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Ju 88 file photo [108]

Ju 88

Primary RoleMedium Bomber
Maiden Flight21 December 1936


ww2dbaseWhen Hermann Göring and the German Luftwaffe asked for a multi-role aircraft from the aircraft manufacturing firm Junkers, the Ju 88 design became the answer. The versatile twin-engined aircraft entered the war the very same day Germany invaded Poland, with various variations of them each suitable for level bombing, torpedo bombing, dive bombing, close ground support, and reconnaissance. Of these requested features, dive bombing was the item that changed the design the most as the strengthened fuselage, dive brakes, and other dive bombing related enhancements nearly doubled the weight. By the end of 1939, only 60 were delivered to Luftwaffe units, but the individual crews, which was comprised of a pilot, an observer, a radio operator/rear gunner, and a flight engineer/waist gunner, provided a favorable review during the first few missions with these new bombers, especially commenting that they could absorb a great deal of damage in action; one of the few complaints was that they were difficult to handle on takeoffs and landings. The crew members sat close together in the aircraft for the purpose of improved communications. During the Battle of Britain, Ju 88 aircraft were put to the test. To Göring's disappointment, they did not perform as well as expected. Even though they were very fast for bombers, they were still unable to escape the faster and more maneuverable British Spitfire and Hurricane fighters. The heavy losses prompted several refittings of the aircraft, including heavier armor in the cockpit area and upgraded defensive weaponry. During the later stages of the war when Germany was subjected to regular night time bombings by the British, Ju 88 aircraft were employed as night fighters, proving their versatile nature. By the end of the war, they were nearly perfected, coupled with a more powerful engine, but by then it was already too late for Germany.

Paul Deichmann, Spearhead for Blitzkrieg
Stephen Bungay, The Most Dangerous Enemy

Last Major Revision: Sep 2010

Ju 88 Timeline

13 Jul 1944 The secret of the German FuG 227 Flensburg equipment, which could home-in on RAF Monica radars, was revealed when a Luftwaffe pilot landed his Junkers Ju 88G-1 night fighter by mistake at RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk, England, United Kingdom. In addition the capture of this aircraft's FuG 220 radar would permit British scientist to find a way of jamming its signal within a matter of weeks.


Ju 88C-6c
MachineryTwo liquid cooled, 12-cylinder inverted-Vee, Junkers Jumo 211J-1 (or J-2) rated at 1,340hp each
Armament3x20mm machine guns, 3x7.9mm machine guns, 1x13mm machine gun, optional 2x20mm machine guns, 3,000kg load of bombs
Height5.06 m
Wing Area54.50 m²
Weight, Empty9,060 kg
Weight, Loaded12,350 kg
Speed, Maximum488 km/h
Speed, Cruising423 km/h
Service Ceiling9,900 m
Range, Normal1,980 km

Ju 88G-1
MachineryTwo 14-cylinder, air cooled, BMW 801D-2 radials rated at 1,700hp each
Armament4x20mm machine guns, 1x13mm machine gun, optional 2x20mm machine guns, 3,000kg load of bombs
Span20.08 m
Length15.50 m
Height5.07 m
Wing Area54.50 m²
Weight, Empty9,081 kg
Weight, Loaded13,095 kg
Weight, Maximum14,690 kg
Speed, Maximum573 km/h
Service Ceiling8,840 m
Range, Normal2,500 km

Ju 88G-7b
MachineryTwo liquid cooled, 12-cylinder inverted-Vee, Junkers Jumo 213E rated at 1,725hp each
Armament4x20mm machine guns, 2x20mm machine guns, optional 2x20mm machine guns, 3,000kg load of bombs
Height4.85 m
Wing Area54.50 m²
Weight, Empty9,300 kg
Weight, Loaded13,100 kg
Weight, Maximum14,675 kg
Speed, Maximum626 km/h
Speed, Cruising560 km/h
Service Ceiling10,000 m
Range, Normal2,250 km

Ju 88A-4
MachineryTwo Junkers Jumo 211J liquid-cooled inverted V-12 engine rated at 1,401hp each
Armament1x7.92mm forward MG 81J machine gun, 2x7.92mm dorsal MG 81J machine guns, 1x2x7.92mm ventral MG 81Z twin machine gun, up to 3,000kg of bombs or 2x LT torpedoes
Span20.08 m
Length14.36 m
Height5.07 m
Wing Area54.70 m²
Weight, Loaded8,550 kg
Weight, Maximum14,000 kg
Speed, Maximum510 km/h
Service Ceiling9,000 m
Range, Maximum2,430 km

Ju 88P-3
MachineryTwo Jumo 211J-2 inverted V-12 engines rated at 1420hp each
Armament4x37mm ventral BK 37 cannons, up to 6x7.92mm machine guns
Span20.00 m
Length14.85 m
Height4.85 m
Wing Area54.56 m²
Weight, Empty11,080 kg
Weight, Maximum12,670 kg
Speed, Maximum360 km/h
Service Ceiling5,500 m
Range, Maximum1,580 km


German Luftwaffe Ju 88 bomber at rest at an airfield, Belgium or France, 1940A heavily camouflaged German Ju 88 bomber in Belgium or France, Sep 1940
See all 12 photographs of Ju 88 Medium Bomber

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Dec 2013 09:55:25 AM


On April 30,1945 Junkers Ju-88G-6 code(C9+AR)of
8./NJG 5 flown by Hauptmann Hopf, Oberleutnant
Dressler, Oberleutnant Erhard and their wives and one child, took off at 01:30hrs, flying low to avoid allied fighters they landed at Dubendorf airfield at 05:15hrs.

Interned by Swiss authorities details about the crew and passengers and what happened after they arrived in Switzerland, haven't surfaced but it would be an interesting account of their escape.


How did they manage to smuggle their wives and child aboard, fuel the aircraft, how did they manage to take off without authorization. Everything must have been planned to the last minute, escape Germany the skill in airmanship, flying low to avoid allied fighters and arrive in Switzerland.

Swiss Air Force personnel took charge of the Ju88
all Luftwaffe markings were painted out and replaced with Swiss markings. In 1949 the Swiss decided to have the aircraft scrapped. It would be something to see it in the Swiss Air Force Museum today...

To learn more about the Junkers Ju88 please click on all the file photographs...

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» Battle of Britain

Related Documents:
» German Luftwaffe Losses, Jul-Sep 1940
» Luftwaffe Bombing and Use of Gas in France

Ju 88 Medium Bomber Photo Gallery
German Luftwaffe Ju 88 bomber at rest at an airfield, Belgium or France, 1940A heavily camouflaged German Ju 88 bomber in Belgium or France, Sep 1940
See all 12 photographs of Ju 88 Medium Bomber

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