Heinkel He 177 Greif (Griffin) Defensive Armament

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The He 177 was provided with a heavy defensive armament.  From this angle there are no less than three gun stations which could be brought to bear against an attacking aircraft.  Forward is the remote-controlled dorsal B1-Stand, followed by the manned B2-Stand in the middle position on the fuselage.  The H-Stand position with its extensive glazing in the tail position is readily apparent.
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This He 177A-3 of Flugzeugführerschule (B) 16 at Burg displays the nose armament.  The upper weapon in the A1-Stand is the relatively light MG 81 7.9mm gun, but beneath it in the A2-Stand is the much more potent MG 151 20mm cannon.  The back of the gondola housed a second MG 81.
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Here a mechanic is servicing the remotely-controlled dorsal turret in the B1-Stand which mounted twin MG 131 13 mm guns with 750 rounds each.  The gunner was positioned inside the round sighting dome behind the mechanic.
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The B2-Stand mounted a single MG 131 13 mm gun with 1,000 rounds.  This was obviously a manned position, this excellent color photograph shows several useful details for modelers.
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H-Stand was provided with a very potent 20 mm MG 151 cannon with 300 rounds to defend the rear of the aircraft.  The sight on this weapon is provided with a sun shield.
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The tail gun position was isolated from the rest of the aircraft, the gunner entered his position via a hinged hatch.  This photograph provides several details of his clothing and equipment.  (Bundesarchiv photo)
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The same gunner entering the aircraft.  Several details of the gun mount are shown in these pictures, note the “brushes” which provide a seal around the articulated portions of the gun mount.  (Bundesarchiv photo)
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The gunner is seated at his station, which is comparatively roomy.  This gun is provided with a ring and bead sight.  (Bundesarchiv photo)
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The Luftwaffe experimented with heavier gun armament for use against ground targets.  Here is the He177 V12 fitted with a 30 mm MK 101 cannon.  This weapon was tested but did not enter production.  The aircraft carried the codes GI+BL.
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Another test installation, this time with two 30 mm MK 101 cannon.  This installation was intended to be used against railroad locomotives.  This installation was trialed on He 177 V18, coded GA+QX.  (World War Photos)
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Increased firepower was planned for the He 177A-7 and subsequent versions.  Here is a Vierling (quadruple) manned turret mounting four 13 mm MG 131 machine guns.
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Another experimental installation was this HL 151 Z Hecklafette mounting two 20 mm MG 151 cannon.  This was a remotely-sighted turret with a vastly improved field of fire compared to the original manned position.

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