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.


Dornier Do 17

Do 17Z

German Luftwaffe medium bomber Dornier Do 17 from the beginning of WW2. History, development, service, specifications, statistics, pictures and 3D-model. Dornier Do 17 Type: Medium bomber. History It is not without a certain irony that some first bombers of the… learn more

Mitsubishi G4M Betty

3D model Mitsubishi G4M Betty.

Japanese medium and torpedo bomber Mitsubishi G4M Betty. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. Mitsubishi G4M Betty G4M1 to G4M3c and G6M. Type: Japanese land-based naval torpedo bomber and missile carrier. History: Nicknamed the ‘Flying Cigar’ on account… learn more

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 of the best medium bomber of WW2. North American B-25 Mitchell. Type: Medium bomber and attack aircraft. History: Named in honor of the… 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

Arado 234 Blitz

World’s first jet bomber Arado Ar 234 Blitz. History in WW2, development, service, specifications, statistics, pictures and 3D-model. Arado Ar 234 Blitz. Type: world’s first jet bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. History: As the world’s first jet bomber and reconnaissance aircraft… learn more

de Havilland Mosquito

3d model Mosquito bomber

British high-speed bomber de Havilland Mosquito. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model from PR.I to B.35. De Havilland Mosquito, DH 98 Type: British high-speed bomber and photo-reconnaissance aircraft. History: The British De Havilland Mosquito was planned by the… learn more

V-2 in action

V2 before launching

V-2, the German ‘Retaliation Weapon 2’. Organization, deployment, launch and effect of the ballistic missile A-4 (V-2) in the years 1944 to 1945. Here to Part I: Development of V-2. Organization of missile units In autumn 1943 it appeared to… learn more

B-24 Liberator

3D model B-24J

US heavy long-range bomber Consolidated Vultee Model 32 B-24 Liberator. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. Consolidated Vultee Model 32 B-24 Liberator Type: Heavy long-range strategic bombers. History: With production totaling 18,482 units, the B-24 Liberator was the… learn more

He 111

3d model of Heinkel He 111.

German Heinkel He 111 medium bombers of the Second World War. History, development, service, versions, specifications, pictures and 3D model. Heinkel He 111 Type: medium bomber (later also torpedo bomber, glider tug and missile launcher). History A natural twin-engined outgrowth… learn more

B-29 Superfortress

3D model of B-29 Superfortress

US long-range and high-altitude heavy bomber B-29 Superfortress from Boeing. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. 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… learn more

V-2

V-2 before trial launch

Ballistic missile A-4, German revenge weapon V-2. History, origin, development, production and difficulties until operational debut and specifications. A-4 (V-2) Type: Ballistic missile. History The German V-2 was the first ballistic missile in the world to be used in combat.… 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

Ju 287 jet bomber

Junkers Ju 287 V1

German multi-jet heavy bomber Junkers Ju 287 with forward-swept wings. History, development, service, specifications and pictures. Junkers Ju 287 Type: Multi-jet heavy bomber with forward-swept wings. History One of the most remarkable aircraft designs of the Second World War came… learn more

Fairey Swordfish

3D model Fairey Swordfish

Fairey Swordfish torpedo carrier biplane 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… learn more

Me 264 America bomber

Messerschmott Me 261 V1

Messerschmitt Me 264 ‘America bomber’. History, development, service, specifications and pictures of the German long-range bomber of World War II. Messerschmitt Me 264 Type: Long-range bomber. History Unofficially called the ‘America bomber’, the Messerschmitt Me 264 was an unarmed long-range… learn more

Bombing accuracy

B-24 bombing Ploesti

Bombing accuracy and targets of USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bomber groups in Europe during the Second World War. Bombing accuracy: With less than 50 per-cent cloud coverage an average B-17 Fortress Group could be expected to place… 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 Service performance of Ju 87 The Junkers Ju 87, commonly known as Stuka (short of ‘Sturzkampfbomber’, the… 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