Level Bombers

The Junkers Ju 86 was originally an airliner but served as a bomber with certain success in the Spanish Civil War. It also participated in the early part of the war but was soon withdrawn. Later models were turned into reconnaissance aircraft.
The Heinkel He 111 was designed as an airliner with the potentials of a fast medium bomber. It became best known for its night bombing missions during the Blitz against England. It remained as the mainstay German level bomber throughout the war. Later models were converted to missile launchers.
The Dornier Do 17, He 111 and Ju 88 were the three mainstays of the Luftwaffe bomber force. First conceived as a fast airliner, the "flying pencil" served well as a fast medium bomber. But it lacked the size to become a real menace.
The Junkers Ju 88 was the Luftwaffe's jack-of-all-trades. It could carry a heavy bomb load and still fly at the speeds of slower fighters. Various versions served as nightfighters, divebombers, reconnaissance aircraft, torpedo planes, and suicidal bombs.
The Dornier Do 217 was the improved version of the Do 17 and had a larger fuselage to house more bombs and fuel. It was the largest of the medium bombers built by Germany. Many other versions were also produced.
The Heinkel He 177 Greif was the only long-range strategic bomber produced in significant quantities by the Luftwaffe. Probably the most troublesome warplane ever to go to war, the He 177 killed more Germans than British or Americans.
The Messerschmitt Me 264 Amerika bomber was obviously the long-range strategic bomber that General Walther Wever had dreamed of. Plans of mass-producing this plane was abandoned when more fighters were needed instead.

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