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  #1  
Old 21st October 2014, 00:59
James A Pratt III James A Pratt III is offline
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Amoit 351/354 information

I am looking for information on the French Amoit 351/354 bomber. First of all how many of each type were made wiki has 351: 17 produced and 354: 45 produced.
Losses: wiki has 3 combat and 10 accident losses: does anyone have any more information on the fate of these aircraft?

wiki has GB I/21 and II/21 using them in combat and their first op was a recon op on 16 may 1940 any more information on this types operations in the 1940 campaign. GB I/34 and II/34 started equipping with them did they fly any ops?

wiki mentions the Luftwaffe used 4 of them 2 with 1/KG 200 any information on them or their post armistice use by the Vichy French?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 21st October 2014, 16:33
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Amoit 351/354 information

A very good question James

Since the factory decided to have all aircraft in a single number batch I have not found and reliabel figure giving the type number for each produced model
It seem though as the twin-tail A.351 model was built in less numbers than its sister the single fin A.354
I can give you a total production up to the Armistice, and that was 88. How many was built, if any, after that I don't know.
Of those 88, 15 (No 41 to 55) were captured at SNCAC factory before delivery.
Another six (No 82-86 and 88) did not reach any frontline unit.
Also, quite naturally, there were quite a few early ones which did not reach the front line either.
Units which did receive aircraft were:
I/21, II/21, I/34 and II/34
If you want to study the French contribution to the air war 1939-40 I recommend the book Ils étaient là... by Jacqueline and Paul Martin.

Straight away I don't remember any Amiot in Luftwaffe colours, even if the reports in various written articles exist. My SKZ checklist published by Le Trait d'Union also fails to come up with any German Amiot.
Someone else?

Cheers
Stig
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  #3  
Old 21st October 2014, 19:45
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Amoit 351/354 information

The French book "Ils étaient là" is the best available printed source on combat losses, but is only covering losses suffered in the air by "frontline units" (except some rare exceptions). Here are the losses of Amiot 351/354:
10 May 1940: Amiot 354 n° 6, GB II/21, engine failure during test flight, 4 KIFA
14 May 1940: Amiot 354 n° 30 (shown as an Amiot 143 in Cornwell book), GB I/34, shot down by Flak, no casualty
18 May 1940: Amiot 354 n° 29, GB II/34, shot down by Flak, 2 KIA, 2 POW
24 May 1940: Amiot 354 n° 38, GB I/21, shot down by Flak, 4 KIA
28 May 1940: Amiot 354 n° 33, GB I/21, landing crash on return of mission, 4 WIA
2 June 1940: Amiot 354 n° 8, GB II/21, crash during training flight, 3 KIFA (liste on 3 June in another source)
13 June 1940: Amiot 354 n° 7, GB I/21, emergency landing on return of mission, 1 WIA
13 June 1940: Amiot 351 n° 64, GB I/21, hit a hill, maybe after Flak damage, 1 KIA, 1 WIA
17 June 1940: Amiot 354 n° 25, GB I/21, lost at sea, 4 MIA
18 June 1940: Amiot 351 n° 78, take off crash, 2 KIFA
20 June 1940: Amiot 354 n° 28, GB I/34, lost at sea, 5 MIA
22 June 1940: Amiot 351 n° 80, GB II/34, crashed in Algeria, 4 KIFA

What is lacking are all the losses suffered on the ground. For this the best source is know is the book "The battle of France Then and Now", by Peter Cornwell (a regular poster here). Here are the Amiot 35x listed in this book and not in "Ils étaient là":
24 May 1940: Amiot 354 n°34 of GB I/21 and two Amiot 354 (unknown numbers) of GB II/21 destroyed by bombs at La Ferté-Gaucher.
25 May 1940: Amiot 354 n° 37 of GB I/21 belly-landed, written off, no casualty
3 June 1940: Amiot 351 n°58 of GB II/34 destroyed by bombs at Nangis
13 June 1940: Amiot 354 n° 12 (shown as a Bloch 210 in this book, as an Amiot 354 in Cornwell's book below), GB II/21, shot down by Flak, 4 KIA

For "second line" units, the best source is the list of accidents reports in the French archives, that is now online:
http://www.servicehistorique.sga.def...B_00000363.pdf
You can find 5 accidents of Amiot 354 between February to June 1940 (including n° 6 and n°8 listed above, as this list covers all accidents of Armée de l'Air). By the way this list is covering aircraft damaged as well as those destroyed. To know the fate of the aircraft and crew, the archive files have to be searched.

There is no such list for the Vichy period (june 1940 to november 1942 for aviation purposes: after november 1942, Vichy had no more air force or army).

Conclusion:
12 sure losses in action/crashes with GB I/21, II/21, I/34, II/34 (+ two possible)
4 sure destroyed on the ground (two with unknown numbers)
3 accidents with rear area units, not sure if damaged/destroyed
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Old 22nd October 2014, 00:31
Larry Larry is offline
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Re: Amoit 351/354 information

Regarding Luftwaffe use post Vichy I have a note that one was used by Stab Luftflotte 3 in addition to the two used by I/KG200.
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Old 22nd October 2014, 13:38
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Amoit 351/354 information

Thanks everyone

The Luftwaffe issue is to me quite a problem since they in fact captured large numbers of these aircraft, both in 1940 and 1942.

A master list was prepared by Jean Cuny and Raymond Danel back in 1986 for their Docavia book number 23 lists some eight in 1940 and some 24 in 1942.
I have not included No 41 to 55 since I believe none of these were completed and probably never was.

The Amiot 350 series was a very advanced piece of machinery in the late 1930's, certainly the best bomber in the French inventory. Note that none was lost to fighters! Once French designers left their barndoor philosophies behind them they rather quickly showed up as very capable designers.

At least one of them should have been tested and evaluated at Rechlin for example, but I simply fail to come up with any solid evidence. Yes I know that Thomas/Ketley list two Amiot in service with 3.(Erg)/KG 200 on 10.3.1944 and increase that to three on 30.4 the same year. But no type number is listed, so theoretically they can be old Amiot 143.
Neither do I find any references at all in the book German secret flight test Centres to 1945 to any Amiot 351/354 being used at any point.

What did they do to them? Just scrapped them?
Cheers
Stig
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  #6  
Old 22nd October 2014, 15:07
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Amoit 351/354 information

I think that the main reason behind the fact that no Amiot 35x was lost to German fighters was that AFAIK they were flying at night. No nightfighter on the front then.
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