Beaufighter vs. Axis fighters

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Gents, how good/bad fared the Beau against the contemporary fighters he oposed?
     
  2. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    I believe it was successful as a nightfighter.
     
  3. thewritingwriter89

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    The Beaufighter was pretty heavy, but It was fast (320 mph @ 10,000 ft) enough to catch most German bombers, and in the "maritime patrol suppression" role, it might have done quite well. I do know of several instances in which Beaufighters downed Messerschmitt's and 190s. These were perhaps flukes, where pilot experience was lopsided in favor of the Allied pilot, but happened nonetheless. I don't have the exact engagement's and their circumstances handy (I'm at work), but i will look them up when I get home. If I were a Beau pilot, I would stick to what the aircraft did best; annihilating anything on the ground.
     
  4. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    If the Bo had the initiative and altitude advantage on a 109 or 190, that would be a scary situation for any German.

    I'm sure considering its weight it was very fast in a dive and it had guns galore.
     
  5. thewritingwriter89

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    Maybe. However, I think that any German fighter pilot who found himself jumped by an angry Beaufighter with a heigth advantage would be the butt-end of quite a few jokes in the mess hall. I suppose it could always happen in the middle of a fight. That's kind of an interesting scenario now that I think about it.
     
  6. thewritingwriter89

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    O.K. Just got home and broke open a few books and confirmed my initial assumptions. In May of 1941, No. 252 Squadron (a Beaufighter unit) was tasked exclusively with the destruction of Fw 200s, one of the best maritime patrol aircraft of the war (this was in the Atlantic). They did very well and helped guard convoys coming from the United States.

    Tomo Pauk, to answer your question about its effectivness when it came to fighters...

    This is an excerpt from the book The RAF In Action by Robert Jackson. (None of the following was written by myself).

    We continued on course for about five minutes when we sighterd one Me110 flying east and jinking. We turned and followd him toward the coast, closing in on the aircraft until we were at 300 yards in range, 20 degrees starboard astern and a little below. Fire was opened with a two second burst from all guns and strikes were seen all over the enemy aircraft. Somke came from the port engine and the Me 110 dived to port. We gave him another burst from 250 yards and he caught fire and dived into the sea. Immediately afterwards, we saw a second Me 110 (which had been chasing us) a little above and turning gently to starboard on an easterly course. We gave a one-second burst of cannon and machine-gun at 50 yards in a gentle turn. The enemy aircraft appeared to blow up and we had to pull up and turn port to avoid ramming it. At that point, we saw one man bale out and his parachute open, and the enemy aircraft dived vertically to the sea in flames.

    -Wing Commander J.R.D. Braham of No. 141 squadron in night action off Ameland on 17/18/1943

    (End of excerpt from The RAF In Action)


    If you count the 1943 iterations of the Bf-110 as fighters, then yes; it did shoot down other fighters. The problem with twin-engine fighters is that they can't really do anything that a single-engine can't do equally well, if not better. The Bf-110 was designed as a heavy fighter, but found itself relegated to night duty, where manuverability was not as important as a stable and powerful platform, capable of hauling the heavy radar of the day aloft.

    The Beaufighter came out of the Bristol Beaufort, a purpose built torpedo bomber. While it too was designed as a heavy fighter bomber, the Beaufighter was best used as a fighter in the saftey of night. It was used extensively as a defence fighter, intercepting German bombers and it was very successful. It experienced similar success in the Pacific theater performing the same type of duty.

    I still can't find the particular engagement where the Beau shot down the 109s and 190s, but I'll find it eventually.

    TWW89
     
  7. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    Getting "bounced" from above can happen to anybody, and the bigger plane with the bigger gun battery is holding all the cards if it is diving on you.
     
  8. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    There were a number of actions involving Beaufighters in the fighter role and fighter JU88's over the Bay of Biscay in which the Beaufighters had the edge. However the Germans brought FW190's in to help and as you would expect the FW had a significant advantage. The only chance the Beau had was if they were not seen
     
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