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Boulton Paul Defiant

Discussion in 'Allied Fighter Planes' started by Jim, Oct 8, 2006.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The Boulton Paul Defiant was an early World War II fighter aircraft of the Royal Air Force built by Boulton Paul Aircraft Ltd. Amongst pilots it had the informal nickname "Daffy".

    The Boulton Paul Defiant, went into action for the first time during operations against the Nazi invaders of Holland.

    [​IMG]

    The design of the aircraft was an attempt to overcome the need to point the nose of a fighter at its target in order to bring the guns to bear. Instead of forward-facing guns, the Defiant was fitted with a powered dorsal turret equipped with four 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns. In theory, the Defiant would approach an enemy bomber from below or beside and destroy it with a concentrated burst of fire. The concept was similar to the successful World War I Bristol Fighter, and the Fleet Air Arm's contemporary Blackburn Roc, but in practice the Defiant was highly vulnerable to the more agile Luftwaffe Bf 109 escort fighters. It was later used in the night fighter role where it had considerable success against Luftwaffe bombers, before it was phased out of combat operations.
     
  2. Dave War44

    Dave War44 Member

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    Nice scan and info.
    'Looked it up in Saville-Sneath's British Aircraft Vol I, and, writing during wartime, here's what he said:

    ....Thrown in as day fighters during the critical evacuation from Dunkirk, a squadron of Defiants on their first appearance shot down 37 German bombers and fighters without loss to themselves. The same squadron brought down 65 aircraft in all from May 12th to May 31st, 1940. Such success, due largely to the unexpected nature of their armament, could not be maintained in regular daylight operations in view of the inevitably reduced performance and manoeuvrability of a two-seat turretted fighter....
    :)
     
  3. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Thanks for the info Dave, i took the info and picture from a magazine that is 66 years old. They hold some great information, some that can't be found on the net... :)
    When i first saw the picture i thought it was a Spitfire, as it does have quite a resemblance to it.
     
  4. Dave War44

    Dave War44 Member

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    Nothing new here. Just some prose I enjoyed, from Saville-Sneath, 1942:

    The Defiant enjoyed.... brilliant success when a squadron of these hitherto secret two-seat, turretted fighters sprung a painful surprise on the Luftwaffe during the most critical days of the evacuation from Dunkirk. This fighter, which, from an apparently harmless position alongside, could suddenly switch on a devastating broadside from four power-operated guns, gave Nazi (sic) fighter and bomber crews a shock from which many never recovered.

    This initial success, however, was largely due to surprise....
    ...Enemy pilots learned - possibly by bitter experience - of the new fighter's unusual field of fire and changed their tactics accordingly. So the Defiant resumed its less spectacular but equally vital duties as a night-fighter...
     
  5. Jamie 111

    Jamie 111 New Member

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    Bolton

    Another nice find Jim.

    It does look like Spitfire doesn't it? Not a lot has been written about this aircraft as far as I know. Perhaps it wasn't "glamorous" enough?
     

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