The Forgotten Bomber The Blenheim Bristol

Discussion in 'Modelling' started by jameson2106, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member

    Even the 2 seater night fighters used to overtake them underneath and pull up in front of them and shoot them with their rear firing guns. The pilot could do little about it.

  2. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Bristols were building these in 1939 (MK 1F Blenheim of 145 Squadron SO-R) at Croydon.


    And this in 2004:

    Bristol Cars: Exclusive Anonymity - The 5.9 litre V8 Blenheim 3 about 150 per year if you need to ask the price you cannot afford it!
  3. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I know what they look like, having been strafed by one. It was after Dunkirk a Blenheim appeared low over the coast, flying up through the Purbeck valley between Nine barrow down and the South downs. As it approached we started waving to the pilot..... Only to be machine gunned.

    A Blenheim captured and used by the enemy for reconnaissance after Dunkirk...
  4. londoner

    londoner Member

    Also served throughout the Med and, my main area of interest, India, China and Burma
  5. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member

    I believe it served in ever theatre and ever command
  6. Jamie Holdbridge-Stuart

    Jamie Holdbridge-Stuart Senior Member

    Corgi diecast 1/72 Desert Blenheim...


  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The Blenheim was one of those aircraft which were obsolescent as they entered service.Some newly reformed Bomber Command squadrons did not have their newly issued Blenheims on charge long,something like 12 months to nearly 2 years before they were withdrawn and replaced by Hampdens in early 1939.It was case of Bomber Command catching up with the Lufwaffe which had been developed on a war budget since 1935.

    As a daylight bomber,the Blenheim lacked performance to escape from Luftwaffe fighters and interception by the enemy tended to end in the near total loss of aircraft and their valuable aircrew.Experience in the Denmark and Norway invasions supports this assessment and the aircraft was withdrawn from Scandinavian operations at the begining of May 1940.

    Then in the Battle for France as the Battle,the Blenheim was swept aside in the air by the Luftwaffe and were overwhelmed by the might of the Blitzkrieg.

    But as a daylight bomber,at least it gave the means to challenge the Germans on the mainland of Europe,albeit with sometimes disasterous results until something better came along.It reflects its worth to compete against the Lufwaffe,that it was withdrawn from front line service and started to appear in OTUs by the new year of 1941 and then as the Bisley was further relegated to (P) AFU units by 1943.

    I would say not a forgotten aircraft but one that will be remembered because its design and performance was inferior when tried and tested in war.
  8. londoner

    londoner Member

    The Blenheim was in front line service against the Japanese with 113 Squadron until March 1943.
  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  10. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member

    In the early years of the war most of the bombing operations were done without fighter escort at very low level, 50 feet, to avoid detection and the devastating effects of the German anti-aircraft guns, whether attacking land targets or shipping. This also meant they presented less of a target for the ever present German fighter force. Clear sky, whilst obviously assisting the crews to find the target was also one of the Blenheim crews biggest nightmares, as this meant that the Blenheim’s could be seen and targeted by both the anti-aircraft guns and the fighters. Generally the view was that if there was no cloud cover over the target then it would make for a very difficult assault, as the Blenheim’s would be looking to drop out of cloud cover over the target, deliver their ordinance and them seek to hide back in the cloud cover quickly afterwards as they head for home.

    But realistically, there was no alternative and the Blenheim had to be pushed to the forefront of the daylight bombing campaign, as the Wellington, Hampden and Whitley quickly proved too vulnerable to be used other than at night. This produced a great deal of respect for the Blenheim crews within the RAF, who’s service was known to be so hazardous that their bravery earned them the highest respect from their peers in the RAF to whom they became known as the Blenheim Boys. Did they really realise that the losses were as high as they were.

    Blenheim crews suffered the highest proportionate losses of any bomber crews during the war but delivered many success stories which were badly needed by the British propaganda machine, even though the trues losses were glossed over by the Government.

    Why is it the forgotten Bomber? Watch any programme about Bomber Command and even if the Blenheim is mentioned, which is very rare, see how swiftly they move through the Whitleys and Wellingtons to the Lancasters. It was good to see on the 'Tribute to Bomber Command' a picture of a Blenheim was frequently shown.


  11. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member


    I am trying to find a picture of inside the Blenheim cockpit, looking backwards into the WO/AG's station.

    Anyone seen one?


  12. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

  13. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    Go to Duxford and see if you can look in the Mk1 they have there.
    Hopefully it will be flying later this year.

  14. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member

    Thanks Guys,

    I did not think to use the word interior, tried everything else.Good pictures.

    I have sent an e Mail to the guys at Duxford to see if that is possible earlier this morning and also Hendon, so fingers crossed. The Blenheim Society do open days so if not, l will go along to one of those.

    I saw it fly a few years ago, the Mark IV, it was awesome. I think l would have preferred a mark IV but hey, beggars cannot be choosers. Just to see one fly again will be fantastic.



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