Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Douglas Bader

Old 13th Aug 2019, 00:56
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Welwyn Garden City
Age: 58
Posts: 1,157
I've mentioned on another thread the German Ground Attack Pilot, Hans Ulrich Rudel, who had 519 Tanks destroyed to his name. He was shot down over Soviet Territory and against all odds made his way in Winter, bare foot, back to German lines. He lost his right foot in the process yet insisted on getting back into the cockpit at the earliest convenience. Justifiably recognised for his valour by his own side, he had been awarded every possible Gallantry decoration including Knights Cross with Swords, Oak Leaves and Diamonds, I believe they introduced Golden Oak Leaves just for him. It has been said that had he been British or American his exploits would have rivalled Bader and the like in the public domain. However, he was an unrepentant Nazi, not even one of the good ones!

FB
Finningley Boy is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 02:16
  #42 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 70
Posts: 16,228
If you want people to run at a machine gun, you have to seduce them to do so.
The USMC might suggest there is another method that works as well.....called Iron Hard Discipline mixed with Esprit de Corps.
SASless is online now  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 02:28
  #43 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: A better place.
Posts: 1,557
Originally Posted by SASless View Post
The USMC might suggest there is another method that works as well.....called Iron Hard Discipline mixed with Esprit de Corps.
True.
And what could be more seductive than that uniform, the medals, the Mameluke sword and the hundreds of years of history.
Especially the esprit de corps - the brotherhood of your fellow Marine.


tartare is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 06:21
  #44 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 1,091
Yet in Eugene Sledge’s book he describes ‘Ack Ack’ Haldane as ‘the most loved’ leader and it sounds like his blend of humility and humanity made him someone his boys would follow anywhere.
orca is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 08:34
  #45 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: cardiff
Posts: 364
Originally Posted by weemonkey View Post
Yes but did you get his sig on the paddle??
No.. was part way through getting a bollocking from said grumpy passenger for not wearing a hat (on an active flight line) when staish pitched up.

Ttfn
ivor toolbox is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 08:34
  #46 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dark Side of West Wales
Age: 80
Posts: 91
I never met DB but he seems to have had a very mixed reception on here. However one guy of that era I did meet and admire is AVM Johnny Johnson, I am afraid I cannot think of a bad word to say against him!
DODGYOLDFART is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 08:37
  #47 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 70
Posts: 16,228
Some seduction....I believe you have the "Story of O" confused with Boot Camp at Parris Island somehow.
SASless is online now  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 10:05
  #48 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: northofwhereiusedtobe
Posts: 1,172
Originally Posted by DODGYOLDFART View Post
I never met DB but he seems to have had a very mixed reception on here. However one guy of that era I did meet and admire is AVM Johnny Johnson, I am afraid I cannot think of a bad word to say against him!
I am sorry to say that JJ was fairly universally disliked as well - perhaps especially post war.
longer ron is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 11:16
  #49 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: East Sussex
Posts: 429
Getting back to Bader and WW2, after the BoB had been "won" there was a need to take the fight to the enemy, and a Big Wing was a better format that small sections of fighters that could be set upon by a mass of locally based German fighters.
However, it was NOT a sound philosophy for the Battle of Britain,as time taken to get the Big Wing assembled would have given German bombers free range over the South East up to London, and allowed the Germans to also mass their formations of fighters, who at that time had more effective armament (cannon) and better tactics (finger four).
His aversion to cannon was also a handicap, as a few cannon shells will inflict more damage than a short burst of .303's....

You only have to look at how many RAF bombers were unable to fend off night fighters with .303 compared to 0.5 in guns, or how ineffective .303 ammo was against the tin V1's....

Dowding got it right for the BoB defence, but at great personal cost and sadness in husbanding his precious resources (pilots), and a new offensive attitude was required for post BoB operations.

But I wasn't there and whilst I have admiration for Bader and his achievements, he did have feet of clay in his attitude post War, that wasn't necessary and demeaned his wartime activities.
You might equally argue in similar fashion about Churchill!
Icare9 is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 12:14
  #50 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 607
Originally Posted by orca View Post
Yet in Eugene Sledge’s book he describes ‘Ack Ack’ Haldane as ‘the most loved’ leader and it sounds like his blend of humility and humanity made him someone his boys would follow anywhere.
I agree-look at Dick Winters in Easy Company/506th PIR. If you saw the series 'Band of Brothers' its clear that his men idolised him.

I know a chap who worked with Bader at Shell and he hasn't got anything particularly nice to say about him.

I agree however, that his courage and fortitude in extremely difficult circumstances is worthy of great admiration.
Treble one is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 01:07
  #51 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 2,735
His aversion to cannon was also a handicap
The introduction of the cannon during the BoB had dismal results, usually failing after getting off one or two rounds, that may have been the reason for his opinion at the time. Cannon armed squadrons asked for, and received, their .303 aircraft back. It took sometime to get the technical issues sorted, by which time DB was residing in Germany.

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/07/stor...-spitfire.html
megan is online now  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 01:33
  #52 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: aus
Posts: 23
Originally Posted by Treble one View Post
I agree-look at Dick Winters in Easy Company/506th PIR. If you saw the series 'Band of Brothers' its clear that his men idolised him.
I know a chap who worked with Bader at Shell and he hasn't got anything particularly nice to say about him.
A good friends, Grandfather flew with bader in WW2, the thing that sticks in his mind whenever someone asked him about what bader was like, he pulls out the comment " You dont have to like someone to respect them"
rattman is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 02:34
  #53 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 70
Posts: 16,228
The Compromise would have been .50 Caliber MG's.....as American Fighters carried....six to eight worked a treat!
SASless is online now  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 06:35
  #54 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Uranus
Posts: 819
The B Word is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 12:51
  #55 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Cotswolds
Posts: 97
Never met Bader but, probably like most young lads who read Reach for the Sky, he was hero figure to me. Then I heard much about his appalling character and the hero in him rather faded.

Some have said that his attitudes were from another time: I don't buy that. Common decency to your fellows, of whatever rank, is timeless. You don't have to be all 'matey' with everrybody if your 'class perceptions' don't allow, but decency should be a given, in any age. I worked for a short while with Neville Duke for example, a war hero and an absolute gentleman. Maybe he is amongst the exceptions.

I suppose what Bader tells us is that 'war hero' and 'cnut' are not mutually exclusive, perhaps even linked in some manner.
Kemble Pitts is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 12:55
  #56 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: River Thames & Surrey
Age: 70
Posts: 8,081
Originally Posted by rattman View Post
A good friends, Grandfather flew with bader in WW2, the thing that sticks in his mind whenever someone asked him about what bader was like, he pulls out the comment " You dont have to like someone to respect them"
I respect what he achieved, but that doesn't excuse him treating his blocking of Gatwick departures for over 10 minutes as a big joke.(#29)
On another thread, it's reported that recently a pilot was fined over £3K for just infringing an ATZ.

Last edited by chevvron; 15th Aug 2019 at 14:24.
chevvron is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 14:13
  #57 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 70
Posts: 16,228
My old Daddy taught me that when I took the measure of a Man....I should take a full measure, the Good and the Not So Good, and not just the parts I liked....or disliked...then make my decision.

Douglas Bader was a Great Man.

He had his rough side for sure but he also showed indomitable spirit and courage.

Even Alan Bristow chunked Bader into a swimming pool and declared him a "Tin Legged Git" at one time.

Bristol had his own rough side too but those who knew him still thought him a Great Man.

As the video posted by "The B Word" clearly shows....Bader had a softer side than some here are willing to see.

I encourage those folks to get back to their place on the Kerb and put their hands together....and repeat.
SASless is online now  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 14:14
  #58 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: London/Oxford/New York
Posts: 2,124
Kemble Pitts,

Your mentioning of Reach for the Sky is apposite here. I think Paul Brickhill, and the films made from his books, has a lot to answer for here. I read both 'Reach for the sky' and 'The Dambusters' avidly when young, and it was that image of a pleasant, friendly, cheerful good natured, popular guy that he painted of both Bader and Gibson that has become the problem. The rude awakening that I had on the two occasions that I met Bader were a shock, though by then I had heard rumours, but still I retained the impression gained from the book, and subsequent film. The reality was a harsh shock. And not just for the way he treated me, but how I saw him treat others around him, especially females and the lowly in rank and status. I heard similar tales of Gibson from a family relative who met him at Woodhall Spa and Coningsby in 1944.
Then we have the problem that the myth created by both book and film are built on by propaganda, and when you try to present reality and truth, you are met by cries of revisionist!
pr00ne is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 14:18
  #59 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: London/Oxford/New York
Posts: 2,124
SASless,

What on earth is a "Great Man" for goodness sake?

He was dealt a cruel blow in the loss of his legs, though entirely self inflicted. He overcame that set back with tremendous success, and resilience, though if there had been no war in 1939 he would have never flown a military aircraft again. He had a short controversial war and was then shot down and became a POW for the duration. Millions of others did what he did. Was he a great leader? From what I have heard no, he was an arrogant bully and a thoroughly unpleasant character, who had rank, rank which he used over people in a most unpleasant manner. He became famous for being a legless pilot. He was not unique.
pr00ne is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 15:57
  #60 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Midlands
Posts: 113
The concept of the right man in the right place at the right time should be a balanced opinion.
Planet Basher is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.