The top five important bombers of WWII are listed because of their important contributions to the war. No German bombers made this list as they were neither an accomplished or impressive group. The list is presented in alphabetical order.
Avro Lancaster – This Royal Air Force heavy bomber was considered a workhorse with considerable size, firepower and capacity. Though the effectiveness of the RAFs night bombing campaign could be disputed, it no doubt kept the Luftwaffe occupied around the clock making the Nazis a little uneasy. Bombs from the Lancaster were responsible in destroying several U-boat pens and railroad viaducts. It assisted in the sinking of the ship Tirpitz.
Boeing B-29 Superfortress – The B-29 Superfortress could fly faster and higher than the majority of the Japanese fighters who chased it. The aircrafts most infamous mission more than earned its place on this list – the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Consolidated B-24 Liberator / Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress – Some would argue that these two aircraft run neck in neck for the top spot in the list of important bombers of World War II. The B-24 was faster than the B-17 and could carry a heavier bomb load. The B-17 was tougher and was the first to carry the infamous Norden bombsight. While the B-24 Liberator also carried the Norden, some of the aircraft were equipped with the Sperry bombsight – whose production was discontinued once the Norden was deemed superior. Between these two aircraft, the USAAF was able to penetrate deep into the Third Reich, crippling their industries and transportation networks.
Douglas SBD Dauntless – The “SBD” was affectionately referred to by WWII pilots as standing for “slow but deadly”. The Dauntless is credited with destroying more enemy shipping tonnage than any other aircraft in the Pacific theater. Its role in Midway was paramount - sinking four Japanese attack carriers.
Nakajima B5N Torpedo Bomber – Given the Allied reporting name “Kate”, the Nakajima B5N was responsible for much of the destruction at Pearl Harbor. This World War II torpedo bomber was also instrumental in the sinking of the carriers Yorktown, Lexington and Hornet. Though the aircraft grew obsolete quickly, its advanced torpedo (Type 91) was a feared weapon in the early stages of the Pacific theater.
Each aircraft on this list of top five important bombers of WWII, no doubt, played a crucial role in the overall direction and outcome of the war.