Bomber: Ju-88 - Germany (Europe 1940)

Bomber: Ju-88 - Germany (Europe 1940)

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Part Number:EU40_GEBOM

Junkers Ju-88

Name

Length

Wingspan

Weight

Max Bomb-load

Armament

Speed

Ceiling

Range

Empty

Max Take-Off

Junkers Ju-88

47’ 1”

60’ 3”

17,600 lbs.

31,000 lbs.

6,600 lbs.

2x13mm mg’s; 4x7.92 mg’s

280 mph

27,000’

1,200 mi.

 

Junkers Ju-88 Strategic Bomber

 

ID: Plastic “bomber” gaming piece: Ju-88 Strategic bomber from the game Axis & Europe 40.

 

The Story of the Ju-88 Strategic Bomber: For the Luftwaffe to have not fielded four-engine heavy bombers in significant numbers (as the British and Americans did) seems odd to many in retrospect.  It was not because the Germans were incapable of producing such an aircraft; they actually developed several.  The only true “heavy” bomber that the Luftwaffe fielded in even close to significant numbers, however, was the He 177 “Greif” (“Griffon,”) but even it was produced in limited numbers and was considered largely a failure, mostly due to engine troubles.  The idea of the Greif was to have four engines coupled together into two pairs and driving only two propellers, so as to cut down on air resistence, making the bomber faster and able to perform as a dive bomber.  The British had tried a similar idea... and had experienced a similar lack of success in preventing the engines from failing (or catching fire!)  The Germans persisted with the idea far longer, however, and thus never developed a four-engine heavy bomber in time to put it into mass-production at a time when it might have made a difference.  What the Germans did have, however, was a trio of excellent, smaller 2-engine medium bombers that were competitive with any in their class: the Heinkel He 111, the Dornier 17, and the Junkers Ju 88.  The Junkers Ju 88 was the latest, the most famous, and most versatile of the three.  In fact, the design proved so flexible that versions of it came up almost to the specifications that had led to the creation of the Greif in the first place!  With more than 15,000 produced, it was made in larger numbers than Britain’s famous Avro Lancaster/ Handley Page Halifax brother-designs combined!  What’s more, it was also extensively used in radically different roles, such as that of “heavy fighter” and night fighter with considerable success.  While more versatile than the American and British heavies, it did have disadvantages in range and maximum bombload compared to them.  Being faster and more maneuverable made it harder to shoot down, however, and being smaller and two-engined, it was probably significantly cheaper to build than a larger 4-engined bomber would have been.  Junkers even made use of its parts and design characteristics to create a 4-engined heavy bomber designed to be able to reach the shores of the US, the Ju488 as one of Junker’s offerings for the famous but doomed “Amerika bomber” project!  With such a flexible design as a fall-back, perhaps it was a happy misfortune that the Greif had come to grief!

 

Usage Notes: Use this piece for “Global 1939” and “Invasion of Italy” Variants as a strategic bomber unit.  Other German aircraft of interest may be: the Me 109 Fighter, & the Ju-87 “Stuka” Tactical Bomber.

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