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At the declaration of war, the Bombardment is not ready to face a modern conflict: its machines are obsolete or inadequate, and modern bombers are not expected before several months.

The units are mainly equipped with Bombers Farman F222, Amiot 143 , Bloch MB200 , Bloch MB210 orPotez 540 . These aircraft originated from the first War Plans launched in the early 1930s, but their deliveries will be continually delayed by the disorganization of the French aeronautical industry. They are already exceeded when delivered to units ...

Modern Aircrafts are nevertheless in preparation following the launch of Plan V: these are Loire et Olivier LeO451 , Amiot 350 or Breguet Br690 . Deliveries, however, are very slow: in September 1939, only a dozen LeO 45s were delivered and will be developed within a GB I / 31 Experimental Squadron during the winter of 1939/40.

For the Amiot 351, the situation is even more dramatic, since the first aircraft will not be delivered until the spring of 1940, and only a handful will be "Good for war" at the outbreak of the German offensive on 10 May 1940.

The Breguet 690 grew faster: the first series aircraft were delivered from May 1939, and the GBA I / 5, the first Group to be transformed, will be transferred to Orléans to receive its new aircraft. The development was however long enough, and the final model, the Breguet 693 with more reliable engines, will be delivered at the beginning of March 1940.

These new aircrafts must meet the requirements of the Air Force technical services. Thus, it is imposed a double rudder, which turns out to be a real gene for the rear gunner with two dead angles that the German Fighters will exploit. Similarly, the 20mm gun, imposed for the rear defense post: the gun is excellent, but its charger contains shells only for a few seconds of shooting, and it is impossible to reload in flight ...

As for the Fighter aircrafts, the French State turns to the United States to quickly acquire modern aircraft. Douglas DB7 and Gleen-Martin 167F will be chosen because they technically correspond to the specifications of the A3 / B3 program of 1936. For the Gleen Martin 167F, an experimental squadron is set up from January 1940 in Algiers , And finally, 5 Bombardment Groups will be equipped. As for the first Douglas DB7, he was taken over by the Air Force on 31 October 1939, with a forecast of 5 bombardment groups to equip.

But even more than the material, it is the doctrine of use that will fail the Bombardment. Despite the recent conflicts in Spain or Poland, the General Staff will not be able to measure the progress of the fighting. Thus, the Breguets Br693 will be launched on the German columns in flight flying, often without protection of fighter aircrafts, and without sufficient armor to face the formidable Flak. The Leo451 will be used in low-altitude missions while their engines are effective at 5000m.

Finally, there is a shortage of crewmembers: the training of pilots and other crew members was inadequate before the conflict, and trained personnel lack experience because of the lack of resources available to schools to preserve the equipment. ..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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