What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

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What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by Aussiegoat » 19 Apr 2019 08:56

The USAAF and RAF suffered extremely high losses among their bomber forces. What would have the European aerial campaign looked like had the allies diverted production away from Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s, B25s, B26s etc towards Mosquitos?

Mosquitos had the performance to match most enemy fighters, could carry a similar bomb load to many medium and even some 'heavy' bombers over certain ranges, and ultimately had one of the best (if not the lowest) loss rate of any allied bomber.

I reckon the Luftwaffe's worst nightmare would have been 1,000s of Mosquitos attacking by day and night. Would have been almost impossible to combat.

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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by maltesefalcon » 19 Apr 2019 15:44

Have a look at this previous post on a similar topic.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=211328&p=1909986&h ... o#p1909986

or another:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=123587&hilit=Mosquito

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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by Sheldrake » 20 Apr 2019 00:11

Those posts aren't quite addressing the same issues.

If the British had solely relied on the Mosquito, I dare say the Germans would have expedited the development of a faster fighter that could catch the mosquito.

After all, in 1936 the German Do17 had a comparable performance advantage over contemporary fighters as the Mosquito over the German fighters of 1941. Faced by, say Ta154, Do 335 or Me262 the Mosquito is as easy meat as a Do17 against Spitfires.

The Mosquito was an adjunct to the main British Bomber effort and German development was focused on stopping heavy night bombers, and then heavy day bombers when the US joined in. The heavy bomber forces were capable of delivering the equivalent throw weight to nuclear weapons. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the same order of magnitude in Kilotons to Hamburg or Dresden.

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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by stg 44 » 20 Apr 2019 02:52

Sheldrake wrote:
20 Apr 2019 00:11
Those posts aren't quite addressing the same issues.

If the British had solely relied on the Mosquito, I dare say the Germans would have expedited the development of a faster fighter that could catch the mosquito.

After all, in 1936 the German Do17 had a comparable performance advantage over contemporary fighters as the Mosquito over the German fighters of 1941. Faced by, say Ta154, Do 335 or Me262 the Mosquito is as easy meat as a Do17 against Spitfires.

The Mosquito was an adjunct to the main British Bomber effort and German development was focused on stopping heavy night bombers, and then heavy day bombers when the US joined in. The heavy bomber forces were capable of delivering the equivalent throw weight to nuclear weapons. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the same order of magnitude in Kilotons to Hamburg or Dresden.
Its not like the Germans didn't try. The Ta-154 proved to be a failure, the Do335 wasn't ready until the end of the war, and the Me262 was designed for something else. You might see some single engine light jet fighters for interceptions of Mossies earlier, but not by much. Maybe there is a fast twin engine fighter they could try and produce, that is really stripped down except for weapons, perhaps something like the Me109Z, but stripped down even more of all but the necessary light weapons to say ignite the Mossies with incendiaries (I'm thinking like the MG131). Who knows, but unarmed Mossies might mean you could try and counter them with really light SE fighters, i.e. without armor and just a few light MGs, but if so why weren't they tried IOTL given the serious threat the Mossies posed?

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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by maltesefalcon » 20 Apr 2019 04:54

I guess we ignore the fact that the larger aircraft had a useful range 2 to 2-1/2 times that of the Mosquito?
It would certainly limit the number of targets.

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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by Aussiegoat » 20 Apr 2019 05:06

maltesefalcon wrote:
20 Apr 2019 04:54
I guess we ignore the fact that the larger aircraft had a useful range 2 to 2-1/2 times that of the Mosquito?
It would certainly limit the number of targets.
In May 1942, the earliest Mosquito bomber - The B Mk IV - entered service with a maximum speed of 380 mph (610 km/h), a cruising speed of 265 mph (426 km/h), ceiling of 34,000 ft (10,000 m), a range of 2,040 nmi (3,780 km), and a climb rate of 2,500 ft per minute (762 m), and subsequent models improved all performance aspects. This range was more than enough to reach any conceivable target in Germany.

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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by Aussiegoat » 20 Apr 2019 05:18

Sheldrake wrote:
20 Apr 2019 00:11
Those posts aren't quite addressing the same issues.

If the British had solely relied on the Mosquito, I dare say the Germans would have expedited the development of a faster fighter that could catch the mosquito.

After all, in 1936 the German Do17 had a comparable performance advantage over contemporary fighters as the Mosquito over the German fighters of 1941. Faced by, say Ta154, Do 335 or Me262 the Mosquito is as easy meat as a Do17 against Spitfires.

The Mosquito was an adjunct to the main British Bomber effort and German development was focused on stopping heavy night bombers, and then heavy day bombers when the US joined in. The heavy bomber forces were capable of delivering the equivalent throw weight to nuclear weapons. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the same order of magnitude in Kilotons to Hamburg or Dresden.
It was one thing slipping underneath a lumbering Lancaster and unleashing some Schräge Musik - it was another chasing down and getting in position to shoot an agile and fast bomber like the Mosquito.

The time a Mosquito was airborne over Germany was also far less than a heavy bomber, reducing the time you have to respond. And even if the Germans had Ta154s, Do 335s or Me262s, they could never be produced in numbers like previous German fighters, again reducing the number of opportunities to intercept the Mosquitos. Flak and searchlights were also far less effective against a Mosquito than heavy bombers.

And concerning the tonnage delivered by the heavies, the vast vast majority missed their targets anyway. An all Mosquito force would have been more accurate.

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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by Kingfish » 20 Apr 2019 11:28

Aussiegoat wrote:
20 Apr 2019 05:18
And concerning the tonnage delivered by the heavies, the vast vast majority missed their targets anyway. An all Mosquito force would have been more accurate.
Why would it be more accurate?
An all Mosquito force would have used the same targeting equipment and tactics as the larger aircraft.
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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by maltesefalcon » 20 Apr 2019 12:42

Aussiegoat wrote:
20 Apr 2019 05:06
maltesefalcon wrote:
20 Apr 2019 04:54
I guess we ignore the fact that the larger aircraft had a useful range 2 to 2-1/2 times that of the Mosquito?
It would certainly limit the number of targets.
In May 1942, the earliest Mosquito bomber - The B Mk IV - entered service with a maximum speed of 380 mph (610 km/h), a cruising speed of 265 mph (426 km/h), ceiling of 34,000 ft (10,000 m), a range of 2,040 nmi (3,780 km), and a climb rate of 2,500 ft per minute (762 m), and subsequent models improved all performance aspects. This range was more than enough to reach any conceivable target in Germany.
I will have to defer to you on the range it seems. Checking further sources I got range numbers anywhere from 800 to 1500 nm. Guess it depends on the mark and the bombload.

In any case the VLR Liberator would now not be available for ASW patrol in the Atlantic. As well the B-17 would not be available for use in its longer range reconnaissance/patrol bomber role in the Pacific. (In this case I am making the debatable assumption that if they were not made for the larger European conflict, the four-engine bomber concept would wither on the vine.)

One more point. Without a history of four engine bomber production and crews, both manufacturers and crews would need to start from a blank page to get a B-29 built and into service. (I hope no one is going to suggest Mosquitos could fly a nuclear weapon from Tinian to Japan.)

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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by Aussiegoat » 22 Apr 2019 10:30

maltesefalcon wrote:
20 Apr 2019 12:42
Aussiegoat wrote:
20 Apr 2019 05:06
maltesefalcon wrote:
20 Apr 2019 04:54
I guess we ignore the fact that the larger aircraft had a useful range 2 to 2-1/2 times that of the Mosquito?
It would certainly limit the number of targets.
In May 1942, the earliest Mosquito bomber - The B Mk IV - entered service with a maximum speed of 380 mph (610 km/h), a cruising speed of 265 mph (426 km/h), ceiling of 34,000 ft (10,000 m), a range of 2,040 nmi (3,780 km), and a climb rate of 2,500 ft per minute (762 m), and subsequent models improved all performance aspects. This range was more than enough to reach any conceivable target in Germany.
I will have to defer to you on the range it seems. Checking further sources I got range numbers anywhere from 800 to 1500 nm. Guess it depends on the mark and the bombload.

In any case the VLR Liberator would now not be available for ASW patrol in the Atlantic. As well the B-17 would not be available for use in its longer range reconnaissance/patrol bomber role in the Pacific. (In this case I am making the debatable assumption that if they were not made for the larger European conflict, the four-engine bomber concept would wither on the vine.)

One more point. Without a history of four engine bomber production and crews, both manufacturers and crews would need to start from a blank page to get a B-29 built and into service. (I hope no one is going to suggest Mosquitos could fly a nuclear weapon from Tinian to Japan.)
I'm assuming that all of these other planes were still developed, but that production would be diverted to Mosquitos once it had proven so effective. The VLR Lib might have still been developed (I don't when it was finalised?), and could have been used in the Atlantic and Pacific. As for the B17, it was inferior to the Mosquito in almost all aspects, so no less there. The B-29 - interesting point but I limited this 'What if' to Europe. Maybe they could have attached an atomic warhead to a captured V2 :lol:

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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by Aussiegoat » 22 Apr 2019 11:31

Kingfish wrote:
20 Apr 2019 11:28
Aussiegoat wrote:
20 Apr 2019 05:18
And concerning the tonnage delivered by the heavies, the vast vast majority missed their targets anyway. An all Mosquito force would have been more accurate.
Why would it be more accurate?
An all Mosquito force would have used the same targeting equipment and tactics as the larger aircraft.
Mosquitos did use different tactics to the heavy bomber streams (on account of their superior performance), and accounted for approximately half the pathfinder force. I'm not a Mosquito expert but I assume they were used in this role for a reason. I imagine you'd feel much safer in a Mosquito looking for your target knowing you're harder to engage than a heavy bomber, giving you more time to find your target and bomb.

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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by maltesefalcon » 22 Apr 2019 17:04

Aussiegoat wrote:
22 Apr 2019 10:30
maltesefalcon wrote:
20 Apr 2019 12:42
Aussiegoat wrote:
20 Apr 2019 05:06
maltesefalcon wrote:
20 Apr 2019 04:54
I guess we ignore the fact that the larger aircraft had a useful range 2 to 2-1/2 times that of the Mosquito?
It would certainly limit the number of targets.
In May 1942, the earliest Mosquito bomber - The B Mk IV - entered service with a maximum speed of 380 mph (610 km/h), a cruising speed of 265 mph (426 km/h), ceiling of 34,000 ft (10,000 m), a range of 2,040 nmi (3,780 km), and a climb rate of 2,500 ft per minute (762 m), and subsequent models improved all performance aspects. This range was more than enough to reach any conceivable target in Germany.
I will have to defer to you on the range it seems. Checking further sources I got range numbers anywhere from 800 to 1500 nm. Guess it depends on the mark and the bombload.

In any case the VLR Liberator would now not be available for ASW patrol in the Atlantic. As well the B-17 would not be available for use in its longer range reconnaissance/patrol bomber role in the Pacific. (In this case I am making the debatable assumption that if they were not made for the larger European conflict, the four-engine bomber concept would wither on the vine.)

One more point. Without a history of four engine bomber production and crews, both manufacturers and crews would need to start from a blank page to get a B-29 built and into service. (I hope no one is going to suggest Mosquitos could fly a nuclear weapon from Tinian to Japan.)
I'm assuming that all of these other planes were still developed, but that production would be diverted to Mosquitos once it had proven so effective. The VLR Lib might have still been developed (I don't when it was finalised?), and could have been used in the Atlantic and Pacific. As for the B17, it was inferior to the Mosquito in almost all aspects, so no less there. The B-29 - interesting point but I limited this 'What if' to Europe. Maybe they could have attached an atomic warhead to a captured V2 :lol:
Your OP title used the word "solely" which I interpreted as no use of 4 engine a/c, so you are trying change the scenerio.

FWIW, B-17 did not live up to its potential as a high altitude anti-shipping bomber in the Pacific. IRL they had a max strength less than 200 in the PTO. Such a small fleet would have still needed spares and replacement aircraft. With no ETO as the lions share, this would not be economically viable for any company to make. The PBY and B-25 could quite easily fulfill the patrol or bombing roles respectively.

Same goes for B-24. Original order for USAAF was quite small, with the bulk intended for France and UK. Without those orders to get the ball rolling and the larger European Theatre orders to follow, there would be little incentive to build these as well.

So both these aircraft would not likely progress beyond the initial development/evaluation runs. This happened with many other programs IRL.

And a V2, captured or otherwise could not hope to lift a Mk1 nuclear weapon.

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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by Aussiegoat » 23 Apr 2019 02:17

Fair call r.e. title. In my mind I was picturing post-Mosquito deployment - sorry should have made that clear.

And yes I was being tongue in cheek about the V2...

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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by Kingfish » 23 Apr 2019 10:23

Aussiegoat wrote:
22 Apr 2019 11:31
Mosquitos did use different tactics to the heavy bomber streams (on account of their superior performance), and accounted for approximately half the pathfinder force. I'm not a Mosquito expert but I assume they were used in this role for a reason. I imagine you'd feel much safer in a Mosquito looking for your target knowing you're harder to engage than a heavy bomber, giving you more time to find your target and bomb.
Correct, they used different tactics due to different performance, but you can't assume the same tactic would produce better results in a far different mission requirement.

After all, a destroyer is far faster and more maneuverable than a battleship, but you wouldn't want to use them as the primary component for a NGFS mission or a stand up fight against another BB.
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Re: What if the USAAF and RAF had solely used Mosquitos instead of Lancasters, Halifaxes, B17s, B24s etc in Europe

Post by T. A. Gardner » 23 Apr 2019 20:09

Then the Luftwaffe would have put major emphasis on developing planes specifically to counter the Mosquito and in short order it starts suffering higher losses. All you do by putting all your airplane eggs in one basket is ensure that the opposition develops a specific counter to your specific airplane.
By having a variety of planes with different characteristics, you force the opposition into many lines of development. For example, the USAAF using heavily armed and high flying bombers forced development of high altitude fighters carrying heavy armament. The RAF coming at night forced the development of radar and electronic equipped nightfighters.
The unarmed Mosquito would have likely found itself quickly facing very fast interceptors carrying sufficient armament to damage or destroy it. It's wooden structure couldn't take as much of a beating as an all-metal plane could and without defensive armament, once intercepted, it's done for.

I'd also add, that I can't see the US for a minute wanting or using the manufacturing techniques the British and Commonwealth used to build the Mosquito. The US was well beyond using manual bonding and forming of wood with casein and urethane glues as shown in this video of a wooden plane the US did manufacture. The quality control and methodology is far beyond what was being used on the Mosquito (or by the Germans with wooden planes for that matter).



I'll add, that aircraft like the B-24 were capable of things the Mosquito couldn't do. For example, the B-24 became an important maritime patrol aircraft due to its extremely long range. The larger bombers you list also were all far more capable of being turned into electronic warfare aircraft due to the bulky nature of electronic equipment at the time. For example, a Mosquito couldn't have carried Airborne Cigar or Jostle jammers. They lack the space and power requirements to do so.
Again, it's putting all your airplane eggs in one basket...

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