Bloch MB.200

The Bloch MB.200 was a twin-engined day bomber that entered service with the Armée d l'Air in 1934, and was still in use in small numbers at the start of the Second World War. The Bloch 200 was a high-winged twin-engined monoplane, with a fixed undercarriage, three defensive guns and external bomb racks, developed in response to a specification issued in 1932. After its entry into service it quickly became the most numerous French bomber. 195 were in service by early 1935, and by the end of the year it equipped twelve Escadres de Bombardment. 

The Bloch 200 still equipped a large number of units on 2 September 1939, when 92 examples were still in front line service. GB I/32 and II/32 at Chateauroux, I/39 at Rayak, I/61 and II/61 at Blida were entirely equipped with it, while GB I/25 and II/25 at Bizerte operated it alongside the LeO257bis and GB I/31 and II/31 at Tours used it alongside the LeO 41.

The Bloch 200 saw limited service on the Lorraine front during 1939, mostly night sorties to drop leaflets over Germany. During the winter of 1939-40 it was moved onto secondary duties, and by the start of the German offensive in the west on 10 May 1940 only Esc. 3/39 in Syria and GB I/61 were still operating the aircraft. Esc. 3/39 was still operating the type during the Allied invasion of Syria in June 1941, and used it to carry out some raids on British targets in the area before the fighting ended. Some Bloch 200s captured in France were used as training aircraft by the Luftwaffe.

The Bloch 210 BN5 night bomber was developed using the experience gained while developing the Bloch 200 - most obvious visually in the rectangular fuselage.

Engine: Two Gnône & Rhône 14Kirs 14-cylinder radial engines
Power: 870hp each
Crew: 4-5
Wing span: 73ft 7in (22.45m)
Length: 51ft 10in (15.80m)
Height: 12ft 10in (3.92m)
Empty Weight: 9,480lb (4,300kg)
Loaded Weight: 16,490lb (7,480kg)
Max Speed: 176mph (283 km/h) at 14,000ft (4,270m)
Cruising Speed:
Service Ceiling: 26,345ft (8,000m)
Range: 621 miles (1,000km)
Armament: Three 7.5mm machine guns, one each in nose turret, dorsal turret and ventral gondola
Bomb-load: 2,646lb (1,200kg) carried externally.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 September 2009), Bloch MB.200 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_bloch_mb200.html

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