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Rnd 1 Grp C - Dornier Do 17-217 (Germany) vs Handley Page Hampden (Britain)

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  • dutched
    replied
    Originally posted by MarkV View Post
    Can you provide evidence that this was the pilots' opinions? Give more detail about your source.
    If it would be of any help to you Wespennest Leeuwarden, It is a three volume work on German night fighter operations over The Netherlands. If I had the time I would look up who made the statement, but it is over 1,000 pages of reading. If it is of major interest to you I will look it up for you and translate the passage. If it is only a passing interest. Sorry.

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  • vikram72
    replied
    Dornier Do 17/215/217 (Germany)

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  • MarkV
    replied
    Originally posted by dutched View Post
    What can I say? If the German night fighter pilots were not enthusiastic about the plane and thought it slow on the climb and lacking in speed even Green's statistics won't change that.
    Can you provide evidence that this was the pilots' opinions? Give more detail about your source.

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  • dutched
    replied
    Originally posted by MarkV View Post
    At what altitude? Green gives 292 mph as the maximum cruising speed at 17,715 ft Max speed of 320 at 19,658 ft but max speed at sea level of only 264 mph. Given the performance of the Lancaster as reported in its tactical trials Report no.47 Air Fighting Development unit this is definitely faster than the Lancaster at all altitudes
    What can I say? If the German night fighter pilots were not enthusiastic about the plane and thought it slow on the climb and lacking in speed even Green's statistics won't change that.

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  • MarkV
    replied
    Originally posted by dutched View Post
    Werner Held-Holger Neuroth quote: translated: The greater range and larger fire power were the only plus sides of this variant (N). Quote: translated: (speaking of the N variant) A major drawback was the low speed and the lacking of manoeuvrablity. Both in straight line speed and climbing speed she (the N) was inferior to both British Lancaster and Halifax. Max speed is quoted as 290 Mph. Which is lower than your sources.
    .
    At what altitude? Green gives 292 mph as the maximum cruising speed at 17,715 ft Max speed of 320 at 19,658 ft but max speed at sea level of only 264 mph. Given the performance of the Lancaster as reported in its tactical trials Report no.47 Air Fighting Development unit this is definitely faster than the Lancaster at all altitudes

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  • dutched
    replied
    Originally posted by MarkV View Post
    The Hampden had some serious issues, firstly the rearward firing guns could not traverse a full 90 degrees in either direction. This meant they could not fire to the beam. On one occasion Me 110 s took out most of a Hampden squadron by flying parallel to them at the same speed and the 110's observer taking out the Hampden pilot with his machine gun. Secondly the narrow fuselage meant that if the pilot was hit it was impossible to get him out of his seat and another crew member to take the controls.

    The Dornier Do17 night fighter with a top speed of 265mph may have been too slow but only nine entered service anyway. The Do 217N with a top speed of 320mph was more than fast enough to deal with any of the Allied medium and heavy night bombers
    Werner Held-Holger Neuroth quote: translated: The greater range and larger fire power were the only plus sides of this variant (N). Quote: translated: (speaking of the N variant) A major drawback was the low speed and the lacking of manoeuvrablity. Both in straight line speed and climbing speed she (the N) was inferior to both British Lancaster and Halifax. Max speed is quoted as 290 Mph. Which is lower than your sources.
    Also reading through Wespennest Leeuwarden I get the impression that the German Night fighter pilots thought the Do 217 N a bit of a dog.

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  • CarpeDiem
    replied
    Thank you.
    The losses of Sept 1939 were the result of attacks by I/ZG26 but at the time the unit was flying Bf109s, still awaiting its Bf 110s.

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  • MarkV
    replied
    Originally posted by CarpeDiem View Post
    Could you provide further information on this incident (Squadron that suffered losses/date)? Harry Moyle's book "The Hampden File" describes two incidents in which Hampden squadrons suffered such losses, September 29 1939 when 5 144 Squadron Hampdens were lost attacking shipping near Helgoland and April 12 1940 when 7 44 Squadron Hampdens (2 lost) and 5 50 Squadron aircraft (4 lost) attacked Kristiansand. In both cases losses were mostly attributed to fighters but Bf109s, not Bf 110s.

    Moyle notes that the post mortem of the Kristiansand raid describes something similar to what you describe:
    [Moyle p25]
    You'll have to bear with me whilst I try and find the book it was in. I remember the account stating that one pilot was reduced to firing his service revolver in sheer desperation at the 110.

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  • CarpeDiem
    replied
    Originally posted by MarkV View Post
    . On one occasion Me 110 s took out most of a Hampden squadron by flying parallel to them at the same speed and the 110's observer taking out the Hampden pilot with his machine gun.
    Could you provide further information on this incident (Squadron that suffered losses/date)? Harry Moyle's book "The Hampden File" describes two incidents in which Hampden squadrons suffered such losses, September 29 1939 when 5 144 Squadron Hampdens were lost attacking shipping near Helgoland and April 12 1940 when 7 44 Squadron Hampdens (2 lost) and 5 50 Squadron aircraft (4 lost) attacked Kristiansand. In both cases losses were mostly attributed to fighters but Bf109s, not Bf 110s.

    Moyle notes that the post mortem of the Kristiansand raid describes something similar to what you describe:
    Some of the fighter's attacks had been made by flying parallel to the bombers until slightly ahead of them and then turning in to make a beam attack against which none of the Hampden's guns could be brought to bear. The crews who flew the Hampdens were well aware this form of attack was possible, having experienced it on numerous occasions during fighter affiliation exercises, but their reports had been dismissed by "experts" who still maintained such attacks were impracticable. Experience on this occasion did at least teach something and the installation of beam positions was proceeded with as a matter of urgency
    [Moyle p25]

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  • MarkV
    replied
    Originally posted by dutched View Post
    I think the HP Hampden is as much under rated as the Do 17-217 is over rated. The Do as a night fighter did not really cut it amongst other things it was considered too slow. The Dornier however was produced in greater numbers.
    The Hampden had some serious issues, firstly the rearward firing guns could not traverse a full 90 degrees in either direction. This meant they could not fire to the beam. On one occasion Me 110 s took out most of a Hampden squadron by flying parallel to them at the same speed and the 110's observer taking out the Hampden pilot with his machine gun. Secondly the narrow fuselage meant that if the pilot was hit it was impossible to get him out of his seat and another crew member to take the controls.

    The Dornier Do17 night fighter with a top speed of 265mph may have been too slow but only nine entered service anyway. The Do 217N with a top speed of 320mph was more than fast enough to deal with any of the Allied medium and heavy night bombers

    Leave a comment:


  • MarkV
    replied
    Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
    Remeber, the DO-17 was the fastest bomber on the planet when it first appeared.
    The Blenheim 1 which entered service the same year was 10 mph faster at 15,000 ft

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  • dutched
    replied
    I think the HP Hampden is as much under rated as the Do 17-217 is over rated. The Do as a night fighter did not really cut it amongst other things it was considered too slow. The Dornier however was produced in greater numbers.

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  • Drusus Nero
    replied
    Remeber, the DO-17 was the fastest bomber on the planet when it first appeared.

    Both of these designs suffered from having two engines. A tri motor just would not do for British aircraft, and the Dornier seems to have been the far more mallable of the two.

    Dornier

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  • BELGRAVE
    replied
    Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
    Yes, that's certainly a factor in many cases. However, I don't see how we can evaluate an aircraft in terms of roles that it might have been able to perform but never did. Regardless of the circumstances it would be pure speculation. Interesting thought, though.
    On the other hand, an aircraft might be pressed into service in the hope that it could a good job outside its usual role - but failed miserably. This was proved tragically true over the English city of Birmingham in December, 1940.
    During a particularly devastating Luftwaffe raid, the searchlights were extinguished, anti-aircraft guns silenced and a force of Hampdens went aloft, carrying extra guns -on the reasoning that, without carrying a bomb-load and possessing equal endurance, they could take-on the attacking bombers on better-than-equal terms.

    The experiment was never repeated.

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  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
    Yes, that's certainly a factor in many cases. However, I don't see how we can evaluate an aircraft in terms of roles that it might have been able to perform but never did. Regardless of the circumstances it would be pure speculation. Interesting thought, though.
    No, I'm aware that consideration is not particularly helpful when it comes to making a decision here. That's why I voted and stated what I voted, first - and then spelled out my musing...

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