The American Vultee A-35B dive bomber didn't really catch on in its homeland, but it received a warm welcome in the air force of Free France!
At the beginning of the 1930s, the American company Vultee was developing a concept for a strike aircraft capable of effectively hitting ground targets, light vehicles and enemy infantry from low altitudes. Effective actions by Germany’s Ju-87 dive bombers in Europe served as a basis for the creation of a concept for the American A-31 Vengeance, a strike dive bomber with a machine gun battery in its wings. This new addition immediately caught the attention of the British delegation, which happened to be searching for a design like the Stuka to aid in the fight against Germany. In the course of modernization, the A-31 received a new 1700 hp engine and strengthened armament of five, and then seven high-caliber Browning machine guns (six in the wings and one more for defense against attacks from the rear), and a bomb load of up to 2000 pounds. Modernized version got new designation - Vultee A-35. In spite of a large export order, the Vengeance also served in the American air force and navy, and the reviews about it were contradictory. For the war in Europe, the bomber turned out to be ill-prepared. Its low speed, large silhouette and need to descend to drop its bombs made it very vulnerable to enemy flak cannons and fighters. However, in the Pacific Theater the vehicle performed well. The Japanese had far fewer anti-aircraft defenses, and the Vengeance served as an attack aircraft, a bomber and a submarine hunter.
Have you had the chance to try the A-35B’in battle yet? Maybe you’ve been on the receiving end of one? Let us know about your experiences with the A-35B’ in the comments below. Until next time!
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