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Posted on Jul 8, 2005 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Hendon RAF Museum

Armchair General

Oh look, I found another Bf109. This one’s an ‘E’ variant, an earlier model than the ‘G’ featured above in this piece and one that’s typical of the type of fighter flown by the Luftwaffe during the battle over the British Isles. This model had a 20mm cannon which fired through the propeller hub – that’s right, it fired through the engine, along with two 7.99mm machine guns mounted on the engine cowl. One can imagine that such an arrangement would have meant a very tight field of fire, and possibly a more accurate one that that of a plane with guns mounted on the wings.

The next picture is of a Heinkel He111 – H. This was a medium bomber operated by the Luftwaffe betwen 1936 and 1945. Initially used to spearhead Blitzkrieg attacks in the early stages of the war when the Germans had total air supremacy, the He-111 proved rather inadequate over the skies of Britain having inadequate defences against enemy fighters. However, having no alternative to put into production, the Germans had no choice but to continue the use and production of the He111.

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These shattered remnants of a Hurricane were unearthed in 1973. The plane originally crashed on 31st August 1940 having been part of 257 Squadron which had that day engaged and destroyed many Messerschmitt Bf110s. The pilot did not survive.

During the Battle of Britain, the RAF was outnumbered four to one by the Luftwaffe, and yet won through despite these odds.

The motorcycle you see here is a DB200 as used by the German armed forces during the war.

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Next up we have two pictures of an Me110 with night-fighter radar device. These planes were used as heavy day fighters, night fighters and ground attack planes, however they were slower and heavier than their Bf109 contemporaries and proved to be sitting ducks for British fighter planes. But check out the excellent camouflage scheme – all is forgiven!

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