View Full Version : Battle of France Post...

10-29-2005, 09:06 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif Just a little post I‚‚ā¨ôve put together with some facts about the Battle of France‚‚ā¨¬¶ http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif Take some time to look at the last piece‚‚ā¨¬¶ http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif Lasting barely 5 weeks the fighting over France cost the RAF alone over 1,500 lives‚‚ā¨¬¶ http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif


10 May 1940 - Germany invades Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg as well as attacking French positions in Western France. The Luftwaffe flies more than 1,000 bombing sorties in support of the offensives. French and British fighters claim a total of 85 victories, but French indecision means that bombers of the Armee de l'Air (French Air Force) are not committed to action. Thirty-three RAF Blenheims attack German forces in Holland, losing 3 aircraft in the process. Later that day, 32 Battles attempt to attack enemy columns advancing through Luxembourg; 13 are lost to anti-aircraft fire and a further 10 shot down by fighters. During the night, Whitleys attack enemy communications in the RAF's first attack on mainland Germany. At home, Chamberlain resigns as Prime Minister. Mr Winston Churchill replaces him as head of a coalition government.
11 May 1940 - Seven out of eight Battles fail to return from an attack on enemy forces in Luxembourg. No. 114 Sqn's Blenheims are annihilated on the ground in a low-level German raid.
12 May 1940 - In an attack on the Maas bridges, four out of five Battles are shot down. Fg Off Garland and Sgt Gray are later posthumously awarded the first air VCs of the War.
13 May 1940 - In a speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill says, "I have nothing to offer..."
14 May 1940 - German forces break through the French front at Sedan. All remaining RAF Battles and Blenheims are ordered to attack pontoon bridges and troops in the area. Out of 71 aircraft, 39 are shot down - the highest loss in an operation of this size ever sustained by the RAF. A Luftwaffe raid on Rotterdam city centre by 57 He111s results in 814 civilian casualties and causes a massive outcry from neutral countries. Whilst the bombers were en route a delegation from the Dutch government was preparing to discuss surrender terms, but the attempt to call off the bombing by German commanders was only partially successful.
15 May 1940 - After a week of heavy fighting, the Dutch Army finally capitulates at 11 am. By nightfall, the RAF in France had lost 205 aircraft, including 86 two-seat Fairey Battles. During the night, RAF Bomber Command's air offensive against Germany begins - 99 aircraft attack industrial targets in the Ruhr. No aircraft are lost through enemy action.
17 May 1940 - Twelve Blenheims attack enemy tanks and troops near Gembloux. Ten are shot down by fighters and one by ground fire.
19 May 1940 - The rapid German advance now poses a threat to the remaining RAF aircraft in Belgium. Evacuation of the remaining squadrons is carried out over the next two days, and fighter operations over the battlefield are carried out by Hurricanes and Spitfires based in southern England.
26 May 1940 - Following the fall of Calais and Boulogne, Dunkirk remains the only port available for the evacuation of Allied troops from the Continent. No. 11 Group, under the command of Vice-Marshal Keith Park, assigns 16 squadrons to the protection of the port. During the evacuation (codenamed Operation Dynamo), a total of 32 participate, although they are rotated to provide rest periods and preserve aircraft for the inevitable defence of Britain.
27 May 1940 - The Belgian Army, hopelessly outclassed by the Germans, finally capitulates at midnight.
3 Jun 1940 - The last day of Operation Dynamo sees the RAF carry out 171 reconnaissance, 651 bombing and 2,739 fighter sorties. During the previous nine days, the RAF has lost 177 aircraft, including 106 fighters and the attrition is such that the first-line strength of Fighter Command stands at 331 Hurricanes and Spitfires with only 36 fighters in reserve. German aircraft also carry out the first attacks against Paris.
5 Jun 1940 - Small numbers of German bombers attack low-key targets in the east and south-east of Britain. These attacks are primarily to give crews navigational experience before the main assault on Britain.
10 Jun 1940 - Italy declares war on Britain and France.
11 Jun 1940 - The Fiat works in Turin are attacked by 36 Whitleys of No. 4 Group. The Italians make the first of seven attacks against Malta. The entire Maltese fighter defence of 4 Sea Gladiators only manages to damage one enemy aircraft. In North Africa, the RAF launches two raids against the Italian airfield at El Adem, Libya, destroying all 18 enemy aircraft on the ground.
18 Jun 1940 - The remnants of the RAF Hurricane squadrons in France evacuate their bases, having provided cover for the final Allied retreat from France; the last to leave are Nos. 1 and 73 Sqns, which had been the first to arrive in 1939. The fighting in France cost the RAF a total of 1,029 aircraft and over 1,500 personnel.
10 Jul 1940 - First phase of the Battle of Britain begins.



10-29-2005, 09:18 AM
Can you people google "OCR" some time please?

10-29-2005, 09:33 AM
Originally posted by BaldieJr:
Can you people google "OCR" some time please?

Yes, but it takes to long to use... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

10-29-2005, 09:40 AM
That battle lasted what 0ne hour.

10-29-2005, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by BaldieJr:
Can you people google "OCR" some time please?

The Oxford, Cambridge and RSA examination board http://www.ocr.org.uk/ what have they got to do with it?

This then?






Ruy Horta
10-29-2005, 10:23 AM
The Battle of France is comparable to the Battle of Britain in terms of intensity.

May 4th
957 Bf 109s operationally ready

June 22nd
669 Bf 109s operationally ready

c. 30% less

May 4th
984 Bf 109s pilots operationally ready

June 22nd
705 Bf 109s pilots operationally ready

c. 29% less

between May 10th and June 25th:

Jagdwaffe single engine
POW 56
WIA 51

Bf 109 lost or damaged)
60-100% 284
10-60% 178

The Luftwaffe reported 1401 a/c as totally lost and another 672 with "substancial" damage.

RAF losses for the campaign (according to this particular source).

944 a/c (1029 a/c alternative)
453 fighters
915 aircrew (1526 aircrew casualties)

AA losses are reported as

892 a/c
508 fighters (250 in operationally)
1493 aircrew

All from a single source, JVL 3/1, Prien et al.

Too lazy to corroborate and expand these figures from other sources, but Blitzed is an excelent book on the topic as is 12 Days in May and the German language Blitzkrieg-Legende.

If you consider that some of the hardest fighting was between May 10th and 25th, only two weeks, these figures become quite high.

Here are some Bomber Command figures

41 days of ops
46 nights of ops

1601 day sorties, 92 a/c lost (5.7%)
3484 night sorties, 53 a/c lost (1.5%)

5085 total sorties, 145 a/c lost (2.9%)

accordingly these are some further figures for RAF FC.

May 1940
Claims 876:183:154 (plus 9:3:0 ground)

255 Hurricanes
46 Spitfires
10 Defiants
7 Blenheims

160 pilots KIA/MIA
10 gunners KIA/MIA
42 pilots WIA

June 1940
Claims 216:109:58

58 Hurricanes
17 Spitfires
2 Blenheims
1 Gladiator

50 pilots KIA/MIA
2 gunners KIA/MIA
7 pilots WIA

Unfortunately I have no figures on RAF FC sorties.

Note that some of the June losses are actually over the Channel and technically part of a different campaign.

10-29-2005, 10:48 AM
grim reading http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

10-29-2005, 10:48 AM
Makes you wonder how the war ever ended in our favour looking at that list... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

10-29-2005, 11:00 AM
add the french losses.
ruy, what says jochen priens book about ?
how many fighters, bombers etc. ?

Ruy Horta
10-29-2005, 11:18 AM
According to Invisibles Vainqueurs

Combat losses of l'Armée de l'Air
May 10th to June 24th 1940

May 344
Jun 231
Tot 575

E/A 266
Flak 38
Total 304

E/A 73
Flak 86
Total 159

Recon & Obs
E/A 61
Flak 51
Total 112

This book is packed with statistics, but I cannot find the crew casualties in a single table that I can copy.

But the high loss of fighters in air combat is indicative of the ferociousness of the fighting.

10-29-2005, 11:31 AM
Also indicative that some poor aircrew had to fly Blenheims, Defiants, and Battles http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

Ruy Horta
10-29-2005, 12:20 PM

Here's some figures from Robert Jackson's Air War over France

Armée de l'Air Aircrew Losses (KIA / WIA / MIA)
Fighter 187 218 70 = 475
Bombers 297 158 58 = 513
Recce 292 161 52 = 505

Total 1493

RAF a/c losses all causes

AASF 299
Air Component 279
Fighter Command 219
Bomber Command 166
Coastal Command 66

Total 1029

1526 Aircrew killed, wounded or missing

10-30-2005, 01:20 AM
Thank you , Ruy. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

10-30-2005, 01:57 AM
MrBlueSky1960... Excellent material... you might want to check out some of the past pages on the Today In WW II History thread.
Pages 19-22 or so.

10-30-2005, 06:38 AM
Hello Ruy Horta,

Have been following your posts on a number of different threads. You're coming up with some very good stuff!

Yes, have read 'Twelve Days in May' - an excellent source on BoF air fighting. I also enjoyed 'Hurricane Aces 1939-40' by Tony Holmes (one of the Osprey Aircraft of the Aces series).

Keep up the good work.

Best regards,

10-30-2005, 12:44 PM
anyone got some good sites on the french war and air experience in the BoF - wouldn't mind reading/learning more about the French aircraft, their performances (info on them besides "they all got shot down"), pilots and air and land battles.

Easy enough to find BEP info and books/stories - but rarely see anything on the french side.

Thanks as always.