Corgi AA32627 RAF Avro Lancaster B Mk. III Heavy Bomber - LM739 / HW-Z(2) "Grogs the Shot", No.100 Squadron, RAF Elsham Wolds, England, April 25th, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"Sarang tebuan jangan dijolok" (Malay for "Never stir up a hornet's nest")
- Motto of No.100 Squadron
Entering service at the beginning of 1942, the Lancaster's design grew out of a failed predecessor, the Avro Manchester. While its' airframe offered a stable platform for heavy bombing assignments, the Manchester's twin engine design was inadequate to the task. By upgrading to four Merlins, the resulting aircraft met the nation's needs and 7,366 Avro Lancasters were built during the war, the most of any British bomber. Armament included eight to ten Browning machine guns for fighter defense (depending on model variant) mounted in the nose, upper dorsal turret and the tail. Experience with a variety of bomb loads eventually led to adoption of the 'Grand Slam' 22,000-pound bomb, the largest carried by any aircraft in the war.
The majority of Lancasters built during the war years were manufactured by Avro at their factory at Chadderton near Manchester and test flown from Woodford Aerodrome in Cheshire. Other Lancasters were built by Metropolitan-Vickers (1080, also tested at Woodford) and Armstrong Whitworth. The aircraft was also produced at the Austin Motor Company works in Longbridge, Birmingham later in the Second World War and postwar by Vickers-Armstrongs at Chester. Only 300 of the Lancaster B II fitted with Bristol Hercules engines were constructed; this was a stopgap modification caused by a shortage of Merlin engines as fighter production was of higher priority. Many BII's were lost after running out of fuel.
The Lancaster B III had Packard Merlin engines but was otherwise identical to contemporary B Is, with 3,030 B IIIs built, almost all at A.V. Roe's Newton Heath factory. The B I and B III were built concurrently, and minor modifications were made to both marks as new batches were ordered. Examples of these modifications were the relocation of the pitot head from the nose to the side of the cockpit, and the change from de Havilland "needle blade" propellers to Hamilton Standard or Nash Kelvinator made "paddle blade" propellers.
Of later variants, only the Canadian-built Lancaster B X, manufactured by Victory Aircraft in Malton, Ontario, was produced in significant numbers. A total of 430 of this type were built, earlier examples differing little from their British-built predecessors, except for using Packard-built Merlin engines and American-style instrumentation and electrics. Late-series models replaced the Frazer Nash mid-upper turret with a differently configured Martin turret, mounted slightly further forward for weight balance. A total of 7,377 Lancasters of all marks were built throughout the duration of the war, each at a 1943 cost of 45-50,000 (approximately equivalent to 1.3-1.5 million in 2005 currency).
For the dam-busting strike in May 1943, the Lancaster dropped British designer Barnes Wallis's 'bouncing bombs' which skipped on the surface before impact. Wartime Lancaster sorties totaled about 156,000 during which roughly 608,000 tons of ordnance were dropped on the enemy.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a RAF Avro Lancaster B Mk. III heavy bomber that was nicknamed "Grogs the Shot", and attached to No.100 Squadron, then deployed to RAF Elsham Wolds, England, on April 25th, 1945.
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Release Date: July 2021
Historical Account: "Raid on the Eagles Nest" - During the closing stages of the war in Europe, the men of Bomber Command were given one final opportunity to strike at the very heart of the hated Nazi regime and potentially bring about an early cessation of hostilities. Mounting a major raid against Hitler's famous Berchtesgaden Alpine retreat would mean a long and dangerous daylight mission for the bomber crews, however, they would be targeting chalets and lodges belonging to the Nazi party elite and at briefing, they were told that intelligence reports suggested the Fuhrer may be seeking refuge there, awaiting the end of the war. In fact, senior Allied planners knew Hitler was in Berlin, but did not want Berchtesgaden to become a Nazi shrine, or a rallying point for continued resistance.
At the head of the raid, the experienced crew of Avro Lancaster LM739 "Grog's the Shot" would be leading a joint force of more than 300 Lancasters, 16 Mosquitos and 270 USAAF Liberators, with the formation covered by 90 Mustang fighters. As well as firing Verey flares during the mission and trailing yellow pyrotechnic stars from the rear turret to assist with formation and navigation, the aircraft was also distinctively painted with yellow wing tips and rudder/vertical stabilizers, signifying its position.