Another desert warrior. For a significant period of time the Hurricane was THE key British fighter serving in North Africa until sufficient Spitfires arrived in theater.
Join me a brief look at a Hurricane that served during that transition period.
The last major change for Hawker’s Hurricane was the addition of the Merlin XX series engine in late 1940. That is the difference going from Mark I to Mark II. No surprise, this upgrade was almost wholly about adding power.
Several significant tweaks occurred during Mark II production. The first Mark IIa was armed the same as the Mark I. But the Mark IIb wing added some more options. It was delivered with 12 .303 mg and had a hard point under each wing. Apparently Hawker recommended removing two machine guns from each wing when carrying external stores, but this was often not done. Twelve light machine guns could put out a lot of bullets; but these were all light caliber with limited penetration ability. So the next variant, the Mark IIc switched to four 20 mm cannon; and later yet the Mark IId carried two 40 mm cannon for a meaningful anti-armor punch.
But today we’re looking at a Mark IIb. This is the Hasegawa kit with Third Group decals and represents a plane that served late in the North Africa campaign with 73 Squadron. The 12 machine guns seen here could cause serious mayhem among troops and soft skinned vehicles. With more Spitfires the Hurricane switched almost exclusively to that sort of work.