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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 86.1,4 Junkers proposed the Ju 288 as an advanced design.1 However, the Ju 288 was delayed and the Ju 188 was more conventional.1,2

The first prototype of the Junkers Ju 188 was a Junkers Ju 88E that was modified.4 The wings had a pointed tip and were longer.4 The empennage was changed as well.4 It could have either Junkers Jumo 213s or BMW 801s engines installed.4 The BMWs were available in greater quantities so they were installed.4

Cockpit

The cockpit was encased in glass.3 The dorsal turret was located above the cockpit.3

Engines

The German air ministry wanted the Ju 188 to have interchangeable engines.1 It would be able to use the Jumo 213 or BMW 801 depending on availability.1

The engines had MW50 methanol-water injection to increase performance.1

Bomb Bay

In the reconnaissance version the bomb bay was converted to carry a fuel tank.1

Wings

The wings had extended wingtips to increase performance.1,3

Prototype

The first Ju 188 prototypes flew in early 1940.3

The pre production Ju 188B-0 was completed in February 1943.2

Production

Production ceased in the spring of 1944 as production priorities shifted to fighters.2

  • Total: 1,0762,4, ~1,1003
    • Manufacturer: Junkers Flugzeug und Motorenwerke A.G.4
    • Production: February 1943 - ?4

Variants

  • Junkers Ju 188V1: Was the Ju 88 V44 prototype.1 Had a dorsal turret and squared tail.1
  • Junkers Ju 188V2: Was under test in January 1943.1
  • Junkers Ju 188?: At least a single Ju 188E was converted to a transport for senior officers.1
  • Junkers Ju 188A: Appeared in mid 1943.3 Had Junkers Jumo 213 in-line engine (1,600 HP).4 Did not have dive brakes.4
  • Junkers Ju 188A-1: Bomber.3 Had Junkers Jumo 213A-1 water methanol boosted engines (2,240 HP).2 Appeared in January 1944.2
  • Junkers Ju 188A-2: Night operations.3 Operational in January 1944.4 2,240 HP engines.4
  • Junkers Ju 188A-3: Torpedo bomber.1,2,3,4 Could carry two torpedos.1 Had water methanol boost for the engines.6
  • Junkers Ju 188B-0: Pre production version.2 Had BMW 801 radial engines (1,600 HP).2 Wings were sharply pointed.2
  • Junkers Ju 188C: Experimental variant.3 Had remote control tail turret with two MG 131 guns.3,5
  • Junkers Ju 188D: Photo reconnaissance.2,3,4,5
  • Junkers Ju 188D-2: Had search radar.3
  • Junkers Ju 188E: Used often over Britain as a path finder from 1943 to 1944.3 First main production model.4 Became operational in October 1943.4
  • Junkers Ju 188E-2: Torpedo bomber.1,2,3,6 Had the FuG 200 maritime radar.1,6 Could carry two torpedoes under the wings.1,3,6
  • Junkers Ju 188F: Reconnaissance version.1,2,3,4,5 Similar to the Ju 188D.5
  • Junkers Ju 188G: Experimental bomber.3,4 Had tail turret.3,4 Based on the Ju 188C.5 Bomb bay was extended beyond the lower fuselage into a fairing.5
  • Junkers Ju 188H: Reconnaissance.4,5
  • Junkers Ju 188R: Night fighter version that only progressed as far as evaluation.1,3,4,5
  • Junkers Ju 188S: High altitude intruder version / bomber.1,3,4,5 Had pressurized cabin.3,4,5 Engines were water methanol boosted.3 Could go 435 mph / 440 mph4 / 700 kph at altitude.3
  • Junkers Ju 188T: Reconnaissance version.1,2,3,4,5 Had Junkers Jumo 213E-1 three speed two stage supercharged and nitrous oxide boosted engines (2,168 HP).2,4 Could go 435 mph / 700 kph at altitude.3 Had pressurized cabin.4 There were three cameras.5

Usage

The Ju 188 was used by Germany.3

Crews liked the good handling that the Ju 188 had.1

On August 18, 1943, the first sortie was flown from a French base.1,2 It was a pathfinder mission over northern England.1

Units

About six Luftwaffe Gruppen were equipped with Ju 188s.3

Operation Steinbock

In January 1944 the Ju 188s were used in the 400 bomber raid on London.1,2

After World War II

After World War II the French Aéronavale used 30 ex-German and 12 SNCASE built Ju 188Es and Ju 188Fs.1

Specifications

  Junkers Ju 188
Type Bomber3
Reconnaissance3
Crew 4 - 53
Dimensions  
Span 72' 2"3
22 m3
Length 49' 0.5"3
14.95 m3
Height 14' 7"3
4.44 m3
Armament  
Nose 1: 20 mm3
Dorsal turret 1: 13 mm MG3
Rear cockpit 1: 13 mm MG3
Ventral step 2: 7.92 mm MG3
Bomb load 6,614 lb3
3,000 kg3
  Junkers Ju 188A
Crew 55
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 213A3,5
Cylinders Inverted V 123
HP 1,776 each3
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 72' 2"5
22 m5
Length 49'5
14.96 m5
Weight  
Loaded 32,000 lb5
14,530 kg5
Performance  
Speed @ 20,500' /
6,250 m
325 mph3,5
420 kph5, 523 kph3
Climb to 20,000' /
6,100 m
17 minutes5
Service ceiling 33,000'3, 33,000'5
10,058 m3, 10,060 m5
Range 1,550 miles3
2,495 km3
Range with 3,000 lb /
1,500 kg Bombs
1,550 miles5
2,480 km5
Armament  
Dorsal Position 1: 13 mm MG 1315
Dorsal Turret 1: 20 mm4, 20 mm MG 151/205
Lower - Rear 1: MG 1315
OR 1: 7.9 mm twin MG 815
Nose 1: 20 mm MG 151/205
Bombs 6,600 lb5
3,000 kg5
  Junkers Ju 188D
Type Photo Reconnaissance5
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 213A3
Cylinders Inverted V 123
HP 1,776 each3
Propeller blades 3 each3
Performance  
Speed at 20,500' /
6,250 m
330 mph5
528 kph5
  Junkers Ju 188D-2
Type Maritime reconnaissance1
Crew 31
Pilot, flight engineer, radar/radio operator.1
Engine (Type) 2: Junkers Jumo 213A-11
Cylinders Inline 121
HP Takeoff: 1,700 each1
MW50 injection: 2,240 each1
Propeller blades 3 each1
Dimensions  
Span 72' 2"1
22 m1
Length 49'1
14.95 m1
Height 14' 7"1
4.44 m1
Wing area 603 ft2 1
Weight  
Empty 21,780 lb1
9,900 kg1
Loaded 33,430 lb1
15,195 kg1
Performance  
Speed @ 20,000' /
6,096 m
334 mph1
539 kph1
Service ceiling 32,800'1
10,000 m1
Range @ 20,000' / 6,096 m
with drop tanks
2,100 miles1
3,395 km1
Armament  
Dorsal turret 1: 20 mm MG 1511
Rear cockpit 1: 13 mm MG 131 MG1
Ventral step 1: 7.9 mm MG 81z twin MG1
  Junkers Ju 188E
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801D/G3, BMW 801D5
Cylinders Radial 143
HP 1,700 each3
Propeller blades 3 each3
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
311 mph3
500 kph3
Speed at 20,000' /
6,100 m
315 mph5
494 kph5
Cruising speed 233 mph3
375 kph3
Service ceiling 30,665'3, 31,000'5
9,346 m3, 9,450 m5
Range 1,210 miles3
1,947 km3
  Junkers Ju 188E-1
Type Bomber2,4
Crew 44, 52
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801 D-24
2: BMW 801ML piston2
Cylinders Raidal2, Radial 144
Cooling Air4
HP 1,600 each2, 1,700 each4
Dimensions  
Span 72' 2"2,4
22 m2
Length 49'4, 49' 0.5"2
14.95 m2
Height 14' 6.75"2, 14' 7"4
4.44 m2
Wing area 602.8 ft2 2
56 m2 2
Weight  
Empty 21,737 lb2, 21,825 lb3
9,860 kg2, 9,900 kg3
Loaded 31,989 lb2,3,4
14,510 kg2,3
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
310 mph4, 311 mph2
500 kph2
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
17.6 minutes2
Service ceiling 30,665'4, 31,510'2
9,300 m2
Range 1,210 miles4, 1,211 miles2
195 km2
Armament 3: MG4
1: 20 mm4
Nose turret 1: 20 mm MG 151/202
Dorsal turret 1: 20 mm MG 151/202
Rear dorsal position 1: 13 mm MG 1312
Rear ventral position 1: 13 mm MG 1312
Bomb load 6,614 lb2,4
3,000 kg2
  Junkers Ju 188E-2
Type Torpedo Bomber6
Crew 46
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801D6
Cooling Air6
HP 1,700 each6
Dimensions  
Span 72' 2"6
22 m
Length 48' 0.5"6
14.9 m6
Height 14' 6.8"6
4.44 m6
Wing area 602.78 sq ft6
56 sq m6
Weight  
Empty 21,737 lb6
9,860 kg6
Loaded 31,898 lb6
14,470 kg6
Performance  
Speed @ 19,685' /
6,000 m
311 mph6
500 kph6
Climb to 19,685' /
6,000 m
17.6 minutes6
Service ceiling 30,512'6
9,300 m6
Range 1,212 miles6
1,950 km6
Armament  
Nose 1: 13 mm MG6
Dorsal Position 1: 13 mm MG6
Bombs 6,614 lb6
3,000 kg6
OR  
Torpedoes 2: 1,764 lb LT6
2: 800 kg LT6
  Junkers Ju 188F
Type Reconnaissance5
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 8011, BMW 801 D2,5
OR 2: Jumo 2131
HP BMW 801 D: 1,7002
Performance  
Speed at 25,000' - 27,000' /
7,625 m - 8,235 m with GM 1 boost
340 mph5
544 kph5
Range 1,950 miles5
3,120 km5
  Junkers Ju 188G
Performance  
Speed at 20,300' /
6,190 m
336 mph5
538 kph5
Range with 3,300 lb /
1,500 kg Bombs
1,490 miles5
2,385 km5
Armament  
Ventral 1: Twin MG 1315
Tail 4: MG 1315
  Junkers Ju 188H
Type Reconnaissance5
Performance  
Speed at 20,300' /
6,190 m
328 mph5
525 kph5
Range at 250 mph /
400 kph
1,955 miles5
3,130 km5
  Junkers Ju 188R
Type Night Fighter
Armament  
Fuselage 4: 20 mm MG 151/205
OR 2: 30 mm MK 1035
  Junkers Ju 188S
Type Bomber5
Crew 35
Engine (Type) 2: Jumo 213 A5 , Jumo 213E-14
OR 2: BMW 801 TM5
HP Jumo 213E-1: 2,1684
Armament  
Tail Turret 1: Twin MG 1315
Fuselage Fairing - Ground Attack 1: 5 cm BK 55
OR 1: 3.7 cm BK 3.7 FlaK 185
Bombs 1,760 lb4

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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