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Hi Phylophylo_roadking wrote:Andy - here's a question...
Could the southern Commands LAY mines at night faster than the Germans could clear them by day under air attack???
Do we have a figure for the number of KM minehunters of all types available intheatre...compared to the number of RN and Patrol vessels capable of laying mines???
I would suggest that it's misleading to try and describe pilots as meant as the "elite" of the RAF. In one sense this is true -- they constituted the leadership, certainly. But that simply reflected the philosophy that the leadership should be drawn from those who actually fought, rather than service support types and what-not. (Or at least, had fought or been in the position to do the fighting as younger men.) Note that the army did the same thing -- staff officers were drawn from combat arms officers (infantry, artillery, cavalry/armour, engineers).Rodger Herbst wrote:When the RAF was formed the pilots were to be the elite of the air service, so they were given all the staff jobs.
Rodger Herbst wrote:When the war started they were all behind a desk and the RAF had a pilot shortage, Churchill and others tried to make the RAF shake the tree and get some of them into squadrons but didn't have much luck, so it was the short timers and the foreign pilots not the career officers who made up the bulk of the pilots in the BoB.
Indeed, Dowding was clear on this at the time, and I would suggest that it is also the consensus view of essentially every historian of the battle since.Rodger Herbst wrote:the RAF didn't have a shortage of planes but of pilots
This is where I would part company with you, or at least ask -- what do you mean by "fault"? As I have been attempting to outline above, the RAF had to balance multiple competing imperatives, under it must be admitted, some pressure. It is not clear to me that they did an egregiously bad job of that. That did (1) win the Battle of Britain, (2) simultaineously continue the other air power functions, while (3) successfully mobilizing a massive air force, and (lastly) win the war, did they not?Rodger Herbst wrote:... [it] was the RAF's own fault
Roger, not that I'm aware of....BUT you can do no better than taking a look at John James' The Paladins on this James' MA work on the development of the RAF from 1933 to 1939, with information taken from the Air Force Lists of the period up to 1938 (when they suddenly became Secret!)There were exceptions of coarse, this is my opinion and I'm sure someone at Feldgrau has made a study of plane mannings , i would like to know if my conclusion is correct or if I need to go back and read my material over again