Sunday, October 6, 2013

Potez 63.11.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to Freeper and the original article as published almost thirty years ago now in the Air University Review that author Colonel Kirkland.

"The French Air Force In 1940: Was It Defeated by the Luftwaffe or by Politics?"

The French Air Force [Armée de l'Air] during the Battle of France [1940] the performance of which was seen as lackadaisical, incompetent and ineffectual, defeat seen as inevitable NOT necessarily so due to the lack of warplanes or inferior aircraft, but rather doctrinal and tactical considerations.

Among those warplanes in the inventory of the Armée de l'Air that Potez 63.11. An odd but not so totally ungainly warplane the function of which it seems could never be resolved.

"The Potez 630 and its derivatives were a family of twin-engined aircraft developed for the Armée de l'Air in the late 1930s."

Potez described variously as a:

* Heavy fighter.
* Observation plane.
* Night fighter.
* Light bomber.
* Ground attack aircraft.

"the Potez 63.11, the fastest, heaviest, most complex observation plane in the world . . . With twelve machine guns, it was the most heavily armed machine in any air force. Too fast and heavy to land on improvised strips yet too slow to escape German fighters, it was an elegant and graceful coffin for its crews."

Potez however NOT without considerable firepower. That to include:


"(Final armament) 3× fixed forward firing machine guns under fuselage"
"4× fixed, forward firing machine guns under outer wings"
"3× semi fixed, rearward firing machine guns in ventral mount"
"2× flexibly mounted machine guns in aft cockpit"
"Bombs: 4x 50 kg (110 lb) bombs"

NOT having much of a bomb capacity but HAVING AN EXTRAORDINARY AMOUNT OF FIRE POWER for that ground attack role. Potez equipped with twelve light machine guns, seven firing forward, three firing rearward and downward, two for the tail gunner!!

Potez with all that ground attack capability IF employed in massed formations in a concentrated and focused manner against critical German targets during the Battle of France [1940] COULD have made a significant difference? That this did not occur is because why exactly?



maximex said...

Yes. A fine machine.
France had a lot of great machines that did not have time for war.
Heavy Nieuport, LEO, Amiot etc...
Light fighters Arsenal and Amiot.
Amiot (354?) contributed a lot to the United States of airplane manufacturing.
(As in Curtiss hawk II affected by the emergence stuka machines)

maximex said...

This same (1930) series French many machinery model was also affected by a Junkers 86, PZL (Polish) and DB-3 creation, and many other..