Bombers

World War II bomber planes.

History, Specifications, Pictures and 3D models of US, British, Russian, German and Japanese bombers.

American USAAF

B-17 formation

Formation of American B-17 Flying Fortress.

April 1942 saw the first US bomber personnel arrive on British soil. The first raid of major proportions was mounted on 17 August by 12 Boeing B-17 Fortress. This raid on Rouen, mounted in daylight, sustained no losses, but this was not to be the case in the majority of its successors.
During the raid on Schweinfurt on 14 October 1943, 60 B-17 fell victim to Luftwaffe fighters and 133 were damaged out of a total of 291. Until 1 March 1944, some 1,509 bombers were lost.
Only the arrival of the P-51 Mustang in early 1944 gave the bombers the fighter escort they needed for their bombing missions.

In the Pacific theatre the air war against Japan was taking on an increasingly strategic aspect as long-range bombers, the B-29 Superfortress, attacked Japanese supply centres in China and Indochina since 1944. During the last months of the war the US Air Force bombers were almost unopposed over Japan and inflicted massive damage on the Japanese urban centres and huge casualties on the civilian population. WW2 was brought to a conclusion with the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

British Royal Air Force

In October 1938 a re-armament programme was initiated. which provided for a large expansion of the Royal Air Force, so that it could not only continue to defend Great Britain, but also carry offensive operations into Germany should the need arise.
Strategic bombing of cites was only authorised on 15 May 1940. By July 1941 the strength of Bomber Command stood at 45 squadrons with a theoretical deployment of 1,000 bombers. In practice, only 37 squadrons could be considered for active operations and not all of these were fully trained. 38 squadrons were operationally effective by the spring of 1942, but of these only 14 were equipped with the new heavy bombers like Stirling, Halifax and Manchester.
By March 1943 only 50 squadrons with some 800 bombers were in commission instead of the originally planned total of 4,000 aircrafts.
Until the end of the war in Europe, Bomber Command lost 9,163 bombers.

Russian Red Air Force

The Russian Red Air Force was the largest in the world in 1941, possessing a strength of between 12,000 and 15,000 aircraft. But by late November 1941 nearly 16,000 aircraft were destroyed for the loss of 3,453 planes from the German Luftwaffe.
But the re-siting of industry east of the Urals began to bear fruit with military aircraft production rising rapidly: 2,000 a month by mid-1942, 2,500 by November 1943 and 3,355 by the summer of 1944. Not only did the quantity of planes rise, but so too did the quality.
1942 saw the widespread introduction of improved models including the Ilyushin Il-2 Stormovik ground-attack bomber and Yak and Lavochkin fighters. The steady increase in aircraft production, new models, and improvements in training and tactics gave the Red Air Force a decisive advantage over the Luftwaffe, whose strength on the Eastern Front was constantly being reduced by the demand for the defence of Germany itself from the British and US bomber offensive.
Aerial victory on the Eastern Front was won in the factories and on the training fields during 1942-43 and was confirmed on the battlefield in 1944-45.

German Luftwaffe

He 111 bombers

German He 111 planes during the Battle of Britain.

The German Luftwaffe forces ranged against Poland on 1 September 1939 were divided into two air fleets. Aircraft strength was about 850 bombers and dive-bombers and 400 fighters. In the first two days of the campaign these forces completely destroyed the Polish Air Force. It had been a striking demonstration of air power.
Aircrafts played also a vital role in the invasion of Norway and Denmark. For the campaign in the West the Luftwaffe deployed 3,902 aircraft. So far, the air force had been used as a tactical weapon, creating air supremacy and providing support for the ground forces with bombers.
In the summer and autumn of 1940, however, the lightly armed bombers soon proved ill-defended against RAF fighters in the Battle of Britain. In October 1940 the bombers were forced to switch to the night bombing, which lasted until the spring of 1941.
During the conquest of the Balkan, the invasion of Crete, the battles in North Africa and the attack on Russia, the German bombers were back to ground attack duties.
Not before August 1943 the bombers were giving priority to strategic bombing of Russia and to support the Army to a minimum. Unfortunately, the Russian counter-offensive between the summer of 1943 and the spring of 1944 largely negated the strategic bombing of Russian targets.
Then, in the summer of 1944, came the V-weapons programme together with the virtual exclusion of bombers. Only a few of the new jet bombers were later produced.

Imperial Japanese Air Forces

The Japanese aircraft industry built in 1941 a total of 1,461 bombers. The total almost doubled in 1942, when 2,433 were built. In 1943 a total of 4,189 came off the assembly lines. 1944 saw the total reach 5,100 bombers. And in the eight months of 1945 up to the surrender a total of 1,934 were built.
In the last year of WW2 in the Pacific, most aircrafts were assigned to suicide missions. A total of some 2,000 kamikaze pilots lost their lives for 35 American ships sunk and 288 more damaged.


Il-2M3 Stormovik

3D model Stormovik

Russian close support and ground attack aircraft Ilyushin Il-2M3 Stormovik. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. Ilyushin Il-2 Stormovik. Type: Close support and ground attack aircraft. History: ‘It is at least as essential to the Red Army as… learn more

B-25 Mitchell

3D model B-25J Mitchell

US medium and attack bomber North American B-25 Mitchell. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. North American B-25 Mitchell. Type: Medium bomber and attack aircraft. History: Named in honour of the fearless US Army Air Corps officer who… learn more

Horten Ho IX

3d model Gotha Go 229

German jet bomber Horten Ho IX (Gotha Go 229) History, development, service, specifications, statistics, pictures, video and 3D model. Gotha Go 229, Horten Ho IX. Type: German jet bomber, jet fighter-bomber and jet fighter. History The Horton Ho IX twin-jet… learn more

Ar 234 Blitz

3d model of Arado Ar 234B-2 Blitz

World’s first jet bomber Arado Ar 234 Blitz Arado Ar 234 Blitz. Type: world’s first jet bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. History: As the world’s first jet bomber and reconnaissance aircraft the Ar 234 Blitz (Lightning) spearheaded Germany’s remarkably bold introduction… learn more

de Havilland Mosquito

3d model Mosquito bomber

British high-speed bomber de Havilland Mosquito History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. De Havilland Mosquito, DH 98 Type: British high-speed bomber and photo-reconnaissance aircraft. History: The British De Havilland Mosquito was planned by the de Havilland Aircraft Co… learn more

B-24 Liberator

3D model B-24J

US long-range bomber B-24 Liberator of WW2. Consolidated Vultee Model 32 B-24 Liberator Type: Heavy long-range strategic bombers. History: With production totalling 18,482 units, the B-24 Liberator was the most numerous U.S. combat type of WW2. The B-24 served in… learn more

He 111

3d model of Heinkel He 111.

German Heinkel medium bomber Heinkel He 111 Type: medium bomber (later also torpedo bomber, glider tug and missile launcher). History A natural twin-engined outgrowth of the He 70, the first He 111 was a graceful machine with elliptical wings and… learn more

B-29 Superfortress

3D model of B-29 Superfortress

US long-range and high-altitude heavy bomber from Boeing Boeing Model 345 B-29 Superfortress Type: High-altitude heavy long-range and atomic bomber. History: Development and mass production of the B-29, the Boeing Model 345 which was named Superfortress, was one of the… learn more

Handley Page Halifax

3d model Handley Page Halifax Mk B III

RAF and Coastal Command heavy bomber Handley Page Halifax. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. Handley Page Halifax Type: RAF and Coastal Command heavy bomber, patrol bomber, anti-submarine, cargo transport, paratroop carrier, glider tug. History Though the Handley… learn more

Fairey Swordfish

3D model Fairey Swordfish

Fairey Swordfish torpedo carrier of the Royal Navy. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. Fairey Swordfish Type: Torpedo carrier of the Royal Navy. History: One of the great combat aircraft of history, the well-loved Fairey Swordfish looked archaic… learn more

Bombing accuracy

B-24 bombing Ploesti

Bombing accuracy of B-17 and B-24 groups in Europe. Bombing accuracy: With less than 50 per-cent cloud coverage an average B-17 Fortress Group could be expected to place 32.4% of its bombs within 1000 feet of the aiming point when… learn more

Stuka

Snow camouflaged Junkers Ju 87 B dive bomber

Stuka, German diver-bomber Junkers Ju 87 History, development, service and dive-bombing tactics, specifications, pictures and 3D model (Part I). Junkers Ju 87 Stuka Type: Two-seat German dive-bomber. History of the Stuka Ever since the end of World War One, the… learn more

Ju 87

3d model of Junkers Ju 87 B Stuka (Trop)

Junkers Ju 87 dive-bomber Service performance, pictures, 3D model and video (Part II). back to Part I: History and specifications of the Stuka Animated 3D model of Ju 87B Stuka (Western Desert) Service performance of Ju 87 The Junkers Ju… learn more

Dive bombing tactics

Dive attack of a Stuka

Dive bombing tactics using the example of Stuka. back to Part I: German Ju 87 Junkers dive-bomber Following the tactics employed with the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka are described in detail; the dive-bombing methods used by the twin­-engined Junkers Ju… learn more

Avro Lancaster

3d model Avro Lancaster

Avro Lancaster bomber. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. Avro Lancaster Type: British heavy bomber. History: Unquestionably one of the leading significance aircrafts of WW2, as well as one of the finest planes of aviation history, the Avro… learn more

Lancaster bomber Special Mk II

3d model Lancaster Mk II

Avro Lancaster Mk II and Special, the heaviest bombers in the European theatre of war, in action during WW2. History, service performance, pictures, 3D model, video. back to Part I: Avro Lancaster Bomber (and all specifications) 3D Model Lancaster Bomber… learn more

B-17 Fortress

3d model Boeing B-17G

High-altitude bomber Boeing B-17 Fortress. History, development, service, specification, pictures and 3D model. Boeing B-17 Fortress Type: High-altitude strategic bomber. History: In May 1934 the US Army Air Corps issued a specification for a multi-engined anti-shipping bomber to defend the… learn more

Ju 88 bomber

3d model Junkers Ju 88

German medium bomber Junkers Ju 88. History, development, service, specification, pictures and 3D model. Junkers Ju 88 Type: medium bomber, dive bomber, close support aircraft, night fighter, heavy fighter, torpedo plane, reconnaissance aircraft and pilotless missile. History: Regarding the range… learn more

Ju 52/3m

3D model of Ju 52/3mg9

German transport plane Junkers Ju 52/3m. History, development, service and dive-bombing tactics, specifications, pictures and 3D model. Junkers Ju 52/3m Type: Passenger and freight transport; also bomber, reconnaissance, mine countermeasures, casualties evacuation and glider tug. History Often called ‘Tante Ju’… learn more

Tu-2

Tupolev Tu-2

Russian attack bomber Tupolev Tu-2. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. Tupolev Tu-2 Type: Attack bomber. History The Tupolev Tu-2 remained in produc­tion from 1942 to 1948. As a medium bomber it was second only to the Pe-2… learn more