Osprey's Do-17 units of WWII


Chris Goss


Osprey Publishing


$24.00 MSRP


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 96 pages, 7 x 9 inches, softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4728-2963-4

When Germany started WWII, one of the bomber types it was flying was the Do-17. When the aircraft was first flown, it was faster than any of the fighters of its time. But the advance of technology was such that between the mid 1930s and the start of the war, the type had become dated. It was still fairly fast and so many reconnaissance squadrons flew the earlier variants late into the war. However, it did not carry a large bomb load and that somewhat limited its usefulness. It was also not well armed for defense. Even though militaries of the time thought that bombers would not need defense from fighters, actual combat proved that to be quite incorrect. A classic example of what was 'known' to be true being just the opposite.

Though initially developed as a high speed mail plane and passenger transport (it could carry six), the German airline did not buy it and as was often the case, the Luftwaffe thought it would make a great bomber. In many cases this was true. It was fairly useful during the Poland campaign as well as during the fight with France, Belgium and the Netherlands. However, against the British, not so much. It found a new lease in life in the Balkans and during the early war with Russia, but was soon relegated to training duties. The type was also used with some success as a night intruder and as mentioned, early variants of the reconnaissance types served well into the war.

In line with others in this series, the author fully covers the use of these aircraft as well as the tactics employed. This is all further enhanced by great period photos as some super art work and maps that let us follow the progression of the war in these areas. Only a few foreign nations used the Do-17, and those operations are also covered. In all, it is a superb book on the type and one that an enthusiast should have on their shelves.

July 2019

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