Consolidated Aircraft's Model 32 was designated as the B24 "Liberator" by the United States Army Air Force (USAAF). The large, fourengined aircraft, used as a heavy bomber, transport, and for various utility purposes, was produced in both greater numbers and in more versions than any other American airplane during the Second World War. Nevertheless, the B24 in its many versions was not highly regarded among most of the combat aviators called upon to fly the aircraft, and earned such nicknames as the "flying bathtub," "flying coffin," "the combat crew Liquidator," and the "Convulsive Leviathan." In spite of these derisive sobriquets, however, one would assume that the B24 possessed some redeeming features that accounted for the massive numbers of the aircraft that were produced.
The Consolidated B24 Liberator was a pervasive aircraft across all theaters of war. The critics of the aircraft were equally pervasive. The issue addressed in this research is the justification for the massive production of the B24 in the face of equally massive criticism from those who required to fly the aircraft. This issue was addressed in this study through the investigation of two research questions, which were stated as follows: 1. What were the reasonsstated and unstatedfor the massive numbers in which the Consolidated B24 Liberators was produced during the Second World War?
2. Were the reasons for the massive level of production of the B24 justified by the attainment of strategic and tactical outcomes in the Second World War?
The data required for the investigation of the research questions were obtained from published sources. These sources included official United States government histories of the Second World War, and works by American and British historians dealing with combat air operations during the Second World War, the development and application of air war doctrine both prior and during the Second World War, and a...