Dowding's Costly Blunder in the Battle of France - Page 4




 
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November 21st, 2011  
lljadw
 
The Royal navy reinforced by the Polish,Dutch and Norwegian fleet:you are forgetting to add that these fleets only existed in your imagination .
November 21st, 2011  
samneanderthal
 
The Polish submarine Orzel sank the first German ship in Norway, the 5,300 ton Rio de Janeiro, killing hundreds of troops and preventing scarce 105 mm AA guns and 20 mm guns and supplies from arriving in Norway. The Nowegian coastal batteries sank the German heavy Cruiser Blücher, etc, I call that help. The Polish had excellent, fast destroyers that performed stirling service throughout the war escorting convoys, etc, Read at least a little before you start barking that everything is false or wrong.
November 21st, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samneanderthal
The million Germans in air defence were mostly teen agers and women late in the war. Germany didn't even have a real defense fighter force to oppose British bombers until the Americans started bombing.
Forget the million Germans manning anti-aircraft batteries if you like but by 1942 the Germans had something close to 15000 88mm guns pointing at the sky around Germany how do you think the Russian counter offensives would have gone had the majority of those muzzles been pointing at their armour instead, how much more support would the German infantry and armour received had the majority of those weapons been available for front line duty?

Then add to that the thousands of other guns consigned to protecting the Reich, how much stronger would German offensive/defensive capacity have been had even a fraction of them been at the front.

I agree with Seehund you need to develop a much broader view.
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November 21st, 2011  
samneanderthal
 
The Germans had not produced nearly 15,000 88 mm FLAK by 1942 and many were abroad, so the number in Germany has to be closer to half as many in 1942. But you are right, there were never nearly enough 88 mm and 105 mm weapons in the URSS, Africa, Italy, etc, Which only reinforces my low opinion of the Soviet and British generals being defeated by ridiculous numbers of artillery, tanks, etc,

I try to keep as broad a view as possible but find extremely interesting the effect of decades of brain washing on the Russians and British, who pretty much worship Stalin, Zhukov, etc, or Churchill, Dowding, Montgomery, etc, respectively, despite their obviously dismal performance.

Let me put it differently, had Churchill not wasted a fortune building slow, 4 engine bombers, more deadly to the British crews and German children than to German industry, but produced enough fighters and ground support planes, he would have wiped out the axis from Africa and Sicily with minimum tank and personel losses a year before the Americans had to come in to do it for him. He would have also kicked the Japs out of Burma late in 1942, allowing supplies to feed and equip millions of Chinese soldiers, which reinforced by Indian and American troops would have kicked the Japs out of the continent and allowed the Americans to bomb and blockade Japan in 1943 from a short distance, instead of in 1944 from a very long distance and after having to conquer a lot of useless islands. Had Stalin produced much better generals, planes and pilots and half as many tanks, he would have gained air superiority and wiped out the German tanks without having to make 36,000 Sturmoviks. Only the Americans understood the paramount importance of making high quality planes in large numbres to win the war.
November 21st, 2011  
VDKMS
 
One must not forget that we can discus all these things with a knowledge far beyond what the leaders had at that time. For us all is very clear, we know what happend, the strenght, weaknesses, numbers. But for those people who fought at that time it was all a big fog of war.
No way the allies could have stopped the Germans at that time. Not even with more Spitfires and 3 bladed Hurricanes. The British did the right thing by keeping the planes for the battles to come.
November 22nd, 2011  
samneanderthal
 
Hitler lost 2,000 planes in France, Belgium and Holland facing over 1,100 mediocre fighters. He then lost 2,000 during the battle of Britain, facing a few hundred Spitfires and Hurricanes.
Therefore, had all the British planes been there from the beginning, it is obvious that the mediocre fighters would have survived much longer and been far more successful and the advanced fighters would have concentrated on the German fighters and would not have wasted time with the German bombers, so Germany would have had extremely heavy losses and been stopped.

Moreover, even in the worst moments of the BoB, Dowding always kept at least half the fighter force in reserve, which means that half the pilots were extremely busy and overworked for weeks at a time, while half of them were inactive. As hundreds of pilots were lost and the size of the German plane waves incresed during the BoB, keeping half of them in reserve meant that at the point when the fewest pilots were active, the very small number of pilots at the front were extremely overworked, greatly reducing their chances of survival. Cheers to Downing's brilliant strategy both in France and Britain! Fortunately, Göring and Hitler were even more incompetent.
November 22nd, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
On the 15th September, Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited RAF Uxbridge, the headquarters of No. 11 Group, Fighter Command. This group was led by Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park and was responsible for the defence of London and the south-east of England. On this day, it was the beating heart of the battle.

The first wave of about 250 bombers came over the Channel at 11am and whilst many Luftwaffe planes were intercepted by the RAF, around half managed to make it to London and drop their loads. A second wave of about the same number returned at 2pm believed to be aiming for South London and the railways out to Kent. The raids continued into the night.

Churchill later described what he saw at 11 Group: "Presently the red bulbs showed that the majority of our squadrons were engaged. In a little while, all our squadrons were fighting and some had already begun to return for fuel. All were in the air. The lower line of bulbs was out. There was not one squadron left in reserve".

I will keep saying this until I am blue in the face, Dowding was right and so was Keith Parks for their handling of the Battle of Britain.
November 22nd, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
I agree I think both Parks and Dowding did an excellent job during the BoB and this experience showed up in Parks appointment to Malta however I am not so sure I can say the same about Mallory and his "Big Wing" idiocy.

"If ever any one man won the Battle of Britain, he did. I don’t believe it is recognised how much this one man, with his leadership, his calm judgement and his skill, did to save not only this country, but the world.”
—Lord Tedder , Chief of the Air Staff, February 1947 (About Parks)

Sadly he is not quite so well recognised within New Zealand.
November 22nd, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
As is well known, Leigh Mallory and Douglas Bader stabbed both Keith Parks and Dowding in the back AFTER the Battle was won.

What goes around comes around as they say.

In November 1944, Leigh-Mallory en route to Ceylon to take up the post of Air C-in-C South East Asia Command, his aircraft crashed over the French Alps, Leigh-Mallory, his wife and ten others were killed.

A court of inquiry found that the accident was a consequence of bad weather and might have been avoided if Leigh-Mallory had not insisted that the flight proceed in such poor conditions against the advice of his aircrew. His replacement at SEAC was his Battle of Britain rival Air Marshal Sir Keith Park.
November 22nd, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
It is funny that at some point the rivalry between Bader and Park must have ended though as Douglas Bader said of him “the awesome responsibility for this country’s survival rested squarely on Keith Park’s shoulders. British military history of this century has been enriched with the names of great fighting men from New Zealand, of all ranks and in every one of our services. Keith Park’s name is carved into history alongside those of his peers.”

Perhaps he mellowed with age?

When you look at the Battle of Britain and how many pilots from the Commonwealth, USA and Occupied territories took part and the impact they made you do have to wonder whether Britain could have done it alone.
 


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