Here's another question to think about. What if a squadron of B-29's had been sent to and used in Europe? This something I've thought about quite a bit over the years and thought I would bring this up.
My thoughts are that with the range and weapons capacity these planes had, they would have made a major difference in bombing raids over Europe.
The B-17's carried an average of 5,000 to 8,000 pounds of bombs and the B-29's carried 20,000 pounds. Besides the weapons capacity and differences in range, the B-29 was a pressurized aircraft, meaning that the crew didn't need oxygen masks or heavy clothing at high altitudes like the B-17.
Here's a few things that could have happened had the B-29 been used over Europe.
- Given the ability to fly at high altitudes, the chances of a B-29 being lost from fighter or anti-aircraft fire were minimal.
- With the massive bomb load, the devastation of an attack on an enemy target such as a factory or railyard would have been staggering.
- There would have been fewer aircraft and crewmen at risk for various missions because the weapons load reduced the need for a huge number of planes for one target.