application. But the MG 131 doesn't show up in numbers until 1942?
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    IMO the Germans were smart to group bomber crew into a single compartment as it allows this sort of protection to work. It also puts the flammable oxygen system (for aircrew) behind armor.
     
  5. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,481
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    Can you imagine the impossible situation the dorsal gunner were faced with a plane coming from the rear, and simply banking left and right, he would have to switch from gun to gun, also his own aircraft would be manuvering, would make that necessary .
    The usual allied bombers separate turrets may have added a lot of weight and drag, but at least they were more effective.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Isn't that why many late war German bombers such as the Me-410 had a remote control gun barbette on each side?
    [​IMG]
     
  7. wwii:)aircraft

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    I think the remote control gun barbettes on the Me 410 were an attempt to fix the problems (I remember reading about it somewhere; I think it was a report on a British-captured Me 410). Thats probably why it was only the Me 410 that used it. The Germans could have easily put that on a Ju 88 or a Ju 188.


    And to Shortroud6.....
    Which variants had the Mg 131? Did those Ju 88s have 2x Mg 131 in the dorsal or just 1x?
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Focke-Wulf Fw 191 Luft '46 Prototypes Entry
    Apparently Focke Wulf had their own version of remote controlled turret.

    Fw-191 Remote Chin Turret.
    [​IMG]


    Fw-191 Remote Rear Facing Wing Turret
    [​IMG]


    It does seem odd that Junkers didn't jump on the remote turret bandwagon for the Ju-88 and Ju-188.
     
Loading...

Share This Page