Grumman Avenger Ground Attack version for Europe?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Maxrobot1, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Maxrobot1

    Maxrobot1 Member

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    What if...
    The Army tried Dauntlesses and Helldivers but not Avengers.
    Think of a Grumman Avenger with an R-2800 instead of R-2600 plus its armament of 4 500 pounders, 8 rockets and two 20mm in the wings like the TBF-1C and consider the power operated .50 turret.
    What if the 9th AF had them for supporting the advance across Europe in '44 and '45?
    Rugged landing gear for rough fields, already in mass production - Grumman had no trouble setting GM up in the airplane biz.
    Hmmm?
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Armor to protect crew from ground fire is essential for CAS aircraft. How much did the TBF have?
     
  3. glennasher

    glennasher Member

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    I don't think they had much armor, George H.W. Bush was wounded, and one of his men killed, during a ground attack mission during 1945, and he wasn't the only pilot/crewman so wounded.

    I think they'd have been slaughtered wholesale in Europe.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Without an armored cocoon to protect crew you are probably right.
     
  5. Maxrobot1

    Maxrobot1 Member

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    The P-47 had only armor on the pilots seatback and it did OK. The same for the P-51. A-20's didn't feature much armor either.
     
  6. VinceReeves

    VinceReeves Member

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    Think it's a bit slow for ETO. A big target too.
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    If you have the air superiority, then go for it by all means. Ditch the power operated turret, maybe only one crewman. Up the armor for that one. It would be smaller target than A-20, B-25 and the like.
     
  8. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    Why not just use a T-Bolt? It's got to be cheaper, has more firepower, and must to be more survivable because of it's speed, if nothing else. The TBF/TBM was not stressed for high G manoeuvres, and couldn't divebomb safely.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    P-51 had a bad reputation for vulnerability to ground fire. If the TBF cannot do better then why bother bringing the aircraft to Europe?
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    P-47 couldn't dive bomb accurately. I suspect TBF could level bomb from low altitude (below 3,000 feet) and be at least as accurate as P-47.
     
  11. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    Define "accurately"

    Chris Bellamy’s ‘The evolution of modern land warfare: theory and practice’ says that a Ju-87 “in a dive could put 25% of their bombs in a 50 metre diameter circle”.

    While from 'Air Power', Stephen Budiansky we find this:

    "A study on of fighter-bomber attacks on bridges over the Savio River in Italy during the spring of 1944 found a sharp drop-off in bombing accuracy directly correlated with the intensity of flak fire. With no flak, P-47s could put half of their bombs within 180 feet of their target and required 30 bombs to score one hit. With medium flak, accuracy dropped to 300 feet, requiring 84 bombs per hit; with heavy flak, it was 420 feet and 164 bombs."

    Stuka CEP: 25% within 164 ft (no indication of whether this is opposed or unopposed)
    P-47 CEP: 50% within 180 feet unopposed, 50% within 300 feet to medium flak opposition, 50% within 420 feet to heavy flak opposition

    Seems to be similarly accurate to the Stuka to me...
     
  12. Jack_Hill

    Jack_Hill Member

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    I'm in trouble believing the good handling/tough Avenger as an eto ground attacker,unless heavily escorted (even with an overpowered engine)
    Not a poll of course, but I vote P-47.
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Ju-87B.
    Average pilots.
    25% hit within 30 yards of target.
    Not sure where Chris Bellamy is getting his data but it doesn't agree with German accuracy tests.

    Poor accuracy is only part of the P-47 problem. The aircraft apparently couldn't carry a 2,000lb bomb as the Ju-87 routinely did. Nor was P-47 protection against ground fire anywhere near as good as proper CAS aircraft such as Il-2 and Ju-87D.


    If U.S. Army Air Corps desire to make TBF into a CAS aircraft they need to compare with proper CAS aircraft rather then high altitude fighter aircraft jury rigged for ground attack.
     
  14. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    What about the Mosquito FB.VI?

    About the same size as the Avenger, but much faster (economical cruise isn't much short of TBF's max speed), more firepower (4 x 20mm + 4 x 0.303, 4 x 500lb bombs or 2 x 500lb bombs + 8 x RP).

    Or the FB.XVIII - 1 6 pounder (57mm) cannon, + 4 x 0.303". Not sure if it could carry additional bombs or rockets - doubt that it had space for bombs in the bomb bay. Plus the extra armour for the pilot and nav.
     
  15. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Those were no SBD.
     
  16. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    You don't seem to realized that saying 25% hit within 30 yards of the target is the same as saying that 25% of the bombs dropped within a 60 yard circle. But i'd bet the Luftwaffe's test were in meters, not yards.
     
  17. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Where did those figures come from?
     
  18. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    TBF1C had 2 x .5in mgs in the wings, and I don't think they could carry 2000lb of bombs and 8 rockets at the same time.

    The SB2C had x 20mm guns in the wings, so maybe you're thinking about that aircraft, but no way it could carry 2000lb of bombs and 8 rockets - but as an attack aircraft it might be more survivable ( the -3 and later) and have better bomb accuracy.
     
  19. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    No, that's not what the data says.

    The extract from hyperwar.com, which you've used multiple times, states that the Ju-87:

    "Hitting their targets" does not denote a success rate of 25% within 30 yards. You're conflating two claims (1. That expert pilots could bomb within 30 yards; and 2. That average pilots had a 25% success rate in hitting targets) and putting them together, without justification.

    The actual source used for the figure is Cooper, 'The German Air Force, 1933-1945: An Anatomy of Failure'. That doesn't make it any more or less reliable than Chris Bellamy, so your appeal to authority tactic isn't valid.

    I've no doubt that the Ju-87 was among the most accurate bombers of the war. I'm just pointing out that the perception of P-47 fighter bombers as inherently innacurate is not correct.

    Were they as accurate as a Stuka? No.
    Were they an order of magnitude worse. No.

    As to the original question, I think a Grumman Avenger in ETO airspace is a deeply flawed idea. It has neither the flexibility, bombload or defensive armament of the light and medium bombers in the 2TAF/9th AF, nor does it have the speed, manoeuvrability or forward firing armament of the single engine types.

    What the Western Allies needed was a cross between the Ju-87 and the Il-2/Il-10: a dedicated ground attack platform that could both bomb accurately and straff effectively, was heavily armoured and had enough speed that it could exit the battle space quickly enough when enemy attention came its way.
     
  20. Rick65

    Rick65 Member

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    Skyraider
    But not available in time.
     
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