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MB_Avro_UK
01-11-2008, 04:50 PM
Hi all,

Something that has not been discussed so far and relevant to Bob SoW.

We discuss on this forum the relative attributes of say the Spitfire v Me 109 during the BoB 1940 but little is mentioned of pilot training time/combat experience/tactics.

The RAF at that time from what I have read suffered from a lack of combat experience and were also forced to employ pilots who had the minimum of training.

Is there any authorative reference that deals with this subject?

There are many references that deal with combat losses.

But it would be interesting to compare for example the number of hours flown by any Spitfire or Hurricane pilot before combat with his LW opponant.

For example, how many 109 or 110 pilots had 11 hours experience flying their aircraft before they were pitched into the BoB?

A significant number of RAF pilots had this amount of flight experience or even less http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

And, when BoB SoW appears I will NOT join a server where fuel is unlimited (assuming I am flying RAF http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif).

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

MB_Avro_UK
01-11-2008, 04:50 PM
Hi all,

Something that has not been discussed so far and relevant to Bob SoW.

We discuss on this forum the relative attributes of say the Spitfire v Me 109 during the BoB 1940 but little is mentioned of pilot training time/combat experience/tactics.

The RAF at that time from what I have read suffered from a lack of combat experience and were also forced to employ pilots who had the minimum of training.

Is there any authorative reference that deals with this subject?

There are many references that deal with combat losses.

But it would be interesting to compare for example the number of hours flown by any Spitfire or Hurricane pilot before combat with his LW opponant.

For example, how many 109 or 110 pilots had 11 hours experience flying their aircraft before they were pitched into the BoB?

A significant number of RAF pilots had this amount of flight experience or even less http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

And, when BoB SoW appears I will NOT join a server where fuel is unlimited (assuming I am flying RAF http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif).

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

waffen-79
01-11-2008, 04:59 PM
Well, Germans and Russians both have experience thanks to the Spanish Civil War

If not using the same personnel at the very least that allowed them ruskies and jerrys to make some manuals and tactics

But that "experience" didn't help the russians with the finns and with op barbarossa

And also didn't turn out well for the germans in BOB

you see Brits had Radar

Germans had teh ***** Goering

x6BL_Brando
01-11-2008, 05:08 PM
I was thinking about this today, having spent the morning re-reading some of Johnnie Johnson's Full Circle.

Johnson I believe is very honest about the state of the RAF in the Thirties and the early part of the 39-45 war. He derides it as a peacetime force, trained much more in (admirably tight) formation flying and textbook manoeuvres than combat flying. He makes the point that the lessons learnt in 1914-18 had not been retained and that it cost the British dearly until changes were made at squadron or even flight level.

The Luftwaffe certainly gained from their involvement in Spain, and in the rolling-up of Western Europe. He also notes that the Russians in Spain spent a lot of time over the battlefield in tight vics too, and this caused them a lot of unnecessary losses.

B

MB_Avro_UK
01-11-2008, 05:18 PM
Hi all,

Maybe a comparison could be drawn with regard to the British Expeditionary Force in France 1940 during the German invasion?

The British troops in France comprised only 10% of the French and Belgian defence.The British troops were a 'peace time' force and had no combat experience compared to the Germans.

The point that I'm making is that combat experience and full training is vital for success.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Schwarz.13
01-11-2008, 05:18 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Hi all,

Something that has not been discussed so far and relevant to Bob SoW.

We discuss on this forum the relative attributes of say the Spitfire v Me 109 during the BoB 1940 but little is mentioned of pilot training time/combat experience/tactics.

The RAF at that time from what I have read suffered from a lack of combat experience and were also forced to employ pilots who had the minimum of training.

Is there any authorative reference that deals with this subject?

There are many references that deal with combat losses.

But it would be interesting to compare for example the number of hours flown by any Spitfire or Hurricane pilot before combat with his LW opponant.

For example, how many 109 or 110 pilots had 11 hours experience flying their aircraft before they were pitched into the BoB?

A significant number of RAF pilots had this amount of flight experience or even less http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

And, when BoB SoW appears I will NOT join a server where fuel is unlimited (assuming I am flying RAF http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif).

Best Regards,
MB_Avro. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I can't recommend highly enough The Most Dangerous Enemy (http://www.airwarfare.com/AWX/features/reviews/images/books/mostdangerous.jpg) by Stephen Bungay.

It would be a sin not to read if you are really interested in the BOB and it is very readable for such an 'exhaustive' meticulously researched account and full of anecdotes too.

Unfortunately i loaned my copy to someone a while back so i can't offer any quotes regarding your question. I'm dying to re-read it before BoB:SoW comes out so i'll just have to buy a new copy http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

MB_Avro_UK
01-11-2008, 05:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Schwarz.13:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Hi all,

Something that has not been discussed so far and relevant to Bob SoW.

We discuss on this forum the relative attributes of say the Spitfire v Me 109 during the BoB 1940 but little is mentioned of pilot training time/combat experience/tactics.

The RAF at that time from what I have read suffered from a lack of combat experience and were also forced to employ pilots who had the minimum of training.

Is there any authorative reference that deals with this subject?

There are many references that deal with combat losses.

But it would be interesting to compare for example the number of hours flown by any Spitfire or Hurricane pilot before combat with his LW opponant.

For example, how many 109 or 110 pilots had 11 hours experience flying their aircraft before they were pitched into the BoB?

A significant number of RAF pilots had this amount of flight experience or even less http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

And, when BoB SoW appears I will NOT join a server where fuel is unlimited (assuming I am flying RAF http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif).

Best Regards,
MB_Avro. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I can't recommend highly enough The Most Dangerous Enemy (http://www.airwarfare.com/AWX/features/reviews/images/books/mostdangerous.jpg) by Stephen Bungay.

It would be a sin not to read if you are really interested in the BOB and it is very readable for such an 'exhaustive' meticulously researched account and full of anecdotes too.

Unfortunately i loaned my copy to someone a while back so i can't offer any quotes regarding your question. I'm dying to re-read it before BoB:SoW comes out so i'll just have to buy a new copy http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes an excellent book! But the author did not provide a full analysis of RAF v LW flight/combat experience.

Did any of the LW fighter pilots fly in the BoB with 11 hours flight experience in a 109?

Many RAF pilots were thrown into combat against the LW with such few hours. Most of them were killed of course during combat.

If the RAF had the same combat experience as the LW before the BoB what would have been the results? Maybe the invasion of Russia would have been postponed?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Gumtree
01-11-2008, 05:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Schwarz.13:


I can't recommend highly enough The Most Dangerous Enemy (http://www.airwarfare.com/AWX/features/reviews/images/books/mostdangerous.jpg) by Stephen Bungay.

It would be a sin not to read if you are really interested in the BOB and it is very readable for such an 'exhaustive' meticulously researched account and full of anecdotes too.

Unfortunately i loaned my copy to someone a while back so i can't offer any quotes regarding your question. I'm dying to re-read it before BoB:SoW comes out so i'll just have to buy a new copy http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

+1 very good book. You could also try Len Deighton's Fighter or Battle of Britain, Peter Townsend's duel of eagles just to name a few. Of course any of the biography's that concern the pilots of the era also give a great insight into the time.

ouston
01-11-2008, 05:57 PM
I have just finished reading Stephen Bungay's book and was very impressed by his arguments. Anybody interested in the Battle of Britain should read it. The situation in June 1940 looked pretty hopeless for the British but the Luftwaffe had problems that it had never previously had to face. Bungay argues that the Luftwaffe's generals were not even clear what they were up against. It attacked the wrong targets through poor intelligence and never came close to knocking out the radar chain or the cruicial airfield of Fighter Command. What damage it did do was through fortunate hits rather than deliberate intent. There is no doubt that the Luftwaffe fighter units started the battle in good fettle and were tactically more astute than the RAF. He gives much of the credit to Park who did not play the Luftwaffe's game and did not allow his squadrons to be caught by the fighter sweeps that were supposed to knock them out.

Bungay make clear the state that the Jadgwaffe had got to by the end of the battle. It was not in a good state. I am not going to check the statistics at this time of night but my recollection is that they shot down about an equal number of RAF fighters as they lost. The RAF could afford to lose that number and was replacing the aircraft without a problem. They were not losing pilots at the rate the Luftwaffe were losing theirs as they were fighting over their own territory.

Some of these points have an interesting mirror image in the USAAF daylight campaign against Germany. For example fighter sweeps seem to have been much more effective than the Luftwaffe had ever been in the Battle of Britain. Was this because the Americans had a lot more aircraft and had the luxury of being able to provide close escorts and sweep ahead of the bomber stream?

Pip pip
Ouston

Whirlin_merlin
01-11-2008, 06:03 PM
It has always seemed to me that the real crux of the BOB was not all together the quality of the pilots, aircraft, tactics or radar but most of all the volume of the 109s fuel tank.

However I'm drunk and that's most likly an oversimplification and in no way meant to mean anything to anyone, anything or anywotsit.

Ratsack
01-11-2008, 06:10 PM
Many of the RAF pilots lacked experience. A good example of the RAF's plight at this time is Roald Dahl's experience in North Africa. He was given his flying training, then dumped into a unit.

When I say 'flying training', what I mean is, he was taught to fly a plane. To take off. Land. Navigate in good weather.

He was not taught to fly formation. He was not taught gunnery. He was most certainly not taught tactics or any of the military art.

I would call this 'extremely green', and any such pilot going up against an enemy who has trained in formation tactics and gunnery etc, is not long for this world unless his luck stays firmly with him.

Richard Hillary describes being taught formation flying and aerobatics, but nothing useful to combat. Their combat training amounted to putting them in the air with experienced pilots for a day of dogfighting practice.

Many of the RAF pilots during the BoB were in this sort of position, or only slightly better. This is in contrast to the situation Steinhilpher describes, where they practiced doing Rotte and Schwarm turns, so they could learn the drill so one plane didn't have to throttle back while the other had to put it through the gate. This was clearly combat training.

I would suppose that a small fraction of the German replacements were green. But the impression I have gained from reading about this battle since I was ten, is that Fighter Command had a lot of newbs.


cheers,
Ratsack

MB_Avro_UK
01-11-2008, 06:19 PM
Hi all,

The quality of pilots is paramount.

In the BoB the RAF and LW fighter aircraft were close in performance.

But for the RAF to launch 12 fighters comprising many rookies against an invading force of 100+ LW aircraft required some guts.

The real life human sacrifice is often forgotten in the defence of democracy. And it was not just a British thing.

Many pilots from Europe and the British Commonwealth were involved.

As an aside, many German aircrew who were shot down were taken 'prisoner' by the RAF and 'forced' to drink beer at the RAF base.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

nudibranches
01-11-2008, 07:57 PM
[QUOTE]

I can't recommend highly enough The Most Dangerous Enemy (http://www.airwarfare.com/AWX/features/reviews/images/books/mostdangerous.jpg) by Stephen Bungay.

[QUOTE]

I think he was one of the guys interviewed on the Spitfire Ace series?

From memory he was quite dry and entertaining.

tagTaken2
01-11-2008, 11:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
Many of the RAF pilots lacked experience. A good example of the RAF's plight at this time is Roald Dahl's experience in North Africa. He was given his flying training, then dumped into a unit.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I read his experience recently, and was disturbed. They got sent up one by one, outnumbered 60-1. Surprising anyone lived to write about it.


That was Bungay in Spitfire Ace, one of the standout talking heads.

hop2002
01-12-2008, 06:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Did any of the LW fighter pilots fly in the BoB with 11 hours flight experience in a 109?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bungay quotes Milch following his tour of front line airbases. Many of the units had complained that the replacement pilots they were getting had done only 10 landings in the Bf 109, and had never fired a cannon a training (presumably because the training 109s were older models without them). I'm not sure what the average duration of a 109 training flight was, but 10 landings is not going to add up to much more than 10 hours, if that.

Feathered_IV
01-12-2008, 06:58 AM
Bungay also notes that Dowding was having trouble getting RAF pilots to attack formations, instead of everybody jumping on the first aircraft they saw or chasing done-for stragglers en masse while undamaged aircraft got through unmolested.

leitmotiv
01-12-2008, 07:13 AM
Of course the LW was better trained to fight than the RAF. Their fighter units had superior doctrine, more experienced leaders, and the 109 was in many ways a better tactical fighter than the British fighters. Their bomber units had an early form of blind bombing equipment in their Lorenz beam antennas which could be used for bombing as well as blind landings. Their navigation was better than Bomber Command's, and they had a tactical bomber, the Ju 88, which could hit factory targets with great accuracy than British mediums. There were many more German medium bombers than British mediums (the British couldn't even muster an even 100 to attack Berlin in August 1940).

The tactical situation favored the RAF. The 109 and even 110 were too short-ranged without drop tanks, which were not widely available. The German bombers were not well-favored with defensive armament. The German bombers were not able to hit all the strategic targets they needed to hit (like Belfast), and they did not carry significant loads of bombs. First and foremost, the British had a very sophisticated air defense network which had been under development since 1917, and they had radar.

Given all of the disadvantages, the Germans came close to bringing Britain to her knees during the night Blitz, which German history correctly views as the Battle of Britain (the British artificially end the BOB in fall 1940 with the end of the daylight raids). 10 May 1941 saw London nearly brought to a standstill by a massive raid which knocked out many of the railroad stations. Plymouth had nearly been bombed off the map, literally. Liverpool was severely damaged. May 1941 was truly the tipping point---RAF Beaufighters were destroying significant numbers of German bombers, but the LW was inflicting terrible damage on the cities. Not only that, German submarines were wreaking havoc on British shipping.

The Battle of Britain was ended by Hitler's attack on the USSR on 22 June 1941. Almost the entire LW bomber force was moved east. 10 May 1941 was the last big raid on London---the bombers were shifted east.

I would say the BOB ended inconclusively in a very bloody draw. German experience counted very much all through the Battle, but it was never decisive.

Kurfurst__
01-12-2008, 07:34 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by hop2002:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Did any of the LW fighter pilots fly in the BoB with 11 hours flight experience in a 109?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bungay quotes Milch following his tour of front line airbases. Many of the units had complained that the replacement pilots they were getting had done only 10 landings in the Bf 109, and had never fired a cannon a training (presumably because the training 109s were older models without them). I'm not sure what the average duration of a 109 training flight was, but 10 landings is not going to add up to much more than 10 hours, if that. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I wonder how 'many' units this meant. And were these units on 'front line airbases' really just non-combat OTUs - Lehrgeschwadern and Ergänzungseinheiten in German terms - to where pilots were transferred to be thought of tactics on their operational type under realistic conditions after graduating from training schools before being transferred finally to an actual frontline unit and sent to combat for the first time..? And 'never fired a cannon' - is this a way of telling that gunnery practices were performed with machineguns..?

Can we see the original quote, please?

Looking at Heinz Knoke`s carrier, it doesn`t seem the LW training would have been particularly shortened as in the RAF.

8th January 1940 : Knoke begun his training at a Kriegsschule, where he learned the basics of flight etc, and flew some basic types.
26th August 1940 : he was transferred to a Fighter School No. 1.
12th October 1940 : he made his first flight in a Bf 109.
2nd January 1941 : He`s transferred to JG 52`s reserve Gruppe (~OTU), where he receives further training, now on his operational type, but sees no action which is not to his liking at all.
22 April 1941 : Knoke is promoted to Leutnant.
23 May 1941 : Finally, Leutnant Knoke is transferred to an operational unit, the 6th Staffel of JG 52 (6./JG52) (Rall, Barkhorn, Krupinski..). He receives and old and battered 109E, and makes two test flights before the day ends.
24 May 1941, 0800 : Knoke participates in his first operational combat sortie.

It doesn`t seem like they were in a hurry just to fill the fighting units with semi-trained embryo pilots. It becomes understandable when you look at the size of training organisations behind the two air forces. Deighton notes that the RAF training organisation was putting out 200 pilots a month in 1939, against the LW`s 800 a month. I don`t know how it looked like in 1940, but IIRC in the automn of 1940 the RAF had something like 300 pilots under training. The only way they could pump out more was to drastically reduce the lenght of training.

This, combined with heavy losses already occuring in France and during July, poorly trained rookies replacing the experienced pre-war pilots, took it`s toll. Much overlooked but perhaps equally important was the massive loss of experienced Leaders who could watch over the new guys, but many case they were new to it just as well with only marginally more experience than those they were supposed to lead. By 1 September, 11 out of 46 Squadron Commanders and 39 out of 97 Flight Commanders were killed or wounded.

waffen-79
01-12-2008, 08:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
If the RAF had the same combat experience as the LW before the BoB what would have been the results? Maybe the invasion of Russia would have been postponed?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ok, not trying to be crazy here but...

If the process of winning the BoB were to be easier in the terms of a more equal engagement, being that, more trained english pilots, more planes, etc.

That would've debunk the "we most anihilate, those germans that ALMOST beat the living **** out of us" attitude Churchill installed

In fact, I think it would result in the classification of Germany as lesser threat, making Russia the bully of the neighborhood


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Feathered_IV:
...they saw or chasing done-for stragglers en masse while undamaged aircraft got through unmolested. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That sounds a lot like HL servers... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

stathem
01-12-2008, 09:45 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by hop2002:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Did any of the LW fighter pilots fly in the BoB with 11 hours flight experience in a 109?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bungay quotes Milch following his tour of front line airbases. Many of the units had complained that the replacement pilots they were getting had done only 10 landings in the Bf 109, and had never fired a cannon a training (presumably because the training 109s were older models without them). I'm not sure what the average duration of a 109 training flight was, but 10 landings is not going to add up to much more than 10 hours, if that. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I wonder how 'many' units this meant. And were these units on 'front line airbases' really just non-combat OTUs - Lehrgeschwadern and Ergänzungseinheiten in German terms - to where pilots were transferred to be thought of tactics on their operational type under realistic conditions after graduating from training schools before being transferred finally to an actual frontline unit and sent to combat for the first time..? And 'never fired a cannon' - is this a way of telling that gunnery practices were performed with machineguns..?

Can we see the original quote, please?

Looking at Heinz Knoke`s carrier, it doesn`t seem the LW training would have been particularly shortened as in the RAF.

8th January 1940 : Knoke begun his training at a Kriegsschule, where he learned the basics of flight etc, and flew some basic types.
26th August 1940 : he was transferred to a Fighter School No. 1.
12th October 1940 : he made his first flight in a Bf 109.
2nd January 1941 : He`s transferred to JG 52`s reserve Gruppe (~OTU), where he receives further training, now on his operational type, but sees no action which is not to his liking at all.
22 April 1941 : Knoke is promoted to Leutnant.
23 May 1941 : Finally, Leutnant Knoke is transferred to an operational unit, the 6th Staffel of JG 52 (6./JG52) (Rall, Barkhorn, Krupinski..). He receives and old and battered 109E, and makes two test flights before the day ends.
24 May 1941, 0800 : Knoke participates in his first operational combat sortie.

It doesn`t seem like they were in a hurry just to fill the fighting units with semi-trained embryo pilots. It becomes understandable when you look at the size of training organisations behind the two air forces. Deighton notes that the RAF training organisation was putting out 200 pilots a month in 1939, against the LW`s 800 a month. I don`t know how it looked like in 1940, but IIRC in the automn of 1940 the RAF had something like 300 pilots under training. The only way they could pump out more was to drastically reduce the lenght of training.

This, combined with heavy losses already occuring in France and during July, poorly trained rookies replacing the experienced pre-war pilots, took it`s toll. Much overlooked but perhaps equally important was the massive loss of experienced Leaders who could watch over the new guys, but many case they were new to it just as well with only marginally more experience than those they were supposed to lead. By 1 September, 11 out of 46 Squadron Commanders and 39 out of 97 Flight Commanders were killed or wounded. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

...and the RAF still won...amazing isn't it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

leitmotiv
01-12-2008, 09:55 AM
Yeah, I, too, thought of Knoke's long gestation as a fighter pilot. According to Irving's THE RISE AND THE FALL OF THE LUFTWAFFE, based on the Milch diaries, Milch ordered a Ju88A Gruppe to be dissolved in the fall of 1940 due to morale problems consequent upon the unit taking heavy losses.

MB_Avro_UK
01-12-2008, 02:54 PM
Hi all,

I recently saw an interview with a BoB Spitfire veteran. He joined his Spitfire squadron without having flown a Spit before!

He had completed his shortened basic trainining on Tiger Moths and a low powered monoplane.

The Squadron CO told him to familiarise himself with the cockpit instruments and then do a couple of practice circuits. He was then fit for combat http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

This situation was not unique and happened to other new pilots.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Tjaika
01-12-2008, 07:01 PM
I've got the Battle of Britain DVD and it contains some extra stuff, amoung other a documentry of the making of the movie (very interesting indeed) and interviews with pilots participating in the battle. One british pilot said that they learned everything from their opponent. Originally they started in a three pilot formation, which was not lucky, and use the finger-four formation the germans used. He was a newly trained pilot at the time, but he discribed their veterans as good pilots but non-experianced combat pilots. They lost them at a horrible rate, and he felt sorry for them, often beeing family fathers.

Formation, tactics and gunnery they had to learn the hard way. The polish pilots were experienced a contribueted a lot.

One thing that was historically wrong in the movie was that (whats his name, the british chief of air operations, he was alive when the movie was made but was still limited to speak freely)didnt have knowlegde of german movements through the enigma machine code break. The british had working copies of the enigma (the polish got one early and computers to break the code (see also the history of Alan Touring). So in the movie he that factor is not taking into consideration.

Btw: a highly historical inaccurate movie tells the story where the code is broken and machine stolen much later and by the americans.

Ratsack
01-12-2008, 10:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Tjaika:
...

One thing that was historically wrong in the movie was that (whats his name, the british chief of air operations, he was alive when the movie was made but was still limited to speak freely)didnt have knowlegde of german movements through the enigma machine code break. The british had working copies of the enigma (the polish got one early and computers to break the code (see also the history of Alan Touring). So in the movie he that factor is not taking into consideration.

Btw: a highly historical inaccurate movie tells the story where the code is broken and machine stolen much later and by the americans. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

On the Enigma thing, the cypher was originally broken by a Polish mathematician, Marian Rejewski. It was he that worked out how to get the day key from the twice-repeated message key at the beginning of each Enigma message. He also catalogued all of the possible scrambler settings. They knew the internal wiring of the scrambler wheels because of information passed to them by the French secret service, who had a German agent. The German spy allowed them to copy docs that allowed Rejewski to work out the internal wirings of each scramber wheel.

On the basis of the information from the French, the Poles built a replica Enigma machine. With the scrambler settings worked out and catalogued, cracking each day's day code was a matter of anagramming the intercepts to deduce the plug board settings.

To speed things along, Rejewski developed a machine based on the replica Enigma that would mechanically check through the possible scrambler settings. This was the famous 'bombe'.

However, in 1938 the Germans changed their Enigma techniques. They increased the plug board to twenty substitutions, and they introduced two new scrambler wheels. This last change meant that instead of there being 6 ways of arranging the wheels (3 x 2 x 1), there were now 60 (5 x 4 x 3). This meant that instead of having only six bombes that could check every scrambler combination over the course of two hours, they'd need 60 to do the same job.

The work was in that state - with the Germans in temporary ascendance - when the Poles passed their work onto the astonished British and French, who had assumed that the Enigma was un-breakable since 1931.

So, the Poles didn't really have an Enigma machine, they had several: all replicas, constructed on the basis of mathematical analysis of information collected by French espionage.

cheers,
Ratsack

Feathered_IV
01-13-2008, 04:46 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Schwarz.13:
Unfortunately i loaned my copy to someone a while back so i can't offer any quotes regarding your question. I'm dying to re-read it before BoB:SoW comes out so i'll just have to buy a new copy http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

*Ahem* If you are the person who lent it to me, I finished it last week and put it in the pigeon hole at work http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/halo.gif

hop2002
01-13-2008, 07:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I wonder how 'many' units this meant. And were these units on 'front line airbases' really just non-combat OTUs - Lehrgeschwadern and Ergänzungseinheiten in German terms - to where pilots were transferred to be thought of tactics on their operational type under realistic conditions after graduating from training schools before being transferred finally to an actual frontline unit and sent to combat for the first time..? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bungay says "the fighter Geschwader". He notes that Milch drew special attention to such raw recruits being sent to Erpo 210.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">is this a way of telling that gunnery practices were performed with machineguns..? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Can we see the original quote, please?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Certainly. I've posted it before:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">However, the problem with new pilots sent as replacements existed equally in the Luftwaffe. On 20 August, Erhard Milch began a five-day tour of the air force he had created with a view to checking morale, identifying and remedying equipment deficiencies and making recommendations about the new wave of promotions Goring was contemplating. He wrote his report on the 26th. In it he comments on the inadequate experience of the new pilots being rushed to the front from the training schools, whom he found to be of 'very variable' quality. The fighter Geschwader were complaining that they were getting boys who had only done ten landings in a Bf 109, and no firing training with cannon. Milch made a particular point of noting that green pilots were being sent as replacements to Erprobungsgruppe 210, which he thought, in view of the unit's special role, particularly aberrant. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

hop2002
01-13-2008, 07:44 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">One thing that was historically wrong in the movie was that (whats his name, the british chief of air operations, he was alive when the movie was made but was still limited to speak freely)didnt have knowlegde of german movements through the enigma machine code break. The british had working copies of the enigma (the polish got one early and computers to break the code (see also the history of Alan Touring). So in the movie he that factor is not taking into consideration. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't think that's an error in the film. The available evidence is that Dowding was not informed about Ultra until late October 1940, after most of the day fighting was over. The man who wrote the official history of Ultra, Harry Hinsley, said it provided very little useful information during the BoB period, and didn't really become important until early 1941.

If you look at the performance of Fighter Command during the BoB, there's no evidence they had advanced knowledge of German targets. The best example would be the switch to attacks on London on the 7th September.

On the morning of the 7th, Park (commander of 11 Group, the part of FC doing most of the fighting) was visiting Dowding at headquarters to discus the ongoing conduct of the battle. The minutes of that meeting were released years ago, they discussed how to cope with continued German attacks on their airfields, and had no idea the Germans were going to switch targets that afternoon.

And when the Germans attacked London that afternoon, FC held most of their fighters back over their airfields until the last moment, thinking that the huge German formation was only feinting towards London, and would soon split up in to attacks on individual airfields.

What Ultra did provide was some information on German losses. You can see that in the official history of the BoB by James, where there are oblique references to "other sources" of intelligence on German losses.

tjaika1910
01-13-2008, 07:02 PM
Ratsac and hp2002, that was interesting. Thanks for your reply.