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B-17 Bomber Formation - 1943

All the relative distances and positions of the bombers in this Virtual Tour reflect an accurate "box" formation that American bombers used to employ in 1942-43 for mutual protection from German fighters.   The Germans had found that the greatest weakness of the B-17 bomber formation was its front, so they developed tactics to attack the bombers head-on with a high combined closing speed.  Also, the faster they passed through, the harder it was for the bomber's gunners to hit them. 

Some German pilots claimed they'd close their eyes when flying through a bomber formation head-on as it was rather intimidating to fly straight into a group of enemy planes at such speeds.  Later versions of the B-17 bomber had added machine guns in the 'chin' position, just under the nose Plexiglas to counteract these tactics and offer the bomber more protection.​​

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This Virtual Tour has 1 scene location