Vickers Warwick GR.Mk.V: Forgotten Warrior (part ii)

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Introduction: The Warwick Gr.Mk.V is a major improvement over the previous GR.Mk.II, with added capability, performance and weaponry. Despite this, it entered into service too late to make much of a difference against the U-Boats

Description: The GR.Mk.V was the ultimate version of the Warwick, fitted with a retractable Leigh Light mounted in a ventral position. The directional stability problems were fixed by adding a dorsal fin. This, and the fact that the top turret was deleted are the two main distinguishing factors between the two variants. Up to 210 of this variant were produced, making it, by a narrow margin, the most numerous Warwick variant constructed. The Warwick GR.Mk.V also possessed the pest performance and handling characteristics of any of the Warwick variants, as previous variants had been both underpowered, and hard to control. The aircraft was introduced into service in late 1944, which meant it had a very short career, but, it still saw action in the Bay of Biscay, proving its worth in the final months of the Second World War in Europe. The aircraft could carry: bombs, mines and depth charges, as well as radar and a Leigh Light to find and destroy U-Boats.

Leigh Light: One early problem that was not foreseen was the fact that the ASV.Mk.II’s minimal range was too long. This meant that, although a submarine could be found and located, the minimal detection range meant was inaccurate or completely useless at short ranges. This meant that the submarine had to be located using visual means (i.e. the Mk.1 Eyeball), which wouldn’t be of much use in the pitch dark of the night. This required flares to be dropped, but, this would give the aircraft’s position away, and would give enough chance for the U-Boat to escape or fight back. So, Squadron Leader Humphrey de Verde Leigh decided to solve this problem, and thus created the Leigh Light. The Air Ministry was somewhat apprehensive to the development, as they preferred the much less effective Turbinlite, which was trialled, unsuccessfully, as an aid for the interception of enemy bombers. It was only in 1942 that the Leigh Light began to be rolled out to squadrons. Its effect was soon felt by U-Boat commanders, who typically charged their batteries at night. Soon, they were forced to charge them in daytime, so they could see their enemy, but, were also more vulnerable. Allied shipping losses soon began to fall, and U-Boat losses began to mount.




Warwick GR.Mk.V:

Maritime anti-submarine/reconnaissance aircraft
Crew: 6
2× Bristol Centaurus VII 18-cylinder two-row radial | 2520 hp | Pistons
22.25 m | Width: 29.50 m | Height: 5.60 m
Weight: 16057kg | Max. Combat Weight: 17230 kg
Max. Speed: 480 km/h | Ceiling: 5800 m | Range: 4908km
MG: 3 x .50 (12.7 mm) Browning MG (in the nose) &
4 x .303 (7.7 mm) Browning MG (two in beam positions, and four .303 guns in the tail turret)
Bombs: 2700 kg of bombs, 3955kg mines or depth-charges, RP-3 rockets
ASV radar, Leigh Light


Conclusion: I believe that this aircraft will be an interesting addition to the game, and will help bring this forgotten aircraft back into the limelight.


Spoiler (Images and Information)

AIRCRAFT OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE 1939-1945: VICKERS WARWICK. | Imperial War Museums (Images and Information)

Vickers Warwick - Aircraft - Fighting the U-boats - (Images and Information)

Vickers Warwick (Images, Performance and Information)

Vickers Warwick GR.Mk.V | Aircraft of World War II - Forums (Images)

Vickers Warwick GR Mk.V : Vickers (Information and Performance Data)

Vickers Warwick (Information) (Images and Information)

The Leigh Light - Technical pages - Fighting the U-boats - (Images and Information)

The South African Air Force (Images)

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