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-   -   Battle of France - Battle of Britain (was Fighter pilots' guts) (http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=964)

Alex Smart 31st March 2005 17:05

Re: Fighter pilots' guts
 
but this unit A.S. mentioned went to England without its aircraft

I do not recall saying this , show me where.

Alex Smart remarked that « the ONLY French Air Unit to evacuate to the UK from Europe (so once more we see the UK is not in Europe !) was one of the Polish manned units within the French AF ». How naive can you be ?

I do not wish to bring present day polotics into this item.

BUT I DO REPEAT THAT THE ONLY FRENCH AIR UNIT TO ESCAPE EUROPE TO FIGHT ON FROM THE UK WAS A POLISH UNIT WITHIN THE FRENCH AF.

I did not say that they DID NOT fly to the UK, I meant that they DID FLY to the UK.

The only French UNIT to do so.

"UNIT " by this I mean flight or squadron or group, whatever the word used to describe four aircraft . These four aircraft were AFAIK all from the same "Unit".

And ALL of the crews were Polish.

Just for interest, How long did it take you to type all of the mail in this article hawk-Eye ????

It has taken me almost an hour to just do this small bit.

AND before you tell me off for useing large case letters in this mail , I do it to emphasize not to SHOUT as you might think.

Might I remind you and others that it was yourself that started the last closed thread re "Chickens" and brought into dispute those who cannot now answer for themselves.

Nor should we try to disect and destroy either their views or our memory of them.

For in truth wether they were or were not , to many people alive today, they would not have the freedom they have to day if it were not for those that some seem bent on trying to denounce.

Naive

Well I may be amusing and simple .

But I certainly am not Bloody RUDE



Alex




Christer Bergström 31st March 2005 17:56

Re: Fighter pilots' guts
 
Alex, may I step in and try to mediate.

Please try to look at it like this:

You write:

Quote:

For in truth wether they were or were not , to many people alive today, they would not have the freedom they have to day if it were not for those that some seem bent on trying to denounce.
Yves might just as well have written that. For who knows what the oputcome of the Battle of Britain would have been if the French fighter pilots had been so passive as has been implied, if they not dealt the Luftwaffe such severe losses as they actually did? Yves would be right to say that we maybe would not have had the freedom we have today if it was not for "those that some seem bent on trying to denounce". See?

Before you judge the French who obeyed orders and refrained from flying to the UK in late June 1940, ask yourself what those Frenchmen thought of their colleagues in the RAF who didn't fly over to France two weeks earlier, while there still was time to save the situation - in the eyes of the Frenchmen in June 1940. Seriously, how many Frenchmen - how many people in any country - do you think gave England a chance in late June 1940? You can't compare with what the Polish pilots did. What alternative did they have? They still were at war with Germany, so they had to go where there was friendly territory. Even if they didn't either think that England had a chance. What else could they possibly have done?

Hawk-Eye 31st March 2005 19:47

Polish pilots in England
 
This is very true Christer.

What's more, all Poles were so enraged at the Germans and so hated them that all Polish pilots certainly were prepared to die in action immediately, provided they had a chance to harm the hated Germans. I'm sure Franek is in a position to confirm this. I guess they didn't care a lot about the risks and their loss rate, all they wanted was to FIGHT and kill all Germans. Well, this they did, and they did it well (the other RAF pilots too). In this respect the film "The Battle of Britain" is interesting and amusing.

Am I right? Or wrong?

Boandlgramer 31st March 2005 20:46

Re: Fighter pilots' guts
 
when i read about BOB in christer B. posts
i wonder, why people still believe, hitlers next serious target was great britain.
repeat , i said "serious target".
see what the allied forces have needed in the invasion in the normandy.
useless to talk about the short range of the 109, not very good defend fire from the bombers.
also with an poor leadership.
IMO ,a attack without serious planing. just a big bluff with huge losses for both sides.

and further , how to land in england ?
a weak german navy against the best navy in europa.
honest, i think its more a myth than reality .
remember, the brits produced twice the number of fighters than the germans in these days of BOB.

but i am open for different opinions. :)

( i think , my post is a little bit off topic ;) , sorry )

Nick Beale 1st April 2005 14:20

Re: Fighter pilots' guts
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Boandlgramer
i wonder, why people still believe, hitlers next serious target was great britain.
repeat , i said "serious target".

I think it was possibly those hundreds and thouands of Luftwaffe sorties being sent over Britain day after day from July 1940, the bombing of military and civilian targets right across the country and the thousands of deaths and injuries (just one example: my father's family lost their home in a raid in September 1940; four small children in the house next door were killed) that ensued. To the British people at the time it seemed completely serious - because by any realistic measure it WAS serious.

Remember that they had just seen Hitler's forces roll right across several countries using tactics that the Allies were largely unprepared for. Everyone was worrying about the next trick he might pull, Germany's weaknesses were no uppermost British minds at the time.

Franek Grabowski 1st April 2005 16:58

Re: Fighter pilots' guts
 
Huh, I cannot resist to make some comments.

Quote:

I am convinced that they bluntly would have refused to fly and fight within the RAF, they'd preferred to become infantrymen with the French Army (which later, by the way, cracked the Cassino nut).
First, nobody seen French troops at Cassino, second those French troops in Italy (elsewhere) were colonial anyway.

Quote:

What's more, all Poles were so enraged at the Germans and so hated them that all Polish pilots certainly were prepared to die in action immediately, provided they had a chance to harm the hated Germans. I'm sure Franek is in a position to confirm this.
No I cannot, certainly they (we?) wanted to kill as many Germans as possible but not at the cost of own life. I am not awared of any self sacrified attack in the Kamikaze style ever performed by Polish pilot. Also stats do show that Polish losses were not any higher than of the other nations.

Finally, is there any fighter pilot with worser reputation rather than Italian one?

Ruy Horta 1st April 2005 17:10

Re: Battle of France - Battle of Britain (was Fighter pilots' guts)
 
These posts were split in an attempt to separate two interesting discussions in their own right. One (soft)deleted post was reestablished in order to warrant continuity.

Hawk-Eye 1st April 2005 19:25

Re: Fighter pilots' guts
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski
First, nobody seen French troops at Cassino,

- Please (re-)read the history of the Italian Campaign...

second those French troops in Italy (elsewhere) were colonial anyway.

- Just like the by far greater part of the British army at the same time : Indians, South-Africans, New-Zealanders, Canadians etc. At the time the immense French colonies in Africa, especially North Africa, were considered French territory and of course the French army recruited soldiers there as best they could even when the men didn't happen to volunteer (some did). All other countries did the same and forced people into their army : Russia in eastern Poland (or is this wrong? I'm not an expert at WW II-Poland) and all its southern republics (Azerbaidjan, Uzbekistan, Georgia etc.), Germany in Czechoslovakia and Alsace. The USA even enlisted the Indians, who never were, and still are not, considered citizens in their own country and on their own land.

Nevertheless more than one million "European" French people were living in North Africa and as French citizens all able men were enlisted, I guess about 250,000 - arguing was useless but they didn't, they all wanted to jump at Germany's throat. On top of this thousands and thousands French men, mostly soldiers, had escaped, in various ways, from occupied France to N. Africa via Spain or to England, their number was not negligible. Just like many Poles escaped to France or England. And in June 1940 thousands, including many aircrew, went to N. Africa already, not to mention the French units which were permanently stationed there. In any case all officers and most NCOs were French, many lower ranks too. My own uncle was one of them in Morocco, he was just a soldier. He was borne in Marseille and certainly had no African blood, you can trace this family de... until the XIIIth century in central France.
Designations can be misleading, for ex. the French phrase "1er (or 2e etc.) Régiment de Parachutistes Coloniaux". Its members were all French (some black) perhaps with very few exceptions. Likewise the French "Régiments de tirailleurs algériens" and the "Goumiers" (Morocco) had many French soldiers, NCOs and all officers.

No I cannot, certainly they (we?) wanted to kill as many Germans as possible but not at the cost of own life. I am not awared of any self sacrified attack in the Kamikaze style ever performed by Polish pilot.
- I never wrote nor implied that. WhatI meant is that they were prepared to die in combat - all right, just like any other soldier from any country, but certainly even more than that. I never meant suicide attacks, only fighting, even if very dangerous. (It WAS very dangerous).

Also stats do show that Polish losses were not any higher than of the other nations.

- Good! If it's true I like that.
Finally, is there any fighter pilot with worser reputation rather than Italian one?

- Hmmm... I don't know if you may say that. Some fights over Libya between Italian Fiat CR-42 biplanes and British Hurricanes ended with several Hurricanes shot down. The reverse happened too on other occasions. Possibly the Italians just didn't have got the right airplanes. I am aware of the bad reputation of Italian SOLDIERS but hear, hear, I heard that Rommel himself said his best soldiers were the Italians (if they had the proper leaders). So... Let us be careful whith wholesale judgements : "the Germans are tall, fair-haired and blue-eyed and dumb, the French are short and aggressive, they run behind every female person and drink red wine, the Britishers drink only warm water spiced with a little cold water, the Poles are drunk" etc.

Boandlgramer 1st April 2005 19:57

Re: Battle of France - Battle of Britain (was Fighter pilots' guts)
 
""""""" I heard that Rommel himself said his best soldiers were the Italians"""""""""

where ? please tell us where you have heard or read about ?

sound interesting.
but very easy to write something without prove.

i have read some books about the war in northafrica, for example volkmar kühns book " mit rommel in der wüste" , or in adrians gilberts book "blitzkrieg" .
but to being honest, i never have read that rommel said, the italians were his best soldiers.
the best in was ?
look back to the early days of the north african campaigne.
the italians heavily outnumbered the brits, but the brit have beat them without problems

but i am open for a discussion :) .

Christer Bergström 1st April 2005 20:41

Re: Battle of France - Battle of Britain (was Fighter pilots' guts)
 
Erwin Rommel:

"The reason to the defeat of the Italian units at El Alamein in early July had nothing to do with the Italian soldiers as such. The Italian soldier was eager, unselfish and a good comrade, and performed a work which, under circumstances, was far above the average. The accomplishments of all Italian units, particularly the motorised units, surpassed everything which the Italian Army has performed during the last 100 years. We adimred several Italian officers and generals as men and soldiers.
The reasons to Italy's defeat may be found in the flaws in the country's military and civilian system as a whole, the inadequate Italian equipment, and the lack of interest in the war which was showed by many Italian commanders and statesmen."

(From "The Rommel Papers" in Desmond Young's Rommel biography. My translation from the Swedish edition, "Rommel", Stockholm, 1950, p. 294.)

Boandlgramer 1st April 2005 21:32

Re: Battle of France - Battle of Britain (was Fighter pilots' guts)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Christer Bergström
Erwin Rommel:

"The reason to the defeat of the Italian units at El Alamein in early July had nothing to do with the Italian soldiers as such. The Italian soldier was eager, unselfish and a good comrade, and performed a work which, under circumstances, was far above the average. The accomplishments of all Italian units, particularly the motorised units, surpassed everything which the Italian Army has performed during the last 100 years. We adimred several Italian officers and generals as men and soldiers.
The reasons to Italy's defeat may be found in the flaws in the country's military and civilian system as a whole, the inadequate Italian equipment, and the lack of interest in the war which was showed by many Italian commanders and statesmen."

(From "The Rommel Papers" in Desmond Young's Rommel biography. My translation from the Swedish edition, "Rommel", Stockholm, 1950, p. 294.)

nice christer, but still i can´t read hawks comments about rommels words: my best soldiers were italians.:)
i am sure , the italians were hard fighters.;)

Boandlgramer 1st April 2005 21:40

Re: Battle of France - Battle of Britain (was Fighter pilots' guts)
 
"""the lack of interest in the war which was showed by many Italian commanders and statesmen"""".

that sounds pretty interesting .
i don´t have the feelings, my father, his brother or his friends had had much more interest in the war than these guys.

nor do i know one single veteran with such an feeling.

Alex Smart 2nd April 2005 15:04

Re: Battle of France - Battle of Britain (was Fighter pilots' guts)
 
My reply to Hawk Eye above at the start of this new thread seems to as yet gone unanswered.

;)
The thread seems to have taken on a quite different approach to the subject of the Battle of France, yet the matter raised by Hawk Eye re : townsend and others goes unchallenged by anyone other than myself.

:)

I wonder why

Night

Alex

Ruy Horta 2nd April 2005 17:43

Re: Battle of France - Battle of Britain (was Fighter pilots' guts)
 
Please take a look at:

http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=928

Read the thread and afterwards make your statements.

Alex Smart 2nd April 2005 18:51

Re: Battle of France - Battle of Britain (was Fighter pilots' guts)
 
Hi Ruy,


I Did, hence my peice at the start of this thread that was moved from the "Chickens" thread that was started by Hawk eye.

naive ?

No, at 63 years of age I do not appreciate that remark made by Hawk Eye.

I find it insulting.

All of that apart I have found the both threads very interesting, there is within these threads quite a bit of interesting detail.

Thanks

Alex

Ruy Horta 2nd April 2005 20:05

Re: Battle of France - Battle of Britain (was Fighter pilots' guts)
 
Your piece was not moved from the "chickens" thread, but from the "GUTS" thread. So you were answering a closed thread in a new one, albeit with generally the same subject and originating from the same person.

The reason the original thread was closed, was breach of forum policy...

Hence I do take some offence.

Alex Smart 2nd April 2005 21:37

Re: Battle of France - Battle of Britain (was Fighter pilots' guts)
 
Hello Ruy,

I stand corrected.

I had truly thought that I had replied to the Hawk Eye thread in "Fighter pilots- Chicken" page. Indeed that was my intension at time of writing the thread seen at top. But that was days ago now, so take the final words from Rep Butler to Scarlet and lets move on.

Alex


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