Were Mosquito bombers underutilised in WW2?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by wuzak, Apr 12, 2012.

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Were Mosquito Bombers Underutilised?

  1. Yes - they could have been used more during the day

    6 vote(s)
    31.6%
  2. Yes - they could have been more used at night

    8 vote(s)
    42.1%
  3. No

    5 vote(s)
    26.3%
  1. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    There were a decent number of bomber Mosquito variants built during WW2, though a lot of them came later in the war.

    Of the marks that were built during the war there were approximately 290 B.IVs, 400 B.XVIs, 245 B.XXs and 400 B.25s (Canadian production). That's 1335+ bombers.

    Mosquitos were used in small daylight attacks from May 1942 to May 1943, before being switched to the pathfinder role for the heavies at night. Then Mosquitos were used to put on diversionary raids before evolving into the Light Night Strike Force, which put on its own raids, often not as diversions for other BC raids.

    Do you think that bomber variants were underutilised during WW2?
     
  2. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Short answer, is yes in my opinion. With a crew of two, and a survivability about twic that of a four engined type, and a bombload about 1/3 that of the bigger geavies, but a sortie rate per night about double, you can deliver 2/3 the bombload with a given strike, with 25% of the crew, and 200% the survivability. Your force structure is going to double at about 4x the rate it does for a smilar lancaster force. There are other spinoffs....for example the germans will not be able to tell fighter versions from bomber versions.

    Cricisms have regularly been raised that Mosquitoes somehow could not mount high level raids, could not ndertake area bombing raids. I have found none of this to be true.

    So my opinion is that the brits could have had a real game changer if they had concentrated on Mosquito production over the bigger 4 engined heavies
     
  3. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Parsifal, would area bombing of cities been the best use of Mosquitos? Considering that they could potentially hit targets more accurately bombing from low level and/or during the day?
     
  4. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    area bombing in Mosquito:shock: , sounds really stupid it takes all the attributes of the DH98 and ruins them .
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Im not sure if it was the best use, but it was certainly possible with an all Mosquito force.. mosquitoes were more adept at precision pinpoint bombing, so there is not as great a need for a Pointblank strategy. its possible (or do-able) but not as necessary.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Why do you think so?

    I suspect a Lancaster level bomber @ 3,000 feet was just as accurate as a Mosquito level bomber @ 3,000 feet.
     
  7. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I suspect it is because the Mosquito was more manouevrable, and thus could make more precise corrections to course to better target the bombs. I also think that a Mosquito would be more likely to survive a bombing mission at 3000ft, be it day or night, than a Lancaster (or a B-17, for that matter).

    Why 3000ft? Is that just a number for comparison purposes?
     
  8. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Lnacs were used for precision bombing througout their careers, but the proportions of sories undertaken in daylight, at precision targetsincreased as the war drew to a close. Traditionally, it was the Mosquito that were given the task of precision raids. I suspect for three reasons. Firstly the airframe was a very pleasant and stable flyer, making its flight characteristics inherently accurate. It was capble of glide bombing which further increased its accuracy. lastly its high survivavbility would have increased the confidence of the crews to complete their missions rather than drop the bombload nervously and innaccurately Crew confidence was a BIG part of bombing accuracy. And the mosquito crews could approach that task with bucket loads of confidence.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That's more or less the minimum safe height if you don't want to get caught in your own bomb blast.
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Lancasters carried out precision raids with weapons that a Mosquito simply couldn't carry.
    Someone will have to explain to me why the Mosquito would be inherently a more accurate weapon than the Lancaster which could carry a much larger load.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps we should start by determining what bomb sight was used by each aircraft type.
     
  12. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Both airframes were accurate delivery systems, but on balance my suspicion is that the Mosquirto was an inherently more accurate bomber. Mosquitoes could approach divebombing techniques more closely than the lanc. Moreover, because they were more survivable, the crews would not have felt as compelled to drop the bombload and get out of Dodge to the same extent as the poor old lanc crews. On the one hand one could argue that higher top speed would reduce accuracy for the mossie, but I had trainers that served in Vietnam (Americans) that stated that the number one impediment to bombing accuracy was flak followed by weather. Increasing speed decreases the volume of flak, and its efectiveness. Reduce the volume and effectiveness of the flak, reduce the ability of the enemy CAP to respond, and you create the conditions for a more accurate bomb run.
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that 1960s bomb sights could compensate for high speed a lot better then WWII era bomb sights.
     
  14. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Quite possibly, howeverr speed as an impediment to bombing accuracy is less of a problem than lack of speed in a high flak environment. Of the two issues in the accuracy equation speed has less impact than flak. Why can I say that? Because the RAF preferred to use Mosquitoes over Lancs for precision daylight raids over the lanc until the very end of the war.....and the Mossie delivered in that role far more effectively than any other allied bomber. its successes in precision attacks are generally accepted as outstanding.
     
  15. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Looks like most Lancasters used British built MkXIV bomb sights, and Mosquitos used Americanbuilt MkXIV bomb sights (Speryy T1)

    Mark XIV bomb sight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    It appears to me this hand made bomb sight was preferred for precision work. The RAF installed it in Lancaster Bombers, not Mosquitos. That says a lot about the inherit accuracy of the Lancaster Bomber vs the Mosquito.
    Stabilized Automatic Bomb Sight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    86 meters is outstanding accuracy for a level bomber. Almost as good as the Ju-88A dive bomber which could place 50% of bombs within 50 meters of the aiming point.

    Perhaps the RAF didn't need more Mosquito light bombers. What they needed were more accurate bomb sights for existing Lancaster Bombers plus a long range fighter aircraft to protect the bombers.
     
  17. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    There weren't many aircraft fitted with the SABS.

    And they were used mainly for weapons like the Tallboy and Grand Slam - which the Mosquito could not carry.

    I don't know how much difference the SABS bom sight could have made at low level.
     
  18. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Actually, no it doesn't.

    It just highlights the emphasis on heavy bombers.

    There is no data to suggest that the Mosquito was less accurate using the same bomb sights.
     
  19. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #19 parsifal, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
    Essentially a meaningless number, because we dont know the percentage of bombs dropped that were within these parameter. I would argue that the mosquito operated to even closser accuracy tolerances, as evidenced by its extensive use against submarines (the hardest naval target to hit, because of the very small target area), and such operations as their attack on certain targets (requiring bomb accuracy tolerances of less than 20 yards for 100%. of the aircraft.

    Put another way, in the flippant terms you are applying. Lancs and Ju88s are getting ther. With a little more effort and improvement, these aircraft might even start to approach the worst raids of the Mosquito, for accuracy.

    SABS wasnt used in maritime strike role by Mosquitoes, yet these were the most accurate attacks mounted by the RAF. SABS was a specialized piece of kit for a specific purpose(s). Not an instrument especially designed for accuracy. Its akin to saying all destroers should have been fitted with the 18m rangefinders fitted to battleships. DDs were more accurate in their fire and didnt have these larger rangefinders fitted (because they couldnt)....yet were still more accurate as delivery platforms
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Nor is there any data to suggest the Mosquito was more accurate then a Lancaster when attacking from the same altitude and using the same bomb sight. At least not any data that I've seen.
     
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