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Ozair
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Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:26 pm

The fighter thread has moved in this direction anyway so time for a dedicated thread.

What is your favourite (not necessarily best) World War Two Light/Medium Bomber and why? Let us stick to twin engine designs to make a distinction between heavy loaded fighters and larger four engine bombers (which we will get to soon).

Again a hard choice, although not as hard as the fighter selection. In the previous thread I mentioned the De Haviland Mosqito and this gets an honourable mention but I have always liked the look of the Martin B-26 Marauder. It had a terrible initial record with a high number of accidents but ended up being a very successful aircraft serving across multiple theatres. It had the standard medium bomber payload of 4,000 lbs and a decent number of fixed forward firing machine guns as well as a dorsal turret and forward and rear tail guns. Interestingly the aircraft did quite well shooting down German and Italian transports in the Mediterranean Theatre.

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A notable aircraft was Mild and Bitter,,

"It was the first Allied bomber in the European Theater of Operations to complete 100 operational missions. This was accomplished by Mild and Bitter on an afternoon raid on a Nazi airfield at Evreux/Fauville, southwest of Rouen, France, on 9 May 1944. She was a B-26B-25, Serial Number 41-31819, of the 450th Squadron in the 322nd Bomb Group (M) of the 9th Air Force and had flown her first mission on 23 July 1943. She did all this on her original engines, amassing a total of 449 hours and 30 minutes on them, 310 hours and 40 minutes of that in combat! During this time she never aborted due to mechanical failure, and not one of her many crewmen was a casualty. She was taken off operations after her 100th mission and flown back to the States to conduct War Bond selling tours."


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texl1649
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:23 pm

Oh boy, this will be a bit controversial. For personal reasons I’ll also endorse the B-26, though “2 a day in Tampa Bay” and it’s reputation particularly on one engine make it ‘iffy.’ Many of these on both sides had huge losses as they were daytime mission-oriented and easy prey.
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:26 am

My choice would be the B-25 Mitchell. More than 9800 were built before and during WWII. It was made or converted to a bomber, recon/photo, weather recon, trainer, gun ship transport, and VIP transport. Its most famous use was the Doolittle Raid. The gun ship version sported a 75mm cannon, the largest gun fitted to any WWII aircraft.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:40 am

One of the more interesting, and less well known, light bombers was the Ju 88 and its variants Ju 188 and Ju 388 as well as the still-born Ju 288. These aircraft were all designed as fast bombers comparable to the Mosquito in RAF service (although with more emphasis on the bomber role and less on the heavy fighter role). Acknowledging the inability to provide proper escort to their bombers, this family was supposed to penetrate enemy airspace high and fast before interceptors could reach it. Due to the constant pressure to reach even higher speeds, new powerful engines were always tried. The initial Ju 88 was powered by the Jumo 211 engine, but later Jumo developments proved less reliable and the interim BMW 801 became the more common engine from the Ju 188 onwards.

The Ju 88 was semi-successful, scoring poorly against well-defended targets like Great Britain yet seeing use in many theatres. In reference to the B-25 discussion on the fighter thread, the Ju 88 was also tested with a 75 mm gun but the result was unsatisfactory.
Image
Each following variant then attempted to increase speed, partly through aerodynamic refinement on the Ju 188. This did lead to a fairly ugly nose section, although several post-war jet bombers adopted a similar configuration with a very slender fuselage. The Ju 188 was built with both Jumo 213 and BMW 801 engines.
Image
Its successor was supposed to be the Ju 288. Initially conceived as a further development of the Ju 88 / 188, it quickly became an almost all-new development. It, and also the Ju 388, would feature pressurised fuselages. Following a few redesigns of the fuselage, continuous problems with the Jumo 222 engine and a brand new gear, the Ju 288 became not only the most expensive development of the entire nazi Luftwaffe, but also the most expensive failure as the Ju 288 never reached serial production.
Image
As more and more small improvements were rolled out on the original Ju 188, the final variants were given the Ju 388 designation. Its most distinguishing feature is the pressurised cockpit (which applied some lessons from the Ju 288). However, the war's progress prevented its use as a bomber, the few frames that were built saw reconnaissance use only.
Image
 
Ozair
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:55 am

mxaxai wrote:
One of the more interesting, and less well known, light bombers was the Ju 88 and its variants Ju 188 and Ju 388 as well as the still-born Ju 288. ]

A great choice, this sits right at my second choice equal with the Mosquito. Both airframes had somewhat similar lives on different sides of the conflict.
 
Ozair
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:58 am

kc135topboom wrote:
My choice would be the B-25 Mitchell. More than 9800 were built before and during WWII. It was made or converted to a bomber, recon/photo, weather recon, trainer, gun ship transport, and VIP transport. Its most famous use was the Doolittle Raid. The gun ship version sported a 75mm cannon, the largest gun fitted to any WWII aircraft.

A solid choice and good looking aircraft.

Image
 
ZKNCI
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:39 am

Looks like another thread of excellent aircraft and photos! :bigthumbsup:
Can't quite place my finger on why, but I quite like the Martin Maryland light bomber. Quite sleek looking. This aircraft lost out to the Douglas A-20 in USAAC trials (XA-22), but was picked up by the British and French, often used as a fast reconnaissance aircraft.
 
Ozair
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:57 am

ZKNCI wrote:
Looks like another thread of excellent aircraft and photos! :bigthumbsup:
Can't quite place my finger on why, but I quite like the Martin Maryland light bomber. Quite sleek looking. This aircraft lost out to the Douglas A-20 in USAAC trials (XA-22), but was picked up by the British and French, often used as a fast reconnaissance aircraft.

High on my list is the Handley Page Hampden, similar capability and which conducted the first RAF deliberate bombing of German soil of the war. It fought well over Germany for the first couple of years of the war before being replaced by the heavies.

Image
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:53 am

A lot of strong contenders, but the B-25 holds a special spot.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
Reddevil556
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:03 am

No love for the A-20? That is one of my favorites. Of course the B-25 had the slickest appearance of the Allied twin engines bombers. I also loved the appearance of the He 111. Does anyone know if the CASA built variant is still flying or has she crashed?
Jumped out of: C130H, C130J, C17A, C212, CH47, and UH60. Bucket list: C160, A400, C2
 
VSMUT
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:17 pm

Either the de Havilland Mosquito or Il-2 Shturmovik.

The Mosquito is sleek, powerful and looks like a good flyer. Could carry a massive payload.
The Shturmovik is a tough, armoured brute. A true war-winner that swarmed the eastern front. First time I saw one in real life, I was surprised at how big it was.

The Mitsubishi G4M and Savoia-Marchetti SM-79 were pretty good looking too.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:27 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Either the de Havilland Mosquito or Il-2 Shturmovik.
The Shturmovik is a tough, armoured brute. A true war-winner that swarmed the eastern front. First time I saw one in real life, I was surprised at how big it was.
It was all of that, and a great choice, but neither was it a bomber, nor did it have two engines. X
Known as "the Flying Tank" I would consider it an early forerunner of the A-10


… and Savoia-Marchetti SM-79 were pretty good looking too.

Yes, another great (and interesting) choice, but strictly speaking the SM.79 had too many engines for this thread. :duck:
I guess we could let you off though because it was very much comparable to many of the twins mentioned above, and the OP could never have expected such an unusual (but perfectly valid) choice.

This photo has always disturbed me slightly; the caption doesn't say it, but I cannot see this SM.79 recovering from this angle at this height. (FYI The bits in the foreground are ship superstructure from an allied convoy). C'est la guerre. :(
Image
Thx as ever to wikipedia
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:37 am

kc135topboom wrote:
My choice would be the B-25 Mitchell. More than 9800 were built before and during WWII. It was made or converted to a bomber, recon/photo, weather recon, trainer, gun ship transport, and VIP transport. Its most famous use was the Doolittle Raid. The gun ship version sported a 75mm cannon, the largest gun fitted to any WWII aircraft.

Surely it's most famous appearance was in Catch-22? :duck:

As for the 75mm cannon, as mentioned elsewhere, this weapon suffered from the necessity to be loaded by hand, by the B-25 navigator, one shot at a time.
In contrast the Ju-88P was fitted with an auto-loading 75mm cannon (or a pair of 37mm)
However it appears that neither the USAAF nor Luftwaffe were entirely happy with the results from these higher calibre guns, which means the prize goes once again to the....
de Havilland Mosquito :bigthumbsup:

And here's an example fitted with a 57mm Molins anti-tank gun c/w autoloader.
Ok, so 57 mm is not as bone-shakingly powerful as any 75mm gun, but the auto-loader made it far more effective.
(Don't be fooled by the origins of the gun; these Mosquitos were used to attack U-boats and other shipping including Destroyers. :o )
Image

The anti-shipping operations of 248 sqdn and the Banff Strike Wing featured several epic encounters between Mosquitos and surfaced U-boats escorted by [up to four] Destroyers with Ju-88s for air cover. Although outnumbered, the Mosquitos invariably drew blood on each occasion. In particular they seemed to delight in shooting up the Ju-88s, which kinda undermines the guy who nominated them for his first choice. (TBH I like them too)

However, this is all something of an irrelevance because the Mosquito earns it's place here simply as the fastest meanest heaviest hitting LIGHT/MEDIUM BOMBER.

Plus it is so heart achingly beautiful.

We have the winner; y'all can go home now. :rotfl: <kidding>
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
Ozair
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:16 am

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Either the de Havilland Mosquito or Il-2 Shturmovik.
The Shturmovik is a tough, armoured brute. A true war-winner that swarmed the eastern front. First time I saw one in real life, I was surprised at how big it was.
It was all of that, and a great choice, but neither was it a bomber, nor did it have two engines. X

I wouldn't consider the IL-2 a light/medium bomber, probably more a fighter bomber akin to the P-47, but hard to argue its significance to Soviet Forces during WWII.


SheikhDjibouti wrote:
… and Savoia-Marchetti SM-79 were pretty good looking too.

Yes, another great (and interesting) choice, but strictly speaking the SM.79 had too many engines for this thread. :duck:
I guess we could let you off though because it was very much comparable to many of the twins mentioned above, and the OP could never have expected such an unusual (but perfectly valid) choice.

Agree, an excellent choice.
 
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Hydrahawk
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:17 am

dH Mosquito

It performed photo recon, night fighter, light bomber, pathfinder missions. Attacked shipping and U-boats around Norway and France.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:47 am

I think the versatility and clean lines have converted me to the Mosquito. I'll forever love the B-25, but, like a first wife, it's best to make a clean break and move on.

Sorta off the topic of wives, the B-25 weighs 6,000 pounds more than the Mosquito!
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LightningZ71
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:17 am

In fairness, the SM.79 did have a two engine export version.
 
GDB
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:47 pm

Ozair wrote:
ZKNCI wrote:
Looks like another thread of excellent aircraft and photos! :bigthumbsup:
Can't quite place my finger on why, but I quite like the Martin Maryland light bomber. Quite sleek looking. This aircraft lost out to the Douglas A-20 in USAAC trials (XA-22), but was picked up by the British and French, often used as a fast reconnaissance aircraft.

High on my list is the Handley Page Hampden, similar capability and which conducted the first RAF deliberate bombing of German soil of the war. It fought well over Germany for the first couple of years of the war before being replaced by the heavies.

Image


You might find this interesting, about the Hampden;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr9VMF8 ... ex=43&t=0s

(The the ending of this short video is anti-climatic, the book quoted is on Mr Felton's channel on his War Stories page, over episodes he reads the book with some illustrations).

Though the best of the early war RAF bombers, which prior to the later four engine 'heavies' were the main striking element, was I think The Wellington. Reliable, versatile and could take a lot of damage.

Just as well since I'm biased, my late Uncle Stuart flew them in WW2. Largely in the Mediterraean theater, just as well as with Bomber Command's attrition he'd not likely have survived had he been on night ops over Europe.
Not that he did not have a few be shot down/crash on him, taken as a POW more than once, held by the Italians, escaped more than once until finally evading capture and getting to friendly forces

In the 1970's my Dad took me to the RAF Museum at Hendon, they had a Wellington, at the time the only preserved example, reading the info boards I remarked about this to which Dad replied, 'yes, your Uncle Stuart crashed the rest'.
Stuart finally retired from the RAF in the 1970's, for years posted near home with my Dad's sister Margaret, at RAF Uxbridge.

Margaret thought of asking a local artist to do a painting to mark the occasion, the artist, a young woman, asked what he flew in the war but in that pre internet age did not try to find images of a Wellington in a book. Maybe just artistic inspiration, for she painted a nice rendition of a blue sky, some fluffy white clouds, as a backdrop to three red Wellington Boots in formation, each with RAF roundels and small, gull like wings. Stuart loved it.

My favourite light bomber from design, is boringly, the Mosquito. Out of the box thinking in use of strategic materials, outstanding performance, carried a big load for it's size, even before we get to the great versatility. Light bomber, pathfinder, anti-shipper, tactical strike, recon, night fighter, even with civil regs for BOAC on high speed runs to Sweden for ball bearings.

On the US inventory, the B-25. Versatile, rugged, deployed on so many fronts, they even flew a bunch off an aircraft carrier in a militarily insignificant but vitally morale boosting mission.
 
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keesje
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:25 pm

mxaxai wrote:
One of the more interesting, and less well known, light bombers was the Ju 88 and its variants Ju 188 and Ju 388 as well as the still-born Ju 288. These aircraft were all designed as fast bombers comparable to the Mosquito in RAF service (although with more emphasis on the bomber role and less on the heavy fighter role). Acknowledging the inability to provide proper escort to their bombers, this family was supposed to penetrate enemy airspace high and fast before interceptors could reach it. Due to the constant pressure to reach even higher speeds, new powerful engines were always tried. The initial Ju 88 was powered by the Jumo 211 engine, but later Jumo developments proved less reliable and the interim BMW 801 became the more common engine from the Ju 188 onwards.

The Ju 88 was semi-successful, scoring poorly against well-defended targets like Great Britain yet seeing use in many theatres. In reference to the B-25 discussion on the fighter thread, the Ju 88 was also tested with a 75 mm gun but the result was unsatisfactory.
Image
Each following variant then attempted to increase speed, partly through aerodynamic refinement on the Ju 188. This did lead to a fairly ugly nose section, although several post-war jet bombers adopted a similar configuration with a very slender fuselage. The Ju 188 was built with both Jumo 213 and BMW 801 engines.
Image
Its successor was supposed to be the Ju 288. Initially conceived as a further development of the Ju 88 / 188, it quickly became an almost all-new development. It, and also the Ju 388, would feature pressurised fuselages. Following a few redesigns of the fuselage, continuous problems with the Jumo 222 engine and a brand new gear, the Ju 288 became not only the most expensive development of the entire nazi Luftwaffe, but also the most expensive failure as the Ju 288 never reached serial production.
Image
As more and more small improvements were rolled out on the original Ju 188, the final variants were given the Ju 388 designation. Its most distinguishing feature is the pressurised cockpit (which applied some lessons from the Ju 288). However, the war's progress prevented its use as a bomber, the few frames that were built saw reconnaissance use only.
Image


Thnx. New the -88 but never the further developments. Sleak machines from the bad guys.

Image
https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi ... ,_1946.jpg

PS better put the sources for photos. A mod is hunting me for it, even if they are your own photos.
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mmo
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Re: Favourite World War Two Light/Medium Bomber

Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:59 pm

My father flew B-25s in the South Pacific during WWII. Hw was with the Air Apaches and they flew the B-25 with the modified nose and the cannon installed. His experience when using the cannon was the aircraft seemed to stand still for a second the recoil was so much. He left the military in 1945 and went back to medical school and had no desire to stay involved in aviation.

But, I would say, my favorite medium bomber would be the Martin B-26. Technologically advanced for its time and just looked nice.
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