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Hunter Lee
Hunter Lee

Medium Bombers Of World War 2 __FULL__

A medium bomber is a military bomber aircraft designed to operate with medium-sized bombloads over medium range distances; the name serves to distinguish this type from larger heavy bombers and smaller light bombers. Mediums generally carried about two tons of bombs, compared to light bombers that carried one ton, and heavies that carried four or more.

Medium Bombers of World War 2

The term was used prior to and during World War II, based on available parameters of engine and aeronautical technology for bomber aircraft designs at that time. After the war, medium bombers were replaced in world air forces by more advanced and capable aircraft.

In the early 1930s many air forces were looking to modernize their existing bomber aircraft fleets, which frequently consisted of older biplanes. The new designs were typically twin-engined monoplanes, often of all-metal construction, and optimized for high enough performance and speed to help evade rapidly evolving fighter aircraft designs of the time. Some of these bombers, such as the Heinkel He 111, Junkers Ju 86, Savoia-Marchetti SM.79, Douglas B-18, and Armstrong Whitworth Whitley were developed from or in conjunction with existing airliners or transport aircraft.

The World War II-era medium bomber was generally considered to be any level bomber design that delivered about 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg) of ordnance over ranges of about 1,500 to 2,000 mi (2,400 to 3,200 km). Typical heavy bombers were those with a nominal load of 8,000 pounds (3,600 kg) or more[citation needed], and light bombers carried up to 2,000 lb (907 kg)[citation needed].

These distinctions were beginning to disappear by the middle of World War II, when the average fighter aircraft could now carry a 2,000 lb (907 kg) bombload. Advances in powerplants and designs eventually allowed light bombers, tactical bombers, and later jet fighter-bombers to take over the roles performed by mediums.

After the war, use of the term generally vanished; some of this was due to mass demobilization of the participant air forces' existing equipment, and the fact that several of the most-produced medium bomber types were now technologically obsolescent. Although a number of later aircraft were designed in this performance and load-carrying range, they were henceforth referred to as tactical bombers or strike aircraft instead. Examples of post-war mediums include the English Electric Canberra (along with its derived U.S. counterpart, the Martin B-57) and the Soviet Ilyushin Il-28 "Beagle".

Subsequent to World War II, only the U.S. Strategic Air Command ever used the term "medium bomber" in the 1950s to distinguish its Boeing B-47 Stratojets from somewhat larger contemporary Boeing B-52 Stratofortress "heavy bombers" in bombardment wings (older B-29 and B-50 heavy bombers were also redesignated as "medium" during this period).[1][2][3] This nomenclature was purely semantic and bureaucratic, however as both the B-47 and B-52 strategic bombers were much larger and had far greater performance and load-carrying ability than any of the World War II-era heavy or medium bombers. Similarly, the Royal Air Force referred at times to its V bomber force as medium bombers,[4] but this was in terms of range rather than load-carrying capacity.

Although the term is no longer used, development of aircraft that fulfil a 'medium bomber' mission in all but name continued and these have been employed in various post-World War II conflicts; examples include dedicated tactical bombers such as the Su-24, Su-34, F-111, J-16 and F-15E which have greater payload and range capability than fighter-bombers, but less than heavier strategic bombers.

AAF B-26 medium bombers in England became operational in the spring of 1943. Not having the long range of the B-17 and B-24, B-26s were used almost exclusively for missions to Holland, Belgium and northwestern France where they bombed airfields, transportation and lines of communication. Originally, it was planned for B-26s to operate at minimum altitude but a mission against targets in Holland on May 17 resulted in a change of tactics.Eleven planes took off on the mission, one of which turned back. The remaining 10 continued to their target and were shot down -- not one returned to base. From that time, B-26s bombed from medium altitudes of 10,000-15,000 feet, where they suffered relatively light losses from antiaircraft fire compared to heavy bombers. With German fighter forces concentrating on the heavy bombers, AAF medium bombers seldom met appreciable aerial opposition.

On April 11th 1939 the North American NA-40B, NX14221, took off from Wright Field in Ohio to undertake a series of engine-out tests. During one of those tests the pilot lost control of the aircraft and it augured in. The aircraft was consumed by the subsequent fire, but the crew escaped serious injury. As a result, Douglas won the 1937 competition with their design that would become the A-20 Boston/Havoc. North American Aviation (NAA) went back to the drawing board. The lessons learned with the NA-40B were incorporated into a new twin-engine bomber design. NAA designated it the NA-62. Today we know that aircraft as the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber.

The NA-62 design was entered into the 1939 United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) medium bomber competition. Competing against the NA-62 was the Martin B-26 Marauder. Although there was no B-25 prototype aircraft yet, the USAAC ordered the NA-62 design into production as the B-25. The Marauder was also ordered into production without a single flyable example available for inspection, meaning both designs were essentially ordered right off the drawing board. The 9,816 B-25s produced by NAA would go on to serve with nearly every allied nation and in every theatre of World War II, train thousands of Air Force multi-engine pilots and crew members, and even star in a few movies.

The United States manufactured about 300,000 military aircraft just prior to, and during, World War II. Included in this number was large quantities of numerous bomber aircraft. Production totaled 97,810 bombers.

The B-25 Mitchell was a twin-engined medium bomber used in World War II, and manufactured by North American Aviation. The B-25 was named in honor military aviation pioneer General Billy Mitchell.

Although the B-25 was originally intended for level bombing from medium altitudes, it was used extensively in the Pacific area for bombing Japanese airfields from treetop level and for strafing and skip bombing of enemy shipping.

The Martin B-26 Marauder was an American twin-engined medium bomber that was designed and built by the Glenn L. Martin Company. The bomber was assembled at plants in Baltimore, Maryland, and Omaha, Nebraska.

On April 18, 1942, 80 men and 16 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers set off on what some said was an impossible mission, to change the course of World War II. The actions of these 80 volunteers, led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, were instrumental in shifting momentum in the Pacific theater and setting the stage for victory at the Battle of Midway.

Finally, in late 1944, the Army began the effective strategic bombing of Japan with its longer-range B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers, operating from the captured Mariana Islands and later from Iwo Jima in 1945. It augmented the B-17 Flying Fortress, which didn't have the range or payload capacity necessary to travel long distances of over 3,000 miles.

Meanwhile, in the European theater, distances from the United Kingdom to enemy-held territory were much shorter, so in 1942, the U.S. flew B-17 missions. However, these missions were at a cost in loss of planes and high U.S. casualties, because no long-range fighter aircraft were available to protect the bombers.

ww2dbaseThe original design for the B-25 Mitchell medium bombers was drafted with Britain and France as the intended customers, but they opted for A-20 Havoc bombers from Douglas Aircraft Company instead. In 1939, the United States Army Air Corps evaluated the design and was satisfied with the prototype aircraft's performance. The original prototype, code named NA-40B, crashed on 11 Apr 1939, but the US Army liked the little they had observed thus far, and decided to order the design into production without further testing. Out of the modified design, now named NA-62, the production B-25 Mitchell bombers were born. Some of the changes with NA-62 include a new wing shape and a larger tail fin. The first B-25 bombers entered service with the US Army in 1940.

ww2dbaseAmong their early missions was the Doolittle Raid in Apr 1942, where United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Hornet steamed close to Japan and launched US Army B-25 Mitchell bombers on an attack on Japanese cities; it was meant to be an attack at the Japanese morale and at the same time a morale booster for the Americans. Headed by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, 16 lightly armed B-25 Mitchell bombers took off at the dawn of 18 Apr 1942 and bombed Tokyo and other cities. Actual damage inflicted was minimal, and 15 out of the 16 were destroyed in crash-landings in China after the mission, but the boost of American morale was significant. The lone B-25 bomber that survived the mission landed in Russia, and the aircraft was confiscated by the Soviets.

ww2dbaseIn the Pacific War, B-25 Mitchell bombers were frequently used at low altitude, acting as ground attack aircraft instead of as medium bombers. These strafing aircraft were first devised in the field by the likes of Major Paul Irving "Pappy" Gunn, who initially modified A-20 Havoc bombers but later also submitted requests to perform similar modifications to B-25 bombers by adding guns and eliminating any unnecessary weight and space; as his request was approved by George Kenney, Kenney would also claim design credit, noting that he had further contributed to Gunn's designs. The resulting B-25G aircraft each had additional machine guns and a 75mm M4 cannon, the largest caliber weapon ever equipped in an American bomber. A later variant, B-25J, increased the number of machine guns to 18. Finally, B-25 bombers sometimes served as troop transports in the South Pacific. 041b061a72


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