|There was a thread on here a few years ago put up by a fellow named Shooter, who was trying to make the argument that the Dehavilland Mosquito was a strategically insignificant aircraft which should never have been produced for the RAF, because it represented a waste of engines which could have better been used in Avro Lancasters. Shooter, an American, had a hobby of trying to diss any non-American type that had an excellent reputation (the Spitfire was another favourite target) and most people here told him he was being a clown with that being the end of it.
However, the thread has stuck in the back of my mind and made me wonder whether in fact the Mossie, despite its widespread usage in a variety of roles, was in fact underutilised in the daylight strategic bombing role? It did perform some very important low level raids such as the daylight raid on the Phillips radio works (along with Ventura's and Bostons - far less Mossies were shot down)in Holland during Operation Oyster. However, I can't find many references to the Mossie being used for the sort of regular high altitude daylight strategic bombing missions that the B-17 and other USAF daylight heavies conducted. Consider its characteristics:
-It could carry 4 x 500lb bombs all the way to Berlin which meant that you needed three mossies to carry a slightly larger warload than one B-17 did, which upon this basis meant more engine per lb of bomb in the Mossie.
-However, the Mossie was hard to catch and was more survivable than the Heavies. The latter only really became viable with the addition of long-range escort fighters, something that the mossie could have done without.
-It only required two crew versus ten on a B-17.
Without intending to be critical of the USAF daylight heavies, because they were one of the strategically vital assets in winning WW2, I am wondering whether had the RAF used the Mossie in the role at the expense of night bombing operations in Lancasters? I have read accounts that suggest that the later were not really directly successful in shutting down German production, with the main contribution being that they forced the Germans to provide 24/7 air defence. If they had used Mossies more in the daylight precision role is it possible that the impact that the fighter-escorted USAF bombers had on German production might have been bought forward by a year or so, helping to end the War earlier?
Another idea that I have is that if Reich fighter defences had started to get too tough for unescorted Merlin powered Mossies on strategic daylight missions, that they could have built the Griffon or Sabre powered versions that never happenned to keep the speed advantage over the FW-190? Up-engined Fighter versions of the Mossie would also have probably had sufficient performance to provide escort and fighter sweep duties in Germany in order to provide the bombers with even more protection.
(PS, in case anybody hasn't worked it out the Mossie is my favourite military aircraft and my second favourite aircraft after the Supermarine S-6B ... so some bias might show through :-). I do think it has to rate as one of the best all round aircraft of all time based on its merits alone).