The Bloch MB.210.01 prototype flew for the first time in November 1934as a bomber developed from the MB.200 with cleaner lines, a new tail, smooth metal fuselage skinning, the wing dropped from the shoulder to the low-set position, and retractable landing gear in place of the original strut-braced and spatted fixed gear
A second prototype was designated Bloch 211 N°1 Verdun. Following tests, the production version was ordered as the Bloch 210. A cantilever low-wing monoplane which retained the angular lines of the high-wing Bloch 200, the Bloch 210 was powered by two 678kW Gnome-Rhone 14N engines and had a retractable landing gear, the main units of which retracted into the engine nacelles. Armament comprised single 7.5mm MAC machine-guns in a nose turret and semi-retractable dorsal and ventral positions. Maximum bomb load was 1,730kg.
The first production machine flew on 10 December 1935.
As part of its opposition to the Nationalist cause in the Spanish Civil War, France supplied 35 MB.210s to the Republicans. In March 1937 the arrival of these aircraft allowed many of the obsolescent Breguet Bre.19s to be phased out of service with Grupo num 22, which received a mixed complement of Potez Po.540s and MB.210s. Though useful by the standards of the civil war, there was little that these bombers could achieve against the Nationalists’ steadily growing air superiority, and none survived to fall into Nationalist hands at the end of the war.
A total of 283 were eventually built for the Armee de l'Air, with which they served in the BN5 (five-crew night bomber) category. Final deliveries to the air force were made in February 1939, by which time the aircraft was obsolete.
By September 1939 238 Bloch 210s served with French bomber Groupes, employed on limited night operations including leaflet raids. However all were withdrawn from first-line service by June 1940. Twenty-four Bloch 210s had also been exported to Romania in 1938. Ex-Vichy aircraft were supplied by the Germans to Bulgaria in 1942.
five-seat night heavy bomber.
Engines: 2 x Gnome-Rhone 14N-10/11, 679kW (910 hp).
Span: 22.80m (74ft 9.75 in).
Length: 18.8m (6l ft 8.25in).
Max T/O weight: 10200 kg (22,487 lb).
Max speed: 200 mph at 11,480 ft.
Operational range: 1,056 miles.
Armament: 3 x 7.7-mm (0.303-in) mg plus provision for up to 1975 kg (4,354 lb) of bombs carried internal