The De Havilland Mosquito 

(Bomber, Fighter-bomber and Night-Fighter variants)

Great Britain
Great Britain

side viewfront viewunder view

The more I read about the Mosquito, the more impressed I became and still are. It is a truly remarkable aircraft, breaking with all traditions of military doctrine in a time that such a break was received with unbelieve, disinterrest and even hostility. De Havilland figured that while most designs of bombers were become ever more heavier, bigger and slower, the production would cost ever more too of precious light alloys, man-hours, fuels and crew members.

Therefor they decided to design a bomber that was unarmed, made mostly of wood, carried a crew of 2, and would rely on speed rather than defensive measures such as guns. This combination led to an aircraft that was light and fast, and later proved that it could easily outpace pursuing aircraft. The design, which was luckily be it reluctantly approved by the Air Ministry, proved to be so successful that it became one of the most (if not the most) versatile aircraft of World War 2, and maybe even of all time. The versatility of the Mosquito forced me to break this page up in 2 pages. The one you are reading right now concerns the offensive models (bombers, fighter-bombers, and night-fighters), the next page concerns the other models (reconnaissance and training). Almost you couln't have read about it now, for the Air Ministry put great pressure on the designers to include at least some defensive guns and an extra crew member. The design was kept in it's original form because of the support of one man: Air Chief Marshal Sir Wilfrid Freeman. Without him and R.E. Bishop, the designer, there would be no Mosquito as is.

The D.H.98 was based on the all-wood D.H. 91 Albatross, and the all-metal D.H. 95 Flamingo transports. It would use two Rolls Royce Merlin powerplants because of their low drag, high performance profile, fitting the ideas of the designers. Calculations showed that the bomber would have such high speeds and possible altitudes that interception would be near impossible. The great speed meant that although the warload was smaller than that of many other bombers, it could make more sorties in the same time and thus add up explosive tonnage. The first worked out proposal was estimated to reach speeds of up to 405 mph (652 km/h), have a range of 1,500 miles (2.414 km), and had a maximum take-off weight of 15,075 lb (6.844 kg). As an alternative De Havilland proposed a guns/cannons armament in stead of disposable weapons to enable the aircraft to fulfill fighter-bomber and escort duties. Because of the speed and heights it could reach a successful photo-reconnaissance aircraft could be developed too. After the Air Ministry received the estimates they could not believe them, but were convinced that even lower performances would mean that the aircraft would have exceptional performance. An order for 50 aircraft in the bomber-reconnaissance role was placed in March 1940. After the low Countries and France had been conquered by Germany, the order was cancelled, because the Air Ministry placed emphasis on the aircraft that could defend the UK. Thanks to Sir Patrick Hennessy the orders were restored. On November 25 1940 the first prototype flew. It revealed that the prototype was even in it's preliminary trials 20 Mph (32 km/h) faster than the Spitfire, the fastest British fighter at that time.

Versions:

Further pictures:

A De Havilland Mosquito in full flight
A De Havilland Mosquito in full flight

 

Technical data on the De Havilland Mosquito B.Mk IV Series 2 bomber
Powerplant 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 21 or 23 Vee, rated at 1480 hp (1103.32 kW) each Role during war
  • Fighter-bomber
  • Night-Fighter
  • Medium Bomber
  • Reconnaissance Aircraft
  • Trainer
Length 41 ft 2 inch with tail up, 40 ft 9.5 inch with tail down Height 17 ft 5 inch with tail up, 15 ft 3 inch with tail down
Empty weight 14900 lb Operational weight 22380 lb max
Wing Span 54 ft 2 inch Wing Aspect ratio 6.46
Wing Area 454 sq ft Service ceiling 34000 ft
Maximum speed 380 mph at 17000 ft Cruising speed 340 mph at 22000 ft
Initial climb rate 2,500 ft per min,
Climb to 28,800 ft in 22 min 38 sec
Range 1110 miles typical,
2040 miles max
Fuel capacity internal 539 Imp gal (647 US gal) Fuel capacity external 100 Imp gal (120 US gal) in 2 underwing drop tanks
Machine guns -Cannons -
Bomb load Up to 2,000 lb max, all internal:
  • 2 × 1,000 lb
  • 1 × 1,000 lb + 2 × 500 or 2 × 250 lb
  • 4 × 500 lb
Specialy modified bombers could carry 1 × 4,000 lb "cookie " bomb
Torpedoes/rockets -
Crew 2: pilot, navigator/bombardier Naval or ground based Ground
First flight (prototype) 25 October 1940 Operational Service November 1941 - 1961
Manufacturer De Havilland Aircraft co. Ltd. Number produced 7,757 total, 203 this version
Metric system
Length 12.55 m with tail up, 12.43 m with tail down Height 5.31 m with tail up, 4.65 m with tail down
Empty weight 6759 kg Operational weight 10152 kg max
Wing Span 16.51 m Wing Aspect ratio 6.46
Wing Area 42.18 m² Service ceiling 10363 m
Maximum speed 612 km/h at 5182 m Cruising speed 547 km/h at 6706 m
Initial climb rate 762 m per min,
Climb to 8780 m in 22 min 38 sec
Range 1786 km typical,
3283 km max
Fuel capacity internal 2450 liters Fuel capacity external 454 liters in 2 underwing drop tanks
Machine guns -Cannons -
Bomb load Up to 907 kg max, all internal:
  • 2 × 454 kg
  • 1 × 454 kg + 2 × 227 or 2 × 113 kg
  • 4 × 227
Specialy modified bombers could carry 1 × 1814 kg "cookie " bomb
Torpedoes/rockets -

Technical data on the De Havilland Mosquito FB.Mk VI Series 2 fighter-bomber
Powerplant 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 21, 22 or 23 Vee, rated at 1,480 hp (1.103 kW), or 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 25 Vee, rated at 1620 hp (1207.69 kW) each Role during war
  • Fighter-bomber
  • Night-Fighter
  • Medium Bomber
  • Reconnaissance Aircraft
  • Trainer
Length 40 ft 10.75 inch Height 15 ft 3.5 inch
Empty weight 14300 lb Operational weight 19500 lb typical,
22300 lb max
Wing Span 54 ft 2 inch Wing Aspect ratio 6.46
Wing Area 454 sq ft Service ceiling 33000 ft
Maximum speed 380 mph at 13000 ft Cruising speed 325 mph at 15000 ft
Initial climb rate 1,870 ft per min,
Climb to 15,000 ft in 9 min 30 sec
Range 1270 miles minimum,
1650 miles typical
Fuel capacity internal 453 Imp gal (544 US gal) plus provision for a 66.5 Imp gal (79.9 US gal) fuselage tank Fuel capacity external Up to 200 Imp gal (240 US gal) in 2 × 100 or 50 Imp gal (120 or 60 US gal) underwing droptanks
Machine guns 4 × 0.303 inch Browning Mk II fixed forward-firing in the upper part of the nose , 500 rounds each Cannons 4 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II fixed forward-firing in the lower part of the nose 150 rounds each
Bomb load Up to 2,000 lb in one lower fuselage weapon bay rated 1,000 lb, and 2 underwing hardpoints, each rated 500 lb. General loadout consisted of:
  • 4 × 500 lb or 250 lb bombs in weapon bay and on wingmounted hardpoints, or
  • 2 × 500 lb or 250 lb bombs, plus rockets
Torpedoes/rockets Optional under the wings in stead of bombs:
  • 8 × 60 lb rockets, or
  • 2 × mine, or
  • 2 × depth charge
Crew 2: pilot, navigator/radio operator Naval or ground based Ground
First flight (prototype) 25 October 1940 Operational Service November 1941 - 1961
Manufacturer De Havilland Aircraft co. Ltd. Number produced 7,757 total, 2708 this version
Metric system
Length 12.47 m Height 4.66 m
Empty weight 6486 kg Operational weight 8845 kg typical,
10115 kg max
Wing Span 16.51 m Wing Aspect ratio 6.46
Wing Area 42.18 m² Service ceiling 10058 m
Maximum speed 612 km/h at 3962 m Cruising speed 523 km/h at 4572 m
Initial climb rate 570 m per min,
Climb to 4570 m in 9 min 30 sec
Range 2044 km minimum,
2655 km typical
Fuel capacity internal 2059 liters plus provision for a 302 liters fuselage tank Fuel capacity external Up to 909 liters in 2 × 454 or 227 liters underwing droptanks
Machine guns 4 × 7.7 mm Browning Mk II fixed forward-firing in the upper part of the nose, 500 rounds each Cannons 4 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II fixed forward-firing in the lower part of the nose 150 rounds each
Bomb load Up to 907 kg in one lower fuselage weapon bay rated 454 kg, and 2 underwing hardpoints, each rated 227 kg. General loadout consisted of:
  • 4 × 227 kg or 113 kg bombs in weapon bay and on wingmounted hardpoints, or
  • 2 × 227 kg or 113 kg bombs, plus rockets
Torpedoes/rockets Optional under the wings in stead of bombs:
  • 8 × 27 kg rockets, or
  • 2 × mine, or
  • 2 × depth charge

Technical data on the De Havilland Mosquito F.Mk II Night-fighter
Powerplant 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 21 or 23 Vee, rated at 1480 hp (1103.32 kW) each Role during war
  • Fighter-bomber
  • Night-Fighter
  • Medium Bomber
  • Reconnaissance Aircraft
  • Trainer
Length 41 ft 2 inch with tail up, 40 ft 10 inch with tail down Height 17 ft 5 inch with tail up, 15 ft 3 inch with tail down
Empty weight 14300 lb Operational weight 22000 lb max
Wing Span 54 ft 2 inch Wing Aspect ratio 6.46
Wing Area 454 sq ft Service ceiling 34500 ft
Maximum speed 370 mph at 14000 ft Cruising speed 341 mph at 20000 ft
Initial climb rate 3,000 ft per min
Climb to 15,000 ft in 6 min 45 sec
Range 890 miles typical,
1705 miles max
Fuel capacity internal 403 Imp gal (484 US gal) plus provision for 144 Imp gal (173 US gal) in two auxiliary fuselage tanks Fuel capacity external -
Machine guns 4 × 0.303 inch Browning Mk II fixed forward-firing in the upper part of the nose , 500 rounds each Cannons 4 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II fixed forward-firing in the lower part of the nose 150 rounds each
Bomb load -Torpedoes/rockets -
Crew 2: pilot, navigator/radar operator Naval or ground based Ground
First flight (prototype) 25 October 1940 Operational Service November 1941 - 1961
Manufacturer De Havilland Aircraft co. Ltd. Number produced 7,757 total, 589 this version
Metric system
Length 12.55 m with tail up, 12.45 m with tail down Height 5.31 m with tail up, 4.65 m with tail down
Empty weight 6486 kg Operational weight 9979 kg max
Wing Span 16.51 m Wing Aspect ratio 6.46
Wing Area 42.18 m² Service ceiling 10516 m
Maximum speed 595 km/h at 4267 m Cruising speed 549 km/h at 6096 m
Initial climb rate 914 m per min
Climb to 4570 in 6 min 45 sec
Range 1432 km typical,
2744 km max
Fuel capacity internal 1832 liters plus provision for 654 liters in two auxiliary fuselage tanks Fuel capacity external -
Machine guns 4 × 7.7 mm Browning Mk II fixed forward-firing in the upper part of the nose, 500 rounds each Cannons 4 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II fixed forward-firing in the lower part of the nose 150 rounds each
Bomb load -Torpedoes/rockets -

Here is a quick overview of all different versions, without the full technical specifications:

Different versions of the De Havilland Mosquito 
De Havilland Mosquito B.Mk IV Series 1 First production model of the Mosquito. This bomber had still some directional instability problems that were already cured on later aircraft
Number built: 31
De Havilland Mosquito B.Mk IV Series 2 Same as the Series 1, but with the improvements that were made after the first trials. These included lengthened engine nacelles, and provision for two flush-fitting underwing drop tanks. Later aircraft were changed with Flame Damper exhaust replaced by ejector exhausts, adding another 10 Mph (16 km/h) to the top speed, H2S Bombing radar
Number built: 203
De Havilland Mosquito B.Mk IV (Special) B.Mk. IV Series 2 aircraft converted to carry a 4000 lb (1814 kg) thin walled bomb called "cookie". it had a slightly lower deeper fuselage line, slightly revised bomb bay doors, and a single point suspension system.
Number converted: 20
De Havilland Mosquito B.Mk VII Identical to the B.Mk. IV Series 2. Canadian built Mosquitos, fitted with the license built Packard V-1650. The Packard Merlin 31's were rated 1460 hp (1089 kW) each
Number built: 25
De Havilland Mosquito B.Mk IX Based on the Mk IV, this version carried 2 underwing hardpoints for either fuel or bombs. To counter the performance loss, they were fitted with 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 72/73 with a two-stage supercharger, rated at 1,680 hp (1253 kW) maximum each. Later aircraft recveived 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 76/77 two-stage supercharger, rated at 1,710 hp (1275 kW) maximum each. The standard bomb load was 3,000 lb. (1.316 kg), consisting of 6 × 500 lb (227 kg) bombs. Empty and maximum take-off weights were 14,644 lb (6.643 kg) and 26,000 lb (11.794 kg), depending on the fitting of radar and such.
Additional equipment included 'Oboe' and 'G-H', navigation aids. Also later aircraft were fitted with 'Window', or chaff as it is called by the Americans, to interfere radar from the Germans.
Number built: 54
De Havilland Mosquito B.Mk IX (Special) A "cookie" enabled version of the B.Mk IX. (see the B.Mk IV Special)
Number converted: unknown, but only a few
De Havilland Mosquito B.Mk XVI The previous "Special" versions had shown a problem in the longtitudinal stability, this was cured with a longer rear fuselage. Therefor, all XIV's had the bulged bomb bay doors etc enabling them to carry a "cookie". Further changes concerned a pressurized cockpit. It had a maximum level speed of 415 Mph (668 km/h) at 28,000 ft (8.535 m). The service ceiling was 37,000 ft (11.280 m).
Number built: 1200
De Havilland Mosquito B.Mk XX Canadian built B.Mk. IV Series 2, but fitted with American equipment and fitted with Merlin 31 or Merlin 33 engines.
Number built: 245
De Havilland Mosquito B.Mk 25 Largest batch of Canadian built Mosquito's, based on the B.Mk XX, but fitted with 2 Packerd Merlin 225 engines.
Number built: 31
De Havilland Mosquito B.Mk 35 Derived from the B. Mk XVI, it was fitted with Packard Merlin 113A/114A engines rated at 1,690 hp (1260 kW). This version had been built, but was not operational yet by VE day, the European Victory day.
Number built: 122
De Havilland Mosquito TT.Mk 35 Post War conversions of B. Mk. 35 bombers as Target Tugs.
Number converted: 105
De Havilland Mosquito Met.Mk 35 Post War conversions of TT. Mk. 35 Target Tugs for weather reconnaissance duties (Met = Meteorology)
Number converted: unknown, but only a few
De Havilland Mosquito TT.Mk 39 Post War conversions of B. Mk XIV bombers as Target Tugs, for use by the Fleet Air Arm. They were fitted with a Miles Monitor, and had a lengthened glazed nose for the cameraman.
Number converted: some
De Havilland Mosquito FB.Mk VI series 1 The first fighter prototype was ready in March 1941, closely followed by two further prototypes, the latter heavy fighters not dislike the Boulton Paul Defiant concept and fitted with a four-gun dorsal turret. Disappointing results of the Defiant and similar aircraft made the Air Ministry wary of turret fighters, and they lost interest in the 2nd and 3rd fighter prototypes.
The first role in which it would enter service would be the nightfighter role. In the meantime De Havilland had already upgraded the engines to 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 60's with two-stage superchargers and 4-bladed propellers. The wingtips were pointed, increasing wingspan to 65 ft 0 inch (19,81 m). The glazed nose was solidified because there was no need for a bombardier, and the resulting space was occupied with 4 guns and 4 cannons. The day/nightfighter F.Mk II convinced the Air Ministry of the feasability of a Fighter-Bomber. The first FB prototype flew in February 1943, and the entered service in March 1943, 3 months later. The structure of the FB was based on the bomber Mosquito.
The powerplants were 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 21, 22 or 23
Number built: 2708 (series 1 and 2 together)
De Havilland Mosquito FB.Mk VI series 2 Identical to the FB.Mk VI series 1, except for the powerplants that were 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 25, 2,000 lb bombload in stead of 1,000 lb (907 kg in stead of 454 kg), and more fuel capacity. Later aircraft had provisions for 8 × 60 lb (27 kg) rockets on underwing racks.
Number built: 2708 (series 1 and 2 together)
De Havilland Mosquito FB.Mk XVIII "TseTse" RAF Coastal Command version, preceeding the FB.Mk VI. It was armed with the four 0.303 inch (7,7 mm) nose mounted guns, and one adopted 6-pounder anti tank cannon (57 mm) in stead of the four 20 mm cannons. The 6-pounder had 25 rounds, and could fire it's entire magazine in 20 seconds (more than 1 round per second). This was done for anti-shipping and anti-submarine purposes, but also for attacking shore installations. It proved very successfull, and this version was nicknamed "TseTse". It was powered by 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 25's optimized for low level. It's dimension were equal to the FB.Mk IV, but empty and max weights were 14,598 lb and 23,274 lb (6622 and 10557 kg) respectively.
Number built: 27
De Havilland Mosquito FB.Mk 26 Canadian built Mosquito FB.Mk IV's, but fitted with 2 × Packard Merlin 225's. Maximum take-off weight was 21,473 (9.740 kg).
Number built: 338
De Havilland Sea Mosquito TR.Mk 33 Actually delivered after the war (late 1945), this version had some area's modified to be able to operate from aircraft carriers:
  • 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 25 rated at 1,620 hp (1.208 kW) each.
  • Beefed up main landing gear plus arrester hook.
  • Fitting for RATO units.
  • Folding outer-wing units.
  • Different propeller (larger diameter and 4 paddle-type blades)
It's role was intended as a Torpedo Fighter (TF), but became a Torpedo Reconnaissance (TR) aircraft instead. Apart from the standard bombs and rockets it could also carry a single Mk XV or Mk XVII 2,000 lb (907 kg) torpedo of 18 inch (457mm) diameter. Early aircraft had still unfolding wings, only the latter 37 could fold their wings. Further they were fitted with ASH (Air to Surface radar type H) and AI Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface radar AI.Mk XV to fulfill it's reconnaissance role.
Number built: 50
De Havilland Sea Mosquito TR.Mk 37 Improved version of the TR.Mk 33. It was fitted with British Air-to-surface radar.
Number built: 6
De Havilland Mosquito FB.Mk 40 Australian built Mosquito, based on the FB.Mk IV, but fitted with 2 × Packard Merlin 31's driving tapered blade propellers (first 100), or 2 × Packard Merlin 23's driving paddle-blade propellers (last 78). 1 Aircraft was converted to the prototype of the FB.Mk 40, but the new version was not continued into production stage.
Number built: 179
De Havilland Mosquito F.Mk II Like said with the Fighter Bomber: the first fighter prototype was ready in March 1941, closely followed by two further prototypes, the latter heavy fighters not dislike the Boulton Paul Defiant concept and fitted with a four-gun dorsal turret. The "turret" fighters were quickly dropped, and development for a more classical type fighter (fixed guns, no turrets) continued. The fighter differed from the bombers in respect to strengthened main spars, a side entry door in stead of a hatch, increased fuel capacity in the wings and fuselage, a flat windscreen for undistorted view, and a solid nose (possible because of the fact that the navigator need not to climb into the nose to fulfill his role as bombardier).
It was then decided that the first fighter role would be nightfighter, and modifications were made with exhaust shrouds, a matte black finish, and the fitting of either the AI Mk. IV or V Airborne Interception radar. The Mk V radar differed from the Mk IV because it had an indicator screen for both crewmembers. By the time the first Nightfighters became operational the designation was still F.Mk II.
The first missions were disappointing bacause the matte black finishing accounted for performance loss (26 Mph, 42 km/h slower), the flame dampers had problems, the radar didn't function always that well, and the crews were not yet experienced with their equipment. In April 1942 the Nightfighter Mosquito became operational, but it was not until the end of June 1942 that the first radar guided kill was claimed.
Number built: 589
De Havilland Mosquito F.Mk II (Special intruder) Conversion from the F.Mk II. The radar was removed in favor of additional fuel capacity, additional ammunition and the installation of 'Gee'. 'Gee' was a navigation aid to perform "Ranger" daylight missions against German targets.
Antoher Special were F.Mk II's fitted with electronic countermeasures such as "Moonshine' to confuse German radar and to simulate other aircraft.
Number converted: 25
De Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk XII Conversion of the F.Mk II. The use of the AI Mk. VIII enabled better range and accuracy than the older types, the reason being the fact that the old radars operated in the metric wavelength, the newer operating in the centimetric wavelength. The receiving antennae were dish shaped, and could be installed in the weaponsbay of the four 0.303 inch (7,7mm) guns, thus the latter were dropped. This left the fighter with the four 20 mm cannons, which was adequate.
Number converted: 97
De Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk XIII Based on the FB.Mk VI, the NF.Mk XIII had the airframe of the NF.Mk XII, the AI Mk. VIII radar and the 'basic' wing. It was fitted with 2 Rolls Royce Merlin 21's or 23's. It's maximum speed was 394 Mph (634 km/h) and it had a typical range of 1,260 miles (2.028 km) .
Number built: 270
De Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk XV The development of this type was initiated by the need to intercept the German Junkers Ju 86P and Ju 86R. These German reconnaissance aircraft operated at an altitude of 36,060 ft (11.000 m), and were optimized for high altitudes. De Havilland was already testing with a high altitude bomber fitted with Merlin 61 engines, and a pressurized cabin. The bomber prototype was revised with the nose of the F.Mk II, extended wingtips (increasing the span to 62 ft 6 inch, 19,05 m), and a single seat cockpit with a stick in stead of the bomber-style control wheel. Other non-essential items were deleted, among which some of the armor and some fuel tanks. The first flight took place in August 1942 with a maximum weight of only 16,200 lb (7.348 kg), 500 rounds for each of the four 0.303 inch (7,7 mm) guns, and revealed a ceiling of 45,000 feet (13.715m). The NF.Mk XV entered service in mid-September 1942, but never could prove it's worth against the Junkers Ju 86P, for the Germans withdrew it from operational service. The original was revised to accomodate a crew of 2, and had it's guns moved to a ventral tray to accomodate the AI.Mk VIII radar, and additional fuel tanks.

Four more aircraft were converted to the NF.Mk XV standard, with a span of 59 ft 2 in (18,03 m), length 44 ft 6 in (13,56 m), empty and max take-off weights of respectively 13,746 lb (6.235 kg) and 17,600 lb (9.983 kg). The maximum speed was 412 Mph (663 km/h), typical range was 1,030 miles (1.658 km), and ceiling was 43,000 ft (13.105 m).
Number converted: 5
De Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk XVII Conversion from the F.Mk II, and equal to NF.Mk XII. These aircraft were fitted with the American radar called SCR-720, known by the British as AI.Mk. X, and had an empty and maximum take-off weight of 13,224 lb (5.998 kg) and 19,200 lb (8.709 kg) respectively. The different radar meant also a slightly altered nose.
Number converted: 99
De Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk XIX Identical to the NF.Mk XIII, but with 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 25 engines, and a nosesection capable of holding both the British AI.Mk VIII as the American SCR-720/729 radar types.
Number built: 280
De Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk 30 Identical to the NF.Mk XIX, but with 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 72/76/113 engines. The maximum speed was 424 Mph (682 km/h), range was 1,180 miles (1.899 km) and the ceiling was 35,000 ft (10.670 m)
Number built: 530
De Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk 36 Improved version of the NF.Mk 30, it entered operational service just after the war had ended. It came fitted with an AI.Mk IX radar, and 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 113/114 or 113A/114A engines
Number built: 163
De Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk 38 Designed and built after the War. It was based on the NF.Mk 36 with an AI.Mk IX radar, and fitted with 2 × Rolls Royce Merlin 114A engines. 60 of the aircraft were sold to Yugoslavia, the others scrapped. They never saw service within the RAF.
Number built: 101

Remarks:

It was fast, and it was small: the recipe for a hard target. The Mosquito bomber saw the lowest loss rate of all Allied bombers. It astounded the brass in it's maiden flight(s) and kept the enemy very busy indeed. For the enemy to get a Mosquito down you either got lucky or you had to work real hard. Especially in the later war years the Mosquito fighter-bomber was used extensively with relative impunity to destroy a myriad of German tactical targets.
The nightly Luftwaffe raids had been crunched by the Bristol Beaufighter before the NF series became operational, yet they fulfilled a necessary role in stopping nuisance raids of intruding Focke Wulf FW 190A's.

The Mosquito also saw some famout operations, like the attack on the Gestapo head quarters in The Hague. In that raid a 5 story building was leveled by 3 "waves" of 2 aircraft, using incendiaries and high explosives, and destroying all records the Gestapo had collected over the years on resistance fighters and their families, and hiding addresses of jews. Another famous attack was the break out of more than 250 prisoners in the prison of Amiens. The first bombers destroyed the guard houses, and following aircraft breached the walls to enable the men inside to break free. This remarkable feat was put in progress because the French Resistance had mentioned the planned execution of numerous resistance fighters

Strengths:

Weaknesses:

 

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© by Frans Bonné, 2000
Last revision: 2/9/01