Which were best for antishipping?

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Aug 21, 2006
In my castle....
Which was better in the antishipping role? Was it the B-25, the Mosquito was it the Beaufighter or maybe even the Ju 88? I vote for the B-25 myself with its different armaments from .50's to the 75mm cannon. Maybe you have other ideas?
I'd go with the B-25 but many of its features that made it a real ship killer were done in the field as well as some of its ordinance goodies, such as the parafrag filled with shrapnel.
The B-25 was my 2nd choice. (my favourite WW2 medium bomber). But, the Beaufighter was used in all the theatres whereas the B-25 in the anti-shipping role was mainly used in the Pacific, where it preformed outstandingly.
Even though my first choice would be the Beaufighter, I would give an honourable mention to the Beaufort (especially in the Med and in RAAF service in the Pacific, ).
I wouldn't like to be on recieving end off 10 .50's and a 75mm gun...
Does anyone have any stats for tonnage sunk per type? I suppose the concept of best should be considered in light of their actual combat record.
Good question amrit. Another thing, did the B-25 operate in the ETO, MTO and in the PTO in the antishipping role as the Beaufighter or just in PTO?
Its between the B25 and the Beaufighter but I would give it to the Beau for flexibility. It carried such a variety of weapons it could deliver a fatal blow to any target.

Now to get controversial, the B25 with its 10 x HMG and 75mm is dare I say it, more illusionary than effective. The Beau with its 4 x 20mm and 4 x HMG is at least the equal of the 10 x HMG and the 75mm was a slow firing weapon of limited use (how many ships do you know that were sunk by a couple of 75mm shells). The 75mm doesn't come close to the impact of the rockets or the torpedo.
Had the war continued for a few more months I would have gone for the Mossie, as the Anti Shipping highball bouncing bomb would have been devastating.
Good point, Glider.

In field operations, the big 75 millimeter cannon did not prove as impressive as it looked. With manual loading, it had a low rate of fire, and the trajectory of its shell was much different from that of the bullets from the forward-firing machine guns, preventing the machine guns from being used to target the cannon. Salvo-fired HVARs proved a much more effective approach to heavy forward firepower, and while there some B-25 pilots who liked the big gun, it was often removed in the field.

From: The North American B-25 Mitchell
In the Mediterranean attacks by SM.79 torpedo-bombers damaged the battleship HMS Malaya, the aircraft carriers HMS Indomitable, HMS Victorious and HMS Argus, in addition to sinking 86 Allied ships, totaling 708,500 tonnes by mid-1943.

The B-25G's successor, the B-25H, had even more firepower. The 75mm gun was the lighter T13E1 which had been designed specifically for the B-25H. It also mounted four fixed forward-firing .50-calibre machine guns in the nose, four more fixed ones in forward-firing "blister" mounts on the fuselage sides, two more in the top turret, one each in a pair of new waist positions, and a final two in a new tail gunner's position. Company promotional material bragged that the B-25H could "bring to bear ten machine guns coming and four going, in addition to the 75mm cannon, a brace of eight rockets and 3000 pounds of bombs." Fourteen hundred B-25Gs and B-25Hs were built. The 75mm cannon fired at a muzzle velocity of 2,362 fps, about 720 m/s. Due to its low rate of fire (approximately four shells could be fired in a single strafing run and relative ineffectiveness against ground targets, the 75mm cannon was sometimes removed from both G and H models and replaced with two additional .50-calibre machine guns as a field modification.
In the Mediterranean attacks by SM.79 torpedo-bombers damaged the battleship HMS Malaya, the aircraft carriers HMS Indomitable, HMS Victorious and HMS Argus, in addition to sinking 86 Allied ships, totaling 708,500 tonnes by mid-1943.

I am pretty sure that the SM79 in the level bombing role may have damaged the Naval ships listed as none of the ships mentioned were hit by Aircraft Torpedo's and only the Malaya was hit by any torpedo. The Argus would have sunk like a stone, had it been hit by anything.

Will check this out, but am happy to be proved wrong.
Couldn't the SM79 carry TWO torpedoes or was it just the Ju-88 and He-111?
Another thing, as mentioned above, had the war gone for another few months, what about the Germans and their Fritz X and Henschel Hs 293 flying bombs?
Yes, the SM.79 could carry 2 torps...

The Coastal Command RAF North Coates Strike Wing, flying Beaufighters, operated as the largest anti-shipping force of the Second World War, and accounted for over 150,000 tons of shipping and 117 vessels for a loss of 120 Beaufighters and 241 aircrew killed or missing. This was half the total tonnage sunk by all strike wings between 1942-45.

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