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Battle of Britain Day

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Battle of Britain Day

Old 15th Sep 2018, 11:39
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Battle of Britain Day

It is now exactly 78 years since the Royal Air Force achieved its greatest success, and which justified its formation 100 years ago more than any other of the many bitter battles it has fought throughout its existence. Happy Battle of Britain Day Royal Air Force!
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 11:56
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I notice our taxpayer funded media have totally ignored it.
Maybe something to do with their adoration of Europe.
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 13:48
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
I notice our taxpayer funded media have totally ignored it.
Maybe something to do with their adoration of Europe.

The BBC are running an article, with a European side-story. It is rather tucked away though.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-45516556
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 14:19
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Sir Winston Churchill’s famous speech:

The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day, but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate, careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power. On no part of the Royal Air Force does the weight of the war fall more heavily than on the daylight bombers who will play an invaluable part in the case of invasion and whose unflinching zeal it has been necessary in the meanwhile on numerous occasions to restrain.

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister, August 1940.
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 15:36
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I signed on the dotted line and took the Queens shilling at 14.00 this day 60 years ago at RAF Halton, best thing I ever did, had 25 years of absolute (well nearly all) fun serving HMQ.
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 16:34
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Hat off, respect, toast at dinner tonight
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 16:39
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Z2, I was just a year and an hour behind you,but then we were an Entry of 300+...!!!!
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 18:06
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I don’t often praise the Royal Air Force but they really really turn up for this one and richly deserve the thanks of the Nation not only for winning but also their sacrifice. Respect Ladies and Gentlemen.
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 18:36
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Indeed, I'm just reading a book I picked up the other day about the Battle of Britain. It's one of these myth dispelling ones. So far although I've only just got started, nothing revealing has popped out yet. One thing that is a shame is the lack of any more Battle of Britain 'at homes', today would have been most appropriate.

FB
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 19:08
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Sycamore, good to hear your still with us !, yes but remember our smaller entry's were that way for quality not quantity, my respect for you, you flew far higher than I did, rgds PH.
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 19:29
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Just read ‘Air Officer Commanding, Hugh Dowding’ by John T LaSaine Jr. 2018.
An objective study, much of the history of the RAF is interwoven, providing fascinating insights into the changing political struggles and power plays behind the scenes, even as Hitler grew stronger and war became inevitable. One particular paragraph in the book made the whole thing especially worth reading for me.
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 21:23
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Whatever happened to BoB Wings Day?
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 22:08
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Damm close run thing

When we look back at the events of the time, it takes on the mantle of a giant jigsaw puzzle where most of the parts eventually came nearly together to swing the balance.
Our air defence system that prevailed despite not being really designed to deal with a threat from only 20 odd miles away.
Churchill's ability to swing the governments decision to 'fight on'.
The pre war Aux and VR schemes that provided a pool of pilots to fill the gaps.
The telephone system that had to work as the final link in the scramble system.
The Hurricane Spitfire and Merlin.
Bomber Command doing its bit on the offensive during all of this
The ability of industry to replace machines
All those that supported the aircrew (many inexperienced and thrust into the fray to plug the gaps)
The leadership that LED despite the politics going on from certain elements
The difficult to determine British spirit that held firm despite the odds
A peaceful Surrey common that became a battlefield (one of many such locations that did not fail)

About 10% of the reasons it happened !!!!

Totally 'under taught' in this modern pc world that delights in rubbishing our ability to 'Get on with it when really needed'
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 22:24
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BoB Wings Day?

I have a copy of the 1954 RAF Merryfield At Home Day of 18th September 1954. It includes a programme for the 1954 'Battle of Britain Week'. Nothing spectacular, just local events organised by local RAFA people in a small Somerset market town to commemorate the events of 14 years earlier:

Sunday 12th - Archery competition on Ilminster Grammar School playing fields
Monday 13th - Progressive Whist Drive at the County Secondary School
Tuesday 14th - Film Show (by courtesy of Shell Mex & BP Ltd) at the County Secondary School
Wednesday 15th - Treasure Hunt for Champagne and other valuable prizes
Thursday 16th - Darts and Skittles tournament at the George Hotel
Friday 17th - Grand Modern Ball at the George Hotel
Saturday 18th (after the At Home event) - Combined RAF - RAFA Dance at RAF Merryfield
Sunday 19th - Commemoration Service at the Mynster

As for the Flying Programme (14:35 - 17:00 with a 16:00 - 16:30 tea interval), it included an air sea rescue demonstration, formation aerobatics by Meteors and Vampires, a demonstration of a Wyvern and a helicopter, solo aerobatics by Chipmunk, Meteor, Balliol and Vampire aircraft, height and speed judging contest, 'breaking the sound barrier' by a Sabre of Fighter Command, mock attack by Vampires on a position defended by guns manned by the RAF Regiment, overflights by passing formations, departure and flypast of 19 different types from the static display as well as pleasure flights operated by a couple of civilian aircraft.

All that at just one small Advanced Flying Training station....which was open to the public from 13:30 - 17:30.
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 01:50
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
BoB Wings Day?

I have a copy of the 1954 RAF Merryfield At Home Day of 18th September 1954. It includes a programme for the 1954 'Battle of Britain Week'. Nothing spectacular, just local events organised by local RAFA people in a small Somerset market town to commemorate the events of 14 years earlier:

Sunday 12th - Archery competition on Ilminster Grammar School playing fields
Monday 13th - Progressive Whist Drive at the County Secondary School
Tuesday 14th - Film Show (by courtesy of Shell Mex & BP Ltd) at the County Secondary School
Wednesday 15th - Treasure Hunt for Champagne and other valuable prizes
Thursday 16th - Darts and Skittles tournament at the George Hotel
Friday 17th - Grand Modern Ball at the George Hotel
Saturday 18th (after the At Home event) - Combined RAF - RAFA Dance at RAF Merryfield
Sunday 19th - Commemoration Service at the Mynster

As for the Flying Programme (14:35 - 17:00 with a 16:00 - 16:30 tea interval), it included an air sea rescue demonstration, formation aerobatics by Meteors and Vampires, a demonstration of a Wyvern and a helicopter, solo aerobatics by Chipmunk, Meteor, Balliol and Vampire aircraft, height and speed judging contest, 'breaking the sound barrier' by a Sabre of Fighter Command, mock attack by Vampires on a position defended by guns manned by the RAF Regiment, overflights by passing formations, departure and flypast of 19 different types from the static display as well as pleasure flights operated by a couple of civilian aircraft.

All that at just one small Advanced Flying Training station....which was open to the public from 13:30 - 17:30.
Indeed, 58 RAF Stations held similar events the same day including Merryfield, I've just been looking on line at a Pathe news footage reel of Biggin Hill's at home day, the same day, young lads were queueing up to have a go at climbing into the cockpit of a Meteor to fire the cannons at the butts!

FB
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 06:49
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/t...ment-fj09rd5hn

The Few become The One at Battle of Britain monument

Just a single pilot from the 1940 combat was able to be at this year’s ceremony to honour the aces who shot down Hitler’s aircraft

With his head bowed, the 100-year-old flying ace slowly approached the Battle of Britain monument alone. After laying a wreath to his fallen comrades, Paul Farnes paused and rested one hand on the bronze statue of an RAF airman sprinting to his waiting fighter aircraft.

For the first time, just one member of “The Few” was able to attend yesterday’s annual act of remembrance of the battle that raged in the skies of southern England in 1940. “I was very proud to be in the Battle of Britain and this brings it all back,” Farnes, who shot down eight enemy aircraft during the battle and significantly damaged 11 more, said after the ceremony.

Farnes, a former Hurricane pilot, is one of just eight surviving members of The Few, whose name was inspired by Winston Churchill’s wartime speech about the RAF’s efforts during the Battle of Britain. “Never was so much owed by so many to so few,” he said. Wing Commander Tom Neil, 97, and Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum, 96, died in July and Flight Lieutenant Ronald Mackay, 101, passed away last month.

The Few have dwindled from about 12-strong a year ago, four of whom, including Farnes, attended last year’s ceremony at the monument on the Victoria Embankment in London. “We have lost several pilots in the last year,” Farnes said. “I’m not the only one [still alive] but I am nearly the only one.”........

Today Farnes will attend the Battle of Britain thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey, which will be followed by a flypast by a Hurricane and a Spitfire.

Farnes, who left the RAF in 1958 as a wing commander, will escort an airman as he carries through the abbey a “roll of honour” of those who fought. In previous years the airman has been flanked by six members of The Few. This year Farnes will be his sole wingman.



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Old 16th Sep 2018, 17:28
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Attached are two photos taken from the 1955 BofB programme for Wellesbourne Mountford. The flying display makes for interesting reading
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 17:54
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POBJOY,

Oh for Pete's sake, could you BE any more cliched if you tried?

The Battle of Britain IS taught in schools today, but it is a part of history, a small part of one war in a whole series of wars taught in modern contemporary British and European history.

And perhaps it is not made such a fuss of as was done in years gone by because, apart from the passing of time, it is put more in a rational context of the Second World War? And that 10% of yours could have the many mistakes by Hitler and Goering added, the fact that the RN and certain Naval Historians have mounted a campaign ever since to diminish the battle's importance, so there is a school of thought that it wouldn't have mattered that much if we lost it anyway. And then there is the argument that if they'd come back in 1941 or 1942 it could have been a VERY different story and outcome. I grew up with the BoB as a huge part of my historical awareness and BoB At Home Days at RAF Stations (Gaydon and Finningley mainly) were hugely enjoyable and at the time, I thought, VERY important. But, 78 years after the event, with a whole myriad of similar events and campaigns that happened since, it's historical significance now somewhat diminished, I can see why to the youngsters of today it really is no big deal. And before you trot out that other old cliche, 'if it hadn't have happened we'd be speaking German now!" Well, if a whole HOST of things hadn't happened we could have been speaking German now, or maybe not, as the other occupied dna defeated powers are all free now and none of them are speaking German, whose to say it would not have been the same eventual outcome for us?

And as for "this modern PC world," Oh come on! You sound like an ancient dinosaur, railing against the fact that you can't call black people n*****s anymore or discriminate against women and foreigners and be down right offensive to other people over a difference. The fact that in this 'modern world" we don't do that anymore or find it remotely funny or even acceptable, has diddly squat to do with why we don't celebrate the BoB like we used to.
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 18:04
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" 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........................
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 18:07
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And before you trot out that other old cliche, 'if it hadn't have happened we'd be speaking German now!" Well, if a whole HOST of things hadn't happened we could have been speaking German now, or maybe not, as the other occupied dna defeated powers are all free now and none of them are speaking German, whose to say it would not have been the same eventual outcome for us?
Because if the UK had fallen the USA would not have gotten involved in a European war without a base of operations?

And without having to have to keep troops in the west, Germany might have succeeded in conquering Russia? As with WWI, the defeat of France etc was only seen as a means of removing a threat to the rear before moving onto the the real threat in the east.

Just saying.

And just because some some historians say it wasn’t important does not make it so. 20-20 hindsight is wonderful, but as with most hindsight what is claimed to have been inevitable could well have turned out totally differently - and equally then claimed to have been inevitable. The eye witness account would seem more reliable.

I was was going to say you risk seeming pompous and insufferable. But in hindsight it seems to have been inevitable....
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