WW1 Aircraft
WW1 Aircraft
The Gotha Bomber
WW1 Aircraft

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The Gotha Bomber in action over London, from a print by Stan Stokes (http://www.oldgloryprints.com/Stokes_WWI.htm)
Gotha Bombers in action over London

Once the German military had occupied Belgium in World War One it had been an objective of theirs to bomb London, launching raids from Belgian military airfields.

The initial bombing raids were carried out using Zeppelin airships, but although these created great alarm in the U.K. the Zeppelins were highly vulnerable to attack. It became a matter of priority to develop aircraft that would replace the Zeppelins in carrying out bombing raids on London. The Gotha Bomber was developed for this purpose. It was intended to be ready for service by the end of 1916, but the first bombing raid by 14 Gothas did not take place until 13 June 1917. This, and a raid on 7 July 1917 by 22 Gotha bombers, was a daylight bombing raid.

Bombing tactics then switched to night-time bombing of London, together with isolated bombing raids on other parts of the U.K.

The Gotha Bombers created great alarm amongst the civilian population. However, it is a fact that more of the bombers were lost when landing than were brought down by anti-aircraft fire, and problem with their airworthiness rather put a brake on further development.
Brief Specification
Wing Span
  77 ft 8 ins
Length
  40 ft 9 ins
Empty Weight
  6039 lbs
Take-Off Weight
  8763 lbs
Maximum Speed
  87.5 m.p.h.
Max Ceiling
  21,325 ft
Endurance
  4 hrs
Range
  522 miles
Armament
  1 x 7.9 mm machine gun
12 x HE bombs (internal)
6 x 50kg bombs (external mount)
Total bomb load, 1102 lbs
Engine
  Two 260 hp Mercedes engines driving pusher propellors


Gotha Bomber
Gotha Bomber

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