Reduced scale activity BoB July 1940

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by RAFCommands, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Clive has been posting daily activity snapshots of events during the Battle of Britain but I wanted to break this discussion out from the main thread.

    July 1940 has been put forward as the quiet before the storm with each side building up strength after the fall of France and the tentative testing of Dowding's Command and Control network.

    I thought it may be interesting to use the daily document from a contemporary RAF source as a comparison with the daily document from HQ Fighter Command to view a reduced scale day.

    This is what MOD of today has summarised the activity on 17 July 1940
    Form 540 - Form Y for Fighter Command HQ (AIR24/526) is the daily equivalent.

    The individual Form 540 have been split into periods eg
    18.00 to 09.00 hrs 16/17th
    09.00 to 18.00 hrs 17th
    18.00 to 09.00 hrs 17/18th

    So to get the full picture from 00:00hrs 23:59hs we need to look at the night activity reports either side of the 17th

    The activity includes squadron movements, all patrols to plots, both enemy and friendly, casualties, narrative and AA guns activity.

    Of note also is the number of night interception sorties that Fighter Command were doing in July 1940.

    Puts a reduced scale activity day into context (at 500+ sorties the plotters were handling the equivalent of 50% of Heathrows daily aircraft movements)

    Later I'll post the controllers daily hand written diary to complete the picture from this source.


    Up to 09:00 hrs 17th
    P3690973.jpeg P3690974.jpeg

    Up to 18:00 hrs 17th
    P3690975.jpeg P3690976.jpeg

    Up to 09:00 18th
    P3690977.jpeg P3690978.jpeg P3690979.jpeg
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  2. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    To complete the package of records for the 17th July 1940 from HQ RAF Fighter Command.

    The handwritten watch log from the duty controllers.

    Reading this will give a flavour of the educated guess work that went into raid intentions and the initial height and range that plots appeared on the table in front of the controller.

    P3700284.jpeg P3700285.jpeg P3700286.jpeg P3700287.jpeg P3700289.jpeg P3700290.jpeg P3700291.jpeg
    Drew5233, nicks and Gage like this.
  3. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD Patron

    266 RAF fighters fly 70 patrols
  4. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    To continue the theme on the effects of reducing a days action to one paragraph for a tweet.

    Lets help stamp out internet false news stories.

    This gives the false impression of no RAF or Luftwaffe action on this day with "the channel almost free of all shipping".

    Did nothing really happen on this day?

    On this day the RAF flew over 200 sorties to raid plots needing in excess of 500 individual Fighter Command aircraft. Convoys Booty, Pilot, Arena and Totem all traversed the Channel and Thames Estuary with Fighter Command standing patrols over them.

    up to 09:00 hrs 23rd July
    P3700014.jpeg P3700015.jpeg P3700016.jpeg P3700017.jpeg

    Again extensive night sorties to intercept raiders.

    Up to 18:00 hrs 23rd July
    P3700018.jpeg P3700019.jpeg P3700020.jpeg

    Note the five raids to convoy Totem in the Channel and four to the Harwich/Thames Estuary convoys.

    72 patrols by 274 fighters were mounted between 09.00 and 18.00 hrs.

    Up to 09.00 hrs 24th July
    P3700021.jpeg P3700022.jpeg P3700023.jpeg P3700024.jpeg

    A "little research" is a dangerous thing when it's hosted as an definative source for events.

    Much better to look for yourself and form your own opinion from numerous sources.

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017 at 11:27 AM

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