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One of the most underrated medium bombers of the Second World War, the Martin B-26 Marauder never fully managed to shake off an underserved early reputation as a dangerous aircraft to fly. Deemed superior to all other designs on the table at the time, almost a 1,000 had been ordered before the aircraft first took to the air November 1940. From late 1941 the first B-26s became operational in the Pacific, followed by the Mediterranean, but it is in the European theatre that the type was most prolific. It was particularly during the Normandy Landings and later the advance beyond 'the bulge' into Germany, were the B-26s medium level tactical ability shone through. The Marauder also served with the RAF, SAAF and Free French Air Force in the Mediterranean and also as part of the little credited Balkan Air Force in support of Tito's Partisans in Yugoslavia. Sadly the B-26 was unfairly treated at the beginning of its career and even more so at the end as many of the 5,200+ aircraft built were scrapped only days after the end of the war. A great aircraft in many respects the B-26 deserves to be in a better place.
About the Author
Henry Morshead is a design consultant in the European automotive and aerospace sectors, with clients including Jaguar, Bentley, Citroën and Airbus. He is also a technical sponsor of the Bloodhound supersonic car, contributing digital surfacing and design services. A former officer in the Royal Engineers and illustrator for Jane's, he maintains a keen interest in the design and use of military land and air vehicles. Johnny Shumate works as a freelance illustrator living in Nashville, Tennessee. He began his career in 1987 after graduating from Austin Peay State University. Most of his work is rendered in Adobe Photoshop using a Cintiq monitor.