Medium bomber accuracy (vs heavy bombers)

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by gjs238, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Because they bombed from lower altitudes, were medium bombers more accurate than heavy bombers, bombing from higher altitudes?
     
  2. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    A bomb released at 10k ft using the same bomb sight, say a Norton, and initial conditions (airspeed, wind speed, etc.), will be more accurate than one released at 20k. All the variables, wind, bomb aerodynamics, aiming error, etc. have less effect at low altitude. However, defenses are also more effective.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That has nothing to do with aircraft size. A Lancaster bombing from 3,000 feet will be just as accurate as a Mosquito bombing from 3,000 feet. Gaining an edge in accuracy requires either guided weapons or dive bombing.
     
  4. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    617 squadron was known for very high accuracy while using Lancasters.
     
  5. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    According to Bowman's Mosquito Bomber/Fighter-Bomber Units 1942-45 on average, Mosquito units destroyed one Crossbow[V-1] site for each 39.8 tons of bombs dropped, compared with an average of 165.4 tons for the B-17, 182 tons for the Mitchell and 219 tons for the B-26.

    Juha
     
  6. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    So the B-17 was more accurate than the US medium bombers, but less accurate than the Mosquito?
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Were they bombing from the same altitude? Otherwise it's impossible to draw any accuracy conclusions.
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    That'll be a Norden,but yes the rest is true.

    Carl Norden was originally Dutch,born in Java in the then Dutch East Indies. He was educated in Holland and Switzerland and emigrated to the USA in 1904,aged 24

    "E pluribus unum" :)

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  9. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    The short para on the book doesn't tell, but most probably not. IIRC there were no USAAF B-25 units in England in mid 44, so the Mitchells were flown by units under RAF control, so they might have used different tactics than USAAF B-26s. And looking the preceeding para the Mossie tactic used was that of FB Mk VIs, glide bombing.

    Juha
     
  10. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Sorry about the misspelling. I should know better. :oops:
     
  11. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It could be worse........what year was the Battle of Stalingrad again? :shock:

    Steve
     
  12. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Aren't we glad it was better than their anti-virus software?

    Look's like someone reads Mad magazine...
     
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  13. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #13 nuuumannn, Apr 6, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
    I have to agree partially with you, Dave, altitude has a big influence on accuracy, but its not the only factor in favour of smaller bombers. Less time spent over enemy territory, particularly heavily defended areas, like specialist targets increases survivability of smaller, faster bombers. Radio navigation and electronic equipment also played a big role in accuracy in terms of getting bombers to the target area and determining when to drop bombs, although both medium and heavy bombers benefitted from advances in this technology during the war.

    Although I'm inclined to agree with the reference to 617 Sqn, it was an exception rather than the rule, since crews were hand picked due to their individual excellence and extensive practising was undertaken by the unit in attacking precision targets, over and above what the average heavy bomber crew carried out.

    Juha, the Mitchells were operated by the RAF and flown by RAF squadrons, as well as Douglas Bostons. Different targets required different sets of conditions, i.e. altitude and approach to the target area.
     
  14. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    I know but IIRC there was also at least one Dutch Mitchell sqn and maybe some others which were not strickly English/Scottish units, so I used "under RAF control"

    Juha
     
  15. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The post war bombing analysis proved beyond a doubt that high altitude precision bombing was decidedly not. The errors at high altitude were so great that caret bombing had a statistically higher probability of hitting something of military value.
     
  16. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #16 nuuumannn, Apr 7, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
    Juha, I see your point, now. Some of the Commonwealth units were first formed in their countries of designation, like the Australian 455 Squadron and Canadian units too, but 320 Sqn was an RAF unit formed for Dutch personnel (I know I'm being pedantic :)).

    No. 320 Squadron RAF - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  17. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info, 400-series sqns are easier but those 300-series are much more complicated, Polish sqns were first RAF sqns but after spring 44 agreement I'm not sure were they RAF or PAF sqns and I have no idea on the situation of Czechs and Norwegians other than that they were initially RAF sqns.

    Juha
     
  18. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that heavy bomber losses to flak and fighters were too high at medium altitudes, so the bombers worked from higher altitudes and traded bombing accuracy for safety.

    Question: Would not medium bombers suffer the same fate operating at medium altitudes? Weren't medium bombers subject to more accurate flak and better performing fighters?
     
  19. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Syscom - the statistics include all bombings done with 10/10 cloud cover as in Winter/Fall and Spring in ETO. Pathfinders were not particularly effective but daylight bombing with target in clear view yielded several spectacular and many 'good' results using Norden and tight formations
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Based on what data? All of the WWII era official U.S. and British bombing reports I've seen are intentionally vague and never address the main points:
    A. How many bombs were dropped?
    B. Of the bombs dropped, how many hit the target (hitting the city or nearby countryside doesn't count).
     
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