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Gumtree
07-16-2007, 10:26 PM
Of late I have been on a Battle of Britain reading binge, devouring numerous books on the battle of Britain and various biographies of the pilots on both sides that participated.(A Deere, A Galland, J Johnson, D Bader, P Richey,P Townsend, L Deighton, Marcelle Jullian etc!)

The last 2 books I have read are 'The most Dangerous enemy' (S Bungay) and 'Fighter Boys'(P Bishop). Highly recommend bungay's book very interesting reading.

The point of my post is, repeatedly in these and other texts I find reference to how before the massive propaganda campaign by the Germans claiming how enormous the Luftwaffe was etc.The prevailing philosophy in the RAF and the world was that 'the Bomber would always get through' and that the best defence would be to have parity in the bomber force to thus have a deterrent to Nazi aggression.

What I am starting to realise is that the Nazi propaganda was so effective at making the British feel they had no hope of catching the German (claimed) numbers that a change of policy was forced upon the RAF as they drifted into a defence force to survive the German knock out blows that were sure to come.

My question is, was the German propaganda responsible for the loss of the Battle of Britain?

As I have stated the RAF direction before they fell for the German propaganda was to match the Germans in bomber strength, When the British fell for the inflated numbers that the Germans were claiming they had a fundamental change of policy, namely that they needed to defend against these huge fleets of bombers in order to survive.

The build up of the British aircraft industry in light of the German claims also meant that the RAF had more reserves to cover losses that did the Luftwaffe.

My opinion is that due to German propaganda being over effective, the British aimed higher than they would have without the extravagant claims of the Nazi spin doctors (Goebbels, Goering)thus managed to have the resources for the vital battle ahead.
Thoughts?

Gumtree
07-16-2007, 10:26 PM
Of late I have been on a Battle of Britain reading binge, devouring numerous books on the battle of Britain and various biographies of the pilots on both sides that participated.(A Deere, A Galland, J Johnson, D Bader, P Richey,P Townsend, L Deighton, Marcelle Jullian etc!)

The last 2 books I have read are 'The most Dangerous enemy' (S Bungay) and 'Fighter Boys'(P Bishop). Highly recommend bungay's book very interesting reading.

The point of my post is, repeatedly in these and other texts I find reference to how before the massive propaganda campaign by the Germans claiming how enormous the Luftwaffe was etc.The prevailing philosophy in the RAF and the world was that 'the Bomber would always get through' and that the best defence would be to have parity in the bomber force to thus have a deterrent to Nazi aggression.

What I am starting to realise is that the Nazi propaganda was so effective at making the British feel they had no hope of catching the German (claimed) numbers that a change of policy was forced upon the RAF as they drifted into a defence force to survive the German knock out blows that were sure to come.

My question is, was the German propaganda responsible for the loss of the Battle of Britain?

As I have stated the RAF direction before they fell for the German propaganda was to match the Germans in bomber strength, When the British fell for the inflated numbers that the Germans were claiming they had a fundamental change of policy, namely that they needed to defend against these huge fleets of bombers in order to survive.

The build up of the British aircraft industry in light of the German claims also meant that the RAF had more reserves to cover losses that did the Luftwaffe.

My opinion is that due to German propaganda being over effective, the British aimed higher than they would have without the extravagant claims of the Nazi spin doctors (Goebbels, Goering)thus managed to have the resources for the vital battle ahead.
Thoughts?

LEXX_Luthor
07-17-2007, 01:30 AM
Interesting stuff. I dunno. RAF didn't have bomber bases in the Rhur, so any matching RAF bomber campaign would have to compete with Luftwaffe bombers based in France. So the 2 options would be either to build a small number of 4 engine bombers that might still not reach Berlin (?), or alot more single engine fighters.

Xiolablu3
07-17-2007, 08:55 AM
I know what you are saying, however we must remember that the Allies (at that time which were all the European countries) got a real shock from the German style of warfare too.

In the BAttle Of France 1940, the tanks and weapons were very very similar on both sides, its just that the German tactics were far superior.

The French/British/Dutch etc were expecting a dig in battle, in the style of WW1.

So they already had a taste of the new German tactics which had given them a real shock and pushed them back into the channel.

As well as th propaganda, there were the facts that everyone else had been beaten in a few months and Britian was now stood alone against this seemingly invincible monster.

We have to remember that Britian was being hit on all sides, by Japan in the Pacific, and by Italy in the desert. She was in a desperate situation.

It needed something radical in order to stop the rot otherwise the UK would fall just like everywhere else. Luckily the English channel bought them some time in order to set up a defence.

Hence the Radar/Air defence system built up and big shakeups in the staff.

StG2_Schlachter
07-17-2007, 09:23 AM
Sorry Xiola,

but I don't agree with the first half of your post.

The Allies were not all
European countries.

The weapons were very different (light german tanks, focus on mobility and panzer group tactics, fast aircraft and heavier allied tanks, infantry support tactics and slower, maneurverable aircraft).

You are right about the tactics, although the Allied commanders just overestimated the strenght of the Wehrmacht and underestimated their own which limited their tactical options.
An invasion across the Rhein was entirely possible during the Polish campaign.

The point made by the OP is quite interesting.
But Britain obviously did not have the ressources mentioned. This is why the Atlantic convoys were established. Nobody thought mighty France would ever fall and airwar between Germany and Britain would only be possible
with strategic bombers of which Germany had none.

If it wasn't for the fatal change of tactics
on behalf of the Luftwaffe the air battle
over Britain would have been lost. Sure, this
is debatable but quite possible.

My believe is, that most major airforces of the 1930's had a strong defensive component. It was the same in the USA and even the Luftwaffe was developed as a defensive force (short range, high speed fighters with strong armament, destroyers, no strategic bombers).

csThor
07-17-2007, 09:49 AM
I don't think so. The "Battle of Britain" was not much more than a "minor skirmish" compared to the Allied aerial offensive in the later years of the war. It was blown up into the final confrontation between good and evil by Churchill who hoped to rouse some pro-british sentimental feelings within the US public leading to the USA entering the war. That is why the BoB has such a prominent place within military history first and foremost.

On the german side the situation was much more difficult. There was no unified effort by the whole Wehrmacht to bring off the invasion of the British Isles. The Kriegsmarine was so thoroughly convinced of its inferiority that the important members never really committed to the operation and as a result planning was nothing short of lackadaisical. The Heer had no clue how to conduct an amphibious landing (due to the weakness of the Kriegsmarine) and hadn't made any plans for that case. So they did what german officers did best in WW2 - they improvised. They tried to adapt operation plans for a large-scale river crossing to the environment of the English Channel even though it is not really comparable to the Meuse or the Somme. The Luftwaffe on the other hand was the branch with the greatest belief in imminent victory. They were in fact so convinced of the victory that they forgot to make plans and cooperate with the other branches of the Wehrmacht. They even forgot to coordinate its own efforts - in the end both Kesselring and Sperrle were operating as they saw fit.

But the underlying reason for this lack of enthusiasm, planning and coordination (a highly unique state for german operations early in WW2) was the dislike Hitler and his entourage had for the conflict with GB. Goebbels may have talked about invasion and such stuff but deep down the Nazi leadership had its gaze locked on the USSR. To use an analogy from sports: If you don't concentrate on the task and don't have your head free you can't make your body run or jump. At least the result won't be pretty http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Xiolablu3
07-17-2007, 11:46 AM
The BOB was certainly not a 'minor skirmish' for Britain, her whole future depended on it.

It was the largest aerial battle ever until that time.

The fatc that the war scaled everything up as more countries got involved is really irrelevant at this time.

Both Britain and GErmany threw everything they had at each other for a few months. ALthough small compared to some of the later SKirmishes (because everything was scalled up as the war went on and more countries joined), there were massive formations of planes hitting each other every day the weather would allow for a 4-5 months.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by StG2_Schlachter:
Sorry Xiola,

but I don't agree with the first half of your post.

The Allies were not all
European countries.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I think you misunderstood what I wrote.

The Allies at that time were Brtitan/France/Holand which are all European countries.

I dont mean that all the European countries were in the 'Allies'.

I mean the Allies were all European countries as in no USA/Aus/Canada/NZ/African Troops etc).

I dont think there were NZ/CANada/Aus soldiers in France in 1940 were there?

Gumtree
07-17-2007, 05:47 PM
Whilst there was no formation of colonials in the western front there certainly was airman.

The Empire recruitment scheme had already started to produce results. Australian, Canadian, New Zealanders and South Africans had already been absorbed into the RAF.

This fact as well as the Volunteer reserve units and the Axillary air force units, I believe were as a result of the enormous amount of propaganda that emanated from the German spin doctors of the time.

The development of the critical weapon RDF was as a direct result of the fear of the bomber that the British attempted the 'Death Ray' development, this ultimately lead to the RDF system and its incorporation with Fighter Control/ Command.

This is another example I can see how the German Propaganda lead to a system which was implemented as a direct result of the fear of the huge fleets of bombers flattening London.

Before RDF a bomber was not spotted until it crossed the coast and if it was flying at 10000 ft at 200 mph it could bomb London before effective interception took place.(the bomber would always get through)

As we all know RDF lengthened the reaction time and the combined system put in place by Dowding was the crucial factor in the BOB. The Fighter Command controllers and ability to apply the RAF fighters as necessary won the Battle, in my opinion.

I have a strong belief that this system may not have developed (as quickly) if the German propaganda had not been so effective in the UK. (The fact that during WW1 the British had suffered under the Gotha's and Zeppelin raids had made the British more susceptible to German boasts of massed bombers levelling London.

Zeus-cat
07-17-2007, 06:40 PM
I agree with many of the things Xiolablu3 has said. German armor was pretty pathetic at the time of the invasion of Poland and France. Many, many of the tanks were PzKpfw I and II models, which were no match for an effective anti-tank force, which the British would have certainly prepared. The Polish had no effective armor defence and the Germans simply bypassed the French defences, which is why they advanced so quickly against those countries. Going up against the British on their home soil would have been very difficult for the German army of the period. Keep in mind that the German army was not nearly as mechanized as people remember; they relied heavily on horses to move supplies.

As has also been stated, the Germans had no way to actually conduct an invasion across the Channel. It wasn't until the invasion of the Pacific islands by the US did anyone try sustained amphibious assualts. The Japanese invaded the Aleutians by dumping troops and supplies and then leaving them. Supplies were run in from time to time by heavily guarded convoys. When that got to costly they switched to submarines to ferry supplies. That didn't work well as the subs couldn't bring in enough supplies.

In the end, I don't think the Germans had any way to invade Britain and the Brits would have never surrendered based on an air war.

leitmotiv
07-17-2007, 06:55 PM
Propaganda was irrelevant. Winston had ULTRA. Not only that---he had particularly good intelligence on the Luftwaffe, thus, he knew the Germans were losing heavily in the battle of attrition. Furthermore, and of paramount importance, Adolf had the Germans on a peacetime economy. The British were outproducing the Germans in aircraft by the end of 1940. The Germans went into the Battle of Britain with fewer aircraft than they had at the start of the Battle of France on 10 May 1940. Winston knew the fighter pilots were grotesquely overclaiming, but it was allowed to bolster morale.

Waldo.Pepper
07-17-2007, 08:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">This is another example I can see how the German Propaganda lead to a system which was implemented as a direct result of the fear of the huge fleets of bombers flattening London. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



Your attributation of the effect of propaganda presupposes that the Intelligence services of Great Britain suffered a catastrophic failure.

I think this is false.

Consider for a moment how INEFFECTIVE German propaganda was during the war. Lord Haw Haw springs to mind.

Now consider for a moment how EFFECTIVE Allied Intelligence was during the war.

Now consider something from the other side of the world in another theatre of the war.

When the AVG was countering the JAAF they had no RADAR to act as early warning. Yet they setup an effective early warning net. An observer corp. if you will.

Even without RADAR London could have been effectively defended by such a scheme. If need be these observers could have been in the form of a standing patrol of aircraft. Or ships or submarines patrolling in the channel. Such a patrol was not initiated because they developed a RADAR chain. But had they not they could have resorted to something like this.

RADAR was am aid. One that became vital (at least in opinion) because of its utility. But had it not been invented they could have and would have coped.

Before the war started there were several countries that had a nascent RADAR capability. Britain, USA, USSR, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Japan all had some radar capability.

Britain managed to develop an effective RADAR network because of two factors that had nothing to do with a supposedly effective German propaganda initiative.

Firstly, Britain was a wealthy enough country. Wealthy in finance as well as a collection of scientific minds. And secondly, they were geographically distant and separated from their primary enemy.

They needed both the time and wealth that France and the other continental powers did not have.

IMHO.

leitmotiv
07-17-2007, 08:20 PM
Actually, the British Govt was facing bankruptcy in November 1940 (one of many reasons why Halifax and others were ready to sign a peace treaty---not a surrender---with Germany in June 1940, and if he had been PM, this is exactly what would have happened). This was why Churchill was begging Roosevelt for aid. The British were unable to pay for arms. Lend-Lease in 1941 saved Churchill's war otherwise he would have had to come to terms with Hitler. See Corelli Barnett's THE COLLAPSE OF BRITISH POWER. Britain was financially ill-prepared for a world war in 1939. Chamberlain had carefully and methodically financed the rearmament without busting the budget---a brilliant feat under the circumstances of the Slump.

blakduk
07-17-2007, 08:44 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">RADAR was am aid. One that became vital (at least in opinion) because of its utility. But had it not been invented they could have and would have coped. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I disagree- in the BOB whenever a RDF tower was out of operation gaping holes were left in the defence network and interceptions were not possible. The LW made extensive efforts to mislead the RAF by feints and diversions- relying on spotters and standing patrols would have given only a partial picture of what they were up to.

leitmotiv
07-17-2007, 08:51 PM
What a laugh. Without radar the entire meticulously planned defense scheme would have collapsed. There was no "coping" with modern high speed aircraft. Without radar, a tiny island nation like the UK was doomed. There would have been no early warning. Standing patrols could not have covered all the targets. The country would have been bombed flat.

Waldo.Pepper
07-17-2007, 09:18 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by blakduk:
I disagree- in the BOB whenever a RDF tower was out of operation gaping holes were left in the defence network and interceptions were not possible. The LW made extensive efforts to mislead the RAF by feints and diversions- relying on spotters and standing patrols would have given only a partial picture of what they were up to. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Obviously I know this and there is no doubt that once they had established the RADAR chain, the loss of it was keenly noticed.

My statement was more of a hypothetical. IF they HAD NOT had the opportunity to develop it - they would have coped. In a manner similar to the methods the AVG used when they countered the JAAF.

To further clarify an individual personal analogy springs to mind. Once you own a car, or computer, or any other modern convenience. It quickly becomes vital to you. However, if you never own one you cope without it.

Of course the Observer corps was hopeless when a RADAR station was knocked out.

WITH the RADAR chain in operations the Observer corps is left to rot. Not manned properly in the first place, never trained properly or given the resources necessary for it to do a proper job. No wonder the Observer corp failed when it was needed.

leitmotiv
07-17-2007, 10:05 PM
No comparison. China and the UK were two very different geographical situations. The problem the UK had was the speed of the modern bomber and the short amount of time it took for bombers to reach vital targets from France. This was what decided the radar system was necessary to the experts and to the government in the first place instead of keeping the extremely successful observer system created in WWI which defeated the WWI German bombers. Without radar, there was no time to concentrate fighters in time to hit the modern fast bombers before they could hit their targets. The UK is, obviously, not like the AVG situation in China in 1941-42 where the Japanese had to transit hundreds of miles to their targets giving the telephone/observer system a chance to work. There was no English Channel and no Thames where there were no observers.

Gumtree
07-17-2007, 10:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Propaganda was irrelevant. Winston had ULTRA. Not only that---he had particularly good intelligence on the Luftwaffe, thus, he knew the Germans were losing heavily in the battle of attrition. Furthermore, and of paramount importance, Adolf had the Germans on a peacetime economy. The British were outproducing the Germans in aircraft by the end of 1940. The Germans went into the Battle of Britain with fewer aircraft than they had at the start of the Battle of France on 10 May 1940. Winston knew the fighter pilots were grotesquely overclaiming, but it was allowed to bolster morale. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Whilst the points you make are good, I feel you may have failed to read my post properly. I am claiming that the propaganda BEFORE the war is what led the British to develop the highly efficient sytem that Fighter command used to defend against the Luftwaffe.

Ultra was not fully developed until the Enigma and codes were found, time was then taken to fully develop this system of intelligence gathering, the war was well and truly under way by then.

Your statement that the British were out producing the Germans in 1940 is correct and another reason i made my claim. The British industry was out producing the German because the belief was that the German numbers were going to be over whelming, at least that is how I feel the propaganda affected the British lethargy for mobilization.

csThor
07-17-2007, 10:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
The BOB was certainly not a 'minor skirmish' for Britain, her whole future depended on it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's the view Churchill instilled and the historians dutifully carried along.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
It was the largest aerial battle ever until that time. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That may be true - both in regards to the total of forces involved and the sometimes high numbers of planes involved in a single operation. But compared to the juggernaut hauling itself into german airspace on an almost daily basis in 1944 and 1945 the BoB was a series of minor skirmishes.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Both Britain and GErmany threw everything they had at each other for a few months. ALthough small compared to some of the later SKirmishes (because everything was scalled up as the war went on and more countries joined), there were massive formations of planes hitting each other every day the weather would allow for a 4-5 months. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, they did not. The RAF held its bombers in reserve and the Luftwaffe never flew concentrated, coordinated large-scale attacks - in relation to the numbers they had available. The number of bombers in a single mission rarely exceeded a Geschwader (a theoretical maximum of 120 planes, in reality much less). The rule was a Gruppe of Bombers (30 - 40 planes) protected by two or three Gruppen of fighters. The goal was to lure RAF fighters into combat as the higher echelons were all too aware that they could not bomb GB into submission.

The bottom line is: Hitler was not in favor of "Sea Lion". He did not want to commit troops to GB because he needed them for his "crusade" in the East. As a result his orders were far from the precise and to-the-point orders he had Keitel write before and would have him write later. The fact that coordination between Luftflotte 2 and 3 was not even attempted and that none of the higher officers in the Luftwaffe (not Milch, not Jeschonnek, not even Kesselring and Sperrle themselves) sought to correct that vice shows much of the general state of indifference towards the results of the whole operation.

That the Brits believed to be fighting for their very lifes doesn't mean they were (in the sense of the nation). Even IF the Luftwaffe had managed to break the Fighter Command's back the question what would have happened afterwards is impossible to answer. As I said the Wehrmacht had no technical means to pull off an amphibious landing.

Gumtree
07-17-2007, 10:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">This is another example I can see how the German Propaganda lead to a system which was implemented as a direct result of the fear of the huge fleets of bombers flattening London. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



Your attributation of the effect of propaganda presupposes that the Intelligence services of Great Britain suffered a catastrophic failure.

I think this is false.

Consider for a moment how INEFFECTIVE German propaganda was during the war. Lord Haw Haw springs to mind.

Now consider for a moment how EFFECTIVE Allied Intelligence was during the war.

Now consider something from the other side of the world in another theatre of the war.

When the AVG was countering the JAAF they had no RADAR to act as early warning. Yet they setup an effective early warning net. An observer corp. if you will.

Even without RADAR London could have been effectively defended by such a scheme. If need be these observers could have been in the form of a standing patrol of aircraft. Or ships or submarines patrolling in the channel. Such a patrol was not initiated because they developed a RADAR chain. But had they not they could have resorted to something like this.

RADAR was am aid. One that became vital (at least in opinion) because of its utility. But had it not been invented they could have and would have coped.

Before the war started there were several countries that had a nascent RADAR capability. Britain, USA, USSR, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Japan all had some radar capability.

Britain managed to develop an effective RADAR network because of two factors that had nothing to do with a supposedly effective German propaganda initiative.

Firstly, Britain was a wealthy enough country. Wealthy in finance as well as a collection of scientific minds. And secondly, they were geographically distant and separated from their primary enemy.

They needed both the time and wealth that France and the other continental powers did not have.

IMHO. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I feel that standing patrols of aircraft would have been impossible for the RAF, they simply did not have the numbers to place a forward patrol over the channel and still have cover so that these patrols when on the ground refuelling and resting and still be able to respond to an attack.

I feel you are mistaken with the statement that the German propaganda had nothing to do with the development of RDF, to put it simply, the fear of the massed bombers over British cities (a direct result of German actions -Guernica,Barcelona- and propaganda) lead to the fantastic idea of a 'death ray' which would destroy engine ignition systems thus the bombers would fall out of the sky. During this testing Watson-Watt found out that the aircraft interfered with the radio waves thus the idea of RDF came about in the UK.

Waldo.Pepper
07-17-2007, 10:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
No comparison. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Clearly the situations are different. But I don't think too different as to be declared no comparison. I content something that a small number of AVG volunteers and their Chinese allies managed to do could be replicated, or at least approximated faithfully enough to offer a measure of early warning to Britain. Would it be as 'good/effective/accurate' as the RADAR chain that they did build? I think likely not. Would it have been good enough to save the nation? I think likely yes.

Gumtree
07-17-2007, 10:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:

Of course the Observer corps was hopeless when a RADAR station was knocked out.

WITH the RADAR chain in operations the Observer corps is left to rot. Not manned properly in the first place, never trained properly or given the resources necessary for it to do a proper job. No wonder the Observer corp failed when it was needed. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think you will find that the observer corps were an integral part of the Fighter defence of Britain.

Once the bombers flew over the coast it was the information from the observer corps that gave Park and his controllers the most up to date information so that they could decide which squadron and how many squadrons to send in and where. The RDF only pointed out to sea, once over land it was useless.

Waldo.Pepper
07-17-2007, 10:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I feel that standing patrols of aircraft would have been impossible for the RAF, </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This may be true. But you are not reading what I wrote. In my proposal I am suggesting that they could have done more that setting up standing patrols. I mentioned ships in the channel. Analogous to what was done in the Pacific with Picket destroyers. If need be they could have used RN submarines for this as well.

Pardon me for just a minute. I really do not wish to insult or anything. If you stretch your imagination a little. There are always defensive alternatives that can be imagined. That all I am saying.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I feel you are mistaken with the statement that the German propaganda had nothing to do with the development of RDF, to put it simply, the fear of the massed bombers over British cities (a direct result of German actions -Guernica,Barcelona- and propaganda) lead to the fantastic idea of a 'death ray' which would destroy engine ignition systems thus the bombers would fall out of the sky. During this testing Watson-Watt found out that the aircraft interfered with the radio waves thus the idea of RDF came about in the UK. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

And on this point I feel it is you that are conflating a genuine threat/capability (the Luftwaffe) with propaganda.

I said that German propaganda had nothing to do with the development of the CH RADAR chain. It is not the propaganda that could have spurred the development of anything ... it is the capability. Capability is the feature that could have been countered or reacted against. Not the propaganda/bluster. It wasn't the German "talking it up" that can be attributed to the development of anything. It was, if anything, genuine destructive capacity. It is a subtle but important distinction.

Lastly the experiments of Watson Watt are important to the British development of RADAR. However, in the greater scheme of things, the greater history of the development of RADAR, he is a bit of a Johnny come lately.

For further reading I completely recommend the following two excellent books.

RADAR Development to 1945.
http://www.iee.org/Publish/Books/Radar/Ra002c.cfm

and

RDF-1
http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=846799...30%26y%3D14%26x%3D19 (http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=846799200&searchurl=tn%3Drdf-1%26sortby%3D2%26an%3Dbragg%26sts%3Dt%26bx%3Doff%2 6bi%3D0%26ds%3D30%26y%3D14%26x%3D19)

Waldo.Pepper
07-17-2007, 10:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I think you will find that the observer corps were an integral part of the Fighter defence of Britain. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think you will find that we all know that already.

You do know that something can be integral, yet still be made up of under-qualified/under-trained/ill equipped/past their prime troops don't you?

luftluuver
07-17-2007, 10:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
In my proposal I am suggesting that they could have done more that setting up standing patrols. I mentioned ships in the channel. Analogous to what was done in the Pacific with Picket destroyers. If need be they could have used RN submarines for this as well. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>You can't be serious? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Waldo.Pepper
07-17-2007, 10:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">You can't be serious? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Why not?

No matter what was done the channel would still be there! Technology can be a force multiplier. But technology is never the entire answer.

luftluuver
07-17-2007, 11:02 PM
The English Channel is NOT the Pacific Ocean.

Gumtree
07-17-2007, 11:05 PM
Waldo you don't have to excuse yourself mate, I am not insulted that you may disagree with me, I would not have started the topic if I didn't want a discussion. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Whilst I agree that Watson-Watt may have been late on the scene of RDF,it can not be argued that his work along with a commitment and foresight of Dowding implemented the theory into a practical and effective application, long before others, calling him a "johnny come lately "is a little harsh, lol.

Gumtree
07-17-2007, 11:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:

You do know that something can be integral, yet still be made up of under-qualified/under-trained/ill equipped/past their prime troops don't you? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

All the books I have read have lead me to the conclusion that the observer corps were paramount to the success of the defence of British airspace.

Praise is heaped on these, under qualified/ under trained/ past their prime troops from every quarter, both RAF fighter command and the Fighter pilots themselves.

Waldo.Pepper
07-18-2007, 02:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
The English Channel is NOT the Pacific Ocean. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Quite right. And yet it was enough to stop the Germans cold.

A question to further the discussion.

If you had to do without one of the following items/features. Which item would you delete from your defensive arsenal?

1.) The CH RADAR chain.

or

2.) The obstacle of the channel.

I know what I would chose to delete. The channel was the obstacle that saved the nation. The CH RADAR chain was valuable - but not decisive. I don't believe its presence saved Britain.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">All the books I have read have lead me to the conclusion that the observer corps were paramount to the success of the defence of British airspace.

Praise is heaped on these, under qualified/ under trained/ past their prime troops from every quarter, both RAF fighter command and the Fighter pilots themselves. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think it is rare to find a book that denigrates ANY branch of the ANY service. I have read a few accounts of flight crews dumping on lazy ground staffs. But it is more common to read glowing reports that critical ones. This is a facet of human behaviour. Not evidence of their utility.

Please mention the books that heap praise on the efficacy of the Observer Corp as an institution. (Not how wonderful they are as individual, or praise them for their volunteer spirit!)

The book I shall quote is Fighter by Len Deighton. (it is the one that first springs to mind and hand.) I quote from page 121-122.

Italics mine!

But as soon as the raiders passed over the coast, the Operations Rooms were forced to rely upon an army of volunteers equipped only with enthusiasm , binoculars, an aircraft recognition booklet, and a simple sighting device.

As Churchill said it was like going from the middle of the twentieth century to the stone age."

He continues...

"The Observer Corps volunteers devoted much of their spare time to aircraft recognition. The system was wholly dependant upon these men for reports of enemy aircraft that had crossed the coast of Britain. On cloudy days this meant that enemy formations over land were reported only on basis of the sound of their engines.

I personally think this is the very definition I gave. Second rate troops, under equipped, ill- trained etc etc etc. But again it is all opinion.

Now on to Watson-Watt being a Johnny come lately.

No I do not this this is a little harsh. From Radar Development to 1945. I quote the preface at length. (Sorry http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif for the at length part. But it is important to further illustrate my point. )

"Although Hiilsmeyer's patents and experimental work on a rudimentary form of radar date from 1904, it was not until the mid-1930s that determined efforts were made in several countries to advance and utilise the principles of radiolocation for defensive and offensive purposes. Hiilsmeyer's anti-collision warning instrument was effectively a radio wave equivalent of the searchlights which had been in use on board ships for torpedo boat detection for more than a quarter of a century.
The sinking of the Titanic' in 1912 exposed the need for a device which could detect and locate icebergs, rocks and shipwrecks, and the First World War led to dogged attempts being made to detect and locate enemy submarines. These endeavours resulted in ASDIC and SONAR systems, based on the propagation, reflection and reception of pulsed ultrasonic sound waves, being developed during the inter-war years.

Marconi, in 1922, mentioned the possibility of radio waves being employed to give a warning of the presence and bearing of ships, and in the same year Taylor and Young detected the passage of the steamer 'Dorchester' on the Potomac River. However the first commercial anti-collision apparatus for ships was not introduced until 1935. In that year the French liner 'Normandie' was fitted with a c.w. radio detection system.

In the meantime, during the 1920s, much work was being undertaken, by radio methods using both FM and pulse transmissions, on the elucidation of the properties of the ionosphere.

The US Naval Research Laboratory discovered in 1930 that aircraft could reflect electromagnetic waves, and in the UK, in 1931, the Post Office Engineering Department observed beats in the signals received from a transmitting station when an aeroplane was in the vicinity of the propagation path. A report was published by the Post Office in 1932, and, in the following year, a paper was printed in the Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers on work that had been carried out at Bell Laboratories and which showed the effects which aircraft produced on ultra-short wave transmission phenomena. A US patent on 'Systems for detecting objects by radio' was also published in 1933.

Essentially the published report, paper and patent made openly available the basic ideas of c.w. radar. The techniques which had been developed for submarine detection and ionospheric height finding could be applied to the problem of detecting aircraft and ships by radio waves. Page, of the US Naval Research Laboratory, in 1933 wrote: 'It was decided to attack the problem in a manner similar to that by which super-sonic depth finding is accomplished'. Again Watson-Watt, of the UK Radio Research Station, in his 1935 memorandum considered that the pulse method for detecting aircraft could be implemented 'as in the current technique of echo-sounding of the ionosphere' and pointed out that 'the whole technique had already been worked out for ionospheric work, as for example, at the Radio Research Station'.

And so with this background it was perhaps inevitable that several countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the UK, the USA and the USSR, should pursue, in the mid-1930s or thereabouts, investigations on the detection and location of metallic objects by electromagnetic waves.
Following the initial work on early warning radar it was soon realised, particularly in the UK, that specialist radars for air-to-air interception, army and naval gun-laying, fighter aircraft direction, and low flying aircraft detection were required. Also the need to identify a 'friend' from a 'foe' was perceived before World War II and much work on IFF was subsequently undertaken."

Holy Cow!

All that work (and more). Was conducted before Watson-Watt is even mentioned!

He is a pioneer in BRITISH RADAR, to be sure. But the work done by others if woefully under appreciated by the general public which has been repeatedly inundated with the story of British Radar.

To further the discussion please see the following research paper ... by Major Gregory Clark. - Deflating British Radar Myths of World War Two.

the author debunks three myths in the paper.

1.) Watson-Watt is the father and sole inventor of RADAR

2.) Germany's discovery and exploitation of RADAR occurred after exposure to British systems in 1940.

3.) The Third myth gives RADAR the pivotal role in the defeat of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain.

I encourage you to read the paper. Happy reading

http://www.zshare.net/download/27387173269b06/

Stuntie
07-18-2007, 02:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gumtree:
Whilst the points you make are good, I feel you may have failed to read my post properly. I am claiming that the propaganda BEFORE the war is what led the British to develop the highly efficient sytem that Fighter command used to defend against the Luftwaffe.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually it was the Zepplin and Gotha raids of the first world war that prompted Britain to create an efficient home defense network.
The systems setup to deal with this threat were upgraded and improved over time, and given greater importance due to the 'bomber will always get through' phiolosophy and the impact of bombings such as Gunernica during the Spanish civil war.
When BoB came it was ready and waiting.
The levels of control and command were what made it so effective.

Propoganda was not really a major player as society had seen out of control propoganda during the first world war (the beastly Hun murdering nurses etc.) and so knew it as propaganda not fact.

More serious was the retreat and evacuation from France due to the stunning success of the Blitzkrieg. That was fact not propaganda. And spin it how you like (French collapse, not our fault we fought well...) but comprehensive defeat is numbing and demoralising to the public. Had the RAF been as soundly defeated as the BEF were Britain would have been invaded.
Fortunately Britain was not invaded. Fortuante for both us Brits, and for the large numbers of German troops that would have been lost in such a futlie attack.
An RAF defeat means little if you do not control the seas, and the Royal Navy was deliberatly kept away from air attack for just that reason. And all the German propoganda in the world could not kill the Trafalgar spirit and tradition, just as it could never create a German surface fleet capable of taking on the Royal Navy.

Thats the problem with Propoganda. Facts and tradition outweigh it by a mile.

csThor
07-18-2007, 02:34 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
2.) Germany's discovery and exploitation of RADAR occurred after exposure to British systems in 1940.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Now here you're wrong. Completely. In 1939 all major german warships already had a working if primitive RADAR installed - FuMO 22 (earlier designation FMG 39 gO). Development of RADAR (in Germany called DeTe and later Funkmess) started as early as 1929 with the first primitive but working type (called "Seetakt") 1935. The forerunner of the FREYA device appeared in 1936.

RADAR was by no means a wholly british thing. It was known before. The difference was the system it was incorporated into.

Waldo.Pepper
07-18-2007, 02:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Now here you're wrong. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You did not read what I wrote. READ IT AGAIN!

It is a MYTH that is being exploded.

NOT AN ASSERTION! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

leitmotiv
07-18-2007, 02:49 AM
This thread has reached the point of dreariness to merit a: "Never before in the field of human gassing has so much wind been generated by so few" award. All it needs is Kurfurst to put the icing on the cake.

Gumtree
07-18-2007, 02:59 AM
P Townsend's Duel of Eagles makes several mentions of the importance of the Observer corps in his book.
M Jullian (Battle of Britain)makes repeated references to the observer corps and how regularly they are the first to spot and relay information to Fighter command.

I believe you should also see that in Deighton's book he makes many references to the observer corps, which show how valuable to the defence system of British airspace they were in fact he states on page 99

"although the system may have managed without the radar units, it could never have worked without the Observer Corps"
In fact in Deighton's book he repeatedly makes reference to the Observer corps reports in unison with RADAR foiling German attacks.

M Burns 'Bader the man and his men,page70' "the observer corps was essential to support the Radar system.." pg 118 "...whilst the observer corps had performed well the difficulty of estimating height still remained."

I am not going to quote from every book I have read but I feel that they had a job to do and these volunteers carried it out as well as can be expected.

Yes they didn't have all the latest equipment, yet any mariner will tell you that all you need to determine height is a sextant and a bit of trig.

These men practised in aircraft recognition and had Binoculars to aid them, they had a simple tool to determine height and whilst not exactly accurate they were vital to Fighter commands system.

As for Watson-Watt and Radar I have said that he is responsible along with far sightedness in the RAF, of putting this new technology into practice for air defence, thus in this field he was at the forefront, IMHO

Gumtree
07-18-2007, 03:14 AM
I just can't let it go can I ? lol http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif

Waldo.Pepper
07-18-2007, 03:18 AM
Indeed! I think you are now making my point for me.

You may remember my initial point about the observer corps was that ...

Had the CH RADAR chain not have been developed no doubt the nation would have beefed up the observer corps with more men, equipment etc and survived.

Even so it was 'valuable' (with RADAR) but not as you stated earlier ... "paramount".

To restate. Had CH RADAR chain not be there it would no doubt have been paramount. Which has been a point of mine all along. The page 99 quote of Deighton IS my point ...

"although the system may have managed without the radar units, it could never have worked without the Observer Corps"

Although I would have changed "may have" to certainly would have survived without RADAR. As other methods would have arisen ...

such as ...

In many ways signals intelligence was just as valuable to the British as was CH radar. With signals intelligence the British were able to repeat their naval successes of World War I in the new field of air combat.

Signals intelligence allowed radar to report the approach of aircraft which were already expected. CH was able to give a twenty minute warning to the fighters to intercept their target, but the radar was not sensitive enough to resolve the number of aircraft or type. German air communications were intercepted at British HF listening stations. Early in the war German fighters used HF radio telephony while the bombers used more traditional HF telegraph for communications. From the interception of this traffic, the British could get up to a two hour warning and detailed information on aircraft numbers, routes and identity of attacking formations.

Thus the 20 minute warning that CH RADAR gave them was ECLIPSED by the 2 hour warning that Y service gave them.

csThor
07-18-2007, 03:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
You did not read what I wrote. READ IT AGAIN!
It is a MYTH that is being exploded.
NOT AN ASSERTION! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://rifleman.altervista.org/friendtest/doh.jpg

Tells me to have another coffee http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Waldo.Pepper
07-18-2007, 03:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gumtree:
I just can't let it go can I ? lol http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

+1 Guilty as well. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gifhttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gifhttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Whirlin_merlin
07-18-2007, 04:10 AM
Trivial.
Skirmish.
?

I dunno but I do know that BOB had a huge effect in that for the first time the 'All Powerfull Nazi War Machine' was seen by the world to fail. That gave hope to the allies both military and civilian.

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 05:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by csThor:
.... and the Luftwaffe never flew concentrated, coordinated large-scale attacks - in relation to the numbers they had available. The number of bombers in a single mission rarely exceeded a Geschwader (a theoretical maximum of 120 planes, in reality much less). The rule was a Gruppe of Bombers (30 - 40 planes) protected by two or three Gruppen of fighters. ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's not quite right, the bit about the Luftwaffe never attempting coordinated large scale attacks. They did, many times. Adler Tag was merely the first, but there were many other attempts.

Beyond that, I think you're right to highlight the complexity of the German challenge. The Kriegsmarine not only lacked enthusiasm, after Norway they lacked the ships. However, there's more to war than the shooting. If we step back to the highest level of strategy, the German objective was to reach a peace with Britain. This could be negotiated, or enforced at gunpoint. However, the two were NOT mutually exclusive. A negotiated settlement might have been reached under the threat of invasion or other application of force, if the threat was credible.

And here we need to understand that invasion was NOT the only option for the use of force. Blockade was another, and a pure strategic bombing campaign was a third. The Kriegsmarine lacked the ships and uboats to achieve a blockade without the Luftwaffe. As you've already pointed out, many of the Luftwaffe's senior officers were skeptical about a strategic bombing campaign, too. However, the prerequisite for all three military options was air superiority, so no credible threat of ANY kind could be made until that was achieved.

To that end, the Luftwaffe did attempt many coordinated, large-scale assaults. While it's perfectly true that the subsequent Allied assault on Germany from 1943 was on a larger scale than the Battle of Britain, it's quite wrong to imply that the Luftwaffe was somehow not serious about it.

cheers,
Ratsack

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 06:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by csThor:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
2.) Germany's discovery and exploitation of RADAR occurred after exposure to British systems in 1940.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Now here you're wrong. Completely.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Dead right. It's better than that, too. There was a working prototype demonstrated for the German Navy during WWI. They didn't pick it up, though.

There is an entire scholarly work on German radar equipments in English, written by a radar technician-turned-historian. It starts with these very early developments.

Cheers,
Ratsack

Bewolf
07-18-2007, 06:09 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by csThor:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
2.) Germany's discovery and exploitation of RADAR occurred after exposure to British systems in 1940.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Now here you're wrong. Completely.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Dead right. It's better than that, too. There was a working prototype demonstrated for the German Navy during WWI. They didn't pick it up, though.

There is an entire scholarly work on German radar equipments in English, written by a radar technician-turned-historian. It starts with these very early developments.

Cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Even better, during the time period of the battle of britain german radar was better then english radar, operating on a shorter wavelengh. It's just the british had the first real use for their's and later in the war leaped ahead.

Xiolablu3
07-18-2007, 06:16 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by csThor:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
The BOB was certainly not a 'minor skirmish' for Britain, her whole future depended on it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's the view Churchill instilled and the historians dutifully carried along.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
It was the largest aerial battle ever until that time. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That may be true - both in regards to the total of forces involved and the sometimes high numbers of planes involved in a single operation. But compared to the juggernaut hauling itself into german airspace on an almost daily basis in 1944 and 1945 the BoB was a series of minor skirmishes.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Both Britain and GErmany threw everything they had at each other for a few months. ALthough small compared to some of the later SKirmishes (because everything was scalled up as the war went on and more countries joined), there were massive formations of planes hitting each other every day the weather would allow for a 4-5 months. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, they did not. The RAF held its bombers in reserve and the Luftwaffe never flew concentrated, coordinated large-scale attacks - in relation to the numbers they had available. The number of bombers in a single mission rarely exceeded a Geschwader (a theoretical maximum of 120 planes, in reality much less). The rule was a Gruppe of Bombers (30 - 40 planes) protected by two or three Gruppen of fighters. The goal was to lure RAF fighters into combat as the higher echelons were all too aware that they could not bomb GB into submission.

The bottom line is: Hitler was not in favor of "Sea Lion". He did not want to commit troops to GB because he needed them for his "crusade" in the East. As a result his orders were far from the precise and to-the-point orders he had Keitel write before and would have him write later. The fact that coordination between Luftflotte 2 and 3 was not even attempted and that none of the higher officers in the Luftwaffe (not Milch, not Jeschonnek, not even Kesselring and Sperrle themselves) sought to correct that vice shows much of the general state of indifference towards the results of the whole operation.

That the Brits believed to be fighting for their very lifes doesn't mean they were (in the sense of the nation). Even IF the Luftwaffe had managed to break the Fighter Command's back the question what would have happened afterwards is impossible to answer. As I said the Wehrmacht had no technical means to pull off an amphibious landing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Of course the future of Britain depended on it, if they gave into Hitler now, they would have been pushed around for the rest of time. No amount of revisionist history will change that. History taught us that Hitlers promises meant nothing.

Of course Sealion was a ruse, but the situation of Nazis ruling Europe and calling the shots was very dangerous for Britian (and the world).
Hitler was a lying bully, the Nazis ruling Europe with their concentration camps slaughtering millions of people would be a disaster for Britain and the world.

Are you going to tell us that concentration camps are 'no big deal' next?

csThor
07-18-2007, 06:17 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
That's not quite right, the bit about the Luftwaffe never attempting coordinated large scale attacks. They did, many times. Adler Tag was merely the first, but there were many other attempts. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You're sorely mistaking individual operations by one Luftflotte (under a loose umbrella of a codeword) for a coordinated effort. In reality it was usually like this: Luftflotte 2 launched a few operations in the forenoon and called it a day after that, Luftflotte 3 breakfasted and caught some more sleep, had lunch and made a lunch break before carrying out their missions. That is not coordination - they did not time their attacks to overwhelm and outmaneuver the british defenses. They did not even tell the other Luftflotte what their targets were at what time. That fundamental flaw of german ops during the BoB was pointed out perfectly in "Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 - 1945 - Einsatz am Kanal" by Prien/Sommer/Rodeicke/Bock (which also dispelled some other myths propagated by veterans and "dutiful" historians after the war).

There was no strategy how to overwhelm the Fighter Command and its defenses. The BoB were more or less Sperrle's and Kesselring's private wars with some interferance from Göing and Hitler thrown into the mix.

Xiolablu3
07-18-2007, 06:18 AM
I think you are believing to much pro Nazi propaganda yourself Kurland.

Of COURSE the Nazis are going to say 'it was no big deal' after they failed their objectives. It was their only way of saving face.

1867 planes lost in 3 months (!), is that 'no big deal'?

The BOB was the turning point of Hitlers string of successes, and the begining of the end for the myth of Nazi superiority.

Churchill was fighting for Britains future, and he knew it. After Hitler promised Britain could keep her colonies he saw the pattern of other Nazi 'promises'.

csThor
07-18-2007, 06:32 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Of course the future of Britain depended on it, if they gave into Hitler now, they would have been pushed around for the rest of time. No amount of revisionist history will change that. History taught us that Hitlers promises meant nothing.

Of course Sealion was a ruse, but the situation of Germany ruling Europe and calling the shots was very dangerous for Britian (and the world).
Hitler was a lying bully, the Nazis ruling Europe with their concentration camps slaughtering millions of people would be a disaster for Britain and the world.

Are you going to tell us that concentration camps are 'no big deal' next? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

To do that would be a crime in Germany. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif No, of course not. Those idiots running around refusing to believe what happened at Auschwitz, Maydanek, Sobibor or Treblinka shouldn't and can't be taken seriously. In fact I wouldn't mind seeing them deported to Siberia. I guess there's enough space for them the "be german". The bears and wolves won't mind.

All I am saying is to delete the pathos and the distorting glorification from viewing the BoB. As I lined out the Wehrmacht had no means to pull off an amphibious invasion so - even IF the Luftwaffe had defeated the Fighter Command - there would have been no credible threat of force to keep up - it would have been time to come clean and then the British would have seen Germany's inability to invade. The whole thing was a facade without substance, a propaganda sham to bully GB into submission. Stylizing it into the epitome of "Battle between Good and Evil" might stroke the collective british ego, but it doesn't present an accurate picture. I prefer solid historical facts over myths ... I've read enough of those already in various books (and german veterans have had their fare share of myth-mongering).

EDIT:

1.) My nickname is "csThor". http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
2.) Accusing me of "believing too much Nazi propaganda" shows me that you have no arguments to remedy my theses. My theses just happen to exclude some very popular myths propagated both by the British and the germans.
3.) To draw losses into the equation achieves nothing. Germany had a monthly production rate of about 1200 combat aircraft at that time so material losses could have been replaced within a short time. The human losses on the other hand were severe and were hard - if in some cases impossible - to replace.
4.) The BoB was not as much a real turning point of the war (afterwards Germany made its largest territorial gains after all) but - as you said - a psychological element. Therein lies its importance.

Xiolablu3
07-18-2007, 06:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by csThor:

2.) Accusing me of "believing too much Nazi propaganda" shows me that you have no arguments to remedy my theses. My theses just happen to exclude some very popular myths propagated both by the British and the germans.
. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No it shows I dont have the time to go into this properly, unfortunatly.

My posts are summaries written in haste in between working.

Total British civilian losses from July to December 1940 were 23,002 dead and 32,138 wounded. It was certainly a matter of life and death for the people facing the bombing.

Of course losses mean something, it was these losses which finally amde the Nazis give up trying to pacify Britain and turn East.

Over the war period, Britian changed from being a small thorn in the Nazis side to a powerful force capable of destroying a city in a single night.

Bewolf
07-18-2007, 06:49 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:


Over the war period, Britian changed from being a small thorn in the Nazis side to a powerful force capable of destroying a city in a single night. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

..which nobody doubts, but is not at all topic here. csthor is quite right in his assessments. I am totally aware that for britain the bob has a huge meaning and especially nowadays is one of the last great events in a nowadays dull british history (though the current russia crisis brings in some spice again. my honest respect to you guys, do not back down), and as such especially taken care of.

But it does indeed not change the facts csthor already laid out. While studiying this stuff I came to kinda similiar results. I'd advise you to dig a bit deeper into the german side of this time period.

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 06:50 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by csThor:
...
4.) The BoB was not as much a real turning point of the war ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is wrong. It was the first turning point, and definitely among the most important. The failure of the Germans to achieve any of their strategic aims meant that the war would go on.

cheers,
Ratsack

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 06:56 AM
To address the thread-starter's question, no, I don't think German propaganda had the effect you're implying.

Firstly, the morbid belief in the invulnerability of the bomber dates from WWI. This belief was bolstered by science fiction writers, such as H.G. Well, and by the writings of Giulio Dhouet. The belief was particularly fostered in the R.A.F. by its head, Hugh Trenchard, with his staunch advocacy of the offensive bomber force. When Stanely Baldwin made his famous statement that the bomber would always get through on 10 November 1932, he was echoing the beliefs and sentiments of many of his contemporaries. Note that this was made before the Nazis came to power.

Secondly, the British interest in defense against the bomber pre-dates the public announcement of the revived Luftwaffe. H.T. Tizard was appointed by the Air Ministry to chair a committee charged with investigating the feasible defense against the bomber aeroplane. Some of the key results of the committee's work was public backing for the development of radar, and the enhancement of the Post Office's communication network to provide the early warning system that operated during the Battle of Britain. The Tizard Committee was formed by the Air Ministry in late 1934. Goering's new Luftwaffe was announced on 8 March 1935.

So, to summarize, belief that the bomber would get through predates the Nazis, and Britain's efforts to develop an air defense system predate the public existence of the Luftwaffe.

It was not, therefore, Luftwaffe or German propaganda that prompted the British to develop the system.

Cheers,
Ratsack

csThor
07-18-2007, 07:10 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
My posts are summaries written in haste in between working. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

So are mine. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Total British civilian losses from July to December 1940 were 23,002 dead and 32,138 wounded. It was certainly a matter of life and death for the people facing the bombing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

For a single individual or a group like a family this is of course right. But as a nation I simply do not believe the BoB to be a life or death situation. As I lined out Hitler had no means of keeping up his facade - even a successful destruction of the Fighter Command wouldn't have bullied GB into submission. An invasion would have been out of question due to economical and technical limitations. Churchill would have simply called Hitler's bluff with Sea Lion and I simply do not think Hitler would have gone through with it.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
This is wrong. It was the first turning point, and definitely among the most important. The failure of the Germans to achieve any of their strategic aims meant that the war would go on. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This implies two things:

a) The War in the west was the much more important theater.
b) You do not believe Russia to be able to defeat Germany on its own. I do believe so. Very much so, indeed.

The planning for "Barbarossa" had begun much much earlier than Decmber 1940 (when the official order was written). Halder notes in his diary on July 31 1940 (almost two weeks before "Adlertag"!) that Hitler had outlined his intentions for the attack on the USSR and had ordered to speed up preparations. That shows where Hitler's mind was - and it was not on GB.

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 07:17 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by csThor:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
This is wrong. It was the first turning point, and definitely among the most important. The failure of the Germans to achieve any of their strategic aims meant that the war would go on. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This implies two things:

a) The War in the west was the much more important theater.
b) You do not believe Russia to be able to defeat Germany on its own. I do believe so. Very much so, indeed.

The planning for "Barbarossa" had begun much much earlier than Decmber 1940 (when the official order was written). Halder notes in his diary on July 31 1940 (almost two weeks before "Adlertag"!) that Hitler had outlined his intentions for the attack on the USSR and had ordered to speed up preparations. That shows where Hitler's mind was - and it was not on GB. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it implies neither of those things. My statement actually just a matter of fact.

The German strategic aim in its war with the West, after the fall of France, was to end it: to get Britain to come to terms. This is not open to debate: it's just a fact.

The failure to achieve that goal meant that the war would not end that year. This is another fact.

I make no comment about the war on the USSR.

cheers,
Ratsack

csThor
07-18-2007, 07:25 AM
I am not refuting your fact, Ratsack. I am simply saying that the war would have gone on regardless of the outcome of the BoB. Simply because Hitler would go against the USSR. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Kettenhunde
07-18-2007, 08:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It is arguable that the Battle of Britain was lost long before the Second World War started. Luftwaffe doctrine, so successful in establishing a powerful synergy between air and land operations, was deeply flawed in its understanding of the fundamentals of airpower. The causes were various, but the result was inadequate provision for the industrial investment and resources necessary to sustain operations in the face of high wastage rates that war would bring. By contrast, the Royal Air Force (RAF) was well placed to defend Great Britain, notwithstanding its perceived doctrinal emphasis on strategic bombing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">But the possibility of a Luftwaffe victory was effectively compromised by plans, laid down in the prewar period, that provided Fighter Command with a quantitative advantage and the means to sustain this advantage. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IBO/is_4_24/ai_74582443/pg_1

The Spit fans are going to hate me. Honestly, I have absolutely nothing against the UK or the Spitfire! http://media.ubi.com/us/forum_images/gf-glomp.gif

Churchill's address of the "The FEW" refers to the pilots of the RAF being a small segment of society. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Spitfire.

All the best,

Crumpp

WOLFMondo
07-18-2007, 09:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:

Churchill's address of the "The FEW" refers to the pilots of the RAF being a small segment of society. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Spitfire.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Kettenhunde, I think most British people know or are at least aware that when he says the 'few' he meant the RAF pilots taking part in the battle, whatever aircraft they were flying.

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 09:06 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Luftwaffe doctrine, so successful in establishing a powerful synergy between air and land operations, was deeply flawed in its understanding of the fundamentals of airpower. ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This sort of thing can be found again and again in American sources on the Luftwaffe. The rest of Dye's argument is interesting, albeit very narrowly focused, but this line about the Germans having a flawed conception of air power is just garbage.

They certainly had a flawed logistical base, which is the guts of Dye's thesis, but that just reflects the economic realities of Germany in the late 1930s.

They certainly had a confused development program underway, but that was a consequence of poor appointments and Hitler's 'crash through' approach to policy.

They certainly lacked a big, four engined bomber, but this is merely a reflection of Germany's geographical location. The German army could lose the war long before any strategic bombing campaign would bite, so in the competition for scarce resources the tactical air force won.

None of this is evidence of a 'conceptual' flaw in their doctrine of air power. These are all just structural problems associated with the economic, geographic and political realities of Nazi Germany.

Very odd.

cheers,
Ratsack

luftluuver
07-18-2007, 09:08 AM
Agh, how can anyone interpret the the few as being the Spitfire?

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 09:25 AM
It's slightly OT, but in relation to Dye's thesis, he notes that the RAF aimed for 50 squadrons of fighters by mid 1942 to defend against a German force of 2,500 bombers. He notes that Fighter Command reached that figure by June 1940. A couple of points should be noted before we read too much into this.

Firstly, the entire premise of the pre-war planning was that France would be in the war, and that the German air force would have to come from bases in Germany or the Low Countries, across the North Sea. This meant that that notional German force of 2,500 bombers would have a far lower sortie rate than the German airforce could actually manage in autumn 1940 from its bases in France. This effectively multiplied the German force.

Secondly, the pre-war plans were predicated on the notion of 2,500 German bombers coming from Germany. The emphasis is on the word bombers. No prewar fighter had the range to escort bombers over that range. The figure of 50 squadrons is therefore based on the premise that the defenders would only be dealing with bombers. The position of the German airforce in France rendered this premise utterly false.

In summary, the 50 squadron force stipulated by the pre-war plans was not nearly as adequate in autumn 1940 as they had calculated in the 1930s. It was actually a near-run thing.

Thirdly, Dye makes much of the pre-war expansion plans of the RAF. What he fails to note is that these very expansion plans, based as they were on the Government requirement to increase the number of operational squadrons, nearly wrecked the training establishment of the RAF. The argument about quantity versus quality was not settled in the RAF until well into 1942, as the fruits of the Empire Air Training scheme finally started to come in. This coincided with some policy changes in Bomber Command, which was the largest user of aircrew, that enabled some efficiencies to be achieved.

Cheers,
Ratsack

Kettenhunde
07-18-2007, 09:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I think most British people know or are at least aware that when he says the 'few' he meant the RAF pilots taking part in the battle, whatever aircraft they were flying. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I certainly agree. However most British People do not read these boards.

Only game players.

Additionally, however we want to paint the picture, the RAF was on numerically even footing with the Luftwaffe regarding single engine fighters very early in the Battle and very quickly gained numerical superiority. Attrition rates were similar between the two forces with each side having an arguable advantage due to very shady claims.

I am not going to argue about this with anyone. Feel free to believe what you want. Personally I will believe the RAF and the documentation from the British National Archives without someone else's interpretation.

IMHO some very well thought out pre-war planning laid the foundation of the RAF's victory.

The catalog numbers are included in the article. Ordering them is easily done online and the entire report is much more interesting. 35 cents a page is the going rate IIRC.

However many of the numbers are reproduced in the article.

All the best,

Crumpp

luftluuver
07-18-2007, 09:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
I certainly agree. However most British People do not read these boards.

Only game players. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>They don't have to read these boards as they are taught about the few in school, or at least they were taught.

WOLFMondo
07-18-2007, 09:43 AM
Its all over the TV whenever there is an excuse to rattle on about the Battle of Britain.

Kettenhunde
07-18-2007, 09:43 AM
Ratsack,

I think what he refers too is the fact the Luftwaffe was designed as a tactical strike force and not a strategic force.

That is not to say it did not have some strategic capabilities nor that it was not used in this role.

All the best,

Crumpp

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 09:49 AM
The numerical argument is not new, but neither is it the whole story. If those aircraft had been forced to fly standing patrols for want of an effective early warning system, five times their number would not have been enough.

More importantly, it has been acknowledged ever since the battle itself that the most sensitive bottleneck for Fighter Command was pilots rather than aircraft. There was no adequate supply of pilots, and the Germans had tactical options available to them from July that would've maintained a rate of attrition that Dowding could not sustain.

This is not to say that Germans could have won easily, but rather to highlight that there were more factors than supply of airframes. The radar system itself could quite easily have been knocked out, or not built at all. The integration of the early warning system with the command and control system may not have been developed. Dowding himself was instrumental in both of these areas, and was then in the lucky position of commanding the system he'd played a key part in creating. All of these events were contingent, and none of them were inevitable.

Narrow explanations are dangerous, and technical experts do have a tendency to take the narrow, technical view.

cheers,
Ratsack

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 10:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
Ratsack,

I think what he refers too is the fact the Luftwaffe was designed as a tactical strike force and not a strategic force.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, I know, and he is wrong to say that this represents a flaw in the German conception of air power. The absence of an explicitly strategic element in the Luftwaffe order of battle is merely a reflection of the fact that the Germans built their force quickly, and it had to serve the Army first. As I said in a previous post, Germany is a land locked country, and as such its army can lose (or win) a war in its opening days or weeks. An attack on the enemy's productive power will not help you if the enemy's army in being is marching up Potsdammerplatz. The first priority in the rearming of the Wehrmacht as a whole simply had to be ensuring the Army would not lose its first battles. That meant supporting it with tactical air.

This very rational and correct line of reasoning that the Germans followed did not preclude them from planning a strategic force. They went some way toward developing it. But in the fight for scarce industrial resources in an economy that was already suffering acute labour shortages in 1938, the strategic force lost out.

It is actually wrong to claim that the Germans had no notion of a strategic force.

It's also probably wrong to assume - as his position implicitly does - that only an airforce with a strategic focus is properly conceived. The evidence of nearly 70 years of air power doesn't support the strategic airpower thesis.

So he's wrong on at least one count, and probably on two.

cheers,
Ratsack

csThor
07-18-2007, 10:18 AM
There's more to the lack of strategic bombers than "just" the continental spot Germany took up, although (and Ratsack said this) it influenced plane designs in the early 30s considerably. In the early 30s the most probable conflict by then was a border war with Poland or the Czechs. For such a situation (read = lots of field fortifications, concrete bunkers etc) a Stuka is much more useful than a heavy bomber (which lacked precision at that time).

The prime reason for Germany not building a fleet of heavy strategic bombers was fuel supply, however. A study dated 1937 estimates a sizeable (read = large enough) force of such bombers to swallow a third of Germany's complete fuel and oil reserves in just a month of operation. The study lined out that Germany could either equip a modern field army with enough armor and transportation capacities and a tactical air force or a strategic bomber force. I guess the choice was easy.

triad773
07-18-2007, 12:25 PM
Not sure if this had been mentioned before; remember when Germany invaded Finland? Since they had no landing craft per se, they offloaded the invading forces from DESTROYERS, who, after coming in close enough to dis-embark the soldiers, were susceptible to the shore guns which wreaked havoc on them. The Germans lost many destroyers in that operation.

True it was not until a few years later the US developed specialized craft for amphibious operations. I had heard they (the Germans) were bringing in barges from the Rhine for Sealion. What nonsense! No wonder the Army commanders didn't take the operation seriously- anyone can see that there is a world of difference between a flat bottomed river barge, used on open ocean.

JG53Frankyboy
07-18-2007, 12:31 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by triad773:
Not sure if this had been mentioned before; remember when Germany invaded Finland? .................. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

you most propably ment Norway http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

triad773
07-18-2007, 12:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JG53Frankyboy:

you most propably ment Norway http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

DOH! You are correct Sir http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Hoatee
07-18-2007, 01:21 PM
That's only propellerly.

Kettenhunde
07-18-2007, 03:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Yes, I know, and he is wrong to say that this represents a flaw in the German conception of air power. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I think his statement is correct and I also think it is pretty self evident.

For example once Russian industry made it over the Urals, the Germans had no ability to strike at it or effect the flow of supplies.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">There was no adequate supply of pilots, </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Which the Germans were reaching the same point. In fact probably worse. The Luftwaffe only graduated some 10,527 single engine fighter pilots the entire war. Compare that to the US graduating over 100,000 fighter pilots during the war. The US alone in the ETO had 5000 fighter pilots on hand in Aug 1944.

The RAF system was simply better at replacing their losses.

The RAF had far greater reserves than the Luftwaffe and the RAF maintained a rotation schedule to rest their units.

The Germans pilot training program was consistently inadequate to replace their losses. The result was it was continually downgraded and reduced.
http://img18.imagevenue.com/loc906/th_92616_German_Training_122_906lo.JPG (http://img18.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=92616_German_Training_122_906lo.JPG)

The harsh reality is both sides where in the the crucible.

The RAF simply had near parity in single engine fighter force which grew to superiority.

They could better replace their losses where the Germans could not.


All the best,

Crumpp

Kettenhunde
07-18-2007, 03:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I believe that this point requires some further consideration. The German Air Force attained its reputation as a strategic air force in the quick wars of 1939 and 1940, particularly those against Poland and France. In reality this was a false reputation, for in all those instances where the Luftwaffe achieved unquestionable success it was used as a tactical weapon. It achieved its reputation of invincibility, of being the best air force, as paradoxically as this may sound, because of the army, for the Luftwaffe was really never required in those early wars to annihilate completely the opposing air force. It was sufficient if the enemy air force was temporarily paralyzed, sometimes only for a few days. The ground organization and logistic system of the enemy air forces, which although damaged but nevertheless repairable, was then overrun by the German armor columns and finally occupied by the pursuing infantry. Conversely the Luftwaffe played its part in the successes which the rapid movement of the army achieved, since it enabled the fast armor columns to drive forward under air force protection without worrying about enemy flank penetrations or the need to wait for contact with the much slower infantry, which followed in its path.

At the moment when this concept was abandoned, as for example during the Battle of Britain, the weakness of the Luftwaffe became apparent. This weakness was not only a result of the lack of range in the German fighter arm, but rather the comparative numbers and capabilities of both the RAF and the Luftwaffe. Numerically this has often been expressed in a ratio of one to four or even one to five in favor of the Luftwaffe. This, however, is based on an erroneous calculation. For the determining ratio is that of fighter to fighter, and this was hardly ever much better than one to one for the German side. A one-to-one ratio, however, is insufficient in view of the much higher attrition rate sustained by the attacker, a lesson which was to be validated later during the Allied Bombing Offensive. Herein lies the chance for' the defender, a chance not to be overlooked.

----Lieutenant General Adolf Galland
German Air Force, WW II (Ret.) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/cbo-afa/cbo06.htm

All the best,

Crumpp

Kettenhunde
07-18-2007, 04:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It is actually wrong to claim that the Germans had no notion of a strategic force. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is your personal spin, Ratsack. The author does not state Germany had no notion of a strategic air force.

He states German doctrine was not developed for a strategic force. Big difference, of course the Germans knew about the value of a strategic force.

Facts are they did not develop one or have one in place. Provoking a world war without the means to wage it is a deeply flawed concept.

One which the German Military leadership were well aware of in 1939 and not happy with the political leadership for embarking on it.

All the best,

Crumpp

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 04:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It is actually wrong to claim that the Germans had no notion of a strategic force. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is your personal spin, Ratsack. ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it's a fact. The Germans DID consider and take steps to develop a strategic air force, and more than a couple of their leadership (including Goering) espoused the concepts of Douhet. It is therefore factually incorrect to say that their understanding of the fundamentals of air power (Dye'phrase) was flawed. It's perfectly correct to say their exectuion was a mess. But this is not the same as their concpetion.

cheers,
Ratsack

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 04:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Yes, I know, and he is wrong to say that this represents a flaw in the German conception of air power. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I think his statement is correct and I also think it is pretty self evident.

For example once Russian industry made it over the Urals, the Germans had no ability to strike at it or effect the flow of supplies.
... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Which is again an example of the execution rather than the doctrine. It wasn't for nothing that the four engine bomber types developed in the late 1930s were for a concept called the Ural Bomber.

These were canceled for a number of reasons, some of which I've alluded to above.

cheers,
Ratsack

Waldo.Pepper
07-18-2007, 05:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It is therefore factually incorrect to say that their understanding of the fundamentals of air power (Dye'phrase) was flawed. It's perfectly correct to say their exectuion was a mess. But this is not the same as their concpetion. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

In my opinion this is not necessarily so.

How can you account for the mess of an execution?

Perhaps it was the case that their excecution was a mess - because they had a flawed (i.e. they under appreciated the value) of a strategic air arm.

Analogous to the conventional wisdom of Naval warfare. "Those goofy Carriers will never displace the primacy of the Battleship."

If only a minority of them appreciated the importance of strategic considerations (not enough of a majority within the Government to make a decisive shift in policy. Then could you not fairly be excused for taking the linguistic shortcut and say that they (the Government as a whole) under appreciated the import of the Strategic to their peril?

leitmotiv
07-18-2007, 05:07 PM
The wind still blows. Amazing!

Xiolablu3
07-18-2007, 05:14 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It is actually wrong to claim that the Germans had no notion of a strategic force. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is your personal spin, Ratsack. ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it's a fact. The Germans DID consider and take steps to develop a strategic air force, and more than a couple of their leadership (including Goering) espoused the concepts of Douhet. It is therefore factually incorrect to say that their understanding of the fundamentals of air power (Dye'phrase) was flawed. It's perfectly correct to say their exectuion was a mess. But this is not the same as their concpetion.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Excuse my stupidity here, but if I could just ask a question to you knowledgable guys...

Wouldnt the whole German Night bombing campaign (The Blitz) be considered a strategic force?

Wasnt it basically area bombing, but with small two engined bombers as opposed to the massive Britsh and US raids.
Sorry if its a daft question, I am not totally sure about the definitions of srategic and tactical air forces.

Ob.Emann
07-18-2007, 05:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Of course the future of Britain depended on it, if they gave into Hitler now, they would have been pushed around for the rest of time. No amount of revisionist history will change that. History taught us that Hitlers promises meant nothing.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm sorry, but I don't see how a country whose empire encompassed a good fourth of the world's landmass was in particular danger of being 'pushed around'. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Xiolablu3
07-18-2007, 06:14 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HH_Emann:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Of course the future of Britain depended on it, if they gave into Hitler now, they would have been pushed around for the rest of time. No amount of revisionist history will change that. History taught us that Hitlers promises meant nothing.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm sorry, but I don't see how a country whose empire encompassed a good fourth of the world's landmass was in particular danger of being 'pushed around'. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

History showed that Hitler 'pushed around' and 'bullied' everyone who capitulated.

See how he humiliated the French and made them sign the armastice int he railway carriage. Then made the Vichey to fight for him.

See how he promised Czeckoslovakia was safe,, left the Prime Minister waiting in the lobby for hours, then walked right in and stole land from her.

See how he carved up Poland with Russia.


Hitlers promises meant nothing. It was just a mtter of time until he demanded territory or some kind of unacceptable deal from Britain. Maybe he wanted htem to make SPitfires for his invasion of RUssia, maybe he deamnded the British Navy to bockade RUssian ports.

If Britain had capitualted in the BOB, Germany would have the upper hand, I and I quite certain that Hitler would see how far he could push her for their own advanatage.

Sorry for spelling I am in a rush....

Kettenhunde
07-18-2007, 06:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The Germans DID consider and take steps to develop a strategic air force, and more than a couple of their leadership (including Goering) espoused the concepts of Douhet. It is therefore factually incorrect to say that their understanding of the fundamentals of air power (Dye'phrase) was flawed. It's perfectly correct to say their exectuion was a mess. But this is not the same as their concpetion. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Certainly a case can be made that the conception was flawed. If it wasn't then the Germans would have placed due importance upon a strategic force.

As it was they did not.

This whole argument is simply a distraction from the main point however.

The RAF had numerical parity and gained numerical superiority in single engine fighters during the Battle of Britain.

That is a fact.

All the best,

Crumpp

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 08:50 PM
There are several issues that are getting conflated here, and they should properly be separated in the interests of clarity.

The first is the matter of relative fighter strength during the Battle of Britain. I don't think anybody is disputing the fact that the strength of the opposing single engine fighter forces was roughly the same. However, the proposition that this was the decisive factor and that it was the result of prior planning is very weak. The situation that existed in July 1940 bore little resemblance to the situation for which the RAF had planned in the late 1930s. The only sense in which it was similar was that it was a defensive battle, which is what Fighter Command was designed for. But it wasn't designed for a defensive battle against an air force based just on the other side of the Channel.

As I have noted previously in this thread, the number of RAF fighters was only (just) adequate as part of an integrated system of early warning, command and control, and interception. The early warning and command and control system of Fighter Command was an enormous force multiplier. It was this that made ˜The Few' enough. The absence, destruction or serious degradation of any one of these elements would have rendered the number of fighters utterly inadequate. Had the Germans persevered with their attacks on the radar network, begun on 12 August 1940, the Chain Home system could have been fatally compromised. The half-hearted effort that they did put in during mid August managed to knock out six radar stations by evening on 15 August. There only 20 Chain Home radar stations at this stage, so three days bombing reduced the British system to two-thirds of its capacity. Even that figure is misleading, because all of the damage was done in the critical part of the system – the South – where the attack was developing. A couple of stations covering Scotland were not really relevant to the outcome, had the Germans persisted.

Had the Germans kept a significant part of the early warning system suppressed, the number of RAF fighters would never have been adequate had there been four or five times as many as there were.

Furthermore, just because the system existed, it does not automatically follow that the leadership of Fighter Command would use it properly. The RAF was very fortunate that the head of Fighter Command at this time was Dowding and not Sholto Douglas, and that his chief subordinate was Park and not Leigh-Mallory. If Leigh-Mallory had had his way, Fighter Command would've committed the vast bulk of its force as soon as possible after detection of an incoming raid, thus leaving themselves acutely vulnerable to ruse and a German counter stroke while re-fueling. In contrast, Dowding and Park understood that they did not have to ˜win' the battle, but instead needed only to maintain their force in existence and the strategic objective would be won. They fought the battle accordingly, but they didn't have to fight it that way, and they fought it that way against the resistance and objections of their peers.

The point of this exposition is that all of these events were uncertain and contingent. The situation depended on a series of events that were by no means predictable or inevitable, and some of which were very different from the situation planned for by the RAF. To put the German defeat solely or even mainly down to prudent planning in the 1930s is preposterous.

The other matter is the question of German air power doctrine. Dye said the doctrine shows flaws in the understanding of the fundamentals of air power. You said, Crump, that you thought he was talking about the strategic / tactical dichotomy beloved of English-language historians of air power. I initially agreed, and responded accordingly that he was wrong to think the German air force had no developed doctrine of strategic operations. It is an historical fact that they did have such a doctrine, but it is also an historical fact that this doctrine was never applied in any effective way. We can argue about the reasons why, but that is a different matter.

However, on re-reading his statement and his thesis, I think that initial interpretation is wrong, and that the fundamentals of airpower to which he was referring were actually the logistical bases of support that he refers to in his paper. Again, I think there is confusion here between the doctrine and its application. The German air force, like the army, was equipped with most of its strength ˜in the shop window', but the reasons for this were economic and political, rather than doctrinal. It bears noting in this context that most of the German pre-war planning was predicated on there being no major war until 1942. It is pretty clear that the ultimate aim was armament in depth, rather than just the ˜shop window' approach they actually took.


The third issue tangled up in here is the business about strategic bombing and air power doctrine. The implicit assumption that the strategic approach to air warfare is the one correct doctrinal path (burn incense here) is very weak, and widely regarded as debunked in modern air forces. As we know from the British and American experience with the 1940s state of the art, the attempt to destroy the German armed forces in production was largely a failure. In both cases, the Jagdwaffe in being shot them to blazes before they could make any serious or lasting impact on production. The really effective bombing of German oil only began after the main German force in the ˜field' – the Jagdwaffe – had been defeated.

There is absolutely no reason to suppose that the Germans could have applied their strategic bombers – had they built them – to the Soviet industry of the Urals with any more success than the USAAF and the RAF enjoyed in their attack on Germany. You would have to question whether the opportunity cost of building and maintaining a large fleet of strategic bombers might not be better spent producing more tanks to fight the Red Army in being, rather than trying to bomb it to defeat in production. This is a particularly pointed question when you consider the size of the logistical tail of a large bomber force. The human and material resources poured out in such an endeavour might produce an enormous number of tanks, or fighter planes. Both would be more use on the battlefield.


cheers,
Ratsack

Kettenhunde
07-18-2007, 09:35 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The first is the matter of relative fighter strength during the Battle of Britain. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is the only one the article is really concerned with.

That is also the issue Adolf Galland refers too in his views on the US Strategic Bombing Survey.

That is the only issue I am addressing in this thread. It is titled, "Propaganda and its effect on the Battle of Britain".

One of those effects was to create the very false impression of a large and professional Luftwaffe. The reality is rather different. It was a young force and not nearly as large as the Propaganda Ministry would have liked.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It was this that made ˜The Few' enough. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is the whole point. For the majority of the Battle, the "Few" were really "the numerically superior" both on paper and in the air.

It's a huge sheet that I have turn into office max to get reduced to 8X10 so it will fit the scanner but I have the RAF squadron strength reports during the BoB. Facts are the RAF almost never launched a squadron that was not at full strength, at least according to their own status reports from the units. This is very much due to their system of dealing with wastage and the Civilian Repair Organization. In short, losses were replaced within 1 day and many times in just a few hours.

Once more, the RAF was able to increase the size of squadrons during the battle from 12 A/C to 22 A/C per squadron.

This brings an individual squadron in the RAF very close to size of the average operational strength Gruppe in the Luftwaffe.

The Luftwaffe on the other hand was forced to fly with reduced strength for most of the battle due to their more ponderous system.

http://www.ww2.dk/oob/statistics/se280940.htm

So the "Few" were really "the many" in the air. With radar and the Observer Corp, they had very good chances of being "the many" in the best tactical position.

All the best,

Crumpp

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 10:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It is actually wrong to claim that the Germans had no notion of a strategic force. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is your personal spin, Ratsack. ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it's a fact. The Germans DID consider and take steps to develop a strategic air force, and more than a couple of their leadership (including Goering) espoused the concepts of Douhet. It is therefore factually incorrect to say that their understanding of the fundamentals of air power (Dye'phrase) was flawed. It's perfectly correct to say their exectuion was a mess. But this is not the same as their concpetion.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Excuse my stupidity here, but if I could just ask a question to you knowledgable guys...

Wouldnt the whole German Night bombing campaign (The Blitz) be considered a strategic force?

Wasnt it basically area bombing, but with small two engined bombers as opposed to the massive Britsh and US raids.
Sorry if its a daft question, I am not totally sure about the definitions of srategic and tactical air forces. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Rough and ready definitions as follows:

1. Tactical: drop some bombs on those gents there, they are holding up my tank column.

2. Operational: drop some bombs on those gents there so I may win the battle before they arrive to reinforce the blighters I am fighting.

3. Strategic: drop some bombs on that factory / city / aqueduct so the army in front of me will run out of tanks / collapse with poor morale / be unable to reach the battle field.


One of the key things about these applications of air power is that the first two are 'classical', in the sense that they attempt to conform to the normal principals of warfare (attempt to defeat the enemy's main force). In contrast, the Strategic option attempts to be revolutionary, in that it proposes to defeat the enemy by attacking their bases of support, rather than defeating their main force in the field.

The Blitz was a strategic attack, inasmuch as it attempted (barely) to overthrow the British by destroying their morale, instead of trying to defeat them in the field.

cheers,
Ratsack

luftluuver
07-18-2007, 10:12 PM
Sure FC fighters were about equal to the number of LW fighters. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

What some ppl like to forget is that it was 11 Group with some little help from 10 and 12 Groups that fought the LW. They also like to forget that the LW was also composed of bombers which the RAF FC of 11 Group also had to contend with.

They also forget that ~ 1/3 of FC (will have to check) was too far away from SE England to participate in the air battle over SE England.

So much for the ~equal numbers!

leitmotiv
07-18-2007, 10:43 PM
You are wasting your time with your trenchant, to-the-point, succinct sallies, LL, this is gas warfare, or high school essay writing---prolix to the death. Winner is the last bore poised over the keyboard.

Ratsack
07-18-2007, 11:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
...

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It was this that made ˜The Few' enough. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is the whole point. For the majority of the Battle, the "Few" were really "the numerically superior" both on paper and in the air.
... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

My point is that The Few, or the Many, would have been The None At All Where It Counts without the other factors. It's not just a numbers game.

Cheers,
Ratsack

WOLFMondo
07-19-2007, 02:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HH_Emann:
I'm sorry, but I don't see how a country whose empire encompassed a good fourth of the world's landmass was in particular danger of being 'pushed around'. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Financially weakened by the first world war and a military absolutely stretched to the limit, it was barely holding on. If its entire army, navy and airforce was located in the UK then it might not have been such a big issue but its forces were spread around the empire like Singapore, India etc. Unlike Germany it hadn't been gearing for war and training its young men since the early 30's either.

Yes, it had some new capital ships but was severly lacking in all sorts of other equipment and in meaningful numbers and none of it was tried and test like the German gear was, of even Japan.

Britain is also a small Island well away from all its assets. Its prety easy to cut off as we saw too.

Kettenhunde
07-19-2007, 05:04 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">What some ppl like to forget is that it was 11 Group with some little help from 10 and 12 Groups that fought the LW. They also like to forget that the LW was also composed of bombers which the RAF FC of 11 Group also had to contend with. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

And it was Luftflotte II that primarily fought the battle on the Luftwaffe side with a little help from Luftflotte III.

Maybe in your search for the truth you think fuel consumption was a phenomenon unique to the RAF?

Squadrons in Group 11 at 22 A/C ea is about ~1870A/C. The potential for a sizable numerical advantage:

http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/11group.html

Luftflotte II:

~484 SE fighters at full strength:

http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/11group.html

Luftflotte III at full strength:

~333 SE fighters

http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/luftflotteIII.html

The facts are the RAF started out with near numerical parity and quickly grew to numerical superiority in the Battle of Britain.

All the best,

Crumpp

Kettenhunde
07-19-2007, 05:11 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It's not just a numbers game. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


You are correct. It is not just a numbers game. The other force multipliers just added to RAF superiority.

It's been my experience in researching air battles that whichever side has positional advantage has much more to do with the outcome than any other factor. Generally speaking, if the position is neutral, the casualties are equal no matter what aircraft is flown.

The other factors only increase the averages for the RAF that they will come out on top. That is very important in a battle of attrition such as the BoB.

All the best,

Crumpp

M_Gunz
07-19-2007, 05:13 AM
Brit defending planes vs German attacking planes? Ratio again?

luftluuver
07-19-2007, 06:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
And it was Luftflotte II that primarily fought the battle on the Luftwaffe side with a little help from Luftflotte III.

Squadrons in Group 11 at 22 A/C ea is about ~1870A/C. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Lets try doing the math again, shall we.
1870/22 = 85 squadrons. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Nice to know that 11 Group had more fighter squadrons than the whole of RAF FC. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

What some ppl forget is a RAF squadron did not fly with 22 a/c (which was a late war compliment) but with 16 a/c.

What some ppl forget is that JGs were transfered from Luft 3 to Luft 2.

Sept 7 1940

Luft 2: 669 s/e fighter, 158 2/e fighters, 764 bombers. total: 1591
Luft 3: 118 s/e fighters, 48 2/e fighters, 527 bombers. total: 693
Luft 5: 44 s/e fighters, 38 bombers

Kettenhunde
07-19-2007, 06:43 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">What some ppl forget is a RAF squadron did not fly with 22 a/c (which was a late war compliment) but with 16 a/c. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Completely false statement.

They did fly with 22 A/C at least according to their own strength reports.

As for the number not being exact, that is why we use th "~" sign or "approximate".

However the trend is definitely factual.

Here we can see on 4th July the RAF is in the middle of expanding it's squadron size. You can see from the wastage and delivery numbers that the RAF is growing rapidly in size.
http://img11.imagevenue.com/loc663/th_48980_BoB_RAF_status_122_663lo.JPG (http://img11.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=48980_BoB_RAF_status_122_663lo.JPG)

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">What some ppl forget is that JGs were transfered from Luft 3 to Luft 2. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually that is mentioned. In fact I counted the entire fighter complement of LF III.

All the best,

Crumpp

luftluuver
07-19-2007, 07:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">What some ppl forget is a RAF squadron did not fly with 22 a/c (which was a late war compliment) but with 16 a/c. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Completely false statement.

They did fly with 22 A/C at least according to their own strength reports.

As for the number not being exact, that is why we use th "~" sign or "approximate".

However the trend is definitely factual.

Here we can see on 4th July the RAF is in the middle of expanding it's squadron size. You can see from the wastage and delivery numbers that the RAF is growing rapidly in size.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">What some ppl forget is that JGs were transfered from Luft 3 to Luft 2. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually that is mentioned. In fact I counted the entire fighter complement of LF III.

All the best,

Crumpp </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You also said that Luft 3 did not really participate in Bob. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">And it was Luftflotte II that primarily fought the battle on the Luftwaffe side with a little help from Luftflotte III. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh dear, someone is confusing 'establishment' strength with 'flying' strength. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Approximate? Sure if the number of fighter squadrons is ~(Approximately)30 more than what RAF FC actually had. That is sure some approximate! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif Never mind that the average 'establishment' strength is ignored.

So nice of you to crop the image. Is that what is called data manipulation?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The facts are the RAF started out with near numerical parity and quickly grew to numerical superiority in the Battle of Britain. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Sure it did. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

13 Aug 40

42 1/3 Kampfgruppen - 1482 with ~812 in Luft 2 and ~530 in Luft 3
26 Jagdgruppen - 976 with ~548 in Luft 2 and ~392 in Luft 3
9 Zerstrergruppen - 244 with ~139 in Luft 2 and ~86 in Luft 3

note: '~' due to possible addition errors

That gives Luft 2 some 1499 a/c. Now, again how many fighter a/c were in 11 Group? Oh yes ~1870, some ~30 squadrons more than the whole of the RAF's FC. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif

hop2002
07-19-2007, 08:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The RAF system was simply better at replacing their losses.

The RAF had far greater reserves than the Luftwaffe and the RAF maintained a rotation schedule to rest their units. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The interesting point is that the RAF were able to maintain a rotation policy. Faced with a larger German single engined fighter force (and it was a fair bit larger at the start of the battle), the RAF was still able to fight almost the entire German fighter force with less than half of Fighter Command, keeping much of their force in the quiet areas of the north and west.

It's interesting to compare with the German response to the US offensive in early 1944.

During the crucial month of the BoB, from the 12th August to 12th September, the Luftwaffe flew about 15,500 fighter sorties, and lost approx 475 fighters. They flew about 5,000 day bomber sorties, and lost about 350 bombers. That against an RAF fighter force of about 7 - 800 day fighters.

If you compare that with the USAAF in Feb 1944, they flew 10,679 fighter sorties and lost 103 fighters, 9884 heavy bomber sorties and lost 271. And the Luftwaffe had approx 8 - 900 fighters based in Germany to defend against them.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Squadrons in Group 11 at 22 A/C ea is about ~1870A/C. The potential for a sizable numerical advantage </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That doesn't correspond with reality. The maximum number of aircraft in operational squadrons during the BoB was 1,181, of which 764 were serviceable. That's for the whole of fighter command, and includes a number of Defiants and Gladiators, and a fairly large number of Blenheims.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Luftflotte II:

~484 SE fighters at full strength:

http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/11group.html

Luftflotte III at full strength:

~333 SE fighters
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

On the 17th July, Fighter Command as a whole had 568 serviceable Spitfires and Hurricanes. By 10th August that had increased to 627.

On the 10th August, the Luftwaffe had 805 serviceable 109s, and 224 serviceable 110s.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">They did fly with 22 A/C at least according to their own strength reports. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The strength reports indicate number of aircraft on hand, many of which would not have been serviceable. It was rare for any squadron to fly more than 12 aircraft at once, and I have never seen a squadron operation at more than 16 aircraft.

Kettenhunde
07-19-2007, 10:53 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The strength reports indicate number of aircraft on hand, many of which would not have been serviceable. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I am sorry but this is just not true. The report clearly lists the squadrons serviceable aircraft. That is point of the whole report!

Facts are the RAF had a very good system in place which allowed them to operate squadrons at 22 A/C and rapidly replace their losses.

The RAF grew in size during the battle and went from numerical parity to numerical superiority in SE fighters.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">So nice of you to crop the image. Is that what is called data manipulation? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No as I stated earlier, it is about an 18 x 40 inch chart that will not fit on my scanner.

Feel free to order the report yourself rather than accuse me of some percieved dishonesty.

I mean really, how childish can you be?


All the best,

Crumpp

Hoatee
07-19-2007, 01:37 PM
The use and effect of propaganda though still remains secondary to the primary blunder during the Battle of Britain, which was the decision to bomb London. That decision was taken by a man who contradicted his very own directive for the battle. Rather in much the same way he deluded people into really believing in a 'peace in our time'.

luftluuver
07-19-2007, 01:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I am sorry but this is just not true. The report clearly lists the squadrons serviceable aircraft. That is point of the whole report! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
It does? Where?

Maybe on what was cropped. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

A/c that in squadron repair are still on the books as 'establishment' strength.

M_Gunz
07-19-2007, 02:32 PM
I think what is more important is how many planes went into battle vs how many planes.
The bombers were far from helpless and did shoot down many Brits.
I have never heard of the Brits outnumbering the Germans in a raid even with the Big Wing.
60 fighters to meet 100's of attackers does not strike me as having numerical superiority.

Ratsack
07-19-2007, 04:16 PM
That creaking noise is the sound of a long bow being drawn.

Ratsack

M_Gunz
07-19-2007, 04:19 PM
No, it's just my back. Want to hear pops and cracks?

Kettenhunde
07-19-2007, 05:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I think what is more important is how many planes went into battle vs how many planes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think many Historians would agree with you.

However I think many planners for Military Air Forces would disagree.

It is pretty much universal agreed upon that fighter aircraft are the only types capable of winning air superiority.

The USAAF learned this lesson in its daylight unescorted bombing campaign.

All the best,

Crumpp

M_Gunz
07-19-2007, 10:13 PM
If I read the history right it wasn't until the Big Wing plan was made to work that the LW
took heavy enough losses to quit the Big Raids and forget about Seelowe.

And I am not sure about fighters vs fighters either. Most of the RAF fighters went straight
for the bombers so they were not engaging escorts numbers vs numbers. Escorts attacking
interceptors is another kind of battle from CAP intercepts.

Before the Big Wing was there parity of fighters during the battles? Because on the scene,
how many friends you have elsewhere is pretty useless info! OTOH and just as important, in
a drawn out battle of attrition (characterized by the early BoB esp!) there may be nothing
more important than reserves and replacements! Pilots and crew parachuting down, if German
then then they are lost to further efforts. Lose today's battle and still win kind of thing.

blakduk
07-19-2007, 10:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
If I read the history right it wasn't until the Big Wing plan was made to work that the LW
took heavy enough losses to quit the Big Raids and forget about Seelowe.

And I am not sure about fighters vs fighters either. Most of the RAF fighters went straight
for the bombers so they were not engaging escorts numbers vs numbers. Escorts attacking
interceptors is another kind of battle from CAP intercepts.

Before the Big Wing was there parity of fighters during the battles? Because on the scene,
how many friends you have elsewhere is pretty useless info! OTOH and just as important, in
a drawn out battle of attrition (characterized by the early BoB esp!) there may be nothing
more important than reserves and replacements! Pilots and crew parachuting down, if German
then then they are lost to further efforts. Lose today's battle and still win kind of thing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Big Wing never worked as intended- when the formations were lined up for an almighty push that was expected to create a knockout blow it failed. What happened instead was it was too unwieldly, many aircraft crowded each other and spoilt their capacity to manouveur.
Parkes tactics were criticised at the time but later realised to be very effective. The criticism came about as the RAF pilots often felt overwhelmed by the sheer numbers confronting them with relatively few friendlies within sight for (moral) support. What Parke aimed to do was intercept as early as possible (which was much more achievable with smaller formations) and harass the enemy throughout their journey.
I think one of the ironies of the campaign was that the LW were constantly told the RAF was down to their last remaining fighters, which they could delude themselves was correct when relatively small formations were confronting them. As the battle wore them down and they arranged the massed raids over London, Leigh-Mallory had his chance for the big wing to be put into practice. The RAF knew the target and had time to form up.
The propoganda value of the big wing worked in two ways- the RAF overclaimed even more than usual (as more planes each hit a doomed plane) and the LW saw direct evidence that the RAF was far from vanguished. That these large formations were visible over London, one of the most densely populated places in the world and home to the British War cabinet, enhanced this effect.
The material damage caused by the big wing was less effective than that created by the relentless engagement tactics, but the psychological boost it gave to the defenders while shattering the morale of the attackers was significant.

M_Gunz
07-20-2007, 01:34 AM
1) It was Mallory that I've seen credited with the tactic.
2) From what I've read and seen on film, it took 3 tries to get it to work.
3) The British had evidence of how many LW planes went down on the isle and claims included
where the target was downed and that info is still on record.
4) The Germans knew how many went out and how many came back and kept records.
5) Goering couldn't care less how the LW fighter pilots felt, it was losses that decided the fight.

You either believe that Britain started out lying about the BoB and kept it up or you don't I guess.
People have posted planes lost from both sides records to attack over-claims here before too.

From some histories you might begin to believe that Britain was running low on trained fighter
pilots and was throwing 10 and under hours in type pilots to face the LW. At the rate they were
losing pilots before the LW shifted to London there was supposed to be a real problem facing the
Brits.

Somehow the number of bombers that kept striking London even in daylight tells me that the RAF
was not having an easy time of it, but then neither was the LW. Losing all those unescorted
bombers in the northern attack did help the LW much either.

I do feel that the amount of credit given the RAF by the Brits is entirely due just for the ferocity
of their defense. Taking down armed bombers with only .303 MG's even if you have 8 of them takes
the balls of a brass monkey!

Kurfurst__
07-20-2007, 02:45 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
I think what is more important is how many planes went into battle vs how many planes.
The bombers were far from helpless and did shoot down many Brits.
I have never heard of the Brits outnumbering the Germans in a raid even with the Big Wing.
60 fighters to meet 100's of attackers does not strike me as having numerical superiority. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You should try Wood and Dempster, they give comperative aircraft sorties for the LW and the RAF during September-November.

On the peak of the combat activity, when the LW was flying by far the most fighter sorties between 1 and 8 September, they flew 2355 fighter sorties, and 2855 bomber sorties, plus 310 'GR' sorties, whatever that is (recce?). That's a total of 5520 sorties, of all types given.

Hooton gives somewhat different (estimated) figures for this week. He gives 1225 daylight bomber sorties (bombers and stukas), and 800 bomber sorties during the night. He also gives 4050 fighter sorties, which included both Bf 109 and Bf 110, and oddly enough, fighter-bomber sorties by Jabos (given the disparity, around 1700 Jabo sorties were flown).

The RAF flew far more. Fighters alone flew as much as the entire LW, 5513 sorties, more than twice the fighter sorties than the LW, actually. In addition Bomber Command flew 642 sorties, Coastal Command 921 sorties.

Given the above, between 1 and 7 September, you have 1225 bomber and Stuka sorties in the daylight, escorted 2355 German daylight fighter sorties by 109/110. That's around 3600 LW bomber and escort fighter sorties in the dayligh, being intercepted by 5500 RAF fighter sorties. The latter also had to deal with around 1700 hit-and-run Jabo sorties that were flown in the daylight. Naturally of course, the LW had it's own committments against Bomber and Coastal Command's efforts. The LW fighter force had two task (offensive and defensive fighter sorties), while Fighter Command's single task was to fly defensive sorties over England.

Funnily enough, the same people who argue otherwise the RAF had an alnmost infinitive number of fighter that could have been never defeated in an air war of attritition due to those numbers, here argue that actually they were outnumbered.

Simple fact is the RAF had far more fighters through, and it flew far more fighter sorties. RAF fighters outnumbered LW fighters - fact. They had quantitative advantage over the Jagdwaffe's qualitative advantage provided by better tactics, fighters and veteran pilots. The only area the RAF was outnumbered was bombers - the LW had more bombers and they flew more sorties than Bomber command at this period.

Ratsack
07-20-2007, 04:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
1) It was Mallory that I've seen credited with the tactic.
2) From what I've read and seen on film, it took 3 tries to get it to work.
3) The British had evidence of how many LW planes went down on the isle and claims included
where the target was downed and that info is still on record.
4) The Germans knew how many went out and how many came back and kept records.
5) Goering couldn't care less how the LW fighter pilots felt, it was losses that decided the fight.

You either believe that Britain started out lying about the BoB and kept it up or you don't I guess.
People have posted planes lost from both sides records to attack over-claims here before too.

From some histories you might begin to believe that Britain was running low on trained fighter
pilots and was throwing 10 and under hours in type pilots to face the LW. At the rate they were
losing pilots before the LW shifted to London there was supposed to be a real problem facing the
Brits.

Somehow the number of bombers that kept striking London even in daylight tells me that the RAF
was not having an easy time of it, but then neither was the LW. Losing all those unescorted
bombers in the northern attack did help the LW much either.

I do feel that the amount of credit given the RAF by the Brits is entirely due just for the ferocity
of their defense. Taking down armed bombers with only .303 MG's even if you have 8 of them takes
the balls of a brass monkey! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just quickly, there's a lot of mythology about the Big Wing, not least because the main proponent of the tactic was Douglas Bader, the 'legless wonder'.

However, the truth of it is pretty much as Blakduk has said. The officers pushing the Big Wing were based in 12 Group, which was supposed to cover the Midlands and London. These pilots felt they were being left out of the battle while Park's boys in 11 Group got all the action and the glory. Furthermore, they heard the stories of 11 Group fighters in squadron strength intercepting large German formations and wondered at the sense of this approach. They thought it would be best to meet numbers with numbers, and thus the Big Wing.

What Bader and his colleagues weren't understanding was that Park didn't need to shoot the Luftwaffe out of the sky. He had to keep his force in being and operating, and defend his bases. In fact, the controllers of 11 Group tasked 12 Group to cover their bases while they were in the air but, because 12 Group were taking the time to gather their Big Wing, the 11 Group bases were NOT covered and got the pasting they did in late August and early September.

The other point with the attacks by small formations of defenders was that it removed the opportunity for the Germans to catch the defenders on the ground. It would be a relatively simple thing for the Germans to demonstrate up and down the Channel, feint towards Britain, and then pull back. If Park responded with his full force - as Bader and Leigh-Mallory wanted - the Germans could simply catch the defenders in a quick follow-up raid.

The reality of the Big Wing was that is was a failure, and the kill claims made by it were even more outlandish than the other inflated claims made by both sides at this time. It's not overstating the case to suggest that Dowding made a serious mistake in not disciplining Leigh-Mallory.

The broad outline of this story is set out pretty well in John Terraine, The Right of the Line, which is a pretty good general history of the wartime RAF. The dispute and acrimony about the Big Wings is described in quite a few other scholarly studies, too.

cheers,
Ratsack

luftluuver
07-20-2007, 06:39 AM
So what is the breakdown of these RAF and LW sorties?

How many sorties from 10, 11, 12, and 13 Groups.

How many sorties from Luft 2 and 3?

So Wood and Dempster's numbers have more credibility than Hooton's numbers since they show less sorties for the LW?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The LW fighter force had two task (offensive and defensive fighter sorties), while Fighter Command's single task was to fly defensive sorties over England. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Nice to know that the RAF BC and CC sorties flew un-escorted.

M_Gunz
07-20-2007, 06:59 AM
I think I see how the numbers might work. Some compare pilots and planes but being closer to
the action, the Brits could run a sortie in perhaps half the time or maybe a bit more depending
on refuel and rearm or getting another plane. VERY like team fighting on DF near a base where
fewer can hold more enemies. It's.... hmmmmmmmmmmm, yup, ferocity!

M_Gunz
07-20-2007, 07:02 AM
There was also supposed to be at least one day when all the Brit reserves were committed.
But it appears that the LW either had no more either or kept their own not knowing.

STIBOO
07-20-2007, 02:08 PM
What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may more forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their Finest Hour.'

"”House of Commons, 18 June 1940

Hoatee
07-20-2007, 02:38 PM
Dark Ages indeed - that's common among brooders.

Xiolablu3
07-20-2007, 04:40 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It is actually wrong to claim that the Germans had no notion of a strategic force. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is your personal spin, Ratsack. ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it's a fact. The Germans DID consider and take steps to develop a strategic air force, and more than a couple of their leadership (including Goering) espoused the concepts of Douhet. It is therefore factually incorrect to say that their understanding of the fundamentals of air power (Dye'phrase) was flawed. It's perfectly correct to say their exectuion was a mess. But this is not the same as their concpetion.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Excuse my stupidity here, but if I could just ask a question to you knowledgable guys...

Wouldnt the whole German Night bombing campaign (The Blitz) be considered a strategic force?

Wasnt it basically area bombing, but with small two engined bombers as opposed to the massive Britsh and US raids.
Sorry if its a daft question, I am not totally sure about the definitions of srategic and tactical air forces. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Rough and ready definitions as follows:

1. Tactical: drop some bombs on those gents there, they are holding up my tank column.

2. Operational: drop some bombs on those gents there so I may win the battle before they arrive to reinforce the blighters I am fighting.

3. Strategic: drop some bombs on that factory / city / aqueduct so the army in front of me will run out of tanks / collapse with poor morale / be unable to reach the battle field.


One of the key things about these applications of air power is that the first two are 'classical', in the sense that they attempt to conform to the normal principals of warfare (attempt to defeat the enemy's main force). In contrast, the Strategic option attempts to be revolutionary, in that it proposes to defeat the enemy by attacking their bases of support, rather than defeating their main force in the field.

The Blitz was a strategic attack, inasmuch as it attempted (barely) to overthrow the British by destroying their morale, instead of trying to defeat them in the field.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks for taking the time to explain, Ratsack http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Xiolablu3
07-20-2007, 04:46 PM
I believe that only 12 group fully supported the 'big wing' theory.

Most veterans I have seen speak on the subject say that Park was right.

It was better to slice through the enemy formation with 12-16 planes, guns blazing until you had used up your ammo and then get out and home.

It broke up the enemy, took a few down and there was minimum risk to the RAF pilots that way.

I wasnt there so I cannot be totally sure, but these vets make a convincing argument for the 'small wing' theory Park preferred.

They could be sure that almost every plane in the sky was an enemy, and they were in a target rich environment. Friendlies were not getting in each others way. Also to be surprised many times by many different squadrons was far more disorientating for the Germans than one attack by many planes.

Get in, Hit them, and get out without hanging around.

I'll see if I can find the clip of the veterans talking about it.

The problem with comparing numbers of the GErman and RAF fighter forces is of course that the RAFs priority was the bombers. They were there to stop the bombers hitting their targets, not to shoot down fighters.

Therefore we have asituation like 1944 (USAAF vs Leftwaffe) where the fighters are targeting the bombers, not the escorting fighters. YOu cannot say the bombers are irrelevant, they were the main target for the RAF.

Kettenhunde
07-21-2007, 03:21 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Thanks for taking the time to explain, Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


To add, the blitz was a failure because the Luftwaffe lacked the means to destroy or deny safe haven to the enemies war fighting capability of tomorrow.

There never was any question of whether the Luftwaffe understood strategic concepts.

The fundamental flaw is they never made it a priority to develop the means to wage a strategic war.

Instead they tried to wage a strategic war with tactical assets and paid the price.

All the best,

Crumpp

Kettenhunde
07-21-2007, 03:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">YOu cannot say the bombers are irrelevant, they were the main target for the RAF. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Certainly in the battle for air superiority you can say the bomber is irrelevant.

The bomber cannot win control of any airspace. It must be shepherded in any hostile airspace as it lacks the means to effectively defend itself against enemy fighters.

The concept of the bomber operating without fighters establishing at a minimum local air superiority was destroyed with the defeat of the 8th USAAF unescorted daylight bombing campaign.

The bombers main function in the air superiority battle is to provoke enemy fighters into action. Even to that a very good argument can be made that the bomber is far from essential to that function.

Fighters are simply the only aircraft militarily capable of gaining and holding air superiority.

So yes, If the topic of discussion is a battle of attrition for air superiority, it is very appropriate to compare fighter strengths.

All the best,

Crumpp

Ratsack
07-21-2007, 04:57 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">YOu cannot say the bombers are irrelevant, they were the main target for the RAF. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Certainly in the battle for air superiority you can say the bomber is irrelevant.

The bomber cannot win control of any airspace. It must be shepherded in any hostile airspace as it lacks the means to effectively defend itself against enemy fighters.

The concept of the bomber operating without fighters establishing at a minimum local air superiority was destroyed with the defeat of the 8th USAAF unescorted daylight bombing campaign.

The bombers main function in the air superiority battle is to provoke enemy fighters into action. Even to that a very good argument can be made that the bomber is far from essential to that function.

Fighters are simply the only aircraft militarily capable of gaining and holding air superiority.

So yes, If the topic of discussion is a battle of attrition for air superiority, it is very appropriate to compare fighter strengths.

All the best,

Crumpp </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Only if you make history backwards, from future to the past. This teleological approach is very bad historiography.

The teleological problem in your argument that we should discount the bombers is that the understanding that ˜fighters are the key to air superiority' was not current in mid 1940, on either side. It was certainly current with the USAAF by mid-1944, and an argument can be made that the principle was understood by the tactical arm of the RAF by late 1941. Until the blood letting that began in mid August 1940, the Germans expected their bombers to be able to operate, regardless of opposition. So you're arguing backward, from an understanding of air power that was gained during and after the Battle, and applying it to the Battle. But this is only the first problem with the attempt to exclude the bombers from the count of the Luftwaffe forces (!).

The tactical problem with your argument, and in particular with your comparison to the USAAF's attack in 1943-4, is that the American bombers were aiming for targets that might hamper production, but the bombs themselves would not destroy the Luftwaffe in being. In this sense it's correct to regard the bombers as bait, because the bombing activities would not destroy the fighters rising to intercept them, or the force-multiplying detection, command and control systems that supported them.

The Germans in 1940, however, were playing a different tactical game. In particular, from the middle of August (i.e., from Adler Tag) until 7 September, they were aiming their force at the British air defense system itself. They were bombing the airfields and sector stations, as well as the aero-engine factories. They even made an attempt – successful, had they only known it – to destroy the early warning system. The German bombers, left to themselves, were out to destroy the RAF in being, as well as in production. This is in direct contrast to the ˜strategic' offensive of 1943-4. The bombers mattered in this battle, simply because every successful bomber sortie diminished the RAF in being, which directly contributed to the air-superiority outcome the Germans were seeking. In this sense, the USAAF daylight offensive and the German offensive of the Battle of Britain are most definitely NOT comparable.

It is not valid to take a general theoretical proposition – that only the fighter matters in any contest for air superiority – and then apply it to a particular case without reference to the contingent facts in that particular case.


cheers,
Ratsack

Kurfurst__
07-21-2007, 08:56 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
Instead they tried to wage a strategic war with tactical assets and paid the price. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I really wonder what was 'tactical' about the vast majority of the main LW bombers in the BoB... He 111, Ju 88 and Do 17. The most 'tactical' one was in fact the Ju 88, more of a fast light bomber, and it was fairly rare. The mainstay He 111 was clearly a bomber made for operational/strategic level bombing attacks.

Besides, a mere look at the LW's 1940 OOBs would reveal the true nature of their doctrine and thinking on aerial warfare. Lots of lots of level bombers were clearly not a tactical force. It's just silly to suggest it was so. The 300-odd Stukas supplemented by a number obsolate biplanes were the only aircraft with tactical-level, close air support aircraft present.

The arguement about 'medium bombers' not being 'strategic' bombers is awfully stupid for the time being. Medium bombers were the rule in the 1940s, few heavy bombers being in existance in low numbers. Look at the RAF's OOBs for example. Roughly speaking, about half of the stuff is Blenheim light bombers, the other half being Wellington medium bombers, and a number of Hampden mediums. There was a handful of Whitleys around, the only true heavy bombers, but they were rare white elephants at best (and not very good designs either). Oh yes and there are the Battles, tactical bombers in the same role as Stukas.

There was hardly anything 'tactical' about the LW compared to other air forces on the continent, unless one cosiders so that they had a small, but highly potent force of Stukas for tactical support of their armies which got a lot more press than all the other bombers combined. But 300 Stukas don't make the other 1600 medium bombers a tactical force, too.

When one glances over LW bomber (meaning the mainstay level bombers here, not the specialized Stukas) operations, they were highly adaptive to the situtation. In Poland and France, they chiefly bombed in operational depth, hindering enemy troop movements and communications. During the BoB, their operations were strategic in nature, while on the Balkans and Eastern Front it was a mix of tactical and operational depth bombing missions. A rather unique but fairly important area was their anti-shipping operations on the North Sea vs. the Murmansk supply convoys to USSR, which was a some sort of hybrid operational/strategic level bombing.

All of that was dictated by the pecularities of the theatre and the campaign, it's quite difficult in fact to see some sort rigid pattern to it. All this talk about the 'tactical force' and 'tactical doctrine' is a mere repetance of the '40s journalist tunnel vision on the Stuka, The Symbol of the Blitzkrieg, with the 'Blitzkrieg' itself bein just another journalist stuff. We should move on. Corum already put that stuff to rest, so it's a bit boring to see it coming up and up again.

Kettenhunde
07-21-2007, 11:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Only if you make history backwards, from future to the past. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I wasn't talking about history, Ratsack. Nice post but read what I write please or at least follow the conversation so we don't have to recover the same ground.

I was referring to the evolution of doctrinal thinking of today.

Certainly the Historian is going think comparing total numbers of aircraft is key. However, a professional Military analysis will concentrate on fighter types for the air superiority battle.

Irregardless of the bombers or the interceptor mission.

So yes, the teleological approach is essential.

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/612...491035575#4491035575 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/6121047475?r=4491035575#4491035575)

All the best,

Crumpp

Kettenhunde
07-21-2007, 12:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I really wonder what was 'tactical' about the vast majority of the main LW bombers in the BoB... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Range, mission, and bomb load predominately determine a bombers strategic potential. "Strategic weapons" has a rather loose definition so it's pretty easy to simply adjust the definition to fit most arguments if we are discussing one weapon and a narrow scope of events.

IMHO, It should be viewed as a system operating with a specified doctrine and not one specific weapon.

The key question is can the weapon system effect the future war capability of an enemy as part of systematic campaign to destroy that capability. Additionally it is essential to have a specific doctrine in place that outlines the destruction of that potential in depth. It is impossible to lay such a broad mission on one weapon.

Here is where the Luftwaffe failed in application. Without a clearly defined doctrine they never developed a systematic approach to breaking down the strategic potential of England. In hindsight a very good case can be made that Germany did not posses the means to destroy the strategic potential of England in 1940 at all.

You can look at the success of the Allies air campaign against Germany. Certainly the bombers hampered German production but I think we can all agree that they did little to actually halt production. However the deliberate combined assault on both production and transportation infrastructure systems was very effective in creating critical shortages on the battlefield. This was not the result of any one weapon system but rather a combination of weapon systems with the correct application of doctrine over a length of time.

The Luftwaffe shifted tactics and was very adaptive as you mention. However they failed to attack a wide range of strategic systems in depth as part of systematic long term campaign and changed doctrine too frequently during the Battle of Britain. They did not have a well developed strategic doctrine or a well founded grasp of the importance of strategic doctrine. That is not to say they were unaware of the importance or did not have a strategy.

Certainly they cannot be blamed for this and did in fact lay the foundation for strategic air power most nations follow today. Everyone learned from the Luftwaffe's mistakes. The very real truth is that most military theory in the intra-war years simply was wrong. The best minds of the day found it impossible to predict the effect of aviations rapid technological advancement. It was the Luftwaffe that put these theories to the test on a scale the world had not seen before and hopefully will not see again.

The Luftwaffe's strategic doctrine and understanding of air power was fundamentally flawed.

All the best,

Crumpp

M_Gunz
07-21-2007, 01:14 PM
So when the Brits at the top command levels stated that before the LW switched targets that
the RAF coastal was indeed on the ropes, running short of pilots and looking to lose, that
really they were only lying or joking?

Kettenhunde
07-21-2007, 02:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">So when the Brits at the top command levels stated that before the LW switched targets that
the RAF coastal was indeed on the ropes, running short of pilots and looking to lose, that
really they were only lying or joking? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Of course not. Let's not be silly or myopic.

Generally speaking all sides in war are convinced they are going lose at any moment.

Statistically the RAF was not able to replace it's loses if their lose rate remained at the levels experienced during this portion of the battle. That is a very bad thing in a war of attrition and they were in very real danger of losing the fight.

However the Luftwaffe could not sustain it's lose rate either at this point. That is one reason for the switch.

They were attempting to bring a successful end to the campaign in a shorter period with a reduced loss rate.

http://img146.imagevenue.com/loc684/th_51140_BoB_LOndon_2_122_684lo.JPG (http://img146.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=51140_BoB_LOndon_2_122_684lo.JPG) http://img25.imagevenue.com/loc1032/th_50712_BoB_London_122_1032lo.JPG

Facts are you cannot win air superiority through a war of attrition without a numerical advantage. The numerical parity in air superiority fighters that moved to numerical inferiority simply will not allow it.

All the best,

Crumpp

M_Gunz
07-21-2007, 03:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
Generally speaking all sides in war are convinced they are going lose at any moment. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Uhhhhhh.... maybe you should read more history and look for the words "high morale".
On average and then some, the side that attacks isn't thinking "gonna lose".
How many early to mid-war examples of that you want from Germany?
How many examples you want from USA especially from 1942 onward?

If you can convince GWB of the going to lose at any moment, I'll send you $10.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Statistically the RAF was not able to replace it's loses if their lose rate remained at the levels experienced during this portion of the battle. That is a very bad thing in a war of attrition and they were in very real danger of losing the fight.

However the Luftwaffe could not sustain it's lose rate either at this point. That is one reason for the switch. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

And not the accidental bombing of London under direct orders to the contrary by German crew
and certainly not anything to do with the reprisal bombings of Berlin and the political
fallout that had Hitler making promises to the crowd to flatten London?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">They were attempting to bring a successful end to the campaign in a shorter period with a reduced loss rate. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Frankly, no. Bombing London incurred heavier losses for less return. The LW had to penetrate
deeper while the escorts had even less loiter time. Damaged LW planes had further to go to
make it back. Going deeper exposed the LW forces to much more AAA as well as giving the RAF
more time to assemble and attack repeatedly plus gave the RAF more bases to sortie from.

If the Germans had thought that bombing London would have sped things up and reduced losses
then they would have bombed London from day one. Yeah, Hitler and Pals said different but
the same source wasn't going to attack Poland, Norway, Holland, France or anywhere else until
not long after such declarations so if I don't take Hitler's word about anything then I guess
maybe you can just humor me and not bother with it? The man had no honor.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">http://img146.imagevenue.com/loc684/th_51140_BoB_LOndon_2_122_684lo.JPG (http://img146.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=51140_BoB_LOndon_2_122_684lo.JPG) http://img25.imagevenue.com/loc1032/th_50712_BoB_London_122_1032lo.JPG

Facts are you cannot win air superiority through a war of attrition without a numerical advantage. The numerical parity in air superiority fighters that moved to numerical inferiority simply will not allow it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Who had more pilots? It takes a lot longer to train a pilot than to replace a plane.
IMO, Germany had more trained pilots and more reserves.

Fact is you don't take on the world from their position either. But they tried anyway.
It doesn't make sense is an argument that did not apply to Hitler and his a-hole buddies.
They were insane.

Consider that the invasion of England was doomed from the start yet they tried.

If they had stopped upon taking the Danzig corridor, they might have gotten away with that
at least for a couple years until Russia finished rearming. Then the goals of Stalins Plans
would have been realized and all of Europe would have been defending, starting with Poland
and Germany. IMO, through intel from their cooperative development ventures conducted in
Russia the Germans were well aware of the timeline for that and the threat of it. Most of
the studies I've seen have nothing on the Russian buildup, it's all west, west, west. If
it hadn't been for Hitler we -might- all be speaking Russian today, Europe more probably.

Kettenhunde
07-21-2007, 04:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">And not the accidental bombing of London under direct orders to the contrary by German crew
and certainly not anything to do with the reprisal bombings of Berlin and the political
fallout that had Hitler making promises to the crowd to flatten London? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Certainly that was the catalyst that caused Hitler to lift his previous ban on bombing London.

However the notion to switch to bombing London was not a new one to the Luftwaffe nor was it frowned upon by the Luftwaffe fighter commanders who felt they could not win with the present tactics of concentrating on the airfields.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">On average and then some, the side that attacks isn't thinking "gonna lose". </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Obviously no one would ever attack if they did not think there was a chance of success especially when things go according to plan. However the reality in war is that once it is initiated very few things go according to plan.

It is a fact that both sides also believe that failure is distinct possibility looming overhead.

Murphy was a smart man!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">When both sides are convinced that they are about to lose, they are both right. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://www.nightstalkers.com/mythology/murphy.html

All the best,

Crumpp

Kettenhunde
07-21-2007, 04:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">IMO, Germany had more trained pilots and more reserves. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Germany only trained some 10,500 SE fighter pilots the entire war.

I think earlier in the thread this was addressed.
http://img22.imagevenue.com/loc722/th_55753_German_Training_122_722lo.JPG (http://img22.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=55753_German_Training_122_722lo.JPG)

Germany began modifying pilot training based on the fact pilots were being lost faster than they could be replaced.

The Luftwaffe's largest intelligence failure was in believing the RAF was hurting even more.

The RAF believed the Luftwaffe was much stronger than it was in reality and that the RAF's position was one of desperation.

All the best,

Crumpp

carts
07-21-2007, 04:13 PM
What is amazing,despite all the contrary arguements being hurled about,is how other Airforces didnt learn from the Battle of Britain,the Brits opted for area and night bombing,due to the bloody nose they got of German day fighter,but still went ahead with costly "Circus" operations,while "leaning into France"the Americans only finally contemplated the value of unescorted bombing daylight raids after the nightmare of the two Schwienfurt raids.
Remember the caustic "Here they come again,the last fifty Spitfires" remark,made by many German Aircrew during B.O.B.

Ratsack
07-21-2007, 05:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Only if you make history backwards, from future to the past. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I wasn't talking about history, Ratsack.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, you are and were talking about history. The Battle of Britain was fought on the principles of air power AS THEY WERE UNDERSTOOD AT THE TIME, not as you or I understand them now.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
I was referring to the evolution of doctrinal thinking of today. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's not what you wrote. This entire discussion is in the context of the Battle of Britain, not current doctrine.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Certainly the Historian is going think comparing total numbers of aircraft is key. However, a professional Military analysis will concentrate on fighter types for the air superiority battle. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's a restatement of your position, but it's not an argument. Your contempt for historians aside, you are missing the point. Simply repeating that only the fighters were relevant to the outcome does not make it any truer.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Irregardless of the bombers or the interceptor mission. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's completely untrue. If the bomber mission is to destroy your air force, its success has an effect on air superiority. It's not complicated.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
So yes, the teleological approach is essential. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it's fundamentally flawed, and should never be used in an historical discussion.

cheers,
Ratsack

luftluuver
07-21-2007, 05:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">quote:
Statistically the RAF was not able to replace it's loses if their lose rate remained at the levels experienced during this portion of the battle. That is a very bad thing in a war of attrition and they were in very real danger of losing the fight. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Agh?

The RAF still had 10, 12, and 13 Groups to draw from. It was only 11 Group that was 'on the ropes'. This another of those 'words' that is taken out of context and acquired myth status.

For any who what to read, not a bad site on BoB.
http://www.battleofbritain.net/contents-index.html

OoB July 10 1940, http://www.battleofbritain.net/document-22.html

29 sqdns of Hurricanes and 19 sqdns of Spitfires.

48 x 22 = 1056 a/c.

OoB Sept 7 1940, http://www.battleofbritain.net/document-44.html

31 sqdns of Hurricanes and 20 sqdns of Spitfires for a total of 51. (of which 21 sqdns in 11 Group)

51 x 22 = 1122 a/c

So, I would like to know how the number ~1870 previously posted was arrived at?

Kettenhunde
07-21-2007, 05:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">AS THEY WERE UNDERSTOOD AT THE TIME </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly Ratsack. Today with the benefit of hindsight and some perspective, we can definitely say the Luftwaffe did not have grasp of the fundamentals of air power as stated in the article.

They certainly thought they did at the time with the information available.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Yes, you are and were talking about history. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I am sorry Ratsack. This is a very very obtuse statement. There is no way you can know my thoughts. Only what I write.

I have told you that you took my posting out of context and misunderstood it.

Know you are telling me you did not? Right....

Here is my post:

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/612...271029575#2271029575 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/6121047475?r=2271029575#2271029575)


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"><BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">YOu cannot say the bombers are irrelevant, they were the main target for the RAF. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Certainly in the battle for air superiority you can say the bomber is irrelevant.

The bomber cannot win control of any airspace. It must be shepherded in any hostile airspace as it lacks the means to effectively defend itself against enemy fighters.

Only reference to history in the post. History which helped to shape modern doctrine:

The concept of the bomber operating without fighters establishing at a minimum local air superiority was destroyed with the defeat of the 8th USAAF unescorted daylight bombing campaign.

The bombers main function in the air superiority battle is to provoke enemy fighters into action. Even to that a very good argument can be made that the bomber is far from essential to that function.

Fighters are simply the only aircraft militarily capable of gaining and holding air superiority.

So yes, If the topic of discussion is a battle of attrition for air superiority, it is very appropriate to compare fighter strengths.

All the best,

Crumpp </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ratsack, not sure how productive further discussion is going to be with you if you cannot read what others write compounded by an insistence of knowing their thoughts.

All the best,

Crumpp

hop2002
07-21-2007, 05:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I am sorry but this is just not true. The report clearly lists the squadrons serviceable aircraft. That is point of the whole report! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm sorry I can't see serviceable numbers on the sheet you posted. In fact, the heading also makes reference to the CRO and aircraft under repair.

Rich from the Dupuy institute made a post on another forum detailing the strength of 43 Squadron on the 6th September, which gives an example that may be pertinent to your document, if we could see the full thing.

43 squadron strength on that date was 14 Spitfires immediately ready, 2 ready within 12 hours, 2 ready within 2 weeks. There were also 6 Spitfires on charge but under repair and not ready within 7 days, and another 6 Spitfires on charge but under repair by outside organisations (presumably the CRO)

That's a grand total of 30 Spitfires on charge with the squadron, of which 14 were ready for operations.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Facts are the RAF had a very good system in place which allowed them to operate squadrons at 22 A/C and rapidly replace their losses. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'll ask again. Can you give an example of a squadron operating with 22 aircraft? Just one case where a squadron scrambled anything like that.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The RAF grew in size during the battle and went from numerical parity to numerical superiority in SE fighters. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The RAF had less front line single engined fighters than the Luftwaffe throughout the battle, although they were close to parity at the end. At the start, for example, the Luftwaffe had 856 serviceable single engined fighters at the end of June, the RAF had 568 serviceable Spitfires and Hurricanes on the 17th July.

What the RAF did have were reserves of aircraft, which enabled them to make good their losses whilst German strength dwindled.

But what the Germans had was superior front line strength, especially as Fighter Command rotated squadrons and kept half its force outside the battle area.

The German failure is that they didn't manage to take advantage of that operational superiority in numbers.

What's surprising is that the Germans were in a better position in early 1944. They had parity in front line fighter strength, were defending hundreds of miles inside their front lines, and yet performed so poorly. Hooton gives Jagdkorps I sortie levels as peaking at about 4,200 in Feb 1944, the RAF flew about 5 times as many sorties, with similar numbers of aircraft, during the peak of the BoB.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">So Wood and Dempster's numbers have more credibility than Hooton's numbers since they show less sorties for the LW? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hooton's numbers come from the Luftwaffe records, held on microfilm in the US archives.

Wood and Dempster's numbers for Luftwaffe sorties are unsourced, but appear very close to the British estimates of Luftwaffe activity at the time.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">So when the Brits at the top command levels stated that before the LW switched targets that
the RAF coastal was indeed on the ropes, running short of pilots and looking to lose, that
really they were only lying or joking? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

They were looking long term, and greatly overestimating the enemy.

The RAF were losing a bit more than they were producing, both in pilots and planes. But any reduction in front line strength was still weeks away.

What the RAF didn't know at the time, because they greatly overestimate German strength, is that the Germans were losing faster than they were. And whilst the RAF felt their squadrons were nearing exhaustion, they had been rotating them out of battle, where the Germans had been using almost all their fighters from the start.

Bungay, in the Most Dangerous Enemy, sums up the meeting held at fighter command headquarters the morning of the 7th September, hours before the Luftwaffe switched to attacking London:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Knowing that their enemy was preparing to 'go down hill' would have been cold comfort to the Luftwaffe. They assumed the enemy had been doing that for some time. In fact they believed he ought to be at his last gasp. General Stapf had reported to Haider on 30 August that the British had lost 800 Hurricanes and Spitfires since 8 August out of a front-line strength of 915. Given Schmid's estimate of their production capacity of 200-300 a month, the British could therefore only have 3-400 left at the outside. After another week of pounding in September, they must indeed be down to their last 200 machines.
In fact, on the evening of 6 September, Fighter Command had over 750 serviceable fighters and 1,381 pilots available to it, about 950 of whom flew Spitfires or Hurricanes. It needed 1,588 pilots to be at full establishment, which is of course what Dowding wanted, so from his point of view he was 200 short. From the Luftwaffe's point of view, he had almost 200 more pilots and 150 more planes than he had had at the beginning of July when they set out to destroy him. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">And not the accidental bombing of London under direct orders to the contrary by German crew
and certainly not anything to do with the reprisal bombings of Berlin and the political
fallout that had Hitler making promises to the crowd to flatten London? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No. The Luftwaffe high command had been pressing for an all out attack on London for some time. In fact, the Wehrmacht High Command war diary places part of the blame for losing the BoB on the delay in bombing London, and claims that after permission was finally granted, only 1 day of clear weather remained.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Frankly, no. Bombing London incurred heavier losses for less return. The LW had to penetrate
deeper while the escorts had even less loiter time. Damaged LW planes had further to go to
make it back. Going deeper exposed the LW forces to much more AAA as well as giving the RAF
more time to assemble and attack repeatedly plus gave the RAF more bases to sortie from. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It actually reduced bomber losses for the Luftwaffe.

The losses rates for the Luftwaffe in the main phases of the BoB (dates do not correspond exactly with the changes in targets). The figures are from Hooton, taken from German records:

First phase, attacks on shipping, 1 July to 4 Aug
Bombers 9.7%
Fighters 1.7%

Second phase, attacks on fighter command, 5 Aug to 1st Sept
Bombers 7.9%
Fighters 2.9%

Third phase, attack on London, 2nd Sept - 29th Sept
Bombers 4.7%
Fighters 3.3%

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If the Germans had thought that bombing London would have sped things up and reduced losses
then they would have bombed London from day one. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Kesselring wanted to. The idea was to suck all the RAF fighters in to 1 big battle over London where the Luftwaffe superiority in numbers could be used to their advantage.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Who had more pilots? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Pilot numbers are harder. Numbers for Luftwaffe single engined pilots are easily available, and the Bf 110 pilot figures are easy to guess. The RAF is a lot harder, though. Figures are only given for Fighter Command pilots, and I suspect they include aircrew as well. They certainly include Blenheim and Defiant and Gladiator pilots, all of whom were peripheral to the battle.

However, raw figures are 1,126 Luftwaffe single engined fighter pilots at the end of June, plus about 350 Bf 110 pilots. Fighter Command figures for the end of June were 1200, but as I said I suspect that includes Blenheim and Defiant crewmen as well as pilots, and legacy fighter types like the Gladiator.

There were 45 Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons operational on the 7th July, I think. Establishment was 16 pilots per squadron, iirc.

As Bungay says above, by 6th September the RAF had about 950 Spitfire and Hurricane pilots, out of total figures of 1380. By the end of September the raw figure had climbed to 1,581, which would mean about 1,100 Spitfire and Hurricane pilots.

In turn, Luftwaffe strength had declined. From 1,126 single engined fighter pilots at the start of the battle, they had 917 present at the end of September. So at some point in September the numbers crossed over, and the RAF had more single engined fighter pilots.

If you count Bf 110s as effective fighters, and they were cratinly far closer to the Hurricane than they were the Blenheim or Defiant, then the fighter pilot strengths crossed some time in October.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The Luftwaffe's largest intelligence failure was in believing the RAF was hurting even more.

The RAF believed the Luftwaffe was much stronger than it was in reality and that the RAF's position was one of desperation.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree. Overy sums up the position:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">the intelligence picture formed before the battle encouraged the German Air Force to believe that such losses pushed Fighter Command to the edge of defeat, while the exaggerated picture of German air strength persuaded the RAF that the threat it faced was larger and more dangerous than was actually the case </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The British fought the air battle as if it were a last-ditch struggle against an owerwhelming enemy, the Germans fought against a force persistently misrepresented as technically and tactically inept, short of aircraft, pilots and bases </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

In other words, the Germans were overconfident.

Kettenhunde
07-21-2007, 05:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">This another of those 'words' that is taken out of context and acquired myth status. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

So your contention is that the RAF was not effected by it's losses and that Dowding was incorrect in his assessment of Fighter Command?

Ok.

Just entertaining your concept for a moment. I am curious to know how you reconcile this with the notion that a heavily outnumbered RAF held the LW at bay?

BTW,

Fighter Command reports 839 SE fighters serviceable involved in the battle on 28 Sep 40.

The LW reports 712 serviceable SE fighters on the 29 Sep 40.

This looks like the entire Luftwaffe SE fighter compliment.

http://www.ww2.dk/oob/statistics/se280940.htm

Go back and read LL. I already addressed the "~" figure and how I came up with it. Let's not rehash old issues.

All the best,

Crumpp

Ratsack
07-21-2007, 06:07 PM
Crump,

There's probably not much point in discussion in this mode. Just quickly recapping, the article is about logistics, and the 'fundamentals' to which it refers are the replacement organisation. We've already spoken about why the Germans had the shallow system they did, and it wasn't due to any misunderstanding, it was economics.

Secondly, you have talked about the Germans not placing sufficient emphasis on a strategic force, and pointed to this as a misunderstanding of doctrine. But we've already seen why the Germans built the force they did, and it was no misunderstanding of doctrine. It was geographical and military. In addition, your proposition missed the fundamental point that what determines whether a target is tactical, operational or strategic is the nature of the target itself, and not the platform.

You've also argued that only fighters are relevant to gaining air superiority, which is simply wrong.

You've also talked about the battle of attrition for air superiority, as if it was a given. This completely ignores the fact, as pointed out in several of my earlier posts, that the Germans had other tactical options than straight attrition. In particular, they could have (and briefly did) go after the early warning system. This would have prevented a battle of attrition if they'd persevered.

You've mustered these various arguments all in the attempt to support a basic proposition that the German fighters were numerically equal to or outnumbered by the RAF, and that this was the decisive issue. I have pointed out why this argument is wrong, and then very patiently dealt with each of the subsidiary arguments above as you've deployed them in support of your basic proposition.

In the final analysis, your basic contention is very weak. There were many other factors, some under German control, that bore more heavily on the outcome than relative fighter strength, as has been demonstrated. There really isn't much point in continuing while you stick to this proposition.

Cheers,
Ratsack

luftluuver
07-21-2007, 06:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">This another of those 'words' that is taken out of context and acquired myth status. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

So your contention is that the RAF was not effected by it's losses and that Dowding was incorrect in his assessment of Fighter Command?

Ok.

Just entertaining your concept for a moment. I am curious to know how you reconcile this with the notion that a heavily outnumbered RAF held the LW at bay?

BTW,

Fighter Command reports 839 SE fighters serviceable involved in the battle on 28 Sep 40.

The LW reports 712 serviceable SE fighters on the 29 Sep 40.

This looks like the entire Luftwaffe SE fighter compliment.

Go back and read LL. I already addressed the "~" figure and how I came up with it. Let's not rehash old issues.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE> <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">11 Group</span> Crumpp. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif Is that so hard to understand?

So how many sqdns from, say Katterick or Sumburgh, participated in the air battles over SE England?

How many LW bombers on that date? RAF fighters had more than just LW fighters to contend with.

1870/22 a/c = 85 sqdns of s-e fighters That is quite the appoximation!!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif An over estimation of 77% over the whole of RAF FC. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Not only is the '~' over stated for RAF FC but is grossly over stated for 11 Group. 11 Group in July had 18 sqdns of s/e fighters.

18 x 22 = 396 a/c The '~' is out by a factor of 4.72. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Kettenhunde
07-21-2007, 06:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">11 Group Crumpp. Is that so hard to understand? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

We have been over this once already.

We both know 11th Group was the primary participant for the RAF and Luftflotte II was the primary participant for the Luftwaffe.

The strengths have been show already to be relative.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">1870/22 a/c = 85 sqdns of s-e fighters That is quite the appoximation!!! Roll Eyes An over estimation of 77% over the whole of RAF FC </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I just counted the squadrons the RAF said was in 11th Group and multiplied them by 22.

I don't understand your implication that this was some attempt to "cook" any numbers. It was stated that is was just an approximation to show the possibility existed.

You denied that possibility existed and even stuck to the false claim the RAF squadrons did not contain 22 A/C each.

Facts are there is no need to approximate. I have the strength reports and the article is correct:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Luftwaffe doctrine, so successful in establishing a powerful synergy between air and land operations, was deeply flawed in its understanding of the fundamentals of airpower. The causes were various, but the result was inadequate provision for the industrial investment and resources necessary to sustain operations in the face of high wastage rates that war would bring. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">For brevity, the analysis focuses primarily on the single-seat fighters deployed by the respective air forces. It was in this arena that the Luftwaffe needed to prevail if it were to achieve air superiority over southern England and, in so doing, defeat the Royal Air Force. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">But the possibility of a Luftwaffe victory was effectively compromised by plans, laid down in the prewar period, that provided Fighter Command with a quantitative advantage and the means to sustain this advantage. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IBO/is_4_24/ai_74582443

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Other sources give slightly different figures, but most agree that the Luftwaffe deployed an effective strength of slightly more than 900 Bf 109 fighters out of some 1,000 aircraft. This comprised the bulk of their single-seat fighter force. Approximately 150 aircraft remained in other theatres, including Germany, to defend against possible Bomber Command attacks. [34] By comparison, Fighter Command could field 52 squadrons of Hurricanes and Spitfires, nearly 1,100 aircraft (Table 3). Thus, in terms of single-seat fighters, the opposing air forces were fairly evenly matched, albeit Fighter Command was outnumbered more than 3:1 overall.

Of course, these figures only provide an opening balance. Not unexpectedly, the strength of the respective air forces changed over the course of the summer and autumn as attrition took its toll. However, when looking at the overall picture, Figure 3, it is evident that Fighter Command steadily fielded more single-seat fighters as the battle progressed. In fact, as the Royal Air Force grew stronger, the Luftwaffe grew weaker. [36]

What makes this all the more surprising is that Fighter Command's operational losses were significantly higher than those suffered by the Luftwaffe's fighter force (Figure 4). This was equally true for the Battle of France as it was for the Battle of Britain. Thus, for 4 months, July-October 1940, Fighter Command lost more than 900 Hurricanes and Spitfires [37] compared to 600 Bf 109s recorded by the Luftwaffe quartermaster returns. [38] </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IBO/is_4_24/ai_74582443/pg_6

The idea the RAF was heavily outnumbered by the Luftwaffe in SE fighters is simply not true. The RAF enjoyed quantitative equally that move to quantitative superiority during the battle because of their superior logistical system.

All the best,

Crumpp

Ratsack
07-21-2007, 07:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Other sources give slightly different figures, but most agree that the Luftwaffe deployed an effective strength of slightly more than 900 Bf 109 fighters out of some 1,000 aircraft. This comprised the bulk of their single-seat fighter force. Approximately 150 aircraft remained in other theatres, including Germany, to defend against possible Bomber Command attacks. [34] By comparison, Fighter Command could field 52 squadrons of Hurricanes and Spitfires, nearly 1,100 aircraft (Table 3). Thus, in terms of single-seat fighters, the opposing air forces were fairly evenly matched, albeit Fighter Command was outnumbered more than 3:1 overall... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Here he has simply made a mistake. The 52 squadrons were not Spitfires and Hurricanes, nor even single-engine fighters. The Fighter Command orbat on 7 July 1940 was 52 squadrons, comprised of 19 Spitfire squadrons, 25 Hurricane squadrons, six of Blenheims (!!) and two with Defiants. So eight of his 52 were actually marginal types, and six of them were not even single-engine at all.

John Terraine, in The Right of the Line, gives the establishment of Fighter Command on that date as ˜over 800' aircraft, with 644 available for operations. His figures are from Wood & Dempster, The Narrow Margin, and he adds the following in his end notes:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
The 52 squadrons are identified by Groups, sectors and stations on p. 124 of The Narrow Margin; the figure for aircraft appears in a table on p. 306, and that for pilots on p. 310. I am indebted to Group Captain T.P. Gleave, of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association, for reminding me with some emphasis that the last two of these have to be treated with reserve. It would be quite wrong to suppose that there were 1,259 pilots ready to spring into a cockpit, takeoff and do battle. Group Captain Gleave says he doubts whether there were as many as 700; a large part of this discrepancy is accounted for by new pilots "with the down still on their cheeks", fresh from training schools and units, and in no way ready for battle with the Luftwaffe. Regarding aircraft, Group Captain Gleave also has doubts, and considers that about 500 would be nearer to the true figure for those actually operational.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It bears noting, too, that the full establishment of a twin engine squadron is rather lower than for a squadron of single seaters. Clearly, the 52 squadrons available were not at full strength.

I am still unclear, too, on where the figure of 22 comes from for a RAF fighter squadron.

Cheers,
Ratsack

Kettenhunde
07-21-2007, 08:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Here he has simply made a mistake. The 52 squadrons were not Spitfires and Hurricanes, nor even single-engine fighters. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://img7.imagevenue.com/loc624/th_70773_Squadrons_Jul_40_122_624lo.JPG (http://img7.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=70773_Squadrons_Jul_40_122_624lo.JPG )

http://img5.imagevenue.com/loc997/th_71020_Note_in_report_122_997lo.JPG (http://img5.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=71020_Note_in_report_122_997lo.JPG)

All the best,

Crumpp

Ratsack
07-21-2007, 08:32 PM
Where are columns b and g in that table?

cheers,
Ratsack

Kettenhunde
07-21-2007, 08:45 PM
Columns (b) and (g) are the Stateroom weekly returns for Hurricane Sqdrns (b) and Spitfire Sqdrns (g).

It's on another huge chart.

As I understand it, these are the types of status reports sent by the units. There is also a column that deals with telephonic reports.

All the best,

Crumpp

M_Gunz
07-21-2007, 09:33 PM
I for one come away from this knowing there is much I have wrong regardless.
Perhaps a lot from Britain was propaganda that worked on the Germans, perhaps not.
But I think I only get clues of what to look for as long as there is debate and for
now just don't believe much of what I have been exposed to.

It really looks like the invasion was doomed in 2-3 ways and IMO Germans not taking Britain was
fatal to their entire effort. Had Hitler really worked a total plan (looks to me like he winged
it as he went along) would he have tried past the point of no return (taking all of Poland or
perhaps attacking them at all) or would he have gone with consolidating Germany and building
as an economic power, perhaps negotiating out of the insane reparations debt through world
courts? IE, was there any chance for the risen Germany to have gone the peaceful road?

Ratsack
07-21-2007, 11:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
...

As I understand it, these are the types of status reports sent by the units. There is also a column that deals with telephonic reports.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What you need to know in order to interpret these data is:

1. who actually collected the raw data;
2. why;
3. to whom they sent it;
4. how it was collated;
5. why;
6. why is it in the form in which you see it now;
7. when was that document of which you have a copy completed; and
8. by whom?

It has to be borne in mind that the answers to questions 2 and 5 are not necessarily the same, and this may affect the way you should interpret the data. The answers to the rest of the questions will give you some idea of the intention of the collectors, collators and writers of the doc of which you've got a fax. Only then can you make a reasonable stab at what these data mean.

As it stands, your estimate based on these figures (leaving aside the 1,800 number for the moment), requires some explanation, since it's roughly 50% higher than the figures quoted by the most respected sources on this subject.

cheers,
Ratsack

luftluuver
07-22-2007, 01:19 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I just counted the squadrons the RAF said was in 11th Group and multiplied them by 22 </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
So you screwed up, big time. Try counting again, but this time don't count the multiple entrees in your source. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif Missed that, you did.

from the link I posted earlier for July 1940

11 Group
SECTOR - SQN - AIRCRAFT - BASED AT - COMMANDER

Biggin Hill
32 - <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane</span>- Biggin Hill - S/L John Worrall
141 - Defiant - Biggin Hill - S/L William Richardson
610 - <span class="ev_code_RED">Spitfire</span> - Gravesend - S/L A.T.Smith
600 - Blenheim - Manston - S/L David Clark
North Weald
56 - <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane</span> - North Weald - S/L Minnie Manton
151 - <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane</span> - North Weald - S/L Teddy Donaldson
85 - <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane</span> - Martlesham - S/L Peter Townsend
25 - Blenheim - Martlesham - S/L K.A.McEwan
Kenley
64 - <span class="ev_code_RED">Spitfire</span> - Kenley - S/L N.C.Odbert
615 - <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane</span> - Kenley - S/L Joseph Kayll
111 - <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane</span> - Croydon - S/L John Thompson
501 - <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane</span> - Croydon - S/L Harry Hogan
Hornchurch
65 - <span class="ev_code_RED">Spitfire</span> - Hornchurch - S/L Henry Sawyer
74 - <span class="ev_code_RED">Spitfire</span> - Hornchurch - S/L Francis White
54 - <span class="ev_code_RED">Spitfire</span> - Rochford - S/L James Leathart
Tangmere
43 - <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane</span> - Tangmere - S/L John Badger
145 - <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane</span> - Tangmere - S/L John Peel
601 - <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane</span> - Tangmere - S/L Max Aitken
Debden
17 - <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane</span> - Debden - S/L R.I.G.McDougal
Northolt
1 - <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane</span> - Northolt - S/L David Pemberton
604 - Blenheim - Northolt - S/L Michael Anderson
257 - <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hurricane</span> - Hendon - S/L H.Harkness

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I don't understand your implication that this was some attempt to "cook" any numbers. It was stated that is was just an approximation to show the possibility existed. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
You were trying to do something, and you got it terribly terribly wrong (see above).


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Other sources give slightly different figures, but most agree that the Luftwaffe deployed an effective strength of slightly more than 900 Bf 109 fighters out of some 1,000 aircraft. This comprised the bulk of their single-seat fighter force. Approximately 150 aircraft remained in other theatres, including Germany, to defend against possible Bomber Command attacks. [34] By comparison, Fighter Command could field 52 squadrons of Hurricanes and Spitfires, nearly 1,100 aircraft (Table 3). Thus, in terms of single-seat fighters, the opposing air forces were fairly evenly matched, albeit Fighter Command was outnumbered <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">more than 3:1 overall</span> . </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

And not all s/e fighters were based close enough to SE England to participate in the air battles over SE England.

Gee, those numbers give ~19-20 a/c per squadron. Not only that but your latest doc has 18 a/c per squadron on July 7, which is dated 3 days before the previous doc you posted.

I remember seeing you participating in a thread where you denied that the RAF was outnumbered, yet there it is in 'black and white'. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The idea the RAF was heavily outnumbered by the Luftwaffe in SE fighters is simply not true. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
What you have a very hard time comprehending is that the LW also had bombers, the primary objective of the RAF's s-e fighters.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">You denied that possibility existed and even stuck to the false claim the RAF squadrons did not contain 22 A/C each. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yet your own data posted has squadrons at 18 a/c.
And you claim that 22 a/c was the flying establishment of a squadron for combat. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Kettenhunde
07-22-2007, 07:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Try counting again, but this time don't count the multiple entrees in your </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Luftluver,

I don't think you understand this conversation at all.

You are wrapped up in an estimate I did that was clearly stated was a quick SWAG. In fact that is the second time I told you how I got the numbers.

You're just trying to construct a strawman argument. A rather infantile one at that.

Most importantly, the article and RAF accounting system are not based on my SWAG.

The fact the RAF started out with numerical parity in SE fighters and quickly gained numerical superiority in SE fighters is not based in anyway on a number estimate from me.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Gee, those numbers give ~19-20 a/c per squadron. Not only that but your latest doc has 18 a/c per squadron on July 7, which is dated 3 days before the previous doc you posted. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's all the same page Luftluver! As I said it is from a very large chart. The entire thing will not fit on my scanner.

Here is what happened to so it makes some sense to you.

1. The Germans attacked England.

2. The English rapidly expanded the size of the Military to fight off the Germans.

3. Between 7 Jul 1940 and 14 Jul 40 the RAF increased squadron size to from 18 A/C to 22A/C.

Got it?

I don't think you are worth having any further discussion with.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I remember seeing you participating in a thread where you denied that the RAF was outnumbered, yet there it is in 'black and white'. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You definately need to go back and reread the thread.

SE fighters.....

Once more this has also been discussed once already. You participated in it too! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

All the best,

Crumpp

Ratsack
07-22-2007, 07:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
...

3. Between 7 Jul 1940 and 14 Jul 40 the RAF increased squadron size to from 18 A/C to 22A/C.
... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What I see in your fax is the acronym 'U.E.' This may mean 'Unit Establishment'. It may mean something else.

If it means Unit Establishment, that does not indicate combat strength. It indicates the number of aircraft on strength. Some of these will not be operational for various reasons.

Continuing on the basis that U.E. means Unit Establishment, then the increase you see in that fax does not indicate an increase in fighting strength. As noted elsewhere, the bottleneck was pilots, and Dowding's estimate of his pilot strenth on the eve of the Battle was that he was 200 short.

cheers,
Ratsack

Kettenhunde
07-22-2007, 07:43 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">since it's roughly 50% higher than the figures quoted </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Where do you get that?

Here is the report:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycat...ethod=0&Summary=True (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=1762649&CATLN=6&Highlight=%2CSPITFIRE&accessmethod=0&Summary=True)

All the best,

Crumpp

luftluuver
07-22-2007, 09:46 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Try counting again, but this time don't count the multiple entrees in your </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Luftluver,

I don't think you understand this conversation at all.

You are wrapped up in an estimate I did that was clearly stated was a quick SWAG. In fact that is the second time I told you how I got the numbers.

You're just trying to construct a strawman argument. A rather infantile one at that.

Most importantly, the article and RAF accounting system are not based on my SWAG.

The fact the RAF started out with numerical parity in SE fighters and quickly gained numerical superiority in SE fighters is not based in anyway on a number estimate from me.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Gee, those numbers give ~19-20 a/c per squadron. Not only that but your latest doc has 18 a/c per squadron on July 7, which is dated 3 days before the previous doc you posted. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's all the same page Luftluver! As I said it is from a very large chart. The entire thing will not fit on my scanner.

Here is what happened to so it makes some sense to you.

1. The Germans attacked England.

2. The English rapidly expanded the size of the Military to fight off the Germans.

3. Between 7 Jul 1940 and 14 Jul 40 the RAF increased squadron size to from 18 A/C to 22A/C.

Got it?

I don't think you are worth having any further discussion with.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I remember seeing you participating in a thread where you denied that the RAF was outnumbered, yet there it is in 'black and white'. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You definately need to go back and reread the thread.

SE fighters.....

Once more this has also been discussed once already. You participated in it too! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
It is not me that lacks the understanding. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif You blew it with your so-called SWAG (so clearly indicated as a SWAG http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif &gt; Squadrons in Group 11 at 22 A/C ea is about ~1870A/C.)which has the RAF with 85 squadrons of s-e fighters, let alone in 11 Group. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif That number 85 should have raised a large red flag. Rather infintile of you not to being able to admit you screwed up big time because you have difficulties with addition. Now, how many times have I told you you screwed up?

Keep doing your dancing Jean.

You have made 2 scans, so do some more so all can see. See Ratsack's post.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I am sorry Ratsack. This is a very very obtuse statement. There is no way you can know my thoughts. Only what I write. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Guess you better improve your writing skills so ppl don't have to try to read your mind so they know what you are trying to say. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Keep doing your dancing Jean.

You are still hung up on s-e fighters. The problem is that 11 Group had to contend with LW fighters and bombers from Luft 2. 11 Group certainly did not have parity at the start.

Btw Kurfurst, a couple of very nice posts. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Kettenhunde
07-22-2007, 01:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If it means Unit Establishment, that does not indicate combat strength. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The report certainly list's serviceable fighters available and unit strengths.

Serviceable SE fighters on 7 Jul 40 = 820
Unserviceable SE fighters on 7 Jul 40 = 75
Total SE fighters authorized = 918
SE fighters available for immediate issue = 337

Serviceable SE fighters on 14 Jul 40 = 866
Unserviceable SE fighters on 14 Jul 40 = 154
Total SE fighters authorized = 1092
SE fighters available for immediate issue = 228

Serviceable SE fighter on 28 Jul 40 = 955
Unserviceable fighters on 28 Jul 40 = 113

Serviceable SE fighters on 25 Aug 40 = 1096
Unserviceable SE fighters on 25 Aug 40 = 98

Serviceable SE fighters on 29 Sep 40 = 839
Unserviceable SE fighters on 29 Sep 40 = 110
Fighters ready for immediate issue from ASU on 29 Sep 40 = 107
Fighters available within 4 days from ASU = 87

Also listed on the tables is the number of aircraft under repair daily in the CRO, the number of airframes written off, and the number of aircraft issued to the squadrons by the CRO in the past week.

Here we can see the Luftwaffe had available on 29 Jun 40:

SE fighters available = 1107
SE fighters serviceable = 856

http://www.ww2.dk/oob/statistics/se290640.htm

So at the beginning of July 1940, the totals are approximately:

RAF = ~800 SE fighters
LW = ~800 SE fighters

Using the serviceable numbers and assuming they will fluctuate some it certainly looks like parity of SE fighters to me.

By 28 Sep 40 the Luftwaffe is down too 912 SE fighters available and only 720 SE fighters serviceable.

http://www.ww2.dk/oob/statistics/se280940.htm

So despite destroying more RAF SE fighters, the Luftwaffe was losing the replacement war and failed to keep its units at strength.

The RAF was simply had a better system for replacing it's losses and could afford higher losses than the Luftwaffe could due to some very good logistical planning.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Surveying four centuries of military history, noted historian Martin Van Creveld points out clearly the reasons why "amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics." Most battlefield results would not have been possible without the careful organization and allocation of logistical resources. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://www.army.mil/CMH/reference/CSAList/list3.htm


All the best,

Crumpp

Kettenhunde
07-22-2007, 01:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Dowding's estimate of his pilot strenth on the eve of the Battle was that he was 200 short. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I am sure he had far fewer pilots than he would have liked to have had available for the upcoming battle.

I am equally sure that he had enough and was in a far better position to replace his losses than the Luftwaffe.

IMHO the Luftwaffe was in no position to win the Battle of Britain whatsoever short of complete capitulation by the English Government without resistance.

All the best,

Crumpp

Kettenhunde
07-22-2007, 02:55 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Luftluver wrote:

Btw Kurfurst, a couple of very nice posts.http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Kurfurst wrote:
Simple fact is the RAF had far more fighters through, and it flew far more fighter sorties. RAF fighters outnumbered LW fighters - fact. They had quantitative advantage over the Jagdwaffe's qualitative advantage provided by better tactics, fighters and veteran pilots. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

M_Gunz
07-22-2007, 05:36 PM
I go with fighter sorties flown and making CONTACT which may not be available.
There were Brit fighters at least that did go up and not make intercept before landing.

Some of this debate is looking like the old fast shell game.

luftluuver
07-22-2007, 08:51 PM
Crumpp you need to take the advice you gave Ratsack. I was not referrring to the content of K's post but the lack of blustering and ranting.

luftluuver
07-22-2007, 09:02 PM
You can keep dancing Jean but all that does is make you look more the fool. You don't even have the ****** to admit you made a gross error with the number of squadrons in 11 Group. So http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif. If you screw up on something that simple, it sure questions what other you have screwed up in this thread.

luftluuver
07-22-2007, 09:45 PM
http://www.battleofbritain.net/document-22.html

July 10
10 Group - 6 sqdns - 103 ac
11 Group - 19 sqdns - 327 ac
12 Group - 11 sqdns - 189 ac
13 Group - 13 sqdns - 224 ac

Now someone claimed that 22 a/c were the number of servicable a/c in a squadron (that is unless we get a new dance).

quote: The report clearly lists the squadrons serviceable aircraft.

Now his own number 820 (July7) and 866 (July14) give a squadron average of 16.7 and 17.7 servicable ac. Does he really know what he is talking about with all this flip-flopping.

Note that 13 Group has some 224 ac which cant be included in the ac that would be over SE England. Around half of the 10 and 12 Groups also would be not be in the air battles over SE England. This leaves some 327 ac + 146 ac to fight off the LWs fighters, 2e fighters and bombers, over SE England.

for Aug 10

Strength Summary
Number Type Strength Svcble
42 1/3 Kampfgruppen 1482 1008
9 Stukagruppen 365 286
1 Schlachtgruppe 39 31
26 Jagdgruppen 976 853
9 Zerstrergruppen 244 189

Aaron_GT
07-23-2007, 05:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">My question is, was the German propaganda responsible for the loss of the Battle of Britain? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

AFAIK apart from a very short period, building bombers was always the priority for the RAF, and even during the Battle of Britain expansion of bomber production was ongoing.

hop2002
07-23-2007, 09:09 AM
Figures for serviceable Fighter Command aircraft are easily available. The RAF website history section has very detailed information on the BoB, taken from the RAF records of the time (for this reason their figures for German aircraft destroyed and Luftwaffe sorties are not reliable, as they are the RAF claims and estimates).

The daily reports from 17th July detail serviceable aircraft.

As of 17th July the figures were

* Blenheim - 67
* Spitfire - 237
* Hurricane - 331
* Defiant - 20
* Total - 659

They climbed during the battle, on the 10th August the totals were:

* Blenheim - 60
* Spitfire - 245
* Hurricane - 382
* Defiant - 22
* Gladiator - 2
* Total - 711

That's for the whole of FC.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I go with fighter sorties flown and making CONTACT which may not be available.
There were Brit fighters at least that did go up and not make intercept before landing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually most British fighter sorties did not make contact. The RAF site has a few sample squadron operations record books. 303 Squadron's:
http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/f5403033.html

I make that, in the first two weeks of September, 9 operations that resulted in engagement, 14 that did not. Because they don't list the number of aircraft involved on most patrols it's not possible to say exactly how many sorties made contact and how many didn't, but this is the highest scoring RAF squadron during the BoB, at the height of operations, in 11 Group.

Squadrons north and west of the main battle area did an awful lot of patrolling, with the occasional scramble to check out reports of lone German recce aircraft, and little if any combat.

DmdSeeker
07-23-2007, 11:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
Generally speaking all sides in war are convinced they are going lose at any moment. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This might be of interest:

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/wwii-polls/

M_Gunz
07-23-2007, 03:45 PM
It leaves me wondering how many German sorties did not make one form of contact or other,
either with interceptors or target or both.

Kettenhunde
07-26-2007, 04:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">This might be of interest: </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Public is not the planners or strategist during wartime.

All the best,

Crumpp

Ratsack
07-26-2007, 06:37 PM
This argument that the Luftwaffe couldn't have achieved air superiority because of fighter parity is fatally flawed.

The contention that they could not possibly have won assumes the battle had to be fought a particular way. It did not.

If the Germans had pressed their attacks on the early warning system they would have blinded Fighter Command. At that point, the number of British fighters would be irrelevant, because they would be very unlikely to make an interception. Under these conditions, the battle for air superiority would have taken a very different turn. The RAF would have been destroyed on the ground.

There was, in short, no requirement that the battle be fought as a battle of attrition. There was thus no requirement that the fighters of both forces fight it out air to air.

cheers,
Ratsack

luftluuver
07-26-2007, 07:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">This might be of interest: </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Public is not the planners or strategist during wartime. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>But they do influence the politicians who what to get re-elected and it is the poli's who control the purse stings of the planners and stratigists.

Kurfurst__
07-27-2007, 01:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
If the Germans had pressed their attacks on the early warning system they would have blinded Fighter Command.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's a rather common arguement in the literature, but I believe it's quite wrong. After all, mobile stations could have been used to fill the gap, and damaged stations were far from impossible to repair, despite repeated attacks by the LW. The Allies themselves later on, with far greater material resouces available were incabaple of blind the German radar network. There were, quite simply, far too many radar stations.

Even if the LW would succeed in the task, I am not sure how much that would have meant. After all, the Chain Home was little more than a technically rather primitive early warning system that gave a rough heading of the enemy aircraft over sea, and guess on their number and altitude - often very wrong ones. The CH radar arrays were fixed and only searched over the sea, being incapable themselves to rotate and the radar technology the RAF had unsuitable for use overland.

As Churchill put it, as soon as the attacking aircraft crossed the shores of England, the RAF was back in stone age in the terms of aircraft spotting, with the only means of reporting enemy aircraft position being the good old 'Mk I Eyeball' of the ground observers - as far as Chain Home was concerned, the RAF was totally blind over England anyway. The same could have been achieved with standing fighter patrols over the Channel, at less effiency though, but still a form of early warning.

M_Gunz
07-27-2007, 02:57 AM
Mobile radar stations capable of detecting aircraft massing over western Europe in time to get
warning and interceptors scrambled from bases many as far farther from target points than the
channel is wide let alone at altitude --- IN 1940?

That is like saying 80486 clone standard PC's in 1980.

Ratsack
07-27-2007, 06:12 AM
Two points.

The first is the point I made earlier in this very thread, that the Luftwaffe knocked out 6 radar stations out of the total of only 20 Chain Home stations, and they did it with only three days bombing effort. Some of those stations were offline for more than a week. There quite simply wasn't the technical back up at that time to repair gaps at the rate that the Luftwaffe could create them.

The Germans were not aware of the extent of the damage, and so didn't persist with the attacks on radar stations. This decision was a mistake. It's a perfectly understandable one, and one that any number of armchair amateurs might have made under the same circumstances. However, it was a critical mistake that set the shape of the rest of the campaign, and ensured it would be a battle of attrition. Crump's argument flows logically on from there, if we accept for sake of argument that his numbers are correct. The important point is that while this tactical error was understandable, it was not inevitable.

Just to be clear here, I am not arguing that a German invasion attempt would have been successful. I don't think that's that case. The point I am disagreeing with is the argument that it was impossible for the Germans to win air superiority because of the relative strength of the fighter forces. The argument is over simple, and based on false premises.


The second point is about the feasibility of killing radar networks during WWII. The Allies, to their detriment in my view, never made a concerted effort to wipe out the German air defense system as a strategic objective. There was not any systematic effort to suppress the German early warning system as an objective in its own right. There were certainly efforts to take down the German radar systems on the Channel coast before D-Day, and these were largely successful. In fact, they were so successful that a particular effort had to be made to ensure a single Freya was working near Calais to pick up the false invasion fleet (consisting of aluminium foil chaff dropped by Bomber Command) as part of the Operation Fortitude deceptions. It's worth noting, too, that the destroyed radars would have included a fair proportion of semi-mobile Wurzburg units.

So the Allies did manage to knock out pieces of the German early warning system, but the exercise was part of an overall land / sea / air operational plan, rather than as a pure air superiority exercise in its own right.

cheers,
Ratsack

Ratsack
07-27-2007, 06:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Dowding's estimate of his pilot strenth on the eve of the Battle was that he was 200 short. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I am sure he had far fewer pilots than he would have liked to have had available for the upcoming battle.
... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Crump,

He didn't say he had less than he would have liked. He said he was 200 short of his required establishment.

Dowding was a senior officer in a large service. He was answerable directly to the CAS, the Minister and the War Cabinet. People in that sort of public position do not talk about their likes in official communications to those responsible for allocating manpower.

cheers,
Ratsack

Kettenhunde
07-28-2007, 11:46 AM
I would do some research on General Felmy, Commander, Luftflotte II, Ratsack.

General Felmy was fired from Luftflotte II for stating that the Luftwaffe did not have the resources to take on England's RAF.

To claim the Germans were not in a similar position of having to worry about the defeat of their effort is simply wrong.

http://img126.imagevenue.com/loc871/th_43189_General_Felmy_122_871lo.JPG (http://img126.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=43189_General_Felmy_122_871lo.JPG)

Goering did a very good job of squashing any objective interpretation of the facts reaching his level.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Figures for serviceable Fighter Command aircraft are easily available. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes they are easy to obtain:

http://img7.imagevenue.com/loc968/th_43198_BoB_strengths_11_Aug_122_968lo.JPG (http://img7.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=43198_BoB_strengths_11_Aug_122_968lo .JPG)

Facts are the RAF had numerical parity in SE fighters that moved to numerical superiority. The RAF had superior force multiplier's in the form of Radar, Multiple sorties, Civilian Observation Corps, Civilian Repair Organization, and some very well thought out pre-war logistical planning.

It is simply failed logic to dictate that "only 11 Group" faced the "entire" Luftwaffe.

Luftflotte II bore the brunt of the Luftwaffe's effort just as 11 Group bore the brunt of the RAF defense. Luftflotte III and the other RAF Groups participated in the battle as well.

Any claim of an imbalance of SE fighter forces due to disposition and Order of Battle is simply incorrect. It is just failed logic that attempts to once again change the rules of the physical world in the name of favoritism.

Both sides were constrained by time and distance. Both forces could bring a relatively equal portion of their SE fighter force to bear on the enemy.

All the best,

Crumpp

M_Gunz
07-28-2007, 12:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
I would do some research on General Felmy, Commander, Luftflotte II, Ratsack.

General Felmy was fired from Luftflotte II for stating that the Luftwaffe did not have the resources to take on England's RAF.

To claim the Germans were not in a similar position of having to worry about the defeat of their effort is simply wrong. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What a shame it wasn't the Germans that made the decisions that knew that.

It wasn't like the Brits had any choice in the matter.

Kettenhunde
07-28-2007, 12:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">What a shame it wasn't the Germans that made the decisions that knew that. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Certainly. I don't think an argument can be made that the political leadership of Nazi Germany was in any way grounded in sanity or constrained by facts.

All the best,

Crumpp

Kettenhunde
07-28-2007, 12:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">People in that sort of public position do not talk about their likes in official communications to those responsible for allocating manpower. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Certainly they do. They are responsible for determining the manpower they require to do the assigned task. Responsibility demands they communicate what they would like to have to accomplish the mission.

All the best,

Crumpp

luftluuver
07-28-2007, 03:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
Facts are the RAF had numerical parity in SE fighters that moved to numerical superiority. The RAF had superior force multiplier's in the form of Radar, Multiple sorties, Civilian Observation Corps, Civilian Repair Organization, and some very well thought out pre-war logistical planning.

It is simply failed logic to dictate that "only 11 Group" faced the "entire" Luftwaffe.

Luftflotte II bore the brunt of the Luftwaffe's effort just as 11 Group bore the brunt of the RAF defense. Luftflotte III and the other RAF Groups participated in the battle as well.

Any claim of an imbalance of SE fighter forces due to disposition and Order of Battle is simply incorrect. It is just failed logic that attempts to once again change the rules of the physical world in the name of favoritism. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Sounds like someone is making excuses for the failure of the LW. One has to ask, who has the failed logic?

Sept 7 1940

11 Group - 21 s-e fighter squadrons &gt; 462 a/c @ 22(max) a/c/sqdn

Luft 2

632 s-e fighters

That is some parity between 11 Group and Luft 2. Almost 1.4 times as many Luft 2 s-e fighters than s-e fighters in 11 Group. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif Again the LW bombers, which the RAF FC had to contend with are ignored.

Ratsack
07-28-2007, 06:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">People in that sort of public position do not talk about their likes in official communications to those responsible for allocating manpower. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Certainly they do. They are responsible for determining the manpower they require to do the assigned task. Responsibility demands they communicate what they would like to have to accomplish the mission.

All the best,

Crumpp </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What utter rubbish.

Responsible commanders are required to furnish figures based on fact, not their preferences. You implied in your initial reply that Dowding's estimate was only a matter of his 'likes'. This is wrong. It was an estimate based on his current strength.

cheers,
Ratsack

Ratsack
07-28-2007, 06:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
I would do some research on General Felmy, Commander, Luftflotte II, Ratsack.

General Felmy was fired from Luftflotte II for stating that the Luftwaffe did not have the resources to take on England's RAF.

To claim the Germans were not in a similar position of having to worry about the defeat of their effort is simply wrong.

... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your reply is irrelevant. I am not arguing the numbers with you, because your thesis that the Germans could not have won air superiority because of parity or near parity in fighter strength is more fundamentally flawed than at the level of your research.

As I have said before, the Germans did not need to play a numbers game at all. Given the fact that they had other options that would not make the battle a contest of attrition, it therefore follows that their failure was not inevitable.

The constant return the numbers issue is really just an avoidance of the more fundamental flaw in the argument.

cheers,
Ratsack

Xiolablu3
07-28-2007, 07:11 PM
WHatever the facts on the numbers, it is certain that in the beginning the Luftwaffe believed it only had to get the British fighters into the air in order to destroy them.

It was their aim to draw as many RAF fighters into the battle as they could, which looking back with hindsight, seems a very poor plan.

However, the Luftwaffe had basically beaten without much trouble, every other airforce they had come up against. Its only natural that they thought they could do the same again.

Had they had a better plan of attack than simply 'force a war of attrition', then they could have done much better.

The problem was that it seems the Luftwaffe didnt think it would be a battle of attrition, they thought it would be another walkover.

Ratsack
07-28-2007, 07:24 PM
You're right about the 'walkover' mentality, Xio. But what is even more surprising about this rather silly numbers argument is that it's no secret that battles are not always, or even usually, decided by numbers.

Think of any of the German victories in the USSR from June to September 1941. Consider the performance of the Afrika Korps against the British in North Africa, often winning against numerically superior opponents.

And then there are the facts that are familiar to anybody who has been professionally involved in the management of people using force: that only a relatively small fraction of soldiers engaged actually do the fighting. This is borne out again and again in studies of infantry conducted since 1944, and the basic principle is nowhere better illustrated than in the Jagdwaffe's Experten.

There is a lot more to the outcome of war and battles than numbers, and the logistical concerns that support them.

cheers,
Ratsack

Ratsack
07-28-2007, 07:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kettenhunde:
...

http://img126.imagevenue.com/loc871/th_43189_General_Felmy_122_871lo.JPG (http://img126.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=43189_General_Felmy_122_871lo.JPG)

Goering did a very good job of squashing any objective interpretation of the facts reaching his level.
... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm not sure what point you're attempting to make with this quote, Crump. Firstly, where's it from?

Secondly, you will note that the memorandum referred to is from 1938, in relation to the Czechoslovakian operation. This is made clear by the sentence fragment at the top and by the reference to the inability of the Luftwaffe to operate against Britain from Germany itself, and the consequent requirement to get bases in Holland and Belgium.

Thirdly, the quote actually supports the point I made pages ago, that the plans made by both sides in the late 1930s were irrelevant to the situation that pertained in June 1940. Recapping that point, the RAF had posited a minimum strength of fighters needed for defence. They based that number on the assumption that the bombers would come from Germany. This meant that they would have a relatively low sortie rate, and would not be escorted. Neither condition still existed in June 1940. The Luftwaffe was based a hop-skip-and-jump away over the Channel, well within fighter range, and quite capable of mounting two or more heavy efforts a day. From bases in Germany they could have managed one operation per day, at most.

cheers,
Ratsack

Xiolablu3
07-28-2007, 07:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
You're right about the 'walkover' mentality, Xio. But what is even more surprising about this rather silly numbers argument is that it's no secret that battles are not always, or even usually, decided by numbers.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thats an interesting point, and looking back at most battles seems very true.

To be sure of a victory using pure numbers, you must have an absolutely overwhelming force.

Remember the Finns against the RUssians, this sucked up huge amounts of RUssian casualties before the RUssians finally won with overwheliming force

Remember the RAF versus Luftwaffe around MAlta, this resulted in a lot of German casualties against a very small amount of RAF planes. The GErmans simply didnt have a force which was overwhelming enough to push the RAF out, even tho it was much stronger.

Remember, as you say, the AFrika Corps vs the British in Africa. Its not until the British have overwheliming force that they manage to push ROmmels much smaller force out of Africa. ANd even at El Alamein, the battle is far froma certainty for the Brits/Canadians/NZ/Aussies.

It seems a certainty, that if you want to win a battle or even a war by numerical superiority, then you had better make d*mn sure that its totally overwhelming numerical superiority.

M_Gunz
07-28-2007, 08:18 PM
Much of Rommel's success in Africa was because of intelligence intercepts of complete and detailed
reports from an American officer observing British actions that included positions, losses,
strength and readiness states of British forces.

Overwhelming force starts at 4:1 odds in many cases but even that may not be enough. One of my
sergeants had been a Marine machinegunner in Korea and saw battles where his company had been
attacked at over 100:1 at night for multiple nights, over 10,000 to 100 men. But his side had
support of artillery with loads of ammo and the NK's had no armor. The first wave had no rifles
either, just poles. They died on the wire so the succeeding waves could run over their dead
bodies, bayonets fixed. The artillery fired constant high burst 105's and still the MG's wore
out barrels shooting those that got through. 100:1 doesn't count far superior weapons support.

At one point of the BoB, Galland was asked what he would need to defeat the Brits. His answer
was give him a squadron of Spitfires. That was not taken happily. The Brits were sending up
barely trained boys before even the worst of the battle, a state that the LW did not reach
until much later in the war. Noobs vs Experten, even parity should not have been enough.