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B-26 Marauder: Into the Fray
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Developed at the dawn of WWII, the B-26 Marauder was an iconic American medium bomber that recorded an illustrious service career with Allied forces right up until the end of the war. Soon, pilots may look forward to getting the chance to take control of this much anticipated American bomber as it arrives to War Thunder as part of the next major update!

Briefly: A fast American medium bomber, highly regarded for its good payload, superb durability and formidable defensive arsenal.

B-26 Marauder, medium bomber, USA, rank III

Features

  • High speed
  • Heavily armed
  • Resilient against battle damage
  • Vulnerable lower hemisphere
History

With the outbreak of WWII looming at the end of the 1930s, the U.S. military concluded that their forces were severely lacking in modern equipment compared to other nations at the time. Specifically, the Army sought to equip its air branch with a capable new medium bomber. To this extent, competing designs were produced where the Glenn L. Martin company’s submission would come out on top as the winning design. Wishing to get it into service as soon as possible, the Army decided to order the aircraft into production immediately and without conducting any prior testing.

Receiving the designation B-26 Marauder upon entering service in 1941, the aircraft immediately suffered from teething problems. Aside from technical issues, the aircraft’s high landing speed and short fighter-like wings often led to crashes, particularly among novice pilots who had just begun collecting flight hours on the new aircraft. This, combined with the aircraft’s laborious maintenance led to further accidents early on in its service, subsequently resulting in a temporary grounding.

As the U.S. officially entered WWII however, the B-26, deployed in the Pacific Theater at the time, found itself in the frontline against Japan. Taking part in early operations against Japanese forces and subsequently in the Battle of Midway in June 1942, the B-26 had the chance to prove its worth under combat conditions. Later in the same year, the Marauder was spearheading the Allied invasion of French North Africa as part of Operation Torch, seeing further action throughout the entire duration of the North African campaign. 

Building on experience gained from the North African campaign, the B-26 Marauder really showed off its capabilities during the subsequent invasions of Sicily, the Italian peninsula, Normandy and southern France in 1943 and 1944. During these operations, the B-26 earned itself a reputation for being a highly accurate level bomber when employed at medium altitudes. By the end of the war, the Marauder was employed by Allied forces in bombing raids against German infrastructure, including V-1 launch sites. In stark contrast to its early service career however, by the end of the war, the B-26 Marauder possessed an excellent track record, claiming both superior bombing accuracy as well as low losses. The B-26 Marauder was quickly taken out of service following the end of WWII, with well over 5,200 aircraft being produced before the end of production.

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In War Thunder, the highly anticipated B-26 Marauder is arriving to the mid ranks of the American aviation tree as part of the upcoming major update. Fans of the B-26 Marauder will only have to wait a little while longer before they’re able to take to the skies behind the controls of not just one, but two variants of this iconic American medium bomber! In this devblog, we’d like to give you a first look at the B-26B and B-26C Marauder, arriving soon to the battlefields of War Thunder. Let’s begin!

Being conceived from the very beginning for speed, the B-26 Marauder is outfitted with a pair of Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Twin Wasp radial engines, producing a peak power output of 2,000 horsepower on take-off. Thus, the aircraft is able to attain a maximum speed of 264 mph (425 km/h) at medium altitudes. Consequently, the B-26 will be everything but a sitting duck to hostile fighters and will often require enemy pilots to attack from above in order to catch up to it. 

Interesting Fact: Due to the numerous accidents early on in its service career, the B-26 Marauder quickly gained the infamous reputation of being a “widowmaker” aircraft: a stigma it would carry up to the end of WWII, despite its excellent late war track record.

While fast indeed, the Marauder isn’t fast enough to outrun every pursuer in the skies. Inevitably, some fighters will catch up to it and for this occasion, the B-26 is equipped with just the right tools: defensive .50 calibre machine guns, and plenty of them at that! Namely, the Marauder is equipped with up to seven 12.7 mm heavy machine guns, covering the aircraft’s front, rear and upper hemisphere. Only the lower hemisphere is less well protected and this gap in the aircraft’s protective sphere is a weak point which bold fighter pilots can take advantage of in order to launch an attack run.

However, the Marauder’s arsenal doesn’t just stop at its defensive turrets - it’s a bomber aircraft after all. Apart from the defensive turrets, the B-26 is also fitted with a further five .50 cal machine guns, fixed in position in the aircraft’s nose section. This allows the Marauder to perform strafing attacks on soft ground targets or even actively engage other hostile aircraft. But the Marauder’s core arsenal really lies within its payload, and rest assured, it’s quite a sizable one! Being able to carry a payload in excess of 4,000 lbs, the B-26 can be loaded with bombs of various calibers, ranging from 100 to 2,000 lbs and as a result, the types of targets the Marauder can take on with these bombs is just as diverse.

The highly anticipated B-26B and B-26C Marauder will soon take to the skies in War Thunder as they arrive to the game as part of the next major update. In the meantime, make sure to stay tuned to the news as we continue revealing which other exciting new additions and features await you in the upcoming update. Until then, clear skies pilots!

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Mustang Pack
Mustang Pack
The Kit Includes:
  • P-51D-20 'Mustang' (USA, Rank IV)
  • Premium account for 15 days
  • 2000 Golden Eagles
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