Beyond The Sprues

Current and Finished Projects => Physical Models => Aero-space => Topic started by: Sport25ing on June 29, 2020, 05:08:32 PM

Title: Defiantski
Post by: Sport25ing on June 29, 2020, 05:08:32 PM


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British development
The Boulton Paul Defiant was built to Air Ministry Specification F.9/35, which called for a two-seat turret equipped fighter-bomber. Although initially built as a pure fighter with all its guns in the turret, the second prototype had provision for underwing bomb shackles and later tested twelve forward firing .303 machine guns in the wings. Because the emphasis was on air defence, plans for a fighter-bomber Defiant were placed on hold and not revisited until mid-1941, when a MkII was modified with two forward firing 20mm Hispano cannon and bomb racks. Proposals for single or two seat versions with four 20mm Hispano cannons (but without underwing handpoints) were rejected.

The RAF showed little interest in the any of these types, but following the June 1941 Nazi invasion of the Socialist Union the Air Ministry ordered the last 200 Defiants to be built as fighter-bomber MkIVs with two Hispano cannon, turret and bomb racks for immediate export. In fact, most of these aircraft had already been laid down as turretless TT MkIII target tugs and were thus delivered without rear defences.

In Red service
The first arrived by ship in November 1941 and, after brief combat with the 4th Ground Attack Regiment  - also equipped with the ILT-OO Shturmovik – the Defiants were recalled from action and re-tasked with training duties, most going to gunnery training units. Around thirty were subsequently modified to take indigenous turrets and twenty of these were assigned to the Northern Fleet for patrol and convoy escort work between the Allied occupied Svalbard islands off the coast of Norway and Murmansk.

To cope with the Arctic conditions in this region, several were equipped with fixed skis attached to their bomb pylons, the undercarriage being removed to make way for extra fuel.  Popularly known as the Defiantski, they remained in service with the Northern Fleet’s 73rd Independent Air Squadron until mid-1944, when replaced by ski-equipped ILT-WOs. In that time, the type was credited with the sinking of two German vessels and shooting down a Blohm und Voss 138.

However, the type’s biggest claim to fame came after the war when UFO enthusiasts noted a Radio Moscow broadcast from 17 March, 1944.  In an interview with British Aeronautical engineer Roy Fedden in the 24 March 1950 Daily Mirror newspaper, Fadden made claims that the Nazis had built UFOs or Foo Fighters during the war and had test flown them from a base high in the Arctic ice cap. As evidence of this, he cited Radio Moscow’s claim that a ski-equipped airborne task force from the Northern Fleet had captured a Nazi freighter above Svalbard in the Arctic Circle.  After fleeing Britain’s Red revolution of May 1950 and settling in the USA, Fadden sated in his 1955 book Nazi Discs, Red Ice that he believed the aircraft involved included Defiantskis. This Defiant connection has since become accepted folklore of the Nazi/Red UFO conspiracy theory.
Title: Re: Defiantski
Post by: apophenia on June 30, 2020, 05:02:03 AM
Okay. I'm a sucker for Defiants at the best of time ... but that is seriously cool (no Svalbard pun intended). Excellent back story too  :)
Title: Re: Defiantski
Post by: Sport25ing on June 30, 2020, 05:07:53 PM
Real Congrats to Comrade Harps from WhatIfModellers