Junkers Ju 88D

The Ju 88 was an obvious choice when the Luftwaffe began to look for a long range high speed reconnaissance aircraft to replace the Dornier Do 17. Work on a dedicated reconnaissance version began in earnest in 1940. While this D-series was under development a number of A-1 and A-5 bombers were modified to act as reconnaissance aircraft. This involved the removal of the ETC bomb racks and dive brakes and the installation of up to three cameras in the rear bomb bay and a hand operated nose camera in the bombardiers’ position. These Ju 88A-1 (F)s and A-5 (F)s came into service in the early summer of 1940, in time to carry out reconnaissance missions over Britain in advance of the Battle of Britain.

Plans of Junkers Ju 88A or Ju 88D
Plans of
Junkers Ju 88A
or Ju 88D

These interim aircraft were followed by pre-production D-0s and early D-2s later in 1940. Around 1,500 D-series aircraft were produced. They normally carried either Rb 70/30, Rb 50/30 or Rb 20/30 cameras depending on the target to be photographed.


The pre-production D-0 could carry up to three cameras in the rear bomb bay. These were carried behind modified bomb bay doors, reducing the amount of fuel that could be carried by the aircraft. The aircraft entered service in mid-1940.


The D-1 and D-2 entered service out of sequence. The D-1 was based on the improved A-4, which itself entered service after the less advanced A-5. The planned D-1 was thus delayed into 1941, while the D-2 filled the gap.

Junkers Ju 88D-1 from below
Junkers Ju 88D-1 from below

The D-1 carried its cameras in a new location, behind the rear bomb bay. This allowed it to carry the same internal payload as the A-4, including the full range of internal fuel tanks, giving it significantly longer range than the D-0 and D-2.


The D-2 was the first production version of the D-series. It carried its cameras in the rear-bomb bay, and was similar to the D-0. It appeared during the summer of 1940.


The D-3 was a tropical version of the D-1. Modifications included the installation of internal engine air intake sand filters and desert survival (normally consisting of extra water and hunting equipment).


The D-4 was a tropical version of the D-2.


The D-5 was similar to the D-1 but was powered by the Jumo 221G or J engines. Production of the D-1 continued in parallel with that of the D-5.

Aircraft of the Luftwaffe 1935-1945, Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage. Combines a good background history of the Luftwaffe with a comprehensive examination of its aircraft, from the biplanes of the mid 1930s to the main wartime aircraft and on to the seemingly unending range of experimental designs that wasted so much effort towards the end of the war. A useful general guide that provides an impressively wide range of information on almost every element of the Luftwaffe (Read Full Review)
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 June 2007), Junkers Ju 88D, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_ju88D.html

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