Best medium bomber of WWII?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by ShVAK, Aug 20, 2012.

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Favorite WWII medium/tactical bomber?

  1. Dornier Do 217

    3 vote(s)
    9.1%
  2. Heinkel He 111

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  3. Junkers Ju 88

    2 vote(s)
    6.1%
  4. Douglas A-26 Invader

    5 vote(s)
    15.2%
  5. Martin B-26 Marauder

    3 vote(s)
    9.1%
  6. North American B-25 Mitchell

    7 vote(s)
    21.2%
  7. Douglas A-20 Havoc/Boston

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  8. Mitsubishi G4M "Betty"

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. de Havilland Mosquito

    10 vote(s)
    30.3%
  10. Vickers Wellington

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. Tupolev Tu-2

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  13. Other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    #1 ShVAK, Aug 20, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
    The strategic bombers and fighters get more attention but overall considering all the important roles they were involved in I think medium bombers were my favorite aircraft class of WWII.

    I'm going with the A-26 Invader. Sure it was introduced to the war late, but it was a great aircraft that was fast, sturdy, a superb gunship and had a distinguished postwar service record. Also a real looker. The B-25 and Vickers Wellington are tied IMO for second.

    Choose yours!

    [Sorry it's not a public poll, forgot to check the box. :rolleyes: ]
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Late War Period (1943 to 1945). Me-410A.
    High speed.
    Long range.
    Well protected against ground fire.
    Like other dive bombers the Me-410 has exceptionally accurate weapons delivery.

    Prior to 1943. Ju-88A.
    Performance similiar to Me-410A except not as fast.


    IMO the Do-217 doesn't belong on your list. Range/payload of 1941 Do-217 was similiar to 1941 B-17 and that aircraft is normally considered a heavy bomber.
     
  3. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    It's weird, I've heard the Do 217 classed as both medium and heavy. The Germans referred to it as a heavy bomber based on its payload but it was a development of the Do 17 and used for similar roles.

    Didn't the Mosquito have a comparable payload in its unarmed "fast bomber" configuration to some Allied heavies as well?
     
  4. R Pope

    R Pope Member

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    Do you want the "best" or my favorite? I voted for my fave, the A-20, knowing it was not the best.
     
  5. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    I guess favorite, but with supporting info as to why it is your favorite and what makes it noteworthy.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    1943 model Mosquito had a payload similiar to 1943 model Me-410A. 4 x 500 lb bombs and it's my understanding the bombs were modified to make them more compact.

    Some late war Mosquitos were modified so they could carry a 4,000 lb "cookie" hanging partially out the bomb bay. I would hesitate to call that a normal bomber as it's good for only one thing - area bombing a city.
     
  7. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    Surely looking at range, payload and survivability it would be hard to go past the Mosquito?
     
  8. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    My personal favorite is the B-25, especially the versions with 14 machine guns, the "J" I think. I just think it looks like an a$$ kicker.

    Otherwise, I would go for the A-26. However, I don't think it's fair to compare the A-26 with the G4M, He-111, or any of the "older" bombers. To me, that's like comparing a B-17 with a B-29. Just not the same really.
     
  9. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    The 500lb MC bombs had their fns shortened for use in the Mosquito. Tests showed that they were just as accurate as the long fin versions, so they became the standard.

    The first Mosquito to carry the 4000lb cookie was the B.IV - the first production bomber version. B.IXs were also so modified, and all but a few of the B.XVIs were fitted with the bulged bomb bay doors from the factory.

    Note that the bomb didn't hang out of the bomb bay - but the bomb bay was bulged to fit them.

    There was also a 4000lb MC bomb.

    The IX and XVI had the strengthened wing from the FB.VI and could carry 2 x 500lb bombs under the wings, in addition to the 4 in the bomb bay. Most were used to drop the cookie, however, and used drop tanks instead.

    There was also a bomb carrier designed which could take 6 x 500lb bombs in the bulged bomb bay - the fabled Avro carrier.
     
  10. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    What does that have to do with being a bomber?
     
  11. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    Comparing the Mosquito to the Amercan bombers is like comparing Ali to Foreman; it depends on whether you like brains or brawn
     
  12. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Like other dive bombers was the Me 410 easy meat to interceptors when not having local air superiority?

    And was the Me 410 really a dive bomber, or just merely a bomber which could drop bombs in a dive?
     
  13. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    Best at what?

    If we look at which were in production in 1939 as bombers and 1945 as bombers (I stand to be corrected) then the Wellington must be the choice. Still the standard medium night bomber in the Italian theatre in 1945. I have to say that it was partly due to lack of Warwick engines as the Warwick was expected to succeed the Wellington on the same production lines. They were designed at the same time but the Wellington could use existing engines Merlin/Pegasus/Hercules. Also Vickers were only geared up to make geodesic constructions.

    Apropos of nothing and slightly usurping the topic; I wonder if a four Pegasus Warwick would have had a role. Why oh why didn't Bristol make a 2 row Pegasus like Alfa Romeo did and farm it out to contractors?
     
  14. Timppa

    Timppa Active Member

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  15. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The object of ANY bomber was to put bombs on target ( or at least in the target area) will suffering acceptable losses. The more bombs (or tonnage) per loss the better and obviously more range per ton of bombs/loss is better.

    Losses could/would be from all causes. B-26 almost got canceled before it really saw action due to training losses. Better training helped, but difficult to fly aircraft, even of high performance may not be the best answer.

    Mosquitoes had high performance and low losses, they could provide precision strikes but tonnage carried was on the low side. Perhaps the precision made up for it. when using 4000lb HC bombs which upped the tonnage the precision fell off.

    Other planes had different trade offs, good at one thing, not so good at others.

    The "Best" is probably an all around airplane that does't really stand out in any one area. Planes that are exceptional in one area tend to be lacking in others.
    Like the Ar 234, fast and very survivable in the battle zone but bombing from 20,000ft and 400mph requires a might good bomb sight, especially for a single man aircraft. 1100lbs of bombs over a range of 970miles isn't so good either, A Blenheim could do better in 1939 although it had trouble with the surviving with acceptable losses part.
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I like the B-25 but you can keep all those heavy payload hogging machineguns.

    R2600 engines gave the B-25 a decent power to weight ratio. That does good things for payload and aerial performance.
    B-25 had excellent short / rough airfield performance. Exactly what you need when operating from forward area airfields. Low stall speed also improves bombing accuracy.
    As far as I am aware the B-25 had no bad flight characteristics.
    B-25 had good range / endurance.
    B-25 had a decent size bomb bay.
    I suspect the B-25 would have performed well as a torpedo bomber. If ony we had aerial torpedoes worth carrying. :(
    B-25 might also have performed well as a gunship if we had reliable automatic cannon larger then .50cal in size.
     
  17. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    You're going too have to explain that "low stall speed improves bombing accuracy" statement.
     
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #18 FLYBOYJ, Aug 21, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
    I'm asking too... :popcorn:
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    If you want to employ the B-25 for CAS and/or maritime attack then it will be attacking from low altitude and at relatively low speed.
     
  20. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I don't think so...

    First off stall speed has NOTHING to do with this. If you're attacking a target close to stall speed in a B-25, I hope someone has body bags ready. B-25s attacked maritime targets and NEVER flew slow.

    From Wiki..

    "The Mitchell crews developed a new technique called skip bombing. Flying only a few dozen feet above the sea toward their targets, they would release their bombs, which would then, ideally, ricochet across the surface of the water and explode at the side of the target ship, under it, or just over it.[17] Another technique was mast height bombing, in which a bomber would approach the target at low altitude, 200 to 500 feet (61 to 150 m), at about 265 to 275 miles per hour (426 to 443 km/h), and then drop down to mast height, 10 to 15 feet (3.0 to 4.6 m) about 600 yards (550 m) from the target. They would release their bombs at around 300 yards (270 m), aiming directly at the side of the ship. The Battle of the Bismarck sea would demonstrate that this was the more successful of the two tactics.[27] However, they were not mutually exclusive. A bomber could drop two bombs, skipping the first and launching the second at mast height.[28] Practice missions were carried out against the SS Pruth, a liner that had run aground in 1923.[29]"

    Battle of the Bismarck Sea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    BTW, the B-25 stalled at about 80 knots
     
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