B17's during Battle of Britain

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by pinsog, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. pinsog

    pinsog Member

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    If the Germans had possessed it, could the original model B17 have successfully defended itself against the Hurricanes and Spitfires during the Battle of Britain? It had, as I recall, 5 30 caliber machine guns. Could it have flown high enough, and fast enough, and had enough defensive weapons to defend itself against 303 armed British fighters.
     
  2. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    It would take an awful lot of .303 to bring down a 4-engined heavy
     
  3. Markus

    Markus Banned

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    Yes, but only because rifle caliber machine guns lack the firepower to reliably bring down larger A/C. During the BoB Heinkels with hundreds of bulletholes made it back but this was at least partly due to a shortage of AP rounds. Nevertheless a year later Hurricanes defending Malta had a very hard time shooting down the "fast and well protected" Ju88. On more than one occasion they expanded their entire ammo but the Junkers kept flying.
     
  4. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Well.... yeah
     
  5. Demetrious

    Demetrious Member

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    ... What? Didn't Hurricanes AND Spitfires mount dual 20mm Hispanos? I know neither plane's early models had them, but I'm fairly sure cannon-armed models participated in most of the Battle of Britain.

    I think the Brits would have done better against a B-17 like heavy bomber then the Germans did simply becuase the Hurricane was capable of absorbing the defensive firepower of a bomber formation rather better then most German fighters (bomber-destroyers nonwithstanding.)
     
  6. Markus

    Markus Banned

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    #6 Markus, Feb 4, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
    By the time of the BoB the first Spitfires with 20mm cannons just became operational. Sort-of as the guns were very unreliable; freezing, jamming ...
    I donĀ“t know how long it took to fix the guns but Hurricanes with cal.303 were still common a year later.

    @Colin1: I wrote my post while you posted yours.

    PS: IIRC the Hurricane still had some protection issues during the BoB. Something about combustible materials.
     
  7. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    19 Sqn used around half a dozen cannon-armed Spitfires
    They were hideously unreliable, constantly jamming. The Hispano, designed to sit on the roof of a powerplant, had yet to be adapted to the flexing environment of the wing; 19 Sqn quickly declared 'enough!' and demanded their m/c-armed mounts back. The cannon-armed RAF fighter would have to wait, it played a vanishingly small part in the battle.

    The Hurricane wasn't really any more capable than the Spitfire in that respect, it was the same liquid-cooled engine up front and a couple of chance rounds into the ventral radiator would have had the same effect quickly. If anything, the Spitfire had it over the Hurricane for speed into (and out of) the engagement.
     
  8. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Yep, sorry
    thought you were responding to my comment
     
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