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Battle of Britain Day

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Battle of Britain Day

Old 16th Sep 2018, 18:08
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friartuck,

Do your own googling and book buying! There are a fair few books and articles that claim that even if the Luftwaffe had gained air superiority over Southern England the RN would still have wiped out the invasion fleet.
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 18:11
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ORAC,

YOU call ME pompous and insufferable, forgive me for guffawing!

I do not hold that it was the case, but there IS an argument for it. B-36's with atomic weapons in 1948, supporting the Russians overland via Iran/India etc. I agree most unlikely but it is just a part of a historical perspective on the BoB that did not really exist in the 50's and 60's.
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 18:29
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Handbags, ladies!

Anyway, I'm just about to watch a certain DVD with the volume cranked up high! Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of attending the premiere!

And yes, there may well be the odd freeze-frame moment...

Last edited by BEagle; 16th Sep 2018 at 18:41.
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 18:32
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BEagle,

Now there's nowt wrong with watching that film, at any time but this weekend in particular, though your obsession with one scene is ever so slightly unhealthy...
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 18:49
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Funny thing was, I found the DVD at an airport video store....

Frankfurt - which my Luftwaffe chums found rather amusing! One year I was attending a multi-national Airbus meeting with them in Spain on 15th Sep - as we boarded the bus at the hotel I said "Ah - die Deutschen! Happy Battle of Britain Day! By the way, you lost!"

"Next time YOU can have the Italians!" came the reply.
"We had them the first time and you STILL bloody lost!", I retorted.

Much laughter ensued - typical aircrew non-PC banter, but none of us gave a $hit!
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 18:51
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Without the Frisch–Peierls memorandum and the approaches from the British to the Americans there may never have been a Manhattan project and an American atom bomb. And if both Britain and Russia had fallen, would the B-36 actually have been built - except as a weapon against Japan?

And If Britain had fallen, or conceded, Rommel would have taken the rest of the Middle East and, as planned, the German army would have taken the oilfields of Persia instead of later having to rely on Ploesti and artificial fuel. And the Middle East was seen as the gateway to India - and perhaps that might also have fallen to either Germany, or more probably Japan.

20-20 hindsight again.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britis...hattan_Project
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 19:17
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There are a fair few books and articles that claim that even if the Luftwaffe had gained air superiority over Southern England the RN would still have wiped out the invasion fleet.
I thought the Royal Navy tried that with a couple of battleships off the Malayan coast.
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 19:24
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Originally Posted by friartuck View Post
" so there is a school of thought that it wouldn't have mattered that much if we lost it anyway. "

never heard that before

Quotations /references please........................
Derek Robinson, in his Invasion 1940 suggests - I'm paraphrasing, rather than quoting directly - that the only relevant service in 1940 was the RN. Anthony Cumming, in his book on the Battle (forgive me, I am off to read a bedtime story to Archi Jr - who is taught about the Battle, by the by, since his school and Beaver Scout group get me in to teach it - and I can't did out the details; I think it's The Royal Navy and the Battle of Britain), sets about Dowding's reputation with a metaphorical piece of 4 by 2 with nails driven into it in a bid to note that Admiral Forbes deserves credit (something which is correct, but which can be done without assailing Dowding's reputation at all, let alone with what I thought the appalling degree of relish Cumming took), and reaches the conclusion that the RN's existence was what stopped the invasion from happening.

In the 1950s, Duncan Grinell Milne, late of the RFC and RAF, made the point in Silent Victory that the RN had an important role to play.

While there is a school of thought that the RAF wasn't that important - I think that Pr00ne was merely trying to point out that it existed, rather than claim Gold Club membership of it - it does tend towards an excessively simplistic revisionism which ignores some key bits of evidence that the leadership of the RN thought that Fighter Command was really rather important...
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 19:36
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Not least that, if you read the history of Fighter Command during the BoB, a very, very large proportion of their sorties are maritime sweep/armed recce to either to find targets for or threats to the RN and to attack maritime targets of opportunity.

They were there to defend the entire UK from threat, including naval.
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 20:14
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16th Sep 2018, 19:32 #24 (permalink) pr00ne
BEagle,
Now there's nowt wrong with watching that film, at any time but this weekend in particular, though your obsession with one scene is ever so slightly unhealthy...
"Dost thou think, that because thou art virtuous, there's to be no more cakes and ale ?"

Are we never to see the fair Susannah again ? (Vive la malsain !)
 
Old 17th Sep 2018, 00:24
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Originally Posted by Box Brownie View Post
Attached are two photos taken from the 1955 BofB programme for Wellesbourne Mountford. The flying display makes for interesting reading
Box Brownie,

The programme is one which if translated to today, would be most impressive indeed. As I keep pointing out, that this was one of tens of other stations holding similar events through the same day shows, without a doubt, that the RAF made a far greater effort toward flying displays in earlier times, albeit an ever diminishing return. One thing I do find mildly amusing in the programme is the theatrical description of some items, Hunters in 'Full Cry'! Marvellous.

FB

Last edited by Finningley Boy; 17th Sep 2018 at 00:51. Reason: CORRECTION
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 00:42
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
BEagle,

Now there's nowt wrong with watching that film, at any time but this weekend in particular, though your obsession with one scene is ever so slightly unhealthy...
Is this the scene where the poor old Luftwaffe chap's goggles explode with Claret?

FB
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 01:10
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Every day is a schoolday with you lot
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 08:02
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Pr00ne:-
Quote:There are a fair few books and articles that claim that even if the Luftwaffe had gained air superiority over Southern England the RN would still have wiped out the invasion fleet.
FED:-
I thought the Royal Navy tried that with a couple of battleships off the Malayan coast.

The missing ingredient being their lack of Air Superiority of course. Even Fat Hermann couldn't have bungled that one. The Royal Navy would have been a sitting duck, rather than the Wehrmacht's invasion fleet. If Fighter Command had been defeated the whole outcome for Germany would have been dramatically altered. Hardly a small part of one war.

It didn't win us the war of course, but it prevented us losing it in 1940. That we survived meant that D-Day could follow, which sounded the death knell for the Third Reich (along with the Red Army's advance from the East of course). This revisionist RN nonsense is just that and says more about the RN than it does about the RAF. A pity, given that thanks to the RN's success in the Battle of the Atlantic we survived the following five years as well!
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 08:22
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Vice-admiral Arthur Ninian was Dowding's brother, so I am sure he harboured a soft spot and a weather eye for for the navy. And having risen through the ranks of the Royal Artillery and the RFC himself, Hugh would have had a sympathetic understanding of the army too.

The service yesterday was splendid, but a little disappointing with very little political representation and no fly-past, but I suppose it was an off-year. The weather in London was perfect, but probably not at point of take-off. The whole congregation clapped massively and warmly as Paul Farnes was wheeled back down and out of the Abbey.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 09:10
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Prince of Wales and Repulse, and Crete for that Matter

Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
friartuck,

Do your own googling and book buying! There are a fair few books and articles that claim that even if the Luftwaffe had gained air superiority over Southern England the RN would still have wiped out the invasion fleet.
They may well claim that, but the destruction of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, as well as the severe damage caused to the Mediterranean Fleet during the evacuation of British and Commonwealth forces from Crete offer a salutary lesson in what happens to navies without air cover. The defeat of Fighter Command would have rendered the RN (Home Fleet?) without that protection and just as vulnerable to attack and destruction as those I've mentioned. The relative proximity of the Luftwaffe's airfields in Northern France and Belgium would have meant a high sortie rate that, coupled with the relatively confined waters of the Channel, would have made life for the RN hell. I don't doubt it would have fought as bravely as anywhere else, and it would have had an impact on any invasion attempt, but its neutralisation, if not actual destruction was highly likely and that may well have been before it could impede an invasion force. The Kanalkampf part of the Battle is instructive; it saw severe losses of shipping moving through the Channel such that the RN cancelled them, and that was when Fighter Command was there to protect the ships.

It's worth noting too that the Kriegsmarine was a force to contend with, as it demonstrated to the RN regularly from 14 October 1939 until at least mid-1943, and would almost certainly have contributed to the neutralisation or destruction of the RN with its combination of submarines, fast attack craft and world-class major surface units (Bismark, et al). Of course, the Kriegsmarine would also have been protected by Luftwaffe fighters, reducing its vulnerability to our bombers, which would in turn have suffered high attrition, reducing the number available to support ground forces after a landing in the UK.

As a force in being, the RN would certainly have figured in the Nazi's calculations, but anyone suggesting it won the Battle of Britain does so without a serious understanding of the vulnerability of the naval forces of the era to air power.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 09:13
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
Pr00ne:-

FED:-

The missing ingredient being their lack of Air Superiority of course. Even Fat Hermann couldn't have bungled that one. The Royal Navy would have been a sitting duck, rather than the Wehrmacht's invasion fleet. If Fighter Command had been defeated the whole outcome for Germany would have been dramatically altered. Hardly a small part of one war.

It didn't win us the war of course, but it prevented us losing it in 1940. That we survived meant that D-Day could follow, which sounded the death knell for the Third Reich (along with the Red Army's advance from the East of course). This revisionist RN nonsense is just that and says more about the RN than it does about the RAF. A pity, given that thanks to the RN's success in the Battle of the Atlantic we survived the following five years as well!
I agree the RN deserves huge credit for the Battle of the Atlantic, but, once again, air power was decisive. The employment of very long range aircraft with radar was pivotal to the suppression, then the neutralisation and then the defeat of the U-Boat threat.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 09:20
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A Service of Thanksgiving and Rededication on Battle of Britain Sunday 2018

I was privileged once again to be invited to yesterday's Battle of Britain Service in Westminster Abbey insofar as my late father had flown Hurricanes from RAF Hullavington in defence of that station in mid September 1940, chasing after Junkers 88s.

The Abbey was packed, and on this occasion the Standard of No 92 Squadron was borne through the church, presented, and laid upon the High Altar as the Central Band of the Royal Air Force played 'Fanfare to the Royal Air Force'. Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns represented The Prince of Wales and the congregation included many members of all ranks from the RAF as well as representatives from many Commonwealth and allied nations.

In The Bidding, Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, said, "Once again we come together on Battle of Britain Sunday in this House of Kings and House of Prayer to give thanks for the dedication and heroism of members of the Royal Air Force and the allied air forces in that remarkable struggle for air supremacy over Britain in October 1940. Their courage marked a turning point in the war, for without their bravery it is hard to see how the Second World War could have been won. As we reflect today on their gallantry and fortitude, we remember all who served and still serve in the Royal Air Force. We honour all who flight in the service of freedom; we express penitence for the suffering and destruction caused by armed conflicts; and we renew our commitments to work for justice, freedom, and decency. Today we pray especially for the Royal Air Force and all those who continue to work, often in immense danger, for justice and for peace. We ask for God's guidance that we may hold courageously to the values we profess, that we may indeed do his will, as we say together the prayer that Jesus taught us..."

Later in the Service we called to mind several other parties that contributed to victory in the Battle, and those organisations that then and now support those who have suffered from injuries or who lost their lives whilst serving with the Royal Air Force, and their dependents. We remembered also those who are currently serving in the Middle East, the Gulf, the South Atlantic and other operational environments. As was mentioned above, only one veteran of the Battle was able to accompany the Roll of Honour that contains the names of those who died in the course of the Battle ... 'Lest we forget'. As was fitting, the last hymn we sang before the Service concluded was, 'The Airman's Hymn'.

After the Service, as we emerged into the bright sunshine and out under a cloudless sky, there were high hopes that the flypast would surely take place, but unfortunately it had been cancelled due to excessively high winds.

For those who may not know, The Abbey contains at the far eastern end of the building a Memorial Chapel dedicated to those who took part in the Battle, in which the colourful stained glass windows depict symbols drawn from the Squadron Badges of those units known to have participated under the control of Fighter Command. This is a quiet place, and well suited to enable visitors there to reflect upon sacrifices made by Royal Air Force and allied air force elements in the latter half of 1940 to ensure that in our hour of need our country remained free from invasion and potential subjugation.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 09:27
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Good comprehensive post, Nugget90. Thanks.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 10:57
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Originally Posted by Rheinstorff View Post
I agree the RN deserves huge credit for the Battle of the Atlantic, but, once again, air power was decisive. The employment of very long range aircraft with radar was pivotal to the suppression, then the neutralisation and then the defeat of the U-Boat threat.
No quibbles with that, and added to which is the breaking of the Kriegsmarine's Enigma code, allowing our convoys to avoid the wolf packs and the hunter killer groups of Captain Johnnie Walker RN to find them. It was as you say an Allied joint-service effort, but it was an RN success story which is the point I was trying to make.
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