Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
- Posts: 2
- Joined: 11 May 2023 18:06
- Location: London
Dear Forum - I'm new here, so please forgive me if there are any conventions that are being broken here, but I would love your help. I'm researching a book that includes a chapter on rearmament by both Britain and Germany during the 1930s. It has come to my attention that there were (rather extraordinarily, it seems) organised exchange visits between Nazi dignitaries and their British counterparts to each other's airfields and factories during the mid- and even late-30s - kind of 'I'll show you mine, if you show me yours'. There is a mythical (to my understanding) representation of such a visit (this one, though, was depicted as informal) between RJ Mitchell, designer of the Spitfire, and Willi Messerschmitt in Bavaria in the movie 'First of the Few' with Leslie Howard and David Niven. Others, though, really did happen - e.g the visit by Sir Roy Fedden of the Bristol Engine Company to Germany in or around 1937. Inevitably, the technical ability of Fedden and others to analyse the German arms build-up - and the import of what he was being shown - was vital to the British intelligence picture, which was, pretty confused. I am particularly interested in an anecdotal report relating to Sir Frank Spriggs, MD of Hawker Aircraft (which became Hawker Siddeley and built the Hurricane amongst other aircraft) that has reached me via a member of his family. According to family lore, Sir Frank Spriggs visited Germany at its invitation in the mid-1930s and was even reputed to have met Hitler. I wouldn't normally put much store in such a flimsy report, but the family swears that it happened, and Sir Frank brought back vital intelligence to the UK (which might explain why it was hushed up). Does anyone have any idea how I might go about standing this up (or shooting it down)? Which archives either in the UK or Germany might contain relevant information? Any other sources of information to try? Or helpful books that might cover this subject? I am very grateful for any help anyone might be able to provide ... thanks in advance.