This illustrated study charts the development and combat history of the Dornier Do 217 Units, the Luftwaffe's workhorse bomber during World War II.

The Dornier Do 217 had a much larger bomb load capacity and had considerably greater range than the Do 17, which it replaced in frontline service from early 1941. Although initially used simply as a bomber, later variants were developed that allowed the Do 217 to undertake dive-bombing and maritime strike roles. In order to perform the latter mission, the Do 217 was modified to launch glide bombs – units employing these pioneering weapons enjoyed considerable success in the Mediterranean from the autumn of 1943. Indeed, during the course of these operations the Do 217 became the first aircraft in military aviation history to deploy a precision-guided bomb in combat in the form of the 'Fritz X' radio-guided, free-fall weapon, which sank the Italian battleship Roma shortly after Italy capitulated in September 1943. The Do 217 served on all fronts and also performed tactical operations, either direct ground assault or anti-shipping strikes during the Battles of the Atlantic and Normandy. This versatile aircraft was also converted to become a nightfighter, seeing considerable action in the Defense of the Reich until war's end.

This illustrated study explores the design, development, and the many different deployments of the Do 217, charting its role, as strategic bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, and torpedo-bomber, among others.

Table of Contents

1. Design, Development and into Action
2. Need for Change
3. New Developments
4. Maximum Effort, Minimum Returns
5. Decline and Disappearance

Product details

Published Sep 14 2021
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 96
ISBN 9781472846174
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Dimensions 248 x 184 mm
Series Combat Aircraft
Short code COM 139
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Chris Goss

Chris Goss is a retired senior Royal Air Force off…


Janusz Swiatlon

Janusz Swiatlon lives in Krakow, Poland. A veteran…


Mark Postlethwaite

Mark Postlethwaite was born in Leicestershire in 1…


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