Dornier Do 24 Units / Combat Aircraft #110

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Peter de Jong
Other Publication Information
96 pgs, 75 B&W photos, 1 color and 30 color profiles
Product / Stock #
Company: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site

If ever a seaplane design could be called elegant it is the Do- 24! The Dornier Do- 24 outlived its Third Reich users by 24 years. What was probably the best seaplane in the Nazi inventory was designed to meet specifications from the Dutch Navy.

The competition for the Luftwaffe’s next seaplane was fierce between the Blohm und Voss Bv -138 and the Dornier Do-24. Even though the test pilots declared the Do-24 the best handling seaplane they had ever flown, it lost out to the Bv-138. The RLM favored diesel engines on its flying boats and thus even though it was less powerful and an all around lesser aircraft, the RLM chose the diesel powered Bv-138.

The first chapter covers a supply mission to Narvik. The three Bv-138s heavily loaded with ammo and medicine could not unstick themselves from the calm water and returned to shore. The Do-24 crew volunteered to go it alone and the supplies were delivered even though the ammo was useless as the gun it was for had not made it due to the delivery ship being sunk.

Chapter two covers the birth of the design and its beginnings in the Dornier Wal. Designed to fill a Dutch Navy request, there was little interest shown by the Luftwaffe. Since there were no German orders, there would be no German production allocated so the 30 units built for the Dutch were made at Dornier’s facility in Switzerland.

Chapter three is dedicated to the use of the Do-24 by the Dutch Navy mostly in the South Pacific. Combating the Japanese and with the capitulation of the home country to Germany and the losses to Japan, the surviving Dutch Dorniers made there way to Australia and continued the fight against the Axis.

Chapters four, five and six cover the use of the D0-24 by the Luftwaffe. From Atlantic rescue units, Mediterranean and Black Sea operations to the Baltics the Do-24 gave great service to all the units lucky enough to have it assigned. In addition to regular mission the Do-24 was also successfully used for clandestine black ops missions.

The final chapter covers other operators. The Do-24 was operated by Australia, Sweden and the USSR; all were either defectors or those fleeing from the Germans or Japanese. Norway used two after the war as rescue for mine clearing operations. The UK had a couple for testing after the war as well. In France the Do-24 was produced until July of 1947 and served the French Aeronavale until 1952.

By far the longest served of all the Do-24 was those that served in Spain. Serving Spain from 1944 all the way through November of 1969, much longer than anyone would have expected. The author gives good detail of this long service. And how those last few Spanish Do-24s were preserved.

I really liked this book and there is quite a lot of information contained in its 96 pages! The Dornier Do-24 is a unique and interesting aircraft having been used by both sides in WWII and almost to 1970 by the Spanish. The modeler will find a 1/72 Do-24 originally issued by Supermodelo and reissued many times by Italeri and even Revell. In 1/48 there is the HML resin kit, the very challenging Fonderie Miniatures injection plastic kit and possibly one or two vacu-form kits. I can recommend this book to modelers and aviation historians alike. All will like it and find useful information within its covers.

Our thanks to Osprey Publications for the review copy and my thanks to IPMS/USA for the review opportunity!


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