Me109 Fighter-Bomber, how effective?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    I've recently read that starting with the later marks of the E-series Me109 this aircraft was used as a fighter-bomber; I haven't seen much about it in that role, how effective was it? I assume the Fw190 was better at it, which is why it gets more press about its performance in that role.
     
  2. cherry blossom

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    The main limitations must have been the 109's ability to carry a load over a long distance as the bomb would have been carried at the same position as a drop tank. However, it seems that bombs could be dropped accurately as HMS Warspite, British battleship, WW2 has:

    At 1332 hours just as the combined force was entering the Kithera Channel WARSPITE was attacked by three Me 109 fighter bombers each armed with a 250Kg semi-armour piercing bomb. By manoeuvring the first two bombs missed but the third hit the starboard after 4in gun and penetrated the deck to explode in the starboard quarter 6in battery. 38 of ship's company were killed and 31 injured causing extensive damage, fires and the temporary evacuation of one boiler room. Her speed was reduced to 18 knots.
    (The Messerschmitt Bf 109 Es were from Luftwaffe unit 111/Jg 77 which was based at Molai, in the Elos Peninsula, about 60 miles from the position where WARSPITE was hit. The bomb that hit WARSPITE was dropped from a plane flown by Wolf Dietrich Huy or Kurt Ubben).
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Like most fighter aircraft the Me-109 wasn't protected against ground fire. Unless the target is caught napping you are likely to get shot up by infantry machineguns.
     
  4. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    From about the middle of 1940 the Luftwaffe converted E-1s, E-3s and E-4s into fighter bombers, while the E-7 was designed to be able to carry bombs from the outset. During the Battle of Britain there were two dedicated fighter-bomber units using the Bf 109 and ; Erprobungsgruppe 210 and Lehrgeschwader 2: in addition, starting in late October, one Staffel of each fighter Gruppe was to become a fighter-bomber unit, although several units were already using fighter-bombers.

    The main problem was the Bf 109 could only carry a relatively light load, and wasn't properly armoured against ground-fire, whereas the Fw 190 could carry heavier loads and, with the radial engine and features like an armoured oil tank, it was more rugged. From The Blitz Then and Now Vol 1:

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    The Bf 109 E-7/U1 and /U2 had additional protection vs ground fire, at least for the radiators. Mostly used in the East and some in Africa.
    Neither Me 210 nor Me 210 had underwing bomb racks (just for WGr.21 rockets), they could hold some 50kg bombs on fuselage racks but use was rare. Both could use a special 1t bomb, 2x 500kg or 8x 50 kg bombs internally.
    Underwing bombracks on the Fw 190 were only available in the F and G variant (or the modified A-/-5/-6 with /Ux-number which became F/G). I don't know if a 1t bomb could be fitted without modifications to the tailwheel (insufficient freeboard).
    The standard Bf 110 dual-bombrack could hold two larger bombs up to 500kg or up to eight 50kg bombs with two adapters, 4x 250 is impossible.
    Never heard of an 1.4t bomb on the Ar 234, fuselage rack was specified for 1t bombs max.
    The main Do 217 production series could hold 3t internal, for 4t you'd have to sacrifice fuel.
     
  6. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Purpose built CAS aircraft such as Ju-87, Me-210 and Il-2 had armor around cockpit to protect aircrew from ground fire. None of the fighter bombers come close for survivability.
     
  8. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    Missed the Fw 190F ?
    I wouldn't call the Me 210/410 dedicated ground attack aircraft, can't remember to have seen much bottom armor for the 210 on either cockpit or engines (but I don't have good books about them).
     
  9. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    109s had a great deal of success in the FB role in the east. less effective in the west. In 1940 during operations on the contoinent, there werent that any JABOs. Later in the west they were too busy combatting allied fighters and there simply werent that many opportunitiews presenting themselves, for the abilities of the bomb carryingf 109s to be witnessed all that much in the west. In med, 109 FBs were quite active, including over Malta
     
  10. Kryten

    Kryten Member

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    Apparently lugging bombs about was very much disliked by 109E pilots as the plane became a bit of a sloth, it had little excess lift capacity so they flew at an increased AoA with the bomb on board and had uprated engines to compensate for the increased drag!

    Have not found any stats on take off distances with the bomb , that would be quite interesting?
     
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