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Lancaster from above


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Can I ask about this again:

 

PEvansD17030031.2.jpg

 

That Lanc has got a streamlined lump underneath the fuselage - is it a coastal patrol aircraft?

 

Richard

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No Richard, it’s an H2S dome. H2S was a navigational aid, a beam was emitted which bounced back off the terrain into a receiver which showed a “map” of the ground beneath and to the side of the aircraft. It was particularly effective over terrain which was a mixture of land and water - large lakes, rivers etc.  Not always very popular with some squadrons because of a belief that the Luftwaffe could home in on it.

 

DoF9Hm.jpg

 

This is a closer look at the dome, the scanner inside obviously, on a 214 Squadron Fortress.

 

W4luat.jpg

 

 

Edited by mozart
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Since there are photos from above in this thread, here is one from below, sort of. An obvious photo op except the Cookie is being loaded backward, the nose is to the rear:

 

PCothliffKB15090040.2.jpg

 

either the good graffiti was on that side of the bomb so they want a photo of that, or probably it was going to be posted in a newspaper, they didn't want the fuze configuration to be seen least a copy of the paper fell into the wrong hands. The rest of the series of photos are here:

 

https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/24895

 

Jari

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Here's a good thread on the topic. I'd have much preferred Mosquitos bombing much more accurately with less crew and far more survivability.

 

I've met quite a few Lanc pilots. A few showed me their mission? log books with the photos from the flares they had to drop when also bombing.  One even bombed the Tirpitz which was pretty amazing.

 

Matty

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7 hours ago, mozart said:

No Richard, it’s an H2S dome. H2S was a navigational aid, a beam was emitted which bounced back off the terrain into a receiver which showed a “map” of the ground beneath and to the side of the aircraft. It was particularly effective over terrain which was a mixture of land and water - large lakes, rivers etc.  Not always very popular with some squadrons because of a belief that the Luftwaffe could home in on it.

 

H2S was a navigation / bombing radar.    A standard fit as the war commenced.     And yes, nightfighters could home in on it, using the Naxos system.  

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4 hours ago, LSP_Matt said:

Here's a good thread on the topic. I'd have much preferred Mosquitos bombing much more accurately with less crew and far more survivability.

 

I've met quite a few Lanc pilots. A few showed me their mission? log books with the photos from the flares they had to drop when also bombing.  One even bombed the Tirpitz which was pretty amazing.

 

Matty

And that thread pretty much answers your argument; the Mosquito, though an incredible aeroplane, couldn’t carry the bomb load of a Lancaster so more Mosquito ops would have been flown and a consequent probable increase in crew fatality. It’s noticeable that the bomb loads carried to attack the V1 sites and stores were 500lb GP bombs…..carpet bombing by smaller bombs was the only way to effectively destroy the sites, hence the number of craters seen in the pics. The latter were usually well protected by 20mm Vierling flak guns, fearsome weapons with a high rate of fire.

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Nice photo's and discussion!

The exhaust stains on the second shot are interesting too, not one of them seems to be same width and thickness. Too bad there's no Border or HK Lanc for me... would be neat trying to replicate that :)

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2 hours ago, mozart said:

And that thread pretty much answers your argument; the Mosquito, though an incredible aeroplane, couldn’t carry the bomb load of a Lancaster so more Mosquito ops would have been flown and a consequent probable increase in crew fatality. It’s noticeable that the bomb loads carried to attack the V1 sites and stores were 500lb GP bombs…..carpet bombing by smaller bombs was the only way to effectively destroy the sites, hence the number of craters seen in the pics. The latter were usually well protected by 20mm Vierling flak guns, fearsome weapons with a high rate of fire.

I tend to think they resorted to carpet bombing by large numbers of aircraft because it was the only way of achieving the objective with the chosen weapon system.  The problem as I see it, is that they persisted with a grossly wasteful strategy and at great cost to men and materiel when alternatives were available.


For something like V1 sites (a ramp and some support structures) less bombs but delivered more accurately was the alternative. Dropping bombs in random paddocks is not only pointless but wastes resources and risks aircrew.

Modern warfare has always shifted towards less bombs with greater accuracy but has always been constrained by the technology of the day.

Even as early as 41 the Japanese understood combined arms effect and would attack targets defended by strong AA with a mix of planes, some of which were providing AAA suppression.  The British certainly understood this and employed similar techniques when attacking targets like the Tirpitz.

Given the nature of the targets at Mimoyecques, Submarine Pens or even Peenemünde, Lancasters and carpet bombing are the only viable option despite their lack of accuracy.

 

Yet consider Strategic bombing can be achieve far more simply


One Stuka 1100lb  x 110lb was capable of sinking a Battleship and precision strikes on critical infrastructure
SBD's/Helldivers sunk many Battleships and Carriers...similar spec loadout to Stuka
All of them slower, with less range and less heavily armed than the Mosquito

Those planes sunk major naval strategic weapons, with masses of AA. The loss of those strategic weapons culminated in massive changes to entire regions where combatants fought or supported land based troops.

It's a bit of a counterfactual argument but I always think it when I see sticks of bombs in random fields that achieved nothing.

When masses of heavies did hit their targets though, it was truly apocalyptic.

 

Matty

 

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11 hours ago, Finn said:

Since there are photos from above in this thread, here is one from below, sort of. An obvious photo op except the Cookie is being loaded backward, the nose is to the rear:

 

PCothliffKB15090040.2.jpg

 

either the good graffiti was on that side of the bomb so they want a photo of that, or probably it was going to be posted in a newspaper, they didn't want the fuze configuration to be seen least a copy of the paper fell into the wrong hands. The rest of the series of photos are here:

 

https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/24895

 

Jari

 

I'm 99% sure the graffiti was painted for the photographers, mostly at their request 

 

Richard 

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19 hours ago, Finn said:

Since there are photos from above in this thread, here is one from below, sort of. An obvious photo op except the Cookie is being loaded backward, the nose is to the rear:

 

PCothliffKB15090040.2.jpg

 

either the good graffiti was on that side of the bomb so they want a photo of that, or probably it was going to be posted in a newspaper, they didn't want the fuze configuration to be seen least a copy of the paper fell into the wrong hands. The rest of the series of photos are here:

 

https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/24895

 

Jari

 

I love this photo, thanks for sharing. Port Arthur Is now know as Thunder Bay where I spend Xmas with my wife's side of the family every year.  I was just there.

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I grew up in Port Arthur, then on Jan 1 1970 it became Thunder Bay.

 

edit:

 

The caption for this says 12 Squadron Wickenby June 1943, you can see it still has the windows on the side:

 

PBaxterPD16020033.2.jpg

 

Jari

Edited by Finn
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