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View Full Version : The Battle of Britain - a German perspective.



Low_Flyer_MkIX
12-01-2007, 03:30 AM
I already posted this link over at Shockwave and thought some of you chaps might find it interesting.

Enjoy.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/ETO/BOB/BoB-German/index.html

Low_Flyer_MkIX
12-01-2007, 03:30 AM
I already posted this link over at Shockwave and thought some of you chaps might find it interesting.

Enjoy.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/ETO/BOB/BoB-German/index.html

x6BL_Brando
12-01-2007, 04:58 AM
I've just been reading "Johnnie" Johnson's 1968 work, Full Circle, in which he discusses the fine balance of the Battle. In it he deduces that the Luftwaffe could have defeated the RAF if they had used different tactics from the general mid to high-level bombing that was employed.
Johnson suggests that low-level strikes - with squadron-sized groups of bombers attacking airfields and other strategic targets - would have been successful, for several reasons.

Firstly, because Britain's radar was very inefficient at picking up low-flying aircraft, i.e. sub-500 ft. Whereas, it was fairly simple to detect large numbers of bombers climbing over the French coast and forming up, thus allowing the whole air defence system plenty of time to get airborne.

Secondly, because the RAF would have needed to run a system of 'standing patrols' rather than the system mentioned above, and he goes on to explain the difficulty of detecting aircraft from the cockpit when looking down rather than up.

He states that Britain just didn't have enough pilots for the patrol-work and points out that the low-level attacks would have found their opponents mostly on the ground, rather than climbing up to meet the massed formations so clearly visible from below, both to Radar and the naked eye.

B

stalkervision
12-01-2007, 05:08 AM
just what the USA eventially did with the B-29 raids on japan except they were at night I believe..

leitmotiv
12-01-2007, 05:16 AM
Excellent. Good find, thanks. Certainly quashes the revisionist argument the Battle was never a near-run thing. Makes you wonder why the Luftwaffe staff didn't order all 109s be fitted with belly tanks as soon as possible. As is typical in war (despite the ridiculous attitude that war is a perfect science in which errors do not occur constantly), the side which wins makes the fewest mistakes, and reacts to error with the greatest speed. Without a doubt luck is the ultimate arbiter. Dowding was the superior operator, and the British were lucky the Luftwaffe's command system was a nightmare of competing, uncooperative, and incompetent echelons. The only one who really had his act together was Milch.

Johnson's theory was disproved by the events of 18 August 1940---the day Alfred Price called "The hardest day" of the Battle (see his book by the same title). The ultra-efficient eyeball Observer Corps, staffed by aviation freaks such as we, tracked the low-level raid on Kenley perfectly from the moment it crossed the coast. The Observer Corp was Dowding's ace-in-the-hole to spot low level raids. Although, a later date "pop up" raid (low level approach, climb to dive bombing altitude right before the target---as was constantly used by F-105s over Hanoi) by Ju 88s succeed in hammering its target.

Kurfurst__
12-01-2007, 05:19 AM
I haven`t read it in it`s full yet, just glanced through it and the references, but the 'German perpective' title is a bit odd, given that the sources he used are mostly 'Allied' authors with known limitatios of their works and their analysis : Wood and Dempster, Murray, Cooper and even David Irving. I`d not say any of these sources bothered to research the Luftwaffe in too much depth, however, there`s one German work cited that is far more interesting and revealing than all the others, see below. EDIT : Still it`s a good read, but it`s a bit more of an 'Allied perspective on the German perspective'.

Karl Klee, Operation "Sea Lion" and the Role Planned for the Luftwaffe (Maxwell AFB, Ala.: USAF Historical Division, Monograph 8-1115-5, 1955), 9.

It`s IMHO a must have to be read, as it clears up dozens of myths floating around about the German perspective, especially about the 'planning' of Sea Lion and the related thoughtst of Hitler etc. via reproducing German HQ discussions that occured at the time, and not some 20/20 conclusions.

leitmotiv
12-01-2007, 05:32 AM
As a matter of fact, the author of the monograph cites Klee several times, your dismalness Kurfarce.

Kurfurst__
12-01-2007, 05:44 AM
He`s got seizure again, oh well, I guess that further degrades his lacking skills at reading comprehension.