Bombers of World War II

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Story Transcript









Detailed Cutaways

Full Color Illustrations

Action Photographs Specification Boxes


Edited by David Donald

SE p






Archbishop Mttty High School Library 5000 MJtty Way

San Joe©, CA 95129









1 »

EWORLD WAR II Edited by David Donald

Metro Books Archbishop NWtty High School Library 5000 Mftty Way

San Jose, CA< 95129

Metro Books An

imprint of Friedman/Fairfax Publishers



© ©

1998 Orbis Publishing Ltd 1998 Aerospace Publishing

This material was previously published in 1990 as part of the reference set Airplane.

All rights reserved.


part of this publication

may be reproduced,

stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any

means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data available



ISBN: 1-56799-683-3

and design by Brown Packaging Books Ltd Editorial

Bradley's Close

74-77 White Lion London Nl 9PF


Picture credits


Pictures: 6, 24, 30, 38, 52, 182

Printed in the Czech Republic





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please contact:

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Contents Junkers Ju 88


Tupolev Tu-2 Curtis


SB2C Helldiver


Boeing B29 Superfortress


Douglas A-26 Invader


Fairey Swordfish


Douglas SBD Dauntless


Lockheed Hudson


Avro Lancaster


Heinkel He 111


Savoia-Marchetti S.M.79


Short Sunderland


Vickers Wellington





De Havilland Mosquito


Bristol Blenheim


Petljakow Pe-2


Junkers Ju 87 Stuka


Handley Page Halifax


Avro Anson


Focke Wulf Condor


B-24 Liberator


F4U Corsair






Junkers Ju 88 With the possible exception of the Mosquito, the Ju 88 was the most versatile combat aircraft of all time. Designed as a specialised high-speed bomber, it proved ideally suited to virtually every other kind of combat mission, and more were built than all other Luftwaffe bombers combined.

With the exception

of close dogtighting,


is difficult

to think of

duty of the World War II era for which the Ju 88 was not adapted. The original missions were level- and dive-bombing, but to these were added long-range escort, night -righting, in-



truding, tank-busting, anti ship attack. destruction of Allied maritime aircraft,

anti-submarine warfare, supply dropping, towing, training,

gated skin and produced numerous smooth-skinned prototypes. In the first three months of 1936 two proposals were submitted, in Inform of the Ju 85 with a twin-finned tail and the Ju 88 with a single rudder well aft of the elevators. Competition came from the Henschel Hs 127 and Messerschmitt Bf 162 (the latter being falsely publicised in 1940 as a major Luftwaffe type, the 'Jaguar') which were elimt

transport, reconnaissance, torpedo dropping, close support, path-

inated by late 1937 for various reasons.

and pilotless (missile) attack. Direct developments were the Ju 188 andju 388 (the Ju 288 was a completely new design). Today's industry may wistfully note that the number of Ju 88 prototypes and development aircraft exceeded 100, which is about 10 times the total production run of some modern aircraft. Versatility was the last dung considered at the start of the programme. Indeed, in 1935 the RLM (German air ministry) doubted the practicality of a Kumptzcrstbrer (war destroyer) able to fly bomber, bomber-destroyer and reconnaissance missions. It issued a replacement requirement for a simple Schnellbomber (fast bomber) to fly at 500 km/h (311 mph) and carry a bombload of up to 800 kg (1,765 lb). Junkers went flat-out to win, even hiring two designers who had pioneered advanced stressed-skin structures in the USA, despite the fact that the company had already moved on from corru-

The Ju 88 VI (prototype 1) was flown by chief test pilot Kindermann on 21 December 1936 with registration D-AQKN. Flying was based at Dessau but no announcement was made and the type remained unknown to British intelligence, as did the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in 1939. The Ju 88 VI crashed at the start of its high-speed testing, but not before it had shown the design to be thoroughly sound with promising performance. The Ju 88 V2 retained DB 6()0Aa engines with distinctive annular cooling radiators, but the Ju 88 V3 switched to Junkers' own Jumo 211A and had full military equipment


One of the most numerous versions, and the basis for many others, the Ju 88A-4 four-seat bomber introduced the long-span wing and also an induction cooling-duct fairing under the engines; these Ju 88A-4s were pictured with lll/LG 1 in mid-1942. Lehrgeschwader 1 (instructional group 1) was based in the Mediterranean.

Junkers Ju 88


^^^^" Lj

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B^ ***»sass^[ :!__J55b5 ^jF^~ ,.""_1 Stooks of corn in the Field below are hard to explain in this picture of the Ju 88 V1 (first prototype) because its flying career extended only from December 1936 until the following Spring! Note the swivelling cine camera in the position reserved for the upper rear gun and the separate oil coolers under the DB 600s. with a raised cabin roof, dorsal machine-gun, fixed gun firing ahead

Swinging the compass of what is believed to have been the first Ju 88A-1 produced at Bernburg; the date was probably June 1939. Note the tall single-leg main gears with large tyres, three-bladed VDM propellers and short-span wings with ailerons extending to the tips. Colours were black-green and very pale blue. solidity (large

chord) which increased further with the introduction of

aimed by a sight in a chin blister. The Ju 88 V4 introduced the familiar four-seat crew compartment with a large 'insect-eye' nose glazed with 20 flat panes and 15. Last of the pure protoa ventral gondola with an aft-firing types was the Ju 88 V5 (D-ATYU) shaped for minimum drag and flown in April 1938. On 9 March 1939 it set a startling world 1000-km (621-mile) circuit record with 2000-kg (4,409-lb) load at 517 km/h (321.25 mph). The Ju 88 was thereby revealed to the world, and incidentally credit for its design was heaped entirely upon chief designer Ernst Zindel; the Americans were not mentioned. The Ju 88 V6, flown in June 1938, introduced one of the type's distinctive features. Previous prototypes had had American-style twinoleo main gear units with electric retraction, but the Ju 88 V6 introduced a bold gear with tall single legs in which shocks were absorbed by a Ringfeder (ring spring) assembly of high-tensile steel rings with tapered profiles which expanded radially under compressive loads, bounce being prevented by the friction as the rings pushed their way apart. Retraction was hydraulic, the wheels rotating 90° to lie flat in the rear of the nacelles. Thus, though the wheels

more powerful Jumo 213 and BMW 801 engines. From the start the blades were fully feathering and fitted with alcohol de-icing. The annular radiators used on all liquid-cooled Ju 88s were particularly neat. Usually the top centre matrix was the oil cooler, and airflow was controlled by annular gills. As in many German aircraft of the period, the engines were hung on two giant Elektron (magnesium alloy) forging beams with lower compression braces, all picking up on four rubber-damped mounts on the firewall at the leading edge. The nacelles were thus unusually long, the Ju 88 becoming universally known as die Dreifinger (the three-finger).

were made much

became slimmer and drag was reduced. The landing gear later needed patient refinement, but by 1940 was an outstanding piece of

was formed by patented 'double-wing' slotted surfaces drooped as flaps for landing. The outer sections also served as ailerons, and like the other control surfaces were fabric-covered. The wing had hot-air de-icing, while in most versions the forward-mounted tailplane had


pulsating pneumatic de-icers.

Later pre-war prototypes introduced large slatted dive brakes under the outer wings and four bomb-carriers under the inner wings, each stressed for an SC500 (500-kg/l,102-lb) bomb but normally

The crew compartment was typically Germanic, and while British propaganda claimed the four men were grouped together to bolster their morale, in fact the arrangement was in many ways cramped and inefficient. The pilot sat high on the left with a stick having a twopronged aileron wheel, and in dive-bombing he did the sighting through a sight swung down from the roof, the usual angle being 60°. Level bombing was carried out with a sight in the nose by the bombaimer low on the right, who in some versions sat higher and doubled as second pilot. Behind on the left was the engineer who manned the upper rear armament, while alongside him on the right was the radio (later also radar) operator who looked after the lower rear gun. The pilot, engineer and lower rear gun position were armoured. It was clear as early as 1938 that the Ju 88 was potentially a great aircraft, far in advance of the Dornier Do 17 or Heinkel He 111, and plans for production were widespread. Dessau, the HQ, played little part in production, fuselages being assigned to Aschersleben, wings to Halberstadt, tails to Leopoldshall and assembly and test to Bernburg. Other giant plants brought into the programme included Arado at Brandenburg-Neuendorf, Dornier at Wismar, Heinkel at Oranienburg, Henschel at Berlin-Schonefeld and Volkswagen at Wolfsburg. By 1944 many other plants were contributing parts or complete air-

and internal


load of 500

kg (1,102




larger, with low-pressure tyres able to operate

mud and sand at weights double th...

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