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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Junkers Ju 188 medium bomber

Photos

  • Junkers Ju 188 bomber
  • Junkers Ju 188E-1 bomber
  • Junkers Ju 188E-1 bomber
  • Junkers Ju 188 bomber

Design

In 1939 the German air ministry issued a "Bomber B" requirement for a replacement for the Heinkel He 111 and Junkers Ju 86. Junkers proposed the Ju 288 as an advanced design. However, the Ju 288 was delayed and the Ju 188 was more conventional.

The first prototype of the Junkers Ju 188 was a Junkers Ju 88E that was modified. The wings had a pointed tip and were longer. The empennage was changed as well. It could have either Junkers Jumo 213s or BMW 801s engines installed. The BMWs were available in greater quantities so they were installed.

Cockpit

The cockpit was encased in glass. The dorsal turret was located above the cockpit.

Engines

The German air ministry wanted the Ju 188 to have interchangeable engines. It would be able to use the Jumo 213 or BMW 801 depending on availability.

The engines had MW50 methanol-water injection to increase performance.

Bomb Bay

In the reconnaissance version the bomb bay was converted to carry a fuel tank.

Wings

The wings had extended wingtips to increase performance.

Prototype

The first Ju 188 prototypes flew in early 1940.

The pre production Ju 188B-0 was completed in February 1943.

Production

Production ceased in the spring of 1944 as production priorities shifted to fighters.

  • Total: 1,076, ~1,100
    • Manufacturer: Junkers Flugzeug und Motorenwerke A.G.
    • Production: February 1943 - ?

Variants

  • Junkers Ju 188V1: Was the Ju 88 V44 prototype. Had a dorsal turret and squared tail.
  • Junkers Ju 188V2: Was under test in January 1943.
  • Junkers Ju 188?: At least a single Ju 188E was converted to a transport for senior officers.
  • Junkers Ju 188A: Appeared in mid 1943. Had Junkers Jumo 213 in-line engine (1,600 HP). Did not have dive brakes.
  • Junkers Ju 188A-1: Bomber. Had Junkers Jumo 213A-1 water methanol boosted engines (2,240 HP). Appeared in January 1944.
  • Junkers Ju 188A-2: Night operations. Operational in January 1944. 2,240 HP engines.
  • Junkers Ju 188A-3: Torpedo bomber. Could carry two torpedos. Had water methanol boost for the engines.
  • Junkers Ju 188B-0: Pre production version. Had BMW 801 radial engines (1,600 HP). Wings were sharply pointed.
  • Junkers Ju 188C: Experimental variant. Had remote control tail turret with two MG 131 guns.
  • Junkers Ju 188D: Photo reconnaissance.
  • Junkers Ju 188D-2: Had search radar.
  • Junkers Ju 188E: Used often over Britain as a path finder from 1943 to 1944. First main production model. Became operational in October 1943.
  • Junkers Ju 188E-2: Torpedo bomber. Had the FuG 200 maritime radar. Could carry two torpedoes under the wings.
  • Junkers Ju 188F: Reconnaissance version. Similar to the Ju 188D.
  • Junkers Ju 188G: Experimental bomber. Had tail turret. Based on the Ju 188C. Bomb bay was extended beyond the lower fuselage into a fairing.
  • Junkers Ju 188H: Reconnaissance.
  • Junkers Ju 188R: Night fighter version that only progressed as far as evaluation.
  • Junkers Ju 188S: High altitude intruder version / bomber. Had pressurized cabin. Engines were water methanol boosted. Could go 435 mph / 440 mph / 700 kph at altitude.
  • Junkers Ju 188T: Reconnaissance version. Had Junkers Jumo 213E-1 three speed two stage supercharged and nitrous oxide boosted engines (2,168 HP). Could go 435 mph / 700 kph at altitude. Had pressurized cabin. There were three cameras.

Usage

The Ju 188 was used by Germany.

Crews liked the good handling that the Ju 188 had.

On August 18, 1943, the first sortie was flown from a French base. It was a pathfinder mission over northern England.

Units

About six Luftwaffe Gruppen were equipped with Ju 188s.

Operation Steinbock

In January 1944 the Ju 188s were used in the 400 bomber raid on London.

After World War II

After World War II the French Aéronavale used 30 ex-German and 12 SNCASE built Ju 188Es and Ju 188Fs.

Specifications

  Junkers Ju 188
Type Bomber
Reconnaissance
Crew 4 - 5
Dimensions  
Span 72' 2"
22 m
Length 49' 0.5"
14.95 m
Height 14' 7"
4.44 m
Armament  
Nose 1: 20 mm
Dorsal turret 1: 13 mm MG
Rear cockpit 1: 13 mm MG
Ventral step 2: 7.92 mm MG
Bomb load 6,614 lb
3,000 kg
  Junkers Ju 188A
Crew 5
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 213A
Cylinders Inverted V 12
HP 1,776 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 72' 2"
22 m
Length 49'
14.96 m
Weight  
Loaded 32,000 lb
14,530 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 20,500' /
6,250 m
325 mph
420 kph, 523 kph
Climb to 20,000' /
6,100 m
17 minutes
Service ceiling 33,000', 33,000'
10,058 m, 10,060 m
Range 1,550 miles
2,495 km
Range with 3,000 lb /
1,500 kg Bombs
1,550 miles
2,480 km
Armament  
Dorsal Position 1: 13 mm MG 131
Dorsal Turret 1: 20 mm, 20 mm MG 151/20
Lower - Rear 1: MG 131
OR 1: 7.9 mm twin MG 81
Nose 1: 20 mm MG 151/20
Bombs 6,600 lb
3,000 kg
  Junkers Ju 188D
Type Photo Reconnaissance
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 213A
Cylinders Inverted V 12
HP 1,776 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Performance  
Speed at 20,500' /
6,250 m
330 mph
528 kph
  Junkers Ju 188D-2
Type Maritime reconnaissance
Crew 3
Pilot, flight engineer, radar/radio operator.
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 213A-1
Cylinders Inline 12
HP Takeoff: 1,700 each
MW50 injection: 2,240 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 72' 2"
22 m
Length 49'
14.95 m
Height 14' 7"
4.44 m
Wing area 603 ft2
Weight  
Empty 21,780 lb
9,900 kg
Loaded 33,430 lb
15,195 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 20,000' /
6,096 m
334 mph
539 kph
Service ceiling 32,800'
10,000 m
Range @ 20,000' / 6,096 m
with drop tanks
2,100 miles
3,395 km
Armament  
Dorsal turret 1: 20 mm MG 151
Rear cockpit 1: 13 mm MG 131 MG
Ventral step 1: 7.9 mm MG 81z twin MG
  Junkers Ju 188E
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801D/G, BMW 801D
Cylinders Radial 14
HP 1,700 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
311 mph
500 kph
Speed at 20,000' /
6,100 m
315 mph
494 kph
Cruising speed 233 mph
375 kph
Service ceiling 30,665', 31,000'
9,346 m, 9,450 m
Range 1,210 miles
1,947 km
  Junkers Ju 188E-1
Type Bomber
Crew 4, 5
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801 D-2
2: BMW 801ML piston
Cylinders Raidal, Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 1,600 each, 1,700 each
Dimensions  
Span 72' 2"
22 m
Length 49', 49' 0.5"
14.95 m
Height 14' 6.75", 14' 7"
4.44 m
Wing area 602.8 ft2
56 m2
Weight  
Empty 21,737 lb, 21,825 lb
9,860 kg, 9,900 kg
Loaded 31,989 lb
14,510 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
310 mph, 311 mph
500 kph
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
17.6 minutes
Service ceiling 30,665', 31,510'
9,300 m
Range 1,210 miles, 1,211 miles
195 km
Armament 3: MG
1: 20 mm
Nose turret 1: 20 mm MG 151/20
Dorsal turret 1: 20 mm MG 151/20
Rear dorsal position 1: 13 mm MG 131
Rear ventral position 1: 13 mm MG 131
Bomb load 6,614 lb
3,000 kg
  Junkers Ju 188E-2
Type Torpedo Bomber
Crew 4
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801D
Cooling Air
HP 1,700 each
Dimensions  
Span 72' 2"
22 m
Length 48' 0.5"
14.9 m
Height 14' 6.8"
4.44 m
Wing area 602.78 sq ft
56 sq m
Weight  
Empty 21,737 lb
9,860 kg
Loaded 31,898 lb
14,470 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
311 mph
500 kph
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
17.6 minutes
Service ceiling 30,512'
9,300 m
Range 1,212 miles
1,950 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 13 mm MG
Dorsal Position 1: 13 mm MG
Bombs 6,614 lb
3,000 kg
OR  
Torpedoes 2: 1,764 lb LT
2: 800 kg LT
  Junkers Ju 188F
Type Reconnaissance
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801, BMW 801 D
OR 2: Jumo 213
HP BMW 801 D: 1,700
Performance  
Speed at 25,000' - 27,000' /
7,625 m - 8,235 m with GM 1 boost
340 mph
544 kph
Range 1,950 miles
3,120 km
  Junkers Ju 188G
Performance  
Speed at 20,300' /
6,190 m
336 mph
538 kph
Range with 3,300 lb /
1,500 kg Bombs
1,490 miles
2,385 km
Armament  
Ventral 1: Twin MG 131
Tail 4: MG 131
  Junkers Ju 188H
Type Reconnaissance
Performance  
Speed at 20,300' /
6,190 m
328 mph
525 kph
Range at 250 mph /
400 kph
1,955 miles
3,130 km
  Junkers Ju 188R
Type Night Fighter
Armament  
Fuselage 4: 20 mm MG 151/20
OR 2: 30 mm MK 103
  Junkers Ju 188S
Type Bomber
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: Jumo 213 A , Jumo 213E-1
OR 2: BMW 801 TM
HP Jumo 213E-1: 2,168
Armament  
Tail Turret 1: Twin MG 131
Fuselage Fairing - Ground Attack 1: 5 cm BK 5
OR 1: 3.7 cm BK 3.7 FlaK 18
Bombs 1,760 lb

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  6. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
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