How many modern B-2 or B-52 aircraft would be needed to carry out famous air raids like Tokyo or Dresden from World War 2 that used hundreds of airplanes?

Mudassir Ali
Jan 20, 2020 04:23 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Jan 20, 2020 04:23 PM

For a comparison, you have to specify which raid we’re talking about.

Considering the February 14/15 raids on Dresden, those dropped a total of about 3900 tons of bombs, using 1299 aircraft.

A B-52 can carry 70,000lbs of dumb bombs, so at 35t each, you’d need about 110 sorties to match the mass of bombs for that group of raids. B-1s can carry 125,000lbs (63 aircraft), and B-2s can carry 50,000lbs, but are usually limited to 40,000lbs (156 or 195).

Of course we’d need to consider the availability of numerous attack aircraft as well as bombers. The F-15E, for example, can carry 20,000lbs (actually more than that, but we’ll assume some external fuel), F-35s, some 18,000lbs, well in excess of what any WW2 bomber could do*.

A issue is that the US doesn’t really do big area raids like that anymore, and any valid military targets would be targeted by guided munitions, with far, far better accuracy, and in vastly lower numbers. And, of course, we’re ignoring nukes.

*B-29s could haul that much for very short distances, but were usually limited to about 10,000lbs or less.

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