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Davfoe

BF-109 Gun Pack

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I've been do a bit of reading on the BF-109 of late but can't really figure out when and why the Gun packs were used. Can anyone shed some light on this for me. Were they used for ground attack, used on anything after the F model?

Thanks for any info.

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The 20mm cannon in underwing gondolas were used on the G series as well as the F series. On the Eastern Front the cannon were useful against the heavily armored Soviet Il-2s, and on the Western Front, the additional firepower was useful against the viermots (USAAF heavy bombers). However, the gondolas also had negative impact on the 109s handling therefore fighters so equiped were also at a disadvantage against opposing fighters.

Edited by Chuck1945

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My understanding is that it was very much a pilot preference thing. The cannon installation seriously degraded the handling of the 109, so many pilots didn't want them. Others were willing to trade maneuverability for firepower, useful for bringing down B-17s and B-24s.

J

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Were they of any use against ground target like the JU-87's 37mm gun packs, or was the BF-109 used much in this role?

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The 109 was used as little as possible in the ground attack role as it's cooling system was very sensitive. That's why the Fw190 was preferred for that role.

The first exeperiments with the gunpacks were made in the east, when pilots had trouble bringing the IL-2's down, just like chuck said.

If a unit was in a role that called for greater fire-power then the packs would have been used, regardless of what the individual pilots thought of them.

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