Mosquito and Cookies: A good combination?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by pampa14, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. pampa14

    pampa14 Active Member

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    One of the most versatile aircraft of the RAF during WW2, the D.H.98 Mosquito was used to launch the big bombs of 4,000 lb, also called cookies. I share with you, the article below that shows some pictures of this unusual combination. According to the title, what is your opinion on using these bombs by Mosquito? Visit the link below, see the photo collection and at the end, give your contribution by answering the poll or a comment about it.


    Aviação em Floripa: Mosquitos e as bombas de 4.000 libras


    Best Regards!
     
  2. airminded88

    airminded88 Member

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    I think any bomber that could effectively carry ordinance over the enemy's turf was a good combination for those prosecuting the war and the Mossie proved time and again it could shine bright and eclipse others on that discipline.
    Beautiful on the ground, graceful and quite lethal in the air.
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nothing unusual about the Mossie carrying the 4,000 lb 'cookie' - a very effective aircraft, carrying a very effective weapon.
     
  4. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    I believe the Mosquito was used to drop them in nuisance raids dropping individual bombs to keep civilians in shelters, these were not the job for bigger bombers which were too easy to catch flying alone.
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Bomber Command didn't adapt the Mosquito to the 4000lb High Capacity bomb just because it could, but because, even on a nuisance or diversionary raid, this was more destructive than the alternatives.
    The 4000lb HC bomb had a higher damage factor, nearly three times that of the standard 1,000lb GP bomb (0.56 acres per ton). Incendiaries are the most destructive, but only in combination with other ordnance, and they are not relevant to most Mosquito operations.
    The Mosquito was also an efficient delivery system which, with a 4000lb load, cost the British economy about 20 man months per ton of bombs dropped, the same as the Lancaster (the Lancaster obviously dropped more(3.95 tons) per sortie than the Mosquito (0.68 tons)).
    It is on boring statistics like this that aerial campaigns are won and lost.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
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  6. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    The Mossie was used in many guises of course
     
  7. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    They also dropped them on quite serious raids too. Such as against some synthetic oil plants - in Mosquito only roles.

    Some dropped cookies in those raids, and some dropped up to six 500lb MC bombs (4 in the bomb bay, 2 on the wings).

    The B.IV was OK as a cookie carrier, but the B.IX and B.XVI were rather more exceptional.

    The bulged bomb bay also allowed the Mosquito to carry 2 x 1,000lb MC or TI bombs (I believe usually used for pathfinders with the 1,000lb TI) and there was even a proposal to use a modified Wellington bomb beam in a Mosquito to enable the carriage of 8 x 250lb TI or even 8 x 500lb MC bombs. de Havillands thought that the latter would move the CoG too far rearwards, making the aircraft unstable. I believe that was for a B.IV, so it may have been OK for a B.XVI.

    The bulged bomb bay Mosquito could also carry the 4000lb Medium Capcity Bomb. Over 20,000 of these were dropped by Bomber Command.

    The page suggests that some were dropped by the Mosquito, but it does not say how many or how often.
     
  8. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I had found evidence of the Mosquito carrying the 4,000lb MC bomb, and also using it and the 4,000lb HC cookie against industrial targets.

     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Bomb loads were developed for different targets, but the vast majority of raids were area raids on German cities. The most effective loads for this, that is those which would devastate the largest acreage, were worked out in detail.
    For the Lancaster it was 1 x 4000lb HC bomb and 17 1/3 incendiary loaded SBCs. This 10,000lb load had a damage factor of 9.98 acres
    For the Halifax the best load was 15 x SBCs (5490 lb and 6.30 acres) but a load of 3 x 1000lb MC bombs and 12 x SBCs (7449lb and 6.12 acres) was similar and sometimes preferred.
    The Stirling was seen as an incendiary carrier.
    If this calculation was made for the Mosquito, I've not found it. It was an aircraft that had a more special role and would not therefore often carry the best load to contribute to the devastation of a main force area raid.

    As far as the 1900lb GP bomb (usually referred to as a 2000lb bomb) goes, a requirement to carry it was in the specifications for all the bombers above, though it is true it was not much used. The Lancaster could fit 6 in the bomb bay, but a damage factor of only 6.25 acres meant it was not favoured.
    Main force aircraft carried the largeHC bombs to blow in roofs, doors and windows to allow incendiaries access to the interior spaces of the buildings. They carried HE bombs to disrupt anti aircraft and fire fighting efforts (the latter vital to the establishment of a fire storm) and to rupture utility mains, gas contributes to the fire, lack of water hinders fire fighting. It was a very cold blooded business and a lot of hard science and very little guess work went into achieving the optimum results.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The impetus to convert (initially) the Mk IV Mosquito to carry a 4,000lb bomb came from R E Bishop, de Havilland's chief designer, though the original idea seems to have come from 8 Group. This was as early as April 1943, before the Mosquito night raids (by 109 and 137 Squadrons) had even begun. It has been claimed that Harris considered the 4,000lb 'cookie' an anti morale weapon and that a load of 4 x 1000lb bombs (or 2 x 1000lb bombs for the Mosquito B.Mk IV) was preferred for destructive effect. Neither is really true.
    The modified aircraft did experience stability problems which were never properly overcome, and this is is why so few Mk IVs (or Mk IXs) were modified. Nonetheless, on 23rd February 1943, the first three 4,000lb 'cookies' were dropped on Dusseldorf by three Mosquitoes of 692 Squadron (backed up by a fourth which dropped 4 delayed action 500lb bombs), the target having been marked by three other Mosquitoes of 109 Squadron.
    The Merlin 72 powered, pressurised, Mosquito B. Mk XVI was designed from the outset to carry the 4,000lb bombs, its first operation was shortly afterwards, on 5th March.
    As to the original question, whether the Mosquito bomber and 4,000lb 'cookie' was a good combination, we can only answer that Bomber Command, and in particular the Light Night Striking Force thought that it was.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
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