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Really Interesting Battle of Britain Interview with Dilip Sarkar

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Really Interesting Battle of Britain Interview with Dilip Sarkar

Old 23rd Sep 2020, 17:12
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Really Interesting Battle of Britain Interview with Dilip Sarkar

Just listenend to an enthralling interview with this historian and writer - who has some quite controversial opinions about the Battle of Britain - particulary in the relationships of some of the main players - I found it fascinating!

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Old 24th Sep 2020, 10:19
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No shortage of of controversy in the BoB

[QUOTE=JetSetJimbo;10891107]Just listenend to an enthralling interview with this historian and writer - who has some quite controversial opinions about the Battle of Britain - particulary in the relationships of some of the main players - I found it fascinating.

Nothing new here, but it took years for the truth about some of the 'issues' to surface and even then it gets rewritten and played down.
It was politics without TV and social media. Several 'players' wanted others jobs and history shows they were more interested in that, than 'being a team', and ensuring a combined effort was vital.
Also the Castle Bromwich situation was a scandal in its own right as it failed to produce machines until very late in the Battle unlike Hurricane production which was our saviour. Of course the Churchill factor also comes in to play, for without his determination to get the country to 'Fight back' as opposed to 'do a deal with Hitler' there would be no BoB, and the cabinet meetings of the 28th May were a real close run event,being the pivotal decisions that led to this Country standing up for freedom and democracy (on our own) when the situation looked very uncertain. In its way the 1968 BoB film did try to expose some of this situation, and certainly 'spawned' the return to flight of machines that would have rotted away. Churchill had his 'skeletons', but he gave the decisive leadership that was needed at the right time. GB plc is about democracy and choice, it is not the most efficient way to run a Country sometimes, but we should be proud and grateful to all those that have fought for it over the years.
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 05:31
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Thanks for the link JetSetJimbo, a very interesting hour and a half. I was glad to hear someone sticking up for Dowding - he was badly treated by the Churchill and the RAF hierarchy
Without his foresight things could or would have turned out far differently
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 08:37
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Dowding and Park

Originally Posted by Ddraig Goch View Post
Thanks for the link JetSetJimbo, a very interesting hour and a half. I was glad to hear someone sticking up for Dowding - he was badly treated by the Churchill and the RAF hierarchy
Without his foresight things could or would have turned out far differently
Dowding and Park paid the price for being 'right' and not allowing themselves to be swerved from the only way it had to be done.
They grasped the new technology way ahead of their time and coupled with their previous military experience used it to the best advantage. That they did this with fewer resources than planned for and with an enemy only 10 minutes away was so ahead of the current game it was nothing short of genius. Dowding had been under constant attack (from the rear) but knew what was needed and probably wished he could have put 12 group under Parks overall control at the time, but LM was playing the politic game at full throttle and the situation was to serious for Dowding to get involved with that side of things. Once the 'invasion crisis' was averted the 'politic players' could do their rewrite of history without the 'facts' getting in the way. To be fair to the 68 film it does go some way to exposing this, and of course Park eventually was sent to Malta and sorted that situation out.
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 09:19
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The Battle of Britain is perhaps like the question of convoys in WW I. The bulk of the professional officers wanted aggressive action with big kills. A few saw the nature of the problem differently. In WW I the issue was not sinking submarines, but getting merchant vessels to the UK with as few losses as possible. In the BoB, the goal was to not be defeated, to keep a defensive force in being, and to win in the attrition in pilots. Dowding and Park evidently realised that, but their approach was easy to attack.

But I thought all this was the standard account of the Battle of Britain, and has been so for at least 30 years. Does it need re-stating in the UK these days? (real question, not rhetorical.)
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 09:31
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Thanks for the link Jimbo - a very enjoyable little interview.

So...... who was the nameless pilot that Dilip described as being a great ambassador for BoB pilots but who's 'stories' did not ring true ?
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 11:23
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This book "The Battle of Britain - New Perspectives" by John Ray - "behind the scenes of the Great Air War" covers the same ground well. Published back in 1994 but found on Amazon.
Don't let the review there put you off "The whole book is about a pissing contest between two head guys with different ideas how the fight should be fought. More boring back stabbing than i could take."
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Old 26th Sep 2020, 20:18
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Dowding and Churchill

It is well known that Dowding was quite forthright in appraising Churchill and the Ministry of the facts, but Churchill must have trusted him as he never sought to replace the head of Fighter command,even though he was not getting what he wanted from him in the way of throwing extra resources in to a hopeless case baslket. Dowding knew that destroying the RAF was going to be difficult for the Germans but also that he would be hard put to maintain a high level of interceptions as his pilot experience level dropped. He knew his front line bases were vulnerable, but the Germans were taking looses that they could not sustain,so it was a classic 'campaign' that came down to making the least mistakes.Goerings crews soon realised that the RAF was far from a spent force and no doubt the word soon spread around his force which would hardly encourage them to believe their leader anymore. This dramatic situation to a force that had only known victory and low looses would have has a serious affect on overall morale,and Dowding knew this. Of course it would have been helpful to Dowding and Park had LM been rather more supportive, but in crucial conflict you have to concentrate on whats important at the time not get drawn in to the in fighting behind the scenes. Dowding was overdue to retire before the Battle, and Park of course came back to see Malta well led.They both were fully vindicated when the real facts became better known.
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