The Second World War: Bombers of WWII

The Second World War: Bombers of WWII

(dramatic music) – [Roy] Many bombers employed
by the commanders during World War II became famous,
but very few became legendary. A great aircraft needed
a quality which cannot be installed on the drawing
board or in the factory. A truly great aircraft must
have that touch of genius which transcends the good and above all it must have a great deal of luck. Luck to be in the right
place at the right time. It must have flying qualities
well above the average, reliability, ruggedness,
and fighting ability. And in the final analysis
it needs the skittle touch of its air crews to which
it has endeared itself. All these things in more,
the Avro Lancaster had in good measure. Despite its power operated turrets, those abominations which
plagued the war time bomber designers, striving
for cleanliness of line, the Lancaster embodied a measure of grace which actually made it
pleasing on the eye. Its sleek aerodynamic shape
contributed materially to its excellent all around performance. But like so many good airplanes,
the essence of its design was its simplicity. Its robust structure being ideally suited for mass production. And this was undoubtedly
one of the main features for its success. It was also remarkably adaptable
and the superlative bomber on every count. (dramatic music) At first, using 4,000 pound
bombs and smaller weapons, the Lancaster carried the
warning to the heart of Germany. It wasn’t long, however, before it became the major offensive weapon of the RAF. By April, 1942, it was
carrying the 8,000 pound bomb and by 1943 it progressed
to the 12,000 pounder. In the early days, navigation
was largely by dead reckoning and bomb aiming
was entirely visual. Gradually radar navigational
aides such as Rebekah, Gee, and Oboe became available
and the H2S radar bombing equipment with its distinctive
semi-opaque blister beneath the rear fuseal arch
became a standard fitting. The most remarkable
offensive weapon to be used by the Lancaster was
perhaps the bouncing bomb which was to be used on
one of the Lancaster’s most spectacular and daring raids. It was dropped by the
immortal 617 squadron on the strategically important
Mona, Aida, and Sorpay damns in Larue. Wartime commander Bomica
Bon, Sir Arthur Harris heralded the Lancaster as
the finest bomber of the war and added, its efficiency
was almost incredible, both in performance and in
the way it could be saddled with every increasing bomb
loads without breaking the camels back. The Lancaster far
surpassed all other types of heavy bomber. Not only could it take heavier loads, it was also easier to handle
and far more important to the crews, the casualty
rate was also consistently lower than the others. Of all those great airplanes
which fought out the war, there are many people
who would insist that the Avro Lancaster was the greatest. In contrast to the
Lancaster the angularly ugly Armstrong Whitley or the Flying Barn Door as it was known, was a
familiar sight to people living on Britain’s east
coast during the early years of the war. The Whitley was the mainstay
of the RAF bomber force for the first two years in which the seeds of strategic night
bombing were being sewn. Although one of the least
appealing bombers of the war, the Whitley did represent
an important landmark in the history of the
RAF’s offensive capability. Few, if any bombers of
the second World War, enjoyed a longer or more
distinguished operational career than the Vicker’s Wellington. Bloodied in combat at the
very outset of hostilities, it carried the lion’s share
of RAF bomber commands, night bombing offensive
until the operational debut of the four engine heavies
and it was still in the front line when the war ended. (dramatic music) Indeed, such was the
brilliant battle record of the Wellington that any tribute can be but a pale reflection of the distinctions that this remarkable war
plane won for itself. The Wellington’s docility
combined with a lively performance and the ability
to absorb an outstanding amount of battle damage,
rapidly endeared it to its crews and its
portly well fed appearance engendered the nickname
Wimpy, after the strip cartoon character. (dramatic music) More than any other bomber,
the Wellington proved a power operated gun
carry to be a formidable defensive weapon, but it
disproved the widely held belief that large bombers could undertake daylight bombing rates against
heavily defended targets without fighter escort. (dramatic music) Like most successful combat aircraft, the Wellington was a result of teamwork, but it undoubtedly owed its success to the revolutionary geodetic
or basket weave system of construction. This was an ingenious idea by Boms Wallace and even more remarkable because of its essential simplicity. Before the end of 1939, the
Wellington was to achieve one doubtful distinction. It was to teach the RAF the hard lesson that the operation of such
large aircraft by daylight without fighter escort was impractical. This lesson was driven home
when 10 Wellingtons were lost and three badly damaged
out of a formation of 24. Making an armed reconnaissance
rate on Wilhelm’s initially grows. The Wellington was from
then on never again used by daylight unescorted
except in coastland transport commands. (dramatic music) With its transfer to a
nighttime bombing run, the Wellington operated
with conspicuous success, spearheading the RAF’s night offensive against Germany. (dramatic music) The Wellington was an airplane worthy of the Royal Air Force. All with the distinction the
name of Great British soldier. Other bombers came forward
as the war progressed but none enjoyed a finer reputation. When in the summer of 1936
the Bristol Blenin made its debut it was immediately
hailed as a major step forward in combat
aircraft design which placed the British aircraft
industry in the forefront of fast day bomber development. It was the first modern, all
metal Cantaleva Mona plane of stress in construction,
to be placed in production for the Royal Air Force
and as such, it noted the beginning of a new
era in the equipment of that era. For several years acute
uneasiness had existed concerning the obsolescence
of the RAF’s operational equipment. Uneasiness accentuated
by developments abroad. The emergence of the
Blenin, representing such a tremendous technical
advance over the air craft which it superseded, did
much to still this disquiet. More than any other airplane,
it sounded the death smell of the fighting bi-plane. It set a pattern in
the light bomber design which other nations
were not slow to follow, yet the Blenin was fated never to fulfill the very high hopes
that were placed in it. One of the key types
selected by the air industry for the re-equipment of
the rapidly expanding RAF of the late 30s, the Blenin,
at the time of its service introduction was
possessed of a performance which enabled it to
outplace most contemporary service fighters. He at such was the pace of
combat aircraft evolution during those last two
years of peace in Europe, that when the RAF went
to war in September 1939, it soon discovered that the
Blenin was not the weapon that it had supposed. Its shortcomings soon
manifested themselves in the hard school of aerial combat. It was to prove woefully
vulnerable to fighter attack. It was to be found deficient
in both defensive armament and armor. Nevertheless it was to bear the brunt of much of the fighting
on every front to which the RAF was committed
for the first three years of the second World War. Despite its limitations it
was to serve valorously. (dramatic music) A parallel might be
drawn between the Blenin and the Curtis P40. Like the American fighter
it was praised and abused, lauded and vilified,
but it was all that was available and however divergent were views of the effectiveness of
the Blenin as a weapon, it was one of the truly
historic aircraft at the war. The short Sterling was
not merely the first of the Royal Air Force
true heavies of the second World War it was the only
British four engine bomber designed from the outset
to take four power plants, to see operational service
during the conflict. The Lancaster and Halifax
having both stemmed from twin engine designs. (drum music) Carrying bomb loads far
greater than any previously contemplated, the Sterling
proved one of the most important landmarks in
the history of the RAF. Yet the official history
of the RAF and the second World War was to refer to the
Sterling as a disappointment. (drum music) In consequence, its career as a first line heavy bomber was relatively brief. Nevertheless, as the
RAFs four engine heavy of the second Word War,
the Sterling occupied a particularly important
place in the history of that air arm. The Avro Manchester, the
predecessor of the Lancaster was not a successful bomber. It proved to be unreliable
and underpowered. Only 209 were built and
production of the type lasted barely a year. The handedly page Halifax
after some initial teething problems did develop
into an outstanding aircraft. Remaining in service
until the end of the war, the Halifax maintained its position of one of the two principle
RAF heavy bombers. The Hampden was one of
the world’s most advanced war planes at the time of its debut and it came off a distinguished line. It was a forgiving airplane
from the pilot’s viewpoint and its ease of control
rendered it an extremely pleasant airplane to fly. With it small enough to
be highly maneuverable, its cockpit offered an
excellent fighter like field of vision and it possessed
a remarkable speed range. Named after William
Mitchell the far sighted crusading American cornel
of the 20s who was court marshaled for his outspoken
views on air power and posthumously raised
to the rank of General, the North American B25
was possibly the best all around light medium
bomber of the second World War. Operationally efficient,
this docile adaptable machine had an excellent all around performance and with particularly good
handling characteristics, and it was one of the most
popular of combat aircraft among all allied air crews. Had the Mitchel never
attacked another objective, it would have ranked among
the most truly historic air craft of the war
for its fantastic attack against Tokyo in 1942 when it operated from the flight deck of the USS Hornet. It was manufactured in larger quantities than any other American
twin engine bomber. No less than 9,816
Mitchel’s being accepted by the USAAF, although
many of these were destined to find their way to the British, Soviet, and other allied air forces. The peak number of Mitchels
in the USAAF service never exceeded 2,656 aircraft,
but this exceptionally fine bomber made its mark
on every far flung front of the second World War. (dramatic music) While at the select
band of allied aircraft that could claim to have
been engaged on every major battlefront of the second World War, the Mitchel built up an
unbridled tradition of service. There can be few more dramatic examples of the consistent development
or the basic design under the exigencies of
war, then that offered by this remarkable
aircraft which was destined to linger on in the service
of many of the worlds air arms far into the post war era. – [Man] 317 on a control at three o’clock. – [Man] Come on you guys. Get out of that plane, bail out. There’s one he come out of the bomb bank. – [Man] Yeah I see him. – [Man] There’s a tail gunner coming up. – [Man] Watch out for firing. Keep your eye on him Bill. See any parachutes with them. – [Man] No, none at nine o’clock. Eight and nine is still in that B17. – [Man] Come on the rest of you guys, get out of there. – [Man] 12 o’clock. 109 at three o’clock. – [Roy] Few other aircraft
of the second World War gained the universal
affection of the air crew over so long an operational period as did the Boeing B17 fortress. This legendary aircraft
formed the spearhead of the American bombing
offensive in Europe. From beginning to end as
well as serving in every other theater of war. No single aircraft type contributed more to the defeat of the
Luft Fafa both in the air and on the ground than the Fortress, which enabled tangible
expression to be given to the controversial United States policy for the strategic
assault of Germany by day and the face of formidable
political argument as well as desperate enemy opposition. A curious feature of
the fortresses history is that its reputation
is the leading allied day bombers established
despite its inferiority in many respects of
performance, compared with its combat contemporary, the B24 liberator. The bomb load of USAAF
fortresses over Europe was usually no more than
carried by the diminutive Dehavealan Moscito. Far fewer fortresses then
liberators were built. 12,677 fortresses being
accepted by the USAAF between July 1940 and August 1945. These equipped a maximum of
33 overseas combat groups by August 1944. The fortress achieved fame
on the strength of several outstanding attributes. Of these, perhaps the most important were an excellent high altitude capability and the ability to
absorb an amazing amount of battle damage. To these attributes were
added in its later variance, an exceptionally heavy defensive armament. Though the true combat
potential of the fortress is achieved only after a
long period of gestation. (drum music) The fortress had dropped
over 640,000 tons of bombs on European targets during the war years. This compares with 452,508
tons dropped by the B24 liberators and 463,544 tons
dropped by all other aircraft. (drum music) According to records compiled
by its manufacturers, the fortress destroyed 23 enemy
aircraft per thousand sorted as compared to 11 by B24
liberators, 11 by United States fighters, and three by
all United States light and medium bombers. Although it has been
established that the very high claims of enemy aircraft
kiddle scored by the fortress were greatly exaggerated,
there can be no doubt that the total was formidable. By its almost unrivaled
period of first line service, the fortress proved itself
one of the classic bomber designs of all time. Its performance proved
a triumphant vindication of the principles of air
strategy and bomber design established by a few far
sighted airmen and engineers in the United States
of America, long before World War II. While the Boeing Super
Fortress gained for itself undying fame as the first aircraft to drop an atomic weapon, thus bringing about the sudden termination of
hostilities in the Pacific. It is also deserving of
a place in the history of aircraft warfare as one
of the principal allied weapons in the war against Japan. The laborious and costly
island hopping campaign conducted in the Pacific
by the allied forces was undertaken largely to seize bases for super fortress operations against the Japanese homeland. Once bases had been established,
the super fortresses of the United States 20th Air Force systematically and inextricably
raised the industrial cities of Japan one by one
with a terrible weapon of fire. The closely packed and
lightly constructed Japanese buildings were extremely
vulnerable to incendiary attacks. Now the destruction
wreaked by super forces in some built up areas
amounted to as much as 99.5%. In addition to these
devastating blows against strategic targets, the
super fortresses were simultaneously employed on
a highly successful campaign of mine laying in Japanese
home waters, thereby applying an economic and logistic strangle hold to the islands of Nipon. The delivery of the two atomic bombs against Hiroshima and
Nagasaki was therefore in the nature of a cous
de gras although essential to shorten the war. (peaceful music) The super fortress was largely responsible for the final defeat
and surrender of Japan without invasion and the instrument which provided the ultimate
vindication of the American visionaries of strategic air power. The super fortresses made
an immense contribution to subsequent bomber design. It was the second World War’s
heaviest production war plane and the first pressurized aircraft to obtain large scale production. It was also the first
to make extensive use of remotely controlled
armament but perhaps the most remarkable feature of its history was the fact that it was
designed, built, tested and placed in operational
service within four years. Although each type had
its staunch appearance, the consolidated liberator
was somewhat overshadowed in fame if not an achievement. By the Boeing Fortress
during the second World War, this was despite the
fact that not only was the liberator built in
considerable larger numbers than the fortress, it
was produced in greater quantities then any
other American aircraft. Such a unique production
record is all the more remarkable for such a
large four engine aircraft and the liberator
operated over more fronts for a considerably longer period and was produced in a
greater variety of versions than any other allied or enemy bomber. By comparison with the
fortress, the liberator was indeed an ugly duckling. Its deep, slab sided
fusalage an immense barn door like vertical table services,
were features hardly indicative of speed and agility. One of the prime virtues of the liberator and one which invariably
hallmarks a great war plane was its versatility. In addition to strategic
bombing, it was used with equal facility for
maritime reconnaissance and anti submarine operations,
passenger and freight transportation, as a flying tanker, and for photographic
reconnaissance as well as for many other duties. It was this quality in fact
which largely accounted for the extraordinary
total of 18,188 liberators and liberator variance
constructed by the USAAF between delivery of the
first production aircraft in June 1941 and the
closing down of the last assembly line on the 31st of May 1945. (dramatic music) (guns firing) Apart from its unchallenged
production record, the liberator earned for
itself a permanent place in aviation history for
its remarkable record of achievement. Whether the material to
be delivered happened to be bombs, depth
charges, gasoline, freight, troops, of VIPs, the liberator
established a reputation second to none for doing
almost any job any way. In some respects, the combat
career of the Douglas A20 was much less spectacular
than that of other bombers employed by the combatants. It was associated with
no outstanding operations that remained in front line
service throughout the war. It did not distinguish
itself on any particular battlefront but flew with
equal distinction over all of them. It did as well in Russia
as it did in the Pacific or the western desert and
with all was one of the most pleasant of all combat aircraft to fly. (dramatic drum music) Designated by the Americans as the Havoc and by the British as
the Boston, the A20 was a pilot’s airplane and
its virtues were sworn in a variety of languages
ranging from Africans to French and from British
to Ukrainian as well as being operated by the
Americans and Australians. His cosmopolitan nature was
fundamental in its design however for it owed its
origins much to the Spanish Civil War and subsequently
to the urgent need for re armament by the French. The dangerous signals of
1936 had not been ignored in the United States
and prominent aircraft manufacturers were considering the future possible requirements for
the United States Army Core, well in advance of any
military specifications being issued. Well suited to the low level bomber role, the Bostons, or Havocs
were adaptable, reliable, tractable, and extremely potent. Possibly overshadowed
throughout much of its career by the more spectacular
exploits which fell to the lot of other bombers. The A20 did rank highly
amongst the most brilliant combat aircraft designs
evolved by the United States aircraft industry. No combat aircraft of the second World War either from the access or allied powers was the subject of so much modification and extemporization as
was the Yonkers JU88. Operating in various forms
through the entire period of the European War
and still in production when the hostilities ceased,
the JU88 was the true backbone of the Luft Fafa. This bomber was produced
in greater numbers than all of the other
German bombers combined. Some 15,000 being built
between 1939 and 1945. The JU88 was continuously
adapted to perform roles other than that for
which it’d been conceived and performed every task demanded of it with distinction. Like all combat aircraft,
it possessed its share of short comings. These were largely due
to changes dictated by the needs of the over
strained, depleted German defenses during the wars closing stages. Without doubt, despite its shortcomings, the JU88 was the finest
German bomber to see extensive operational service. This aircraft was conceived
as the result of a meeting held in 1935 between high ranking officers of the then fledging Luft
Fafa and chief German aircraft designers. They were informed of the
requirement for a Schnell bomber meaning a medium bomber
with a speed of a fighter. Yonkers were finally awarded the contract, the proto type making its
maiden flight in 1936. From the outset of war,
the JU88 flourished to serve on every front
and in almost every role and apart from its use as a medium bomber, it also served as a night
fighter, reconnaissance, torpedo bomber, mine layer,
and finally as the lower half of the missile flying bomb. Highly regarded by the allies,
the JU88 was considered to exemplify the German
philosophy of using one good basic air frame for a multitude of tasks, rather than involving a variety
of specialized machines. And thus, complicating production. It is true to say that had the JU88 proved less amenable to the process of adaption and modification to which
it was eventually submitted, then the Luft Fafa would have found itself in serious difficulties
in very much earlier stage in the second World War. Few were the inhabitants
on England’s capital and southern counties to
whom in the dramatic months of 1940, the distinctive
and disagreeable mode of the Hankel HE 111’s
engine was unfamiliar. For this machine, the
first modern medium bomber to be acquired by the Luft
Fafa bore the major burden of the German bombing offensive
against the British Isles during the main phase of
the Battle of Britain. Despite its short comings
which became more marked as the war progressed, and
which were in no small part due to the continual
process of modification and extemporization to which
the model was subjected, the HE 111 retained its
place as the standard Luft Fafa combat aircraft
throughout the war. (dramatic music) Produced in large numbers,
this aircraft was twice taken out of mass production
only to be returned to the production lines when
the new types with which it was to be replaced
failed to materialize. During the opening phases of the war the Henkle HE 111 was
undoubtedly a formidable offensive weapon. An elegant, well built,
well planned aircraft with good flying characteristics. It was certainly a
thoroughbred, inheriting its shapely contours from its
single engine predecessor, the HE 70 blitz which at
the time of its appearance had been justifiably acclaimed
as the most aerodynamically efficient airplane ever to have flown. Like many German war planes of its era, the HE 111 had first
been shown to the world as a civil aircraft. But its sleek, streamlined
fuse lodge was obviously designed for maximum
performance at the expense of passenger comfort. However, intended from its birth as one of the Luft Fafa’s principle
weapons of the future Blitzkrieg, the HE 111 had placed Germany at the forefront of
medium bomber development. It was however, forced
to soldier on long past its allotted span, owing to
the inability of the German aircraft industry to produce
a suitable replacement and was already approaching
obsolescence when called upon to carry the major burden
of the Luft Fafa’s bombing offensive against the British Isles. Despite continual
improvements, it could not keep pace with the rapidly
changing requirements of air warfare. And during the last years
of the war was no longer the formidable weapon
with which the Luft Fafa had attacked Poland. (dramatic music) One design that did
manage to see production was the Yonkers JU 188. A twin engine medium bomber
which first saw action in 1942. As early as 1939, Yonkers had been working on the JU 288 which was
a completely new design far more advanced than preceding types. But when it became
apparent that the design should meet a specification
which called for the type to be in service by 1942,
was not going to be developed in time, the Luft Fafa
proposed that instead the JU 88 should be modified to meet the new requirement. Hence, in the interim,
the JU 188 was born. In principle, Yonkers took
the forward fuse lodge section of the JU 88 and added a new wing and a new tail unit. This new design was designated originally as the JU 88E but this was later changed to the JU 188E. The first aircraft left
the factory in June 1942 for operational use as a dive bomber. However, with the increased defenses of the allied forces, it was
not particularly successful. Its role was changed to that
of a medium horizontal bomber and also as a torpedo bomber
for attacking shipping in the Atlantic. Further developments took the JU 188 into the night fighter role for
defending Germany’s homeland against the increasing allied
strategic bombing campaign. In order to achieve
greater speed and altitude without the disruption
caused by the introduction of a completely new design,
the JU 188 was also developed into a high altitude
bomber with a pressurized cockpit section. This type later became
designated as the JU 388. In 1944 the role of the
JU 188 was changed again when it was used in the pathfinder role during the years bombing
campaign against England. Operating from 1942
until the end of the war, seeing action in Europe
and on the Mediterranean, Arctic, and Eastern Front,
the JU 188 and its variety of roles was among the most
important of the Luft Fafa’s operational aircraft. Bumping Alf England, so
read the title of a Sterling marshal song which blared
out of loud speakers all over Germany and
the occupied territories during the Autumn months of 1940. With the accompaniment
of roaring arrow engines and the beating of drums, it
was an impressive battle hymn. But whatever its psychological effect on the German populace may have been, it was hardly destined
to raise the spirits of the personnel of the Luft Fafa. They were fully aware
that their bombers did not have the range to attack effectively. More than a small area
of the British Isles. They knew that the Luft
Fafa’s lack of a long range strategic bomber enabled
the RAF to concentrate virtually the whole of
its defensive strength within a limited area. An area to which the Luft Fafa was forced to confine its intentions. They also knew that this would sap their operational strength. Prototypes of four engine
heavies had been built but they were abandoned and never saw the production lines. They did however, possess
the Heinkle HE 177 Grief, a long range twin engine bomber. An aircraft which was destined to provide the most dismal chapter
in the war time record of the German aircraft industry. Fires in the air, aerodynamic troubles, and structural failures all contributed towards the unpopularity
of this big bomber when it reached operational units. The faults of this aircraft
were recognized too late and when they were recognized
insufficient energy was devoted to eradicating them. There was nothing wrong
with the basic design and had effective measures been taken the Luft Fafa might have
found itself possessing a heavy bomber comparable
with if not superior to the best of the allied
machines of the same type. Aptly named the Grief, this
aircraft’s chief claim to fame was the fact that it was
the only German heavy bomber to obtain quantity production
during the war years. It was in fact one of
the very few entirely new German combat aircraft to
progress from the design boards to operational service
during the conflict. But the advantages that
it offered were nullified by the German aircraft
industries inability to devote sufficient effort
towards its perfection. A claim by German
propagandists as the scourge of Europe, the aircraft
the conquered nations, the supreme weapon, the
angularly ugly Yonkers JU 87 dive bomber attained greater notoriety than any other weapon in
the arsenal with which Germany launched the second World War. It was one of the most
vulnerable of war planes. Slow, unwieldy, and the
natural prey of the fighter. Yet within the first
nine months of the war it had acquired an almost
legendary reputation. The German air staff itself
was divided on the subject of dive bombing and the
employment of the JU 87, but the Polish campaign
appeared to vindicate its protagonists. The JU 87 knocking out strong points, artillery batteries, and concentrations whenever the Polish
sought to make a stand. When the German offensive against France and the low countries opened in May 1940 the JU 87 repeated its earliest successes. Blasting the allied armor in defenses, paralyzing whole armies,
playing havoc with communications in vital rear areas and hounding the steams of refugees. With virtually no aerial opposition the JU 87 was fully able
to exploit the accuracy of bomb aiming inherent in the steep dive as well as the demoralizing
effect on personnel exposed to this form of attack. But the use of the JU 87 presumed control of the air and the issue
was settled in the Battle of Britain when after
a few abortive sorters by JU87s during which their formations were decimated by opposing
hurricanes and spit fires, the dive bombers were withdrawn
from the Sherbook area and the JU 87s had ended the eclipse. The JU 87 was aerodynamically an atrocity. It was ugly to the point of absurdity and it was virtually defenseless
against the modern fighter. Yet its distinctive
shape was the most feared by Germany’s opponents
and this one aircraft type revolutionized the very
fundamentals of warfare. (triumphant music)

100 thoughts on “The Second World War: Bombers of WWII

  1. The b17 won the war in Europe. Without the us bombers all the people in Great Britain would be speaking German. Pay us some respect.

  2. The claim of the lowest casualty rate (if true) came from the RAF losing too many bombers during daylight precision runs early in the war. The RAF changed to nighttime carpet bombing of cities. Early attempts by the RAF to bomb specific targets at night were quickly abandoned due to insufficient navigation and sighting equipment for use at night. It meant that bomb loads didn't come close to specific targets and even bombing the wrong cities. Heavy casualty rates by the U.S. were due to daylight precision runs on heavily defended targets deep in German held territory – Such as the raids on the Romanian oilfields, where the bombers had to get through massive anti-aircraft batteries and German fighter planes, because long-range fighter escorts didn't become a reality until later in the war.

  3. The commentator lost credibility when he said the Lancaster was "pleasing to the eye". That's like calling the A-10 pleasing to the eye. Capable, important, effective are appropriate adjectives but face it, it was an ugly plane. If the Lancaster was a dog, like the Stirling, no one would call it pleasing to the eye.


  5. Daytime bombing runs were equivalent to a "banzai charge"..minimal effectiveness and maximal risk. American pilots were basically kamikazes.

  6. Should have built less heavy bombers like the Lancaster and built far more Mosquitos instead. A whole lot more airmen would have survived the war. High and fast got you home and not defensive guns. The Mosquito could bomb Germany twice in a winters night using two crews and a quick turn around. And could bomb blind with in Yards of an aiming point by the end of the war. It could drop a 3000 pounder on Berlin, and did everything asked of it generally better than any other type in any combat role, perhaps there were better day fighters later on in the war like the Mustang, and later spitfires and the Hawker Tempest. But as a bomber, bombs delivered on target per airman lost and bombs on target per aircraft loss meant from an economic point of view the Mosquito gave more bang per plane, and gave more bang per air man. Did they mention the mosquito here.??? And a Mosquito was also the best at, Night fighter, Anti Shipping, High speed transport to Sweeden, Ground attack.V1 interceptor, long range photoreconnaissance. Target marking, Because of its speed, the Mosquito got the job done and got aircrew home better than other types.

  7. What complete idiot prepared the sub titles.  Just one example of the MANY spelling errors    "Luft Fafa"  at 21.10

  8. Interesting (sort of) to read through the comments and see the WWII "allies" bickering about whose dick is bigger, then and/or now. Face it — times change. The Brits ran the world for quite some time. The Americans followed. Anyone who thinks things are going to get better when China or whatever else comes next, sign up here.

  9. If I'm not mistaken the A-20 was technically a ground attack aircraft as apposed to a bomber. It's role more akin to the JU-87, the A-36 and the modern A-10. Meaning, it was more likely to support infintry advances then to bomb strategic targets like factories. Please correct me if I'm wrong, my post is based mainly on its designation as an A-type aircraft, which usually stands for "attacker" in the USAF.

  10. Guess the Fw-200 didn't achieve enough to be considered a bomber.

    And, no Japanese, Russian, or…. Italian aircraft?

  11. When you fly at night, you can hide and get lower casualty numbers. This guy is a pus. The US heaby bomber was 10 times better and survived damage a landcaster never could.

  12. Passt 15 Minutes now, how long can the british go on about their useless kites before we get to the ones that really mattered. The american bombers.

  13. i must say this Doc. is definatly pro RAF one would say that the RAF was the only one fighting and bombing

  14. It's interesting that when first engaged in WWII the Americans had only mediocre aircraft, only under the pressure of war did they product outstanding aircraft.

  15. A little note of history. Americans used the Ju-87 as the inspiration when designing the A-10 Thunderbolt II or "Worthog". The designers actually interviewed former Stuka pilots for tips on what close air support aircraft should be able to do.

  16. The British made some funny looking planes! Look at the nose on the Blenheim! One side is lower than the other in the clear plexiglass portion!

  17. I had an older friend who was a radio operator – they were shot down and made pows. They returned to allied lines.

  18. As good as the Lanc was, my vote of "best bomber" of WW2 goes to the De Havilland Mosquito. Breathtakingly beautiful, tough, versatile and unbelievably fast…. actually faster than anything until the Me 262 turned up at the end of the war. What made it more successful was it's unique power to weight ratio of its 2 X Rolls Royce Merlin engines v it's building material….balsa wood, which made it cheap to make and the industry used the skills of its many talented carpenters.

  19. What marks the B-17 down was it's very small bomb load compared to other 4 engined bombers.
    What's always surprised me is that the Germans never went near 4 engined aircraft.

  20. What an era this was…to me it seems like it was meant to happen at that time… people were actually hiding for 5 years… thats just incredible…

  21. Love it when a Brit tells us all about how wonderful they are. The truth is that Brittan is a total disaster on every level. They should call the French next time they need rescued. Asshats!

  22. I see comments saying “The B-2 Spirit two!” I’m here saying they didn’t read the title because it clearly says ‘The Second World War’ the B-2 spirit was way ahead like in the times of the Vietnam War!

  23. I can see that the narrator of this video is British! His opinion that all of the British Bombers were Superior to the American Bombers is evident! However, nothing could be more wrong with his assessment! Watching this and knowing the truth has caused me to terminate this video at 23.03!

  24. Agreed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's pretty much common knowledge that the Lancaster had the highest casualties for large Bombers for the Allies. This Doc-vid has to be some kind of 'Fake-News" material. Early on in the war, the British Government requested that the U.S fly day time bombing missions due to how fragile and mechanically weaker the Lancaster was, and how rugged the B17 was. The British Air service reported that they only had one more mission before their Bomber core would be insolvent due to too many casualties. So the U.S. (B17's) had to bear the burden of high casualties of day time bombing until the War turned, in which they did, and the British got the Night time Bombing missions to avoid flak and being easier to shoot down. It's Docs like these that try to rewrite history.

  25. Good piece of history, good archive material edited together well. The commentary voiceover sadly the most stilted, wordy and pompous I have yet to hear.

  26. I wonder if instead of the 3 blade propellers, some engineers at that time had invented the turbo props, much higher efficiency

  27. From the very beginning, once hitler had bombed London, then every allied bomber should have concentrate all their bombs on BERLIN

  28. This narrative borrows heavily from William Green's "Famous Bombers of the Second World War", if not directly quoted. I wonder if this material is used with permission?

  29. Lancaster was far from the best and it did little without the help of all the other heavy bombers that outclassed in every way.

  30. If the Lancaster's and Wellingtons bombed during the daytime they would have been slaughtered left and right.

  31. Another bomber you never hear about is the b-26 marauder…it out numbered the 25 2 to 1 and had a higher success rate than the b-25. It also could take more punishment and brought it's crews home more than 25 ever did.

  32. First thing first no I have not finished the video, but I'm very upset that the b-25 Mitchell has not been said yet

  33. Germany and Japan never built a 4 engine bombers and consequently lost the war… 🇺🇸😎🇮🇱🇬🇧🇨🇦

  34. By Jesus there are a lot of know it all and yet Illinformed and fucking downright moronic opinions in the comments here.

  35. I guess the English wankers didn't know Japan had bombers in WWII. Must be why they got their asses handed to them.

  36. while an elegant aircraft… it lacked PAYLOAD. that will always be the Lancasters knock. So, beautiful in peacetime… weak in WW2 …but, it's what you had.

  37. the 87 was much more advanced than expected, with a computer controlling the dive and exit from it, just before it hit the ground! The plot just pointed the plane at the target!

  38. Comments have turned into which bomber was best. Instead, all Allied bombers and the development technology that created them should be appreciated. R&D and Production was moving at a rapid pace over 48 months. This, in itself, was the remarkable achievement of the War and was the diff in victory and defeat.

  39. you can see Wellingtons shot from a private camera in an 80`s video hit called
    : Wang Chung- Dance hall days

  40. OF COURSE Lancaster crews had fewer casualties… they primarily flew at night while the American crews were flying daylight raids.

  41. I had an uncle who flew B-24s, he said they drove like a truck, rode like a buckboard and you could knock them down with a slingshot, other than that they were a pretty good airplane.

  42. Had a super insanely lucky right place right time chance to fly in a B17 2 weeks ago. It was incredible. They let us climb all around it while in flight. Lifetime dream come true. Now i need to get up in a Mosquito.

  43. The Luftwaffe was a tactical force, which meant it was intended to support ground troops facing other combatants. The Allies of Jewngland and Jewmerica built strategic air forces for bombing civilians…you cheer the victors who have merely expanded their mortgage over others as such, rather than understand who really seeks world domination through independent thought…

  44. Very interesting vid. However, the Spelling is horrible. It's called 'Luftwaffe' and nothing else. Junker is the name of the manufacturer, etc.

  45. The He-177 Greif info on the vid is not reported correctly. This was a 4 engine-2-propeller-design, because the German Luftwaffe guys thought, German bombers must have the ability to dive. The construction-guys of He-177 get never ahead with the design-problems of the imminent oil-overheating factor.
    The RAF-bomber-command got away with their strategic planning, because of the delay in Luftwaffe's decision-processes. Wrong assumptions led to the late introduction of the Arado Ar-234 jet-bomber which would have given the Luftwaffe the opportunity to destroy the RAF and USAF on the ground at their airbases, much more effective than the Me-262 jet-fighter-project.

  46. The top iconic Brit bombers were the Lancaster and the Mosquito. For Am. icons, I would pick the B 17, B29, and B25. The B26 was a good plane mechanically but ugly as the devil, so no kudos. Have 2 agree with the Brits though on the issue of having only pilot in bomber instead of 2 as was decreed by Am doctrine. Basically if an attack took out the pilot, it usually took out the co-pilot too. So why have the extra man? The B24 was faster than a B 17 and could fly a lot further, BUT one decent hit by anything, and it dropped like a brick, and when ditched sank like a rock. (Ask L. Zamperini.)

  47. Realy can't see what is so ugly about this aircraft???? Definitely looks much much better than any fucking Russian shit …Even today!!!!

  48. No Mosquito ? No Beaufighter ? No Marauder ? No SM 79 ? FW 200 ? Stormovik ? Sally ? Betty ? Arado ?

  49. The B-29 was the most advanced bomber by far of the war. The most costly military project of the war by any Country, including the Manhattan atomic bomb project. And it was considered so revolutionary and strategically important that toward the end of the war, The Soviets entered into massive multi year project, their biggest Military project at that point, and that was to reverse engineer it (AKA copy it) down to the last rivet hole. It was truly overwhelming project for them, with the whole nations industrial capacity involved, and they were just copying it not designing it.

  50. At 13.30 …'The only bomber designed from the start to take 4 power plants …'' U fukin twat. They're engines. Plants are wot go in gardens.

  51. Post war development of the Liberator for forest fire fighting showed that a single large fin stabilisation unit would have made this aircraft a more outstanding bomber than it already was.

  52. I guess the end justify the means, but allied bombers carried out the largest series of war crimes and atrocities in the history of mankind…civilian, or “strategic” bombing was not even a concept for the axis powers until the allies introduced it and broke every gentlemen’s agreement of war ever made since the dawn of time

  53. By the time the B17 flew in combat, it was already a seven year-old design & well sorted out. Only one year into the war, the B29 was being developed…the reversed engineered USSR version of the B29, was already obsolete when they were deployed…as the American B47 jet-powered Stratojet first flew that same year.

  54. My grandfather born Cheshire England was a rear bomber on a b52 bomber during ww2 his plane was shot down over the Aegean Sea he landed in the water during the night only the moon helped him reach ashore only to be found by a french conscript he was wounded and was taking prisoner of war he was the sole survivor of his squadron, they found the bodies of these men as they washed ashore and my grandfather buried his comrades on an island he made sure he saluted them that was important to him. He was a POW and was taking to one of there horrible camps miles & miles they marched them no food freezing made to sleep in cow sheds in freezing temperatures with German shepherds set upon them if anyone was struggling on the death march as he called it they were shot even shot for trying to eat the odd potato they found, they even carried there comrade who was struggling and didn’t even realise he’d died whilst carrying him. Good news is he survived, years he was in that camp how he managed to keep a small diary with odd words places he seen on signposts and were he was took during the march and the day when the war came to an end he could hear the allies approaching and in the camp he was in he said that the roles of the Germans in the camp quickly reversed there time was up amazing man for someone his age 19 at the time. RIP granda

  55. My question is why didnt they paint allied planes black or a heu of blue for camouflage for big heavy bombers? You can't tell me that it wouldn't have been smart. Any ability to blend in would have surely helped save some airmwns lives

  56. My Grandfather was a flight engineer/waist gunner on a B-24 with 489th Bomb Group out of Halesford England. His tail markings were Green White Green with Circle H.

  57. Bomber Harris was a jackass and The "Lanc" was so overrated it's not even funny. There's a reason they only dare flew at night. Junk plane

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