Oxford OXFAC064 Royal Navy Fairey Swordfish Mk. I Torpedo Plane - HMS Furious, Narvik, 1940 (1:72 Scale)
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
- British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, commenting on the British airmen in the Battle of Britain
The Swordfish was a three-man torpedo-bomber and reconnaissance biplane with a basic structure of fabric-covered metal. The wings folded for storage on the crowded deck of an aircraft carrier. Armament included one forward-firing Vickers machine gun and one swiveling Vickers in the rear cockpit. Primary offensive power took the form of depth charges, mines, bombs or, especially, a torpedo. Unfortunately, this outstanding plane was too slow to withstand the punishment of German anti-aircraft fire. Long, accurate approaches to the target made the Swordfish very vulnerable when delivering its torpedo. Thus came re-deployment in an anti-submarine warfare role, using depth charges and, later, rockets.
As with many wartime aircraft, Swordfish were produced by more than one manufacturer. Well over half (almost 1700) were built by the Blackburn company in Sherburn in Elmet, UK.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Royal Navy Fairey Swordfish Mk. I torpedo plane that was embarked on the HMS Furious, then operating around Narvik during 1940.
Now in stock!
Release Date: December 2016
Historical Account: "Slow and Furious" - HMS Furious was a modified Courageous-class battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy (RN) during the First World War. Designed to support the Baltic Project championed by the First Sea Lord, Lord Fisher, the ship was very lightly armored and designed with a main battery of only two 18-inch (460 mm) guns. Furious was modified as an aircraft carrier while under construction. Her forward turret was removed and a flight deck was added in its place, such that aircraft had to maneuver around the superstructure to land. Later in the war, the ship had her rear turret removed and a second flight deck installed aft of the superstructure, but this was less than satisfactory due to air turbulence. Furious was briefly laid up after the war before she was reconstructed with a full-length flight deck in the early 1920s.
After her conversion, Furious was used extensively for trials of naval aircraft and later as a training carrier once the new armored carriers like Ark Royal entered service in the late 1930s. During the early months of the Second World War, the carrier spent her time hunting for German raiders in the North Atlantic and escorting convoys. This changed dramatically during the Norwegian Campaign in early 1940 when her aircraft provided air support to British troops ashore in addition to attacking German shipping. The first of what would be numerous aircraft ferry missions was made by the carrier during the campaign. After the withdrawal of British troops in May, Furious made several anti-shipping strikes in Norway with little result before beginning a steady routine of ferrying aircraft for the Royal Air Force.
At first, Furious made several trips to West Africa, but she began to ferry aircraft to Gibraltar in 1941. An unsuccessful attack on German-occupied ports on the Arctic Ocean interrupted the ferry missions in mid-1941. Furious was given a lengthy refit in the United States and spent a few months training after her return in April 1942. She made several more ferry trips in mid-1942 before her aircraft attacked airfields in Vichy French Algeria as part of the opening stages of Operation Torch in November 1942. The ship remained in the Mediterranean until February 1943 when she was transferred to the Home Fleet.
Furious spent most of 1943 training, but made a number of attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz and other targets in Norway during the first half of 1944. By September 1944, the ship was showing her age and she was placed in reserve. Furious was decommissioned in April 1945, but was not sold for scrap until 1948.