Fairey Battle blue print 0A

Fairey Battle I BAF 5e Escadrill Groupe III 3e Regiment 5.III.3 Belgium 1940 01

Fairey Battle I BAF 5e Escadrill Groupe III 3e Regiment 5.III.3 T58 Belgium May 1940 0A

Fairey Battle I FAF 33a Mira Vomvardismou B282 Finland 1940 0A

Fairey Battle I formation over during the phoney war France early 28th Feb 1940 NIOD

Fairey Battle I R3950 under restoration at the Royal Military Museum Brussels 2006 01

Fairey Battle I RAAF 1BAGS OO K7600 forced landing Evans Head NSW Jan 27th 1944 01

Fairey Battle I RAAF L5156 over the Gippsland coastline of Victoria during WWII 01

Fairey Battle I RAAF L5156 used for training and target towing duties 01

Fairey Battle I RAF 105Sqn formation 01

Fairey Battle I RAF 105Sqn GBB shot down during Battle of France May 1940 ebay 01

Fairey Battle I RAF 105Sqn GBK P2200 Battle of France Revi 77 p12 0A

Fairey Battle I RAF 105Sqn GBK P2200 belly landed Battle of France May 1940 ebay 01

Fairey Battle I RAF 105Sqn GBK P2200 belly landed Battle of France May 1940 ebay 02

Fairey Battle I RAF 105Sqn GBL shot down Battle of France May 1940 ebay 01

Fairey Battle I RAF 105Sqn GBL shot down Battle of France May 1940 ebay 02

Fairey Battle I RAF 105Sqn GBX P2190 abandoned airframe Battle of France 01

Fairey Battle I RAF 12OTU at Benson Oxfordshire IWM CH746

Fairey Battle I RAF 12OTU over Benson Oxfordshire IWM CH769

Fairey Battle I RAF 142Sqn WT P5238 abandoned airframe Battle of France 01

Fairey Battle I RAF 218Sqn France 1939 40 IWM C299

Fairey Battle I RAF 226Sqn at Reims Champagne France 1940 IWM C604

Fairey Battle I RAF 226Sqn loading fresh oxygen cylinders at Reims Champagne France 1940 IWM CH1121

Fairey Battle I RAF 226Sqn MQ L5468 at Faux Villecerf France 1940 IWM C1700

Fairey Battle I RAF 226Sqn MQ L5469 at Faux Villecerf France 1940 IWM C1700a

Fairey Battle I RAF 226Sqn MQO lies abandoned Battle of France May 1940 ebay 01

Fairey Battle I RAF 226Sqn MQR K9183 at Reims Champagne France 1940 IWM CH1115

Fairey Battle I RAF 226Sqn MQZ return from a recon mission France 1940 01

Fairey Battle I RAF 300Sqn BHT Roman Sulinski L5317 Swinderby Sep 1940 0A

Fairey Battle I RAF 63Sqn 63M K7650 over RAF Benson Nov 1939

Fairey Battle I RAF 9255 during crew training 01

Fairey Battle I RAF air gunner mans his Vickers K gun from the rear cockpit

Fairey Battle I RAF bomb aimer position was in the floor of the aircraft

Fairey Battle I RAF ex63Sqn 2 School of Technical Training at Cosford Feb 1940 IWM HU106261

Fairey Battle I RAF France 1939 IWM C1208

Fairey Battle I RAF France 1939 IWM C174

Fairey Battle I RAF over France 24th Aug 1939 NIOD

Fairey Battle I RAF shot down during Battle of France May 1940 ebay 01

Fairey Battle I RAF shot down during Battle of France May 1940 ebay 02

Fairey Battle I RAF shot down or abandoned wrecks Battle of France May 1940 ebay 02

Fairey Battle I RAF shot down or abandoned wrecks Battle of France May 1940 ebay 03

Fairey Battle I RAF showing the light brown camouflage 01

Fairey Battle I RAF trainer 01

Fairey Battle I RAF trainer coded 1604 Black 56 01

Fairey Battle I RAF trainer coded 1604 Black 56 02

Fairey Battle I wreckage of a Fairley Battle shot down by the Wehrmacht Belgium May 1940 ebay 01

Fairey Battle I wreckage of a Fairley Battle shot down by the Wehrmacht Belgium May 1940 ebay 02

Fairey Battle I wreckage of a Fairley Battle shot down by the Wehrmacht Belgium May 1940 ebay 03

Fairey Battle I wreckage of a Fairley Battle shot down by the Wehrmacht France May 1940 01

Fairy Battle I RAF 3Sqn K7581 conversion aircraft Gloster Gladiators to Hawker Hurricanes Biggen Hill 1939

RAF Fairey Battle crews working with French Officers on the target area IWM C689

Fairey Battle MKI RAF 226Sqn at Reims Champagne France 1940 IWM C604

Armourers unloading 250 lb GP bombs from a trolley in front of a Fairey Battle of No. 226 Squadron, in the snow at Reims Champagne.

Imperial War Museum IWM C 604 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205207519

Imperial War Museum IWM C 299 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205195161

Imperial War Museum IWM C 284 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205195160

Imperial War Museum IWM C 174 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205195159

Marshal of the RAF, Lord Trenchard (middle), accompanied by Air Vice Marshal P H L Playfair, Air Officer Commanding the Advanced Air Striking Force (far left), talks with the aircrew of a Fairey Battle during a tour of AASF Wings in France.

Imperial War Museum IWM C 1208 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205207567

Fairey Battle RAF ex63Sqn 2 School of Technical Training at Cosford Feb 1940 IWM HU106261

A Fairey Battle, formerly of No. 63 Squadron, and other aircraft being used for maintenance instruction at No. 2 School of Technical Training at Cosford, February 1940.

Imperial War Museum IWM HU 106261 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205234771

Fairey Battle RAF 12OTU at Benson Oxfordshire IWM CH746

Battle Mark Is of No. 12 Operational Training Unit, lined up at Benson, Oxfordshire.

Imperial War Museum IWM CH 746 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205126769

Fairey Battle MkI RAF 226Sqn MQ L5468 at Faux-Villecerf France 1940 IWM C1700

Fairey Battle aircrews of No. 226 Squadron RAF, rest at Faux-Villecerf, following withdrawal from Reims-Champagne. The Squadron remained on active service in France until mid-June 1940.

Imperial War Museum IWM C 1700 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205208126

Fairey Battle RAF 226Sqn loading fresh oxygen cylinders at Reims-Champagne France 1940 IWM CH1121

Airmen loading fresh oxygen cylinders into a Fairey Battle of No. 226 Squadron RAF at Reims-Champagne.

Imperial War Museum IWM CH 1121 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205207557

Fairey Battle RAF 226Sqn MQR K9183 at Reims-Champagne France 1940 IWM CH1115

Fairey Battles of No. 226 Squadron RAF undergoing servicing on the flight line at Reims-Champagne. The aircraft on the right, K9183 'MQ-R', was shot down by ground aircraft fire while attacking enemy columns south-west of Luxembourg on 10 May 1940. Its pilot died of his wounds, but the other two crew members survived.

Imperial War Museum IWM CH 1115 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205207556

Fairey Battle RAF 12Sqn PHP L5190 near Junglinste 10 May 1940 IWM HU61411

German soldiers inspect wrecked Fairey Battle L5190 'PH-P', of No. 12 Squadron RAF, which crash-landed in the target area in the evening of 10 May 1940 after being hit by anti-aircraft fire while attacking German troops advancing between Junglinster and Luxembourg. The crew survived but were taken prisoner.

Imperial War Museum IWM HU 61411 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205090503

Fairey Battle

Fairey Battle

Role Light bomber
Manufacturer Fairey Aviation Company
Designer Marcel Lobelle
First flight 10 March 1936
Introduction June 1937
Retired 1949
Primary users Royal Air Force, Belgian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Free Polish Air Force
Number built 2,185
Produced between 1937-1940

Fairey Battle

The Fairey Battle was a British single-engine light bomber built by the Fairey Aviation Company in the late 1930s for the Royal Air Force. The Battle was powered by the same Rolls-Royce Merlin piston engine that gave contemporary British fighters[1] high performance; however, the Battle was weighed down with a three-man crew and a bomb load. Despite being a great improvement on the aircraft that preceded it, by the time it saw action it was slow, limited in range and highly vulnerable to both anti-aircraft fire and fighters with its single defensive .303 machine gun.[1]

During the 'Phoney War', the Fairey Battle recorded the first RAF aerial victory of the Second World War but by May 1940 was suffering heavy losses of well over 50% per mission. By the end of 1940 the Battle had been withdrawn from combat service and relegated to training units overseas. For such prewar promise, the Battle was one of the most disappointing of all RAF aircraft. [1]

Design and development

The original Fairey Battle was designed to Specification P.27/32 as a two-seat day bomber, to replace the ageing Hawker Hart and Hind biplane bombers, and to act as an insurance policy in case heavier bombers were banned by the 1932 Geneva Disarmament Conference.[2]

The Battle emerged as a single-engine, all-metal, low-wing cantilever monoplane, equipped with a retractable tail wheel landing gear.[3] Its clean design with its long and slim fuselage and cockpit for three (pilot, navigator and gunner) seated in tandem with a continuous glazed canopy, was similar to a large fighter rather than a bomber.[4] The armament and crew were similar to the Blenheim: three crew, 1,000 lbs bombload and two machine guns, although the Battle was a single-engine bomber, with less horsepower available. The Battle's standard payload of four 250 lb (110 kg) bombs was carried in cells inside the wings and an additional 500 lb (230 kg) of bombs could be carried on underwing racks.[5] As the engine took up the nose area, the bomb aimer's position was under the wing center section, sighted through a sliding panel in the floor of the fuselage using the Mk. VII Course Setting Bomb Sight.

The prototype Battle first flew on 10 March 1936.[6] When the RAF embarked on the pre-war expansion programme, the Battle became a priority production target, with 2,419 ordered[7] and an initial production order placed for 155 Battles built to Specification P.23/35. The first of these aircraft was completed at Hayes, Middlesex in June 1937 but all subsequent aircraft were built at Fairey's new factory at Heaton Chapel, Stockport[3] and tested at their Manchester (Ringway) facility. Subsequently the Austin Motors 'Shadow Factory' at Longbridge manufactured 1,029 aircraft to Specification P.32/36. Total production was of 2,185 machines, as production lines were closed in advance, in September 1940.[8] Production Battles were powered by the Rolls Royce Merlin I, II, III and V, and took their Mark numbers from the powerplant (for example, a Battle Mk II was powered by a Merlin II).

Replacing the RAF's Hawker Harts and Hinds when it entered service in 1937, the Battle was obsolescent even then as fighter technology had outstripped the modest performance gains that the light bomber possessed over its biplane antecedents.[9] The Battle was armed only with a single Browning .303 machine gun fixed ahead and with a trainable Vickers K in the back; this was desperately inadequate.[3] Moreover it lacked an armoured cockpit and self-sealing fuel tank.[10]

Operational history

Bad Ass day for the Fairies !! 33 shot down

Battle for France and the RAF Fairey battle 14th May 1940 disaster

14th May 1940 was a bad day for losses for the Fairey battle aircraft and its crews during the Battle for France. Sedan was situated on the east bank of the Meuse River. Its capture would give the Germans a base from which to capture the Meuse bridges and cross the river. On 14 May 1940 the Allied air forces, tried to destroy the bridges to slow down the German advance. During these sorties No 71 Wing RAF lost 10 Fairey Battles and 5 Blenheims No.75 Wing RAF lost 14–18 Battles and No 76 Wing RAF lost 11 Battles. Out of 71 bombers dispatched, 40–44 bombers were lost, meaning a loss rate of 56–62 percent Here is the list of Aircraft shot down and the names of their crews Battle K9189, GB-?, - Shot down near Sedan. Pilot Officer F H Ridley killed, Sergeant G Atkinson killed, Aircraftsman 1 J S Thomson killed. Battle K9333, WT-?, - Shot down near Ecly. Pilot Officer H L Oakley ok, Sergeant Martin ok, Aircraftsman 1 Presto ok. Battle K9342, GB-?, - Shot down near Sedan. Pilot Officer F A G Lascelles ok, Sergeant Ordway ok, Aircraftsman 1 Weir ok. Battle K9343, MQ-?, - Crashed near Sedan. Sergeant V H Moseley killed, Sergeant S D Hibberd killed, Corporal H F Little killed. Battle K9383, MQ-?, - Damaged by enemy but returned to base. Abandoned during fall of France. Sergeant E E Hopkins ok, Sergeant J Callaghan ok, Aircraftsman 1 D Barber ok. Battle K9483, JN-?, - Crashed near Sedan. Pilot Officer A F Posselt killed, Sergeant D J Bowen killed, Aircraftsman 2 N V Vano killed. Battle L4946, JN-?, - Crashed near Douchery. Flying Officer J Ing killed, Sergeant J D Turner killed, Aircraftsman 1 W J Nolan killed. Battle L4950, PH-V, - Crashed near Sedan. Flying Officer E R D Vaughan killed, Sergeant C Shelton-Jones killed, Aircraftsman 1 J D Wright taken prisoner. Battle L4952, PH-X, - Shot down near Sedan. Flight Lieutenant G D Clancey taken prisoner, Sergeant K Alderson killed, Aircraftsman 1 R T Ainsworth killed. Battle L5188, PH-C, - Lost near Sedan. Sergeant H R W Winkler taken prisoner, Sergeant M D Smalley taken prisoner, Aircraftsman 1 L R Clarke taken prisoner. Battle L5190?, PM-?, - Shot down near Sedan. Flying Officer T B Fitzgerald injured, Corporal Madkins ok. (Note Flying Officer Fitzgerald may not have been in this aircraft but instead P2191.) Battle L5230, GB-?, - Lost without trace around Sedan. Flight Lieutenant H C Sammels killed, Sergeant F B Abbott killed, Leading Aircraftsman R D Hughes killed. Battle L5232, HA-?, - Shot down at Sauville. Pilot Officer W A R Harris injured but returned to unit, Sergeant N B Herriot killed, Aircraftsman 1 W Robinson killed. Battle L5233, RH-?, - Returned to base damaged and was subsequently abandoned during the fall of France. Battle L5235, HA-?, - Shot down near Sedan. Pilot Officer A M Imrie taken prisoner, Leading Aircraftsman A J Taylor killed. Battle L5238, GB-?, - Shot down near Sedan. Flight Lieutenant R N Wall killed, Sergeant A C Morgan killed, Leading Aircraftsman H Hatton killed. Battle L5250, GB-?, - Force landed and abandoned at Suipped. Pilot Officer D C F Murray ok, Sergeant Hemingway ok, Aircraftsman 1 Hill ok. Battle L5422, HA-?, - Shot down near Sedan. Flying Officer J F R Crane killed, Aircraftsman 1 T W Holloway taken prisoner. Battle L5438, MQ-?, - Crashed near Sedan. Flight Sergeant W A Dunn killed, Sergeant A F Sedgewick killed, Aircraftsman 2 M B Millar killed. Battle L5516, PM-?, - Shot down near Sedan. Pilot Officer V A Cunningham ok, Aircraftsman 1 J Johnson ok. Battle L5517, WT-?, - Crashed near Sedan. Flight Lieutenant K R Rogers killed. Battle L5523, GB-?, - Crashed near Sedan. Pilot Officer H E White killed, Sergeant G A Cartwright killed, Aircraftsman 1 J Potter killed. Battle L5581, RH-?, - Shot down near Sedan. Sergeant W G Ross killed, Sergeant F E Beames killed, Leading Aircraftsman J H K Gegg killed. Battle L5585 Mk.1, GB-?, - Shot down and crashed behind enemy lines Battle P2182, JN-?, - Shot down near Douzy. Flight Sergeant J Boon killed, Sergeant J D F Williams killed, Aircraftsman 1 S Martin killed.14 May 1940 Battle P2191, PM-?, - Shot down by an Me109 near Sedan. Sergeant G Beardsley ok, Leading Aircraftsman G F Lewis ok. (Note Sergeant Beardsley may not have been in this aircraft, but in L5190.)14th May 1940 Battle P2246, WT-?, - Shot down and crash landed behind enemy lines. Squadron Leader J F Hobler injured but evaded capture, Sergeant R V T Kitto evaded capture, Corporal D J Barbrooke evaded capture.14th May 1940 Battle P2267, MQ-?, - Shot down near Sedan. Squadron Leader C E S Lockett taken prisoner, Sergeant F J Percival killed, Corporal R S Clark killed.14th May 1940 Battle P2324, HA-?, - Shot down by ground fire near Sedan. Flying Officer D A J Foster taken prisoner, Aircraftsman 1 T J Bryan taken prisoner.14th May 1940 Battle P2333, WT-?, - Crashed near Sedan. Sergeant A N Spear evaded capture, Sergeant J Brookes killed, Leading Aircraftsman R H Nugent killed. 14th May 1940 Battle P2360, HA-?, - Lost without trace near Sedan. Pilot Officer R T L Buttery killed, Aircraftsman 2 W C Waterston killed.14th May 1940 Battle P5229, PH-O, - Shot down near Sedan. Sergeant A G Johnson killed, Sergeant E F White killed, Aircraftsman 1 F T Spencer taken prisoner. Battle P5232, JN-?, - Crashed near Sedan. Flight Sergeant G T Barker killed, Sergeant J D F Williams killed, Leading Aircraftsman A K Summerson evaded capture.

The Battle was obsolete by the start of the Second World War, but remained a front-line RAF bomber owing to a lack of a suitable replacement. On 2 September 1939, during the 'Phoney War', 10 Battle squadrons were deployed to France to form a vanguard of the Advanced Air Striking Force. On 20 September 1939, a German Messerschmitt Bf 109 was shot down by Battle gunner Sgt. F. Letchard during a patrol near Aachen, marking the RAF's first aerial victory of the war.[11]

Nonetheless, the Battle was hopelessly outclassed by Luftwaffe fighters, being almost 100 mph (160 km/h) slower than the contemporary Bf 109 at 14,000 ft (4,300 m). The Battle's defence consisted of a single .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K machine gun mounted in the rear cockpit and a single forward-firing .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine gun in the starboard wing.

When the Battle of France began, Battles were called upon to perform unescorted, low-level tactical attacks against the advancing German army. This put the aircraft at risk of attack from Luftwaffe fighters and within easy range of light anti-aircraft guns. In the first of two sorties carried out by Battles on 10 May 1940, three out of eight aircraft were lost, while, in the second sortie, a further 10 out of 24 were shot down, giving a total of 13 lost in that day's attacks, with the remainder suffering damage. Despite bombing from as low as 250 ft (76 m), their attacks had little impact on the German columns.[12]

On 11 May, nine Battles of the Belgian Air Force attacked bridges over the Albert Canal on the River Meuse, losing six aircraft,[13] and in another RAF sortie that day against a German troop column, only one Battle out of eight survived.[14] During the following day, five Battles of 12 Squadron attacked the bridges; four of the aircraft were destroyed with the final aircraft crash-landing back at its base.[15] Two Victoria Crosses were awarded posthumously for the action, to Flying Officer Garland and air observer/navigator Sergeant Gray of Battle P2204 coded PH-K, for pressing home the attack in spite of the heavy defensive fire. The third crewmember, rear gunner Leading Aircraftsman Lawrence Reynolds, did not share the award. Both fighters and flak proved lethal for the Battles. Although Garland's Battle destroyed one span of the bridge,[16] the German army quickly erected a pontoon bridge to replace it.

Photo: Wreckage of a Fairey Battle shot down by the Wehrmacht, France May 1940

On 14 May 1940, in a desperate attempt to stop German forces crossing the Meuse, the Advanced Air Striking Force launched an 'all-out' attack by all available bombers against the German bridgehead and pontoon bridges at Sedan. The light bombers were attacked by swarms of opposing fighters and were devastated. Out of a strike force of 63 Battles and eight Bristol Blenheims, 40 (including 35 Battles) were lost.[17][18] After these abortive raids, the Battle was switched to mainly night attacks, resulting in much lower losses.[19]

A similar situation befell the German Luftwaffe during the early days of the Battle of Britain, when the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber suffered equivalent losses in a similar role. With the exception of a few successful twin-engine designs (e.g. de Havilland Mosquito, Bristol Beaufighter and Douglas A-20), low-level attack missions passed into the hands of single-engine, multi-role fighter aircraft, such as the Hawker Hurricane, Hawker Typhoon and Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.

On 15 June 1940, the last remaining aircraft of the Advanced Air Striking Force were evacuated to Britain. In six weeks almost 200 Battles had been lost, with 99 lost between 10 and 16 May.[20] After the return from France, for a short period of time, the RAF continued to rely on the light bomber. Reforming No. 1 Group and later equipping some new Polish squadrons with the type, it continued to be deployed in operations against shipping massed in the Channel ports for Operation Sealion. Their last combat sortie was mounted on the night of 15/16 October 1940 by No. 301 (Polish) Squadron in a raid on Boulogne, and Nos 12 and 142 Squadrons bombing Calais. Shortly afterwards Battle squadrons of No. 1 Group were re-equipped with more potent Vickers Wellington bombers.[21] Battles were operated into 1941 by 88 and 226 Squadrons in Northern Ireland and 98 Squadron in Iceland, for coastal patrol work.[22]

Meanwhile, the South African Air Force had been supplied with some Battles. In August 1940, No. 11 Squadron took possession of at least four Battles, which were flown north to be operated in the Italian East Africa (Ethiopia, Italian Somaliland and Eritrea) campaign. They conducted bombing and reconnaissance operations. Whereas in France the RAF's Battles had encountered modern German fighters in large numbers, the South Africans faced a smaller number of Italian biplane fighters (Fiat CR.32 and CR.42s), which enabled the aircrews to contribute more effectively to the campaign; but not without several losses, especially when surprised above some predictable targets (air bases, ports etc.), since Italian biplanes dived as fast as possible over the bombers, trying to shoot them down in the first pass.[23][24]

The last combat operations carried out by Fairey Battles were during the Italian and German invasion of Greece, from the end of 1940 until April 1941. A few Fairey Battles of the RAF and about a dozen belonging to the RHAF - serial numbers starting from B274 - participated in secondary bombing roles against enemy infantry. Most of them were destroyed on the ground by Luftwaffe air attacks upon the airfields of Tanagra and Tatoi north of Athens between end of March and mid April 1941. No significant contribution of this type was reported during this period, although some losses were recorded by the Greek Air Force.

Additional roles

While the Battle was no longer used as a combat aircraft, its benign handling characteristics made it an ideal platform for testing engines, and it was used in this rôle to evaluate engines up to 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) including the Fairey Prince (H-16). As the dual-control Fairey Battle T, it served as a trainer. As the winch-equipped Fairey Battle TT (target tug) it was used as a target-towing aircraft for training in air gunnery. The Battle served as a trainer with the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the South African Air Force. From August 1939, 739 Battles were stationed in Canada as trainers in the Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Most were used for bombing and gunnery training with a small number equipped as target tugs. Some aircraft had the rear cockpit replaced with a Bristol Type I turret for turret-gunnery training.[25]

Although the Battle was retired from active use in Canada after 1945, it remained in RAF service in secondary roles until 1949.

Battle K9370 was used to test the Fairey Monarch 2,000+ hp (1,490+ kW) aero-engine with electrically-controlled three-blade contra-rotating propellers in 1939. According to Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1946-47, the aircraft was shipped to the U.S.A. after 86 hours test time.


Fairey Day Bomber
Prototype (K4303).
Battle Mk I
Three-seat light bomber version. This was the first production version, which was powered by a 1,030 hp (770 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin I inline piston engine.
Battle Mk II
Three-seat light bomber version. Powered by a 1,030 hp (770 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin II inline piston engine.
Battle Mk V
Three-seat light bomber version. Powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin V inline piston engine.
Battle T
After May 1940, a number of Battle Mk Is, IIs and Vs were converted into training aircraft.
Battle IT
After May 1940, a number of Battle Mk Is, IIs and Vs were converted into training aircraft with a turret installed in the rear.
Battle IIT
In October 1940, a sole RCAF Battle Mk I was converted into a prototype for a future series, powered by a 840 hp Wright Cyclone R-1820-G38. The Battle IIT was conceived as a stopgap conversion in the likelihood that supplies of RR Merlins were unavailable.[26]
Battle TT
After May 1940, a number of Battle Mk Is, IIs and Vs were converted into target tug aircraft; 100 built.
Battle TT.Mk I
Target tug version. This was the last production version; 226 built.


In total, 2,185 Fairey Battles were built during the machine's production life; 1,156 by Fairey and 1,029 by the Austin Motor Company. A further 18 were built under licence by Avions Fairey at Goselies, Belgium for service with the Belgian Air Force. The 18 Battles were delivered early in 1938 and were differentiated from British-built examples by having a longer radiator cowling.[7]


In addition to the units listed, a many Battles were operated by training schools, particularly for bombing and gunnery training.

Australia - Royal Australian Air Force received 364 aircraft.

  • No. 12 Squadron RAAF
  • No. 22 Squadron RAAF
  • No. 35 Squadron RAAF
  • Belgium - Belgian Air Force operated 18 aircraft (some sources say 16)

    Canada - Royal Canadian Air Force received 739 aircraft.

    India - Indian Air Force

    Ireland - Irish Air Corps impounded 1 ex-RAF target tug.

    Greece - Hellenic Air Force received 12 aircraft.

    Poland - Polish Air Forces on exile in Great Britain

  • No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron Ziemi Mazowieckiej
  • No. 301 Polish Bomber Squadron Ziemi Pomorskiej
  • No. 304 Polish Bomber Squadron Ziemi Śląskiej im. Ks. Józefa Poniatowskiego
  • No. 305 Polish Bomber Squadron Ziemi Wielkopolskiej im. Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego
  • South Africa - South African Air Force received approximately 340 aircraft.

  • No. 11 Squadron SAAF
  • Turkey - Turkish Army Air Force received 30 aircraft.

    United Kingdom - Royal Air Force

  • No. 12 Squadron RAF
  • No. 15 Squadron RAF
  • No. 35 Squadron RAF
  • No. 40 Squadron RAF
  • No. 52 Squadron RAF
  • No. 63 Squadron RAF
  • No. 88 Squadron RAF
  • No. 98 Squadron RAF
  • No. 103 Squadron RAF
  • No. 105 Squadron RAF
  • No. 106 Squadron RAF
  • No. 141 Squadron RAF
  • No. 142 Squadron RAF
  • No. 150 Squadron RAF
  • No. 185 Squadron RAF
  • No. 207 Squadron RAF
  • No. 218 Squadron RAF
  • No. 226 Squadron RAF
  • No. 234 Squadron RAF
  • No. 235 Squadron RAF
  • No. 239 Squadron RAF
  • No. 242 Squadron RAF
  • No. 245 Squadron RAF
  • No. 253 Squadron RAF
  • No. 266 Squadron RAF
  • No. 616 Squadron RAF
  • Fleet Air Arm

    Accidents and incidents

    On 2 August 1940, Richard Ormonde Shuttleworth, a racing motorist, aviator and prolific collector of veteran cars and aircraft was killed when Fairey Battle L4971 of No. 12 Operational Training Unit RAF Benson crashed into a hill during a solo night flying exercise.[27]


    There are only five examples of the Fairey Battle held by various museums, but none of them is in flying condition.

    The best known survivor is L5343, displayed at the RAF Museum in Hendon. In July 1940, it was allocated to No. 98 RAF Squadron, after which it and other Battles were based at Kaldadarnes, Iceland for anti-invasion operations in support of British forces which had occupied the island in May 1940. L5343 was the first RAF aircraft to land on Icelandic soil, and crashed during subsequent operations. In 1972, the RAF embarked on a successful recovery operation to salvage the wreck and return it to the UK for restoration. The recovery complete, the museum has since begun a complete restoration of L5343 at the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre of the RAF Museum in Cosford, Shropshire, England. The conservation centre is only open to the public at occasional times throughout the year.

    Battle R3950 is part of the collection of the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History, Brussels, Belgium. This aircraft spent much of its life in Canada. It was acquired by the Brussels museum in 1990 as they wished to hold an example of an aircraft that served with the Belgian Air Force in 1940.[28]

    The wreck of another Battle was discovered in an Icelandic glacier in 1995,[29] although there are no plans to restore it.

    The Canada Aviation and Space Museum holds a Battle T (marked as R7384/35), used to represent the contribution the aircraft made to aircrew training in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. R7384 was manufactured as a pilot trainer in 1940, and taken on strength by the RCAF in 1941. Converted to a turret-gunnery trainer in 1942, it was used until 1943, when it entered storage. After moving among several storage locations, the aircraft was transferred to the Canada Aviation Museum in 1964, and a final restoration programme was completed in the 1990s.[25] During the mid-1960s, RCAF pilot Lynn Garrison acquired four Fairey Battles from farmyards in Alberta and Saskatchewan for his collection of historic aircraft in Calgary, Alberta. They have since disappeared from view. Although far from complete, another Canadian-based Battle trainer is currently being restored at the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum at Brandon, Manitoba.

    The South Australian Aviation Museum at Port Adelaide, South Australia is undertaking a restoration project using the remains of a Battle which was recovered from a tidal swamp near Port Pirie in South Australia.[30]

    The Clyde North Aeronautical Preservation Group also has two unidentified and unrestored cockpit sections from Fairey Battles located in Wagga Wagga, Australia.

    The RAAF Museum at Point Cook, Victoria has an unidentified and unrestored cockpit section.

    Fairey Battle photograph section

    Fairey Battle MkI RAF 218Sqn HA-W L5235 AM Imrie shot down Thelonne 14th May 1940

    Photo: Fairey Battle MkI RAF 218Sqn HA-W L5235 flwn by P.Off A.M. Imrie POW and LAC A.J. Taylor KIA were shot down Thelonne 8Km South of Sedan France 14th May 1940. Take off was from their base at Auberive-sur-Suppies and were on a bombing mission to Sedan

    Fairey Battle RAAF L5156 used for training and target-towing duties

    Photo: L5156, one of 366 Fairey Battles transferred to the RAAF for training and target-towing duties. (RAAF Official).

    Fairey Battle RAAF 1BAGS OO K7600 forced landing Evans Head NSW Jan 27th 1944

    Photo: K7600, a Battle from No. 1 B.A.G.S. (Bomber and Air Gunnery School) after a forced landing at Evans Head, N.S.W. (New South Wales), on 27 January 1944.

    Photo: Fairey Battle, K7650 / 63-M of No. 63 Squadron, RAF Benson, November 1939. This was the first operational squadron to be equipped with the Battle.

    Photo: RAF No. 218 Squadron Fairey Battles over France, c. 1940

    The first RAF squadron to be equipped with Fairey Battles was No. 63 Sqn. in June 1937. The Battle had the distinction of becoming the first operational aircraft to enter service with a Merlin engine, beating the Hawker Hurricane's debut by a few months.

    Photo: Battle R3950 under restoration at the Royal Military Museum, Brussels, 2006.

    Photo: The sergeant air gunner of a Battle mans the aircraft's defensive weapon, a single pintle-mounted rapid firing Vickers K machine gun, France 1940

    Photo: The bomb aimer position in the Battle was in the floor of the aircraft; here the CSBS Mk. VII is being demonstrated.

    The Course Setting Bomb Sight, labeled as a Mk. IX but likely a Mk. VII, installed in the bottom of a Fairly Battle light bomber. The bomb aimer is sighting through the backsights (white rings just in front of him) and past the foresights (white pinheads *just* visible against the armoured cable running on the bulkhead). He holds the bomb release switch in his right hand, and would press the button when the target passes through the line defined by the two sets of sights.

    This image shows a number of the main features of the sight. At the rear of the device, near the bottom of the image, is the vertical cylinder of the compass assembly. The horizontal metal section in front of the compass assembly, roughly triangular, is the "airspeed drum", used to set the aircraft's airspeed via the large knob on the right side of the case, directly under the bomb aimer's hand. Extending from the front of the airspeed drum is the airspeed bar and windspeed assembly. In this case the airspeed has been set to its minimum value, so the windspeed assembly is lying directly against the housing and is not clearly visible. This also explains the almost vertical angle formed between the sights; with this airspeed setting the bombs would not travel forward very far during the drop. Looking carefully, one can see the "wind bar" at the top of the windspeed assembly, the black metal bar lying almost at right angles to the rest of the bomb sight. Turning the wind speed knob on the end of the bar (not visible here, it's on the other side of the bar) would push the entire drift bar to the right to dial-in increasing correction for a wind blowing from the right side of the aircraft. The long striped wires above this assembly form the drift bar, which indicates which direction the aircraft should fly to correct for wind drift. In this case the drift bar is pointed very slightly to the bomb aimer's left, accounting for a wind from port.

    Secondary details are also visible. The grey disk on the bottom of the compass assembly is the compass corrector, which reduces the effect of stray magnetic fields from the aircraft body. The small grey knob directly above the airspeed setting knob is used to set the "trail", the distance that the bomb will fall behind the aircraft when it reaches terminal velocity. Just to the right of this (in the photograph) is a large horizontal ring that makes up the moving target assembly (or "fourth vector"). To the right of the air speed drum are two of three silver coloured bolts of the flexible mounting system, which is used to level the bombsight prior to use. The small beads used for timing can just be seen on the drift wires. At the front, on the very top-right of the image, is the scale on the auxiliary drift bar, which is used to make quick measurements of wind drift.

    The Battle was supplied with a number of different bombsights for use at different altitudes. They could be exchanged by unscrewing the silver knob on the right side of the photo just to the right of the windspeed assembly, and then sliding the entire bombsight and mounting up and out.

    The original label on this photograph states that the bombsight is a Mk. IX model. However, this model was designed for high-speed aircraft like the B-25 and Mosquito. It is much more likely that this is a mis-labeled Mk. VII, the primary pre-war model that would have equipped the Battle in service. The differences between the two models are largely limited to the scales on the drift and height bars to account for faster speeds and higher altitudes. The two are identical to the eye.

    Specifications Fairey Battle Mk.II

    Data from Fairey Aircraft since 1915[31]

    General characteristics

    Crew: 3
    Length: 42 ft 4 in (12.91 m)
    Wingspan: 54 ft 0 in (16.46 m)
    Height: 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)
    Wing area: 422 ft² (39.2 m²)
    Empty weight: 6,647 lb (3,015 kg)
    Loaded weight: 10,792 lb (4,895 kg)
    Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Merlin II liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1,030 hp (768 kW)
    Propellers: Three-bladed Hamilton Standard propeller


    Maximum speed: 257 mph (223 kn, 413 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m)
    Range: 1,000 mi (870 nmi, 1,610 km)
    Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,620 m)
    Rate of climb: to 5,000 ft (1,520 m): 4 min 6 sec


    Guns: 1× .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine gun in starboard wing
    1× .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K machine gun in rear cabin
    Bombs: 4× 250 lb (110 kg) bombs internally
    500 lb (230 kg) of bombs externally

    IL-2 Sturmovik Cliffs of Dover - COD/CLOD skins

    Sad to say there is No 3d model for this type


    1. Ethell 1995, p. 177.
    2. Air International March 1981, p. 127.
    3. Orbis 1985, p. 1693.
    4. 'Fairey Battle - Designed for Mass Production.' Flight International, 19 August 1937, pp. 189–192.
    5. Air International March 1981, p. 128.
    6. Mason 1994, p. 285.
    7. Moyes 1971, p. 120.
    8. Matricardi 2006, p. 249.
    9. Taylor 1969, p. 358.
    10. Boyne 1994, p. 52.
    11. 'RAF Timeline 1939.' Royal Air Force. Retrieved: 24 July 2008.
    12. Richards 1953, pp. 113–114.
    13. Garcia 2001, pp. 67—68.
    14. Richards 1953, p. 115.
    15. Richards 1995, pp. 59–60.
    16. Richards 1953, pp. 116–118.
    17. Richards 1953, p. 120.
    18. March 1998, p. 105.
    19. Richards 1995, p. 61.
    20. Gifford 2004, p. 24.
    21. Moyes 1971, p. 115.
    22. Moyes 1968, p. 79.
    23. Gustavsson, Håkan. 'Sergente Maggiore Athos Tieghi.' Håkan's aviation page via surfcity.kund.dalnet.se, 2007. Retrieved: 20 August 2011.
    24. Gustavsson, Håkan.'Capitano Ugo Drago.' Håkan's aviation page via surfcity.kund.dalnet.se, 2007. Retrieved: 20 August 2011.
    25. Molson et al. 1988, p. 149.
    26. Willis 2009, p. 60.
    27. 'The History of Shuttleworth.' Shuttleworth Collection. Retrieved: 20 August 2011.
    28. Giltay, Pascal. 'Fairey Battle R3950 Project.' Brussels Air Museum Fund. Retrieved: 25 March 2010.
    29. Miller, Catherine. 'Glacier reveals 60-year secrets.' BBC News, 11 August 2001. Retrieved: 17 July 2009.
    30. 'Restoration of Fairey Battle.' South Australian Aviation Museum. Retrieved: 28 March 2010.
    31. Taylor 1974, p. 283.


    • Boyne, Walter J. Clash of Wings. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. ISBN 0-684-83915-6.
    • 'Elegantly Obsolete...the Fairey Battle'. Air International, Vol. 20, No. 3, March 1981, pp. 127–134. ISSN 0306-5634.
    • Ethell, L. Jeffrey. Aircraft of World War II. Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995. ISBN 0-00-470849-0.
    • Garcia, Dionisio. 'Air Force on the Edge: Belgian Military Aviation in 1940'. Air Enthusiast, No. 96, November/December 2001, pp. 65–68. Stamford, Lincs, UK: Key Publishing.
    • Gifford, Simon. 'Lost Battles: The Carnage of May 10 to May 16, 1940'. Air Enthusiast, No. 109, January/February 2004, pp. 18–25. Stamford, Lincs, UK: Key Publishing.
    • Huntley, Ian D. Fairey Battle, Aviation Guide 1. Bedford, UK: SAM Publications, 2004. ISBN 0-9533465-9-5.
    • Lever, John. Fairey Battle in the RAAF. Koorlong, Victoria, Australia: John Lever, 2002. ISBN 1-876709-07-3.
    • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). London: Orbis Publishing, 1985.
    • March, Daniel M. British Warplanes of World War II. London: Aerospace, 1998. ISBN 1-874023-92-1.
    • Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber Since 1914. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.
    • Matricardi, Paolo. Aerei Militari: Bombardieri e da trasporto (in Italian). Milan: Mondadori Electa, 2006. No ISBN.
    • Molson, Kenneth M. et al. Canada's National Aviation Museum: Its History and Collections. Ottawa: National Aviation Museum, 1988. ISBN 978-0-660-12001-0.
    • Moyes, Philip, J.R. 'The Fairey Battle.' Aircraft in Profile, Volume 2 (nos. 25–48). Windsor, Berkshire, UK: Profile Publications, 1971. ISBN 0-85383-011-8.
    • Moyes, Philip, J.R. Royal Air Force Bombers of World War II (Volume 1). Windsor, Berkshire, UK: Hylton Lacey Publishers Ltd., 1968. ISBN 0-85064-051-2.
    • Neulen, Hans Werner. In the Skies of Europe: Air Forces Allied to the Luftwaffe 1939-1945. Ramsbury, Marlborough, UK: The Crowood Press, 1998. ISBN 1-86126-799-1.
    • Pacco, John. 'Fairey Battle' Belgisch Leger/Armee Belge: Het Militair Vliegwezen/l'Aeronautique Militare 1930-1940 (bilingual French/Dutch). Aartselaar, Belgium: J.P. Publications, 2003, pp. 52–55. ISBN 90-801136-6-2.
    • Richards, Denis. The Hardest Victory: RAF Bomber Command in the Second World War. London: Coronet, 1995. ISBN 0-340-61720-9.
    • Richards, Denis. Royal Air Force 1939–1945: Volume I, The Fight At Odds. London: HMSO, 1953.
    • Shaile, Sidney and Ray Sturtivant. The Battle File. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1998. ISBN 0-85130-225-4.
    • Taylor, H. R. Fairey Aircraft since 1915. London: Putnam, 1974. ISBN 0-370-00065-X.
    • Taylor, John W. R. 'Fairey Battle.' Combat Aircraft of the World from 1909 to the present. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-425-03633-2.
    • Willis, David. 'Battles for Power.' Flypast, January 2009.

        Magazine References: +

    • Airfix Magazines (English) - http://www.airfix.com/
    • Avions (French) - http://www.aerostories.org/~aerobiblio/rubrique10.html
    • FlyPast (English) - http://www.flypast.com/
    • Flugzeug Publikations GmbH (German) - http://vdmedien.com/flugzeug-publikations-gmbh-hersteller_verlag-vdm-heinz-nickel-33.html
    • Flugzeug Classic (German) - http://www.flugzeugclassic.de/
    • Klassiker (German) - http://shop.flugrevue.de/abo/klassiker-der-luftfahrt
    • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://boutique.editions-lariviere.fr/site/abonnement-le-fana-de-l-aviation-626-4-6.html
    • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://www.pdfmagazines.org/tags/Le+Fana+De+L+Aviation/
    • Osprey (English) - http://www.ospreypublishing.com/
    • Revi Magazines (Czech) - http://www.revi.cz/

        Web References: +

    • History of RAF Organisation: http://www.rafweb.org
    • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/


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