Punitive pencil: Dornier Do 17

The Dornier Do 17 was a significant bomber during the Battle of Britain. For the second of our mini-series on BoB aircraft in this 80th anniversary year, Malcolm V Lowe examines the type’s important role for Germany

A Do 17Z assigned to KG 76 during the summer of 1940. The large open panel in the lower forward fuselage was an entry hatch. The barrels of several MG 15 7.92mm machine guns protrude from glazing in the crew compartment.
MALCOLM V LOWE COLLECTION

Dornier’s Do 17 served in the Luftwaffe during the initial stages of World War Two and during the Battle of Britain (BoB), alongside the Heinkel He 111 and Junkers Ju 88. Originally designed as a high-speed passenger-carrying mailplane, the first example of what eventually grew into the Do 17 bomber undertook its debut flight in November 1934. It was an advanced, streamlined monoplane, which stood out from the crowd in an age still largely dominated by the biplane.

Advanced design

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