PDA

View Full Version : Battle of Britain



Bangor Fire 35
12-02-2005, 11:29 AM
The Battle of Britain 1940
In the summer of 1940, the German Luftwaffe attempted to win air superiority over southern Britain and the English Channel by destroying the Royal Air Force and the British aircraft industry. This attempt came to be known as the Battle of Britain, and victory over the RAF was seen by the Germans as absolutely essential if they were eventually to mount an invasion of the British Isles.

The Germans had overrun Belgium, the Netherlands and northern France in May 1940, using the Blitzkrieg ('Lightning War') technique that relied, among other things, on close coordination between ground troops and the air force. Although the Luftwaffe proved very competent in this role, it was not trained or equipped for the longer-range operations that became part of the Battle of Britain.

Twitch1
12-02-2005, 11:49 AM
The above post is simply a statement of fact so I'm not sure what the intent is. I'd add that the BoB was actually a draw even though it was sort of a win for Britain since they didn't lose. :)

Firefly
12-02-2005, 11:52 AM
I think it was a definite calculated descision by the RAF not to lose, if thats what a victory means I'll take it. The Germans may have outclassed the RAF initially in arial tactics but only one side fought a calculated battle. And that side was not the German one!

Bangor Fire 35
12-02-2005, 12:37 PM
I think it was a definite calculated descision by the RAF not to lose, if thats what a victory means I'll take it. The Germans may have outclassed the RAF initially in arial tactics but only one side fought a calculated battle. And that side was not the German one!

I thought it was amazing that they won the battle at all the raf lost 300 planes on the first day of battle half or there airforce was done .

Firefly
12-02-2005, 12:42 PM
Mate I dont know where you got your figures from, but the RAF didnt lose 300 ac on day one.

Check out this site:

http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/gustin_military/strength.html

Bangor Fire 35
12-02-2005, 12:44 PM
Mate I dont know where you got your figures from, but the RAF didnt lose 300 ac on day one.

Check out this site:

http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/gustin_military/strength.html

my bad that must have been a goof in the movie battle of britian.

Firefly
12-02-2005, 01:00 PM
Mind you you may be referring to the fact they they did lose a lot of ac in France before the BoB.

BDL
12-02-2005, 05:47 PM
Mind you you may be referring to the fact they they did lose a lot of ac in France before the BoB.

Didn't the German propganda claim they had destroyed 300 planes on the first day?

Bangor Fire 35
12-03-2005, 12:17 AM
Mind you you may be referring to the fact they they did lose a lot of ac in France before the BoB.

Didn't the German propganda claim they had destroyed 300 planes on the first day?

Yes they did with the way the war effort was going it helped the pilots have more confidnice on a easy mission.

Twitch1
12-04-2005, 11:08 AM
In total it played out that Germany lost 1,733 aircraft and some 3,000 air crewmen. The RAF lost 1,265 fighters and bombers along with over 1,500 aircrewmen- some 1,000 from Bomber Command alone.

Cash
12-04-2005, 12:29 PM
As a good overview of The Battle of Britain I recommend this book -

http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/0747234523.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg :)

Dani
12-04-2005, 12:30 PM
Welcome Cash!

Cash
12-04-2005, 12:47 PM
Thanks. :)

Bangor Fire 35
12-04-2005, 07:18 PM
The Movie

http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/B0001P1BOI.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

Twitch1
12-05-2005, 09:54 AM
Does anyone know that General Galland actually flew one of the Spanish-built Ha 112 "Messerschmitts" used in the film?

Lemuel
12-05-2005, 04:45 PM
In total it played out that Germany lost 1,733 aircraft and some 3,000 air crewmen. The RAF lost 1,265 fighters and bombers along with over 1,500 aircrewmen- some 1,000 from Bomber Command alone.

nice statistic, does that include British aircraft destroyed on the ground?

Firefly
12-05-2005, 04:58 PM
In total it played out that Germany lost 1,733 aircraft and some 3,000 air crewmen. The RAF lost 1,265 fighters and bombers along with over 1,500 aircrewmen- some 1,000 from Bomber Command alone.

Well in my book, thats a win for the RAF then. More casualties caused and does not take into account captured German aircrew. And when you take out the Bomber Command losses it looks even more one sided as they didnt take an active part in the battle. Of course you could say the attack on the barges in the staging zones was an active part of course.

Twitch1
12-06-2005, 11:52 AM
We must realize that the "homefield advantage" also meant that there were an unknown number of write offs- RAF aircraft that landed on English soil but were too shot up to ever fly again. This opposite happened over Germany later in the war when crew and planes were over friendly territory.

We can imagine that a goodly number of British aircrew took to the silk and could not be considered "lost" if they landed on British soil while the opposite was true of the Germans.

At the time the loss of 1,265 aircraft was far more catastrophic due to their relative quantity to the entire RAF while the Luftwaffe could better afford their losses.

As we know the pendelum swung the other way later :D

Firefly
12-06-2005, 12:37 PM
I'm sure your wrong there, the strength of fighter command grew during the BoB, while the Germans diminsihed.

http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Alley/5443/fcweek.htm

This gives an idea of the strength of the RAF throughout the battle.

Also German yearly aircraft figures can be found here:

http://members.aol.com/forcountry/ww2/gma.htm

Also below is a really good BoB site which goes into things in a good more detail about the battle itself:

http://www.battleofbritain.net/contents-index.html

Britain also set up an excellent repair network for damaged planes as well.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IBO/is_4_24/ai_74582443/pg_2


So not only did the UK outproduce German aircraft production, it also out repaired the Germans too.

The biggest problem was probably the lack of trained pilots in Fighter Command.

Twitch1
12-07-2005, 11:29 AM
Look if a Brit bailed out he flew the next day. If a German bailed out he was POW. It's as simple as that. Later when the 8th AF began ops in England there were always aircraft that "returned" to base but were otherwise wrecks. The planes that returned were not technically counted as losses in a traditional way. Certainly the Germans didn't claim them as destroyed since they few away home! Yet they were losses nevertheless.

It is a certainty that this happened to RAF machines in the BoB time. My damn point is that losses were higher than what was counted, that's all. I don't care about production of aircraft in England. The RAF cound NOT afford to be cavalier about ANY machines lost. "Oh well we'll build more."

Later over Germany the reverse occurred. Any Allied airman that took to the chute was a POW and every German that bailed was flying the next day! German planes not claimed often limped in to be scraped later just as Allied planes returning to Britain. It's simply an undeniable fact that this happened on both sides depending on the tide of the war. This is not mystical stuff just fact and logic.

Do we want to say that every claim put in by the RAF for kills of Germans in the BoB was true and those claimed by Luftwaffe personnel were bogus? No because in the heat of combat overclaiming is prevailent on both sides.

Fine the British had an overwhelming and crushing victory in the BoB from which the Luftwaffe was ruined for the war.

Firefly
12-07-2005, 01:04 PM
Although I agree with much of what youve written there is a clear diffrence between Allied losses, say in 1944 and German losses in 1940.

In some of the links I posted its very clear that the Germans couldnt afford the loss rate while the RAF could. The problem for the RAF was pilots and it was a good thing they were fighting over friendly skies.

Its not just about men and machines though as the BoB was won as much by British technical innovation as by them. Radar played a part, but so did the Observer Corps, this enabled the limited fighter resources to be employed at just the right time and place. The introduction of the sector stations to filter the information and give the commanders a much more accurrate picture of events than any german commander received was another bonus. Something the Germans did themselves later in the war.

The Germans also did themselves no favours by continually changing their goalposts.

pdf27
12-07-2005, 02:16 PM
Fine the British had an overwhelming and crushing victory in the BoB from which the Luftwaffe was ruined for the war.
Possibly not quite as far from the truth as you think. While the Luftwaffe was clearly still dangerous, it lost two very important things in the BoB:
1) It's mystique - prior to the BoB, it was undefeated and people still believed that air power could crush whole countries by itself in a short period of time, that "the bomber will always get through". The BoB disproved this, and massively lessened the psychological power of the Luftwaffe.
2) A large fraction of their prewar trained pilot strength - wartime training was never as good. This applied also to the RAF, but through the Empire air training schemes (notably in Canada) they were much better able to replace their losses than the Germans were once they got ramped up.

I'd say there was certainly a good case to suggest that the Luftwaffe was never the same again after the BoB, and never as dangerous.

Firefly
12-07-2005, 04:04 PM
A good example of this is the Bomber Commander of the Luftwaffe. He wasnt the Pilot but was ahighly trained specialist in many disciplines, including a Pilot qualification. It took a long time for this training and after the BoB, was never the same. The Germans could never afford the time to train them the same way and lost an effective command tool there.

Twitch1
12-07-2005, 05:38 PM
Well :oops: sorry to cause any discord.......

Firefly
12-08-2005, 02:27 AM
No discord mate. A nice healthy debate is what we like here. After all it would be a poor forum if we all agreed all the time. Keep your input coming mate I for one appreciate your posts.