Second World War Articles from 2007

Updates from: 20142013201220112010200920082007

Articles from 2007

14 December 2007

A small number of the Liberators ordered by France were delivered to the U.S. Army as the B-24A.

The B-24C Liberator was the final development version of the aircraft, introducing a number of important developments into American production that would become standard on most of the aircraft to follow.

The B-24D was the first version of the Liberator to be mass produced and the first version of the aircraft to enter combat in large numbers with the USAAF.

The B-24 Liberator was produced in larger numbers than any other American military aircraft. This was achieved through the creation of the Liberator Production Pool which saw the aircraft produced at five factories run by three different companies, amongst them the massive Ford plant at Willow Run.

The B-24E was the designation given to B-24Ds built by Ford at their Willow Run plant.

The B-24H was the first production version of the Liberator to be built with a nose turret.

13 December

The Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer was the most radical modification of the B-24 Liberator to see service during the Second World War developed as a maritime patrol aircraft for the U.S. Navy

10 December

Today we look at the Boeing B-29, adding articles on the development of the Superfortress, the small number of variants of the B-29, the units that used the B-29 and the combat record of the Superfortress during the Second World War.

We also look at XX Bomber Command, created to operate the B-29 from India and China.

8 December

The YB-40 was an attempt to provide a long range escort aircraft to support the Eighth Air Force’s daylight bombing campaign over Europe, created by adding extra guns to a standard B-17F

Although the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was less important than the B-24 Liberator in the Mediterranean theatre, six Bombardment Groups did serve in North Africa or Italy

The B-17 Flying Fortress first saw combat in American colours in the Pacific, on the first day of the Japanese onslaught, when nearly 30 aircraft were destroyed on the ground. Despite this inauspicious start to the war, the B-17 went on to perform important duties in the Pacific in the first two years of the war.

The Boeing PB-1 was the US Navy designation for the B-17 Flying Fortress and was used to carry airborne early warning radar.

7 December

The B-17 may have first seen combat in American colours in the Pacific, but it would earn its enduring fame with the Eighth Air Force, based in England and fighting over Hitler’s Europe. The story of the B-17 would become the story of the daylight bombing offensive over Germany.

We also add a list of B-17 units of the USAAC and RAF and a B-17 picture gallery

2 December

When it first took to the air the Boeing XB-15 was the biggest aircraft in the world, but it had already been superseded by the smaller but more efficient B-17 Flying Fortress.

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is one of the most famous aircraft of the Second World War. It earned that fame with the Eighth Air Force, carrying out daylight bombing raids over Hitler’s Fortress Europe.

The B-17B was the last development version of the Flying Fortress. It was the first model of the aircraft to feature the distinctive flat-panelled Plexiglas nose that was used in early production aircraft and the first version to be produced in any numbers that used a turbo-supercharger

The B-17C was the first version of the Flying Fortress to be used in combat, as the RAF Fortress I. This experience began to suggest that the Flying Fortress was not combat ready in its current form and would lead to the development of the much more heavily armed B-17E.

The last 42 of the 80 aircraft originally ordered as B-17Cs were completed as B-17Ds. The new model featured self sealing fuel tanks, and carried two more machine guns.

The B-17E was the first version of the Flying Fortress to have the aircraft’s familiar appearance. It was designed after RAF Fortress Is had seen combat, revealing that the aircraft was badly under-armed for its role as a daylight bomber.

The B-17F was the first version of the Flying Fortress to be built in really large numbers, with a total of 3,405 aircraft being produced.

The B-17G was the final production version of the Flying Fortress and was produced in greater numbers than every other version put together.

The B-17 Flying Fortress first saw combat with the RAF, in the summer of 1941. Its initial performance as a day bomber was disappointing, but it remained in use with Coastal Command and with No.100 Group until the end of the war.

30 November

The Panzer I was the first German tank to enter mass production. It was originally designed as a light training tank, to give German industry experience in producing tanks while development work on the real combat tanks was underway, and to train the new armoured divisions.

The Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B (Sd Kfz 101) used a longer chassis and more powerful engine than the Ausf A but was otherwise identical.

The Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen I (PzBefw I) was a small armoured command vehicle, based on the Panzer I light tank.

The 4.7cm PaK(t) (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B was the first tracked tank destroyer to be produced in Germany. It was created by removing the turret from an obsolete Panzer I Ausf B light tank and replacing it with a mounting for a 4.7cm Czech anti-tank gun.

29 November

The Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf A (Armoured Fighting Vehicle I version A, normally shortened to the Panzer I or Pz.Kpfw I Ausf A) was the first German tank to enter mass production.

28 November

The German invasion of Norway on 9 April 1940 was the first sign that the “Phoney War” period that had followed the Polish campaign of 1939 was coming to an end.

The Altmark incident of 16 February 1940 saw a British destroyer rescue 299 British prisoners from the German supply ship Altmark in Norwegian water.

27 November

The attack on Oslo was a key component of the German invasion of Norway of 9 April 1940, and saw the only real setback suffered by the Germans on that day.

The second battle of Narvik (13 April 1940) was a British naval victory during the German invasion of Norway of 1940.

The Narvik campaign of April-June 1940 began with a dramatic German success, saw the first Allied land victory of the Second World War,  before coming to an anticlimactic ending when events in France and the Low Countries forced the British and French to evacuate Norway.

26 November

The German invasion of Denmark of April 1940 was part of a wider campaign in Scandinavia designed partly to provide bases for the German navy and partly to secure the German supply of iron ore from Sweden.

Operation Royal Marine was a British plan developed in 1939-1940 to disrupt the German economy by floating mines down the Rhine.

Operation Wilfred was a British attempt, made on 8 April 1940, to stop Swedish iron ore from reaching Germany from Narvik by laying a minefield in Norwegian waters

The first battle of Narvik (10 April 1940) was a drawn naval battle fought between British and German destroyers during the German invasion of Norway.

24 November

The battle of the River Plate is one of the most famous naval battles of the Second World War, despite only involving four ships. Part of its fame came because it took place in the “phoney war” period and part because of the unjustifiably high reputation of the Admiral Graf Spee, the German pocket-battleship involved in the battle.

The Avro Anson was designed as a civil passenger plane, entered RAF service as a coastal reconnaissance, but saw most service as a training aircraft.

We also add list of the British and Commonwealth squadrons that used the Avro Anson Mk I

The Bristol Bombay was a combination of a transport aircraft and a bomber that was developed to serve with RAF squadrons in the Middle East. Partly because of its duel purpose and partly because of the time it took to develop, the Bombay was effectively obsolescent by the time it entered service in 1939, but it did perform some useful service in the Middle East.

Updates from: 20142013201220112010200920082007


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