Battle of Britain

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by LuftwaffeFuehrer, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. morse1001

    morse1001 Very Senior Member

    most of those pilots barely knew how to fly their plane


    Many of the pilots were long term pre-war pilots, many of whom had flown in France.

    In addition, in the weeks preceeding the battle, RAF pilots had the chance to train up for the coming battle. Operational conversation units, were based in parts of the country away from the main areas of fighting. Thus trainee pilots has peace to carryout their training.

    However, in order to get pilots to squadron, there was a policy of cutting corners, which did let pilots with realitiviley few hours in type to get to squadrons, who then provided training.

    I strongly recommend Bishop, Patrick., Fighter Boys - Saving Britian 1940, London, Harper, 2004.

    Also, The Origins of the Aircrew who Fought in the Battle of Britian by Dr Tony Mansell, published in Royal Air Force Historical Society Journal 36. PP 67 - 79
     
  2. LuftwaffeFuehrer

    LuftwaffeFuehrer Junior Member

    Many of the pilots were long term pre-war pilots, many of whom had flown in France.

    In addition, in the weeks preceeding the battle, RAF pilots had the chance to train up for the coming battle. Operational conversation units, were based in parts of the country away from the main areas of fighting. Thus trainee pilots has peace to carryout their training.

    However, in order to get pilots to squadron, there was a policy of cutting corners, which did let pilots with realitiviley few hours in type to get to squadrons, who then provided training.

    I strongly recommend Bishop, Patrick., Fighter Boys - Saving Britian 1940, London, Harper, 2004.

    Also, The Origins of the Aircrew who Fought in the Battle of Britian by Dr Tony Mansell, published in Royal Air Force Historical Society Journal 36. PP 67 - 79

    once i see that book i'll check it out, thanks

    and yes the RAF had really good pilots, one might say that they were in some
    cases better than the Luftwaffe pilots

    but i'm talking about when the RAF was about to collapse during the airfield
    raids by the Luftwaffe, during that period the quality of the RAF pilots(the
    majority of them) was pitifull, i'm not saying that the Luftwaffe was any
    doing any better, but atleast they were able to properly train the pilots
    (for the most part of course) that were replacing the heavy casualties

    but after Goering's stupid mistake of switching to cities instead of actuall
    valuable targets, the RAF was once again able to properly train their
    pilots , and once again had an impressive air force, that in most cases(once
    again) were better than most of the veteran pilots of the Luftwaffe
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Senior Member

    The British were never really close to total collapse. They were sufferring certainly but the Germans were paying a higher price. German Production was nowhere near British aircraft production at the time and training aircrew was also slow compared to the British turnover.

    The German Airforce lost a significant number of aircraft in the period July to September.
    Aircraft Strength 29.6.40 4,482 aircraft (all types)
    Losses due to Enemy Action (on opps) 1,184 aircraft
    Losses not due to enemy action (on opps) 271 aircraft
    Losses not on opps 181 aircraft
    Total Losses 1,636 aircraft 37% of initial strength

    More scary are the % of front line aircraft (compared to initial strength)
    47% of single engined fighters
    66% of twin engined fighters
    45% of Bombers
    21% of dive bombers
     
  4. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    i dont know so i will ask......

    sept 5th 1940 the Germans changed from bombing airfields to Cities. Was this because they new they couldnt fight/beat the RAF this way. Surely the Germans must have known how many planes we were putting up in the air and how many they were losing.

    so was it the wrong tactik or the right one to save themselves

    Also if an airfield is destoyed the how long would it have taken for a fresh runway to be laid or could they have even taken off on a stretch of grass

    Hitler ordered raids on London in reprisal for raids on Berlin.
    I'm not sure but I think that Duxford was one of the only airfields which had a permanent runway. Most other airfields were still using grass, which was fairly quick to get repaired but dangerous with UXBs and further raids.
     
  5. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    As i've said before elsewhere. The best ever book written on the Battle is Alfred Price 'The Hardest Day'.:)
     
  6. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    As i've said before elsewhere. The best ever book written on the Battle is Alfred Price 'The Hardest Day'.:)

    In covering only one day and one of the costliest (18th August) could it really give someone an insight into the BoB?
     
  7. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    In covering only one day and one of the costliest (18th August) could it really give someone an insight into the BoB?

    Over the battle as a whole, no. But as an insight to the day to day fighting and the thoughts of the men from both sides, there is no better book. If you want to get a feel from what it must have been like in those days then it is excellent.
     
  8. LuftwaffeFuehrer

    LuftwaffeFuehrer Junior Member

    Over the battle as a whole, no. But as an insight to the day to day fighting and the thoughts of the men from both sides, there is no better book. If you want to get a feel from what it must have been like in those days then it is excellent.

    that sounds really good, hopefully the barnes and noble store
    has some copies


    anyway on to the topic,

    once again, i repeat, i know that the Luftwaffe was suffering big time
    and that they had a hard time replacing their aircraft and pilots

    but from what i have seen on programs on the History and Military
    channels(awesome channels, especially the military channel)
    and some books, they all say the same thing, if the Luftwaffe
    would have continued their attacks on the airfields and the other targets
    the RAF would have collapsed(because of exhausting) in the south of
    england, thus leaving the Luftwaffe as the winner of that battle

    at the moment i can't remember the name, but i'm
    pretty sure one of them was battle of britain, but there are a couple of
    books with that title so i can't be more specific, sorry
     
  9. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    As i've said before elsewhere. The best ever book written on the Battle is Alfred Price 'The Hardest Day'.:)

    Excellent book. It gives a great snapshot of the battle.

    He also wrote "Battle of Britain Day" about September 15, which is excellent, and a lot of other first-rate books on the war. His specialty seems to be radar.

    I also recommend Denis Richards and Richard Hough's "Battle of Britain -- the Jubilee History," and "Fighter Boys," by Patrick Bishop, to name two.

    "Spitfire Summer" by Malcolm Brown, "Duel of Eagles" by Peter Townsend, "Eagle Day," by Richard Collier, and "The Narrow Margin," by Derek Wood and Derek Dempster, are also terrific.
     
  10. morse1001

    morse1001 Very Senior Member

    Most other airfields were still using grass, which was fairly quick to get repaired but dangerous with UXBs and further raids.

    Len Deigton in his book on the battle, speaks of civilians paid to repair the runways and fill in bomb craters refused to leave their slit trenches to carryour their work, leaving the erks to do it!
     
  11. morse1001

    morse1001 Very Senior Member

    during that period the quality of the RAF pilots(the
    majority of them) was pitifull, i'm not saying that the Luftwaffe was any
    doing any better, but atleast they were able to properly train the pilots
    (for the most part of course) that were replacing the heavy casualties


    Dr Boog does mention that german fighter pilot training had been neglected since 1933.

    However, the RAF still relied on tour expired aircrew to teach the job to others. Therefore, when OCU aircraft were used at one point when the Luftwaffe carried out attacks on the Nort East of England, the instructors were all expereinced combat pilots!
     
  12. Herroberst

    Herroberst Senior Member

    About Dr. Boog(quite a name)I read your post and still think the plan was there it was its implementation and changes that caused it to go south. Of course credit still to the gutsy RAF for putting up a great fight.
     
  13. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Len Deigton in his book on the battle, speaks of civilians paid to repair the runways and fill in bomb craters refused to leave their slit trenches to carryour their work, leaving the erks to do it!

    Len Deighton said something about some RAF personnel who wouldn't leave a shelter and an officer had to order them out using his sidearm (wish I could find the quote). A few later BoB books totally rubbished the story and said there was no truth to it.
    I never trusted the Len Deighton book after that.
    I'll have a look and see if I can find the paragraph. It's many years ago since I read it.
     
  14. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Member

    I could well imagine that battle fatigue/shell shock must have been taking it's toll on the RAF pilots. Going up repeatedly and knowing that the odds of landing were probably not with them.

    I think end of the day, aircraft replacements would have enabled Britain from losing the BoB. I am really suprised that no P-38's ever made it across during the BoB.

    As for the RN being able to defeat Operation Sealion, I tend to agree but then again I wonder how the RN would fare against the Luftwaffe if the RAF were defeated.
     
  15. redcoat

    redcoat Senior Member

    I really suprised that no P-38's ever made it across during the BoB.
    The first P-38's to enter USAAF squadron service didn't do so until Oct 41 As for the RN being able to defeat Operation Sealion, I tend to agree but then again I wonder how the RN would fare against the Luftwaffe if the RAF were defeated.
    .And just how does the Luftwaffe stop the RN if they attack at night ;)
     
  16. Glider

    Glider Senior Member

    that sounds really good, hopefully the barnes and noble store
    has some copies


    anyway on to the topic,

    once again, i repeat, i know that the Luftwaffe was suffering big time
    and that they had a hard time replacing their aircraft and pilots

    but from what i have seen on programs on the History and Military
    channels(awesome channels, especially the military channel)
    and some books, they all say the same thing, if the Luftwaffe
    would have continued their attacks on the airfields and the other targets
    the RAF would have collapsed(because of exhausting) in the south of
    england, thus leaving the Luftwaffe as the winner of that battle

    at the moment i can't remember the name, but i'm
    pretty sure one of them was battle of britain, but there are a couple of
    books with that title so i can't be more specific, sorry

    The Germans were losing more planes and more pilots than the RAF. Plus the British were building more planes and training more pilots the the Germans so I cannot see the Germans winning.

    When the Battle was over the RAF had more planes and pilots than when it started.
     
  17. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Member

    redcoat,

    Attack what at night? If sealine was to be a day time invassion the RN would have to come out and stop the invasion fleet.

    Could they achieve that without air support?
     
  18. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Member

  19. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    May I? Again as one that was around during those momentous times, I do know a bit about it, many of my mates were pilots. I was in Southampton during the Blitz, and on the South coast during the Battles. The Radar staion was close by.

    First: Those young men were the cream of the nation, there was no way that they would be forced to fly at the point of a gun. reading that made me smile, for it showed what a total lack of knowledge the writer has.

    The enemy pilots at that time were experienced and battle hardened young men. Not only that, they were on the crest of a winning wave. They thought that no one could resist them.

    The battles went on day after day, without a let up. Where the enemy failed was at the last moment... when the RAF was at the point of complete exhaustion they turned to night time raids.

    You would have to have understood the mood of the Country at that time. For instance: even at the most dangerous of times, you would be hard pressed to find a single soul that thought we could be beaten.

    Even if we had lost the battle of Britain, there was the Navy, and in those days it was a very big Navy!

    I have to say here, that many of you fail completely to understand the fighting quality of the British Service man in any service.

    You also fail completely to understand the mood of the nation. or of its tough and dour fighting quality. But there! How could you understand? You would have to be there. That is just as well, for if you were? you would be an old Buzzard like me! I am sure you could do without that!

    The one great loss to the UK was that at the end of the war, our losses of 6 years of war "around the globe" took a terrible toll post war, for those aggresive, and thrusting young men the Nation needed to push the Country forward were not there.

    It took a generation to replace them.
    Never cry them down, they were the Gladiaters of the modern age.

    "Dont cry for me, Johnny head in air"

    For I still recall looking down the valley watching, and listening, to the Spitfire doing Victory rolls, and the music of the Merlin engine, like a beautiful symphony, a heavenly sound composed for an English Summer day!

    Rest In Peace young men
    Sapper
     
  20. redcoat

    redcoat Senior Member

    redcoat,

    Attack what at night? If sealine was to be a day time invassion the RN would have to come out and stop the invasion fleet.

    Could they achieve that without air support?
    The invasion of Britain if it was to be successful, had to be a 24 hour operation in order to both transfer the necessary men and materials across the channel. Any disruption of this supply line would have lead to its failure

    While no air support would have lead to greater RN casualties, the strength of the RN was such that it would have been impossible for the Luftwaffe to cause enough damage to stop the RN reaching the invasion fleet and sinking it.
     

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