ww2 facts, Hawker Hurricane


The image above is Hawker Hurricane Mk IIC PZ865 in ww2

1. Hawker Hurricane was a fighter designed by Britain before World War II broke out. It was one of the main air forces of the Royal Air Force during WWII. This model of aircraft was produced over 14500 in total. In WWII, another famous fighter of Britain was Supermarine Spitfire. The latter was produced more than 20000.

2. After France was defeated, Germany intended to force Britain to withdraw out of the war in a short time too. Then the Battle of Britain broke out in order to capture British air control. In the air battle deciding the whole process of WWII, Hawker Hurricane played a decisive role. Among the German aircrafts shot down, 60% were shot by Hawker Hurricane. But most bombers shot down by Hawker Hurricane were German bombers and Supermarine Spitfire was mainly responsible for fighting with German fighters. This is because the latter had newer fighter. In addition, James Brindley Nicolson, the only one obtained Victoria Cross in the Battle of Britain, drove Hawker Hurricane.

3. In order to enhance production rate, many British companies were involved in manufacturing Hawker Hurricane besides Hawker Aircraft. Even factories in Canada produced such aircrafts. 1400 aircrafts were produced in Canada, accounting for about 10% of the overall productivity. Because of the simple design, it took only one third of the production time of Supermarine Spitfire to manufacturing Hawker Hurricane.

4. Hawker Hurricane took part in military operations in most theatres, including the Battle of France, the Battle of Britain, the North African Campaign. Such aircrafts were even used in Burma and Sri Lanka. During the Battle of France, only 66 out of 452 such aircrafts deployed in France finally returned back to Britain and the remaining were all lost. But among the remaining, only about a half of them were destroyed in battles and others were abandoned in airports of France. This situation is because that the Allies was quickly defeated in the Battle of France and even did not have the time to retreat. In the North Africa Campaign, Hawker Hurricane not only participated in air battles, but also attack ground targets. During the El Alamein Campaign, such aircrafts destroyed many armored targets of the Germans.

5. Hawker Hurricane was also handed over in a large amount to the Soviet Union to use in the war. During the whole war, about 3000 such aircrafts were handed over in total. They were the first batch in the more than 18000 aircrafts of the Allies received by the Soviet Union in WWII. This is a really large number, because during the Battle of Britain, there were less than 2000 aircrafts that the whole Royal Air Force could use. In addition, the Royal Air Force sent pilots of fleets to train pilots from the Soviet Union to help them use such aircrafts. Many of them were transported from the Arctic Ocean to the Murmansk Port by the Royal Navy. Although some pilots from the Soviet Union reckoned that the performance of such aircrafts were low, other pilots liked this aircraft. There was no consensus about this. In fact, Hawker Hurricane was an older aircraft in WWII. Its first flight was in 1935 and in 1937 it was already equipped for the troops.

6. Hawker Hurricane was also used by the Royal Navy. It was equipped in aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy, which was slightly different and was usually called Sea Hurricane.

7. Marmaduke Pattle was the pilot who drove Hawker Hurricane to shoot down the most enemy planes. He shot down 50 enemy planes in total during WWII, of which 35 were shot down by driving Hawker Hurricane. He died in the Battle of Greece in 1941. Frank Reginald Carey shot down 28 enemy planes using such aircraft and ranked the second. But Carey luckily survived the war and died till in 2004.

8. Hawker Hurricane had a lot of variants. Sea Hurricane mentioned before was one of them. Because the aircraft was continuously improved, many new variants emerged.

9. Besides Britain, armies of many governments in exile were also equipped with such aircrafts, for example, the well-known No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron in the Battle of Britain. Moreover, the governments in exile of Free France, Czechoslovakia, Greece and so on were equipped with such aircrafts as well. Except the U.S., only the Republic of China did not equip such aircrafts in the major countries of the Allies.

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