As a result of the restrictions placed on Germany by the Versailles Treaty the Heinkel He III was originally produced as a transport aeroplane. However, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party gained power permission was given to transform it into a bomber aircraft.
The Heinkel He III had a maximum speed of 252 mph (405 km) and had a range of 1,280 miles (2,060 km). It was 53 ft 9 in (16.39 m) long with a wingspan of 74 ft 1 in (22.60 m). The aircraft was armed with 6 machine-guns and could carry 5,501 lb (2,495 kg) of bombs.
At the beginning of the Second World War the Heinkel He III, along with the Dornier Do 17 and Junkers Ju 88A, were the main bombers used by the Luftwaffe. Almost 7,000 were built during the war.
During the Battle of Britain, the aircraft was found to be highly vulnerable against the Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire and several changes were made to the design and production of the aircraft. The Daimler Benz engines were replaced by the more powerful Junkers Jumo. A glassed-in cockpit gave the pilot greater visibility and the bomb-aimer was able to lay forward in the transparent nose.
Heinkel He.IIIH-6 W/Torpedo
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