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"Airfix 1/72nd scale Fairey Battle" Topic

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Anton Ryzbak09 Jul 2021 10:15 p.m. PST


It took a while (what with all the gap-filling and sanding) to get this one finished but here it is! Another addition to my "What were they thinking?" collection; the Fairey Battle link

Chimpy09 Jul 2021 10:31 p.m. PST

I still like the look of it. And I also like another contender for "What were they thinking?" the Bolton Paul Defiant.

BillyNM09 Jul 2021 10:52 p.m. PST

I'm not sure there were many bombers in service at that time that were not easy meat for cannon armed fighters, or light flak at low altitude.

Londonplod10 Jul 2021 1:14 a.m. PST

The RAF carried on this tradition of presenting easy targets up until the Gulf War, when they designed the JP233, did they really think that having to fly low, straight and slow over enemy air airfields was a good idea?

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP10 Jul 2021 1:46 a.m. PST

How many Tornados were lost flying low over enemy airfields in the Gulf War? as I recall it wasn't just the RAF that employed runway cratering munitions deployed from aircraft in this way.

Personal logo martinjpayne1964 Supporting Member of TMP10 Jul 2021 2:33 a.m. PST

I don't think a Tornado traveling at 600+ mph during the bomb run can in any way be construed as slow!

Anton Ryzbak10 Jul 2021 4:22 a.m. PST

Chimpy, I have a Defiant in the queue!

BillyNM, True that, the Brits made it worse by sending out Battles on penny-packet bombing missions without any escort in broad daylight. Stukas ran into trouble over Britain trying the same thing.

enfant perdus10 Jul 2021 8:53 a.m. PST

I absolutely love the Battle. I have three in my stash, albeit 1/48 Classic Airframes.

Martin Rapier11 Jul 2021 2:25 a.m. PST

I've got a Zvezda 1/144 scale one. It is an enormous plane! But not vastly different to any of the other single engine monoplane bombers of the period. Somewhat better then the biplanes they replaced.

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2021 8:54 a.m. PST

They arrived just in time to be obsolete. They did, however, make very good trainers because of their flight characteristics.

enfant perdus11 Jul 2021 11:14 a.m. PST

They arrived just in time to be obsolete.

The biggest strike against the Battle is unfortunate timing. The RAF churned through a lot of types during the 1930s and many of these are remembered fondly because they saw little to no combat. The fighter arm in particular had the good fortune that Hurricanes and Spitfires were operational at the start of the War and could carry the brunt from the jump. Thus the Fury is loved for its beautiful lines and the Gladiator as the pugnacious Malta defender. Had either of these been the mainstay of Fighter Command in 1940, we'd be wondering "what were they thinking?"

Along those lines, one wonders what the reputation of the Battle would be if the British and French had not acquiesced in 1938. Still on it's way out, but against the Heer and Luftwaffe of the time not such a hopeless case.

Anton Ryzbak11 Jul 2021 7:45 p.m. PST

From my point of view it really comes down the fact that Bomber Command and Fighter Command operated as if the other didn't exist. Entirely different objectives and policies led to a situation where bombers were sent out on mission without the slightest consideration of escort or the establishment of air supremacy. It was as if the RAF had deliberately unlearned all the lessons that the Great War had taught them.

The JU-87 was little better than the Battle but managed to operate to nearly the end of the war because the Luftwaffe had a better handle on things (it didn't hurt that the Soviets had a host of problems with their concept of air operations).

Jeffers12 Jul 2021 12:00 a.m. PST

Nice model. My Battle sits proudly in my display cabinet…

The thinking behind the Defiant was reasonably sound because nobody expected Germans sitting just across the channel when is was proposed. It was thrown into a battle it was not designed to fight.

arthur181512 Jul 2021 2:48 p.m. PST

IIRC the Defiant did have some success as a night fighter.

Monophagos13 Jul 2021 5:34 a.m. PST

The Battle could have been reconfigured for ground attack like the Stormovik

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2021 5:57 a.m. PST

"IIRC the Defiant did have some success as a night fighter"
Yes, being large enough to carry radar, and its turret alowing it to conduct attacks from below, somewhat akin to the Schrange Musik cannon used in Bf110s, Fw190s etc.

Dagwood13 Jul 2021 1:38 p.m. PST

The Defiant was also used for target towing in FAA training schools, This would have been about 1945 ?

enfant perdus14 Jul 2021 9:37 a.m. PST

Yes, Defiants had a long and successful career as target tugs for both the RAF and the FAA, as did the Battle. I believe the last Defiant TT marks served with the Indian Air Force until shortly after independence.

bobm195919 Jul 2021 1:45 p.m. PST

As a light bomber it made a great target tug

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