In an attempt to counter the high-altitude night-flying RAF
Mosquito's and to introduce new types without the disruption
usually caused by entirely new types, the
RLM selected the Junkers Ju 188 S and Ju 188 T for further development.
The significance of this project was such that it received a code
name Störtebeker (a legendary German Pirate) and the designation
Ju 388. Three versions with pressurized cabins were planned: Ju 388 J
high-altitude night/all-weather fighter, Ju 388 K high-altitude bomber
and Ju 388 L high-altitude long-range reconnaissance aircraft; after
all, only the Ju 388 L saw service with the Luftwaffe.
The first prototype Ju 388 V1 reconnaissance version was converted
from a Ju 188 T-0 at Merseburg, and flown for the first time near the
end of 1943. The Ju 388 V2, V4 and V5 were the fighter prototypes,
the V2 having twin 0.79 in (20 mm) and 1.18 in (30 mm) forward-firing
cannons in a ventral tray, a remotely controlled tail barbette with a
twin 0.51 in (13 mm) machine gun, and carrying a FuG 220 Lichtenstein
SN-2 radar. The V2 flew for the first time in January 1944 with the
V4 and V5 following suit, both lacking the tail barbette and carrying
the FuG 218 Neptun radar. Production was ordered but none of the Ju
388 J-1 left the assembly line before end of hostilities.
The Ju 388 V1 was ordered into production and 10 pre-production Ju
388 L-0 were converted from Ju 188 S-1 airframes in August 1944, with
the first of 35 Junkers built Ju 388 L-1 being delivered in October
1944; an additional 10 being built by Weser. The Ju 388 L-1 had a FuG
217 Neptun tail-warning radar and a tail barbette, and a wooden
ventral pannier containing two cameras and an auxiliary fuel tank.
One L-1 was converted to Ju 388 L-1/b having a fourth crew member
operating an additional 0.51 in (13 mm) machine gun in rear of the
cockpit; also two Ju 388 L-3 with 1,750 hp Jumo 213E-1 engines were built.
Despite the need for defensive fighters, there was still demand for
bombers, the V3 bomber prototype flew early in 1944 and by July 1944
10 pre-production Ju 388 K-0 were completed at Dessau. Before the war
situation halted the production 5 more K-1s with a tail barbette had