The publisher is establishing a fine list of historic aviation titles. This title is an A4 sized softback edition that contains first class photographs and coloured drawings. It is really two stories, one of the Molins gun and the other of one of the least known Mosquito marks.
NAME: Shipbuster, Mosquito Mk XVIII
Tse-tse An Operational History
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
AUTHOR: Alex Crawford
PUBLISHER: Mushroom Model Publications
BINDING: Soft back
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: anti-submarine warfare, naval
aviation, anti-tank gun, Molins Gun
The publisher is establishing a fine list of historic aviation titles. This title is an A4 sized softback edition that contains first class photographs and coloured drawings. It is really two stories, one of the Molins gun and the other of one of the least known Mosquito marks. The De Havilland Mosquito was an amazing aircraft that employed wood for much of its construction and was able to outrun most aircraft on its two Merlin engines. It became an accomplished multi-role aircraft, serving as fighter, night fighter, bomber, fighter bomber, interdictor, reconnaissance plane, high altitude fighter, pathfinder, and anti-shipping aircraft. It packed a heavy punch with four 20 mm and four .303 machineguns in the nose. It also had a capacious bomb bay that could carry a 4,000 bomb, the HiBall bouncing bomb, a mixture of smaller bombs or additional fuel tanks. Of almost 8,000 Mosquito aircraft of all marks, only seventeen Mk XVIII were completed as conversions of Mk VI airframes. The Mk XVIII replaced the normal tray of 20 mm canon with a single 57mm Molins 6 pdr gun. They were originally intended to replace Hurricane tank-busters that were equipped with two 40 mm under-wing canon. The Molins gun was also widely used to equip tanks and gunboats. It was a much more practical option than the earlier plan to fit a British 3.7 anti-aircraft gun to a Mosquito. The 3.7 was the British equivalent of the feared German 88 mm but curiously lacked the ammunition to serve in the anti-tank and air to ground roles. As the smaller Molins 57 mm demonstrated, a larger weapon would have presented serious challenges in fitting to a Mosquito. In the event, the task intended for the Molins-equipped Mosquito aircraft was better filled by the new rocket projectiles that could be added to many British combat aircraft with minimum modification. As a result, the Mosquito MkXVIII became another hand-me-down passed to Coastal Command, where it was put to good use. Flown in the Channel against U-Boats and German surface craft, the Mk XVIII achieved good results and the US Navy requested a Tse-tse for evaluation. Arriving in the US in April 1945 this Mk XVIII arrived too late in the War to justify issuing to US Navy squadrons. The Molins guns carried a special automated magazine that held twenty three rounds and a twenty fourth round in the breech ready to fire. This meant that the gun was a reasonable competitor with the rocket, only eight of which were carried by rocket equipped aircraft. Against this numeric advantage the gun did sometimes jam, but then rockets also failed to fire and some broke up in flight. The author tells the story of the Mosquito MkXVIII in journal style with some helpful annex information. The result is an interesting and easy to read book at an affordable price, covering a seriously neglected part of the Mosquito story.