AA38807 Dornier Do17Z-2 U5-BH, 1./KG.2 ‘Holzhammer’ Operation Marita
Dornier Do17Z-2 U5-BH, 1./KG.2 ‘Holzhammer’ Tatoi, Greece, May 1941 ‘Operation Marita’
Developed during the early 1930s under the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles, the Dornier Do17 was originally described as a freight aircraft for the German State Railway and a high-speed mail aircraft for Lufthansa. The aircraft was in fact a new breed of fast attack aircraft, or Schnellbomber, which was intended to carry out lightning bombing attacks, at speeds making it almost impervious to enemy ﬁghter attack. With its sleek tapering fuselage, the Do17 was nicknamed ‘The Flying Pencil’ and whilst this design certainly prevented the aircraft from carrying anything other than a modest bomb load, its proﬁle made it more difﬁcult to target in the melee of a dogﬁght. Seeing extensive service in the early part of WWII, the Do17s of KG.2 would support Luftwaffe operations during ‘Operation Marita’ as the Wehrmacht attempted to invade Allied occupied Greece, following a failed Italian offensive. Attacking ground and coastal targets, the Dorniers also took a heavy toll of Allied shipping in the Mediterranean theatre.