Junkers Ju-88C-6 F8+BX, 13./KG40, Lorient, France 1943, Battle over the Biscay
The Junkers Ju-88 proved to be one of the most versatile and effective German aircraft of the Second World War. Designed initially as a high speed bomber, able to outpace lighter aircraft sent to challenge it, early Ju88 units endured a dificult introduction to combat, especially during the Battle of Britain. Despite the Ju-88 being the latest bomber to enter service, pilots had not had time to familiarise themselves with this advanced aircraft and it suffered loss rates higher than the older Heinkel He-III and Dornier Do-17. Many were lost in training accidents or attributed to pilot unfamiliarity with the advanced aircraft, but constant development soon turned the Schnellbomber into a fine aircraft, with the basic airframe capable of supporting numerous modifications. Indeed, the Ju-88 was in constant production throughout WWII and was produced in greater numbers than any other twin engined aircraft of the Second World War.