Bf 110 vs Lancaster: 1942-45 by Robert Forczyk

By Robert Forczyk

Not able to behavior flooring operations at the ecu continent until eventually Allied energy was once marshalled for a full-scale invasion, the British govt dependent its grand method in global battle II on a prolonged crusade of aerial bombardment of Nazi Germany's towns on the way to deliver 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 established essentially upon the Bf a hundred and ten to counter the RAF bombers. even if the Bf one hundred ten had failed miserably as an afternoon fighter over England in 1940, it chanced on its area of interest as a nightfighter. The Luftwaffe used to be speedy to equip it with airborne radar that allowed it to intercept and ruin Lancasters over Germany. In flip, the RAF followed countermeasures reminiscent of the Monica rearward-looking radar to alert Lancaster crews to the method 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 utilising the normal tactic of attacking from above and behind.In may well 1943, notwithstanding, the Luftwaffe all of sudden built a singular technical and tactical method of attacking RAF bombers - the Schräge Musik weapon process, which fixed upward-firing 20mm cannons in a Bf one hundred ten nightfighter. the hot tactic proved amazingly winning, and British bombers should be attacked from less than without 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 recent German tactic for 6 the most important months, in which time its Lancaster bombers have been virtually defenceless by contrast new hazard. In time, even though, the German good thing about shock used to be misplaced and the RAF constructed countermeasures to house the recent hazard. The duel among upgraded Bf 110s and Lancasters within the evening skies over Germany grew to become more and more ruled by means of state of the art expertise, which might confirm the efficacy of strategic bombing.

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The Nachtjagd now had a trained cadre of Bf 110 aircrew who were adept at using Ground Control Intercept (GCI) tactics and who began steadily racking up kills in their designated Himmelbett zones. Bomber Command losses nearly doubled in 1942 as the improved Nachtjagd force brought its skills to bear. However, Kammhuber’s system was essentially a static defence, and vulnerable if its Command and Control (C2) was disrupted. Furthermore, Hitler refused to devote significant resources to reinforce the Nachtjagd, since he was firmly focused on the war in the East.

Mixer box 52. Beam approach control unit 53. Autopilot master lever 54. Pilot’s call light 55. Auto controls altitude control unit 47 47 Early-build Lancaster B Is of No. 49 Sqn await sunset on the dispersal strip at Scampton, in Lincolnshire, in late 1942. Prior to a raid, Lancaster crews would test their radios on the ground, which often alerted Luftwaffe signal intercept personnel that a raid was scheduled for that night. This operational-level early warning gave the Luftwaffe the time it needed to deploy Bf 110s in likely air approach corridors.

However, Bf 110s from NJG 6 were still in the fight, and they shot down the raid’s Master Bomber (South African Flt Lt Erwin Swales of No. 582 Sqn in Lancaster PB538) and 14 other Lancasters. com 41 After the RAF’s introduction of Window in July 1943, the Nachtjagd was forced to adopt new, more flexible interception tactics dubbed Zahme Sau (Tame Boar). In order for the tactics to succeed, it was critical that the Jäger-Division staff in each sector quickly developed an accurate Luftlage (air picture).

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