The Battle of Britain.

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
RichTO90
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by RichTO90 » 29 Jul 2010 06:02

phylo_roadking wrote:I've missed an interesting two days...

Rich, I thought you meant something more about those two dates that the subsequent discussion revealed - but I don't mean that in a bad way. Both Fleming and latterly Lavery discuss this - Lavery in much more detail; the time of the initial landings was demanded by the Heer...
Um, Phylo, I mean this in the nicest way, but I was expecting a better discussion in return from you. :lol:

Sorry, this is a quick reply since it is late and that was the best I could come up with as repartee. 8-)
1/ the nearer to dawn/twilight, the longer the period of daylight they had to establish themselves ashore on the first day;

2/ the nearer to high tide this could be, or to within a band two hours' either side of high tide
Did I miss something here from you? Exactly...and impossible in that timeframe. They cannot get 1/ and 2/ to mesh. At "dawn/twilight" they are not "within a band two hours' either side of high tide" and vice versa. So face the problems you remark on.
The Army won that argument...eventually.
They did? How? By changing the physics of tides? The final KM requirement was for at least a half moon and good visibility (no rain or fog) otherwise the navaigation would have been impossible with that gaggle. In the window we have:

22nd September 1940
Weather: Dull with fog in the morning. Cloud clearing during the afternoon. Some rain.
Moon 72%
158/46 FC sorties (day/night) 60/123 Luftwaffe sorties
23rd September 1940
Weather: Fine
Moon 62%
710/50 FC sorties 300/261 Luftwaffe sorties
24th September 1940
Weather: Early morning fog in northern France. Channel cloudy with haze in the Straits and Thames Estuary.
Last Quarter Moon
880/70 FC sorties 530/150 Luftwaffe sorties
I've been trying (without success) to find out details of BoB-period weather for some time
You should have asked... :lol:
....but recently was greatly assisted in this by Patrick Bishop's BoB:Day to Day Chronology....BUT and as well as weather details per day of ops, the suprising thing I found was that very often during August and September the Luftwaffe was prepared to countenance operations in quite "marginal" weather 8O

Yes, historically - in the circumstance of NO Sealion - they didn't fly many sorties during the putative Sealion dates in marginal weather....but looking at Bishop it could very well have been a different case IF Sealion requirements had forced them to.
The problem is that it isn't just the Luftwaffe flying, it's also the KM sailing, which they cannot do until the 22nd at earliest. But they require at least a 7 to 10 day window to land to allow for the turnaround of the second wave - BTW, it was literally 7-10 days in the planning since they had no idea how long it would actually take.
Lavery - being an RN "small ships" historian - spends a considerable amount of time on this.

The first problem is that they have to trigger a reaction....I.E. be observed by Coastal Command (He puts up a very useful map of Coastal's daily patrol patterns and times over the Channel, Western Approaches and North Sea in mid-1940, something I hadn't found elsewhere) And Coastal's aircraft were seemingly quite restricted in their range at that time...and their observational abilities hampered by bad weather even if they could still fly.
Why were CC "restricted in their range"? As of 29 September they had the following operational:

58 Ansons
47 Bleinheim F
28 Bleinheim GR
46 Hudsons
4 Stranraers
16 Sunderlands
12 Whitleys
14 Beauforts
10 Bothas
The loss of CHL would be a major problem (snip)

1/ the German invasion groups to simply be mised, some or all of them, by the defenders for one of several reasons. It's unlikely of course that they'd ALL be missed, or even mostly missed....BUT -

2/ the last line of detection being so relatively close inshore means that in many combinations of circumstances the RN's most effective response - her destroyers - are only going to get into contact with the Sealion fleet when is already entering or has entered the minefields and is close to the coast...which means they could have simply been attacking the rearmost elements of the First Wave flotillas.
Aircraft, destroyer patrols, light vessels four miles offshore, hydrophones, and radar...yep, they all could miss a few thousand vessels heading for Folkestone-Rye from Oostend-Calais and Bexhill-Brighton from Boulogne-Le Havre...after all, the Germans missed the NEPTUNE flotilla. Of course, they had no aircraft or destroyer patrols, next to no light vessels offshore, didn't try the hydrophones, and their radar was spoofed, but heck... :lol:
...there was a difference between being "serviceable"....and being "operational"; as previously discussed, for example - Lypmne was "serviceable" in that aircraft could land and take off from there - but from the large mid-August raids until halfway through September it was "Closed" for operations, with only a skeleton ground staff and minimal (VERY) stores. Closed in the sense that 11 Group wasn't using it...couldn't use it...to position aircraft forward to the coast there.
Yes, and there is an even bigger difference between Lympne, a satellite field that was NEVER permanently manned by any squadron, and the permanent fields that I gave. You may have "previously discussed" it, but not with me, and whoever you did discuss it with was wrong for not challenging your red herring. :lol:
From Richards -
Yes, seen it, also seen quite a few of the squadron summaries and they often simply didn't know what the cause of loss was. However, given that the Sedan Bridges were defended by the bulk of Flak-Regiment 102, so at least 36 88mm and 144 20mm from that source alone, color me unsurprised.
Like all good averages - the flak-vs-fighters percentages of the RAF's losses in France are prejudiced by major "single" incidents like the afternoon of 14th May, when of 71 RAF bombers which took off against German forces at Sedan, forty were brought down by fighters...as opposed to the twenty-four brought down by ground fire above in those four incidents of overwhelming ground fire Richards records.
The 62 Battles and 6 Bleinheims accounted for (there is a number of oddities in the squadron accounts that I haven't tried to reconcile, it's getting too late) probably lost 15 to fighters and 3 to flak, with another 19 to unknown causes...which proves little given that most of JG 52 was tasked to defend the place, from bases some 55 to 85 miles from the bridges...along with the flak...and so on. The chief improvement tthe Luftwaffe will have is that their bases will be closer to the landing beaches than they were to the Fighter Command airfields...OTOH they will also be facing considerably more enemy fighters than they did at Sedan as well.

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

Dunserving
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by Dunserving » 29 Jul 2010 10:51

JonS wrote:
Lypmne
How does one pronounce that?

"Lime"? "Lip-me"?
Neither, or neither, depending on how you pronounce that word!

We pronounce it as Lim, as in limb - the word for those sticky-out arm and leg things on your torso.

Strange but true!

JonS
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by JonS » 29 Jul 2010 12:10

Colin Cholmondeley-Beauchamp-Fetherstonhaugh thanks you very much.

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phylo_roadking
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by phylo_roadking » 29 Jul 2010 17:09

Did I miss something here from you? Exactly...and impossible in that timeframe. They cannot get 1/ and 2/ to mesh. At "dawn/twilight" they are not "within a band two hours' either side of high tide" and vice versa. So face the problems you remark on.
Yes - that's why the chosen landing time was at best a "best fit" to all their requirements, it couldn't and didn't satisfy all or even most of their requirements - but with factors like the increasing longshore current speed the further towards/from high tide....many of the factors were variables rather than fixed yes/no, go/no-go options :wink: Yes, the chosen landing time WAS slightly further away from high tide than the idea two hours either side....but not by much, and longshore currents would not yet have peaked :wink:
They did? How? By changing the physics of tides?
No, I mean they won the argument over when the first wave would land - they got their maximum daylight on T-Tag.
The problem is that it isn't just the Luftwaffe flying, it's also....
...the RAF flying, of course! :wink: If the weather gets THAT bad as to preclude air operations at all over the Channel or coast - then both sides are hampered.
Why were CC "restricted in their range"? As of 29 September they had the following operational:

58 Ansons
47 Bleinheim F
28 Bleinheim GR
46 Hudsons
4 Stranraers
16 Sunderlands
12 Whitleys
14 Beauforts
10 Bothas
....patrolling where? :wink: Coastal was responsible for ALL British maritime waters around the UK, including the Western and Northern Approaches.

There was a further complication for Coastal - in the event of BANQUET being ordered the Ansons were IIRC, along with all other trainers for which there were conversion kits, to be ordered to Norfolk for conversion to gas delivery aircraft
Yes, and there is an even bigger difference between Lympne, a satellite field that was NEVER permanently manned by any squadron, and the permanent fields that I gave. You may have "previously discussed" it, but not with me, and whoever you did discuss it with was wrong for not challenging your red herring.
Of course Lympne was a satellite field - I didn't say anything else - but it was fully "operational" until it wasn't. "Operational" or not wasn't/isn't defined by what aircraft are/are not stationed there, permanently or otherwise - it's the ability to receive them/service them/fuel and arm them. In the case of Lympne, flights from No.79 sqn. based at Biggin operated out of Lympne as well as Hawkinge in early July before its rest in the North before the field was closed.

As for who, and whether Lympne was "closed" or "operational" - Anthony Robinson RAF Fighter Squadrons in the Battle of Britain. It was in such a poor state of maintainance - the big August raids had destroyed about half the station buildings including all 3 of its big Belfast Truss hangars - that two Biggin pilots who landed there in late August to rearm and refuel couldn't scare up enough aviation spirit for even ONE of their aircraft - and no ammunition at all!
When it DID "reopen" - it was only used to base a couple of "Jim Crow" Spitfire Is, and for a short time a re-equiping Army Co-operation squadron with P40s during the rest of the "official" BoB period.
Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs....
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RichTO90
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by RichTO90 » 29 Jul 2010 17:46

phylo_roadking wrote:Yes - that's why the chosen landing time was at best a "best fit" to all their requirements, it couldn't and didn't satisfy all or even most of their requirements - but with factors like the increasing longshore current speed the further towards/from high tide....many of the factors were variables rather than fixed yes/no, go/no-go options :wink: Yes, the chosen landing time WAS slightly further away from high tide than the idea two hours either side....but not by much, and longshore currents would not yet have peaked :wink:
Okay, I think we're finally tracking again - a bit. But I don't think I said that high tide was a requirement? Rather, earlier we were all talking like landing at high tide was...I was just correcting that notion after reviewing my old notes. In any case, the consequences to the Germans remain in effect. :D
No, I mean they won the argument over when the first wave would land - they got their maximum daylight on T-Tag.
Okay, I see where you're at.
...the RAF flying, of course! :wink: If the weather gets THAT bad as to preclude air operations at all over the Channel or coast - then both sides are hampered.
Sure, except that on their side the RAF are getting spot ground reports of the situation in real time that allows them to make decisions while the Germans had to rely on Wekusta and other weather reconnnaissance flights, which means it isn't real time at all. Plus, the KM can sail at night, with their half-moon or better and good visibility...only to find the English coast socked in when they arrive in the morning or, mcuh, much worse for them, that the Luftwaffe bases on the coast were socked in by morning fog, a problem that was becoming more and more frequent.
....patrolling where? :wink: Coastal was responsible for ALL British maritime waters around the UK, including the Western and Northern Approaches.
So now you're saying they weren't constrained by range...like you did initially. :wink: BTW, at this time the calculated risk of reducing Western Approaches coverage by the RN and RAF was taken just because of the Sealion threat.
Of course Lympne was a satellite field - I didn't say anything else - but it was fully "operational" until it wasn't. "Operational" or not wasn't/isn't defined by what aircraft are/are not stationed there, permanently or otherwise - it's the ability to receive them/service them/fuel and arm them. In the case of Lympne, flights from No.79 sqn. based at Biggin operated out of Lympne as well as Hawkinge in early July before its rest in the North before the field was closed.
Um, Phylo, just what does all that fine fodderol have to do with the operational state of the permanent fighter stations that I gave as extracted from the RAF campaign diaries? You still have to deal with the Luftwaffe being incapable of, after considerable effort, keeping anything more than roughly three-quarters of a single permanent FC station closed on any particular day between 24 August and 8 September.

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

RichTO90
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by RichTO90 » 29 Jul 2010 22:47

RichTO90 wrote:Um, Phylo, just what does all that fine fodderol have to do with the operational state of the permanent fighter stations that I gave as extracted from the RAF campaign diaries? You still have to deal with the Luftwaffe being incapable of, after considerable effort, keeping anything more than roughly three-quarters of a single permanent FC station closed on any particular day between 24 August and 8 September.
A little bit more to head us back to the point...maybe. :lol:

Single-engine fighter pilot combat losses have been give as (K&M/W):

July
LW - 30/2
FC - 67/23

August
LW - 145/39
FC - 146/110

September & October
LW - 236/36
FC - 206/162

As of 1 August FC had 1,434 pilots operational, sufficient for 26 per squadron.
As of 1 September there were only 1,023, sufficient for 16 per squadron (I need to check that since the first figure implies 55 squadrons operational, which sounds right, and the second 64, which doesn't). Edit: Naw, it looks more like 60-61 end of August, so 17 per. Minor difference, but still... 8-)

Fraid the best I can find for the Jagdwaffe pilots off the cuff is for 28 September when the Ist was 917 and Einsatzbereit was 676. That compares to 29 June when it was 1,126 and 906. I have seen an unsourced "97% of operational fighters could be manned c. 7 September", which would be 638.26 pilots Einsatzbereit, but I suspect that may be low?

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

Gooner1
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by Gooner1 » 30 Jul 2010 13:48

RichTO90 wrote: August
LW - 145/39
FC - 146/110

As of 1 August FC had 1,434 pilots operational, sufficient for 26 per squadron.
As of 1 September there were only 1,023, sufficient for 16 per squadron (I need to check that since the first figure implies 55 squadrons operational, which sounds right, and the second 64, which doesn't). Edit: Naw, it looks more like 60-61 end of August, so 17 per. Minor difference, but still... 8-)
Think your figures might be off there for once Rich.
I have a figure for Fighter Command aircrew of 1,396 on 10th August and 1,381 on 7th September.

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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by Gooner1 » 31 Jul 2010 00:44

phylo_roadking wrote:
The first problem is that they have to trigger a reaction....I.E. be observed by Coastal Command (He puts up a very useful map of Coastal's daily patrol patterns and times over the Channel, Western Approaches and North Sea in mid-1940, something I hadn't found elsewhere) And Coastal's aircraft were seemingly quite restricted in their range at that time...and their observational abilities hampered by bad weather even if they could still fly.
Exactly the same map is in The Defence of the United Kingdom by Basil Collier of the OH.
The loss of CHL would be a major problem..
Careless of the Brits to lose the CHL stations.
.but simply missing the approaching Germas would be entirely possible
Yes, sure. Neither more nor less likely than any of the other fantastic leaps taken.
8O Lavery notes that while RN Liaison offciers were eventually assigned to Army stations - a huge amount of surface contacts simply were never rung through to the nearest RN Command for confirmation of friend or foe status :P This improved, of course, but the improvement was through the winter and into the fresh "invasion season" of Spring 1941...

The RN DID expend a huge effort on destroyer reconnaissance; Lavery notes (and gives details) on the RN's detroyer patrols during the weeks and months in question; yes, although some three dozen destroyers were "assigned" to various commands for anti-invasion work...in the meantime they were escorting convoys in the Western Approaches (to await recall and a fast dash) ditto convoys through the Channel, in the Thames Estuary etc., etc. He notes there was not a single night went by without a destroyer patrolling from each of the three anti-invasion flotillas...a single destoyer, or several on one patrol course; which left considerable marginal for being in the wrong place at the wrong time :o

The last layer of the RN's "layered" tripwire was of course the yatchs and trawlers of the Auxiliary Patrol; but this was very much inshore of the british minefields, so was a last line of interception and early warning...

The RN's destroyers couldn't of course operate IN the RN minefields, or often along the South-east coast between them and the shore; this was to be the hunting ground of the Aux Patrol and the RN's MLs/MGBs/MTBs....who with their much shallower draught COULD operate in the minefields.

In those preparations therefore there is considerable scope for

1/ the German invasion groups to simply be mised, some or all of them, by the defenders for one of several reasons. It's unlikely of course that they'd ALL be missed, or even mostly missed....BUT -

2/ the last line of detection being so relatively close inshore means that in many combinations of circumstances the RN's most effective response - her destroyers - are only going to get into contact with the Sealion fleet when is already entering or has entered the minefields and is close to the coast...which means they could have simply been attacking the rearmost elements of the First Wave flotillas.

Counter Invasion Methods issued by the Office of Flag Officer Commanding Dover
30th June 1940.

NAVAL MEASURES.

2. - The detailed measures are laid down in Dover Operation "Napoleon".
These are broadly:-

(a) Destroyer patrols in the Channel, to intercept and engage the enemy at sea, and to support the small craft (b) and (c) below;

(b) Listening patrols of asdic trawlers about 4 miles off-shore to detect the approach of the enemy, to report and attack him;

(c) Inshore patrols of drifters and motor-boats to report and attack the enemy.


3. - The methods of reporting the enemy, both by simple firework signal to our forces ashore, and by R/T or W/T to the Flag Officer Commanding Dover are laid down in Appendix 2.

4. - The positions allocated to the small-craft patrols are shown in Appendix 1. A signal will be made to the General Officer Commanding 12th Corps and Commander Fixed Defences daily informing them of our patrols and which of the inshore positions will be filled during the ensuing night. Commander Fixed Defences will be responsible for passing this information to coast defence batteries.

RichTO90
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by RichTO90 » 31 Jul 2010 21:36

Gooner1 wrote:Think your figures might be off there for once Rich.
I have a figure for Fighter Command aircrew of 1,396 on 10th August and 1,381 on 7th September.
I pulled them from http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/ETO/BOB ... l#aircraft page 20. Frankly, I'm not sure about them since the source isn't explicitly given.

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

Dunserving
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by Dunserving » 19 Aug 2010 11:55

For those with an interest in the Battle of Britain who can be in the southern parts of the UK tomorrow........

Friday 20th August 2010. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight of the RAF will be performing a tour of the BoB stations.

Aircraft used will include Spitfire P7350, the oldest airworthy Spitfire and the only Spitfire still flying to have actually fought in the Battle of Britain and Hurricane LF363, the last Hurricane to enter service with the RAF will join in formation with Spitfire AB910, which flew over 143 operational missions in WWII and Hurricane R4118, the only Hurricane from the Battle of Britain still flying.

Further details at: http://www.raf.mod.uk/bbmf/news/index.c ... 7797D3F441

Map showing routes and timings at: http://www.raf.mod.uk/bbmf/rafcms/media ... 961698.pdf

PROBLEM: Do I go to the memorial at Capel , or Hawkinge, or Lympne......?

RichTO90
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by RichTO90 » 19 Aug 2010 12:33

Dunserving wrote:PROBLEM: Do I go to the memorial at Capel , or Hawkinge, or Lympne......?
ALL THREE! Lucky stiff... :lol: Have fun!

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

Dunserving
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by Dunserving » 21 Aug 2010 22:11

RichTO90 wrote:
Dunserving wrote:PROBLEM: Do I go to the memorial at Capel , or Hawkinge, or Lympne......?
ALL THREE! Lucky stiff... :lol: Have fun!

Cheers!
LINKS TO PICTURES:

http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index ... pic=7308.0

http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showth ... p?t=102743

Enjoy!

You haven't lived till you've watched a Spitfire doing its stuff in the sky above you.

Dunserving
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by Dunserving » 26 Aug 2010 08:54

In view of other discussions about Sealion, this might not come as a big surprise but this is from todays news:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11082316

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Attrition
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by Attrition » 26 Aug 2010 09:16

I doubt that the Walmington-on-Sea platoon would be taken in for a minute. ;O)

Dunserving
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Re: The Battle of Britain.

Post by Dunserving » 26 Aug 2010 13:03

...especially as they did all their active service at STANTA, about 45 miles from the sea, and over a hundred miles from the Sealion beaches!

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