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The plane that saved Britain


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sgwlm31/03/2018 19:19:28
112 forum posts
84 photos

channel More 4 at 20.00, 31/03/18

followed by Guy Martin Spitfire

Phil 931/03/2018 19:23:27
4284 forum posts
237 photos

thank you

Geoff Sleath31/03/2018 19:59:07
3485 forum posts
319 photos

Thanks. I'kk make sure to watch it some time soon on catch up. It'll be good to see a programme about the Hurricane


Ron Gray31/03/2018 22:29:07
1550 forum posts
367 photos

Good prog about the Mossie, just loved the sub buster version!

sgwlm31/03/2018 23:40:33
112 forum posts
84 photos

tomorrow i think is Vulcan,

i already have set record

Martin Harris31/03/2018 23:53:58
8948 forum posts
221 photos

Wasn't the plane that saved Britain a lost German bomber? Certain theories have it that the retaliatory raid on Berlin triggered Hitler's decision to switch the bombing offensive to the cities and away from the RAF airfields at a critical point where the RAF was on its last legs (wings?)...

Peter Jenkins01/04/2018 00:06:43
1291 forum posts
132 photos

Martin, one could also make the case for the Hurricane as that was the aircraft that accounted for the majority of German bombers shot down in the B of B. You are right about the bombing of Berlin which led to that most important of military rules - maintenance of the aim. Hitler's decision shift the target from Fighter Command stations to London was what gave the RAF the time to recover. Had it not been for Hitler, there wouldn't have been a 2nd world war but because of his many strategic and tactical errors he was also a great help in the defeat of Germany.

Did you know that at the end of WW2, the RAF had the capability and bases to photograph any target anywhere in the world thanks to the PR Mosquito. Nothing could shoot it down from the ground and no fighter was fast enough to catch it apart from the Me 262. However, the turning circle of the 262 meant that it was easy to avoid. The Mossie crews waited until the jet had lined up on them and then turned hard left or right. By the time the 262 had repositioned for a second attack it was out of fuel. The Far East was the Mosquitos Achilles heel. The heat and humidity meant their glue joints started to fail.

Martin Harris01/04/2018 02:01:20
8948 forum posts
221 photos

My opinion is that no one aircraft can claim to have won the war - or the Battle of Britain. In that conflict, the Hurricane did shoot down the majority of bombers and well flown, could just about hold its own against a 109 in a turning fight but the Spitfires played a major part in combating the fighters while the Hurricanes did the donkey work. I doubt that Hurricanes alone could have held out while Spitfires were more vunerable to damage and difficult to repair in the field and might well have run into serviceability problems had they been in the majority.

Perhaps the RAF could have made more use of the Mosquito in the bombing campaign against Germany - with a payload not far short of the B17 and the ability to outrun most if not all of the enemy fighters, large scale daylight operation to support the American effort with a 2 man crew as opposed to the 10 men and heavy guns and ammunition needed for the Fortress could have made sense if production and crew training could have been sufficient. The Mosquito was invaluable in its role as a pathfinder of course.

Then would the bombing campaign have succeeded without the support of the Mustang?


Tom Thomas01/04/2018 03:43:55
315 forum posts
207 photos

Predicting thread lock

Peter Miller01/04/2018 08:16:38
10317 forum posts
1231 photos
10 articles

There are so many arguments and discussions that could go on for ever.

Just for fun:

In fact the B-17 could carry a huge bomb load, indeed as much as the Lancaster BUT it had to be carried on external under wing bomb racks which increased the drag so much and used so much fuel that they could not reach Germany

Mowerman01/04/2018 11:22:43
1542 forum posts
105 photos

All the aircraft mentioned were important but were no use without crews. The men who flew them ( and the women who delivered them) won the war. Also important were those who built and maintained them.

Edited By Mowerman on 01/04/2018 11:24:04

TJ Alexander01/04/2018 15:19:07
105 forum posts
Posted by Tom Thomas on 01/04/2018 03:43:55:

Predicting thread lock

Very useful to stop those screws shaking loose.

Yeah, there's a lot of silly hyperbole going on. Most people think the BoB was our brave boys in Spits shooting down hundreds of Luftwaffe, but the truth was a lot grittier, and the Spits were definitely latecomers (albeit very welcome).

Spitfires definitely had a higher kill rate, but the lower numbers and slower turnround than the Hurri meant the latter was the main defence.

Hon mention to the other fighters in the BoB: Defiants, Blenheims and Gladiators.

On a similar note, I saw that the cover article of the BBC History magazine asked the question 'Did the RAF win WWII?', which is an absurd and insulting question. Sure, they had a big impact, but only as part of a huge allied effort. If any air force can claim a win, it would be the VVS, but it's still a stupid question.

Former Member02/04/2018 15:28:23
724 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

TJ Alexander02/04/2018 21:38:45
105 forum posts

Don't get me wrong, supertigrefan (can I call you super for short?). The Spitfire was, and always will be the ne plus ultra of thirties technology, as evidenced by the fact that it held its own throughout the rapid changes to fighters in WWII and towards the jet age. And So. Breathtakingly. Beautiful. Even more so than the Sea Fury, which I have loved since forever.

All I was meaning was that kitting up with the Spitfire was still in its early stages in mid-1940, and the Hurricane did do the bulk of the work.

I think your characterisation of the Hurricane as more effective bomber killer, and Spitfire as a fighter hunter is a very useful way of describing it.

John Stainforth02/04/2018 23:37:43
318 forum posts
38 photos

Simplifying a bit, the Hurricane was 40 mph slower than the Spitfire and the Bf109. The Spitfire mainly went after the 109's, which enabled the Hurricanes to take on the bombers very effectively. Without the Spitfires, the Hurricanes would not have lasted very long.

Geoff Sleath03/04/2018 00:17:34
3485 forum posts
319 photos

Well, back to the original thread. I watched the Mosquito programme this evening and greatly enjoyed it. Thanks.

I have a small cast aluminium Mosquito (8" ws) I've has since forever - probably 1940s - it's unfettled. No idea where it came from but I seem to remember there was a similar P38 lying around the workshop at home when I was a child.


Former Member03/04/2018 14:28:12
724 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

eflightray03/04/2018 14:43:23
590 forum posts
128 photos

"I love it when a plane comes together"

alan p03/04/2018 19:10:21
228 forum posts
3 photos

Whilst each aircraft has its good and bad points, it was the sum of the whole that helped secure victory and the aircrew that flew them.

thomas oliver 108/04/2018 19:52:59
93 forum posts
23 photos

While serving on various Spitfire equipped training units in Northumberland during WW2 , I strapped in many pilots for their first flight in a Spit. On landing, without exception they all proclaimed what a wonderful flight they had had. Although the Merlin was a good engine, my later experience with Pratt and Whitney twin row radials made me realise what a tremendously reliable engine they were. . Have you seen a picture of a Spitfire with the engine cowlings removed. You will note the engine tucked behind a proliferation of tubing, pipes etc and you might then realise what a b----ger it was to work on. It required many special spanners with which we as fitters were never equipped. The starter motor was located vertically close to the crankcase and was held on by six studs and nuts which required a socket with a very long extension and fitted with a universal coupling, which we did not have, and had to make up ourselves. The spark plugs had an RF shield sleeve and likewise for which we also had to make a special spanner. One newcomer in our hanger decide to use the leaf spring off a truck, and after marking out a neat spanner, he used up about 4 hacksaw blades before realising he was getting nowhere and gave up. It was deliberately left lying for any unwary new bloke to finish it off and became the source of much amusement at their futile efforts. . Rolls Royce did in fact issue complete chests of these tools to maintenance units, but the NCOs kept them for their specific use. Tom Oliver.

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