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wotan111
03-25-2004, 07:15 AM
Ive been reading about British tactics at the begining of WW2.

It seem we took a step backwards from WW1 and decided not to listen to anyone who had flown against the condor legion in the Sapnish Civil War.

Our philosphy was spray and pray. We flew in very tight formations during combat so the pilots spent most of their timne watching each others wing tips and not watching the sky.

Our gun convergance was set at distance as the thought was you need to stay out of the bomber gunners range. The keep your finger on the trigger and give the area a good spray and eventually you might down one.

This meant that anyone flying in the rear of the formation was jumped by 109's without the rest of the section even noticing. In fact even half way through 1940 some were still flying this way. It was all down to C of C Dowding. It was his Idea.

Over time though squadrons started to learn from the Germans and things got a lot better.

The Brtish were fighting a War like it was some Air Display programme. Oh wel1.

By the way Im british so this isnt a dig.

wotan111
03-25-2004, 07:15 AM
Ive been reading about British tactics at the begining of WW2.

It seem we took a step backwards from WW1 and decided not to listen to anyone who had flown against the condor legion in the Sapnish Civil War.

Our philosphy was spray and pray. We flew in very tight formations during combat so the pilots spent most of their timne watching each others wing tips and not watching the sky.

Our gun convergance was set at distance as the thought was you need to stay out of the bomber gunners range. The keep your finger on the trigger and give the area a good spray and eventually you might down one.

This meant that anyone flying in the rear of the formation was jumped by 109's without the rest of the section even noticing. In fact even half way through 1940 some were still flying this way. It was all down to C of C Dowding. It was his Idea.

Over time though squadrons started to learn from the Germans and things got a lot better.

The Brtish were fighting a War like it was some Air Display programme. Oh wel1.

By the way Im british so this isnt a dig.

AWL_Spinner
03-25-2004, 07:48 AM
There were indeed big tactical deficiencies carried into WWII but by and large these were ironed out (thankfully) before the Battle of Britain.

Alas the waves of new pilots were not often au fait with anything other than close formations but, to anyone who listened, the lessons learned during the Battle of France in 1939 paid rich dividends in the skies over Southern England in 1940.

Indeed, the Hurricane squadrons in France (although it must be said these were generally equipped with skilled and experienced airmen rather than green recruits) scored exceptionally well against the Luftwaffe, as the kill tallies showed, after adopting new tactics. Many of there were developed from observing how the Germans conducted their air war and adapting a counter - bearing in mind these were entirely new ways of fighting to pilots in the late thirties.

The gun dispersion issue and the adoption of looser formations similar to the German schwarm was among the first developments.

Cheers, Spinner

http://www.alliedwingedlegion.com/members/signatures/spinner_sig.jpg

wotan111
03-25-2004, 07:59 AM
Thanks for the infohttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

DeerHunterUK
03-25-2004, 08:20 AM
It's not crazy when you look more closely at the situation during the latter part of 1939 to May 1940. At the time Germany had no fighter that could reach England from German airbases, therefore the only threat we would face was from bombers. At the time it was inconceivable that France and the low countries would be invaded and taken over by Germany. It took time (and many pilots unfortunately) to alter the tactics to suit the situation. Much was done by individual Squadrons (behind the Air Ministry's back) to change tactics to suit the situations as they arose...such as No 1 Squadron fitting seat armour to their Hurricanes.

No1_Moggy
-----
In memory of 'The Few'
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The Tangmere Pilots - http://www.tangmerepilots-raf.co.uk/
Know your enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated.

horseback
03-25-2004, 08:28 AM
It appears to me that RAF units were somewhat isolated from each other. Without regular unofficial contact, or some other means to spread useful information to other men at the pointy end of the sword, better tactics and techniques didn't reach very far from the individual or units using them. Sections of threes were common in the Med until 1943 amongst RAF/Commonwealth units.

American units tended to encourage unofficial contacts between units, and, like the Germans, used "bull sessions" at all levels as a kind of auxiliary General Staff exercise. There was a quicker recognition of things that worked and things that didn't as a result of this, and this information could rapidly percolate up the chain of command.

As you read more, I think you'll find that tactics were pretty much established at the RAF Squadron level initially, and as the more capable aces rose to Wing Commander, effective formations and tactics were promulgated. But the Baders, Malans and Tucks had to prove themselves individually, rise to Squadron command, and then (maybe)convince Higher Offices that it would be good to share the reasons for their success with less fortunate parties.

Tactics were theorized pre War by senior officers who did not relinquish control of The Book happily, even in the face of facts and proveable results. English bloodimindedness certainly came into play here, not to mention a certain amount of careerism. Unfortunately, wars are fought and commanded by fallible humans, who aren't always able to drop all their faults for the greater good.

cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944