RAF Wellington Bomber Easy to Shoot Down

RAF Wellington bomber slow and easy to shoot down

The wreckage of a Wellington bomber shot down by flak over the Netherlands. It was one of 21 aircraft lost on the Bremen raid of 13-14 September 1942.   (photo courtesy Imperial War Museum www.iwm.org.uk)

This was the most modern strategic bomber the Royal Air Force had when World War Two began. Unfortunately, it was slow–220 to 235 MPH with a ceiling of 18,000 feet.

New_Zealand_Wellington_Bombers_in_England1939

Wellington Mark I bomber, with the original Vickers turrets, of the RNZAF — anticipating war, the New Zealand government loaned these aircraft and their aircrews to the RAF in August 1939. 

 

Once four-engine bombers went into service with Bomber Command, the Wellington’s were pushed aft to the lowest level of the bomber stream. They could barely keep up with the 4 engines and often didn’t which them extremely vulnerable to German fighters.

Dwi_wellington_front

A close-up view of a Vickers Wellington bomber DWI (Directional Wireless Installation) on the ground at Ismailia, Egypt, showing the electromagnetic ring used to explode magnetic mines. (Original IWM caption: Close-up of a Vickers Wellington DWI Mark II of No. 1 General Reconnaissance Unit at Ismaliya, Egypt, showing the 48-foot diameter electromagnetic ring, for exploding magnetic mines, suspended from the wings and fuselage of the aircraft. The ring weighed over two and a quarter tons. (photograph CM 5312 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums)

 

Beuteflugzeug, Vickers Wellington

A captured Vickers Wellington bomber Mk.IC (RAF serial L7842) in service with the German Luftwaffe, probably at the test center at Rechlin, circa 1941. L7842 was delivered in mid-1940. It was lost on 6 February 1941 while in service with No. 311 Squadron, RAF, while on a mission to Boulogne (France). Photo German National Archive.

 

 

 

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/