Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Discussions on all aspects of the The United Kingdom & its Empire and Commonwealth during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Andy H
User avatar
phylo_roadking
Member
Posts: 17489
Joined: 30 Apr 2006 23:31
Location: Belfast

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by phylo_roadking » 16 Apr 2011 16:22

Andy, not a precursor, it's a PART of BANQUET, specifically the Fleet Air Arm part named in the later document as "Banquet Ceiling"

If you look back at the earlier document that says about the FAA activating its trainers, you can see that a word is scored out and "Ceiling" written in ink above it - looking closer that earlier word says "Alert"! I thought last night under the scoring-out it said "Fleet".

Thanks for the above; at last, there's the period reference that says the coastal defence guns were restricted to 100 rounds ONLY, with no reserves for resupply.
Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs....
Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 1983
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Gooner1 » 16 Apr 2011 23:25

phylo_roadking wrote: Trainees - and their aircraft - come in ALL shapes and sizes and levels of training
Indeed, hence, "When a decision to do so is made by the Air Ministry, Bomber Command will be augmented by certain aircraft at present in Flying Training Command".

Many of training 'planes - Hawker Harrows, various Humbley-Pudges - would at least resemble combat types, unlike the dear old Tiger Moth.
Last edited by Gooner1 on 16 Apr 2011 23:28, edited 1 time in total.

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 1983
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Gooner1 » 16 Apr 2011 23:27

phylo_roadking wrote: Thanks for the above; at last, there's the period reference that says the coastal defence guns were restricted to 100 rounds ONLY, with no reserves for resupply.
Well an RN Cruiser would only have 200 rounds per gun and Terra Firma is a far steadier firing platform. :lol:

User avatar
phylo_roadking
Member
Posts: 17489
Joined: 30 Apr 2006 23:31
Location: Belfast

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by phylo_roadking » 17 Apr 2011 18:08

Indeed, hence, "When a decision to do so is made by the Air Ministry, Bomber Command will be augmented by certain aircraft at present in Flying Training Command".

Many of training 'planes - Hawker Harrows, various Humbley-Pudges - would at least resemble combat types....
...and the "Banquet 6 Group" and "Banquet 7 Group" would indeed as the document says be used to augment Bomber Command by supplying casualty replacements...

However, I would however SEVERELY doubt that the deicision by the "Banquet Lights" to drop gas would have been made by the Air Ministry :wink: That decision would go up the line....or rather down to the Cabinet War Rooms.
Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs....
Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...

User avatar
Andy H
Forum Staff
Posts: 15326
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:51
Location: UK and USA

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Andy H » 19 Apr 2011 17:34

Several posts not about the thread title have been moved to a seperate thread about the usage of Coastal guns
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 4&t=177208

Lets keep on topic please

Regards

Andy H

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 1983
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Gooner1 » 20 Apr 2011 10:45

phylo_roadking wrote: ...and the "Banquet 6 Group" and "Banquet 7 Group" would indeed as the document says be used to augment Bomber Command by supplying casualty replacements...
Er.. yes that was the normal role of the Operational Training Units.

However, I would however SEVERELY doubt that the deicision by the "Banquet Lights" to drop gas would have been made by the Air Ministry :wink: That decision would go up the line....or rather down to the Cabinet War Rooms.
Err.. the Chief of the Air Ministry was a member of the Cabinet. :

There was no mention of the Banquet Lights in the documents and who says they were equipped with gas?

User avatar
phylo_roadking
Member
Posts: 17489
Joined: 30 Apr 2006 23:31
Location: Belfast

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by phylo_roadking » 21 Apr 2011 18:33

Err.. the Chief of the Air Ministry was a member of the Cabinet. :
A junior member of the FULL Cabinet, not the War Cabinet.
Er.. yes that was the normal role of the Operational Training Units.
I would take it from this document that it's making clear two things....

1/ the two Groups' priority of assignment, and

2/ as BANQUET assignees, they'd be taking their aircraft with them! :lol: They wouldn't be going through the normal procedure of being posted as just crews to an operational squadron...
There was no mention of the Banquet Lights in the documents
Yes there is - look under "Scottish Commands" and Point 13 under "No.71 Group. There are in fact TWO mentions of the "Banquet Lights".
Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs....
Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 1983
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Gooner1 » 22 Apr 2011 23:18

phylo_roadking wrote:
A junior member of the FULL Cabinet, not the War Cabinet.
The Chief of the Air Ministry was, of course, the Senior member of the Cabinet when it came to all matters pertaining to the RAF.

User avatar
phylo_roadking
Member
Posts: 17489
Joined: 30 Apr 2006 23:31
Location: Belfast

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by phylo_roadking » 23 Apr 2011 19:24

The Chief of the Air Ministry was, of course, the Senior member of the Cabinet when it came to all matters pertaining to the RAF
No. The "Chief of the Air Ministry" as you put it....the Secretary of State for Air...wasn't even IN Churchill's War Cabinet -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchill_ ... ar_Cabinet

...during the war it was a government post, but not a War Cabinet post. Archie Sinclair and his four undersecretaries - Harry Balfour, Lord Sherwood, Rupert Brabner and Quintin Hogg weren't in the War Cabinet, Beaverbrook was, as Minister of Aircraft Production - an entirely separate Ministry.

The Air Ministry had the "responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force" - it was NOT in any responsible for operational matters. Among its other responsibilities, that was the purview of the Air Staff :wink: The Chief of the Air Staff (Cyril Newall during WWII) was a member of the Chiefs of Staff Committee headed by the CIGS...

And during WWII it was directly a sub-committee of the War Cabinet... For all operational matters, therefore, the Air Ministry was bypassed.
Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs....
Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 1983
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Gooner1 » 23 Apr 2011 23:42

phylo_roadking wrote: No. The "Chief of the Air Ministry" as you put it....the Secretary of State for Air...wasn't even IN Churchill's War Cabinet -

"Churchill strongly believed that the War Cabinet should be kept to a relatively small number of individuals to allow efficient execution of the war effort. Even so, there were a number of ministers who, though were not members of the war cabinet were "Constant Attenders". As the War Cabinet considered issues that pertained to a given branch of the service or government due input was obtained from the respective body."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Cabine ... _World_War

So what do you reckon the chances are the SoS Air would be involved?

But more to the point
The Air Ministry had the "responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force" - it was NOT in any responsible for operational matters. Among its other responsibilities, that was the purview of the Air Staff :wink: The Chief of the Air Staff (Cyril Newall during WWII) was a member of the Chiefs of Staff Committee headed by the CIGS...
Why on earth would the Air Staffs views have changed in the absence of the Minister?!

User avatar
phylo_roadking
Member
Posts: 17489
Joined: 30 Apr 2006 23:31
Location: Belfast

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by phylo_roadking » 24 Apr 2011 01:34

So what do you reckon the chances are the SoS Air would be involved?
Over the question of using gas? Minimal...as I said, the control of operational matters went up the other channel; the Secretary of State for Air chaired the Air Council, and the Chief of the Air Staff sat on that too - but its remit did not involve RAF operations.

(Personally, I have the feeling that such a decision would have been made by the SMALLEST number of people possible, not the largest :wink: That's IF the War Cabinet would have had any part in the military decisionmaking process at all after Sealion began...Churchill would; when he became Prime Minister in 1940, he bypassed the War Office altogether and appointed himself "Minister of Defence", the post created in response to previous criticism that there had been no clear single minister in charge of the prosecution of the war.)
As the War Cabinet considered issues that pertained to a given branch of the service or government due input was obtained from the respective body
In the case of using gas on the beaches - those would be Newall and possibly AOC Bomber Command accompanying him, and the Minister of Supply (liaison with ICI)
Why on earth would the Air Staffs views have changed in the absence of the Minister?!
Is it actually so hard to understand that the Air Staff was actually different to the basically civil servants (apart from Newall/Portal) on the Air Council? The Air Staff were the professional staff officers of the RAF I.E. the military? Of course their views would differ in many areas....where, that is, they overlapped at all.

It's the same as the Army Council chaired by the Minister for War at the War Office being separate from and having different responsibilities to the Imperial General Staff of the Army! Apart from the CIGS sitting on the Army Council, that is....

But again - the Army Council was superior to the General Staff in administrative matters ONLY! The General Staff was senior in all operational matters.
Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs....
Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 1983
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Gooner1 » 24 Apr 2011 10:43

phylo_roadking wrote:Over the question of using gas? Minimal...as I said, the control of operational matters went up the other channel; the Secretary of State for Air chaired the Air Council, and the Chief of the Air Staff sat on that too - but its remit did not involve RAF operations.
Uh, the order for the RAF to begin using gas would have to come from the Government. Check the document Andy kindly posted. Given the conclusions of that document it seems unlikely there would be any pressure for its use by the RAF.
Personally, I have the feeling that such a decision would have been made by the SMALLEST number of people possible, not the largest That's IF the War Cabinet would have had any part in the military decisionmaking process at all after Sealion began...Churchill would; when he became Prime Minister in 1940, he bypassed the War Office altogether and appointed himself "Minister of Defence", the post created in response to previous criticism that there had been no clear single minister in charge of the prosecution of the war.)
Right, so you think Churchill would go down with a bad case of the Fuehrer complex? :roll:
Is it actually so hard to understand that the Air Staff was actually different to the basically civil servants (apart from Newall/Portal) on the Air Council? The Air Staff were the professional staff officers of the RAF I.E. the military? Of course their views would differ in many areas....where, that is, they overlapped at all.
You think the Air Ministrys views differed from the Air Staffs? Any evidence on this?
The Air Ministry's purpose was to present the views of the Air Staffs to Government.

User avatar
phylo_roadking
Member
Posts: 17489
Joined: 30 Apr 2006 23:31
Location: Belfast

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by phylo_roadking » 24 Apr 2011 13:33

Uh, the order for the RAF to begin using gas would have to come from the Government.
In the form of the War Cabinet - with Winston as BOTH Prime Minister and Minister of Defence. Remember - he took the decision to order ICI to start producing and stockpiling gas off his own bat in the last weekend of June 1940, not after consultation with the Cabinet OR whole government...
Given the conclusions of that document it seems unlikely there would be any pressure for its use by the RAF.
Why would there be? The pressure, in the form of an order, would come downwards from the Staff Chiefs Committee through Cyril Newall.
The Air Ministry's purpose was to present the views of the Air Staffs to Government
Not on operational matters. THOSE went up from the Air Staff to the Staff Chiefs Committee to the Minister of Defence and hit "government" in the form of Winston THAT way.
Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs....
Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...

Gooner1
Member
Posts: 1983
Joined: 06 Jan 2006 12:24
Location: London

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Gooner1 » 24 Apr 2011 23:27

phylo_roadking wrote: In the form of the War Cabinet - with Winston as BOTH Prime Minister and Minister of Defence.
And the SoS Air wouldn't be there to give the views of the Air Chiefs?
Remember - he took the decision to order ICI to start producing and stockpiling gas off his own bat in the last weekend of June 1940, not after consultation with the Cabinet OR whole government...
No, I don't remember that.
The pressure, in the form of an order, would come downwards from the Staff Chiefs Committee through Cyril Newall.
Eh? Any order to use Gas would have to come from the Government. Any request to use gas from the RAF was unlikely.

User avatar
phylo_roadking
Member
Posts: 17489
Joined: 30 Apr 2006 23:31
Location: Belfast

Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by phylo_roadking » 25 Apr 2011 00:31

And the SoS Air wouldn't be there to give the views of the Air Chiefs?
Why would he? The Chief of the Air Staff would give the Air Staff's opinion to Winston at the Chiefs of Staff Committee, Winston would take it to Cabinet as Minister of Defence.
No, I don't remember that
Have a look at John Colville then. IIRC it's also covered in some detail in Jeremy Paxman and Robert Harris' "A Higher Form of Killing"

Sir john Dill had tried hard in a memorandum on June 18th, 1940 to influence Churchill, even though neither Germany nor Italy had chemical weapons, to start using such weapons. Churchill refused at that point....but when he toured Kent at the end of June and saw how weak things were at that point - and had dinner with among others the CO 1st Canadian Division - on June 30th Churchill ordered General Ismay to prepare for use of chemical weapons under a "Plan Y". He said: "It is my intention not to wait too long before England shall use chemical weapons" and ordered ICI by memo to de-mothball its Mustard gas plants and immediately produce and store 1,000 tons, with 1,495 tons actually stored. From this came the 1,000 tons of stockpiled Mustard that two years later he offered to Stalin, tho' Stalin refused.

(Just as an aside - Winston had been SO enthusiastic about gas warfare in WWI that Clementine had called him the "Mustard Gas Fiend" in private :lol:)
Eh? Any order to use Gas would have to come from the Government
The government didn't issue orders to the armed forces; the Chiefs of Staff did. Winston sat on the Staff Chiefs Committee. That's where operational military decisions were made. The Cabinet could comment on and discuss, recommend and theoretically veto - and these were communicated to and from the Staff Chiefs by Winston...but not generate "orders".

Winston could and did generate them, being a member of the Chiefs of Staff Committee - but that was a uniquely WWII positiion he made for himself. And usually not without a fight before or after with the other Staff Chiefs :lol: for his schemes weren't always as successful as the Tiger Convoys, or the bombardment of Tripoli for example.
Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs....
Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...

Return to “The United Kingdom & its Empire and Commonwealth 1919-45”