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  #31  
Old 6th April 2005, 18:54
Hawk-Eye
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Re: Fighter pilots' guts

Yes I quite understand. I was meaning the RAF as a whole, especially Dowding. The outcome of the BoB was a close call, Fighter Command at some point in August was really exhausted, almost finished. So Dowding was right. Of course there's nothing wrong with RAF aircrew's keenness and gallantry. I am not English so I'll never dream of insulting their memories. They were more than all right, sometimes perhaps TOO brave when they executed orders and attacked in a hell and a hail of Flak in their ol' slow "Battles" and so vulnerable "Blenheims". One of them (Garland) won a VC but was it worth it? What matters is the result.
Allied HQ were really slow-witted. Why the hell didn't they react immediately, on 11 May already, and order anti-Flak strikes shortly ahead of the strikes proper (this was done later in the war). It was fully possible to send for ex. the sturdy Bloch 152s or the excellent assault AC Breguet 693 thirty seconds ahead of the main force. Both had an excellent armament for this task. Their pilots even would have enjoyed hitting back at the Flak! Adding a little armour wouldn't have been a big problem (the 693s were armoured already... but not the rear-gunner's seat). AC sent to attack columns etc. almost never were able to fire at the Flak.

PS : YES the RAF could have done much more over the continent but afterwards it could have done only much less over England and this would have compromised the outcome of the BoB very seriously. Most RAF losses were non-combat losses, mainly AC which had to be left behind because the German ground troops were approaching (same thing for the Armée de l'Air but it was worse for the RAF, which was stationed closer to Belgium). This is not a satisfying way of losing precious aircraft. What I mean is that on the continent many RAF AC would have been lostjust like that, to no avail without having been really useful. They wouldn't have changed the outcome. For this you need an incredible air superiority, like 1944 over Normandy (remember that the Luftwaffe never could be prevented from bombing and strafing Allied troops).

Last edited by Hawk-Eye; 6th April 2005 at 19:02. Reason: PS
  #32  
Old 6th April 2005, 22:28
Smudger Smith Smudger Smith is offline
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Re: Fighter pilots' guts

YES the RAF could have done much more over the continent but afterwards it could have done only much less over England and this would have compromised the outcome of the BoB very seriously. Most RAF losses were non-combat losses, mainly AC which had to be left behind because the German ground troops were approaching (same thing for the Armée de l'Air but it was worse for the RAF, which was stationed closer to Belgium). This is not a satisfying way of losing precious aircraft. What I mean is that on the continent many RAF AC would have been lost just like that, to no avail without having been really useful. They wouldn't have changed the outcome. For this you need an incredible air superiority, like 1944 over Normandy (remember that the Luftwaffe never could be prevented from bombing and strafing Allied troops).[/quote]



I am sorry but the above remarks are not only factually incorrect they defy belief.



What more could the RAF have done. Like any conflict, you use the recourses available to you with discretion; you never commit all your available force at once. Remember Napoleon !!. There’s an old English saying, I quote, ‘ Don’t put all your egg’s in one basket ’



A question, What if RAF Fighter Command had committed it’s entire strength over France, would it have had any real effect on the ground campaign. The British Army was ill equipped but committed, the French was in a similar position. The German Army in 1940 was an effective “MODERN” army. The presence of Spitfires and Hurricanes would not have stemmed the advance, it may have slowed it down. What would the cost have been to Fighter Command, 50% casualties ?. What would the outcome of the BoB have been with 50% fewer fighters. ! Yes I accept that the Luftwaffe would have received a mauling also, however would they have lost sufficient numbers to postpone the planned invasion. !



What about the losses suffered by the Fairey Battle & Bristol Blenheim squadrons, their heroic action against Maastricht, Sedan and various other targets.



The bravery of these fine young men is unsurpassed; their sacrifice in the face of over whelming odds is unparallel. They are a credit to the RAF and their generation.



The aircraft left behind were left because the were write-off’s due to enemy action or mechanical failure, not because of the approach of the German Army. The RAF was not in the habit of leaving flyable aircraft for the enemy.



I feel a large gin and a pint of best is required to steady myself.







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  #33  
Old 6th April 2005, 23:19
Hawk-Eye
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Re: Fighter pilots' guts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smudger Smith
The aircraft left behind were left because the were write-off’s due to enemy action or mechanical failure, not because of the approach of the German Army. The RAF was not in the habit of leaving flyable aircraft for the enemy.
Did I ever say otherwise? Nevertheless there are circumstances in which you are forced to abandon even flyable aircraft : if there are not enough pilots at the moment to fly them all away. Such things did happen.
Non-flyable AC left behind were not all write-offs (these are wrecks actually and usually they were pushed into some remote corner). Many could perfectly well be repaired, perhaps in half an hour or within a day, or be refuelled, or get a new tyre. Sometimes there was no time for this. You don't seem to be aware of all the realities of war.
  #34  
Old 7th April 2005, 00:02
Smudger Smith Smudger Smith is offline
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Re: Fighter pilots' guts

Hawk-Eye,



I don’t seem to all the realities of war, ? I think my friend you should read your past posts, digest, and learn from them.



You presume I have not experienced the realities of war. Unfortunately and in a similar fashion to your other posts you make a statement without the facts and presume wrongly.



Regarding the condition of flying or non-flying RAF aircraft left in France, the few left by the AASF was really insignificant and of little real value, the Germans had the whole French Airforce to pick-over and use at their leisure once your government handed them over. !





This is my last post on the matter. I wish you well in your efforts.
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  #35  
Old 7th April 2005, 10:13
Hawk-Eye
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Re: Fighter pilots' guts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smudger Smith
Hawk-Eye,
......the Germans had the whole French Airforce to pick-over and use at their leisure once your government handed them over. !
I regret you force me to say this is a ludicrous statement (same quality as Townsend's). Firstly the French government ordered all aircraft which had the range to fly to French North Africa - not only the fighters. This they did. This government was led by Paul Reynaud. Then Pétain took over and everything became different (but these flights were not stopped).
According to Danel and Cuny approx. 550 modern fighters were flown to N. Africa, a considerable force. Add numerous bombers and recce AC. 1,155 modern fighters were left in the UNoccupied part of France (plus many bombers etc.). Most of these didn't have the range to fly to N. Africa. Those which had (for ex. 170 Dewoitine 520s) couldn't escape for lack of a pilot, petrol or some vital part, or they had still been in the factories, many just off the assembly lines. We'll probably never know how many AC were left in the occupied part of France, most probably a few hundred plus many wrecks of destroyed AC. The Germans were not interested in the intact AC in unoccupied France, they didn't seize them but left them where they were.
Of course all AC should have been systematically destroyed by the French before their surrender but here we bump into the realities you ignore. This was tried whenever possible. Many civilian and military pilots flew AC to safety, taking great risks for themselves. Why do you think that almost all Arsenal VG-33s were in the South (Bordeaux...)? They came from Villacoublay near Paris where the factory was situated, hundreds of miles away. The German invasion was much too fast to allow systematic destruction of all remaining AC. The British army and the RAF made similar experiences. The German soldiers were very glad to seize intact British stores with enormous quantities of whisky, cigarettes etc., not to mention aircraft, vehicles etc.
After the Allied landings in French N. Africa in November 1942 Germany invaded unoccupied Vichy-France and this time seized all aircraft. In the meantime, 2 1/2 years later, they had realised that this war was not finished yet and they took whatever they could get. Thousands of French AC were used mainly for training (D.520s, Bloch 152-155s etc., Potez 63.11 recce AC) and transport (LeO 451 bombers). There was not much the French could do about this was there. All these aircraft were nearing obsolescence by now.
The agreements between Germany and Pétain according to which French factories produced thousands of AC for Germany including some German types (Siebel 204 (?), Ju 52...) as well as many aero-engines and AC parts and repaired thousands of other German AC including fighters is another matter. The Germans could force the French to do this at will, just like in Czechoslovakia and even Poland, where an important German AC production took place too but quite naturally the greater part of this production took place in France, which possessed an intact and very powerful aircraft industry.
  #36  
Old 8th April 2005, 01:27
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Thumbs down Re: Fighter pilots' guts

May I suggest that anyone who is tired of all this repeated literary diarrhoea
reply to this thread by posting a



Good night all.

Alex
  #37  
Old 8th April 2005, 02:32
JMSmith JMSmith is offline
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Thumbs down Re: Fighter pilots' guts

seconded, about time!
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  #38  
Old 8th April 2005, 08:42
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Re: Fighter pilots' guts

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  #39  
Old 8th April 2005, 11:16
Hawk-Eye
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Re: Fighter pilots' guts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Smart
May I suggest that anyone who is tired of all this repeated literary diarrhoea
reply to this thread by posting a



Good night all.

Alex
The remedy to your terrible misery has been known - here at TOCH - for years : do not read what you don't like! Leave the others alone. You are just continuing the usual libelling in another manner. Gotcha!
You wouldn't go into a bookshop and buy all the books you don't like would you? And then be angry and ask all publishers, printers and governments to stop publishing, displaying and selling these books?
Obviously many people here are interested in this discussion, probably because it is a subject they don't know well, or not at all, and suddenly discover and find of interest (but they could tell us why). If they like it they have every right to. After all the French air force engaged over 1,500 combat planes 1940 and the resupply rate was much higher than attrition (many French units were CREATED or reequipped entirely with brand new aircraft during the fighting) so this element - among others - is not quite as negligible as England has been trying to make the world believe for 65 years. After all approx. 4,000 (four thousand) aircraft of all countries were destroyed during the May-June 1940 French Campaign. Is this so negligible and uninteresting? I am trying to give the necessary explanations and to answer questions as best I can (too bad if I'm not good). You can't claim there is nothing new in my new postings, except if I lament that someone is forcing me to repeat myself.
Don't be rude just because you don't understand, or don't like, a subject. Remember what the British press and almost every Englishman wrote and said about the French and Jacques Chirac when they refused to accept the British-American aggression war in Iraq, which regrettably cost about 1,500 US and a few UK lives as well as approx. 250,000 Iraqi ones (at Nürnberg the Allied court sentenced quite a few people to death by hanging for this very reason). "Up yours France!, "Chirac the worm", etc. You will repeat the same errors and the same nonsense on and on and on won't you. Insults and libelling are your "arguments".
The lesser you provoke me the lesser I'll reply : a great improvement!

Last edited by Hawk-Eye; 8th April 2005 at 12:27. Reason: Typing error
  #40  
Old 8th April 2005, 12:26
Kutscha Kutscha is offline
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Re: Fighter pilots' guts

It is not the message but your method of delivery Hawk-Eye. There are other boards out there that thrive on the venomous hatred of the posters.

I am suprised Ruy has not shut down this thread as well.
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