Just to give the RAF planners some credit with regard to the Wendover: Virtually no Bf 109s were armed with anything more potent than 7.92 mm (.312 caliber) machine guns until mid-1940 (with the introduction of the Bf 109 E-3). Though the British . 303 wasn't a very powerful round, there was a good case to be made that a tail/turret gunner (especially with the broad field of engagement offered by the turret) would prove effective in keeping the Hun away. A gun firing aft has some kinetic/range advantages over one firing forward, and a tail gun pretty much prevents a fighter from just slowing down, camping at the 6 o'clock and chewing the target to bits at leisure. The introduction of a tail gun that matches the range of the fighter's forward-firing guns necessitates more complex and fleeting gun passes with tougher firing solutions with very brief engagement windows (esp with a maneuvering target). On the other hand, the turret gunner will be able to lead/engage the fighter through a large portion of his approach and escape from the target. The turret gunner had 4 machineguns, the Bf 109 (through mid 1940) had 4 machineguns.The Wendover (Westland P.12 converted from a standard Lysander) was never intended as a fighter. The normal army cooperation Lysanders had been badly mauled in the Battle of France despite their low-speed maneuverability and good handling because one or two hand-held .303 machine guns were just not much of a deterrent to a Bf 109 or Bf 110.
Though, really, for the US's particular mission in WWII, the 20mm didn't offer much advantage over the venerable .50 cal in the air to air mode. Our targets were enemy fighters, not bombers, etc. The effective range of both rounds is about the same, and the .50 had a faster, flatter trajectory. They had a higher rate of fire. In an unobserved shot on a fighter or a fairly unmaneuverable bomber, the big explosive rounds of the .20 has the advantage. In a turning fight, the flatter, higher rate of fire .50 was just as good, especially if there were 6 of them.Since Americans struggled to refine 20 mm auto-cannons, they were stuck with .50 caliber heavy machineguns until the Korean War.
The Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm received both Blackburn Skua bomber/fighters and Roc turret fighters. Roc had 4-gun turrets similar to those installed in Westland Wendover, Boulton-Paul Defiant and many Bomber Command aircraft. They were based upon the same airframe but were obsolete by the start of WW2.
FAA 803 Squadron commander declared Rocs a hindrance and requested more Skuas instead.
Rocs only ever shot down a single German airplane (Ju88 over Ostend, Belgium 1940) and were soon relegated to target towing, search and rescue.
Bottom line, British turret-fighters proved vulnerable in combat and were soon removed from front-line service.
Four .303 caliber machineguns may have been effective against WW1 and 1930s vintage wood and fabric biplanes, but were soon obsoleted by modern all-metal airplanes during WW2. Early in WW2, the RAF decided to switch to 20 mm cannons as soon as the bugs were worked out. Lter model Spitifires, Hurricanes, Typhoons and a few bombers sported 20 mm cannons by mid-war. Since Americans struggled to refine 20 mm auto-cannons, they were stuck with .50 caliber heavy machineguns until the Korean War.
The Turret Fighter concept had one successful day, during the Battle of France, when Boulton Paul Defiants chopped up enemy fighters who thought they were attacking Hurricanes. Then the element of surprise was lost and that was that for the concept.
When attacked and defended as equals the concept was successful?
It would be possible to do a simulator battle of turret fighters vs conventional fighters, but everything would hinge on the underlying assumptions.I’d still like to see a really good simulator battle
Lol speed is the deed
That Ball turret it is only going to help when you’re slower than the attacking aircraft.
On the other hand when you’re being jumped from above you are slower than the attacking aircraft.
Adding that ball turret is gonna cost you a few miles per hour.
would it be worth it?
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