Battle of Britain

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
Ezboard

Battle of Britain

Post by Ezboard » 30 Sep 2002 18:36

weiwensg
Veteran Member
Posts: 194
(10/16/01 2:03:54 pm)
Reply Battle of Britain
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"The Battle of Britain was more of a German defeat than of a British victory."

To what extent would you agree with me if I said this?

DPWES
Member
Posts: 99
(10/16/01 4:35:40 pm)
Reply No
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Polish pilots won the Battle of Britain. Don't anybody argue with me on this one or I'll get violent. :-)

dan
Visitor
(10/16/01 4:39:19 pm)
Reply one or another
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They certainly gave the most. They had by far the highest rate of getting shot down of everyone. Whether that was due to extreme bravery or lack of skill is what needs to be debated.

DPWES
Member
Posts: 100
(10/16/01 4:41:28 pm)
Reply danny boy
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You forgot to add that they also shot down the highest number of planes per pilot.

dan
Visitor
(10/16/01 4:51:06 pm)
Reply Battle of Britian
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I thought the South Africans, which include Sailor Malan did the best, but then again, I may be wrong.

Benoit Douville
Member
Posts: 63
(10/16/01 9:28:56 pm)
Reply Re: Battle of Britian
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Canadians Pilots too gave a lot in the Battle of Britain and Polish too:-)

To answer the question, i will said that Germany should have one the Battle of Britain. They made a mistake by bombing London instead of continuing going where the RAF bases were they did before and that was the turning point of that Battle.

Fridolin
Visitor
(10/16/01 11:58:28 pm)
Reply Luftwaffe
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IMHO Luftwaffe lost the Battle of Britain BEFORE actually starting an offensive it could not really win.
On the one hand, it was built as a tactical, close support air force, superbly suited and trained for close attack, tactical and operational interdiction, but it was ill suited for long-range bombing. It's bombers had not a heavy enough load and their self-defence was pooor, fighters had too short a range and external fuel tanks were not adopted, etc.
On the other hand, Germany's short-sighted policy in matters of production and training means that Germany, keeping production virtually at peacetime level, was actually producing LESS planes than Britain in 1940 (e.g. betweeen June and December 1940 Britain produced 3.195 planes, while Germany only 1.519 [data, Ellis, 'statistical survey']). Also, Germany'spool of trained pilots was not enough for the task it was asked to perform.

Also, technically the EARLY early radar battle was clearly won by Britain (source V. Jones, Most Secret war), so early warning & control were quite developed in comaprison to Germany's radar efforts to guide bombers.

Tactical mistakes (such as sending Ju87 across the Channel), and operational ones (such as changing operational objectives, first radar stations, then airfields, then towns) also played their part, but IMHO even if the Germans had concentrated on airfields that would, at most, force Fighter Command to withdraw some groups fro Biigin Hill and other airfields to other places a bit to the rear, but still close enough to the coast to thwart any attack on the beaches.
Also, I believe Ellis ('Brute Force') has shown conclusively that Fighter Command never really reached dangerous levels of attrition (e.g. pp.25 ss. and Table27 in the Sytatistical Appendix).

So, in all, Germany lost the battle before actually launching the attack. And also Fighter Command acted reasonably well, using squadrons with care and never allowing itself to be strained to the limit.Over France, it would have been destroyed in a few weeks; over Britain, Luftwaffe could not destroy it.

Benoit Douville
Member
Posts: 65
(10/18/01 4:13:37 am)
Reply Re: Luftwaffe
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I completely disagree when you said that Germany lose the battle before the attack started. They almost win that battle and with better preparation they would have one it.

Fridolin
Visitor
(10/18/01 10:38:09 am)
Reply You disagree... that's fine
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You disagree... that's fine, because it can be the start of a good discussion.
Now, as I tried to provide data for my opinons, would you be so kind as to provide yours? Do you disagree on the tactical & operational approach of the Luftwaffe? on aircraft production data? on the state of Fighter Command?.
Best regards

godolfo
Visitor
(10/18/01 1:42:03 pm)
Reply BoB, Poles Brits and Jerries....
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Weiwensg - has stirred a hornets nest here,Horrido!
DPWES confirms that Poles are dying for their country
but the deal is to make the other guy,die for his....
Sorry DPWES, I have the greatest admiration for fight-
ing Poles - of their bravery there is a b s o l u t e l y
no doubt ( Gen. Bor-Komorowski & The Kamikazes...)
b u t to claim that the Poles w o n the BoB is a bit
gross,eh?
Did the British have anything to do with it...?
The crass facts of life are, that the British radar chain
beat the Jerries.The Brit's could have their fighters at
t h e r i g h t p l a c e and a t t h e r i g h t
time,something thre Germans could not understand at
that time.Let's not get into a fruitless debate about the
qualitiesof the pilots at that time.THe bottom line reads,
that if the German fighter pilots in their Me-109's had
had 250litre droptanks to their aeroplanes to give them
another 30-minutes 'battle-time' above SE England,
they would have made mince-meat of Fighter Command
as their fighter-pilots,by-and-large, were better than
their British opponents.
BUT EVEN THEN - BETWEEN HITLER AND THOSE TEMPT-
ING CLIFFS OF DOVER, was

T H E R O Y A L N A V Y.

The toughest force afloat, and one that would not
yield before it drowned.......

DPWES
Veteran Member
Posts: 113
(10/18/01 1:56:57 pm)
Reply Re: BoB, Poles Brits and Jerries....
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It was a joke man, a joke. :-)

Benoit Douville
Member
Posts: 66
(10/18/01 6:47:41 pm)
Reply Re: You disagree... that's fine
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Fridolin,

If the Luftwaffe pilots would have continued to attack the RAF base instead of dropping a bomb by error on London. After that, Hitler was mad because the RAF Bombers attack Berlin and he decided to continue to attack London and that was one of his biggest mistake of World War II. There was only few planes remaing on the RAF base at that time.

Best Regards.

MARKLV
Veteran Member
Posts: 421
(10/18/01 9:54:58 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Battle of Britain
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Weiwensg,

You are absolutely right. It was much more a German defeat than a British victory. The Germans got their strategy entirely wrong by starting to bomb British cities when they were holding the upper hand. A couple more weeks of bombing the airfields and the RAF would have been finished off. The course of the war - and world history - could have changed forever.

oleg
Visitor
(10/18/01 10:00:34 pm)
Reply re
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as it seems strategy as a subject was one of Germany's weakest points during WW II...

Fridolin
Visitor
(10/19/01 1:06:58 am)
Reply Luftwaffe could not win the B of B (sorry, long post)
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From what both Benoit Douville and MARKLV say, the basic reason why Luftwaffe did not destroy the RAF was that Hitler, after a raid over Berlin "decided to continue to attack London and that was one of his biggest mistake of World War II. There was only few planes remaing on the RAF base at that time" (Benoit). Also, "A couple more weeks of bombing the airfields and the RAF would have been finished off" (marklv).
Let us examine this in some detail. From what you say, I assume you believe that, once the airfields and the RAF planes in them were destroyed, the other relevant factors in the equation could have been solved. Radar stations would have been destroyed by precision Stuka attacks without the fera of RAF fighters; then, aircraft factories -remember, producing MORE planes than Germany in these months- would have been destroyed, thereby impeding the reconstruction of RAF fighter squadrons; then, the Royal Navy would have been destroyed, or at least kept far away enough for the motley flotilla of boats carrying Sealion troops to land safely; and finally, Luftwaffe would have fullfilled its basic mission of supporting ground troops in the battle for London.
Let me say point a very basic thing: Luftwaffe DID NOT win the battle over Britain. So this is all a ‘what if' that can be very futile. But for the sake of discussion, let's accept it can be illuminating. Also, let me pointy out that the issues of British C&C superiority (due to radar chains) in 1940, and also much greater aircraft production in 1940 can not be doubted, as they are proved by hard data. Let me also remind you that Luftwaffe needed to gain AND MAINTAIN for some time AIR SUPREMACY (and not just local air superiority) until the beacheads of the invasion force were strong enough), and that in summer or early autumn.
All this scheme is, to put it mildly, VERY optimistic. For example, lacking four engine heavy bombers, Germany would not have been able to destroy Britain's aircraft production, airfields north of London (and airfields for fighters were simple things in summer-autumn these days), and training facilities for pilots. If in 1944 the combined strenght of Bomber Command and USAAF could NOT destroy German production (although they seriously hampered it), Luftwaffe in 1940 was many times less powerful in terms of bombing capacity. Please, remember that Luftwaffe at its highest (Oct. 1940) dropped 9.113 tons of explosive, while other months average was around 5.000 tons.This is, in strategic terms, ridiculous, if we remember that the Allies dropped an average of 100.000 tons/month for months on end in June 44-April 45 (sources, The Strategic Air Offensive against Germany, HMSO, 1961; Freman, The US Strategic Bomber).
So, it is not by any means certain that, even if the RAF Fighter Command had been all but destroyed over southern England in July-September 1940, the other prerequisites for Sea Lion would have been met at all, or at least before winter (and good weather would have been necessary for the Channel crossing, so Luftwaffe would have had to keep pressure until April 1941).
But then, and just for the sake of discussion, let's accept that IF Luftwaffe had continued bombing forward airfields instead of turning to area bombing in cities, all the other prerequisites would have been completed later (keeping RAF profile very low, destroying radars, warding off or destroying Royal Navy, all while keeping enough strenght to protect the initial beacheads). But, remember, this is VERY doubtful.
Many people believe that Fighter Command was on the verge of collapse by 26 August, when that fateful raid on Berlin occured and Luftwaffe changed priority targets on 4th/7th September. But this is not really so. In fact it was only Group 11 that was hard pressed. And even if we concede this was the most important British formation, it was not the only one; Groups 10, 12 1nd 13 were more or less intact. But even more important: RAF was NOT running short of planes. As we know, they actually were producing more than Germany, and of modern types: front line squadrons were now mostly composed of Spitfires and Hurricanes. For example, the figures for single-engined fighters in July 1940-October 1940 are as follows (first Britain, the Germany: 496 (164); 476 (220); 467 (218); 469 (144).
What happens with pilots?. Well, of course both sides were losing many experten, but while many of the RAF's parachuted over Britain and were flying at very short notice, Luftwaffe pilots could -and did- fall over British soil, and were as good as dead for the duration of the war. We must also remember that, even if Fighter command lost more fighters than Luftwaffe, this is not the same with pilots. For excample, between July and September 1940, Luftwaffe lost 521 Bf109 pilots, as against 381 Fighter Command pilots.
It is however true that in late August some RAF pilots were thrown into combat with only 20 hours solo flying time. It is also true that in late August only 80 pilots were being trained as opposed to the 350 or so normally expected. But in fact, all this looks worse than it really was. On the one hand, there were other available pools of trained manpower in cases of emergency, such as the other Commands; and they were some times called to provide fully trained pilots, who could be converted to fighter role in a short retraining course. Also, Downing insisted that other Fighter Groups (10, 12, 13) squadrons were kept up to strenght, In fact, during August, supposedly the worst period, Downing increassed the official strenght of fighter squadrons, which meant 200 new pilots (Ellis, p. 27). Also, available figures show that the pool of pilots in fighter commands was kept at a remarkably smooth level between July-September 1940; in fact, the number of available pilots increased. So, figures for July 20: 1365; Aug 3rd: 1434; Aug.10th , 1.396; Aug.17th; 1.379; Aug.31st 1422; Sept 7: 1381; Sept. 14th:1492; Oct. 5th: 1.703, and so on (source, Wood, Dempster, The Narrow Margin, 1967). So, Group 11 was very strained, but never to the verge of collapse. Fighter Command never reached a truly critical situation. Even if Luftwaffe bombing at Biggin Hill and Manston had continued, it would not have destroyed Group 11, Fighter Command or the RAF.
As Richard Overy has pointed (The Air War 1939-45):
"even at the most dangerous moments the German air forces were little clores to achieving the aim of air supremacy for long enough to permit a successful invasion than they had beeh at the beginning of the battle. [...] It was imnpossible under the conditions of the summer of 1940 for the L. To eliminate the RAF because it lacked the operational and material means to destroy the British aircraft industry [...] or to prevent the RAF from regrouping again".
In fact, the most that Luftawwe could have obtained in late August and September would have been a replacing of the hardest pressed of Group 11 squadrons further north, even north of London, out of reac of tactical range of Bf109's. But they would not have destroyed it, and they would heve been there, refreshed, when the landings came. As W. Murray, in what is perhaps the best general book on the Luftwaffe has written: "the Luftwaffe could do no more than impose on Fighter Command a rate of attrition that ITS COMMANDERS (i.e., Downing) would accept". It was actually impossible for the Luftwaffe to defeat Fighter Command as a whole.
So, that's it in a nutshell: even if Luftwaffe had continued concentrating on Southeastern airfields in September-October, it wouldn't have destroyed Fighter Command, because it would have moved further north. But, even if the British had been foolish enough to fight and -supposedly- be destroyed over Sussex, then it would have been October... too late for Sealion. And even if Hitler had launched Sealion in September-October with a measure of aerial superiority but not full supremacy (he couldn't get that over western England and Wales), how could he stop the desperate attacks of the Royal Navy?. If RN weas ready to die for Crete (remember, "it takes months to build a ship, but centuries to build a tradition..."), they would have been willing to pay a huge price to destroy the invasion flotillas, even at a huge cost to themselves.
But, enough is enough... too many ‘what if's. The fact is, Luftwaffe did not win the Battle over Britain because its failure was doomed from the start, because Luftwaffe simply was not built as a strategic force, as I showed in my previous post.


Benoit Douville
Member
Posts: 68
(10/19/01 9:33:54 pm)
Reply Re: Luftwaffe could not win the B of B (sorry, long post)
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Fridolin,

That's a great post, i learn a lot. Are you an historian?

Fridolin
Visitor
(10/19/01 10:23:57 pm)
Reply Yes
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I'm afraid so :-)
But not a real specialist in WWII. I also keep learning a lot in here, specially from our friends Oleg (who also has a good sense of humour) and OlegSh.

Kaschner
Veteran Member
Posts: 293
(10/19/01 11:21:38 pm)
Reply Re: Luftwaffe could not win the B of B (sorry, long post)
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Fridolin, an excellent post, and one that IMHO puts quietus to a theory that I previously thought had some validity.

Regards, Kaschner

Fridolin
Visitor
(10/20/01 11:19:59 am)
Reply Thanks a lot
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Thank you very much. But you know, I'ts not really my idea. As we say in Spanish (don't know if the same idiom runs in English) 'we are all dwarfs seated on giant's shoulders'... that's why we can see further than our ancestors. In fact, it's Murray, Overy and other great historians that actually gave a more balanced view of BB. And may I take this opportunity to say that, even if I believe that Luftwaffe could not really win this battle, they fought courageously and skilfully, just as their opponents.

Paul Timms
Visitor
(10/20/01 1:14:46 pm)
Reply Battle of Britain
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Whilst i have no wish to denigrate the role of any nationality i am fed up of this the RAF would never have won without.... line.
According to the Battle of Britain Fighter association Fighter command cosisted of

UK and Commonwealth in RAF 2,365 pilots killed 397
UK Fleet Air Arm etc 56 pilots 9 killed
Aussies 21, 14 killed
N.Z. 103, 14 killed
Canadian 90, 20 killed
S African 21 , 9 killed
S Rhodesian 2
Jamaican 1
Irish 9
American 7, 1 killed
Poles 141 ,29 killed
Czech 86 ,8 killed
Belgian 29, 6 killed
Free French 13
Palestinian 1


Total 2945 pilots of whom 507 killed.


Lets not belittle the role of anyone the Poles did not win the Battle the Allies did.

P.S. The highest number of kills was acheived by Ginger Lacey with 18 Malan had 15 the Pole Urbanowicz had 15
Joseph Frantisek a Czech had 17.
Remember them all.

Sorry Marcus for a long off topic post.



Paul



Oskar
Visitor
(10/26/01 2:52:51 am)
Reply BoB
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Adding to what was said before, The Luftwaffe not only wasted time in bombing the cities, but many times did not bomb the right airfields. Nor did it bomb the factories prodiucing the most essential component of the British fighters, the engines.

Can anyone imagine what would have happened if the germans had not only concentrated their efforts on the bases per se, but also tried to eliminate the two or three main factories manufacturing the engines for the several planes?

Best,

Oskar

Ezboard

Post by Ezboard » 30 Sep 2002 18:36

dan
Visitor
(10/26/01 3:00:26 am)
Reply South Africans and Poles
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I guess David and I will have to be friends now, at 15 each.

Who was the Palestian?

Thanks for the info.

Fridolin
Visitor
(10/26/01 3:31:53 am)
Reply You do not really have to imagine.
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The Allies did exactly that, with inmensely superior bombing capacity, later in the war. What did they achieve?. They slowed down the actually rising german aircraft production, but the Germans resorted to dispersing facilities and building underground. They could disturb production, not destroy it.
In 1940 the Germans had not a tenth of the bombing capacity later achieved by the Allies. They had no long range, four engined heavy bombers, nor the fighters with the range to escort them.
IMHO, if the Luftwaffe had left the airfields of the Fighter Command, and moved on to attack factories instead of the Blitz, it would not have come really closer to winning air supremacy over Britain, because the Fighter Command would quickly have recovered, their airfields again operational; because the Luftwaffe had not really a decisive bombing capacity to destroy Britain's aircraft production, and because it was already becoming too late for Sealion. So, again we reach the same conclusion: the Luftwaffe could not win the Battle of Britain in the terms Hitler and Goering wished (namely, destoying the RAF and achieving air supremacy from the Channel to Birmingham.

Oskar
Visitor
(11/5/01 8:41:00 pm)
Reply BoB
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Fridolin:

Good point. Do you think Hitler would have been better off concentrating on taking Gibraltar, Malta and Egypt (and then move into Palestine, Iraq, etc)? Could he have taken Gibraltar without crossing through Spain as was his intention before Franco said no?

Best,

Oskar

Chris
Visitor
(11/6/01 9:09:27 pm)
Reply Hey DWEPES!
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Dont forget that the Czech boys along with the Poles were the best pilots.These guys consistently disobeyed British orders and used to organise "hunting sessions" while in the air,by themselves (Czechs and Poles)
THey went up in the darkest days of the battle with a supreme confidence.
An old lady I once met worked with various pilots during the Battle of Britain.She remembers most fondly the Polish and Czech fighter pilots.They were grudgingly admired by their allied colleagues for their bravery in the air,but also their manner on the ground....-chasing the English girls,drinking too much beer and starting pub fights.
But they always looked out for each other in the air.

Fridolin
Visitor
(11/11/01 8:11:34 pm)
Reply Oskar, I'm sorry...
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... not to have answered before.
Your questions are completely 'what ifs' and I am not really capable of answering them without writing a long paper... and my guesses will be as good as anyone's.

Anyway, Marcus will inmediately move this into 'What of'...

I do not think Germany could take Gibraltar only from the sea... it is a good fortress, and Britain had command of the seas. They would have fought like devils to keep it. Also, the nearest logistical base for the Germans would heve been in Italy (southern France still in control of Toulon and Marseille); too far, anyway. No Crete possible there.

As for Malta... only if not only strong forces, but also a lot of German logistical support were made available. And then, Malta would be useful if concentrated pressure by Luftwaffe fept convoys from darting from Gibraltar into Alexandriua. And still the BIG convoys went round the Cape of Good Hope. So, IMHO, to take Egypt Rommel would have needed not only Malta, but also the continuing interest and support on the part of Hitler, and also the consideration of North Africa as a priority 'theatre'. That means a strong Luftwaffe force, reinforce AK with at least two big units, ans a very important supply effort, to adequately maintain that increased force (plus the existing Italian units). And of course this degree of priority and involvement was impossible after Barbarossa. The moment Hitler attacked Russia with Britain still fighting, the best he could hope for was a negotiated peace. After US entry in the war, nothing could save Germany from total defeat.
Best regards

Benoit Douville
Veteran Member
Posts: 111
(11/12/01 8:46:19 pm)
Reply Poles win the war!
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They were one of the best pilots during the battle of Britain. It was a great revenge one year after september 1939. They also participated in the invasion of Normandy. Poles were everywhere. The Warsaw uprising of 1944 was a great act of courage.

Fridolin
Visitor
(11/12/01 9:33:00 pm)
Reply I do not know if the Poles won the war...
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but they did something that helped VERY much:
Enigma.

Best regards


Benoit Douville
Veteran Member
Posts: 113
(11/12/01 9:41:33 pm)
Reply Re: I do not know if the Poles won the war...
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I know, i was exagerating... but i wanted to point out that they did a lot and it's sad that they had to endure the brutal Stalin regime after the war. Well, we are far from the battle of Britain now so i will stop now.

Fridolin
Visitor
(11/12/01 10:06:14 pm)
Reply .
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Dear Benoit,
your'e completely right, of course... I was only joking... half-seriously. Overall, the Enigma affair was tehir major contribution to Allied victory, and this does not detract in any way from the accomplishments of Polish pilots, soldiers and Warsaw civilians.
Regards

Observer
Visitor
(12/12/01 2:19:49 pm)
Reply Scary Stuff From Dpwes!
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Don't anybody argue with me on this one or i'll get violent? WoW Dpwes you have got everybody on the forum scared of you. Is that why you are allowed to constantly post rubbish on here regardless of the fact that you have not got one single interesting contribution to make to any of the discussions?

You're talents or 'lack of them' would be much more appreciated elsewhere. Your vindictivness to other members does NOT go amiss.

Ta ta



GFM2001
Veteran Member
Posts: 273
(12/21/01 6:56:51 am)
Reply Bombing London
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After the incident when a Luftwaffle pilot dropped the bombs on London, and Churchill's decision to raid Berlin, Hitler ordered that London be "blitzed". And London was indeed bombed day and night

But was it definitely Hitler's decision to discontinue Operation Eagle - ie : the bombing of the English airfields, aeroplane factories and radar stations, and focus exclusively on attacking London? Or was that "Fatty" Goering's idea?

TonyEH
Veteran Member
Posts: 303
(12/21/01 1:38:56 pm)
Reply Re: Bombing London
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Goering wanted to Bomb London in early August, to show the British how 'powerful' the Luftwaffe was. He said to Hitler that the threat of bombing Cities was an integral part of the surrender of both Holland and France, why should it be different for England. But Hitler forbade him from doing so for a long time. Churchill's calculated, but cold, move excellently deduced that Hitler would respond to British city bombing with the same type of action. But by the 7th od September, Hitler had already given up on the idea of Sealion. He saw it as a way of keeping the British busy, while he buised himself with his only real objective...Russia.

Tony

weiwensg
Veteran Member
Posts: 470
(12/21/01 2:15:29 pm)
Reply Re: (Goering) Bombing London
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If Goering wanted to show the British how powerful the Luftwaffe was, why didn't he stop the British evacuation from Dunkirk?

P.S. Let's not start a debate on why Dunkirk happened. (I personally believe that it is highly unlikely that it was that Hitler (on intention) wanted Goering to show the British how powerful the Luftwaffe was.)

AFD
Visitor
(12/21/01 2:25:06 pm)
Reply Battle of Britain
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If the Germans had come close to defeating the RAF, Fighter Command would have been pulled back to the North of the UK and out of range of Luftwaffe fighters.
The Germans would have had one chance to invade the UK. By sea. British naval superiority was total. With cover from what was left of Fighter Command, the British would most likely have turned any invasion fleet into a shambles. The Germans could have sunk half of the Royal Navy ships, even two thirds, but one battleship, a couple of cruisers and destroyers, and a submarine or two would have been all that was needed.

There were not enough barges, etc, left in the area for a second attempt.


weiwensg
Veteran Member
Posts: 474
(12/21/01 2:36:34 pm)
Reply Re: Battle of Britain
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How 'bout trying some paratroopers? Remember, Crete hadn't happened yet.

TonyEH
Veteran Member
Posts: 306
(12/21/01 5:16:07 pm)
Reply Re: (Goering) Bombing London
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>>If Goering wanted to show the British how powerful the Luftwaffe was, why didn't he stop the British evacuation from Dunkirk?<<

Because the difference in bombing a large city like London and a narrow strip of beach is quite considerable, ie London is easier to hit.

Tony

stammfuhrer
Visitor
(12/21/01 6:35:04 pm)
Reply Luftwaffe readiness
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Was the aircraft industry really in a state where it could mass produce the planes required to sustain losses against the British is a question I often wonder about. I have read many words from the manufacturers and I am not really sure they were ready for it in 1939. I seem to remember reading somewhere that it had been thought that the earliest that Germany would really be ready for war was 1942..? Factory disbursement and the effects of bombing caused such crippling damage to industry they needed time to adapt and change. I know that some of those lessons could only come about because of experience in the war of course!
I think it was Air Marshall Dowding of the RAF who said if the Luftwaffe had carried on bombing the airfields and factories for another 3 weeks when the RAF had only about 300 planes left then the RAF would have been unable to operate with any effectiveness - that might be his personal opinion but I am sure his experiene puts some backing behind the claim.
I enjoyed the post about the Royal Navy being between the UK and France ! Nice touch, especially as one of my relatives was a Fleet Air Arm pilot who flew Swordfish against Operation Cerebus {Scharnhorst/Gneisenau}!!
Regards


Hop2000
New Member
Posts: 5
(12/22/01 10:45:58 pm)
Reply Re: Luftwaffe readiness
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Exellent posts, Fridolin. You may be interested in the RAF Airpower Journal, http://www.raf.mod.uk/airpower/d...wint00.pdf
which has an article on logistics during the BoB, including sortie rates, deliveries of new aircraft etc.


Quote:
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I think it was Air Marshall Dowding of the RAF who said if the Luftwaffe had carried on bombing the airfields and factories for another 3 weeks when the RAF had only about 300 planes left then the RAF would have been unable to operate with any effectiveness - that might be his personal opinion but I am sure his experiene puts some backing behind the claim.

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Either he's been misquoted, or he is grossly mistaken.
The lowest number of operational Hurris and Spits for the RAF was right at the start of the battle in July, when the total was around 900 including reserves.
By mid August that had climbed to well over 1000, and never fell below 1000 for the rest of the Battle.
The worst month for losses for the RAF was August, when nearly 500 Spits and Hurris were lost, but around 450 new aircraft were supplied.
In the worst month, the RAF suffered a net loss of 50 or so aircraft, out of a pool of more than 1000. You do the maths on how long it would take to get down to 300 fighters.
Fact is, the Luftwaffe mounted an all out effort during the last week of August, and it was at a rate the RAF couldn' sustain. It was also at a rate the Luftwaffe couldn't sustain, and by the first week of Sept the Luftwaffe fighter sortie rate had dropped significantly, whilst the RAF's went up.
Only for those two weeks during the end of Aug and begining of Sept were the RAF hard pressed, at all other times during the battle losses were sustainable for the RAF.
Losses for the Luftwaffe were unsustainable throughout he Battle, and more so during their 2 week all out attack. Switching to bombing London was a descision he Luftwaffe had to take, they no longer had enough fighters to cover the large number of smaller raids they had been making.

Stammfuhrer
New Member
Posts: 4
(12/23/01 3:56:45 pm)
Reply Dowding
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He must have been misquoted but because I only have a partial interest in the history of the RAF I don't know for sure so thanks for posting the statistics.
It was something I heard on the TV [always to be suspect!] so it figures they may have got it wrong.
Regards

Stephen Healey
Visitor
(1/27/02 11:16:20 pm)
Reply Paratroops
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I dunno if this is correct or not...I heard Hitler had some sort of phobia of paratroops (vulnerability). this was why he turned them into elite ground troops. If anyone knows of Hitle'r bizarre Paraphobia can you tell me a little about it.

Ezboard

Post by Ezboard » 30 Sep 2002 18:37

Scott Smith
Old Fighter

Posts: 1086
(1/28/02 12:08:53 am)
Reply
Re: Paratroops
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No phobia—Hitler made the only decision possible.

After the Crete operation in 1941, the losses were so staggering that the idea was all but abandoned. Also, the Luftwaffe had to supply complete (and I mean complete) aerial supremacy when using paratroops (which the Allies enjoyed in 1944).

Basically paratroops are grossly overrated anyway (as Allied experience also shows) except as very light infantry, unless heavy weapons can be airlifted with them. The Germans didn't have enough Gotha glider and Bf 110 mules, Me 323 Gigant transports, Ju 52 transports, and regular fighter support for paratroops after 1941 to do other than make them into elite Luftwaffe Panzergrenadiers.

And the Hermann Göring Panzerkorps is rated as one of the top German outfits (not to be confused with Luftwaffe field divisions, which were little more than military police for airfields pressed into infantry combat).

Me 323 Gigant...

Image

Best Regards,
Scott

Edited by: Scott Smith at: 1/28/02 12:34:13 am

JeffreyF
Visitor
(1/28/02 12:14:09 am)
Reply Crete defenses
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Didn't the British commander on scene basically reorganize the defensives of Crete specifically against a paratrooper assault?

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