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Thread: Bomb load for Mosquito to Berlin?

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    Default Bomb load for Mosquito to Berlin?

    Does anyone know what a typical bomb load might have been for Mosquito raids to Berlin? Were these "Cookie" raids or did they have to take a smaller load?

    Jim

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    Bart FM Droog Guest

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    Hello Jim,

    From 'Mosquito',by C. Martin Sharp and Michael J.F. Bower, Faber and Faber Limited, London, 1967:

    'At 19.00 hours on 11 July [1942] six Mosquitos of 105 Squadron made a diversionary attack on Flensburg (...). Five carried 4 x 500 lb. bombs, one had 2 x 250 lb. HE and incendiaries.' (page 190)

    'Four Mosquitos could place sixteen 500 pounders in a building (page, 196, Mosquito as a day bomber, 1942)

    'On 12-13 April [1945], 4/5 Mosquitos [from 139 Sqdn.] went to Berlin, the only ones that night. Incendiaries were carried on this operation, in 4,000 lb. bomb casings.' (page 365)

    Regards,

    Bart

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    Jim,

    From Colin Hanson's splendidly informative volume, 'By Such Deeds - Honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force 1923-1999'

    MATHESON, Flying Officer Archibald Allisdair, DFM.
    NZ412714; Born Carterton, 23 May 1915; RNZAF 4 May 1941 to (kao) 11 Jul 1944; Navigator.
    Citation Distinguished Flying Medal (8 Jun 1943): [218 Sqn RAF (Stirling)] A highly skilled navigator, Sergeant Matheson has completed many sorties. In December, 1942, while on an operational flight to Germany the wireless equipment in his aircraft failed. Despite this, Sergeant Matheson guided the bomber successfully to the target and back. On all occasions this airman has displayed great devotion to duty and contributed in no small way to the successes attained. In Nov 1942 Fg Off Matheson joined 218 Sqn, flying 25 sorties to - Bordeaux, Lorient, St Nazaire, Frankfurt, Mannheim, Duisburg, Nuremberg, Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, Essen and Turin. He also flew mine-laying sorties to the Frisian and Terschelling Islands. On his ‘rest’ tour he instructed with 1657 HCU RAF during which time he also flew two ASR sorties. In Feb 1944 he joined 692 Sqn (Mosquito) of the LNSF and carried out a further 42 sorties including - Berlin(7), Stuttgart(3), Duisburg(2), Cologne(5), Frankfurt, Kiel(2), Mannheim, Ludwigshafen(5), Dusseldorf(5), Bremen, Saarbrücken, Hanover(3). On a 23 Feb 1944 raid on Dusseldorf his aircraft carried the first 4000lb bomb to be dropped on Germany from a Mosquito. Kao Berlin, 11 Jul 1944, with 692 Sqn on his 67th sortie. No known grave. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Errol

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    Not a simple question. In 1942 the available Mosquitoes (B Mk.IV) could not carry the 4000lb bomb. The maximum load they could carry to Berlin would be 4x500lb, if this was within their payload-range. They could get to Berlin, but I'm not sure what the payload was.

    Some later Mk.IVs could carry the 4000lb bomb, but they will have been more restricted in range. The Mk.IV could not carry underwing tanks.

    Later Mosquitoes with 2-stage Merlins could carry the 4000lb bomb, and underwing tanks. What the resulting range was I don't know offhand, nor how it differed between the Mk.IX and the Mk.XVI.

    Perhaps Mike Bowyer's book has this information? Now where did I file it?

    However, that would only give us the maximum capability, in still air, without combat routing or (probably) reserves. What the typical one was is another matter altogether, and can only be found from a study of the operational record books of the units - if they bothered to keep such detailed records.

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    Hello Jim
    You might find an answer on this website: http://www.mossie.org/Mosquito.html
    I haven't looked at it in detail but it seems pretty comprehensive.
    Regards
    Max

    Under "Variants" on the above, though it doesn't directly answer your question:
    B.IX Bomber. First high altitude unarmed bomber. Merlin 72 intercooled engines with two speed, two stage superchargers. Capacity for four 500lb bombs in the fuselage and two 500lb bombs on the wings or extra fuselage fuel tanks and 50 gallon jettisonable wing tanks. A few were converted to take one 4000lb bomb in the fuselage with two 50 gallon jettisonable wing tanks which were later in 1944 replaced by 100 gallon jettisonable wing tanks subject to a weight limitation of 25,200lb.
    Last edited by Galgos; 13th March 2008 at 18:12.

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    From Sharp/Bowyer's classic "Mosquito".

    Mk.IV: max operational radius with 4000lb bomb: 535 miles
    Mk.XVI: ditto, 550 miles
    Few Mk.IXs had the ability to carry the 4000lb bomb.

    In 1945, Light Night Striking Force Mosquitoes flew 3,900 sorties to Berlin, dropping 4,470 tons of bombs, of which 1,459 were the 4000 pounders. Presumably the other 2,441 sorties were predominantly target markers.

    I have a vague memory that the range to Berlin was quoted as 550 miles, not sure from where, so (if correct) it was close to the limit of penetration for this type/weapon combination.

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    Thanks for your comments everyone. There is a continuing series of threads on "The Great Planes Community" forum that the Mosquito, in sufficient numbers, could have replaced the 4-engine heavy bomber force. There contention is that with the considerably lower loss rates and precision abilities there would be greater efficiencies to carrying load to target.

    http://www.tgplanes.com/Public/snitz/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=1

    The mosquito was undoubtably a great plane, but I'm not so sure that they have considered all factors in this analysis. I have not yet contributed to the posts on that forum, and while I have reasonable reference material on the Lancaster, I have less so on the Mosquito.

    On some of these "pure planes" forums, the individuals involved are more focused on the machines rather than the strategy, tactics and general history.

    Jim

  8. #8
    Bart FM Droog Guest

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    Hello Jim,

    Maybe you can learn something from this thread: <a href='http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?t=968'>The Mosquito as heavy bomber</a>

    Regards,

    Bart

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    The Mosquito lacked range, lacked payload, and required the same number of the most highly qualified crewmembers. It lacked the flexibility that saw the heavy bomber widely used for Coastal Command, Special Operations, Transport and Airborne operations. The best night fighter of the war, but not the finest bomber.

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