Dunkirk and the retreat

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Bug_racer, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. Bug_racer

    Bug_racer Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Tech
    Location:
    Sydney
    Im curious to find out how many spits/hurri's were left behind after the retreat ? I know most would have flown back to UK , but what about ones that were in for maintenance that couldnt be flown etc ?
     
  2. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    I don't believe any Spitfires were used over France prior to Dunkirk so any Spitfires left there would have only been because of a force down during the battle over Dunkirk.
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,767
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Also I am pretty sure that any aircraft that were in France were probably destroyed by the RAF ground crews to keep them from falling into German hands.
     
  4. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,674
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    You may find this link of some help:

    HyperWar: The War in France and Flanders 1939–1940 [Chapter XXII]

    RAF fighters were only based in France until 22-05-40. After that all fighters were deployed back to Englend to continue the fight from there. There is one exception to this. During the evacuation of Cherbourg, a force of Hurricanes were temporarily and brriefly transferred to that port area to cover the evacuation.

    Whilst the RAF was evacuated to England, the operations of Fighter Command actually intensified after the 22nd. In the battles up to the 22nd, 200 of the 261 fighters were lost. In the period 23rd may until 5th June, Ftr Command lost another 474 fighters. These losses were far heavier than for any period during the subsequent Battle Of Britain, but then so too were Luftwaffe losses. The Luftwaffe in that 25 day period lost about 1500 aircraft, whilst the Frenach lost just under 1000 (from memory). German losses for the whole of the BoB (roughly a three month period) were about 2500 aircraft. So in that critical period of 25 days, the Luftwaffe lost 3/5 the total of aircraft in less than 30% of the time. One of the great myths of the BoF is that the germans did not suffer heavy loses....not true, they suffered very heavy losses

    Whilst Spitfires were never based in France, they nevertheless fought in the BoF, from Fighter Command Bases in England. The bloodiest fighting for the RAF occurred after the pullout from France, mostly fighting over Dunkirk
     
  5. Hop

    Hop Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    18
    According to Brian Cull in 12 Days in May, 178 Hurricanes were abandoned as unflyable.

    The Battle of France, Then and Now, which has a very exhaustive list, puts Luftwaffe losses 10 May - 5 June as 1,232. Of those 353 were destroyed on 10 May alone. The figures include large numbers of transport aircraft, many of them destroyed on the ground after landing.
     
  6. antoni

    antoni Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As far as flyable aircraft are concerned there was only a handful.

    Spitfire PR type B P9331 force landed on 7th June 1940 and became the first PR Spitfire to be captured intact.

    Hurricanes were first captured by the Germans during the Battle of France in May 1940. Among these was a Mark I captured at Merville. It was later transferred to the flying school at Magdeburg. It wore codes DF+GC. In the summer one Hurricane I was used for affiliation in II./JG 51 at Marquise in France. No less than 3 Hurricanes were allocated to flying schools, as this type of aeroplane was recorded in: Ausb. Gr 102 (1940-1943), Jagdfliegerschule 2 (in 1940 at Magdeburg/Zerbst), Jagdlehrer OberprLif. SI. (in 1943 Guyancourt-Orange). Most probably prior to August 1941 the Germans captured another fully serviceable Hurricane.It was used until May 1942 by I./Jagdfliegerschule 2 at Zerbst/Anhalt. That aeroplane was repainted in Luftwaffe camouflage and coded DE+SC. Apart from at least 3 aircraft used in flying schools, a further 3 were transferred to the test centre at Rechlin.

    The use of British, European or American (from French service) aircraft by the Germans was of real concern to Air Ministry at that time. On 23rd July 1940 a conference was held at the AM to consider aircraft camouflage and markings with a view to achieving the maximum degree of standardisation. There was a need to define a policy to be adopted regarding the attack by Allied forces of any aircraft of Allied type which was suspected of being flown by the enemy. It was thought preferable that the occasional British or Allied aircraft being flown by the enemy should escape rather than that instructions should be given that could lead to the destruction of a friendly aircraft in error. No British, Allied or American type of aircraft was therefore to be regarded as hostile unless it carried some additional unauthorised marking of a kind that might be useful to the enemy for recognition by its own forces, or it acted in an unmistakably hostile manner.
     
  7. Bernhart

    Bernhart <b>2012 Forum Fantasy Football Champion</ b>

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    mental health nurse
    Location:
    Canada
    some of 242 squadron were based in France until June 15/16th, remember reading an article about them throwing gernades in unflyable planes before flying others back home
     
  8. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,334
    Likes Received:
    402
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Motor Mechanic
    Location:
    Lancashire
    I have seen a photo of a Spitfire Mk1 in French colours that the French were testing with a view to ordering some. Was this captured by the Germans or did the RAF take it back before the battle.
     
  9. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Indiana
    Are you sure it wasn't a post-1940 Free French aircraft? Off the top of my head and without any of my sources with me at the moment, I know that there were 8 or 9 Free French squadrons, and at least two (perhaps more) of them were equipped with Spitfires.

    Also keep in mind this interesting detail: As I've collected and viewed many photos of WW 2 aircraft when I was a kid, I did notice early on that in vintage B&W photos, the "red" and "blue" shades on the aircraft roundels will switch, thus making a British roundel appear to be a French one, and vice versa. There is a word for this in photographic circles I believe, but I'm unable to remember it at the moment.
     
  10. antoni

    antoni Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #10 antoni, Oct 29, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
    .
     
  11. antoni

    antoni Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #11 antoni, Oct 29, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
    France asked Supermarine for delivery of Spitfires and received a quotation 25th April 1938 offering three aircraft. It was placed top of the Foreign Office priority list 17th November 1938. The first Spitfire F.01 arrived 18th July 1939. No others were supplied. It was the 251st production aircraft, supplied with a spare Merlin III, and the only Spitfire built directly for an export customer, all other deliveries being ex-RAF aircraft modified for foreign service.

    When German forces invaded France the Spitfire was at Orleans and was to have been burnt to stop it falling into the hands of the enemy. Evidently this did not happen as it fell into the hands of the Gremans in the state dipicted in the photograph thought to have been taken in late 1940 or early 1941.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Texas
    Dowding went to great lengths and fought the francophillic Churchill tooth and nail to keep his Spitfires from being wasted in the Battle of France.
     
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,674
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    I think thats a little harsh, although i concede that with the benfit of hindsight Dowding was right. Until the end of May, nobody could be certain that the Allies faced total defeat. Everybody knew that the great advantage favouring the germans over the French was the Luftwaffe, so in a sense it was logical to reinforce the French with as much air as possible. If france was knocked out there was no obvious pathway to victory for the british, and Churchill knew this. I think he also knew that if France was knocked out, the only way forward for the British was a hard long slog to defeat the Germans.

    In a sense also, throwing the RAF into the fight in France made military sense as well. The Germans were losing aircraft at a far higher rate in France than at any other time in 1940. Throwing the RAF into the fray totally would have meant the total loss of the RAF, but it may also have destroyed the Luftwaffe, though I concede the risk in fighting in France was that many more pilots would be lost...


    In hindsight, Dowdings strategy was the appropriate one to follow, but that was far from clear at the time, even to Dowding. His actioons come across as one of not playing for the team and instead running a separate race......
     
  14. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Student
    Location:
    London, UK
    Home Page:
    In hindsight it seems pointless to throw in the RAF into France like that.

    But one has to remember that no one was thinking it would have gone so fast. The plans were to stop the forces in Belgium, remember? Most people were probably expecting something similar as to what happened in WW1 when the British aircraft also fought in France.
    It was difficult to imagine that within weeks France had to be evacuated and Britain itself had to be defended and all fighters were going to be needed for that.

    Kris
     
  15. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,971
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Railwayman
    Location:
    London, England.
    Retreat from Dunkirk? Merely a strategic move old chap to straighten the military defence line.... to Dover! :D
     
  16. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,630
    Likes Received:
    1,415
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Retreat? No such thing in the British military! Now, 'Strategic Withdrawl' is another matter.....!!!
     
  17. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Student
    Location:
    London, UK
    Home Page:
Loading...

Share This Page