View Full Version : Belgian air combat?

03-18-2006, 06:10 PM
I have had not any info about Belgian airforce battling against Luftwaffe? Was there any actual air combats in -40?

Just saw documentary about Belgian UN forces in Ruanda and I dont anymore wonder why Germans Blizgrieged over Belgium only in 5 minutes.

Not some many tales to tell to grandchildrens.. From ww2 or Ruanda?

03-18-2006, 06:23 PM
You know belgium refused to build its own aircraft....because of the massive shortage of metal. Yeah...the only way they would have had enough, was to melt down all their waffle makers.

And we know THAT wasn't going to happen.

03-18-2006, 10:23 PM
Belgian Air Force in world war two? They were called the "Busted, Awkward and Fracked"

But seriously, I am going to wiki this.

03-18-2006, 10:24 PM
Here you go:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_Air_Force#Early_years

03-19-2006, 04:02 AM
Here's one example:

"In the early morning on 10 May the II√¬®me Group was ordered to evacuated from Nivelles to Landing Field No 22 at Brustem.
At 06:05 five Fiat CR.42s took off from Brustem to provide cover for the airfield. The second patrol (Sous-Lieutenant Offenberg, 1er Sergent Jean Maes and 1er Sergent Alexis Jottard) attacked Dornier Do17s and a Bf109. Offenberg claimed one destroyed Do17, and fired on one other aircraft, which dived away. One of the aircraft he shot at was a Dornier Do17 of II/KG77, which was damaged east of Waremme at 06.30 (there are some confusion regarding Offenberg's claims and some sources only credits him with a damaged Do17). Jean Maes damaged a Dornier Do17 of II/KG77, near St Trond at 06.30. This claim is not confirmed."


Biplane kills/claims/propables:


03-19-2006, 07:11 AM
Originally posted by Aimosika:
I have had not any info about Belgian airforce battling against Luftwaffe? Was there any actual air combats in -40?

Just saw documentary about Belgian UN forces in Ruanda and I dont anymore wonder why Germans Blizgrieged over Belgium only in 5 minutes.

Not some many tales to tell to grandchildrens.. From ww2 or Ruanda?

Well you are wrong about the 5 minutes. Actually it lasted 18 days (from May 10th to May 28th... Not much more but not bad considering the size of the country (today you can cross the crountry from east to west in just 2 hours with the highways...). In comparison, the Dutch held 5 days.

There were air combat between german and belgian aircrafts. A well known mission is the attack by belgian Fairey Battle on bridges on the Albert canal. It was a suicidal one since they could only carry 50 kg bombs, not enough to destroy a bridge. It ended in a massacre: nearly all were shot down by the 109's and only half of the escort (Gladiators I think) came back. There were other engagements involving Gloster Gladiators, Fiat CR42s and Fairey Foxs. If you are interested, someone at France Simulation, J.j is making a campaign for FB about the blitzkrieg in Belgium. Just wait a bit... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

But indeed the belgian Aéronautique Militaire was equiped with mostly obsolete aircrafts. They just had 12 Hurricanes as modern fighter ,which were nearly all destroyed on the ground at dawn of the very first day of the german attack and the rest consisted of Gloster Gladiator, Fiat CR42 and totally obsolete Fairey Fox. They tried to modernise from 1936 when it was clear that Germany was becoming a threat again. But at that time the only thing they could get were CR42's. French and British aircraft companies gave the priority to their respective airforces. The belgian government sent a mission in the USA to see what they could get there. But there too France and Britain had the priority. They had to buy what was left: Brewster Buffalos. Unfortunetly, they were on a cargoship in the middle of the Atlantic when the King signed the unconditionnal surrender on May 28th 1940.
There were also locally designed projects. The Renard 38 is an exemple. It was quite performant (better than Hurricane) and well armed (1x20mm in the propeller hub and 4x7.7mm in the wings). But for obscure reason the government choose a licence-built Hurricane armed with 4 FN 12 mm (in place of the 8 Browning 7.7mm). 2 out of 80 ordered produced at the time of the capitulation.

The Hurricanes:



The Gladiators:



The Fiat CR42:



The Fairey Fox:



The Fairey Battle:




The Buffalos that had to be delivered to the belgian Aeronautique Militaire:


The prototype of the Renard 38:


NB: I didn't appreciate some of the comments I read above: my grand father was badly wounded in combat during the Blitzkrieg of 1940... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Thanks to FAW_Wally for the pictures on his site

03-19-2006, 08:55 AM
That Renard looks similar to a Yak-3

03-19-2006, 09:10 AM
The dutch government , you know the one that sung the gospel of the "broken rifle" gave up after the bombing of Rotterdam. They were already safe in the Uk.

Now when you read history of the invasion of the Netherlands, you will see that it was a disaster first class for the Germans.

Kornwerderzand they never got passed. At the Grebbeberg the got stocked, the paratroopers in Rotterdam and the rest of zuidholland where almost defeated. In those days alot of german soldiers were captured killed , and alot of them drowned in the Maas (rotterdam harbour)

The transportfleet of the Luftwaffe was almost destroyed by fighters and AAA or crashed at the beach near The Hague, because they couldnt land at the airfields ( they were never captured by the germans)lol most of the AAA was not army but bought by factory's and manned by the workers.

It was a batlle the dutch couldnt win, but imho they gave them a bloody nose, and if it wasnt for the coward government , a good black eye also


03-19-2006, 09:14 AM
Gros_boulet, thank you for the information and just disregard the childish responses above.

Many people just must make some kind of comment, even if it may call attention to their lack of something.

For your small Country to resist the most powerful military in the world at the time for as long as you did is a credit to your people.

03-19-2006, 10:00 AM
@ CD_kp84yb: I didn't know about the AAA being manned by workers and bought by factories... But you are right about the german paratroopers: they had a very hard time in the Netherlands in may 1940. Some groups, I read, were almost anihilated. And indeed lots of Ju52 were lost or damaged during the operation.

@Enthor1: thanks for your comment. But those who suffered the most in the West were the French. They lost about 100.000 soldiers (KIA) during the 2 months of the blitzkrieg (from may 10th till end of june 1940). About the same figure than during the worst days of the battle of Verdun during WWI. The worst went to the french Armée de l'Air: 25% of their total personnel was either wounded or killed and not all of them fought (some groups located in the southern part of the country were moved to the north only very lately, when it was almost hopeless)...

03-19-2006, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by Aimail101:
That Renard looks similar to a Yak-3

Another picture: a profile this time. First flight: 18th of july 1939.


Ruy Horta
03-19-2006, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Aimosika:
I have had not any info about Belgian airforce battling against Luftwaffe? Was there any actual air combats in -40?


If you are Belgian I suggest you visit De Krijger, a specialist bookshop (053 790215), amongst other things they've published a series of booklets called: Belgie in Oorlog

Vol. 2

Mei 1940
Boven Belgie
De luchtstrijd tijdens de Achtiendaagse Veldtocht

Cynrik De Decker & Jean Louis Roba

ISBN 90-72547-08-Nr (odd number, but that's what it reads).

78 pages softback.

Inexpensive campaign book.

Think they published these bilingually, but I only have the Dutch version.

03-19-2006, 02:19 PM
hey Gross boulet,

Our government wanted to save lots of money in those days, so they cut and cut and cut the budget for the army, you know we had 1 ONE tank in those days, a renault from WW1. They were testing what a tank was worth hahahaha.

Ok now due to these cuts, the dutch army was short of AAA. Now when you are a owner of a factory and you read in the papers that england ,france and germany are in war, and you had some historylessons, you would know that the Netherlands never could be neutral, The french and the belgians had a strong defendline, every 4 year old kid could tell you how to bypass these lines, yup through Holland, lol our "politici" are not the brightest.
Ok the army has not got enough AAA so the factory's bought those small (20mm) themself for defending their own factory's, and the workers manned them.


Ruy Horta
03-19-2006, 02:58 PM
Still sockens me how people abuse the "broken rifle" thing.

The broken rifle was an initiative of pacifists, and not bad - perhaps naive - but certainly not something to snub.

However the irony is that the socialists had no influence on defense spending in those days. The conservative governments were penny pinching, to the extend that they worsened the economic crisis etc, and later blamed the lack of armament (of which THEY controlled the budget) on the left wing.

Don't believe all the bull you read in popular history, the facts are often a little different.

Lack of AAA is also an irony, perhaps there was a lack, but it certainly took a very heavy toll of the German air borne armada, ever check how many Ju 52s were lost during the 5 day campaign?

Holland is a small country, it had relied on neutrality for a long time, its colonial empire being "tolerated" by the British. It hoped to stay out of WW2 like it had in WW2.

Hind sight is 20/20.

Interesting that unlike your ideas, the Germans did think of alternatives, leaving out Holland, but, and they were correct in their assessment, did not believe that the Anglo-French would respect dutch neutrality either.

If you don't believe me, just check the French orders/move to Walcheren. This was a fixed strategy even before the invasion of Holland.

03-19-2006, 03:23 PM
i know about the french orders for Walcheren, and how they defended it or better say not.
Our government was cutting the budget, and trying hard to make everyone happy and stay neutral.

I know the Netherlands as my pocket, i live here, and i know the history of my country, by the history books, by my father and both my grandfathers who fought in the WW2 they both pasted away in the seventy's and eighty's.

Btw Holland isnt a country, its not even a state. Its the Netherlands not Holland. Holland comes from the golden age were the state Holland controlled the other states. Now today we have zuidholland,noordholland and the rest of the states.