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Biplanes in WWII...

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by polishshooter, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    How many Biplanes saw frontline combat service in WWII? (1939-45, if we consider the start to be 1937 or 1931 we would have TONS...)

    I can think of about 6 total, if you consider the Swordfish/Albacore as one.

    SOC Seagull, US
    Gloster Gladiator, RAF/Fleet Air Arm
    Fairey Swordfish/Albacore, FAA
    Supermarine Walrus (Is there a trend with the Brits?) Coastal Command
    PO-2, Russian
    Fiat (Ansaldo?) Italy (Not sure of this one, but SEEM to remember pics of it in the Desert...)

    Was there any more?
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2006
  2. Didn't the Poles use some old bi-planes during the German invasion, Polish? I seem to remember that they had relatively little success against the 109s for some strange reason. :rolleyes: It is an interesting sidelight to history that the old Swordfish torpedo planes that flew against the Bismarck in May 1941 actually achieved success because they were so outdated. The German AAA was designed to track modern, fast-moving aircraft and had a difficult time hitting the Swordfish. One lucky hit on Bismarck's rudder and all the German ship could do was wait until half the British Home Fleet showed up to turn her into scrap metal.
  3. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    No, the PZL P11a and PZL P11c were both high gull wing, open cockpit, tough little monoplanes that actually DID have slight success against JU-88s...

    MOST of the Polish Air Force got destroyed on the ground, but there was at least ONE sortie where two got off the ground, and eluded the 109s flying cover and actually disrupted a Luftwaffe raid, shooting down several JU-88s before being driven off...in fact, I actually have a Heller model kit in front of me right now that my son and I never got around to putting together, that I might just have to do, it's BEEN awhile since I did one, like 15 years ago! The instructions actually say "The Polish Air Force fought desperately,and inflicted heavy losses on the Germans." (And we KNOW model companies USUALLY have the facts!) :p But it also says after the Poles capitulated, the Germans took the P11s into service as night fighters and trainers...

    And the Poles ACTUALLY had a couple of squadrons of very modern twin engine medium bombers that was pretty advanced for its time, the Elk, supposedly 312mph with like 1000kg of bombs, but NONE of those made it off the ground, the rest of the Polish AF was pretty obsolete though...
  4. Polish, is it really true that the battle cry of the Polish Air Force in 1939 began with "In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti . . ." (In the name of the Father . . .)? I was just wondering. :D ;) :p :rolleyes:
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2006
  5. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    ACTUALLY, since the "Polish National Church" was (is?) about the only "breakaway" church that never lost it's "recogniton" from Rome, It probably WAS said, only in Polish, with a few "holettas" thrown in to boot!...

    The biggest problems were probably the rosary and scapulet getting tangled up with the throttle and and the little plastic statue of St. Stanislaus blocking the gunsight... :D
  6. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

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    Russian Polikarpov I-153
  7. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Was that the "Mosca?" The main Russian fighter in Spain? I guess that would have seen action at the beginning, I forgot about it, thanks John...
  8. I can see where that might cause a minor distraction! I heard Patton forbid the M4 tankers from wearing any sort of religious medal around their necks when Tiger tanks were in the neighborhood. I mean, after all, when your tank's on fire from an 88 hit, the chain might get caught on something holding up your escape! :eek: :D ;)
  9. All kidding aside, the Poles fought well and valiantly, Polish. The German onslaught was simply too powerful for any small, relatively poor country like Poland to withstand for more than a few weeks. There is some interesting stuff about the Polish resistance after the surrender. The most interesting incident, I think, was the Jewish resistance in Warsaw.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2006
  10. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    The Fiat CR.32 was used during the Spanish Civil War and in North Africa, and it's slightly more advanced brother, the CR.42 "Falco" was used against Allied forces in the invasion of Sicily.

    And let's not forget those vailiant Gloster Gladiators, "Faith", "Hope", & "Charity" during the Battle of Malta.

    And....the all-time "Champion", the greatest of them all, "Stringbags"....the Fairy Swordfish, which became operational in 1936 and was still being manufactured until August 1944. It was still in front-line duty until the end of the war*, and continued in second-line training duties until Summer 1946.

    *The last operational mission of the Fleet Air Arm Swordfish was flown on 28 June 1945.
  11. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Hey X, I believe they flew that last carrier mission against the airfields in Norway in April 45, and were escorted by FAA Wildcats! And that might have been the flight that the FM-2s smoked the 109s and chased them away after downing 5 or 6 with no losses...


    I thought of you again today, X, when I crossed the "Salamonie" river today, wasn't there an oiler called the USS Salamonie too?




    PS, I read an interesting "Polish Joke" in the Ivan's War book last night...that was apparently popular in Poland after the "liberation..."

    "A little bird fell out of the sky into a fresh cowpat.
    He was rescued by a passing cat.

    The moral of the story is the person that pulls you out of the sh!t is not necessarily your friend."
  12. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

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    The one used in Spain was the I-15, the predecessor.

    They were both known as "Chaika" or "Seagull."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polikarpov_I-153

    The I-16, or "Mosca" as it was called by the Republicans, was a monoplane highly reminiscent of the GeeBee. Short fuselage, very fast, but went into a spin easily. Fortunately, it was easy to take out of a spin, almost as easy. The I-15/153 were hard to get them to spin, and damn near impossible to get out of a spin, once you were in one.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2006
  13. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Polish.....there was, indeed, a U.S.S. Salamonie (A0-26) and we operated with her in the Med in '56-'57. She was an old pre-WWII (1940) T2 type Oiler and one of the few still operating then.

    She was finally deactivated in the late '60's and was probably the oldest Oiler (and one of the oldest ships), still in the Navy at that time.

    She was old and slow, but she still did her job......sorta like those wonderful old "Stringbags". :)
  14. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    You were on the Mississinewa, right? That's kind of funny that they kept the two oilers together, since the two actual rivers generally parallel each other, about 10 or 20 miles apart across East central Indiana!

    Although, I think one flows east and the other west...both have been dammed, and there is now both a Salamonie and a Mississinewa Reservoir, which are both state parks too....I haven't been to either, but there is supposed to be great walleye, sauger and saugeye fishing in the Salamonie....and I've never caught a sauger or saugeye yet.

    Was there a USS Wabash, "Tippecanoe", or "White" too? We have LOTS of "little" Indian rivers in Indiana!


    And yeah, John now I remember the Mosca....that's the one the black American pilot flying for the Republicans used to beat Mussolini's son in the dogfight "duel" during the Spanish Civil War...what was that pilots name? I'll have to dig out my "Ragged Rugged Warriors..."
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2006
  15. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Well......definitely not a "White". Oilers were named after Indian-named rivers.....but there wouldn't have been a "Wabash", because that was also the name of a small city and Patrol Craft were named after small cities.

    There are (were) many others named after rivers though (maybe some of them in Indiana)...Mississinewa, Neosho, Truckee, Chuckawan, Monongahela, etc. :)
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