Corgi AA33703 German Heinkel He 111P-2 Medium Bomber - Kampfgeschwader 55, Dreux, Chartes, France, 1940 Night Sorties (1:72 Scale)
"Guns before butter. Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat."
- Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, Head of the German Luftwaffe
When World War I ended, the German Air Force was disbanded under the Treaty of Versailles, which required the German government to abandon all military aviation by October 1st, 1919. However, by 1922, it was legal for Germany to design and manufacture commercial aircraft, and one of the first modern medium bombers to emerge from this process was the Heinkel He 111, the first prototype of which an enlarged, twin-engine version of the single-engine mail-liaison He 70, which set 8 world speed records in 1933 flew in February of 1935. The second prototype, the He 111 V2, had shorter wings and was the first civil transport prototype, capable of carrying 10 passengers and mail. The third prototype, He 111 V3 also had shorter wings and was the first true bomber prototype. Six He 111 C series airliners were derived from the fourth prototype, the He 111 V4, and went into service with Lufthansa in 1936, powered by a variety of engines, including BMW 132 radials. The first production models had the classic stepped windshield and an elliptical wing, which the designers, Siegfried and Walter Gunter, favored.
As a military aircraft, it took longer to gain favor, because military load requirements and underpowered engines kept its cruising speed down to less than 170 mph. However, in early 1936, the plane was given 1,000 hp Daimler Benz DB 600A engines which improved performance dramatically enough to bring in substantial orders. The first two mass-production versions, He 111 E and He 111 F experienced great success during the Spanish Civil War, where they served with the Condor Legion as fast bombers, able to outrun many of the fighters sent against them.
In fact, the experience in Spain generated a false sense of security in which the Germans thought that the He 111's light armament and speed would be sufficient in the coming war. Thus, although it was out of date, the large numbers in which it had been produced made the He 111 the Luftwaffe's primary bomber for far too long in the war, availability being more persuasive than practicality for this serviceable, but highly vulnerable, aircraft. Modern fighters like the Supermarine Spitfire and the Hawker Hurricane proved the He 111's inadequacy during the Battle of Britain. As soon as possible, the Luftwaffe replaced the Heinkel with the Junkers Ju 88, reassigning the Heinkel to night operations and other specialized tasks until, by war's end, it was being used primarily as a transport.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a German Heinkel He 111P-2 noght bomber was attached to Kampfgeschwader 55, then based at Dreux, Chartes, France, in 1940. Features extremely high level of details including full crew, moving guns, working undercarriage, bomb load and accurate livery. Comes with a poseable display stand.
Release Date: March 2006
Historical Account: "Grief" - Kampfgeschwader 55 "Greif" was one of the most active Luftwaffe squadrons during the whole of World War II, beginning with the campaign in Poland. Following the battle for Poland the squadron was sent west to join the fight against France and the air campaign against the RAF. The squadron then moved east for the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa, flying missions for Luftflotte 4 in southern Russia. The squadron participated in many difficult operations, such as the re-supply the trapped 6.Armee at Stalingrad. During six years of wartime operations the pilots of KG 55 flew 54,547 combat missions, logging over 66,000 hours over enemy territory and fifty of them were awarded the Knight's Cross. Although to some extent superseded by the H series, the Heinkel He111P continued in widespread service well into the war. This P-2 of KG 55 flew from Villacoublay, France during the autumn of 1940 on night raids over Britain and displays the Geschwaderstab markings on the nose. Crudely applied mottle night camouflage obscures the Geschwaderzeichen and fin swastika.