Breguet 691 / 693 / 695


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Breguet 695 AB2

The Breguet 690 was designed in response to a 1934 French air ministry specification calling for a twin-engined three-seat fighter. Several manufacturers submitted proposals, and the contest was won by the Potez 630. The Breguet proposal had been heavier and more powerful than the other submissions, its designers believing it to be a more versatile, multi-role aeroplane. Design of the Breguet 690 was started in 1935 and a prototype was completed in 1937, first flying on 23 March 1938. The aircraft was found to have a performance superior to that of the Potez 630, and Breguet received a contract to supply 100 aircraft, configured as light attack bombers.

The resulting Breguet 691 was a clean-looking cantilever mid-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, with two wing-mounted engines and a short fuselage nose reminiscent of that of the Bristol Beaufighter. Aft of the wing, however, the fuselage tapered to a tailplane with twin endplate fins and rudders. Conversion from Bre.690 to Bre.691 was relatively simple, the main change being deletion of the navigator's position to provide a small bomb bay. Experience with the Bre.691 proved the Hispano-Suiza powerplants to be unreliable, and the Bre.693.01 was introduced with two Gnome-Rhone 14M-6/7 engines after only 78 Bre.691s had been built. Two hundred and thirty four examples of the Bre.693 were built, later examples having two extra 7.5mm machine-guns, one installed in the tail of each engine nacelle, to improve self-defence.

Foreign interest in the Bre.690 series was cut short by the German invasion of France and the single Bre.694.01 built, intended as a three-seat reconnaissance aircraft, was delivered directly to the Aeronavale. The Bre.694 was generally similar to the original Bre.690 with no bomb bay and a navigator's compartment, but with Gnome-Rhone 14M-4/5 engines.

The Bre.695 was virtually identical to the Bre.693 but with Pratt & Whitney SB4G Twin Wasp Junior engines. It was felt desirable to design a version of the aircraft using foreign engines in case the supply of French powerplants was disrupted by enemy action. Fifty Bre.695s were built, being delivered to Groupe 18 in June 1940.

The Bre.696 and 697 were built only as prototypes and were respectively a two-seat light bomber and a two-seat heavy destroyer. The Breguet 693 proved extremely vulnerable and almost half were lost to enemy action.

Breguet 693

  Take-off weight4892 kg10785 lb
  Empty weight3006 kg6627 lb
  Wingspan15.4 m51 ft 6 in
  Length9.7 m32 ft 10 in
  Height3.2 m11 ft 6 in
  Wing area29.2 m2314.31 sq ft
  Max. speed490 km/h304 mph
  Ceiling9500 m31150 ft
  Range1350 km839 miles
 ARMAMENT1 x 20mm cannon, 3 x 7.5mm machine guns, 400kg of bombs

Anonymous, 15.10.2022 17:35

A sort of French Beaufighter which, like many good French designs, suffered from being too few and too late.


Jack Longley, e-mail, 02.01.2015 17:41

In the close support role, I am sure the Il-2 was much better than the Ju-87G. The Germans main problem was not the infantry, though they were a problem, but the tanks. The Il-2's 23mm's could only pierce 25mm's of armor at 400m /1,300ft.
Compare that to the Ju-87G's BK-37's,
3,7 cm Hartkernpanzergranatpatrone Leuchtspur ohne Zerleger (3,7 cm H-Pzgr.Patr. L'spur o. Zerl.)
Penetration against an armor plate
100m /90 deg = 140 mm
100m /60 deg. = 69 mm
600m /90 deg. = 95 mm
600m /60 deg. = 47 mm
I think that the Ju-87G is the better tank attacker, which is what the Germans needed. Though I will admit that the Ju-87G is slow,has poor defensive armament,and low ammo. And I will agree that it was mainly used in that role because of the huge numbers available to the Germans


Jack Longley, e-mail, 02.01.2015 17:15

Paul, I have come to the clonclusion that the Bre-693 was the better attacker,because;
It had a cannon in the original aircraft,
It was designed as a ground attacker,short range,no bomb sight,and low service ceiling. This allowed it to have better performance than contemporary bombers.
It was a smaller target,a lighter air frame (easier to transport),and it had better performance than the Blenheim. All while having smaller engines. The Blenheim had more bomb load, the Brequet had more firepower.
It was a smaller target,a lighter air frame (easier to transport),and it had better performance than the Battle. Its engines combined did provide more horsepower than the Battle's,but the Brequet had self sealing fuel tanks (albeit rudimentary) while the battle did not. The Battle had more bomb load,but the Brequet had more firepower.
It was mor than 80mph faster,or exactly 136kmph faster than the Ju-87D, and its cruising speed was higher than the Stuka's max speed, even though it had about the same engine power. But I believe the Stuka was more maneuverable. The Stuka had more bomb by about a 1,000pounds /450kg load,but the Brequet had more firepower.
I have come to the conclusion that the Brequet was far better than the Blenheim, surpassed the Battle by quite a bit, and barely passed the Ju-87D,in the attacker /ground support role.


Ruben, e-mail, 16.07.2013 16:08

Sorry for my bad Englisch!! :-)


Ruben, e-mail, 16.07.2013 16:07

The only reasen that the "Stuka" (Sturzkampfflugzeug) was used for such a long time is becouse the Stuka was produced in huge numbers before the war started. The Stuka was the showpiece of the Nazi-Germany airforce, the "Luftwaffe" and many company's produced im and when Germany (And Sovjet-Russia,everybody forget that the USSR also atacked Poland) attacked Poland,Denmark,Belgium and Holland. By these attacks the Stuka was in the frontline and gived a good account of him in his dive-bomber role. But when he had dropped his bombs he had to get back to German(ocupied)teretorety becouse he was to lightly armored and to slow to act as fighter or to defend hiself. But if this plane was a easy target,why was it used up to 1943 /44?? well, becouse the Nazi's didn't had better dive bombers! It is treu there were many project's to built a better divebomber, but most of them failed and were abandoned.


Barry, 27.03.2013 16:34

Oh boy Ben you are a little way off the target. Sure the Ju87 outlasted the others primarily because the Germans had nothing to replace it with. As rightly pointed out, yet again, by Leo Rudnicki the reason they were so successful was air superiority and their vulnerability if this was not available was demonstrated when they were devasted in the short time they were used in the Battle of Britain. When adapted to carry two 37mm cannon as a tank buster again they were extremely dependent on air superiority. I have a feeling that the "Werchmatt" would have prefered a few Il2s as a support. If the Nazis had such better equipment in the East then the Ruskies would not have won would they?


秦猛, e-mail, 29.08.2011 18:06



Ben Beekman, e-mail, 07.03.2011 20:03

In reply to Paul's question as to which was better in the attack role, the answer's very simple: the Stuka. Why is this so? Easy; it was the only one of the four mentioned that, despite its obsolescence, continued to fly in support of the front line as late as 1943-44 in the Soviet Union. Not in the role for which it was created, perhaps, but as a feared tankbuster carrying a 37mm cannon under each wing. The Fairey Battle, Blenheim and Brequet 693 had all been phased out of front line activity years earlier for various reasons including lack of speed, armament, or adaptability. The war had passed them by. The Stuka, however, was seen by the Germans as the answer to the ever increasing numbers of Soviet tanks on the Eastern Front and, with the right armament and tactics, so it was.


leo rudnicki, e-mail, 29.04.2009 01:48

Always liked Breguet 691 and Hanriot NC 600 but Gnome-Rhone engine development was too slow. Attacks on German river crossings were doomed to fail because "army co-operation' was just a name but not a policy. Except in Germany. French Generals lived in chateaus far from the front and only took action when a runner hand- delivered a message. Radios and telephones weren't to be trusted. As a result, Flak guns of all types were deployed at critical points within the three days required by French commanders to formulate a response. Like fighter pilot's doctrine (dicta), it is better to do the wrong move now than the right move later. The Stukas were most successful because they were operating in attack mode with air superiority fighters. Allied attacks were defensive and reactionary and predictable without co-ordinated fighter support against heavy Flak. Allies didn't own any Flak. They didn't even have Mr. Bofors' phone number yet. Heck, they had to beg for Springfield rifles.


lxbfYeaa, e-mail, 14.03.2024 leo rudnicki



Fr閐閞ic Monmirel, 31.01.2008 23:35

This info about the action of the Bre-693 on Maastricht is correct : 11 planes were used, 10 were destroyed


Paul W. Shafer, e-mail, 29.01.2008 22:32

It is my understanding that no Bre-693 /695's attacked the Germans at the Meuse on May 12 - 15th , 1940. Is this true? Why weren't these used?

It is my understanding that the Bre-693 /95 had a max speed of 348 mph. Why the discrepancy?

Which was better in the attack role: The Fairey Battle, the Bristol Blenheim, The Brequet 693 or the Stuka (Ju-87)?


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