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  • We're All 'serious Historians'!!!

    Well apart from Der Dook and his underlings. Just read this claptrap and got mi' first laugh of the day, nowt new in it that none of us didn't know already so they'll have to take us serious now!





    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...questid=600121
    The long toll of the brave
    Is not lost in darkness
    Over the fruitful earth
    And athwart the seas
    Hath passed the light of noble deeds
    Unquenchable forever.

  • #2
    Read the article, added my comments.
    "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
    Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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    • #3
      I posed the question underneath: how can you not shoot straight in a plane with fixed guns?
      Colonel Summers' widely quoted critique of US strategy in the Vietnam War is having a modest vogue...it is poor history, poor strategy, and poor Clausewitz to boot - Robet Komer, Survival, 27:2, p. 94.

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      • #4
        The article actually just puts a derogatory spin on what has always been known :-

        Everyone knows that the RAF in 1940 was under extreme pressure and that fighter pilots training had to be shortened and it doesn't take a genious to work out that that may have had an impact on their combat performance.
        Everyone also knows that combat kills are nearly always exaggerated.

        The bottom line is that the RAF in 1940 defeated the Luftwaffe convincing the Nazis that an invasion would be impossible.
        "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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        • #5
          That article is such a spin doctored bunch of crap.

          The Royal Navy was indeed there, and indeed imposing.

          But the Royal Navy wasn't in the skies over England the RAF was. And those lads died valiantly defending England, and they fought bravely, and they shot Hermans airforce out of the skies convincingly enough if you ask me.

          Of course to be fair, Herman and Hitler made some stunning bad choices too.
          They had the RAF on the ropes, they were down, the count was about 8, and then they went and backed off and did something stupid. Just as stupid as not squashing the BEF at Dunkirk.

          And that breather cost them the fight probably. Although whether or not air superiority would have been enough is tricky to say. Oh shut up you sealion wankers, I'm not playing that game
          Life is change. Built models for decades.
          Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
          I didn't for a long time either.

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          • #6
            I'm all for taking another look at old ground as it can unearth things we dont know. However I think sometimes its done simply to be controversial or shock people. I suspect this is one of them.

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            • #7
              Seems that if the RAF couldn't shoot straight the Luftwaffe was very good at flying into bullets...
              If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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              • #8
                Your average Spitfire and Hurricane only had enough ammunition for about 14 seconds of killing time. The bullets were .303-rifle caliber so the RAF pilots really had to be "up close and personal" in order for all 8 gun rounds to converge at a certain point. It was found that .303 rounds weren't as effective as 20mm cannon which is why the Spitfire Mk IV was kitted out with a pair of 20mm cannon, drum fed with 60 rounds each.
                Hitler played Golf. His bunker shot was a hole in one.

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                • #9
                  I can`t really agree.

                  Yes, new recruits had great trouble with training. But the Hawker Hurricane was a very fitting aircraft for training new recruits. In addition, the RAF also had many experienced pilots from home and abroad (specificlly from countries that were conquered by the Germans). If they were not fighting the Germans (and I have my doubts they didn`t "shoot straight"), they were training new recruits who benefited a lot from the experience of these trainers. While it is most certain that German mistakes and a bit of luck aided the RAF in it`s victory, the actions of the "Few" still remain quite impressive.

                  So no, I don`t think the British owe to the Royal Navy more then they are willing to admit. Infact, I think the British owe to the RAF more then the RN is willing to admit. Even Churchill and his commanders realised fully well that without the RAF, the RN could delay but not prevent an invasion. So the victory over the Luftwaffe was vital for the security of Britain.
                  "Beneath its gilded beauty, though, there lies a poorly designed game which rewards the greedy and violent, and punishes the hardworking and honest; and if you think about it, that's a good representation of capitalism" - Nightfreeze about Eve Online

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                  • #10
                    The Battle of Britain was fought and won in the air. Even if this esteemed scholar is correct regarding RAF marksmanship,the Luftwaffe sustained a major defeat(= arses kicked). IIRC 2-4 additional weeks of sustained operations would have finished the RAF. German victory may have led to Sea Lion and who can say what else? German losses were so staggering Hitler decided to quit the field.

                    Geesh the investigator could have found something of greater scholastic value.

                    This article is a diservice to brave men who fought hard and saved their country against all odds.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by thejester View Post
                      I posed the question underneath: how can you not shoot straight in a plane with fixed guns?
                      Because the guns where canted in at an angle so their bullets all came together at about 250* meters range?

                      *Some of the more experienced Pilots had the angle increased so that the rounds met at 200 meters, some even went to 150. As one guys said "At that range it's just a case of ducking the pieces".
                      Winnie says
                      ---------------------------------
                      "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

                      It was an Accident."
                      Herr Flick.

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                      • #12
                        As a "Yank", I'm not sure I'm even qualified to comment here. Though I have read the common sources, my knowledge about the BofB would have to considered superficial compared to those that have been raised with the story.

                        The pilots of the RAF are held in awe here almost across the historical board. I don't see this guy's claim about "body count" impacting their status at all. From my perspective it seems to be the old argument of results over effectiveness.
                        That they flew. That they faced great odds. That they risked death and died. That Sea Lion was cancelled, at least in part, by their actions. These are the results. To argue that their effectiveness, as measured by some yardstick of downed planes, is overrated, belittles the impact of their results.

                        The War is resplendent with stories of courageous Units, on both sides, that overcame dire situations. Certainly no discussion of these groups would be complete without including the RAF.
                        My Avatar: Ivan W. Henderson Gunner/navigator B-25-26. 117 combat missions. Both Theaters. 11 confirmed kills. DSC.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Listy View Post
                          Because the guns where canted in at an angle so their bullets all came together at about 250* meters range?

                          *Some of the more experienced Pilots had the angle increased so that the rounds met at 200 meters, some even went to 150. As one guys said "At that range it's just a case of ducking the pieces".
                          Many of the German Ace's, to inclued Hartman, liked to close to within 50 meters. This tactic can be read in many reports from the German crews to include "The Blond Knight of Germany"

                          HP
                          "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                          Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                          you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Listy View Post
                            Because the guns where canted in at an angle so their bullets all came together at about 250* meters range?

                            *Some of the more experienced Pilots had the angle increased so that the rounds met at 200 meters, some even went to 150. As one guys said "At that range it's just a case of ducking the pieces".
                            But the guns are still fixed. It's not like on land, where you can simply blaze away with an automatic weapon and spray bullets everywhere.

                            I'm sure the gist of the article was that pilots had little experience with some of the more complex forms of aerial gunnery - but the fact it was expressed as 'they couldn't shoot straight' simply shows what a sensationalist piece of rubbish the article was in the first place.
                            Colonel Summers' widely quoted critique of US strategy in the Vietnam War is having a modest vogue...it is poor history, poor strategy, and poor Clausewitz to boot - Robet Komer, Survival, 27:2, p. 94.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BriteLite View Post
                              German losses were so staggering Hitler decided to quit the field.
                              This statement is incorrect. The reason the BoB was called off was because Hitler wanted his airforce units to prepare for the invasion of Russia. The Brits were the ones faced with eminent destruction, not the Germans. Hitler's myopia over the Russian attack and his change in strategy to bombing civilians instead of military targets are what saved GB, not their piloting skills.

                              Originally posted by BriteLite View Post
                              This article is a diservice to brave men who fought hard and saved their country against all odds.
                              I find such comments dripping with political correctness (PC). The article did not downplay the gallantry and resolve of those GB pilots. It simply stated facts that they were poorly trained, which is true and makes their acheivement even more amazing. How is stating the facts a disservice?

                              Yah, that's history baby, it's not so pretty most of the time. Don't forget or misconstrue it from the way it was, or it will all be gone, swallowed up and completely distorted in a sea of PC, B.S.
                              Last edited by Pirate-Drakk; 31 Oct 07, 23:43.
                              Battles are dangerous affairs... Wang Hsi

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