Roden 1/48 Gloster Gladiator MkI RAF BiPlane Fighter Kit
Sale price $26.39 Regular priceROD-408
First squadrons received Gladiators in February 1937, however in the middle of 1939, just before the outbreak of WWII, only four auxiliary home-based units operated with this type, all other squadrons were re-equipped with modern Hurricane Mk.I and Spitfire Mk.I.
In spite of the obsolescence of its construction and poor performances as for 1939, Gladiator was intensively used in many major battles of the early stage of WWII. During the Battle of Norway pilots of No.263 Sqn RAF shot down at least 26 German aircraft, and lost only two Gladiators in combats. However, the Gladiators were most efficiently used in North Africa and Mediterranean, where No. 6, 33, 80, 94, 112, 127 Sqns RAF together with No.3 Sqn RAAF fought against equally obsolete Italian Fiat Cr.32 and Cr.42. The most well-known Commonwealth ace, Flt. Lt. M. T. St. J. "Pat" Pattle won many air victories from his total score of 58, flying with Gladiator.
After the Soviet invasion of Finland, the Great Britain delivered a lot of aircraft to Finnish Air Force, including a number of Gladiators. These fighters together with Swedish volunteers, which flew their own Gladiators, received many victories in air combats against Soviet AF planes.
Gloster Gladiator was widely exported to a number of countries: Belgium, China, Egypt, Ireland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Iraq, Portugal. Latvian and Lithuanian Gladiators joined the Soviet Air Force after the annexation of these countries by Soviet Union in 1940, but one year later some of them got to the Luftwaffe where they served as trainers. Some aircraft from RAF squadrons were delivered to the Free French Air Force in 1942. After the withdrawal from the first line many Gladiators still were used like liaison aircraft or weather reconnaissance planes until 1944. In total, together with export planes and Sea Gladiators, 746 aircrafts were built.