The Mosquito was a twin-engine aircraft, powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Merlins with the pilot and navigator sitting side by side. Unorthodox in design, it used a plywood structure of spruce and balsa in a time when wooden construction was considered outmoded. In the conceptual design stage, de Havilland designers found that adding any defensive armament would significantly reduce the aircraft's maximum speed. Realising that the loss in performance was not worth the benefit, the initial bomber version was designed without any guns. The Mosquito was a very versatile aircraft; originally conceived as a fast day bomber, the various roles of the Mosquito included: tactical bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, maritime strike and photo reconnaissance aircraft.
The Mosquito inspired admiration from all quarters, including the Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Göring. Göring was due to address a parade in Berlin in the morning of 30 January 1943, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Nazis' being voted into power. The low level attack of three 105 Squadron Mosquito B Mk. IV on the main Berlin broadcasting station put Reichsmarschall Göring off the air for more than an hour, as he was about to launch into a scheduled speech.