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Subject: Magic Mossies
Aussiegunneragain    7/11/2010 9:01:10 AM
There was a thread on here a few years ago put up by a fellow named Shooter, who was trying to make the argument that the Dehavilland Mosquito was a strategically insignificant aircraft which should never have been produced for the RAF, because it represented a waste of engines which could have better been used in Avro Lancasters. Shooter, an American, had a hobby of trying to diss any non-American type that had an excellent reputation (the Spitfire was another favourite target) and most people here told him he was being a clown with that being the end of it. However, the thread has stuck in the back of my mind and made me wonder whether in fact the Mossie, despite its widespread usage in a variety of roles, was in fact underutilised in the daylight strategic bombing role? It did perform some very important low level raids such as the daylight raid on the Phillips radio works (along with Ventura's and Bostons - far less Mossies were shot down)in Holland during Operation Oyster. However, I can't find many references to the Mossie being used for the sort of regular high altitude daylight strategic bombing missions that the B-17 and other USAF daylight heavies conducted. Consider its characteristics: -It could carry 4 x 500lb bombs all the way to Berlin which meant that you needed three mossies to carry a slightly larger warload than one B-17 did, which upon this basis meant more engine per lb of bomb in the Mossie. -However, the Mossie was hard to catch and was more survivable than the Heavies. The latter only really became viable with the addition of long-range escort fighters, something that the mossie could have done without. -It only required two crew versus ten on a B-17. Without intending to be critical of the USAF daylight heavies, because they were one of the strategically vital assets in winning WW2, I am wondering whether had the RAF used the Mossie in the role at the expense of night bombing operations in Lancasters? I have read accounts that suggest that the later were not really directly successful in shutting down German production, with the main contribution being that they forced the Germans to provide 24/7 air defence. If they had used Mossies more in the daylight precision role is it possible that the impact that the fighter-escorted USAF bombers had on German production might have been bought forward by a year or so, helping to end the War earlier? Another idea that I have is that if Reich fighter defences had started to get too tough for unescorted Merlin powered Mossies on strategic daylight missions, that they could have built the Griffon or Sabre powered versions that never happenned to keep the speed advantage over the FW-190? Up-engined Fighter versions of the Mossie would also have probably had sufficient performance to provide escort and fighter sweep duties in Germany in order to provide the bombers with even more protection. Thoughts? (PS, in case anybody hasn't worked it out the Mossie is my favourite military aircraft and my second favourite aircraft after the Supermarine S-6B ... so some bias might show through :-). I do think it has to rate as one of the best all round aircraft of all time based on its merits alone).
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Aussiegunneragain       8/12/2012 12:19:25 AM
If I had to strafe a Wermacht airfield loaded with AA the last plane I would chose is a relatively flimsy wooden aircraft with inline engines...the P-47 was FAR, FAR more rugged than the Mossie, faster, and could survive a lot more damage and come home. The Typhoon was just as rugged but it was hampered by their inline engine. The Mossie wasn't used as much as a tactical fighter bomber down on the deck as the other two because they were better...the Mossie was used more in the role of the B-25's, B-26's in the behind the front line transportation interdiction...In my opinion the A-26 was the best WW2 aircraft ever made for that role.
Mate, you have no idea what you are talking about. The Mossies wooden structure was incredibly tough and was able to be built and fixed far more easily than any other type. That was why it was great for anti shipping strike which involved far more light flak than CAP. Its inline engines weren't a hinderance either, it had two of them so having one shot out didn't necessarily mean a loss and in the ASW versions the engines were armoured anyway. Neither the B-25, B-26 nor the A-26 could do what the Mossie could, they weren't fast enough to operate unescorted in a contested environment. The Typhoon (incidentally which also had armoured engines) and the P-47 were a better fit in CAS only because the Mossie was an overkill for that mission and they were to valuable to tie up doing it.

You may have a love affair with the Mossie and I agree it was very versatile but other aircraft were just as good or better in the roles's just the Mossie could fill a lot of roles adequately...I would not want to be flying daylight bomber escort missions vs Bf-109G's and K's, or Fw190D's in a Mossie....any competent Lufwaffe pilot would eat them alive....the P-38 was probably the best twin engine fighter of WW2 and they really didn't have any major advantages over those aircraft other than pilot quality later in the war.

My suggestion to you is to actually read up on this stuff before you post, rather than just asserting what you want to be true. The USAAF didn't operate Mosquitos in the bombing, the PR and the night fighting roles for no reason. They had access to more than enough of the types that you talk about but got hold of as many Mosquitos as they could. For a country with such a severe case of "not invented here syndrome" that is the highest compliment. 
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Aussiegunneragain    links   8/12/2012 12:21:33 AM
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45-Shooter       8/12/2012 8:15:56 PM

That is a flawed argument on two counts. First, it did make a huge difference in each of its roles, i.e. 
Wishful thinking?
-Strategic photo recon was a vital role that the bombing campaign could not have done without and the Mossie was one of the prime assets.     
-Night fighting was a vital mission that saved thousands of civilian lives and the Mossie was the best in that role.
The Germans would dispute that after one of their He-219s shot down six Mossys in one mission.   
-Anti-submarine strike was probably one of the most strategically important missions of the war, allowing Britain to survive and the war effort to go on, an the Mossie was the only type that could safely conduct those missions without fighter escort in contested airspace. The Mossie also made a significant contribution in Australian service interdicting Japanese coastal shipping in the Pacific
Wishful thinking? Mossys sank exactly how many submarines, including the one frendly fire, Blue on Blue?
-The fighter bomber interdiction missions  on the transport system in Northern Europe hindered the German's war effort and took the war to them in an effective manner at a time when nobody else was.They were also the most effective aircraft at destroying V weapon sites and performed close air support very effectively.
Did you know that P-47s dropped more bomb tonnage on Northern Europe than Mossys did? Did you know they shot up almost twenty times as many vehicles? Twelve times as many locomotives and trains?I just made all that up because I do not know how many tonnes of bombs Mossys dropped and wanted to make a point! There are few feet of GCF from MOssys showing vehicle destruction! Search U-Tube for both P-47s and Mosssy footage.
- The daylight missions that the bomber variants undertook made a huge impact. For instance, the raid on the Phillips Factory, Operation Oyster, wiped out a third of the radio valve production available to the Germans.
The Germans chose to ignore them because they did less damage to the system than burning the gas to send up something faster to run them down and they dropped so few bombs.   
-The special transport missions over German controlled airspace to Sweden to pick up materials like ball bearings made a very important contribution to the  war effort.
More wishful thinking! Exactly how many tonnes of ball bearrings did they bring back from Sweden and how many tonnes of them arrived on a single Victory ship from America? RIGHT!     
The type was so good in fact that even the USAAF used them in the PR, the bombing and the night fighting roles ... the night fighting squadrons didn't want to give theirs up for the P-61 which they considered to be an inferior aircraft.
Exactly how many planes did Mossys shoot down? What percentage of the TOTAL was that?       
Secondly, while there were some major roles where it arguably had less impact, such as night bombing, pathfinding and night intruder, had everything to do with the fact that night bombing was not a particularly effective exercise and nothing to do with the quality of the aircraft. It makes no sense to take that into account circumstance or poor command decisions when assessing the capability of the aircraft, especially when the Mosquito more than demonstrated its capability with the numerous other contributions listed.
Pathfinding is THE ONE ROLE in which it proved it was absolutely neccessary! But still post war, the RAF stipulated that "More than 50% of ALL bombs dropped missed their intended targets!" That is they "failed to land with in the city limits"! Even the Americans were not that bad! (2-10% of bombs hitting the intended targets on average, BUT nearly 97% landing inside the city limits!
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Aussiegunneragain    Shooter   8/13/2012 5:49:53 AM
Given that you haven't provided any data I'm not going to bother respond beyond saying do your own research instead making unsubstantiated assertions while asking me to do it for you. You can't be expected to be taken seriously about knowing the value of the more than 7000 Mossies that were built, when you have no data and when are contradicted by the comments senior USAAF officers who were ACTUALLY THERE.
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Aussiegunneragain       8/13/2012 6:12:10 AM
I'll give you one stat that I remembered though. Even this site dedicated to German "Mosquito killers" highlights the superiority of the Mosquito over the German night fighters. The kill ratio was 258 to 70 to the Mosquito, that is nearly 4 to 1, and fear of the Mossie also led to a large number of crashes by pilots panicking and rushing to land. A few German aces did ok against the Mossies, as is the want of aces in what they fly, but in general the Mossies had it all over them. Keep in mind that the Mossies were flying over German territory, without ground radar support and at least to begin with no radar of their own, only passive radar detectors. It is an extraordinary testament to the superiority of the aircraft.
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Aussiegunneragain       8/13/2012 6:24:05 AM
Oh, and you might like to avoid falling for Nazi propaganda in the future.
"A claim[by whom?...] has consistently been made that, "In the next 10 days the three Heinkel He 219A-0 pre-production aircraft would shoot down a total of 20 RAF aircraft, including six of the previously "untouchable" de Havilland Mosquito...fighter-bombers.... Greatly encouraged, Kammhuber continued to press for immediate production."[5]... No record of corresponding Mosquito losses or any documentary evidence exists, however, to suggest that He 219 pilots actually made claims for six Mosquitos during this time.[6]...[7]...[8]...[9]"...
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Ispose    Pffft   8/13/2012 9:36:05 AM
 The kill ratio was 258 to 70 to the Mosquito
Wow!!!!...the Mossies shot down 258 Aircraft....P-47's shot down thousands more enemy aircraft, dropped more bomb tonnage and destroyed far more enemy ground targets...the Mossie was just a bit player compared to the P-47
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Aussiegunneragain    Ispose   8/13/2012 10:44:47 AM
Um, that was one group, in one and a half years, not all mossies.
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Ispose    Sacasm Off   8/13/2012 11:05:13 AM
Take all the Mossie Groups and they still shot down less aircraft, dropped less bomb tonnage, and destroyed fewer ground targets than P-47 groups did....I like the Mossie but it was not the wonder weapon you make it out to be...the damm things came unglued in humid weather for chrissakes!
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Aussiegunneragain       8/13/2012 12:54:50 PM

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