Wellington vs Ju88 over Atlantic

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by v2, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    Heavy losses sustained by the Polish bomber force in April (1942), together with corresponding lack of reserves – particularly painful was the shortage of navigators – threatened PAF with decision to suspend operations. It was decided in the Bomber Command that one of the Polish bombers squadrons would have to be transferred to Coastal Command, where as a rule, losses were lighter but the crews carried out longer tours of duty without relief. Having suffered especially heavy losses during its 488 operational sorties, and desperately needing to lick its wounds, the 304 Squadron was chosen.

    And, it was in february 9, 1943:
    S/Ldr Ladro, DFC, was one of the best Polish flying instructor from before the war, and while with 304, already a veteran of the bomber squadrons. In October 1941, returning from a mission, he had to ditch his badly damaged Wellington in the North Sea, and was miraculously rescued with the whole crew.
    His return to the base on 9 February 1943 sortie was equally dramatic. He was attacked by four Ju88s and successfully avoided being shot down for almost an hour!
    Immediately after spotting approaching Junkers, Ladro dropped the charges and put the Wellington W-304 in a violent corkscrew dive. His rear gunner opened fire and one of the Junkers started to lag behind. The remaining three fiercely attack Polish aircraft, but managed only to make it look like proverbial colander. The Wellington received only one direct hit of the 20 mm cannon shell, which made a gaping hole in a starboard wing. The rear guns sights were destroyed, but the gunner, slightly wounded, kept fending off the attackers with accurate fire. Front gunner and co-pilot were seriously wounded, and drenched with sweat S/Ldr Ladro, tried to outmaneuver every Junkers’ pass by instruction given by the navigator. All this was happening at the sea level, with the Wellington continuing to press for homely shores.

    [​IMG]
    W-304 day after the battle. Notice the 2 yards hole by the starboard nacelle

    During short breaks between attacks, Ladro held the controls with his knees giving his arms a rest. The situation was becoming desperate. Luckily, into the fiftieth minute of the battle, the Germans went out of ammo. They did not give up however, and tried to ram the Wellington or force it to ditch. When this tactic fail, and the Pole hang on to his course, the Germans broke of the engagement. One of the Junkers flew directly in front of the Wellington and wiggled his wings.
    Monitoring radio station of the No. 19 Group picked up the battle, and a section of Beaufighters was sent to intercept the Junkers. Ironically, they found the Germans, and pursuers became perused. By the time S/Ldr Ladro waddled to Predannack and lend safely, the Beaufighters reported shooting down all three Ju88s.
     
  2. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    wow that's quite a story, i'm always impressed by the storied of sunderlands fighting off attackers too......
     
  3. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good story v2. Agreed Lanc it is always impressive to hear the stories of bombers evading fighters.
     
  4. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    i wonder if there's any records of sunderlands dogfighting Fw-200s, i'd bet good money it happened........
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Good story and pic aswell.
     
  6. V-1710

    V-1710 Member

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    Sunderland vs. Fw-200! Probably did happen, more than once. There were several instances of B-25's mixing it up with G4M's.
     
  7. carpenoctem1689

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    Wow, that would be something, a sunderland against an Fw-200. I would take the Fw-200, just because it was bigger, and had heavier armament.
     
  8. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Fw-200? Bigger and Heavier Armament than the Sunderland? :shock: I think not, Fw-200's were actually criticised for their lack of armament, whereas Sunderlands were praised for their extreme abundance of it ;)
     
  9. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    and the Fw-200's structure was very weak!
     
  10. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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  11. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I have been digging around and cannot find an example of a SUnderland and a FW200 taking each other on. A number of examples of Sunderlands vs Ju88 and Fw200 VS Beaufighters but not each other.
     
  12. V-1710

    V-1710 Member

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    The Fw-200 Condor was a very compromised warplane. No question that it was effective for a period, but as stated above suffered from a weak airframe and light defensive armament (while the Sunderland had very heavy defensive armament). Fw-200's often fell prey to British Lockheed Hudsons. I have often wondered if the Condor had been a bit more robust, if it wouldn't have made an effective long range bomber.
     
  13. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    but more robust = heavier airframe = less payload = poor heavy bomber plus i doubt the bomb bay could be modified to carry anything that resebled a heavy weapons load, and i don't like external payloads of heavy bombers, it's not right, atlaast the grand slam was semi-resessed.........
     
  14. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Lets be fair the later versions of the Fw200 were well armed with 15mm in the forward turret, HMG's in the waist in ventral position and a 20mm (mainly for straffing ships) firing forward. Also I think it had a 4000ib bomb load which isn't a lot but it could carry it a long way.

    As all have mentioned the Achilles heal was the weak structure.

    That said had the Germans put there mind to it, I wouldn't have been suprised if they couldn't have made a decent bomber based on it. It certainly could have had some advantages over the He111 which was kept in production well past its sell by date.
     
  15. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Remember that the Fw-200 was originally designed for Lufthansa though, not the Luftwaffe.
     
  16. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    you say that but most planes germany were designing back then they CLAIMED were for civilian use as they weren't allowed to develop military aircraft, so the designers were's totally oblivious to the fact that she might be used by the military.........
     
  17. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Exactly, the designers didnt know it would be used by the military, so didnt factor that in to the design specifications.
     
  18. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I was aware of the basic design being based on the civilian use but with some thought the strengh issues could ahve been resolved and more powerful engines would have been of assistance.
     
  19. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    but i'm saying the exact opposite is true! they would've know that the military were proberly gonna use it..........
     
  20. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    That is what I always believed, the aircraft were designed as commercial airliners but were able to be converted into bombers in a short space of time. This was done to keep up the appearences of Germany not rearming, however the aircraft were changed into bombers (for example the FW-200), although they were not very good. Remember though they were designed as commercial airliners that could be converted into bombers for wartime.
     
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