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Old 7th October 2009, 22:18
Bruce Dennis Bruce Dennis is offline
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Re: KG40 & Convoy HX.84 November 1940


No, it wouldn't help with aircraft attack. Most news reels that I've seen the attack came from the stern unless it was a torpedo or stuka attack.
... quote]

I can’t say what the Luftwaffe early-war training on this point included with any certainty, but it is odd to think of any aircraft attacking a merchant ship without first looking it over: certainly this was taught to Allied aircrew and was in fact a part of deciding what tactic to employ. I am not talking about convoys with flak-ships for protection, where in-and-out as quickly as possible was the rule for attackers, but rather solo ships or small lightly escorted convoys. Also, I’m not trying to be argumentative, but even getting into position to attack from the stern would offer the majority of aircraft an opportunity to see more of the ship. The neutral markings were meant to be large and prominent, and there are many examples of these being adequately recognised by approaching aircraft. A look at the exploits of the Allied anti-shipping groups operating from Malta will give an insight into what was possible in ship ID and choosing angles of approach. Concerning the night-time illumination of neutrals, this was enough to deter (most) U-boat captains, subject to the orders in force at the time.

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