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Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW II

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Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW II

Old 7th Sep 2017, 06:47
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Danny,
as always your reply has summed up the problems facing the groundcew in those far away places.
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Old 8th Sep 2017, 07:17
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Recent study of Churchill's policy of discouraging (delaying) the wish of Stalin and Roosevelt's for an invasion of France in 192, or at the latest in 1943, was because of he simply did have trust in the British Army or rather its Generals.

Therefore to distract the Americans he pressed for campaigns in North Africa and Italy and he tried to persuade the Americans to engage in campaigns in Greece and Greek islands.

Anything to postpone a land battle in Western Europe until the the Germans had been softened up by the Russians and aerial bombardment by the Royal Air Force -- in whom he had great faith.

In the end, Churchill was overruled by Roosevelt and Stalin and what followed was the successful campaign in Normandy in 1944. Whether a land invasion on the French coastline in 1943, rather than an invasion of Italy, would have been successful and would have shortened the war, remains to be seen. Certainly the attempt on Hitler's life in July 1944 suggests that once the landing in Europe had been accomplished some German Generals recognised that total defeat was just a matter of time.

As for the Italian campaign, the best comment may have come from a German General after the war, "when invading Italy, it is best not to start at the bottom".
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Old 8th Sep 2017, 08:16
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When Eisenhower arrived in the UK, he very quickly realised that all idea's of a 1943 invasion were pipe dreams.

See: Crusade In Europe
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Old 8th Sep 2017, 11:13
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Indeed.

Mark Clark, who triumphantly drove into Rome, rather than cutting off the German retreat, was actually senior to Eisenhower and had more campaign experience but Eisenhower was a shrewd politician and accepted advice from the British.

It was General Marshall in Washington who wanted a quick war in Europe before turning full attention to the Pacific. When Churchill prevailed upon Roosevelt to delay an invasion, Marshall advocated abandoning the Germany first policy and refocusing on the Pacific.

Fortunately Roosevelt rejected that idea. Without the nuclear bomb, the war against Japan would have dragged on for along time and cost many lives. Meanwhile Germany -- with only the Russians and RAF bombers to worry about, would have been able to develop and produce more sophisticated weapons, including jet aircraft.
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Old 8th Sep 2017, 13:12
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...he very quickly realised that all idea's of a 1943 invasion were pipe dreams.
The build up of troops and planning were a massive task.

The Americans considered the British as rank amateurs, but the unnecessary casualties sustained on the relatively more lightly defended US Beaches in 1944, show their rejection of the British AVREs as tin toys greatly underestimated our inventiveness and professionalism. They even rejected the Airspeed Horsa as unsuitable for concentrated troop insertion because of its wooden construction!
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Old 8th Sep 2017, 18:43
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Sadly, American arrogance at several points cost many American lives. It was the same in WWI, until they learned hard lessons in blood.

However, that's their problem.
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Old 8th Sep 2017, 20:10
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Originally Posted by roving
Indeed.

Mark Clark, who triumphantly drove into Rome, rather than cutting off the German retreat, was actually senior to Eisenhower and had more campaign experience
In Sept 1939, when Germany attacked Poland, Eisenhower was a Major.
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Old 10th Sep 2017, 21:09
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Originally Posted by roving
Recent study of Churchill's policy of discouraging (delaying) the wish of Stalin and Roosevelt's for an invasion of France in 192, or at the latest in 1943, was because of he simply did have trust in the British Army or rather its Generals.
Apropos of this, those interested in the topic might find the following videos worth their time.



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Old 11th Sep 2017, 11:49
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Originally Posted by MPN11
Seletar's Sunderlands - RAF Seletar - Singapore

How long after that they bobbed around on a buoy is a different question.
It was not PP198,but DP198
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Old 11th Sep 2017, 14:20
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Most like me would have very familiar with the period after Montgomery took over, but until I watched the first video I was not aware of the precise train of events and the roles/decision making of the British (or should I describe them as UK) Generals in the year preceding Montgomery's arrival.

Ritchie comes in for severe stick. Didn't the AUK retire to North Africa after the war? His perceived failure was in delegating planning and execution to Major Generals who were simply not up to it. Rommel on the other-hand (even when promoted to Field Marshall) seems to have been involved at all stages. I think he was in Germany recuperating when Montgomery launched his campaign. Ironically history repeated itself there, because when the Allies landed in Normandy Rommel, who was in command in Normandy, was again in Germany, celebrating his wife's birthday - I think.. .

Thank you for the links.
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Old 11th Sep 2017, 19:10
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I recommend perusal of the article "Ordinary Heroes" in yesterday's (Sept. 10) Sunday Times Magazine by Patrick Bishop (author of "Fighter Boys") - a very fair and balanced assessment of "The Big Picture" which none of those involved could have possibly have known about at the time.

Ian BB
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 14:30
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Originally Posted by Ian Burgess-Barber
I recommend perusal of the article "Ordinary Heroes" in yesterday's (Sept. 10) Sunday Times Magazine by Patrick Bishop (author of "Fighter Boys") - a very fair and balanced assessment of "The Big Picture" which none of those involved could have possibly have known about at the time.

Ian BB

I read it. Thanks.
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 14:48
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article "Ordinary Heroes" in yesterday's (Sept. 10) Sunday Times Magazine by Patrick Bishop (author of "Fighter Boys")
I too read it and am intrigued by the accompanying photo of the Short Stirling photographed at Waterbeach in 1942 with a bit hanging down from the aircraft behind the two crew on the left. What is it?:


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Old 12th Sep 2017, 15:04
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It's part of the undercarriage. It's a bit dark but you can nearly see the same thing under the starboard wing.

It goes back to Martlesham Heath complaining that the take-off run was too long and requesting an increase in wing incidence.
That would have caused a nose-down cruise like the Whitley, and tooling was already well advanced for production, so they fitted what was basically a big crate between the top of the undercarriage and the wing mountings.
It worked but was notoriously fragile.
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 15:07
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I believe that it is the fairings that cover the u/c when retracted. Compare with the starboard main gear which is partly in the shade.

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Old 12th Sep 2017, 16:23
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And what's a complete crew doing strolling nonchalantly along underneath the running engines of an unchocked aircraft? Is there anyone in the cockpit?

What some people had to do in the name of PR!
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 18:11
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Typhoons Over Normandy

by Ken Trott


This remarkable account of a Typhoon Pilot appears as the lead story in the 60th Anniversary D-Day edition of Wartime News. This personal episode in the life of a fighter pilot demonstrates just how committed these men were and the risks they had to take to defeat the enemy.

Template: Masthead Layout
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 18:39
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re Typhoons over Normandy by Ken Trott.
Two questions/comments:
1. Did others notice that the text is (partly) duplicated?
2. I had never heard of "Wartime News" and went looking for it, unsuccessfully, alas! Does anyone know whether it is archived somewhere and can be accessed?
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Old 12th Sep 2017, 18:49
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Originally Posted by olympus
And what's a complete crew doing strolling nonchalantly along underneath the running engines of an unchocked aircraft? Is there anyone in the cockpit?

What some people had to do in the name of PR!
Caption: "Oh, just leave it there. That was a cr@p trip, and I'm tired."
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Old 13th Sep 2017, 08:14
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Those who have seen the movie "Dunkirk" will know that Tom Hardy portrayed a Spitfire pilot who having successfully shot down German a/c off the coast of Dunkirk during the evacuation which began on 26 May 1940, landed the Spitfire on the beach, set fire to it and was taken prisoner.

This could be based on (then) Pilot Officer Alan Deere (later A/C DSO, OBE, DFC & Bar whose autobiography was titled "Nine Lives"). There is one major difference between Tom Hardy's character and Alan Deere. Deere evaded capture and went on to have a remarkable WWII career, punctuated with him using eight of his nine lives.

Alan Deere was serving with 54 Squadron in May 1940. This is the account of the first of those 'nine lives' on 28 May 1940 as set-out on the excellent link provided.

"On 28 May Deere was leading his squadron on their fourth patrol of the day when they encountered 17 Dorniers. In the engagement which followed, return fire from one of these aircraft hit the oil system of his Spitfire, and while Deere was half blinded by smoke from the burning oil his engine seized. He was then flying at barely 800 feet over the Belgian coast between Nieuport and Dunkirk, so he made for a stretch of beach along which his Spitfire slithered, finally coming to rest on its nose. Although injured in the head Deere scrambled out of his aircraft, set it on fire, and began to make his way on foot towards Dunkirk. After a hazardous and eventful journey, partly made by converting abandoned cars to his own use, he finally reached that port and returned by ship to England."

World War 2 - RAF 54 Squadron, May/June 1940

Later this week I will detail the career of another pilot during the evacuation from France, who at the beginning of May 1940 was flight commander of 54 Squadron, but was posted in May 1940 to No. 1 Squadron, which was covering the evacuation from aerodromes in France. This second officer, whom seventeen years later I would know personally, also ended his career as an A/C -- though in his case had he not retired in 1963, would almost certainly have ascended higher up the greasy flag pole.

Last edited by roving; 13th Sep 2017 at 15:56. Reason: syntax
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