Nice work Chris. I'll chip in now and then, when I've got a few other things sorted.
Nice work Chris. I'll chip in now and then, when I've got a few other things sorted.
Interesting read. First of many, I'm sure!
Good stuff Chris!
Ditto...Good stuff Chris......the Battle of Britain movie was on the box today too!
Nice work Chris, will be following this one closely.
UNITED KINGDOM:The morning of the 11th, was typical of what one could expect on an English summers day. Southern England was covered in exceptionally low cloud, and thick fog in many areas would have made flying impossible. In contrast to the events of the previous day, the next few days were very much similar to those of the days leading up to the 10th, that was, spasmodic attacks on coastal shipping in the Channel, recon flights along the English coast, and only a few occasions where the fighters went up and generally engaged air combat on a one-to-one basis. The weather was generally clearer in the west during the morning, and this is where the Germans had to decided to strike.
During the morning from 0600 hours to 0900 hours the Luftwaffe sent several single aircraft on raids to areas between Yarmouth and inland from Flamborough Head. The raids dropped bombs on numerous places including the Royal Engineer Headquarters at Melbourne in Derbyshire. A Do 17 was intercepted during these raids and shot down off Cromer along with a Hurricane from RAF No. 145 Squadron. The pilot, S/L Peter Townsend was picked up by merchant boat after bailing out. During the dawn period, British radar picked up a signal off the east coast near Walton-on-Naze. RAF No.66 Squadron sent out a flight to intercept and found it to be lone recon Do 17. Suffering from damage by the Spitfires, the German bomber lost height as it made its way out over the North Sea, but not before its gunfire hit one of the Spitfires off the coast south of Great Yarmouth.
Near 0800 hours, ten Stukas from IV (Stuka)./LG 1 escorted by twenty Bf 109s were sent to intercept a convoy steaming across Lyme Bay. Six Spitfires of RAF No.609 Sqd were vectored into the area where radar had picked out a blip in the region of Portland. What they found was the formation of Ju 87s. They were just ready to make the engagement when they were pounced on by three Staffeln of Bf 109s. RAF No.609 Sqd lost its Flight Commander, and another Spitfire was shot down. As the German formation crossed the Channel, it was met with six attacking Hurricanes from RAF No. 604 Sqd. with the result that one British fighter was immediately shot down. Reaching the convoy, the Stukas were bounced by another flight of Spitfires, three British fighters positioning themselves to intercept the Stukas while three covered their rear. The escorting Messerschmitts succeeded in breaking through the rear Spitfires and shot down two of the British fighters but no ships were sunk from the attack. One Stuka was lost and another badly damaged.
Between 0900 hours and 1100 hours four raids of single Luftwaffe aircraft flew to England, searching for shipping targets. One Do 17 was caught off Selsey Bill by fighters from RAF No. 601 Squadron and shot down. Another raid bombed Swansea and carried out a shipping reconnaissance of Milford Haven. A Do17 was intercepted by fighters and shot down off Cromer by S/L Douglas Bader of RAF No. 242 Sqn. One Hurricane was shot down during the combat but the pilot was reported safe.
But the first big raid of the day began shortly after 1100 hours when a flight of six Ju 87s from III./StG 2 joined with about thirty Bf 110s from 9./ZG 76 and came over the Cherbourg peninsula and set a course for Portland. The formation surprised a flight of six Hurricanes from RAF No. 601 Squadron near Poole (who were vectored to search for a single aircraft) who promptly turned and dove on the Stukas. Two Ju 87s were shot down before the escorting Bf 110s were able to intervene. Bf 110s also suffered the same fate when several more British squadrons were vectored into the battle. One was piloted by Oberlt Hans-Joachim Goering (nephew of Reichsmarschall Goering), the other by Lt Friedrich-Wolfgang Graf zu Castell. One Bf 110C crashed on Portland Verne, the other went into the sea off Portland. Neither crew survived. Another Bf 110 from 7./ZG 26 was also lost.The British claimed a total of eight Bf 110s shot down along with one He 111 and one Ju 88 destroyed by defending anti-aircraft fire. Five RAF pilots put in a claim for the demise of Staffelkapitean Oblt. Gerhard Kadow of 9./ZG 26 when he survived a crash landing near Wareham in Dorset. One Hurricane, with red and blue checked markings, was lost. The Stuka attack on Portland incurred slight damage, but with the arrival of the Hurricanes, the Stukas had to abort.
Last edited by Njaco; 10-16-2011 at 11:12 AM.
11 July 1940 continued....
The running dogfight exposed the inferiority of the escorting twin-engined fighters. Four Messerschmitts were shot down by pilots of RAF Nos. 238, 87 and the ever-present 601 Squadron throughout the day. The difficulties of the Zerstörer concept were explained by a pilot with V(Z)./LG 1;The rest of the afternoon the Luftwaffe tried several attacks on convoys off Suffolk but RAF fighter patrols forced the bombers to scatter their bomb loads in the water and little damage was done."I would not say that the British fighters were superior to the Bf 110. Each possessed certain advantages and disadvantages. Under equal conditions much depended on the pilots. But I would like to make one thing clear: the nature of our missions places us at a grave disadvantage compared to the British. The fighter pilot's motto always has been: see and attack at once! But on our missions this applied only to the British. They could initiate their attacks from a safe altitude, where and when they wanted. On the other hand we as direct escorts were tied to our slower-flying bombers. We had to wait until the British attacked, usually in superior numbers. In order for us to have at least some measure of mutual protection in this disadvantageous situation we formed one or two vertically staggered defensive circles."
The next major raid for the Luftwaffe was no surprise to the British as radar gave enough of a warning to scramble fighters. Twelve He 111s escorted by twelve Bf 110s crossed over the Isle of Wight and headed for Portland, again. Intercepted by Hurricanes from RAF No 601 Squadron again, the formation was turned back. Guided by accurate AA fire, two RAF squadrons intercepted the Germans and in the ensuing combat, No 601 Sqn shot down 4 He111s of KG 55 and 1 Bf 110's of ZG 76 for certain and 4 He111s probable. As a result of this engagement, a Bf 110 landed near Weymouth practically undamaged and the occupants arrested before they could destroy the aircraft.
At 1744 hours a flight of about fifty He 111s from 2./KG 55 raided Portsmouth Harbour. Fighters from RAF No. 145 Squadron attacked the bombers. The bombers were able to shoot down one RAF fighter but lost three Heinkels; one crashing in Sussex, one in the sea off of Sussex and another that crashed returning to the airfield at Villacoublay. RAF No. 145 Squadron lost a Hurricane during the combat but claimed one Bf 110 and three He 111s shot down. The AA at Portland shot down three enemy aircraft, one He111, 1 Ju88 confirmed and one unidentified enemy aircraft unconfirmed. Bombs fell on Portsmouth setting fire to the gas works and causing some casualties. British pilots reported that during this engagement, German bombers threw out various objects which appeared to be metal turnings, plates and wire, in great quantity.
In the afternoon a flight of British fighters came across a German He 59 seaplane with Red Cross markings escorted by twelve Bf 109s. Diving to the attack, a fierce battle raged between the British and German fighters. One Spitfire, flown by A. C. Deere of RAF No. 564 Squadron collided with a Bf 109 and his plane was damaged but he was unhurt. He was finally able to crash land about five miles outside of Manston. Two Spitfires were destroyed during the battle along with two Bf 109s as P/O J. L. Allen of RAF No. 54 Squadron finally forced the He 59 floatplane down on the Goodwin Sands.
After 2100 hours several raids penetrated into the West Country and bombs were dropped in South Wales, Somerset, Bristol, Portland, Dorchester and Plymouth areas. A few German raids also crossed the East coast and bombs were dropped in the Hull, Ipswich, Harrogate, Doncaster, Colchester and Harwich areas. No serious damage was reported. At 0100 hours, nine Ju 88s of I./KG 51 attacked oil tanks, searchlights and anti-aircraft gun placements at Bristol, Avonmouth and the Portishead docks. On the return flight, a Junkers crashed into the sea and another was lost crashing in France. Several bombs were reported to have exploded in mid-air before reaching the ground and their targets.
Losses: Luftwaffe - 11, Fighter Command - 4
WESTERN FRONT: The pilots and crews of II./JG 54 received a new Gruppenkommandeur when Hptm. Winterer was posted as commander of the Gruppe in place of Obstlt Richard Kraut.
The Bf 110s of the Zerstörergruppe V(Z)./LG 1 led by Hptm. Horst Liensberger moved from Alencon to three airfields around Caen, France.
Last edited by Njaco; 01-24-2013 at 10:17 AM.
Great read Chris, thanks !
UNITED KINGDOM: Although the weather for the day was cloudy with morning fog over the Channel, coastal shipping continued to provide worthwhile targets for the Luftwaffe. Raids for the day were sporadic and understrength. Most of the action took place off the Essex and Suffolk coastline. He 111 and Do 17 bombers were targeting some of the merchant shipping along one of Britain's busy trade routes. The first action of the day consisted of a flight of twelve German aircraft attacking two convoys - "Agent" off North Foreland and "Booty" twelve miles off Orfordness - in the morning. A second formation of six aircraft followed the first flight. Six RAF fighter sections composed of RAF No. 85 Sqd, RAF No.151 Sqd, RAF No. 242 Sqd, RAF No. 264 Sqd and RAF No. 17 Sqd intercepted the formations and a battle ensued in the cloud and fog. The Hurricanes of RAF No. 85 Sqn (Martlesham Heath) were up early after enemy aircraft had been spotted off the coast near Harwich attacking the convoy codenamed "Booty". P/O John Bickerdyke a New Zealander shot down a bomber whilst protecting the convoy off Orford Ness. Combat just off the East Anglia coast lasted until almost midday with the Hurricanes having accounted for two He 111s. A Hurricane was shot down and another crash landed while the Luftwaffe lost six bombers.
Shortly after 0900 hours a He 111 formation was detected over the North Sea just off the coast near Aberdeen in Scotland where bombers dropped a number of bombs on a shipyard killing twenty-nine people and injuring 100. The German formation was intercepted by fighters from RAF No. 603 Sqd and lost a He 111 from 2./KG 26. Another RAF Hurricane was lost over the sea. RAF N. 151 Sqn F/O J.H.L.Allen a New Zealander was K.I.A. (killed in action) when he flew convoy patrol in Hurricane P3275. He ditched into the sea after combat with a Dornier Do 17 of II./KG 2 at 09:45hrs off Orford Ness. Aberdeen was raided again later by a single aircraft which dropped high explosive bombs. This raid caused twenty-six deaths and seventy-nine casualties and considerable damage to property, including the Hall Russell & Co. Iron Works. Many IBs were dropped in region of Bridgehill near Consett. A cow was killed and a house was slightly damaged by fire.
Intermittent raids by the Luftwaffe continued all afternoon. At 1515 hours a Do 17 over Portland was attacked by Hurricanes from RAF No. 501 Sqd. The German bomber evaded destruction but sent a Hurricane crashing into the sea. RAF No. 501 Sqn PO Duncan A.Hewitt in Hurricane P3084, a Canadian, was shot down and killed while attacking a Dornier Do 17 off Portland at 15:45hrs.
A second raid on shipping took place off the Isle of Wight in the early afternoon. At 1555 hours the German bombers dropped their loads between the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth. One bomber, an He 111 from Stab./ KG 55, was attacked by six Hurricanes of RAF No. 43 Sqd as it retreated and crashed into the ‘Horse and Jockey’ pub in Hipley, northwest of Portsmouth Hampshire. The plane still carried a full load of bombs.
Five formations of Luftwaffe Ju 88 bombers raided Cornwall, Devon, Weymouth, Falmouth and St. Eval at about 1640 hours. Intercepted by RAF No. 243 Sqd over the St Eval airfield, one Ju 88 was attacked and seen to have black smoke bellow from its port engine. At nearly the same time several German aircraft reconnoitered the Thames Estuary and the Norfolk coast. At 1642 hours, a trawler off the Essex coast sent out a SOS as it was being attacked by a He111 of 4./KG 53 flown by Uffz Rudolf Franke. The aircraft was shot down and was a shared claim of F/Lt A. G “Sailor”. Malan, P/O P. C. Fasken and Sgt E. A. Mould of RAF No. 74 Sqn.
During the night starting at 2240 hours and lasting until 0117 hours, several raids were carried out over the Portland area and the Scottish coast. Bombs were dropped on Billingham, Thornby, Cupar, Dunfermline and Helensburgh with very little damage caused.
Losses: Luftwaffe - 8, Fighter Command - 6
A Ju87 operating against shipping the in English Channel was seen to have an extra fuel tank under each wing. These tanks could increase the range of the Ju87 to 900 miles with corresponding reduction in its bomb load.
WESTERN FRONT: The crews of III./JG 3 led by Hptm. Walter Kienitz transferred from the airfield at Poix and Utrecht to new bases at Guines. Following the “Udet” Geschwader was Hptm. Hans-Heinrich Brustellin’s I./JG 51 who left the airfields at Leeuwarden and also transferred to Guines.
Oberst Josef Kammhuber, formerly of KG 51, was released from his job as Officer with Special Duties of the RLM and C-in-C Luftwaffe and was posted as Geschwaderkommodore of the He 111 flying KG 1, replacing Oblt. Ernst Exss. The ‘Hindenburg’ Kampfgeschwader was based at Rosieres-en-Santerre at this time.
Last edited by Njaco; 01-24-2013 at 10:27 AM.
Keep it coming Chris!
UNITED KINGDOM: The day started out very much like the day before with morning fog over southern England. There was very little activity, even by the Luftwaffe. As the conditions seemed to improve during the morning, a couple of attacks were made on the port of Dover. As in the days previous, targets for the Luftwaffe were shipping and convoys. RAF No. 43 Sqn Tangmere (Hurricanes) responded and engaged a force of He111' over the Channel. At 1114 hours a Heinkel He 111 was shot down over Spithead by Hurricanes from RAF No. 43 Squadron. Early afternoon saw a couple of feint attacks on a convoy off the Essex coast near Harwich. Two raids headed for the Isle of Wight. Engaged by Hurricanes of RAF No. 501 Sqd, the formations lost only one Do 17 that crashed west of Southampton.
Later in the afternoon, enemy aircraft were detected again in the Channel area and again attacked the convoy "Bread" off the Dorset coast near Lyme Bay - RAF No. 56 Sqn North Weald (Hurricanes), RAF No. 64 Sqn Kenley (Spitfires) and RAF No. 238 Sqn (Hurricanes) were scrambled to intercept. One Do17 was shot down during the afternoon by RAF No. 238 Sqn while another five were destroyed about 15 miles off Calais at 1800 hours
The Bf 110s of V./LG 1 flew their first major mission of the war, entrusted to attack a convoy along with a formation of twenty Ju 87 Stuka bombers of II./StG 1 off Portland at 1420 hours. Failing to find the target, the forty twin-engined fighters formed a defensive circle, or 'Abwehrkreis', when Hurricanes of RAF No. 238 Sqd and Spitfires of RAF No. 609 Sqd bounced the formation. One Bf 110 was shot down and three others were badly damaged as the defensive maneuver worked. Two Ju 87s were so badly damaged that they crash landed returning to France - one at Cap Gris-Nez and another at Noorfontes. The British lost two Hurricanes from RAF No. 56 Sqd while RAF No. 238 Sqd lost one fighter.
Dover Harbour and a convoy south of the city were the target for a mixed flight of Ju 87 dive-bombers and Bf 109 fighters shortly after 1730 hours. Bounced by Spitfires of RAF No. 64 Sqd, the Jagdflieger suffered several Messerschmitts damaged along with a Ju 87 shot down by anti-aircraft fire. The defending anti-aircraft fire also claimed a Spitfire but the plane managed to land safely.
Reaching the convoy just off the Straits of Dover at 1800 hours the twelve Ju 87’s from StG 1 along with twelve fighters from II./JG 51 attacked. Eleven Hurricanes from RAF No. 56 Squadron attacked the Stukas. The escorting Messerschmitts dove to break up the Hurricanes. Oblt. Josef Fözö, a Staffelkapitän with the II Gruppe of JG 51, described the action;The British lost two Hurricanes in the battle along with two more damaged for a cost to Oblt. Fözö's Gruppe of one Bf 109 from 9./JG 51 destroyed. The British fighters also claimed three Stukas shot down. The Kommodore of JG 51, Oberst Theo Osterkamp was credited with the destruction of one of the Hurricanes for his sixth and last aerial victory of the war. Sgt J.R.Cowsill of RAF No. 56 Sqn in Hurricane (N2432) was shot down and killed over Calais by a Bf 109 of JG 51 at 16:45hrs. Sgt J.J.Whitfield of RAF No. 56 Sqn was hit by gunfire from another Bf109 of JG51 over the Channel and crashed into sea at 1900hrs. Spitfire R6688 was destroyed."Unfortunately for them (the Hurricanes), they slid into position directly between the Stukas and our close-support Messerschmitts. We opened fire, and at once three Hurricanes separated from the formation, two dropping and one gliding down to the water smoking heavily. At that instant I saw a Stuka diving in an attempt to reach the French coast. It was chased by a single Hurricane. Behind the Hurricane was a 109, and behind that a second Hurricane, all of the fighters firing at the aircraft in front. I saw the deadly dangerous situation and rushed down. There were five aircraft diving in line towards the water. The Stuka was badly hit and both crewmen wounded; it crashed on the beach near Wissant. The leading Messerschmitt, flown by Fw. John, shot down the first Hurricane into the water, its right wing appeared above the waters like the dorsal fin of a shark before it sank. My Hurricane dropped like a stone close to the one that John had shot down."
Although two Hurricanes were actually lost, eight JG 51 pilots were given credit for kills including two for Oblt. Josef Fözö and one for Hptm. Horst Tietzen and Oblt. Arnold Lignitz. P/O Michael Robert Mudie from RAF No. 615 Sqn. on convoy patrol off Dover in Hurricane L1584G, was shot down by a Bf 109 of JG51 at 1530 hours. He died the next day.
A second attack on the convoy near Dover brought down a Fw 200 four-engined bomber from I./KG 40, for a total of seven German aircraft lost for the day. Several bombs were dropped on the convoy but the attack was unsuccessful.
For once during the battle, the evening finds very little activity over England as few raids were conducted by the Luftwaffe. Between 0038-0138 hrs in Co Durham a large number of IBs dropped on railway lines leading to Seaton Snooks, others on west side of Brenda Road, West Hartlepool. No damage. IBs also fell near Graythorp Village. Co Durham.. Shotley Bridge district.. Many IBs dropped in region of Bridgehill near Consett. A cow was killed, a house was slightly damaged by fire. Bombs were dropped in the following areas: - Dundee, Warmwell, 4 miles NE Lulworth Cove. Fighters were despatched to intercept a few enemy raids but no interceptions were effected.
Last edited by Njaco; 10-16-2011 at 11:16 AM.
"THERE'S ONE GOING DOWN IN FLAMES!"
UNITED KINGDOM: The dawn brings clear weather for the day but the Luftwaffe failed to take advantage of the situation, instead conducting small and scattered raids on shipping and convoys. All through the morning the Luftwaffe tried to either engage in shipping attacks or at least to locate convoys. In almost all cases patrolling RAF fighters chased away the German bombers and fighters. Few, if any, targets experienced bombs dropping on them and it seems as if the Luftwaffe let an opportunity escape them.
At approximately 1100 hours a convoy was attacked off Manston by 1 Dornier escorted by 10 Bf109s but in consequence of timely action by two RAF fighter squadrons, the German aircraft were driven off. They suffered losses of 1 Bf109 confirmed and 4 Bf109s probable.
The only large scale raid of the day was made at about 1500 hours when a formation of about forty Ju 87s of II./LG 1, escorted by a number of Bf 109s from III./JG 3 and JG 51 headed towards Dover and the Channel looking for shipping convoys. As the convoy "Bread" continued its journey in the Channel, it again became the target for the Luftwaffe. More than 20 Do17s from KG 2 with a heavy fighter escort of Bf 109s from JG 51 and Bf 110s of ZG 26 were engaged by Spitfires and Hurricane's from Biggin Hill, Croydon and Manston. Over 100 aircraft were engaged. Most of the bombs missed the merchant ships although the bombers succeeded in damaging two of the merchant vessels and a naval unit. The SS Island Queen' (779t) cargo ship in convoy 'CW 5" was sunk by German aircraft off Dover. The Norwegian vessel 'Balder' and the British ship SS 'Mons' were damaged in the same convoy. Three RAF fighter squadrons converged on the formation and a great dogfight ensued. Three Ju 87s and three Bf 109s including one from 8./JG 3, were shot down. Another Bf 109 from 8./JG 3 was severely damaged during the fight. The British lost one Hurricane from RAF No. 615 Sqd to Hptm. Horst Tietzen of 5./JG 51 for his ninth victory. P/O Michael. Robert Mudie of RAF No. 615 Sqn flying a Hurricane (L1584) was shot down at 15:30hrs. He baled out badly injured and was rescued by Navy, but died the next day.
Towards the evening, owing probably to worsening weather, activity then decreased. 1 Ju88 was shot down by AA fire. In the east, casual shipping was attacked and a few localities bombed including Raynham Aerodrome. During the course of these attacks 1 Do17 and 1 He111 were shot down and 1 Do17 and 1 He111 were probable casualties. RAF No. 242 Sqn took part and accounted for one certain and one unconfirmed (included in the above). A few sporadic raids took place over the Scottish coast, none of these were intercepted.
Shortly before midnight, He 111s of I./KG 55 attacked the oil tanks at Avonmouth and searchlight placements at Bristol along with raids on the Isle of Wight, Kent and Suffolk. The attack on Avonmouth wrecked the railway line and dock's line along with a signals box. The National Smelting Works suffered a bomb dropped on them during a second raid.
Losses for the day were 2 machines for the Luftwaffe while the RAF lost 4 aircraft.
In reviewing the episode which brought down the He 59 floatplane on 11 July, the British took notice of how German search and rescue aircraft tended to circle above British convoys for no apparent reason. Believing that these planes were either shadowing convoys or guiding bomber formations to the ships, the RAF issued the following communiqué;
GERMANY: Another Bf 109E from JG 2 was damaged, this time from the III Gruppe while trying to land at Rhein-Main airfield.“Enemy aircraft bearing civil markings and marked with the Red Cross have recently flown over British ships at sea and in the vicinity of the British coast, and they are being employed for purposes which His Majesty’s Government cannot regard as being consistent with the privileges generally accorded to the Red Cross. His Majesty’s Government desire to accord ambulance aircraft reasonable facilities for the transportation of the sick and wounded, in accordance with the Red Cross Convention, and aircraft engaged in the direct evacuation of the sick and wounded will be respected, provided that they comply with the relevant provisions of the Convention. His Majesty’s Government are unable, however, to grant immunity to such aircraft flying over areas in which operations are in progress on land or at sea, or approaching British or Allied territory, or territory in British occupation, or British or Allied ships. Ambulance aircraft which do not comply with the above requirements will do so at their own risk and peril.”
BBC Broadcast: 14 July 1940
Part of text of Charles Gardner's BBC Broadcast. Dover - July 14th 1940
"The Germans are dive-bombing a convoy out at sea; there are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven German dive-bombers, Junkers 87s. There’s one going down on its target now — Bomb! No! he missed the ships, it hasn’t hit a single ship — there are about ten ships in the convoy, but he hasn’t hit a single one and — There, you can hear our anti-aircraft going at them now. There are one, two, three, four, five, six — there are about ten German machines dive-bombing the British convoy, which is just out to sea in the Channel. I can’t see anything. No! We thought he had got a German one at the top then, but now the British fighters are coming up. Here they come. The Germans are coming in an absolute steep dive, and you can see their bombs actually leave the machines and come into the water. You can hear our guns going like anything now. I am looking round now. I can hear machine gunfire, but I can’t see our Spitfires. They must be somewhere there.....There’s one going down in flames! Somebody’s hit a German and he’s coming down with a long streak - coming down completely out of control - a long streak of smoke."
Last edited by Njaco; 10-10-2011 at 11:53 AM.
Most excellent stuff Chris!