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How Did The Flying Fortress Defend Itself?

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Early in the war the B-17’s like the other bombers had to rely on their own defenses before the times when they had longer range escorts.

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How Did The Flying Fortress Defend Itself?

  1. 1. How Did The Flying Fortress Defend Itself?
  2. 2. Early in the war the B-17’s like the other bombers had to relyon their own defenses before the times when they had longerrange escorts.Initially these had only 5 guns for defense but as time went bythey eventually had 13 total guns on board including a turretin the chin.The best defense they could use was to stay in a tightformation so they could best cover each other from enemyattacks.The ones most vulnerable were those that drifted out offormation battle damage or mechanical problems.
  3. 3. While the flying fortresses flew in these formations calledbox formation they had to fly straight and level, there wasno room for maneuvering.If they encountered flak they had to endure it and stay information.This formation did not give the best cover but that’s allthey had to work with.The German pilots did change tactics somewhat in thatthey did not single out individual bombers as much.They would instead make a high speed strafing run acrossa group of planes.
  4. 4. Regardless of how they tried to defend there was still ahigh percentage of aircraft and crew lost.This aircraft also proved it was able to take some seriousdamage and still get its crew home.It took the addition of fighter escorts to really help thebombers get to and from their missions with more safety.Later as the Luftwaffe was getting less effective was theB-17 flying fortress really able to do its best.
  5. 5. For more information on the B-17 Flying fortress go to“The B-17 Flying Fortress.”

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