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View Full Version : No Ventral turret in Wellington, please!!!



flyinmick
06-08-2006, 01:26 AM
I noticed that a drawing of the proposed Wellington Mk.1C included that awfull ventral turret. Oleg, please note that this turret was next to useless. It also caused weight and balance problems and was installed on only a few Mk1 aircraft. By the time the Mk.1C came around, all provision for it's installation had been removed. Please note that this turret WAS NEVER USED OPERATIONALLY!!!! EVER!!!!
Please see the following link
http://www.jaapteeuwen.com/ww2aircraft/html%20pages/VICKERS%20WELLINGTON.htm
Now that we've got rid of something that should not be there, how about something that should? Where is the reargunner/observer from the Beaufighter? Where are the gear position lights in the Zero cockpit? Why does the Zero have "Combat" and "Take-Off" settings for the flaps when they should be either "Up" or "Down" only, like the Spitfire? Any chance of these being fixed?

leitmotiv
06-08-2006, 07:24 AM
Completely wrong, flyinmick. It was used operationally on all the IAs and early-production ICs. For an excellent description of one in action during the 17 Dec 1939 air battle I describe in my Wellington thread, see page 31, BOMBER COMMAND. Hastings. Dial Press, NY, 1979. A tip-off for the presence of the "dust-bin" on Wellingtons is a quite visible vane on the underside of the aircraft which was on the base of the turret. You can see this on almost every operational Wellington in 1939-1940.

flyinmick
06-11-2006, 09:36 PM
Sez you!!! O.K., so it was used once and is visible some photos that you saw which still exist of very few aircraft.
Can you post these photos? How many individual aircraft are we talking about here? Everything I've ever read about this ventral turret describes it as next to useless and nothing but problematic. If I am "so completely wrong", then why was it discontinued? I don't believe that this piece of equipment was representative of of the defensive armament of the Wellington bomber at any time in it's service. Has it occured to you that the "vane" you speak of, which was most likely installed to assist with windage calculations, was not actually part of the turret itself but rather part of the airframe to which the turret would attach? If that was the case, then the presence or absence of this "vane" would not be an indication of turret installation.

OD_79
06-12-2006, 04:16 AM
You're making a very big thing out of something that probably won't be there...and if it is, oh well, just don't attack from underneath...plenty of angles to attack a Wellington from.

OD.

PBNA-Boosher
06-13-2006, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by flyinmick:
Sez you!!! O.K., so it was used once and is visible some photos that you saw which still exist of very few aircraft.
Can you post these photos? How many individual aircraft are we talking about here? Also, you're not the only person here who can read, you know. Everything I've ever read about this ventral turret describes it as next to useless and nothing but problematic. If I am "so completely wrong" as you so arrogantly attest, then why was it discontinued? I don't believe that this piece of equipment was representative of of the defensive armament of the Wellington bomber at any time in it's service. Has it occured to you that the "vane" you speak, which was most likely installed to assist with windage calculations, was not actually part of the turret itself but rather part of the airframe to which the turret would attach? If that was the case, then the presence or absence of this "vane" would not be an indication of turret installation.

11 posts and already flaming... Where have all the good days gone?

leitmotiv
06-14-2006, 07:56 AM
Excellent view of the legendary vane!

http://tinyurl.com/keox7

By the way, the scrupulous mold makers of the forthcoming Trumpeter !:48 scale Wellington IC have faithfully rendered this vane on the base of the ventral turret (note the thin slot for it aft of the canvas foot bag [the square cut-out]):

http://tinyurl.com/gwq5z

flyinmick
06-14-2006, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by OD_79:
You're making a very big thing out of something that probably won't be there...and if it is, oh well, just don't attack from underneath...plenty of angles to attack a Wellington from.

OD.
I don't think I am making too much of this. Trying to attack bombers in this game is a little more difficult than it should be. I fly, and fly in, WW2 era aircraft regularly and can tell you that they are not as stable a platform as you might think. My hat is off to anyone who could hit the side of a barn from one never mind something as small and fast as a fighter. And now they want to load the dice even more by providing a turret that, for the most part, was never there and will no doubt be manned by a sharpshooter.

flyinmick
06-14-2006, 02:30 PM
11 posts and already flaming... Where have all the good days gone?[/QUOTE]
I see. So forceful expression of an opinion is flaming, is it? Leitmotiv and I are having a full and frank exchange of views. It doesn't seem to be bothering him much. And if he ever makes it out to my side of the world, or vice versa, I'll be proud to buy him a beer.
So, what's it got to do with you?

flyinmick
06-14-2006, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Excellent view of the legendary vane!

http://tinyurl.com/keox7
Ah, but is this not a Mk.1A? I'm kind of disappointed that you've only provided one photo. I did a very quick search through the IWM's online archive and searched under 'Wellington' and found these:
Vickers Wellington Mark I, L4387 'LG-L', of No. 215 Squadron RAF, flying over parked Hawker Hurricanes at Wick. This is dated April 1940. The earliest that fighters were based at Wick was Feb 1940, but look at the props!! I knew that some of the Hurricanes with the BEF had the old two bladers but am surprised to still find them in Apr '40! http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi...2&SV=0&BG=0&FG=0&QS= (http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi.exe?AC=GET_RECORD&XC=/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi.exe&BU=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iwmcollections.org.uk%2FqryPho toImg.asp&TN=Uncat&SN=AUTO3395&SE=116&RN=66&MR=25&TR=0&TX=1000&ES=0&CS=1&XP=&RF=PhotoImgResults&EF=&DF=PhotoImgDetailed&RL=0&EL=0&DL=0&NP=1&ID=&MF=&MQ=&TI=0&DT=&ST=0&IR=193809&NR=0&NB=2&SV=0&BG=0&FG=0&QS=)

A formation of four Vickers Wellington Mk.I bombers of 9 Squadron, Royal Air Force. http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi...2&SV=0&BG=0&FG=0&QS= (http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi.exe?AC=GET_RECORD&XC=/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi.exe&BU=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iwmcollections.org.uk%2FqryPho toImg.asp&TN=Uncat&SN=AUTO3395&SE=116&RN=65&MR=25&TR=0&TX=1000&ES=0&CS=1&XP=&RF=PhotoImgResults&EF=&DF=PhotoImgDetailed&RL=0&EL=0&DL=0&NP=1&ID=&MF=&MQ=&TI=0&DT=&ST=0&IR=196963&NR=0&NB=2&SV=0&BG=0&FG=0&QS=)

A close formation of four Vickers Wellington Mk.I bombers of 9 Squadron, Royal Air Force http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi...2&SV=0&BG=0&FG=0&QS= (http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi.exe?AC=GET_RECORD&XC=/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi.exe&BU=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iwmcollections.org.uk%2FqryPho toImg.asp&TN=Uncat&SN=AUTO3395&SE=116&RN=64&MR=25&TR=0&TX=1000&ES=0&CS=1&XP=&RF=PhotoImgResults&EF=&DF=PhotoImgDetailed&RL=0&EL=0&DL=0&NP=1&ID=&MF=&MQ=&TI=0&DT=&ST=0&IR=196962&NR=0&NB=2&SV=0&BG=0&FG=0&QS=)
Not a vane amongst 'em. Feeling suitably smug, I then saw this: Wellington Mark IAs and ICs of No. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron RAF based at Feltwell, Norfolk http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi...2&SV=0&BG=0&FG=0&QS= (http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi.exe?AC=GET_RECORD&XC=/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi.exe&BU=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iwmcollections.org.uk%2FqryPho toImg.asp&TN=Uncat&SN=AUTO3395&SE=116&RN=68&MR=25&TR=0&TX=1000&ES=0&CS=1&XP=&RF=PhotoImgResults&EF=&DF=PhotoImgDetailed&RL=0&EL=0&DL=0&NP=1&ID=&MF=&MQ=&TI=0&DT=&ST=0&IR=194800&NR=0&NB=12&SV=0&BG=0&FG=0&QS=)

However, this last is the only one I came across which had this vane. It doesn't prove anything of course but to have found only one with and all the others without?

By the way, the scrupulous mold makers of the forthcoming Trumpeter !:48 scale Wellington IC have faithfully rendered this vane on the base of the ventral turret (note the thin slot for it aft of the canvas foot bag [the square cut-out]):

http://tinyurl.com/gwq5z
Well, the nice people at Trumpeter may very well be scrupulously following incorrect info.

By the way, do you know if that vane is a part of the turret itself or part of the airframe?

leitmotiv
06-14-2006, 05:05 PM
First of all, the Mk I did not have any Frazier-Nash turrets (the ventral turret was F-N, all of the Wellington IA/IC turrets were F-N) so I don't know why you bothered posting Mk I photos, and, second, you are hoist with your own petard---that 75 Sqd formation photo you posted shows IAs and ICs with vanes! I have written over and over that the vane was on the base of the F-N ventral turret. Aircraft without the ventral turret had no object poking out of their bellies at near dead center. Their bellies were clean except for the dipole masts fitted later in 1940.

flyinmick
07-03-2006, 07:31 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
First of all, the Mk I did not have any Frazier-Nash turrets (the ventral turret was F-N, all of the Wellington IA/IC turrets were F-N) so I don't know why you bothered posting Mk I photos, and, second, you are hoist with your own petard---that 75 Sqd formation photo you posted shows IAs and ICs with vanes! I have written over and over that the vane was on the base of the F-N ventral turret. Aircraft without the ventral turret had no object poking out of their bellies at near dead center. Their bellies were clean except for the dipole masts fitted later in 1940.

Whoa! Easy, Turbo!!
What's the attitude about? You want to be that way? Fine! How about learning to spell the name of the thing we're trying to be the resident expert on. It's Frazer, not Frazier.
I'm not hoist with any petard!! Read my post again. Here! Let me help you out! This is what I said:
"Feeling suitably smug, I then saw this: Wellington Mark IAs and ICs of No. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron RAF based at Feltwell, Norfolk http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpcgi...2&SV=0&BG=0&FG=0&QS=

However, this last is the only one I came across which had this vane. It doesn't prove anything of course but to have found only one with and all the others without?"

What possible problem could you have with that statement?
Now let's move on to your statement.
You said "First of all, the Mk I did not have any Frazier-Nash turrets (the ventral turret was F-N, all of the Wellington IA/IC turrets were F-N) so I don't know why you bothered posting Mk I photos."
Well, here's why! http://www.jaapteeuwen.com/ww2aircraft/html%20pages/VIC...mber%20variants).htm (http://www.jaapteeuwen.com/ww2aircraft/html%20pages/VICKERS%20WELLINGTON%20(Bomber%20variants).htm)

The passage of interest reads as follows:
"Vickers Wellington I: Initial production version, as defined by Specification 29/36, to be armed with pairs of Browning 0.303-in (7.7-mm) guns in Vickers nose and tail, and Frazer-Nash ventral (in place of dorsal) gun positions."

So, MkI's do have Frazer-Nash turrets. I don't understand your post. You seem to be contradicting yourself a little. I have no doubt that if I've misread your statement you'll correct me in your usual style.

The reference piece then goes on to say: "Most or all Mk Is flown without planned FN9 ventral turret because of CG difficulties." Now, pay attention here!! The photo of the 75 Sqn. aircraft that I posted would seem to show some of the very few that had them installed, but who knows for how short a time. How that hoists me on anything is beyond me!! I partially proved your point and said so. Please be a little less arrogant and read my post before you attack me over it. We have no idea when this photo was taken. Maybe it was taken the day the Sqn received their aircraft and they had the turret removed ASAP. We don't know.Now, moving on, you said: "I have written over and over that the vane was on the base of the F-N ventral turret." Over and over again? Well, I can find where you wrote it exactly once. So what? All I was asking was if it was part of the turret or part of the installation. So, now you've answered. Thanks. Do you always speak in hyperbole like this?
Anyway, back to the point. All I've ever said is that this installation was not representative of the Wellington fleet as a whole and that it was never used operationally. You appear to have found one reference to it's use on one occasion. Based solely on that, I don't think this turret belongs in this game. The vast majority of British (not English, note you) bombers had a weakness in that they were undefended ventrally and that should, I think, be represented in the game. That's all I'm saying.

CornbreadPattie
07-03-2006, 11:08 PM
Originally posted by PBNA-Boosher:

11 posts and already flaming... Where have all the good days gone?

You tell me, I can't remember the last time you weren't whining.

OD_79
07-04-2006, 04:14 AM
If that's not flaming I'd really like to know what is...Personally I'd be glad to have a Wellington in game, and as I will more than likely be flying RAF all the time I'll be glad to know it can defend itself that little bit better.
Please bear in mind it is a game, you won't really get killed trying to shoot it down, you might well give yourself a heart attack if you carry on like this though.

OD.

SeaFireLIV
07-04-2006, 05:25 AM
I hate this kind of thing. People putting down what`s a perfectly reasonable post that`s trying to make sure something is right before it appears in game. If flyinmick is correct, then at least he`s informed Oleg and Oleg can check and have some kind of change made if possible.

Reminds me of the time I requested the chance to Escape enemy territory and even though it help EVERYONE and hurt NO ONE, I got so much poo-pooing I nearly gave up! But Oleg noticed and listened and now a pilot actually HAS a chance of escaping enemy terrirtory wheras before he hadn`t a snowball`s chance in hell. That among other requests.

Give the guy a break. It won`t hurt you naysayers, unless you can prove he`s actually wrong.

Keep at it, flyinmick. If you`re right, Oleg might sort it out. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

JG53Frankyboy
07-04-2006, 06:50 AM
well, its like the verntral gunner stations in the B-25C/G.
AFAIK there were also not "very" often used..... ugly aiming system and there for unneeded weight.

in game , sure , there gunners hit like the others - and making attacks rom below more dangerous.

flyinmick
07-04-2006, 10:46 AM
Originally posted by OD_79:
If that's not flaming I'd really like to know what is...Personally I'd be glad to have a Wellington in game, and as I will more than likely be flying RAF all the time I'll be glad to know it can defend itself that little bit better.
Please bear in mind it is a game, you won't really get killed trying to shoot it down, you might well give yourself a heart attack if you carry on like this though.

OD.

Hi, O.D.
I've just re-read all of the thread and find I have been unclear on this point. I would LOVE to see a Wellington in the game along with a Whitley, a Hampden and a Blenheim. I would like to see them AFTER flyable versions of the Do.17, He 111 and Ju 88, though. And what's up with this Italian job? Were they a real factor? I would, however, like all these aircraft to be accurate. Without the ventral position the Wimpy wouldn't stand a chance alone, so players would be inclined to use tactics that are more historically accurate. To survive, they'll have to operate as a flight of two at a minimum.
I think this is a very good game that could be great, in the classic sense of that word. Oleg, though, allows greatness to slip out of his hands by not paying attention to the details us history buffs notice. Take the skins, for example. There are people in this community who are real artists and would probably skin every aircraft in here for free if Oleg asked for their help but he won't so we end up with default skins that don't look ANYTHING like the real thing. Now before you go stating the obvious again, I know it's just a game and I know that when you're in the thick of a dogfight it doesn't matter if the other guy is painted bright purple (although that might startle your opponent just enough to......). And where oh where is the Air Gunner/Observer in my Beaufighter? And what's up with the rear gunner position on the Ju88? And the forward view on the 190? And the assymetric firing on the F6F and Corsair? I probably would have dropped this long ago but haven't, mainly because I see an opportunity to stop easily preventable stuff like this before it starts. None of us knows everything, but there are a lot of very knowledgable people in here. The resources are out there, Oleg. Use them, please.
As far as the "flaming" goes, I'm just giving as good as I get.
Thanks for your concern about my heart. By a sheer coincidence I had my medical exam today and the EKG was fine.
Thanks!!

flyinmick
07-04-2006, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by SeaFireLIV:
I hate this kind of thing. People putting down what`s a perfectly reasonable post that`s trying to make sure something is right before it appears in game. If flyinmick is correct, then at least he`s informed Oleg and Oleg can check and have some kind of change made if possible.

Reminds me of the time I requested the chance to Escape enemy territory and even though it help EVERYONE and hurt NO ONE, I got so much poo-pooing I nearly gave up! But Oleg noticed and listened and now a pilot actually HAS a chance of escaping enemy terrirtory wheras before he hadn`t a snowball`s chance in hell. That among other requests.

Give the guy a break. It won`t hurt you naysayers, unless you can prove he`s actually wrong.

Keep at it, flyinmick. If you`re right, Oleg might sort it out. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Thanks, Seafire.

flyinmick
07-04-2006, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by JG53Frankyboy:
well, its like the verntral gunner stations in the B-25C/G.
AFAIK there were also not "very" often used..... ugly aiming system and there for unneeded weight.

in game , sure , there gunners hit like the others - and making attacks rom below more dangerous.

Exactly!! None of these ventral positions was much good, but the B-25 example and the FN-9 were not worth the weight.
Thanks.

VW-IceFire
07-04-2006, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by flyinmick:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by OD_79:
If that's not flaming I'd really like to know what is...Personally I'd be glad to have a Wellington in game, and as I will more than likely be flying RAF all the time I'll be glad to know it can defend itself that little bit better.
Please bear in mind it is a game, you won't really get killed trying to shoot it down, you might well give yourself a heart attack if you carry on like this though.

OD.

Hi, O.D.
I've just re-read all of the thread and find I have been unclear on this point. I would LOVE to see a Wellington in the game along with a Whitley, a Hampden and a Blenheim. I would like to see them AFTER flyable versions of the Do.17, He 111 and Ju 88, though. And what's up with this Italian job? Were they a real factor? I would, however, like all these aircraft to be accurate. Without the ventral position the Wimpy wouldn't stand a chance alone, so players would be inclined to use tactics that are more historically accurate. To survive, they'll have to operate as a flight of two at a minimum.
I think this is a very good game that could be great, in the classic sense of that word. Oleg, though, allows greatness to slip out of his hands by not paying attention to the details us history buffs notice. Take the skins, for example. There are people in this community who are real artists and would probably skin every aircraft in here for free if Oleg asked for their help but he won't so we end up with default skins that don't look ANYTHING like the real thing. Now before you go stating the obvious again, I know it's just a game and I know that when you're in the thick of a dogfight it doesn't matter if the other guy is painted bright purple (although that might startle your opponent just enough to......). And where oh where is the Air Gunner/Observer in my Beaufighter? And what's up with the rear gunner position on the Ju88? And the forward view on the 190? And the assymetric firing on the F6F and Corsair? I probably would have dropped this long ago but haven't, mainly because I see an opportunity to stop easily preventable stuff like this before it starts. None of us knows everything, but there are a lot of very knowledgable people in here. The resources are out there, Oleg. Use them, please.
As far as the "flaming" goes, I'm just giving as good as I get.
Thanks for your concern about my heart. By a sheer coincidence I had my medical exam today and the EKG was fine.
Thanks!! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Clarity, a sense of humour, and a little bit of restraint would go a long way for people to accept your information. You posted some stuff, largely uncorroberated except for your own personal knowledge, and someone did the same thing back to you and thats how this whole thing got rolling. When stuff goes up here in Oleg's Ready Room usually information or sources are posted directly to illustrate the point. Not saying I don't believe you either...I know next to nothing about the Wellington bomber (although I believe I have at least one and maybe two family members who flew them). If I was talking about the Tempest then usually I'm going to have to find some real evidence to back it up. If I'm just talking offhand then no but its your post so take it to the top level if you want something done about it.

I do agree about the skins, the flyables and so forth. I would like to say that the Italian flyables are a smart deal. Firstly that the Italians did enter into the Battle of Britain at the tail end of it flying against England during October. It was a token force really and their brightly coloured aircraft were easily spotted and picked off by the RAF...but here's the smartest thing about it. By including the Italians now Oleg and his team satisfy three things:

1) Italian plane lovers who until a recent patch were almost completely excluded.

2) Historical Battle of Britain presence that is rarely talked about.

3) A base set of planes ready for the next scenario in the Storm of War series which we already know is The Med and North Africa.

Its a smart play really.

Anyways...might be good idea to post some info on the Wellington's turret and how it was managed. Any documents you can dig up are good but books are usually accepted very well too. Pictures, references, anything within reason will do! Try and get a bunch of it together. You've got one website but two, three or more is better. It helps you back up your position...otherwise we have this "says you, says him" situation like we've got now.

Good luck...I'm very much for historical accuracy and representing the most used variants rather than the obscure ones (although obscurity can be good and a useful educational experience too).

Cheers! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

BerkshireHunt
07-07-2006, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by flyinmick:
Without the ventral position the Wimpy wouldn't stand a chance alone, so players would be inclined to use tactics that are more historically accurate. To survive, they'll have to operate as a flight of two at a minimum.



There was a reason why the ventral gun stations were deleted on British bombers in 1940. Can you guess what it was?
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y183/Minusmonas/turret.jpg
When the powered two and four gun turrets became available, the ventrals were deleted to save weight and increase speed. But the important point to note is that British rear gun turrets (whether two or four gun) could depress sufficiently to deter attack from beneath on most occasions. Without something like a 'schrage musik' installation, an opposing fighter pilot had a tough task on his hands when attacking a British bomber from below. (Of course, in Oleg's new game this will not be available to the Axis...)
In 1940/41 Britain's bombers were arguably the most effectively armed in the world - certainly when fitted with a Frazer Nash (or Nash -Thompson) four gun rear turret.
The Wellington has suffered in post-war appraisals because various authors have cottoned onto the disastrous 'Battle of the German Bight' - fought on 18th December 1939 - and concluded that the machine was 'easy meat' for an opponent. Ten Wellingtons were shot down on this daytime raid out of the twenty four which took part. But what has only recently come to light (thanks to research carried out by Aeroplane magazine a couple of years ago) is that the aircraft involved were very early examples, not equipped with powered gun turrets; instead, they had fixed machine guns in screwed-down perspex cupolas - which could traverse neither up nor down. For this reason, the moment a Wellington pilot took evasive action his gunners lost their 'bead' on the pursuing 109s...It was almost impossible to shoot down an aerial target - hence the loss record during that action. However, this defect was soon to be remedied with the introduction of powered, traversable turrets.

If you think the deletion of ventral turrets necessarily made an aircraft easy to shoot down, consider the example of the Sunderland flying boats which were sent out unescorted over the Bay of Biscay to hunt German submarines in 1943/44. They were very successful and particularly hard to shoot down because they bristled with guns. It commonly took 8 to 10 Ju 88s to destroy one Sunderland, and even then the Luftwaffe would lose two or three machines in the process. The Sunderland had no ventral turret: indeed, how do you fit one to a flying boat without causing a leak? (lol)

So yes - go ahead and delete the ventral turret. But please make sure the rear one works properly - in an historically accurate manner.

KG26_Alpha
07-08-2006, 06:35 AM
Thought I'd share this with you.

http://www.gillottfamilyhistory.com/British_Military_Personality.html

flyinmick
07-11-2006, 11:45 PM
There was a reason why the ventral gun stations were deleted on British bombers in 1940. Can you guess what it was?
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y183/Minusmonas/turret.jpg
When the powered two and four gun turrets became available, the ventrals were deleted to save weight and increase speed. But the important point to note is that British rear gun turrets (whether two or four gun) could depress sufficiently to deter attack from beneath on most occasions. Without something like a 'schrage musik' installation, an opposing fighter pilot had a tough task on his hands when attacking a British bomber from below. (Of course, in Oleg's new game this will not be available to the Axis...)
In 1940/41 Britain's bombers were arguably the most effectively armed in the world - certainly when fitted with a Frazer Nash (or Nash -Thompson) four gun rear turret.
The Wellington has suffered in post-war appraisals because various authors have cottoned onto the disastrous 'Battle of the German Bight' - fought on 18th December 1939 - and concluded that the machine was 'easy meat' for an opponent. Ten Wellingtons were shot down on this daytime raid out of the twenty four which took part. But what has only recently come to light (thanks to research carried out by Aeroplane magazine a couple of years ago) is that the aircraft involved were very early examples, not equipped with powered gun turrets; instead, they had fixed machine guns in screwed-down perspex cupolas - which could traverse neither up nor down. For this reason, the moment a Wellington pilot took evasive action his gunners lost their 'bead' on the pursuing 109s...It was almost impossible to shoot down an aerial target - hence the loss record during that action. However, this defect was soon to be remedied with the introduction of powered, traversable turrets.

If you think the deletion of ventral turrets necessarily made an aircraft easy to shoot down, consider the example of the Sunderland flying boats which were sent out unescorted over the Bay of Biscay to hunt German submarines in 1943/44. They were very successful and particularly hard to shoot down because they bristled with guns. It commonly took 8 to 10 Ju 88s to destroy one Sunderland, and even then the Luftwaffe would lose two or three machines in the process. The Sunderland had no ventral turret: indeed, how do you fit one to a flying boat without causing a leak? (lol)

So yes - go ahead and delete the ventral turret. But please make sure the rear one works properly - in an historically accurate manner.[/QUOTE]

So far as I am aware we don't have to guess why these things were removed. It was neither to reduce drag or to save weight. The two reasons I've come across were that it caused problems with the aircraft's centre of gravity and that the sighting system was poor, rendering them ineffective. The B-24 had similar main turrets with similar arcs of fire and even heavier armament with two fifties in each turret. Those people apparently felt that the protection afforded by these turrets was insufficient without a ventral position.
The Sunderland was difficult to shoot down because the main defensive maneuver employed was to head for the deck. Apart from the leak problem, the gunner would spend most of his time during an attack about three feet above the drink!! I was at Hendon yesterday and looked at their Sunderland and would say that the reason that Jerry needed 8 to 10 88's to knock one down can be seen if you've ever stood beside one; their bloody huge and built like a brick privy. 8 to 10 Ju's to take out one Sunderland seems a bit much, though. I know they used to be attacked by several at one time but a whole Staffel? And which varient? If it was the bomber version out on antishipping misions armed with rifle calibre M.G.s then what's the surprise there?
Thanks for the response. Great talking points.

AWL_Spinner
07-12-2006, 04:02 AM
I don't really see why everyone is so het up with the whole "no, THIS version!" argument.

What's wrong with both? Both chief antagonists on this thread seem to have evidence that their particular history is correct, and we've plenty of evidence from the PF series that 1C are happy to incorporate multiple versions of the same aircraft.

Then it's up to server admins and mission builders to decide.

We're going to have to have multiple versions of the same aircraft to accurately build the rapidly changing early war scenarios (Hurricane Mk.1, for example, went through several changes from the Battle of France onward). Same with the early bombers (German marks as well as British).

This'd be a good thread for highlighting such variants if it wasn't such a psising contest.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

flyinmick
07-12-2006, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by AWL_Spinner:
I don't really see why everyone is so het up with the whole "no, THIS version!" argument.

What's wrong with both? Both chief antagonists on this thread seem to have evidence that their particular history is correct, and we've plenty of evidence from the PF series that 1C are happy to incorporate multiple versions of the same aircraft.

Then it's up to server admins and mission builders to decide.

We're going to have to have multiple versions of the same aircraft to accurately build the rapidly changing early war scenarios (Hurricane Mk.1, for example, went through several changes from the Battle of France onward). Same with the early bombers (German marks as well as British).

This'd be a good thread for highlighting such variants if it wasn't such a psising contest.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Well, to be fair, it's neither my particular history or his. It turns out that Wimpies did have this turret for a very, very short time during the conflict and that it was used maybe once. My point is that it's inclusion here represents only a small minority of a subtype of a varient of this aircraft.
You know you have a point, though. I suppose that we could let the server admins sort it out as you suggest and for somewhat more numerous subtypes that would be a solution.
I suppose this issue just lit my fuse because I've watched a seemingly increasingly lazy and careless 1C launch a game that is supposedly "historically accurate" but which incorporates the most amazing and obvious inaccuracies; things that should have been noticed by anyone with even a passing intrest in this subject. We're asked to believe that great care has been taken with flight modelling but how are we to believe this when obvious details are being overlooked. We still have no WOp/AG in the Beaufighter, no rockets for the Mossie, ridiculous assymetry in the guns on US Navy aircraft, very poor skins, incorrect markings and on and on...
None of these things are difficult to check or correct and yet this does not happen. It seems as though the people who designed this game don't have any real interest in the subject matter.
I figured that if I made a fuss now it would highlight some of this and maybe prevent future stupidity.
Your suggestion that server admins and mission builders are going to provide planesets that will accurately reflect Bomber Command or Luftwaffe Orders Of Battle is good in theory but not likely in practice. Unfortunately, most of the mission builders seem to have only a sketchy idea of the history involved. Don't you just love the games that include Mk. V Spits as well as the Dora 9?
Sadly, I really think that we're going to have to deal with totally unrealistic scenario of an unrealisticly accurate gunner in the belly of these Wellingtons. What a pity.

AWL_Spinner
07-13-2006, 03:57 AM
Fair points. We'll have to wait and see I guess. I agree that if we are limited to a single variant of the Mk.1A or C it should reflect the most numerically (operationally) prevalent.

I do however find the early air war fascinating and hope that as much of the myriad of rapid development within the more limited (focused) planeset is included as is possible; I suppose this all depends on 1C's workload.

I'd also presume the AI gunner behaviour will be a complete rework in BoB so it's yet to be seen whether we'll have the sniper issue to deal with.

As an aside, I'd guess there's a rough equivalency in combat operations with turreted Wellies as combat operations by the Italians over Southern England, and we seem to have them! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

SUPERAEREO
07-15-2006, 09:28 AM
AFAIK the FN25 ventral turret was no longer installed after the first series of Wellington Mk.Ia, since the gunners complained of extremely poor visibility through the sighting slot and the pilots didn't like the fact that the turret slowed the aircraft down by a good 10mph, so I don't see much point in including it, but then again if it is already there I would not complain too much either, since we do not know when and if those turrets were uninstalled from early Wimpeys...


S!

leitmotiv
07-21-2006, 10:35 PM
I am using WELLINGTON: THE GEODETIC GIANT. Martin Bowman. Airlife, Shrewsbury, 1998. ISBN: 1 84037 006 8. The book ought to be generally available in the UK.

Page 24: The famous 18 December 1939 "Battle of the Bight"---22 Wellington IAs of 9, 37, and 149 Squadrons vs. approximately 40 109s and 110s:

"We climbed on course to 15,000 feet. Halfway across the North Sea we all left cloud cover behind; soon all aircraft manned and lowered their dustbin turrets."

Page 26: Same incident as above: a Wellington pilot dived for the deck to evade fighters---with the ventral turret deployed.

Page 46: Photo of six Wellington IAs of 75 Squadron on a day training flight on 1 August 1940: all have the tell-tale ventral fin at the base of the ventral turret.

Page 55: Photo of three Wellington ICs of 149 Squadron sometime in the summer of 1940 (All are incorrectly identified as IAs---their serials identify them as ICs, see the Wellington I & II PROFILE PUBLICATION, pages 14 and 16. The date "early 1940" is also wrong---the high black paintline started in the summer of 1940). Note all have the vane of the ventral turret in place.

Page 66: I was interested to note from the text that a venerable IA was still in service with 99 Squadron in May 1941.

A beautiful shot of an early 1940 IA with its ventral turret deployed in flight is on page 17 of WELLINGTON AT WAR. Chaz Bowyer. Ian Allan, London, 1982. ISBN: 0 7110 1220 2. Note the vane and the leather bags for the gunner's feet.

Eyewitness description of the ventral turret in:

GUNNER'S MOON. John Bushby. Futura, London, 1974. ISBN: O 8600 7054 9

Page 75: "...the motley collection of Wellingtons possessed by the [gunnery] school. .... One in fact was fitted with a 'dustbin'. This was a turret at mid-fuselage which, when the gunner sat in it and wound a handle, slowly lowered down beneath the fuselage and there rattled, shook and vibrated so violently as to scare the wits out of the occupant, convinced that it was about to part company and hurtle him down into the void! It had been an idea put forward some time before for better protection of the Wellingtons against daylight fighter attacks and had just as hurridly abandoned when it was found to take about thirty knots off the speed and give the pilot no end of trouble trying to control the drag. ...a ride in this terrifying contraption was included in the syllabus, just for the experience."

Excellent plans in 1:72 scale of all Wellingtons showing the ventral turret in detail in:

VICKERS-ARMSTRONGS WELLINGTON. Michael Ovcacik and Karel Susa. Mark I Ltd, Prague, 2003. ISBN: 80-902559-7-3

In fact, the RAF experimented with ventral gun positions all through the war until the H2S radar occupied the space for such a position. The tail turret could not cover the belly which was the area the canny German night fighter pilots chose to attack with either a climbing attack with forward guns or the upwards slanting Schrage Musik cannon. The Stirling was originally delivered with a ventral turret until it was replaced by a dorsal turret. The Manchester (before the dorsal turret was fitted) and the Lancaster I (early), II (all), and X (early) all had ventral turrets. The first production Halifax IIIs of early 1944 were fitted with a ventral .50 cal. position until replaced by H2S radar. Martin Middlebrook was quite interested in the problem of night ambush of RAF heavies by German night fighters fitted with Schrage Musik in his THE NUREMBURG RAID. He found that the Halifax bombers with the ventral gun position were more likely to avoid ambush because the Lancasters were completely blind in the angle of attack of the German slant-mounted cannon. He notes that the fiendish Schrage Musik was so effective the RAF heavies were being knocked down without knowing what hit them. Nobody survived attacks to tell the tale.

Aaron_GT
07-22-2006, 01:36 AM
The Manchester (before the dorsal turret was fitted) and the Lancaster I (early), II (all), and X (early) all had ventral turrets. The first production Halifax IIIs of early 1944 were fitted with a ventral .50 cal. position until replaced by H2S radar.

I've seen photos of Halfiaxes (I can't remember which version now) with twin .303 ventral turrets. Due to the angle (directly from below) on the photos I can't say much else.

Lancasters also sported ventral blisters with a single .50 on some aircraft, until replaced with H2S. The blister was essentially the same shape as the H2S blister, with the rear half being glazed. Some crews later cut a hole in the floor just aft of the bomb bay to put in various weapons, up to 20mm, but this was unofficial, of course.

leitmotiv
07-23-2006, 12:06 AM
You are right, Aaron_GT, the Halifax was designed for a ventral turret, but it was, I believe, dropped before the MkI went into production. Never seen the Lanc blisters, where did you see them?

Aaron_GT
07-23-2006, 02:38 AM
I've seen books with schematics of the Lanc blisters, but only one book which ever showed one on a production aircraft. It mounted a .50, manufactured by Preston-Green.

I did a quick web search and found this page which might be of interest, although it only mentions the twin .303 Fraser Nash turret, not the Preston-Green blister.

http://www.lancaster-archive.com/Lanc-Turrets.htm

Here's a (poor) pic with the Fraser Nash turret

http://1000aircraftphotos.com/MilitaryProp/970.htm

I did once find a source online for excellent colour illustrations of all the Lancaster turret types, including the Preston-Green mount, but I can't find the bookmark.

From what I have read of the the ventral turret did appear in service on some Mk. Is and the structural components necessary to fit it were retained for some marks later (probably to avoid a change in the technical drawings).

leitmotiv
07-23-2006, 02:22 PM
Great stuff. That's the item fitted on the early Is, all the IIs, and the early Canadian Xs. I've read about the ad-hoc belly mounts for the Lanc, but I've never actually seen a photo of one. According to Middlebrook in THE NUREMBURG RAID and THE BERLIN RAIDS (as well as his several other raid books), the Battle of Berlin (fall/winter 1943-44) Lancs, Halifaxes, and Stirlings were basically dead meat when attacked by German night fighters because they did not oblige them by attacking in the arcs of the turrets. Add to that that the Lancs had had all their armor stripped out, were carrying overloads of fuel and incendiaries, and you have a recipe for destruction. Apparently the remote control ventral turret had some benefit because in one of his books Middlebrook notes the Lancs which had them (IIs and Xs) were less likely to get ambushed from below.

Aaron_GT
07-26-2006, 11:12 AM
From what I have read of the the ventral turret did appear in service on some Mk. Is and the structural components necessary to fit it were retained for some marks later (probably to avoid a change in the technical drawings).


That bit referred to Halifaxes, not Lancs. I haven't read anything about attempts to jury rig ventral mounts in Halifaxes, and nothing about using a Preston Green mount in a blister. I presume the structure of the Halifax wasn't suitable, plus the structural stuff was still there for the old belly turret, even when not fitted, which might have made it more tricky. There were even a few strengthening bits in the fuselage dating back to the old catapult launch requirement of P.13/36.

With regards to the Preston Green mount in a blister on the Lancaster, AFAIK this was an official mount, but mostly used on aircraft allotted to the RCAF for some reason.


Apparently the remote control ventral turret had some benefit because in one of his books Middlebrook notes the Lancs which had them (IIs and Xs) were less likely to get ambushed from below.

I've read conflicting things about the value of the ventral mounts during night bombing. Certainly the RAF seemed to think that there was more value in speed or lifting capability than ventral protection, and late on Stirlings had anything other than the nose and tail turrets removed even before they were relegated to second-line duties. Even Halifaxes had the nose turret removed sometimes even before it was replaced with a perspex nose cone, and sometimes the dorsal turret was stripped out and replaced with a Vickers K on each side of the fuselage.
To be honest I can see the value of the ventral turret more than the dorsal, and the Manchester, Stirling, etc. were originally designed with ventral turrets rather than dorsal.

In the late 1930s when the RAF anticipated operating in daylight there were a whole series of specifications laid down requiring two quad 20mm turrets (ventral and dorsal). That could have been interesting.

Aaron_GT
07-26-2006, 11:13 AM
It mounted a .50, manufactured by Preston-Green.


By which I meant the mount was by Preston Green. The gun was an M2 HB.

leitmotiv
07-26-2006, 01:55 PM
Right, Aaron_GT---the highest powered Lancs to see service in WWII, and my particular pets, the VII, I believe, which had the engines later used in the Lincoln, had their nose and dorsal turrets removed. Only a handful were made, and were used by the Pathfinders as a Master Bomber aircraft.

BOMBING COLOURS 1937-1973 by Michael J.F. Bowyer, which is an RAF Bomber Command camouflage book, is a goldmine because the author was taking notes on RAF bombers in his county from 1939 to 1945. Not just color notes, but detailed notes on their fittings. He noted two Lanc Pathfinder squadrons deleted their nose turrets for a time during the Battle of Berlin period.

Aaron_GT
07-26-2006, 03:19 PM
The design of the nose of the Lancaster was somewhat controversial anyway as it required the bomb aimer be prone with not as good forward visibility as in, say, the B17, Hampden, or later Halifaxes, for lining up targets from distance (or seeing fighters in head on attacks, although this wasn't so much of an issue at night anyway, hence not quite so much need for a nose turret). Hence the redesign of the bomb aimer's position for the Lincoln.

Getting back to the original topic, when the Wellington was designed radar was in its infancy so the prospect was that a high flying (say 15,000 to 20,000 feet) would get plenty of warning of fighters climbing to meet it, and a pop turret could with a good firing arc could be deployed just as required. When fighters took 15 minutes to get to 20,000 feet then a bomber cruising at a ground speed of over 200 mph would have travelled 50 to 60 miles in that time. Add in the time to get the fighters scrambled, formed up, vectored etc, and you are talking more like 150 miles or more of travelled distance. If detection occured at the coast the bombers could have hit the target by that time.

Obviously that isn't what happened in the war, as fighter performance increased, and radar meant more warning to for them to get to altitude. Advanced warning and half the time to 20,000 feet and you are talking about interceptions shortly after crossing the enemy coast, with the enemy fighters potentially having an altitude advantage ripe for high speed slashing attacks that bomber gunners would have a hard time getting rounds on target to defeat.

Dtools4fools
07-27-2006, 08:58 AM
Posted Tue July 11 2006 22:45
There was a reason why the ventral gun stations were deleted on British bombers in 1940. Can you guess what it was?

When the powered two and four gun turrets became available, the ventrals were deleted to save weight and increase speed. But the important point to note is that British rear gun turrets (whether two or four gun) could depress sufficiently to deter attack from beneath on most occasions. Without something like a 'schrage musik' installation, an opposing fighter pilot had a tough task on his hands when attacking a British bomber from below.

Posted Tue July 11 2006 22:45
There was a reason why the ventral gun stations were deleted on British bombers in 1940. Can you guess what it was?

When the powered two and four gun turrets became available, the ventrals were deleted to save weight and increase speed. But the important point to note is that British rear gun turrets (whether two or four gun) could depress sufficiently to deter attack from beneath on most occasions. Without something like a 'schrage musik' installation, an opposing fighter pilot had a tough task on his hands when attacking a British bomber from below. (Of course, in Oleg's new game this will not be available to the Axis...)
In 1940/41 Britain's bombers were arguably the most effectively armed in the world - certainly when fitted with a Frazer Nash (or Nash -Thompson) four gun rear turret.

Looking at the image I wonder how those guns were aimed? Was the gunner sitting behind the guns or somewhat inbetween? If behind I can see a little problem aiming the guns at such a steep angle downwards, not much space for the gunners head there...
****

Aaron_GT
07-27-2006, 10:57 AM
Looking at the image I wonder how those guns were aimed? Was the gunner sitting behind the guns or somewhat inbetween? If behind I can see a little problem aiming the guns at such a steep angle downwards, not much space for the gunners head there...

The guns pivoted slightly in front of the gunner's head, so he was partly between them, and had a reflector sight. I am not sure whether you could get a sight picture at that level of depression, though.

leitmotiv
07-27-2006, 04:04 PM
Flyinmick was really "reaching" on this one. At this level of depression the gunner could not accurately aim the guns. The tail turret was never seen as a substitute for a ventral position. Bomber Command kept trying to find some workable solution for a "belly gun" until the H2S made such a fitting impossible. The bombers were so overloaded by 1944, and their armor had been stripped out to allow them to carry more fuel and bombs, the lack of a belly position shrank to relative insignificance. The best defenses the Lancaster had were its high cruise speed and ability to climb higher than the early Halifaxes and the Stirlings which became the preferred targets of the night fighters in 1943.

flyyinmick
08-30-2006, 08:51 PM
S!

leitmotiv
08-31-2006, 12:59 AM
S! I see you are out of the cooler Col Nicholson! OK, what's it going to be this time? Let's demand an Avro Lincoln for the Luftfantasy 46 add-on, herf herf.