These Are The Most-Produced Aircraft by Any Nation During WW2
When Gen. Dwight Eisenhower surveyed the beaches of Normandy months after the D-Day Invasion, which secured an Allied foothold in continental Europe, he stated: “Without air supremacy, I wouldn’t be here.” Invaluable for reconnaissance, cargo transport, tactical and strategic bombing, and aerial combat itself, superior air power proved a decisive advantage in the Second World War.
With so much at stake, World War II was an era of rapid technological advancement for military aircraft. From jet propulsion to radar, many technologies now taken for granted were developed during the war years, from 1939 and 1945.
During that period, the scale of the war, which spanned three continents, necessitated the manufacture of hundreds of thousands of military aircraft. And on both sides, countries leveraged their industrial might to meet the demand.
Using data from the U.S. Air Force, as well as multiple aviation publications, 24/7 Wall St. identified the most-produced military aircraft of WWII. Over 10,000 units of each plane on this list were manufactured for the war effort, rolling off assembly lines in Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Early in the war, Japan and Germany dominated the skies, leveraging their air superiority to destroy enemy targets and outmaneuver Allied aircraft in dogfights. The Japanese “Zero” fighter, for example, had a 12-to-1 kill ratio over enemy aircraft. Similarly, the German Focke-Wulf Fw-190 devastated the less capable Allied fighters in aerial combat. (Here is a look at 13 massive air battles that changed world history.)
Beginning in 1942, however, this began to change. More advanced British and American fighter aircraft, like the Spitfire and P-51 Mustang, gave the Allies the upper hand, allowing for victories in key aerial battles and providing escort for heavy bombers during air raids. These capabilities facilitated Allied troop advancement in Europe and secured an unconditional surrender from the Japanese. (Here is a look at the cities destroyed by the USA in World War II.)
Though cargo planes were widely used in WWII, transporting troop and material in both the European and Pacific theaters, bomber and fighter aircraft were produced in much higher numbers, and no transport aircraft ranks on this list.
Click here to see the most produced military planes during WWII.
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