Bf 110 vs Lancaster: 1942-45 by Robert Forczyk

By Robert Forczyk

Not able to behavior flooring operations at the eu continent until eventually Allied energy was once marshalled for a full-scale invasion, the British executive established its grand process in international battle II on a prolonged crusade of aerial bombardment of Nazi Germany's towns with a view to carry the 3rd Reich to its knees. on the middle of this approach have been the rising applied sciences of the heavy bomber, mixed with night-navigation and precision-bombing concepts. The RAF brought the large four-engined Avro Lancaster in 1942 and used it to spearhead this aerial offensive. In reaction, the Luftwaffe created an elite nightfighter strength dependent essentially upon the Bf one hundred ten to counter the RAF bombers. even supposing the Bf one hundred ten had failed miserably as an afternoon fighter over England in 1940, it stumbled on its area of interest as a nightfighter. The Luftwaffe used to be fast to equip it with airborne radar that allowed it to intercept and break Lancasters over Germany. In flip, the RAF followed countermeasures similar to the Monica rearward-looking radar to alert Lancaster crews to the technique of nightfighters. The Lancaster heavy bomber used to be built with rear and dorsal turrets that gave it a few likelihood to force off nightfighters making use of the traditional tactic of attacking from above and behind.In may possibly 1943, notwithstanding, the Luftwaffe without warning constructed a singular technical and tactical method of attacking RAF bombers - the Schräge Musik weapon process, which fastened upward-firing 20mm cannons in a Bf a hundred and ten nightfighter. the recent tactic proved amazingly profitable, and British bombers can be attacked from under with out caution. quickly, the Luftwaffe determined to equip a 3rd of its nightfighters with Schräge Musik and started to inflict grievous losses upon Lancaster bomber devices within the interval from August 1943 to March 1944. For its half, the RAF did not become aware of the hot German tactic for 6 the most important months, within which time its Lancaster bombers have been virtually defenceless in contrast new risk. In time, even though, the German benefit of shock was once misplaced and the RAF constructed countermeasures to house the hot chance. The duel among upgraded Bf 110s and Lancasters within the evening skies over Germany grew to become more and more ruled by way of state of the art expertise, which might verify the efficacy of strategic bombing.

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Extra info for Bf 110 vs Lancaster: 1942-45

Sample text

Consequently, bomber losses began to increase late in 1942 as the Nachtjagd adopted new tactics. Lancaster operations also began to ramp up in November-December 1942, with raids against Hamburg, Stuttgart, the Ruhr and Munich, but losses were noticeably heavier than in the spring and summer months. Using Dunkel Nachtjagd, the Bf 110s were able to shoot down ten Lancasters in December, although the number of fighters engaging bombers was still relatively small.

Harris and other leaders in the Air Ministry regarded the Lancaster as a war-winning weapon, and they were able to convince Churchill to allocate substantial resources towards its production. Thanks to the flow of American Lend Lease aid, Churchill could afford to concentrate Britain’s industries on heavy bomber construction, instead of on tanks, artillery, landing craft or merchant ships. Consequently, Britain’s output of heavy bombers increased dramatically in 1943-44, enabling Harris to field much larger forces than his predecessors.

Although Bomber Command had caused some damage to the Ruhr industrial cities, the pre-war twin-engined bombers lacked the range and payload to reach Berlin or other targets deep in Germany. Furthermore, Bomber Command’s efforts to conduct precision night bombing had been revealed by the Butt Report in August 1941 to be a failure, with at best only 10-20 per cent of bombers striking within five miles of their intended target. What good would Lancasters be to Britain’s war effort if they couldn’t reliably hit critical enemy targets?

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