What kind of Allied fighter was the German pilot most afraid of in World War II? American P-39, P-40 or British Spitfire, Hurricane? None of them are either, but a wooden fighter. How scary is this fighter? Some German pilots even tried to land quickly to avoid it. This fighter is the British “Mosquito”.
The “Mosquito” design uses a wooden sandwich structure, drawing on the experience of de Havilland DH.88 comet and DH91 Albatross aircraft, so it is affectionately known as the “wooden miracle”.
The original idea was that the Mosquito was a high-flying unarmed photographic reconnaissance aircraft, but the Mosquito could play many roles as bombers, fighter-bombers, night fighters, anti-ship aircraft, trainer aircraft, torpedo bombers, etc. The production of the “Mosquito” was as high as 7781 aircraft. Perhaps the Mosquito was the most feared Axis fighter in World War II.
Aviation expert David Mo explains, “Towards the end of the war, German night fighter pilots began to suffer a bad situation called ‘mosquito’ terror. Because the British “Mosquito” began to sneak up on them from behind as they sneaked up on the British bombers. “The Mosquito shot down hundreds of German night fighters (278 in total), and some of them crashed to avoid the Mosquito (real or imagined) emergency landing. “Just the news that there were mosquitoes nearby was enough to make the German pilots want to land as soon as possible.
The Mosquito flew much faster than the German night fighters because they used twin Rolls-Royce Merlin engines. The maximum flight speed is 595 kilometers per hour and the maximum range is 2740 kilometers.
The “Mosquito” fighter had four machine guns in the nose and four cannons on the fuselage. They installed a device called Sawtooth, which allows them to detect night fighters through their radar, and another device, called Perfectos, which allows them to detect night fighters through friend or foe identification systems. This meant that Germany’s night fighters had little chance of surviving in the face of the Mosquito.
The British would have canceled it at the beginning of the war, since wartime aluminum was given priority to supply Lancaster and Halifax bombers. Therefore, the “Mosquito” type turned to wood, so it was difficult to be large, just a light bomber. Later, after the British four-engine heavy bomber was severely damaged by German night fighters carrying the original radar, it was found that the “Mosquito” was easy to avoid the detection of German air-to-air radar because of its wooden structure. Some pilots call it the ‘wooden miracle’ or ‘wood terror’. ”
For the most part, the Mosquito served as a light bomber, which was used to fly above or below German air defense systems and simply ran past German fighters. By the time the German interceptors reached their heights, the “Mosquitoes” had already dropped their bombs and were on their way home. It is estimated that in a raid, a “Mosquito” could fly to Germany, drop 4,000-pound bombs, return to England to refuel, fly back to Germany, drop another 4,000-pound bomb, and then return to Britain before the last heavy bomber goes home.
The British used to send them in front of heavy bombers as trailblazers to drop incendiary bombs to mark targets, and then kill German night fighters with the “Mosquito” style. They have a very low loss rate (0.7% chance of being shot down, compared to 2.2% chance of heavy bombers). The Mosquito bomber dropped twice the bomb tonnage per aircraft as the heavy bomber, and it had only two crew members, compared to seven crew members on the heavy bomber.
It was also used in surprise strikes on specific targets in Germany. A “mosquito” was used to carry out an elaborate bombardment of Radio Berlin. Göring, commander of the Luftwaffe, then commented that while his air force lacked the aluminum to make aircraft, it was unfair that every piano factory in Britain was making “mosquitoes”.
The Mosquito also shot down 486 V1 missiles over the UK, as they were one of the few aircraft fast enough to catch up with the V-1 missile. The “Mosquito” can act not only as a bomber, but also as an anti-submarine. It installed a 57-mm anti-submarine gun under the nose. If it could spot a German submarine on the surface, it would blow a hole in both sides. This is enough to sink a submarine. (Power Talk World/Zhang Mi)