Television Host Honors the Avro Lancaster

John Sergeant, a British television host, has starred in a new documentary honoring the Avro Lancaster. The aircraft in question was an important bomber model during World War II, and many believe that it helped the Allies to achieve their eventual victory. Sergeant’s documentary will look at the impressive aircraft both in terms of its manufacture as well as its military history. The ultimate goal of the program is to pay tribute to the Avro Lancaster as a vital tool in the Second World War, without which things might have turned out much differently.

As a bomber, this particular aircraft was unmatched during its time. It was able to travel at three hundred miles per hour, and it was able to hit targets well over one thousand miles away. Introduced to the world in 1942, close to the war’s mid-point, it helped to turn the tides of battle in the Allies’ favor. Prior to the commissioning of the Avro Lancaster, many believed that the Nazis might continue storming their way through the continent until the Allies were overrun. Luckily, their newly unveiled aircraft was unlike anything seen in Germany up to that point. With its ability to strike from higher up than most other bombers, it made the perfect stealth bomber for covert missions across enemy lines.

These missions were vital not only to the demonstration of Allied military power, but also to the weakening of the enemy. At the time of the bomber’s release, Germany was working on its own new weapons. With the help of the Avro Lancaster, the Allies were given a hand in stalling the production of the new V1 and V2 rockets. This did not stop the so-called “doodlebug” missiles from being used in the war, but it did help limit the extent of their destruction, the Express reports.

Sergeant’s documentary uses interviews from crew members who played every possible role upon such bombers to help paint a picture of what it would have been like to fly aboard the Avro Lancaster in its prime. None of these men was as much as thirty years old at the time of their military service. Although tens of thousands before them perished, they stuck it out until the Allied services were finally able to claim victory over their enemies.

The Avro Lancaster was vital to several missions that helped boost British morale at a time when it could have easily reached an all-time low. By empowering the British to overcome Germany’s march through Europe and carry out missions to weaken the Nazi military forces, the Avro Lancaster might easily have been a keystone in the outcome of the war. This possibility is examined in further detail in Sergeant’s documentary, which is entitled The Lancaster: Britain’s Flying Past.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE