Dornier Do 217 Units of World War 2
Series: Osprey Combat Aircraft 139
By Chris Gross, Illustrated by Januz Swiatlon and Mark Postlewaite
Softcover, 96 pages, index, 30 color profiles
Published by Osprey Publishing, September 2021
Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
The Do 217 was a development of the Do 17, generally more powerful and more capable. It used a wide variety of engine and airframe configurations, and was used for several types of missions including both level and dive bombing, reconnaissance, night fighting, and as a glide bomb carrier. Still, the basic design was nearing obsolescence as the war began, and was soon superseded by more modern designs such as the Ju 88.
In many ways the Do 217 is the forgotten bomber of the Luftwaffe, with contemporary designs such as the He 111 and Ju 88 receiving far more coverage than the Dornier. Perhaps the most notable successes of the type were achieved by III/KG 100 aircraft carrying the Hs 292 and Fritz-X wire-guided glide bombs, which were responsible for sinking the Italian battleship Roma, as well as damaging the Italia, USS Savannah (CL-42), HMS Uganda and HMS Warspite, among others.
This is volume 139 in the Osprey Combat Aircraft series and the text follows the standard format of a developmental history of the type with and operations history of the aircraft in service, interspersed with anecdotes from the crews. 30 full color profiles grace the center of the book. These are beautifully rendered and will provide much inspiration to modelers. Oddly, aircraft from KG 100 which successfully attacked Allied warships in the Mediterranean are not represented.
Author Chris Gross has also produced an upcoming volume in the Luftwaffe Classics series, many previous editions of which are considered the definitive works on their subjects. While awaiting that volume, this book constitutes an excellent addition to Osprey’s Combat Aircraft series, and is well worth purchasing for the profile artwork alone. A valuable reference for an under-documented Luftwaffe type, and a recommended addition to your library.