From War Thunder Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
VTOL | Rank 5 USA
AV-8A Harrier Pack
TBD-1 Devastator
General characteristics
3 peopleCrew
4.22 tTake-off weight
0.55 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
6000 mCeiling
Pratt & Whitney R1830-64Engine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
431 km/hStructural
185 km/hGear
Offensive armament
12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gunWeapon 1
500 roundsAmmunition
750 shots/minFire rate
Defensive armament
7.62 mm Browning machine gunTurret
600 roundsAmmunition
1000 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
12 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombSetup 1
1 x Mk.13-1 torpedo (1927 lbs)Setup 2
1 x Mk.13-1 Case torpedo (1927 lbs)Setup 3
2 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb
6 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bomb
Setup 4
2900 Rp icon.pngResearch
700 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png610 / 772/280 / 354/210 / 265Repair
200 Sl icon.pngCrew training
1000 Sl icon.pngExperts
20 Ge icon.pngAces
100 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
130 % Sl icon.png70 % Sl icon.png30 % Sl icon.png


GarageImage TBD-1.jpg

The TBD-1 Devastator is a rank I American torpedo bomber with a battle rating of 1.7 (AB/SB) and 1.3 (RB). It was introduced in Update 1.53 "Firestorm".

The TBD-1 is the first usable bomber in the U.S. aircraft line up. While the likes of the OS2Us and the SB2Us are capable of bombing, they cannot do what the TBD-1 can do and that is to carry a torpedo or optionally upwards of 1,600 lbs (725 kg) of bombs. The Devastator is adept at bombing either naval or land-based targets. On maps with naval ships, torpedoes require the little naval bomber to release from a very low altitude, a maximum of 340 ft ( 104 m) or 820 ft (250 m) depending on the torpedo used. For those pilots who prefer utilizing bombs, they can be just as easily used on ships as on land-based vehicles except to ensure greater accuracy; this requires the aircraft to be quite low to the ground.

The lone offensive machine gun does not offer much, but can be effectively used to pick off damaged ground targets or even getting a luck shot on an enemy fighter. The lone rear-facing dorsal machine gun is not a miracle worker, though it does a good job of making it difficult for enemy fighters to sit on the TBD-1’s tail. The aircraft is quite manoeuvrable and can quickly whip around to attempt a second bombing run on a target if there are any bombs left over. Though state-of-the-art when developed, this bomber was quickly outdated, but that did not stop it being utilised at the beginning of World War II. While in War Thunder this bomber might seem to be an easy target for new pilots, those with some practice under their belt can utilise this as a very effective early bomber, racking up destroyed ground vehicles and anti-aircraft artillery targets.

General info

Flight Performance

The TBD-1 Devastator is a very slow but useful aircraft. It has a max speed of 327 kph in Arcade Battles and 312 kph in Realistic battles. The TBD-1 devastator has a pretty decent turn time for a bomber, making it viable for the most extreme of the pilots to use it as a basic dogfighter. It’s slow speed makes the aircraft vulnerable to enemy fighter attacks, so be sure to have fighter escort!

Torpedo runs are a speciality of the TBD-1.

A TBD-1 setting up for a torpedo run against Japanese warships in the Pacific.
Max Speed
(km/h at 2,500 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
298 287 6000 19.8 20.5 4.3 4.3 150
Max Speed
(km/h at 2,500 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
327 312 6000 18.3 19.0 8.3 6.1 150


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flaps
Max Static G
+ -
431 185  212 ~8 ~2
Optimal velocities
< 465 < 400 < 380 > 323
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
2,620 m 900 hp 963 hp

Survivability and armour

  • 12.7 mm steel - behind the engine
  • 12.7 mm steel - behind pilot's head
  • Self-sealing fuel tanks (1 in each wing)


Offensive armament

A TBD-1 blitzing ground artillery with a mix of 100 and 500 lb bombs.
Main article: Browning M2 (12.7 mm)

The TBD-1 is armed with:

  • 1 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine gun, nose-mounted (500 rpg)

Suspended armament

The TBD-1 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 12 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (1,200 lb total)
  • 1 х Mk.13 torpedo
  • 1 х Mk.13/44 torpedo
  • 2 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs + 6 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (1,600 lb total)

Defensive armament

Main article: Browning (7.62 mm)

The TBD-1 is defended by:

  • 1 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, dorsal turret (600 rpg)

Usage in battles

A TBD-1 scoring a direct torpedo hit on a Japanese ship.

The first thing a pilot will notice about the TBD in gameplay is its "rubber-banding" tendency to return to a stable speed of about 250 km/h. The aircraft has mediocre energy retention, especially in a turn or when coming out of a dive. However, it is a stable and easy plane to fly, even in Realistic Battles. Strangely enough, the TBD has awesome acceleration from a standing start. The acceleration peters off after about 140 km/h (just above its stall speed) but makes it a nice plane to take-off, especially from carriers. The armament on this plane is very bad and will get shot down if engaged with a fighter. The TBD is a very attractive target for fighters so climb to an altitude of 5000 meters. When dropping bombs, decrease your throttle to 50% as the bombs are more accurate when flying slow.

This aircraft is best used in a ground strike role, carpet bombing ground targets with a large quantity of smaller bombs available out of the box, and in this role, it performs respectably. It features a single 12.7 mm MG attached to the starboard side of the engine, with a generous ammo load, but although the TBD has a good turning radius it is not recommended to engage as a fighter. A rear gunner also wields a 7.7 mm MG, and although its horizontal coverage is laughable, it is a welcome addition to a low-flying pilot with the ability to keep his enemies in his gunner's (or main gun's) sights.

It is important to note that the TBD suffers from extremely fragile flaps and gear, at least in Realistic and Simulator Battles; even combat flaps will break off at any speed above about 210 km/h, while the gear rip at about 180.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Separate Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Turret 7 mm ITC mk.III
II Compressor Airframe New 7 mm MGs (turret) Improved torpedo
III Wings repair Engine Offensive 12 mm SBC mk.I
IV Engine injection Cover New 12 mm MGs

Pros and cons


  • Easily capable of flying back to base with one wing
  • Low stall speed
  • Has a bombsight
  • Has an arrestor hook for carrier landing
  • Very stable and easy to fly
  • Very manoeuvrable for a bomber
  • Very good turn and roll rate
  • Carries a decent quantity of bombs without requiring any research
  • Great standing acceleration
  • Cockpit offers somehow decent visibility
  • Excellent low-speed handling, great aircraft for pilots to learn how to use torpedoes


  • Prone to wing snapping when pulling 3 G's flying at mid-range to high speeds
  • Armaments are extremely underwhelming, with a single 12.7 mm in front and a 7.62 mm in the rear
  • Low sustainable "cruise" speed (200-250 km/h)
  • Slow
  • Very bad energy retention
  • Bombs are mounted on external pylons
  • A dive bomber without any air brakes
  • Poor overall armament with limited defensive coverage
  • No gun sight in cockpit other than a scope with an extremely limited (and very shaky) field of view
  • Does not come with its Navy Blue camouflage unlike other US Navy planes
  • Fragile flaps and landing gear
  • Gunner has no armour protection


The active-duty life of the TBD-1 Devastator was a relatively short one in which it went from being the Navy’s most advanced aircraft in service to being outdated only three years later and then removed from active service within five years. Though seeing limited action during WWII and recorded performance as abysmal later was vindicated when documentation recorded that the U.S. Mk. 13 torpedo, one of the main suspended armaments of this aircraft was to share much of this blame as their failure rate (sinking, not-exploding, running cold, not running true, porposing) was extremely high.

The Devastator had a strong start as a winner of a U.S. Navy competition for a new carrier-based bomber. This aircraft included many firsts for the Navy as the TBD-1 was a monoplane manufactured from all metal (no fabric covering for any surfaces), and hydraulically folding wings to allowing stowage of more aircraft on the carrier. The Devastator had a crew of three, the pilot would fly the aircraft and operate the single forward-facing machine gun while the bombardier who sat in the centre of the cockpit would lay prone on the bottom of the aircraft and would aim the Norden bombsight located under the pilot’s seat through a window in the belly of the aircraft. The third crew member was the radio operator/rear gunner who also operated a single machine gun in the dorsal turret to fend off any attacking enemy aircraft.

A total of 129 TBD-1 units were purchased and delivered to the U.S. Navy and were farmed out to several aircraft carriers such as the notable Enterprise, Lexington, Wasp and Hornet. Unfortunately, the Navy realized by 1940 that the Devastator was not the frontline bomber it needed and its replacement the Grumman TBF Avenger was not yet at a stage where it could be operational. Though outclassed by many Japanese fighters, the TBD-1 was still pressed into active service, however, as an example, 41 were deployed during the Battle of Midway with only four returning to the carriers. Though other factors contributed such as miscommunication and uncoordinated sorties, the Devastators flew without fighter cover and were easily picked off when lining up for torpedo runs often flying in a straight line at around 115 mp/h (185 km/h). Ship batteries also had an easy time bearing down on these slow and predictable torpedo runs. Though, the attacks were not a complete waste, as the Devastator attacks tied up the Imperial Japanese Navy and their protective fighters which allowed the late-arriving SBD dauntless dive bombers to inflict massive damage on the IJN carriers with very little resistance allowing them to carry out more effective attacks.

The Battle of Midway showed the technological age of the Devastator and the Navy elected to withdraw the remaining TBD-1s from active service and relegate them to training duty for both pilots and mechanics, while others were used by firefighters to practice extinguishing aircraft fires. All surviving Devastators are unsalvageable wrecks (the U.S. Navy will not relinquish ownership and thus cannot be salvaged) with one sitting in the Atlantic Ocean off of Miami, Florida USA, another in the Pacific Ocean just off of the coast of Mission Beach, California USA, two more in Jaluit Lagoon in the Marshall Islands and seven resting near the USS Lexington on the ocean floor of the Coral Sea.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

Douglas Aircraft Company
Attackers  A-20G-25 · A-26B-10 · A-26B-50 · AD-2 · AD-4
Bombers  A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT · B-18A · BTD-1 · SBD-3 · TBD-1
Turboprop  A2D-1
Jet fighters  F3D-1
Jet attackers  A-4B
Export  ▄AD-4 · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄DB-7 · ▄Havoc Mk I

USA bombers
Dive  SB2U-2 · SB2U-3 · SBD-3 · SB2C-1c · SB2C-4
Torpedo  TBD-1 · PBY-5 Catalina · PBY-5a Catalina · TBF-1C · BTD-1
Medium  B-10B · B-18A · B-34 · PV-2D · B-25J-1 · B-25J-20 · A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT
Heavy  B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE · PB4Y-2 · B-24D-25-CO · B-29A-BN
Hydroplanes  OS2U-1 · OS2U-3 · PBM-3 "Mariner"