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The Battle of Britain

thecaptain51

master brummie
This is the epic story as told as it happened, but with a slight twist by modern day historians who looked at it.
They found out the effect that The Spitfire had on some German pilots who had been shot down and captured in Britain, by taping their conversations secretly at a mansion where they were being held captive. They also got to know what the Germans really thought about how the war was going.
It also features a couple of interviews from the R.A.F. fighter pilots and Luftwaffe pilots who fought against each other in this battle.
They compared the engines of The Spitfires against The Engines of The Messerschmitt Bf 109s.

What happened during the battle.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awoM9X-wMtY

A random list of fighter pilots who participated in the battle, including a Birmingham pilot from Handsworth called William Howard Machin.

https://www.battleofbritainmemorial.org/pen-pictures-a-few-of-the-few/

The list of non British pilots who fought for Great Britain during The Battle of Britain.
One of The Polish pilots died at the hands of an angry crowd in east London. He had baled out of his fighter and landed, injured in Wapping. His incoherent rambling was mistaken for a German and he was set-upon by the people who had gathered round him. They were incensed by recent Nazi raids on civilian targets, but he was a member of the RAF.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-British_personnel_in_the_RAF_during_the_Battle_of_Britain

A number of Birmingham pilots were actively involved in this action, if there is any one out there who had members of their family involved, it would be greatly appreciated if you could respond to this thread.
The Captain
 

thecaptain51

master brummie
When planning for The battle of Britain, Gòring (Head of the Luftwaffe) said to Hitler " Give me 4 clear days and The R.A.F. will be destroyed by The Luftwaffe". When the battle turned against the Lufwaffe, Gòring had a meeting with his fighter station commanders and changed the tactics, which was a gross error of Judgement. he said " I want you fly our fighters close to the bombers". The commanders were surprised and angered at his decision. He turned to Adolf "Gallo" Galland and asked " What can I give you to help you win this battle". Galland replied " A squadron of Spitfires". Gòrings reply has not been recorded for posterity, so I believe.

Below I have used parts of the film "Battle of Britain". You hear Alvar Lidell (Radio newsreader of that period) make the announcement " The Battle of France has ended and now The Battle of Britain will start". Then an inspection of a Luftwaffe Base prior to the start of the battle.

Alvar Lidell announcing the Battle Of Britain and a Luftwaffe Bomber base being inspected.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dUv5FcyNM0


Gòring meeting with his Operational Commanders, leaves the meeting on a low note.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjz8pAGRvsg
 
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thecaptain51

master brummie

thecaptain51

master brummie
This is a documentary about The Spitfire, it features a number of our Fighter Aces (Sadly, I believe they have all since died) from The Battle of Britain. There is a lovely cameo about Birmingham, and they have interviewed The Brummies about their experiences with this aeroplane and the long hours they worked to turn the assembles in to those fighting machines. In the documentary there are number of people who you might recognise, family, friends etc... There is also a part that talks about The Hurricane, there were more Hurricanes than Spitfires, that fought during this air battle.
This documentary was produced in 1976.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDzZnCkbxgs

Please enjoy
The Captain
 

thecaptain51

master brummie
Some information from the German side. A white Knight who fought for The Dark Empire.

Adolf Galland, The most respected, and Germanys highest scoring Luftwaffe pilot during The Battle of Britain. After the end of WW2, Galland becames friends of people like Johnny Johnson, Robert Stanford Tuck and Douglas Bader.

Adolf Galland
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGD29EvyrM4

He was famous for saying to the head of The Luftwaffe " We should attack London when it is covered in fog". Gòring replied " Stop it stop it, I dont want to hear this, in my opinion I am against it".

See below Galland being interviewed
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QU7qKUsy3k

 

Smudger

master brummie
I was watching a programme about the battle of Britain & got to wondering about the dog fights that took place over populated areas & thought that with all that ammunition being spewed out of the aircraft did any civilians ever get hit on the ground by the stray bullets?
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
I was watching a programme about the battle of Britain & got to wondering about the dog fights that took place over populated areas & thought that with all that ammunition being spewed out of the aircraft did any civilians ever get hit on the ground by the stray bullets?
According to Google they did, put the query into Google and there is some fascinating stuff.

Bob
 

Harry Flashman

knowlegable brummie
Up until the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe had experienced an easy run of things but when pitted against the RAF were doomed to lose. The Polish Air Force was no match, as was the French. The Stuka dive bomber had been used to great effect in conjunction with German ground troops. That all changed with the Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe was pitted against the best air defense system in the world and two of the best fighters in production at that time. In the early days of the battle, the Stuka losses were tremendous, with the Luftwaffe eventually pulling them from service over Britain. The Germans never really managed to put the British radar chain home network out of action, with the result that British fighters were always up and ready for the Luftwaffe raids. Downed German pilots over Britain were invariably captured whilst those downed over the channel invariably died. Britain's aircraft production far outpaced that of the Germans, added to which Britain only needed to concentrate on fighter production, while Germany had to replace both bombers and fighters. Combining all the factors of RAF tactics, production of aircraft, radar etc., it has been calculated that to win, the Luftwaffe had to shoot down six RAF planes for the loss of one of their own. In the battle, the RAF shot down two Luftwaffe planes for the loss of one of their own. This and much more can be found in Stephen Bungay's excellent book 'The Most Dangerous Enemy.'
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
Up until the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe had experienced an easy run of things but when pitted against the RAF were doomed to lose. The Polish Air Force was no match, as was the French. The Stuka dive bomber had been used to great effect in conjunction with German ground troops. That all changed with the Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe was pitted against the best air defense system in the world and two of the best fighters in production at that time. In the early days of the battle, the Stuka losses were tremendous, with the Luftwaffe eventually pulling them from service over Britain. The Germans never really managed to put the British radar chain home network out of action, with the result that British fighters were always up and ready for the Luftwaffe raids. Downed German pilots over Britain were invariably captured whilst those downed over the channel invariably died. Britain's aircraft production far outpaced that of the Germans, added to which Britain only needed to concentrate on fighter production, while Germany had to replace both bombers and fighters. Combining all the factors of RAF tactics, production of aircraft, radar etc., it has been calculated that to win, the Luftwaffe had to shoot down six RAF planes for the loss of one of their own. In the battle, the RAF shot down two Luftwaffe planes for the loss of one of their own. This and much more can be found in Stephen Bungay's excellent book 'The Most Dangerous Enemy.'
Only ever saw one dog fight, over Green Lanes school, I believe one of the children found some expended shell cases afterwards. I have always been led to believe that the ME109 was superior in a number of ways to the Spitfire and certainly the Hurricane, but the RAF were able to defeat any superiority by the way they tackled the ME109s. The most frightening plane was the Stuka in the dive. Anybody watching the Blitz on BBC2? If you remember the bombing, this will make you realise how lucky you are to still be alive.

bob
 

Radiorails

master brummie
The Stuka was a fearful aircraft when operating against much of mainland Europe (including Spain). But it was a failure against the RAF and our defence systems.
The Polish Air Force aircraft may not have been up to par with the Luftwaffe but Polish pilots who served with the RAF were more than a match against the Luftwaffe excelling at what they achieved.
When I was in the RAF there were still quite a few Polish airmen still in service with the RAF. They were very interesting to talk to, especially regarding their WW2 experiences. In fact it was hard for a comparative youngster - in late teens, as I was in 1955 - to appreciate that it was just ten years since the end of WW2 and that, for them, was very recent history.
 

oldbrit

OldBrit in Exile
Only ever saw one dog fight, over Green Lanes school, I believe one of the children found some expended shell cases afterwards. I have always been led to believe that the ME109 was superior in a number of ways to the Spitfire and certainly the Hurricane, but the RAF were able to defeat any superiority by the way they tackled the ME109s. The most frightening plane was the Stuka in the dive. Anybody watching the Blitz on BBC2? If you remember the bombing, this will make you realise how lucky you are to still be alive.

bob
You can say that again Bob This was a very close call just around the corner from our house next month November 1940 I and my pals are in the photocrump-rem10.jpg
 

Harry Flashman

knowlegable brummie
The Stuka was a fearful aircraft when operating against much of mainland Europe (including Spain). But it was a failure against the RAF and our defence systems.
The Polish Air Force aircraft may not have been up to par with the Luftwaffe but Polish pilots who served with the RAF were more than a match against the Luftwaffe excelling at what they achieved.
When I was in the RAF there were still quite a few Polish airmen still in service with the RAF. They were very interesting to talk to, especially regarding their WW2 experiences. In fact it was hard for a comparative youngster - in late teens, as I was in 1955 - to appreciate that it was just ten years since the end of WW2 and that, for them, was very recent history.
My statement about the Polish Air Force being no match for the Luftwaffe was not meant to be critical of the Polish pilots but more their aircraft and command and control. It is widely known the 302 ad 303 squadrons (Polish) were the most successful of all RAF squadrons as far as their shoot down rate was concerned.
 
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