** World War II Bombers: British Avro Lancaster

World War II Bombers: British Avro Lancaster

World War II Avro Lancaster
Figure 1.-- During the Blitz on London, Prime-Minister Churchill told the London County Council, "We ask no favors of the enemny. We seek from him no compuction. On the contrary, if tonight the people of London were asked to cast their vote whether a convntion should be entered to stop the bombing of all cities, the overwheamning majority would cry 'No we will mete out to the Germans the measure, and more than the neasure, that they have meted out to us." At the time, Bomber Command did not have the capacity to do this. Hitler and Göring saw it as bluster. A year later with the arrival of the Avro Lncaster, German cities woukd be set afire. Moral purists crticise Churchill and Air Marshall Harris, but in truth, the only moral failing of the Allies could have commited would have been not to amass their forces to oppose the great Totalitaruian Powers of the 20th Century and their horrendous crimes.

The British unlike the Germans had the industrial capacity to produce both a tactical and strategic air force. This was because the United States prfivided so much of Britain's other industrial war needs. Even as early as the Battle of Britain, British industry was outproducing the Germans in aircraft. And with Lend Lease the British set about building Bomber Command into a force far greater than what the German Luftwaffe through against Britain. Royal Air Force Bomber command played a major role in the strategic air campign against Germany beginning in 1942. The British not only expanded aircraft production, but developed one of the iconic plances of World War II--the Avro Lancaster or 'Lanc' as it was known during the War. The naster mind behinf the Lbce was aircraft designer Roy Chadwick. was a British heavy (four-engined) bomber developed by the by the Avro company for RAF Bomber Command. It orived to be one of the great bombrrs of the war and had a huge impact. Avro was not a huge company with only a small factiry at at Woodford. The Air Ministry funded a factory at Chadderton. But even that was not enough. A factory at Yeadson in Yorkshire would prove to be the largest factory in Europe under one roof. Contracts were dolled out to other compnies to build Labcs. At the same time the Germans were dispursing aicraft production, even goiing underground. This led to huge ineffiencies that the Germans could ill afford. Thanks to Hollywood, the American B-17 is the most famous World War II bomber. The Lanc ws, however, is arguably the most powerful bom,ber of the War--until he B-29 Superfort appeared. It had the geatest range and the greatest bombload and wa the plane that first brought the war home to the German people. The Lanc replaced the venerable Manchester. It actully was a redesigned Mnchester. The RAF began introducung the Lanc (early 1942). The first squadron was No. 44. Throughout 1942 Bomber Command steadily increaded the number of Lanc squadrons. Along with the Handley Page Halifax, it was the main plane with which Bomber Command would begin the Strategic Bombing Campaign, a year before the American 8th Air Force entered the fight. Lancs were also used by the RCAF, and squadrons from other Commonwealth and European countries making up Bomber Command. The Lanc was primarily used as a night fighter as Bomber Command began bombing before long-range fighter escorts were available. Bpmber Command flew at night to limitblosses, but the Germns dveloped formidable air defenses and the losses were substantial. The Lanc forced the Luftwaffe to radically improve its air defenses. They did this, but the diversion of resources was part of the effectiveness of the Strategic Bombing Campaign. A german 88 pointed up around Reich cities was not destroying T-34 tanks in the East. This meant bringing fighter squadons back from th Ostkrig. It also meant that the Germns had to divert massive resources to fight battles in the skys over German cities. German manower was primrily committed to the Ostkrieg, but Germny industry was primarily commited to the War in the West. And the Lnce was a large part of the reason.


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Created: 3:24 AM 2/25/2022
Last updated: 3:24 AM 2/25/2022