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He111 questions!


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I now have both the Revell (ex Hasegawa) and Airfix He111H-6. I plan to use the Airfix Decals and make one as a Torpedo Bomber and the other as the 'Desert camouflage' option, so I've got a few questions before I think about starting them.

 

1) Was there any external differences between a regular He111H-6 and the one in Desert camou?  As I can't see any tropical filters or anything in the Airfix instructions.

2) The Airfix kits tells you to only use 1 big bomb but there's two racks - Did the Desert Camou one ever use two large bombs or just the one like Airfix says?

3) Defensive armament. The Revell kit has a MG FF cannon in the nose, the Airfix one just has MG 15's in all positions. Did the torpedo bombers and Desert Camou ones ever have the MG FF cannon fitted?

 

thanks

Mike

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There could be two torpedos one time

https://c8.alamy.com/comp/CPJFAN/the-torpedo-bomber-heinkel-he-111-1941-CPJFAN.jpg

post-385-0-83376400-1479840970.jpg

 

Especially look here - two torpedos, canon in nose and nice wave camo

http://falkeeins.blogspot.com/2015/10/3-kg-26-he-111-torpedo-bomber-salon-de.html

It is here (sorry, only this quality in net...)

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRAdnWTNxmgVLI86Hy1XJS

 

Cheers

J-W

 

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1) External differences:  If choosing a particular subject for your torpedo-dropper, the first He 111H-6s with the II/KG 26 experienced problems with the broad-blade wooden propellors splitting in Mediterranean sun, and metal prop sets were flown in to swap for the wooden ones (if interested in the KG 26, Alexander Steenbeck's unit history, Die Spur des Löwen, is excellent).  Only three machines from the 6./KG 26 were equipped with the torpedo-dropping gear at first, and they were issued with but six torpedos.  Missions were usually flown at dusk, but the 'reception' was always hairy.  Kowaleski remarked about turning toward the target about two kilometers out, but any capital ships present would commence firing then, others joining in at the 1.5 km point, then every barrel not long after, and you're still not yet close-enough to drop.  The 'eels' were not set to run parallel, but on different headings.  By the summer of 1942 this unit had moved to Norway to combat the Murmansk convoys (PQ 16 and PQ 17 in particular).  Fliegerkorps X shifted units remarkable distances.

 

2) Ordnance.  It's common to see Lw bombers with mixed ordnance, but in the case of the VERY big bombs, such as an SC1400 bound for Malta, only one of those would be carried.  It's always a balancing act, with fuel and ordnance 'weighing in' to affect range.  A harbor, and artillery positions, have differing requirements.  Most of the large Luftwaffe bombs were pale blue (RLM 65), but for the night missions often assigned in the Mediterranean, they's be roughly swabbed with black to reduce the aircraft's visibility to the searchlight crews.  The Heinkel's internal bomb bay wells were restricted to SC250s, or 4 x SC 50s in exchange for an SC250.

 

SOME times the He 111s were used as 'bomb-transport,' with one being able to deliver to a desert field enough SC 250s to equip six Ju 87B/Rs for one mission.  It wasn't exclusively the Ju 52 crews doing all that critical work.

 

3) The 2 cm MG-FF/M was looked on as 'offensive' rather than defensive, not every ship-target needed a bomb.  But the torpedo-droppers would likely find that big gun cumbersome in that already-crowded nose.

 

You mentioned "Desert camou", and while I do not own the new Airfix kit, I believe the RLM 79-finished example they provide is "S7+EA" from the Stab/StG 3.  This one was used a courier and general purpose machine, not a bomber.  The ULTRA intercepts in the PRO are full of messages that a particular airframe (or three) is now 'ready for pickup' at a repair-facility / airfield in Greece.

 

Good luck with your builds, GRM

Edited by G.R.Morrison
Edit: fix typo
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I've not seen tropical filters on He 111s.  Either the intake being on top of the aircraft was thought to avoid sand ingestion (as has been claimed for the Allison engine vs the Merlin, if doubtfully) or there is a filter mounted further inside the duct.

 

I'm not sure that any of the torpedo bombers operated from North Africa.

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Hi Mike,

 

I hope the experts chime in but here are my limited input to your questions:

 

1) Can't help you on that as I wondered this myself quite often.

 

2) It depends on the sub-variant used. If I understand correctly the H-4 had MG 15s installed while the H-6 and later had the MG FF at least as an option or gernerally installed in the nose and forward gondola. So best is to have a photo of the specific aircraft. If you type into your search engine of choice "He 111+torpedo" most photos show machines with the MG 15s installed and some with MG FF so I guess that was mission specific.

He 111 torpedo bombers with MG FF

He 111 torpedo bomber with MG 15

 

3) Again not sure about the African theater but the assymetric bombload was quite common when heavy bombs (SC1000 and heavier) were carried externally. Reason was that one heavy bomb was already a handful for the Heinkel as the controls became heavy due to the weight and the external load created a bit of drag and cost range. Here are a few photos which proof it, most are from the eastern front but some are from then Mediterranean theater at least:

He111_1

He111_2

He111_3 (assymetric rack only)

He111_4

 

 

Cheers

Markus

 

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17 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

I've not seen tropical filters on He 111s.  Either the intake being on top of the aircraft was thought to avoid sand ingestion (as has been claimed for the Allison engine vs the Merlin, if doubtfully) or there is a filter mounted further inside the duct.

 

I'm not sure that any of the torpedo bombers operated from North Africa.

Thanks Graham - That means I could use either kit for the Desert Camouflage option then.  The Torpedo bomber is one from Sicily in regular bomber camouflage but with a Black underside.

 

thanks

Mike

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18 minutes ago, Shorty84 said:

Hi Mike,

 

I hope the experts chime in but here are my limited input to your questions:

 

1) Can't help you on that as I wondered this myself quite often.

 

2) It depends on the sub-variant used. If I understand correctly the H-4 had MG 15s installed while the H-6 and later had the MG FF at least as an option or gernerally installed in the nose and forward gondola. So best is to have a photo of the specific aircraft. If you type into your search engine of choice "He 111+torpedo" most photos show machines with the MG 15s installed and some with MG FF so I guess that was mission specific.

He 111 torpedo bombers with MG FF

He 111 torpedo bomber with MG 15

 

3) Again not sure about the African theater but the assymetric bombload was quite common when heavy bombs (SC1000 and heavier) were carried externally. Reason was that one heavy bomb was already a handful for the Heinkel as the controls became heavy due to the weight and the external load created a bit of drag and cost range. Here are a few photos which proof it, most are from the eastern front but some are from then Mediterranean theater at least:

He111_1

He111_2

He111_3 (assymetric rack only)

He111_4

 

 

Cheers

Markus

 

I think the large bomb is an SC1000 but I might be wrong. Airfix tell you to put two bomb racks on the model but only one bomb. I might use some modeller's licence and depict one of them with a cannon, just for an extra difference in the models.

 

thanks

Mike

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Sounds good to me - though it may be that such exist but I haven't seen them.  However I don't recall reading anything about tropicalised Heinkels either, nor encountering them on operations in North Africa other than isolated examples - at least one was used in support of the raid on Chad.

 

PS entirely agree about only one large bomb, and probably without the large carrier on the other side.  Or two smaller carrier with smaller bombs, of course.  This is a common problem with Luftwaffe kits and large weaponry.  You did not see Do 217s with two Hs 293s or Fritz X, nor He 177s with three!

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33 minutes ago, G.R.Morrison said:

1) External differences:  If choosing a particular subject for your torpedo-dropper, the first He 111H-6s with the II/KG 26 experienced problems with the broad-blade wooden propellors splitting in Mediterranean sun, and metal prop sets were flown in to swap for the wooden ones (if interested in the KG 26, Alexander Steenbeck's unit history, Die Spur des Löwen, is excellent).  Only three machines from the 6./KG 26 were equipped with the torpedo-dropping gear at first, and they were issued with but six torpedos.  Missions were usually flown at dusk, but the 'reception' was always hairy.  Kowaleski remarked about turning toward the target about two kilometers out, but any capital ships present would commence firing then, others joining in at the 1.5 km point, then every barrel not long after, and you're still not yet close-enough to drop.  The 'eels' were not set to run parallel, but on different headings.  By the summer of 1942 this unit had moved to Norway to combat the Murmansk convoys (PQ 16 and PQ 17 in particular).  Fliegerkorps X shifted units remarkable distances.

 

2) Ordnance.  It's common to see Lw bombers with mixed ordnance, but in the case of the VERY big bombs, such as an SC1400 bound for Malta, only one of those would be carried.  It's always a balancing act, with fuel and ordnance 'weighing in' to affect range.  A harbor, and artillery positions, have differing requirements.  Most of the large Luftwaffe bombs were pale blue (RLM 65), but for the night missions often assigned in the Mediterranean, they's be roughly swabbed with black to reduce the aircraft's visibility to the searchlight crews.  The Heinkel's internal bomb bay wells were restricted to SC250s, or 4 x SC 50s in exchange for an SC250.

 

SOME times the He 111s were used as 'bomb-transport,' with one being able to deliver to a desert field enough SC 250s to equip six Ju 87B/Rs for one mission.  It wasn't exclusively the Ju 52 crews doing all that critical work.

 

3) The 2 cm MG-FF/M was looked on as 'offensive' rather than defensive, not every ship-target needed a bomb.  But the torpedo-droppers would likely find that big gun cumbersome in that already-crowded nose.

 

You mentioned "Desert camou", and while I do not own the new Airfix kit, I believe the RLM 79-finished example they provide is "S7+EA" from the Stab/StG 3.  This one was used a courier and general purpose machine, not a bomber.  The ULTRA intercepts in the PRO are full of messages that a particular airframe (or three) is now 'ready for pickup' at a repair-facility / airfield in Greece.

 

Good luck with your builds, GRM

 

Your right on the Desert Camou one, it is that machine - might do it as a kind of 'what if' and show what a Desert camouflage ones looks like with bombs. I believe once you know how things were, you can make an informed decision about a model. If I make it with bombs, at least I can tell people this exact aircraft wasn't used as a bomber but I've chosen to depict it that way.  I actually thought there might be some use in the nose mounted cannon, for keeping AA gunner's heads down if nothing else. Thanks for the answers, they have been very helpful!

 

thanks

Mike

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5 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

Sounds good to me - though it may be that such exist but I haven't seen them.  However I don't recall reading anything about tropicalised Heinkels either, nor encountering them on operations in North Africa other than isolated examples - at least one was used in support of the raid on Chad.

 

PS entirely agree about only one large bomb, and probably without the large carrier on the other side.  Or two smaller carrier with smaller bombs, of course.  This is a common problem with Luftwaffe kits and large weaponry.  You did not see Do 217s with two Hs 293s or Fritz X, nor He 177s with three!

Sounds like the model companies putting the rocket launchers in P-47 and P-51 kits, where the subject didn't use them!  I'm pretty sure some He111's did carry a couple of SC1000's for ops, they should be capable given that they lifted 2 torps but I might be wrong. Got me thinking that I should probably find a decent book on the He111 now.

 

thanks

Mike

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Sand-colored Heinkels are not common.  If you wish to make one with visible ordnance, the torpedo bomber "1H+AP" is a legitimate choice (but it also needs the thinner, metal props).  The unit emblem was a white shield with a red Lion (II Gruppe).

 

The one Mr.Boak referenced, WNr.4145, was flown by Lt. Bohnsack on the 21./22.Jan 1942 long-range mission to Fort Lamy, Chad, but its armament was internal -- a load of SC 50s.  This was a 'plain plane' without unit markings (the weiße Rumpfband and the 'EFTA EINAK' emblem were only applied later).  It carried its Stammkennzeichen beneath the wings, (V+Q  B+A), but not on the fuselage.

 

The II/KG 100 had some partly-sand-colored He 111H-6s in North Africa later (and the problem with wooden props had been solved by then), but I don't have a photo-hosting service, so cannot insert images here.  They were using non-conventional Staffel letters at this point, for example "6N+AG" of the 4./KG 100.  If you wish to send me a PM with your email, I can dispatch some directly.

 

A note on the photo-links that Markus / "Shorty84" included:

This "He111  1" image from the BA's collection is probably WNr.3892, "1H+DN", lost 25.June 1941 on a mission from Eleusis (Greece) to Haifa, the crew rescued by the Seenotdienst.  It may have been Fw. Paul Ziegert's crew, as they were using this one to attack the same target just a few days previous, but as there were no casualties in the rescue, no names were included in the loss report.

 

In "He111  4" note the small piece of luggage 'suspended' from the unit emblem.  This was a temporary marking, added by several 1. Staffel crews.  They'd been shifted so many times, and with such close frequency, this reflected their "living out of a suitcase" existence.

 

Hope this helps, GRM

Edited by G.R.Morrison
Edit: close parentheses
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