• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

No Canberra

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
550
What if there wasn't the Canberra for medium bomber, recce and other tasks?
Or what if it's production run was just a short one?

Prior to Korea, funds were tight and most offensive spending in the RAF was focused on the V-bomber Fleet.

It could be argued that not only did the large run of Canberra benefit EE, but it detracted from the V-bomber force. Pulling time, staff and finance away from the core mission....
 

Fluff

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
209
Reaction score
89
Couldn't happen, Canberra was a jet Mosquito, started as a medium bomber, became almost everything really, except fighter/intercept.

To simply have say Hunters, and V force, with nothing in-between is like having carriers, and destroyers, you need something in the middle, for when a fighter wont do, and a v-bomber is too large, costly or just plain intimidating. Even allowing for some efficiency in terms of tons on target, the Canberras were used as strike aircraft, for the intermediary targets, V-force would only want to bomb cities and major rail junctions, Canberra's would be after the trains, convoys etc.

I would suggest having the 'mid-level' contributed to an effective deterrence, thus 'holding' the peace until Reagan/Thatcher could win it. Not off topic, as you mentioned finance.

Of course EE benefited, but if you upped the V-force who would build them, Avro etc would have had to sub out work, thus back to EE.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
550
Only if what alertken said is correct, only a limited number of Canberras were ordered until the US piled funds in during Korea. Prior to that, the main spend of UK funds is V-Force.

By 4/48 we had one, so 4xprot. ITP, A1 Day Bomber (GEE only), though A.M. planned to dump A1 to release resources for Mediums. S.Ransom/R.Fairclough,EE A/c,Put.87,P157. MoS 12/7/49 canx. 2xDay prots and all industry/TRE work on A1-peculiar H2S+NBS, to attend to its fit for Mediums, Priority accelerated by Berlin Airlift wef25/6/48, which provoked Light Bombers.130 (to be) Canberra B.2 were ordered 3/49 (later shuffled, inc. PR.3/T.4).
This somewhat mates with lack of progress on bombing system for Canberra. Along with limited production of nuclear stores, focused on V-Force delivery.
 
Last edited:

Fluff

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
209
Reaction score
89
I would argue that the V-force was a strategic weapon system, for the UK, happened to be an aircraft + nukes, could easily have been a submarine+nukes, or a tribe of pygmy ants + nukes.

Taking the V-force aside, as a strategic/political priority, still leaves the RAF needing new jet powered airframes, the Canberra got it 'right' from the start, and thus was relatively cheap to produce, and modify as the needs changed, hence it was in service for c50 years.

Until Korea, Nuclear delivery had been all there was, the rest of the forces managed with WW2 equipment. Korea brought the realisation that the West would need to fight the communists, and not just by dropping nukes on Moscow and Peking. Hence some investment in what was already in production.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,352
Reaction score
648
It is difficult to overstate the importance of the Canberra to Bomber Command in the 1950s. By 1954/55 pretty much every Bomber Command bomber, photo recce and target marker squadron was equipped with the type. It was the RAF's main bomber contribution to the Suez operation, 13 squadrons versus 4 Valiant squadrons, including the still important target marker units.

It was always seen as an interim type for Bomber Command but as the V-Force stood-up the Canberras were deployed to FEAF, MEAF and 2TAF where they became the main British nuclear weapons delivery platforms in those theatres until the late 1960s.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: zen

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
550
However it's possible it would not be ordered in large numbers as per history. Which raises questions about what would happen next.

I take the argument about it's importance as an affordable medium bomber. But if it's not ordered in large numbers in '49 it might have follow in order perhaps by '52. The Churchill government seeing it as available Mosquito replacement.
But would it be the same aircraft?
How many might be ordered?
What does the delay in orders do to EEs proposal?
A thinner wing perhaps?
Or could another firm step into the gap and win instead?
 

Fluff

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
209
Reaction score
89
Wait till 50's. thin the wing, 2 seats, your getting into sea vixen territory.

If they had, it would not have lasted, would not have been not just multirole, but multiple roles from the same airframe. So maybe a strike version, even recon, but very limited v Canberra, no EW version, less exports, as being too niche.
 

riggerrob

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
826
Reaction score
341
If Mosquitos were built with less "tasty" glue, they might have stayed in service well into the 1950s, reducing the need for Canberra.
Without an RAF requirement, it is doubtful that a Canberra equivalent would have been built. The USAF financed a half-dozen Canberra competitors, but eventually licensed Martin to license-build Canberras.
Sad, because Canberra was even more valuable in the export market - to Commonwealth, etc. - nations that could barely afford Canberras, never mind any bigger bombers.
What other 1950s vintage jet bomber could replace Canberra? Vautour?
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
550
If Mosquitos were built with less "tasty" glue, they might have stayed in service well into the 1950s, reducing the need for Canberra.
Without an RAF requirement, it is doubtful that a Canberra equivalent would have been built. The USAF financed a half-dozen Canberra competitors, but eventually licensed Martin to license-build Canberras.
Sad, because Canberra was even more valuable in the export market - to Commonwealth, etc. - nations that could barely afford Canberras, never mind any bigger bombers.
What other 1950s vintage jet bomber could replace Canberra? Vautour?
Errr wrong thread.
 

Fluff

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
209
Reaction score
89
If Mosquitos were built with less "tasty" glue, they might have stayed in service well into the 1950s, reducing the need for Canberra.
Without an RAF requirement, it is doubtful that a Canberra equivalent would have been built. The USAF financed a half-dozen Canberra competitors, but eventually licensed Martin to license-build Canberras.
Sad, because Canberra was even more valuable in the export market - to Commonwealth, etc. - nations that could barely afford Canberras, never mind any bigger bombers.
What other 1950s vintage jet bomber could replace Canberra? Vautour?
Looking at the number of meteors built, I would say the UK was keen to stay at the forefront, at least with a % of the fighters as jets. I would think the same logic applied to bombers. The mossie existed when they put the requirement together, and really didn't the first Canberra's replace Lancasters?
Vatour, Russia had their IL-28, all very similar. Canberra succeeded because it joined all the bits logically, and met the spec, and could be developed easily. For USAF to buy it, shows how good it was, even with say 10 years of time to be better, they weren't better, so they built the Canberra.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zen

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
550
Well....there was a Naval Medium Bomber from Hawkers in 1946. Very Canberra-like
 
Top