Best Allied Bombers of World War II

The Top Ten
1 Avro Lancaster - UK

The best British bomber by far. Could carry a huge bomb load and could be adapted for various roles (e.g. the amazing dam buster raids). It could not absorb the punishment of the American B-17 and had to bomb by night-spreading it's bombs over large cities.

By far the best bomber of the war. Carried a comparable bomb load to the B-29 years earlier. It took more than two B-17s to carry a comparable load into Germany.

Most versatile heavy bomber of the war. Truly an outstanding bomber.

2 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress - USA

Could fly higher than the Lancaster and was responsible for shooting down a huge number of enemy fighters. It led daylight raids that focused on bombing the enemy's industries and infrastructure. Its ability to withstand incredible battle damage and still get home made it a legend.

I was always fascinated by this aircraft since I was 9.
And it is my most favourite airplane!

B-17 Flying Fortress, a well known bomber that ended ww2.

3 de Havilland Mosquito - UK

Astonishing how underestimated this aircraft was!

A truly great aircraft! Versatile, adaptable, faster than any other bomber and established "path finding" for the bigger bombers with there blanket bombing.

The Brits should've made more of these aircraft for greater accuracy bombing and other duties, but at the time mass numbers of British, Commonwealth and US heavy bombers were seen as more feasible and greater in destruction.

The bomb load was almost identical to the Flying Fortress, but it was not until later on did the path finding start to be used and prove to be so effective.

The greatest bomber in my view, but these are others that can be held in high esteem:

Lancaster (adaptable, surprisingly agile and greater bomb load)
Flying Fortress (took so much punishment and still flew)
Super fortress (later in the war was ahead of it's time)

4 Consolidated B-24 Liberator - USA

Could carry more bombs and fly farther than the B-17. It was not able to take nearly the punishment of the B-17.

5 North American B-25 Mitchell - USA

A workhorse medium bomber that did almost anything asked of it. Dolittle's raid using these bombers flying from the aircraft carrier Hornet in early 1942 Attests to its versatility.

Durable, fast and reliable, this plane made history and harried the axis forces in all theaters of the war.

6 Douglas SBD Dauntless - USA

Tough, versatile, and popular with pilots. This plane did so well at Midway that it soon became the defining symbol of the war against Japan. And unlike the Stuka and Val dive bombers, the SBD could perform well even when the Americans did not have air superiority, as evidenced by its successes in early 1942 and at Guadalcanal. Okay, the Stuka had the loud dive brakes and the 37mm cannon, but the SBD had the bomb load, defensive armament, range, and aircrew to cripple the Japanese Navy. Both the Stuka and the Val were torn to shreds by RAF and USN fighters, but the SBD performed well against the Zero fighter and was used against torpedo bombers early in the war. Pilots loved the SBD so much that they had to be coerced into switching to the SB2C.

7 Fairey Barracuda - UK
8 Grumman TBF Avenger - USA
9 Vickers Wellington - UK

My favourite bomber of the war, the Wellington was a great torpedo bomber though lacked ability to carry heavy bombs and was viewed outdated as soon as the Lancaster and Halifax were released.

10 Boeing B-29 Superfortress - USA

They're all great bomber but only one ended the war for America, the Superfortress. Also one of the first aircraft to feature primative computers and pressurization and capable of delivering the A-Bomb.

This plane almost single-handedly ended the war in the Pacific. It had a range, speed, armament, ceiling, and size that blew everything else out of the water.

The B-29. The most advanced WWII bomber. Rugged, armed to the teeth, and deadly

The Contenders
11 Martin B-26 Marauder - USA

A medium sized bomber that was fast and could take a lot of damage. It was actually built at the point that America entered the war. Plus, my Grandfather flew 67 missions over occupied France, including 2 missions on D-day in the Marauder.

Lowest operational losses of any bomber in the most difficult theaters of the war says it all. There for the entire conflict - should be rated #1

12 Short Sunderland - UK

This giant flying boat was an awesome maritime patroller and was a good bomber too!

This was a great seaplane and bombed German supply ships and U-boats.

13 Vultee A-31 Vengeance - USA

Like the Martin Maryland/Baltimore, this aircraft had been built in the US but only used in lend-lease. The Allies wanted an equivalent of the terrifying Ju 87 Stuka and so they got the Vultee A-31 Vengeance two-seat dive-bomber. For the French and Americans, they only found it useful to relegate it for training purposes while the RAF, RAAF, and RAIF used it effectively in Burma and New Guinea. There were four British squadrons, five Australian, and two Indian. This airplane remains one the most successful but unsung heroes of the Second World War.

14 Fairey Swordfish - UK
15 Bristol Type 156 Beaufighter - UK

Pug ugly but devastingly effective in low lever interdiction raids the Beaufighter was the last thing German and Italian shipping wanted to see as it was often the last.

16 Handley Page Halifax - UK
17 Short Stirling - UK
18 Ilyushin Il-2 - USSR
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