Best non-US remote gun turret of WW2?

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Admiral Beez

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Oct 21, 2019
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We all know of the remote turrets on the B-29 and the P-61. What of the other countries? Who fielded the best non-US remote aircraft gun turret in WW2? By remote I mean the gunner is not directly sighting along the gun, but is instead using a separate observation station to control the guns.

Here's the remote turret on the Messerschmitt Me 210.

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I'm going to give my two cents, British aircraft are often criticized for only having .303's but I feel that sitting upright and comfortable behind the guns far surpasses any advantage of bigger guns in awkward turrets,


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I'm going to give my two cents, British aircraft are often criticized for only having .303's but I feel that sitting upright and comfortable behind the guns far surpasses any advantage of bigger guns in awkward turrets,


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And you're comparing one of the better British gun turrets to a "gun position" rather than a powered turret, in the B-17F. This was later improved upon

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Would devices like the Lancaster's under-turret and rear turret be considered "remote turrets"?

No.

The British didn't have any remotely-controlled turrets out of the prototype stage by the time the war ended.
  1. RAE system (Lancaster test bed, I assume intended for Lincoln)
  2. Vickers-Armstrong system (Windsor)
  3. Fraser-Nash FN 95 (Avenger test bed, intended for Spearfish)
 
I don't consider the various periscope sighted turrets fitted in US or British aircraft as being "remote" mounts. The gunner was generally sat directly on top of the mounting.

I can't think of any British designed remote gun turret that reached operational service. A few were trialled though.

FN95 for Fairey Spearfish in an Avenger.
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Spearfish cutaway.
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And the remote nacelle mountings designed for the Vickers Windsor. A variant was trialled in a Warwick.

And a Boulton & Paul trial installation in a Lancaster in 1944.

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There was also the one fitted to the He177.

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And an old thread on this site about German remote turrets.

Another thread with some information about an Italian system on the P.108B that I've never previously noticed.

 
And a Boulton & Paul trial installation in a Lancaster in 1944.

My papers give the RAE credit for this system but Boulton Paul would seem to make more sense. Only additional info I have is the small blurb from R. Wallace Clarke's RAF Gun Turrets book (which also puts the system under Boulton Paul).

Would you happen to have anything more concrete?
 
My papers give the RAE credit for this system but Boulton Paul would seem to make more sense. Only additional info I have is the small blurb from R. Wallace Clarke's RAF Gun Turrets book (which also puts the system under Boulton Paul).

Would you happen to have anything more concrete?
Sorry but no. My recollection was from the R. Wallace Clarke book. And Google isn't being my friend today beyond the illustration I posted.
 
Would devices like the Lancaster's under-turret and rear turret be considered "remote turrets"?
For the purposes of this thread I had in mind turrets where a remote control system acts between a gunner's observation station and the gun's line of sight.
The CAC Ca-11 had remote turrets on its nacelles
Good example. Reminds me of those positioned on the Piaggio P.108's engine nacelles.

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There's a previous discussion on this here German Remote Controlled Turrets
 
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I don't consider the various periscope sighted turrets fitted in US or British aircraft as being "remote" mounts. The gunner was generally sat directly on top of the mounting.

Of course they're not going to sit too far away. You also have examples like the belly turrets on a B-29 where the spotting stations are indeed a ways away. That's remote enough for me.
 
The Me323, BV222 and He177 were some that had remote turrets but they didn't seem to be very effective against attackers.
The B-29 had an analog computer running its guidance. I have to expect the Germans and Italians had no such tech, and instead there was some sort of offset gunsight for which a set range had to be dialed in for where gunner's aim and turret fire converged.
 

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