What was the best - or most significant - fighter-bomber of the war?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by CobberKane, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    Interdiction was the unrecognised air campaign of the Second World War. In all theatres the fighter bomber, barely considered as a concept before the outbreak of hostilities, became vital to the success of ground forces. Against armour, infantry and everything that moved, from the Pacific to the ETO, Mediterranean and Western Front, the fighter bomber made a vital contribution, always a compromise, required to deliver a heavy payload and still defend itself against the dedicated fighters of the enemy. Some designs excelled in ground attack potential at the expense of air to air potency, others attempted to retain parity with opposition fighters but still pack enough ordinance to take out enemy armour and infrastructure in the teeth of concentrated AA.
    So what was the best fighter bomber of the war, firstly in historical contribution, secondly in outright potency?
     
  2. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I think it Europe, The P-47, with 8 50 cals and the capability to carry bombs, rockets and other ordinance packed a powerful punch. For an aircraft that performed both duties, not necessarily at the same time, you can't beat the versatility of the Mosquito. The Mosquito was probably one of the most versatile aircraft of the war.
     
  3. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    #3 CobberKane, Aug 17, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
    Yes, the Mosquito wa amazingly adaptable, but I think in the fighter-bomber role it excelled as a bomber at the expense of being a fighter. In a low altitude dogfight against a single engine fighter it would have been at a significant disadvantage. The P-40 certainly proved itself and excellent fighter bomber, well able to defend itself against the 190s and 109s it faced and excepionally resistant to battle damage, but its vaunted firepower was a bit exaggerated compared to aircraft like the RAF's Typhoon.
     
  4. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

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    I vote for the P-47 also
     
  5. riacrato

    riacrato Member

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    #5 riacrato, Aug 17, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
    Quite a few candidates but for me it's the Fw 190 A/F/G-lineage with the Typhoon/Tempest as a second.
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Best? For the Western Allies pick between the Typhoon and P-47, ask any German soldier in Normandy. For the Germans the Fw 190 ask any Russian advancing into Germany or any Allied soldier in an Italian beach head.

    Most significant? One of the Allied ones,not because they were particularly effective but because there were so many of them.

    I don't know if one of the Soviet aircraft should be included,I don't know enough about them.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    "Best" and "Significant" aren't the same thing.

    Hawker Tempest may have been the best but not many made it into combat (aside from intercepting V1 cruise missiles).

    Hawker Hurricane was marginal as a fighter aircraft (even during 1940). However the RAF did a fine job converting it into a ground attack aircraft and the Hurricane was produced in very large numbers.

    Me-110 with 3cm Mk101 / Mk103 cannon was an outstanding ground attack aircraft. However most Me-110s were produced as night fighter aicraft. The number of ground attack Me-110s were too small to have a significant impact on the war.

    Fw-190F/G was good and over 6,600 were produced. They had a significant effect.

    P-47 and P-51 were poor ground attack aircraft but they are History Channel favorites. I guess that makes them significant. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I think in the ETO, the P-47 will receive most of the votes, with a couple exceptions. (FW 190, Typhoon/Tempest, etc)

    What about the PTO? Due to the distances involved, "my complete guess" is you didn't have near as many sorties with fighters carrying bombs as in the ETO. I'd have to go with my beloved Corsair.

    Another plane to consider.....what about the Beaufighter?
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Best - or most significant - P-47
     
  10. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Gotta throw in the F4U in the pile of one of the best.
     
  11. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    Dave where do you get this stuff from?
    You obviously study this stuff so must know that is a very inaccurate statement.
    Considering the BoB and all.
    ......or are you just trolling? (in which case sorry for biting)

    Fighter bombers?
    I think it's best to offer a few from each as pilots applications influence 'best' so much.
    USA - P47, P51.
    UK - Typhoon/Tempest.....and the Mossie for it's pin-point attacks.
    Germany - Fw 190, Me 110, Ju87G
    Russia - Il 2, Il 2, Il 2
     
  12. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Corsair. Compared to P47-better performer at low altitude, better dive bomber, could operate from much shorter fields, carry bigger load ( up to 4000 pounds), almost as rugged, better fighter up to 25000 feet. First action by P47, March, 1943. First action by F4U, February, 1943. Corsair could operate from carrier as well as landbased. Corsair was still in action as premier air to ground FB in Korea. Corsair picked at fighter conference, 1944 as best FB.
     
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  13. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    Indeed, good call renrich, bit of a ETO-skew to my choices, the F 4 Corsair definitely should be a part of this and the F8 Bearcat too I guess.
    I'm afraid I don't know enough about Japan's planes in this arena.
     
  14. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    He got the "large numbers" right though. Not far off 15,000. Even subtracting the 3,000 or so that went to the Soviets that's a good number.

    Steve
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree. If we consider only American made aircraft the F4U easily beats the contenders.

    Unfortunately the U.S. Army Air Corps built the Evansville, Indiana plant to produce P-47s rather then F4Us. Otherwise F4Us might have been providing CAS in Europe.
     
  16. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    I would note that the Ju87G, good as it was for ground attack was not a fighter bomber.
    Same goes for the Russian Il-2. After dropping the bomb load neither the JU87 or the IL-2 would revert back to a fighter type aircraft, even a poor one.

    Soviet fighters were handicapped by small engines and small airframes in the fighter bomber role. 0ne 20mm cannon and 1-2 MGs or two 20mm cannon are not great strafing armament and a pair of 100kg bombs isn't really a first class bomb load.
    The Japanese had a similar problem for most of the war. Low powered engines prevented a 1st class gun armament or bomb load. A single 250kg bomb under the Zero (replacing drop tank) or a pair of 250kg bombs under the Ki 43 pretty much cover the max capabilities of most Japanese fighters. Even the Ki 84 maxed at a pair of 250kg bombs.

    Bomb load alone isn't the only consideration, toughness and accuracy of delivery also count but good comparisons of the last is hard to come by. anecdotes don't really count for much except to cover generalities.

    I would also try to separate out "strike" fighters from fighter bombers. Good as the Beaufighter may have been against ships it wasn't used against land targets that often using bombs in the ETO or MTO was it?
    It did have a powerful gun armament but again how good a daylight fighter was it once the ordnance (bombs or rockets) was gone?
     
  17. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    In the ETO, Fw 190 series; excellent fighter capable of carrying a good payload, ditto for my Pacific choice, the F4U.
     
  18. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    Yes indeed, my bad, apologies. :oops:
     
  19. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    The F8F was not a good fighter bomber which is the reason it was replaced by Corsairs prior to the Korean War. It could not carry the load of the Corsair. The F8F was conceived as a fleet defense fighter which would operate from small decks.
     
  20. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    In the pacific, great work was done with the lowly p-40. i like it because using it as an FB did not divert better fighters away from other more critical roles. they were "expendable"......
     
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