View Full Version : Vulcans, Victors and Cuba

28th Oct 2002, 08:09
Dircovery Sci-Trek Channel is showing a documentary on the RAF's nuclear bombers' role during the Cuban Missile Crisis, tonight Monday 28 Oct at 20:00

28th Oct 2002, 13:06
It's also on at 1500. The VCR is primed......

Shall report on whether 'twas bolleaux or not!!

28th Oct 2002, 16:21
Well what a load of rubbish that was. Recycled footage from other Vulcan & Victor vids for the first half hour leading up to an outline of what a mission to Russia would have consisted of using stock footage of 558 and Marham tanker Victors. They couldn't even be bothered getting much footage of the 1960s V-force, only had a single crew member talking about his time in the force, and had nothing of any detail or substance whatsoever. Was also much amused by Kennedy's forces ranged against Cuba consisting not only of the Thunderbirds' F-100s but also Canadian F-86s from the Golden Hawks team!

Vacuous, forgettable, recycled rubbish.

28th Oct 2002, 17:59
Just about acceptable for letting the great unwashed of today know that we once had a powerful bomber force and the fact that it was at high readiness during the Cuban missile crisis.

Some good 'period' shots - but too many irrelevant shots of Victor Tankers (spit) and of the Apple-Spitting Gibbon demonstrating poor control of adverse yaw in his Vulcan displays of a few years ago!

There must be better film footage somewhere gathering dust!

28th Oct 2002, 21:17
Sorry I mentioned it, it was pretty poor stuff, at least they didn't have the ex-V Force guy dressed in a Mk1 cloth helmet like in the 'Vulcan - a Call to Arms'- video, from which much of this seems to have been recycled.

Beags: Apple Spitting Gibbon? Let us in on it please :confused:

tony draper
28th Oct 2002, 21:33
I'm watching Discovery sci trek right now and its not on, bollix been looking forward to it all day.

ARRRGGGGHHH, just noticed its 8 oclock not 10 :o

28th Oct 2002, 22:26
Watched it. Did its job of letting today's generation know that the UK also were close to going in those bleak 13 days. Tend to agree about the accompanying footage - they even reversed the neg on one shot of a Valiant taxying! However, there can't be much "releasable" footage from the old V force QRA at that time, and none at all of the Victors it would seem. As BEagle says though, it might just raise the awareness of today's generation about the RAF we used to have.

I know the prog was titled "Vulcs & Victors" etc, but a some small mention of the Canberra nuclear strike squadrons in Germany at the time wouldn't have been amiss. Especially as our B(I)8's would have been the first to go. The role of 3, 14, 16 & 213 Squadrons will, probably, never be fully recognised from that time - not "sexy" enough I guess. But they were our nuclear response until the V's came on line.

Iron City
29th Oct 2002, 19:01
Of dear, looks like the Discovery Channel and it's progeny History (Hitler) Channel, Biography, etc are just as bad in the UK as here.

Seem to recall a post from someone involved in production of these kind of programs that stated that getting copyright clearance and such for footage takes loads of time and trouble and attention and that is one big reason why you see very little new footage or still pictures about. If it is government owned footage and pictures couldn't be a copyright problem, just lazyness?

tony draper
29th Oct 2002, 19:14
Found this interesting site with snaps of the cargo the chaps used to carry


This is the main page, mostly USAF stuff bit with a British section..


Iron City
30th Oct 2002, 17:04
Fascinating site, but being on GEOCITIES a bunch of spam for mortgages, security, etc come out with it.

Blue Danube looks a lot like the rocket ships in the old Buck Rogers serials. You don't think that is just a coincidence do you?

And somebody else got stuck with the Thor ("Thor, you're Thor, I'm so Thor I can't even...) bless you.

In a previous incarnation got to do a little with the EOD community and was at a place once with at least one of everything that goes boom. German WW I aerial mines, Shrapnel shells (the original), nukes of all kinds, bits of Congrieve rockets (original too). Would have made a great museum if anyone could have been allowed in.

30th Oct 2002, 20:36
A highpoint of the programme was mention of the delta winged prototypes and a clip of a claimed leading expert on delta wings climbing into the cockpit for a test flight.
No poseurs fancy flying suits etc, he was appropriately dressed in sports coat, flannels and shirt and tie

30th Oct 2002, 21:42
That was, I think, Roly Falk in the Avro 707.....

1st Nov 2002, 21:28
Lets not forget the Valiants guys!

I was on 543 at the time of Cuba , we spent longer on cockpit stby then than the rest of my V force time put together.

tony draper
2nd Nov 2002, 07:40
On another website I visit a thread about the Cuba crisis is under way, one poster has stated that Macmillan ordered the V bomber force not to be armed or dispersed to so as not to alarm the Russians.
I did watch the documentry the other night but I did not see this mentioned,(I may have been out of the room )I do recal the narrator saying that nuclear weapon had been removed form storage.
Is this true?.

2nd Nov 2002, 09:41
In the programme, it was clearly stated that MacMillan ordered the V-force to 'Alert Condition 3 - fully armed and at 15 minute readiness' but was determined not to give the order to go to 'Condition 2 - the dispersal of the H-bomb armed V-force to bases all over the British Isles'. An act, it was thought, which would send out dangerous signals about Britain's preparations for an attack.

Hew Jampton
2nd Nov 2002, 15:05
determined not to give the order to go to 'Condition 2 - the dispersal of the H-bomb armed V-force to bases all over the British Isles' But I remember two Vulcans sitting near the threshold of what was then 28L at LHR, to the south of the runway on a little apron off the taxiway that made an excellent impromptu ORP (or perhaps it wasn't so impromptu). They were there for some days, possibly a week or so, surrounded by armed RAF Police. I think the same scene was going on at RAE Bedford.